Former Loudoun County Superintendent and School Official Have Been Indicted

Remember just last year, when Loudoun County school officials waved off criticism of a transsexual school policy by insisting that no sexual assaults by such individuals had taken place in their public schools, all while covering up a couple such sexual assaults by the same offender? (Pepperidge Farm remembers!)

The incident brought to national attention the downsides of opening to transgenders the public restrooms of their choosing, parents concerned with the safety of their children began to fight back, and the pendulum finally began to swing the other way.

Just yesterday, indictments against two school officials concerning the incident were unsealed, and one of those indicted was former superintendent Scott Ziegler, who was fired over the incident just last week.

The indictments against Ziegler read as charges of typical left-wing abuses of power:

  • misdemeanor false publication,
  • misdemeanor prohibited conduct, and
  • misdemeanor penalizing an employee for a court appearance.

Retaliating against an employee for a court appearance is a classic abuse of power. And in this case, it sets a particularly bad example, considering the charges relate to a cover-up of sexual assaults. Many people who have been sexually abused are afraid to report it to the proper authorities, because they are made to believe that they might face retaliation. When I was in college, a student complained about a sexual offense committed against him by another student, but school officials regarded the complainer with suspicion. Let’s not kid ourselves here, schools can do a hell of a lot better in this regard.

The felony indictment was against the school spokesman Wayde Byard, which was for felony perjury. Related point of advice: The government may be lying to us all the time, but if you lie to them, they’ll make you pay!

While people are cheering over Ziegler’s termination, his termination was classified as being “without cause”, making him eligible for a year’s pay (about $300,000). Once again, a member of the ol’ boys club gets his golden parachute.

The crime that the school officials attempted to cover up was when a boy in a dress forced himself upon an actual female student. While the act of covering up the crime did more than enough to endanger other students, the offender got off apparently scot-free, giving him the opportunity to victimize yet another woman in a vulnerable situation by abusing the school’s lax restroom safety policies.

Which is exactly what he did. If he wasn’t punished the first time, who would be surprised when he commits the exact same act of violence a second time?

The fact is, those who are out of touch with reality when it comes to their own biological sex are more likely to commit a sexual faux-pas (to put it mildly). And that’s giving the offender the benefit of the doubt. There are certainly many predatory individuals out there who would gladly don a dress and welcome themselves to the women’s restrooms, taking advantage of relaxed policies that previously existed for the safety of women and girls, so that they can take advantage of them when they are in a vulnerable situation. In a sense, they’re kind of like the wolf who wanted to eat Little Red Riding Hood, but instead of acting out of hunger, the predators in question want to act out their sexual fantasies.

It should be understood without saying, but in the culture war, don’t get on the same side as perverts, groomers, and sexual predators. Those are the people against whom the backlash will be the strongest when the pendulum swings the other way, which is already beginning to happen.

Little Red Riding Hood: A Cautionary Tale About Avoiding and Identifying Predators

When we talk about fairy tales, it’s easy to focus on the fantastic elements. In so doing, one can overlook that the story may have been trying to make a point.

As one reads fairy tales, one may notice that they tend to have grim endings. This was to the end of communicating to the children listening that the world was not a pleasant place. Yet, this plays a part in preparing children for the real world. But what’s more, they also prepare children by imparting on them the moral lessons illustrated in these stories.

An example of such a fairy tale was Little Red Riding Hood. It’s evident that this story can be used to illustrate how tragedy can result when one fails to identify a dangerous predator, or fail to give mind as warning signs become apparent.

To succinctly summarize, the story is about a protagonist, a girl identified only by her choice of apparel, who went on a trip to her grandmother’s house. Along the way, she meets a wolf, who asks her where she is going. She told the wolf that she was going to her grandmother’s house. The wolf, wanting to eat the girl and the food that was with her, went to her grandmother’s house, ate her grandmother, then disguised itself as her grandmother for to act upon the girl by deception. The girl noticed that her grandmother (actually the wolf) had unusually large features, but this didn’t seem to concern the girl much until it was too late. The girl paid the price for her lack of discernment, when the wolf took her by surprise and ate her.

There are variations on this story. Some tellers may leave out that the wolf spoke to the girl on the way to her grandmother’s house, perhaps because the teller wished to focus more on the wolf’s deceptiveness. However, this leaves out the girl’s first mistake: sharing information that she didn’t have to with someone she didn’t know. This set her up for the tragedy that followed. Of course, one can ask why the wolf didn’t just attack the girl on the path. It could be that the wolf was diminutive or didn’t think much of its own ability to overcome a young human being, but I think it’s reasonable to believe that the original author’s insistence on the lesson of this part of the story was particularly strong.

Another revision states that, at the end, the girl was rescued by either a hunter or a woodworker. This revision was an obvious attempt to reduce the blow of the otherwise tragic end to the story. However, it also undermines the moral by reducing the connotation of consequences for the kind of mistakes that the girl made. The fact is, in the real world, if someone makes a grave mistake, there isn’t much realistic expectation that someone is going to come to the rescue.

And speaking of revisions, the earliest-known version starred an “attractive, well-bred young lady”, which differs from most modern versions which stars a little girl. However, this change doesn’t have an apparent impact on the story’s moral undertones. Putting aside that a “young lady” is expected to be old enough to know better, and that picturing a little girl as the protagonist is an obvious choice to emphasize her innocence or naïveté.

As mentioned above, the girl’s first mistake was sharing information with a stranger that she didn’t have to. Considering the connected nature of today’s world, this is a very important lesson to impart. The internet today is teeming with people of dubious intent who are out to take what they want, and if someone were to share just enough information to act upon, they’d consider that plenty.

You’ve probably heard stories about people who found that they were burglarized after returning from vacation, after they made the mistake of sharing their vacation plans on social media.

As bad as that was, Little Red Riding Hood’s fatal shortcoming was an inability to tell a trusted individual apart from a dangerous predator, even after all the signs became apparent to her (“what big ears/eyes/hands you have!”).

Sadly, many children today are vulnerable because they haven’t properly learned from their parents the kind of discretion and discernment that could have saved the life of the girl in the story. In many cases, this failure on the part of the parents has come about due to the fact that many parents find it difficult to approach the topic. Of course, difficulty is not an acceptable excuse. Way too many parents are failing their children!

Thankfully, we have stories like Little Red Riding Hood which make such difficult topics easier to approach. Narrative has long been a valuable tool in communicating important moral lessons, and it’s particularly effective when communicating them to children.

The story of Little Red Riding Hood is of particular importance these days, considering that dangerous predators have infiltrated positions of trust, which they then use to groom children. While we have a lot of work to do in an effort to remove these deviants from positions of influence, we must not overlook one of our most important roles, which is to teach children to recognize signs that something is wrong, and to speak up when something seems amiss. This goes a long way in protecting them from the predators who are preying on children today.

If they were wolves, they would have eaten them.

Ash Ketchum Finally Does It!

Ash Ketchum from Pallet Town has finally done it! In the latest episode of the anime, Ash defeats Leon, the standing #1 trainer in all the world, in the World Coronation Master’s Eight tournament! In so doing, not only has Ash defeated the previously-undefeated Leon, the 10-year-old trainer has finally succeeded in becoming the world’s number one trainer!

It’s been a long, long journey. After all, the Pokémon anime has been running for 25 years, starting from it’s debut episode on April 1, 1997. In that time, Ash has gone from having little apparent talent or knowledge (but a whole lot of enthusiasm) to a skilled and competent trainer. You might remember if you were following along in the early episodes, but his first two gym badges were awarded to him outside of battle, and it wasn’t until his third gym challenge that he earned a badge. But since the Indigo League, Ash has developed a lot in competency. Even though it took a while.

Since starting out on his Pokémon journey, Ash has won some significant victories. Ash progressed high in the Indigo League, which was a feat, considering it was his first tournament. Ash also won against the Champion in the Orange League, and later obtained all the symbols in the Battle Frontier, a feat that impressed Scott so much that he extended Ash the offer of becoming one of the Frontier Brains (which Ash declined). It wasn’t until Ash became the Alola champion that he was ranked among the other champions.

As a champion, Ash got to battle in the World Coronation series, where he took on (and overcame) champions such as Diantha and Cynthia, the latter of which seemed nearly indestructible when Ash first witnessed her battle. All this culminated in Ash’s battle with the world’s number one trainer, the previously undefeated Leon.

In case you’re wondering about spoilers, public screenings of Ash’s victory were displayed in public in Tokyo:

And even though the episode has only aired in Japan so far, the English-language The Pokémon Company has announced Ash’s victory on Twitter within minutes of it happening:

So no, it wasn’t realistic for you to avoid knowing this before watching the anime for yourself, especially with fans all over the world discussing it.

One question that would understandably come up is where the Pokémon anime would go from here. We already know that the anime picks up with Ash’s friend Goh, who goes on an expedition to locate the mythical Pokémon, Mew. As of this posting, we are a week away from the release of new installments of the Pokémon video games, the Pokémon Scarlet and Violet versions for Nintendo Switch. The setting for the games will be the new region of Paldea, based on the real-world locations of Spain and Portugal. If Paldea is the setting for future episodes of the anime, Ash could continue as the main character there. But as for what his goal may be, we don’t yet know, as Ash is already the world’s number one trainer. But it’s possible that future episodes may focus on new characters, such as the new protagonists Florian and Juliana.

Florian (left) and Juliana (right) as they appear in Pokémon Scarlet

As things go for the Pokémon anime, it’s when one journey wraps up that another follows close behind, and this is usually timed to occur with the release of new installments of the Pokémon games. That Pokémon’s marketing machine is well-oiled may have a lot to do with why it’s the highest-grossing intellectual property in the world’s history.

This is undoubtedly a huge day in the anime world, as Pokémon has been one of the most popular and longest-running anime of all time (this is episode #1221). But if Ash can become a Pokémon Master, and Naruto can become Hokage, then perhaps we’ll see the day that Luffy finally finds the One Piece treasure. But I’m not counting on it happening anytime soon.

Congratulations, champ! Now, what are you gonna do next?

Hey Pennsylvania, What Is Wrong With You?

The midterms are mostly over. Votes are still being counted, and Democrats are acting as though they’ve won just because they didn’t lose as catastrophically as they deserve. Georgia is looking at a runoff, and we’re still awaiting some results. No surprise there. There wasn’t much expectation that it would all go smoothly.

But what I’d like to zoom in on now is Pennsylvania. Oh, Pennsylvania. What is wrong with you?

I do live in Pennsylvania, so it’s not like some criticism from the outside looking in. But just because I’m here, doesn’t mean I know what the people here are thinking. Especially those to the left.

It’s not as though I don’t hear what they’re saying. Every now and then, one of them meanders out of one of our three major cities, expresses wonder and awe at all the “unused space”, then proceeds to bloviate about what he thinks makes a successful society.

But what I don’t have an explanation for is why about 2.6 million of them became party to sending John Fetterman to the Senate.

I know that it’s usually inspirational for a person who suffered from an illness to succeed in spite of that. However, when the illness leaves a person less capable of performing a task where many people are counting on him, then the better choice is to have someone else do the job.

The poor guy suffered from a stroke. During his debate with Dr. Oz, he could barely string a sentence together, and frequently failed to form a coherent response.

Were the Democrats of Pennsylvania simply unaware of this? A lot hinges on the answer to this question. Either the Dems were unaware of the capacity of their own candidate and were therefore uninformed voters, or they were so vote-blue-no-matter-who that they’d be happy to hand a rubber stamp to a seat warmer.

It’s not as though they’ve done Fetterman any favors. Can you imagine the unintelligible internal monologue of someone who has not fully recovered from a stroke? Can you imagine how confused and disoriented such a person would be as they are ushered from one place to another and told what to say?

Considering that the current presidential administration is basically Weekend At Bernie’s, I think we can say that a pattern has been established.

But as bad as that is, it gets worse. Democrat Tony DeLuca won reelection. In spite of being dead.

You may be wondering how a dead man found his way on the ballot. His passing occurred last month, at which point, it was too late to remove him from the ballot. It’s been decided that a special election will be held.

While it’s possible that DeLuca’s reelection was on similar reasoning as Fetterman’s (ignorance or sheer tribalism), it may be that the people voted for DeLuca in an effort to force a special election, not wanting the victory to go to his opponent, who was a third-party candidate.

Third-party candidates sure do have it rough. Their run for office is usually little more than a cynic’s quest. Unless there’s some prize to be won for throwing tons of time and money into an endeavor that ends up going nowhere.

In any case, it’s refreshing to see the Democratic voting base so accurately represented.

Bulbagarden Founder Posits Theory That New Gym Leader Is Trans and Non-Binary, Gets Debunked Less Than 24 Hours Later

It seems like with every new major media release, someone from the questionable sexuality community will come forward with speculation (often stated as fact and foregone conclusion) that a character depicted represents their favorite flavor of sexuality.

As Bounding Into Comics points out, this time around, the speculator is Liam Pomfret, the founder of Bulbagarden, who posits his theory that the newly-revealed gym leader in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, Iono, is non-binary and transgender.

Here is the promo video featuring Iono:

Upon what is Liam basing his theory? The initially ambiguous use of pronouns, and her choice of hair dye:

Image from Bounding Into Comics

One would expect the use of such flimsy inferences from an undiagnosed schizophrenic who believes that their TV is communicating secret messages specifically for them, not a Doctor of Philosophy. Our education system is fucked, isn’t it?

Because he was tripping over himself to find trans representation in a Japanese game marketed towards anyone in the family, he looked at the soft blue and pink hair (kinda looks lavender to me) and immediately thought of the trans kid flag, rather than the recurring red/blue coloration of Pokémon’s flagship games, Scarlet and Violet included.

Less than 24 hours later, Nintendo dropped supplemental promotional material concerning Iono. It’s the kind of thing that looks like it would have been released simultaneously with the promotional video that originally featured Iono, so maybe it was hastily thrown together after the fact.

The promo specifies Iono as having the feminine pronoun of “her”. Iono is female. Because we’ve already established that speculation is fun, maybe Nintendo threw this out there because they knew what Liam Pomfret was saying, and were all like “Nope. We’re not having that.”

If “Bulbagarden” sounds familiar, then you’ve been following along back when I pointed out how inappropriate it was that they used their Pokémon fan platform to soapbox about an immigration policy that they blamed on Trump (the problem was actually Obama’s fault, and Trump resolved the matter through an executive order).

This was Bulbagarden’s forum header at the time:

Fucking creepy.

And a fantastic opportunity to warn parents out there that there are some predatory actors in fan communities who use their positions in their respective communities to pressure younger members. Oftentimes, their activities involve performing “favors” over video chat. Of course, there are many ways that bad people can take advantage of children online.

That PSA aside, it can also be pointed out that there is a certain obsession with pointing to Japan’s status as a relatively advanced, orderly, and peaceful society. Oftentimes, someone on the radical left will attempt to glom onto a form of Japanese media, in a sad attempt to make the case that the Japanese are actually just like them.

What these attempts overlook is how Japan as a society got to be as advanced as it is. Japan is a heavily structured and stratified society that favors family, career, merit, and respect. To further reduce that, Japan is conservative. In fact, it’s one of the most conservative societies in the world.

Sometimes, a weeaboo pops up who thinks of Japan as being their kind of society, probably because they got ideas as to what it’s like from anime and manga. The fact is, Japan is a society of norms. If you move to Japan, you’re expected to conform to the norms. If you don’t want to, then you don’t belong in Japan. It’s as simple as that.

Red light districts aside, Japan is an advanced, peaceful, and orderly society. If your thinking is different from theirs, that might have a lot to do with it.

Iono is pretty far from the first character from Japanese media to have gotten this kind of attention. It wasn’t long ago that Shiver from Splatoon 3 came under scrutiny as possibly non-binary, but it turned out she was female. Nanachi from Made In Abyss is a frequent target of this, because author Akihito Tsukushi prefers to leave Nanachi’s sex as unknown. Or, more famously, there’s Bridget from Guilty Gear, who is male.

That’s not to say that there are no “non-binary” characters in Japanese media. However, such characters are seldom portrayed as sympathetic. But why would they, when there is something obviously wrong with their thinking?

Iono is merely a character in a work of fiction. She’s just made up, therefore nothing about her has any bearing on the reality of any matter. It doesn’t matter whether she represents anything, except maybe in the deluded thinking of those who lack the ability to parse reality without the assistance of a fictional construct. If this describes you, then you need to seek help. And get over yourself, while you’re at it.

Microsoft Drops NPC Update With New Pride Flag (seizure warning)

Here it is, the new pride flag, according to Microstiff:

I can only imagine the headaches that this new design will cause. An ocular migraine doesn’t look this intense.

What’s more, this new flag looks like a logistical nightmare. Can you imagine all the colors that would have to be used to print these flags, which could end up outside the porches of homes that we tell our children to avoid all across America? Then there’s all the flags that would be rejected by reason of smudging the colors, which would have a high potential of occurring with all the different colors used.

The flag reminds me of Ancient Greece. Not just for the debauchery it represents, but for how similarly the Greeks handled idolatry. They wanted to ensure that they honored every god that they knew. And with how heavily pantheistic they were, they knew a lot of them. It got to the point that some of their cities were so packed with statues, that cities like Athens were said to have more gods than men.

Eventually, people just decided to set up pedestals with plaques that read, “To the unknown god”, in the hopes that, in so doing, they’d honor any god that they may have forgotten to build a statue for.

Perhaps we’re just months away from seeing a new pride flag that just says, “To the unknown sexuality”.

Was the Crystal Onix Early To Terrastallizing?

When the Dynamax phenomenon was first revealed in a trailer for Pokémon Sword and Shield, some players recalled that certain oversized Pokémon had already appeared in the first season of the anime. First was a Dragonite just a few episodes in, then a Tentacruel a few episodes after that. Later, we’d see more in the appearance of giant Alakazam, Gengar, and Jigglypuff.

While it’s not likely that a connection between the appearance of these Pokémon and the implementation of a new gameplay mechanic decades later was intended as of the time of their first appearance in the anime, it’s still fun to think that they might have factored into the thinking of Game Freak as they developed Sword and Shield.

But with the upcoming Pokémon Scarlet and Violet games, there is a new mechanic, called “terrastallization”. This makes a Pokémon take on a crystalline appearance, as well as gain a new type.

As tantalizing as it may seem, there actually is precedence for such an occurrence in the anime, decades prior. To see it, we’d have to go back to the Orange Islands. The Pokémon I’m referring to would be the Crystal Onix.

In the early days of Pokémon, the Crystal Onix captured the imaginations of fans everywhere. Not just for its dazzling appearance, but also for the fact that it seemed to resist the Water types that would normally lay an Onix out flat, but was weak to Fire moves, which they usually resisted.

As it so happens, terrastallization doesn’t just change a Pokémon’s appearance, it also changes its type to whatever Tera type that the individual Pokémon has. Based on the evidence provided, we can determine the type of the Crystal Onix, as there is only one type that resists Water but is weak to Fire, and that type is Grass!

It’s interesting to think that decades prior to the implementation of terrastallization in a main Pokémon game, there was already a similar concept shown in the anime. But what do you think? Does this look like a coincidence to you? Or might the Crystal Onix have been in Game Freak’s consideration as they were developing Pokémon Scarlet and Violet?

Webcomic Review: Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi

Warning: The reviewed webcomic is disturbing.

When you hear of a mashup webcomic with licensed characters, you might expect a fan-work produced by someone too young to have a web presence. You might not expect a professional artist in his forties who outsources his writing and coloring. The internet has all kinds.

Rather than leave the Powerpuff Girls to Cartoon Network’s slow process of seasonal rot, artist Bleedman (Vinson Ngo) has made them the main characters in a mashup webcomic featuring others CN IPs such as Dexter and Samurai Jack in the setting of a town called Megaville. Bleedman inserts some of his own OCs as well, and if you aren’t familiar with the many CN characters depicted, you might have a hard time telling which is which.

One pleasant surprise that is noticed right away is that the art is actually mostly quality. Noteworthy is that some of the characters, such as Dexter and the girls themselves, were stylized to make them conflict less with the style of the comic. This means that the characters were effectively redesigned, so some amount of creative work was involved in what is otherwise an appropriation of characters not Vinson’s own. Yet, this contributes all the more to a strange suspicion that the artist could probably benefit from directing more of his talents elsewhere.

Compelling internal monologues, revealing the motivations of highly-developed and complex characters.

Considering that Bleedman is competent at designing characters, it’s kinda wasted potential that he didn’t go all the way by developing a cast of his own original characters to tell a story of his own, and in so doing allowing himself the possibility of going professional with this comic by not tying it firmly to intellectual properties that he doesn’t have rights to. I hear he has other comics, but still, he put a disproportionate amount of effort into what is basically a mashup. To what end? I dunno, maybe the ad revenue from his page has been kind to him.

But when we get into the story itself, it starts to become apparent why the comic benefits so well from the familiarity of its characters. The story isn’t that great.

The comic sees the Powerpuff Girls, slightly older, attending a new school. It’s there that they meet other CN characters, such as Dexter, whom Blossom has a budding relationship with (whatever dude, it’s your fantasy). They end up in a revenge-driven conflict with Mandark who’s still obsessed with Deedee whom he had accidentally slain. It actually got pretty dark at times, but the comic would later tone it down. Still, the emotional ante is brought up by the fact that these characters could be killed off, regardless of anyone’s fond memories of them in their respective shows. Kinda messed-up.

After the Mandark story arc concludes, the comic starts to grow dull, and with panel after panel laboring to describe Blossom’s emotional state in light of Dexter’s guilt, it takes a while for the momentum to build up again.

There is a jump-the-shark moment, and that happens when a character is spared being killed off because the grim reaper (yes, it’s Grim) decides not to take her, so a fatal wound is reversed. While a compelling explanation for this decision could play out in a future page, when you know that the heroes have an angel, a grim reaper, and the servant of a celestial dragon working to prevent the heroes from dying, it tends to eliminate much of the tension.

The best armor in all of fictional media is plot armor.

At times, it seems like it’s all Bleedman could do to ensure that the CN assets stay in character, which occurs to various degrees of success. At least with the PPG, he largely gets it, with the exception of Blossom. Considering that she had a leadership role in the original show, her relative lack of confidence makes her seem much less like the same character. While a similar complaint can be made about other (borrowed) characters, it stands out more when it’s what’s arguably the main character.

Another problem with this comic is the psyche-out pages, which are gag pages that make it appear that the story is taking a bizarre direction, but the next page makes it clear that they weren’t really a part of the story. I get the idea that Bleedman is the kind of guy who can drop some disturbing news with a straight face, then say that he’s only kidding. There are also special pages for holidays, which adds little to the comic. They can pretty-much be skipped.

I get the idea that PPGD can be better appreciated in the frame of mind that one would have when they discover anime and manga for the first time, when one might observe that “they’re like those other cartoons, but edgier!” The point is driven home by the fact that “doujinshi” is in the title, but how many people outside of Japan even know what a “doujinshi” is?

If you’re sincere in your belief that blood, angst, fatalities, and pantyshots make for a more entertaining comic, here you go. But much of that was toned down after the Mandark arc, after which other aspects of the comic got dull. Maybe Bleedman’s mom discovered these comics, so he decided to tone them down.

Now for the score. Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi gets a score of 6 out of 10.

The art quality plays a huge part in that score. There are problems with this comic, but the redeeming qualities are there. But personally, I suspect that the artist’s efforts would be better spent on something he has a chance of going professional with.

Vegan Restaurant Decides To Serve Meat To Remain Open

Sometimes, you just gotta adapt. That’s the hard lesson learned by a restaurant in the UK which previously offered a strictly vegan menu, but has recently made the decision to offer meat on it’s menu in an effort to remain open.

You know that annoying friend who doesn’t know which restaurant she’s comfortable with, even after everyone else in the car has already suggested nearly every other restaurant in town at least twice, because she’d rather have something vegan to eat? Apparently there aren’t enough of her kind around to keep a restaurant like The Mango Tree in Taunton, Somerset open.

Which is ironic, considering just how vocal they are, which creates the illusion that there are a lot more of them than there really are. Kind of like the gay community, which has long insisted that they made up 10% of the population, which was a popular belief until recently, when the CDC determined that they actually make up less than 4%.

It seems like a vocal minority just didn’t have what it took to keep the restaurant open. And that’s a really important lesson to learn for companies considering going woke in an effort to placate the vocal few who demand representation at the expense of the product being offered. What is it that makes them so sure that the overly-vocal communities who are demanding disproportionate representation are present in great enough number to offset the base who would feel alienated with the offering?

One would get the idea that companies need to learn how to ignore those who, for all the noise they make, aren’t really interested in becoming their customers.

The Mango Tree learned the hard way that, as loud as they may have been, vegans aren’t present in great enough number to keep their restaurant above water. The solution that they came up with was what we see from the natural world: adapt to survive. However, we’ve learned something about The Mango Tree’s management, which has now alienated the few vegans whose attention they held. What has become evident is that veganism isn’t really their sincerely-held moral position.

If a person is sincere in a moral position, they must be willing to stand by it, regardless of the circumstances, whether positive or negative. There is no “well, just this once”, and there is no “the ends justify the means”. A Sabbatarian auto repair shop won’t be open on the Sabbath, and a Kosher deli won’t start serving pork, even if it means their businesses face shuttering, if their managers hold on to their integrity. I once knew of a Christian who believed in resting on Sundays (not a rare belief, considering his cultural frame of reference), but when his employer threatened his job because of his Sunday observance, he eventually caved, and decided to work on Sundays. He kept his job, but didn’t have anyone’s respect.

The Mango Tree decided to stop offering a strictly vegan menu. Maybe it’s because they’ve learned a few things about the world we live in, but it’s also possible that they viewed making more money as being of more importance than their indicated stance on veganism. In so doing, they’ve become a byword among the general community, and lost the respect of the few who were previously in agreement with them.

Whether they stand to profit from the change remains to be seen. They might actually benefit from the publicity that they’ve been getting, which is valuable considering how competitive the restaurant business is.

In any case, an omnivorous diet is one that humans are better adapted to, and is therefore a virtue that is difficult to deny. One thing that can be said for The Mango Tree is that they’ve managed to learn their lesson before it cost them too dearly.

How A Bunch Of Gullible People Are Being Tricked Into Getting Fired

You might have heard of “quiet quitting”, a movement that encourages young people in the workplace to coast by with a minimum of effort, often to the point of accomplishing nothing besides the occasional appearance of working, collecting the pay they feel they’re entitled to for doing little besides heating a chair.

It’s basically another manifestation of class warfare, which has performed yet another sideways shift in their evolutionary ladder.

I’d have imagined that relatively few people would fall for it, as it’s obvious to me that it’s a scheme to trick gullible people into being downsized or outright fired, making the career world less competitive for those intelligent enough to see through the ruse. But as the movement becomes steadily more pronounced, it’s becoming increasingly evident that many are the people who lack the capacity to see the sham for what it is.

I admit that it’s tempting to just keep my insight to myself, as I’m among the many who would stand to benefit from not sharing my workplace with self-centered, entitled morons. But I understand that even among those bright enough to be in my readership there is a chance of making a decision without thinking it completely through. Kind of like the mom who throws old toys away while thinking her son is growing out of them, not being aware that they are a couple decades away from being worth thousands of dollars.

To understand why quiet quitting has become as pronounced as it is, it’s helpful to understand trolling.

A simple-minded interpretation of trolling is that it’s saying something mean online in order to get a reaction. While saying things that are mean is one thing that a person can do to get a reaction, that one simple act doesn’t encompass the whole of trolling, nor is to get a reaction in every case the extent of the motivation of the one doing the trolling.

Basically, trolling involves influencing a person or people into a course of action. The outcome can be as simple as an angry reaction, or as contrived as an elaborate ruse. In many cases, to take humor in the outcome is the primary motivation of the one doing the trolling. But more involved trolling attempts can be campaignesque, involving multiple targets and with multiple trolls acting in cooperation, bearing a resemblance to a psychological operation.

Suppose that someone who is messed-up in the head wants to damage a government building. They could try defacing the building themselves, but there’s a problem with this: there’s way too much potential for negative consequences for the person who would attempt such a thing. If only there were some way to cause some damage, but eliminate the potential consequences against one’s self.

And there is. And this involves convincing someone else to do it. To this end, many influencers band together in subversive communities in an effort to get other people wound up enough that it would be easy to convince them to do what they want.

In terroristic groups such as Antifa, this dynamic permeates their culture. At a protest, when someone wants a Molotov cocktail to be thrown, they just hand one to someone else. The ones handing them out would be the influencers; they try to get other people to throw the Molotov cocktails because they don’t want to be the ones who get in trouble!

If your typical Antifa foot soldier had nerve, they’d hand the Molotov cocktail back and say, “If this is such a great idea, why aren’t you doing it?” Sadly, Antifa goons aren’t known for their strength of character, or their ability to see their cult for the sham it is.

The idea is to get you to do something, so you’ll be the one to face a judge, not the person who manipulated you.

When you understand this dynamic, you’re in a better position to understand the dynamic behind quiet quitting, and see it as a farce that’s designed to trick gullible people into destroying their careers, to the benefit of the influencers who understand the con and are motivated by the simple pleasure of destroying the lives of their victims.

Having said that, I do recognize that every cult has it’s faithful believers, those who actually do believe in what’s preached from the pulpit, and that these faithful believers can sometimes be found in the upper leadership. An example of this is a mod from the subreddit r/antiwork, who exposed himself as a goofball to the thousands of boomers who still watch Fox News:

Having said all this, I doubt that I’ll have thwarted the influencers’ carefully-laid plans in pointing out as much as I have. After all, if someone is so gullible that they’d think quiet quitting is a good idea, they’d probably look at a post this long and think it’s too much reading. It’s not easy to keep stupid people from doing stupid things.