YouTube’s cancelation of Trump, and what it means for you

Donald Trump has plenty of ways to speak to the world. You might not. That needs to change.

YouTube has become the latest tech company to permanently ban, or “cancel” President Trump. His YouTube channel, and his ability to upload videos, have been blocked by YouTube.

A few key takeaways here. First of all, let’s consider the entire premise of “social media”, and our reliance on it.

It may surprise some people to learn that social media as we know it today was virtually nonexistent on the Internet prior to the 2005~2006 period. Over the space of a few short years, YouTube (2005), Twitter (2006), and Facebook (2006) sprung up like kudzu on the Internet. They convinced us that they were essential for online expression.

These sites were never essential for online expression, though.

Before social media existed, the Internet was filled with sound, video, and text-based content. How?

Websites.

Individuals had websites. I created my first website in 2002, using Microsoft FrontPage and a $9.95 per month hosting plan. Businesses had websites, too.

The same is true today. You aren’t reading these words on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, are you? You’re reading them on my personal website. Neither Mark Zuckerberg, nor Jack Dorsey, nor any of their employees have any say in what is written here.

Donald Trump is still President of the United States. If he wanted, he could put a video-recorded speech on the Voice of America website. The White House also has a website.

Donald Trump also has his own personal website (belonging to his business group). He could host a video there within a few hours. This would not be difficult, either technically or logistically.

Nor would this mean any shortage of exposure. Word of the video’s appearance and location would quickly spread. No YouTube required.

A social media site, when you get right down to it, is just one more website out of gazillions. That’s all YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter are. Three more websites.

Donald Trump has other options.

But Donald Trump is the President of the United States, at least for another week. You aren’t. Maybe you don’t have a ready means of online expression, beyond social media…or you’ve been conditioned to believe that you don’t.

Individuals and corporations can still start websites of their own. (Again, that’s what Edward Trimnell Books is: an individual website.) But for roughly the past 15 years, we’ve gradually been conditioned to believe that social media is the default place (and the only place) where people should broadcast their thoughts to the world.

Never mind that organic reach on all these platforms has sharply diminished. On Facebook (to cite one example) most people and most companies have to purchase ads in order to reach many people nowadays. Spontaneously “viral” social media content is increasingly rare.

Breaking our conditioned reliance on social media is a larger topic. The fact is: many people are reliant on it. That brings us to this new world we’ll soon be living in (after Inauguration Day) and our new masters in Washington DC and Silicon Valley.

There were many reasons why I disapproved of last Wednesday’s action at the US Capitol. First of all, it resulted in unnecessary loss of life. But at a more strategic level, it was doomed from the outset to failure.

Let’s be clear: The January 6 incursion of the US Capitol was a very expensive, very destructive example of “pissing in the wind”.

But it was even worse than that. The left has now been given a new narrative: that America is under imminent attack from an organized, rightwing (and, oh yeah, “white supremacist”) conspiracy that is bent on establishing the Fourth Reich right here in America.

Pelosi Desk Guy

Never mind that the “conspiracy” was best typified by the shirtless guy in the buffalo hat, and the frumpy fellow who posed with his feet on Nancy Pelosi’s desk. Those two couldn’t plot a sustained takeover of a Dairy Queen in rural Ohio, much less the takeover of the US government.

Shirtless Buffalo Hat Guy

But the tech masters and the new Democratic Party leadership now have a pretext. A pretext is all they needed. They can now use last Wednesday’s Capitol Hill incursion as an excuse to ban any idea, personality, or content that they do not like.

And they’ll do this under the banner of “preventing potential violence”, or “saving America from the far right”.

Freedom of speech will be under sustained assault for the immediate future. Social media, as a platform for any political expression outside the leftwing/progressive orthodoxy, is dead. This new reality will require new strategies and new tactics.

First and foremost, conservatives, moderates, and freedom-loving people everywhere will need to build their own platforms—both at the small scale, and at the larger scale. The default methods of vlogging one’s views on YouTube, of tweeting, no longer function—not even for the President of the United States.

Blood Flats

Former marine Lee McCabe is on the run from the law, mafia hitmen, and rural meth dealers. A gun-blazing chase through the badlands of Kentucky.

Read the first ten chapters of BLOOD FLATS here on Edward Trimnell Books.

Bumble, bikinis, and bralettes

Bumble is a dating app where women make the first move. That might actually make sense, since women have a supply-and-demand advantage in the dating world. 

But it seems that Bumble is rather uptight about what it allows its female members to wear in their profile pics:

Dating platform Bumble will not review its policy on indoor bikini photos despite recent criticism

“The online dating platform, which launched in 2014, has confirmed that it will not be reconsidering its current rules against posting indoor swimsuit photos despite recent controversy surrounding a user wearing a bralette…”

Well, thanks a lot, killjoy. Apparently Playboy model Tahlia Paris’s photos were removed by Bumble moderators not long ago for violating some version of the policy.

It sounds like the Bumble moderators need to lighten up a bit. 

Meanwhile, I will confess that I was previously unaware of the term “bralette”. Apparently that’s a bra without all the wire framing, and one can purchase them on Amazon

Sarah Jeong vs. Andy Ngo

The crackpot Sarah Jeong made headlines in 2018, after the New York Times named her to its editorial board, and her derogatory, neurotic tweets about white people (white men in particular) came to light. 

The mainstream media pretended that it never happened. Don’t look at those tweets! they said. The liberal Vox even declared the whole thing a rightwing conspiracy. (Isn’t everything they don’t like a rightwing conspiracy?) 

But in the end, who really cares who works at the New York Times? The paper has pretty much discredited itself, anyway.

Most folks just shrugged it off, and Jeong joined the editorial board of the NYT. But that didn’t last very long. It seems Ms. Jeong was temperamental even by their standards. She’s since been downgraded to an “opinion columnist”. Make of that what you will.

Sarah Jeong mostly exists on Twitter nowadays, among likeminded company. She has recently joined the chorus of the leftwing mob screeching that Andy Ngo should be silenced on the platform.

Keep in mind: Andy Ngo’s main thoughtcrime is that he filmed Antifa and BLM rioters….er, “peaceful protestors enaged in arson, looting, and assault” during last summer’s orgy of BLM/Antifa violence. 

Andy Ngo, incidentally, has a book coming out next month, and it’s driving the far left crowd absolutely bonkers.

Twitter wants an open Internet…in Uganda

I doubt there’s too much testosterone in the corporate offices of Twitter; but it would have taken a big brass pair—or incredible tone-deafness—for Twitter to tweet a message like this one:

“Ahead of the Ugandan election, we’re hearing reports that Internet service providers are being ordered to block social media and messaging apps. We strongly condemn internet shutdowns – they are hugely harmful, violate basic human rights and the principles of the #OpenInternet.”

The management of Twitter, it seems, is all about free political speech…so long as that speech happens to involve politics and Internet users outside the United States.

Or maybe Jack Dorsey is just trolling us…

Antifa promotes Andy Ngo’s book for free

During the riot season of this past summer, I became aware of Andy Ngo, a youngish independent journalist who covered the thuggish antics of Antifa and Black Lives Matter rioters…er, I mean “peaceful protestors who engaged in arson, looting, and random assaults”.

I occasionally watched Ngo’s videos on Twitter and YouTube. I admired his willingness to walk into screaming crowds of leftwing maniacs with obvious psychological and hygiene issues. This past summer, Ngo showed the destruction in American cities that the mainstream media outlets simply wouldn’t. Kudos to him.

What I didn’t know was that Andy Ngo had written a book, which will come out next month: Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy. (You can preorder the book now, if you’d like.)

Like I said, I’d only been tangentially aware of Ngo up to this point. But that all changed, thanks to his opponents.

A group of ungainly, socially maladroit Antifa protesters (is there any other kind?) made a sustained fuss in front of Powell’s Books in Portland recently.

Why? The bookstore was taking preorders of Andy Ngo’s book.

No one ever said the Antifa folks were smart. They figured that the best way to bury Andy Ngo’s book was to…shout about Andy Ngo’s book in the middle of the street. Make sure everyone knows about it! And since Ngo’s book is about “Antifa radicals”, they decided to engage in some promotional street theater, just for him.

The bad news is: Powell’s in Portland did decide to give into pressure from the lunatics, rather than answering them with pepper spray. But that may be the price of doing business in Portland, which has become a magnet for leftwing moonbats in recent years.

But Powell’s is only one bookstore; and with his unpaid street theater Antifa marketing team, word about the book is making the rounds on the Internet.  At the time of this writing, Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy is at #4 on Amazon. Hoo-rah.

AT AMAZON: Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy

Like I said, no one ever said these gibbering jackasses were smart. Being totally unoriginal, they’ve decided to condemn Ngo and his book as “Nazi” and “white supremacist”. That’s at least two shades of dumb.

The unintentional humor of Antifa: “Andy Ngo’s book is nazi propaganda”

Andy Ngo, first of all, is Vietnamese. I’ve never heard of a Southeast Asian Nazi or a Vietnamese white supremacist. That sounds like the lead-in to a cornball joke. (“An Asian white supremacist and a rabbi both walk into a bar…”)

Secondly, everyone has seen those images of the actual, historical Nazis burning books. So what do the radical leftists do? They bully a bookstore. Once again, not very bright.

Antifa weren’t the first book burners, and are unlikely to be the last…

Even Democrats like Ted Wheeler have had enough of the Antifa hoodlums. These ding-dongs aren’t motivated by politics. They’re motivated by their own low social status, and their inability to succeed at virtually anything else.

These are the kids (many now well into their thirties) who have been bitter losers their entire lives. Rejection and social dysfunction are written all over their scowling faces, and woven into their blue and pink hair.

These are the boys and girls who were always picked last for everything. They’re mad at themselves, mad at the world, mad at you, and they want to take it out on the nearest convenient target.

This time, the nearest convenient target was a bookstore in Portland, Oregon. Truth be told, they probably don’t even care about Andy Ngo’s book. But focusing attention on Ngo’s book will save them from the far more painful task of focusing on themselves. In addition to providing Andy Ngo with unpaid marketing, they’ve given the rest of us an object lesson in Abnormal Psychology 101.

***

Note: Before someone sends me an email, I realize that “Antifa” is an idea, not a formal organization.

But “Antifa” is a convenient shorthand for “motley band of unwashed, babbling attention-whores, comprised of effeminate and/or obese men (often with neckbeards), and masculine women whose personalities and social dysfunction provide them with 100% foolproof birth control.”

That would get tedious to write repeatedly. And so we say: “Antifa” instead.

Final tidbit: In this video, Antifa screamers denounce a random Asian man who might be Ngo, but actually isn’t.

AT AMAZON: KALAWA Modern Wall Decor Canvas Prints Wall Art Bald Eagle Wall Art for Living Room American Flag Print Patriotic Concept Painting 3 Panel Stretched Canvas WPrint Ready to Hang(20”W x 28”H)

Big Tech, unfree speech, the NYT’s ambivalence

“The Scary Power of the Companies That Finally Shut Trump Up”

Michelle Goldberg of the New York Times can’t quite bring herself to take the side of President Trump and recently silenced conservatives. But even a journalist at the New York Times can see that there’s something kerflooey about allowing a half-dozen tech companies to determine the bounds of free expression on the Internet.

Twitter, Merkel, and Big Tech censorship

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, no one’s idea of a rightwing ideologue or a Trumpist, has called Twitter’s recent ban of Donald Trump’s account “problematic.”

In a statement issued by an official spokesperson, Merkel said, “The right to freedom of opinion is of fundamental importance. Given that, the chancellor considers it problematic that the president’s accounts have been permanently suspended.”

Donald Trump’s administration will pass into history in a few short days. But the problem of Big Tech censorship precedes the Trump era, and it will be with us afterward.

This is a question that goes beyond conservative vs liberal. It is a question of freedom of speech, versus allowing a handful of tech bosses and their employees to determine the bounds of acceptable expression for everyone else.

Opinions vary widely about the outgoing American president. That’s the way it is. There will be no consensus about the Trump years, at least not for a long time.

But freedom-loving people everywhere should be alarmed at the power these unelected tech bosses now wield over online speech—and, by extension, all of us.

Indie fiction authors, Big Tech politics, and the culture wars

Indie fiction authors typically write escapist genre fiction. They have little interest in embroiling themselves in the culture wars.

Almost all of the industry gurus advise indie authors to steer clear of politics on social media and whatnot. Focus on spaceships, dragons, hunky heartthrobs, or whatever you write about in your genre fiction. That’s what we’re all told, and that’s what the vast majority of indie authors do.

Almost all indie authors, though—regardless of their politics—are heavily reliant on two major tech companies: Amazon and Facebook. Amazon is the world’s biggest bookseller, and Facebook is a primary advertising venue.

After banning President Trump, Facebook received yet another wave of account cancellations from irate conservatives this past week. That means fewer eyeballs on ads run on the platform. If someone cancels their Facebook account, they don’t see Facebook ads anymore.

Amazon, meanwhile, abruptly removed Parler—a paying customer—from its Amazon Web Services servers over the weekend. Shortly thereafter, angry Parler users began posting online screenshots of their cancelled Amazon accounts. If a person cancels their Amazon account, they don’t buy books there anymore.

Neither Facebook nor Amazon has  remained neutral in the culture wars. Both companies have thrown their weight behind various leftwing causes, including the destructive Black Lives Matter riots of the past summer.

Twitter and YouTube are even more left-leaning and ideological, but neither of these companies plays a significant role in the indie author ecosystem.

Amazon and Facebook, though, are a different matter. Indie authors can’t afford for these companies to lose half their user bases over partisan politics. Selling large numbers of books is a competitive and difficult business as it is. The last thing indie authors need is fallout resulting from the whims of the Big Tech bosses.

After this past week, indie authors may discover that while they may not be interested in the culture wars, the culture wars are very much interested in them—and everyone else, as well.

Parler data breach

Every Deleted Parler Post, Many With Users’ Location Data, Has Been Archived

And yet one more reason why I don’t use social media to express myself. I’d sooner upload naked photos of myself to Edward Trimnell Books. (Don’t worry, I have no plans of doing that, either.)

It would appear that if you said anything inflammatory on Parler, you may have some problems down the road. But who knows?

A Twitter user who does not share the views of the typical Parler user apparently infiltrated the platform some time ago, and began archiving raw posts.

The Twitter user, @donk_enby, wishes to remain anonymous. Irony of ironies.

In practical terms, there is no guarantee of privacy on the Internet, and especially not on social media. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about sex…or politics.  Never assume that anything you type, view, or upload to the Internet cannot be found by someone, somewhere.

It is simply a question of: does someone out there with a lot of time on their hands have a motivation to go after you?

Twitter shares tumble on censorship-related concerns

Well, we might have seen this coming:

Twitter loses $5 billion in market value after Trump is permanently barred from the platform

This didn’t begin with the president’s recent tweets, or even with the Trump administration.

Twitter was launched in 2006 with the sales pitch that it would be an open public square on the Internet. That means being apolitical, as a company, and as a platform.

In the years since then, the leftwing intolerance at Twitter has grown steadily worse. In some cases, Twitter employees have been behind the censorship. In other cases, leftwing “Twitter mobs” have been the perpetrators of the speech clampdowns.

As some reader will no doubt point out, Twitter is a private-sector firm, and can manage its platform as it sees fit.

Fair enough. Jack Dorsey may wish to rebrand Twitter as an unabashedly left-of-center microblogging platform. That is his right.

But this will further erode Twitter’s already diminishing user base, and make the company even less attractive to advertisers—who are the only real source of revenue for the company.

Why conservatives don’t trust the media

The journalistic field of the 21st century really does have a problem with “diversity”—ideological diversity

The CNN team is always eager to depict themselves as saintly apostles of the unbiased truth. In recent days, they have shared many videos of themselves meeting rough treatment at the hands of last week’s Capitol Hill besiegers.

From what I have seen, most of the roughing up was verbal, and there were some attacks on equipment. (See video below.)

But even verbal attacks of this nature aren’t something that anyone should wink at. This shouldn’t happen in America.

Likewise, this blog encourages all sides to refrain from political violence or threatening words—and to settle their differences peacefully.

It is worth asking, though: Why does almost everyone right of Joe Biden dislike and distrust the media? I would never assault a CNN reporter—verbally or otherwise. But I must admit, I no longer trust a word that CNN correspondents say, unless they’re talking about a weather event. (And even then, I like to fact-check them with another source, if I can.)

This wasn’t always the case. CNN used to be different, in the 1980s and the 1990s.

Here’s a concrete example. In one of the presidential debates of 1988, liberal Democrat Michael Dukakis was destroyed by a single question. The moderator who delivered that question was none other than CNN anchor Bernard Shaw. Watch the video below.

Imagine that: a CNN journalist giving a liberal Democratic politician a tough, potentially campaign-ending question. But Bernard Shaw was a different kind of CNN correspondent.

Shaw retired from CNN in 2001, after more than 40 years in journalism. It is quite possible—quite likely, really—that Bernard Shaw’s personal sentiments leaned Democratic. Nevertheless, he saw his mission as moderator in the 1988 presidential debate as one of “getting to the truth”.

Going into the 1988 election, many Americans were concerned that Dukakis was too liberal in general, and too “soft on crime” in particular. Dukakis’s answer regarding the death penalty, following the hypothetical rape and murder of his wife, revealed that he was, in fact, too liberal for most American voters. (Dukakis lost in a blowout in ’88.)

Bernard Shaw is also a former Marine and a Vietnam veteran. Shaw, born in 1940, is now more than 80 years old. They don’t make CNN journalists like that anymore.

The new breed of journalists, the Gen-Xers and Millennials, entered the field from the 1980s onward. As a Gen-xer myself (born in 1968), I can tell you that few conservatives, or even moderates, entered fields like teaching and journalism by the 1980s. Those had already become hothouses of leftwing progressivism.

Fast-forward to the tumultuous present, and almost all journalists lean to the left. This is why public attitudes about the media differ so sharply along party/ideological lines.

Case-in-point: Consider the way the media handles “riots”. The journalists at Vox have practically tripped all over themselves making excuses for the Black Lives Matter riots—which were (let us be clear) riots. Note the following headline, after one of the original BLM riots:

“Riots are destructive, dangerous, and scary — but can lead to serious social reforms”

Vox on the BLM riots

On the other hand, when Trump supporters rioted last week (and let us be clear again: that was a riot, too), Vox suddenly became a champion of law and order. Lock ‘em up and throw away the key!

Vox on the pro-Trump, anti-election fraud riots

It doesn’t stop there. Let’s take a case that was a little bit less life-and-death. In 2018, the New York Times named a reporter from The Verge, Sarah Jeong, to its editorial board. It was later discovered that Jeong, a woman of color, had made numerous racist comments about white people on her Twitter feed over the years.

Vox could have done the right thing, and condemned Jeong’s behavior. But because Jeong was a woman of color, Vox engaged in all sorts of contortions, making excuses for her. Vox blamed the whole thing on a “rightwing conspiracy”.

There was no doubt, though, that Jeong had done what she had done. It was all out there on the Internet.

Sarah Jeong, new member of the NYT editorial board in 2018

In those two cases, you see the difference between the CNN journalists of 1988 (i.e, Bernard Shaw), and the journalists of today.

Today’s journalists are basically engaging in “advocacy journalism”. Absolutely everything they report has a “spin”—and it’s only one spin.

Why should we believe what they say, or take them seriously?

(But I reiterate: There is never an excuse for attacking or threatening journalists, or anyone else. That was wrong.)

***

The bad blood between conservatives and journalists goes far beyond our current cultural divide. The real problem is that almost every journalism student since the 1980s has been a liberal Democrat in both affiliation and orientation.

We need a lot of things right now in our society. But not least among these would be a quota system for journalism schools, restricting liberal Democrats to 50% of each incoming class.

I’m speaking tongue-in-cheek, of course. But the journalistic field of the 21st century really does have a problem with “diversity”—ideological diversity. Until that is corrected, journalists will likely be unwelcome at conservative gatherings by default.

It wasn’t always that way, and it shouldn’t be that way. But then again, there was a time, only a few decades ago, when not every journalist leaned so obviously to the left.

Parler and Reverse Psychology 101

As Parler faces a shutdown at midnight, let’s consider why the site exists in the first place.

About a year ago, when the fuss over Parler first began, I went to the site and set up an account. I spent about an hour on Parler before leaving, realizing that those sixty minutes of my life could never be recouped.

No, I wasn’t shocked. I was bored.

Parler is a lot like Twitter. It is filled with angry people posting their thoughts in short bursts. And, of course, “memes”.

This is what most social media involves, at a nuts-and-bolts level: watching and listening to anonymous strangers post and repost slogans and images that you’ve already seen a thousand times.

Parler, like Twitter, quickly becomes tedious. There is nothing particularly special about Parler. Why are so many Trump voters and conservatives talking about Parler now, then?

Because the left can’t stop talking about it, of course. It has become an obsession for them.

Journalists at CNN, MSNBC, and other, lesser known left-of-center media outlets have been having conniption fits about Parler. Parler, they tell us, must be controlled, rooted out, banned. Would someone please start a Committee of Public Safety to deal with this? That worked well during the French Revolution, after all.

Over the past few days, the Parler app has been banned from the app stores of Google and Apple. And now today’s development: Amazon has announced that it will remove Parler from Amazon Web Services, effective at midnight tonight.

The left’s anti-Parler hysteria suggests that Parler is the root of all disagreements between conservatives and leftists at present. Get rid of Parler, and everyone who believes that the Democratic Party is an irresponsible band of radicals will put away their Trump flags, and break out their COEXIST bumper stickers.

This is fatuous on at least two counts.

First of all, while tech companies might be able to ban the Parler app from their app stores, they can’t ban the website itself—not indefinitely. Despite today’s Amazon move, Parler will eventually find another hosting service—even if they have to use an offshore hosting service.

Banning the app from the major app stores doesn’t prevent users from accessing Parler on their phones, either. All modern cell phones have web browsers, after all.

All the public virtue-signaling furor over Parler does only one thing, really: It draws attention to a previously obscure social media site, and prods more conservatives and Trump fans to check it out.

This is Reverse Psychology 101. Or, as one atypically astute left-winger, George Lakoff, said in his book of the same title: “Don’t think of an elephant.” The meaning here is simple and intuitive: When explicitly told not to think of an elephant, an elephant will be the first thing that pops into most of our heads.

Another irony here is that Gab, Parler, BitChute, and other “conservative/alternative social media” sites never had to exist in the first place.

They certainly don’t exist for aesthetic reasons. Most of these alternative sites have clunky user interfaces. (BitChute is a particular grind to use.) Most conservatives, moreover, would much rather be on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Everybody on social media wants the largest possible audience, right?

Conservatives are only flocking to alternative social media sites because rabid Twitter mobs and sanctimonious tech bosses have spent the past decade relentlessly attacking, censoring, and banning any voice that dared disagree with progressive/leftwing narratives.

The relentless censorship campaign has not been merely an attempt to keep unpleasant topics or rude speech from social media. Rudeness and provocative speech are fine, so long as one is attacking Republicans or praising Black Lives Matter activists. Everyone—including honest folks on the left—recognizes that conservatives on social media are held to a much higher standard.

Basically, right-of-center/conservative voices are not wanted on social media at all, by either the Silicon Valley-based management of these sites, or by the twenty- and thirty-something user base that patrols these sites for any signs of a thoughtcrime.

And so, once again we see Reverse Psychology 101 at work. The long campaign to drive conservatives off the main social media sites has finally succeeded. But folks on the left have suddenly come to a realization: If conservatives are talking on Parler now instead of Twitter, the leftwing speech nannies can no longer monitor what conservatives are saying. Uh-oh! They didn’t think of that!

Ironically, many leftwing Twitter users are now setting up accounts of their own at Parler. They want to see content from the very same users whom they worked so hard to have purged from Twitter.

If this strikes you as absurd, you’re not alone.

So now they are trying to shut down all alternative social media sites. The left is going to find this to be one long game of whack-a-mole. Even if Parler is buried, another will arise in its place. And another. And yet another after that.

One of my former corporate bosses, when confronted by the company rumor mill, once said, “You cannot stop people from talking among themselves.” But in the hyper-controlling mental space inhabited by left-of-center Democrats, there really does seem to be a belief that it would be possible to stop people in a free society from talking among themselves, if enough websites are banned, and enough new speech codes are put in place.

Whatever happens to Parler after today, the spirit of resistance that drove its creation and growth over the last few years is unlikely to go away. Rather than all these shenanigans aimed at pulling the plug on Parler, the left might choose another, more effective tack: They might address the social media censorship that created the demand for Parler in the first place.

Like my former boss told me: You can’t stop people from talking among themselves. This is true even if your name is Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, or Jeff Bezos.

Blood Flats

Lee McCabe is on the run from the law, mafia hitmen, and rural meth dealers. A gun-blazing chase through the badlands of Kentucky. Preview it now.

Twitter was already dying two years ago

After this week’s censorship brouhaha, many conservatives and moderates are abandoning Twitter in droves.

The great Twitter outflow isn’t new, however. Twitter has been a toxic cesspool for years. Both users and advertisers have taken note.

See this noteworthy article from The Verge, February 2019: Twitter keeps losing monthly users, so it’s going to stop sharing how many

Outrage over Kamala Harris’s ‘Vogue’ cover

As if we had nothing important to worry about: Twitter is astir this morning over Kamala Harris’s recent Vogue cover photo. 

The primary foci of anger are a.) Harris is depicted as light-skinned (i.e. not black enough), and b.) the photo is not  particularly glamorous.

“What a mess up. [Editor-in-Chief] Anna Wintour must really not have Black friends and colleagues,” Twitterhead Wajahat Ali wrote.

In regard to the first point: This may shock some readers, but Kamala Harris is of mixed race. Her mother is a Tamil Indian, and her father is Jamaican. So…much like Barack Obama, she’s light-skinned. She doesn’t look as black as Stacey Abrams or Ben Carson.

I could give a hoot one way or the other. But the race- and identity politics-obsessed crowd regards such matters as deathly important. Likewise, I am neither giddy nor indignant over Harris’s status as our first “woman of color” to become vice president.  

Call me crazy, but when I evaluate any political candidate, my focus is on their platform and qualifications, not on the color of their skin, or whether they sit down or stand up when peeing. 

In regard to the second point (the lack of glamour): Kamala Harris is a moderately attractive woman who, at 56, is now well into middle age. I think she looks okay, but no matter what the photographer and the Photoshop people at Vogue do, she’s going to come up short when compared to Joan Smalls or Jourdan Dunn. Not many 56-year-old men photograph like young studmuffins, either, for what it’s worth. 

But why would it be necessary for Vogue to portray Harris as glamorous, in any event? Kamala Harris isn’t running for Miss USA. She’s our VP elect, and her looks shouldn’t really be an issue, one way or the other. Nor should her race or her gender.