• Content Count

  • Joined

  • Days Won


Blog Comments posted by william.scherk

  1. On 11/15/2019 at 9:38 AM, william.scherk said:

    Roger Stone has been found guilty on all counts

    That was then, and this is now. According to the last order from the judge (details from a June 26 Toronto Star AP report), Roger Stone will surrender to the Bureau of Prisons by July 14th. That decision was unsealed yesterday and can be read here.



    Stone was convicted in November on all seven counts of an indictment that accused him of lying to Congress, tampering with a witness and obstructing the House investigation into whether the Trump campaign co-ordinated with Russia to tip the 2016 election.

    Stone was scheduled to surrender at FCI Jesup, a medium-security federal prison in Georgia on June 30. Stone had asked for a delay in the date of his surrender until Sept. 3 because of concerns that coronavirus had spread rapidly in federal prisons across the U.S. There have been no reported coronavirus cases at FCI Jesup and more than two dozen inmates who had been awaiting test results this week had all tested negative, federal prosecutors said.

    Prosecutors did not oppose Stone’s request for the delay but said that was only because the Justice Department’s current policy is to not oppose such requests for a delay of up to 60 days.

    Stone will also be placed on home confinement before he surrenders, in part because of “the strong medical recommendation” submitted by his defence lawyers, the judge wrote in her order. The home confinement would be monitored by court officials before Stone is required to surrender at the prison on July 14.

    “This will address the defendant’s stated medical concerns during the current increase of reported cases in Florida, and Broward County in particular, and it will respect and protect the health of other inmates who share defendant’s anxiety over the potential introduction and spread of the virus at this now-unaffected facility,” Berman Jackson wrote.

    The Bureau of Prisons has said Stone would not be required to go to a quarantine facility because he’s voluntarily surrendering. But officials said last month that Stone would be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine once he arrived at the facility. It isn’t clear whether Stone would still have to undergo that quarantine, as well.

    Stone was the sixth Trump aide or adviser to be convicted on charges brought as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

    Before his Feb. 20 sentencing, the Justice Department leadership backed away from its initial recommendation just hours after Trump tweeted his displeasure at the recommendation of up to nine years in prison, saying it had been too harsh. The move led to a brief flare-up between Attorney General William Barr and Trump.


    Dull recital of recent history set up, this is a fascinating interview given to Dustin Nemos, a notable QAnon author and entrepreneur.

    Nemos just lost his Twitter account for the usual murky reasons, but his YouTube account is still up. Lots of topical material, if not to all OL members' tastes.


    Bringing it back to Sessions ...  his Alabama GOP Senate primary election run-off is set for July 14th. If you wet your finger and hold it up to the wind, you will discover who is going to win. My money is on the Trump-endorsed Tommy Tuberville, by a nose. An elephant nose.

    Don't piss off Big Daddy.  He never forgets.

  2. All Polls are Wrong.  I don't see why any present poll or polling average should give comfort to the Democratic campaign, because it seems like the real campaign hasn't started.  About the only areas that might be of concern to the GOP campaign are seemingly 'iffy' contests for the Senate.  I will put down a marker here of so-called swing state polls, and return once all the votes are counted in these (maybe) key races.  

    Arizona -- today Real Clear Politics aggregate of surveys suggests that Democrat Mark Kelly is ~11% in front of the incumbent GOP senator McSally.

    Colorado -- RCP's page suggests (on very very scant data) that the incumbent Corey Gardner is ~10% behind challenger John Hickenlooper.

    Iowa -- GOP senator Jody Ernst won over her 2014 Democratic opponent by 8.5%.  RCP has no information on the present race, but a mid-June Iowa Register survey suggested a three-point advantage to the Democratic candidate Theresa Greenfield.  

    Maine -- up for re-election is Susan Collins, who won her 2014 contest by 14 points. RCP currently shows a slight lead for her 2020 opponent Sarah Gideon.

    Montana  -- RCP has no data to present on the race here between Steve Daines and Steve Bullock. But I include this one to test the mettle of the Cook Political Report, who has put the race in the 'toss-up' column.

    North Carolina -- the incumbent is Thom Tillis of the GOP. He faces Cal Cunningham. RCP rates this contest a 'toss-up' on scant data.

    So, if Arizona, Maine and Colorado are lost by the GOP on November 3, then the Senate will be even-steven, 50 to 50.



    • Haha 1

  3. Barring death or Clinton shenanigans (per HA Goodman's thought) or stepping/staggering out of contention, Joe Biden is the "presumptive" Democratic nominee.  Depending on America's future experience with COVID19, the Democratic national convention will be something of a 'virtual' affair, with no packed stadium full of trained seals and barking dogs.  We shall see. 

    Which leaves only the choice of Biden's vice-president, presently unknown.  That is the remaining excitement.

    My guesswork is that Biden has about five names on his short-list -- with Elizabeth Warren fans promoting her as the only prospective VP candidate that can appeal to young 'progressives'; Kamala Harris fans seem to be in a crossed-fingers stance, hoping that the developing personal relationship between Biden will add to her other possible attractions. 

    The main objections to Warren seem to be based on her 'baggage' and the main objections to Harris seem to surround the the meme of "Kamala is a Cop."

    Biden is supposedly going to announce his choice in a month or so ...


  4. Many leading lights of the QAnon movement just got together for a "pre-launch virtual live-stream" -- if I understand correctly, this will be the first of more "Virtual Conventions." Click the image or this link to visit: https://qcon.live

    One of the sponsors of the virtual event was partly responsible for the in-person "Great Awakening" events celebrating Q that were held in Washington DC and Tampa Florida.


    I'll post any video I can find that shares the conference events one I find them -- I don't yet know if they are pay-walled or on an 'alternate platform' that can be embedded here at Objectivist Living. 

    In the meantime, here is the QAnonAnonymous podcasters and guests commenting during presentations of the main speakers ...


  5. On 6/9/2020 at 11:58 AM, william.scherk said:

    Q and QAnon having a bit of a ruckus over Obama.org and modern Twitter-enabled website coding.  Q-Watcher Feminist Proper Gander wraps up the story in a series of tweets:

    Some readers may not go to a Twitter thread off the OL site, so I'll add this in as an example of what you are missing.


    • Haha 1

  6. 1 hour ago, william.scherk said:

    [Quoting Jemima Kelly:] But what proportion of the hundreds of thousands who saw and shared the conspiracy over the past few days will notice that it’s been debunked?

    I know that there are more than one guy with 'you disgusting scumbag' in his mouth reading here. I think 'yds,' and I and invisible readers are all dealing with some relatively straightforward questions, questions that should be amenable to reason of the Randian stripe. Which explanation of of the Twitter Card image behaviour is the more reasonable, makes least assumptions, is the fruit of investigation and inquiry?  Which stands up to close scrutiny? Which accounts for all the evidence (including such items as the Q cut and paste from a dev blog)?

    There would be plenty more questions in play, maybe, if we had a bigger quorum of active members.

    "Did Obama.org (or Obama race riot sorrows machine) organize a ritual murder of George Floyd?"
    "Some folk may claim that  Q 'warned off' Obama in drops 4436 & 4437*. Does the evidence brought forth from rational inquiry support that claim?"
    "How would you explain in your own words the three Q drops that caused much discussion and explanatory hypothesizing?"

    My question to myself is 'what explains why and how some people's beliefs survive a reasonable debunking?' 

    "Let a hundred flowers bloom," said Deng, before he realized how that would probably work out for one-party rule in China and shut it all down. 'Let your freedom of conscience ring. Don't be afraid of devils conjured up to incite prejudice and rage. If evil there is, beware of making The Fundamental Attribution Error.' I paraphrase.

    As might be apparent, I am not of the Gibbet Enthusiast Party. 

    • Haha 1

  7. Here is an article from Jemima Kelly at the Financial Times. I will stretch the criteria for fair-use as much as I can:


    It’s a great time for conspiracy theories to thrive

    It’s awkward when you accidentally let slip that you knew about the killing of a man more than a week before it actually happened, and that you knew his death would spark a wave of worldwide protests, isn’t it? Especially when you do so on Twitter, and then don’t notice you let the cat out of the bag until someone points it out to you several weeks later.

    So if the conspiracist theorists are to be believed, the Obama Foundation must be feeling pretty awkward right now:


    Yes, that’s the official Obama Foundation Twitter account, and a tweet from May 17 about some “commencement message” from Barack Obama, alongside not just a picture of George Floyd, the man who was brutally killed by a police officer on May 25, but a picture of what appears to be a Black Lives Matter protester holding up a picture of Floyd. (This was no small-scale conspiracy. They planned the whole thing.)

    The idea that this was all some giant hoax seems to have come from the infamous and mysterious online character going by the pseudonym of “Q” (the person behind the “QAnon” far-right conspiracy theory). But it proliferated frighteningly quickly across social media and on to far-right websites.

    “How Did the Obama Foundation tweet a George Floyd Poster on May 17, when he wasn't Killed until May 25?” was the headline run by the popular far-right Hal Turner Radio Show website, with story racking up almost 200,000 clicks on Facebook over the weekend, according to AP.


    oDd HuH?!?!

    Not really. What happened is that when the tweet was posted on May 17, the Obama Foundation’s “Twitter card image” — ie, the image that a website automatically generates when it posts content on Twitter — was a graduation photo of Obama, which would have been what accompanied the tweet at the time. Later, the website changed its Twitter card image to the picture of the protester holding up the Floyd image. That meant that its website automatically generated that image in its tweets, both past and present. No conspiracy.

    One reason we know this phenomenon is possible, we should say, is that we have first-hand experience of it. We illustrated the first post we did in our hard-hitting, award-winning* “Corona Tools” series with a picture that was not deemed quite appropriate, and so we changed it (we won’t go into what the original picture was; suffice to say that it is tricky finding an image to illustrate a corona tool). Our stories are automatically tweeted by our Twitter account when we publish them, and therefore the original image did appear on Twitter for half an hour or so. But now, if you look it up, you’ll find a very respectable image:


    The idea that the George Floyd killing was some kind of sick hoax or conspiracy has now been debunked by AP, and the Twitter card image has been updated to now show just the foundation’s logo.

    But what proportion of the hundreds of thousands who saw and shared the conspiracy over the past few days will notice that it’s been debunked? And now the idea has been planted that this was just a way for the US to justify the use of martial law, or to divide its citizens, as suggested on social media, how much will a debunking from the “fake news” liberal elite MSM help anyway?

    A quick Twitter search shows four different accounts tweeting about it in the past half-hour (from the time of writing on Tuesday) alone:




    We need to be super careful about what we see on the internet right now; there’s a whole lot of rubbish out there. You might not believe the former US president foretold the future, but you might believe that Trump said Floyd should be happy about the US jobs numbers (he didn’t), or that a woman from the WHO said that asymptomatic coronavirus cases are only very rarely infectious (OK so she did say that, but, erm, she didn’t mean it). Stuck in our little echo chambers on the internet, we are beginning — slowly and surely — to lose our minds.


    • Haha 1

  8. To return to this question ...

    On 6/9/2020 at 11:58 AM, william.scherk said:

    So ... what does this have to do with the kerfuffle ongoing in Q-World?

    The basic issue is that Obama.org's  initial "landing page" is updated throughout the year -- with the Twitter Card code in the <head> area of the HTML document being updated from time to time.

    When a coder changes the Twitter Card code in the <head>, to replace the image address, (<meta name="twitter:image" content="IMAGE_URL.jpeg">),  previously posted tweets from the page return the current image from Twitter servers. 

    Someone in the QAnon world noted that a Tweet from Obama.org from before Floyd's death showed a depiction of Floyd's image:


    How could a tweet from May 17th contain an image depicting Floyd when Floyd did not die until May 25th?

    How could my tweet from June 9th contain a screenshot image that wasn't published until today, June 10th?


    On 6/9/2020 at 11:58 AM, william.scherk said:



    Now, if anyone says "The Obama website got caught testing the image prior to Floyd's ritual murder," they do not know what they are talking about.

    • Haha 1

  9. This is a screenshot of the above tweet:


    I will change the <meta> information to update the image and text in the Twitter Card. What will happen to the body of the tweet just capped?

    <meta name="twitter:card" content="summary_large_image">
    <meta name="twitter:site" content="@DarleneViewer">
    <meta name="twitter:title" content="This is an example of a Twitter Card with a Summary and Large Image">
    <meta name="twitter:description" content="&quot;Tweet this page&quot; -- A simple set of <meta> tags in the head of an HTML document allows Twitter to insert an image, video, audio or an app within the body of the tweet.">
    <meta name="twitter:image" content="https://wsscherk.com/VIDEOCASTS/A47KF/images/IntheMatterOfQ_JL-cap.png">


    • Haha 1

  10. Q and QAnon having a bit of a ruckus over Obama.org and modern Twitter-enabled website coding.  Q-Watcher Feminist Proper Gander wraps up the story in a series of tweets:

    The kerfuffle started with this Q drop (screen cap from the site Qanon.pub) :


    "Reconcile" ... 

    Next came drop 4437 ...


    Some QAnon folks were critical, some were gyrating wildly to explain away the error. 

    The kerfuffle rests on a misunderstanding of how Twitter Cards work their magic in a few lines of HTML code in the 'head' portion of a website. 

    <meta name="twitter:card" content="summary_large_image">
    <meta name="twitter:site" content="@DarleneViewer">
    <meta name="twitter:title" content="This is an example of a Twitter Card with a Summary and Large Image">
    <meta name="twitter:description" content="&quot;Tweet this page&quot; -- A simple set of <meta> tags in the head of an HTML document allows Twitter to insert an image, video, audio or an app within the body of the tweet.">
    <meta name="twitter:image" content="https://wsscherk.com/VIDEOCASTS/Q3/q4436.png">

    These lines in the <head> of an HTML document "fill in" a tweet from the particular page:

    The <meta> code on the web page can of course be changed, especially if the body of page itself is updated. If you change the code to insert a new Summary Card with Large Image, then the change will propagate on Twitter's servers. The next time you tweet from the same page, the image may be different than it was at an earlier point.

    So ... what does this have to do with the kerfuffle ongoing in Q-World?

    Well, because Twitter itself delivers the image from its own servers (rather than merely 'passing through' the URL of the image file on your server),  previously posted Tweets are themselves updated.  This can appear to show some kind of chicanery -- if the image rendered in an old tweet shows a 'new' image. 


    • Haha 1

  11. Them chemtrails can hollow out a man's ability to check claims, it seems.



    In late May 2020, a Twitter user with 47 followers named “Bad Scooter” posted a video that combined visuals from the trailer of the 2013 zombie apocalypse film “World War Z” with an MSNBC clip of Brian Williams describing scenes from George Floyd protests in Philadelphia.



    Though the original (and since deleted) video included the Twitter user’s handle and was labeled “not real” in text added above the MSNBC logo, the gag nonetheless spread. The post fooled many, including reporters. Most notably in terms of virality, however, it also fooled the anonymous entity behind the sprawling “QAnon” or “Q” conspiracy theory. On June 1, 2020, Q “dropped” a side-by-side shot of the gag segment on top of the the trailer, accusing the press of pushing an “America on Fire” narrative:


    Q would later admit the mistake, confusingly blaming the mix up on “helicopter rides” which create verification “challenges.”

    The viral attention apparently shocked Bad Scooter, who tweeted “I dramatically underestimated Twitter.” The user deleted the original video and posted an all caps clarification that the video was fake. As proof, the user included the actual MSNBC clip from which the audio was derived:





    Embedded video


    MSNBC’s parent company also confirmed to The Verge that the clip was a fake. “To confirm, the posts are fake,” NBCUniversal spokesperson Alexandra Roberts told the outlet. For these reasons, the claim that MSNBC tried to pass “World World Z” trailer footage off as video of protests in Philadelphia is not rooted in reality.



    • Haha 1

  12. Typical "alarmist" headline followed by a  story of possible interest to followers of issues in this blog thread ...

    The Arctic Is Unraveling as a Massive Heat Wave Grips the Region


    It wouldn’t be spring in the climate change era without a massive heat wave in the Arctic.

    Freakishly warm air has billowed up from Siberia over the Arctic Ocean and parts of Greenland, and the heat will only intensify in the coming days. The warmth is helping to spread widespread wildfires and to kickstart ice melt season early, both ominous signs of what summer could hold.

    The Arctic has been on one recently. Russia had its hottest winter ever recorded, driven largely by Siberian heat. That heat hasn’t let up as the calendar turns to spring. In fact, it’s intensified and spread across the Arctic. Last month was the hottest April on record for the globe, driven by high Arctic temperatures that averaged an astounding 17 degrees Fahrenheit (9.4 degrees Celsius) above normal, according to NASA data.


    Circumpolar jetstream is in one of its so-called "loose" periods ...


    The 2-Metre Temperature Anomaly: 


  13. A fun read, if you like oddities, quirks and foibles ...

    The Church of QAnon: Will conspiracy theories form the basis of a new religious movement?
    May 18, 2020 7.12am  EDT


    [...] Everything is explained though the lens of the Bible and QAnon narratives. Bushey then does 45 minutes of decoding items that have appeared recently on the app called QMap that is used to share conspiracy theories. The last 15 minutes are dedicated to communion and prayer.

    At a service held on April 26, Wagner and Bushey spoke about a QAnon theory, called Project Looking Glass, that the U.S. military has secretly developed a form of time-travel technology. Wagner suggested to e-congregants that time travel can be explained by certain passages in the Bible.

    On May 3, the theme of the QAnon portion of the service was about COVID-19. Bushey spoke about a popular QAnon theory that the pandemic was planned. (There is no evidence of this.) And when an anti-vax conspiracy theory documentary called “Plandemic” went viral , the video was shared on the HCW websites as a way for e-congregants to consume the latest in a series of false theories about the coronavirus.

    Leveraging authority

    What is clear is that Wagner and Bushey are leveraging religious beliefs and their “authority” as a pastor and ex-military officer to indoctrinate attendees into the QAnon church. Their objective is to train congregants to form their own home congregations in the future and grow the movement.



    • Haha 1

  14. Not quite a sighting, but.  The 'talking books' folks at Audible have made Atlas Shrugged available for no charge.


    Hat tip to the Ayn Rand Institute, via email ...

    Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged Is Currently Available for Free Streaming on Audible!
    “For as long as schools are closed, we’re open,” announced Amazon’s Audible. “Starting today, kids everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages, that will help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids. All stories are free to stream on your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet. Explore the collection, select a title and start listening. It’s that easy.”

    Not all of the audiobooks on offer are just for kids; Atlas Shrugged is among the available titles. If you are housebound during this coronavirus crisis, now is the perfect time to listen or re-listen to Ayn Rand’s magnum opus!


  15. As I noted, all three of the Grievance Studies scholars are active on Twitter.  James Lindsay is also busy with a kind of dictionary of terms from "Woke Culture." It's funny and sad and enlightening ... "Translation from the Wokish (A Plain-Language Encyclopedia of Social Justice Terminology)"

    There's an audio intro to the newer projects that OLers can sample, at The Roots of “Woke” Culture ... via New Discourses.

    And of interest to those who savour/debunk various strains of thought under the rubric "Conspiracy Theories" ...

    On 8/28/2019 at 5:09 AM, Jonathan said:


    "Many people deal with this by hiding from contentious conversations. That's fine, and in certain circumstances it may even be the right thing to do. However, it's only..."

    Damn! Just when it was getting to the good part. I need to know!

    [...] What's the rest of the thought?

    The image above, when clicked, takes the reader/viewer to the Amazon page for 'Look Inside.' 



  16. 23 hours ago, merjet said:
    On 2/16/2020 at 6:14 AM, Ellen Stuttle said:

    Now, the warming specifically of the Arctic might be cause for worry.  However, the details of CO2-as-driver theory don't do the job of explaining what's happening in the Arctic.  The anomaly distribution and warming patterns are discrepant with the theory - giving alarmists another headache (like "the hiatus") to scrabble to find ways to fit into their paradigm.



  17. On 2/12/2020 at 6:48 AM, bradschrag said:
    On 2/12/2020 at 6:40 AM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:


    Actually, I'm going to do better than that, except it's going to be a pain in the ass for me.

    All of your future posts will now have to be reviewed by me before they will be published. Nobody will be able to see them. Only me. I will make sure to delete anything else inappropriate before letting them through.

    Call it potty training for now.


    NOTE FROM MSK: Trolling text removed.

    Would anybody be concerned if an unseen hand began to remove 'trolling text' ... or 'inappropriate' bits of commentary going forward? The invisible hand guide would be the Objectivist Living rules.


    Personally, I think such an invisible hand would be wise to "mark" the inappropriate material rather than delete it. Perhaps a spoiler ...

    • Haha 1

  18. A bit more information about the basis for the Six Americas ... from the gang at Yale Climate Communications.



    The six audiences were first identified using a large nationally representative survey of American adults conducted in the fall of 2008. The survey questionnaire included extensive, in-depth measures of the public’s climate change beliefs, attitudes, risk perceptions, motivations, values, policy preferences, behaviors, and underlying barriers to action. The Six Americas are distinguishable on all these dimensions, and display very different levels of engagement with the issue.

    Since 2008, we have conducted many additional studies on these six audiences, including:

    The Six Americas framework is being used by climate educators and communicators throughout the United States, including local, state, and national governments, academic institutions, environmental organizations, businesses, faith groups, doctors and scientists, and the media.

    For a quick introduction, please see our short video.



    • Haha 1