Author Archives: Raizen

Win: Netflix Adopting Anti-Censorship Policy, Encourages Woke Employees To Take a Hike

In a major culture war victory, Netflix is updating its “culture memo”. In addition to updating the title to “Netflix Culture: Seeking Excellence”, the company has announced a stronger freedom of expression stance, as noted in the document’s Artistic Expression section:

“Not everyone will like — or agree with — everything on our service,”

This nicely sets the tone for what’s to come. Free expression means there’s going to be a wide assortment of entertainment options on the table.

“While every title is different, we approach them based on the same set of principles: we support the artistic expression of the creators we choose to work with; we program for a diversity of audiences and tastes; and we let viewers decide what’s appropriate for them, versus having Netflix censor specific artists or voices.”

As I pointed out before, if there’s a work of artistic expression that’s not for you, you don’t have to consume it. You curate your own entertainment choices. Notice how Netflix stated their support of artistic expression, and are now allowing consumers to tailor their Netflix experience according to their own preferences? That’s in stark contrast to the woke position, which involves curating everyone’s experience for them according to the mentality of the vocal few.

While that already says plenty, the concluding paragraph of the section drives the point home:

“As employees we support the principle that Netflix offers a diversity of stories, even if we find some titles counter to our own personal values. Depending on your role, you may need to work on titles you perceive to be harmful. If you’d find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you.”

While this is progress by reason of the fact that Netflix is now adopting a baseline free expression policy, this becomes a huge game-changer with that closing sentence:

“If you’d find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you.”

Netflix is now telling its staff that if any of them have the woke mind-virus, and it could interfere with their ability to do their job according to their updated principles of artistic expression, then those employees can take a hike.

Obviously, Netflix is making this move because they’re recognizing that siding with the woke is a bad idea. For one thing, Disney went woke to the point of becoming politically involved, and as a result, they ended up losing Reedy Creek. That was an important turning point, as companies looked on and saw that taking certain positions could result in consequences that might hurt their bottom line.

In fact, it was just days ago that PR firm Zeno advised clients, including Coca-Cola, Hershey, Starbucks, Salesforce, and Netflix themselves that it would be a better idea not to make a public statement on controversial topics, and to avoid discussing such sensitive topics with the press, if they were to seek comment.

This development also comes in light of Elon Musk’s planned purchase of Twitter, with Musk planning on restoring the platform to free speech principles, and restoring the accounts of political figures who were unfairly banned, such as Donald Trump.

Of course, the change is likely financially motivated, as in Q1, Netflix saw it’s first decline in subscribers in over a decade. Obviously, siding with the woke hasn’t been helping them, but neither is the fact that alternatives like Daily Wire have sprung up, determined to compete with the likes of Disney, considering that Disney is determined to present dubious sexual content directly to minors.

It was a few months back that I anticipated that institutions would turn against the woke, realizing that the woke ideology isn’t benefitting them. What I didn’t anticipate is that the change would begin to come about so soon!

Review: Z.H.P.: Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman

Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
Genre: SRPG, Dungeon Crawler
Rating: Teen
Platforms:
PlayStation Portable, Nintendo Switch (bundle), Steam

(Spoiler-free review)

Nippon Ichi Software (NIS) has just dropped another one of their classics, this time a dungeon-crawler that made its debut on PSP: Z.H.P.: Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman (ZHP).

The original release on PSP didn’t get the attention that it deserved, which had to do with the fact that it didn’t get a lot of marketing behind it. That and that NIS was still a relatively-obscure game company. There’s also that SRPGs aren’t very popular outside of Japan. Also, it was originally released within days of a major sports game. And there’s the fact that the American localizer, NISA, only shipped one copy to each retailer.

The original release had a lot to go up against. However, the game itself has a lot of heart, and it’s now available on multiple platforms. By the looks of it, what NIS was thinking for this game was “straight port”. Which is fine, as the original game holds up well since its original release. But those who prefer crisp graphics in their anime-style games might by taken out of the action by the aliasing.

ZHP begins with a hero, the Absolute Victory Unlosing Ranger, on the way to save the Super Baby from Darkdeath Evilman, to save the world in so doing.

Except, the Unlosing Ranger gets struck by a car on the way to the final battle, and dies. But in his final act, he hands his morphing belt to a random passerby, passing on the torch of the Unlosing Ranger to someone who will fight on his behalf!

But to the shock and dismay of the onlooking world, the new Unlosing Ranger loses the battle, and is ejected far away! When he comes to, he finds himself in a strange world, where a girl begins coaching him for a rematch!

Over the course of the game, the main character (whom you can name) makes repeated attempts at the final boss, but as he repeatedly fails, he takes on progressively more difficult dungeons to train. As he does so, he ends up solving problems for people on earth, as the bizarro earth that he finds himself on is connected to his own earth.

Many of the game’s so-called “final battles” are actually mostly scripted. The main action in ZHP takes place in the stages, which function as dungeons would in classic dungeon crawler RPGs, with each dungeon having their own bosses.

When the main character leaves a dungeon for any reason (win or lose), he reverts back to level one. Which may seem like lost progress, but as this occurs, he gains stored levels, which increases his stats when he’s at level one. As he levels up in dungeons, his stat increases are based on his level one stats, so the game encourages the player to become “king of level one”. For this and other reasons, a failed dungeon run isn’t always a total loss, and the game encourages stuck players to keep trying, even if things don’t seem so well for the poor main character.

Be warned, as this is one of those dungeon crawlers that features the concept of “perma-death”, where your game saves as you enter dungeons, so if you turn the game off because your current run isn’t going well, you lose equipment that you brought with you! What’s more, if a dungeon run ends in failure, you lose what you find! There’s a facility that can be obtained and upgraded that can reduce the penalties, however.

It’s because of this that I find it hard to recommend the PSP version. At one point, I got discouraged from continuing when the battery cut out for a brief instant, which was enough to cost me some powerful equipment. Now that this game is available on some more dependable hardware, I think it may be worth giving another shot!

Speaking of, the Steam version might be the better of the versions available, by reason of the fact that you can buy it as a standalone game. The Switch version is available as part of a pricey bundle. It’s a sweet deal if you’re interested in the classic RPG Makai Kingdom. But if you’re not, then you’re probably better off going with the Steam version.

Like many other NIS games, you’re capable of getting your character to level 9999, with stats in the millions! But because the boost lasts until you clear a dungeon, you’d mainly want to go for it if the dungeon would otherwise give you trouble.

While there is only one playable character, there are many, many customization options that make that one character seem like plenty. For one thing, there are numerous equips that change the hero’s appearance and grant him new abilities. There are also unlockable costumes which can effect his resistances. There’s even a body modification facility, which plays a huge role in stat optimization.

In dungeons, you progress floor-by-floor by finding the stairs on each floor, which leads to the next floor. You’ll find pick-ups about, but there are also enemies to watch out for. Shocker, right? When you engage them, you can go blow-for-blow against them, or use special attacks.

This sounds like simple fare, but there are things to watch out for. For one thing, the main character steadily expends energy, which occurs at an increased rate depending on his actions. Items can replenish this energy, and it’s not a bad idea to take such items with you into dungeons, because you cannot count on reliably finding more, due to how the dungeon floors are randomized. Also, equipped items can wear out with use, with wear represented as a percentage on the HUD. Their effectiveness can decline as they wear down, but there is a facility that can repair them. One valuable item is headwear that passively conserves energy.

At this point, you probably got the idea that this game is for the nerds. That sounds about right.

Another of the game’s highlights is the story, which is packed with humor. It can also get a bit preachy at times, in a way that it “hits different”, and may even hit a bit close to home for some players. I could say more about it, but spoilers. I’ll point out that much of the humor and dramatic elements are at the main character’s expense. The guy fights an uphill battle to get some respect.

For the NIS fans out there, yes, Asagi Asagiri is in this game. But that’s not much of a surprise, now is it? If you get the Switch bundle, you can also see Asagi’s NIS debut in Makai Kingdom, so you can see just how hard the poor girl fell from her starting point. By the point ZHP was originally released, she wasn’t taking things very well.

My opinion is that if you’re into JRPGs, SRPGs, or are just into Disgaea, ZHP is worth giving a chance. It’s definitely one of the finer RPGs from NIS’s catalog of classics.

For those who like skipping ahead to the score, here you go: Z.H.P.: Unlosing Ranger Vs. Darkdeath Evilman gets a score of 8 out of 10.

There are multiple endings that can be accessed by playing through the game at least once. Replaying through story stages many times doesn’t appeal to me, so I didn’t much bother with that. However, there is a lot of content outside the main story, and there are extra dungeons for players who might appreciate a challenge. This adds replay value to this game, and does a lot to make it worth the price of admission.

That’s the great thing about this style of game for those who would find it interesting: they’re usually packed with value. And ZHP certainly is.

Review: Made In Abyss (Volume 10)

Author: Akihito Tsukushi
Status: Ongoing
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Horror
Localization: Seven Seas Entertainment
Rating: Older Teen
Available to read online on BookWalker, fees may apply.

(This review contains commentary, and therefore contains spoilers. You’ve been warned.)

Volume 10 of the translated version of Made In Abyss has dropped, as of last week. For those who have been waiting to read this installment of Akihito Tsukushi’s opus in the English language, here you go. This installment picks up where the last one left off, wherein Reg and Faputa were fighting over the fate of the village of Ilblu, but things weren’t looking great for Reg. And with no more line of defense for the village, Faputa became free to engage in unmitigated mayhem.

If you’re new to Made In Abyss, you might expect a light-hearted romp from these cute, endearing characters.

But anyone who expects anything as light-hearted from Made In Abyss hasn’t been following along. While the rest of the series used imaginative concepts for its horror elements, Volume 10 is notable for its heavy gore. At times, I even found it hard to look at. But hey, I’ll still take it over the cheap jump-scares of American horror films.

Tsukushi is great with expansive, beautiful landscapes. However, those take an aside this time around, as much of the action takes place within the crumbling walls of the village of Ilblu. I found myself appreciating the use of perspective when communicating the enormity of the Turbinid Dragons, which tower over the protagonists like skyscrapers.

Much of this volume centers around the strangely-endearing character of Faputa, who initially engages in her genocidal rampage with a singular focus. However, when Belaf imparts his memories to her, she begins to change. But rather than cease from the aforementioned rampage, she becomes less motivated by hatred and more by duty. But even then, she develops the desire to seek her own value and live for herself.

It’s great to see Nanachi back in the action, but it’s mainly Belaf who intervenes between the two of them, and the bunny doesn’t seem to contribute much. Which lends to the fan theory that Ilblu was originally intended to be Nanachi’s point of departure, but Tsukushi changed his mind when he saw how popular the character became.

But then, Ilblu ends up destroyed, so where would he have ended up? It might be interesting to see what role Nanachi plays in future chapters.

But there’s another problem, and that’s that what was created in the village cannot survive outside it. And with the village being destroyed, Riko’s new friends are about to say goodbye. What’s more, the village’s ability to protect from the strains of ascension are dissipating, and we get to see a particularly grotesque transformation as a result.

When all is said and done, Reg extends the offer for Faputa to join the party. While many fans would crane their necks to hear the answer (especially if it’s “yes”), Faputa instead leaves us in suspense as she decides that she’ll consider it, before wandering off on her own.

Sure, she just engaged in mass-murder, but she’s so adorable, right?

So, what’s my opinion? Is Made In Abyss Volume 10 worth 1000yen (about $8) on BookWalker?

(This image was censored for this review. This scene was not censored in the English publication.)

I give Made In Abyss Volume 10 a score of 9 out of 10.

If you’ve enjoyed the series up until now, Volume 10 is a safe purchase. And I think series loyalists would appreciate the conclusion of the Ilblu arc. What’s more, the excellent artwork and storytelling of Akihito Tsukushi are also there. It’s a welcome addition to a fantastic series, and I’m not disappointed with it, at all.

Sosu.

A PR Firm Is Reportedly Telling Major Corporations to Play It Safe And Not Take a Political Position

We’ve been saying “Get Woke, Go Broke” for a long time. Now, it seems like “Get Woke, Go Broke” is intensifying, as PR firm Zeno is reportedly advising major corporations not to publicly take a position regarding the Roe v Wade draft leak.

Among Zeno’s clients includes Coca-Cola, Salesforce, Hershey’s, Netflix, and Starbucks.

The following was included in “a template email to share with client contacts”, as it was worded by Zeno’s Executive Vice President for Media Strategy, Katie Cwayna:

Do not take a stance you cannot reverse, especially when the decision is not final. This topic is a textbook “50/50” issue. Subjects that divide the country can sometimes be no-win situations for companies because regardless of what they do they will alienate at least 15 to 30 percent of their stakeholders… Do not assume that all of your employees, customers or investors share your view.

Finally, major corporations are starting to use their heads! They are starting to figure out that if you take a public position on a controversial topic, you risk alienating a significant portion of your customers, resulting in your company becoming less profitable. They’re finally figuring it out!

I like how Cwayna says “Do not take a stance you cannot reverse”, as if to acknowledge that there is a lot of pride on the line. Sure, the implication is that once a company issues a statement, the dominoes begin to fall, and the losses continue from there. But we all know that CEOs are proud, not willing to admit that they made a wrong call. After all, if they admit to making a wrong call, people might lose confidence in them.

By the way, the popular.info article claims that 72% of Americans oppose overturning Roe v Wade, which wouldn’t make it a “50/50” issue. Putting aside for a moment the deceptive framing it takes to arrive at that percentage, it should be known that Supreme Court rulings are not intended to pander to the majority, they’re supposed to consider constitutionality. Remember, one of the intents of the U.S. Constitution is to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority!

The email template adds,

Avoid media “fishing.” Often during controversy, media will make general inquiries to multiple peer organizations, in which the first one to “raise its hand” becomes the lead.  In a case like this, being at the center is not advisable so be judicious if/how general inquiries are managed.

Don’t become the first corporation to issue a public statement, if you do so at all. After all, the first one to raise their hand and start speaking has the potential to become the most notorious, and therefore become more likely to be the target of focused boycotts.

Steer clear of breaking news networks/outlets. We anticipate the story will dominate newsfeeds for the rest of the week as more details unfold, so avoid pitching reporters and outlets that focus on breaking news.

What your company shares on social media does matter. Even that much can be construed as taking a position that could end up costing your company money. That may not be what Cwayna expressly stated, but we know it’s true. Closer to the intent of Cwayna’s message, it should be understood that media outlets may pressure a company into taking a position, and that it would be advisable to avoid them.

Do not engage with direct questions about your company’s position. Whether in direct messages or public-facing posts, do not respond to questions about where your company stands on this issue.

Play it safe: Keep your mouth shut. Do not take a position, even if you’re pressured into taking one. The SJW NPCs and the mass media have been pressuring major corporations to take a position, and now Zeno is saying, “don’t cave in”.

After posting their article reporting on this, Popular Information received a response from Zeno’s CEO, Barby Seigel:

The email you reference does not accurately reflect Zeno’s position or the range of counsel that we are providing to clients.

It was meant to advise clients within the first 24 hours of breaking news, and its intent was to counsel clients to be measured in their immediate response to a complex developing story.

We take seriously our responsibility to help clients proactively navigate complex societal issues, consider the actions they may take, and the accompanying communications, internally and externally.

We know and understand that companies are increasingly expected to take a stand on major issues, and we believe it’s right to do so when it is authentic to the organization, and consistent with their values and actions.

At Zeno, we believe in equal access to healthcare for all, and a woman’s right to make decisions about her healthcare. At the same time, we live in a world with different opinions and different views, and we respect those differences.

This response was written tactfully, in a manner consistent with the company’s advice, but at the same time, providing just enough apparent virtue-signaling to keep the SJWs off of them. Particularly, it’s a response to Popular Information’s stance that their advice “contrasts with Zeno’s public facing communications, which emphasize the importance of standing up for women’s rights.”

On Twitter, Zeno Group claimed that they are “proud to support #InternationalWomensDay.”

It was a low-risk, low-cost virtue signal, as all but a fringe minority of western society is for women’s rights, and the idea of “support” has been reduced to a mere sentiment with no cost. You can say you “support” something like cancer research by sharing links on Twitter, but that’s not the same as supporting cancer research with substantial grants to cancer researchers.

There is one part of the CEO’s reply that I’d like to zero in on:

We know and understand that companies are increasingly expected to take a stand on major issues, and we believe it’s right to do so when it is authentic to the organization, and consistent with their values and actions.

I’ll decode this for you: Don’t go taking a political position, even if you’re expected to, unless politics is intrinsic to the overall aims of your company. For example, if you’re Hershey’s, your deal is chocolate, not politics, so keep your nose out of politics.

I know that the left likes to say “it’s not political, but a matter of basic decency”, and similar platitudes. Don’t fall for it, because there’s still the potential for divisiveness. If you run a company whose product or service is not intrinsically political, you should answer along the lines of,

This isn’t a political company. But if it’s something that’s expected of anyone anyway, why not assume that we’re decent people? In any case, we don’t need any recruiters prowling about.

Or, if you want to be less wordy,

We make products in order to sell them, so back off.

When it comes down to it, what the political left wants is to have power over you. Whether it’s you, your home, your business, your job, your education, or so on, the left wants to have power over you, and they’ll use any platitude, any rhetorical device, any pressure, just about anything that they possibly can. They themselves are fond of saying “by any means necessary”.

Finally, large corporations are realizing that they can play it safe by not issuing a public position! Leftism has long turned major corporations into their own weapons. But now, it looks like they’re losing them!

The Supreme Court is Poised to Strike Down Roe v Wade, and Leftists Are Melting Down.

It’s been a day since a leak of the draft statement from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court about the tentative overturning of Roe v Wade. It’s already to the point that I doubt that I can say much about it that hasn’t already been said. But I can still offer my opinion, so here goes, for whatever that’s worth.

For one thing, finding the person who leaked the statement should be pretty simple. Just look for the guy who’s sweating bullets. Jokes aside, it’s going to seriously suck for the guy if he were to get caught. We know that it’s a bad idea to piss off a lawyer, but at least five Justices on the Supreme Court? When they catch him, his cheeks are going to be spread from sea to shining sea!

But as for the ruling itself, it bears pointing out that it hasn’t officially been made. The papers themselves pertained to a tentative ruling, but it would be an expected ruling if the court were to vote on the issue, considering how the Supreme Court is currently composed. Having said that, I doubt that Chief Justice John Roberts would have written up 70 pages taking on an iron man version of the Roe v Wade ruling’s philosophy just for kicks.

Much of the reasoning behind the statement is based on the principle of the 10th amendment, which doesn’t get a lot of attention, and is unfortunately ignored quite a bit. It reads as follows:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

It’s because of this that the original Roe v Wade ruling overstepped the boundaries provided by the Constitution, as the Constitution doesn’t say a word about abortion. Therefore, the federal government cannot issue a nationwide mandate regarding it, and it would be up to each of the individual states to rule for themselves.

There are those who point out that having to carry a child to term and then care for it has the potential to interfere with the expecting mother’s right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. Putting aside for a moment how repugnant it is to reduce a developing life to a mere inconvenience, proponents of abortion neglect to realize that the developing child is, in fact, an individual human life, possessing genetic markers that identify the child.

Making the left’s position more difficult is that all signs point to the fact that a human life begins at the point of conception. The left attempts to make the point that human life begins at the point of birth, even though they have no scientific grounding for their stance. The fact is, when it’s pointed out that life begins at conception, the left loses any foundation for it’s position on abortion.

Now, if you were to look at the arguments above that I’ve made against abortion, you may have noticed that my arguments were based either on observed science, or on the basic underlying philosophy of this republic’s government at the time of its founding. I bring this up to highlight the fact that leftists love to make the pro-life position out to be a religious position, with the premise being that any appearance of mysticism would diminish the validity of any related moral viewpoint. The left does this because they feel less inclined to take religion seriously, portraying their opponents who do as being fundamentalist zealots and pharisaical busybodies.

The reason they do so is apparent when you consider that they (like many on the right) attempt to court the low-Q vote, and among the left’s main weapons for doing so are reductive statements.

As you can see, I’ve waged my points and counterpoints in this article based on facts that are known and observable. But if we were to bring religion into it, it would be plain to see that abortion is offensive when compared to the superordinate principles of nearly every major religion in the world today.

While these reasons play a role in my decision to oppose abortion today, these weren’t the initial reasons I decided I was against the barbaric practice. In fact, as I developed my opinion on the issue, it actually became the issue that turned me against the Democratic party. The reason for this was because the Democratic party’s insistence on abortion revealed something about them.

And that something was that the Democratic party has a shitty life-culture.

It was when I was in high school that I had more Democrat leanings. One might expect this, considering the sheer load of indoctrination that comes from the education system. But shortly after graduating, I started thinking for myself. As is typically the case when one does so, I began resisting the indoctrination. The matter of abortion and the Democrat’s insistence on it was what turned me against them. It was because of their insistence on abortion that I came to see that the Democrats and the political left has a shitty life-culture.

And the more I examined the left for what they believed in, the more apparent it became how bad their life-culture was. They view human beings as inconvenient, especially when they must be cared for and provided for. They view human beings as being part of the problem, as they view us in terms of our impact on the environment, especially when they start talking about overpopulation.

It’s obvious that the left tends more towards a hatred of human life. They view humans in terms of the waste they make, and they even seek to limit their numbers.

This contrasts heavily with the right, which views human beings as each partaking in humanity’s marvelous potential. Humans that live today can celebrate life like no other point in history up until now, and the right wants everyone to have the opportunity to do so, complete with the freedoms that beautify life in the modern world.

The reality is, everyone is entitled to a chance at life, regardless of what their initial outlook may be.

A compromise with abortion was proposed with the reasoning of “safe, legal, and rare”. In other words, abortions were supposed to be rare. But when you see the fact that some women are wearing T-shirts that brag about the number of abortions that they’ve had, it’s obvious that the intent of this compromise was not being honored.

Having said all this, I think it’s pretty evident that a significant shift in American culture is underway. This is signified in the many cultural victories that we’ve been seeing in recent months. For one thing, there are legal victories, including the Rittenhouse trial, which signified the right to defend one’s self from attackers. The Jussie Smollet trial showed us just how poorly the left-controlled information media can call it. CNN+ was an enormous failure, which might have even made it clear to the leftist outlet that people just aren’t interested in them anymore. Ron DeSantis stood up to Disney as Disney was poised to deliver sexual perversion directly to children, and got Disneyland’s special privileges revoked. Elon Musk’s pending purchase of Twitter to turn Twitter into a privately-owned platform would result in the platform actually becoming a free and open marketplace of ideas, a fact that made leftists panic because they’ve grown accustomed to the establishment censoring their opponents.

And now it seems like Roe v Wade is going to be overturned. Could this be the beginning of the age of the Republican party that actually does things?

How is the left reacting? By going ballistic. And you know what? I say, let them. This is how we win. Because the left only knows how to respond to being challenged by overplaying their hands, I say, let’s just keep challenging them. They’ll either wear themselves out and realize that they’re going nowhere, or they’ll make it evident to everyone looking on that they’re insane, and therefore cannot be looked to for sound ideas on how to run a society.

And considering what they’ve done to American society when given the chance during the lockdowns, they deserve every last defeat that gets served to them. And after this happens, every child that shall come afterwards shall enter into a world that is better for the fact that the world will no longer be run by leftists.

And they’ll have the fact that they were born to be thankful for.

Twitter Board Unanimously Accepts Elon Musk’s Offer To Buy Twitter

If you’re on the left side of the political spectrum, you’re probably regretting that you didn’t join the preppers in securing some potassium iodide. Because a massive bomb just dropped.

After some brief talks, the Twitter board agreed to allow Elon Musk to buy the company, effectively turning the social media giant into Elon’s private company. The agreement was reached after Twitter’s board voted unanimously in favor of the sale.

This development is a pretty big deal for Twitter users and free speech advocates, because Elon Musk is a free speech absolutist. This means that, under Elon’s direction, Twitter will be unlikely to suspend or ban users on ideological grounds.

This does not mean that illegal content can escape bans. What it means is that Twitter will become a free and open marketplace of ideas. One can see why leftists are melting down over the news, as their ideology only tends to hold up where dissenting viewpoints are systematically suppressed.

And the memes? Delish.

One joke is that those who threatened to flee to Canada over Trumps election (but didn’t) are now threatening to flee to Canada over Elon’s purchase of Twitter (and they probably won’t). If people actually are threatening to flee to the sweet embrace of Trudeau’s totalitarian suppression of peaceful protests and trampling by horse, here’s my question: What’s the point? They have Twitter in Canada, too.

But better still are those threatening to quit the platform because their own viewpoint will have to compete with differing viewpoints on equal footing. If they were to leave, Twitter would become more tolerable, pretty much immediately.

As a safe measure, Twitter has locked any changes to it’s platform to prevent vandalism on the part of its own staff which may become disgruntled over the purchase, and decide to do some damage on the way out.

Speaking on the purchase, Musk had the following to say:

“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” said Mr. Musk. “I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”

This statement carries huge implications for Twitters users, entirely positive. For one thing, that the algorithms are to be open source. Let that sink in. If Twitter’s algorithms are to be open source, that means no sneaky things going on behind the scenes. But speaking of such, I wonder whether Musk will stumble upon evidence of shadow banning, demonstrating that Twitter had previously lied to congress?

Then there’s defeating the spam bots. This is huge, as it’s been estimated that about half of all Twitter users are bots. There does need to be more done to verify actual human accounts, as there are people out there that have started as many as 20 accounts, with most of them botting.

I’m a strongly free speech kinda guy. For like-minded people, Twitter’s acceptance of Musk’s offer is tremendously great news! And it’s yet another sign that trends are turning in favor of ordinary people who want to speak their minds, and have honest exchanges in open forums, without fear of being silenced by a moderation with a stake in the outcome. This comes just days after other significant developments in the culture war, including that Ron DeSantis just revoked Disney’s special privileges in Florida, and it was announced that CNN+ is going down at the end of the month. For those on the left, it’s just been L after L after L.

And you know what? I don’t pity them, at all. After all, I remember when they exercised the influence that they had to shut down the world’s economy for months at a time, in a sad attempt to contain a case of the sniffles. These are the same people who insist that the Biden presidency is the most popular of all time, even though Biden’s presidency has been failure after failure, and just about everything Biden touched came apart, including his catastrophic Afghanistan withdrawal.

And then, to top it all off, there’s how they conducted themselves when they were the ones in establishment control of social media, when they banned opposing viewpoints without any regard to the free speech principles of all civilized societies today.

Which is why, being given the opportunity to, we should expose the left’s many ridiculous and fallacious ideas to the sound ridicule that they so richly merit. And as far as that goes, they’ve certainly provided us with plenty of material to ridicule.

Now, if you’ll pardon me, I’m going to go make myself a cocktail, in celebration.

By the way, I’m now on Twitter.

It Happened: DeSantis Officially Revoked Disneyland’s Special Privileges

If you put money on Disney pushing sexual perversion on children without consequences, then you just lost money. But probably much less money than you deserve to.

Disney’s special privileges gave Disney the authority to operate Disneyland nearly as though it were its own separate state, granting them special tax privileges and even so far as granting them the authority to build their own nuclear power plant if they wanted to.

However, a bill was introduced which would revoke Disney’s special privileges. After passing the Florida senate and the Florida house, the bill reached the desk of Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, who signed it. Now, Disneyland has to compete fair and square with other theme parks.

Now, leftists are screeching because large multimedia corporations are being held to account and made to play fair. It’s an irony that you’ll recognize unless you somehow missed the left’s close relationship with multimedia conglomerates, tech oligarchs, banking cartels, the corporate information media, retail giants, academia, the energy sector, the military-industrial complex, among many others.

This is just the latest episode of a drama in light of Florida passing the Parental Rights In Education Act, which has been deceptively termed the “DoN’t SaY gAy BiLL” by the self-appointed thought police who believe you’re too stupid to think for yourself.

The alphabet soup crowd in Disney’s employ spoke up in protest, and even though the protest was an utter failure from a numbers perspective, Disney’s upper leadership decided that they wanted to avoid any bad press, so they decided that they’d create content that exposed more children to sexual perversion.

Which, by the way, is the exact opposite of what you’d want to do if your aim is to avoid bad press.

Sure, the leftist journos celebrated Disney’s bRaVerY, as one might expect them to. But that’s one circle jerk that left out the general population, who didn’t respond as kindly:

Over two-thirds of people are less likely to do business with Disney in light of their desire to expose children to sexual ideas, and about the same amount are likely to seek out family-friendly alternatives to Disney.

Disney doubled down, as one would expect from a fanatical leftist. So, DeSantis decided that if Disney is going to get into politics, they’re going to lose the special privileges that were previously afforded them by the state of Florida.

This is how we win. Challenge the fanatics, and force them to show their true colors. The only thing the left knows how to do when challenged is to overplay their hands, so they’re going to behave predictably when things aren’t going their way. Then, make sure they experience their well-deserved consequences.

Also, as relates to corrupt entertainment media companies like Disney, one should seek out alternatives. It’s not even as hard as you might think. Putting aside The Mandalorian, Star Wars hasn’t been doing that great lately. And as for Marvel, things have been coming apart since the conclusion of Phase 3. Disney has a bunch of classic movies that you probably saw as a kid. But putting that aside, Disney doesn’t really have much going for it on Disney+.

Before seeking out entertainment alternatives, I want to point out that the idea that the heroes of entertainment media must inform people as to moral principles is a misguided notion. The fact is, entertainment media is just made up, and shouldn’t inform anyone’s moral compass. I point this out because too many people point to their entertainment as something that informs them of their virtues, as though this was necessary to justify it.

The fact is, entertainment is only supposed to be entertaining. That’s the entire point.

Your best defense against malign influence in entertainment is understanding that your moral values are decided independent of the entertainment you consume. Hopefully, you understand that watching a show about an unethical hero doesn’t mean you should emulate his unethical actions.

If you’re seeking alternative sources of entertainment, I can recommend manga and anime. While Japanese entertainment has been the target of negative press in recent times, this is largely because the corporate media understands that they have no control of Japanese entertainment, outside of perhaps a few localizers.

From Mobile Suit Gundam 00

What’s great about anime and manga isn’t just the esoteric appeal, it’s also that many, many genres are represented. Some anime are comedies, some are horror. Some anime are adventure, others are drama. Anime is great because you’ll find something for you, whoever you are.

Another great thing about anime is that it’s produced in a culture that is untouched by cancel culture. Thus, the writing is not inhibited at all by the delicate sensibilities of a bunch of screeching snowflakes who seemingly have no idea how to ignore something that’s not according to their tastes.

From Cardcaptor Sakura

Another great thing about anime is that even the stuff that’s made for kids doesn’t insult their intelligence. Of course, a lot of it is made with the expectation that you’ve done your diligence as a parent and have already taught your kids that cartoons don’t teach them how to behave.

I’m going to reiterate this because it’s really important: Parents need to do their due diligence by teaching their kids that cartoons do not teach them how to behave. It’s not as easy as just telling kids as much, raising children actually takes effort!

Because my generation is familiar with the likes of Family Guy, American Dad, and King of the Hill, they should understand that there are cartoons that kids would not appreciate as much, and some that aren’t made for them. In anime, there are many cartoons that were made for grown-ups, so grown-ups aren’t being left out.

From Ghost In the Shell, an anime with a more mature edge

There are alternatives to Disney, and some of them are vastly superior. With western entertainment companies increasingly going woke, our best bet seems to be anime. If you want a suggestion in addition to the other anime pictured, Spirited Away by Hayao Miyazaki is generally considered a great place to start. Really, just about anything by Miyazaki is considered a classic.

From Spirited Away

The flow of the era is coming around to our favor. But in the time that it takes for companies like Disney to learn their lesson, they have to take a few hard hits. In the time that it takes for that to happen, it’s not a bad idea to find some alternatives. At this point, anime and manga seem like the best way to go. And why not go for it, if you haven’t already? You’re likely to find something that you like.

You might even find that you’ve been watching anime, and didn’t know it.

From Pokémon: XY

CNN+ Is About To Be Subtracted.

When I first heard about this, I did sit on the story for a bit. I was laughing so hard, that after going to bed, I actually dreamt that I was laughing.

Suppose that you had a service that almost no one would accept for free. Then, someone had the idea of charging money for it. Such a plan would make about as much business sense as lighting a pile of money on fire. But so it was when CNN had the idea to make their own subscription-based streaming service, by the name of CNN+.

When you think of CNN’s typical audience, you’d imagine that they’d be about as warm to the idea of subscription-based streaming services as they would be towards cryptocurrencies, exercise, and thinking for themselves.

So, how do you imagine CNN+ is doing? If you imagine that they’ll be shuttering the platform by the end of this month, you won’t be disappointed. But then, your boomer dad probably wasn’t disappointed either, in spite of all the nostalgia he might be feeling about the days in which corporate news outlets provided people with their center for viewpoints that were considered societally acceptable.

But gone are the days when most adults turned to the television as their only source of information, like a hamster to a feeder. People today are using the internet, where the likes of CNN is surrounded by information sources and commentary that people would much rather prefer, such as one-man studios with larger followings than corporate news outlets that have been around for decades.

I don’t feel bad for CNN, at all. It’s been a long time since they’ve ditched all pretense of impartiality in favor of pandering to the drones with their political ideology of choice. CNN is much of the reason why most people don’t trust corporate news outlets, and though they call themselves “the most trusted name in news”, the opposite is true.

Though it doesn’t help them that they ran with a defamatory story against the Covington kids. The Dershowitz defamation case didn’t make them look good, either. Then there’s CNN’s defamatory story about Joe Rogan. Kyle Rittenhouse might have a case for defamation, too.

Perhaps the most compelling reason to watch CNN is for the potential for drama when it comes to any high-profile, politically-charged story. But even then, you’d have to wade through piles and piles of bullshit. And for what? Just to say that you got to see another story that contributed to CNN’s decline as it aired? I’d rather preserve my sanity and hear about it secondhand from my peers.

Nothing says that CNN is packed with witless toadies quite like one of them suggesting that people might want a subscription-based CNN news outlet, and them pushing it all the way to market without them realizing that it might be a bad idea. Maybe they could take that same innovative instinct and use it to develop an armpit-flavored breath mint.

Or maybe resurrect 4kids Entertainment.

Coach Red Pill Apparently Killed in Ukraine (After a Journalist Libeled Him)

NOTE: As of this notice (22 Apr 2022), there is still uncertainty as to Gonzalo Lira’s status, whether he is alive and unharmed. This post may be edited at a future time.

It looks like we’ve come to the point that news media outlets have decided that it’s acceptable to engage in behavior that is harmful to their political opponents, as exemplified in Washington Post’s recent doxxing of the people behind the Twitter account, Libs of TikTok.

As bad as that was, it seems as though The Daily Beast’s Mark Hay has done The Washington Post one worse: he’s slandered a YouTuber as being a pro-Putin shill while he was in Ukraine, putting him at risk of being abducted, tortured, and put to death by a group of Nazis that the left has no problem with, the Azov Battalion.

Which was apparently what happened.

The Daily Beast’s Mark Hay has unlocked a grisly achievement: he has killed with his keyboard. Though considering just how his hit-piece drags Lira across rusty nails, and considering the voluminous mountain of bullshit that Mark Hay produces, it’s hard to imagine that he feels anything about it. Mark Hay had hate in his heart, and it so happens that he was able to find a place, The Daily Beast, that was willing to pay him to express it.

The name Gonzalo Lira might not be as familiar to you as his YouTube handle, Coach Red Pill. Which is a name I’ve heard, because it was only six months ago that I wrote up an article criticizing him for encouraging people to leave their home countries in an effort to avoid what he saw as a coming conflict.

That was months prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. And yeah, I’m aware of the optics involved, and how well that article aged in just a short time.

There is a possibility that Lira may still be alive, which is something that I’d prefer. Not just to spite the jackasses that say he was stupid and that he deserved it (he was not and did not), and not just to deny the shitweasel that is Mark Hay the pleasure of knowing that his writing has shed blood, but because he’s a human being, as deserving of life as the rest of us.

Between Lira and Hay, Gonzalo Lira delivered better journalism, without question. While Lira may have been a bit eccentric, it still remains that he delivered us coverage right from the scene. This is in stark contrast to Hay, who sits his ass down in front of a glowing screen and proceeds to destroy.

Now go on, news media. Continue writing glowing pieces about how your killers are so much better than Putin’s killers.

Stop Falling For Sign-On Bonuses.

If you’re like me, you pay attention to job postings for your field, to see how your current hourly rate compares with what’s being offered, considering your level of experience, or whether your raises are keeping up with inflation.

There is a trend that I’ve been noticing, and that’s that more employers and recruiters are offering sign-on bonuses in an effort to entice applicants. Many of these sign-on bonuses appear to be substantial. After all, who wouldn’t like to receive an extra $3000 to the checking account after about 6 months on the job?

Except, it’s not really a great deal. And if you’ve noticed that many employers and recruiters are not specifying the hourly rate in the same posting as the sign-on bonus, you should consider that a great big red flag.

What it comes down to is an attempt to impress you with a big-sounding number. But when you perform some simple math, you see that a sign-on bonus of $3000 is not a big screaming deal.

Let’s perform that simple math. There are 40 hours in a work week, and there are approximately 26 weeks in six months. That comes to 1040 hours worked in six months. Using this number, we can determine pretty quick how $3000 divides into that time to determine the hourly rate.

And it’s only an additional $2.88 per hour.

That’s it. And it’s a one-time bonus, so after six months, there goes the equivalent of $2.88 from your hourly rate. And considering that the $3000 gets taxed, you’re not getting the full amount.

And it gets worse. When it comes time to negotiate a higher salary, that $3000 number may come back to haunt you when your cheap-o employer will come at you by saying, “What? We just gave you $3000. And you want even more money?”

Even worse is the initial grift, that the $3000 number is a nice, big, attractive number that’s designed to override your better judgement so you’d be more likely to overlook that your hourly rate may be substantially below industry average. It may even be at least $2.88 below industry average.

Suppose that you’re an engineer looking for work. On the one hand, you see a posting offering $48/hr, but on the other, you’d see a posting for $39/hr, but they’re offering you a $3000 sign-on bonus if you stay on for six months. Hopefully, you’d go for the $48/hr job, because that gets you nearly $50,000 in six months. If you’d instead go for the job that would get you $40,560 in the same time with an additional $3000 bonus, you’d probably be too stupid to be an engineer.

Cheap-o employers have found another way to cheat people out of wages. Please stop falling for it.