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There's a secret killer. Something that you probably have ignored, or dismissed many times. And it's something who's power and reach is growing relentlessly, with NO end in site.

First, let me ask you a question.

If I go onto most public forums and start calling people a motherf$*ker, what will happen to me?

The answer is, as you all know, even on the most un-moderated forums on the internet, I will, with few exceptions, be banned.


Because most places on the internet censor that sort of speech; they've determined that you can't meaningfully converse if everyone is angry, or if people are allowed to attack everyone in site.

Extreme language, bad behavior, bullying - all ban-able offenses.

Now, let me ask you this.

If I go onto the SAME forums, and claim that the President, working with Israel, blew up the Twin Towers and murdered thousands of Americans, and that there' tons of evidence, what will happen?

Will I be banned?

No, of course not. Maybe in a few instances, but largely no.


Because lying through my teeth, spreading false information - totally fine. In fact, most of us would go so far as to say that's a First Amendment/Free Speech issue.

So what?

Well, we keep hearing that this mother of the Sandy Hook shooter was a prepper, a economic doomsdayer, yes, and that THAT is why she owned these guns.

“Last time we visited with her in person we talked about prepping and you know, are you ready for what can happen down the line when the economy collapses,” said the gunman’s aunt.

Why did this seemingly very intelligent woman believe in a coming economic collapse?

Well, the main reason is because no one on the internet calls bullshit on crazy ideas, on lies and on what are often guerrilla marketing schemes to sell things like gold.

Google "preppers".

What you'll find is multiple websites telling you how to prepare, but also forum after forum describing, mostly though lie and exaggeration, the signs of an impending collapse.

Glenn Beck famously pushed this on his show as well (while hawking gold during the ad breaks).

And NO ONE can stop this.

On NBC, if Brian Williams - for example - went on the air every day and screamed about the end of the world, he'd be fired. Same goes for the NYTimes or any major media outlet.

But guess what? Thanks to many factors (including somewhat ironically, multiple fact-checking scandals) people are turning of the "MSM" and getting there news from the internet. and that trend won't reverse.

People are also completely rejecting the internet version of newspapers, unless they're looking for sports scores and movie listings, and instead going to "news aggregating" sites. That trend will also not reverse.

The upshot is that people are moving further and further away from fact checkers, from editors and from new sources that force their "reporters" to be accountable.

This has given rise to the huge resurgence of the conspiracy theory (CT), and in fact, these "theories" (e.g. Obama is the bastard child of a stripper and a Marxist, born in Kenya, and bent on deliberately crashing the economy to force Americans into accepting Marxism) are growing in popularity.

In the last year I have gone from NEVER seeing conspiracy theories on Facebook, to seeing them on an almost daily basis.

Hell, even the "History" Channel runs shows on CTs.

And they all aren't as absurd as the Obama one. Many have little grains of truth.

Go read the Ron Paul forums - search for "Federal Reserve" and you'll see so much half-truth and paranoid ranting and raving as to make your head spin. And again, those lies are completely un-moderated.

Go read the comments on any major news site; how long until you find a conspiracy theory? Five minutes maybe?

As a society, as news consumers and as lovers of the internet, we are shooting ourselves (just barely metaphorically) in the foot.


The shooters mom was lied to. She believed those lies. In fact, I'd bet she could send you dozens of links backing up here delusions, all of which seem legitimate.


So what can you do? What can any of us do?

The only thing you can REALLY do is educate yourself and go out there and spread the truth. Don't ignore conspiracy theories, but engage people and educate them. Don't just shrug and assume that they're the fringer; that there's no consequence to society if the internet has as much BS as truth. There is. Sandy Hook is that consequence.

Of course we need to change gun laws, of course we need to do everything we can to protect people from crazy people. etc., etc., but this is bigger than that. Video Games didn't kill those kids - Internet bullshit did - or at least it supplied the guns.

EDIT: I incorrectly labelled the shooters mother as a teacher - she obviously isn't. Thanks for pointing that out in the comments. For the record, she most recently worked in the financial industry - a place that thrives on emotion and rumors and fear, as much as analysis and mathematical forecasts.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yes, the LIARS are killing the souls of many.. (11+ / 0-)

    there is no more Trust or Honesty, just money, guns, religions, sockpuppets, etc., etc.

    "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

    "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

    by roseeriter on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 03:19:02 AM PST

    •  Fight back! (10+ / 0-)

      Stand up for truth and don't ignore absurd lies...

      No one is going to police the internet for the absurd lies that give rise to dangerous paranoid behavior and anti-social isolationism.

      Those that spread lies and fear do it because they know that no one will call them on it.

      Prove them wrong!

      •  Been fighting back my whole life! (17+ / 0-)

        I'm 60 and things are worse today than ever IMHO.
        I was born a truth-seeker and Man we are out numbered!

        It's been a very long lonely road....:(

        The LIARS are in first place- even in my family.

        "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

        "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

        by roseeriter on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 04:22:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I have been trying this recently on Facebook (9+ / 0-)

        and guaranteed every time I confront one of the seemingly many now Conspiracy Theorists, any substantial proof I provide is immediately shot down as being a liberal website, regardless of what I link.  I swear to you I could link a Fox News article on how Obama is not going to require the implantation of RFID chips in all Americans by March 2013 in the ACA (not something I made up) and they would tell me Fox News is a liberal website or that they are willfully lying to the American people.  These are the types of people that are seriously out there and how far they have gone into CT.  

        I know many of them in RL, and considered many of them my friends at one time.  It is scary what they have become.  

        •  I've had the same experience (4+ / 0-)

          recently it's the:

          The dad of the Aurora shooter and the dad of the SH shooter were both meant to testify about LIBOR to the Senate.

          Total BS, but spreading like wildfire.

          It's easier to believe in a boogeyman than address the real problems.

          •  Just googled and you're right: (4+ / 0-)


            They did throw in the "allegedly" word, but this makes less sense than your average CT.  Aren't conspiracy theories supposed to have a point, or a goal, or something?

            •  That website is one of the worst on the internet. (0+ / 0-)

              It sells itself as a newspaper when it's really an unmoderated blog.  Given how many times Google pulls up, its pagerank must be enormous.  I hope to wake up one day to learn that Google determined that its pagerank was fraudulently obtained and downrates it into oblivion.

              Whenever someone quotes anything from that site, unless they're young or an Internet neophyte (are there many of those left?), I just automatically tune out.  Anything on that site that happens to be correct is accurate only because of the Rule of Stopped Clocks.

              Although that link is dead, I see that three other "articles" make the same claim.

              "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

              by auron renouille on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 07:14:04 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Holy cow, that one is way out there beyond (4+ / 0-)

            left field.  That Conspiracy theory is out of the ballpark, and way out in the looney boonies somewhere.  

            It is hard to believe that people some of this junk.  It is like they need a conspiracy theory to believe in because they cannot accept the reality of events.

            Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

            by wishingwell on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:10:01 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Baffle 'em with Bullsh*t is a current social trend (0+ / 0-)

              It's the difference between analysis & regurgitation of information. Analysis is harder & not exciting.
              Regurgitation is too often what we test for because it's easier; that applies equally in the outside world as in school.
              Also, information overload leads to difficulty with filtering & comparing data with reality. Rumors are more exciting - just look at the explosion of celebrity 'news' media & Jerry Springer -type TV; not to mention radio hate spewing for fun & profit.

              It was in college I first learned the term - Baffle 'em with Bullsh*t   from a psych major of all people.

              It's an extremely useful strategy & I'm sure Rupert Murdoch has it first in his media operating manuals.
              Then there's the repeating of lies until they are accepted as truth.

              Add drugs & alcohol, a daily struggle to survive as good jobs become scarce & people just 'know' everything's a conspiracy against them - they can't even trust friends & family to keep them safe, forget about neighbors & employers, & the 'Gobermint' just makes it harder with it's rules & regulations making it illegal to steal, or sell drugs, etc.
              When you live in a crappy reality it's hard to make good judgments.

              Believing in the Prepper crap gives anxious people the illusion they are doing something constructive instead of 'rolling over & just taking it.'  That's a powerful feeling.

              As an over-generalization, it's like we're all being pushed into feeling & acting like we have Asperger's syndrome or some other autistic spectrum condition - the world makes no sense & we're fighting mad about it. (My observation comparing to my real life examples - flame away if you wish, I won't take it personally,)

              Something that doesn't make good sense, makes bad sense. That means someone is being deliberately hurtful & selfish. Look for motives behind actions & words.

              by CA wildwoman on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:47:18 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  For that type of CT (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The "the government is coming to take our guns/implant chips/send us to camps/etc." as the person how the logistics would work out? How exactly are 300,000,000 people going to be forcibly removed from their homes and sent to special places to get chips implanted into them? Who's going to follow those orders? Even if every single person in law enforcement had to systematically go door to door, do you know how many people are in your local police force compared to people in even a small town?

          It this kind of fantasy that I don't get. Sure, secret government documents or shadowy groups are all fun to speculate about, but to think that any governing body is going to be able to do what these crazies are saying falls apart with even the slightest scrutiny.

          •  That is the catch with conspiracy theories (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            XenuLives, Eyesbright

            the people repeating them never have to explain anything.  It is always the skeptics that seem to be doing the explaining, and no matter what you say they won't believe it.  In this case the person was passing along a youtube video, yet it was my snopes link showing it was false that he says was from a non-reputable source.  There is no winning against pure fantasy it seems.  

            •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

              One of the things the internet has done is spread an almost endless amount of "evidence" - nonsense really - but "data" that they've generated out of thin air...

              So, if you want to look at the FEMA thing.. .you can find hundreds of photos of FEMA Camps... all BS, but there you go

          •  Ah, thinking! The mystery ingredient... (0+ / 0-)

            In the teeth of an oncoming hurricane or a raging wildfire, we have trouble getting people out of the danger zone even with "mandatory evacuations."  But SOMEHOW, this same government, the government nobody trusts because they can't do anything right, will somehow coordinate the CT du jour across 50 states and millions of people SECRETLY?  Seriously?

            History should teach humility and prudence, but America doesn't seem to learn. I've never seen a virgin who loses her innocence so often. -- Gordon Wood

            by stormicats on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 10:52:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Trouble is, they always have an answer, and it's (0+ / 0-)

            often nonsense.  For instance, they may claim that UN shock troopers will implant the chips.  Even asking for proof will just lead to "My friend's brother's sister's friend's co-worker's meditation buddy's facebook page."

            The simple fact is that it is impossible to prove a negative - you can't prove a conspiracy theory wrong, not to people who want to believe it.  You can try logic but, at the end of the day, I've found that people who choose to be ignorant are not subject to disuasion.

            Frankly, we even see it on Daily Kos, where some posters demand that diarists or commenters prove that politician X doesn't have hidden motive Y.  "Prove to me that Representative Smith doesn't secretly support cutting food stamps."  Well, no, I can't prove that, and if the commenter knew what he or she was talking about, the claim wouldn't be made at all because it's incapable of proof.

            "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

            by auron renouille on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 07:20:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Nope. Dupes & liars without guns? Comical. But... (12+ / 0-)

    with guns? Mass murder #37 (or whatever this week).

    Easy access to the tools of mass murder (i.e. high capacity semi-automatic assault rifles and handguns) is the 800 lb. gorilla in the room. It is the problem. Absent that, these people are harmless/laughable cranks or sad mentally ill individuals.

  •  Excellent point, well- argued diary. n/t (10+ / 0-)

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 05:00:24 AM PST

  •  No, a gun killed the children (10+ / 0-)

    seriously? The idea that the shooter`s mother believed in a C/T  is speculative at best. The fact is, she legally purchased several guns. Her troubled son got hold of them, killed his mother, 20 precious children, 6 brave women.
    Guns are the problem. Not video games, not free speech (even when it is crazy), this young man had access to mental health care, given his socioeconomic  status (unlike many poor people who can"t get good mental health care and still who don"t go out and kill people). The shooter had access to guns purchased legally. We need to accept that basic truth and decide how to make guns less available to people who use them to harm other people.

    If I had my way, I would repeal the 2nd Amendment. Since I can't have my way, I support a ban on all assault weapons. Now!

    by Tchrldy on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 05:09:44 AM PST

    •  By every account (7+ / 0-)

      I have read she was a recent prepper.

      I have no doubt that a complete gun ban would've stopped what happened at SH, but that won't ever happen.

      She didn't give her kid the gun, he took it and then liked her.

      I am ALL for a complete gun ban, but there has to also be a point where we say, she bought the guns out of fear, fear of something completely irrational and fear she was sold most probably online, by liars.

      Spend any amount of time in CT forums and you'll find hundreds just like her; seemingly rational people, fed a diet of BS, who've chosen to behave irrationally.

      •  I used to get the C/T emails forwarded by (7+ / 0-)

        sadly, some family members and acquaintances. I responded to them with facts. Needless to say I am no longer on the email lists. If one goes into those C/T forums with facts and attempts to rebut the C/T De jour, one is banned from the forum. I can debunk the C/T to people and they will hold to the C/T because they choose to ignore facts.
        IMO the truth in this horrific situation is that the shooter had access to guns purchased legally. That is the most troubling fact. Had a gun like the one the shooter used, not been available for legal purchase, the shooter could have had all the intent in the world but he would not have been able to carry out that intent. All of the rhetoric about video games, movies, the sad state of mental healthcare does not change the fact that we need to deal with the availability of guns.
        Until we look at the facts clearly, we are not going to change the reality. I am really tired of people suggesting that we can`t do anything about the availability of guns so let`s talk about something else. People can`t kill people with video games, they can`t kill people with conspiracy theories, a person with a mental illness who fantasized about killing others, can`t accomplish his fantasy without the means to do so.

        If I had my way, I would repeal the 2nd Amendment. Since I can't have my way, I support a ban on all assault weapons. Now!

        by Tchrldy on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 05:36:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's not necessarily true. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          get the red out
          Had a gun like the one the shooter used, not been available for legal purchase, the shooter could have had all the intent in the world but he would not have been able to carry out that intent.
          Drugs like cocaine, heroin, and marijuana (in most states) aren't available for legal purchase, but there's no shortage of those around. There are all kinds of guns that aren't available for legal purchase, and yet people can still get their hands on them.

          That said, I agree that it would have been a lot harder for him to get a Bushmaster rifle—perhaps impossible, depending on who he knew—if such guns were illegal.

          "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

          by JamesGG on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 05:41:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I am talking about massacres like Newtown (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            A person who wanted to kill 20 children all at once can't do that with cocaine, heroin, or marijuana.  

            The shooter could have had access to cocaine, heroin and marijuana and all he would have done is kill himself or in the case of marijuana, chill out for a long time.  

            I am just trying to bring a focus to the discussion.  IMO the issue is the availability of certain types of guns, unless we keep our focus on this issue, another Newtown will happen.

            As you can see from my sig line, I would be willing to give up my "right to bear arms" if it would save one more person from being killed by a gun.  However, I know that mine is a minority view and we must deal with reality.  We must deal with the first issue first:  How do we limit the availability of guns so that we can minimize the chance for another Newtown?  

            Arguments about C/T's, video games, violent movies and the sad state of mental healthcare should not distract us from the first issue: the availability of guns in our country.


            If I had my way, I would repeal the 2nd Amendment. Since I can't have my way, I support a ban on all assault weapons. Now!

            by Tchrldy on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 06:09:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Again (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I agree, but...

              What we're BOTH talking about are struggles that will take generations.

              There's no quick fix coming on either front and blamin society is frankly a cop out.

              Lies and the lying liars that spread them with impunity in an environment practically design to resist fact checking are on the other hand tangible.

              I'm on board with your fight, our fight, but think the issue I've highlighted is as important in the long run, for our safety.

              That's just my opinion.

          •  If assault weapons were illegal (5+ / 0-)

            (including their civilian, supposedly safer versions) and ONLY available to the Military, they would not be manufactured in the quantity that they are, they would not be easily available on the secondary market because they would not be available in the primary market.
            These things are WMDs and should be classed and controlled in that frame.

            If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

            by CwV on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 07:52:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  That is still a rumor (9+ / 0-)

        I have read it too, but I am waiting for confirmation - it is not in all the stories.

        In keeping with your diary, I think we should be careful about possibly jumping to early conclusions. There has already been a lot of this in this whole case.

        But I agree with you about the ridiculous amounts of CTs out there. I've already gotten into fb fights with people who think we need to have guns to protect against the gubmint. If you've had success with them, congratulations. I have found that the vast majority of people do not want these beliefs challenged.

        Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without - W S Coffin

        by stitchmd on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 05:50:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'd guess you're *probably* right about her. (5+ / 0-)

        But she's dead now so until we learn more about her, all of this prepper talk (regardless of how it looks) is just speculation at this point.  

        I personally know of family members who have gone pretty batshit over the past 15 years.  Family members who were once pro-union Democrats but have since had their brains filled first with talk radio hate, then Faux News, and finally internet conspiracy theories.  These family members need something to explain why for all their hard work they're still not rich, or happy, or have personal shortcomings.  So they turn to millionaires like Glenn Beck who get rich by placing blame for all of life's problems on the government.

        Despite coming from urban/suburban backgrounds these certain family members can be lumped in with the rural Pennsylvania (guns-n-god) crowd then candidate Obama once spoke about in 2008.  But I'm speaking about people I know, or better put, knew.  Until we learn more about the mass murderer's mother (who through her education and social status seems different than the family members I'm speaking of) it's all just speculation.  We can make our judgements later but first let's wait for all the facts to come in.

        Pride-and-joy-and-greed-and-sex, that's what makes our town the best!

        by BrooklynJohnny on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 06:05:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's a big part of it, I think (5+ / 0-)

          They work hard. Very hard. They show up every day, don't get in trouble, play by the rules.

          They're SUPPOSED to do OK. Not be wealthy, but able to keep up their house, have a decent car, maybe go on vacation sometimes.

          They're barely squeaking by. Any little extra expense is a major problem.

          That's not how it's supposed to work, it's not what they've been told all their lives. So they're looking for a reason. They don't feel like anybody hears them, cares about them, or is trying to help them.

          They'll listen to anybody who has some remotely rational reason why it's not THEIR fault (and it's NOT), somebody who gives them a person/thing/idea to blame.

      •  The gun was obtained legally (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Angie in WA State

        is what all the news shows I hear keep parroting. Seriously how can taking someone's gun and killing them for it be legal? It's not.

      •  You've been spoonfed the same C/T you are (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        decrying, I am sorry to say.

        See my comment at the bottom of this diary.

        Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

        by mahakali overdrive on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 07:38:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I dunno. Looks to me (0+ / 0-)

        like just another attempt to cast blame on an external element rather than keep it where it belongs - on the shooter, his inherent lack of empathic capacity (lots of people have Asperger's and never manage to commit mass murder), and his mother for believing a bunch of guns were going to somehow save her from collapse of this nation's socioeconomic house of cards.

        Which, in case you hadn't noticed, did collapse just before the 2008 election, and has remained essentially collapsed - in as far as its effects on the 90% - ever since. So long as we retain anything worth stealing, the thieves will still be be lined up to steal it. This is why our pensions, basic health care in our old age, food stamps, education, etc. are on the chopping block now, after the value of our accumulated real property was 'disappeared' by sleight of hand card cheats using a deck full of fake aces [CDOs, etc.] in 2008. We're still playing the fantasy hope game because it's the only game in town and we the people are far too weak to change anything on that level.

        Hence those who snap kill the innocents around them and not the guilty in their far-off, well-guarded splendor before they off themselves.

        The problem with the Mad Max crowd is that they are consumed by their hatreds and cannot see that killing random others has nothing to do with survival. Yet this nutty mindset reflects the chosen worldview of individuals consumed with hate, it is not some kind of flu they caught from FoxNews. That media empire and its clones exists to SERVE a particular demographic of haters just like hate churches exist to SERVE people who worship evil and call it god. It's a business plan, not a disease. Thus there is no cure.

        Banning guns or video games or internet or metal churches or thefts both petty and grand won't stop people from hating or feeding their hatred, any more than banning drugs has ever stopped people from feeding their addictions. Laws are about punishment after the fact, not about preventing people from acting out their sicknesses.

        More than half the people in this nation - of all classes and mindsets - believe we have not been told the truth about 9-11. Heck, members of the official investigatory commission have come right out and said we have not been told the truth about 9-11. But like the JFK assassination and its ridiculous Magic Bullet, the official story is what it is and isn't going to be changed. More than half the people in this nation are NOT out there shooting up malls and classrooms just because they don't believe the official story about 9-11. So blaming 9-11 CT for one sick young man's evil deed last Friday just isn't credible.

        •  And no one (0+ / 0-)

          is doing that.

          BTW. The popularity of BS isn't really a good argument for it's validity.

          And if you look at the 9/11 commission and actually listen to what they're saying, they're NO saying anything about it not being AQ or it being an inside job, but that certain elements of our own governement lied to cover up their brutal incompetence.

          And they're saying that things like SA's involvement should be made public.

          But no one anywhere of any stature is claiming the inside job nonsense.

  •  Re: prepper (5+ / 0-)

    I came across an interesting bit in a seemingly unrelated article about  the so-called "Mayan apocalypse".

    A man who slashed 22 schoolchildren last week in Henan province was "psychologically affected" by doomsday rumours, wrote the state newswire Xinhua.

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 05:11:06 AM PST

  •  One minor correction (11+ / 0-)

    Nancy Lanza was not a teacher. Not at Newtown Elementary and not at any other school.

  •  We've seen a wholesale abandonment of (14+ / 0-)

    another CT-- critical thinking. We've even seen the Republican Party in Texas attacking CT in its state platform (because critical thinking undermines their BS). This kind of "meta" is one of the most disturbing trends in the USA today.

    We simply believe weird stuff. Some of it seems harmless or even funny -- Elvis sightings, images of the Virgin Mary in a peanut butter sandwich. And although it may not make the five o'clock news, it  IS on TV in the half hour that follows the news.

    Those who seek explanations for complicated phenomena are not always hucksters and liars. Oftentimes, they are just wrong. (BTW, thunder is not the sound of the wheels of Thor's chariot as he races across the sky. There just wasn't a better (popular) explanation 2,000 years ago.) However, sometimes purveyors of the story line are in it for power or money. (Have you thought about purchasing a $900 assault rifle for protection against people flying black helicopters?)

    The United States is a country that unfortunately puts too much stock into "revealed truth" as opposed to our own experiences. Probably more often than not, the weird stuff we believe stems from religious dogma -- baggage of past millennia. (E.g., we reject evolution in favor of creationism.)

    Religion has inoculated itself against critical thinking to a large degree. (How perversely clever to suggest in the "holy teachings" that in the last days skeptics will rise up and challenge the holy teachings.) Unfortunatly, our religious habits of "thinking" have spilled into many other aspects of our intellectual lives.

    It's better to acknowledge that we don't yet have all the answers to life's questions than to believe and perpetuate lies. So, god bless you all, and god bless America. eom.

    "I regret that my poor choice of words caused some people to understand what I was saying." -- Any Republican on any given day

    by RudiB on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 05:20:53 AM PST

  •  We can take concrete steps on gun control. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JBL55, get the red out, Eyesbright

    If we get distracted by numerous other 'REAL reasons', which usually have no actual solutions, we encourage more of these situations.

    Stay focused, and fix the gun fetish.

    When extra-terrestrial beings make their first appearance on our planet, and ask for representatives of our species to best exemplify humanity, I'm sending a nurse, a librarian, and a firefighter.

    by Wayward Son on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 05:27:07 AM PST

    •  Sadly (3+ / 0-)

      Though I agree with you, that that is the only real solution, long term, nothing meaningful will happen short term.

      Eg: in 2003, the last full year of the assault weapons ban, 30,000 people died due to gun shot wounds.

      •  You are contributing to the problem right now. (0+ / 0-)

        I know your intentions are good, but this kind of statistic is useless and misleading and can be easily shared.  And it shows zero info about assault weapons which to which you are referencing.  This is exactly what is happening that you're concerned about.  

        And there is something that can happen short-term that will be very meaningful.  If this really is a game changing moment where the NRA can be, at the very least, knocked down a peg or 10 in influence on congress, it could be the beginning of a new national dialog where the status quo is no longer everyone saying "what can we do?" and instead sitting down and talking to each other a figuring it out.

        The priest said, "Today's sermon is called 'Liars', but first I have a question. How many of you have read Chapter 66 in Matthew?" Nearly every hand went up. "You're just the group I need to speak to," the priest said. "There's no such chapter."

        by Back In Blue on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 10:56:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  As Pres. Obama (4+ / 0-)

      said, we can walk and chew gum at the same time. We can enact meaningful gun reform, AND work on debunking conspiracy theories and bullshit propaganda.

      "No one has the right to spend their life without being offended." Philip Pullman

      by zaynabou on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 06:57:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  One can be done in a month.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ..and must be done quickly to avoid inertia.

        The other would take generations, and control of media that has no control.

        When extra-terrestrial beings make their first appearance on our planet, and ask for representatives of our species to best exemplify humanity, I'm sending a nurse, a librarian, and a firefighter.

        by Wayward Son on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:49:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We've got to start somewhere (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I agree some measure of meaningful gun control is necessary, and have been arguing that for years. But each one of us, individually, also needs to keep up the good fight of debunking conspiracy theories and lies where we see them. Or else the liars win.

          "No one has the right to spend their life without being offended." Philip Pullman

          by zaynabou on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:53:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  American for profit corporate media- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    get the red out, Sychotic1

    Does no journalistic service to inform an American electorate in the current corporate infotainment form-

    I think you meant to write "turn off" as opposed to "turn of" when you referenced our domesticated "no where to shit" corporate media-

    How else could a lot swallow single bullets and other assorted bullshit stories hook, line and sinker-

    Oh, and if you EVER gain enough public prominence and decide to mention a solution to the problem is to break them up, once you obtain substantial political power; that despicable mouse will SCREAM you into irrelevance; and then send hired lips to interview you and your media averse partner, to inform you "their bad"; after the damage is done-

    It is how they roll; and many eat their work product daily; the end result not at all surprising given the state of metastasis in the five corporations that remain to "inform you"


    Evidence that contradicts the ruling belief system is held to extraordinary standards, while evidence that entrenches it is uncritically accepted. -Carl Sagan

    by RF on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 06:10:41 AM PST

  •  I still don't get the prepper connection (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina, wishingwell, Eyesbright

    Assuming the mom had gone a bit off the deep end and was preparing for a major economic collapse, how does that factor in to the kid deciding to go on a killing spree? Is the connection that her prepping hobby caused her to purchase lots of guns?

    •  The prepper (3+ / 0-)

      Bought a gun, due to an irrational fear or societal collapse.

      That gun is the one used.

      Go read the prepper forums, where they argue about which types of assault rifles are best to fend off the hoardes of desperate folks too stupid to prep.

      •  That's not what happened though (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Angie in WA State

        That may be what Marsha Lanza, who hadn't seen her in several years, said, but it's not what her closest friends who saw her all week long say.

        Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

        by mahakali overdrive on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 07:40:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good Point, Mahakali, as her neighbors and (0+ / 0-)

          friends who seemed closer to her than her ex sister in law, said she was a gun enthusiast and gun collector.  I think only the ex sister in law talked about her being a prepper. Correct me if I am wrong on this, did Nancy's siblings, mother or anyone else close to her say this? As the sister in law said she emailed her Nancy but also said she had not seen Adam in a few years . And I am thinking after the divorce, perhaps they did stay in touch but the sister in law also may have a more skewed viewpoint as her brother is no longer married to Nancy. So there may be things ex sister in law does not really know for sure.

          Or maybe the sister in law is right but I would like to see that confirmed by a neighbor, close friend, or actual sibling of hers...or by her eldest son.

          Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

          by wishingwell on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:19:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  i would even go on to say (0+ / 0-)

            that the ex-sister in law is a prepper.  If you watch the way she phrases her comments on Nancy Lanza, it is quite possible Marsha Lanza was getting her 15 minutes of prepper fame and claiming that Nancy Lanza was one.

            "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

            by louisev on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:49:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  She was not a teacher (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mahakali overdrive, Eyesbright
    Why did this seemingly very intelligent woman, a teacher of all things, believe in a coming economic collapse?
    she was in the financial industry but 'retired' or 'taking' a break'

    didn't read the rest, so don't know if you're wrong there too

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 06:21:40 AM PST

  •  People hear what they want to hear (0+ / 0-)

    when they accept a lie as truth it usuall is because they want whatever it is to be true.

  •  the sad part (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sychotic1, SilentBrook

    I went and had a look via the sage of mountainview (google).  

    It was sad, really sad.  If you followed their advice you would be in serious trouble.  Hypothermia and that sort of thing.  The kind of people who spend a night in the woods, trash the place and stumble out in the morning proud of "having survived their ordeal".

    Nothing beats actually knowing what you're doing, and having a bit of skill.  Reading half-baked hints on survival is not a viable shortcut to this.  

    A loaded 9mm glock weighs about 950 grams. A very good wilderness first aid kit 500 grams.  Guess which one I carry when I go backpacking.

  •  Conspiracy theories long predate the internet. nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    •  Yes all the conspiracy theories about who killed (0+ / 0-)

      JFK and even some about Lincoln were floating around after his death and since, and that Elvis is still alive...and so on. All of my life, my parents told me about all these crazy people they worked with who believed these cts.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:21:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  But even if this is the case, this time (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mkor7, wishingwell

    What about all the other mass shooting?  There is no link to CT at Columbine and many others.  What seems to be a constant theme is the incredible availablity of fire arms along with untreated or inadequately treated mental illness.  Take the guns out of the picture and you don't get the mass murder.

    If we managed to shut down conspiracy theory talk tomorrow there would still be guns available and mentally ill people getting no help.

    Manufacturing outrage; the only manufacturing jobs Republicans won't outsource.

    by get the red out on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 06:57:48 AM PST

  •  Well said, thanks (0+ / 0-)

    "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

    by blueoregon on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 07:01:54 AM PST

    •  I never said (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      there's a link to CT at Columbine. Nor have I claimed CT is a major part of mass shootings, but that CT does play a BIG part these days in muddying the water, in confusing the issues and in many cases that I have seen, it's made mostly reasonable people behave in ways that are detrimental to themselves and their loved ones.

  •  Ironically, his mom wasn't a prepper at all (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    louisev, Joieau

    The central premise of your diary is based on exactly the sort of lie which you decree: she was not a "prepper," although some facets of the MSM have really run with that idea based on one statment from an estranged relative. Friends have come out very vocally and said it was crazy to say this.

    But they're not getting onto the front page.

    Nancy Lanza was not, from what I can see, a "prepper" of the least sort.

    That's one conspiracy theory I have investigated at length and educated myself about through alternate channels, such as the wonders of FB.

    Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

    by mahakali overdrive on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 07:36:11 AM PST

    •  please give a link (0+ / 0-)

      would love to see what you have

      •  I'm not linking to family friends' (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eyesbright, Catte Nappe

        FB pages, sorry. I've sifted through dozens of them.

        But here, there's at least one story, told by her closest friend, who happens to be gay. It's in this link:

        Savannah Guthrie spoke with John Bergquist, Russell Hanoman, Sebastian Morrell and Ellen Adriani, four friends of Nancy Lanza on TODAY Monday. The friends painted a picture of a woman who loved her son, Adam, despite his difficulties.


        "She was definitely not a survivalist,” Bergquist said. “Shooting was one of her hobbies. It wasn’t her main hobby. She loved the arts, culture. She loved the finer things in life. She loved to go to Red Sox games, and that’s the Nancy I knew.’’

        and read this:

        My impressions of Nancy Lanza, based on her test messages to friends, her photos, past comments from her, and her friends' comments, are contained in these links and subthreads, I think.

        I have to go to work, so enjoy reading them.

        The MSM is really getting carried away with itself on this story. It has at almost every twist and turn. It has failed to get facts right repeatedly. Big ones.

        Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

        by mahakali overdrive on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 07:52:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  This notion is based (0+ / 0-)

      on an interview with her sister.

      So...not exactly FB gossip.

      •  Not her sister (3+ / 0-)

        Per the article:
        " former sister-in-law Marsha"

        To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men. -Abraham Lincoln

        by Eyesbright on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 10:36:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry quite right (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mahakali overdrive

          I hadn't read that correctly. Sister-in-law it is. And yeah, former Sister-in-law as of 2009.

          •  The motive seems to be emerging (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mrblifil, auron renouille

            and the ex-sister-law didn't know about any of it.

            Fact: Marsha Lanza has yet to talk with her brother Peter since the shooting.

            Fact: in a HuffPo interview today, Marsha Lanza said she was talking to the media a lot because she was concerned that her family of five kids would have their names tarnished by this act.

            Fact: Marsha Lanza hadn't seen Nancy Lanza in-person in years. She hadn't seen Adam Lanza in seventeen years, since he was three years old.

            Fact: Marsha Lanza has said that there were no warning signs. Friends who had seen Nancy Lanza say she was concerned that week. And here's the motive part that is starting to make sense... it was mentioned that the problem with Adam was increasing so badly that Nancy Lanza was seeking conservatorship over him and had found a place in Washington to take him, where she was planning to move with him. She talked about this with friends that very week. There are court documents referred to. And law enforcement has said this is correct (today). But Marsha Lanza said there was nothing awry? Then why was Nancy Lanza trying to have her son committed to an in-care institution? And this may have been, according to a close friend, why Adam snapped. It may also not have been. But he apparently had just discovered this information.

            Keep your eye on that last part.

            Also, Marsha Lanza seems to not know much about this story.

            Lastly, I see literally zero evidence from any source other than her, and she is unreliable as can be seen here, that Nancy was a "survivalist" or a "Tea Party" type prone to Conspiracy Theories. In fact, she was a well-educated stockbroker who had gay friends and a vibrant cultured sort of life in affluence. That is not the profile of most of these sorts -- if any -- for how many "doomsday types" even have gay friends?

            Additionally, did you know she was very close friends with the principal and one teacher who was killed according to her friends? Along with, oh, like half her town it seems like. She was not exactly fringe-y.

            Done with lunch break. Just trying to clear the air.

            Let the story emerge. I think it will look VERY different than anything that is being pushed first by a NY newspaper which is on par with the Enquirer and then picked up on by a few International Media outlets who obviously don't care to fact check this stuff. Shameful.

            Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

            by mahakali overdrive on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:29:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mahakali overdrive

              However there was more substantiation to the earlier version of the story than mere FB rumor-mongering. It's still very early days and Ms. Lanza is not around to tell the tale, so getting an honest perspective without being an officer assigned to the case may not be that easy. Somehow there was heavy duty firepower which doesn't match the profile of "gay divorcee." These kind of disasters usually require a combination of factors to combine and go horribly wrong at once. It won't be easy to pull apart all the strands, and at the end of the day, none of it will comfort the parents of kids who were shot down.

  •  Yep, no doubt about it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    When I read that Nancy Lanza was afraid of economic collapse, seemingly impending doom, I immediately thought of nutbars Beck and Limbaugh.  Thus far, that avenue has not been explored and it should be.  

    •  it hasn't been explored (3+ / 0-)

      because the evidence is very weak.  Only one person - the ex-sister-in-law, said she was a 'prepper.' None of her friends or neighbors said anything more than she was a target shooter and gun enthusiast.  If that is enough to cause a child to lose his shit and shoot up two first grade classrooms, we are in terrible trouble.

      I believe we have not heard what the police are still investigating.  The perpetrator is Adam Lanza, not his mother, regardless of what kind of CT you ascribe to her.

      "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

      by louisev on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 07:50:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You really think that Limbaugh and Beck (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      white blitz

      are the ones really putting the strings here? They're just well-paid celebrity shills for far more powerful and wealthy interests. Follow the money.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:17:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Guess what? (0+ / 0-)

    This has been going on since the founding. Literally. Look up what Jefferson wrote about Washington, Hamilton and Adams through his front paper the National Gazette. He was the Rupert Murdoch of his day. And look up what Hamilton and Adams wrote about Jefferson in response. It wasn't much better. People were putting out vicious lies back then to a ready and willing audience already inclined to believe them, and it's been the case ever since.

    This is not a recent phenomenon by any means. So I'm going to blame the media on this any more than it can usually be blamed (and it can and should be blamed--where was it when LBJ took us into a stupid war in SE Asia in the 60's?). I will, though, blame the makers of guns and gun-related gear and the NRA for willfully promoting the sales of such things and other survivalist gear through the spreading of such fear-based CT's. And I'll blame politicians for letting them not only promote these CT's (which I suppose is their right), but sell this stuff (much of which should not be their right).

    So sorry, it's not the media's fault. It's the fault of gun and gun and survivalist gear-makers and their NRA and the like allies, and of Repubs and Dems alike.

    I.e. the fault of big and out of control greedy corporations and their political lackeys in the age of massive and irresponsible deregulation.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:15:52 AM PST

  •  Also within the past year (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    or so, Yahoo started listing commentary that included BS-based articles in their News section. If I click on the link to a real news article on my Yahoo home page, where the headlines are actual news that appears on real news websites, on TV, and in newspapers, so you know it's really news, when I'm reading that article a column is on the right-hand side titled "News for You." It used to contain only other actual news articles. Then a year or so ago, I started seeing some crazy-looking "headlines" there and thought, "Huh?" I clicked on them to find all kinds of mostly right-wing rants and CT presented as fact. How many people click on this "News for You" thinking these are actual news reports and take what they say at face value?

    •  It seems to be a common widget, often leads (0+ / 0-)

      to "I lost 3,000 pounds in a week and so can you!" sites, at least if it's the one I'm thinking of; frequently, at least two of the sites are Newsmax and WND.  I refuse to re-visit sites that use that widget.

      "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

      by auron renouille on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 07:30:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    what really killed them was bullets fired at high velocity, purchased easily without much third party supervisory input.

    So the quickest way to achieve safety is crack down on guns.

    But I agree we would be well served to pay attention to this other stuff. Though cracking down on citizens who believe in craziness is a whole other kettle of fish.

  •  I very, very seldom agree with several commenters (0+ / 0-)

    on this diary thread. I do today.

    I usually remain silent because I want to examine facts.

    I have theories, hypotheses, opinions...and convictions.

    I do not believe that I am alone in this regard. I'm nobody special.

    As careful as MSM have, for the greater part been on the information regarding this horrendous tragedy, they have universally mucked it up so badly we are now discussing which "theory" is valid. That is, to me, wasted energy.

    I could prophecy, and tell you what the authorities will find, even while perhaps believing that we, the citizen, will NEVER know the truth of this event. I am further of the opinion that perhaps it is best if we never do know every nuance which surrounds this horror. YMMV.

    I am a seeker of truth, and a journalist who nearly (but not quite) worships truth. I make mistakes. I'm careful...usually. :)

    I will say that I believe the survivors of the immediate Lanza family have taken it in the shorts from virtually every possible degree of the compass, including their own family members--several times over.

    The MSM seems to have come to some secret agreement that only 26 people died last Friday. That is, like it or don't, very simply not true. 28 people died in the Newtown Massacre, and so far as I am factually aware, only one family had multiple losses.

    This was a tragedy. We refer to such events as tragedies for a very particular reason.

    Please! Let's not foment the notion that having the truth as collateral damage is not merely convenient, but necessary and acceptable. Not us, and surely not here.

    We have entirely too much work to do. Let's at least know which enemies, and which monsters must be fought and vanquished.

    Let us be, if only we be alone, the protectors and purveyors of truth, and honor it in it's own right, in it's own realm. Here.

    To do otherwise would just be piling on more tragedy, and more unnecessary victims, in my personal opinion.

    Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
    Left/Right: -7.75
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

    by Bud Fields on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 12:24:13 AM PST

  •  I spent the weekend arguing with my mother, (0+ / 0-)

    that no, Obama wasn't a Socialist (I wonder if that would have been any easier AFTER he put Social Security on the table), yes, he really was a natural born citizen, and no, that website with the wallpaper of a guy in a keffiyeh holding a rocket launcher was probably not the most reliable source of information.


    When banjos are outlawed, only outlaws will have banjos.

    by Bisbonian on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:59:21 AM PST

  •  They call it PR or Propaganda (0+ / 0-)

    Wendell Potter wrote Deadly Spin to describe deadly insurance practices.  The same problems govern our inability to pass appropriate legislation on gun control.  

    An introduction topropaganda.

  •  Good example of this can be seen in a recent (0+ / 0-)

    Kos diary post on research that suggests constant displays of violence in the media and in video games actually train some kids to become violent.

    Although the science is irrefutable, I suspect Democrats are suspicious of such arguments because it sounds too much like the NRA argument that video games and not guns cause violence.  Of course, these scientists believe that both guns and media violence increase the rates of violence and unlike political pundits they back up their claims with pesky little things like facts, research and statistics that can really annoy people who just want to ban assault weapons and ignore as Michael Moore puts it the deeper problems in American society.

    So what was the response to Kos post like that.  It generated a lot of factually incorrect arguments.  For example, many posters argued that the science hadn't demonstrated causality which sounds like a good argument until you read the actual research reports by expert panels from places like the National Advisory Board, the American Psychological Association, The Australian Psychological Association, a Canadian government report and a report by an International Society of Researchers who study aggression.  Over 3,500 studies were reviewed in each of these reports but still 75% of the posters disagreed with all of these scientists.  

    First, they claimed the scientists didn't specify there was a causal link when every report said the link was causal on the 1st or 3rd page of the report.  Why would people make stories like that?  It's been drummed into them by the mainstream media.   The media always reports that these studies are suspect or there is wide disagreement on the issue just like they did with Climate Change, cigarette smoking and a host of other issues.  

    Even when confronted with the fact that their claims were false, they kept claiming that something must be wrong with either the scientists or the diarist.  They kept inventing new excuses for why this just couldn't be true.

    So hundreds of scientists are wrong or maybe the poster is somehow misreading these reports but of course they could click on the links and check out whether the reports are wrong but the commenters didn't seem to want to confront their fears.  Rather, they kept making arguments about what's in the reports without reading them.  One suspected that the interventions were ineffective but he absolutely refused to click on a link to find out.   He and other could have watched the two minute video link which makes the same claims but this time its a world authority not a diarist making the claims.  

    Still people want to fight and not with the truth.  No anything but the truth.  Rather they attack with their fears.  They attack the person, they attack with ideas they've heard before through the media but that don't really make sense or don't apply the current situation.  

    Media violence researchers suggest that simple interventions can alleviate the problem.  For example, convincing someone that media violence isn't realistic seems to work. Limiting exposure time for small children is another possibility.  These are sensible suggestions the American Academy of Pediatrics adopted a long time ago.

    Not very frightening interventions which makes another point that Michael Moore has made.  Americans are a very frightened people.   He often doesn't explain what he believes causes Americans to be frightened, to lie on forums or act so aggressively but I believe this diary has hit the nail on the head.  Americans are frightened by their media which inundates them with cop and apocalyptic entertainment shows, extremely violent video games, news entertainment shows like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh that are virtual fearfests that confuse people about what the truth is so when they hear the truth they react very negatively too it.   They also no longer feel obligated to argue truthfully.    

    Our culture is no longer driven by us.  It's driven by a media hell bent on selling us something with a complete disregard for the truth. It's selling us the idea that we can trust the media and that the products like cigarettes, lack of health insurance, video games, cars that spew CO2 into our atmosphere are all safe and even responsible things to do when of course their not.

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