Monday, May 30, 2022

Beyond The Valley Of The Ultra MAGA's


'Ultra MAGA' is is the moniker that Digby is using for those pushing ludicrous mass distraction tropes regarding the mass shooting in small town southwest Texas last week.

Ultra MAGA Example #1 - Mr. Trump Jr on the bat, bomb, machete equivalency:
...“It’s the gun; it’s not the sociopath wielding it,” people are claiming, he (Trump Jr.) complained. “He wouldn’t have done the exact same thing with a bat, or a bomb, or some sort of improvised device — or a machete?” he added...

Ultra MAGA  Example #2 - Ms. Greene on the far-right practice of ludicrous and dangerous, not to mention baseless, alternative lifestyle pathologizing:


What happens when all of this rage frothing is just not enough and the collective insanity needs to go way out far beyond (and/or beneath) 'Ultra MAGA' where not just the libs will be owned but the weak, mealy-mouthed RINO's will be crushed as well?

Well, apparently, deep within the collective pineal gland there is a place where up is both down and sideways times eleventy billion divided by infinity.

And that place, where, as Billy Preston once foreshadowed, nothing from nothing really does actually leave nothing of value to the body politic whatsoever, is the...

Dark MAGA!
...A few days after his (primary) defeat (in North Carolina), he (Congressman Madison Cawthorne) posted a screed more typically his style, lumping Republicans and Democrats into an ominous “Uni-party” that had taken him down. “It’s time for the rise of the new right, it’s time for Dark MAGA to truly take command. We have an enemy to defeat, but we will never be able to defeat them until we defeat the cowardly and weak members of our own party,” Cawthorn wrote...

One can only wonder if this is the kind of place where not even sharks wearing leather jackets can jump while water skiing.


Friday, May 27, 2022

This One's For Beer.

Our old friend Mr. Beer 'N Hockey is the one who got me hooked on WDVX, whose playlists often included the work of the Drive-By Truckers, back in the day.

Above is a newly posted video of a full Truckers show from Atlanta at the tail-end of 2006.

I'm sure there are DBT aficionados who would vehemently disagree, but for my money this version of the band, wherein Mr. Isbell is right on the edge of busting loose from the bonds of Mess'rs Patterson and Hood while Ms. Tucker just keeps on pounding that bass, is at the top of the heap in all its dishevelled, whiskey swigging glory.

In The End, What Kind Of Leader Will Be Able To Ride The Base They Are Building?


We've been talking a bit about how some Canadian conservatives are starting to realize that the base they built is starting to come after them and theirs.

Down south, this realization is actually preventing conservatives, right here and now, from backing sensible 2nd Amendment preserving legislation they know will save lives.

The following is from a NY Times piece by David Hulse about why today's GOP won't budge on the gun control issue:
...Asked Wednesday what the reaction would be from voters back home if he were to support any significant form of gun control, the first-term Republican (from North Dakota, Kevin Kramer) had a straightforward answer: “Most would probably throw me out of office,” he said...

All of which makes one wonder what the good Senator Kramer will do five years down the road when he's so scared of the base that he's willing to sign on to legislation by, say, Ted Cruz to defund public schools.

Sound far fetched?

'The Federalist' you ask?

It's a dark money, billionare-funded far-right extremist website whose masthead is designed to prepare the base for battle:


The fine folks running the Federalist also do their darndest to convince the base to deride, blame, dehumanize and foment hate of the 'other'. Case in point, a piece on the front page right now titled:

'A Culture That Celebrates Dismembering Children In The Womb Can’t Understand Why It’s Afflicted With Mass Shootings'

One can only wonder if the base that these people are building will ultimately morph into a beast that only a true authoritarian bent on destroying liberal democracy will be able to ride?

Subheader ear worm?...Yup, it's that DFelder/GFrey/DHenley money maker...The truly apropos/on the nose lyric for this particular post is...Here.


Thursday, May 26, 2022

Little Libraries For All!



Awhile ago, back when people started making maps like the one shown above, I thought it might be fun to check out a bunch of the little free libraries around town, writing a quick post about each one for that 'My morning ride' thing I used to do.

But a whole lot of other folks beat me too it and many of them, including a couple of real estate agents, did it so well that I let the idea go.

Which happens to me a lot.

In fact, as you might expect given my slightly obsessive personality, I've got notebooks filled to bursting with post and theme ideas never realized.

Then, earlier this week, littler e. sent me a photo of something new (at least to me) down on the Fairview slopes.


I just might have to look into that one with the Whackadoodle II.

Will a post follow to mark the occasion?

Who knows!


The Great Forgetting...


The following is a wee bit of recent shite posting....errrr... 'anger grooming' from a fine fellow named Jeff Ballingall and an organization called 'Canada Proud' that he founded:

Which brings us to the lede of an opinion piece written by Conservative party operative Melanie Paradis that was published last week by the Globe and Mail:
A month before Canada was first rocked by COVID-19 in March of 2020, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney leveraged his meteoric popularity and organizational mastery to endorse Erin O’Toole for leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. This week, he joined Mr. O’Toole on the pyre of discontent.

The ouster of a conservative heavyweight like Mr. Kenney should serve as a stark warning: The anger out there is so much bigger than the political establishment thought. People have a lot of reasons for being angry, many justified, but what matters is what’s being done with that anger and where it’s going to go.

We’ve been groomed for anger for the past decade. Social media algorithms incentivize outrage. Media outlets churn out clickbait. And bad actors like Russia and China use the long arm of the internet to run elaborate thought scams on Canadians, leveraging our distrust in the media, our governments, and even each other. This has all been bubbling under the surface for years, but during pandemic lockdowns, this toxic brew boiled over as anger and isolation collided with conspiracy on a mass scale...


The following is from a Postmedia story written by Brian Platt a couple of years ago, titled "Creator of Popular Conservative Ontario Proud Page Joins Erin O'Toole Campaign Team":
Erin O’Toole has signalled he will make aggressive digital messaging a feature of his bid for the Conservative leadership with the appointment of Jeff Ballingall, founder of Ontario Proud and other influential Facebook pages, to oversee his digital strategy.

Ballingall has made a name for himself over the past few years in pioneering the use of Facebook to spread conservative messaging, often through viral posts that don’t require any ad spending. The Ontario Proud page remains his best known effort, with nearly half a million followers, but he also runs Canada Proud (192,000 followers) and B.C. Proud (82,000 followers). In addition Ballingall co-owns The Post Millennial, another conservative website that’s gained a strong online following...


...O’Toole has pulled together a full campaign team with a wide range of experience, and will be formally launching his leadership bid soon, campaign sources said....Fred DeLorey, a veteran organizer who also ran O’Toole’s 2017 leadership run, is the campaign manager. The campaign chair is Walied Soliman, a key figure in Patrick Brown’s successful 2015 Ontario PC leadership bid and the Canadian chair of global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright.

Melanie Paradis, Jim Burnett and Dan Mader are deputy campaign managers, and all have worked on numerous federal and provincial campaigns. Tausha Michaud, who worked for O’Toole on Parliament Hill, will be the campaign’s principal secretary. Laura Kurkimaki, a former issues manager in Stephen Harper’s Prime Minister’s Office, will be a senior advisor...

The point here is that Conservative party operatives like Ms. Paradis thought they could ride a hateful base that they helped build to electoral Valhalla without consequence.

But now that that very same base is turning on a number of them and theirs, operatives like Ms. Paradis are suddenly doing their best to bamboozle us into forgetting the active role they played in the base building and the anger grooming.

We should not let that happen.

And the proMedia in this country should not be aiding and abetting in the great forgetting.

Importantly, the anger grooming cuts both ways... For example, if you look at the comment thread below the original 'Canada Proud' tweet shown above you will see that it has folks yelling at  each other from both sides of political chasm about something of little or no consequence.


Wednesday, May 25, 2022

The Unburnables, Plural.

In the wake of what's going down with a woman's right to (soon) no longer choose down south you may have already heard about this:
Across the United States and around the world, books are being challenged, banned, and even burned. So we created a special edition of a book that’s been challenged and banned for decades.

Printed and bound using fireproof materials, this edition of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Talewas made to be completely unburnable. It is designed to protect this vital story and stand as a powerful symbol against censorship...

But you might have missed this one:
...This new edition of Fahrenheit 451 by Super Terrain is an artist’s book in which the object echoes the fiction it contains. At first glance, it is completely black, as if carbonized, already a victim of the firemen’s assault. But, as you warm it up with a after page, the black ink disappears and reveals Bradbury’s text...

Which just goes to show...

Despite the digital babel tower's best efforts, words are still powerful things.


Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Con Sequential Pandering.


I get that the likes of the Pierre Poilievre and friends are attempting to simultaneously own the libs and strap the base to their manly chests with sequential pander runs that involve things like railing against public health mandates and stomping on the federal bank.

After all, that way in the end Cons of all stripes, with the help of work like that generated by Ms. Rempel Garner and/or her wordsmiths last week, hope they will be able to keep the base straps firmly in place while they gingerly back away from the overt racism of great replacementism come election time.

Which, of course, is something that many pundits in the proMedia herd will tell us to be grateful for when the time comes.

However, that is a strategy that could lead to a doubling down on the softer/safer aspects of the base strapping insanity.

For example, just imagine what would actually happen to CanuckiStanMikitastan if a fine fellow like Mr. Poilievre actually came to power and made an even finer fellow like the good Dr. Peterson his science advisor during a public health crisis that involved safe and efficacious vaccines...


Saturday, May 21, 2022

With Friends Like These Who Needs (Their) Laptops?


From the Washington Post story by Matt Viser:
...Carlson refused to discuss the emails, pointing to past claims by former U.S. intelligence officials that the laptop’s emergence in the final weeks of the 2020 presidential campaign had all the hallmarks of Russian disinformation.

Carlson was speaking with apparent irony, as he has frequently mocked those disinformation claims as part of an effort by establishment figures and the tech industry to protect Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign...


It's almost as if Uncle Neil wrote the entire third verse of a certain song on an album called 'Freedom' specifically for the likes of Mr. Carlson and his hypocritcal politically expedient ilk more than thirty years ago...


Friday, May 20, 2022

All The Salads In All Of The Worlds...

...Couldn't possibly make sense of these words.


(unless, of course, Mr. Kenney is actually behind things like OPEC's price fixing scheme and/or a certain dictator's war of aggression in centralish Europe)


The Hungary Games.

Earlier in the week we noted that the codswallop that is the 'Great Replacement Theory' has been pushed by master propagandists of the extreme and racist right, including those with major media megaphones, over and over and over again.

And not just on the left side of the Atlantic, northern division, or otherwise:
...Hungary’s nationalist leader, Viktor Orbán, will be the star speaker at an extraordinary session of America’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) to be held in Hungary this week, in an effort to cement bonds between the radical right on both sides of the Atlantic under the banner of the “great replacement” ideology.

In a speech on Monday, Orbán made explicit reference to the ideology, which claims there is a liberal plot to dilute the white populations of the US and European countries through immigration. Increasingly widespread among US Republicans, the creed was cited by the killer who opened fire on Saturday in a supermarket in a predominantly black area of Buffalo, New York...


It's almost as if there is an axis of some type or another brewing or something...

And don't be fooled
into thinking that the prop masters haven't been working this sick trope in Canada for quite awhile now also...And not just out on what some might call the fringes as folks who pay attention noted at the time.
Re: that axis thing...The megaphone man and the strong man are are doing their darndest to have us all spinning on it...


Monday, May 16, 2022

Propaganda That Kills While It Simultaneously Moves Public Opinion.


As Nicholas Confessore and Karen Yourish of the NY Times note, three recent mass murders in America were driven, at least in part, by a pile of conspiratorial propagandist bullshite euphemistically called 'replacement theory'.

Here is their lede:
Inside a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018, a white man with a history of antisemitic internet posts gunned down 11 worshipers, blaming Jews for allowing immigrant “invaders” into the United States.

The next year, another white man, angry over what he called “the Hispanic invasion of Texas,” opened fire on shoppers at an El Paso Walmart, leaving 23 people dead, and later telling the police he had sought to kill Mexicans.

And in yet another deadly mass shooting, unfolding in Buffalo on Saturday, a heavily armed white man is accused of killing 10 people after targeting a supermarket on the city’s predominantly Black east side, writing in a lengthy screed posted online that the shoppers there came from a culture that sought to “ethnically replace my own people.”

Three shootings, three different targets — but all linked by one sprawling, ever-mutating belief now commonly known as replacement theory. At the extremes of American life, replacement theory — the notion that Western elites, sometimes manipulated by Jews, want to “replace” and disempower white Americans — has become an engine of racist terror, helping inspire a wave of mass shootings in recent years and fueling the 2017 right-wing rally in Charlottesville, Va., that erupted in violence...

And this garbage is not just pushed in the fever swamps:
...No public figure has promoted replacement theory more loudly or relentlessly than the Fox host Tucker Carlson, who has made elite-led demographic change a central theme of his show since joining Fox’s prime-time lineup in 2016. A Times investigation published this month showed that in more than 400 episodes of his show, Mr. Carlson has amplified the notion that Democratic politicians and other assorted elites want to force demographic change through immigration, and his producers sometimes scoured his show’s raw material from the same dark corners of the internet that the Buffalo suspect did...

Well, it turns out that, according to an AP/University of Chicago poll from last week (i.e. before the most recent shooting in Buffalo), fully one third of Americans now believe this stuff:
...Thirty-two percent (of Americans) are concerned that immigrants are being brought to the country by a group of people for political gains - one of the central arguments of so-called 'Replacement Theory'...

Which begs the question...

Is there an 'acceptable' level of violent unrest and mass killing that people like Mr. Carlson and friends are willing to put up with as long as it makes them  money on the road to winning gerrymandered elections?


Friday, May 13, 2022

The Tulips Are Melting!


LONDON, May 12 (Reuters) - The meltdown in TerraUSD, one of the world's largest stablecoins, sent shockwaves through cryptocurrency markets on Thursday, pushing another major stablecoin Tether below its dollar peg and sending bitcoin to 16-month lows.

Cryptocurrencies have been swept up in a sell-off across higher risk assets, which has picked up steam this week as data showed U.S. inflation running hot, deepening investor fears about the economic impact of aggressive central bank tightening...

The sell-off has taken the combined market value of all cryptocurrencies to $1.2 trillion, less than half of where it was last November, based on data from CoinMarketCap...

Meanwhile, the financial 'managers' of the scheme say all is fine and dandy regardless the presence of a whole lot of curvy necked blackbirds pecking away at the vaults:
Coinbase Global Inc. Chief Executive Officer Brian Armstrong said there is “no risk of bankruptcy” for the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, even amid a “black swan” event...



It's almost as if there was a run on the blockchain bank or something.

And if we (i.e. Canada) were in it like Mr. Poilievre wants us to be that other Mr. P. (i.e. Potter) wouldn't be selling, he'd be buying.


More specifically, buying pretty much everything when we hit rock bottom.

Which, given the folks that actually run horses like Mr. Poilievre, is probably the point.


Wednesday, May 11, 2022

The Real Surprise Beneath The Headline.

Here is the headline:

COVID-19: B.C. naturopaths, chiropractors, acupuncturists least likely to be vaccinated among health care workers

And here is the real surprise, buried well below the lede of Katie DeRosa's piece in the the Vancouver Sun:
...Health professionals with the lowest rates of vaccinations are naturopaths at 69 per cent, chiropractors at 78 per cent and practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncturists at 79 per cent...

Why surprise?

Well, while those numbers are not 98%, as is the case for dieticians, physicians and surgeons, they are actually pretty good all things considered.


Coup De Vill(ain)


In that twilight zone time between the last US Presidential election in November 2020 and Joe Biden's inauguration day in January of 2021 a very fine legal beagle named John Eastman was palling around with R. Guiliani ginning up all that bizarre stop the steal stuff in an Orwellian effort to 'Save America'.

Mr. Eastman, who once clerked for Clarence Thomas, was also Donald Trump's lawyer at the time.

Furthermore, it was Mr. Eastman who tried to convince Mike Pence to block the certification of the presidential vote on January 5th, 2021 and then blamed Pence for the violence at the US Capitol the next day.


It turns out that is wasn't the only thing the good Mr. Eastman was up to at the time:
...Attorney John Eastman urged Republican legislators in (the critical swing state of) Pennsylvania to retabulate the state’s popular vote — and throw out tens of thousands of absentee ballots — in order to show Donald Trump with a lead, according to newly unearthed emails sent in December 2020, as Trump pressured GOP lawmakers to subvert his defeat.

This recalculation, he posited in an exchange with one GOP state lawmaker, “would help provide some cover” for Republicans to replace Joe Biden’s electors from the state with a slate of pro-Trump electors, part of a last-ditch bid to overturn the election results.

Per the exchange, Eastman suggested that GOP legislators could simply cite their concerns with Pennsylvania’s absentee ballot procedures and then use historical data to “discount each candidates’ totals by a prorated amount based on the absentee percentage those candidates otherwise received.”

“Having done that math, you’d be left with a significant Trump lead that would bolster the argument for the Legislature adopting a slate of Trump electors — perfectly within your authority to do anyway, but now bolstered by the untainted popular vote,” Eastman wrote in a Dec. 4, 2020 email to Pennsylvania Rep. Russ Diamond. “That would help provide some cover.” ...

Imagine that.