Uncategorized

Trump’s Final Days of Rage and Denial

 

‘The final days of the Trump presidency have taken on the stormy elements of a drama more common to history or literature than a modern White House. His rage and detached-from-reality refusal to concede defeat evoke images of a besieged overlord in some distant land defiantly clinging to power rather than going into exile or an erratic English monarch imposing his version of reality on his cowed court…

“If there are these analogies between classic literature and society as it’s operating right now, then that should give us some big cause for concern this December,” said Mr. Wilson, the Shakespearean scholar. “We’re approaching the end of the play here and that’s where catastrophe always comes.”…’

— Peter Baker via The New York Times

Uncategorized

U.S. Marines Won’t Stop Taking LSD

A Long, Venerable Association:

(U.S. Marines Won’t Stop Taking LSD)

‘America’s 2nd Marine Division loves to trip balls. The 20,000 Marine strong division is garrisoned at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and many of its members have been caught taking LSD. It’s such a problem that the Marine Corps has begun to randomly test for the drug and publicly announced a crackdown on people taking it…

It may seem odd, but LSD has a long and storied history of use by America’s armed forces. At a military base in Wyoming, Airmen in charge of launching America’s nuclear arsenal loved to eat acid between shifts. Monitoring the nuclear arsenal is a boring job and, to pass the time, airmen in charge of the nukes would get high. “I absolutely just loved altering my mind,” one airman said in 2018 when the ring of LSD buddies was busted.

The LSD-Marine connection goes deeper. In February 2019 issue of the Marine Corps Gazette, a journal published by the Marine Corps Association, Major Emre Albayrak of the U.S. Marine Corps published a paper advocating that intelligence officers microdose LSD to help them with their job.

“Our own units, such as  the  Naval  Special  Warfare  Development Group, seek cognitive advan-tages via unorthodox methods such as mind  gyms  and  sensory  deprivation  tanks,” Albayrak said. “The cognitive advantage they seek is ‘flow”—or ‘ekstasis’ from the Greek, which  Plato describes as ‘an altered state where our normal waking consciousness vanishes  completely, replaced by an intense euphoria and a powerful connection to a greater  intelligence.’ This  phenomena is described as a non-ordinary state of consciousness in which  individuals tend to have heightened focus, pattern recognition, and reaction time. Flow can be observed in a seasoned close-quarters battle team clearing a complex structure.”…’

— Via Vice

Uncategorized

The Comedy of National Decline

 

(‘Ted Lasso,’ ‘Emily in Paris’: The Comedy of National Decline – The Atlantic)

‘Last month, the institute for advanced studies in Culture at the University of Virginia published its most recent survey of American political life. One of its findings: 66 percent of Americans view their country to be in a state of decline. The survey arrived just after the publication of the latest Social Progress Index, which found that the United States is one of only three countries where citizens are worse off than they were in 2011, when the index started tracking quality of life. The deterioration is all the more perverse because the failures, in a country as rich as the U.S., are not material, but cultural. They are abdications of moral imagination. As one of the index’s advisers put it, in an observation both evergreen and newly acute: “We are no longer the country we like to think we are.”

Loss hovers in the American air, the sense of ambient tragedy weaving its way even into works of escapism. In recent months—as a pandemic that was handled with relative efficiency by many other countries has ravaged the United States, and as the American president has waged war on American democracy—two new TV shows have considered the question of what it means to be American….’

— Via The Atlantic

Uncategorized

Two Year Old has a unique solution to The Trolley Problem

(Two Year Old Solves The Trolley Problem – borninspace)

‘The Trolley Problem is an ethical dilemma. A train is heading down the tracks toward five people. If you do nothing, those five people will die. If you switch the tracks, the train will kill only one person. What do you do?

Exploring this conundrum is what Dr. E. J. Masicampo, a social psychologist at Wake Forest University, does for a living. He enlisted the assistance of his two-year old son Nicholas, who offers a unique and fresh solution that had never occurred to me before…’

— Via borninspace

Uncategorized

Friday Night Kraken Massacre:

Trump campaign loses a bunch of election cases all at once”

(Friday Night Kraken Massacre: Trump campaign loses a bunch of election cases all at once, womp womp | Boing Boing)

‘The campaign of outgoing President Donald J. Trump just lost a slew of election-related lawsuits, and all of the losses were announced within the span of about an hour or so on Friday night, December 4.

A legal beatdown. Perhaps the most litigation lost in the span of an hour or so in the history of America? Not sure, but it appears to be the losingest night Donald Trump’s team of lawyers has ever had, and you love to see it.

It’s the Friday Night Kraken Massacre.

Michigan. Georgia. Nevada. Wisconsin. Look, there’s another! Arizona just kicked their butts.

The Federal Election Commission report yesterday showed that the Trump campaign’s efforts to overturn the election results have cost his campaign about $8.8 million so far, including about $2.3 million on lawyers like Jenna Ellis and Rudy Giuliani, and Lin Wood. But those same efforts have helped Trump raise $207 million. It’s a profitable racket….’

— Via Boing Boing