559 Comments

Here’s the thing: By and large, the readers of this newsletter are well informed and obtain their news from multiple sources. The same is NOT true for many if not most Republicans. They get their news from Fox, or OANN or Newsmax, or even worse, Joe Rogan or someone like him. They will hear nothing of McCarthy’s duplicity. They will hear nothing of MTG’s sedition (and to the extent that they will, they will AGREE with it). For them, there is no Republican “disarray”.

It’s both disheartening and infuriating.

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The battle lines are the courts, gerrymandering, media manipulation,voter turn-out, and voter access. We still outnumber them. And we need to make that resonate.

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One still has to 'highly' motivate that majority to actually turn out. There will be no laying back on any laurels, especially by those lucky enough to be educated to the actual facts.

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The very place where state legislatures have the legal right to overturn the will of the people - but only if Dems win.

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Looks like the Democrats are taking off the kid gloves. A statement from the DNC: "“Kevin McCarthy is a fraud and a liar,” DNC spokesperson Ammar Moussa said in a statement Friday. “Republicans are not fit to govern, and Republican majorities would mean little more than complete subservience to Donald Trump.”

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Good, but not good enough. Dems need to include in all of these statements what they have done for the American people and what they would do if Republicans would stop blocking them. Just reacting to Republicans lies and duplicity is not enough. Dems need to go on the offensive. Every day. On every media. In every state.

Glad to hear yesterday that Jill Biden and First Gentleman are traveling throughout the country, including red states, talking to folks about the Dems programs. Local media covers this.

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Apr 23, 2022·edited Apr 23, 2022

Gina, I agree absolutely. My frustration trying to work at the local level is that even there, the tendency is to let the right-wingers set the agenda. In my state, the classic Dem response has been press releases about things Republicans have said or done, thus reinforcing that dynamic. I am really tired of it of this passive approach, and I've been speaking up about it. We need people willing to speak out, name what is wrong, and also name what we need to do about it. I fear that it is too late in the season to build the kind of party infrastructure we need. I am rethinking what role I should be in. I hope we can turn things around. The party has instituted what I think are some good structural changes, and that gives me some optimism. But it has failed in building the kind of coalitions that are absolutely essential. I keep poking at it, and I won't give up. but at this moment I am disgusted and disappointed. If we are willing to stick our necks out, we can still pull it off and I think have a good go at 2024. But it takes the willingness to do things in a completely different way than the same thing that hasn't worked in the past. Geez. When I look around and see what ordinary people in this state are accomplishing in their volunteer-run activist organizations, I can see what's possible, and it is nothing short of amazing. The Dems need to get on the same train.

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Well put, Annie, and it is frustrating and disappointing. I wish more Dems, everywhere, would speak as forcefully, clearly and effectively as that wonderful Senator in Michigan. And don’t wait to do it just in response to Republicans’ lies and attacks. Go on the offense!

Yes……Geez.

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William F.Buckley came to my home town of 14,000 in the early 196os and was invited to dinner at the home of one of my high school chemistry teacher's whose daughter was my age. My parents would not say his name in our house, he was so reviled for. his extremely Catholic stance on human nature. I didn't learn if this episode until last year. Many folks in my neck of the woods were so impressed with his posh accent and clever command of the English language, he could have proported the moon was made of green cheese and they would have lauded his veracity. So my state voted Democrat in the Presidential election. In small towns, people talk to each other, often they all know each other, unlike life in cities.

Small towns are influencial outside their own boundaries. My point is there was enough discussion amongst the townfolk, that issues were raised and ideas were exchanged. It brought out the vote. I hope would be that Democratic speakers would be invited to homes and have after dinner discussions to sharpen voters ability to discuss points and present various viewpoints peacefully on a full stomach. That is grass roots work, putting personal energy into your convictions.

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"Just reacting to Republicans lies and duplicity is not enough." It never has been enough, and yet it seems to have been the Democrats' ordinary status, which has to be why we are in the mess we are, as a country. Republicans haven't done one darn thing for the people of this country since Reagan came to power, and yet they continue to be elected, primarily by ramming through gerrymandered voting districts. FORGET ABOUT PUBLICIZING dRUMPF. Drum into the electorate's head all the programs and policies Democrats have stood for for decades, the great improvements Democrats, when in authority, have made f/b/o Americans, and the total lack of any coherent, or ANY, policies or benefits forwarded by Republicans for those same decades.

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Good point, Gina, about local media coverage. Wonderful way to break through the Fox, etc. media wall.

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Absolutely agree!

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Barbara The same was said about Bone Spur Donald and 74 million people voted for Jabba the Hutt in 2020. Perhaps this message should be spread in comic book form and/or as a football analogy. KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID!

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how about western movie characters as analogies? repubs are the wealthy ranchers who got where they are by rustling and rebranding cattle. their base are the washed up cowboys who are tired of chasing stampedes and hire out as guns for the ranchers, who want to take over the town, then the territory, and then get elected senators and governors. the dems are the marshalls, the schoolmarms and the farmers who want to settle down, get married, and lead a decent middle class life. i hasten to add that western movies are not historically accurate. however, "when the legend becomes the truth, print the legend." or make a movie out of it.

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wealthy ranchers and deadbeat cowboys did not shoot up the james gang and make northfield, MN safe for women and children. a bunch of farmers did that.

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Desperado In my youth, no cowboy movie showed Back or Hispanic cowboys, although they comprised at least 50% of the cowboy contingent. I believe that Sergeant Rutledge was the first cowboy movie in which Blacks were featured. Also the “Buffalo soldiers’—the 9th and 10th regiments of black soldiers who were most successful in hunting down Native American ‘renegades’—were not featured.

Regarding Teddy Roosevelt’s exploits in the Cuban war, it was the 10th regiment ofBlack soldiers that assured the taking of San Juan (Kettle) hill.

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Sure hope so.

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Let's encourage them to all do more.

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It is the local where the futher of the federal will happen.

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??

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Local government is where candidates are important. The repubs get it and have marketed their candidates. Local becomes regional becomes state. It is so important to understand that running for the school board or supporting those with your values matters.

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You are too pessimistic. The truth does penetrate. Truth is always a trailing indicator, but it wins in the end, because it is, well, true.

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Oh, Jon, I wish that were so. Truth may eventually be revealed, but in the meantime, people lose, they get sick, they die, their lives are turned upside down again and again. And sometimes the truth simply gets so buried and subsumed by lies that it gets lost. There is no undoing our history: even as the people who benefited from it are beginning to be willing to see the truth of it, most of the time they are unwilling to recognize the enormous costs still being borne by those who whose ancestors were the victims. So we get "performance" that does nothing to make real change.

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Agree, Jon. Always the truth wins.

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Where do you find pessimism Jon ? That's not a loaded question by me here; I want to understand your statement. Thx

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In the idea, which I hear over and over, that people on the other side, what used to be called the Great Unwashed, are irredeemable, that they cannot hear the truth and will reject if forever even if they do hear it.

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Truth usually does surface, but when is the question. I am not optimistic at all.

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What are you doing to change the odds?

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Keep in mind ALL America heard the "pussy tape" before TFG was elected and remained unswayed. There is nothing the cult-ified GOP can do or say to dismay its followers. Mental health experts will be dissecting this chapter for the next century.

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“Mental health experts will be dissecting this chapter for the next century.”

In nations of the Free World, outside of the former U.S.

Srsly, we are in the realm of (math) Book Burning & (“woke” CRT) NewSpeak here in Floriduh already.

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Here is an excellent comment in today's NYT about the latest tapes etc.:

"Aaron

San Francisco

April 22

DOJ and the Democrats either need to indict Trump or drop this topic. Enough. It has been almost 16 months since this career criminal tried to overthrown the American government. The political class in Washington seems to be more interested in protecting itself than brining the hammer of the law down on one of its own.

Indict Trump or go silent. Enough talk."

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I understand how people feel but the real world isn't like an episode of Law and Order.

16 months isn't that long, especially when trying to build a case against a former president.

Know what will happen if they charged him and they failed in court?

However, I think we need to be honest and understand that the con man will never face consequences.

I truly don't care if he get charged, my concern is keeping him out of the WH.

Also, we need to be talking to people and remind them what will happen if the republicans take back control.

You think they are going to just block everything Biden tries, nope, there are going to start special investigations against anyone they want.

If they take back control, we're all screwed.

So my energy is going into the mid terms making sure the people I know understand what's at stake and get off their lazy butts and vote.

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"Know what will happen if they charged him and they failed in court?"

How in heavens name can any self respecting prosecutor have the information that at the very least is public let alone whatever else the January 6th committee has and "fail in court?" The real risk to our lives is if these people (who have steadfastly lied about trying to overthrow the government) are not indicted and prosecuted, we absolutely lose the country because there is is no rule of law and we become like every other dictatorship. Paying homage to the likes of trump remains gobsmack repulsive and puzzling. It is not just us . . . watch France's elections on Sunday!

In the meantime, the dems (and anyone with a functioning brain cell) must stop pandering and hand wringing - take a page out of the repugs "play book" (which is pure BS), take off the gloves, and start fighting back - nothing illegal but for crying out loud make good trouble and a lot of noise and get the cabal in court!

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I used to equate the length of the Watergate hearings/resolution to the January 6 insurrection. I then realized I was using a apples to oranges comparison. The Untied States was a lot more different then ie we didn't have the meteoric rise of fascism we have today, we didn't have coup attempt and the internet, disinformation and a pandemic we have now. We are in a code red today.

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My brother worked for the McGovern campaign, and knew a lot of the Watergate details in 1972. The hearings didn't happen until 1974. Most people had no idea at all what happened until 1973, and many Republicans still don't think it was a big deal. Birds of a feather, and all that...

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indeed. and think about this, Watergate NEVER would have come to light without two Washington Post reporters.

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Beth, I write because I, too, have prioritized doing all I can to help Dems to hold the House and pick up at least 2 Senate seats this fall. Nonetheless, I would add, absent any meaningful nationwide voter protection safeguards, that turbo-charging turnout, specifically in the battleground states, is critical. Hence, in my view, we must prevail upon Senate Democratic leadership to pass at least a piece of Biden’s BBB social and climate package and present it to voters as a down payment of more to come if Dems win more seats this November.

Last, I would note, because we nearly are running out the clock on democracy, that Dems, this November, must be the party that captures the dynamic of the political conversation for the foreseeable future. Though I could continue writing, I don’t imagine there’s much to say that you don’t already know.

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Barbara, Though for several months there has been sufficient factual predication to open up a criminal investigation of Trump and his coterie, considering the January 6th Select Committee is scheduled within the next few weeks to conduct open hearings detailing its findings, this is not the time to go silent.

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Absolutely not. Except it's way past time to do something. People are immune to the findings without action.

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Barbara, We won’t know what to expect until the Committee commences its public hearings.

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Think how jaded people are. Mueller Report and 2 impeachments and this guy is still walking around trying to overturn Democracy from Mar a Largo.

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Barbara, I don’t doubt that your perceptions are valid. Still, because I don’t expect any indictments before the Select Committee’s public hearings this June, I, mostly, am focused on the latter.

Though this is a change of topic, I would note that my principal priority is prevailing upon Senate Democratic leadership to pass at least a piece of Biden’s BBB social and climate package as a down payment of more to come if Dems hold the House and pick up at least 2 Senate seats this fall.

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Timing is paramount. August and September may bring you some nice surprises.

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Apr 23, 2022·edited Apr 23, 2022

I think our "law"system is in far worse shape than we want to think. I think the GOP has been on a long range plan to steal/control our government since Nixon's "disgrace" and the "great second coming" of Reagan who shocked the world who thought, mistakenly, the GOP was a dead party for decades after Watergate.

With Reagan's "the Government is the enemy" and "the Government is NOT your friend" sound bites for 8 years, with the creation of right-wing "news" (aka propaganda) and social media outlets during the very same time, we have seen millions upon millions of voters leave the Democrat Party (who, in fact, fueled the mass exodus to the GOP by, literally, abandoning their Union based voters in favor of Corporations and Wall Street!). The 40 year result is today's 74-75 Million "Base" voters who SUPPORT the overthrow of our government.

Trump-ism is the result of 40 years of GOP working and controlling "the messaging" through their voter's favorite "news" sources. This has translated in Trump/GOP ability to, literally, being elected and, then, taking over EVERY Department of governance and oversight, least of which is the fundamental foundations of our nation: The Department of Justice and The Supreme Court.

President Ford's pardoning of Nixon pales to what The GOP has been able "to get away with" over the last 15-20 years. Again, this did not happen overnight. It has been an intentional, well planned, well orchestrated, business-like, step-by-step, year by year implementation of, as their stated goal (see the 1971 Lewis Powell Memo), "taking power back" once and for all from their "liberal socialist" enemies.

I wish all of this were not true. However, as the old cliche states, "the proof is in the pudding." This GOP/Trump pudding is reality because smart, intelligent people PLANNED for two generations and counting, a clear cut way to both get and, then, control power by, literally, taking over the mechanization's of Democracy at every level.

This is WHY, in my opinion, we and world has witnessed virtually no legal consequences for political deception, lies, corruption from Halliburton and the Iraq takeover, to The 2008 Crash and to everything we have seen under Trump-ism the last 4 years and counting.

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I 100% agree with you. McConnell sure has been playing the long game. He has not only seeded the Supreme Court he has seeded many levels of judges. And it has hobbled our judicial system. In other words. The bad guys (and gals) are running amok.

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Bradford, you are precisely correct with much of what you've said above ↑ in something of an incomplete, sort of outline form. The democratic party leadership has been stunned and absolutely feckless - at best. Some of that is 'our fault' too. We've failed to incubate and nurture real leaders and honest self evaluation for far too long. "We" allowed the tail (dem leadership) to wag the dog (us) for far too long, too content and too busy to do our due diligence, vainly hoping and trusting business would take care of itself among a (professional ?) party political class setting the route 'and' driving the car, so to speak. Said another way, we allowed them (party leadership) to believe their own BS; that winning 'minds' was enough, that political science college educated fountains of logic were enough to succeed. It's not and you know it; they might get the minds of the like minded in one self affirming echo chamber, yet blindly, ignore the 'other' necessary ingredient of successful, actual leadership - the hearts. It takes some mix of the two for working formula.

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Those "smart" people also had the help of a sneaky Russian pirate who seduced them with women and gold.

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Barbara, sorry, I don't buy this. More sweeping things under the rug will not fix anything. Especially when the real purpose of doing something like that is so that some people can go back to feeling comfortable while other people have to live with the fallout. No, we do not let go of this. We keep it open for as long as it takes. Because if we don't, we give permission for it to happen again. We know that because that's what we've done before, and here we are again. Enough avoiding doing what needs to be done.

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Shit or get off the pot, Merrick Garland

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It's a good thing people are getting impatient. When the Dems drop the political bomb just before the election, it will take down Steven Miller, Bill Barr and a bunch of other Opus Dei as well. I can hardly wait.

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Ian, While your observations are spot on, I would submit that we can’t afford to spend calories on the segment of the population that is so invested in a single, fixed point of view that it vigorously will defend against any information that departs from what it thinks it already knows. Hence, I advocate for spending calories on what I believe is a larger segment that truly is invested in obtaining the necessary information to help resolve our problems.

Additionally, though admittedly there are exceptions, I’m finding even so-called mainstream media outlets prioritizing strong, honest, and accurate reporting aimed at getting as close as possible to the verifiable truth.

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'Marjorie Taylor Greene Claims She Was Abducted by Jewish Spaceship on January 6th'

'April 22, 2022'

''Marjorie Taylor Greene holds her hand up to testify. There is a U.S. flag behind her.'

'ATLANTA (The Borowitz Report)—The Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene testified on Friday that she could not have played a part in the January 6, 2021, insurrection because she had been abducted by a Jewish spaceship earlier that day.'

“I was walking down the street, minding my own business, when suddenly a Jewish teleporting beam levitated me into the hull of the orbiter,” she said'

'Once abducted, she testified, she found herself in the presence of the Rothschild banking family, all dressed in silver spacesuits.'

'“They had this big panel with flashing lights and knobs on it that they were using to control the government, the news media, and the entertainment industry,” she said.'

'After observing her for several hours, the Rothschilds returned her to Earth unharmed, she said.'

“My biggest fear was that the Rothschilds had implanted something in my head to control my mind the way they control wildfires,” she testified. “Fortunately, my brain is the same as it’s always been.” (Satire, NewYorker)

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I can't imagine a Jewish spaceship wanting anything to do with MTG

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A case of mistaken identity? Wrong Greene.

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Good point!

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🤣

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🗽🧑🏼‍⚖️🔔

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Apr 23, 2022·edited Apr 23, 2022

So clever our new Liberty Belle. Like fresh homemade bread. My 94 year old girlfriend,Birdie, walked over to see last years colt and said by the way I brought you a loaf of bread hot out of the oven. I built her a new screen door the next day. A very clever girl.

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Cannot wait to meet her and take home a loaf of 'fresh homemade bread'. Still cooking at 94 years of age! Here's to you both.

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She is a nurse, like you.

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Hahaha hahahahahhhaaahhhhga aaahhhaa timeout!

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You are benched!

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Worth it.

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That's almost as believable as her testimony!

What a sad piece of work!

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Did you recognize that the piece was noted as a 'satire' of her testimony ?

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i'm not sure what you're referring to - I was referring to seeing her actual testimony on MSNBC and CNN.

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Thank you, Cecile. I didn't know whether you were referring to her testimony or the satire

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I'm glad to have cleared that up.

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Thank you for this!

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What would you all do if you were at a business receiving a service and Newsmax was playing on TV and you suspected that the business wasn't aware of Newsmax's bias? I was in a Nail Salon owned and operated by people who were Asian American. Would you let a manager know what type of news organization Newsmax is and its role in spreading hateful sentiment for the Asian Community? Or, would you not say anything?

Edit: this establishment is in a very diverse area represented by Congresswoman Cori Bush.

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Thank you, everyone! I will definitely stop by there and talk to the manager. I will be very humble so they know I am there to help and not preach. I'll let you know what happens.

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I definitely would say something

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I would certainly say something like “I’m fascinated you are playing that channel. Did you know they were a prime source of anti-Asian hate speech and propaganda over the last 3 years?” And then potentially ask them why they choose to play it - for insight into their perspective. Informed is armed.

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Silence is consent.

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If you say something, let us know what happens.

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Apr 23, 2022·edited Apr 23, 2022

RUF, If one believes democracy starts with each individual taking responsibility for one’s family, for one’s community, for the environment in which one finds oneself, whether at work or in a religious or an educational or even a social environment, then, barring exceptional circumstances, one must speak his or her mind.

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Apr 23, 2022·edited Apr 23, 2022

A less confrontational with more room for actual education might be to explain your concern in the form of a respectful letter. This letter would be something they could read over and over and chew on and refer back to while they consider what you are trying to convey.

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Disagree, in this case. RuftotheRescue has a personal connection to this business as a customer. Sending a letter distances his feelings of concern and would make it more likely to be taken as a judgemental criticism.

I like that RUF sees it the way he does: as a supportive customer who is himself offended by the bias, and sharing that concern with the manager of the business. Keeping it on a personal level of concern, rather than sounding like a pretentious white man "saving" the ignorant asians.

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Of course it could also turn into a “Karen” moment too when face to face. RUF could personally hand them a letter so they’d know they were a valuable customer. Always different ways to look at it. I respect that.

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I would say something with respect.

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I just checked in the written FOX News. ZERO mention of any of this. They are definitely on a DeSantis worship theme. No mention of trump.

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That is why it is important for all to repost everywhere possible.

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... Re-post, calmly educate and advocate; fearlessly at every opportunity.

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Because the newsletter offers information on a number of things going on, it is also helpful to do small pieces crediting HCR - along with a photo. People seem to have shorter attention spans these days.

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Or none at all… it’s almost like many are shell-shocked, if not energized on the Repub side…. Texas at it’s worst.

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Jeri, the only hope for Texas is that more progressives move there from blue states. I say this as a native Texan who moved away for years, then returned for 15. With retirement, thank God, we have finally left Texas for good. Being 75, I could see no real change coming in my lifetime regardless of how many marches I attended, how many signs I made, how many new voters I registered, or how many Republicans I tried to talk to. Maybe Beto can make a difference.

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I have set up a second Twitter account for the purpose of defeating false information, however tiny it may be in the larger universe. @DDisinformation (stands for Dis Disinformation). Feel free to go there.

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The EU is is focusing on a huge bill addressing hate speech, disinformation, and harmful online content. Congress here remains divided on efforts to deal with disinformation. I applaud Obama for getting out in front to speak about it.

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How do we make it popular to want to know the truth once again? It feels like we’ve suffered a pandemic of fakery

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Has been true for longer than chump

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What you say is correct. But our system gives them numerous legal defenses. Fighting liars and traitors on the battlefield chosen by them will take years and by then the pendulum of history will have swung too far to the right, where it might be stuck for a while. The answer is to pour sufficient resources and energy into the campaigns of the opponents of Greene, Cawthorn, DeSantis and similar Republicans so that they are soundly defeated at the polls on November 8. (Not allowing Greene to run would probably increase support for whomever replaces her on the ballot.) If it cannot be accomplished that way, we will have to wait for the pendulum to swing back a few generations from now. (As I have said numerous times, winning at the polls requires a massive turnout of women voters and of persons of color.)

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With their tunnel vision sources of information, I picture the R base as the three monkeys. “See no evil” and “Hear no evil” have their hands firmly over eyes and ears. Unfortunately, “Speak no evil” is shouting their nonsense loud enough to be heard around the world.

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Like the shrieking Nazgûl beasts

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The worst part: The fringe has now become mainstream.

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Ian Sirota -

We have the three branches of government. I’ll add a dark horse. The press.

Box of worms that last statement, I understand. But as the un-press (Fox, wannabes, and cheap suit copycats) avoids truth, there are the ample direct news sources that DO tell the truth.

And because humans are social, please don’t forget the power of the coffee mess or water cooler. The news (truth) is available. Whether people WANT to pay attention is a whole other discussion.

What I’m most afraid of is apathy.

Shame on us for apathy.

I’m holding on to the hope that the press the world over will keep our politicals from collapsing our House.

Sure am sorry to see our nation in this conundrum.

😢

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Worse. It’s dangerous.

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Totally agree.

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Apr 23, 2022·edited Apr 23, 2022

“The only one who matters is Trump, [a]nd if Trump is fine, it's not an issue.”

That there folks, is what we call a cult.

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How sick is that Mr Mcarthy?? I fancy myself a good nurse, but this will take a boatload of koolaid antidote and some serious intervention to get you out of this mess.

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As sick as the Germans who lost their reasoning for Hitler

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Exactly.

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For McCarthy is about fear. Fear of losing power. Fear of TFG. Fear TFG’s supporters showing up in mass at his office and home and Jan 6th~ing him.

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He certainly missed that boat Karen. Remember when the nurses go south you go south!

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As sick as the first one, may Kevin suffer the same fate, quickly

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Has been from Day one, or whenever he said that he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue…. That cemented the crazies, the RNC came next.

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Jeri, As a one time NYer, I never found his character revealed in news stories, puff pieces or interviews, to be anything more than cringeworthy. It was said that as a young man he professed admiration for crime boss toughness. Well he now has his own

mob in our very own republic party. We had better hope Dems and voters carefully vet their own candidates to prevent further spread of this disease.

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It appears the fact that we all need to accept is there is a group of people in this country who LOVE Trump, no matter what he does or says. For whatever reasons, he appeals to them. The other fact we know is that a number of R's don't love him and see the truth of the man along with most Dem's who can't stand him. For this one core group Trump is their man. The One. For me and most of the rest of us, I see multiple, very capable and intelligent people capable of being in serious leadership positions in the D party. Conversely I see very few R's that I'd trust beyond a Congressional seat.

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I see very few R’s that I would trust with a congressional seat. Or a dog catcher badge…

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Especially now...because the ones you might trust in elected office for the most part are not brave enough to publicly not follow Trump or endorse him. Our Gov. Hogan in MD never got on the Trump bandwagon and in a Blue state has served two terms...and I can live with a lot of what he has done. Now we have an overwhelming D House & Senate that could override his vetoes. But he has been closer to a classic moderate Republican conservative. He gained respect from me when he said he would sign anti-fracking legislation...which helped get it out of a committee controlled by a Dem Senator who was trying to roadblock and sandbag the anti-fracking bill coming out of her committee. The R's aren't all bad. But a bunch of them are lost.

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Hi, Jeri. There's a part of this fine old Magnolia from central Alabama that knows, beyond any doubt. that the core problem with Mr. Trump and his ilk is that they are unspeakably TACKY. Your Mama wouldn't have them to dinner.

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LOL Tacky is as tacky does.

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Reminds me of the home I drove by today on a road that borders an ocean inlet where million dollar homes are not uncommon. There was a trailer with lots of junk in the yard and what looked like about 50 different Trump flags of every size all over the yard. I don’t have a pristine yard, and don’t expect others too, so I’m not being judgy. I’m just, WTFF. It’s like they can’t say “who” they are, loud enough, or long enough. Someday, I hope my understanding of the cause is crystal clear in my brain. Some days I feel like I almost get it and then poof it’s gone. Today I’m baffled.

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Good morning, Christy, I think keeping us baffled is a huge part of the situation we're living in. And for all the empathy I can find for the people who support Trump and his Ilk--rich and poor--there comes a point at which I have not and cannot walk in their shoes. It's that little area that shuts down my ability to understand. I believe that, at bottom, it honestly does make sense and a lot of us are trying to find the logic in something that ism't logical.

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Dean, I appreciate your comment very much. I’m guessing you meant to say that it honestly does NOT make sense. I absolutely agree with that. I do think neuroscience is getting closer to understanding evil. Whether we can figure out how to use that information to save humanity in time is a question too scary for me to consider.

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As mentioned before, trumplicans qualify as a cult. Here is one person's definition of a cult. Each segment could easily be translated to the trumplican party members behaviors in order to be in the club. Dear Kevin Mc. started to stray from the cult with critical thinking skills, and then the mad, orange idol brought him immediately back into the fold. It just took some time with the cult leader and a little stay at Mar a Loco (en la cabeza) to get his critical thinking skills wiped out of his frontal lobe.

Try to match what you have witnessed in the trumplicans--a brain teaser this morning that is pretty easy:

10 Signs You’re Probably In A Cult

Cults aren’t as easy to spot as you might think. Most cults don’t wear robes or live in communes. In fact, most cult members don’t even realize they’re in a cult.

During my 25 years as an unwitting cult member, I would often watch documentaries and read about other cults. As I researched, I noticed 10 specific patterns that helped me recognize that I myself was in a cult:

1. The leader is the ultimate authority

If you’re not allowed to criticize your leader, even if the criticism is true, you’re probably in a cult.

Cults begin with a charismatic leader who claims some supreme knowledge. They may call themselves a prophet, messiah, messenger, or an enlightened teacher. They can also be CEOs, military officials, politicians, and self-help gurus.

Cult leaders convince members to forfeit their critical thinking ability in return for a sense of belonging, authority, and purpose. To members, it doesn’t matter what the evidence or logic may suggest, the leader is always right, and their misdeeds are always justified. Criticism of the leader is forbidden.

2. The group suppresses skepticism

If you’re only allowed to study your organization through approved sources, you’re probably in a cult.

CULTS VIEW CRITICAL THINKING AS AN INFECTIOUS DISEASE and every effort is made to suppress it. Doubting members are encouraged to isolate themselves from outside influences and focus solely on the doctrine of the cult.

CRITICISM IS FORBIDDEN. People who contradict the group are viewed as persecutors and are often given labels like “anti,” “apostate,” or “suppressive person.” Members are discouraged from consuming any material that is critical of the group.

3. The group delegitimizes former members

If you can’t think of a legitimate reason for leaving your group, you’re probably in a cult.

Because the cult considers itself the ultimate authority on truth, it can’t imagine anybody leaving it with their integrity intact. Thus, it has to perpetuate a false narrative that former members were deceived, proud, immoral, or lazy.

If former members speak out, they are dismissed as bitter, angry, dishonest or evil. Cults often impose some kind of shunning to shame former members and prevent them from infecting other members with the truth.

4. The group is paranoid about the outside world

If your group insists the end of the world is near, you’re probably in a cult.

Cults position themselves as the sole refuge from an evil outside world that is intent on their destruction. Cults thrive on conspiracy theories, catastrophic thinking, and persecution complexes.

In an effort to draw in more paying members, cults are often very aggressive in their recruitment efforts which are usually justified as “saving” people from the evil world. Those who reject the cult’s message are unelect, prideful, evil, or stupid.

5. The group relies on shame cycles

If you need your group in order to feel worthy, loved, or sufficient, you’re probably in a cult.

Cult leaders trap members in shame cycles by imposing abnormally strict codes of conduct (usually prescriptions about diet, appearance, sex, relationships, media), guilting members for their shortcomings, and then positioning themselves as the unique remedy to the feelings of guilt which they themselves created.

Cult members are made to believe they are insufficient or unworthy on their own and that the only way to become worthy is to confess their shortcomings to the group or leader. The leader then becomes the meditiator of worthiness and the foundation of the member’s self esteem.

Leaders who can make followers feel bad about anything can use shame to manipulate followers into doing anything, even if it’s against their own self-interest or better judgment.

6. The leader is above the law

If you’re held to a different moral standard, specifically in regard to sex, you’re probably in a cult.

A prevalent idea among cult leaders is that they are above the law, be it human or divine. This idea allows them to exploit their followers economically and sexually without repercussions.

When confronted, they do not confess, but create justifications for their impropriety. Sexual grooming of members is common. Loyal cult members will perform any amount of “mental gymnastics” to justify or ignore the leader’s behavior.

7. The group uses “thought reform” methods

If your serious questions are answered with cliches, you’re probably in a cult.

Indoctrination or “brainwashing” is the process through which a cult slowly breaks down a person’s sense of identity and ability to think rationally. Behaviors like excessive fasting, prayer, hypnosis, scripture reading, chanting, meditation, or drug usage can all be used to increase a person’s vulnerability to the leader’s suggestions.

The hallmark of indoctrination is the use of thought-terminating cliches. Platitudes like “follow the leader” or “doubt your doubts” are regurgitated over and over so that members don’t have to critically analyze complex issues.

8. The group is elitist

If your group is the solution for all the world’s problems, you’re probably in a cult.

Cults see themselves as the enlightened, chosen, and elect organization tasked with radically transforming individual lives and the entire world.

This elitism creates greater sense of group unity and responsibility centered on a united purpose. However, this sense of responsibility is often manipulated by cult leaders who coerce members into risky financial behavior, sexual favors, free manual labor, or heightened recruitment efforts in order to “further the cause.”

9. There is no financial transparency

If you’re not allowed to know what the group does with their money, you’re probably in a cult.

A group that refuses to disclose its finances is a huge red flag. Ethical organizations have nothing to hide. Cult leaders tend to live opulently while their followers are required to make financial sacrifices. Members are often encouraged to pay their offerings even if it means putting their families at risk.

10. The group performs secret rites

If there are secret teachings or ceremonies you didn’t discover until after you joined, you’re probably in a cult.

Cults use secret rituals as rites of passage that solidify a member’s loyalty to the group. Initiation into these rites usually only comes after a member has undergone certain tests or made adequate financial contributions.

Often, cult initiations are confusing, bizarre, or even offensive. This mental dissonance between their sense of confusion and their loyalty to the “inner circle” convinces the initiate to double their efforts in order to properly appreciate the proceedings. This only further entrenches them in a shame cycle, making them even more susceptible to manipulation.

926

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Excellent comment!

Sure sounds like the GQP to me. And there are all sorts of cults out there. Humans have a desperate need to worship totally - to completely follow and believe in. There is the Cult of Putin. And there is the Cult of Disney. There are many thousands of people who worship at the altar of Mickey Mouse in Orlando. Their devotion to Disney - its entire infrastructure - is religious in tone and dedication.

I think Putin has made an enormous mistake - the mysteries of where all those sailors went (down with the ship, of course) and where all those army conscripts are (in mass graves or rotting on the side of road) are creating serious alarm and resentment in Mother Russia. All leaders have a limited run. Just ask the Romanovs.

I think DeSantis just made a huge mistake declaring war on Mickey Mouse. There is a huge swath of Americans who don't give a hoot about politics - but make trouble for their "church"? Not a deft move by the punk who would be governor. Charlie Christ just got a huge campaign gift.

As to TFG? It is not my nature to wish physical difficulties on anyone. But if he were to remove himself from the scene by eating too many cheeseburgers, we would still have the cult. TFG is just a clever self indulgent figurehead. The cult has always been with us. Joseph McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan have all been leaders of this cult. It has a momentum all it's own. It rolls on hate for the other, fear of the other. It thinks everything is a zero sum game. It believes its prosperity is stolen by "new people" or different people. It is easy to push along and grow. Many insecure people love to hate. They hunger for someone to demonize rather than seeking folks to love. I'll stop now before I launch an endless tirade about religious cults. BTW, where is the organized religion that cloaks itself in "loving thy brother" but starves him and won't offer him shelter...etc. Lets him die in the desert, separates him from his children. I said I would stop.

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Apr 23, 2022·edited Apr 23, 2022

I am with you on all of the above, Bill. And I know people of whom Disney is their religion. Desandbag has stomped on something that is going to bite him in the petutie, I bet. Never mess with Americans and Their Magic Kingdom!!

The chap that wrote the article on what a cult is writes from being raised as a Mormon...he knows what he is talking about. As a therapist, I have had to deal with former cult members from Mormonism to really, really awful satanic ritual abuse stuff that is soul-destroying and so traumatizing for those I serve as well as myself. In my first experience with trying to support those stuck in this dark side, an expert in NYC I consulted with told me to be really careful and stay away from families and people involved in the dark side and cults. He would not explain any further, he just said, stay away from them. Of course it made me way too curious and I studied cults and how to help former cult members with Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. I also grew up on the west coast and where there were breeding grounds in CA and OR for cults. It was so easy to learn about them and meet people who had escaped. We are already beginning to see trumplican cult members leaving the fold and talking about it. Guess McCarthy won't be one of them.... until he is prosecuted.

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One thing we need to be cautious about is religious diversity. As a therapist I have had people work with spiritual concerns even though they were still within their religious communities, including some of those named here. Altemeyer also notes that although many Evangelicals rate high in his Right Wing Authoritarian scale there are leaders we all admire who are not authoritarian, including Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jimmy Carter, among others. Also faith itself is often held suspect, although large numbers of people have Spiritually Transformative Experiences STEs, and may struggle to integrate them.

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Yes, Gary, what you are describing is different from a cult. I am not talking about Christians with big "C's" like Jimmy or MLK. I am talking about the radicals who go way overboard or fall into a charismatic leadership that strays very far from Jesus's reported teachings and drags innocents with them into very dark places. Any religion or spiritual path can go too far, particularly when led by narcissists who can get drunk with the power that their followers give to them. "Question authority" is a good mantra for anyone following any kind of leader. And then add: "Use your noodle." ;-)

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This excellent information. I'll add the following:

Types of Propaganda

1. Ad hominem: attacking opponents rather than opponents’ ideas or principles

2. Ad nauseam: repeating ideas relentlessly so that the audience becomes inured to them

3. Appeal to authority: use of authority figures (or perceived authority figures like celebrities) to support ideas

4. Appeal to fear: exploitation of audience anxieties or concerns

5. Appeal to prejudice: exploitation of an audience’s desire to believe that it is virtuous or morally or otherwise superior

6. Bandwagon: exploitation of an audience’s desire to conform by encouraging adherence to or acceptance of idea that is supposedly garnering widespread or universal support

7. Beautiful people: depiction of attractive famous people or happy people to associate success or happiness with adherence to an idea or cause or purchase of a product

8. Black-and-white fallacy: presentation of only two alternatives, one of which is identified as undesirable

9. Classical conditioning: association of an idea with another stimulus

10. Cognitive dissonance: using a favorable stimulus to prompt acceptance of an unfavorable one, or producing an unfavorable association

11. Common man: adoption of mannerisms and/or communication of principles that suggest affinity with the average person

12. Cult of personality: creation of an idealized persona, or exploitation of an existing one, as a spokesperson for an idea or a cause

13. Demonizing the enemy: dehumanizing or otherwise denigrating opponents to sway opinion

14. Dictat: mandating adherence to an idea or cause by presenting it as the only viable alternative

15. Disinformation: creating false accounts or records, or altering or removing existing ones, to engender support for or opposition to an idea or cause

16. Door in the face: seeking compliance with a request by initially requesting a greater commitment and then characterizing the desired outcome as a compromise or a minor inconvenience

17. Euphoria: generating happiness or high morale by staging a celebration or other motivating event or offer

18. Fear, uncertainty, and doubt: disseminating false or negative information to undermine adherence to an undesirable belief or opinion

19. Flag waving: appealing to nationalism or patriotism

20. Foot in the door: manipulation by encouraging a small gift or sacrifice, which establishes a bond that can be exploited to extract more significant compliance

21. Glittering generalities: applying emotionally appealing but vague / meaningless words to an idea or cause

22. Half-truth: making a statement that is partly true or only part of the truth, or is otherwise deceptive

23. Inevitable victory: assurance of uncommitted audience members and reassurance of committed audience members that an idea or cause will prevail

24. Join the crowd: communication intended to persuade the audience to support an idea or cause because it is or will be the dominant paradigm

25. Labeling or name-calling: using euphemistic terms to encourage a positive or negative perception of a person, an idea, or a cause

26. Latitudes of acceptance: introducing an extreme point of view to encourage acceptance of a more moderate stance, or establishing a barely moderate stance and gradually shifting to an extreme position

27. The lie: false information that justifies an action or a belief and/or encourages acceptance of it

28. Love bombing: isolation of the target audience from general society within an insular group that devotes attention and affection to the target audience to encourage adherence to an idea or cause

29. Managing the news: influencing news media by timing messages to one’s advantage, reinterpreting controversial or unpopular actions or statements (also called spinning), or repeating insubstantial or inconsequential statements that ignore a problem (also called staying on message)

30. Milieu control: using peer or social pressure to engender adherence to an idea or cause; related to brainwashing and mind control

31. Obfuscation: communication that is vague and ambiguous, intended to confuse the audience as it seeks to interpret the message, or to use incomprehensibility to exclude a wider audience

32. Operant conditioning: indoctrination by presentation of attractive people expressing opinions or buying products

33. Oversimplification: offering generalities in response to complex questions

34. Pensée unique (French for “single thought”): repression of alternative viewpoints by simplistic arguments

35. Quotes out of context: selective use of quotations to alter the speaker’s or writer’s intended meaning or statement of opinion

36. Rationalization: use of generalities or euphemisms to justify actions or beliefs

37. Red herring: use of irrelevant data or facts to fallaciously validate an argument

38. Reductio ad Hitlerum: persuasion of an audience to change its opinion by identifying undesirable groups as adherents of the opinion, thus associating the audience with such groups

39. Repetition: repeated use of a word, phrase, statement, or image to influence the audience

40. Scapegoating: blaming a person or a group for a problem so that those responsible for it are assuaged of guilt and/or to distract the audience from the problem itself and the need to fix it

41. Selective truth: restrictive use of data or facts to sway opinion that might not be swayed if all the data or facts were given

42. Sloganeering: use of brief, memorable phrases to encapsulate arguments or opinions on an emotional rather than a logical level

43. Stereotyping: incitement of prejudice by reducing a target group, such as a segment of society or people adhering to a certain religion, to a set of undesirable traits

44. Straw man: misrepresentation of an undesirable argument or opinion, or misidentifying an undesirable persona or an undesirable single person as representative of that belief, or oversimplifying the belief

45. Testimonial: publicizing of a statement by an expert, authority figure, or celebrity in support of an idea, cause, or product in order to prompt the audience to identify with the person and support the idea or cause or buy the product

46. Third party: use of a supposedly impartial person or group, such as a journalist or an expert, or a group falsely represented as a grassroots organization, to support an idea or cause or recommend a product

47. Thought-terminating cliché: use of a truism to stifle dissent or validate faulty logic

48. Transfer: association of an entity’s positive or negative qualities with another entity to suggest that the latter entity embodies those qualities

49. Unstated assumption: implicit expression of an idea or cause by communication of related concepts without expressing the idea or cause

50. Virtue words: expression of words with positive connotations to associate an idea or cause with the self- perceived values of the audience

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This is excellent to create memes to use to thwart lies and propaganda! Well done! I am going to use this in my trumplican cult work!

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Thank you. Familiar with many, of course, but have not put them all together. Excellent reference …did you compile this yourself?

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No I did not compile this. Can't remember where I got it. (oops.) I keep a file of stuff that I think is useful.)

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Barbara, that’s a terrific list! Are you its source?

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No! And I lost the source. I will try and find find the author.

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Like

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What you write is interesting. You mentioned you were in a cult for years. What made you realize that finally and leave?

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I never mentioned I was in a cult! I have studied them and worked with some who have been in cults. I was obsessed with WWII (read Anne Frank at 9) and how an entire country could be duped by Hitler's propaganda. My critical thinking skills saved me from religion at that age when by my newly reborn Godmother tried to put a crucifix above my bed. I was appalled to have this man nailed to the cross and bleeding above my bed. She said that Jesus was crucified and died for my sins. Then I asked what "sin" is. She told me it was all the bad things I had done. I thought she had lost her mind! I was only nine years old (for Christ's sake!). I had never done anything in my life that someone would be crucified to purify me. What hogwash. Her love was so deep that she left and I never saw her again. That is when I learned about one sort of Chrisitianity. Then I learned of what Jesus' teachings were, and most seemed like basic truths and Golden Rule stuff that I agreed with because it matched The Golden Rule creed I had within my being. But the dogmatic cult stuff was way over the top for me.

I thank that strong part of myself for having critical thinking skills and a strong sense of self at a young age despite of what our culture tried to pound into me as a female, lesser part of the species. And I also think all my experiences and obsessions of history from that time are paying off as I view and write/speak about what we are witnessing and working with/against in this country today. I recognized McConnell land there repubs a long time ago and tfg as a cult figure immediately when I saw his first rally. A blatant, baby Hitler all over again.

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Thank you for this. I am now reading The Authoritarians by Bob Altemeyer, a retired psychology professor who makes his book available for free. He studied authoritarian thinking for four decades in a rigorous way. Last night I read his summary of his research findings on fundamentalists, many of whom score high in his Right Wing Authoritarian scale. Many, like you, find their way out of cults. You can download a PDF of his book for free -- with his blessing ;-) -- here: https://www.evcforum.net/DataDropsite/TheAuthoritarians.pdf or buy his book at low cost directly from the publisher, here: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/bob-altemeyer/the-authoritarians/paperback/product-1mq99km.html?page=1&pageSize=4

I began to study cults many years ago when I was caught up in some cult-like groups and found that they didn't meet my core sense of truth either. Altemeyer has a review I have yet to read of the early explorations into the cult mindset.

I just came upon this, which may also be of interest:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/measuring-the-authoritarian-mind-set-of-trumps-followers/2020/10/01/23490cc8-ea38-11ea-970a-64c73a1c2392_story.html

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Thanks, Gary!

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Pensa, I pulled a quote from what you wrote above. Perhaps it’s a copy and paste from another source, but the way you present it sounds as if you are writing of yourself: “During my 25 years as an unwitting cult member, I would often watch documentaries and read about other cults. As I researched, I noticed 10 specific patterns that helped me recognize that I myself was in a cult:”

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Sorry Christy, I must have written that a bit awkwardly. What I referred to was cut and pasted. My second sentence reads: " Here is one person's definition of a cult." Should have put the colon but then I wrote a bit more to give ideas of the 10 points I pasted. I was in a hurry and usually cite my resources. Here it is belatedly! by Sam,& Tanner: https://medium.com/@zelphontheshelf/10-signs-youre-probably-in-a-cult-1921eb5a3857

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Yes, that’s what made me ask the question.

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Pensa, I would like very much to get together with you over coffee or lunch and talk. Could you drop me a note via FB Messenger?

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Oh, I can be reached at DecencyandDemocracy@gmail.com. Then I can share my person contact information so we can get together, Annie! that would be great. I do not have access to FB. They appear to have dropped me because I cannot access the email I originally opened the account with. So much for advanced technology!

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I had to go back and look at that too. I think the "During my 25 years as an unwitting cult member" was from the article Pensa was sharing.

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Interesting, MLM, I, too, thought Pensa had implied they’d extracted themselves from a cult. I’ll have to go back and read the original comment. …

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Our 21st C. Cosa Nostra?!

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So the Trump-loving core group is outnumbered on all sides. Aren't they? And if not, then what's going on?

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There are congressional districts his "people" are going to win. Even though I see less of his signs and banners in rural areas than before, there are pockets where you find them clumped together. Many of the elected R's who really don't like him, won't speak out against him for fear of losing their primary. Liz Cheney is one of the few. Back when Trump was winning his first primary races he was only getting 20% of the vote...but it was a large field and 20% was enough. He was famous from TV. I'd love to know how much of his core base, were fans of the Apprentice ? Now he's trying to intimidate others to not run. He's obviously ruthless and will use any tactic to divide and conquer. Custer was successful for a number years, until he wasn't...and it ended badly for him and his troopers. I think DJT's Little Big Horn moment is coming. It's just a matter of where and when.

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Been waiting, but I’m old.

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Old and tired and sometimes, discouraged after so many years of this war. Thanks Jeri

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Little Big Horn? on horseback? Nice picture, but slow. I'd like to be able to live long enough to see it.

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LOL, Anne-Louise! As someone who has horses, I will say they may or may not be slow by today's standard, but their kick can be very deadly.

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Not to mention a sneaky way of swinging the head right round, ears back and teeth bared, as you try to withdraw your foot out of reach behind or even above the saddle.

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They’re smarter than some humans.

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🐎...and usually deserved.

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Everything moves faster today. Custer was arrogant and media seeking like Trump. He was used to getting out of close calls and then one day 5,000 Indians who had never fought together before, came together under Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse and surrounded Custer in an impossible situation. History does repeat itself. Personally I believe Trump will flee the country because his situation will become untenable.

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That last sentence floored me

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Excellent possibility, I see run run or hanged. Don’t forget what Custer told the North Dakotans. “Play dumb till I get Back”.

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I think so, too, and have for a long time. The problem he might have is where? (Not asking. Just who would want him and the drama in their country at this point?)

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Yes but how does that look if they go on winning elections? The senatorial election are not effected by gerrymandering for instance.

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Morning, Stuart!! How does it look for tomorrow's election? Do you think Le Pen has a chance of winning?

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Morning, Lynell. Spent the night in a favourite hotel near Beaune on our way back to Paris for my wife to vote. Macron has chain-ganged the whole media, promised everything to everybody...as a shepherd to his sheep before sending them to the butcher...and he will pass in all likelihood. His humiliation comes from only squeaking through despite his fear-mongering and then from his impotence from having no power when he lacks a majority to govern. Welcome to a chaotic summer and autumn. It wouldn't be any different if she wins.

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Indeed it will be different if she wins. Bye bye NATO. Hard to believe that France could elect a Putin toadie. Well, same with Boris and Chump, so much “hard to believe” these days.

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Thanks for your take, Stuart; although, I read one news article that predicted if Le Pen wins it will mean the end of NATO and support for Ukraine. Hyperbole?

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I’ve been to Beaune twice. Loved it. What is your favorite hotel?

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Isn't part of what's going on just the volume principle? Making noise. gets attention

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Absolutely. And making enough noise creates so much chaos that no one is able to think. It's almost as simple as the sound level at a big concert or even going into a crowded restaurant except mul/tiplied. That kind of "noise" is one of the first strategies of an authoritarian coup, long before any actual, possibly recognizable, moves to take over. And we have had it for 5-6 years now, uninterrupted. It's devious.

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They love TFG because he has made them feel “special” again, their grievance of being forgotten, unheard, and discounted, is being exploited. It seems new to us, but it’s the oldest strategy of Populism. Therefore the issue needing the most focus is inequality. Given the landscape, we can only get there in November.

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Apr 23, 2022·edited Apr 23, 2022

The last time I actually threw a man the distance was fourth row up, approx. 8 feet as the raven flies. That’s how far I will ever trust the bastards. Keep them close enough to grab both tonsils.

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Yes, it has been a cult from day one. It still is impossible for me to my head around the fact there are congressional people, representing fairly significant swaths of the population, who blatantly pay homage to a madman and that their constituents go along with the horror and will stop at nothing. Something we have seen throughout history.

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Trump seems to have become their voice. There's a lot of angry people. He's big in coal & oil country and with very conservative people. In many ways he's a snake oil salesman and tent preacher, who has nothing in common with them. He just needs the adulation. He'll say anything to feel loved and to take their money.

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I'm afraid so. Believe, don't ask questions.

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Have you read The Cult of Trump by Steven Hassan? He's devoted his life to help people deprogram from cults.

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I will check that out. Thank you Deb

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I get a weekly newsletter from him filled with lots of great info. https://freedomofmind.com/newsletter/fom-newsletter-4-19-22/

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Thanks for the link Christy. It looks interesting.

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Governor Insantis' "laws" aren't going to hold up in court. His "redistricting" violates state law even with his appointees there on the court. His Disney attack won't hold up because it violates state law. He may look like the cheapest used car dealer in Florida, but he went to Yale and Harvard Law, and he knows that all this is just performative bullshit. Which is what makes him actually far worse than That Fucking Guy.

What is terrifying is watching this crap metastasize before us. None of what he did this week was anything the traitors were thinking of doing six weeks ago, and now that unhappy horseshit is in the "mainstream" of this seditious conspiracy known as the GOP. It's no longer a political party.

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Or, we could say those Hallowed Halls ain't what they used to be... too many admissions based on big bucks and former family attendees. Also, while it takes some smarts to connive so well, there is a difference between intelligence and craftiness. While I often think that Trump began this era of flim-flammery, he really didn't. Think of our collective history of attraction to, and being hoodwinked by carnivals, Bible thumpers, Revival tent shows, traveling salesmen, and boss politicians. As a whole, Americans do not value critical thinking, and not every graduate of the Ivies is brilliant.

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Wish the rank and file understood that last sentence. A bright, smart lady says it’s just the extremists in both parties causing the problems. A Fox watcher for sure. Propaganda works with smart as well as dumb arses

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And the truth is quite beyond "like" and "dislike".

(I for one am not blind to the Democratic Party's Modern Times machinery or to Charlie Chaplin servicing it with a sand bucket... and so hope that people like those in this community can help make it and keep it more as it should be, a coming-together of human beings to resist the untrammeled power of money.)

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It’s as if you’re not a Republican they are going to teach us all what’s it’s like to be Oppressed People of every Color in America.

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Apr 23, 2022·edited Apr 23, 2022

Okay ,okay. That was worthy of the Ancient Mariner. Every word succinctly placed, resonating, convincing, “terrifying”. I am convinced that there are more levels now to the threat of Desantis.

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Right about Disney.

The Don’t Say Gay law is so poorly written, it will be challenged in court with a setup case suing a teacher for discussing gender by saying “boys and girls line up now” or “ask your mom and dad” or some such.

As for the block Blacks redistricting, maybe that’s what Desantis has been chatting about with Clarence Thomas. Republicans are trying hard to bring us back to the 1850s for voting lack of rights.

Even if all of it gets thrown out, the performance of Ron as powerful mobster who must be obeyed has been clear.

It’s likely the concurrent move to grab Florida’s lucrative textbook contracts for a company connected to Republican governor of Virginia Glenn Youngkin will succeed. No doubt they are donating to Desantis.

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Would you call it a mob?

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Apr 23, 2022·edited Apr 23, 2022

"It's no longer a political party."

Come, TC... When was it last a political party?

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Blatantly. Do the deed, walk away, and the memory (stench) of the deed stays with voters. A new way to rebrand your adversaries.

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Liars gonna lie. Cheaters gonna cheat. Grifters gonna grift. Is there no end to the corruption, bad faith and megalomania?

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Apr 23, 2022·edited Apr 23, 2022

It is possible to normalize anything but we can't accept what the Republicans are doing as normal. It is not. Flooding social media with sewage, lying, dropping all principles and civil discourse, using politics as an excuse for cult participation, using vengeance as motivation in passing laws, and whatever DeSantis is doing cannot be acceptable.

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We will not let hate win.

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We need more straight, white, Christian, suburban Moms to stand up against it!

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I wish Sen. Mallory McMorrow were my US Senator!

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White House? Chief of Staff at least :) Chief of something big, I hope.

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I’m a suburban mom, and it truly pains me to admit this, but the only issue I care about in the upcoming elections is whether or not any given politician is willing to speak out against the rapid medicalization of gender dysphoric or transgender self-identifying kids and teens. Once again, the dems we supported and worked for are just not listening and are going to be shocked when they tank.

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Unfortunately, the choice is between that and criminalization of gay and trans kids and their families. There’s a thoughtful conversation to be had about medical support for trans kids. One father I know decided against it. One mom I know said it saved her child’s life. But those conversations get blocked when Republicans scream hate at the families and scream pedophile and groomer at anyone who objects to the hate.

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These Republican "leaders" see an issue that makes their base crazy and they whip it up. They have no interest in real conversations about peoples lives & feelings. I find it real interesting that Caitlyn, formerly Bruce Jenner is an R and apparently is running or considering running for office. As a young boy he started cross dressing at a young age and had the climate been then, what it is now, you can see where Caitlyn might have evolved much younger. That would be an interesting and informative interview today. Trans people are not a new creation of the woke left. They've been around for centuries.

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Apr 23, 2022·edited Apr 23, 2022

Thank you Joan.

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Go away, Russian bot.

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Unfortunately, TC your reaction demonstrates clearly the radicalization of politics on both sides, both the Republicans and the Democrats are moving far away from the very real concerns of most of the people.

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Magpie, I feel your pain (I’m assuming you have a transgender child). If I may: puberty suppression medication, which is what is allowed to be prescribed for transgender children, is supposed to give kids time to grow up and become an adult before making a life-altering decision. Those who have received it have an easier time transitioning medically than those who haven’t, but that happens later, when they are adults. It is reversible.

Therapy, for parents and kids both, is really important. Find a therapist for yourself who specializes in gender issues. Learning about it helps a lot. PFLAG is a good place to start. I can recommend some books if you’re interested.

Democrats are not pushing for the medicalization of treatment for transgender kids. They are pushing for those kids to feel and be safe. Suicide rates for transgender youth are terrifying. Democrats didn’t make this happen to our kids. But a world in which Democrats are in power would be a far safer world for your kid and mine.

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So where do I even start responding? Most people are as poorly informed as you are, with all due respect. Suicide rates do not actually decrease for adolescents who medically transition, and there is data to suggest that there’s an increase in suicidal ideation as well as in completed suicides, probably because underlying issues were not adequately addressed prior to medicalized transition. Puberty blockage is absolutely not reversible. Other countries, notably Sweden, Finland, France, the UK, are reversing course on the so-called Dutch protocol: suspending kids in prepubertal states to give them time to decide before starting cross sex hormones. Once American kids are initiated into the gender affirmation pathway the exit ramps are few and far. There really are no supports for parents who want to slow things down for their gender questioning kids. Most therapists are not equipped or willing to do exploratory therapy for fear they will be accused of doing conversion therapy. Also, my sense from your post is that you are assuming I’m not adequately educated or informed. In fact, I am clinical psychologist who treats young adults and adolescents. My experience as a parent and as a clinician is pretty deep. And when I tell you that things are bad as regards gender questioning kids and the politics around how they should be understood and treated, I hope you can believe me just that little bit.

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The "only" issue you care about is trans kids ?

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I wish I had the luxury of being more idealistic.

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It is astounding how much Republicans are obsessed with human sexual proclivities. From Gays to pedophilia they incessantly project their phobias, sickness and obsessions over sexuality. Meanwhile they refuse to take the simplest steps to avoid death or spreading it to innocents from the pandemic. Why? It is apparently driven by the same paranoid fears.

Please, just take your kid to a good Psychologist and deal with it as the personal matter it is instead of regenerating the “Satanic Panic” 2.0 to helps assholes like MTG gain office and foster Fascism.

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Then join the “deSantis” crowd. I always wondered what I would do if faced with such a difficult choice. I now know I would not join the cult. I wish you well. Watch Oprah’s interview with Janet Mock, Made me rethink so many things…

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May 3, 2015 New York Times bestselling author, MSNBC host and transgender advocate Janet Mock on gender identity and how she always knew she was a girl.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsowxKx_-_c

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I've never seen that interview but I read Mock's book which is very well written and very compelling. Her only sane choice was the one she made.

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What is “rapid medicalization”? Why is it a voting issue for you of higher priority than global warming? Far more people, including those not even conceived yet, will be affected by the climate crisis than people impacted by gender dysphoria.

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