Tuesday, December 31, 2019

FAKE HATE 2019

This year had perhaps the biggest and what may end up the most infamous fake hate crime of all time in it with Juicy Smolliet.  The case is still ongoing, to determine if the man will be prosecuted for filing a false police report.

Although its kind of faded from the news, there was a claim that "hate crimes" are on the rise, which might be the case, if you include attacks on Jews in New York City or anyone daring to admit they support Trump, but that's not what people typically mean.  In fact a Kentucky University professor did a study of hate crimes in North America and discovered that over two thirds of the claims are fake.

Fake Hate Crimes seem to be pretty usual in number for the last five years or so, after a peak in 2016 when things went really berserk.  The College Fix website has a rundown of the fifty fake hate crimes they covered 2012-2018 just on their site.

So here's the 2019 run down of alleged hate crimes that ended up being a hoax or a lie:
  • January: In late December last year, a 7 year old black girl was shot dead in Houston.  Eyewitnesses said they saw a white man running away, and the hate crime bigot Texan story spread.  Turns out it he was just running away from gunshots, and police have arrested two black men for the crime.
  • January: Kids who attended a rally from Covington High School were waiting for a bus when aggressive, hostile members of the "Black Hebrew Israelites" began berating them.  Then a Native American activist named Nathan Phillips began beating a drum and yelling at them.  The press somehow twisted this into the young men being racially aggressive and mocking, to the point where even some allegedly conservative outfits like the Wall Street Journal and National Review attacked the young men.
  • February: It took them two years, but police finally solved the case of the arson to homosexual activist Nikki Joly's home in the UK.  Turns out he burned it down himself, because there wasn't any discrimination for him to fight against in his life.
  • March: Jussie Smollett claims two white men in MAGA hats carrying bleach put a noose on his shoulder and threatened him with racist and anti-homosexual slurs.  The case falls to pieces immediately based on its ridiculous claims and setting, and it turns out he'd hired two African bodybuilders to fake the event.
  • March: Lamar, South Carolina mayor Darnell Byrd McPherson reported a hate crime against her: sticky yellow residue sprayed on her car.  Turns out it was pollen congealed by rainfall.
  • March: Portland, Oregon has had a rash of fake hate crimes recently, as Andy Ngo reports.  Andy, of course, was later attacked himself and beaten so badly he suffered brain damage.  Among the events he detailed were:
  • A girl who claims she was assaulted and threatened the police officer that "her people" would "get you" if she wasn't "treated right." Eyewitnesses and friends say she got drunk and fell hitting her head on the curb.
  • A "fat-queer activist" published a claim on social media about an attack on her and her partner, claiming that "two young white men" in a "maroon SUV" had lobbed a full beer can at her and called her a homophobic slur.  Police investigate and find no evidence whatsoever to support this claim nor was the alleged event reported to them as she claims.
  • May: A subway passenger claims he was assaulted by two men shouting anti-homosexual slurs and attacked by them.  The rest of the passengers in the car note that he was spitting on people, no one said any slurs, and he was subdued by other passengers.
  • May: A Jackson Mississippi church attended predominantly by black people was lit on fire and "Vote Trump" was spraypainted out front.  The SPLC used this event as proof that Trump supporters are racist white supremacists and that hate crimes are on the rise.  A black man later admits that he lit the church on fire. 
  • June: Oberlin College is finally answered by a jury in a case against a bakery which they claimed was racially profiling students.  The jury found for the baker and ordered the college to pay $11 million dollars in damages.
  • July: Seattle claims that hate crimes have risen in the city by "400%" since 2012.  A study done this month proves the claims nonsense, with the vast bulk of the claimed hate crimes either not actually crimes or not actually involving an element of "hate" as the law defines it.
  • July: Erica Thomas, a Georgia State Representative claims that she was told to "go back where she came from" in a supermarket line.  She was in a 10-items-or-less checkout lane with 15-20 items when the man behind her berated her for doing so.  No evidence or eyewitness supports her claim of being told to "go back" or any racial hate.
  • September: A University of Illinois student claims a noose was hanged outside their door room.  But a friend notes that the student made the noose and hung it themselves.
  • September: Ex-Tampa Bay football player Edawn Coughman came to work at his restaurant and found racial slurs, swastikas and 'MAGA' spray painted in the trashed business.  He was arrested for fraud and filing a fake report, trying to get insurance money and sell the undamaged appliances.
  • September: WWL DJ Seth Dunlap claims hateful and anti-homosexual tweets were sent to him, which are later discovered to have been sent by himself.
  • September: A 12 year old girl with dredlocks claims she was attacked by white boys and had her dreds cut.  Later it is revealed to have been a hoax, driven by her grandmother who runs a "natural hair" shop and is a vocal advocate of not straightening or having "white hair cuts".
  • October: A Muslim man posts a note by someone who says he shouldn't be teaching hockey because he's Muslim.  The tweet gets tons of retweets and commentary except when reporters dig into the story they find that he's not teaching hockey anywhere, and that he previously has claimed hate against him for being a Muslim from anonymous notes.
This is part of the Faux Hate series, an ongoing feature at Word Around the Net for 9 years.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

THE BIG PRESIDENTIAL POST

"Now if you were to point your pistol at a king, the majesty of royalty you see, your hand would start to shake and all throughts of death and killing would be wiped from your mind as you would stand there in awe.....but a President? Why not shoot a President?"
--English Bob, Unforgiven

Every four years in the USA there's a presidential election and every time the same kind of discussions and comparisons arise.  What chance does this guy have, how many of that person have been elected.  I usually dig up info each time to see for myself, then forget.  So I figured I'd collect it all into one post for future reference and to settle some things for myself, and maybe others.


One of the favorite games people play is to look at the past and try to predict the future based on existing patterns.  In my opinion with the election of President Obama, all previous patterns and systems of prediction were utterly destroyed and no longer serve with any value, but its a tough thing to break with humans.  We were created and designed to see and recognize patterns even where there aren't any (that cloud looks like a lion!  That hanger looks like an octopus!).

OVERVIEW
So here's a breakdown of the presidents we've had and where they came from.  Overall, the United States has had 42 different men serve as presidents.  Grover Cleveland served twice in two different times (1885-1889 and 1893-1897) as 22nd and 24th terms of the presidency.  Before the Constitution was signed, there were 8 men who served as presidents before there was a United States of America, but they don't really count.

In addition there is an outlier: David Rice Atchison served as acting president for one day while the system waited for Zachary Taylor to arrive and be sworn in as president.  Travel back then wasn't as fast and reliable as it is today.

There have been 57 total four-year terms of the presidency in the United States, starting with George Washington in 1789. The presidency of William Henry Harrison, who died 31 days after taking office in 1841, was the shortest in American history. Franklin D. Roosevelt served the longest, over twelve years, before dying early in his fourth term in 1945.  Most presidents served one term, with FDR serving most of four terms.  After FDR, congress passed the 22nd amendment in 1951, limiting presidential service to two four-year terms.

Four US presidents have died in office of natural causes (William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Warren G. Harding, and Franklin D. Roosevelt), and four have been killed by assassins (Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley and John F. Kennedy).

GETTING THE JOB
The main paths to become president are, in order of success:

Congress - 34
Governor -17
Vice President -14
Cabinet Office -8
General -9
Captain of Industry -2

CONGRESSMEN
There have been a total of sixteen presidents who were Senators in their careers.  However only three have successfully gone from the Senate to the Presidency directly: Harding, Kennedy, and Obama.  Curiously two of them died in office, which if you believe in omens seemed like a bad one for President Obama.

The others served in other jobs or were out of office as Senator some years before successfully running for president.  Most of them are the little-known names like Pierce, Tyler, and Buchanan.  Five served more than one term, the rest were a single term or less (although Johnson served part of Kennedy's term and his own single term).

Andrew Johnson is the only president who then went back into congress, becoming a Senator after leaving office.  As the Senate nearly convicted him of abuse of power after he was impeached (for pardoning many confederates and how he controlled reconstruction by placing people into office in various southern states) I'm guessing that was an interesting reunion.

Eighteen men who had served in the House of Representatives have become president as well, including Abraham Lincoln.  Only one (James Garfield) moved directly from the House to the presidency (although Johnson became VP from the House then became president with Kennedy's death).

GOVERNORS
One man who was governor of a territory - Taft - (provisional governor of Cuba, and previously the Philippines after the Spanish-American War) has become president.  However, sixteen overall have become president after being governor: nine directly taking office of the presidency after being governor.  This is by far the most successful, direct path to the presidency in those terms.  The most recent governor to be president was George W Bush in 2000.

VICE PRESIDENTS
The first Vice President to assume the office of president due to the president leaving office prematurely was John Tyler in April of 1841 after the shortest term in office of any president.  Previous to that it was the law that the vice president became a sort of "caretaker" of the office until the election, but Tyler assumed full presidential duties and congress later made this law.

Overall, 14 different former vice presidents have become president of the United States.  However, only 2 took over that office immediately upon their president leaving office: Martin VanBuren in 1836 and George H W Bush in 1988.  All others either took office upon the premature end of a president's term, or after at least one other president served in office.  

Of those fourteen vice presidents who became president, five were due to a president leaving office prematurely, including Gerald Ford who took office when President Nixon resigned in 1974.  Of them, only two were successfully reelected: Theodore Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson.  

That means that in reality, only eleven of the total forty-eight men who have served as vice president of the USA successfully turned the job into the presidency.  This isn't a very successful path to the job, over the years.

CABINET OFFICE
Overall, eight men served as Secretaries in various Cabinet offices under the president before themselves becoming President.  One was Secretary of War (Taft) and one was Secretary of Commerce (Hoover). Six of them were Secretaries of state, with three of them becoming president directly upon serving as Secretary of State (in a row: Madison, Monroe, and Adams).  However, the last president to have served as Secretary of State was James Buchanan in 1857 so its been a very long time since that was a step into office.  Hillary Clinton would have been the latest but she was defeated in 2016.

GENERAL
Nine men who were previously generals in the US military have become president: Washington, Jackson, Harrison, Taylor, Pierce, Grant, Hays, Garfield, Arthur, Harrison, and Eisenhower.  Three (Taylor, Grant, and Eisenhower) became a president immediately after serving as General in the military.  Overall twenty-two men who served in the US military have been president, a pretty large percentage of the overall total and the largest number in this list (the most common previous job is "Lawyer" with 26 examples, including men such as Adams, Jefferson, Monroe, and Lincoln).

CAPTAIN OF INDUSTRY
Two men who have become president qualify in this category although several others probably could have done it such as Rockefeller or Carnegie.  Hoover became president in 1929 although he'd had political experience under Wilson, Coolidge, and Harding in various high offices under the presidency.  

Hoover's previous experience was that of a mining magnate and became famous after leading a charitable effort to feed starving people in Europe due to the devastation of WWI.  He spent millions of his own money and raised millions more in the effort, which started him on the path to public service.  The second is now president: Donald Trump, who took office in 2017 after having no political experience whatsoever.

So there you have it, a quick and dirty breakdown of the presidents of the United States.  Now you can be armed when the discussion comes up.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

COVERING THE FIELD GUIDE

Well I'm almost finished work on a gaming supplement that's taken me years to write and edit.  Its all done and packaged except for the cover art.  I'm posting several pictures that I'm looking at using for the cover art here and I'd love it you would let me know which one(s) you think are best.

But first, what is the Jolrhos Field Guide?  Well its a gaming supplement that is part of a series of books meant to provide a full campaign setting for role playing games.  What that means is that its a book with information in it about a fantasy world, a setting for people to run games in.

For more information on what this book is about you can check the page I created for it on my website, but in brief this is a world setting with geography, economics, politics, and info on cultures and races, but also tons of details about the world other than "things to kill and loot" which most game books focus on.  

For example, it has strange and unique creatures that live in the world which can be taken advantage of by players such as a porcupine like creature which keeps predators at bay, or a moss that has peppery dust on it which is released when disturbed.  And the book also has magical herbs, poisons, amazing plants, and the tradeskills which can take advantage of all this such as alchemy, engineering, leatherworking and much more.

Edit: sadly, I didn't get any feedback from the dozens of people I know saw the post, so I went with what I thought would work best. Here's the final cover design:


Monday, March 25, 2019

SCHADENFREUDE

"A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes"
--Attributed to Winston Churchill


We now have the Meueller Report on President Trump at least in summary, and while it will likely have some important details, the main thrust is this: there was no collusion between the president and Russia to throw the election.

This is after more than two years of official investigation, and about six months previous to that of intelligence operations spying on and digging into the Trump campaign.  There were more than three dozen indictments of various people, but not a single one has anything to do with President Trump or his campaign.  They are all for events and actions taken sometimes more than a decade before the election.

By now you'll have seen and heard the reactions from the left.  The emotionalism, the horror, the shock, the misery, the tears.  News reporters acting like they just got news of their dog's death.  Journalists acting like hearing the president's name being cleared is a national catastrophe that ruins them personally.

On the right there's a great deal of mockery and cheer but as Rush Limbaugh said: this isn't something to celebrate.
Now, I understand the need to want to celebrate, and I understand the need to feel good about this, and I’m not telling you not to do that. But this investigation does not need to be validated. We don’t need a third party like Robert Mueller to pronounce the president legitimate. The president is legitimate because he was elected. He won the election of the Electoral College. He didn’t commit any crimes in the process.

We don’t need a sitting fourth branch of government under constant surveillance of the sitting president one day proclaiming, “Hey, you know what I couldn’t find? That the guy did anything wrong.” (clapping) “All right!” No. Not “all right.” This entire episode needs to be invalidated. It needs to be blown up, and it never needs to happen again. Nobody ought to ever watch CNN ever again. Nobody ought to ever read the New York Times ever again. Nobody ought to ever pick up the Washington Post ever again. These people have besmirched themselves.
But there are some important lessons to be learned from all this and I want to run them down.  First off, remember that there are three main reasons this entire debacle took place, why all the indictments, why people's lives were ruined:
  1. To distract Democrat voters and their donors from the disaster of the 2016 election and the email releases by Wikileaks demonstrating the racism, corruption, and contempt for their voters that the DNC feels
  2. To warn off any supporters and donors from ever publicly supporting or in any way helping President Trump or they'll come for you, too
  3. To protect the corrupt and criminal in the Democrat power machine from a new president in power to find out what they were doing and act on it by making the new president defensive and seem like he's just retaliating to take action against them
I mean, sure, they were hoping against hope this would somehow depose the president but it wasn't any real hope.  And they were counting on this to delegitimize the president to the point it ruined him or anyone from ever being like him again.  But those three are the main reasons.

Yet this all is a horrific indictment on how news is handled today, of the rank unprofessionalism and incompetence on display every single hour of every day at just about every news organization in the country -- and likely in most countries.

FAKE NEWS
Remember these fake news stories?  Each one a ridiculous lie, each one completely repudiated.
  • Duke Lacrosse gang beats and rapes girl
  • Trayvon Martin was a kindly child attacked by evil "white hispanic" for no reason
  • Hands Up Don't Shoot
  • Benghazi was the result of a youtube video
  • Iran deal was with moderates, not mullahs
  • Russian Trump Dossier
  • Border Patrol killed 7 year old girl
  • Trump put children into cages
  • Bannon is a white supremacist
  • Kavanaugh ran a rape gang
  • Ambassador Haley bought $52,000 curtains
  • Trump ordered Cohen to pay off Stormy with campaign funds "If True its huge"
  • Covington Kids
  • Jussie Smolett
  • Russia Collusion
That's just a partial list of the last five years or so.  There's a good dozen each year, most of them forgotten.  Story after story of absurd falsehood, where the press has been forced to retract or correct, and not little outlets, but major news organizations, supposedly the most trusted, respected, and powerful news companies in the nation.

And what's worse is that when the New York Times runs with a story, other news organizations around the world pick it up and run with it, but often not the retraction.  And the retractions are often so buried or muted or limited that many never hear it.  The story gets 24/7 coverage for weeks and the retractions or corrections get page A5 single line and not repeated.

But why does this keep happening?  Why do these news organizations keep getting it so wrong, so often, and so thoroughly?

While its easy to imagine them working together on this and deliberately coming up with lies, that's not what is going on.  News organizations are not sitting around a candle-lit table wearing scary robes in the dead of night and decide to all lie about something. Its not anywhere near that complicated. They don't have to be coordinated. 

WHISPERS IN THE DARK
Check out this apology from The Hill for a hint on what went wrong with the Russia Collusion story that has blown up so painfully and completely in the faces of the press (warning, autoplay video):
We in the media allowed unproven charges and false accusations to dominate the news landscape for more than two years, in a way that was wildly unbalanced and disproportionate to the evidence.

We did a poor job of tracking down leaks of false information. We failed to reasonably weigh the motives of anonymous sources and those claiming to have secret, special evidence of Trump’s “treason.”

As such, we reported a tremendous amount of false information, always to Trump’s detriment.

And when we corrected our mistakes, we often doubled down more than we apologized. We may have been technically wrong on that tiny point, we would acknowledge. But, in the same breath, we would insist that Trump was so obviously guilty of being Russian President Vladimir Putin’s puppet that the technical details hardly mattered.
Did you catch that?  They got tips.  They got inside information.  They got leaks.  They got whispers.  And they believed every one.  They believed each one so much that even when one was proven false, they clung to the rest and downplayed the falsehood.

This is not the work of professionals and capable reporters.  This is not the work of grizzled hard working fact-seekers only interested in the story.  They had a story they wanted to publish, and were so eager that they unquestioningly believed everything they were told even when it turned out to be false.

Ned Price, who worked with Ben Rhodes under President Obama made it clear how it works in regards to the disastrous Iran deal:
"The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing."

"We created an echo chamber," [Rhodes] admitted, when I asked him to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. "They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say"

"We have our compadres, I will reach out to a couple people... And I’ll give them some color," Price continued, "and the next thing I know, lots of these guys are in the dot-com publishing space, and have huge Twitter followings, and they’ll be putting this message out on their own."
Reporters on the whole aren't super smart individuals.  But they combine this with ignorance about most of life, and a worldview of progressive utopianism that they are absolutely sure about.  So if you feed them the correct sort of thing, they'll run with it unquestioningly.  Activist groups have known this for a long time, they can get a press release run, often without editing, if it has the right letterhead or is about the correct sort of topic.

Remember those seagulls in Finding Nemo? Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine! That's the press.  You feed them what they want or believe to be true, and they go with it, unthinking and often without understanding.  They have lost all ability or understanding of professionalism.  They don't have the skills or skepticism required to do their job.  This is not a case of some sinister cabal working to manipulate Americans, they're just easy to manipulate.

And every time they bet burned like this -- and in the last three months it has happened, painfully, four separate times, they stop a while, stunned and shamed, then dig in once more without thinking.  They are not learning the lessons they should from this.  They are not getting the message they should get.  They aren't changing.

THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME
Really, why change?  Nobody ever pays a price for getting things horrifically wrong.  Nobody ever is fired, nobody loses so much face that they are ignored, the story never ends anything.  All it does is make them look for some way they're right despite this.  The spin has already started on the Meuller Report, now they're trying "well collusion wasn't proven but the coverup is the real crime, Trump obstructed justice!" which is another ridiculous, pathetic myth but the whispers are starting up again.

And what should be done about those whispers?  What happened in the past when a source was lying and damaged a reporter's career?  They'd burn that source out them, and savage them in the press.  They would lay bare who caused this and why.

But that just never happens any more.  Why not?  Because the cause, the narrative, that worldview has to be upheld at all costs.  These people whispering, well they're too important. They matter, to harm them would harm the cause and help the Bad Orange Man.  And what is a little professional discomfort compared to that?

I'm not saying that no reporter ever lies or that there's no contact between them working out spin.  They definitely do, one such source -- Journolist -- was uncovered years ago.  They're still doing it, probably on platforms like Discord now.  They're Face Timing on their Iphones and working together on how to present info.  But they're not inventing the info.

They were so certain, so absolutely sure about this story:






That they are literally horrified and shocked in real time on camera having to report that its false.  Some still cling to this myth despite the facts.  Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke recently said he believes no matter what the report says.  Congressman Schiff still is clinging to the  myth.  They were all told by Top Men.  It must be true!

IS THERE A PRICE?
I'd like to believe this harms them severely.  Its one thing to report fake news and get busted by the right on stuff like Benghazi and Jussie Smollett.  Its another to spend two years pushing Russia so hard they did stuff like Rachel Maddow in one single episode of her show:



And it is another for CNN spending every single day for more than two years pushing the Russian stupidity.  Their base was so invested in this, so totally taken in, so convinced, and so warmed by the hope it brought them that this has to hurt.  This has to be damaging to their reputation and their trust level even among the most rabid base.

We'll see, I suppose.  If its like any of the dozens of ridiculous lies the press has pushed breathlessly only to have to back off of and reverse... in a few days they'll be back at it as if nothing has happened.