Friday, July 16, 2021

Many Affiliation Grifts Abound

One of the most important essays written about the right-wing is Rick Perlstein's The Long Con, published in the November 2012 issue of The Baffler. The article details the extent to which the American Right-Wing is a straight-up con. Four years later, this kleptocracy reached it's apotheosis when Donald Trump, the biggest carnival barker in the party, was elected president, and proceeded to milk the taxpayers to the extent that he could. Indeed, he continues to do so

Trump is merely the top of the pyramid, though, the Grifter-in-Chief among a pantheon of conmen-and-women. Many of these scams take the form of affinity fraud, scams that depend on a perceived simpatico among group members for their appeal... by buying in, the marks can 'fight back' against 'Marxism' or 'the liberal agenda'. So we come to the topic of today's post, the 'Freedom Phone'. For a mere $500, a MAGA mark can purchase a cheap Chinese-made smartphone that retails for as little as $119. 

The draw is that the phone has a bunch of free right-wing apps preloaded on it to forestall any 'censorship' from Big Tech. The phone is also marketed as 'secure', with features to thwart any tracking attempts, though security expert Matthew Hickey noted that the MediaTek chips employed in it are considered risky:  

“I have never encountered a secure MediaTek device in my entire life. Using MediaTek for anything and expecting privacy or security is fundamentally flawed.” 

Oh, yeah, I can just hear the Silicon Valley tech titans shaking in their boots. 

The promotional video for the Freedom Phone is Pure Comedy Gold, featuring a bro with a tragic hairdo, who claims to be the 'youngest Bitcoin millionaire ever' extolling the virtues of his jumped-up burner phone:

 Tim Apple, beware! 

Not content to let an opportunity to grift the rubes pass them by, a gaggle of right-wing pundits have been touting the Freedom Phone, and in one particularly funny instance, nutbar-and-token Candace Owens tweeted to promote the Freedom Phone using her iPhone.  Cue sad trombone.

The Freedom Phone joins such crappy knockoffs as the Parler and Gettr apps, ersatz products that pose a security risk to the morons who use them in order to escape 'censorship' by Big Tech (seriously, these people really need to read the Terms of Service agreements for apps they use).  These were the same idiots who went nuts for W Ketchup in the early days of the 21st century.  I'm kinda grateful to them for being gullible, the more they overpay for cheap smartphones, the less money they have to purchase firearms.

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