Avoiding Facebook’s Toxic Suggestions

I feel the need to check Facebook periodically because of some pages that I help maintain and some family and friends who I want to check up on. Because FB is addictive, I usually end up mindlessly scrolling for a minute or two.

But that mindless scrolling usually stops after I see a couple of posts labeled “Suggested for you” with click-bait memes linking to pages that glorify conspiracy theorists or promote toxic anti-woke right wing pages. Instead of taking the bait (and it’s sometimes very hard not to), I close out Facebook for the rest of the day and edge closer to the day I won’t open it up again

Don’t Kill Democracy Over Lies

If Republicans win as a result of the 2022 elections, they will weaken our democracy by removing laws that make it easier to vote, and election officials in several local and state governments will overturn election results that they don’t like.

This may not be be the irreversible dystopian nightmare that some of us envision – or it may – but either way it won’t be good. We will have lost decades of progress in American democracy. This is what some of our fellow Americans want.

Others will have let it happen because we fell for lies.

The biggest lie driving people away from Democrats is about inflation. The truth is, the United States is handling inflation better than most.

As explained in the video I embedded below, the united states is “in the middle” compared to other nations regarding inflation. But the video doesn’t emphasize (though it does mention) that even compared to those nations that have lower inflation, the U.S. economy is still stronger because of other factors, like jobs.

Assistance provided by the American Rescue Plan helped the U.S. economy. As David Lynch writes:

More than 8 million Americans who were jobless in March 2021 are now working. The economy last year posted its fastest growth since 1984 and ended the year more than 3 percent larger than before the pandemic.

David C Lynch, Washington Post, October 9th, 2022

Other lies being told by the right are the vicious culture war lies. What the right wing is calling “CRT” and accusing public schools of teaching is merely the truth about racism in the United States, and nobody is trying to indoctrinate your kids to be gay or trans.

And of course, there’s the big lie about stolen elections. A lie refuted by several Republican politicians and election officials, including more than sixty federal judges, some of the them Trump appointees, who shot down the suite of lawsuits known as “the Kraken”

The people who shouted “do your own research” while promoting dis-proven Covid-19 cures now want to make sure you don’t research global inflation rates, what’s actually being taught in public schools, and the thousands of lies told by Donald Trump and Republicans who support him.

Our elections where never completely free and fair, but we had been making progress. That’s what Republicans are trying to kill. Don’t let them do it because you feel for a bunch of lies. Vote Democrat

A Tweet Thread about Musk’s Free Speech Hypocrisy

Below is the text of a tweet thread by @JoshuaPHilll. I put it here so you don’t have to go to Twitter if you don’t want to, but you do want to, you can use the link in the previous sentence.

Elon Musk is again claiming that he’s all about free speech. So let’s look at the record. Here’s thread with just a few of the countless examples showing he couldn’t care about it less

1. There’s the time he called Vernon Unsworth, the man who helped rescue 12 boys trapped in a mine in Thailand, a “pedo guy” and paid $50,000 to an investigator to dig up Unsworth’s life. Why? Because Unsworth called his failed attempt help the boys himself a “PR stunt.”

2. Then there’s the story of John Bernal, who was fired six days after posting a YouTube video of a Tesla accident.

3. Then, there’s Martin Tripp, a technician at a Tesla plant in Nevada who blew the whistle on the company. Musk allegedly hired people to hack and spy on Tripp after he cast doubts on Tesla’s environmental credentials.

4. Musk also is anti free-speech when it comes to labor organizing. Tesla worker Richard Ortiz was fired for trying to organize with the United Auto Workers, a move that was declared illegal by a labor board.

5. Then there’s the time Tesla asked China to censor comments that were critical of the company.

6. There’s also the time Musk tried to out an anonymous Tesla critic, and skeptical investor who goes by “Montana Skeptic” to their employer.

7. He also has tried to use Twitter itself to suppress worker speech and organizing, a move deemed illegal by the NLRB

8. I wrote about this back when his Twitter bullshit saga started, and of course there’s more in the articles linked above as well. And many more stories out there, but for anyone who believes that this is about him loving free speech, please dig deeper.

Some kind of WordPress glitch

The three or four people who ever see this blog may have noticed something glitchy with the past couple of posts. The image for the Republican post didn’t display so I deleted the image and re-uploaded it, but it still didn’t work so I deleted the post and re-wrote it. But now there are two near-duplicate posts and for some reason, I can’t delete one.

Not only that, but the image from the post I made earlier disappeared so I reloaded that image.

I never knew WordPress to be glitchy before.

Unthinkable by Jaime Raskin

I just read Jamie Raskin’s book, Unthinkable. The book is about the attempt to hold Donald Trump accountable for his incitement to insurrection, and about Jamie Raskin’s son, Tommy. Tommy was a visionary who lost his fight with clinical depression while in his second year at Harvard.  He committed suicide on December 31st 2020, one week before the insurrection.  

The cliche, “too good for this world” came to my mind while reading about Tommy Raskin, but Tommy wasn’t the reason I read the book.

The book details the evidence for, legal arguments about, and purpose of trying to hold Trump accountable. The evidence is clear, the legal arguments were sound, and the purpose was to prevent the destruction of our democracy by Donald Trump, his delusional followers, and cowardly politicians who would rather ride the coattails of a populist than risk their careers to stand up for the truth.

I recommend the book for anyone who has slipped into numbness and defeatism after January 6th.  This book is about fighting for what’s right even while dealing with tragedy, and it’s about maintaining hope even when danger looms.    

Inflation is Global. Democrats are Helping Americans Get Through It

Inflation is all over the world but in the United States, inflation is lower than in Europe and several other nations, and we have better employment rates.

Republicans want you to believe that inflation is caused by the policies which softened the impact here. They’re not completely wrong and spending is a factor. But we know what is causing inflation: People getting back to work after the pandemic and Russia’s illegal war, which is affecting global energy and food supplies.

And while U.S. spending contributed to inflation, inflation is still lower in the U.S. than several other developed nations, and the benefits outweighed the cost. As noted by David Lynch writing for the Washington Post:

Indeed, in the 18 months since the rescue plan was signed into law, the economic landscape has been transformed. More than 8 million Americans who were jobless in March 2021 are now working. The economy last year posted its fastest growth since 1984 and ended the year more than 3 percent larger than before the pandemic.

What would Republicans have us do? Just last week, the United Kingdom almost destroyed their economy by doing what Republicans would: Lowering taxes for the wealthy.

You have to go back to Ronald Reagan to find a Republican president who left the economy in better shape at the end of his term than it was at the beginning, and Reagan tripled the national deficit with massive borrowing and spending.

Times are hard, but they could be worse. Republicans are having a field day with the pain that Russia and the pandemic are causing us. They hope you’re too lazy to find out how that pain is affecting the world and how the United States is handling it compared to other nations.

“Do your own research” became a catch phrase during the pandemic, but those who chanted it actually wanted you to ignore the facts. Don’t ignore the facts now. Take a look at the causes of inflation and how it’s affecting nations across the globe. You’ll find that Republicans who blame our hardship on Biden are lying, and you’ll probably support and vote for Democratic candidates like Elaine Luria, who are helping us get through it.

Elaine Luria for Congress is the Proven Congressperson for VA-02

Elaine Luria (Elaine Luria for Congress)’s astounding list of accomplishments is like a study in TLDR, So I just highlight a few:

Funding for Eastern Shore 911 and Transportation Projects https://shoredailynews.com/…/luria-announces-funding…/

National Defense Authorization Act priorities for expanding Navy fleet and addressing childcare needs for military families https://luria.house.gov/…/rep-luria-announces-2023-ndaa…

Relief for Veterans Exposed to Burn-Pit Toxins https://www.wavy.com/…/legislation-sails-through…/

See more here: https://elaineforcongress.com/working-for-you/

IMHO Luria’s most admirable quality is her ability to serve on the January 6th Commission while at the same time, working across the political divide to benefit our district and our nation, having been named one of the most bipartisan members of Congress by Georgetown University

Elaine Luria is the proven congressperson who will support our veterans, strengthen our military, and grow our economy by forming coalitions, without backing down on vital issues such as ensuring women’s rights, protecting our environment, and keeping democracy safe from our enemies, domestic and abroad

Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional district, and if we’re smart will continue to do so. Find out what district you’re in at: https://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/ and be sure to click on the “New in 2023” links or you’ll be looking at old districts


The Biggest Cities have Democratic Mayors – Including the Best Biggest Cities

The biggest cities in the United States are run by Democrats. Sixty-two percent are Democratic according to a page in Ballotpedia. And that doesn’t mean thirty-eight percent are Republicans. From my own research I found 64 Democrats, 25 Republicans, and the remainder unknown.

When a big city makes the news for some negative reason, it’s usually a city with a Democratic mayor. Republicans are quick to point that out, although they fail to point out that most of those cities, like Flint or Jackson, have Republican governors.

But it’s not just the biggest cities that are mostly Democratic, it’s the best

Of U.S. News and World Reports 25 Best Places to Live, at least 19 are run by Democrats. Looking at 25 best cities in Niche, I came up with 12 Democratic cities and only three Republicans (a lot of unknown’s on that list). I never heard of Afar before, but their list of best large cities was the first hit my Google search, and that list is overwhelmingly Democratic.

This might be because a city needs infrastructure and services. It’s not good enough to tell residents that they’re on their own and to enjoy the low taxes, even though Republicans rarely meet their low-tax promises as well as they meet their low services promises.

Despite all the anti-Dem commenters who are quick to disparage Democratic leadership when a big city makes the news, it seems to me that Democrats run things pretty well.

Who gets credit for the hoax?

Is COVID-19 a hoax or is it a disease that can be cured with hydroxychloroquine?  or ivermectin?

Why wasn’t Trump treated with hydroxychloroquine when he got COVID-19?

Is it no worse than the flu or is it a deadly Chinese bio-weapon for which Dr. Fauci has the blood of millions on his hands?

If the vaccine is a hoax but Donald Trump’s Warp Speed program should get credit for it, does Donald Trump get credit for the hoax?

If the vaccine is not a hoax and Donald Trump’s Warp Speed program should get credit for it, does it matter that Pfizer, the first company to produce a vaccine, refused Warp Speed money so they wouldn’t be constrained by Warp Speed rules?

Why are both Donald Trump and Joe Biden vaccinated?  Is there anything else they agree about?