The Concession Speech We All Deserve

BREAKING NEWS: The US General Services Administration (GSA) has informed President Elect Joe Biden that the administration is ready to begin the formal transition process, according to a letter from administrator Emily Murphy.

A message from the Twitter account of the previous president Donald J T**** said:

I want to thank Emily Murphy at GSA for her steadfast dedication and loyalty to our Country. [… ranting elided…] in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.

And so, courtesy of ‘The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon‘, I am proud to present:

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I’m really sorry, but this is simply too good NOT to share

Now, I hope you’ll agree that that is a wonderful clip.

If you disagree, then you should simply click elsewhere now, because you won’t want to listen to what I have to say.

Which is: the game is still not over.

Joe Biden has won the US election. At this point, that is simply indisputible. Arizona declared in his favour just hours ago, taking Biden to 290 electoral votes (and he only needs 270 to win). The supporters of T****’s failed regime will disagree: they will continue to assert ‘widespread electoral fraud’ — without providing any evidence at all for it, because that is what cults do.

But that’s not the end of the story. Biden needs control of the US Senate, or his presidency will be largely ineffective. The Democrats control the House of Representatives (by a narrow margin) — but they do not (yet) have control of the Senate. There is a slim chance that they will be able to control the Senate, if (and it is a big if) the Democrats are able to win the two Senate seats in Georgia. Doing so would tie the Senate — and in the case of a tie, the Vice-President gets the casting vote. Which means that those two seats are crucial.

… and that, my friends, is, I believe, why the Republicans are pandering to T****’s petty refusal to concede that he has lost. Why? Because it’s a distraction.

Let me take you back to Tuesday, 6 June 1944. The Allied invasion of Normandy: the beginning of the end for the Third Reich in World War II. A major contributing factor to the success of the landings in Normandy was the effort on the part of the Allies to convince the Axis that any invasion would take part farther east: this subterfuge depleted the defence to the west. Without that misdirection, the invasion might well have failed.

Classic Sun Tzu: attack where the enemy isn’t. This is exactly what the Grand Old Party is trying to do, here and now. They don’t care about T**** and his fragile ego: but they’re quite happy to indulge his egotistic, narcissistic tantrums because these are a wonderful distraction from the Senate run-off elections in Georgia, that take place on 05Jan2021 (voter registration deadline: 07Dec2020).

If you can vote in Georgia,
please find out more!

Now, I’m a Brit, not a USAn. But I, like many others, have watched in horror at what’s been going on in the ‘United’ States of America for the last four years as this mendacious, malignant, egotistical narcissist has perverted power to his own ends. Enough is enough. It’s time for the USA to get back on track and resume its position as a front-runner for global democracy: but to do that, it first needs to focus on Georgia, and not get distracted.

The game’s not over. Keep your eyes on the ball, Americans!

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We love the Earth

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Bezos Doubles Wealth as Amazon Essential Product Prices Rise 1000% Amid Pandemic

Bezos, who retook the title of the world’s richest individual from Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates late last year, has said that he is so rich that he can only imagine spending his wealth by plowing it into space travel.

Quite a failing of imagination there, Mr Bezos, I can think of a great many other good things that can be done with your vast wealth: such as, oh, I don’t know, let’s say giving your employees a pay rise, for a start. And perhaps using your vast wealth to help humanity deal with the various crises facing it.

Or would you rather we all got out a guillotine, instead?

The Most Revolutionary Act

A report by Public Citizen found that “Amazon is engaged in price gouging on products it sells directly” through its Amazon Essentials line, with products like facemasks and corn starch seeing elevenfold increases in price.

by Alan Macleod

A new report from advocacy group Public Citizen details how retail giant Amazon “misled the public, law enforcement, and policymakers about price increases during the pandemic,” raising their prices on essential products “to levels that would be considered violations of price gouging laws in many states.” The prices of many products in high demand during the pandemic jumped by over 1,000 percent when compared to this time last year.

As accusations of price gouging began, Amazon blamed “bad actors,” declaring in an official statement that, “there is no place for price gouging on Amazon,” committing itself to “working vigorously” to ensure fair pricing, and “collaborating with federal, state, and local law enforcement…

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Flat Earther kryptonite

This Article Won’t Change Your Mind.

I’ll let you make your own mind up.

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A first for Scientific American: endorsing a political candidate.

These are very, very strange times.

Although Trump and his allies have tried to create obstacles that prevent people from casting ballots safely in November, either by mail or in person, it is crucial that we surmount them and vote. It’s time to move Trump out and elect Biden, who has a record of following the data and being guided by science.

Scientific American

Bobbing Around

“We’ve never backed a presidential candidate in our 175-year history — until now”

This editorial from one of the world’s most respected journals is worth reading.

Regardless of other matters that may influence your vote, and whether you choose to vote at all, please listen to the voice of REASON.

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Escaping the ‘sewer of realities’

[edit 10Sep2020 — following a comment by Russellings of the Spirit (below), I feel that I ought to point out that in order to make sense of my post here, you really do need to first watch this video clip. It is about a half hour in length, but it puts it all into context, and I promise you it’s worth it! ]

Extrapolating on ‘cogito, ergo sum’: I know I’m here, but I cannot prove that any of the rest of you exist. All that’s needed to simulate reality is to simulate a single consciousness, reducing the necessary computational power; so if simulated realities exist most of them will probably be of this type. And I could be in one, down in ‘the sewer’.

Now, I know I’m not smart enough to open door #3 myself. If one of you were to do this, this would make this reality ‘parous’, which (according to David Kipping) eliminates the null hypothesis, flipping the probabilities and making it almost certain that this reality is a simulation.

However, the fact that someone else had opened door #3 would prove that the reality I inhabit features at least one other consciousness (on the grounds that only a conscious entity could beget another one). And it would lend credence to the idea that the rest of you are actually conscious too. All nearly eight billion of you. And since a reality comprising so many conscious individuals would require so very much more computational power than a minimalist configuration comprising just a single consciousness, such a reality would be heavily weighted towards being the ‘base reality’.

So would someone please open door #3 for me and get me out of the sewer?

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Naked Truth

An excellent, timely poem!

lifelessons - a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

His truths are vile graffiti scrawled in charcoal on a wall,

your belief in them, immobile—not budgeable at all.
You spout online rhetoric not based on any fact,
using a selfish tyrant to pattern how you act.

I simply cannot understand people of your kind.
Will any foul deed propagated pry open your mind?
Fire, tempest, pestilence—what further natural curse
will finally persuade you that it’s only getting worse?

Divide and conquer is his game, and he’ll use any means
for engineering chaos and creating scenes
matching brother against brother till our nation rips apart.
Destroying all it stood for. Ripping out its heart.

What quality does he display that moves you all to court him?
What single act for common men leads you to support him?
Children kenneled up like animals? Men shot because they’re black?
One-by-one his sane advisers all given the sack?

Our emperor has no clothes…

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The First 100 Days …

Although I’m a citizen of the UK, not the USA, I am also a citizen of the planet, and feel that I have a stake in the forthcoming US election because the direction in which the most powerful democracy on Earth moves will affect everybody.

From where I sit, the the way the US has moved in the last four years under Donald Trump is completely wrong. The nation has become more insular at a time when, more than ever, it is necessary to work together. Withdrawing from the Paris Accords and the World Health Organization were clear signals that the US, like its leader, doesn’t give a pair of fetid dingo’s kidneys for anyone else.

In his first 100 days all Donald Trump did, as Jill says, was ‘He Broke Stuff’. Now he appears to be spreading lies — as is his wont — about what his major opponent plans to do at the beginning of his incumbency.

Here’s hoping that the United States of America does the right thing.

Filosofa's Word

If a president serves his entire four-year term, he will have been president for 1,459 days.  The first 100 days are some sort of a marker, though they are less than 15% of his expected tenure, because there is always an analysis of what a president accomplished in his first 100 days.  Additionally, a part of a candidate’s campaign platform also includes “What I plan to accomplish in my first 100 days”, which is later used as a benchmark for the aforementioned analysis.

I would like to clear some things up regarding Joe Biden’s “First 100 Days To Do List”.  Donald Trump seems to think he has a copy of Joe’s list, but it’s obvious that he doesn’t.  Donald Trump has falsely declared that in his first 100 days, Biden plans to …

  • Implement a $4 trillion tax hike
  • Demolish the U.S. energy industry
  • Shut down the entire…

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An open letter to all billionaires, everywhere

Dear Sir or Madam,

In August 2020, Jeff Bezos became the richest man on the planet. Not only that, but he became the first person ever to exceed a personal wealth of US$200 billion (and that during a pandemic, too, when almost everyone else is suffering). Neil deGrasse Tyson explains that just half of that wealth, if converted to dollar bills and placed end to end, would stretch around the Earth 200 times. There would be some left over: enough, in fact,  to go to the Moon and back — ten times. Such numbers are almost inconceivable.

An image of the reverse of the Great Seal on the US dollar bill

Annuit Coeptis: “Providence Has Favored Our Undertakings” — Image credit: Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Now, I have no idea how your own riches were accumulated. Perhaps you inherited it: if so, I really think that you ought to consider the ultimate root of that. A great many injustices have been perpetrated throughout history; those who gained the spoils implemented social rules that allowed them to pass their winnings on to their progeny. Are you one of the beneficiaries of such? Or did you arise from humble beginnings, and become rich through ‘your own personal endeavours’? If that’s the case, I think that you should reflect upon the fact that you’ve benefited from input from society at large, in a great many ways.

Whichever of those routes to ‘greatness’ you’ve taken, you are, whether you believe it or not, suffering from egocentric bias (just like everyone else). Luck contributed to your success; you almost certainly don’t acknowledge that, and behave instead as though you are ‘clearly better’ than those less fortunate than yourself. This video elaborates on that:

Consider that there are now almost eight billion humans currently on Planet Earth. Just think how unlikely it is that you should be who you are, instead of someone else. “There, but for the Grace of God, go I”.

Some of you may be thinking that I am envious of your vast wealth. You’d be wrong: I do not aspire to accrue incredibly more money than I could possibly spend in even a thousand lifetimes. What I am, however, is sad. According to Professor Kevin Anderson, “Globally the wealthiest 10% are responsible for half of all emissions.” Were you aware of that?

We’re in a global climate emergency. We all bear responsibility for this situation; yet you are far better placed than anyone else to actually do something about it.

It’s time for you to step up.

[Edit 14Sep2020]
Postscript: Please read How philanthropy benefits the super-rich.

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