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Hometown: VA
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
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Meanwhile, in Moscow...

Russia has been invaded by hipster scum:


‘YOU ARE A LYING B*TCH!': Truthers attack grieving mom’s book about her Sandy Hook son

Sandy Hook truthers have swarmed the Amazon reviews of a book written by the mother of a 6-year-old massacre victim, accusing her of “Fraud, Treason, And Tyranny.”

Scarlett Lewis is the mother of Jesse Lewis, a first grader who was murdered along with 25 others — mostly little children — when a mass shooter went on a rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary in December of 2012. She penned a book about her grief journey, called Nurturing Healing Love: A Mother’s Journey of Hope and Forgiveness.

But according to the Seattle Times, instead of receiving support after enduring an unthinkable loss, conspiracy theorists have come out in force to malign Lewis.

A quick scan of her Amazon page reveals numerous comments claiming Lewis is lying and urging readers to watch the conspiracy theory video, “We Need to Talk About Sandy Hook,” which is posted to YouTube.

One poster on Amazon calling themselves “Operation Truth,” wrote:

“DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK !! This book is based on pure lies. The Sandy Hook Elementary did not have a school shooting, this was a Hoax that was used to create laws under false pretense !! Instead of buying this book, research the video called “We need to talk about Sandy Hook” And here’s the best part… It’s FREE to watch the video. These people are profiting off of LIES, and they are erasing truth from history. This is Fraud, Treason, And Tyranny.”


There isn't a level of hell low enough for these assclowns...

Russian police raid Crimea Tatar TV channel, journalist homes

SIMFEROPOL (AFP) - Russian police searched the offices of a Tatar TV channel in Crimea early Monday as well as homes of its employees as part of a new probe, the latest actions against the once popular network which was forced to go off air in April.

"About 20 armed men from the FSB (security service) came to my house at 5:30 am and seized all documents, computers and telephones," said Lilia Budzhurova, the deputy director of ATR channel, adding that her lawyer was not allowed to be present.

The FSB said in a statement distributed via Russian news agencies that the probe had been launched on October 22 against Lenur Islyamov, who owns the channel and other assets in Crimea.

Police also went to homes of other journalists and their relatives, she said, and the search was ongoing at the offices of ATR in Simferopol, the main city of the peninsula, Budzhurova, who also works as a reporter for AFP, said.

The police actions are related to an "extremism" probe launched against Islyamov, Budzhurova added.


Don’t Believe Russian Airline’s New Excuse for Crash

A spokesman for the Russian airline Kogallymavia, or Metrojet, whose jet crashed in Egypt, said Monday that the cause was “external influences.” But within hours, an investigator told Reuters that there is no evidence of an external impact on the Airbus 321 and that the pilot did not make a distress call.

“The plane was in excellent condition,” Alexander Smirnov said. “We rule out a technical fault and any mistake by the crew.”

The airline is insisting that its own maintenance and safety procedures cannot have been at fault, but they are not denying that the airplane broke up in the air at 31,000 feet. Instead, the airline is saying that they don’t believe that a mechanical or technical fault in the Airbus, for which they would be responsible, was the cause.

While nobody can yet be sure of the cause, new images from the crash site confirm that the main part of the wreckage and the tail section were three miles apart. The aerial footage taken by RT shows the wings to have been intact on impact.

This reinforces the belief that the tail was severed from the rest of the airplane at the point when it broke up and fell separately. It all happened in 25 seconds: the A320’s fate was very sudden, as revealed in data released by FlightRadar24.


The Sexy Spy in the Vatican

VATICAN CITY — For many inside the Vatican, Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui was trouble from the start. The willowy 32-year old brunette raised eyebrows almost immediately in 2013 when, at 30, she was handpicked by Pope Francis as the only lay woman on an eight-member advisory panel called the Commission for Reference on the Organization of the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See.

On Monday, the Vatican confirmed that Chaouqui, along with a Spanish monsignor named Lucio Vallejo Balda, who was the secretary of COSEA, had been arrested for leaking documents to journalists.

Sound familiar? It should. In 2012, Pope Benedict’s butler Paolo Gabriele was arrested for just the same crime, and the butler was charged with leaking to just the same journalist, Gianluigi Nuzzi, who has a new book coming out this week.

His previous book, His Holiness, is widely believed to be the last straw that led to the eventual resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. God (and likely Chaouqui) only knows what his new book, called Via Crucis in Italian and Merchants in the Temple in English, will reveal when it hits bookstores Thursday. Nuzzi tells The Daily Beast that Chaouqui did not collaborate on this, or any, of his books. But he told us the same thing about the butler, too.

Though Chaouqui’s resume is impressive at face value, with stints at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe and Ernst & Young, she didn’t quite fit the Vatican mold. She was a devout Catholic, sure, but she had tweeted a number of questionable missives that didn’t sit well with the ruling Vatican elite at the time, including how she thought that the Holy See’s then-secretary of state Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone was “corrupt,” and how Italy’s finance minister Giulio Tremonti was “un gay,” who she implied was quite well known along the Vatican’s gay lobby and for which Tremonti later sued her for slander.


Glenn Greenwald's anti-Hillary vendetta continues unabated:


I don't think he's aware that there are any other candidates in this race at all...

Let us all have a good laugh at the leaked playbook for Jeb's campaign:

Even before Jeb Bush's uninspiring debate performance Wednesday night, his sputtering presidential campaign was working to prevent defections.

Bush's top lieutenants convened with donors in sopping wet Houston on Monday to calm their fears and retrench for the unforgiving haul ahead.

After the confab, Bush's team distributed a 45-page PowerPoint presentation to select reporters, summarizing an optimistic view of the race, touting the Republican candidate's cash and organization, and assuring supporters that early polls are rarely indicative of ultimate success.

But in that leak to select media, the campaign purposely left out more than half of what was furnished behind closed doors.

The full presentation, obtained exclusively by U.S. News, spans 112 pages and includes a trove of new details, including Bush's internal polling, his vote goal in Iowa and his advertising plan for January.

Additionally, while the slides released to the media outlined Bush's overarching argument against Florida Sen. Marco Rubio – that he's the GOP's Barack Obama – the complete offering contains more biting, detailed slights, pointedly questioning the character and ethics of Bush's home state rival.

The document provides a rare behind-the-curtain look at the gritty details of a campaign at a crucial inflection point. Here's a breakdown of the most illuminating pieces of intelligence contained in Bush's 2016 blueprint.


Can *anybody* explain this to me? Because I sure as fuck don't get it.

Students Walk Out in Support of Fired Deputy

Hundreds of students walked out of Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina on Friday morning in support of the deputy sheriff who was fired after violently arresting a black student. Students reportedly chanted “Free Fields” in support of Ben Fields, a school resource officer and football coach who was caught on tape forcibly removing a black student from her desk, allegedly because she was disrupting class. The students walked into the school atrium and then returned to class after administrators addressed them.



Gamergate: Video game war over women spills into real life

Los Angeles — Questions of sexism and video game culture once again spilled off the screen and into real life this week.

The popular South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas, abruptly canceled two panels that focused on online harassment in video games. The reason for the cancellations: The festival started getting harassed, too. According to officials, the festival had received unspecified threats of violence if the panels went forward. Since then, SXSW has been in damage control mode, as major sponsors Buzzfeed and Vox Media threatened to withdraw if the panels were not reinstated.

The particulars are specific to the video game industry – a backlash to female game designers and players critiquing what they consider negative depictions of women and minorities in games. But the broader issues raised by the controversy are at the heart of today’s popular culture, some experts say.

Not only are festival organizers missing an opportunity to discuss the roles and perceptions of women, they add, but also the increasing use of violent media and real-life threats to express violent desires – whether or not they are ever acted upon.


What was fake on the Internet this week: Why do we even bother, honestly?

Typically, we use this space to debunk the various hoaxes, charades and conspiracy theories that afflict social media each week. But this week, I can’t do it. I must abstain. Because someone’s done a study on debunk efforts like this one, and bottom line? They’re all in vain.

To reach this heart-rending conclusion, Walter Quattrociocchi — the head of the Laboratory of Computational Social Science at IMT Lucca — and a team of seven (!) other researchers studied how two groups of U.S. Facebook users interacted with news on the site. One group was comprised of people who interact with reputable science pages. (Those are the ones who presumably have a level of news literacy.) The other group was made of people who like far-out conspiracy pages — anti-vaxxers, Illuminati-watchers, that kind of thing.

They quickly came to two conclusions about the conspiracy and non-conspiracy groups. First off: They didn’t overlap at all, which means the misinformed, as we’ll politely call them, were unlikely to ever see the truth. And second, when the conspiracy group did encounter “debunking” information, it didn’t change their mind. In fact, it just made them more resolute: After encountering a post that challenged a conspiracy theory, theorists tend to like and comment on pages about that theory even more.

Do debunk efforts change people’s minds? Well — not really. The orange line shows the rate at which people stop engaging with conspiracy posts if they HAVE seen debunks. The green line is the same rate, but if they haven’t: It’s faster. (Quattrociocchi et al)

That counter-intuitive effect, Quattrociocchi writes, has something to do with the conspiracy echo chamber: Because social environments like Facebook allow users to mold it to their own tastes, they’re only ever exposed to people and information “that conforms with their beliefs.” (More research will be needed, Quattrociocchi has said, to determine if Facebook’s algorithms exaggerate that tendency; a controversial study, published last May, suggests that it does — albeit modestly.)


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