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In fact, most QAnon believers hailed the release of the report as just another step taken towards Trump's endgame; the only part of it they seemed to take issue with is the idea that Trump said " I'm fucked ", because they can't wrap their heads around the idea that Dear Leader could express weakness and doubt.

Unfortunately, this is just how conspiracy theories work, and this one is no different. QAnon had wide overlap with the conspiracy theory that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg secretly died and had been replaced by a body double, but upon seeing the theory disproven, its believers doubled down anyways. A staple characteristic of conspiracy theories is that they be impossible to disprove. After all, what would be the fun in that? QAnon goes a step further. One of Q's posts explains his various false predictions and claims by saying "disinformation is necessary.

This explanation makes QAnon into a so-called "self-sealing" conspiracy; every time it's proven false, that's just the evil cabal making it seem that way!

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Stephan Lewandowsky, a professor at the University of Bristol who studies conspiracy theories, noted this self-sealing nature by saying: [30]. This also helps explain the unfortunate longevity of QAnon. This is despite the fact that there are dozens of failed QAnon predictions, the most famous of which was that July would be "the month the world discovered the TRUTH. Pizzagate promoters, such as Liz Crokin and David Seaman, have taken a very active interest in this brand new opportunity to spread batshit insanity, with Crokin claiming that Sean Hannity is privately "on board" with the conspiracy theory.

Seaman, being an old Pizzagater, has plenty of experience weaving bullshit from out of thin air.

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On Christmas Eve, December 24, , Q apparently posted a picture of George Washington crossing the Delaware river, and Seaman claimed that the painting showed Washington in the act of "starting the American Revolutionary War " it doesn't, the war started in Boston more than a year before , and excitedly concluded, "so in other words, the second revolution is upon us and the deep state is being taken out now. Then, of course, there's leading birther and InfoWars esteemed crackpot Jerome Corsi , who was hard at work with the stable geniuses of 8chan in an effort to "decipher" Q's crumbs.

Now Jones claims that QAnon is a false flag meant to make conservatives look like a bunch of paranoid schizophrenics, as if they needed the help. Michael Salla , ufologist and promoter of the idea that extraterrestrials are involved Earthly politics exopolitics , has promoted QAnon in at least three web articles. In March , the Reddit board for QAnon was shut down due to "encouraging or inciting violence and posting personal and confidential information ", and its moderators were banned from the site.

Wright of Henderson, Nevada was arrested for allegedly blocking the bridge over the Hoover Dam with his home-made armored vehicle and guns; he held out a sign that was linked to QAnon. Meanwhile, a charity group in Arizona called Veterans on Patrol is now patrolling the state searching for child sex trafficking operations after having stumbled onto a homeless shelter and coming to the dumbest possible conclusion.

But there was concern that the call-outs to the Anon communities to 'protect the children' could entice these people to show up to our event… there was no win for the festival under these circumstances. Trump occasionally likes to throw his most insane group of supporters a bone.

The 598 People, Places and Things Donald Trump Has Insulted on Twitter: A Complete List

At one of his rallies, he gestured approvingly towards a man with a "Q" shirt, and this happened because someone on Trump's team thought it appropriate to give the conspiracist a front-row VIP pass. Most recently, he retweeted a post about Jeanine Pirro from an account that had "Q" as its goddamn profile picture. Trump's pastry chef at his Florida retreat is very vocal on Instagram , and revealed that she sought her current job so that she could serve Trump while he takes down the alleged Democratic pedophile conspiracy.

All of the dubious claims of this conspiracy theory have been easily debunked , discredited, and immediately recognized as complete and total fabrications, slander, and lies. Despite this, legions of rabid, far-right -wing extremists and conspiracists have embraced and promoted the theory in an increasingly crowded field of loonies inhabiting the cesspools of social media and YouTube. In April , the Southern Poverty Law Center documented how the conspiracy theory has strangely become a hit with the sovereign citizen movement, in a stunning example of crank magnetism in action.

However, sovereign citizens and other antigovernment extremists believe that they know the "true" law, which has been betrayed by the normal institutions of government, and that the military and Trump will help them save this mythological "true" law. QAnon has become an all-encompassing conspiracy theory. For instance, in late May of police in small town California arrested a crazy lady for building homemade pipe bombs, and QAnon thinks that she was connected to a secret plot by James Comey to blow up a school.

There are some truly glorious examples of QAnon stupidity. Whoever "Q" is, they've managed to pull elements from just about every conspiracy theory under the sun. Here are some highlights. QAnon followers think J.

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  8. Morgan sunk the Titanic so he could form the Federal Reserve. The story goes that many wealthy businessmen were on the Titanic, all of whom opposed the Federal Reserve, and J. Morgan intentionally built the Titanic without safety measures in order to get them all killed.

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    Just about every aspect of the Trump-Russia thing with Trump and Russia Mueller investigation has been shoehorned by QAnon believers into their narrative about a secret war being fought between Trump and the "deep state". They think that Trump was recruited by military intelligence to fight the deep state, because apparently we trust the military but not the rest of the government. QAnon has also gone with the mandatory George Soros conspiracy theories, but his post "exposing" the leaders of the deep state dusted off some oldies but goodies.

    Specifically, the Rothschilds , [42] who QAnon sees as a significant architect and financial backer, despite their family banking business making less than a percent of what Walmart makes in a year. They ain't the puppet masters of shit. Strangest of all, Q also fingers the House of Saud as being backers of the deep state, [42] which doesn't really mesh with the fact that they seem to be among Trump's closest friends on the global stage.

    Who knew?

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    Finally, what QAnon sub-conspiracy would be complete without that old classic, Satanism? Q thinks the Rothschilds are the head of a global Satanic cult which includes the Soros family, the Clinton family, and the Sauds. A central feature of Trumpism and QAnon is the concept of fake news. Q has taken it a step further with the concept of "Operation Mockingbird" According to Q, the Central Intelligence Agency check one off the list is manipulating the media and has been since the JFK assassination check.

    Of course, the globalist cabal doesn't stop with just Soros, the Sauds, and the Clintons! No, it goes much deeper than that. Much of the terminology of QAnon can be found in the dissected map, below. Here are some of the meta-terminology used by QAnoners to communicate among themselves:. As the map shows, QAnon functions as a grand unified conspiracy theory because it lumps in just about every imaginable conspiracy theory together with some historical reference points and almost no context.

    There are a number of conspiracy theories that are based on bigotry : antisemitism e. In that sense, QAnon can be used both as a mirror for one's own bigotry and as a powerful crank magnet that can attract all sorts of gunk from this "rabbit hole". Is your mind confused by the non sequitur tornado? View the dissected map here: [note 3] Unhelpfully, the dissection is still full of non sequitur. The dissection roughly follows the map left-to-right and top-to-bottom.

    The map has been spotted on 8chan in accompaniment with the Q-Map , and has served a vital role in The Great Awakening and Full Disclosure Movement across the entire globe. Over a decade of metaphysical research was collected prior to the map's release in mid The map is actually quite similar to the QAnon map above but regurgitated with different spaghetti code. In the Department of Energy, this is a real thing. It obviously makes sense that this publicly known and extremely important clearance level would be primarily used to hide everyone's secret pedophilia.

    Infowars founder Alex Jones once promoted the theory, but then told his followers that it had been compromised. Jump to: navigation , search. For the alt-right forum, see Stormfront ; for the "news" media, see The Daily Stormer. Disinformation is necessary. False leaks have been made to retain several within the confines of the United States to prevent extradition and special operator necessity. If I'd [shared the evidence of Moss' ignorance of the plot] the voters that Moss would have lost would have had enough cover to sit on their conscience regardless of what point I would have made…I know I'm sounding undemocratic, but let's be honest, how democratic is this country really, with the Electoral College, gerrymandered districts?

    His indictment of Moss' "cynical pivot" reminds us again of Paxton's definition of fascism:. Designated Survivor articulates this process masterfully. By casting Moss as the cynical, ambitious moderate who falls hapless victim to the racist ideologues around him, the show reminds viewers of the "uneasy but effective" collaborative creep which characterizes fascism in its early stages. All rights reserved. After a moribund Season Two, in which episodes lurched formulaically from national crisis to crisis and in which President Kirkman sought to navigate a centrist presidency by appealing to both Democrats and Republicans, Season Three sees his administration discard non-partisanship and centrism and take a hard turn to the left.

    After rejecting leadership overtures from both parties, Kirkman decides to run for re-election as an Independent. He rolls up his shirt-sleeves literally and takes to the stage in front of a group of unemployed workers to declare himself the candidate of the working class. His vice-presidential running-mate, Aaron Shore Adan Canto , emerges from a lifetime of suppressed Latino identity to embrace his heritage inspired by his militant Puerto Rican partner Isabel Pardo, played by Elena Tover , and even admits to having helped bring undocumented Mexican migrants into the US when he was younger, in the ultimate slap-in-the-face to the Trump administration's shameful immigration policies.

    The series also revisits its sexual and gender politics. Insufferably cis- and straight throughout the first two seasons, a welcome bevy of queer characters floods Season Three, ranging from gay black White House staffers to the introduction of President Kirkman's own trans sister-in-law, Sasha Booker Jamie Clayton.

    Not just ornamental, these characters explore complex and important issues, ranging from the politics of informed consent in queer and HIV-positive relationships to whether or not the president's trans sister-in-law has a public responsibility to use her influential position to challenge transphobia. In addition to the program's challenging of Trump-style politics, it explores more thoughtfully the question of how to fulfill America's democratic promise in a political system that has come to be dominated by two parties.

    The politics of non-partisan independence is intelligently explored. Kirkman is forced to confront the reality that party politicians on both sides are more interested in gaining political ground for their respective parties than in improving the country as a whole.

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    His efforts to find reasonable common ground are continually rebuffed. He earnestly considers whether perhaps the best way to achieve some minor improvements for the country is to surrender his independence and align himself with one of the parties. Yet he resists, because his values and sense of personal dignity tell him that partisanship is not what democracy is supposed to be all about.

    Even the Democrats, with whom he is most closely aligned on policy issues, are at their base a party run by millionaires, and this does not align with the vision of American democracy that he ascribes to. One can't help but wonder whether Designated Survivor has tapped into a real political zeitgeist in a country that is deeply committed to democratic politics yet exhausted by the divisive morass which hyper-partisan elites have made of it. By pursuing a progressive, independent course, President Kirkman is able to both steer and criticize 'the system' at the same time.

    He is both a thoughtful observer and an agent of action; an Other and an insider. As an outsider seated at the inner sanctum, he's a critic who is able to reshape the system from within, albeit neither as quickly nor as easily as he would like. There are of course limits to such a role, and this is what makes his character and the series so interesting, in addition to his fundamental sense of decency and virtue -- increasingly rare commodities among politicians, it seems.

    It will be interesting to see him navigate these limits if the series continues. Running as a political independent may pose financial and other challenges for many, but it certainly has its attractions as well. Earlier this year, two prominent former Canadian federal cabinet ministers — Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott — were expelled from the country's ruling Liberal party after a widely publicized political dispute between themselves and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, which also centred broadly around political ethics.

    After widespread speculation about whether they would continue in politics, and if so with which party — it was rumoured they might join the Green Party, which has been on a bit of an uptick in Canada — they both announced they would be seeking re-election…as Independents " Wilson-Raybould, Philpott to seek re-election as Independent MPs ", by Kathleen Harris, CBC News, 27 May In the United Kingdom, meanwhile, the Brexit apocalypse that's paralyzed that country's politics led to a defection from both Conservative and Labour parties earlier this year to what has been labelled The Independent Group.

    The notion of Kirkman founding his own party is one that inevitably occurs to the viewer as Kirkman wrestles with his independent status throughout the show, yet one he ultimately resists. Whatever the case, it's a timely moment for a show like Designated Survivor to explore the role of non-partisan independents in the democratic system, and the series does a superb and creative job of this. Has it exhausted the possibilities inherent in this theme? If the series continues, let's hope it continues to use its position to offer creative and progressive suggestions for moving beyond real-world partisan polarities.

    He's Canadian, and in fact is the direct descendant of Canada's most beloved socialist. His grandfather, Tommy Douglas , was a former premier of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, a founder of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation CCF which eventually morphed into the New Democratic Party NDP , and is often considered the person responsible for Canada's system of universal public health care, for which role he was in voted 'Greatest Canadian' in a national CBC poll.

    Sutherland is an actor, not a politician, but he isn't afraid to take on politicians when occasion warrants. Ford's Progressive Conservative Party had been invoking Tommy Douglas's name in association with their ultra-conservative policies, to which Sutherland fired back at the premier, stating in part:. He did it all within four years. Contrary to your argument, it was never at the expense of social and human services to those in need. I personally find your comparison of your policies to his offensive. So I can only ask, as the grandson of this man, for you to stop posting his picture and using his name as part of your political agenda.

    With its complex intersections between fictional narrative and real-world politics, Designated Survivor: Season Three hits all the right notes. It's shorter than previous seasons, but far more intelligent and compelling than Season Two. CIA former FBI agent Hannah Wells Maggie Q is finally written out of the show, and while viewers will no doubt miss the plucky and headstrong agent, from a narrative point of view it's probably for the best.

    Wells' role was central to the riveting conspiracy which drove Season One, but once that was resolved the show began to bifurcate into two separate shows: the adventures of President Kirkman in the White House on the one hand, and the adventures of Agent Hannah Wells pursuing assorted evildoers on the other.

    For the show to move forward, it had to commit to one of those storylines and give up on the other. Now that Netflix has righted the series' sinking ship, and set it on a positive and exciting new course, let's hope it sees fit to continue. In a sci-fi setting with Wild West overtones, Sophie Thatcher's Cee is discovering how far she will go to get what she wants in Prospect.

    Lightning Bolt's Sonic Citadel is both punishingly noisy and, at times, surprisingly tuneful. People who are on Lightning Bolt's exceedingly loud, improvisational vibe will find plenty to like here. The Dead South combine bluegrass and string band sounds into one excellent package with Sugar and Joy. With a headlining show as part of Ghostly International's 20th anniversary, Tobacco reflects on his own start, why he went with Ghostly, and why his old band Black Moth Super Rainbow is closing up shop.

    If you're a smart, historically-minded music critic or essayist, let your voice be heard by the quality readership that you deserve. Victor Serge, a rare survivor of Stalin's Terror, had a keen, razor-sharp intelligence and made observations that are highly relevant to our troubled times. The opening cut from Texas roots rockers Micky and the Motorcars' upcoming album is the classic Americana jam of "Road to You". Gina Siciliano's I Know What I Am is a formidable work of comics scholarship, including 50 pages devoted to detailed notes and bibliographic sources about the fearless artist, Artemisia Gentileschi.

    On Big Thief's Two Hands , the songs flow together and were purposely linked without pauses. This is an arid record purposely made in the desert with an audible dryness and shimmer to the sound. Margaret Atwood's The Testaments provides a hard-earned and much-needed "happy" ending to the dystopian parallel universe that is The Handmaid's Tale , albeit at great cost and courage to one vital witness. Americana singer-songwriter, Jeremy Ivey is a romantic in tough guy clothes He may pessimistically perceive the world with his head, but his heart intrudes and he can't keep from smiling at the goodness.

    Two old friends from high school and from decades of playing together, George Coleman and pianist Harold Mabern make a final date as part of the saxophonist's quartet. Travel back in time a decade ago to , when indie rock was in its full ascendency,and hear the songs that soundtracked the era. Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated. Powered by RebelMouse. The "Mobilizing Passions of Fascism" US historian and political scientist Robert Paxton , in his classic analysis of fascism, refers to the "mobilizing passions" of fascism, and it is this sort of notion that Kirkman's reasoning evokes.

    His indictment of Moss' "cynical pivot" reminds us again of Paxton's definition of fascism: "Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victim-hood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.

    Ford's Progressive Conservative Party had been invoking Tommy Douglas's name in association with their ultra-conservative policies, to which Sutherland fired back at the premier, stating in part: "In addition to balancing the budget of Saskatchewan, he also provided the province with paved roads, healthcare and electricity.

    You're lucky my mum's not active on Twitter. PopMatters Seeks Music Critics and Essayists If you're a smart, historically-minded music critic or essayist, let your voice be heard by the quality readership that you deserve. Revolutionary Victor Serge Has a Message for Our Times Victor Serge, a rare survivor of Stalin's Terror, had a keen, razor-sharp intelligence and made observations that are highly relevant to our troubled times.