Prayin’ for the Confederate revolution…

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It is easy to downplay the extreme rhetoric of Wingnutopia as crazy stuff that will never catch on and yet it is becoming the mainstream rhetoric in the conservative movement. One doesn’t need to look far to see examples.

It is also not a surprise that most of the extreme ideas and rhetoric is rooted in the treason of the Confederacy. From Birtherism to calls to end birthright citizenship to nullification of Federal laws to states rights to calls for secession and more it seems the only flag Wingnuts respect is the old Confederate battle flag. And weaving these ideas together–just as it wove the Confederacy together–is racism, fear and deep, deep ignorance.

Case in point is the growing call for armed rebellion if voters and policy makers fail to place teabagger neo-Confederates in control of our Nation. From Palin to the lowliest wingnut blogger in his stars and bars boxers–and everywhere in-between–the threat of violence is repeatedly mentioned with varying degrees of subtlety.
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Un-Digg-nified Behavior?

Since I fail to understand the concept behind “social media”, this article asserting “Massive Censorship Of Digg Uncovered” is entirely opaque to me, although I’m willing to accept that anything involving fReichtards, Talibangelicals and Banana Republicans acting in concert is guaranteed unseemly: is the powerhouse of social media websites. It is ranked 50th among US websites by Alexa (117th in the world), by far the most influential social media site. It reached one million users in 2007 and likely has more than tripled that by this point. Digg generates around 25 million page views per month, over one third of the page views of the NY Times. Front page stories regularly overwhelm and temporarily shut down websites in a process called the “Digg Effect.”
The concept behind the site is simple. Submitted webpages (news, videos, or images) can be voted up (digging) or down (burying) by each user, sort of a democracy in the internet model. If an article gets enough diggs, it leaves the upcoming section and reaches the front page where most users spend their time, and can generate thousands of page views.
This model also made it very susceptible to external gaming whereby users from certain groups attempt to push their viewpoint or articles to the front page to give them traction. This was evident with the daily spamming of the upcoming Political section with white supremacist material from the British National Party (articles which rarely reached the front page). The inverse of this effect is more devastating however. Bury brigades could effectively remove stories from the upcoming sections by collectively burying them.
One bury brigade in particular is a conservative group that has become so organized and influential that they are able to bury over 90% of the articles by certain users and websites submitted within 1-3 hours, regardless of subject material. Literally thousands of stories have already been artificially removed from Digg due to this group. When a story is buried, it is removed from the upcoming section (where it is usually at for ~24 hours) and cannot reach the front page, so by doing this, this one group is removing the ability of the community as a whole to judge the merits or interest of these stories on their own (in essence: censoring content). This group is known as the Digg “Patriots”.
The ring leader of the group is Bettverboten, who issues multiple digg and bury orders everyday. She is a Digg power user who has dugg 70,000 articles and has 1500 submits of her own (18% have gone popular) in one short year on the site. She was previously known as Lizbett before her lifetime ban for offensive and inappropriate comments, and has two sleeper accounts waiting if she gets banned again at loquaciouslola and MsBoop. She is also on Twitter, although her primary focus is Digg, where she has acquired a huge following of power users who are likely unaware that she is gaming the system, and even calling to bury some of her mutuals…

So I went to the Digg home page for the first time, and was told that they are “here to provide a place where people can collectively determine the value of content and we’re changing the way people consume information online… We’re committed to giving every piece of content on the web an equal shot at being the next big thing.”

To which I can only reply: How nice for you.

What does a writer / website garner from an advantageous ranking in Digg? More eyeballs? Advertising dollars? Bragging rights on Journolist? Is this yet another example of wingnut fvckuppery that I need to worry about, or are these “Patriots” just wannabe /b/tards throwing rocks at the ocean to influence the tides?

They Never Learn

EJ Dionne:

Rather than shout, I’ll just ask the question in a civil way: Dear Republicans, do you really want to endanger your party’s greatest political legacy by turning the 14th Amendment to our Constitution into an excuse for election-year ugliness?

They don’t care, and the media won’t hold them accountable. John King and David Gregory will gloss this over, pointing to “legitimate concerns about immigration.”

And does he really not know the answer to that question. They’ve just spent the last month denying their behavior the last four decades while declaring the NAACP are the real racists in America. Say what you will about my voting past, when I finally saw the light, I learned. Yes, EJ. The opportunity to whip up racial resentment months before an election is irresistible. It’s like catnip/crack/meth all rolled up into one.

When they came for Ishmael, Abe grabbed a rope…

I know John touched on this earlier, but I am amazed at how low the ADL has sunk. There was a time in my lifetime when this was an organization to look up to. Like the ACLU and the NAACP, the ADL was an organization committed to justice and protecting core ideals and beliefs regardless of the political winds of the moment. All three groups were born in response to mobs of hate attacking minority groups in America.

The NAACP was a response to the Jim Crow backlash to Reconstruction and the open terrorist campaign of neo-Confederate white extremists in America. The ACLU was founded in the wake of the Palmer Raids and a Conservative effort to piss on the Bill of Rights. The ADL was founded in response to the Confederate campaign of hate spilling past blacks and extending to immigrants–especially immigrants with weird religions like Catholicism and Judaism.

In 1913 a Jewish worker in Atlanta was accused of raping a Southern girl. He was lynched by the same kind of hate fueled mob that inspired (and still inspires) the NAACP to call out racism. Out of that lynching, the Anti-Defamation League was born.

For most of the last 100 years these three groups have been true to their core missions, but that is no longer the case. While the NAACP and the ACLU continue the fight for justice, the ADL has quit the field.

Once the ADL was an organization of heroes. No more. Now when bigots call for a lynch mob to form out of fear and religious intolerance, the ADL no longer stands in the way. Now they call on their members to grab a rope and join the rampage.

Peter Beinart has a post up that helps to explain how the ADL went down the hate spiral of Wingnutopia. He makes a good case for how an important organization destroyed its credibility in an effort to appease the powerful and the extremists in their network.

It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad, but it took less than a century for Abe Foxman’s ADL to find common cause with the spirit of bigotry that lynched Leo Frank.

When the flash mobs of hate came for mosques and followers of Islam–Abe Foxman’s ADL decided that silence was insufficient approval. In a through-the-looking-glass bootleg move, the ADL now celebrates religious intolerance. More than that, they encourage their followers to join the old school American pastime of hate/fear fueled mob action. I can hardly wait to hear Foxman justify a lynching because the mere existence of the mooslim victim had hurt someone’s feelings.

Foxman’s re-branding of the ADL may be complete, but it is is the worst re-branding effort since New Coke.


Teardrops Rolling Down My Face

Apparently, Abe Foxman is redefining the ADL’s mission right before our very eyes:

But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgment, building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain—unnecessarily—and that is not right.

Apparently they are making the move from defending civil rights to taking on the awesome responsibility of guarding everyone’s feelings.