Post-Quarantine: Day 172

What’s new? More protesting, more rioting, more violence, more deaths, more dishonest political pandering, and more propaganda. There must be an election around the corner or something.

We’re about 2 months away from the 2020 elections, and we’re entering the desperate, last-minute, Hail Mary pass phase of U.S. politics. I touched on this a little in my last post, but I’m going to go a little more in-depth with this one.

As previously stated, the Democratic establishment seemed to be banking on capitalizing on Covid fears to wrangle votes, while the Republicans were sticking to the tactic of stirring up fear from the violence occurring in mainly Democrat-run cities. Of these two tactics, it seems things ended up working out more in favor for the Republicans. Kamala Harris, who has spent the last 3 months on twitter sticking to the topics of Covid and the USPS ordeal, finally tweeted this out:

She literally hasn’t said a peep about the ongoing violence for at least the last 3 months. I scoured her twitter before writing this to check. It seems either a) she wasn’t aware this was going on, or b) the Democrats were intentionally avoiding this topic until now. She isn’t stupid, there’s no way she’s this out of touch, so one can only assume the Democrats were just ignoring this problem for whatever reason. Keep in mind, this has been going on for months, and the death toll from these riots is currently over 30.

My guess would be that Trump’s constant focus on the riot violence was having a more successful impact in the polls than the constant focus on Covid that Biden and Harris were pushing. It feels like most people have essentially moved on with their lives, and learned to live with Covid. They aren’t subject to the same fears they had months ago before the protests and riots reached fever pitch. The Democrats finally realized they were out of touch by continuing to focus on Covid all these months later, and needed to pivot to a new fear.

All modern politics are driven by fear. Politicians generally don’t run on platforms of change and new ideas, because then they have to follow through with those promises, and politicians tend to fail horribly at actually following through with their campaign promises. Invoking fears of the bad things the other party will bring, while promising to be the antidote to those very fears is far easier. People are inherently tribalist and easily persuaded by these tactics. Obama ran on a platform of not being Bush, then just doubled down on the wars and government spying he claimed to be against once he was in office. To this day, people are still willing to overlook all of this because of political tribalism.

Trump’s focus on the riots was having a greater impact, so now Biden and Harris are finally going to focus on the riots too. The previous tactic had been to either downplay, or outright ignore that they were even happening. Here is how MSNBC and CNN have consistently and quite comedically been downplaying the riots for months:

The ignore and/or deny tactic no longer works in an age where everyone has a smartphone and every event is recorded. The legacy media really needs to enter the 21st century and realize this. People can watch endless videos of carnage all over twitter and youtube, free of any fabricated media narrative. Lying only works when you have complete control over the flow of information, which the media no longer does.

If the Democrats had addressed this violence sooner, instead of pretending it didn’t exist, they’d be in a much better place right now. This tactic is not effective:

Now the game plan has switched to “Acknowledge the rioting, but blame it all on Trump”.

This would be a great point, if not for two major problems: 1) There were a record number of riots during Obama’s presidency, and 2) This completely absolves responsibility from governors and mayors.

According to wikipedia, there were *checks notes* 29 separate riot events during the period where Biden was Vice President. By comparison there have been 8 under Trump so far. I’m sure conservatives blamed those riots on Obama/Biden, but did Biden take responsibility for them? I’d put my money on “doubt it”. He wasn’t to blame though. If a riot breaks out in Miami, the mayor of Miami needs to handle it. If problems arise in Maine, that’s state governor is in charge. We have mayors and governors for a reason. Biden has been in government for 45 years. He’s well aware of all this.

If there have been 90 days of rioting going on in a city, that mayor is to blame for not being able to handle that issue. That mayor can request federal assistance, at which point the president comes into play. There’s absolutely no point in having a mayor if they don’t do anything or aren’t responsible for the city they were elected to run. Passing on the blame doesn’t make you a good leader. Just because Trump does it, doesn’t mean you’re justified in doing it.

Yet this is what they’ve continually done. Failed at handling the problem at hand, then pointing the finger at everybody else. A few of these mayors have egged this stuff on, until it showed up in their neighborhoods, at which point they predictably started to take it seriously:

Quite noble to let the poor areas get wrecked, then call in the calvary when the danger gets a little too close to the “off limits” zone where you live.

Here’s quite the “life comes at you fast” moment. Portland mayor Ted Wheeler felt the need showboat with a letter of refusal for federal help:

And this is what happened later that day:

Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey was at this phase back in early June. He downplayed the issues of violence, pandered at every opportunity, and was subsequently booed out of a public square because he wouldn’t agree to abolish the police. This is where he’s at now:

A huge part of the problem here is that nobody has been willing to acknowledge the difference between protests and rioting. Both have been going on for months now. The protests, consisting of the overwhelming majority of people, have largely been peaceful. The riots are being perpetrated by an entirely different group of people. The Democrats have been unwilling to acknowledge this for whatever reason, and the Republicans have capitalized by conflating the two:

I’m sure Kamala Harris was referring to the actual protestors here. The ones gathering, holding signs, chanting, or whatever else. This is not to be confused with the rioters, who go out with the sole intention of destroying property and looting. Kamala, being a cop and all, should definitely know the difference between the two groups. Most of the people offering to bail out protesters, actually mean protesters. Both protesters and rioters were being arrested for different reasons. This tweet is intentionally misleading.

Tweets like the one above are able to be misleading because the other side has done a fabulous job of not condemning the rioting and constantly downplaying it. In his defense, Biden finally spoke up about a month ago, though I’m not sure where this response was posted. He never spoke out on this topic on his twitter account until August 30th.

Perhaps the reason they didn’t condemn this earlier is because the “rioting is good” crowd on the left are quite a vocal bunch. But once again, these types of folks love the concept of rioting until it comes too close to where they live:

these tweets were about 48 hours apart

The pro-riot crowd tends to be overwhelmingly white and middle class. They also tend to hold Marxist, and/or communist beliefs. Absolutely none of them is pro-Biden, so it’s strange that the Democrats or any Democrat voter would parrot these sentiments. Anyone doing so is essentially acting as a useful idiot to broadcast someone’s else’s political beliefs all over social media, and these political beliefs aren’t going to benefit Biden’s campaign.

In the wake of these riots being condemned, I’m also seeing a lot of conspicuous narrative pivoting to blaming the riots on everyone but the ones doing it. It’s like we’ve passed the denial and anger stages, and now we’re sitting firmly in the bargaining stage. The riots aren’t being denied any more, but now we’re trying to cope by blaming them on the family dog. All of a sudden the pro-business, pro-capitalism, evil right wingers are infiltrating cities and destroying stuff, and not these types:

It’s cute that people have the gall to blame the rioting on everyone except the people openly justifying and cheering on the rioting. The irony of that last tweet is that the rioting started over one person, but now has a death toll of over 30. Then we have this guy:

The book being referenced is called In Defense of Looting by “white Marxist academic, Vicky Osterweil”. Yes, more white Marxist kids advocating for the destruction of poor communities. It’s a pattern that just keeps repeating the longer you go digging around. Meanwhile, here’s how actual black people tend to feel about all these kids running around destroying shit:

I also haven’t been able to find any proof of substantive change due to riots. In articles by outlets such as Vox, Bustle, and The Hill, the changes presented tended to be minor concessions that didn’t fix the issues that led to the riots in the first place. Things like “investigations”, people being fired from positions, or police diversity hiring. The fact that we’re more than 25 years removed from the L.A. riots and we’re still stuck in this endless cycle is kind of proof positive that riots haven’t had the payoff people would like to believe.

Unfortunately, studies tend to show that riots ultimately have a net negative effect in their wake:

In the wake of violence and lawlessness, we tend to end up with increased police presence and policies that are more oppressive in nature. It shouldn’t require a study to highlight the logic behind this. If you break into a bank, they don’t decrease security in the aftermath.

Ultimately, policy change is what alters how government works. The ones doing the rioting will claim that only violence brings about change, while simultaneously acknowledge they are attempting to achieve goals like “abolishing the police” via policy change. The difference here, is that they are attempting to meet that goal through violence and intimidation instead of through voting. The actual alternative to policy change is overthrowing the government, which nobody is attempting, or realistically capable of doing.

Of course there are policies being put forth, but nobody seems to care about policy change when it matters. The media doesn’t cover it because it isn’t sensational, and the establishment politicians don’t amplify it because it limits their power, and the problems these polices aim to fix don’t affect them. The rioters don’t care, because it’s more fun to remain politically ignorant, role play as a revolutionary and set mailboxes on fire.

Here’s a bill that was written 3 months ago that has evidently been sitting on the Speaker of the House, aka Pelosi the millionaire mummy’s desk collecting dust:

Everybody’s favorite punching bag Rand Paul was in the news recently for being harassed by a group of our intrepid, yet not terribly informed protestors:

The irony of this is that he introduced the “Justice for Breonna Taylor Act” back in June, so he’s quite familiar with her name, and even knows her family. Might help to educate yourself a little before you start indiscriminately hounding people out in public:

Maybe these goofballs should be swarming Nancy Pelosi and hounding her to bring that qualified immunity bill up for a vote. They probably won’t because it’s highly unlikely any of this is actually about reform of any kind. It feels like most of this is just performative at this point, and will just continue until we get that “regressive backlash” the study above mentioned. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that.

Post-Quarantine: Day 160

So, what’s new? For starters, the official Democratic ticket for the 2020 election will be Joe Biden, with Kamala Harris as his Vice president. Yikes.

Joe Biden can hardly form a full coherent sentence, and Kamala Harris is the police. Sounds like the premise of a really bad buddy cop flick. The Democratic establishment is well aware Biden isn’t cut out to be president, which is why they’ve taken their sweet time choosing his VP. Nobody cared about Biden while he was Obama’s vice president. Like most VP picks, they probably just pulled a name out of a hat. Literally all he did was sniff little kid’s hair. Eight years of hair sniffing. What a solid resume. Even he makes it sound like his VP will end up doing all the work:

Is Kamala Harris going to be leading the nation in January, or are they both going to be leading? The way he’s worded it, makes it sound like it’s going to be a bit of a surprise. One of his handlers more than likely runs his twitter account though, so can’t blame him for that. Biden is so incoherent he makes George W Bush sound eloquent by comparison. Try listening through his full “Corn Pop” speech on youtube. It’s like listening to someone have a stroke for 10 minutes. None of his thoughts are connected, and I’m not even sure what the point of the speech was supposed to be, if there even was one.

Trump isn’t exactly eloquent either, so this should be an entertaining match-up come November. This is assuming the DNC doesn’t try everything in their power to prevent Biden from debating, which is quite likely.

Then we have Kamala Harris. We’re still in the midst of people protesting police overreach, and the Democrats decided to run a vice president who practically wrote the book on police overreach. Interesting tactic to say the least. The bigger media platforms aren’t going to call her on any of this, but luckily random people on the internet are doing their work for them:

This guy’s full thread on twitter outlines about 2 dozen other examples

It’s almost as if the Democrats are so sure they’ll win that they’re just going to pretend these two are progressives and assume people will vote merely on the basis of them not being Trump. Polls already seem to bear this out:

It’s amazing to me that even with candidates that were popular outside of the Democratic establishment (Sanders, Yang, Gabbard) the Blue Mafia decided to push two individuals who are so unpopular that most of their votes in November will come from people who actively dislike them. This tone-deafness is partially why they lost in 2016, and potentially why they will lose again in 2020.

2 months ago I probably would have put money on Trump losing the upcoming election. Since then, I’ve reverted back to being the the fence (I had the 2016 elections at 50/50 for reference). I think the Democrats are largely banking on people voting against Trump due to his less-than-stellar handling of Covid19. They seem to be either downplaying or completely oblivious to the concerns with the lawlessness taking place in cities like Minneapolis, Seattle, and Portland, among others.

Half a billion dollars in damage, and 1,500 damaged or destroyed properties in Minneapolis alone. I wasn’t able to find current information on total damages in Seattle and Portland at this time. The weak argument of “it’s just property” isn’t going to cut it for the people whose livelihoods were ruined via their businesses or homes being destroyed. People pay taxes so that this kind of thing doesn’t happen to them. And let’s be clear: police (government) violence and/or corruption is never an excuse for destroying innocent people’s lives and livelihood. Misdirected hostility is still hostility.

I don’t necessarily believe this mayhem is flipping many into Trump voters, but not everyone affected by this widespread violence and destruction is simply going to hand over a vote for a party that has failed this extravagantly. Many of these people currently have worse concerns than a Coronavirus. The areas worst hit won’t be recovering from this damage any time soon. The repair costs will merely be passed on to the residents who stick around via increased taxes. This burden will be felt way after Covid19 is long gone. This is terrible P.R. for the Democratic party, and these images and videos are being amplified all over social media.

If anything I think the two major parties will have worse voter turnout in total than they did in 2016. People who only read partisan propaganda outlets tend to be grossly uninformed on just how much wiggle room there is in U.S. voting. These two memes do a good job of representing how little of a stranglehold the two main parties actually have:

All of this leads us into the next topic:

USPS conspiracy theories

I love a good conspiracy theory. They’re all over the place on social media. Masks are being used by the government to control us. Every Hollywood actor who voices a political opinion is suddenly a suspected pedophile. Every political candidate someone dislikes is somehow a “Russian asset”, and “Russian meddling” is why candidates they don’t like win elections.

Now we have a host of USPS related conspiracy theories. Evidently Trump is attempting to steal the election by dismantling the post office. Leading up the the 2016 elections, you couldn’t get on social media without stumbling across countless articles about how the election was going to be rigged and how one of the two candidates was going to steal it. It’s almost ingrained in our election culture that the “other side” is going to attempt to steal the vote.

The conspiracy started in part because of Trump tweeting out stupid stuff like this:

That was the tweet that set the ensuing conspiracy theories into motion. The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon took root, and now there was suddenly “proof” of this conspiracy theory everywhere. Have you ever purchased something new and suddenly you’re seeing that item everywhere you go? That’s the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon:

Once people are absolutely convinced that Trump is trying to steal the election by getting rid of the post office, they start seeing “evidence” everywhere, and begin tweeting out stuff like this:

The problem is that neither of these photos have anything whatsoever to do with Trump. That’s 175k cumulative likes on two factually incorrect tweets. Welcome to partisan political twitter, where this kind of thing happens constantly. Now here’s what is actually happening in the above photos:

This is the deal with the locked mailboxes:

Here’s an article from 2016 explaining the same concept:

Here’s one more article from 2016 explaining how the USPS permanently removes mailboxes from time to time:

There’s plenty of evidence disputing the authenticity of all these USPS conspiracies. As of writing this, a new one has cropped up that I haven’t had time to look into yet, involving sorting machines. We’ll see how that one pans out.

Ultimately, the theory that Trump is going to steal the election by crippling the USPS is a bit stupid, mainly because he’d be harming himself most of all. A large portion of his voter base is white and 65 years of age or older. That also happens to be the demographic that votes by mail the most. Whether or not he’s aware of these stats is another story:

Regardless, as for now, I’m gonna have to label this myth: Busted.

In keeping with the Trump news:

The Banning of TikTok

On August 6th, an executive order was passed that would ban the Chinese-owned app TikTok unless it is sold to an American company. TikTok has, in return, filed a lawsuit challenging the order.

Of course, this news immediately led to countless conspiracy theories:

Boomers and 15 year-olds all over the internet started to throw out uninformed hot takes blaming the ban on “Trump being mad”.

The posts from the Independent and “OK BOOMER” refers to Sarah Cooper, who posts funny skits that poke fun at Trump. The post from Mr Farkas refers to an incident wherein TikTok users were alleged to have been the reason for the terrible turn-out at Trump’s June 20th rally in Tulsa Oklahoma. The arena the event was held at ended up only filling up to 1/3 capacity. This was more than likely due to Covid19 fears and bad PR leading up the the event. The overflow area outside of the arena was also sparse, which implies that people just weren’t as interested in the event as was being advertised by Trump himself.

Despite the uproar from teenagers everywhere, this ban didn’t just fall out of the sky. India banned TikTok back in June. In July, Wells Fargo and Amazon banned the app on phones used in their buildings for security reasons. Also in July, Biden’s political campaign instructed staff to delete TikTok. In February of last year the FTC fined TikTok’s parent company ByteDance for “collecting information from minors under the age of 13”. Apparently TikTok continued to violate these regulations:

TikTok has also been accused of curating content in numerous countries, including banning LBGT-positive posts, and posts that are critical of particular governments. Numerous accounts have been banned for calling attention to the human rights of the Uyghurs in China. They also just can’t seem to stop snooping:

TikTok has consistently been a security concern for most of its existence. It isn’t being banned because meany Trump is a poopoo head and mad.

A lot of people in the U.S. have this phenomenal delusion that the president just sits around decreeing things like a king. That’s not the way the government works. There are a massive amount of people who are a part of the government machine. We have a Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Defense, among 6 billion other government departments. The entirety of our government (state and federal) outnumbers the populations of like half the countries on Earth. This isn’t a one-man operation.

It’s quite possible Trump didn’t even know what TikTok was until one of these defense departments brought these security concerns to his attention. People tend to forget that he’s 74 years old, and his background is in real estate, not the tech industry.

I also see this phenomenally bad take a lot:

The argument is essentially that corporations snoop on us and take our information all the time, TikTok is no different, therefore this can’t possibly be a security concern. Not all corporations are the same here.

There is a separation between US companies and the US government. This is not the case in China. 76 of China’s Fortune500 companies are government owned. For comparison, the USPS is the only government owned US company on that same list:

When you give your information to Apple, Microsoft, Google, or any other US company, that company has your information, but the government does not. When you give your information to a Chinese-based company, the Chinese government absolutely has access to any of that information. Their government has access to any information it likes via law:

Private companies in China can’t withhold data from their government the way US companies can and do. Does anybody remember the terrorist attack in San Bernardino in 2015? During the investigation that ensued, the FBI wanted Apple to give them backdoor access to secured data on the shooter’s phone:

Apple said no. Apple, being a U.S. company, didn’t have to comply with the government and give up secured data. The government wanted backdoor access to the iOS, and Apple declined on the principal that doing so would potentially compromise all of their users data. Apple was allowed to put business interests ahead of government demands. No company in China has this luxury.

The Chinese government absolutely has access to information collected by TikTok. The grey area is whether or not the Chinese government has access to this information if it’s stored on US servers. Is the data only stored on U.S. servers, or are copies sent to China? Does China have direct access to the servers to begin with? Only TikTok would know all this information for sure.

Another point people throw out is: “Who cares if the Chinese government has access to my data?”. The U.S. government cares. If someone on a military base is using TikTok, China might obtain access to sensitive data. TikTok can read your phone’s clipboard, meaning anything you copied while using your phone can be collected by the app. What if someone copied an address, or a code of some sort? What if they took a picture of something sensitive? This is why TikTok was banned from military issued phones back in January.

Basically, if you’re using TikTok, you should probably make sure you aren’t hitting control+c on any nudes. Unless you want Xi Jinping to check out your cheeks, then by all means, go for it.

Who The Frick Is K.W. Miller?

Who the frick is K.W. Miller? That’s a great question. Honestly, it probably doesn’t really matter, but I need to write a post about something, and I’m not ready to jump back into Covid19 related stuff yet, so I’m going to write about K.W. Miller.

This fella is running for congress in Florida, and he’s decided to drum up P.R. for himself in a bizarre manner. This P.R. mainly entails throwing out conspiracy theories and making thinly veiled threats towards people via telling them they’re “on notice”. He seems to be employing the brash Trump-esque method of political self-promotion. It’s part politics, part WWE theatrics.

I guess he mainly went unnoticed on twitter until he finally penned his first platinum tweet:

If you’re getting poor traction on twitter, and you’ve exhausted all other measures, going full Alex Jones always seems to do the trick.

I think this is the tweet where he realized that if he’s going to get noticed on twitter, talking about actual policy probably isn’t the way to go. Throw out some saucy tweets about Deep State™ agendas and globalists, and all of a sudden you’re getting retweeted thousands of times. This is how U.S. politics currently works though. Pandering and sensationalism ultimately win out over boring political talk.

I tried to come at this article by grouping his ridiculous tweets into some sort of logical organization, but they’re completely all over the place. His account is almost run exactly like a meme or parody account. This even became a running joke at one point with Tim Heidecker of Tim And Eric™ claiming he was the one behind the account:

The account is currently still up, though K.W. seems to occasionally wipe all his tweets and start fresh with a new batch of ridiculous material. The following tweets are all deleted now as of mid-July, so these are all rare tweets, and might fetch decent money on the tweet black market.

Here are some of his views on masks:

Putting people “on notice” has become his trademark of sorts:

Then the Great Bean Wars™ of 2020 transpired, wherein a company held the wrong political views, and adults suddenly turned into babies. The tribalist idiocy of politicizing inanimate objects to own the other political team returned with a vengeance, not seen since the Keurig Wars™ of 2017 and the Nike Wars™ of both 2018 and 2019. Mr Miller was quick to capitalize on and take part in this stupidity:

He’s also fond of drinking coffee and making the same gender joke over and over:

He randomly spouts off about all sorts of completely unrelated things, often in the same day, mere hours apart. He even calls Florida “the greatest hell scape known to mankind” in one of his tweets, which is an interesting take for someone attempting to win an election there:

It seems like this was his biggest tweet at the time:

The above is a play on this facebook post from 2015 that spawned a bunch of other internet memes, so despite being in his mid-50’s, K.W. Miller is at least slightly in touch with meme culture it seems:

Maybe he’s playing a bit of a character, or is potentially more self-aware than a lot of people seem to be giving him credit for. If so, he’s more than likely tanking his chances of actually winning his election because he keeps going a little to far with certain tweets and receiving backlash. He got heat for this one, and wiped a lot of his tweets shortly after:

Well that’s a hell of a take. He’s probably already taken too much bad P.R. from his twitter shenanigans to stand a chance of winning his election in November, but it is Florida we’re talking about, so maybe he stands a chance.

Good luck, Florida.