Abandoning the Indefensible

Even the corpocratic media has reluctantly thrown in the towel on Dem Rangz despite being more than willing to accept the sadistic defacing of Tolkien’s legacy, to endorse the rampant blackwashing, and to osculate the Bezosian backside:

I’ve come to a sad realization: The creators of Amazon’s The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power know how to create spectacle, but they don’t know how to tell a good story.

There it is, scrawled in blood on the wall. The writers and showrunners responsible for this show could have won me over with good fan-fiction. They could have tossed Tolkien’s lore onto a bonfire and I’d have been perfectly happy if they’d simply crafted an enjoyable story with characters I care about.

Unfortunately, The Rings Of Power is written so poorly it defies even my worst fears. Oh yes, I was awed and impressed by the opening two episodes just like many others. But my how quickly a badly written TV series can wear out its welcome once the shimmer fades….

Galadriel’s adventure in Númenor is honestly just embarrassing. She arrived there—after being rescued—and effectively just bullied everyone in her path like the elven version of a steamroller. The queen regent has her hands full from the moment Galadriel barges through the door, and soon she’s demanding to see the king, then asking for an army.

Miriel has to lock her up and then pack her off back to the elves just to get her to stop. Then—thanks to petals falling from a tree*—she decides to take her back and commit her people—who moments earlier were all but chanting “death to the elves!”—to a war in a strange land? Everything taking place in Númenor is just a shortcut for the plot. Move the plot forward at all costs no matter how many characters are butchered in the process. (I wrote about the hilariously bad Black Speech spy note recently which is another great example of the shoddy writing in this show)>

Instead of actual character drama, the creators of Rings Of Power simply make everyone bicker and argue with one another all the time. Whether that’s Isildur and his father and friends, Elrond and Durin, Nori and the village elders, Bronwyn and the village idiots, or Galadriel and, well, everybody—all anyone seems to do is argue.

The people Galadriel wants to go save are evil and stupid and some of them seem ready to throw in with Sauron at the drop of a pin. But for some reason we’re supposed to care about Galadriel’s quest to go fight to save them from the Enemy?

As an aside, here’s a thought for those producing future films and television series: if casting a cute blonde with a mild case of resting bitch face in the place of an ethereal blonde beauty is enough to functionally derail an A+++ production, imagine how much you are lowering the odds of your own little project being successful if you submit to the creative death by diversity that the Hellmouth is presently demanding?

It’s never a good sign when the most entertaining thing about a production is the commentary on its ongoing immolation.

Anyhow, back to A SEA OF SKULLS. Lodi is discovering he’s got a new task at hand, and he’s not very happy about it….

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The Cancellation of Dilbert

This is not the best thing that ever happened. The corpocracy has finally turned against its longtime jester.

A popular comic strip has been canned by 77 newspapers after its creator Scott Adams started incorporating anti-woke plotlines, including a character black that identifies as white.

Adams’ much-loved ‘Dilbert’ comics have been in circulation since 1989 and frequently poke fun at office culture, but he announced he was sensationally dropped by publisher Lee Enterprises.

The media company owns nearly 100 newspapers across the country – including The Buffalo News, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and the Arizona Daily Sun – and has been publishing Adams’ jokes about the corporate ladder for years.

One of his most recent controversial comic strips included a black worker, who identifies as white, being asked to also identify as gay to boost his company’s environmental, social, and governance ratings.

Dave, his reoccurring character, replies: ‘Depends how hard you want me to sell it,’ before the boss responds: ‘Just wear better shirts.’

For all that I’ve given Scott Adams a hard time about his refusal to accept that anti-vaxxers were right all along, and for good reason, I have to respect his willingness to continue making clear and cogent observations about the increasingly absurd office environment in Dilbert. Because the reason he’s being cancelled is that he is revealing truth that the converged corpocracy does not wish to be revealed or openly mocked.

Of course, it will be interesting to see if Scott has the courage to stick to his guns and continue his honest observations or if he cucks and submits to the SJWs.

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Amazon’s Pants are on Fire

Unlike Tha Rangz o’ Powah, which apparently are not being watched anywhere nearly as much as Amazon is trying to claim. The Dark Herald busts the Bezos machine on the Arkhaven blog.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “numbers don’t lie?”

Accountants say that all the time… When they want a good laugh.

Amazon is proudly claiming they have 25 million views for Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, on its very first day of streaming. That is a nice ROUND number, isn’t it?

“25 million people viewed it.” Always be careful with the exact wording.

We can start with I don’t believe it for a second.

Warner Brothers is, for their part, claiming 25 million for the first week of House of the Dragon, and Warner Brothers put the first episode up for free on YouTube. Realistically, House of the Dragon has had way better public reception than Rings of Power. And ain’t it funny that Amazon had the exact same ROUND number?

So, where did this massive overnight number come from?

Well, it came from Amazon.com.

UPDATE: OWWwwww! Samba.TV has released its metrics on Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and they are b-a-a-d. Amazon was claiming a huge number for it’s first day. Samba.TV uses the first three days. On its first three days, the Rings of Power only got 1.8 million US views.

I didn’t buy the 25 million number myself. But an average of 600k/day? I also wasn’t expecting anything that cataclysmic. This looks like it is going to be a downright proverbial failure.

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He Should Have Listened

Jeff Bezos didn’t listen to his son:

Being one of the richest people on the planet, Jeff Bezos is not used to being told what to do. But when Amazon announced it was creating The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, which is likely to become the most expensive television series ever made, he received a blunt order from his son: “Dad, don’t fuck this up.”

Sorry, Jeff. A verdict is in. And you done fucked it up.

OH LAWD, DEM RANGS! DEM RANGS A’ POWAH!

Past success sows the seeds of future failure

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It Tolls for DC

The Dark Herald notices some very bad signs at DC, formerly DC Comics:

DC Comics has for decades been able to survive as an IP farm. Yeah, it’s a loss leader and has been that way since forever ago but that red ink is barely a rounding error for Warner Brothers. And now they are seriously under the microscope. DC has never been audited by Warner Brothers before because it wasn’t worth doing it. It was actually a waste of money to find out if it was a waste of money. Because it obviously was. Now, DC Comics is having to explain its terrible decisions and why they are pursuing storylines that killed sales. The answer is, we wanted to be popular with the cool kids and you never cared about the money we burned doing it before now, so why not?

DC Comics didn’t send out their royalty checks to writers and artists. DC has never missed a royalty payment since they got bought up by Warner Brothers. The only reason they wouldn’t be sending out money is if there was no money to send.

I have it on very good authority that the royalties were finally paid, but they were paid uncharacteristically late. That’s a problem when large corporations are involved, because it means that the scheduled routine has been intentionally altered, most likely because the finance department is shuttling dwindling resources around from one department to another as needed.

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ESG Will Break Corporations

The use of Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance loans is almost certainly guaranteed to backfire on the corporations that are taking advantage of them.

The term “ESG” was originally coined by the United Nations Environment Program Initiative in 2005, but the methodology was not fully applied to the corporate world until the past six years when ESG investment skyrocketed.

ESG is about money; loans given out by top banks and foundations to companies that meet the guidelines of “stakeholder capitalism.” Companies must show that they are actively pursuing a business environment that prioritizes woke virtues and climate change restrictions. These loans are not an all prevailing income source, but ESG loans are highly targeted, they are growing in size (for now) and they are very easy to get as long as a company is willing to preach the social justice gospel as loudly as possible.

Deloitte’s Insights studies show that ESG assets compounded at 16% p.a. between 2014 and 2018, now account for 25% of total market assets, and they believe that ESG could account for 50% of market share globally by 2024.

These loans become a form of leverage over the business world – Once they get a taste of that easy money they keep coming back. Many of the loan targets attached to ESG are rarely enforced and penalties are few and far between. Primarily, an ESG funded company must propagandize, that is all. They must propagandize their employees and they must propagandize their customers. As long as they do this, that sweet loan capital keeps flowing.

It’s enough to keep corporations addicted, but not enough to keep them satiated. Diversity hiring quotas based on skin color and sexual orientation rather than merit help make the overlords happy. Pushing critical race theory smooths the way for more cash. Carbon controls and climate change narratives really makes them happy. And, promoting trans-trenders and gender fluidity makes them ecstatic. Each participating company gets it’s own ESG rating and the more woke they go, the higher their rating climbs and the more money they can get.

However, this sort of loan for something that is guaranteed to reduce a corporation’s actual business revenue is also guaranteed to harm the corporation over time. Look at Marvel, for example. Money flowing in from ESG loans might pay for blackwashing and transgendering its heroes, but it can only replace the sales revenues being lost for a limited time.

And unlike sales revenues, loans eventually have to be repaid. Even if the converged banks write off the initial loans, eventually they will want to collect their pound of flesh, the cost of which can only increase as interest rates rise from their historic lows.

ESG is the sort of thing that requires free money to implement, and it is a particularly pernicious form of corporate cancer. It’s only a hypothesis at this point, but one might well build a successful investment strategy around the knowledge that the more ESG money a corporation takes, the more likely it is that the corporation’s sales are falling.

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A Tale of Two Capitalisms

Michael Hudson explains the difference between industrial capitalism and finance capitalism, and how the latter has destroyed the US economy and impoverished the American people.

Most people think of all kinds of capitalism as being the same and the assumption is that industrial capitalism of the nineteenth century somehow was always financialized because there were always banks but financial capitalism is you just pointed out is a political system and as a political system it’s very different from the industrial capitalism dynamic. In industrial capitalism, the whole aim or the hope of the industrial capitalists in the late nineteenth century, especially in Germany and central Europe was that banking would no longer be just usury, it wouldn’t be just consumer lending to exploit labor, and it wouldn’t be lending to the government somehow.

The financial system would recycle the economy savings and money creation and credit into industrial production and would finance the means of production to make that productive instead of predatory and parasitic as it became and that seemed to be the way that industrial capitalism was evolving up until World War I. Everything changed after that all of a sudden you had the financial system take over as a result of the crisis caused in the 1920s by the German reparations debt that couldn’t be paid and the inter-ally debt that was insisted upon to repay the United States for the arms that have supplied Europe for a century into World War I. Well, the result was a huge depression.

The allies said, well, we didn’t expect to actually have to pay the United States. If we have to pay the United States, then we have to charge reparations on Germany and for a decade there was a debate between John Maynard Keynes and Harold Moulton and others saying that these debts can’t be paid. How are you going to handle a situation where the debts can’t be paid?

The finance capitalists then were the basically the ancestors of today’s neoliberals and they said any amount of debt can be paid by any country if it just lowers the living standards and squeezes labor enough and that’s what basically the philosophy of the IMF ever since world war II when third world countries can’t pay the debt, the IMF comes in with an austerity program and say you have to lower wages, you have to break up labor unions, if necessary you have to have a democracy, and you can’t have a democracy unless you’re willing to assassinate and arrest the labor leaders and the advocates of land redistribution because a democracy means basically rule by the financial sector centered in the united states. And so finance capitalism ever since WWI and especially WWII and especially since 1980 is the nationalistic doctrine of American banks and the American one percent, and the American financial sector that is sort of merged into a symbiotic unit with the finance insurance and real estate.

In other words, finance capitalism instead of trying to promote overall economic growth for the 99 percent, instead of financing the industrialization of an economy with rising productivity and rising living standards, is now cannibalizing the industrial sector, cannibalizing the corporate sector. As you’re seeing in the U.S., finance capitalism is the economic doctrine of deindustrialization that has occurred in America in England and is now occurring in Europe.

Well, the problem is how do you survive if you’re not industrializing, if you’re not producing your own means of subsistence and how are you going to get this from other countries? Well, the answer is you don’t go to war with them like countries used to go to war with each other to grab their money and their land, you use finance as the new means of war so finance capitalism is the tactic of economic warfare by the United States against Europe and the global south to sort of draw all of the economic surplus of these countries in the form of debt service and the debt service is supplied by basically economic rent seeking from land rent, natural resource rent, and just plain interest charges on economy. So, none of these are really the result of industrial profits that are made by employing labor and uh selling its products at a markup.

Finance capitalism is not based on surplus value like industrial capitalism was. In fact, it destroys industry and in this cannibalizing of industrial capital, it basically dries out the economy and makes it unable to break even or even to function and in the United States today, for instance, if you look at the balance sheets of corporate revenue much of it is spent on stock buybacks. You buy back your own stock or dividend payouts. Only eight percent of corporate earnings are spent on new capital investment research and development: factories, machinery, and means of production to employ labor.

How did General Electric (GE) go broke? Basically, Jack Welch said let’s use our income not to continue to invest in making more electronic goods and services and appliances, let’s use it to buy our own stock that’ll push up our stock and essentially, we’ll just sell off our divisions and we’ll use the money of selling off our washing machine companies and stoves and sell it off and we’ll just pay it to the stockholders. That’ll push it up and by the way his salary was based on how much he could push up the stock of GE and he was paid in the form of stock options. Well, all of this is now the normal corporate behavior in the United States and corporations are no longer led by industrial engineers as they were a few centuries ago in the nineteenth and twentieth century.

They’re led by financial engineers of the chief financial officer and the ideal of these corporations is to make money financially not by industrial investment….. so on the narrow microeconomic level finance capitalism is a way of basically selling out a company and giving the proceeds to the stockholders and the bondholders but as a political system, because it is so destructive of the economy as you’ve seen in the United States and you’ve seen in Britain through de-industrializing it, it becomes belligerent in an attempt to make other countries just as equally paralyzed by making these countries pay tribute to the U.S. and England and the financialized economies by means of financial engineering, by means of debt service, by means of selling their mineral resources, their public utilities, their land, their roads all to foreign investors–basically to who borrows the money that’s just simply created in the U.S. and to save all of their money in their central bank reserves in the forms of loans to the U.S. treasury holding treasury bonds which is how the international monetary system worked until just a few months ago when everything changed.

So if you’re England and America right now you can look at President Biden’s speeches and he said well, China is our number one enemy because it’s competing unfairly. China is actually subsidizing industrial development by having its own infrastructure. It gives free education instead of privatizing education and making its labor pay for it. It has public health instead of privatizing social medicine like we do in the United States and making employers and workers pay for it.

Well, industrial capitalism in the nineteenth century was all in favor of strong government infrastructure. The ideal of industrial capitalism was to keep the wage costs of production down not by reducing wages but having government provide a basic infrastructure to cover the basic
needs of employees. The governments would provide free education so that employers didn’t have to pay for it. The governments would provide medical care so that employees didn’t have to pay for it and employers wouldn’t have to pay employees enough money to cover the education costs and to cover the medical care costs. The government would build roads and infrastructure and everything to facilitate the overall cost of doing business by industrial capital.

Well finance capitalism is just the reverse. Finance capitalism wants to privatize and take education, medical care, roads, turn the roads into toll roads, and take all of these and privatize them and make them financial corporations that will essentially pay out their economic rent to the bondholders and the stockholders and this economic rent adds to the cost of education and everything else that workers need to live on so the result is to make it a high cost economy and that’s why Biden has said China and Russia are America’s enemies because the only way that America can succeed given our privatized economy, given the fact that Americans have to pay up to forty three percent of their income for rent, given the fact that eighteen percent of America’s GDP is for medical care, given the heavy student loan debt–only if other countries tie themselves in the same knot, only if other countries impose the same economic overhead on their labor force and on their industry can there be equal competition.

If other countries have a mixed economy and are more efficient because they have an active government providing basic needs, that’s “autocracy” and that’s the opposite of “democracy.” Democracy is where everything is privatized and ultimately the one percent own everything.

Autocracy is any government that’s strong enough to have its own public investment. Any government strong enough to tax or regulate the financial sector is called “autocracy” so the U.S. in the 19th century would be called an autocracy as I guess the Austrian school called it – civilization is basically an “autocracy.”

There never has been an unmixed economy without government regulation, without a government investment, although Rome began to get to that point at the end of its empire and we all know what happened to it. So basically, finance capitalism is a predatory international economic policy aimed at draining the rest of the world all to pay the leading one percent of wealth holders in the U.S. and their satellite oligarchy in England and a few European countries.

Notice how, as always, evil lurks in the endless redefinitions and word spells. The inversions, subversions, and perversions are endless, and remember, we have been told that the root of all evil is the love of money. Therefore, it should be no surprise that an economic system entirely focused on money would prove to be unmitigated evil.

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The Potemkin “Tech” Industry

Russia and China have figured out what Westerners should have known for decades:

Russia has fined Google about US$373 million for allowing users to access, “prohibited” material about the war in Ukraine and other restricted content. The material was said to include materials attempting to discredit Russia’s military, as well as exhortations to protest the Russian government, according to Roskomnadzor, the country’s communications regulator. It added that the company has proven a “systemic” violator of national laws regarding content.

Google has not commented on the fines.

The company’s local subsidiary had declared bankruptcy last month after Russian authorities had seized its bank account to recover 7.2 billion rubles, or US$130 million which the company had been fined for similar violations last year.

The moves are part of a broader regulatory push by the Russian government to place pressure on tech firms, which they accuse of not moderating their content in accordance with Russian laws, and of trying to meddle in the nation’s internal affairs.

The key phrase: “trying to meddle in the nation’s internal affairs”. AC spells out the obvious conclusion.

It is clear at this point all of these tech companies are just subsidiaries of our intelligence apparatus. And given it is no coincidence that every top tech company is just taking orders from intel, that means intel has been throughout our economic system deciding who wins and who loses, and making sure it is their operations who win every time. We were never in a capitalist system, any more than we elected our leaders. All along, the idea you could have a killer app, form a business, and be just like Bill Gates was just a myth. Intel was always deployed domestically, even throughout the world of American business, working against any American who was not on their payroll and under their control.

We’re going to need a new economic theory simply to explain the way in which the “capitalist” system has been functioning since the 1980s at the absolute latest. Everything that we’re taught in microeconomics is observably untrue; the winners in far too many industries are evidently not determined by efficiency or competition or even luck, but rather by the hidden, but heavy hand of secret government funding.

It’s very much like the oft-criticized industrial policy of Japan, only on steroids. Instead of MITI selecting key industries in which to invest for maximizing economic growth, Big Brother is selecting favored corporations in every industry in which to invest for a) gathering information for the Panopticon and b) establishing official narratives.

Among other things, this absconomic theory will explain why modern corporations, from technology to entertainment, are increasingly unable to address the basic needs and preferences of their nominal customers.

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The Elite Faked Their Vaxxes

As we all suspected even before the likes of Boris Johnson were being publicly “vaccinated” by syringes with the cap on, it appears that a significant portion of the corporate elite may have arranged to avoid the experimental gene therapies to which the masses were repeatedly subjected.

Jose Maria Fernandez Sousa-Faro, president of European pharmaceuticals giant PharmaMar, has been charged by police with being falsely vaccinated against Covid-19. Dr. Sousa-Faro has been caught up in a scandal in Europe involving people being added to the National Immunization Registry in exchange for large sums of money, with many of them familiar faces and household names.

Police allege that Sousa-Faro arranged to be injected with a saline solution instead of a Covid-19 vaccination and paid thousands of dollars to have his name added to Spain’s immunization register, as confirmed by police sources and reported by El Periodico de Espana.

Dr. Sousa-Faro is among more than 2,200 celebrities and European elites on the list drawn up by National Police of those falsely vaccinated against Covid. According to El Mundo, Spanish police carried out the investigation called Operation Jenner which uncovered the vast network of celebrities and elites who have paid money to have their names fraudulently entered on the National Immunization Register, despite refusing to be vaccinated.

The leader of the network was a nursing assistant at the La Paz University Hospital, where he is accused of charging more than €200,000 euros for fraudulently registering 2,200 people as vaccinated in the National Registry against Covid-19. He has been arrested and is currently in custody.

On a surprise scale of 1 to 100, this is about a 4. It was fairly obvious that the globalist elites were getting saline because they haven’t been dropping dead at the same rate as ordinary people. About the only thing I find surprising is that it doesn’t appear to have been officially organized by some high-level WHO agency.

I suspect at least twice as many people are unvaccinated as are presently believed to be.

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It’s All Fake

And, of course, gay. Karl Denninger contemplates the possibility that social media is a mirage:

Twitter claims that “less than 5% of the users on their system are bots/spam/fake.” Ok, that’s testable. It’s also very material to the value of the company. Indeed its the entire reason someone buys advertising on these sites and thus forms the basis of the entire firm’s value; if the entire site is full of bots and not people then the value of said “advertising” and thus the company’s value is zero.

So Musk asked (in public, natch) for the evidence that the “less than 5% bot” claim was true.

Twitter’s CEO refused to provide said evidence, claiming that it would require disclosing “non-public” information.

Well, once you have an agreement to acquire something you get to look. It’s no different than a house; if you think there might be something wrong with the foundation you can have it inspected. Your purchase contract allows you to perform diligence to your satisfaction and further, if the seller is aware of a material falsehood that is part of the representations made he’s required to disclose it.

As someone who has sold a company anything you represent as true is certainly fair game for the buyer to ask to see in evidence and that absolutely includes anything you publicly claimed to be true under penalty of perjury in a 10Q or 10K.

The argument that its “non-public” information that is used to prove this is crap; the entire purpose of the NDA that you sign when you enter into such a transaction and perform your diligence is that you get to look under the Kimono to your satisfaction.

So…. what’s really going on here?

Never mind this report — that basically half of Biden’s “follows” are fake. Worse, 70% of Musk’s are too according to that article.

Would you mind explaining to me how “less than 5% of the accounts are bots” when half of the President of the United States’ accounts and 70% of Elon Musk’s are, by audit, fake?

More to the point: What percentage of “people” (“Daily Average Users” and “Monthly Average Users”) allegedly on these social media sites are actually….. people?

Is there any actual value in these “social media” firms at all or are they all ENRON on steroids?

I know it’s all fraudulent, because I’ve been able to see the difference between a) a blog post, b) a Twitter tweet with 33k followers, c) a Facebook post, d) a Gab post with 30k followers, and e) a Darkstream comment for years. The only two that ever moves the needle much were (a) and (e), with a distinct advantage to (a).

Mike Cernovich told me, several years ago, that he had reached similar conclusions, and his Twitter following dwarfed mine.

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