March 20, 2020

Tess Ti FAYH

This is a short video that gives voice to what most of us were thinking about "product as service". I wasn't going to link to it as my embedded video to actual content ratio is all out of whack right now. But, there are a couple of things mentioned as asides that really got my goat. First, I had no idea until this brief mention of it just how malignant Google Stadia is. It really is the worst of every awful trend in video games concentrated and wrapped in maliciousness. Likewise the PS-5 looks like it is going to be, well,  evil. I had seriously thought about a Tesla pickup in the future though not so much after this. However, the thing that got me so mad that I got up walked out and left the room and had to come back after cooling down was the "letter of concern" at 15:06. Which indicates that whatever firm the individual is working for (probably a bank or investment firm) has a corporate culture that makes them unfit stewards of other people's money. It also speaks how important superficial fashion is becoming in our society and how perniciously powerful it is for enforcing conformity. With the mean girls in high-school one could avoid them or ultimately matriculate. Now that our corporate class are overwhelmingly foppish aristocrats, there is no escape. 



One thing that SFO only lightly touches on in the above disquisition is that this isn't just a terrible idea from a consumer standpoint. This blog mentioned how bad this could potentially get when discussing the Patreon situation back in mid-December of 2018, and SFO did a really good, source heavy and long deep dive into the antics of the payment processor about two weeks after that. 

About 18 months ago the Chinese social credit system was very topical. "Product as Service" makes that sort of tyranny far worse and much easier to implement.

This is nothing new, but implications of this are terrifying. 
 

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February 04, 2020

I.T. People: I Have Some Questions About the Iowa Carcasses

...er...Caucuses.

They've completely botched the Iowa Caucuses.
Several of my legions of...six or seven readers work in IT and have had experience with applicable app issues.

So.
Here are the facts as I understand them.
The Democrats decided to simplify the chaos that is this caucus thing by using a smartphone app.

A Phone application: you know, one of those esoteric bits of technology that is basically unknown to the general populace that is never used for secure online sales and such in everyday...oh wait.

To that end, the Democrats hired a company called SHADOW to manage the app that counted the votes.

There was a technical problem and as I post this nobody knows who won or lost, aside from the three or four candidates who have claimed victory in the absence of any numbers.

How does this happen?

What incompetence was necessary for this to happen?

I just...
Gurus of technical support just, explain this...
Please.

Note that even assuming nefarious intent with the goal of botching the caucuses does not absolve the participants of failure due to an unprofessional lack of subtlety.

Again; they named the company that ran the AP that lost the votes...SHADOW which is a company partially owned by a firm named A.C.R.O.N.Y.M.which in turn is run by former Clinton staffers and funded by a big Pete Buttigieg backer supporter.

A.C.R.O.N.Y.M. is literally an Umbrella Corporation that owns several companies that...seem to...exist...but have indeterminate specialties other than to be oriented towards left wing politics and...

Wait...

Why would you name your company that makes voting software and has to have trust and transparency as its highest priorities...SHADOW (in all caps)? 

And , A.C.R.O.N.Y.M. what the actual hell?




I just have this notion of A.C.R.O.N.Y.M. helping organizations put their mission statements in their name, with results like
Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion,
or perhaps League Of Calamitous Intent
or Vicious Evil Network Of Mayhem.

But this notion; it is crazy.
CRAAhayhayaZZyyyY! I sai

W hat is going oN?
 

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January 31, 2020

Well. They Did it!




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January 29, 2020

Meanwhile, In Puerto Rico

Lost in the confusion over coverage of all the other things that are happening, are a whole bunch of Americans in misery and significant peril.

The territory of Puerto Rico has suffered multiple earthquakes of increasing intensity over the last few weeks and  this has wrought havoc upon the island which was already suffering a slow recovery from .

First some background. As many of you may remember the recovery from the monstrous Hurricane, Maria, (which razed the island 3 years ago was agonizingly slow).The previous governor was ousted last year when it was revealed that vast quantities of federal aid for the rebuilding had, in fact, been delivered (despite his claims to the contrary) and was sitting in warehouses, not quite accounted for on the Puerto Rican end. There were also allegations of more general corruption. For instance, last year there was a brief outcry when the H.U.D. under secretary Carson withheld aid on the grounds that it had given the governor money and materials to replace 20,000 roofs and after two  years of prodding the governor announced that they'd have the first 180 houses roofed "soon".  Thus things stood until the middle of last year when Governor  Ricardo Antonio Rosselló Nevares  was caught on a hot-mic making unflattering and misogynistic comments about his Secretary of Justice and the Mayor of San Juan, as well as comments that were described as homophobic. In stark contrast to the mere misappropriation of aid to the poor and keeping 20,00 families without power, and roofless for two years in a nation plagued by mosquito-borne illness, being un-woke is quite unforgivable in the eyes of the New Progressive Party and he was forced to resign. There was then some confusion regarding the line of succession as the next in line (the Secretary of State) was serving in an "acting" capacity and had not been confirmed by the territorial senate...which resulted in months of court battles while nothing was done about 20,000 families without roofs a few hundred miles south of the Tropic of Cancer.

Finally, Wanda Vasquez, the Secretary of Justice was appointed by the courts to be governor. The newly appointed Governor then got to work arranging to do jack all with the federal aid which sat in warehouses, just in larger quantities until the recent spate of earthquakes hit. The recovery from which has barely begun.

Which brings us to this.

In which the good citizens of Puerto Rico have built a guillotine outside the governors offices.

Image via


"So yeah...The boogaloo can happen where you least expect it"

Good on them. May they use it well.

There's more here and here.



Of course, this may correct itself now that the citizenry are mobilized and they've got the guillotine involved, but this has gone on for FAR too long. and the general lack of coverage is inexcusable.


In fairness, it's not like this has been a slow news month, what with the impeachment jackassery, Winnie the Flu, The Mideast Peace Effort, The killing of Solomani, Ebola's recent resurgence, the Committee of Public safety Setting up in the Virginia House of Delegates, The death of a basketball player, the coming showdown between the Maoists, the Bolsheviks, The Menchkeviks and the Trotskyites.

However, a lack of media coverage does not affect daily NATSEC briefings. While largely the fault of the Puerto Rican governors, this situation is intolerable, and it needs to be addressed and frankly, the buck stops on Resolute Desk.

These are American Citizens who are suffering mightily. Given that the executive branch of the territorial government appears to be fractally corrupt, the best option may be for the President to invoke the Insurrection Act and bypass the local bureaucracies to get the aid where it needs to go and let the contractors do their jobs.

So, Mr. President, fix this.

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January 26, 2020

Meanwhile, In Virginia

Not Content with the cornucopia of counter-constitutional gun laws they are passing or the more that 115 laws to rape our electoral system, Democrats have decided that the root cause of all their woes is the first amendment and so have given us Virginia HB1627

  Threats and harassment of certain officials and property; venue. Provides that certain crimes relating to threats and harassment may be prosecuted in the City of Richmond if the victim is the Governor, Governor-elect, Lieutenant Governor, Lieutenant Governor-elect, Attorney General, or Attorney General-elect, a member or employee of the General Assembly, a justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia, or a judge of the Court of Appeals of Virginia. In addition, threats to damage property may be prosecuted in the City of Richmond if the property is owned by the Commonwealth and located in the Capitol District. 


The full text is here, and while the bit about true threats is reasonable on its face, THAT'S ALREADY ILLEGAL. It should not be extra grave to do so to an elected official...they aren't royalty.

It gets worse:

§ 18.2-152.7:1. Harassment by computer; penalty.

If any person, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, or harass any person, shall use a computer or computer network to communicate obscene, vulgar, profane, lewd, lascivious, or indecent language, or make any suggestion or proposal of an obscene nature, or threaten any illegal or immoral act, he shall be is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. A violation of this section may be prosecuted in the jurisdiction in which the communication was made or received or in the City of Richmond if the person subjected to the act is one of the following officials or employees of the Commonwealth: the Governor, Governor-elect, Lieutenant Governor, Lieutenant Governor-elect, Attorney General, or Attorney General-elect, a member or employee of the General Assembly, a justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia, or a judge of the Court of Appeals of Virginia

No making fun of the Politburo !

Dank memes are outlawed! That means any mention of blackface is right out!

Oh. Right.

And that little strike through of "shall be" replacing it with "is" is present in several of these bills. I'm not a lawyer, but it worries me.

Now, having removed our ability to defend ourselves or criticize elected officials in a meaningful way, the Democrats are finally able to deal with the greatest threat  facing the Commonwealth and its citizens subjects.

Balloons!

No really, 2,500 dollar fine and 10 hours of community service for releasing Balloons.

Kids, your birthday parties will suck from now on.

While this fiasco ranges from the horrifying to the ridiculous, it does provide some object lessons:

1: To those in what are still free states, today's Democrats are stark raving cuckoo for cocoa puffs. And once you get them it's like bedbugs.

2: For those of us trapped between the Patomac and 36° 30′ north, we now know what dread haunts the progressive's nightmares.

They've let slip what it is they most fear....


Art (sans text) is by Dairin, also here, whose NNV channel is here.
(and who is not responsible for the context of her chibi)

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January 20, 2020

Meanwhile, in Richmond Virgina Today

  

Northam did not get his blood.

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January 13, 2020

More on the Situation Here in The Commonwealth of Virginia Regarding the Second Amendment (UPDATED)

In a post a few days ago I mentioned how it was that Virginia, which is literally the home of the NRA and was one of the states that initiated a good deal of the rollback of the restrictions on gun rights we've seen over the last 20 years, came to be in this mess.

Well, I forgot something, so let's try that again.

As we mentioned earlier, Virginia went Democrat (Barely, its really a matter of a very few seats in the legislature and the Executive)  due to a confluence of factors. There was a huge infusion of outside money from Bloomberg and others, a vast wave of immigration both legal and illegal as well as refugees that were settled here by the Obama administration and a large number of migrants from California and the Northeast who were horrified by what became of their homes...but not so much as to stop voting for the policies that caused it

There was also the  utter faceplant of the VA Republican party, which, being so close to DC has a huge portion of its administrators bigwigs and decision makers, people who are in the Republican establishment's anti-Trump wing. That group has some decent people in it but mostly they are political pilotfish who mobilized to defend their rice bowels against their constituents with a verve they seldome displayed previously. Many of the DC Republicans have grown to despise their constituents who they feel have betrayed them by voting for reform. For years they talked of securing the border but now openly call anyone who does so racist. The people they are, in theory working for, now feel the same way and the bad blood there that has developed over the last few years is as heatbreaking as it is profound, Thus, the state party is involved in something of a circular firing squad.

There was also the vast increase of the federal civil service under Obama which resulted in suburban sprawl of what became under him the richest counties in the country populated with high level civil servants... people whose lavish lifestyles depend on big government.

Finally, there's something that I'd stupidly forgotten to mention in the earlier post,  but is quite significant Northam's predecessor pardoned 200,000 felons which is several times the margin of victory in the last governors race.   The 200,000 former felons and the huge amount of immigration into Northern Virginia combined with incumbent advantage DO make any corrective action at the ballot box a very challenging prospect, but it should be noted that even with this perfect storm crashing on the Repoublicans and blowing into the Democrat's sails the Dems only have the slimmest of majorities which may be a factor in their attempt to lock everything down.

Northam for his part, is going all in for this partly because he has two scandals...one he advocated for post partum (post birth) abortion and he has an epic blackface scandal, unlike Canada (apparently) this is serious business here, or was, until it wasn't...and it wasn't when Northam began pushing this so his political future depends on this. Given his stance on 10th month abortion the potential for death is probably not a consideration for him. Now,  I don't generally think that people on the other side of the aisle who aren't Antifa adjacent, no matter how wrongheaded they might be,  are evil...but I really have doubts regarding Northam. Unlike many provincial urbanites with delusions of cosmopolitanism, Northam is from here and he KNOWS what a powder keg he's lighting the firecrackers on.

  I've seen it suggested that the Democrats didn't expect the backlash they are getting.  Having a cursory knowledge of the politicians involved, I'm pretty sure that many of the senior VA legislators like Northam understand completely. To us on the right, this is akin to Lexington and Concord, with the caveat that we can still end the oppression at the ballot box. The Dems  seem to WANT a standoff to portray gun owners as racist violent hicks a'la WACO and the media is quite firmly on their side. If the Democrats bring this to a head they will have the full cooperation of Bloomberg and the rest of the media to paint the 2nd Amendment people as very much what Antifa actually is.

 While the National Guard takes oaths to defend the constitution (which to the shock of many includes the second and fourth amendments) and is made up of the sorts of people who dislike being the baddies if it comes to the rumored (and verified) calls to use the state's military to go door to door, this reluctance will not gain much time for the citizenry. You see, If it comes to that, the governor will fire national guard generals until he gets one who will comply. They'll put together loyal units and after a few bloodbaths will parade the flag draped coffins of any dead soldiers or state troopers as martyrs...Black Lives Matter will, of course,  not get a platform for a little while as Bloomberg, CNN and the rest of the media play up the death of these soldiers and cops and the Dems will weep crocodile tears most convincingly. A lot of  Republicans based in DC (the opposite of based) would conceivably react to this hypothetical Horst Wessel moment by "heroically" reaching across the aisle in solidarity against "extremism" at which point in this hypothetical things would proceed to go spectacularly pear shaped in a way unlikely to be confined to The Old Dominion.   

This how bad it could get. I'm not sure it will and hope it doesn't, but this affair is now a dry run for the progressives regarding what they intend for the country. 

We must not loose sight of the fact that unlike at Lexington and Concord, we have the option of fixing this in November and in the 2021 State election. However, there remains the frighteningly real possibility that during the intervening 22 months before Northam is gone*, that this will not only end in blood, but massively advance the goals of those who see the citizenry as an impediment to their ambitions.


Meanwhile:
The Dems just effectively banned shooting ranges.    


Map of second amendment sanctuaries as of last Monday .



How crazy are the  new rules ? Proposed in  paragraph 4 of VA Bill 18.2-308.8 is this bizarre gem of specificity in its vague word salad of what constitutes a prohibited 'assault' pistol.

 A semi-automatic center-fire pistol that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material that has the ability to accept a detachable magazine and has one of the following characteristics: (i) a folding or telescoping stock; (ii) a thumbhole stock; (iii) a second handgrip or a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand; (iv) the capacity to accept a magazine that attaches to the pistol outside of the pistol grip; (v) a shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the pistol with the non-trigger hand without being burned; (vi) a manufactured weight of 50 ounces or more when the pistol is unloaded; (vii) a threaded barrel capable of accepting (a) a silencer, (b) a flash suppressor, (c) a barrel extender, or (d) a forward handgrip; or (viii) any characteristic of like kind as enumerated in clauses (i) through (vii);

Emphasis mine. They are banning guns by weight!? 
If it's more than 50 ounces...it's DANGEROUS!

There is an interesting twist on the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement afoot which is being discussed and already has two variations enacted. Tazewell County has announced that it will raise a militia of all citizens without felonies and Cullpepper County's police dept. is saying that they will deputize as reserve police officers, any citizen that wants to concealed carry and takes the currently standard concealed carry course...which they will provide. Note that both of these actions are explicitly allowed by the state constitution (as opposed to the second amendment sanctuaries which are implicitly tolerated under the rubric of law enforcement discretion and the fact that no one has shut down the immigration sanctuaries) . Stopping actions like Cullpepper and Tazewell counties require a full state constitutional amendment disallowing localities to raise local forces for emergencies...such an amendment is unlikely to pass.   Note that there really is very little info on the Tazewell and Culpepper situations which is why my citations are a local news channel and a rural paper from Vermont.

UPDATE: In the comments J.Greely links to an excellent piece over at Sacred Cow Slaughterhouse which goes into the weeds of the legalities and logistics of using National Guard weapons (which are federal property, subject to Posse' Comitatus restrictions)  here is an excerpt, but read the whole thing.

The National Guard does not keep ammo on hand in any relevant quantities.  A small amount for training is it.

Per US Constitution and federal law, the governor CANNOT arm the NATIONAL Guard with federally owned weapons and ammo. He'd have to provide that. 

Nor can he arm them without consent of the feds anyway.  There are reasons for this. This is one of those reasons. It is not a bona fide emergency that does not permit of delay.

And the threat to do so is LITERALLY WHY WE HAVE THE SECOND AMENDMENT.  Congrats, jerkwad! You've actually threatened to have the military repress people, and you're surprised that they're going to oppose you? EVERYONE should be opposing you. It's outrageous of itself, and outrageous precedent if allowed.


It's a very good overview, and a welcome bit of good news, but if you'll allow me to put on my little horned Devil's Advocate hat for a moment.......the fact that state legislators brought this up as a first ditch scenario indicates that they are little inhibited by legal propriety or conscience in these matters, and if things go their way in the next federal election there will be no check or balance on their ambitions. Way down the probability curve, there is also the matter of the VDF which is State owned an equipped, though, to be fair it is unlikely to have more than a few hundred ARs (if that).  I believe half of it consists of MPs as it is intended to stand in for the VNG when that force is deployed overseas. However, I really don't see the VDF being at all willing or even able to step up to the plate on this. For one thing, they probably don't have more than a couple of hundred AR's in the whole force if that and it is, even more than the VNG, staffed by rural Virginia gun owners.

In any event, Mr. Williamson's overview of what every National Guard Adjunct and J.A.G. officer in the 55 states and territories is contemplating right now and the personal ramifications for them depending on what they decide is certainly food for thought and worthy of a read.
* Virginia governors are term limited to one term.


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October 12, 2019

Answering Readers Questions: Reactionism

In the comments to an earlier post someone ( I think it was Borchardt?) asked the following question...

"Reactionism Clauses"? first I've heard the term. What's that?


Well, after several hours over a couple of days I find myself devoid of any hyperlinkable citations aside from this one, linked in an old post.

This is vexing, as I KNOW they exist, or existed because I've personally read them. They were "a thing" about 12-18 months ago.

Anyway...

Essentially, "reactionism" is a word that exists in the English language but is scarcely used.  It shows up in the Terms Of Service for companies that have recently been bought by or received large investments from Chinese companies.

Generally a reactionism clause will appear in the following context:

' word salad of things that one should not engage in' any publication, information or document with content of reactionism.

As I understand it (or did before the articles, posts, and tweets I read a year or so ago went away)when one sees those boldfaced words, one is screwed! One had best get very big padded snow shoes because from that point on one is walking on very thin ice.

Because the word can mean "conservatism or rightism" it's a odd choice for a legal document, but it is perfectly at home in a Communist Diktat outlawing anything that might be perceived as 'counterrevolutionary'.

These particular TOSs encumbered with this peculiar word (which seems to have come into existence around 2008 ) seemed to have been a big deal in the tech industry about 18 months ago as there was a surfeit of these TOS changes especially in development circles. Reactionism is the word that stood out, but the troubling bit here is what it generally foreshadows...a very restrictive Terms Of Service document that has broad guidelines for off-platform behavior, or speech that can be considered reactionism.

Similar TOS issues started cropping up the same time involving any faux-pas involving the constantly changing minefield that is the ever shrinking verbiage allowed by social justice culture. In the SJW case the correlation with Chinese investment is not 1:1 but it does seem to exist. Note that one of the definitions is "the condition of being reactionary or resistant to change" which serves the purposes of the SJW crowd in a sublime fashion.

Regardless, the clauses are a strong indicator of Chinese influence and tend to be both broad and nonspecific, ensnaring any employee (and increasingly customers) in something akin to a morality clause for a Hollywood actress during the early Hayes Code

It was one of these clauses that was cited by Blizzard in the recent unpleasantness and they are used with merciless effect to coerce and hurt people who don't tow the party line, many of whom who do not enjoy the limelight. Additionally the problem with terms of service from a legal standpoint is that one has agreed to them.

This is a big issue and has been coming to a head for several years. However, because it's buried LITERALLY in the walls of text that constitute Terms of Service it isn't covered much, and it seems to be covered less now than it was 18 months ago.

I may update this post considerably when and if I find the articles and discussions in question.

In the meantime: regarding the related and more visible issue of companies doing the Kow-Tow, here is a very non-comprehensive list shamelessly nicked from an as-of-now continuously updated document at Github.

Blizzard Entertainment 2019-10-05 2019-10-08 Banned a player who voiced support for the HK protests, rescinded his prize money and fired the 2 casters that were with him on air
Apple 2019-10-03 2019-10-08 Removed HK police tracking app from the HK app store after pressure from the CCP; Removed Taiwan flag emoji in Hong Kong
NBA 2019-10-04 2019-10-08 After Daryl Morey, manager of the Houston Rockets, published a tweet supportive of the HK protests, NBA issued an apology, calling the tweet "inappropriate". NBA Commissioner Adam Silver later contradicted this stance and said "We are not apologizing for Daryl exercising his freedom of expression"
Marriott 2018-01-12 2019-10-08 Fired an employee after he "liked" an online post about Tibet; De-listed Taiwan as a nation, listed it instead as part of China after Chinese pressure; Released a statement reading "Marriott International respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China. We don’t support separatist groups that subvert the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China"
Vans 2019-10-05 2019-10-08 Removed contest submission depicting the protests in Hong Kong
Gap Inc. 2018-05-14 2019-10-08 Apologized after a T-Shirt depicting China without Taiwan was sold at a store in Canada, issuing the statement "Gap Inc. respects China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. We've learned that a Gap brand T-shirt sold in some overseas markets failed to reflect the correct map of China in the design"
Tiffany and Co 2019-10-07 2019-10-08 Removed tweet showing model covering her right eye (angry Chinese netizens believed it to be a reference to the woman who lost her eye after being hit by a police projectile)
Nike 2019-10-09 2019-10-09 Removed all Houston Rockets merch from their China stores (web and physical)
ESPN 2019-10-08 2019-10-09 Chuck Salituro, the senior news director of ESPN, sent a memo to shows mandating that any discussion of the Daryl Morey story avoid any political discussions about China and Hong Kong; ESPN displayed a Chinese map complete with 9 dash line, Taiwan, and also Arunachal Pradesh, which is a part of India that China claims is part of China
Viacom / Paramount 2019-07-18 2019-10-09 Removed Taiwan flag from Maverick's jacket
Disney / Marvel 2016-11-04 2019-10-09 Censored Tibetan monk from "Doctor Strange" and turned him into a white woman: the "Ancient One" was Tibetan in the comics, but white in the film. Statement from C. Robert Cargill, screenwriter: "If you acknowledge that Tibet is a place and that he’s Tibetan, you risk alienating one billion people who think that that’s bullshit"
Cathay Pacific 2019-08-09 2019-10-09 Fired staff members who expressed support for the HK protests
Mercedes 2018-02-06 2019-10-09 Apologised to China after quoting the Dalai Lama in an Instagram post, also deleting the post
Delta Airlines N/A 2019-10-09 De-listed Taiwan as a country on their website, instead listing it as part of China
American Airlines N/A 2019-10-09 De-listed Taiwan as a country on their website
United Airlines N/A 2019-10-09 De-listed Taiwan as a country on their website
Qantas N/A 2019-10-09 De-listed Taiwan as a country on their website, instead listing it as a province of China
Air France N/A 2019-10-09 De-listed Taiwan as a country on their website, instead listing it as a province of China
Lufthansa N/A 2019-10-09 De-listed Taiwan as a country on their website, instead listing it as a province of China
Air Canada N/A 2019-10-09 De-listed Taiwan as a country on their website, instead listing it as a province of China
British Airways N/A 2019-10-09 De-listed Taiwan as a country on their website, instead listing it as a province of China
Malaysia Airlines N/A 2019-10-09 De-listed Taiwan as a country on their website, instead listing it as a province of China
Audi N/A 2019-10-09 Apologised after using a map of China that didn't include Taiwan
Muji N/A 2019-10-09 Apologised after featuring a map of China in a store catalog that didn't include the Senkaku islands, destroyed the catalogs
Zara N/A 2019-10-09 Apologised for listing Taiwan as a country on their website
Ray-Ban N/A 2019-10-09 De-listed Taiwan as a country on their website
Sheraton Hotels and Resorts N/A 2019-10-09 Barred a Taiwan National Day reception from taking place at their Stockholm hotel, at the request of the Chinese ambassador
Rockhampton Council, Queensland, Australia N/A 2019-10-09 Removed Taiwan flags from public artwork
Global Blue N/A 2019-10-09 Fired a member of staff for calling Taiwan a country
Lancome (L'Oreal) N/A 2019-10-09 Canceled Denise Ho concert after Denise Ho expressed support for 2014 Hong Kong protests
Givenchy N/A 2019-10-10 Apologized for identifying Hong Kong and Taiwan as an independent country on their T-Shirts.
Coach N/A 2019-10-10 Apologized for identifying Hong Kong and Taiwan as an independent country on their T-Shirts.
Versace N/A 2019-10-10 Apologized for identifying Hong Kong and Taiwan as an independent country on their T-Shirts.
JYP Entertainment 2016-01-16 2019-10-11 Forced Taiwanese kpop idol Chou Tzu-yu to release an apology video after she was seen waving a Taiwan flag
Tiktok 2019-09 2019-10-11 Instructed moderators to censor videos that would upset Beijing

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September 21, 2019

Our society...

...has something of a problem.

A great darkness is coming.



The individual that proudly tweeted this horror is the lead of the English dept in a New Jersey school-system.

God what a waste. Obviously books need to be rotated and replaced periodically, but even IF this particular turnover is an unalloyed good, (doubtful IMHO) it's a spectacular waste of resources.

If this school ever has a bake sale, they can choke on their brownies, because they just threw away stuff that could have gotten them much more money. 

There are any number of options that they had besides this, (booksale anyone!?) but they don't care about that. It's not enough to rid themselves of that which they dislike; the offending ideas must be purged from society. 

What chills me to the core about this tweet though, is that there is no excuse, however flimsy, being given. This isn't happening in the dead of night. No they're bragging about it.

This is fanaticism. 

This is a mad priest burning the herisies, It is reminiscent of Cromwell, the Red Guards, GODWIN VIOLATION DELETED, The Taliban, Killjoy Baptists, and what the ChiComs do with Bibles and Korans. It is the modus operandi of every villain in a juvie prior to 2004. 

And yet, she proudly tweets about this as it serves to bear witness to her faith.

This is very serious business.  We are in profound trouble as a society.

Those who remember are dying. most of those who are young will never learn.

The enlightenment values of Western Civilization represent an anomalous 300 year aberration in the history of humanity. If we do not arrest this cancerous trend, then like the Greek City States before us, this wondrous aberration will disappear into the 300,000 year+ history of humanity as merely one of a few short lived deviations from the mean.

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September 16, 2019

Brexit Briefs

We here at Brickmuppet Blog have been looking at the current constitutional crisis in the U.K. with utter bewilderment and incomprehension of the workings of their 800 year old system (which we in the States figuratively gnawed our leg off to get away from).  If you're interested in this dumpster fire or just want reassurance that we aren't the only people being run by degenerate numbnuts, then these two videos may be of interest.

First; a brief brief which gives a basic but enlightening overview of the implications of what's going on in six minutes that, as a bonus, is easy on the eyes.




This second brief is not at all brief, clocking in at almost exactly an hour. However, it's very interesting and involves a deep explanation of the historical context as well as a detailed overview of the current situation by David Starkey, a very animated and passionate legal historian.



This interview is both edifying, and rather scary, particularly the bit about the motivations of the Remainers, who are, in fact a subset of a social clique that torments many nations.

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September 12, 2019

I Do Not Vape

Vaping annoys me.

However, this moral panic is stupid.

I was into my third paragraph explaining why this is, when I noted that someone had managed to debunk the whole retarded@ proposition in 45 words.




@ Another reason, besides my jarring lack of pithiness, for my parsimonious participation on Twitter.

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September 09, 2019

More on Brexit

I have NO idea what's happening with regards to the situation in the British parliament, but it seems quite consequential.

There is what appears to be a good overview here at Claremont.

I'm not sure Sargon knows whats going on either,  but (bear with me here) he IS a citizen of the U.K. and he gives a layman's overview of what he's seeing in this, his most recent video on the subject.



A slightly earlier and much longer video where he interviews a legal analyst on the matter is here.

This does seem to be a colossal mess.

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September 03, 2019

Can Someone Explain

...what the hell is happening in the U.K.?

It sounds like a bunch of people switched parties and now Brexit is pretty much dead.

We've had this happen in the U.S. on occasion, most recently during Bush 2's term, with one fink in the Senate, but never anything like 21.

My confusion is this.

Because of the Parliamentary system the U.K. has, and the way they form their governments (the Queen is technically the head of state, but the actual governing executive is run by the PM, which is equivalent to our Speaker of the House). this is of much greater import than changing one legislative bodies political balance. This SEEMS to this more akin to what we would have if there were enough disloyal electors in a presidential election...ie: a genuine constitutional crisis.

Am I wrong?

This looks absolutely appalling, but I don't know a lot about the U.K. system so I'm genuinely curious.

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You-Tube Graciously Helps Bitchute in Their Membership Drive

That word "Hate Speech" is...slippery. (Update: to wit via



Brickmuppet Blog's Bitchute referral page is here.


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August 29, 2019

Oh. These Bastards Are Getting Bold

Free Speech advocate Tim Pool has just been paid a visit in the middle of the night....and then they came back after being warned away by police.



Watch the video. It's pretty scary...until it gets scarier.

This is not cool.
Pool's recently planned  free speech event was shut down by threats of violence against their venue and had to be rescheduled and relocated to somewhere else Philly and New Jersey this weekend.

So it will go on despite the gloating. *

Now they are showing up on Pool's doorstep.

This is serious business, we saw what they did to Andy Ngo.

* For some idea of how far things have fallen and how crazy things have gotten, when reading that asterixed hot-take remember that one of the founders of VICE news was...Tim Pool.


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August 10, 2019

Revisiting the Isekai Theory

It's been a rough week.
I got in around midnight, did some housework and went to bed sometime thereafter. I woke up in a state of intense overpressure and ran too the bathroom and realized it was 17:30!?. I slept over 16 hours?

Anyway, I turned on the news and discovered that I've awakened in a  conspiracy thriller.



UPDATE 10PM: There are now reports that Kaptain Kiddie Diddler was NOT on suicide watch,....because why on Earth would he be?

Of course, I've read enough of these books to know that the suicide is never the MAIN problem. Its covering up something much bigger.

Generally the next element in the plot would be something equally far fetched  like a weapons test gone disastrously wrong...



They covered the ambulances with plastic, because reasons.

...or a massive explosion at a secret facility...




...or an experimental, deep diving submarine on a secret mission encountered...something...that killed half its crew.


Click here for Supah-Size

...or something caused the authorities to shut down the bio-weapon research facility at Fort Dietrich Md.


Picture unrelated (probably)
 
...or the government suddenly authorized the use of cyanide bombs against..."wildlife".

Or life that's now in the wild.


FULL DISCLOSURE: It is the position of this blog that the chances that any of these are related is slim and there are probably perfectly pedestrian explanations for everything.
Well, except for the Epstein thing.

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April 13, 2019

A Few Thoughts

...that, even more than submerged utility pipes or dated pop-culture references may cause distress to some readers will be posted 'blow the fold'.

The illustration 'above the fold' is for those who wish to avoid the politics, to which it is hopefully unrelated.


Art by Mocha.



more...

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April 09, 2019

An Actual Conversation

Andrew Yang, (One of the Democrat's surfeit of presidential candidates) actually sits down with Ben Shapiro and discusses policy and they have a long polite discussion about his proposals. While I don't agree with him on a couple of points, and strongly disagree regarding internet regulation, Yang actually seems mostly sane as he presents and defends his positions.



Its a sad commentary on our civics that this interview is worthy of note.

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January 02, 2019

Dark Times and Their Avoidance


It's a long post but I strongly suggest that you read it all, it is...sobering.

When people stop talking to one another, when they cannot communicate with or understand the other side...when the speech stops...the war begins. 

With that in mind, Peterson and Rubin have both decided to leave Patreon, effective the 15th.  


It's 31 minutes, but I again recommend you watch the whole thing. They do touch on something that I noted as the main concern when I did a post on the subject two weeks ago

The financial services issue. 

That Patreon did what they did to one of their customers who had not violated their TOS, was unprofessional at best and somewhat worrisome for anyone on the platform. However, what, to my mind at least, elevated this to "Serious Business" was the fact that Pay-Pal and the other online payment outfits pulled the plug on Subscribe Star when Subscribe Star did not refuse service to the clients ejected from Patreon. 

At that point the situation became a blacklist..one with teeth.

In that vein, over at Ambient Irony, Pixy links to an article at One Angry Gamer that describes similar actions being taken against a Death Metal band.  

The piece points out that the precedent for this was Obama's Operation  Choke  Point which weaponized financial institutions against businesses the Administration did not like, like porn stars and gun dealers. Choke Point was put down in 2017, but some of the electronic and informal infrastructure and more importantly the precedent for such counter constitutional restraints of trade presumably still exist.  about 15 paragraphs down though the  OAG article proposes that Pay-Pal and company are still getting their marching orders for these bans from the FDIC and this is all a deep state conspiracy.

Here's the thing. 

I don't think the FDIC took a stance on Sargon of Akkad. 

However, the same article links to a rather scattershot video by SFO that has some things to say about MasterCard. (He's really dug deep into Mastercard)

THAT is less silly, because Master Card (and financial bottlenecks in general ) came up not only in the Peterson/Rubin video above in the transcript of the much discussed phone call  between Matt Christensen and Jaqueline Hart concerning the larger matter of free speech on Patreon.
JACQUELINE: The problem is is patreon takes payments.  And while we are obviously supportive of the first amendment, there are other things that we have to consider. Our mission is to fund the creative class. In order to accomplish that mission we have to build a community of creators that are comfortable sharing a platform, and if we allow certain types of speech that some people would call free speech, then only creators that use patreon that don’t mind their branding associated with that kind of speech would be those who use patreon and we fail at our mission.  But secondly as a membership platform, payment processing is one of the core value propositions that we have.  Payment processing depends on our ability to use the global payment network, and they have rules for what they will process.    

MATT:  Are you telling me that this was Patreon’s decision then, or someone pressured you into this? 

JACQUELINE:  No - this was entirely Patreon’s decision.  

MATT:  Well then I don’t understand passing the buck off to somebody else.  

JACQUELINE:  No, I’m not passing the buck off.  The thing is we have guidelines, but I’m trying to explain, #1 it is our mission to fund the creative class and obviously some people may not want to be associated.  

MATT:  Well if it’s your mission, then payment processors are irrelevant.  It’s your mission.  That’s what you’re pursuing.  

JACQUELINE:  We’re not visa and mastercard ourselves - we can’t just make the rules.  That’s what I’m saying - there is an extra layer there.  

MATT:  Right, but that extra layer is not necessarily relevant if your own goals that you’re pursuing are already doing that anyway.  

JACQUELINE:  I don’t necessarily see it that way.  I sort of see it along two lines - so if we said, we want this to just be a free speech platform - we’re 100% dedicated to free speech - then that isn’t really true to our mission.

MATT:  What percent dedicated are you to free speech?

(Long Multipage Break)


JACQUELINE:  We’re not a free market.  Again, this goes back to - 

MATT:  Okay.  I’m glad you admit that.    

JACQUELINE:  This goes back to what I was saying about that we are a payment processor and that is one of our core value propositions that we have, is that payment processing depends on our ability to use payment networks and we have to abide by those rules.

MATT:  But that is not what you’ve been telling me repeatedly.  You go back and forth between telling me we have to uphold our ideal, and then passing the buck off to payment processors who are holding you to this standard, begrudgingly I suppose.  Either you agree with that standard or you don’t.   

JACQUELINE:  What I’m saying is we have to have policies whether or not I personally believe in something or-or.

MATT:  When I say ‘you,’ I mean Patreon, obviously.   

JACQUELINE:  The problem though is that Patreon itself has to base their guidelines on the people that they work with and that they share information with and so- 

MATT:  But you have been telling me this whole time that you support those guidelines.

JACQUELINE:  I do support those guidelines.

MATT:  Okay. So - 

JACQUELINE:  But you have to base those on something so this is what I’m saying. Even if I personally came into Patreon and said, you know, ‘I believe 100% in absolute free speech’ I-I will not be able to make that the guidelines even if that’s what I personally believe. We have a lot of people here who believe that, but -

MATT:   Well let me ask you this - has there ever been a case where a payment processor has come to Patreon and said ‘you guys are enabling too much hate speech, we’re gonna cut you off?’

JACQUELINE:  As in Patreon?

MATT:  Yeah - is there a reason you have to bend the knee to these payment processors? Have they made you bend the knee before?

JACQUELINE:  I-I’m not going to get into a discussion about our payment partners specifically. 

So...I think this is not a great government conspiracy. 

However, there do seem to be a bunch of like minded people who have decided to determine whose cool and whose not. This is at it most basic the same as a bunch of preppies or mean girls in High School working to protect the exclusivity of their clique, and the emotional sophistication is probably similar. 

Illuminati this ain't.

However, this clique controls banks, so the power they wield and its implications are consequential.

 The upper echelons of our society and the world at large are in many ways a monoculture that has gotten exceedingly provincial over the last decade or so despite their aspirations to cosmopolitanism. The secular faith that they discarded their old timey religion for has at its disposal the manic enthusiasm of the newly converted feeding its own ruthless Inquisition. The Gramscian march that created this intolerant and incurious monoculture is a thing of the left so there is an inherent political aspect and bias to this, but we need to be clear headed about the situation.

 The situation is genuinely troubling, but it is not hopeless. Decentralization and preferably distributed networks  are the best ways to neuter the gatekeepers. Rubin, Peterson and others look to be working on that. 

So be of good cheer in the new year. 
 
And don't bend the knee.

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December 14, 2018

While I Was Out the Situation Deteriorated

Carl Benjamin, a YouTuber who goes by the ever-so-modest online handle of Sargon of Akkad got banned by Patreon earlier this week. 



"'Who?"

Sargon is a Vlogger from the U.K. who opines on everything from video games to human rights. 

He's a bit of a troll.

OK he's a lot of a troll, albeit a particularly erudite one. 

He's definitely a mixed bag, occasionally doing absolutely spot on commentary like this take of the ethics and politics of STARSHIP TROOPERS of all things, and sometimes being an utter, douche, like here where he says mindnumbingly stupid stuff in defense of the Incel asshattery that is the asinine THOT audit. Sargon's a leftie and an atheist and so I disagree with him about a lot of things, but one of the things that I do agree with him about is his uncompromising stance on free speech. 

Here he is on his best behavior...


It seems that almost a year ago, for some inexplicable reason, Sargon used the "N word" while mocking and berating some white supremacists who's loathsome antics he has been reporting on; and who in turn have been getting all stalky and doxxy with his family. 

Now, using the "N-word" is always an inadviseable thing for us honky crackers. Indeed, this rule applies even when talking down to literal nazis...as is evidenced by the fact that the literal nazis he was responding to reported his unwoke language to Patreon's reassuringly named Trust and Safety Council,* which promptly banned him....for something he'd said on a livestream that was not in any way associated with Patreon.


"And we should care because...?"

Here's why this bit of internet drama is a concern...

A solid argument can, of course, be made that Patreon should be allowed disallow any behavior on their platform that gives them hives. 

That's freedom.

However, if they are going to do that then that needs to be in the TOS, you can't just nuke someone who has not violated any of your terms of service. Which is exactly what Patreon did.  Worse, the offending behavior was not even on their platform. 

This is unethical. Highly unethical and means that Patreon at this point cannot be trusted to honor contracts. 

Thus Patreon sucks and will screw you over as soon as you're on the outs with the "cool kids".  The fact that the deplatforming seems to have been initiated by neo-nazis it not technically relevant but adds another layer of dreadfulness to the affair.


"'kaaay...So patronize someone besides Patreon."

INDEED! There ought to be no need for concern here. 
Sargon should take his money to a competitor who wants it. Everybody wins.
That's FREEDOM...enabled by capitalism.

Lo and behold, it turns out there is at least one Patreon-esque outfit struggling to get out of Patreon's shadow and find some killer ap to differentiate themselves from Patreon

Well, that killer ap is freedom of speech.

So, Mr. Benjamin went to Subscribe Star.
He was followed there by other creators** who were also de-platformed by Patreon. More significantly, he was also followed by a surprising number who feared that they might be banned due to their views and Patreon's demonstrated perfidy and lots of others who migrated in solidarity with some outre' concept called "freedom of speech".


"See. Competition works."
"Now, why are people saying that a limey s**tlord's bad 
customer service experience is DEFCON 5 for free speech?"

Well, it most assuredly wasn't.

Until it was. 

You see, Pay-Pal , the ubiquitous online payment service then told Subscribe Star to ban Sargon and the other Patreon refugees. Subscribe Star refused and Paypal has now just cut off Subscribe Star's payment system. Stripe did too, and according to Subscribe Star, appears to not be releasing the creators funds it is holding!

Subscribe Star, to their considerable credit, is not buckling.

 
15 Dec 06:57

Dear friends.
We are here now not to tell you that "we are sorry but they made us to shut our shop down and now we are going to cry ourselves to sleep goodbye”.
Just the opposite - we are fighting back and integrating new unbiased and predictable processors that will allow us to grow with you. This takes time, we estimate anywhere between 2 and 3 weeks from start to finish. This may require us to extensively travel across the globe for the best possible solution.
Stars, you have to know - all your money were successfully rescued from the PayPal and will be paid out to you in a timely manner. We had less luck with Stripe, but it all manageable.
Subscribers - we temporarily paused accepting new subscribers, as well as new donations and tips. All previously contributions are safe and will be distributed to corresponding Stars properly. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Our team is working tirelessly for all of us being able to secure our future without fear of being bullied by the crooks in corporate suits and their subservient weasels.
We are online and will stay so. We wish you the same.
Talk to you soon!
Truly yours, 
SubscribeStar.com Team


"OK. That's genuinely scary."

That is the sort of thing that can lead to lead to idiot conspiracy theories, but this is where it gets scary. Here, is Jack Conte, founder and CEO of Patreon  on Dave Rubin's show a few months back discussing the culture of Silicon Valley.

If the embed doesn't cue right, the money quote is from 30:17 to 32:30

So these tech CEO's are all sitting down together or via conference call and deciding (amongst other matters of import) what their workers salaries are going to be. 


"Oh God. That's his....COVER STORY!?" 

Conte is describing the smoke filled rooms of Gilded Age trusts. These guys are also talking to each other about the issues of the day and who should and should not have a platform. This is a syndicate.

It get's worse..

You see, there was another Patreon-like outfit until very recently. Thunderclap was very much the same thing as Patreon although worked largely through Facebook

In August of this year, Thunderclap was shut down when Facebook disallowed it from using their services.

Being a Russian company Subscribe Star is somewhat outside of Silicon Valley's more direct sphere of influence,  certainly they are more immune to the social pressures of acceptance in the virtual Versailles of the San Jose' virtue signaling clique. However, like all online businesses, Subscribe Star is still dependent on online payment services, which, as we are seeing, do feel those pressures. And of course, it's run out of...Russia...so it has all sorts of other potential issues, particularly regarding freedom of speech, election meddling and dangerous ursine bicyclists.

We're in a situation where the current bolt hole for free expression is a sketchy site run out of Russia, a situation that is so transcendentally wrong that it has left even the foul-mouthed Razorfist temporarily unable to cuss...

Razorfist embed atypically SFW              

I understand if one doesn't want to click on a Razorfist link, but he's right. When speech is disallowed, violence becomes the medium of discourse. This is a bad highway to be on. 

We often joke that Animal Farm, 1984, and Brave New World are not a three volume how to manual. For some people though, they are. We've now got fricking "Trust and Safety Councils" that turn anyone with the correct politics who hate the right people this minute into members of their little Stassi. With the power to control the information and to deny people financial services if they hold unpopular views, comes incredible power for mischief.

We've covered the Chinese Sesame Credit System before and that, I am convinced, is where many of the individuals behind this policing of speech want to be.

All it takes to bring about this dream of the anointed is for each of us to say "That guy's an asshole! He deserves what he gets. That bitch over there had it coming too, serves her right." and be silent, or smug, or report the asshole to the Trust and Safety Council. Then, because every one of us is an asshole to someone, we'll be kept in our place by the very crab bucket culture we are nurturing. Meanwhile, the archdukes and marquesses of Palo Alto "tend their fields" by cutting off any poppies that grow too high

With that coming to pass, like the Greek City States before it, the 300 year aberration that is the enlightenment will disappear into the 300,000 year+ history of humanity as a short lived deviation from the mean. Things relating to freedom will go back to much as they were for the majority of that time, albeit with rather less ability to express heretical thoughts.

We're not there yet though.

There are people who will hold their noses and stand up for the rights of shitlords to opine on the matters of the day and who understand that words are not violence but rather the way violence is avoided. There are still search engines like Duck Duck Go and Epic that offer the ability for a Z-list blogger in Virginia to look up a news story that some seem to want to want to bury and we still have access to books written by great minds who saw where the path we are on leads and warn us from the grave*** to avoid the mistakes their societies made and take a different exit.  

Despair not, the fact that this post and every link in it exists is proof that all is not lost. 

But be aware. Be vigilant, and  keep your eyes open for the inevitable rough patches on the unlit road ahead.

UPDATE 12/16: Fixed links/syntax and made small caption edits.

UPDATE 12/16: Removed Google screencap and associated text as it could not be duplicated and was not germane to the post (see comments).


*and totally not Orwellian at all.
**at least one of whom seems to have actually been a genuine racist degenerate
***So perhaps a Russian site being the guardian of liberty is not so incongruous as we might suppose.

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