Open Thread

Who blew up the Nordstream pipelines? Who in heck knows – if it was blown up, it could be an act of war. But by whom and against whom? Very murky situation – but also very bad as it will increase pressure on global energy supplies as we enter winter.

The main thing here is that we wouldn’t have to care if Pudding Brain wasn’t strangling American energy production.

A couple respectable pollsters (there are a few) are starting to get it together and showing us winning pretty handily in Georgia, Arizona and Nevada – and with good signs in Pennsylvania. The more “stretch” races are in places like Washington and New Mexico. The bottom line is that 25 House and 2 Senate seats are within very easy reach of the GOP and that puts an end to Pudding Brain’s legislative efforts…and if McConnell allows even five federal judgeships to be filled over the next two years, I’ll be surprised.

But some people are starting to see that very much underneath the radar, GOP turnout might come as a huge shock to everyone. Remember, the leadership of the United States is calling us Nazi terrorist threats to Democracy…polling has shown (or, I guess, failed to show: but you know what I mean) the “shy GOP voter” over the past few cycles. This partially explains the massive misses recently – like when the aggregate in Ohio the day before the 2020 election showed it either tied or Trump barely ahead before he went on to win the State by more than 8 points. But the increased hateful rhetoric against GOP voters is possibly making ever more “shy GOP voters”: people who won’t even pick up the phone when the pollster calls…but who are yet determined to vote GOP in November. We’ll see if that happens…but if it does, then November 8th could be a bloodbath. And one sign that it might be happening is that Democrats are spending money in the Washington Senate race…which should be a walkover even in a strong GOP year.

That video I linked to PM Meloni? YouTube has deleted it. Because they are terrified of her…and so a bit of fascism is necessary here, to “protect” people, you see? All just to Save Democracy.

As Hurricane Ian bears down on Florida, the Democrats and the MSM (BIRM) are praying for a catastrophe they can blame on DeSantis. These are very sick and twisted people.

Our Progressive friends would like us dead. For our own good, of course. And to prevent us from Democracy-ing the wrong way.

33 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. Amazona September 28, 2022 / 7:56 am

    Well, it looks like my winter plans are on hold. Perhaps indefinitely, As the old saying goes, “Man plans, God laughs”.

    When you see hurricane updates predicting landfall somewhere between Fort Myers and Sarasota, or references to Charlotte County or Punta Gorda, they are talking about my neighborhood. I bought a house in Punta Gorda and as we speak my garage is staged for loading my stuff to take down there. Punta Gorda is about halfway between Fort Myers and Sarasota.

    Now I doubt that I even have a house left, as I learned last night the guy who was supposed to go put up my hurricane shutters didn’t make it—got called out to reinforce a nursing home. While I can’t argue with that, I have vivid images of my French doors blowing open and the house being gutted—-and that would be a best case scenario.

    At least none of my personal stuff is there, just generic furniture I bought when I thought of using it as an AirBnB. But still—-glad I kept my winter clothes.

    • Cluster September 28, 2022 / 12:22 pm

      Keep us posted.

  2. fortyacresbeyond September 28, 2022 / 12:08 pm

    “That video I linked to PM Meloni? YouTube has deleted it.”

    Actually, the video you linked to is on Twitter and it is still there.

  3. Cluster September 28, 2022 / 12:22 pm

    There’s only one man in the world who promised to “take out” the Nord Stream 2 pipeline (or as KJP refers to it, the Nordstrom Pipeline), and that was the demented man Forty voted for … Joe Biden.

    I’m sure Democrats will have us in a nuclear war soon.

    • jdge1 September 29, 2022 / 11:59 am

      The FBI isn’t working on preventing legitimate threats, it’s being sicked on people whom the administration deems guilty of political wrong think.

      It will be interesting to see how much people will take before the tsunami push back I anticipate will eventually happen, and what form it will take.

  4. Retired Spook September 29, 2022 / 11:27 am

    WRT the pipeline sabotage, Jeff Childers notes that the UK recently gave Ukraine several remote-controlled undersea drones and then adds this:

    Back in 2015, the Pipeline Journal ran an article headlined, “Explosive-Laden Drone Found Near Nord Stream Pipeline.” The article said the Swedish military successfully cleared a remote operated vehicle (drone) rigged with explosives near the Nord Stream Natural Gas offshore pipeline system. The drone’s nation of origin was never determined, for some reason.

    • Amazona September 29, 2022 / 11:33 am

      Very interesting. Childers is turning out to be a great source of information. It looks like real journalism, having been forced underground by the Agenda Media, is getting more muscular. While the feds focus on Veritas, trying to silence that particular example of Citizen Journalist, others keep popping up. Dr. Malone is another go-to provider of important information

      • Amazona September 29, 2022 / 11:37 am

        Dr. Malone writes, this morning: emphasis mine

        I have written extensively in the past on “Advocacy Journalism.” The article below outlines just how dangerous this trend has become. Although, the authors of this National Affairs article somehow almost completely miss the fact that the US Government itself and large pharma are the two of the main players in this nefarious practice. When the CDC pushed out a billion dollars over 2021 to write articles favorable about the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine and to defame people like me, state-sponsored media became completely normalized in the USA. Decades ago, I had direct experience with the media ecosystem described when I worked at the Bill and Melinda Gates-funded organization “Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation”, where the company hired a pulitzer prize winning journalist to write and place favorable articles in major publications like “The Economist”. I have never seen the media quite the same since that time. This article documents the economic forces that are driving corporate media right down the drain, as it desperately seeks to maintain profitability and relevance.

        The rest of his post is equally interesting

  5. Retired Spook September 29, 2022 / 2:20 pm

    Carrying over from the previous, awkwardly long thread, Forty said this:

    Spook, I’ve kind of reached the end of the line with this thread, which will soon be two threads back in time. I suggest that you move your question to the most current open thread and we can carry on there.

    However, fair warning: I’m going to ask you to first respond to my question above about the Texas bill, which no one ever responded to. I have responded to all of your questions, so I think you all should be willing to do the same in return.

    Referring to his earlier comment:

    The moderator deleting comments here recently brings to mind a discussion you all had a few days ago regarding Texas HB 50, which prohibits platforms from moderating content on the basis of “viewpoint.” As I understand it, it is restricted to platforms of more than 50 million users. However, my question to you is, aside from the fact there are only a few users at Blogs For Victory, who (how?) is B4V materially different from other social media platforms that you claim censor content based on political viewpoints?

    Aside from 50 million users vs. (Mark, help me out here — how many active users does B4V have?), not an insignificant difference, I”m sure, I can only speak for myself. I don’t like censorship, especially censorship because of differences of opinion. I draw the line when someone threatens violence.

    That said, your contribution to this blog is marginal to say the least. I’ve never read one of your comments and thought, gee, I never looked at it that way before. Most of your answers are akin to a Miss America contestant saying, “I think Miss (fill in the blank) is an immoral skank, and I’m in favor of world peace.” I can’t recall you ever making an argument for a governmental policy that improves anyone’s life. In fact, I can’t recall you ever advocating for or defending ANY policy to speak of. You’ve posted a lot of word salad, though, so maybe I missed something. You DO have to ask yourself, though, which side of the political spectrum is most active in limiting speech? It’s not close. Now you can say you don’t identify with the people who run Censorship Central, but you clearly don’t identify with us, so who do you identify with? And no, I’m not trying to put you in a stereotypical box; I’m just trying to figure out where you’re coming from.

    • fortyacresbeyond September 29, 2022 / 3:13 pm

      “Aside from 50 million users vs. (Mark, help me out here — how many active users does B4V have?), not an insignificant difference, I”m sure, I can only speak for myself. ”

      Okay. As they expressed on this blog a few threads back, your fellow conservatives seem absolutely gleeful about the prospect of social media businesses being forced to publish any kind of content other people want.

      ” I can’t recall you ever making an argument for a governmental policy that improves anyone’s life. In fact, I can’t recall you ever advocating for or defending ANY policy to speak of. You’ve posted a lot of word salad, though, so maybe I missed something.”

      So let’s look at the principles you identified with respect to your 70% right track question: “As far as principles that would draw the most public support, I’d say (and this is just me) ending foreign entanglements, particularly military conflicts would be a winning strategy. The American people are tired of endless wars. I think Americans would respond in an overwhelmingly positive way to a leader who will guide the country in a direction that provides the greatest amount of security, individual freedom, and prosperity to the largest number of citizens and apply the rule of law equally across all demographics. Trump did that, and I suspect there are a handful of Republicans who could also do that. I can’t think of a single person on the Democrat side who would or could do that.”

      Aside from ending endless wars, that sounds like a lot of platitudes to me.

      “That said, your contribution to this blog is marginal to say the least. I’ve never read one of your comments and thought, gee, I never looked at it that way before.”

      Then why is that you and your pals continually ask me questions and demand that I answer them? Why do you bring up mine and fielding’s name with regard to subjects that we have never addressed on this blog, and probably no where else? I do find that odd. You could drastically limit my participation here simply by not responding to anything I write and not asking me to respond to your questions. You don’t need a moderator to do that. Of course, I also remember you writing the other day that you enjoy the give and take, so… In any event, I’m having a great time injecting other points of view here, so keep asking.

      “You DO have to ask yourself, though, which side of the political spectrum is most active in limiting speech?”

      The answer is obvious. Republicans are the only ones banning books in libraries and schools all across the country, and banning teachers from speaking to their students about such controversial topics as American history (e.g., the fact that slavery once existed in this country).

      • Retired Spook September 29, 2022 / 3:25 pm

        If you hadn’t added the last paragraph, I’d have continued to give you the benefit of a doubt, but that last paragraph tells me everything I need to know about you. I’m going to have to cut you loose. Others here can continue to engage if they want, but I’ve had enough.

      • fortyacresbeyond September 29, 2022 / 3:33 pm

        Are you really going to tell that it is Democrats or liberals who are doing this?

        From a recent USA Today article (which I would link to, but WordPress doesn’t like multiple links in a comment): “The wave picked up momentum last fall, when activists and conservative policymakers intent on reforming curricula began focusing much of their energy on books. The campaign by Krause, the Texas state representative, embodies this shift in strategy.”

        Here’s a policy for you: Don’t ban books.

      • Amazona September 29, 2022 / 5:15 pm

        Here’s a policy for you: be more careful about how you use words. Being selective about which books are allowed in schools is far from “BANNING” them. They are still available. They are printed, they are in public libraries, they can be ordered from Amazon. They are not banned. They are simply not allowed in schools.

        This is not an unusual concept. Many things are considered inappropriate for children. Drinking alcohol, smoking, driving, owning guns, getting married, entering into contracts, voting—all are considered areas that require emotional and mental maturity. Sex used to be in this category, until the Left started openly sexualizing very young children and promoting pedophilia. What has the Left so upset is that withdrawing sexually explicit material from schools might interfere with the effort to get our children completely indoctrinated into free-form gender fluid sexual activity by the time they are in middle school.

        But rest assured, deviants and hedonists and omni-sexual whatevers you are—those nasty books are not BANNED. You can still get them anywhere except in a few school libraries.

      • Amazona September 29, 2022 / 9:43 pm

        Here’s a policy for you: Don’t sexualize or groom children

      • Amazona September 29, 2022 / 4:46 pm

        your fellow conservatives seem absolutely gleeful about the prospect of social media businesses being forced to publish any kind of content other people want.

        Well, “absolutely gleeful” is a pretty silly way to put it, as well as inaccurate. The real issue here is one of mammoth information sources choosing to silence information from one perspective while encouraging it from its competition. When such an entity seeks the legal protections of the press it is obligated to act like the press, or at least like the press is supposed to act. It if wants to act as an advocate for a political party then it can’t at the same time whine that it can’t be sued, for example, because it is part of the press.

        Spook gave a precise and detailed account of the policies and practices of Donald Trump, and you merely sneered at them as “platitudes”. Wrong. And then you go on to complain that, according to you, your name and fielding’s are brought up “in regard to subjects that we have never addressed on this blog, and probably no where else?” That’s ridiculous.

        Yes, your toxic posts and litanies of lies, you constant attacks and sniping, COULD just be ignored and allowed to sit there and reek. But the question is, why should we have to put up with them? What, exactly, is the source of this immense sense of entitlement you seem to have, the conviction that you are somehow owed a presence here? Because we don’t do Participation Trophies here. We choose to talk among ourselves about things that interest us. We choose to share thoughts, ideas, experiences and concepts with each other. When we are enjoying the various different conversations here we have no obligation—legal, moral or any other kind—to let you come in, shit on the carpet, make fun of the curtains and tell us how awful and stupid we and our families are.

        You say you are ” having a great time injecting other points of view here” but that’s not what you are doing at all. What you are doing is indulging in strident and obnoxious displays of narcissism, in which you announce all the ways you find us and our ideas and our convictions inferior and wrong and offensive and stupid. And then you pout when someone locks the door.

      • Amazona September 29, 2022 / 5:04 pm

        And don’t forget the lying. The lying is such an essential part of your routine, it can never be overlooked.

        What HAS happened, and what really puts your little sexual-grooming panties in a damp wad, is the effort to keep sexually deviant and explicit material isolated from the very young. Not banned, just not on the shelves of the pre-K section of the library, or on reading lists for third graders, or in school libraries.

        Then you build on your lie: …and banning teachers from speaking to their students about such controversial topics as American history (e.g., the fact that slavery once existed in this country). No, not happening. Never happened. Period. At no time has any Republican effort been made to hide the true history of this nation. To claim that there has been an effort to, as you so baldly claim, ban teachers from speaking to students about the fact that slavery once existed in this country is simply a lie. Not just ” a lie” but a huge glaring blaring lie. Of the many examples of utter stupidity you have posted when you get a head of steam up and start rolling, this has to be one of the stupidest. No, make that the most stupid.

        There is absolutely nothing “controversial” about the fact that slavery once existed in this country. It’s an established, admitted fact. Even you would have a hard time explaining how and why students are taught about the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil War without talking about slavery. What decent, honest and rational people want is a discussion about slavery that puts American slavery in context, which teaches that while slavery is an abominable institution it is also as old as humanity itself, has appeared in every culture in every nation, has never been limited to white people owning black people but has a history of every race owning slaves of every race. It would involve teaching many things the Left does not want taught. such as the reason black slaves were predominant in the colonies and early states is because they were cheaper than other races, due to the black slave markets in Africa where black people captured and sold other black people—that it was not a racial thing but an economic thing. It would include teaching that some of the first owners of black slave in the colonies were themselves black. It would discuss the fact that slavery often accompanied genocide, that just as many Native American tribes would systematically destroy other tribes (genocide) by killing the men and older boys and enslaving the women and children, blending them with their own people, tribes in Africa did the same thing, though they sold the men and older boys instead of killing them as they assimilated the women and children of the tribes into their own.

        But the Left wants none of this. The Left wants the history of this nation smeared so thoroughly they can justify hating it and wanting to destroy it, to “fundamentally transform” it into a Leftist paradise of equity, social justice and blah blah blah.

        And when you spout such vicious lies you are a part of this, and as such earn the contempt which sometimes has you removed from the blog.

      • Mark Noonan September 29, 2022 / 6:28 pm

        “PEN America’s Index of School Book Bans lists instances occurring from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022, where students’ access to books in school libraries and classrooms in the United States was restricted or diminished, for either limited or indefinite periods of time. Some of these bans have since been rescinded and some remain in place. PEN America’s definition of school book bans can be found in the Methodology tab and here.”

        That’s from your link – but its also a huge dose of bullsh**, even when you see they admit that some of them aren’t banned and others are merely restricted (you know, for age and such). We on the Right don’t ban books. The Left does that.

      • Amazona September 29, 2022 / 8:50 pm

        Good for you. You actually responded to a question for a change. Of course that’s just because you thought it gave you a gotcha.

        But we really should be more precise in our use of language, and admit that these books were merely restricted, regarding their eligibility to be in school libraries. Otherwise, the word “ban” should be tagged as “ban*” to indicate that the books in question were not really banned, just not allowed in school libraries.

        They are still available.

      • fortyacresbeyond September 29, 2022 / 6:58 pm

        “We on the Right don’t ban books. The Left does that.”

        That’s just not true. It’s quite easy to Google it.

        On October 25, Texas Republican State Representative Matt Krause [a Republican] sent a letter to the Texas Education Agency asking if any of the schools in the state have the books listed on a 16 page spreadsheet, as well as how much in funds schools had spent on these books.

        These books are theoretically related to House Bill 3979, a so-called anti-CRT bill that bans teaching any materials that could mean “an individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of the individual’s race or sex.” Of course, the bill — which is an overreach that has confused school districts about how to follow it — doesn’t actually mention books in school libraries. It’s about curriculum. Nonetheless, with the increase of book bans and challenges recently, Krause appears to want to preemptively remove any books that could be challenged for causing “discomfort.”

        I’m sure you could quibble again, but it is obvious that there is a movement in the last year or two by the Right to ban certain subjects from classrooms, and by extension, to ban books related to those subjects. It’s not liberals who want to ban books related to LGBTQ subject matter, for example.

      • Amazona September 29, 2022 / 8:35 pm

        Why is it so important to you people to have these books in schools anyway?

        The books are not BANNED. I don’t know why you can’t get that through your head. Banned books are forbidden. Not allowed. Not available. When anyone can find any of them in any public library, in any book store, on Amazon, if the intent were to BAN them it’s failing pretty miserably. Semantics aside, they are merely restricting them regarding where taxpayer dollars will place them. It’s one of those “government by the people and for the people” things that upset you so.

        What it comes down to, though, is that a lot of people, some of whom have political commitments to Constitutional governance and some of whom might or might not but just have ideas about what they want their young children exposed to, have agreed that some topics are not appropriate. They actually have the temerity to believe that they should have something to say about what their children are taught.

        And this infuriates the Left, which in typical Leftist fashion wants to control families and impose its own values and rules on everyone. It’s one of those HOW DARE YOU NOT SUBMIT things the Left is so famous for.

        It’s about personal liberty. Any parent can check out or buy any of these “banned” books and take them home and teach their children from them. And any parent who does not want this included in school curricula can request and even demand rules saying that it won’t be.

        And it always circles back to the collectivist mentality of the Left, the conviction that all must obey and all be the same and all submit to the same authority.

        I also see the weasel words of “appears to want” cited.

        And yes, it is true that there is a movement in the last year or two by the Right to ban certain subjects from classrooms, and by extension, to ban books related to those subjects. It’s not just “the Right” but aside from that yes, there is such a movement., though it’s only recently that it has coalesced into anything broad and coordinated enough to call a “movement”. It wasn’t until the hubris of the degenerate Left in its push to cram deviant sex and early-year sexual grooming down the throats of parents that this became well-known enough to generate concern.

        This started with the Left’s closure of schools, when parents could walk into childrens’ rooms during online classes and actually hear what their teachers were saying to them—and they were appalled. Then the Left upped the ante by demanding that children sign oaths to keep classroom content secret from their parents, and complained on social media about parents learning what had been going on. That’s about the time the drag queen library hour started to pick up steam, and the few parents who had been concerned about the Common Core porn reading lists started to get more attention. And parents said NO. Not my children. I don’t want my second grader being taught how to masturbate. I don’t want my third grader being taught how to perform oral sex. I don’t want my librarians encouraging my kindergartner to stuff Monopoly money into G-strings worn by men performing strip tease acts while pretending to be women. And these outraged parents started to look at the books being put on reading lists for children, or placed on shelves alongside normal children’s reading material in libraries, and said no.

        This is their right as parents. Not as “the Right” but as parents. And the Left despises individual liberty and freedom of choice.

      • Amazona September 29, 2022 / 8:40 pm

        there is a movement in the last year or two by the Right to ban certain subjects from classrooms,

        And what subjects are not acceptable? Other than grooming children as young as pre-K to learn about and participate in graphic sex, another is that we are all to be judged not by our character but by the color of our skin. That white children bear the shame and responsibility for acts that were done only by a few people hundreds of years ago and are, therefore, inferior human beings. That ours is a horrible nation purposely conceived to advance the horrors of enslavement of black people, who were the only people ever enslaved and that was done only by evil white people.

        And so on

        These are the subjects parents refuse to allow to be taught in their schools. And these are the subjects you are outraged to find “banned”.

    • Amazona September 29, 2022 / 4:30 pm

      I’ve never seen “censorship” here based on political viewpoints. Though the demand was addressed to you, Spook, I replied that I never saw forty offer any political viewpoints—just an incessant hammering of hate-driven fact-deficient talking points taken directly from the Agenda Media.

      Also, this is a small private blog. It gets to make its own rules. And if someone who has the authority to do so decides that a poster is not contributing anything positive to the blog he has the absolute right to say sorry, the door is closed to you. If the general tone of the blog is intended to be civil, collegial, and contributing to productive discourse on any topic anyone who violates any of those guidelines does so with the knowledge that he or she might not be allowed to post any more.

      This is not censorship. This is simply refusing to be battered, insulted and harassed by people who thrive on that kind of thing.

      • fortyacresbeyond September 29, 2022 / 4:36 pm

        Actually, the question was originally addressed to all participants here, including and especially the ones who separate the Texas law.

        You write, “this is a small private blog. It gets to make its own rules.” No problem. But at what point does a blog or other form of social media no longer get to make its own rules? That is the question I’m getting at, given that many of you think it is appropriate that other social media companies should be prohibited from making their own rules.

      • Amazona September 29, 2022 / 5:23 pm what point does a blog or other form of social media no longer get to make its own rules?

        I answered this. It’s when they want to pretend to belong in one category because that offers them some benefits, and then want the freedom of the category they have abandoned. Do try to keep up.

        An example: a social media entity allows unmonitored solicitation of murder for hire. When it is sued by the family of someone killed by someone hired through this medium, the entity says no, it cannot be held responsible for the content of its posters because it is open to all and therefore is not a publication but the equivalent of a public bulletin board upon which anyone can say anything. Then this same entity proceeds to act as an advocate for a particular agenda, allowing free speech to those promoting that agenda but silencing speech of its opponents. At that point it is no longer a mere bystander to what is said but is actively participating in what is said. And at that point it can no longer be protected by its original argument.

        They can’t have it both ways. It’s really not hard to understand, at least not for people not bound by rigid bias.

      • fortyacresbeyond September 29, 2022 / 5:58 pm

        “An example: a social media entity allows unmonitored solicitation of murder for hire.”

        Can you provide an actual example of this? I’m not saying it has never happened or has happened. I would just like to see an instance.

        As for the rest, I think social media companies do have the right to control the content that appears on their websites and servers—the same as this blog has that right. That doesn’t mean that those companies are able to police all content, however. If this blog received a thousand comments a day, it would be much harder to police and weed out spam, for example. At a million comments a day it would be impossible to completely weed out spam and other egregious content. In one minute on Facebook, more than 510,000 comments are made, there are 293,000 status updates, 136,000 photos are uploaded, and a 4 million posts are liked. It is virtually impossible to police it all, but that doesn’t mean Facebook should have standards and policies regarding content on their site.

      • Mark Noonan September 29, 2022 / 6:21 pm

        That is the crucial thing – the standards Facebook and Twitter use. They are not clear – and the application of their standards invariably means Right of center content gets hit the most.

        My most recent Facebook suspension was over a meme I posted back in July of 2021 – I just got the notice on it this week. What was the meme? “I hope gas prices don’t get too high. Gas Prices: a picture of Hunter Biden with a crack pipe in his mouth”. That’s it – and it was flagged for false or misleading content.

        Of course we know why it was flagged – it had the double no-no of pointing out rising prices and Biden family corruption. In no conceivable universe of fairness and honesty is such a meme out of bounds.

        I’m not sure if I’m getting regularly suspended because someone is reporting me, or if its just their algorithm programed to protect The Precious. But however it is being done, it is grossly unfair.

        And because of this unfairness, I have come around to the view that we must regulate social media – and it is a very simple law:

        “No free-to-use social media platform may censor or suppress posts except in cases where the post urges or incites the violation of relevant federal, State and local laws.”

        That’s is – as long as you’re not posting instructions on how to make a bomb or, say, smuggle people across the border…your post gets to stand. Do this, and the problem is solved.

      • Amazona September 29, 2022 / 8:47 pm

        It’s an EXAMPLE. I was careful to avoid an actual event, because I knew that would launch you into a bickerfest, quibbling if I misstated a date or a name. So I invented a theoretical non-existing EXAMPLE and labeled it as such—-and it still launched you into the Quibbleverse.

        But then, what doesn’t?

      • fortyacresbeyond September 29, 2022 / 6:47 pm

        “That is the crucial thing – the standards Facebook and Twitter use. They are not clear – and the application of their standards invariably means Right of center content gets hit the most.”

        Agreed. If they have standards, they need to apply them fairly. It would not be acceptable, for example, for them to reject content from someone in a protected class merely based on the person being in that class. If it can be shown that they are not applying their standards equitably, then I think they open themselves up to a class-action lawsuit. But also, this would probably depend on the terms of service we all agree to in order to participate on Facebook. Personally, I don’t know what those terms are because, like most people, I haven’t read them. They may well reserve the right to take down any content they want, I don’t know.

        I suspect in your case that it is an algorithm. As I said, it is virtually impossible to moderate the quantity of content flowing across Facebook’s servers, so one way they attempt to do this is via automation (i.e., algorithms). I’ll bet there’s something about that photo that triggered the algorithm. That said, it is possible someone is reporting you, and because of that some Facebook human somewhere has taken a look and flag it themselves.

  6. Retired Spook September 29, 2022 / 4:47 pm

    DJIA is flirting with 29,000 (going down, not up), down 20% from it’s high of over 36,000 less than a year ago; 30-year mortgage rates are the highest since 2007; gas (locally – NE Indiana) is back to $4.09/gal after getting down to around $3.50 a few weeks ago. I wonder how that will affect the election.

    • Mark Noonan September 29, 2022 / 6:29 pm

      Per The Experts, it won’t! All anyone cares about is abortion!

  7. fortyacresbeyond September 29, 2022 / 5:45 pm

    Spook wrote, “What federal policies (rather than principles) would lead to the greatest level of satisfaction by the largest percentage of the population, and who is/are the person/persons you think would be most likely to pull it off? You’re clearly not going to please everyone, but a simple majority would be nice. What would it take to get to that point?”

    This is a reframing of a question Spook previously asked, which I answered at least once. We know from previous discussion that the Gallup poll “Satisfaction With the United States,” which asks, “In general, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States at this time?”, that the 70% threshold Spook cited has only been achieved a few times in the poll’s history.

    First, I don’t think there’s a close correlation between federal policies and levels of satisfaction. In general, I think you find the greatest levels of satisfaction when the economy is doing well. (A second case is when the country is in crisis, e.g., after the 9/11 attack, but those are hard to predict.) We know from past history that the economy is cyclical and will be cyclical (therefore predictable in that sense), that after a downturn there is always a recovery. When a recovery happens, more Americans will be satisfied no matter who is in charge, as simple as that. And the person in charge will benefit regardless of whether they did anything to make it happen.

    That said, I would be in favor of policies that result in an economic recovery reaching the largest number of Americans, such as reducing income equality. Policies that ensure that the richest Americans pay more in taxes (possibly via a wealth tax, since the most wealthy are able to avoid taxable income), and that corporations pay a minimum tax, both of which indirectly benefit other Americans. I would support the government investing heavily, or assisting in the creation and growth of new technologies, especially the so-called green technologies. It is clear that this is the future whether the United States leads it or not, so we might as well position ourselves to lead. I would seek an increase in the minimum wage, which is currently $7.25. I would support policies which provide immigrants with work. In many parts of the country we currently see a worker shortage, which hampers the economy.

    That said, we also know that most Americans don’t associate their economic fortunes with any specific policies. For instance, Americans who received economic benefit checks during the pandemic mostly had no idea why they received them, nor the policy or laws that resulted in them receiving them, or who was responsible for that. So this idea that specific policies are associated with levels of satisfaction doesn’t seem correct to me. I’m happy to hear a counterargument to that.

    As for the person or persons, heck if I know. Who knows who will lead us in the future. I sure didn’t think in 2012 that Donald Trump would ever be president, nor did anyone really think in 2004 that Barack Obama would be president in four years time. You claimed Trump could achieve 70%, but of course he never achieved more than 45%, so we know in fact that Trump could not do it in his four years. If you are thinking that one person could be credited, then as I said before, it seems more likely to me that it would be a right-wing populist who happens to be in office when the economy is in an upswing after a downturn. Maybe Ron DeSantis if he happens to become president in the right circumstances. Would you or anyone else here have thought that Bill Clinton would be the only president to achieve over 70% satisfaction other than George Bush right after 9/11?

    So those are a few thoughts off the top of my head. Since Spook has said he’s not going to engage anymore, I guess we won’t hear any specifics from him, though I’d be happy to hear them.

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