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Friday, February 28, 2020

Not all heroes wear capes

Generation X finally finds its hero: Pillow Man.
A Dallas County Grand Jury on Tuesday indicted Billy Chemirmir, 47, on murder charges in the deaths of Leah Corken, 83, and Juanita Prudy, 82. The two women lived in The Tradition-Prestonwood in Dallas and died suddenly in the summer of 2016. Court documents claim that Chemirmir smothered the women to death with a pillow.

Chemirmir is suspected of being involved with more than 1,000 unexplained deaths in Texas.
And here I always thought The Day of the Pillow was just a metaphor.

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Socialism is the better option

That isn't to say that it is a GOOD option or the best option available. But it is a better option than continuing the post-1965 trajectory of driving the price of labor ever downward in order to keep the usury pumps going:
Every single economic policy change since about 1990 has had two primary effects:

a) lowered real wages through increased labor market participation and/or lowered demand for labor
b) increased the value of fixed assets or investment instruments

In other words, if you were “holding” in 1987, when the oldest Boomers were forty and the youngest were twenty-five, you’re golden now. If you were just starting your career in 1987, you were racing against time. If you’re starting today, the deck has been stacked against you higher than you’ll ever clear. Want to live the middle-class life of 1975? Better hope your IPO nets you ten million bucks. The wealthiest of the Baby Boomers deliberately created a world in which they’d pay less for the things they wanted (employees, labor, televisions) while being paid more for the things they owned (real estate, index funds, 1959 Les Pauls, 1985 Porsche 911s). It was a hell of a trick, wasn’t it?

Eric Chester looks at the hellscape generated by his generation and what he sees is that there aren’t any more paperboys. I look at it and I have serious concerns. I note that support for explicitly socialist government is growing by leaps and bounds. Some of my friends think this is because the Millennials are stupid. “Don’t they know that they won’t be the people who benefit from a communist government?” This is what I think the proto-socialists have figured out:

a) In the event of a Red Revolution in this country, they have a very slim chance of becoming part of the nomenklatura who have power, real estate, and freedom to determine their own lives.
b) If there is no Red Revolution, they have precisely zero chance of ever owning a home, saving for retirement, or starting a traditional family.
This is why the Nationalist Right is inevitable. This is why the globalist world order will fail, either in Nationalist ice or Socialist fire. And the painful economic reality is that either course will be more viable than the status quo. This explains the otherwise inexplicable appeal of Bernie Sanders. As awful as he is, the jewish socialist is legitimately a less horrific candidate than the jewish corpocrat.

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No Southerners allowed

The USMC officially bans Southern heritage:
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger has ordered all Confederate-related paraphernalia to be removed from Marine Corps installations, his spokesman confirmed on Wednesday.

A document showing the commandant’s decision appeared online on Wednesday, though it did not say when all of the Confederate-related paraphernalia needed to be removed by.

Berger’s spokesman confirmed to Task & Purpose that the commandant had sent a directive to his senior staff ordering all installations to get rid of symbols of the Confederate States of America.
The ruling elite are making it entirely clear to all and sundry that the imperialist Yankee nation is not the Southern nation. Young Southern men should probably keep that in mind before they consider joining the military forces of their occupiers.

It's actions like this that remind us 2033 is only 13 years away. It also tends to suggest that REBEL'S RUN is going to be a monster hit.

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Thursday, February 27, 2020

Scientistry is fake science

Even without taking the reproducibility crisis into account, it is becoming readily apparent that "published, peer-reviewed science" is not the ultimate arbiter of the truth. Or even a moderately reliable proxy for it. From a 2019 paper published in Science and Engineering Ethics called "Assessing and Raising Concerns About Duplicate Publication, Authorship Transgressions and Data Errors in a Body of Preclinical Research":
Authorship transgressions, duplicate data reporting and reporting/data errors compromise the integrity of biomedical publications. Using a standardized template, we raised concerns with journals about each of these characteristics in 33 pairs of publications originating from 15 preclinical (animal) trials reported by a group of researchers. The outcomes of interest were journal responses, including time to acknowledgement of concerns, time to decision, content of decision letter, and disposition of publications at 1 year. Authorship transgressions afected 27/36 (75%) publications. The median proportion of duplicate data within pairs of publications was 45% (interquartile range 29–57). Data/reporting discrepancies [median 3 (1–5)] were present in 28/33 (85%) pairs. Journals acknowledged receipt of concerns for 53% and 94% of publications by 1 month and 9 months, respectively.

After 1 year, journals had communicated decisions for 16/36 (44%) publications. None of the decision letters specifically addressed each of the concerns raised. Decisions were no action, correction and retraction for 9, 3 and 4 publications, respectively: the amounts of duplicate data reporting and data/reporting discrepancies were similar irrespective of journal decision. Authorship transgressions affected 6/9 (67%) publications for which no action was decided. Journal responses to concerns about duplicate publication, authorship transgressions, and data/reporting discrepancies were slow, opaque and inconsistent.
Translation: you know that "science is self-correcting" idea? It's completely and utterly false. It's nothing more than propaganda for scientistry.

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The CEOs vanish

It's fascinating to see how many top corporate executives are suddenly deciding to retire for absolutely no reason at all:
Multiple CEOs stepped town today and this week: Disney, MasterCard, L Brands, Salesforce, Uber Eats, HULU, MGM, IBM, LinkedIn, Match.com.
And Jeff Bezos's private jet landed in New Zealand one week ago.
A $102m private jet owned by billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has landed in Wellington tonight. The Gulfstream G650ER jet touched down in the capital tonight, but it remains unclear if the richest man in the world was aboard. 
Curiouser and curiouser....


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When a pandemic isn't a pandemic

It's when the globalists are modifying the meaning of a clearly defined term in order to protect their financial interests:
A little known specialized bond created in 2017 by the World Bank may hold the answer as to why U.S. and global health authorities have declined to label the global spread of the novel coronavirus a “pandemic.” Those bonds, now often referred to as “pandemic bonds,” were ostensibly intended to transfer the risk of potential pandemics in low-income nations to financial markets.

Yet, in light of the growing coronavirus outbreak, the investors who purchased those products could lose millions if global health authorities were to use that label in relation to the surge in global coronavirus cases.

On Tuesday, federal health officials at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that they are preparing for a “potential pandemic” of the novel coronavirus that first appeared in China late last year. The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that an estimated 80,000 worldwide have contracted the disease, most of them in China, while more than 2,700 have died.

However, some have argued that the CDC’s concerns about a likely pandemic have come too late and that action should have been taken much earlier. For instance, in early February, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, had told the New York Times that the novel coronavirus is “very, very transmissible, and it almost certainly is going to be a pandemic,” while former CDC director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden had echoed those concerns at the time, stating that it is “increasingly unlikely that the virus can be contained.”

Despite those warnings, among many others, the CDC waited to announce its concerns that the virus could spread throughout the United States. Their Tuesday announcement riled markets, wiping out $1.7 trillion in stock market value in just two days. The CDC’s warning has reportedly angered President Trump, who accused the agency of needlessly spooking financial markets.

Notably, WHO officials have taken an even more cautious approach than the CDC in their recent comments, stating that it is still “too early” to declare the coronavirus outbreak a “pandemic” while also asserting that “it is time to do everything you would do in preparing for a pandemic.”

The refusal to label the outbreak a pandemic is odd, since it refers to an epidemic or actively spreading disease that affects two or more regions worldwide. This currently describes the geographical spread of the highly contagious novel coronavirus, which has now resulted in significant clusters of cases far from China, namely in Italy and Iran. Countries closer to China, like South Korea, have also recently experienced an explosion in novel coronavirus infections.
Given that the disease is actively spreading in at least FOUR different regions, the term "pandemic" is obviously the correct one. It doesn't appear to be a particularly lethal pandemic, fortunately, but the term is entirely appropriate at this juncture.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Another reason to ignore PragerU

Neither Dennis Prager nor his "U" understand U.S. law:
YouTube may have more than a billion users, but it's not a public forum run by the government and therefore its decision to moderate content isn't a violation of the First Amendment, an appellate court has ruled.

Radio talk show host Dennis Prager sued Google in 2017, claiming that his conservative PragerU videos weren't getting the same treatment as liberal ones, like Real Time with Bill Maher clips, in violation of the First Amendment. A California federal judge dismissed the complaint in March 2018 on the grounds that YouTube isn't a public forum run by a state actor and can regulate videos uploaded to the site as it sees fit.

On Wednesday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that decision and rejected PragerU's contention that the site has become a digital-era public forum and its power to moderate content is a threat to fair dissemination of conservative viewpoints on public issues.

"Using private property as a forum for public discourse is nothing new," writes Circuit Judge M. Margaret McKeown. "Long before the internet, people posted announcements on neighborhood bulletin boards, debated weighty issues in coffee houses, and shouted each other down in community theaters."

While those methods seem "quaint" compared to the 400 hours of video uploaded to YouTube each day, the underlying issues don't change.

"Despite YouTube’s ubiquity and its role as a public-facing platform, it remains a private forum, not a public forum subject to judicial scrutiny under the First Amendment," writes McKeown, adding that both the First Amendment and Supreme Court precedent present "insurmountable barriers" to PragerU's argument.

"Just last year, the Court held that 'merely hosting speech by others is not a traditional, exclusive public function and does not alone transform private entities into state actors subject to First Amendment constraints,'" writes McKeown. "The internet does not alter this state action requirement of the First Amendment."
The fact that there are many sound legal challenges to the tech giants doesn't mean that it is a good idea to rely upon ridiculous First Amendment-based challenges to them. Indeed, these arguments are so obviously retarded that they almost appear designed to fail in order to demoralize anyone tempted to stand against the corpocracy.

And it's not a surprise that an inversive like Prager would rely upon attempting to subvert the definition of "public forum" in order to make his failed case.

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Go for it, god-emperor!

I will be having a News Conference at the White House, on this subject, today at 6:00 P.M. CDC representatives, and others, will be there. Thank you!
- Donald J. Trump

I don't think the god-emperor will be declaring martial law just yet. But we can hope!

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The conspiracy theorists are right again

As usual, the Official Story is admitted to be false, and promptly forgotten:
We found it fascinating that none other than China's nationalist propaganda mouthpiece, the Global Times, published a report overnight which dramatically changes the narrative, namely that a "New Chinese study indicates novel coronavirus did not originate in Huanan seafood market."

According to the brand new study by Chinese researchers published on Feb 21,  the novel coronavirus may have begun human-to-human transmission in late November from a place other than the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan. Of course, we already knew that, but what is critical is that until now, Beijing was adamant in sticking to the official narrative that it was the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan where the disease emerged, despite not providing any information on what animal was the vector, or who was patient zero.

However, now that this narrative has been officially questioned and challenged in a media outlet of the communist party, it is safe to say that the theory of the Huanan food market being the source of the pandemic, is officially dead.
I haven't really been paying attention, but is the Wuhan Institute Of Virology now the official source of the outbreak or is everyone just assuming that it will eventually be accepted as the official source? The most important thing to remember about conspiracy theorists is that they are a) almost always correct about what they believe did NOT happen and b) almost always incorrect about what they believe actually happened instead.

Besides, we already know the real culprit.

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SocialGalactic invites round 2

All the 6k+ invitations to SocialGalactic that were not either accepted or rejected are being sent out again today and tomorrow. If you still haven't received one by the end of day tomorrow, please do not let us know or complain about this, as we are not responsible for managing your inbox or teaching you about the existence of your Spam, Junk, Social, and Promotions folders, just to name four places that people "who were not sent invites" have belatedly discovered their invitations. If you're searching your inbox for the invite, look for "sg@".

Please note that after tomorrow, sending me an email about how you haven't received an invitation to SG2 will only result in your email going onto my black list and rendering it impossible for you to email me in the future.

Do not confuse customer support with education.

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They should totally run the country

The US electorate just got a good look at what the Democrats have to offer them:
Democratic presidential candidates got into a series of angry and personal exchanges at Tuesday night's debate in Charleston – with Bernie Sanders attacking Mike Bloomberg for being a billionaire, Bloomberg labeling Sanders as Vladimir Putin's favorite and a trio of candidates blasting Bloomberg for his 'racist' stop-and-frisk policy.

It was the kind of full-on circular firing squad that commentators had warned might be coming in South Carolina, with Joe Biden's 'firewall' claims on the line and Sanders having the potential to pad his delegate lead in the rush to Super Tuesday.

The debate featured chaotic exchanges where multiple candidates sought to talk over each other, with CBS moderators Norah O'Donnell and Gayle King losing all control of the discussion about 40 minutes into the debate, either failing to referee or being completely ignored by the over-eager candidates.

Candidates flouted 75-second response times, cut each other off, and yelled out retorts out of turn. 'Not true,' interjected Sanders when Amy Klobuchar questioned how he'll pay for his programs. 'Can I say something?' pleaded hedge funder Tom Steyer later in the heated exchange. 'Let me go,' he demanded.

'Excuse me, can I respond to the attack?' Sanders inquired when Pete Buttigieg went after him. 'Listen to the moderator, guys,' Sanders schooled the group. 'Hello?' chimed in Biden.

Then the former vice president complained when he finally got called on. 'Whoa. Whoa. Whoa,' he said. 'I guess the only way you do this is jump in and speak twice as long as you should.' Later, he boiled over and announced he would defy the unenforced rules. 'I'm not out of time. You spoke over time and I'm going to talk,' Biden said.
The problem, of course, is that MPAI, and the US electorate has never been less intelligent or more short-term time-preferenced in its history. And the first fake poll is out, which is obviously meaningless because it leaves out Bloomberg and has Steyer at 15 percent. The only thing significant about it is that it confirms that the media prefers Biden to Sanders.

  • 27% Creepy Joe
  • 23% The Socialist Jew
  • 15% The Other Rich Guy
  • 09% Little Gay Pete
  • 08% Fauxahauntas
  • 05% The Jewess (soccer mom edition)

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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

No worries, it was destined to be

The following exchange with my old friend Jamsco amused me. Mostly because I was pretty sure we'd been over this before. Keep in mind we've known each other since we were children and he is one of the two early Selenoth readers, so we are pretty straightforward with each other.
VD: It's always easy to detect the inversionists. They cannot tell the truth because, knowingly or not, they serve the Father of Lies. Piper's words directly belie the words of Jesus Christ himself. That tells you everything you need to know about the man and his teachings.

JS: I suspect, Vox, that if you actually read Piper's devotional you'd (1) agree with 85% of it, and (2) see that the above description is whole inaccurate and deceptive.

VD: Every single thing of Piper's I've read to date has not only been materially wrong, but egregiously so to the point of being insulting to the intelligence. I still haven't forgotten how tornadoes are the murderous fingers of the Jesus Christ as he slays the innocent and the wicked alike as per God's perfect plan.

JS: I see you haven't forgotten it, nor did you learn it from him. He said nothing of the sort. Read it again. Confirmation bias is real.

VD: You claimed that Piper "said nothing of the sort", Jamsco. That may or may not be true. But he certainly WROTE it.

"Why would God reach down his hand and drag his fierce fingers across rural America, killing at least 38 people with 90 tornadoes in 12 states, and leaving some small towns with scarcely a building standing, including churches?

"God alone has the last say in where and how the wind blows. If a tornado twists at 175 miles an hour and stays on the ground like a massive lawnmower for 50 miles, God gave the command.

"Jesus rules the wind. The tornadoes were his.

"But before Jesus took any life in rural America, he gave his own on the rugged cross."

JS: I didn't know he'd written this. Obviously I agree with what he says here (and I think it's biblical), but you're correct - he wrote it.
Just to be fair to Jamsco, I will point out that the fact that I previously posted on the subject doesn't mean that he read that post. Also, I have not read the referenced devotional, and so it is possible that the description to which I reacted is inaccurate and deceptive. I tend to doubt it on the basis of every previous reading of his writings, but I admit that it is possible.

And no, I'm not going to bother to check, because I was neither created nor destined to take the man seriously. I am content to leave it up to you, gentle readers, to adjudicate the truth of the matter.

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Thank you, Corona-chan!

Dear President Trump,

The Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared on January 30, 2020 that the Coronavirus outbreak meets the criteria for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. As this is a global health emergency, it is undeniable that the national security interest of the American people leaves you no choice but to declare martial law in the United States.

Please do so at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,
The concerned citizens of the United States of America

PS: If martial law helps you Drain the Swamp, Build the Wall, and restore the 1965 demographic balance of the population while you're at it, so be it.

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The corruption of the Church

Dostoevsky understood that when the Church becomes the State, it ceases to be the Church, as he described in The Brothers Karamazov:
In many cases there are no churches there at all, for though ecclesiastics and splendid church buildings remain, the churches themselves have long ago striven to pass from Church into State and to disappear in it completely. So it seems at least in Lutheran countries. As for Rome, it was proclaimed a State instead of a Church a thousand years ago.
The State Churches of Great Britain, Norway, and Sweden bear testimony to this perspective. Temporal power has always been the great temptation of the Christian, as it was of Jesus Christ himself.

The devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.  “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” 

Of course, Dostoevsky very well understood that others accepted the offer that Jesus Christ rejected.
All that I can say is known to Thee already. And is it for me to conceal from Thee our mystery? Perhaps it is Thy will to hear it from my lips. Listen, then. We are not working with Thee, but with him--that is our mystery. It's long--eight centuries--since we have been on his side and not on Thine. Just eight centuries ago, we took from him what Thou didst reject with scorn, that last gift he offered Thee, showing Thee all the kingdoms of the earth. We took from him Rome and the sword of Cæsar, and proclaimed ourselves sole rulers of the earth, though hitherto we have not been able to complete our work. But whose fault is that? Oh, the work is only beginning, but it has begun. It has long to await completion and the earth has yet much to suffer, but we shall triumph and shall be Cæsars, and then we shall plan the universal happiness of man.
Beware those who preach the unity of Man and the healing of the world. Those who do have taken the Grand Ticket.

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Monday, February 24, 2020

Mailvox: a suggested devotional

Our suggested devotional for Lent is by John Piper. What an absolute trainwreck. He starts by making sure that everyone knows that Jesus death was through Divine determination before creation and who killed him is irrelevant as he chose to die. But then turns around and scolds Christians for the Holocaust and the Crusades.

If it's all decreed without human choice being involved then all of it, including the aforementioned, was just as decreed as every other atom. 

What a joke. 

It's always easy to detect the inversionists. They cannot tell the truth because, knowingly or not, they serve the Father of Lies. Piper's words directly belie the words of Jesus Christ himself. That tells you everything you need to know about the man and his teachings.

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A reckoning is here

I don't think the tech startup observers fully understand just how deflating the next stage is going to be:
Now the layoffs have started coming in droves. Last month, robot pizza startup Zume and car-sharing company Getaround slashed more than 500 jobs. Then DNA testing company 23andMe, logistics startup Flexport, Firefox maker Mozilla and question-and-answer website Quora did their own cuts.

“It feels like a reckoning is here,” said Josh Wolfe, a venture capitalist at Lux Capital in New York.

It’s a humbling shift for an industry that long saw itself as an engine of job creation and innovation, producing ride-hailing giant Uber, hospitality company Airbnb and other now well-known brands that often disrupted entrenched industries.

Their rise was propelled by a wave of investor money — about $763 billion washed into startups in the United States over the past decade — that also fueled the growth of young companies in delivery, cannabis, real estate and direct-to-consumer goods. Unlike low-cost software startups, these private companies frequently took on old-line competitors by spending heavily on physical assets and workers while losing money.

Now a pullback is unfolding in precisely the areas that drew the most hype.

Around the world, more than 30 startups have slashed more than 8,000 jobs over the past four months, according to a tally by The New York Times. Investments in young companies have fallen, with 2,215 startups raising money in the United States in the last three months of 2019, the fewest since late 2016, according to the National Venture Capital Association and PitchBook, which track startups.

And those are not the only signs of change. Casper Sleep, which billed itself as the “Nike of sleep” by selling mattresses online, flopped when it went public this month. Once-hot companies like Lime, the electric scooter provider, have pulled out of some cities. Others, like e-commerce startup Brandless, game app HQ Trivia and electronics maker Essential Products, are on the verge of shutting down.

There are now “frantic mini-moments of panic, as one thing after another happens,” said Roy Bahat, an investor at Bloomberg’s venture arm in San Francisco. “At some point, one rock after another will fall away from the cliff and we’ll realize we’re not standing on anything in many, many companies.”
Let's just say at least one of  "the next billion dollar startups" won't be....

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Weinstein guilty

Now we'll have to see what sort of wrist slap the judge attempts to give the evil creature instead of the 29-year maximum sentence possible. But these guilty verdicts should open the door to more Hollywood trials, so that's a good thing.
Harvey Weinstein has been found guilty of third degree rape and a criminal sexual act in his high profile New York trial.

The disgraced Hollywood producer was convicted by a jury of sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and raping aspiring actress Jessica Mann in 2013.

He was found not guilty of the two most serious counts of predatory sexual assault and also first degree rape in relation to Mann.
And one needn't feel sorry for the quasi-hookers who are obviously more than willing to trade access to their bodies for roles to understand that it is necessary to shut down the Hollywood sin factory.
Hollywood finds itself on trial as well. The New York case exposed systemic harassment within parts of the industry — so much so that some people declined to be named in this piece, or even speak to me about the topic, for fear of retribution. Some who I reached out to implied that they had stories of ongoing harassment, but could not go any further than that and were unwilling to go on the record.
It is good when the wicked live in fear of judgment.

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Negative coattails

Senate and Congressional Democrats are not eager to feel the Bern:
Former astronaut Mark Kelly, the Democratic Party’s hope for flipping a U.S. Senate seat in Arizona, tried to do no harm this month when he was asked about Sen. Bernie Sanders. “I will ultimately support who the nominee is of the Democratic Party,” he said.

That was enough for Kelly’s Republican rival, Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., who is trailing him in early polls, to go on the attack. The television spot she debuted days later spent nearly as much time talking about plans by the democratic socialist from Vermont to raise taxes and award new benefits to undocumented immigrants as it did about Kelly.

As Sanders, a political independent, builds what could eventually be an insurmountable delegate lead, many Democratic House and Senate candidates are approaching a dramatic shift in their campaigns, as they recalibrate to include praise of capitalism and distance themselves from the national party. Top campaign strategists from both major parties view Sanders’ success as a potentially tectonic event, which could narrow the party’s already slim hopes of retaking the Senate majority and fuel GOP dreams of reclaiming the House, which it lost amid a Democratic romp in 2018.
The Trumpslide is going to be epic!

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Sunday, February 23, 2020

Prepping for Corona-chan

Now that it is apparent that containment efforts, to the extent they were even made, have failed, it is perhaps worthwhile pointing out what the experts believe can improve your chances of making it through the next few months without excessive excitement:
  • Try to get ahead on medical prescriptions when you can, in case of very predictable supply chain disruptions, and so you won’t have to go out to the pharmacy at a time when there may be long lines of sick people. 
  • Start to stock up on enough non-perishable food to last your household through several weeks of social distancing at home during an intense wave of transmission in the community.
  • Take your kids out of school and activities. There is no need to freak anyone out; what kid doesn't enjoy a snow day? Handle it right and they'll be happily saying "thank you, Corona-chan!"
  • Cancel all unnecessary social engagements. As one friend said, it's a good time to spend the evenings kicking back and having margaritas with your wife.
  • Get permission to work from home. Most businesses will embrace this and those who are most proactive about it will get permission first.
Let's face it. This is an awesome opportunity to get a lot done without the usual distractions.

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Violence is NEVER the answer

Unless you are a Wardog. Then violence is the first, only, and final answer. Join the Replatforming and get a) an ebook, b) an ebook and an audiobook, or c) an ebook, and audiobook and a paperback every single month.

And if you are a Replatformer, don't forget to use your coupons and download your books before the end of the month.

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Schools closed in Northern Italy

Sospesi manifestazioni ed eventi. Scuole e musei e cinema chiusi

La Regione Lombardia sta predisponendo un'ordinanza, firmata dal presidente Attilio Fontana di concerto con il ministro della salute Roberto Speranza, valida per tutto il territorio lombardo. Il documento, non appena emanato, sarà trasmesso a tutti i prefetti delle Province lombarde per la tempestiva comunicazione ai sindaci. L'ordinanza sarà efficace fino a un nuovo provvedimento. Tra i provvedimenti previsti sono contemplati: la sospensione di manifestazioni o iniziative di qualsiasi natura, di eventi e di ogni forma di riunione in luogo pubblico o privato, anche di carattere culturale, ludico, sportivo e religioso, anche se svolti in luoghi chiusi aperti al pubblico; sospensione dei servizi educativi dell'infanzia e delle scuole di ogni ordine e grado, nonché della frequenza delle attività scolastiche e di formazione superiore, corsi professionali, master, corsi per le professioni sanitarie e università per gli anziani ad esclusione degli specializzandi e tirocinanti delle professioni sanitarie, salvo le attività formative svolte a distanza; sospensione dei servizi di apertura al pubblico dei musei e degli altri istituti e luoghi della cultura.

To put this into perspective, these actions by the presidents of Lombardy, Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, and the Veneto are the equivalent of about 15 US states shutting down their schools, universities, and all public and private events. Contrary to what some people seem to imagine, this isn't bad news and it doesn't mean that things are worse in Italy than elsewhere, but rather, demonstrates the willingness of the Italian regional governments to put the interests of the Italian people ahead of the global economy.

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Saturday, February 22, 2020

Leaving Las Vegas a winner

Bernie Sanders wins another state:
Bernie Sanders has won the the Nevada Democratic caucuses, NBC News projects.

Sanders, coming off a strong showing in the Iowa caucuses and a narrow victory in the New Hampshire primary, rode a wave of support from young voters, liberal voters and Latinos to a runaway first-place finish in Saturday's contest — strengthening his status as the front-runner. It remains too early to call second and third-place finishers.

With 4.2 percent of precincts in the state reporting, Sanders had 44.7 percent of the vote. Former Vice President Joe had 19.5 percent, while former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg had 15.6 percent and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., had 11.8 percent. Mike Bloomberg, who is surging in national polls but turned in a rocky debate performance in Las Vegas this week, is skipping the first four states and wasn't on the ballot here.

The results that have come in so far allowed Sanders to take the lead in the overall pledged delegate count.
This means that Bloomberg's money is now the only obstacle standing between Sanders and the Democratic nomination. The results:
  • 47% Bernie Sanders
  • 19% Joe Biden
  • 15% Pete Buttigieg
  • 10% Elizabeth Warren
  • 05% Amy Klobuchar
  • 04% Tom Steyer

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Mailvox: no market for a game channel

An industry veteran explains why it doesn't make sense for us to create a game review site and channel:

Hey Vox - There is a hole in the community, but it's not a hole in the market. Because there's no market for games journalism.

Games journalism traditionally offered three things:
  1. New information about games that ordinary people couldn't get
  2. Credible reviews of games that could guide purchase
  3. In-depth features, interviews, and editorial
#1 collapsed for AAA games because the game companies now all employ large community management teams to communicate directly with their fans. They don't need or want game journalists as gatekeepers. #2 collapsed for AAA games, too. The rise of review aggregator sites meant that gamers just visited the review aggregator rather than any particular reviewer. The pressure on game journalists to have access and ads made reviews less credible, teaching people to ignore journalist reviews and just look at user reviews. And the rise of Let's Plays on Twitch made reviews irrelevant because you don't need to read about how a game plays, you can watch it be played in real time with live commentary.

The result of these trends was that game journalists who wanted to do #1 and #2 had to turn to indie games. That's how you get Zoe Quinn's Depression Quest being something worth talking about. But nobody really cares about indie games outside of that small niche. If they did care, they wouldn't be indy. So the journalists all ended up cramming into category #3 and focusing on features, interviews, and editorial.

But here they ran into a problem, too. If you try to do Rolling Stone type content, you discover that game publishers simply don't let their game developers be rockstar/celebrity/talent the way other creative industry does. You're simply never going to get to talk to a game designer and get real truths anymore. And if you do manage to talk to them, it turns out gamers don't really care anyway, because it's a participatory medium and they'd rather be playing. The only thing that gets traffic is outrage, so you trigger outrage. But if you trigger outrage about anything meaningful, you lose your ad dollars and what little access you have left. So it becomes all faux outrage all the time. Meanwhile, fewer and fewer readers and more and more people just watching YouTube and Twitch. 

Meanwhile, even if you say "yes, we'll ignore all that and focus on great personalities who don't worry about ads and make money from subscriptions", then you run into problem #4. Gamers don't want to spend money on content. They get outraged if a mobile game costs more than $2.99. They are furious about having to pay $60 for a game that gives them 60 hours of joy. They angrily rant about DLC. And even so, such money as they have, they do spend it all on games. They don't spend it on subscriptions. And to the extent they do, it's clustered into a tiny number of top streamers like Pewdie Pie. Then it becomes a dry well. To put it into perspective, a gaming site doing 60 million page views per month, with multiple million-view streams per week, earning $1M in ad sales, might earn perhaps 1% of its revenue from subscriptions. .

Jeremy Hambly of The Quartering has been trying to make it work, with a new site; as has One Angry Gamer and a bunch of others. No one is having any major financial success. There's a community, there's just no market.

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OK Boomer

A Boomer booms defensively:
It's always hilarious to read a Gen-Xer's attempt to blame things on Boomers, instead of where it belongs: in Obama's generation, GenX. Projection is ugly to look at, but it's alive and well in the GenX Boomer Bashers. 
Barack Obama was born in 1961. The Baby Boomer generation ended in 1964. In addition to their vast panoply of other generational flaws, Boomers are observably stupid.






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A hard no

I'm with JJ Watts on the new NFL proposal to the NFLPA:
The new proposal includes expanding the NFL's regular-season schedule to 17 games, which wouldn't go into effect until 2021 at the earliest. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported earlier this week that the proposal would also boost the sport's postseason from six teams per conference to seven.
The NFL has been remarkably stupid under Roger Goodell. But this takes the cake, especially in light of the appearance of a new potential competitor. Watering down the regular season AND the postseason defies belief.

All sports leagues make changes in the hopes of increasing revenue. But as NASCAR has demonstrated over the last decade, it's very far from impossible for these changes to result in steeply declining revenues.

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