Fans of “Doom” movies handle the pandemic easily

For those of you who whiled away hours on the sofa watching society crumble in the face of marauding zombies, deadly aliens and infectious diseases – it’s time to reap the rewards.

Psychologists have found evidence that fans of apocalyptic movies – where global order is upturned – may be more resilient and better prepared to deal with the coronavirus pandemic than the rest of us…

The bleak scenarios thrown up by films such as Contagion, from panic buying and isolation to fear of others and fake claims of miracle cures, appeared to help viewers take the outbreak in their stride and work out how best to handle the crisis…

Horror movie fans appeared less distressed by the crisis than most, but those who favoured “prepper movies” – where society collapses – ranked as more resilient and better prepared, both mentally and practically.

“Klaatu barada nikto”…or another favorite, “Mein Führer, I can walk!” These films produce great one-liners.

Trump got written briefing on ‘Russia bounties’ — useless to a fool who doesn’t read

Reports by the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, quoting unnamed US officials, said a Russian military intelligence unit had offered Taliban-linked militants bounties to kill US troops in Afghanistan…

Moscow maintains close links with the Taliban, as it sees the US involvement in Afghanistan winding down, the BBC’s diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus says.

He says Russia is also waging a “grey” or undeclared war against the West. Under President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin has smarted from every perceived indignity suffered since the fall of the Soviet Union. It was US support for Afghan irregular fighters that contributed to Moscow’s forced withdrawal from Afghanistan in the 1980s.

…The New York Times, citing two unnamed US officials, said the intelligence assessment had been included in the President’s Daily Brief report – a written document with key government intelligence – in late February.

CNN and the Associated Press have also reported that the president received the intelligence in a written briefing earlier this year, without specifying when. Mr Trump is said to largely ignore the President’s Daily Brief, relying more on oral briefings by intelligence officials a few times a week.

Or he’ll just sit on his dead ass and wait for Fox Fake News to tell him what he needs to know — to sound presidential.

It can happen here, again and again…

As militarized police in riot gear and armored vehicles barreled into peaceful protesters in cities across America, and its president emerged from a bunker to have citizens tear-gassed on his way to a church he’d never attended, holding a Bible he’d never read, many people recalled a famous saying often misattributed to Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 novel It Can’t Happen Here: “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” Because Lewis’s novel is the best remembered of the many warnings against American fascism in the interwar years, he has latterly been credited with the admonition, but they are not Lewis’s words.

The adage probably originated instead with James Waterman Wise, son of the eminent American rabbi Stephen Wise and one of the many voices at the time urging Americans to recognize fascism as a serious domestic threat. “The America of power and wealth,” Wise cautioned, is “an America which needs fascism.” American fascism might emerge from “patriotic orders, such as the American Legion and the Daughters of the American Revolution… and it may come to us wrapped in the American flag or a Hearst newspaper.” In another talk that year, he put it slightly differently: American fascism would likely come “wrapped up in the American flag and heralded as a plea for liberty and preservation of the constitution.”

An American fascism would, by definition, deploy American symbols and American slogans. “Do not look for them to raise aloft the swastika,” Wise warned, “or to employ any of the popular forms of Fascism” from Europe. Fascism’s ultra-nationalism means that it works by normalizing itself, drawing on familiar national customs to insist it is merely conducting political business as usual. As José Antonio Primo de Rivera, the leader of Spain’s proto-fascist Falange party, proclaimed in 1934, all fascisms ought to be local and indigenous:

Trump’s GOP is just the latest try.

RTFA. A longish read – as anything trying to explain a critical aspect of American history should be – it’s filled with examples that will aid in understanding.

Indian Coppers Arrest Pakistani Pigeon On Charges Of Espionage

The pigeon was wearing an anklet inscribed with a series of numbers when it was captured on the Indian side of the India-Pakistan border…Because of the anklet and the sensitive area in which the bird was recovered, authorities are taking the incident very seriously. However, they have yet to decipher the message.

A Pakistani villager has since come forward as the bird’s owner. He claimed to have simply flown his pigeons to celebrate this year’s Eid-al-Fitr festival, a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. He also explained that the numbers inscribed on the pigeon’s metal ring were not a code but rather his phone number.

Pakistani newspaper Dawn has since identified the man as Habibullah and confirmed that he does, indeed, own a dozen pigeons. The man told the publication that the bird was a “symbol of peace,” and that India should “refrain from victimizing innocent birds.”

Cops behaving like cops aren’t unusual anywhere. The greater the paranoia in whichever nation, the more likely is stupid or silly behavior by defenders of faith and Fatherland.

Live frite or die!

“We’re going after Virginia with your crazy governor. … They want to take your Second Amendment away. You know that right? You’ll have nobody guarding your potatoes.”

— President Trump, to farmers assembled at the White House

I am a potato guardian. This is the only life I have known. Here is my tale, one no doubt familiar to you, just as the concept of a person who guards potatoes in Virginia is familiar…

Furry and Furious!


New Orleans street scene/Getty Images

They are furry and they are furious – and they may be the most desperate of diners to yearn for restaurants to unlock from shutdown…Rats, it seems, haven’t been satisfied with curbside pickup or delivery during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning that rodent populations – which rely on a banquet of scraps and waste in restaurant dumpsters – are spiking in certain areas. Restaurant trash bins are no longer overflowing, and the famished creatures are scrambling for new sources of food.

“Jurisdictions have closed or limited service at restaurants and other commercial establishments to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Community-wide closures have led to a decrease in food available to rodents, especially in dense commercial areas,” the CDC said. “Some jurisdictions have reported an increase in rodent activity.”

Environmental and health officials may witness an increase in service requests amid reports of “unusual or aggressive rodent behavior.”

That’s about as politely as anyone might describe the situation. Rats can be scary and dangerous. The more rats in action, the more dangerous they become.