Donald Trump just said:
“Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!”
This is another reason why I’m glad I voted for Gary Johnson in this month’s election.
As long as a person who burns the flag is burning their own flag (i.e., not one that they stole from someone else), and is obeying the fire and safety laws, then I fully support their right to burn it.
Washington Post: “6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008… Obama won more than 80 percent of the votes of non-citizens”
Could non-citizens decide the November election?
October 24, 2014
Could control of the Senate in 2014 be decided by illegal votes cast by non-citizens? Some argue that incidents of voting by non-citizens are so rare as to be inconsequential, with efforts to block fraud a screen for an agenda to prevent poor and minority voters from exercising the franchise, while others define such incidents as a threat to democracy itself. Both sides depend more heavily on anecdotes than data.
In a forthcoming article in the journal Electoral Studies, we bring real data from big social science survey datasets to bear on the question of whether, to what extent, and for whom non-citizens vote in U.S. elections. Most non-citizens do not register, let alone vote. But enough do that their participation can change the outcome of close races.
Our data comes from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES). Its large number of observations (32,800 in 2008 and 55,400 in 2010) provide sufficient samples of the non-immigrant sub-population, with 339 non-citizen respondents in 2008 and 489 in 2010. For the 2008 CCES, we also attempted to match respondents to voter files so that we could verify whether they actually voted.
How many non-citizens participate in U.S. elections? More than 14 percent of non-citizens in both the 2008 and 2010 samples indicated that they were registered to vote. Furthermore, some of these non-citizens voted. Our best guess, based upon extrapolations from the portion of the sample with a verified vote, is that 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent of non-citizens voted in 2010.
Because non-citizens tended to favor Democrats (Obama won more than 80 percent of the votes of non-citizens in the 2008 CCES sample), we find that this participation was large enough to plausibly account for Democratic victories in a few close elections. Non-citizen votes could have given Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health-care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) won election in 2008 with a victory margin of 312 votes. Votes cast by just 0.65 percent of Minnesota non-citizens could account for this margin. It is also possible that non-citizen votes were responsible for Obama’s 2008 victory in North Carolina. Obama won the state by 14,177 votes, so a turnout by 5.1 percent of North Carolina’s adult non-citizens would have provided this victory margin.
We also find that one of the favorite policies advocated by conservatives to prevent voter fraud appears strikingly ineffective. Nearly three quarters of the non-citizens who indicated they were asked to provide photo identification at the polls claimed to have subsequently voted.
An alternative approach to reducing non-citizen turnout might emphasize public information. Unlike other populations, including naturalized citizens, education is not associated with higher participation among non-citizens. In 2008, non-citizens with less than a college degree were significantly more likely to cast a validated vote, and no non-citizens with a college degree or higher cast a validated vote. This hints at a link between non-citizen voting and lack of awareness about legal barriers.
There are obvious limitations to our research, which one should take account of when interpreting the results. Although the CCES sample is large, the non-citizen portion of the sample is modest, with the attendant uncertainty associated with sampling error. We analyze only 828 self-reported non-citizens. Self-reports of citizen status might also be a source of error, although the appendix of our paper shows that the racial, geographic, and attitudinal characteristics of non-citizens (and non-citizen voters) are consistent with their self-reported status.
Another possible limitation is the matching process conducted by Catalist to verify registration and turnout drops many non-citizen respondents who cannot be matched. Our adjusted estimate assumes the implication of a “registered” or “voted” response among those who Catalist could not match is the same as for those whom it could. If one questions this assumption, one might focus only on those non-citizens with a reported and validated vote. This is the second line of the table.
Finally, extrapolation to specific state-level or district-level election outcomes is fraught with substantial uncertainty. It is obviously possible that non-citizens in California are more likely to vote than non-citizens in North Carolina, or vice versa. Thus, we are much more confident that non-citizen votes mattered for the Minnesota Senate race (a turnout of little more than one-tenth of our adjusted estimate is all that would be required) than that non-citizen votes changed the outcome in North Carolina.
Our research cannot answer whether the United States should move to legalize some electoral participation by non-citizens as many other countries do, and as some U.S. states did for more than 100 years, or find policies that more effectively restrict it. But this research should move that debate a step closer to a common set of facts.
Black Lives Matter praises Fidel Castro for protecting murderers, hijackers, and terrorists from U.S. authorities
Black Lives Matter Salutes Fidel Castro, is ‘Grateful’ He Harbored an FBI Most Wanted Terrorist
November 27, 2016
The Black Lives Matter movement has come out in support of Fidel Castro, following his death on Friday, saying they must “come to the defense of El Comandante” and thanking him for safeguarding Assata Shakur, who’s on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list.
The movement penned an article on Sunday titled “Lessons from Fidel: Black Lives Matter and the Transition of El Comandante” on the Medium platform where they eulogized the passing of the Cuban dictator. The article, which was not bylined, was Tweeted out by the closest thing there is to an official Black Lives Matter account and also posted on the movement’s semi-official Facebook page.
The article claims Castro’s death has caused “an overwhelming sense of loss, complicated by fear and anxiety.”
“Although no leader is without their flaws, we must push back against the rhetoric of the right and come to the defense of El Comandante,” it added.
The article continues by portraying Castro as a model freedom fighter, who Black Lives Matter should strive to follow and emulate. It said: “As Fidel ascends to the realm of the ancestors, we summon his guidance, strength, and power as we recommit ourselves to the struggle for universal freedom. Fidel Vive!”
The movement then thanked the Cuban dictator for hiding criminals and domestic terrorists from the U.S government, such as Michael Finney, Ralph Goodwin, and Charles Hill — who hijacked an airplane from Albuquerque while being sought for the 1972 murder of New Mexico State Trooper Robert Rosenbloom.
Hill told a Washington Post reporter in the 1990s that he had no regrets about killing the state trooper, a father of two young daughters.
The BLM movement is also also “particularly grateful” to Castro for harboring “Mama Assata Shakur, who continues to inspire us.” Shakur, whose real name is Joanne Chesimard, is currently on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list with a $1 million bounty on her head.
She was convicted in the U.S. of killing a New Jersey state trooper, assault and battery of a police officer. After she escaped from prison, Castro granted her asylum in Cuba in 1984.
Black Lives Matter
Lessons from Fidel: Black Lives Matter and the Transition of El Comandante
November 27, 2016
We are feeling many things as we awaken to a world without Fidel Castro. There is an overwhelming sense of loss, complicated by fear and anxiety. Although no leader is without their flaws, we must push back against the rhetoric of the right and come to the defense of El Comandante. And there are lessons that we must revisit and heed as we pick up the mantle in changing our world, as we aspire to build a world rooted in a vision of freedom and the peace that only comes with justice. It is the lessons that we take from Fidel.
From Fidel, we know that revolution is sparked by an idea, by radical imaginings, which sometimes take root first among just a few dozen people coming together in the mountains. It can be a tattered group of meager resources, like in Sierra Maestro in 1956 or St. Elmo Village in 2013.
Revolution is continuous and is won first in the hearts and minds of the people and is continually shaped and reshaped by the collective. No single revolutionary ever wins or even begins the revolution. The revolution begins only when the whole is fully bought in and committed to it. And it is never over.
Revolution transcends borders; the freedom of oppressed people and people of color is all bound up together wherever we are. In Cuba, South Africa, Palestine, Angola, Tanzania, Mozambique, Grenada, Venezuela, Haiti, African America, and North Dakota. We must not only root for each other but invest in each other’s struggles, lending our voices, bodies, and resources to liberation efforts which may seem distant from the immediacy of our daily existence.
Revolution is rooted in the recognition that there are certain fundamentals to which every being has a right, just by virtue of one’s birth: healthy food, clean water, decent housing, safe communities, quality healthcare, mental health services, free and quality education, community spaces, art, democratic engagement, regular vacations, sports, and places for spiritual expression are not questions of resources, but questions of political will and they are requirements of any humane society.
Revolution requires that the determination to create and preserve these things for our people takes precedent over individual drives for power, recognition, and enrichment.
A final lesson is that to be a revolutionary, you must strive to live in integrity. As a Black network committed to transformation, we are particularly grateful to Fidel for holding Mama Assata Shakur, who continues to inspire us. We are thankful that he provided a home for Brother Michael Finney Ralph Goodwin, and Charles Hill, asylum to Brother Huey P. Newton, and sanctuary for so many other Black revolutionaries who were being persecuted by the American government during the Black Power era. We are indebted to Fidel for sending resources to Haiti following the 2010 earthquake and attempting to support Black people in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina when our government left us to die on rooftops and in floodwaters. We are thankful that he provided a space where the traditional spiritual work of African people could flourish, regardless of his belief system.
With Fidel’s passing there is one more lesson that stands paramount: when we are rooted in collective vision when we bind ourselves together around quests for infinite freedom of the body and the soul, we will be victorious. As Fidel ascends to the realm of the ancestors, we summon his guidance, strength, and power as we recommit ourselves to the struggle for universal freedom. Fidel Vive!
Compare and Contrast: DONALD TRUMP vs OBAMA on Tyrant Fidel Castro’s Death
November 26, 2016
Cuban Communist Fidel Castro finally died last night.
He was 90 years old.
Barack Obama and Donald Trump both released statements on Castro’s death.
President Barack Obama released a statement Saturday morning on Castro’s death.
Obama would not condemn this evil man.
Instead, Obama said “history will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.”
What the hell was that supposed to mean?
Via The White House:
Statement by the President on the Passing of Fidel Castro
“At this time of Fidel Castro’s passing, we extend a hand of friendship to the Cuban people. We know that this moment fills Cubans – in Cuba and in the United States – with powerful emotions, recalling the countless ways in which Fidel Castro altered the course of individual lives, families, and of the Cuban nation. History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.”
“For nearly six decades, the relationship between the United States and Cuba was marked by discord and profound political disagreements. During my presidency, we have worked hard to put the past behind us, pursuing a future in which the relationship between our two countries is defined not by our differences but by the many things that we share as neighbors and friends – bonds of family, culture, commerce, and common humanity. This engagement includes the contributions of Cuban Americans, who have done so much for our country and who care deeply about their loved ones in Cuba.”
“Today, we offer condolences to Fidel Castro’s family, and our thoughts and prayers are with the Cuban people. In the days ahead, they will recall the past and also look to the future. As they do, the Cuban people must know that they have a friend and partner in the United States of America.”
Now here is President-elect Donald Trump’s statement that was just sent out:
President-Elect Donald J. Trump Statement
“Today, the world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades. Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.”
“While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve.”
“Though the tragedies, deaths and pain caused by Fidel Castro cannot be erased, our administration will do all it can to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty. I join the many Cuban Americans who supported me so greatly in the presidential campaign, including the Brigade 2506 Veterans Association that endorsed me, with the hope of one day soon seeing a free Cuba.”
The U.K. city that knowingly allowed Muslim men to repeatedly rape 1,400 girls for 16 years is trying to stop people from talking about it
In Rotherham, U.K., between 1997 and 2013, police, social workers, and the media knew that Muslim men were repeatedly raping 1,400 girls, but they did nothing to try to stop it, because they did not want to be accused of “racism.” You can read about it here, here, and here.
Since this information has become public, the city is trying to stop people from talking about it:
Police and council move to ban Rotherham abuse protests
May 23, 2015
Police and council bosses are to apply to the Government to have protest marches by extremist groups in Rotherham outlawed.
Rotherham Council’s commissioners have written to Home Secretary Theresa May advising her they are planning to make a joint submission with South Yorkshire Police asking to be allowed the special powers.
They want to be granted powers under the Public Order Act that would allow for the banning of public marches of an initial period of up to three months.
It follows around £2m being spent on policing marches and protests in Rotherham from groups including the English Defence League, Britain First and the Yorkshire Infidels, as well as counter-demonstrations from organisations such as Unite Against Fascism and British Muslim Youth.
The most expensive and high-profile operations followed the publication of the Jay report in August, which revealed South Yorkshire Police and Rotherham Council had failed at least 1,400 victims of child sexual exploitation over a 16-year-period, with many of the main offenders being men of Pakistani origin.
A protest by the EDL and other right-wing groups in the town on September 13 ran up a policing bill of more than £1m, as over 1,000 officers from across the country were sent to Rotherham.
A further £250,000 was also spent on an operation monitoring a group of EDL protesters who set up camp outside Rotherham police station between August 29 and September 13 to demand the resignation of police and crime commissioner Shaun Wright, who had been responsible for children’s services at Rotherham Council between 2005 and 2010.
In March, members of the extreme right-wing group the South East Alliance were prevented from entering Rotherham, with arrests made under breach of the peace powers. This operation cost more than £150,000.
The £1.8m bill between 2013 and 2015 does not include Saturday’s demonstration by the South East Alliance group, who were joined by members of the EDL and the National Front.
In her letter to the Home Secretary, Commissioner Mary Ney said while it is hoped the costs of policing the marches will be met through a Home Office grant, the public money that has gone on dealing with the demonstrations could be ‘better spent’.
She said: “Over an extended period, the town has been subject to a significant number of events by right-wing groups, and counter demonstrations by left wing groups. This has, and continues to, consume a vast amount of police resource, both within and outside South Yorkshire, at significant cost to the public purse.
“However, more significant is the damage to the reputation of the town, and the impact that this has had on the town centre in particular, which has been the focus of these events.
“Due to their regularity there is a real perception amongst people using the town that it is not safe, and that there are protests every Saturday.
“Footfall is significantly down, and a number of retailers are facing closure. Further marches and demonstrations can only worsen this position.
“The town needs to move on and further events will be damaging both to community cohesion, and the ability of the town to recover.”
Commissioner Ney said conditions to control where marches go or how long they last do ‘not deal with the cumulative impact that these events have on the community, or the town centre businesses’.
She added: “Whilst we realise that people have a democratic right to assemble and protest under the European conventions, that freedom has been exercised on numerous occasions, by many different groups, all protesting about the same issue.
“That voice has been heard, and all groups have had the opportunity to protest in Rotherham town centre many times.”
She said it is ‘considered legitimate to interfere with that right’ on the grounds that it will prevent serious disorder, protect the rights of traders and the public to go about their business and ‘enable the town to move on following the publication of the Jay and Casey reports’.
A spokeswoman for South Yorkshire Police said: “We respect the right to peaceful protest but this must be balanced against the rights of the wider community to go about their daily lives.
“We welcome Commissioner Ney’s letter to the Home Office highlighting the difficult position Rotherham is facing and the desire of all agencies to move forward and rebuild the reputation of the town.”
Protest After Migrants Gang Rape Woman In Wheelchair
October 12, 2016
A wheelchair-bound Swedish woman says she was gang-raped by five migrants who were then released days after their arrest, as the victim allegedly did not do enough to fight off her attackers, according to prosecutors.
The incident has sparked outrage and protest in the town of Visby, on the Baltic island of Gotland, due to the authorities’ refusal to detain or report the nationalities of the attackers.
The unnamed disabled woman, in her thirties, had asked to use a toilet at a nearby asylum centre after sharing a taxi with one of its residents on the 2nd of October.
However, after she was invited inside, the man and six of his fellow migrants attacked her, taking turns to rape the woman for several hours at the facility in Visby.
Authorities have attempted to shield the identities of the attackers, in line with Swedish police policy that protects the ethnicity of criminals when they are non-Swedish, in a bid to protect the force from accusations of racism.
Despite the attackers being arrested on the evening of the alleged attack, they were released just days later. The migrants denied the attack and it was said that as the woman did not resist sufficiently, the incident can not be classed as rape according to Swedish law.
“The act is not based on violence or threats without having exhausted her special situation,” prosecutor Mats Wihlborg told Aftonbladet, claiming the “claimant’s story is not so robust that it can be the basis for an arrest”.
Hundreds of local residents took matters into their own hands, protesting outside the migrant centre on more than one occasion, sending the town into chaos such that extra police had to be brought in from other regions.
The victim’s lawyer, Staffan Fredriksson, argued that the disabled women was “paralyzed” and could not have fought back. He said:
“She followed him in and had no fears that something would happen. Then the man took advantage of the situation. The abuse started in the toilet.
“Where they came from we don’t know. This was going on for a couple of hours. She got paralyzed in this situation and was not able to bring herself to resist physically, other than saying no.”
He added: “She is completely broken down.”
Sweden accepted more so-called refugees per capita that any other European nation last year and the liberal government is now facing a backlash.
At the beginning of this month, it was reported that the proportion of Swedes who want their country to accept fewer refugees has almost doubled in a year, meaning a strong majority – 60 per cent – now support slashing immigration.
In contrast, only 13 per cent said they thought more refugees should be accepted – more than halving from 31 per cent in 2015.
Austrian Supreme Court overturns conviction of Iraqi immigrant who raped 10-year-old boy in swimming pool
Man who raped 10-year-old boy at swimming pool in Austria has sentence overturned by Supreme Court
Judges say lower court had not established whether attacker thought boy consented to sex
October 24, 2016
A man who raped a 10-year-old boy at a swimming pool in Austria has had his conviction overturned after judges found he may have believed the child consented.
Police said the 20-year-old Iraqi refugee, who has not been named, assaulted his victim in a toilet cubicle at the Theresienbad swimming pool in Vienna on 2 December last year.
The child reported the rape to a lifeguard and his attacker was arrested at the scene, reportedly telling officers in initial interviews that he was experiencing a “sexual emergency” after not having sex in four months.
In June, he was jailed for a minimum of six years for rape and aggravated sexual abuse of a minor, and ordered to pay €4,700 (£3,700) compensation to the boy’s family.
But on Thursday, Austria’s Supreme Court overturned the rape conviction and ordered a re-trial on the charge.
While the sexual abuse verdict was “watertight”, the more serious offence requires evidence that the defendant knew their victim did not consent to sex.
Supreme Court judges ruled that the first court should have established whether the attacker thought his victim agreed to a sexual act and intended to act against the boy’s will.
“This intention was not sufficiently established, so the Supreme Court quashed the rape conviction,” Austria’s national ORF broadcaster reported.
The re-trial is not expected to begin until next year, with the defendant remaining in custody.
The unnamed man worked in Iraq as a taxi driver before leaving in 2015 and journeying to Europe and settling in Vienna.
His trip to the swimming pool was said to be part of integration efforts, sparking outrage amid tensions over the refugee crisis in Austria.
Speaking to local media, the victim’s mother revealed her son had been “screaming and crying every night” since the attack and had talked of suicide.
Prosecutors said the boy, known as Goran, suffered serious physical injuries from the rape as well as “profound depression”.
The attack sparked a backlash against migrants in the country, which has since seen support for anti-immigration groups rise and implemented a controversial cap on refugee numbers.
Reports of sexual harassment and attacks by asylum seekers at swimming pools have generated controversy across Europe, sparking a ban on male migrants at one pool in Germany and “vigilante” patrols in Sweden.
Police statistics in Germany showed that sex offences make up a tiny proportion of crimes committed by refugees and migrants in the country, which are mostly related to transport and documents.
Donald Trump’s response to Brandon Victor Dixon’s “Hamilton” speech shows that Trump is a whiny crybaby
Brandon Victor Dixon said the following to Mike Pence:
“We, sir — we — are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights. We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.”
This seems perfectly reasonable to me.
Donald Trump responded with:
“Our wonderful future V.P. Mike Pence was harassed last night at the theater by the cast of Hamilton, cameras blazing. This should not happen!”
“The Theater must always be a safe and special place. The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!”
In my opinion, Trump is acting the same way as the whiny social justice crybabies whose hysterical behavior got Trump elected in the first place.
It is an American tradition for people to criticize their political leaders.
For Trump to be offended by this suggests to me that he is not fit to hold the office of the Presidency. I suggest that he resign before he even enters office.
I like what this guy (the Amazing Atheist ) has to say about it:
Now that a Republican will soon be in the White House, liberals can go back to PRETENDING that they are against war
Although the U.S. still has 5,000 troops in Iraq during the last year of Obama’s presidency, the protestors who demanded that we “bring the troops home” when Bush was president haven’t made the same demand on Obama.
On the contrary, the Democrats tried to elect a candidate who wants to start World War III.
Here’s a nice satire of these “anti-war” hypocrites.
Thank goodness for the electoral college, which prevented Hillary Clinton from starting World War III
Hillary Clinton admitted in 2013 that a no-fly zone would “kill a lot of Syrians” — but still wants one
A no-fly zone in Syria could lead to a U.S. war with Russia — but Hillary Clinton keeps on calling for one
October 21, 2016
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton continues to call for a no-fly zone in Syria, insisting it would save lives. Yet, just three years ago, she acknowledged in a private paid speech to Goldman Sachs that a no-fly zone would “kill a lot of Syrians” and lead to “American and NATO involvement where you take a lot of civilians.”
In numerous presidential debates, Clinton has proposed creating a no-fly zone or so-called safe zones in Syria, areas in which planes piloted by the Syrian government or by its Russian allies could not operate. If planes were to fly in these zones, they would be shot down.
Clinton repeated her call for a no-fly zone in the final presidential debate on Wednesday night. “I’m going to continue to push for a no-fly zone and safe havens within Syria,” she said, adding that it would be “not only to help protect the Syrians and prevent the constant outflow of refugees, but to, frankly, gain some leverage on both the Syrian government and the Russians.”
What Clinton did not acknowledge is that a no-fly zone would likely lead to war with Russia — the world’s largest nuclear power.
Chris Wallace, the moderator for the debate, alluded to this in a follow-up question. He noted that, while Clinton has called for no-fly zones in multiple debates, Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has warned that imposing a no-fly zone could potentially kick off a war with Russia.
Moreover, “President Obama has refused to do that because he fears it’s going to draw us closer or deeper into the conflict,” Wallace added. “How do you respond to their concerns?” he asked. “If you impose a no-fly zone and a Russian plane violates that, does President Clinton shoot that plane down?”
Clinton conceded that she is “well aware of the really legitimate concerns that you have expressed from both the president and the general,” yet avoided directly answering the question, doubling down on her policy. Instead of identifying a no-fly zone as a military strategy, she spoke of it as a diplomatic one, claiming, “I think a no-fly zone could save lives and could hasten the end of the conflict.”
This argument, however, is undermined by what Clinton herself privately acknowledged just three years ago. An excerpt of a June 2013 paid speech Clinton delivered to Goldman Sachs, recently released by the WikiLeaks, shows that Clinton is well aware of how dangerous a no-fly zone could be.
“To have a no-fly zone you have to take out all of the air defense, many of which are located in populated areas,” the former secretary of state explained in the 2013 speech. “So our missiles, even if they are standoff missiles so we’re not putting our pilots at risk — you’re going to kill a lot of Syrians.”
“So all of a sudden this intervention that people talk about so glibly becomes an American and NATO involvement where you take a lot of civilians,” she added.
Clinton also noted that Syria had “the fourth-biggest army in the world,” along with “very sophisticated air defense systems” that had gotten even more sophisticated because of Russian imports.
The quotes from this speech were included in a list of excerpts of Clinton’s paid speeches to Wall Street, which was attached to a January 2016 email to John Podesta, a close Clinton ally who now serves as the chair for Clinton’s presidential campaign. WikiLeaks has published thousands of emails to and from Podesta.
In the same 2013 Goldman Sachs speech included in this document, Clinton pointed out that a no-fly zone in Syria would be different from the no-fly zone that was imposed in Libya in 2011, which ultimately led to the violent overthrow of the government.
“The air defenses were not that sophisticated” in Libya, she said. Clinton also noted that there would be many more civilian casualties in Syria than there had been in Libya.
“And then you add on to it [that] a lot of the air defenses are not only in civilian population centers but near some of their chemical stockpiles,” Clinton added, referencing Syria. “You do not want a missile hitting a chemical stockpile.”
The no-fly zone imposed in Libya paved the way for the toppling, and brutal killing, of former leader Muammar Qadhafi. The U.N. Security Council first established the zone ostensibly to protect civilians, yet it quickly led to a NATO bombing campaign.
In fact, every time a no-fly zone has been imposed, it has led to regime change.
Micah Zenko, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, used NATO’s own materials to show that, despite the humanitarian rhetoric behind the call for a no-fly zone in Libya, Western governments planned to pursue regime change in the oil-rich North African country from the very beginning.
A September 2016 report by the U.K. House of Commons’ Foreign Affairs Committee also detailed how the war in Libya was based on an array of lies.
Ignoring huge amounts of medical and scientific evidence, Mike Pence falsely said “smoking doesn’t kill”
The Centers for Disease Control states:
Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Cigarette smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans each year, with more than 41,000 of these deaths from exposure to secondhand smoke.
The National Institutes of Health states:
Cigarette smoking is regarded as a major risk factor in the development of lung cancer, which is the main cause of cancer deaths in men and women in the United States and the world….
… The Surgeon General’s report in 2004 concluded that in the United States, cigarette smoking has caused 12 million deaths since 1964…
… An analysis by European health experts determined that in developed countries as a whole, tobacco is responsible for 24% of all male deaths and 7% of all female deaths; these figures rise to over 40% in men in some countries of central and eastern Europe and to 17% in women in the United States. The average decreased life span of smokers is approximately eight years…
Despite this, Mike Pence said:
“Time for a quick reality check. Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn’t kill.”
Starbucks offered Mark Dice money to remove one of his videos from YouTube. He turned them down. Here’s the video.
This is Mark Dice’s recent video from November 18, 2016. It’s called “Starbucks Tried to Buy Me Off”:
And this is the video that Starbucks tried to get him to remove. It’s from November 12, 2015, and it’s called “STARBUCKS RED CUPS and the TRUTH about the WAR ON CHRISTMAS 2015”:
4 arrested in West Side beating of Trump supporter
November 18, 2016
CHICAGO (WLS) — Chicago police said four people were arrested and charged with vehicular hijacking a week after video of a man being beaten while onlookers yelled ‘Don’t vote for Trump’ went viral.
Julian Christian, 26; Dejuan Collins, 20; Rajane Lewis, 21; and a 17-year-old girl not named by police because she is a juvenile were arrested and charged with one felony count each of vehicular carjacking.
Police said those four are the people seen on a video of a traffic altercation that escalated into a beating in the 1100-block of South Kedzie on Nov. 9. In the video, 50-year-old David Wilcox is kicked and punched repeatedly by two men while another person rummages around in his car. The video also shows Wilcox holding onto his car as one man drives away.
In the video onlookers shout “Don’t vote for Trump!” as they watch. Wilcox said he did, in fact, vote for Donald Trump but that his attackers had no way of knowing that. He said he did not believe the attack was politically motivated.
Police said they arrested Christian first, who then identified the others.
Donald Trump’s Companies Destroyed Emails in Defiance of Court Orders
October 31, 2016
Donald Trump has a long, troubling history of destroying and hiding important documents in lawsuits, but he thinks Hillary Clinton’s the one who should be going to jail.
Over the course of decades, Donald Trump’s companies have systematically destroyed or hidden thousands of emails, digital records and paper documents demanded in official proceedings, often in defiance of court orders. These tactics—exposed by a Newsweek review of thousands of pages of court filings, judicial orders and affidavits from an array of court cases—have enraged judges, prosecutors, opposing lawyers and the many ordinary citizens entangled in litigation with Trump. In each instance, Trump and entities he controlled also erected numerous hurdles that made lawsuits drag on for years, forcing courtroom opponents to spend huge sums of money in legal fees as they struggled—sometimes in vain—to obtain records.
This behavior is of particular import given Trump’s frequent condemnations of Hillary Clinton, his Democratic opponent, for having deleted more than 30,000 emails from a server she used during her time as secretary of state. While Clinton and her lawyers have said all of those emails were personal, Trump has suggested repeatedly on the campaign trail that they were government documents Clinton was trying to hide and that destroying them constituted a crime. The allegation—which the FBI concluded was not supported by any evidence—is a crowd-pleaser at Trump rallies, often greeted by supporters chanting, “Lock her up!”
Trump’s use of deception and untruthful affidavits, as well as the hiding or improper destruction of documents, dates back to at least 1973, when the Republican nominee, his father and their real estate company battled the federal government over civil charges that they refused to rent apartments to African-Americans. The Trump strategy was simple: deny, impede and delay, while destroying documents the court had ordered them to hand over.
Shortly after the government filed its case in October, Trump attacked: He falsely declared to reporters that the feds had no evidence he and his father discriminated against minorities, but instead were attempting to force them to lease to welfare recipients who couldn’t pay their rent.
The family’s attempts to slow down the federal case were at times nonsensical. Trump submitted an affidavit contending that the government had engaged in some unspecified wrongdoing by releasing statements to the press on the day it brought the case without first having any “formal communications” with him; he contended that he’d learned of the complaint only while listening to his car radio that morning. But Trump’s sworn statement was a lie. Court records show that the government had filed its complaint at 10 a.m. and phoned him almost immediately afterward. The government later notified the media with a press release.
Prosecutors responded to Trump’s affidavit by showing he had fudged his claim by using the term “formal communication”—an acknowledgment, they said, that he had received what only he would characterize as an informal notification—which they described as an intentional effort to mislead the court and the public. But the allegation slowed the case; it required government lawyers to appear in court to shoot down Trump’s false charge.
The Trumps had more delaying tactics. Trump announced in a press conference that his family and their company were bringing a $100 million countersuit against the government for libel; anonymous tenants and community leaders, he said, had been calling and writing letters expressing shock at the government’s “outrageous lies.” Once again, motions, replies and hearings followed. Once again, the court threw out the Trump allegations.
For months, the Trumps ignored the government’s discovery demands, even though court procedure in a civil or criminal case requires each side to produce relevant documents in a timely manner. This allows for the plaintiffs or prosecutors to develop more evidence in support of their claims, as well as for the defense to gather proof to fight the case against them. When litigation is filed or even contemplated, scrupulous lawyers and corporations immediately impose document-retention programs or require that any shredding or disposing of records be halted. Courts have handed down severe sanctions or even criminal charges of obstruction of justice against executives and companies that destroyed records because they knew they were going to be sued.
Yet when the government filed its standard discovery requests, the Trumps reacted as though seeking that information was outrageous. They argued in court that prosecutors had no case and wanted to riffle through corporate files on a fishing expedition. Once again, this led to more delays, more replies, more hearings…and another specious argument thrown out of court.
Six months after the original filing, the case was nowhere because the Trumps had repeatedly ignored the deadlines to produce records and answers to questions, known as interrogatories. When a government attorney finally telephoned a Trump lawyer to find out why, he was told the Trumps had not even begun preparing their answers and had no plans to do so. The Trumps also postponed and blocked depositions, refused to provide a description of their records, as required, and would not turn over any documents.
Finally, under subpoena, Trump appeared for a short deposition. When asked about the missing documents, he made a shocking admission: The Trumps had been destroying their corporate records for the previous six months and had no document-retention program. They had conducted no inspections to determine which files might have been sought in the discovery requests or might otherwise be related to the case. Instead, in order to “save space,” Trump testified, officials with his company had been tossing documents into the shredder and garbage.
The government dashed to court, seeking sanctions against the Trumps. Prosecutors asked the judge to allow them to search through the corporate files or simply declare the Trumps in default and enter a judgment against them. The judge opted to allow the government access to the company offices so they could find the records themselves.
In three letters and three phone calls, the government notified the Trumps that this inspection would take place on June 12, 1974. When they arrived at the Trump offices, Trump was there, but he and everyone else were “surprised” that prosecutors had come and refused to allow them access to documents without their defense lawyers present. A prosecutor called those lawyers, but they were not in their offices. The frustrated prosecutors then gave up and headed back to court.
They were then hit with a new delaying tactic. The Trumps submitted a filing based on statements by Trump that radically misrepresented what had occurred that day. He claimed a prosecutor, Donna Goldstein, had arrived at the company without notifying the Trumps’ counsel, refused to telephone their lawyer and demanded access to Trump’s office. The prosecutor—accompanied, the Trumps claimed, by five “stormtroopers”—then banged on doors throughout the office, insisting she and her team be allowed to “swarm haphazardly through all the Trump files and to totally disrupt their daily business routine.”
At the same time, in a move that caused another huge delay, the Trumps claimed that Goldstein had been threatening Trump employees who were potential witnesses. In several instances, the employees signed affidavits stating they had been subjected to abuse by Goldstein, then denied it when they were forced to testify. Even one of the government’s key witnesses, Thomas Miranda—who told the government the Trumps instructed managers to flag applications from minorities and that he was afraid the family would physically harm him—suddenly announced that prosecutors had threatened him and that he had never provided any evidence against the Trumps.
These allegations of misconduct, which demanded sanctions against the government for abusing its power, required more hearings. Once again, the Trump claims went nowhere.
In June 1975, more than 18 months after the government filed the case and with the Trumps still withholding potentially relevant records, the two sides struck a settlement. The agreement—which, like all civil settlements, did not contain an admission of guilt—compelled the Trumps to comply with federal housing regulations against discrimination, adopt specific policies to advance that goal, to notify the community that apartments would be rented to anyone, regardless of race, and meet other requirements.
The Trumps ignored these requirements and still refused to rent apartments to minorities, something the government proved by sending African-Americans and non-Hispanic Caucasians to pose as applicants. The government brought another complaint against the Trumps in 1978, who then agreed to a new settlement.
In that case, the government had the financial wherewithal to fight back against abuses of the courts and the discovery process by the Trump family. But many private litigants, who have to spend their own money and hire their own lawyers, have been ground down by Trump’s litigation-as-warfare-without-rules approach.
Courts are loath to impose sanctions when litigants fail to comply with discovery demands; in order to hurry cases along, judges frequently issue new orders setting deadlines and requirements on parties that fail to produce documents. But Trump and his companies did get sanctioned for lying about the existence of a crucial document to avoid losing a suit.
In 2009, a group of plaintiffs claimed Trump duped them into buying apartments in a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, development by portraying it as one of his projects. The fine print of the dense and legalistic purchase contracts, however, revealed that Trump had agreed only to license his name to the developers, and when the project hit financial snags, he walked away from it.
In their initial disclosures in 2011, Trump and his company said they had no insurance to cover any of their liability in this case. That was important because an insurance policy lets the plaintiffs calculate how much money a defendant can pay in a settlement without suffering any direct financial consequences. In other words, that insurance lets the plaintiff know how aggressively to pursue a settlement, knowing the defendant will have some losses covered by the policy.
At the time, a settlement in the then-prominent case could have been disastrous for Trump; he faced an array of similar lawsuits because he had licensed his name to developers around the world for projects that later collapsed. In each case, Trump had marketed the developments as his own, a claim contradicted by the sales contracts. A settlement in any of these cases might have encouraged other people who had lost deposits in a Trump-marketed development to file lawsuits against him.
Two years after denying that Trump had insurance that could have been used to settle the Fort Lauderdale litigation, one of his lawyers made a startling admission: Trump and his company had been insured all along for up to $5 million. But no more—the policy had recently “dried up,” the lawyer said. Stunned, the apartment buyers filed a motion seeking sanctions against Trump and his company, arguing that the case “may very well have settled long ago had the plaintiffs been provided with the policy in a timely manner,” according to a court filing.
Alan Garten, General Counsel at the Trump Organization for the past decade, said that at the time of the original disclosure, the company’s lawyers did not believe that the policy covered any potential liability in the lawsuit, which he said was an error on his part. “This solely fell on me, and if anyone is to blame for that, it’s me,’’ he said. “It was completely an innocent oversight. And it was my innocent oversight.’’ Garten said the other cases in this article preceded his time at the company and he did not know the facts surrounding them. In the Ft. Lauderdale case, Federal Judge Kathleen Williams ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and ordered Trump to pay limited legal fees for failing to disclose the policy, then held in reserve the possibility of imposing additional sanctions. The case subsequently settled.
Perhaps the worst legal case involving Trump and his companies hiding and destroying emails and other records involved real estate developer Cordish Cos., which, through an affiliate called Power Plant Entertainment LLC, built two American Indian casinos in Florida. In January 2005, Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts sued in a state court almost immediately after the opening of the casinos, which both operate under the Hard Rock brand. In his lawsuit, Trump claimed that the companies had unlawfully conspired with one of his former associates to cheat him out of the deal; he argued that the projects should be turned over to him.
Negotiations with the tribe and construction of the casinos had taken many years, raising the possibility that the state’s four-year statute of limitations had passed before Trump finally got around to filing his lawsuit. If Power Plant could prove Trump knew in early 2000 that his former associate was working on the Hard Rock deal, the case would be thrown out of court. The clock here for the statute of limitations starts ticking down when plaintiffs learn they have been swindled.
Trump claimed he learned about the deal in January 2001, about the time of the groundbreaking and more than three years before he filed suit. However, the defendants contended he had been informed of the projects in 1999. Trump offered no evidence in support of his contention except his word, so the opposing lawyers filed extensive discovery demands, seeking emails, computer files, calendars and other records that might prove he knew about the casino deal before 2000.
A full year into the case, Trump and his company, Trump Hotels, had produced only a single box of documents, many of which were not relevant—and no emails, digital files, phone records, calendars or even documents Trump lawyers had promised to turn over. Interrogatories were still unanswered. Lawyers for Power Plant obtained a court order compelling Trump and his company to comply with the discovery demands and hand over the relevant information and documents.
In a March 2006 response, Trump’s lawyers argued that the emails and other electronic documents had not been produced because the company didn’t have them. They claimed it had no servers until 2001—the year Trump claimed he had learned of the Power Plant project. They also claimed Trump Hotels had no policy regarding retaining documents until 2003. In other words, they hadn’t turned over any emails because no emails had been saved on a Trump server.
Judge Jeffrey Streitfeld reacted with near disbelief. “I don’t have the patience for this,” he said. “This has been going on too long to have to listen—and I don’t mean to be disrespectful—to this double-talk. There has to be an attitude adjustment from the plaintiff.”
Streitfeld ordered Trump executives to file sworn statements attesting to how their email systems had worked from 1996 onward. In response, Trump Hotels filed an affidavit from one of its information technology managers stating that it had had no servers prior to 2001.
That was false and by deposing numerous IT specialists with two Trump companies—the Trump Organization and Trump Hotels—lawyers for Power Plant gradually chipped away at it. Finally, during a deposition nine months after he had signed the deceptive affidavit, the same Trump executive admitted his assertions in it were untrue. In fact, an IBM Domino server for emails and other files had been installed in 1999, the same year witnesses for Power Plant contended that Trump had learned of the casino deal. Prior to that, as early as 1997, the Trump corporations used servers off-site operated by a company called Jersey Cape, according to sworn testimony by one of the Trump IT experts; the following year, the Trump Organization and Trump Hotels moved to another email provider, Technology 21.
These startling revelations changed nothing, however, because there was no trove of documents. The Trump records had been destroyed. Despite knowing back in 2001 that Trump might want to file a lawsuit, his companies had deleted emails and other records without checking if they might be evidence in his case. Beginning around 2003, the company wiped clear the data from everyone’s computers every year. Lawyers for Trump Hotels had never sent out the usual communication issued during litigation instructing employees to stop destroying records that might be related to this case. The deletions continued, and backup tapes were reused—thus erasing the data they held. Power Plant lawyers also discovered that after the lawsuit was filed, Trump Hotels disposed of a key witness’s computer without preserving the data on it.
In subsequent filings, Power Plant maintained that Trump Hotels had intentionally deceived the court in its March 2006 filing when it claimed it had located no emails relevant to the case because, at that point, it had not yet conducted any searches of its computer system. Trump Hotels executives did not instruct their IT department to examine backup computer tapes until 2007, and even then the job wasn’t done, depositions show. And when computer specialists finally attempted to electronically locate any relevant documents that had survived the flurry of deletions, the procedures were absurdly inadequate. While looking for relevant documents, the technology team was told to use only two search terms—the name of the tribe and the last name of the former Trump associate. So even if there was an email that stated, “Donald Trump learned the full details of the Hard Rock casino deal in Florida in 1999,” it would not have been found by this search.
With all this proof that Trump Hotels had ignored every court order and filed false documents, Power Plant asked the judge either to impose sanctions or allow its own expert to search for relevant digital records. Trump Hotels argued it had done nothing improper, although its lawyers acknowledged having made some mistakes. Still, Streitfeld ordered Trump Hotels to make its servers and computer systems available for inspection by a computer forensics consulting firm. That review showed there was no digital data in the computers, servers or backup tapes prior to January 2001—the very month Trump claimed to have learned of the Florida casino deal.
With the likelihood of sanctions growing, Trump Hotels dropped the suit a few months later, in part because of the company’s financial troubles. A company involved in the Power Plant case agreed to purchase one of Trump’s struggling casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and included as part of the deal a requirement that the litigation be ended.
This review of Trump’s many decades of abusing the judicial system, ignoring judges, disregarding rules, destroying documents and lying about it is not simply a sordid history lesson. Rather, it helps explain his behavior since he declared his candidacy. He promised to turn over his tax returns and his health records—just as he promised to comply with document discovery requirements in so many lawsuits—then reneged. As a result, he has left a sparse evidentiary trail that can be used to assess his wealth, his qualifications for the presidency or even his fitness. Should voters choose him to be the next U.S. president, he will enter the Oval Office as a mystery, a man who has repeatedly flouted the rules. He has solemnly told the country to trust him while refusing to produce any records to prove whether he speaks the truth or has utter contempt for it.
In Alabama, Jeff Sessions (Trump’s pick for attorney general) desegregated schools and got the death penalty for KKK head
In Alabama, Jeff Sessions Desegregated Schools and Got the Death Penalty for KKK Head
November 18, 2016
Now that Jeff Sessions is Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general, you’re going to hear a lot of people dig up old accusations that Sessions is a racist. In fact, CNN did so last night. However, between the nature of the accusations and Sessions’s actual record of desegregating schools and taking on the Klan in Alabama, it strains credulity to believe that he is a racist.
These accusations all center around the bruising judicial nomination process Sessions went through in 1986. Ronald Reagan had tapped Sessions to serve on the federal bench and the Senate judiciary committee ultimately rejected him after they heard testimony that he had supposedly called the ACLU and NAACP “un-American” and “communist-inspired,” as well as made racist remarks. The accusations came from Thomas Figures, a black assistant U.S. attorney who worked for Sessions who said Sessions called him “boy” and had made a joke about how he thought the KKK was “O.K. until [he] found out they smoked pot.” Another prosecutor, J. Gerald Hebert, said Sessions had called a white lawyer “a disgrace to his race” for representing black clients.
There is no concrete reason to doubt Figures or Herbert. Sessions vehemently denied calling Figures “boy,” but he didn’t rebut the substance of some of the claims—though he asserted they were taken out of context. It’s not exactly inaccurate to point out that the NAACP and ACLU were “communist-inspired.” He said thought it absurd to think he would make a pro-KKK joke considering he was prosecuting the Klan at the time he made the remark. And for what it’s worth, Figures also directed accusations at a another assistant U.S. Attorney who worked with Figures. That assistant U.S. Attorney also said Figures wasn’t telling the truth and defended Sessions’s integrity. Ultimately, the charges were no more than hearsay.
However, it’s worth noting that Senator Ted Kennedy, on the Senate judiciary committee at the time, seemed heavily invested in tanking Sessions nomination. The next year, Kennedy’s crusade was to sink Robert Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court, which has generally been regarded as a shameful smear campaign ever since. The episode upended the comity that had previously existed between the Senate and the White House on Supreme Court nominations—Antonin Scalia was approved to the court 98-0 the year before, the same year that Sessions was filleted by Kennedy and Democrats on the judiciary committee. Perhaps Sessions was a trial run for “Borking.”
In 2009, Sessions himself told me that “When I got to Washington, there had been an orchestrated campaign to smear my record, and it was executed with great care. And I, frankly, was a babe in the woods and wasn’t sufficiently prepared for it.” For that reason, when Sessions got to the Senate he has always been more deferential toward nominations than most of his GOP colleagues. For instance, he was one of the only Republican senators to support Eric Holder’s nomination for attorney general.
Sessions’s actual track record certainly doesn’t suggest he’s a racist. Quite the opposite, in fact. As a U.S. Attorney he filed several cases to desegregate schools in Alabama. And he also prosecuted the head of the state Klan, Henry Francis Hays, for abducting and killing Michael Donald, a black teenager selected at random. Sessions insisted on the death penalty for Hays. When he was later elected the state Attorney General, Sessions followed through and made sure Hays was executed. The successful prosecution of Hays also led to a $7 million civil judgment against the Klan, effectively breaking the back of the KKK in Alabama.
As a U.S. attorney, he also prosecuted a group of civil rights activists, which included a former aide to Martin Luther King Jr., for voter fraud in Perry County, Alabama. The case fell apart, and Sessions bluntly told me he “failed to make the case.” This incident has also been used to claim that Sessions is racist—but it shouldn’t be. The county has been dogged with accusations of voter fraud for decades. In 2008, state and federal officials investigated voter fraud in Perry County after “a local citizens group gathered affidavits detailing several cases in which at least one Democratic county official paid citizens for their votes, or encouraged them to vote multiple times.” A detailed story in the Tuscaloosa News reported that voting patterns in one Perry County town were also mighty suspicious in 2012: “Uniontown has a population of 1,775, according to the 2010 census but, according to the Perry County board of registrars, has 2,587 registered voters. The total votes cast thereTuesday—1,431—represented a turnout of 55 percent of the number of registered voters and a whopping 80.6 percent of the town’s population.”
Perhaps there are a lot of ideological reasons for liberals to be upset about Sessions becoming attorney general. But I don’t think the character attacks on the man can be taken seriously.
Trump-Loving Man Throws Tantrum At Black Starbucks Employee Over Coffee
David Sanguesa claims he was “racially discriminated against.”
November 17, 2016
A South Florida man was filmed ranting at a Starbucks barista after he claims he was denied service for supporting Donald Trump.
In a video posted to Twitter on Wednesday, David Sanguesa, who is white, can be heard calling an African-American barista “trash” and “garbage” while accusing her of discriminating against him at the Miami cafe.
“Because I voted for Trump. Trump. You lost,” he tells the unidentified employee before asking for his money back. “You’re garbage. You’re complete trash.”
Starbucks customer Jorge de Cárdenas, who caught the explosive scene on his cell phone, told The Huffington Post that Sanguesa claimed “white discrimination” shortly before he started filming.
Sanguesa didn’t deny that claim in an interview with the Miami Herald.
“I was racially discriminated against,” he insisted, vowing to sue the coffee company.
Sanguesa, speaking to HuffPost, apologized for his actions but accused the barista of holding a grudge against him after he began holding Trump campaign meets at the Coral Gables location that he’s visited for 12 years.
“Her face was the face of death yesterday. It was evil,” he said of the barista’s supposed attitude toward him.
Asked whether she had said anything that would support his beliefs that she’s anti-Trump, he said: “It’s just from personal experience. She’s never been kind to me or my group.”
Sanguesa said he finally exploded after he and a real estate broker waited 25 minutes Wednesday for coffee that he said never came.
“I paid for the coffee and I never was served,” he insisted. “She said, ‘I’ll get to you when I feel like it.’”
In the near two-minute video, below, Sanguesa verbally attacks the woman and nearly comes to blows with another man who stands up to defend the barista. That man tells Sanguesa that he doesn’t know what happened, but that no one should be spoken to that way.
“I want to punch you out,” Sanguesa is heard calling to the man after the man turns his back to him.
A manager at the Starbucks where the incident took place declined to comment when reached by HuffPost. A spokesman for the company said they are working to understand what transpired.
“Embracing diversity and treating each other with respect and dignity is core to Starbucks values and something our partners take great pride in showing,” he said in a statement. “We are committed to providing an inclusive, supportive and safe work environment for everyone.”
According to the Miami Herald’s report, Sanguesa is a frequent writer to the paper, and over the years has voiced anger against President Barack Obama, women and Cuban-Americans.
“I hate Cubans … all pieces of s*** … including Jose Fernandez,” he reportedly said in one email to the paper, responding to a story on the death of the Cuban-born Miami Marlins pitcher.
Sanguesa reportedly has also had run-ins with South Miami police, and in 2014 was arrested for a domestic dispute. The case was later dropped, the Herald reported.
Though Sanguesa’s opinions appear clear, whether he received his coffee at an unusually slow pace is not. De Cárdenas, who filmed the spectacle and said he initially thought Sanguesa was being facetious, declined to say whether he believed the barista deliberately took her time serving Sanguesa.
“I can confirm he was there before I was and I received my coffee before him,” he told HuffPost. “I received an espresso pretty quickly.”
He added that the barista “was entirely polite, all things considered.”
Facebook fake-news writer: ‘I think Donald Trump is in the White House because of me’
November 17, 2016
What do the Amish lobby, gay wedding vans and the ban of the national anthem have in common? For starters, they’re all make-believe — and invented by the same man.
Paul Horner, the 38-year-old impresario of a Facebook fake-news empire, has made his living off viral news hoaxes for several years. He has twice convinced the Internet that he’s British graffiti artist Banksy; he also published the very viral, very fake news of a Yelp vs. “South Park” lawsuit last year.
But in recent months, Horner has found the fake-news ecosystem growing more crowded, more political and vastly more influential: In March, Donald Trump’s son Eric and his then-campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, even tweeted links to one of Horner’s faux-articles. His stories have also appeared as news on Google.
In light of concerns that stories like Horner’s may have affected the presidential election, and in the wake of announcements that both Google and Facebook would take action against deceptive outlets, Intersect called Horner to discuss his perspective on fake news. This transcript has been edited for clarity, length and — ahem — bad language.
You’ve been writing fake news for a while now — you’re kind of like the OG Facebook news hoaxer. Well, I’d call it hoaxing or fake news. You’d call it parody or satire. How is that scene different now than it was three or five years ago? Why did something like your story about Obama invalidating the election results (almost 250,000 Facebook shares, as of this writing) go so viral?
Honestly, people are definitely dumber. They just keep passing stuff around. Nobody fact-checks anything anymore — I mean, that’s how Trump got elected. He just said whatever he wanted, and people believed everything, and when the things he said turned out not to be true, people didn’t care because they’d already accepted it. It’s real scary. I’ve never seen anything like it.
You mentioned Trump, and you’ve probably heard the argument, or the concern, that fake news somehow helped him get elected. What do you make of that?
My sites were picked up by Trump supporters all the time. I think Trump is in the White House because of me. His followers don’t fact-check anything — they’ll post everything, believe anything. His campaign manager posted my story about a protester getting paid $3,500 as fact. Like, I made that up. I posted a fake ad on Craigslist.
Just ’cause his supporters were under the belief that people were getting paid to protest at their rallies, and that’s just insane. I’ve gone to Trump protests — trust me, no one needs to get paid to protest Trump. I just wanted to make fun of that insane belief, but it took off. They actually believed it.
I thought they’d fact-check it, and it’d make them look worse. I mean that’s how this always works: Someone posts something I write, then they find out it’s false, then they look like idiots. But Trump supporters — they just keep running with it! They never fact-check anything! Now he’s in the White House. Looking back, instead of hurting the campaign, I think I helped it. And that feels [bad].
You think you personally helped elect Trump?
I don’t know. I don’t know if I did or not. I don’t know. I don’t know.
I guess I’m curious, if you believed you might be having an unfair impact on the election — especially if that impact went against your own political beliefs — why didn’t you stop? Why keep writing?
I didn’t think it was possible for him to get elected president. I thought I was messing with the campaign, maybe I wasn’t messing them up as much as I wanted — but I never thought he’d actually get elected. I didn’t even think about it. In hindsight, everyone should’ve seen this coming — everyone assumed Hillary [Clinton] would just get in. But she didn’t, and Trump is president.
Speaking of Clinton — did you target fake news at her supporters? Or Gary Johnson’s, for that matter? (Horner’s Facebook picture shows him at a rally for Johnson.)
No. I hate Trump.
Is that it? You posted on Facebook a couple weeks ago that you had a lot of ideas for satirizing Clinton and other figures, but that “no joke . . . in doing this for six years, the people who clicked ads the most, like it’s the cure for cancer, is right-wing Republicans.” That makes it sound like you’ve found targeting conservatives is more profitable.
Yeah, it is. They don’t fact-check.
But a Trump presidency is good for you from a business perspective, right?
It’s great for anybody who does anything with satire — there’s nothing you can’t write about now that people won’t believe. I can write the craziest thing about Trump, and people will believe it. I wrote a lot of crazy anti-Muslim stuff — like about Trump wanting to put badges on Muslims, or not allowing them in the airport, or making them stand in their own line — and people went along with it!
Facebook and Google recently announced that they’d no longer let fake-news sites use their advertising platforms. I know you basically make your living from those services. How worried are you about this?
This whole Google AdSense thing is pretty scary. And all this Facebook stuff. I make most of my money from AdSense — like, you wouldn’t believe how much money I make from it. Right now I make like $10,000 a month from AdSense.
I know ways of getting hooked up under different names and sites. So probably if they cracked down, I would try different things. I have at least 10 sites right now. If they crack down on a couple, I’ll just use others. They could shut down advertising on all my sites, and I think I’d be okay. Plus, Facebook and AdSense make a lot of money from [advertising on fake news sites] for them to just get rid of it. They’d lose a lot of money.
But if it did really go away, that would suck. I don’t know what I would do.
Thinking about this less selfishly, though — it might be good if Facebook and Google took action, right? Because the effects you’re describing are pretty scary.
Yeah, I mean — a lot of the sites people are talking about, they’re just total BS sites. There’s no creativity or purpose behind them. I’m glad they’re getting rid of them. I don’t like getting lumped in with Huzlers. I like getting lumped in with the Onion. The stuff I do — I spend more time on it. There’s purpose and meaning behind it. I don’t just write fake news just to write it.
So, yeah, I see a lot of the sites they’re listing, and I’m like — good. There are so many horrible sites out there. I’m glad they’re getting rid of those sites.
I just hope they don’t get rid of mine, too.