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" It is particularly associated with Soviet and Russian propaganda.. When criticisms were leveled at the Soviet Union during the Cold War, the Soviet response would often be 'What about...' followed by an event in the Western world As Garry Kasparov noted, it is a word that was coined to describe the frequent use of a rhetorical diversion by Soviet apologists and dictators, who would counter charges of their oppression, 'massacres, gulags, and forced deportations' by invoking American slavery, racism, lynchings, etc. It has been adopted by other politicians and countries."


Always the man in the shadows, but Led Zep would not have been nearly what it was without him.

...not to mention the Crusades...!

And, the French Wars of Religion. And, Europe's invasion of the Americas.

"Yo, Hernan Cortez, what are you doing here?"
"We're bringing these savages to Jesus."
"But the King of Spain states thge purpose of your mission is to find the Fountain of Youth, and vast amounts of gold and silver."
"Oh, that was just a cover story to get funding. We're actually here for Jesus."
"Murdering millions?"
"Yeah, these people won't submit to us."
"Hmm, Jesus never said anything about murdering people who refuse to believe."
"Uh, I'm just following orders."

The truth in front of our noses: Donald Trump’s behavior is disgustingly corrupt and impeachable, whatever his defenders do or say

The GOP techniques on display are quite familiar to me, having spent so much of my life inside the propaganda bubbles of the Soviet Union and Putin’s Russia. It was therefore ironic to see the GOP accusing the Democrats of "Soviet-style” hearings when it’s the Republicans who are taking cues from the KGB playbook.

I think the blow-up he gets is going to be more of the Wile E. Coyote variety.

I hope. The Attorney General wields a lot of power.

I’ve seen it in action. Women with an opinion about men on the internet getting bomb, death, and rape threats, fixed, and run out of their homes. I once called my local police station and asked them what they had done to prepare themselves to handle online crimes and threats. They really didn’t understand what I was talking about. I volunteered to point them to the kits that others have made for law enforcement and victims. And they seemed like they would have taken me up on it but they didn’t know who in their department to put me in touch with for something like that. It has had the intended effect: When I feel tempted to openly express an opinion about such things, I think more wisely of it and stick to dog photos.

Jeez, yeah. That's a topic you need to talk to the chief about.

..that's mostly the reason I couldn't continue on failboat...I'm an older, redheaded woman with an education and strong opinions....the reactions were never very positive..

I think the strongest unifying force for any movement is music. Words can be carried by music.

I think the strongest, unifying, force-multiplying factor in my generation's resistance to the Vietnam War was our music.

And where is the music for this new generation? There's isn't any. Ever noticed that? There's NONE. That's because our media, radio stations, etc. are all owned by a couple of corporations that control what goes out on the air. Political songs are eliminated.

For What It's Worth
The Fish Chant
Machine Gun
...on and on.

Where are this generation's songs? They're erased, eliminated from the playlist.

Distribution of music today is somewhat less dependent on the label and radio gatekeepers, though they still exert some level of control.

Such a song would need to "go viral" nowadays, I suppose---and I imagine Youtube would put the kibosh on that in a hurry. (officially old, can't name another distribution portal!)

Twitter is doing nothing about this?

Apparently not, but I don't know.

I think that long-term, all anonymous social media will die. Once artificial intelligence develops sufficiently, there will be a sea of nonsense. Social media can only survive in the future if every user is positively identified as a real person.

The S.O.B. finally conceded, so there's that.

Identify the high-hazard dams in poor condition that threaten you.

Why not close some of the 800+ military bases around the world and redeploy them at home for infrastructure building instead of destroying other countries.

Because a lot of people are raking in billions of taxpayer dollars, including the Saudis, who own a good chunk of our defense sector. They make sure that Congress does what they want.

The Military Industrial Complex is a real deep rabbit hole.

Four new quizzes are up. This time, the task is to identify the outline shapes of US states.

Attention all Linux users, especially users of Ubuntu and Mint. Gnome has been hit with a patent troll. Gnome is not just a user interface, it's the source of the Gtk libraries upon which much of Ubuntu, Mint, and thousands of applications are based. This kind of nonsense is unacceptable, but the only way to fight it is in court.

I use Linux Mint, so I chipped in a few bucks.

The patent system should be retired. It fails to achieve its sole purpose for existing, which is (ostensibly) to spur innovation. And as we can see it enables abuse.

Me, too. And I agree. I have a number of patents. Most have expired now. The point of patents is to reward and innovator with protection for some limited number of years, so he can reap the rewards of his genius. After that, it's public domain. Any other scheme is wrong and counterproductive, in my opinion.

The point of patents is to reward and innovator with protection for some limited number of years, in theory, but what happens in practice is giant corporations patent everything in sight, and the individual innovator is more likely to inadvertently violate a giant corporation's patent and get trampled than reap any awards from their genius.

There've been a number of studies on this. I should hunt them down and put them into a list one of these days. One I remember looked at the most significant innovations in microelectronics and looked at the patents for them, and found the vast majority of the most significant innovations (as judged by industry awards) were never patented. The vast majority of important innovations would have happened with or without the patent system.

Indeed. Patents worked okay in the 1800s. In the 1900s, things started to go off the rails.

A great story, and an important story. It's about a lot more than cold beans.

When the President and His Chef Feuded Over Cold Beans
It was part of an “enduring rivalry” between African-American and French cooking in the White House.

Yes, this actually happens. I've seen it and more.

Four new quizzes are up at

These are more challenging U.S. geography quizzes that focus on what is adjacent to each state.

Have fun!

@Phil Landmeier (ᚠ) Let me try to be more clear:

Quiz question asked "What is east of Pennsylvania?" I answered, New Jersey, which is correct. So far so good. When the additional detail comes up after answering, it lists the various states bordering PA. However, the states listed as bordering to the south is incomplete, omitting Delaware.


Yeaaah, it's such a tiny spot I omitted it, but you're right.

@Phil Landmeier (ᚠ) Cool! And it's a tiny spot because Delaware is a tiny state :-)

New Educational Quiz Site

Recently, I mentioned that I've started an educational quiz web site. It's only in its infancy.

Window dressing and organization will come once there's more to organize.

What's needed are quizzes. I'm working on a series of U.S. state / geography related quizzes and another set of world geography quizzes.

If you're at all interested in authoring quizzes, please contact me. There are many topics that can be taught in quiz form. Off the top of my head I can imagine quizzes on basic chemistry, medical diagnosis, basic electronics, nursing, welding, metallurgy, languages, grammar, vocabulary, on and on.

Seems that most (not all) good guitar players are ugly guys.

Here's one from the not all category. Enjoy:

Where I went walking today. There are a bunch more pics if you click on the link.

Lowndes Park, Clarksburg by Phil, on Flickr

Just curious. Do any of my contacts here use Signal for messaging?

I use it with my wife every day. I've got 4 friends on it but we don't talk often.

Interesting. Usage is very sparse, which is the problem. Over on MeWe, with 200 contacts, I got one positive.

Sigh. Welp, thank you all for participating. :-)