Conspiracy Theory – Sekt Info Fri, 18 Jun 2021 19:59:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Conspiracy Theory – Sekt Info 32 32 New guide launched to help challenge Covid conspiracy theories Fri, 18 Jun 2021 11:08:15 +0000

A new guide has been launched to help science communicators have conversations with people who adhere to coronavirus conspiracy theories.

The guide, launched by Sense of science, was written in partnership with Professor Peter Knight, conspiracy theory expert, University of Manchester. The goal is to equip them with the necessary tools to prevent the spread of disinformation about the virus and its spread.

Among proponents of conspiracy theories – on the origins of the coronavirus, the reality of the pandemic, the purpose of lockdowns or vaccines – people’s opinions range from general unease with mainstream media accounts, to a deep conviction of a global conspiracy.

Like everyone else, people who cite conspiracy theories have a mix of sometimes conflicting views. Those who are faced with these claims may sense the risk that trying to give someone a more substantiated account will simply cause them to become defensive and become more attached to the plot itself.

While it is harmful to indulge in completely unfounded allegations, it is also wrong to dismiss those who try to think independently – it is important that conversations bring us closer to a shared picture of what is going on.

In conversations and workshops with people who believed in some of Covid’s conspiratorial theories, or engaged with those who believed them, they told the guide’s authors what worked – and what they were doing and did not react. They also critically reviewed and added tips from the guide for having constructive conversations.

“Although presented as knowing the world well, many covid conspiracy theories actually distract people from critical thinking,” said Tracey Brown OBE, director of Sense about Science. “We are now reaching a time when the world is reflecting on the impact of pandemic measures and more people should be involved, including those who have felt completely alienated from the whole experience.”

“Whether you are a researcher in this area or not, we hope the comments help you have good conversations.

The guide can be viewed at

The guide was produced by Sense about Science and the “Infodemic: Combatting Covid-19 Conspiracy Theories” project, which was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as part of the UKRI’s COVID-19 funding. Visit the project website at

/ Public distribution. This material is from the original organization and may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View full here.

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Are COVID-19 Conspiracies a Public Health Threat? Psychological characteristics and health-protective behaviors of believers – Juanchich – – European Journal of Social Psychology Wed, 16 Jun 2021 23:07:04 +0000

We tested the link between COVID-19 conspiracy theories and health protective behaviors in three studies: one at the start of the pandemic in the UK (UK), a second just before the first nationwide lockdown, and a third during this locking (NOT = 302, 404 and 399). We focused on conspiracy theories that did not deny the existence of COVID-19 and assessed how well they predicted a range of health-protective behaviors, before and after controlling for psychological and socio-demographic characteristics associated with belief in conspiracy theory. Beliefs in the COVID-19 conspiracy were positively correlated with beliefs in other unrelated conspiracies and a general conspiracy mindset, and negatively correlated with trust in government and a tendency towards analytical thinking (compared to intuitive thinking). Unexpectedly, believers in the COVID-19 conspiracy have adhered to basic health guidelines and advanced health protection measures just as strictly as non-believers. Conspiracy supporters were, however, less willing to install the contact tracing app, get tested and vaccinated against COVID-19, and were more likely to share misinformation about COVID-19 – which could undermine public health initiatives. Study 3 found that conspiracy theorists were less willing to engage in health-protecting behaviors that were beyond their personal control, perceiving them to have a negative balance between risks and benefits. We discuss models explaining conspiracy beliefs and health-protecting behaviors, and suggest practical recommendations for public health initiatives.

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Critical Race Theory Causing Drama in Virginia Governor’s Race: Here’s Where the Candidates Stand Tue, 15 Jun 2021 23:42:19 +0000

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – The role of critical race theory in public schools is one of many issues discussed during Virginia’s election campaign for governor.

the definition of critical race theory has been blurred by political debate, but the basic idea is that America’s racist history is rooted in modern laws that continue to disadvantage certain groups.

On Tuesday, 8News asked Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin if he thinks systemic racism exists in America and if it should be taught as part of African American history in public schools.

“I agree with Senator Tim Scott who said America is not racist,Youngkin said. “There is a political agenda and it’s called Critical Race Theory. It is taught in our schools. It is dividing the children and pitting them against each other and, when I am governor, we will not teach it in our schools. We will teach the real story, the whole story, good and bad.

The debate focused on Fox News, which recently released an audio recording of former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, calling the controversy a “right-wing conspiracy” which “is totally invented by Donald Trump and Glenn Youngkin.”

Renzo Olivari, spokesman for McAuliffe, doubled down on this sentiment in a statement on Tuesday.

“As Glenn Youngkin does not have an education plan, his campaign focuses on Donald Trump’s conspiracy theories and debunked lies about Virginia’s education system,” Olivari said. “As the next governor of Virginia, Terry will increase teacher salaries, expand preschool to all 3- and 4-year-olds in need, address inequalities, and prepare Virginia students for the good jobs of the future.”

Olivari did not respond directly when asked if McAuliffe supports the integration of systemic racism into history lessons.

The conversation comes amid a larger push by the Virginia Department of Education to make African American history more precise, comprehensive, and sensitive.

It was the object of a VDOE summit which started on Tuesday Morning.

Addressing the crowd of educators virtually, Gov. Ralph Northam said he appointed a commission in 2019 to review and revamp the teaching of African American history.

The commission found that most educators had no specific training in this area, according to Northam.

“Our history is complicated and it can be difficult to talk about and teach, but it is vital that our children learn the full and complete history of the past that we all share,” Northam said.

Responding to the commission’s findings, VDOE spokesman Ken Blackstone said in a statement that changes had been made to the state’s history and social science standards to ensure that students fully understand the our country’s struggle against racism and equality.

Blackstone said a full and regular review of these standards is currently underway and updates should be considered next year. He said local school divisions are ultimately responsible for developing a specific curriculum that meets these standards.

Northam also detailed a new state law which requires everyone seeking an initial license or renewal of a license from the Board of Education to complete cultural competency training. He said it would help staff understand and respectfully interact with students from different backgrounds.

Asked about the new requirement on Tuesday, Youngkin said cultural skills training is just the code of critical breed theory.

“I absolutely believe we should be talking about how to bring people together,” Youngkin said.

Although Northam never specifically used the phrase Critical Race Theory in his remarks on Tuesday, one of the keynote speakers at the VDOE event stressed the need for students to understand systemic racism.

During a long presentation, Professor of History at Ohio University, Dr Hasan Kwame Jeffries said: “We cannot ignore it because race is socially significant. He shaped and continued to shape the contours of our lives. It creates a hierarchy. This creates privileges for some and disadvantages for others and has been so for 600 years. ”

According to Jeffries, history books have too often perpetuated false narratives and “rationalized the evil” when it comes to violence against people of color.

Jeffries said it was difficult for people to fully understand current events, such as the riot at the United States Capitol on January 6.

“You can’t make sense of the present, especially since it revolves around race is American society, because it revolves around democracy, because it revolves around the issue of white supremacy, unless you don’t put it in its proper historical context, ”he said.

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Craziest conspiracy theory of 2020 in new GM emails Tue, 15 Jun 2021 19:27:00 +0000

This is how Richard Donoghue, the senior assistant deputy attorney general, reacted to an email forwarded to him by Trump’s White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, which contained a YouTube link alleging a Large-scale electoral falsification via Italian satellites.

Yes, you read that right. Less than a month before Donald Trump handed over the presidency to Joe Biden, his chief of staff was sending links to senior Justice Department officials who claimed the 2020 election was stolen by Italians.

Although we have known “Italygate” for some time now, the emails recently released by the DOJ provide more depth and breadth as senior officials in the Trump administration were willing to go to overturn the results. elections.

Conspiracy theory – like all conspiracy theories – is difficult to trace back to its roots. The main name that appears regularly is Brad Johnson, who, according to his LinkedIn page, was a senior operations officer and station chief in the operations department of the Central Intelligence Agency and is now chairman of a group called Americans for Intelligence Reform. . (The group extremely rudimentary site seems to be a landing page for a variety of conspiracy theories – and theorists.)
In a video posted to YouTube – but later deleted by the site for breaking his community’s rules – Johnson details a large-scale plot to tip the vote in favor of Biden. Here are the allegations, according to a USA Today transcript of the Johnson video:

“The US election was changed, the results were changed in those five or six key states, and then all these voting machines were hooked up to the Internet. The Internet was then used to upload this information to these famous servers in Germany.”

“So from there those were uploaded and sent to Rome, and that’s where it happened. Once they created all the new data and manipulated all the data that came up. were there, they sent those new numbers back through that military satellite (…) and back down on all the machines here in the United States in those five or six states. “

Uh, okay. There’s also this: Maria Strollo Zack, founder of the Nations in Action group, which works to bring attention to Italygate, claims to have delivered an affidavit to “Italy’s best lawyer” and Congress (it’s unclear to whom) claiming she knew the person who “downloaded the software” (she didn’t explain further).
Basically, as far as I know, these conspiracy theorists are saying that an Italian satellite has been instructed – by an Italian company called Leonardo – to reverse Trump’s votes to Biden in major swing states. And no, I’m not kidding. This is the theory. (You can watch Zack, uh, explain everything in this crazy 30 minute video.)

It would all kind of be funny in a holy-cow-can-you-believe-people-think-like-this way if this INSANE theory didn’t reach the top level of government. Recall that the President’s Chief of Staff sent this note to Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, who then sent it to Donoghue.

And that’s not all ! As Rosen notes in response to Donoghue’s “pure madness” comment:

“Yes. After this message, I was asked to meet the FBI with Brad Johnson, and I replied that Brad Johnson could call or enter the FBI field office in Washington with any evidence he claims to have. On a follow-up call, I learned that Johnson was working with Rudy Giuliani, who viewed my comments as “an insult.” When asked if I would reconsider my decision, I flatly declined. to say that I would not give any special treatment to Giuliani or any of his “witnesses”, and I reaffirmed once again that I will not tell Giuliani any of this. “

Which is a amazing own of Giuliani by Rosen. But that’s sort of irrelevant, which is to say this: Trump’s chief of staff and personal lawyer / ally and longtime friend not only was pushing this garbage, but also relying on the damn Department of Justice to examine it!

And just as a reminder, the “it” I’m talking about is that software downloaded by an Italian defense contractor on, uh, satellites, may have changed votes in swing states in the 2020 election from Trump to Biden. .

These emails on Italygate prove that the corrosion has gone to the top of the Trump administration, as sycophants who worked for the president desperately trying to stay in his good graces pushed official government bodies to look into the matter. total madness. And all of those same people remain close to Trump, who, not for nothing, is clearly the frontrunner for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination if he wants to.

As I said above: everything would be funny if it wasn’t so serious.

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Intelligence report warns of more violence from QAnon followers Tue, 15 Jun 2021 10:50:30 +0000

WASHINGTON (AP) – A new federal intelligence report warns that followers of QAnon, the conspiracy theory adopted by some in the mob that stormed the United States Capitol, could target Democrats and other opponents policies for more violence as the movement’s false prophecies increasingly fail to come true.

Many QAnon followers believe Former President Donald Trump was fighting enemies within the so-called deep state to expose a cabal of Satan-worshiping cannibals and exploiting a child sex trafficking ring. Trump’s defeat to President Joe Biden has disillusioned some supporters of “The Storm,” a supposed calculation in which Trump’s enemies would be tried and executed. Some members now have rotated by believing that Trump is the “shadow president” or that Biden’s victory was a sham.

The report was compiled by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security and released Monday by Senator Martin Heinrich, a Democrat from New Mexico. He predicts that while some QAnon adherents will retire, others “will likely begin to believe that they can no longer” trust the plan “referenced in the QAnon messages and that they have an obligation to change status from. “Digital soldier” to real engagement. violence in the world.

As major social media companies suspend or remove QAnon-themed accounts, many followers have moved to lesser-known platforms and discussed how to radicalize new users on them, the report says.

The report says several factors will contribute to QAnon’s long-term sustainability, including the COVID-19 pandemic, with some social media companies allowing posts on theories, societal polarization in the United States, and “frequency and content. pro-QAnon statements by the public. people who figure prominently in QAnon’s core narratives.

The report does not identify any of these public figures. But Trump, who called QAnon supporters “people who love our country,” has repeatedly refused to acknowledge the election is over and has baselessly said his victory was “stolen,” despite several court rulings. and a conclusion from his own Department of Justice confirming the integrity of the election. A longtime ally told The Associated Press that Trump gave credence to a conspiracy theory that he could somehow be reinstated as president in August.

Heinrich and Senator Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., requested the assessment in December. Heinrich urged FBI Director Chris Wray at an Intelligence Committee hearing in April to release an assessment of how the government views QAnon. “The public deserves to know how the government assesses the threat to our country from those who would act violently on such beliefs,” he said at the time.

The movement around QAnon has been linked to political violence in the past, most notably during the January 6 Capitol uprising in which some rioters believed they would reverse Trump’s defeat. At least 20 QAnon followers have been charged with federal crimes related to Jan.6, according to a review of PA court records.

Some riot defendants wore clothing bearing the revealing letter “Q” when they stormed the Capitol. One of the accused, Jacob Chansley, calls himself the “QAnon Shaman” and was wearing a fur hat with horns, face paint and no shirt that day. Others had posted about QAnon on social media before the riot.

The Department of Justice arrested more than 400 people in the insurgency, in which pro-Trump rioters stormed the United States Capitol, causing approximately $ 1.5 million in damage and dispatching lawmakers run for their lives. Five people died and dozens of police were injured. The defendants argued that Trump himself encouraged them, or that they were just following the crowd, or that law enforcement allowed them in, or that they were victims of media-fueled misinformation of right.

Lawyers for some of the defendants have argued that their clients were specifically misguided by QAnon.

Defense lawyer Christopher Davis has argued that his client, Douglas Jensen, is the victim of an Internet conspiracy promoted by “very intelligent people, who were particularly endowed with low or no moral or social conscience” . Jensen now realizes that he “redeemed a bunch of lies”, argues his lawyer.

“For reasons he doesn’t even understand today, he became a ‘true believer’ and was convinced that he was doing a noble service by becoming a digital soldier for ‘Q’. Perhaps it was the midlife crisis, pandemic, or maybe the message just seemed to elevate him from his ordinary life to exalted status with an honorable purpose, ”Davis wrote.

A witness told the FBI that another accused, Kevin Strong, expressed his belief that January 6 would usher in “World War III” and that the military would be involved. Strong, who was a Federal Aviation Administration employee in San Bernardino, Calif., Had a flag with a QAnon slogan on his house and said he had “Q clearance,” an FBI agent wrote in an affidavit. .

“He had recently bought a new truck and believed QAnon would cover the debt,” the agent wrote.

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Auschwitz and the danger of the plot | Editorials Mon, 14 Jun 2021 04:55:00 +0000

By the spring of 1945, General Dwight Eisenhower had seen his fair share of war, but he was not prepared for what he saw when Allied troops liberated the Ohrdruf labor camp in southern Germany.

In the face of horror, the Supreme Allied Commander displayed remarkable foresight. He ordered photographers and film crews to enter the camp, where they documented emaciated survivors and the charred remains of prisoners who had been worked to death. Eisenhower knew that the mind-numbing cruelty of the Holocaust would one day deny that this had happened, so he commissioned graphic and powerful archival evidence that remains to this day.

Even in 2021, more than 76 years after release, the depth of suffering is hard to understand.

A major exhibit at Union Station in Kansas City offers a stark and much-needed reminder of this tragic chapter in human history. Starting today, the museum will display more than 1,000 original photos and artefacts from the Auschwitz concentration camp, including shoes, prison clothes, bunks and barbed wire.

This exhibit comes at an important time, as eyewitnesses to the Holocaust melt into history and polls show nearly 40% of Americans are unaware that Auschwitz was a death camp where 1, 1 million people died. Among those aged 18 to 29, this figure is 56%.

Those who know Auschwitz can sometimes get the wrong message. This is evident in the “Camp Auschwitz” shirt someone wore during the Capitol uprising and the politicians who seem to confuse wearing a cloth mask with the industrial-scale massacre of 6 million people. humans.

More than anything, this comes at a time when extreme voices are able to use social media to demonize and dehumanize anyone you disagree with or particularly dislike.

One of the most dangerous misconceptions about the Holocaust was that it was designed and implemented by a single madman and his minions. While they bear the ultimate responsibility, it was decades of uncontrolled rumors and hate propaganda that created the philosophical foundations to support mass murder.

If you tell enough people over time that their Jewish neighbors are no longer their neighbors but that people are doing terrible things to children or controlling the world, then it becomes easier to look away when the atrocities begin.

This is why conspiracy theories like QAnon are so dangerous. If you think the liberals or the elites in Washington have bad ideas, then you should definitely try to eliminate them. But if you believe they are committing ritualistic child abuse, a theory reminiscent of early 20th century anti-Semitic theories, then you can justify just about anything.

The Union Station exhibit shows where it can lead.

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Wuhan Laboratory Leaked: Not “Theory” Notice Sat, 12 Jun 2021 19:06:00 +0000

SARS-COV-2 – the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic – was it created (or at least turned into a weapon by being transmissible to humans and between them) in a Chinese research laboratory? Was it then released, accidentally or intentionally, from this lab to the human population? It is impossible to overstate the explosive potential of a provable “yes” answer to these two questions.

Seventeen months into the news cycle surrounding these issues (they were first mentioned publicly in a tweet on January 5, 2020), they still give off a lot of heat and very little light. And that will likely remain the case, because the “Wuhan Laboratory Leak Theory” is not a theory.

A theory must be objectively testable so that if it is false, it can be PROVEN to be false. Otherwise, it’s just a guess.

If my car keys go missing, I can assume that little green fairies (who have the power to trick security cameras) took them in the middle of the night, then forgot to put them back after I got my car out for a ride. , filling the gas tank goes back up, puts it where they found it and backs up the odometer.

My hypothesis “explains” the missing car keys. But it cannot be tampered with. If I find the keys in my jacket pocket, well, the fairies obviously put them there, idiot!

Many “conspiracy theories” are just assumptions that continually change to accommodate any evidence that might disprove them.

No, I am not saying that the “Wuhan Lab Leak” hypothesis is a far-fetched “conspiracy theory”. But it’s also unlikely to be testable or falsifiable.

On the one hand, the Chinese regime, while remarkable in many ways, is unremarkable for its likely willingness to let Western investigators search Wuhan at will, actively helping those investigators determine whether they accidentally or intentionally killed millions of human beings and dug the crater. Mondial economy.

On the other hand, regimes calling for such an investigation have long lied about just about everything (does “Saddam have weapons of mass destruction” mean anything to you? How about “the NSA does” not spying on the Americans? ”), and have already spent a great deal of time making China their last“ adversary ”. It is hard to imagine a situation in which those who WANT to believe – or hope to gain political power by selling – the “Wuhan Lab Leak” hypothesis would concede that they were wrong.

This is a hypothesis, not a theory, and it is likely that it will remain so. When it comes to assumptions, our best analysis tool is Occam’s Razor. Simple version: The explanation requiring the fewest assumptions is the most likely.

Which explanation requires fewer assumptions?

That, like most human infectious diseases (60% according to the US Centers for Disease Control), SARS-COV-2 has passed from animals to humans by random mutation?

Or that, unlike (almost – the anthrax attacks of 2001 may be an exception) to any other past illness, SARS-COV-2 was turned into a weapon in a laboratory and released into the human population?

Occam tells us to choose door number one. And common sense tells us to stop obsessing over questions we can’t hope to answer in a proven way.

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Fallen Space Force Commander defended by Representative Lamborn advanced white ‘genocide’ theory in book Sat, 12 Jun 2021 11:01:41 +0000

Then-Capt. Matthew Lohmeier, pictured July 22, 2015, as the training leader of 460th Operations Group, Block 10, stands in the standardized space trainer at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora. (Darren Scott / US Air Force)

Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier was the commander of the 11th Space Warning Squadron at Buckley Space Force Base in Aurora until last month, when he was relieved of his command following public criticism of what he called the growing influence of “cultural Marxism” in the US military. . Now his case is being reviewed by the Air Force Inspector General, while Republican politicians, including Representative Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs, have rallied to his defense.

“He’s an exceptional young man,” said Lamborn, who said he met Lohmeier last week, to conservative radio host Tony Perkins in a Thursday interview. “I think he’s the kind of person we want to keep in the military and not kick out of the military.”

As first reported by, Lohmeier was dismissed from his post on May 14 “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to lead,” a Space Force spokesperson said, according to CNN.

“This decision was based on public comments made by Lt. Col. Lohmeier in a recent podcast,” the spokesperson said. Lohmeier appeared on a May 7 episode of the right-wing “Information Operation” podcast to promote his self-published book, “Irresistible Revolution: Marxism’s Goal of Conquest and the Unmaking of the American Military”.


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In his book, Lohmeier praises the Trump administration’s efforts to crack down on diversity training programs within the Department of Defense, and he denounces what he calls the “Department’s current radical narrative of systemic racism in America.” Much of the book consists of anonymous and unfounded anecdotes which, according to Lohmeier, illustrate the “growing support for the progressive and Marxist worldview” within the armed forces. He criticizes the Biden administration’s efforts to root out right-wing extremism in the military ranks and falsely claims that the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was carried out “by a mixed group of Trump supporters and agents provocateurs of Antifa “.

Lohmeier also adopts theories widely identified by anti-extremism researchers and advocacy groups as hallmarks of white supremacist ideology. In the book’s final chapter, titled “The Wrath to Come”, Lohmeier warns of what he says are the inevitable consequences of “the rhetorical demonization of conservatives and whites in the country”.

“I always wanted the last chapter of this book to be a warning – a warning that ideas have consequences,” Lohmeier wrote. “A warning that postmodernist and neo-Marxist ideology employs vile rhetoric that stirs up rage and leads people to do terrible things. This chapter deals with fratricidal and genocidal warfare, and all the horror that that entails – because you cannot persist in the hateful demonization of entire groups of people based on their race or political affiliation without incurring anger. of genocide. To persist means that it is not a question of knowing if it will turn into violence – that it will follow like night after day. Rather, the only question left is when.

“To be perfectly clear, the path we are on as a country leads to a fratricidal and genocidal war,” Lohmeier continues. “In a disheartening irony, the politically correct, overly sensitive, racially charged and alert culture we live in prevents peaceful citizens from properly publicly identifying real threats for what they are. “

The words “genocide” or “genocide” are used 17 times in connection with these issues in Lohmeier’s book, which was published on May 10 and is currently ranked # 1 in sales in the “Military Policy” category on the site. Amazon Web.

The “White Genocide Conspiracy Theory,” According to Georgetown University Bridge Initiative, “Is the belief that the immigration of people of color, declining white birth rates and the promotion of multiculturalism are all part of a deliberate plot to destroy the” white race. ” »The Anti-Defamation League says the concept was “invented by white supremacists for propaganda purposes as a shorthand for one of the most deeply held modern white supremacist beliefs: that the white race is” dying “due to the growth of non-white populations and of “forced assimilation”.

Hosted by Air Force veteran and author L. Todd Wood, the “Information Operation” podcast on which Lohmeier appeared last month is produced by Creative Destruction Media, a far-right website that has pushed the QAnon conspiracy theory and continues to publish a wide range of debunked claims and misinformation alleging that the The 2020 elections have been stolen, that the COVID-19 pandemic was “Planned” by the “globalists”, and more.

Lohmeier did not respond to a request for comment submitted through his personal website.

GOP uproar against “critical race theory”

Lohmeier’s criticism of the US military and his removal from command comes amid growing national outcry from conservatives over “critical race theory,” a once obscure academic term which experts say is now being largely misapplied to describe everything from diversity training and teaching the history of slavery to analyzes of systemic racism and protests against police violence.

Since the start of 2021, Republican lawmakers in at least 21 states, many of which raise the specter of critical race theory, have launched efforts to “restrict education about racism, prejudice, group contributions. racial or ethnic specific to US history, or related topics, ” according to Chalkbeat.

A few days after Lohmeier’s impeachment, a group of 24 Republican members of Congress, including Lamborn and his colleague Colorado representative Lauren Boebert, sent a letter to Air Force and Space Force officials praising his “balanced criticism” of current military policies and calling for his immediate reinstatement. Lamborn at the time issued a statement that closely matched many of the attacks on critical race theory made in Lohmeier’s book.

Representative Doug Lamborn shakes hands with President Donald Trump onstage at a Keep America Great rally on February 20, 2020 in Colorado Springs. Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Cory Gardner, a first-term Republican re-elected this year, joined Trump at the rally. (Michael Ciaglo / Getty Images)

“I am increasingly concerned about the proliferation of training and discussions rooted in critical race theory throughout the Department of Defense,” Lamborn said. “This Marxist ideology teaches racial prejudice and collective guilt. The fact that he is being taught and promoted in the US military is deeply disturbing.

A Lamborn spokesperson did not respond to multiple requests for comment on whether the congressman had read Lohmeier’s book or whether he agreed with Lohmeier’s ‘genocide’ remarks White.

Lohmeier is not the only opponent of critical race theory to have recently turned to adherence to the white genocide theory. James Lindsay, a well-known right-wing scholar whose work Lohmeier cites in his book, was criticized last week by many of his Conservative colleagues after write on twitter that “there will be” a genocide of the Whites “if this ideology is not stopped”. Earlier this month, Lindsay was a featured panelist at the annual Leadership Program of the Rockies retreat, a conservative networking organization, at the Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs.

“James Lindsay is now peddling the white genocide theory,” Claire Lehmann, founder of the right-wing Quillette website, wrote on Twitter June 9. “To imply that genocide against whites in the United States is imminent has the potential to inspire racist violence. Such comments are extreme, reckless and irresponsible. They should be reported.

Lohmeier served in the Air Force for 14 years before his transfer in October 2020 to the Space Force, which was established under the Air Force Department in 2019. The 11th Space Warning Squadron , which Lohmeier commanded, is a 69-member unit tasked with overseeing satellite missile warning systems.

Following outcry from GOP congressmen over Lohmeier’s impeachment, the Air Force Inspector General said he would investigate his actions “because of the complexity and sensitivity of the issues under consideration, as well as the potential of (Department of Air Force) impact scale, ”a spokesperson says

Lamborn continued to insist in an interview Thursday that Lohmeier was “removed from his command for denouncing critical race theory.”

“If we let critical race theory, Project 1619, some of these other poisonous and destructive teachings take hold in our army… who will want to defend it?” Lamborn said. “Who is going to want to give years and years of their life, or maybe even make the ultimate sacrifice if asked, for a country so imperfect?” That’s what really concerns me about Critical Race Theory and these other treacherous teachings.


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Why is it so difficult to assess support for QAnon Fri, 11 Jun 2021 10:00:00 +0000

How many Americans believe in the QAnon plot? A recent June poll shows it’s around 15 percent. But wait, a poll from last October found it was 7 percent. But even that is high compared to an ongoing investigation which set it at 4% earlier this month.

Why the disparity? Perhaps, in an attempt to downplay QAnon’s power, a secret clique of electoral elites signed a contract with Satan and Marina Abramović to offer very different poll results… or maybe it’s just difficult to poll on QAnon.

As much as QAnon feels like a distinctly modern phenomenon, much of its tradition is rooted in conspiracy theories that have been around for decades or, in some cases, centuries (the main one is that an elite global cabal runs a satanic network of child sex trafficking and cannabilism). It’s part of what helped QAnon gain as much traction as it did, a sort of big tent conspiracy movement that combines aspects of many different beliefs. But that’s also what makes it hard to measure.

What if someone thinks a few Q ideas seem plausible? Should a poll see them as “believers?” What about Americans who endorse QAnon’s beliefs without realizing that they are associated with QAnon?

It’s hard to fathom how many people believe in QAnon

Pollsters have strategies for solving these dilemmas, but it is difficult to solve them all at once. Considering a dilemma – for example, avoiding the term “QAnon” so as not to scare people who are reluctant to share their affiliation – opens the door to another (capturing people who are not affiliated with QAnon at all) . As a result, each individual survey asks very different questions and ultimately measures different things.

Consider a recent poll of the PRRI. He asked Americans if they agreed with three separate statements, each part of the QAnon belief system, but he did not mention QAnon by name. Fifteen percent of Americans agreed with the statement “the government, media and financial world in the United States are controlled by a group of Satan-worshiping pedophiles who run a global child sex trafficking operation.” This statement is the central tenet of QAnon, but it is also not a belief unique to the movement. Fears about Satan-worshiping pedophiles predate entirely QAnon, so belief in this statement is not limited to people who follow – or have even heard of – Q, according to Mary deYoung, professor emeritus of sociology at the Grand Valley State University in Michigan. DeYoung studied the so-called ‘satanic panic’, the popular misconception in the 1980s that satanic ritual abuse of children was widespread in this country. A 1986 ABC News Poll found 63% of Americans believed members of religious sects had “too much influence in this country,” and 54% of Americans believed there should be laws against worshiping Satan, poll finds from 1987 Williamsburg Charter Foundation survey.

The other statements polled by PRRI, about a “coming storm” to “sweep the power elites” (20%) and that “the patriots could resort to violence” (15%) are not either specific to QAnon. The prediction of the “storm” mimics the apocalyptic language of evangelical Christianity, and the use of violence is said to be endorsed by a number of right-wing militias or extremists.

Natalie Jackson, PRRI’s research director, said the company had existing conspiracy theories in mind when designing the investigation and carefully crafted the statements to match what they have. found in QAnon sources. She also said that the extent of QAnon’s conspiracy topics is part of the reason PRRI focused on the beliefs themselves, rather than asking respondents to identify themselves as QAnon supporters. Someone could potentially buy into QAnon’s ideas without realizing that he is part of the movement, and PRRI wanted to capture those people’s beliefs as well. (Other polling firms have focused on beliefs rather than QAnon affiliation, and they have found similar rate at the PRRI survey.)

“The big picture here is less about QAnon himself than the people who believe in such a savage conspiracy theory. I never thought I would write a poll question like this in my career, ”Jackson said. “At this point, does it really matter that you are officially affiliated with QAnon, or is the most important thing that you think it’s a real possibility? ”

But in addition to the possibility of attributing belief in QAnon to non-QAnon conspiracy theorists, asking questions about specific beliefs can present another probing risk: expressive responses, a phenomenon where people sometimes answer questions. ‘survey with what feels closer to their opinions, rather than to what they believe to be true. Take a 2016 survey by UMass Lowell / Odyssey, where nearly a quarter of millennials said they would rather “have a giant meteor strike Earth, instantly extinguishing all human life” than Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump winning the election. In a 2020 version of the New Hampshire poll, a majority of Democrats chose the meteor on Trump winning a second term.

Joshua Dyck, associate professor of political science and director of the Center for Public Opinion at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, explained that they never believed those respondents were sincere. “The reason we asked the question is because it’s funny, and because it’s a measure of negative partisanship and expressive response – people will say something crazy!” said Dyck. “Sometimes I don’t know what to do with the QAnon response. Do people really believe in the global conspiracy, the pedophile ring, or is it just that they hate Hillary Clinton so much?

Dyck said it was difficult to get around the expressive response dilemma, but that studies have shown that offering people money, for example, can improve their ability to give factual answers and reduce the impact of expressive answers and partisan bias.

But overcoming a set of dilemmas sometimes opens the door to a new one. Joseph Uscinski, a political scientist at the University of Miami who has polled Americans about QAnon since 2018, chooses to focus on the movement’s explicit name, even if that means missing some “shy” QAnon followers.

Each of its QAnon polls asks respondents to rate conspiracy theory on a “sentiment thermometer,” from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more positive feelings. QAnon systematically notes in the mid 20s, which makes it one of the political groups least appreciated by Uscinski and his colleagues.

Uscinski points out that when Americans are asked point blank if they have heard of or believe in QAnon, the results are also consistent. In August 2019, an Emerson poll found that 5% of voters answered “yes” when asked simply, “Do you believe in QAnon? Among Americans who had heard of QAnon, 7 percent said they believed it was true, according to an October 2020 Yahoo / YouGov poll. Likewise, a Civiqs rolling tracker found that less than 10% of Americans consistently say they support QAnon and that number has declined over the past year (from 7% in September 2020 to 4% this week).

“The good news is that QAnon is not that big,” Uscinski said. “The bad news is that a lot of the wacky ideas that dominate with QAnon are huge, and they probably were long before QAnon came along.”

Asking respondents directly whether they believe or support QAnon avoids finding unrelated conspiracy theorists, but it also risks being another pitfall of polls: social desirability bias, that is, when respondents give the answer they think they sincerely believe. Jackson said some Q believers may be skeptical of pollsters to begin with, and are less likely to admit their affiliation when asked directly. Not mentioning QAnon directly may mitigate this effect. Uscinski, for his part, believes that the risk of social desirability bias with QAnon is minimal, given the shameless zeal with which the supporters seem to show their support.

The best strategy for disentangling all of these issues is to ask many types of questions, according to Dyck. Ideally, this would be done in a survey and repeated regularly with the same set of questions, but resource constraints mean this is not often practical.

Instead, these different types of questions measuring different aspects of QAnon support are spread across many different surveys. This makes it harder to draw any conclusions, but when you add up all the polls it becomes clear that the number of Americans who are really in the QAnon rabbit hole is likely low, and the number of those individuals who would be willing to act. violently on behalf of the movement is a tiny fraction of the total population. That’s not to say that QAnon isn’t a problem – it is. But the number of Americans who make up the population of True Believers is probably smaller than it sometimes appears.

Confidence Interval: QAnon is Going Nowhere | FiveThirtyEight

Why it’s so hard to survey people about the death penalty

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BenFred: Alonso’s conspiracy theory proves one thing: the gap between players and MLB owners is not improving | Ben frederickson Fri, 11 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000

I wish Alonso had picked a better talking point, like calling the owners for manipulating younger players’ duty time, or calling for a faster route to free agency. The facts support both of these views. Finding a better way to ensure that young players who are relied on a lot more of the baseball revenue pie is the kind of topic that should get a lot of attention. Instead, it’s ignored for that kind of noise.

At some point, the noise becomes the news.

Alonso’s willingness to shoot from the hip, regardless of the damage done by his megaphone comments, paints a troubling picture of the situation between the two sides of baseball as they approach a crossroads.

Players and owners continue to show little understanding of the damage that could be done to their sport if they lose a single day of the 2022 season to billionaires and millionaires arguing at the expense of fans. Other sports, some of which have left baseball in the dust, are gearing up for the 2022 seasons during the post-pandemic sports boom. Baseball cannot afford to slow down or hit.

That Alonso’s claim of a league intentionally trying to sabotage its stars has been so casually and recklessly deployed is a testament to the growing us-against-them sentiment that has grown as the current collective agreement draws near. from its end on December 1. Alonso isn’t the only player who believes the league is actively working against players. Sour feelings flow both ways. (Just wait until the owners start accusing players of maximizing injury roster time in 2021 due to their aversion to the 60-game season imposed by Manfred in 2020.)

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