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Friday, June 22, 2018

A nice surprise

The Supreme Court denies warrant-free phone tracking:
The US Supreme Court has ruled in favor of digital privacy.

In a 5-4 decision on Friday the justices said that police need warrants to gather phone location data as evidence for trials. That reversed and remanded a decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Carpenter v. United States is the first case about phone location data that the Supreme Court has ruled on. That makes it a landmark decision regarding how law enforcement agencies can use technology as they build cases. The court heard arguments in the case on Nov. 29.

The dispute dates back to a 2011 robbery in Detroit, after which police gathered months of phone location data from Timothy Carpenter's phone provider. They pulled together 12,898 different locations from Carpenter, over 127 days.
Interesting that it was the liberals on the court actually ruled in favor of warrants. These days, they only seem to want to increase government power.
ROBERTS,  C.  J.,  delivered  the  opinion  of  the  Court,  in  which  GINS-BURG, BREYER, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ., joined.  KENNEDY, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which THOMAS and ALITO, JJ., joined.  THOMAS, J., filed a dissenting opinion.  ALITO, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which THOMAS, J., joined.  GORSUCH, J., filed a dissenting opinion. 
I was particularly unimpressed by Alito's dissent. Location tracking records simply cannot be confused with ordinary documentation.

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Cucks always crumble

Jordan Peterson is befuddled by a journalist comedian throwing out a basic appeal to civil rights.
Making people make a cake for a gay wedding.

Making them do it? I don't think that's a very good idea.

Here's the argument. Should they be able to deny making a cake for a black couple if they don't like black people?

Allowed to? Probably. That doesn't mean it's right.

Okay, so we had the Civil Rights movement, where they said, black people, we had to serve them in your restaurants and stuff like that, and it did work, and it did make our society better.

Yeah.

But you still argue that wasn't right?

No, that was right.

Why is that different to now, if you didn't want to make a cake for black people?

Maybe it's not. Maybe it's not different. Maybe I was wrong about that.
So much for the right of free association in the eyes of the grand champion of individualism. Remember, this leading philosopher of the 21st century, this irreplaceable man who believes only he can save the world with very important thoughts never thought before, previously managed to lose a debate to SAM freaking HARRIS over what the meaning of "true" is.

What a joke.

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World Cup Day 9

I was surprised that Argentina melted down in the second half, but not that they lost. They did NOT impress in their first game, and Messi didn't exactly dominate in the previous World Cup either. Croatia is a tough, well-balanced team and looked better throughout most of the first half.

Hell of a finish by Rebic on the keeper's mistake, though. That was nowhere nearly as easy as he made it look. Especially in light of how an Argentine missed an open net with a straightforward sidefoot in the first half.

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Darkstream: Q and conspiracy



From the transcript:

I don't know if some of the stuff that Q is telling us is going to come to pass, but what I do know is that the world condition that he describes, this conspiracy theory of reality, is actually considerably more accurate, more realistic, and more in correspondence with genuine objective reality than the version that we are taught in school, or the version that we are presented every day by the mainstream media. I wrote a column back in 2002 and I'm going to read just a little bit of it here to you.

History speaks eloquently on the subject. In the 1,129 years of the great Byzantine empire, the average reign of an emperor was 12 years. This is a bit longer than the eight years we now allow our president, but is rather short considering that the Byzantine position ostensibly offered supreme power and lifetime tenure. But if it wasn't unheard of for a ruler of Constantinople to die peacefully in his bed, it was also not the norm. 

For example, in the 135 years following Maurice's peaceful succession of Tiberius Constantine, seven of the empire's 12 rulers saw their reigns end in assassination or execution. Of the five who were not slain outright, two were deposed, and one, Constantine IV, was only able to keep his throne by mutilating his two fraternal rivals.

Has anything changed today? On the surface, the answer is certainly yes. But is it truly reasonable to think that human nature has changed much over the 549 years that separate us from the last days of Byzantium? I submit not, especially considering that we are closer to the 11th Constantine, Dragatses, than was the first Justinian to Julius Caesar.

The Marxian theory of history has been thoroughly discredited. The Great Man theory cannot explain the dichotomy between the proven conspiracies of yore and their seeming absence today. The Accident theory is a vapid ontological argument. Only the much-belittled conspiracy theory of history, which stubbornly insists that events are not always as they appear on the surface, holds together in this light when examined in a historical and logical manner. 

So the point that we have to keep in mind is that there are conspiracies of the powerful Those who seek power over others always conspire in an attempt to achieve it, and it is very foolish of those of us who do not take part in those games to assume that that they are not happening simply because we don't have the ability to perceive them or to chronicle the specific actions that lead up to the consequences that we actually see. So that's why I pay attention to what Q is saying, because whether he is actually correct about the details is not really relevant; even the aspects that he is covering are
at least causing people to look in the right direction.

It's not an accident that globalism has come to pass in very much the same way that the crazy, end-of-the-world Christians were saying was going to take place back in the 70s and 80s. You know, it's a lot harder to laugh at people who talked about the Mark of the Beast and people not being permitted to buy or sell now, when you're seeing PayPal and Stripe and Visa and MasterCard refusing service, when you're seeing people talk about implanted chips that will allow people to engage in cashless transactions and that sort of thing. Whether you like it or not, whether you understand exactly what conspiracy connects to what public action or not, the fact of the matter is that is the way the world works. That is what all these various organizations are formed to do.

You know when George Soros goes and gives five million dollars to a group of black radicals, that's a conspiracy. The fact that we know it's called Black Lives Matter and we know the people who are involved - at least some of them - doesn't mean that it's not a conspiracy. It is a conspiracy, it is a
conspiracy to accomplish specific political change. You know, we might understand it better if Soros was teamed up with Donald Trump's younger brother and they were scheming to try to make the younger brother the Emperor of the United States, but that's a very crude and obvious form of conspiracy, it's just it's not the only form of it.  So, I would encourage you to pay attention to what Q is saying, and the people who are paying attention to what he's doing and who are discussing these things.

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Setting the stage

Here is a random thought. What better way to lay the groundwork for helping the average American grasp the true extent of the globalist evil than first getting the media all stirred up about the poor chilruns and child abuse by the government?

Especially since there does appear to be a direct connection between the migrant invasion, child trafficking, and the Obama administration:
The United States government placed an unknown number of Central American migrant children into the custody of human traffickers after neglecting to run the most basic checks on these so-called “caregivers,” according to a Senate report released on Thursday.

In the fall of 2013, tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors traveled to the U.S. southern border, in flight from poverty and gang violence in Central America. At least six of those children were eventually resettled on an egg farm in Marion, Ohio, where their sponsors forced them to work 12 hours a day under threats of death. Local law enforcement uncovered the operation last year, prompting the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations to open an inquiry into the federal government’s handling of migrants.
And that's before we even get into the Clinton Foundation, Haiti, and all of the sordid details that entails. Meanwhile, a second Suicide Weekend starts early.
Jeanine Pepler, the publicist who represented novelists Jay McInerney and Candace Bushnell, hanged herself Sunday night in her home in Sag Harbor, LI, taking her life the same way Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain did earlier this month. Sources say she was 50. 
Would people seek fame so avidly if they knew what a price they had to pay for it?

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

So much for the American Way

Converged DC is WAY past doubling-down now. Superman is all about refugees now.
DC@DCComics
Superman stands up for what’s right. Did you also know he’s a refugee? This #WorldRefugeeDay, be like Superman and stand up for what’s right. #StandWithRefugees and @theIRC.

Warner Bros.@WarnerBrosEnt
 Superman always stands up for what’s right. Did you know he’s a refugee?  Refugees contribute to the fabric of our society.  Stand on the right side of history this World Refugee Day. #StandWithRefugees and @theIRC https://www.rescue.org/article/famous-refugees
These people are going to have a stroke when Alt★Hero #2 comes out on Monday. The digital edition, to be specific. Because Michael Martel also has a statement to make about immigration.


But it's not just the Big Two that are converged. If anything IDW is even worse.
IDW Publishing’s Editorial Director of Graphic Novels & Collections Justin Eisinger threatened to kill President Donald Trump and threatened violence against his supporters. Eisinger implied President Donald Trump should be taken to the guillotine and have his head chopped off just like they did during the French Revolution. But before he threatened to kill Trump via guillotine he promoted violence against Trump supporters by asking a reporter if she punched a Trump supporter in the face.
We're in this to win this. But this isn't a one-shot deal or a summer-long campaign. It's going to be a long march to take an entire industry away from our cultural enemies. Fortunately, they are not only evil, they are also sick, stupid, and emotionally incontinent.
Under Buckley's leadership, Marvel began successful annual publishing events that brought entire lines of books together, such as Civil War and Secret Wars, launched a series of reboots and rebrands and brought more ethnic and gender diversity to the company's hero lineup... The promotion is seen partly as a doubling down of the company....
Yeah it is.

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SJWs converge everything

Even hardcore liberal organizations are not immune from convergence:
The American Civil Liberties Union will weigh its interest in protecting the First Amendment against its other commitments to social justice, racial equality, and women's rights, given the possibility that offensive speech might undermine ACLU goals. "Our defense of speech may have a greater or lesser harmful impact on the equality and justice work to which we are also committed," wrote ACLU staffers in a confidential memo obtained by former board member Wendy Kaminer.
This is why even left-wing luminaries like Jordan Peterson are beginning to be concerned about SJWs. It's not that they are on our side, not in the slightest. They simply don't want to be subsumed and devoured, but they will be, because nothing short of the confident right-wing nationalism they also reject is capable of resisting those who can play the equality card with more credibility than traditional liberals, let alone cucks and conservatives.

Corporations can't make money, colleges can't educate, and civil liberties organizations can't defend their very raison d'etre. Convergence is corporate cancer.

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Why is this relevant?


To Q or not to Q, that is the question. I know it is hard for a cynical, skeptical generation, but honestly, it's all right to hope. Hope is a virtue, it is not a weakness. It is worthwhile, even when it is not repaid.

After all, the VFM understood the concept of WWG1 even before it became a public battle cry.

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Too little, too late

The Supreme Court finally forces online sellers to collect and pay sales tax:
States will be able to force shoppers to pay sales tax when they make online purchases under a Supreme Court decision Thursday that will leave shoppers with lighter wallets but is a big win for states.

More than 40 states had asked the high court to overrule two, decades-old Supreme Court decisions that they said cost them billions of dollars in lost revenue annually. The decisions made it more difficult for states to collect sales tax on certain online purchases.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court agreed to overturn those decisions in a 5-4 ruling. The cases the court overturned said that if a business was shipping a customer’s purchase to a state where the business didn’t have a physical presence such as a warehouse or office, the business didn’t have to collect the state’s sales tax. Customers were generally responsible for paying the sales tax to the state themselves if they weren’t charged it, but most didn’t realize they owed it and few paid.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that the previous decisions were flawed.

“Each year the physical presence rule becomes further removed from economic reality and results in significant revenue losses to the States. These critiques underscore that the physical presence rule, both as first formulated and as applied today, is an incorrect interpretation of the Commerce Clause,” he wrote in an opinion joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch.
This is the right decision, but over a decade too late. The effect of those earlier decisions was to favor big nation-wide retailers over traditional distribution channels and local retailers. Unfortunately, most of the damage has already been done.

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Denmark begins cleaning house

Even the Scandinavians are now looking for legal ways to free their nations from anti-Western influences:
 In recent years, the rise of the rightwing anti-migrant Danish People’s party has led to previously radical positions becoming mainstream. And the country’s Muslim population in particular feels under siege. Earlier this month Danish MPs  that, in effect, bans the burqa. It imposes a penalty of 10,000 kroner (£1,200) for repeat offenders.

In another move greeted with dismay by Denmark’s Muslims, a citizen’s proposal to ban the circumcision of children got the 50,000 signatures it needed to go to a parliamentary vote.
The European approach of banning the undesirable behavior instead of the identity with which it is customarily associated is working very well in a number of countries from Denmark to Switzerland. Banning the burqah, halal meat, kosher meat, human sacrifice, and circumcision without consent are all effective ways to legally ban deleterious religious identities from the West without violating any delicate Enlightenment sensibilities.

No one expects Aztecs to be permitted to sacrifice prisoners and offer their still-beating hearts to the sun, after all. If it's not Christianity, then it is not beneficial to the West and there is absolutely no need to accommodate its practitioners in any way, shape, or form.

Like it or not, these behavioral bans are coming and they will be in place sooner than anyone expects.

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Mailvox: dealing with Gammas

A pair of readers were wondering about Gammas and whether it is worth putting up with them:
You've worked with a lot of people. Gammas can be bright in tech, for example, but they're so toxic and annoying. Are they ever worth keeping on or like SJWs, keep them away?
The problem is that Gammas often make themselves subject matter experts, or at least succeed in presenting themselves as such. They can be utilized successfully so long as you are VERY careful to keep them focused on their areas of actual expertise as opposed to the areas where they only have delusions of expertise. The challenge is that Gammas are very good at doing intense research in a short period of time, but they will only do so in order to support their preconceived position, and they absolutely refuse to recognize any genuine authority on matters where they erroneously believe they have educated themselves sufficiently.

It is not at all beyond Gamma capabilities for an overweight, unathletic man who has never played football to loftily explain to an NFL quarterback how he should be throwing the ball.  That's a fictitious example, but I have personally witnessed situations every bit as ridiculous. Even worse, it is entirely possible that if his advice is rejected out of hand, the Gamma will feel betrayed and furiously devote himself to sabotaging the individual or the organization he was previously seeking to help.

As a general rule, then, it is best to bring in Gammas as short-term consultants when necessary, if their particular skills happen to be required. But they should never be given authority over others or any control over mission-critical materials or decisions. Gammas consider the threat of blackmail and the withholding of necessary information and material to be perfectly legitimate negotiating tactics.

Another reader was genuinely bothered by the way in which I dealt with a Gamma:
This thread bothered me immensely. You give the most amazing impression of being a man with limitless energy, mental and physical. I’m only  a few years older than you, and I know that’s fucking not true. (That said,  I have no idea what chemical adjuncts you may or may not employ; my guess is none but if it’s otherwise, please share.)

Straight to the point:  you should not waste precious time or energy on these dickheads because what you’re doing is too important. Seriously. I very much think you should limit comments to trusted commenters, because that will reduce the energy given to moderation.

By all means, start broad and then whittle the list. My preference (for what it’s worth) is to not see you ever waste time or energy on dissecting a posturing idiot like this again.
My energy is far from limitless, but since I tend to feed on negativity and opposition, I find the constant attempts to belittle, discredit, and discount me to be motivating. This may or may not be psychologically healthy in the long term, but it certainly helps one achieve one's objectives.

Granted, it does get tedious dealing with the same sort of posturing nonsense over and over again, but I think our new moderating system with seven VFM handling the resonsibilities instead of me has the situation well under control.

People around me do say that I work all the time, but the fact is that I enjoy my work more than I enjoy most things that people consider recreational. I literally can't work out or play soccer any more than I do - my occasional injuries almost inevitably reflect overtraining - and I tend to enjoy designing games more than playing them now.

That being said, if I could get away with it, I would happily burn every loose piece of paper in my office and in my files and never even think of doing any paperwork again. Forget immigration and women's liberation, if they really wanted to take the chains off the economy and return to the glory days of strong economic growth, the politicians should focus like lasers on developing systems that eliminate reports, records, and regulatory compliance on the part of all small businesses.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Hungary shows the way

This is what a truly nationalist government that puts the interests of the people first looks like:
Hungary's parliament on Wednesday approved a package of bills that criminalises some help given to illegal immigrants, defying the European Union and human rights groups and narrowing the scope for action by non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Prime Minister Viktor Orban has been a vocal critic of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's open-door migrant policy and has led eastern European opposition to EU quotas that aimed to distribute asylum seekers around the bloc.

Orban's right-wing Fidesz party tightened its grip on parliament in an April election fought on a fiercely anti-immigration platform that demonised U.S. billionaire George Soros and liberal NGOs he backs. Orban accuses Soros of encouraging mass immigration to undermine Europe, a charge Soros denies.

Under the new law, officially called "STOP Soros", individuals or groups who help migrants not entitled to protection to submit requests for asylum or who help illegal migrants gain status to stay in Hungary will be liable to prison terms.

"The Hungarian people rightfully expects the government to use all means necessary to combat illegal immigration and the activities that aid it," Interior Minister Sandor Pinter wrote in a justification attached to the draft legislation.

"The STOP Soros package of bills serves that goal, making the organisation of illegal immigration a criminal offence. We want to use the bills to stop Hungary from becoming a country of immigrants," he said.

Parliament, where Fidesz has a two-thirds majority, also passed on Wednesday a constitutional amendment to state that an "alien population" cannot be settled in Hungary - a swipe at Brussels over its quota plan.
Americans should not be content with the mealy-mouthed civic nationalism that passes for the actual interests of the genuine people. Because a nation of immigrants is not a nation at all.

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Trump's way or the highway

The God-Emperor informs the GOP that it's his party now:
There will likely be a TON of leaks coming out of the just-concluded meeting between President Trump and Republicans in Congress. The main reason is this: Donald Trump let them have it with both barrels. Apparently, it was Trump unleashed like the D.C. Swamp hadn’t yet seen.

“You really want to try and win your election in November without me? I don’t think so.”

 “I’m following the law as it’s written. If you don’t like the law then Congress needs to change it. It’s simple. Simple. I’m with you but if you don’t like it you need to do something about it…It looks bad. Sure. Really bad. If you want to change that then change the law. DO SOMETHING. You people have to change it. That’s how it has to be done.”

“We all know what it is. It’s fake. Fake news. CNN…it’s fake. The pictures…that was Obama’s, during his administration, not mine. You can’t let it scare you. That’s what they want. That’s why they do it. This law, you just need to change it if you don’t like it. And that’s the way it is. I’m not here to save you. I’m here to let you know I’ll support you but you have to do something. Or not. But if you don’t do something don’t come crying to me about it okay? Right?”
Of course, that would require them to take a risk and actually do something themselves. We'll see if they have the backbone or not. The good news is that this suggests Trump isn't going to be intimidated by the media campaign or back down.

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The infiltrated evangelicals

This fake evangelical minister is an excellent example of why it is time to Make Inquisition Great Again. He's what they used to call a "marrano" in Spain. Notice how what he is preaching just happens to produce exactly the same sort of self-derailing consequences as a) the political Mark Levins preaching atomic individualism, b) the psychiatric Jordan Petersons preaching atomic individualism, and c) the conservative Ben Shapiros preaching atomic individualism.
Rev. Rob Schenck, a prominent evangelical minister and founding president of the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute, said Tuesday that evangelical Christians "sold" their principles in supporting President Trump and called for a return to the message of the Gospel.

"The justification for support of Trump is he is seen as Cyrus, a megalomaniac mass murderer, so I guess that qualifies," said Schenck at a luncheon in Washington, D.C., for his new book Costly Grace. "It’s the ends justifying the means. We support this ungodly character with massive flaws so we can get what he’s giving us. We did a deal with Donald Trump. We sold our principles if not our souls to get a laundry list of promises."

In his book, Schenck discusses his 1970s conversion from nominal Judaism to Christianity and his subsequent 1980s political activism as a "leader of the most extreme wing of the anti-abortion movement."

In the preface to Costly Grace, Schenck writes about rediscovering the life and writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, an evangelical German pastor and spy who was hanged in an extermination camp near the end of World War II because of his opposition to Adolf Hitler. Schenck writes that he felt Bonhoeffer's time reflects our own.

"My thesis was simple: For American evangelicals, the lines between theology and politics have become blurred, eroding the boundaries that distinguish the spiritual from the temporal, generating confusion among many believers about their Christian and political identities, exposing them to the temptation of political idolatry," he said. "What had happened to the German Christians was happening to us."

Schenck now leads the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute, a nonprofit institution that seeks to apply Bonhoeffer's theological and ethical insights to the social concerns of modern times, through lectures, discussions, and published material. Since his discovery of Bonhoeffer, he now tries to "liberate the evangelical community from a politicized gospel and to urge partisan conservatives to move beyond social battles and forsake the politics of hate, fear, and violence," according to his book. Describing his current political views during the meeting, he said, “I have far more in common with my mainline brothers and the Episcopal bishop of Washington."
I have no doubt at all that Schenck has everything in common with them. It's much more likely that this prominent guy, this eminent personage, is a Satan-worshipping globalist than a genuine Christian. Literally everything these infiltrators do is focused on convincing Christians, conservatives, Americans, nationalists, and whites to unilaterally disarm so they can be conquered by their enemies.
Schenck also spoke out against American evangelicals' "embrace of the popular gun culture." To illustrate his point, he pulled out a Bible that doubled as a gun holster, as gasps erupted from the crowd. "How did we go for our reverence for the Second Commandment and replace that with reverence for the Second Amendment?" Schenck said.
Literally EVERYTHING. Hey, the God-Emperor has already promised us Space Marines, so it can't be too much longer until he gives us Inquisition and Crusade as well.


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Heretics now in audio

Bishop Thomas Cranberry finds himself at a loss when he is confronted by a thief and realizes some disturbing truths about himself. The experience sends him in search of the men who are increasingly absent from the Church, who find themselves at a loss in a world that has gone increasingly feral, and who feel that they have nowhere to go and no one to whom they can turn for support. In listening to them and attempting to understand their plight, he finds an unexpected mission.

The Heretics of St. Possenti is for listeners who want the backstory of the story and for those who want to know how one inspired man can make a difference in a fallen world. It is a novel for those who need inspiration to get them though the day and those who look for unusual ways to accomplish the mission. It is for people who understand and respect the old ways but know that sometimes a seed cannot grow without splitting the pavement.

Narrated by Wade Schoenemann The Heretics of St. Possenti is 12 hours and 2 minutes long.

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Attacks coordinated

The guard-dog media is ramping up its attacks on Qanon, just like they did on Pizzagate once the heat began to reach the guilty parties.

Who or what is QAnon? Just asking that question sucks you into a world that's like Pizzagate on bath salts, a galaxy-brained, 4chan-bred conspiracy theory that has apparently convinced an alarming number of adults that all kinds of preposterous things are true.

The whole mess started on October 28, when an anonymous user going by the handle “Q” started a thread on 4chan’s /pol board titled “The Calm Before the Storm.” In a series of posts, Q claimed to be a high-level government employee with Department of Energy Q clearance and access to Top Secret–level information about Donald Trump, the Democrats, and the hidden big-picture machinations of the US government. 

Wielding the plausible-enough-sounding details and sprawling shadow government plot of a lesser Dan Brown novel, Q began slowly painting a picture of a reality far different from the one we live in. The resulting QAnon conspiracy theory states that Trump is not under investigation by Robert Mueller. Instead, Trump is merely playing the part of hapless conspiratorial criminal while covertly helping the special counsel pursue their true quarry: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Podesta, and all the other liberal boogeymen. (It gets a LOT crazier than that, but that's the core plot.)

All of this was spelled out through cryptic hints, which seems to be half the fun for people who get into it. Before long, there were countless YouTube channels, subreddits, and message boards dedicated to collectively piecing his hints together with digital red string. One QAnon-based subreddit has more than 31,000 subscribers. On YouTube, QAnon-themed videos can have tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of views. It's even bled out into the real world, with conspiracy theorists claiming they had found pedophile camps in the Arizona desert. So this nonsense isn't likely to go away any time soon.

The reality is that while not everything related to Pizzagate and Qanon is true - there are false trails and erroneous connections that are being drawn due to the incomplete nature of the information being uncovered - the general gist of it is true and there is far more that has yet to be uncovered due to the wide-ranging nature of the situation. Even those who have come into contact with an aspect of the sprawling evil that is the elite globalist network have no sense of its scope, much less a holistic grasp of the whole series of enterprises.

For example, science fiction fans know about the arrest of David Asimov, Isaac Asimov's son, who possessed what police described as the biggest child porn collection that they'd ever seen as well as production and distribution equipment. But they don't know that the U.S. attorney responsible for letting Asimov off with "six months' home detention with electronic monitoring and three years federal probation" was Robert Mueller, the current Special Counsel currently investigating Russiagate or whatever he is actually doing.

That's just one of what are now hundreds of "coincidences" that few believe are coincidences anymore, the media's attempts to ridicule those drawing the connections between them notwithstanding. But the truth will come out eventually, and the historical misbehavior of corrupt elites strongly suggests it will be a lot closer to Pizzagate and Qanon than the whitewashed, noble image presented by the corrupt, leashed, and well-indoctrinated media. Indeed, the conspiracy theory of history is the only coherent and consistent theory of history.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Hollywood values in DC

CDAN appears to tie this arrest yesterday:
Geoffrey S. Berman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, and William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced today that JOSHUA ADAM SCHULTE was charged in a 13-count Superseding Indictment (the “Indictment”) in connection with his alleged theft of classified national defense information from the Central Intelligence Agency (“CIA”) and the transmission of that material to an organization that purports to publicly disseminate classified, sensitive, and confidential information (“Organization-1”).  The Indictment also charges SCHULTE with the receipt, possession, and transportation of child pornography, as well as criminal copyright infringement.  SCHULTE, who is presently detained on the child pornography charges, will be arraigned by U.S. District Judge Paul A. Crotty.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Joshua Schulte, a former employee of the CIA, allegedly used his access at the agency to transmit classified material to an outside organization.  During the course of this investigation, federal agents also discovered alleged child pornography in Schulte’s New York City residence.  We and our law enforcement partners are committed to protecting national security information and ensuring that those trusted to handle it honor their important responsibilities.  Unlawful disclosure of classified intelligence can pose a grave threat to our national security, potentially endangering the safety of Americans.”
To the murder of the convicted actor from Glee.
The shoe drop yesterday was one of the names our actor had. He didn't get to give his testimony but he did drop the name and it sent a lot of shock waves. Apparently the name that went down yesterday was protecting and sending information to that foreign born business person who had previously been convicted of the same type thing. Because of his position, the name who got dropped yesterday was able to provide cover and the networks that could be used for all this child porn. Everyone assumed they were safe because of what he did.
Translation: if the connection CDAN is drawing is correct, then the pedos in Hollywood and elsewhere were being shielded by fellow travelers in the CIA, and, most likely, the FBI and DOJ as well. Which would explain why Team Trump is being so circumspect and thorough. This may well get every bit as ugly as Q has been hinting for months.

And, of course, the fact that this potentially key arrest has not only taken place, but been made public will make it clear to everyone he's been protecting that they are going to be exposed sooner or later.

On the other hand, there have been claims that Schulte was Vault 7, the conduit to WikiLeaks, and that the whole thing was trumped up. And his background doesn't appear to suggest a key Deep State guy either. So, who knows?

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Freestartr-Stripe update

I've spoken to several of the individuals involved and I have been told that Freestartr expects to have the situation resolved within a week or so. My understanding - and it is only that - is that they started working on a replacement since they were originally informed there was going to be a problem, but Stripe suddenly moved up the timing on them without warning. Freestartr was also informed that the action was at the insistence of a certain financial partner, but the claim was subsequently determined to be false.

So, there appears to be no reason to alter anything in order to ensure the continued support for Voxiversity and the Darkstream. But if my information is incorrect and we need to do something different, I already have a backup plan lined up. Regardless, if you're a backer and you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me.

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Mailvox: converging Total War

AR observes some unnecessary updates to one of the dogs of the Total War series.
I decided to try replaying Total War: Rome 2 recently. After a mandatory update from Steam, I noticed a bunch of... peculiar updates. Nothing has changed except the following:
  • They added female Generals / Leaders. This includes voices and skins (graphics) for female characters both on the strategic map and the battlefield.
  • They added feminist propaganda in the loading screens. This goes for graphics and copy.
Zenobia is perhaps the only female whose superior genius broke through the servile indolence imposed on her sex by the climate and manners of Asia.
- Edward Gibbon, English historian (1734-1794)

Why would they put all this work into a 5-year-old video game that flopped upon release? Do you think a blue-haired androgyne fatty take over that project?
It sounds to me as if an SJW was named a first-time producer on a minor project and decided that the game could be updated by bringing its politics up to date.

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Alt-Hero #1 available in print again

Just to note that the print edition of AH#1 Crackdown is available again at Castalia Books Direct, Amazon, and your local bookseller. We did NOT end up changing the margins since we determined that would have made matters worse, so we only made a minor change to properly center the image on the back cover. You'll see how we're addressing the problem of trim variation on the margins in AH#2, as we're going to a full-bleed slash pseudo full-bleed approach that effectively eliminates it.

Amazon is sold out, so it will take a few days for them to restock. The fastest way to buy it is from Castalia Books Direct.

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Startup = sellout

Megan Fox covers the Stripe 180 on PJ Media:
Every time reports of conservatives being silenced on social media platforms come out, a large percentage of libertarians shout, "but private companies can serve whoever they want! Build your own platforms." It is a constant criticism of anyone saying that social media and Silicon Valley need regulation or that political viewpoints need protection under the law. But when marginalized voices create their own platforms, the puppet masters of Silicon Valley who control all the infrastructure shut them down.

Vox Day, a contributor at BitChute and popular author of SJWs Always Double Down, told PJM, "The denial of payment services on ideological grounds is a significant blow to the libertarian idea that private companies can be permitted to operate without government oversight." Day has significant experience being deplatformed on the major social media sites....

Stripe claimed in their notice of cancellation to Bitchute founder Ray Vahey that it was their "financial partners" who objected to Bitchute's business model. "We are politically neutral, and have many creators from across the political spectrum," Vahey told PJM. "Our site is still operational in terms of video streaming, but we have not been able to accept money since the Stripe termination," he explained. "They gave us only 5 days notice, even though our account was in good standing and we had not broken any of their rules or laws or even had any customer complaints."

The notice he received from Stripe was strange, filled with rambling excuses for termination with no specifics. Stripe employee "Gus" wrote:

Unfortunately, we won't be able to overturn our decision regarding your account. Our financial partners have some fairly strict limitations on the type of businesses we can work with, and sadly your business type falls into a category which our financial partners consider to be high-risk. I'm truly sorry about that... this is a restriction imposed upon us directly from our financial partners, who use have [sic] an archaic and frankly antiquated view of non-traditional businesses.

Stripe refuses to say who the "financial partners" are. PJM also reached out to Stripe but received no response.
This tends to indicate the situation is as I suspected. Stripe is looking to cash in, so they are doing whatever their investors and prospective buyers want them to do. Which, in this case, is shutting down the services that allow people to bypass both the ideological gatekeepers as well as the financial gatekeepers.

It's not an accident that they are attempting to shut down the crowdfunding sites, beginning with the alternative ones. That's primarily what this is about. Rest assured, they have their sights on Kickstarter and Indie-Go-Go too.

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The eurocrumble continues

The Sweden Democrats want out:
The leader of the far-right anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats is calling for a referendum on EU membership, hoping for a 'Swexit' result. Jimmie Åkesson, 39, branded the EU 'a large web of corruption', and said Sweden should hold a referendum after the general elections this September. 'We pay an enormous amount of money and get overwhelmingly little back. But the main reason is ideological: we should not be in an ideological union.'

The Sweden Democrats is currently the second biggest party in the Scandinavian nation, boosted by the European migrant crisis which saw Sweden take in more refugees per capita than any other EU country. 
Meanwhile, Matteo Salvini remains staunchly opposed to the invasion by sea:
Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini on Saturday warned another migrant rescue mission off the Libyan coast that it would not be allowed to land its "human cargo" at an Italian port.

The new rightwing and anti-immigrant Italian government last week banned the French NGO operated vessel the Aquarius, with more than 600 rescued migrants on board, from docking in Italy, causing uproar and a sharp spat with France.
 
Spain subsequently offered to take the Aquarius and it is expected at the port of Valencia on Sunday.

Salvini showed no sign Saturday of softening his position.
 
"While the Aquarius is sailing towards Spain, two other Dutch NGO operated vessels (Lifeline and Seefuchs) have arrived off the Libyan coast, to wait for their human cargos once the people smugglers abandon them," Salvini said in a Facebook post.
 
"These people should know that Italy no longer wants to be any part of this business of clandestine immigration and they will have to look for other ports to go to," he said.
 
"As minister and as a father, I take this action for the benefit of all," he added.
 
After Rome's decision to ban the Aquarius, French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte met on Friday and agreed that the EU should set up asylum processing centres in Africa to prevent "voyages of death."

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Cucks complain about media SJWs

Specifically, they complain about the media SJWs treating them and the moderate leftists they admire the way that they treat everyone to their Right.
Jordan Peterson has become so effective a messenger—and not just in Canada—that it was inevitable that the MSM, the left, and academics (but I repeat myself) would put forth effort to discredit and discount him. So if you’ve been paying attention you’ll have noticed a recent spate of articles and statements saying just where he went so grievously wrong, how he draws his support from bigots and alt-righters (and/or is one himself), and fails to understand this or that or the other thing on which the critic/writer is an expert. Here’s a recent example of the latter (hat tip commenter Artfldgr), and there are plenty more of the former as well such as this one from NBC.

Watch that last video; it’s less than two minutes long, and it’s instructive—not about Peterson, but about the way the MSM approaches the topic of “explaining” him. Most of these hit pieces are relatively subtle, as is this one (“Who is Jordan Peterson, favorite figure of the alt-right”), which hardly talks about what Peterson actually says, gets some of that wrong when it does (beginning with saying he refuses to be pigeonholed and then offering as an example of that him speaking about an entirely different subject, his refusal to automatically use left-dictated pronouns for transgendered people), but quickly delivers its main message of “bigots love him, therefore he’s tainted.”

The goal is quite clearly to make him persona non grata to people who’ve never watched a video of his or read anything he’s written, making him so toxic that they will pigeonhole him (“alt-right bigot”) and never indulge whatever curiosity they might have by going to the source, Peterson. These pieces are not meant to actually inform; they’re meant to block any desire the listener might have to inform him/herself. After all, life is short, we have a finite amount of time here, and why waste it listening to a bigot or a figure beloved by bigots?
It's particularly funny to see how the readers of this "neo-neocon" promptly make use of the very same tactics to try to make me persona non grata when someone points out that I have shown Jordan Peterson to be an evil left-wing globalist charlatan.
Johnny Ray:
Vox Day a true altrighty debunks JP on his blog as a fraud

om:
Oh noes, not Vox Day! As if Jordon Peterson has ever claimed to be of the alt-right. The left says it over and over, but saying a thing doesn’t make it so.

vanderleun:
Vox Day’s extreme jealousy of Peterson is transparent, vile and disgusting. He shows his true colors as an envious mental midget who is in love with only his own vapors. Basically, like the rotted pulp stuff he cranks out, he’s a comic book.
First, the point isn't that Jordan Peterson isn't of the alt-right. He's not. The point is that he's not of the Right at all, his philosophy is evil, his logic is incoherent, and his advice is bad. As for the constant accusations of envy, I am no more jealous of the haunted, suicidal, godless, mentally unbalanced Peterson than I was of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, PZ Myers, or that little doughball Scalzi. Those who believe all criticism is rooted in jealousy always reveal more than they realize about themselves.
penngineer
I was lucky enough to see JBP in Nashville at the Ryman last week, and luckier still to meet him (I couldn't afford a VIP ticket, but waiting outside the theater for a long time afterwards paid off!). He really IS everything that you would hope and expect him to be. His gaze is so intense when he makes eye contact with you, and you can really see the genuine warmth and compassion in his eyes. Truly a great man.
These idiots genuinely deserve everything they are going to eventually experience. Sweet St. Darwin, but they are dumber than the dodos were. Because greatness truly depends upon the perception of compassion in one's eyes.

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Monday, June 18, 2018

Facebook stalking

If this freelance reporter working with Rolling Stone and NPR stalks you on social media, just ignore her request for other people's contact information, let us know that she contacted you and tell us on what form of social media you were contacted. We want to know exactly how many people are being stalked and where they are being stalked.

Remember, no means no!


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Twitter suspends Spacebunny

Or rather, "suspends her account". Of course, "suspension" is Twitter-speak for banning.
Hello Spacebunny Day,

Your account, Spacebunnyday has been suspended for violating the Twitter Rules.

Specifically, for:

Violating our rules against abusive behavior.
You may not engage in the targeted harassment of someone, or incite other people to do so. We consider abusive behavior an attempt to harass, intimidate, or silence someone else’s voice.

Note that if you attempt to evade a permanent suspension by creating new accounts, we will suspend your new accounts.
Her thoughtcrime was to tell a very stupid woman who had been harassing her that she was stupid. Strange, I don't remember anyone ever being permanently suspended for telling me that.

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QUANTUM MORTIS A Man Disrupted #2

Arkhaven Comics is very pleased to be able to announce that QUANTUM MORTIS A Man Disrupted #2: Zero Zero Tango is now available for Kindle and Kindle Select.

Chief Warrant Officer Graven Tower is a ruggedly handsome military policeman who hates aliens. Fortunately, as a member of His Grace's Military Crimes Investigation Division - Xenocriminology and Alien Relations, he gets to arrest a lot of them. Sometimes he even gets to shoot them.

Chief Tower and Detector Derin Hildreth of the Trans Paradis Police Department are investigating the murder of the Crown Prince of Morchard on the shadowed streets of Trans Paradis City, but the alien government-in-exile is less than entirely helpful. The royal house of Morchard appears to be considerably more interested in seeking revenge than seeing justice done. But there is no way that Tower or MCID are going to let any vengeful xenos start another war in their house!

QUANTUM MORTIS A Man Disrupted #2: Zero Zero Tango is 27 pages, retails for $2.99, and is available via Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. Matvei Daniilovich is still the illustrator, but starting with this issue, we arranged to get him a professional colorist in order to move from a bi-monthly release schedule to what we hope will be a monthly one, so you may note that the colors are a bit more vibrant in this issue. UPDATE: Look Inside is now enabled, so you can see these for yourself.

From the reviews of Quantum Mortis A Man Disrupted #1: By the Book:
  • The plot is interesting, and the universe feels like it has actual history and depth. Instead of skipping over the richness of the original novel the comic gives you a lot to read rather than just pretty pictures which you quickly turn past to find out what happens next.
  • It's just the first issue, but the story is fantastic so far. I haven't read the book on which it is based, so it's totally new to me. I really love the look and slightly Blade Runner aesthetic and noir feel.
  • The story was good and got me interested in the characters. Dialog was snappy and smart. Hard to say what tech levels would be on a distant planet in the 3000s, after some big wars, but the tech-setting feels about right for a sci-fi crime-noir story.
  • Old school comic book. Cute girl, manly hero, robot comedy relief, dark conspiracy, gritty high tech future.
  • A fun start to an intriguing story, excellent retro artwork (I suspect that at some point in this storyline, a rocket-ship will land upright on a plume of flame, as God and Robert Heinlein intended), good banter, and the shadow of a prince's corpse burnt into the ground as foreshadowing of things to come. This is going to be a fun series, count me in for more!
A print edition of issue #2 will be available in a few weeks in a gold logo edition.

UPDATE: Off to a good start:

#1 in Kindle Store > Comics & Graphic Novels > Military
#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle Short Reads > 45 minutes (22-32 pages) > Comics & Graphic Novels
#3 in Kindle Store > Comics & Graphic Novels > Graphic Novels > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

ARKHAVEN UPDATE: the gold logo print edition of ALT-HERO #1 CRACKDOWN is now available again from the Castalia Books Direct store. Backorders should be shipping tomorrow. It should be live on Amazon again by the end of the week.

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Darkstream: Stripe and Operation Chokepoint


From the transcript of the Darkstream.

There's a lot of folks, especially on the Right, who would have a tendency to say, "well you know, what's the problem with that? I mean everybody has a right to sell to whoever they want to etc etc etc." Right, and that's true if you're looking at it from a theoretical point of view, but the reality is we don't live in a free economy, we don't live in a society where you are simply allowed to go and set up a bank with 200 dollars and begin payment processing and issuing credit and all that sort of thing anymore.

I don't think it was even a hundred years ago - somebody mentioned this on the blog - barely a hundred years ago it was possible to set up a bank for 200 bucks, start making loans, and that was how Regions Bank was founded originally. But you can't do that now because the banks - just like the hairdressers and just like every other self-interested group of people - have arranged to set up tremendous regulatory barriers, huge barriers to entry. For example, in, I believe it was Georgia, you needed to have 1,500 hours of training in order to be allowed to braid hair professionally!

Now this is ridiculous, as anyone who has been around junior high school girls for more than about 20 minutes will know. They sit around braiding each other's hair all the time, they don't need to spend fifteen hundred hours to be able to do it, and so what we are seeing is a private version of what was described as Operation Chokepoint by the Obama administration. Operation Chokepoint was a plan to deny banking and financial services to companies that were selling guns. If you're in the gun industry in any way, they were planning to target those companies, and in fact they are actually still doing so, but again on a private level because Hillary Clinton is not President, and so that's why you're seeing companies like Intuit, which owns Quicken, Intuit targeted I believe it was a gun retailer and possibly some gun manufacturers as well, and they're simply not working with them now.

You know, this is absolutely ridiculous considering that we have been indoctrinated for the past however many years, it's been 58 years or so, that you have no right to deny service to anyone for any reason. Suddenly now that the Left has completed its long march through the institutions, suddenly they are going to deny all that, they're going to attempt to deny the financial oxygen to all the  companies and all the people they don't like now. I'm not shocked by this. I'm not alarmed by this, you know, I'm a Christian and  we've been we've been told about the Mark of the Beast and and being
denied the ability to buy things, that that sort of persecution would happen since I was a kid at Sunday school. Now I have to admit I didn't expect to see it taking this kind of form, but it is.

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Sunday, June 17, 2018

EVS reviews Alt-Hero #1


Ethan Van Sciver live-reviewed Alt-Hero #1: Crackdown, on his ComicArtistPro Secrets YouTube channel with his father on Father's Day. He gave it a C+, unsurprisingly preferring the story to the artwork. Also, you should probably note that the actual review doesn't begin until about the 38th minute.

If the reaction of most of his viewers is any guide, it will take a little while to win them over. They seem to think that blindly mimicking the way things are done in a rapidly collapsing industry, only excising the social justice, is the path to success. But that's fine. We have gotten further, and we are making headway faster, than I ever imagined possible when we launched the initial campaign.

Anyhow, I very much appreciate EVS keeping his word and bringing this to the attention of his subscribers. I suspect AH #2 is going to be a big surprise to him and a lot of people.

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Stripe cuts off Freestartr and Bitchute

So much for Stripe as a Paypal alternative.
I thought I might share a few thoughts with you on what I regard as the biggest issue of our time: tech apartheid.

Silicon Valley wants you to believe that it is a force for good but the evidence of its bias and fraudulent dealings couldn’t be more obvious even to a fair, impartial observer.

Most recently this duplicity concerns payment processing, namely the fraudulent company Stripe which canceled FreeStartr’s account despite record low chargebacks. FreeStartr wasn’t alone. All of those companies who had their accounts suspended — Bitchute (a YouTube competitor), MakerSupport (a Patreon competitor), and FreeStartr.com (a Patreon, Kickstarter competitor)– were created by Trump supporters.

This canceling of our business was done for political reasons by Edwin Wee, a Democratic political operative turned Stripe employee, and it exposes the libertarian lie that one can simply just go and create a competitor if one dislikes Silicon Valley ventures. You can’t. We need to get over that canard.

I’ll delve into the parochial issues concerning FreeStartr’s banning from Stripe later, but I am thoroughly convinced that if action isn’t taken in the very near future, our politics will be permanently titled to the far left for the foreseeable future. Ask your congressmen, your friends, to speak out on this issue and take necessary corrections.

We’ve had other discussions about the censorship and Google, Facebook, and Twitter, and yes, those trends are extremely worrisome. But what I’m talking about here as concerns Stripe and PayPal is far more dangerous both for politics and for our society writ large.

Every regime has scapegoats, and ours is no different. Whether you’ve participated in a Twitter mob and/or been its target, you know its power. Ours is a herd based species, and it is quite disturbing the speed with which mores can shift. What was once commonplace — big game hunting, smoking, corporal punishment, etc., — become frowned upon, then the province of cranks, and ultimately unthinkable. There is increasingly good social science evidence for how this process unfolds — where a small minority changes the standards of behavior in a population. Sometimes these changes are so abrupt as to be jarring and yes, even violent. Twitter mobs force you off of their platforms and begin the practice of targeting your employment, your spouse’s employment, etc. until you are ruined. There is no due process here.
One has to wonder what the people at Stripe are thinking. If they're just going to be another arm of SJW enforcement, there is simply no need for their services. One might as well not use Paypal as not use Stripe, after all....

Voxiversity supporters, I think the smart move is to wait and see how Freestartr handles this before we come up with any alternative plans in order to keep the video offensive going.

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Mondiale Day 4

What a bicycle shot that was by the Serbian player! Pity the goalie was right there to stop it. Interesting attack-oriented formation by Serbia, it seems to be working well against Costa Rica.

UPDATE: Massive upset of defending champions Germany by Mexico, 1-0. Mexico deserved it too; the German defense was shockingly bad and totally unable to deal with the Mexican counterattacks.

UPDATE: Great result for the Swiss, taking a point off the Brazilians. They have no scoring up front and Shaqiri is barely a net positive despite his skill due to his refusal to pass on the break, but they're rock-solid on defense and hard to beat.

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The ostrich strategy

I don't think simply putting your hands over your ears and refusing to listen to your customers, users, and players is an effective customer service strategy. Or marketing strategy, for that matter.
The folks who are running the Battlefield V subreddit are done listening to your complaints about historical accuracy. This week, a new rule was put in place by the group running it where the discussions about the game not being accurate to what happened in World War II are over. Originally, the post said “No more bitching about historical accuracy, it’s a game, not a history book. Violations will have consequences.” But that text was then edited to a somewhat friendlier version below.

Edit: we get that y’all have valid criticism about battlefield V and the customisation options within the game. Sadly, this subreddit has proven to be unable to have a civil discussion about these things without devolving into name calling and slapfights. …

Reddit admins have confirmed brigading and the modteams of the subs in question are fully cooperating to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Hate us all you want but we’re done with this bullshit.
Of course, you know that Dice, EA, and the subredditors will proceed to claim that no one has any problem with their idiotic SJW historical revisionism because they haven't seen or heard any complaints about it.

They may be done with this bullshit, but I'm done with Battlefield. And I'm very far from the only high-level player to turn my back on the game.

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Saturday, June 16, 2018

Merkel muss weg

And then be arrested and put on trial for treason, one would hope. But regardless, one hopes Germany will soon see the last of worst German Chancellor since Hitler:
Angela Merkel could be ousted as Chancellor by next week if she doesn't come up with a plan for the migrant crisis, a German MP claims.

Kai Whittaker, a member of Ms Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, said infighting could weaken the ruling coalition and make her position untenable.

Ms Merkel is at war with her Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, who wants Germany to send back migrants who have registered in other EU countries. Ms Merkel is sticking to her guns, maintaining an open-door migrant policy is crucial for keeping Europe united despite the political standoff with her Bavarian ally.

In her weekly podcast, three days before talks between Ms Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron outside Berlin, she hammered home her stance. 'This is a European challenge that also needs a European solution. And I view this issue as decisive for keeping Europe together,' she said.

Members said Mr Seehofer would defy Merkel on Monday if no compromise has been reached by then, and go ahead with the plans alone. Such an affront to Merkel could force her to fire Seehofer, and there is even talk of the end of the 70-year conservative parliamentary alliance between the two parties. Without the CSU, the CDU and Social Democrats, the third party in her 'grand coalition', would lack a majority.
It's astonishing that the outcome is even in doubt at this point.

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Mondiale Day 3

I didn't bother watching the France-Australia game. Argentina-Iceland has been a very good game between two very different teams. I can't believe Bjarnisson missed that sidefooted attempt at an open net, but Iceland made up for it only a few minutes later. Aguero's goal was a nicely placed, highly technical shot which gave the goalie no chance to block it, and I thought the ref's no-call on the inadvertant handball on the ground in the Icelandic box was an excellent one.

Argentine looked to overwhelm them for a little while after they scored, but Iceland is tough and didn't crack. It wouldn't shock me if they wore the Argentines down in the second half and pulled off yet another upset.

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Steam tells SJWs to take a hike

This is the correct way to publicly respond to SJW demands and it is the right and reasonable attitude for companies in the game industry to take. It is encouraging to see Steam take the lead on this by comprehensively rejecting SJW demands.
Recently there's been a bunch of community discussion around what kind of games we're allowing onto the Steam Store. As is often the case, the discussion caused us to spend some time examining what we're doing, why we're doing it, and how we could be doing it better. Decision making in this space is particularly challenging, and one that we've really struggled with. Contrary to many assumptions, this isn't a space we've automated - humans at Valve are very involved, with groups of people looking at the contents of every controversial title submitted to us. Similarly, people have falsely assumed these decisions are heavily affected by our payment processors, or outside interest groups. Nope, it's just us grappling with a really hard problem.

Unfortunately, our struggling has resulted in a bunch of confusion among our customers, developer partners, and even our own employees. So we've spent some time thinking about where we want to be on this, and we'd like to talk about it now. But we also think it's critical to talk about how we've arrived at our position, so you can understand the trade-offs we're making.

The challenge is that this problem is not simply about whether or not the Steam Store should contain games with adult or violent content. Instead, it's about whether the Store contains games within an entire range of controversial topics - politics, sexuality, racism, gender, violence, identity, and so on. In addition, there are controversial topics that are particular to games - like what even constitutes a "game", or what level of quality is appropriate before something can be released.

Common questions we ask ourselves when trying to make decisions didn't help in this space. What do players wish we would do? What would make them most happy? What's considered acceptable discussion / behavior / imagery varies significantly around the world, socially and legally. Even when we pick a single country or state, the legal definitions around these topics can be too broad or vague to allow us to avoid making subjective and interpretive decisions. The harsh reality of this space, that lies at the root of our dilemma, is that there is absolutely no way we can navigate it without making some of our players really mad.

In addition, Valve is not a small company - we're not a homogeneous group. The online debates around these topics play out inside Valve as well. We don't all agree on what deserves to be on the Store. So when we say there's no way to avoid making a bunch of people mad when making decisions in this space, we're including our own employees, their families and their communities in that.

So we ended up going back to one of the principles in the forefront of our minds when we started Steam, and more recently as we worked on Steam Direct to open up the Store to many more developers: Valve shouldn't be the ones deciding this. If you're a player, we shouldn't be choosing for you what content you can or can't buy. If you're a developer, we shouldn't be choosing what content you're allowed to create. Those choices should be yours to make. Our role should be to provide systems and tools to support your efforts to make these choices for yourself, and to help you do it in a way that makes you feel comfortable.

With that principle in mind, we've decided that the right approach is to allow everything onto the Steam Store, except for things that we decide are illegal, or straight up trolling. Taking this approach allows us to focus less on trying to police what should be on Steam, and more on building those tools to give people control over what kinds of content they see.
Give people control over what they want to see, but otherwise stay out of it. That's the best approach for large corporations to take, although they're still going to have to get rid of their internal SJWs if they want to avoid eventual convergence. It's good to see the game industry refusing to back down despite the near-total convergence of the so-called games media.

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Secrets of the Nethercity

Our friends at Autarch are running a new Kickstarter campaign for an epic kilodungeon for the ACKS role-playing game system called The Secrets of the Nethercity. They do quality stuff. Full disclosure: I'm a backer.
For three thousand years, the secrets of the Nethercity have been hidden. Now the delving of man has breached the ruins, and the lore and treasures of the ancients wait in the darkness below for those bold enough to seize them. But an inhuman evil slumbers in that darkness, and the time of the Awakening is at hand....

We’re excited to announce Autarch’s eighth Kickstarter project: The Secrets of the Nethercity™, an immersive dungeon for the Adventurer Conqueror King System™ and other D20 fantasy role-playing games.

With Secrets of the Nethercity you get:
  • An epic "kilodungeon" with 240 location entries spread across 20 different dungeon sub-regions that can be explored in a nonlinear fashion over the course of your campaign 
  • 12 new monsters, including the chryselephantine statue, faewyrd, hydropian, and terror of death
  • 30 new magic items, including the bag of faerie seeds, the funerary barge of the cults, horn of the eagles, scepter of sacred power, and shadowcowl robe
  • 4 new character classes, including the elven cultist, hierophant, and warlord
  • A special appendix providing step-by-step worksheets to adapt the Nethercity to your favorite campaign setting
  • A home base (the city of Cyfaraun) for use by your adventurers in between dungeon delves. The city is presented in summary format in the adventure itself, and the city and the sewers below it are presented in more detail in a supplement called Capital of the Borderlands (available at $20 and above pledge level). With every bonus goal, we'll expand the city and sewer levels!
  • The Nethercity, the city, and the sewer level in between are all beautifully mapped by the incredible cartography of Dyson Logos and Simon Forster. You get maps of the city, sewers, and Nethercity, as well as zoomed-in sectional maps of each major area. With every bonus goal we hit, we'll add more maps.
As great as that sounds, I am even more excited about rumors that Autarch's next crowd-funding effort is going to be something on the wargaming front. The fantasy wargaming front.

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