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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

How fading and insipid do all Objects accost us that are not conveyed in the Vehicle of Delusion.
— Jonathan Swift, “A Digression Concerning…the Use and Improvement of Madness in a Commonwealth,” 1704

Americans have always thought themselves a practical, commonsensical people, a nation of Thomas Edisons and Henry Fords. (Never mind that industrial genius Ford was also a political crank whose treatise The International Jew, influenced Nazi race theory.) In reality, we’ve always been a nation of easy marks. As Mencken wrote: “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.”

Anybody glib and shameless enough can sell Americans damn near anything. Very few faith-healers, astrologers, crackpot diet enthusiasts, peddlers of love potions, self-anointed prophets and messiahs—not to mention political mountebanks and conspiracy theorists — have ever lacked for a large and credulous audience.

I once had a neighbor with an artificially deep, booming voice I suspected he practiced in the shower. Although a businessman, his great passion was casting horoscopes. Upon hearing my wife complain about my disorderly home office, he chortled knowingly and said, “It’s a sure thing he’s not a Virgo.”

Of the 12 signs in the Zodiac, a Virgo happens to be exactly what I am. On the cusp of Libra no less, which supposedly indicates what adepts of the rival Freudian superstition would call an “anal-retentive” passion for order.

With odds of eleven to one in his favor, he’d flubbed the dub. If you think he was embarrassed, you’ve never met a serious astrologer. There’s always a deeper, more subtle way in which something laughably wrong is actually right.

I couldn’t help but think of my former neighbor when I heard Donald Trump explain that losing the popular presidential vote by almost three million votes constituted the greatest landslide win in history.

But I digress. To me, the two most astonishing events during my lifetime have been Jonestown and Heaven’s Gate. The 1978 suicide/mass murder of 909 members of Jim Jones’ religious and political cult in the jungles of Guyana constituted the most appalling episode of group psychosis in U.S. history. Later came the 76 poor souls immolated in the Branch Davidian compound near Waco in 1993.

But for sheer nuttiness, the 1997 Heaven’s Gate episode struck me as equally bizarre—involving, as it did, not merely crackpot religion but UFOs. Thirty-nine cult members died together in the rapt expectation that a spaceship hidden behind an approaching comet would soon transport them to planet Nutball and eternal glory.

But seriously, is that any crazier than the invasion of a Washington pizza joint by an armed zealot from North Carolina last week? Thankfully, nobody died. But the ingredients for tragedy were all there: a preposterous conspiracy theory peddled by a talk show guru (and endorsed by White House appointee Gen. Michael Flynn) that supposedly involved Satanism, child sex slaves, and infanticide, and even the imagined participation of head witch Hillary Clinton and President Obama.

How crazy do you have to be to believe such rubbish?

This crazy: “When I think about all the children Hillary Clinton has personally murdered and chopped up and raped, I have zero fear standing up against her,” Infowars talk show host Alex Jones said in a YouTube video posted on November 4. “Yeah, you heard me right. Hillary Clinton has personally murdered children. I just can’t hold back the truth anymore.”

Jones, whose website currently champions his new best friend Donald Trump and the president-elect’s boon companion Vladimir Putin, later alibied that he’d spoken metaphorically about Syria. But I don’t think that’s what “personally” means.

Jones’s site also markets bottled potions promising “Super Male Vitality,” and “Brain Force Plus,” along with survivalist gear and The Unholy See, a book concerning the Vatican and “forthcoming events of the prophetic future.”

In short, one-stop shopping for every impotent Froot Loop on your Christmas list.
Just last summer, Jones provoked a panic in rural Texas with fevered allegations that the real purpose of U.S. Army maneuvers there was to install secret armies of ISIS fighters in underground tunnels connecting empty Walmart stores.

He’s also persuaded thousands that the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre in Connecticut was a “false flag” hoax aimed at confiscating their guns. Anybody believing that shouldn’t be allowed to walk off-leash in a city park, much less to buy an AR-15.

So, Alex Jones: absolutely psycho, or psycho like a fox?

We report, you decide.

However, I’d argue that “fake news” is a wholly inadequate term. Fake news is what Fox News and the New York Times too often do. The Comet Ping Pong pizza episode is more on the order of an organized psychiatric delusion—a collective mental illness. Alas, the Internet has driven a scary number of our fellow citizens back to medieval levels of superstition and credulousness.

But they can’t be reasoned out of it, only lampooned.

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152 responses to “Comet Conspiracy: Mass Delusion Is Nothing New (But Still Lucrative)”

  1. Conspiracies and the eager masses who believe them are all over the globe, but America seems to be unusually plagued by more than normal share of individuals who will abandon all reason in order to latch onto the most lurid and bizarre tales that someone conjures up.
    Perhaps this obsession with conspiracies, myths, and outrageous stories is just an new expression of something within the human psyche that finds lurid tales to explain the unknown or suspicious as morbidly exciting. Never fully emerging into emotional and mental adulthood may be a key contributing factor—the result of mediocre education, lack of a science background, and the inability to read beyond a superficial level—something that trite news outlets and programming on FOX contributes to. The GOP’s subtle messages that devalue the development of the intellect is a major factor, which would explain why so many who are easily beguiled and fascinated with conspiracies are usually Right Wing acolytes. There are those on the Left who succumb to conspiracies, but rarely does one find nuts like Dylan Roof, Trump, Bannon, and the like more eager to embrace the ridiculous and absurd than they.
    And our high tech media facilitates the rapid spread of tales and lies to reach a larger number of people at once as never before.

    Regarding superstitions and the eagerness to embrace wildly improbable whisperings, there is in a preamble to the Tablet Firdawsiyyih, in which we find the following:

    “…Most of the people in Persia are steeped in deception and idle fancy. How great the difference between the condition of these people and the station of such valiant souls as have passed beyond the sea of names and pitched their tents upon the shores of the ocean of detachment. Indeed none but a few of the existing generation hath yet earned the merit of hearkening unto the warblings of the doves of the all-highest Paradise. ‘Few of My servants are truly thankful.’ People for the most part delight in superstitions. They regard a single drop of the sea of delusion as preferable to an ocean of certitude. By holding fast unto names they deprive themselves of the inner reality and by clinging to vain imaginings they are kept back from the Dayspring of heavenly signs. God grant you may be graciously aided under all conditions to shatter the idols of superstition and to tear away the veils of the imaginations of men…”

    Although Baha’u’llah was addressing the recipient of this Tablet about conditions in Iran which were current in the 19th Century, and although He was addressing all of humanity by extension, I believe He was making a statement about the ever-present possibility for anyone to fall prey to unreasonable and fanciful tales, without investigating closely the source and the veracity of such tales.
    Muhammad made allusions to this in Surah Falaq, a short Surah near the end of the Qur’an; and elsewhere in that Book, He warns not to listen to idle whispering.

    • dbtheonly says:

      GM Aaron,

      First off, are Americans uniquely subject to mass delusions or merely seeing those delusions close to home. Perhaps Helpy could shed light on the issue?

      Next, does it strike you as bizarre as it strikes me, that in an article about delusions, the author blithely asserts that the New York Times routinely deals in fake news?

      A meme of both TPL and TPR, if you can’t trust news sources, then the “legitimate” news is that received from trusted sources i. e. those that already agree with you. And there lay your “pizzagate” endorsers, your anti-vaccination believers, your climate change deniers, your global business conspiracyists, etc.

      • FireBaron says:

        db, remember, the NYT has never encountered a scandal that mentions the Clintons that they have not immediately fell in love with!

        • dbtheonly says:

          Hopefully they’ve found the cure to CDS. “Trumpaid” cures it every time.

          More seriously though, if the RWMO can create a “scandal du jour” on any Democrat at any time; will we ever be out of that cycle?

      • Mass delusions have occurred across the globe—ISIS and Al-Qaida are masters of delusions, as was the leader of a Japanese cult that released Sarin on a crowded subway; various nihilistic rebel forces in Asia, Africa, the Americas are other examples of those who concoct elaborate tales based on fancy and bald-faced lies and peddle these tales with no rational explanations.
        And now, the nihilism of Trump and that of the alt-right have taken up the cause of creating lies and spinning webs of delusions and myths.

    • Gene Lyons says:

      For the record, Jonestown was a Left Wing delusion.

      • Mama Bear says:

        I lost a cousin there, so that lie is disgusting and offensive. I saw his body, I read the autopsy.

      • Zengo says:

        How was it a “Left Wing Delusion”?

        • Gene Lyons says:

          Read up on it. Jonestown was a utopian community built on explicitly “Socialist” principles.

          • Zengo says:

            But I think the “Socialist principles” weren’t the issues, it was the madman in charge that was the problem

          • Gene Lyons says:

            It’s easy to forget that madmen (and their deluded followers) come in all flavors.

          • dtgraham says:

            Madmen stand alone. They’re not a partisan, political, flavour. At least not mainstream. You were one of the National Memo writers that had Bernie Sanders accused of virtually everything including making Trump University free, while giving Hillary a warm tongue bath every day. Now, Bernie’s social democratic philosophy is apparently the cause of mass religious killings as well.

            You just hated that Bernie Sanders had strength of conviction and fought like heck for his liberal/progressive beliefs. Not to worry Gene. Hillary Clinton also believed things probably.

          • “Socialist”? What sort of balderdash is that? Are you saying that the Right Wing is opposed to the principles of Jesus? Had you never known of Him, and been introduced to His sayings and Life, you would be callous enough to brand Him as a socialist.
            Conservatism dulls the senses and induces dim-witted analysis of events.
            Just to familiarize you with the incident, a Christian minister(Rev. Jim Jones) promised a group of people who were desperate for a better life to drink some kool-aid laced with poison and promised that they would attain relief. That is NOT socialist, but to your heartless and satanic way of thinking, and as a testament to your total lack of compassion for those who were taken advantage of by this minister, your depraved nature leads you to frame the tragedy in political terms. You are as despicable as you are ignorant.Were these the values of your parents?

          • CPANY says:


            I’m continually amazed by the vehemence with which some people attack contributors who don’t agree with them. There’s a female contributor to this website who uses foul language on a regular basis. To me, she comes off as a jerk.

            Now I see your reply to Gene Lyons and I’m reminded of the female contributor.

          • I feel obliged to strongly rebuke those whose sole aim is not to seek clarification but to score points like yourself. As I’ve noticed from your many posts, your goal and frame of reference is to just say whatever suits your fancy—that doesn’t make for a good conversation. rather, it’s a form of grand-standing and seeking to assert yourself.
            Try basing your comments from a moral frame of reference than a political one and you may find yourself getting positive responses.
            It won’t hurt you to try, I guarantee you that.

          • CPANY says:

            You operate from a moral frame? You are truly a pompous ass.

          • Name-calling is a byproduct of a juvenile mind. The fact that you’re an adult(is that correct?) and resorting to the puerile practice of name-calling is a sure sign of a vapid mind unable to come up with anything of substance.
            What is your moral frame of reference, if any? Please share it with me so that I can better align mine with yours.

          • dbtheonly says:

            Hey Aaron,

            Jesus as a socialist was quite an issue some 40 years ago. I remember quite clearly, being told that just ’cause the Apostles lived in a community, held all things in common, and rejected the pursuit of money, that didn’t make them communists or hippie freaks. Needless to say, I flunked Sunday School that year.

            I view Libertarianism as being the true anti-Christ religion. The goal of money and power just is so opposed to what Jesus stands for. I can’t see a Libertarian passing the “Good Samaritan Test”, can you? Probably kick the guy in the teeth and call him a “taker”.

          • CPANY says:

            “Balderdash”? Aaron, you are either an academic or a total head case. On second thought, maybe you’re just a garden variety nut.

          • I thank you for your usual diatribe. It allows me and others here to be reminded of the deep mental disturbance and a bankruptcy of spirituality, and gives a glimpse into the restraints placed on the mind once one becomes mired in partisan drivel.

            Thank you again.

          • CPANY says:

            Balderdash. What a jerk you are.

            You and “Beethoven” strike me as fatuous academics. You’re both overly verbose and obviously like the sound of your own voice.

      • Gene, a delusion is a delusion. Calling it Left Wing or Right Wing doesn’t alter the delusion. Are you that daft and deficient in mentality that your mental macular degeneration focuses everything you see in terms of “Left” and “Right”?
        Little wonder that nothing much in the way of intelligence issues from the mouths of those shackled with your way of thinking. Don’t be a slave to ignorance(the absence of knowledge), and aspire to better yourself and your mental capacity.

        • CPANY says:

          “Mental macular degeneration” sounds good, but it’s meaningless.

          • It’s a figure of speech. Do some more reading and study on the use of alliterations and metaphors. They’re used quite frequently in the Bible and other Religious texts.
            Did you learn anything in school??

          • CPANY says:

            Yes. I learned to ignore pompous jackasses like you.

          • Meaningless to those who can’t decipher metaphors and are uneasy with alliteration. Shallow thinkers like yourself are so one-dimensional that if something isn’t couched literally, then they get lost. Which is why all the Messengers of God all relied on allegories and metaphors to not only express higher concepts in terms people were accustomed to, but used them to separate the “chaff from the wheat”.

          • CPANY says:

            Snotnose Aaron:

            You believe that there are messengers of God? I pity you if you do. You would probably also believe in the tooth fairy and the great pumpkin.

            I’m more inclined to say what I mean and dispense with the pseudo intellectual attempts to impress people with my knowledge. “Mental macular degeneration” isn’t a good metaphor. You use it to impress others with your non existent knowledge. Just for the record, are you aware that the macular is just the center of the retina? I didn’t think so.

            Your turn, jerk.

      • dbtheonly says:

        Was it, or does the label lose meaning at a certain level of wackiness?

    • CPANY says:

      Baha’u’llah? You’ve convinced me, Aaron of whatever. You haven’t the slightest idea of what you’re talking about.

    • CPANY says:


      You and your stupid Middle East religion leave me cold. You practice your pseudo intellectual religion to hide your unwillingness to come to grips with the real world.

      You and your co-religionists are the stuff of which terrorists are made.

      • You were always cold, and no one’s Religion is stupid by the way. Your assessment is the result of a deprived upbringing that taught disrespect for other’s belief, and no matter how I put the reality of “The Oneness of Religion”, you constantly fail to get the message. A barrier blocks your assimilation of enlightenment, therefore you are left cold.

        By the way, is your religion the belief in your own self, like Trump’s religion? Or are you altogether amoral??

        And a Merry Christmas to you as well.

        • CPANY says:


          Your overly long responses betray your pompous nature.

          Since you’re not a Christian, your wishing me a merry Christmas is inappropriate.

          • dbtheonly says:

            Actually Aaron’s wishing you a Merry Christmas is exactly correct. You will be celebrating Christmas. Arron, rightly, wishes you the joy of the holiday you will observe.

            A Christian would not wish a Jew a Merry Christmas. But the reverse is entirely appropriate.

  2. Dominick Vila says:

    What Donald Trump sold, and many among us bought, was a chimera of exuberant prosperity without the need to sacrifice anything to enjoy its benefits. Promises such as bringing back jobs lost as a result of automation and more efficient processes, making other countries pay for what we want, ridding the country of people undeserving of the freedoms and opportunities that should be limited only to the privileged ones, a promise to solve many of our economic problems by getting rid, or re-negotiating trade agreements in a way that benefit the USA at the expense of our trading partners, a convoluted vision of punishing foreign heathens mixed with isolationist harangues, the traditional claim that the solution to all our ills is to give more tax breaks to the business community and the elite who will eagerly share their bounty with the rest of us, and the promise to repeal or privatize social programs that help our most vulnerable citizens because they are based on an evil concept called socialism that must be rejected before it destroys us, are the essence of American conservatism. Absent from this menu of populist themes, more often than not, advanced by a robust and highly effective disinformation campaign, and accepted at face values by those who don’t seem to understand that the prosperity being promised is going to be achieved on their backs, are policy proposals such as raising the minimum wage, free college tuition, effective control of rising medical costs, investment in alternative energies, investment in projects designed to at least mitigate the effects of global warming, and other proposals that would have an immediate impact on the average American. To their credit, the same people who rejected President Obama’s proposal to invest in infrastructure to make us more competitive, modernize the country, and create jobs, suddenly decided that appropriating funds to pay for such endeavor is no longer a problem, and lifted the spending caps used to deny it during the last 8 years one week after Trump became President elect.
    For far too many, the decisions are not based on the impact of effective conspiracies, but on the belief that the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world is in decline, and the allure of achieving greatness without sacrifice.

    • FireBaron says:

      Sorta reminds us of Dubya’s admonition on September 10th of 2001 – “Go Shopping!” Advice totally divorced from the reality of the event. Much the same way that close to 3,000,000 more people were NOT deluded by this charlatan and snake-oil salesman (although I do apologize to any charlatans and snake-oil salesmen who feel insulted when compared to Teflon Donnie), but he did manage to convince enough in many states where the blue-collar workers lined up to vote against their own self-interests.
      Now they have Union Busters, Vulture Capitalists, Public Education Opponents, and Libertarians who will do all they can to remove wealth from the common folks, all they while telling them how great they would have it if only “those other people” weren’t around to siphon all the benefits THEY should be receiving!
      Yep, it’s gonna be a fun four years, plus however long it takes us to dig out from that hole we will have collectively dug,

      • dbtheonly says:


        Err, that was the 12th.

        And I disagree that the next four will be fun. I keep wondering how long I can stay in drunken oblivion. I plan to start 1/20/17.

        • dpaano says:

          I may have to join you, but I’m starting MUCH sooner! Every day when I read the news, I get sick to my stomach! Maybe if I’m three sheets to the wind, I can get through the day without taking a Prilosec

          • mike says:

            Your remarks have always looked like you were three sheets to the wind as to content. Your brain has been pickled for years from alcohol, so what’s new.

        • PrecipitousDrop says:

          Build a still.
          It only takes a couple of days.
          Start now. You’ll have 10 to 12 jugs by 1/20/17, and more every day after that.

          • Dominick Vila says:

            Careful. Don’t forget that our President elect loves Duterte, the Philippines President that has been executing those inclined to use placebos to cope with the misery of their daily lives.

    • mike says:

      Keep your head buried in the sand.
      What you on the left can’t comprehend is without strong economic growth this country will not survive. Believing infrastructure is the answer to all shows how delusional the left thinks. Obama made little to no effort to change our economic direction.
      If trump does move the U.S. Economy it will be years before the Dems improve their feeble power as exhibited now. Not since the late twenties has the democrats been so powerless. Under obama Dems have lost 800 state legislature seats, down to just 15 governorships, House lost, Senate lost, plus presidency. Then we hear this week that the saviors of the party are Pelosi, Schummer, Biden and Obama, the same people who oversaw the collapse of the party. What a joke. Talk about delusion.
      Does Trump have a tough road ahead? Yes! Are the American people willing to give Trump a chance? Yes!
      What is interesting now is right direction of country has jumped from mid to high twenties before election to now 35%.
      Face it, Hillary blew it with a lousy campaign based on past failures much like your post. Like you and the rest on the left you had no earthly idea what the rest of the country was thinking. You social-warriors were clueless. 3141 counties in U.S. and Hillary won only 57. Wake up you lefties get your head out of where the sun doesn’t shine.

      • 788eddie says:

        We have good economic growth, Mike. Listen to the economic commentary; the U.S. economy is, right now, the strongest in the world!

        Let’s hope that, under our new President, it stays that way.

        • mike says:

          Really? STRONG economic growth? In the 3%+? If so, Hillary would have won. “Strongest in the world” means very little to the middle class who have taken the brunt of obama’s policies.
          People see and feel the 2.1 percent growth rate-4th lowest growth rate of any president, well below the average postwar 2.9 percent. Obama can claim those 76 months of Job growth but when participation rate is added job growth under this president is 1%. Poor performance indeed.
          Keep drinking the kool-aid.
          In fact, Obama will go down in history as the only president not to reach 3% GDP growth while in office.

          • CPANY says:


            Please respond to “Precipitous drop’s” submission.

          • mike says:

            Sure did.

          • 788eddie says:

            By next year, we’re gonna wish for growth like this. Remember that this growth was coupled with low inflation. Our economy is still rated as the strongest in the world at this time. I’ll take that any day.

            As for the middle class, they’ve taken the brunt of the Republican Congress’ policies, not President Obama’s.

            I think that by next year, we’re going to wish we could’ve had a third term of President Obama.

          • mike says:

            Thanks for the laugh. Love to
            read delusional post from you and your ilk.
            Stay in La La Land.
            If the growth was that great, which it isn’t/wasn’t, Hillary would have been elected.
            Obama bombed on economy, foreign affairs, and his legacy is toast.

          • 788eddie says:

            Easy to see why the term “fake news” was created for the rabid-right; they wallow in it.

            As for President Obama, the facts and statistics regarding the economy have already been published for all to see. Too late to deny them.

          • mike says:

            Yes, Obama facts are out there but were ignored by Hillary and voters. If they are as good as you claim she would be waiting her coronation.
            End of story.

      • PrecipitousDrop says:

        Um, Mike?
        You admire the economic policies of Bush 43?
        Please, tell me more about how great is was when the mortgage market collapsed and 2 million people lost their jobs in the last three months of 2008. Tell me how two unfunded wars and the (unfunded) largest Medicare expansion to date padded the treasury.
        Do go on.
        I’m all ears.

        • CPANY says:

          Has Mike replied yet?

        • mike says:

          Now there you go trying to put words in my mouth. I never said I admired Bush economic policies. More delusional thinking from you.
          It seems you also have your head up where the sun doesn’t shine about the meltdown. Anyone with half a brain who had done any research at all would have known that Bush was PART of the problem but far from the only problem. You seem to ignore that Bush warned Congress and your old buddies Dodd and Frank who said Fannie and Freddie were just fine and were threatening to block anything going forward. 17 times bush went to congress for tighter regulations on GSE’s. You ignore John Mc Cains bill that would have prohibited GSE’s from speculating on mortgaged-based securities and was opposed by all democrats in Senate Banking Committee. So save me your outrage about the economic meltdown. Many were at fault not just Bush.
          So democrats had nothing to do with the MMA, Right? But yet it was passed on a bipartisan vote. But it is all 43’s fault. How ridiculous and stupid on your part.
          You and Dom belong together both of you are either disingenuous or clueless.

          • Sand_Cat says:

            You guys just love to cite phony numbers, don’t you? You think it makes you sound smart to say Bush went to Congress 17 times, or so and so voted to raise taxes 29 times, or some equally absurd staement? It makes you sound like you’re relying on lies written by people even more ignorant and delusional than you.

          • mike says:

            Stay in denial it is so typical of you on the left.
            If you had a better response with facts you would have.
            No ignorance and delusion is all yours.
            Hey sand cat when’s the coronation? ????

      • Dominick Vila says:

        The DOW Index is at record highs, companies are posting healthy profits, unemployment is almost at full employment levels, salaries are rising, and you continue to talk about a stagnant economy? I bet your tune will change the day Trump is Inaugurated, probably before he finds his way to the Oval Office.
        The real question is how long is the economic boom we are seeing going to last? If Trump gets the funding needed to invest in infrastructure, the same funding that Congress denied to President Obama to ensure he was a one-term President, economic growth will probably continue for a couple of years. If he engages in far right economic policies similar to those embraced by W, deficit spending will increase immediately, fraud will become the order of the day, inflation and interest rates will go up, the real estate market will collapse, and consumer spending will go down. Much depends on how generous Congress is to the Donald, and the actions he takes. Time will tell.

        • CPANY says:

          With a Republican Congress, Trump should have no excuse for failure in the economic sphere. Foreign policy, labor, etc., are another story.

          • Dominick Vila says:

            It all depends on what our priorities are. On foreign policy, if our priority is to keep our sons and daughters in the military safe by avoid meddling in the internal affairs of countries where we are not welcome, President Obama’s policies have been a resounding success. What remains to be seen is how the appointment of nominees opposed to the services rendered by the Departments and agencies they are about to lead, is going to affect our well being, our environment, safety in the workplace, limit the probability of fraud, preserve institutions – such as public education – that have helped the middle class become the force it is today, and other such matters.

          • mike says:

            Only success Obama has is the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Syrians with his decision to ignore his own “red line” and not destroying the Syrian Air Force sitting on the ground.
            Obama has been a total failure.

          • CPANY says:

            A real success would be for us to get out of the Middle East entirely. Leave the warring parties entirely to their own devices and buy oil at the lowest price.

        • mike says:

          Stagnant economy? Never said that. So typical of you.
          Obama never had 3% GDP as all other presidents have.
          His policies were anti-business from day one.
          “Almost Full employment” you should know it’s growth that will determine U.S. Success.
          “Economic boom” you really are delusional.
          “Infrastructure” you are a joke. His first term he was given about 800+ billion for “shovel ready jobs” and then laughed later saying there were not as “shovel-ready” in a meeting with Immelt and his council on jobs.
          As to rest of your post, BS.

      • Sand_Cat says:

        Apparently you think you can see us by looking “where the sun doesn’t shine,” because that’s clearly where the offal you just posted comes from.
        Take your own advice.
        Could it be that Trump has “a tough road ahead” because he is a self-worshipping, willfully ignorant sociopath who has no idea how to govern or do much else other than lie like a champ, stiff his investors and workers, use undocumented workers, and otherwise engage in all of the things he speaks so loudly against?
        Maybe you should get your own head out of the darkness before you criticize anyone else.

        • mike says:

          Never thought you to be a whiny little loser. I see you are still thinking stupidly.
          Your problem going forward is watching the economy growing and the left looking more feeble.
          No, your head is where the sun doesn’t shine and that worries me you missing out on the beautiful Christmas lights and music.
          Merry Christmas!
          I truly hope all is well with you and 2017 is the best year ever.

    • CPANY says:

      I think that Hillary lost because her seedy reputation caught up with her.

      All the reasons that you cite are irrelevant: the “average American” just doesn’t like her sleazy ways.

      • Joan says:

        “Sleazy ways”, the fact that a Trump supporter can, with what I assume is a straight face, decry any behavior of Mrs Clinton is proof positive that irony is lost on the Trumpeteers. Either that, or COPANY, is confused about what sleazy means.

        • Dominick Vila says:

          You saved me the need to reply. Thanks!

        • CPANY says:

          I voted for Clinton, but only because she represented the lesser of two evils. I some ways, she is very close to Trump in her past behavior.

          I can understand why Trump received so many votes: the concept of the anger of the dispossessed is not a false one. I can also understand the anger of women at the result: Clinton represents what they believe was their best chance to date to elect a woman president.

          The idea is to elect the best choice president, regardless of gender. Clearly, in 2016 that endeavor failed. Perhaps if the American female voters had chosen a better person to support, we would now have a female president-elect.

          • That doesn’t excuse your egregious lack of assessing Hillary while blithely ignoring Trump and basing your allegation on fake news and lies retold by Breitbart and Trump, respectively.
            You obviously have a warped sense of what is real, and are confused about what is fake versus real. Don’t base opinion solely on the basis of what others say and ascertain the facts and use good judgement—eschew information from sources that have axes to grind.

            “O Son of Spirit! The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice. Turn not away therefrom if thou desirest me and neglect it not that I may confide in thee. By its aid, thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others, shall know of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor. Ponder this in thy heart, how it behooveth thee to be. Verily Justice is My gift to thee, and a sign of My loving kindness. Set it then before thine eyes.

            (Baha’u’llah, from “The Hidden Words”)

          • CPANY says:

            Baha’u’llah, What the hell does that gibberish mean?

          • Beethoven says:

            You might be able to reduce some of your ignorance if you would take the time and effort to look up information on the Baha’i religion, though I doubt that would do any good in your case. While I don’t share Aaron’s religious beliefs, at least I do know enough about them to respect his right to believe as he does. And I consider his beliefs quite a bit more reasonable than the beliefs of the majority of people I have to associate with on a daily basis.

          • CPANY says:

            You are a pompous ass.

            I don’t deny Aaron his right to practice his religion. I don’t care what his beliefs are.

            I asked him what the gibberish Baha’u’llah means.

          • PrecipitousDrop says:

            How is it that you do not know Baha’u’llah?
            Is your Google broken?

          • CPANY says:

            I did Google it. It sounds like some whacky Middle East religion that originated in Persia, but is now centered in Israel.

          • CPANY says:

            Aaron bubbla:

            What a pompous a$$hole you are.

            I hate Trump’s guts because of his egregious use of the bankruptcy laws.

          • Sand_Cat says:

            Let’s hear the evidence, not your attempt at self-exculpation.

          • Joan says:

            You do realize that Mrs Clinton was the Democratic Party nominee and not the estrogen party candidate. Thank you so much for your patently ridiculous assertion that a Trump Presidency was somehow the fault of women. I did not vote for and support Mrs Clinton because of my vagina or hers. Mrs Clinton was the best candidate running and our only hope of combating climate change and for immigration, criminal justice and taxation reform and fairness; none of which are “women’s issues”. Her behavior is as much similar to Trump’s as mutton is to roast beef. What you characterize as sleazy was a well orchestrated smear campaign which started years ago. Trump and his cabal amplified the lies because he and his team perfected projection.

          • CPANY says:

            Trump is a blowhard and Hillary is a crook.

          • Joan says:

            Happy Holidays, bless your misinformed heart.

      • Mama Bear says:

        could you please show me your research on these allegations? And do not include fake news, Fox Entertainment, Breitbart or Daily Stormer. Please show us chapter and verse and if you cannot then shut the f$^% up and get back on your barcalounger before you miss the whole cartoon show.

      • dpaano says:

        Hillary was believed to have a “seedy reputation” only by those who read these false news stories, listened to RW news programs, and believed everything the GOP told them…..everyone else, and that’s MOST of us, know better! Keep living in your fantasy world, okay?

        • CPANY says:

          Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. With Hillary, there’s lots of smoke.

          But, with all that, she’s still a better choice for president than Trump.

      • And Trump doesn’t have a seedy reputation? You must be out of your cotton-picking mind. Before posting, make sure the switch to your brain is in the “ON” position.

        • CPANY says:

          Of course he does. That’s why I voted for Crooked Hillary.

          • CPANY, we don’t care to know who you voted for. In a democracy that isn’t required of you to tell us how you voted—in fact, it diminishes the very concept. But you’re much too infatuated with yourself to realize that.
            Do you think that by publicly announcing who you voted for that this adds to the conversation? How trite and tedious you’ve become in your waning years.

          • CPANY says:

            Who is “we”? Do you consider yourself to be the leader of some group that judges others?

            A silly jerk like you would be hard pressed to find anyone to lead.

      • Sand_Cat says:

        Same challenge as everyone else like you gets:
        Please list ONE important scandal for which there is real evidence. Name ONE act of Hillary’s the carries a criminal penalty.
        None of the made up stuff; something REAL.
        Hillary’s “reputation” is a product of a 20+ year hate campaign against her by seriously dishonest or sick people (or people who are both).
        The fact that YOU believe the crap they produced says far more about YOU than about her.

        • CPANY says:

          Whitewater. Benghazi. Vince Foster’s murder, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

          • PrecipitousDrop says:

            18 investigations.
            $200 million taxpayer dollars.
            The best, brightest, and fiercest GOP prosecutors.
            et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

            Zero evidence of malfeasance.
            Zero reprimands.
            Zero indictments.

          • Beethoven says:

            The obvious conclusion for anyone with an ounce of sense and ability to think logically is that either all the accusations against Hillary were lies, or all the GOP congressmen and their staffs are incompetent at their jobs.

          • Such trivial and inane listing of disparate events—Benghazi a conspiracy? Your out-of-control imagination make you a perfect tool for conspiracy manufacture.

      • Thoughtopsy says:

        Yeah… I get you, buddy,

        Grabbing women’s pu$$ys whenever you feel like it and forcing yourself on them is so very very much classier.

        I can see why you “average Americans” just lapped it up.
        It matched your upbringing.

        A woman in charge didn’t.

        • CPANY says:

          You don’t get it, do you? Both candidates were flawed. I voted for Hillary because she was the lesser of two evils. I didn’t like her. Never have. I think that she’s a greedy grifter.

          As to Trump: he’s an incompetent boob who seems intent on embarrassing the country to see just how far he can go in putting capitalist sleazebags in high positions. He doesn’t have any respect for the United States. I don’t believe that he’s aware that Putin is making a fool of him in front of the entire world.

        • CPANY says:

          I don’t like Trump, either. Hillary’s a crook and Trump is a blowhard. They both stink.

          And you’re a dipsh$t.

  3. Michael Allen says:

    I am glad that Gene Lyons specifies the New York Times as a purveyor of fake news. When more people realize that this “newspaper of record” has generated, at least since the Whitewater campaign of 1992, “fake news” we will all be better served. More people need to call the newspaper to task, and force them to practice true journalism, rather than print front page articles loaded with innuendo, false information, and outright lies; to devote space to cover policy rather than fake “scandals”; to present as news the fact that so much bullshit and lies are presented to the consumers of the mainstream media. As the online NYT says, “Journalism that matters. More essential than ever.”

    • FireBaron says:

      More specifically, Michael, the NYT will believe anything anyone tells them about the Clintons. They don’t need evidence to go after the couple that had the audacity to snub them during the 1992 campaign. After all, they are the Grey Lady! The preeminent journalistic institution of the country! And who were this pair of hicks from Arkansas (Have they really been readmitted to the Union since Reconstruction?) to treat the NYT the same as other papers!!!
      Anything anyone brings to them about any other public figure better have at least two tractor-trailer loads of evidence before they devote one column-inch to their foibles. The Clintons? Just one scratchy phone call, and you get three pages of rehashed scandal!

    • Blueberry Hill says:

      People should just cancel the subscriptions and not even buy any news organization who is spreading fake news. Enough is enough of that crap. We want real news. Fakers can just fade away.


      • dpaano says:

        I agree, but who can really tell WHICH news organization is or is not spreading false information lately?

        • PrecipitousDrop says:

          Which news sources don’t spread false info?
          Generally, it’s the ones that print or broadcast retractions when they get something wrong.

        • Blueberry Hill says:

          Well, we can start with the ones we know and fan out from there. Every time we find Fake News, delete that one. Soon they will lose enough business to stop lying to us if they want to make any money. Of course, FOX is at the top of the list.


    • dpaano says:

      There’s not too many newspapers or other media out there that people can honestly believe especially when you look at who owns these media sources. We can’t even believe journalists any longer…..I really miss Cronkite and Russert!!! At least when they spoke, you know you were getting the real thing!

  4. Ben Franks says:

    How can we be amazed by the referenced gullibility when even the author and some 80% of the people of this country believe that their lives are controlled by an imaginary man in the sky.

    • Dominick Vila says:

      …born in the Middle East, and a man who wore the same garb our zealots now ridicule.

      • PrecipitousDrop says:

        Jesus founded ISIS!

        • Dominick Vila says:

          …and Reagan was a socialist! 🙂

        • You’ve dropped off the edge alright. It’s a long way down, and I hope your parachute opens. Or is that an anvil strapped around your waist??

          • PrecipitousDrop says:

            You need to have somebody take a look at your Snark-O-Meter, Aaron.
            It’s on the fritz again.

          • Whatever. Your sensors are faulty—anything or anyone who refutes your drivel is a snark. Why not elevate your responses beyond simple reptile-like retorts and seek to offer some insight showing a way forward. For you, and others like you, it’s far easier and less mentally taxing to react with vitriol, rather than take your time to reflect and respond in a thoughtful and adult manner.
            Turn off your Partisan-Politics motor, and substitute it with a more restrained, contemplative modus operandi.

          • PrecipitousDrop says:

            Settle down Aaron.
            I don’t disagree with you.

            P.S. Is everybody getting your attention today, or…?

    • dpaano says:

      Why would you worry about who people believe in…..if believing in a spiritual being makes them happy, then why should you worry about it? I respect everyone and their beliefs, you need to do the same. Just because you do not believe doesn’t mean that everyone else has a problem. Sorry, have to disagree with your post, but I respect your right to believe what YOU want to believe.

  5. towercam says:

    CAN’T WAIT ’til Alex Jones gets his. He’s a stinking dirty crook.
    I’ll celebrate on news of his demise.

  6. jakenhyde says:

    Jones is obviously a nut case and should be hospitalized. And those who actually believe even one single word that he utters should also be hospitalized.
    I thought/think Glenn Beck is nutty. But Jones makes Beck look like a pip squeak by comparison.

  7. Thomas Martin says:

    Straight-jacket time for him and his followers.

  8. Eleanore Whitaker says:

    Men in the south and midwest seem to all have these bloated egos and for what I might ask? Most of them caterwall they are unemployed. Sure they are. Who works in coal mines these days?

    As for them being the new poor, white male minority that’s BS. The DOL’s 2016 report shows that women are still earning 80 cents for every $1 white males earn. The next guy who whines about being a white male minority will have my size 6 shoe hanging out of his butt. That ought to help him find a job.

  9. Stuart says:

    It nice to see at least one modern columnist who has read Mencken — Molly Ivins’ previous incarnation.

  10. Otto T. Goat says:

    Cult leader Jim Jones was buddies with Harvey Milk, Diane Fienstein, and Jerry Brown.

    • OK, Einstein—What does that prove? What relevance does your nonsense comparison have to deal with the subject of Conspiracy manufacturing—something you subscribe to whole-heartedly??
      I hope Santa brings you a brain—your neural network is aging and needs replacement, and the Tin Man should donate his heart to replace your faulty one.

    • phil_z says:

      Define buddies. You mean he knew them and they knew him? I know the president of my educational institution. Have spoken to him. Have done his bidding (worked at my job). Is that the kind of buddies you mean? And just about every politician has to kiss up to the clergy, no matter how crazy they seem (are), or the sheep will not vote for them.

      • Otto T. Goat says:

        “Harvey Milk was a strong advocate for Peoples Temple and Jim Jones during his political career, including the tumultuous year leading up to the Jonestown tragedy. Milk spoke at the Temple often, wrote personal letters to Jim Jones, contacted other elected officials on the Temple’s behalf, and used space in his weekly column to support the works of the Temple, even after the negative New West article went to press. Milk appeared in the pages of the Peoples Forum, the Temple newspaper, and received over fifty letters of sympathy from the residents of Jonestown when his lover, Jack Lira, killed himself in September 1978.

        It is readily apparent from the letters and historical memorabilia that Milk and the Temple enjoyed a mutually supportive relationship until their concurrent deaths.”

        “More often than not, however, I found that all of my friends were as enthusiastic as I was about Peoples Temple. During the last five years of its existence in San Francisco, Peoples Temple had grown in influence and acceptability in the community. On many occasions the church was visited by prominent politicians: Governor Jerry Brown, Lt. Governor Mervyn Dymally, Assemblyman Willie Brown, John and Phil Burton, Supervisor Dianne Feinstein, Mayor George Moscone. With the election of Moscone as Mayor of San Francisco, the group entered a new phase in the life of the community. Rev. Jones was appointed to the Housing Authority. He also was able to place the chief counsel of the church in the district attorney’s office of San Francisco.

        It was about this time that I learned that Jones had obtained positions for himself and members of the church in various political appointments, back when the congregation had its headquarters in Redwood Valley.”

  11. Otto T. Goat says:

    Comet Ping Pong’s owner James Alefantis has made pro-pedophilia statements.

  12. Donna Gross says:

    WOW! Gene… much did they pay you to write this TRUE FAKE News? People decades before Jones have been trying to expose the child trafficking and pedophilia going on in DC and thru out this country and world.

    And after reading this……the quote…..”thou does protest too much”……comes to mind. Clearly you did not do your research. Were you handed a script of what to write?

    • PrecipitousDrop says:

      “Clearly you did not do your research.”
      HAW HAW HAW (Gasp!) HAW HAW HAW (Wheeze!) HAW HAW HAW (Snort!) HAW HAW HAW

    • Thoughtopsy says:

      You want to attack this story and the best you can come up with is a limp ad-lib with nothing at all behind it?


      Alex Jones would’ve done better… all while he’s busy scrubbing all the Pizzagate crap off his site in case he gets a sudden case of the “accessory-after-the-fact to murder” charges if any more of his idiot listeners decide to take assault weapons into retail outlets.

  13. Chuckl8 says:

    Some editing is needed: “Of the 12 signs in the Zodiac, a Virgo happens to be exactly what I am.” … Shouldn’t that be “what I am not”?

  14. The real question is why he isn’t doing jail time. The delight in spreading lies and hoaxes is an affliction of acute proportion among conservative elements in American society, going back to the earliest history of the country.

  15. noonloon says:

    Why isn’t Jones, a public figure, a fear monger who spreads lies to the public that provoke people to acts of aggression arrested and prosecuted the way someone who yells fire as a prank in a theater, which causes panic and injury as a result, would be prosecuted?

    • Chuckl8 says:

      noonloon: (hi, again!) I agree with you and Aaron; … Jones should be held legally, and possibly civilly responsible. And this is not the first time this sort of thing has happened as a direct result of hate radio attacks. Not too long ago, a man was stopped and arrested on the Oakland Bay bridge, in a car loaded with guns and ammo, on his way to attack the Tides offices, near where I live. The Tides organization was attacked on the air by Limbaugh, Jones and others.

  16. Beethoven says:

    I’m not convinced that we’re any more loony than our ancestors. In the 20th century, as well as the 19th century, and going back for many centuries before that, there have been far too many people willing to believe the most illogical and insane theories, even to to extent of gambling their lives and fortunes on them, and there have always been people who were willing to take advantage of their gullibility to achieve material fortune or power. But it does dismay me that I actually have friends, many of whom have college degrees and some even with advanced degrees, who believe the universe was created only 6,000 years ago, and that every statement in the King James translation of the Bible is literally and factually true. And trying to reason with them only gets someone labeled an atheist or worse, a devil worshipper.

    • PrecipitousDrop says:

      Don’t worry, Ludwig.
      Happily unrepentant heretics are generally smarter and more confident than their limited detractors.

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