Tag: censorship

A Technological Disaster

Why can’t things just be easy? When it comes to technology, things have a way of becoming unnecessarily complicated for me. Which is slightly ironic since I was a tech guy back in the stone age. The issue isn’t that I can’t figure out how to fix things, it’s why do they happen to me in the first place? I had a planned motorcycle ride yesterday (the fifth or sixth on the new ginormous bike) and wanted to make a video and practice some navigation stuff. I shall now entertain you with a list of my technological failures:

  • I couldn’t get the audio on the helmet to GoPro working. It worked before, now it wasn’t. I ended up pulling out all the wires and reconnecting everything which didn’t fix it. After some internet search time I found a GoPro setting that somehow got changed. Audio now working. Time spent, 45 minutes.
  • Camera mount on the handlebars suddenly won’t hold up the camera in the wind. It worked on the previous bike, but not now.
  • I managed to yank out the audio cable for the camera while opening up my visor at the gas station. In a fit of frustration I decided to abandon filming the ride and stuck the camera gear in the tank bag. I decided to focus on learning to use Android Auto with the bikes built in display unit.
  • Ten minutes down the road, Android Auto disconnects. I pull over and wiggle the connection to the phone and it reconnects. My phone is old and the USB C connection is loose. It’s a known issue, but I’ve been reluctant to get a new phone since I’ve spent a truckload of money already this year. I came prepared for this and used some rubber bands to keep the connection tight.
  • Twenty minutes later, Android Auto disconnects again. Pull over and this time my Bluetooth headset powered off for some unknown reason. Turn it back on and reconnect.
  • Another disconnect. Pull over and the rubber bands both broke. Wiggle the connection and back in business.
  • Another disconnect. This time the phone overheated and powered off. Turns out the tank bag has a clear plastic top where the phone sits. That clear plastic acts like a magnifying glass and the phone was burning hot.

At this point I gave up. Fortunately I knew where I was going, so just concentrated on enjoying the ride. But why does everything have to be so difficult? Is it just me or does everyone face these challenges? On top of these things, it turns out that neither Android Auto or Apple Carplay are able to utilize a custom route. This is important since they navigate based upon the fastest route. Great for commuting, but I don’t want to take the fastest route, I want to enjoy the backroads and roads less traveled. Otherwise, how am I going to find the worlds largest ball of string? Very frustrating since I don’t want to have to buy a separate GPS. I suppose that’s the purpose of these shakedown rides – to get everything dialed in before I go somewhere unknown to me. But would it be too much to ask for something to just work, first time?

  • Yosemite National Park to Install Auto Belay System on El Capitan. Bravo Climbing.com. For a minute you had me. First day of April and all.
  • We started re-watching the Sopranos from season 1. We watched in real time when it originally came out and I hadn’t seen it since. What a fantastic series. I honestly don’t think you could make that series today. Someone would get all butt-hurt about something and protest.
  • Facebook and Instagram have taken down Trump’s interview with daughter-in-law Lara. FB told Lara Trump that “content posted in the voice of President Trump is not currently allowed on our platforms (including new posts with President Trump speaking) and will be removed”. Think about that for a minute. One of the largest media platforms on the planet decided they will censor a former sitting president. If you had told me that a few years ago I would have laughed. What’s frightening is how many people get most of their news from FB. No bias there. I suppose it’s ok. Words are scary. He might incite the bugaloo bois to jump out of the bushes and, you know, do some insurrection or something.
  • Ya’ll have a great weekend. I’m off for a three day work stent, so I’ll be tired and grumpy. Fingers crossed for warm weather and no wind next week.

Song of the day: Alabama 3 Woke up This Morning (The Sopranos Mix)

Long Way Down And An Emu Museum

  • Normally I love winter. I downhill ski, cross-country, skate ski, or snowshoe at least three to four days a week. You might ask why I’m still getting fatter then, but that’s a topic for another post. This winter I’ve been busy preparing for my “Summer of George” moment. New motorcycle purchased, new riding suit, tools, updated video gear, endless hours of motorcycle travel videos consumed, and many late nights pouring over maps planning routes. I’m almost ready to hit the road. Except motorcycles, snow, and ice don’t mix very well. I’m probably a tiny bit more rugged than the average guy, but not Long Way Down rugged. If you haven’t watched this motorcycle travel documentary you should. It’s interesting to see the effort it took to film something before the GoPro existed. Anyway, the point is that it’s another month in my part of the world before road-tripping becomes enjoyable weather-wise. I’ve never looked forward to winter ending before. So, I’m forced to spend my time pursuing maps and travel websites to build my list of must-see destinations. I’ve been mostly focusing on unrealistic epic trips across the west, so I hadn’t looked much at what’s close to me. This morning I stumbled upon the motherload of interesting small town America just a few hours from me. I found a little town perched on the Snake River that hosts what they bill as “Lawson’s Emu-Z-Um”. It was an emu ranch that has become a museum full of artifacts and dwellings from the 1800s early settlers and early small town America memorabilia. Looking at the map more, within 40-50 miles of that town are deep canyon overlooks, sand dunes, birds of prey conservation areas, and a ghost town. Plus a couple of promising looking BBQ and burger places. This is the perfect day trip to kick off the Summer of George! Another month of quick rides around town in-between storms to get used to the new bike, and then it begins. Because I love winter, I’ve never looked at the weather report before and cursed when I see another week of storms coming. It’s a strange feeling. Sigh. Back to the maps for now I suppose.
  • A California democratic representative, during an interview on CNN, stated that those businesses that cannot afford to pay their employees $15 an hour are essentially not worth preserving. This simple statement encompasses everything wrong with mostly liberal, big government-centric thinking. The thought that some mindless bureaucrat gets to pick and choose what businesses are worthy of keeping is appalling. And naturally it’s a statement from someone who’s been primarily an academic/lawyer/politician his entire career. A thirty second investigation into the representative (a.k.a. Wikipedia) shows a bit of a contradiction – he has a degree in economics, wrote a book titled “Entrepreneurial Nation: Why Manufacturing is Still Key to America’s Future“, yet still makes statements like the one he did. My interest is piqued enough to read more about his philosophy. Maybe there’s something I’m missing? At the moment, in regards to the $15 minimum wage, I still feel if people are resorting to entry level jobs to feed a family then it seems like the government focus should be on enabling creation of middle income opportunities instead of simply raising the bottom wage. Otherwise, let’s just adopt Andrew Yang’s proposal and give everyone a universal basic income. We’re already printing money, what’s a few hundred trillion more?
  • There’s been so much global warming, Niagara Falls froze over this week. Of course polar vortexes are cyclical events that happen from time to time and shouldn’t be counted as climate. Climate is measured in decades. Interestingly, in the cult of global warming, a cold event like this doesn’t get much press but an El Nino warming event causing a hot summer will be treated as non-stop climate Armageddon. It’s all about the narrative baby.
  • Speaking of printing money, the Federal Reserve expanded its record holdings of US Treasuries in the fourth quarter of 2020 as it continued monetizing the massive federal debt. I don’t understand much of this, but it does seem like they’re trying to push inflation. Most of this is way over my head, but it certainly feels like if we continue to simply toggle the levers… at some point it’s going to collapse. I guess as long as it’s not on my watch we’re all good.
  • I know that there is no actual censorship or purging happening on the part of Twitter towards folks who don’t tow the woke orthodoxy, but they just suspended Steven Crowder for simply saying he can confirm that people voted at address that do not exist. That is some serious insurrectionist talk. Thank god we’re being protected from outrageous statements like that.
  • I don’t know if this is real or staged, but it’s pretty funny regardless. You need to watch to the end.

Song of the day: Red Hot Chili Peppers – Higher Ground – Live at La Cigale

Let’s Go To The Timeline

  • I’ve seen episodes of NCIS and Perry Mason, so I know the importance of a timeline. But first a quick step back in history. The year was 1846 and President Polk wanted war with Mexico. Well, not necessarily war but he wanted the shipping ports of California. War was just a means to an end. The border between Texas and Mexico was highly disputed and Mexico had troops stationed in an area they believed was their territory. Polk ordered General Taylor to take his 4,000 troops and advance to the Rio Grande river. Mexico didn’t take kindly to what they saw was an invasion of their country and the inevitable conflict happened. US troops died. Polk went to congress and declared that Mexico had shed American blood on American soil. Congress and America got appropriately fired up and declared war (interestingly a young representative named Lincoln was one of the few to object. It cost him his seat in congress). My point is that what you see and your impression is very much shaped by how it’s reported. Back to the timeline. On Jan 6th I was at work all day, so my view of what happened was what I saw on the “news” shows when I got home. President Trump apparently called for his angry mob of protesters to march on the capital, resulting in the violence we saw. Trump is an evil maniac and we must impeach, invoke the 25th amendment, make sure he doesn’t have the nuclear codes, and erase all evidence he was ever in office. Maybe history will just show an asterisk like Lance Armstrong’s Tour de France wins? Is that really what happened though? That pesky timeline shows that idiots began breaching the Capital’s security 20 minutes before the end of the President’s speech. Seeing as it’s a 45 minute to hour walk from the speech location to the Capital (the area was shut down to cars), there’s no way these folks could have been inflamed by Trumps rhetoric and rushed to breach the doors. Reporters on the ground said that cell signal was non-existent, so they couldn’t have been listening either. The text of Trumps speech shows that he specifically said let’s “peaceably march” to the capital. Obviously these folks were planning to do this well before Trump said anything. You can argue that he should have known what was going to happen if he held that rally. That’s fair. The rally and speech was a dumb move on many levels. But to declare the President incited violence, is a danger, and needs to be immediately removed from office and erased from social media is beyond stupid. It’s simply the media, democrats and never-Trumpers exacting their final revenge. We certainly didn’t hold any of these officeholders and media to account when they were encouraging and celebrating protest in the street during the mostly peaceful BLM riots. Or when the Hart Senate building was occupied by Kavanagh protesters. Or when there were marches, protests, and rallies at Trump’s inauguration. The notable orator Madonna said that day that she dreamed about blowing up the White House. #notmypresident Ah, but those are woke causes. It’s different. Biden’s ironic inauguration theme is “America United”. Apparently a bunch of people on both sides didn’t get the memo. You have 75 million pissed off, angry voters. Yes, Trump should have kept his narcissistic ego in check and quietly conceded. And the left, media, and big tech should stop poking the bear. Eventually something (more) bad will happen if they don’t. And it will be everyone’s fault.
  • I got my second vaccine on Monday for the virus that must not be named. I had no issues with the first one. I had no issues on Monday with this one. Felt fine on Tuesday when I woke up. By noon, I felt like I got hit by a truck. Headache, body ache, and a serious brain fog. I still don’t feel a hundred percent this morning. Interesting the second shot invokes such a strong reaction. Worth it though. I can now run naked through the Covid ward without fear.
  • To use the irony word twice in one day… Twitter apparently has zero self awareness. Twitter’s Public Policy group posted the following: “Ahead of the Ugandan election, we’re hearing reports that Internet service providers are being ordered to block social media and messaging apps. We strongly condemn internet shutdowns – they are hugely harmful, violate basic human rights and the principles of the #OpenInternet.” Apparently deciding what speech is allowed is only moral if you’re the one doing it.
  • And speaking of the continued purge, Facebook has declared the phrase “stop the steal” as scary, banned words. They stated: “We are now removing content containing the phrase ‘stop the steal’ under our Coordinating Harm policy from Facebook and Instagram.” Well, if you don’t like it go create your own social media app. Just as long as you don’t utilize Google, Apple, or Amazon services.
  • We’ve begun the process of what Mrs Troutdog calls ‘divesting from work’. I changed my hours to part-time. I don’t know what that means yet. Honestly, I’m freaking out a little bit about this. There’s an element of guilt not working full time. The point is to start figuring out what full retirement will eventually look like for us. It’s a very strange feeling. Stay tuned.
  • If you’ve been following along at home, you’ll remember we had a sewer backup that filled our bathtub with some objectionable material. We thought it was fixed, until it wasn’t. Turns out there must be a tree root through the line somewhere catching “stuff” as it flows down. Unfortunately we can’t really do anything about it until spring as everything is covered in feet of snow. Sigh.

Song of the day: Big Audio Dynamite – E=MC2

The Purge

  • 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)

Crack Some Heads And Lock Them Up

  • 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)

A Thought Experiment

  • I’d like you do a little thought experiment. A little contrarian thinking if you will. Wearing a cloth mask is being touted as the only way we’re going to defeat our current pandemic. Ok. Here’s question one. If masks were effective, wouldn’t you expect to see Covid case rates drop significantly where mask mandates are in place? How come you can’t find a single location in this country that can point to a statistically significant drop in cases after a mask mandate? Take LA for example. The people in that city and state are mask zealots. You’re going to get yourself a beatdown in that city if you don’t wear a mask 24/7. Yet, with all that mask compliance, their case rates are soaring. Why is that? You could make the negative argument – just think how much worse it would be if we didn’t wear the masks? Then why aren’t cities without mask mandates exponentially worse than those with them? My point is that it’s now been long enough that we should start seeing signals in the data. Please find me anything that even remotely looks like correlation. You can’t because there isn’t any. Question number two. If a simple cloth mask can prevent me from getting Covid, then I should be able to work on our Covid floor wearing a much more comfortable mask than what I currently do. Yet for some reason the hospital mandates that I wear an N95 mask, procedure mask, face shield, gown and gloves when entering a Covid room. Why is that? I thought a simple bandana was protecting everyone? Don’t get me wrong, as I’ve said many times, I firmly believe wearing a mask has the potential to lower the transmitted viral load and thus may result in a more mild illness. That’s pretty important if you’re in a high risk category. That is NOT the same thing as preventing you from getting Covid.
  • Speaking of the disease that originated in a location which we cannot mention without being labeled as xenophobic, the high priest of Covid Dr Facui, told us back in March that in the history of respiratory borne viruses asymptomatic transmission has never been the driver of outbreaks. Then he changed his tune and we implemented massive lockdowns and mask mandates. And now the data is suggesting, wait for it, Covid is not being spread by asymptomatic transmission. The man’s opinion has consistently drifted in the wind. We shouldn’t wear masks, asymptomatic transmission isn’t a driver of outbreaks, and now the number people required for herd immunity changes based upon public opinion. Why is the media so enamored with this guy?
  • Kamala Harris said some of her favorite childhood memories were of celebrating Kwanzaa. Except she was born before it was invented and it took decades to even become a thing. She moved to Quebec Canada as teenager with her single, Indian mom who was Hindu. What part of a politicians soul is missing that they can utter whatever nonsense thing comes into their head because they think it will make them popular? And why do you even listen to them?
  • And speaking of elections, did you know that we’ve had three presidential elections that took over 100 days to resolve? I didn’t. My point isn’t that I think Trump will win this one (he won’t), but that this is not a new thing. It’s a pity we don’t teach much in the way of useful history anymore. Or journalism.
  • When you adjust daily Covid case rates based upon number of tests run, the case rate hasn’t much changed since April. The media’s drive to report only the most simplistic data will result in our eventual decline to Idiocracy. If you haven’t watched that movie, go find it. It’s really where we’re headed.
  • A court in Shanghai sentenced a citizen journalist to four years in prison Monday after finding her guilty of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” by reporting on China’s early coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. Thank god we don’t have thought police here.
  • I may have convinced a friend to descend into the dark hole of gear acquisition that is motorcycle riding. I shall be conducting an information overload today by sending him countless links to motorcycle related videos and gear reviews. He’s already signed up for his first motorcycle class. Resistance is futile.

Song of the day: Propellerheads feat: Miss Shirley Bassey – History Repeating

Death By Jingle Bells

  • Time of death was 1735. Ten and a half hours into the shift. The Christmas music loop playing over the hospital loudspeakers had just begun the forty seventh repeat of Jingle Bells for the day. He was found slumped over his desk, eyes rolled back, drool pooling in the corners of his N95 mask. The charting system was open and his last known note had not yet been saved… “Patient observed laughing while on phone call. Patient informed this nurse that pain was 10/10. This nurse provided education on pain medication schedule and alternative pain relief strategies. Patient was observed yelling obscenities at staff members. This nurse will continue to monitor patients pain levels closely….”
  • Thank god we finally have some diversity at the highest levels of government. The media proudly gushed that Pete Buttigieg will be the first openly gay cabinet member. Pete himself made a point of saying this during his acceptance speech. Apparently Richard Grenell as DNI doesn’t count because, well, he was appointed by Trump. And he even though he’s gay he probably secretly hates the gays. And he’s a racist obviously. Does it worry anyone else that Mayor Pete, who couldn’t even get the potholes fixed in South Bend, is now in charge of Transportation? Optics and symbolism are clearly what’s most important.
  • 8 inches of snow overnight. I’ve got stuff do this morning, so the first downhill day will have to wait until tomorrow. We’ll get some skate skiing in with the hound this afternoon.
  • The backlash over Jill Biden insisting on being called ‘Doctor’ has been hilarious. Reviews of her dissertation have not been kind. Tucker Carlson’s skewering of her academic prowess was pretty damn funny. You didn’t really think, after four years of being called racist, and trashing the first lady, folks would just magically unite did you? Silly rabbit.
  • Remember the days of riots, looting, and police officers being shot over the tragic police shooting of Breonna Taylor? Well, it turns out when someone does actual journalism (remember that?) reality doesn’t match the mob outrage. Poor miss Taylor doesn’t seem to have been the innocent bystander she was portrayed as. Will the media report on this? Nope. It doesn’t fit the narrative and we wouldn’t want to upset people with minor details like the truth.
  • While a bit long, this thread is worth reading. It asks some interesting questions about the flu and why it’s been nearly non-existent this year. It shows how little we actually know about Covid and if our myriad of strategies for dealing with it are even doing anything. You know, science.
  • Magically after the election, Twitter returns the retweet button back to its original functionality. All is well, nothing to see here folks, move along. Twitter will add a “fact check, disputed claim” to a video posted by a conservative. They don’t when the exact same video is posted by a liberal account. If you’re an honest, thinking person this should bother you.
  • I don’t normally read James Bond type books, but I’ve been hooked on the Gray Man series by Mark Greaney. Been binge reading. I’m on book 8 of 10. Good stuff when you want an easy escapism read.

Song of the day: Beastie Boys “Root Down”

Are You Ok With Censorship?

  • Scott Adams is the creator of the Dilbert comic. He also has a YouTube (Google) channel with about 90k subscribers and does a daily show. Yesterday they shut him down, demonetized and pulled down his video. His crime? He mentioned the lawsuits about alleged voter fraud in the election. Here is YouTube’s reason: “Content that advances false claims that widespread fraud, errors, or glitches changed the outcome of the U.S. 2020 presidential election is not allowed on YouTube.” I don’t care what you think of the claims. I don’t care if you’re the most lefty, leftist, left leaning person around. This should make you mad and frightened. The freedom to speak your mind is a basic tenet of this country. It doesn’t matter if you think it’s conspiracy theory being spouted by a tinfoil hat wearing prepper living in a bunker somewhere in Wyoming. They have the right to say it. Today, the outlets we have where we can speak our mind are Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and the mainstream media. ALL of them are actively censoring content they don’t approve of. Other content creators are talking about this story but are having to be very careful to not mention certain “trigger” words so YouTube won’t take down their videos as well. This is not ok. As the old saying goes, you may be ok with this today because it fits your political narrative but tomorrow – they may come after something important to you. Do we really want thought police? I don’t know what the answer is. I do know this shouldn’t be a left/right thing. I’d hope that as a thinking person you’d believe in the whole “I do not agree with what you have to say, but will defend to the death your right to say it”. The influence of big tech on how and what we think is going down a dangerous path.
  • New York just shut down indoor dining with no end date. Kiss the restaurant industry by-by. LA and New York are in a race to see who can crater their economies faster. At least LA is protecting essential business… like Hollywood. Somehow the Hollywood lobby was able to score an exemption and be declared an essential business. I wonder how that happened? The little taco shop around the corner? Not so essential. I guess it’s a worry, if we’re locked down and there’s nothing new to watch on Netflix what are we to do?
  • We have a local produce place that bakes amazing pies. Family is in town for the holidays (A.K.A. superspreader event). I’ve eaten a lot of pie. There’s no point to this other than I’m still wearing the fat pants and haven’t been able to get out and ski. This scenario is not moving in the right direction. Fortunately the storm window looks to be open the next few weeks and the pie is almost gone. There’s hope.
  • This is horrifying. A couple is kicked off a flight and left stranded with no luggage or car seat because they couldn’t get their two year old to wear a mask. Is this really what we want?
  • Struggling to find something good today. We’ll go with a dog who stole a GoPro and filmed his chase.

Song of the day: Bobby McFerrin – Don’t Worry Be Happy

Behold, The Phat Pants

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  • That title has no meaning other than a poor attempt at being edgy and hip. But yes, this morning I had to put on the fat pants after yesterday’s ridiculous food coma. I hope you enjoyed your non-socially distanced Thanksgiving as much as I did. In reality I only show up for the mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and pie. Mission accomplished.
  • Are we still allowed to say Black Friday? I’m so confused at the rules lately. Is swarming the local Target for a $99 TV acceptable, or is that a super spreader event?
  • Who would have guessed that IKEA’s best selling item isn’t furniture? It’s meatballs. They sell 150 million a year. Say it with me… “Tha’s a-lotta meatballs”.
  • So let me get this right… Biden, who literally didn’t campaign, who only held a couple of events that had like six people in those weird crop circle things, who answered no questions from the press, is unable to utter more than a few coherent sentences without a teleprompter, who only won 16% of the counties in the country… somehow got 11 million more votes than Obama did? I get the Trump hatred, but this just doesn’t add up.
  • Twitter’s not even trying to hide it anymore. So they block retweeting and clicking on the link to the Powell Georgia and Michigan lawsuit filings. They put a “disputed election information” label on every tweet the President sends out, and they ban a PA state senator for holding a hearing on voter fraud. I’m going to keep saying it – I don’t care who you voted for, this should scare the hell out of you.
  • Russian internet videos never cease to amaze me. Flash bang Friday, what could possibly go wrong?
  • The strange history of Chuck E. Cheese.
  • The interstate highway system, drawn as a subway transit map.
  • And finally, the saga of Gerald the turkey. Worth a read.

Song of the day: Shabba Ranks “The Jam ft. KRS-One

Thankful in 2020. Are You Serious?

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  • If you’ve lost a loved one, a friend, a business, or your job this year due to the damn Wuhan Flu it’s going to be pretty hard to be thankful. Interestingly, Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving as a national holiday in the middle of the civil war. Some days it feels like we’re drifting towards another civil war. But if Lincoln could find something to be thankful for during one of the worst periods in this countries history, so can we. I urge you to take a quick look at images of Haiti, Jamaica, or the slums of India. Read through some of the world poverty statistics. In Sub-Saharan Africa 41% of the population lives on less than $1.90 a day. 9% of the worlds population still practices open defecation due lack of modern plumbing. Yeah, we’re pretty damn lucky to be living in this country. So yes, today gather your friends and family close and be thankful for the blessings we enjoy.
  • Sydney Powell’s lawsuit in Georgia did drop late yesterday. I have to admit, some pretty shocking allegations. What’s more shocking? Complete and total media silence. Crickets. You may think she’s a crackpot and these charges are tinfoil hat conspiracy theories… but how is it possible that the media seemingly universally ignores it? It’s at least worth exploring. Twitter is even blocking people from retweeting the link to the legal filing. I don’t care what party you belong to, that should scare the hell out of you.
  • I am not thankful for sweet potato casserole. That stuff is an abomination and has no place on the table. And no, adding marshmallows to camouflage it isn’t going to fool me.
  • I love my dog. Mrs Troutdog’s friend had to put hers down a day ago and, well, I just have a hard time thinking about it. My Instagram page is almost entirely pics of my hound. There’s no point to this other than I love my dog.
  • It’s time for LA restaurants to rise up en masse against their mayor. The county public health director has a B.A. in community studies and a PhD in Social Welfare. I’m unclear on how that qualifies you to destroy business and jobs? Because science, you know.
  • If you haven’t seen Charles Barkley’s golf swing, please behold. Even if you don’t know who he is or like golf. How did such a talented athlete go so wrong?

Song of the day: Rage Against The Machine “Killing in the Name (from The Battle Of Mexico City)