Friday, December 28, 2018

How Can Trump Supporters Look At Themselves In The Mirror In The Morning?

Yesterday, a former Mossad chief pointed out the obvious.

"Officials in Moscow looked at the 2016 U.S. presidential race and asked, ‘Which candidate would we like to have sitting in the White House? Who will help us achieve our goals?’ And they chose him. From that moment, they deployed a system [of bots] for the length of the elections, and ran him for president,” former Mossad chief Tamir Pardo told the audience at the Marker’s digital conference in Israel on Monday, where experts gathered to discuss online disinformation campaigns and bots.

“What we’ve seen so far with respect to bots and the distortion of information is just the tip of the iceberg. It is the greatest threat of recent years, and it threatens the basic values that we share—democracy and the world order created since World War Two,” Pardo noted, according to Haaretz.

And that's from the best intelligence agency in the world. So, how do Trump supporters look at themselves in the mirror every morning knowing that they are supporting a traitor to our country? They are acting against the interests of our country. Why? Because they have only one conviction: hating Democrats.

That makes them traitors and here is where we should send them, starting with right wing bloggers and commenters.

I wonder how many of them are actively involved with Russian trollbot farms. In fact, perhaps many right wing bloggers and commenters aren't even real people. They used fake names and certainly seem like caricatures to me.

If they are real people, I just don't see how they can NOT be completely disgusted with themselves.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Who the Hell Is Running this Country?

An article by Erik Wemple on the Washington Post posits the following: Television is running this country.

Wemple concluded that Donald Trump didn't read Jim Mattis's resignation letter because it contained serious rebukes of the way Trump runs our foreign policy, but Trump didn't realize this because he fired Mattis in anger a couple days later, after talking heads on Fox News told him that Mattis had insulted him. So Trump fired Mattis two months early.

Logically, one could infer that Trump hadn't read the letter. It was, after all, a whole page long. Another inference could be that Trump had read the letter, but hadn't understood it because it contained multisyllabic words.

Further evidence that Trump is being run by conservative blabbermouths comes from his decision to shut down the government. He had originally agreed to sign a continuing resolution to keep the government open (i.e., he had been talked into a deal by Democrats), until Ann Coulter starting whining that Trump supporters would abandon him if he didn't get the wall. I.e., Trump was pussy-whipped into shutting down the government by a scrawny blonde.

But then there's this:
President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from Syria was made hastily, without consulting his national security team or allies, and over strong objections from virtually everyone involved in the fight against the Islamic State group, according to U.S. and Turkish officials.

Trump stunned his Cabinet, lawmakers and much of the world with the move by rejecting the advice of his top aides and agreeing to a withdrawal in a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week, two U.S. officials and a Turkish official briefed on the matter told The Associated Press.
Trump pulled out of Syria because Erdogan, the dictator Turkey, told him to.

Could it be any clearer that Trump is a senile old man who can be talked into any deal, who then changes his mind in an instant when he talks to someone else? Television isn't running this country.

The last person to fill Trump's empty head with a stupid idea is running this country.

I am truly getting tired of whining about Trump, probably even more tired of it than people who listen to me whine about Trump. But at this point it should be crystal clear to anyone who cares about the future of this country that he is incompetent, ignorant, petty and sclerotic.

And unable to make up his own mind about anything.

Republicans in the House and Senate seriously need to read him the riot act and tell him to resign so he can play more golf spend more time with his family. Mike Pence will pardon him when Pence becomes president and deliver the coverup Trump wants by shutting down the Mueller investigation. Hey, that's what Gerald Ford did.

After that Trump can watch Fox News all day long (instead of just until lunch), and not have to listen to any more of those stupid intelligence briefings that he totally ignores anyway.

Oh, and stay out of jail too.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Sunday, December 23, 2018

89, 24 and 2

89 indictments, 24 convictions, and 2 prison, that's some "witch hunt."

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Trump's 2018 Christmas Presents

So many great things are happening together. We are really winning!

Trump is pulling American troops out of Syria, against the advice of all his advisors. All our allies, our entire military, and most Republican senators are horrified. Dictators in Iran, Russia, Turkey and Syria are thrilled.

Sanctions against a Russian aluminum company owned by a Russian oligarch are being dropped.

Trump is going to shut down the government, throwing the entire government into chaos.

Trump's secretary of defense, Jim Mattis, the "only adult left in the room," resigned because he can't stand working for a man who shits on American allies and gushes about being in love with the murderous tyrant running North Korea.

Oh, and the stock market is going down the tubes, erasing all the gains from the "Trump boom."

And it's just another Thursday.

Could it be any clearer that Trump is taking his marching orders from Moscow, which is intent on driving this country into chaos and turning us into a third-rate banana republic?

I am so tired of all this winning.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The Deep State?

When I hear people foam at the mouth about the deep state, I chuckle. Why are they so pissed off about civil servants? Moreover, have they forgotten where the spoils system brought us and why there was reform?

 Perhaps a review is in order...

  The Spoils System: Definition and Summary

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Being A Good Guy With A Gun While Black

The last few weeks in our country have shown that being a good guy with a gun while black doesn't really work out. Why? Racism.

The killing of Mr. Bradford is not a stand-alone example. Three days before his death, a young man named Jemel Roberson was buried in Illinois. An aspiring police officer and legal gun-carrier, Mr. Roberson singlehandedly apprehended a mass shooter at Manny’s Blue Room bar in Robbins, where Roberson worked as a security guard. A Midlothian police officer responded, and shot and killed Roberson. In June, Navy veteran Jason Washington was shot and killed by Portland State University police in Oregon, after reportedly trying to stop a fight outside a bar. Witnesses say Washington was trying to de-escalate the situation, including confiscating his friend’s gun. He had a pistol permit. A grand jury declined to indict the two officers involved.

There has been zero outrage from the gun humpers on their blogs and forums. Why? Because they categorically refuse to admit that racism is still prevalent in this country.

So, the "good guy with a gun" thing is a lie in more than one way. In addition to it being a lie by having a gun will somehow magically turn everyone into Jack Bauer and save the day, it's also a lie because you have to be the right color to be a good guy with a gun.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Pray The Gay Away?

Friday, December 07, 2018

Loyalty vs. Ass-Kissing

The Trump administration, being the chaotic dumpster fire that it is, is going through more convulsions. John Kelly, Donald Trump's chief of staff, is out. A new attorney general has been selected, as well as a UN ambassador.

It's often said that Trump demands loyalty from his aides. This is wrong: he demands ass-kissing, sucking up and brown-nosing.

Loyal people have the best interests of their bosses -- and the country -- at heart. They have integrity and are usually competent. They will tell their bosses the truth even when it hurts, and give the best advice for the long term, even when they might take a temporary hit. Their primary concern is the safety and welfare of the American people.

Suck-ups and ass-kissers are opportunistic weasels. They are usually incompetent, having risen through the ranks solely by means of brown-nosing and backstabbing. They tell their bosses what they want to hear, even when they know it's wrong and will hurt the country in the long run. They are selfish and self-serving.

Trump started out by hiring a few people who had some semblance of competence and loyalty. But after two years he has fired every person with a shred of integrity, or they have quit. For all their faults, people like Nikki Haley, Jeff Sessions, John Kelly and Rex Tillerson had some semblance of competence, dignity or self-respect (though rarely all three at the same time).

Their replacements are all ass-kissing sock puppets who simply regurgitate Trumpian double-talk.

Heather Nauert will be the next UN ambassador. Her qualifications? She is attractive, blonde and worked on Fox & Friends. No diplomatic training or experience, except for blabbering at State Department press conferences in the last year.

Trump appointed Matt Whitaker attorney general, but when it became obvious his nomination would go down in flames Trump had to take his third choice, which Trump now inanely says was always his first choice.

The new AG nominee is William Barr, who was attorney general from 1991 to 1993. His qualifications? He thinks presidents have unlimited authority, that they should use pardons to cover up their crimes and that Hillary Clinton should be hounded to the grave for having an email server.

Barr was the AG who advised George H.W. Bush to cover up his own involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal with executive pardons.

In 1979 Iranian revolutionaries overran the American embassy in Tehran and took 50 Americans hostage. A couple years later the Reagan administration sold missiles to Iran and then used the profits to illegally fund the Contras (right-wing death squads) in Central America.

Yes, incredible as it seems, Ronald Reagan and George Bush broke the law to sell weapons to Ayatollah Khomeini while Iranians continued to yell "Death to America!" so Reagan could beat Jimmy Carter in 1980. And then they used the profits to illegally fund killers who murdered American nuns in Nicaragua.

That's the kind of criminal behavior that Trump's new attorney general thinks is just fine: but running your own email server is against the rules! Lock her up! 

Clearly, Trump hired Barr because he has experience using executive pardons to allow the president to break the law.

But Bush only got away with pardoning his Iran-Contra co-conspirators because he had already lost to Bill Clinton. A better example is Gerald Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon: Ford lost his re-election bid, in large part due to that pardon.

Federal officials take an oath to uphold the Constitution and protect the nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic. That is the only loyalty real Americans should have.

Trump is trying to turn this country into a nation of ass-kissers and suck-ups instead of loyal patriots.

Loyal patriots will eventually sell Trump out to save the country. Ass-kissers, having no real loyalty, will ultimately sell Trump out to save their own asses.

Ass-kisser Michael Cohen has already turned states evidence against Trump, while suck-up Paul Manafort and brown-noser Roger Stone are still wangling for executive pardons, so they have yet to sell Trump out.

The Mueller investigation may be proceeding too quickly for Trump to wait to pardon Manafort and Stone. But doing so while still president risks impeachment. It would also have a catastrophic effect on his re-election prospects -- and those of every other Republican office holder.

In the end, Trump can't win: the ass-kissers will eventually sell Trump out. And then they'll paint themselves as loyal patriots.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Here Is the Real Voter Fraud

In recent years Republicans have been screaming about voter fraud, but the real fraud is what Republicans have been doing.

The first fraud is the way they've gerrymandered the states. In 2016 they received a minority of the popular vote in Congress, but because of the way they gerrymandered districts around the country after the 2010 election, they still wound up with a majority of seats in the House.

The second fraud is the disenfranchisement of millions of voters, placing onerous restrictions on voting, most particularly voter ID requirements, but also restrictions on former felons, closing of polling places, intentionally misallocating resources to cause long lines in minority areas, etc.

The voter ID requirements have always been bogus because in-person fraud, where you show up at the polling place and pretend to be someone else, almost never happens.

No, as I have long said, the real action is in the third Republican fraud: absentee ballots. Usually it's small potatoes: people voting twice by filling out their senile parents' or spouses' ballots, or wealthy people voting in both Florida and New York -- because if they own property in two places, they deserve two votes!

But Republicans have now been caught red-handed committing absentee ballot fraud on a massive scale in North Carolina.
The North Carolina State Board of Elections, which has twice refused to certify the results in the Ninth District, now plans to hear evidence from an investigation into allegations of widespread electoral fraud committed by an operative for the Republican campaign [of Mark Harris]. Testimony submitted in a set of affidavits outlined a type of scheme known as ballot harvesting, in which people are hired to pose as state employees to collect absentee mail-in ballots from voters and then either alter the ballots to support preferred candidates or destroy those that support an opponent. According to previously unreported court documents, operatives in Bladen County, which has become the epicenter of the current scandal, have been accused of tampering with absentee ballots for at least the past three election cycles. The documents also allege that the conspiracy involved some of the most powerful individuals in the region, including the county sheriff and the head of the local Republican Party, both of whom were connected to a local Republican political consultant named Leslie McCrae Dowless, Jr.
Republicans should be the first in line to stamp out this kind of fraud, because it's being used against them by other Republicans:
Harris ultimately ousted the incumbent Pittinger in the 2018 primary by eight hundred twenty-eight votes, claiming ninety-six per cent of the absentee ballots in Bladen County. On Thursday, Pittenger told Spectrum News, “We were fully aware of [the accusations of fraud]. There are some pretty unsavory people, particularly out in Bladen County, and I didn’t have anything to do with them.”
The question is, if this Republican knew he lost the primary due to absentee ballot fraud, why didn't he raise holy hell? Has the Republican Party become so inured to corruption and fraud that they just roll over when another Republican uses it? Do they think, "Oh, well. He just played the game better than me. He had the sheriff in his pocket, I'll just have to take my lumps."

Is the entire Republican Party corrupt, from Trump at the top all the way down to the grass roots county level? And is it just the Republican Party? Mark Harris is a pastor and a leader in the Baptist Church in North Carolina. Is the entire Baptist hierarchy corrupt as well?

Republicans and evangelicals didn't invent this kind of fraud. But Trump's endless corruption at the very pinnacle of American democracy and their tacit endorsement of his fraud and lies, the Republican Party and the religious right have given up any pretense of honesty and integrity.

The election in NC-9 must be overturned. And not just the general election, but the primary as well: Harris's Republican primary opponent Pittenger was royally screwed. Mark Harris should not be the Republican candidate for Congress: he should be in prison.

This is the problem with amorality and corruption. It spreads like a disease, infecting everything it touches. Once you convince yourself that committing fraud against Democrats is justifiable, it's just a tiny step to committing fraud against fellow Republicans.

And when you see Donald Trump using and discarding associates like Michael Cohen, having them lie for him in congressional testimony and to the Mueller investigation, and then bitching when they turn state's evidence, how long will it take every Republican to emulate him?

Welcome to Trump's hell, where liars, frauds, sexual predators, election hackers, neo-Nazis, foreign agitators, polluters, mail bombers, synagogue shooters, poisoners and murderers like Vladimir Putin and Mohammed bin Salman have totally free reign.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Voice of America Is Still Here

Last week Donald Trump expressed a desire to imitate Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia and create his own version of Pravda:
Trump pitched the state-run network as an alternative to CNN. "Throughout the world, CNN has a powerful voice portraying the United States in an unfair and false way," Trump wrote on Twitter. "Something has to be done, including the possibility of the United States starting our own Worldwide Network to show the World the way we really are, GREAT!"
The thing is, there's already such a network: Fox News. Yes, it's hard to tell whether Trump is controlling Fox News or Fox News is controlling Trump, with Sean Hannity constantly buzzing in Trump's ear and even appearing at campaign events.

I calculate the odds of Trump dumping VP Mike Pence for Hannity as vice president in 2020 at 60-40. Trump's hired pretty much everyone else who's left in the White House based on much they kissed his ass in interviews on Fox News.

All joking aside, the US government already has a news service that provides factual reporting around the world: Voice of America.
President Franklin Roosevelt created the VOA during World War II to broadcast behind enemy lines what its current director, Amanda Bennett, said was "truthful news about the war, in contrast with Nazi propaganda."
VOA was a lifeline for people behind the Iron Curtain during the Soviet era, because it reported the truth, warts and all, about Russia, Europe and the United States. That tradition continues today: take a look at this article about rampant absentee ballot voter fraud in North Carolina.

VOA, a government agency, is reporting the same truths that CNN, NPR, CBS, NBC, New York Times, Washington Post, and other "mainstream media" organizations are reporting.

During the worst of the Cold War most Eastern Bloc citizens had a positive view of the United States and America, because VOA and Radio Free Europe didn't slant the news. They just gave the facts.

That's how you earn people's trust.

But Trump doesn't have a clue about that.

Monday, December 03, 2018

Sunday, December 02, 2018


This recent piece from the Christian Science Monitor effectively declared the end of the NRA's stranglehold on gun legislation. Consider the facts contained therein.

Democrats in congressional races defeated more than a dozen Republicans who hold an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA), including longtime Reps. Mike Coffman of Colorado and Pete Sessions of Texas. In Georgia, Democratic candidate Lucy McBath, a prominent gun-control activist who lost her son in a fatal shooting in 2012, ousted Rep. Karen Handel, the Republican incumbent. A ballot measure to dramatically tighten Washington State’s gun policies passed by a wide margin, and across the country, 60 percent of voters who headed to the polls favor strengthening gun laws. 

Gun violence prevention groups advanced that cause in this year’s election. Candidates endorsed by Everytown for Gun Safety, founded by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, won 46 of 57 congressional races. Everytown and Giffords – a group founded by former Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was gravely wounded in a 2011 mass shooting – spent a combined $11.8 million on the 2018 campaign, or $2.4 million more than the NRA.

Guess who else votes now, assholes? We do. And we have the young people on our side (aka the NUMBERS).


The $9.4 million that the NRA contributed to campaigns this year marked a drop of almost two-thirds from its spending in the 2014 midterms.

It must be hard to spend money without all that Russian flow coming in anymore...hee hee...

The gun lobby is dying. Thank god.

Saturday, December 01, 2018

Maricopa County Man Nearly Shoots Off His Dick

A couple of days ago at a Maricopa County Wal Mart , a gun humper was adjusting his penis extender in his waist band and guess what happened?

He shot himself.

And, yes, I laughed about it. Heartily.

Then, of course, I wondered is said person was Kevin Baker or one of his trolls. But it appears it was not one of them.

Darwin's natural selection at its finest.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Whither The Trump Followers

With Cohen now singing about Russia, Paul Manafort's plea deal falling apart and Trump whining about flipping, it appears as though we are near the end game with the Trump presidency. What will his little troll followers do now? Here are some ideas...

1. Stage a revolution.

I'm hoping for this one. Nothing would please me more to see a bunch old, white fat assholes with tits being carted off to prison and having their guns taken away for good. Perhaps they could to go Gitmo (the place they wanted to stay open) and serve their time next to the people that they racially hate for no reason.

2. Crawl back into the hole from which they came.

Unlikely and also my least preferred. I want my xenophobic dickheads out in the open where I can see them and they can be fired from their jobs for being racist. They seem to emboldened now and pissed off to do this.

3. Help out the NRA.

Apparently, the NRA is losing money. Kinda sucks when they don't have all that Russian cash anymore to help commit domestic terrorism. Since they are losing members, maybe a fresh infusion of insecure paranoids would be helpful.

4. Leave the country and move to Russia.

This would be AWESOME. They love them some Pootey-Pute and his authoritarian dongle. I'm sure he has room for them.

5. Become nice people and lose the hate, anger and fear. After all, it's ugly. that is ever going to happen.

I'm going to be LMAO when Trump and Pence both go down with the Russian thing and Nancy Pelosi ends up president.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Friday, November 23, 2018

Another Black Friday

Today is Black Friday, the biggest shopping day during the year, the point at which retailers "enter the black."

Courtesy of the Thanksgiving episode of Jeopardy, I learned that there were many other Black Fridays. The one that is of greatest interest is the 1869 Black Friday:
The Black Friday, September 24, 1869, gold panic was caused by the efforts of two speculators, Jay Gould and his partner James Fisk, also called the Gold Ring, to corner the gold market on the New York Gold Exchange. The scandal took place during the Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant, whose policy was to sell Treasury gold at weekly intervals to pay off the national debt, stabilize the dollar, and boost the economy. The country had gone through tremendous upheaval during the Civil War and was not yet fully restored. This period, known as the Gilded Age, was a time of great industrial growth which invited much investment and speculation.

Abel Corbin, a small time speculator, married Virginia Grant, the younger sister of President Grant. After the marriage, Gould and Fisk approached Corbin, taking advantage of his brother-in-law relationship with the president, and persuaded Corbin to introduce them to Grant. Gould and Fisk hoped that befriending the President would get them privy information about up and coming government gold sales—information with which they manipulated the market. It worked, resulting in a scandal that undermined the credibility of Grant's presidency and the national economy. Gould and Fisk used their personal appearances with Grant to gain clout on Wall Street in addition to using their insider information.
The parallels between this and the Trump administration are astonishing. 

It's not just the one guy married to the president's daughter. It's the president himself, and everyone of his cronies, from his son-in-law, who uses the court system to screw over people who rent apartments from his company, to the secretary of commerce, who is linked to Russian-owned banks in Cyprus, to the secretary of education, who is linked to education lenders and the sister of Erik Prince, who ran the mercenary outfit Blackwater and also solicited help from the Saudis and the UAE to manipulate social media to help the Trump campaign. Literally dozens of other Trump appointees have already been fired or resigned for various misdeeds, conflicts of interest and general incompetence.

Trump hasn't set off a gold panic yet, but the stock market has been experiencing precipitous drops regularly. Our European, Asian and North American allies have been alienated. Tariffs are really starting to hurt American farmers. Trump is defending murderous Arab princes, Russian dictators, and is "in love" with a dumpy North Korean nuclear megalomaniac who has suckered Trump into a phony denuclearization deal.

It's only a matter of time before Trump or someone trying to cash in on their relationship with him is caught with their hand in the till and causes another economic panic.

Trump and Saudi Arabia

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Holiday Rant

Folks, when we talk about the "holidays," it's Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's. Other days in the calendar year are not "holidays." They are posers...pretenders to the throne of what are the actual fucking holidays. Here's a handy guide to help you understand...
1. Thanksgiving (the best holiday-food, family, football, laziness)
2. Christmas (Santa, sleigh bells, winter wonderlands, gifts, Jesus, if you are Christian)
3. New Year's Day (party, go out if you are cool, stay in if you lame and trying to be trendy)
That's it. There are no other holidays. When we say "the holidays," these are them.
Next we move on to days of observance which are very important in both a civic and religious way but aren't holidays in what should be the definition of the word. They should not EVER be referred to as "the holidays."
1. Veteran's Day
2. Memorial Day
3. Labor Day
4. 4th of July
6. Dr. King's day
7. President's Day
8. Easter
9. Rosh Hashanah
10. Yom Kippur
11. Ramadan
12. Diwali
This category could use an addition as well-Voting Day. It should be a national day of observance with everyone given the day off. But again, not a holiday.
Halloween is a children's in, LITTLE children. If you are an adult that dresses up like a slutty __________ or goes to bars in some sort of douchey, ironic costume, it's time to grow the fuck up. If Halloween is your favorite holiday, re-evaluate your life.
Drunken bar festives like St Paddy's Day and Cinco De Mayo are complete and utter bullshit. How many more bar holidays must we have?
Next, we have a massively irritating list of what I think are bullshit, made up nonsense days that need to go away.They should also not EVER be referred to as "the holidays."
1. Valentine's Day-frame job by high maintenance partners who are massively insecure.
2. Mother's Day and Father's Day-shouldn't we honor our parents every day?
3. Columbus Day-racist and imperialist bullshit
4. Flag Day-really?
5. Arbor Day-WTF?
Finally, we've started to see a trend lately of new holidays trying to worm their way in...things like Donut day and Pizza day. The last thing this country needs is more days to stuff our faces.This shit needs to end yesterday.
Don’t let people in this country define what a holiday is. Stay strong, people!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Trump, Flat Earthers and the Idiocracy

With Donald Trump as president, conspiracy theories are in vogue. Everything "the media" reports is fake news or a coverup: global warming is a hoax, the Democrats really were running a child sex ring out of a pizza joint and it was Ted Cruz's dad who killed JFK. The New York Times, Washington Post and NASA are all spreading lies and hiding the truth.

In this day and age, no internet conspiracy theory is too stupid for conservatives and the religious right. Including the idea that the earth is flat. Yeah, you read that right. There are still flat earthers around, and their number is increasing, no doubt spurred on by Trump's dumbing down of absolutely everything.

Flat earthers believe that we never landed on the moon. That the International Space Station isn't in orbit. That SpaceX rockets are going nowhere. That Dish Network satellites are not in geosynchronous orbit, even though they are continuously beaming programming to millions of people's houses when they point their antennas at that particular point in the sky. What keeps those Dish Network transmitters up there, in exactly the same place, all the time? Hot air balloons? Magic?

They say it's all a hoax.

The Flat Earth Society held a conference in Denver just two days ago. Most people think that a spherical earth is settled science, resolved long ago, after the Vatican debacle with Galileo 400 years ago, and the burning at the stake of Giordano Bruno for the heresy of believing that the earth orbited the sun.

A spherical earth is not rocket science. The ancient Greek mathematician Eratosthenes figured it out with simple geometry 2,000 years ago. He realized that shadows cast by identical objects on the summer solstice had different lengths depending on how far north you were. He used those measurements to calculate the earth's circumference, and his estimate was pretty much dead on.

No two flat earthers can agree on exactly what the earth looks like, but essentially they believe that the earth is more or less shaped like a pizza, with the North Pole at the center. Antarctica is a huge ice crust around the outside. There is no South Pole -- it's a lie concocted by Roald Amundson.

According to them, the earth is a fixed, non-rotating disk with a radius of about 8,000 miles. That means that the circumference of the pizza is about 50,000 miles: that would make the coastline of Antarctica 50,000 miles long! Antarctica is an ice wall that is somehow impossible to fly over, because, well, what would be out there?

Some of them have the earth flat as a pancake, while others have it like a fried egg in a bowl as a nod to Eratosthenes (and reality).

This invites many questions. If the earth is a pizza, how does the sun shine on New York when it is dark in Shanghai? Why does the sun rise at different times in New York, Minneapolis and LA? If the earth is flat, all three cities should be seeing the sun at the same time in the same place. Why do we have time zones?

If the earth is a pizza, why is the length of the day today, 11/18/2018, 9 hours 27 minutes in Minneapolis, and 10 hours 50 minutes in Miami? If the North Pole is at the center of the pizza, how come the sun never rises there from September to March, and always stays above the horizon from March to September?

If the earth is a pizza why is it summer in Argentina and South Africa when it's winter in the United States and Russia? What makes lunar eclipses? Why do we have tides?

If the earth is a pizza why can't Canadians ever see southern hemisphere constellations like the Southern Cross? How do GPS satellites work? What keeps them up there? Why can we see the International Space Station going overhead, on a completely predictable schedule, moving at 17,000 miles an hour? Or does NASA have a gigantic fleet of drones flying around the world at all times pretending to be the ISS? Where is that in the budget?

The flat earth conspiracy completely ignores the realities of actual, measurable distances between points on the planet. Remember the "Mercator projection" from grade school geography? By projecting a spherical earth onto a flat surface it made the polar regions appear artificially huge:

Notice how Greenland is much bigger than South America? In reality, Greenland is 836,000 square miles and South America is almost 10 times larger, at 6.888 million square miles. The flat earthers put the North Pole at the center of the pizza to prevent land mass distortion in northern latitudes. Problem solved!

Except it's not. Flat earth maps completely distort the shape of southern hemisphere land masses, or the distances between them. Australia is squashed north to south and stretched east to west far beyond the actual measured distances, in much the same way Greenland is distorted in the Mercator projection:

Sphere:   Pizza:

Speaking of Australia, anyone can personally test whether the earth is flat for a few thousand dollars: just fly from Sydney to Johannesburg, South Africa. You can fly on Qantas for about $2,200. The route looks like this (it's a curved line because the earth is a sphere and we're looking at a two-dimensional projection):

You fly due west from the eastern coast of Australia, the entire length of Australia, then hit a looong stretch of the Indian Ocean, then Madagascar and then South Africa, until you finally reach Joburg. That takes 14 hours (it's two hours faster flying the other way because the earth's rotation creates a tail wind known as the jet stream). That's about 6,800 miles, and averages about 485 miles an hour.

During the flight you can look out the window to make sure you're really over Australia and the ocean the whole time.

Now, if the earth is a pizza, what is the flight path for that journey? According to this flat earth map, the flight path from Sydney to Johannesburg should look like this:

You would fly northwest out of Sydney, passing over Indonesia, the Philippines, the China Sea, China, India, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and finally South Africa.

Instead of flying over southwestern Australia and the Indian Ocean, you would never fly over those areas and would spend all your time over northeast Australia, the China Sea, Asia and Africa. How do the airlines keep curious passengers from looking out the window and seeing China when they should be seeing ocean? Video monitors displaying computer generated 3D scenes built into the windows?

This distance is, according to my rough measurements, about 9,400 miles. Which means, for a 14-hour flight, it is going 671 miles an hour. The maximum speed of planes like the Airbus A380 or the Boeing 777 is around 650 mph. But flying the other way, from Joburg to Sydney, takes only 12 hours (again, because of the jet stream). That's 783 mph, almost 20 mph faster than the speed of sound.

But let's say that Qantas is in on the conspiracy, and instead of flying a straight line to conserve fuel, they fly along the latitude lines to maintain the conspiracy that the earth is a sphere, like this:

That distance is about 11,500 miles, which means the aircraft would be flying at 820 mph to complete a 14-hour flight, almost twice as far and twice as fast as it would have to fly if the earth is a sphere. Now, the speed of sound is 767 mph. Why don't these planes produce sonic booms? Oh, there's no such thing as the sound barrier? Or they do it far out at sea? I get it.

(Question: if the earth is a pizza, why did sailors bother to invent latitude and longitude lines in the first place, and waste all that time sailing along them instead of going in straight lines?)

But it's much cheaper to prove that the earth is a sphere. Let's say you live in New York. Take a yardstick and put it in the ground on a sunny summer day. Scratch the ground where the shadow falls. Measure the distance between that scratch and the base of the yardstick. Then call your friend in Florida. Have him do the same. Your friend's measurement will be shorter than yours (no penis jokes!). Then call someone in southern Argentina, where it's winter, and have them do the same thing. The shadow will be shorter still. Do it in winter and you get the opposite result.

Because the earth is a sphere.

It is no surprise that most flat earthers use the bible as their primary source to "prove" that the earth is flat. Like the Inquisition, they want to preserve the idea that the earth in general -- and Christians in particular -- are the center of the universe.

Because if the earth is just another planet around just another star in just another galaxy, among millions and millions of galaxies in an ever-expanding universe that was created in the Big Bang 14 billion years ago, why would god care about some schlub on disability trolling the internet in Mobile, Alabama? But if we're in that most special place, the absolute center of a universe, on a pizza that was built specifically for us, naturally we're the most important creatures in all creation.

Aside from religious pomposity, people want to think the earth is flat because they want things to be simple. They don't understand what gravity is, or how big the earth actually is, or how it could spin without throwing us off, or how far away Australia is, or what Antarctica is like. These same people don't "believe" in quantum mechanics, but the semiconducting chips in their cellphones still use quantum tunneling, and the inverse of Einstein's photoelectric effect forms the basis of the LED screens they stare at all day.

Some people just want to read the bible and pretend the world is constructed just the way some Middle Eastern desert nomads thought it was 3,000 years ago.

Welcome to the idiocracy.