Manga Publishing President Already Backtracking Concerning “The Great Mistake”

Wow, that did not take long! Just days ago, the president of manga publishing company Kadokawa had started trending with his opinion that manga content is more extreme than Japanese swimsuit content, and suggested that he wanted matters to change so that manga would be more likely to be reviewed by American tech companies like Apple and Google.

Kadowaka president Takashi Natsuno faced immediate backlash for his comments, from the industry, from the fans, and from his own company. As a result, Natsuno has issued a public apology, and has voluntarily taken a 20% pay cut for a few months at the request of Kadokawa, which he would be returning to the company.

I’d be speculating, but I suspect that Natsuno’s earlier statement may have been virtue-signaling as damage control for his earlier statement about the opening ceremonies of the olympic games, which this year were hosted in Tokyo. Here is what he said:

“Compared to the Olympics, such shitty piano recitals don’t matter.”

That in particular was a legend statement that he didn’t need to feel sorry for. But sometimes, a person attempts to handle the situation in a manner that makes matters worse, which might be an explanation for why he would later attempt the Japanese equivalent of trying to score intersectionality points. Except, the Japanese have stronger sensibilities than western feminists, which is why his virtue signal exploded in his face.

If any SJW had any hope of infiltrating the manga industry or Japanese culture, it just vanished in a hurry, as “the great mistake” parasite didn’t last long enough to have a significant impact on the intended host company, and was eliminated quickly enough that it leaves no doubt that western intersectional politics don’t stand a chance in Japan.

I’ll be honest, I was willing to play the long game on this one. American content companies take a long time to learn their lesson, so it was a refreshing surprise that Natsuno faced backlash so quickly. And on top of that, he actually listened to criticism. That’s a far cry from the typical western CEO who is too proud to admit his fault, and surrounds himself with pusillanimous suck-ups who are too afraid to tell him that he’s wrong. Ah, the superiority of Japanese corporate culture.

As for American content companies, it seems like they’re finally starting to come around, but it might take a few years before we fully see results. Sometimes, a company figures out what’s going wrong, but they have little choice but to honor commitments that they’ve already made, unless they have a legal out. What’s more, it would make more practical business sense to attempt to recoup losses that they’d otherwise take in full if certain projects were simply cancelled, full stop.

When an entertainment company has been going in a wrong direction for a long time, there is inertia involved in getting them to change course. On the plus side, we’re already seeing some positive change in some of what Disney is offering, particularly related to Star Wars where Jon Favreau or Dave Filoni is involved. Because Kadokawa reversed course so quickly, it’s a definite victory for the manga community.

They made a show about SPED clone troopers. And I like it!

By the looks of it, Japan is still going to be the place where entertainment is still entertaining. Even though net ground has not been gained, it’s still a victory in the culture war, as it shows that intersectionality’s offensives were not sufficient to overcome, or even so much as make a dent. And with matters trending back around on the western front, victory is beginning to show on the horizon.

Your Gaming Rig May Now Be Banned in California

Too swag for California?

California is now one of six states that have banned personal computers with specs that are too high, by reason of the environmental impact of the power consumption of these PCs.

The other five states are Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.

I’m shocked. Of all the many stupid, stupid things that California has done, this is up there among the worst. Like, up there with banning drinking straws. And to make it worse, five states have gone along with it.

Why is this even a thing? Who really believes that the power draw of gaming PCs is such an issue that it warrants a ban on computers with specs that are too high? And why am I suddenly suspicious that this may be part of a cockamamie effort to limit BitCoin mining?

Does anyone believe that plastic straws account for a tremendous amount of discarded recyclable plastic? Or that the power draw of gaming PCs is more significant than air conditioning? Would you believe that, a few years back, legislation was actually considered that would have banned encryption?

If you’re a gamer in one of the six listed states, you might end up getting fragged by reason of state government interference when it comes to what computer hardware you can own. Are you ready for it, Californians? You’re about to suck at gaming, and it’s no fault of your own.

But it’s not so bad if you’re a game journalist that’s bad at gaming, since you can use the performance of your PC as an out against “git gud” taunts.

Adding to the irony is that California is supposed to be the tech capital of the world. Apple is headquartered there, as is Google. HP, Adobe, and Facebook are headquartered there, too.

Look Californians, I know that you like the color blue. I get it. But you really need to stop voting stupid people into power, however much you may want to see your state collapse.

I believe that environmental responsibility is a good thing. If we might run out of fresh water, then it follows that it would help to keep water consumption at a reasonable level. If electrical consumption had a huge environmental impact, then it’s not a bad idea to run the AC on power-saving mode at times. Because a person could save money doing these things, there’s an incentive.

But do political elites really give a care about the environment? How do they act on what they know when they take a private jet to accept an environmentalism award? Is Bob Dole doing his part when he buys a mansion with over a dozen more toilets than a man needs? Does Obama believe the sea levels are rising when he buys oceanfront property in Hawaii?

If the political elites cared about the environment, they’d practice what they preach. But they don’t. The political elites are raping the land for every last trace of wealth that they could possibly extract from it, so they can die rich. But as for you, they want you to consume less, so they can consume more.

Do you know what the political elites call ordinary people? Mouths. They are Malthusian, viewing you in terms of the resources you consume. They don’t care about you, and they don’t care about the environment.

The ban on high-spec PCs in states like California is not about the environment, it’s about what the political elites can keep out of your hands.

Now, it’s gotten to the point that Dell (headquartered in Texas) is canceling sales for PCs in their Alienware line to the six states that banned performance PCs. Does this means that Microsoft’s corporate headquarters in Washington aren’t getting their high-end PCs? Or are corporations immune?

Yet more reason to be careful to not allow the outrageously incompetent into positions of power.

Manga Publishing President Considering “The Great Mistake”

For a while now, people have been turning to manga (Japanese comics) as an alternative to American comics, for a variety of reasons. It’s gotten to the point that a manga series has single-handedly outsold the entirety of the American comic book industry.

Among the reasons that people have been turning to manga is that the Japanese are less political in their entertainment, and therefore, anime and manga are yet to be poisoned by intersectional politics, or have their entertainment value ruined by reason of its wussy sensibilities.

For the most part, the Japanese have balked at the idea of their own media being influenced by western or international sensibilities. In that sense, they’ve done well in staying true to their own national identity, and as a result, their entertainment has remained entertaining.

You probably saw the title of this post, and wonder what I mean by “the great mistake”. This is what it would be called when a Japanese media company decides to compromise with the likes of intersectionality or western politics, and in so doing, alienate their audience and consequently learn the hard way why it’s such a bad idea to self-censor and lose customers as a result.

People tend to learn better when they have examples of failure, as such would provide material evidence that a certain decision is a bad idea to those for whom it is not already abundantly evident.

Takashi Natsuno, the president of Japanese manga publisher Kadokawa, has stated that manga is rarely reviewed by the likes of Apple or Google by reason of content which he considers more extreme than that of Japanese swimsuit models.

I’m going to be direct here: I’m not concerned about what Apple or Google thinks when it comes to anime or manga. I get my manga through websites like BookWalker. While BookWalker is available as an app, anything purchased through BookWalker can be read through a browser on a tablet. No need to go through an American storefront.

Something like two hours passed since writing that last paragraph. I went to BookWalker, and got distracted rereading much of Made in Abyss.

Here is what the president of Kadokawa said in a June 22nd video interview, with translation from Nicchiban:

“The fact is that there are people who have miraculously beautiful figures, and there are people who think there is value in that, and there is money to be made. I don’t think it’s fair to say that this is unfair, and I don’t think the argument about whether gravure is good or bad is valid. On the other hand, Japan is full of manga that are more extreme than swimsuit gravure. The publishing industry that I’m in is full of ‘liberal’ people, but I feel that we need to recreate standards that are appropriate for this Internet age, including such things.”

“Japan is full of manga that are more extreme than Gravure. This and other factors prevent Japanese manga from being reviewed by Google and Apple. So, I feel that we need to redefine the standards of the Internet age and determine what is acceptable for the public and what is not. The publishing industry I’m in is full of libertarians, but I really feel like we need to rethink things.”

As the article points out, it’s possible that he’s being misinterpreted, and is pointing out that the more extreme manga is difficult to host on Apple and Google. I doubt it, but if his intention was to call for self-censorship in manga, I’m not actually worried about it, for a few reasons.

For one thing, the idea of self-censorship to appeal to western audiences is tremendously unpopular among mangaka. I know that mangaka can speak for themselves in this regard, but it’s easy to see why they’d feel this way. Artists don’t like arbitrary restrictions placed on their forms of expression, which is something that western artists should be able to relate to. What’s more, if someone in an entirely different culture doesn’t like what the Japanese produce, they don’t have to read what the Japanese produce.

What’s more, Kadokawa’s position is so grossly unpopular that even if he used his sway in the company to encourage mangaka to self-censor, the more popular mangaka may use their own sway to seek out a different publisher. Though, in many cases, it’s not as easy as that. Sometimes, content creators are bound by contract. Such “golden handcuffs” are something to watch out for in the event that you want to make a deal with a company to promote your big idea, as is the forfeiture of creative control of your IP, so they’d get to decide what to do with the characters you created. But that’s a discussion for another day.

Then, on top of that, self-censorship would hurt the manga publisher’s bottom line, as readers would quickly feel alienated, and turn to another manga.

But another big point is that Takashi Natsuno is only a temporary president. He was only hired on for a couple months, and isn’t likely to remain much longer. If he’s going to fire his mouth off with such unpopular opinions, he’s not helping his career in the creative industry.

Speaking of firing his mouth off, Natsuno had this to say about the Olympics’ opening ceremony:

“Compared to the Olympics, such shitty piano recitals don’t matter.”

Whether you agree with him on the creative direction of the manga industry, he’s certainly capable of throwing out one-liners that bring down the house.

What makes censoring manga so stupid is that characters in manga are just drawings. They are just lines printed on paper (or shown on display screens, as the case may be). People shouldn’t get so hung up over depictions of violence against people who aren’t even real, or the objectification of characters who, by definition, are merely objects to begin with. They are fictional depictions, and escapist fantasies presented to people for their enjoyment. If you don’t like what’s depicted, you don’t have to consume it.

The idea that art must be a sincere expression of one’s intrinsic values or a vehicle to further a progressive message is a product of a society that has gone awry, and lost sight of the fact that art can simply be creative, without need for justification.

What’s more, people shouldn’t be stuck on the idea that something has to be accessible through the likes of Google or Apple or Facebook, or some content aggregator. If something is anywhere on the net, it’s accessible. If a person thinks that the internet is just one search engine or social media site, they’re stupid. And stupid people shouldn’t decide what everyone else on the internet sees, reads, or shares.

But they’re sure trying.

As for “the great mistake”, while it would have every chance of backfiring in a huge way, the failure it would result in would be clear, plain, and indisputable, showing what would happen when you attempt to replace the audience you already have with a hypothetical audience which hasn’t expressed much interest. If Natsuno were to go forward with “the great mistake”, he’d be a dubious kind of volunteer to make a point that few others in his industry would dare to.

Probably because they’ve been watching from afar what’s already been happening with Marvel and DC. But if a manga publisher makes the mistake, and the damage were to be localized to just one publisher, then it can be said that the SJWs tried on every platform that was available to them, wasn’t able to succeed on any of them, while keeping the damage to a minimum. While it would be better if no publishing company has to be lost, sometimes, some people insist on proving a point, even if it means someone takes the fall. In war, not every soldier gets to return home.

“No one is immune to failure. All have tasted the bitterness of defeat and disappointment. A warrior must not dwell on that failure. But must learn from it and continue on.”

Grand Admiral Thrawn

So, You’re a Targeted Individual. What Can You Do About It?

It was a couple years ago that I heard about the Targeted Individual (TI) community. A TI is a person who is convinced that he is targeted by phenomena such as gang stalking or “psychotronic” harassment by electromagnetic waves, or by having been “chipped”.

As you could probably imagine, I’m skeptical. I do believe that something like that can happen, but it seems like in the majority of cases, the TI is actually experiencing paranoid delusions.

Pictured above is a QuWave Defender, a product that’s marketed towards self-proclaimed TIs. The claims made by QuWave, who markets the product, are pretty sketchy. The general claim is that the product, while powered on, provides protection to the person who keeps it near them.

Personally, I’d like to get my hands on one of these things, so that I could take the thing apart and find out how it’s made, then document my findings on a blog post. The thing is, I don’t really want to spend something like $300 just to find out that it does nothing but power an LED or two.

One thing that I’ve noticed about TIs is that they usually blame “the government” for their plight. How they’d know that it’s “the government”, I don’t know. But I suppose it seems to follow in their thinking, considering that they’re large and resourceful enough to be a likely culprit.

When TIs blame “the government”, what they’re demonstrating is that they’re ignorant to the fact that “the government” themselves seldom does the heavy lifting. If “the government” wants something shady done, they usually hire subcontractors to do the dirty work. That way, “the government” can avoid doing something that would be illegal for them to do themselves, and if the cover is blown on the operation, “the government” could easily distance themselves from the subcontractor, throwing them under the bus.

It’s because of this that, if you really are a TI, there’s something simple that you can do to make the abuse stop. It’s going to sound counter-productive at first, but when you think through it, you’ll understand it as the genius that it is.

What you do is you identify subcontractors that could possibly be targeting you, then you buy stake in those companies.

Here’s why this works: If you run a company, you should understand that if it’s found that your company has been harassing shareholders, it’s going to be insanely bad press. If you’ve been conducting unethical experiments on your own shareholders, and this comes to light, anyone who has invested in your company will drop your stock like a hot rock, in all the time it takes to finish this sentence.

Suppose that some data-collection company in the business of anti-terrorism has been found to have been somehow chipping people because they don’t like their religion. If they were to find out that someone that they’ve chipped has invested in their company, they definitely don’t want that person coming forward with their suspicions, especially to the press. Because if it’s discovered that the company chips their own investors, no one would want to have that company’s shares, and the stock value would plummet faster than a mark in the Weimar Republic.

This isn’t financial advice, and the typical risks apply when buying any stock. It can appreciate or depreciate. I’m just saying what can possibly happen as a result of taking a course of action, which isn’t guaranteed. Maybe the company that’s harassing you is tremendously idiotic, too much so to understand why conducting experiments on shareholders is a bad idea. That’s a possibility, too.

Then there’s the fact that the stock market is largely a big, rigged casino. I’m not telling you what to do. Besides, if you invest more money than you can afford to lose just because of some blog post on the internet, you’d be worse than paranoid; you’d be stupid.

Do You Believe That Your Brain is Immune to Being Hacked?

Ironic.

The assumption of the simple is that humanity tends ever towards non-mysticism. That is wrong. Whether cursory or deep, every study of the human psyche reveals that humanity is well-adapted to mystical and religious beliefs.

Even in the Far East, where people are largely non-mystical in their conduct, there is still a tendency to check their daily horoscopes. Even where religion is actively discouraged, there is a tendency in ordinary people to seek out spiritual meaning, even if they look in the wrong places.

We must not assume that the ruling class of the western world is unaware that this tendency exists. In fact, their knowledge of the human psyche is so well-advanced, that they’re aware of what information they need to present to people in order to override their better judgement, either to suggest an idea to them while causing them to believe that it is their own, or to exploit a tendency towards synchronicity to influence towards a behavior.

While this seems new, it’s simply another manifestation of an old religious deception. Through nearly the entirety of human history, kings have made the claim to be divinely-appointed, or to be gods among men. What we are seeing today is a mere adaptation of an ancient idea, implemented through current technology. While the tools are different, the base tendencies of the common population are no different from what they’ve always been, and the same is true of the ruling class.

Marketers have been using subtle hypnotic tricks for decades. With the extensive psychological profiles that social media have built about every person they could, they have a new vehicle with which to hypnotize the masses. It would be too generous to suggest that they failed to resist the temptation presented by all that power.

They didn’t even try.

The atheist who convinces himself that he is immune by reason of his own non-mysticism is fooling himself in his conceit. When they are influenced into atheism, it’s because the influencers are aware of how the atheistic can be exploited.

Considering all this, there are a few questions to ask: Are your ideas your own? Are you aware who may have been presenting them to you? Is a person who would engage in such underhanded methods worthy of your respect? What can you do to protect your mind from malign influence, even as the influencers are on some of society’s highest levels? What reasonable measures can be taken to reduce their enrichment?

The fact is, everyone serves someone, whether they intend to or not. The American founders didn’t view freedom in the sense of doing whatever they pleased, but as serving one who is worth serving. The Biblical idea of freedom is similar. It’s because of this that this question is so important: How worthy is the one you serve?

YouTuber Nails the Psychology of Cancel Culture Perfectly.

If you’re concerned that cancel culture is running amok, then the above video is worth watching. It’s about 21 minutes long, but it’s worth every second for those following matters related to cancel culture.

It’s one thing to understand that someone is wrong. But to really prepare yourself to fight back against the problem, or be ready to mount a reasonable defense, it helps to understand the psychology of your adversary.

Anna Runkle, a.k.a. the Crappy Childhood Fairy, usually does video presentations on topics relevant to those recovering from childhood abuse. If you haven’t had an especially unpleasant childhood, her videos still provide piles of insightful information on psychology, and the offering above is no exception.

The presenter points out that there’s a narcissistic desire at the heart of cancel culture. What they seek is the gratification of making a difference by standing for a cause, even if their cause equates to nothing more than a witch hunt.

I can make the observation that it hasn’t been productive to point out that the many accusations waged by cancel culture aren’t grounded in truth, and are usually based on assumptions made on flimsy inferences. The reason why this gets nowhere is because cancel culture isn’t concerned with the truth of a matter. To them, it matters more that their natural desire for tribalism is fulfilled, and to that end, they are going to seek out anyone that they can label an enemy, so that they can have a target.

This naturally leads to the question of what to do when cancel culture comes for you or someone you know or employ. Because they’re out to get a reaction, the best thing you can do is ignore them. You can block them on social media, if you want to. Naturally, this is going to seriously piss them off, because they want their voice to be heard (while trying to silence yours). Even if you’re a freedom of speech kinda guy, you have no obligation to endure abuse. So block them, and if they get pissed off, it’s their fault they’re making themselves feel that way. And if you give it more thought, appreciate the irony that they can’t take what they attempted to do to you.

Don’t engage with them. Certainly don’t apologize to them. Block them, if need be. Then go have fun doing things that they don’t, like have sex.

If you know someone who is being cancelled, the best thing that you can do is likewise ignore the attempted cancellers. If you employ that person, it’s important that you get behind them, since if the cancellers get the idea that you’re spineless, they’ll just go after you, instead, because they’d know that you cave in to pressure.

It’s not hard to be more courageous than they are.

If effortlessly blocking them doesn’t turn out to be a deterrent, then you can move on to learning to enjoy their tears. They’re losers, and you’re pissing them off. Some people are the right people to piss off. If terrible people are your enemies, then you’ve made the right enemies. In time, they might realize that they’re the ones who are giving you what you want, then back off. I wouldn’t count on it happening right away, especially if they’re inordinately stupid.

You can buy this. Not sponsored.

I know that some people might disagree with “my methods”. Just because I recommend them doesn’t mean they’re my methods. Something’s gotta go in that mug.

“All opponents are not necessarily enemies. But both enemies and opponents carry certain characteristics in common. Both perceive their opposite as an obstacle, or an opportunity, or a threat. Sometimes the threat is personal; other times it is a perceived violation of standards or accepted norms of society. In modest form, the opponent’s attacks are verbal. The warrior must choose which of those to stand against, and which to ignore. Often that decision is taken from his hands by others. In those cases, lack of discipline may dissuade the opponent from further attacks. More often, though, the opponent finds himself encouraged to continue or intensify the attacks. It is when the attacks become physical that the warrior must take the most dangerous of choices.”

Grand Admiral Thrawn

Texas Democrats Bail on Duty, Spread COVID to White House

The schadenfreude is strong with this development. What a whopper.

Earlier this month, Texas democrats have fled the state for Washington D.C. in an attempt to obstruct a republican-backed bill that would normalize voting in that state. During the flight, one of the democrats took a selfie, including other democrats on the plane in the picture:

Yeah, a plane crowded with democrats, grinning from ear to ear because they get to skip out on their elected duties, while you probably can’t miss a day in your low-paying job because you can barely afford to pay the bills as it is.

What’s more, they are not wearing masks or social distancing, even though they want masks on you and your kids.

If they think this is such a great idea, why aren’t they doing it?

You might be thinking, “Maybe none of them actually had the corona-chan, because they are so smart.” Except, at least a couple of them did, and their little stunt spread the virus to the White House.

Okay, Japan. Just keep her out of Touhou, okay?

So, what’s the damage? The virus has already been confirmed to have spread to an aide for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and to a White House staffer who was reportedly already fully-vaccinated. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki had this to say:

“This is another reminder of the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines against severe illness or hospitalizations,”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, source: wpxi .com

Yeah. She’s right about that.

This entire episode already looks like a hilarious case study in “play stupid games, win stupid prizes”. But the entire affair may already be morphing into a perfect storm. See what’s happening in this photo?

Source: the-sun.com

That’s VP Kamala Harris, meeting with those very same Texas democrats, who are unwittingly exposing her to the virus. So far, she has tested negative for the virus, but that might change, since it’s conceivable that a freshly-exposed person may not be far enough along in the incubation process to register as a positive when tested. Having said that, five of the Texas democrats have since tested positive, a number that’s likely to go up, considering the group’s exposure to each other.

Texas democrats bailed on their duties, and they accidentally started a super-spreader event. They may be further rewarded upon their return home, as Texas governor Greg Abbott has stated that they will all be arrested upon their return. While that’s one way to take out the irresponsible, an effective long-term solution may be to amend the Texas constitution with an “abandonment clause” that would cause a person to forfeit their elected office if they’ve vacated it for a certain amount of time.

In a stunning case of illusory superiority, democrats have boasted that they know what’s good for you better than you do, imposed unconstitutional edicts, used a potential catastrophe to push their own agenda through, have attempted to take away your rights, disrespected your own bodily autonomy, killed livelihoods, drove up unemployment, disobeyed the edicts that they imposed on you, then abandoned their duties with big, stupid grins.

Then a few of them ended up getting sick, and at the height of their own arrogance, potentially sickened many more of their own, and now their puppets in the corporate mainstream information media can’t control the narrative.

If the Texas democrats wanted to look on the bright side, they can consider the fact that they’ve still managed to avoid the full extent of what they deserve. And what’s more, if they all got COVID, then they are strongly likely to fully recover from it, just like Donald Trump. Then, like the rest of us who recovered from it, life would go on. Which, in their case, would mean continuing to screw over anything that would make life better for ordinary Americans because the democrats chose a side, and can’t take a hit to their pride.

Are China and Russia laughing as hard as the rest of us?

An Anti-Censorship “Freedom Phone” Was Just Revealed. Here Are My Thoughts.

I think my typical audience can appreciate that the sad state of social media and the tech industry is such that there is a strong unfulfilled demand for a device whose seller markets it as respecting a basic fundamental human right.

But that’s not as far as it goes when it comes to what’s sad about the Freedom Phone, which is being offered by a man who got rich by buying Bitcoin when it was cheap. As for me, I majored in Electronics Technology outside of mainland China.

But I learned a few things, and started storing value in crypto. Let’s see what Mr. Rich-Boy who already did so has to offer the pro-freedom world.

As it turns out, it’s not a whole lot. He’s taking some relatively-cheap Pixel phones, installed with GrapheneOS, and preloaded them with a few select apps, sans the typical Google stuff. One of the offerings is a Pixel 4 XL 64GB, starting at $489.

You can verify by looking it up, but it’s a snap to find the same phone for under $200. But hey, if you’re looking to justify the markup, you can look at the pre-installed OS and apps as a service for if you don’t want to do it yourself, and learn to do so, if need be. If you’re really being threatened with censorship by big tech, would it really hurt to learn?

Noteworthy is that the Freedom Phone offers an “uncensored app store”. If the app store were to be completely uncensored, what’s to stop a developer from offering an app with malware? And if the app were removed, the developer could call the Freedom Phone out for not being “uncensored”. Then there’s the question of whether “uncensored” means that the store will remove illegal content.

If you’re already paranoid, then you’ll likely already understand the concept of a “honeypot”, which is what you have when certain software is marketed towards a target group because that software has a hidden capacity for monitoring the people who use it. It’s an app such as this which was behind a massive sting operation which saw the arrest of over 800 people. Considering this, it’s understandable that even a free-speech advocate might consider the Freedom Phone to be kinda sus.

Hold on a sec, check out that logo:

It looks like it says, “Reedom Phones”. If you’re going to “ree” over the software on your cheap phone, perhaps it’s appropriate. Otherwise, Freedom Phones might want to change up their logo.

When one goes overboard with the privacy protection stuff, that in itself can put a person on the map. After all, most people wouldn’t run an obscure computer with an unusual OS, running Tor and encrypting all their files unless they had something to hide. If what you’re doing requires a huge pile of over-the-top privacy measures, what you’re doing might be so illegal that it may be a solid strategic move to do it from another continent.

By the looks of it, Freedom Phones isn’t offering it’s own carrier service or running its own cell towers. Because of this, your phone can still be denied service by your carrier, whose SIM card you install into it. What’s more, because your carrier can determine your location by triangulating your position using cell towers (yet another thing that Edward Snowden was right about), your phone can still be used to determine your general location. And speaking of your cellular provider, you probably provided them with oodles of personally-identifiable information for the purposes of identity verification when setting up your account.

Having expressed due skepticism, one thing I can appreciate about the Freedom Phone’s reveal is just how hard it has legacy media tripping over itself to write up whatever hit pieces they can about it. It seems they can agree on one point concerning it:

The Daily Beast, for example, is among those pointing out that the phone was made in China, as though that’s an argument against the phone. Let’s be honest here, just how many American tech companies make their own tech? The world would have surprisingly little without the roughly 1 billion slaves laboring under the Chinese Communist Party. Not that The Daily Beast is being racist against the Chinese, by the way.

PC Magazine is on the bandwagon with the stock response that it was made in China, as though they themselves see a problem with Chinese manufacturing. Do you see a problem with Chinese manufacturing, PC Magazine? Say it.

Even Business Insider is parroting the “but it’s made in China” spin, as though that’s an answer to any question anyone is asking about the Freedom Phone. If you have a problem with a tech device just because it has components that were manufactured in China, I welcome you to research the tech products you already have to see how far a boycott would last you.

This again.

Check out how hip and anti-establishment HotHardware is being by saying the exact same thing the corporate mainstream information media is saying, days after they say the same thing. There’s no way to stick it to the man quite like dissing a platform poised to give ordinary people a voice that cannot be censored by the establishment. Don’t you feel so hip!

While some of the concerns are valid, the left is being sudden with their disdain of Chinese manufacturing. I don’t expect them to go as far as boycotting Chinese devices. After all, they’d have a much harder time masturbating without a glowing display screen to show them pictures of cartoon ponies.

Based on what I’ve seen so far, I don’t recommend Freedom Phone. If free speech online is a big enough concern for you, I’d instead recommend getting a reasonably-priced phone you can install GrapheneOS onto, then attempt it yourself once you know what you’re doing.

If you’re still on the fence, it might be a good idea to hold off until you see some reviews from those who’ve actually used the product. The reviews themselves might be entertaining.

Look Who Just Said Something Ignorant About Bitcoin (Jerome Powell)

It’s not really new to hear someone say something ignorant about crypto, but it gets to be rather amusing when the higher-ups have little choice but to speak up, because they can’t ignore it any longer.

Such was the case with fed chairman Jerome Powell, whose statement about the prospect of a U.S. digital currency was roughly the equivalent of, “If we had our own digital currency, it could beat your crypto!”

This is what he had to say: “One of the arguments that are offered in favor of a digital currency in particular you wouldn’t need stablecoins you wouldn’t need cryptocurrencies if you had a digital US currency” (source: Forbes).

He was basically saying that if the U.S. had its own digital currency, it would render cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin obsolete.

Done laughing? Let’s move on.

While it may not be digital in the sense he means, the U.S. dollar has already become a digital currency. If you’re like me, it’s been a long time since paper money last passed through your hands. I get paid electronically. I pay my bills online. I use debit and credit to buy things. I’ve actually turned panhandlers away because I don’t carry cash.

We can get an idea of how the U.S. would manage a digital currency by paying attention to what they do with the currency they already have:

  • They want the money stored in institutions that charge recurring fees for holding onto it, and profit off your money by investing it,
  • They want transactions to pass through third parties that charge fees on transactions,
  • They want ledgers to be off the blockchain, enabling surreptitious activity without accountability,
  • They want to arbitrarily generate huge sums of money to pay for spending budgets, inflating the currency and committing immense fraud and theft against those who attempt to use it to store value.

If the U.S. wants to make its own digital currency, that’s their business, but I’m suspicious that it’s just going to be more of the same-ol’-same-ol’. But if they want it to compete with cryptocurrency, their best bet would be for it to work on the blockchain in just the same way as cryptocurrency, and hope that anyone gives a care.

But as it is, the dollar is another vehicle with which the ridiculously wealthy steals from ordinary people continually. If it went digital, is there any expectation that that would change?

Lightning Strike Destroys George Floyd Mural in Toledo, Ohio

Yesterday, in Toledo, OH, lightning struck a mural that honored George Floyd, destroying the mural.

To help drive home how fascinating this occurrence is, consider the following facts:

  • The weather was sunny, with intermittent clouds. There may have been a short, random thunderstorm in the afternoon.
  • People reported the lighting strike, and a weather service did confirm that lightning struck in that area.
  • The photo above shows ground that’s dry, so if it rained, it didn’t rain for long.
  • The lightning didn’t strike nearby metal poles or trees, and even the metal gutters along the roof seems mostly unaffected. The lightning struck the bricks.
  • Near the center of the damage was an image of George Floyd’s face, suggesting that the lightning strike likely hit the face directly.
  • Artist David Ross, contrary to the sentiments of Kaitlin Durbin (below), vouched for the structural integrity of the wall, saying that there were parts of the wall he couldn’t remove because of how strong the wall was. He was the artist who worked on the mural.

It’s been suggested that the lightning strike was a product of divine intervention, pointing out the circumstances surrounding the event, and that people were making an idol out of George Floyd.

While one might defend against this by saying that they weren’t treating George Floyd as though he were a god, that doesn’t mean they weren’t committing idolatry. What idolatry is would be ascribing a disproportionate amount of honor on something or someone upon which it’s not appropriate. And when it comes to George Floyd, that’s certainly what happened.

George Floyd was just a man. And as a man, he was no exemplar of virtue. Prior to his death, George Floyd was arrested nine times, one of which for armed robbery of a family wherein Floyd himself pointed a gun at a pregnant woman, to which he pled guilty. During his final arrest, Floyd was doing a speedball, and had just before attempted to operate a motor vehicle, which could have killed someone. The arrest was over a counterfeit $20 bill, and during the arrest, Floyd had attempted to conceal a lethal dose of fentanyl by eating it, to tragic results.

If that’s the kind of guy you’d want to build a statue for, you’ve lost your way, it’s as simple as that.

In any case, there’s no shortage of people out there who should rethink who their heroes and role-models are. Perhaps a little electricity is what it would take to jump-start their thinking.