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   PoliticsA Hard Look At Donald Trump

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To: scion who wrote (22519)11/27/2020 7:52:35 AM
From: scion
   of 24415
Mr Trump did not say which trending topic upset him, but shortly after Thursday’s press briefing, which saw him furiously assail a reporter from behind a surprisingly small desk, the hashtag #DiaperDon surged to the top of Twitter’s trending list in the US and UK.

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To: scion who wrote (22520)11/27/2020 7:58:38 AM
From: scion
   of 24415
‘Isn’t this the language of a dictator?’: Trump confronted after press conference littered with misinformation

Tom Embury-Dennis 45 mins ago

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To: scion who wrote (22520)11/27/2020 8:31:29 AM
From: Brumar89
   of 24415
So fitting to see the Presidential Man Baby rage tweeting from his tiny desk:

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From: Brumar8911/27/2020 8:32:09 AM
   of 24415
Trump revealed a real loss of power as he blew up w/ “don’t talk to me that way I’m the President of the United States. Don’t ever speak to the president that way.” Demanding how he’s spoken to is a familiar dementia sign. It’s about loss of control & inability to regulate anger


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To: Brumar89 who wrote (22522)11/27/2020 8:34:57 AM
From: Brumar89
   of 24415
He’s so upset about #DiaperDon trending number 1, he wants to terminate Section 230 (attached if you, like me, had no clue what that was). Don’t make it worse by retweeting #DiaperDon...

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (22524)11/27/2020 8:49:40 AM
From: Brumar89
   of 24415

May this be how we remember the Trump presidency: a baby at his tiny little desk throwing a tantrum


The best part about the tiny desk is this is where he got mad at a reporter and snapped “I’m the president of the United States. Don’t talk to me that way.” A cartoonist couldn’t have imagined it better.

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (22525)11/27/2020 8:52:01 AM
From: Brumar89
   of 24415
QAnon Is Spreading a Bizarre, Dangerous Conspiracy Theory About a Drug Called Adrenochrome

Jason Silverstein
Thu, November 26, 2020, 9:40 AM CST·6 min read

Photo credit: Peter Dazeley - Getty Images From Men's Health

QAnon followers are spreading a false and dangerous conspiracy theory about a drug called adrenochrome.

The theory suggests that liberal politicians and Hollywood "elites" are harvesting the blood of children to extract the drug for its psychedelic and life-extending benefits.

While completely untrue, the theory is widespread, and QAnon followers now count themselves among members of Congress.

Supporters of the far-right wing group QAnon are spreading a dangerous conspiracy theory that the blood of kidnapped children is being harvested by liberal elites for a drug called adrenochrome, which they say offers a psychedelic experience and even holds the promise of immortality for those who take it.

While that may sound patently ridiculous, the adrenochrome conspiracy theory has now made its way beyond the bloodshot eyes of YouTube investigators and into mainstream culture, such as when Dr. Phil featured a woman on his show who claimed that her missing daughter had been kidnapped and tortured for the chemical.

And if you’re wondering why it is important to pay attention to this sort of thing, well, let's start with the fact that more than two dozen congressional candidates have shared QAnon material or even appeared on QAnon shows. Like it or not, there are signs the group's influence is growing.

Let’s explain what adrenochrome is, what QAnon wants you to believe it is, but is definitely not, and what’s the harm in believing in such misinformation.

What is adrenochrome?Adrenochrome is a chemical that’s a byproduct of adrenaline. That’s it. It turns out you don’t need to kidnap children and drain their blood. There are many trusted chemical suppliers, in fact—which we won't be linking to, sorry—that sell it.

Back in the '50s, scientists speculated that adrenochrome caused schizophrenia. Take a megadose of vitamin C, one researcher concluded, and adrenochrome along with schizophrenia should vanish. That...didn’t work, alas.

But the lack of real science didn’t stop adrenochrome from sounding cool enough to make it into drug lit classics like Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception and Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange.

The source of the myth that you need to steal adrenochrome from a corpse goes back to a fun scene in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, in which Dr. Gonzo, Hunter S. Thompson’s “attorney,” says adrenochrome “makes pure mescaline seem like ginger beer." Later, it is explained that “there's only one source for this stuff—the adrenaline gland from a living human body.” It’s an easy mistake to make, but please know that Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is not a documentary feature made from archival footage of actual events.

What does QAnon think adrenochrome is?In short, QAnon followers believe there is an operative in the deep state called Q, and Q leaves secret messages called “Q drops.” Some think that Q is none other than JFK, Jr., who is very much alive today and was supposed to October Surprise us as Trump’s running mate. (He did not.)

“A central conspiracy theory circulating within the QAnon movement is that deep state Satan-worshipping pedophilic liberals are behind an international child sex trafficking ring,” says Joseph Pierre, the acting chief of mental health community care systems at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. “A more fringe aspect of that theory is that they are harvesting adrenochrome from children and then self-administering it as a kind of fountain-of-youth potion.”

To hear it in their own words, as reported by Right Wing Watch, the conspiracy theorist Liz Crokin says in a video, “Adrenochrome is a drug that the elites love. It comes from children. The drug is extracted from the pituitary gland of tortured children. It’s sold on the black market. It’s the drug of the elites. It is their favorite drug.”

Other QAnon conspiracy theorists, which again we are not going to promote by linking to here, use adrenochrome to explain why there are so many missing children worldwide. They also claim that Hillary Clinton and former aide Huma Abedin were caught on tape ripping off a child’s face, wearing it as a mask, and drinking the child’s blood to obtain adrenochrome. (Yes, really.)

Why does it matter that anyone believes this conspiracy is real?There’s an old saying that you should never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity, but in the case of QAnon, their conspiracy theories are a generous helping of both. “QAnon is tapping into both conservative mistrust of liberals as well as the ubiquity of misinformation out there,” Pierre says.

What’s different about QAnon is that the conspiracy theory is targeting the party that is not in power. “What’s weird is that these kinds of right-wing conspiracy theories more typically arise when a Democrat is in the White House—as in, for example, the militia movement of the 1990s, which faded in influence once George W Bush was elected,” says Mark Fenster, professor of law at UF and author of Conspiracy Theories: Secrecy and Power in American Culture.

Believing that liberal elites are drinking dead child blood instead of just going to Oregon for shrooms may seem outrageous, but for some it is just one piece in a big puzzle that they are solving with their friends to take down the people they hate.

“Conspiracy theories can be like drugs,” says Brian Houston, director of the Disaster and Community Crisis Center at the University of Missouri. “If they are doing something for you psychologically, you often need more and more of that to get your fix. So the conspiracy theories just get crazier and crazier.”

The problem is that belief in something like adrenochrome and Q can translate into action, or inaction. “Belief in misinformation, and more importantly acting on misinformation, always carries a potential of danger. When it comes to misinformation in the form of conspiracy theories, that danger might be avoiding vaccination, leading to outbreaks of measles, or failure to contain COVID-19,” says Pierre.

“The extremism of QAnon means that violence is always possible. Pizzagate illustrated that,” adds Houston, referencing a man shooting, and thank God not killing anyone, inside a Washington, D.C., pizzeria because he believed there was a child sex ring operating there.

But there’s an even more common danger to people believing in conspiracy theories like adrenochrome harvesting and hunting the internet for Q drops, Pierre says.

“People who fall down the rabbit hole of QAnon are usually neglecting their real lives, jobs, social relationships in favor of spending hours and hours on the internet, working themselves into a kind of self-radicalizing frenzy about the state of the world that isn’t congruent with reality.”

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (22526)11/27/2020 12:18:41 PM
From: Brumar89
   of 24415
Trump declares Twitter a national security threat after #DiaperDon trends following meltdown at miniature table

“Maybe if you behave yourself, stop lying to undermine a fair election & start thinking of what's good for the country instead of whining about how unfairly you are treated, you'll be invited to sit at the big boy's table #DiaperDon”

Mark Hamill

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (22527)11/27/2020 12:39:37 PM
From: Brumar89
   of 24415
Dominion Voting Systems Says Sidney Powell’s ‘Bizarre’ and ‘False’ Fraud Claims Have Led to Death Threats and Other Crimes
. . . ..

Dominion said it has reported threats to law enforcement and plans to hold attorney Sidney Powell personally responsible if any of the company’s staff is harmed.

The Trump campaign distanced itself from Powell just eight days after the president praised her on Twitter. Reportedly too unhinged even for a legal team led by Rudy Giuliani—who had hair dye streaming down his face at a press conference—Powell has bandied about multiple iterations of a lawsuit challenging the now-certified results of Georgia’s presidential election. The first and seemingly very rough version was riddled with errors, starting with the caption, which twice misspelled the Northern District of Georgia as “DISTRICCT” and “DISTRCOICT.” A second and better-proofread one has been uploaded on the internet, and it remains unclear which version was filed. (Powell also filed a case in Michigan.)

Typos were the least of the complaint’s problems, rehashing near-hallucinogenic claims somehow roping in dead Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez in an elaborate plot to tip the election in President-elect Joe Biden’s favor.

Calling Powell’s allegations “bizarre” and “baseless,” Dominion affirmed that it never operated in Venezuela—though other election companies have.

Dominion said that the Powell alleges a conspiracy that is “baseless, senseless, physically impossible, and unsupported by any evidence whatsoever”—and is, indeed, contradicted by the handcounts and audits now conducted by election workers in Georgia multiple times.

“Every vote from a Dominion device in Georgia is documented on an auditable paper trail and creates a verifiable paper ballot available for hand-counting,” the company noted. “In fact, the Georgia handcounts, independent audits, and machine tests have all repeatedly affirmed that the machine counts were accurate.”

The FBI’s field office in Denver, where Dominion has its U.S. headquarters, did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment. Neither did the Denver Police Department.

The Northern District of Georgia, where Powell said she would be filing her lawsuit, is the same jurisdiction where a Trump-appointed judge torched other pro-Trump election claims made by QAnon-slogan-spouting lawyer Lin Wood.

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (22528)11/27/2020 12:43:22 PM
From: Brumar89
1 Recommendation   of 24415
In defense of incrementalism: A call for radical realism

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We are living through a moment of deep frustration with the status quo in the United States. In 2020, as in 2016, millions of Americans happily pulled the lever for a presidential candidate whose central promise was one of disruption. President Trump made this explicit in his sales pitch to Black voters: “What do you have to lose? It can’t get any worse.”

Although Trump has been defeated at the ballot box, the dissatisfaction that helped propel his rise is still with us. This is true in both red and blue America. Across a wide range of subjects — immigration, industrial policy, education and others — a commensurately wide range of thinkers and activists has come to the same conclusion: radical change is necessary. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) captured the spirit of our times when he declared, “Incremental change is not enough.”

Both Trump and Sanders have a point. Our country consistently has fallen short of realizing its highest ideals. This includes failures across multiple fronts — racial injustice, economic inequality, sustainability, gerrymandering and many more besides.

So, the need to change the status quo is real. This does not mean, however, that there is broad public support for dramatic shifts in policy. According to data scientist David Shor, “The median voter is 50 years old and has a mortgage, and doesn’t have a ton of appetite for radical change.” Political decision-makers deny this reality at their own peril.

Instead of bold schemes and utopian dreams, what we need now to start changing the status quo is to exchange radical idealism for radical realism. This realism should be rooted in four key values:

Honesty: Many advocates are professionally incentivized to overstate the problems they are trying to address. No matter what the most impassioned critics of American racial injustice may claim, we are not living in 1619 any more. Across numerous indices, the lives of Black Americans have improved dramatically. Despite Trump’s claims of “American carnage,” crime rates in the United States have gone down dramatically since the 1970s. Social media has only exacerbated the human tendency toward over-dramatization. Even as we critique America’s flaws, we must acknowledge its progress. We must beware the hype on both the left and the right.

Humility: Many op-eds can be boiled down to a simple argument: “We know what works and the only problem is that we lack the political will to implement these solutions.” But, with rare exceptions, this line of argumentation is misleading. The truth is that we do not know how to solve problems such as poverty, oppression and violence — if we did, we would have done it by now. It is estimated that over 100 billion people have lived on our planet. A great many of them were not stupid or racist or indifferent to the suffering of others. Indeed, some were geniuses who sought to make the world a better place. They did not achieve complete victory for the simple reason that the world does not easily conform to our dreams and desires, however noble they may be. Too many things get in the way, including bad luck and our propensity for self-sabotage through error, avarice or other means. For all of these reasons, humility must guide our approach to solving social problems.

Complexity: Reformers must be mindful of the law of unintended consequences. In the real world, any intervention is likely to create unanticipated effects, and these unintended effects are often negative. For example, Prohibition sought to reduce the manifold harms caused by alcohol abuse. But it led to an unexpected rise in organized crime and had to be repealed. Our communities are complicated ecosystems that involve a multitude of moving parts. We need to ground reform efforts in the complexity of human behavior and develop remedies that are as nuanced as the problems they seek to address.

Respect: While there is much we cannot predict, it is safe to assume that in our current political climate, almost every action we take will generate a strong counter-reaction. For example, the passage of ObamaCare helped give rise to the Tea Party. We live in a divided nation that tends to view policy debates as a zero-sum game: You win, I lose. Given this reality, any radical change is almost guaranteed to engender significant backlash. The concerns of nearly 74 million Trump voters cannot just be waved away. The same is true for Sanders’ supporters. Unless we are bent on dissolution, we cannot just force change down the throats of millions of Americans who strenuously object to, say, defunding the police or building a wall along our southern border. We must respect the views of our ideological opponents and work to incorporate their perspectives into any meaningful reform agenda.

All of this adds up to a decidedly unsexy conclusion: No matter what kind of change you favor, incrementalism is the only way forward.

Joe Biden’s administration will face many difficult challenges. In charting a path forward, the president-elect and his team would do well to acknowledge the difficulty of achieving radical change and avoid overpromising. They should also avoid the kinds of extreme policy shifts that will lead to unpredictable consequences and alienate huge swaths of the country. Only by embracing incremental change, rooted in radical realism, can Biden begin the process of reunifying the country and restoring public trust in government.

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