By Doug Porter
Desperate citizens in Texas, Utah and California are taking to social media this morning to alert their fellow patriots about a shocking lack of Tin Foil headgear…
Welcome to July 15th, the day when right wing conspiracy theorists have been predicting a military take-over cleverly disguised as the Jade Helm 15 training exercise.
Given that the conspiracy theorists will no doubt claim their warnings have averted Armageddon when things don’t happen, let’s take a quick look at what we’ve been saved from.
Deep in the Heart of Crazy
The theme of all these stories is the same.
- First explain (in small words, please) that Jade Helm 15 is an actual training exercise, publicized in advance by the military. The kind of thing happening all the time.
- Then offer up a few examples of people who are inclined to believe some variant of the conspiracy theories (we’ll get to those shortly) making the rounds.
- And if the story is based in Texas tell readers about the governor’s orders to have the national guard observe the exercises and the citizen groups who are provided backup if needed.
Nobody bothers to point out that the ammo these nut jobs are buying in bulk wouldn’t be very effective against drones. Or just about any blunt force available to the armed forces.
I wrote a column about Jade Helm 15 for the SDFP on May 5th and day in and day out it still ranks as one of our top drawing stories. I’ve had lovely email correspondence with numerous “researchers” eager to convert me to whatever fear-laden perspective they’re selling. It’s nuts, I tell you.
Wake Up Sheeple!
Here’s what we’re being saved from, courtesy of a Talking Points Memo story:
- The “unconventional warfare” exercise is scheduled to begin Wednesday and run until Sept. 15. Training is planned for certain areas of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida. California, Colorado and Nevada had originally been listed as areas where the training was to take place but have since been left out.
- Conspiracy theory websites and InfoWars’ Alex Jones suggested that the operation could be a cover for the implementation of martial law. One site even alleged that troops were converting shuttered Wal-Mart stores into covert military bases…
- …Next News Network, a conspiracy theory website co-founded by Gary Franchi, the former chair of Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-TX) super PAC, noted that the start of the “Jade Helm 15” exercise coincides with a Druidic cremation ceremony performed by a secret society of America’s Republican elite [The Bohemian Club]…
- …The same Next News Network “report” claimed that the military training exercise already began quietly in the form of a U.S. military exercise in Europe. The outlet called the exercise, which was carried out with other NATO allies, a “show of force on public display unlike anything we’ve seen since World War II.” It also speculated that the training may be in preparation to attack Russia or China…
- …Right Wing Watch recently flagged a segment from an outlet called TruNews Christian radio in which host Rick Wiles said he believed that the government would go as far as deploying an “EMP” attack — an electromagnetic pulse generated by the detonation of a nuclear weapon in orbit — against states that resist the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide….
- …Conspiracy theory website All News Pipeline ran with that report to suggest that “Jade Helm 15” actually may be a cover to aid Russia in seizing southern states. “Is JH15 about PREVENTING Russia from assisting ‘secessionists’ across America or is it more about HELPING the Russians return that land to Mexico?” the outlet wondered…
The Amazon Connection
Now at this point you’re probably wondering what in hell all this has to do (since I mentioned it in the headline) with online retailer Amazon’s big sale today… And I’ll point to stories in the Los Angeles Times and elsewhere about angry customers finding little to buy:
It was billed as Black Friday in July, but some customers are saying the discounts offered for Amazon.com Inc.’s Prime Day are more like yard sale finds.
Wednesday’s one-day sale, which celebrates Amazon’s 20th anniversary, has been called “lame” by customers in numerous tweets, with several saying the only useful thing they bought was Tupperware.
Coincidence? I think not.
The Planned Parenthood “Scandal”
When Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker announced his campaign for president, the biggest applause followed a boast about defunding Planned Parenthood as one of his administration’s accomplishments.
The organization, which provides health care and counseling to women around the country, has long been a target of social conservatives. A small part of what Planned Parenthood does involves abortions; a much bigger (and harder to attack part) involves birth control.
So it comes as no big surprise that a fake news organization has appeared with a selectively edited video purporting to show a PP representative having a conversation about selling fetal body parts. Senator Ted Cruz has already called for an investigation. And the rest of the bunch can’t be far behind.
There are three obvious jumps in the footage. Kevin Drum at Mother Jones has a decent analysis at what the intent was here. And of course the video is all about manufacturing “facts” where there are none.
From Media Matters:
The Center for Medical Progress also released a full transcript and longer version of the video with Dr. Nucatola — featuring more than 150 minutes of additional footage — which include crucial portions that were edited out. In one case, Nucatola says, “no affiliate should be doing anything that’s not like, reasonable and customary. This is not- nobody should be ‘selling’ tissue. That’s just not the goal here.”
Does anybody remember the video hatchet job on ACORN back in 2008? (Most people still don’t know it was proven false…) Do you think it’s just a coincidence that a organization primarily serving the needs of women is this year’s target, given that Hillary Clinton is the Democratic front-runner? That’s a conspiracy I’d be wiling to believe.
PETA Catches a Snitch
Virtually all the local media (and some national outlets) are running with a story about an alleged undercover operative infiltrating groups protesting SeaWorld’s treatment of Orcas and other marine life.
As has almost always been the case with infiltrators, they’re motivated to prove their worth to their paymasters.
From the Union-Tribune:
A news release distributed on Tuesday by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals exposes what it says is a SeaWorld human resources worker who posed for several years as an animal-rights activist and on occasion sought to incite illegal protests. The individual, who PETA identified as Paul McComb, a SeaWorld human resources employee, was even arrested during a 2014 protest at the Rose Parade, although evidence of that arrest has disappeared, the animal rights group alleges.
While PETA representatives acknowledge that they have had people go undercover to probe suspected wrongdoing, they insist they have never misrepresented themselves or intentionally used “fake” names.
Kevin Gosztola at FireDogLake.com provides some context:
The 2013 documentary, Blackfish, on SeaWorld’s mistreatment of orca whales has had a devastating impact on SeaWorld’s image. Fewer celebrities and businesses are willing to have their names connected to SeaWorld.
Heidi Boghosian, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild and author of Spying on Democracy, described how corporations fear boycotts or educational campaigns that might expose their practices and impact their earnings. Increasingly, corporations are relying on surveillance of individuals and infiltration of groups to undermine and suppress activism.
As Boghosian detailed, Bank of America and Chamber of Commerce, represented by law firm Hunton & Williams, planned to engage in dirty tricks against US Chamber Watch, Change to Win, and the Center for American Progress. Hunton & Williams plotted with HBGary to attack those connected to WikiLeaks. Chemical companies like Dow Chemical and Sasol turned to security companies like Beckett Brown International (BBI) to target Greenpeace activists. Biotech giant Monsanto hired subsidiaries of Blackwater to spy upon and infiltrate activist groups organizing against the corporation.
San Diego Proves Itself to Be Solid Number Two
There’s an ugly joke in that headline that you’ll need to watch John Oliver’s take down on publicly funded stadiums on HBO to fully understand.
Suffice it to say, the City Council voted 6-3 to fund a $2.1 million environmental report for a replacement stadium that will never be built.
Here’s Councilwoman Marti Emerald, as quoted in the Union-Tribune:
“The Chargers say they want no part of this and I say it’s time to listen,” she said. “What part of ‘no’ do stadium boosters not understand? We should stop throwing good money after bad.”
Here’s what it really comes down to:
The only thing worse than being the mayor who lost the Chargers is being the mayor who wasted millions of OUR money and still lost ’em.
— michael turko (@turkofiles) July 15, 2015
And the really ugly joke is on us, the taxpayers.
On This Day: 1959 – A half-million steelworkers began what became a 116-day strike, shuttering nearly every steel mill in the country. Management wanted to dump contract language limiting its ability to change the number of workers assigned to a task or to introduce new work rules or machinery that would result in reduced hours or fewer employees 1971 – President Nixon announced he would visit the People’s Republic of China to seek a “normalization of relations.” 1992 – Aretha Franklin sang the U.S. national anthem at the Democratic National Convention in New York City.
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