April 17, 2017: Wily Cyberattack | Berkeley Antifa | The Real Alex Jones
1. Trump Outfoxes North Korea
As we reported here earlier, Trump has delighted his base by talking tough to North Korea. With American warships steaming toward the East China Sea, the rogue state tried a little toughness of its own by launching a ballistic missile test early Sunday local time. But a few minutes after takeoff, the missile blew up. There might be many reasons for the embarrassing failure, including basic technical incompetence, but one theory is that America sabotaged the missile through cyberwarfare.
While there was no evidence for such a theory yet, the alt-right press was eating it up. TruthFeed, a far-right conspiracy-minded news site, ran a story with this screaming headline: “BREAKING : Report Claims U.S. Cyber Attack Likely Stopped North Korea Missile Launch.”
Paul Joseph Watson @prisonplanet,with 563K, followers guessed:
Had to be a cyber attack that caused this, right? North Korea conducts another missile test despite US warningshttps://t.co/FE6WVOud0F— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) April 16, 2017
Meanwhile on Twitter, all props were going to the president for outwitting his opponents. Jack Posobiec @JackPosobiec, the Washington Bureau Chief of the conservative news and video site The Rebel, tweeted to his 88K followers:
Trump knew the transformative power of humiliation and launched a cyber strike on North Korea rather than kinetic— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) April 16, 2017
What We’re Watching:
Mike Pence, in South Korea for the weekend, used the missile tests to justify the massive increase in military spending that the Trump administration has requested. Fox news reported: “Vice President Mike Pence said Sunday that North Korea's latest "provocation" underscored the risks faced by American and South Korean service members just hours after the country conducted a failed missile launch shortly before his arrival.”
2. Alt-Right Blames Women and Soros for Berkeley
On Saturday, 21 people were arrested and 11 injured in Berkeley, Calif., at the “Patriots Day” rally, which featured the the alt-right speakers Lauren Southern, Brittany Pettibone, Vaughn Neville, and Kyle Chapman (a.k.a. “Based Stickman”). As Gavin McInnes explained in a video for The Rebel.media, the free speech rally was an effort to “fight back” against the “Antifa.” (The Antifa, for those not up on your recent anti-protest slang, is short for anti-fascists. The Antifa refuse dialogue with Trump supporters and are known for relying on confrontational tactics. When used by the Alt-Right, the term encompasses a more general collection of groups: communists, liberals, anarchists, feminists, Black Lives Matter, etc….)
McInnes declared in the video, “We’re going into battle and it is going to be fun.” As anticipated, opponents of the rally took the bait and violence erupted. On Twitter, the Alt-Right declared victory in the face-off and mocked the Antifa. As with previous protests, the Right took joy in ridiculing women protesters, in particular:
— Scott Presler (@ScottPresler) April 15, 2017
JoJoh888 @JoJoh888 posted a video of a female protester getting punched in the face as Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” played in the background. The video was accompanied by a screenshot from the woman’s Facebook page, which read “Headed to Berkeley to disrupt the neo nazi/White supremacist circle jerk. Nervous af but determined to bring back 100 nazi scalps.” The video was retweeted 584 times.
JoJoh888 then added:
Of course, George Soros rumors abounded as well. Brian Fraser @bfraser747 wrote:
Meanwhile, Lifezette painted the Right as a victim of a violent and intolerant left:
“I got hit in the back of the head with some sticks,” Ben Bergquam of Fresno, a “Patriots Day” rallier, told the San Francisco Gate as blood streamed down his face and as he held a crumpled sign reading, “Stop Liberal Intolerance.”
“I don’t agree with everything Trump says, but I don’t agree with violence,” Berquam said.
And Tennessee at @Ten GOP wrote:
What We’re Watching:
While Berkeley was primarily a display of the Alt-Right vs. Antifa, the rest of the Right also remains troubled by the freedom of speech issue on college campuses. Stanley Kurtz in National Review blames the recent troubles on progressive tenured professors and college students’ anger at Trump’s election. But, in another National Review piece, Peter Augustine Lawler pointed the blame away from professors and at student affairs staffs instead. He writes:
“...For the most part, the true alliance against academic freedom is between student protesters and student-affairs staffs. Professors aren’t the main source of progressive energy on campus these days. The number of tenured professors is dropping, and everywhere intellectual labor is being transferred from ‘faculty governance’ to administrators and their strategic planning, best practices, diversity initiatives, and all that.”
And Noah Rothman of Commentary had this to say just a day before the Berkeley violence erupted:
Perhaps the generation of agitators gestating on American college campuses believes their illiberal, racially conscious movement is a necessary response to current political conditions, but that is a bankrupt logic. Only toxic moral relativism can justify violence and racial segregation in the name of combating injustice. As philosophy professor Peter Kreeft observed, the relativistic rejection of absolute truths and moral imperatives isn’t noble. “Moral relativism has a reputation for being compassionate, caring and humane,” Kreeft wrote, “but it is an extremely useful philosophy for tyrants.” The students on campuses indulging their worst Jacobin impulses would benefit from consuming Kreeft’s work, but they must have skipped class that day.
Also to Note:
Some colleges, like Wellesley, are also beginning to address the “free speech” issue on campuses head-on. The Wellesley News last week published this student editorial titled “Free Speech is Not Violated at Wellesley.” The gist of the article was that the students can support free speech but also be against hate speech. While the authors meant to showcase their tolerance, their tortured reasoning, in fact, seemed to end up justifying violence in certain cases:
“This being said, if people are given the resources to learn and either continue to speak hate speech or refuse to adapt their beliefs, then hostility may be warranted. If people continue to support racist politicians or pay for speakers that prop up speech that will lead to the harm of others, then it is critical to take the appropriate measures to hold them accountable for their actions. It is important to note that our preference for education over beration regards students who may have not been given the chance to learn. Rather, we are not referring to those who have already had the incentive to learn and should have taken the opportunities to do so. Paid professional lecturers and politicians are among those who should know better.”
The ever-acerbic Ann Coulter tweeted an excerpt and highlighted the scary part:
Wellesley: if people"continue to speak hate spch or refuse to adapt their beliefs, then hostility may be warranted." https://t.co/S66RWFJWoc— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 15, 2017
3. Trump Tax Contempt
To coincide with Tax Day, April 15, anti-Trump forces held rallies across the country demanding that the president finally make his tax returns public. Tens of thousands attended, which obviously annoyed Trump, who tweeted: “I did what was an almost an impossible thing to do for a Republican-easily won the Electoral College! Now Tax Returns are brought up again?” And then: “Someone should look into who paid for the small organized rallies yesterday. The election is over!”
If the president was annoyed, his followers were full of contempt. The little guys in the Red Twittersphere, who you might think would be somewhat cynical about a rich person not paying taxes, were his most indignant supporters:
@RepublicanChick, with 31.7K followers
The rest of these folks may have too few followers to mention, but their tweets give you a sense of the general flavor of the conservative response:.
Thousands of mentally enslaved Liberals marched for Trump's Tax returns but won't march for Women rights in Islam or Illegals unreal.. https://t.co/7lZpHpkpeb— GorillaPressFilms (@GorillaPFilms) April 16, 2017
Really who care but the progressives and liberals who want to ruin this Country https://t.co/ouUZbw8Q42— Marshall Stowe (@mlstowe) April 15, 2017
What We’re Watching:
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Ca.) was, of course, a featured speaker, appearing at a tax rally in Washington, where she promised to work everyday to impeach the president. But Republicans had their own news for Waters, namely that they were coming for her in the next election with a Latino politician who is a Trump supporter.
4. Who Is the Real Alex Jones?
So, the talk radio star Alex Jones, also of the conservative media site InfoWars, has a ferocious on-air personality. He is known for crazy conspiracy theories, including the one about how the shootings at Sandy Hook were all made up -- with child actors. He perpetuated the idea that top Democrats were operating a pedophile ring out of a pizza joint. (Although he has apologized due to a lawsuit)
Nevertheless, the grandstanding has made him a favorite of none other than The Donald, who has called him “amazing.” But is this amazing Alex Jones the real Alex Jones?
The Austin American-Statesman is covering the custody battle in Texas between Jones and his wife, Kelly, for their three children and, apparently, Jones’s lawyer is arguing that the crazy guy on the radio is actually just an act.
“At a recent pretrial hearing, attorney Randall Wilhite told state District Judge Orlinda Naranjo that using his client Alex Jones’ on-air Infowars persona to evaluate Alex Jones as a father would be like judging Jack Nicholson in a custody dispute based on his performance as the Joker in ‘Batman.’
‘He’s playing a character,’ Wilhite said of Jones. ‘He is a performance artist.’
But in emotional testimony at the hearing, Kelly Jones, who is seeking to gain sole or joint custody of her three children with Alex Jones, portrayed the volcanic public figure as the real Alex Jones.
‘He’s not a stable person,’ she said of the man with whom her 14-year-old son and 9- and 12-year-old daughters have lived since her 2015 divorce. ‘He says he wants to break Alec Baldwin’s neck. He wants J-Lo to get raped.
‘I’m concerned that he is engaged in felonious behavior, threatening a member of Congress,’ she said, referring to his recent comments about California Democrat Adam Schiff. ‘He broadcasts from home. The children are there, watching him broadcast’.”