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Friday, October 23, 2020

Ichor and Potatoes

 


Episode 13 of The Forge of Tolkien, ICHOR AND POTATOES, is now live on #UATV.

After chanting his verses about Eärendel the Mariner in the Hall of Elrond at Rivendell, Bilbo challenged the Elves to determine which bits he had written and which were written by Aragorn. The question was a trick, as Aragorn only added a bit about a “green stone”, but it was also serious: why should the Elves be able to tell the difference in poetic style between a Hobbit and a Man? 

In this episode, Professor Rachel Fulton Brown explores Tolkien’s use of poetic style as a way into the problem of writing fantasy. Drawing on Ursula K. LeGuin’s advice to aspiring fantasists, she considers the importance of speech in the act of imaginative creation and how style is critical to the composition of Christian literature. Which is better when writing fantasy: ichor or potatoes? A style reaching for the sublime, or a style willing to humble itself even unto Hobbits? 

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The end of the political poll

Another reason to anticipate a Trump victory: when the President wins again, we'll never have to pay any more attention to the pollsters:

Should Trump once again dispatch his Democratic challenger, the polling industry is finished, Republican pollster Frank Luntz told Fox News on Thursday. 

“Well, I hate to acknowledge it, because that’s my industry,” he told Fox anchor Bret Baier. “But the public will have no faith. No confidence. If Donald Trump surprises people… my profession is done.”

Luntz insists that his polling is accurate this time, and that Biden will win. However, undecided voters may be leaning toward Trump. As the two men faced off in the final presidential debate in Tennessee on Thursday night, Luntz organized a focus group of undecided voters. After the showdown, a majority of these voters were leaning toward backing Trump. They described him as “controlled,” “poised,” and “surprisingly presidential,” while Biden was thought of as “vague,” “elusive,” and “defensive.” 

If a Biden-friendly pollster, backed by his latest focus group, is publicly opening the door to a potential Trump victory, the election gurus may not be as confident in their figures as they let on.

FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver is another one of these gurus, and his predictions are taken seriously in Washington. Right now, Silver gives Biden an 87 percent chance of winning. Yet the nation’s premier pollster has also been hedging his bets. On the same day that he bumped Biden’s chances up to 87 percent, Silver took to Twitter to remind his followers that “Trump still does have a nontrivial chance.”

“There’s still some time left,” he continued. “Tipping-point state polls are closer than national polls, sometimes polls are wrong… and mail voting and court disputes create some additional uncertainties.”

The Economist’s G. Elliot Morris is similarly all-in on Biden, giving the Democrat a 92 percent chance of winning on November 3. Morris is confident in his prediction, overly so according to Silver. Yet even though Morris has declared the race “very probably” over for Trump, he couldn’t help but write an article explaining exactly how he may be wrong.

I expect both Luntz and Morris know perfectly well what is going to happen on November 3. Silver is the only one who is dumb enough to insist that his model is right and it is reality that has it wrong. Watch as the polls "unexpectedly" begin to "tighten" between now and then.

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The storehouse of knowledge

 Essays in Idleness observes that the libraries are metaphorically burning:

For a new generation of reactionaries, old printed books can provide a way to preserve the culture and knowledge now being systematically “re-curated” (i.e. censored and physically destroyed) everywhere I look.

But of course I meant small private libraries, that will have to be hidden from public view, and guarded against electronic penetration; not the extravagant starchitectural wonders that pass for “highbrow” among people who never formed the habit of reading.

Too, as in Aldous Huxley, and the age of Homer, we should be memorizing our most treasured works for the dark age to come. Intelligent schooling, even rote learning must, like the Catholic Church, survive underground.

This is one of the reasons we founded Castalia Library. It allows every subscriber to take on the role of those monks who saved so much human knowledge from the rise of the Dark. Given their censorious behavior, do you really believe Google Books and Amazon and other converged institutions aren't going to systematically eradicate those books that they find "problematic" for one reason or another?


UPDATE: Speaking of Castalia Library, the bindery just sent a picture of the test stamping of the Libraria edition of AWAKE IN THE NIGHT LAND.



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All right, we'll call it a draw

I didn't watch the debate last night. But all you have to do is see the mainstream media calling it a draw to know who won:

Biden brought up the former New York City mayor as he lashed out at Trump for not calling out Russia and other foreign powers for election meddling. In turn, Trump claimed Biden had enriched himself with foreign dollars alongside his son.

'I don't make money from China, you do. I don't make money from Ukraine, you do. I don't make money from Russia, you do,' Trump said. The president alluded to Tony Bobulinski, a former business partner to Hunter Biden that Trump brought to the debate as his guest. But it was only a passing mention given the drama Trump's campaign had orchestrated just hours before the clash on stage.

Prior to the debate, Bobulinski addressed White House reporters and claimed he had proof that the former vice president was aware of his son's business dealings with China.

'All of the email, the emails, the horrible emails of the kind of money you were raking in,' Trump said. 'And Joe, you were vice president when some of this was happening. And I think you owe an explanation to the American people, why is it - somebody just had a news conference a little while ago - who was essentially supposed to work with you and your family, but what he said was damning,' Trump continued. 'And regardless of me I think you have to clean it up and talk to the American people. Maybe you can do it right now,' the president added....

Trump also found a way to tie Biden's complaints to his own primary grievance: the Russia probe. After Biden tried to tie the apparent information dumps about his son to Russian election interference, the president scoffed.

'You mean the laptop is now the Russia, Russia, Russia hoax?' Trump asked, incredulously.

'The laptop is Russia, Russia, Russia? You got to be kidding. Here we go with Russia,' he said – taking the issue that most endangered his presidency and brought on the multi-year Mueller probe and turning it on his rival.

Trump found ways to get in many of his favorite digs as the exchange went on and on. He called Hunter's laptop the 'laptop from hell.' He also found ways to put Biden on his heels by asking when he pitched various plans: 'Why didn’t you do it in the eight years' serving with Obama. Biden could only summon a brief answer that only hinted at the GOP opposition he once had to contend with in the House. 'We had a Republican Congress. That’s the answer,' he said, without expanding. 

Even with the personal animosity and charges of corruption, the debate lacked much of the fire of the first encounter in Cleveland, in part due to the technological change with the microphones, and possibly due to deliberate decisions by the candidates to hold some of their impulses in check. But a comparatively calm debate that some analysts were already calling a draw denied Trump the opportunity to reset the race, with Biden leading him by 8 points in the Real Clear Politics polling average. 

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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Say goodbye to Charlie Brown

Better buy the DVD. It looks like Apple is going to vanish A Charlie Brown Christmas.

For many families, Peanuts holiday specials are key markers of the season, but don't expect to watch them this year. After 20 years with ABS, the rights to It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and A Charlie Brown Christmas were acquired by Apple TV Plus.... This will be the first year since 1965 in which Peanuts specials haven't aird free on broadcast TV.

How long do you think it will be before Apple edits out the Bible from the Christmas story? I give it three years. And let's face it, the Thanksgiving special could be offensive to indigenous people and might remind people that being replaced by immigrants is a bad thing, so it will have to go too.


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NPR is just very, very busy

Why haven't you seen any stories from NPR about the NY Post's Hunter Biden story? We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distraction. - Terence Samuels, Managing Editor for News, National Public Radio.

It's just hard to work in the time to cover all the criminal shenanigans of the Biden crime family when you've got to run very important pieces on maple syrup, black cellists in the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, juice-drinking Tik Tok stars, and structural racism in historical Sesame Street episodes.

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Remember, lust is a sin

 


This first Libraria Castalia book is now being belatedly bound in fine Italian goatskin. And yes, that is all genuine 22k gold, it's not just on the spine. The books are going to look absolutely spectacular and they are already sold out. However, there are still some copies of AWAKE IN THE NIGHT LAND and THE DIVINE COMEDY available. They retail for $500, but subscribers can buy one copy each at the subscription price. Both Libraria editions will also be bound soon, along with the Library edition of the Dante.

We're running a little late on the first three Junior Classics hardcovers, so they won't ship before the end of this month but they will be out in plenty of time for Christmas.

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Hunter Biden and his 14-year old relative

The reports about Hunter Biden's hard drive are rapidly going from bad to worse for the Biden crime family:

Approximately one third of the explicit photos of minors in Hunter Biden’s laptop were of the same 14-year-old girl — who is one of his relatives, according a shocking new report. Not only were there inappropriate photos of the child on her own, but Hunter Biden was in some of them with her.

“A source close to the matter, though, who claims to have seen the images on Hunter’s laptop, told Revolver that about one-third of the images are of the same underage girl. Some of the images are topless, while in others she is shown in suggestive positions with Hunter himself,” Revolver News reports.

The Gateway Pundit spoke to another source who said the same thing.

It won't surprise you to learn that /pol/ has already figured out who the girl is. And given that she's attractive, there is no chance that the media is going to be able to keep a lid on the matter once the first pictures leak. 

Considering that Hunter Biden is known to have had an affair with his dead brother's widow, it is readily apparent that the entire family has serious boundary issues.

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Which god is that?

 The Fake Pope declares that the unrepentant are "children of god". By which he apparently means children of his god, the god of this world:

Pope Francis has endorsed same-sex civil unions, saying in a documentary that homosexual people are 'children of God' and that they 'have the right to be in a family'. 

'Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it,' the 83-year-old said in one of his sit-down interviews for the film. 'What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered.'

He added that he 'stood up for that' in an apparent reference to his time as archbishop of Buenos Aires when he opposed legislation to approve same sex marriages but supported some kind of legal protection for the rights of gay couples. The Pope's remarks will come as a shock to millions of Roman Catholics who have long followed the doctrine that gay relationships are sinful and accepted the Church's stand against the worldwide advance of gay rights. 

I'd feel a lot more sorry for Catholics if most Protestant churches weren't exactly in the same boat. The invasion and infestation of the leaderships of the Christian churches around the world is pretty close to complete. 

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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

If you didn't know the polls are fake

 And that pollsters literally work for Democrats, you certainly do now. Now THAT is what is called a smoking gun. Notice that Ryan literally couldn't buy a win from this guy.

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Demoralization Season ends early

The polls are "tightening", as they always do, but a little early this election cycle. Most likely this is because the Hunter Biden scandal cut the legs out from pollsters' intention to "credibly" increasing Joe Biden's lead to an "insurmountable" lead.

Today's Trump vs. Biden poll finds that the race between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden has suddenly gotten much tighter. IBD/TIPP's latest 2020 presidential poll update shows that Republicans are rallying around Trump, Biden is leaking Democratic support, and the gap among independents has narrowed.

The latest IBD/TIPP Trump vs. Biden poll update shows the Democratic challenger leading the Republican incumbent by 2.3 points, 48.1%-45.8%, in a four-way presidential poll of likely voters. Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen has the support of 3%, and Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins 0.9%.

Since the IBD/TIPP 2020 Presidential Election Tracking Poll launched on Monday, Oct. 12, Biden's support has slipped 3.8 points, from 51.9% to a new low-water mark of 48.1%. Trump poll numbers have gone the other way, rising 2.4 points to his new high-water mark of 45.8%. Biden's lead peaked at 8.6 points in the Oct. 13 presidential poll.

Of course, even this fake poll shows Trump and Biden as deadlocked. Jo Jorgenson is much more likely to receive around one percent of the vote than the 3.27 percent that the Johnson/Weld ticket did in 2016. 

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The French fight back

While the French authorities are going to try to crush any French resistance to the Islamic invasion, even the French women are observably becoming militant:

Two Muslim women were 'stabbed repeatedly' under the Eiffel Tower amid rising tensions in Paris after the beheading of a teacher last week. French police have arrested two female suspects after an argument about dogs allegedly descended into violence and racist insults including the words 'Dirty Arabs'. 

One of the Muslim women said the attackers had pulled out a knife after refusing to put their dogs on a leash and slashed her on the skull, arm and ribs. The victims of Sunday's attacks have been identified as French women from an Algerian background named only as Kenza, 49, and Amel, who is a few years younger. 

Those in custody are described as being white women of 'European appearance', who now face 'attempted murder' charges, said city prosecutors after the alleged row about dogs - which are seen as unclean in Islam.

However, the government's attempts to crack down on anti-invader violence are going to backfire, once it becomes clear that merely expressing one's opinion will be met with essentially the same punishment as lethal mass violence. 

Meanwhile, in Great Britain, seven "British" citizens were arrested for attempting to kill a policeman:

Seven Britons were in custody in Paris today in connection with the attempted 'hit and run' murder of a police officer outside the Israeli Embassy in France.

The four men and three women have not been named but are said to be London residents of Pakistani origin, who were travelling in a Mercedes and a BMW with false number plates.Their vehicles were filmed threatening the policeman outside the hugely secure Embassy close to the Champs Elysée on Monday night.

'They suddenly deviated from their direction of travel and rushed towards the officer, who narrowly escaped' said an investigating source.

The lie of civnattery has got to die. The state is not the nation! There is literally no political philosophy, not even communism, that is more intrinsically statist than civic nationalism.

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First you lose the pharmacies

But the decivilizational process won't stop until the toilets no longer function:

The effects of allowing chaos to prevail in liberal run cities across America might not be obvious to liberals now, but when their cities empty out completely, it's going to become crystal clear. Such is the case in San Francisco, where the city's new normal of shoplifting and chaos has driven another Walgreens pharmacy out of the city. 

The move to close the Walgreens at Van Ness and Eddy came after "months of seeing its shelves repeatedly cleaned out by brazen shoplifters", according to the SF Chronicle. The location served "many older people" who lived in the area. 

One customer told the paper: "All of us knew it was coming. Whenever we go in there, they always have problems with shoplifters."

The same customer photographed someone in the store, days prior, "clearing a couple shelves and placing the goods into a backpack". Because when there's no police and politicians are afraid to enforce the law - why not?

The penalty for shoplifting is a "nonviolent misdemeanor" that carries a maximum sentence of 6 months. But in most cases, for simple shoplifting, the criminal is simply released with conditions.

The customer, who lives a block away, said: “I feel sorry for the clerks, they are regularly being verbally assaulted. The clerks say there is nothing they can do. They say Walgreens’ policy is to not get involved. They don’t want anyone getting injured or getting sued, so the guys just keep coming in and taking whatever they want.”

When the Chronicle went to visit the store, they noticed "aisle after aisle of near empty shelves" and said that beauty products seemed to be a favored target. While the Chronicle was in the store, a man with a mask on walked in, emptied two shelves into a bag and walked out the door. 

When they asked a clerk where all the products were, the clerk responded: “Go ask the people in the alleys, they have it all.”

Walgreen corporate commented: “Organized retail crime in San Francisco has increased the challenge for all retail, and Walgreens is not immune to that.”

This location is the third Walgreens to close in the city over the past year. 

The benefits of Christian civilization are not a given. Technological progress does not rely solely on knowledge, but also on societal character. Abandon Christianity, and you'll eventually find yourself living like the pagans did prior to Christendom. 

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Biden laptop is legit - DOJ

The Russia-Russia-Russia rhetoric fails again:

BREAKING: A senior federal law enforcement official tells @JakeBGibson

1) FBI & DOJ concur w/ Ratcliffe that Hunter Biden's laptop & the emails in question weren't part of a Russian disinformation campaign.

2) The FBI DOES have possession of the Hunter Biden laptop in question.

MORE: @marthamaccallum is told by a Federal Law Enforcement Official that the emails are “authentic.”

The net is closing in on the Biden crime family. 


UPDATE: JUST IN: Rudy Giuliani just confirmed on Greg Kelly’s show (Newsmax) that there are pictures of underage girls on Hunter Biden’s hard drive. The information has already been turned over to Delaware State Police.

Now, keep in mind that the guy has daughters. So of course he has pictures of underage girls on his computer. But the fact that the information has been turned over to the state police tends to suggest that these are not just normal pictures of his children. 

Also, it's reported that only 50 percent of the drive has been examined by Giuliani and his team so far. So, no one really knows the full extent of this yet.

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The DOJ comes for Google

It's about time. The heavy-breathers who have to keep actively reminding themselves not to do evil have had it coming for years. Let's hope that the DOJ isn't content with a Microsoft-style slap on the wrist and drops the full AT&T breakup on them:

The Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit Tuesday alleging that Google engaged in anticompetitive conduct to preserve monopolies in search and search advertising that form the cornerstones of its vast conglomerate.

The long-anticipated case, filed in a Washington, D.C., federal court, marks the most aggressive U.S. legal challenge to a company’s dominance in the tech sector in more than two decades, with the potential to shake up Silicon Valley and beyond.

At this point, I think it's safe to say that the days of the platform/publisher dance are numbered. And it's going to be hilarious to see Google's horndog lawyers trying to make the very sort of free speech arguments that their Trust & Safety teams consistently ignore.

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The secret U.S. Gestapo

 Ron Unz exposes the reality of the would-be U.S. secret police, the ADL:

The choice of the ADL as the primary ideological overseer of America’s Internet may seem natural and appropriate to politically-ignorant Americans, a category that unfortunately includes the technology executives leading the companies involved. But this reflects the remarkable cowardice and dishonesty of the American media from which all these individuals derive their knowledge of our world. The true recent history of the ADL is a remarkably sordid and disreputable tale.

In January 1993, the San Francisco Police Department reported that it had recently raided the Northern California headquarters of the ADL based upon information provided by the FBI. The SFPD discovered that the organization had been keeping intelligence files on more than 600 civic organizations and 10,000 individuals, overwhelmingly of a liberal orientation, with the SFPD inspector estimating that 75% of the material had been illegally obtained, much of it by secret payments to police officials. This was merely the tip of the iceberg in what clearly amounted to the largest domestic spying operation by any private organization in American history, and according to some sources, ADL agents across the country had targeted over 1,000 political, religious, labor, and civil rights organizations, with the New York headquarters of the ADL maintaining active dossiers on more than a million Americans.

Not long afterward, an ACLU official who had previously held a high-ranking position with the ADL revealed in an interview that his organization had been the actual source of the highly controversial 1960s surveillance on Martin Luther King, Jr., which it had then provided to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. For many years Hoover had been furiously denounced in the national media headlines for his use of tapes and other secret information on King’s activities, but when a local San Francisco newspaper revealed that an ADL spying operation had actually been the source of all that sordid material, the bombshell revelation was totally ignored in the national media and only reported by fringe organizations, so that today almost no Americans are aware of that fact.

I am not aware of any other private organization in American history that has been involved in even a sliver of such illegal domestic espionage activity, which appears to have been directed against almost all groups and prominent individuals—Left, Right, and Center—suspected of being insufficiently aligned with Jewish and Israeli interests. Some of the illegal material found in ADL possession even raised dark suspicions that it had played a role in domestic terrorist attacks and political assassinations directed against foreign leaders....

In effect, the ADL seems to have long operated as our country’s privatized secret political police, monitoring and enforcing its ideological doctrines on behalf of Jewish groups much as the Stasi did for the Communist rulers of East Germany. Given such a long history of criminal activity, allowing the ADL to extend its oversight to our largest Social Media platforms amounts to appointing the Mafia to supervise the FBI and the NSA, or taking a very large step towards implementing George Orwell’s ” Ministry of Truth” on behalf of Jewish interests.

The ADL are confirmed Pharasatanist scum, whose founding purpose was to defend pedophilia, rape, and murder. They as allergic to the good, the beautiful, and the true as the average vampire is to garlic, silver, and the Cross. Anyone who is attacked by the pedophistic extremists should be regarded as someone who is at least capable of speaking truth, unlike the Always Depraved League. 

And they are not to be feared, they are to be despised. Not for their ethnicity, but for their evil history and for their evil and illegal actions.

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Wikipedia debunks Hunter Biden emails

 Of course, by "debunks", they mean "attempts to memory-hole" the facts:

Allegations of corruption against ex-Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter have apparently been “debunked” and are merely a “conspiracy theory” according to Wikipedia, where editors are battling over the terms.

Hunter Biden was the subject of an explosive report last week as the New York Post published emails alleging that he involved his father in dodgy business dealings in Ukraine and China.

While the story is still unfolding, the Wikipedia page for Hunter Biden simply states that “he and his father have been the subjects of debunked right-wing conspiracy theories pushed by [President] Donald Trump and his allies.” The curious framing was highlighted by conservative commentator Ian Miles Cheong on Twitter on Tuesday.

Eight sources are listed for this one sentence, intending to support the view that any accusations of corruption against the Democratic presidential candidate and his son have already been proven false.

At this point, if you're still using Wikipedia instead of Infogalactic, you're part of the problem. Wikipedia isn't just occasionally unreliable, it is a systematically false pillar of the media's propaganda machine.

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Fox News covers for Biden

 It's informative to see when the media is suddenly all concerned with the possibility of a source being "sketchy".  

Fox News was first approached by Rudy Giuliani to report on a tranche of files alleged to have come from Hunter Biden’s unclaimed laptop left at a Delaware computer repair shop, but that the news division chose not to run the story unless or until the sourcing and veracity of the emails could be properly vetted.

With the general election just three weeks away, Giuliani ultimately brought the story to the New York Post, which shares the same owner, Rupert Murdoch. The tabloid has been exhaustively covering the contents of the laptop — which include everything from emails regarding Hunter Biden’s work for a Ukrainian company to personal photos of the recovering addict — with each morsel being amplified in the conservative media world, including on Fox News’ top-rated opinion programs. Thus far, the Fox’s News division has only been able to verify one email from the tranche leaked.

The former New York City mayor and personal attorney to President Donald Trump has long had a working relationship with Fox News, the cable news network whose opinion shows have an overwhelmingly pro-Trump point of view.

But according to two sources familiar with the matter, the lack of authentication of Hunter Biden’s alleged laptop, combined with established concerns about Giuliani as a reliable source and his desire for unvetted publication, led the network’s news division to pass. Fox News declined to comment on this story.

Some of Fox News’ top news anchors and reporters have distanced themselves from the story. During an on-air report that largely focused on how social media platforms handled this story, Bret Baier said, “Let’s say, just not sugarcoat it. The whole thing is sketchy.”

“You couldn’t write this script in 19 days from an election, but we are digging into where this computer is and the emails and the authenticity of it,” he added.

It appears Fox News has adopted the Wikipedia model of only trusting "reliable sources" where "reliable" means "someone who provides information we want to believe". And what they want to believe is information favorable to the Democratic Party.

The pictures are obviously of Hunter Biden. Apparently they go back to his childhood. Who else could the laptop possibly belong to, his dead mother?

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Monday, October 19, 2020

Mr. Toobin is very excited about your ideas

Really? How excited is he?

Funny you should ask....

The New Yorker has suspended reporter Jeffrey Toobin. Sources tell VICE it’s because he exposed himself during a Zoom call last week between members of the New Yorker and WNYC radio.

Toobin said in a statement to Motherboard: “I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera. I apologize to my wife, family, friends and co-workers.”

“I believed I was not visible on Zoom. I thought no one on the Zoom call could see me. I thought I had muted the Zoom video,” he added.

UPDATE: In a stunning 'correction' from Vice, which ratchets this story up to '11' on the Spinal Tap amplifier of WTF-ness, "This piece has been updated with more detail about the call and the headline has been updated to reflect that Toobin was masturbating."

Remember, these are the people who believe they are our moral and cultural superiors. Notice that CNN has only "suspended" the freakshow, when they should have fired him immediately.

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Mostly innocuous

The New York Post corroborates Steve Bannon's statement that there were 25,000 images on one of the Hunter Biden laptops.

Neither Hunter Biden’s lawyer nor Joe Biden’s campaign have disputed the validity of the trove of data that The Post obtained after being extracted from a MacBook Pro laptop. The owner of a Delaware computer repair shop said the device was dropped off in April 2019 but never retrieved.

A computer camera roll of nearly 25,000 images is loaded with sexually explicit selfies and porn (which The Post is not publishing), but also has snapshots from Biden’s childhood and vacations.

And while some of the more than 11,550 emails involve Biden’s former job on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma and his dealings with the now-bankrupt CEFC China Energy Co., most of his messages are innocuous and personal in nature.

So that part of the scandal is real. We're still waiting to learn if the darker aspects will be documented. 

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Whatever could it be?

Speaking of sportswriters, Peter King is confused as to why people are watching less sports at a time when they're spending more time at home with less to do.

I think this poll, from the Marist (N.Y.) Center for Sports Communications/Marist Poll, really surprised me: Of 1,560 random Americans at the end of September, 46 percent say they are watching fewer live sports events on TV. That goes against anything we’d normally think. In a pandemic, when people are forced indoors and forced in many instances to be isolated, wouldn’t you figure people would be watching more sports, not less? There wasn’t one dominant reason for the decline, said Jane McManus, longtime sportswriter and director of the Marist Center for Sports Communication—though 35 percent of those polled said concern about gathering with friends to watch sports was a prime reason; “athletes speaking out on political issue” was 32 percent, with the interest in the flood of news/election coverage making respondents 20 percent less likely to watch live sports. “We live in complicated times,” McManus told me. “Viewership traditions have been upended. Say you might have a tradition of watching the football game with your elderly father. Maybe now you’re staying away from your elderly father because you’re being careful about COVID-19.”

I think the one other striking point of comparison was the decline of those who consider themselves fans of football. A 2017 Marist poll found that 67 percent of respondents were football fans. The 2020 poll found that only 52 percent were. (Baseball was down, from 51 to 37 percent; basketball down from 44 to 37 percent—odd considering the poll was taken this time in the midst of exciting playoffs.) McManus said: “I don’t think you can isolate on any one thing right now, except that it seems people just have less bandwidth to deal with sports. For instance, I don’t think 67 to 52 for football is forever. Maybe you lost your job, you’re dealing with unemployment, your life is totally different than it was. I just think people’s focus is fractured, and the erosion is happening for every reason.”

The stubborn obtuseness of the social justice media is downright amusing at times. Readers have been telling Peter King for years to keep the politics out of his columns, and he has resolutely told them to take a hike if they don't like his regular, though admittedly minimalistic, tangents about Trump, the coronavirus, gay rights, and BLM, to name a few. And to be fair, the size of his audience has not been reduced by these occasional little excursions, which may be why King finds it hard to believe that people are actually turning off the NFL due to all the anti-American political propaganda and BLM histrionics.

The key difference here is that King, although he's never seen a left-wing cause he doesn't instinctively support, has pretty much kept the political nonsense to a minimum. His columns are not only very much devoted to football and full of inside football detail, they are also extraordinarily long. He usually confines his political meanderings to one, or sometimes two, points in his 10 Things I Think I Think section, which is usually less than a tenth of his weekly column, and is located at the bottom. For example, in this week's column, the overtly political content is largely limited to this:

o. Fifteen days till election day. From the sounds and looks of things, voting early is the best plan. It’s my plan.

And you know, if a veteran sportswriter wants to devote 21 words out of nearly 12,000 to his personal politics, he's earned the right to indulge himself. Even if he was promulgating rank heresy about the God-Emperor, that little aside is nothing that can't be easily skipped. But what King does, however irritating one finds it to be, is both qualitatively and quantitatively different than what the professional sports leagues are presently inflicting on their long-suffering and increasingly-distant fans. The non-stop political propaganda, the relentless insults to the flag and the anthem, and the ignorant chatter of the commentators completely ruins the experience for the average spectator.

Which, of course, is why, like more than a few other lifelong NFL fans, I haven't watched a single minute of an NFL game or NFL coverage this year. Then again, from what I've read, this appears to be an excellent year for Vikings fans to assiduously avoid watching them play.

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It's not about the money

 It's mostly about the influence. The success of Tucker Carlson, and the complete refusal of the media to even try to imitate his success, makes it very clear that their motives are not profit-driven:

Tucker Carlson’s prime-time Fox News show, Tucker Carlson Tonight, has shattered record after record to become the highest rated cable news program in television history. On any given night, Carlson’s must-watch program draws nearly 5 million Americans to the television set — a truly astonishing number we may never see again.

According to an analysis by iSpot.tv, Tucker Carlson accounts for 16 percent all ad revenue at Fox News. And during the six-month period of February through July of this year alone, Tucker generated $37.2 million for Fox News and smashed the competition.

The historic popularity and profitability of Tucker’s show raises a simple, yet important question: why have none of the major networks, including Fox, attempted to copy his success? Wouldn’t the fabled “marketplace of ideas” dictate a certain convergence toward the topics and styles that draw the biggest audiences?

Perhaps the ad boycotts aimed at Tucker have scared off would-be copycats. But this simply raises the question of why companies would leave money on the table by refusing to advertise on television’s most popular cable news show. Something is off here, and it suggests that the media industry does not work according to a simple profit motive....

Readers might recall that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos purchased the Washington Post for $250 million. The paper is of course notoriously biased against Trump, even by the standards of today’s mainstream media. This may be good for business and it may not be — but ultimately this is not what matters. What matters is that the Post is directly or indirectly profitable to its owner, Jeff Bezos. If it lost money, but influenced the public or other important constituencies in a manner that resulted in greater success for Amazon (a company 10,000 times its size), it would still be a worthwhile investment for Bezos.

We can generalize this principle by noting that the parent-subsidiary model is very common in business. Any given subsidiary does not have to be profitable in its own right so long as it benefits the parent company. In the case of The Washington Post, there is a clear “parent company” in the person of Jeff Bezos. But even absent the existence of a formal parent company, one can think of the American power structure itself as the true “parent company” of any sufficiently large and powerful media conglomerate.

Although in some cases this is a metaphor, it captures a very important feature of how the media and our country function. For a media empire operating at the highest levels, the influence it wields on the public’s mind is far more valuable to the ruling power structure than any self-contained profit that could be generated by optimizing their news product to suit the taste of the audience.

One need only look at the fact that despite having a blog with 200 million pageviews, and two of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns of all-time for their respective categories, not a single major publisher or media outlet has expressed any interest in working with me in the last 10 years. Whatever it may be that drives those companies, it obviously isn't a capitalist profit motive. 

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RIP Sid

The dean of Minnesota sports, legendary sportswriter Sid Hartman, has died at the age of 100:

Sid Hartman was, for all of his 100-plus years, a hometown guy. Born on the North Side of Minneapolis on March 15, 1920, he worked for newspapers in his hometown for nearly his entire life, until his death on Sunday afternoon.

From a humble start selling newspapers on the street in 1928, he wrote about sports for the Star Tribune for the ensuing decades. He was still writing three columns a week, his final one appearing on the day he died.... He gained a stature very few journalists have achieved, becoming one of this state’s legendary public figures. For years, he was also a power broker in the local sports scene, playing an integral role in the early success of the Minneapolis Lakers pro basketball team while serving as the team’s de facto general manager and working behind the scenes to help bring major league baseball to Minnesota.

He created a rags-to-riches story unlike any his hometown has seen, working his way from the very bottom of the newspaper industry to one of the most influential and popular figures ever to use a typewriter, and later computer, for his livelihood. He also became a popular radio personality for WCCO and for 20 years was a panelist on a Sunday night TV show. If Minnesotans referred to “Sid,” there was no doubt who they were talking about, much the same as the first-name status of the greatest of those he covered, men like “Kirby” and “Harmon” and “Bud.”

According to a count by Star Tribune staffer Joel Rippel, Hartman produced 21,235 bylined stories in his career, from 1944 until the one that ran on C2 of Sunday’s Sports section. That column was his 119th of 2020.

I never met Sid Hartman. But I read him on a regular basis for the last 45 years and listened to him on 'CCO for nearly two decades. He was the model for success through consistency and hard work, and his career will always serve as an inspiration to those of us who are aging writers. I'm just sorry that he never got to see the Vikings win the Super Bowl.

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Sunday, October 18, 2020

200 Million Views

 

I'm pleased to report that today, 17 years and 10 days after the initial post, the Vox Popoli blog has exceeded 200,000,000 pageviews. The blog now consists of 22,968 posts and 1,181,070 comments, although the number of comments does not include those left during the years when the two previous comment systems were utilized. In the interest of clarity, note that these numbers do not include the 26 million views at Alpha Game or the 150k views at DevGame.

A few observations about this traffic milestone. First, it underlines the importance of consistency. If you're not going to post at least 3-4 times per day, you're much better off contributing regularly to a group site. Very, very few one-man blogs have survived the demise of what used to be known as the Blogosphere. Second, with an average of 169 views per comment, it proves that the commentariat is not even close to synonymous with the overall readership. Third, it demonstrates that the media narratives about who and what are "popular", and who and what are not, are largely false. 

Fourth, and most importantly, it emphasizes what I've said about the ticket. If you refuse to take the ticket when it is offered, not only will no amount of success or talent open any important doors for you, but the media will remain resolutely silent about anything and everything you achieve unless it provides them with an excuse to try to take you down.

I would, of course, be remiss if I did not express my deep personal appreciation to all the investigative reporters, intelligence agencies, science fiction social justice warriors, and self-appointed thought police for their assistance in making this possible. It literally could not have been done without you.

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The journey sans ticket

A number of people have commented upon something I said in a recent Darkstream concerning what I perceive as the intrinsic advantage of understanding and accepting that you have no chance at being allowed the opportunities that are routinely offered to those who are less talented and less intelligent, but more morally flexible than you. Whether you find this comforting or depressing is entirely up to you.

YOU HAVE NO CHANCE

If you are a good person, if you are a moral person, if you are a Christian, you are not going to be allowed to succeed in the system past a certain level. It’s just not going to happen. But it’s very, very freeing to know this. You’re not going to get the scholarship. You’re probably not going to get the acceptance letter. You’re not going to get the interview. So, this means you have the imperative to go out and make things happen on your own. 

Because here’s the magical thing about it. They can’t create. They cannot create things that are good, beautiful and true. They’re predators and parasites. And so, there’s always going to be a certain amount of room that is granted to people that just do their own thing, or for people who just work outside the system, because that’s where the positive change – the necessary positive change – is going to happen.

What we’re dealing with here is a society that is run by the wicked and is run by the hedonists…and so, you can save a lot of time. The beauty of this is that by knowing that you have no chance to succeed within the system, you can give yourself the opportunity to succeed without it. And the fact that you are never going to be given that handout, the fact that you’re never going to be given that fake, easy, pseudo-success, means the success that you achieve will be real. You’ll never have that impostor syndrome that they’re always talking about.

And so, you have no chance to succeed in the realm of the wicked, but that knowledge frees you to pursue genuine, meaningful and lasting success by pursuing the good, the beautiful and the true.

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"A thundering defeat"

President Trump is overtly flexing on the hapless Biden crime family

Donald Trump said Joe Biden should be jailed and boasted he is leading in early voting during his first of two campaign stops Saturday in Muskegon, Michigan.  

The president said the 'Biden family is a criminal enterprise' and called his rival a 'national security risk' and 'corrupt politician' as he referenced the New York Post story of Hunter Biden's emails that raised questions about Biden's Ukraine dealings.  

Trump also went after the state's Gov. Gretchen Whitmer - who was almost kidnapped in a recent plot - sending his raucous crowd into chants calling for the two Democrats to be 'locked up'

Despite polls showing he is trailing the Democrat, Trump claimed he was out front in early voting and told the sea of MAGA caps he was aiming for 12 years in office.  

Trump then went on to mock the idea of replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples' Day and hit out at protesters who have gathered nationwide calling for racial equality, saying that seeing them being 'pushed about' by federal agents was 'beautiful'.... 

He boasted that 'we're leading - early voting' and Democrats needed to be shown a 'thundering defeat at the ballot box.' 'And by the way, it seems to be happening,' the president said.

He knows he's going to win. And the media knows that Biden is guilty as Hell. 

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Game over

Thomas Wictor calls it:

Game over.

@realDonaldTrump will be reelected in a landslide.

For the first time in American history, the Republicans have beaten the Democrats in new-voter registration.

We're nearing the peak of demoralization season, so we should see the polls start falling back to a more modest Biden lead in the next two weeks to reflect this reality.

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Saturday, October 17, 2020

Reviving Arkhaven

It isn't just DevGame that is getting active again, although we're already seeing some incredible results out of the revival of the game developer site, by which I mean it looks like we are going to be publishing not one, but two, game design books by a truly legendary game designer. I'm referring to the Arkhaven Comics blog, which will now be featuring the talents of the Dark Herald and comics writer Jon Del Arroz on a regular basis. 

The Dark Herald has already written a highly informative initial post on Eastern Story Structure:

Hakawati, is the Arabic tradition of story telling wherein each story must have and teach a moral lesson.  I suspect this tradition is more Middle-Eastern than specifically Arabian because the story of Jonah fits perfectly within its structure.

Jonah’s story is rather unsatisfying to a Westerner, if you read the whole thing

Jonah is ordered by God to go to Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire, and deliver a command from Him to stop sinning.  Jonah, like all of his people and well, everyone else who had come into contact with Assyria wants them all dead. So he refused to deliver God’s message and ran away to sea.  A terrible storm came up while the ship was at sea. The crew drew lots to see who was to be sacrificed to appease the waters.  The never-lucky Jonah lost and was chucked over the side.  God sent a whale to swallow Jonah.  Jonah repented and God had the whale spit, Jonah, on to a shoreline that had decent access to Nineveh.  Jonah delivered the message to the hated Assyrians and then went to a nearby hill to watch God’s wrath descend on Nineveh.  And it didn’t.  

The End. 

When I was in Sunday school the whale part of the story was the only thing that our teacher concentrated on. Mostly because a giant whale story would keep squirming seven-year-olds occupied while their parents had coffee and donuts after the service. It worked because that part of the story was the closest thing that conformed to the western idea of the three-act story structure with an introduction, an inciting incident, rising tension, climax, and then denouement.  

The original purpose of the story however wasn’t to entertain, it was to teach. You aren’t entitled to any special reward on this Earth just because you did what God told you to.

The dominant religion in an area strongly influences that area’s story-telling traditions and story-structures.

Christianity has been the dominant religion in the West for the past 1,500 years or so.  Give or take a few centuries depending on your physical location.  Conflict is central to the faith.  If you are a Christian, you are fighting Satan.  If you fail at the fight you go to Hell.  Win that fight and self-improvement will occur but it is a side-effect, not the goal.  The goal is salvation and you don’t have to be the wisest of the wise in order to saved. 

Buddhism is the dominant religion in East Asia.  Buddhism at its center is self-improvement for its own sake.  There is no conflict driving it forward.  If you screwup in this life you slide down the ladder into a lower form of life. Be that a lower caste, a woman, all the way down to animals and insects.  Improve yourself enough and you will achieve Enlightenment. And not have to be reborn into the world of suffering and desire anymore.

In Buddhism you absolutely have to be wisest of the wise.  Achievement is a requirement to reach Nirvana, and this has influenced all aspects of their societies. Especially with regards to storytelling and it’s concomitant tropes.

Read the whole thing there. And if you enjoy comics, add it to your daily bookmarks.

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Proof by /pol/

 /pol/ is providing links to a zipfile containing some of the emails between Vadim Pozharskyi and Hunter Biden. There is nothing too terribly incriminating on this batch, but they appear to be legitimate. Which, of course, tends to signify that the New York Post story is going to be publicly substantiated in short order. One example:

---------- Forwarded message ----------

From: Vadim Pozharskyi <v.pozharskyi.ukraine@ > 

Date: Thu, Jul 23, 2015 at 5:04 AM 

Subject: Re: Children passport scan copies To: Hunter Biden <hbiden@rosemontseneca.com>, Sebastian Momtazi< @rosemontcapital.com>, Devon Archer <darcher@rosemontseneca.com>, Katie Dodge @rosemontseneca.com>

Gents, Hope, you are well. I am glad to let you know that we've already booked your tickets as per our last discussion. 

With this in mind, in order to buy tickets for the kids, I would be needing their passport scan copies. 

I would really appreciate it if you could kindly forward them to me as soon as you can for us finalize the arrangements!

Looking forward to our trip and seeing you all soon!

Best, Vadym 

-- 

Katie Dodge Executive Assistant / Office Manager

Rosemont Seneca Partners

1010 Wisconsin Ave., NW,  #705 Washington, DC  20007

And more emails are being leaked already, in this case, related to China.

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This is why UATV is necessary

 In case you still haven't subscribed to Unauthorized because YouTube content is free:

YouTube has scrubbed many popular “QAnon” and independent news channels from its platform after announcing new rules that prohibit what it deems to be “harmful conspiracy theories.” The channels collectively had millions of subscribers and some of the many channels that were removed during this purge include:

  • X22 Report (952,000 subscribers)
  • SGTreport (630,000 subscribers)
  • Edge of Wonder (467,000 subscribers)
  • Praying Medic (391,000 subscribers)
  • And We Know (385,000 subscribers)
  • Amazing Polly (375,000 subscribers)
  • Joe M (367,000 subscribers)
  • Dollar Vigilante (304,000 subscribers)
  • Mouthy Buddha (296,000 subscribers)
  • JustInformed Talk (281,000 subscribers)
  • RedPill78 (269,000 subscribers)
  • The Patriot Hour (248,000 subscribers)
  • In Pursuit of Truth (242,000 subscribers)
  • Destroying the Illusion (238,000 subscribers)
  • TRUreporting (215,000 subscribers)
  • Alice Down The RabbitHole (174,000 subscribers)
  • Spaceshot76 (159,000 subscribers)
  • World Alternative Media (154,000 subscribers)
  • McAllisterTV (127,000 subscribers)
  • Sarah Westall (125,000 subscribers)
  • Radio-Québec (120,000 subscribers)
  • Truth and Art TV (113,000 subscribers)
  • Dustin Nemos (113,000 subscribers)
  • Blessed To Teach (109,000 subscribers)
  • Woke Societies (108,000 subscribers)
  • Stroppy Me (83,400 subscribers)
  • Patriots’ Soapbox News Network (80,000 subscribers)
  • Angel Wallace (63,000 subscribers)
  • Titus Frost (44,400 subscribers)

YouTube claims that it’s introducing this new policy to remove conspiracy content that’s “used to justify real-world-violence” – a claim that’s similar to those used by several other tech giants when justifying their arbitrary QAnon bans. For example, Facebook framed its QAnon ban as a crackdown on “potential violence.”

Under YouTube’s new policy, content that “targets an individual or group with conspiracy theories that have been used to justify real-world violence” are banned. Of course, YouTube doesn’t explain how it determines when a conspiracy theory is being used to justify real-world violence.

Subscribing to a free channel under SJW control is not going to accomplish anything. Supporting a channel that is providing a save haven to creators who are unauthorized by the thought police will.

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The better they are, the harder they fall

 A new historical study entitled "Moral Collapse and State Failure: A View From the Past" reaches some very similar conclusions to my own predictions for the USA:

Societies with 'good' governments like the Roman Empire and China's Ming Dynasty fell harder than tyrannical dictatorships, a new study suggests.  

When 'good' governments – those that provided goods and services for their people and did not starkly concentrate wealth and power – fell apart, they broke down more intensely, US researchers say. 

Although good governments may have been able to sustain themselves longer than corrupt regimes, they tended to suffer a more catastrophic collapse when new leaders undermined social contracts with the people.

It was two British ministers, Andrew Reed and James Matheson, and not Alexis De Toqueville, who wrote: “America will be great if America is good. If not, her greatness will vanish away like a morning cloud.” America has already ceased to be either great or good, indeed, she has ceased to be America and is now a perverse Pharisatanic empire ruling over a polyglot collection of diverse peoples.

But as America's government was once both very good and managed to disperse wealth and power to a historically unprecedented degree, this study suggests that the coming breakdown is going to be more intense than even the most pessimistic observer tends to anticipate.

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The Cookie polls

I reprehensively neglected to mention the all-important cookie polls in my recent Darkstream on alternative election indicators:

The real winner of the 2020 election might be this Pennsylvania bakery.

A family-owned bakery in the town of Hatboro claims that its election-themed cookies — which are currently flying off the rack — have accurately predicted the outcome of the past three presidential elections.

So far, they say sales indicate a clear leader for the 2020 race, too.

Lochel’s Bakery, located in Montgomery County just north of Philadelphia, had launched its most recent “cookie poll” about six weeks back, offering both “Trump 2020” cookies and “Biden 2020” cookies in red and blue, respectively.

"So far as of 10 a.m. Trump is in the lead 3 to 1," she told Fox News on Friday morning.

The original cookie poll, in Red Wing, Minnesota, concurs:

Opinions be what they may, but the only acceptable answer here comes piled high with red, white, and blue frosting, and can be found in Red Wing. Each costs $4, and will be counted as a vote for president. Sort of.

Every four years, Hanisch Bakery and Coffee Shop celebrates democracy in the sweetest way possible: by hosting the Presidential Cookie Poll. “It’s a fun election poll that just happens to be pretty darn accurate for some reason,” says Bill Hanisch, the establishment’s chief manager and owner.

In the 1920s, the bakery was called Quandt’s. It’s undergone several ownership and name changes since then, but Hanisch is sure the Braschler family conceived of the cookie poll we recognize today during the Mondale-Reagan election because he worked under them starting when he was 15 years old. Though he’s not certain why the poll first ran back in 1984, the current owner bets it was a simple move to drum up business.

When Hanisch bought the bakery in 2007, he understood he would also become ringmaster for a unique political circus that’s getting more unwieldy each election cycle. So far this year, Trump’s cookies have outsold Biden’s by a mile. 

The cookies have spoken. Trumpslide 2020. 

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Division and Qanon

It seems to me that the mainstream media usually celebrates things that tend to tear families apart, things like divorce and immigration and transgenderism and interracial relationships. I wonder why tearing families apart has suddenly become a bad thing in its eyes?

QAnon can be traced back to a series of 2017 posts on 4chan, the online message board known for its mixture of trolls and alt-right followers. The poster was someone named "Q," who claimed to be a government insider with Q security clearance, the highest level in the Department of Energy. QAnon's origin matters less than what it's become, an umbrella term for a loose set of conspiracy theories ranging from the false claim that vaccines cause illness and are a method of controlling the masses to the bogus assertion that many pop stars and Democratic leaders are pedophiles.

The choose-your-own-adventure nature of QAnon makes it compelling to vulnerable people desperate for a sense of security and difficult for Twitter and Facebook to control, despite their efforts. It's becoming increasingly mainstreamed as several QAnon-friendly candidates won congressional primaries. And the FBI has warned that it could "very likely motivate some domestic extremists to commit criminal, sometimes violent activity."

As QAnon has crept into the news, it's become a testament to our age of political disinformation, not to mention easy online comedic currency. But what's often forgotten in stories and jokes are the people behind the scenes who are baffled at a loved one's embrace of the "movement," and who struggle to keep it from tearing their families apart.

Then again, I seem to recall that someone else once came to tear families apart. Perhaps division is not such a bad thing...

Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.

- Luke 12:51-53

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