Liberal, Moderate or Conservative? See How Facebook Labels You

You may think you are discreet about your political views. But Facebook, the world’s largest social media network, has come up with its own determination of your political leanings, based on your activity on the site.

And now, it is easy to find out how Facebook has categorized you — as very liberal or very conservative, or somewhere in between.

Try this (it works best on your desktop computer):

Go to facebook.com/ads/preferences on your browser. (You may have to log in to Facebook first.)

That will bring you to a page with your ad preferences. Under the “Interests” header, click the “Lifestyle and Culture” tab.

Then look for a box titled “US Politics.” In parentheses, it will describe how Facebook has categorized you, such as liberal, moderate or conservative.

(If the “US Politics” box does not show up, click the “See more” button under the grid of boxes.)

Facebook makes a deduction about your political views based on the pages that you like — or on your political preference, if you stated one, on your profile page. If you like the page for Hillary Clinton, Facebook might categorize you as a liberal.

Even if you do not like any candidates’ pages, if most of the people who like the same pages that you do — such as Ben and Jerry’s ice cream — identify as liberal, then Facebook might classify you as one, too.

Facebook has long been collecting information on its users, but it recently revamped the ad preferences page, making it easier to view.

The information is valuable. Advertisers, including many political campaigns, pay Facebook to show their ads to specific demographic groups. The labels Facebook assigns to its users help campaigns more precisely target a particular audience.

For instance, Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign has paid for its ads to be shown to those who Facebook has labeled politically moderate.

Campaigns can also use the groupings to show different messages to different supporters. They may want to show an ad to their hard-core supporters, for example, that is unlike an ad targeted at people just tuning in to the election.

It is not clear how aggressively Facebook is gathering political information on users outside the United States. The social network has 1.7 billion active users, including about 204 million in the United States.

Political outlook is just one of the attributes Facebook compiles on its users. Many of the others are directly commercial: whether you like television comedy shows, video games or Nascar.

To learn more about how political campaigns are targeting voters on social media, The New York Times is collecting Facebook ads from our readers with a project called AdTrack. You can take part by visiting nytimes.com and searching for “Send us the political ads.”

How the War on Drugs Makes People Eat Other People’s Faces After Stabbing Them to Death

If we don’t want people using bizarre new synthetic drugs, maybe we should rethink drug prohibition.

Photo Credit: Brian A Jackson/shutterstock.com

The news that 19-year-old Florida State University student Austin Harrouff stabbed two strangers to death, and then proceeded to bite chunks of a deceased victim’s face off, seems too bizarre to believe – unless you’ve heard of the drug flakka.

When police arrived, “It was an impossible task to get him off of the victim.” A Taser had no effect, nor did a police dog. It took multiple cops and several minutes of fighting with “every bit of strength” to pry Harrouff, who was a football player and wrestler, from the face-eating bear hug he had on the dead man.

Harrouff was making “animal-like” noises when he was transported to the hospital, and could die of “sustained trauma” from officers or a drug overdose. Toxicology reports will confirm whether flakka was in his system, but Martin County Sheriff William Snyder says he would not be surprised.

“When you see a case like this where someone is biting off pieces of somebody’s face, could it be flakka?” Snyder said. “The answer is it absolutely could be a flakka case.”

Flakka, a synthetic drug similar to bath salts, has taken off in popularity in South Florida over the past few years. It causes delirium and the feeling of superhuman strength, and is known to cause extremely bizarre behavior – including a 17-year-old girl “running down a street naked, covered in blood and screaming, “I am God! I am Satan!”

YouTube videos abound showing people in the midst of dangerous, erratic flakka-induced behavior, and headlines appear regularly of bizarre crimes being committed on flakka.

Homeland Security Investigations in Miami said the area is “ground central” for flakka shipments, which often come from China. There is no known legitimate use for the substance. The DEA has put a temporary ban on flakka, but drug makers can just stick a “not for human consumption” label on it to get around the ban.

There are at least three flakka hospitalizations a day in Broward County, and the rate of overdose deaths and suicides continues to rise. It’s extremely difficult to know how much one is ingesting, and the synthetic drug can have devastating, permanent effects on the body.

Why the hell would anyone want to come near this stuff?

The War on Drugs.

Because psychoactive drugs that humans have used for centuries have been banned by most modern governments, people turn to synthetic attempts at mimicking the high. Just as Spice (synthetic marijuana) has emerged to supposedly mimic cannabis, flakka is sought after to mimic cocaine.

But the difference is, Spice and flakka cause psychotic symptoms, bodily damage and death, whereas cannabis has never caused an overdose and has well-recognized medicinal value. Cocaine sourced from the black market, which is laced with other unknown chemicals, can cause overdose death – but people aren’t stabbing and eating the faces of other people while on cocaine.

Flakka is far more dangerous than cocaine.

Much of the dangers associated with cocaine would diminish if the drug were legalized and people had the freedom to put what they want into their own bodies. In a legal market, this extract of the coca leaf – which has been used for thousands of years by South Americans – would be produced in exact dosages known to the consumer, free from harmful synthetic chemicals.

If people could go to the store and buy a bit of cocaine, as they can buy alcohol, we could expect the demand for flakka to be non-existent.

Prohibition does nothing to curb the supply or the demand of drugs, but it enriches the corporatocracy and gives the State immense power over our personal freedom. It creates void in the demands for drugs and those voids are filled with even more dangerous substances such as flakka.

We should have learned the lesson that prohibition only causes greater harm during the miserable attempt at alcohol prohibition from 1920 to 1933. When government attempted to ban alcohol, its production and distribution shifted to the black market, and people suffered and died.

Reports of blindness and death were common as people attempted to make their own alcohol but failed to realize the dangerous by-products that can be produced. Bootleg alcohol fueled violent criminal gangs exploiting prohibition for financial gain. We are seeing the exact same scenario play out today.

There will always be demand for psychoactive drugs, and there will always be supply to meet this demand. If government attempts to ban substances, making it a little harder for some people to get things like cocaine, they will synthesize some other, more dangerous substance.

So now we have flakka, which emerged as a replacement for bath salts, which had emerged (now banned) as something you could buy at the store for a cocaine-like high.

The government keeps banning things, and people keep getting worse off. Synthetic drugs are killing people, especially our kids.

But government has a novel approach this time – it’s working on banning flakka, and they’re trying to get China to ban certain chemicals and stop their export. As the DEA admits, when they manage to ban one substance, producers will slightly alter the compound to make it a new substance free from the “controlled substances” ban.

There’s a saying about doing something over and over again and expecting different results being the mark of insanity. Prohibition is the perfect demonstration of this, and we are witnessing the physical manifestations in the crazed, murderous behaviors caused by flakka.

http://www.alternet.org/drugs/how-war-drugs-makes-people-eat-other-peoples-faces-stabbing-them-death?akid=14548.265072.0RgUC7&rd=1&src=newsletter1062183&t=20

The Revenge of the Lower Classes and the Rise of American Fascism

Posted on Aug 8, 2016

By Chris Hedges

  Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, seen in reflection. (Andrew Harnik / AP)

College-educated elites, on behalf of corporations, carried out the savage neoliberal assault on the working poor. Now they are being made to pay. Their duplicity—embodied in politicians such as Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama—succeeded for decades. These elites, many from East Coast Ivy League schools, spoke the language of values—civility, inclusivity, a condemnation of overt racism and bigotry, a concern for the middle class—while thrusting a knife into the back of the underclass for their corporate masters. This game has ended.

There are tens of millions of Americans, especially lower-class whites, rightfully enraged at what has been done to them, their families and their communities. They have risen up to reject the neoliberal policies and political correctness imposed on them by college-educated elites from both political parties: Lower-class whites are embracing an American fascism.

These Americans want a kind of freedom—a freedom to hate. They want the freedom to use words like “nigger,” “kike,” “spic,” “chink,” “raghead” and “fag.” They want the freedom to idealize violence and the gun culture. They want the freedom to have enemies, to physically assault Muslims, undocumented workers, African-Americans, homosexuals and anyone who dares criticize their cryptofascism. They want the freedom to celebrate historical movements and figures that the college-educated elites condemn, including the Ku Klux Klan and the Confederacy. They want the freedom to ridicule and dismiss intellectuals, ideas, science and culture. They want the freedom to silence those who have been telling them how to behave. And they want the freedom to revel in hypermasculinity, racism, sexism and white patriarchy. These are the core sentiments of fascism. These sentiments are engendered by the collapse of the liberal state.

The Democrats are playing a very dangerous game by anointing Hillary Clinton as their presidential candidate. She epitomizes the double-dealing of the college-educated elites, those who speak the feel-your-pain language of ordinary men and women, who hold up the bible of political correctness, while selling out the poor and the working class to corporate power.

The Republicans, energized by America’s reality-star version of Il Duce, Donald Trump, have been pulling in voters, especially new voters, while the Democrats are well below the voter turnouts for 2008. In the voting Tuesday, 5.6 million votes were cast for the Democrats while 8.3 million went to the Republicans. Those numbers were virtually reversed in 2008—8.2 million for the Democrats and about 5 million for the Republicans.

Richard Rorty in his last book, “Achieving Our Country,” written in 1998, presciently saw where our postindustrial nation was headed.

Many writers on socioeconomic policy have warned that the old industrialized democracies are heading into a Weimar-like period, one in which populist movements are likely to overturn constitutional governments. Edward Luttwak, for example, has suggested that fascism may be the American future. The point of his book The Endangered American Dream is that members of labor unions, and unorganized unskilled workers, will sooner or later realize that their government is not even trying to prevent wages from sinking or to prevent jobs from being exported. Around the same time, they will realize that suburban white-collar workers—themselves desperately afraid of being downsized—are not going to let themselves be taxed to provide social benefits for anyone else.

At that point, something will crack. The nonsuburban electorate will decide that the system has failed and start looking around for a strongman to vote for—someone willing to assure them that, once he is elected, the smug bureaucrats, tricky lawyers, overpaid bond salesmen, and postmodernist professors will no longer be calling the shots. A scenario like that of Sinclair Lewis’ novel It Can’t Happen Here may then be played out. For once a strongman takes office, nobody can predict what will happen. In 1932, most of the predictions made about what would happen if Hindenburg named Hitler chancellor were wildly overoptimistic.

One thing that is very likely to happen is that the gains made in the past forty years by black and brown Americans, and by homosexuals, will be wiped out. Jocular contempt for women will come back into fashion. The words “nigger” and “kike” will once again be heard in the workplace. All the sadism which the academic Left has tried to make unacceptable to its students will come flooding back. All the resentment which badly educated Americans feel about having their manners dictated to them by college graduates will find an outlet.

Fascist movements build their base not from the politically active but the politically inactive, the “losers” who feel, often correctly, they have no voice or role to play in the political establishment. The sociologist Émile Durkheim warned that the disenfranchisement of a class of people from the structures of society produced a state of “anomie”—a “condition in which society provides little moral guidance to individuals.” Those trapped in this “anomie,” he wrote, are easy prey to propaganda and emotionally driven mass movements. Hannah Arendt, echoing Durkheim, noted that “the chief characteristic of the mass man is not brutality and backwardness, but his isolation and lack of normal social relationships.”

In fascism the politically disempowered and disengaged, ignored and reviled by the establishment, discover a voice and a sense of empowerment.

As Arendt noted, the fascist and communist movements in Europe in the 1930s “… recruited their members from this mass of apparently indifferent people whom all other parties had given up as too apathetic or too stupid for their attention. The result was that the majority of their membership consisted of people who had never before appeared on the political scene. This permitted the introduction of entirely new methods into political propaganda, and indifference to the arguments of political opponents; these movements not only placed themselves outside and against the party system as a whole, they found a membership that had never been reached, never been ‘spoiled’ by the party system. Therefore they did not need to refute opposing arguments and consistently preferred methods which ended in death rather than persuasion, which spelled terror rather than conviction. They presented disagreements as invariably originating in deep natural, social, or psychological sources beyond the control of the individual and therefore beyond the control of reason. This would have been a shortcoming only if they had sincerely entered into competition with either parties; it was not if they were sure of dealing with people who had reason to be equally hostile to all parties.”

Fascism is aided and advanced by the apathy of those who are tired of being conned and lied to by a bankrupt liberal establishment, whose only reason to vote for a politician or support a political party is to elect the least worst. This, for many voters, is the best Clinton can offer.

Fascism expresses itself in familiar and comforting national and religious symbols, which is why it comes in various varieties and forms. Italian fascism, which looked back to the glory of the Roman Empire, for example, never shared the Nazis’ love of Teutonic and Nordic myths. American fascism too will reach back to traditional patriotic symbols, narratives and beliefs.

Robert Paxton wrote in “The Anatomy of Fascism”:

The language and symbols of an authentic American fascism would, of course, have little to do with the original European models. They would have to be as familiar and reassuring to loyal Americans as the language and symbols of the original fascisms were familiar and reassuring to many Italians and Germans, as [George] Orwell suggested. Hitler and Mussolini, after all, had not tried to seem exotic to their fellow citizens. No swastikas in an American fascism, but Stars and Stripes (or Stars and Bars) and Christian crosses. No fascist salute, but mass recitations of the pledge of allegiance. These symbols contain no whiff of fascism in themselves, of course, but an American fascism would transform them into obligatory litmus tests for detecting the internal enemy.

Fascism is about an inspired and seemingly strong leader who promises moral renewal, new glory and revenge. It is about the replacement of rational debate with sensual experience. This is why the lies, half-truths and fabrications by Trump have no impact on his followers. Fascists transform politics, as philosopher and cultural critic Walter Benjamin pointed out, into aesthetics. And the ultimate aesthetic for the fascist, Benjamin said, is war.

Paxton singles out the amorphous ideology characteristic of all fascist movements.

Fascism rested not upon the truth of its doctrine but upon the leader’s mystical union with the historic destiny of his people, a notion related to romanticist ideas of national historic flowering and of individual artistic or spiritual genius, though fascism otherwise denied romanticism’s exaltation of unfettered personal creativity. The fascist leader wanted to bring his people into a higher realm of politics that they would experience sensually: the warmth of belonging to a race now fully aware of its identity, historic destiny, and power; the excitement of participating in a wave of shared feelings, and of sacrificing one’s petty concerns for the group’s good; and the thrill of domination.

There is only one way left to blunt the yearning for fascism coalescing around Trump. It is to build, as fast as possible, movements or parties that declare war on corporate power, engage in sustained acts of civil disobedience and seek to reintegrate the disenfranchised—the “losers”—back into the economy and political life of the country. This movement will never come out of the Democratic Party. If Clinton prevails in the general election Trump may disappear, but the fascist sentiments will expand. Another Trump, perhaps more vile, will be vomited up from the bowels of the decayed political system. We are fighting for our political life. Tremendous damage has been done by corporate power and the college-educated elites to our capitalist democracy. The longer the elites, who oversaw this disemboweling of the country on behalf of corporations—who believe, as does CBS Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves, that however bad Trump would be for America he would at least be good for corporate profit—remain in charge, the worse it is going to get.

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_revenge_of_the_lower_classes_and_the_rise_of_american_fascism_20160302

Donald Trump’s Convention Speech Rings Terrifying Historical Alarm Bells

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Trump had just one message for Americans on Thursday night: Be afraid. (Photo: AP)

Donald Trump’s speech accepting the Republican nomination for president will probably go down as one of the most frightening pieces of political rhetoric in U.S. history.

Even for people who believe the danger of genuine authoritarianism on the U.S. right is often exaggerated, it’s impossible not to hear in Trump’s speech echoes of the words and strategies of the world’s worst leaders.

Trump had just one message for Americans: Be afraid. You are under terrible threats from forces inside and outside your country, and he’s the only person who can save us.

The scariest part is how Trump subtly but clearly has begun melding together violence against U.S. police and terrorism: “The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities,” he said, “threaten our very way of life.”

This is the favorite and most dangerous message of demagogues across all space and time. After all, if we know our external enemies are deeply evil, and our internal enemies are somehow their allies, we can feel justified in doing anything at all to our internal enemies. That’s just logic.

And if anything, Trump’s speech is actually more terrific, fabulous and huge than those of previous fanatics, since he promises he’s going to fix everything overnight. “The crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon — and I mean very soon — come to an end,” Trump says. “Beginning on January 20th of 2017, safety will be restored.”

This use of fear to destroy democracy is so old that it’s described exactly in Plato’s Republic, written in Ancient Greece around 380 B.C.

Tyranny, says Socrates in The Republic, is actually “an outgrowth of democracy.” And would-be tyrants always in every instance claim to be shielding regular people from terrible danger: “This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears above ground he is a protector.”

Trump said that he is going to “protect” Americans or some aspect of American life 13 times tonight.

That makes sense, since as he portrayed the world, we desperately need protecting…

Read the full article at The Intercept.

Before joining First Look, Jon Schwarz worked for Michael Moore’s Dog Eat Dog Films and was Research Producer for Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story. He’s contributed to many publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, Mother Jones and Slate, as well as NPR and “Saturday Night Live.”

Inside Milo’s “gays for Trump”

Far-right leaders Milo Yiannopoulos, Pamela Geller and Geert Wilders gave pro-Trump, pro-LGBT, anti-Muslim speeches

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Inside Milo's "gays for Trump," virulently anti-Islam party at the RNC
Milo Yiannopoulos at the “Wake Up!” pro-Trump, anti-Muslim LGBT party at the RNC (Credit: Salon/Ben Norton)

The most far-right party at the 2016 Republican National Convention may have also been the most pro-LGBT.

Breitbart provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos held a “gays for Trump” party late Tuesday night in Cleveland.

He was joined by far-right anti-Muslim leaders Pamela Geller and Geert Wilders. All three gave adoringly pro-Trump speeches full of anti-Muslim vitriol.

The rhetoric was strikingly reminiscent of the extreme anti-Semitism of the early 20th century, yet directed at Muslims instead of Jews. All of the speakers explicitly condemned Islam itself, not just Islamic extremism.

LGBT for Trump founder Cris Barron stressed the importance of defending “Western civilization” from the existential threat posed by Muslims.

Wilders spoke of a “war” against Islam. He proclaimed “Islam is the problem” and condemned refugees for turning Europe into “Eurabia.”

Geller joined the speakers in applauding Trump’s “ban on Muslims from jihad nations,” which she called a “logical, rational and reasonable” policy.

Milo called Trump “the most pro-gay candidate in American electoral history” and proclaimed, “The left’s stranglehold on homosexuals is over.”

Not one speaker mentioned U.S. and European foreign policy and wars, instead conflating the Islamic extremism fueled by Western-backed military conflicts and the political Islamism spread by Western allies with the millennium-old religion practiced by 1.6 billion Muslims.

The speakers all also excoriated the left, which they accused of supporting Islamism and of valuing Muslims over LGBT people.

Chris Barron (Credit: Salon/Ben Norton)

Chris Barron (Credit: Salon/Ben Norton)

The art used to publicize the event is a cartoon depicting Donald Trump as a superhero, joined by sidekicks Milo and Geller.

The party, which was officially named “Wake Up! (the most fab party at the RNC),” was a big event for the so-called “alt-right,” a far-right movement that supports liberal social policies and portrays itself in certain ways as libertarian, but harbors some extreme right-wing, fascistic views.

A large yellow Gadsden flag reading “Don’t tread on me,” a common libertarian symbol, was in fact hung on the wall behind the DJ, but the speakers are people who have no problem with big government when it comes to Muslims and migration.

Unlike the so-called New Atheists, who claim they oppose all religions equally — although they reserve particular hatred for Islam and Muslims — the alt-right does not feign impartiality.

Milo mentioned his Catholicism, and Geller openly argued that Christianity and Judaism are better religions than Islam, insisting Islamic law subjugates non-Muslims while Canon and Jewish law do not repress those of other faiths.

Chris Barron, the founder of the pro-LGBT conservative NGO GOProud and the leader of the “LGBT for Trump” campaign, introduced the speakers.

Barron set the tone of the event right from the get-go, warning a “radical Islamic ideology” threatened LGBT Americans. He called it a “life or death situation.”

Barron and the other speakers blamed the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando in June on Islam, although the U.S.-born shooter was likely himself gay and had previously attended the club. Additionally, a former gay lover of his called it a “revenge” attack.

Trump not only supports LGBT people, Barron claimed, but also employs them, “making gay people part of the Trump empire.”

None of the speakers mentioned Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, although the Trump poster on the podium clearly displayed his name.

Protesters outside the event uniting under the name Queers Against Racism emphasized that Pence has a long history of openly opposing LGBT rights, including voting for legislation that allows business to deny services to people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

While they stood behind the Trump-Pence poster, all the speakers also stood in front of photography depicting young slim white men wearing “Make America great again” hats. These works are part of a series by art photographer Lucian Wintrich titled “Twinks4Trump.” Wintrich told Salon he will soon be having a Trump-themed gallery exhibit in New York City’s East Village.

Barron noted that the event was funded by far-right website Breitbart; Andrew Marcus, director of the film “Hating Breitbart”; and Mike Flynn, the founding editor of Breitbart’s Big Government blog, who passed away in June. Barron also thanked Fox News for its support.

Geert Wilders (Credit: Salon/Ben Norton)

Geert Wilders (Credit: Salon/Ben Norton)

Geert Wilders, a far-right politician from the Netherlands who has frequently beendescribed as a fascist, was the first to speak at the party.

Barron introduced Wilders as the “hope for Western civilization,” rhetoric the Dutch leader himself frequently uses.

Wilders opened his speech warning Europe has been turned into “Eurabia,” due to Arab and Muslim migration.

“Europe is imploding,” he claimed, adding it has been flooded with “jihadis.”

“It will only get worse,” Wilders insisted, because Europe’s “stupid governments” keep letting in refugees from Muslim-majority countries.

He called open borders “the worst policy ever.” He also condemned “cultural relativism, the biggest disease in Europe today.”

Wilders claimed refugees and migrants are not integrating and assimilating into white European culture, leading to a “suicide policy.”

The far-right Dutch leader stressed that the enemy is not just Islamic extremism, but Islam itself.

“Get rid of your political correctness,” Wilders declared, as the audience went wild. “Islam and Sharia law are exactly the same,” he said, warning Americans not to “allow Islam to be planted in your soil.”

He accused Muslim migrants of being behind an “explosion of crime, rape… of harassment of our daughters, of the gay community.”

“We are at war,” Wilders proclaimed and reiterated, claiming Sharia law is being implemented in Europe and the U.S.

“Islam is the problem,” he stated clearly, condemning “bullshit about ‘radical Islam.’” The audience applauded loudly, and a young man with a Trump hat on shouted, “Send them back!”

“I don’t want any more mosques in the Netherlands,” Wilders said. He proposed closing borders to Muslim refugees and migrants and deporting those in the country. Then the government should “de-Islamize” society, he said, not expanding on what exactly he meant.

Wilders called for electing new far-right leaders. “We are no longer represented,” he lamented, and boasted that his far-right Freedom Party is on the verge of taking state power, having topped the polls for a year.

“We have no alternative,” Wilders concluded. “We will win this war.”

Pamela Geller (Credit: Salon/Ben Norton)

Pamela Geller (Credit: Salon/Ben Norton)

Pamela Geller, a leading figure in the anti-Muslim hate movement in the U.S., was next to speak.

“Pamela has been fighting against the jihad for several years,” LGBT for Trump founder Chris Barron said as he introduced her.

In May 2015, Geller and Wilders were attacked by Islamic extremists at a “Draw Mohammad” event in Garland, Texas. Geller said the “Wake Up!” RNC party was her first public speaking engagement since the attack in Garland.

Geller opened her speech with a joke: “A jihadi walks into a gay bar,” she began, to laughs from the audience. What does he order? “Shots for everyone,” she said.

The room erupted in laughter. Geller replied, “It’s not funny, because it’s true.”

She said she supports Trump, LGBT rights and “freedom,” proudly calling the Republican Party “the party against jihad.”

Geller — who backs a presidential candidate who wants to deport 11 million people and ban refugees from particular racial and ethnic groups — went on to accuse the left of becoming “increasingly authoritarian.”

“You’ve got to love Trump, ’cause he gives them all the middle finger,” she said simultaneously. “His ban on Muslims from jihad nations is logical, rational and reasonable.”

Geller criticized more mainstream right-wing pundits like Bill Kristol. People in the audience shouted “cuckservative” (a popular insult in the alt-right) and “traitors!”

At one point, she stopped her speech to join the audience in a “Trump! Trump!” chant.

Like Wilders, Geller claimed “Muslim gangs” are raping young girls and threatening LGBT people in the U.S.

The GOP supports “equality for all,” she claimed, ensuring “no special treatment for special classes.”

“Islamophobia,” Geller maintained, “doesn’t exist; it’s a myth.”

The left, she added, is embracing Islamism. “It’s not PC; it’s Sharia,” Geller said.

In his speech, Milo Yiannopoulos reaffirmed many of the same points, with his characteristic narcissistic flair.

Barron introduced the Breitbart columnist as “the world’s most dangerous faggot.”

“It’s a war,” Milo began his speech, “a culture war.” He insisted that politicians should stop talking about economics and politics and instead talk about culture.

Milo argued that the left no longer defends LGBT rights, that it is only the right that does so.

“Radical Islam, or let’s say it, Islam” threatens gay people, he said, while the left is “welcoming a religion that wants us dead.”

Muslims are fundamentally incapable of integrating into capitalist democracy, Milo claimed, which he called “the only system that works.”

Milo, who is British, pointed to Europe as a “warning” to Americans. He said he will soon be traveling to Sweden to lead “a gay pride march through the Muslim ghetto in Stockholm.” A man in the audience shouted, “Bring bacon!”

Unlike the other speakers, who focused almost exclusively on Muslims and the left, Milo also made his hatred of journalists very clear.

“Most journalists are idiots,” he stated casually. He later swore that he is “dedicated to the destruction of liberal media.”

“I have the entire American media at my disposal,” he taunted at one point, listing the leading news outlets who had reporters at the party. “Fuck the lot of you; fuck you,” he said to the room full of journalists.

Milo accused the left of “shutting down free speech” with political correctness. To the room full almost exclusively of white people, he joked about his sexual preference for Black men, claiming they have big penises and do not know who their fathers are.

Trump is “the most pro-gay candidate in American electoral history,” he asserted.

“The left’s stranglehold on homosexuals is over,” Milo concluded, summarizing the underlying thesis of the event.

Outside of the event, in the early hours of Wednesday morning, protesters could be heard chanting “8-6-4-2, if you love Trump we don’t love you!”

A few dozen people gathered for a few hours, carrying a large banner reading “Queers Against Racism.” They soon began chanting, “No more queer Muslim hate!”

Salon spoke with a protester who declined to be identified. “We heard there was a gay pro-Trump event and we were like, hell no!” she explained.

She said the demonstration was not organized by a group, but rather by a collection of individuals. The protesters were from all around the country, not just Ohio, and had convened to protest the RNC.

The protesters did not like speaking with the press, so they passed out a “Queers Against Islamophobia, Racism and Fascism” handbill reading:

“There’s nothing fabulous about racism. You can’t hide racism and Islamophobia behind gayness.

Our grief is not a catalyst for xenophobia. We will not be opportunistically used to promote Trump’s rhetoric of hate.

What happened in Orlando is a result of a homegrown culture of homophobia promoted by Trump, Pence and conservatives for decades.

Racism and xenophobia further erodes the safety of LGBTQ people, many of whom are Muslims, refugees, immigrants and people of color.

We will fight for the liberation of all people!

Only self-hating gays love Trump.”

Ben Norton is a politics staff writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at@BenjaminNorton.

Do You Have A Living Doppelgänger?

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Folk wisdom has it that everyone has a doppelganger; somewhere out there there’s a perfect duplicate of you, with your mother’s eyes, your father’s nose and that annoying mole you’ve always meant to have removed. Now BBC reports that last year Teghan Lucas set out to test the hypothesis that everyone has a living double. Armed with a public collection of photographs of U.S. military personnel and the help of colleagues from the University of Adelaide, Lucas painstakingly analyzed the faces of nearly four thousand individuals, measuring the distances between key features such as the eyes and ears. Next she calculated the probability that two peoples’ faces would match. What she found was good news for the criminal justice system, but likely to disappoint anyone pining for their long-lost double: the chances of sharing just eight dimensions with someone else are less than one in a trillion. Even with 7.4 billion people on the planet, that’s only a one in 135 chance that there’s a single pair of doppelgangers.

Lucas says this study has provided much-needed evidence that facial anthropometric measurements are as accurate as fingerprints and DNA when it comes to identifying a criminal. “The use of video surveillance systems for security purposes is increasing and as a result, there are more and more instances of criminals leaving their ‘faces’ at a scene of a crime,” says Ms Lucas. “At the same time, criminals are getting smarter and are avoiding leaving DNA or fingerprint traces at a crime scene.” But that’s not the whole story. The study relied on exact measurements; if your doppelganger’s ears are 59mm but yours are 60mm, your likeness wouldn’t count. “It depends whether we mean ‘lookalike to a human’ or ‘lookalike to facial recognition software,'” says David Aldous. If fine details aren’t important, suddenly the possibility of having a lookalike looks a lot more realistic. It depends on the way faces are stored in the brain: more like a map than an image. To ensure that friends and acquaintances can be recognized in any context, the brain employs an area known as the fusiform gyrus to tie all the pieces together.

This holistic ‘sum of the parts’ perception is thought to make recognizing friends a lot more accurate than it would be if their features were assessed in isolation. Using this type of analysis, and judging by the number of celebrity look-alikes out there, unless you have particularly rare features, you may have literally thousands of doppelgangers. “I think most people have somebody who is a facial lookalike unless they have a truly exceptional and unusual face,” says Francois Brunelle has photographed more than 200 pairs of doppelgangers for his I’m Not a Look-Alike project. “I think in the digital age which we are entering, at some point we will know because there will be pictures of almost everyone online.

 

https://science.slashdot.org/story/16/07/15/2039233/do-you-have-a-living-doppelgnger