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PatrickforB's Journal
PatrickforB's Journal
December 21, 2020

Just a ramble. I have been re-reading Frank Herbert's book, Dune.

It is a good book, science fiction, written by a reporter who had covered the Mid-East and decided to write a book about how a society forms, socially and economically, around its scarcest resource.

In many ways, the book, which was written in 1965, presages modern times. I first ran across it in the early '70s on a Safeway book rack.

Anyway, in reference to the article about the right-wing megachurch pastor who used CARES Act PPP funds to buy himself a new jet, and to the right-wing evangelical movement in general, I would like to cite a passage from Dune:

When religion and politics travel in the same cart, the riders believe nothing can stand in their way. Their movement becomes headlong—faster and faster and faster. They put aside all thought of obstacles and forget that a precipice does not show itself to the man in a blind rush until it’s too late.

Of course, if you've read the book, you will know that the Fremen, who are curiously similar to the Arab Muslims, declare Jihad and are unleashed on the universe with the boy Paul Muad 'dib as their leader.

See this is the thing - I don't want us to be carried off the cliff with these lemmings. I believe Trump is in the process of becoming less and less relavent as he breaks down. The latest we have heard is he is sounding out his staff about declaring martial law, and bringing in the military to 're-do' the election in the battleground states.

But that is not going to happen. The military has made it very clear that it 'has no role' in redoing any presidential election. Just as the Supreme Court has made it clear his frivolous lawsuits to subvert the election have 'no standing.'

No, in the end, Trump will be exposed as all truly evil people are - banal, narrow-minded, mean-spirited - basically a nobody who made life miserable for everyone. His followers will end up going back under their rocks, while the Republicans who are still standing frantically try to distance themselves once the monster is out of power.

Anyway, I'd like also to wish all of you, my DU friends, a very happy Holiday Season, and may our new year be AN ORDER OF MAGNITUDE BETTER THAN THIS SUCKY ONE WE'VE JUST GONE THROUGH. 2020 was the ABSOLUTE WORST.

Also, let us release the multitude of fellow humans who have died in this plague to eternal rest in perpetual light.

And finally let us, who are blessed with enough, hold those are homeless, hungry, and without enough of anything, in our hearts, and give to them if we can.

As Tiny Tim, a character from yet another favorite book, said, "God bless us, everyone!"

On edit - I misspelled 'relevent.' Geez. Senior moment.
December 3, 2020

'Time' Names Its Kid Of The Year: Water-Testing Scientist Gitanjali Rao

Source: NPR

Gitanjali Rao, a Colorado teenager who invented a mobile device to test for lead in drinking water, is Time's Kid of the Year for 2020. The magazine announced the award Thursday, citing Rao's ability to apply scientific ideas to real-world problems — and her desire to motivate other kids to take up their own causes.

It's just the latest recognition for Rao, 15, who was named last year to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. She won praise in 2017 after she responded to the Flint, Mich., water crisis by creating a device named Tehys, using carbon nanotube sensors to detect lead in water. The Lone Tree, Colo., native was named America's Top Young Scientist when she was in the seventh grade. She went on to collaborate with scientists in the water industry to try to get the device on the market.

Read more: https://www.npr.org/2020/12/03/942034617/time-names-its-kid-of-the-year-water-testing-scientist-gitanjali-rao#:~:text=Gitanjali%20Rao%2C%20a%20Colorado%20teenager,take%20up%20their%20own%20causes.

What a great kid!
November 9, 2020

A brand new, shiny, media wedge.

I have been listening today to the media working really hard to generate controversy between progressives and centrists in our party. The way it is being reported is that the 'progressive' issue of defunding police supposedly hurt some candidates and helped others, depending on who you're talking to.

Excuse me, please, for expressing a bit of frustration around this. Honestly, I'm about as progressive as they come, and I heard very, very few people, except those Minneapolis City Councilmen, actually call for 'defunding the police.'

Let's think about that for a minute. Defunding. To defund the police implies getting rid of them, because we have no context telling us 'defund' to what extent? Does that mean cut funding for some things, and increase it for others? What things? My boss, whenever I go into her office (which has been awhile, because we're all at home) and say, "Well, I think THIS! or I think THAT," she will look up at me and ask, "Okay, what does that LOOK like?" I thank her for that because it makes me be a bit more precise when I'm advocating THIS or THAT.

Let's take that a step further. When you were driving to work this morning, how did you know that the opposing traffic would stop at the red light and let you go when you had the green? How did you know that people would go in turn at the four-way stop? What keeps you from killing the jerk who cut you off? When you left the house this morning, were you confident that you'd come back to an intact household and a safe family?

Because, if all of a sudden we had no police, we really couldn't be confident of these things, could we? Because we would have anarchy, and academic theories aside, no sane person wants to live in a state of anarchy.

But here we have the media, like a giant mouth that roared, pounding in the 'defund the police' wedge.

Before we continue this fruitless, losing, and futile train of argument, maybe we should step back and find out who REALLY said we ought to 'defund' the police, and who has been saying other things, like de-militarize, increase accountability, require body cams, require civilian oversight, and so on. There is absolutely no doubt, NONE, that police and sheriff departments NATIONWIDE need massive reforms. This idea they seem to have that they are at war and we are the enemy, especially if we are non-white, has got to go.

But 'defunding?' We need to take a page from the Republicans and craft some talking points and come back with those talking points whenever this comes up. We have to somehow take the wind out of the sails of this 'defund' deal.

Defunding the police didn't hurt Jaime Harrison because he was advocating it, or because Biden or anyone else of national significance was advocating it, or because it was on the Democratic platform, which it was NOT.

Nope. WE let the Republicans paint him with that brush. Simple as that. Remember that AM hate-talk, QAnon, and so on are basically echo chambers and once some meme gets going, it lasts and lasts and lasts, and it is designed that way. Trump knows this and this is why he is pounding on the idea that he was cheated. Same concept. Use the echo chamber to make the lie an article of faith among Republicans.

We have to find a way to stop this from going on by increasing our penetration of, and influence over, social media.

Am I wrong here? Overreacting? Seems to me we're being crucified on a cross of semantics.

November 8, 2020

The tribal journalism of cable news is at a crossroads.

This piece is well written and comes from the Hill. Here is the link: https://thehill.com/opinion/technology/525004-the-tribal-journalism-of-cable-news-is-at-a-crossroads

Okay, now that you have read what Joe Ferullo says, here are my own thoughts:

From the conception of radio back in the 20s, and subsequent growth of television programming beginning in the 50s, we had a thing called a Fairness Doctrine.

Basically, this doctrine called for news to be called news, and for it to be kept above the ratings - more a public service offered by a free press on a new media platform. Revenue was generated by other programs, and while there were commercials on news, the thing that drove viewership was the thoroughness of the presentation, and the quality of the presentation in terms of being factual.

Guess which party ended all that? You got it - Republicans! Ronald Reagan let the Fairness Doctrine die in 1987. News shows slowly evolved to become entertainment. They did this by increasing a 'gotcha' approach to generate controversy, which then drove up advertising revenue.

The birth of AM talk radio, and the birth and growth of Fox 'news' happened according to a plan set forth by Lewis Powell in a manifesto he wrote to the US Chamber of Commerce in 1971.

What made Powell write what he wrote, and the US Chamber take it to heart? Profits. The quest for more and more money.

We often lament that healthcare, military spending, and much of our politics supports profits over people. The interests of billionaires, corporations, and shareholders are held above those of the people, and this is enforced by the media itself driving up the costs for candidates to be elected.

You all know this, right? You want to start ending it, get rid of Citizens United, reimpose a Fairness Doctrine that defines what news is, and require networks who are using the airwaves, whether radio, television, or wifi, to offer real, factual news, treat it as that, and report it as that.

October 31, 2020

Fun Halloween joke:

What is orange on the outside, hollow on the inside, and needs to be tossed in early November?

October 31, 2020

For my 11,500 post, I'd like to call to remembrance the

brutal and cruel family separation policies, and the 545 kids whose parents can still not be located.

Let us never forget that America came to this.

Let us not forgive, but instead hold accountable those who perpetrated these crimes against humanity.

September 26, 2020

Here's hoping that in 2021 things get better and keep getting better.

I'm posting this because ever since 2008, I have wished that the next year be better than the year before.

Oh, I know this is premature. It ain't New Year's yet. Sure.

But you know, we've been in the shit for SO LONG. Let's hope Trump drags what is left of the old Republican party into oblivion with him, and we see some sane people who are willing to debate, compromise and move us forward as the founders intended.

Biden has a really good platform. If he and Harris are able to accomplish half of it, we'll all be much better off, as will all other life on this planet.

Only possible problem is we have a lot of shitheads out there who are ignorant, stupid, mean and heavily armed.

So, when next you lift a glass of anything to your lips, do it in the hope that better times are coming, and with the intent to do all you can to help that happen.

September 24, 2020

Postmaster general says postal service can't return mail-sorting machines

Source: The Hill

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said U.S. Postal Service (USPS) mail-sorting machines dismantled earlier this year would not be put back together, according to a report from Bloomberg.

The postmaster general stated that the old machines were stripped for parts to improve or repair other sorting machines.

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/news/518107-postmaster-general-says-postal-service-cant-return-mail-sorting-machines

This fits the definition of treason in the US Constitution, because by doing this, Trump and DeJoy are levying war against one or more states.
September 11, 2020

False Rumors That Activists Set Wildfires Exasperate Officials

Source: New York Times

Officials dealing with catastrophic fires on the West Coast have had to counter social media rumors that the blazes were set by antifascist activists, publicly pleading that people verify information before sharing it.

Despite their efforts, misinformation about the origin of the fires — which have killed at least 15 people and consumed millions of acres — continues to spread on Facebook and Twitter.

Several law enforcement agencies in Oregon said they had been flooded with inquiries about rumors that activists were responsible. On Thursday, several journalists reporting on fires near the city of Molalla, Ore., said they had been confronted by a group of armed people who were worried about unverified reports of arsonists in the area.

The rumors appear to have started on Wednesday night, after the Portland Police Bureau warned people on Twitter about the risk of fire during demonstrations. But there is no evidence that activists have deliberately set fires.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/10/us/antifa-wildfires.html?action=click&module=Spotlight&pgtype=Homepage

So, starting these rumors make America great again?

I guess my question is why isn't Trump doing all he can to send aid to the West Coast to take care of these fires?

Why is Trump doing nothing about the pandemic?

Why is Trump doing everything he can to cast doubt on the results of the upcoming election?

I think Trump is a traitor.
September 5, 2020

Trump bars 'propaganda' training sessions on race in latest overture to his base

Source: CNN

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump on Friday night banned federal agencies from conducting racial sensitivity training related to "white privilege" and "critical race theory" that his administration says amounts to "divisive, anti-American propaganda," the latest overture to his political base two months before the presidential election.

Citing "press reports," Russell Vought, director of the Office of Management and Budget, decried the "millions of taxpayer dollars" spent on such programs "across the Executive Branch" in a two-page memo.

Vought directed federal agencies to identify contracts and agency spending related to training programs that suggest the US "is an inherently racist or evil country" or "that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil." He urged agencies to seek out legal courses of action "to cancel any such contracts and/or to divert Federal dollars away from these unAmerican propaganda training sessions."

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/04/politics/trump-administration-memo-race-training-ban/index.html

So, there you have it. Yet more proof Trump is a disgusting racist. As if we needed more.

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About PatrickforB

Counselor, economist and public servant.

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