Finally Friday Reads: Rightwing Edgelords and Homegrown Terrorism

Portraits of Philly homicide victims’ families on display in City Hall – WHYY

Good Day, Sky Dancers!
Yesterday, BB’s compelling post made me wonder if we would ever get out of the grip of the gun fetishists in this country. I found there are art projects around our country focused on ensuring the victims of gun violence–including their families–are not forgotten in this discussion.

I will start with the Philadelphia project, but please follow the caption links to see more. I want to ensure that we don’t glorify the works of Rightwing Edgelords and those inducted into the Gun Cult by Fox and other right-wing media personas. “‘Faces you need to see’: Loved ones of violence victims share grief in new art exhibit. A new art exhibit at City Hall features gun violence co-victims, or people who’ve lost someone to homicide — stories often lost in the daily homicide count”. This was on display in 2022.

Organizer Zarinah Lomax conceived the portrait project, which features 45 co-victims and will be on display until Oct. 15. She lost a family member to gun violence in 2018 and has been working with families affected by trauma since. Lomax is a host with PQ Radio 1, one of WHYY’s N.I.C.E media partners.

“A lot of the time we paint the victims,” she said to a packed room at the exhibit opening. “But these are faces you need to see, these are the victims that are still here.”

I learned something new from VICE today. “Rightwing Edgelords Are the Real Threat to National Security. “The amount of Three Percenters and Boogaloo guys I work with is untenable,” said one Department of Defense worker.” My first that was  what is an Edgelord exactly?

This is from the Oxford languages dictionary.
“a person who affects a provocative or extreme persona, especially online (typically used of a man).”

Special to The Sun: The “Souls Shot Portrait Project” at Rowan College of South Jersey includes this portrait of gun violence victim Kevin Miller, made by Professor Eoin Kinnarney.

“edgelords act like contrarians in the hope that everyone will admire them as rebels”

I love this bit from Your Dictionary. “What’s an ‘Edgelord’ and Why Do You Never Want to Be One?” It’s written by

An edgelord is someone with harsh opinions that they express in distasteful, offensive language to seem both edgy and aloof. As a 21st-century provocateur, an edgelord is especially attracted to taboo and controversial topics, which best showcase their would-be nihilism.

This person may dress in a provocative or shocking way, making them easy to spot. Unlike online trolls, who often are just normies trying to start trouble, edgelords set themselves apart from the norm in every way possible.

Well, that description and the “typically used of a man” thing lit up my mind with faces. However, I’d still say the High Priestess of QAnon strikes me as an Edgelady; back to the Vice article.

Since the beginning of the Biden Administration, the GOP has painstakingly attacked the Pentagon as a “woke” institution that’s somehow morphing the military and the nation into a soft power. Drag queen story hours and “DEI” (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) training have become buzzwords for institutional rot, popping up on Fox News and in congressional committees as national security threats destroying the Department of Defense.

Then last week it was revealed that perhaps the most damaging unauthorized disclosure of U.S. intelligence since Wikileaks, wasn’t laid at the hands of some “woke warrior” but apparent Discord edgelord and national guardsman Jack Teixeira, highlighting what ideological beliefs might actually pose a threat to the U.S. government.

A gun and military gear enthusiast, Teixeira led a Discord server made up of young men and reportedly appears in a video firing a weapon while yelling antisemitic epithets (the chatroom was also reportedly rife with racist shitpostings). He was even touted as a posterboy for the extremist corners of the right, including Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor-Greene who called him “white, male, Christian, and anti-war”—a reference to the anti-Ukraine War sentiment among Republicans. Teixeira has been charged with the removal, retention, and transmission of classified documents and could face over a decade in prison if convicted.

While it isn’t exactly clear what Teixeira’s beliefs or motivations were, the behavior on the Discord certainly bears the hallmarks of an edgelord; usually very online, young men posting mock-shocking memes and comments for lols and kudos among each other. Someone allegedly taking classified information to impress their chaos-loving online friends is yet another security threat to a defense force that military sources say has yet to even properly handle individuals with anti-government or extremist beliefs.

“It highlights the need to screen harder in our clearance process,” said a veteran and Department of Defense worker who was not authorized to speak to the media. They said that even in the intelligence world, seeing people who voice support for the militia movement, long understood to be a veiled version of white supremacy and anti-governmentalism, isn’t shocking.

“I’m not saying Republicans can’t have clearances, but the amount of Three Percenters and Boogaloo guys I work with is untenable,” they said, referring to two extremist groups that were active during the attacks on January 6.

A mural of Melissa Ortega, an 8-year-old victim of gun violence in Chicago, painted by artist Milton Coronado.
From my own home New Orleans and WWNO: Opinion: Painting the smiles of people we know, love and will never see again

Well, alrighty then. These aren’t the suspects he works on or cases he’s investigating; these are his fucking co-workers in the DOD. Well, we’ve suspected that haven’t we? White Christian evangelicals have been the plague of the Air Force Academy for decades. I guess this is just the next extension. More from Vice.

It’s well established that there is a threat of rightwing extremist violence among a minority of both active duty servicemen and veterans, but they can also clearly be an intelligence threat. The latest leaks alone likely led to the delay of a multibillion dollar Ukrainian counteroffensive against Russia and major headaches between Washington and some of its key allies.

“Right-wing extremists in the military pose security risks beyond their potential for violence,” said Joshua Fisher-Birch, an expert on the far right at the Counter Extremism Project, a New York City-based nonprofit terrorism watchdog. “The recent leak case highlights the possibility that individuals could share sensitive information with a broader online audience or with potential extremists or other hostile actors. Ideological views that sympathize with a U.S. opponent might also heighten the risk of sharing sensitive information.”

If you read more, you will discover they love Baby-Face Rittenhouse, the poster child for getting away with murder. Please read more.

Here are some more headlines today that will make your stomach churn. How did things get so out of control? This is from the Washington Post. “Trump touts authoritarian vision for second term: ‘I am your justice’. The former president is proposing deploying the military domestically, purging the federal workforce and building futuristic cities from scratch.” This doesn’t sound like Hitler. It sounds like Stalin and Big Brother. ”

Mandatory stop-and-frisk. Deploying the military to fight street crime, break up gangs and deport immigrants. Purging the federal workforce and charging leakers.

Former president Donald Trump has steadily begun outlining his vision for a second-term agenda, focusing on unfinished business from his time in the White House and an expansive vision for how he would wield federal power. In online videos and stump speeches, Trump is pledging to pick up where his first term left off and push even further.

Where he earlier changed border policies to reduce refugees and people seeking asylum, he’s now promising to conduct an unprecedented deportation operation. Where he previously moved to make it easier to fire federal workers, he’s now proposing a new civil service exam. After urging state and local officials to take harsher measures on crime and homelessness, Trump says he is now determined to take more direct federal action.

“In 2016, I declared I am your voice,” Trump said in a speech last month at the Conservative Political Action Conference and repeated at his first 2024 campaign rally in Waco a few weeks later. “Today, I add: I am your warrior. I am your justice. And for those who have been wronged and betrayed, I am your retribution.”

Trump’s emerging platform marks a sharp departure from traditional conservative orthodoxy emphasizing small government, which was famously summed up in Ronald Reagan’s first inaugural address: “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” Trump, by contrast, is proposing to apply government power, centralized under his authority, toward a vast range of issues that have long remained outside the scope of federal control.

This is from CNN’s Zach Cohen. “Exclusive: Text messages reveal Trump operatives considered using breached voting data to decertify Georgia’s Senate runoff in 2021.” That’s basically the Watergate break-in on steroids.

In mid-January 2021, two men hired by former President Donald Trump’s legal team discussed over text message what to do with data obtained from a breached voting machine in a rural county in Georgia, including whether to use it as part of an attempt to decertify the state’s pending Senate runoff results.
The texts, sent two weeks after operatives breached a voting machine in Coffee County, Georgia, reveal for the first time that Trump allies considered using voting data not only to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, but also in an effort to keep a Republican hold on the US Senate.
“Here’s the plan. Let’s keep this close hold,” Jim Penrose, a former NSA official working with Trump lawyer Sidney Powell to access voting machines in Georgia, wrote in a January 19 text to Doug Logan, CEO of Cyber Ninjas, a firm that purports to run audits of voting systems.

In the text, which was obtained by CNN and has not been previously reported, Penrose references the upcoming certification of Democrat Jon Ossoff’s win over Republican David Perdue.

“We only have until Saturday to decide if we are going to use this report to try to decertify the Senate run-off election or if we hold it for a bigger moment,” Penrose wrote, referring to a potential lawsuit.

The plot to breach voting systems in Coffee County, coordinated by members of Trump’s legal team including Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, is part of a broader criminal investigation into 2020 election interference led by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.
Willis’ office is weighing a potential racketeering case against multiple defendants and is actively deciding who to bring charges against, sources tell CNN. Willis has subpoenaed a number of individuals involved in the Coffee County breach, including the two men who carried it out who were in touch with Penrose and Logan.

From the Twin Cities Exhibit Art is my Weapon:A painting of Aniya Allen by Laura Kruchten titled “Sweet Baby.” Allen was shot and killed in 2021 while eating a Happy Meal in her parent’s car.

To the ice floes, all you grannies and grampies out there! Poll: GOP voters say fighting “woke” ideology more important than stopping Social Security cuts. This is from Axios. Look to your left. Look to your right. One out of three Americans are Republican, and they may be out to kill you. This is written by Erin Doherty.

Most Republican primary voters say fighting “woke” ideology in schools and businesses is more important to them than protecting Medicare and Social Security from cuts, a new Wall Street Journal poll out today showed.
Driving the news: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), a potential 2024 candidate, has made conservative cultural issues in education a central part of his agenda, a move the poll indicates could help him with the GOP’s most ardent supporters.

He signed into law a ban on the instruction of gender and sexuality in elementary school, which was recently expanded to include middle and high school.

He also signed the “Stop WOKE” Act which would ban classroom and corporate trainings that make students or employees feel discomfort over their race. (The bill has been temporarily blocked by a federal judge.)

The big picture: Former President Trump has attacked DeSantis over his past support for changes to Social Security and Medicare.
But 55% of Republicans say that fighting “woke ideology in our schools and businesses” is more important than protecting entitlement programs from cuts, per the Journal poll.

27% of Republican voters say protecting Social Security and Medicare benefits from cuts is more important to them.

However, 49% of all voters said they would support a candidate who pledged to keep entitlements as they are rather than push for cuts.

Zoom out: The poll also shows DeSantis trailing Trump 51% to 38% among likely Republican voters in a hypothetical matchup.

Here are some other bits of Republican Fuckery.

Washington Post: Abortion ban states see steep drop in OB/GYN residency applicants
Associated Press: Once-a-week nightmare: US mass killings on a record pace
Zack Beauchamp / Vox: Why so many top Republicans want to go to war in Mexico
Politico: The Threat of Civil Breakdown Is Real
Susan B. Glasser / New Yorker: Fox News Doesn’t Do Apologies

Just as a short note, Buzzfeed is shutting down.

“I’ve taken all I can stands, and I can’t stands no more.” to quote my first-grade hero.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

15 Comments on “Finally Friday Reads: Rightwing Edgelords and Homegrown Terrorism”

  1. dakinikat says:

    Well, it will take a good shower to get all that off me today! Have a good one! Take a look at some of the portraits in the links if you can! They’re compelling statements on lost lives.

  2. quixote says:

    The original connotations of ‘edgelord’ had to do with being out on the bleeding edge, being ahead of everyone. That’s where it’s supposed to differ from mere trolls and just stirring shit up. Supposedly you’re disturbing because you’re Isadore Duncan (kidding, their heros are never (?) female) or Einstein, not because you’re hootin and hollerin under a bridge.

    Obviously, since they’re too dumb to know the difference between the two groups, they’re just trolls.

    • NW Luna says:

      Agree. But what are the 3%ers and the Boogaloo guys? The latter sounds like some sort of redneck-type men.

      • dakinikat says:

        Elmer Stewart Rhodes of Oath Keepers went to Yale. I think some of them were poseurs or RPers. He’s got that eyepatch because he mishandled a gun too.

      • quixote says:

        the term edgelord started in the gaming /software world, as far as I know. 3%ers & Boogs come from extremist politics. Different derivations; convergent evolution. :S

  3. NW Luna says:

    But would Trump pass a civil-service exam?

    The Dems have to win the next presidential election or the country’s lost.

    • dakinikat says:

      We have to get some damn governors back in and get this freaking gerrymandering stopped at the legislative levels too. Plus, all those freaks on the school boards need to go. It’s a Top to the evil Bottom wipe out, or we’re sunk.

    • quixote says:

      The Dump pass a civil service exam? Heeheeheehee hahahaha hoohoohoo haaaroar!

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Does anyone remember a time when the Republicans had a competent Speaker of the House?

  5. bostonboomer says:

    • NW Luna says:

      Great. But we also need something for when toxic substances are released by private facilities.

  6. bostonboomer says:

  7. bostonboomer says:

    • bostonboomer says:

      Alito said the FDA could simply refuse to accept the decision of the Texas judge anyway, suggesting the Biden admin would ignore a court order. The appeals will continue. Alito and Thomas dissented.