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Friday, October 20, 2017

What Fresh Hell? for October 20, 2017: Nice Nazis, patriotic Fox News frauds, and soccer's as corrupt as ever.

Here’s a bracing example #AltRightIrrationality. Kelli Ward, in her third consecutive year of running for the US Senate in Arizona, is hoovering up money from all over America to unseat Senator Jeff Flake. Breitbart’s Steve Bannon, who thinks Ward is a perfect fit in his Roy Moore Corps of bigots, non-residents, and felons, is all in for her. More conservative-than-crazy conservatives have made Flake Enemy #1.

Yet Ward argues, out of both sides of her mouth, that Senator Flake is both the biggest threat to truly flaky government and a frail, hapless political valetudinarian:

“Since Donald Trump has been in the White House, Jeff Flake has been one of his biggest antagonists,” Ward said in a telephone interview on Wednesday. “Those attacks are unfortunate. And that’s why he’s so weak.”


Former Fifa president Sepp Blatter has accepted an invitation from Russian leader Vladimir Putin to attend next year's World Cup.

Blatter's 17-year spell in charge of world football's governing body ended amid a corruption scandal in 2015.

Fifa subsequently banned Blatter from the sport for eight years, a term later reduced to six years after appeal.

"I will go to the World Cup in Russia," said Blatter, 81. "I received an invitation from President Putin."


“Very nice person” Spencer at Charlottesville

$600,000 in university security costs and a state declaration of emergency later, American Nazi Richard Spencer has strewn hatred on the campus of a Florida university. What to make of the experience? An ethics prof notes:

Are Spencer and those who protest him not only legally but also morally equivalent, as Ted Yoho, our congressional representative, implies? Yoho describes all those who oppose Spencer as “Antifa, a so-called ‘anti-fascist’ group comprised of radical Marxists and anarchists.” He sees no possibility that people who are not “radicals” would reject white supremacy. By denying substantive differences in the values of white supremacists and those who protest them, this approach avoids meaningful moral reflection and, in this case, reinforces Spencer’s frequent claim that he is a victim of people who want to “stifle” his free speech.

Another kind of moral equivalence is suggested by protesters who accuse those who stay away from campus, in a deliberate effort to deny Spencer more publicity, of acting like “good Germans,” a phrase that was used regularly in discussions prior to Spencer’s visit. Do those who ignore tacitly enable white supremacists to gain power? Do those who protest strengthen Spencer by following his playbook of confrontation? There is no easy answer to this question, and no theoretical one. The only sure answer will be the practical one – what happened? And that we will have only in retrospect.


The statement continued: “[E]very lawyer knows that if they name Tesla as a defendant in their lawsuit, it maximizes the chances of generating publicity for their case. They abuse our name, because they know it is catnip for journalists … There is no company on Earth with a better track record than Tesla, as they would have to have fewer than zero cases where an independent judge or jury has found a genuine case of discrimination.”

Corporations such as Tesla, however, often have employees sign arbitration agreements, which means employees are forced to privately resolve their discrimination complaints. The spokesman declined to say if Tesla has ever allowed a discrimination claim to go before a judge or jury.


Navy veteran John Garofalo appeared on a Fox News segment this month, showing off a massive presidential seal he carved for President Trump while receiving praise for his service in Vietnam as a SEAL.

The piece was broadcast nationally and featured cascading shots of all Garofalo’s medals. Online, it went viral, racking up 1.5 million Facebook views on Fox’s Facebook page.

“The Vietnam War veteran served seven years as a member of the nation’s first Navy SEAL team,” Fox News reporter Bryan Llenas said. “He was awarded 22 commendations, including two Purple Hearts.”

Llenas later called the 72-year-old New York State resident a “tough, tough man.”

“He was listed twice during his service in Vietnam as missing in action,” Llenas noted at the segment’s close.

“God bless John Garofalo,” an anchor said. “We certainly hope maybe the president is listening.”

But when Navy Times contacted Garofalo Thursday, Garofalo admitted he had lied and never served in Vietnam, never received a Purple Heart and was never a SEAL.

Garofalo said he had falsely portrayed himself as a Vietnam vet and a SEAL for years.


Conservative economist Tyler Cowen reviews a new book on the fall of the Roman empire. Shockingly, gays played no part at all.


The *resident’s secretary of press says war widows probably just misunderstand the warmth and empathy of his caring words. As MOTUS himself told America in 2015,

I know words, I have the best words. I have the best, but there is no better word than stupid.

And he told us a year later,

I’m speaking with myself [rather than foreign policy advisers], number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.

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