August 06, 2022

The Forbidden Hololive Video


This video, by HoloLive V-Tuber Nanashi Mumei was pulled from You-Tube (actually set to "private").

Hololive issued a statement



I am ASSUMING that something in this video activated a Twittermob, but I cannot for the life of me figure out what was concerning enough to pull it.

If any of you know, please, in the comments, let me know exactly what special group of snowflakes this cute little video is theoretically disrespecting.

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June 13, 2022

On The Fires and Other Mishaps Befalling U.S. Food Processing Plants

In the comments to a previous post, commenter StargazerA5 noted reports of food processing plants that have been blowing up over the past few years. 

Here is a list I was able to nail down of 25 that have happened this year. Most really don't look like "enemy action"...but there have been at least 25 this year. 

That seems like a large number.

Here they are, with links to news articles.  I gleaned this list mainly from the My Patriot Supply newsletter, Tim Pool's channel and loose talk on Discord.


Seven percent of the 80,000-square-foot Van Drunen Farms freeze-drying facility in Momence, Illinois was burned and declared a "total loss.” This MAY be one reason freeze dried 'survival food' has gone up so much in the last few months, though it had been skyroketing before that. 


An explosion of unknown origin heavily damaged a feed plant that provides feed for aquaculture, cattle, horses, and poultry.


An explosion destroyed a potato/corn processing plant. Other reports I've seen noted correctly that this plant was responsible for supplying most of the western U.S. However, all omitted the little detail that what this plant supplied the western U.S. with was potato chips and nachos. This is not as big a catastrophe as some might suppose. 



A massive fire at a fertilizer plant miraculously resulted in no injuries, despite tons of ammonium nitrate on site. Still, the nation's fertilizer production took a hit. 


A fire destroyed a meat packing plant in Wisconsin. 



The largest Soy-processing plant in the U.S. caught fire. It appears to be a fire in a filter used to de-dust the air and prevent fuel air explosions, but I'm not sure. The article mentions concerns about this disrupting soy production in the U.S....um....



A fire at a dairy facility. 



This one has been widely reported and it was a serious fire that caused injuries. the plant will be down for 18 months. However it made snack chips and cookies....so this is not exactly vital infrastructure.  


A fire at the Nutrien Ag Solution facility (fertilizer plant?) in Sunnyside, Washington may have been a near-run-thing since an evacuation order was issued for a half-mile radius of the facility. The fire burned through 1.7 million pounds of sulfur used for fertilizer. No one was injured in the fire, but there's even less fertilizer now. 
 


A large fire (took 24 hours to contain) at a Hot Pocket factory. No one was killed, but the Hot Pockets got hot. 



Feb. 23, 28 and March13 there were a series of fires in and around a Dairy in PA. They have all been declared accidental. The cause given in the article is electrical fire. 



This was a consequential fire. A 1.2-million-square-foot Walmart grocery distribution center burned for multiple days in Avon, Indianaβ€”350 fire fighters and 30 fire agencies fought the blaze, which consumed massive stocks of food bound for locations all over the country. This has reportedly put a strain on Wal-Mart's supply chain. Note that the BATFE is still investigating the fire’s cause, 3 months later. 



A fire a tater-tot factory.



Not a food PRODUCTION facility, but a storage facility for a charity. This is probably not part of any large scale campaign, but is one of these stories that has been widely reported, sans context. 

 


No injuries. But no onions.



This looks to have been quite serious, the loss of more meat-packing capacity is most unwelcome now, though there will likely be plenty to spare by fall. I like how the report mentions that the cattle were "rescued". As they were at an abattoir, I suspect their reprieve will be short. 
 


A plane crashed into a potato processing plant. This is tragic, but did not disrupt the plant in any way. It does not seem suspicious, but this was the incident that seems to have gotten people talking about food plant terrorism last month. 


This looks to have been a close call due to the large quantities of anhydrous ammonia on site



Organic food distributor Azure Standard lost its headquarters to a fire on April 19. This was offices, not a production facility and it is unlikely that a serious effort to disrupt food supplies would waste resources on something as niche as organic foods.
However!
The facility has the word "Azure" in its name. This gives the sad lonely weebs who run this blog a dubious but sufficient rationale to post a pic of Zara, from Azure Lane that is appropriate to the season, but not the workplace.


 



This one is interesting because the were able to go into their file and use a 'stock photo of a Nutient AG Solutions plant burning'. (see photo in article #9 above, this is the second from the same company on this list)




OH MY GOD!1!! Another plane crash! Why are planes kamikazeing in to our food processing plants!? 
Actually, a plane crashed near a FPP, on property owned by the plant where plant equipment was stored. The plane was also carrying passengers. The article mentions two passengers killed but does not mention the pilot. Like the other plane crash above, this does not seem to be suspicious, but it's one of the ones that really got people talking about this matter. 
 


A fire at a soy processing facility  [political/cultural joke goes here]. As it happens, this is only about a 45 minute drive from Brickmuppetburg. Minimum impact, no one killed. Included for completeness. 



Train derailments seem to be up this year, probably due to cascade effects of the supply chain chaos. While it TECHNICALLY involves food infrastructure it's not really evidence of targeting food production. But, hey, it got us to 25.



200,00 chickens killed on an egg farm in a massive fire. Honestly they frequently kill more chickens right now culling for chicken flu (which is very much a thing now). A fire in one of these chicken farms can start because of dust/dander and they are terribly fast when they do. This would not be worth mentioning but for all the rest. 



Not much is known about this one, but it seems to have been minor due to the quick response.


25 of these incidents seems like a lot and a few few of the fires are suspicious, but that doesn't indicate a conspiracy. 

The two plane crashes that have caused so much worry among some don't appear to have anything to do with any plot to incite famine. 

What I suspect is happening (in most instances) is that we are seeing the results of the hysterical COVID response. People are overworked because of personnel issues due to the disease and they are making mistakes. Also, maintenance has been perfunctory at best everywhere for over two years (this is also because of COVID) so I'd guess that contributes to why things are breaking. That certainly sounds plausible in the case of the plant where the dust filters caught fire. Note however that I am not a mechanic, nor an engineer. I have a degree in history so my opining on this phenomenon is just a layman spitballing.

I expect things are going to get worse before they get better. 

Be careful out there. 

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May 02, 2022

Pandemonium Imminent.

The supreme court looks to have decided to overturn Roe v Wade in the near future, probably. 


Decision seems to be 5/4 or 6/3. We don't know more because this is a result of an unprecedented leak. (Apparently by a Supreme Court Clerk.)  

Alito, who is more a libertarian than a conservative wrote the opinion and is reasoning is along federalist / separation of powers lines

In response to the leak,  barricades have already been erected outside the court as I type this (~45 minutes after the leak hit the wires) in anticipation of violence. 




Despite the hysteria, this decision (that is theoretical and hasn't even been handed down yet) does not outlaw abortion, but puts the question where it belongs, in the state legislatures. I fear a good dead of blood and treasure will be lost in a hysterical overreaction and in an attempt to intimidate the court. 

UPDATE:  I don't usually spell 'decision' d-e-c-i-o-s-i-o-n. But when I do, I'm generally blogging. Fixed.

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April 18, 2022

Moskva's Last Patrol

A Journalist on Twitter, Sotiri Dimpinoudis posted these pics last night and they are making the rounds today.






We still don't know a lot, but there are reports that the Cruiser was hit by two Neptune missiles. Damage control/Damage assessment are not my forte' but the pics look consistent with those reports. I've seen people protest that there are no obvious blast holes like was apparent on  U.S.S. Stark when hit by an Iraqi exocet.  Moskva was a very substantial vessel, MUCH larger than a frigates and the missiles are small things. Also note this footage of HMS Sheffield before she sank due to another exocet hit. 



HMS Sheffield was a smaller ship than Stark yet there is not the same spectacular obvious blast damage. There is certainly damage but its much closer to what we see on Moskva. Note too that in the case of both Stark and Sheffield the most serious damage was caused by the fire started by the rocket motor. 

I don't have any idea what happened and am not technically qualified to speculate on damage control matters, but I don't think it is wise to dismiss the Ukrainian claims of a hit with their new missiles out of hand. 

I suggest you go read this rather sober piece by Cdr Salamander  who notes that the life-rafts on Moskva did deploy.  He also notes the difficulties that a ship faces in range of enemy missiles. The Russians have not covered themselves in glory during this abominable campaign, but it is foolish to assume that every setback they face is a result of incompetence. The Moskva was old but VERY well equipped and as flagship she would have had a crackerjack crew. We would do well to draw lessons from her loss rather than engage in mockery. 

We should save the mockery for those in our educated class who despite layers of fact-checker posted this picture claiming it represented the incident being discussed. 




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December 03, 2021

Escalation Avoided

 In two separate incidents, NATO and Russian ships have been noted doing very provocative acts... the Russians sending a warship to Denmark in a gross overreaction to the seizure of a Russian merchant vessel and a U.K. and Dutch ship practically sailing into Sevastopol uninvited. 


In both cases the incidents never happened, but there was some alarm at the time as the international AIS database showed them happening in real time.


Note too that China has, ostensibly as a part of a CHICOM privacy law(?), severely restricted the use of AIS data in it's merchant fleet. That's a separate and potential troubling development.

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October 08, 2021

Thoughts on China

Rudyard looks at some trends in Chinese History and their implications for the present.



I agree that the current dynamic is essentially a return to Legalism, but I think he underestimates how much communism has broken the trio of Chinese schools of thought by virtually eliminating the religious side of their life. 

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August 19, 2021

A Question For My Readers

Why does salt have an expiration date?

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August 01, 2021

Just in Time For the Sunday Comics...

James Lileks has made an awesome and unexpected discovery. 

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July 19, 2021

A Few Questions About the Freedom Phone

There was a big stink last week about a new phone being marketed. 


The Freedom Phone is advertised as prioritizing privacy and security. It comes loaded with several free-speech-oriented applications (and Gab) and has several privacy features including something called 'Trusty' which is advertised as a secure phone operating system.

Now there have been numerous criticisms of this endeavor...rather an awful lot, see here, here, here, here, here, here, and, here. That's a small fraction of the stories.
The phone itself appears to be a cheap Chinese model (Umidigi's A9-Pro) purchased in bulk from Ali-Baba  for about $119 U.S.. Given the 500 dollar price of the Freedom Phone, this seems to approach the iPhone in mark up.

However, while it is noted that the same result could be had by jailbreaking, stripping out and reprograming an A9-Pro with Trusty and all the other free speech apps (and Gab) that skillset is beyond those who are not tech hobbyists. 

For my part, I am a....I am a Mac user. Thus, the only thing I know about computers is that they require good industrial design to keep the magic smoke in the machines, enabling the sorcery to activate the magic mirror that sees through the tubes that interface with the ley lines. 

That is, perhaps, an extreme example, but jaibreaking phones and selecting apps that enable privacy is beyond the ken of those for whom smartphones are essentially black box technology. An excellent argument can be made that people should have a basic understanding of the kit we use, but that is not the reality of the present for a great many people, which leads to my first question for the tech literate amongst my readership: Is 300 dollars reasonable to charge for jailbreaking a phone, stripping it of its data and OS and installing a secure OS and apps (as well as Gab) ?

Perhaps more importantly, are Trusty and the other apps really able to be considered in any way secure? I thought that passage through the ley lines was managed by the mighty warlocks, like AT&T or Verizon, meaning that one's data is passing through those that will sift through it.

I'm also curious how much HARDWARE vulnerability is inherent in a phone designed and built in China, as I understand it, for the domestic market. I understand that there is no capacity for domestic production of smartphones in the U.S. but the PRC is not the only place with that capacity, finland, India and Taiwan come to mind. 


The notion that someone associated with 'Conservative Inc.' might be a squalid grifter is not beyond the scope of believability. 

At all. 

The idea that this might be a grift is a very believable one...and yet....

There is an AWFUL lot of what appears to be concern trolling on this matter. Tim Pool suggested that the people doing Freedom Phone are taking fire because they are over target, and the media fusillade against the project is reactionary. However, he has not examined one of these things. 



I don't know enough to make a decision, so I ask you gentle readers, (well the tech savvy amongst you) what do you think of this thing are there any prticular red flags not mentioned in the numerous reports on it or can a Chinese phone (or any phone) be made so it will protect the user's data via software modifications. 

And if that is the case, are there any horses left in that barn?

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May 09, 2021

Golly

So THAT'S how they did it before NJ Star.



That amazing bit of Babbagery has to have the capability of typing a MINIMUM of 1945 characters. I wonder if some of those keys are just radicals and there's a function similar to capital and lower case for putting together select words. Anybody used one of these?

Anyway, with the development of the integrated circuit and word processors the procedure today is much simpler allowing a larger pool of typists. 




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March 15, 2021

Well, I had INTENDED to get Through this Sinister Day Without Encountering any News

....However.


Today Congressional Territorial Delegate San Nicolas decided to celebrate the Ides of March by ordering the Guam National Guard to march on the offices of Representative Marjorie Tailor Green (Q, GA). It seems that Green, as part of her general policy of saying shameful,  retarded shit, had inquired as to why there were foreign soldiers from someplace called "Guam" in the U.S. Capitol. The Delegate from Guam was justifiably offended...and, being a Democrat, decided to fight ignorance with a horrifying affront to civics and military discipline. 

The Guam National Guard Troops  The Retarded MTG asked about are activated and stationed in the Capitol because Xo Bai Din is returning everything to totes normal. 



And took video of it. 

Watch on Bitchute

A few problems here. 

Congress, whether they be Delegates, Representative or Senators are TOTALLY outside the chain of command. They do not give orders to troops. 

Using the military to intimidate a congressional representative of the opposite party is about as junta-like as one can get.

Participating in a political action in uniform is a major UCMJ violation. When I was in, we could have faced discipline for this...given the added context of following unlawful orders from outside the chain of command might have resulted in a tour of duty at Leavenworth.  

The GNG troops were either ignorant of the rules and basic military civics or did not care to follow either. Whatever the reason, this speaks to frighteningly poor training.

The same goes for the Delegate, who used the troops to make a political statement illegally, though I doubt that ignorance was a factor with him. 

This is terrifying.

    

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January 31, 2021

An Even Better Overview of the Gamestop Mess

Via Pixy

This video comes with the following list of citations in the description.


Like everything nowadays this has become polarized. I've had conversations with and read missives by people, including a few friends who are convinced the Redditards are in the wrong, and are the only bad actor here. Some have made it plain that to disagree with them on this point is to reveal oneself as a bad person. 

Here is where I take off the mask and reveal myself to have been secretly working for the forces of darkness all along. 

I think the Redditards are probably assholes. They likely are vulgar, blunt and rude people, who don't engage in the insincere social niceties so necessary for polite upper middle class society. Hell, they're probably just jerks and I don't think they'd be fun to hang out with.

I do NOT think they did anything wrong here. 

I think the hedgefund  shortsellers in the affair are probably well-spoken affable individuals, articulate and fun to be around. 

I think that shorting struggling companies 140 percent is and this being a common practice, is troubling. I think that the ability of a few firms to do this in such a way it affects the whole market is scary. And I think that the stink of corruption in the firms with fiduciary responsibilities to the hedge funds ; the ones that stopped trading, but not selling, on the very stocks that the hedge funds desperately wanted people to sell...is suss to say the least.   I think that lying about one's liquidity to investors and customers is not a best practice.

Finally, I think that struggling companies that might have turned the corner, not being crushed like grapes before they have the chance to maybe save the livelihoods of their owners, investors and at least some of their employees...well that's not bad per se. 
As for a bunch of assholes making money because they saw a legal opportunity and took it? Well, more power to them. 

Did some people get hurt in this? Yes, those with retirement funds...like mine have gotten burned. But they got hurt, not because some asshole on Reddit NOTICED that hedge funds were manipulating the market, but because the hedge funds pursued a short squeeze in the first place.  

So there, your milage may vary,  but now you all  know. 

The vast depth and breadth of my evil is laid out before you. Get your affairs in order, I'll be crossing the Rivr Isen on Midsummer Eve...and I'll be wearing black. 



(Or something...June 21st is in the middle of my vacation this year but COVID makes it hard to plan. ) 

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January 27, 2021

Leading Indicators

Today was the first day in 2 weeks I've worked more than an hour and a half. There's been an astonishing drop in volume at my work over the last 2 weeks. There always is a severe drop after Christmas, but before Christmas we had Christmas level volume because of the COVID restrictions...which have gotten much more onerous during that time.. Now I'm not laid off, I have sufficient seniority that when they lay people off I can volunteer to be one of them and I've had errands, family issues and doctors appointments so I've taken advantage of that several days, but we're still very short of volume. Even in slack years, even in January, we did not finish unloading packages after an hour and a half on a nominally 4-5 hour shift. 


Given the increasing intensity of he lockdowns and the volume of vaccines that we were getting before this week, one would expect a heavier than normal January. Indeed the first two weeks of the month (which in my 28 years of experience are usually dead) were remarkably heavy. 

In general the end of January and beginning of February are a bit heavier than most of the post-Christmas winter since stores are restocking their inventory. However, this is the very time that we're seeing volume DROP. 

One shipping center is not representative of the company, let alone the economy. In fact it's a ridiculously inadequate data point, but it is concerning, and the lack of pay is of some personal concern. 

U.S. economic numbers lag a fair bit in relation to the current time, so I checked out the Baltic Dry Index, which is a current measure of the cost of international shipping. It is an imperfect metric, particularly now as COVID restrictions have likely added considerable overhead to shipping costs, but in general it is a leading indicator of how robust world trade is, the lower the cost the less trade is happening. 


However, the BDI is an indicator of bulk raw material shipping prices, not retail. It proceeds in fits and starts with production. 

Other leading indicators are at the precise moment that I type this, on a generally downward trend, but I don't know enough to say if it is precipitously so. 



Note that that is a screenshot of an active, constantly updating chart that has one or two indices occasionally switching between red and green. 


The sudden, unexpected drop in volume from its aberrant and bonecrushing highs to lay-offs where I am may be a localized phenomenon and should not be a cause for undue concern. 
A focus group of one is a woefully inadequate data set. 

However, in my 28 years of experience our volume trends quite closely with the overall economic health of the nation, so I'm very curious if anyone else here has noted any drop-offs in economic activity. 

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January 24, 2021

Meanwhile, In Russia:


It looks like mass demonstrations have spontaneously broken out all across Russia in protest of the jailing of a Russian opposition party leader named Alexi Nalvany who was  just arrested and jailed after returning from a trip trip to Germany. There is apparently concern for his safety since he was arrested, as he had been in Germany recovering from acute nerve agent poisoning he had contracted from his underwear (as one does). The Russian authorities refused to open an investigation into the attempted murder of a Russian citizen. Given the history of poisonings of Russian political opponents, this was particularly suss, and there seems to be genuine fear for his safety by his political supporters. 

This is not just around Moscow either. There are currently protests in 109 cities across the largest country on Earth and  I've heard reference to Vladivostok and Petropavlovsk in some of the video coverage. Also; according to the NYT article above, these protests are taking place in temperatures as low as minus 68 degrees Fahrenheit which would seem to indicate a certain level of passion and motivation on the part of the protestors. Over 3,000 people had been reported arrested as of 23:05 GMT

Hundreds of thousands of people are protesting  in hundreds cities in the largest country on the planet, which controls a large percentage of the worlds oil reserves and which has the largest nuclear arsenal on Earth....

This seems seems like it ought to be getting rather more coverage than it is here in the U.S.A. 

I do not know anything about Nalvany or how, in what is presented to us as a country with fairly strong social media control, he got such a following, but I'm very interested in finding out. Anyone who, you know,  speaks Russian or has insights into this situation...feel free to sound off in the comments. 

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October 12, 2020

Hippy-San 0n Boogie 2988



Styx has one of the more reasoned takes on the recent situation with a YouTuber (Boogie2988 ) who had a stalker show up at his house

I'm not a fan of the YouTuber, but whatever one thinks of him, having a stalker is a dreadful thing, and having them show up at your house is absolutely terrifying, beyond the pale and not acceptable. Deadly force is authorized. However, Boogie's response was...sub-optimal. I've seen a lot of hot takes on this bit of drama over the last week but this one is notable for not being stupid. 

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November 04, 2019

Flash Gordon and the Ministry of Truth

Actually it's just Flash and the Ministry of Truth.
And to be honest any resemblance to the MoT is pure speculation on my part.
So were going to blame* Pixy for the stupid post title because he used a Flash Gordon pun when he linked to this post over at the Google Dev blog boasting about how they are going to put Flash (the animation program, not the planet hopping baseball player) to bed. For some reason the anonymous Hangul-proficient blogger is smug about it.

IT and cybersecurity are not at all in my wheelhouse, but I understand that there are some security issues with Macromedia Flash, so there might be some technical justification for this decision. However no such reason is mentioned anywhere in this announcement. There is this though...

  Flash was the answer to the boring static web, with rich animations, media, and actions. It was a prolific technology that inspired many new content creators on the web. It was everywhere. The Flash runtime, which plays Flash content, was installed 500 million times in the second half of 2013.  I still remember my son playing endless number of Flash games until my wife yelled at him. It's time to go to bed, son. Hey Flash, it's your turn to go to bed. 


It goes on to mention that anything using flash will no longer be visible via Google Search and they seem inordinately pleased with themselves about this loss of functionality, so much so that it got me to thinking about "chocolate rations" and since NO technical reason was given I find myself focusing on what they did say seems to make little sense. Let's review: "Flash YAY! Wonderful tool Yay!" We're cancelling it! Yaaaay! Oh, and we're totally your momma." Or further contexualized and simplified..."Derp!"


So now we've got to read between the lines, which is always fraught.

We see them note that Flash opened up the web and was intimately associated with an era of intense creativity, However,  sifting through the white pixels we note that what is not said is that this growth was driven by amateurs and people who came from the outside who were generally un-credentialed but talented and brought about a vast and disruptive age of change that Google is now trying to tamp down on.

There are a lot of Flash games and a lot of sites still use flash, some of them quite worthy ones. These will soon be lost, at least to those who don't maintain specific browsers. However, the Flash games are not done by the big companies, and the use of flash is a hallmark of an earlier era, one characterized above all by irreverence and freedom that Google/Alphabet would very much like to close the door on. The sorts of sites that use Flash, and the sorts of ideas presented in many of those animations are the sorts of knowledge that Google and their ilk would just as soon purge, if they make those sites unsearchable, they will have done so.

Now. It is important to appreciate, or at least assume that people one disagrees with do not, as a rule, share their motivations with Snidely Whiplash, or some Captain Planet villain sitting in their headquarters cackling that "Today..I will be EEEEVIL!" However, I find it hard nowadays, at least with with Google, to not ascribe their actions to malice.

So...


There are IT people who frequent this site.

Please explain in small words to this Bachelor of History why Google's decision is a solid one from an IT perspective and does not actually serve to erase a big swath of knowledge and history from the 'net. For bonus points explain why what appeared to be sadistic and patronizing glee is justified and appropriate.



*Note: This does not constitute any actual evidence of causation or responsibility on the part of Pixy Misa. Pixy is merely being blamed.

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October 05, 2019

Another Question For You, Gentle Readers

I know that there are people here who do research into events that were recently current, so, I've got a question.

Is anybody else finding it REALLY hard to find old news articles online?

One example. I can't find a lot involving the American response to the Russian movement into the Donbass back in 2009-10 2014 and particularly the fact that at that time there were actual Nazis (not neo-, not alt-right, I'm talking Jew Hating socialists sporting a Crooked Buddhist Sunwheel) in the Ukranian parliament.

I'm not a particular fan of Milo, but I recently tried to look up info on the hit job against him. I found plenty on the false accusations, but I had to use the mee.nu search engine to find one of my own posts with 6 links debunking them, none of which were searchable without EXACT wording.

I'm now having a hard time finding old blog posts, particularly ones on my old blog, or references to my, um,  ill-fated Congressional run.

I'm SURE there used to be an option where one could search by date ie: by year and month and keywords as opposed to just "Anytime, Past Week, Past Month, Last Year".

Am I imagining this?

Anybody?

That is all.

Here is a completely coincidental video:



 

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September 02, 2019

Well [Expletive Deleted]


Of course none of this mess that's coming is likely to compare to what's befalling the Bahamians right now.

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Well This is Interesting

There's a report that the U.S. military is getting into the domestic speech regulation business.

Now I'm so old that I remember last week's report that Trump was removing automatic citizenship from the children of service-members born overseas, so I'm holding judgement.

However, if this is a nuanced and accurate characterization of the policy as proposed, then the position of this blog is...


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August 30, 2019

Slow Clap

***

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