Recently in Culture Category

A really nice touch and a tweet

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From The Last Refuge:

President Trump and Vice-President Pence Make Unscheduled Visit to MLK Memorial…
Moments ago President Trump and Vice President Pence made an unscheduled stop to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington DC to pay their holiday respects.

From President Trump:

Good words for today

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"Let no man pull you so low as to hate him."
--Martin Luther King, Jr.

Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King

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Mark Alexander has a great essay at Patriot Post:

Martin Luther King Jr.
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ … I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. … And if America is to be a great nation this must become true.” —Martin Luther King Jr.

Despite the fact that the Democratic Party claims King’s legacy, and Democrats argue they are the sole protectors of his “dream,” they have turned this iconic sovereign’s message upside down, as if King had said, “I have a dream that my children will one day be judged by the color of their skin, not the content of their character.” They’ve converted it from a dream into a nightmare, and their failed statist “Great Society” programs have enslaved generations of poor, mostly black Americans on urban poverty plantations.

But poor blacks have been a staple constituency, having been inculcated with the belief that they are perpetual “victims of injustice” who must depend on their Democrat masters to take care of them.

King’s 1963 address from the Lincoln Memorial was his most famous, but you have likely never read King’s 1966 assessment of racial violence in Barack Obama’s hometown of Chicago: “This is the most tragic picture of man’s inhumanity to man. I’ve been to Mississippi and Alabama and I can tell you that the hatred and hostility in Chicago are really deeper than in Alabama and Mississippi.” King added, “Those who are associated with ‘Black Power’ and black supremacy are wrong.”

Lots more at the site - talking about race hustlers and poverty pimps (Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, John Lewis, etc...)

There is nothing new about race-hustlers. In his 1911 work, “My Larger Education,” Booker T. Washington wrote: “There is a class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. … There is a certain class of race-problem solvers who don’t want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public.”

More at the site and Mark concludes with this:

Despite questions about King’s personal character and his proper place in history, I encourage you to read his letter from a Birmingham jail, which provides a window into the soul of King’s vision for all Americans.

Powerful words in that letter. People like Sharpton, Jackson, Obama need to be truely ashamed of themselves for perpetuating the cruel divide. I am reminded of these inconvenient truths:

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Truth hurts the narrative so must preserve the narrative at all costs.

The canonical list of authors by rank

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From Larry Correia (an oldie but a goodie):

THE OFFICIAL ALPHABETICAL LIST OF AUTHOR SUCCESS
I’ve often been derisively referred to as a “D List Author” by my critics. Curious, I had to look up where that list came from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-list

Sadly, as usual my critics suck at everything. This scale is based on how recognizable movie stars are, and since most regular people wouldn’t recognize any but the most famous (or funny looking) authors, it doesn’t really work for us at all. So I have created this super helpful guide so critics know what bucket to arbitrarily stick writers in.

What’s way better than fame? All fame is good for in Hollywood is determining how much they have to pay actors. So screw recognition. Show me the MONEY!

And the list:

A List – High upon Mount Olympus They Gaze Down Upon the Pathetic Mortals = All the $

    • Authors who are worth more than the GDP of some countries.
    • Authors who build their houses out of gold bars.
    • Characters from their books get their own theme parks.
    • The lady who wrote Twilight.

B List – The King(s) =$$$$$$$$$$

    • Authors who have TV shows about their books starring Peter Dinklage.
    • Authors who sleep on large piles of money.
    • Politicians who get illegal campaign contributions masquerading as advances.
    • Oprah’s Book Club.

C List – The Perpetual Bestsellers =$$$$$$$$$

    • Authors who play poker with Castle.
    • Authors who have lesser TV shows not starring Peter Dinklage.
    • Authors who always get sold in airport bookstores.
    • Authors who are rich enough to have sex scandals and it actually makes the news.

And rounding out the list:

X List – The X

    • Writes violent pornographic bondage fan fiction involving My Little Ponies, Voltron, and Breaking Bad on the internet, while dressed in a stained bunny costume that looks like a strange gimp version of that thing from Donnie Darko.
    • Don’t make any sudden moves.
    • We’re just going to walk away real slow now.

Y List – The Yama

    • A primordial creature barely capable of vomiting words onto a page in a blasphemous impersonation of the act of writing, so mind shattering and terrible that a single story threatened to end language forever. He is The Thing That Should Not Be. To read his foul creations will summon the Black Goat of the Woods with its Thousand Young, and it will kill your muse and sodomize the corpse.
    • Is confident that he’d be a much more successful writer than A-X, if only he wasn’t too busy stalking Asian women on the internet to actually submit any of his crayon scribbles.
    • The reason sci-fi conventions have security.

Z List – The Guardian’s Village Idiot = ($)

    • A kind of Anti-Author.
    • Motivated by delusions of relevancy, crowd sources witch hunts against writers higher on the list.
    • Collects the opposite of royalties, and actually has to be paid a strange sort of “Book Welfare” to produce a book.

Heh - Larry is no slouch as an author - his writing is fun to read and he has a sick and twisted sense of humor. I love his work.

Quote of the Month -

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"For real people, if something works in theory, but not in practice, it doesn't work. For academics, if something works in practice, but not in theory, it doesn't exist."
--Nassim Nicholas Taleb

A corollary to what Vox Day said:

In academia there is no difference between academia and the real world; in the real world there is.

And a tip 'o the chapeau to Maggie's Farm for the first quote.

An incredible rendition of one of my favorites:

More here: Puddles Pity Party

Fake News has its consequences

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And Nick Sandmann doesn't have to worry about money ever again. From FOX News:

CNN settles lawsuit with Nick Sandmann
CNN agreed Tuesday to settle a lawsuit with Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann.

The amount of the settlement was not made public during a hearing at the federal courthouse in Covington, Kentucky.

Sandmann’s lawsuit sought $800 million from CNN, the Washington Post and NBC Universal.

Trial dates are still not set for Sandmann’s lawsuit against NBC Universal and the Washington Post.

The Washington Post suit sought $250 million. A federal judge let a portion of the suit go forward after The Post filed a motion to dismiss it.

No word as to the settlement amount but betting that it is in the $10 million range. Good - make it hurt. Actions have consequences and if you publish a news story based on narrative instead of the facts, you should be ready to suffer the consequences.

Mary Oliver

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We were talking about poetry off and on over the last week. L turned me on to Mary Oliver - amazing work:

Sleeping in the Forest

I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.

Beautiful imagery.

Some of her work can be found here.

1920 to 2020 - from Thought Catalog (love the name!)

59 Quick Slang Phrases From The 1920s We Should Start Using Again
Get ready to “know your onions,” readers. If you’ve ever wanted to talk like characters from an old movie or the folks from The Great Gatsby, now’s your chance. For the twenties lovers among us, here are 59 of the era’s best slang phrases. Now you just have to practice talking really, really fast so you can say this old slang.

They are listed alphabetically but here are five that caught my eye:

  • Berries: like “bee’s knees,” denotes that something is good, desirable or pleasing. “That sounds like berries to me!”
  • Dewdropper: like lollygagger, a slacker who sits around all day and does nothing, often unemployed
  • Giggle water: liquor, alcoholic beverage
  • Handcuff: engagement ring
  • Iron one’s shoelaces: to excuse oneself for the restroom

Fun stuff.

A two-fer from Woodsterman

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Their site has a lot of fun memes - two from today:

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Worth 2,000 words with these two...

What passes for fashion these days

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Says it all - from Dr. James Kent's twitter account:

Once seen, it can not be unseen. Ms. Yaeger graced this site August 2017 with this post:
Vogue on the outside, vague on the inside

She wore the same basic makeup and hairdo (or hairdon't in this case) over two years ago.
En Vogue? Sûrement pas.

157 years ago today

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Quite the anniversary - from The Gateway Pundit:

On this day in 1863 Republicans freed the slaves
Republicans rejoiced. Democrats cursed

Grand Old Partisan reported:

On New Year’s Day in 1863, the Republican Party’s Emancipation Proclamation came into effect. While Republicans rejoiced, Democrat politicians and newspapers denounced President Abraham Lincoln (R-IL) for freeing slaves.

Demonstrating their depravity, New York’s Gov. Horatio Seymour, who would be the 1868 Democrat presidential nominee, denounced the Emancipation Proclamation as “a proposal for the butchery of women and children.”

The Louisville Daily Democrat called it “an outrage of all constitutional law, all human justice, all Christian feeling.”

Although this is often ignored by the revisionists in academia Republicans led the charge on civil rights and women’s rights.

157 years gives the Democrats plenty of time to spin their narrative. Who needs facts?

Experts Warn:

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Whenever I hear that phrase, I wince. From America's Newspaper of Record -  The Babylon Bee:

Experts Warn Global Outrage Levels May Reach Point Of No Return In 2020

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The UN Panel on Outrage Change has confirmed the worst: global levels of outrage may reach the point of no return in 2020.

Outrage levels previously reached dangerous highs during the Bush administration, but Obama was able to reverse the trend. He didn't change much about the way Bush was handling things, but he was a Democrat, so outrage levels went back down as the press stopped reporting on scandals and corruption.

However, in 2016, global outrage reached record highs, especially among Democrats. Republicans had been mildly outraged during the Obama years but mostly had to go to work so didn't have much time to spew toxic, harmful outrage into the environment. Libertarians have generated almost no outrage since they are high all the time.

Experts believe the reelection of Trump in 2020 would be "catastrophic," catapulting outrage levels well into the stratosphere.

"If we do not cut our anger emissions immediately, the world will be consumed by fiery outrage by the end of next year," said outrage expert Dr. Hal Gourd, pointing to a hockey-stick graph. The audience responded by getting really mad, shaking their fists at the sky and making loud grunting noises.

We must DO SOMETHING - scientists are warning us.

Words to the wise

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"I think the best way of doing good to the poor is not making them easy in poverty, but rather leading or driving them out of it."
--Benjamin Franklin

Exactly - too many people find it easy to slip into the culture of dependency. They vote people into office who promise free government cheese without thinking of where that money comes from.

I am not saying that there should not be a safety net - shit happens. It should be there for emergencies, not as a lifestyle.

So true

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Words of wisdom

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"Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice."
--Thomas Paine

Be here now: RIP Ram Dass

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A guru from my earlier years - nice obituary from the New York Times:

Baba Ram Dass, Proponent of LSD and New Age Enlightenment, Dies at 88
Baba Ram Dass, who epitomized the 1960s of legend by popularizing psychedelic drugs with Timothy Leary, a fellow Harvard academic, before finding spiritual inspiration in India, died on Sunday at his home on Maui. He was 88.

The death of Ram Dass, who was born Richard Alpert, was announced on his official Instagram account.

Having returned from India as a bushy-bearded, barefoot, white-robed guru, Ram Dass became a peripatetic lecturer on New Age possibilities and a popular author of more than a dozen inspirational books.

The first of his books, “Be Here Now” (1971), sold more than two million copies, and established him as an exuberant exponent of finding salvation through helping others.

He started a foundation to combat blindness in India and Nepal, supported reforestation in Latin America, and developed health education programs for American Indians in South Dakota.

He was particularly interested in the dying. He started a foundation to help people use death as a journey of spiritual awakening and spoke of establishing a self-help line, “Dial-a-Death,” for this purpose.

When Mr. Leary was dying in 1996 — and wishing to do it “actively and creatively,” as he put it — he called for Ram Dass. Over the years, Ram Dass had alternately been Mr. Leary’s disciple, enemy and, at the end, friend. In a film clip of the two men preparing for Mr. Leary’s death, Ram Dass turns to Leary, hugs him and says, “It’s been a hell of a dance, hasn’t it?”

I really liked that he walked the walk - starting those foundations to take care of real-world problems. His family were well-off and had a large farm in New Hampshire. Visited there several times. Was going to college in Boston at the time.

An interesting bit of legislation

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Big tobacco is going to hate this - from the New York Post:

President Trump approves raising legal smoking age to 21
By signing the $738 billion Defense Spending Bill, on Friday, President Donald Trump has raised the legal age for smoking to 21 nationwide — news that went largely unnoticed.

The new rules include cigarettes and e-cigarettes.

The smoking age hike had bipartisan support in the Senate, and was co-authored by Democrats Brian Schatz and Dick Durbin, and Republicans Mitt Romney and Todd Young, CNN reported.

Now that Trump’s signature is on the bill, the Food and Drug Administration has 180 days to update its regulations — and the new age requirement will go into effect 90 days later, ABC News reported.

I used to smoke a pipe and do enjoy a nice cigar every so often ( once a year or so) but regular smoking is a serious health hazard. Time to break the cycle of addiction.

A Merry H. P. Lovecraft Christmas

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Those familiar with his writings will know the characters involved. He wrote about the New England coastline around Rhode Island and some of the eldritch and macabre characters who inhabit it.

More here: H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society

Heh - Santa

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Heh - words of wisdom

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From the internet:

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The big MS-13 bust earlier this week

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Eaton Rapids Joe raises a very good point with this. The bust was supposed to be a major effort but the reality is quite different. From his website: Much ado about nothing? (an excerpt)

Suffolk County, NY is in the New York Metropolitan area with 20 million people. 96 arrests in a metropolitan area of that size is noise.

In industry, a factory can hobble along with 30% absenteeism. It is not super-efficient, but it can run.

I consulted with an expert (who did not give me permission to list his name).

He told me of a much smaller community where a massive effort resulted in 70 gang members being incarcerated in a very short time. The net result was a minor logistical hiccup that lasted about a half week.

He said "retired" older gang members reactivate. Wives and girlfriends are given assignments or took over for absent husbands/boyfriends. Brothers shifted over to cover brothers. Gangs are not efficient. They are grossly larded with excess people. That makes them extremely resilient to reduction in force.

The other oddity was the emphasis on machetes. The MS-13 is documented as having shoulder fired, surface-to-air missiles and belt-fed weapons. Machetes? Really? Piss those guys off and your helicopter comes down in a trail of flame and smoke.

Machetes? Next, you will be bragging about the number of screwdrivers and toothpicks you confiscated from them. Like London.

ERJ is a daily read for me - great storytelling, interesting farming / orchard management and insightful observations on the human condition.

Fun times in Chicago

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From FOX News:

13 people were shot at a Chicago house party honoring a man killed earlier this year
A Chicago house party devolved into chaos when a dispute led to the shootings of 13 people — possibly at random, police said.

The 13 victims range from 16 to about 48 years old, said Fred Waller, chief of the Chicago Police Bureau of Patrol.

Four of the victims — including the 16-year-old — are hospitalized in critical condition. The other victims are in stable condition, Waller said.

And not just one person shooting:

Police said shots were fired in three different locations.

“Shots were fired within the residence, which caused everyone to start to leave,” Waller said.

As partygoers fled the home, police believe one of them opened fire outside, police said.

“Then a vehicle was driving down the street. One of the people also who left the residence fired upon this vehicle,” Waller said. “So we had three different scenes, all within a close proximity.”

Chicago has some of the most draconian gun laws of any city in the nation. Guns are basically illegal. How's that working out for you. Thanks to the website Hey Jackass (Illustrating Chicago Values) we can see that the year-to-date butcher's bill is as follows:

Year to Date
Shot & Killed: 449
Shot & Wounded: 2231
Total Shot: 2680
Total Homicides: 501

Nice place to raise a family. I do not regret leaving all large cities. Seattle has some fun stuff going on and planning a trip down in January sometime but live there again? No.

Now this looks interesting: Tenet

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Trailer for the new thriller from Christopher Nolan:

Wonder if the Tenet refers to the ancient palindrome: sator arepo tenet opera rotas

It is a palindrome in more ways than one:

SATOR
AREPO
TENET
OPERA
ROTAS

(The farmer Arepo plows his fields) - website here: TENET

The New York Post - a two-fer

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Two clickable headlines. I am liking this newspaper - they cover a lot of the stories that the fake news people simply do not touch.

I made a snowman

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Swiped in toto from Denny at Grouchy Old Cripple:

It snowed last night…
8:00 am: I made a snowman.
8:10 – A feminist passed by and asked me why I didn’t make a snow woman.
8:15 – So, I made a snow woman.
8:17 – My feminist neighbor complained about the snow woman’s voluptuous chest saying it objectified snow women everywhere.
8:20 – The gay couple living nearby threw a hissy fit and moaned it could have been two snow men instead.
8:22 – The transgender man..women…person asked why I didn’t just make one snow person with detachable parts.
8:25 – The vegans at the end of the lane complained about the carrot nose, as veggies are food and not to decorate snow figures with.
8:28 – I was being called a racist because the snow couple is white.
8:31 – The middle eastern gent across the road demanded the snow woman be covered up .
8:40 – The Police arrived saying someone had been offended.
8:42 – The feminist neighbor complained again that the broomstick of the snow woman needed to be removed because it depicted women in a domestic role.
8:43 – The council equality officer arrived and threatened me with eviction.
8:45 – TV news crew from CBC showed up. I was asked if I know the difference between snowmen and snow-women? I replied “Snowballs” and am now called a sexist.
9:00 – I was on the News as a suspected terrorist, racist, homophobe sensibility offender, bent on stirring up trouble during difficult weather.
9:10 – I was asked if I have any accomplices. My children were taken by social services.
9:29 – Far left protesters offended by everything marched down the street demanding for me to be arrested.
By noon it all melted
Moral:
There is no moral to this story. It is what we have become, all because of snowflakes.

So close to the truth it is a sad commentary on today's society.

Ho Li Crap - The Far Side is back

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Website here: The Far Side

The back story here: 

About Gary Larson, The Far Side, and its official online home
Welcome to TheFarSide.com, the first official online home of The Far Side! Created by Gary Larson, the single-panel cartoon ran daily in newspapers from 1980 to 1995. In those fifteen years, The Far Side went from garnering controversy to becoming one of the most beloved cartoons of its time. Until now, it has never been offered online. We encourage you to read Gary's Letter to find out why. (Yes, he is definitely still alive.)

Everything is wonderful with the universe. I met L a month ago. The Far Side is back. What more can I ask for...

Heh - so true

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"The search for a scapegoat is the easiest of all hunting expeditions."
--Dwight D. Eisenhower

This will be fascinating to watch as the impeachment process implodes and Trump wins an even larger landslide next November. The Democrats will be standing there like Wiley E. Coyote with a dumb expression on their faces and their entire body covered with blast residue.

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Christ on a corn dog - "Woke" science

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This is just simply absurd - these people are beclowning themselves. From Nature of all places:

Supremacy is for racists — use ‘quantum advantage’
We take issue with the use of ‘supremacy’ when referring to quantum computers that can out-calculate even the fastest supercomputers (F. Arute et al. Nature 574, 505–510; 2019). We consider it irresponsible to override the historical context of this descriptor, which risks sustaining divisions in race, gender and class. We call for the community to use ‘quantum advantage’ instead.

The community claims that quantum supremacy is a technical term with a specified meaning. However, any technical justification for this descriptor could get swamped as it enters the public arena after the intense media coverage of the past few months.

In our view, ‘supremacy’ has overtones of violence, neocolonialism and racism through its association with ‘white supremacy’. Inherently violent language has crept into other branches of science as well — in human and robotic spaceflight, for example, terms such as ‘conquest’, ‘colonization’ and ‘settlement’ evoke the terra nullius arguments of settler colonialism and must be contextualized against ongoing issues of neocolonialism.

Two things come to mind:

First - O'Sullivan's Law

Named after British journalist John O'SullivanO’Sullivan’s Law states that any organization or enterprise that is not expressly right wing will become left wing over time.

Leftism (more properly: socialism) is in and of itself a form of decay. It’s what happens not just to television shows but to nations, churches and universities as the energy given off by the big bang of their inception slowly ebbs away. Rather than expend vitality in originality and creation they become obsessed with introspection, popularity and lethargy. Leftism is entropy of the spirit and intellect. Its parasitic nature attracts it to existing money and power.

-- An enterprise can stave off O'Sullivan's Law only if its creators keep it in mind and remain vigilant and truthful.

Of this last sentence - South Park is an excellent example where the creators have remained vigilant. Take a look at Marvel Comics for the opposite. Design by committee.

Second - Jerry Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy

His best-known "law" is "Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy":

In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control and those dedicated to the goals the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely.

He restated it as:

...in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself. Examples in education would be teachers who work and sacrifice to teach children, vs. union representatives who work to protect any teacher including the most incompetent. The Iron Law states that in all cases, the second type of person will always gain control of the organization, and will always write the rules under which the organization functions.

Sad to see such a prestigious journal such as Nature get taken over by the braying jackasses of social justice.

I have zero problem with the word Supremacy. If I am choosing between two items, I want the item to be supreme. I do not want to let political correctness force me to choose the mundane.

Are they going to go after 1960's Motown groups next. Shades of Harrison Bergeron.

From tech news aggregator Slashdot:

37-Year-Old Mom Finds Instagram's Sex Predators By Pretending To Be 11
Sloane Ryan is a 37-year-old woman who runs the Special Projects Team at Bark, a child-safety tech company selling a $9-a-month software that monitors text messages for bullying, threats of violence, depression, and sexual predators. "In 2018 alone, Bark alerted the FBI to 99 child predators. In 2019? That number is more than 300 -- and counting."

Bark had wanted a way to depict the problem to the public without using actual conversations -- so Ryan began posing as an underage minor on Instagram.

Over the past nine months, I've been 15-year-old Libby and 16-year-old Kait and 14-year-old Ava. I've been a studious sophomore contemplating bangs and a lacrosse player being raised by her aunt and an excitable junior eager for prom....

At the beginning of the week, on the very first night as [11-year-old] "Bailey" two new messages came in within 52 seconds of publishing a photo. We sat mouths agape as the numbers pinged up on the screen -- 2, 3, 7, 15 messages from adult men over the course of two hours. Half of them could be charged with transfer of obscene content to a minor. That night, I had taken a breather and sat with my head in my hands.

The second half of the article includes examples of particularly graphic conversations with what the perpetrators think are an 11-year-old girl instead of the 37-year-old woman who's investigating them. "I exit the conversation with @ XXXastrolifer to see another nine requests pending... Over the course of one week, over 52 men reached out to an 11-year-old girl."

Ryan also says they've formed "continuous working relationships" with law enforcement agencies, and "We've seen arrests and sentencings. We've provided testimony in court and invaluable information to investigations."

Now they're using the conversations they've collected to train artificial intelligence algorithms to better detect sexual predators automatically.

Great use of technology - AI works (kinda) but it needs to be trained. Having Ms. Ryan do the work gets these turds off the internet and off the streets.

There may be some legal issues with using AI for catching these goblins but it will never be a full-on Minority Report kind of thing - the AI will flag (and save) the suspicious behaviour and it will be reviewed by a real human for prosecution.

Great idea - 988

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Sad that it is needed but this will save lives. From United Press International:

FCC approves 988 as new U.S. suicide prevention hotline number
The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday agreed to move forward with plans to adopt a three-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

The five-member commission voted unanimously to approve the proposal to designate 988 as the national number for the hotline, opening it up for public comment and beginning the rule-making process.

"988 has an echo of the 911 number we all know as an emergency number. And we believe that this three-digit number, dedicated for this purpose, will help ease access to crisis services," FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said. "It'll reduce the stigma surrounding suicide and mental health conditions. And it'll ultimately save lives."

President Donald Trump signed a law last year ordering the FCC to select a number for the hotline that would be easy to remember during a crisis.

Good news - this is a problem that we are seeing more and more in today's confused society. Having a single point of contact makes help that much easier to get.

Great observation from The Silicon Graybeard:

Noted in Passing: the Opioid “Crisis” is Not Due to Prescription Drugs
I've written on the so-called opioid crisis several times in the last few years and have come to the conclusion that the narrative we're being fed simply isn't true; that the stories are manufactured for reasons that aren't necessarily clear, but that could track back to some well known politicians (hint - one of the names is associated with Arkancide).  For example a couple of years ago, Mylan, the company that makes Epinephrine injector pens - the kind used to stop anaphylactic shock in people with allergies to things like bee stings - raised the price a factor of 4x and the media howled like banshees.  The company that makes Naloxone, the drug used to stop people from dying of opioid overdose from dying, raised their price 17x and the media didn't say a word. 

The Raconteur Report takes this and runs with it - their proposal:

The solution is simple, and two-fold:
Ban Narcan for 5 years.
Build. The. Wall.

Bonus: it requires neither doubling down, nor outright surrendering in the War Mutually Beneficial Slapfight On (Some) Drugs, With Collateral Damage.
Libertarian drug-lovers, rejoice.

Within a year, you'll be able to count opiate OD deaths on your thumbs in most states, annually. Because after addicts die the first time, recidivism drops off precipitously!
Mirabile dictu!

Of course, in this political climate, this would never come to pass but it is an excellent idea. Put a big dent in the homeless problem too.

Heh - art

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From the internet:

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George Nader - from the London Daily Mail June 4th, 2019:

Convicted sex offender George Nader, 60, who was a key witness in Mueller's probe, is charged with bringing child porn into the US after being found with 'explicit videos of little boys engaging in beastiality on his phone' at JFK Airport
George Nader, who was a key witness in FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian election meddling investigation, has been arrested in New York and charged with bringing child pornography into the US for a second time.

From the United States Department of Justice - December 3rd, 2019

California CEO and Seven Others Charged in Multi-Million Dollar Conduit Campaign Contribution Case
Earlier today, an indictment was unsealed against the CEO of an online payment processing company, and seven others, charging them with conspiring to make and conceal conduit and excessive campaign contributions, and related offenses, during the U.S. presidential election in 2016 and thereafter.

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Assistant Director in Charge Timothy R. Slater of the FBI’s Washington Field Office made the announcement.

A federal grand jury in the District of Columbia indicted Ahmad “Andy” Khawaja, 48, of Los Angeles, California, on Nov. 7, 2019, along with George Nader, Roy Boulos, Rudy Dekermenjian, Mohammad “Moe” Diab, Rani El-Saadi, Stevan Hill and Thayne Whipple. The 53 count indictment charges Khawaja with two counts of conspiracy, three counts of making conduit contributions, three counts of causing excessive contributions, 13 counts of making false statements, 13 counts of causing false records to be filed, and one count of obstruction of a federal grand jury investigation. Nader is charged with conspiring with Khawaja to make conduit campaign contributions, and related offenses. Boulos, Dekermenjian, Diab, El-Saadi, Hill, and Whipple are charged with conspiring with Khawaja and each other to make conduit campaign contributions and conceal excessive contributions, and related offenses.

They do not say who received the money though. But, from the New York Post:

George Nader, key Mueller witness, charged with funneling money to Clinton campaign
A key witness in Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation has been hit with federal charges for allegedly conspiring to funnel more than $3.5 million to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.

George Nader, a Lebanese-American lobbyist busted for child pornography earlier this year, and seven others were named in a 53-count indictment unsealed in Washington, DC, federal court Tuesday.

It is almost always liberals. Biden, New York CityMark ZaidTerry Bean, teachers (here, here, here, here and here), Katie Hill... I could go on but you get the drift.

I do hope this is not Ender's Game

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From China's english language Global Times:

Game targeting Hong Kong ‘traitors’ popular on mainland social media
An online game calling on players to hunt down traitors who seek to separate Hong Kong from China and fuel street violence has reportedly begun to attract players across Chinese mainland social media platforms.

The game, "fight the traitors together," is set against the backdrop of the social unrest that has persisted in Hong Kong. The script asks the player to find eight secessionists hidden in the crowd participating in Hong Kong protests.

Players can knock them down with slaps or rotten eggs until they are captured. Online gamers claim the game allows them to vent their anger at the separatist behavior of secessionists during the recent Hong Kong riots.

The eight traitors in the game, caricatured based on real people, include Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, Martin Lee Chu-ming and Joshua Wong Chi-fung, prominent opposition figures who have played a major role in inciting unrest in Hong Kong. There are also traitor figures in ancient China.

"Hong Kong is part of China and this can't be meddled with by outside powers," reads the game cover page.

DuckDuckGo Ender's Game Ending if you have not read the book or seen the (very good) movie.

The first trailer was posted today:

Did not bother to see the 2016 "politically correct" reboot. Woke does not do it for me. Glad to see some clear heads are bringing it back to its roots. Loved the original. July 10th.

Not just me - end of the world

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Yesterday, I linked to this: Rough times ahead. Today, Bayou Renaissance Man posted this:

It's the end of the world as we know it - and we feel terrible!
Three articles struck a powerful chord in me over the past few days.  They all approach a central theme from different directions, but their conclusions are very similar:  today's extremists see politics, ideology, and life itself in religious terms rather than secular.  Their beliefs may have nothing to do with any Deity that we might recognize, but they're nevertheless oriented towards a cause that assumes God-like proportions in their eyes.

First, Alma Boykin (a good friend in meatspace as well as cyberspace) compares the attitudes of modern, secular millennialist extremists to religious fundamentalism:

Millennialism, leaning on Richard Landes’ definition and discussion, is an emotional, socially perfectionalist movement with an apocalyptic anticipation that rise[s] out of and then fall[s] back into “ordinary time.” Communism, Nazism, the Ghost Dance, the Millerite movement in the 1830s-40s in the US, the Münster Anabaptists, all fit this description and pattern. Society has become fatally corrupt, and there are signs that the end is coming, be it the Christian idea of the End Times, or Marx’s rising up of the proletariat against the owners of capital. The goal of the believers is to purify themselves and society so that when the End comes, they are ready for the new world that will arise. Often, they believe that their actions can bring about the coming of the End, or at least their inaction will lead to them failing to reach the better world (or for it to arrive at all – Ghost Dance.)

Much much more at the site. It pays to be prepared and to avoid large urban areas.

#1) - no, the sky is not falling but
#2) - situational awareness is a good thing to have (and continually practice).

Well crap - RIP René Auberjonois

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Obit from Variety:

René Auberjonois, ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Boston Legal’ Actor, Dies at 79
René Auberjonois, best known for his roles in “Boston Legal” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” died at his home in Los Angeles due to metastatic lung cancer. He was 79.

His son Rèmy-Luc confirmed the news to the Associated Press.

Auberjonois was a prolific television actor, appearing as Paul Lewiston in 71 episodes of “Boston Legal” and as Clayton Runnymede Endicott III in ABC’s long-running sitcom “Benson” — a role that earned him an Emmy nomination for best supporting actor in a comedy in 1984. He played shape-shifter Changeling Odo in “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” and carried that role into video games, voicing Odo in “Harbinger” and “The Fallen.” His appearance as Judge Mantz in ABC’s “The Practice” earned him another Emmy nod for guest actor in a drama in 2001.

His guest roles were numerous, appearing on classics like “Murder, She Wrote,” “The Jeffersons,” “The Outer Limits,” “L.A. Law,” “Stargate SG-1,” “Frasier,” and the more recent hit “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”

A great actor and seems to have been a really wonderful person.

Too cute - from Don Surber:

True words

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Especially these days with all that is happening in D.C.


"To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture."
--Thomas Paine

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