I usually start this weekly posting with an item that highlights some utterly bizarre bit of news from the last seven days. However, since the last seven days straddle 2021 and 2022, I’ll open with this key point.
The “Cult of Fools” is not about belief vs non-belief. Yes, many of those highlighted are indeed religious fundamentalists, but they earned their spot by proclaiming utterly batshit crazy claims. Nor is the “Cult of Fools” about traditional left vs right. Again, many of those highlighted are right-wing and GOP, but they once again earned their spot by embracing things that are not just absurd, but qualify as absurd on steroids.
What it is actually all about is truth, honesty, integrity, decency, empathy, and tolerance vs lies, deception, manipulation, and intolerance.
Hot emotional buttons are pressed and vast numbers are persuaded that truth is a lie and that a lie is truth. The constant drip-feed of this has destructive consequences, both immediate and also long-term.
Take for example the story from the LA Times on Dec 29: “Merced man arrested on way to White House with a rifle, ‘hit list’ compiled from TikTok“. His Hitlist included Biden and Fauci. When arrested, his GPS was set for the White House. You might think this is one lone nutter, but in the context of today’s GOP, he blends right in.
That’s a truly shocking thing to say, but also sadly true.
There is no longer a serious debate or discussion to be had with these folks.
When faced with a constant flow of stuff like this, I find the best response is to mock them and laugh at them, not debate them. They have worked so very hard. With determination, they put on a clown suit and insist on playing the role of the fool. Why should we then disappoint, why not give them the appropriate reward for that role?
Below you will find my usual selection of some truly bizarre claims that popped up during the last 7 days. Each is laced with my snarky commentary.
Republican Gov Kristi Noem says on Fox News that children who wear masks are “missing out” on the kind of experiences that she has with her granddaughter. “I’m amazed at how she watches me. The actions that I take, she mimics, she learns from. She’s starting to recreate some of the facial expressions.”
- Hey Kristi, something else that has caused “missing out” on such experiences is death. So far the death toll is 821,000
- Those of us that do wear masks, and also encourage our kids to do the same, do so for a very good reason – we are not fucking stupid.
- FactCheck: Masks really do work, anybody claiming they don’t is lying to you.
Brigitte Gabriel, who operates with an agenda of “pure unadulterated hatred”, tweets “Dr. Fauci is why the Founders gave us a US Constitution.“
- Yes indeed, this is exactly the reason why they sat in that hot room in Philadelphia and argued with each other for months over every clause. They knew that, 230 years later, a scientist would dedicate his life to saving people from infectious diseases, and they were determined to stop him.
Christian anti-vaxxer Lori Alexander (a.k.a. The Transformed Wife) says she has COVID.
- If only there was something she could have done to protect herself from COVID.
Ted Cruz decided to flag up a ban on Dancing in Washington State on New Year’s eve and blame democrats as power-mad via Twitter.
- Fact Check: It was true that WA had a ban on Dance parties due to COVID. One problem, the WA dance ban was Western Australia, not Washington State. Further problem, his source was a well-known conspiracy nutter.
- Ted’s tweet has since gone, but yes, he really did do it.
- Ted’s problem is that he latched on to a tweet from Paul Joseph Watson making the claim and endorsed it as “truth”. Paul is a well-known InfoWars promoter of fake news. That was Ted’s go-to source for insightful information, so yes, Ted really is a fool. If he can’t get something as simple as this right, why should anybody believe he can get anything right.
The “Let’s Go Brandon” guy, Jared Schmeck, who prank-called the White House on Christmas Eve, is considering standing for election
- Of course he is, he fits right in with today’s GQP.
- The one person who is truly pissed about his rise is perhaps Kyle Rittenhouse. Jared Schmeck has now replaced him on the right-wing talk show circuit.
You might also enjoy this observation …
George Takei also nails it here with his mic drop response to Rep Morgan complaining about the hostility she now faces for her own actions …
@RonFilipkowski tweets this update Dec 30: (He includes a screenshot) – Marge floating the “national divorce” idea (whatever the hell that means), and suggesting that people who move from “blue” to “red” states should lose their right to vote in the next election as a “tax for their sins.”
- The Marge here, is elected Rep Marjorie Taylor Green. She seriously wants to pass a law to make it illegal to vote if you did not vote correctly previously. Her “Idea” is this. If you previously lived in a Blue state and then move to a Red state, you should be prevented from voting.
- This is a page literallty taken from a North Korean playbook to help support her beloved Dear Leader.
The Big Lie
Daily Beast (Dec 28th): Rand Paul Ridiculed After Accusing Dems of ‘Stealing’ Elections by Persuading People to Vote for Them
- Rand’s claim via twitter was that encouraging people who are legally entitled to vote to do so is “Stealing” the election.
- Sorry Rand, convincing potential voters to cast legal ballots is how you win elections in a democracy
Mike Lindell announced this past week in an interview with Steve Bannon that he has a brand new, blockbuster lawsuit with new evidence that is going to get Trump reinstated. When Bannon asks him when this is going to get to court, for the 50th time in 2021 he says, “in two weeks.”
- I guess he is counting on the MAGA folks only operating with a maximum of two weeks worth of memory.
- You might wonder how many times it is possible to promise stuff like this and then fail to deliver. It would appear that Mike is conducting a test to see what that limit really is and determine how gullible people are.
The False Profit$
Hemant Mehta reports: For evangelist Tony Suarez, having to show you’re vaccinated before flying is why preachers should buy their own private jets.
- Greed is tricky when you want the faithful to buy your airplane, but Tony manages to play the game rather well, and so gets bonus points for an original scam.
- The deeply insane part is when you watch the clip in the tweet and see his audience vigerously nodding along in rapt agreement.
- Last line from Tony in the clip: “The devil really is a liar“. That’s a “yes” Tony, you really are.
- Jesus: “Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, comfort the suffering.” Evangelicals: “Buy private jets and tell the libtards to fuck off!”
Hemant Mehta tweets: Pastor Kent Christmas promising to cure your “incurable disease” through his touch.
- Number of verified cures during that specific meeting – exactly zero
- Number of verified supernatural cures ever done from Pastor Kent Christmas – exactly zero
- Number of verified supernatural cures ever done by any pastor anywhere – exactly zero
- Degree of gullability in play here – unmeasurable.
Again via Hemant: During a church service yesterday, self-described “prophet” Robin Bullock took credit for alerting the “rightful president of the United States” (on Jan. 6) about a ship that would get stuck in the Suez because of our enemies… Later, miraculously (!), God set it free.
- This is classic fake prophet 101 stuff. Simply claim you predicted something that has already happened. Of course there is no evidence he ever did actually predict this.
- What he is offering up is not confirmation of a prophecy, but instead he is literally running a gullability test.
- Fact Check: sorting it out involved exactly zero supernatural intervention, it is all well documented, no gods were involved.
- I do have to admit that stand-up comedy is getting quite weird these days.
Meanwhile, regarding all those predictions that Trump would be back in office by the end of 2021 … well here we are in 2022, and once again the self-appointed prophets have proven themselves to be fakes …
This week’s final quote
Watch this clip. This is what these people are doing now. Brevard, FL Board Member Jennifer Jenkins talks about the credible threats that she and her daughter now face…
There is no avoiding the observation that some people have gone completely and totally off the rails and that they are being enabled and supported in this by an entire political party.
You might of course be tempted to ask anti-mask, and anti-vaccine activist Veronica Wolski what she thinks of this. She is the lady who openly harassed employees for enforcing mask policies in stores. However, you can’t ask her, she got covid and died a few months back.