Justin Offers A Link

In a comment on this post, Justin offered the below video as a comment on this link.

I will make the following observations……

1. It is stories like the above that lead to socialism, communism, and other associated ideas having continued support in spite of their bad track record.

2. It is common for people who are good at something to think that they can therefore lead or manage a project that encompasses things that they are good at. But often, leadership skills don’t come with other strong skills. In particular, my own experience would lead me to believe that strongly artistic people are rarely good managers. A lot of Mr. Kern’s bad decisions as laid out in the above video strike me as a classic example of an artistic person let off the leash with no oversight. Computer gaming history is filled with similar stories of developers who were an integral part of strong teams but absolutely failed on their own in such spectacular fashion as to make you wonder if they were ever truly good at anything. In my judgement, the common thread in those tails of self-destruction is giving an artistic person a pot full of money with no controls.

3. It is common for people to exaggerate the evil nature of poor leaders and forgive the evil deeds of good leaders. That is to say the failure of leadership skill is often attributed to moral failings while successful leaders are forgiven moral lapses because they get things done. We all have moral failings and I am sure that Mr. Kern has more then his fair share. But I think a lot of what is laid out above is rooted above all else in lack of managerial talent and not some particularly black heart compared to other people in the same industry.

4. It is common for people to point out someone’s hypocrisy or other moral failings as if they demonstrate that that person does not have good points or sincerely held beliefs. A classic case of this is the attempts to delegitimize everything Winston Churchill did because he was a supporter of imperialism. In this case, nothing in the above video really has anything to do with Mark Kern’s points about China or the current management of Blizzard except to warn against turning Mr. Kern into some kind of hero.That is always a good warning to have, but no one should go in the opposite direction and think it demonstrates more then it does.

5. A broader hypocrisy of the west in general is the focus of things seen on TV instead of any kind of tangible yardsticks. For example, what has been done over the years in Tibet have been and continue to be far worse then anything currently going on in Hong Kong. And yet, Tibet has not developed into nearly as big of an issue as Hong Kong is becoming.

6. That said, I think it is truly alarming how determined China is to use its economic clout to regulate what is being said in other countries. It is one thing to control your own country’s internet. It is another thing to try to control what everyone else is saying all over the world. And that does seem to be what China is seeking to do. Imagine the outrage if the American government worked as hard as China has been working to get sport’s people fired for being critical of US policy.

Did an Inuit (Eskimo) woman kill a polar bear with a 22?

I recently told some people that smallest cartridge documented to have been used to killed a polar bear was a 22 but now I can’t find any proof of that fact. I had a clear memory of reading an article in a print magazine that documented such a thing, but I will be danged if I can find it now. Apparently I am not the only person with this memory as I did find this quote from a forum….

I read an article where an Inuit woman killed one of the largest polar bears ever killed with a .22 rifle. Hid behind a door in the kitchen, when the bear poked its head in the kitchen, she put the muzzle of the rifle in it’s ear and shot; dropped like a rock. They reported it was very difficult getting the bear out of the house.

This report was greeted with considerable skepticism on the forum and I don’t blame them for the skepticism in the absence of proof. All I can say is that I remember reading a similar article a long time ago. But I will be danged if I can find that article now so either I am totally mis-remembering or the all encompassing internet failed to preserve any kind of documentation. Best I can come up with something semi-official looking is the off hand comment in this article that references what my dubious memory recalls saying….

Marauding bears have been killed by .22 rimfire pocket pistols; not very often, but it has been done by an Eskimo woman I happen to know about.

But the article offers no documentation to support that claim so it might be a commonly repeated tall tale. All I can offer in defense of my memory and the undocumented hearsay found on the internet is that it is well documented that a 22 in the hands of native American woman can kill a very large bear. But the bear is question was a very large grizzly and the woman in question was Cree and not Inuit. Her name was Bella Twin and she got into the record books for that particular bit of daring.

The Education of the Normans

This video is not in the Educate Deb series and can only be appreciated by people who have some knowledge of English history. If you know what happened during the battle of Battle of Agincourt, if you know your Shakespeare well enough to know who Henry V was, and if you know what Henry V connection to the Normans was, and you have 12 minutes to spare, then you may be interested in watching this short video on how the Normans got educated.

Granted, this is just one interpretation of the battle but it is a plausible one. It strikes me as an obscure battle that had a larger affect on history then many would think (although undoubtedly this was not the only time that the Normans had to learn this lesson).

Talking About Biden

On purely technical grounds, I am cool with the fact that the House of Representatives wants to work on impeaching the President of the United States. The founders of this nation made it so that it only took a bare majority of the House to impeach but also made it so that it took to two thirds of the Senate to convict. Obviously they wanted to make it easy to bring charges but hard to make them stick. The Constitution also made it so that the House is the sole legal entity who has the power to impeach. Courts have suggested (correctly in my opinion) that this means that the house is the sole arbitrator of what is or is not an impeachable offense. On the whole, I think the House will cause less harm trying to impeach the President then other things they are likely to be doing if they don’t occupy themselves chasing after the bad orange man. And regardless of whether it is a good idea or not, it is inarguably constitutional which is more then you can say for a lot of their other activities.

What does get my blood up is being told over and over again by the mainstream media that we should not talk about Biden and that it is the actions of Trump that are the only legitimate subjects of conversation. As a form of therapy, I am going to talk about Biden……

Biden has boasted in the past that he got the Ukraine Prosecutor looking into his son’s company fired. From the Article….

It’s definitely horrible for Biden. The former vice president brought this issue on himself, recounting in 2018 how he told Poroshenko years earlier to fire Shokin or forfeit a promised $1 billion U.S. loan.

“I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours,’ ” Biden said at an event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations. ” ‘If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ ”

Biden’s son followed his Father to Ukraine to make money off his father’s name. From the article……

Granted, Shokin was a shady character. Yet at some point he had been investigating Burisma, the largest gas company in Ukraine, which also happened to be paying Hunter Biden a $50,000 monthly salary as a board member.

By coincidence, Hunter had landed this cushy gig in a foreign country only a few months after the Obama ­administration began dispatching his father, Joe, to the very same foreign country on a regular basis.

There was, of course, absolutely nothing in Hunter’s résumé to indicate that he would be a valuable addition to foreign energy interest. He didn’t speak the language, and he had no particular expertise in the energy industry.

There are a lot of lies going around about this entire situation. Most of them revolve around the idea that the prosecutor that Biden got fired had no interest in his son so the two things could not possibly be related. This is not true. From the article…..

At the time, Shokin’s office was investigating Burisma. Shokin told me he was making plans to question Hunter Biden about $3 million in fees that Biden and his partner, Archer, collected from Burisma through their American firm. Documents seized by the FBI in an unrelated case confirm the payments, which in many months totaled more than $166,000.

Some media outlets have reported that, at the time Joe Biden forced the firing in March 2016, there were no open investigations. Those reports are wrong. A British-based investigation of Burisma’s owner was closed down in early 2015 on a technicality when a deadline for documents was not met. But the Ukraine Prosecutor General’s office still had two open inquiries in March 2016, according to the official case file provided me. One of those cases involved taxes; the other, allegations of corruption. Burisma announced the cases against it were not closed and settled until January 2017.

After I first reported it in a column, the New York Times and ABC News published similar stories confirming my reporting.

Sad links for Today

Doctors Warn of Painful Parasite Hiding in Your Sushi . You don’t eat raw meat for a reason.

Africa’s new slave trade: how migrants flee poverty to get sucked into a world of violent crime. I am no fan of how the west intervened in Libya, but I think people who blame this kind of thing on the fall of Gaddafi are missing the point. A lot of this was always going on but it was harder to see with Gaddafi in power.

How Noncompete Clauses Keep Workers Locked In

Links for today.

How to Accidentally Stop a Global Cyber Attacks. Don’t mind the security scan, they have to be paranoid.

Not to be sniffed at: human sense of smell rivals that of dogs, says study . Not sure about the headline, but yeah, the sense of smell is underused more then it is deficient. Native peoples have been long none to be able to track by smell and other things that human’s “can’t” do.

A watch fights tremors and woman finds ability to write

What Caught My Eye

In Bleak Prognosis, Italy’s Financial Regulator Threatens EU with Return to a “National Currency” The failure of Italy’s Financial System is something that everyone can see coming and nobody believes will actually happen (at least if you pay attention to what the markets are doing).

Roof failure was at a one-of-a-kind Hanford tunnel system . More on that radiation problem on the west coast.

Researchers Find Gut Bacteria Can Trigger Brain Lesions That Lead to Strokes . It is all connected together in case you have not figured that out yet.

Of Interest

Tunnel Collapses at Nuclear Facility Once Called ‘an Underground Chernobyl Waiting to Happen’. Hyperbole, but still of interest.

Greater capacity to detect sound gives autistic people an advantage

No, New York Times, Christianity’s Opposition to Abortion Is Anything But New. There is dubious start to the article, but it has more educational value as it goes on for those who don’t know much early church history.

Small Reminders of the Rest of the World.

A quote from one of the more formative books of my teenage reading….

At the conclusion of the conference, a tribute to Comrade Stalin was called for. Of course, everyone stood up (just as everyone had leaped to his feet during the conference at every mention of his name). … For three minutes, four minutes, five minutes, the stormy applause, rising to an ovation, continued. But palms were getting sore and raised arms were already aching. … However, who would dare to be the first to stop? … After all, NKVD men were standing in the hall applauding and watching to see who would quit first! And in the obscure, small hall, unknown to the leader, the applause went on – six, seven, eight minutes! … They couldn’t stop now till they collapsed with heart attacks! …

The director of the local paper factory, an independent and strong-minded man, stood with the presidium. Aware of all the falsity and all the impossibility of the situation, he still kept on applauding! Nine minutes! Ten! In anguish he watched the secretary of the District Party Committee, but the latter dared not stop. Insanity! To the last man! With make-believe enthusiasm on their faces, looking at each other with faint hope, the district leaders were just going to go on and on applauding till they fell where they stood, till they were carried out of the hall on stretchers! Then, after eleven minutes, the director of the paper factory assumed a businesslike expression and sat down in his seat. And, oh, a miracle took place! Where had the universal, uninhibited, indescribable enthusiasm gone? To a man, everyone else stopped dead and sat down. They had been saved!
… That same night the factory director was arrested. They easily pasted ten years on him on the pretext of something quite different. But after he had signed Form 206, the final document of the interrogation, his interrogator reminded him: “Don’t ever be the first to stop applauding.” — Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

I had to quote that just to provided context for this short clip. Apparently, Stalin was kind enough to solve the problem.

India finding it hard to end love affair with cash

Jakarta’s Christian governor gets two-year sentence for blasphemy

Ecuador’s Alleged ‘Pablo Escobar’ Went From Boatman to Drug Lord

North Korea denounces China, claims it has ‘protected’ Beijing