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Open thread 12/8/23

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  • Casey Klahn December 8, 2023, 8:04 AM
    • ghostsniper December 10, 2023, 6:52 PM

      In God’s Country

      Desert sky, dream beneath the desert sky
      The rivers run but soon run dry
      We need new dreams tonight
      Desert rose, dreamed I saw a desert rose
      Dress torn in ribbons and in bows
      Like a siren she calls (to me)

      Sleep comes like a drug in God’s country
      Sad eyes, crooked crosses, in God’s country

      Set me alight, we’ll punch a hole right through the night
      Every day the dreamers die to see what’s on the other side
      She is liberty, and she comes to rescue me
      Hope, faith, her vanity
      The greatest gift is gold

      Sleep comes like a drug in God’s country
      Sad eyes, crooked crosses, in God’s country

      Naked flame, she stands with a naked flame
      I stand with the sons of Cain
      Burned by the fire of love
      Burned by the fire of love

  • Anne December 8, 2023, 8:39 AM

    I think Gerard would have supported this article: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/middle-east/gaza-and-future-information-warfare

    Varifying our stories–triangulate, triangulate, triangulate, is the most important responsibility for which each and every one of us is responsible!

  • Anne December 8, 2023, 9:08 AM

    You might have noticed how our little boys have been damaged by the feminist movement. It is seldom discussed, but at last we have someone looking at the problem.

    • ghostsniper December 8, 2023, 10:06 AM

      From that article:
      “I’ve spent years trying to understand the mental health crisis among teenage girls. But both sexes are suffering.”

      I don’t have to read another article to understand, it’s been obvious for years, decades.
      It takes a mother and father to create a new human life and it takes the same to create a reasonable adult from a child. Only through luck can that dynamic be successfully ignored.

  • Snakepit Kansas December 8, 2023, 10:44 AM

    I’ve just signed legislation that outlaws Russia forever. The bombs start dropping in five minutes. – Ronald Reagan

    • ghostsniper December 8, 2023, 11:43 AM

      Russian bombs in the US?
      Or US bombs in Russia?
      Kinda redundant.
      One causes the other.

  • ghostsniper December 8, 2023, 6:07 PM

    Wanna know what’s wrong with kids today?
    Their asshole parents!

    If you’re in the 60+- year old range more than likely stingray bikes were part of your childhood.
    I just looked them up and Schwinn has reintroduced them and you can buy them on amazon.
    Back then they weren’t cheap and even more so now.
    None the less you can get one if you want one.


    Reading down over the reviews most people had favorable comments about the new Schwinn Stingrays, but there’s always “one of them guys” isn’t there.

    Check this retard out:

    Daniel Knause
    1.0 out of 5 stars The wrong bike for your kid
    Reviewed in the United States on July 16, 2023
    Style: ClassicColor: Orange
    Please please don’t get this for a kid. They will have so many obstacles to riding well. For starters, the weight – over 45 pounds. That is ridiculously heavy and with a single gear, it’s sure to frustrate. The riding position is poor for ergonomics. The coaster brake is outdated, heavy, and unsafe. If you’re looking at this kind of money, please look into something less than half the weight and having the option of gears plus proper brakes and child specific ergonomics. Look into the brands Woom, Prevelo, Priority Start, Cleary, Frog, Guardian. Any of those would be a better option than this heavy garbage.

    I don’t know what to make of it.
    He claims it’s heavy.
    I don’t remember any of the 10 or more bikes laying around in our yard (5 kids) being heavy.
    Perhaps we were inspired by the fact that aside from bike riding there wasn’t a whole lot to do.
    That’s not completely true, but we didn’t have anywhere near the options of spoiled kids today. A stingray could have weighed twice as much and we still would have been laying rubber and doing wheelies all the way down the skreet. I’m sure I put hundreds, maybe thousands of miles on bikes in my yoot.

    I guess Daniel Knause would prefer his diabetic blobs of shit lay on the couch all day in front of the toob, because, well, you know, life can be hard sometimes. A dollar to a donut Daniels a morbidly obese blob of shit himself. Or a mama’s boi. He’s a bad influence on kids.

    • ghostsniper December 8, 2023, 6:27 PM
      • jwm December 9, 2023, 7:49 AM

        Too bad we can’t post pictures. I just sold my Stingray Spoiler last summer. Really for real Stingrays go for some serious money among collectors. When I saw this one I didn’t even care that it had been made in China. Had to have it. I rode it a lot, but I’m running out of steam, and this thing was some serious work to ride. The cool was worth it for a while. I know classic bikes. I waited a long time to sell this until I found a buyer who knew classics, and wouldn’t hack it up and make an e-bike (*spit*) or put one of those shitty little motors on it. By the way, gang. Have an extremely Merry Christmas. Close your eyes and ears to the madness for a while, and recall just how much Good remains… for now, anyway.


        • ghostsniper December 9, 2023, 8:48 AM

          WoW John, that is very cool. I never heard of it before. Look at that thing! That WIDE back rim. And that mile-long chain. Tell me, is that springer front end difficult to steer? The springer on my old harley was raked like that and I found it very difficult at slow speeds or tight corners. Thanks for posting that link.

          • jwm December 9, 2023, 9:22 AM

            The bike was surprisingly stable at low speeds, but it did take some getting used to. That thing was an absolute dream if you had a little incline working in your favor. The front end was always rocking and floating gently up and down as you cruised along, and sitting so low just felt all kinds of badass. If you were riding anything above a walking pace it was fine. On a hill, it was stable as fast as you had the nerve to take it. But it was heavy. Sturmey makes a wide 3-speed hub that fit that frame. It was not easy to make the conversion, and I had to invent a mount for the suicide shifter so I wouldn’t have to drill into the frame. The three speed helped a lot, but even so, the bike was cumbersome, and I’m no kid anymore. They made only five thousand of these bikes. There was a Stingray Spoiler forum on facebarf, but every goofball and his uncle who got hold of one set about customizing and motorizing the things which destroys the value. These bikes are twenty years old now, and are already commanding huge prices. But nobody wants someone else’s custom version. They want original. This is one of those machines that came out of the box perfect. Except for adding the three-speed, there was simply nothing anyone could do to make it better.


  • On the North River December 8, 2023, 8:20 PM

    I have a friend in Texas that I’ve been trying to contact for a few weeks.

    Yesterday I finally talked to him. I found out that he has had a stroke. He lay on the floor of his apartment for days until finally the police broke in and found him. That delay meant that the new clot buster drugs were too late to help.
    He’s going to have a tough time in the months to come and I’m in anguish that there is so little I can do to help him.

    It hits me hard because my late wife was a stroke survivor. I’m the one that found her after her stroke. Today it all came back to me.
    My wife came back quite a ways, she had incredible courage. I think that my friend has that same courage. I’ll pray for him.

    In this season of hope and joy, I hope for Christs mercy and peace for those that need it. And joy to all.

    • ghostsniper December 10, 2023, 5:53 PM

      I’m convinced that stroke recovery is all about re-establishing memories.
      I’m also convinced things we eat and drink, and lifestyle, cause strokes.

  • Anne December 8, 2023, 10:18 PM

    An interesting read about Cambodia/Pol Pot/Kissinger/Nixon. I did not have this background before. I think it is important for more than just an insight into what happened in Cambodia. It is an insight into a classic step-by-step takeover plot used by the communists during a physical conflict.

    • Casey Klahn December 9, 2023, 6:17 AM

      The historical geniuses who made the movie Killing Fields described Cambodia like this: B-52s flying overhead > genocide in Cambodia. That’s their whole argument. It wasn’t he commies; we made them do it.

      I had to drop back and review what I knew or didn’t know about Cambodia. Turns out what I didn’t know was that the root for Cambodia is a word that means yellow-green. Khmere is close to the original, and the French say gamboge. Yellow-green and red: Khmere Rouge.

      When a country is neutral in a war, this redounds to an advantage for the guys who are winning. Look at Europe when the Nazis where winning for many years (pre-’39 until about ’42) and then after the US went to fight in Europe (’42-’45). The list of neutral countries is a long one, and they are anything from a no-go traffic denial to a hotbed of counter-intelligence. Now think of Laos and Cambodia, and especially that fukn Ho Chi Minh Trail. If you like commies, you think it’s a war crime for the US to bomb or interdict it in any way. Anyway, like I said before, Nixon/Kissinger organized a widening of the war to bring the North to the Paris Agreement. Simple as that. The commmies kilt whatever millions of yellow-green people in their own countries, and not just in Cambodia but in Vietnam, too. No wonder it’s so nice there now.

      The Quilette article says pretty much what I said about Kissinger: stop the ad hominem blaming and just think it through. Now, did NATO make the Russians invade Europe? I highly doubt it. That’d be the same BS thinking that gets Cambodia backwards.

  • ghostsniper December 9, 2023, 8:52 AM

    “The similarities between the late 1980s USSR and present day USA are uncanny — the endless lies, the corruption, the hollowing out of institutions, the censorship, and the decrepit leadership that is despised by the public.” — Dr Toby Rogers

    More here:

  • ghostsniper December 9, 2023, 2:57 PM

    The latest woke California insanity? A gender-neutral-toy law

    California is facing a crime crisis across its major cities, a population exodus driven by high taxes and woke policies, and a host of other thorny problems.

    Naturally, Golden State lawmakers opted to focus on the urgent issue of not enough gender-neutral toys.

    Yes, California retail stores with more than 500 employees will soon face fines for failing to offer “gender-neutral” toy sections, thanks to a law kicking in Jan. 1.

    Makes perfect sense!

    Aside from the fact that nothing now stops any parent from buying any kid any toy (in the family price range) he or she wants.

    Indeed, thanks to online retail, no parent ever has to set foot in a toy store.

    The fact is, gendered marketing for toys seems to bother whiny adults in deep-blue states far more than it does actual kids.

    Yes, little girls generally like to play with dolls and such, and little boys generally like to play with trucks and toy guns. Yet plenty of kids march to the beat of their own drums; all their needs are easily met thanks to the wonders of market capitalism.

    And plenty of toys are already as gender-neutral as it gets.

    This law will do nothing — literally zip, zilch, nada — to solve any actual problems.

    Indeed: The same progressive overclass whose policies are destroying Cali’s retail sector via effectively legalized shoplifting now wants to ensure Xi’s Own Mermaid Astronaut Junior Science Kits get primo shelf placement before thugs shovel them into garbage bags and run.


    Evan Low is the asshole behind this scourge, and yes it’s a gd fag.
    “When his colleagues selected him to become Campbell mayor in 2009, Low became the youngest openly gay, Asian American Mayor in the nation.”


    What kind of country is it where doods that take it up the ass get to dictate what stores pander to your kids? I would be pleased to hear that this mentally damaged animal was dragged.

  • Joe Krill December 10, 2023, 6:53 AM
    • ghostsniper December 10, 2023, 9:44 AM

      $41k for a vehicle is NOT affordable.
      But I catch your drift.

      A time will come when each us will finally come to the conclusion that we just cannot afford this rotten assed gov’t any more. Some of us already have and are doing something about it. I’m not talking about overthrow or anything like that. I’m talking about avoidance. Living like it doesn’t exist, as much as possible. An “underground” life style.

      • John Venlet December 11, 2023, 5:42 AM

        The best features of that Toyota is how analog the systems remain, not to mention it still has an old school cigarette lighter and multiple ashtrays. I’m not a fan of how computerized all new vehicles here in the U.S. are today.

        • ghostsniper December 11, 2023, 6:40 AM

          Me neither John. Which contributes greatly to normal people not being able to work on them any more. When we first got my wife’s car I opened the hood and stood there mesmerized. Where the hell is the engine? Most of it was covered up by big black plastic shrouds. It was only after staring at it for a while and lifting corners of the shrouds that I was able to determine the 6 cyl engine went sideways!!!!

          Anyway, since I am unable to do even routine stuff on her vehicle last week we paid $1450 for what started out as a simple yearly maintenance. Then we found out brake lines were almost rusted through and some other stuff. It never ends.

  • Joe Krill December 11, 2023, 7:46 AM

    Mozilla’s latest edition of *Privacy Not Included reveals how 25 major car brands collect and share deeply personal data, including sexual activity, facial expressions, and genetic and health information

    (WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2023) — All 25 major car brands reviewed in Mozilla’s latest edition of *Privacy Not Included (*PNI) received failing marks for consumer privacy, a first in the buyer’s guide’s seven-year history.

    According to Mozilla research, popular global brands — including BMW, Ford, Toyota, Tesla, Kia, and Subaru — can collect deeply personal data such as sexual activity, immigration status, race, facial expressions, weight, health and genetic information, and where you drive. Researchers found data is being gathered by sensors, microphones, cameras, and the phones and devices drivers connect to their cars, as well as by car apps, company websites, dealerships, and vehicle telematics. Brands can then share or sell this data to third parties. Car brands can also take much of this data and use it to develop inferences about a driver’s intelligence, abilities, characteristics, preferences, and more.

    In another first for Mozilla’s *Privacy Not Included research, none of the brands meet Mozilla’s Minimum Security Standards. Specifically, researchers couldn’t confirm whether any of the brands encrypt all of the personal information they store on vehicles, and only one of the brands (Mercedes) even replied to Mozilla’s questions about encryption.

    The newest edition of *PNI examines the privacy and security flaws of car brands spanning five countries: the U.S., Germany, Japan, France, and South Korea. Researchers spent 600 hours reading privacy policies, downloading apps, and corresponding with brands; the full methodology can be found here.

    “All new cars today are privacy nightmares on wheels that collect huge amounts of personal information.”
    The very worst offender is Nissan. The Japanese car manufacturer admits in their privacy policy to collecting a wide range of information, including sexual activity, health diagnosis data, and genetic data — but doesn’t specify how. They say they can share and sell consumers’ “preferences, characteristics, psychological trends, predispositions, behavior, attitudes, intelligence, abilities, and aptitudes” to data brokers, law enforcement, and other third parties.

    Other top offenders include Volkswagen, which collects demographic data (like age and gender) and driving behaviors (like your seatbelt and braking habits) for targeted marketing purposes; Toyota, which features a near-incomprehensible galaxy of 12 privacy policy documents; Kia, whose privacy policy states they can collect information about your “sex life;” and Mercedes-Benz, which manufactures certain models with TikTok (an app with its own privacy issues) pre-installed. Analysts estimate that by 2030, car data monetization could be an industry worth $750 billion.

    Not a single brand received Mozilla’s Best Of designation, though researchers identified Renault as the least problematic. The European brand must comply with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a stringent law governing the way in which personal data is used, processed, and stored.

    Says Jen Caltrider, *PNI Program Director: “Many people think of their car as a private space — somewhere to call your doctor, have a personal conversation with your kid on the way to school, cry your eyes out over a break-up, or drive places you might not want the world to know about. But that perception no longer matches reality. All new cars today are privacy nightmares on wheels that collect huge amounts of personal information.”

    Says Misha Rykov, *PNI Researcher: “This isn’t the first time Mozilla has uncovered an industry with terrible privacy practices. But cars are unique — their privacy flaws impact not just the driver, but also passengers and sometimes even nearby pedestrians. They can hear you, see you, and track you. Today, sitting in someone’s car is a lot like handing your phone over to the auto manufacturer.”

    Additional key findings include:
    Apps add a new level of complexity (and creepiness). These days, few products come without an associated app — and autos are no exception. Today’s cars have apps that can be handy, helping you find your ride in a crowded parking lot or start your car remotely. But these apps are also an avenue for collecting even more personal data, like location and biometric information. Further, the governance of these apps can be convoluted: BMW USA, for example, manages an app for Toyota.

    Many car brands engage in “privacy washing.” Privacy washing is the act of pretending to protect consumers’ privacy while not actually doing so — and many brands are guilty of this. For example, several have signed on to the automotive Consumer Privacy Protection Principles. But these principles are nonbinding and created by the automakers themselves. Further, signatories don’t even follow their own principles, like Data Minimization (i.e. collecting only the data that is needed).

    Meaningful consent is nonexistent. Often, “consent” to collect personal data is presumed by simply being a passenger in the car. For example, Subaru states that by being a passenger, you are considered a user — and by being a user, you have consented to their privacy policy. Several car brands also note that it is a driver’s responsibility to tell passengers about the vehicle’s privacy policies.

    Autos’ privacy policies and processes are especially bad. Legible privacy policies are uncommon, but they’re exceptionally rare in the automotive industry. Brands like Audi and Tesla feature policies that are confusing, lengthy, and vague. Some brands have more than five different privacy policy documents, an unreasonable number for consumers to engage with; Toyota has 12. Meanwhile, it’s difficult to find a contact with whom to discuss privacy concerns. Indeed, 12 companies representing 20 car brands didn’t even respond to emails from Mozilla researchers.

    Car brands share personal information with law enforcement and governments. Hyundai’s privacy policy says, for example, that they can share data with law enforcement and governments based on “formal or informal” requests. Kia’s policy says they may share data in many scenarios “if, in our good faith opinion, such is required or permitted by law.” In other words: The threshold for sharing incredibly sensitive information is very low.

    Data breaches are common. Serious data leaks and breaches are ordinary in the industry, from Tesla employees gawking at videos captured by consumers’ cars, to Volkswagen and Toyota leaking the personal information of millions of customers.

    Consumers have very little control. While consumers can choose to not use a car app or try not to use connected services, that might mean their car doesn’t work properly — or at all. Consumers have almost zero control and options in regard to privacy, other than simply buying an older model. Regulators and policy makers are behind on this front.


    About *Privacy Not Included:
    *Privacy Not Included is a buyers guide focused on privacy rather than price or performance. Launched in 2017, the guide has reviewed hundreds of products and apps. It arms shoppers with the information they need to protect the privacy of their friends and family, while also spurring the tech industry to do more to safeguard consumers.

    Press contacts:

    U.S. | Helena Dea Bala, helena@pkpr.com

    Europe | Tracy Kariuki, tracy@mozillafoundation.org

  • Anne December 11, 2023, 7:55 AM

    Back in the spring of 2001, we drove DH’s 1985 Mercedes Diesel to LA. We stopped at a Mercedes Dealer in the Hollywood area who gave us incorrect information as to what was not working on something–sorry, can’t remember what that issue was. Then we took it to a Mercedes dealer in Orange County to help us fix the air conditioner–which they were unable to do, but they did slam the hood down without releasing the holding mechanism. That meant that they crimped the holding brace so badly that we had to have that repaired! The manager of that dealership told us that because the car was so old none of his young mechanics could fix anything. He said that they only hire new mechanics based on their computer background. That is to say, if you graduate from a Jr. College with a degree in computers you are at the top of the list to be a mechanic fixing Mercedes Benz!

    • Terry December 12, 2023, 6:24 PM

      I sure wish we could post pictures here. I have a snap shot of my favorite car washing lady friend that is killer from about the 1975 era. Oh, there is a Mercedes SL Coupe shown as well. An image guaranteed to bring big smiles to all. I have had such a wonderful life . . .

  • jwm December 11, 2023, 8:09 AM

    Points for gratitude.
    My ’05 Tacoma is as stripped a vehicle as Toyota made. Crank windows, five speed, and a radio. That’s it. No on-board anything. All those little switch ports on the dash have black plugs instead of switches for this and that.
    The new computer-cars are creepy as hell. I’ll keep fixing the Tacoma ’till it can’t be fixed. It won’t snitch me off to the cops.


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