Democratic Debate

Everyone is having their say about who won the debate of 19 February. Polls are confusing. The debate confused a lot of people. Some actually said they didn’t think any candidate is electable. Some say there were too many attacks. Buttigieg took heat for swinging at Amy Klobuchar, but she countered with an admittance of her imperfections. The truth is each had a strong moment, a strong closing, and all are dead serious about their campaign. Bernie scores high for his stance on healthcare as does Warren. But they fight each other. Attack each other. Truth is, Warren is more realistic. Yet no congress will ever implement their proposals.

Even Democrats would reject them. You can’t suddenly go from what we have to what Sanders wants. On healthcare I liked Biden’s solution as being more passable, especially because it can be added to. That’s ultimately more realistic.

Warren will not be elected. The moderates and disenfranchised old school Republicans will abstain.

Sanders is an orator, no doubt. He has a chance, but moderates could ruin him.

Race was barely touched on but it’s a big problem. The alleged behavior of Bloomberg with women is worse. It’s indefensible. Warren beat the shit out of him on that. Biden agreed with the call to release women from non-disclosure agreements. The refusal of Bloomberg to agree was loudly booed.

Bloomberg has another achilles heel: the Stop and Frisk policy. What it accomplished was a reduced crime rate, but no one wants to hear it because the black and latino neighborhoods where a lot of crime existed were targeted. The policy was immediately racist and got cops injured and killed. Then a five officer beat had to be started because no two cops were safe. That and innocent people were arrested, had their civil rights abominably violated, and the whole thing was just fucked up. The end result was that it’s now his own worst enemy along with the non-disclosure agreements which may be disturbing to a degree we’re not able to comprehend.

Klobuchar admits mistakes. I like that and wish she could poll higher. After Trump, a bit of humility sure would be nice. She did well. I like her.

Buttigieg would have won if not for his brutal attacks on Klobuchar and the question of his healthcare policy.

I’ve come out of this determined to vote for Joe Biden. He’s electable, he appeals to moderates, he’ll get defecting conservative votes and send Trump to Florida.

But whatever happens, remember who the real enemy is. The democratic party cannot be split. If a candidate with the most delegates is not backed by the party, Trump will win.

Simply Terrifying: The Trump And Barr Partnership Gains Power

He made himself the only person who can decide which democratic candidates can be investigated. He fumed against encryption on private citizen’s electronic devices because “the government can’t see what they’re doing”, and this Washington Post article is full of some really scary stuff. Now I couldn’t, even for money, write a worthy analysis of everything here. Hell, when a dumbass like Trump gets it in his head that the Catholic Church is liberal, I just have to say, I am lost. I used to follow a blogger who had faced a lot of difficulties, but who would sit outside family planning centers and pray for an end to abortion. I stopped reading her blog right then and there. It’s fine to pray. It’s fine to have an opinion. But that was a point when I came to the realization that no one who is against abortion has ever had a realistic view of it. They’re always the ones who castigate women who have the procedure until they are in a situation where they are forced to decide if they’re going to have it done or be burdened with a baby they can’t support, aren’t emotionally able to care for, or which is likely to be fucked up due to conception during a drug treatment or incest, or they became pregnant from a rape. No man can legislate against a situation like that and no woman who hasn’t been there should even say anything about it.

Back to Trump and Barr, I can’t figure out why no one’s stopping them. I knew Trump would grab more power after his acquittal, but I couldn’t have predicted all of this; it’s nuttier than chipmunk shit it’s really happening!

And in case you’re as mystified as I was by the name “Hookers For Jesus”, it’s basically a conservative Christian non-profit organization founded to help victims of human trafficking, sex industry workers who want out of the business and more. All noble, especially help with shelter and addiction. But if Barr and Trump chose this over Catholic charities, I’m sorry, but I’m truly skeptical. Are there former sex workers involved who had contact with Trump, Barr or someone they know? Because it would hardly be a first.

Far more important and scary is the Big Brother approach by Trump and Barr. All of this has seemed so slow to develop, but was designed long ago. Trump was being groomed by Russia at least five years prior to his golden escalator ride. Putin has maneuvered Trump into weakening this country’s government and world standing. It’s been effective, and now, you won’t hear anything else from Russia about elections. Putin is now another dictator for life, like Xi Jinping, and that’s also part of the plan. Now China and Russia, military allies, at least with technology, can do things they couldn’t ten years ago.

Oh, keep watching. Not all day, you know. Gotta walk away sometimes. But it gets more scary from here. And with the recession which is about five years overdue, because that’s how the economy cycles, there’s a huge fall coming. Trump will blame Democrats.

Not a good way to start the weekend, is it? I’m sorry. I really am sorry.

Opium For The Masses Part One: The Supernatural

There’s a lot on your plate. So many problems. So many crises. So much fear and far too much stress. Will your family be okay? You don’t know, and the burden you carry everywhere you go is too heavy to bear. It is exhausting and it affects your mental and physical health. Before you know it you’re seeing a therapist, a psychiatrist, a cardiologist, a priest or shaman, you’re down with migraine headaches and your guts don’t work like you want them to. It’s diarrhea or constipation. You’re taking a whole drugstore every day and it keeps getting worse. I know. I’ve been there and I’m still there. I can’t possibly live much longer. The damage that will take me is already done.

But I want to help you. You don’t have to suffer so much if you only meet the enemy head-on. Avoiding an enemy only increases the damage it does to you, and you to yourself. I don’t want you to be like me.

First of all, the stress from a myriad problems makes us look to escape. Whatever type you choose depends on personality and experience, and how deep you get can be so bad that you don’t ever escape the pit you’ve just dug for yourself.

Let’s take these escapes and false, unreasonable expectations of ourselves and look at them for what they are: lies and an opiate for the masses, and there are many. You with me? Let’s dig into it then.

Part One: TV and Internet

I can’t get too far into every aspect I’d like to. There’s too much to cover. First up, Paranormal TV shows. Good God. They’ve so proliferated that I can’t keep up with which ones are still in production and which ones are not, as they’re always on.

After 2004, when “Ghost Hunters” first premiered, the fad was on. It was a real phenomenon and sponsors loved it. This was a transition time for Sci-Fi, later SyFy. It went from hokey movies, after being a reliable place for classic monster pictures, to really confusing faire, like James Bond movies, SyFy made films like “Pteranodon” (has to be seen to be fully appreciated as the schlocky fucking trash it is) and a full library of shark, piranha and anaconda shit you wouldn’t even find in the discount bin at Walmart. “Ghost Hunters” was followed by “Ghost Hunters International” and eventually Jason suspiciously sent one of his female team members over, saying her help was needed. I don’t remember if it was Kris or Amy. Whichever one it was, she’s not the one on “Kindred Spirits”, another new Travel Channel piece of crap. I won’t watch it after my first sampling; it follows the usual template of all paranormal “investigation” shows: they get some story to set it up, they turn off the lights and use gadgets to find and kick out ghosts bothering the homeowner. There’s usually a “reveal” at the end, where they play audio called EVP in which there’s static or themselves talking and faintly you hear a “voice” from some ghost or, my favorite, a demon.

This is usually followed up by some visual “evidence” caught on a thermal imaging or infrared camera, but there’s never been much to go on. It’s not enough to constitute actual proof. And when they began inviting “psychic” Chip Coffey to help out, I knew it was a sign that the show was weak, in danger of becoming one of those one or two season disasters of which there are so many. He appeared years ago on A&E’s “Paranormal State” which was one of the first paranormal shows to be outed as as scripted fake from the beginning of each episode to the end. Ryan Buell personally pitched two shows to the cable network. One of them I never found anything on, but A&E revealed later that they were game for the Penn State paranormal one. What they did was to take people who needed help, send the producers out to the home, and sometimes, I’d say most of the time, Chip Coffey went with them. So the “psychic” was always in on the initial story and walkthrough by the homeowners.

That’s why he always stunned Ryan when he would “see” or “get impressions of” certain spots where activity was most often encountered. Because Ryan didn’t know about Chip or Elizabeth Warren’s walkthrough, he had no reason to believe them fakes. Chip went on to do a show that heinously exploited children, “Psychic Kids”, and it went on for three seasons of child mental abuse. They were coached, scripted, taught to “act” (lie, because they knew they were on a reality show) and who knows how many today are disillusioned or even brainwashed because they’ve found they have no really special supernatural abilities or because they believe they do.

Unfortunately later on, Ryan recruited Chip (I actually find the recruitment part unlikely) to go on tour to speak to live audiences. But Ryan was already in trouble. He had a drug addiction and personal problems, and he ended up stealing the advance ticket sales and was eventually arrested. I believe it’s certain to say that he was a criminal and liar, as he was charged with stolen property possession and other things. He claimed at one point to have pancreatic cancer, something you should know is an almost certain death sentence. Later, he claimed to be in remission and it got so bad that his own mother had to tell people that he never had cancer.

Buell is not someone I enjoy picking on. Drug addiction is a fucked-up thing to deal with, and I saw it kill my son two years ago this very day. I sympathize. I focused on this show in particular to demonstrate that early on, the way these shows work was revealed. However, the show still airs, has a new host of fans, and people believe everything they see.

Since 2015 paranormal TV shows have proliferated to the point where they have serious sponsors, a huge fan base and eager audiences. Even Jason Hawes and former partner Grant Wilson are back, with Wilson taking up the “Ghost Hunters” title and Hawes serving up “Ghost Nation”. The market is so saturated that the producers can use any trick they want to keep you watching. The biggest offenders are Zack Bagans and the Ghost Brothers. While the latter doesn’t take itself seriously, it seems to perpetrate a running TV and cinema racial stereotype and is ultimately comedic but a horror.

“Ghost Adventures” is still running. It has to hold the record for longest-running production of a paranormal based TV show. It too follows TheTemplate: a bit of background followed by a lights-out, gadget-loaded ghost hunt. The static produced by one is caused by a radio constantly passing stations. Of course a word or two in quick passing is going to be heard if you wait long enough. That hardly constitutes proof of some entity using a random freq to communicate. What a cheap trick, and people fall for it.

People waste away watching this crap. And while it really can be entertaining, most of it’s just garbage.

I’m not saying that there’s nothing supernatural; hardly that. I maintain that the paranormal is a misunderstood part of the natural. But the nature of it scares people and makes science recoil and deny its existence flat out.

I have had a lifetime of experience with many things I knew were real but still cannot explain. I’ve been an amateur ghost hunter and only investigated one location. I did experience things that defy a clear resolution, but not ever on the same night. It took from April to July, and when I finally saw some kind of entity it had taken months, weeks, hours spent surveiling the area. In the beginning I did tons of research. The ghost story traced back to folklore, a lurid tale often told about almost every place in North America where there was a forest and at its edge a lonely railroad crossing some narrow, lonely street. A surer recipe for a legend of a haunting never existed.

I redoubled my quest to debunk the haunting after that. I was ever more the skeptic until several terrifying things happened. These caused me to continue the investigation, culminating one night in one of the worst and most frightening things I’ve ever experienced finally happened.

I was out of the ghost hunting business forever, but I wasn’t close to ending supernatural experiences.

And this is my main concern with paranormal TV: it doesn’t happen that way. To encounter so much in a single night is just too much for anyone who’s really encountered things they can’t understand or ever explain or even describe something as it happened to believe. Typically a haunting has isolated incidents over years. Really severe cases almost always cause people to call in help from priests, pastors, anyone but TV ghost hunters. They’re terrified and they are desperate. I’ve known people who were in such situations. Sadly, there’s often no resolution. In fact there rarely is. They either move out or suffer. I’ve lived in no less than four haunted houses. To my great relief, only one brought serious and lasting damage; it housed a demon and if you don’t believe in those, more power to you; you’ve either never encountered one or you ignored it as best you could. That’s important because they feed on fear and revel in causing sickness, health problems and enmity within a family. Fortunately they rarely take up long term residence; they have to be invited either by ritual, spirit boards, or evil behaviors that grow chronic.

Surveillance Cameras

There are some shows that use security camera footage. “Paranormal Caught On Camera” and “Strange Evidence” are two that come to mind.

While some footage cannot be readily explained, it bears mention that most of these cameras use tape or other storage medium which are constantly recorded over. One problem with this is called “ghosting”, which is when playback shows a ghostly image in the midst of the most recent recording. For example, a man gets into a taxi, followed by a female ghost. Chilling, but probably not what happened. The ghost was likely a remnant of another night when a woman entered a cab parked in the same spot.

And let’s not forget that these recordings are not tamper proof. Once it’s on YouTube, debunking it can be difficult. We have no original and can only go on what we see.

In this video a fixed camera shows a man struck 3 times by lightning. He survived all 3, an unlikely outcome. Other versions have only two strikes. In the end he goes back the way he came and later admits he planned on robbing the couple ahead of him with the umbrella. It’s a viral post meant to prove divine intervention.

It’s a fake.

Lightning is brilliant light. You’ve seen near strikes light the night like noon. Here there’s none of that; the shadows from streetlights don’t change and that’s simply impossible.

Viral videos and creepypasta are more opium for the masses. People post everything from dolls that move to doors slamming shut behind them during a webcast. People can’t get enough.

Meanwhile, your frame of mind has darkened. Goodness and light are gone. You dwell in the thrills of fear and obsession with the supernatural. There’s no room for time with your kids. Friends. Homework.

Look at what it’s done. And it’s almost all a lie.

That’s dangerous. People will believe anything. They’re open to any lie.

Next: Part Two

Just As I Feared

We knew this was coming. What Hitler did, Trump is doing: seizing more power, consolidating it and using it at will.

Our Reichstag fire came during the impeachment of the president, culminating in his acquittal by the Senate. He has become what people thought he was all along minus the impetus to restrict government power in favor of his own.

He will next restrict voter qualifications, targeting the Left. Wait for it. It won’t be long now.

Oh Damn. No Verizon Texts, Okay? Call And Verify Before Even Opening!

This new scam scary enough for you to read this is not the only problem here. The entire website cloning thing including sign-in templates and prompts is something gaining favor with criminals and that’s scary. Get on How To Geek’s email list. Check reliable sites and stay up to date for terrors of the internet. Geek’s articles in you in box are free and essential reading.

A Marine Died While Still Alive

I knew a marine who was suicidal after one tour in Afghanistan and one in Iraq. Both fucked him up.

In Afghanistan his squad called in a strike (artillery) on a ridge above them where they could hear movement. The field artillery is death from above. Fast. Efficient. In moments, two little girls on what was left of bicycles, were found. Not much left, actually. None of the boys forgave themselves.

On a street in Iraq, in some city no one remembered later, a marine unit on foot patrol took fire from a sniper. One marine was walking next to, but not too closely, his buddy. It’s a really bad tactical mistake to bunch up. That’s when rockets can take out a lot of troops in one shot. So they were spread out at least to some extent. The sniper, unseen in elevated cover, scored a fatal hit, a head shot. His buddy didn’t scramble for cover. He hit his knees, cradled his buddy’s head and screamed and screamed for a corpsman. He would never accept the obvious fact that his friend was dead the millisecond following the passage of the high velocity bullet through the guy’s skull. Dead before he hit the ground. When a corpsman got there, the Marine was cussing. “What took you so long!” He screamed. An accusation.

A condemnation.

“His brains, put his brains back!”

Because it can’t make sense. One can’t be rational. Because a guy knows brain parts mean death, but when he saw it happen….when it was a friend, a bud, he can’t accept the obvious meaning of a fatal shot, of brain splatter on a street.

The marine never got over it. He could never see a doctor. The rest of his company looked down on such a thing as weakness. Weakness of the type a US Marine must never have. Never, even if he had it, ever speak of.

He ate his way to a discharge. He wasn’t going back. He went home to his wife but he was different. Harder. Rougher. Meaner. Abusive. At least once he stuck his little stepson’s head in the toilet and flushed. He took two shots at his wife then claimed it was an accident when he missed. The handgun was a cheap piece of shit.

We found his journal. He had spent days with it. Months, really. Only two things were written on its pages: the dead marine’s name….and the phrase “Death is the only freedom”.

Whether he ever did seek help, I cannot say. I hope I never see him again; he’s a dangerous man. The boy no longer lives with him.

The stigma of mental illness is ages old and has caused sorrow and death by the numbers. Mental health was, in some civilisations, a problem that was dealt with experimentally, and ancient skulls show evidence of actual surgery. Some bear evidence of healing, therefore living for some time, before the individual died.

This insinuates a compassion for those who suffered head injuries and mental illnesses. It’s surprising then that later, in medieval times and up until only very recently, horrible things were done to patients. In “asylums”. Lobotomies are only part of what went on. To think that a war veteran ever wound up like that is disgusting and it’s a disgrace.

But despite this article, the physical and mental health of our veterans, who served in both war and peacetime, is not a priority. It has never been, and funding reveals this. Graves reveal it. Records show it but in less detail because the military frowns on admitting it fucked up.

I have no faith whatsoever that veteran care will improve. Trump wants to cut all healthcare. If he says otherwise, don’t believe him. You want to help? Spend time with a vet. Visit hospitals. Volunteer. They’ve earned our gratitude. They deserve our sympathy and love. We owe them a debt we can never repay. But imagine what it would be like if we tried. These men and women can be saved.

You Have Been Cordially Invited To A Revolution

This bullshit is why it is stupid to ignore Trump, McConnell and every dirty thing they and their cohorts do. Look. This is is not a power grab by the Democrats, nor the entire federal government, and is being executed by a lineup of Republicans and Russians. Along, I am sure, with others willing to sell their souls.

But selling your soul isn’t such a big deal, is it? I mean, how many people really and truly believe in souls these days? Can’t be many. I mean, I either know atheists, or extremists on the right including Baptists, Catholics, and worst of all, evangelicals. I’ve no problem with atheists; they have the right to choose what they believe. Those whom I call friends are more behaved like I think Christians should be. Some are, and they aren’t friends at all, belligerent and evil, every bit as much as the right-wing cabals of “Christians”. By word and action, they demonstrate a disregard for the gospels and instead adhere to a doctrine of hate. How can they not see their own evil?

The extreme right doesn’t care about justice, freedom, or even what’s true. They do not think for themselves. They watch Fox News and they’re willingly brainwashed. They were against the impeachment. They’ve overlooked every lie, every stupid act, everything that will affect this country and everyone’s freedom, health and safety for decades to come.

Mitch McConnell is the most evil man in Washington next to Trump. He’s obstructed the workings of a proper system of checks and balances for years. He’s rich beyond your dreams or mine and could easily have retired. But he’s under orders. ALEC, The Koch empire, and more pay the Republicans and the occasional Democrat to work in their favor. They don’t see this as the endgame it is. Having environmental regulations withdrawn benefits no one, but they see it as allowing them to increase production. Soon, the skies will be as they were in the 70s. Water from your tap will make you sick unless it goes on to kill you. You’ll pay higher taxes, higher retail prices, and get less. A dollar won’t buy you a cup of coffee now; soon it will be much like pennies are now. A pain in the ass.

Movement, as in travel, will soon be restricted to an unbelievable degree. You saw that Trump excluded New Yorkers from a travel program to save money. I don’t know the details, but one thing was clear: it was revenge.

He fires everyone who disagrees with him. Those who testified are persona non grata. He’s threatened the lives of more than a few people, has definitely put surveillance on others, has put members of the FBI in fear of one another and of Russian interference in this election. We’ve seen suspicious activity already and if you’ve had over 50 friends on Facebook since the last election, go through the list. How many names do you suddenly not recognize? They change. Block them. The propaganda is ramping up so fast it’s disorienting.

Yes, I know that you’ve heard comparisons between Trump and Hitler. Well, like Hitler, Trump craves more control. Like Hitler, he’s easily offended and vengeful to the extreme, and like Hitler, he’s an idiot. A moron. A dunce. The mentality that causes people to praise him is not that complex, as it was not in 1930s Germany. The people were angry, felt disregarded and society had sunk to dark pleasures and crime. Along came Hitler, and he was straight-laced about sex. He’s suspected of shooting or having someone shoot his niece, because he’d been in a sexual relationship with her. A rather kinky one. That would have ruined him. He appeared to be for reform, law and order, and enough people were conservative enough to follow his every word. They knew he was stupid, but they became so inflamed by his speeches that they bought it.

With Trump’s Senate acquittal, he is getting revenge and consolidating his power. How so many in office are frightened of him is a question that begs answer; any republican that speaks against him usually never talks to the press again. Or they’re much more stifled or restrained. The media is not much better, sometimes making me suspicious that all the pressure Trump has put on them has been, with some reporters and news outlets, effective.

Imagine how horrible life in a second Trump administration would be. Imagine the things he will do. Imagine him and McConnell doing what they do best. No healthcare, no social security, no disability, no VA care or benefits, the invariable reversal of Roe v. Wade, curfews, police brutality, travel checkpoints, neighbors reporting you for crimes just to save themselves regardless of their paranoia being borne of hysteria. Imagine republican voters falling into homelessness because they believed lies. What would happen?

In some places, racial violence and anarchy. That would stop when it became known both sides were shot or imprisoned.

No, what would happen is one of two things. First, we, like so many Germans in World War Two, would follow him to our own ruin. I think not.

We’re Americans. We do not share the history that Germany had. We hate liars, we hate being swindled, we hate freedom being taken away. We hate people fucking with our government to oppress the people. Trump is not Hitler only; he is King George with bad hair. And if we did not put up with George, how much less do you think we’ll take from Trump?

What we’re talking about here is revolution. And we don’t want that. It will be, if it happens, forced upon us. Make no mistake: every oppressor eventually meets his doom, always of his own making. It takes time, but it always happens. Eventually the Russian Federation will fall as well. What happens next depends on an overwhelming turnout by voters willing to oust Trump and his criminal regime. It depends on making sure that you haven’t been removed from voter status. And if we fail, the young will eventually fight what the government turns into. If it happens sooner, remember, Americans don’t eat shit. And when forced to decide, will gladly go into battle against all enemies, foreign and domestic. It won’t be on us.

It is Donald Trump’s invitation to a revolution, and he’s already given just cause.

The people of the United States can’t take much more. He’s going to kill millions if he succeeds in taking away social security and health care.

Remember: I am not advocating a rebellion. I’m simply predicting it.