Late Night ‘2018 Remains Impossible to Parody’ Open Thread: Even Robot Sex Researchers Have Standards

*I* didn’t wanna google ‘Steve Bannon sex robots’, either. Here’s what came up when I searched just his name, from the Hill Reporter:

Since being fired by Donald Trump in August of 2017, Steve Bannon has been busy speaking at different conferences. Some of these conferences are staples for Republican figures while others are just plain weird.

The weirdest conference of all was the 4th International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots. Bannon was tabbed to become the Keynote speaker at the ACE conference which was merged with the robot sex conference.

The announcement of Bannon as keynote speaker led to immediate backlash. Speakers meant to appear alongside Bannon began to drop out of the conference.

Peter Gray, a former Boston College professor who was to appear as a keynote speaker at ACE, said, “Bannon’s alt-right brand is personally odious to me and, more importantly, by association would work against my credibility and that of the causes to which I am passionately devoted.”…

To take advantage of Bannon’s appearance in Montana, ACE event organizer Adrian Cheok attempted to schedule a debate between Bannon and a University of Montana professor.

Due to heavy push back on multiple fronts, the merged conference and the debate have all been cancelled…

It was somewhat reassuring to find out, per Wired, that ACE stands for “Advances in Computer Technology”:

ACE is run by Adrian David Cheok, the director of an independent research lab called the Imagineering Institute in Malaysia and a professor at City, University of London. Cheok says he chose to invite Bannon to speak after seeing his talk on YouTube at the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit last year, which had similar economic nationalism and anti-immigration themes. As a number of researchers pointed out, ACE is not a political or even an industry conference—it’s a scholarly venue meant to provide a place for academics to share their work…

One academic pointed out the only tangentially related experience Bannon possesses is his involvement with Internet Gaming Entertainment, which made a profit by having low-wage videogame players in China earn virtual credits that were then sold to wealthier players in other parts of the world. “The business practices of that company alone ought to disqualify Bannon from being presented as anything other than a cynical operator,” says Jeff Watson, a professor of interactive media and games at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts…
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[SingleTearPepeGIF] Open Thread: Sad Little Nazis in Disarray

TL;DR — when it comes to literal Nazis, always root for injuries.

First, there was this tragicomical story in the Daily Beast

Prominent neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer might have to reveal its funding, thanks to a new court filing in a lawsuit against the website’s founder, Andrew Anglin.

Anglin is currently on the run from two lawsuits. One of those lawsuits, by radio host and Daily Beast contributor Dean Obeidallah, accuses Anglin of defamation after The Daily Stormer accused Obeidallah of orchestrating a bombing at a 2017 Ariana Grande concert in England. In a new filing in the case, Obeidallah asked a judge to let him enter a discovery process for Moonbase Holdings, LLC, a shell company The Daily Stormer used to make its financial transactions look more legitimate.

If granted, the discovery process could reveal who funded Anglin’s hate site.

Anglin, who claims to be in Cambodia, has not responded to Obeidallah’s initial complaint, the Southern Poverty Law Center first reported. As a result, a clerk of court ruled declared Anglin to be in default, allowing Obeidallah to seek damages in Anglin’s absence. In his new filing, Obeidallah asks to investigate Moonbase Holdings before pursuing specific damages…

“At one point it appeared that Defendant Moonbase received approximately $3,405.70 per month in credit card donations through Hatreon,” the new filing in Obeidallah’s lawsuit reads. Hatreon is a crowdfunding platform beloved by hate groups, who are often banned from platforms like GoFundMe and Patreon.

Since February 9, 2017, the site has been down, its homepage displaying a notice that “pledging is currently disabled while we upgrade our systems.”

With Hatreon on hold, Anglin has claimed to be nearly broke…

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Aaaand… here come the Nazi Rosencrantz & Guildenstern!

The alleged dox appears to have grown out of a running spat between white supremacist Christopher Cantwell and infamous neo-Nazi troll Andrew “weev” Auernheimer. Weev has accused Cantwell of being a federal informant and Cantwell has responded by accusing weev of colluding with @Ricky_Vaughn99 to deliberately split the far-right movement between “vanguardists,” i.e. those who advocate for militant street action, and “mainstreamers,” embodied by Vaughn…

The dox comes at a pivotal moment for the alt-right, which has been embroiled in several publicity and legal scandals over the past few months. In February, Elliot Kline of Identity Evropa was revealed to have lied about his military service record. March saw the collapse of the Traditionalist Worker Party following Matthew Heimbach’s arrest for battery, domestic battery in the presence of a child, strangulation and intimidation during an affair with his benefactor and father-in-law’s wife…

The pseudonymous Ricky Vaughn Twitter account — named after a character from the 1989 film Major League — was highly influential in spreading the ideas of the racist alt-right in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. Peaking at 62,000 followers and posting some 221,000 tweets, an MIT election study during the primaries ranked the Twitter account as more influential than the accounts of NBC News, Stephen Colbert, and the Democratic Party among many others.
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Media Idiots Open Thread: O’Keefe & the Power of a Truly TERRIBLE Example


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Maybe I’m just a wide-eyed optimist, but O’Keefe’s latest failed “prank” feels like it might be some kind of media tipping point… he’s just such a clown luzer, like a wafer-thin mint after Mr. Creosote’s dinner…


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Even the Establishment Wingnut Wurlitzer apparatchiks are embarrassed / annoyed!
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Open Thread: Apparently April Fools’ Day Has Been Rescheduled

… To July 3rd. Does an ambitious couple of kingmakers brand themselves the ‘WTF Party’ in all seriousness? Well, they’re venture capitalists quoting gamer lingo, so…

Mark Pincus and Reid Hoffman want to hack the Democratic Party.

Not literally. Not the likes of what befell the team behind Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, resulting in scores of private emails being published online — and countless news stories that helped seal her defeat. No, Pincus, the co-founder of Zynga, and Hoffman, the brains behind LinkedIn, want to force Democrats to rewire their philosophical core, from their agenda to the way they choose candidates in elections — the stuff of politics, they said, that had been out of reach for most voters long before Donald Trump became president.

That’s the guiding principle behind Win the Future, a new project by the tech duo that’s launching in time for July 4. The effort — called, yes, WTF for short — aims to be “a new movement and force within the Democratic Party, which can act like its own virtual party,” said Pincus, its lead architect, during an interview.

Think of WTF as equal parts platform and movement. Its new website will put political topics up for a vote — and the most resonant ideas will form the basis of the organization’s orthodoxy. To start, the group will query supporters on two campaigns: Whether or not they believe engineering degrees should be free to all Americans, and if they oppose lawmakers who don’t call for Trump’s immediate impeachment.

Participants can submit their own proposals for platform planks — and if they win enough support, primarily through likes and retweets on Twitter, they’ll become part of WTF’s political DNA, too. Meanwhile, WTF plans to raise money in a bid to turn its most popular policy positions into billboard ads that will appear near airports serving Washington, D.C., ensuring that “members of Congress see it,” Pincus said…

Hard to top LGM‘s post: Gentlemen, Start Your Wanking!

Pincus, who has spent millions backing Democratic campaigns and organizations up and down the ticket for over a decade, said a major part of WTF came from his dissatisfaction with the way the Democratic Party was spending its energy and his money…

“I just don’t feel respected in the political process as a large donor or as a citizen voter,” Pincus said. “I just feel patronized. Everything I get is like, ‘Hey, you couldn’t possibly — it’s too complex and sophisticated what really goes on,’ and, ‘Hey, leave it to us, and we will go and represent you and fight the good fight, and just give us money.'” …

I lucked into a huge pile of money by latching on to an addictive fad that other people did all the work to implement. Why can’t I get some RESPECT from you professionals?



Late Night Poe-try Corner Open Thread

TBH, it was funnier before I visualized Captain Bankruptcy (h/t Jim Newell) taking credit for this ditty…



Parens-thetical Racism: It’s All Fun & Games Until Someone Gets Beaten Up in An Alley

The excitable fella with all the emoticons is probably, one hopes, just another Reddit-fueled edgelord trolling for lulz. The problem is, how do the rest of us tell them apart from the genuine racists and psychopaths? Here’s the Guardian‘s explanation of the extra parentheses now being sported by all the best twitter handles:

US antisemitism watchdog, the Anti-Defamation League, has added the “(((echo)))” symbol, used online by white supremacists to single out Jews, to its online database of hate symbols.

The group’s decision comes days after Google removed a Chrome extension that was being used by antisemites to add triple parentheses around the names of prominent Jewish public figures including Michael Bloomberg and New York Times journalist Jonathan Weisman….

The intersection of old-fashioned white supremacy and antisemitism with tech-savvy online groups centred around websites such as 4chan and Reddit has given rise to a movement loosely termed the “alt-right”. The echo symbol is just the latest artefact of that group’s thinking to burst into the mainstream, thanks largely to an article in late May from the NYT’s Weisman highlighting its use.

But the denigration of Jews online extends beyond the Trump supporters highlighted by Weisman. An investigation by Mic revealed how widespread the symbol’s use has become, largely below the radar of the mainstream.

“To the public, the symbol is not easily searchable on most sites and social networks; search engines strip punctuation from results,” wrote the publication’s reporters, Cooper Fleishman and Anthony Smith. “This means that trolls committed to uncovering, labelling and harassing Jewish users can do so in relative obscurity: No one can search those threats to find who’s sending them.”

The pair trace the origins of the symbol back to far right blog Right Stuff. “In Right Stuff propaganda, you’ll often read that Jewish names ‘echo’. According to the blog’s lexicon page, ‘all Jewish surnames echo throughout history’. In other words, the supposed damage caused by Jewish people reverberates from decade to decade.” The parentheses are used to imply that same echo textually…

Of course, the people who hate “Jews” this much aren’t any too happy about people of color (especially the one now occupying “their” White House), foreigners (especially the ones with ‘funny names’), “sexual deviants”, uppity women, or anyone otherwise “Aryan” who chooses to support the untermenschen. (Hillary’s “mixed blood” grandchildren are deplored as one more example of her perfidy; but then, Trump has Jewish grandkids too… )

If you’re curious, Jeff Goldberg (yes, I know), at the Atlantic, has “A Brief Introduction to the Pro-Holocaust Twitterverse”:

mengelematters troll via atlantic



Trump Spokesmen Address Fake “Alter Ego” Controversy

New York, N.Y. — May 13, 2016 — A Washington Post story ignited a firestorm Thursday by alleging that presumptive GOP nominee Donald J. Trump impersonated Trump Enterprises public relations officials under false names to paint glowing portraits of himself for reporters. The Post story says that Trump himself called writers from various publications, including People magazine, to extol his own virtues while posing as at least two fictitious Trump Enterprises employees: John Barron and John Miller.

However, emails received by media outlets Friday from Barron and Miller establish that they are in fact actual persons and suggest that the Post story constitutes libel against Trump.

“Donald Trump is a tremendous guy who built a terrific company that employs thousands and thousands of people,” wrote John Barron, who said he is the PR specialist who spoke to the People reporter. “He’s a smart guy who is very rich and went to the very best schools, okay? He will win bigly in November, and then America will win so much you’ll get tired of winning.”

The email from John Barron was sent from a newly created Gmail account registered under the username “bighands1946,” which checks out as legitimate. Seconds after the Barron email was received, media outlets received an email from John Miller, the other publicity specialist mentioned in the Post story.

“Only a low-energy loser would say Donald Trump pretended to be someone else,” Miller said. “Trump is a tremendous person, a self-made man who took a small $1 million loan from his father and built it into a yooodge company. All three of his wives are beauty-full, so forget about it. And his daughter is so hot maybe he’d be banging her if he wasn’t her father, okay?”

The email from Miller emanated from a new Yahoo account registered to user “1946longfingers,” which appears to be a legitimate account.

The communications from Barron and Miller obviously put an end to the controversy The Washington Post article provoked, so responsible news organizations are advised to focus instead on Hillary Clinton’s impending indictment by the FBI and the Obama administration’s ongoing persecution of white people.