Trump vs. K-Pop

Would be very surprised if Brad Parscale still has a job in a few days.

  • overhyped expectations for Trump’s Tulsa rally solely based on online ticket requests
  • spent thousands and wasted the time of the President AND Vice President on a second stage event that was cancelled at the last minute for lack of people
  • the data collection for the rally (the REAL reason the Trump campaign holds these) is completely burned to the ground thanks to K-pop and Tiktok fans mobilizing to make tens of thousands of burner accounts, making the data haul for the rally useless. Given the fact they used those fake accounts as a judge of how many people were actually going to show up (thus that unused second stage) the campaign was caught completely by surprise by this. Not surprising, they’re so incompetent they do no data validation whatsoever. Whoops.
  • did not prepare the candidate at all so that he spent an hour and a half meandering about how hard it is to walk down ramps (this was mostly Trump’s fault since he refuses to prepare for anything, it resembling actual work, but Parscale will still get blamed)
  • thanks to this fiasco the Trump campaign is off center now; the plan was to lead into more big rallies immediately to gin up enthusiasm (of Trump’s voters and Trump himself) and that isn’t going to happen

2020 isn’t going to be 2016. In 2016, there were essentially two campaigns – Trump’s fly-by-night spend-as-little-as-possible gang of pirates which used rallies and earned media and nothing else, and the establishment GOP network which ran something approaching a normal campaign.

There is no more establishment GOP. It’s all Trump, as his cronies spent the past 4 years taking over the entire party and purging anyone not sufficiently loyal to Dear Leader. And now we get to watch the results.

Make popcorn.

Putin’s War

The Great Cost of Journalism in Vladimir Putin's Russia | GQ

Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, apparently took time out of his busy schedule to personally write this article. A fascinating piece of historical revisionism, and most likely Putin’s attempt to put his stamp on European history.

“The Nazis skillfully played on people’s emotions and built their propaganda promising to deliver Germany from the “legacy of Versailles” and restore the country to its former power while essentially pushing German people into war. Paradoxically, the Western states, particularly the United Kingdom and the United States, directly or indirectly contributed to this. Their financial and industrial enterprises actively invested in German factories and plants manufacturing military products. Besides, many people in the aristocracy and political establishment supported radical, far-right and nationalist movements that were on the rise both in Germany and in Europe.”

You see? It’s your fault, you liberals in the West, you Anglo-Saxons. You made this beast. You funded it.

“Today, European politicians, and Polish leaders in particular, wish to sweep the Munich Betrayal under the carpet. Why? The fact that their countries once broke their commitments and supported the Munich Betrayal, with some of them even participating in divvying up the take, is not the only reason. Another is that it is kind of embarrassing to recall that during those dramatic days of 1938, the Soviet Union was the only one to stand up for Czechoslovakia.”

Stalin’s support of Czechoslovakia, of course, being limited to cheering them on from the sidelines. But it’s really those dastardly Poles at fault! Those tricksy Poles! Why…

“It will suffice to remember the cynical phrase said by Polish Ambassador to Germany J. Lipski during his conversation with Hitler on 20 September 1938: “…for solving the Jewish problem, we [the Poles] will build in his honor … a splendid monument in Warsaw.”

Putin even stands up for the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact – it was necessary because everyone else was doing it!

“Besides, we do not know if there were any secret “protocols” or annexes to agreements of a number of countries with the Nazis. The only thing that is left to do is to take their word for it. In particular, materials pertaining to the secret Anglo-German talks still have not been declassified. Therefore, we urge all states to step up the process of making their archives public and publishing previously unknown documents of the war and pre-war periods – the way Russia has done it in recent years.”

And then Germany invaded Poland. This was, of course, Poland’s fault for not inviting in Soviet troops (really, he tries to make this point – just ignore what happened to the Baltic states a few months later). And not only was it Poland’s fault, they were just really bad people.

“Despite the fierce, heroic resistance of the Polish army, on 8 September 1939 – only a week after the war broke out – the German troops were on the approaches to Warsaw. By 17 September, the military and political leaders of Poland had fled to Romania, abandoning its people, who continued to fight against the invaders.”

And not just the Poles, really, everyone was just bad.

“Moreover, the Anglo-French Supreme War Council, holding its first meeting on 12 September 1939 in the French city of Abbeville, decided to call off the offensive altogether in view of the rapid developments in Poland. That was when the infamous Phony War started. What Britain and France did was a blatant betrayal of their obligations to Poland.”

Only the Soviets bravely stood up for the Poles, by, er, um, invading them.

“It was only when it became absolutely clear that Great Britain and France were not going to help their ally and the Wehrmacht could swiftly occupy entire Poland and thus appear on the approaches to Minsk that the Soviet Union decided to send in, on the morning of 17 September, Red Army units into the so-called Eastern Borderlines, which nowadays form part of the territories of Belarus, Ukraine and Lithuania.”

“Obviously, there was no alternative. Otherwise, the USSR would face seriously increased risks because – I will say this again – the old Soviet-Polish border ran only within a few tens of kilometers of Minsk. The country would have to enter the inevitable war with the Nazis from very disadvantageous strategic positions, while millions of people of different nationalities, including the Jews living near Brest and Grodno, Przemyśl, Lvov and Wilno, would be left to die at the hands of the Nazis and their local accomplices – anti-Semites and radical nationalists.”

Left unspoken are the thousands of people of different nationalities who were promptly sent to gulags or, in the case of Polish prisoners of war, lined up in a ditch and shot. Oh, but that wasn’t Russia’s fault either!

“Such figures as Pétain, Quisling, Vlasov, Bandera, their henchmen and followers – though they were disguised as fighters for national independence or freedom from communism – are traitors and slaughterers. In inhumanity, they often exceeded their masters. In their desire to serve, as part of special punitive groups they willingly executed the most inhuman orders. They were responsible for such bloody events as the shootings of Babi Yar, the Volhynia massacre, burnt Khatyn, acts of destruction of Jews in Lithuania and Latvia.”

Blaming the Katyn Massacre on “collaborators”. That takes some balls.

Essentially, this whole piece tries, in typical Putinist style, to mask the truth (Germany’s invasion of Poland and later France was massively abetted by the Soviets giving them a free hand) by saying you know what, everyone’s guilty, especially the victims, they weren’t angels, you know.

History is written, after all, by the winners.

I Am Blocked And I Must Scream

White House proposal would have FCC and FTC investigate alleged social media censorship – CNN

wint on Twitter: "blocked. blocked. blocked. youre all blocked. none of you  are free of sin" / Twitter

As I thought, the key to this is trying to weaken the “common carrier” clause that protects social media sites from being liable for posts made by their users. (It almost certainly won’t work, and if it does social media sites will simply move their corporate offices offshore rather than open themselves up to such liability.)

This because far-right trolls are mad that they get banned for being trolls — now that a troll is President, they are demanding the right to scream at you without you being able to do anything about it.

Meanwhile Facebook, for its part, as many of my friends reading this can personally attest, religiously autobans people for, among other things, complaining about racism (largely driven by those same trolls filing spurious reports). This points to a key problem that people on both sides of the political aisle fail to realize – social media companies *can’t* police speech because it costs too much money (and the outsourced labor they rely on often is unfamiliar with US cultural references needed to properly moderate content). The best they can do is automated systems that misfire all too regularly.

For its part, the White House yesterday led in the online harassment of a Twitter executive because his account had political posts that the White House didn’t like. Kellyanne Conway read the man’s Twitter handle on Fox during an interview and chortled about how “he’s going to wake up to a lot of new followers now”. Donald Trump Jr. (who is widely rumored to post on 4chan /pol) followed that up with his own repeated calls to action.

The theory and practice of Gamergate has arrived in the halls of government. And, true to Gamergate practice, they loudly scream that they are the ones being oppressed, while doing their best to destroy that which sustains them.

A Brief Historical Update

Please note that the following battles never actually happened and update your histories accordingly:

Battle of Pabianice (9/1939): The Polish army, under extreme pressure, punched the newly formed SS division “Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler” square in the face, to the point that regular Germany army troops had to rescue them from encirclement. The embarrassment almost caused Hitler to have second thoughts about allowing Himmler to play soldier with a private army.

Battle of Montcornet (5/1940): Under General De Gaulle, the French army counterattacked the German thrust. While too late to save the French line from collapse, and woefully unprepared, the French armor forced the Germans to retreat, losing 100 tanks to De Gaulle’s 23.

1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Battles of Changsha (1939-1944): After catastrophic initial losses in the Japanese invasion, the Chinese put aside their differences and formed defensive lines which, over a series of increasingly bloody battles, held, until finally in the 4th Battle of Changsha the Japanese Army was shattered in detail and forced to surrender a year later.

Battles of Monte Cassino (1 – 5/1944): Over 4 months, Canadian, Indians, Gurkhas, New Zealander, Free French/Moroccan and Polish troops would fight German mountaineers over a hilltop monastery that defended the road to Rome. 55,000 Allied soldiers died in the battles to take the mountain.

Warsaw Uprising (1944): Polish civilians and guerillas throw everything including the kitchen sink at the hated German occupiers. The uprising was crushed with over 15,000 Polish combatants and 150,000 Polish civilians killed, and the city of Warsaw was destroyed.

Battle of Berlin (1945): Over 2 million Soviet troops storm into the capital of Germany, crush all resistance, cause Hitler to commit suicide, and end the war.

None of this actually happened, have a good evening!

And The Righteous And The Sinners Were All Destroyed In Fire

We trained for, we expected the missiles to come over the North Pole from the Soviet Union. Then when that no longer existed, we watched nervously over the Pacific, to China and North Korea.

When the missiles slammed into our cities from submarines in the Atlantic, we were taken by complete surprise. We never expected such an attack, we had no idea why or from where.

Then, from satellites over the few cities left alive, on all channels, the distinctive techno beat of the BBC News intro, followed by this video playing on a loop.

It was all the explanation we had needed, as everything left to us was mercilessly pounded into nuclear slag, lest it ever, ever happen again.

We had awoken a great and terrible vengeance from those we previously thought our friends, and we deserved our fate.