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December 13, 2020 - Reckoning 50

Posted: Sun Dec 13, 2020 3:49 pm
by BlueUnicorn

Tat nails it again.

America IS being torn apart by ideologies on the far left and the far right. Those ideologies are sometimes vocalized by the leadership of both major parties, and sometimes by some of the people who belong to those parties (but not all of them).

I heard the other day that the latest "marriage taboo" is that you don't marry someone whose political party affiliation is different from yours. It's gotten THAT crazy.

Now, depending on where you're located and what source of information you're able to use*, you may or may not know that during the Trump years (which may well be coming to an end), there was an underground effort at rounding up and dealing with child abusers. Honestly, it's so difficult to trust the media, whether mainstream or otherwise, these days that I'm really not certain whether the reports about this are correct or not, but there is certainly a lot of talk about this or that celebrity being busted for sexual abuse of children, and the assumption that their sudden silence this past year is not because they or members of their families are suffering from Covid-19 necessarily, but because they've been imprisoned or executed. Yeah, executed. Right now I put all that down to rumors and possibly blatant lies, but because our technology is as good as it is, something known as "deep fake" can really make you think you're seeing and hearing something which simply isn't true and never happened.

It's how some of the polarizing agents are able to press people to believe strongly one way or another about someone. I've heard of (and may even have seen) videos of former President Barack Obama claiming certain things, saying other things, and someone on the Republican/Conservative side of the political aisle cannot help but hate him more because of the message and the way in which he is portrayed as giving that message. The Truth: Obama never said what the video shows he said. But there were efforts made by those with the technical and graphical savvy to effectively convince millions of people of a lie.

* - "depending on where you're located and what source of information you're able to use" - Last month I had a video call with a cousin of mine. Now, I know I'm opening myself up to some backlash here, but this is an important point. She is as liberal as they come, but she's not what you'd call a leftist. When I've questioned her about her views on socialism/Marxism/communism, she definitely does NOT want to see America turned into a socialist or communist hellhole. She is not happy with the riots and the lockdowns and the whole mess. But she votes Democrat every single time an election comes around. She also hates Trump with a vengeance. Contrast - I'm conservative (yeah, here comes the backlash, but hear me out first). During the 8 years of the Obama administration, I felt that I personally, and people like myself, were not represented by our government, that the government meant us more than the normal harm, and that members of the government were inciting others to inflict harm upon me and my way of life. Did they actually do so? No. But the vibe was there, and there were some conservatives who did bear the brunt of the exhortations of Maxine Waters and some others.

Now, where was I going with all this?

My cousin had seen a Netflix documentary (sorry, I can't remember the name of it) that opened her eyes to something that she had actually been told by other conservative members of the family but had previously rejected, possibly because the conservatives were the ones saying it. A researcher at heart, after watching the documentary she wanted to experiment and see if what was claimed therein was true. Hence the video call. So while we were Facetiming, she suggested I open Google and type in "climate change" while she did the same thing. Then we compared finishing the phrase suggestions. The documentary was correct: When a liberal types in "climate change" Google offers a completely DIFFERENT set of phrase finishers than when a conservative types in "climate change". The set of finishers is more likely to appeal to the liberal mindset for the liberal typing it in, and the different set of finishers is more likely to appeal to the conservative mindset for the conservative typing it in. If a Venn diagram had been drawn to compare the two lists, the middle section of commonality was empty.

So my cousin now realized that yes, the control of information is definitely not on the side of the computer user. Any time she wanted to research the conservative point of view of something, Google would give her The Lincoln Project which seems to be a conservative think tank of people, but in actuality are what we conservatives refer to as RINOs (Republican In Name Only) and Never-Trumpers from the Republican/Conservative side. Google did NOT show her anything from actual conservative sources unless she took the time to scan quite a few pages of information down the line. So in her researches, which she felt were done properly all this time, she had never actually come into contact with an actual conservative, pro-Trump (or accepting of Trump at the very least) point of view. So, her liberal point of view sources told her Trump Bad, Must Get Rid Of, and her conservative point of view sources told her Trump Bad, Must Get Rid Of. She was completely mind-boggled that I, or anyone else conservative in the family, could believe anything else.

The documentary was mostly about how the internet is spying on us and using what we look at and discuss on social media to push advertisements at us that would appeal to us. "Follow the money," as the saying goes. The media giants are definitely out to make money, so their free sites are riddled with advertisements, and the more money their advertisers make, the more they can expect to make. Makes sense, right?

But there is another insidious thing going on, and it's a regional thing. Depending on where you're living, you may not have access to certain media outlets. If you think the shut-down of information flow is happening only in China or Russia, you're wrong. It's happening on Main St. in various cities and counties (and maybe even states) in the United States. When I suggested to my cousin to forget Google for a moment and try to access several known conservative outlets (not the RINO stuff), she could not access them. Her internet provider had it blocked. She lives in Massachusetts which, last I looked, was a state in good standing within the U.S.A. But her internet provider had her access to certain media outlets blocked so that when she tried to directly access them from her web browser, she could not.

So here is this researcher wanting very much to access what the true conservative point of view on something is, and the internet won't let her access that information. Instead, she's pointed to a different direction, giving her a totally different point of view than what conservatives really think/believe/share with each other. Until she learned that her ability to find her Truth about conservatives was blocked, she thought she had it and that all my conservative arguments were complete and utter bullshit because she couldn't find anything to verify what I'd say. Mind you, she otherwise thinks the world of me and acknowledges that I'm no dummy by a longshot. But the internet was putting a wedge between us, and between her and other conservative members of the family who live outside her region. There was even an entire month this year when she couldn't stand to talk to me because something I'd shared (from a conservative source) had angered her so much (it had to be fake, she couldn't find proof that what I said was true, and why was I such a blatant liar?).

As we approached the election in early November, the internet really got weird. Tech giants went full-out silencing conservative voices. President Trump was censored, his messages blocked from getting out, because what he had to say was something the tech giant owners did not want out there. We have this army of fact-checkers - who knew there were so many geniuses who know the Truth About Everything and have the Authority To Shut You Up If They Think (or Know) That You're Wrong? Other sources of conservative messages were blocked, censored, however you want to call it. The news is out, now, about the scandal behind the business dealings of one Hunter Biden, but when the New York Post came out with a major scoop on the subject in October (the October surprise for most of our nation, those of us with access to conservative sites were well aware of much of what came out in the Post LONG beforehand), Twitter and Facebook came down hard on them and completely blocked their ability to communicate with the outside world via their social media. YouTube, owned by Facebook, did the same. Likewise, information about the source of the Covid-19 virus was squashed. If you or I made mention of the videos we'd seen about either of those subjects, everyone interested in Truth who did the research would call us blatant liars because no such video existed. If the video URL we shared was from YouTube, it was met with a message about being taken down for going against the standards of the site. (Mind you, they're not quite as diligent about removing porn as they are of removing conservative content.) But the damage was done. Many Democrats have claimed that, had they known before the election about the Hunter Biden scandal, they would NOT have voted for Joe Biden. By Many Democrats, I am referring to something less than 2%. But 2% is a lot when you are looking at a huge number that comprises 100%. So the tech giants successfully silenced some of the free speech that should have been out there for people to see and research before they voted. Prior to the election, the Hunter Biden scandal was just another Russian hoax designed to push Trump into another 4 years. Now that the election appears to be over, the media is telling us that Hunter Biden's scandal is a problem with his tax filings. I wonder how long before the mainstream media adds that Chinese communists having the ear and some influence over a former Vice President and now possible 46th President is a thing (with the added spin that this is really not a bad thing at all, so relax).

For the past 4+ years, the mainstream media has pretty successfully painted a picture of Orange Man Bad/Evil/The Devil Himself, and because so many people in various regions don't have access to alternative news media, they have no idea of the veracity of the lists of good things President Trump has accomplished. They see those lists and they try to find the information, and it's either not there, or it's some inconsequential mention somewhere, or it's only found in graphic memes. So in many regions of America, people actually had no idea about the good stuff happening the past 4 years, just the bad stuff that the media was pushing (the Russian collaboration which, yes, there was Russian collaboration but it turns out that Hillary Clinton's campaign was collaborating with Russians and other international folk to bring about a hoax to point it all in Trump's direction, the impeachment, and no matter how many state governors signed edicts that forced Covid-19 patients into nursing homes, it was actually President Trump who did that, they claimed). The media behind all this negativity against President Trump are probably well known to most of you. International broadcasts of American news are not coming from the conservative media but from the mainstream anti-Trump media. So if you're from outside the United States, chances are good you've never heard anything positive about President Trump. This is not your fault but the fault of the media because it's all you can get. Try to access true conservative sources, and if you're from outside the USA, you may not have such access. Depending on who you talk to around the world, you may not even know that you're being prevented from seeing it, you don't know it exists, and if you do have some vague idea that it exists, you're convinced it's all fake and utter lies.

And so, media is hammering a wedge between us. They're succeeding. America IS polarized. You may or may not have heard about the lawsuit filed earlier this past week by Texas Attorney General Paxton and the amicus brief signed on by 18 other states, and then President Trump joined it as well. You may or may not have heard that the Supreme Court dismissed it (except that Judges Alito and Thomas thought it had merit and should be considered, although they had no opinion about whether it was true or not to offer at this time because they wanted to hear the case before offering an opinion). As with the media naming Joe Biden the President-Elect in mid-November, liberals have been celebrating that news and doing their best to rub the noses of conservatives in the dirt. (The wedge pushes further.) Regardless of what the Electoral College does on Monday (tomorrow), there are still lawsuits pending, and Trump's legal team keeps coming up with new ones. That there was voter fraud - the media claims that no, it didn't happen. But it happens with every election.

Are you aware that Trump held rallies that were attended by 10's of thousands of people during this past year, despite the Covid-19 lockdowns? Probably not. The mainstream media shares pictures that are designed to give you the impression that the rallies were poorly attended. They did that for Trump's inauguration in 2017, with pictures from inauguration day which were taken before the crowds showed up. During the actual ceremony, the crowds that were there were not shown by the mainstream media. Same with the rallies. Unless the media wanted to push the point that no masks were being worn by people and the events were Super-Spreader Events. (Trump is Evil, he's spreading Covid-19 on purpose!) Meanwhile, Joe Biden spends most of the year in his basement hiding out from the virus (which was probably good for his health because he's in that high-risk category), and the times closer to the election when he came out to do rallies, there were only media people present, standing in circles set 6 feet apart and everyone wearing masks to prevent spreading the virus (assuming that they had the virus - we always have to assume that people are carrying this virus because it's safer than not making that assumption). Some of the rallies turned into vehicle rallies where people came in cars and pickup trucks, and they honked their horns in lieu of clapping hands when Biden said something they liked. --- Somehow, by about midnight, Trump was ahead in the ballot counts when suddenly some precincts closed for the night, and the news anchors announced that until morning, when everyone had a bit of sleep and returned, the ballot counting would be stopped. This was not business as usual on Election Night, but it happened. And, lo and behold, by some miracle, next morning counts were coming in again (well, yeah, they were counting and reporting), and Joe Biden's ballot counts surged amazingly while Trump's did not move a single vote upward. (No, there's no fraud going on here, nothing to see, move along.) Was it reported by the mainstream media that there were more ballots than registered voters? Probably not. But that's mentioned in the lawsuits. Over time, people have come forward with signed affidavits and statements about what they observed as fraudulent activities, how the conservative poll watchers and ballot count watchers were prevented from watching during the prime time and sent home at midnight, but the others remained. There is even a video out there (or there was - I haven't looked to see if it's been removed) showing that after the Republican affiliated poll/ballot watchers were sent home, suitcases were pulled out from under a black table and the ballot counting resumed, ballots coming out of those suitcases. The mainstream media has a perfectly logical explanation for what was going on there, or so they claim. Depending on what you have access to, you either believe it fully or you don't. Meanwhile, it's all still Trump Bad, Trump Lost, Get Over It Trumpers.

More wedges.

In the comic, Tat shows a cross, a Q, and a snake - the more outspoken Christians, Q and Q-Anon (which the media claims is a conspiracy theory group), and the Tea Party (fiscal conservatives who want taxes cut drastically and government spending to be cut very drastically) for the outspoken right of the Red side. For the Blue side, you have the communist hammer-and-sickle, Black Lives Matter's upraised fist, and the Antifa symbol, the outspoken far left of the Blue side. For the Red side, the flag is the American flag. For the Blue side, the flag is the Rainbow Flag. These are the polarizing sources from the citizenry. But they're not what you'd call grassroots organizations. Some may have begun as grassroots organizations, but people with big money have stepped in and hijacked them (except maybe the Q folk - I'm not sure if they were hijacked or always quite so radical in their views -- there has been a growing number of people who have held the same beliefs that the Q folk share for many decades, and those were people known by the mainstream as conspiracy theorists, tin-foil-hatters, you know the sort, talking about the Illuminati and all - Tat has used Illuminati symbolism in past strips to show their part in all this wedge-hammering). I heard on and off that if you went to the BLM website to donate money to their cause, it went directly to the Democratic Party in some form or other. Probably someone(s) were explaining that in order to support BLM, you had to support the Democrats, but the sad Truth is, the Democrats have promised equality since the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and many Black people are STILL waiting for their equal rights, especially when it comes to treatment by law enforcement. We've had the War on Poverty since the 1960's which promised to benefit Black people, and still many Black people who have voted Democrat are struggling financially - for over 50 years the War on Poverty has not yet benefited them. Some Black people have managed to look back and see how Democrats promised them prosperity and failed to deliver in all this time, and they've changed their loyalties to the Republican side. The ideas on Black Lives Matter are blatantly Marxist/socialist, and the leaders have claimed that this is what they want to accomplish because it is how they see bringing Black people out of poverty and being treated poorly by the authorities. What I've personally been able to understand about this whole mess, is that if you want to help Black people and donate money to BLM for that purpose, your money won't necessarily go toward what you're hoping it will go toward. Fifty years of broken promises is not a firm foundation.

None of the polarizing sides of the arguments splitting things up are firm foundations. No matter what we're able to research, even if we're able to look at the conservative side of things, we don't necessarily end up with Truth, no matter who claims that we do. Did Trump's people really save thousands of children from a satanic cult of elites and jail the elites? Is that why so many governors in Blue states emptied penitentiaries "to keep prisoners from catching Covid-19"? Some of the conservative media would have you believe that it was to help bolster the rioting of Antifa on the coattails of peaceful BLM protests. So much "look over here, not over there" going on. None of us are ever going to know the Truth, no matter how hard we search for it.

I don't know how many of you are aware of it, but the other night, a Texas state representative (state legislature, not US Congress) spoke to a San Antonio-based FoxNews reporter and announced that he will be introducing a bill into the Texas legislature to allow the citizens of the state of Texas to vote, on an election day, for or against seceding from the United States. Four years ago, there was a whole lot of chatter among Texans concerning "Texit", and over the years, there have always been a few folk who have never quite gotten over the Civil War and felt that Texas should have returned to its previous Republic existence. I think the mainstream media and the internet social media tried to convince us that all that talk 4 years ago was spurred on by Russian interference in social media. This year, you're not hearing about Russian interference in the election (because Biden allegedly won), but the talk of secession is back again, and Texans have a legislature allegedly going to seriously look at taking the first steps in that direction. I don't think this matter would have come up had the Supreme Court not thrown out the Texas lawsuit. But there it is. A wedge in the making.

Honestly, I believe that if Trump had won the election again, we'd still have major wedges. The media wouldn't give up their 95% negative coverage of the man and his accomplishments, and it's quite possible that a California or New York state legislator might have spoken of introducing a "Calexit" or "NYexit" bill in their state houses (or one of the other very strongly Blue states). This country is THAT polarized. And no, it's not just in the last 4 years that this has come up, although it has certainly seemed that way. The wedges were being built during the Obama administration. They were being built during the Bush 43 administration. They were being built during the Clinton administration, the Bush 41 administration, and even the Reagan administration. The Carter administration built some wedges, as did the Nixon and Ford administration and the Johnson administration. I think you can look back and see evidence of wedges being formed in every administration since the end of the Civil War (and certainly, prior to the war, else we would not have had a war). Usually, the federal government would manage to get us into some patriotic war or police action in order to force a unification. Trump has done his best to keep the USA out of wars, so there has not been the usual band-aid placed upon the wedges in society. (As it happens, Trump has succeeded in bringing about four - 4! - strong peace treaties (not agreements, but treaties!) between Israel and an Arab nation. Are you able to look this up? He's been nominated by 3 or 4 people for Nobel Peace Prize. I'm sure about 3, not sure about 4, but I've heard 4 somewhere. How do you suppose a man who is portrayed by the mainstream media as 100% evil has accomplished that which no previous President has accomplished? From what I have heard, he looked at what had been done in the past, and then he decided to go with something completely different - but the actual What is not something I've been able to locate when researching this topic. There may be more Arab-Israeli peace treaties coming up before inauguration day in January. While you are led to believe that Trump is fighting all manner of uphill battles against the various Democrat or "deep state" (government establishment) players giving him grief, he has his people dealing with that stuff, and he's got his mind and his actions on other stuff not necessarily being shown to us. Look over here, not over there.)

I am looking forward to seeing how Tat handles the current climate in our politics and morals. Showing Sammy getting beat up by the winds of change is very spot-on. The winds of change are like a hurricane or tornado, leaving destruction in their paths. Tat is focusing on the American side of things, but the winds of change are going to affect the rest of the world as well. This Covid-19 pandemic has affected everyone, and I've heard that there is a Covid-21 (I'll interrupt right here and say that right now, that's a rumor, not a fact) on the horizon set to be let loose, probably during a time when some Red state governors or world leaders relax their chokeholds on their citizens and allow business as usual. While we have a vaccine now to look forward to (one drug company's success, and there are five others coming up with different vaccines, some of which are ready for approval, some still in the final testing phases), those coming out this month are going to be rough on the recipients (nevermind that you'll need 2 doses 3 weeks apart, but the thing has to be frozen and cannot be administered after 90 seconds in room temperature conditions - can you imagine the freeze pain of the receipt?). Some of us will be exempt from receiving it (due to age or pregnancy/breastfeeding or immune system status or other health issue status). Others will be made to receive it as mandatory (I think NY State wants to put Black and poor people at the head of the line along with healthcare workers because Blacks and other poor people have traditionally been left out of receiving helpful stuff, and I've also heard that certain old and/or disabled folk will be receiving it as mandatory as well, possibly for the same reasons or perhaps because they appear to be a higher risk population). We will hear all manner of things about these vaccines. I guess that whatever the Truth is about them, we'll know a portion of it based on who we know who has received them, ourselves included should we be among the recipients, as well as what the media lets us know.

Whatever the case may be with all of this, I'm pretty sure that the johnbie situation, the sexual exploitation/abuse of certain members of society, will not be a problem solved by the end of 2020 or even during 2021. While we're looking in all manner of directions as encouraged by the media and trendsetters and others, that situation will probably remain as miserable as it has been or worse, despite the few legal attacks on purveyors of porn that have come up. My guess is that access to porn went up astronomically while so many people have been stuck at home, and that industry will continue to thrive. The media, no matter what color, won't be raising an anti-porn flag and marching to the beat of that drummer. They make too much money from the industry.

And political discussions, or discussions on any topic where a conservative side or a liberal/leftist side can be inserted, implied, or recognized, are going to get heated as conservatives have their sources, liberals/leftists have their sources, and the Venn diagram of common sources is empty. We will always know our individual, personal Truth. But we will not know The Truth, no matter how convinced we are that we have it. I know I can't fully trust the conservative sources, either, because they paint the Democrats as 100% evil in much the same way as the mainstream media sources paint President Trump and conservatives as 100% evil. If your source of news is not giving you a balanced reporting of both sides, you're getting propaganda. I'm getting it from the conservative side of things just as others are getting it from the mainstream media side of things. Propaganda in American journalism is legal since the Obama administration (Obama signed something into law which included allowing the mainstream media to insert opinion into factual reporting or really use it when determining what to show as news and what to ignore as not worth it). So it's going to be more and more of an uphill mental battle to determine whether we're being fed news or propaganda. We won't always win that battle, either.

Wedges. We can't avoid them. They are definitely breaking up America. No telling what they'll do with the rest of the world.

Re: December 13, 2020 - Reckoning 50

Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 5:30 am
by RikkiTikkiTavi
Wow. That was refreshing. Thank you.
Just wanted to say that before the backlash that I assume will occur since you mentioned the "C" word and also spoke of Trump in a non-negative way.

I feel like I am being played on so many sides. The polarization that you speak of is very true. In many ways our comfortable lives have allowed the US to become a version portrayed in the movie 'Idiocracy'. The population wants to be entertained instead of educated. The destruction of traditional values (church, family, the previous foundations of the political parties, etc) mean that many have no foundation of core belief to draw from. This leaves them ripe for the picking.

Advertisement used to be selling us things - and it was very good at it. Now the same advertising is being used to sell us ideas. I have an ad blocker so I don't have to be swimming in a swill of subliminal and blatant ads. There is no such blocker for the swill of subliminal and blatant ideas.

The corporations have changed focus. We are the product. They can fine tune their ads to us based on what they know about us - which is so very, very much. Almost like they are reading our souls.

I have family members who are examples of the polarization of our current world. On one side I have conservatively very right leaning people who talk about conspiracies and such and how it is all because of the 'left'. On one side I have liberal very left leaning people who - well basically they just hate anyone who is conservative and especially Trump. Both sides believe incredible things that are not true - but they believe them and will not put any of those ideas to any reflection. The more they believe those 'advertisements' the more willing they are to believe the next incredible thing they are fed.

It is horrible to witness. I am very much a moderate. In prior days I would have been called more liberal, but now my views would be considered more conservative. My views are the same - it is the world that has changed.

It is hard not to think that there must be some single entity that benefits from all this chaos - some single thing that is pulling all the ropes. But the more horrifying truth is that it is a collective mentality that has learned how to benefit from this swill.

As much as I hate advertising (don't watch TV because of it, turn off the radio when it happens, ad blocker, no magazines, etc) I know it seeps in. I have studied it a lot - sort of learning about the enemy. A great book 'Subliminal Seduction' by Wilson Bryan Key -any of Key's works actually taught me a lot about how advertising learned to catch hold of us in ways we were vulnerable.

We are the product. We are being bought and sold. We are in danger and at risk and we walk willingly and naively into the saw blades.

It is horrible and I don't know one damned thing to do about it.

Re: December 13, 2020 - Reckoning 50

Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 3:29 pm
Heya, Blue!

I'm glad you've decided to talk about that issue in such a dept and lenght. It's a great interpretation for the daily comic strip in question, and honestly, I think you don't get more accurate than that. If that's not what Tat was trying to portray, Idk what is.

It's a lot, but it was worth reading. And this is coming from a latinamerican leftist. The Left doesn't really consider the american Democratic party to be left-wing. Center-left, at best... like PSDB center-left (they are our popular center-right, or just right-wing party here in Brasil, well, used to be popular...). Same thing can be said about liberals. To any latinamerican socialist/communnist/anarchist, liberals are the enemy as well as conservatives. That's all just to say I'm not surprised your cousin doesn't want socialism or communism to be instaled in the USA via the Democratic Party. I mean... they are not leftists! Neither are the Dems.

I'm honestly probably the only person you'd expect a backlash from in this forum lol, but I'm not here for that. I'm surprised to hear you're a conservative, sure, thought after reading everything you've said, I'd say a lot of my surprise is due to at least some unfair bias. The docummentary your cousin mentions is called "The Social Dillema", and I will watch it via netflix right after posting this. Idk if it's still avaiable for USA tho'. And while I guess you're right that the venn diagram between Dem/Rep, or Right/Left (actual Left), is pretty empty nowadays, I can asure you yours and mine have this concern in their intersection:
BlueUnicorn wrote:
Sun Dec 13, 2020 3:49 pm
I'm pretty sure that the johnbie situation, the sexual exploitation/abuse of certain members of society, will not be a problem solved by the end of 2020 or even during 2021. While we're looking in all manner of directions as encouraged by the media and trendsetters and others, that situation will probably remain as miserable as it has been or worse, despite the few legal attacks on purveyors of porn that have come up. My guess is that access to porn went up astronomically while so many people have been stuck at home, and that industry will continue to thrive.
Cases of domestic abuse and sexual violence against women and children have went up as well during quarantine, might I add
BlueUnicorn wrote:
Sun Dec 13, 2020 3:49 pm
The media, no matter what color, won't be raising an anti-porn flag and marching to the beat of that drummer. They make too much money from the industry.
Yes, and I think no matter what political spectrum one falls in, if you are not against the porn and prostitution industries, and against misogynistic groups and lobbies trying to silence women and take away our rights, you're not on the "right side of history". Even if you think you're Left.

Re: December 13, 2020 - Reckoning 50

Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 4:29 pm
Finally, I would only critique a few things on your essay: the lack of sources... I mean, I can, and DID, look up some of those claims, they aren't hard to find. But since we have a biased google search, the ones you specifically got would've been welcome... I could only find things questioning the intent behind Trump's peace treaties and Nobel Prize nominations and so on and so forth. So, corroborating your cousin and the docummentary's findings, we won't get an unbiased source at surface level. I also checked some of the claims you made about BLM, specifically these:
BlueUnicorn wrote:
Sun Dec 13, 2020 3:49 pm
I heard on and off that if you went to the BLM website to donate money to their cause, it went directly to the Democratic Party in some form or other.
[...] What I've personally been able to understand about this whole mess, is that if you want to help Black people and donate money to BLM for that purpose, your money won't necessarily go toward what you're hoping it will go toward. Fifty years of broken promises is not a firm foundation.
And you're right, in a way. The BLM's donation plataform, ActBlue, does support the Democratic party and Dems values. They make no secret of that. But ActBlue only takes a 3.95% processing fee on donations. And I'm sure they would not be able to redirect the other 96.05% of donations to any other group or campaing without consulting BLM... I think that'd be even illegal. So I'm unsure that donations to BLM throught their plataform will not go to Black Lives Matter, or even go to the Democratic Party in anyway... but I see where you're coming from. BLM has to align with Dems values to be plataformed by ActBlue, so they'd have somewhat the same agenda. Which, if what you said is true, didn't really help black people. Just a bunch of empty promises. Honestly, Idk what to think, I think that'd be a bit of a stretch, but not too far-fetched either. I think it's safe to say BLM is aligned with the Democratic Party. Whether this implies they are gonna act exactly like the Dems have towards Black people, I can't say. Also, their receipt system is avaible for checking. Thought it's a little intimidating, their step by step explanation on how using it is pretty straight-forward and easy, and you can type "Black Lives Matter" on the "Recipient Name or ID" bar to search which amount of donations done throught the ActBlue plataform went for BLM... or at least I think that's how it works. Tbh, I haven't understood yet myself lol. edit: the page may take a while to load... so if you ain't seeing any individual's names, give it a couple seconds. edit 2: for real, if any of you got how this works PLEASE explain it to me, because I'm not sure who is getting what for what.

Re: December 13, 2020 - Reckoning 50

Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2020 1:54 pm
Quick update: I have watched "The Social Dilema" documentary, and it's amazing! I mean, it's not news per se, but it's scary how right we were about how much social media knows about us, and how ads are designed to sell us to the companies paying social meds for our info. I mean, I thought they could know how much time we spend watching and engaging with each and every post but I wasn't sure. Now, I am. They know every fucking detail... it's scary.
Also, this:
RikkiTikkiTavi wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 5:30 am
The corporations have changed focus. We are the product. They can fine tune their ads to us based on what they know about us - which is so very, very much. Almost like they are reading our souls. [...] We are the product. We are being bought and sold. We are in danger and at risk and we walk willingly and naively into the saw blades.

Is almost word-for-word what's said in the documentary. If you haven't watched it, please do, they do give us an idea on how to deal with that problem.
Spoiler: delete your social media.

Re: December 13, 2020 - Reckoning 50

Posted: Sun Dec 20, 2020 8:48 pm
by BlueUnicorn
RikkiTikkiTavi, we're all being played.

We are all the product, indeed, but also, we are all the consumer, so whoever is in charge is going to push us in the direction of the product they want us to give them money for. On top of all that, there's the ability to pull off a "deep fake" which can convince us that what we're seeing is true. Using that sort of technology, Disney was able to go in a certain direction with their final episode of season 2 of The Mandalorian. For those of us alive today who are familiar with the Star Wars franchise, we can tell without the shadow of a doubt that deep fake technology was used to produce part of that episode to make it work logically. For the future viewers, say, 20 years from now? 50 years from now? Will they be able to tell what decade The Mandalorian was produced without looking at the credits or information on a website somewhere to say it was a 2019-2020 series? Or might they believe that it came out sometime before the 1990's? While pinpointing the timing of something as innocent as a Star Wars series might seem insignificant, it does produce some interesting questions: As history belongs to the victors and how they tell it, and perhaps to the entertainment industry and how they produce it for our consumption, will we be seeing actual historic events with actual historic figures "starring" in their roles due to deep fake technology? Will someone be able to put a spin on history to make someone's good deed into a bad deed? Will there be more deep fake technology produced historic pieces manipulating current leaders to show them saying things and behaving in ways they never behaved in order to produce a morality play and/or teach someone's agenda as Truth? Is that happening now?

Most of the advertisements on TV seem to push us to take more drugs. Everyone's pushing this or that new cure for something. At the same time, they're throwing in some fast talk about the side effects of the drug they want us to ask our doctors for. So that we know they're dangerous. But at the same time, they really want us to use those drugs, regardless. Just so long as they can say, "we warned you." At first it was drugs for illness-like conditions, maintenance drugs. Lately, I'm seeing several different commercials for the same drug for schizophrenia. Over and over and over. Big Pharma is very much interested in controlling our minds, as are Big Tech and Big Media and even Big Brother. I wonder how many people watching those commercials are convincing themselves somehow that they might have schizophrenia, in much the same way as a high school student taking a psychology class for health credit (mandatory in some states) begins to self-diagnose all manner of psychoses because now they have access to the information about what is involved, while still dealing with the stigma of seeing a professional who might be able to hear what they have to say about what they're experiencing and be able to tell them, "You're fine, nothing wrong with you, just teenaged angst." I remember taking those classes back in the day, and I think that whatever teenaged angst I was suffering, it shot through the roof when I was taking the psychology class part of the health credit stuff. Get me away from those classes and that information, and I was doing fine. Worried? Who wasn't? But psychotic? A probable mass murderer? Naahhhhh.

Taking mind altering drugs for any reason is going to be bad news, I expect. For those who really need them, they probably also need to be hospitalized/institutionalized (not in a way that invites abuse though) so that they can be observed, and the meds they're taking should be very carefully dosed and studied in each patient so that the doctors can ensure that an improvement and perhaps even a cure can be brought forth without also damaging other parts of the brain. Thing is, so many of these drugs DO damage that they really should not, and then force people to live the sort of lives that are only going to ensure more mental instability. Unfortunately, with so many commercials for drugs out there, so many smiling faces of people who allegedly use the drugs and get nothing but good from them, this is going to be more and more of a problem.

Celina, you're right, I did have a lack of sources.

Part of the time, I have memories of seeing/hearing things but not necessarily where they came from (memory like a sieve, as the saying goes). The other half the time, I give sources, and either people can't access them, or they have prejudices about the sources. These days, there's simply no sharing of information as simply sharing without people accusing me of believing it or willfully sharing fake news or some other such thing: if I don't preach to their choir, I'm worthless. Some days, I don't give a shit. Other days, I've heard about how worthless I am one time too many, and I walk away from it (which is to say, I'll make an extra effort to hide my info sharing posts with the people who have attacked me one time too many so that I can continue to feel as though I'm still part of the national conversation, or the international one, without having to always set my neck on the chopping block). After a week or so of that, I'll open up all my posts to everyone and see who's eager to jump on my back and who either ignores me or agrees. Time was when other friends/family would jump aboard and stick up for me so that by the time I saw someone's negative reaction, all the good arguments had been made by others already, and I'd just leave it go. Since learning that we're not all able to look at the same stuff, that Big Tech pushes certain things my way, certain things your way, and blocks other things, I've come to the conclusion that you'll find it on your own, or not, as Big Tech allows. I think Big Tech allows me to see a wider distribution of information because totally blocking my access to stuff that is in accord with my philosophies is a surefire way to drive me to spend more time away from their product. They don't have the same problem with left leaning users because those people already toe the line as they desire.

But as I said before, we don't necessarily know what's real and what's fake. News that you share from a left leaning site may be actual news, and different news that I share from a right leaning site may be actual news. The news itself is probably about 5% of the article, with 95% spin in the desired direction of the source. For example, last week I was seeing reports about President Trump getting the military involved to "secure the election and make sure only valid votes count" - this information coming from right leaning sources. Late last night, I saw an article from a left leaning source about President Trump getting the military involved to "steal the election and the United States from the people whose voices don't matter to him." Honestly, when I saw the right leaning reports and how happy people were about the whole thing, I was thinking it might be fake news. Seeing as how the left is reporting it as well, along with their take on it, makes me think it might be correct: President Trump is getting the military involved with the post election stuff. To what end? The right leaning lot says to a good end, to make sure the vote result is valid. The left leaning lot says to a bad end, to silence the voice of the majority and steal an election. I have a bad feeling about the election, no matter how it turns out, because the wedges hammered between us are in there good and tight, and either outcome is going to result in bad feelings among millions of people. Utilizing the military, for good or bad purposes, probably won't result in good feelings among the people. Interestingly enough, FoxNews was not a source of this story at all, which I find curious. Usually they're on the right leaning side of these stories, but they haven't even touched this one, I think. At least, Tucker, Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Shannon Bream's evening shows haven't covered it at all, to the best of my knowledge.

Google's bad habit of keeping a fairly good background on me from my search history (even when I might delete my search history - I think they still keep a record of it somewhere where I can't access and delete it) was one of the reasons I rarely use Google for my search engine needs. I use DuckDuckGo instead. It was recommended to me years ago by someone who is heavy into cybersecurity, whose advice I know to be excellent when it comes to security matters.

But I also use Gmail and other Google products because, alas, the education sector uses it, and although I've retired from a full time job in the education biz, I still contribute to national (and, I learned recently, international!) education with my abilities as a designer of educational resources. I would not even have bothered with Gmail except that, at my last job, we all were strongly encouraged (read: ordered) to start Gmail accounts for easier access to some educational resources and to facilitate communication with people within and beyond the education circles. (When my business email had problems due to someone accidently letting in some dangerous malware, I bypassed it by using my Gmail to continue important discussions leading to the development of new resources for state schools to utilize.) I may despise Google's overall political bent, but I appreciate that they have a useful product, providing they don't get too censor-crazy.

Erasing my social media, well, that'll happen but not soon. There are alternatives out there who claim to be more security conscious and that they're not collecting our information to sell. For now, some of what I'm looking at (and slowly moving to) are sites that are strongly conservative, which is likely to be a major turn-off for a number of people simply because their polarization is pretty much complete/strong and any opposing views will give them brain aneurisms. Because Twitter and Facebook have both made a point of crippling certain people's ability to communicate through their media, there are daily reminders that these people are moving to another site. The big one grabbing their business is Parler. I have an account there myself so that I can access their information when the old year dies and the new one is born.

There are at least two alternatives to Facebook that I've investigated. Of the two, I prefer MeWe. It hasn't got some of the cool usability that Facebook has, but it's new, and I suppose if we give it time, it will develop those things. One thing it does not allow, which Facebook does, is ability to open a free page for a special interest group or business. Since my current post-employment attempts at making money are not as yet lucrative (it takes time to build up a clientele), I cannot see myself investing in a MeWe webpage for my business. The expected traffic there is low right now anyway, despite how many people have been making the transfer from Facebook to MeWe. (I know of a handful besides myself, and they STILL post prolifically on Facebook, so I'm guessing they're there to see some of my stuff and/or in case they really get pissed with Zuckerberg and want to leave FB, they won't have to start from scratch, they just have to share their page ID.) Facebook hosts a number of special interest groups involving translations for genealogical documents, and MeWe has not yet devised a method by which such a group might form and flourish, so there's that, too, which holds me to FB. As long as there are documents in 19th Century Italian, Latin, Polish, or German that I can't read, I'll require their help in figuring some things out. (Meanwhile, there's Google - Google Translate - to the rescue when I can transcribe something but can't otherwise translate because I'm not functionally multilingual that way.) "The Social Dilemma" indeed.

I do understand, though, that although today both Parler and MeWe claim not to collect information on me or collect what I post (not sure if that means they're not keeping a history such that I could look back 5 years from today to share a memory of something I posted) for purposes of sharing with others, there is always the possibility, however slim it may appear today, that the policy could change. But right now, those two appear to be the "safest" places to be on social media, for a conservative. Considering that some conservatives on FB do get kicked out for extended stretches of time (I've a distant cousin who seems to be especially targeted - I swear, she and I could post the same exact thing, and some fact-checker on FB will nail her while leaving me alone. I guess she's an Influencer, and I'm highly uninfluential/ignorable. So much for my self-image and self-confidence!), it is looking more and more as though there will be a massive exit of conservative users from Facebook and Twitter because of the treatment they get there.

Currently, the alternative to YouTube that seems to be the most promising, at least if one is interested in getting conservative points of view or news from conservative journalists or journalists who really are giving straight news and not spin, is something called Many people who are being harassed by YouTube removing their videos for "not being in compliance with community standards" have moved their channels to But has just begun, and as an example of something we won't find much of there, I was trying to find videos of Christmas music. I thought, for sure, Christians may have suffered some pushback from YouTube and maybe have posted Christmas music there. Not much. If I want Christmas music, YouTube is currently the best source. I've looked for other stuff there as well, and again, currently YouTube, established a while back and having had a long time to establish itself as a vast video library, is currently the best source for most everything. But, if you're looking for information about the Hunter Biden scandal or other current political subjects, probably has it. Now, I haven't searched for porn. Considering that I don't want to view porn, it doesn't occur to me to search for it there. But I've seen the occasional pornographic video on YouTube (sometimes looking for it, as when someone reported the online video game Roblox, which little children enjoy playing online, being used to entice children to porn and uploading videos of how these pervs were manipulating the game to sexually abuse little children mentally - I wanted to see just what they were referring to, and I saw how someone had turned a Roblox character into a porn character, and turned someone else's Roblox character into a porn character, and then convinced the other player to position her Roblox character such as to, well, you can guess - blocky characters reeking of large pixels and ultra low resolution graphics engaging in porn is what it looks like, and YouTube had no problem leaving those videos on their site, they are not "not being in compliance with community standards" apparently).

As for BLM, if, indeed, the money IS being donated to them through that ActBlue group, then good, the people who believe in it are not funding something else entirely that they might not want their money going toward. But again, this is one of those things that rubs me the wrong way if only because some of the proponents of BLM appear to be violent and nasty toward those who don't want to contribute to their cause (ironically enough, the white folk supporting it tend to be among the ugliest in their behavior toward those who do not). In a free society, everyone should be free to contribute to whatever they wish to contribute to (and also, free to not contribute to something if they don't want to). If a business does not want to collect money for BLM or show propaganda for BLM, it should not be something that results in their being shut down/cancelled. Not everything should be shoving politics down our throats. This habit people have of shaming other people for anything and everything according to what may be the "In" thing way of thinking has been around for a number of years now, which is why there are serious reviews of old "run away!" ideas floating around yet again.

As for that page that you asked about the explanation, I think what it's showing is that it did not receive money from other affiliated committees (of course, those committees are not named, so whatever they're referring to here, we won't know). It's also showing that in excess of $3.9 billion that it collected from the various sources listed in the list above, went out as contributions to other committees. Again, those other committees are not mentioned, and placing my cursor over the text does not give me a link to see a list of those things. So I guess we can assume that some of the money is going to BLM? I think we can also assume that some of the money is going to other committees and groups which push liberal/leftist agendas. How much of that money is going to BLM? No telling, because it's not broken down to show. Not very helpful, that link, if a BLM supporter wants to see how much money ActBlue is sending to BLM. For those who are interested in seeing how much money BLM is making, I think there should be something reporting it. That might set a lot of contributors' minds/hearts at ease.

Anyway, yeah, I'm conservative, but I do agree with your statement, Celine, " matter what political spectrum one falls in, if you are not against the porn and prostitution industries, and against misogynistic groups and lobbies trying to silence women and take away our rights, you're not on the 'right side of history'. Even if you think you're Left."

I'd say, even if you KNOW you're Left. Because Left isn't what's on the right side of history. That's the side that's silencing people. The Left gets as much from the porn industry as the Right does, maybe more. If the Left is what controls Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc., and therefore also YouTube, Netflix, Hollywood - well, they got some heavy control over that porn business, and their followers, not necessarily getting a pro-porn message when asked to contribute and support, are in fact supporting it. Sadly, in a way, we're all supporting it because we use their services, even if we're not using their services for porn. The alternative is to walk away from the internet and broadcast entertainment and film entertainment altogether. Which leaves us with very little. Even books aren't perfect, so many of them involving porn just to get sales, even if soft porn. (Example, the difference between romance novels of the 1950's through 1970's, and romance novels today.) Right now, regarding the porn question, there aren't too many on the right side of history there. And many of the sources of clean entertainment also are sources of the other stuff. The music industry is another one that is heavily into porn. Just the lyrics alone. One song that got a lot of traction this past year is WAP. (I apologize in advance if looking up the lyrics to that one upsets you. I had to look them up to understand what people were complaining about so obscurely - nobody wanted to get into detail in their complaints! - and it upset me.) With the entertainment industry continuing to move in this direction, I'm sad to say that porn is getting stronger and stronger as a genre of entertainment. Not good.

Re: December 13, 2020 - Reckoning 50

Posted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 6:24 am
by RikkiTikkiTavi
I forget what source this insight came from (probably the author Key), but in regards to advertising - it works better if we are upset. Happy and contented people do not purchase as many things. We make far more purchases when we are trying to 'make our bad feelings go away'.

Really, most businesses are working on a model of manipulating our serotonin levels - our dopamine. They don't necessarily know that is the business they are in, but they thrive when we 'feel happy' about doing business with them.

Sex sells - we know that. We are helpless and in the thrall of our biological realities. We want sugar. It is encoded into our DNA that 'high performance foods - ie sugar - will make the difference in survival.

We are innocent in the fact we are human and we have human responses. We are guilty in that we can become self aware - and not only self aware but also aware of the traits of others and then manipulate them with that information.

It is the old game of the snake with the apple. Self awareness - Empathy - Intelligence - Pattern Recognition. These things in the right amount can bring out the best in humanity. Think of someone you admire - they have this stuff in abundance. Think of someone or something about the modern world's way of making money - this stuff is taken to the point of evil.

One of the things I hate the most about our current state of affairs is how we like to point out the 'evil'. That person (usually Trump, haha). That religion. That political party. That company. - Evil is bad so we must get rid of it. Evil is so bad that if we have any connection to the evil, no matter how slight - then we are evil too and we must be gotten rid of.

It is so simple. That is the true evil. Nothing is so simple. Everything is complicated. But if you want to get rid of the competition then in this climate just call them evil. Just the accusation is enough. And the things that truly pervert life - especially porn, pedophilia, prostitution - the true evil - they get a pass. They get a makeover. They are sex and sex sells.

The infiltration of this 'sell' kind of reality is that it works better if we are ignorant, tired, bored, and live lives devoid of meaning. Keep people ignorant - start young and make school something that does not really educate and instead indoctrinates. Keep people busy and tired - suppress wages so we have to work a lot and have little time for self enhancement. Keep people overstimulated - hit them with constant information so they don't develop long attention spans and get bored easily. Challenge and make irrelevant all forms of higher meaning - devalue ethics, destroy families, get rid of religions, make personal achievement suspect (you couldn't have done it without having an unfair advantage...).

Oh, and I guess another one. Warp reality. Use the deep fakes. Rewrite history. Make it so we get erroneous or incomplete information when we do earnest searches for truth. So we end up confused and lacking in trust. Upset and ready to buy something to make ourselves feel better.

We all see it. I know you can see it. It seems like it must be coming from a single source - some great plan - some conspiracy. But it is not. There is no 'devil' - but there is evil. Evil is what sees this and decides to make a profit from it instead of fighting against it.

Okay - enough of me ranting...

Re: December 13, 2020 - Reckoning 50

Posted: Sun Dec 27, 2020 1:57 pm
by BlueUnicorn
You nailed it.

I don't know about there being one devil or more than one, but I'm pretty sure there's some origin of evil and it might be more than one being.

Emotional manipulation - yes! Exactly. Music does it. Films do it. Stories do it. Evil feeds on high emotion. Negative high emotion (fear, anger, hatred) are sweeter to the evil than good high emotion (love, happiness, exhilaration), but they'll take it (exhilaration from sex is very powerful - and very sweet to the source of evil or the sex industry would not be so well protected - and with porn, along with the exhilaration they can also taste the fear, anger, and hatred of those being manipulated/used/hurt by it).

It's all about money, it's all about power.

It's all about consumption. They control us, they control our consumption.

In the end, they hope to consume us, our souls. If, indeed, our souls are immortal (as is taught in some religions), they won't be if they're consumed.

Beware of anyone trying to sell you on how to get to a Harvest of Souls. Harvest results in consumption. Consumption of souls is the destruction of souls.