RSS

I have received a report that my RSS feed hasn’t been working since 5/21. My reader seems to see all of the current posts. Is anyone else aware of any problems?

Threats

So the woke crowd is apparently claiming that they have emailed the registrar for this site and is requesting a takedown because we have pissed off the woke crowd. That won’t affect the server, but if the name host decides that they are going to bend… If that happens, we will be switching to our alternate address, divemedic.xyz

This blog and its domain are fully redundant.

Blog Rules

You will notice that I have added a link to a new page at the top of the page. This is a permanent link to the rules of commenting here at the blog. They are there permanently for your reference. They are simple and easy to follow. I like the way that Miguel over at gunfreezone put it: don’t be a dick. If you want to know what it means to be a dick, read on.

The overriding concept here is that I am paying for this server, the software that runs it, and providing the content. Since I am the one paying for it, that makes it mine. Some people have a problem with this and begin shouting about free speech. Free speech doesn’t apply here on my property. Want free speech? Pay for your own blog. I will even rent you some server space. You can say whatever you want on there, including calling me names. Your space, your rules.

I allow comments here because I enjoy the back and forth of a good debate. However, commenting here is the virtual equivalent of talking to me while sitting in my living room. Debate is a good thing. A well reasoned debate changes minds and can influence the opinions of others. If you make a good case for your opinion, you can win over the opinions of others by presenting them with a perspective or situation that may not have occurred to them. Name calling and shouting at people does not change the opinions of others, generates hard feelings, and is nothing more than chimps shouting at each other inside of the monkey house.

If you and some of my acquaintances are sitting with me in my living room having a conversation, there are things that you wouldn’t say without expecting either a punch in the mouth or being asked to leave and never return. Try to think of comments here as a face to face conversation, and don’t type a comment here that you would not say to someone’s face while sitting in their own home.

So with that out of the way, here are the rules for commenting on this blog:

  1. The owner of this blog (me) has the final say on what you can and cannot post. It’s my house, I make the rules. Content here is moderated, and I will not be approving any comments that I find, in my sole judgement, to be unworthy. If you make a comment here and it doesn’t appear within a few hours, it likely wasn’t approved for some reason. Or it wound up in the SPAM filter for some reason. You can always drop me an email and ask.
  2. Deliberately posting statements that are aimed at insulting the blog owner (me) will get your comment tossed in the trash. Feel free to disagree with me, just don’t call names or impugn my character. If I wanted someone to purposely insult me, I don’t need to pay for a blog server, I can just go to my ex-wife’s house for free.
  3. Don’t deliberately insult others. No personal attacks. Feel free to attack ideas. Heap scorn on silly or illogical opinions, just don’t make it personal.
  4. If you are making a comment about one of my posts, it should be made on the post that you are commenting on, not on another, unrelated post. Offending posts may be deleted or disallowed, purely at my discretion. This is an attempt to both maintain readability and to reduce trolls.
  5. No spam. If you come on here to sell your product or website, that isn’t going to be allowed. This is an ad free site, because I hate all of the ads on the Internet. I don’t make money on this Blog, and no one else does, either. Including you.
  6. Usually, I just don’t approve comments that are out of bounds. If you are close to the line, I may approve it, with a warning. If repeated out of bounds comments become tiresome, I will warn you.
  7. If warnings don’t work and you keep at it, I will ban you from ever posting on this site again. I know that you can pull tricks like IP spoofing, changing your name, etc. So don’t think doing that is going to earn you “I’m so clever” points. It doesn’t make you clever, it makes you an ass.
  8. Too many people using those tricks to circumvent the rules is what got us full time moderation, which is a major pain in my ass, and a major time waster for me.
  9. When in doubt, please refer to rule #1. These rules can change with no notice, and rules may or may not apply retroactively. That’s up to me. See rule #1.

Those are the rules. They seem rather easy to follow. I am resisting the use of registered accounts for the reason that I don’t like registering anything. However, if too many people violate these rules, I will be forced to have accounts. Please don’t force me to do that.

I have only banned a handful of people (less than 5) in the sixteen years of this blog. I think that makes me pretty tolerant.

Of course, you can always ask me any questions by email: Divemedic@areaocho.com

Comments

I spend about 2 or 3 hours a day on this blog, between researching posts, writing them, reading and moderating comments, and other miscellaneous tasks. I’ve been at it for about 16 years now- yep this blog is nearly 16 years old.

Up until this point, I have had one rule for comments- no personal attacks, and no spam. The last time I had to post on this was just a month ago. Apparently, people can’t handle the freedom of not having many rules. I had someone today compare me to Hitler for daring to be a part of a profession that obeyed the law. No one calls a gun dealer Hitler when they refuse to sell a gun to someone that fails a NICS check.

I have tried closing comments or not allowing comments on certain posts, but people try to circumvent it by commenting on other posts and referencing the one that is closed.

I am tired of having to remind people about personal attacks. I am tired of moderating comments. Some of the more outrageous comments come from first time commenters, or from people who are trying to get around the rules by using a VPN and not using the same name each time they comment. It gets tedious.

Comment moderation is active. I hate to have an echo chamber, but this is really taking a toll on me. There is a strong possibility that I will require (free) registration with a valid email address in order to comment. It will make things easier on me.

Blogger and the Old Site

I got a series of emails last week from Blogger, notifying me that some of the posts on my old site have been deemed to be against blogger policy and have been removed from the old blogspot site. The emails all looked the same:

As you may know, our Community Guidelines
(https://blogger.com/go/contentpolicy) describe the boundaries for what we allow– and don’t allow– on Blogger. Your post titled “xxx” was flagged to us for review. We have determined that it violates our guidelines and deleted the post, previously at <link, now dead>

Why was your blog post deleted?
Your content has violated our Regulated Goods and Services policy.

Please visit our Community Guidelines page linked in this email to learn more.

So here are the offending posts, so you can read them yourself:

  • This is open? published January 2010 A post critical of the Obama administration
  • Indoctrination published October 2016 A post exposing that schools were requiring teachers to discuss the benefits of being a sexual deviant to children. (This one wasn’t deleted, but is now behind a “trigger warning” page in order to view it)
  • Discrimination published June 2012. A post about a man being removed from Barnes and Noble because men aren’t allowed into the children’s book section of the store unescorted.
  • More Receipt Madness published December 2014. A post on how I refuse to show receipts to the door trolls at stores.
  • Difficult to Keep Up With published January 2021. A post about the National Guard buildup for Biden’s inauguration
  • Identify Those Guns published October 2019 A post asking readers to identify a pair of handguns. They deleted this one more than once in a ten minute period.

Just so we are on the subject, I provide for reference the Blogger Regulated Goods and Services policy, retrieved from here on May 7, 2023 at 1542 eastern time.

Regulated Goods and Services

Do not sell, advertise, or facilitate the sale of regulated goods and services. Regulated goods and services include alcohol, gambling, pharmaceuticals, unapproved supplements, tobacco, fireworks, weapons, or health/medical devices.

Note that not a single one of those posts was attempting to sell, advertise, or facilitate the sale of any goods and services. No, this is an attempt by Blogger to eliminate any opinion with which they or their employees disagree. They are slowly shutting down anyone with an opposing opinion.

This is exactly why I decided to move this blog to its own server.

That is why I set up this website on its own server. The idea here is that I setup and maintain the server for my use. That server has a lot more capacity than my blog is using, but costs a good chunk more than I can justify spending on a blog. So I came up with the idea of sharing that server.

This is what I did:

  • I set up a server in a country that won’t submit to US takedown requests. Being across the pond makes the websites run a tad slower, but they are more resistant to being shut down.
  • The server is backed up nightly.
  • There is a mirror server in a second country.
  • The entire thing is owned by a corporation.

The Pitch:

Last year, I moved to this new server and became my own IT guy. Because of this, I was able to realize significant cost savings that I am passing on. The cost is $15 per month. For that rate, this is what you get:

  • You get your own blog, run on the widely available and customizable WordPress software.
  • You get one email address with up to 1gb of storage. More options and storage are available for a nominal fee. The email address is attached to your blog, for example: You@yourblog.com
  • I will migrate your blogger or WordPress blog to this server.
  • You can use your own web address if you have one, or we can find one. There may or may not be an extra charge for that, depends on what you want to use. Some cost more than others.

What you don’t get:

I am not a web designer, graphic artist, computer expert, or any sort of artist. For that reason, I can’t offer custom websites, web design, or any of that. I recommend that you use any of the available WordPress custom themes that are widely available online, or that you go with one of the stock themes that comes with the software.

The only catch or rule here is that you can’t run a porn site. The risk for underage porn and the large amount of resources that they use just make that too much of a hassle. I just don’t want to be in the porn business or involved with that sort of thing. Other than that, I am hands off. Free speech and all of that.

How to sign up:

Email me to make the arrangements. Divemedic (at) areaocho (dot) com.

A word on comments

I grow so weary of going to websites where the host allows comments to degenerate into name calling and team politics. I also hate when people post spam to the comments, talking about how they make $5,000 a minute from home. I do my best to moderate that, but understand that I can’t let this blog become too much of a time waster for me, because I have a life and it is a busy one. Even writing posts takes anywhere from one to three hours a day, counting research, writing, and editing. This blog gets between 2,000 and 10,000 hits a day. It gets between 20 and 100 comments a day. So keep that in mind when you see how I moderate the comments:

I don’t mind disagreement. I encourage it. It is through disagreement and debate that we grow and modify our stand on controversial subjects. With that being said, there are a few basic things that keep this place running smoothly:

I don’t allow personal attacks. I do this because I want comments to stay on topic and not degenerate into the name calling mess that the comment sections of so many other websites. I will let some minor transgressions slide, but I do my best to keep things from becoming too heated. Attack ideas all you want, but don’t let it get personal.

I don’t allow comments that are advertisements. Note that I don’t advertise products or services here at all. Not even my own. When I do articles about products, I don’t do them because I stand to make money. I am even careful to include disclaimers. At my discretion, I will edit your comment to remove advertisements or simply not allow the comment. How that goes depends on a few things: Are you a long time commenter? If your first comment is an advertisement, it likely goes in the trash heap. In the nearly 16 years of this blog, I have made only three exceptions to this rule that I can remember. In each of them, the post and/or comment was because of injuries or danger to a child, and were directing people to a donation site so people could donate to help the child’s family. In each of those cases, I was contacted by email and asked to post the information.

The only other ask is those few occasions that I ask for donations to cover the costs of running the site.

I close posts for comments after 21 days. No use beating a dead horse.

One other rule- at the end of the day, this is my blog. I pay for everything here from the server space to the software that runs it. Since it’s my property, I can modify the rules here anytime that I want to. There have been commenters who have come here and demanded that I allow them to say what they want under the guise of “free speech.” I’m not preventing you from starting your own blog at your own expense, but people comment here on my dime, and that means I get to set the rules.

Violate the rules, and I may give you a warning, I may edit out offensive words, advertising links, or I may just toss your comment in the trash. I won’t ever change your comment to make it something that you didn’t say. ( I did it once to a supposed self described “hacker” who was trying to be very personal and publish threats against me. I changed his comment to make it seem like he wanted to perform a certain homosexual act on me. Childish, but funny. I deleted it once he saw it.)

If the violations are bad enough, I will ban you, or your entire IP address. I moderate all comments, thanks to the aforementioned hacker who wouldn’t take “go away” for an answer. That particular person was making death threats as well as posting my address.

Anyhow, comments have been relatively calm for several months, except for a few spammers. I just wanted to remind everyone of the rules.

Spam

Due to a large amount of SPAM comments (well over 200 in the last week) trying to sell discount drugs:

  • I had to disable comments on the “Training Manuals” page.
  • I also had to add IPs addresses in Cambodia and Turkey to the IPs that are not permitted to post comments. Comments from those IP addresses will go to the trash. I won’t even see them in the moderation queue.

So any of you who have VPNs, don’t use those countries to comment.

Scary, Indeed. That’s why I am redundant

The Biden administration is openly talking about making people who believe in free speech into enemies of the state by declaring them to be a threat to US security. Jonathan expressed concern that this blog could be shut down by simply revoking my domain name. I have taken steps to make this site more resistant to being cancelled.

  • This blog has multiple domain names that are all registered with different registrars. The different registrars are either known to be friendly to the right, dedicated to free speech, or are located in other countries. The sites are: areaocho.com, sectorocho.com, and divemedic.xyz Each of those web addresses lead to this blog.
  • This site is hosted on servers in Europe and Asia. The servers are owned by overseas companies that are known to be defenders of free speech and in countries that do not support censorship, especially by US authorities.
  • If THOSE fail, I have access to an emergency server that I can point any of those addresses to. If I need that one, we have real issues.

As a SCUBA diver, you learn from the early days of your training that your gear is your life support system. You wear backup gear. You dive with a buddy, who is also a source of backup gear. As I became more experienced, I began to push the limits. As with any dangerous activity that relies on mechanical devices, I experienced equipment failures. I learned to make my gear more robust, less prone to single point failure, and more redundant.

As a firefighter, I saw and did similar things. I saw the people who suffered as a result of Katrina. I know how to make things robust. This blog and site are as robust as I can make them. If I have overlooked anything and we wind up being taken down, that is a message in itself. The message is that the time for talking is over.

The most obvious single failure point is to haul me into jail or put a bullet in me to silence me. As the Soviets used to say, VZYALI. I am a small fish. There are others who are far more visible and more likely to be disappeared than I. For that reason, I watch some of them. If they disappear or are silenced without warning, it will be time to not be where I can be found. Sound paranoid? Maybe not. Five years ago, would you have dreamed that a sitting president would call someone a threat to national security for the crime of owning a social media site?

Don’t Be Silenced

I know that many of you have seen blogs being nuked. That is why I set up this website on its own server. The idea here is that I setup and maintain the server for my use. That server has a lot more capacity than my blog is using, but costs a good chunk more than I can justify spending on a blog. So I came up with the idea of sharing that server. I initially was sharing it for $25 a month.

This is what I did:

  • I set up a server in a country that won’t submit to US takedown requests. Being across the pond makes the websites run a tad slower, but they are more resistant to being shut down.
  • The server is backed up nightly.
  • There is a mirror server in a second country.
  • The entire thing is owned by a corporation.

The Pitch:

Recently, I moved to this new server and became my own IT guy. Because of this, I was able to realize significant cost savings that I am passing on. The new cost is $15 per month. Those who are already being hosted by me have gotten an email detailing the new rate. If you haven’t seen that email, contact me. For that rate, this is what you get:

  • You get your own blog, run on the widely available and customizable WordPress software.
  • You get one email address with up to 1gb of storage. More options and storage are available for a nominal fee. The email address is attached to your blog, for example: You@yourblog.com
  • I will migrate your blogger or WordPress blog to this server.
  • You can use your own wed address if you have one, or we can find one. There may or may not be an extra charge for that, depends on what you want to use. Some cost more than others.

What you don’t get:

I am not a web designer, graphic artist, computer expert, or any sort of artist. So I can’t offer custom websites, web design, or any of that. I recommend that you use any of the available WordPress custom themes that are widely available online, or that you go with one of the stock themes that comes with the software.

The only catch or rule here is that you can’t run a porn site. The risk for underage porn and the large amount of resources that they use just make that too much of a hassle. I just don’t want to be in the porn business. Other than that, I am hands off. Free speech and all of that.

How to sign up:

Email me to make the arrangements. Divemedic (at) areaocho (dot) com.

Thirty Days

The old server will be shut down within the next 30 days. Anyone who has not spoken with me about moving your files to the new server has until that time to backup their files and blogs. Once the old server has been shut down, all of your files will be lost forever unless you or I have moved them to the new server, or have otherwise saved them.

That applies to two people. Plan accordingly.