(Link) How the Trump Administration is trying to link political opposition to foreign terrorist groups (Non-fiction)

Abe Drayton over at Oceanoxia posts about the Trump administration’s attempts to tie “Antifa” to international terrorist organizations.

There are various legal frameworks in place that prevent domestic terrorist groups like the KKK from being treated as terrorists, at least in the ways we have come to expect. While protecting the Klan is not good, the same laws that protect them also protect left-wing groups from being targeted by the Department of Homeland Security. Rather than risk someone going after right-wing extremists in the United States, the Republican administration is, instead, trying to tie their left-wing opposition to foreign actors, to get around the law, and allow them to treat anyone labeled “antifa” in the U.S., in the words of a DHS source, “Like Al Qaeda”. 

I doubt that we’ll see drone strikes in the US, but I do more crackdowns like this if Trump successfully gets another term in office.

Web Exclusive: Interstellar court arrests conservative lawyers for attempted genocide (Fiction)

File photo of Judge Kilos Surgon.

By Reporter X

Conservative lawyers who attempted to reopen Bolingbrook’s Clow UFO Base and embarrass Illinois Governor JB Pritzker lost their case and were arrested for attempted genocide.

“No law or procedure can override the Interstellar Commonwealth’s ban on genocide,” said Judge Kilos Surgon of the Clow UFO Base Court of Extraterrestrial Affairs in the 109,298,291 Circuit.

The lawyers, who work for the Illinois Interstellar Policy Institute, argued that Pritzker cannot extend his emergency orders regarding food service workers at Illinois’s UFO Bases.  Therefore, Clow UFO Base should be reopened, and Pritzker should pay restitution to the Weathertech Restaurant.

“Weathertech is running out of space to store its plastic scraps,” argued David X. Smith, Esq. “We have to reopen Clow so Weathertech can spend its money on executives bonuses instead of storage rentals.”

“What about the health and safety of the residents of Bolingbrook?” asked Surgon.

“What about it?” asked Smith.  “We’d never profit if we worried about people’s health.  That’s socialism!”


“It’s socialism!”

“So?  Socialism does not automatically mean authoritarianism.”

While the Village did not send a lawyer on its behalf, the Union of Clow UFO Base Culinary Workers argued against reopening.  Pat Z. Leonard, Esq. argued that Pritzker had nothing to do with the lockdown of Clow UFO Base.  Former Mayor Roger Claar ordered to close Clow, she argued, and it was granted by the Illuminati, the secret pages in the Illinois Constitution, and Article VIII of the US Constitution.  Article VIII is also known as the “Secret Society Article” and has never been released to the public.  Leonard concluded by stating even the preamble of the US Constitution gives both Pritzker and current Mayor Mary Alexander-Basta the authorization to lockdown Clow UFO Base.

“There’s no tranquility during a pandemic.  A viral invasion of this magnitude requires a common defense.  There is no general welfare when everyone is sick.  Citizens are deprived of liberty when they are hospitalized or dead.  There is no prosperity when citizens are afraid to work or shop.  Both the governor and the mayor swore to uphold the US Constitution.  With hospitalizations rising in Illinois, it would be unconstitutional for either of them to reopen Clow UFO Base!”

Leonard concluded that even with Clow’s anti-viral technology, the use of masks, and social distancing, there was still a risk of the virus infecting crew and aliens.  Some aliens could even spread the virus throughout the galaxy.

Smith countered: “My Constitution says it is important to own a gun and have the libs!  That’s why this court must rule in our favor and find ways to humiliate the governor if he refuses to obey.”

“Even if people get sick?”

“Freedom is important!  Besides, the greater crime is that the JB removed a bathroom so he could reduce his property taxes.  That’s what we should really be focusing on.”

“Do you have me confused with that Clay County judge?”

Surgon asked if the IIPI planned on bringing its executives back to its offices.  The judges laughed and said they weren’t essential workers, but “important thought leaders.”

Surgon then ruled against the IIPI and ordered the arrest of the lawyers on genocide charges.

“My clients are innocent,” said Joe V. Zimmerman.  “We plan on arguing that any form of punishment or accountability violates our clients’ religious liberties.”

Leonard praised the ruling:  “The coronavirus is a serious threat to the wellbeing of our state and our galaxy.  My clients and my firm will do anything do defend our UFO Base and our residents from the virus and its COVIDots allies!”

Note:  This is a work of fiction. All opinions expressed are my own. They do not reflect the views of any organization I work for or of my employer.  Feel free to leave a comment here or in the Bolingbrook Babbler Readers Group. 

Miraculous image of Ed Brayton appears in front of the Church of Christopher Hitchens (Fiction)

Did anti-psychic energy create this image of blogger Ed Brayton?

Bolingbrook atheists claim that an image of atheist blogger Ed Brayton miraculously appeared in a parking spot in front of the Church of Christopher Hitchens.

“This image is a testament to the power of disbelief and social justice,” said Lynda Z. Ackman, a long time member of the church.  “First, Bolingbrook hosted two Black Lives Matter events.  Second, Mayor Roger Claar stepped down, and was replaced by a woman!  This is the third sign.  It means a new age of social justice is coming to Bolingbrook.  One-party rule will end, and Bolingbrook will be united at last!”

File photo of Ed Brayton.

Brayton, who co-founded the Freethought Blogs network with PZ Myers, recently announced that he will be entering hospice care due to various health issues.  He built his blogging career chronicling the religious right’s attempts to undermine the separation of church and state, as well as speaking out against conservatism.  He also claims to be the only person to have made fun of Chuck Norris on CSPAN and survive.

David X. Silverton, leader of the CCH, denies the image is a fake:  “All I’m saying is I didn’t paint that image after hearing about Ed’s situation.  I will say that the image was not painted to draw more people to our outdoor services, and we are enforcing social distancing.  We don’t want to endanger Bolingbrook’s economic recovery with reckless gatherings, unlike certain other religious institutions in our great village.”

Silverton added that the image appearance has inspired the church to place a display featuring atheist writers, like Brayton and Hitchens, next to the village’s annual nativity scene.

“Bolingbrook is a diverse community, and what better way to honor its approximately 19,000 atheists than to have a display honoring Ed?  If they refuse, we’ll sue them.  I’m sure Ed would approve of that.”

One anonymous member of the church had her doubts: “I think a well-meaning person painted this.  Extraordinary claims do require extraordinary evidence after all.”

Brayton said he wasn’t dead yet, and hung up on this reporter.

A receptionist for Mayor Mary Alexander-Basta said she was out of the office:

“I never thought (Former Mayor Roger Claar) would retire.  I thought he would die at this desk and haunt Village Hall.  Well, maybe his political action committee will allow his presence to still be felt here.”

In the background, a man who sounded like Trustee Sheldon Watts said: “A trustee-mayor is an unholy abomination!  Will you step out of your office and let me show you the light?”

A woman who sounded like covert social media operative Charlene Spencer said: “Cut!  Great job!  This is going to be a big hit in Bolingbrook Politics!”

Also in the Babbler:

Village approves UFO displaying pro-Biden ads
Weredeer to field candidate for Bolingbrook Mayor
Trump signs executive order to move the Bolingbrook Golf Club to Rosemont
God to smite Bolingbrook on 8/12/20

Note:  This is a work of fiction. All opinions expressed are my own. They do not reflect the views of any organization I work for or of my employer.  Feel free to leave a comment here or in the Bolingbrook Babbler Readers Group. 

(Link) New Scientist article on what caused the Beirut explosion (Non-fiction)

The New Scientist site has an article, that’s not behind a paywall, about the Beirut explosion.  Despite what Trump initially said, it wasn’t a deliberate attack, nor was it an attack by Israel, nor was it an atomic bomb or any other rumors.  It was most likely caused when a fire ignited 2750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate.  It had apparently been sitting in a port warehouse since 2013.  The ammonium nitrate wasn’t properly stored, and port authorities had been trying to get rid of it for years.

I will admit that when I finally saw the videos, I wondered if it was a dirty bomb.  But, as with most disasters, first impressions can be wrong, and rumors spread around the world before any investigation starts.  As Matthew Gault at Vice points out, there are people who are still insisting it was an atomic bomb because it formed a mushroom cloud.  But nuclear explosions aren’t the only things that can create mushroom clouds.  As long as there’s an apparent anomaly, someone will use it to question the “official story.”  Sure governments lie, and there are powerful people in the world, but sometimes an industrial accident is just an industrial accident.

USA Today offers this article on how to help the victims of the explosion.  Also according to the article, 5000 people were injured, and over 200,000 people may be homeless.


(Link) Ed Yong’s ‘How the Pandemic Defeated America’ (Non-fiction)

Ed Yong’s excellent article in the Atlantic, “How the Pandemic Defeated America,” is a devastatingly honest account of why the United States has the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the world:

Despite its epochal effects, COVID‑19 is merely a harbinger of worse plagues to come. The U.S. cannot prepare for these inevitable crises if it returns to normal, as many of its people ache to do. Normal led to this. Normal was a world ever more prone to a pandemic but ever less ready for one. To avert another catastrophe, the U.S. needs to grapple with all the ways normal failed us. It needs a full accounting of every recent misstep and foundational sin, every unattended weakness and unheeded warning, every festering wound and reopened scar.

Yong details how the combination of an inept President, an inadequate health care system, decades of racist policies, and early reopenings as reasons for the widespread outbreak in the US.  Even Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Deborah Brix admits that the virus is “extraordinarily widespread,” even into the rural and urban areas.

Eventually, COVID-19 will be manageable either through treatments or vaccines.  We will be able to get close to one another, go out to places, and travel again.  But as Yong shows in his article, it will take a very long time for the country to recover from the economic and social problems exposed and exacerbated by the pandemic.

Justice for Saraya Rees (Non-fiction)

Iris over at Death to Squirrels has a post about Saraya Rees, a teenager who had a mental health crisis, and is now serving an 11-year prison sentence:

Well that all sounded pretty fucked-up to me, but this was just a summary. Even before my morning coffee, it occurred to my sleepy, chemo-addled brain that there were pieces missing in this story, some of which could be enormously consequential and thus color the true picture, in one way or another. So rather than sign-now-with-a-click and move on in the direction of my coffee pot, I read the rest of the email. And readers? When those gaps were filled in, the picture became so much uglier and far more disturbing than anything I could have imagined.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Oregon…

Bolingbrook Mayor Alexander-Basta confronts COVID-19 ‘zombies’ at Clow UFO Base (Fiction)

File photo of Bolingbrook Mayor Mary Alexander Basta (From the Village of Bolingbrook.)

By Reporter X

One day after becoming acting mayor of Bolingbrook, Mary Alexander-Basta faced her first challenge when 20 armed protesters tried to storm Clow UFO Base. 

The human protesters marched towards Clow brandishing long rifles and chanting things like,: “Masks are Murder,” “COVID is Cool,” and “Lockdown liberals!”

The protesters claimed they were followers of Bolingbrook Resident “Mr. G,” and claim he ordered the “liberation march” on Clow.

“COVID-19 is a hoax,” said a mask-less man who refused to provide his name.  “It’s a fake biological weapon created in China to harm President Trump and help libtards make America suck!  We can’t let the Chinese shutdown Bolingbrook!  We must reopen Clow UFO Base to save Bolingbrook.”

When the protesters reached the sealed entrance, Pete, the leader of the march, demanded that the protesters be let inside.  A woman, who spoke through an intercom, said Clow was under the “Doomsday Directive” due to the pandemic.  Clow, she explained, could only be reopened under a joint order from the Mayor and the head of the “Doomsday Crew.”

“We’re not coming out any time soon,” said the woman.  “Have you seen the positivity rates in Will County?”

“We are protesters,” Pete replied.  “That means we are immune to the hoax Chinese Virus.  We are also armed.  So you have to let us in so you can stand still as we get into your face.”

“No,” the woman snapped and fired a sonic attack at the protesters.  As the protesters recovered, she continued.  “We know what’s going on outside.  Coronavirus isn’t just infecting your lungs and blood.  It’s infecting your brains too!  It’s tricking you into thinking that a virus that has killed hundreds of thousands is a hoax.  It’s making you question germ theory.  It’s convinced you that you can only be free by infecting others!  You think you’re fighting for freedom?  You’re really fighting for the coronavirus.  All of you are a bunch of Coronavirus zombies!”

As Pete and the other protesters yelled back at the woman, Alexander-Basta and Deputy Mayor Michael Lawler arrived with several Men in Blue, and the Clow Special Forces Team.

Lawler said to Alexander-Basta: “Since you don’t get control of the Men in Blue until after Midnight, I’m going to teach you how we handle riots at Clow.”

Alexander-Basta, who was already wearing a KN95 mask, finished putting on protective goggles and gloves.  She turned to Lawler and said: “I got this.”  

While Lawler protested, Alexander-Basta walked up to Pete, grabbed an ear lobe, and pulled his head down.

“Young man you are in serious trouble,” said Alexander-Basta.  “You are trespassing on Village Property, and violating two of the 3 Cs.  Your friends are too crowded and too close to each other.  This is the third super spreader event this week in Bolingbrook, and since your name isn’t Roger, I can do something about it.”  Alexander-Basta pulled harder on his ear.  “You and your friends are grounded for the next 14 days.  Do you understand?”

“But freedom—”

“Would you rather have Michael and the Men in Blue decide your punishment?  He might be inclined to charge you with a war crime for using a biological weapon against our village!”

Pete gave the stand-down order to the protesters and they surrendered their guns to the Men in Blue. 

Alexander-Basta walked back to Lawler and said: “There are times when you have to be a good mom, and times when you have to be a mean mom.  This was the time to be a mean mom.”

A receptionist for Alexander-Basta said she was not available for comment:

“Now you want to interview her because she just became mayor.  Well, right now she’s in a meeting and can’t be bothered.  Just between you and me, the woman she’s talking to is wearing such a vividly green dress.”

In the background, a woman who sounded like Alexander-Basta said: “Are you talking about The Manual: I’m Right and You’re a Stupid Liar: How To Run Bolingbrook The Roger Claar Way?”

A woman replied: “No.  This is a book we’ve kept hidden for over 40 years!”

“Wow!  That’s almost before Roger.”

“Yes.  We hid it from Bob, Ed, and even Roger.  Now we can reveal it to you.”

“I’m honored…Oh!  It’s another manual.  You’ve Come A Long Way Baby: How to be a female mayor in Bolingbrook by Mayor Nora Wipfler.  I don’t know what to say.”

“Then listen to our warning:  Beware of ambitious men and the woman who support them.”

Further in the background, a woman who sounded like Charlene Spencer, covert social media operative, said: “Okay Sheldon, what are you going to tell Our Revolution Bolingbrook?”

A man who sounded like Trustee Sheldon Watts said: “I have concerns about Amazon’s treatment of its workers.”

“And what are you going to tell the Bolingbrook Jaycees?”

“Are they still around?”

“I’m working on it.  So what are you going to say to them?”

“I will not let Cancel Culture cancel Bolingbrook’s economic development.”

“You’ve got this Sheldon!”

Also in the Babbler:

Bolingbrook survives first post-Claar weekend
Weredeer leader insults the new mayor of Bolingbrook
Alien infected with COVID-19 gets a double brain transplant
God to smite Bolingbrook on 8/6/20

Note:  This is a work of fiction. All opinions expressed are my own. They do not reflect the views of any organization I work for or of my employer.  Feel free to leave a comment here or in the Bolingbrook Babbler Readers Group. 

Web Exclusive: Race for interim Mayor: Trustee Jaskiewicz holds narrow lead in the latest Babble Poll! (Mixed)

File photo of Robert Jaskiewicz (Left) and Michael Carpanzano at a 2014 Bolingbrook Chamber of Commerce event.

By Dale Onofrey
Political Columnist

With Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar retiring this week, I decided to use our exclusive Babble Poll to see who the residents want to be Bolingbrook’s next mayor.  It turns out they narrowly favor Trustee Robert Jaskiewicz over Trustee Michael Carpanzano:

Trustee Robert Jaskiewicz 30%
Trustee Michael Carpanzano 20%
Trustee Mary Basta 10%
Trustee Michael Lawler 10%
Village Clerk Carol Penning 10%
Trustee Maria Zarate 10%
Beg Naperville to annex Bolingbrook instead 10%

Conventional wisdom says Michael Lawler, a member of the ruling First Party for Bolingbrook party, has the advantage in the race for interim mayor.  However, I think if there’s enough popular support, enough FPB trustees might break with Roger, and support Bob.  While that might seem like a promotion for Jaskiewicz, it could be a clever trap.  With the new co-executives running the day to day operations of the village, and FPB still in control, a Mayor Jaskiewicz would have no real power.  In what I call the Nightmare Scenario, Roger’s allies would run the village, and “Blame Bob” whenever things went wrong.  Unless Jaskiewicz is able to use the position of Mayor to build up his base and lead BU to victory.

Carpanzano, on the other hand, might be able to persuade the other Trustees that he’s the most qualified candidate to replace Claar.  After all, he could argue, he is the Bolingbrook Patch Mayor.  Is it really that different than being Bolingbrook’s mayor?

The biggest surprise of all is Trustee Sheldon Watt’s abysmal showing in this poll.  It seems like more residents would rather disband Bolingbrook than have him serve as mayor.  He has a lot of work to do if he wants to catch up with the other trustees in the race to be interim mayor.

I can’t wait to see how the next few weeks play out.  No matter who wins, Bolingbrook will end up with its first new mayor in over 30 years!

From the Webmaster: This poll has a margin of error of over 30 percent, and that’s being generous for an online poll.  It’s also likely that Claar selected his successor before he announced his retirement, and the vote next month will just be a formality.  In other words, my brother is not Nate Silver.





Aliens and Illuminati sponsor an emotional and extravagant retirement party for Mayor Claar (Fiction)

By Reporter X

Mayor Claar delivers his retirement speech while an alien watches.

Mayor Roger Claar (Left) delivers his retirement speech while alien ambassador Zokla (Right) looks on.

Friends, allies, and aliens paid tribute to Mayor Roger Claar at his retirement party Saturday night.  It was live-streamed from the Bolingbrook Golf Club.

Claar, who was appointed mayor and administrator of Clow UFO Base in 1986, enjoyed a retirement party hosted by the Illuminati and the Interstellar Commonwealth.  Most of the guests watched online, while 49 “special human guests” attended with Claar.  All the special guests wore biohazard suits.

“I knew someone would throw a retirement party for me,” Claar said to the guests.  “I never dreamed it would happen during a pandemic.  Now the Illuminati didn’t create the coronavirus, but boy did they do a good job of exploiting it!”

The highlight of the retirement party was the world premiere of “Roger!” a musical about Claar’s rise from school administrator to the longest-serving mayor in Bolingbrook’s history, as well as the first Bolingbrook mayor to win re-election. Former Styx lead singer Dennis DeYoung played Claar, accompanied by a cast of aliens.  Claar seemed to enjoy the songs, including “Breathe Fresh Air (Go Vote for Claar), “If I Had a Campaign Fund,” “Why Can’t I Convict You DA (James Glasgow’s Theme),” “Toll Riding,” “George Ryan is everywhere (Including Jail),” “A Few for the Road,” “Bonnie Can’t Beat Me,” and “The Foes Are Uniting Against Me! (Jackie’s Theme)”

“That was the best musical I’ve seen since Hamilton,” Claar said after the show.  “Dennis, you’ve come a long way since Kilroy was Here!”

“Thank you,” replied Young.  “I just needed the right inspiration.  I thought Robots and Rock would inspire me, but it was you all along.”

Steve, the grand king of the Wereskunks, gave Claar a ball of newspaper. He said it was the highest honor the wereskunks could bestow on a human:

“When garbage toters spread throughout Chicagoland, you said no.  Thanks to you, our cousins still have easy access to garbage.  We were going to worship you, but you said that was too much.  So please accept our highest honor, and the promise that we will support any candidate who will hold the line against garbage toters!”

“Thank you,” said Claar as he wiped his eyes.  “I think I got some Rum and Coke in my eyes.”

Trustee Michael Carpanzano gave Claar a picture of himself in a gold frame:

“Roger, you’ve had many trustees, and I wanted to give you something that would remind of you them.”

“It’s just a picture of you.”


Trustee Sheldon Watts gifted Claar with a photo of a galaxy and a Bible:

“You are a faithful person and believe in science.  I hope you will think of me when you enjoy these gifts.”

“I’ll think about Michael and you when endorsement season starts.”

Zokla, an ambassador from the Interstellar Commonwealth, talked about Claar’s years as administrator of Clow UFO Base:

“When Roger talked about growing the population of Bolingbrook, and expanding the size of Clow UFO Base, we thought we might need to perform an intervention.  Over thirty Earth orbits later, Bolingbrook has grown from about 40,000 people to around 74,545 people.  I was going to say it is still growing, but who knows?”  Anyway, Clow is the largest urban UFO Base in the world, and still has the fewest number of security breaches per capita.  So, Roger, now that you are retiring, what are you going to do with your oversized interstellar campaign fund?”

“None of your damn business,” Claar replied.

Later, Claar thanked those who attended the party.  He then presented a holographic slide show about his achievements as mayor:

“We’ve grown from a small underdeveloped village to a large village.  We have the best luxury golf club, and we are the only Chicago suburb to develop its own mansion district!  Former Mayor Bob Bailey built a road to nowhere.  I built factories and office parks on it.  People love me so much, that I have one of the largest campaign funds in Illinois!  There used to be many political parties in Bolingbrook.  I got that number down to one. People trusted me to get rid of those who didn’t put Bolingbrook first!”

Claar apologized to Deputy Mayor Michael Lawler:  “I’m going to break my rule and use the ’s’ word.  I’m sorry I’m leaving you with a pandemic, retail stores in decline, protesters, and a rising opposition party.  I want to spend more time with my family, because who knows if we’re going to survive the year 2020?  But don’t worry.  I’m putting two of my best people in charge of Village Hall, and I’m returning the mayor’s job to a part-time position.  This will discourage that opposition party, and secure my legacy for at least a year.”

“Roger,” Lawler replied, “When I met you, Bolingbrook was a washed-out community.  It’s a washed-out community again, and I think I remember how we fixed it last time…Oh no.  I did it again.”

“Yes, you did, but if you screw this up, I’ll find out, no matter where in the world I may be. Then I’ll use my campaign fund and political action committee to fix things.  By the way, everyone here is welcome to make a donation to either fund.”

Claar then finished his speech thanking the residents of Bolingbrook for electing him, and the Illuminati for supporting him.

“I guess the word really is pronounced ‘Fnord’ and the ’n’ isn’t silent.  Oh well, I don’t have to worry about that anymore.”

QAnon, representing the Illuminati, performed the Rite of Fire and said Claar had just been appointed to the Illuminati’s Order of the Stairway.

“What will I have to do?”

“For now, just collect your Illuminati pension.  We’ll find you when the time comes.”

“That sounds ominous.”

“Let me tell you something:  Keep an eye on the junior guy.”

“I suppose that means something.”

“Trust me.”

QAnon then commanded Young to play one more song.  Young and his band started to perform “Come Sail Away.”

In the middle of the song, Claar walked up to his daughter and said he had a surprise for her waiting on the Moon.

“But we can’t leave yet,” his daughter replied.  “Are we going to tell the guests to attend your last Village Board meeting on Tuesday, July 28 at 7:00 PM?  Or to watch the trustees attempt to stage dive in your honor?”

“Whatever (name redacted).  We’re out of here.”

Also in the Babbler:

Claar orders all weredeer out of Bolingbrook
Roger Claar Party members arrested for painting ‘Claar Matters’ on Lindsey LN
Weredog protesters demand Trustee Jaskiewicz be appointed Mayor of Bolingbrook
Babbler to publish special Roger Claar edition on Wednesday
God to smite Bolingbrook on 7/30/20

Note:  This is a work of fiction. All opinions expressed are my own. They do not reflect the views of any organization I work for or of my employer.  Feel free to leave a comment here or in the Bolingbrook Babbler Readers Group.