Zoom Sucks

A few months ago, I paid $120 for a year of Zoom. When the app stopped working with my Streamlabs OBS, I sent in a customer service request. It took almost five weeks for anyone to get back to me. When I did get some help, it only worked for a few days until Zoom pushed through a new update. At that point, after hours of headaches dealing with the app and the presence of lots of free competitors with better quality products, I requested a refund. That was over a week ago. Still no response from Zoom. On May 18, I was told I would hear back from them in one to three days.

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Before I Forget By Geoffrey Blainey

Here are some highlights from this 2019 memoir by the great Australian historian:

* When I was old enough to read the handwritten labels on the jam, I realised, to my amazement, the existence of adults who could not spell.

[LF: I was 18 before I met a white man who could not read. I was shocked. It was in Tannum Sands, QLD.]

* As cars rarely travelled above 60 kilometres an hour [circa 1935], and often at a mere 30 kilometres, a trip to Melbourne – allowing for one punctured tyre and a boiling radiator and a long stop for lunch – was a prolonged event. As it was summertime, a brown canvas bag full of drinking water was carried, the bag being tied to the front of the car so that the rush of air kept it cool.

* Meanwhile I was almost old enough to take an interest in but not yet able to understand what our father did for a living, nor why he did it. For more than half a century he was to keep a record of each Sunday service he presided over. He also recorded the biblical words he chose as the basis of his sermon, and the four hymns that were sung by the congregation. On most Sundays he conducted at least three services, in three different places. I did not realise how systematic he was until I saw, after his death, the notebooks in which these devotional details were recorded in ink, week after week, decade after decade. Possibly he had a fear of delivering a sermon that his congregation had heard from him a few months previously: more likely he wished to keep a true record of what he regarded as his trusteeship as a worker in the Lord’s vineyard. Handling statistics with pleasure, he knew the number of every one of the thousand and more hymns in the Methodist hymnbook. He knew too the precise chapter and verse in which thousands of verses could be found in the Bible.

He remembered the numberplates of hundreds of cars owned by people whom he knew. Sometimes he would pass a car travelling along the road, notice its numberplate, and remark that it was the car once owned by an acquaintance in a certain country town. That was in the era when cars travelled so slowly that it was easy to read their numberplates.

Keeping a large library, Dad spent more on books than he really could afford. As a preacher he was thoughtful and perhaps slightly mystical in his later decades. He often spoke of heaven but rarely of hell. Preparing sermons carefully during the week, and basing them on texts chosen from the Bible after much deliberation, he carried into the pulpit a neat summary of what he wished to say. Listeners gained the impression that the sermon was largely delivered off the cuff. Most sentences were created on the spur of the moment but the main thoughts and the sequence in which they were expressed were carefully thought out in advance.

* When he preached he did not play to the gallery. While he knew that many congregations liked human-interest anecdotes snipped from that week’s news or from the reported doings of living celebrities, he did not present that kind of newsworthy sermon. He mainly preached the Bible, applying its message to the trials and triumphs of the lives of the people who sat listening. He must have timed his sermons, because they rarely were too long (except for little children) and never too short. Hearing or half-hearing him on nearly every Sunday of the first fourteen years of my life – Methodist babies were taken regularly into church to soak up the spirit – I almost took him for granted, not realising until later how skilled he was at what he viewed as his duty and privilege: the preaching of the Word.

At the small west Victorian town of Jeparit, he was to have one of his long-remembered moments as a preacher. For several decades the Menzies family, then storekeepers, were stalwarts of the local Methodist church, there being no Presbyterian one. Some thirty years later one of their sons, Robert Gordon Menzies, as Liberal prime minister of Australia, accepted an invitation to revisit his boyhood town and church, and my father was invited to return and preach in the same church that morning. ‘Bob’ Menzies in his commanding way stood up and read aloud a psalm from the Bible, and later my father gave the sermon, but they probably did not shake hands, for Menzies and his wife Pattie had to hurry away to another engagement as soon as the service had ended. Months later in Melbourne, when by chance they were at the same social event, Menzies recognised my father and walked over and graciously congratulated him on his preaching and the theme of the sermon. My father, who probably tended to be a Labor sympathiser, could never forget that kind and spontaneous gesture.
In a country town the minister’s contacts were overwhelmingly with his flock. If visitors stayed at our house, they were usually Methodists, arriving on what was called ‘a deputation’. When our parents did business in the town – buying meat or groceries, or taking our boots for repair – they usually did it with a Methodist. This was natural. Their income came from these same people, by way of the collection plate handed around in church, and they tried to repay a little of it. If two Methodist families operated a draper’s shop or a milk round in the town my mother divided the business between the two, with a slight preference for the cheaper one. When bad luck befell Methodists, our mother would help. The coming of the passenger train from Melbourne was a major event; and one morning, just as the locomotive was leaving the railway station, a waiting woman fell on the tracks and her legs were severed. Her son came to our house to stay.
These tightly knit congregations have largely vanished. They are no longer viewed very sympathetically in the media and sections of some universities, but the years will return when their merits – along with the defects – will be seen more clearly. With personal disaster and adversity they coped bravely.

* Our meals, eaten in the kitchen unless visitors were expected, were simple. At breakfast we ate hot porridge – breakfast cereals were too expensive for a large family – and on each plate of steaming porridge was poured a little milk and more sugar. Occasionally, in place of sugar, a spoon of golden syrup – a richly coloured treacle – was trickled onto the porridge. On our slices of toast we usually spread dripping, which was the fat saved from the roasting of meat, and a little salt. We loved hot toast and dripping, but it has been banished from Australian menus by a mixture of prosperity and a rising fear of heart attacks.

Although we lived close to dairy farms we ate little butter – it was expensive. Even for cooking cakes and biscuits, butter was rarely used. I remember that one swagman, to whom my mother gave sandwiches, threw them away at the front gate because the bread holding the meat was either unbuttered or merely flicked with butter. My mother was vexed by his contemptuous behaviour because she always gave strangers the same food as we ate. On days when we ourselves ate butter we obeyed the family rule that you could eat toast with butter or toast with jam but not both together. This frugal rule was observed in countless households.
The midday meal was hot, and known as ‘dinner’. It concluded with a hot pudding or – in summertime – junket or custard or stewed fruits: Mum had shelves full of fruit that she had bottled herself. The evening meal, called ‘tea’, was lighter but could be formal if visitors arrived. Every church visitor to the town was accommodated in our house. For their benefit, butter was put on the table, and perhaps eggs were cooked at breakfast.
Potatoes, pumpkins, other fresh vegetables and bread dominated our diet. We also ate mutton as well as the cheaper butcher’s meats – lamb’s fry and kidneys which I loved, and brains which I loathed. Poultry was eaten at one meal of the year, Christmas dinner, the chosen fowl having lost its head on the chopping block in the wood-yard on the previous day.
After each meal the dishes were washed in the kitchen sink. From an early age we children took turns in using a light tea towel to dry the dishes. To wash dishes and cooking utensils, hot water was poured from the black kettle kept standing on the top of the wood stove. The hot water for the tea – we drank no coffee – came from the same kettle. Like most families we had no hot-water tank or service, and so we washed our face and hands in the morning in a basin of cold water. Maybe on very cold mornings the water came from the kettle. The constant instruction to us was to ‘wash behind the ears’, which suggests that we usually did not.

* Mrs Joshua, who possessed vivacity and human warmth, was a Catholic. In a smallish town it was unusual, in the era of sectarian rivalry, for the wife of a Methodist minister to have a close friend who was a Catholic.

* At Newtown State School the female teachers seemed more animated than the male ones, some of whom were returned soldiers and perhaps affected by their experience of war. One languid good-natured man opened our gates of knowledge in the morning and wearily closed them well before the day was over. In one year the most rewarding lesson was in gardening. A few of us were allowed to turn on the tap at the top of the schoolyard and let the water flow down the irrigation channel we dug in the soil. The garden sometimes blossomed.
It is easy to forget how vulnerable we were. In the street or in a shop an adult could rebuke us sternly and sometimes unjustly: adults had more moral and punitive authority than they have today. Even in the school’s playground an older bully could snatch our bag of marbles or small bundle of football cards and run away, knowing if he was big that he might never be pursued.

* When the Geelong team was playing in Melbourne, and the match was important enough to attract a radio station, I prepared to listen to the large ‘wireless’ in the sitting room – and operated my own scoreboard. In those days a game of football usually started at 2.45 p.m., so that people who worked in the morning could have time to go home, change out of their working clothes, and then proceed to the football ground. When the time for the radio broadcast came near I was in a state of tension, hoping that the sound of the broadcast would be clear and that Geelong would win. The football ‘match of the day’ on ABC Radio was introduced by a military band playing a Strauss tune, and the band was allowed to play uninterruptedly for a minute or more before the announcer on duty advised us that ‘we are now crossing’ to so-and-so ground to hear a broadcast of the match. The idea of playing classical music as a prelude to the broadcast of a popular football match would now be seen as highbrow.

* Not until later years did I realise that my father, in attending the football, was carrying out his pastoral duties though he also enjoyed the game. His church had footballing links and he thought it his duty to take an interest in whatever attracted the members of his flock.

* For most Australian children of that era, Sunday was a special day though it was seen as a day of duty as much as a holiday. I observed the atmosphere of Sunday morning, even at maybe the age of five. There was a silence in the streets, and almost everything was closed. It was different to the other days, and we were allowed to read in bed until a slightly later hour; and Mum and Dad by their attitude announced quietly that they were not completely in charge of us. I suspect that they both had imbibed the religious text that, in full colour, was printed in flowery style on pieces of cardboard framed on the walls of countless Australian sitting rooms or placed prominently on the kitchen mantelpiece: ‘This is the day which The Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.’
When we awoke we saw our Sunday clothes laid out ready for us to wear. On such a morning I used to rub into my windblown hair a sweet-smelling yellowish oil called brilliantine, which almost kept it in place. To have your hair neatly parted, in a straight line down the side or right down the middle, was a high priority. On the previous evening we had to clean our shoes, rubbing the black polish into them and then shining the leather.

* We reached the outskirts of Bendigo soon after sunset. Our favourite Jehu, his one useful arm tugging at the steering wheel, eventually reached his own mother’s house in the suburb of Quarry Hill. After we had rung the doorbell and waited for what seemed an hour she came to the front door. In a kindly way she instructed us, to our juvenile astonishment, to put the horses in the stables before we came inside. Her memory was failing, and she assumed that we had come in a horse-drawn vehicle. After all, she herself had travelled over much of the western half of Victoria when roads were unmade and the horse was king.
Once inside her rambling house, my brother and I were not in the least interested in questioning her about her slow dray-journey, long ago, to become one of the first white women in a new farming district. Instead we longed to know who had won the football, for Geelong was playing at Richmond. From her wireless, after much tuning in, we heard the final scores.

* I followed the disasters and the occasional triumphs of the Allied side in the European war every day except Sunday, when newspapers were prohibited by law.

* Darwin and the ships in its harbour were heavily bombed by Japanese raids on 19 February 1942. The newspapers, censored by the government in Canberra, minimised the deaths and the damage. Many Australians continued to fear that their country would be invaded, though children were largely protected from the fear: indeed they protected themselves, for their outlook on the world tends to be optimistic. Early in the year, lessons were halted at many Victorian high schools, at least for the boys, and nearly all hands were employed in digging air-raid trenches. We brought our fathers’ picks, shovels or spades to the school and dug long trenches to a depth of about a metre and a half. The earth and clay tossed aside by the shovels gave the trenches an additional height. They were zigzag in shape, presumably so that a Japanese aircraft flying above in a straight line and firing a machine gun would hit only a fraction of the children sheltering there. The digging of the trenches was exciting; a sense of team spirit came from somewhere, and many of us were disappointed when the task was completed and we had to go back to the classrooms and full-time lessons. Once the winter set in, the trenches quickly filled with rainwater.

* It seemed a waste of talent that ‘Tosh’ Phillips should teach reluctant boys, for he was one of the more astute critics in the land. It was he who coined one of the most quotable of Australian phrases, the cultural cringe, which Paul Keating as prime minister was to employ vigorously more than one generation later. The ‘cultural cringe’ referred to an old-time Australian tendency to bow down in the presence of English culture. The day was to come when many Australians tended to ‘cringe’ slightly in the presence of the multicultural.

* With calmness and clarity, he discussed the laws of supply and demand and the realm of economic behaviour but also objected if they defied Christian ethics.

* I had a burning desire to see Sydney. In our nation’s short history, it seemed almost as pivotal as Rome was to Italy’s long history. To visit the shining harbour now seems a humble ambition, but most Victorians of that time saw no prospect of travelling overseas, and therefore a short planned visit to Sydney was like a tour of Europe today.

* After an hour or so the van halted in the main street of Wycheproof and we went with the driver into a Greek or Italian cafe for breakfast. We had bacon and eggs, with bread and butter and hot tea and those thin red slices of cooked beetroot that were the common decoration on dinner plates in country cafes. This was probably only the second time in my life [then 18yo] that I had eaten a meal in a cafe or restaurant.

* In my first year I drank no alcohol. Most university students of my age, whether female or male, did not drink; and if they did, it was only once or twice a year, and then by the half-glass. The aroma of beer, noticeable outside crowded hotels with open doors or windows, displeased me because it was stale and bitter. My ancestral background too was opposed to alcohol. All of my grandparents opposed it in any form, and my father as a teenager had been the secretary of, I think, the California Gully Tent of Rechabites, which sounds like a sissy society but – judging by the surviving photograph of them, rank after rank – was certainly not. Its members, whether young men or teenagers, had promised to abstain from alcohol so long as they lived; but Gallipoli and the Western Front must have weakened the resolve of some.
The smoking of tobacco was less frowned upon by my parents’ friends.

* It is difficult, in retrospect, to know why one’s basic views change: it is difficult enough, at the very time they are turning, to know why they are making a somersault. Sometimes we slowly shuffle away from positions once tenaciously held, almost as if the mooring ropes become loose rather than some new idea arises.
At this time I also lost faith in some of my rather utopian ideas. I ceased to think that paradise could be created by a wise government – partly because I came to the view that most human beings had a cussed and a contrary streak. We were capable of evil and mischief as well as trying to imitate the good and great.
In heading towards this more cautious view of human nature I was reflecting some of my serious reading during recent months: the study of English puritanism, the hearing of sermons on Sunday evening by the Rev. Dr Calvert Barber in the Queen’s College chapel, and the occasional visits, sometimes with other students, to hear the preachers in a variety of city churches. I was affected by the somewhat gloomy New York theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, whom I read while holidaying in the Dandenong Ranges where occasionally my parents rented a house made up of old Melbourne cable trams. For many students then, serious books not on the syllabus were lighthouses; and perhaps they shone more than they do today.
By chance there fell into my hands a biography of Edmund Burke, the Irish orator who rebelled against the utopianism and violence displayed in the French Revolution. To his cautious assessment of human nature, I see that I gave tentative ‘ticks’ in one of my private notebooks. If I had not recently found the notebook I would have sworn I had never read Burke. On the whole I retained more optimism than pessimism about the world, whose future was so precarious during some years of the long Cold War.

* Tasmania was viewed by most people of my generation as a pale replica of the British Isles, and the area around Ross with its roadside hedges, oaks, elms and other English trees was seen as its heartland. Since most Australians – including me – doubted whether they would ever visit Europe, Tasmania was the closest substitute.

* Bill Harney, who won a name as a storyteller in the heyday of radio, once spent three months in the local jail, but as compensation he had access to the town’s library, and it provided one of the turning points in his life: ‘As night fell and we couldn’t read any more, we would discuss far into the night the things we had read about that day’.

* Miles had his own way of measuring time, and each particular year was engraved on his memory with the name of the horse that won the Melbourne Cup. After he had recalled an episode or incident, I would often ask, ‘And what year was that?’ After a pause, perhaps after peering down to chip charcoal from the inside of his pipe, he would look up and say, ‘Now, that was the year Sister Olive won the Cup.’

* [Aussie secretary]: “I don’t know if I can make you understand that I found this rather difficult: it was all so interesting and there was so much which was quite new to me as well as that which was of course familiar, that somehow I was so carried along in the narrative that I found my critical faculty as to accuracy or otherwise was more or less dormant.”

Some professors and many company chairmen today are incapable of composing such a delicate, complicated sentence and guiding it to a safe landing.

* Those economists partly understood by me included Keynes, Marshall, Jevons, Adam Smith and Roy Harrod, all of whom were masters of English prose. A decade or more later the declining mastery of clear English was to stem the influence of economists in national and international debate.

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NYT: White Woman Calls Police on Black Bird Watcher in Central Park

I side with the black gentleman in this story. Whites often treat dogs as members of the family. This is absurd. I notice that many white women do not like to obey leash laws. I’ve seen this ugly behavior too often. I had a girlfriend who was warned by police to obey the leash laws and when she thought the police were gone, she unleashed her dog, the police came back and gave her a ticket and she started yelling at the cops until I got her to quiet down.

Comments at Steve Sailer:

* People like this woman treat their pets as if they are members of some special victim group and will fiercly defend their ‘rights’ to intrude your space, share their bodily fluids with you or even attack you. Dogs should just be on leases. If you call the cops on someone who points that out, you are trash, period. The rest is secondary.

* The internet is jumping on this woman—from all sides. Lefties are going for the white-woman-v-black man setup (the filmer/complainer against the woman is supposedly a black male). Non-lefties are focusing on the NY-lefty-who-thinks-her-dog-is more-important-than-people-and-she-can-break-the-rules part. She’s being painted as a Karen who also engages in Munchausen by proxy via her dog (internet posts attributed to her have that dog having a series of bizarre life-threatening accidents one after another).

I really don’t care, I’ve learned some caution in believing everything the internet says about someone based on a 1 minute clip. She looks bad and presumptuous, but I really need a lot more evidence before I start demanding her head be cut off. Entitled dog people are crappy, but I’m not sure this is it.

Also, more up Steve’s alley, the internet also went after Jimmy Fallon last night around the same time for “blackface”, because in 2000 he did an impression on SNL of a black celebrity. Jimmy Fallon, perhaps the least-threatening, most obsequious late night talk show host on the market today!

We really need to accurately define blackface. It’s not portraying someone who is black when you’re white, its a specific caricature of blacks made by whites in minstrel shows that have gone the way of the dodo.

Or not. I don’t care. Fallon’s a lefty, so let them eat their own.

* The video is priceless and she got her just deserts. I’m rooting for the black nerd birdwatcher in this one.

* NYT: “Internet sleuths digging into Ms. Cooper’s life found an Instagram profile of her cocker spaniel mix and began sharing old photos documenting injuries the dog had suffered…. She also returned her dog to the Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue, where she adopted it a few years ago, after allegations that she choked the dog while calling the police.

“The dog is now in our rescue’s care and he is safe and in good health,” the organisation wrote on Facebook.”

The above is no exaggeration; the poor dog was yelping in pain as she repeated hoisted it and jerked it by its collar.

So: Entitled scofflaw huffery, cruelty to animals, making a false police call with threatening intent… she better blame it on Asperger’s or something. Total idiotic meltdown.


* Frankly, given the way she conducted herself, I would not want her working for my company. You don’t have a “right” to a job in America. It was her privilege to represent Franklin Templeton before the world and she could no longer be trusted with that privilege. Probably she was a psycho to her co-workers all along but psychopaths suck up to their superiors so that they are never found out. This time she showed her fangs.

Cooper is not a danger black man. He was not Trayvon Martin or a “jogger” with construction boots and a hammer. This was one time when the black media hero really is a good guy. And she didn’t FAIL to alert the police to him. She had no duty or right to alert the police to him because he had not committed any crime.

Instead she falsely accused him of threatening to kill her. This is a very serious false accusation and she should be in jail or at least fined for making a false police report. She is a sociopath who was caught doing the wrong thing and instead of humbly admitting that she was in the wrong and leashing her dog she falsely accused a man of a serious felony as a below the belt tactic to “win” the encounter. She played the short game and didn’t think of the larger implications of her tactics (to say the least). And she clearly was NOT afraid of Cooper – rather than running AWAY from him, she approaches him. He was afraid of HER. He asks her to stay away from him on the film as she approaches menacingly.

Of course, the racial aspect is what took this to a whole different level in the press, but what she did was despicable regardless of color. But she was the one who pulled the race card. She was an idiot to do this in America 2020 and now she is suffering the consequences.

* Well, he’s probably the only black man in the history of the world who’s ever tweeted, “I pull out the dog treats I carry for just such intransigence”.

* He also called her a “scofflaw” in the New York Times interview, so I pretty much have to take his side here.

* He appears to be a better human being than a woman who broke rules and then tried to frame him with a crime all the while consuming public (law enforcement) resources needlessly.

* Screw her. She admitted she knew the rules.

It could be worse–I carry a knife and I will gladly kill someone’s retarded, untrained, unleashed dog who jumps on me. And every single woman and liberal’s dog is untrained.

How many times have you heard that crap? “Oh, she’s just friendly!” as a dog jumps on you without your consent. Get your dogs on a leash, losers. If you don’t like leashing your dogs then move to rural Vermont and own your own property. My personal space in a public park is not part of your dog’s territory.

* I highly doubt he is that Machiavellian. The guy was honest about what he said and did re dog and dog treats even though it puts him in a negative light. The truth is that you or I up against a Karen would be lynched for saying what he says he said but they’d be wrong to lynch us. She was breaking the rules to his detriment and he responded in a manner that he had a right to.

When it became obvious that she was going to use his words against him he decided to start videoing and she freaked out. I don’t know whether her freakout was out of misplaced righteous indignation or out of actual fear but both are human level errors.

Either way, while admitting to not having read or watched any more than 5 minutes about this issue, if he is on the record as going against what the SJWs did to her than he is a better man than most of us.

* She doesn’t come off looking great. If she did it to me I’d be super pissed and feel quite good about her losing her job. Not that her bosses seem justified in taking her job but I think he would have been justified in rejoicing that they had.

* Only race-obsessed morons wouldn’t see from the video that she is the one who advanced on him and started to act on the phone with the police like she was being assaulted. Geez. The dog needs exercise? Take it for a walk or a run on a leash instead of breaking park rules and choking her dog by stringing it up.

And he didn’t ruin her – she did that all by herself by calling the police and trying to frame him for a crime. Did he “provoke” her into breaking the park rules and disturbing the bird sanctuary?

And I love the “This AFRICAN-AMERICAN man is threatening me!” part. Really scared people don’t yell PC-compliant descriptive like that. They scream “HELP! A man is threatening me!” or perhaps “This black guy is after me!” People under stress often lose adjectives and adverbs, forget PC-compliant ones.

For once, a white person is actually the bad one. Let it go.

* If that dog lady lied in her police call, she should do jail time. Every woman who makes a false police report should, at the very least, be booked for the crime. Sure, the jails would be overflowing for a while, but eventually they would learn their lesson and the culture would change for the better.

* Charlotte Allen: This is where I get off the Steve train.

I live in Washington DC and for the past 18 years in a neighborhood that is half gentrified and half 100 percent black housing projects. One of the things you quickly learn for your own safety on the sidewalks and on the Metro is how to distinguish ordinary black men minding their business (which is most of them) from thugs. If you can’t do that, you’re a hysterical fool like Amy Cooper who couldn’t tell the difference in broad daylight and thus shouldn’t be living in a city. The thugs are uniformly young (teens to 25 or so), loud, usually traveling in groups, and of distinctly gangsta appearance: locs, tattoos, pant waists down below the boxer shorts, in the summer often no shirt. Those black males are to be avoided at all costs–which is something that respectable black people do. If she had run screaming for the police from one or more (usually more) of that type, and he had turned out to be a Rhodes scholar, that would have been a “false positive.”

I’m glad that Franklin Templeton fired her. My husband and I have some of our savings in Franklin Templeton, and I don’t want my money managed by a 42-year-old single woman in NYC who: 1) calls herself a “dog mom” and the dogs she owns her “babies”; 2) wears a coronavirus mask while walking on a virtually unpopulated trail in the early morning; 3) has so little social awareness that she can’t tell the difference between a thug and some middle-aged black guy in a T-shirt; 4) disregards the leash law on an environmentally fragile trail because “fur baby” is so precious; 5) obviously calls the police without provocation while remembering to be oh-so-politically correct (she says “African-American”? C’mon!); and 6) gets so emotionally wrought up that she tortures the dog in the process (I could scarcely watch that prolonged strangling on the video as she repeatedly dragged the choking animal by its collar).

Sorry, but I feel zero sympathy for this woman. She needs to get out of money management.

* …her use of the term African-American man, and her emphasis and repeated use of that term, was her fatal error.

She’s just a overly confident, entitled, U of Chicago MBA, AWFL bitch who thinks she’s all that because she has some high-powered job as a money-shifter. This type abounds in NYC, DC, Boston, et al.

Personally I’m super reluctant to get into any squabble with a stranger over any issue, but especially with an AWFL because I know how petty and vindictive they can be. That is a losing battle for someone like me if the cops are called (“This man was acting aggressively and I felt threatened…”). Undoubtedly she’s pulled variations of this shit before and been successful with these AWFL tactics. But this time the entitled AWFL bitch crap didn’t work against a successful Harvard-educated, gay, birdwatching-nerd black man.

I see this whole incident as less of a race issue and more of an AWFL bitch getting her comeuppance. Having encountered this type before, a lot, I’m feeling a little pep-in-my-step schadenfreude over it.

* If someone in a public space points out to you that your dog has to be on a leash, and particularly if you already know that you’re required to leash your dog but you simply decide to ignore this regulation, then the only appropriate response is to put Fluffy on a leash.

I’m sure that it annoyed her to be filmed during this encounter, but being annoyed isn’t a reason to call the police, and claiming that her life was being threatened simply isn’t convincing. Had she really felt that her life was in danger, rather than standing there and jawing with the guy, she would would have been hauling ass out of there, with or without her little dog.

* As a former investigator I was often shocked by the crap some guys have to go through— seemingly unjust stuff— and how stoically many of them handled it. A lot of them black and Hispanic. These are the 95% who try to do the right thing even when dealt BS from law enforcement and the courts. Their stories are never heard because they’re not newsworthy. Reading trending stories on social media or MSM or featured by Paul Kersey would give you a very distorted view of how things actually are. It would be good if people went to their local courthouse and perused the docket and sat in on some court cases.

There are a lot of horrible women out there and if you happen to be the man who involves with them you will have a rollercoaster life at best and most likely will be emotionally, mentally, and physically damaged if not destroyed. And law enforcement and the courts are totally on the side of the woman. Often law enforcement will apologize to the male involved in a 911 call before telling them that their (LEO’s) hands are tied and the male must be arrested and booked. In a domestic situation, or civil divorce/child custody case, law enforcement and the courts act as women’s advocates.

I don’t say this as someone who’s ever been arrested or divorced. I say this as someone who’s spent a lot of time in courthouses and interviewing people. I saw how getting involved with the wrong woman could potentially be life-destroying and I therefore saw to it that I never get involved with such a woman. I.e., a woman who possessed any of the behaviors or displayed any of the warning signs of a bitch or nag or unstable woman. As a young man I dated all the above. I went for looks and T & A. And in every one of those relationships, I — as an opinionated, temperamental, stubborn, and argumentative guy— was miserable and the relationship quickly devolved into drama and bitter fights and temporary break-ups. I never had a premarital relationship last longer than 1.5-2 years.

So when it came to looking for a wife I was methodical in choosing the right one. I waited for one with all the right character traits. I found her. So now in my first and only marriage I have gone decades with only a few mild arguments (which were quickly resolved the same day). Involving with the wrong woman can be a soul-crushing hell. Being married to the right woman is a source of constant happiness and joy, heavenly.

* I don’t see him as a prick. He says he is trying to protect the bird habitat. She was clearly doing something wrong and not just technically wrong- it would damage the bird habitat. He says he has found people put their dogs back on leash when he starts giving them treats. A pretty clever solution.

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Facebook & Google Ban Unz.com

Ron Unz writes:

After several months of record-breaking traffic our alternative media webzine suffered a sharp blow when it was suddenly purged by Facebook at the end of April. Not only was our rudimentary Facebook page eliminated, but all subsequent attempts by readers to post our articles to the world’s largest social network produced an error message describing the content as “abusive.” Our entire website had been banned.

Facebook publishes a monthly report cataloging its actions to eliminate “improper content,” and although our publication was probably one of the largest and most popular ever so proscribed, the explanation provided was remarkably cursory, with our name mentioned in only two scattered sentences across the 47 page document.

Our investigation linked this network to VDARE, a website known for posting anti-immigration content, and individuals associated with a similar website The Unz Review.

Although the people behind this operation attempted to conceal their coordination, our investigation linked this network to VDARE, a website known for posting anti-immigration content, and to individuals associated with a similar website The Unz Review.

As I’ve previously discussed, characterizing our alternative media publication as an “anti-immigration” website “similar” to VDare seemed utterly bizarre considering that only about 0.2% of our 2020 content was republished from that source and many months had elapsed since we had last featured a piece on immigration. So I strongly suspected that the claim merely served as an excuse.

I don’t use Facebook or other social networks myself, and noticed little reduction in our daily traffic following that purge, which seemed to underscore our lack of reliance upon social media. But a week later, this abruptly changed, and our regular daily readership dropped by a significant 15-20%, hardly a crippling blow but quite distressing, setting us back many months of previous growth.

This puzzled me. Why would the Facebook ban have had such limited initial impact but then suddenly become so much more serious? Eventually I discovered that a second even more powerful Internet giant had also banned us, which explained the sharp drop. Our entire website and all its many millions of pages of serious content had been silently deranked by Google, thus eliminating nearly all our incoming traffic from search results. A few quick checks confirmed this unfortunate situation, best illustrated by a particularly striking example.

Just over a decade ago, I had published an important article entitled The Myth of Hispanic Crime, and for ten years it had always placed extremely high in Google searches, generally being ranked #2 across the 52,000,000 results for “Hispanic crime” and also #2 among the 139,000,000 results for “Latino crime.” The impact of my analysis on the heated public debate had also been quite considerable, and a few years ago a leading academic specialist even asked me to blurb his book on that subject. But my article had now vanished from all such Google searches.

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Who Killed Channel 9?: The Death of Kerry Packer’s Mighty TV Dream Machine

Here are some highlights from this 2008 book about Australia’s formerly dominant TV network:

* The Golden Age of Australian television. You could say it began the first moment viewers spotted the rich yellow hue glinting in their TV screens. With the introduction of colour transmission in March, 1975, audiences blossomed and advertising skyrocketed, bringing the nation’s three commercial networks an unexpected windfall, more than enough to happily share around. Seven and Ten duly proceeded to maximise their soaring profits and minimise their expenditures, as properly run companies do. Kerry Packer, though, had not the slightest interest in sharing anything. His natural instincts told him to break free of the pack and set out to be first and best whatever the price. The profits might be a lot less to begin with, but if he could establish Nine as the industry’s undisputed leader, advertisers would flock to his door begging for air time, willing, even, to pay a handsome premium on top of the prevailing ad rates. Let us be the one. That was where the real riches lay. Kerry took charge of the network, then consisting of TCN 9 in Sydney and GTV 9 in Melbourne, upon the death of his father, Sir Frank, in May, 1974. He knew little about the visual medium – his older brother Clyde had run the TV side of the business while Kerry focused on magazines. Clyde, though, was gone from the scene, off to make his own fortune by the time Kerry took over. He struggled for a year or so to attune his instincts to the special magic of the small screen…

* This, then, was Kerry Packer’s unbeatable dream machine, dominating an era when 85 per cent of Australian living rooms were lit by the flickering glow of a TV set and sewer levels rose measurably with the end of the Sunday night movie.

* The visual medium…was more about feelings than facts: resistant to the kind of detailed explanation that might appear in a newspaper feature page. Television was at its powerful best as a visceral experience, strumming the emotional chords, stimulating the senses, encouraging those watching to come to their own instinctual conclusions about the right or wrong of any situation. The difference between viewers and readers could be summed up in five words. Don’t tell me. Show me.

* Exactly what could one expect from an ACA going ‘upmarket’, as the Park Street executive demanded? Would audiences who tuned in to see cellulite cures and quarrelling neighbours stick around for a fact-filled inquiry into foreign trade kickbacks? That was no mere theoretical question. The producers of both ACA and Today Tonight were able to analyse each evening’s ratings minute by minute, and the evidence was inescapable. Any segment involving a more cerebral type of journalism – a political interview or in-depth investigation – was met with an instant turn-off. Far from ‘dumbing down’, then, the two current affairs shows were being as smart as free-to-air television can get – keeping in close touch with the changing nature of the available audience, giving the great majority of viewers precisely what they wanted. With mums cooking dinner, the kids playing up, the father coming home grumpy after a tough day at work, the last thing they needed at 6.30 at night was a TV show that demanded extra concentration. In an increasingly complicated world, they sought information immediately relevant to their own lifestyles and they were perfectly happy to look at a program filled with useful shopping tips or stories about families very much like themselves embroiled in the same kinds of problems they were struggling to get through. Meakin, then, foresaw a ratings disaster if ACA began straying too far from its tabloid roots, surrendering more and more air time to ‘worthier’ topics that might suit an ABC viewer but threatened to send its traditional audience rushing to change channels.

* ‘I don’t know any other way to manage people than through fear, to scare the fucking shit out of them,’ [Kerry Packer] admitted.

* first-hand knowledge gained by putting together hundreds of newscaff programs and, within those programs, many thousands of different stories. Each effort leaves behind a precious grain of residual knowledge to draw upon in the unending quest for more effective coverage. Was the shot of the weeping woman held a second too long, should the camera have moved in for a tighter close-up; was the poignancy of the moment spoiled by a grab of commentary when silence would have delivered greater impact? Those are some of the fine points a production team might debate in preparing a report that attempts to convey a certain mood: for example, a community’s grief over a tragic car accident. The art of presenting hard facts to a general audience can be even more exacting, particularly when dealing with complex political or economic developments. How can we make this story relevant to the everyday experiences of the typical viewer? If there are statistics that must be mentioned, what’s the best way to enable people to visualise them?

Back in the 1990s Peter Meakin pushed for the introduction of a new lifestyle show, Money, that – in theory – seemed far too dry and cerebral for commercial TV. When sceptical program executives demanded to know who would care enough to watch, the newscaff chief had a ready answer for them. ‘More people have hip pockets than backyards,’ he pointed out, drawing a parallel with Don Burke’s popular series. The key to such a concept was in making every segment, whether about comparing credit card fees or obtaining bank loans, as easily digestible as possible.

* Nine’s finance editor, Michael Pascoe, was well known to viewers of Business Sunday for his droll comments on the foibles of various leaders of the business community. Unfortunately, egg on the face is not a good look for a CBD mover and shaker in his pin-striped Zegna suit. Some of the victims of Pascoe’s distinctive brand of ego-puncturing satire began to complain directly to their contacts in the Park Street hierarchy. Suggestions of censorship are notoriously hard to pin down. No one at Nine was ever ordered in so many words: Tell Pascoe to pull in his claws. However, a familiar phrase began to be heard within PBL’s inner circle with ominous repetition. ‘He’s not taken seriously around the town.’ That evaluation might have been laughable if it hadn’t had such dire implications. If Pascoe had any credibility problem at all, it was in being taken far too seriously by the corporate heavyweights he poked fun at from time to time. The heads of Woolworths, Westfield and Macquarie Bank all felt his barbs but in Pascoe’s own estimation, he probably stretched his luck a bridge too far by taking on Rupert Murdoch’s News Ltd, at that particular point in time enjoying a particularly cosy relationship with the Packers. Wherever the critical spark might have come from, the fuse was well and truly lit by late August 2002. Crikey, a gossipy e-mail newsletter avidly read by journalists, carried the first whisper. ‘Pascoe is having his turf stomped all over,’ wrote an arch-rival, Mark Westfield, economics commentator for the ABC’s 7.30 Report, as well as columnist for the Australian. ‘He can’t get a scoop anymore and it’s starting to show in the lack of coverage he’s getting in the Monday newspapers.’ That acerbic observation was clearly a payback for Pascoe’s trenchant criticism of some aspects of business coverage on the ABC. Westfield, however, soon moved on to the nitty-gritty. ‘The other interesting factor in Pascoe’s anger of late is the fact his position is uncertain. His job is being offered around. I was offered the job a few months ago. Nine no longer wants him, so he’s lashing out at his rivals. Grow up, Michael. You’re on the skids.’

* Broadcasting is not a mass medium in my view. It’s about finding ways to appeal to a myriad of minorities that come together in a mass – minorities which are constantly appearing and disappearing and reclustering, as it were. As a broadcaster you are licensed to serve the environment of a particular area and you have a responsibility to all those people in it. If you are going to be a successful broadcaster, then everybody in your potential area must be looking at you some time or another.

* The free-to-air audience may be in a constant state of flux, with web surfers and cable TV samplers drifting in and out of the picture, but it is still possible to find ways to bring viewers together en masse.

* Sunrise had been around in one form or another since the mid-1990s but its direct confrontation with Nine’s long-running and highly successful Today in the 6 am to 9 am slot began in earnest in October, 2002. It was then that a 27-year-old dynamo named Adam Boland put his distinctive stamp on what had previously been an almost totally news-oriented format. Boland comes across as Seven’s version of Julian Cress and David Barbour rolled into one, a creative hotshot with more steam coming out his ears than Old Faithful. As a producer he had something going for him only a second-place network like Seven could provide – virtually no resources whatsoever. Almost every change he was to introduce into the program’s weary old news-and-views format had to be manufactured out of sheer imagination. In that he was helped immensely by his early beginnings in radio, starting as a journalist at 4BC in Brisbane and moving on to 3AW in Melbourne.

Television is often thought of as an ‘intimate’ medium, with the audience able to see a presenter’s face; but the truth is, radio, at its best, relates to its listeners in a way TV is rarely capable of matching. ‘Radio taught me a sense of immediacy,’ Boland says, ‘but most of all, it taught me how to interact with the audience, because whether it’s AM or FM, they are all driven now by listening to their audience. I never understood why TV couldn’t get that. Well, we do get that now, and that’s what Sunrise does. It has very much the same focus as radio, our agenda firmly driven by what we think our viewers will like, not what the Canberra gallery perceives as exciting.’

With that unique perspective Boland decided on a format that would set its presenters free to discuss the talking points of the day with absolute spontaneity, very much like the all-in family banter around a breakfast table. The latest news would be read on the half-hour and might become a peg for discussion, but not necessarily – not if there were issues to debate of more relevance to an audience largely made up of switched-on, 40-something women, many of them juggling kids and jobs. In that kind of context, a news item on Brazilian inflation was more than likely to spark some good-natured jibing about the pros and cons of a Brazilian wax.

Boland encouraged his hosts to express whatever opinions popped into their heads and to inject as much of their personal life into the conversation as possible. One of the first and most important of his innovations was to encourage viewers to send in e-mails as well as letters to give his presenters some up-to-the-minute audience reaction to bounce off of. ‘Don’t think twice before you talk,’ was the simple sermon he preached to his on-camera team. Once they stopped to consider their remarks, they would begin to worry about whether some people might be offended – and that could only lead to self-censorship.

* During the mid-1970s, Channel 9 in Sydney bore the brunt of an embarrassing scandal exposing the way commercial TV managements misused their news departments to curry favour with important important advertisers. Until then, stations not only routinely banned coverage that might offend a sponsor but made sure there was always a pleasing little item to promote a department store fashion parade or opening of a shopping mall. The issue came to a head in August, 1974, over what should have been a big news story involving the inflated cost of laundry detergents, a major item on most grocery lists. A federal parliamentary inquiry accused leading soap manufacturers of cynically exploiting Australian housewives by bumping up their prices to pay for saturation TV ads that were both misleading and nonsensical – claims, for example, that ‘Rinso gets things whiter’ when it was made from the same basic formula as a competing product like ‘lemon charged’ Fab. Citing one reason or another, however, none of Sydney’s commercial TV stations saw fit to give air time to the parliamentary finding. A Channel 9 journalist, furious that the story he filed had been dropped after intervention by the sales director (who then happened to be Sam Chisholm), showed up on the ABC a few nights later to blow the whistle on the whole sordid affair. He was promptly sacked by an enraged Kerry Packer who had just taken charge of the network after his father’s death. In a subsequent investigation, the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal warned that TV stations could be stripped of their government-issued licences if found guilty of meddling in the editorial freedom of their news departments to further their own commercial interests.

* As Jamie became James [Packer], going through his late teens and into manhood, their obsessive competitiveness became a kind of bonding ritual, acted out in many different ways – sometimes including their good-natured vying for the favours of the same young woman.

* When it comes to the electronic media, however, the number of frequencies that can be used for radio or TV broadcasts is severely limited. Governments quite properly reserve the right to issue licences for use of the airwaves within their jurisdiction and in so doing, they set forth certain ‘community standards’ that the applicant for a licence must meet in order to maintain his right to broadcast. In the licence hearings that preceded the introduction of television in 1956, transcripts are filled with sanctimonious testimony as to how the applicants hoped to serve up a steady diet of religious, artistic and other uplifting programs fit for a nation of saints and scholars. No one took such pretensions seriously, of course, but the one pledge that remained open to enforcement – as verified by the Soap Powder Inquiry referred to earlier in this book – was the duty to keep viewers properly informed with news of genuine public interest, undistorted by self-serving biases. Television stations not only paid a sizeable fee for their licences, they had the added responsibility of guaranteeing impartial and accurate reporting of any issue or event that could be seen as having significant impact on the community as a whole. If the corporation that controlled the TV station happened to get into trouble with stock exchange regulators, that fact was to be reported as comprehensively and scrupulously as any other.

* Since its inception in 1981 Sunday had established itself as a welcome sanctuary within the commercial TV landscape – a place of leisurely contemplation and enlightenment far removed from the crassness and hype of most mass audience programming. Its two-hour format offered a stimulating potpourri of news, political interviews and commentary, expertly crafted feature stories, in-depth investigations, movie reviews and an occasional sampling of the performing arts. No other commercial network would have ever dared to attempt a program like it, considering the limited audience for such cerebral content; and the ABC could never have afforded the cost of such a quality production even in prime time, let alone at the unlikely hour of 9 am. The program was there only because Kerry ordained it to be so, perhaps encouraged by Bruce Gyngell’s dictum that broadcasting was all about appealing to ‘a myriad of minorities’, bringing together as many different segments of the audience as possible. The show went on to build a surprisingly large following for that time of the morning, and for much of its life even managed to rake in a modest profit from advertisers keen to reach an elite section of wealthier, better educated viewers.

Posted in Australia | Comments Off on Who Killed Channel 9?: The Death of Kerry Packer’s Mighty TV Dream Machine