Don’t Worry Be Happy

Some Reading Music

 

Bobby was sitting on the plane at Cleveland waiting to fly to Chicago, when a guy took the seat beside him. The guy was an emotional wreck…pale, hands shaking in fear. “What’s the matter, afraid of flying?” Bobby asked.

“No, it’s not that. I’ve been transferred to Chicago. The people are crazy there, right? Lots of shootings, gangs, race riots, drugs, poor schools, and the highest crime rate in the USA.”

Bobby replied, “I’ve lived in Chicago all my life. It’s not as bad as the media says. Find a nice home, go to work, mind your own business, and enroll your kids in a nice private school. I’ve worked there for 14 years and never had the slightest trouble.”

The guy relaxed and stopped shaking and said, “Oh, thank you. I’ve been worried to death, but if you’ve lived and worked there all those years and say it’s OK, I’ll take your word for it. What do you do for a living?”

“I’m a tail gunner on a Budweiser truck…”

 

It Snowed Last Night

 

snoman

 

This is a reap host because nobody recognized the gunny. Can you do it without using google?

New G.I. Benefit

Three old servicemen were waiting in the veteran’s affairs office to apply for a lump-sum bonus to which they had been entitled.

The V.A. officer came in and addressed them all.

“Gentlemen, the V.A. has decided that all bonuses will be given commensurate with physical measurements taken from the applicant.To be fair however, the applicant gets to decide the measurement used.”

The first man, a sailor stand up and says. “I want my measurment to be from the top of my head to the tip of my toes.”

The V.A. officer takes a tape measure and measures this distance, and announces, “Five foot eleven..your bonus will be five thousand, one hundred and ten dollars.”

The second man, a pilot in the USAF stand up and says, ” I want to be measured from the tips of my outstretched arms.”

The V.A. officer measures this and announces, “Six feet, two inches..your bonus will be six thousand, two hundred dollars.”

The third man, and old Marine Gunny stands up and says “You can measure me from the tip of my cock to my balls.”

Sgt Carter


The V.A. man is confused and says “Are you sure that’s the measurment you want to use?”

“Damn straight” says the grizzled old Marine, and drops his drawers.

The V.A. officer kneels before him and places the end of the tape measure on the tip of the soldier’s penis and extends it downward until he reached where the man’s testicles would have been.”

“Where are your balls?” the V.A. man asks.

“Vietnam” says the Marine.

SPACEX HAS LAUNCHED A PIECE OF ART INTO ORBIT

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched on December 3 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, north of Santa Barbara, California, its payload includes 64 small satellites from 34 organizations and 17 countries, each having paid launch broker Spaceflight Industries a hefty fee to be blasted 350 miles up and released into low earth orbit.

Most of these satellites are destined to carry out some utilitarian purpose, be it communications, observation, or science. But there is one small satellite among them that aims to do nothing more than entice people around the world to enact a primal, atavistic urge: to look up at the night sky and wonder what’s out there.

It’s April, and that satellite’s creator, the artist Trevor Paglen, is sitting in the lobby of a Hampton Inn in West Covina, California, 20 miles east of downtown LA, explaining the rationale behind the project he’s calling the Orbital Reflector.

“The point for me really was to create a kind of catalyst for looking at the sky and thinking about everything from planets to satellites to space junk to public space and asking, ‘What does it mean to be on this planet?’” says Paglen, who has come to California to witness some crucial prelaunch tests on his creation. “It’s a timeless question in some ways, but the content of the question is always changing.”

Paglen has described the project, which was undertaken in partnership with the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, as “the first satellite to exist solely as an artistic gesture.” As gestures go, it’s not cheap—its budget of $1.5 million was funded by the museum, private donors, and a Kickstarter campaign—but it’s certainly true to its name.

Once in orbit, it will deploy a 100-foot-long, 5-foot-wide balloon made of high-density polyethylene coated with titanium dioxide powder that will reflect light back to earth, making it as visible to the naked eye as a star in the Big Dipper, a work of public art streaking across the night, visible to anyone who looks up into a clear sky at the right time, and trackable via the project’s website and a partnership with the Starwalk 2 app.

“The goal has been to build this out like it’s the exact opposite of every other satellite,” says Paglen, who has a long history of art projects that chart the dark world of government surveillance. Where other satellites might spy or photograph or measure, his will be defiantly, whimsically useless. It will remain in the sky for at least two months and then will burn up in the atmosphere on re-entry. “It’s a way to do an artwork that exists at and thinks about the scale of the planet.”

Website to Track the Orbital Reflector.

A QUIET WAR RAGES OVER WHO CAN MAKE MONEY ONLINE

wired

HOTLITTLEPOTATO
 

OVER THE PAST year, two popular forums for men who identify as involuntary celibates, or incels, have been banned by Reddit and a domain registrar in response to members’ history of toxic misogyny and celebrating violence against women. Now some of these men are trying to turn the tables. Members of the incel community—including the official Twitter account for incels.is, a central hub for adherents—have joined with other men’s rights activists, using the content policies of online payment companies such as PayPal as weapons to block female pornographic actors and sex workers from making or spending money online.

The campaign is called the “ThotAudit,” in reference to the derogatory term “thot,” which stands for “that ho over there.” It began over the Thanksgiving holiday as a grassroots effort to intimidate sex workers and women who sell access to private pornographic social media accounts by reporting them to the Internal Revenue Service for tax evasion—without evidence of wrongdoing. But it quickly morphed into a battle over who has the right to make money on the internet.

The harassers are taking advantage of user reporting tools made available by companies like PayPal, Venmo, and CirclePay, in an attempt to force their targets offline and freeze their finances. The tactic has far-reaching implications beyond adult entertainment. Foreign governments and other groups have abused the policies to silence opponents on platforms like Twitter and Facebookfor years. Attacking through the payment processors is a new wrinkle on that approach.

When Lily Adams, an actor and model who sells access to her pornographic photos and videos, first noticed the ThotAudit movement gaining traction Saturday evening, she took to Twitter, calling it a witch hunt. Within one minute, a ThotAuditor flagged her account and tweeted that she had been added “to the review list for Monday morning.” By Monday, Adams’ PayPal account had been terminated. In an email to WIRED, Adams said that she had approximately $526 in her PayPal account at the time, and that the company told her it would hold the funds “indefinitely.”

“The feeling of being attacked from all corners is definitely frustrating,” said Adams. By the end of the day, she had been banned from every cash app, and she wasn’t alone. Another pornographic actor and model, who goes by the name Haven Graye online, was banned by Venmo the day after the ThotAudit campaign began. ”118 men called me a prostijew, kike and sen[t] me pictures of people burning,” she told WIRED via direct message. On Twitter, dozens of other sex workers experienced similar harassment and expressed outrage over being banned from multiple online payment service providers, including PayPal, Cash App, and Circle Pay. Many of the women claimed to have lost access to hundreds of dollars, as most payment companies absorb whatever funds were stored in the reported account.

Participants in the harassment campaign openly discussed tactics and specific attacks in r/ThotAudit, a public subreddit. On Sunday, one user detailed a popular alternative to reporting sex workers to the IRS, which the user said was too slow and dangerous: “Find the thots paypal email, send them money, and then report them for selling goods against paypals services … It’s against Paypal’s rules to solicit digital sexual content. All of their funds will be locked pretty quickly.” Users also posted comprehensive “thot auditing field guides,” including a continually updated list of tens of thousands of potential targets, and detailed instructions for getting sex workers banned from PayPal, Venmo, Cash App, Amazon Pay, Stripe, Circle Pay, Snapchat, and Kik.

PayPal did not respond to multiple requests for comment, but its website states that it prohibits PayPal users from buying or selling “sexually oriented digital goods or content delivered through a digital medium.” Venmo, which is owned by PayPal, also forbids users from using the service for “certain sexually oriented materials or services.” Square prohibits using its payment services for “adult entertainment oriented products or services” in any medium, as do Amazon Pay, Stripe, and Circle Pay. None of the companies responded to requests for comment.

Organizers of the campaign against sex workers are trying to capitalize on the increased vigilance of social media companies and payment providers in policing their platforms. Historically, those networks censored individual posts or banned individual accounts sparingly, not wanting to be seen as regulating speech. More recently, though, partly in response to concerns that they are inciting violence or encouraging hate speech, networks such as Facebook and Twitter are acting more aggressively.

The new approach extends beyond Facebook and Twitter to the network of largely unseen companies that make the commercial web function—web-hosting companies, domain registrars, security providers, and payment processors. After a gunman allegedly killed 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue, a social media platform he frequented was driven offline for nearly a week when its payment service providers, web host, and domain registrar dropped contracts with the company. A similar fate befell the primary forum for incels in the wake of the related Toronto terror attack carried out by a self-professed incel, and neo-Nazi site the Daily Stormer after Charlottesville. However, most cases are not as clear cut.

Consider the controversies around the ASMR community. ASMR, or autonomous sensory meridian response, is a tingling feeling beginning in the neck or back experienced by some people when they listen to soft or strange sounds—like a woman whispering into a mic, a dry paintbrush on a canvas, or crinkling paper. A booming, highly profitable community has emerged on YouTube creating content that caters to those with ASMR, where (usually female) YouTubers try to trigger the response in viewers. The YouTubers often are dressed in strange costumes or act out scenes that could be viewed as pornographic or sexual in nature. That’s prompted PayPal, which prohibits the sale of digital “sexually oriented” content like pornography, to ban a number of popular ASMR creators, effectively cutting them off from a significant revenue stream.

In the attacks by incels and their allies, activists on Twitter, Reddit, and 4chan have created automated programs to streamline the process of identifying, reporting, and harassing their targets. One program, called the ThotBot, includes the profiles of more than 20,000 alleged sex workers from several social media platforms that include a link to a PayPal account. “Search for bios with paypal in it, if they get banned paypal takes ownership of all the money on the account and it inevitably will be taxed as well,” the creator of the tool wrote in a tweet. In a later message, he claimed that one user of his program reported more than 100 profiles to PayPal.

A later version of the ThotBot claimed to draw from over 100,000 profiles, and was disabled by GitHub a few days after it was created. A spokesperson from GitHub confirmed that the repository and dataset were removed for violating the company’s harassment policies. In a direct message to WIRED, the creator of this ThotBot said the program aims for the “total excommunication or extermination of whores in society,” adding that he wants them to face the death penalty.

r/ThotAudit, which described itself as a community for “Right Wing Tax Squads,” had nearly 2,000 subscribers before it was banned Tuesday evening. In a statement to WIRED, a Reddit spokesperson said the subreddit had been banned for violating Reddit’s policies prohibiting content that “threatens, harasses, or bullies, or encourages others to do so.” In a sign of how extreme the group’s tactics are, 4chan, the anything-goes forum infamous for being a hotbed of depravity and toxicity, also banned numerous threads created by self-proclaimed members of the Right Wing Tax Squad.

Many of the harassment campaign’s biggest supporters have long complained of being censored by social media platforms and internet infrastructure companies. On Twitter, incels.is, a large online forum for incels, has championed efforts to have sex workers banned from several platforms, while denouncing companies like Reddit and the .ME Registry for doing the same to its accounts. The MGTOW community—a more extreme offshoot of the incel movement whose adherents consider women subhuman—has been in turmoil for two weeks after YouTube banned ads on many MGTOW-related videos and channels, cutting off those users’ revenue streams. Yet many members of the movement helped instigate the ThotAudit.

Rose, a financial dominatrix who was targeted by the ThotAudit harassment campaign, says digital payment companies like PayPal have long had rules in place prohibiting sex-work-related transactions and frequently suspend the accounts of sex workers whenever it is made aware of their existence. Financial domination is a fetish where the submissive sends gifts—in this case, cash via online payment—to the dominant partner. In a message to WIRED, Rose said many men threatened to report her to PayPal on Tuesday, but she had already been banned by PayPal for using it for sex-work-related transactions. To evade the ban, Rose accepts payments through Circle App, Cash App, Google Pay, and Amazon gift cards.

Organizers of the campaign against sex workers continue to refine their tactics. As of Wednesday evening, much of the discussion among harassers on platforms like Twitter centered around streamlining reports to payment services providers like Cash App, PayPal, and Venmo. In one thread on the subject, an active member of the ThotAudit campaign detailed tactics he said would expedite the reporting process, including spamming webforms with multiple reports, including links to illustrate the breach of the company’s terms of service, and threatening to report the breach to the media if the company did not immediately ban the sex worker.

“This complaint has been logged and will be sent in a package to the media along with others in an ongoing story about how payment processors are ‘selective’ about which terms they act upon,” read the message. “I trust PayPal will do the right thing…”

HatTipcanstockphoto53073149  wired.com