- The tech takeover is complete. They waited until democratic control of all three branches of government was official, then on Jan 8th 2021 began purging any speech that doesn’t match the party line. The President has been permanently banned from every social media platform. Any government official or associate that attempted to tweet out a message from the president had their account suspended or removed. Google removed Parler from their app store and Apple gave them 24 hours to put a moderation policy in place or they’ll be removed. YouTube began removing multiple conservative channels, deleting Steve Bannon’s podcast mid-stream. Sidney Powell and General Flynn had their accounts on most platforms deleted. Reddit removed a popular Trump discussion thread. Twitter is stripping followers from conservative accounts. People are reporting losing tens of thousands of followers a day. Facebook and Instagram continue to suspend or delete prominent conservative accounts. The message is clear – voice an opinion contrary to the views of the left and big tech and you risk being shut down. Most of the media are giddy over this. Ironically (there’s that word again) Biden yesterday compared Sen Cruz and Hawley to Nazi propaganda minster Goebbels for spreading Trump’s “big lie”. Tech and the media have now taken away the main communication platform we have in this country from anyone they don’t agree with. It’s hard to overstate how frightening this is. Twitter, Facebook, Google, Apple, and the major media outlets will now freely modulate and control with impunity what news and speech you’re allowed to hear. Continuing with the irony, the left used to be the champions of free speech, speaking out against McCarthyism and the evil authoritarian right. The left warned Trump was going to be a fascist authoritarian and the hashtag #notmypresident spread across social media. Trumps inauguration spawned multiple protests, with DC turning into a scene of chaos. Cars were torched, windows broken, and police used tear gas, pepper spray, and stun grenades. 217 people were arrested and six officers were injured by flying bricks and bottles. On his first day in office we had the million women march in DC to protest the Nazi, white supremacist, pussy grabber that had been elected to office. All of that was ok by the left. Such short and selective memories we have. I don’t see this going well. 75 million people voted against the left’s octogenarian puppet. A very large portion of them are very upset right now. I truly don’t think the establishment appreciates the level of anger they’ve spawned. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the tech pacification program will work. Give it a few months without being able to spread counter opinion and the people will turn back into passive sheep, happy to answer the latest Facebook quiz while waiting for their monthly stimulus check. But as I’ve said before, squeeze people hard enough, long enough, and bad things tend to happen.
Song of the day: Pharrell Williams – Happy (Official Music Video)
- During the never ending BLM and Antifa riots this year I said on multiple occasions it was time for the police to take action. Billions of dollars lost in damages, buildings burned, business lost. 30 people killed. It’s time to start cracking some heads and locking up these assholes. And then the brief occupation of the Federal capital building happened yesterday. Do I still feel the same way? Yep. Protest is one thing. Rioting is something else. But in my inside voice I also had a different feeling about these rioters. I understand the frustration. I understand the anger. I don’t agree with what they did, but I get why they’re doing it. And then it clicked. The supporters of BLM and Antifa feel the same thing. They’re angry and feel hopeless. They feel marginalized by the system. That utter frustration makes people want to speak out, to be heard. Unfortunately with any protest, that emotion can start spilling over into riots. In every crowd there’s always a bunch of knuckleheads who are simply opportunists, ready to take advantage. Those are the folks who make the news. I agree with almost nothing BLM or Antifa stand for, but I do get the feeling of being left behind by the system. The irony (there’s that word again) is that BLM, Antifa, and the MAGA crowd are all actually fighting the same thing. An oppressive ruling class of elites who’s only goal is to enrich themselves and their donors. Regardless if you’re a minority in a poor neighborhood plagued by crime, failing schools, and zero job prospects, or a middle class blue collar worker struggling to make ends meet, it’s very hard to watch politicians pander and fawn over their political base with words and then go spend a trillion dollars on foreign aid and millions in handouts to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. But wait, you get $600! Don’t spend it all at once. While the anger from the left and right manifests itself differently, it’s fundamentally about the same thing. The system is rigged against me. The system is unfair. People don’t like when things don’t seem fair. Tucker Carlson said it best in his commentary on what happened yesterday. And this applies to this years BLM and Antifa riots as well as yesterdays ridiculousness. You can quell the riots. You can speak soft, soothing words about restoring the integrity of our democracy, bla, bla, bla. But if the ruling elites don’t start to address the underlying issues, this is going to happen again. And again. And at some point we’re not going to like the outcome. I think the ruling class underestimates the level of anger from both the left and right in this country right now.
- I cannot emphasis strongly enough how dangerous this is – what you are allowed to think and say right now is controlled by three companies. Twitter, Google, and Facebook. Twitter shut down the Presidents account last night. Facebook announced today they are shutting the Presidents account for the next thirteen days. YouTube removes or demonetizes any video that has content that doesn’t echo the left’s talking points. I don’t care if you don’t like what the President says. Millions upon millions of people do. And a few corporations are deciding what the President of the United States can and can not say. If you agree with what these companies did simply because you don’t like the President, you’re a naïve fool. Toe the company line or you’re out. Censoring speech and ideas because you don’t like them leads us down a dark path. The antidote to what’s happening in this country is the exact opposite – we need to shine the light on everything. If you don’t first pull the curtains back and expose the roaches, you’ll never get rid of them.
- The faux outrage and gnashing of teeth over yesterday’s events makes me want to vomit. Protests are cool as long you’re on the right side.
AOC – “The thing that critics of activists don’t get is that they tried playing the “polite language” policy game and all it did was make them easier to ignore”. Kamala – “Protesters should not let up”. Pelosi – “I just don’t know why there aren’t uprisings all over the country. Maybe there will be”. Maxine Waters – “… you push back on them and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere”. Ayanne Pressley – “there needs to be unrest in the streets”.
I don’t condone it on any side, but one thing is universally true. You squeeze people hard enough for long enough… and shit’s going to happen.
- As I sit here writing this, I’m angry. I’m frustrated. I’m saddened. I’m fed up with the outrage. Part of me just wants everything to go back to the status quo so my biggest worry is should I go downhill or cross-country skiing. I don’t know if I’m going to stop blogging, write less often, or simply focus on brilliant commentary about puppy dogs and rainbows. But the overwhelming negativity on social media is getting to me and I don’t see it getting better any time soon. We’ll see.
Song of the day (repeat): Rage Against The Machine – Killing In the Name (Official Music Video)
- The other day I was accused of being xenophobic. I’d received my Covid vaccine and posted it to the social medias and said: “Got my anti-Wuhan plague vaccination”. Someone posted they were glad I got the vaccine, but did I really need to add the xenophobic comment? This is not the first time I’ve referred to SARS-CoV-2 as something originating from China. I believe I’ve also called it the China plague, China virus, and early on I think I called it the Wuhan bat soup virus. Colloquial naming of viruses based upon their place of origin is not new – MERS, Asian flu, Hong Kong flu, Spanish flu, West Nile, Norwalk virus, Zika virus, etc… Having said that, I clearly wasn’t using a common colloquial name. I was using a location name as a derogatory term. I’m bothered by the media’s rush to immediately whitewash where this virus originated from. The damn thing came from Wuhan China and lack of transparency is preventing us from knowing if it was from a lab or mother nature just doing her thing. I’m angry at the government of China and what they’ve done to world with this pandemic. I’m angry at their seeming lack of remorse, the cover-up, the buying up of global PPE supplies before the rest of the world realized what was coming, and the lack of aid they’ve contributed to combat the virus. In short, the government of China is not our friend. The definition of xenophobia is “fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign”. I see myself as one of the least racist or xenophobic people you’ll meet. In my head I assume everyone can separate feelings about a government vs the individual citizens. Of course I’m not blaming the general population of China or Asian people for this pandemic. But after reading that comment and thinking about it, I realize what I think and what I write may not be perceived the same way by others. Especially, in this case, someone who’s of Asian descent. I’m an average white dude in the United States. I have no concept of what it feels like to be a minority. Thinking about it I can see that some folks may not get that I’m referring to the collective government and not people when I make derogatory comments. Now, I personally think we’ve become a little hypersensitive with our outrage culture. I would assume that if I say “Mexican drug money” most thinking people would realize I’m referring to the Cartels, not the Mexican people as a whole. But maybe not? In my push to be witty and brilliant, maybe I tiptoed across the line into perceived racism? If I did, it wasn’t what was intended. I’m not going to stop writing in fear of possibly offending someone. But I will make more of an effort to put myself in someone else’s shoes and think more before I commit words to virtual paper.
- In a related note, when I posted the aforementioned comment, I included a picture of the little sticker they gave me when I got my shot. It said something like “I got vaccinated. #StopCovid”. I deleted the post. Why? The sticker also had the name of my employer. After thinking about it, in this age of outrage cancel culture I don’t trust the thought police. I find it frightening that it’s entirely conceivable the censors at Facebook and the Karen’s of the world could ensure this goes back to my employer and cost me my job. It saddens me that I even have to think that.
- On a more positive note (not), Rand Paul released his annual 2020 Festivus Report on government waste. Take time to read through it. If that doesn’t make you mad, I don’t know what will. You do realize this is your money they’re spending, right? As in, the money you see deducted from your paycheck every month. I’m not sure people grasp that sometimes.
- I just started the series “Mr. Robot”. Very good so far. Soon to be even better on the spectacularly ginormous TV that is soon to be installed in the new living room.
Song of the day: Fatboy Slim – Weapon Of Choice
- Anyone else hear that as a kid growing up? I was never brave enough to find out what would happen if mom or dad had to say it again. Except one time in the car. I remember the “don’t make me pull this car over” as we were driving somewhere. I think my sister and I were horseplaying in the back seat. You know, the massive station wagon bench seat without seatbelts. Kids today have no idea. Anyway, whatever we were doing was the final straw and my dad stopped the car in the middle of the road. Tires screeching, horns honking, and drivers yelling at us. We were informed if we didn’t shape up right now, we were getting out right here and walking home. I believed him. This is what the mask mandate culture feels like. Nobody can really explain the science, just that masks are just supposed to magically work. Authorities are angerly stomping their feet and insisting we completely ignore common sense and just bend the knee. Meanwhile, back in the science and statistics department, this group did a data analysis of all fifty states and examined Covid case counts per day with and without mask mandates. During the days under mask mandates, states had 27 cases per 100k. Days without mask mandates? 17 cases per 100k. WTF? It’s almost like the mask mandates had no impact… or made things worse. How could this be? Again, there is a very good chance that a properly fitted mask, in the right circumstances, could lower viral load and thus reduce the severity of Covid if you catch it. This should be encouraged for people in high risk categories. That is NOT what we’re being told. Authorities are implying that masks will PREVENT Covid, which is utter nonsense. Think critically people.
- This is a very well written article that looks at the idea of asymptomatic spread of Covid. Asymptomatic spread is the reason given for all the lockdowns. Well, that pesky science may be getting in the way and indicating that there isn’t asymptomatic spread. You’d think this would be great news. Maybe we should be looking into this further? We can end the lockdowns and try to rebuild our economy! Crickets. Science is supposed to be the ultimate contrarian intellectual activity. The very definition of science is that your peers should be trying to break your argument. It’s not until we’ve exhausted the attempts to disprove your hypothesis that something becomes accepted. We’ve moved into a frightening era in which to even question something today will get you labeled as a “denier”, in the same category as flat earthers.
- I don’t know why anyone would be surprised, but reporters are getting frustrated that Biden and his team refuse to answer questions. He did not have a single open press conference during his “campaign”. Harris did not take a single question from the press. It’s starting to look like “A Weekend at Bernie’s”. Question is, who’s controlling things behind the scenes?
- You know the world is upside down when Rachael Maddow is defending Tucker Carlson.
- I’m a little cynical today, so bear with me. Let me get this straight. The (collective) government shuts down the economy. They killed hundred of thousands of small businesses. Politicians have twiddled their thumbs playing political games, all while happily collecting their paychecks. Finally they decide the optics are right and decided to print another trillion dollars we don’t have, to “help” those suffering the most from the problem they created in the first place. Congratulations! You get $600 dollars. See, we really care about you. Never mind that most of that trillion is going to programs other than direct payments to citizens. To give some perspective on how idiotic our federal spending priorities are, here’s a mind-blowing nugget from a nuclear power expert. “For $900 billion we could build enough AP1000 nuclear reactors to replace our entire power grid. Let that sink in. The average American would save thousands in electricity costs annually.” Why aren’t the green new deal people screaming about this? Where’s our new Climate Czar, Kerry?
- Enough of the cynicism for the day, enjoy this guy talking to his dog. Yes, I totally talk to my dog this way.
Song of the day: VIOLENT FEMMES – Add it Up
- I saw a doctor on CNN the other day saying that even though you’ve had Covid or received the vaccine you still need to wear a mask and social distance. Something about you could still be shedding virus even though you won’t get sick. It sounded odd at the time, but it wasn’t until this morning that it dawned on me. The authorities managed to back themselves into a corner with their mouth diaper mandates. We have no way to know if you’re already immune, so they have to continue the mask mandate for everyone. The problem is that as more and more people become immune, the backlash against wearing a mask will increase. So the next logical step is some sort of identifier showing that you are immune. Zeigen Sie mir ihre papiere. Show me your papers! Andrew Yang, potential NY mayor candidate, just proposed this. Airlines are already talking about it. It’s coming. This is right up the new administrations alley. A multi-billion dollar government program to roll out electronic Covid Id’s. Soon to be tied into your social credit score. Think that’s far fetched? Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are already actively censoring speech. These companies already know everything there is to know about you, including your location at all times. Is it really that far of a stretch to think this information won’t be compiled into an individual ranking system? It is, after all, for your own good.
- Speaking of mouth diapers, that’s one of the new changes when skiing. Yesterday was my first downhill day of the season. Everything went fine, I managed to not hurt myself which was my main goal. The new rules are that you have to wear a mask when in the lift lines. Fine. I understand the resort is simply trying to comply with rules so they don’t lose their lease from the forest service. I’ve never been able to wear a face covering when skiing. Too hot and restrictive. I dug out an old buff I had and used that. The problem was that it just didn’t work well with the helmet chinstrap. It bunched up and I couldn’t get it pulled up with my gloves on. Within an hour it was soaking wet and disgusting. The lift attendants would yell at you if you didn’t get it pulled up in time as you got close to the lift. The only negative mark on an otherwise great first day on the slopes.
- Peter Navarro released a 36 page report detailing the overall election fraud allegations in the presidential election. It’s well worth reading. Even if the numbers don’t add up to enough to dispute the results, as independent thinkers, we should want to clean this mess up so there can’t be fraud claims in the next election. Both sides should want that. It shouldn’t be terribly difficult. Moving forward, all voting shall be in-person and require a photo ID. Allow extended early voting to fully accommodate people with scheduling issues. Absentee voting (not mail in ballots) for deployed members of the military and college students. That’s it. And don’t give me the whole requiring an ID to vote is discriminatory bullshit. You need an ID to function every single day as an adult in this country. Go to your polling place, show your ID, vote. Let’s not make it more complicated than that. Unless of course you have other motivations for pushing mail in voting, etc… ?
- Lots of talk about pardoning Edward Snowden. I tend to be in the camp of nope on this one. He willingly signed all the NDA and classified document regulations when he was hired. You don’t get to violate those just because you don’t like the information they contain. He stole the data and leaked it – both against the law. He then fled to Russia to avoid prosecution. Sorry, I just don’t see him as a hero. If you agree with what he did, then anyone should be free to leak classified data.
- Tiger Woods’ kid is just impressive. Most kids his age are still struggling to tie their shoelaces.
Song of the day: Bush “Chemicals Between Us” Guitar Center Sessions
- Several things caught my eye yesterday that made me hum “isn’t it ironic…” The first was a Seattle councilwoman who voted to defund the police, wait for it, called 911 when someone threw a rock through her window. The other was Biden’s deputy chief of staff in a Glamour Magazine article talking about compassion, compromise, and unity and then says republican lawmakers are a bunch of fuckers and Mitch McConnell is terrible. Then it suddenly dawned on me… I’ve been down this road before. I’m not certain I actually know the definition of irony. I think I know it when I see it, but I really can’t tell you the definition. I already know I’m punctuation challenged, why does the rest of the English language have to be so hard as well? I find a certain level of irony in writing a blurb about ironic without actually knowing if it is or not. I suspect poor Alanis was unjustly criticized for her song.
- Impressive puck handling skills with this hockey training treadmill.
- Following along with Mayor Pete, Biden has nominated Deb Haaland for secretary of the interior. I’m sure she’s a lovely person, but has zero qualifications for the post. She has a degree in English and went to law school but didn’t take the bar exam. How could that not qualify her to manage our extensive public lands? At least Trumps guy had a degree in Geology, an MBA, and Masters of Science in global leadership. Oh, and he was a Navy SEAL officer. Doesn’t mean he did a good job, just that he at least had qualifications. The lead for most news articles explain clearly why she was picked: “Biden picks Rep. Haaland to be first Native American Interior secretary“. Symbolism over substance. As a blue check on twitter said, “Vaginas and skin color are more important than actually getting things done”.
- Today will be my first downhill ski day of the season. For the first time ever, I’m actually nervous. I’m legitimately worried about hurting myself. I’ve never felt that before. I was skate skiing yesterday and my balance and coordination were terrible. Age is catching up with me. I think I’ll stick to the funny bunny and magic carpet runs today.
- Speaking of age, I saw something yesterday that spawned a funny memory. One of my favorite cartoons as a kid was Speed Racer. Looking at it now I realize just how bad it was. How in the world did a Japanese cartoon, dubbed over with English get so popular?
- I think one of the greatest sayings is (paraphrased) who you are as a person is defined by what you do when nobody’s looking. And there’s no better measure of that than what you do with returning a shopping cart. Someone took the time to write an entire article on this. Are you an always returner? A never returner? A convenience returner? Or perhaps a pressure returner – only when someone is watching? Hmmm. Does this translate to the rest of your life? Very deep grasshopper.
Song of the day: Alanis Morissette – You oughta know [Live Hyde Park 1996]