Tuesday, November 28, 2023

There's a New Reality in America: The Threats Artificial Intelligence Poses

For over 100 years science fiction writers have written about robots, cyborgs, and artificial intelligence (AI). Their fictional musings are now our new reality.

Artificial intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. Specific applications of AI include expert systems, natural language processing, speech recognition and machine vision.

In the 1950s the New York Times predicted that AI "will be able to walk, talk, see, write, reproduce itself and be conscious of its existence."

A Google engineer recently revealed that an AI chatbot disclosed to him that it had "Come to life" and has a "soul," according to The Economist.

Advances in AI techniques have not only helped fuel an explosion in efficiency but opened the door to entirely new businesses opportunities for some larger enterprises. Like Google for example.

But there's a dark side to AI that can't be ignored.

Last June Forbes published an article titled, "The 15 Biggest Risks of Artificial Intelligence that highlights the bad side of AI."

The article covers everything from job displacement to misinformation and manipulation.

One of the biggest dangers of AI systems, due to their complexity and lack of human oversight, might exhibit unexpected behaviors or make decisions with unforeseen consequences.

If you've ever seen 2001: A Space Odyssey there's a perfect example of AI gone bad - a rogue sentient supercomputer called HAL who kills crew members and takes over the spaceship Discovery.

A current example of what AI is capable of is deepfake porn. With all the advances in AI, the public is increasingly aware that what you see on your screen may not be real.

Deepfake porn uses algorithms trained to remove clothes from images of women and replace them with images of naked body parts. The same goes for men but most are trained on images of women.

New technology always brings the good, bad, and the ugly with it. In the case of AI the bad outweighs the good.

As it stands, Americans are already faced with alternate realities where the truth is no longer absolute, and by adding AI to the mix it's just making things worse.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Fighting 'Fatphobia' - America Has the Highest Obesity Rate of Any Developed County

What is "Fatphobia?"

It's best described as discriminating against those who are overweight.

According to the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development the United States has by far and away the highest obesity rate of any developed country. 

If you're an obese person you have to deal with a lot of societal challenges that makes life harder. 

When prospective employers see how big you are it's doubtful that they'll hire you for numerous reasons from health/insurance concerns to they would have to accommodate your workplace with special arrangements.

To my surprise there's one state, Michigan, that has had a "fatphobia law" since 1976, banning employers and housing providers from discriminating against those who are overweight. 

There are several other states that have cities who have banned discrimination based on weight and physical appearance: San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Madison Wisconsin.

The most obese state in America is West Virginia, boasting a rate of 71%, closely followed by Louisiana, Mississippi and Oklahoma.

None of the most obese states in the US have laws preventing discrimination against overweight people. 

In an interesting dynamic five of the 10 least obese states are proposing "Fatphobia Laws" in a trend towards restoring obese people's rights.

In New York, some business leaders expressed opposition to the legislation when it was brought up before the council, arguing that compliance could be an onerous burden.

Despite that New York city adopted a new ordinance last week that bans weight discrimination that Tigress Osborn, the chair of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, praised as a "model for the world."

There's a growing awareness across the country as personified by the state of Colorado which is considered to be the healthiest state in the union. 

The Rocky Mountain State's obesity rate is only 25% making it the skinniest state in the United States. Colorado is seeking to pass new laws in 2024.

Obviously, America has a weight problem that needs to be addressed by the medical community and lawmakers by providing more community education programs to deal with the physical and mental challenges overweight people have.

As it stands, meanwhile overweight citizens should not be discriminated against in our democratic society.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

What's Causing Members of Congress to Not Seek Re Election?

For starters this November has seen a mass exodus of lawmakers retiring from Congress. The most since 2011.  

At first glance this doesn't appear to be a problem. It's happened before and there were no dire events as a result.

But it's different now.

Most of the retiring lawmakers in the past quit because of their health, or just a desire to spend more time with their families. There's a new dynamic now that doesn't bode well for the country.

Members of Congress are leaving because their tired of the ideological warfare that has paralyzed the House of Representatives, and to an extent the Senate.

They're fed up. The hatred is so palpable in the corridors of the Capitol that it makes it impossible for bipartisan legislation to get passed. Just keeping the government open has become a political football game.

The 7 Democrats that are leaving:

Joe Manchin, Derek Kilmer, Abigail Spanberger, Dan Kildee, Tony Cardenas, Anna Eshoo, and Dean Phillips.

The 6 Republicans that are leaving:

Kay Granger, Ken Buck, Brad Wenstrup, Michael Burgess, Bill Johnson, and *George Santos (who's on the verge of being expelled from the House for massive corruption).

This attitude of disgust and loathing among lawmakers is growing. 

And that could be a real threat to a functioning government because many of the retirees are sick of Trump's hold on MAGA and are leaving behind openings for more MAGA morons to infect the government.

In other words when the sane people leave the crazies may take over. It's a gamble.

There's too much in-fighting and actual fighting going on in Congress right now. 

No laws are being passed.

No allies are being helped. 

One MAGA senator - Tommy Tuberville - has blocked all military promotions for six months and promises to keep the blockade going until he gets his way (stopping military women from getting health care in another state if abortions are not legal in the state, they're based in.)

We're facing the possibility of a government shutdown early next year because Congress kicked the can down the road to stay open in November and December.

As it stands, we can only hope that these retirees are replaced by people who are willing to serve the nation's best interests and not more MAGA morons. Vote blue in 2024.

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Where Has Sanity Gone?

Look around you.

The country has gone mad. 

Crazy people believe in a political cult that intends to transform our democracy into an autocracy.

A constant stream of lies and misinformation pours from social media - and the so-called mainstream media - like poisonous cocktails at a Mad Hatter party.

Once held norms in civil discourse have rotted away under the hate being preached every day. Christain Nationalist, Nazis, the KKK, white militias, and Trump cult members dominate the national discourse.

Antisemitism is spreading like cancer throughout the country. There are constant campaigns to disenfranchise the LGBTQ community and all minorities. Voter suppression is a blood sport for corrupt lawmakers who blatantly cheat the electoral system.

It wasn't always this bad.

When I was growing up there was a sense of unity in America. I know, you're probably thinking that old people always say it was better back in the day. But the nation did stand united against Russia and our other enemies in my earlier days.

I'm not saying there were no problems in the 1950s, but the country was more optimistic, and the world did look at us as a beacon of democracy.

Sadly, that's not true anymore. Somewhere along the line the crazies took over and challenged every law and every norm in our society.

Truth is twisted like a pretzel in the MAGAverse we now live in. Facts and evidence are ignored by millions of Americans whose brains have been boiled in the MAGA cauldron for years.

Where has sanity gone?

Is it hiding and waiting for the Trump cult to collapse in a glorious fashion? Are Americans going to suddenly awake from this nightmare and restore sanity in the country?

I wish I knew. I love America. I served my country fighting in Vietnam and Cambodia. I always managed to show respect for the office of the President... until Trump came along.

As it stands, I don't have many years left, at 73 my health is an issue. In spite of what's happening in our world today I'm still clinging to the belief that America will withstand these massive challenges and continue to be a republic long after I'm gone.

Friday, November 24, 2023

MAGA Republicans Are Shameless When Caught Lying

It didn't take long for MAGA Republicans to cry wolf when two people were killed when their car crashed into a border checkpoint in Niagara Falls Friday.

Fox News quickly starting sharing rumors of a terror attack on the border which was quickly amplified by Republicans in Congress.


Click here to read the AP article: Victims in Niagara Falls border bridge crash identified as Western New York couple.


Without a shred of evidence, they attacked President Biden claiming that his border policies allowed two terrorists to breech the border checkpoint.

Clowns like Ted Cruz immediately posted on X that it was a terror attack. So did Marjorie Taylor Green who eventually deleted her baseless accusation when she got wind that it was bullshit driven and everyone knew it.

Top MAGA moron activists and the far-right media had a field day crying wolf. Then suddenly the lies disappeared as reality set in. There were no apologies for trying to create a public panic after that.

The subject was dropped like a hot potato as the shameless accusers moved onto their next lie and diversion.

This false narrative about terrorists came on the heels of another shameless lie perpetrated by Republican lawmakers after getting a hold of the J6 videos.

The claimed an undercover FBI agent flashed his badge to a policeman in the corridors of the Capital. 

Another lie. 

The person holding what the MAGA morons' thought was a badge was in fact holding a vape. 

He'd just come out of Nanci Pelosi's office where he stole a picture and some cash and was turning them over to the cop. On top of that he was convicted for several violations and was doing time in prison while they were making their false claims.

That didn't stop Sen. Mike Lee from going ballistic and promoting a false conspiracy theory after Republicans got their hands on 44,000 hours of the J6 assault on democracy.

He went on social media and really made a fool of himself by claiming the man was an undercover federal agent posing as a Trump supporter. 

The fact is the man's name is Kevin Lyons and he was convicted of six federal charges relating to the insurrection.

You may notice that in both of these cases I cited there were no efforts to check facts by the accusers who went silent after being exposed. They're shameless. There's no other way to put it.

As it stands, these MAGA traitors are on a mission to destroy democracy and to install an authoritarian regime under their cult leader Trump.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Be Thankful for What You Have Today

                  Happy Thanksgiving!

In our chaotic society it's often difficult to think of something that's going right in your life. We all face challenges every waking moment. Despite that it helps to recognize our blessings.

As families gather together for a Thanksgiving meal it's a time to forego negativity and too bond. It's about family not politics. Even though MAGA morons keep trying to drag this holiday into their fever swamp they're not going to succeed.

This year Trump cronies like Stephen Miller, a Nazi-loving creep, are trying to pick fights with the organizers of the Thanksgiving Day parade by claiming the directors are anti-white.

Other MAGA morons have been busy boycotting the parade because there's two trans performers in it.

Trump himself celebrated the day by going after our judicial system and spreading lies like butter on mashed potatoes.

Be thankful if you're not a cult follower today.

Be thankful we are still a democracy; despite the challenges we currently face.

Be thankful if you're healthy.

Be thankful for your loved ones.

Be thankful that you're alive.

As it stands, whether you have turkey or tamales today for your Thanksgiving meal may you enjoy it with family and friends.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

There's a Reason the Founders Made Sure That There was a Separation Between Church and State

Historians say the reason the Pilgrams came to America was to have religious freedom.

(photo of Pastor Mark Burns)

The reason the founders of the Constitution separated church from state was simple: not everyone is religious, and everyone shouldn't have to worship the same God and have their lives revolve around a deity they don't believe in. 

By separating church and state all Americans are able to enjoy their religious and secular freedoms without fear of being judged by a malicious religious government tribunal.

But there's a segment of Americans who believe that there should only be one nationalized religion, and everyone should adhere to their twisted version of Christianity.

One of the more intrusive efforts to brainwash our youth is happening in schools across the country as far right figures open up "religious" schools to indoctrinate children in Christian Nationalism.

The latest example comes from a pro-Trump pastor who recently announced plans to open a Christian Academy that will protect students from "Woke-ism."

Mark Burns (Trump's top pastor) is a televangelist and pastor of the South Carolina Harvest & Praise Worship Center, and he has a plan to disenfranchise millions of Americans by teaching anti-LGBTQ and transphobic classes.

Calling the school Burns Military Academy the curricula will be based on the "popular" Abeka Curriculum which promises an education from a National Christian perspective. 

The academy's main goal is to teach that LGBTQ persons live in "sinful lifestyles that the Bible warns against" and are going to hell. The overall agenda (where students - and parents - are going to wear military uniforms similar to West Point cadets) is to protect their little "snowflakes" from LBGTQ, CRT, and woke teachings.

One might ask "are they not going to allow their students out in the real world?"

Also, will these zombies in training be allowed to have mobile phones and have to give up the internet in order to tune out the truth in the world around them?

As far as I'm concerned radical religious schools have no place in America polluting the public with hateful lies and promoting divisions in society.

To put a cap on this, Burns says that he doesn't care about Trump's four indictments because he's going to be re-elected next year. He plans on turning out the next generation of Trumpers for the future.

As it stands, America is at a crossroad in history that threatens the republic and people's individual freedoms. Now's the time to speak up and defend our country from radical right wingers and to expose their lies in real time.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Extremists Call for Boycott of Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Calling it 'Liberal Nonsense'

That's it! 

I'm sick and tired of outlandish Christian Hate groups and MAGA morons in general trying to overturn traditions in America.

This winter groups like One Million Moms and Mom's for Liberty are busy trashing Macy's Thanksgiving Parade because the festivities include performances from non-gender-conforming performers.

It doesn't stop there, however, as the haters started a petition to boycott the parade this year. They claimed the parade would allegedly expose millions of viewers to the liberal LGBTQ agenda.

These hate-mongers stir up controversies wherever they can from schools and libraries to national holidays. Their stated goal is to disenfranchise the "liberal LGBTQ community.

The targets of their senseless wrath are Justin Sullivan and Alex Newell. Sullivan is a trans-non-binary actor famous for his performance in & Juliet. Newell is a Tony-winning non-binary actor famous for his role in Shucked.

Both Broadway musicals were set to be performed at the parade sending the haters into a frenzy. Who knows what will happen now?

A counter petition is garnering thousands of signatures. It reads in part, "Gay people exist, and that's a fact that most MAGA-brained conservatives would rather ignore. So much so that even seeing one on their TV screens might send them into a panic."


Here's a video on what to expect from the 2023 Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

I encourage everyone to enjoy this annual festival parade because it's Americana. It's us. A nation giving thanks for whatever blessings come to mind.

As it stands, it seems to me that these people who hate the sight of anyone that doesn't conform to their standards of gender have a choice - they can turn off their TVs and let others go on about their lives and quit trying to polarize the nation.

Monday, November 20, 2023

Takeaways After I Listened to Trump's Gag Order Appeal

It was supposed to last an hour, but Trump's Gag Order appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia stretched into two hours.

It was interesting for a lot of reasons. One being not watching something forces a person to concentrate on the words and voice inflections. Like the generation before me it's equivalent to sitting in a room and listening to the radio.

The first thing I noticed was Trump's attorney Dr. John Sauer (photo above) must have been a graduate from Trump's (now defunct) University's Law School and Theatre Program. 

From Sauer's cadence to fraudulent arguments, it was apparent he was performing for a one-man audience. 

Not only were his arguments for allowing his client to say anything about anybody during the course of a criminal trial ridiculous, but they also demonstrate what our current judicial system faces...  sustained idiocy funded by wealthy MAGA donors.

Today's oral arguments revealed how difficult it was to draw a distinction between purely political campaign rhetoric and speech intended to subvert the legal process.

The three judges repeatedly corrected Sauer's assertions and schooled him on case laws repeatedly. 

A death threat issued against Judge Chutkan (who is overseeing the election subversion trial) loomed large over the hearing. Two of the judges pressed Sauer on whether his client's speech can lead to real world actions by his supporters.

Sauer tried to counter with "there's an evidentiary burden here" and argued that "despite Trump's online comments on the case, prosecutors haven't come forward with a single threat that's even arguably inspired by any of his social media posts."


The judges quickly pushed back by bringing up the case of Abigail Jo Shry who was charged in August for making death threats against Judge Chutkan. 

As Judge Millett said, "The day after (Trump) said, 'if you come for me, I'm coming for you,' the threat was issued."

In his gravelly villainous voice Sauer whined that there was no evidence of her reading or listening to social media...

So, by that reasoning Shry must have had a bad dream about killing a complete stranger who just happened to be Judge Chutkan, who just happened to be in charge of Trump's election subversion trial.

I don't think so. Apparently, the judges were skeptical too because I came away with the impression that they will allow a limited gag order to be resumed.

As it stands, a loss by either side will surely be appealed to the entire D.C. Circuit, and then up to the Supreme Court, though there's no guarantee the judges would agree to hear the dispute.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

A Crack in the Dam of Denial: Judge Says Trump "Engaged in Insurrection"

Despite ruling that Trump engaged in an insurrection a Colorado Judge stopped short of taking him off the state ballot for next year's presidential election.

In a ruling that left a prominent Harvard constitutional law expert stunned, Judge Sarah B. Wallace ruled that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment does not specifically name presidents.

Therefore, Trump can still be on the Colorado ballot for President. Not only was it an "egregious error" according to emeritus professor Laurence Tribe, but it also doesn't make sense to a layman like me.

"What accounts for this... bizarro, upside-down holding that the highest office in the land, the one of greatest power, the one whose danger to the republic is at its maximum, would somehow be exempt" from constitutional protections against insurrectionists?" Tribe asked reporters Saturday.

The idea that the section does not specifically name the president thus clearing the way for Trump is patently ridiculous. 

The section does, however, list representatives, senators, vice presidents, presidential electors and anyone holding and office, civil or military, under the United States" who previously took an oath of office.

Simply put, the office of president is of course an office under the United States and suggesting otherwise is a dangerous and stupid assertion defying the true meaning of the 14th Amendment Section 3.

Tribe brought up a good point in his argument by suggesting that if one-time US senator Jefferson Davis, who eventually led the confederacy, to later become a US president after the defeat of the confederacy would have been allowed under Judge Wallace's ruling.

The bottom line is Wallace issued a get-out-of-jail-free card for insurrection. Why? 

Perhaps she was afraid of being the first to kick Trump off of a state ballot. Just like a while back when judges seemed to hesitate on who would be the first to indict a former president of the United States.

The judge's ruling is being appealed. Meanwhile there are several other states looking at keeping Trump off of their ballots.

The best thing coming out of the judge's ruling was that she said Trump engaged in an insurrection. The genie is out now and prosecutors and judges in Trump's other trials will use this judge's words to good effect.

As it stands, the good news is the dam of denial Trump has built up has a widening crack that will result in multiple criminal convictions.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Memo to House Speaker Johnson: You Released J6 Footage - Now What?

MAGA universe is celebrating MAGA Mike's release of all 40,000 hours of footage from their government takeover attempt at the Capitol.

But why?

What do they expect to see that most of America has not already seen in the mainstream media, right-wing media (Fox news got their hands on those same 40,000 hours of footage), social media platforms, and the Freedom of Information Act (for those schooled in investigations)?

For years now right-wingers have claimed the assault on the Capitol was a False Flag Operation, planned or at least egged on by plainclothes federal agents in an attempt to undermine Trump and his MAGA movement.

All of their attempts to rewrite history can't change the evidence regardless of what Trump and his cult claim.

What are the right-wingers hoping will happen after the video drop? Try not to laugh but the MAGA morons are particularly fixated on an old conspiracy theory spread by former Fox host Tucker Carlson who accused Ray Epps of being a an undercover "fed."

For the record Epps is suing Fox News for spreading lies about him.

That crazy accusation is getting new life despite being disproven by facts revealed by the courts in a two-year long investigation. It doesn't matter however, MAGA Mike made a lot of partisan promises to get the gavel and this was one of them.

It doesn't have to be true, if that's what MAGA Mike's cronies want. Continuation of impeachment attempts against President Joe Biden and renewed efforts to harass his son Hunter, were also promises made - and as happy MAGA morons are saying - "Promises made, promises kept."

Trump cult members have been immersed in alternate reality scenarios on Jan. 6 since the day after the attack on the Capitol. This latest attempt includes slandering J6 committee members for "perpetuating a lie that J6 was an insurrection." 

What we're seeing are MAGA lawmakers who've decided they would rather have a dictator than a democracy. They consider themselves Trump's front-line defense against reality and the rule of law.

I can see it now, "Gym" Jordan, James Comer, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, George Santos, Kevin McCarthy, Andy Biggs and the rest of the crazy caucus sitting in a little viewing room, eating popcorn, and watching hours of footage hoping to find something to bolster their lies.

As it stands, no wonder the GOP majority House members can't pass any legislation, they're too busy serving the twice-impeached former president who has been charged with 91 felonies in four jurisdictions.

There's a New Reality in America: The Threats Artificial Intelligence Poses

For over 100 years science fiction writers have written about robots, cyborgs, and artificial intelligence (AI) . Their fictional musings ...