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June 09, 2011

Is Amina Arraf real or a hoax?

Word came down that Syrian-American lesbian blogger Amina Arraf had been arrested by the Syrian authorities. But further digging reveals more questions than answers. And a distressing lack of evidence that she even exists. After Report of Disappearance, Questions About Syrian-American Blogger - NYTimes.com
7:17 p.m. Update: After this post about the author of the blog A Gay Girl in Damascus was published, Andy Carvin, an NPR journalist and expert at debunking Internet rumors, pointed out that none of the reports of the arrest of Amina Abdallah Arraf appeared to have been written by journalists who had previously met or interviewed her. A few hours after Mr. Carvin asked his network of followers on Twitter, “has anyone met Amina (Gay Girl In Damascus) in person?” he observed: “It’s just odd that I can’t find anyone who has actually met her in person.” Although it remains possible that the blog’s author was indeed detained, and has been writing a factual, not fictional, account of recent events in Syria, readers should be aware that the one person who has identified herself — to The Times, the BBC and Al Jazeera — as a personal friend of the blogger, Sandra Bagaria, has now clarified that she has never actually met the author of the Gay Girl in Damascus blog. Ms. Bagaria told The Lede that she had also never conversed with Ms. Arraf face to face via Skype, but had conducted an online relationship with her since January entirely through Internet communications in writing, including more than 500 e-mails. Last month, CNN interviewed Ms. Arraf, but also via e-mail. The Lede has also discovered that some of the text posted on the Gay Girl in Damascus blog was previously posted online in 2007, in a blog attributed to the same author that was described by her as a mix of fact and fiction. The text of the post below was revised to underscore that the Gay Girl in Damascus blog is currently the only source of the report that its author has been arrested. Efforts to contact Ms. Arraf’s family have been unsuccessful so far. . . .

June 02, 2011

Was Abe Lincoln a Jewish pawn of the Rothschilds?

Conspiracy nuts think Lincoln started the Civil War so he could take over the banks. This of course assumes Lincoln started the war and that he took over the banks, instead of just trying to patch the chaotic "free banking" system that varied state by state into a national system. This is the worst kind of racist, money-dumb paranoia. Was Abe Lincoln a Jewish pawn of the Rothschilds? - How the World Works - Salon.com
But if you dig a little deeper on the specific accusation that the Rothschild motivation for starting the Civil War was to take over the U.S. banking system, you suddenly find yourself facing a set of concerns that are surprisingly close to the surface of contemporary political discourse involving the national debt and monetary policy. Because Abe Lincoln didn't just free the slaves and preserve the Union. He also ended the so-called "free banking" era, and established a national currency in which paper notes backed by the U.S. government were by law considered to be legal tender. Mainstream economic historians tend to portray the "free banking" or "wildcat banking" era as chaotic and prone to banking panics. Loosely regulated by states, and not at all by the federal goverment, banks had the power to issue their own currency, resulting in a proliferation of competing bank notes that sometimes weren't worth the paper they were printed on. From this perspective, the passage of the National Banking Acts in 1863 and 1864 marked a welcome step in the maturation of the U.S. financial system. But whether or not you accept that explanation of history -- and many, many libertarians, led by Rep. Ron Paul, do not -- there was also another clear reason for the consolidation of central government control over U.S. currency. Lincoln had to find a way to pay for his enormously expensive war, and issuing paper currency theoretically backed by government securities was the method he used to do it. If you listen to some of the more wild-eyed libertarian voices out there, you will find that it is at this point that America really went off the tracks. Abraham Lincoln centralized government control over the money supply! And freedom died. We lost our bearings during the Civil War and have never managed to find our way back. So of course he's a traitor! And of course some way must be found to transform him into an alien "other." Remind you of someone else? Some other president who faced a national emergency, borrowed a lot of cash to deal with it, then pushed through major bank reform legislation and found himself immediately tarred as a Muslim socialist out to destroy a great nation?

June 01, 2011

The Denver Airpost Alien Illuminati Conspricay (part 2)

This is even crazier than it sounds. If you look up the Denver airport on YouTube there are dozens of videos alleging conspiracies, freemasons, aliens, UFOs, and whatnot alleged to have been active there. One of the hilarious/terrifying thing about watching videos made by paranoiacs is how the most mundane things become implacable evidence of evil. Sub-basements become holding cells. Sprinklers become evidence of genocide. It's a stark reminder of how badly our brains can fuck us if we let them. (For more amazing paranoid videos, check out "gang stalking.") Denver Airpost Alien Illuminati Conspricay part 2