Big Troublemakers: Zuckerberg, a Suicide Bomber, and a Polygamist Cult Leader
Hello and welcome to our USA Really daily podcast for October 12. This is your chance to get a quick jolt of all the news and opinion pieces we’ve posted today, in which we strive to bring you real stories from real Americans, that the mainstream media doesn’t always want to cover.
I want to remind you all again about our Global Democracy Award, where we’re looking for talented authors, poets, filmmakers, and even meme artists can produce original material on the issue of the U.S. government’s interference in other countries. If we like your stuff you could walk away with a cool few thousand bucks, so definitely check out the contest page for more details, and get us your original work by December 1!
Have you been banned from Facebook? Do you have any information on illegal actions from the U.S. Government and the structures controlled by them that impose censorship in the field of social networks in particular, and the internet in general? Well, USA Really is looking to file a collective lawsuit against Facebook and is also offering a $5,000 reward if you can send us proof of these illegal actions! Find out more at “Zuckerberg Wanted.”
Okay then, onto the pieces of the day. As always, first up is our opinion piece.
“As Trump has jettisoned old ways of doing business, allies have worked their way through the initial stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, and depression.” And their only hope is that “Trump’s successor will reclaim Washington’s global leadership role and lay the groundwork to make it politically possible for that to happen.” Overall, the world of 2025 will be one of “lopsided multipolarity.” Today’s order isn’t a liberal one (a number of key actors reject liberal ideals), and 2025’s won’t be either. The United States will still be the single most consequential actor on the planet, because no other country will possess the same combination of economic clout, technological sophistication, military might, territorial security, and favorable demography.” And that’s the gist of today’s piece by John Raven, “Liberalism is dead. Long live liberalism!” Be sure to give that a read!
We’ve also got another installment of Duende Diary for you—the ongoing adventures of a house spirit, who gives you the lowdown on what the people and pets of the house are up to, making sure to weave in plenty of news and analysis along the way. This one’s got some Kavanaugh, a weird wedding, Hurricane Florence, and a whole lot more.
And we’ve actually got another entry from that Global Democracy Award contest for you today. This time it’s a submission in the Nathanael West “Best Poem” category from Andrew Korybko, entitled “The Dictatorship of Democracy.” Here’s a particularly nice couplet from the poem: “The dream of so many can be ruined by so few/ When the power of the people is abused to carry out a foreign-backed coup.”
Voter ID laws are an ongoing issue in America. Many say they are racist; others say it’s just plain good common sense that you have to prove you’re and American citizen if you want to exercise the rights of an American citizen—in this case, voting. However, it looks like there’s another layer to this that perhaps not many people think about. North Dakota is home to thousands of Native Americans and others who do not have standard addresses, while the law requires that state residents provide identification that includes a residential street address in order to vote. This would effectively deprive Native Americans of the right to vote, civil rights advocates say. Actually, about 70,000 North Dakotans lack a qualifying ID. However, among the first rulings of the Supreme Court that is recently back in session is the refusal to intervene in a challenge to a North Dakota voter ID law. But Ginsburg dissented. If you want to get into that messy business, head over to “70,000 North Dakota Residents and Native Americans At Risk Of Being Disenfranchised.”
There’s a cool video going around, put out by scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) that points to a bizarre phenomenon in the brain. Maybe you’ve seen it. It shows a series of beeps and flashes in quick succession. You have to stare at a cross in the middle of the screen and watch to see how many flashes appear along the bottom. Most people will see three flashes, the same as the number of beeps, but when the video is viewed without the beeps, only two flashes are seen. We all know our brain and our senses can play tricks on us, and this is a pretty fun one, that always has an educational aspect to it. Our piece explains what’s going on in your noggin’ when you watch the video.
And well, as you’ve probably heard, Hurricane Michael has dropped a bomb on the Florida Panhandle. We’ve been following its development from a tropical storm to a hurricane, and now at least 6 deaths have been reported since the hurricane touched down, including an 11-year-old girl in Georgia. More than 388,000 homes and businesses have lost power. Coast Guard crews in Florida have rescued at least 40 people and assisted nearly 250 more. Thank God for those who are giving their time and risking their lives to help, and Lord have mercy on Florida!
As for this day in history, well this is the anniversary of the event that began it all, waaaaaay back in 1492! Well, okay, we often hear that Columbus discovered America, but by now it’s pretty well known that he didn’t actually find America, and moreover, he certainly had no clue where he was. He also wasn’t the first European to come over our way, but either way, Columbus is an important guy in our history, and this day in 1492 is when it all went down. And on this day in 1892, within the framework of the 400th anniversary of Columbus, the Pledge of the Allegiance was implemented in schools. I would imagine there’s hardly an American that doesn’t know the pledge. And don’t miss the other stories in our piece today, including an Al-Qaeda terrorist attack.
And here’s something that’s sure to be met with a smile by, well, just about everybody: German scientists are reporting on the health value of beer. To be honest, I think beer is beyond disgusting, but I know I’m in the minority there. Researchers from the German Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg have found that the two substances that make up beer—xanthohumol and bitter ISO-alpha acids contained in hops have a positive impact on human health, helping destroy cancer cells and fight obesity! Who would have thought that beer can actually help you lose weight? So what really explains the Freshman 15? Well, there just might be a twist here, that you’ll have to read the piece to see!
And here’s something pretty cool—some other research has shown that hearing aids can slow the progress of dementia by up to 75%! When you get older, your hearing starts to fade, but if you wear an aid, you can stay engaged, continue to contribute to conversations, and you keep your brain exercised. “It’s not really certain why hearing and visual problems have an impact on cognitive decline, but I’d guess that isolation, stigma and the resultant lack of physical activity that are linked to hearing and vision problems might have something to do with it,” says Dr. Piers Dawes.
Just yesterday we spoke about measures to limit protesting around the White House, the Capitol, and the National Mall. And now we bring you a piece about a real winner who apparently built a bomb at home that he was hoping to set off at the National Mall. Seems he wants to draw attention to an ideology called sortition, the political belief that the government should be selected by lottery rather than popular vote. To do that, he built this 200 pound bomb, and what’s more, he was allegedly planning a suicide bombing. And to add that, he has made ominous remarks about how if he doesn’t finish the job, then others will. Is he just blowing smoke? Does he have minions? It’s not clear, but it’s creepy either way. “Rockland County police don't rule out that attempted-suicide bomber has followers” has it all for you.
And here’s a controversy probably a lot of us know about already—to vaccinate or not? Judging by my Facebook feed, I’ve got some friends who are ardently anti-vaccination, and they’re certain they and their children are healthier for it, but of course I’ve got friends on the other side of the aisle who think anti-vaccine people are endangering their children and everyone they come into contact with. Well, according to a new Center for Disease Control and Prevention study, about 100,000 Americans born in 2015-2016 are not vaccinated against any of the 14 recommended diseases. That’s only 1.3% of all the children born in those years, but the trend is on the rise. There’s rumors out there that vaccines are linked to autism, but of course there are those who loudly reject this theory, or maybe some parents don’t have their kids vaccinated because of monetary concerns. There’s probably all kinds of reasons, but this post gives you the stats and the inside look you need.
And what would America be without some good ol’-fashioned cults, right? Of course, the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses are the biggest and most long-lasting, but there’s tons of others that come and go. Well, it looks like Curtis W. Abbott of Missouri has his own little group called Restore Bible Culture. And just like the Mormons of old, he’s cool with polygamy! And he’s gotten himself into trouble for illegally circumcising two teenagers, which counts as the unauthorized practice of medicine. I can’t even imagine what kind of stuff he must have said to convince two teenage boys to undergo that. Madness! He claims he received a bunch of prophetic visions and that’s what compelled him to start the group. But court documents also show that his marriage, which included him shopping around for a second wife (though he never found one), just fell apart and the divorce is finalized. So now he’s just cult leader guy, and he’s denying all the charges. So we’ll see what happens there.
And that’ll do it once again for our USA Really daily podcast. Thanks for listening, thanks for reading, and keep it right here for all the news you need to know.