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Member since: Sat Mar 20, 2004, 10:37 AM
Number of posts: 17,704

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The Clash Hypothesis

A lot of people and different groups have made guesses and theories about how and why Donald Trump won, I think it is finally time for me to add my idea about it, the implications it has for the future, and our very identity really.

The clash hypothesis is not easy to define by itself, I think it is easier to see through application instead. Quite simply, it is people saying "Omar Mateen" but not "Adam Lanza", or people saying "Nidal Hassan" but not "Ivan Lopez". It is pervasive too, so pervasive, that it is taken for granted, and so pervasive that people on both sides of the political aisle are not immune from it.

The important thing here is that Trump won the electoral vote not because liberals don't say "Radical Islamic Terrorist" enough times like it was some sort of magical ritual or "because they're too politically correct" but because the right harnessed a segment of the American public who wants to actually ignore the second person that was mentioned both times just above.

This ignorance and then deflecting to Muslims, the immigrants, the refugees, etc. serves several functions, including those that are unconscious, unintended, and beneficial (for some groups at least):

Perceived solutions - Quite simply, we go down the same path with a non-Muslim violent person over and over again, the media and politicians call it a tragedy, say something needs to be done, call for changes, for treatment, but in the end, nothing gets done. When the violent person is Muslim however, the response is a bit more... extreme. It is termed a clash of civilizations, there are calls to ban people, bomb a country, nuke someone, etc. People feel powerless when they see the same scene play out repeatedly in the former, but they feel power when they can focus on the second.

Allows people to still "feel" safe - One does not need a lot of research to tell them that people would probably not like the idea if that if someone were to commit a violent act against them; then it would probably be someone of the same color, the same nationality, maybe even the same religion, and more. In short, someone like you. It is easier to tell if someone is a potential enemy by that person being a different skin color than you, a different style, a different religion, etc. As long is the terrorist is over "there" and not one of "us", then there is no reason to be alarmed, something not even the director of the FBI is immune from.

Allows us to wash our hands clean of the act - By focusing on the acts by violent Muslims while ignoring the ones done by us; we can say there was no cultural or social influence, that they might as well be islands of murder who just materialize out of thin air, with a weapon also created in a similar fashion, gun down people, and then disappear once shot by themselves or another. This focus allows us to simply say "mental illness" and be done with it, we never ask why these people are so mentally ill that they try to shoot people with a fruit or if caught suddenly turn stoic.

Here's the clash hypothesis in action; press secretary Sean Spicer had this to say about the Quebec City shooting, that "Itís a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant and why the president is taking steps to be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to our nationís safety and security.Ē, there's just one problem with this though, the person who did the shooting was white, not Muslim, not an immigrant, not a refugee; what Trump policy could have averted this? Spicer is speaking to the people who want to not see the violent non-Muslim here.

And there is something worrying, if violence done by Muslims deserves this 'special attention', what could that mean for violence done to Muslims? We need to address this today.

Ingroups and outgroups - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ingroups_and_outgroups
Manifest and Latent Functions - http://www.angelfire.com/or/sociologyshop/manlat.html
The Daily Show - Charleston Church Shooting
F.B.I. Director James Comey Is Wrong: Dylann Roof Is A Politically-inspired Terrorist http://www.blackstarnews.com/us-politics/justice/fbi-director-james-comey-is-wrong-dylann-roof-is-a-politically
Why did Sean Spicer suggest that the Quebec shooting validated Trumpís policy initiatives? https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/01/30/why-did-sean-spicer-suggest-that-the-quebec-shooting-validated-trumps-policy-initiatives/?utm_term=.84150363f607

In 2003, Condi said she didn't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud

In 2017, our national security team includes Michael Flynn, a man who espouses the Pizzagate conspiracy theory with his terrorist son and has yet to substantiate his "Muslim signs on the border" remark he made before the election.

So, I ask all of you, what crazy whacked out conspiracy theory about sapping our precious bodily fluids and giving them to Muslim reptilians under the surface are you willing to send your children to die for?

Don't let a Flynn Fable take your loved ones - Maybe it's time to start counter-recruitment today.


Time to start applying Gene Sharp's From Dictatorship to Democracy to Trump and the GOP bad joke gov

Is it overkill to use a book used to resist dictatorships to a government such as this?

I don't think so. In fact, I think this is the perfect time to start using this book, this is the best way to turn the tide against Trump and the Republicans.

Then again, as the Trump Maladministration dives deeper into insanity and state sponsored xenophobia, maybe this is the time for overkill.

Here are some samples (I will also give a link to the full book) and some comments about potential weaknesses.


Necessary sources of political power

The principle is simple. Dictators require the assistance of the people they rule, without which they cannot secure and maintain the sources of political power. These sources of political power include:

ý Authority, the belief among the people that the regime is legitimate, and that they have a moral duty to obey it;

ý Human resources, the number and importance of the persons and groups which are obeying, cooperating, or providing assistance to the rulers;

ý Skills and knowledge, needed by the regime to perform specific actions and supplied by the cooperating persons and groups;

ý Intangible factors, psychological and ideological factors which may induce people to obey and assist the rulers;

ý Material resources, the degree to which the rulers control or have access to property, natural resources, financial resources, the economic system, and means of communication and transportation; and

ý Sanctions, punishments, threatened or applied, against the disobedient and noncooperative to ensure the submission and cooperation which are needed for the regime to exist and carry out its policies.

All of these sources, however, depend on acceptance of the regime, on the submission and obedience of the population, and on the cooperation of innumerable people and the many institutions of the society. These are not guaranteed.

Full cooperation, obedience, and support will increase the availability of the needed sources of power and, consequently expand the power capacity of any government.

On the other hand, withdrawal of popular and institutional cooperation with aggressors and dictators diminishes, and may sever, the availability of the sources of power on which all rulers depend. Without availability of those sources, the rulers' power weakens and finally dissolves.

(Now is Trump a dictator? Not officially, not yet anyway. But this means we SHOULD have more power to resist Trump if we are still free, this means we have no excuse to not resist him in every possible legal and nonviolent way. Trump's power doesn't come from genes or a command from divine intervention, his power comes from people saying "Trump said X and I will do X/say X/follow X", the more people who reject that notion, the less power Trump has.)


Weaknesses of dictatorships

Among the weaknesses of dictatorships are the following:
1. The cooperation of a multitude of people, groups, and institutions needed to operate the system may be restricted or withdrawn.
2. The requirements and effects of the regime's past policies will somewhat limit its present ability to adopt and implement conflicting policies.
3. The system may become routine in its operation, less able to adjust quickly to new situations.
4. Personnel and resources already allocated for existing tasks will not be easily available for new needs.
5. Subordinates fearful of displeasing their superiors may not report accurate or complete information needed by the dictators to make decisions.
6. The ideology may erode, and myths and symbols of the system may become unstable.
7. If a strong ideology is present which influences one's view of reality, firm adherence to it may cause inattention to actual conditions and needs.
8. Deteriorating efficiency and competency of the bureaucracy, or excessive controls and regulations, may make the system's policies and operation ineffective.
9. Internal institutional conflicts and personal rivalries and hostilities may harm, and even disrupt, the operation of the dictatorship.
10. Intellectuals and students may become restless in response to conditions, restrictions, doctrinalism, and repression.
11. The general public may over time become apathetic, skeptical, and even hostile to the regime.
12. Regional, class, cultural, or national differences may become acute.
13. The power hierarchy of the dictatorship is always unstable to some degree, and at times extremely so. Individuals do not only remain in the same position in the ranking, but may rise or fall to other ranks or be removed entirely and replaced by new persons.
14. Sections of the police or military forces may act to achieve their own objectives, even against the will of established dictators, including by coup d'ātat.
15. If the dictatorship is new, time is required for it to become well established.
16. With so many decisions made by so few people in the dictatorship, mistakes of judgment, policy, and action are likely to occur.
17. If the regime seeks to avoid these dangers and decentralizes controls and decision making, its control over the central levers of power may be further eroded.

(Do you see potential weaknesses? I do. #1 is that source of power from above. #3 and #4 may be possible as time goes by if not possible today. #7 is already well known, just look at Trump unable to stop himself about the popular vote. The maladministration is already very wobbly, all it needs is a couple good pushes.)


There are some tactics in this book as well, if Trump were to ever make a Muslim registry become reality, then signing up and signing up over and over again would be a tactic this book would endorse.

If you want to resist Trump, then this is a book you need to read.


Every day and in a new way, the Republicans and the right wing can be summed up with "Don't"

Don't lose your health insurance. Don't lose your job. Don't have a pre-existing condition. Don't question your government. Don't be gay. Don't be a Muslim. Don't be Hispanic. Don't be a critic of Putin. Don't be transgender. Don't say that black lives matter. Don't get sick. Don't be poor. Don't go into debt. Don't go to college. Don't be a scientist. Don't talk about global warming. Don't ask why your votes don't count. Don't make fun of Trump. Don't go to Planned Parenthood. Don't question the defunding and defaming effort on Planned Parenthood. Don't have an abortion. Don't use birth control. Don't be poor and get pregnant period. Don't quote the Economist that says we are now a "flawed democracy". Don't be liberal. Don't ask where Trump's tax returns are. Don't point out readily apparent hypocritical actions, double standards, and disparities. Don't be an immigrant. Don't be a refugee. Don't. Just don't.

New rule: Lamar Smith's committee shall henceforth be known as the Pseudoscience Corner

The Pseudoscience Corner is the house committee formerly known as the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.

If you see this committee named in an article, please change it to the "Pseudoscience Corner" when posting it here. When was the last scientific thing they did anyway? What a joke. I think Democrats on this committee should actually agree here.

Here's an example of this change in action:
The chairman of the Pseudoscience Corner is asking Americans to trust the information they get from the President over the news produced by the media.

Republican Rep. Lamar Smith saluted President Donald Trump from the floor of the House on Tuesday evening, rattling off his first-week accomplishments but saying Trump is not getting the press coverage he deserves.

"The national liberal media won't print that, or air it or post it," Smith said. "Better to get your news directly from the President. In fact, it might be the only way to get the unvarnished truth."


Trump Failure Level

Keep this list handy, and let's make some predictions.

Low/Green AKA Just wait a bit - Trump is tweeting and otherwise being "unpresidented".

Guarded/Blue AKA Inevitable - The "but Hillary...", "but her emails..." phase. Standard deflection, situation may change though.

Elevated/Yellow AKA Complete - Trump now needs an external enemy to keep legitimacy and authority afloat. Immigrants, refugees, Mexicans, Iranians, NATO, critics of Putin.

High/Orange AKA Total - Switch from external enemy to internal enemy to let Trump grasp onto any shred of power he has left. Muslim Americans, people who want to see his tax returns, people who sued him for sexual harassment, etc.

Severe/Red AKA Epic - The worst possible scenario Trump failure-wise. Nuclear war over a tweet. Trump makes a "good and smart business deal" with Putin and he *only* annexes Alaska, a chunk of Canada, and the western seaboard.

The Systemic Failure that is Fake News

A lot is made about fake news, but I think it is just one component. Responding to fake news requires a lot more effort than just looking at one tree in a forest so to speak. If we truly want to challenge fake news, then we need to look at the entire system associated with it and be ready to confront it.

Fake news is a lot more than a crazy article on the internet, it is...

Confirmation Bias - It seems as though some corners of the internet are not vast libraries, that the super information highway has instead become a repeating cartoonish back alley that loops on itself infinitely, people go to these websites, and what do you know? It tells them exactly what they want to hear about liberals, Muslims, gays, minorities, feminists, the government, etc. What a coincidence, right?

Esoteric Delusions - Go onto a site known to peddle fake news, you may get hit by popup ads telling you about some new way to make money fast and you're the only one who knows about it... for now, or you might see something about "Forbidden Attraction Secrets the Liberal Media Does Not Want You To Know", and that is the point of these ads and many of the stories, they claim to have secret knowledge that 'they' don't want you to know. Look for how many stories begin with "Mainstream media tries to cover up..." or "The government doesn't want you to know about..." It's very enticing, also a tactic used by cults, creates a sense of fraternity, making you feel like you are a discoverer of secrets, makes them look like bringers of knowledge, and the 'they' as some force promoting ignorance and wanting to keep you in the dark.

Dismissal of Debunking - So a fake story has been utterly debunked, Obama couldn't have been consulting with Elders of Mecca and Elders of Zion while giving his REAL Kenyan birth certificate to the Illuminati last Thursday at 9 PM because he was in the Oval Office at that time? Hold up, buckaroo. That doesn't mean anything. Get ready for the dismissals.
"Fake News Source A made something up? I heard that/I remember News source X did something like that too, so what?" is one you might see. I guess some fake news sources go straight for the jugular and attack people who might debunk them as part of the vast conspiracy to debunk them.

We need to challenge the entire system.

From Trumpocracy to Democracy

There has been a lot of talk of resisting Trump. Unfortunately, the problem is systemic. Fake news, a media more interested in making connections with the powerful than exposing them, a legislative branch that is only considered representative of the people in the minds of the deluded or ignorant, and more.

We shouldn't settle on being watchful and we really shouldn't wait for 2020 or even 2018. It's time to face the hard truth... the system is broken. You may hear or see "We're a Republic not a Democracy", but what evidence is there of the former right now?

But instead of wallowing in defeat, retreating, thinking that the next election will be the one that will make everything alright, etc.; this is instead the time for innovation.

Whereas the dominionists and the Dylann Roof Faction AKA the alt right united behind Trump to get their xenophobic, insane, and fringe ideas a little closer to the mainstream; people who are interested in justice, in having representative government, and in a media that acts as a check on the corrupt and the elite can unite in front of him to stop their plans and their agenda of seeking legitimacy.

People may ask "how", and that is a good question. Gene Sharp's "From Dictatorship to Democracy", something usually associated with activists in repressive countries should be read by us today.


There are several things we can do, and if they are done by enough people, then they will challenge the authority and legitimacy of Trump and his future rubber stampers in Congress, they will make things more stressful to the bureaucracy associated with this system that is already teetering on failure and perceiving that they are overworked... poor babies (How much work do Republicans in Congress really want to do anyway?), they will drain the skills and knowledge that this Trumpocracy needs to function, they will take away intangible factors that induce others to obey, they will cause strain over control of the material resources they need, and they will attack their ability to give out sanctions which harms those question or challenge their legitimacy.

So, some ideas are as follows...

Delayed Obedience - Instead of outright opposing Trump and the Republicans and thus triggering the tantrums of "anyone who opposes Trump is a traitor!!1ONE!", mask it in the form of being on the fence, of asking questions, of being unsatisfied, just not being sure... make the Trump supporters on Facebook do lots of work.

Golden Drool - This Trumpocracy seems to rely on the belief that having more money is equal to being physically, morally, and intellectually superior. "But they know how to make money" was the answer to complaints when Trump brought people from Goldman Sachs on. This is his worldview, is it not? This is an idea that needs to be challenged and debunked continuously until it is in the ground and then it needs to be kicked down some more.
Here is a good place to start:

Hold Electors Responsible - Lose your health insurance? Plagued by pre-existing conditions once again? Lose your job in our new miracle economy that is supposed to do wonders for everyone? Send the bill to the electors of the electoral college. Totally swamp them. After all, if Trump is not legitimate, if he is not qualified, if he is mentally unfit to be President, then they would be the group of people to hold accountable for his incompetence.
Here is where you can find their names:

Kidney Stones - An idea to clog the actions against the safety net that gives a new twist on trickle down economics. Republicans are so enthralled by the idea of drug testing and weeding out people on welfare... even though this doesn't happen. Why not organize to apply to welfare on the same day? Or have people do their drug test at the same time? This will also serve to irritate all the Trump voters who are on their welfare that they believe they totally deserve.

Name Your Government - Never pass up an opportunity to name a government panel or body by a name more befitting of their nature, which more often than not has become a mockery in and of itself.
Some ideas just focusing on House committees:
Benghaziologists - Formerly known as the United States House Select Committee on Benghazi
United States House Committee of Just Us - Formerly known as the United States House Committee on the Judiciary
United States House Committee of Miseducation - Formerly known as the United States House Committee on Education and the Workforce
United States House Committee of Pseudoscience - Formerly known as the United States House Committee on Science, Space and Technology

Play Devil's Advocate - I don't think we do enough of this even before the election, if we deconstructed the policies of the right and took them to their logical conclusions, people might start seeing them in the light they should be seen in. Bacteria 4 Infecting Americans PAC handing out awards to legislators who want to eliminate the ACA comes to mind. Mock awards, mock congratulations, parody endorsements, etc. This is what needs to be done here.

Rigged Days - Like Holidays, except they are mostly anniversaries of the things Trump has called rigged, this will challenge Trump's legitimacy on a mental and emotional level.
May 31 - Last Throes Day, if Steve Bannon wants to revel in being compared to Cheney, then he shouldn't mind this
July 5 - Rigged System Day, Trump made a tweet saying the system is rigged because Hillary was not charged
September 24 - Rigged Emmys Day, the day in 2012 when Trump made several tweets about the Emmys being against him
October 15 - Rigged Election Day, when Trump said the election was rigged against him
November 6 - Rigged Electoral College Day, the day when Trump said the Electoral College was a disaster for democracy
And you can probably find more. Rigged Planet Day, Rigged Unemployment Rate Day, it goes on.

Solidarity - Trump's election did not erase Black Lives Matter from existence and it didn't make Muslim Americans non-citizens, even though the Dylann Roof Faction probably thinks this is how the world works. Get to know more people off the internet who aren't your color, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, etc. if you haven't already. And include them among your loved ones. This is the strongest tool against the far right's xenophobia.

This regime is not set in stone (Although it might be set in Putin's polonium), it is not powered by divine energy, Trump's golden toilet being moved to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue does not make him a demigod who we all have to obey or else; it has flaws that can be exploited, any lack of desire to discover and use these flaws for social justice, freedom, and to fix our broken system is on us now though. We will do well to remember that.

Trump presidency as a mass hysteria/mass psychogenic illness?

In sociology and psychology, mass hysteria (also known as collective hysteria, group hysteria, or collective obsessional behavior) is a phenomenon that transmits collective illusions of threats, whether real or imaginary, through a population in society as a result of rumors and fear (memory acknowledgment).

A common type of mass hysteria occurs when a group of people believe they are suffering from a similar disease or ailment, sometimes referred to as mass psychogenic illness or epidemic hysteria.


Mass psychogenic illness (MPI), also called mass sociogenic illness or just sociogenic illness, is "the rapid spread of illness signs and symptoms affecting members of a cohesive group, originating from a nervous system disturbance involving excitation, loss, or alteration of function, whereby physical complaints that are exhibited unconsciously have no corresponding organic aetiology". MPI is distinct from other collective delusions, also included under the blanket terms of mass hysteria, in that MPI causes symptoms of disease, though there is no organic cause.

There is a clear preponderance of female victims. The DSM-IV-TR does not have specific diagnosis for this condition but the text describing conversion disorder states that "In 'epidemic hysteria', shared symptoms develop in a circumscribed group of people following 'exposure' to a common precipitant."


It makes a lot of sense when you look at the commonalities and the symptoms.

Qualities of MPI outbreaks often include:
symptoms that have no plausible organic basis (Trump was seen as the 'healthiest person ever' by his doctor, if Michael Flynn has something that is wrong with him on the organic level then it must have started very recently);
symptoms that are transient and benign (It is literally just another day when Trump says something not true);
symptoms with rapid onset and recovery (Well, we have yet to see recovery);
occurrence in a segregated group (Can you get any more segregated than the KKK and alt-right celebrating Trump's victory?);
the presence of extraordinary anxiety (What was said about Hillary? Why do you need a wall? Why do Trump supporters attack Muslim women (out of hate primarily but what other reason)?);
symptoms that are spread via sight, sound or oral communication (You can get all three from tweets);
a spread that moves down the age scale, beginning with older or higher-status people (Older or higher-status people, as in the Trump administration itself?);
a preponderance of female participants

Symptoms of this particular psychogenic illness:
Inability to concentrate/trouble thinking (We've got John Bolton saying Russia hacking is a false flag by Obama, another start from the top as well, we've also got the Flynn clan spouting conspiracy theories, it's very easy to get to these conclusions by not being able to think clearly, by jumping to the first thing you consider a threat)
Anxiety (Over immigrants, over Muslims, etc.)
Confabulation and exaggeration (Saying and believing things that are simply not true like with Trump saying he got an electoral landslide or Trump voters saying they did not complain when Obama won. And this can be demonstrated in picture form as well.)
Disorganized thinking (Why attack Goldman Sachs on the campaign but hire their guys when he wins and then be OK with it?)

The Trump presidency exists, but his campaign has been intertwined with a mass delusion and his administration is already sharing in this mass delusion, it is possible to respond to this it though:
* Realizing that a mass delusion exists within and around the Trump presidency is the first step
* Realize and explain the contribution of anxiety to it all (Need to come outright and tell Trump voters that they can't let their fear and anxiety get the best of them, even the angriest sounding ones, especially the angriest sounding ones)
* Recognize what they are saying as symptoms ("I know the Flynn family believes that there are secret Arabic signs on the border and they believe in Pizzagate..." "I know you think you won the popular vote...")
* Explain to Trump supporters that Americans interact with immigrants, Muslims, liberals, gays, transgenders, etc. on a daily basis and nothing bad happens to them (Although I would not say that they interact with these groups on a daily basis and don't know it, that might just increase their anxiety)
* The Trump administration is the root of this hysteria, and the media will need to avoid covering them or the things they say as much as possible. We can also avoid quoting the Trump administration, don't spread the things they say, we need to keep them as far away from the bully pulpit as possible
* The media itself also has a role though, do the same thing with media that shows immigrants, minorities, Muslims, gays, transgenders as scary, don't let them spread anxiety either

Hopefully, if we all do these things, we might start to see some improvement with what's going on.

Michael Flynn (The terrorist's father) should put up or shut up about Arabic signs on the US border

And by "shut up", I mean quit. Just quit.

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Donald Trump's pick to be his national security adviser, claimed in an August radio interview that Arabic signs were present along the United States border with Mexico to guide potential state-sponsored terrorists and "radicalized Muslims" into the United States.

Flynn further said in the interview he had personally seen photos of such signs in Texas.


You see, it's real easy to see if there are Arabic signs on the border; the area is not some restricted zone, photography is allowed there, see where this is going? Somebody would have snapped a photo of a sign in an area where nobody speaks the language!


The only photos I see, without mentioning Flynn, are photos of Flynn and his terrorist son.

What does that tell you? Hint: It's not that the Pizzagate conspirators are secretly scrubbing the web of these photos.

Remember when National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said that she didn't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud in the prelude to the Iraq War? If we had all the information about Iraq's capabilities and the administration's intel at the time, she would have been completely discredited.

Well, Flynn comes pre-discredited with this and he clearly has conflicts about protecting this country when his own son is radicalized; not to mention his connections to the Putin regime, his attempts to link Iran to the Benghazi attacks, his bizarre Twitter feed, and his xenophobia and paranoia all discredit him and disqualify him.

He is not legitimate.

And it needs to go the same for any media figure, organization, or lawmaker that gives this man airtime or a platform. No, he doesn't deserve an official platform to say we should ear-tag all the Muslims or that we should invade the Pacific ocean because he has seen photos showing that the sea-people have a WMD program.

Any media figure figure or organization that does not say to Flynn, "I don't believe a word you are saying. Get out." as well as any lawmaker who does not say the same to him is also not legitimate. Period.
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