Kick the Puppy Season 2: EP 01 Reply

Keith, Emma & RJ

01/01/21 – We’re back in business, historic spike in drug overdose deaths under COVID-19, governor Sisolak shut down Narcotics and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in the least sober place on the planet, Carl Jung and the origins of mental illness, Don Wells just died of Covid, crime went through the roof during prohibition, the wealth of the world’s billionaires grew by a staggering $1.9 trillion in 2020, the difference between one million and one billion dollars, pull yourself up by your boot straps, Chris Hedges on state intrusion to regulate capitalism gone wild/destructive, “sheep, wolves, and owls,” Nietzsche on the biological divide, Robert Greene’s Machiavellian tactics, how dark personalities tend to get ahead, masterpieces and revenge, David Hawkins ‘Power vs Force,’ sales as an art, how random are your politics? More…

The YouTube Ban Is Un-American, Wrong, and Will Backfire Reply

When it comes to the arguments over censorship, “cancel culture,” doxxing, de-platforming, public shaming, or even outright violence, it seems that virtually everyone engages in special pleading on behalf of their own perceived interests and those of their reference groups, with philosophical, moral, ethical, or ideological arguments merely being an afterthought or a smokescreen. I started noticing this decades ago when leftists who supported violent or obstructionist union activity would be appalled by anti-abortion obstructionism and violence (and vice versa).

By Matt Taibbi

Start with the headline: Supporting the 2020 U.S. Election. YouTube in its company blog can’t even say, “Banning Election Conspiracy Theories.” They have to employ the Orwellian language of politicians — Healthy Forests, Clear Skies, “Supported” Elections — because Google and YouTube are now political actors, who can’t speak plainly any more than a drunk can walk in a straight line.


Peter Zeihan – Disunited Nations – Interview – May 2020 Reply

If Peter Zeihan’s analysis and forecasts concerning the future of the unipolar order are at all correct, my predictions about the future of geopolitics were even more accurate than I previously thought. I’ve generally thought that globalization would eventually produce a global state system, which would require a long protracted struggle against the global techno-imperialists, but Zeihan seems to think unipolarity will collapse before it gets that far. I also share his view that alleged threats posed by Russia, China, and Iran are all overrated, and that Saudi Arabia and Turkey are the real growing threats.


Suppressing ‘Hate Speech’ on Social Media Drives Users to New Platforms Reply

By J.D. Tuccille, Reason

With German-style Internet controls catching on around the world and social media platforms increasingly targeting “fake news” and allegedly (or explicitly) hateful views, researchers have wondered just how those on the receiving end are responding to newly trendy censorship. What they’ve found should surprise nobody: that people find ways to express themselves. Whatever the quality of disfavored speech, it’s continuing to be expressed through back channels and on new platforms that proliferate to meet demand.

Interestingly, not only are we seeing that the big social media companies are anything but monopolies, but the more they act like they can control what people say, the more competition they encourage.


Your Credit Score Should Be Based on Your Web History, IMF Says Reply

I’ve always thought the Chinese “social credit” system was merely a test market for what the global power elite wants to impose worldwide. Here it is.

By Rhett Jones, Gizmodo

With more services than ever collecting your data, it’s easy to start asking why anyone should care about most of it. This is why. Because people start having ideas like this.

In a new blog post for the International Monetary Fund, four researchers presented their findings from a working paper that examines the current relationship between finance and tech as well as its potential future. Gazing into their crystal ball, the researchers see the possibility of using the data from your browsing, search, and purchase history to create a more accurate mechanism for determining the credit rating of an individual or business. They believe that this approach could result in greater lending to borrowers who would potentially be denied by traditional financial institutions.

At its heart, the paper is trying to wrestle with the dawning notion that the institutional banking system is facing a serious threat from tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple. The researchers identify two key areas in which this is true: Tech companies have greater access to soft-information, and messaging platforms can take the place of the physical locations that banks rely on for meeting with customers.


Meet Rebekah Mercer, the deep-pocketed co-founder of Parler, a controversial conservative social network Reply

The Zuck of the Right. Fair enough, I guess. Liberals have Soros and conservatives have the Kochs. Liberals have Zuck and Dorsey. Conservatives have this dragon lady.

Meet Rebekah Mercer, the deep-pocketed co-founder of Parler, a controversial conservative social network

(CNN) — Rebekah Mercer, a prominent conservative donor, revealed Saturday that she is helping to bankroll Parler, the rapidly growing but controversial conservative social media platform that was at the top of App Store charts last week.

Mercer is the daughter of Robert Mercer, a hedge fund manager and the co-founder of the now-defunct political data-analysis firm Cambridge Analytica. The Mercers have been prominent supporters of President Donald Trump and conservative causes.


If We Don’t Break Up Big Tech, We’ll All Be Uber Drivers Soon Reply

By Moe Tkacik, In These Times

The Left has yet to prop­er­ly absorb two major rev­e­la­tions of 2020: 1) The rul­ing class, for all its plat­i­tudes, deci­sive­ly does not care about small busi­ness, and 2) We are all small busi­ness­es now. To the first point, a court-ordered Small Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion data dump in Decem­ber con­firmed that more than half of the $521 bil­lion doled out in April’s CARES Act small busi­ness res­cue pro­gram were snagged by just 5% of well-heeled recip­i­ents, includ­ing sec­tors like con­struc­tion and law that were mere­ly incon­ve­niencedcer­tain­ly not dec­i­mat­ed — by Covid-19 shut­downs. Mean­while, the clique of gig app devel­op­ers behind California’s suc­cess­ful pas­sage of the ter­ri­fy­ing­ly abso­lutist Propo­si­tion 22 in Novem­ber — which effec­tive­ly repeals the very con­cept of employ­ment for any work­er who takes orders from a smart­phone app — have vowed to nation­al­ize the law.

We can expect the col­lapse of the ser­vice sec­tor to lead mil­lions of dis­placed sous chefs and bar­tenders and fish­er­per­sons to open Etsy and Lawn­Starter accounts, live on couch­es while rent­ing out their apart­ments on Airbnb, sign up to dri­ve for Door­Dash, cook for a Cloud­Kitchen, or sign up to be a third par­ty sell­er on Ama­zon. Thanks to the busi­ness mod­el cod­i­fied in Prop 22, they’ll be the CEOs of their own immis­er­a­tion: sourc­ing their own equip­ment, with­hold­ing their own pay­roll tax­es, shop­ping around for insur­ance and, inevitably, hir­ing oth­er gig work­ers to assist with the unman­age­able work­load of the 21st-cen­tu­ry sub­sis­tence entre­pre­neur. The line that once dis­tin­guished work­ers from the small-time mer­chant-farmer class Marx called the ​petit bour­geoisie” will be all but obso­lete, erased by the hands of a few deep-pock­et­ed data-min­ing con­glom­er­ates that are (gen­er­al­ly) yet to even make money.


A New Satellite Can Peer Inside Buildings, Day or Night 1

By Dan Robitzski, Futurism.Com

A few months ago, a company called Capella Space launched a satellite capable of taking clear radar images of anywhere in the world, with incredible resolution — even through the walls of some buildings.

And unlike most of the huge array of surveillance and observational satellites orbiting the Earth, its satellite Capella 2 can snap a clear picture during night or day, rain or shine.

“It turns out that half of the world is in nighttime, and half of the world, on average, is cloudy,” CEO Payam Banazadeh, a former system engineer at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told Futurism. “When you combine those two together, about 75 percent of Earth, at any given time, is going to be cloudy, nighttime, or it’s going to be both. It’s invisible to you, and that portion is moving around.”

On Wednesday, Capella launched a platform allowing governmental or private customers to request images of anything in the world — a capability that will only get more powerful with the deployment of six additional satellites next year. Is that creepy from a privacy point of view? Sure. But Banazadeh says that it also plugs numerous holes in the ways scientists and government agencies are currently able to monitor the planet.

“There’s a bunch of gaps in how we’re currently observing Earth from space — the majority of the sensors we use to observe earth are optical imaging sensors,” he said. “If it’s cloudy, you’re going to see the clouds, not what’s happening under the clouds. And if there’s not much light, you’re going to have a really hard time getting an image that is useful.”

By contrast, Capella can peer right through cloud cover, and see just as well in the daylight as in total darkness. That’s because instead of optical imaging, it uses synthetic aperture radar, or SAR.


Billionaires Want to Be the Gatekeepers of the Solar System Reply

Well, Marx did say that the capitalist class has generated enormous innovation even if it created a new system of oligarchical oppression in the process.

By Eleanor Penny, In These Times

Space is our birthright. ​Amer­i­cans should have the right to engage in com­mer­cial explo­ration, recov­ery and use of resources in out­er space,” Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump wrote April 6, 2020, issu­ing the ​Exec­u­tive Order on Encour­ag­ing Inter­na­tion­al Sup­port for the Recov­ery and Use of Space Resources.” In the stroke of a pen, Trump plant­ed the U.S. flag on ​the Moon, Mars and oth­er celes­tial bodies.”

As Trump declared these space lands and resources open for busi­ness, you could hear the cheers — most­ly from ​moon­shot” cor­po­ra­tions that have clam­ored to sweep away the patchy, unreg­u­lar­ized Cold War-era space law in favor of new, unreg­u­lat­ed cor­po­rate plun­der of the solar system.

While the insti­tu­tion of pri­vate land own­er­ship is now wide­ly tak­en for grant­ed, it was — like many so-called nat­ur­al things — invented.

Before the mud­died, gru­el­ing tran­si­tion from feu­dal­ism to cap­i­tal­ism, peas­ants in Britain and much of West­ern Europe depend­ed on their right to farm, for­age and har­vest on com­mon, com­mu­ni­ty lands. The land was con­trolled by local lords, but it belonged (in a loose, de fac­to sense) to the com­mu­ni­ties liv­ing on it and depen­dent upon it. Even­tu­al­ly, com­mon lands were ​enclosed” and became the pri­vate prop­er­ty of aristocrats.


Dozens of States Just Sued To Break Up Google. The Biggest Losers Would Be Consumers. 1

Regional principalities and magnates take on a techno-feudal manor.

By Billy Binion, Reason

A group of state attorneys general filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google today, alleging that the company maintains monopoly control over internet search via competition-squashing behavior.

The complaint, brought by 38 states and U.S. territories, hones in on three core tenets of Google’s “anticompetitive conduct”: establishing partnerships with other tech companies in related markets, limiting advertising interoperability with competitors, and prioritizing their own products and services in search results.


The YouTube Ban Is Un-American, Wrong, and Will Backfire Reply

The power of Big Tech has made traditional governmental censorship almost obsolete.

By Matt Taibbi

Start with the headline: Supporting the 2020 U.S. Election. YouTube in its company blog can’t even say, “Banning Election Conspiracy Theories.” They have to employ the Orwellian language of politicians — Healthy Forests, Clear Skies, “Supported” Elections — because Google and YouTube are now political actors, who can’t speak plainly any more than a drunk can walk in a straight line.

The company wrote Wednesday:

Yesterday was the safe-harbor deadline for the U.S. Presidential election and enough states have certified their election results to determine a President-elect. Given that, we will start removing any piece of content uploaded today (or anytime after) that misleads people by alleging that widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election… For example, we will remove videos claiming that a Presidential candidate won the election due to widespread software glitches or counting errors.

This announcement came down at roughly the same time Hunter Biden was announcing that his “tax affairs” were under investigation by the U.S. Attorney in Delaware. Part of that investigation concerned whether or not he had violated tax and money laundering laws in, as CNN put it, “foreign countries, principally China.” Information suggestive of money-laundering and tax issues in China and other countries was in the cache of emails reported in the New York Post story blocked by Twitter and Facebook.