VentuSky, which is always moderately fun if you want to turn raw data into, well, art, looks like this:
January 14, 2021
January 13, 2021
We've entered some strange warped reality in which I find Glenn Greenwald as the voice of reason:
If one were looking for evidence to demonstrate that these tech behemoths are, in fact, monopolies that engage in anti-competitive behavior in violation of antitrust laws, and will obliterate any attempt to compete with them in the marketplace, it would be difficult to imagine anything more compelling than how they just used their unconstrained power to utterly destroy a rising competitor.
Do, please, read the whole thing.
January 12, 2021
First, take a deep breath.
Now take another one.
Everyone needs to take a deep breath and tap the brakes.
Now, I want you to read this. Here's an excerpt, but it really is worth a few minutes of your time to go RTWT.
There used to be a joke that went more or less something like this: There's a couple thousand white supremacist militia members in the US and two thirds of them are undercover FBI agents.
And that's the second reason. Because we actually want the scary conversations to happen in public. Driving those conversations underground doesn't make them go away. Inflamed people are still inflamed except now they are also legitimately aggrieved.
I think this is accurate. Later in the post, she writes:
For a current example, did constantly punishing people for questioning the November election make anyone question it less? Did slapping a "fact check" on a post so that everyone knew that bad thought was happening make anyone question the election less? If you were in charge of making sure that distrust of the election grew larger and larger, you couldn't possibly have come up with a better plan to turn merely inflamed people into legitimately aggrieved people.
Now, they don't get to audit their own state. No, the state they are sent to is also chosen at random. "Missouri, you three are heading to Vermont. Here's your airplane boarding pass, flight is leaving in 2 hours."
January 8, 2021
Copied/pasted in its entirety, from here:
I don't even like Trump, but I've spent the last four years getting screamed at by angry people for defending him, when I'm actually usually just defending basic reality.
Oh, we are so fucked. Today is nothing. It's probably going to get worse, because we're on a road that I can't see any off ramps.
Sorry, here comes a rant.
People are confused and constantly bombarded by conflicting information, some correct, some bullshit, and nobody knows what to believe because nobody trusts the people we are supposed to be able to trust. Then we have a super powerful global media complex that straight up gas lights everyone, and we're shocked the people have lost trust in information sources.
Then when people have valid concerns, they get mocked, belittled, and insulted. They get gas lighted and told what they've seen with their own eyes didn't happen, and then they're "fact checked" with things that are basically a list of excuses generated by partisans who have zero clue what they're talking about.
Repeat that daily, for literally every topic, and you get to a point where nobody trusts anybody and we have massive competing groups that can't even agree on basic pieces of relative truth anymore. And social media then rubs that in everyone's face, so we don't feel any commonality with our countrymen.
But that's basically because we are several different countries crammed into one. As a people we've got two primary philosophies with a bunch of offshoots of those two, except they are mutually exclusive and cannot exist at the same time. So instead we get a muddled mixture of nonsensical bullshit that isn't really either, but is primarily a vehicle that exists to benefit the same people who benefit from our totally untrustworthy information sources.
Then let's have a global pandemic, make everybody poorer, put them out of work, make everything they would normally do to blow off steam illegal, and once again if they express any concerns about this situation and the conflicting information presented to them, they get insulted, belittled, disparaged, and disrespected.
Then let's have riots and looting and arson and murder for months on end, where the rule of law appears to be a one way street.
Oh, and let's have a bunch of scandals with our political betters that tell everybody we have a two tiered justice system, where we're peasants, but our moral betters can do pretty much anything and get away with it.
All while our information sources obviously lie and conflict with each other and run interference for their powerful friends, but giant soulless mega corporations will straight up destroy regular mundane people if they feel like it.
And then at the very end of this shitty year, let's have a election that is insanely anomalous in a bunch of ways, but let's not actually investigate it in any meaningful manner, and instead let's just insult anybody who is concerned about it.
Because nothing bad could possibly happen from tens of millions of people believing that their votes will never matter again and the system is irreparably rigged against them in a country with billions of guns and nuclear weapons.
Whew... And that's just this year, after the last two decades of escalating tensions in a country filled with people who hate each other's fundamental beliefs.
Which brings us to now... Which is why when buildings start exploding and politicians get beheaded, I won't be in the least bit surprised.
And I'm usually the optimist. I'm seeing people I would consider boring vanilla normies, not gun culture people, not Trumpkins, not preppers, not even that political, now talking about violence and revolution like those are perfectly normal topics. Twenty years ago that was reserved for us internet gun nuts and taboo crazy talk for everyone else.
Yeah... we are basically fucked.
January 7, 2021
Got a letter in the mail the other day from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment that listed a few things about my unemployment benefits.
Wait? My WHAT?
Now, normally correspondence from the state comes with colored letterhead, and this was all black and white, so I thought maybe this is a scam. Added to that was that the website ended in a dot com, rather than a dot gov or state.co.us or other similar top-level domains that would be used by a state.
"Surely not a legit mailing", I said to myself.
Yesterday, the HR lady at the office came into my office and asked me "Have you gotten anything in the mail about unemployment insurance? I just got a letter from CDLE asking me for details about your termination..."
I let her know what I got, she said this is probably just a clerical error, and she'd call to get it fixed.
This morning, the lady I've been dating called me... She's got the same thing.
So, apparently there's a new identity theft thing going. When she spoke with her HR department, they instructed her to do a few things, one of them being reporting it to the local police department.
"Yeah, we're getting 20 or so such reports every day", they told her.
Anyway: Filed report with local police, state Department of Labor and Employment, and via IdentityTheft.gov (Feds), put a lock on my credit at all three credit bureaus, set up alerting on my bank accounts, and added another authentication layer for my retirement fund (normally, if my primary advisor is not available, I can call Edward Jones Customer Service, give them my info, and they can move investments around, buy/sell funds, etc. As of this morning, if I do that, they'll take down the instructions but don't do anything until they contact my advisor, who will then contact me and ask me to verify the changes I want to do... How much of this stock to sell, how much of that fund to buy, etc. Sort of a Two-Factor Authentication for my IRA.)
What a pain in the arse.
January 6, 2021
I do not care what side of the political spectrum you are on, this is absolutely UNACCEPTABLE.
Was there fraud? Maybe. If there was, was it sufficient in scope to change the outcome? Maybe. Does any of that matter now? No.
This is wrong. For the last year, we've seen the Antifa-types rioting and destroying property, and opponents of such behavior rightly called them riots.
This, too, is a riot. And the people doing it are rioters.
This is not good. Not good at all.