Why is Donald Trump president? Here’s an example of one reason.
Someone close to me, who might not want to be named here, posted an article about the U.S. tear gassing asylum seekers. He’s fine. I love him. He’s not the problem.
The problem is a friend who replied to him. The friend posted this very disturbing collage of pictures with the bizarre pizzagate-related story, along with his own absurd accusation that the kids who were among the crowd who were tear gassed were trafficked and sold to be used as props. He says they were sold for thousands of dollars each.
I don’t know how much effort anyone should have to put into debunking such nonsense, but I will point out two things that I didn’t even have to spend hours of googling to figure out:
1) In order to spend thousands of dollars a piece to place kids among asylum seekers so they could be tear gassed at the border, one would have to have confidence that they would, in fact, be tear gassed at the border. Otherwise, it’s a pretty risky investment for no gain that I can understand with a high degree of being found out. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I was actually kind of shocked that we stooped that low.
2) It’s hard for me to imagine the labyrinth of twisted logic that connects pizzagate to migrants, but the photo of creepy guys in black robes? That was taking from an idea for a Halloween haunted house. You can see it on Pinterest.
Yes. Some guy spent probably less then 10 minutes lifting a bunch of creepy pictures from the internet to throw together a sick story about the Clintons, and some people – thousands, I imagine – are fucking gullible enough to believe it.
I didn’t spend time tracking down the other creepy photos. The one with the girl smiling with blood dripping from her mouth also looks like a Halloween gimmick to me, and the one with the tooth is probably from a dental website. Maybe later I’ll spend some time tracking down those photos too.
How do so many people believe this shit? Are we really this fucking stupid?
I would have liked it if publications like The Hill and Huffpo didn’t use the word “accuse” in their headlines about Sarah Sanders sharing a doctored video to promote the lie about Jim Acosta “placing his hands on a young woman”. The video is definitely doctored and she definitely shared it. Since when do we say someone is “accused” of tweeting something that she tweeted?
The Washington Post has a good side-by-side so you can see how the video was altered (along with a good suggestion about how this should be handled).
And the Independent nailed it:
Many social media users accused Ms Sanders of posting footage which sped up the contact to make Mr Acosta’s movement appear more aggressive.
But according to analysis by The Independent, the video instead appears to have been doctored to freeze for three frames the moment before Mr Acosta’s hand pushes down on the aide’s arm.
Sure, they used the word “accused” but only to differentiate the assumed method by which the video was doctored with the actual method. That the video was doctored is not in question.
And The Independent’s analysis is right. If you stop the video and use your mouse to slowly slide back and fourth at around time 0:14, you will see where the frame freezes for a moment. After the frozen part there is a jump to the next frame, and there it looks like Acosta made a chopping motion when what really happened was his arm brushed against hers.
Word of this malfeasance is spreading throughout social media, but I don’t think enough people are saying “Holy Shit!”. I’m saying “Holy Shit!” for two reasons.
First, The nation’s highest office is using doctored evidence to support a lie, and using that lie to justify action against a reporter. Think about all those “lock her up” rallies and how close we are to becoming the kind of nation that locks up the political opposition. Well I think we just got a lot closer.
Second, video technology is scary. Today it’s a cheesy alteration that several entities were able to point out. Tomorrow it could be advanced computer aided editing that’s not so easily discerned.
We’re not going to be able to tell truth from fiction by ourselves. We need people who have dedicated their lives – and in many cased risked and sacrificed their lives – to bring us the truth.
So let me put it this way. Imagine a brave hero dies saving your mom in the line of duty. Maybe a police officer. Maybe a fire fighter. Whatever. A hero. Saves your mom.
Now image a few years later, your mom picks you up from the airport for Thanksgiving dinner. And she’s drunk. And she’s driving and you smell the alcohol and you’re like, “Mom! Are you drunk?” and she just gives you a dirty look and changes the subject.
And then you find out that she doesn’t even have a licence anymore. And you’re like, “Mom – Holy Shit! You gotta stop this!” But she won’t listen.
And finally, the family’s all there and dinner is served and you’re not supposed to start unpleasant conversations at the Thanksgiving table – family rules – but you just can’t help yourself. So with everyone sitting at the table you say, “Mom, I love you, but you’ve got to get help and you have stop driving until you do!”
Gasps. Silence. Your mom’s face turns red.
Suddenly, your mom pounds her fists on the table. Glasses spill. She rises from her seat. She points a shaky finger at you and yells, “Have you no respect? How dare you dishonor that hero who died so we could have this dinner!”
I get it. The military pay raise comment was a joke. But it’s not the first joke Trump made belittling military service members and Trump has repeatedly insulted military personnel and their families, including those who have lost loved ones in the line of duty. How often does Trump get to insult military personnel and their families – in jest or otherwise – before everyone understands that he has real contempt for those who sacrifice for our nation?
The man clearly thinks that real sacrifice is stupid and has no respect for anyone who does so.
I’ve lived through years of listening to people complain that Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, having never served, don’t respect our military. But I’ve never before seen someone who never served take jabs at service members. I’ve never before seen anyone publicly insult a Gold Star family. I’ve never before seen someone do as little for the military as Trump does, then lie about it, claiming that he’s done more than his predecessors.
We have a head of the Environmental Protection Agency who is dismantling environmental protections, a Secretary of Education who hates public schools, a Secretary of Treasury who failed to report $100 Million in assets due to an “oversight”. I supposed it’s only fitting to have a Commander in Chief who is disgusted by military service.