The Social Dilemma

Technology is an existential threat.

That may sound outlandish, but it won’t after you watch The Social Dilemma.

The hour and a half documentary playing on Netflix came to my attention while listening to the Glenn Beck show. It’s not a show I regularly listen to, but I had tuned in briefly yesterday morning. A woman from Nashville called to ask him if he was familiar with or had watched The Social Dilemma. Beck said he was and had. Both expressed how on target they thought it was and how frightening and deeply disturbing.

So I watched it.

Yes, it is upsetting.

There are two threads running through the show. First, former employees of Google, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram who were all in on the ground floor of these platforms, addressed their thoughts and fears about them. Second, there is a slim plot line of a typical young person who uses them all and how it impacts him.

The social network designers explain how the platforms manipulate people, particularly how Facebook has done it. Each one of us is a kind of “voodoo doll” that Facebook, for example, uses by first getting all the information on you and then steering you to places on the web or friends in a constant bombardment of people and information. Everything is tailored to make you look and do certain things and point you in a certain direction. Twitter, too, which wants you to continually look at their feed – or rather the feed they prepare for you – and all of them do it in devious ways.

The tech people explain how it is responsible for the isolation and depression that has spiked among young people since 2007. How young people have become obsessed with posting and interact to get “likes” and popularity. It explains why you can go to a restaurant or any event and see kids continually looking at their phone instead of engaging with others.

It also tells why we have the widening gap among right and left in politics. Right minded people are guided to those sites; Lefties to their own. There is no middle ground. There is no chance of debate. Some former employees shared how they got millions to believe that the earth is flat. It’s that easy.

You will have to watch it yourself to get the full impact of the documentary. We truly are at a point of civil war and self annihilation.

Tellingly, Beck shared that he and his children watched the show. They were horrified, he said. However, the next day, they were back on their phones, facebook, instagram, etc. and felt that the danger might be out there, but – at least for them – it was overblown.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see this. It’s surprising Netflix has it available, at least they do for now.

Depressed About U.S.? Read This

Robert Morton is a veteran public policy researcher, analyst, and consultant. He is a contributor at the website, the-pipeline.org.

He points out, as this blog has, that the total burden of governing now belongs to the Democrats. They are the ones fingers will point to as things continue to go downhill. A core understanding about them is that they cannot govern. They only know how to organize and give away tax money.

We see that in our own city. In Memphis, the Democrats hold most offices – most notably city and county mayorships. Neither Strickland nor Harris knows what to do. They know how to attend unity rallies against the Second Amendment. They know how to get everyone racially charged up. They know how to give money to their friends.

Even on a lesser level, they can’t handle a winter snowstorm. The MLGW chief can’t handle the broken pipes without punishing everyone by denying us clean water. (It most probably was a ploy for higher utility rates.)

The chief health officer doesn’t know how to distribute Covid vaccines. She let them be stolen, probably then sold, or go past their usability dates. There is no Donald J. Trump to blame here or now.

Morton sees the eventual outcome of all of this. If history predicts anything, he believes it is predicting a future with the return of conservatism.

Sooner, than later, we hope.

If you want to get a glimpse of America in the near future, the first thing you must do is look to the past. Specifically, look to the last phases of the French Revolution. The Reign of Terror, in which the radical Jacobins took over control of France, has a direct analogy to the present situation in the federal government. Even better for America, however, is what happened afterwards.

But first things first.

With France in the midst of civil war, Danton, Marat, and Robespierre and his crew established a tyranny that filtered down to even the smallest towns. The deposed monarchy was given a sham trial (read: impeachment of a former President) and executed.

The Terror instituted mass conscription, confiscation of grain from the farmers (read: oil), set price controls on essential goods and wages (read: minimum wage), de-Christianized the country (read: well, that one’s obvious), arrests via the “Law of Suspects” of all opponents of the Revolution (read: the enemies list of former Trump employees), and in the final irony, established a national religion called (I kid you not) Cult of the Supreme Being and that Supreme Being allegedly was “Reason” (read: climate change).

That’s the chilling analogy. But there’s more, and here’s where things get interesting.

The so-called “Committee of Public Safety” (read: The Squad) suspended the right to a trial and representation, and ordered wholesale slaughter. More than 17,000 people died by guillotine, and another 10,000 died in prison.

Most people believe that nobles and royalists were the majority of those executed. In fact, 72 percent of those killed were peasants, and another 12 percent were middle-class. The radicals murdered the very people that they claimed to be saving from tyranny. Also killed were those who actually supported the revolution, but were either too far to the left (read: Bernie Sanders) or too moderate (read: Blue Dogs).

The point here is that the radicals, without having the monarchists to kick around anymore, began to eat their own. This is what we are already seeing with the Democrats and their modern day version of the committee on public safety and reign of terror.

New York Times reporter Donald McNeil was axed recently because he used the “N-word” in a discussion with students, who were asking if a classmate who had used the “N-word” in a video should be suspended. When he spoke the “N-word” aloud to ask about the context in which the “N-word” had been used, it was determined that McNeil was a racist because he used the “N-word” in the context of trying to determine the context in which the “N-word” had been used. Kafka would be proud.
California governor Gavin Newsom’s approval rating has crashed from 49 percent to 31 percent in a recent poll. Some 40 percent of respondents said his oversight of the vaccine is “poor” or “very poor.” Numbers this high aren’t possible unless Democrats are angry with him. Maybe they don’t like that he’s dining out at expensive restaurants and telling them to eat cake. He should be worried. Voters kicked out Gray Davis simply because he tripled car registration fees.
The Left complains that Jeff Bezos’ $98 million gift to the homeless wasn’t enough.
BLM complains that Biden politically capitalized on the movement to get him into the White House.
It turns out the anti-Trump Lincoln Project of disaffected GOP losers was run by alleged pedophiles.
Meanwhile, in New York, the widely loathed, thuggish governor Andrew Cuomo’s chickens are finally coming home to roost.

We’re going to see a lot more of this without Trump to draw focus anymore, on top of the fact that it is the natural course of things. The Left is required by its own pronouncements to solve every problem, real or imagined. Yet because they are the ones now in power, all problems and solutions rest on their shoulders. Problems must always be created or amplified so the Left may continue its mission by always having to “do something.”

Climate change is the perfect example since were all going to die unless government “does something” to forestall the apocalypse. So naturally, anyone who does not vote in favor of so – called environmental initiatives, or supports the president on his job-destroying executive orders, will become the enemy. That will be true of any of the Left’s policy desires. Oppose and die.

The most radical elements, seeing that their side is now in power, is going to demand that the long-awaited solutions be implemented. This is exactly what we saw when Obama was elected president. Yet because most of the problems the Left creates are imaginary, there are no real solutions. When policy is put into place to address these alleged problems, they end up harming the very people the solutions are supposed to protect.

Eventually, everyone gets fed up and they’ll start eating each other. That’s exactly what happened in the French Revolution. Robespierre and the Jacobin government were overthrown, ushering in what was called “The Thermidorean Reaction” — the natural and inevitable swing of the political pendulum back to the Right.

That, my friends, is the light of the end of the tunnel. Just as the monarchy famously exclaimed, “after us, the deluge,” in an apparent reference to the knowledge that the people would rise up following their reign, a right-wing populist deluge is destined to follow the current reign of terror.

It may also happen much sooner than any of us anticipate. The French Reign of Terror only lasted about a year. I suspect that the recall effort of Gavin Newsom is going to be the linchpin for the current incarnation of The Terror. As inappropriately terrified as California Democrats are about COVID-19, the Berkeley poll illustrates that they are pretty angry with how Newsom has handled the vaccine. It also forces them to pay attention to the haphazard and illogical lockdown policies that the governor has been juggling.

Los Angeles residents are equally irritated with mayor Eric Garcetti, who somehow managed to get the vaccine even though he wasn’t eligible for it. Nor are they buying his nonsense about “setting an example” by getting the vaccine.

Without Trump to kick around anymore, the Left must have a villain. Gov. Newsom fits the bill. Californians can’t go after their congressional representatives or senators, lest they disrupt the balance of weak power they presently hold the federal level. Yet because they always must have a scalp, that scalp must also be accessible.

Newsom will be that scalp. After him, the deluge.

Covid Bill a Joke

From the Tennessee Republican Party comes this information:

“Did You Know”

35% of the Covid-19 Relief Bill has NOTHING to do with COVID.

“Did You Know”

Education spending won’t actually re-open schools.
Funds will be spent between now and September 2022, and that more would be spent in 2026 rather than now in 2021!
Source – Heritage.org

“Did You Know”

Silicon Valley Subway funding is now in COVID relief package!
Source – Fox News

“Did You Know”
Only about 1 percent of the entire package goes toward COVID vaccines.
Source – Fee.org

Memphis Held Hostage: Day 5

Thursday we first got the notification from MLGW that we were to cut back on water usage and boil all water used for drinking, hand washing and teeth brushing.

That’s quite a lot to ask of citizens.

Immediately stores were stripped of water in gallons and bottles.

MLGW did not talk about – at least anywhere that I saw – that you can purify tap water by adding 6 drops of bleach per gallon. It is then drinkable and usable for hand washing, dish rinsing, etc. It at least saves time. Boiling water is fine, but it does take time to cool, unless you like drinking and washing your hands in very hot water.

Today, Monday, MLGW has extended the boil water notification indefinitely.

They still admit that they have not found any contaminants in any of our water. What gives?

I think this Daily Memphian headline proves my point that we are being held hostage until we get higher rates: “MLGW’s water crisis came after funding for infrastructure overhaul was delayed.”

The story says:

“Memphis City Council members began looking Saturday, Feb. 20, at past decisions to delay the rate hikes during a special briefing by MLGW officials. But for the most part, the nine members at the briefing stuck to a review of what is happening now and likely to happen in the week ahead.

“’At this point, I think we ought to, as council members, concentrate on making sure MLGW has all the tools they need to do their job to see us through the last phases of this crisis,’ council chairman Frank Colvett told The Daily Memphian Sunday.

“’Once we are through that, then I think it is very appropriate to look back on ways we can improve so if we do have another event like that, we are even more prepared,’ he said.

“That could come as soon as Tuesday’s council committee sessions.

“Council member Rhonda Logan said Sunday that the city’s highly touted water system didn’t get as much attention as the electric rate hike and infrastructure…
The previous council in 2018 and early 2019 balked at multi-year electric, gas and water rate hikes proposed by Collins to finance what was then a $737 million plan.

“The council instead approved lesser one-year hikes in gas and water rates. At the last meeting of their four-year term of office in December 2019, that council approved multi-year gas and water rate hikes.

“The council then punted the electric rate hike question to the new council elected in 2019 with seven returning members and six new members.

“Without action on electric rates, the total financing package for the upgrades was delayed. The financing is a mix of bond revenue that accounts for about half of the $1 billion ultimately approved and $91.7 million in savings and efficiencies MLGW pledged to make over the five years, as well as rate revenues.”

When the Council meets Tuesday, who wants to bet that the rate hikes are approved?

Shortly after, I would bet, our water problem will disappear.

Our Democrat leaders have learned a lot about how never to let a crisis go to waste.

Are Rate Hikes Behind Water Issue?

Have you wondered why this ice/snowstorm caused us to have problems with the water?

The official explanation is that pipes burst, lowering water pressure, endangering the quality of our water and perhaps leading to a shut off.

Does that sound credible? Why has this not been a problem before?

Could it be that the raise in rates that MLGW has been pushing may be the true reason behind it?
MLGW chief J.T. Young told the Daily Memphian that the advisory remains precautionary and there are no contaminants in the water supply. He also encouraged water use for only the “absolute essentials” in the utility’s attempts to stabilize its water pressure.

If there are no contaminants why are we boiling water?

The situation is so “critical” that the City Council convened yesterday. Of course, there really wasn’t any decision made. They wanted to look on top of the situation for their constituents and perhaps MLGW wanted it to push for rate increases. That’s something the Council has been reluctant to do because Memphians feel they pay enough.

The “critical” information for me was in this part of the DM’s report.

Council member Martavius Jones was among those who pushed for the rate hikes during the tenure of the previous council that ended at the start of 2020.

“I don’t necessarily want to be in the ‘I-told-you-so’ mode,” he said. “But at one of the meetings I talked about this was long overdue.”

“If that council had had the courage to pass along the rate increase, we may have had these problems, but it may not have been to this extent,” Jones said. “Nobody knows.”

The previous council approved water and gas rate hikes on a multi-year basis but went out of office without raising electric rates. The electric rate hike was the first major action the council that took office on New Year’s day 2020 took.

MLGW officials said having the water improvements, including new or replacement wells, probably would have had some impact. But they also said the length and severity of the winter weather over a 10-day period was unprecedented for the utility.

“It would have offered us more flexibility on getting production into our plants and possibly keeping the pressure up,” said Alonzo Weaver, MLGW chief operating officer and senior vice president. “We would have possible been able to recover and have more wells in service.”

There you go. If we had had the money, we could have avoided this. Is this the reason for the conserve and boil water advisory?

Many argue that there is no such thing as coincidence. You decide.