Virtual Cults and Their Believers

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QAnon is a virtual cult that began in late 2017, with a fundamental belief that Pres. Trump is a hero in a fight against the “deep state” and the evil of Democratic politicians and celebrities who abuse children. “Q” in QAnon indicates someone in the US government with insider knowledge of these governmental evils.

It is unclear as to how many people are part of this cult, but QAnon-related Facebook pages and groups based outside of the US are continuing to increase, with at least 12.8 million interactions from January 2020 to September, according to CNN.

QAnon is a weird mix of cult and conspiracy theory, but ultimately, it continues to branch off of a central worldview, which includes the whole assumption of the Democratic Party worshipping Satan, JFK Jr. having faked his death to escape deep state, and even false ideas regarding the 5G infrastructure and even the very dangerous idea that COVID-19 pandemic is a ploy to monitor private citizens.

The last is particularly harmful, but QAnon has no known leadership structure, and no true way to contain it.

The fact that Pres. Trump had won the 2016 election had a profound effect globally, it turns out, as a former QAnon believer explained, no major media outlet had predicted his win, and that had proven to him that most of these media outlets were not correct. Alex Jones, Infowars exposed some to QAnon theories. Those who are obsessed with QAnon would oftentimes only want to talk about QAnon theories, which makes offline life very difficult.

People are likely to seek out conspiracy theories in times of crises, say experts. With the 2016 US election and the ensuing chaos that seemed to be the Trump presidency, followed by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, many people are feeling exactly that.

As conspiracy theories often blame some unknown party as orchestrating and controlling all aspects of one’s perceived reality, it can provide those unsettled by the chaos, some leverage to hold onto, even if dangerous.

In May 2019, FBI released a bulletin warning that conspiracy theorists like QAnon could “very likely” motivate criminal and sometimes violent activity in the US especially because of the extent and the content of the materials.

Modern social networks have made QAnon possible faster, as any misinformation can get in the mainstream quickly through platforms like Twitter. Reddit has banned the QAnon subreddit, and Twitter has removed 7,000 QAnon-associated accounts. Facebook is planning to ban QAnon-related pages, and YouTube will remove QAnon-related materials off of its website.

However, it is an enormous task given the widespread reach of QAnon globally.

Some are smart enough to notice the logical flaws of these conspiracy theories, others are not. Those who do, might be able to leave QAnon, and some are active on r/Qult_Headquarters to point out logical flaws in the conspiracies proposed by “Q.”

Since QAnon essentially fights against “facts,” this is not the way to solve the QAnon problem. It seems that to dissolve the dangerous entity known as QAnon, people must use empathy and sympathy and remind people that QAnon is essentially not a productive or helpful force in their lives.

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Microsoft 365 Goes Down affecting Multiple Continents

On September 28, 2020, around 6 PM EST, those using Microsoft 365 and Outlook services observed difficulty logging into its services.

The outage was attributed to a recent change to Microsoft and Microsoft reverted to an older version to mitigate the impact of the outage. Unfortunately, approximately one hour after spotting the possible issue, Microsoft tweeted that the it was not seeing an increase in successful connections after rolling back the recent change.

Microsoft then rerouted the traffic to its alternative infrastructure while continuing to investigate. This outage may have shown the dangers of relying solely on one contractor for major government services such as 911, which also complained of difficulty of logging into Microsoft administrative services.

As of 8 PM, Microsoft seems to have become accessible to a limited extent, although still not fully operational.

Anyone impacted can stay updated on its twitter page:

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No More Gasoline Car Sales by 2035, says Governor of California

Gov. Gavin Newsom of California signed an executive order on Wednesday, banning the sale of new gas cars and trucks after 2035. Gas cars and trucks may be owned and sold on the used car market, however.

The governor is also calling for the end of petroleum fracking, but unlike his gas-car ban, decided to leave the this matter to the California legislature.

As wildfires become an yearly event in California (and much of the west coast), Newsom wants to become more aggressive in fighting anti-climate matters; however, it has not been so successful as the Trump administration had sought to revoke California’s authority to mandate zero-emission vehicles. The matter landed in court.

According to the state statistics, transportation is the state’s biggest and rising source of emissions.

Although zero-emission vehicles have been on the incline, they still only accounted for less than 8 percent of all new cars sold in California in 2019.

Institute for Energy Research, a think tank that sides with the fossil fuel industry, called out the Governor’s act as silly, stating that driving cars is not what causes forest fires or makes them worse. The spokesperson also stated that while the zero-emission cars might not have emissions while being driven, it still requires fossil fuel usage at the power plant.

This however, will provide much needed data on whether zero-emission cars can truly decrease the tremendous carbon footprint environmental pundits have been arguing.

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Trump Promises New Supreme Court Nominee by End of Week

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When Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away past weekend, much of the nation mourned her death.

With the election looming so close, many of the Democratic Party members oppose the nomination and the appointment of a new Supreme Court justice.

However, Pres. Trump has promised to come up with a nominee for consideration by the end of the week, and the Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have agreed to evaluate the nominee.

However, Iowa Republican senator Chuck Grassley, a former Judiciary Committee chairman stated that while he would review the nominee, the confirmation process should be up to the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Judiciary Committee Chairman, Lindsey Graham.

They have both said the Senate should vote on Trump’s nominee.

Democrats criticize McConnell for deciding to push through Trump’s nominee less than 2 months before the election, especially when McConnell had blocked then-President Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland in 2016 after the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016, more than 9 months before that year’s presidential election.

Democrats need at least 4 GOP senators to side with them to delay the confirmation.

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Hurricane Sally Hits Gulf Coast and Florida, bringing deadly alligators and poisonous snakes out into the residences

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Category 2 Hurricane Sally hit the Gulf coast, and the Florida panhandle.  She came with massive floods, and along the outlines of at least 600,000 power lines, over the 10 to 12 foot alligators appeared in residence area.

Sally is certainly weakening as it moves up northeast, but it certainly will leave its impact on the south.

According to CBS affiliate WKRG, a residence at Alabama found huge alligators swimming at her yard after Sally made landfall on Wednesday.

“We have been surrounded by water, alligators and poisonous snakes,” she wrote on her Facebook.

All the wild poisonous animals came out to avoid the storm and hunt, but this is now causing issues for residents. Therefore, people are advised not to go near water.

Fire ant bites especially can be very painful, and take tediously long healing procedure with swelling skin and bones. Fire ants live very long lives, surviving harsh environments even during Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

2020 is turning out to be a devastating year with no respite: west burns, south is flooding, and the north experienced the highest deaths from the coronavirus.

Thankfully, fall is coming, and with that, 2020 will slowly wind down. Please stay safe and healthy.

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UN PEACEKOR Hosts The 1st Global Virtual Forum Amidst Covid-19 Pandemic

On September 16, UN PEACEKOR (Chairman Dug-Ryong Kim) held the global meeting through Zoom and Youtube live for the first time ever in history due to coronavirus pandemic.

This forum was held by foreign compatriots from around the world with different time zones on the actual conditions and prospects of North Korea’s three sufferings (sanctions, corona, flood damage), and where to find clues for the recovery of South-North relations in this difficult situation. We had time to express each other’s opinions using the internet space as a place.

The forum was hosted by Jun-Hyuk Huh, Secretary General of UNPEACEKOR, and led to discussions by Yong-Han Choi, head of the National Security Strategy Research Institute, Jong-Cheol Park, a Research Fellow at the Institute for Unification, Yoo-seok Jeong, a senior research fellow at the Northeast Asia Research Center at Export-Import Bank of Korea, and Dae-jin Jeong, a professor at Ajou University.

The chairman of the organization stated that despite US’ distraction during a presidential election year, and North Korea focusing on its internal structure, there is still tremendous responsibility to bring to awareness, the importance of restarting the peace process on the Korean Peninsula.

The members of the forum focused heavily on the kind of development necessary in North Korea, and talked about the impact of Covid-19 on both the social and economic infrastructure of China and North Korea, but also how this could require heavier interest by South Korea or the US to improve relationship with North Korea, especially in the area of trade.

The forum garnered much interest, as almost 400 people tuned in to watch the forum.

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Is ICE Performing hysterectomies on immigrants?

On Tuesday, light allegations accused ICE’s Irwin County Detention center in Georgia of performing mass hysterectomies, refusing to test detainees for Covid-19, and shredding medical records.

Follow-up news conference in Atlanta however, has not helped substantiate the story, as the whistleblower’s attorney refused to release the full statement made, and the whistleblowing nurse herself did not take any questions.

The whistleblower is a nurse who had been working full-time as a licensed practice nurse at the immigration detention center until July, when she was demoted.

That being said, the nurse stated that she did not actually know if the women that underwent hysterectomy operations actually consented or not. She simply stated that, “everybody [the doctor] sees has a hysterectomy — just about everybody.”

At the press conference, however, the nurse mostly focused on improper Covid-19 violations rather than on hysterectomy allegation.  The complaint states that the nurse was demoted after missing work with coronavirus symptoms.

The agency, while it is taking the allegations seriously, also stated that unsubstantiated statements should be treated as such. This is an ongoing investigation.

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Covid-19 Survivors’ Lungs Likely to Recover over Time, study says

Among concern regarding Covid-19 were multi-organ inflammation, damage, and failure. For example, many as 35% of those testing positive for Covid-19 showed heart inflammation.

However, there is some good news regarding Covid-19 recovery: a new study from University Clinic in Innsbruck, Austria showed that a vast majority of hospitalized Covid-19 patients showed lung damage 6 weeks after discharge, but this proportion dropped significantly after 12 weeks, indicating that the lungs are able to self-repair.

The 86-patient analysis showed that 6 weeks after discharge, approximately 47% of patients struggled with shortness of breath, with 15% struggling with coughing.  However, by 12 weeks, only 39% of patients still experienced shortness of breath, while 15% continued to cough.

12-weeks were chosen due to the newness of the Covid-19, and the lack of data on how long the diseased lungs would react to other infections. Research is ongoing, with data expected at 24-weeks.

The relationship between Covid-19 and the heart was not covered by this research.

While the research was limited by the small patient cohort (only 86 patient pool), and while it is still unclear as to what happens with residual lung lesions, Judith Loffler-Ragg, MD from University Clinic in Innsbruck stated, “… there is resolution of so-called damage.”

It is one silver lining in the cloud storm of the year that has been so very difficult for so many people.

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A Cup of Poem~~ 하루/김호천

 

하루

청곡 김호천

정담을 주고받을 친구도

낯익은 사람도 없는

공원 벤치에

노인은 무엇을 생각하는지

하늘을 보다가 구름을 보다가

나무에 눈길을 주다

돌부처처럼 앉아 있다가

무릎을 세워 공원을 돈다.

한 바퀴 더 돈다. 또 돈다

숨이 차고 갈수록 횟수가 깎인다.

노을 뜨고 산 그늘 다가오면

집으로 돌아간다.

길가에 핀 붉은 접시꽃에 다가가

꽃씨를 받는다.

2020. 7.10

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This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.

As COVID-19 Cases Continue to Rise, West Coast Burns

There were confirmed new cases of 36,500 Covid-19 cases on September 10, 2020, bringing the total confirmed case to 6,471,218 in the US. Of course, only about 2,764,361 cases are active currently. But many living on the Pacific west coast are dealing with another problem making breathing difficult.

There are currently more than 13 states being impacted by wildfires, not just California. From Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California to Texas, almost half of the US is currently battling wildfires.

In many of these states, citizens are struggling between choosing to open the window to breathe in smoke, or to stay stuffed up inside their homes due to Covid-19 pandemic and the risk of going elsewhere.

For example, the Governor of Oregon has declared a state of emergency for the wildfires, as well as extending the state of emergency for COVID-19 for another 60 days until November 3, 2020.

The current state of affairs have forced evacuations for many, as well as putting much strain on the states’ fire-fighting resources. The heat wave has eased a bit for California, and the shift in wind has finally allowed the Utilities to turn the electricity back on.

Nonetheless, the effects of the wind storms continue to have lasting effect in the region. More than half a million acres of forests and grassland have burned in California on Wednesday alone.

A blaze in Butte County has killed at least 3 people.

Air quality throughout San Francisco Bay area have reached unhealthy levels, with thick smoke blanketing much of the Pacific west and Northwest. What is very concerning is that the wildfires have not reached their worst of the season, as wildfires become most dangerous when the dry winds pick up in the fall months.

Unfortunately for the West Coast, there is a ridge of high pressure that has pinned the smoke in place, which means that it will be a while before California, Oregon, and Washington gets any relief from the heavy smoke and soot.

As the climate of the American West continues to show extremes unseen in previous eras, many are worried for their safety, as well as feeling the pressures of anxiety, stress, and fear.

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