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Oscar D. Grouch
Posted: Sunday, January 17, 2021 3:32:15 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/26/2014
Posts: 1,653
Neurons: 1,600,637
▒▒▒ The Big Lie ▒▒▒

Can The Forces Unleashed By Trump's Big Election Lie Be Undone?
January 16, 2021 5:00 AM ET

Last Wednesday, just before a mob of pro-Trump extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol in an insurrection that left five dead, the president stood before a huge crowd gathered in front of the White House for a so-called "Save America" rally.

Trump whipped up his supporters, repeating a false claim that he has made over and over in the weeks since Nov. 3: "We won this election, and we won it by a landslide," he insisted. "This was not a close election!"

"They say we lost," the president went on. "We didn't lose."

Among the thousands of falsehoods Trump has uttered during his presidency, this one in particular has earned the distinction of being called the "big lie." It's a charged term, with connotations that trace back to its roots in Nazi Germany.

Hitler used the phrase "big lie" against Jews in his manifesto Mein Kampf. Later, the Nazis' big lie — claiming that Jews led a global conspiracy and were responsible for Germany's and the world's woes — fueled anti-Semitism and the Holocaust.

Given that history, it was striking that President-elect Joe Biden chose the term when he slammed two Republican senators — Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley — who have amplified Trump's falsehood.

"I think the American public has a real good, clear look at who they are," Biden told reporters two days after the Capitol was attacked. "They're part of the big lie, the big lie."

Biden nodded to the term's origin in Nazi Germany, as embodied in Hitler's propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.

"We're told that, you know, Goebbels and the great lie. You keep repeating the lie, repeating the lie," Biden said. "The degree to which it becomes corrosive is in direct proportion to the number of people who say it."


A big lie has singular potency, says Timothy Snyder, the Levin Professor of History at Yale University, whose books include studies of Hitler, Josef Stalin, the Holocaust and tyranny.

"There are lies that, if you believe in them, rearrange everything," he says.

"Hannah Arendt, the political thinker, talked about the fabric of reality," Snyder says. "And a big lie is a lie which is big enough that it tears the fabric of reality."

In his cover story for The New York Times Magazine this week, Snyder calls Trump "the high priest of the big lie."

As for where big lies lead, Snyder writes: "Post-truth is pre-fascism, and Trump has been our post-truth president."

"When I say pre-fascism, I mean when you take away facts, you're opening the way for something else," Snyder tells NPR. "You're opening the way for someone who says 'I am the truth. I am your voice,' to quote Mr. Trump — which is something that fascists said, as a matter of fact. The three-word chants, the idea that the press are the enemy of the people: These are all fascist concepts."


Given the big lie's roots in Nazi Germany, is it a stretch, a poor analogy, to call Trump's claim that he won the 2020 election a big lie? No, says Hill: "It's not a stretch when it's intended to subvert the democratic order or it's intended to pit one group against another, which is what exactly happened in this setting."

Don't get bogged down in the terminology, Hill advises. "I don't actually think that we should get caught up in the origins of where this term — the big lie — comes from," she says, "because this is clearly a lie on a large scale that was meant to have political consequences and was also intended to pit one group of people within society against another."

Trump has told so many falsehoods that he has effectively normalized lying, Hill says, and he has taken his cues from the autocrats he publicly admires.

She recalls: "President Trump was also talking openly about removing term limits. 'Wouldn't that be great?' And the thing is, everyone thought he was joking. But as I learned from observing him, he says things in these throwaway manners, but he's deadly serious. He's not joking at all."


Trump's use of the big lie comes from an age-old authoritarian playbook, says Ruth Ben-Ghiat, history professor at New York University and author of the book Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present.

"It's part of a much larger discourse of throwing any mechanism of democracy, any democratic institution into doubt," she says.

Ben-Ghiat says while Trump will soon be gone from the White House, "he's also going to carry his victimhood cult with him, which will be stronger than ever. So we haven't seen the last of those lies and the pernicious effects they're going to have on our democracy."

Put another way, as historian Timothy Snyder writes, "the lie outlasts the liar."
Oscar D. Grouch
Posted: Sunday, January 17, 2021 3:43:25 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/26/2014
Posts: 1,653
Neurons: 1,600,637
This is what Donald 'Jim Jones' Trump has done to US democracy with his Big Lie...

... razor wire and 25,000 armed soldiers guarding the Capitol.

Posted: Sunday, January 17, 2021 3:51:41 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/22/2009
Posts: 4,360
Neurons: 167,621
For anyone familiar with the history of propaganda it has been obvious for some time the "Big Lie" strategy was being employed against the American people. What is stunning to me is that even with everything I think I understand about human nature and information manipulation, I am still stunned by how many people are accepting this lie as truth.
Oscar D. Grouch
Posted: Sunday, January 17, 2021 4:21:48 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/26/2014
Posts: 1,653
Neurons: 1,600,637
Statehouses Brace For Potential Violence As Biden's Inauguration Approaches
January 16, 2021 2:50 PM ET

Governors across the nation are fortifying statehouses amid fears of possibly violent protests in the lead-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Wednesday.

The Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol raised fears across the nation of armed protesters amassing at statehouses. Many states began putting new security measures in place, including increasing law enforcement personnel and activating National Guard troops as legislators returned to work.

The FBI specifically warned this week of potentially violent protests in all 50 states ahead of Biden's swearing-in as the nation's 46th president. As the weekend drew near, statehouses began erecting barricades, fencing and boards as officials braced for potential violence.

On Friday, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who had been the target of an alleged kidnapping plot last year, activated the state's National Guard ahead of a protest reportedly planned for Sunday.

"The security enhancements that we have made are both seen — such as the increase in uniformed personnel and a perimeter fence — and unseen, which are things we have no intention of discussing or disclosing because these efforts are meant to be covert," said Col. Joe Gasper, the Michigan State Police director, said at a Friday news conference.


"My commitment as the governor of Kentucky is that we will not let what happened at the U.S. Capitol happen here," Beshear said. "It's time that we stop playing patty-cake with so-called militias, acting like they're just dressed up for Halloween. They are dangerous, and we've got to treat them as such."
Oscar D. Grouch
Posted: Sunday, January 17, 2021 4:30:41 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/26/2014
Posts: 1,653
Neurons: 1,600,637
Man Arrested Near Capitol With Loaded Handgun And 500 Rounds Of Ammunition
January 16, 2021 5:49 PM ET

U.S. Capitol Police say they arrested the driver of a truck who presented unauthorized inauguration credentials at a security checkpoint near the Capitol and was in possession of a loaded handgun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

Police said Wesley Allen Beeler was arrested shortly after 6:30 p.m. Friday night after stopping at a checkpoint.

Authorities said one officer noticed several firearms-related decals on Beeler's truck, including one that said, "If they come for your guns Give 'Em your bullets first."

When asked, Beeler admitted to having a Glock in the vehicle. Police say that in addition to the loaded handgun, they recovered more than 500 rounds of 9mm ammunition and 21 shotgun shells in the truck.

Beeler, who is from Virginia, was charged Saturday with carrying a pistol without a license.

Beeler's family told The Washington Post they were surprised by the arrest, because Beeler works in private security and had said he was working on security near the Capitol. Records from Virginia's department of criminal justice services show Beeler has credentials for private security work and endorsements for handguns, shotguns and patrol rifles.

Areas of Washington, D.C. have seen increased security following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol and over concerns of potential violence on Inauguration Day.

Posted: Monday, January 18, 2021 3:50:31 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 11/10/2020
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Location: New York City, New York, United States
Well put.Applause
Oscar D. Grouch
Posted: Monday, January 18, 2021 6:00:17 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/26/2014
Posts: 1,653
Neurons: 1,600,637
Police Arrest Man With Handgun, Woman Impersonating Officer Near D.C. Checkpoints
January 17, 2021 2:20 PM ET

Police have arrested two more people near security checkpoints in Washington, D.C., where security is heightened over concerns about potential violence on fast-approaching Inauguration Day.

Early Sunday morning, a 22-year-old Virginia man carrying a firearm, three high-capacity magazines and 37 rounds of unregistered ammunition was arrested near Capitol Hill.

According to the Metropolitan Police Department, Guy Berry of Gordonsville, Va., was walking in the 200 block of Massachusetts Avenue NE with a Glock 22 "clearly visible in a holster." Officers who stopped him "concluded" that he was not allowed to carry a handgun in D.C., said the police report provided to NPR.

Berry was arrested for carrying a pistol without a license, possession of a large-capacity ammunition feeding device and unregistered ammunition. He remains in custody as of Sunday early afternoon, police said.

A voicemail message left at a phone number listed for Berry was not immediately returned.

And on Saturday, a woman claiming to be a law enforcement officer and part of the presidential Cabinet was stopped at an inauguration checkpoint, where U.S. Capitol Police say they arrested her for impersonating an officer as well as failing to obey and fleeing from law enforcement.

In an email to NPR, the MPD identified the woman as 63-year-old Linda MaGovern of Stratford, Conn.

MaGovern approached a security checkpoint near Union Station around 8:45 a.m. in her vehicle, according to the police report. She said she was a law enforcement officer and presidential Cabinet member, and she "was displaying a round metallic object later identified as a Military Police Challenge Coin."

The report says officers asked MaGovern to put her vehicle in park three times and she complied, but fled northbound when asked for her driver's license.

"As the USCP officers questioned the Suspect, she drove off in the vehicle, and again was stopped at 50 Massachusetts Avenue," USCP said in a press release.

Following her arrest, police said MaGovern was transported to the D.C. Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program for evaluation before being processed at USCP headquarters and taken to the D.C. jail.

Oscar D. Grouch
Posted: Sunday, January 24, 2021 12:04:21 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/26/2014
Posts: 1,653
Neurons: 1,600,637
Militia groups, such as the Oath Keepers, planned the attack on the Capital in advanced and intended to take Congress members hostage or inflict physical harm, including death. They should be charged with conspiracy to commit murder and imprisoned.

Self-styled militia members planned on storming the U.S. Capitol days in advance of Jan. 6 attack, court documents say
Jan. 19, 2021 at 5:28 p.m. PST

Self-styled militia members from Virginia, Ohio and other states made plans to storm the U.S. Capitol days in advance of the Jan. 6 attack, and then communicated in real time as they breached the building on opposite sides and talked about hunting for lawmakers, according to court documents filed Tuesday.

While authorities have charged more than 100 individuals in the riot, details in the new allegations against three U.S. military veterans offer a disturbing look at what they allegedly said to one another before, during and after the attack — statements that indicate a degree of preparation and determination to rush deep into the halls and tunnels of Congress to make “citizens’ arrests” of elected officials.

U.S. authorities charged an apparent leader of the Oath Keepers extremist group, Thomas Edward Caldwell, 66, of Berryville, Va., in the attack, alleging that the Navy veteran helped organize a ring of dozens who coordinated their movements as they “stormed the castle” to disrupt the confirmation of President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral college victory.

“We have about 30-40 of us. We are sticking together and sticking to the plan,” co-defendant Jessica Watkins, 38, an Army veteran, said while the breach was underway, according to court documents.


“We have about 30-40 of us. We are sticking together and sticking to the plan,” co-defendant Jessica Watkins, 38, an Army veteran, said while the breach was underway, according to court documents.

“You are executing citizen’s arrest. Arrest this assembly, we have probable cause for acts of treason, election fraud,” a man replied, according to audio recordings of communications between Watkins and others during the incursion.


A man then responds, “Get it, Jess,” adding, “This is . . . everything we f---ing trained for!”

The FBI said it recovered the exchange from Zello, a push-to-talk, two-way radio phone app.

FBI charging papers against Caldwell, Watkins and a third person, former U.S. Marine Donovan Crowl, 50, allege that Caldwell and others coordinated in advance to disrupt Congress, scouted for lodging and recruited Oath Keepers members from North Carolina and like-minded groups from the Shenandoah Valley. The group claims thousands of members who assert the right to defy government orders they deem improper. The plotters both anticipated violence and continued to act in concert after the break-in, investigators alleged in court documents. FBI papers also say that Caldwell suggested a similar event at the local level after the attack, saying in a message: “Lets storm the capitol in Ohio. Tell me when!”


In charging papers, the FBI said that during the Capitol riot, Caldwell received Facebook messages from unspecified senders updating him of the location of lawmakers. When he posted a one-word message, “Inside,” he received exhortations and directions describing tunnels, doors and hallways, the FBI said.

Some messages, according to the FBI, included, “Tom all legislators are down in the Tunnels 3floors down,” and “Go through back house chamber doors facing N left down hallway down steps.” Another message read: “All members are in the tunnels under capital seal them in. Turn on gas,” the FBI added.


In New York, a Queens man who worked in the state court system was accused Tuesday of making threats to murder Democratic politicians, including suggesting another attack on the Capitol timed to Biden’s inauguration. The man was not at the riot on Jan. 6 but made threatening remarks about Democratic politicians beforehand that intensified in a video he posted two days later, which was titled “KILL YOUR SENATORS.” In the video, he encourages people to return to the Capitol and take up arms.

“If anybody has a gun, give it to me, I’ll go there myself and shoot them and kill them,” the man said, according to the FBI.

In Caldwell’s charging papers, the FBI said that it is reviewing communications between Cald­well “and other known and unknown Oath Keepers members.”


A search of Watkins’s home in Ohio found numerous firearms, cellphones, pepper spray, a radio, a bag with a helmet and respirators, paintball guns, pool cues cut down to baton size, and zip/cable ties, as well a camouflage hat and jackets, the FBI said.

The FBI said without elaboration that it also recovered a document titled “Making Plastic Explosives from Bleach,” redacting the instructions in a photo exhibit.
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