Category Archives: Robert Warden

The Republican Crazy Train: We Might Soon Know Who Owns the Republican Crazy Train

Huge hack reveals embarrassing details of who's behind Proud Boys and other far-right websites
Written by Robert Warden
Newsflash: I just saw an article about a huge hack by Anonymous (kudos to them) of a company called Epik, a company which has been hosting right wing extremists on the internet, allowing them to air their views and organize. This hack will allow people who do research into right wing extremism, to identify the people funding these sites and groups, as well as the people who are administering and leading them from behind the scenes.
Since this hack has just occurred, it will be a while before this treasure trove of information has been thoroughly sifted through. However, the article does mention a couple of the culprits near the end.

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The Republican Crazy Train: Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories Are Killing People

Written by Robert Warden

Well, it’s started. The 20th anniversary of 9/11 seems like an appropriate time to shift our focus to domestic terrorism. There have been several recent cases of killings motivated by right-wing conspiracies, and I fear that this is a sign of more to come.
Actually, 2 are confirmed cases of people who were motivated by right wing conspiracies, while the third is only an educated guess at this time.
In the first case, a Q-Anon follower from Santa Barbara, California, killed his two children with a speargun because he thought that they had “serpent DNA” from his wife (https://www.usatoday.com/…/california-qanon…/8266562002/).

In the second case, a man from El Paso, Texas killed shot a woman lawyer to death and wounded her husband because they had a Biden/Harris banner in front of their house, which he thought meant that they were “Jewish Satan worshippers” that he was exterminating (https://www.msn.com/…/texas-man-attacked…/ar-AAOkw7Y…).

The third case is the one in Florida, in which a man killed four members of a family, and severely wounded an 11-year old girl, while under the delusion that there was a girl named Amber in the house who was a victim of the family, who he thought were sex traffickers. It seems very likely that he was influenced by right wing conspiracy theories such as Pizzagate and Q-Anon, in his thinking, although that is not clear at this time (https://patch.com/…/parents-were-killed-being-sex…).
What is clear, is that such incidents seem to be increasing dramatically at this time. All 3 of these murders have taken place in the past week or so. As mentioned previously, I would be surprised if there aren’t more such incidents in the coming months, tragically.

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Love Is Progressive: It’s About What We Love, Not What We Hate

Courtesy Times of India

Written by Robert Warden

It has been years since I have written a post in this series, but this topic took hold of me yesterday.

My first day back in a classroom was yesterday, and it went well, considering the inconvenient but needed safety measures which have been implemented due to the Covid-19 pandemic which has gotten worse recently because of the delta variant.

As I read recently, however, it did not go so well for a certain chemistry teacher in a highly conservative part of Utah. Somehow, she got into talking about Covid-19, vaccinations and masking, before ripping into Donald Trump in a truth telling rant. Unfortunately for her, Utah – although dominated by Mormons – requires K-12 school teacher to avoid disclosing their religious or political views. Her violation of that rule, plus her rant, got her fired from her job (Utah teacher no longer employed after advocating vaccination and telling students she hates Trump (https://www.sltrib.com/…/08/19/utah-teacher-no-longer/).

In my view, her views are basically correct and are an important point of discussion, especially for those who have been raised to think differently, such as most of her students (although the article does mention some students in her class supporting her). However, her approach was not correct. Rather than ranting about what she hates, if she had wanted to bring up these topics, and show why she believes what she does regarding politics, she should have started talking about what she loves instead of what she hates. She should have talked about her goals for society – goals that practically nobody short of a psychopath with no conscience, would admit to opposing.

In my community college psychology classes, I don’t avoid politics but I am subtle about it typically. I can refer to something

I don’t like jokingly, or at least without rancor, and also, most importantly, use psychology to refer to my goals for society, which have vast political implications. For instance, yesterday I used humor to mention what objective science is not, which in the particular instance that I cited, is the partisan Arizona audit attempting to find election fraud by Democrats when there was none.

Fortunately for me, however, my community college audience has largely been liberal, and I think it is even more so now that everyone in the classroom is required to have been vaccinated against Covid-19 and we all have to wear masks. Nonetheless, a subtle approach might be helpful with more difficult audiences such as these high school students in Lehi, Utah.

Here are some of the things that I would say about what I would love to happen, in order to find common ground, in a mixed opinion setting: Read more

I Have a Dream Part 7: The Age of the GOP Dinosaurs is Coming to an End

Written by Robert Warden

There is a saying that “As California goes, so goes the nation.” Google mentions this saying as follows: “As California goes, so goes the nation”. Yes it is a popular saying ; It is used to denote California is first in so many things: new trends as in car emission laws, standards; civil rights, education, health care, “fads” like surfing, skateboards, etc.

Many of these trends are in fact political, and usually progressive minded. However, there probably has never been anything to compare to the current state of politics in California, at least not in the United States. Republican politicians went from being a distinct minority holding no major state offices, to all but obsolete in the recently concluded midterm elections. If anybody wonders where I get my (what probably seems to most people living in other states as absurdly) optimistic idea that we can make Republicans obsolete politically, it is because I have witnessed it happen, step by step in my home state as I have cheered on and encouraged the process. The recent midterm election is another step in the process — another nail in the GOP coffin so to speak as we prepare to rid our lives of these political dinosaurs. Not long after the recently concluded midterm elections, I noticed this article on my news feed, which discusses the near irrelevance of the Republican Party in California’s current politics: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/after-midterm-wipeout-california-republican-party-drifts-closer-to-irrelevance/ar-BBPPQon?ocid=spartandhp. Read more

I Have a Dream Part 6: U.S. Spells Us, Not Me

Written by Robert Warden

As we approach the highly anticipated midterm elections, I think it is fair to say that a common sentiment among progressives is that we need a sense of unity; we need mass action in order to achieve our political goals, which a large turnout by progressives for the midterms would signify. This in fact appears to be happening, based on voter enthusiasm and early voting numbers. However, the opposition appears to be fairly motivated too, and they are accustomed to voting in unison with each other. Fortunately, there are more of us than there are of them.

Meanwhile, as we contemplate this election, I wish to turn some attention to cultural issues which I believe are negatively impacting our politics and thus need to be changed. For several years, I have been aware of an international scale which measures the individualism versus collectivism of various nations around the world, and that the United States, as expected, ranks very high on individualism. I recently revisited this data (which I think have been updated), and found that indeed, the United States ranks the most individualistic of all nations. Frankly, this is another #1 that I wish the United States would not be credited with. Interestingly, one of my good Facebook friends is the daughter of Guatemalan immigrants, and it turns out that Guatemala ranks highest in collectivism — that is, lowest in individualism. It must seem rather odd to grow up among one subculture that is such a polar opposite of the dominant, surrounding culture. As Brenda said, Americans take individualism too far. Here is the post showing how different nations rank on Individualism versus Collectivism (http://clearlycultural.com/geert-hofstede-cultural-dimensions/individualism/). The United States has an individualism score of 91, while that of Guatemala is only 6. In fact, most nations on the list have a score considerably below that of the United States. Another interesting observation, is that English speaking nations tend to have very high individualism scores. I speculate that being at the forefront of the industrial revolution and colonizing far-flung parts of the world may play a role in that, but I do not know of any evidence to support that idea. Read more

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