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THE TWITTER FILES — FTA News — Monday, Dec. 12, 2022

— Catch Up; The Twitter Files; I’m All In on Twitter and Here’s Why; Food Preparations; Hit & Run; Pet Peeve

Catch Up

It has been a weird week. Low productivity. Low motivation. Low energy.

I dunno, happens sometimes for inexplicable reasons, I guess. The only thing I can put my finger on is the weather. Damn place just does not want to let go of the rains and this, after showing signs for a few days of the annual climate change that typically happens earlier in the season.

…Or, it’s all the fucked up paperwork with my motorcycle. Long story. Bought it in Chiang Mai in early 2020, so almost three years ago. Could not transfer it to my name because that requires a certificate of residency, which requires an appropriate visa (I was still on tourist visa), and the shit flows on down from there.

I left Chiang Mai for rural Isaan in mid-May (2020), and after deciding I’d stay, I returned to Chiang Mai to clean out my flat and ship my motorcycle. Only, I couldn’t ship it via the Thai Post because it wasn’t in my name (yet) and was delinquent in annual registration/tax, plus other shit. Fortunately, the seller agreed to take care of it so I could leave. A week later, the bike shows up at the Thai Post in Kukhan, 1000 KM from Chiang Mai.

Yea, you can “mail” your motorbike in Thailand. Most destinations are around $100 or less. Just take it to the post office, fill out the forms, pay the fee. They even bubble-wrap it for you.

A month or so later I get my visa, which allows me to get a certificate of residency, which allows me to transfer the bike to my name. But by then, plus some foot dragging, I ended up moving to the Pattaya area and the bike came with me. I secured my drivers licenses (auto and MC) and then set about to get the bike transferred to me.

On the advice of a Thai friend, I contacted her friend who works at the transportation office and could get this done for me. That required papers, of course, and I had to drive up to have the serial numbers verified. Just by the skin of my teeth, I managed to get the Green Book, which is like a master registration that stays with the bike and passes from owner to owner. What I didn’t get was a new plate.

See, what they did was transfer it from Chiang Mai province to Chon Buri province, in my name, with a new plate number. The plate would come later. They’ll mail it to me.

That was 2 years ago. It still has the Chiang Mai plate. It’s also almost a year delinquent on registration/tax.

Then I got it painted all cool, as shown here last week. Plus, just a couple of weeks ago I was able to renew my drivers licenses. Initially, they’re good for 2 years and upon renewal, good for 5. So that’s welcome.

Thought I was almost done, except for the wrong plate and I’d given up on that (and police don’t seem to care) since I have the Green Book corect. So, let’s go get the registration/tax paid current, so I go to the little inspection station in Rawai where you give ’em your Green Book and they get it done.

Snag.

The bike is a different color and there’s a whole procedure (and paperwork) for that.

Turns out there’s this agent a few clicks away and they can get just about anything done. They’re even going to fix the plate issue by transferring it to a Phuket registration where a plate can be issued.

And, I have to go and get yet another certificate of residence, and that requires a whole new stack of paper.

All together, about 4500 baht ($130 US) for 7 line-items of shit that needs to be done. I’d complain, but that total fee is less than half of what it cost in 2019 to pay the California registration on my 2006 BMW X5. So.

The Twitter Files

—Should I be embarrassed over making a big deal about deleting all social media accounts?

In The Definitive Case For Deleting Social Media, I argued that good reasons for getting off it were:

  • It’s an irrational-fear spreading platform
  • It’s makes people mental and obsessive
  • Steals the times of your life
  • You’re tending to someone else’s garden, not your own

To the second point, above, I wrote:

I think where it’s not creating more and more plain crazy people, sociopaths, psychopaths, and assholes, it’s at least creating a lot of frustration, obsession, anger, and plain unhappiness.

I think that still holds.

I followed that up with Social Media Costs You Big Bucks!

I’m the one writing this because I was the worst. Best hear it from me. Best hear me out and think about it.

I had already deleted Facebook in 2014 in a rare glimpse of insight, almost never looked at Twitter, and didn’t even have Instagram. Then, Trump happened, I saw his imperfect but nonetheless sound value to American Society, and before long I was engaged to the hilt. Since then; for years. Over all tops, drunken on it all. […]

My base and essential point is: what has all this wanking about done for me?

Fuck All is the answer. Not a damn thing. Utterly squandered thousands of hours over years of needless agitation. I fell for CRISIS!!!

Not one damn penny and lots and lots of opportunity cost which I already kinda knew, but the last nearly 3 weeks have spanked my ass good and hard.

Mind space and attention freed up, I’m going in directions I hadn’t even thought about, and some of those will be revealed in months to come.

So, OK, you say, “but Richard, you obviously make your own hours, so I can understand how using them to generate ideas to execution to income rather than squandering the time on social media absolutely works, but what about us employees, putting in our time?”

How does getting off Social Media help that?

In retrospect, all of this was judged and written from the perspective of using mostly only Facebook and Instagram for the previous years. I’d hardly looked at Twitter since maybe 2013 or 14. I even missed the doubling of max characters from 140 to 280 in 2017.

I did jump in from time to time, especially when on a Facebook ban, but it felt foreign and I never stuck around. So, I’ve been content about it over the last 15 months or so of deletion. And, plus, I did set up a simple blank account on FB so that I could use Marketplace which is the go-to for buying and selling stuff here. Plus, I have an FB page for this blog, just as a billboard. But they’re never used for anything beyond that, no problem. Over it.

Musk’s proposal to outright buy Twitter and making it a private company was outlandish. Crazy. Billions?

This got me think about a lot of stuff, lots of different ways.

In Elon Musk Is Making Twitter Fun Again — MTFA, I wrote:

When all is said and done, the only thing that really matters is that Twitter is fun again, and not the equivalent of watching North Korean television programming (which I’m sure is just wonderfully inspiring…for all comrades) as it has been for years.

This is a broad rule of thumb that applies widely. For the most part, things that are genuinely fun (and not stupid) for mature and serious people are wholesome and life lifting. Drudgery and toil may put essential food on the table but other than that, it’s unhealthy and not fit for human consumption.

Most jobs are unhealthy and unfit for humans…

And damn, Elon isn’t even shitposting and it’s still fun. He unbanned Trump, but Trump isn’t back to shitposting and it’s still fun.

What more is there to say on this score? Twitter hasn’t been fun anymore since it got woke some years back. It got to be preachy, judgmental, prejudice, presumptuous and took itself too seriously as any agent for change.

Ironically, it is an important agent for change, but that only works one way: positive and fun. What Elon is doing. In the hands of serious leftist commies, it just doesn’t work. It garners fringe elements who are active and loud…and totally no fun whatsoever.

And very simply, only other fringe elements get engaged with that sort of thing and the vast majority just isn’t interested.

Twitter is breaking user and engagement records not because free speech is such an explicit need and desire, but because people just wanted to have fun again on Twitter.

So it’s kinda come up that when it all comes back around and you take a fresh look at it, you realize what was missing.

Social media used to be fun. That’s why it grew.

Then…well…everyone knows what happened then. It got woke. it got religion. Kinda like going commie and immediately instituting commie-style reforms on everything.

It got fervent and serious.

Life and death.

No fun.

…And then I realized the insights dropping alcohol brought (see my series MY EASY WAY To Stop Drinking Forever), the chief one being that the reason cessation was difficult to impossible before is that my life wasn’t engineered around living in fun and working only to keep having fun—to keep doing what I was doing.

When the latter happened…just by one thing leading to another and I find myself living rather permanently as an expat in Thailand—on a tropical island with sun and sea and sand and sexy women—alcohol went from being a coping mechanism to assuage being in a life I wasn’t really digging, to being an impediment to greater fulfillment in my new fun life. That’s why I say that dropping it was a cinch and it still is.

And so for Twitter… After all the wailing, the hand waving, the gnashing of teeth…Twitter is measurably fun again and that’s just going to trump a lot of resistance to the changes Elon is making, most of which I support—also always remembering that I’m not there, having the same context and facts he has, so much benefit of the doubt is called for if something seems off at first.

…The big deal now, if you haven’t been following, is something called the #TwitterFiles. They’re gathering all the internal information related to Twitter’s censorship practices, its banning, its shadowbanning, etc.

  1. Twitter Files Part 1
  2. Twitter Files Part 2
  3. Twitter Files Part 3
  4. Twitter Files Part 4

Basically, unless your head is in the sand or you live under a rock, nothing is the slightest bit surprising. And, we all “knew” this was going on, just didn’t have the wherewithal to prove it.

Now it’s proved and more will be proved. And, it’s as bad as you thought and how bad can it be? Well, they were doing everything they could do as an arm of the DNC, including having secret communications and in-person meetings with FBI, DHS, and HHS (and probably others).

They engaged in active election interference for the benefit of Democrats. In short, they did everything they could possibly do to make sure prominent Republicans and candidates for office in active elections were suppressed, while likely bolstering Democrats (though such documentation hasn’t been released yet, if it exists).

…Just as you would suspect happened if you have a brain and a few ounces of intellectual honesty and dashes of integrity.

There’s another thread that’s not within the “official release” stuff, I guess, but is by a third party, detailed by lawyer Jeff Childers in his Coffee & Covid Newsletter.

Taibbi can be forgiven for overlooking the biggest implication of this story, since he’s drinking Twitter Files through a firehose, cobbling reports together in real time, and he hasn’t had space to connect with the other part yet, never mind think about it all.

The biggest developing story isn’t about how the Deep State bent, tore, and spindled the Constitution, committing what may be the larges and most widespread civil rights violation in American history. No.

It’s way, way uglier than that.

Among other courageous folks, Twitter recruited independent child safety advocate Andrea Stroppa to help its content team eliminate child sexual exploitation (CSE) material from the platform. They gave her access to the Twitter Files, and yesterday Stroppa delivered her first report about what she found was going on before Musk took over.

Stroppa described old Twitter’s approach to moderating CSE as “hell” and “insane,” which turned out to be an understatement. It’s like describing the Baatan Death March as a difficult hike in the woods.

Ms. Stroppa easily located accounts with stomach-turning, blatant pedophile CSE that were active for YEARS — some opened back in 2017 — accounts that had never been banned, but instead had over TEN MILLION VIEWS. Ten million! They’ve all been banned now, of course, but Stroppa discovered that, under Twitter’s old management, whenever the content moderation team got a complaint about CSE, they just deleted a tweet or two, but then allowed the degenerate accounts to keep operating normally and churning out despicable child abuse material.

All the tools Twitter had developed to shadow-ban, de-accelerate, un-search, and flag tweets with ridiculous content warnings, those tools were never deployed against the people who were industriously and illegally traumatizing kids. In other words, people who were committing REAL ACTUAL illegal conduct. Twitter didn’t crack down on that. Nope.

Instead Twitter cracked down HARD on law-abiding conservatives complaining about stolen votes and vaccine injuries.

Yoel Roth, Twitter’s content moderation director, is a moral monster, a living demon, a reprehensible criminal who should be shunned by all right-thinking people, if not prosecuted and entombed in solitary confinement for the rest of his life. It’s fair to hold Roth personally responsible for years of exploited children, since he was in a position to prevent it, but didn’t.

There’s no valid excuse. It wasn’t an accident. Roth’s failure to moderate CSE can only be the result of an intentional choice.

Roth spent all his time shutting down tweets and tweeters. That was his JOB. He had a vast staff with which to do it. He worked hard at it. But he DIDN’T do his job when it came to pedophiles and CSE. For some reason. I’m not saying it’s determinative, but for context, Roth is gay. Super gay.

Don’t worry too much about him though; he’ll be okay. Roth will probably burrow his way into a high-paying tenured professorship and infest some marxist college somewhere. He’ll get away with it. But don’t get hung up on that.

Believe it or not, Roth is small potatoes.

Think instead about all those content-moderation meetings with the FBI, DHS, and the CIA. Consider all the reports U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agents submitted about law-abiding citizens. Ponder all the time spent coordinating between Twitter’s content moderation team and the teams of well-paid civil servants employed full-time ostensibly to protect the defenseless children of this great nation.

But they DIDN’T protect the children of this country, though, did they?

Obviously, the FBI and DHS never spent one single minute on child sexual exploitation. That wasn’t on the agenda of any of those meetings and reports and calls and zooms. They didn’t have time for KIDS. They were too busy playing politics. They KNEW about the CSE on Twitter. They just didn’t CARE about the CSE on Twitter.

Or worse.

THAT is the biggest story crawling out of the smoldering remains of the Twitter Files’ dumpster fire. The intentional, unforgivable, inexplicable dereliction of duty of the United States’ law enforcement and intelligence agencies, who totally abdicated their proper duties in a vain pursuit of self-preservation, because they were worried President Trump would get to the bottom of their own dissolute, depraved, and debauched interests.

The FBI is 1,000 times more morally culpable for systemic child abuse than is Yoel Roth, which is really saying something. The Twitter Files already prove it. There’s no legitimate excuse for the FBI’s total failure to investigate and prosecute child porn purveyors and kiddie traffickers, when the agency had so much intimate access to Twitter, if not outright control of the platform.

There’s no legitimate excuse for why the FBI prioritized cracking down on lawful tweets about covid vaccines and election suspicions over rampant illegal child pornography and criminally explicit abuse. None.

The only rational conclusion can be that the FBI is no longer a law-enforcement agency. It’s a political secret police force that covers for pedophiles.

This explosive story is only getting started.

None of this should be surprising to anyone. Feigning surprise only exposes one as stupid and gullible. Who in the world believed Twitter when its CEO, Jack Dorsey, reaffirmed that Twitter doesn’t do any of this shit and certainly nothing whatsoever based upon ideological and political differences?

Who in the world didn’t know he and they were bald-faced lying their asses off?

The only thing is, it’s worse than even imagined. The US government was in on it too, behind the back of the administration. Trump’s own government working behind his back, with major media, to censor and suppress his political support while at the same time, enhance his opposition.

He sure did a lousy job “draining the swamp.” That, and how he got so badly pawned on Covid, lockdowns, masks, and vaccines experimental drugs is why I’m totally lukewarm on him, going forward.

Then, to top it off, come to find out that as the Trump administration’s own law enforcement agencies were actively working with Twitter to influence the outcome of the election in favor of Democrats, they were also ignoring active proof of crime and not just any crime…sexual crimes against prepubescent children.

I just have to shake my head and come to grips with the observable reality that none of this shit is in any way fixable. I’ve been harping for decades. Largely without effect and I’m not the only one. And then one day when it looks like hey, you’ve always been right about this shit, how bad governments are, etc.

Etc…

…Still not much happening or going to happen.

I’m convinced that nothing short of mass economic devastation, hunger, starvation, and soup lines will even begin to make a dent towards revamping anything at all.

I’m All In on Twitter and Here’s Why

Enjoy your life as best you can while you still can is really the only advice I can think of to give anyone.

I’m in this blogging and videoing situation where my activities are entwined with current events to some extent. So, I’m in a continual tug-of-war as to whether to put stuff up about dismissing it all and carving out a nice life that depends upon any of it to the least amount possible…to having to explain why to dump it all.

And my explanation as to why that is, quite obviously, is that there’s apparently fuck-all anyone can do about it, regardless of how determined. Even when it seems you have a toe hold, and Trump in 2016 represented a toe-hold by the bare skin-of-teeth.

And it comes to pass over the next six years that the biggest revelation is that entrenched political elite in the Republican party have no interest in fixing anything at all and actively work against them while often giving lip service, and Fox News is the biggest promoter of that lip service.

So in that context, who’s the worst of the major cable news media? The real worst?

Is it the media outlets who are transparent and unabashed operatives for the DNC, so you always know you’re getting their politics and lies as usual, or is it the channel that claims to be fair, balanced, honest, and an agent for change…but really, gives standing and prominence to entrenched Republican elites who always say things to placate the conservative, family-values constituencies but not only do nothing to steer anything that way fundamentally but rather, work behind the scenes to sabotage real and meaningful changes to governance toward more transparency and family-values conservatism?

This is the subtile perniciousness that is Fox News. Essentially, they put up enough sound material from conservative, family-values perspectives that their general support of the status quo and the never-ending antagonism that brings their ratings and pays their fat, obscene salaries is concealed from all but the most astute dot-connecting, often cynical, synthesisers amongst us.

…So where does that leave me?

Well, I’m looking at is like this. This 19-yr blog project with its 5000+ posts in the archive is the baby. Some months back I got into Tubing and I think it worried a few…that I’d be shifting to videos. It looked that way but what was really going on is that I was developing a place for it. I’d always done videos here and there to complement or enhance posts—or now and then, to be posts of their own.

Now, they’re just a more frequent complement to posts and are on track to diverge into YT being somewhat of an independent audience of people who just watch my videos, but chances for new followers of the blog also come from that.

That leaves me devoid of a social media presence to develop new potential followers (paying subscribers) to the blog, via writing. Facebook and Instagram are jokes in that regard. I get quite a lot of engagement on Pinterest from time-to-time but only on Pinterest itself. Nothing converts to bog traffic or new followers that’s big enough to notice.

Yet even with my modest following of 110 on Twitter as of right now (40+ over the last few days, down from 8k years before), engagement with the blog is measurable.

Twitter is just different. Lots of people use it as a jumping off point for material elsewhere. So that’s where I’m placing my bets. That means that the last week or so have been pretty Twitter-focussed as I develop its place in my daily ops just as I’ve done with the video.

Both are there to serve the blog in as many ways as I can use them to do that.

I’ve stumbled on an amazing tool to help with that. It automates Twitter for me in ways that would be a full-time job. It costs $20 per month, but I get it for $15 because I pay in baht and it’s a 30% discount for “Thais.”

It’s called Hypefury and here’s my affiliate link to it. This isn’t applicable to anyone who’s not using Twitter for business. But if you are or plan to be, this is your ticket. I tested a few tools, including Hypefury, which I was leaning towards anyway. Then I reached out to some people I know who tweet a lot and have large followings. Hypefury 4EV (‘forevah’ …I had to look it up, too).

I did a video showing some of its features and detailed as to the one I love the most.

In the end, here’s my assessment of all the #TwitterFiles revelations.

  1. First, make clear distinctions as to what activities are legal vs. illegal
  2. Judge the former against standard business and customer service practices
  3. Judge the latter like prosecutors, defense lawyers, judges, and juries do

So, lots of what’s in the “files” isn’t illegal and Twitter is perfectly within its rights as a business to have any policies it wants. For instance, it can have no prohibitions against posting adult pornographic material (it does not) at the same time it has prohibitions against innuendo that might be construed in whatever way a biased adjudicator wants. You don’t even have to read the rules to see how often they’re interpreted in ad-hoc, one-off fashion in order to “justify” a desired outcome.

By giving such a stark view into the belly of the beast here, what Elon has done—for those astute enough—is show the inner working of large institutional bureaucracies the world over. They all work like that.

There are no exceptions.

It would be a good time to watch the great film Conspiracy.

Conspiracy is a 2001 made-for-television drama film that dramatises the 1942 Wannsee Conference. Using the authentic script taken from the only surviving transcript recorded during the meeting, the film delves into the psychology of Nazi officials involved in the “Final Solution of the Jewish question” during World War II.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_(2001_film)

What you lean in that film is the same thing the #TwitterFiles teach you. First, there’s a desired outcome. Second comes the justification of that outcome through a complex web of appeals to policies, interpretations, expert opinions, laws, regulations, precedents, etc.

This becomes most feverish, detailed, complex, incongruent, dissonant, and so on…the more seemingly offensive the desired outcome is. For instance, exterminating the Jews was a pretty offensive desired outcome, so they really had to have their legal ducks all in a row for that one.

Simple, obvious, common-sense judgments and outcomes don’t require much justification beyond a citation to a law, regulation, or policy. Often, no explanation of its application to the offense is required.

Not so at Twitter.

Not so much of anyplace.

Nobody cares, so be informed and aware, but go engineer and craft a life for yourself where all this stuff has the least impact upon you, and enjoy the times of your one and only life.

I suggest to you that engagement with me on this blog is a prime good place to do both…to be informed so you know and to live to the fullest extent you can.

Food Preparations

I dumped my gas BBQ grill and bought an air fryer and a microwave.

The BBQ was just so damn messy. Yea, the kitchen is open to the outside on one wall the the small space was a disaster.

So I emptied the kitchen and since the tile floor has a drain, I hosed the whole thing down. Then I went and made my purchases. What a difference it makes. I blaze through meals and have little cleanup. Perfect for a one-man show such as I maintain. You can click them open for the large sizes in Lightbox.

From top left, I had to do chicken wings first. 10 minutes on full blast, flip and 10 more. Favorite herbs & spices. Then it was a 12 oz pork tenderloin and I was damn impressed with the job the air fryer did on that in 12 minutes. I nuked a potato and that only takes 6 minutes. I had time to spare. A cup of milk gravy in the microwave, 3 minutes. I use a protein shake container to shake up the gravy at 2 minutes and 1 minute.

Burger sandwich. I’ve mentioned this before, but you can spend a lifetime with burger seasonings and fixin’s and not get half of the bang you can by mixing in 1/2 tsp of MSG per pound of ground beef. I’m just tellin’ ya.

What in the hell is that last thing? I’m calling it Mercan Poutine. As you may know, poutine is a Canadian garbage dish which is generally fries topped with cheese curds topped with gravy.

I topped a dense slice of multi-grain toasted dark with an air-fryer burger patty. Topped that with a thick slice of tomato, topped all that with 3 eggs scrambled in butter and coconut oil, then topped the whole thing with my leftover onion gravy and mushroom milk gravies mixed together.

And yes, it’s fucken fantastic. Delicious…xr̀xy…อร่อย…pronounced ‘uhruhy.’

Oh, hey, my friend Nida, owner of Roxanne Bar—who I’ve known since day 1 here in Rawai has started making breakfast starting at 07.00.

That would include 2 eggs, 3 bacon, 1 cumberland, hash browns, mushrooms, grilled tomato, baked beans, and 2 toast. 150 baht ($4.30). She does the potatoes perfectly and when I asked what she cooks them in, the answer was “bacon oil,” of course. Sort of an English-American breakfast fusion.

I did put together a cooking breakfast doing my own breakfast using the air fryer and microwave (plus hot plate).

I’m at nearly 5,000 words, so I’m going to hold Hit & Run and Pet Peeve for the next time.

Housekeeping note: The subscription prices double on January 1, 2023, to $12, $100, and $500 for monthly, annual, and lifetime. There’s two weeks left to lock in the current prices forever. Oh, wait…actually, lock in current prices plus get a discount. CLICK HERE for details.

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Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2022, contains over 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

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