Friday, July 28, 2017

Photobucket says Photo-f***-it as it announces a policy of extortion

commercial photography locationsI know, I ripped the title off from this piece. Call me lazy. Whatever. I'm too pissed off to care.
Two days ago, I found that images I had both on my blog template and posted in individual entries had been substituted with some strange notice featuring an illustration of a meter and informing me that third-party image hosting "has been temporarily disabled."
The problem is that Photobucket is lying. At the very least, it is subtlely misleading its 100 million users, some of whom have faithfully been using it for a decade or more. (The company launched in 2003.) The situation is temporary until you cough up $399 for its "P500" plan.
Forget for one moment the bizarre naming of its shakedown plan. If it costs nearly 400 bucks to get one's ransomed photos to re-appear, how does "500" come into it? I don't trust any company that forces me to ponder something as mundane as this.
Here's the thing: If the fee was a one-off, that would be at least be some kind of concession to its subscribers. I doubt that customers would have reacted with as much understandable rage and consternation. I still wouldn't have paid, but enough would and Photobucket could have raised more than enough revenue.
The fee, it turns out, is yearly. You have to divvy up four-hundred dollars every year to keep your images in your blog, forum or Amazon or eBay pages. What's even worse than having to pay an extortionate fee every twelve months is that the majority of Photobucket users were not given adequate notice. The company literally sprang this change in terms and conditions on them. Photobucket stresses that it alerted users via e-mail, but I never received one, and I am far from alone in having been not only misinformed but taken completely by surprise. Customer service. No-one delivers it in more snarky fashion than Photobucket. I've got news for this company: Its name is now mud.
Photobucket CEO John Corpus recently told The Denver Post, "There is no way to make 100 million global people happy." Uhm, yes, there is, Señor Corpus. One, you don't charge them $399 every year for image hosting. Two, you don't just throw such a change of policy at them. Three, you might have thought about other avenues for revenue growth. You've been the CEO for a year and this was the best you could come up with, jefe? Give me a freakin' break. Perhaps this toolbag could use the money it costs him to fly from San Francisco to Denver once a week toward operating costs and, golly gee, actually live in the city where the company is based. Just a thought.
Now wait for it. You know what's coming next. After pontificating about not being able to adequately satisfy his customers, Corpus told the reporter, "It wasn't an easy decision." Bing, bing, bing! Raise the corporate-speak alarm. "It/this wasn't an easy decision" is right up there with "blue-sky thinking" and "thinking outside the box." I wonder how much Corpus had to "touch base" with his staff to "incentivize" a "win-win". And you know what a "win-win" is, don't you? The company and shareholders win. You, the poor consumer schmuck, lose.
Futhermore, I'll be damned if I'll pay that much every year for a sluggish website plagued by clickbait and other advertisements. There is an ad-free option for $2.49 per month, but that will probably quadruple in price without notice if Señor Corpus's record is anything to go by. Only a few months ago, Photobucket users were irate when its upload platform became dysfunctional. There was a work-around by which one could upload through the library, but no-one expects to have to dick around with quick-fixes on a supposedly premier photo-sharing website.
Photobucket used to be simple, direct and easy-to-use. It clicked every box on the user-friendly checklist. It's a shame what has become of it. I was frustrated with Photobucket long before this policy change, but the only reason I continued using it was that I did not want to have to replace my images on this blog. Turns out, I have to do that anyway. Thanks, Photobucket! That's a lot of unnecessary work that I didn't need.
I won't wish too much ill-will on Photobucket because I do not want to take my anger out on its employees. It's not their fault that the CEO for whom they work is a greedy SOB. According to the Denver Post article, the company has already reduced its workforce and I would not wish unemployment on anyone other than vivisectionists, the baby butchers of Planned Parenthood, deep state Obama holdovers or 98 percent of Congress.
Having said that, I will not pay the company's ransom for my photos and other images. I suggest using or You don't even have to sign in—just upload your image, grab your .gif or .jpg and you're good to go.
In the meantime, bear with me, dear reader. I've already replaced all my images for this year, but I have a whole decade's worth of entries to pour through. So if you happen upon an earlier entry and are curious about any missing content, just check back in a month or two. It's going to be a lot of work and I'm going to have to take my time with it.
Please go and sign James Cann's petition to encourage Photobucket to reverse its policy regarding third-party image hosting. As of this writing it needs only 44 more signatures to reach the required 1,500 mark. Thank you.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

American media continues to display ignorance and irrationality

commercial photography locationsHere are reasons number 1,456,788 and 1,456,789 why you cannot and should not trust the mainstream media, dear reader.
Poppy Harlow—a blonde CNN filly—was reporting on President Donald Trump's visit to Paris which occurred during France's Bastille Day festivities. A military band played the Star-Spangled Banner, the U.S. national anthem—something your average six-year-old can properly identify—as Mr. Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron shook hands. Hearing that music was being played, Harlow realized that she should button up until it ended.
"Let's just listen in to the French National Anthem for just a moment," she instructed her audience. Columbia University is still turning out journalistic geniuses, I see. Harlow corrected herself about ten seconds later after somebody at the network who actually possesses a brain whispered to her from behind the set.
Not to be outdone by Harlow, the senior White House correspondent for CNN Jeff Zeleny told his audience of Rhodes scholars that the Bastille Day celebration "marks the 100th year of when the U.S. started helping—entered World War I."
Started helping? Right, because Americans were just so keen on pulling Europe's nuts out of the flames. But hey, it was all cool because a Democrat got us into a war. Just replace "Remember the Maine" with "Over There," and voilà, instant patriotism brought to you by the government/military complex. Just don't ask what Woodrow Wilson thought about black Americans and maybe we can keep World War I revisionism alive for another one hundred years.
Imagine Zeleny resting back in his chair with the smugness that all obvious know-it-alls like him radiate. Then, eventually, the news of his gaffe somehow filters through to him so that, two hours later, while pre-recording "The Lead with Jake Tapper," Zeleny noted that the President was "invited by [French] President Macron to celebrate Bastille Day and the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I." Zeleny is noted to have added some oomph to the word "and" in that declaration.
So, mes amis, let me hear you say, "Well, it was on the news, so it must be true."
Let's just have a run-down of the latest happenings, all of which the media is ignoring as it dutifully brings us even more news about how Donald Trump and Co. flew to the Moon and back on a pegasus with the help of Vladimir Putin and the Russkies.

  • Over 400 people, including more than a hundred doctors, were charged by the Department of Justice over $1.3 billion of health care fraud which was part of a larger sting involving the prescription and distribution of opioid drugs which are devastating the country. It is the largest takedown of Medicaid/Medicare fraud in U.S. history.
  • Sheldon Silver, former Hillary Clinton superdelegate and one of New York state's sleaziest politicians, who illegally earned $4 million during his time in the New York Assembly, was set free when an appeals court overturned his conviction of corruption. Ordinary citizens are stuck in prison cells for far less crimes.
  • A sick game called the "Blue Whale Challenge" is spreading like wildfire among adolescents and pre-teens in which fifty tasks must be completed, including taking pictures of one's self from atop a roof and carving symbols into one's arm. The last challenge, which many have live-streamed, is suicide. The "game" has already claimed over 100 people.
  • The Republicans' latest health-care bill reads very much as if it was written by the insurance companies and health-care industry lobbyists. It gets rid of the individual and employer mandates, but otherwise, this proposal is in several ways even worse than Obamacare. Far from "killing millions," as Nancy Pelosi or Elizabeth Warren allege, this will cause people's premiums to skyrocket. The insurance lobby, for proof that they oversaw the crafting of this bill, opposed Senator Ted Cruz's amendment to the legislation that would require insurers to sell coverage that doesn't meet Affordable Care Act standards.
  • Oh yes, let's not forget ... Two weeks ago, North Korea successfully launched an ICBM missile, something it had previously and repeatedly kept failing at. And our indispensable intelligence community knew nothing about the developments leading up to this? Instead of trying to overturn the election and spying on American citizens, perhaps the deep state could do its job? That fat little deranged inbred in Pyongyang could hit Anchorage in the near future, and we remain obsessed with removing Assad from power in Syria in a conflict that concerns us to no degree imaginable other than to decimate ISIS.

Has the media-at-large addressed these topics at any point? I know none of them are about climate change or migrants, the only two other subjects that could possibly albeit temporarily disrupt the Russia collusion cycle.
If being ignorant of basic facts and not reporting real, actual news isn't disturbing enough for you, dear reader, how about the Associated Press updating its venerated "Stylebook" to corrupt the English language by declaring certain conservative-oriented words forbidden.
The AP Stylebook is ubiquitous in media offices throughout the English-speaking world. All print and broadcast media employ it. We even had a copy of it at the UMass-Boston student newspaper. It dispenses advice on aspects of grammar and correct terminology. This has been the standard since its first edition in 1953.
As you have no doubt gathered, unless you're on a serious mind-trip, it is not 1953 anymore. Therefore, certain edits have been made to this journalistic tome. They include: 
  • Changing pro-life to "anti-abortion".
  • Wiping the term amnesty clean of any reference to illegal aliens.
  • Using the cumbersome "people struggling to reach Europe" in place of migrant or refugee. The word "refugee" is now verboten. Somebody please inform Tom Petty.
  • Changing terrorist or Islamist to "lone wolf" or "attacker". So, in future, we will be attacked by "attackers". Brilliant analysis, AP.
  • Of course, there is an alt-right according to these language prodigies to denote alleged fascists who embrace every "-ism" under the sun, but I guarantee that you will not see "alt-left" to describe anti-democratic process, violent, irrational progressives.

This very much brings to mind George Orwell's Ministry of Truth, described in his prescient novel 1984. In an excellent essay entitled "Control the Language, Control the Masses," New Oxford Review editor Pieter Vree describes the process involved in thought control:
The close link between clarity in language and clarity of thought has not been lost on power-seekers of all stripes. Love him or hate him, Saul Alinsky was spot on when he wrote, "He who controls the language controls the masses." History has proved him right on this score: The social acceptance of homosexuality, for example, was made possible in no small part by the substitution of the word gay for homosexual in popular discourse. The latter term simply sounds weird whereas the former sounds friendlier and connotes happiness. Likewise, the debate over abortion was decisively swayed when its advocates began calling themselves pro-choice. Anyone can be against abortion, but who could be against "choice"?
That essay was published in The New York Times. Oh, wait, no it wasn't. According to that bastion of news that was never fit to print, Vree must surely be collaborating with the Russians. By daring to allege that news is fake, "democracy dies in darkness." We know that's true, because The Washington Post tells us so every day in its slogan. Jeff Bezos wouldn't lie to us, now would he?
When a person in future opines, "I read it in the paper, so it has to be true," whose truth will he or she be referencing? It is worth asking yourself that question. Still trust the darlings of the media that you tune into every evening, my sheeple?

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

CNN and MSNBC: "We could get away with our BS if only it wasn't for that pesky President!"

commercial photography locationsEveryone has heard by now how the lid has been blown off the fake news cauldron that is CNN. James O'Keefe, the intrepid conservative activist and founder of Project Veritas, sent one of his reporters to have a chat with the network's executive producer John Bonifield. This is a mere snippet from the exposé, yet it speaks volumes:
O'Keefe: (Voiceover) One story has monopolized President Trump's time in office like no other. Especially on CNN: Russia. In fact, since the inauguration CNN has mentioned Russia on their air nearly 16,000 times. So we sent our undercover reporters inside CNN to understand why and to determine if CNN even believes that the story is real. You're not going to believe what you're about to hear—or maybe you will. I'd like to introduce you to CNN's supervising producer John Bonifield in Atlanta. 
Reporter: So you believe the Russia thing's a little crazy, right? 
Bonifield: Even if Russia was trying to swing the election, we try to swing their elections. Our CIA is doing shit all the time. We're out there trying to manipulate governments. Like, you win because you know the game and you play it right. We just didn't play it right. 
Reporter: So why is CNN constantly like, 'Russia this, Russia that'? 
Bonifield: Because it's ratings. 
Reporter: Because it's ratings? 
Bonifield: Our ratings are incredible right now. 
O'Keefe: In May, CNN's ratings were significantly higher than they were the year before. The Russia story, and Trump, have made CNN millions.
Bonifield also told the Project Veritas reporter that after CNN's "reporting" on the Paris Climate Change Accord, chief executive Jeff Zucker informed everyone at the network to concentrate on the Russia story again. In the wake of this revelation, three "journalists" at CNN resigned, joining the ever-growing pile of rejects jettisoned from the network, including Kathy Griffin and Reza Aslan.
Not long after Bonifield admitted that the completely manufactured Russia story was all about ratings, the socialist agitator and host of "The Messy Truth" on CNN, Van Jones, opined that the Trump-Russia collusion narrative was "a nothingburger."
Finally, O'Keefe highlighted an associate producer for CNN's "New Day" program, Jimmy Carr, for bashing the American electorate. The reporter asks Carr about the legitimacy of questioning "the intellect of the American voter." Carr replied, "Oh, no. They're stupid as shit."
How does CNN fight back? By having Sesame Street's Elmo on a Facebook Live stream talking about how sad he felt that Syrian children could not come to America. Because it's all about the children for liberals, y'know? If that was really the case, maybe they could bring themselves to care about the nearly 60 million that were exterminated in the womb since 1973, and stop demanding the government funding of Planned Parenthood which does to newborn babies what even Josef Mengele would have refused to do. They could also consider the rotten public education they have saddled "the children" with through the Department of Education, Common Core and militant teacher's unions. They might even—gosh!—stop encouraging their sexualization at ever younger ages which does nothing to support their emotional development but does a shit-ton of damage to their psyches.

Oops, there I go getting tangential again ... If CNN treating Elmo like a war-weary, objective reporter is not asinine enough for you, we have MSNBC and the shenanigans of the "Morning Joe" show to really take your breath away.
After taking months of abuse—the usual unsubstantiated assertions that the country is being ruined by his presidency—from hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, the President, on June 29, explained on Twitter: "I heard poorly rated @MorningJoe speaks badly of me. Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year's Eve and insisted on joining me? She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!"
President Donald Trump may have been in the wrong to criticize Mika Brzezinski in such a fashion. That may demonstrate that he has not learned anything from the fallout over Megyn Kelly and the "blood coming out of her wherever" observation during the primaries. Brzezinski shot back by pulling a Little Marco, tweeting a close-up of a Cheerios box in which the statement "Made For Little Hands" is highlighted.
What may have been the final straw that prompted such a harsh tweet from the President is when Brzezinski had previously said on the program, "Nothing makes a man feel better than making a fake cover of a magazine about himself, lying every day and destroying the country."
So Trump made up some TIME magazine covers to hang around his golf clubs. Naturally, it's the end of the world. Along with the fact that he gets two scoops of ice cream at White House soirées while everyone else gets one. A riveting, breaking-news story, I should mention, provided by CNN. I'm surprised they didn't have Big Bird reporting on that one.
MSNBC is predictably crying foul. Trump, with the unsolicited help of O'Keefe, has just set one propagandist organization aflame. Time to take down another. Mark Kornhole Kornblau, the senior vice president of communications for NBC Universal, responded, "Never imagined a day when I would think to myself, 'it is beneath my dignity to respond to the President of the United States.'"
Yet the fact remains, Scarborough and Brzezinski were Trump's biggest fans in the wake of his electoral victory and during his inauguration and proceeded to turn on him for, you know, the ratings, and the fact that they dare not defy the puppet-master with the deep pockets. If you're CNN or MSNBC, you don't say no to George Soros.
What's really hilarious about the whole "Morning Joe" saga? Brzezinski and Scarborough could have taken the high road, but the day after news of the Twitter war between them and the President broke, they instead dedicated the entirety of the show to that nonsense. Brzezinski pretended to care about the President, alleging that he's unwell. "We're okay. The country's not," Crazy Mika opined.
Again, if you think the President's tweets against Brzezinski and the "Morning Joe" show and MSNBC are unwarranted, consider this. Brian Flood from Yahoo!'s "The Wrap" feature lists sixteen insults that the duo launched at Trump, including "schmuck," "jackass," and "bumbling dope".
One of the insults cited is the guest appearance by Donny Deutsch, a major-league douchebag who quite clearly suffers from small man syndrome, who criticized the President's looks. In "going thug" and noting that the President "picked the wrong schoolyard to come into," Deutsch launched his attack on Trump:
He's physically disgusting to look at. I mean, that's what I find ironic about the way he starts to always go after other people's physical attributes. So, beyond the fact that he’s obviously not well ... forget, obviously, the obvious [misogyny], the obvious vulgarity, the obvious stupidity, he's not mentally okay. We have to start paying attention to it, and he's disgusting to look at.

commercial photography locations 
I look like Mark Zuckerberg's long-lost cousin, yet I think I have the right to bash the President's appearance. 
(Photo: Screen shot courtesy of RawStory)

Donny, I know you went to the same business school that Mr. Trump attended and that you made millions, but you can still in no way match the President's success. People had heard of Donald Trump many years before he even ran for the nation's top job. No-one, except "Morning Joe"'s continually shrinking audience, has ever heard of you. You are a fake tough guy, to go along with the fake news channel you appear on. You're just embarrassing yourself. But then, you are an embarrassment. A shit-smear in the toilet bowl that is the mainstream media.
Step into the Nightdragon's schoolyard, Mr. Deutsch, you big-mouth. I'll sort you out, son. I'll see what I can do to improve your looks.
Happy Fourth of July, everyone.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

American Muslim community feels the wrath of the "undocumented"

commercial photography locationsLast Sunday, in Renton, Virginia, a 17-year-old American girl, who was Muslim, was beaten to death with an aluminum baseball bat by a 22-year-old by the name of Darwin Martinez Torres.
Nabra Hassanen was killed when Torres confronted her alongside a road leading back from a downtown McDonald's. She had, just moments before, been among a group of friends who fled to a nearby community Islamic center, where they had earlier spent the evening. Hassanen had somehow become separated from them when Torres launched his aggression. Hassanen's body was later dumped in a local pond. Some reports indicate that Torres had followed the group as they left the McDonald's establishment.
How much do you want to bet that Torres is a legal resident of the United States of America? Any takers? Torres, it turns out, is a citizen and national of that pristine, peaceful land known as El Salvador. The same country that recently moaned about the U.S. shipping back its gang-banging criminals, I should mention. I know, dear reader, you're shocked by that information. Just shocked.
The young woman, Nabra Hassanen, was a first-generation American citizen. Another "gringo" bites the dust.
Only the "gringo" in this case was a practitioner of the Islamic faith. No ordinary killing, obviously. Because, you see, had the victim been white, it would have had a fourth- or fifth-page story in the local Renton newspaper and nothing more. That would be the case without question. But when an illegal alien kills a black citizen, Hispanic citizen or a Muslim citizen, all the Leftie Lords Temporal—the denuded police forces, local politicians, the media—have no idea what to say or where to turn. Best to not label it a hate crime, at any rate.
The family and local community are furious, and I don't blame them. Hassanen's mother Sawsan Gazzar said, "I think it had to do with the way she was dressed and the fact that she's Muslim. Why would you kill a kid? What did my daughter do to deserve this?"
Again, I hate to focus on race here, because that's the modern Marxist's way of viewing the world, but had Nabra Hassanen been bludgeoned by a straight, cisgendered white American male, the tiniest village in Tierra del Fuego would know about the latest HATE CRIME to have occurred in violent, racist America.
But when an illegal alien slaughters a Muslim teen? According to Fairfax County police, there is "no link between the victim's faith or religious beliefs and the crime itself." It was just a road rage incident, according to authorities, and that is how it is being regarded going forward.
When I first heard about this tragedy, I wondered what the agitators of the Council on American-Islamic Relations would have to say about it. Would they be silent because the killer was a precious "undocumented American"? While CAIR's national litigation director Lena Masri said that the organisation would monitor the case for "any possible bias aspects," national communications director of CAIR Ibrahim Hooper noted, "You can't just say, 'Oh, he didn't say anything against Islam, so no hate crime'."
For once, I agree with CAIR!
If we insist on having this nonsense known as "hate crime" (as opposed to "I really, really like you crime"), then the powers-that-be should have the stones to apply it equally across the board. I'll say this again, so we can be quite clear on this: If a white guy had beaten to death a teenager wearing an abaya, all hell would have broken loose. If a guy with eighteen names from south of the border does the same, then it is "road rage". Do you think the white American guy would have received the same judgment? If you do, then I feel compelled to ask you which drug you are taking.
I'm going to state it right here, right now: Torres saw a group of Muslim adolescents and lost it. I know, it sounds incredible, because only straight white American males can commit such acts of intolerance, but there you go.
Now the American Muslim community has lost one its own from those "living in the shadows". May every member therein have no doubts about what other American citizens have been deeply upset about for at least a decade. We have had enough "acts of love" being forced on us from those who don't belong. I know they're grieving, but still I hope that Mohmoud Hassanen Aboras and Sawsan Gazzar, Nabra's father and motherand every one of the diverse denizens of Fairfax countyfeel the same.