Tag Archives: crazy

Alex Jones And Donald Trump

One of the blogs I read regularly is Juanita Jean’s: The World’s Most Dangerous Beauty Parlor, Inc. “Juanita Jean” is really a Texan named Susan DuQuesnay Bankston. She’s a longtime Democratic activist in her part of Texas, and a wit who reminds me a lot of the late, great Molly Ivins.

Bankston’s husband and son are both lawyers (these things tend to run in families), and her son recently represented parents of children who were killed in the Sandy Hook massacre, in a suit against Alex Jones.

As many of you are probably aware, Alex Jones is a truly vile, probably crazy conspiracy theorist who spent years making life hell for those parents–telling his depressingly large and equally crazy audience that the massacre never happened, that it was a “false flag” operation conducted by the government, and that the parents were really actors. Followers of his constantly harassed and threatened the parents. Bankston sued Jones on their behalf and in a deposition, got Jones to admit that the massacre had been real and the children had actually been murdered.

Partly due to negative publicity generated by the lawsuit, Jones has been removed from the larger Internet platforms–Facebook, Twitter, etc.–although he evidently remains on the “dark web.”

These details are prologue: recently, Juanita Jean blogged that her son would be on an upcoming PBS Frontline show about Jones, The United States of Conspiracy. So I watched it.

You all need to watch it too. It explains a lot about ugliness and fear and hate, and where America is right now.

The fact that someone like Jones–who certainly seems visibly deranged, whether that’s a schtick or real–could amass literally millions of viewers (presumably equally deranged) is depressing enough. The danger posed by Jones’ devotees is very real; Frontline showed a video made by the listener who believed Jones’ “Pizzagate” conspiracy and proceeded to shoot up the pizza parlor where Hillary Clinton was supposedly running a child porn ring out of its (non-existent) basement. It showed him hyping several other, equally bizarre conspiracies–including 9/11 and Obama “truther” fabrications.

The really eye-opening revelation was the show’s documentation of the relationships between Jones, Roger Stone and Donald Trump. It is not too far-fetched to think that Jones’ exuberant embrace of candidate Trump–an embrace which included Trump’s appearances on Infowars and his public praise of Jones–resulted in thousands of votes Trump wouldn’t otherwise have received.

Jones’ audience of conspiracy-believers obviously form a significant part of Trump’s base–and while that explains some things, it’s also terrifying.

Far and away the most spine-curdling part of the documentary were the repeated instances in which Jones would be shown making a wild, unsupported and frequently bat-shit crazy statement–followed by a clip showing Trump echoing that statement.

We know that Trump doesn’t listen to Dr. Fauci (or any experts, for that matter). He does, quite obviously, listen to Alex Jones.

Anyone sane who has followed politics in the United States the past four years knows that Donald Trump is both appallingly ignorant and seriously mentally ill. We’ve seen that he can be receptive to conspiratorial theories. But it’s impossible to watch this Frontline presentation without realizing how much closer to the edge he is than most observers have recognized.

I also didn’t realize how many Americans aren’t just close to that edge, but well over it.

Watch it.

 

If You Wonder Why I’m Always in a Bad Mood…

Here are a few of the things that make me want to go to bed and pull the covers over my head. (H/T to Juanita Jean and the World’s Most Dangerous Beauty Parlor).

Furious parents and citizens of Oklahoma took to the streets early Thursday, protesting against Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos.  Protesters allege the show is blatantly promoting an anti-Creationist agenda and is ‘standing against the Judeo-Christian moors and values of the Saddleback Township community and others nationwide.”

The fact that they can’t spell “mores” is the least of it…The fact that they can’t tell the difference between science and religion is infinitely depressing.

And another “Christian” heard from, this time from Virginia.

Virginia GOP state delegate and congressional candidate Bob Marshall is standing by his claim that disabled children are God’s punishment for women who have an abortion. “Nature takes its vengeance on subsequent children,” Marshall said in 2010. “It’s a special punishment, Christians would suggest.”

I don’t know about you, but in my opinion, the kind of God who would get back at “sinful” women by punishing innocent children really doesn’t seem worth worshipping…

Impressively crazy as those entrants are, South Carolina isn’t about to give up its hopes of winning the All-batshit competition.

On Thursday, a Senate committee in South Carolina voted to expand the state’s so-called “Stand Your Ground” law to approve the use of deadly force to protect a fetus. The proposal would grant pregnant women protection from prosecution if they were defending their “unborn children,” defined as “the offspring of human beings from conception until birth.”

At least they didn’t vote to arm each fetus. They must be libruls…

South Carolina’s legislature is also having a heated debate over a proposal–triggered by a third-grader who is clearly more scientifically literate than many S.C. lawmakers–to name the wooly mammoth the “State Fossil.”

Sen. Kevin Bryant, a pharmacist and self-described born-again Christian who has compared President Obama with Osama bin Laden, voted to sustain a veto by Governor Nikki Haley of funding for a rape crisis center, and called climate change a “hoax,” proposed amending the bill to include three verses from the Book of Genesis detailing God’s creation of the Earth and its living inhabitants—including mammoths.

The proposal has subsequently been bogged down as legislators debate the additional language.

Meanwhile, Dispatches from the Culture Wars reports that the Louisiana legislature wants to pass a law making the King James Version of the Bible the official state book, and Miami-Dade County in Florida is closing all the bathrooms in polling places. And then there’s this.

And Indiana Governor Mike Pence really thinks he could be President.

We’re doomed. Really.

 

Remember the One About the Frog…?

There is an old story–a fable, actually–about the most effective way to kill a frog. You just put that little creature in a pot of water and slowly but steadily increase the temperature of the water. Eventually, the frog is boiled to death, but because of the slow, incremental elevation of the heat, it doesn’t realize the danger until it’s too late.

I think that story is an uncomfortable analogy to contemporary America’s political situation.

Yesterday, several news outlets and blogs carried this story:

Republicans want to limit the number of bullets federal agencies can purchase so American gun owners can buy more.  Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe and Rep. Frank Lucas have introduced a bill that would prohibit every government agency — except the military — from buying more ammunition each month, than the monthly average it purchased from 2001 to 2009.

The purpose of this bill, according to the reports, is to prevent President Obama from making good on his plan to have government agencies buy up all the bullets so that patriotic gun-owning Americans won’t be able to buy them.

Think about that for a minute. And then think about that frog.

When I ran for Congress in 1980, I was pro-choice and pro-gay-rights, and I not only won a Republican primary in very Red Indiana, I was accused on several occasions of being far too conservative. In the years since, the GOP has moved steadily–to the Right, then to the far Right ,and then to the far far Right–and finally to paranoid conspiracy fantasy-land. The party of Bill Hudnut and Dick Lugar is now the party of James Inhofe and Ted Cruz.

In 1980, if any political figure had made the sorts of statements that our elected officials–mostly but not exclusively Republican–routinely issue these days, the media would have called for the men in the white coats. But the progression into delusion has been relatively incremental. Lawmakers have slowly but steadily progressed through the stages from ideological rigidity, to extremism, to bat-shit crazy.

The media and the electorate are the frogs who haven’t noticed that the water has gone from warm, to uncomfortably hot, to boiling.

Holiday Quickie

And no, not THAT kind of quickie. A very short post.

Daily Kos today: “Michelle Bachmann is announcing her run for president. God help us.” To which I would only add, a country in which anyone takes crazy Michelle Bachmann seriously as a candidate for any office, let alone the Presidency, may be beyond redemption.

Happy Memorial Day.