There’s a broader point here. It can be easy to stereotype the vaccine debate as people who believe in scientific evidence versus people who don’t. But that’s an oversimplification. Vaccine skeptics do think they believe in scientific evidence. They can cite dozens of studies and cases. They see themselves as the side in this debate that’s actually following the evidence, while the pro-vaccine side is blindly trusting in authority and ultimately getting taken in by a massive pharmaceutical scam.
The problem is when you dig into the studies they cite, the evidence they’re relying on doesn’t hold up — it’s misinterpreted, selectively reported, or refracted through conspiracy theories. But knock down one bad interpretation of a study and there’s always another, and another, and another. And then there’s the flood of wrenching anecdotes which can’t be checked, but which are reported by people who are in pain and arouse our deepest sympathies. The result is that to someone primarily consuming anti-vaccine arguments, the evidence looks overwhelming, the media’s dismissal of it looks corrupt, and the victims seem very real.
Just “Lovely.” David Neiwert has more,
While most American-born activists who become involved in defending Palestinian rights avoid becoming overt anti-Semites even while steadfastly criticizing Israel, Kenneth O’Keefe is not one of them.
O’Keefe, a former Marine-turned-antiwar and anti-environmental activist who specializes in what he calls “direct action,” has morphed in recent years into a raving, David Duke-endorsing anti-Semite, particularly in the speeches he gives to well-known white-supremacist groups.
The most noteworthy of these was O’Keefe’s speech to the IONA London Forum, a gathering of academically oriented white supremacists and anti-Semites held last August. The speech was noteworthy for its crude ugliness: the 50-plus-minute-talk by O’Keefe revolved around the repeated phrase “fucking Jews.”
Here’s the Audio clip Rightwing Watch found where she mouths off. She’s angry that Fox News, dared to apologize for spreading anti Muslim hate.
Yeah Muslim no go zones are “real.” I wonder if that’s why people not just in the United States, but also Europe, see Fox News as a joke now. Those people now include British Prime Minister, David Cameron who couldn’t believe how stupid Fox was. Also the entire idea, that that Sharia law will take over Europe or the United States anytime soon is ridiculous. Last I checked Muslims only made up about zero point six percent of our population, and its hardly accurate to say all, or even most of them are extremists, who would support turning America into a theocracy.
I wonder if this is why Fox News could get sued in France for their claims about “no go zones” in Paris. I guess its all fear of the Muslims, and the non existent “no go zones” that they live in.
As for her bizarre claim that for liberals Islam trumps gay rights. Its not like liberals never condemn homophobia in the name of Islam, just like they condemn homophobia in the name of Christianity. Its not like mainstream news organizations who reject the nonsensical idea of “stealth Jihad” or “Muslim no go Zones” haven’t reported on homophobia in Muslim majority countries. Pamela Geller on the other hand, Is only pro gay rights when Muslims are persecuting homosexuals. She doesn’t seem to care when Christians do it, especially if they’re anti Muslim like her.
Update 1/24/15 at 4:50pm.
Note: I originally stated that Muslims made up only point six percent of the US population, but it confused some LGF regulars so I changed it to read “zero point six percent” instead just to make it clearer as to what I meant.
UpChuckDennis Mersereau, writing at The Vane, Gawker Media’s weather blog, does yeoman’s work highlighting a weather hoaxer and his ongoing battles with real meteorologists, including a visit from the FBI after he threatened the San Diego NWS offices.
What drew me to the parallels with UpChuck was this part (bolding mine)
Over the years, Martin has created a slew of websites on which he issues dubious forecasts that he claims are better than those produced by the National Weather Service. Martin uses his self-taught knowledge of meteorology (such as it is) to arrive at the grandiose proclamations of doom and destruction that so often spread like wildfire. He also claims to fall somewhere along the autism spectrum, which he uses to explain his superior knowledge of meteorology (cough) and defend his terrible behavior, the latter of which has been derided as complete bull by anyone with autism or even a passing knowledge of the developmental disorder.
In addition to the websites that are often taken offline—including such classics as The Weather Space, Weather Alert Central, Southern California Weather Authority, Northeast U.S. Weather, Triforce Weather, and his most recent creation, National Weather Force—he runs a series of websites that claim to keep track of the “chemtrails” (which don’t exist) and “HAARP waves” (which don’t exist in that capacity) that conspiracy theorists swear are used by the government to control the weather. There’s the source of that superior scientific forecasting for you.
Hmmm, bullying tactics (he’s threatened Mersereau before as well)? Check.
Delusions of grandeur? Check.
Thinks he knows more than the real experts? Check.
Conspiracy theories abound? Check.
It’s like they’re brothers from another mother.
Read the whole thing.
Turns out, anti Jewish bigots were quick to blame the Charlie Hebdo attack on the Jews and Israel. Hat tip to Curious Lurker for alerting me to this story from Tablet. Yair Rosenberg reports on the latest antisemitic, anti Zionist conspiracy theory.
People hold a vigil at the Place de la Republique (Republic Square) for victims of yesterday’s terrorist attack, on January 8, 2015 in Paris, France. (Getty Images)
Just a few hours after the massacre at the offices of satirical French paper Charlie Hebdo, members of the far-right and far-left in Europe and America quickly decided who was responsible: the Mossad. Writing on her Facebook page, Greta Berlin, organizer of the 2010 Gaza flotilla and co-founder of the Free Gaza movement, argued that the attack was Israeli retribution for France’s recognition of a Palestinian state:
Berlin has a long record of promoting Holocaust denial and other anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about the Jews, to the extent that she has been ostracized even by some in the Palestinian solidarity movement that she once captained. But she wasn’t the only flotilla leader and Free Gaza founder to attempt to pin the Paris murders on the Jews.
Nativists and Anti Muslim bigots are determined to bend the government to their will for “the good” of America. No surprise these people haven’t given up yet. Hopefully they’ll be made irrelevant within our lifetime.
Recently, Imagine2050 has reported on anti-immigrant activists seeking to make immigration a top priority for voters in the upcoming midterm elections. Similar to this, members of the organized Islamophobia movement have recently sought to inject more anti-immigrant arguments into their overall agenda.
This recent uptick in rhetoric surrounding immigration and border enforcement has come from key figures and organizations in the anti-Muslim movement. Within this framework, these voices have called for curbing relief for undocumented immigrants and for a militarizing of our southern border: All supposedly in the name of national security.
The crossover between anti-Muslim figureheads and anti-immigrant sentiment is increasingly prevalent. Although the anti-Muslim contingent frames border security as a way deter terrorists, their messaging mirrors old-school nativist rhetoric as they aim to uphold policies that harm a broader spectrum of communities.
Below are three examples that highlight this crossover.
Around 8 am this morning my wife started grumbling the TV wasn’t working. I reset the U-verse box as per usual but the problem persisted. It was clear right away this was something beyond a typical glitch because of an emergency message displayed on the screen. According to the message, there was a national emergency and the White House was requesting I stand by for important information. In addition the set was apparently “force tuned” to NBC. There was no way to change channels.
My wife wanted me to call AT&T, but I started by poking around online and soon I discovered a thread on the AT&T customer forums filled with people experiencing the same thing.
By the time I arrived for work, the story was already being pushed by several media outlets.
A couple of hours later, the truth came out:
FEMA issued a statement friday afternoon confirming that a radio station program set off a false emergency alert that froze stations earlier today for AT&T U-verse customers and impacted others in several states including Texas, Georgia, Tennessee and Detroit.
“This morning, there was an inappropriate playing of the national emergency alert notification tones on a syndicated radio broadcast,” FEMA spokesperson Rafael Lemaitre said in a statement. “There is not a national emergency. Today’s broadcast triggered alert notification in states where the alert has been played.”
The statement went on to stay that such alerts are designed automatically set off more emergency alerts by other television stations and radio networks. The incident is now being investigated by FEMA and the Federal Communications Commission.
“Certain alerts, like the one broadcast today, are designed to be automatically picked up and rebroadcasted by other radio and TV stations,” the FEMA official said. “FEMA and the FCC are currently working with broadcasters to determine the full scope of the situation.”
Of course since FEMA is involved and the interruption effectively hijacked users TV sets while it was ongoing, it didn’t take long for the conspiracy theorists to jump on the incident.
Two of the more prominent Google search results on the matter are articles titled:
Obama just took over my TV - What the heck?
NSA Collaborator AT&T Throws POTUS Emergency Switch
And there was plenty of Twitter action on the matter:
Alert system, "can only be activated by the President in times of emergency," yet AT&T denies feds involved! http://t.co/dm9znIXTtF
Steven De Gracia 3 mins "TEST RUN!!! SHEEPLE WILL JUST GO BACK TO WATCHING SPORTS!!!" http://t.co/YaQa1BMdKx
Don't worry, friends. We're just testing the Ebola Outbreak messaging system. O.o http://t.co/SN6BSfqT2R
The most common line of the tinfoil brigade is, as you might expect, that the events of this morning were a “test run” of some Obama masterminded plan to take over all media and bring the country to its knees.
There was also frustration expressed at the fact the boxes had “force tuned” people primarily to those evil Liberal networks CBS and NBC instead of letting the patriots of the nation stay on their Fox news.
Others insisted we should take this very seriously since Obama is the ONLY one who could have triggered this signal. A quick Google search shows that is patently untrue and what happened was merely caused by an error. The President has zero involvement in this whole thing, but don’t tell them that, it ruins the narrative,
This situation merely highlights a potential flaw in the Emergency Alert system. Nothing more, nothing less. Certainly not a vast conspiracy or front page news.
Leah Nelson exposes the genocidal “Christian Anti-Defamation Commission.”
As news of the ultra-violent Islamic State in Iraq and Syria’s (ISIS) repugnant activities has filtered into America’s consciousness, right-wing politicians and media outlets have made the group the latest cause célèbre in their endless rhetorical war against the twin evils of Islam and immigration.
An extremist group too radical for even Al Qaeda to stomach, ISIS has horrified the world with the recent beheading of two American journalists and its brutal massacres of Iraqi religious minorities. Though there is no evidence that ISIS has operatives in America, ultraconservative Texas Gov. Rick Perry has suggested that the group has sent combatants over the U.S.-Mexico border, while WorldNetDaily, a far-right conspiracist online tabloid, claims that ISIS is working with Mexican drug cartels to infiltrate this country.
The LGBT- and Muslim-bashing hate group Christian Anti-Defamation Commission (CADC), takes it one step further than that.
In an unsigned Sept. 4 blog post apparently written by CADC head Gary Cass (Cass is known to write most of the posts on the CADC site), the group seems convinced that ISIS is already here - and it thinks American Christians must prepare to fight back with “overwhelming Christian just war.” In the post, titled “I’m Islamophobic, Are You?,” CADC says “every true follower of Mohammed wants to … subjugate and murder you. They believe they have been given a mandate by Allah (Satan) to dominate the world.”