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Wed Aug 19, 2020, 05:00 PM

Top 10 Conservative Idiots #9-9: When You Control The Mail, You Control Information Edition


Top 10 Conservative Idiots #9-9: When You Control The Mail, You Control Information Edition

Welcome back to the Top 10 Conservative Idiots! How’s everybody doing? Are you guys doing fucking good? I know, right? I hope everyone is enjoying the virtual Democratic Convention. Yeah we wish it were in person too but this shitty virus is still roaming the landscape. But so far some great speeches and we can’t wait to see what Joe and Jill Biden have in store for us! I We’ll have a full 3 part recap next week and preview of the RNC as well. I know that I cannot wait until we kick Trump to the curb in November! Do we have time for the thing? Of course we do. We have all the time in the world right now. I await no schedule! Well, remember how the video store that everyone loved to hate, and hated to love, Blockbuster Video, was down to two locations? Now it’s just down to one – and it’s in Bend, Oregon. Well now that location is doing something and it’s bringing back the slumber parties that you had from childhood! Yup, those are a thing again! Complete with VCR copies of your favorite 80s and 90s flicks! That’s right – for a low price on Air BNB you can now rent the last Blockbuster on earth for a sleepover. I hope they have the old Radiation King TVs from my youth! That’s right, I had one. I also had the cheap ass VCR from Sears with the broken power button. OK I had better stop right now before I completely date myself. OK that’s enough of the intro, we have a lot of idiocy to get to. But first John Oliver is back and he talks about the impact all the crisis are having on juries – and it’s scarier than you might imagine:



Sigh, yet another week under the dreaded pandemic and things aren’t getting any better. So we’re here to entertain you for another week! In the first slot this week is of course the guy who we still inexplicably call president, Donald J. Trump (1). If you cannot win, why not rig the vote? That’s what he’s trying to do with his relentless attacks on the USPS. And he just might get it. Do your best Newman impression here. In the second slot this week is the actual 45th president of the United States, Vladimir Putin (2)! Does glorious Mother Russia have a COVID vaccine? Spoiler alert: NO! Taking the third slot this week is Twitter (3). So Herman Cain sadly lost his battle with the dreaded COVID-19 virus that has been plaguing the landscape, but someone is using his verified account to tweet from beyond the grave! And they’re using and abusing his account! In the fourth slot this week is a new edition of “We’re All Gonna Die” – which features Q Anon Maskholes, a new string of potentially deadly insect, and a rather scary development happening in the California desert! Taking the 5th slot this week is our weekly investigative piece, Top 10 Investigates (5) and this week the lawsuit that refuses to die – involving legendary rock band Led Zeppelin, and band nobody’s ever heard of, Spirit, over Stairway To Heaven, might be going to SCOTUS after another ruling. Find out what it takes to go all the way! In slot #6 this week is our weekly visit to the Holy Church Of The Top 10 in “Holy Shit” (6) and this week our resident pastor can’t help but gloat at the straits that Liberty University is in after president Jerry Falwell Jr is quite literally caught with his pants down! Taking the 7th slot this week, we have a new edition of “This Fucking Guy” (7) and this week we’re going to profile the CEO of the NRA, Wayne La Pierre, and his abuse of the NRA’s bank account to spend on some lavish personal items! At slot #8 is our segment where we attempt to explain the unexplainable, Conspiracy Corner (8) and we’ll introduce you to a pair of Q linked candidates who could be headed to Congress, and that’s fucking scary! In the number 9 (NEIN!!!) slot this week, is a new People Are Dumb (9) because of course they are! Finally this week in Road To The White House (10), there’s even more reactions to Joe Biden’s historic nomination of Kamala Harris as his vice presidential running mate, and we will go through more of them! Enjoy! And as always don’t forget the key!

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[font size="8"]Donald J. Trump
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It’s basically no secret that the guy who we still inexplicably call president, Donald J. Trump, and I am going to go out on a limb here, and say that he’s a bit afraid of Joe Biden. And he’s gone to such extreme lengths as to denounce Biden and dig up some dirt on his son’s business dealings in the Ukraine. Now his latest attacks are on the United States Post Office. Yes, in the middle of the worst pandemic in an entire century, people want to be able to exercise their right to vote against Trump. And Trump is slipping in the polls. So put those two things together and there’s a good possibility that Trump will be a one term president. But what if… he were to start fucking with the post office? Yes one of the few government entities actually defined in the US Constitution could be in serious jeopardy, and we’d all lose because of it!

The US Postal Service is at the center of the 2020 presidential election following President Donald Trump's repeated baseless claims that voting by mail will lead to voter fraud and his acknowledgment last week that he wanted to block USPS funding to sabotage mail-in voting.

Now, a group of attorneys general from at least 20 states are formally suing the Postal Service as part of an effort to ensure that that mail service is not interrupted before November 3, The Washington Post first reported on Tuesday.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy — a major Trump donor with no prior government experience — has said he hopes to reduce costs by cutting down on overtime and late trips, which has disrupted mail delivery in some parts of the country. Critics say the measures are meant not to financially repair the long-ailing USPS but to compromise the effectiveness of mail-in voting.

In the lawsuits, states are expected to argue that some of the more recent changes DeJoy made to mail delivery, including limiting overtime and late trips, violate federal law because they were not formally approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission.
https://www.businessinsider.com/attorneys-general-consider-suing-trump-administration-attack-usps-democracy-2020-8



That’s right! When you control the mail, you control information! So Trump is stepping in some seriously deep doo doo with this latest act of aggression. Things are bad enough right now, last thing we need is this petulant man child fucking up one of the oldest and most American of institutions. Having an America without the post office would be like having an apple pie without apples. Just crust and apple flavored syrup. Here’s why this is, and I am just guessing, bad. Hold your boos.

The Trump administration is making new inroads into the operations of the US Postal Service, raising fears that the agency is degrading services ahead of a surge of votes being cast through the mail in the November election.

As President Donald Trump has launched a relentless attack on vote-by-mail elections, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has inserted himself into the Postal Service's finances and a major Trump donor was selected to lead the USPS -- steps critics warn have opened up the independent government agency to undue political influence.

New Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who took over in June, is under pressure to reverse dramatic cost-cutting measures and prepare the Postal Service for a flood of mail-in ballots this fall. Last week, Mnuchin struck a loan deal with the Postal Service giving him access to details of its 10 biggest service contracts, likely including Amazon -- a move that could give the administration new ammunition to push the USPS to agree to one of Trump's pet projects, raising its shipping prices.

And in another sign of Mnuchin's involvement in the Postal Service's dealings, the Treasury secretary received briefings from the USPS Board of Governors to discuss the appointment of DeJoy as postmaster general earlier this year, a source familiar with the matter told CNN, an irregular arrangement that has not happened in past appointments.
https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/06/politics/trump-administration-postal-service-elections/index.html




But here’s why Trump is ramping up his attacks on the USPS. It has absolutely nothing to do with his reelection he claims. But it could have a lot to do with his ridiculous on again, off again feud with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. And Trump is once again upping the insanity that Amazon is responsible for the demise of the USPS. Despite time and time again that claim is 100% pure, grade A bullshit!

President Donald Trump is once again blaming Amazon for the demise of the United States Postal Service.

In an interview with "Fox & Friends" on Monday, Trump reignited his attack against the ecommerce juggernaut, stating that Amazon is killing the USPS.

The remark is one of a series of recent snipes the president has made at Amazon, including back in April when he placed fault on "internet companies that give their stuff to the Postal Service" in response to claims he tried to cut USPS funding from the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill.

"Amazon and other companies like it, they come and they drop all of their mail into a post office," Trump said on "Fox & Friends. "They drop packages into the post office by the thousands and then they say, 'Here, you deliver them.' We lose $3 and $4 a package on average. We lose massive amounts of money."
https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-reignites-campaign-against-the-us-postal-service-and-amazon-2020-8




We don’t either but there’s no reason to get rid of the USPS either. We need them as much as they need us. And if you’re not fucking horrified by the attacks on this institution, but if you support these attacks you may just be part of the problem. The resolution? It comes in 78 days and it involves voting Trump’s sorry ass out of the White House! That’s the only way to end this nightmare!

Taking reporters’ questions on the White House lawn Monday morning about the future of the U.S. Postal Service and mail-in balloting, President Donald Trump dissembled.

“One of the things the post office loses so much money on is the delivering packages for Amazon and these others. Every time they deliver a package, they probably lose three or four dollars,” he said. “That’s not good. They have to raise those prices — OK — not for the people to pay, but for Amazon and those companies to pay.”

Trump has been asserting this for years and it’s not true. Delivering packages provides a handsome revenue boost to the U.S. Postal Service, thanks to e-commerce companies such as Amazon.com Inc. and others that ship packages in vast truckloads. But package delivery is a small part of the Postal Service’s operation. Mail delivery is its lifeblood, and it has been withering.

A big chunk of the Postal Service’s losses, about $32.6 billion for the fiscal years 2014 through 2019, are also due to a congressional mandate requiring it to prefund future retiree health benefits for its employees — which many other public and private entities don’t have to do. So no, none of these financial problems are caused by package delivery.
https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-08-18/usps-sos-trump-can-t-hide-his-true-reason-for-attacking-post-office





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[font size="8"]Vladimir Putin
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So is anyone really buying this polished turd of a claim that Vladimir Putin already has a vaccine for COVID? Well, the 45th president of the United States and supreme overlord of Mother Russia says that his vaccine has been approved for use. Or has it? Cue the shifty eyes because he might have unleashed a heaping table of bullshit. That’s right, last week Putin unveiled his version of the COVID vaccine called “Sputnik V” but as I have said is anybody really buying this? I know for a fact that I am not. And let’s just see how real Russia’s vaccine really is. Do your best Scooby Doo impression here.

Amid the race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a coronavirus vaccine, touted as the world's first such vaccine, too. The registration of the vaccine lays ground for mass inoculation even as the final stages of clinical trials to test safety and efficacy continue.

The announcement came in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic that has infected more than 20 million people and killed nearly 750,000 worldwide, thus, crippling world economies.

Russia dubbed its newly launched vaccine against coronavirus "Sputnik V" after the Soviet satellite, the head of the country's sovereign wealth fund said, as per reports.

Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund which finances the vaccine project, said Phase 3 trials would start on Wednesday, industrial production was expected from September and that 20 countries had pre-ordered more than a billion doses, AFP reported.
https://www.livemint.com/news/world/russia-develops-world-s-first-covid-19-vaccine-putin-s-daughter-gets-vaccinated-11597135192189.html




Why do TV show and movie characters always say that? Because even I don’t know what I’m thinking half the time. But anyway glorious dictator Putin not only has the vaccine he has had family members take it. If you’re following the 1918 playbook, it was at this point in the pandemic that the bogus drugs and cures were being touted. Hey, we all want to get on with our lives and put this behind us. But we won’t if shit like this keeps happening!

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on 11 August that the country’s health regulator had become the first in the world to approve a coronavirus vaccine for widespread use — but scientists globally have condemned the decision as dangerously rushed. Russia hasn’t completed large trials to test the vaccine’s safety and efficacy, and rolling out an inadequately vetted vaccine could endanger people who receive it, researchers say. It could also impede global efforts to develop quality COVID-19 immunizations, they suggest.

“That the Russians may be skipping such measures and steps is what worries our community of vaccine scientists. If they get it wrong, it could undermine the entire global enterprise,” says Peter Hotez, a vaccine scientist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

“This is a reckless and foolish decision. Mass vaccination with an improperly tested vaccine is unethical. Any problem with the Russian vaccination campaign would be disastrous both through its negative effects on health, but also because it would further set back the acceptance of vaccines in the population,” said Francois Balloux, a geneticist at University College London, in a statement distributed by the UK Science Media Centre.
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02386-2




By the way we’re not the only ones calling bullshit here! See in order to get a vaccine approved, there’s four different stages that one must go through in order to get it approved and distributed. And Putin is claiming that he won the Stanley Cup when we’re just in 1st period intermission of game 1. This virus is a beast and not going away anytime soon. But the subject of the anti-vaxxers’ favorite punching bag, Bill Gates, is calling bullshit!

If Russian President Vladimir Putin has found an effective COVID-19 vaccine, then the data showing its safety and effectiveness should be released, the head of GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance says.

In an exclusive wide-ranging interview with Newsweek International, Dr. Seth Berkley said that he had yet to see any efficacy data showing that President Putin had a safe vaccine.

He said: "We don't have public, published information on efficacy or safety of this product.

"It may be that there's some data we don't know about but in general what's very important is that vaccines go through a well-oiled and recognized process for evaluation and safety and ultimately registration.
https://www.newsweek.com/coronavirus-vaccine-russian-uk-putin-trump-gavi-covid-19-health-1525552




That is most certainly true! And before you keep calling bullshit, like I am, let’s just say that the COVID vaccine race is the latest in the long, long series of pissing contests between the United States and Mother Russia. And it’s made even worse by the fact that we have a ruthless dictator on one end, and an insecure, egomaniacal man child on the other. You can interchange those as you see fit.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the approval of a coronavirus vaccine for use on Tuesday, claiming it as a "world first," amid continued concern and unanswered questions over its safety and effectiveness.

"A vaccine against coronavirus has been registered for the first time in the world this morning," Putin said on state TV. "I know that it works quite effectively, it forms a stable immunity."

Putin added that one of his daughters had already taken it; he said she had a slightly higher temperature after each dose, but that: "Now she feels well."

Developed by the Moscow-based Gamaleya Institute, the vaccine has been named Sputnik-V, a reference to the surprise 1957 launch of the world's first satellite by the Soviet Union. It has yet to go through crucial Phase 3 trials where it would be administered to thousands of people.

The claim of victory by Putin in the global push to make an effective vaccine against Covid-19 comes amid suggestions that Russia has cut essential corners in its development.
https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/11/europe/russia-coronavirus-vaccine-putin-intl/index.html





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[font size="8"]Herman Cain
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This next entry is going to go against the long, long standing Top 10 policy that we never speak ill of the dead. But when the dead are mysteriously using their Twitter accounts to speak ill of us, that’s when I throw out the rules and say “fuck it” and start fighting fire with fire! If you’ve been following the Top 10, you know that former presidential candidate and pizza magnate Herman Cain sadly lost his brief battle with COVID-19. But if you’re on the Tweet Sphere, you know that somehow, Cain has mysteriously risen from the dead and is tweeting republican! Yes, to borrow that classic Bart Simpson line. So how did someone manage to get a hold of Cain’s verified account and why are they using it for bad? Because fuck it, that’s why!

Herman Cain's Twitter account is still tweeting, more than two weeks after the former Republican presidential candidate died from coronavirus.

Cain died at 74 years old on July 30 after being hospitalized with coronavirus. His official Twitter account, now with the name "The Cain Gang," has since regularly tweeted or retweeted criticism against Democrats, particularly against the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his pick for vice president, Kamala Harris.

For instance, on Thursday, Cain's Twitter tweeted "Harris has a ton of baggage and a political glass jaw. She's awful."

That same day, it tweeted that The Cain Gang "consists of different writers who have their own opinions. We all lean right, but we're also individuals. Each piece reflects the opinions of that writer. That's how Herman wanted it to work."

Cain's daughter, Melanie Cain Gallo, wrote in a post on his website on Tuesday that Cain "believed in using his voice to teach, enlighten and give hope. It's one of the ways he used this web site every day, and he wouldn't have wanted that work to stop with his passing."
https://www.businessinsider.com/herman-cains-twitter-is-still-active-after-died-from-coronavirus-2020-8




Well in this case they’re tweeting republican! But why? And why is this so fucking creepy? Well Hermain Cain was a naturally creepy individual by nature. I mean we all saw that weird campaign ad from when he actually attempted to run:



Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. 8 years later and that still creeps me the fuck out. But seriously, speaking of the creep factor, here’s why this is so creepy.

Although Republican activist and one-time Godfathers Pizza CEO Herman Cain — who served as co-chair of Black Voices for Trump — died from COVID-19 on July 30, new posts from his Twitter account, @THEHermanCain, have appeared this week. And according to The Guardian's Adam Gabbatt, Cain's allies have decided to keep the account active with tweets on this week's events.

One of the posts appeared after former Vice President Joe Biden, on Tuesday, chose Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate. Another post, added on Thursday, attacked Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Gabbatt explains that Cain's daughter, Melanie Cain Gallo, has offered some clarification on the new tweets. According to Gallo, "We've decided here at Cain HQ that we will go on using this platform to share the information and ideas he believed in. He often talked about the site going on once he was ready to step away from it. We had hoped he could enjoy reading it in his retirement, but he made it clear he wanted it to go on."

Gallo also said that new tweets from her father's social media accounts will "go under the name The Cain Gang."

But initially, the name on the account hadn't been changed — "Herman Cain" still seemed to be tweeting — and no explanation for the new posts was given. The posts appeared exactly as they would have had Cain tweeted them while he was alive, leading many to react to the disconcerting situation in shock.
https://www.salon.com/2020/08/15/herman-cains-twitter-account-is-creeping-everyone-out-it-is-still-trolling-after-his-death_partner/




So this begs the question – if Herman Cain is dead, then who’s got a hold of his account? And why is this individual using it to promote the dark side? Well the “Cain Gang” has taken over his account and they are apparently using it to spread his legacy. And by the way is the name “Cain Gang” what you really want to call your army of followers? Or do you even have an army? Maybe it’s just a small but vocal fan club.

Herman Cain, the 2012 Republican presidential candidate who died after contracting COVID-19, is continuing to denounce to Democratic politicians on social media two weeks after his death.

"Just in case you thought Biden's candidacy was going to be anything other than completely nuts, team Trump has released a new video," read the first post on Cain's Twitter account since an Aug. 7 one that shared the time of his funeral.

"How well prepared is Kamala Harris for the presidency? We take a look. We're not impressed and you won't be either," read a post added to his Facebook account on Wednesday.

"Harris has a ton of baggage and a political glass jaw. She's awful," read a post added Thursday.

The flurry of political posts on his social media accounts is the work of Cain's daughter Dr. Melanie Cain Gallo.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/08/13/herman-cain-attacks-kamala-harris-social-media-2-weeks-after-death/3362783001/




Wait, let me get this straight. Kamala has a lot of baggage but your man dies from a plague after hanging out with Trump in Oklahoma City? Get the fuck out of here! And come on, Cain Gang, whoever you are, we’re onto you! And I really hate to use TMZ for this angle of the story but I couldn’t find anything else but guess what? No violation at all! Even though Twitter has rules against this sort of thing!

Herman Cain's political takes from beyond the grave will continue -- even if some Twitter users think it's dirty pool -- because they're not breaking any rules.

The late pizza tycoon and politician's Twitter account raised eyebrows Wednesday night when it started firing off anti-Joe Biden posts in response to Joe announcing Kamala Harris as his running mate.

The tweets drew a mixed reaction -- some joked Cain had jumped online posthumously to keep supporting President Trump. But, others fumed the account was violating Twitter policy ... since the person posting is obviously not HC.

Not so, according to a Twitter spokesperson, who tells us the profile info and images have been updated to reflect who is truly managing the account ... so, it's all Kosher.

The new group in charge calls itself "The Cain Gang," and -- led by his daughter Dr. Melanie Cain Gallo -- vows to continue working on his political mission.

Since Wednesday, that's included several tweets and retweets supporting Trump and slamming his opponents.
https://www.tmz.com/2020/08/14/herman-cain-gang-twitter-account-no-violation-biden-tweets/





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[font size="8"]We’re All Gonna Die
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Hey everyone guess what? We’re all gonna die!!WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! WOOOOOOOOOO!!! WOOOOOOO. WOOO. Of course unlike the other times when I’ve said we’re all gonna die, I mean it could really happen this year. After all, this is 2020, which seems to be the year of disaster. Don’t believe me? We’ve had a plague, we’ve had murder hornets, we’ve had test tube stealing monkeys, and we’re still in August! But this might be something that could really kill us – there’s a storm coming. No, I’m not talking about that Q Anon horseshit. I’m talking about a real life fire tornado that’s been brewing up in the Northern California desert. For real.

Firefighters are battling more than a dozen wildfires across California as a scorching heat wave continues to bear down on the state. And in the midst of record-breaking temperatures, rare lightning storms have also sparked a handful of new fires that continue to rage on.

"We are all experiencing rather extraordinary conditions," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday, adding that there are about 15 fires burning in the northern and southern ends of the state.

About 40,000 acres have been charred by a fire that was started by lightning close to Loyalton, a community along the California-Nevada border near Reno.

As of Monday afternoon, officials said it was 10% contained after destroying 11 structures, including five homes, the U.S. Forest Service said.
https://www.npr.org/2020/08/18/903399662/extreme-heat-and-fire-tornadoes-slow-firefighting-efforts-in-california




Yeah probably! So fire tornadoes are one thing that is actually a thing in my home state and it’s absolutely terrifying! You know what else could kill you? A major earthquake, and that’s also a thing that my state of California has to deal with. Not only that, boomerang earthquakes are now a thing! And that would also make a great band name. But you know since the Doomsday Clock moved another 30 seconds closer to midnight, is it any wonder why we are fucked?

A massive earthquake in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in 2016 ricocheted east then west like a geologic boomerang.

Boomerang quakes have only been rarely anecdotally reported, and never before recorded scientifically. This strangely complex earthquake happened on a relatively simple, straight-line fault called an ocean transform fault. That suggests such weird, ricocheting quakes could happen on other straight-line faults, such as the San Andreas Fault that snakes along California's coast.

Complicated earthquakes aren't unusual, said study co-author Stephen Hicks, an earthquake seismologist and research associate at Imperial College London. But that's not surprising because most faults are complicated: They might be very close to other faults, which all rupture in weird ways when one snaps under pressure. Ocean transform faults, by contrast, should be simple, Hicks said.

"We're seeing this level of complexity on just a single structure," Hicks told Live Science.
https://www.livescience.com/boomerang-earthquake.html




Now now we’re not gonna die yet. And not only are we gonna die, the animals might also have a chance of dying with us! No, that’s nothing to laugh or scoff at! You know what the COVID pandemic is having an effect on? The salmon population. Yes, that most delicious of pink, scaly fish that goes great on a bagel with a metric shit ton of cream cheese could be at risk because of the COVID pandemic, which means bad news for us!

Unless you fished for salmon this summer at Bristol Bay, it’s been slim pickings for fishermen in other Alaska regions. Salmon returns have been so poor that communities already are claiming fishery disasters.

Cordova’s City Council last week unanimously passed a resolution asking the state to declare disasters for both the 2018 Copper River sockeye and chinook salmon runs and the 2020 sockeye, chum and chinook runs at the Copper River and Prince William Sound.

The resolution also urges the state and federal governments to declare a “condition of economic disaster in Cordova as a result,” reported Seafood.com, adding, “The town of 2,500 is now the first of what will likely be at least one or two others to ask for a fisheries and economic disaster declaration in 2020.”

The sockeye fishery at Chignik on the Alaska Peninsula also has remained closed again this year. So few salmon have returned state managers said it is unlikely escapement goals will be achieved for the third consecutive year.
https://www.adn.com/business-economy/2020/08/11/2020-salmon-returns-have-been-so-poor-that-alaska-communities-already-are-claiming-fishery-disasters/




Yeah probably! Although there is some good news, I guess. While COVID is ravaging the landscape, and you are more likely to die from that than you are anything else right now, you’re actually less likely to die from a natural disaster! That’s right, while deaths from other variables are way up, deaths from actual natural disasters are way down! Could this be the calm before the storm perhaps?

New data indicates that the number of people killed in natural disasters in the first six months of 2020 was much lower than average figures over the past 30 years.

Why it matters: A combination of climate change and more people moving into risk-prone areas can intensify the effects of natural disasters. But better preparation and greater wealth can prevent deaths, even as the overall price of catastrophe rises.

Driving the news: The reinsurer Munich Re released data about the toll of natural disasters over the first six months of 2020.

While the financial losses were just slightly below the 30-year average over the same months, far fewer people than average — 2,900 people total — were killed by natural catastrophes.
That's 38% below the total from the first half of 2019, and nearly 90% below the 30-year average.
https://www.axios.com/natural-disaster-deaths-2020-49437b93-2a05-41b3-a7ba-2d32b885e34f.html





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[font size="8"]Top 10 Investigates: Led Zeppelin Lawuit
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It’s time to investigate beyond the headlines! This is Top 10 Investigates!



It’s the lawsuit that refuses to die. Rock band Spirit has sued one of the most popular rock bands of all time, Led Zeppelin, over the music in their hit song “Stairway To Heaven”. Now that lawsuit is literally one step away from going to the Supreme Court of the United States. What will it take for that to happen and what could the potential outcome have for musicians around the US? Not to mention musicians around the world? The entire world is watching and waiting for the outcome of this lawsuit and the implications that it will have on the creative community. Well now this has the potential to reach the highest law in the United States. What could happen if it goes all the way to SCOTUS?

There’s a feeling you get, when you look at two repeated court losses, and your spirit is crying for … trying a third time. The U.S. Supreme Court has been petitioned to review the never-ending Led Zeppelin “Stairway to Heaven” copyright-infringement saga, in what would become the most significant music trial to ever reach the nine justices. The case, which has been in and out of courts since 2016, claims that the band infringed upon the instrumental song “Taurus” by the American rock band Spirit and repurposed it as the intro to “Stairway to Heaven.” Per THR, the petition comes from Michael Skidmore, who had been representing the late Spirit front man Randy Wolfe in previous court cases. “It is fitting, perhaps,” the petition states, “that the future of music copyright law be decided by a case about rock n’ roll’s most iconic song.”

In the new petition, Skidmore claims that he lost the previous trial because the jury “didn’t get to appreciate the true ‘Taurus’” and “wasn’t properly instructed about originality,” as the original “Taurus” recording was not played. In 2016, Led Zeppelin won the trial following a few days of entertaining testimony (Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were both called as witnesses), and earlier this year, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the verdict and denied a retrial. The timeframe for Skidmore to petition the Supreme Court remains unclear, so we’ll entertain ourselves in the meantime by imagining that Clarence Thomas asks a question about how, exactly, the piper will lead us all to reason.
https://www.vulture.com/2020/08/led-zeppelin-stairway-to-heaven-trial-go-to-supreme-court.html




Yes, that could have serious complications for the music industry, who in the last year has seen lawsuits from the Marvin Gaye estate, Ed Sheeran, Neil Young, the Rolling Stones, and the Beatles. So how is this latest ruling affecting the music industry copyright claims? Well it comes back after last March when the latest ruling in the suit was that the song did not steal the riffs. Though the members of Spirit are taking it yet another step further.

Once again, Led Zeppelin has come out on top in the midst of a long-running legal dispute with the estate of the late Spirit frontman Randy (California) Wolfe.

Earlier this week, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, Calif., found — for the second time — that the iconic opening of Led Zeppelin’s 1971 rock anthem Stairway to Heaven was not plagiarized from that of Spirit’s instrumental prog song, Taurus (1968), according to the Associated Press (AP).

The verdict comes six years after Wolfe’s estate — run by trustee Michael Skidmore — ignited the copyright infringement lawsuit in 2014. At the time, the estate sued not only the British rock group, but also their label, Warner Music Group.

Led Zeppelin was initially deemed not guilty of plagiarism in 2016; however, the jury’s decision was overturned in October 2018, when members of the 9th Circuit panel ruled that the case’s previous judge had provided “erroneous instruction” to the jury. This prompted a retrial in 2019.
https://globalnews.ca/news/6661744/led-zeppelin-win-copyright-lawsuit/


So Led Zeppelin won that round, but have they lost the war, or will Spirit rue the day when they sued one of the world’s most popular rock bands? And what could it take for the suit to go all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States? And what will be the potential outcome? Do we know where we are going with this line of questioning? You bet we do not.

The plagiarism claim linked the intro’s origins to a lesser-known 70s rock band, Spirit, and their song, “Taurus.” Michael Skidmore, a trustee for the estate of Randy California, the guitarist for and composer of Taurus, brought a lawsuit in 2014 alleging that Zeppelin stole the guitar intro for “Stairway” from Spirit. The lawsuit alleges that the two bands toured together in the late 1960s, and therefore, Zeppelin had “access” to Spirit’s songs.

Skidmore’s lawsuit charged Jimmy Page and Robert Plant with copyright infringement, but a jury found them not guilty following a full trial. Skidmore appealed, and in 2018 a Ninth Circuit ordered a new trial after finding that the original trial had “erroneous jury instructions.”

A new trial was held in September of 2019. Plaintiff’s main argument focused on the fact that the original trial did not compare the recorded versions of “Stairway to Heaven” and “Taurus.” To some, this might seem odd, but both “Stairway” and “Taurus” were copyrighted under a 1909 law that only protects sheet music turned into the U.S. Copyright Office. More recent copyright laws extend copyright protection to sound recordings.

Plaintiff protested that judging the songs by their sheet music was misleading because Jimmy Page himself does not read sheet music. “Why are we looking at this artificial analysis that never happened in the real world?” Plaintiff’s attorney said, per the Associated Press. “It’s wrong, it’s artificial, it’s imaginary. What we do know, and what we proved at trial, is that Jimmy Page has five of Spirit’s albums in his record collection.”
https://www.natlawreview.com/article/sometimes-words-have-two-meanings-court-rules-stairway-to-heaven-s-troubled




Well that said, Spirit is not the only band who’s been on the side of a Led Zeppelin lawsuit. There’s also popular singer-songwriter Abel Tesfaye, who goes by the stage name of The Weeknd. Well, needless to say the copyright suits against Led Zeppelin could determine the future of the music industry. And you can expect that we will keep an eye on this and future lawsuits.

In terms of how Tesfaye or his collaborators might have had access to the trio’s unreleased song, that all centred on Universal Music Publishing. The three songwriters had been signed to the publishing wing of London management company Big Life, which was then bought by the major in 2008. A co-writer on ‘A Lonely Night’, Jason Quenneville, also has links to Universal Music Publishing via a Canadian music firm he works with. So, the theory went, he must have been exposed to ‘I Need To Love’ via Universal.

However, in a motion to dismiss last month, Tesfaye’s lawyers said that Quenneville’s co-write credit on ‘A Lonely Night’ actually stemmed from his work on an earlier unfinished song, a verse from which Tesfaye borrowed for his ‘Starboy’ track. And that earlier unfinished song was written before Quenneville had any connections with Universal.

That motion to dismiss also claimed that the musical elements shared by ‘A Lonely Night’ and ‘I Need To Love’ were also found in lots of other songs. And that one more specific element both songs contained amounted to “three isolated notes spread over three measures, one note per measure”. Citing the recent Ninth Circuit court ruling in the big Led Zeppelin song-theft case, Tesfaye’s lawyers argued that specific element was not substantial enough to be protected by copyright.
https://completemusicupdate.com/article/court-dismisses-plagiarism-claims-made-against-the-weeknd/




That’s it this week for Top 10 Investigates. Good day!





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[font size="8"]Holy Shit
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Gather around my fair brothers and sisters! It’s time to take a seat in the virtual pew make an online donation in the LAWRD’s virtual collection plate, for the Holy Church Of The Top 10 has convened and it’s time to remind you that the holiest among us are the most full of:



My fair virtual congregation! You know it’s not my style to engage in a bit of schadenfreude because that’s not what the good LAWRD JAYSUS would want. But when it involves an institution that is widely known for spreading HERESY and worshipping the unholy, ungodly dark one, whose name shall not be mentioned in my church – real or virtual, then exceptions must be made! But here’s the thing my fair flock, that still come to us week after week to put up with my nonsense, Liberty University was a well oiled machine that actually had some credibility. Then their founder died and made the asshole son president, who worships the unholy, ungodly Dark One, whose name shall not be mentioned in my church! That’s when things started to go predictably south.

A few days after Jerry Falwell Jr. buried his father in 2007, an author writing about the family visited Falwell Jr.’s office and made what he thought was an obvious comment. With the death of Jerry Falwell Sr., a charismatic religious-right titan, Falwell Jr. was about to become president of a Christian mega-university as the heir of the extremely famous brand name.

“I said: ‘You’re really in the spotlight now, eh?’ ” said Dirk Smillie, then a Forbes writer working on a book about the family and the booming university Falwell Sr. had created in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in central Virginia. “If I was in his place, I’d expect a number of emotions. But instead he had this look like he was being taken to the guillotine, like: ‘This is, like, the last thing I want to do.’ He was dreading the visibility that would come from having to replace what his father had engineered.”

Over the next 13 years, Falwell Jr. transformed from a shy, reclusive real estate developer and lawyer nervous in public settings to a highflying national figure — known not only for his leadership of the country’s most prominent evangelical university, which boasts 85,000 students, but also for a long series of controversial social media posts — some criticized as Islamophobic, sexist and racist — and for his zealous public defense of President Trump.

Earlier this month, in the minds of Liberty leaders, he went too far. On Aug. 7 Falwell Jr. was put on an indefinite leave of absence from the presidency after he posted a provocative Instagram photo of himself posing with his wife’s assistant.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2020/08/17/liberty-president-falwell-instagram-reckoning-trump/




Of course! You cannot support the unholy Dark One because everything he touches turns to absolute shit! Remember, we are allowed to swear in my church! Remember that movie from a few years ago called Horrible Bosses? Jerry Falwell Jr is the dim son who takes over the family business and doesn’t have a clue how to run it. Which is probably how he lost control of the message so easily!

As president and chancellor of the country’s largest Christian university and the son of one of the founding fathers of the religious right, Jerry Falwell Jr. has come to serve as a stand-in for American evangelicals. But to those inside the Liberty University community, Falwell’s leading role has lately seemed more like a liability than an asset. On Friday, the executive committee of the school’s board announced that Falwell will take an indefinite leave of absence.

Alumni feel “they have to hide their association with Liberty,” Colby Garman, a pastor who graduated from Liberty and serves on the board of Virginia’s Southern Baptist Convention, told me by phone Friday night. “A lot of pastors feel that way, a little bit, when it comes to the leadership of the school.” (Falwell did not reply to my request for an interview.)

What finally pushed Liberty’s leaders to act was their belief that Falwell had openly flaunted immoral behavior: He posted, and then deleted, an image of himself on a yacht, his arm around the waist of a young woman who was not his wife. Both of their pants were partially unzipped, and a glass of what looked like alcohol—which he called “black water” in his caption—was in Falwell’s hand. Later, in an interview with a local radio station in Lynchburg, Virginia, where Liberty is located, Falwell explained that the woman works as an assistant to his wife. He laughed the incident off: “I promised my kids I’m going to try to be a good boy from here on out,” he said. But alumni and staff who had previously expressed their concerns about Falwell in private began openly calling for his resignation, including Representative Mark Walker of North Carolina; many of them noted that any number of Falwell’s actions would have gotten a Liberty student written up.
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/08/jerry-fallwell-evangelicals-liberty/615112/




So Liberty University has gone over the edge. Guess you can say that we tried to warn them because that’s what you get when you trust the unholy Dark One. Everything he touches dies! Instead, you must trust the good LAWRD JAYSUS! Of course you can see why Liberty is currently in shambles and one incident must be what pushed them over the edge! You can’t trust how things are going right now.

Jerry Falwell Jr., the president and chancellor of Liberty University, has agreed to take an "indefinite leave of absence," according to a statement Friday from the evangelical Christian university.

The leave of absence is effective immediately, the statement said. The executive committee of the university's board of trustees made the request of Falwell. The board did not provide a reason for Falwell's leave in its statement.

CNN has reached out to Falwell for comment. In a separate statement, Jerry Prevo, chairman of the university's board of trustees, said the Lynchburg, Virginia-based university has "experienced unprecedented success" during Falwell's 13 years as president.

"Unfortunately, with this success and the burdens of leading a large and growing organization comes substantial pressure," Prevo said in the statement. "Today, my colleagues and I on the Liberty University Board of Trustees and Jerry mutually agreed that it would be good for him to take an indefinite leave of absence."
https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/07/us/jerry-falwell-jr-liberty-university-leave/index.html




Except when there is judgement of course, and I speak of that in the Good Book, which you can now buy online for the low low price of $19.99! But yeah this is the incident I am referring to that got Mr. Falwell ousted from his own school. Really don’t do this people, and especially don’t be partying on a boat during a pandemic. But once again everything the Dark One touches dies!

The executive committee did not provide a reason, but the request comes several days after Falwell posted -- and then deleted -- a photograph on Instagram with his pants unzipped and his arm around a woman, The New York Times reported.

According to WSLS, the caption on the post -- which has been deleted -- reads, “More vacation shots. Lots of good friends visited us on the yacht. I promise that’s just black water in my glass. It was a prop only.”

On Thursday, Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., a Southern Baptist minister and former Liberty instructor, called for Falwell’s resignation, according to The Washington Post.

“Jerry Falwell Jr’s ongoing behavior is appalling,” Walker tweeted. “I’m convinced Falwell should step down.”

On Friday, Walker tweeted that the move was the right call for the university and offered prayers for Falwell and his family.
https://www.wsoctv.com/news/trending/jerry-falwell-jr-announces-leave-absence-liberty-university/5RZAAJAKORFRNKGQ2CFEGV7HPI/




So we must not celebrate or pity Rev Falwell, rather, just heed this warning as a caution of things not to do in dire times! Mass has ended, may you go in peace! That’s it this week for:




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[font size="8"]This Fucking Guy: Wayne La Pierre
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Man I can’t believe it’s taken us this long to do this one, but this week’s This Fucking Guy is the long time head of that most American of institutions, the gun lobby organization known as the National Rifle Association, Wayne La Pierre. Yes, this week, Mr. La Pierre is in some deep shit after New York Attorney General Letitia James laid the smackdown on his group for taking advantage of the state’s charity requirements. Which of course is an actual crime but don’t tell the NRA that. But like most good republican executives, Mr. LaPierre used and abused the NRA like it was his personal piggy bank. And for that he must go. Or will he? I always pictured his exit from the NRA in a good old fashioned western style duel to the death!

For nearly three decades, Wayne LaPierre has been the face of the National Rifle Association, burnishing the organization's influence and power in Washington, taking a defiant stance against gun control advocates in the wake of mass shootings and once famously declaring, "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

On Thursday, LaPierre's position as CEO and executive vice president of the most dominant gun lobby in the United States became more precarious after New York Attorney General Letitia James sued him and three other high-ranking current or former NRA executives, alleging that they have undercut the nonprofit organization's charitable mission by engaging in illegal financial conduct.

That includes diverting tens of millions of dollars for personal trips and expenditures, lucrative no-show contracts to buy people's silence and other improper spending, according to the lawsuit.

"The NRA was serving as a personal piggy bank for four individual defendants," James, a Democrat, said at a news conference.
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/wayne-lapierre-allegedly-used-nra-personal-piggy-bank-n-y-n1236068




Man who still has a toilet like that? Anyway Mr. LaPierre is in quite the serious shit, as we pointed out last week. And you know when you’re traveling, back in the days when we actually could travel to places, and I am old enough to remember when that was, why do you need a private jet that costs more than some people’s homes? Or a vacation home that cost more than your actual house? Wayne LaPierre does!

Oh, the places he went in private jets, luxury yachts and safari trucks.

In New York Attorney General Letitia James’s lawsuit against the National Rifle Association, the word “travel” appears no fewer than 118 times — almost always in reference to the extravagant jet-setting of the National Rifle Association’s Chief Executive and Executive Vice President, Wayne LaPierre.

New York State is seeking to dissolve the NRA and is suing the group’s executive leadership for “fraud and abuse” following an 18-month investigation that revealed a $64 million loss in just three years.

Central to the 164-page chronicle of alleged financial malfeasance is LaPierre’s use of NRA funds for over-the-top vacations, private jets, and lavish meals. In a statement, James’s office said that the charitable organization's executives “instituted a culture of self-dealing, mismanagement, and negligent oversight at the NRA that was illegal, oppressive, and fraudulent.”
https://www.forbes.com/sites/suzannerowankelleher/2020/08/06/wayne-lapierres-extravagant-travels-are-central-in-new-yorks-nra-lawsuit/#2a9e0ffa38ed




Boy that would be pretty sweet wouldn’t it? Although I don’t know, there’s some places you just don’t want to travel at all these days. Maybe Wayne and his cronies can sit at home and play virtual duck hunter on a VR headset like the rest of us will do during this pandemic! Well all that being said with as dire straits as the most conservative American gun toting of all organizations is in, they might just be their own worst enemy!

A year after being re-elected as the executive vice president and CEO of the National Rifle Association, Wayne LaPierre has seen his group go from an electoral kingmaker to the edge of financial ruin. He and other NRA executives have urged laid-off employees to seek public assistance benefits. The nation's most prominent pro-gun lobby has lost tens of millions of dollars amid numerous legal woes and investigations that have exposed its questionable financial dealings. Now, the longtime NRA leader hopes his lawyers can "keep him out of jail," according to previously unreported allegations in court documents in the group's legal battle against its longtime public relations firm, Ackerman McQueen.

The documents, which were published in full on NRA Watch, a new database launched by the advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety, allege that LaPierre has grown "preoccupied with going to jail." Ackerman's allegations paint a picture of an executive who "didn't trust his own accounting department" and instructed associates not to disclose important information to the group's auditors.

The documents also include allegations about the NRA's search for a personal mansion for LaPierre, whose alleged obsession with "purchasing a lavish home for himself" led Ackerman to pull out of the deal. They also allege that LaPierre may have violated his own group's bylaws by improperly using Ackerman to pay off the group's former president, Lt. Col. Oliver North, who left the organization after what it described as a "failed coup attempt."

Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action, the grassroots arm of Everytown for Gun Safety, told Salon that NRA Watch aimed to show that LaPierre "used member dues for what looks like personal reasons" while "only 10% of NRA funds in 2018 were even spent on gun safety."
https://www.salon.com/2020/05/01/exclusive-nra-chief-wayne-lapierres-no-good-very-bad-year-according-to-new-court-filings/




Wow, so a gun organization that spends 10% of its’ income on gun safety? Do car manufacturers only spend 10% of their income on safe driving practices? Yes that’s how an organization is supposed to run, and it ain’t supposed to run like this! But here’s the real kicker out of all of this. And I’m no big city lawyer, but if you put together the NRA’s massive losses with Wayne’s extravagant spending, well, it might just make him look bad!

The National Rifle Association was forced to drastically cut its budget after legal battles cost the group $100 million, according to a recording of an NRA board meeting obtained by NPR.

NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre lamented at the January meeting that investigations into the organization launched by attorneys general in New York and Washington had bled finances. He decried the "power of weaponized government."

"The cost that we bore was probably about a $100 million hit in lost revenue and real cost to this association in 2018 and 2019," LaPierre said in the recording. "I mean, that's huge."

LaPierre told board members that the group was forced to cut $80 million from its budget to "survive."

The attorneys general in New York and Washington are investigating the group's finances, as well as its nonprofit status. The NRA has also been locked in a years-long legal battle with its longtime public relations firm, which accused LaPierre of mismanaging the group's money and spending millions on lavish travel, clothing and even his search for a personal mansion.
https://www.salon.com/2020/04/22/wayne-lapierre-reveals-that-nra-cut-budget-to-survive-after-losing-100-million-leaked-audio/




So, reckless spending and treating his own organization like it’s his personal piggy bank. That’s Wayne La Pierre, this week’s:




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[font size="8"]Conspiracy Corner

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Welcome back to the segment that attempts to explain the unexplainable, Conspiracy Corner! We are coming at you from a remote bomb shelter in the alkali flats of the Iowa badlands. Just allow me to adjust my trusty tin foil hat for maximum government interference. They are trying to read my thoughts after all, and they’re trying to read yours! That’s right! But that said, conspiracy theories are no longer limited to just crackpots. They’re gaining traction, as with the popular Q Anon conspiracy that got roots in the internet sewer known as 4chan. Of course like most bad things, Q Anon has no basis in real life, and it has no basis in reality. So why are so many people embracing it?

A Republican candidate who subscribes to the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory prevailed Tuesday night in a House primary runoff in Georgia.

Marjorie Taylor Greene defeated fellow Republican John Cowan in the runoff for Georgia's 14th Congressional District, and her victory in the solidly Republican Georgia district means Greene is all but certain to find herself elected to Washington.

What started three years ago as a conspiracy theory born on the internet's dark fringes has moved into the mainstream with candidates like Greene espousing and promoting QAnon theories and phrases as they seek political office on a major party ticket.

QAnon's main theories claim that dozens of politicians and A-list celebrities work in tandem with governments around the globe to engage in child sex abuse. Followers also believe there is a "deep state" effort to thwart President Donald Trump. Another QAnon theory is that Trump will arrest all his wrongdoers like Hillary Clinton and send them to Guantanamo Bay. There is no evidence for these claims.
https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/12/politics/qanon-congressional-candidates/index.html




Man remember the good old days when Q was the lovable chap who used to bring James Bond cool and extremely dangerous gadgets from his workshop? And Q Anon isn’t just limited to getting assholes elected to the highest levels of government. Q Anon is also wreaking havoc with the pandemic. And you can almost always tell a Q Anon supporter by the fact that they’re violent and obnoxious, and start spewing all kinds of pro-Trump crap.

In February, five months before she became known as "QAnon Karen," there was no one more terrified of the coming pandemic than Melissa Rein Lively.

"I bought the N-95 masks. I bought the hazmat suit," she said. "In my mind, a zombie movie was imminent."

At the time, Rein Lively said her career was at its peak. Her self-owned marketing company had just helped launch the high-end restaurant Nobu in Scottsdale, Arizona. Hyatt Hotels had signed on for marketing help.

By July 5, she had gone into a Target store and trashed the mask section, streaming her rage in a viral post that drew over 10 million views. Before the police closed in on her garage, she livestreamed her own mental breakdown on her company's Instagram account, telling police to "call Donald Trump and ask him" why she shouldn't be arrested for her actions.

She was, she told the police, the "QAnon spokesperson."
https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/how-qanon-rode-pandemic-new-heights-fueled-viral-anti-mask-n1236695




Seriously, Desmond Llewlyn is the only guy in the entire world who gets to call himself Q. These douchebags don’t hold a candle to that. But the bad thing is, remember last week Twitter banned a whole bunch of Q Anon accounts because they were being violent, obnoxious dicks who were spreading false information? Well that was what some might call a case of “too little too late”. Because Q Anon has been let out of the bag!

Twitter’s decision to crack down on the conspiracy-theory mongering of QAnon underscores the loose-knit group’s increasing reach into the mainstream of US politics.

From an anonymous 2017 posting claiming bizarre child exploitation and deep state plots, the headless and bodiless movement has earned a place in President Donald Trump’s Twitter stream.

His son Eric posted a QAnon image to promote his father’s recent campaign rally; and more than a dozen Republican candidates for Congress in November openly support the group.

But Twitter’s decision this week to shut down some 7,000 accounts pushing QAnon material came amid rising concerns that the movement could spawn violence.

The FBI last year said in a report that QAnon was one of several movements that could drive “both groups and individual extremists to carry out criminal or violent acts.”
https://www.deccanchronicle.com/technology/in-other-news/230720/twitter-crackdown-no-use-qanon-now-among-conservative-mainstream.html




And by the way in case you’re wondering, Q is a hot seller! That’s right, merchandising, merchandising, that’s where the real money from the conspiracy is made! If you want some Q merchandise, just look no further than your local online retailer who will literally sell anything, like Amazon, Etsy, or eBay, where the Q fad is flying off the shelves! Now, not only are they batshit crazy online, they’re branding themselves now!

Amazon currently has hundreds of products listed for sale that promote the far-right conspiracy theory QAnon.

QAnon has been tied to violent acts, and the FBI has warned of the movement's potential to incite domestic terrorism. A man in Nevada professed himself a follower of QAnon after blocking traffic with an armored vehicle, and in 2019 a man cited the movement as the motivation for his plot to kill alleged New York mob boss Francesco Cali.

In a search for "QAnon" on Amazon, Business Insider found the site produced hundreds of results for t-shirts, books, stickers, masks, bandanas, tumblers, hats, and other items related to the movement. Amazon also churned out hundreds of results for "WWG1WGA," the shorthand for QAnon's "Where we go one we go all" slogan.

Most of the products on Amazon sport the "Q" symbol, or bear the movement's signature WWG1WGA saying, as well as others, like "Trust the Plan." Many also include products merging both support for the QAnon movement as well as for the president.
https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-selling-qanon-shirts-masks-products-2020-8





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[font size="8"]People Are Dumb
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Hit it!



Of course you know by now that people are people, and people are dumb. So who is really dumb this week? Well, this week I want to do something different and dedicate it to the Sturgis Biker Rally. Yes, the annual gathering of Harley Davidson afficionados in Sturgis, South Dakota had some serious stupid on display. In fact there was so much stupid that it was called the biggest and dumbest ever. All of this just to “own the libs”. Well, check back with us in two weeks after COVID has incubated. Anyway here’s some of the stupid that was on display in Sturgis. Not only did they have the most crashes and accidents on record, they also had this!

Having found a real cup of coffee, I was walking back to my lavish room at the Spa Hot Springs Motel and Clinic on Main Street, White Sulphur Springs, Montana when the half-dozen biker guys poured out of their adjoining rooms and began the process of saddling up for the day’s ride. They were a riot of Harley-Davidson-branded gear. Harley vests. Harley belts. Harley t-shirts. Harley bandanas. And of course big, chromy Harley motorcycles.

Watching the elaborate packing process while sipping my latte I finally asked, “So what’s up with Sturgis this year? Have they called it off?” Four of them ignored me. The guy I picked for the alpha of the bunch shot me a look and said, “Fuck no.” The sixth guy, a bit more sociable, looked up from carefully folding his rain gear into his (Harley-branded) saddle bag said, “No way. It’s happening.” All I could say was, “Really. Well, that’ll be wild.” “Yeah,” he said. “It’s a protest.”

I was tempted to say something effete and out-of-touch big city liberal like, “A protest against what, sanity?” But I didn’t. At this point in the worst pandemic in a hundred years and with as many Americans dying every three days as died in 9/11, futility is the only product of a “discussion” with Harley-encrusted “protestors.” So ride on, dudes.

It goes without saying that the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, a tribal extravaganza of face-to-face, jowl-to-jowl, belly-bumping machismo and consumer exhibitionism holds the high probability of being the single largest “super spreader” of COVID-19 held anywhere in the world since the outbreak began last November. A quarter of a million people, the vast majority middle-aged to older white men, will both ride into western South Dakota this week for the giant, mechanized bacchanal … and then turn around ride back to their homes, all across the country, spreading everything they picked up in Sturgis all along their routes, like a horde of toxic Johnny Appleseeds.
https://www.wrywingpolitics.com/the-gob-smacking-stupidity-of-the-sturgis-motorcycle-rally/#comment-144467




I can’t imagine that’s the way to bike. But first one of my favorite incidents of this whole thing – there was an incident involving a wild animal chase, and maybe some pants may or may not have fallen down, because it’s never a real party unless the pants come off! OK I’m rambling here. But this might be one of my favorite instances of stupidity all year, and this has been a year where lots of stupid shit has been happening!

A woman attending a South Dakota motorcycle rally narrowly escaped after a wild bison charged at her Wednesday evening. Authorities claimed that the reason she survived the attack was because her pants fell off.

The woman, 54, was visiting Custer State Park in Custer County when she approached a bison calf, witnesses said. The victim, who is from Iowa, was in town to attend the 2020 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, an annual event which brings thousands of motorcyclists together for several days.

The woman got off her motorcycle to approach the calf when an adult bison charged at her, witnesses said. The bison caught the woman's belt and jeans on its horn as it violently swung her around, according to a post on the Custer County Sheriff Facebook page.

She managed to escape death because her pants came off and she fell to the ground, unconscious, with the attacking bison running off to join the rest of the herd after the woman fell, the post said.
https://www.newsweek.com/motorcycle-rally-goer-survives-wild-bison-attack-because-her-pants-fell-off-1525155




That's funny, I didn't know there was a Jackass reboot in the works! Thank you canned audience! Oh and by the way in case you're wondering what all the hoopla surrounding the Sturgis rally is for, well, we're in a pandemic and this virus is not going away anytime soon. And here is some shocking stupidity on display. I know everyone wants to move on, but we just can't right now, especially when this will be the aftermath of said rally:

A person who spent hours at a bar during the Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota last week has tested positive for Covid-19, state health officials said Tuesday.

The potential exposure came during the city's 80th annual Sturgis motorcycle rally August 7-16.

Health experts were concerned the mass gathering could be a "super-spreader" event, as many attendees travel from all over the country -- including coronavirus hotspots -- and could bring infections back home when they return.

The bar-goer visited One-Eyed Jack's Saloon in Sturgis on August 11 from noon to 5:30 p.m. while able to transmit the virus to others, health officials said. Anyone who visited the saloon during that period should monitor for symptoms for 14 days after the visit.

South Dakota Department of Transportation officials tracked over 462,000 vehicles entering Sturgis during the rally, according to CNN affiliate KDLT/KSFY. That total is a 7.5% decline from the previous year but still represents one of the largest gatherings since the coronavirus pandemic began.
https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/19/us/sturgis-south-dakota-rally-coronavirus-trnd/index.html




Yeah if you went to Sturgis, and did shit like this, you are stupid. Well it can’t be all Sturgis this week, there’s plenty of other stupid people out there! Like for instance at the currently socially distanced Disneyland! Yes, it’s still the happiest place on earth even in the time of pandemic. If you go to Disneyland, and of course Disneyland in *THAT* state - just remember where you parked your car!

Sometimes when you’re on vacation, especially at Walt Disney World, it’s easy to “zen out” and forget about your worries and your strife—or in some cases, how to drive. Just in from Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, photos of a vehicle looming over the entrance steps to the resort are circulating on social media after a guest made an early left turn inside the porte-cochère and ended up stuck on the steps.

The car is seen lodged halfway down the steps, with the front wheels managing to land on the base of the steps, but the back of the car still up in the air.

Guests staying at the resort are making rounds to check in on the vehicle as part of their morning entertainment, which was still at the front of the resort as of an hour ago.

It’s unknown if any guests or Cast Members were injured in this incident. Cast Members have coned off the car and are directing incoming guests to avoid the area.
https://wdwnt.com/2020/08/photos-guest-drives-down-entrance-steps-of-disneys-wilderness-lodge-at-walt-disney-world/?




Yes, Florida never fails to bring the crazy! Next up – I’m sure that nearly every cop in the nation has had their share of drunk people driving just about anything that is not a car. But as we’ve seen time and time again on here that you can get arrested for driving while drunk while literally riding anything that has two or more wheels on it. Hell you can even get DUI on a horse! Well, how about getting a DUI on a lawnmower?

A Florida man who admittedly had “maybe a little too much to drink” was caught on dash camera video riding a lawn mower on a highway, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said they caught Paul Burke, of Fort McCoy, driving the riding lawn mower in the middle of Highway 316 on Wednesday.

Video provided by the department shows Burke slurring his words and admitting that he had been drinking, although he never quantifies exactly how much he had.

At first, Burke said he had “a couple” but when asked again by the deputy again he replies, “I’m not gonna lie to you” and later says, “I have had maybe a little too much to drink tonight.”

Burke said he had just left his home and was driving to his home.
https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2020/08/10/video-drunk-florida-man-drives-lawn-mower-on-highway-deputies-say/




I swear there’s a Simpsons GIF for everything! Finally this week, when the cops are the crooks, how do you tell the bad guys from the good guys? Well, we go to Eastern Virginia for this one, where a crooked DEA agent (think Hank Schraeder from Breaking Bad) managed to dupe nearly $4 million out of potential chumps, er, clients. Yeah I think the dumb people are the ones who couldn’t see this guy for the scam artist that he is.

A former Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman admitted in court on Thursday to creating an elaborate scheme where he posed as a covert CIA agent.

Garrison Kenneth Courtney, 44, pleaded guilty to a fraud charge in Eastern District of Virginia's federal court Thursday morning.

He admitted to duping public officials and companies into believing he worked with the CIA and ultimately defrauded a dozen companies of more than $4 million, according to his plea.

Courtney took extraordinary steps to convince public officials and companies he was working for the CIA undercover, including by implying to the companies he was a secret agent on a classified US defense and intelligence "task force" that had been established by top officials like the president or the attorney general, according to his statement of offense.

At times, he said the program was to support special operations forces in Africa. But the program didn't exist, prosecutors said.
https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2020/06/11/politics/dea-cia-fraud/index.html




That’s it this week for:




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[font size="8"]Road To The White House
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Welcome back to the… *cue reverb* ROAD TO THE WHITE HOUSE!!! Ooh that was some good reverb there! This week Joe Biden accepted the nomination to become the 46th president of the United States with an overwhelming majority of delegates needed. But that said, people are still talking about the historic nomination of Kamala Harris to the vice presidential position, and man has she got the conservatives running scared, the birthers working overtime to discredit her credentials, and Trump is hopping mad! And he’s unleashed some hardcore rage tweeting aimed at her. Now look, you know I love a good beef, and nobody beefs up more than conservatives vs everybody that doesn’t think like conservatives. Well, this basically outlines the GOP message in a nutshell.

In the 24 hours since Harris was announced as presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's running mate, Republicans have launched a variety of contradictory attacks on the newly formed Biden-Harris ticket.

Pulling from a grab bag of dubious accusations, President Donald Trump's campaign and other leading GOP officials and prominent conservatives on social media, like Donald Trump Jr., have pushed conflicting caricatures of Biden, Harris and the Democratic Party's progressive wing, furthering the appearance that Republicans are still broadly unsure of what kind of messaging will stick with voters ahead of November's general election.

The most consistent thread has been the most familiar one: that Biden, and now Harris, is a front for socialists and anarchistic radicals pulling the strings of the Democratic Party. It's been a difficult sell so far, given Biden's 40-year record of liberal-leaning centrism, but Trump has pushed it consistently over the past few months. In a fundraising email on Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence welcomed Harris to the race with a similar warning.

"From the very first day of this Administration, President Trump has set our Nation on a path to freedom and opportunity," the email read. "Joe Biden and Kamala Harris would set America on the path of SOCIALISM and DECLINE."
https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/12/politics/republican-attacks-kamala-analysis/index.html




Well that said, the GOP is in sharp decline. They’ve essentially become the party of lowlifes and assholes, and if you look at who the keynote speakers are for Trump’s reelection shindig next week, that solidifies that! See, kids, the democrats get all the cool celebrities. The GOP gets Kid Rock, Ted Nugent, that douchebag from the Catholic school, and the My Pillow Guy, if you can call him a celebrity. So why are they so terrified of celebrities like Kamala?

Just one day after Kamala Harris was named the Democratic vice presidential nominee, Trump campaign advisers and allies are expressing concern that the GOP’s initial fumbling response to her selection signals there is no clear strategy to define the historic pick in the weeks ahead, according to several people involved in the discussions.

Despite having months to prepare for the probable outcome that Harris would be chosen, the Trump re-election effort countered with a series of contradictory and at times confusing messages about the California senator, from her record as a California prosecutor to her positioning in the party.

Some allies of the president said they were stunned that the rejoinder appeared to be so flat-footed and incongruous, reiterating that President Donald Trump and his campaign have had trouble landing a punch on the presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, and expressing concern that the same issue could take place with Harris.

“They struggled to attack her when she was running and will struggle now,” one former Trump campaign official said.
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/republicans-fret-over-trump-team-s-reaction-harris-pick-n1236533




Yup, there is an election in November, and we got to get ready. The Dems have a unifying message and the GOP message is all over the place. They even can’t get their attacks on Kamala right. So why does Trump have a habit of calling his female opponents “nasty women”? Well it didn’t take long for Trump to call Kamala nasty because he’s a petty, vindictive piece of crap with a rageaholic personality disorder and is generally afraid of strong women.

Donald Trump wasted little time on Tuesday after Joe Biden announced Senator Kamala Harris will be his running mate before calling her "nasty," and suggested the California Democrat once lied about smoking marijuana while listening to rapper Snoop Dogg.

The president has a well-documented habit of calling women who question or oppose him "nasty," and he made clear during a press briefing that despite the country's ongoing racial tensions, he will not shy away from attacking the first black female vice presidential candidate.

Mr Trump was asked about Mr Biden's choice during a coronavirus briefing in which he said the number of virus cases in the US is falling; it's actually on the rise. He also said, again without supporting data, that it will be eradicated "shortly."

But the bulk of reporters' questions were about Ms Harris, as the Trump-Pence versus Biden-Harris race officially gets underway.
https://www.independent.co.uk/us-election-2020/trump-kamala-harris-press-conference-today-pot-snoop-dogg-cannabis-a9666096.html




Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that! But come on, does anything that Trump does really surprise us anymore? I mean his schtick is getting so old, tired, and repetitive that we could have easily seen this coming. Seriously we’ve been covering this POS for four fucking years now. I know that I am getting tired of what this man is saying. It’s time for a president who is not this piece of shit. I know that I am ready for Joe! In fact Trump’s incompetence and predictability are bringing the GOP down from the inside!

On Thursday, President Donald Trump was asked about a false report that California Sen. Kamala Harris might not be eligible to be vice president.
Rather than dismiss them out of hand, he said this:

"I heard it today that she doesn't meet the requirements, and by the way the lawyer who wrote the piece is highly qualified, very talented. I assumed the Democrats would've checked that out before she gets chosen for vice president."

Shame on Trump. But anyone who acts surprised that the President was willing to push a lie about his political opponents into the public space has been residing on another planet over the last four-plus years. This is who Trump is and what he does. Birtherism is, literally, how he got his start in politics.

The real story at this point, then, is not necessarily Trump's willingness to engage in baseless speculation about an untrue storyline. The real story is the silence that has -- and will continue -- to greet Trump's ridiculous remark from the Republican establishment and its elected leaders.
Because it's that silence, and the tacit acceptance that "Trump is Trump," that will define the GOP long after Trump leaves office -- whether involuntarily in 2021 or four years later. The willingness to simply swallow known falsehoods or dismiss them with a "I didn't see the President's remarks" or "I'm sorry, I have to get to a meeting" is what will, ultimately, do the lasting damage for a Republicans.
https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/14/politics/donald-trump-kamala-harris-birther-republcian-party/index.html






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Reply Top 10 Conservative Idiots #9-9: When You Control The Mail, You Control Information Edition (Original post)
Top 10 Idiots Aug 2020 OP
Auggie Aug 2020 #1
Karadeniz Aug 2020 #2
Top 10 Idiots Aug 2020 #5
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Top 10 Idiots Aug 2020 #6
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Wed Aug 19, 2020, 05:10 PM

1. Awesome piece of work. K&R!

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Wed Aug 19, 2020, 05:16 PM

2. YOU HAVE OUTDONE YOURSELF!!!!

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Response to Karadeniz (Reply #2)

Wed Aug 19, 2020, 05:56 PM

5. Thanks!

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Response to Top 10 Idiots (Original post)

Wed Aug 19, 2020, 05:19 PM

3. I always love this feature. One of the reasons I became a paying member.

But -- I wish you would clean up the extraneous code. It's easy -- look at the post in the posted mode and line up another browser window with the post in edit mode. Strip out all of the extra code bits you can see in the posted mode -- shouldn't affect anything else. If you can see the extra code bits, the system's not recognizing it anyway.

I only say this because this feature is sooooo attractive, and important, and will absolutely bring new people to the site. It should look as professional as you can make it.

I'll help if you need. Or send a PM to EarlG and ask for advice/help.

Thanks for doing this. It matters. And it's funny.

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Response to byronius (Reply #3)

Wed Aug 19, 2020, 05:57 PM

6. Yeah I really should remove that.

It worked before the last time the board got hacked and it looked much better than it does now. But for some reason I just never removed it from my Word template that I use to make these. I really should get around to doing that.

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Wed Aug 19, 2020, 05:48 PM

4. George Jones eight mile mower ride has become a mural

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