No Minister

Posts Tagged ‘Social Media

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.

Freudian slip

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If Elon Musk’s purchase of 9.2% of Twitter caused Leftie heads to explode, his bid to buy the whole thing has resulted in a complete meltdown over the last week.

The following is a classic example of this because, even though the delivery is calm on the surface, the message is apocalyptic and tells you exactly what these people think they’re already doing to the public.

These responses are over the top not just because they smack of End Days thinking but also because, even with control of Twitter, Musk would be in no position to do anything about the censorship practiced by the rest of the Social Media universe, especially Google/Youtube and Facebook, where pulling advertisements to demonetise people and shadow-banning are at least as powerful weapons on the censorship front as what Twitter has.

The usual MSM hypocrisy is a hoot as well, as shown by these screen captures of the responses from Business Insider and Robert Reich (Secretary of Labour in Bill Clinton’s first term), writing for the Washington Post.

But the Musk-Twitter controversy is an insight into the MSM because a lot of journalists, perhaps all of them, rely on the platform for news and guidelines on the narrative they need to stick to, as well as putting their own stuff out there.

Hence the meltdown in the MSM over this, which is captured here by another journalist’s response.

Greenwald is as Left as it comes and he spent much of the last twenty years fighting what he saw as the GW Bush/Obama administration’s control or influence of the MSM narrative with regard to the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. Most of the Left were on his side because he was ripping the war mongering neo-conservatives that backed both administrations, although it was telling that many became uncomfortable when he moved straight on to Obama from Bush using the same criticisms because he felt little or nothing had changed.

Now he’s in even more hot water with “his” ideological side, despite the fact that he’s being entirely consistent in his criticism of the MSM, and now Social Media.

Even with the world of Twitter itself, as this article pointed out before Musk pulled the trigger, there are a number of big roadblocks in returning it to being the free speech platform it was a decade ago, and we know they exist because they are what changed it. The article details four steps and shows how they worked before and could work again – possibly destroying Musk in the process.

  1. Blame the platform for its users.
  2. Coordinated pressure campaigns
  3. Exodus of the Bluechecks
  4. Deplatforming

He’d have to fire most of the staff and rebuild from scratch, and I’m not sure that’s possible. Even the remaining staff could still pull stunts behind the scenes with the algorithms that throttle down the re-tweets of “disinformation”.

Also the Babylon Bee stings Twitter with this…. Nice to see Alphabet (You Tube) haven’t followed Twitter in banning Babylon Bee. Yet. My fave part with the Rorschach test:

Mandy: “Nazis…. Nazis…. Nazis….. Oh, I know that one. It’s the Indian symbol for peace. Namaste”

Written by Tom Hunter

April 18, 2022 at 11:18 am

It’s a good thing George Carlin is dead

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That was one message from Bill Maher’s take on the impact of Cancel Kulture in his world of using humour to stick it to powerful people.

I haven’t covered The Slap Heard Around The World because it’s just more of Hollywood being awful, but this time in a petty way that amounted to them eating their own as well as being yet another black mark for the Oscars. IMHO it was not as bad as the crap they churn out for us to watch. And now I have Maher referring to it anyway, except that his angle isn’t the screaming about violence, toxic males or the hypocrisy involved but what it says about how the US Left is handling humour nowadays, with another in his series of Explaining Jokes to Idiots (bonus points for the shoutout to the famous Seinfeld episode, The Magic Loogie, with “back and to the left”, itself a Black Comedy parody of Oliver Stone’s movie JFK).

If you think that it trivialises Cancel Kulture in focusing on its effects on jokes instead of Very Serious Ideas then you probably don’t know about this from 2021:

A nonprofit organization that major U.S. tech companies rely on for content moderation is expanding the scope of content it will blacklist on social media platforms.

The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism will expand its database of terrorist content to cover content shared by white nationalist and alt-right users, Reuters reported Monday. Tech companies, including Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and Twitter, rely on the forum’s database to automatically remove inappropriate content. Experts worry that the forum’s lack of transparency could cause some users to be unfairly censored.

The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism was created in 2017 to censor content from U.N.-designated terrorist organizations. The forum’s board is advised by the European Union’s Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs, which recently released a report entitled “It’s Not Funny Anymore: Far-Right Extremists’ Use of Humor.”

More in that link, although it’s mostly not about humour.

The worst is when the comics censor themselves, when they become Woke, which seems to be what’s happened to one of Maher’s famous compadres, Jon Stewart.

The liberal comic retired from his “The Daily Show” perch in 2015, spawning tributes from across the media landscape. He changed the face of late night TV, they cried, and they were right. For better and much worse.

His impact, from his liberal take on the news to his bleeped profanity shtick, became part of the late night playbook.

Hell, I used to laugh along with The Daily Show as well, even as he took shots at the Right (like Maher does) to a far greater degree than he did at the Left.

But I did not appreciate the fact that after basically destroying what was a very good show of Left vs Right political and ideological argument, CNN’s Crossfireby going on it in 2004 and attacking the folks there as unserious hacks, saying it was a show that “hurt America” by treating serious ideas in a (too) humorous way – Stewart’s own show simply carried on pushing little but the Left’s line while the rest of the media environment collapsed into the same echo chamber:

Is the media landscape Stewart helped create better for it, where Brian Williams regularly engages in Stewart-like snark (he called Ron Johnson a Russian asset the other day for reading a Federalist article into the record) and Tucker Carlson is the biggest name as a solo act in cable news?

In a context in which so much ink is dedicated to the concept of silos and the elimination of common space between right and left — and I mean the real right and left, not David Brooks and Maureen Dowd — do we honestly want a world where there is no space where these warring sides meet to do rhetorical battle?

The answer is: of course not. It’s much, much worse. The inability to have a space where such debates play out, and the inability of existing entities to provide such a space, has led directly to a degradation of our political conversation and a lack of familiarity with even the most basic version of the other side’s perspective on the world.

And as Jim Treacher memorably noted of Stewart’s routine:

Once I saw through his Clown Nose Off/Clown Nose On routine — “You should listen to me because what I’m saying is important, but I’ll brush off your rebuttal by insisting I’m just a comedian” — it was like the optical illusion with the cows. It might take you a minute to see it, but once you do, you can’t unsee it.

Since Treacher’s analysis in 2013 people have looked at the famous old Crossfire segment and observed that Stewart was pulling the Clown Nose On / Clown Nose Off routine there as well.

There was some of this also when he recently appeared on an episode of one of his Daily Show proteges, Late Night With Stephen Colbert, and spoke some common sense about the Wuhan Lab Leak theory, which had Colbert back-peddling fast until he finally asked Stewart how long he’d been working for Senator Ron Johnson (boom-tish for Liberal snark – see above).

Sadly he seems to have gone full Clown Nose Off as a result of savage attacks by Woke critics of his old show and more recent works:

The woke mob, which will “resurface” the past to attack people in the present, deemed his “Daily Show” writers room insufficiently diverse. And Stewart, rather than defend his team or their work, groveled for forgiveness. That must have stung, but it’s more likely another moment left a palpable scar on his psyche.

That other moment was a movie called “Irresistible” that Stewart made about politics and which lampooned both the GOP and the Democrats. That was not acceptable:

It’s cowardly to make a film lampooning Democrats as out of touch rather than Republicans as unquestionably evil, but this is what “centrism” is these days, and that’s the “both sides” ideology that Stewart espoused back during his days on The Daily Show, and that’s the shit that doesn’t fly anymore.

War, baby! Götterdämmerung. The final fight between the forces of Good and (Unquestionable) Evil.

This is why his latest show, “The Problem with Jon Stewart” on the Apple+ streaming network, had an episode titled “The Problem with White People.” that ended up with Andrew Sullivan, Mr Gay Mrriage himself, a voter of Obama-Obama-Clinton-Biden in the last few years, being attacked as a racist by Stewart’s guest, with Stewart in full, Clown Nose Off agreement:

I just assumed he wouldn’t demonize or curse at a guest; he would moderate; he would entertain counter-arguments; he would defend fair play. After all, this was the man who had lacerated Crossfire for bringing too much heat and not enough light. He believed in sane discourse. He was a liberal, right?

He is indeed, it’s just that poor old Sullivan, despite writing about Woke issues, still thinks that Liberals fit his stereotype, the comfortable picture he has of them, and of himself:

At that point, it became clear that Stewart was not conducting a televised debate, but initiating a struggle session. The point of the session was not to discuss anything, but to further enforce the dogma he had pronounced. So I found myself in the equivalent of one of those workplace indoctrination seminars — in which any disagreement is regarded as a form of “hate” or “ignorance.” But worse: I was in a struggle session with a live mob sitting in, cheering and jeering, which Stewart led and orchestrated. For good measure, Stewart called me a racist and told me I was not “living in the same fucking country as we are,” and went on to angrily call me a “motherfucker.”

Sullivan also got this treatment from the guest (predictably a Liberal White Woman):

I did not come on this show to argue with another white man. That’s one of the reasons we don’t even engage with white men at Race2Dinner, because quite honestly if white men were going to do something about racism, you had 400 years. You could have done it.

A key attack point. If it sounds familiar that’s because we’ve heard it in New Zealand also, in relation to White Colonialism, and you will hear more of it in the near future. Sullivan finishes his detailed piece on the history of White and Black race in the USA by drawing the obvious parallel with Stewart’s ethnicity:

… the trope of a malign racial force existing through history across time and space is one Jon Stewart might have once recognized before he joined the woke cult. I wonder what he would have said if someone had come on his old show and said, “I did not come on this show to argue with a Jew,” or “every single Jew upholds these systems,” or “it doesn’t matter what a Jew’s politics are, he’s still a Jew, and therefore a racist”. What if she had bragged that her organization wouldn’t even engage with Jews because they were so toxic. And what if that person had looked straight at a Jewish guest of Stewart’s when she said it? What would he have said?

Somehow I don’t think it would be: “If I could finger snap, I would finger snap right now.”

Amid all this fighting was news of a stunning counter-attack. After asking his 80 million Twitter followers what they thought of the status of free speech on the platform, and receiving an overwhelming response that it was poor, Musk bought a 9.2% stake in the company for US$ 2.9 billion dollars, making him the largest shareholder and likely catapulting him onto the Board of Directors.

We’ll have to wait and see what influence he has. While significant, the shareholding is far short of control and BOD members are not management; they don’t manage the day-to-day functions of the company. On top of that, as this article pointed out before Musk pulled the trigger, there are a number of big roadblocks in returning Twitter to being the free speech platform it was a decade ago, and we know they exist because they are what changed it. The article details four steps and shows how they worked before and could work again – possibly destroying Musk in the process.

  1. Blame the platform for its users.
  2. Coordinated pressure campaigns
  3. Exodus of the Bluechecks
  4. Deplatforming

Still it was nice to see that it triggered an immediate meltdown across the Lefty Social Media Sphere, especially among the Twitter workers themselves.

Maybe they should hire Bill Maher to provide worker tension-relief exercises once a week. They might even learn to laugh.

More fun with “Fact Checkers”

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I’ve written about this propaganda before (Layers and layers of fact checkers), highlighting how someone like Andrew Sullivan could compile a list of major lies and/or mis-reporting of facts by the MSM…

But when the sources of news keep getting things wrong, and all the errors lie in the exact same direction, and they are reluctant to acknowledge error, we have a problem. If you look back at the last few years, the record of errors, small and large, about major stories, is hard to deny. It’s as if the more Donald Trump accused the MSM of being “fake news” the more assiduously they tried to prove him right.

… while continuing to believe the MSM on other issues.

But here’s a link to a more recent article in The Tablet, that goes into greater depth about who some of these “fact checkers” are as it explores the case of Instagram placing a warning label on an American human rights lawyer’s post that blamed rising inflation in the United States on “corporate greed.” Now that’s an argument that I think is bullshit, but it should be engaged and debated, not vanished:

The first of the modern fact-checking sites, Snopes, was started in 1994 as an early online community organized around urban myths. FactCheck.org followed in 2003, and PolitiFact—now operated by the Poynter Institute—was established in 2007.

The IFCN was launched in 2015 as a division of the Poynter Institute, a St. Petersburg, Florida-based media nonprofit that calls itself a “global leader in journalism” and has become a central hub in the sprawling counter-disinformation complex. Poynter’s funding comes from the triumvirate that undergirds the U.S. nonprofit sector: Silicon Valley tech companies, philanthropic organizations with political agendas, and the U.S. government. The nonprofit sector, as it’s euphemistically called, is an immense, labyrinthine engine of ideological and financial activism that was valued at almost $4 trillion in 2019, the overwhelming majority of which is dedicated to “progressive” causes. The IFCN’s initial funding came from the U.S. State Department-backed National Endowment for Democracy, the Omidyar Network, Google, Facebook, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and George Soros’ Open Society Foundations.

At first, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook/Instagram, resisted the idea that a lack of social media policing had been one of the main factors in Trump’s 2016 election win, saying that it was “a pretty crazy idea” and that it was “extremely unlikely hoaxes changed the outcome.”

But under pressure from leading Democrats including Hillary Clinton, a coordinated push from the party’s halo of nonprofits, and a coup from his own employees, who include some of the Democratic Party’s biggest donors, Zuckerberg buckled.

On Nov. 17, 2016, a new organization called the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) published an open letter to the beleaguered Facebook CEO. “We would be glad to engage with you about how your editors could spot and debunk fake claims,” the IFCN generously offered on behalf of the letter’s signatories, a group of 20 nominally independent fact-checking organizations grouped under its network. The following month, Facebook announced that the IFCN would be its main partner in a new fact-checking initiative

Zuckerberg might be one of the richest men on the planet but even such wealth can bend to the will of the state, despite all the claims by the Far Left:

It became a necessary feature of the new journalistic industrial complex in order to inoculate large tech platforms from government regulatory pressure and the threat of “private” lawsuits from the NGO sector. In other words, it was a concession by tech companies to the not-so-subtle threat that if they didn’t start censoring themselves, they might get their windows—or their monopolies—broken by the state.

Fact-checking was actually an ordinary, expected but fundamental part of the old MSM (at least the decent ones) – an internal auditing process of reporting – from the mid-20th century as they supposedly tried for “objective, fair and balanced” reporting compared to their partisan forebears of the 18th and 19th centuries. There was always a certain amount of bullshit attached to this image, as the histories of the likes of Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather would later attest, but the Internet trashed the MSM in multiple ways, most of all in revenue:

Between 1990 and 2017, daily and weekly newspapers lost more than a quarter of a million jobs, over half of their workforce. The decline accelerated during the pandemic with at least 6,154 media workers laid off from the beginning of March 2020 through August 2021 and 128 news organizations shut down during the same period. 

Which also meant that the costly process of internal “fact-checking” increasingly got binned. Into this breach stepped the same reporters who had once been “trusted”:

As journalism collapses, it opens up a space for successor practices grouped under the banner of countering disinformation. In 2014, there were 44 fact-checking organizations in the United States, according to the Duke University Reporters’ Lab census. As of the June 2021 census, there were 341 “active fact-checking projects,” 51 more than in the previous year.

The sickest joke about this is that it relies on trust built up in the past for a completely different world, even if that trust was misplaced:

Fact-checking trades on readers’ respect for older journalistic values like objectivity without acknowledging the role of the prestige media in deliberately undermining those values by implicating them in the continuance of racism, sexism, and other toxic bigotries. 

Hence you get old people in NZ still switching on “the telly” at 6pm to watch OneNews, or perhaps that exciting newcomer, ThreeNews, or perhaps Radio NZ, imagining that somehow the reporters and anchors are still in the mould of Philip Sherry or Dougal Stevenson. They’re not; they’re Left-Wing operatives with bylines, sometimes outright Labour or Green operatives with bylines.

The article goes into some detail on how these fabulous “new” fact checkers have operated in the Age of Trump, or on Chinese Lung Rot (the lab-leak “conspiracy theory” to the fore) or the Hunter Biden laptop saga. Needless to say they all bent the same way (“and all the errors lie in the exact same direction“), just like their MSM partners.

The result is a familiar yet peculiar double game: If an article points out that a network of bureaucratic and educational activists are inculcating the notion that math is racist, that claim is right-wing hysteria. But when a journalist determines that crack pipes are innocuous, that is fact-checking.

You can read the gruesome details behind those stories at the link: the one about the British Medical Journal getting pasted by Lead Stories, one of Facebook’s IFCN fact checking network, is particularly nasty. Their appeals were dismissed and although the article doesn’t mention it BMJ finally launched a specific article as a counter-attack that tore apart the non-medical morons at Lead Stories, forcing them to finally backtrack. As an example of the sleazy way these people work:

In its “fact-check,” Lead Stories draws attention to the fact that Jackson’s Twitter account “agreed with anti-vaccine activist and COVID misinformation-spreader Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s criticism of Sesame Street‘s storyline in which Big Bird encourages kids to get a COVID-19 vaccine.” That’s just the kind of ad hominem, hard to follow, logic-chopping argument that would get laughed out of the room at a high school debate camp but has become the final word on real matters of public health.

Actually I don’t think it would get laughed out of a high school debate camp nowadays: that type of argument is standard now from Social Media to the MSM to politics.

But I appreciated one story in particular from the Tablet article because even though it was a minor piece of nastiness the outcome is telling. Talia Lavin, a fact-checker at the famous New Yorker magazine, was so stupid and ignorant that she mistook a disabled Marine veteran’s tattoo used by his Afghan unit to be a Nazi tattoo and blasted this across her well-followed Twitter account. This caused him a few problems (to say the least) as a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent until ICE (and a few others) corrected her. She got canned for it but…

Lavin resigned from The New Yorker. “I just feel like I made a small mistake and it’s destroyed my life,” she said at the time.

Hardly. Lavin’s mistake became a public audition that launched her career as a new-style “fact-checker” and “expert” on extremism. Weeks after leaving The New Yorker, she was hired by Media Matters as a “researcher on far-right extremism.” In less than a year she had signed a book deal.

I believe this is called failing up. It’s a feature of The Establishment, both new and old.

Written by Tom Hunter

March 26, 2022 at 12:28 pm

“Celebration Day”

Do we have something to celebrate?

I guess the end of the bullshit vaccine passport or C-19 test checking for Southbound Aucklanders on the Waikato Expressway on Monday this week, counts as something. You have to take your wins where you get them.

I doubt many readers of NM are also on Instagram but for anybody under the age of 30 it’s very much a thing. While working on the agricultural contracting job last year I was astounded at the constant camera-sound from a phone as my Irish workmate “communicated” with friends around the world via an endless stream of selfies while I drove us to our harvesting sites.

Then there are the woman of Instagram, exceeded only in obnoxiousness by those on TikTok. The following captures well what’s really going on with those endless photo streams.

I wonder how many dates and marriages will result from all this, or is it all just hookup culture? I guess we’ll know in a few years via surveys.

Back in the real world, increasingly meaning the old world, there were caches of things more valuable than butt-shots.

Is that stack of $500 notes Confederate money? A DDG search says no, and the same for the Union, so perhaps it’s Mexican? I don’t recognise the dude in the picture. Readers are invited to guess or find out. I suppose whoever planted this stash either died or never found their way back to their hiding place.

Jumping back a century or so is another tale of a hard-living chap.

As Captain Benjamin L. Willard would say: “A Tough Mother Fucker!”

And they’re still around. Looks like Hideaki Akaiwa’s story was real enough for Wikipedia, but I’m surprised I’ve never heard of him despite watching several documentaries on the 2011 Japanese Tsunami, given how often we focus on one person’s story amidst many. The lack of body cam video means it can’t compete with Reality TV!

Then there are these heroes, who managed to be heroes while having fun. MUCH FUN.

I wonder why Ferrari, who I think of as the quintessential Italian sport car, have been beaten out for this role by Lamborghini. Also – given that I doubt even modern developments in automotive technology have changed the Italians that much, in that they still love their manual gear shifts – what must the service costs on these babies be like, given Lamborghini’s history.

More history.

And as a final sop to history there’s the story of the sequel to the semi-famous TV series of the late 1990’s, Sex and The City. I saw glimpses of it from time-to-time because it was truly a chick-flick and I never got what was so great about living the loves and travails of four glamorous mid-30’s White Woman in NYC. Still, a lot of ladies around the world loved the characters and their joys and sorrows, all happening in stunningly fashionable clothes and apartments in the New York City of Rudy Guliani, meaning when it wasn’t a shithole like the 1970’s or today.

As a result these fans, now aged twenty more years, were filled with anticipation for the sequel. Had they known any Star Wars fans they’d have guessed what they were in for.

The show is fucking awful, it’s even getting panned by woke Leftie fans who were wanting more than the original four White-girls world. One writer summed it up pretty well by saying that “the writers clearly hate the characters, hate the show and hate the fans”. They even hated the original name and called this one, And Just Like That, which is hopeless. Who could have done this? Fans investigated and…

Yep. The lead writer is someone who hates the characters, hates the show and hates the fans.

So not a celebration then.

Written by Tom Hunter

January 19, 2022 at 6:00 am

NORAD tracks Brandon

You’d think that the US MSM had bigger fish to fry, what with the arrival of the dreaded and deadly ZOMG OMICRON mutant of C-19 and all sorts of economic problems in America.

But no.

No, it’s far more important that they rally around their designated godhead to defend him against the slings and arrows of outraged citizens. Or in this case, an amused citizen who decided to have a bit of fun with “President” Biden.

It’s been the tradition since 1955 for NORAD to use their radar systems to track Santa on his way from the North Pole, and this year the “President” decided to join in the fun as little kids across America called in to find out where Santa was. Then this happened:

Oh dear. Over the years we’ve had films and plays centered around the assassinations of Dubya and Trump, and Kathy Griffin posing with Trump’s bloody severed head and a thousand “Fuck Trump” calls from celebrities.

But what this guy did to Biden was far worse; he actually showed that Joe Biden is non compos mentis and in doing so revealed that someone(s) else is running the show. Naked emperor or Frank Morgan behind the curtain. Take your pick.

Or perhaps it’s his wife Jill. You can see the shock register on her face: she knows what the phrase means even if the dementia-ridden old wreck beside her does not. Seriously, do all these people have to keep Soft-Serve Joe insulated from the real world?

The US media promptly had a meltdown and swung into action. Rather than making the lead story about Biden not knowing what the hell is going on, they huffed and puffed about how horrible this was. NBC actually described it as “a Right-wing slur”, which is ironic because it was an NBC reporter who coined the phrase after she claimed she “misheard” chants of “Fuck Joe Biden!” at a NASCAR race, and set the meme in motion.

They were going to find out who this asshole was – and make him pay – and they have. Video of the other end of the call was located on Social Media and the guy was identified as one Jared Schmeck from Oregon:

folks on the left have now used that video to doxx the guy, put a name to the face, and are trying to hurt him at his alleged place of employment. They have his alleged name, the local government job he supposedly has, and that he works for a family business. They’re trying to out him to the government job so that job will take some action against him.

[They] have even posted his real address, the name of his wife, and the names of members of his family. Given the way that people fold like cheap suits when faced with the mob, I don’t doubt that they might be able to get this guy punished in some way by his employer or even fired. They’re also talking about trying to hurt the family business.

Actually this is nothing new. Years ago during his Presidential campaign, Obama was doing the usual neighbourhood meet-and-greet and got into a debate with some guy throwing a football around his front yard with his kid. Barack was in full spread-the-wealth-around mode and the guy did not agree. The guy got doxxed to hell.

A couple of years later some rodeo clown wore an Obama mask (as he had with the masks of other Presidents). Obama could have made a public reference to how it’s a fine old American tradition to mock their leaders but he didn’t, letting his worshippers apply “public pressure” to the rodeo and getting the guy fired. Apparently you can unify a nation while “getting in people’s faces” and “punching back twice as hard.”

Schmeck, is now getting death threats:

“At the end of the day, I have nothing against Mr. Biden, but I am frustrated because I think he can be doing a better job,” said Jared Schmeck, who works for an electric company and was previously a Medford police officer for six years until he resigned in July 2018. “I mean no disrespect to him.”

Oh buddy. If you’re going to go on Social Media the first thing you need to understand is that apologies and explanations are just throwing blood in the water to these SJW assholes. Better to go on the attack by telling these people that they’re just pissed because he pulled back the curtain on a truth they deny.

Written by Tom Hunter

December 28, 2021 at 10:04 am

Being Mean

Inflation is likely to become the number one priority over the next year, judging by the price rises to date on various consumer items and the fact that there’s nothing on the horizon that would stop it. Oil looks to be going higher, supply chains are still in bad shape, and governments continue to pump money into their economies to compensate for lockdowns.

It also looks like it will be a global event rather than just a few nations, since almost every nation has followed the same path and is having the same problems.

On top of everything else, the MSM has begun to take notice by interviewing not just the usual economic “experts” but ordinary people, which is what CNN did the other day:

“To demonstrate the ‘squeeze’ of inflation and supply chain issues on everyday Americans, CNN’s ‘New Day’ featured the Stotlers, a Texas couple looking after nine children – two of whom are their biological kids, while they’ve adopted six more and have one foster child. Krista Stotler said she started seeing prices rising this summer and it was costing them an extra $100 a week on groceries….  ‘A gallon of milk was $1.99. Now it’s $2.79. When you buy 12 gallons a week times four weeks, that’s a lot of money,’

For their troubles of appearing in a CNN interview the Stotler’s got these reactions from “Liberal” voices, including any number of journalists and Democrat activists (but I repeat myself). Here are just two but there’s plenty more where they came from:

That last one shows the usual situation of people reading a headline and not the whole article. As you can see above, only 2 of the children are the natural offspring of the parents. The Stotlers have opened their home to 7 more children. And he’s sneering at them!

On top of that the mockery is based on the gut reaction that 12 gallons of milk a week is absurd. But with 11 people in the family, it’s an average of two and a half cups of milk per person per day.

It shows how out of touch these critics are, but that won’t stop them being invited by their MSM mates onto talk shows to explain away recent Democrat election losses and how to get in touch with The People again.

It also shows that they’re assholes, which brings me to this article about Alec Baldwin’s recent shooting and killing of an innocent woman:

Alec Baldwin got to play his dream role last week, and unfortunately for an innocent woman, it was a method-acting version of Ted Kennedy. Now, you note that I am mocking a guy whose probable gross negligence killed a lady and maimed a man, and this raises an important question – do we really want to live in a world where our reaction to a tragedy caused by an enemy is not sorrow and compassion but mockery?

The article goes on to explore the pros and cons of being enough of an asshole to mock Baldwin in this situation:

In the world I would want to live in, we would all be at Option A, whispering a silent prayer for the hurting – and I did. But this is not the world we live in, and none of us are under any moral obligation to pretend we do.

Alec Baldwin is a bad person, but more than that, he is a bad person who hates us – with a mortality rate thanks to his hypocrisy. And now he is vulnerable, and the rules say he is fair game – his rules.

Not only that but this is not “punching down”, which Baldwin has done on Twitter countless times to ordinary people, in keeping with his Lefty peers as seen above with the Stotler family. By contrast, ripping Baldwin is punching up across the shields of his fame, wealth and the moral superiority that comes with the high levels of self regard his class of people have.

The conclusion is that it’s down to individual choice but that the writer is not going to condemn you if mockery is the route you take.

Think of it as the Cold War. Option B is mutually assured destruction – if you launch social media cruelty at our misfortune, you will pay in spades, so don’t. Option A is unilateral disarmament. Nice people on our side want us to disarm to make us better people; our enemies want us to disarm to make us better targets.

Those are the rules we’re playing by today. I didn’t make the rules. I don’t like them. I’m even willing to return to the old ones, once enough pain has been inflicted to teach the necessary lesson about changing the rules. But I am not willing to play by a different set of rules that limits me at the expense of my opponents.

Written by Tom Hunter

November 16, 2021 at 10:04 am

Good news from a simple solution

In the last few weeks I’ve written a couple of posts on the supply chain problems cropping up around the world, in particular across the Pacific and especially between the USA and China:

The Shipping News

World’s Worst Job

Since then the problem has actually got worse, with even more ships parked outside the Port of Los Angeles. In reading one of my foreign sources I came across a link to the Twitter account of a guy called Ryan Petersen who had rented a boat to go and look at the port to see what was happening.

But that was as far as I read and it merely confirmed other news about the situation. As it happens I should have read further, because he discovered something amazing that is almost beyond belief.

As this commentator summarises while listing out the entire Twitter thread:

  1. There was a rule in the Port saying you could only stack shipping containers two containers high.
  2. This is despite the whole point of shipping containers being to stack them on top of each other so you can have a container ship.
  3. This rule was created, and I am not making this up, because it was decided that higher stacks were not sufficiently aesthetically pleasing.
  4. If you violated this rule, you lost your right to operate at the port.
  5. In normal times, this was annoying but not a huge deal.

The last point on that list is this:

None of those people managed to do anything about the rule, or even get word out about the rule. No reporters wrote up news reports. No one was calling for a fix. The supply chain problems kept getting worse and mostly everyone agreed not to talk about it much and hope it would go away.

It’s incredible that this one stupid bureaucratic rule could be so obviously part of a massive and growing problem and not have anything done about it.

As it happens the Twitter guy did do something about. Having spotted the problem he suggested the obvious solution of suspending the rule so that containers could be stacked more than two high.

So far, so what you may say. Well this is where the power of connecting people on Social Media, in this case Twitter, was made obvious and for once in a good way. That initial tweet got 16k retweets and 33k likes, and even the others got thousands of likes as well, so this successfully got many people’s attention – including the people who make decisions, like the Mayor of Long Beach where the port is located:

That decision was made just eight hours after Petersen’s Tweet thread was posted.

EIGHT HOURS!

You can read the following blog post – An Unexpected Victory – for a (lengthy) analysis of this incident as an example of problem solving – and a glimmer of hope for solving other problems:

If you’re not terrified that the United States is a dead player, you haven’t been paying attention – the whole reason this is a miracle, and that it shocked so many people, is that we didn’t think the system was capable of noticing a stupid, massively destructive rule with no non-trivial benefits and no defenders and scrapping it, certainly not within a day. If your model did expect it, I’m very curious to know how that is possible, and how you explain the years 2020 and 2021.

Sadly there are multiple problems involved in the supply chain crisis, of which this was just one.

Written by Tom Hunter

November 9, 2021 at 10:08 am