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5G is spreading Covid so that Bill Gates can sell us a vaccine.

Friday should be a round up of all the freaking lunacy that Americans are living with. But we’re going to limit ourselves to a few podcasts today.

A roomful of Maskholes at a school board hearing in Utah.

There are two that are worth a listen today that are showing a disturbing convergence. The first is from The Thinking Atheist. Seth Andrews is a former Christian rock Dj turned secular humanist in the deep red Bible Belt of Oklahoma. In his recent podcast, he talks about QANON and Maskholes. In short, they have lost their f}#%ing minds. Seth looks at the problem from the perspective of a former evangelical and gets inside the minds of the FREEDOM! coalition who are determined not to lose their constitutional rights because they aren’t afraid of a virus while also open carrying their AR-15’s into the local convenience store for protection. There is some meaty material here if you’ve ever wondered why so many religious nutcases are hardcore Trumpers.

Next, Virginia Heffernan talks with Anne Applebaum about collaborators and dissidents on the latest episode of Trumpcast. The subject of religion comes up again, in this case a specific strain of ultra conservative Catholicism. They talk about a concept that’s new to me called “effectiveness”. If I understand this correctly, it’s related to the motivation to make a difference. Does it matter if that difference is good or bad? It makes a certain kind of sense with respect to the coalition that Trump came up with to rule the country. There are a lot of little people who want to have the power to do something that will make other people comply. They want to see their lives as effective in some way. Some of them gravitate to these high control religions because it is the avenue through which they can force compliance. They find that very gratifying. Religion gives them cover by making the coercion look like it has a higher morality.

I think Seth and Applebaum are taking about the same thing. It’s just that Applebaum has put a name, and probably a reference in the next edition of the DSM, to the phenomenon that Seth experiences everyday.

Having grown up with people that Seth knows, I share his frustration with the alternate world they are living in. The number of non-religious people is starting to become an overwhelming demographic but it’s not reflected in who is currently wielding power. It will change but right now, we’d like to round them all up on a bus and send them to a nice reservation where they can live in nice surroundings, eat good food and drive each other crazy while the rest of us get on with life.

Paul Cooper, the host of the Fall of Civilizations podcast dropped another episode this week. This one is about the fall of Byzantium. Pretty good. I liked some of his other episodes more because they show a relationship with environmental change, breakdown of order, invasion and the collapse of empire.

Finally, I found a documentary on the “oldest city in the world”. Documentaries are usually like tryptophan for me. I fall asleep after the intro. But this one kept my interest well past my bedtime. The oldest city in the world is speculated to be Jericho in the Palestine occupied area of the Levant. It’s been occupied for something like 11,000 years but oddly enough, not continuously. It started off as a lush oasis in barren landscape. You can see why early modern humans would want to settle there in pre-agriculture days. The first peoples to occupy Jericho did so before the age of pottery. They traded obsidian tools with their neighbors and built the first towers in the world. They also saved the skulls of their dead, covered them with clay, and popped shells in the eye sockets. No one really understands what kind of ancestor worship took place with the skulls and the documentary can only speculate.

The first iteration of Jericho didn’t last. Something unknown happened about 7000BC that caused the city to be abandoned for a couple thousand years. Maybe abandoned is not the right word. Diminished might be more accurate. It was one of those mysterious dark ages that have punctuated human history. The city went from being a cultural center in the area back to being a sleepy oasis for wandering pastoralists. At some point, the pottery culture revived it but that black out period hasn’t been fully explained.

Anyway, stuff like that keeps me up at night as I watch the collapse of our own empire in real time.

Let me know in the comments what keeps you up.

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On another note, I want a pair of these chairs so bad. Is that so wrawwwng??:

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And the shocked “who could have predicted!?!” choir of media celebrities begins:

Not you, Jeff.

As one commenter noted, Mika probably thought that either way, the next four years were going to be wildly entertaining and profitable for the news business. After all, Trump was a buffoon but what harm could he really do? And Hillary would have been emails 24/7 until 2020. So much fun.

You got to ask yourself if they hated Hillary more than they loved their country because that’s how it looks.

And By the Way, Mika, there were many people who knew. They told us, repeatedly. We saw it with our own eyes. He was creepy, malicious and stupid from the beginning.