Saturday, July 29, 2023

Look at What's Happening Around Us

Now this is an example of real "rock and roll" music...

Taylor Swift fans earth-shaking dancing caused a seismic activity equivalent of a 2.3 magnitude in Seattle last week.

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Speaking of earthquakes, here's a list of them that have happened in the USA in the last 24 hours.

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Back to entertainment for a moment. Something is happening in Nashville where country music appears to be at a crossroad. For example, here's two of its most viral songs and why they reflect a change brewing in the industry.

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Check your lottery tickets today. The current prize has reached $1.05 billion - the 4th largest prize in Mega Millions history.

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Under the not so good news, this summer saw the first locally acquired cases in Colorado of another illness linked to mosquitoes and malaria. 

It's the dreaded West Nile virus and the CDC warned that a combination of an unusually wet season from rainfall and melting snowpacks and intense heat waves this year has increased the mosquito population.

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More medical danger.

Florida is making the news because rising evidence points to the possibility that leprosy has become endemic in the southeastern U.S. with Florida being named among the top reported states with 20% of the national cases.

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Americans are having a tough time getting passports because the State Department is overwhelmed with requests. 

Summer travelers want to know what the hell is going on. Personally, this doesn't seem like the best year to visit Europe and other oversea locations with the planet suffering from the highest temperatures on record.

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With all the talk about UFOs this year you may have noticed they are now referred to as UAPs (unidentified anomalous phenomena). Here's why the change.

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Just when you thought your truck was safe Ford has recalled 870,000 F-150 trucks (2021 to 2023 models) because of potential parking brake malfunction.

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Are you wondering why the Marine Corps is not having trouble recruiting young men and women, like the Army, Navy, and Airforce. Wonder no more. Here's the explanation.

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Those poor hard-working lawmakers in Congress have gone on their annual all-paid for by taxpayers 6-week vacation. As usual they accomplished very little, especially with their lack of movement on appropriations bills.

Recommended reading: "US Congress is a cozy club of multimillionaire boomer lawmakers hoarding power.

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I'll leave you with another Florida story... A Florida woman was arrested after biting ear off another woman during a fight over vape pens and alcohol.

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As it stands, what a wonderfully chaotic society we live in.

Friday, July 28, 2023

How Hot is It? Cactuses in Phoenix are Collapsing from the Record Heat

Who knew?

Saguaro Cactuses apparently have a limit on how much heat they take before dying a slow suffocating death.

Phoenix, Arizona ended a record streak of 16 days above 90 degrees last Wednesday. Since then, the heat has gone up to 110 degrees yesterday and today.

How hot has the earth been this summer?

There's been record-breaking temperatures from heat waves sweeping the world. From Death Valley to Xinjiang, China, from Phoenix to Rome the planet has been suffering in the extreme heat for weeks.

Unfortunately, American tourists pick this time of the year to travel to Europe which is experiencing record temperatures that are closing tourist sites everywhere.

Italy's weather service has nicknamed the nation's latest heat wave "Charon," after the Greek mythology figure who ferried the dead across the water of Hades to the underworld.

People experienced the hottest June on record globally. 

Over 100 million Americans are now under heat alerts. A cap of extra-hot air, known as a heat dome, has settled over the West and South, pushing temperatures relentlessly higher.

The climate crisis is only going to get worse. Climate scientists are warning that next year will be an El Nino event and that means we'll experience new levels of hell on earth in 2024.

There's not a snowball's chance in hell that mankind is going to reverse the effects even though it's still possible to lessen the impact in the coming years. 

Major countries aren't willing to commit to carbon reduction because of the dangerous influence of the fossil fuel industries who bribe lawmakers.

The pandemic changed a lot of lives, and not for the better. But a vaccine was developed and stopped the spread. 

As it stands, there is no vaccine for saving the planet from greedy and stupid people.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Now Nominees for State Department Jobs Have to Fill Out Questionaries About 'Wokeness'


Ask any Republican what "wokeness" is and chances are they don't really know, nor do they care, as long as it's a word meant to demean liberal Democrats.

In their quest to tear down the norms in Congress GOP lawmakers are boycotting nominees for military advancement and the state department.

Despite their minority in the Senate, GOP members are obstructing government using tactics like holding up confirmation hearings. It only takes one MAGA minion to jam up the works.

Just look at Republican J.D. Vance who's passing out questionnaires to state department nominees to determine if he thinks their "too woke."

That's interesting. Vance claims he's looking for radical views among the would-be ambassadors. I wonder what he thinks is radical when he's a card-carrying MAGA moron? 

Casting aside precedent, Vance's action was unusual (to say the least) because he doesn't sit on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the main panel that vets State Department nominees.

Backing Trump is as radical as you can get in America today. Trump's efforts to destroy democracy are being pushed back by the courts that will be trying him for being a traitor and attempting to overthrow the 2020 election in the near future.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Vance's little buddy vaccine denier Rand Paul who is involved in the MAGA screening process currently underway.

Usually, career diplomats have an easier time getting conformation than political appointees from outside the foreign service. Not now. The GOP agenda to gum up the functions of Congress has hit an all-time high.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has been warning Republicans that by not confirming the military promotions they are undermining our national security. So far, that hasn't moved the partisan sock puppets for Trump.

As for the state department nominees, if they're not confirmed this week, their kids will not be able to enroll in new schools overseas - and diplomatic families will be forced to separate according to Matthew Miller state department spokesman.

I suppose Vance and Paul will consider that a victory. Owning the libs is all they care about, and the country be damned.

As it stands, Republicans in Congress are showing us how destructive they can be right now. Imagine if they win back the Senate and presidency? We'd be living in Amerika - The Land of the Lost!

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Whistleblowers or Wackos? House Hearing on UFOs Had 3 'Whistleblowers' Today

            It's the year of whistleblower.

The Republican party is spicing up their hearings in the House lately by parading a line of fake whistleblowers before committees seeking partisan confirmation of their lies and misinformation about the president and his son.

Up until now I've rated the craziest so-called whistleblowers from 1-10. The 10 was an IRS agent who turned out to be a foreign agent for China and an international arms dealer.

I suspect there's a central MAGA clearing house for wannabee whistleblowers that the Crazy Caucus in the House goes to for recruits. Most of the candidates are disgruntled ex-government employees who have an ax to grind. 

The sheer production value of having "blockbuster" whistleblowers is hot stuff for the MAGA universe. 

Speaking of out of this world, the GOP majority used the House Oversight subcommittee on national security to invite a prominent UFO conspiracist David Grusch to testify about the Pentagon's efforts to conceal their discovery of wrecked spacecrafts and alien bodies.

Along with Grusch there were two former Navy pilots who claimed to have seen UFOs on their job (in 2004) - David Fravor and Ryan Graves who answered questions from the representatives.

To be clear, Grusch is the same guy that pushed a conspiracy theory about the Vatican covering up a UFO that the Mussolini government supposedly kept in storage until the end of WWII. Then they shipped it to the United States where it's currently hidden.

Mr. Grusch is a very intelligent person - he received a college scholarship from the Air Force to study physics - and was an intelligence officer at the All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office, the DOJs UFO research wing.

So, the guy has cred chops. Give him that. The problem is he's never been able to produce proof of his many claims and allegations over the years. But the House decided to give him a huge platform to share his conspiracies because they knew it would be good theatre for the MAGA base.

Meanwhile UFO hopefuls worldwide were rooting for Grusch to shock the world with evidence, but as the sham hearing came to an end, he had none. Instead, he offered up a lot of second-hand conversations with people he couldn't name for security purposes.

His allegations made for some fun moments for the MAGA members. His accusations that there were secret government programs funded by private companies titillated the GOP members.

Despite all that Grusch claims he has evidence to back his story but - alas! - he couldn't share that information with the committee because it's classified. He said that he could debrief the members in a SCIF (sound-proofed room) if they wanted to. At this time there's no plans to do that.

In his opening statement Republican Representative Tim Burchett promised the whistleblowers testimony would "uncover the cover up" by the intelligence community.

As it stands, Where's the beef Mr. Burchett?

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

How to Play the New Version of the Popular Board Game 'RISK'

     Some games just never go out of style.

One of the most popular board games of all time is RISK which first came out in 1957 and was available to Americans after the Parker Brothers bought it from its inventor Albert Lamorisse, a French filmmaker.

You can still find it in toy stores and other retail outlets today.

What if a new version of RISK's diplomacy, conflict and conquest game came out? Would you play it?

I'll give you a preview while I wait to hear back from someone at Parker Brothers about my offer of a new version of their hoary board game franchise.

RISK 2.0

The goal is to save the United States of America instead of conquering the whole world like the original game. This leaner version features Trump's current criminal indictments and possible new ones.

The object is to keep Trump out of the White House for a second time through the use of the judicial system, thereby saving democracy.

The standard version features 42 territories. My version has 50 states which are equally divided by red and blue territories (little cards saying which state) which are passed out to the players.

Among the many challenges in the blue or red state you own is stopping voter suppression and defending women's freedoms of their own bodies. 

Some of the action... you'll negotiate with other players on handpicking judges for certain trials and locations.  

The highest total from a roll of two dice will decide who gets first pick (roll over if tied) from a list of judges Trump is currently facing in court and a list of possible judges if he gets indicted on more counts.

Players are challenged to find new lawyers for Trump who goes through them like a locust in a wheat field. Searching for new lawyers in districts where Trump will be tried will be one of many challenges decided by the toss of the dice.

To really make the game more interesting I've proposed that an equal number of conservatives and liberals should play. 

Helpful hint, check for weapons at the front door.

Imagine the fun you can have sending out subpoenas, fighting attempts to re-write history, defending reality against the MAGA cult, and the thrill you'll experience when you win in court, and Trump's is sentenced to prison for the rest of his life!

As it stands, I suspect it'll be hard to find MAGA minions who can read, but if you do I guarantee that RISK 2.0 will be a thrilling game to play.

Monday, July 24, 2023

Conservatives Get Their Butts Kicked by a Doll

Barbie proved to be too strong for Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. Mike Gallagher, Fox News host Rachael Campos-Duffy, Charlie Kirk, Ben Shapiro, and a slew of other conservative extremists trying to cancel her.

The new film Barbie broke box office records and shattered all attempts by conservatives trying to boycott the film because it was woke and somehow brainwashing young girls. This time it wasn't just a beer company being canceled. The loons tried to cancel an icon.

Raking in the most money of any movie made this year; Barbie drove her hot pink sports car right over the conservative culture warriors' pathetic protests of outrage over communism??

Don't ask me what the hell Cruz was talking about. Ask Cruz who went on the senate floor and claimed the pinkos (Barbie's favorite color) are coming and they have invaded Hollywood! With no evidence of course.

Reports that MAGA minions are experiencing temporary blindness after seeing Barbie's all pink world and boyfriend who wears pink throughout the movie. Rachael Campos-Duffy claimed Ken's choice of color emasculated all men.

It looks like these conservative critics have an inflated sense of their importance following their apparent success in targeting Bud Light a few months ago.

Hopefully Barbie's reality check on these cretins attempts to censor communities was a wakeup call for the senseless Republican woke mob. Moviegoers weren't going to be bullied when it came to their entertainment.

Once again, the right-wing critics look foolish. 

The only chance they have of winning some of these cultural wars is if they pick products that skews right. Beer is one example.

One Movieguide, a Christain movie review site, ran warnings that the film included a transgender performer (actor Hari Nef) and presented LGBTQ stories.

That kind of hate propaganda fits in nicely with the Republicans war on trans citizens and the LGBTQ community.

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez summed up the situation when she said,

"I love how Republican Congressmen are just now hating on Barbie because she's too woke ...like hello this was a doll made for girls who was a Doctor and an Astronaut before women in the U.S. were even allowed to have credit cards without their husband's permission. Of course, they're mad! They want the good old days back."

Ahh yes, the good old days when white males were in charge of everything.

As it stands, I'm eagerly awaiting to see when new movies start coming out again (after the strike). 

A word of advice to the producers: you might want to call some conservative activists and see if they'll boycott your new release. It might help you break Barbie's record haul!

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Malignant Populism is Spreading Across the Planet - Here's Why

One of the deadly aftereffects from the COVID-19 pandemic is the rise of populism across the planet.

Before I go any further allow me to summarize what populism means:

According to the dictionary populism is a political approach that strives to appeal to ordinary people who feel that their concerns are disregarded by established elite groups.

The rollout of populism can be good, bad, and even ugly.

At its root, populism is a belief in the power of regular people, and in their right to have control over the government rather than a small group of political insiders, or wealthy elite.

In America we're seeing echoes of a malignant type of populism from the 1930s (think Hitler and the Nazis) with what is going on right now with Trump's MAGA cult. We're witnessing a minority of Americans who are waging cultural wars against the majority that spill into polarized politics.

I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that another driver of populism is fear. Authoritarians use fear like a maestro striking chords of panic that call for salvation... then promising to cure all ills. Cult members take that tactic up another level where violence is the only recourse to rescue and protect its members.

Trump's MAGA movement has turned out to be the biggest threat our democracy has ever faced. Hardcore lunatic lawmakers who shill for Trump and the MAGA movement are cracking the foundations of our freedoms.

The ugly face of this kind of populism is popping up throughout Europe and other parts of the world that are having economic and political challenges like maggots infesting open wounds.

Americans like other democracies of the world are engaged in a battle between truth and lies everywhere they go. Social media spreads misinformation with impunity that always questions reality.

As it stands, there are more reasons why civilizations are engaged in malignant cultural wars, but I'll save them for another post.

GOP Governors Unite in Fight to Stop Unions in their States

Six Republican Governors have gathered to warn their residents against the evils of unionization which they claim would threaten their jobs...