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Sunday, May 31, 2020

Verpunkt

Owen's Livestream 849, which explains psychological spells, how to identify and break them, and how they are connected to rhetoric and dialectic, is arguably one of his most important streams to date. What he's doing here is extending one of the more important elements of Aristotle's Rhetoric, in which the great Greek philosopher observed that despite there being no information content in rhetoric, it is most effective when it is based on the truth.

The best rhetoric is true. And the most convincing dialectic sounds like rhetoric. Which is why it is fascinating to observe that despite 2,400 years of comprehensive, in-depth analyses of Aristotle's philosophy by some of history's finest minds, we still have no word to identify a useful, important, tremendously effective intellectual concept.

verpunkt = the intersection where Aristotelian rhetoric and dialectic meet and become one.

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Saturday, May 30, 2020

Call the ball

You may recall that I recommended that the God-Emperor declare a state of martial law some weeks back. In that context, this Q post is more than a little intriguing.

May 30 2020 17:11:47 (EST) NEW
Insurrection Act of 1807.
[Determination that the various state and local authorities are not up to the task of responding to the growing unrest]
Call the ball.
Q

Also, never believe The Official Story. Contra the Governor of Minnesota, there are no Boogaloos.

Of the 45 people arrested for rioting and looting on Friday and Saturday in Minneapolis, 38 had Minnesota addresses, FOX 9 reported, citing publicly available jail records. Only six detainees were registered out of state, and one person did not have address information listed.

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Goodbye, Uncle Hugo


SF-SJWs on Reddit were optimistic that this was all just a right-wing plot to make them question their allegiance to diversity.

  • Just did a search about the fire, and nothing. This could be a post trying to get the sci-fi nerds of Reddit pissed off.
  • That's what I'm going to choose to believe until I see something from a real news site or the store's own social media.
  • It's all just fantasy until then....
  • Probably to make people who want to protest peacefully feel bad. To me it doesn't look the same at all.

Yeah, so, about that....

Uncle Hugo's/Uncle Edgar's 28th and Chicago: Destroyed by fire.

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The Boogaloos

Forget the Alt-Right! The retarded Left has a brand new bogeyman: The Boogaloos!

I was talking to a friend in Minneapolis when a guy pulled up on a motorcycle and explained to him that the violence wasn't committed by the locals, it was by armed, white supremacists from outside the Twin Cities called Boogaloos who have travelled to Minneapolis in order to provoke a civil war. He's got friends in the FBI who told him all about them, Governor Walz has even warned people about the dangerous Boogaloo movement, so he was going to visit all the nearby hotels and motels in order to write down the license plates of all the out-of-state cars, then turn them over to the police.

When my friend pointed out that all the nearby hotels and motels are closed due to the coronavirus restrictions, that didn't even slow him down. He theorized that then these cunning invaders must be staying with local allies and sympathizers, so he was going to ride through the residential neighborhoods and find all the tell-tale license plates.

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Mailvox: manufactured chaos

A reader writes about the manufactured chaos in Minneapolis:
Chaos in Minneapolis last night.  St. Paul my side of the cities was behaved.  The state has the largest enforcement force ever assembled in the state. Around 1500. They protected downtown Minneapolis, the Federal Reserve building, and the power station.  Then the mobile force tried to protect the rest. 1000 more protesters was too many for them.  They were overwhelmed.  They did manage to contain three spots but only after three hours of burning destroyed a bank, a post office, and numerous other businesses.

Intel says that the drug cartels, anarchists, and white supremacists among others have organized and infiltrated the peaceful civil disobedients.  Sound like back in the 60's when the South blamed outside influences, doesn't it? However I expect there is a truth in it.  There is a worldwide organized movement to converge here tomorrow.  Expecting one of the largest crowds we have ever seen. I think the governor is going to allow the army to come help. An unprecedented event.
At this rate, it's only a matter of time before they blame the burning of Minneapolis on me and Big Bear. It's remarkable how those insidious "white supremacists" have cleverly managed to infiltrate both Soros-funded Antifa and the jogger community. It looks like it's going to be a long, hot summer now that they are officially up in arms.
Two Federal Protective Service officers were shot - one fatally - during Friday night protests in Oakland, California, as violent protests across the US intensified over the killing of George Floyd.

At least 7,500 demonstrators took to the streets in Oakland last night, clashing with police and sparking arson attacks and vandalism across the city. During the squirmish, two officers with the Federal Protective Service - a part of Homeland Securitycreated to protect government facilities - were shot. Police are investigating.

'Two Federal Protective Services officers stationed at the Oakland Downtown Federal Building suffered gunshot wounds. Unfortunately, one succumbed to his injury,' the police department told CNN. 

Meanwhile, a 19-year-old protester was shot dead in Detroit last night, while soldiers in North Carolina and in New York were ordered to be ready to move in within four hours and troops in Colorado and Kansas within 24 hours.
It's going to get worse, a lot worse, before everyone is ready to accept the fundamental necessity of homogeneous nation-states again, which is the prerequisite for re-establishing civilization. The other option, of course, is Chung Kuo. Try to keep in mind that the fact that you are inclined toward favoring a multi-ethnic global empire doesn't mean that you're going to be the one to rule it.

Another Minneapolis friend told me that he and his wife witnessed people literally lining up to take turns looting the Walgreens.

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No evidence of strangulation

I'm not even remotely surprised by these preliminary findings, given that the position of the police officer's knee rendered it impossible for him to cut off George Floyd's air supply:
The criminal complaint filed against Chauvin, 44, cited that preliminary findings from a Tuesday autopsy conducted by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner saw 'no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxiation or strangulation'.

'Mr. Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease,' said the complaint from the Hennepin County Attorney.

'The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death.'

The full medical examiner's report is pending.
As always, remember that the one thing we can be absolutely certain did not happen is The Official Story/ Which, in this case, means Officer Chauvin did not kill George Floyd by kneeling on his neck, for starters. And we can already be highly confident that this coroner's report means that Officer Chauvin will be found not guilty of third-degree murder, which suggests considerably more jogger violence will take place throughout the summer.

I don't know about you, but I'm already looking back wistfully at the halcyon days of the Great Lockdown.

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Friday, May 29, 2020

The courage of Canada

The inevitable end

Apparently 2VS has finally gotten around to turning on Comicsgate:
Vox Day opened up an imprint to allow small creators to use his printer discount on behalf of #ComicsGate, something that would have helped take the burden of production off of the smallest indie creators and help flourish a stronger and more united independent community. Knowing that Ethan Van Sciver had done everything he could to jump on the #ComicsGate brand, Vox ran the idea by Ethan in email to make sure Ethan was on board, and Ethan said yes.

It looked like a dawn of a new day for indie comics.

Until Ethan manipulated the situation into a power play to control the few fans under his umbrella.

In a move completely the opposite as he’d been telling Vox, Ethan took to his show and put Vox Day on blast, and his rabid, angry, outrage-prone fans went and brigaded Vox Day as a result.

Instead of getting great printer discounts, Vox was character assassinated. Anyone who called him friend got the same treatment. Ethan and his fans started becoming just like the SJWs they claimed to despise — screeching “alt right racist” at me and others in an attempt to character assassinate and destroy anyone who didn’t go along with their narrative.

All because Vox wanted to help out some small indie creators.
Just to be clear, I don't care in the slightest about 2VS or Comicsgate. I have very little against them and even less for them. Contra the narrative they both tried to push, I was never interested in owning, controlling, or even having anything whatsoever to do with Comicsgate. I only got involved, for about a week, as it happens, in support of an erstwhile Dark Legion creator, which turned out to be both a stupid mistake and a significant learning opportunity.

The moral of the story: stay away, stay very far away, from the drama that inevitably accompanies narcissistic attention-seekers. In fact, the reason I no longer speak in public to anyone except Castalia authors and UATV creators owes as much to the Comicsgate kerfuffle as it does to the Wired and NPR hit pieces and the Fuentes fiasco.

I neither need nor desire drama, and I'm simply not at all interested in creating it for those who do. I do, of course, find it mildly amusing to observe 2VS showing his second face to his erstwhile supporters.

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Fake outrage in Minneapolis

The media is staging at least some aspects of the "protests" in Minneapolis:
A smaller protest continued Thursday at Chauvin’s home.... A photographer at the house Thursday morning appeared to stage a shot in the officer’s driveway by encouraging two people to spray “Kill Pig Cops” on the garage door, according to Jennifer Kennetz of St. Paul. She said the woman claimed to be a magazine photographer and tried to persuade Kennetz and others to pose for her near the home.

Kennetz said she later saw the photographer persuade a young couple to spray paint the garage door while recording it with her cellphone. Police confiscated the phone, Kennetz said, and an Oakdale police spokeswoman confirmed the incident was under investigation.
At this point, it won't surprise me to learn that George Floyd isn't even dead.

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Speaking of riots

Episode 8 of Alt★Hero, THE NEW RESISTANCE, is now live on Webtoons.

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Minneapolis burning


Diversity, Decline, and Fall

Nothing spells civic order like a police precinct burning to the ground. The violence in Minneapolis has spread to the suburbs of St. Paul, and it's almost certainly going to get worse over the next few days because there is very likely something hinky going on behind the scenes. First, George Floyd and Officer Chauvin not only knew each other, they worked together at the same "club" on Lake Street.
“George Floyd and now-former Officer Derek Chauvin both worked security at the El Nuevo Rodeo club on Lake Street, according to Maya Santamaria. ‘Chauvin was our off-duty police for almost the entirety of the 17 years that we were open,’ Santamaria said. ‘They were working together at the same time, it’s just that Chauvin worked outside and the security guards were inside.’
Second, there is a good chance that neither Chauvin nor the three other officers involved will be charged with any crimes, as the county attorney clearly signaled yesterday.
At a press conference Thursday, Mike Freeman, county attorney for Hennepin County, condemned the actions of white cop Derek Chauvin as 'horrific and terrible', but said prosecutors needed to determine if he used 'excessive' force when he knelt on the black man's neck for eight minutes until he passed out and later died.

'That video is graphic and horrific and terrible and no person should do that,' he said. 'But my job in the end is to prove he violated a criminal statute - but there is other evidence that does not support a criminal charge.'
And third, the situation now appears to be getting completely out of hand, the full extent of which cannot be properly understood unless you are familiar with the geography of the Twin Cities.
An angry crowd broke into the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct headquarters Thursday night and set fire to the building, capping another day of protests, many of them violent, across the Twin Cities.

The police station on E. Lake Street has been the epicenter of protests this week for people demanding justice after the death of George Floyd, who died Monday when a Minneapolis police officer set his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes.

Nearby, Minnehaha Lake Wine & Spirits, the target of looters the night before, also was set ablaze. As flames leapt, sharp explosions sounded as people threw bottles filled with accelerants or fired bullets into the fires....

On St. Paul’s East Side, vandals broke into Cub Foods and its liquor store at the Sun Ray Shopping Center. Police had shut down the mall by about 3:30 p.m., but even as officers filled the parking lot in front, people were driving in the back and grabbing boxes of bottles from the liquor store.

Roseville police Lt. Erika Scheider said they received reports of looting at Rosedale Center, Target, Walmart, Cub Foods, Best Buy, Pawn America and two cell phone stores.

“We responded to a number of looting calls throughout the city. Rosedale had a large group that was able to breach the doors and get inside,” Scheider said.
As I mentioned yesterday, I went to junior high and high school just a few blocks away from the Minnehaha liquor store. But the Rosedale Mall was where my family did most of our Christmas shopping, it's where my father bought me the Intellivision that got me into video games, it was the home of the B. Dalton's bookstore where I picked up most of my books before the Barnes & Noble opened in Har Mar, and my first real job was at the Rosedale Dayton's.

And Rosedale is nowhere near the focus of the unrest at Minnehaha and Lake Street, it's across the Mississippi River and at least a 15-minute drive up 35W even when there isn't traffic. Roseville, the city in which Rosedale is situated, is an inner-ring suburb of St. Paul, but it still isn't particularly vibrant or even very diverse. So, this suggests that the joggers and other violent opportunists are branching out and actively looking for places to loot.


UPDATE: If it's this bad in St. Paul, how much damage has been done in Minneapolis?

Across the Mississippi River in St. Paul, looting, fire and vandals had damaged about 170 buildings by night’s end, police said.

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Thursday, May 28, 2020

No more hiding behind 230

President Trump signs the executive order to stop the abusive behavior of the social media giants:
Sec. 2.  Protections Against Online Censorship.  (a)  It is the policy of the United States to foster clear ground rules promoting free and open debate on the internet.  Prominent among the ground rules governing that debate is the immunity from liability created by section 230(c) of the Communications Decency Act (section 230(c)).  47 U.S.C. 230(c).  It is the policy of the United States that the scope of that immunity should be clarified: the immunity should not extend beyond its text and purpose to provide protection for those who purport to provide users a forum for free and open speech, but in reality use their power over a vital means of communication to engage in deceptive or pretextual actions stifling free and open debate by censoring certain viewpoints.

Section 230(c) was designed to address early court decisions holding that, if an online platform restricted access to some content posted by others, it would thereby become a “publisher” of all the content posted on its site for purposes of torts such as defamation.  As the title of section 230(c) makes clear, the provision provides limited liability “protection” to a provider of an interactive computer service (such as an online platform) that engages in “‘Good Samaritan’ blocking” of harmful content.  In particular, the Congress sought to provide protections for online platforms that attempted to protect minors from harmful content and intended to ensure that such providers would not be discouraged from taking down harmful material.  The provision was also intended to further the express vision of the Congress that the internet is a “forum for a true diversity of political discourse.”  47 U.S.C. 230(a)(3).  The limited protections provided by the statute should be construed with these purposes in mind.

In particular, subparagraph (c)(2) expressly addresses protections from “civil liability” and specifies that an interactive computer service provider may not be made liable “on account of” its decision in “good faith” to restrict access to content that it considers to be “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing or otherwise objectionable.”  It is the policy of the United States to ensure that, to the maximum extent permissible under the law, this provision is not distorted to provide liability protection for online platforms that — far from acting in “good faith” to remove objectionable content — instead engage in deceptive or pretextual actions (often contrary to their stated terms of service) to stifle viewpoints with which they disagree.  Section 230 was not intended to allow a handful of companies to grow into titans controlling vital avenues for our national discourse under the guise of promoting open forums for debate, and then to provide those behemoths blanket immunity when they use their power to censor content and silence viewpoints that they dislike.  When an interactive computer service provider removes or restricts access to content and its actions do not meet the criteria of subparagraph (c)(2)(A), it is engaged in editorial conduct.  It is the policy of the United States that such a provider should properly lose the limited liability shield of subparagraph (c)(2)(A) and be exposed to liability like any traditional editor and publisher that is not an online provider.
Section 230(c) is the key to the publisher/not publisher dance behind which the social media giants hide.

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Pouring gas on the flames

The Mayor of Minneapolis, who was parachuted in from the East Coast with the objective of becoming a future Senator, is making it very clear whose side he is on.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey says last night's violent protests are a reflection of the reality the black community has faced and 400 years of inequality. He says to ignore it would be to ignore the "values we all claim to have."

The Mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, gave the passionate speech that he needed to deliver to the hurt and angry black community in his city. He is telling them, their feelings are "not only understandable, they are right."
It should be amusing to see him attempt to dance his way out of responsibility for the arson of which he was among the chief architects. And the hurt and angry jogger community is so understandable, and so right, that the Mayor has now asked for the Minnesota National Guard to assist them in their time of mourning.

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The Cloud Police

Not content with eradicating thought crime from the social media platforms, the media is now teaming up with the technology companies to eradicate it from personal accounts in the Cloud:
The Washington Post’s Silicon Valley Correspondent Elizabeth Dwoskin complained that after the coronavirus documentary Plandemic was censored on social media, some YouTube clips were telling users how to access “banned footage” from the documentary via Google Drive. She then notes that after The Washington Post contacted Google, Google Drive took down a file featuring the trailer for the Plandemic documentary.
This is why you need to get off the Cloud, get off the social media platforms, and support the independent alternatives. Even if you are certain that you are not a crimethinker today, you cannot be certain that you will not be deemed a crimethinker tomorrow.

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Asking questions is racist

Don't ask questions of joggers or you might lose your job or even your lease:
A Minneapolis venture capitalist’s office lease has been terminated after a video went viral showing him asking a group of black entrepreneurs if they were tenants of the building and thus allowed to use its gym. In the video posted Tuesday night, Tom Austin, who is white, said he was going to call 911 on the group. He ended up calling the building’s property manager instead.
Meanwhile, Minneapolis enjoys more of its vibrant diversity, as "flames erupted" and "fires broke out" for absolutely no reason at all. This is an area I knew very well, as I graduated from a private school four blocks away from one of the liquor stores mentioned below.


Diversity in action

For much of the night, the police radio squawked with call after call, as looting started first at the Target store across the street from the precinct, before spreading to other areas in the city. Dozens of businesses were either looted or torched, or both, mostly in the area of Minnehaha Avenue and E. Lake Street, but also along business corridors on the city's North and South sides.

Firefighters raced from one blaze to the next, often with police in tow for crowd control. After someone started a fire at an AutoZone store at Minnehaha and Lake, firefighters worked to douse the flames, knocking down the majority of them. But within a matter of hours, the store was ablaze again, as was a half-built affordable housing development that caught fire, sending flames more than a hundred feet into the air.

Vandals broke into Chicago-Lake Liquor, and also shattered a few windows at the Midtown Market down the block. They also targeted businesses along W. Broadway Avenue, north Minneapolis’ main commercial drag, and in the Uptown area. Several pharmacies were reportedly burglarized, with suspects fleeing with handfuls of prescription pill bottles.

A Target and Cub Foods anchoring the corner of E. Lake Street and Hiawatha Avenue were looted, along with other small businesses, including Minnehaha Lake Wine & Spirits. Flames and smoke shot into the air when a nearby AutoZone auto parts store was set ablaze. As some protesters tried to put out the fire, others danced gleefully in front of it, snapping selfies.

Equalitarianism is the real problem here. This isn't about "police brutality". After all, how many stores were burned and looted when an African cop shot and killed Justine Damond at her Minneapolis home in 2017?

Anyhow, I won't mind if the joggers burn all of South Minneapolis to the ground. It's a vibrant hellhole of diversity, and perhaps a sufficiently large conflagration will shake at least some idiot Minnesota liberals out of their smug equalitarianism.

And as one socialgalactician noted, it won't be long before the word "jogger" is banned.


Meanwhile, Rep. Ilhan Omar, who "represents" Minneapolis in Congress, said: "Our anger is just. Our anger is warranted."

This is why you always sink the damn ships and pick your own damn cotton.

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Mailvox: invading academia

A grad student writes concerning a recent economics paper:
I forgot to thank you for your analysis on the deflation argument. I started a graduate program in economics last fall, and your deflation argument served as a critical point in a paper I wrote during the fall semester for a finance class. I received an A on the paper and am very grateful for your blog and Darkstream channel. The professor has an MBA in finance from University of Chicago and has worked in corporate banking since the 70s, so what you have been saying for decades is starting to resonate with economics professionals. He  wrote that the argument was very thought-provoking. I cited your sources rather than you directly because of how far you are out of the economics academic hierarchy.
A wise decision. It might bother some people to know that they will never receive public credit for their ideas, but it doesn't bother me in the slightest. The more that you understand that the public laudation of intellectual celebrities is nothing but Promethean PR and ethnic propaganda, the less that sort of thing appeals to you. If, at this point, the media suddenly started talking me up as an important public intellectual and handing me awards, I'd be wondering where on Earth I'd gone wrong.

For me, the most interesting thing about the reader's email is the fact that his professor, with an MBA in finance and 40+ years of banking experience, considers the concept of credit deflation to be "thought-provoking". That underlines how completely inept, how completely ignorant, the greater part of the so-called intellectual elite are, even in their areas of credentialed expertese.

In any event, the reader is quite welcome. It's good to know that someone, somewhere, is getting something out of this pensaverie.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Don't threaten, just do it

The President threatens to shut down Twitter:

Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen. We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016. We can’t let a more sophisticated version of that happen again. Just like we can’t let large scale Mail-In Ballots take root in our Country. It would be a free for all on cheating, forgery and the theft of Ballots. Whoever cheated the most would win. Likewise, Social Media. Clean up your act, NOW!!!!
- Donald J. Trump

The great weakness of the conservative Right is their inability to accept the necessity of action. Every single social media giant merits being shut down for their crimes and their ongoing war against the Constitution.

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Because it worked so well with liberals

Conservatives are now wagging their warning fingers at China. From SocialGalactic:

CHN can run anything to it’s most effective state. But it cant create.

That’s totally irrelevant. What difference does that possibly make concerning what the future is going to bring? Geopolitical dominance does not go to the most creative and the world has never been ruled by art and music theory majors.

It’s rather like conservatives repeatedly warning liberals that they won’t like the world they’re creating. Even if that happens to be true, so what? The changes will have already taken place.

Science and technological development is already stagnant across the West and rapidly declining. And the Chinese engineering capacity already exceeds that of the USA, which can no longer effectively build what it designs.

The concept of inevitable progress was never true and is hopelessly wrong. Forget "creating", at this point the men of the West should be concerned about "maintaining" and "surviving", because they are currently failing at both.

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Minneapolis celebrates diversity

Diversity does its thing in Minneapolis:
Tuesday evening, thousands of people, many of them wearing masks, marched peacefully from the site — outside Cup Foods on Chicago Avenue — to the Police Department's Third Precinct, where tensions quickly escalated.

As rain began to fall, protesters shattered the glass front door of the station and defaced the building. Police squad vehicles were hit with spray paint.

Some protesters climbed on top of the building, while others threw rocks and water bottles at officers in riot gear. Police responded by firing chemical irritants and flash-bang devices, and sending groups scattering to a nearby Target and Arby's, some getting milk to pour into their stinging eyes. Protesters used Target shopping carts as barricades while the store temporarily closed.
Meanwhile, in still-mostly-white Vadnais Heights, the Scandicucks are enviously genuflecting to diversity and dreaming of a day when they will enjoy the crime and riots of the big city to the southwest.
A Vadnais Heights City Council member abruptly resigned Tuesday after an anonymous person publicly confronted him about nearly 40 inflammatory social media posts that disparaged Muslims, transgender and gay people....

“My goal is an inclusive community that welcomes residents of all races, genders, religions, beliefs and sexual orientations. Council Member Johnson’s rhetoric is not acceptable for any representative of this city.”
At this point, I think the USA looking at a level of internal violence in the 2030s that will end up around halfway between the Rwanda/Holocaust level and the Great Leap Forward. And as long as the Johnsons are resigning and the Gundersons are virtue-signaling, the situation is still getting worse.

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China brings Silicon Valley to heel

As I wrote in Corporate Cancer, China is going to dominate the consumer technology high ground - namely, the apps and interfaces, because they a) protect their home markets from competition and b) don't hate more than 50 percent of their users. The signs of this coming domination are already visible.
YouTube is automatically deleting comments that contain certain Chinese-language phrases related to criticism of the country’s ruling Communist Party (CCP). The company confirmed to The Verge this was happening in error and that it’s working to fix the issue.

“Upon review by our teams, we have confirmed this was an error in our enforcement systems and we are working to fix it as quickly as possible,” said a YouTube spokesperson. The company did not elaborate on how or why this error came to be, but said it was not the result of any change in its moderation policy.

But if the deletions are the result of a simple mistake, then it’s one that’s gone unnoticed for six months. The Verge found evidence that comments were being deleted as early as October 2019, when the issue was raised on YouTube’s official help pages and multiple users confirmed that they had experienced the same problem.

Comments left under videos or in live streams that contain the words “共匪” (“communist bandit”) or “五毛” (“50-cent party”) are automatically deleted in around 15 seconds, though their English language translations and Romanized Pinyin equivalents are not.
The fact that we're already seeing companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook beginning to kneel before Beijing means that it won't be long before other converged companies like Paypal and Patreon are completely compliant, assuming, of course, that they even survive the initial shock of competition from the East.

It's even possible that rogue independent platforms like SG, BitChute, and UATV may have a brighter future than the Silicon Valley giants.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Back to the bipolar world

It's a bit ironic that David Goldman, who was once at the forefront of the planned Leap to China, has now turned in alarm to talking up a nonexistent "American" unity between Americans, Paper Americans, Fake Americans, and Not Americans, now that the US empire has squandered its brief period of global dominance on the invasion and occupation of a few of Israel's enemies.
There is a line of American commentary on China, argued most clearly and persistently by David Goldman at Asia Times (now apparently with Gordon Chang also on board) telling us that we Americans should consider ourselves to be in a Sputnik Moment: a moment in history where, if we don’t stop the fruitless squabbling and begin engaging in some serious, co-ordinated national effort, the ChiComs will eat our lunch, breezing past us in key technologies like artificial intelligence, big data, microchip fabrication, and quantum computing.

The problem with that prescription is that the original Sputnik Moment, to which America reacted with such spectacular success, occurred in 1957, a whole decade B.S.—”Before Sontag.”

White ethnomasochism was not entirely unknown in 1957, but it was restricted to tiny cliques of urban intellectuals.

We could make a united national response to Sputnik sixty years ago because we were a sufficiently united nation. You need that qualifying word “sufficiently” there because there was what people of the time called “the Negro Problem.”

White Americans didn’t think about black Americans any more than they absolutely had to, though, and the race issue didn’t split whites down the middle as clearly and angrily as in what I call today’s Cold Civil War.

Sputnik-wise, we were a sufficiently united nation—sufficiently to co-operate in a colossal national effort with a minimum of bickering.
The US empire is now about as well-equipped to withstand the Chinese challenge as the Austro-Hungarian military was ready to face the Russian army in 1914. No amount of talking up the value of words and ideology and paper identity is going to substitute for genuine nationalism.

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Finance vs business

The late, great Umberto Eco understood the difference. From Numero Zero, his final novel.

Don't be naive. We're talking about finance, not business. First buy, then wait and see where the money to pay for it comes from.

Numero Zero is a short, but excellent novel, a clever, more accessible Foucault's Pendulum combined with a dash of nostalgia for the forgotten backways of Milano and Eco's academic ideas about the nebulous nature of history and text.

I was hesitant to read this one after the relative disappointments of The Prague Cemetery and The Mysterious Flame of the Queen of Loanna. And I took my time with it, reading it first in Italian, then in English. It was both a pleasure and relief to discover that Dr. Eco closed out his literary career on a high note.

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The return of the yellow press

The former president of CBS News encourages the mainstream media to give up its pretense of balance and impartiality:
There’s in all probability no technique to seal the hole between the media and a big phase of the general public. The media likes what it’s doing. Admires it. Celebrates it. There isn’t any private, skilled or monetary cause to vary. If something, the hole will develop. In the end, the media finds the “deplorables” deplorable.

Dan Abrams, ABC’s chief legal-affairs anchor and founding father of the web site Mediaite, has a novel however helpful concept for the media—candor. Chatting with the matter at February’s Rancho Mirage Writers Pageant, Mr. Abrams mentioned “I feel the very first thing that may assist . . . is to confess . . . that the individuals within the media are left of heart.”

It might be pleasant if a writer, an editor, a reporter, would simply say: Sure, I’m left of heart! I’m pleased with it. I feel our reporting is correct. It finest serves the general public. And the credibility of the media. So there!

Publications open about their bias would possibly really feel freer to give attention to the specifics: story choice, presentation, info, equity, stability. Not devoid of subtlety for certain, however manageable.
Honesty about their obvious political leanings would be preferable, without question. I doubt it will make all that much difference, however, since they're not fooling anyone except perhaps Baby Boomers who haven't been paying any attention since 1978.

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Monday, May 25, 2020

Deleting Linkedin

I deleted my Linkedin account today. There were no platform problems or anything, it was merely that I'd seen reporters use it to try to get access to people with whom I'm acquainted, and I recently heard from one member of the Legal Legion that he'd caught a lawyer from one former opponent looking at his page.

So, there was some risk inherent in being on there, however low, and absolutely no reward of any kind except occasionally being able to make contact with old friends and colleagues. That was nice and all, but there are plenty of ways to do that without running the risk of colleagues and associates being targeted by reporters and SJWs; the recent brigading of one Webtoons episode serves as a reminder that there is no target too small for the damaged psyches of our enemies to attack.

I have no interest in the corpocracy.

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Google counts, Facebook doesn't

Ron Unz learns the hard way which of the two Internet giants actually matters with regards to site traffic:
I don’t use Facebook or other social networks myself, and noticed little reduction in our daily traffic following that purge, which seemed to underscore our lack of reliance upon social media. But a week later, this abruptly changed, and our regular daily readership dropped by a significant 15-20%, hardly a crippling blow but quite distressing, setting us back many months of previous growth.

This puzzled me. Why would the Facebook ban have had such limited initial impact but then suddenly become so much more serious? Eventually I discovered that a second even more powerful Internet giant had also banned us, which explained the sharp drop. Our entire website and all its many millions of pages of serious content had been silently deranked by Google, thus eliminating nearly all our incoming traffic from search results....

Google still does contains all these pages, and if the additional specifier “unz” is added to the search, the results come up, but for anyone not knowing where to look, our entire website and all its content has completely disappeared. This explained our sudden 15-20% reduction in regular traffic.
I use DuckDuckGo myself, but one of the problems with it and the other alternative search engines is that they still seem to be tied into the Google system in various ways, so they don't take proper advantage of Google's self-hamstringing of their own technology.

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Filled out and authorized

Chuck Dixon's Avalon Episode 8, HAND IT OVER, is now live on Webtoons. I think we can safely expect a second brigading from the SJWs, so remember that the ride never ends.

Also, Brandon Fiadino has entered Chicago Typewriter into the short story competition. The second episode, THE MAGIC SHOP, is also live on Webtoons now.

And in UATV news, the server passed its most serious traffic test with flying colors. Despite more than doubling its previous peak traffic upon news of the release of the Big Bear's documentary of his You're Doing Great, Kid tour on Unauthorized, the server never even blinked momentarily. In fact, if the statistics can be trusted, it should be able to handle nearly 20 times more traffic with ease.

Which will be very important once we start using it to live-stream. Also, if you're just signing up now, please note that you'll need to wait until the weekend to receive your invites. We have to create new invitations for you due to the server being on an entirely different system.

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How debt destroys

Hertz is bankrupt despite owning one of the largest fleets of vehicles in the world:
What one world war, one Great Depression and numerous oil price shocks couldn't do, the coronavirus did in less than three months and late on Friday, auto rental giant Hertz which was founded in 1918 when it set up shop with a dozen Ford Model Ts, quietly filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection struggling under a massive debt load after its business was brought to a grinding halt during the coronavirus pandemic and talks with creditors failed to result in much needed relief.

The company had a total of 568,000 vehicles and 12,400 corporate and franchise locations worldwide at the start of this year.
Last night on the Big Bear's stream, we talked about deflation, and how the debt portion of the money supply is much larger than the cash + bank accounts percentage of it. Printing the latter doesn't help if the former is vanishing at a faster rate.

The Hertz bankruptcy is a good illustration of this. While the corporation still has more than $1 billion in cash, that's only four percent of the total debt it owes. And that's why simply giving it more money to service its debts isn't going to keep it alive for long, as the only thing that will allow it to continue operations is the bankruptcy court agreeing to wipe out a significant percentage of its $24.4 billion in debt.

And that is, as Zerohedge noted, a deflationary bomb, given the size of the company and the price-depressing effects of the liquidation of its vehicular assets. Speaking of those assets, it's interesting to note that Hertz actually listed more assets than debts on its bankruptcy petition, which would seem to indicate that it's not actually bankrupt, but actually suggests that the real total value of its assets are less than recorded.

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