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QAnon Addiction Explained


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#1 LFC

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Posted 05 February 2021 - 02:42 PM

QAnon and its acolytes drones has become such a large driving force of the Republican Party that the explanations of it deserves its own thread. Josh Marshall (paywalled) explains that QAnon is not "a conspiracy theory" but instead is massive manipulation of people using well known psychological manipulations and more than a little game theory. Its intentionally addictive nature means that it's not going away. Those it has sucked in have literally become the online video game addicts with the game being continually updated by "Q." (If this all turned out to be a Russian psy-op I wouldn't be surprised, not even a little.)

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As the QAnon phenomenon becomes more central to critical political and public safety questions, I realize we need a new vocabulary to describe this and similar phenomena. Q is not a “conspiracy theory”. The faked moon landing was a conspiracy theory. Perhaps birtherism was a conspiracy theory, though one with similarities to QAnon because of its strong ideological valence. But Q is not a conspiracy theory. It’s a fascistic political movement which predicts and advocates mass violence against liberals (and everyone else outside its definition of true Americans) in an imminent apocalyptic political reckoning. What we call the ‘conspiracy theories’ are simply the storylines and claims that justify that outcome. They could easily be replaced by others which serve the same purpose.

In other words – and this is still a very basic confusion – the Q phenomenon is not a factual misunderstanding that more credible news sources or prevalent fact-check columns would deflate and tame. You can even see this play out in real time in what we might call Q ‘man on the street’ interviews in which a reporter dissects or debunks some claim the Q supporter believes. The response is invariably something like, “Well, there are a bunch of other bad things I heard they did.”

Some Q supporters clearly believe some of the movement fables. You can see this in the late 2016 story of the man who stormed the Pizza shop in DC which was a focal point of pedophilia claims in the PizzaGate conspiracy theory, which was a precursor to Q. (Most PizzaGate fables were later incorporated into Qanon.) Edgar M. Welch, the would-be mass shooter and rescuer of abused children, was clearly quite surprised to find that Comet Ping Pong was in fact just a good pizza joint, with no abused children, no dungeons, no secret headquarters of John Podesta.

But Welch, I think, is the exception. Just as the ‘conspiracy theory’ language is inadequate and misleading we need a better way of understanding belief, particularly belief as a form of aggression. I don’t think most QAnon believers actually ‘believe’ that Hillary Clinton runs a pedophilia ring, at least not in the sense that you and I think of the word. Most of us in politics and in journalism have a rather classical and mechanistic understanding of cognition and belief. We use our mental faculties to ascertain what is true and then we believe those things that appear to be true. Or we take the word of trusted sources and believe those things. We may believe things which are not true either because we’ve been mislead or because our pre-existing biases distort our understanding of what is true. For this, good fact-check columns can help. When we say things we know are not true that’s lying. We know that’s not right. But sometimes we do it anyway.

This is a very inadequate way of understanding the Q phenomenon and much else in contemporary politics and culture.

I say you’re a pedophile not because I think you’re actually a pedophile but because it is an attack. Because it hurts you. In online and message board culture there are legions of users constantly attacking anyone they disagree with or don’t like as pedophiles or other horrid accusations. Presumably these people aren’t acting on some mistaken information that the people (the identities of whom they usually don’t even know) they’re attacking have sexually abused children. It’s not a misunderstanding. It’s a form of aggression. Things like the Q phenomenon are just this aggression writ large. I say you’re a pedophile because it is itself an act of aggression but also because it dehumanizes you. It’s a storyline that makes hurting you or killing you make more sense and be more exciting.

Not surprisingly given his role in these movements, Donald Trump is a good illustration of how to think about belief in this context. We know that Trump is a scurrilous, pathological liar. But as I’ve written, Trump doesn’t believe or not believe as you or I likely do. In fact, if you could sit Trump down sedated or under some kind of truth serum and ask why he was lying about some particular claim I think he would find the question almost bewildering. Someone like Trump finds what would be helpful to his needs or claims or interest in the particular moment and then says those things. And I think he even kind of believes them because they help him. What you say and ‘believe’ isn’t tethered to what’s true in quite the same way. You might as well ask a novelist why she writes things that aren’t true. She’d be equally befuddled by the question.

If you’ve worked in business a certain kind of salesman is like this. You size up the customer, find out what they want, what they feel they need and then tell them a story to make the sale. Is it lying? Well, not to them. Not exactly. It’s selling. Again, you don’t ask a playwright why he writes stories that aren’t true. Needless to say Donald Trump is that kind of salesman. How is it Donald Trump always seems to rapidly believe whatever is helpful to him in the given moment? Or later say exactly the opposite when that’s helpful? There’s rampant voter fraud. Bill Clinton is the worst sexual predator in human history and is definitely awful even as Trump himself casually harasses, importunes, assaults, rapes and more? Since they help you you do sort of come to believe them because why not?

Any sports fan comes to believe that their team is absolutely the best and the rival team is definitely the worst, with all manner of chants, regalia and affirmations even though they know – from another perspective – that all of this is in fact absurd. To Trump it really would be like asking a novelist why they keep making up stories that aren’t true. The reaction is incomprehension. The point here is not to defend Trump who is malevolent predator and degenerate liar. It is to explain that his calculus of truth, belief and advantage are quite different than what most of us are likely familiar with.

Just how QAnon and comparable movements work is something I’m still working to get my head around. (These two articles are the analyses that interest me most – here and here.) But calling them conspiracy theories is not only wrong in concept it seriously misleads us about what they are and how to combat them. Qanon is a violent terroristic political movement with strong fascistic facets the upshot of which, in every storyline, is a final violent reckoning in which Trump’s political enemies are rounded up and murdered. That’s what it’s about. The fables are just getting people primed and ready for that moment.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#2 LFC

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Posted 05 February 2021 - 02:47 PM

I'm breaking out two links that Josh Marshall provided. The first is from an October 2020 article in Wired. It's a much lighter read than the next link I'll post but it provides a good explanation of how these people get sucked in and addicted. Bold in mine.

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First off, QAnon poses a mystery that feels so big it can only be solved by crowdsourcing. It's thrilling to be involved with other people in something bigger than yourself. Plus, it turns one's armchair-warrior Googling into a heroic quest for truth.

“They're all saying, ‘I've done my research,’” Hon told me of Q followers. “They're looking for signals in the noise.”

There's also the thrill of creativity, of adding to a canon. QAnon followers “don't just passively receive Q drops. They create new videos and texts,” notes Marc-André Argentino, a public scholar at Concordia University who researches QAnon. Q's followers behave like religious devotees who pore over their faith's central texts, crafting interpretations that become part of the official creed.

And, like an ARG, QAnon brings social rewards. If you're the first to post a new discovery, “other people can see it, and they instantly recognize it,” notes Dan Hon, Adrian's brother, who helped create the Perplex City ARG.

In a way, ARGs and QAnon are the quintessence of internet culture. The web has always been about making willy-nilly connections: This links to that which links to this. And cyberspace facilitates the obsessive joint scrutiny of everything, from TV shows to knitting patterns to the belief that reptilians walk among us.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#3 LFC

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Posted 05 February 2021 - 02:52 PM

This article at Medium from September 2020 was written by a game designer who specializes in understanding the very techniques that QAnon uses to get people addicted. They explain how the thrill of being on the "in" can make people reject reality. It's a bit longer to read but if you're interested in this topic you should really take the time. Here's the beginning:

Quote

I am a game designer with experience in a very small niche. I create and research games designed to be played in reality. I’ve worked in Alternate Reality Games (ARGs), LARPs, experience fiction, interactive theater, and “serious games”. Stories and games that can start on a computer, and finish in the real world. Fictions designed to feel as real as possible. Games that teach you. Puzzles that come to life all around the players. Games where the deeper you dig, the more you find. Games with rabbit holes that invite you into wonderland and entice you through the looking glass.

When I saw QAnon, I knew exactly what it was and what it was doing. I had seen it before. I had almost built it before. It was gaming’s evil twin. A game that plays people. (cue ominous music)

QAnon has often been compared to ARGs and LARPs and rightly so. It uses many of the same gaming mechanisms and rewards. It has a game-like feel to it that is evident to anyone who has ever played an ARG, online role-play (RP) or LARP before. The similarities are so striking that it has often been referred to as a LARP or ARG. However this beast is very very different from a game.

It is the differences that shed the light on how QAnon works and many of them are hard to see if you’re not involved in game development. QAnon is like the reflection of a game in a mirror, it looks just like one, but it is inverted.

Guided Apophenia
In one of the very first experience fictions (XF) I ever designed, the players had to explore a creepy basement looking for clues. The object they were looking for was barely hidden and the clue was easy. It was Scooby Doo easy. I definitely expected no trouble in this part of the game.

But there was trouble. I didn’t know it then, but its name was APOPHENIA.

Apophenia is : “the tendency to perceive a connection or meaningful pattern between unrelated or random things (such as objects or ideas)”

As the participants started searching for the hidden object, on the dirt floor, were little random scraps of wood.

How could that be a problem!?

It was a problem because three of the pieces made the shape of a perfect arrow pointing right at a blank wall. It was uncanny. It had to be a clue. The investigators stopped and stared at the wall and were determined to figure out what the clue meant and they were not going one step further until they did. The whole game was derailed. Then, it got worse. Since there obviously was no clue there, the group decided the clue they were looking for was IN the wall. The collection of ordinary tools they found conveniently laying around seemed to enforce their conclusion that this was the correct direction. The arrow was pointing to the clue and the tools were how they would get to it. How obvious could it be?

I stared in horror because it all fit so well. It was better and more obvious than the clue I had hidden. I could see it. It was all random chance but I could see the connections that had been made were all completely logical. I had a crude backup plan and I used it quickly before these well-meaning players started tearing apart the basement wall with crowbars looking for clues that did not exist.

These were normal people and their assumptions were normal and logical and completely wrong.

In most ARG-like games apophenia is the plague of designers and players, sometimes leading participants to wander further and further away from the plot and causing designers to scramble to get them back or (better yet) incorporate their ideas. In role-playing games, ARGs, video games, and really anything where the players have agency, apophenia is going to be an issue.

This happens because in real games there are actual solutions to actual puzzles and a real plot created by the designers. It’s easy to get off track because there is a track. A great game runner (often called a puppet-master) can use one or two of these speculations to create an even better game, but only as much as the plot can be adjusted for in real time or planned out before-hand. It can create amazing moments in a game, but it’s not easy. For instance, I wish I could have instantly entombed something into that wall in the basement because it would have worked so well, but I was out of luck!

If you are a designer, and have puzzles, and have a plot, then apophenia is a wild card you always have to be concerned about.

QAnon is a mirror reflection of this dynamic. Here apophenia is the point of everything. There are no scripted plots. There are no puzzles to solve created by game designers. There are no solutions.

QAnon grows on the wild misinterpretation of random data, presented in a suggestive fashion in a milieu designed to help the users come to the intended misunderstanding. Maybe “guided apophenia” is a better phrase. Guided because the puppet masters are directly involved in hinting about the desired conclusions. They have pre-seeded the conclusions. They are constantly getting the player lost by pointing out unrelated random events and creating a meaning for them that fits the propaganda message Q is delivering.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#4 LFC

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Posted 05 February 2021 - 05:58 PM

Dreher actually has a decent piece called How To Deal With The QAnon Qrazies? which deals not only with the increasing bloodlust of these people but also how it ties into highly political and nationalist religious groups.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#5 golden_valley

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Posted 05 February 2021 - 07:26 PM

 LFC, on 05 February 2021 - 05:58 PM, said:

Dreher actually has a decent piece called How To Deal With The QAnon Qrazies? which deals not only with the increasing bloodlust of these people but also how it ties into highly political and nationalist religious groups.

If QAnon said that transgender people were coming to steal all the straight children away and drink their blood what would Dreher's story be?

#6 Bact PhD

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Posted 05 February 2021 - 08:24 PM

 LFC, on 05 February 2021 - 02:52 PM, said:

This article at Medium from September 2020 was written by a game designer who specializes in understanding the very techniques that QAnon uses to get people addicted. They explain how the thrill of being on the "in" can make people reject reality. It's a bit longer to read but if you're interested in this topic you should really take the time. Here's the beginning:
From the Medium piece (bold mine):

Quote

Every cloud has a shape that can look like something else. Everything that flickers is also a jumble of Morse code. The more information that is out there, the easier it is to allow apophenia to guide us into anything. This is about looking up at the sky and someone pointing out constellations.

The difference is that these manufactured connections lead to the desired conclusions Q’s handlers have created. When players arrive at the “correct” answers they are showered with adoration, respect, and social credit. Like a teenage RP, the “correct” answer is the one that the group respects the most and makes the story the most enjoyable. The idea that bolsters the theory. The correct answer is the one that provides the poster with the most credit.

It’s like a Darwinian fiction lab, where the best stories and the most engaging and satisfying misinterpretations rise to the top and are then elaborated upon for the next version.
Bingo. Moreover, given how awash we are in information (whether accurate or utter bullshit), and the preponderance of echo chambers, I wonder whether something like this was inevitable, eventually.
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#7 Bact PhD

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Posted 05 February 2021 - 08:46 PM

LFC:

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(If this all turned out to be a Russian psy-op I wouldn't be surprised, not even a little.)
After reading the Medium piece all the way through, it wouldn't surprise me if it were a PsyOp created by a hostile actor (state or non-state), either.
Politics these days is show business. Elections are Dancing with the Stars with consequences. ~Rue Bella

(About fame) Living for likes, shares and follows is a form of validation. The question is whether it is also the source of our self esteem. If it is, we’re screwed. And, culturally, it seems as if it’s become more and more our shared value. ... Meringue is no longer a sweet and pretty topping but the body itself. ~Charles Perez

The trouble is that editors and their journalists are simply employees of large profit-seeking corporations whose executives have no idea of what "truth" is; only "ratings" or "clicks" or share price. ~Rich T Bikkies, 10/1/2020

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." --Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816. ME 14:384, via LFC, 12/1/2016

Competent people go in one of a few directions. But incompetence is infinite. ~David Brooks, NY Times

#8 baw1064

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Posted 06 February 2021 - 12:29 AM

 golden_valley, on 05 February 2021 - 07:26 PM, said:

If QAnon said that transgender people were coming to steal all the straight children away and drink their blood what would Dreher's story be?

I imagine we'd find it quite entertaining around here.
"strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and unsupported by evidence"

#9 andydp

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Posted 07 February 2021 - 07:52 AM

Not sure if the originator was kidding.


Posted Image
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"I can't go out because of the virus" sounds whiny and boring. I'm going with: "I've sworn an oath of solitude until the pestilence is purged from the lands." because it sounds more valiant and heroic. As a bonus, people might think you're carrying a sword.

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I get it. They had a guy ratf**k the post office. They filled the courts with hacks. They spent a ton of money. They filed so many lawsuits. They even started a riot ! It’s so unfair that they went to all that trouble and still lost. Anonymous

#10 golden_valley

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Posted 07 February 2021 - 10:20 AM

 andydp, on 07 February 2021 - 07:52 AM, said:

Not sure if the originator was kidding.


Posted Image
Since most of the insurrection planning happened on the Internet via various social media sites the above drawing is completely irrelevant to the present situation.

#11 LFC

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Posted 07 February 2021 - 10:58 AM

 golden_valley, on 07 February 2021 - 10:20 AM, said:

Since most of the insurrection planning happened on the Internet via various social media sites the above drawing is completely irrelevant to the present situation.

Not timely but this meme is a clear admission of treason.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#12 LFC

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 12:17 PM

This may have been posted before but it should be repeated since March 4 is only 2 weeks away. The Q-nutters and the sovereign citizen nutters have found each other and some believe that Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 19th legitimate president, the first since Ulysses S. Grant. This is not fully accepted by all of the Q-nutters, even those who fervently believe in the "false flag" conspiracy. If you're not familiar with the 19th president conspiracy theory then read on. In full due to paywall.

Quote

January 20 was a tough day for the QAnon community.

As President Joe Biden was sworn in, many online Q forums were beset with despair and disappointment. The day unfolded with no mass arrests, no Democrats exposed and shipped to Gitmo and no President Donald Trump.

“Worst day in American history,” wrote a user in one QAnon group chat. “I feel sick to my stomach.”

The blow was compounded by a statement from Ron Watkins, former administrator of 8kun who was key to Q’s rise to prominence. (Q, the anonymous leader who sprinkles coded clues to believers, is believed by adherents to be a high-level official within the government.).

“We have a new president sworn in and it is our responsibility as citizens to respect the Constitution regardless of whether or not we agree with the specifics or details regarding officials who are sworn in,” Watkins wrote a Telegram message, seeming to throw in the towel. “As we enter into the next administration please remember all the friends and happy memories we made together over the past few years.”

But believers haven’t been kept down for long. They still believe that Trump is lying in wait to expose Democrats for their Satanic, pedophilic misdeeds and wrest back rightful control. Already, new conspiracy theories have blossomed, one of which has bled into mainstream Republican politics.

I wrote about it yesterday: the idea that the Capitol insurrection was a “false flag” operation that was actually carried out by antifa with the help of Democratic politicians to tar President Donald Trump’s name and lay his followers open to persecution. It’s at odds with the jubilation that swept through the same circles after the attack, the triumph claimed by rioters who fancy themselves patriots in the mold of the founding fathers.

But it’s taken root in rightwing circles, and bubbled into the mainstream to the point that Republican lawmakers are accusing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) of holding back security forces because she liked the optics.

It’s a reflection of how short the pipeline from fringey conspiracy theory messaging boards to Republican lawmakers and their constituents has become.

Back home on the QAnon ranch though, there is an even more extreme idea picking up steam: that Trump will still be inaugurated after all!

On March 4.

As the 19th President.

The idea borrows heavily from the sovereign citizens movement, which revolves around the theory that followers get to decide which laws to abide by because the true, original U.S. government has been secretly replaced by a new, illegitimate system. Sovereign citizens clog courts with convoluted legal filings, declaring they are not required to pay taxes and immune to punishment for breaking the law. There are various beliefs among the sovereign citizens about when the switch to the illegitimate government happened, but for the purposes of its overlap with the QAnon community, that date has been pinned down to 1871.

Then, per the various believers, an obscure 1871 law made the United States a corporation, not a government — meaning that any law passed since then doesn’t apply, and that the line of presidents stopped with Ulysses S. Grant. Trump, they contend, will be inaugurated as the 19th President on March 4, the day presidents were inaugurated prior to the passage of the 20th Amendment in 1933. Trump will reign over a newly restored republic.

The bizarre theory is in the province of the hard core believers. Dr. Marc Tuters, professor of new media and digital culture at the University of Amsterdam and a close follower of the conspiracy theory, dug into some QAnon messaging boards for TPM. He found that there has been a spike in conversation around “19th president” on both 4chan and 8kun discussion boards.

Posted Image

But on 4chan/pol/, he found a significant amount of mockery alongside earnest belief. Tellingly, he found that even the more skeptical 4chan users seemed to accept the false flag insurrection theory as true.

Posted Image

On the 8kun Q discussion board, where he said members take the extreme theories much more seriously, the 19th president idea has also experienced some traction.

Posted Image

While the 19th president theory may seem more extreme, harder for those outside the conspiratorial communities to understand, it serves the same purpose as the baseless false flag insurrection idea: lifting up Trump, a heroic warrior and victim of the nefarious deep state.

“Since its initial iteration, QAnon has continued to perform this function of cleansing the world of all facts that reflect badly on Trump,” said Russell Muirhead, chair of Dartmouth College’s government department and co-author of “A Lot of People Are Saying: The New Conspiracism and the Assault on Democracy.” “Such as the fact that he lost the election — hence, on Planet Trump, he will be inaugurated on March 4! And the fact that he encouraged his supporters to attack the United States legislature while it was certifying election results, and intimidate Vice President Pence and Republican senators into reversing the election — on Planet Trump, that is a fake.”

Weeks out from inauguration now, QAnon support has experienced “some degree of melt,” said Mark Fenster, professor at the University of Florida Law School and author of “Conspiracy Theories: Secrecy and Power in American Culture,” as Trump’s power has waned and no great storm come to pass. But its infectiousness lingers, both for the devoted few hopefully counting down the days as March approaches, and those outside of its circles gradually becoming convinced that something fishy was going on with that insurrection.

“This level of refusal to inhabit reality creates an epistemic divide that goes deeper than the partisan or ideological divides, and in fact makes it impossible not only to come together, but impossible even to intelligibly disagree,” Muirhead said. “That’s how QAnon continues to assault the foundations of constitutional democracy.”

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#13 golden_valley

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 12:25 PM

View PostLFC, on 18 February 2021 - 12:17 PM, said:

This may have been posted before but it should be repeated since March 4 is only 2 weeks away. The Q-nutters and the sovereign citizen nutters have found each other and some believe that Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 19th legitimate president, the first since Ulysses S. Grant. This is not fully accepted by all of the Q-nutters, even those who fervently believe in the "false flag" conspiracy. If you're not familiar with the 19th president conspiracy theory then read on. In full due to paywall.

That's enlightening. They are so totally lost in an alternative universe, though I imagine these folks would say that about me.

#14 LFC

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 12:34 PM

View Postgolden_valley, on 18 February 2021 - 12:25 PM, said:

That's enlightening. They are so totally lost in an alternative universe, though I imagine these folks would say that about me.

Posted Image
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#15 LFC

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 12:35 PM

Posted Image
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#16 LFC

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 12:36 PM

Posted Image
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#17 LFC

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 06:08 PM

W...T...F? I know my signature has "The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." in it but this piece discusses the fetish that the QAnon folks have with pedophilia. The opening to this piece is just gag inducing.

Quote

Ben Gibson, a failed Republican congressional candidate who shared QAnon content on social media, was arrested in December on four counts of child pornography. A few months earlier, Joshua Jennings was arrested on first-degree murder charges for allegedly killing his girlfriend's 10-month-old daughter. Investigators found that Jennings had plastered the QAnon associated #savethechildren hashtag all over his Facebook wall, interspersed with rants about killing pedophiles.

The central tenet of QAnon is that a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles controls all major institutions that must be cleansed by Donald J. Trump in a wave of purifying violence. Given that, it's odd that the faithful are so tolerant of child sexual exploitation in Trumpland itself. Trump used to party with billionaire child sex criminal Jeffery Epstein, and in 2002 described the financier as "a terrific guy," adding: "It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side." George Nader, high-ranking diplomatic advisor to Donald Trump and QAnon favorite General Mike Flynn, is serving 10 years in prison for child pornography and trafficking a minor for sex. Ruben Verastigui, a senior digital strategist for the Trump campaign, was arrested in early February on federal child pornography charges. Trump's 2016 Oklahoma campaign chair and a Trump delegate from Kentucky are currently doing time for child trafficking.

QAnon's preoccupation with child porn is a result of overlapping themes in chan culture, conspiracy culture, Evangelical culture, and parenting/wellness culture. The theory gelled in poorly moderated spaces where actual child porn and jokes about it were a fact of life.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#18 golden_valley

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 06:56 PM

View PostLFC, on 19 February 2021 - 06:08 PM, said:

W...T...F? I know my signature has "The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." in it but this piece discusses the fetish that the QAnon folks have with pedophilia. The opening to this piece is just gag inducing.

The obsession with finding pedophiles is a cry for help by people who are secretly titillated by the idea. They hate what is inside themselves, but can't admit it's actually there so they hunt for it in other people. So says armchair psychologist golden valley.

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 07:21 PM

View Postgolden_valley, on 19 February 2021 - 06:56 PM, said:

So says armchair psychologist golden valley.

Posted Image
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#20 golden_valley

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 08:06 PM

5 cents is probably too much for me to charge!





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