Saturday, August 30, 2014
  Why you want a good vehicle ... here and hereafter

Fairmount Cemetery is directly west of this neighborhood, and took the first blow (heh) from the recent tightly focused microburst. Several trees were knocked down, loosening up the soil near them and starting a chain reaction...

Result yesterday: A small landslide pulled just one casket down into a ravine.

Picture here.

I expect the maker and seller of the casket are quietly smiling at the intact and upright condition of the item, and wishing they could indulge the same sales tactics that a carmaker might use.

Car analogy:



Noticed something unexpected in this clip. The stunt driver casually buckles a lap belt without any comment from the circus-barker announcer. Lap belts weren't available in cars until 1950, but they must have been familiar to audiences in '34. Most car mags and car histories state that lap belts didn't become familiar until the late '40s as a result of stock-car racing. You'd think this newsreel would have generated some demand for accessory belts! If the belt helped the stunt driver survive, I'll bet it would help me survive too. But apparently that didn't happen.
 
  I'm gobsmacked

Unprecedented in modern times:

A "study" by academic commies finds bad qualities associated with their fellow commies.

Or even simpler, a "study" by academic commies is true and valid.

I specify Modern Times because academic Marxists before 1960 were often capable of finding truth. New Deal era Marxists were basically right about most economic matters, and didn't say much about cultural matters. When they did, as with Lancelot Hogben's linguistic writings, they were generally right.

Post-1960 Gramscians are murderously wrong about everything. They no longer hold proper Marxist economic views, and their cultural views are unimaginably evil.

This "study" finds that "unvaccinated or under-vaccinated children from higher income backgrounds, with parents who are higher educated, have parents who intentionally choose to refuse or delay vaccinations out of a belief that they are protecting their children. On the other hand, children from families with lower incomes and with less-educated parents tend to be under-vaccinated because they lack access to resources."

Yes. Exactly true and correctly interpreted. Amazing! From a Professor Of Gender Studies you'd automatically expect the standard TV belief system: Anti-vaxers are white christian hillbilly fundamentalist redneck yahoo homophobe sexist Bushitler Nazi Halliburton Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch. (I've omitted a few thousand Kochs for brevity.)

Nope, they're Your Kind of Persons. There are a few fundamentalists among the antis, but overwhelmingly they're rich and well-educated and Orthodox Dawkins-Darwin Atheists.

I'm dumbfounded.
 
  Splashy or smelly

Listening to PRX, one of the secondary public radio networks. I find it less wildly objectionable for background listening than most radio. PRX is leftish but doesn't HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER the satanic toxins into your ears every picosecond the way NPR does.

Still, some idiocy shows up now and then. The present program is about the problems of salmon fishermen near San Francisco. Around 2008 the fish in that circuit pretty much disappeared. Why?

Part of the answer is properly attributed to humans: Rivers in Calif have been completely consumed by various users, so there's nothing for salmon to climb. Of course the secondary cause of this consumption isn't mentioned: Calif cities haven't switched to desalination because Endangered Species, as fucking always. So this is a problem caused partly by normal human stupidity and partly by enviroterrorists, as fucking always.

Part of the answer returns to the old HAMMER. They're interviewing some idiot "scientist" who says the 2008 problem was specifically .... are you ready? "caused by El Nino. Climate Change."

YOU GROTESQUE FOOL. El Nino is the EXACT FUCKING OPPOSITE of your fashionable genocidal mass-murdering all-destroying idiotic theory of "Climate Change". El Nino is part of CLIMATE STABILITY. It's part of an infinitely complex system of periodic ups and downs that serve to keep things generally constant in the long term and across the whole world. The price of long-term stability is short-term and localized wiggles. Some of those wiggles are inconvenient to humans or fish; some are helpful to humans or fish. Nature doesn't particularly care which way we interpret them.

ANY FEEDBACK SYSTEM CREATES CONSTANT CHANGE IN ITS PARTS TO MAINTAIN OVERALL STABILITY. Some parts of the system are constantly adjusting to compensate for externally imposed changes. When you flush a toilet, you are exerting negative feedback based on your experience of what happens to a bowl that never gets flushed. Just after the flush, the tank refills. The toilet's mechanism is exerting negative feedback based on the intelligence of its designers, baked into the ballcock mechanism. Without this feedback, the bowl wouldn't be ready to use most of the time. We understand that there are moments when the system is unusable. We don't try to poop immediately after a flush because we know the bowl is empty for a moment. We don't remain sitting while it flushes because we know the flush tends to splash.

The infinitely complex feedback loops of El Nino / La Nina are responding to a set of inputs that we haven't even started to understand. So we don't yet know when we should sit or stand, or when we're likely to make a smelly mess.

Nevertheless, we CAN understand that these changes have been going on for a very long time, and we CAN understand that the world's bowl has remained more or less habitable for a very long time, with some places being too splashy or too smelly at some times.
 
Friday, August 29, 2014
  Symbolic tree trimming

A few weeks before the '96 icestorm, Avista sent around postcards saying that they were going to do preventive tree maintenance. They didn't get to the prevention, but the icestorm pretty much took down all the tree branches and wires and poles that were susceptible to being taken down by an icestorm. Presto! Announce the job, and Nature does it for you, with a bonus of several days of lost power!

Several months after the icestorm, the prevention (now postvention) finally occurred. Avista crews took down some insignificant trees and brush, including a little 10-foot maple on my lot that wasn't going to touch any wires. They skipped my fruit trees, which were still menacing the wire and had clearly been damaged by the icestorm. (Much later, in 2011, I had all of my trees cut down. Zero problems now.)

= = = = =

A few weeks before this July's superwindstorm, Avista sent around postcards saying that they were going to do preventive tree maintenance. They didn't get to the prevention, but the July superwind took down all the trees and wires and poles that were capable of being taken down. Presto! Announce the job, and Nature does it for you, with a bonus of dozens of squashed houses and several days of lost power!

Today the prevention (now postvention) finally occurred. Expensive Asplundh tree crews, with "on contract to Avista" permanently painted on their trucks, were working down the line in this area. As far as I can tell they didn't cut anything. I didn't hear any chainsaws, didn't see any climbing, and the trees look the same as before. But the crews did run their woodchipper for about 5 minutes in each location, feeding it some small pine branches.

Where did those pine branches come from? The crew didn't cut them here, and the Hank Hill types in this neighborhood don't allow loose branches to sit around.

This seems to be some kind of superstitious ritual, done more to satisfy the stock market than to prevent real damage to real wires.

= = = = =

Semi-related. Got monthly Comcast bill today: it shows a month past due, plus the current month. Especially annoying because Comcast was dark for a full week after the superwindstorm in July, so in theory I should pay less, not more.

I've been highly systematic about bill paying for many years now, ever since frugality brought a constant and comfortable surplus. Now I don't need to wait for income. After earlier times of broke desperation, it feels damn good to knock out every bill instantly. Well then, maybe someone stole the check after I sent it? Oops. Checkbook shows that I didn't send a check to Comcast last month.

The date would have been right around the superwindstorm, so now I wonder if the wind snatched the incoming bill out of the mailbox!
 
Thursday, August 28, 2014
  Lies all the way down

Heard on news just now:

"NATO is the alliance that stood up to the old Soviet aggression, and now must decide to resist the new Russian aggression."

Lies all the way down.

Russia was aggressive in the 1700s and early 1800s under Catherine. She expanded the empire tremendously. Since then, with only one exception, Russia has been pragmatic and opportunistic. Mostly Russia has been holding onto the territory that Catherine picked up, fighting off repeated invasions by Japs, Krauts and now Yanks.

After WW2, the four big allies distributed the Kraut spoils. Russia got more territory than Britain or France because Russia had sacrificed more of its industries and men to win the war.

NATO was formed allegedly to counter Russia's bloc of semi-occupied countries. Several times in the 50s and 60s, Russia intervened in those countries to put down rebellions. You could argue that those interventions were aggressive, but then you'd have to apply the same standards to US interventions in quasi-colonies like Haiti, or French interventions in quasi-colonies like Mali, or British interventions in quasi-colonies like the Falkland Islands.... And since none of the allies wanted to apply the same standard to themselves, they correctly held back on applying the standard to Russia.

Thus: Even if you want to use "aggression" to describe those interventions in countries that were granted to Russia as quasi-colonies, NATO never stood up to those "aggressions".

The current "aggression" is geographically similar, except that this time the uprising was NOT an internal rebellion. The uprising in Ukraine was strictly and purely created by American contractor Nudelman Pyatt Chaos Partners LLC.

We are the aggressors this time, with no ambiguity.

Fact: NATO is thus deciding whether it should put down Russia's defensive action against NATO aggression. Should we double down on our aggression? And the answer will be Yes.

Oh. What's the one exception? Afghanistan in the '80s. That's the only time in recent centuries when Russia behaved as badly as America, trying to grab territory that wasn't already part of its empire.


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Tuesday, August 26, 2014
  Sunslot

Noticed something unique on this morning's walk. Presumably this phenomenon has been around for a week or two, but I wasn't looking. I happened to be watching the ground this morning because I had just seen another unique item: an open laptop computer in a front yard, apparently thrown from a car.

As I continued scanning the ground, I saw a sunslot. At that moment the sun was just peeking over the ridge of Shadle hill. It was illuminating the tops of trees and a few roof edges, but all of the ground was still in shadow.

Except! Along the entire 6 blocks of the boulevard that I walked, exactly one stripe on the ground was sunny. The stripe was about 10 feet wide, running from the curb to the front of one house. A driveway for the sun.



This map gives a sense of the sunslot's exclusiveness. I wonder if the people in that house realize their literally ephemeral privilege?

Sidenote: I observed another aspect of this solar edginess a couple years ago.


Bonus sidenote: If you locate the sunslot on Spokane's official property map, you'll find an unbelievably perfect aptronym.

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  Gotta get your insults right!

Mostly bravo:
During a live debate shown last week by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Clive Palmer — whose own Palmer United Party holds the balance of power in Australia’s Senate — slammed Chinese officials as “bastards” and “mongrels” who “shoot their own people.”

“They’re communist, they shoot their own people, they haven’t got a justice system and they want to take over this country,” he said at the time. “The Chinese government wants to bring workers here to destroy our wage system … they want to take over our ports and get our resources for free … I don’t mind standing up against the Chinese bastards and stopping them from doing it.”
Palmer has his verbs right but his nouns wrong.

China is taking over the rest of the world for free resources, and China does destroy the wages of workers everywhere else.... but ONLY WHEN THE REST OF THE WORLD PERMITS IT. The rest of the world DOES NOT HAVE TO PERMIT THIS.

Wildly and importantly wrong on two nouns:

The Chinese are NOT Communists. They are ferociously Capitalist. Western countries like Australia are Communist in areas where Communism makes us weak, and Capitalist where Capitalism makes us weak. We carefully and intentionally choose whichever system will kill us faster. China does the exact opposite. That's EXACTLY why China can roll over us so easily.

And the Chinese are EXACTLY NOT mongrels. China is ferociously pure and unashamedly proud of its own ethnic group. Western countries are mongrels, busily committing suicide by Die-Versity. That's EXACTLY why China can roll over us so easily.

China understands that we have placed ourselves into a massively accelerating death spiral. Instead of protecting our workers from foreign competition, we forcibly import foreign competition and punish anyone who dares to resist. Instead of protecting our resources, we bomb our own dams and burn our own forests to "protect" some Privileged Animals who don't need our protection.
 
Monday, August 25, 2014
  All uninhabitables are equal, but....

Quake in fairyland "leaves 30 homes uninhabitable". That's a newsworthy disaster, no doubt about it.

How come, then, we didn't hear anything on the national news last month when a windstorm here left about 50 homes uninhabitable? Even in the local news we never got a proper count. Around 40 trailers smashed in a Chattaroy mobile home park, and around 10 houses in this neighborhood.

I won't even bother with the two horses joke this time. Tumbril time, citoyens.
 
Sunday, August 24, 2014
  Subversives in BBC?

BBC is running a long and mostly accurate feature on the Tonkin Gulf lie. The announcer (who admits that he's too young to remember the events) implies that Tonkin Gulf was only recently recognized as a lie**. Flat wrong. It was recognized immediately. He also says that LBJ's White House Tapes were only recently known. Again flat wrong. The only legitimate historian, Paul Johnson, wrote about those tapes 20 years ago.

The standard satanic line is to quietly ignore LBJ's part in Vietnam and load all the blame on Nixon. Most people now "know", and often state openly, that Nixon got us into Vietnam. [Just for clarity: The FACT is that LBJ took us in and Nixon pulled us out. Nixon botched the pullout and made some unnecessary and damaging sidetrips into Cambodia and Laos along the way; but nevertheless he did take us out of Vietnam.]

I suppose I should be glad that BBC is daring to criticize a Noble And Saintly Party Member. But why bother to speak truth 50 years later, after your lie has been so perfectly established? And why exactly now, in the middle of a new set of warmongering lies about ISIS and Ukraine? BBC is enthusiastically spreading these new lies and silencing dissent.

It's a puzzle. Are there subversive elements in BBC?

**Oops. Toward the end of the hour, the documentary fully covers the immediate exposure of the lie by Wayne Morse and others. Maybe the intro was written by someone else who didn't realize what the actual program said.
 
Saturday, August 23, 2014
  All sparks are equal, but......

Two different headlines with the same verb.

(1) "Warm Springs woman admits sparking 51,000-acre wildfire"

(2) "Police choke-hold death sparks New York march"

In both cases the spark was human-caused.

In (1) the cause is correctly identified. Sadie Renee Johnson sparked a wildfire (while drunk and high) because her fireman friends were getting bored from lack of work. Nobody was killed, but lots of property was destroyed. She has received a jail sentence, and is officially but pointlessly required to pay $8 million in restitution.

In (2) the cause is intentionally falsified. The march was not sparked by a police choke-hold. The march was sparked by Al Sharpton. Al Sharpton has directly and personally sparked dozens of riots and protests, resulting in dozens of deaths. He has never been punished; instead, he gains more respect and fame and riches every time he kills more people.

Hmm. Wonder what's the difference between these two? Why does one 'flint' get correctly punished for causing huge property damage but no deaths, while the other 'flint' gets massively rewarded and treated as a Living Saint for causing even greater property damage plus many deaths?

Could it be that the black flint is fatter and uglier than the white flint? Nah. Lots of fat and ugly people get correctly punished. Could it be that the black flint falsely claims the title of Reverend, while the white flint is just an untitled barfly? Nah. Lots of false Reverends have been jailed.

I guess some things will always remain mysterious. Ours not to reason why, ours but to die and die.
 
  When sane people hate you...

As usual, modern Western governments are taking the stupidest possible line.
The Home Secretary says she is preparing to bring in new laws that include an “anti-social behaviour order” for extremists. The measures are aimed at curtailing the activities of radical preachers, such as Anjem Choudary, whose extreme rhetoric currently does not constitute a crime.

While details are yet to emerge, the new power will be designed to restrict extremists’ behaviour and language. As with an Asbo, it could result in a criminal conviction carrying a jail term if breached.

Mrs May also discloses that she will make it illegal to join extremist groups that preach violent views, but are not directly involved in terrorism.
Well, you always need laws against violent revolution. No question about that.

But when you see large numbers of people joining serious opposition groups, it should also serve as a feedback signal. Especially when many of those people are highly educated engineers and doctors.

When logical people are turning against you, it means you're crazy. Or at least it means that the results of your actions are perceived as crazy.

As usual, FDR showed us the correct response. In 1932, America was suffering from violence and craziness perpetrated by two groups: Bankers and gangsters. Large numbers of ordinary people saw the craziness and correctly blamed the government for allowing bankers to run wild, and for creating Prohibition that spawned the gangsters.

FDR saw large numbers of people joining Communist and Fascist groups. He correctly recognized this as an error signal, informing him that the government was seen as the enemy of the people. He correctly diagnosed the sources of craziness. He cracked down HARD on the bankers and gangsters, and removed Prohibition. Soon the craziness started to subside, and with it the feedback signal of Communists and Fascists.

We have the same problems with bankers and gangsters; PLUS a crazy government that runs around creating mass death and chaos in countries that have insulted the bankers or insulted Israel; PLUS a genocidal government that uses tanks and guns and judges to SMASH SMASH SMASH SMASH SMASH SMASH SMASH every conceivable aspect of civilization inside its "own" country.

Obama has encouraged the bankers and gangsters to run wild, and (after briefly showing sanity) has continued to create mass death and chaos in countries that insult bankers or insult Israel.

The UK government has done exactly the same things, maybe slightly worse. Paying bankers instead of jailing them, rewarding gangsters and punishing citizens who dare to oppose gangsters, and creating chaos elsewhere.

When you ramp up your insanity, you should expect more feedback from sane people.

= = = = =

Just for fun, a little Gedankenexperiment. It's 1934. One of Dillinger's young thugs reaches into a cop car and attacks the cop. The cop shoots the thug. Which would have happened?

(a) FDR orders the Feds to help the local cops, because more force is needed against Dillinger's thugs.

(b) FDR orders the Feds to protect local thugs against cops, and orders a special investigation into all cops who dare to arrest or shoot thugs.

If you think (b) is correct, congratulations! You are a perfect modern EU/US/UK robot. You believe everything the telescreen believes, you know everything the telescreen knows. You are absolutely immune to reality.
 

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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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