Monday, May 17, 2021

Green and Bury It

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During a recent hearing, US Special Envoy for Climate (we don't know if there's also a Just Regular Envoy for Climate) John Kerry conceded that there's a tiny little problem with our nation's "Green New Deal" push to import millions of solar panels. And that tiny little problem is that some of those solar panels are manufactured by slaves (Uighurs, though saying that word aloud in the workplace can probably get you fired) in China. The country which, according to recent data, produces more planet-contaminating pollution than every other country on Earth combined

So sending them our money to create more pollution seems counterproductive at the very least. But more troubling is that whole "slave labor" thing, which you'd think would bother those on the Left at least a little. But apparently they're only interested in slavery which happened in the distant past and can be used for current political leverage.

To be fair, the enslaved Uighurs who are making those solar panels at gunpoint shouldn't complain; the non-enslaved Uighurs are being systematically murdered in a sweeping genocide effort by China. Although if their bodies are properly composted, it's likely considered a successful "green initiative" and net win for the Earth by the AOC-Biden administration.

Here's an idea for the Democrats who are currently running the show in Washington: how about immediately implementing policy which prohibits billions of our tax dollars going to support slavery, pollution, and genocide?

Failing that, perhaps John Kerry can escort James Taylor to China to sing "You've Got A Friend" at a Uighur prison camp.


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For any who may have missed it (lucky you!) we had some excitement here on Friday. Readers coming to visit Stilton's Place were greeted with a heart-stopping red screen covered with exclamation points and human skulls and the warning that this is a dangerous, deceptive site, run by cyber-savvy terrorists intent on stealing your personal information, your life savings, and better scotch than we usually drink.

The warning came straight from Google and was, not surprisingly, complete and utter BS. Which we tried to make clear in a hastily-written email to everyone on our mailing list (which generated more email replies than we can even respond to, but all of which were read and greatly appreciated).

Further research showed that a lot of conservative blogs were getting the same roadblock, which made it look to be a pretty obvious "big brother" move targeting the Right. But it seems the warning also went up on liberal blogs, cooking blogs, dog grooming blogs, and every other kind of blog hosted on Google's "Blogspot" platform (as this blog is).

So it would appear that someone at Google Central simply flipped the wrong switch...and gave us all an important reminder that a flip of the switch is now all it takes to instantaneously cut off politically incorrect speech. 

For now, the problem seems to have been corrected, but that Sword of Damocles will continue hanging over our head here at Stilton's Place as long as the blog is hosted on Google's blogspot platform (we'll note that if you go to the archival Hope n' Change Cartoons site and/or try to do a content search, you'll get a similar warning that you can safely ignore). We'll be looking into alternatives.

But taking a glass-half-full approach (and trust us, ours usually is) this was probably a valuable reminder that all of the Hope n' Change and Stilton's Place posts (up through January of this year) can be downloaded in handy and totally free PDF ebook form using the links on this page. Get 'em while you can!

Friday, May 14, 2021

Hard Cyber


We're glad to report that Google (or whoever) has apparently taken down the scary big red warning page that this is somehow a dangerous website, so we can all take a deep breath and get back to our normal business of complaining about the world going to Hell (grin).

Many thanks for the many messages of support, all of which we're reading (and we'll try to respond if we don't get overwhelmed). We now return you to our regularly scheduled problems...


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Following the successful cyberattack (thought to be tied to a criminal group called "Darkside") which forced Colonial Pipeline to shut down 5500 miles of pipeline, Joe Biden has taken forceful action to show computer terrorists that the United States won't stand for this. Rather, it will continue to sit on its well-padded rear end.

Oh sure, the attack caused filling stations to run out of gasoline and plunged the stock market into despair, but Biden's response has been to sign an executive order which will create committees that will eventually compile a playbook of suggestions about possible responses to future such attacks. Such as creating larger committees and thicker playbooks, almost certainly at a cost of $2 trillion. 

Were Donald Trump still in the Oval Office, we would likely have seen all of this play out much differently. For starters, the media would have blamed the President personally for the utter failure of cybersecurity measures and then cite the failure as smoking-gun proof of collusion between the Russkis and the White House. Under Biden, the media's response was more measured, largely amounting to a collective "ho-hum, nothing to see here."

We also expect that Trump would have skipped the committee approach and just launched some "beautiful, beautiful Predator drones" which would fire "Hellfire missiles which are, and I've heard this personally from some of our top generals, you'd know their names, the best missiles anywhere," after which, when the clouds of red mist cleared, the computer hackers would look like cans of Spaghetti-Os which exploded violently in a hot car.

Such an action would be a considerable disincentive for those planning future cyberattacks on our nation's infrastructure, although we're sure that any terrorists with a pathological fear of "playbooks" are also reconsidering their career options about now. Or not.

But for now, the Colonial Pipeline crisis has been resolved and gasoline will soon be trickling back to the pumps. And is the crisis over because our laughingly-named intelligence agencies tracked down the miscreants and undid the computer mischief? Nope. It's over because Colonial Pipeline, rather than wait for the Government to act, paid the hackers a $5,000,000 ransom to get the password which would unencrypt the data on their frozen computers.

Which, in fairness, proves that their playbook is working just fine.

From The Cyber-Vault: Joe Byte 'Em

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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Art For Heart's Sake

When the news bums us out, which is a daily occurrence lately, we like to take solace in the arts. Whether an image created by the sure hand of a painter or the sounds resulting from divine inspiration of a music composer, these are transcendent experiences which briefly but thankfully distract us from the frenetic madness around us.

Which is why we're sharing some of our favorite art with you today. Specifically, movie poster art from Ghana. The small theaters there are forced to paint their own movie posters, often with only a very vague idea what the movie is about or how human anatomy is supposed to work. Still, we'd happily watch ANY of these movies if they gave us half of what the posters promise...

Can't you just feel your stress melting away as you reflect on these images and the theatrical delights they offer? What a balm the "willing suspension of disbelief" can be when applied to entertainment rather than the news and politics.

And to round out today's enthusiastic endorsement of escapism, we'll share a few musical numbers which we swear we actually love and listen to on a regular basis (and you can too)!