Wednesday, August 31, 2016

TWIT: The Gloves are off....

I promised almost 2 years ago that barring people being led away in handcuffs I was going to stop covering TWIT and for the most part I did.

The continuing lewdness, misogyny and a tendency to circle the wagons at the slightest hint of detractors has hardly been  newsworthy.  As such, I was content to just passively watch them die in an implosion of their own making.

To that end I've never done anything to them that they didn't first do to themselves.  In fact, everything I've  written was meant more as a sanity check than attack.  

Believe me, I could have written so much more.  I could have documented the minutia of every misstep, every cruel word, every thoughtless act.

But I left such things to Totaldrama.   I wasn't interested in baldfaced attacks, name calling or sensationalism.  

TWIT does a fine job of that all on its own.

Well....guess what....

The gloves are off BITCH...

They came off because of the latest round of wagon circling.  It seems my video capture of TWIT's big move to the Eastside studios was a violation of copyright.  

At least according to the takedown notice I received today.

Unless something has changed that I don't know about, all TWIT broadcasts are licensed under a Creative Commons license.  As such, so long as you give full attribution of the source and don't try to make any money off of the content you can freely distribute whatever you capture.  

Even the most restrictive of Creative Commons Licenses allows what I've done all along that being...


This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially. 

from the official Creative Commons site...

Which is what I've always done with all my TWIT video captures even going so far as to never edit or cut out material that may change the context of the programming in the slightest way.  In fact, the most editing I've ever done with a TWIT video capture was to edit out the paid advertising reads.

There's no reason that I should give free advertising to a TWIT sponsor nor do I want any hassles with YouTube over it. So it just never happened.  

There are less restrictive licenses under Creative Commons.  In fact most of them allow remixing, parodies, just about anything you want so long as you attribute the original work.  Some even allow for commercial use.

I've always chosen the most restrictive interpretation making no substantive changes to the content or monetizing them in any way.

Even the rather damning videos creatively edited by those less than kind to TWIT were covered under versions of Creative Commons.

Which is the root of my newfound crusade.

You see, my innocuous little YouTube channel consisting primarily of videos of monsoon storms with it's 16 whole subscribers is somehow a threat to TWIT.

So much so that I've earned a copyright strike that puts my channel and my reputation in jeopardy.   The infraction is for a video capture of the TWIT move to the Eastside studio.  A video offered without editing, commentary and free of charge. 

For the unfamiliar, A YouTube copyright strike is a virtually indefensible charge of copyright infringement which in an Internet context is akin to grand theft.
The only recourse, a YouTube form to "Request" the retraction of the charge that demands full contact information. 

Just the thing for a copyright troll to pursue a frivolous lawsuit.  Or to bully a detractor into silence.

I won't be bulled but I'm also not stupid. 

Rack up too many copyright claims and you can find your channel shut down.  As such I've removed similar videos from the channel to prevent from being bullied into oblivion.  Unless you plan on asserting a claim on raindrops and lightning strikes you got nothin'....

So what's the game TWIT?  Are you attempting to rewrite your own questionable history?  Then stop making so much of it!  

Surprising that such a staunch liberal as Leo Laporte would chose a tactic favored by the Texas school board.  You know, that Conservative body that wants our children to at least "consider" that humans were running around underfoot of dinosaurs.  In which case the Flintstones could be considered a documentary series...

..Intelligent design indeed.

What's the threat of presenting content that's already been freely shared for those who care to watch?  

Are we trying to put the genie back into the bottle? Do we want to ensure that the free and uninhibited nature of TWIT is a premise without foundation?  Is anything not directly controlled by TWIT a threat regardless of the intent?

Then you better be damned sure that your edits happen well before the broadcast.  Perhaps the appointment of a propaganda minster would be in order.  Someone with the power over even the Fuhrer...

Josef Goebbels isn't available but I hear Roger Ailes is looking for a gig...

TWIT proudly professes to be more than just another podcast network.  They claim to be community driven but lately it seems like they're more of a cult.  

Communities are made up of like minded people with a common purpose.  OK, so far the same goes for a cult.  The difference is a community is made up of individuals some with controversial ideas.  Ideas that allow the community to learn, grow and persist.  

Cults usually end up with a lot of dead people and a weird website.

We've already got the weird website...

So what's next?  Well, I'm not putting my thunderstorm videos at risk over TWIT.  But I will keep writing.  I will keep watching and I will expose that which is offered freely be it good or bad.

You made a mistake Leo and Lisa.  I was content to be passive even sharing your content on occasion.  Always without spin.  

I'm not content anymore and it's because of you.  I don't have a hell of a lot to look forward to these days but just gave me a new purpose.

I won't be bullied and you can expect greater scrutiny. 
None of which you can do anything about because what I produce will be backed up with irrefutable evidence.  

Meaning, unless you want it splashed all over the Internet, you'd better clean up your act.  I don't need to make shit up, you provide plenty of content and nobody has to guess at the context.

Tit for Tat.

I'm watching...

Sunday, August 21, 2016

TWIT moves to the East Side

I don't do much TWIT coverage anymore mostly because I don't believe in beating a dead horse.  On occasion, however, there are noteworthy events that require no context and no explanation.

Honestly, there's rarely much that comes out of the house the Leo built that's worth covering.  I'll save the morbid voyeurism for sites like

Which leads me to the video below.  If anything punctuates the sad state of TWIT it's watching the cadre of TWIT regulars ride an open air bus to a sad little office park.  Listen closely and you'll hear unmistakable subtext of unhappiness.

The long last looks at the old studio,  the constant jokes about the seedy neighbors of the new one and the apologetic tone for everything the new studio isn't once they arrive.

It's a capitulation brought about by a reality check even if the public face of TWIT denies the reality.

Still, it's the most lively broadcast to come out of TWIT in a long time.  So whether you're fan, foe or like me indifferent to TWIT the following should provide entertainment nonetheless.

Kind of like the morbid curiosity one finds at staring at the aftermath of a car crash.

UPDATE!  Recent events ( AKA Copyright Strike ) has removed my ability to provide video coverage of the event. Meaning I can only provide a link to TWIT instead of the video that was here before.  This is due to the fact that apparently Lisa Laporte, conservative whip-cracker and all around dynamic personality has decided that nobody was allowed to watch or record an unedited, highly promoted TWIT event for posterity.  Even if it was covered by Creative Commons.

Thanks for the copyright strike!  Karma's a bitch and apparently so are you my dear.  

In the immortal words of Han Solo I say this...."Laugh it up, Fuzzball.."

Sorry, but when faced with Donald Trump type tactics I lose my objectivity....

Here's the link to the "big" event.  TWIT moves...

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

I hate stupid people....

Now before you run off and call me an elitist or a snob realize that I'm referring to those who continue to hold outdated and prejudicial views.  

Such as those that have a nasty habit of blaming the victim.

I've included just such an exchange with what I consider to be a charter member of the "stupid people" group.  The topic is predatory lending specifically as to how it relates to the 2008 financial crisis.  

What follows is the unedited exchange....

Stupid Person...

Dumb people making dumb decisions. They should have read the fine print. They should have a good job and a good set of skills so that if they lose their current job by no fault of their own they can find a new one without too much trouble. If you do not have at least these things, you should never consider taking on a mortgage. 

And yes it is shitty that banks gave these mortgages out anyway, but the information is not misleading. At the time of things like Fannie the fine print was still given to the buyer in full. While it may be legalese, that is what lawyers and accountants are for. The banks are happy to give you credit even if you won't pay, and they are perfectly happy to give you all the terms and conditions. There is no serious wrongdoing here except for the buyer being negligent.

Less Stupid Person ( ME ) ....

Thank you Bernie Madoff....

That's the "They deserved to be F'd because they're stupid argument" 

You're making a hell of a lot of assumptions there. Like assuming that everyone out of work or underemployed are stupid and lack skills. Never mind that many skilled and professional jobs have been shipped overseas leaving people with a whole lot of debt and nothing to replace the income. As for the fine print, you literally would have to have a Juris Doctorate degree to understand every term and condition. I suppose you read every word of every EULA you click "accept" to in that case. Good luck getting anything done. 

It's called predatory lending for a reason. There was a time when you could trust your banker, lawyer and even your doctor to do the right thing and give the right information. Now it's all about padding profit margins and when banks started using their deposits as gambling money on wall street speculation...well....all bets were off. You can't trust a banker any more than you can trust a used car salesman so whom are you supposed to seek guidance from? 

Do you think a 25K a year guy with a wife and 2 kids is going to be able to afford 300/hr for an attorney to look over every line of a mortgage? Most people were sold a bill of goods and they believed it because somebody told them that the "pros" would never lie to them. If it were just simple interest that's one thing but try to explain amortization and compounded interest to a bunch of people left behind by a public education system that barely teaches them to tie their shoes. 

In a culture of desperation it's easy to leave your skepticism behind when the "pros" are telling you otherwise. Your admonition of "good job and good set of skills" doesn't fly anymore and it hasn't for 30 years. You're assuming a level playing field and it's not. If you think it is, I've got a bridge to sell you in New York...