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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Finding fake news -- Breitbart (part 2)

When people look to back up their preconceived ideas of society, the internet has made it easy to find a website source stating any viewpoint as fact. How do we discern who is actually trustworthy?

Yesterday, Lyle sent me a flurry of news meant to prove that 3 million illegal immigrants voted for Hillary Clinton, as put forth by Infowars and our President-elect.

I went over his first link yesterday. You can find that story here.

Let's move on to his second piece of evidence:

This is a link to a Breitbart story, entitled Illegal foreign voting in Virginia covered up by Soros-backed Democratic Officials, says report. It's dateline is October 2, 2016.

We're not going to tackle that yet. That's in the days to come. First, we're going to look at Breitbart itself.

And what is Breitbart? Liberals immediately dismiss Breitbart as an alt-right (white supremacist, according to the Associated Press) publication which promotes propaganda and fake news. Is that true?

Side note: You might not like that the AP has labeled alt-right white supremacist. But they're not doing it because they don't like the alt-right. This label is primary sourced. Ben Shapiro, formerly of Fox News (and someone who interviewed me mercilessly over one of my liberal pieces for time) calls the alt-right "not good people," and a whole lot more.

We can start at Breitbart itself. In this piece by Milo Yiannopoulos and Allum Bokhari, Milo's deputy, he combats the idea that the alt-right is synonymous with white supremacists, stating, "one thing stands out above all else: intelligence. Skinheads, by and large, are low-information, low-IQ thugs driven by the thrill of violence and tribal hatred. The alternative right are a much smarter group of people — which perhaps suggests why the Left hates them so much. They’re dangerously bright."

He used this image in the piece:

Milo is a Breitbart writer permanently suspended from Twitter over racist remarks and threats (I'll provide two different takes on that story for you. Breitbart's and The New York Times). Now, you can believe that Milo should still be on Twitter; you can think his "abusive comments" (NYT) were not abusive comments. But the facts show that Twitter executives found enough betrayal of their terms of service to suspend him permanently. That's fact. If you don't like it, that's perfectly reasonable. You can say anything you like about Twitter or discount their decision, but the decision still stands. The decision and the reasoning behind that decision is fact.

Back to the alt-right and white supremacism: Milo cites the alt-right's intellectual beginnings at Richard Spencer and his website, At that site, we find Radix, a multi-media endeavor, which lists its mission as being "dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of European people in the United States, and around the world."

White supremacy, by definition is: "the belief, theory, or doctrine that white people are inherently superior to people from all other racial groups, especially black people, and are therefore rightfully the dominant group in any society."
Spencer's mission is fairly close to that definition, but not, I think, close enough that we should objectively close the gap. So, let's move forward.

Richard Spencer is the President and Director of the National Policy Institute. It's tagline is "For our people, our culture, our future" and it self-describes on its site as "an independent organization dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of  people of European descent in the United States, and around the world."

Okay, same goal there. He got a BA in Virginia, an MA in Chicago, and was going for a doctorate at Duke before becoming, as he calls it, a journalist. The posts on the NPI site fall off in 2015, and the last time the Twitter account was used was last month.

On November 19, Spencer spoke at his institute's "Become who we are" event, and led the crowd shouting, "Hail Trump, hail our people, hail our victory." This is public video. Now, you can believe he was talking about the presidential election, the Trump voters, and the election victory. And you can believe that the hand-raising salute reminiscent of Hitler's regime is a coincidence. But that doesn't mean he didn't say those words in that way and use that gesture in that way in clear view of the public. And as he is a renowned alt-right intellectual, by his own account and others, it would perhaps be insulting to him to assume he didn't know what he was recalling in his words and actions. This is a thing that happened. It is primary sourced. It is fact.

Spencer's Twitter account has also been suspended and Twitter released this statement, excerpted here: 

". . . our rules prohibit inciting or engaging in the targeted abuse or harassment of others . . . we’ve seen an uptick in the number of accounts violating these policies and have taken enforcement actions against these accounts, ranging from warnings that also require the deletion of Tweets violating our policies to permanent suspension. 
"We know many people believe we have not done enough to curb this type of behavior on Twitter. We agree. We are continuing to invest heavily in improving our tools and enforcement systems to better allow us to identify and take faster action on abuse as it’s happening and prevent repeat offenders..."
The headmaster at Spencer's high school alma mater, St. Mark's School of Texas, released a statement denouncing Spencer: ". . .video footage emerged of this alumnus leading a white nationalist meeting in Washington, D.C., bringing even greater attention to these hateful, divisive, racist, and anti-Semitic views. This has been deeply troubling and terribly upsetting to our whole school community. At St. Mark’s, we reject racism and bigotry in all its forms and expressions."

So, our facts on Spencer, the man Milo held up as a rational intellect of the alt-right, include that he has made white nationalist, white supremacist remarks (as primary sourced), that he runs two white nationalist organizations/websites, and that Twitter kicked his personal and his Radix accounts off their platform for abusive comments.

Quick side-note on Twitter bans versus the First Amendment and censorship issues:

The First Amendment states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

It applies to our government, not to private companies who have a duty to the safety of their users. Twitter's Terms of Service states: "you may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease. We also do not allow accounts whose primary purpose is inciting harm towards others on the basis of these categories."

When you sign up voluntarily for an account on their platform, you agree to their terms and are bound by that contract. Twitter has determined that Milo and Spencer were in violation of their hateful conduct and harassment clauses. Fact.

So, while you might believe that Milo and Spencer have been censored, the fact remains that they agreed to a contract that they then violated. It's fact.

Let's get back to Milo's defense of the alt-right/white supremacist movement (according, again, to the Associated Press).

The next group Milo writes about are the Neoreactionaries. Klint Finley, a reporter for Wired, wrote about it for TechCrunch, and thankfully, we don't need to go just on his word. At the end of his piece, he links tomes of information on the neoreactionaries.

Neoreaction started with Curtis Yarvin, who started as an internet commenter on sites like 2blowhard. The movement continues to be fanned on debate sites like Less Wrong.

Enter Michael Anissimov, a leader in the neoreaction movement, and studier of artificial intelligence.

Anissimov's LinkedIn points us to him being the owner of Zenit Books. This company cannot be found on the internet. It appears to be a shell publisher for Anissimov to publish his works. He calls it his independent publishing and consulting company. Linkedin also says he previously was the Media Director of the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, a nonprofit focused on artificial intelligence. It studies the mathematic underpinnings of intelligent behavior.

In this video, he says that it is a fundamental premise that people are not equal.

"We almost viscerally react away as if it's not fair or evil that there could be beings that are a lot stronger or smarter, and that makes us unprepared. . .We can't upgrade everyone on the planet slowly or at the same time. So we're going to be looking at a world in the next 50 years with huge power and intellectual disparities. . . 
"We're finding out that there are racial differences and that race is something that truly exists. I think that we will learn to fear diversity. . .Liberalism wants to think that we're all equivalent. It's considered unacceptable to study of human genetic variation, particularly in the area of IQ, which is very important."

Now I picked those quotes, because those are the quotes relevant to connecting Anissmov's work in AI with neoreaction. The entire video was linked above and you can listen to the whole 30 minutes yourself. That said, this is primary sourced. He said this.

Importantly, Neoreactionaries are against Democracy. This can be primary sourced to Assiminov as well.

He wrote on a now defunct website that "Demotist systems, that is, systems ruled by the ‘People,’ such as Democracy and Communism, are predictably less financially stable than aristocratic systems. On average, they undergo more recessions and hold more debt. They are more susceptible to market crashes. They waste more resources. Each dollar goes further towards improving standard of living for the average person in an aristocratic system than in a Democratic one."

Neoreactionaries promote monarchies. Remember Yarvin, from above? He proposes turning nation states into corporations. Again, not skewed news media. His ideas, written down, directly.

If Neoreactionaries aren't enough for you, here is Weev, tearing Anissimov apart because violently threatened and harassed libertarian vlogger, Julie Borowski. Not because of the threats, of course, but because this human reaction undercut "the revolutionary ideas" of the movement. Weev then makes a direct offer to neoreactionaries:

"To those proponents of the dying neoreactionary movement that want to reshape society to make it more friendly to high-IQ individuals, and those that have abandoned neoreaction because of those like Anissimov, I want to assure you that you have a home in white nationalism. We have the courage and brutality that neoreaction lacks. We have the kinds of resources you would never have in NRx, because whites of all aptitudes and attitudes are welcome. We have jackboots on the ground who are capable of taking care of any man-children who decide to try to represent the movement. We assure all engineers a very special place in the new order, and we are making heavy investments into new technologies that I think you'd be very happy to participate in.

Get in touch with me if you want to switch pro-white movements. We've got a slack setup. We're building things. It's an exciting time to be pro-white."

Weev, by the way, is a renowned hacker. Here's a Vice piece about his work with the AshleyMadison site a while back. You can google him and find any number of his conquests and exploits. Here's a Wired piece about his conviction which was overturned when he grabbed personal information from 100,000 people via AT&T's unsecured site. Weev is a thing.

So, through Weev, we now have a direct connection between Breitbart and white nationalism, and the alt-right and white nationalism.

And I'm stopping here for the time being, though we are only a quarter of the way through Breitbart.

Trump has said he is distancing himself from these groups, but let us all remember that he appointed Breitbart's Steve Bannon to Chief Strategist, and that his National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, stands in praise of Milo. We'll get into all that later, but for now...

That is fact.


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