Saturday, December 2, 2017

Conspiracy Theorists Thriving Under Trump Administration


                                     Good Day World!

The space between conspiracy theorists and lunatics is a thin one.

In the Trumpian age of fake news and absolute lies, the conspiracy theorists are thriving like never before.

For example:

Mike Cronk, a survivor of the Las Vegas massacre, has been harassed relentlessly by conspiracy theorists who claim he was an actor hired to play the part of a victim.

The bottom line is hateful trolls don't believe the mass shooting even took place.

Conspiracy theorists harassed him on Facebook, sending messages like “How much did they pay you?” and “How does it feel to be part of a hoax?”

The claims multiplied and soon YouTube’s algorithm began actively promoting the conspiracy theory.

Cronk has taken his Facebook account down and is hoping the trolls will go away. Unfortunately, his reputation has been trashed and is still being trashed on the Internet.

The cycles of hoaxer/conspirators harassment is now as predictable as the mass shootings that they try to debunk.

Bullying from the ugliest corners of the Internet overwhelms the grief-stricken as they struggle to cope with the greatest horror they’ve ever experienced.

One explanation for why we have these online lunatics:

Colleen Seifert, a University of Michigan psychology professor, said people were inclined to trust content they viewed on YouTube and might be drawn to mass shooting conspiracy theories simply because the tragedies were so implausible and frightening to them.

I'm sure that's one possibility, but I doubt that accounts for all the raw hatred expressed to innocent victims of tragedy. I think it's more like there's assholes anywhere you go, on, or off the web.

Jan-Willem van Prooijen, a psychologist at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam commented about these trolls in a recent interview,
“It was always assumed that this is just a small group of lunatics. We now know, because of representative samples in various countries, that this is really very widespread.”

Some grieving parents of the Sandy Hook massacre have turned the grim task of tracking down hoax theory videos into a daily job.

In 2014, Lenny Pozner, whose child was killed in the Sandy Hook massacre, founded the Honr Network, an organization dedicated to holding conspiracy theorists accountable.

Hundreds of volunteers now help monitor the offensive content online.

I might add that you can help fight these assholes by reporting questionable material to YouTube authorities. Or, you can join the Honr Network to be part of a bigger resistance movement.

Time for me to walk on down the road...




Friday, December 1, 2017

White House Purge: When Puppets Don't Perform

Good Day World!

It's no secret that our Liar-In-Chief demands abject loyalty from his puppets.

Since he snuck in through the back door, the White House has been in chaos.

Most of Trump's original staff have been run off, or are in trouble due to the Russian investigation. Think Flynn for starters.

Like any other dictator, Donny wants "yes men" (I did say men; women aren't a factor in Trump's orbit (other than to grope).

Despite denials yesterday from Trump puppet Sarah Huckabee Sanders that Tillerson was on the way out, the White House - according to staffers - is preparing for the next upheaval in Trump's administration.  

On deck for the next dumping is Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson. No one will be surprised however. Tillerson himself has been saying he just wanted to get a year in before resigning.

But every since he called Trump a moron the rift between the two men has widened. 

Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director, and one of Trump's favorite kiss-ass devotees, is slated to take Tillerson's place. It's not 100% locked in because the best choice would be Nikki R. Haley, the ambassador to the United Nations.

The only problem is she's not a pure puppet of the Donald. She actually has morals and a conscience which I suspect will disqualify her in the end.

Trump has surrounded himself with puppets his entire life. He's finding it to be more difficult as president because others are involved in some of the selection processes.

But the puppet master has not been deterred. He's already caused an historic turnover in the West Wing during his first year in office.

Tillerson's exit would make his time in office the shortest of any secretary of state whose tenure was not ended by a change in presidents in nearly 120 years.

The remaining puppets are like dogs eagerly waiting for their master to feed them.

For example, Sen.Tom Cotton who may be promoted to Pompeo's position in the shuffle, has been a dedicated puppet eagerly eating Trump's shit sandwiches since Day One.

Trump's motto Make America Great Again should be changed to, Puppets First in Trumpland.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Why Is Trump Getting A Pass on Sexual Harrassment During The Season of the Purge?

Good Day World!

Sipping some good coffee this morning and wondering what Hollywood celebrity or politician will be called out as a sexual harasser today?

In the last two months hardly a day hasn't gone by without new accusations of men sexually harassing women in every workplace.

A seismic cultural tremor from Hollywood to Washington D.C., has shocked and disgusted many Americans.

Why now? Why not when Trump was accused by 14 women last year? In the current atmosphere of accusations how is it that Trump is getting a pass?

Every time the subject comes up Trump quickly deflects the conversation and says his accusers were lying.

Thus far, every case of sexual harassment filed this year has been aired out and repercussions have come from them. People are believing the victims now, a seismic change in itself, instead of the perpetrators. 

Yesterday, the latest example was Matt Lauer who was accused of inappropriate sexual behavior, and fired on the spot. His co-hosts were shocked when the had to announce the news to viewers.

Also...Minnesota Public Radio confirmed Garrison Keillor had been fired, saying it received a single allegation of "inappropriate behavior" and doesn't know of any other similar allegations.

These two won't be the last famous, or wealthy men, to be accused. Bet on it. In the Season of the Purge, more men are going to lose their jobs, and people's respect.

How long this backlash, and purge, will go on is anyone's guess. Women are standing up for their rights and are fighting back against blatant sexism in the workplace, and everywhere else.

I read that since the Women's March on Washington the day after Trump was inaugurated, more women are seeking political positions in our government than ever before.

Women have the right idea.

You have to get in the system to change it. I hope this purge continues and grows so that someday Trump will pay for his sexual transgressions.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Busted: Trump Donor Recepient, Project Veritas, Caught Trying To Plant Fake News

Good Day World!

Caught red-handed.

Right-winger smear organization, Project Veritas, tried to plant fake news in the Washington Post, but failed.

Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe hoped to pull off a sting story to help out pervert Roy Jones by discrediting the Post's reporting by trying to plant a fake story.

A woman, Allison Maass, met with Post reporters over the course of one week, spinning lies she hoped they'd publish.

It didn't work this time. But O'Keefe will continue trying to trick people into saying something that would help out right-wingers wherever they may be.

You could call Project Veritas a purveyor of fake news and you'd be 100% right. Maybe that's why Trump donated to the project one month before announcing his presidency.

Oh yeah...did you know about that? 

If James O’Keefe respected the right-wing populists who make up the audience of Project Veritas, a nonprofit he founded to produce undercover videos skewering the left, he would tell them the truth about all of the organizations that he targets.

Instead, Project Veritas operates in bad faith, an attribute it demonstrated again this week in the aftermath of its bungled attempt to trick The Washington Post.

The premise that the newspaper spreads “fake news” is widely held on the populist right.

But the premise proved incorrect. Washington Post reporters did not reflexively or opportunistically believe a woman falsely accusing a prominent Republican.

If Project Veritas was operating in good faith—if it was really trying “to achieve a more moral and ethical society,” as it claims on its website—it would have acknowledged that its initial beliefs about The Washington Post were incorrect, and that the newspaper diligently pursued the truth when put to an undercover test.

But that will never happen. Instead O'Keefe is fundraising over his botched attempt to plant fake news. The sad part is people will send him money.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Legal Battle Brewing: Let Them Eat Donuts

Good Day World!

Another day, another lawsuit against the Trump Administration.

This lawsuit is being fought between Office of Management and Budget Director, Mick Mulvaney, and Leandra English.

(Photo thanks to Katie Rogers)

Trump appointed one of his favorite cabinet flunkies Mulvaney, to take over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). 

But there was a problem.

The day before, long-time CFPB director Richard Cordray stepped down and named Leandra English his chief of staff, as acting director.

That set the stage for a battle with Democrats and the Trump Administration. It doesn't take much nowadays for the two party's to fight like honey badgers.

What cracked me up was Mulvaney's weak attempt to get the CFPB staff to like him when he appeared with a big bag of Dunkin' Donuts.

Yeah...that's the trick...give em' donuts and they'll love you Mulvaney!

Meanwhile, English was going about her duties as acting director while Mulvaney was trying to bribe the staff with donuts.

An interesting dynamic if I ever saw one.

Trump wants to make sure the CFPB quits going after his corporate buddies like Wells Fargo (who had to pay out $100 million in fines last year to the consumers they cheated).

Actually, it's not just Trump and his puppets that want to see the agency neutered, it's Republicans in general. They hate it when the common man has a recourse to their corrupt dealings.

Don't be surprised if Trump just shuts the agency down. After all, it was another Obama creation started after the great financial collapse of 2008.

This latest skirmish centers on language in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act and whether it usurps the 1998 Federal Vacancies Act.

Trump and his allies say the 1998 law gives him the authority to make the appointment, not Cordray, who was nominated by President Barack Obama to head the independent agency.

Democrats point out the language contained in Dodd-Frank was written with the Federal Vacancies Act in mind and explicitly calls for Cordray to name an acting director, not the president.

It's hard to predict what the courts will decide. Some pundits say that Trump has the upper hand in this squabble.

Let's hope that isn't true, or Americans will be without recourse against the corporations and banks that rip them off with impunity.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Monday, November 27, 2017

Embarrassing Moment #285: Trump and the Navajos Code Talkers


                                      Good Day World!

Have you ever had one of those mornings when you wake up feeling like you have a hangover, and you didn't even have a single drink the night before?

It's been happening to me a lot in the last 11 months. When I see Trump's name in the headlines - and they're always there - I realize it isn't a hangover. It's a living nightmare.

What else could you call our racist (and a long string of other expletives) president as he stood beneath a portrait of Andrew Jackson, and addressed the famous Navajos Code Talkers in a White House ceremony recently?  

Did you happen to see it?

Trump acknowledged that Native-Americans were in America long before Europeans arrived (Chief of Staff Kelly made him say that).  

Wasn't the part where Chump called Sen. Warren "Pocahontas" in a childish jab, a solemn moment? You could hear a pin drop as Donnie chuckled at his own joke.

When Trump finally turned to the veterans, he announced, "I like you!" like it was a benediction from the Pope. 

I really like the part where they just stared back at him with no expression after his "heartfelt" declaration. I can only imagine what they thought of the clown in charge. 

It was embarrassing watching a man who isn't even good enough to lick a veteran's boot be in the same room with those heroes and mock them.

Hell...it's embarrassing having to admit that an old lunatic is in charge of the country!

Time for me to walk on down the road...

I Want to Hear the Whole News Story and Will Trump Win and Americans Lose On Proposed Tax Bill?

Good Day World!

We all have our little quirks.

One of mine is being left with questions after reading a news story.

What happened to the who, what, where, when, why, that I was taught in journalism school?

Example:

A woman was shot and killed while out walking her dogs by a neighbor who thought she looked like a deer!
By the way, he shot her with a pistol. Who the hell hunts deer with pistols?

The capper, to me is it sounded like the guy was going to get away with killing her because it happened at dusk.

As any hunter knows, you're not supposed to be hunting at dusk. That's in the Hunter's Manuel.

What do you want to bet there's more to this story?

Now, I'm going to shift gears on you with the following observation:

If the Republicans pass a Tax Reform bill this week Americans are fucked!

Trump and his billionaire boys club (sometimes referred to as his cabinet) are going for the gold with this attempt at increasing their wealth.

Trump's family stands to make over a billion a year by just repealing the estate tax. It doesn't end there however. 

The shell being passed off as a complete bill around Congress, eliminates most itemized deductions, including the state and local tax deduction.

But there's one more thing that concerns me.

If Trump gets a major legislation like this passed...we'll never hear the end of it. Three-fourths of the country will suffer while the wealthy will enter a new Gilded Age.

Trump's minions will have something to point to that he actually did. Any senators thinking about defying Trump will go out and buy knee pads to prove their loyalty after that.

The country's only hope is there's enough Republican senators with a conscience that listen to those who voted for them, and not follow the Trump party line for victory.

This is a crucial week as the senate tries to set the stage for a partisan win when they vote on the legislation.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Sunday, November 26, 2017

I Don't Need To Join a Church To Believe in a Supreme Being

Good Day World!

Decades ago, I discovered that belonging to a certain faith and attending church is not the stairway to Heaven.

This discovery came after years of attending, and getting involved in, Nazarene and Methodist churches. I was even the church treasurer for a little community church in 29 Palms, California.

When the pastor approached me to get church funds to take his kids to Disneyland one day without clearing it with the Church board, I decided that was enough.

After nearly a year of battling the pastor's misuse of funds I called a board meeting. I resigned my position and left the church after telling them what I'd been dealing with.

It was the final straw.

It wasn't the only straw however. The gossips in the church were down-right vicious. What I saw, year in, and year out, was hypocrisy in the highest form.

Did I lose my faith in a supreme being when I left the church?

The answer is no. I allowed myself to work on a personal relationship with that supreme being, who does not need to be called God.

The higher power that I answer to, provides me with a conscience, and has no interest in silly societal games like going to a church to show devotion.

Historically, churches grew up out of the need for the few to control the many. I won't waste words here with history lessons to prove my point. If you're really interested examples are at your fingertips on Google.

When I see those so-called men and women of God supporting Trump, a poster boy for evil and all that's wrong with mankind, I shake my head in disgust, because it just proves my point.

Time for me to walk on down the road...