Ideologues and True Believers…

Recently, it struck me that Cult 45 was created – and is maintained – using the exact same tricks and techniques that have been used by extremist conservative “Christian” cults throughout time: a narrow focus on their preferred leader, a narrow focus on their preferred “realities,” self-imposed isolation combined with dogged determination to avoid and disregard any and all information that conflicts with said preferred leader, and absolute, blind obedience to same.

The followers will die – and kill – for their beloved leader. They readily give up all of their possessions. They readily offer up their young daughters for the sexual pleasures of the Chosen One. There are no bridges too far or lines they won’t cross. Hell, they can be conditioned to attack their own country, threaten to kill their own leaders, defend a nation’s adversaries.

They’re the same techniques used by David Koresh and his ‘Branch Davidians.’ They’re the same techniques used by Jim Jones and his ‘People’s Temple.’ They’re the same techniques used by Bonnie Nettles and Marshall Applewhite in their ‘Heaven’s Gate’ cult. They’re the same techniques used by Charles Manson and his ‘Family.’ Pop quiz: which of those ended well?

The conservative media and the ‘Trumpsters’ are operating on a much larger scale using the same tips and tricks as Adolph Hitler and his Nazi’s to “scale up” their ethical collapse. I fear the end will be just as bloody as those forerunner groups and, for the life of me, I can’t figure a way to stop it before the bloodshed…

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I’m old enough to remember when conservatives thought the very worst thing any human being could do to any OTHER human being was to participate in a protest that somehow blocked traffic. OMG, how they screamed at the inconvenience! They even started trying to pass laws allowing motorists to simply kill or maim the protestors, using their cars as weapons. After all, those people (wink, wink) were “only” protesting centuries of abuse and maltreatment – supported by volumes of evidence SO undeniable, the only way it can be contained is if no one ever even gets to know about it. (It’s a curious form of the ‘personal responsibility’ claptrap they’re always on about.)

But the whiny truckers blocking traffic on the border between Canada and the US? Heroes, all…just ask the cons. Each and every one of those protestors? Why, simply standing up for freedumb. Of course. How DARE they be asked to engage in a bit of social responsibility? The nerve! There was an AstroTurf followup protest staged in the US. A bunch of the whiny little bitches drove around Washington DC to what was reported as a FLOCK of “birdies” – the finger kind, not the winged kind – aimed at the babies. Apparently, some of the snowflakes got their “feels” bruised. Me? I’m laughing. Forrest Gump’s mom was right: stupid is as stupid does. Nobody does stupid better than a con…

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Every time I see Joe Biden’s mug stuck to some gas pump with the “I did this” slogan next to him, I know one thing: the person who stuck the sticker has no clue. About anything, really, but, in this case, the reference is to how the world oil market works – or doesn’t, as the case may be.

It’s just so easy to work a con into a frothing frenzy of outraged stupidity…

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Apparently, the world won’t confront Putin directly because he has nukes. I get it, but I also think it’s kind of dumb. He’s always going to have nukes. Does that mean he always gets his way? He just gets to pick a country, any country, and invade because he STILL has nukes?

“Oh, no,” they say, “but direct confrontation might lead to World War III.” It might not, too. Putin has kind of demonstrated that, aside from his nukes, his army doesn’t seem to be all that together. Do you think old ‘Murdering Vlad’ realizes that if he nukes one of his neighbors, he’s nuking Russians, too? Like it or not, nuclear fallout doesn’t respect boundaries or borders. It kind of reminds me of the scene in ‘Blazing Saddles’ when Cleavon Little holds a gun to his own head and threatens to pull the trigger if anyone moves – and everyone else drops their weapons!

I have to acknowledge, there is always the possibility that he’s been holding back but that seems stupid, too. If he wanted to take the major cities using a Blitzkrieg kind of strategy, it would have made sense to send in overwhelming force. Putin didn’t do that. So, he seems to be counting heavily on the fact that he HAS nukes, even though he can’t actually USE his nukes. (BTW, the world’s timidity in attacking countries with nukes explains perfectly why Iran is so focused on getting them. But that’s another essay.)

To be clear, I’m not pro-war. I think, like most Americans, we’re all effing tired of fighting after George’s Stupid Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. But it wouldn’t be a US response, it would be NATO, not some pretend “coalition.” Besides, the response wouldn’t be about invading a country for no reason other than greed. (In fact, that seems to be what Putin did.) This is about a madman who has come to believe that he can’t be stopped. This feels more like Germany in 1938. The Nazis claimed Austria and Czechoslovakia. Hitler got away with that because the world let him, agreeing that, well, yes, they HAD been Germany, once, so, it was probably okay. (Sound familiar?) Those were fiat takeovers backed by the threat of military force. Then they invaded Poland.

Putin got away with his fiat takeover of Crimea in much the same way. Then he tried the “used to be ours” crap on Ukraine. That’s still his justification. The world seems to be accepting that clearly fraudulent argument in fear of the nukes. (I’m sure the people of the First Nations are wondering if “used to be ours” might work on the North American continent – if, perhaps, world governments would turn up their bellies and just…give it back.)

I don’t know if I’m right. But it feels like we’re not avoiding war by allowing the Russian Strongman to run roughshod over his neighbors. It feels like we’re just making worse the inevitable war of the future…

Putin’s Folly…

That putz Putin seems to be trying to take a page out of the Dumbass playbook: simply state your preferred reality and then insist everyone around you embrace that new, false reality. Above all, stick to your story no matter how stupid and no matter how easily debunked. On Saturday (March 5), he gave a speech in which he claimed that the sanctions being imposed on him for his illegal invasion of Ukraine are “akin to an act of war.” I see it differently but even if it were true it would be FAR less so than invading one of your neighbors, wouldn’t you say? He also claimed that Ukrainians defending themselves run the risk of putting the Ukrainian state in peril. “The current leadership needs to understand that if they continue doing what they are doing, they risk the future of Ukrainian statehood,” Putin said. “If that happens they will have to be blamed for that.” Not him and his war of aggression. No. The Ukrainians. For defending themselves. Sounds like an abusive spouse…

Just like the Orange Moron, he’s out blaming everyone else for his own actions and failings. Just like the Orange Moron, whatever sanity he may have had at one point has taken a powder. I stand by my assertion that his madness seems likely the result of his isolation during Covid. Have you seen the photos of that nutball at one of his forty foot long tables or in rooms so big his advisors have to talk to him via microphone? I think the distance could be about not catching the virus but, in fairness, Putin has poisoned so many people, he could just be scared someone might try to poison him right back, as they should. (More on that in a minute…)

Oh, and he threatened to widen his war to include Europe and the rest of the world. At this point, he doesn’t seem to have the military strength to do that so what do you think his threat refers to? The west limits it’s assistance in Ukraine to equipment and logistical support, fearing the madman with the nukes might use them – always the nightmare scenario when the topic of nukes comes up. But even THAT is too much for Comrade Putin. He wants everyone to look away while he attacks a peaceful, sovereign nation with the intention of returning control of Ukraine to “Mother Russia.”

The Russian people seem to be unhappy about the attack and many of the Russian soldiers report that they didn’t even know they were going to war. They thought it was a training exercise. So, it appears that nobody likes this invasion except Putin. Well, Putin and the American far right. That group has been trying to snuggle with Putin for years because they see him as a strongman and a beacon for white superiority. Besides, it’s easier for them. They don’t have to actually LIVE under Putin’s brutal rule so they get to fantasize about how awesome it must be. They COULD go there and find out but one does not see much of that…

As a sidebar, I read an article in the Guardian suggesting that both the far right AND the far left have embraced Putin. No link because the article is so stupid but the headline is, ‘Far Right and Far Left Alike Admired Putin…’ The writer gave many modern examples of far-right scoundrels who openly fawn over Putin, including Donnie the Dumbass, Marie Le Pen in France, and Boris Johnson of the UK. He offered two examples of far left supporters: Karl Marx and Oscar Wilde. Seems like a real reach claiming lefty supporters when you have to go back to the 19th century to find them. All right, I’ll give you Eugene Debs, too, but even he died in 1929. Putin wasn’t even born until 1952 so my bet would be none of those guys were actually Putin fans. Conservatives will just say anything to try to make a “point”…

The stupidity of the racist right has always boggled my mind a bit. I continue to hold that the best argument against White Supremacy is the white supremacists. Drooling morons, all. Donnie the Dumbass is, of course, their current poster child but Marjorie Taylor Green wants in on that action to the point she went and spoke at a recent racist rally in Florida. (Of course. Where else would it be?) Curiously, she doesn’t think racists should be “cancelled.”

When I was in the service, I learned that the Geneva Conventions – humanity’s attempt to civilize war – make clear that invading a sovereign nation without provocation is a war crime. It’s also a war crime to attack civilians. Putin’s tortured logic in attacking Ukraine was that he wanted to “denazify” the country – from it’s JEWISH President. Apparently, like so many conservatives, Putin wasn’t paying attention in History class. Russia keeps insisting they’re NOT targeting civilians. They just keep hitting, maiming, and killing them accidentally in a way that couldn’t possibly be avoided – unless one had chosen not to attack at all in the first place. The world has already begun to collect evidence.

The thing is, I think the only way the madman stops his illegal war of choice is for someone near him to kill him. (He seems to think so, too.) Yes, I know. I’m suddenly agreeing with Lindsey effing Graham fercrissakes. But the math is simple. The Ukrainians don’t have the ability to take Putin out. The west won’t get involved because Putin has nukes – which he’s now threatening to use either way so, good call there. That leaves some humanity-loving Russian to step in. To quote Sting, “I hope the Russians love their children too…”

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Have you seen the news that the Dumbass apparently lied to his dumbass supporters when he told them he would march with them in their seditious insurrection at the Capitol building on January 6, 2021? His private White House schedule has come into the possession of the investigating committee and shows quite clearly he had other plans. He talked THEM into it, then skulked off to watch television. He’s a liar and a coward and it was all just more trumpery…

Ukraine…

I’ve noticed a common thread in what’s happening in Ukraine. NOBODY wants to be fighting that effing war. The Ukrainians certainly don’t want it. The Russian soldiers don’t want it. Sure, they’ll do their duty – it’s what soldiers do – but they’re heart isn’t in it. They don’t believe in their mission. Some aren’t even showing up as expected. Europe is aligned against Putin. China? Well, they’ve put out a tepid statement saying they respect Ukraine’s sovereignty but…Russia’s “security concerns” should be addressed – so, who knows?

How many people do you know who went into the Covid-19 lockdown and came out crazy? Sadly, I know a few. It looks like the same has happened to Putin. Russia’s “security concerns” seem to be fomented in the mind of a madman.

You know who’s STILL showing support for Putin? US Republicans. They’re a deeply confused crowd, you know? They’ve been SO FAR conditioned that they’ll say anything, DO anything to “stand against the left” – even when that means they’re actually standing against American interests and humanity in general. The Orange Moron lavished praise on his handler, Putin, calling him “smart” for his invasion. He’s critical of humanity’s response. I suspect he’s too stupid to have considered that Russian banks are being cut off from the world banking system. How does trump get paid if Putin can’t deliver the money?

Fox “News” moron Tucker Carlson called Putin’s illegal war a failure for the Biden administration. He was SO fawning, Russia used his comments as propaganda unedited. They just slapped on Russian subtitles and let it run. They didn’t need to massage one thing. The cons will praise anything, everything, that stands against America – all while waving the American flag and declaring themselves patriots. Yet another decent into their own moral rot…

Here’s a tiny bright side to all of this. If you’re paying attention, you know that, recently, Donnie the Dumbass got busted in possession of stolen, classified documents. 15 boxes of them! He’s had them in his possession since he left office. (If you’re a con, you’re VERY upset the M&M’s aren’t as sexy as they used to be. Fox just didn’t tell you about the stolen documents…) I never have to sit quietly by and listen to some America-hating con blather on about Hillary’s emails again.

No one has said what was in the boxes, of course. It was classified information and shouldn’t have been taken or left sitting around in an office. So it’s pure speculation that the Dumbass gave Putin a look at the information. It was shortly after the boxes were retrieved that Putin made his move. Maybe there’s no connection whatsoever. But the way Donnie kowtows to Putin – and always has – means it’s not crazy to consider trump’s loyalties lie somewhere other than the United States. There’s no way to know how much US intelligence Donnie shared with Putin during his four-year infestation of the White House. Then the Dumbass goes to CPAC (Conservative Pukes Acting Crappy) and repeats his fever dreams about how awesome he believes himself to be compared to everybody else.

I admire the Ukrainian spirit. One story has 13 Ukrainian defenders of an island telling invading Russians to “go fuck yourselves.” Initially, they were all reported as dead but the call has gone up around the country. The road department in Kyiv has removed all of the actual road signs and replaced them with signs that read “go fuck yourselves.” In a hopeful note, the 13 might still be alive according to Ukraine’s State Border Guard…

I’ve been very impressed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy during this whole thing – starting from the time the Dumbass tried to blackmail Zelenskiy into helping trump cheat his way through the election. Zelenskiy said no. When the US offered to get Zelenskiy out of Ukraine he reportedly replied, “The battle has begun. I need ammunition, not a ride.” He started posting photos of himself, proving he’s still in Kyiv. Now we see him in a battle uniform sitting next to others fighting for their country. That dude has balls as big as all outdoors. I have no doubt that Putin will have Zelenskiy killed if captured. I remember when the Dumbass retreated to a bunker because he was so scared of a bunch of Black Lives Matter protesters. Zelenskiy is out fighting with his troops.

Truth be told, I thought Russia would have greater success than they’re showing so far because of their edge in weaponry, made stronger by trump cutting off weapons to Ukraine after they wouldn’t help him cheat. It’s VERY difficult to gauge the power of the cause in these things, though, and the Ukrainians seem to be MORE determined to fend off the illegal attack that the Russian troops are in pressing it.

I stand with the world in support of Ukraine. Putin – and his lapdog trump – can go fuck themselves…

Rats…

I know. We’ve all seen this story before. Still, it defies odds. CheetoJesus doesn’t do any miracles when he “beats” one legal challenge after another. Mostly, he has relied on the support of his entranced minions. He bullies and browbeats. They whimper and show him their bellies. Or turn a blind eye to his crimes. Or disregard his treason with one of our strongest adversaries. Or acquit him without even considering the evidence. This after the whole world watches on television as he incites the true believers to violence and insurrection on his behalf. Obsequious compliance becomes the order of the day.

But when the law identifies criminal behavior and sets it’s sites on a person? For better or worse, the law doesn’t roll over. The law takes it’s time. It’s thorough. Hurling epithets won’t have any effect on the outcome. Lying to a compliant press won’t change the evidence. To be fair, so far, he manages to evade responsibility for his actions. Many others have gone to jail for him or because of him but he keeps walking free. Truth? He won’t go to jail now, no matter what they find. The US doesn’t imprison ex-presidents. Period. But that doesn’t mean he’s a viable future for his party.

They say rats flee a sinking ship. I think it’s probably true. Hell, everybody tries to flee a sinking ship, right? It’s more of a saying, really. It means that bad guys try to insulate themselves from the targets of those investigations the moment it looks like the investigation is going to go against the target. Deutsche Bank has said it won’t do business with the trump crime family again. The accountants for the family have jumped ship. Both of those companies have, likely, made a lot of money as a direct result of their connection. But, suddenly, the connection is FAR too risky – even for piles of money – so they’re out.

His lawyers have mostly abandoned him, too. Most lawyers, of course, are different that those other professionals. They readily associate with criminals – so long as the checks clear – and get away with it because it’s their jobs. But most decent attorneys have also turned their backs on the dumbass. He’s burned through the top-level guy, the mid-level guys, and most of the “also-rans.”

The rats are fleeing the USS Trump because they sense the impending doom. These are not people or groups prone to panic attacks. They make steely-eyed determinations and respond accordingly. THEY think the orange moron has become FAR more of a liability than an asset, whatever the outcome. Sure, he might still slither out of things. I’ve said before and I’ll say again: Satan takes care of his own. But the fleeing rats are a sign we haven’t seen before…

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I’m pretty much sick of hearing about “inflation.” It’s really “greed.” I call it ‘The Great Fleecing’ and I’m pretty sure it’s going to get worse before it gets…no…it’s just going to get worse. I don’t mean to sound so pessimistic. It’s just that I don’t see any angle, from any direction, that will pull us out of this. The last time we were stuck being fleeced by rich people, FDR stood up and stopped them. But FDR was, historically, a very unusual case. He could be termed a one-time good deal. He DID set us on a better, far stronger course. People who can’t manage their own greed have been trying to undo everything he did from the time he did it. They’ve succeeded. You might want to hunker down now…

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https://mybaconpress.com/

Oh, Not Again…

Hey, Hillary’s got a new hat! She’s trolling the dumbass. The hat says, ‘But her emails.’ Funny, right? Recently, she seems to be testing the waters to see how she might be received as a candidate for President. I still won’t vote for her. Yeah, I know. If I DON’T vote for her, I’ll get the dumbass again. Let’s call it the threat vote. The Dems line Hillary up against one of the most disgusting human beings ever to infect the planet – and STILL she loses and she’ll lose again. I continue to believe Progressives won’t vote for her. WE remember what Bill did to this country in the 1990’s.

Quick recap, he was a tremendously charismatic individual who seemed like a fun guy to know and was commonly called the smartest man in the room. He promised to focus on our pain like a laser, causing lefties to relax and go about their business. Then he used the complacent trust he had sown to actually govern almost as badly as any conservative ever did. (43 and 45 took their turns lowering the bar to even more unimaginable levels.)

Most people didn’t even see it at the time. I certainly didn’t. Hillary had been described as something of a co-president and after Bill, many on the left thought it would be a neat trick to elect Hillary and get the team back together. Fortunately, she chose to sit out her very best chance. The damage done by Bill – and, presumably, his “co-president” – was hidden at the time but became more apparent as time went on. He did the harmful things he did with the cooperation of the Republicans in Congress. Why, after all, would THEY object? THEY were getting their wish-list fulfilled beyond their wildest dreams – and all they had to do was pay slightly higher taxes during Bill’s term. And they STILL got to call the Clintons horrible names throughout. What a show…

Our country suffers in a bubble of fantasy delusions so economists will tell you in the corporate media that the economic crash of2008 STARTED in 2008. But the actual seeds were sown in the 1990’s – under Bill Clinton. Oh, and the media would not have been ABLE to convince Americans of so many fictions if it hadn’t been for Bill. Bill’s the one who set the stage for the corrupted and nearly useless opinion-based infotainment industry we suffer today. Bill’s the one who allowed all the BIG media companies to buy all the little media companies so that ALL the outlets would “report” the same stories about how awesome business is and how incompetent government is. I found it quite frustrating that when a BIG company bought a small company – reducing competition – it was ALWAYS accompanied by the phrase “increased competition is good for the country,” effectively admitting that what they were doing was BAD for the country…

So if my choice is going to be between Hillary – a very smart conservative – or the dumbass – a very stupid narcissist, I’ll take the dumbass. Hillary’s smart enough to cover her tracks and get away with the damage she does while the gettin’ is good. Clearly, the dumbass is not. Drumpf’s stupidity will lead to citizen action faster than Clinton’s stealth…

Have you seen HIS latest antics? He stole a bunch of documents when he left the White House. Yet another crime in his long list of crimes. The government will retrieve the docs but nothing more will come of it. The CheetoJesus really could murder someone on Fifth Avenue and nothing would happen to him. Nothing says more about the so-called “Rule of Law” than that.

He’s also reputed to have torn up many, many work papers. It’s even said he flushed them down the toilet – to the point where he clogged the toilet doing so. He denies it, of course. Evidence says otherwise. Some of the documents that got turned over to the House committee investigating his insurrection had, in fact, been torn up. Some had been taped back together, some have not. So we KNOW he tried to destroy papers that should not have been destroyed. The only question is if he used the toilet to dispose of them. Come to think of it, it seems like an apt metaphor for what he did to the country as well…

We found about the torn up papers when the House subpoenaed documentation that related to his coup attempt on January 6th, 2021. The Orange Moron tried to claim Executive Privilege to protect himself from being exposed in his participation. Even his corrupted Supreme Court agreed that was a bridge too far. I’ve never really like the concept of Executive Privilege. The idea is that the President needs to have complete, unfiltered information and in order to do that, the people who give him advice need to be protected over the advice they give. In my mind, the only time that would be necessary is if the advice is to do something illegal. The dumbass’s assertion seems to support my suspicions…

Isn’t that funny? I continue talk – and think – like we still live in Better America.

I watch ‘Real Time with Bill Maher’ on HBO on Fridays. Week after week, he has Dems on as guests. He summarizes the sorry state of affairs here in Submerging America and asks the Dems what they’re going to do – how they’re going to fight back and set the ship of state back on the right course. Week after week, the answers he receives are mealy-mouthed bunk. The minute the answer begins with “If we could…” the rest is just blather – because we can’t.

I’ve become convinced that the Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same coin. The Republicans will protect the 1% at all costs and tell the world that’s all they care about. The Democrats will protect the 1% at all costs and tell the world they’re working for the little guy. At this point, it seems the “little guy” knows better. The only question is how much longer we’re going to suffer the dog-and-pony show…

Unexpected…

It looks like the anti-sex crowd is about to achieve a “victory” of sorts in outlawing abortions for poor women. I know, they pretend they’re outlawing abortion in general but, of course, anybody with resources will just travel to a blue state, get the medical care then need, then go home. No, these laws are designed and intended to keep poor women poor. Nothing else. Still, they’re going to get that law from our now corrupted “Supreme” (meaning it includes with sour cream) Court.

The moment the court rules against safe and legal abortions, I’ll be watching for the obvious companion bills to start becoming law in those same states. You know the laws I mean. Since the women are on the hook for the next 19 years (from the moment of conception), it seems obvious the men who impregnate them should ALSO be on the hook, financially, from the moment of conception – or, at least, from the moment she’s denied the freedom to choose. I’ll be watching for the laws dictating that the mother receives full child support from the father from, what is it, twelve weeks?

Sure, there will be problems. Some women might, accidentally or otherwise, identify the wrong man as the father. Some women might not KNOW the identity of the father. (Most rapists, for example, seem unlikely to introduce themselves. “Hello, I’m Don Drumpf and I’ll be your rapist today.”) Until DNA can certify the identity of the father, the named man must pay the required amount. If it turns out he’s NOT the father, she has to pay him back (discouraging intentionally misidentifying a person) and the properly identified individual must pick up that tab – going back to that twelve week threshold. (So, technically, the correct sperm donor would repay the incorrectly identified not-the-donor…)

I feel certain the GOP has these bills ready and they’re just waiting on a final verdict from the ideologically subordinate court…

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Have you heard the one about the political party that completely debased itself by declaring a seditious act of insurrection “legitimate political discourse?” Why, that would be today’s Republican Party. These people are SO obnoxious they’ve called the January 6th insurrection “legitimate political discourse” and opted to punish the last two sane Republicans, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. Freaking Liz Cheney is not conservative enough for today’s Republicans? Holy gods. It’s because today’s Republican Party is made up of people who once comprised yesterday’s Libertarian Party. Many people didn’t know there even WAS a Libertarian Party. That was largely due to the fact that their thinking was SO muddled, SO out of line with decent, rational thought, most people just dismissed it as a fringe element of crazies. That’s WHY they took over the Republican Party in the first place. It’s a kind of stolen credibility. But the Libertarians didn’t improve their thinking to be Republicans. Instead, they dragged the Republican Party down into the rabbit hole of standard Libertarian crazy.

Look, the Republican Party’s decent into madness has been televised. We’ve all watched – and cringed – as they’ve moved further and further from reason to, well, this. It seems inevitable the party would crash sooner or later but I’ve got to confess, I never expected them to just say – out loud – “No, treason’s okay, so long as WE’RE the beneficiaries!” Still, that’s definitely their message. Hell, they’ve codified it. In censuring Cheney and Kinzinger, they’ve entered it into the Congressional Record!

Yeah, I know. They still have considerable power. But they’ve exposed themselves. They can no longer be considered the “loyal opposition.” Their announcement shows them to be disloyal, unamerican gadflies. History will not judge them kindly…

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You get up in the morning, pour your coffee, and sit down to read the news. You know what you don’t expect to see? A headline that reads, “Texas Butterfly Sanctuary Forced to Close After Threats.” But that’s the headline I read when I opened the Guardian this morning. It gets your attention, you know? Who in the heck would threaten a freaking butterfly sanctuary, fercrissakes?

Yep. Cons, of course. It offers only small comfort that the cons aren’t angry about the butterflies. (Give ’em time, though…) It turns out the Orange Moron’s Wonder Wall was meant to pass through the sanctuary and the people who run the sanctuary were able to block it. Obviously, this meant an assault of Q-Anonsense and the crazies came out of the woodwork to party. And this is Texas. EVERYTHING is bigger in Texas, especially the crazy.

So now, even butterflies are taking a hit from the insanity of America’s most radical and dangerous element, the Q-Anon cons.

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Well, we made it. 900,000-plus dead from Covid 19. And they’re still counting…and counting and counting and counting. The cons may be crazy but they’re doing their job. The bulk of those dying these days ARE the cons themselves who refuse proper medical intervention until they CAN’T refuse proper medical intervention. (Even then, some still try.) I think of them as Darwin Award winners and their voluntary deaths are probably improving the overall intelligence level of America – but that doesn’t seem to be saying much…

I’m still surprised that in order to maintain their philosophy of contrarian obstructionism, the conservative bubble chose to kill off their own supporters. It seems like a Pyrrhic victory. Perhaps those who run the conservative bubble have decided they gained enough control over this once-great nation, they don’t NEED the mob anymore…

Lapses…

So…if you get your information from outside the conservative bubble, you know that the January 6th commission has issued subpoenas for documents from the Dumbass maladministration regarding the events of January 6. You know that the Dumbass, claiming the documents in question will prove his innocence, has done everything in his now limited power to block the release of said documents. (After all, who wouldn’t provide exculpatory evidence when accused of a crime, right?) If you get your information from outside the conservative bubble, you know CheetoJesus took his case all the way to the now-corrupted “Supreme” Court. You know that even THAT court agreed with Congress and ordered the release of the documents. You know that at least one of those documents was a draft Executive Order to have the US military seize and secure every voting machine in the country as part of the alleged planned coup.

On the other hand, if you get your information from inside the conservative bubble, YOU know that Tucker Carlson wants to have sex with your candy and he’s REALLY irritated that some of the M&M’s aren’t as sexy as they used to be.

I feel like there may be some…lapse in the quality of information being introduced to the conservative bubble. It’s really no wonder they have no clue as to what’s really happening in this once-great nation. This lapse is what I think about every time I hear someone say, “Why can’t we just come together?” How can we come together if one group is not even told what’s happening?

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You Chose Out…
I’ve noticed a distinct uptick in the amount of religious dogma being spewed by the anti-vax/anti-mask crowd. It’s coming from people I never even knew were religious. Now they present themselves as the picture if piety. I suspect they’re hoping their posed postures of morality will overshadow their immorally selfish behavior of being anti-vax/anti-mask. Actions still speak louder than words.

I’ve got to tell you, ALL of us are tired of this ongoing struggle exacerbated by those who simply refuse to cooperate. We SHOULD have beaten this virus down a long, long time ago. But there’s this one group, armed with reams of misinformation and with no regard for anybody but themselves, who insist on denying reality. They insist, that is, until THEY get the virus themselves. THEN what do they do? They run straight to the very doctors they’ve been dissing the whole time. They RUSH to the bosom of science in the hope that the science they hate can still save them, sometimes still so dedicated to their dogmatic positions they try to tell the experts how best to fix the problem they created by ignoring the experts in the first place. (Ivermectin, anyone?) They clog up medical resources and, quite frankly, they’re costing this country a great deal of money both in the damaged economy AND in medical costs.

There’s a commercial in which a group of young people is shown running through a dark and scary nighttime landscape, trying to escape some crazed chainsaw killer. They stop near a running car to consult as to the next, best move and one says, “Why don’t we just get into that running car?”
Another member of the party looks at her with that stupid Tucker-is-confused look as says, “Are you crazy? Let’s hide behind the chainsaws!” And that’s what they do.
The voice-over says, “When you’re in a horror film, you make poor decisions. It’s just what you do.”

Our current nightmare isn’t a film but it IS being driven by poor decisions. It’s OBVIOUS the cons WANT a solution to the problem. Since the start, they’ve suggested one ineffective “solution” after another. Drink bleach, shove a blacklight up your bum, use aquarium cleaner, try horse de-wormer. At some point one of them MUST say, “Why don’t we just use the medicine developed specifically to combat this virus?”
The others will just look at her with that stupid Tucker-is-confused look and say, “Are you crazy? Let’s drink our own urine!” And that’s what they do.

The majority took the jab because we understand about consideration of others. It’s called compassion. “Sure, I’ll be fine but I can’t know about the people I come into contact with so I’ll do my part.” But I suspect we’ve reached a point where I’M being more concerned about THEIR health than even THEY are. That’s an imbalance I think it’s time to correct. Clearly, we’re not going to be able to force the stupidly stubborn to do the right thing so it’s time to just wave the white flag and give them what they want. At this point, I’ve finally moved into the “Let’s just drop all mandates and let ‘er rip!” camp. It’s a chance for EVERYBODY to put their money where their mouth is. (…mouths are?)

I believe I’m protected because I have the jabs and boosters. I may still get and/or spread Covid-19 but I most likely won’t die or even need hospitalization. On the other hand, THEY claim not to care. Even as they lay dying in a hospital bed, they’re STILL trying to tell the doctors how to treat them – and they’re still wrong.

We need a couple of balancing rules so that the innocents in this faux battle don’t have to suffer actual results of manufactured outrage, so here’s the deal: 1) insurance companies (an innocent?!?) must be let off the financial hook for unvaccinated patients. Unless one has a medical proscription against the jab, society cannot be expected to pick up the tab for your bad choices any longer. 2) ALL other health issues MUST be prioritized over unvaccinated Covid patients. If all the ICU beds are full of the unvaccinated-by-choice and someone shows up with, say, chest pains, one of the unvaccinated MUST be discharged in order to make room for the new patient. Maybe on a first in, first out basis. You’re free to choose as you like but with that freedumb comes responsibility. You live – or die – based on your choices.

The United States is rapidly heading toward 900,000 dead Americans as a result of this mess. I’m pretty sure that immediately following the dropping of all mandates that number will skyrocket for a short time. But the truth is, I can’t think of a downside. Opening everything back up will boost the economy. The people who die will be the people who volunteered for the role – and who can change that choice at any given time. But their passing will benefit the gene-pool AND create new job openings…

Good Cop, Bad Cop…

The Arizona Dems have censured Kyrsten Sinema. For clarity, it doesn’t mean anything. It’s just an official, “We didn’t like that!” from her party. BFD. There was a time when uncooperative party members would be informed their lack of cooperation was going to be remembered. The party would pull money from the offending member and put it behind a challenger. If the current president was of the same party, they would promise to show up and campaign for the challenger. In short, the message was, “If you don’t play ball with us you don’t get to play at all.” That doesn’t seem to happen anymore.

Sinema is one of two DINO’s (Democrat in name only) – the other is Joe Manchin of West Virginia – helping to finalize the destruction of a once-great nation by being unreasonably intransigent in Congress. She pretends it’s more important to protect the claimed filibuster than to protect citizens of Arizona. She says it’s tradition and she’s trying to protect the minority. It’s kind of true but in this case, the minority to whom she refers is the One Percent, the privileged elite. The Congress of the United States of America is not allowed to do anything for the American people as a whole. They serve the wealthy and no one else. Still, they have to maintain the facade of being this grand, deliberative body that WANTS to do the right thing. No, really, they do. It’s just that they can never seem to pull it off.

It’s a basic dog-and-pony show I think of as “good cop, bad cop.” The Republicans, of course, are the bad cops. They’re the ones that will tell you to your face they’re going to shove a nightstick up your ass, like it or not. The Dems? Oh, they’re the good cop. They’ll let you know that, secretly, they’re here to help and if you just tell them what they want to know they’ll do what they can for you. But you know what? BOTH COPS want the same thing. They’re both trying to bust you. It’s just that one of them will act like your friend while doing it…

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The Dems claim to be on the side of the working class but never – and I mean NEVER – get anything done that serves the working class. There’s always some impediment to success. Right now the “impediments” are Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin. Dems have the majority? Well, technically, but not functionally so…nothing. Occasionally there are stories about “why” in the media. Oh, they like the attention. Bunk. They like their money. More, it seems, than they like their country. Greed kills…

Think about the Affordable Care Act. Americans are just about fed up being the only industrialized nation on the planet without some form of universal health care. As a people, it seemed we were moving toward rebellion. Enter Obama, promising universal health care if we elect him. Once elected, though, the conversation STARTED at, “Let’s enrich the insurance companies.” It didn’t actually help the American people but it quelled the rebellion…for a time.

Biden got part of his infrastructure plan through because better infrastructure helps support the goals of the One Percent but he won’t get the parts that serve the masses. Not allowed. There will be hand-wringing and explanations, to be sure, but all the talk, all the observations will lead to just one place: protect the interests of the One Percent.

I believe the One Percent has overthrown the Republic with the willful help of the conservative base. Everyone else is in a kind of stunned mode, wondering what the hell went wrong. This country didn’t have to fail, it chose to fail. The only question now is, how long will the masses go along with the pretense? Revolutions are messy and unpredictable events but I think the gathering storm will, in the end, prove unavoidable…

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So, the 49er’s beat the Packers in the playoffs. The Niners advance, the Packers go home. I think Aaron Rogers was trying to improve is market value by playing very well through the season but, in the end, he got what he deserved and, once again, flamed out in the playoffs. I’m watching to see if he just goes to the championship game, anyway, and simply claims his team won. He apparently thinks he can lie about anything…

It’s always kind of sad to see people succumb to the dark side of Q-Anonsense…

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Speaking of stupid, self-centered jerks, CheetoJesus is still making news, though it’s likely not the kind of coverage he wants. I doubt any of his religious fanatic followers are going to care one whit, of course. One does NOT become a religious fanatic by reason. The evidence against him is growing every day, though. Drip, drip, drip. Little Donnie Dumbass is getting in deeper and deeper. We now know, I mean, evidence shows, he and his crew have been inflating property values when it served him to do so and deflating property values when THAT would help his financial position. No, acolytes, that’s not “clever,” it’s criminal.

He lied about the value of his apartment by pretending it is 20,000 square feet larger than it really is. He inflated the value of one property because of all the houses that he had built there – only he hadn’t built the houses. Okay, evidence shows he did that on two properties. I don’t have the means to go through every instance of fraud this huckster has engaged in – but New York State’s Attorney General, Letitia James – does.

The Dumbass is still in trouble in Georgia, too. Remember when he tried to get the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” votes? That conversation was recorded. Pass the popcorn.

Our once-great nation has come to a stupid arrangement. We don’t jail ex-presidents no matter how egregious their crimes. But Juniors, Erics, and Ivankas? Oh, we can jail them. We can also fine the ex-president and take his money. Of course, his acolytes will just send their money to him and eat cat food instead. Foolish loyalty to the end but, again, one does NOT become a religious fanatic by reason…

Weight Loss Surgery and Alcoholism…

A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.” – Paul Simon, ‘The Boxer’

As many of us know these days, our society is pretty much just one con game after another. The vast majority of Americans are being hustled and scammed by the privileged elite. Most often, though, the scams end with the worker a bit poorer, locked into a service that doesn’t deliver or holding a product that doesn’t work as advertised. Buyer beware, right? But there’s at least ONE scam that I’ve become aware of that has deadly consequences and I REALLY think it needs to stop. It’s probably going to take a lawsuit but it’s going to be a tough suit to press. I’m referring to gastric bypass weight loss surgery.

The entire premise of gastric bypass weight loss surgery is hokum, comforting lies the surgeon tells the desperate would-be patient. “Oh, you eat too much? Well, we’ll just take out part of your stomach! That way, you’ll feel full sooner and stop eating. You’ll live on about a teacup full of food each meal. It’ll be awesome!” First problem: people who get large enough to warrant weight loss surgery don’t get that way by listening to their bodies. “Feeling full” is hardly a signal to them that it’s time to stop eating. Generally, they’re eating for other reasons. That leads directly to problem number 2, if a person could contain themselves to a teacup full of food per meal, they wouldn’t NEED weight loss surgery. The right way to lose weight is to modify your diet. Eat less. Eat better. Strange as it seems, the very fact that a person presents to a doctor for weight loss surgery should be seen as an indicator that said person is a poor candidate for weight loss surgery. If they’re going to be able to control their post-surgical diet, they should be able to control their pre-surgical diet and the fact that they CAN’T control their pre-surgical diet indicates they won’t be able to control their post-surgical diet.

But those operations happen all the time in this greed-driven, God-forsaken, once-great nation. In 2019, 278,000 bariatric surgeries were performed in the US alone. As I mentioned earlier, a lawsuit to stop the surgeries would be a heavy lift. One presumes that the entities profiting from the surgeries take all the right legal steps. They “warn” the soon-to-be victim about the dangers and challenges of the surgery and have the patient sign releases and waivers. There’s a screening process that pretends to be about weeding out poor candidates but is REALLY about providing legal cover for the damage about to be done. The “screening process” is fairly loose and anybody with even normal intelligence can easily circumvent the contra-indicators. As indicated by Paul Simon, desperate, overweight people are only going to hear “you’ll lose the weight” and won’t really accept the “there are risks” part.

The medical profession KNOWS they’re about to ruin lives but the surgery is profitable. So, how do I know the what the medical profession knows about the surgery? Go to any search engine and search on ‘Weight loss surgery and alcoholism.’ The list that comes up is stunning in length. Worse, the sources of information are credible, medical sources. This ain’t ‘Bob’s Thoughts From the Basement’ or even ‘My Bacon Press’ opinions. According to the National Institutes of Health, alcoholism after weight loss surgery experienced “a relative increase of over 50 percent compared to pre-surgical rates.” The same report quotes Dr. Wendy King, the study’s lead author and an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. “This is concerning, given the negative impact heavy drinking may have on vitamin and mineral status, liver function and weight loss.”

Here are two paragraphs from a Time Magazine article from 2011:

“The difference may lie in the mechanics of each surgery. In gastric bypass — technically known as Roux-en-Y surgery — the surgeon staples off a section of the stomach, rerouting food to bypass most of the stomach and part of the small intestine; this reduces the amount of food people can consume and the amount of calories that the body absorbs. By contrast, in gastric banding, commonly known as Lap-Band surgery, doctors use an inflatable band around the upper stomach to limit the amount of food it can hold — but food still must pass through the entire organ.

The intestines allow alcohol to get into the blood stream much more efficiently. And, generally, drugs that reach the brain faster are more addictive — for example, injected rather than snorted cocaine. So bypass surgery, by rapidly raising blood alcohol concentrations, could increase its addiction potential. Indeed, earlier research shows that after bypass surgery, a single drink can raise blood alcohol levels to the point of legal intoxication.”

So they know and they’ve known for a long time but the surgery is profitable so it continues without regard to the damage being done. I have to acknowledge, in fairness, people DO lose the weight but they don’t lose the underlying factors that made them big in the first place. They don’t lose the eating problems or addiction issues or negative self-image, depression, or other factors that expressed themselves in being overweight. I know a woman who got the surgery because she was about to develop Diabetes. She lost the weight but developed the Diabetes anyway and now has lost most of her toes, too. She now says she would have preferred to be fat and happy. I know another woman who was smart enough to fake her way through the “screening process” and hid her previous addiction issues and is now a full-blown, out-of-control alcoholic. It has already done irreparable damage to her life but this one is still playing out with the outcome as yet still unknown.

These two people, and likely thousands and thousands of others like them, didn’t heed the “warnings” offered by the surgeons. They only wanted the weight loss and that’s all they considered. On the other hand, the people who do the surgeries know darn good and well what they were doing to their patients. My position is that because the medical profession is the only entity with clear vision in the moment, the impetus should fall to the medical profession to NOT perform the surgery. But short of being legally blocked from performing the procedure?

I’ll tell you this: I suspect that they won’t stop voluntarily so long as the checks keep clearing…

Fake It ‘Til You Break It…

There’s this legal doctrine, commonly referred to as “Section 230.” Section 230 is a section of Title 47 of the United States Code and was enacted as part of the United States Communications Decency Act. That’s a mouthful so we’ll just call it Section 230. Basically, Section 230 protects internet services like Facebook from being sued over content provided by it’s users – with some obvious exceptions like child porn, or any porn, or excessive violence, things like that. The idea is that Facebook, for example, publishes content, it does not create content.

Facebook, in particular, uses Section 230 to protect itself from the various “editorial decisions” it makes. So, when Facebook allows hundreds of pages where users encourage each other to defile the US Congress in an act of treason, for example, Facebook is protected because they didn’t create the content – and they claim to “police” said content…you know, eventually. All in keeping with Section 230. For all the good it will do in our once-great nation, I call “bunk!”

One of the things we all know, on some level, is that Facebook uses an algorithm to sort-of push certain information it certainly did not create to users who prefer that information. But they don’t push ALL of the information on a given subject. They only push what they think that user wants to hear. I argue that selecting only certain information to provide certain individuals IS “creating” content.

Think of it this way: let’s say I start with a public domain photo of Mitch “the bitch” McConnell. I put text over the bitch’s head that reads “Workers of the world, unite!” leaving the impression that McConnell is now embracing the Communist Manifesto. I didn’t “create” ANY of that content. I simply made “editorial decisions” about what should be placed where. But in doing so, I created a false impression of how ‘Moscow Mitch’ views Communism.

I submit that Facebook’s algorithm is doing the same thing, creating content by selectively distributing content and in creating content, they surrender their protective “publisher” standing. If my algorithm feeds – to you – a user claim that Dems eat babies but NEVER feeds to you the user rebuttals that Dems don’t eat babies, I’ve created the seemingly unchallenged idea, at least in your mind, that Dems eat babies. Fox “News” is infamous for the same kind of created content and anyone, everyone, except a Fox “News” viewer knows the crap being spewed on that station is propaganda, not “news.” Apparently, according to people who track these things, Fox has spent a total of 88 seconds talking about Sean Hannity’s involvement in the dumbass’s insurrection. When Hannity is called before the investigating committee, Fox viewers are, actually and honestly, not going to understand why they would call him. I would call that “content creation through omission” and I believe Facebook’s algorithm does the exact same thing…

My position is that so long as Facebook is using an algorithm to selectively push information, they should NOT enjoy the protections of Section 230 since they ARE, in fact, creating content. Let the regulating – and lawsuits – commence…please…

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There’s an episode of the original ‘Star Trek’ called “Mirror, Mirror.” (Many people simply refer to that episode as “Spock with a beard.”) In it, four members of our good-guy crew get caught up in some science-fiction anomaly and switch places with the same four members of a barbarian Enterprise in an alternate dimension. In the alternate dimension, our good-guy four are able to pass themselves off as the barbarian four – for awhile. (Coincidentally, just long enough to figure out what happened, recreate the anomaly, and get the hell out of there…with the bearded Spock’s help. Roll credits…)

Every once in awhile, I see a letter to the editor in which the writer tries to pretend he’s a liberal who has just had it with liberal politics and so is going conservative. The letters start out, ‘I used to be a liberal but…” or “I’ve voted Democrat all my life but no more!” Then the letters go on to defend their choice to switch by parroting conservative talking points. ‘I used to be a Democrat but when I found out, for sure, that Democrats eat babies I just had to throw my support to Donald Trump and you should too…’

I usually laugh. I suspect these writers see themselves as clever sods who are pulling off some mighty deception and fooling lefties into turning into righties but they ALWAYS devolve into conservative talking points that bear no resemblance to reality and exist only in the conservative delusional bubble. (That would be pretty much any and ALL of their talking points…)

In the episode, “Mirror, Mirror,” the barbarian four are almost immediately discovered and detained. The ease of their capture is explained in the show by pointing out that as civilized people, it was FAR easier for the good-guy four to pretend to be barbarians than it was for the barbarian four to pretend to be civilized. We, the people of this once-great nation, can see the same dynamic playing out whenever we see the extremist cons attacking the Congress (or defending the insurrrection), perpetuating the big lie, or even just driving past an anti-mask/anti-vax protest. The extremist cons simply aren’t capable of behaving like civilized people…