i want to be the anti-trump

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Now that we’ll have a new Republican president who spent five years spreading the lie that President Obama was not a citizen, who spent $20k of Trump Foundation charity money on a six-foot portrait of himself, who admires Vladimir Putin, who brags about groping women, who Tweets crazy stuff in the middle of the night about a former Miss Universe, and will soon have the codes to unleash the U.S. nuclear arsenal …

Now that the KKK and neo-Nazis are celebrating the new Republican president …

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Now that we’ll have a Republican vice president who doesn’t seem to accept the reality of evolution or global warming, and who believes in preposterous “gay reparative” therapy …

Now that the last three years have averaged the hottest global temperatures ever recorded, and Arctic sea ice has declined by more than 30% in just 25 years, and we are likely to have a global warming denier heading up the EPA …

Now that we’ll have a new Republican Secretary of Health and Human Services who belongs to a group (AAPS) that pushes anti-vaccine and other fringe propaganda, and once co-sponsored a bill to define human life as beginning at the moment of conception, which, if passed, could have had birth control pills classified as murder weapons …

Now that our new Republican president has selected for Treasury secretary a Wall Street insider, former Goldman Sachs partner, and hedge-fund manager who’s profited from predatory lending (and Trump says he’s “draining the swamp” in D.C.) …

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Now that we’ve elected the guy who swore the election was rigged against him, and still makes the delusional, evidence-free claim that millions voted illegally …

Now that all that is happening, I have to do something to make me feel like I’m countering the crazy.

One thing I’m doing, which I planned before the election, is volunteering at a local youth tutoring program for kids. I help with skill building and homework. (I’ve been paired with an elementary school boy who is Muslim. His parents are probably immigrants. Hopefully in Seattle he isn’t a target for bullies and bigots.) I think that if I can instill some critical thinking in a youngster, I’ve done a small service.

I’ve also joined the ACLU – it’s been quite a few years since my membership lapsed, but I’m back on the rolls now.

I made a donation to Planned Parenthood, now that we could face the return of back alley             abortions if a near-future Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

I donated to the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights.

That’s barely a drop in the bucket. I’ll be looking for other volunteer or political action opportunities – something to avoid the dystopia that seems to be in the offing.

The backsliding on social issues — like reproductive freedom for women — is likely to cause considerable harm and suffering. Meanwhile, the science denial among today’s Republicans is excruciating to hear. It’s like riding a bus in heavy traffic and watching the driver gleefully put on a blindfold. The wingnuts are behind the wheel.

The small bright spot we can point to is that the majority of voting citizens did not vote for Trump. The current count is 2.5 million more votes for Clinton. There is hope.

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have conspirators ruined reality for you?

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Is everything you thought you knew actually wrong? Have brilliant investigators looked behind the accepted stories of our times and exposed shadowy conspiracies? Actually, conspiracy theorists tend to fall into the Bozo the Clown category referred to in the quote below.

But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.

– Carl Sagan

Just like great geniuses, true conspiracies are few and far between. There’s a good way to screen out some of the silliest of them: figure out how many people would have to be in on the conspiracy for it to succeed. The more people required, the less likely it could be kept secret.

For example, take the “moon landings were faked” conspiracy. How many thousands of people would have to be in on something like this? Imagine what it would take to pull off six fake trips to the moon. Thousands of NASA workers silenced or fooled. A multitude of scientists and engineers for other companies hired by NASA, silenced or fooled. All those who studied the moon rocks that were brought back – silenced or fooled. The photos all faked, the landing sites that you can see from space, faked.

Ack! It would have been easier to actually go to the moon. The same goes for the 9/11 “Truther” claims. Even tossing aside all the contrary evidence, it would take a massive scheme the size and scope of the Manhattan Project to carry it out – with no one ever breaking ranks and exposing it. Ridiculous.

Human-caused global warming is not true and that fact is being covered up – another great example. It would need to be a worldwide conspiracy by almost all atmospheric scientists in every developed nation. Mass quantities of research would be faked or misrepresented, and the reviewers must be either fooled or complicit.

NASA – a gang of liars, faking the data! The members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences – a bunch of dupes. The American Geophysical Union membership – part of the cover up. The combined membership of the Geological Society of America, the American Meteorological Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and all their counterparts across the world – a lot of know-nothings.

What brought this conspiracy topic up for me are the fact-free theories being floated by the Trump crowd, as mentioned in my last blog entry. Trump seems to believe the global warming conspiracy (except in his view, it was perpetrated by China).

Hillary Clinton, currently criss-crossing the U.S. giving speeches, is alleged to have Parkinson’s disease. I mentioned this in my last blog post, but this time I’ll expand it a little. One of the most filmed and photographed people on the planet right now is somehow keeping this illness from the public. The interviewers and photographers are fooled. The crowds she stands in front of are fooled. The TV audiences for all three debates – fooled. The foreign dignitaries she met with as Secretary of State – deceived. The physician’s statement provided to show her fitness to be president – lies and fakery.

The ones who say they know the truth about her health are professional bloviators, searching through hundreds of videos to find something they can claim is out of the ordinary. That includes a couple wing-nut doctors who have never examined her.

This conspiracy does not rise to the level of the moon landing nutters and the global warming deniers. Still, it’s very unlikely. If true, it would be an astonishing accomplishment to run for office, defeat her primary opponents, and possibly win the presidency, all while conspiring to hide an illness that allegedly makes her unfit for office. Her actions would seem to prove the opposite.

In the previous post, I covered other unsupported conspiracy theories: rigged elections and the “Clinton murders.” It’s a wonderland of confabulation and motivated reasoning out there.

I just want to point out that one useful tool is to ask, “What would it take for this conspiracy to be true, and how many individuals would have to be involved?”

Now it’s your turn. Take this conspiracy theory and analyze: Pharmaceutical companies have a cure for cancer, but they are keeping it under wraps because they make so much money on cancer treatment.

https://xkcd.com/966/

into a trumpian rabbit hole

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It’s another rabbit hole post. Last time we fell deep into a new age swamp. This time we stick a foot into alt-right ideology. It’s an eerie world where up is down and white is black. It’s a place where evil doctors rip babies out of wombs at nine months, and sinister rapists and terrorists sneak across the border from Mexico by the truckload. It’s a place where the major news media meet and conspire in a dark room, deciding to sink the Trump candidacy through the dastardly tactic of reporting on what he actually says every day.

Into the hole

Our first step down into the rabbit hole involves claims of election rigging. Trump and company claim that thousands of people will cast votes in place of dead men who are still on the registration rolls. They also say that gangs of illegal aliens will be brought in for the express purpose of unauthorized voting.

They kind of gloss over the fact that this type of voting fraud is incredibly rare. In this alternate world, if Trump loses it’s due to fraud. Period. “I’ll accept the results … if I win,” says Trump, sounding like a despot.

I have a friend who’s confident that solid evidence of large-scale election rigging will appear. He just has a feeling about it, I guess. Just believes it, even though it hasn’t happened yet, because that’s the narrative demanded by ideology. If necessary, the alt-right press will come up with unverified examples of voter fraud it in order to shore up the fantasy.

While some lonely person with a gun stands at the southern border, looking for trucks loaded with voters, we’ll descend farther into the hole.

Another step down the ladder

Remember when the U.S. presidential election came down to just a few hundred votes back in 2000? That’s when the Supreme Court stepped in, stopped the recount process, and gave the presidency to Bush in a 5-4 vote. Hillary Clinton pointed to problems in that election at the time, but she didn’t challenge Bush’s status as president.

Down in the rabbit hole, Clinton’s protests about how that election went down are alleged to be equivalent to Trump stating in advance that the vote will be rigged, he won’t accept it, and he’ll file lawsuits, but only if he loses. It’s a desperate exercise in false equivalency. In whose dreamland are these behaviors even close to the same? (Answer: Hannity’s. Breitbart’s).

A side trip to the dubious

The mythology of the alt-right universe includes the belief that Hillary Clinton has Parkinson’s disease or some kind of seizure disorder. Miraculously, throughout her tenure as Secretary of State, her months of who-knows-how-many campaign appearances and flying all over the nation, and her three televised debates, only a few alt-right wing-nuts and their TV doctor experts were able to determine “the truth” about her health. Please note that this allegedly disabled and physically unfit candidate crushed her opponent in two (some would argue three) of those debates, What does that say about Trump?

Deep down in the crazy

Ack, we’re sliding farther into the pit. In the darkness of the rabbit hole, Trump’s recorded comments such as “Grab them by the pussy” are merely locker room talk and have no negative reflection on the man’s character. The defense argument is that plenty of regular guys get together and brag about abusing women in private. It’s a sport. A joke. And it’s only talk. Ha ha! Then a dozen women came forward with stories of actual abuse. It wasn’t funny before they came forward and it’s even more repulsive now.

The bottom of the pit

Unfortunately we have one more step down to the dank, rotting floor of the rabbit hole. This is where people darkly hint that the Clintons are responsible for the murder of some of their critics or associates. Evidence? Zero. It’s the last gambit for someone who has no respectability left to lose.

How do you play this game? First, find anyone who was in any way involved with or criticized the Clintons, whether famous or inconsequential. There must be tens of thousands, but you only need to find the ones who are no longer living. No matter how each one of them died, say that the death was “mysterious.” Heart attack? Say “alleged heart attack.” It’s just that easy. Find something, anything unusual about the death and play it up big. Now link them all to the Clintons and ask, “What’s going on here?” No evidence required.

You could successfully play this game with any public figure, from Rush Limbaugh to Mr. Rogers. It’s cruel, though. When you claim someone didn’t really die of a heart attack, for example, you are affecting that person’s family. They are mourning the death and trying to get on with their lives. These Clinton conspiracists are like the loons who rage at Sandy Hook parents and tell them that their kid didn’t die. They don’t care about the families, because ideology comes first.

Let’s get out of here

Yeesh. Time to head back up the ladder and take a shower. The new age rabbit hole in the previous post was silly, but not so ugly.

i fell down a youtube comment rabbit hole

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I sometimes search Youtube for ambient music to play while I’m working. Recently I came across a recording that some consider to be the greatest new age album ever made. I listened to it as I worked. There were angelic voices, ringing bells, tinkling harps, and sweeping strings — over and over again, in different variations for more than 100 minutes.

Though it did little for me, in the comments people described how they wept with joy and felt enraptured. There were also comments about the accompanying video, which included crystalline mountain streams, sunsets, and geometric shapes.

Rabbit Hole Level 1

One person commented about some shiny gadgets visible at one point in the video. They “seem to represent some device for transfer of light beams … maybe to communicate or even power a craft … I get a sense that they are something real somehow.”

Another commenter left an earnest response about these gadgets. “They are energy transducers.” They are used for “healing and energy transfers to different frequencies of reality.” Well, that clears everything right up. Now we know exactly what they are. The commenter continued, “You know this already from a higher viewpoint. That is why they seem familiar to you.”

The original commenter was ecstatic to learn this, and added, “I also felt that there are giant ones in space that act as a lighthouse of sorts and propel craft through transducing energy currents.” Yes, I feel the truth of this. When you see deeply into reality, it’s all lights, healing, and spaceships.

Down to Rabbit Hole Level 2

I clicked a link on the side of this page and came to another very similar music video. Interestingly, there was a flame war happening among the enlightened beings making comments. One guy was ticked off at a previous comment, and he said, “Ironic that I received your philosophically ill-conceived comment while listening to Pineal Gland opening tones …” (I added the boldface.)

This uncovered a new world for me, the world of sound recordings for pineal glands. Although these glands don’t have ears, the “tones” are somehow channeled through your ears to your pineal gland. I wonder if there are recordings for salivary glands and the sebaceous glands.

Farther into Wonderland: Rabbit Hole Level 3

The problem with pineal glands is that they can become calcified. No worries, though, because you can decalcify one pretty quickly by listening to this person. You also need to “activate” your pineal gland so it functions properly as your third eye. A side link led me to “Crystal Skull Activation,” which included a warning that the video will awaken ancient memories. And on to “The Pleiadan Video that Triggered My Kundalini.” Help! I was swirling down the rabbit hole!

Back to the Surface

Later, I woke up slumped over in my chair, my head fizzing like a carbonated beverage. I’d been burped back up the surface, possibly because my energy was incompatible with ultra-refined consciousness.

If readers want to explore this rabbit hole, have at it. But sweep up your pineal gland calc when you’re done. Don’t leave it lying on this blog.

google wants my blank photos

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A note from Google often pops up on my phone after I take a picture. It identifies my location and asks me if I want to submit the picture to Google Maps so others can see it when looking at that map location. 

I usually ignore this, but last week I was down at Green Lake late in the evening and accidentally took a completely black image. Google suggested that I submit the picture. This time I agreed and added the photo. I suggested a caption, “A dark night at Green Lake.” 

Last night I received this thank you from Google along with a copy of my picture.

It feels good to contribute. As you can see, this is exactly what Green Lake looks like when there’s no light. If you’ve been there, you’ll probably recognize it. 

 

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excise these words from your memory

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This is another in a series about words and phrases that must be disintegrated for the good of us all. Kill these words:

Dramedy
Rom-com
Shillary and all variations thereof.
Donald Shlump, T-Rump, and variations
Libtard, Rethuglican and similar stupid epithets.

Some may think I’m dispensing with useful labels, but we also need to destroy:

millennials
gen X
gen Y
baby-boomers

Just say what you mean, dammit. Use the age-range of the people you are talking about. Also, let’s delete

tweens

What does this word mean, anyway? Pre-adolescent? Early teens? Ages 9 – 13? Then say it. No one wants a label that starts with “twee.”

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