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Bubble World

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Social Media users are often accused of living in a bubble; hanging around in safe spaces where they won’t hear many, or perhaps any, contrary opinions.

Predictably enough these accusations are hurled between the bubbles; think Kiwiblog commentators vs The Standard commentators.

But if there’s one group that loves sticking to all of these social media sites the whole “a plague on both your houses”, it’s the old media, the MSM, the Legacy Media. They claim that they’re far more aware of the wider world and all the news that’s fit to print. They’re journalists, so of course this is how it must be, otherwise they would not be able to do their jobs, correct?

The consumers of what these “journalists” produce increasingly beg to differ, as shown by the huge drops in subscriptions, buys and readership by all branches of the MSM. But even in the face of such financial reality those criticisms are still dismissed by the MSM as just another byproduct of the social media bubbles that their readers are falling into.

Maybe, but that growing gap between how the public views “journalists” and how they view themselves should be a wake up call for the latter. Luckily it won’t be.

Note that MSM ideological or partisan bias was not the question there, but a straight-forward set of questions relating to the traditional roles of journalists and how well they’re performing them.

Meanwhile Twitter is the poster child for Social Media bubbles, reinforced by bannings and suspensions that have no standard beyond the one that says a Tweet offended whatever the Left hold to be true at any given moment. When you consider how many “journalists” monitor Twitter you begin to see why the graph below might be a factor feeding into the graph above. To date only one outfit, the NYT, has been willing to even try (and only try) to get its reporters to “Tweet less… Report more”.

There’s also this poll from Rasmussen:

Written by Tom Hunter

June 26, 2022 at 3:00 pm

Posted in MSM, USA

Tagged with ,

GOP Tsunamis and Democrat Islands

with 5 comments

It’s taken longer than I expected but the reality of President Biden’s uselessness is finally catching up with him.

The only surprise I have is that so many Democrats are surprised by this.

For almost a year now, every poll has seen increasingly worse numbers for Biden. The trigger was the Afghanistan debacle, no matter how the MSM and his many sycophants around the world tried to spin it.

Since then nothing has gone right for him. But saying that makes it sound simply like a hapless, hopeless President has been overwhelmed by events beyond his control, and while it’s true that this low-IQ, senile, husk of a human being is incapable of dealing with problems that land on his desk, many of those problems stem directly from the idiocies of “his” policies. Actually they’re the policies of the Nancy Pelosi Democrat Party and his Obama-retread staff, policies that he regularly fumbles while reading off a large-print teleprompter in the fake Oval Office set created for him. (BTW, for a laugh, check out Reuters early 2021″fact check” of why there is no fake Oval Office).

He’s underwater on almost all issues.

He’s underwater in almost all states:

There are only three states where Biden’s approval is above water:

* Hawaii: 50 percent approval, 40 percent disapproval
* Massachusetts: 45 percent approval, 42 percent disapproval
* Vermont: 46 percent approval, 38 percent disapproval

His “base” is abandoning him:

In new polling provided exclusively to Secrets, he is losing support among younger voters, suburbanites, women, minorities (especially Hispanics), and union members.

To be fair he never really had a “base” as someone like Trump or Bernie Sanders does, and that showed in two successive failures in Presidential runs in 1988 and 2008, with the same pattern in 2020 until James Clyburn rescued him in the South Carolina primary. His “base” was simply people who hated Trump: they had no loyalty to Biden,.

Inflation via gas and food prices is bad enough, but when you see particular food items like infant formula you understand how all the spin in the world cannot counter people’s direct experience. This is not “inflation” in the monetary sense but supply chain problems, ones that Biden and his staff missed for months. It didn’t help when his staff did a video-op of Biden with CEO’s of companies making infant formula where they bluntly said that they’d known about the approaching crisis for months – followed by this from Biden:

This sort of cluelessness is dragging down the entire Democrat Party heading into the Mid-Terms, where a large loss is already baked into the cake, and it could get worse. As a result Democrat insiders are getting frustrated with Biden:

“It’s really simple: ‘Be the f—ing president!,” said one Democratic strategist frustrated by the administration. “I realize it’s tough and you’re drinking out of a fire hose every single day, but there are things you can do to control the public perception and they haven’t done any of that.”…

Here’s a hint pal, it’s because they’re utterly incompetent in everything they do and also because spin can only go so far in twisting reality. The frustration has turned into finger-pointing inside the White House with the Pre-criminations beginning:

Faced with a worsening political predicament, President Joe Biden is pressing aides for a more compelling message and a sharper strategy while bristling at how they’ve tried to stifle the plain-speaking persona that has long been one of his most potent assets.

Biden is rattled by his sinking approval ratings and is looking to regain voters’ confidence that he can provide the sure-handed leadership he promised during the campaign, people close to the president say.

Amid a rolling series of calamities, Biden’s feeling lately is that he just can’t catch a break. “Biden is frustrated. If it’s not one thing, it’s another,” said a person close to the president.

It’s called being the President, idiot! That link is to one of his MSM tongue-bathers, NBC, which alone tells you how bad this is. Even so their ingrained Democrat/Left bias produces comedy gold

An assumption baked into Biden’s candidacy was that he would preside over a smoothly running administration by dint of his decades of experience in public office.

Yet there are signs of managerial breakdowns that have angered both him and his party.

😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

A lot of us didn’t assume that! The people who did were the increasingly poorly-specified Smartest Guys in Any Room.

“He’s now lower than Trump, and he’s really twisted about it,” another person close to the White House said.

😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

He’s said that “I don’t look at the polls — no joke”, which turns out to be more BS. I won’t say “lie” because you need an active brain to know you’re lying. He believes everything he says in the moment and is thus angry at staff who correct him.

Beyond policy, Biden is unhappy about a pattern that has developed inside the West Wing. He makes a clear and succinct statement — only to have aides rush to explain that he actually meant something else. The so-called clean-up campaign, he has told advisers, undermines him and smothers the authenticity that fueled his rise. Worse, it feeds a Republican talking point that he’s not fully in command.

Ah yes, the ever-present “Republican Talking Point”, otherwise known as the “Republicans Pounce” meme.

LOL. That bit almost makes it look like he’s just a feeble puppet and that policy decisions are being made behind the scenes by staff that no one voted for, and when this senile figurehead breaks with their bureaucratic consensus, they veto him.

Asked about the staff’s practice of clarifying Biden’s remarks, the official said: “We don’t say anything that the president doesn’t want us to say.”

“We never overrule the President”

At the White House Easter Egg Roll the Easter Bunny begged to differ!

Standard practice actually. After Biden announced that Putin must not be allowed to remain power, Jen Psaki and others rushed out to reassure the Washington Blob that Biden hadn’t meant that. But then Biden went out to the microphones again to say he wasn’t walking anything back, and had in fact meant the thing he’d first said. I’m surprised he didn’t push the Easter Bunny over so he could keep talking, but that would have upset the children.

What all this actually means is that the Cottonhead Puppet’s handlers are directing things from behind the scenes – except the puppet occasionally manages to put his pudding aside and stand in front of TV cameras to announce some dramatic shifts in US policy because he thinks that sounding like a tough guy will juice his polling.

It’s no surprise to find out that Biden staffers are leaving in droves, with special emphasis on the comms staff, another indication that these people think that this is all a messaging problem.

In the wake of that NBC piece a Biden staffer attacked NBC “News” as actually a right-wing operation doing a hit on Biden. Yes! Really! His proof was that their official denial, claiming that the staff never issues statements without Biden’s approval, only ran in paragraph 28 – while the stuff that was said off-the-record about Biden being Spongebrain Angry Pants was featured much more prominently.

That staffer will find it much harder to tag the NYT as such, with their “Democratic whispers” story

In interviews, dozens of frustrated Democratic officials, members of Congress and voters expressed doubts about the president’s ability to rescue his reeling party and take the fight to Republicans.

Doubts? No! Really?

Written by Tom Hunter

June 15, 2022 at 6:00 am

The Pentagram Loop of Economic Doom

with 11 comments

What’s in everybody’s face, especially in America, is inflation, but there’s far more than that going on in their economy, and basically the global economy.

And none of it’s good.

But let’s look at inflation first, in particular the stuff that chews into your wallet every day rather than the somewhat tame measure of CPI.

Gasoline for cars is, for Americans, the most in-your-face aspect of this; for historical and psychological reasons it seems to grind them more than food prices. Of course the joke is that in 2008 Democrat suckhole media like the LA Times was boasting about “The joy of $8 gas.

You’d think the Democrats would therefore be happier right now.

Companies are trying to trick people as they did back in the 1970’s by shrinking the size of the products they sell “for the same price”. I don’t think it works.

The official CPI for May surged to 8.6%, but if it was being calculated as it was in 1980 it would be 17% (see the graph above). Moreover the month-on-month inflation is not stopping but itself increasing; in other words inflation is not going away any time soon. Good to see that one of Biden’s numerous idiot hires, Treasury Secretary Yanet Yellen, is now publicly regretting saying that inflation in 2021 was “transitory”. Of course she’s not alone as the US MSM have desperately tried to prop up Biden and the Democrats on this issue for a year now.

On top of all this is the fact that wage growth is rapidly slowing, which means that wages are actually going backwards, the highest negative since 2006 actually.

Add in the problems of the stock market – which is also shrinking American’s wealth, starting with pension funds, plus a possible crash in the housing market – and you’re looking at big economic problems across the board. This has business people starting to also get on edge:

Why is there so much doom and gloom though? Recessions happen regularly and we’ve seen inflation and even stagflation before and survived them. There are two answers to this question.

First, what’s different this time is the number of major factors coming together, each of which has caused recessions in the past on their own:

  1. The business cycle.
  2. High energy prices.
  3. Inflationary pressures other than energy (supply chain problems plus $6 trillion of unneeded US government spending in the last two years)
  4. Excessive debt-funded speculation.
  5. Secular shifts in the economy.

That last one needs explanation:

Examples include: new global competition (1970s); currency devaluations; costs of cleaning up decades of pollution (1970s); financialization (1980s to the present), geopolitical shifts in alliances, social disorder, demographics (aging of the workforce, mass retirement) and sea changes in the distribution of income and power to labor and capital.

It’s a perfect storm and it’s built on the back of two decades of poor economic policies.

Second, the normal paths of getting out of factors 1 and 3 – high interest rates to crush inflation and massive Keynesian-style state spending – are now hemmed in by the massive amounts of debt the US has created in the last twenty years, both public and private. In fact it’s increasingly hard to tell the difference between the two, so dependent upon cheap created credit from the Federal Reserve have the markets – especially Wall Street and the housing market – become.

The higher interest rates will slow the economy and cause unemployment. It will also swallow up tax revenue as the government has to pay interest on its massive debt. But more critically, it will increase the rate of default on home mortgages. Those defaults will make mortgage-backed securities less valuable and more unpredictable. That’s how the 2008 housing market seized up. 

In 2008 the US housing crisis was solved by having the Federal Government and the Federal Reserve buy trillions of dollars of mortgages and Mortgage Backed Securities that had become nearly worthless. But having re-created that situation what are they going to do now (factor 4)?

The energy crisis is also not going away because high fossil fuel prices are seen as the way to “transition” the economy to the world of renewable energy. If that’s your goal then it’s a logical play – but it will kill consumers (in some cases literally), kill the politicians intent on crashing through the wall of such massive energy change – and that’s assuming it’s even possible, which it isn’t (42 Inconvenient Truths on the “New Energy Economy”) and possibly kill the economy.

Two years ago I playfully predicted The Great Crash of 2034, but allowed that it might come later – or sooner.

Brace for impact.

Written by Tom Hunter

June 13, 2022 at 7:41 pm

Aborted Assassinations

with 3 comments

The results of a US survey were released the other day in which a rather unusual question was asked:

“Do you approve or disapprove of assassinating a politician who is harming the country or our democracy?”

Well, the answer is obvious surely? No!

Holy shit! Nearly half of Democrat men under the age of 50 (44 %) approved, as did 34% of younger Republican men, 40% of Republican woman, and 32% of Democrat woman. Look at the generation gap also!

And so we come to this. A man, Nicholas Roske, was arrested the other day when he turned up at the home of Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh, equipped with a pistol, ammo, various bits of tactical gear, and openly calling the cops to tell them he was going to kill the Justice because of the anticipated US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) abortion decision. They’d already spotted him getting out of a taxi beside Kavanaugh’s home and looking damned suspicious to the Marshalls guarding the home so his call was moot.

Since last year I’d planned to do a post on the decision from the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) on abortion, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, expecting its release in June/July 2022. The most important such case in decades, with a majority of Originalist or Textualist judges on the Supreme bench, there was a distinct possibility that the fifty year old standard, Roe v Wade, and even the more recent confirmation of that decision, the 1992 case of Planned Parenthood vs Casey, would be overturned and the issue returned to the legislators of the fifty US states to decide. But I’m not going to address the actual decision until it’s confirmed.

However, that process was disrupted a month ago when persons unknown within SCOTUS leaked to the MSM a draft of the conservative opinion and argument. As expected it over-turns Roe and other similar cases and since it was written by Justice Alito it seems certain that it represents the majority. Nothing has since appeared to contradict that, although it’s still possible that it may be merely the dissent.

The leak itself was an unprecedented move that shocked the legal community because it struck directly at the heart of the Court’s ability to debate and decide constitutional issues free from immediate political pressures. It also struck at the heart of the trust required between the Justices themselves for those debates and arguments to occur in a dispassionate and calm way.

This was quite deliberate. Obviously a Court member, likely a clerk for one of the three Liberal Justices, possibly one of those three Justices themselves, had seen the decision and decided that public pressure might change it by convincing one of the conservative Justices to cave. Damage to the court be damned.

But of course they had outside help, in the form of the good old MSM, as Stromata points out in The Unsung Villians of the Supreme Court Leak:

Chief Justice Roberts has ordered the Court’s marshal to investigate the leak. Whether the culprit will be found seems dubious, but there are three guilty parties who can be identified and who, although they almost certainly cannot be prosecuted, can be shunned by all polite company. They are Politico and the two writers whose names appear on the story proclaiming the leak: Josh Gerstein and Alexander Ward.

Neither the web publisher nor its employees innocently picked up the draft opinion from off the street. They knew that it was stolen. They knew that no Supreme Court opinion has ever, in the history of the United States of America, been released without the Court’s authorization, no matter how important or controversial its subject. They knew that, in the normal course of its activity, the Court would have published its decision within the next two months. They knew that the Justices often continue considering and refining opinions until shortly before they are announced. They knew that the Court’s effectiveness has for over two centuries depended crucially on trust among the Justices and their staff.

They knew and didn’t care. For the frisson of a “big story”, and almost certainly with the hope of assisting the Democratic Party, they peddled their ill-gotten goods and inflicted serious harm on our nation’s highest judicial body. Honorable men would have written a story beginning, “Today, a person connected to the Supreme Court attempted to give Politico confidential Court documents concerning an upcoming decision. Politico has returned the documents unread to the Court chambers and advised the Justices of the identity of the miscreant.”

One of the benefits of an unfettered press is that scoundrels eventually identify themselves. Remember their names and cover them with maledictions: Politico, Gerstein, Ward.

The pro-abortion movement certainly treated the leak as both real and decisive and immediately cranked up the protests, aided by a Democrat Party that’s desperate to avoid an electoral disaster in this year’s Mid-Term elections in November. One group, Ruth Sent Us, went further, doxxing the locations of the conservative Justices and organising protests outside them. They tried to weasel out of being responsible by saying they hadn’t actually put up the addresses, but in their videos they made no effort to hide the house numbers. It was from this list that Roske got his targeting information.

Amidst all of this you had senior Democrats like VP Kamala Harris saying they would have “fight” with “everything we have”. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wasn’t much better as she specifically called on the public to act to “improve” the decision, about as clear an example of intimidation as you can get. Senate leader Chuck Schumer said that Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Coney Barrett had lied in their Senate hearings in answering questions on abortion, this on top of his comments two years ago to Gorsuch & Kavanaugh that:

“You will pay the price.. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions”

Sure, you can argue that this is all just typical political hot air – which I could agree with if I hadn’t seen similar, ordinary political speech from the likes of Trump and Sarah Palin (in the Giffords shooting of 2011) held to be “incitement” to violent followers, with the MSM once more helping out by amplifying those claims while memory-holing the likes of Bernie Bro assassin, James T Hodgkinson and his shooting of GOP members of Congress

Moreover, Virginia State law prohibits such protesting against judges precisely because it is understood to be an attempt to intimidate them in making their decisions. Notably nobody has been prosecuted by either the Virginia law authorities or the Federal DOJ.

The cherry on top on is that President Biden, via his press secretary at the time, Jen Pasaki, refused to condemn the protests despite repeated invitations from some reporters to do so; encouragement with a wink from the President.

Finally, there are specific examples arising from the prosecution of violent criminal actions involving allies of the Democrats. The mug shots below are of two people – Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman – who were arrested in New York City in 2020 for assembling Molotov cocktails, handing them out to the “mostly peaceful” crowds protesting George Floyd’s death, and even firebombing an empty police car.

Ginning herself up to distribute explosives to the crowd, Rahman gave a video interview in which she declared, “This shit won’t ever stop until we fuckin’ take it all down,” adding that “the only way [the police] hear us is through violence.”

Domestic terrorism doesn’t get much clearer, no? Many years of jail time resulting?

Not so fast, lynchers:

They reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors in October 2020 that wiped out six of the seven charges against them. Those prosecutors, nonetheless, sought a maximum 10-year sentence and argued that the incident qualified for a so-called terrorism enhancement that would turbocharge sentencing–a determination with which the U.S. Probation Office concurred.

Well, that’s the marginally acceptable; charges are often dropped to focus on the important one. But then Merrick Garland – himself proposed for SCOTUS during Obama’s last year after Justice Scalia died – and the U.S. attorney for New York’s Eastern District, Breon Peace, who’s handling the prosecution, took office and in May, the same career DOJ prosecutors who had argued for that 10-year sentence were back in court withdrawing their plea deal, tossing out the terrorism enhancement entirely and entering a new one that allowed the defendants to cop to the lesser charge of conspiracy:

The new charge carries a five-year maximum sentence, but the prosecutors are urging the judge to go below that, asking for just 18 to 24 months on account of the “history and personal characteristics of the defendants” and the “aberrational nature of the defendants’ conduct.”

Because, you know, Mattis graduated from Princeton and New York University Law School and was an attorney at the white-shoe law firm Pryor Cashman, and Rahman was a public-interest lawyer whose “best friend,” Obama administration intelligence official Salmah Rizvi, guaranteed the $250,000 required to release her on bail.

Law360, which reported on the events, calls the new deal an “unusual step.”

That’s some understatement. Then combine this outcome with the hundreds of Antifa and BLM rioters from 2020 who had all charges dropped (only a handful convicted), Clinton and Democrat Party lawyer Michael Sussman being found not guilty by a jury selected from a 92% Biden voting D.C. pool, the wrist slap given FBI lawyer Clinesmith for falsifying CIA emails and lying to the FISA court, and the general escape from justice of the Obama-Clinton team players on the Russia-Collusion attempted coup.

In the face of all this why should anybody be surprised at either that poll result or Kavanaugh’s would-be assassin. It shows that you’re basically looking at a Democrat Party that not only encourages such violence against Republicans – politicians, activists and voters alike – but strongly signals that you’ll get away with it.

Time to re-visit the possibilities of A second American Civil War and A Civil Break, not a Civil War.

Powerline turns 20

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Powerline was one of the first American political blogs I began to read in the early 2020’s as an alternative to an increasingly awful MSM, and it is still a daily must-read for me.

It’s amazing that the team of bloggers is still going strong after all this time. By necessity the politics and other news that they cover is national, but the fact that two of the writers live in Minnesota has meant that they have been able to use their local contacts, observations and experience to go into depth on two national stories that sprang from their local environs – Democrat House Rep Ilhan Omar, and the George Floyd incident. Their coverage of Minnesota’s state government handling of the Chinese Lung Rot pandemic has also been brilliantly in-depth.

To say that Powerline’s quality of reporting and analysis for both stories vastly exceeds that of the national MSM and their local, hopelessly partisan newspaper, the Minnesota Star Tribune, is to understate things.

You can read the reflections of three of them about their blog’s 20th birthday here, here, and here.

The biggest story the site has done was the 2004 takedown of Dan Rather’s attack on G W Bush, based on fraudulent documents that Rather and his research staff were too stupid to figure out and too partisan to care. It was an analysis that deservedly destroyed his career:

9. We made our contribution in part through readers who got us going with information they emailed on the morning of September 9. It is amazing to me in retrospect that we were able to post the initial updates to “The Sixty-First Minute” based on messages from the few thousand regular readers we had at the time. Other readers came that morning from links that directed them to us. The first significant link to the post, as I recall, was Jim Geraghty’s at National Review Online.

But I was also intrigued by a similar story that two of the writers, John H. Hinderaker and Scott Johnson, had done years earlier in pre-Powerline days:

2. The highlight of our pre-Power Line work was “George Bush’s tax return,” published by National Review in May 1994. The article was an attack on the incredibly shoddy (and influential) work of Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters Donald Barlett and James Steele. My friend Rudy Boschwitz obtained a copy of President Bush’s tax return for us; it was the sine qua non of the article. Rich Lowry edited the piece as managing editor of NR. Rich and his crew at NR placed the article online to help us celebrate our 15th anniversary. Please click on the link and check it out. It provides a case study in the mainstream media’s modus operandi. It would be wrong to say that the press hasn’t changed since then. It is worse than ever.

Sad but true, and the MSM has learned nothing from being regularly schooled on research and analysis by such blogs over the last twenty years.

Written by Tom Hunter

May 30, 2022 at 10:44 am

Posted in New Zealand, USA, MSM, US Politics

Tagged with ,

Two must-read articles from Karl du Fresne

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Readers will be well aware that my attitude towards the MSM is that that they are, at best, shallow and useless in their reporting and “analysis”, and at worst combine that with massive ideological bias to the Left as well as the occasional bouts of outright partisanship towards, in the case of New Zealand, the Greens, Labour, or the Maori party, depending on how well each of them is doing in supporting a Left wing agenda.

The read I have on the NZ MSM at present is that, as Chris Trotter and Martyn Bradbury have often pointed out, they’ve sold their souls for capitalist money and the “neo-liberal” status quo established since 1984, in exchange for pushing every other piece of Leftist wank. I think those two gentlemen are nostalgic screamers because, at least in the environmentalist world of combating AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) they may get want they want eventually from their rather despised New Left comrades with a return of state ownership or more likely, a regulatory and tax regime that makes a mockery of the term “private enterprise”. Whether the Leftists in the MSM know where the AGW process will lead or not doesn’t really matter, but I suspect that many “reporters” do and are keen on using it to get back to the supposed Nirvana created by the First Labour Government.

As such it’s important that blogs support eachother, so here are two articles by Karl du Fresne that need as much exposure as possible:

  1. Squeeze your eyes shut, cross your fingers and hope

This post deals with the steadily growing catastrophe that is Three Waters and the Health re-structuring.

Carterton District Council, one of the smallest in the country (population 9700), expects to spend $850,000 preparing for Three Waters over the next two years. The council’s chief executive says the plan has imposed an “enormous” programme of work that the council’s not resourced to cope with it. Mayor Greg Laing describes the process as “absolutely appalling”.

The Times-Age quotes the Department of Internal Affairs as saying funding will be provided to cover transition costs, but it’s obvious that councils haven’t seen any of the money and don’t know when they will. In any case, South Wairarapa’s mayor Alex Beijen, who presides over a district with a population of only 11,000 (and one that’s already financially stretched to breaking point), says resourcing will be a big challenge even with extra government money.

I laughed at one of the comments where the guy sent a Letter To The Editor concisely pointing some of the problems and found his points about rents and royalties had been excised. Standard censoring of disinformation; I don’t know why he bothered but others made the point that this why blogs and other social media (to an extent, given their own censorship) are important while the MSM dies.

The healthcare problem has been hidden by C-19 Kabuki Theatre and Three Waters but if anything it’s more frightening:

As Powell points out, “With only 40 working days to go, DHBs have no more information on what will replace them on 1 July than they had on 21 April last year when the health minister announced their abolition.” You can read his damning appraisal here.

This all sounds familiar, the same as other SNAFU’s this government has made in the last few years; ill-defined plans; falling behind schedule; last-second scrambles to do something. I really hope I and my family don’t fall sick in any way for the next couple of years.

2. The Free Speech Union meeting that earned a trigger warning from Salient

This is Karl catching up on Victoria University’s response to his talk On the threats to free speech, that was delivered a while ago at the university, courtesy of the Free Speech Union.

It seems that the students have been triggered by a speech that none of them apparently attended and have used the student newspaper, Salient, to express their outrage; Karl points out that it’s prefaced with a trigger warning advising, in bold type: 

This article examines some of the racist, transphobic, sexist, and otherwise harmful content discussed at the event in question. Please exercise caution when reading.

Frightening.

You can read the sad, pathetic details of the objections to his speech and while I and a lot of other students never took much notice of such things at varsity – where the Left-wing student radicals dominated such talk via the student unions and their varsity newspapers – it’s clear that such people have much greater influence, some might say control, over their varsities than they did forty or even twenty years ago.

For me, one comment showed how far things have gone:

As a Victoria lecturer and a member of FSU (so I would prefer to be anonymous), I am sad to say this is exactly what I expect from our students. Students nowadays are extremely lazy; most of them don’t even bother to attend lectures. Critical thinking and meaningful debates are just not things under their radars. I don’t blame students but the university administration. The university administration is a bunch of failed academics who do not really care about education and research. All they care is their position and would do everything possible to pander students in order to get money from the government. As a lecturer, our constant pressure from the university is how to make students happy and get more of them, not how to train better citizens of the future.

An unexpected result of the 1990’s reforms of university is that there are a lot of people there who should not be, given their lack of brains, and that the incentives for them to go and the incentives of the universities to get bums on seats, are screwed up. Perhaps if student loans were tied directly to the universities so that they’re on the hook for payment recovery, the universities would be pushed harder to teach productive courses and “train better citizens” in real critical thinking.

Mr Musk continues to have fun

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It should be obvious that when you’re the richest man in the world you’re going to be able to have fun, but based on the sad stories of other rich people in history that’s no certainty.

Some, like Henry Ford, were morose misanthropes; the Astor family were a horror story, along with others; even today we have billionaires like John Caudwell (founder of Phones4U) who admits he’s often on levels 1-2 on the 10 happiness scale.

But Musk is not that sort of person and it shows with his Tweets dealing with people attacking him, starting with Democrat Congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The background to Musk’s response to her is a Tweet she sent months ago when Right-wingers attacked her for fleeing her masked-up, native New York City for the unmasked joys of Florida, even as she fanatically supported the mask mandates in NY. Her response got all her fans giggling because they know that all us Righties want to date hot, Left-wing woman: they just know.

So the other day when she got stuck into Musk for buying Twitter, using the now-standard High School Mean Girl snark which is her primary mode of argument, Musk used her approach to burn her down.

😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

On a more serious note was an attack on Musk by a bunch of nobodies from the broadcast network, NBC, one of whom actually labeled Musk as “not so bright”. AYFKM? What chutzpa that reporter has, but that seems to be how most of them think of themselves

Once again Musk let them have it right between the eyes.

It’s interesting to see that despite his focus on making a success of Tesla, SpaceX and his other businesses he still takes time to remain aware of what’s happening in the ordinary, everyday world.

That all this stuff is increasingly backfiring on these stupid bastards in the MSM is something that they’re still not getting, despite being brighter than Musk. The latest example is what happened after a Washington Post reporter doxxed the woman behind the Libs of TikTok Twitter account – because it’s just such fun to dox an Orthodox Jew in New York where attacks on Jews have increased dramatically in recent years. So far she’s having the last laugh.

No wonder the US Democrats are reaching for the big Stasi stick.

Written by Tom Hunter

May 5, 2022 at 7:00 am

Cancel Kulture and the tools it uses.

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And one of those tools has been Twitter.

Here’s one way that Cancel Kulture can be made to work, and has worked on a number of people, especially in show business.

It’s quite simple: you just reach back into the past of that person, find something that’s “problematic” by today’s standards – problematic is a great word in that it’s not a direct attack but implies that a problem exists with the target of the word – and use that standard combined with a gathering wildfire of outrage on Social Media, followed by the MSM, to force the target into groveling apologies, most of which don’t work, the target gets de-platformed anyway.

This is what happened to Oscars host and comedian, Kevin Hart, three years ago. That was the end of that high profile job, and pretty much his career. The same stunt has been pulled on nobodies as well, like the young woman who lost her university place when a former high school classmate published an old Tweet of her celebrating getting her drivers licence at the age of 16 by repeating the line of a famous rap song (all the rage with her generation at the time) that included The Word That Can Get You In Trouble (unless you’re a rap artist).

Recently it was tried against the famous American comedian Steve Martin, because of a forty year old sketch he’d done on Saturday Night Live. Stephen Green at PJMedia takes up the story:

“Steve Martin” briefly trended on Monday after Silver Age Television tweeted the anniversary of King Tut’s debut on SNL. It trended because some zero-humor wokester forced it to trend. But only briefly. Mediaite did its best to generate heat with this headline yesterday:

Steven Martin’s ‘King Tut’ Sketch from 1978 Sparks Twitter Debate on Cultural Appropriation.

Steven Martin? Anyway, as the story made clear, there wasn’t even so little as a “Twitter debate.” The worst Mediaite could find was two barely-critical tweets by a couple of low-follower Blue Checks.

The Twitter Outrage Machine was cranked to life, then almost immediately ran out of gas. Maybe it’s because Twitter spent Monday outraged about the Elon Musk buyout and didn’t have time to worry about Martin.

Excellent news, but how did that little wokester actually get “Steve Martin” to trend in the first place, lighting a spark as it were?

“They do it,” Dice explained, “to create a self-fulfilling prophesy. Twitter manually inserts a topic on the list. People see the topic and think everyone is tweeting about which “caused” it to trend, so people *start* tweeting about it, and *then* the issue goes viral.”

Easy peasy. Japaneasy.

Oooo. Is that racist? Or culturally inappropriate?

Well anyway, after delving into yet another aspect of the grim, toxic underbelly of the politically correct Left, have a laugh at Steve Martin’s original sketch:

To Tweet or not to Tweet?

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I don’t use Twitter except as a casual consumer. Which is to say that I don’t have an account there and even in the wake of Musk’s takeover I’m not likely to get one because I have no desire to be sucked into a world of simplistic takes based on “arguments” limited to 280 characters, followed by a thousand toxic responses.

I’m also well aware of the fact that the Leftist groups who have dominated Twitter in recent years have found themselves shocked and surprised when the real world matched up not at all with their Twitter world, from Brexit to Trump’s 2016 win to the smashing success of the Tories in former Labour seats in the last British election. This has led a number of Centre-Leftists to get stuck into the Twitter Left as being deluded idiots who’ve screwed themselves.

So Twitter is not a representative sample of politics, even at the activist or political-tragic level, let alone the voters, and as a result the Right should not be getting too excited about their suddenly increased freedom to speak on the platform.

However, it’s clear that Twitter is important, otherwise we wouldn’t be seeing the Leftie meltdown that we have witnessed in the last 48 hours. It’s also clear that something has changed, as noted yesterday by one of our readers:

Twitter has changed dramatically over the last 24 hours. Lots of high profile people that I didn’t know were there (had been shadow banned) just popping out onto my feed.

Well, well, well…Big conservative accounts reporting tens of thousands of followers being added to their accounts!!

Hmmm,…. My guess is that Twitter is turning off the suppression software and preparing to hide the evidence.

In the meantime the “Liberal MSM” world in the USA continues to lose its mind about this issue:

Of course YouTube and the others remain as they are so we’ll see how long it takes before that link goes dark. It took YouTube only a few minutes to demonetize Cole and Savannah LaBrant’s 38-minute pro-life documentary after its initial posting. Instagram followed suit shortly thereafter.

There was probably some “hate speech” involved, otherwise known as disagreeing with “liberals.”

Written by Tom Hunter

April 28, 2022 at 8:36 am

Breaking News for those who lack self-awareness

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When I saw this I almost could not believe it. Even though I’ve long been very down on the MSM and its “journalists”, the following piece is still breathtaking even for me.

Is it a lack of self-awareness? Or perhaps just a lack of awareness in general – like of recent history and current affairs?

Really, Mr Melber of MSNBC? Really? It sounds terrifying! What would that look like, because I’m having a tough time even imagining it – but I’ll give it a shot?

I’m seeing…. a tech monopoly suppressing a major story about a corrupt POS presidential candidate who spawned a son who is an even bigger POS with booze, drugs and the ladies and who grifts millions of dollars from Chinese and Russian oligarchs and corrupt Ukrainian front companies?

No? Okay. How about this?

I’m seeing …. a tech monopoly using secret algorithms to throttle speakers of one political bent while boosting those of another political bent? Or using its algorithmic power as a publisher (not a platform) to falsely claim that some unpopular stories are “Trending” and to falsely claim that some actually-trending stories are not? And all this to crush the reach of news that hurts one political party and one political ideology?

Crazy no?

Where the fuck has this prick been in the last two years? Or perhaps he’s just fallen so far into gaslighting mode that he wipes his memory each night so that he doesn’t go insane with all the cognitive dissonance?

And also right on schedule is this….

Complete with talk about “reforming section 230” and “anti-trust reform” and all the crazy stuff that a goodly (and growing) portion of US right-wingers have been pushing for several years now.

My goodness, where did that suddenly come from? What a coincidence that it came just a day after Musk takes over Twitter.

That’s government intimidation, isn’t it? That’s the government saying, “You will enforce our chosen narrative on a range of issues via censorship of your users – or we will act punitively against your monopoly position.” Sure sounds like it to me, and the response of the GOP to this will be to say how they’re not like that, even as the owners and employees of those companies snigger at their desks, curse the GOP, donate overwhelmingly to the Democrats, curse the Right even more and do everything with their considerable online power to screw them over.

This is why the GOP is often called by its own voters The Stupid Party.

In fact those voters been begging the GOP for some time now to get their useless backsides into gear and rip away the cover of Section 230 from the likes of Twitter, Facebook and their ilk, given the fact that, despite the well intentioned motives of protecting the fledging Web in the 1990’s, they’ve been acting as publishers not platforms for quite some time now in their censoring zeal:

No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.

The grass-roots have also begged the GOP to go full Teddy Roosevelt and start using trust-busting measures against Google and their ilk – only to be greeted with whinging about the “principles” of the libertarian, pro-corporate Right-Wing when it comes to the state and private sector companies – well, giant private sector companies at least. Look at the recent moans from the National Review crowd (and others on the Corporatist Right) about the Florida GOP actions taken against Disney.

Now that the Democrats have breached that particular dam perhaps the GOP will jump on the issue. Still, it would not be surprising if The Stupid Party decides that defending Google, Facebook, Twitter and company against such outrages is a winning issue in 2022, thereby condemning themselves to a tiny win or perhaps even a tiny loss this year, rather than the Red Tsunami they’re currently on target for.