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Monday, September 25, 2017

Trump nails down Pennsylvania for 2020


The only Steeler to stand for the national anthem, Alejandro Villanueva, a former US Army Ranger.
Alejandro Villanueva was the lone Pittsburgh Steelers player who appeared on the pitch and sang while the rest of his team remained in the locker room as part of a silent protest that’s sweeping the country’s football pitches. The player, who has served in Afghanistan, has become a simple of patriotism — and now sales of his jersey have gone through the roof. It jumped the Steelers jersey sellers league on Fanatics.com, and now stands at one of the top sellers for the entire league, behind Carson Wentz and Aaron Rodgers.
This will not end well for the NFL. It's going to be very interesting to see how the Week 3 TV ratings play out. Based on the hints from things such as Villanueva's jersey sales, I would guess we'll see a decline of 20 percent or more.

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The Right rises

As I have been saying for several years, the rise of the Nationalist Right around the world is absolutely and utterly inevitable. Communism has failed. The Neo-Liberal Global Order has failed. Multiculturalism has failed. Diversity is a curse, not a blessing or a strength. Immigration is war.

The only promise of order and civilization is now with the Right, not the moderate conservative Right of the Conservative Party and the Republican Party and the Christian Democrats, but the Alternative Right of Alternativ fur Deutschland, the True Finns, Jobbik, the Sweden Democrats, the Front National, the Swiss People's Party, Brexit, and, to a certain extent, Donald Trump. They are collectively the real AltRight, the genuine alternative, the true Right.
Chancellor Angela Merkel clinched a fourth term in Germany's election Sunday, but her victory was clouded by the entry into parliament of the hard-right AfD in the best showing for a nationalist force since World War II.

Merkel, who after 12 years in power held a double-digit lead for most of the campaign, scored around 33 percent of the vote with her conservative Christian Union (CDU/CSU) bloc, according to preliminary results. It was their worst score since 1949.

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Its nearest rivals, the Social Democrats and their candidate Martin Schulz, came in a distant second, with a post-war record low of 21 percent.

But in a bombshell for the German establishment, the anti-Islam, anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) captured around 13 percent, catapulting it to become the country's third biggest political force.

Commentators called the AfD's strong performance a "watershed moment" in the history of the German republic. The top-selling Bild daily spoke of a "political earthquake".
As I have repeatedly written, the chief ideological divide is no longer Left versus Right, but globalist versus nationalist. And by nationalist, I most certainly do not include pan-white, transnational imperialists. There is no longer any intellectual space for the soft globalism of pan-ethnic imperialism, which in both theory and practice serves the globalist interests.

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THERE WILL BE WAR Volume VII

THERE WILL BE WAR is a landmark science fiction anthology series that combines top-notch military science fiction with factual essays by various generals and military experts on everything from High Frontier and the Strategic Defense Initiative to the aftermath of the Vietnam War. It featured some of the greatest military science fiction ever published, such Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game” in Volume I, Joel Rosenberg’s “Cincinnatus” in Volume II, and Arthur C. Clarke’s “Hide and Seek” in Volume III . Many science fiction greats were featured in the original nine-volume series, which ran from 1982 to 1990, including Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick, Gordon Dickson, Poul Anderson, John Brunner, Gregory Benford, Robert Silverberg, Harry Turtledove, and Ben Bova.

33 years later, Castalia House has joined with Dr. Jerry Pournelle to make this classic science fiction series available to the public again. THERE WILL BE WAR is a treasure trove of science fiction and history that will educate and amaze new readers while reminding old ones how much the world has changed over the last three decades. Most of the stories, like war itself, remain entirely relevant today.

THERE WILL BE WAR Volume VII is edited by Jerry Pournelle and John F. Carr, and features 20 stories, articles, and poems. Of particular note are "The Tank Lords" by David Drake, "Test for Tyrants" by Edward P. Hughes, "The Last Article" by Harry Turtledove, "Remember the Alamo" by T.R. Fehrenbach, and "Consequences" by Walter Jon Williams.

It was Jerry's wish to not only revive the series, but bring all of the old editions back in print so they could be read by the two generations of younger readers who only had access to the old ones through used bookstores. It's one of my regrets that Jerry did not live to see Castalia House get the entire series back into print, but I take some solace in the fact that he did see us get most of them out again and he knew we would complete the task with which he charged us.

With today's release of Volume VII, we have only one to go to finish the series, and we anticipate doing so in October.

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Calling out the Pope

Although they stop short of calling him a heretic, a group of faithful Catholics are calling out the Holy Father and issuing "a filial correction" to the him.
A group of clergy and lay scholars from around the world have taken the very rare step of presenting Pope Francis with a formal filial correction, accusing him of propagating heresies concerning marriage, the moral life, and reception of the sacraments.

Entitled Correctio filialis de haeresibus propagatis, meaning ‘A Filial Correction Concerning the Propagation of Heresies,’ the 25 page letter was delivered to the Holy Father at his Santa Marta residence on Aug. 11.

The Pope has so far not responded to the initiative, whose 62 signatories include the German intellectual Martin Mosebach, former president of the Vatican Bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, and the superior general of the Society of St. Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay (he learned of the document only after it had been delivered to the Pope and signed it on behalf of the Society).

The letter begins by saying that with “profound grief but moved by fidelity to our Lord Jesus Christ, by love for the Church and for the papacy, and by filial devotion toward yourself” the signatories feel “compelled” to take this action “on account of the propagation of heresies.”

They cite in particular Francis’ apostolic exhortation on marriage and the family, Amoris Laetitia, and “other words, deeds and omissions.”

They accuse the Pope of upholding seven heretical positions about “marriage, the moral life, and the reception of the sacraments” which, they say, has “caused these heretical opinions to spread in the Catholic Church.”

The clergy and scholars “respectfully insist” that Pope Francis condemn the heresies that he has directly or indirectly upheld, and that he teach the truth of the Catholic faith in its integrity.

The filial correction, the first to be made of a reigning Pontiff since Pope John XXII was admonished in 1333, is divided into three main parts.

In the first, the signatories say they have the “right and duty” to issue such a correction. They make clear the doctrine of papal infallibility has not been contradicted as the Pope has not promulgated heretical opinions as dogmatic teachings of the Church, but they maintain that Francis has “upheld and propagated heretical opinions by various direct and indirect means.”

The second part deals with the correction itself. Written in Latin, it lists the passages of Amoris Laetitia in which, they argue, the Pope insinuates or encourages heretical positions. They mention those who claim these texts can be interpreted in an orthodox way, but the correction lists examples of when it is clear “beyond reasonable doubt” that the Pope “wishes Catholics to interpret these passages in a way that is, in fact, heretical.” In particular, they say the Pope has advocated the belief that obedience to God’s moral law can be impossible or undesirable, and that Catholics should sometimes accept adultery as compatible with being a follower of Christ.

In the third part, the signatories highlight two causes of this crisis: modernism and the influence of Martin Luther. They argue that the embrace of modernism, which they define as the belief that God has not delivered definite truths to the Church which she must continue to teach in exactly the same sense until the end of time, means that faith and morals become “provisional and subject to revision.” Such thinking, they point out, was condemned by Pope St Pius X. Regarding Martin Luther, they show how some of the Pope’s ideas on marriage, divorce, forgiveness, and divine law correspond to those of the German Reformation monk, and draw attention to the “explicit and unprecedented praise” the Pope has given the 16th century heresiarch.
I don't pay much attention to Catholic theology or politics, but I will say that the Church has survived worse popes and worse leaders, so I expect it will survive this one too. That being said, I think Catholics would be wise to purge their SJWs and throw out all of the changes since Vatican II. It's been pretty much straight downhill since that pernicious council took place.

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Sunday, September 24, 2017

SJWADD excerpt

Unearthed this beautiful example of an SJW tactic just today. Watching SJWs attempt to babble incoherently about logic is rather like watching monkeys chewing the covers off of books and bragging how they've totally got this "reading" thing down.
Andrew Flick‏ @AndrewFlick87
So many logical fallacies here.

Supreme Dark Lord‏ @voxday
Name them. Specifically. Is it Ambiguity, Amphiboly, Combination, Division... wait, is it Accent?

Andrew Flick‏ @AndrewFlick87
Btw False equivalence is a logical fallacy in which two opposing arguments appear to be logically equivalent when they are not.

Supreme Dark Lord‏ @voxday
Yes, but that does not apply here. Where does the equivalence fail? Moreover, you said there were "so many" logical fallacies. How many, 8?

Andrew Flick‏ @AndrewFlick87
Promoting hate speech and promoting upholding of civil rights are not equivalent. Also, suck a big fat cock and choke on it. Have a nice day
And... flounce! Perfect. Absolutely perfect. There is plenty of this sort of thing, and more, in the forthcoming SJWs Always Double Down.

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Voxiversity update

First of all, thanks very much to everyone who is backing Voxiversity. It is much appreciated and we are genuinely stoked about what you have made possible.

Second, I am still in the process of acquiring the required equipment, which is not quite as accessible here as one might like it to be. I have the Lavalier microphone, which works well, but I need a little adapter in order to get the better quality that will entail from going through the FocusRite amplifier I already have instead of going directly into the PC's mic-in input. The light is ordered and is en route, but we're still trying to find a place that can provide the stand and diffusor.

None of this is a pressing problem, however, as my producer is presently occupied with finishing the video for Alt⭐️Hero, which I can already testify is awesome and more Professional Comics in appearance than I was expecting. Note to self: we're going to need a Castalia House Comics logo. Or is that Castalia Comics? We'll figure it out later. While we're getting set up for Voxiversity 001: Immigration and War, he's going to release a few more one-minute trailers akin to Know Thyself, in part because they've proven to be popular, but also because it is an ideal way for us to experiment with different ideas before getting in too deep to something that doesn't work.

In the meantime, I'll continue to do Darkstreams, including tonight's on the NFL protests, and I'll also be doing an interview with Cernovich Media tomorrow on the subject. But mostly, I'll be finishing SJWADD, which comes out in 15 days. Once that is out, I'll be focusing on Voxiversity and on getting the extended edition of A Sea of Skulls out in time for Christmas. I can also promise that we will be completing Jerry Pournelle's There Will Be War series this year, with Volumes VII and VIII being released this fall.

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NFL Week Three

Not a lot to say, except I'm not watching this week. The players understand this is about the cultural war. So does the President. I'm not sure what percentage of the NFL-watching public does, but it does appear to be statistically significant if Twitter is any guide.

This sort of calculated and specific disrespect is not incidental. It is intentional. Apparently all the Steelers but one boycotted the anthem. Yes, it's just symbolism, but symbolism matters. The Right used to understand this. Bud Grant's Vikings used to practice standing for the national anthem.
American football stars drop to their knees during national anthem at Wembley in protest defying Donald Trump after he said sportsman who 'disrespect America' should be SACKED. Players from Jacksonville Jaguars and the Baltimore Ravens dropped to their knees as national anthem played. No players were kneeling during the playing of 'God Save The Queen', which followed the US national anthem. 
Regardless, discuss either the protests or the weekend action, as you see fit.

How awesome would it be if Steelers owner Art Rooney released his entire team tomorrow, except for Alejandro Villanueva? Talk about making a statement! They could go winless for the next three years, and they'd still wind up ahead on the merchandise sales alone.

Skol Vikings! I am reliably informed that Minnesota Vikings are the only team to not have a single player kneel for the anthem thus far. The legacy of Bud Grant remains strong.

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Thank you, Texas

You know, President Zuckerberg might actually be more entertaining than the God-Emperor.


I know it's not real. But it legitimately could have been. And therein lies the humor.

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Meme of the Week


As it turns out, the weekly vote has reliably lined up with the more objective measure of Twitter impressions. DACA Families was the weekly winner, with 32,631 impressions. The least popular was Hotel Catalonia, with only 11,316.

To become a #DailyMemeWarrior and receive the Meme of the Day in your email every weekday morning, sign up here. I have a feeling that tomorrow's Meme of the Day is going to exceed 50k impressions, quite possibly 100k. This is not it. But it's good to know the NFL is embracing the fullness of free speech at its games.


And keep this in mind when you consider their mutual responses to President Trump.

SportsCenter‏ @SportsCenter
Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith spent part of Saturday discussing how to best handle President Trump's statements.

Apparently they should have spent more of it. And then kept their mouths shut.

UPDATE: This is an interesting rumor floating around the chans from a purported NFL employee.
Some NFL teams have been looking into firing players who are pulling this protest shit. But their lawyers have all told them, while they can do it, the fired players could then take them to court and win. The 49ers were among these teams, who have consulted their lawyers; hence why CK never got fired. Their lawyers told them it was cheaper to just let him do his bullshit.

Goodell knows he has fucked up big time, but can't do anything except tacitly let the teams blacklist players who pull this shit. Goodell and most of the coaches know that the players throwing these tantrums have them by the balls.
I think they're about to find out that not firing them will prove to be considerably more expensive.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin discusses the NFL situation.
We’re seeing drops in attendance.  We’re seeing drops everywhere, in advertising as well and that’s because there’s no business enterprise that is ever going to survive by insulting and trashing its own customer base…
Based on recent events, it would appear far fewer people understand this basic fact of business than you might imagine.

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Ideas must be sold

The Z-man observes that too many ideologues resist accepting the fact that their ideas have to be sold rather than simply accepted as holy writ from on high:
Good salesmen never lose sight of reality. That’s the problem with outsider political movements. They allow themselves to be trapped in narrow ideological ruts so any sales effort, that deviates in the slightest from dogma, results in civil war. The only pitchmen the ideologues accept are the guys waving around the severed hand, talking about how their product is great at cleaning blood stains. Any concession to public sensibilities is treated like heresy. The result is a self-ghettoization of the movement.

This has always been the problem with the libertarians. You can get a large audience in favor of limiting state regulation of commerce, but you are never getting a critical mass around the idea of abandoning paper money. You can talk people into loosening up marijuana laws, but no one is signing up for legal meth sales. That’s why the limit on libertarians is to have some of their language appropriated by Buckleyites. Otherwise, they are seen as a collection of eccentric weirdos.

That’s what’s happening with the alt-right and its fellow travelers. The core believers refuse to give in on basic tactics, like banning Nazi gear or minimizing the JQ stuff. The result is anyone that tries to soften the image is attacked as a traitor. That’s what you see with the Stormies. Anglin can’t accept even the token compromises at a site like Gab, so he goes to war with it. This ensures that his followers never stray from the ghetto that he has created for them. It also means potential recruits have a reason to ignore him.

This does not mean the alt-right is condemned to having fat guys in their tighty-whities, dancing around at their events. To avoid that fate, they need to produce leaders with the credibility to swat down guys like Anglin, when he gets out of control, but also aware of the fact that growing the movement means appealing to the general public. That means softening the pitch and making some compromises. They don’t have anyone capable of doing that at he moment, but they better find some.
He's absolutely right. That's why I reluctantly accepted the need to move into video despite the existence of Castalia House; I realized that we will never reach the non-literate majority through the medium of books. We have to speak their language and meet them on their ground. We need to accept that our preferences are irrelevant in this regard.

This is always difficult. The literate don't want to deal with non-literate media. The dialectic-speakers don't want to deal with rhetoric. The non-aggressive don't want to deal with aggression. The socialists don't want to deal with subjective value. The pagans don't want to deal with the Christian roots of the West.

But regardless of who we are and what we desire, we have to take reality as it is, not as we wish it to be.

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Milo back at Berkeley


There has been a lot of talk about whether Milo would return to Berkeley and whether #FreeSpeechWeek would take place there. But yes, he is back and it is on. Team Milo has even prepared a little gift for everyone for the occasion. It's called The Antifa Handbook (PDF), and, as it happens, it is almost entirely unlike the 4GW Handbook.

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Fire the anthem-protesters

Donald Trump comes out hard against the NFL players protesting during the national anthem:
“We’re proud of our country. We respect our flag,” Trump said to loud applause at a campaign event in Alabama. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now’? He’s fired! He’s fired!”

Trump said an NFL owner who releases a player would instantly gain broad support across America.

“Some owner’s gonna do that. He’s gonna say, ‘That guy that disrespects our flag? He’s fired. And that owner . . . they’ll be the most popular person in this country. Because that’s total disrespect of our heritage. That’s total disrespect of everything we stand for,” Trump said.

Trump added that he believes fans should walk out if players don’t stand for the anthem.

“If you see it, even if it’s one player,” Trump said, “Leave the stadium.”
It's a perfectly reasonable stance. We all know that the NFL wouldn't hesitate to act if players started throwing Nazi salutes; they already come down hard on the expression of any opinion that is negative about homosexuality.

The Rubicon has been decisively crossed, so it's time to start cracking down on "speech" Americans don't like.

Always play by the rules that are actually in place, not by the rules that you wish were in place. I won't say that I've entirely given up on the NFL, but I did not buy Game Pass this year and I have yet to watch a single game. I don't think I will start this weekend either.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's response:
The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture," Goodell said. "There is no better example than the amazing response from our clubs and players to the terrible natural disasters we've experienced over the last month. Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities."
I hope one of the NFL players calls out Goodell on this by kneeling while holding up a middle finger or a Nazi salute. It would be amusing to see how fast Red Roger would do an immediate 180.

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CORROSION now in audiobook

Galactic society is ruled by algorithms. From interstellar travel and planetary terraforming to artificial intelligence and agriculture, every human endeavor has become completely dependent upon the hypercomplex equations that optimize the activities making life possible across hundreds of inhabited worlds. Throughout the galaxy, Man has become dependent upon the reliable operation of ten million different automated systems.

And when things begin to go wrong and mysterious accidents begin to happen no one has any idea what is happening, except for a sentient medical drone and the First Technocrat of Continox. But their ability to even begin to try fixing the unthinkably complicated problem of galaxy-wide algorithmic decay is made considerably more difficult by the fact the former is an outlaw and the latter is facing a death sentence.

Narrated by Jon Mollison, The Corroding Empire Book One: Corrosion, is 7 hours and 3 minutes long.

I'm also looking for 10 reviewers of Jerry Pournelle's There Will Be War Volume VII. Email with V7 in the subject if you're interested and can review on Amazon.

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US-Russia conflict in Syria

This doesn't strike me as a positive development. The Saker contemplates the significance of a Russian special forces operation in Syria.
Something rather unprecedented just happened in Syria: US backed “good terrorist” forces attempted a surprise attack against Syrian government forces stationed to the north and northeast of the city of Hama. What makes this attack unique is that it took place inside a so-called “de-escalation zone” and that it appears that one of the key goals of the attack was to encircle in a pincer-movement and subsequently capture a platoon of Russian military police officers deployed to monitor and enforce the special status of this zone. The Russian military police forces, composed mainly of soldiers from the Caucasus region, fought against a much larger enemy force and had to call for assistance. For the first time, at least officially, Russian special operations forces were deployed to rescue and extract their comrades. At the same time, the Russians sent in a number of close air support aircraft who reportedly killed several hundred “good” terrorists and beat back the attack (Russian sources speak of the destruction of 850 fighters, 11 tanks, three infantry fighting vehicles, 46 armed pickup trucks, five mortars, 20 freighter trucks and 38 ammo supply points; you can see photos of the destroyed personnel and equipment here). What also makes this event unique is the official reaction of the Russians to this event.

Head of the Main Operations Department at Russia’s General Staff Colonel General Sergei Rudskoi declared that:

“Despite agreements signed in Astana on September 15, gunmen of Jabhat al-Nusra and joining them units that don’t want to comply with the cessation of hostilities terms, launched a large-scale offensive against positions of government troops north and northeast of Hama in Idlib de-escalation zone from 8 am on September 19 (…) According to available data, the offensive was initiated by American intelligence services to stop a successful advance of government troops east of Deir ez-Zor“.

Today, other Russian officials have added a not-so-veiled threat to this accusation. The Russian Defense Ministry’s spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov has declared that:

Russia unequivocally told the commanders of US forces in Al Udeid Airbase (Qatar) that it will not tolerate any shelling from the areas where the SDF are stationed (…) Fire from positions in regions [controlled by the SDF] will be suppressed by all means necessary.

This is unprecedented on many levels. First, the Russians clearly believe that this attempt to kill or capture a platoon of the Russian military police was planned by the United States. The fact that they are making this accusation officially shows the degree of irritation felt by the Russians about the duplicity of the Americans. Second, this is the first time, at least to my knowledge, that Russian Spetsnaz forces had to be sent in to rescue a surrounded Russian subunit. All Spetsnaz operators survived, but three of them were wounded in the operation (the Russians are not saying how badly). The close air support by very low flying SU-25 aircraft was obviously coordinated by Spetsnaz forward air controllers and probably saved the day. In other words, this was a close call and things could have ended much more badly (just imagine what the Takfiri crazies would have done, on video, to any captured Russian serviceman!). Finally, a US-organized attack on what was supposed to be a “de-confliction” zone combined with an attempt to capture Russian soldiers raises the bar for American duplicity to a totally new level.
It's time to get US troops out of Iraq and Syria. Iran and Russia succeeded where the US failed, and now the US presence there is only likely to lead to trouble that the Trump administration cannot afford in light of the Korean situation.

Always focus on fighting on one front at a time unless one has absolutely no ability to avoid it. To do otherwise is not merely foolish, but risks disaster.

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SJW tactics

I want to be sure that I didn't forget any of them in the chapter of SJWADD devoted to them. I'm talking about the specific tactics, such as the "bait-and-report", rather than the larger tendencies such as those described by the Three Laws of Social Justice.

If anything occurs to you, throw it out. I want to be as comprehensive as possible.

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Journolist: Comics edition

A group of mainstream comic SJWs from Marvel and DC were caught planning to try to harass, and incite violence against, a critic of their work:
The comic book world has had its share of scandals, including the very recent and highly protested revelation that Captain America is really a Nazi, angering fans worldwide. Mark Waid, who recently took over the Captain America comic book for Marvel, has stepped into more hot water after appearing to call out a fan and popular YouTube reviewer for targeted harassment at this year's Comic-Con on his Facebook page.

Richard Meyer has a YouTube channel called Diversity & Comics, where he reviews current comic books. Most of his reviews mock the overreaching and suffocating leftist messaging that has infiltrated the entire industry. I've seen enough of them to say with confidence that Meyer seems like a pretty nice guy with a passion for comic books. His reviews contain no swearing or major insults, just mild humor and a lot of chuckling.

To make matters worse and more embarrassing for the SJW crowd of comic book writers, a secret Facebook page was revealed where writers plotted to target Meyer with harassment meant to incite violence.

Taylor Esposito is a letterer for DC Comics and is clearly seen on the not-so-secret Facebook page insinuating that critics of their comics are likely to be violent, calling them "nutjobs." Kelly Thompson of Marvel's Star Wars Phasma and IDW's infamous lady Ghostbusters joined in, claiming fear of the awful critics as the major reason she's never been to a con as a professional. B. Clay Moore, who seems to have written something a long time ago, actually suggests harassing Meyer to the point of violence.

Meyer's videos are low budget, filmed with his phone usually while sitting in his car or house flipping through comic books and chatting about the stories and plot lines, artwork and themes. It's not exactly a hate crime. He is knowledgeable, interesting and intelligent and he clearly loves comic books. But he, and others like him, are facing an industry that seems to not want them anymore.
It's going to be amusing to see just how upset these lunatics are next week. But in the meantime, it should surprise precisely no one that SJWs would attempt to destroy someone, however harmless and inoffensive he might be, for failing to submit to the Narrative.

If only it weren't for those evil GamerGaters ComicGaters, they'd have gotten away with it too!

By the way, if anyone can suggest 3-5 examples of current SJW comics as bad as that recent She-Thor debacle, please put the links in the comments here. The more recent, the better.

UPDATE: Since I was apparently insufficiently clear, I am requesting links to the actual panels online, not YouTube videos or links to where the comic is sold.

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The three types of superheroes

Alex Macris explains his critical theory of superheroes:
  1. Ordinary person accidentally becomes extraordinary through chance.
  2. Determined person becomes extraordinary through dedication and will.
  3. A person born with extraordinary gifts lives up to their birthright.
These are, respectively, proletariat, bourgeois, and aristocratic views of human achievement.

The proletariat sees success as a product of chance. "He got lucky." "He won the lottery." "He don't deserve what he got."

The bourgeois sees success as a product of hard work. "I earned what I've got." "I tried harder." "It's a meritocracy."

The aristocracy sees success as a product of nature. "Some people are born superior." "Blood runs true." "I was born to lead." Examples of aristocratic heroes are Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Green Lantern.

Examples of bourgeois heroes are Batman, Green Arrow, Nightwing, Ozymandias, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Black Widow.

Examples of proletariat heroes are Spiderman, Incredible Hulk, and the Fantastic Four.

Marvel's mutants are interesting. A mutant who sees his mutation as a mighty gift, like Magneto, is aristocratic but typically a villain. A mutant who sees his mutation is a random event tends to be portrayed as a proletarian hero. Most of the X-Men fall into this group.

Overall, Marvel's heroes tend to be more proletarian, while DC's heroes tend to be more aristocratic, with bourgeois heroes in both. Under progressive influence, these roles still apply. DC heroes act with noblesse oblige as aristocratic patrons of the oppressed. Meanwhile Marvel heroes tend to suffer from oppression themselves, as in much of the X-Men tales.

Bourgeois heroes tend to be least susceptible to progressive re-purposing as their bootstrap heroism is inherently a conservative message. Hence the progressive critique of Batman for being a successful businessman who uses his skills to beat up criminals, e.g. oppressed people. A progressive Superman can use his powers to defend illegal immigrants, but a progressive Batman is just George Soros.

This analysis helps explain why the Batman movies had conservative undertones, and the X-Men movies had liberal ones.
As it happens, Alt⭐️Hero superheroes will initially be a combination of aristocratic and proletarian due to the unique collective origin story. But there will be more conventional bourgeois heroes as well as time goes on. As with most of my novels and short stories, there is the story, the metastory that encompasses it, and the metasquared story that underlies the whole thing that is not immediately apparent to the reader.

For example, very, very few readers of the Arts of Dark and Light epic fantasy series are aware yet of the metasquared story aspect of the series, if indeed any of them are.

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Civil resistance in Catalonia

The Spanish government's attempt to send in the Guardia Civil is being resisted by Catalonian dockworkers as well as the regional government.
More than 4,000 members of Spain’s Guardia Civil are being dispatched to the troubled region amid concerns over divided loyalties in the autonomous community’s own police force, the Mossos d’ Esquadra. Spanish authorities wanted to house the Guardia Civil officers on four cruise ships - two in Barcelona, one in Tarragona and another in Palamos.

But as thousands took to the streets to protest against the detention of Catalan officials, local dock workers joined the backlash. The Assembly of Stevedores of the Port of Barcelona announced that workers would not provide any services to boats carrying security forces, a decision it said was taken “in defence of civil rights”.

Colleagues in Tarragona quickly followed suit and the Catalan government then denied permission to dock in Palamos - which, unlike Barcelona and Tarragona, falls under regional rather than national control.

The moves to disrupt the deployment comes amid seething anger in Catalonia over the arrests of 14 people, most of them high ranking Catalan officials, during preparations for a referendum that has been declared illegal by Spain’s constitutional court.

Dramatic scenes unfolded across Barcelona and other Catalan towns as the Guardia Civil mounted 41 raids targeting government and presidential departments, as well as warehouses containing election material.
Regardless of the rights and wrongs and legalities of the matter that have been debated here over the past few days, it is apparent that the Catalonian secessionists are currently winning at the moral level of war despite the relative restraint of the Spanish government. This would suggest that they will continue to gain support from previously neutral parts, within and without Catalonia.

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SJW-converged comics

John C. Wright rightly excoriates the SJW demolition of the comics:
Logic and good storytelling are flung out the window by these Philistines.

Spiderman has been blotted out by Miles Morales, a half-hispanic half-black with no particular personality. The writers seem not to want to give him any personality, for fear of giving his troubles and woes, which in turn might open them to the witchhunter accusation of being racist.

Hawkeye has been  blotted out by female Hawkeye. He has an interesting backstory, and some dramatic personal problems. She is a nonentity who suddenly is the best archer in the Marvel Universe for no particular reason.

Iron Man has been  blotted out by Riri Williams, a teen-aged black girl who steals things and accidentally conquers eastern European nations. Instead of having problems like shrapnel lodged near the heart as Iron Man does, the girl version of Iron Man is both utterly incompetent, and utterly flattered, praised, and supported by one and all.

Wasp has been  blotted out by Wasp, a girl who never puts on her wasp suit, never shrinks down and never fights crime.

Hulk has been  blotted out by Amadeus Cho, and also by She-Hulk, both of whom now use the name Hulk. Unlike Bruce Branner, whose is cursed by a Jekyll/Hyde and Frankenstein’s Monster combo of infinite strength and brain-destroying rage, Cho and She-Hulk are possessed of perfect self control, and have no drama. She-Hulk has lost her John Byrne era good looks, her green skin, and her desire to fight crime, and instead looks ugly and gray skinned.

Sam Wilson, the Falcon, has replaced Steve Rogers as Captain America. This one is not as egregious as the others, and, if taken in isolation, might have seemed legitimate, not an attempt at blot out. But Sam Wilson now has the same problem any black student in an affirmative action college has, when people can no longer tell is his diploma was earned or merely granted.

Also, I like Falcon. Why is his black super identity being smothered?  Are blacks somehow not legitimate in SJW eyes until they put on the garb and take up the name of a white original?

Let me emphasize that these are not cases where, for example, Robin grows up into Nightwing and someone else puts on Robin’s outfit to replace him, or where Blue Beetle takes up the costume and legacy of the original Blue Beetle.

Neither is any one of these a case where Superman has a cousin or Commissioner Gordon has a daughter who is a female version of a previously established character. That kind of thing happens in comics all the time, and no one cares or minds. Those things are meant to honor the previous character, or provide an interesting variation on a theme.

This is different.

This is like Muslims dynamiting the giant statues of Buddha in Afghanistan. It is the destruction of the icons and symbols of infidels.

This is blotting out the old character. Anyone who is white, straight, heroic or male is being replaced by someone who is not.... Plots, writing, drama, and storytelling has been flushed away down the water closet with very few exceptions.

The fact of the matter is that SJWs cannot tell stories. We saw this same thing in the science fiction field among the Hugo nominees: the more SJW was in a story, the less drama. The reasons for this are complicated, but the basic problem is that SJWs have a worldview that is false to facts about nearly every aspect of human nature and human morality, and instead have a fake, flat, one-dimensional view which contains neither heroism nor personal responsibility.
You might think John is exaggerating. I mean, it can't possibly be that bad, right? I knew SJWs in comics had gotten out of hand. That's why, after nearly three years of people requesting one, Castalia House is creating an alternative to the converged mainstream comics. But, as it turns out, the convergence is even worse than I'd ever imagined!


So, Thor is now a woman, who villains (as women) won't fight out of respect for what she's doing (as a woman), because it isn't easy for her (as a woman), but instead engage her in lengthy, boring chatter about their romantic relationships before voluntarily going to prison because girl-power. I''m only surprised the two new gal pals didn't go on to break out the teapot and sit down to discuss their favorite quotes from Hillary Clinton's new book over a nice cup of tea.

And doesn't this all sound a little... familiar? SJWs write science fiction without science, fantasy without the fantastic, military science fiction without war, and superhero comics without heroics. They are dramatic poison, and they are this way by necessity, due to the intrinsic falsity of their worldview.

Next week we will launch the Alt⭐️Hero Freestartr campaign. I guarantee it will be absolutely nothing like this pallid, boring SJW nonsense into which DC and Marvel have devolved. Although I can't promise we won't make ruthless fun of it from time to time....


UDPDATE: According to the SJWs, the declining sales of SJW-converged comics are totally not their fault. See, it's actually the fault of evil right-wing GAMERGATE COMICGATE harassing all those legions of women who totally want to go to comic stores and buy Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and Muslim Ms Marvel and Magic Negro Batman, but are frightened out of doing so by evil right-wing ComicGaters failing to make them feel welcome.
Like videogaming, comics culture is steeped in rightwing victim culture, where you convince yourself both that you and your hobby are horribly oppressed and bullied by the jocks, the popular clique, riajuu and that your particular brand of pop culture is superior to what the brainless masses consume because they don’t spent their Wednesday evenings waiting for the new issue of whatever The Avengers is called this week. So you get a culture and industry that bemoans the fact that nobody loves comics anymore, but resents any step made to make people feel welcome.

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

GRRM on Jerry Pournelle

Give credit to the man, unlike some of the younger SF-SJWs, he understands there is a time to criticize and there is a time to eulogize. His post is titled A Sadness:
Jerry Pournelle has passed away. He was 84.

It would seem that he attended Dragoncon in Atlanta, caught some kind of bug, and died in his sleep on September 8, after complaining of feeling unwell in his last blog post, on the 7th.

Pournelle has been a major figure in the field for as long as I have been a part of it. I first met him in 1973 at the worldcon in Toronto, where both of us were finalists for the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer (along with Lisa Tuttle, Ruth Berman, George Alec Effinger, and Robert Thurston). That was the very first year the award was given. To the surprise of no one, Pournelle won, though Geo. Alec Effinger finished so close behind the con gave him a special second place plaque, the only time THAT ever happened. (How close, you may ask? Ten votes, two votes, a single vote? No one knows. In those days, worldcons did not release vote totals).

The Hugos were given at a banquet in those days. I could not afford a ticket, so I came in after the meal for the awards. It was rather an unusual ceremony. The Hugo rockets had not arrived, so the winners received only empty bases... except for Jerry, since the Campbell sponsors (Conde Nast, in those days) HAD managed to come up with a plaque. There's Jerry holding it, above.

The other weirdness about that night was that toastmaster Lester del Rey, for reasons only known to himself, chose to present the awards backwards. In other words, he started with Best Novel (the 'Big One,' then as now), working his way though short fiction and to the fan awards, and ended with the brand-new never-given-before Campbell. Thing is, people started leaving after each award was given, and by the end, there was hardly anyone left in the hall except me, Jerry Pournelle and his party, and the other nominees and their friends (I think Lisa Tuttle and Ruth Berman were there, but Thurston and Effinger were not, someone else accepted the plaque for Piglet).

I came out of the night all right. It was an honor, a huge honor, just to be nominated. And in the aftermath I came up with the idea of a Campbell Awards anthology. A couple editors told me it was an idea worth pursuing, but of course I needed to get all the nominees to sign on... and the key one was Jerry, the winner. So I bought him a drink and pitched him the notion, and he said yes (though, being the consummate pro, he made that contingent on me being able to pay competitive professional rates). Eventually that conversation led to my NEW VOICES anthology, and launched my career as an editor and anthologist... and I'm still going strong there, forty-four years later.

The Hugo voters knew what they were doing when they gave Pournelle that first Campbell; he went on to have an amazing career, both on his own and in collaboration with other writers, particularly Larry Niven. With INFERNO, LUCIFER'S HAMMER, FOOTFALL, and (especially) MOTE IN GOD'S EYE, the two of them helped transform the field in the 70s. They were among the very first SF writers ever to hit the big bestseller lists, and among the first to get six-figure advances at the time when most writers were still getting four figure advances... something that Jerry was never shy about mentioning. Though he was nominated for a number of Hugo Awards in the years that followed, he never won one... but if that bothered him, he did not show it. "Money will get you through times of no Hugos better than Hugos will get you through times of no money," he said famously.

Pournelle was fond of talking about all the help Robert A. Heinlein (whom he always called "Mr. Heinlein," at least in my hearing) gave him when he was starting out, and he was a passionate advocate of RAH's "pay it forward" philosophy, and did much to help the generations of writers who came after him. He served a term in the thankless job of SFWA President, and remained an active part of SFWA ever after, as part of the advisory board of Past Presidents and (even more crucially) on GriefCom, the Grievance Committee. Jerry could be loud and acrimonious, yes, and when you were on the opposite side of a fight from him that was not pleasant... ahh, but when you were on the SAME side, there was no one better to have in your foxhole. I had need of SFWA's Griefcom only once in my career, in the early 80s, and when we met at worldcon with the publisher I had Jerry with me representing Griefcom. He went through the publisher's people like a buzzsaw, and got me everything I wanted, resolving my grievance satisfactorily (and confidentially, so no, no more details).

His politics were not my politics. He was a rock-ribbed conservative/ libertarian, and I'm your classic bleeding-heart liberal... but we were both fans, and professional writers, and ardent members of SFWA, and we loved SF and fantasy and fandom, and that was enough. You don't need to agree with someone on everything to be able to respect them. And while MOTE IN GOD'S EYE may not have won the Hugo in its year, it remains one of the great classics of space opera, destined to be read and re-read for as long as people read science fiction (it IS an honor just to be nominated).

The last time I saw Jerry was at Keith Kato's chili party at MidAmericon II. He loved Keith's chili as much as I do, another point in his favor.

R.I.P. Jerry. You were one ornery so-and-so, but you were our ornery so-and-so. Hoist a pint for me at that Secret Pro Party in the sky, and say hello to Mr. Heinlein.

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Yeah, so, about that....

Fornax has a great idea: BAN VOX DAY FROM FANDOM (pdf):
The Nerd & Tie blogger had an idea for handling the pretentious delArroz: Don't invite him to a convention ever again. That sounds like a great idea. From now on, fandom needs to shut out those like del Arroz, Correia, Hoyt and their leader Vox Day. All those who wish to trash fandom for both fun and profit should be kept out of fandom functions, such as conventions, that can accord writers and others publicity and public standing in the world of science fiction. Either you are on the side of fandom or you are against it. No middle ground.
I think it is fairly apparent that I am very much against the decrepit collection of obese, sickly, and mentally ill individuals who collectively make up what passes for fandom in science fiction. I make no attempts to write for them, sell books to them, or appeal to them in any way, shape, or form.

My contempt for them is overt and unconcealed. Even the forthcoming Alt⭐️Hero  line of comics openly spits on them and their social justice values.

I have attended precisely one science fiction convention in my life. I was a panelist at the grotesque freakshow called Minicon once about twenty years ago and I have never attended another one since. I have participated in precisely one other fandom function, a book signing at Barnes & Noble with other writers such as Gordon R. Dickson, Dave Arneson, Joel Rosenberg, and David Feintuch.

While it was the most successful book signing in that bookstore's history, the fact that none of those four writers are still alive should tell you how long ago it was. I have not done another book signing since, nor do I have any plans to ever do another one, because I don't like signing books, I don't like fandom, and I don't like public events.

I acknowledge the possibility that some of the other writers the SF-SJWs propose banning from fandom might actually care about it. In my case, however, I can assure them that any such ban will meet with neither objection nor protest from me.

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Your conscience is clear

You need not worry about the fate of Alt-Tech. Your departure is not hurting them in any way, as per Maximum Alpha Torba. I don't know to whom he is referring here, but then, I suppose it doesn't really matter.


UPDATE: I have been informed that hearing for the petition we filed is scheduled in Travis County for the last week of October.

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Why Japan will go nuclear

Peter Grant explains the logic. First, he cites George Friedman on why the Trump administration has been unable to do anything about North Korea despite its efforts to bring in China on the matter:
The US turned to China to negotiate a solution. The Chinese failed. In my view, the Chinese would not be terribly upset to see the US dragged into a war that would weaken Washington if it lost, and would cause massive casualties on all sides if it won. Leaving that question aside, the North Koreans felt they had to have nuclear weapons to deter American steps to destabilize Pyongyang. But the risk of an American attack, however difficult, had to have made them very nervous, even if they were going to go for broke in developing a nuclear capability.

But they didn’t seem very nervous. They seemed to be acting as if they had no fear of a war breaking out. It wasn’t just the many photos of Kim Jong Un smiling that gave this impression. It was that the North Koreans moved forward with their program regardless of American and possible Chinese pressure.

A couple of weeks ago, the reason for their confidence became evident. First, US President Donald Trump tweeted a message to the South Koreans accusing them of appeasement. In response, the South Koreans released a statement saying South Korea’s top interest was to ensure that it would never again experience the devastation it endured during the Korean War. From South Korea’s perspective, artillery fire exchanges that might hit Seoul had to be avoided. Given the choice between a major war to end the North’s nuclear program and accepting a North Korea armed with nuclear weapons, South Korea would choose the latter.

With that policy made public, and Trump’s criticism of it on the table, the entire game changed its form. The situation had been viewed as a two-player game, with North Korea rushing to build a deterrent, and the US looking for the right moment to attack. But it was actually a three-player game, in which the major dispute was between South Korea and the United States.
It doesn't matter if China is on board if South Korea is not. Hence Peter's conclusion:
This explains, to my mind, why the US response to North Korea's undoubtedly aggressive moves has been so muted.  There is no doubt that the USA could turn the whole of North Korea into a radioactive desert - but that would poison parts of China and most of South Korea with fallout, which neither country will accept.  Short of such an all-out nuclear attack, any US military intervention in North Korea must inevitably involve South Korea.  If South Korea is not willing to permit its territory, or its airspace, or its waters, to be used for that purpose, the USA is effectively stymied.

I see only one way to break the logjam, and force the issue.  That would be for the USA to announce that, in view of North Korea's aggressive actions and stated intentions to become a nuclear power, it is willing to sell nuclear weapons to Japan and South Korea.  Note that I said "sell" - in other words, not station US nuclear weapons in those countries under US control, but give each country its own nuclear warheads and delivery systems, under its own sovereign control.  China would instantly have kittens - a nuclear-armed Japan must be close to its worst nightmare, and a nuclear South Korea wouldn't be far behind that.  If anything could force China to rein in the North Korean regime, that might do it.
And the reality is that now it is clear North Korea cannot be reined in by the USA, Japan is going to need its own nuclear deterrent, which it probably required anyhow given the growth of China's global power. SJWs and Republicans may believe Asians are all a single political bloc, but anyone familiar with Asian history knows otherwise.

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That would be why

Some people asked me why I didn't choose CounterFund for Voxiversity and Alt⭐️Hero. The truth is that I never considered using Counterfund at all. Remember what I said about Andrew Torba not being ready for prime time? Well, in my opinion, neither is Pax Dickinson. He had been directing his attacks at Charles Johnson, not me, but I was aware that anyone who behaved that way in public towards a former business partner is likely to do the same to others in the future.

I've had the occasional problem with people and companies with whom I've worked in the past. Not many over the years, but a few. And aside from GT Interactive, which was a matter of public record, you probably couldn't name any of them because I don't ever talk about them in public. Among the necessary skills for a professional is the ability to keep your mouth shut, even when you have been wronged.
Pax Dickinson · @pax
I think Vox Day's "minions" are so bad at bantz and trolling because they're only used to soft SJW resistance, they don't know how to handle seasoned veterans of the meme wars. They exist in their secure little blog bubble where Vox's moderation keeps them weak and flaccid, like shitposting veal.

Counter.Fund‏ @CounterFund
I asked Vox Day to help me move, so he sued my couch.

Counter.Fund‏ @CounterFund
You can tell which #AltRight people are sincere & not just e-book selling charlatans because the good ones quit in disgust and never return.

Counter.Fund‏ @CounterFund
the e-book merchants take their e-fame very very seriously because they work at it but I became e-famous by accident so I think it's a joke

Counter.Fund‏ @CounterFund
Everyone: "Nazi LARPers are the Right's most autistic lolcows"
Vox Day: "Hold my beer"

Counter.Fund‏ @CounterFund
"hey #AltRight look what I built for you"
*called a shill*
*accused of grubbing for shekels*
*sued by Vox Day*
"on 2nd thought never mind"

Counter.Fund‏ @CounterFund
Calling for people to take back their investments in Gab is lower than shit. Fuck you @voxday you're fucking dead to me.

Counter.Fund‏ @CounterFund
Vox called me up back when I was ripping Chuck to advise that infighting was a bad look. I wonder when he changed his mind about that.

Counter.Fund‏ @CounterFund
I had a discussion with @VoxDay. It didn't go that well.  He blocked me. 😂
I most certainly did block him. I don't discuss things with individuals who refuse to address the relevant points and instead elect to call me "a fucking moron" in lieu of argument. I see that as a reliable indicator that there is absolutely no benefit to having anything to do with them, now or in the future. One can readily observe a pattern here: both Pax and Andrew Torba are volatile individuals who are temperamentally unsuited for what they are trying to do. That is why the probabilities of success are not in their favor.

Can you imagine me attacking an author that I was trying to recruit for Castalia House this way? Can you imagine ANY successful publisher doing so?

As for Gab, the LLoE and I will be continuing to proceed as before, albeit in a rather more unsympathetic manner than we began. As one reader noted in response to the following Gab posts: "Gab is a useless, irredeemable sewer. Let it burn."
Folk · @Folk
Deus Vulters can never be real nationalists, because they MUST believe in Oneness under Christ. A Christian Syrian is worth more to them than a secular or pagan White. All Deus Vulters should be Vox fans, as Vox's platform says you must be a Christian and support all races to be Alt-Right.

Goyim Revolution · @GoyimRevolution
Koanic you are such a loser. In fact it's obvious you're just a @VoxDay sock. What the hell is a "Nazi" anyway? Do you have a definition? And what's so vile about these Nazis? Is it because they won't shutup about jews like Soros?

Tyron T. White · @TightyWhitey
Being a "Christian" and "supporting all races" is exactly how all-white countries have been flooded with parasitic mud people. If someone shot Vox in the head on a sidewalk, do you think his followers would tilt right, or back toward center?
Charming. Now, one never knows what the future will bring, but based on what I have been hearing in various development circles, I expect that within 18 months Gab will be, at best, the third-place Alt-Tech alternative to Twitter.

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Hotel Catalonia

In Spain, you can vote out, but you can never leave. It seems only fair to give the Spanish government's side to the question of Catalonian secession and its recent actions in response to the Catalonians.
After learning about the searches and arrests made on Wednesday morning by the Civil Guard at various Catalan government agencies, regional premier Carles Puigdemont called a news conference to convey his position to the public opinion and the media. The gravity, but above all the falseness of the accusations that he made, now force us to debunk them one by one, for the sake of rigor and freedom of information. We believe it to be a basic tenet of democracy that public authorities cannot lie to citizens with impunity.

1. “The government of the Generalitat has today been the target of a coordinated aggression by the Interior Ministry’s police forces.”

False: the searches and arrests conducted on Wednesday inside various government agencies were carried out by the Civil Guard, not on the orders of the Interior Ministry or of the Prosecutor’s Office – rather, it was on the order of the judge at Barcelona’s 13th investigative court, as a result of legal proceedings that began a long time ago. As such, the Civil Guard acted in its role of “judicial police.”

2. The goal of the operation was to “suspend the activities of the (Catalan) government,” a government that holds “democratic legitimacy.” 

False. The Catalan government’s activities in all areas where it has devolved powers by virtue of the regional charter, the Estatut (education, health and so on), have not been suspended. The Catalan government has no power to organize a secessionist referendum and it knows this; the Constitutional Court has informed it of this fact. So there has been no suspension of the Catalan government’s activities. On the other hand, while it is true that the Catalan government was appointed by a majority of the deputies who were elected at the regional election of September 27, 2015, this kind of legitimacy (which does not even represent a majority of the people who voted that day) does not give them a mandate to repeal the Estatut or to organize activities that violate the law, as the Constitutional Court has also reminded the Govern. What defines a democracy is not the existence of majorities – all political regimes have them – but rather the fact that democracies cannot disobey the law with impunity. The Catalan government has no power to organize a secessionist referendum and it knows this

3. This aggression lacks legal backing,” it “violates the rule of law” and the European Charter of Rights, and is “a de facto suspension of self-government and a de facto application of a state of exception.”

It is all false. The police intervention not only took place under the aegis of the judiciary, it was in fact ordered by the latter and has the backing of the Constitutional Court. It therefore falls within the boundaries of the rule of law, of which the independence of the judiciary is a basic pillar (in contrast with the aim of the breakaway laws that were dictated by the secessionist bloc and later suspended by the courts). Nor can one say that Catalan home rule has been suspended, since nobody has invoked Section 155 of the Constitution, which would allow central authorities to temporarily intervene in Catalonia’s affairs. What’s not been applied either is the National Security Law, which would allow the government to take over all law enforcement agencies. There is no state of exception, because not a single civil right has been suspended, as shown by the freely exercised freedom of demonstration on the streets of Barcelona to protest acts ordered by the judiciary.

4. Various acts including “indiscriminate raids, even inside private homes” and other measures such as “the closure and blocking of websites” represent “an assault on democracy.” 

False: the searches on Wednesday were not indiscriminate, they were individualized as part of the judicial police’s operation. And it was the prosecutor’s office, following the Constitutional Court’s resolutions, that ordered the closure of a website that aimed to apply a law (passed on September 6 to facilitate the referendum) that had already been suspended by the Constitutional Court; the website provided details about the illegal ballot and instructions on how to carry it out.

5. “We condemn and reject the totalitarian and antidemocratic attitude of the Spanish State” and after its actions “we consider that the (central) government has crossed the red line separating it from authoritarian and repressive regimes” and that “it doesn’t respect the chief elements of democracy.”

This accusation is not new. Carles Puigdemont has previously argued that, politically speaking, Spain is like Turkey. But the reverse is the case: Puigdemont is, like Erdogan, the one who is shielding himself behind the majority, ignoring the separation of powers and breaking the law, violating the Constitution and the Estatut and using the institutions to push forward an illegal referendum without guarantees. Spain, a member of the European Union, is recognized as a democracy by all the relevant international organizations. The announcement of the ballot is the culmination of a project to repeal constitutional democracy

6. “We citizens have been called to the polls on October 1 to defend democracy in the face of a repressive and intimidating regime.” 

False: the announcement of the ballot is not about defending democracy, but rather about the culmination of a project to repeal constitutional democracy, to repeal the charter of self-government; and to cause the fragmentation of the Spanish rule of law, as embodied in the suspended breakaway laws paving the way for a referendum and for the transition to an independent republic, which were approved in the regional Catalan parliament on September 6 and September 8, 2017 inside a chamber that was half empty as most opposition deputies walked out in protest against the fact that their parliamentary rights were being denied. Intimidation has been carried out by secessionist groups, among them the radical left-wing CUP party, which has put up posters with photos of Catalan mayors and councilors who are in favor of compliance with democratic law.

7. “We are defending the right of Catalans to freely decide their future” 

The assumption that Catalans currently cannot decide their future in free elections is false: they have participated in 35 fully democratic elections since 1977 (at the local, regional, national and European levels) and in three referendums (the ratification of the Spanish Constitution and, on two occasions, of the Catalan Estatut); they enjoy self-government; and the region’s parties are fully present inside the Spanish Congress and Senate (and in the European Parliament, as Spaniards), as well as in many other public institutions.

8. “What is happening in Catalonia isn’t happening anywhere else in the European Union” 

This is the only assertion by Puigdemont that is actually accurate. Unfortunately, in the European Union we have nationalist leaders in both Hungary and Poland who want to put an end to the separation of powers and revoke the systems of laws and liberties currently in force. Luckily, as is also the case with Catalonia, this type of behavior has no place in the EU.
I can't say I find this to be a convincing refutation of the Catalonian people's right to self-determination, but I will note that by the Spanish government's standard, it is very clear that neither the USA nor the EU subscribe to the basic tenets of democracy.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Alt⭐️Hero incoming

In tonight's Darkstream, I discussed the upcoming Alt⭐️Hero comics campaign on Freestartr. We expect to launch it in the next two weeks, as we need to finish the launch video and Freestartr needs to add a feature that will allow us to display a selection of the art and finished pages we've created.

And yes, Alt⭐️Hero is going to trigger SJWs like you will not believe. The reeeeeeeees are going to be audible in orbit. Here are two of the superheroes of the European Union's Global Justice Initiative, Rainbow and Redshift.


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Crackdown and resistance in Catalonia

Spain is cracking down on the Catalonian secessionists, causing more neutrals to support secession:
I just got of the phone with Josep Maria Sole Sabaté, my friend and a leading Catalan historian and public intellectual. He was nothing short of breathless as he described the helicopters  flying overhead stated flatly that he was in the the midst of a coup being carried out by the Spanish State.

He wanted to get in touch with me and others “out there”  because he was not sure how much longer free communication would be available to him and other out in the street protesting against he Spanish central government’s arrest of members of the Catalan Autonomous government.

As of this writing at least six agencies of the Catalan Government have been the object of forced police searches and thirteen, mostly mid-level members of the Catalan government have been arrested.

The homes of two the leading architects of the incipient Catalan state,  Carles Viver Pi i Sunyer and ex Spanish judge Santi Vidal, have been searched by police.  The headquarters of the far-left CUP, part of the pro-vote coalition in the Catalan Parliament, has been surrounded by police.

The leader of the Catalan National Congress Jordi Sanchez and the head of Omnium, a major Catalan cultural organization, Jordi Cuixart, has called Catalans to come into the streets and they have responded with a massive presence.

The mayor of Barcelona Ada Colau, who has been  highly ambivalent regarding the referendum that is scheduled too take place on October 1st, has now come out firmly for the referendum and against the crackdown taking place.
This response would appear to increase the chances of what looked to be another failed vote for secession into violent separatism. It all feels a bit unreal, however, considering that the real struggle appears to be over which government has the right to collect subsidies from the European Union, the Spanish central government or the Catalonian regional government.

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Alt-Tech overview

One year on, Cheah Kai Wai reviews the current state of Alt-Tech:
Last year, the Alt-Tech promised a revolution. These platforms aimed to disrupt and replace the legacy platforms, placing the rights and freedoms of users first. One year on, how well did they fare?

Infogalactic

Infogalactic is an unqualified success story. Beginning as a dynamic hard fork of Wikipedia, it strives to be more objective and informative than its predecessor. In line with its Seven Canons, Infogalactic maintains a strict non-ideological position for all facts -- but in the future, it will introduce Context and Opinion levels to its pages, allowing greater depth of content.

Every time I compared an Infogalactic page to Wikipedia, I found the former to be more informative and accurate. The only major knock against Infogalactic is its load time, and even that is improving by the day. In the beginning, it took long minutes to load a single page. Today, it is only slightly slower than Wikipedia.

I use Infogalactic exclusively these days. Wikipedia's explicit left-wing bias means it is no longer a neutral source of information. Infogalactic has demonstrated itself to be a viable and sustainable alternative to Wikipedia, and in the long term I suspect the disruption and replacement of Wikipedia is inevitable.

Gab

Gab was supposed to be the Twitter killer. A platform dedicated to free speech, it has survived allegations and lies about it being the haven of the Alt-Right and Neo-Nazis. Apple and Google have repeatedly prevented Gab from publishing its app on the iTunes Store and Google Play Store respectively for spurious reasons. Gab brands itself as a proponent of free speech -- but that is also its undoing.

Gab's key weakness is its inability or unwillingness to moderate posts. While it is unwaveringly committed to free speech, freedom is not and cannot be unlimited. As the old adage goes, your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins. Harmful speech -- speech that incites violence or compromises the privacy and safety of individuals -- is not protected speech. Gab must be able to moderate harmful content to preserve the continued health and safety of its users, and it has failed the test....

These controversies expose Gab's core weakness. As Gab refused to moderate harmful speech, Gab users have no choice but to lodge complaints with the domain registrar, who will inevitably respond by ordering Gab off its platform. Like the Daily Stormer, I foresee Gab migrating from registrar to registrar, virtually guaranteeing disruption of services. Alternatively, these users may turn to the police and the courts instead, which will invite another round of troubles.

Free speech ends where harm begins. Incitement to violence, exposure of confidential information, and lying about someone to smear his reputation counts as harm. If Gab will not handle harmful speech in-house, other parties will. To Gab's detriment. I, for one, cannot in good conscience continue to recommend anyone to use Gab until they fix this oversight, if ever.
Ironically, the fevered assaults by the Daily Stormpoopers and other Gab enthusiasts on me appear to have borne some unexpected fruit. After I reported about 20 or 30 attack tweets to Twitter, in addition to banning and suspending a few of the responsible accounts, Twitter has restored full link access to Vox Popoli using the .com extension after more than 18 months of blocking it.

Enemy of my enemy and all that, I suppose. Go figure.

I will also say that my experience of Brave has been considerably more positive than Cheah's. But regardless, I am very pleased to know that Infogalactic is working so well for its users, even in Phase One.

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Mexico needs help

Today's #DailyMemeWars Meme of the Day concerning the tragedy in Mexico has proved excessively spicy for cuckservatives. Needless to say, I was deeply concerned and hastened to address the obvious problem.



Concerned Gentleman: There are 200+ dead. This is in bad taste. ((thumb dn))

Supreme Dark Lord: Your bow tie is crooked. You might want to straighten that out, cucky.

If you want to receive a daily Meme of the Day, sign up for the #DailyMemeWars.

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Programmed hate

Anonymous Conservative explains why it is so vital for Trump, and other Republicans, not to cuck on immigration:
The real problem President Trump must grasp is, conservatives have become programmed over these last few presidential cycles, and this conditioning has imbued a specific set of neural pathways. Too many times, we have had a politician espouse conservative, anti-leftist ideals to us, we got in line to support him, and then he either turned around in office and reversed his position to support a leftist position, or he took a “moderate” pro-left tone in the campaign and never even made it into office.

As a result of this history, conservatives have a whole lot of hatred and rage-circuits burned into their brains, just waiting to be triggered by a perception of betrayal, and attached to whoever is seen as doing the betrayal. If Donald turns around, in what most conservatives perceive as a time of war, and legalizes 800,000 new democrat voters, those circuits will all fire up throughout the movement.

As the research shows, once you attach such an aversive stimulus pathway to a concept in the amygdala, you cannot destroy that neural pathway, unlike in other areas of the brain. An amygdala pathway which triggers aversive stimulus never degrades, unlike mere memory circuits. It is permanent. At most, with extensive deconditioning work, you can create a second suppressive-circuit to suppress the amygdala trigger, but that secondary pathway is always weak in its operation. The initial aversive stimulus is easily re-triggered through it – a circumstance which destroys the suppressive pathway, and fully reestablishes the trigger.

What this means is, from a cognitive neuroscience perspective, if Trump allows the DACA-recipients any sort of path to voting, a large swath of his base will suddenly have a very negative sensation attach to him related to betrayal. Once that pathway is there, all any subsequent opponent will need to do is press that betrayal button to elicit the sensation.

I voted for George Bush twice, and really liked him as a person. But when I think of how he destroyed the party to support democrats and polish his own “moderate” credentials, it doesn’t matter what he does going forward. Those angry sensations of betrayal and anger will rise, no matter how nice he may be, no matter what he does. He will now always elicit negative feelings in me, and I would never support him or his family again. For a more detailed discussion of that, ask President Jeb Bush about it.

In my opinion, George W Bush was actually worse for the future prospects of the Bush family than even his ultra-leftist father, because W. pretended to be one of us. We all knew H.W. was shaky. When he went left it was no surprise. But W. pretended to be a Texas conservative. When he ultimately refused to attack the left, let all their attacks go unanswered, and handed the Presidency to Obama, the violation of expectation of betrayal made the amygdala-pathway that formed so strong that the entire Bush dynasty was destroyed, and even the full backing of the Establishment could not resurrect it.

Then there is also the issue of all the conservatives who have been fighting with other conservatives, defending President Trump’s conservatism during the campaign. Others would say he was a New York liberal who was merely pandering on immigration, and would ultimately legalize all of those leftist voters and kill the party. If the President reverses his position, he destroys the credibility of his defenders within the conservative movement. That would be yet another betrayal.

This is a minefield which goes beyond mere persuasion. There comes a point where amygdala begins to become so high that persuasion is ineffective. If someone kills your entire family, you will have enough amygdala that they will never be able to use persuasion to change how you feel. For conservatives, America is being destroyed, freedom is waning rapidly, and it is all due to liberalism. Leftists now violently attack any conservative who speaks openly in public. Leftism is now an enemy which we view with as much hate as any enemy our nation has faced in history.
He's right. I am considerably more cool-tempered than most, I have no problem at all waiting extended periods of time to take my shots when necessary, and yet, there is literally nothing that any member of the Bush family, or any establishment Republican like Paul Ryan, can say that will allow me to even hear what they are saying. They might as well be Charlie Brown's teacher as far as I am concerned. Wuaah-wa-wuaah-wa-wuaah....

Their past behavior has rendered them literally incredible to me and millions of others on the Right. This is the real reason the Alternative Right is inevitable, because so many of us no longer find the conservative movement, or the Republican Party, to be even potentially persuasive.

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Trump's UN speech

A little more bellicose and interventionist than I like, but all in all, vastly superior to any U.S. President's foreign policy since Reagan. I particularly liked the shots aimed at globalism and mass migration, as well as the implicit criticism of the post-WWII neoliberal world order.

Mr. Secretary General, Mr. President, world leaders, and distinguished delegates, welcome to New York. It is a profound honor to stand here in my home city as a representative of the American people to address the people of the world. As millions of our citizens continue to suffer the effects of the devastating hurricanes that have struck our country, I want to begin by expressing my appreciation to every leader in this room who has offered assistance and aid. The American people are strong and resilient, and they will emerge from these hardships more determined than ever before.

Fortunately, the United States has done very well since Election Day last November 8. The stock market is at an all-time high, a record. Unemployment is at its lowest level in 16 years, and because of our regulatory and other reforms, we have more people working in the United States today than ever before. Companies are moving back, creating job growth, the likes of which our country has not seen in a very long time, and it has just been announced that we will be spending almost $700 billion on our military and defense. Our military will soon be the strongest it has ever been. For more than 70 years, in times of war and peace, the leaders of nations, movements, and religions have stood before this assembly.

Like them, I intend to address some of the very serious threats before us today, but also the enormous potential waiting to be unleashed. We live in a time of extraordinary opportunity. Breakthroughs in science, technology, and medicine are curing illnesses and solving problems that prior generations thought impossible to solve. But each day also brings news of growing dangers that threaten everything we cherish and value. Terrorists and extremists have gathered strength and spread to every region of the planet. Rogue regimes represented in this body not only support terror but threaten other nations and their own people with the most destructive weapons known to humanity.

Authority and authoritarian powers seek to collapse the values, the systems, and alliances, that prevented conflict and tilted the word toward freedom since World War II. International criminal networks traffic drugs, weapons, people, force dislocation and mass migration, threaten our borders and new forms of aggression exploit technology to menace our citizens. To put it simply, we meet at a time of both immense promise and great peril. It is entirely up to us whether we lift the world to new heights or let it fall into a valley of disrepair. We have it in our power, should we so choose, to lift millions from poverty, to help our citizens realize their dreams, and to ensure that new generations of children are raised free from violence, hatred, and fear.

This institution was founded in the aftermath of two world wars, to help shape this better future. It was based on the vision that diverse nations could cooperate to protect their sovereignty, preserve their security, and promote their prosperity. It was in the same period exactly 70 years ago that the United States developed the Marshall Plan to help restore Europe. Those these beautiful pillars, they are pillars of peace, sovereignty, security, and prosperity. The Marshall Plan was built on the noble idea that the whole world is safer when nations are strong, independent, and free. As president, Truman said in his message to Congress at that time, our support of European recovery is in full accord with our support of the United Nations.

The success of the United Nations depends upon the independent strength of its members. To overcome the perils of the present, and to achieve the promise of the future, we must begin with the wisdom of the past. Our success depends on a coalition of strong and independent nations that embrace their sovereignty, to promote security, prosperity, and peace, for themselves and for the world. We do not expect diverse countries to share the same cultures, traditions, or even systems of government, but we do expect all nations to uphold these two core sovereign duties, to respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation.

This is the beautiful vision of this institution, and this is the foundation for cooperation and success. Strong sovereign nations let diverse countries with different values, different cultures, and different dreams not just coexist, but work side by side on the basis of mutual respect. Strong sovereign nations let their people take ownership of the future and control their own destiny. And strong sovereign nations allow individuals to flourish in the fullness of the life intended by God. In America, we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to watch.

Read more »

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The great poets steal

I remember how disappointed I was when I learned that Harry Turtledove wasn't a wonderfully imaginative writer, but was simply rewriting Byzantine history. I'm a little more relaxed about the fact that Frank Herbert found a fair amount of inspiration from a historical novel about an Islamic jihad in Russia:
Even a casual political observer will recognize the parallels between the universe of Dune and the Middle East of the late 20th century. Islamic theology, mysticism, and the history of the Arab world clearly influenced Dune, but part of Herbert’s genius lay in his willingness to reach for more idiosyncratic sources of inspiration. The Sabres of Paradise (1960) served as one of those sources, a half-forgotten masterpiece of narrative history recounting a mid-19th century Islamic holy war against Russian imperialism in the Caucasus.

Lesley Blanch, the book’s author, has a memorable biography. A British travel writer of some renown, she is perhaps best known for On the Wilder Shores of Love (1954), an account of the romantic adventures of four British women in the Middle East. She was also a seasoned traveler, a keen observer of Middle Eastern politics and culture, and a passionate Russophile. She called The Sabres of Paradise “the book I was meant to do in my life,” and the novel offers the magnificent, overstuffed account of Imam Shamyl, “The Lion of Dagestan,” and his decades-long struggle against Russian encroachment.

Anyone who has obsessed over the mythology of Dune will immediately recognize the language Herbert borrowed from Blanch’s work. Chakobsa, a Caucasian hunting language, becomes the language of a galactic diaspora in Herbert’s universe. Kanly, from a word for blood feud among the Islamic tribes of the Caucasus, signifies a vendetta between Dune’s great spacefaring dynasties. Kindjal, the personal weapon of the region’s Islamic warriors, becomes a knife favored by Herbert’s techno-aristocrats. As Blanch writes, “No Caucasian man was properly dressed without his kindjal.”
Herbert is ecumenical with his borrowing, lifting terminology and rituals from both sides of this obscure Central Asian conflict. When Paul Atreides, Dune’s youthful protagonist, is adopted by a desert tribe whose rituals and feuds bear a marked resemblance to the warrior culture of the Islamic Caucasus, he lives at the exotically named Sietch Tabr. Sietch and tabr are both words for camp borrowed from the Cossacks, the Czarist warrior caste who would become the great Christian antagonists of Shamyl’s Islamic holy warriors.

Herbert also lifted two of Dune’s most memorable lines directly from Blanch. While describing the Caucasians’ fondness for swordplay, Blanch writes, “To kill with the point lacked artistry.” In Dune, this becomes “[k]illing with the tip lacks artistry,” advice given to a young Paul Atreides by a loquacious weapons instructor. A Caucasian proverb recorded by Blanch transforms into a common desert aphorism. “Polish comes from the city, wisdom from the hills,” an apt saying for a mountain people, becomes “Polish comes from the cities, wisdom from the desert” in Dune.

Dune’s narrative, however, owes more to The Sabres of Paradise than just terminology and customs. The story of a fiercely independent, religiously inspired people resisting an outside power is certainly not unique to the Caucasus, but Blanch’s influence can be found here, too. The name of Herbert’s major villain, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, is redolent of Russian imperialism. Meanwhile, Imam Shamyl, the charismatic leader of Islamic resistance in the Caucasus, describes the Russian Czar as “Padishah” and his provincial governor as “Siridar,” titles that Herbert would later borrow for Dune’s galactic emperor and his military underlings.
This sort of thing is why I saw absolutely no point in playing superficial "hide the obvious" games and calling elves "snerks" and orcs "grablings" as so many mediocre fantasy writers do. I mean, they're not fooling anyone, are they? Sure, we'd all like to be as wonderfully and comprehensively inventive as JRR Tolkien, but few of us have the depth of knowledge or the patience required to painstakingly construct an entire world from scratch.

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A taste of the bass



While we're in the process of acquiring the required equipment, the Voxiversity team has been experimenting with some of the different concepts we are planning to apply to the videos we will be producing. Here is a brief sample of one such experiment, entitled Know Thyself, which utilizes the audio from my debate with Greg Johnson.

We will obviously be utilizing higher quality audio than the mic of my gaming headset, and I think we will also bring in some new fonts, preferably some of those regularly used by Castalia House on its covers for some cross-media unity of style. But this should give you some idea of the sort of thing we'll be doing to bring the concepts to life and make them memorable beyond my simple articulation of them.

If you'd like to assist these efforts and support Voxiversity, you can do so at Freestartr.

And I would be remiss if I failed to note that, somewhat to my surprise, the backers have overwhelmingly selected Immigration & War as the first Voxiversity video.

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Various and sundries

First, if you are an investor in Gab but would like to retroactively de-invest for whatever reason, there is a good chance you can still do so. StartEngine has not charged most credit cards, but the cancel button will not work if it has been more than 48 hours. However, if you contact StartEngine support, it is still possible to manually cancel the investment.

Second, the Production Editor of Castalia House is looking for up to four volunteers to help him produce print and ebook editions more rapidly. His list of requirements are as follows:
Basic requirements:
  • Command line experience in Linux or Mac OS X or a BSD, etc.
  • Experience with DVCS. We use Git.
  • Attention to detail. Much of the work involves correcting curly quotes facing the wrong direction, or italics that accidentally include punctuation, etc.
  • Concern for the way text looks, whether in print or in ebook.
For ebooks:
  • Markdown
  • Basic HTML and CSS
For print:
  • LaTeX (for marking up manuscripts, not writing new commands or environments).
  • Familiarity with basic typesetting concepts is preferred.
To help with tool development:
  • Experience writing LaTeX macros and environments
  • Python
  • Advanced Pandoc tricks (filters, custom writers)
  • Lua
  • Docker
  • Adobe Acrobat Pro (we'd like to customize some preflight profiles)
Please only volunteer if you really like doing this stuff and have at least a few hours every week to devote to it. We have a lot to do, we move fast, and our smooth operation relies heavily upon everyone doing what they do without requiring a great deal of communication or cheerleading.

Third, a member of the Dread Ilk is looking to fill some job openings in Alabama. If you want to send your resume to them, email it to me with JOB-AL in the subject and I will forward it to the correct party.
  • Engineer, Analyst, and Programming Positions in Huntsville, AL (JOB-AL)

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