Antifa Supply Stores Being Launched: Truth IS Stranger Than Fiction: New Items Daily

Gretchen Mullen, Skeptic Review

It’s Going Down is a digital community center from anarchist, anti-fascist, autonomous anti-capitalist and anti-colonial movements. The mission is to provide a resilient platform to publicize and promote revolutionary theory and action.

It’s Going Down maintains an online store which gives a glimpse into the Antifa/Anarchist mindset.

It also links to a new online store called Limitless, launched on July 31, 2017.

Here are a few sample items:

Clothing items: The catalog notes that black sunglasses pair well with black hat.

Buttons:

Stickers:

Zines: Catalog describes item as zines on topics related to “insurrectionary anarchy.”

And a few new items from Etsy:

Punch Nazis Antifa Hand Embroidery only $41.82
Everything’s Better When We’re Smashing Together 2 Patches
Antifa Punch Your Local Nazi Leggings only $57.00

AND JUST FROM HERE AND THERE AROUND THE WEB…

Antifa United Card Knife for sale at online ammo store
Stylish face shield

Today’s new items (9.2.17)

Anti Imperialist Solidarity – East German Antifa Clutch $54.16
Anti Imperialist Solidarity – East German Antifa Throw Pillow only $20.84
Antifa Messenger Bag, Black, Medium only $125

Today’s new items (9.3.2017):

Blues Lives Splatter Stickers
F the Police Brass Knuckles Shirt $35
Antifascist Sticker for sale

Today’s new Antifa items (9.4.2017)

Love Antifa Hate Cops sticker
Police Not Welcome sticker
Gas Mask Sticker

New Masks For Sale, various outlets,  9.8.17

Antifa is not training to throw glitter

By Gretchen Mullen, Skeptic Review

Shane Bauer, Investigative Reporter for Mother Jones, published “What the Media Got Wrong About Last Weekend’s Protests in Berkeley” on August 29, 2017.

What the Media Got Wrong About Last Weekend’s Protests in Berkeley

As a first-hand account of what he witnessed, Bauer says, “The violence I saw was only part of the story.”

While this may be true, his characterization of Antifa borders on suggesting they are merely masked superheroes spreading glitter and handing out cupcakes.

Bauer explains away Antifa’s use of masks and ninja costumes with the following assertions:

“Antifa activists are press-shy in part because they’ve been identified and targeted online by white supremacists.

What’s more, in a country with strong press freedoms, journalists often feel entitled to photograph whomever they wish. Rather than acknowledging that some people don’t want a camera in their face—especially when, like antifa activists, they’ve been identified and targeted online by white supremacists—some reporters grow testy.”

But a closer look at training sites for Antifa organizers belies this message. Antifa can “dox” with the best of them, meeting white supremacists head to head. (Definition of dox courtesy Merriam-Webster: slang :  to publicly identify or publish private information about (someone) especially as a form of punishment or revenge)

Excerpt: Forming An Antifa Group: A Manual

TAKE ACTION!

Now that you have a group, what do you do?

1) Establish an online presence

If you are a public group, establish an online presence. Again, we recommend limiting this to a webpage and/or twitter. If you make a facebook group for an event, make sure you set the invite list to private: many people have been doxxed based on information from invites. For some more ideas on basic online security, see: https://itsgoingdown.org/time-beef-defense-against-far-right-doxxing.

2) Start monitoring

Find out about your local Far Right groups and collect information about them, including organizations, names, pictures, addresses, and work places. These can include AltRight activists, KKK, Nazi skinheads, neo-Nazi parties, suit-and-tie white nationalists, anti-Semites, Islamophobes, anti-immigration activists, Patriot and militia groups, and others. The SPLC’s Hate Map lists groups by state, although itwill be incomplete. You can also look at established national groups such as Identity Evropa and the Traditionalist Worker Partyand see if they have local chapters in your area. Also, reading reports by other anti-fascist groups may give insight into who is recruiting in your area.

3) Stickering and wheatpasting

If racist groups are stickering or flyering in neighborhoods, organize patrols to tear them down. Use a scraping tool, as there have been occasional instances of razors being placed behind the stickers. Create anti-fascist stickering, flyering, wheatpasting, and graffiti campaigns of your own.

4) Doxxing

After doing your research, present information about racist organizing in your community. The information you release should present enough information to convince an average reader that the target is clearly a racist. Information should include, if possible: a picture, home address, phone number, social media profiles, and employment information. Be sure to include organizational affiliations and screenshots showing concrete evidence of racist and fascist views. Follow up the doxx with a pressure campaign: call their work and try to get them fired, and inform their neighbors through flyering or door-to-door campaigns.

When you present your intel, you’ll have showed your hand, however, and generally it’s difficult to collect more after that. Also be aware that you will enrage your target by naming them: you might have been ignored as a public group for a year doing antifa stuff, but once you refer to a local racist by name, they will fixate on you.

Make sure your intel is correct. You will lose credibility and create unnecessary enemies if you list a home address or work place that the fascist is no longer associated with. The majority of research can be done online, but some things can only be verified in the real world.

5) Event shutdowns

Pressure venues to cancel racist or fascist events. Make sure you have your dossier on the subject prepared beforehand to present, as the first question will always be “How do you know they are a racist?” Approach venues with a friendly phone call, as often they are not informed about the politics of events at their space. However, if they don’t cancel immediately, they will almost always need to be pressured. Collect phone numbers, emails, and social media contacts and call for a shutdown. (We have found that it is helpful to make easily sharable graphics and short videos.) Threaten a boycott of the venue if they event goes on, and follow through on this. In Montreal, one racist concert was cancelled after antifa physically blocked the entrance.

So far, I have yet to find any Antifa source material on rational debate or reasonable discourse. I will keep looking.

For more on Antifa training regarding self-defense and guns, http://skepticreview.com/2017/08/29/antifa-forming-antifa-group-manual-excerpt/

Antifa: Forming an Antifa Group: A Manual (Excerpt)

As curiosity about Antifa grows, here is a look inside the group and some of the its tenets. This is an excerpt from “Antifa: Forming a Group: A Manual.” More excerpts to follow.

SELF-DEFENSE

Antifa groups engage in self-defense work. While most antifa work does not involve direct confrontation, and the amount of confrontation varies from group to group, sometimes it is necessary. Your group members and the supporters around you should be prepared.

We recommend regular martial arts training for anti-fascists, as well as for the larger radical community. It’s a good place to meet people who are serious about this.

Find out what the laws are in your city and state about a variety of self-defense weapons and make sure to practice with, and carry, everything that is legal— whether that is pepper spray, retractable clubs, or other devices.In some cases, what is legal to carry for self-defense is considered assault with a weapon if used in an offensive capacity.Laws vary community by community and ideally a lawyer should be consulted regarding this.

GUNS

A word about guns. Ask yourself: Can another weapon suffice instead of a gun? If you do choose to own guns, engage in regular practice. A gun can give you a false sense of security and if you’re not in practice, you’re more likely to be injured than if you don’t have one. Keep in mind that gun shops and range owners themselves are often connected to right-wing political groups.

If you choose to engage in firearms training, make sure everyone understands basic gun safety—as well as local laws—when it comes to owning, transporting, and potentially using firearms.

Above all, don’t front with images of guns unless you own and are ready to use them. Which is better: to pretend that you have guns and then have one pulled on you when you are unarmed, or for fascists to try to roll on you without realizing you are armed?

However, if right-wingers have been threatening people in your area with guns, or have already shot people, we recommend you arming yourselves immediately and getting concealed carry permits, where possible.For more information, see “Know Your (Gun) Rights! A Primer for Radicals.”

Excerpted from: Forming an Antifa Group: A Manual

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read, Sept. 24 – 30, 2017

Courtesy American Library Association

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available.

This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read. Banned Books Week highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

Spirit photography: William Hope Cashed in on Grief

By Gretchen Mullen, Skeptic Review

Spirit photography, or photos claiming to document ghosts of loved ones, became popular during the late 19th and early 20th centuries as hope rose that photography could finally provide scientific proof of the afterlife.

The impetus behind the proliferation of these highly sought after photos was three-fold:

  1. The photographer mastering this technique could get rich quick, often hanging out with some of the upper echelon of society.
  2. Subjects were anxious to believe their dearly departed loved ones were now heavenly spirits. Too often, subjects photographed were in the throes of a recent loss and were easily exploited. Post-war eras were particularly fruitful.
  3. Cameras were viewed as documenting truth; public knowledge about photographic manipulation was limited.

As early as 1869, American William Mumler, spirit photographer to the stars–not the least of whom was Mary Todd Lincoln–was tried for fraud, but was ultimately acquitted because the prosecutor simply couldn’t quite figure out how the photographs were fraudulently made.

    • Mary Todd Lincoln and the ghost of Abraham Lincoln as photographed by William Mumler, ca.1869.

Enter English spirit photographer William Hope (1863-1933) who garnered a prestigious clientele including an enthusiastic endorsement from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Below is a mere sampling of spirit photos produced by William Hope courtesy National Science and Media Museum:

 

Despite being labeled a “common cheat” by Scientific American, support for Hope persisted. William Hope was also the subject of a sting operation conducted by “paranormal investigator” Harry Price (Harry Price merits his own story, to be discussed in a separate article coming soon).

Price’s investigation prompted Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to publish The Case for Spirit Photography in 1922 “to show the overpowering weight of evidence which exists as to the reality of Mr. Hope’s most remarkable gift.”

 

Richard Feynman: Curiosity: Four minutes of wonder

Created by Reid Gower

CREDITS
MUSIC : Ludovico Einaudi – Primavera – https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/lu…
NARRATION: Richard Feynman – Take The World From Another Point Of View
BBC The Great Rift – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00mfldk
Koyaanisqatsi – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085809/
Microcosmos – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117040/
BBC Life – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_(BB…)
Chronos – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088919/
BBC Planet Earth – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planet_E…
BBC The Secret Life of Chaos – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00pv1c3
Wonders of the Universe – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonders_…
Trinity and Beyond – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114728/

Copyright Tamiko Thiel 1984

Allegory of the Cave: A Visual Primer

By Gretchen Mullen, Skeptic Review

My recent review of Reasons to Believe, a new film by Ben Fama Jr., prompted me to refresh my understanding of “The Allegory of the Cave,” also known as “Plato’s Cave.” Fama opens Reasons to Believe with his own depiction of this famous parable, endowing the allegory with tremendous significance as a precursor to a most serious discussion on the nature of belief and its real world consequences, carried out by modern scholars Michael Shermer, Peter Boghossian, Caleb Lack, Jennifer Whitson and Chad Woodruff. (To read my full summary and review of “Reasons to Believe,” click here. http://skepticreview.com/2017/08/20/skeptic-review-f…m-by-ben-fama-jr/)

Neither Socrates nor Plato would want me to give you my interpretation of the allegory. That is for you decide on your own. I must say, however, that a few key concepts stood out to me:

Enlightened vs. Unenlightened                         Light vs. Shadows

Upper World vs. Underground Cave                 Reality vs. Illusion            

Do yourself a favor and please spend a few moments of your day on these three delightful renditions of “The Allegory of the Cave.” Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments in the section below, or just thank me for making your day.

DEPICTION ONE: The Cave: A Parable Told by Orson Welles (1975)

Full citation:  Welles, Orson, 1915-1985, Wismer, C. B, Wolff, Larry, Oden, Dick, Bosustow, Nick et al. The Cave : a parable told by Orson Welles. CRM/McGraw Hill Films, [Del Mar, Calif.], 1975.

DEPICTION TWO: The Cave: An Adaptation of Plato’s Allegory in Clay (2008)

Bullhead Entertainment presents the award-winning animation film featured in over 100 film festivals worldwide. This 3-minute film took first place in animation at the USA Film Festival Short Film and Video Competition.

DEPICTION THREE: Allegory of the Cave (2014)

The product of an Advance Placement Language Class,  high school students move the allegory into today’s modern world. This short film would be an ideal and relatable teaching tool targeted to young adults.

 

FACTITIOUS: Game helps users learn to spot fake news

Real or fake? At a time when the reading public daily grapples with the question of fake news, the American University Game Lab/JOLT has created an accessible, easy-to-play game that helps you sort fake news from real.

The brainchild of former AU JOLT Fellow Maggie Farley, she pitched the concept more than a year ago, before the 2016 presidential campaign brought the challenges of fake news to the spotlight. For purposes of the game, “fake news” is defined as stories fabricated for fun, influence or profit, as well as satire, opinion and spin.

“Fake news is impossible to stop, so we wanted to playfully teach people how to recognize it,” said Farley. “But the game is fun to play in itself.”

The game engine in the next phase should also be available to newsrooms, schools, or groups that want to adapt a version for their own use.

PS: My first crack at the game yielded 93%. Second crack, not so much. I highly recommend you try this game! It’s fun, enlightening and horrifying. I am especially excited to hear it will be available as a teaching tool. My nephew asked me this week if I had read the warning that “people are injecting the AIDS virus into bananas.”–Gretchen Mullen, Editor, Skeptic Review

Edvard Munch

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PLAY FACTITIOUS HERE:

http://factitious.augamestudio.com/