November 5, 2022

Christian Nationalism: This would be some weird snake-handling cult shit but it is dangerous in a far worse way

Snake handling at the Church of God with Signs Following at Lejunior in Harlan County, Kentucky, 15 September 1946 (NARA). Photo by Russell Lee

Christian Nationalism: This would be some weird snake-handling cult shit but it is dangerous in a far worse way

 by Hal Brown

Last light as I was about to go to sleep I was listening to an NPR show about Christian Nationalism and they described a woman whose fairly large cult believed if they could get enough people to march seven times (the number appears several times in the Bible) around state capitol buildings God would destroy them. I couldn't find find a reference on the Internet so I asked in a comment to the HUFFPOST article below and got my answer in a half hour. It's The Jericho March, described here on Wikipedia. Of course they have a website. Either wittingly or unwittingly they ended up with the same name as a group that was trying to do a good thing.

Then I came across a couple of articles which went even further into how beyond the "mere" notion that America had to be a Christian nation  this had become. Everyone is welcome in the Christian Nationalism group no matter how deranged their beliefs are. This includes QAnon believers. Among those attending the tour event were fans of InfoWars and of Tucker Carlson.

Of course believing that God will kill, literally kill, a group of people that all happen to be enemies of Donald Trump is just a lunatic belief.

Aside from Christopher Mathias who wrote the HUFFPOST article I think you can be quite sure that unless another journalist snuck in everyone there was full-on Trump cult MAGA.

I read this and learned more about the fringes of Christian Nationalism:


This article is about Doug Mastriano's appearance at a Great Reawakening Tour event. There's a lot to unpack about the movement in the article aside from the fact that he is associating himself with these people. 

Excepts:

  • The “Seven Mountains Mandate” is at the core of the New Apostolic Reformation. This relatively new evangelical movement believes in miracles, the supernatural, and the existence of modern-day apostles and prophets. It’s a movement characterized by Christian dominionism, the belief that Christians must gain control of the “seven mountains” of societal influence to form a perfect world. Only then, the prophecy goes, can Christ return to Earth.
  • They are sometimes violent too, like her prophecy that God — any minute now — is going to strike down Democratic politicians “for their planned pandemic, shortages, inflation, mandates and for stealing an election.” She has also falsely alleged that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “loves to drink the little children’s blood” and that the federal government is performing “human sacrifices.”
  • From a speaker at the conference Julie Green: “Says God, ‘you can’t stop my son, who is the rightful president, and his name is President Donald Trump…” she said, as the crowd broke into hysterical cheers. “He is on his way back, and how he takes his position back on center stage, you will never see that coming because you won’t see me coming. And I am with him.’” Green said that Trump’s return to the White House might happen before 2024. “God said he can take this country back in unconventional ways. He doesn’t need an election to do it,” she added.
  • When you peel away all the “genuinely batshit crazy prophetic aspects,” LeCaque (a professor of history) explained, QAnon at its core is a “mass murder fantasy” about the coming “storm” when all of the MAGA movement’s enemies will be arrested and lynched.



Above: A woman at the Great ReAwakening event shows off a shirt mapping out underground tunnels across the U.S. where she believes the Illuminati are harvesting children's blood.

Eric Trump also was a featured speaker at this event, in fact I suppose you could say so was his father because he put a phone call with him on his speaker phone. There's a HUFFPOST article complete with a video about this.





Here's a hit list of people marked for death by the end of the year. I suppose it's for God, no make that the Angel of Death no doubt on orders from God. It was promoted at a the tour event: 

We know from what motivates people to commit acts of violence is often an idea supported by a fringe group and they can be prompted to acts because they think it will make them a hero or feeds into their paranoid delusions, or both. Would anyone be surprised if someone follows  David DePape's example and tries to kill one of the people shown above?

All this makes the Christian groups who believe handling deadly snakes to prove that God will protect them look downright sane.





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November 4, 2022

Mired in Muskland - 7 - Elon creates poll for trolls

 Mired in Muskland - 7 - Elon creates poll for trolls

By Hal Brown

Look, Elon made a poll for us.



The poll Elon Musk posted was supposed to influence advertisers. Really?  Unless this is an example of Musk's warped sense of humor this is a lousy poll. For someone so smart he demonstrates that he can be not so smart in certain areas. One of them is how to construct a poll.

Do reputable advertisers really want to focus their ads on members of the group who checked the second options instead of the first?

Of course phrasing the choice as being between freedom of speech and political correctness is the height of a slanted choice of terms. 

Musk has no way of knowing who checked the second choice. Some, perhaps most, of them could be trolls who get a thrill be being provocative.



Previous comics






November 3, 2022

The Humpty Dumpty Trumpty Republican Party

 The Humpty Dumpty Trumpty Republican Party, 

with due credit to Mother Goose and Lewis Carroll

by Hal Brown

Click above enlarge image
Read all of Chapter Six here.

More of the above excerpt:

And only one for birthday presents, you know. There's glory for you!'

'I don't know what you mean by "glory",' Alice said.

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. 'Of course you don't — till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'

'But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument",' Alice objected.

'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'

'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master — that's all.'


If you don't recall the final demise for Humpty, here it is:

'I shouldn't know you again if we did meet,' Humpty Dumpty replied in a discontented tone, giving her one of his fingers to shake: 'you're so exactly like other people.'

'The face is what one goes by, generally,' Alice remarked in a thoughtful tone.

'That's just what I complain of,' said Humpty Dumpty. 'Your face is the same as everybody has — the two eyes, so —' (marking their places in the air with his thumb) 'nose in the middle, mouth under. It's always the same. Now if you had the two eyes on the same side of the nose, for instance — or the mouth at the top — that would be some help.'

'It wouldn't look nice,' Alice objected. But Humpty Dumpty only shut his eyes, and said 'Wait till you've tried.'

Alice waited a minute to see if he would speak again, but, as he never opened his eyes or took any further notice of her, she said 'Good-bye!' once more, and, getting no answer to this, she quietly walked away: but she couldn't help saying to herself, as she went, 'of all the unsatisfactory —' (she repeated this aloud, as it was a great comfort to have such a long word to say) 'of all the unsatisfactory people I ever met —' She never finished the sentence, for at this moment a heavy crash shook the forest from end to end.

Indeed the crash shook the forest from end to end. Democracy and truth loving Americans can only hope for such a story tale ending to befall (pun intended) Trump and his MAGA Republicans including all the Tweedledees and TweedleDums who like, in "Thorough the Looking Glass," never contradict each other, even when one of them, according to the rhyme, "agrees to have a battle". Rather, they complement each other's words.

Look closely, it does say MAGA on their caps.

Of course we have quite a few of these:

Don't get me going on who the Queen of Hearts would be. Hint: He screams a lot.



I'm not the first to compare the United States under Trump and his cult to being something even Lewis Carroll might have had trouble believing could happen in real life in his own England or the fledgling democracy across the ocean which had fought a civil war during his lifetime and was becoming one of the world's greatest democracies when he died in 1898. (He wrote Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in 1865) and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass in1871.)

Mired in Muskland - 6 - Whither Trump

 Mired in Muskland - 6

Whither Trump?

by Hal Brown


There is a general consensus that once the election in over Elon Musk will allow Donald Trump to tweet on Twitter again. While I expect the prognosticators are correct in this I am not sure Trump will necessarily start tweeting again even if Musk approves this for several reasons.

One is that he is a man who is loathe to appear to beg for anything, let alone accept something whicht he knows will be perceived in his MAGA base as his currying favor with the richest man in the world.

In their collective cultish mind this will be viewed as Musk winning and Trump losing.

Another is that if he goes back to tweeting it would be an admission that his Truth Social website failed to make a dent in the social media world. It would be tantamount to saying he was wrong and we know this is something Trump never does.

Trump wants to control all aspects of his messaging and he can only do that on Truth Social. While it doesn't get many clicks when he posts something outrageous or newsworthy there the media is likely to republish it.

For example this made the news yesterday:

Clicking above will engage but not go to Truth Social

A mere 4,300 people sent it on and 16,967 gave it a heart but journalists picked it up.

Yet an additional reason he'd eschew tweeting, perhaps a primary one, and stay on Truth Social is that he can generate revenue from the platform in the form of donations.

No doubt he or his tech savvy crew are following who the Truth Social readers are and they know they are hard-core MAGAs and susceptible to his grift. They must have a way of tracking where the donations came from.

Click here to read the statistica Truth Social Statistics

Meanwhile for those who don't look at Elon's tweets, here's some of what he's been up to:

Yes Elon, we know you know about neurons. As far as scientists have been able to determine a single neuron in an instant of time is not self-aware but linked to other neurons in the brain we have a functioning mind. 
  • The total number of neurons in the brain of a human is around a hundred billion. I don't think you can double this for Musk just based on his personal worth.



 Is Twitter like a neuron having billions of some kind of interactions over time making Twitter being a collective cybernetic super-intelligence?

Elon is super-intelligent. He may be able to develop Twitter into a collective cybernetic super-intelligence. The concern I have, along with many others, is who will program ethics, morality, truth, and common decency into the cybernetic super-intelligence. I don't think he can depend on the so-called collective to do this.



I found the AOC sweatshirt on her website here. He encircled the cost. As far as cotton sweatshirts go $58 may seem excessive, but I assume part of the profit goes to her campaign in some way or another. Consider that The Trump store charges a whopping $185:
So why did Elon use AOC instead of Trump?

Notice he didn't use this from her mech store which is also $58.




Maybe Musk will set his own example and sell some more reasonably priced Twitter merchandise at a discount for those who subscribe and throw in a free t-shirt if your sign up for a year.


Elon makes a good point. Twitter may be the most interesting place on the Internet. You are reading the tweets because you elected to read my blog but possibly don't ever go to Twitter since I don't put links to it here.

He may be revealing more about himself in the tweet about hw interesting Twitter is. He was managed to make himself in around a week to be the most interesting person on the Internet unceremoniously taking the position from Donald Trump who I found interesting because he is the poster child for malignant sociopathic narcissism.

As a therapist I have been intrigued by Musk whose narcissism may be indicative of his having a narcissistic personality disorder but crucially without the sociopathy we see in Trump.

  • Grandiosity with expectations of superior treatment from other people
  • Fixated on fantasies of power, success, intelligence, attractiveness, etc.
  • Self-perception of being unique, superior, and associated with high-status people and institutions
  • Needing continual admiration from others
  • Sense of entitlement to special treatment and to obedience from others
  • Exploitative of others to achieve personal gain
  • Unwilling to empathize with the feelings, wishes, and needs of other people
  • Intensely envious of others, and the belief that others are equally envious of them
  • Pompous and arrogant demeanor

I wondered if he made the cartoon faces himself thinking he might have a talent as a cartoonist. I did a Google Image search and discovered were he found them.
Click to enlarge


About me

November 2, 2022

Mired in Muskland - 5

 Mired in Muskland - 5

By Hal Brown

click each image below to enlarge






Reported on TechCrunch (below) and being discussed on Morning Joe as I composed this edition.
Joe said we are seeing him unwind on Twitter before our eyes. Is Musk unwinding, frequently in red tie via his tweets, before our eyes? It is hard to say unless we define "unwinding" exactly. There are times he is impulsive but that doesn't mean he is losing control. 

What caught my eye wasn't Musk explaining via tweets the idea of charging $8 a month for extras, hell, I might even pay it. 

This didn't strike me as unexpected. What "caught my eye" was his tweet saying that Twitter speaks to the inner masochist in all of us. 

He verged from floating a business idea to bringing in the idea of saying all complainers should keep complaining (at a fee of $8 a month) perhaps dare I say as if he enjoyed reading them, to an hour later tweeting his inner masochist tweet.

Most people throw around the term masochism more or less accurately. Here's how The Britannica defines it:

Masochism, psychosexual disorder in which eroticrelease is achieved through having pain inflicted on oneself. The term derives from the name of Chevalier Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, an Austrian who wrote extensively about the satisfaction he gained by being beaten and subjugated. The amount of pain involved can vary from ritual humiliation with little violence to severe whipping or beating; generally the masochist retains some control over the situation and will end the abusive behaviour before becoming seriously injured. While pain may cause a certain amount of sexual excitement in many persons, for the masochist it becomes the chief end of sexual activity. The term is frequently used in a looser social context in which masochism is defined as the behaviour of one who seeks out and enjoys situations of humiliation or abuse.


Masochism as an isolated trait is fairly rare. More commonly, the association of pain with sexual pleasure takes the form of both masochism and sadism (q.v.), the obtaining of sexual pleasure through inflicting pain on others. Often, an individual will alternate roles, becoming aroused through the experience of pain in one instance and through the infliction of pain in another.

This is from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • 1) noun The deriving of sexual gratification, or the tendency to derive sexual gratification, from being physically or emotionally abused.
  • 2) noun The deriving of pleasure, or the tendency to derive pleasure, from being humiliated or mistreated, either by another or by oneself.
  • 3) noun A willingness or tendency to subject oneself to unpleasant or trying experiences.
I'd have to literally be Elon's therapist to know whether definition one, above, applies to him, but wonder about numbers two and three. It is better I'm not his shrink since if I was doctor-patient confidentiality would apply.

Update:

I know some people, ordinary Twitterers, even those who never tweeted, have gone off the platform. Not me. In fact, I just Followed Musk. 


Musk is engaging back and forth with a number of tweeters today. For example the tweets below. Clicking will enlarge but not go to Twitter.








Recent blog editions

November 1, 2022

Mired in Muskland, Edition 4

 

Mired in Muskland
Edition 4
by Hal Brown

If you liked 4 you'll like 5, maybe


Scroll down for

There is no longer a "We the People of The United States"


Click above to enlarge.


Getting Ye back on Twitter would bring along his zillions of followers but it would also benefit him because  a sequel "Watch the Throne 2" album has just been announced.
This is Musk's new personal Twitter page illustration. Gone is his photo of carrying a sink into headquarters.


Note he has dubbed himself Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator. I assume this is a reference to him as a child on a toy telephone. I give him credit for his attempts at humor though they sometimes fail dismally. "If at first you don't succeed," I'd tell him, "learn from what went wrong and try try again." As far as I know there is no Twitter hotline though if he wants to share his number with me that's fine. He has a photo tweeted from Halloween: