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Archive | February, 2014

Are Obots paid Obama agents?

No

That answer could be the end of the article. Conspiracy theorists have long thought that the powerful conspirators can not only be blamed for whatever catastrophe has happened, a financial crisis, natural disaster, or Barack Obama becoming president, but also for preventing the conspiracy theorists from convincing the rest of the world of their version of the truth. I see this often as I comment at Birther Report, being asked how much I’m paid to betray my country. (I personally think that battling birthers is patriotic.) Here’s a more or less random example reply to me last year:

We know Soetoro’s birth certificate and Selective Service are forged, paid OBOT shill.

You are a VILE toad…

That latter conspirator role has become an increasing theme in comments and tweets from certain fringe sources. Commenter “helen” linked to one of them, an article titled: “The Conspiracy Theory Is True: Agents Infiltrate Websites Intending To “Manipulate, Deceive, And Destroy Reputations” by Tyler Durden (a pseudonym) who puts it succinctly:

In the annals of internet conspiracy theories, none is more pervasive than the one speculating paid government plants infiltrate websites, social network sites, and comment sections with an intent to sow discord, troll, and generally manipulate, deceive and destroy reputations. Guess what: it was all true.

The particular perpetrator of Internet manipulation in the Durden story is GCHQ, the British analog to the American NSA. The article is long, and I didn’t read it completely, nor delve into the fine print of the lines and arrows, but as far as I can tell, it doesn’t identify domestic conspiracy theorists as the targets, nor do any of the documents “leaked” suggest that the intent is to target crackpots.

The great crime in all of this, so says the article, is that it threatens the “integrity of the Internet.” Intelligence services trying to plant disinformation have been around for probably thousands of years. Corporations, governments, and political parties are not stupid; they know the value of public opinion. There have been other disclosures of corporations using fake accounts on social media to do damage control or promote a product. Richard Nixon’s re-election committee practiced dirty tricks long before there was an Internet. To my mind, the great error in judgment made by Mr. Durden is his implicit belief that the Internet has integrity in the first place, at least any more integrity than any other aspect of life.

The leap conspiracy theorists make is to turn the capability of someone to sow disinformation among them or about them into the reality of it happening. Such capability is nothing new: I wrote about it three years ago in my article, “Engineered crisis.” It would be a mistake for anyone who values public opinion not to try to shape it through the Web and social media, and it would be a mistake to take anything one sees on the Internet at face value. I think the wise approach is expressed by the Russian proverb, Доверяй, но проверяй, “trust, but verify.” I do not expect anyone to believe me who does not know me, and this is why I take extra pains to provide sources for the information I present. This important distinction is usually lost on birthers (obvious in a current thread at Birther Report).

To the original question, I would answer more fully that I know personally several of the main anti-birthers, and none of them are paid to blog or comment about birthers. It come naturally out of a desire to correct misinformation and to appeal to our better natures. If the birthers had anything like real proof, they would have no problem getting a hearing, but they don’t and they won’t.

2 + 2 = silly

I wrote earlier about Mark Kessler, and included a quote from him given right after hearing Mike Zullo’s closed-door presentation at the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association meeting, that I’ll repeat here:

Ths Barry…he’s not an American, I can tell you that right now. The information that I was given, he’s not an American. He’s not even Kenyan and I’m tellin’ you that when you find out what he is, your blood is gonna boil. The American people are gonna go absolutely crazy if Congress doesn’t do something about this cause he’s not Kenyan and he’s not American. …There’s no record of him prior to the age of five anywhere in this country. Nowhere. The people that…that they say are his parents, guess what? They’re not his real parents. They’re not. I’ve seen the evidence. I’ve seen the evidence and I give kudos to Mike Zullo and Joe Arpaio because Joe took this bull by the horns and ran with it.

So what the heck is that all about? Well, look at this bit from Martha Trowbridge today at Birther Report:

Martha Trowbridge 78p · 8 hours ago
Foggy was referencing a several-day twitter debate we [and “Pogue Moran”] were having re: aka Obama’s fugitive mother, known at the time of her 1985 Domestic Terrorism arrest as “Elizabeth Duke”.

He was ridiculing my statements indicating that she will be brought to Justice. Another of his ridiculing tweets was something like “You know who runs the Feds? He he he” meaning since Holder’s in charge, fat chance that “Duke” will be taken into custody.

The joke will soon be on all of them.

It seems to me that this might be Zullo’s totally crazy closed-door presentation, and maybe even what he’s been working on all this time. For this to work, they will have to come up with a new non-American father unless Kessler was confused. Note Trowbridge’s word, “soon.”

Orly 4 AG

Kamala Harris
Intrepid birther attorney Orly Taitz has filed as a candidate for California’s Attorney General. Taitz previously ran for the US Senate and California secretary of state. She is running against 1-term incumbent Kamala Harris (pictured right). The California attorney general can serve a maximum of 2 terms. Harris made mortgage relief the center of her last campaign and is noted as an opponent of capital punishment.

image

Taitz (pictured left) announced [link to Taitz web site] that she received the necessary petition signatures and had filed today. Taitz also announced today that the had reached received 48,810,721 views of her web site.

Harris, endorsed by prominent California Democrats Pelosi and Feinstein, presents a sharp alternative to Taitz; the two disagree on just about everything. In 2012 Taitz [link to Taitz web site] Taitz threatened to include Harris in a RICO action if she allowed Obama to remain on the ballot in California.

There is local coverage of the Taitz AG filing at the San Luis Obispo Tribune.

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