The Orange Man and Tech Censorship

Guess who just got unpersoned on the internet? No, not Smash Mouth™. Nope, not that short dude with no neck from that reality show. Definitely not Scott Bakula either. Give up? This guy:

The oligarchy of U.S. tech companies met up in their secret bunker and decided to give ole’ Trumpy the boot. Sorry big guy. No more beefing with celebrities and calling your political opponents dumb losers for the time being.

Some people are big mad at Trump being exiled, while some are ecstatic. Most seem to be a bit delusional as to the actual reason he was given the boot. Tech companies always give some bullshit explanation about “T.O.S. (Term of Service) violations”, but this isn’t the reality of the situation.

Here it is:

Yeah.. no. No, they didn’t ban Trump to “save democracy”, but it’s absolutely adorable that you actually think that. You probably believe in witchcraft too, so I’m not gonna hold you to too high of a standard here “moonmagic66”.

This isn’t about safety or Terms of Service violations. It’s not about saving anything other than the company itself. It’s about P.R. and corporate optics. It’s bad P.R. for these sites to not ban Trump. Not getting rid of him would lead to them getting hurt the only place it matters to them. Their wallets.

Peep this Jpeg:

Now how exactly are Pinterest™ and TikTok™ saving democracy by banning Trump? Was he going to upload a quiche recipe and film a K-Pop dance video? How about Spotify™? Are they preventing Trump from dropping a hot new mixtape? He doesn’t even use any of those platforms. None of them mattered. These are just empty gestures.

These companies don’t do things like banning high profile people out of some sort of virtuous gesture. They do so to stave off bad P.R. The middle-aged housewives who use Pinterest™ to post eleventy billion photos of their cats aren’t going to stage a mutiny against the company now. “Yay! My favorite social media platform banned someone who probably wasn’t even aware it existed! Democracy is saved!”.

The only two platforms the fella used on that list are Facebook™ and Twitter™. I’ve never seen his Facebook™ page, and it looks like I’ll never get to now, but I’m assured that it did in fact exist. I wonder if he used it to post any dank memes. His Twitter™ account is for sure gone though.

Ah, yes. Look there. It appears that Trump violated the “Twitter Rules™”, whatever those actually are. Unfortunately not even Twitter™ knows what their own damn rules are. Seriously. Twitter™ is an absolute shit-hole of a site, and I’m not being facetious either. I’m on it all the time to research these posts and I need to take a shower afterwards. Here’s a list of things you can find on Twitter™ at this very moment that somehow don’t violate their arbitrary and barely enforced “Twitter Rules™”:

– Child Porn
– Death Threats
– Virulent Homophobia
– Pro-Genocide Propaganda
– Blatant Racism
– And Many Other Hits!

Yes, child porn. When I first heard the rumblings that there was a bit of a child porn problem on Twitter™, I initially though it was hyperbole, or some conspiracy theory. But alas, there are so many accounts peddling the stuff that people have started accounts whose sole purpose is to highlight the offending accounts so their followers can mass report them. These illicit accounts continue to stay up until enough people complain and Twitter™ finally deletes them, only for more to immediately pop up. Great system you got there, Twitter™

this account was eventually banned

Let’s also tackle the pro-genocide propaganda, shall we? That certainly sounds like something that should be in violation of the “Twitter Rules™”.

You read that right. A Chinese government account pushing propaganda that a “study” was done showing Uygur women were actually happier now that they’ve had their state-sanctioned sterilization. The “eradicating extremism” alludes to where the government rounded up all the Muslims and put them into re-education camps to make them less Muslim-y. Soon they’ll be way less Muslim-y, because they can’t reproduce. And Twitter™ apparently had no problem with this content.

That is, until enough people complained and the post was removed. The account is still there posting all kinds of delicious propaganda, but that single post was removed. This only happened because enough people reported it, not because Twitter™ saw a problem with it to begin with. Do you see how this whole “it’s a P.R. thing, not T.O.S. thing” works?

People have been complaining to Twitter™ to ban Trump for the better part of the last four years. There were petitions and all those other pointless trivialities people like to sign because they think that’s how the world works. Dude’s been violating their T.O.S. constantly for the last four years. Was the 67th time the one that finally did it?

If he had ended up winning a second term, you can bet your sweet cheeks there’s no chance he would have been banned. He was entirely too good for engagement on their platform. None of that really matters now, because he was down to his last 2 weeks in office. Twitter™ really has nothing to lose at this point.

I know it must come as a shock that corporations do things for personal benefit and not for the greater good. This next revelation will probably come as a shock too, so you might want to sit down. Ok… you know how all those companies change their logos for pride month? That’s just a P.R. move too. Can you believe it?

Same as when they black out their social media over a death. It’s purely performative. Do you honestly think Nike™ cares if a black dude gets shot by the police? Nike™ doesn’t even care enough about human life to not use kids as slave labor. If you do happen to have a reputation for using slave labor, it’s certainly good P.R. to hop on the latest social cause band wagons though. Unfortunately this tactic seems to actually work.

Hey there Black Community. Times got ya down? Don’t worry, *checks notes* Gushers™ brand fruity childhood diabetes fruit snacks has your back. What exactly they’ve done beyond virtue signalling to earn empty likes and grow their social media presence is anyone’s guess. But at least they’ve put in the minimal amount of effort possible to acknowledge a problem, and that’s what really counts.

it’s not just 3rd tier childhood fruit snacks getting in on the action. The Banks™ are Oil™ companies are all in on the action now too.

Good to see that you guys could take time off foreclosing on people’s houses and dumping oil on baby seal’s faces to make a statement about something that doesn’t affect you. Regardless of who ends up in the White House, you’re just going to bribe them to be allowed to continue doing shitty things anyway, but thank you for the sentiment. I’ll sleep safer tonight knowing that the Banks™ continue to be a voice of morality in our society.

This trend where corporations create twitter accounts to try to meme and get political is so embarrassing. Just sell me your cancer and stop trying to be relatable. We all know what you’re here for, and it isn’t to make a change, or join the discourse.

Ben and Jerry’s™ ice cream is consistently one of the worst cases of this. They type out 9-page political diatribes every time something in U.S. politics happens. At this point, they’re essentially just a political account that occasionally tweets out something about their actual products. They post these feel-good, boilerplate statements so that their pre-diabetic Northeastern housewife audience can pat themselves on the back for being “progressive” while gorging down another pint of I’m With Her Kale Quinoa Explosion.

The two guys who founded the company literally have nothing to do with it anymore. Unilever™ has owned it since 2000, and has actively gone out of their way to keep the whole “socially conscience” vibe going, despite Unilever being about as socially conscience as Exxon. The account is probably run by someone in a marketing department in Malaysia somewhere. The housewives don’t need to know this though. Just keep shoveling ice cream in their direction.

At least Steak-Umm™ is honest about it’s intentions:

So maybe stop attributing political benevolence to what corporations do. They literally don’t care until they are forced to for some reason, and that reason is usually monetary. Tech corporations shouldn’t be applauded for blatantly ignoring their own T.O.S., even if they occasionally make a good call in banning someone. They’re corporations, not people, and should be held accountable and held to some sort of standard in how they operate.

Most importantly, why is nobody concerned about this:

Twitter™ and Facebook™ just tanked an entire grifter industry. These people have bills to pay and mouths to feed. Now they’re going to have to go get real jobs, and that is an injustice. Won’t somebody think of these fine folks? The least Twitter™ could do is create a TrumpBot that procedurally generates Trump tweets so these people can continue tweeting hysterically in the mentions and selling #resist shirts to conspiratorial soccer moms. It’s the least they could do.

So What’s New?

Happy Holidays, everyone. Hope everyone had a good time out there. Let’s hop back on social media and see what’s going on in the world, and OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING.

Is 1776 commencing again? Are they shooting a Michael Bay movie? What’s going on here?

Is this an Assassin’s Creed re-enactment? Are you guys doing parkour? There’s stairs over there to the right. Why don’t you just take those instead. There are easier ways to get up there. You guys are going to get hurt doing that. Stop it.

Did they release a new Fallout game? Those ps5 graphics are looking pretty damn good. The fur on that Davy Crockett hats almost looks lifelike. Which side quest is this?

What are you doing sir? Where did you get that? That doesn’t belong to you. Put that back this instance. Stop playing around, man. You’re gonna get in big trouble.

So it seems a bunch of people who were convinced we’re dealing with a stolen election decided to storm the Capitol building to “save Democracy” because they’ve seen Braveheart™ one too many times. Noble intentions perhaps, but misguided and a bit on the problematic side.

To start with, the election wasn’t stolen. More people simply showed up to vote for the not-Trump guy. There was an increased eligible voter turnout of 7-10% in 2020 as compared to 2016. Here’s that pew poll showing that 56% of Biden voters were holding their noses and voting for the progressive with the pro-segregation past simply because they hated Trump that much:

A lot of people disliked the guy. The election was extremely close, but acting like it was a no-contest blow-out, and that it’s infeasible he could have possibly lost is ridiculous. Just because he claims he lost, doesn’t mean an entire election was illegitimate.

Given how Trump has acted the last month, the fears of the people voting against him weren’t entirely unfounded. He really hasn’t handled the entire affair very gracefully, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. His refusal to accept defeat no doubt had an effect on what transpired in Washington yesterday. He eventually got blocked on twitter and facebook after a day-long tirade of screaming “rigged election”:

Now there are all sorts of conspiracy theories all over social media about the event. A lot of the left is convinced that the police were in on this, and “let it happen”, while a lot of the right is convinced that these people were actually Antifa in MAGA disguises. Not only that, but a lot of the right is also now agreeing with the left that the police let Trump supporters in, seemingly because it changes the narrative against the Trump folks. Being inside the Capitol building can’t be a crime if they were just let in. It’s all so very ridiculous, but so par for the course at this point.

If anything, it seems the government buildings were a little too underprotected, given that a major event was happening in D.C. at the time, which isn’t a great look for government competency.

Evidently Trump had a “Save America Rally” at the Ellipse park just south of the White House. After that, a bunch of the crowd traveled the roughly mile and a half over to the Capitol Building to do whatever it was they were attempting to accomplish.

To be fair, I’m sure nobody was expecting anyone to storm the Capitol since it literally hasn’t happened in over two hundred years:

Nobody had ever flown planes into the Twin Towers until that happened as well, so there really isn’t a good excuse for the unpreparedness. You can guarantee they’re gonna be spending more tax dollars on defense now, so that $750 billion is about to go up. Maybe the White House will get some new automated turrets installed. Finally, something that benefits the people.

I’ve been seeing this kind of cognitive bias hot take a lot as well:

The old “if x group did this it would be different” narrative that people absolutely love falling back on, regardless of how detached from reality it actually is.

First off, the FBI is already aggressively pursuing anybody involved, which should be an easy task, given how many people were filming the whole ordeal.

DC Metro Police are on the hunt as well, and also offering $1,000 rewards for info about those involved with breaching the Capitol building.

There were also probably more Starbucks™ establishments destroyed during the 2020 rioting than any other type of building, making that tweet above a bit ironic. I don’t recall anyone particularly caring too much about the coffee establishments, let alone the police, who probably had better things to do that that time. Or maybe they didn’t. Who knows.

Oh yeah. There’s also this:

In another instance of irony, an executive order that increased penalties for the destruction of government property, and was aimed at people destroying statues during the riots last year, is gonna end up burning anyone who destroyed anything in the Capitol building.

Sec. 2.  Policy.  (a)  It is the policy of the United States to prosecute to the fullest extent permitted under Federal law, and as appropriate, any person or any entity that destroys, damages, vandalizes, or desecrates a monument, memorial, or statue within the United States or otherwise vandalizes government property.  The desire of the Congress to protect Federal property is clearly reflected in section 1361 of title 18, United States Code, which authorizes a penalty of up to 10 years’ imprisonment for the willful injury of Federal property.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-protecting-american-monuments-memorials-statues-combating-recent-criminal-violence/

These people are gonna be in bigger trouble than if they had destroyed a Starbucks™, something people literally did and received misdemeanors and probation for.

The silver lining in all this, is that it will no doubt lead to a bunch of draconian Government overreach. We’re now going to have the NSA scrubbing through grandma’s facebook account and putting a gun to Apple’s head to let them see all the personal pictures on your phone. It’s for the governments your safety though, so don’t worry about it. So, thanks for that folks. Good work.

Pour Your 40oz Out For The Grifters

note: this article was written on 11/27/20 and auto-uploaded

So it looks like Trump is on his way out. The people I feel for the most with this exchange of power are the battalion of grifters who got rich off doing nothing other than being anti-Trump. How are they going to make a living now?

I agree with the guy with the Totoro avatar. Trump was a boon for grifters. Numerous people and organizations watched their stars rise by hanging out in Trump’s mentions on twitter, and yelling into the void like coked-up children.

People like the Krassenstein brothers: two himbos with the combined IQ of two six-year-olds stacked on top of each other under a trench coat. Ed and Brian unintentionally provided hours of entertainment with their absolutely special-needs level hot takes on Trump and politics. Unfortunately, they both got the boot off Twitter for running fake accounts, but not before amassing over 1.6 million followers between the both of them. They liked to comment on either other’s posts in a completely naturally and not at all forced manner like so:

I’ll also miss Eugene Gu, the fake doctor pretending to be a real doctor, who spends 12 hours a day obsessively yelling at Trump on twitter. You know, stuff actual doctors have the time to do. He’s gained half a million followers by replying to every single Trump tweet approximately 10 seconds after they’re posted. You know, stuff an actual doctor would totally do. Here he is writing a novel to Trump over a meme he posted last year:

Next up is Jeff Tiedrich. He’s a bit of a mystery wrapped in an enigma. He also might legitimately have an undiagnosed mental disorder. Literally all the guy does is whine about Trump on twitter, and it’s netted him over 600k followers in 2 years. He’s also suckered 100 people into paying him actual monthly donations on Patreon to whine about Trump. The grift is real. He’s going to have a really hard time making a living when Biden is in office. I hope he invested that money wisely. Here he is making the same old corny joke sixteen times, because his followers are evidently all children and never stop finding it funny:

Last but not least is The Lincoln Project™, one of the most magnificent grifts that was ever grifted in the history of grifts. It’s a PAC started by a bunch of George W Bush and John McCain cronies with the intention of surfing the #Resistance wave to untold fortunes. Their shtick is being anti-Trump to goad largely Democrat voters to donate to them. It’s working wonderfully by the way. They have 2.7 million followers on twitter and have pulled in about $60 million this year alone.

Most of the people involved are level-headed enough to have scrubbed their social media of anything that might give the grift away, except Rick Wilson. Rick is the loose cannon of the bunch. The guy has a history of saying incendiary things that he curbed (mostly) once he started his grift aimed at Democrats. Here’s a super cut of some of his greatest hits:

He doesn’t shit all over Obama and Biden since the Lincoln Project started. Anyone wanna venture a guess why that is? Here’s some of his other hits:

Those are some quality tweets, Rick. The last one is from Ben Howe, who used to be the Lincoln Project’s video editor until someone dug up the above tweet and he was canned for obvious P.R. reasons. He has me blocked on twitter for some reason, even though I’ve never interacted with him. I guess being blocked is better than being shot in the face though, right Ben?

Let’s see how this grift survives now that Trump is out of office. We might need to start a go-fund-me for a few of these folks once they’re out of work in a month.

Election Accomplished

Congrats everybody. We successfully electioned. Well, as successful as one can election in the U.S. I suppose.

It appears as though the 2020 election was essentially a flip of the 2016 election:

It’s important to keep in mind that this isn’t exactly a landslide. Far from it. This election came down to a few close races in a few states. There was only a 0.3% difference between the candidate’s total votes in Arizona, a 0.7% difference in Wisconsin, and a 0.2% difference in Georgia. These 3 states alone accounted for 37 electoral votes. All three ultimately went blue, but with such tiny margins (only 12k votes in Georgia), they could have easily gone red.

This win was essentially a 3 pointer at the buzzer. It was a close call, just like in the sports ball games. Trump wasn’t taking it all that well that his team was losing however:

Twitter even rolled out a special new fact check notification to plaster all over his tweets. That was very nice of twitter.

He also sent out some crazy emails that make me bummed that I wasn’t on his mailing list. I feel like I was missing out on some great entertainment in my inbox these last few weeks:

So how did we get here? How could “Literally Hitler” have come so close to winning another election? Put on your tinfoil hat and hear me out.

How did we go from a whole-ass lineup of potential Dem candidates, many of whom were quite popular, to ending up with a guy who already had a long terrible government record, and a gal who dropped out of the running last year after polling at single digit approval ratings? It happened completely organically of course.

Just joking.

When people rally behind candidates that aren’t endorsed by the establishment, said establishment will always find a way to torpedo those candidates. Tulsi Gabbard started to overtake Kamala Harris in the polls in October of last year. This is coincidentally also around the time Hillary Clinton (the establishment) started to field rumors that Tulsi was a “Russian asset”:

The “I’m With Her” types can still be found all over social media to this day calling anyone and everyone a Russian asset:

Well, if someone as honest and uncorrupt as Hillary Clinton said it, it obviously has to be true Jeanne. Your misnaming of Tulsi also really drives home the point that you obviously follow politics and aren’t merely regurgitating stuff you’ve heard from potentially dubious sources. You can go back to healing yourself with crystals and checking your horoscope, Jeanne. Thanks for your input on this matter.

Kamala Harris eventually dropped out in early December 2019, and Gabbard followed suit in March of 2020.

What about Andrew Yang? He was a fairly popular candidate. They got to him too, unfortunately. This is where we have to face the unpopular-for-some-people truth that the mainstream media is also part of the establishment, i.e. those who hold the power to shape our elections.

This great website details the countless incidents between March 2019, and February 2020 wherein completely impartial, unbiased media outlets such as MSNBC and CNN constantly left Yang out of debate graphics and polling charts, listed his name wrong, and even used a completely different Asian guy in graphics of him:

https://vocal.media/theSwamp/a-visual-history-of-the-yang-media-blackout

Once or twice could be misconstrued as honest mistakes, but these incidents occurred over 50 times in the lead-up to the election. We’re on to you, the media.

Bernie Sanders had a huge following leading up to the 2016 election, and he too was unceremoniously disposed of by the establishment. Unfortunately, I wasn’t archiving all this at the time, but you can find stuff like this all around the internet of 2016:

This article refers to emails released via WikiLeaks showing that Debbie Wasserman Schultz, then head of the DNC, favored Hillary Clinton, acted on her behalf, and actively attempted to undermine the Sanders campaign. She subsequently resigned from the position, only to immediately be hired by Hillary:

https://fortune.com/2016/07/24/wasserman-schultz-clinton-campaign/

Schultz was also Clinton’s campaign co-chair during her 2008 run for President, prior to ending up as the head of the DNC. I can’t help but feel there are quite a few conflicts of interest going on in this scenario. And people have the gall to believe U.S. politics is full of corruption. The nerve.

Let’s go back to 2012 now.

Anybody remember that year’s rising star who got royally screwed by the establishment? Anybody remember Ron Paul?

Here he is topping all kinds of polls, prior to being unceremoniously unpersoned by the powers that be. Why did this happen? Because he was vehemently small-government and anti-war. The establishment wants more government power and more war. When he was doing a little too well, the media decided to refuse to acknowledge his existence on television, which predictably hurt his campaign. The Daily Show did a great segment on this back in 2011 that you can find on YouTube under: (John Stewart) Media vs Ron Paul

This literally happens every election cycle. It’ll happen in 2024 too. There will be some candidate or candidates who get popular, only to be blacklisted by the media and slandered by establishment politicians. People will buy into it, and we’ll end up with a nice wholesome establishment warmonger yet again.

Here are some random charts showing media coverage of candidates for the 2012 race and the 2020 race:

The less coverage the media gives a candidate, on average the worse they tend to do. If a candidate is gaining in the polls, the media can merely cease covering them and this will reduce their poll numbers. Conversely, more coverage can positively affect the polls. Notice in the second chart that the media chose to give Harris the second most coverage despite the fact that she never polled beyond single digits. Now she is Vice President. Surely, this is just a coincidence.

Finally, here is a former MSNBC producer highlighting some of the behind-the-scenes working of the major news outlets:

So, yes, the media absolutely has a hand in gate-keeping who does and doesn’t end up in the lead in our U.S. elections, which is going to need to change if we want to have actual fair, Democratic elections in the future.

Taking all this into account, Biden was potentially destined to be the candidate going back as far as June of last year. All these debates might just be one big dog and pony show, giving people the illusion that they are participating in Democracy, when the only choice they actually have is voting between whatever final red or blue candidate is handed to them.

Having said that, it does no good to prop up a candidate unless people are willing to show up and vote for said pre-selected candidate. How do you get people to vote for your potentially unpopular, pre-selected candidate? There is an answer for that too.

You have to actively make the alternative look as bad as humanly possible. This is where we end up with the “lesser of two evils” scenario within U.S. politics. If your candidate is shitty, just make the other guy look even shittier. People will predictably vote for the smaller turd nugget.

It’s at this point we have the media attempting to convince people that Trump is a fascist, and literally Hitler for the better part of the last year and a half. Both of these assertions are ridiculous to anyone who has any grasp of history. The average American has little grasp of history, so this tactic is actually quite effective unfortunately.

They pulled this with Bush 2 back when he was in office. He was deemed a fascist, war-monger, anti-Christ for eight years, until he was replaced by his future pal Obama, who ended up having a very similar record on everything that was supposed to be bad during Bush administration. Now they are best friends and play Fortnite™ together on the weekends.

There are people who are still surprised when they see countless pictures of the Bushes and Obamas hanging out. “How can Michelle hug a war criminal?”, the enlightened one will usually ask. Because she’s married to Obama, sir and or ma’am. Do you think her husband was building playgrounds for 8 years in the middle east?

Having said that, at least Obama ran on a good platform that was in direct opposition to the negative that occurred during the Bush administration. It’s just a shame that he didn’t actually carry through with any of it.

Biden simply ran on the platform of “At least I’m not Trump”. His only selling point seemed to be that Trump handled Covid bad, and he somehow wouldn’t have. Trump did handle Covid bad. Biden would have handled Covid bad as well, so this is a ridiculous platform to run on.

Let me introduce you to the H1N1 virus of 2009, aka the Swine Flu. Biden was vice president during this time. If you notice in the diagram above, the U.S. is a black color. That color represents the countries that got hit hardest by this virus. The U.S. managed this virus somewhat poorly as you can see. The U.S. has a rather long history of managing viruses rather poorly, regardless of which party is in the White House. Believing that Biden is a Christ figure who would have lessened our current virus burden by much is a stretch. The way we manage viruses needs to be reassessed, independent of political party.

Far too many people are under the impression that the two big parties in the U.S. are diametrically opposed to each other. The old good guy and bad guy trope. The truth is that they tend to share more of their platforms than they differ. Neither is terribly anti-war, neither is doing a bang up job on education, both love big money and corporations, and neither seems to really care about the drug addiction and homelessness problems. This is how I tend to see it:

In this masterful artwork, you can see a great divide between the two parties on the left. On the right, you can see a great overlap between the two parties. A lot of people vote like the image on the left is a reality, when perhaps things are a little bit closer to the image on the right. Biden isn’t even in office yet, and there are already disappointing realities being unleashed on a near daily basis. These probably aren’t representative of the change people were hoping for:

Biden is already picking some real winners. He probably won’t have the same revolving-door cabinet of weirdos that Trump went through, but things aren’t looking all that progressive thus far. It’s still establishment, but it’ll be a kinder, gentler establishment.

Luckily, we can sleep soundly knowing the mainstream media outlets are about to take a giant four year nap. It’ll only be right wing or smaller left-leaning outlets who are going to report on all the bad things coming our way from this point on. Meanwhile, the Democrat-leaning mainstream is going to be doing this non-stop:

Thank goodness Trump is finally gone so we can get back to doing journalism about dogs, psychics, and socks. You know, the hard-hitting stuff. Make sure you don’t hold anyone to task for following through on campaign promises now. It’s not like that’s your job or anything.

This happened for eight years during the Obama administration, which is why people still think that everything bad that exists only started happening approximately four years ago some how. You have popular sentiments like this:

Thank god those cages that Obama and future president Biden built are going to poof out of existence now that Trump is gone. Not to be too hyperbolic, but this is kind of like re-electing Hitler to dismantle Auschwitz. Even Snopes isn’t going out of their way to run interference for this unfortunate fact:

When it comes down to it, perhaps we’re still stuck in traffic, but we’ve merely switched lanes. We’re still not getting anywhere soon, but the view will be slightly different for a bit.

Elections Are Rad

You all ready for the 2020 elections? This is the big one, friends. This will decide whether we have 4 more years of authoritarian dystopia, or 4 years of a slightly different authoritarian dystopia. Get out there and vote. Huge stakes. Some of the biggest stakes. I’ve heard people talking, very smart people, and they’re saying these stakes are big. Huge even.

Which color of corporatist, war monger kool-aid do you want to chug? You want that fruit punch, or the baja blast? Both will give you diabetes, but the baja blast gives you a kinder, gentler, sweeter form of diabetes. Some people don’t mind the diabetes, as long as the diabetes is civil and soft spoken while it eats their leg away.

I’m already seeing the same goofy-ass predictions on social media that occurred in 2016. People posting their convoluted forecasts that seem to defy all logic and convey a complete lack of touch with reality. Here are a few:

These aren’t the worst, but I forgot to save the worst at the time I saw them, so these will have to do. For anyone who needs a refresher on how monumentally wrong the media and pundits were in 2016, here’s a small sample:

I think the reason these folks are so terrible at predicting elections is that they tend to have a very one-dimensional view of reality. They all live in the same area, surrounded by people who think and act exactly like they do. There’s very little diversity of thought, or life experience in these circles. If everyone you know says Hillary Clinton is going to win, what reason do you have to think otherwise? Just about everyone in my gated community is voting Democrat, so they’re obviously going to win, right? To be fair this goes the other direction too. There are no doubt plenty of people who can’t fathom an outcome where Biden wins this current election. The difference is that these people usually aren’t employed by the major media companies followed by millions of people.

Hillary was pretty damn sure she had that election in the bag as well though:

The fact of the matter is that this election will be close, just like the 2016 elections were. Anyone not living in a complete bubble would agree I should hope. The media lives in a bubble, which is why they are constantly wrong.

Anybody remember right before Joker came out in theaters, when the media desperately tried to create a false narrative that people were going to be influenced by the main character and shoot up theaters? The internet remembers:

This of course, never panned out. The media never got their sensational bloodbath(s) to write further articles about while raking in those outrage clicks and making ad revenue hand over fist. Poor media. I feel sorry for them. 😢

Sensationalism gets views. It’s why people who aren’t even in the media insist on typing out stupid shit like this and posting it on social media:

This is beyond asinine. It was probably also posted merely to get clicks and draw traffic to this weirdo’s account, but there are people who actually believe these conspiracies.

Anyone remember prior to the 2016 elections when the media also incorrectly predicted that Trump supporters would riot if he lost the election? This magazine cover remembers:

Turns out they almost hit the mark here. What they got wrong however, was that it was Hillary that lost, and her followers were the ones doing the things depicted in this image. This is projection at its finest. It’s also why you should take media predictions with a grain of salt, if not ignore them completely. It’s usually just outrage porn to capitalize on people’s fears and sell more copies.

Another thing to ignore are those ridiculous “This person/group/pet has predicted the election results before” nonsense. You can stumble into this distinction via pure chance. Let’s say on a given year 10,000 pundits, organizations or whatever make a prediction between 2 candidates. With a simple coin toss guess, roughly 5,000 will guess correctly. Four years later, of those 5,000, half will guess correctly on a coin toss prediction. After 12 years, 1250 were right. After 16 years, 625 were correct. 20 years later (5 elections) 312.5 were correct. By this time, those that guessed wrong the first year, but correct every successive year have a 4 election, 16 year streak, and so on.

The number of people/farm animals/inanimate objects that might have guessed 4,5,6 elections correctly is going to be rather huge, and thus inconsequential. We’re talking a 1 in 2 chance of being correct on any given year in a two-party system. This is like the astrology of vote predictions. Meaningless, but entertaining perhaps.

Everyone should just remain calm and realize that regardless of who wins, nothing substantive will change. You still won’t get affordable healthcare, the government will continue finding ways to spy on you and strip you of your rights, and your taxes will continue funding wars overseas that you have no say in. There is a silver lining though:

That is true progress. We are truly blessed to live in this progressive era.

Before I head out, I have some actual good news for real though. Turns out the Patriot Act expired last June:

This is the same Patriot Act that bad president Bush initially passed, and good president Obama kept renewing after getting elected on a platform condemning it. Every time it’s about to expire, the government votes to keep it around, but only after adding new dystopian amendments that consistently ignore Constitutional rights. Trump had initially backed the Act, until he suspected it had been used against him by the previous administration, at which point he unpredictably started to see it as a problem.

It’s important to reiterate that Democrats and Republicans have both consistently backed this Act. This means there’s a good chance the next Democrat or Republican elected after Trump will attempt to push the bill, or a similar bill through again. So if Trump does end up with a second term, at least there will be one upside: four years of slightly less government spying.

Happy voting, everyone!

Post-Quarantine: Day 186

2020 just keeps getting wilder. Seems like only yesterday that 2012 was supposed to be some kind of a big deal. Guess the Mayans were off by 8 years. Not too bad of a mathematical error given the time frame.

The White Riots

The protesting and rioting is still going strong. The rioting continues to consist of a very particular demographic:

More rich kids destroying other people’s neighborhoods before heading back to their parent’s gated communities to play polo on the weekend. One of her fellow rioters was evidently a jet setting model. Of course none of them will face much in the way of repercussions because of their family wealth and connections. This sounds a bit like that white privilege we’ve been hearing about lately. I love the last sentence of this article:

Here’s a bunch of upstanding white youths harassing and blocking a black woman’s vehicle until she finally gets out and chews them out like their parents probably should have at some point:

Good job white kids. You’re really out here observing the spirit of Black Lives Matter by harassing black people. At least you’re not burning down black-owned businesses and ruining people’s livelihoods:

Great work, folks. We’re really making a difference out there. This is exactly the way to go about enacting change and making the world a better place. At least his insurance will pay for it, right? That’s been the justification for a lot of this rioting, after all. The rioters are all adults with adult responsibilities who obviously know how insurance works, right? About that:

Wait. What? Insurance isn’t money that falls from the sky and makes building magically come back like in Minecraft or something? Who would have though literal kids don’t understand anything about money or insurance? Not only are most people not going to get close to the full value of their ruined property, but insurance rates in these areas might skyrocket, meaning they’re being doubly screwed if they do decide to rebuild.

California Fires And Gavin Newsom

California is burning again, which has become more of an annual occurrence than the already all too common droughts. As has been the case the last few times it’s happened, it’s partially the fault of climate change, and mostly the fault of terrible governance.

I briefly hinted at this in the beginning of my 1/15/20 post talking about the Australia fires. These fires happen, and the finger is continually pointed at climate change, while all the other controllable factors are all but ignored. Climate change is a factor, but these fires have happened since before humans were even around, and don’t just happen because not enough people drive a Prius.

Take Australia for example. 46 million acres burned in the 2019-2020 fires. 94 million acres burned back in 2002. 290 million acres burned back in 1974-1975. 110 million acres burned in 1969-1970. 99 million acres burned in 1968-1969. Even all the way back in 1851, 12 million acres burned.

To put this in perspective, thus far the 2020 California wildfires have destroyed 3.4 million acres, with 4.6 million acres burned in total on the west coast.

These fires will naturally happen, climate change or not. Here’s a chart from NASA’s website illustrating the general consensus that global warming slowly started around 1950:

Massive fires didn’t start happening in 1950. Lightning has been a common factor in wildfires since the dawn of time. Wildfires have been such a regular occurrence that certain plants adapted via evolution to survive them, or even thrive in their wake. These plants are called Pyrophytes.

So what is the point of all this information?

Every time one of these fires happens the political narrative is “This is because of climate change”. Well yes, but mostly no. Climate change increases the likelihood by some minute percentile, but it’s never the direct cause. Unless the temperature gets so hot that things start to spontaneously combust (including us), this will continue to be the case.

There is always a human contingent to how these fires start. Many California fires over the last decade have been started by rogue campfires, fireworks, downed power lines, even a few gender reveal parties involving explosives (cringe). All of these fires were ultimately preventable, climate change or not.

Why focus solely on climate change every time this happens? It provides a slick way for politicians to absolve themselves of any responsibility. It’s akin to blaming a gun for a murder, completely ignoring the fact that a human made the choice to commit the act. Politically, it’s far easier to direct fear at a gun and talk about control, rather than attempt to highlight and fix the underlying human factors behind violent crime.

Yes climate change is real. Poor forest management is also real:

https://www.courthousenews.com/cal-fire-chief-blames-wildfires-mismanaged-forests/

That second article is from 2017, predating the last two major fire events that have happened in California. Dry conditions and high temperatures weren’t a factor in the severity of the 2017 fires. Poor forest management was. This has been common knowledge for years, but is continually ignored by California politicians.

Blaming California fires on climate change every time they happen is doing nothing to lessen the chances of them happening year after year. Pointing the finger at climate change is a way of making these particular fires a “global” issue instead of acknowledging them as a California issue. It’s perfectly fine to address climate change, but using it as a scapegoat becomes ridiculous when there are other actions you can take to lessen their severity and decrease their regularity.

You also probably shouldn’t be using climate change as a scapegoat when you’re continually contributing to it:

Fracking is linked in methane spikes in the atmosphere. According to the below article: “…methane heats up the climate over 80 times more than an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide in the first 20 years after it is released into the atmosphere..”

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/08/fracking-boom-tied-to-methane-spike-in-earths-atmosphere/

Newsom has a pretty long history of not taking responsibility for things that happen under his watch. Prior to being governor of California, he was mayor of San Francisco from 2004 to 2011, and lieutenant governor of CA from 2011 to 2019. The homeless problem in California exploded during that time and very little was done to effectively remedy the situation. Soon after becoming governor he had this to say:

https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2019/aug/14/gavin-newsom/gavin-newsoms-ridiculous-claim-texas-responsible-s/

This is categorically false. The number of out-of-state homeless in California varies between 8 and 10 percent on any given year. Here is the data from 2009/2011, 2015, and 2019:

https://hsh.sfgov.org/about/research-and-reports/san-francisco-homeless-point-in-time-count-reports/

Lets put on our big boy pants and start managing those forests and stop pointing the finger. Maybe even start tackling that homeless issue you’re been sleeping on for almost 15 years. Thank you, sir.

Trump And The Nobel Prize

Trump was nominated for a Nobel Peace Price recently, and people are none too happy about it. He is “literally Hitler” after all.

The news comes after two peace treaties were established, one between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, and one between Israel and Bahrain.

Realistically, this is just a gesture and he won’t end up winning the prize. Firstly, the nomination process is a bit casual. There’s a huge pool of individuals who may nominate anyone at any time. The nomination came from just 2 guys in parliament in Sweden and Norway. There are also 318 people in the running for the prize this year. The whole process seems to be less official than most TV Awards™ ceremonies.

Secondly, the treaties thus far have been between countries that were never at war. Not that it’s an empty gesture necessarily, but not exactly one that would warrant a peace prize. It’s also a bit early to be celebrating. There was talk about a nomination back in 2018 over North Korean peace talks, but nothing came of that. Not much came of the peace talks either, seeing as how North Korea is still on guard, so the talks of a Peace Prize were a bit premature.

Ultimately, it’s ridiculous to give a peace prize to anyone whose job involves deciding which countries to bomb on any given day. There are better individuals to award these prizes to. No U.S. president should realistically be eligible, seeing as how we bomb more countries than anyone else on the map year after year.

These aren’t exactly peacekeeping guys we keep putting into office. There are plenty of countries that manage to go a full year without bombing any other country. As a matter of fact, the Nobel committee has regrets about awarding Obama the prize back in 2009:

I’m sure the committee wants to save face, and doesn’t want to risk giving the award to someone who might not end up living up to the accolade again. This tweet represents how low the “peace” bar is, however:

We’re bombing seven countries currently, but a record was broken because we didn’t start bombing an eighth one. Good job, everybody. World peace is right around the corner.

Post-Quarantine: Day 172

What’s new? More protesting, more rioting, more violence, more deaths, more dishonest political pandering, and more propaganda. There must be an election around the corner or something.

We’re about 2 months away from the 2020 elections, and we’re entering the desperate, last-minute, Hail Mary pass phase of U.S. politics. I touched on this a little in my last post, but I’m going to go a little more in-depth with this one.

As previously stated, the Democratic establishment seemed to be banking on capitalizing on Covid fears to wrangle votes, while the Republicans were sticking to the tactic of stirring up fear from the violence occurring in mainly Democrat-run cities. Of these two tactics, it seems things ended up working out more in favor for the Republicans. Kamala Harris, who has spent the last 3 months on twitter sticking to the topics of Covid and the USPS ordeal, finally tweeted this out:

She literally hasn’t said a peep about the ongoing violence for at least the last 3 months. I scoured her twitter before writing this to check. It seems either a) she wasn’t aware this was going on, or b) the Democrats were intentionally avoiding this topic until now. She isn’t stupid, there’s no way she’s this out of touch, so one can only assume the Democrats were just ignoring this problem for whatever reason. Keep in mind, this has been going on for months, and the death toll from these riots is currently over 30.

My guess would be that Trump’s constant focus on the riot violence was having a more successful impact in the polls than the constant focus on Covid that Biden and Harris were pushing. It feels like most people have essentially moved on with their lives, and learned to live with Covid. They aren’t subject to the same fears they had months ago before the protests and riots reached fever pitch. The Democrats finally realized they were out of touch by continuing to focus on Covid all these months later, and needed to pivot to a new fear.

All modern politics are driven by fear. Politicians generally don’t run on platforms of change and new ideas, because then they have to follow through with those promises, and politicians tend to fail horribly at actually following through with their campaign promises. Invoking fears of the bad things the other party will bring, while promising to be the antidote to those very fears is far easier. People are inherently tribalist and easily persuaded by these tactics. Obama ran on a platform of not being Bush, then just doubled down on the wars and government spying he claimed to be against once he was in office. To this day, people are still willing to overlook all of this because of political tribalism.

Trump’s focus on the riots was having a greater impact, so now Biden and Harris are finally going to focus on the riots too. The previous tactic had been to either downplay, or outright ignore that they were even happening. Here is how MSNBC and CNN have consistently and quite comedically been downplaying the riots for months:

The ignore and/or deny tactic no longer works in an age where everyone has a smartphone and every event is recorded. The legacy media really needs to enter the 21st century and realize this. People can watch endless videos of carnage all over twitter and youtube, free of any fabricated media narrative. Lying only works when you have complete control over the flow of information, which the media no longer does.

If the Democrats had addressed this violence sooner, instead of pretending it didn’t exist, they’d be in a much better place right now. This tactic is not effective:

Now the game plan has switched to “Acknowledge the rioting, but blame it all on Trump”.

This would be a great point, if not for two major problems: 1) There were a record number of riots during Obama’s presidency, and 2) This completely absolves responsibility from governors and mayors.

According to wikipedia, there were *checks notes* 29 separate riot events during the period where Biden was Vice President. By comparison there have been 8 under Trump so far. I’m sure conservatives blamed those riots on Obama/Biden, but did Biden take responsibility for them? I’d put my money on “doubt it”. He wasn’t to blame though. If a riot breaks out in Miami, the mayor of Miami needs to handle it. If problems arise in Maine, that’s state governor is in charge. We have mayors and governors for a reason. Biden has been in government for 45 years. He’s well aware of all this.

If there have been 90 days of rioting going on in a city, that mayor is to blame for not being able to handle that issue. That mayor can request federal assistance, at which point the president comes into play. There’s absolutely no point in having a mayor if they don’t do anything or aren’t responsible for the city they were elected to run. Passing on the blame doesn’t make you a good leader. Just because Trump does it, doesn’t mean you’re justified in doing it.

Yet this is what they’ve continually done. Failed at handling the problem at hand, then pointing the finger at everybody else. A few of these mayors have egged this stuff on, until it showed up in their neighborhoods, at which point they predictably started to take it seriously:

Quite noble to let the poor areas get wrecked, then call in the calvary when the danger gets a little too close to the “off limits” zone where you live.

Here’s quite the “life comes at you fast” moment. Portland mayor Ted Wheeler felt the need showboat with a letter of refusal for federal help:

And this is what happened later that day:

Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey was at this phase back in early June. He downplayed the issues of violence, pandered at every opportunity, and was subsequently booed out of a public square because he wouldn’t agree to abolish the police. This is where he’s at now:

A huge part of the problem here is that nobody has been willing to acknowledge the difference between protests and rioting. Both have been going on for months now. The protests, consisting of the overwhelming majority of people, have largely been peaceful. The riots are being perpetrated by an entirely different group of people. The Democrats have been unwilling to acknowledge this for whatever reason, and the Republicans have capitalized by conflating the two:

I’m sure Kamala Harris was referring to the actual protestors here. The ones gathering, holding signs, chanting, or whatever else. This is not to be confused with the rioters, who go out with the sole intention of destroying property and looting. Kamala, being a cop and all, should definitely know the difference between the two groups. Most of the people offering to bail out protesters, actually mean protesters. Both protesters and rioters were being arrested for different reasons. This tweet is intentionally misleading.

Tweets like the one above are able to be misleading because the other side has done a fabulous job of not condemning the rioting and constantly downplaying it. In his defense, Biden finally spoke up about a month ago, though I’m not sure where this response was posted. He never spoke out on this topic on his twitter account until August 30th.

Perhaps the reason they didn’t condemn this earlier is because the “rioting is good” crowd on the left are quite a vocal bunch. But once again, these types of folks love the concept of rioting until it comes too close to where they live:

these tweets were about 48 hours apart

The pro-riot crowd tends to be overwhelmingly white and middle class. They also tend to hold Marxist, and/or communist beliefs. Absolutely none of them is pro-Biden, so it’s strange that the Democrats or any Democrat voter would parrot these sentiments. Anyone doing so is essentially acting as a useful idiot to broadcast someone’s else’s political beliefs all over social media, and these political beliefs aren’t going to benefit Biden’s campaign.

In the wake of these riots being condemned, I’m also seeing a lot of conspicuous narrative pivoting to blaming the riots on everyone but the ones doing it. It’s like we’ve passed the denial and anger stages, and now we’re sitting firmly in the bargaining stage. The riots aren’t being denied any more, but now we’re trying to cope by blaming them on the family dog. All of a sudden the pro-business, pro-capitalism, evil right wingers are infiltrating cities and destroying stuff, and not these types:

It’s cute that people have the gall to blame the rioting on everyone except the people openly justifying and cheering on the rioting. The irony of that last tweet is that the rioting started over one person, but now has a death toll of over 30. Then we have this guy:

The book being referenced is called In Defense of Looting by “white Marxist academic, Vicky Osterweil”. Yes, more white Marxist kids advocating for the destruction of poor communities. It’s a pattern that just keeps repeating the longer you go digging around. Meanwhile, here’s how actual black people tend to feel about all these kids running around destroying shit:

I also haven’t been able to find any proof of substantive change due to riots. In articles by outlets such as Vox, Bustle, and The Hill, the changes presented tended to be minor concessions that didn’t fix the issues that led to the riots in the first place. Things like “investigations”, people being fired from positions, or police diversity hiring. The fact that we’re more than 25 years removed from the L.A. riots and we’re still stuck in this endless cycle is kind of proof positive that riots haven’t had the payoff people would like to believe.

Unfortunately, studies tend to show that riots ultimately have a net negative effect in their wake:

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2015/05/new-study-shows-riots-make-america-conservative.html

In the wake of violence and lawlessness, we tend to end up with increased police presence and policies that are more oppressive in nature. It shouldn’t require a study to highlight the logic behind this. If you break into a bank, they don’t decrease security in the aftermath.

Ultimately, policy change is what alters how government works. The ones doing the rioting will claim that only violence brings about change, while simultaneously acknowledge they are attempting to achieve goals like “abolishing the police” via policy change. The difference here, is that they are attempting to meet that goal through violence and intimidation instead of through voting. The actual alternative to policy change is overthrowing the government, which nobody is attempting, or realistically capable of doing.

Of course there are policies being put forth, but nobody seems to care about policy change when it matters. The media doesn’t cover it because it isn’t sensational, and the establishment politicians don’t amplify it because it limits their power, and the problems these polices aim to fix don’t affect them. The rioters don’t care, because it’s more fun to remain politically ignorant, role play as a revolutionary and set mailboxes on fire.

Here’s a bill that was written 3 months ago that has evidently been sitting on the Speaker of the House, aka Pelosi the millionaire mummy’s desk collecting dust:

Everybody’s favorite punching bag Rand Paul was in the news recently for being harassed by a group of our intrepid, yet not terribly informed protestors:

The irony of this is that he introduced the “Justice for Breonna Taylor Act” back in June, so he’s quite familiar with her name, and even knows her family. Might help to educate yourself a little before you start indiscriminately hounding people out in public:

Maybe these goofballs should be swarming Nancy Pelosi and hounding her to bring that qualified immunity bill up for a vote. They probably won’t because it’s highly unlikely any of this is actually about reform of any kind. It feels like most of this is just performative at this point, and will just continue until we get that “regressive backlash” the study above mentioned. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that.