Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Fake News about the Tiger crash

Remember, the mainstream Narrative is always, Always, ALWAYS false:

Narrative 1: Dangerous stretch of roadway, lots of curves, lots of crashes.  FALSE

The first piece of physical evidence, consistent with a “loss of control” of the Hyundai is found on the center median strip separating the northbound lanes of Hawthorne from the southbound lanes.  Taking this as the first point where we can say that the collision sequence had begun, the approach to this location is more or less a straight shot for just under 900 feet.  The tip of the median is at the start of a long, gradual bend in the roadway to the right – though this bend has a critical speed in excess of 130 miles per hour (the maximum speed at which vehicles could, if they so desired, negotiate the turn without leaving yaw marks) and accordingly is not of the nature which would cause an operator to lose control of their vehicle. 

It should be mentioned that Hawthorne Boulevard northbound, in this immediate area, is on a downgrade which approaches 10%.  This downgrade, while steep, can still be safely and easily navigated consistent with data from the California Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) – a Statewide database maintained by UC Berkeley – which shows that there were no other collisions for the 11 years prior to this one which occurred within approximately 0.5 miles of this location. 

I have no idea why they would lie about the crash or the danger of the roadway, nor do I particularly care how Tiger Woods elects to screw up his life again. I just wanted to point out that even with regards to something as seemingly unimportant and easy to verify as whether a stretch of road is dangerous or not is concerned, the mainstream Narrative is false.

Imagine what sort of lies they are telling you about the genuinely important stuff.

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Solving the F35 problem

Will no longer be answered by the F35:

The U.S. Air Force’s top officer wants the service to develop an affordable, lightweight fighter to replace hundreds of Cold War-vintage F-16s and complement a small fleet of sophisticated—but costly and unreliable—stealth fighters.

The result would be a high-low mix of expensive “fifth-generation” F-22s and F-35s and inexpensive “fifth-generation-minus” jets, explained Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Brown Jr.

If that plan sounds familiar, it’s because the Air Force a generation ago launched development of an affordable, lightweight fighter to replace hundreds of Cold War-vintage F-16s and complement a small future fleet of sophisticated—but costly and unreliable—stealth fighters.

But over 20 years of R&D, that lightweight replacement fighter got heavier and more expensive as the Air Force and lead contractor Lockheed Martin packed it with more and more new technology.

Yes, we’re talking about the F-35. The 25-ton stealth warplane has become the very problem it was supposed to solve. And now America needs a new fighter to solve that F-35 problem, officials said.

Yes, Virginia, the USA is most certainly losing this unrestricted and undeclared war. To be honest, they'd be much better off simply switching to a drone-based air doctrine.

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Armed and unprepared

 I don't agree at all with this American Greatness article. The recent election demonstrated, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that democracy is dead and there is no political exit. It strikes me as yet another conservative finger-wagging "this is your LAST chance to vote your way to safety". But the voting machines have been compromised, ergo no one's votes matter in the slightest. There is no more Democrat vs Republican, there is only optimate vs populare.

Many traditional Americans are sleepwalking into a conflict they are not mentally prepared to handle. The ideals of blind justice and due process are now, for all intents and purposes, quaint relics, and relying on constitutional rights for protection is dangerously naïve. 

Like it or not, we live in a police state, controlled by an increasingly authoritarian regime with near-total electronic surveillance. The national security apparatus views conservatives and free-thinkers as domestic terrorists, and there are now more military deployed in our nation’s capital than in war zones overseas. If America were any other country, it would be considered a non-permissive environment—not a free country.

The pundit class recommends midterm elections and unifying the GOP as remedies, but they ignore the real elephant in the room—representative government is not representing us. While conservative and independent voices are censored and banned from the community square, their elected representatives cower behind their desks and make sweetheart deals with the new regime. 

We are facing a new post-justice, post-truth society. We won’t be able to debate our way out of it, vote our way out of it, or tweet our way out of it. No one is coming to save us. If traditional America wants to be free, it will have to stop living in the past, get up off the couch, and take action.

The good news is that there is nothing particularly difficult about the present situation. The only difference between the two parties described in the article and the two parties of Roman history is that in the USA, the optimates are mostly foreigners. Indeed, it is the situation in which the overwhelming majority of humanity found itself for the greater part of human history. The populares defeated the optimates in Rome, and they will defeat them again in America.

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The antifragile threat

It's always a good idea to keep up on the latest ideas being produced by the system strategists, especially since some of them are likely to be applied to us in due course.

Any useful categorization of adversaries cuts to the essence of strategy, to the utility of violent interaction. Strategy is about the purposeful use made of violent engagements with the adversary. The purpose of strategy is to decrease the adversary’s military capabilities or his will to fight. Strategic performance, in its consequences, determines whether the purpose is achieved. Therefore, the effects produced by strategic performance are what matters the most in strategy. These effects may vary in three directions. They can decrease the adversary’s capability/will to fight, leave these variables unchanged or increase them. A proper categorization of adversaries helps the strategist orient himself in the logic of these three scenarios.

The main goal here is to develop a new typology of adversaries and to zoom in on those who get stronger when engaged in strategic performance. The paper draws upon the concept of antifragility, popularized by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his book Anti-fragile: The Things That Gain from Disorder. I argue that depending on their reaction to strategic performance, adversaries can be put on a spectrum from fragile to resilient, to antifragile ones. To keep the scope of the investigation reasonably limited, the paper focuses on the effects of strategic performance on the adversary’s military capabilities rather on his will to fight. The first category describes the adversaries whose military capabilities shrink as a consequence of engaging in strategic performance. The second category is reserved for those adversaries who are able to replenish their military capabilities to the original position after engaging in strategic performance. The last category describes those adversaries whose military capabilities increase as a consequence of taking part in strategic performance. These are, of course, ideal types and their manifestations in strategic practice are less clear-cut.

Antifragile adversaries pose a particular, but not unsolvable, challenge. The challenge resides in the fact that attrition, the most common effect in strategic practice, strengthens these adversaries instead of weakening them. Nonetheless, there are four distinct ways to defeat antifragile adversaries. These include rapid sequential strategies, strategies of decisive battle, cumulative strategies of underwhelming attacks, and the deliberate uses of peace. The secondary argument of this paper is that antifragility in the context of strategy is as much a function of the adversary’s capacity to adapt as of strategist’s own conduct of strategy. Strategist is responsible for the character of the adversary, he shapes it by his own choices and performance. Antifragility is therefore not an inherent nor a stable characteristic but rather a quality which the adversary acquires temporarily and in an interactive relationship.

The things that gain from disorder

Taleb coined the term antifragile in order to describe phenomena that are at the opposite spectrum of the fragile ones. When facing challenges, fragile objects get damaged or collapse completely. A typical example is anything made of regular glass. When thrown against the wall it breaks and is of no use for anyone. Then there are resilient objects, which can sustain challenges with no permanent damage taken. An inflatable ball thrown against the wall may slightly change its shape for a second only to return to the original form in the next moment, with no impact on its utility for the future.

Antifragile objects benefit from facing challenges. Bones have to be challenged regularly in order to get stronger and muscles only grow when repeatedly damaged. In fact, both bones and muscles get weak if unchallenged for longer periods of time. Two key requirements need to be present for the manifestation of the anti-fragile potential. First, the challenges have to be proportionate to the capacities of the object. Jumping from places that are too high may be an overwhelming challenge for bones and lifting stuff that is too heavy may irreversibly damage muscles. At the same time, challenges far below the capacity of the object may result in having no effect at all. A professional bodybuilder lifting weights of one kilogram every-day does not benefit from this exercise. Second, enough time has to pass between individual challenges to grant the object the space for improvement.[v] With no time to grow stronger, both bones and muscles deteriorate under constant pressure. Antifragility is therefore as much a function of the inherent predispositions of the object as it is of the character of the challenges the object faces.

The third ideal type is the antifragile adversary. For this one, strategic performance serves as a stimulus for the growth in his military capabilities. This happens when the adversary with antifragile predispositions faces regular challenges appropriate to his current capabilities. Of course, what is “regular” and “appropriate” is context dependent. Antifragile adversaries are less common in strategic history. This is so because they manifest themselves only in instances when their predispositions match with the favourable character of the strategist’s attacks. One historical example that comes close to the ideal type were the Thebans in their wars against the Spartans (395-362 B.C.). The two polities fought each other regularly during the first half of the fourth century. The continual engagement in strategic performance made Theban forces stronger from one major battle to another. Though first suffering a defeat at Nemea (394 B.C.), Thebans fought Spartans to a standstill at Coronea (394 B.C.), routed them at Tegyra (375 B.C.), and slaughtered them at Leuctra (371 B.C.) and Mantinea (362 B.C.).[vi] Over the course of the wars, Thebans enjoyed gradually increasing morale, explored innovative echelon tactics and developed new kinds of military units. Therefore, by their own efforts as well by the repeated violent interaction with the Spartans, the Thebans fulfilled their anti-fragile potential. Seeing this development in practice, one Spartan sarcastically congratulated his own king that by the repeated attacks against Thebes, he had taught his adversary how to fight. Antifragile adversaries are not an artefact of a distant past. In fact, as David Betz and Hugo Stanford-Tuck argue in their recent piece, even the contemporary West has often pursued a way of war “which through one’s own efforts leaves the enemy stronger at the end than at the beginning.” Antifragile adversaries are universal and so is the unique challenge they pose.

The main challenge in facing antifragile adversaries is that what does not kill them makes them stronger. This is a bit of exaggeration, but in general it does apply. To start with, most strategies seeking to attrite that adversary do not work. Worse, these strategies work for the antifragile adversaries. Actively seeking out the antifragile adversary and trying to attrite his military capabilities by frequent engagements is a reliable receipt for making him stronger. This may not seem like a big deal when the other strategies are available. The problem is, most of the other strategies eventually turn into some sort of attrition contest as well. Strategists too often envision quick and decisive wars of annihilation and get prolonged wars of attrition instead. Others, who start out with terrorist attacks and guerrilla raids, turn to attrition once they develop sufficient military capabilities to have a reasonable chance of success. Not all the strategic options lead to attrition but too many of them do. It follows that most options for dealing with the antifragile adversaries convey high risks of failure. 

The battle of the 72 Bears with Patreon is a classic example of an antifragile adversary vs a resilient adversary. The Bears have antifragility on their side; the LLOE is getting stronger as more lawyers take up the cause and they become better versed in the arbitratry vagaries of arbitration and the California court system. As Sparta did with Thebes, Patreon's lawyers are literally teaching the LLOE how to defeat them. Patreon, on the other hand, has significant, but finite resources that are being continuously drained at an increasing rate. The eventual outcome is obvious to any strategic observer, since the Bears haven't even needed to tap into the massive human resources that are available to them while Patreon is conservatively estimated to have already spent more than one-half of its annual revenue on the dispute.

Physicists know the harsh truth: math always wins in the end.

But it is interesting to note that antifragility has become a serious concern to the system strategists. I'll analyse the proposed strategy for defeating antifragility in a future post.

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Antifa is international terror

And yet, somehow the politicians everywhere from Seattle to Schorndorf, Germany don't hold them accountable for any crime.

Alternative for Germany (AfD) candidate Stephan Schwarz was hospitalised after a brutal attack by Antifa militants in the town of Schorndorf over the weekend while campaigning for this year’s regional election.

Schwarz, along with several other AfD activists, manned an information booth in the centre of the town on Saturday when they were approached by a group of around 15 to 20 people carrying hard-left Antifa flags and banners, the city prosecutor said.

The extremists dragged 36-year-old Stephan Schwarz to the ground and beat him while he was down. As he attempted to call the police, one of the attackers stole his phone, newspaper Rems Zeitung reports. After the police arrived on the scene, Schwarz was taken to a local hospital where he was diagnosed with a concussion. The AfD information booth was also destroyed in the attack.

Then one day, for no reason at all, people all around the world began hunting down Antifa.


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

The convergence of Tolkien

Christopher Tolkien, the longtime guardian of his father's literary works, is dead, alas:

We are now calling for papers for the Tolkien Society Summer Seminar, which will be held online on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th July 2021. The theme is Tolkien and Diversity.

Call for Papers

The Tolkien Society Seminar is a short academic conference of both researcher-led and non-academic presentations on a specific theme pertaining to Tolkien scholarship. The online setting of the 2020 seminar saw an increased interest with over 400 attendees from 37 countries. We are delighted to be running another online seminar that will be free for all.

While interest in the topic of diversity has steadily grown within Tolkien research, it is now receiving more critical attention than ever before. Spurred by recent interpretations of Tolkien’s creations and the cast list of the upcoming Amazon show The Lord of the Rings, it is crucial we discuss the theme of diversity in relation to Tolkien. How do adaptations of Tolkien’s works (from film and art to music) open a discourse on diversity within Tolkien’s works and his place within modern society? Beyond his secondary-world, diversity further encompasses Tolkien’s readership and how his texts exist within the primary world. Who is reading Tolkien? How is he understood around the globe? How may these new readings enrich current perspectives on Tolkien?

Representation is now more important than ever and Tolkien’s efforts to represent (or ignore) particular characteristics requires further examination. Additionally, how a character’s identity shapes and influences its place within Tolkien’s secondary-world still requires greater attention. This seminar aims to explore the many possible applications of “diversity” within Tolkien’s works, his adaptations, and his readership.

Papers may consider, but are not limited to:

  • Representation in Tolkien’s works (race, gender, sexuality, disability, class, religion, age etc.)
  • Tolkien’s approach to colonialism and post-colonialism
  • Adaptations of Tolkien’s works
  • Diversity and representation in Tolkien academia and readership
  • Identity within Tolkien’s works
  • Alterity in Tolkien’s works

Meanwhile, Amazon is methodically going about destroying the popular image of The Lord of the Rings:

“This is going to be very different from The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, which are on the road stories. Stories of companionship, stories that take place on journey, but this one is going to be set up like Game of Thrones. We are going to be following different characters in different locations who are going to converge on each other in the end.”

Buechler continues, “They aren’t going to have any Hobbits. There aren’t going to be any wizards. They are going to have, like they said, new characters and new lands. And that is where the big problem is. This is a giant blank canvas. This takes place over thousands of years and that giant blank canvas is going to be filled in with a couple of young, inexperienced showrunners. Does that sound a little bit familiar to you?”

“And those untested showrunners, who have admittedly an experienced writers room with writers from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, are going to have to fill a lot of time with drama and relationship stuff. Modern relationship stuff. And let’s not even get into the dialogue, which you won’t be able to adapt because there really isn’t any like there is in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.” Buechler states.

He then makes comparisons to Game of Thrones, “As you all know things were going great for Game of Thrones through Season 4 until Dan and Dave passed up the books and they couldn’t adapt George’s dialogue anymore. And they tried to interpret what George might have wanted. And George is alive. They could have asked him anything at any time and they still produced the biggest disaster in television history.”

Buechler then questions, “How do you think it’s going to go for [JD Payne] and [Patrick McKay] over there? Obviously, they don’t have J.R.R. Tolkien to talk to. They no longer have the greatest guardian of his father’s work and one of the greatest sons whose ever lived, Christopher Tolkien to talk to either.”

The YouTuber then points to a rumor, covered here on Bounding Into Comics, that there was a shift in the direction of the show following Christopher Tolkien’s death.

Buechler states, “Then, of course, there was the rumored big shift behind the scenes right after Christopher Tolkien’s death. He died in January 2020 and in March 2020 it was rumored from that a lot of the writers were fired and they rewrote Season 1 and they removed Tom Shippey, the Tolkien scholar.”

Next, Buechler warns, “And that brings us to the politicking. Are we going to get the nihilist, post-modern, intersectional Lord of the Rings. I think this is a good possibility considering everything we’ve seen from modern Hollywood. Then there’s the fact that we already have a nihilist, post-modern, Lord of the Rings, it was called Game of Thrones.”

Buechler then recaps many of his concerns about the show pointing to rumors of nudity, the hiring of an intimacy coordinator, the change in story structure, and the show being run by two former Bad Robot employees.

He then adds a report that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos mandated Amazon create their own version of Game of Thrones. That report came from Variety and they claimed, “The mandate from Jeff Bezos is clear: Bring me “Game of Thrones.” That’s the word that has the creative community buzzing this week about a major strategy shift underway for Amazon Studios’ original series efforts.” 

I should probably wrap up the extended second volume of Arts of Dark and Light, shouldn't I.... 

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The Music of Creation

The Forge of Tolkien Episode 21, THE MUSIC OF CREATION, is now on UATV.

In the beginning there was Eru, the One, who made the Holy Ones, the offspring of his thought, and propounded to them a great theme. But whose story was this, and how did it come to be written down? Who, other than the Father of All, could know the story of Creation to tell it? And how would such stories be known to Elves and to Men? In this episode, Professor Rachel Fulton Brown introduces Tolkien’s story of Creation as a puzzle both of framing and of purpose. Who speaks in the telling of the Music—and why should Creation happen through song? And what should a Christian think about the Ainur’s singing such a mighty theme?

The converse, which might well be described as the music of damnation, is now also on UATV in the form of Metal Mythos: Danzig, as well as Episode 9 of the Junior Classics podcast and several new Wranglerstar episodes. We're rapidly reaching the point that as much as three hours of new content that does not include the regular commentary from Owen, Razor, and me are being added on a daily basis.

If you haven't subscribed yet, you might as well. Because it's only going to improve from here.

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The con man's escape

If you don't understand how Rush Limbaugh was a gatekeeper and a deceiver rather than the fearless pursuer of truth that he publicly affected to be, consider this Clinton-era exchange from his radio program. Pay particular attention to the way he generates a way to extricate himself from the discussion in a manner designed to discredit the caller:

Larry: The point- well, I don't know if he committed suicide or not, but I know we haven't been told the truth, and you always say you're in relentless pursuit of the truth, but not on the this issue you're not. You ducked this issue. You do not pursue the truth here. That's a fact. We've not been told the truth, and that's the fact, too. You can read the Fiske report and see that it's full of errors. Have you read the Fiske report?

Limbaugh: I- yeah- well, no, but I.

Larry: Well then, you're not in pursuit of the truth.

Limbaugh: ..but, I-, I- so, what we have here, you are---

Larry: You're not informed.

Limbaugh; are not, as- as Mr. Snerdley thought, a Clinton supporter.

Larry: Well, I think Clinton's going to be re-elected.

Limbaugh: No, no, no. Did you tell him you were a Clinton supporter..

Larry Yes. I, yeah, I... (Limbaugh dumped his telephonic tormentor.)

Limbaugh: Well, so you lied, Larry. So, when you tell one lie, all of what you say is worthless. That's the mantra, today. So sir, you're not going to be rewarded by saying- you don't have to lie to get on this program. If you are in the pursuit of Vince Foster being murdered, get your own show, and you go out and pursue it as best you- as best you can, but don't lie to get on this program, to accuse me of malfeasance, or some- some sort of incompetence, as host.

If we are to judge Limbaugh by his own standard, everything he ever said was worthless. First, that's a ridiculous standard. Second, how would Larry's preference for Clinton or Dole make any difference whatsoever with regards to the subject being discussed? Limbaugh was merely casting about for an excuse to extricate himself from a position that was discrediting him, which is exactly what con men do. Notice how he suddenly becomes much more smooth and eloquent once he has established his rhetorical escape route.

Beware the man who always uses the word "because" to rationalize his words and deeds. An honest man is content to state his position. The dishonest man always has to sell you on whatever it happens to be at the moment.

Now, I don't care about Rush Limbaugh and a perusal of the blog archives will demonstrate that I never have. But as Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson fans can confirm, one of the most effective ways to focus my baleful gaze on an individual or a concept about which I am otherwise indifferent is to dispute my casual comments on the subject. So, if you're a big fan of Rush, I would recommend that you don't try too hard to defend him here.

UPDATE: I am far too busy to even begin doing the research that would be necessary to write such a book. And Rush is no longer even potentially relevant, for obvious reasons. Therefore, I will happily leave the task to some other writer.

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Mimicry is not protest

I don't know who was taking the idea that CPAC was "protesting censorship and cancel culture" seriously in the first place, but it is amusing to see how they're still following their own tradition of cancel culture:

The Conservative Political Action Conference has barred activist Young Pharaoh from speaking at its ‘America Uncanceled’ event, citing his “reprehensible” remarks on Judaism. The rapper denounced the move as “censorship.”

CPAC organizers took to Twitter on Monday to declare that the rapper and lecturer would no longer be welcome at this year’s conference, noting they had “just learned” of controversial comments he’d made in the past. While they did not offer any specifics on what he might have said, Young Pharaoh himself soon weighed in to fill in the blanks. 

“This is censorship at its best! All because I said ‘I do not believe in the validity of Judaism and am willing to place $50,000 on myself to debate the top Jewish rabbi.’ Now I’m no longer invited to CPAC,” he said in all-caps, appending the post with the hashtags “#racist” and “#dictatorship.”

Pharaoh was slated for a late Sunday time slot, typically a lull in the yearly CPAC event, though his appearance would have come just an hour before that of former President Donald Trump. 

While it is unclear exactly what prompted the decision, CPAC’s announcement followed a story in Media Matters chronicling some of Young Pharaoh’s more hot-button statements, including his description of Judaism a “complete lie,” arguing that “Israeli Jews” are responsible for “censorship and pedophilia on social media” as well as a number of conspiracy-minded claims about Covid-19 and vaccines. 

The activist continued to double down even after news of his canceled talk made the rounds, challenging the American Jewish Committee to “send me your best rabbi to debate” after the org accused him of spreading “horrific antisemitic lies.” 

Some of us haven't forgotten how CPAC cancelled Milo. And imagine how CPAC would react if they heard what Jesus Christ had to say about Judaism and the Jews. I mean, it's not as if Young Pharoah described them as "liars" and "the children of the Devil".

Christians, don't be fooled any longer. Conservatives are not on your side. They never have been.

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Monday, February 22, 2021

If you want your fake elections

You can keep your fake elections:

The United States Supreme Court refused to review the Pennsylvania 2020 Election cases.

The court made the announcement on Monday morning.

Justices Alito, Gorsuch, and Thomas dissented from the denial.

Trump- nominated Justices Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett sided with the liberal justices.

So much for the importance of electing Republicans to appoint Supreme Court justices.... 

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Going the way of the Whigs

Republicans are rapidly realizing that voting for Republicans isn't going to provide them with the sort of government, or the sort of society, they prefer:

According to a new poll, nearly half of Republicans say they will leave the Republican Party to join a third-party created and led by former President Donald Trump. That doesn't bode well for the Republican establishment. 

The new poll by Suffolk University-USA Today found a whopping 46 percent of Republicans are willing to leave the GOP in order to a join new party created by Donald Trump. Just 27 percent of Republicans said they would stick with the GOP, and the rest are undecided. 

"We feel like Republicans don't fight enough for us, and we all see Donald Trump fighting for us as hard as he can, every single day," said Brandon Keidl, a 27-year-old Republican and small-business owner from Milwaukee. "But then you have establishment Republicans who just agree with establishment Democrats and everything, and they don't ever push back."

The question, of course, is if the new America First party will actually put America and Americans first or not. Because there is no doubt that the Establishment will already be moving to subvert it before it even begins to take form.

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Rush took the ticket

In light of this reported estate plan, there really aren't too many questions about Rush Limbaugh having served as a gatekeeper for the Right once he reached the top:

A decade ago, the late Rush Limbaugh scoffed at the notion of leaving any of his money behind. We know this because he was reacting to us. Our coverage of Steve Jobs' no-tax estate plan made a lot of waves. Rush felt the need to insert himself into the narrative by sharing his thoughts about legacy.

They were terse and tough. He didn't want to leave anything behind. If he spent everything and died broke, he'd be happy, he said.

Now, a year after announcing he had terminal cancer, he's gone. And as far as anyone can tell, he left a whole lot of money behind.

Some estimates put his net worth above $600 million. That's probably just career earnings and not a real net figure, but it provides a sense of the amount of cash flowing into his operation over the years.

He was the biggest name in radio. It takes a vast amount of work to burn as much as $85 million a year and have absolutely nothing to show for it. We know that his "Southern Command" in Palm Beach alone can be worth up $50 million to his estate under the right conditions.

It's unlikely that his widow will keep it around forever. She was decades younger than he was and has a lot of living left to do.

Either way, unless Rush made a whole lot more effort to look out for his posterity than anyone but the tabloids suggests, she's the boss now.

There were no kids. She inherits it all.

Unlike most ticket-takers, however, I don't think his initial success was the result of his ticket-taking. His success was unexpected, original, and almost certainly organic. It looks more as if his wife was the prize, and while his talent was returned to God, his massive accumulation of assets went to the Devil.

I always wondered how Rush could go so far and absolutely no farther no matter what information came to light, given his obvious intelligence and analytical skills. And I assumed that it had something to do with his desire to maintain his position in the media; his humiliation during the NFL debacle clearly clarified his thinking with regards to the difference between influence and power. But it appears he may have been even more compromised than I had assumed.

It is intriguing to observe that the more successful you are, the more fearful you appear to become if you do not fear God only. If your soul has a price, whatever it might be, sooner or later the Devil will find a way to make you an offer.

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Sunday, February 21, 2021

Corporate cancer kills

You may recall that I addressed the convergence of British department store John Lewis in Corporate Cancer.

John Lewis is the king of the Christmas commercial. Its famous 2010 Red Dress advert featured the life of one woman from birth to old age as she goes through all of the stages of life while wearing a red dress. It’s a touching little piece, a brilliant advertisement that is well worth seeing, and it boosted Christmas sales at John Lewis by 39.7 percent that year.

The 2017 ad, which featured an oversized Muppet called Moz and a little mixed-race boy was equally well-received, but only by the marketing experts. They were particularly excited by the diversity and the interracial aspects of the ad.

Hurray for seeing some diversity on such an epic advertising moment—my surprise at the mixed-race parents shows how rarely we see it in the advertising world.

—Zoe Harris, group marketing director and head of invention, Trinity Mirror

How rarely indeed! However, the 2017 Christmas season was marked by an unusual series of identical rarities. It wasn’t merely John Lewis, but also Marks & Spencer, Debenhams and Sainsbury’s, who each independently decided to feature mixed-race couples celebrating Christmas together in their big holiday advertisement. Even more remarkably, every single one of them just happened to feature a black man with a white woman, which, given the present UK demographics, can only be described as extraordinarily improbable.

After all, there are more Indians, Pakistanis, Chinese, and other Asians in the UK than there are blacks. Where were they?

Unlike the USA, the United Kingdom tracks ethnicity rather closely, so we can accurately determine exactly how statistically improbable these expensive Christmas advertisements were. As it turns out, there is only a one-in-327 chance that such a couple would be randomly selected. And the chance of all five commercials just happening to feature that particular pairing is one in 3,738,856,210,407.

That is one in 3.7 trillion, more or less. So, it wasn’t just a series of coincidences. It was evidence of convergence in the British advertising industry.

You will probably not be surprised to learn that these converged commercials did not prove to be very popular with the British public over the 2017 Christmas season. As a result, John Lewis was forced to cut its prices to prevent its year-on-year sales from falling and stated that its holiday sales “will negatively affect full-year financial results”.

Corporate Cancer was published in 2019. Two years later, the business news about the outlook for John Lewis will not surprise anyone who read the book.

John Lewis could close eight more of its remaining branches, with larger older shops most likely to close for good, it is claimed. The department store could shut a fifth of its 42 remaining stores, as negotiations with landlords continue and hundreds of jobs are put at risk, The Sunday Times reports. 

Any announcement of closures is expected to take place alongside the company's annual results on March 11. John Lewis Partnership's chairwoman Dame Sharon White has reportedly put forward eight shops for closure in an effort to further cut costs after the company suffered a £635m loss last September, The Sunday Times reports. 

The news follows the closure of eight John Lewis stores, including John Lewis' flagship Birmingham store, and the loss of 1,300 jobs in July last year - which was followed by a further 1,500 jobs axed from head office in November. 

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The Voice of Saruman

The Forge of Tolkien Episode 20, THE VOICE OF SARUMAN, is now on UATV.

Standing at the base of the Tower of the Cunning Mind, Gandalf warned Pippin and the others to beware of Saruman’s voice—but what power did Saruman of Many Colours have over the company, if his most dangerous weapon was his speech?

In this episode, recorded on the feast of the Epiphany, Professor Rachel Fulton considers what Tolkien reveals about the dangers of trusting politicians by way of his characterization of Saruman and Gandalf as “messengers” of a particular kind. What kind of creatures were the Istari, and why did they have the powers—and limitations—that they did to influence events in Middle-earth? What does Saruman’s temptation and fall reveal about the meaning of Power, and how did Gandalf defeat such a powerful foe?

In other Unauthorized news, Razorfist has brought his Metal Mythos music documentary series to UATV, which videos are now being featured in their own eponymous channel.


To guarantee deletion

Post your comment twice. Or three or four times, as some moronic would-be commenters do. In case you  still haven't figured it out, the comments here are moderated. So, when - not if, when - your comment does not appear right away, that is not an indication that something went wrong somehow and therefore you should repeat your comment.

And frankly, if this concept was ever difficult for you to understand, you probably should not be commenting here anyhow.

Every comment that is posted more than once will be deleted. Repeat offenders will have their comments spammed, which will eventually lead to none of your comments appearing at all. And no, the moderators are not even a little bit interested in the usual excuse of how "the preview didn't work and my comment didn't appear, and so I thought that if there is even a slight possibility that readers here might be deprived of my Very Important Opinion, it was imperative that I submit it again."

Allow me to spell this out for the gammas: never, ever, enter a comment twice more than once. Yes, this means you. Even you. And especially you.

This rule is ontologically applicable. This rule applies regardless of whether you think your comment went through or not. This rule applies under every possible, imaginable, and hypothetical scenario. There is NEVER any excuse for submitting a comment twice. And if a comment is submitted twice, both iterations will be deleted by the moderators.

The amusing thing about this reiteration is the whining protests of the gammas. They know perfectly well that they'll be the most affected by this.

UPDATE: Apparently this is yet another problem we can blame on Boomers. Two double comments, both Boomers, including one on this very post.


The education offensive

If you don't understand the concept of 5GW, or what the Chinese call Unrestricted Warfare, this expose of the systematic purchase of England's private schools should help you grasp the basic concept:

Hundreds of independent schools left in dire financial straits by the coronavirus pandemic are being targeted by Chinese investors, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Experts anticipate a ‘feeding frenzy’ as firms, including some run by high-ranking members of the ruling Chinese Communist party, seek to expand their influence over Britain’s education system. Seventeen schools are already owned by Chinese companies, but that number is set to rocket.

Amid rising concern about Beijing’s tentacles reaching into British classrooms, an investigation by this newspaper can reveal:

Nine of the 17 schools under Chinese control are owned by firms whose founders or bosses are among China’s most senior Communist Party members; Princess Diana’s preparatory school is owned by a Chinese group that openly trades on her name; Schools are using educational tools for teaching children a ‘whitewashed’ view of China; 

One firm admitted its acquisition of British schools is aimed at supporting China’s controversial Belt And Road strategy, which aims to expand Beijing’s global influence.

This is only one front in the education offensive. Another one is aimed at higher education in the USA:

Since 2004, the Chinese government has sponsored Confucius Institutes on college and university campuses around the world, providing teachers, textbooks, and operating funds. Until recently, an agency of the Chinese Ministry of Education, the Hanban, oversaw Confucius Institutes. In the wake of widespread criticism, the Chinese government has reorganized Confucius Institutes under a new organization, the Chinese International Education Foundation.

In April 2017, the National Association of Scholars released Outsourced to China: Confucius Institutes and Soft Power in American Higher Education, a comprehensive report on the way the Chinese government infiltrates American colleges and universities to enhance its own image. At that time, we counted 103 Confucius Institutes in the United States.

As of February 17, 2021, NAS counts a total of 55 Confucius Institutes in the United States.  

That number will almost certainly begin rising as long as Biden appears to be the President. If it does not, this will definitely count as another post-election anomaly. 

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Saturday, February 20, 2021

And how is that a bad thing, exactly?

U.S. States are beginning to follow the lead of foreign governments like Australia in breaking the power of Big Tech:

Last month, a lobbyist approached Kyle Davison, a North Dakota state senator, with an unusual proposal: a law to stop Apple and Google from forcing companies in the state to hand over a share of their app sales.

Mr. Davison, a Republican, was focused on bills related to a $200,000 literacy program and birth records for the homeless. But he was intrigued by the lobbyist’s arguments that the tech giants were hurting small businesses, and he thought such a law could attract tech companies to North Dakota. So he introduced it.

“She said to me that this could be big. But to me, that means the local newspaper is going to come with a camera,” Mr. Davison, 60, said. “I would not be truthful if I said I expected the reaction.”

At the Capitol in Bismarck, a 21-story Art Deco tower that’s the state’s tallest building, a hearing on the bill last week drew Washington lawyers, North Dakota newspapers and Silicon Valley executives. Siding with Apple and Google was Americans for Prosperity, the conservative group funded by the Koch family. On the other side was the Fargo Chamber of Commerce. One person called in from Alaska.

Supporters of the bill said it would help smaller companies and only hurt Apple and Google’s revenues. Apple’s chief privacy engineer, Erik Neuenschwander, testified that the bill “threatens to destroy iPhone as you know it.”

Siding with Apple and Google was the conservative group funded by the Koch family. And you wonder why conservatives always lose? They literally side with their enemies. 

And destroying iPhone as we know it is a feature, not a bug.

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Everyone hates Andrew Cuomo

It's fascinating to see how quickly the Narrative has shifted on Gov. Cuomo, who has gone from hero to target of a two-minute hate campaign.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is calling for an investigation into Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s mounting nursing home crisis.

“I support our state’s return to co-equal governance and stand with our local officials calling for a full investigation of the Cuomo administration’s handling of nursing homes during COVID-19,” the Queens Democrat wrote in a statement Friday.

“Thousands of vulnerable New Yorkers lost their lives in nursing homes throughout the pandemic. Their loved ones and the public deserve answers and transparency from their elected leadership, and the Secretary to the Governor’s remarks warrant a full investigation.”

The Cuomo administration is under fire over its alleged cover-up of New York nursing home deaths, which a state attorney general probe found were 50 percent higher than state authorities said.

Last week, The Post revealed that Cuomo’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, privately admitted to state lawmakers that the administration deliberately withheld data on COVID-19 nursing home deaths from federal prosecutors out of fear that the true numbers would “be used against us.”

Even Alec Baldwin is piling on. What's next, a stern denunciation by the woman who ate Taylor Swift? We haven't hit peak curiousitude yet. Things just keep getting curiouser and curiouser.... 


Even Google can't abide SJWs

If one of the most-converged corporations on the planet is purging its most extreme SJWs, why isn't your organization doing more to keep them out?

Google has terminated the head researcher on its AI ethics team over what the tech giant deemed a violation of its “code of conduct,” as the company faces an internal revolt over a previous firing of a black data scientist. Margaret Mitchell, who led Google’s Ethical AI unit, announced her termination in a brief tweet on Friday, saying only “I’m fired” without offering further detail.

Google’s own statement on the matter was also somewhat vague, confirming Mitchell was let go over “multiple violations of our code of conduct,” while adding that she ran afoul of “security policies” by downloading “confidential business-sensitive documents and private data of other employees.”

The move comes after the AI team’s co-head, Timnit Gebru, was fired in December during a dispute over a research paper she authored that was critical of large-scale AI language models, which are used in many Google products. The company demanded she remove her name from the work and fired her when she refused. At the time, Gebru said she had offered a number of conditions on which she would take her name off the research paper, but was forced out regardless. 

Both Mitchell and Gebru have also taken Google to task for an alleged lack of diversity among its staff, with Gebru writing in an internal email just before her firing that “your life gets worse when you start advocating for underrepresented people” at the company, and that she’d been “constantly dehumanized” by superiors.

Mitchell was highly critical of Gebru’s ouster, penning a lengthy message to the company last month voicing concerns about its “relation to sexism and discrimination,” also noting she had been “cut off” from Google’s internal messaging system. According to a source cited by Axios, the lock-out came after she scoured company correspondence for evidence of Gebru’s claims of harassment and discrimination, consistent with Google’s statement on Friday about her unauthorized access to “confidential” documents.

SJWs are so destructive that even corporations that more or less share their views and values can't permit them to run amok for long. 

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Friday, February 19, 2021

Disinviting Baen

To the surprise of precisely zero Rabid Puppies, Baen Books shuttering the Bar didn't suffice to appease the SJW swarmtroopers after Jason Sanford pointed-and-shrieked at it. As an expression of gratitude for cowering before the mob, Worldcon has disinvited its 2021 Guest of Honor, Baen Books publisher Toni Weisskopf:

DisCon III condemns the violent and hostile content found within Baen Books’ forums. We also cannot condone the fact such content was enabled and allowed to ferment for so long. We want to make it clear abusive behavior is not, and will not be, tolerated at DisCon III. Such behavior goes entirely against our already established policies concerning inclusivity and creating a welcoming environment for our members, which can be found here:

We knew simply saying those words with no actions to back them up would be unacceptable. Too often, we have seen individuals and organizations say they are on the right side of issues yet do nothing to act on those words. We knew we had to take a hard look at our own position and take action based on our established policies.

As a result, after discussion with her, we have notified Toni Weisskopf we are removing her as a Guest of Honor for DisCon III.

We know this decision was not as quick as some of you would have wanted, and we understand your frustration. Our committee’s leadership was always in full agreement that there was a fundamental difference between the values Worldcon strives to uphold and the values allowed to be espoused on the forums-in-question.

In the entire eighty-plus year history of our community, no Worldcon has ever removed someone as a Guest of Honor. To remove a Guest of Honor was an unprecedented decision that needed discussion, consideration, and consensus. Those mechanisms sometimes do not move as fast as some would want, and we thank the community for its patience.

We also want to let everyone know that we are not planning on adding additional individuals to our Guest of Honor list.

In fairness, this almost certainly would have happened anyhow, no matter what Ms Weisskopf did. But demonstrating weakness in front of SJWs is nearly as predictably counterproductive as doing so in front of an angry, snarling dog. And to say that this attempt at public humiliation has angered The International Lord of Hate would be the understatement of the year. SJWs, beware! You may come to regret awakening the Mountain to the true depths of your spite and provoking him to action.

Toni had been participating in WorldCons for decades. She grew up in your scene. She volunteered. She hung out with you. She helped out. When she got into the publishing business she kept on helping out, whatever you needed, she was always there for you. She became an editor, and a damned good one too (and you fucking know it).

In fact, she became one of the best and most successful editors in the history of the genre… yet year after year, she got no prestigious award nomination, and instead you just kept giving the award to the same assholes from the same publishing house, over and over and over, as you ignored Toni because she was at that publishing house. The uncouth one. You talk a big game about “honoring strong women” as you took turns rotating through the same cadre of old white dudes for best editor.

It took me, the barbaric outsider, to rally the barbaric outsider fans to finally get Toni some recognition in your sainted halls. And even though your bleating social justice contingent threw a fit, you know what most of you old time, old school, long attending WorldConners told me in private? Good. About time.

Because even though you hated me and my friends (and trust me, we’re cool with that) you knew that Toni deserved it. Toni had earned it. She had long since put in the work. As George R.R. Martin so haughtily proclaimed when he finally admitted I was right all those years ago, and that Hugos were not for everybody (as long claimed) but rather only for your elite select body of special fans, only people who had served their time deserved your fancy awards. Except by every fucking measure in the universe, Toni had served her time.

Then along came the awards, and you snubbed her. Hell, you didn’t just snub her. They openly mocked her, said all sorts of hateful shit, and you people who claimed to be her friends, you old timers who claimed to be all about the sainted dignity of WorldCon, you sat there, silent and afraid, as they did their little high school mean girl games. Toni got up and left the awards ceremony because she wouldn’t give the sicks fucks the satisfaction of watching her endure it. Unlike you, Toni has dignity.

You fuckers talk a big game about tradition. But then the instant there was heat you crumbled before the woke mob that doesn’t give a shit about your precious traditions either. You even renamed one of your awards just to placate their tantrum.

And when those assholes fucked her over last time, you did nothing. Some of you put up some timid posts, but overall you cowered before the mob you helped create, the same one you mocked me for warning you about. People who claimed to be Toni’s friends sat there, silent, worried that if they did the right thing the mob would come for them next. At least they had the decency to stab her in the front. You stabbed her in the back.

The lesson, as always, is this: no olive branches for SJWs.

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A Royal experiment ends

It wasn't exactly a surprise that the British Royal Family's much-ballyhooed experiment in multiracialism didn't go very well. But did anyone expect a trainwreck of this magnitude?

It is a sad but inevitable consequence of Harry and Meghan's decision to quit the royal family and live in America as private individuals that they are effectively now out in the cold.

They took a decision that they no longer wanted to commit full time to serve the Queen and monarchy, but felt they still had a role to play.

I am afraid after a year in which the Queen hoped the dust would settle, which left the door open should they change their minds, the Queen, on advice, has decided that the door has to be firmly shut.

Her Majesty's decision gives clarity to a confusing situation and in my opinion the only course she could take. But there is a cool and hidden anger there too in her statement.

The fact that they releases this statement whilst Prince Philip was recovering in hospital is remarkable too and speaks volumes.

The Palace statement makes the distinction between Crown and Family. The Queen acknowledges that they are loved as members of her family. But that does not hide the fury over their decision give an interview to Oprah that will inevitably open up old wounds.

The interview is clearly the straw that broke the camel's back. What astonishes me is Harry and Meghan's frankly rude response.

They seem hell bent on undermining the Queen's decades of duty and service, and that of the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince of Wales as well as other working royals, with their flippant and petulant remark.

The only real surprise at this point is that Meghan hasn't been caught having an affair with a studio director or a professional athlete. Because you know it's going to happen, sooner or later. As sure as Boomers are going to boom and grifters are going to grift, whores are going to whore. 

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"Imaginary and fictitious"

A clinical lab scientist tests 1,500 positive Covid-19 samples and finds nothing but common influenza viruses.

I’m a clinical lab scientist. I have a PhD in virology and immunology. I’m a clinical lab scientist and have tested 1500 “supposed” positive Covid 19 samples collected here in S. California. When my lab team and I did the testing through Koch’s postulates and observation under a SEM (scanning electron microscope), we found NO Covid in any of the 1500 samples.

What we found was that all of the 1500 samples were mostly Influenza A and some were influenza B, but not a single case of Covid, and we did not use the B.S. PCR test. We then sent the remainder of the samples to Stanford, Cornell, and a few of the University of California labs and they found the same results as we did, NO COVID. They found influenza A and B. 

All of us then spoke to the CDC and asked for viable samples of COVID, which CDC said they could not provide as they did not have any samples. We have now come to the firm conclusion through all our research and lab work, that the COVID 19 was imaginary and fictitious.

If it looks like a hoax, and it smells like a hoax, and 1,500 lab samples determine that it's a hoax, then Occam's Razor strongly suggests that it's a great big hoax. 

I am no virologist, but as a competent logician, my inclination is to hypothesize that the C19 virus is a genetically modified version of the flu. This explanation would account for a) the unusual symptoms, b) the anomalies related to the viral samples, and c) the massive decline in conventional flu cases.

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Good news, bad news

In case you're not up on Greek history and you didn't read the entirety of The Thirty Tyrants article on Tablet, you should still be aware of what could be in store in the event it turns out to be a predictive model:

What does history teach us about this moment? The bad news is that the Thirty Tyrants exiled notable Athenian democrats and confiscated their property while murdering an estimated 5% of the Athenian population. The good news is that their rule lasted less than a year.

After eight months of misrule, they were overthrown by armed rebels.


The surrender of the USA's foreign elite

There is historical precedent for the sellout of Americans by the not-Americans of the globalist corpocracy who have been ruling them for the last 20+ years, as Lee Smith points out how an Athenian elite sold out the people of Athens after its defeat by Sparta:

In Chapter 5 of The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli describes three options for how a conquering power might best treat those it has defeated in war. The first is to ruin them; the second is to rule directly; the third is to create “therein a state of the few which might keep it friendly to you.”

The example Machiavelli gives of the last is the friendly government Sparta established in Athens upon defeating it after 27 years of war in 404 BCE. For the upper caste of an Athenian elite already contemptuous of democracy, the city’s defeat in the Peloponnesian War confirmed that Sparta’s system was preferable. It was a high-spirited military aristocracy ruling over a permanent servant class, the helots, who were periodically slaughtered to condition them to accept their subhuman status. Athenian democracy by contrast gave too much power to the low-born. The pro-Sparta oligarchy used their patrons’ victory to undo the rights of citizens, and settle scores with their domestic rivals, exiling and executing them and confiscating their wealth.

The Athenian government disloyal to Athens’ laws and contemptuous of its traditions was known as the Thirty Tyrants, and understanding its role and function helps explain what is happening in America today.

For my last column I spoke with The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman about an article he wrote more than a decade ago, during the first year of Barack Obama’s presidency. His important piece documents the exact moment when the American elite decided that democracy wasn’t working for them. Blaming the Republican Party for preventing them from running roughshod over the American public, they migrated to the Democratic Party in the hopes of strengthening the relationships that were making them rich.

A trade consultant told Friedman: “The need to compete in a globalized world has forced the meritocracy, the multinational corporate manager, the Eastern financier and the technology entrepreneur to reconsider what the Republican Party has to offer. In principle, they have left the party, leaving behind not a pragmatic coalition but a group of ideological naysayers.”

In the more than 10 years since Friedman’s column was published, the disenchanted elite that the Times columnist identified has further impoverished American workers while enriching themselves. The one-word motto they came to live by was globalism—that is, the freedom to structure commercial relationships and social enterprises without reference to the well-being of the particular society in which they happened to make their livings and raise their children.

Undergirding the globalist enterprise was China’s accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001. For decades, American policymakers and the corporate class said they saw China as a rival, but the elite that Friedman described saw enlightened Chinese autocracy as a friend and even as a model—which was not surprising, given that the Chinese Communist Party became their source of power, wealth, and prestige. Why did they trade with an authoritarian regime and send millions of American manufacturing jobs off to China thereby impoverish working Americans? Because it made them rich. They salved their consciences by telling themselves they had no choice but to deal with China: It was big, productive, and efficient and its rise was inevitable. And besides, the American workers hurt by the deal deserved to be punished—who could defend a class of reactionary and racist ideological naysayers standing in the way of what was best for progress?

This is a really important article if you want to better understand the grand strategic situation. Read the whole thing, and understand the way in which it is connected to the original plan of the Learned Elders of Wye to make the Great Leap Eastward that was publicly rejected by the Chinese in 2015. 

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Thursday, February 18, 2021

The Third World comes to Texas

Karl Denninger explains what happened and why it's not going to get better any time soon:

The Bidens and AOCs of the world are literally going to kill you.

You're seeing it right here and now across the nation, including in Texas.

Texas, like so many other areas, has put up windmills and solar "farms" for the last 20 years, shutting down older coal-fired plants and not modernizing and improving their "fossil fuel" energy production infrastructure.  At the same time on a national basis the natural gas pipeline operators, in service to the woke green mob, have replaced fuel-fired pumps (that run on the gas in the pipe, therefore are failsafe so long as the pipe has something in it and is intact) with electrically powered booster pumps because, of course, you can get the power for them from "green" sources instead of all that eeee-vile carbon.

I remind you that natural gas does not freeze at other than cryogenic temperatures and as such the problem is not the gas freezing and as for machinery you have plenty of heat source in the pipe.  By putting up with and responding to the "woke mob" instead of immediately frying and eating their entire blood line these companies took an ultra-reliable and essential energy delivery system that other than by physical destruction would nearly-always continue to operate and turned it into a fragile system dependent on multiple outside elements where if any of those elements failed so does the natural gas delivery.

Winter in the south is when nuclear plants are typically taken down for maintenance as well -- since it's the middle of summer when the A/C is blasting away.  But those NatGas peaking plants and coal-fired base load infrastructure, well.... it's not green enough, so let's turn that stuff off and rely on the windmills and solar panels -- and hope it doesn't get destabilized.

Of course the "Globull Warming" screamfest folks always and forever have prognosticated that it will forever get warmer, that wind levels will rise forever and thus both solar panels and wind will forevermore continue to yield more and more useful energy.

All of that got blown up this week.

Texas is seeing wind chills in negative (Fahrenheit) numbers along with single digit or below temperatures.  That plus moisture = ice, and windmill blades are wings and not only suffer the same problem an airplane wing does when it gets loaded in addition they go out of balance and thus the windmill has to be shut down lest it destroy itself.  At the same time ice and snow cover solar panels and reduce their output to an effective zero.

The problem with the power grid is that in the event you demand more of it than can be delivered it becomes unstable due to a number of factors including, in the case of A/C transmission, phase sag.  If expected resources are not available -- such as when your wind turbines ice up -- then you have no alternative but to shed load (turn off people's power intentionally) because if you don't you will get an uncontrolled collapse and possible severe equipment damage.  Further most nuclear plants cannot quickly load-follow -- if you need more power quickly you better have something else, and if a bunch of load drops off rapidly you better have some other generation source you can shut down.  Go outside the operating parameters and a nuke plant will "trip" and if they do most of them cannot immediately restart due to a phenomena called "xenon poisoning"; if the fuel has some age on it you must wait until that bleeds off because the core does not have enough reactivity to go critical until it does, which can take a couple of days or even more.

That's exactly what happened.

I know it's serious. I know a lot of people are enduring things that are very difficult. But, I have to admit, as a survivor of some of Minnesota's coldest-ever winters, it's hard not to be just a little bemused by people prophesying doom on the basis of "temperatures expected to drop to as low as 11F in Houston and 9F in San Antonio."

I mean, in 1983, I once waited 30 minutes for a bus in -40F windchill temperature. They didn't even cancel school! So, if you want some advice from a genuine Zero Hero:

  • Layers. Always layers. It's nearly impossible to be cold with five layers. T-shirt, turtleneck, sweater, windbreaker, parka, especially if you move at all.
  • Mittens are better than gloves. Fur-lined mittens are better than regular mittens.
  • Wet feet freeze. Three layers of socks are best. First the thin silver socks, then regular socks, then thick socks. Moon Boots rock.
  • Hat and facemask works best. A scarf is good because you can cover your face with it if you don't have a mask. That being said, I never wore a scarf.
  • Back to the wind. Always keep your back to the wind as much as possible.
  • Snow is warm. Use it to build windblocks.

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The civil war for Star Wars is over

And the fans lost. The Dark Herald explains at Arkhaven:

Now, I understand there is going to be a certain number of people who can’t understand it.  

Why are the goblins at Lucasfilm are so determined to cut their own throats? I mean, it has to be obvious at this point isn’t it? The Reylo trilogy was an utter disaster and by any reasonable standard, the high Republic is an abject failure.  If they are going to keep their jobs, they need to assure that their company is healthy, and to do that they need to have products people will pay money for.  Making Star Wars fans happy and engaged is in their own self-interest. LucasFilm needs to be profitable right?  Right?

Oh, that is so adorable.

At this point, LucasFilm has settled comfortably into the model of corporate parasitism. And the uber-Woke senior executives at Disney are delighted to be fed upon by the incompetent.  

You have to remember an SJW infestation is a convergence of grasshopper-people.  

They create nothing, preserve nothing and leave nothing behind.  

When grasshoppers have finished devastating and devouring a once-productive ant colony, do they sit around trying to rebuild it?  After all, that would be in their self-interest wouldn’t it?  To have a healthy ant colony that they could regularly harvest makes more sense than destroying it.  But no, grasshoppers are grasshoppers, they destroy and move on to the next target.   

The Woke are no different.  When LucasFilm collapses under its own weight due to their undermining they will move on to another property and begin the process all over again.  Unconcerned by lessons of failure because they are fundamentally unable to face the lessons of their own mistakes.

So what is the future of Star Wars?  Well, it doesn’t have one.

And this is why Arkhaven properties will never be for sale. To anyone. Ever. That way lies inevitable devouring by the grasshoppers.

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Big Tech vs nations

Facebook has gone to war with Australia because it doesn't want to pay for the content it steals:

Facebook has blocked Australians from accessing and sharing news in protest at a new law which would have forced the site to pay for the content it hosts.

Furious Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the move shows tech companies 'think they are bigger than governments and that the rules should not apply to them' while others branded it 'an assault on a sovereign nation' and an 'abuse of power'.

The backlash quickly went international, with one Democrat politician in the US saying it shows 'Facebook is not compatible with democracy' while the hashtag 'Delete Facebook' quickly began trending on rival site Twitter. 

Australians searching Facebook for news today were instead shown notifications saying 'no posts' were available. Attempting to share news links brought up a message saying 'this post can't be shared'.

But the shock move also stopped some government messages being shared, including from emergency services providing essential information on Covid, fires, and help for victims of domestic violence.

What part of "get off Facebook" do you not understand? It is literally a hostile globalist power that quite literally regards itself above every law. Whatever benefit you think you're getting from it isn't worth it.


The bankers are scared

Myanmar is based beyond belief:

As news of the military coup in Myanmar reached the halls of the Bank of Japan, staff raced to gather information about the ongoing developments.

"They have apparently kicked out the central bank governor as well." The shocking news was passed up the command chain at the head office in Tokyo's Nihonbashi district.  

On Feb.1, Myanmar's military took control of the country's administrative, legislative and judicial branches, detaining de facto leader State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and several other democratically elected officials.

It is unclear what happened to former central bank chief Kyaw Kyaw Maung, but deputy governor Bo Bo Nge has been detained, according to media reports. Than Nyein, who served as central banker under the previous junta before the first free election in decades in 2015, has been reappointed to the role.

The Bank of Japan, like most central banks around the world, is watching carefully, to see how the military leaders could affect bilateral and regional cooperation on monetary policy and financial stability.

Translation: the central banks are terrified that their century-long free money ride is coming to an end. 

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