Netflix can’t shake Chappelle controversy | TheHill

Netflix can’t seem to close the door on “The Closer,” with the streaming giant only further inflaming controversy with its defense of Dave Chappelle’s mocking of the transgender community in his latest comedy special.

Source: Netflix can’t shake Chappelle controversy | TheHill

This article is a pristine example of what’s wrong with “internet” “news,” and why we, as a society, are so fractured and antagonistic towards each other.

  1. A Netflix co-CEO has responded to the backlash, and, frankly, was unequivocal about their position. The only reason they could be described as not being able to “shake” the controversy is because someone with an axe to grind at The Hill says so in an article designed to… incite more controversy. All links in the article refer back to… more articles at The Hill, and this article adds no new developments to the story.
  2. I watched the special. I worked through the language, and watched it till the end. There are some pointed opinions about gender expressed, which I can understand some people would take umbrage with, in particular. However, what cannot be misconstrued — unless you are specifically trying to misconstrue it — is that the overall message of the special — the entire point of it, in fact — is one of unequivocal support for human beings, no matter what social tribe they identify with. (Except if they’re white, which I actually appreciate in the context of his oeuvre.)

Towards the end, Chappelle makes one of the most compelling and compassionate statements about the modern human condition that I’ve ever heard anyone make, and I have a real problem with people who can’t see past their own prejudices to hear it. Anyone coming away from watching the show with any message other than love towards any minority is purposely trying to leverage selected quotes to gin up hatred towards Chappelle, and cash in on the resulting clicks. In my opinion, this sort of behavior is literally strangling society as we have known it up till now.

We’re Already Past the Point of No Return

From the Left
From the Right

These were literally back-to-back posts on Imgur’s “front page.” The underwritten war of the political class being waged by PAC’s and foreign governments on social media is literally saying the exact same things about each other, and make it seem like they are trying to tip the party balance in this country. It makes no difference.

I also see that ZeroHedge has posted a graph about sharply-increasing inflation, which I’ve been predicting for awhile now. To wit, it’s nearly doubled in just the last 6 months. The supply chain issues in every sector are the problem. They’ve all been strangled for short-term profits for at least a decade, and there’s nothing stopping the continued accretion of power through mergers in every industry.

The oligarchs have taken over this country, and are extracting all the profits from every financial sector. The top 1% own more than half the wealth in the country, and this situation can only get worse, exponentially. The tipping point has been passed. The most galling part of this is that they’ve gotten the rest of us to bicker about which party has doomed us to economic collapse, when they own both of them, top to bottom.

The oligarchs, through their media channels, will tell us that COVID has brought about this inflation, and the looming disaster to follow, but it was their profit taking which has stretched our supply infrastructure so thin that it couldn’t handle a predictable world-wide stress to begin with.

I don’t think the average person can see the utter futility about arguing Right-vs-Left politics when we’re living in a reincarnated feudalistic society, with modern-day versions of kings and lords, and vassals and serfs. Make no mistake: The idea of a democratic republic put forth in the US Constitution is dead and buried. Whatever we have right now, it is no longer a democracy nor a republic. It makes no material difference which “party” controls the government. Everyone in Washington is there to do the bidding of the largest corporations (and their officers) and the richest people (and their business interests), and they will, without fail, defer to them over the common man on every issue.

The reason we haven’t gotten socialized medicine yet is because the people running the largest health insurance companies haven’t figured out how to make even more money in such a system. As soon as they do, we’ll get an American version of the UK’s NHS the very next day.

Give Amazon and Facebook a Seat at the United Nations

Given the scope of their ambitions and our dependence on them, behemoth brands should be treated, and held to account, for what they really are: commercial superpowers.

Source: Give Amazon and Facebook a Seat at the United Nations

Here we go. Calls to take another step towards a grim, cyberpunk dystopian future.

Attorney General Merrick Garland has instructed the FBI to mobilize against parents who oppose critical race theory in public schools, citing “threats.”

This belies a larger, underlying problem. School boards were instituted to provide accountability and feedback for what happens in local school systems. If board meetings are descending into threats of violence, then people are feeling frustrated that their concerns are being ignored, and the fundamental problem is that board members are not doing the collective will of the communities they’ve been elected to represent. Whatever else happens, I expect school board elections to get super serious in the next cycle.

House Democrats delay planned vote on $1 trillion infrastructure bill amid dispute between party moderates and liberals – The Washington Post

The decision came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democratic leaders strained late into the night to try to repair the schisms among their own moderate and liberal ranks, whose distrust of each other turned the public-works bill into a political bargaining chip in a fight over the full array of new spending that Biden seeks.

Source: House Democrats delay planned vote on $1 trillion infrastructure bill amid dispute between party moderates and liberals – The Washington Post

I love how the Post tries to paint Pelosi as some sort of hero, fighting to bring peace and unity to her troubled party. The problem here is that “strained late into the night” is code for calling all the lobbyists who have donated to all the caucus members who are sitting on the fence, and working out deals to balance their votes against public backlash and continued campaign contributions.

Say… Why is it that what lobbyists want and what the public wants are so often at odds?

Democrats Delay Infrastructure Vote as Talks Fail to Reach Deal

Wary progressives seek assurances on a separate social policy and climate package.

House Democrats dropped plans to vote on a roughly $1 trillion infrastructure bill Thursday night, as they came up short on reaching agreement around a separate social policy and climate package they hope will unite the party’s dueling factions.

Source: Democrats Delay Infrastructure Vote as Talks Fail to Reach Deal

Our Legislative Branch is so broken, the “progressive” wing of the Democratic Party can’t even compromise with the “moderate” base to pass laws. (And not even legislation, per se, but just the continuous continuing resolutions on spending that passes for a proper budget.) The only difference between moderate Dems and the average Rep is which industries they get their money from. They are both equally captured by their campaign contributors.

As sad as it is to contemplate, it would seem the only way to break up the log jam is to wait until the boomers pass on. In the general public, this will significantly weaken the Republican Party base. In Congress, this will give the Democratic Party new and very-likely more progressive leadership. The amount of societal change over the past 10-20 years has been astounding. The changes coming when this shift happens in another 10 years are going to make those changes seem quaint by comparison.

Smokers up to 80% more likely to be admitted to hospital with Covid, study says

Smokers are 60%-80% more likely to be admitted to hospital with Covid-19 and also more likely to die from the disease, data suggests.

A study, which pooled observational and genetic data on smoking and Covid-19 to strengthen the evidence base, contradicts research published at the start of the pandemic suggesting that smoking might help to protect against the virus. This was later retracted after it was discovered that some of the paper’s authors had financial links to the tobacco industry.

Source: Smokers up to 80% more likely to be admitted to hospital with Covid, study says

Have we learnt literally nothing in this post-modern, guerillara-warfare, attention-and-tracking, profit-seeking economic environment? There are some people who get really upset that other people refuse to get a COVID vaccine. However, you have to understand that it’s precisely this sort of garbage “science” and garbage “reporting,” in the name of driving profits for some monstrous corporation, to the benefit of the new aristocracy of plutocrats, that causes people to distrust everything they read in a “serious” publication, including the truth, and turn to Facebook groups and conspiracy theories. So if you find yourself upset that the government can’t convince a huge slice of the population to get vaccinated, lay the blame at the feet of the tobacco and oil industries, and to all the sleazy mega-corps that have followed their playbook for the past 70 years, by producing fake “science” and getting fake “news” to report on it.

Salesforce offers to relocate employees and their families after Texas abortion law goes into effect

In a message to employees, Salesforce said on Friday that it will help employees and their families relocate if they’re concerned about reproductive care.

Source: Salesforce offers to relocate employees and their families after Texas abortion law goes into effect

As I have been saying for awhile, which company you work for will soon matter more than which county you are a citizen of. We are truly heading for a cyberpunk version of dystopia.

Producer inflation accelerated in August, as wholesale prices rose record 8.3% from a year ago

The producer price index for final demand products was expected to increase 0.6% in August, according to economists surveyed by Dow Jones.

Source: Producer inflation accelerated in August, as wholesale prices rose record 8.3% from a year ago

Between the supply chain constraints, up and down every industry, and the wage demands being forced on companies who can’t find workers, I’ve been expecting this. I think it’s lagging, and we will find it getting much worse soon.

Another: Here’s how inflation is hitting the online prices of everything from apparel to furniture

Who Moved My Cheese

I started working at a company named Arvin in 1994. It no longer exists. In 2000, they had a “merger of equals” with a company named Meritor. They promised the Arvin shareholders that, in 2 years, the CEO of Arvin, Bill Hunt, would become the CEO of the combined ArvinMeritor. The execs split $50M in bonuses, $15M of which went to Hunt. As soon as the ink was dry, Meritor started liquidating Arvin’s divisions, and Arvin VP’s started pulling the rip cords on their golden parachutes. One year into the deal, the board pulled the $19M ripcord on Hunt’s golden parachute for him. In just another 2 years, all that was left of Arvin was the OEM exhaust division (Arvin’s largest), which they renamed EmCon, and then sold to a private equity firm. Then they changed their name back to Meritor, and probably had a drink and played golf.

Textbook corporate raidership. And the senior leadership of Arvin all “got theirs.”

From 2000 to 2003, there was a game of musical chairs played internally for who would be doing what in the “merged” company. I had been working in the engineering group, as a programmer and system admin. The project I was working on was determined to be redundant, and was canceled. (A very long story, which picks back up at the end, but one for another day.)

I quickly found a spot in the IT group, and moved over to doing systems administration proper. As things started to shake out, one of Meritor’s “brilliant” corporate leadership moves was to get everyone to read the book, Who Moved My Cheese. The Wikipedia page summarizes it well:

Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life, published on September 8, 1998, is a motivational business fable. The text describes change in one’s work and life, and four typical reactions to those changes by two mice and two “Littlepeople”, during their hunt for cheese. A New York Times business bestseller upon release, Who Moved My Cheese? remained on the list for almost five years and spent over 200 weeks on Publishers Weekly’s hardcover nonfiction list. It has sold more than 26 million copies worldwide in 37 languages and remains one of the best-selling business books.

In a move that surprised not even myself, I was the first one in my group to be handed the communal copy by my boss. I knew that I could be difficult, so even I thought it was appropriate to start with me. What I should have seen coming, though, was that I was about to get the shaft, and thus, according to management’s plans, I needed it first.

In a few short months, I had setup and configured a Sun E10000 from scratch, by the book, with all the bells and whistles, configured 10 TB of EMC disk cabinets, setup a backup area network and a 384-tape silo and all the backups, and gotten several other mission-critical machines up and running. Just about the time it was all done and running like a sewing machine, with lots of housekeeping scripts setup to automate and groom the operation, I was told I would have to hand it all over to the Windows admin, and switch over to doing Windows administration.

Uh, wut?

Just prior to this, I was also told that I would be taken off the bonus plan, with nothing given in return. Still stinging from this, I was aghast and offended. I pulled a string, called in a favor, and got moved back to engineering. This was a mistake, from both ends.

I hung my decision on one thing: we had bought a $50,000 PC server to be the backbone of managing our 150-or-so Windows servers, then chickened out of spending the $250,000 it would have taken to buy the management software the machine was intended to run. Because of this, this massive machine was just sitting around collecting dust. In fact, we used it on several occasions to host the game servers on LAN party nights. Anyway, since it seemed like we needed this really huge, expensive piece of software to manage the Windows “farm,” the job seemed intimidating without it, so I didn’t want to do it.

This was precisely what the book was supposed to get me to see past. I should have recognized the opportunity for what it was, and made the best of it. I should have made those Windows servers my puppets. If they wouldn’t buy the management software, I should have written my own automation, like I did for the Sun machines. But, no, I didn’t want to be seen as working with Windows — yuck! — I was a Linux Man! I also didn’t get along well, personally, with my boss, and it seemed like I wasn’t getting any credit for the work I had already done with the Sun equipment. As per the graphic above, I felt exploited.

So I abandoned the group, and was soon put on a project which became a living nightmare. For 3 years, I worked for absolute narcissist who I watched lie to senior management to try to build an internal empire, and achieve his career goals, and who relentlessly ridiculed me for a perceived professional slight by someone form whom I had worked for previously.

I look back and wonder. If I had swallowed my pride, and made the Windows servers dance to my tune, where would I be today? If I hadn’t stayed a Linux Man, would I have learnt the world of Gentoo? Would I have wound up at AEI and DataCave? Would I have eventually worked my way into programming bliss with Rails? Would I have returned to writing engineering apps for engineers again? Maybe; maybe not. I love what I do these days, and hope to do it till I retire. So I guess it doesn’t matter how I got here.