Nod or blunder? No CPAC 2021 apology for a stage shaped like a white supremacist symbol

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    • #408360
      Cold Mountain Trail
      • Total Posts: 12,041

      It’s been said that you should never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity. Applying this maxim to the Conservative Political Action Conference makes it one of the stupidest organizations in American politics today, and that’s saying something.

      As difficult as it is to get your head around, the stage at CPAC 2021 last weekend was built in the shape of a rebranded swastika, something called an odal or othala rune. This symbol was incorporated into SS uniforms and is frequently used by white supremacists. Neo-Nazis get tattooed with this thing. It was even on display at the 2017 Unite the Right protest in Charlottesville. Here’s a picture of the CPAC stage next to a picture of a Nazi uniform. Judge for yourself.

      An extraordinary controversy erupted over this, as you would expect. Any normal person on being confronted with such a colossally idiotic mistake would blanch whiter than a Klansman’s hood and take immediate steps to fix the problem while profusely apologizing for the screw-up and Googling to see if the federal witness protection program was accepting volunteers. But not CPAC host Matt Schlapp, the chairman of the American Conservative Union…

      Regardless of what Schlapp thinks, I guarantee you that 100% of white supremacists are going to interpret this as a massive endorsement. It isn’t some veiled reference, it’s a well-documented symbol of white supremacy…There was an article about it over four years ago in the New York Times. After Trump’s election, what was then one of the largest neo-Nazi organizations in the country, the National Socialist Movement, decided to do some rebranding and replace the swastika with the odal rune in an effort to make white supremacy more “mainstream.” Since Trump stood in the middle of one at CPAC to declare his return to politics, I guess it worked…


      Initially, going over the possibilities, I thought maybe the Ds *could have* done it somehow, as a kind of ‘ratfucking’.  I don’t put things like that past either party:  “Make them deny it” as LBJ would say.

      But rather than apologize, they doubled down and blamed others.

      So I still maintain, it was their choice, and I think at some point the truth will out.


    • #408363
      leftcoast mountains
      • Total Posts: 5,630
    • #408372
      • Total Posts: 2,875

      Next year you can bet CPAC or TPAC (depending on who you are listening too) will drag out their NAZI stash out of the closet and compare it to their stage.

      If you cannot dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit WC Fields

      Warning DO NOT CLICK HERE!
    • #408400
      Cold Mountain Trail
      • Total Posts: 12,041

      I found 2 US companies named “Design Foundry”

      One is private, out of Maryland. One is public, in NC.


      The one that’s getting attention is the MD company.

      — The only thing I find about any company called “Design Foundry” in Open Secrets is two 2018 Expenditures by the Democratic Party totalling $2670.  This is money the Ds paid to the company for some kind of event, just like the Rs paid the same company for an event, as did many others, e.g. The National Geographic Society, Citibank, etc.

      I find no political donations at all by any company with that name, contra the claim above.  Which doesn’t mean necessarily there *were* no donations, just that they weren’t public.  Could have been dark money, PAC money, all the ways donations can be hidden.  But there isn’t anything open.  So no evidence for the claim until the people making it prove it.


      Annie Senatore is the company’s CEO.

      Annie Senatore – CEO + Creative Director – Design Foundry …
      View Annie Senatore’s profile on LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional community. Annie has 5 jobs listed on their profile. … Assistant Event Designer/Project Manager at Design Foundry …

      There are no political donations from her on Open Secrets.  Nor for the other officer in the company.  They may all be raving Ds for all I know.  But there’s no donations that show that.  They’re a business.  Presumably CPAC checked them out before hiring them.  (I actually read something that said they’d done business with CPAC before, but can’t find it again, so I can’t claim that without the receipt.)

      Summary:  I found no evidence of political donations by this company or any of its principals.  I find only evidence that Design Foundry received <$3000 in 2018 from the D party for some kind of event work.  I assume the Rs paid them similarly for the work they did for the Rs.

      –Various news reports (e.g. FOX News) seemed to be trying to make it look as though this firm only did work for Ds, or D-linked firms (e.g. D-linked media like MSNBC).  Perusing their customers (including CPAC!) tells a different story.  Way to lie by selective use of info FOX News!


      The majority of jobs at Design Foundry pay < $50K, & 23% pay  <$30.5 K The highest salary is $132K.  That means the majority of jobs there are for (cheap) labor.,MD

      –There may be a parent company but I haven’t been able to confirm that so won’t speculate.


      If you look through the pictures of other stage designs this company has done, there are *none* that feature a design similar to this one, or even a design with  “holes” in it like this one has, “holes” that make it more likely to fall off the stage in multiple places.   The stages are all standard.

      —In addition, the reason claimed for the strange design, “social distancing,” is ridiculous.  Any distancing achieved with this stupid design could easily (and more cheaply) be achieved by other measures, such as ropes, pillars, etc.  Not that the “holes” in the stage actually achieve distancing, they just force people into a line.  People can still crowd a line.

      Nothing indicates this company has a history of bizarre stage designs.

      –Here’s that stage!!


    • #408430
      Ohio Barbarian
      • Total Posts: 19,954

      In fact, the word Odal or Odhal is related to the Anglo-Saxon “Aetheling,” or heir apparent to the throne. Like so many Norse things, the rune was appropriated by the Nazis, and was worn as a badge by part of the SS that was responsible for “resettlement,” as well as one or two combat divisions of the SS.

      But it was never front-and-center in Nazi paraphernalia world. Yes, American Nazis also appropriated it, I guess because the symbol isn’t as well-known as the Swaskika or the SS thunderbolts. I must say that the stage is a perfect replica of the winged version of the rune that was used by the Nazis.

      That doesn’t make the rune itself a symbol of evil, though, anymore than a few wackjobs waving the original 13-star Betsy Ross American flag is going to prevent me from flying it from my house in honor of my ancestors who fought an empire under that same flag.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

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