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The Critical Drinker looks at Disney Corp.

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If you’ve never watched The Critical Drinker on YouTube doing his movie reviews then you’re in for a bit of a treat as he turns his gaze upon the gigantic Disney corporation and its growing troubles.

I have to admit that despite looking at their recent failures I had not realised just how much trouble they’re now in.

As always TCD – a Scottish writer – is funny, cutting and right on the button in this 12 minute analysis.

I’ll go away now.

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Written by Tom Hunter

February 8, 2023 at 1:20 pm

Ten Years Gone

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In my last year at high school three former members of our school came to talk to we baby-faced, innocent 7th Formers about what we could expect when we got to university. Obviously I don’t recall the whole discussion but the standout comment was that “Professors are just extended students. Don’t be intimidated by them”.

The one thing they did not comment on, probably because they were only in their 1st year of varsity, was that a three year degree loomed over an 17 or 18 year old like Everest above Hillary. Three whole years!

Amazing how the passage of just a few years can change the perspective. When I went back to varsity for a second degree in my mid-20’s, the prospect of two years seemed like nothing – and was.

Twenty years? Try sixty, with “That little Wilma Bebe”, as one of the characters in The Satanic Verses said. I’ve already seen clips from one horrendous “live action” version of The Flintstones, so I don’t want to imagine the re-booted animated version, but I think this captures what it would be like. (“Da-da-da duh da-da CHARGE it!!”). On the other hand I don’t see why the Stone Age Slut look is worse than 1990’s Rave Slut.

Speaking of unchanging reactionary attitudes…

Had enough of sex yet…??

It seems that some feminists are happy with Elon’s remaking of Twitter.

Of course, even as you find yourself siding with feminists, the following shit should not be forgotten.

Speaking of which, how’s this for “I identify as”

“Disinfector of railways” sounds like a member of Ark Fleet, Ship B.

Could be worse. You could be a fan of Triumph Motorcycles encountering morons.

And before the Biden China Balloon story fades….

Finally two contrasting views on the need for government regulation…

Brad Dourif in “The Lord of the Rings” (Wormtongue, left) convinced the actor he shared a lot of screen time with (actual British actor Bernard Hill, (playing King Theoden, right) that he was English. Dourif kept up the accent during the shoot, even off-camera. When filming concluded, he reverted to his native West Virginia accent and Hill commented, “that’s the worst American accent I’ve ever heard”.

Written by Tom Hunter

February 8, 2023 at 1:21 am

Posted in Culture, Humour

A Ballooning story

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After letting the Chinese spy balloon cruise leisurely across America for eight days, the US Air Force finally shot it down.

As it happens this is also the first ever “kill” for the F-22 Raptor fighter plane after being in service for more than a decade. I don’t imagine the designers, engineers – and most of all the pilots – of these planes ever imagined that it would be shooting down balloons in the 21st century.

Still, it must warm the cockles of their hearts to know that they’re keeping company with the lost legends of WWI fighter aces who shot down observation balloons in that conflict. In fact:

  • A F-22 raptor that shot down a Chinese spy balloon on Saturday used the callsign “FRANK.”
  • The callsign was a tribute to a legendary World War I pilot named Frank Luke Jr. 
  • Luke downed 14 German balloons and four aircraft during a short combat period in France.

Good to know they have a sense of humour. Still, if they really wanted to honour Luke the shootdown should have been a gun rather than a missile shot.

Now that the “crisis” has passed there’s all sorts of excuse-making on behalf of Biden as to why this was not made public from the start – that only happened when an amateur video by a Montanan went viral – and why it was not shot down a lot earlier. In my previous post on the subject there was talk from the DoD about the dangers of shooting it down over land and how they’ d wait until it was over water.

The initial claim was that Biden ordered the shoot-down on Wednesday but was overruled by his military “staff”. Was this Joint Chief of Staff, General Milley? Was he kowtowing to the Chinese again, as he did at the end of Trump’s presidency?

There were also claims from “a DoD source” that three such balloon incursions had happened on Trump’s watch – undoubtedly claims made to take the heat off Biden. However, faced with a 100% denial from every Trump cabinet member the DoD backed down and said they hadn’t notified Trump and company at the time – which is worse when you think about it, but right in line with Milley’s stance noted above. Of course the usual TDS-riddled suspects blurted their usual insanity: “GOP Conservative” Kristol’s brain has been completely broken by Trump.

Though I don’t have much time for him, GOP Senator Marco Rubio was right on the button with these comments – including his notes about the propaganda aspects of it all, including the whole “Americans are weak, silly snowflakes” that has been echoed by some commentators here.

Written by Tom Hunter

February 7, 2023 at 10:15 am

Posted in Aerospace, China, Military, USA

Hither and Yon

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In other words, stuff that is of interest but not deserving of a full post.

There’s an election coming up in Chicago later this month. The current Mayor is in a lot of trouble and the election is always non-partisan – but in that city it’s a meaningless term as the GOP are non-existent.

Fortunately for the Left her likely replacements are even more Left-wing than she is on issues of crime, economics, public unions and life in general, so things are likely to get worse, not better. This has led to a slow but steady exodus of people and businesses from the city and the state of Illinois. But not if some people have their way: read this and see if you recognise anything:

“I used to think that if blood spilled within a family or friend circle, it would get people to question the narrative,” says a business leader in the finance sector. “Instead, it’s made a number in my city peer group, especially women, who have opted to stay, even more steadfast in their commitment to progressive causes, including supporting no-bail for violent offenders, drug decriminalization, anti-racist re-education and extreme affirmative action in the workplace and, of course, gender ideology in schools.”

“Interestingly, many of the men that remain want out and are planning their exodus, though they are not speaking up, except to their friends in private. It’s their highly educated spouses – both working and stay at home – who have the progressive leash on, one that is often reinforced by their children, often daughters, who have bought hook, line and sinker into the progressive narrative and critical theory being taught in private Chicago schools like Latin and Parker, as well as Select Enrollment high schools.”

I’ll bet all those Chicago women love Jacinda Ardern.

Mistaken Swords – and for once this one was not found on the streets of Chicago:

In the 1930s, a tarnished bronze sword was pulled from the banks of the Danube River that runs through Budapest. It was styled like a Hungarian weapon from the Bronze Age, and yet at the time, it was assumed to be a replica, possibly made in the Medieval Era or later.

For nearly a century, the sword has sat on display at the Field Museum in Chicago, labeled as a mere copy. But last year, while the museum was preparing for an upcoming exhibit on ancient European kings, a visiting Hungarian archaeologist (whose name has not been publicized) took one look at the sword and declared it authentic.

Hollywood and Copyright:

Stop us if you’ve heard these: piracy is driving artists out of business. The reason they are starving is because no one pays for things, just illegally downloads them. You wouldn’t steal a car. These arguments are old and being dragged back out to get support for rules that would strangle online expression. And they are, as ever, about Hollywood wanting to control creativity and not protecting artists.

In some respects a similar problem, The rise and fall of peer review:

For the last 60 years or so, science has been running an experiment on itself. The experimental design wasn’t great; there was no randomization and no control group. Nobody was in charge, exactly, and nobody was really taking consistent measurements. And yet it was the most massive experiment ever run, and it included every scientist on Earth.

(Only one of Einstein’s papers was ever peer-reviewed, by the way, and he was so surprised and upset that he published his paper in a different journal instead.)

That all changed after World War II. Governments poured funding into research, and they convened “peer reviewers” to ensure they weren’t wasting their money on foolish proposals.

DEATH:

A visual view of the odds, at least in America. I do appreciate how far down the list “Accidental firearm discharge” is. I’ve not pushed into it further to find the odds of “Deliberate firearm discharge”.

An Empowered, Stronk, Liberal Woman teases Red-Staters by walking their streets – and gets ratioed on Twitchy:

I love walking the streets of Florida or Alabama wearing nothing but a g-string and my I’m With Her half-shirt. The looks I get from conservatives boosts my ego and transforms voters.

That’s because it’s safe. Notice the lack of human feces and trash..well, almost.

The WEF’s Great Reset is not going as planned:

I’m not quite as pessimistic as this guy but we’re going to have to start changing track soon or else.

China and Russia know their advantages but will play along with the WEF as long as it is in their interest to do so. As for the West, they have completely ignored both China and Russia’s vulnerabilities. Opening up U.S. oil and gas would again reduce the price of oil from over $100 a barrel to $40, crushing Russia’s mainstay. China has severe population and banking problems. The Chinese people can’t get access to their money and property is being confiscated rapidly. Because they eliminated girls at birth years ago, the male-female ratio is incredibly unbalanced.

Nonetheless, the West insists on kowtowing to the East, financing their comparative advantages and thus preparing for its own demise.

Written by Tom Hunter

February 7, 2023 at 8:11 am

Ukraine, Russia and Impeachment as Coup

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Understand this plainly: Trump was impeached, ostensibly, for asking about this corrupt arrangement. But no one is ever impeached for engaging in it. Nor can our elites, who almost all benefit from this system one way or another, muster the integrity to do, or even say, anything against it.

In the run up to the 2022 US Mid-Term elections, I regretted hearing whispers about the possibility of impeaching President Biden. Even having failed to gain control of the Senate I still read comments to the effect that an in-depth investigation of Hunter Biden and the family business might still lead to impeachment of the President.

That would be incredibly stupid, but then it was stupid of the GOP to impeach Clinton in 1998 and even more stupid of the Democrats to impeach Trump in 2020, although I can understand their desperation in the pre-Covid days when a roaring economy, no domestic eruptions and no wars meant a likely Trump victory that year. Of course there’s no point in covering the unhinged vengeful second impeachment of Trump after he’d lost the election.

But before discussing what might happen to Biden, it pays to cover off the non-fallout of the first Trump impeachment. Although I covered it in detail at the time, that was more about the strategies, tactics, facts and evidence: a wider perspective is worth looking at, and that includes President Obama.

First, it pays to recall that the vast Administrative State in Washington D.C. was very unhappy at Trump’s 2016 victory, and apparently determined even back then to disrupt his Administration:

Others, however, view resistance as a part of the job. “Policy dissent is in our culture,” one diplomat in Africa, who signed the letter circulating among foreign diplomats, told The New York Times. “We even have awards for it,” this person added, in reference to the State Department’s “Constructive Dissent” award. One Justice Department employee told the Post, “You’re going to see the bureaucrats using time to their advantage,” and added that “people here will resist and push back against orders they find unconscionable,” by whistle-blowing, leaking to the press, and lodging internal complaints. Others are staying in contact with officials appointed by President Obama to learn more about how they can undermine Trump’s agenda and attending workshops on how to effectively engage in civil disobedience, the Post reports.

Entire departments of Sir Humphries – with an attitude that they represent the people. Which talk turned to this from senior Democrat Senator, Chuck Schumer:

“Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.

Journalist Mollie Hemingway had already noticed all this in January 2017 before Trump was inaugurated:

Dwight Eisenhower warned that if we didn’t stay vigilant, the military-industrial complex would start creeping into politics with pernicious motives all its own.

Sorry Dwight, but it was already too late by then, and you share some of the blame.

Fast forward two years and the other side of the fence, the Far Left magazine Counterpunch – while skewering the Democrats over their treatment of Bernie Sanders and general attitude towards getting Establishment candidates winning primaries at any cost – noted the same thing:

Whatever one thinks of Donald Trump and impeachment, it is the political establishment that is trying to bring him down. That the ‘whistleblower’ is a CIA officer who has since returned to active duty at the agency isn’t lost on Mr. Trump’s supporters. As much as the NPR tote bag set believes that it is the fount of wisdom and truth, they, along with the CIA, inflicted three years of the cynical farce of Russiagate on us and came up empty handed.

Being Counterpunch it has to be the CIA, of course, but actually it was the FBI – and the military:

The word “coup” shifted to a new level of formalized meaning last week when members of the political resistance showed up to remove President Trump wearing military uniforms.

Not only did U.S. military leadership remain silent to the optics and purpose, but in the testimony of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman he admits to giving instructions to ignore the instructions from a sitting United States President.

In the absence of push-back from the Joint Chiefs, from this moment forth, the impression is tacit U.S. military support for the Vindman objective.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Tom Hunter

February 6, 2023 at 6:00 am

I suppose we were spied on by all these…

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The SIS (Secret Intelligence Services)
The GCSB (Government Communications Security Bureau)
The NSG (National Security Group)
The Police Intelligence Unit
The CNSN (Cabinet National Security Committee)
The ODESC (Officials’ Committee for Domestic and External Security Coordination)
The SIB (Security and Intelligence Board)
The CTCC (Counter-Terrorism Coordinating Committee)
The NICC ( National Intelligence Coordination Committee)
The IAD (Intelligence and Assessments Directorate)
The NRU (National Risk Unit)
The NSPD (National Security Policy Directorate)

My assumption being driven by news out of Britain about their Biosecurity State:

A shadowy Army unit secretly spied on British citizens who criticised the Government’s Covid lockdown policies, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Military operatives in the UK’s ‘information warfare’ brigade were part of a sinister operation that targeted politicians and high-profile journalists who raised doubts about the official pandemic response.

They compiled dossiers on public figures such as ex-Minister David Davis, who questioned the modelling behind alarming death toll predictions, as well as journalists such as Peter Hitchens and Toby Young. Their dissenting views were then reported back to No 10 [Downing Street, the office of the British Prime Minister].

Documents obtained by the civil liberties group Big Brother Watch, and shared exclusively with this newspaper, exposed the work of Government cells such as the Counter Disinformation Unit, based in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and the Rapid Response Unit in the Cabinet Office.

But the most secretive is the MoD’s 77th Brigade, which deploys ‘non-lethal engagement and legitimate non-military levers as a means to adapt behaviours of adversaries’.

This has only emerged because of a whistleblower from inside the unit:

The Army whistleblower said: ‘It is quite obvious that our activities resulted in the monitoring of the UK population… monitoring the social media posts of ordinary, scared people. These posts did not contain information that was untrue or co-ordinated – it was simply fear.’

Last night, former Cabinet Minister Mr Davis, a member of the Privy Council, said: ‘It’s outrageous that people questioning the Government’s policies were subject to covert surveillance’ – and questioned the waste of public money.

But as that article points out – and do read the whole thing – the Israelis, Canadians and Americans were also doing this to their subjects, so it’s a good bet that little ole’ New Zealand was too.

Yet somehow I don’t feel safer.

Written by Tom Hunter

February 5, 2023 at 6:49 pm

Posted in Britain, New Zealand, USA

Tagged with ,

Your Saturday Night Drinking Guide.

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As usual I’ll be drinking wine (red only) and beer tonight.

Apparently this means I have little hatred for myself and little hatred for others,

I find myself surprised by the latter.

Written by Tom Hunter

February 4, 2023 at 4:38 pm

Posted in Culture, Humour

Up Up and Away (in my beautiful balloon)

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It wears a nicer face in my beautiful balloon

It looks more like one of those terrifying Rovers in the 1960’s cult TV show, The Prisoner, which helped keep people under control in The Village.

But actually it’s a Chinese “weather balloon” that is just gently floating across the USA at an altitude of some 60,000 feet. Specifically it’s floating over Montana, where Strategic Air Command (SAC) has about 150 ICBM nuclear missile silos.

The US Military is on the case:

“The United States government has detected and is tracking a high-altitude surveillance balloon that is over the continental United States right now,” Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told NBC News. “We continue to track and monitor it closely.” Officials have confirmed that the balloon belongs to China.


“Currently we assess that this balloon has limited additive value from an intelligence collection perspective over and above what the PRC can do through other means,” the official said. “Nevertheless we are taking all necessary steps to protect against foreign intelligence collection of sensitive information.”

Completely by accident of course:

Beijing had sought to defuse tensions with Washington on Friday over the balloon, expressing its regret over the incident, and saying the balloon was for civilian research and had “deviated far from its planned course.”

You have to laugh at the sociopathic nature of that whopper: a lie so blatant that the CCP just wants to see if you’ll buy it.

Even funnier is that article’s title: For God’s Sake. Just Shoot the Damn Thing Down Already.

Well, yes! Obviously. Where’s General Buck Turgidson when you need him. Hair Mussed?

But you’ll get just as many laughs looking at the collection of video clips in this article on the resulting Pentagon briefing, where some hapless, helpless modern-day successor to “Buck” talks in circles:

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Awesome. Who needs an $800 billion a year military when you can buy a small telescope or a pair of binoculars for a couple of hundred bucks. Or ordinary video cameras:

Over in the comments section I see that regular commentator Andrei has had some fun with this by showing the classic 1980’s anti-war song, 99 Luftballons, which plays with the idea of the Cold War turning hot when radars are triggered by children’s balloons- but I prefer the following

Written by Tom Hunter

February 4, 2023 at 10:32 am

Posted in China, Military, USA

Vote Democrat for Systemic Racism

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A city runs its police department and other services; therefore, if there is so much ‘systemic racism’ in these organizations, why hasn’t it been corrected over so many years under Democratic leaders?

Plenty more detail at this link where the receipts are delivered about the evil shit fired at Republican House member, Byron Donalds.

And of course this came just weeks before the recent crime where five Memphis cops (all Black) beat a Black suspect to death while their bodycams and a street security camera recorded it all. Video at the link but don’t watch unless you have a strong stomach. This was not an enraged frenzy but repeated assaults, with breaks in between, over a period of about ten minutes, including two cops holding his hand behind while another officer repeatedly punches him in the face. Others kick him whenever he hits the ground. This was started by a traffic stop.

Naturally enough the usual suspects – like former Obama advisor Van Jones – have begun to scream about systemic racism:

Society’s message that Black people are inferior, unworthy and dangerous is pervasive. Over many decades, numerous experiments have shown that these ideas can infiltrate Black minds as well as White. Self-hatred is a real thing. That’s why a Black store owner might regard customers of his same race with suspicion, while treating his White patrons with deference. 

On that last point, it wouldn’t have anything to do with the Black store owner observing the skin colour of most of the criminals attacking him and his store would it? And the answer is OF COURSE NOT, BIGOT!. This is the heart of an argument that the Left simply will not accept: that Blacks have higher rates of arrest because they commit more crime out of proportion to their share of the population. There was a time when the Left at least provided a reason for this, being a history of racism and poverty. But now it’s just denial straight up and implications or outright assertions about mysterious, unconscious reasons – primarily a racism hidden so deep in the soul of the oppressors that it doesn’t show except in the societal stats.

At this moment there have been some protests around the US, but given the colour facts and a Democrat President I doubt we’ll see a repeat of the BLM/Antifa riots of 2020. The five cops have been fired and are up on 2nd degree murder charges.

But how systemic is this Systemic Racism? That article contains a definition:

A system in which public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms work in various, often reinforcing ways to perpetuate racial group inequity.

It identifies dimensions of our history and culture that have allowed privileges associated with “whiteness” and disadvantages associated with “color” to endure and adapt over time.

Structural racism is not something that a few people or institutions choose to practice. Instead it has been a feature of the social, economic, and political systems in which we all exist.

In many ways “systemic racism” and “structural racism” are synonymous. If there is a difference between the terms […] structural racism analysis pays more attention to the historical, cultural and social psychological aspects of our currently racialized society.

I don’t see anything in there that covers the racism of the Democrats attacking Byron Donalds and his wife. Were Tyre Nichols and George Floyd killed by Minneapolis and Memphis Police Department “public policies”, or one or more of their “institutional practices”? And given that there are multiple federal laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, or ethnicity in housingeducation, and employment exactly how do Whites continue to get away with “structural” or “systemic” racism? Which of these laws are not enforced? The facts are that each of them has been for more than fifty years now, by the courts, if necessary.

And of course one of the most notable aspects of these outbreaks of systemic police racism is that they overwhelmingly occur in cities not only controlled by Democrats, but which have been controlled by them for decades, starting with 2020’s Ground Zero, Minneapolis, which has been under Democratic control since 1978:

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There are deep problems with “kindness” as a political philosophy.

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So says a commentator on a recent article about Jacinda Ardern published in The Times in Britain.

The article itself – “How I watched the halo slipping from Jacinda Ardern” – doesn’t really add anything new to other coverage of her that has been made in the wake of her resignation as Prime Minister.

It’s actually that comment by one Iain Thorpe, picked up the blog site Samizdata, that is more interesting than the article itself. He goes on to say:

If kindness is the answer to all problems, then the problems must be caused by unkindness. And people who disagree with you must be unkind people. Obviously you don’t have to listen when unkind people try to tell you anything. And you certainly don’t have to offer them the same concern or compassion as other people. Their unkindness is their own fault. You don’t have to do anything for it, or for them.

And so “kindness” ends up being without empathy, the opposite of inclusion. Ardern’s inability to deal with people who disagreed with or were disadvantaged by her government’s policies was striking. She seldom even attempted to speak to them and seemed incapable of winning over anyone who opposed her.

Written by Tom Hunter

February 3, 2023 at 8:13 am