Tuesday, September 29, 2009
  Serious plane theft

In the last few days some well-organized thieves have been working at small airports along the US-Canada border. In Bonners Ferry, Idaho and in Creston, BC (about 30 miles apart) thieves broke into hangars three nights in a row. In both places they were trying to grab a Cessna 182; they finally succeeded in Bonners Ferry. They also stole some handguns and a car. The Cessna hasn't been located yet; the thieves know how to fly the plane, so presumably they also know how to turn off its transponder. Appears to have been one group driving back and forth between the two airports, not two separate groups.

Could be drug smugglers, or could be more serious considering the simultaneous Mohammedan terrorist activities in Denver.

Stories here and here.

= = = = =

Update 10/2: The plane made a hard landing in Western Washington today, and the pilot ran away. Hasn't been caught yet, but cops now think it's a Seattle teenager named Colton Harris-Moore, who stole two different Cessna 182 planes last year and flew them around before crashing them. Big question: why isn't he in jail already?


 
  What's wrong with de Rugy?

I've been following the posts of Veronique de Rugy at NRO with increasing puzzlement. She doesn't seem to know what she's doing. Today's article is an excellent example. She compares UPS and FedEx to spot the effect of unionized workers. The comparison is valid because UPS and FedEx are in the exact same business, with UPS unionized and FedEx non-union.

She concludes that FedEx is superior, and that "the biggest problem in this story is the existence of stupid, outdated, ineffective, penalizing laws."

Really? UPS is twice as profitable as FedEx. Using the chart de Rugy provides, UPS net income is 6% of total revenue while FedEx net income is 3% of total revenue.

This doesn't prove that unions are solely responsible for better profit, but it emphatically proves that you can make a better profit while paying your employees twice as much.
 
  Plus ça change



The new improved 1960 Polistra is listening again to Jean Shepherd. Actually Shep has just finished his hour, and she's listening to the news afterward [one minute segment]. An Urgent Emergency Meeting of the United Nations was discussing a situation in the Congo which makes no sense now and probably made no sense then. Nevertheless, all Important Dictators had gathered to "debate" the situation, which made no difference then and makes no difference now. The Congo is still a complete mess 50 years later, because the UN has always done its assigned task perfectly.

Perfectly? Yup. Our politicians, in 2009 as in 1960, maintain the bizarre fantasy that the UN's job is to create peace. This is demonstrably false. The UN has proved through 64 years that its evil hand creates and maintains chaos everywhere it touches. Alger Hiss, its founder, knew exactly what he was doing.

= = = = =

This week's Urgent Emergency Meeting is a perfect echo. The UN is dealing with a Situation in Persia. All the Important Dictators are debating, and all the Demonstrators are Demonstrating, just as they did in 1960. And the UN will make the situation dramatically worse, just as it always has.

The only real question is why the American government continues to support Alger Hiss's high-performance turbocharged war and chaos generator.

Qaddafi, for all his disorganized rambling, has described the UN far more accurately than any of the smoothly polished As-Seen-On-TV leaders.

= = = = =

Sidenote: Flicklives.com is a very active website serving as a "concordance" for all things related to Jean Shepherd. If you're puzzled by some of his inside references, or want to know whether a certain story is truth or myth, the answer is there!


 
Monday, September 28, 2009
  Wow!

A new investigation of the Murrah Building bombing in 1995 is coming from a hitherto unknown source. Kenneth Trentadue, a Utah lawyer, has been unsatisfied with the official story since '95, because his brother was among the "usual suspects" picked up after the bombing and questioned. The questioning was lethal.

Trentadue has released the results of a Freedom of Information Act request to FBI. As usual the FBI took many years to respond, which gave them time to "rectify" a set of security tapes from neighboring buildings. The tapes all show people panicking after the explosion, but all are missing a segment of time before the explosion. It would be normal for cameras to fail just after the shock wave, but missing images before the explosion can only be deliberate.

Presumably there was some street activity just before the bang -- maybe cars or trucks driving away? -- that the FBI needs to conceal.

Trentadue's FOIA request to CIA was denied outright, on the grounds that their info would "do grave harm to national security." That answer isn't especially notable, because CIA never gives important information to mere Americans. What is interesting is that CIA, which primarily works at the international level, has important information about this "purely domestic lone gunman".
 
Saturday, September 26, 2009
  Silly science

New Superstitionist reports a new experiment that supposedly casts doubt on an earlier experiment on free will. The earlier experiment, by Benjamin Libet in 1983, showed that an 'action potential' appears in the brain many milliseconds before you're aware of making a decision. According to Libet this proves that you don't have free will because your decision was already made before you were conscious of it. The new experiment supposedly disproves this, in an indirect way that doesn't make sense to me.

In fact neither experiment proves anything about anything.

No matter what your brain is doing ... perceiving, deciding, dreaming ... your conscious awareness always runs well behind the real action. We don't pick up the delay in normal circumstances because we are operating completely within the realm of awareness. Everything that happens is delayed by the same 1/3 second, thus we don't notice a lack of synchronization.

But you can catch the delay in certain unusual circumstances when awareness doesn't entirely fill the mind. For instance, when you're almost asleep a sudden noise will make your muscles jerk (startle reflex) and 1/3 second later you "hear" the noise consciously.

The fact that awareness takes more computation time than reflexes is unremarkable.

The fact that "scientists" don't understand this basic idea is remarkable.

= = = = =

Of course the whole question is moot anyway. All actual decisions are predetermined by a long chain of influences. Physical laws prohibit many decisions (e.g. I could 'decide' to be tall enough to touch the moon, but everything needed to implement that 'decision' is obviously absurd); the hardwired parts of our brain prohibit many others (e.g. I could 'decide' to be a rich and happy traveling salesman, but my temperament and experiences wouldn't allow any of the necessary steps in that 'decision'.)

Those 'decisions' are really more like 'wishes'. Looking only at the narrower range of decisions that can truly be made: the present situation combines with our learning and the current hormonal balance of the brain to tip each decision one way or the other. Even when I try to yank the decision out of my own tightly-bound neurons by flipping a coin or by using a Zener diode random number generator, the fall of the coin or the choice of the generator is still fully determined by a chain of previous and current conditions. Those conditions are infinitely beyond the range of any human observer to measure or calculate, so they might as well be called random or free. But they are not truly random or free.
 
Friday, September 25, 2009
  When will they ever learn?

Though the recently departed Mary Travers didn't mean it this way, the song still applies.

Consider the current hoopla about Persia's nuclear ambitions. We're doing exactly the same thing to Persia that we did to Germany in the '20s, though the circumstances are different in many ways.

By imposing unpayable reparations and demands on Germany, we made it possible for Hitler to cultivate the sense of persecution and the need for revenge.

Now we have a Hitler-like personality at the head of Persia. He's not an absolute dictator; just as in Hitler's early years, the government still has a parallel line of parliamentary power. But our continued push will make it possible for him to take absolute power.

Our Wilsonian maternal arrogance is infuriating. "Now, now, little foreign children. You don't really mean that, do you? Mama America knows what's best for you. You need to adopt feminism, consumerism, feminism, secularism, feminism, debt, feminism, outsourcing, feminism, and Free And Fair Elections Supervised By Jimmy Carter."

Well now, in the first place this "American Dream" has been a suicidal nightmare for America, so realistic foreigners are fully justified in rejecting it. In the second place, those quaint little foreigners happen to have their own cultures that have worked comfortably for thousands of years.

We need to stop acting like Mamas and start acting like Papas. Let Persia alone. Remove the sanctions and limitations. Stop the lectures. Use our bases in Iraq to mount a massive non-nuclear retaliatory force. Tell Ahmadinejad that he's free to behave like any other country: develop whatever weapons he wants, treat his own people in any way he wants. But any sign of a weapon actually leaving the boundaries of Persia (except in obvious self-defense) will lead to instant and total annihilation of Tehran.
 
  G20, G7, G8

Just one question. Why in the world would any city volunteer for a week-long shutdown of all business, a security nightmare, and a guaranteed riot?

Prestige? Boasting rights? Those are abstract personal feelings that don't compensate for the real risk of burning the place down.

I have to conclude that city leaders are uniformly committed to destroying their own cities, just as Presidents don't get nominated unless they swear to destroy the country.

This is an observable fact with Spokane's city government, but I thought other cities weren't quite as bad. Apparently they are.
 
Thursday, September 24, 2009
  More than right

Taking note of this week's arrest of Afghanis in Denver who were building a large set of bombs.

Back in Feb 2007 I wrote:

[Bush] is still using the same logic, even after it's been shown invalid.

Specifically:

"If we fail over there, the turrists will follow us home."

Think about this for a minute. How will they do this? Several thousand Sunni and Shiite warriors will not be able to infiltrate easily into American life. These guys are not the elite Westernized types that performed 9/11. If they do attack en masse by some method, it means we are not doing the basic job of controlling our ports and borders.

"9/11 happened because Afghanistan was a failed state."

Afghanistan was part of the story, but most of the training and planning for 9/11 happened in Germany and in Florida. There are always failed states around the world; Somalia and Sudan are both failed states that serve al-Qaeda well, and we haven't done anything to eliminate them. Eliminating failed states is neither necessary nor sufficient to protect OUR people from Mohammedans and Arabs.


I was right but not harsh enough. Our pointless war in Afghanistan has clearly NOT prevented these particular "turrists" from "following us home." In fact our pointless war in Afghanistan is the REASON why these particular "turrists" came to America to bomb us.... and they were trained and funded in our main enemy Pakistan which is "our valued ally" according to both Bush and Obama.
 
  Lamar is on the case

Lamar Alexander continues to make persuasive speeches for nuclear power.

Theme: "How can Obama lecture other countries on climate change when he won't take advantage of the cleanest power available?"

Nice shot: "Greenies accuse the Bush administration of failing to listen to scientists. Well then, why doesn't the Obama administration listen to its OWN Energy Secretary Steven Chu, a Nobel-winning physicist, who has repeatedly advocated for nukes?"

On Youtube here.
 
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
  Where do squirrels poop?

There are millions of squirrels in my neighborhood. Every time I look out the window I see squirrels eating, fighting, climbing, mating, crossing the street via the power line. But I've never seen one pooping.

And if they just let'er rip wherever they stand, we should find tremendous trails of squirrel turds under trees and power lines, but I haven't seen those either. Presumably squirrel turds would be about the same size as rabbit pellets, which would be amply visible given their immense population.

(See what happens to my brain after listening to a half hour of Qaddafi?)
 
  Qaddafi

One of the weirdest things I've ever heard. He's the leader of a middle-sized country, but he sounds more like an unscreened caller to C-Span. Trying to read bits from the UN Charter, repeatedly losing his place, rambling with no particular purpose.

I have great sympathy for the UN translator trying to keep up with Qaddafi's dementia. You can hear his exhaustion, his panicky desire to finish this mess before his own mind explodes.
 
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
  Prop 71: not over yet

Read.

Comrade Stalin and Comrade Betty Friedan are cheering in Hell for their newly discovered acolyte, Comrade Rob McKenna.

If I write any more I'll smash the keyboard or commit libel.
 
Monday, September 21, 2009
  70 years ago......

Polistra wants to note the 70th anniversary of the only complete broadcast day preserved from the age when radio combined public service and entertainment.



WJSV, the CBS affiliate in Washington, decided that 9/21/39 was a significant turning point in history and decided to transcribe its full broadcast day. In hindsight the day wasn't all that important, but the full recording is still unique. It includes some programs that haven't been preserved elsewhere.

September was undoubtedly a critical month in Europe: Hitler grabbed Poland and Britain finally took him seriously. America was still inclined to remain neutral, and FDR's speech on this day reaffirmed our neutrality while cleverly opening a door to send more material aid to the Allies. A middle-sized step toward war but not among the "hinges of history".

The anniversary has a special resonance in 2009. Guiding Light finally went dark last week, cutting the last continuous connection to that era. Guiding Light was on NBC in '39 so wasn't part of this recording from a CBS station; some early undated Guiding Light episodes are available here.

Here's the complete day.

= = = = =

Sidenote: Come to think of it, Guiding Light doesn't count as continuous since it departed from radio in 1956. There is exactly one continuously produced radio program from the pre-television era, though not quite from the Golden Age. The wonderful Christian drama series "Unshackled" began in 1950 on WGN and is still produced weekly in pure old-fashioned style with live music and live studio audiences. It originates from Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago and goes out to the world through an informal network of local stations.
 
Sunday, September 20, 2009
  Caught!

Phillip Paul, the insane killer who escaped during a fun outing to the County Fair, was caught this afternoon. Apparently he had been planning this escape for many months, buying camp food online and setting up connections. He took advantage of the two-hour gap between his escape and the first notification to law enforcement; got one of his friends to give him a ride to the town of Goldendale near Yakima. It's not known why he chose that town. After three days of camping, he tried to flag down a random passing car; that driver notified police, and they closed in on him. (The cops already had a tip that he was somewhere around Goldendale.)

One nice bit of closure: the deputy who arrested him was the same guy who had arrested him on his previous escape in 1991. That time, Paul seriously injured the deputy. This time, he came quietly.

The response of state officials and news media has undergone a dramatic and speedy change. On the first day, state officials were sticking to Psychologically Correct Language and evasive answers. By the fourth day, the boiling public outrage (and probably police outrage as well) had caused the state officials and media to sober up completely. No more evasion and euphemism, just plain facts.

On the first day, "An alleged murderer sometimes described as criminally insane...."

On the fourth day, "Insane Killer Caught."

= = = = =

More details on the capture. Looks like a friend drove Paul to Goldendale and equipped him with sleeping bag, guitar and scythe, supposedly believing that Paul had been officially released instead of escaped. Doesn't ring true, but I can understand why the cops want to muffle this part of the story. The friend finally tipped them off, so he deserves consideration.
 
  Time for Titicut Two

Reprinting something I wrote three years ago:

This still points to a significant problem that our long-term Leninist infiltration has generously given us. Over the last forty years, the push for 'human rights' and 'equality' has moved crazy people out of institutions and onto the streets.

I remember seeing the documentary 'Titicut Follies' (which launched the whole campaign of deinstitutionalization) when it first came out in 1967, and I remember being appropriately, um, shocked by the terrible way the inmates in that Massachusetts asylum were treated.

In the ensuing years, I mostly lived in the lower-class neighborhoods where the 'freed' crazies lived, and knew several of them. I watched them suffer, watched them cause suffering for the non-crazy neighbors, and watched them tie the police in knots, because even when fully crazy the 'freed' inmates know their special privileges forward and backward.

'Titicut Follies' was shown just once in recent years; I think it was 1992 on PBS. I watched it then and was inversely shocked. By comparison to the folks I've seen and known on the streets, the schizies in the 1967 asylum were obviously happier, healthier, safer and more comfortable.

Moreover, those inmates weren't creating confusion for law enforcement. It's an unfortunate fact that some crazies have a compulsion to imitate violent events they see on the news. As in pouring out white powder in public places when anthrax is in the news, or driving forcefully onto a ferry with firecrackers in your car when terrorist threats to ferries are in the news.

Presumably somebody at PBS must have realized that the documentary now served an inverse purpose, which explains why they never repeated the film again.


With the Phillip Paul incident focusing our attention on the total incompetence of today's insane asylums and the total failure of deinstitutionalization, this would be an excellent time for a new documentary. Won't happen, of course, because the joyfully deceased Emperor Teddy was a major leader in the movement toward 'human rights' for lunatics, and no journalist will ever question a movement that Emperor Teddy supported.
 
  Obama slaps CNN

Comrade John King interviewed Obama this morning on Sharpton News Network. Comrade King tried several times to get Obama to go along with CNN's hateful and insane view that all white people are Klansmen, but Obama didn't go along. Not only that, he chided the media (listing CNN first) for paying total attention to the loudest noises and ignoring real questions. He pointed out that any President who tries to change things will get shouted at.

Bravo. This is what a President should be doing.

= = = = =

Buzz! Buzz! Buzz! End-of-Sentence Preposition Alert! In order to be readable by conservatives, the fourth sentence above should be corrected to the following: "Out which he pointed, that at whom any President who tries to change things will get shouted."
 
Saturday, September 19, 2009
  Return to normalcy?

Obama's decision to cancel anti-missile installations in Eastern Europe makes good sense. We don't owe anything to Poland and Czechoslovakia, and they haven't given us anything to justify our continued support.

But Russia has actually given us something in return for the cancellation. "Russia may abandon plans to deploy tactical missiles in Kaliningrad Region in response to the US decision to drop missile defense plans for Central Europe."

The American people never gained anything from our vaunted Superpower status. Over the decades we paid trillions of dollars and thousands of lives to "defend" our "allies" and got no value in return.

Old-fashioned empires made economic sense: taking resources from the colonies in return for supporting the corrupt local governments. America ran such a rational empire from 1890 to 1940 (or more precisely from San Juan Hill to Pearl Harbor!) with colonies in the Caribbean and the Pacific. Since then our empire has been all output and no input.

Time to give up this extravagant illusion. Now that we have joined Russia in the club of collapsed empires, perhaps we can finally slide into a more normal and humble relationship ... not exactly friends or allies, but non-belligerent competitors who work together when necessary. We were heading in this direction in 1945, but Stalin screwed it up by turning to subversion and sabotage.
 
Friday, September 18, 2009
  Lenin's army

Psychologists and social workers are the front line of Lenin's army against civilization. Redistribution of good and evil is their assigned mission, and they accomplish their mission every day.

A perfect illustration of their evil effect happened in Spokane yesterday. The nearest insane asylum, Eastern State Hospital, decided to take a delusional murderer on a field trip to the State Fair. He was unchained, unsupervised and unmarked, and he got away. Nobody knows where he is, and cops are now searching the whole state to find him.

Main story here.

He's in the insane asylum because back in 1987 the voices in his head told him to kill an elderly librarian.

Note two things in this clip: (1) Newscasters are so firmly immersed in modern weasel-shit euphemisms that they're having real trouble saying the word insane straightforwardly. They're struggling with circumlocutions like "sometimes described as criminally insane". (2) The secretary of the State Dept of Social Services shows us the "thinking" behind taking murderers on fun little trips: "It's important to understand the distinction. When you're a person with mental health issues, you're not a prisoner, you're a patient."

This "thinking" is legally insane. The DSHS secretary does not know the difference between good and evil. She only hears the voices of Freud, Watson and Jung in her head, telling her to expose innocent people to known killers.

= = = = =

As we learn more about how the asylum is run, I'm getting more and more irritated. We are paying taxes to give PRIVILEGES and FREE FUN TIMES to murderers and rapists, simply because these particular murderers were judged "insane", a label that can be stretched to fit anything. Murderers and rapists who weren't judged "insane" don't get those privileges, which is as it should be.

It's long past time to get rid of the absurd and illogical "innocent by reason of insanity". Originally the concept of incompetence to stand trial was meant to cover seriously retarded minds, childlike people who do bad things without realizing it. The Leninist shrinks expanded this to include intelligent psychotics in order to keep ordinary people confused, stupid and afraid.

In the America of Ayn Rand, Al Sharpton and Teddy Kennedy, killers (aka Winners) get respect, privileges and women. Law-abiding people (aka Losers) get nothing but contempt ... no, I take it back, they do get something. They get to pay the bills for the respect, privileges and women granted to the Winners.
 
Thursday, September 17, 2009
  The one-key rule



Polistra's Law of Political Math: For each important question, only one mathematical operation is permissible.

When I was an electronic tech at Penn State in the '80s, I learned this important bit of wisdom from Prof Davis, a pollution researcher. Davis had developed an effective and inexpensive method to remove airborne sulfur dioxide, which has always been a coal-country problem and thus a PSU specialty. After thorough testing he offered the method to EPA for large-scale use. EPA refused his invention, because the method required spreading (aerosolizing) an absorptive powder. They explained that the public wanted to see only subtraction in a pollution-removal process; EPA knew it couldn't justify adding something to the air even if the air would be perfectly clean after the powder dropped to the ground.

This rule applies in every realm. For education funding, the only key you can hit is the plus key. For taxes, only the minus key. Protection for Chinese industry: Add. Protection for American industry: Subtract. For military weapons, only plus. For personal weapons, only minus. Democracy abroad, only add. Personal freedom here, only subtract.

As with any rule, there are occasional exceptions, and the rarity and salience of the exceptions proves the generality of the rule.

Today a couple of interesting exceptions showed in the news. (1) Obama is reducing our missile-interceptor weapons in Europe, stirring up a predictable firestorm. This is a good move because the original Cold War purpose of the weapons is gone, and the "Persian threat" is imaginary. (2) Amtrak has started to allow personal weapons to be carried on trains. This won't make any real difference because the allowance is only in checked luggage; it won't help to prevent any mass murders. Still, it does run against the one-key rule.

= = = = =

Update: The Senate has broken another one-key rule. This one says: "Funding for Soviet-front organizations whose sole purpose is to rip America to shreds: Always multiply." Just this minute, by an 85-11 vote, they stopped pushing the Multiply key for ACORN and hit Clear All instead. And the House has done the same.

Think about this. Do elections matter? Yes, but exactly opposite to the way we hear it from the talking point heads. From 2002 through 2006, Republicans had control of all branches of govt. Acorn has been around for 35 years, and its criminal activities have been known for a long time. Acorn is anti-American but ESPECIALLY anti-Republican; Acorn threw many elections to Dem candidates, and was indicted and convicted in some of those cases. So you'd expect the brand-R politicians to dissolve Acorn when they had the chance, wouldn't you? Nope, Bush and the R congress didn't defund anyone. Not ACLU, not Acorn, not the ABA, not any of the Soviet-front organizations. Now that we've elected a complete brand-D government, we finally get Acorn pulled out of its quasi-governmental position.
 
  First local hit

Over the 4.5 years I've been writing this, I've been watching the SiteMeter fairly steadily, and noticed some patterns in the handful of daily hits this blog receives. Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of hits come to the one and only entry that contains some "artistic nudity" in the form of the Goddess of Oil statue. I don't know what those people expect, but they're probably not getting it! Many of those hits come from India for some unknown reason. The second most common link is via the phrase "explanatory sentence", because Polistra often writes about "self-explanatory sentences". I've tried to put caveats in those entries so foreigners who are learning English won't be confused.

Aside from those two, the rest are random but mainly understandable. Jerry Winkelman gets a few hits lately, which tells me that he must be starting up another dubious enterprise. A few links come in via my comments at Front Porch Republic. These are the only readers who appear to stop for a few minutes and actually read what I've written. I do appreciate that. And when I mention a member of Congress, a link from house.gov tends to show up, presumably a constant semi-robotic opinion checking process.

Oddly, I've never seen a hit from a URL in Spokane ... until today when someone at Gonzaga looked at my post on Prop 71. This seems odd because the blog profile clearly gives my location as Spokane, and I write often about local matters. You'd think the city govt would run an occasional "blogsweep" to get a sense of positive vs negative opinions, but they don't.
 
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
  Old psychiatrist joke.

CNN visits Dr. Weintraub for a psychiatric evaluation.

Dr. W: I'm going to show you a series of ink blots, and I want you to say the first thing that comes to mind. Here's the first one....

CNN: I see the Ku Klux Klan!!!! I see Bull Connor beating innocent Persons Of Color in Selma, Alabama in 1963! Run, run, run! It's the Klan!!!

Dr. W: Ooookayyy, now let's look at this picture.....

CNN: I see the Ku Klux Klan!!!! I see Bull Connor beating innocent Persons Of Color in Selma, Alabama in 1963! Run, run, run! It's the Klan!!!

Dr. W: Hmmmmmm. Now this one......

CNN: I see the Ku Klux Klan!!!! I see Bull Connor beating innocent Persons Of Color in Selma, Alabama in 1963! Run, run, run! It's the Klan!!!

Dr. W: Um, it seems that you have an obsession. Most people see a variety of things in the blots: houses, cars, forests, people having sex, congressmen questioning the President. But every picture suggests the same thing in your mind.

CNN: Obsession!!!! What do you mean obsession!!!!! You're the racist!!!!! Racist, racist, racist, racist!!!!! Help!!!! I'm being held hostage by Bull Connor!!!!!!!
 
Monday, September 14, 2009
  Norman Borlaug RIP



Polistra and Happystar salute the memory of Norman Borlaug, the Greatest Man, who died at age 95 a few days ago.

Borlaug saved more lives than Lincoln, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Harry Blackmun and Goldman Sachs together destroyed. If that doesn't count as the Greatest Man, I don't know what else you could call him.

Heaven rejoices, Earth mourns.

= = = = =

Sidenote: I should specify that Borlaug wasn't alone, and his work benefitted farmers everywhere, not just India. His Green Revolution involved agricultural researchers at several universities, including K-State. Today's Spokane paper details parallel work at WSU, which led to the present prosperity of Eastern Washington farmers specializing in Durum wheat.
 
Sunday, September 13, 2009
  Another interesting replay

The Voice of Russia website has a brief article on the 8th anniversary of 9/11.

Most of it agrees with the American version, but this is unexpected:

The hijackers crashed a third airliner into the Pentagon in Washington, while a fourth plane was shot down by US flak near Shanksville in rural Pennsylvania, after some of its passengers and flight crew unsuccessfully attempted to retake control of the jet. There were no survivors from any of the flights.


Shot down by US flak [anti-aircraft fire] .... ???

This is an important difference from the American version, where the passengers stormed the cockpit and somebody (presumably the hijacker pilot) intentionally crashed the jet. Do the Russians know something that we weren't told? Or if this is propaganda, what would be the purpose? The Russian version imputes more quickness and competence to our military response than the American version.


Frankly, Polistra is finding the post-cold-war Russia to be a better model and a more trustworthy nation than the post-cold-war America. Russia is returning to its Orthodox roots, and its government defends the interests of Russia's own economy and people. America under Bush and Obama is self-destructive. Our government and institutions work hard to destroy Christian principles while tearing down the industries that allowed ordinary men to support a family. Our government grinds its own army into the dust of useless wars and prosecutes its own soldiers and intelligence operatives who dare to do their job properly. Our corporations throw the game to our enemies in China and Arabia. The financial collapse should have provided an opportunity to pull down the Wall Street Mafia, but instead Obushma has granted them even more power and money, which is unquestionably anti-Christian.

Anti-Christian? Really? Doesn't God love wealth? Isn't that what Joel Osteen and Rick Warren tell us?

Oh, maybe not.....

Fecit potentiam in brachio suo,
dispersit superbos mente cordi sui;
deposuit potentes de sede
et exaltavit humiles;
esurientes implevit bonis
et divites dimisit inanes.

If Obama had been serious, he would have spent the first month of his term dispersing the superbos and deposing the potentes. Instead he made them even more superb and potent, even more invulnerable.
 
Saturday, September 12, 2009
  Concise progress report

The best analysis of Obama's situation at this moment comes from a Canadian writer. Not my usual favorite David Warren, but Thomas Walkom at the Toronto Star.

Walkom's constant theme is that Obama has the correct abstract concepts but no practical follow-through; good rhetoric but bad action.

On health care:
His early insistence on bipartisan approval left health reform hostage to those who opposed it. His refusal to articulate a clear vision allowed enemies of reform and their friends in the lunatic right to define the issue in their own terms – as a plot by Nazis to institute death panels.

Most of all, his own lack of clarity has crippled his efforts. Obama wanted to present health reform as a measure that would expand medical coverage to all, while costing Americans less. Yet he deliberately foreclosed the only options – single-pay insurance and pharmaceutical bargaining – that would have allowed him to achieve those competing aims.


On the bailout:

That some of Obama's plans might work sometime in the future is possible. That up to now few have succeeded should come as no surprise.

Clearly, Obama cannot be blamed for everything.

He did not invent the recession, the mortgage meltdown, the North American auto crisis or the global financial collapse.

By committing vast amounts of federal dollars to fight the recession, he followed not only the new international orthodoxy but almost certainly the correct path.

Yet even here, the president's debilitating caution came through, particularly in his reluctance to comprehensively tackle the core of the problem, America's bloated and dysfunctional financial system.

Instead, Obama and his treasury secretary Timothy Geithner focused on fixing that system just enough to let it resume those practices – such as issuing complex asset-backed securities – that caused the economic crisis in the first place.


In short, as Polistra predicted early on, Obama talks like a Roosevelt but acts like a Bush.
 
Friday, September 11, 2009
  Prop 71 update

Some good news:

A federal judge on Thursday ordered the state of Washington to keep shielding the identities of people who signed petitions to force a vote on expanded benefits for gay couples.

U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle in Tacoma granted the preliminary injunction involving petitions for Referendum 71 while a related case moves forward on the constitutionality of the state public records act.

The referendum, sponsored by a group called Protect Marriage Washington, asks voters to approve or reject the "everything but marriage" domestic partnership law that state lawmakers passed earlier this year.

In his ruling, Settle said he was "not persuaded that waiver of one's fundamental right to anonymous political speech is a prerequisite for participation in Washington's referendum process."

...

The legal battle to keep the referendum off the Nov. 3 ballot ended Wednesday when supporters of expanded rights for domestic partners said they wouldn't appeal a Thurston County Superior Court judge's refusal to block the vote.


Good, and amazingly logical for a Federal judge.

It seems to me that signing a referendum is not materially different from voting. If voting is supposed to be secret, then signing a referendum should also be secret. And the judge seems to share this theory.

Judge Settle also overruled the Communists on the state Public Disclosure Commission, who had decided earlier that exposing Christians to death threats was a desirable and positive goal, an imperative Dialectical Movement toward a Perfect Progressive Society.

= = = = =

Sidenote: There's no real constitutional basis for secrecy in either type of voting, and I suspect the system would work better if voting were open. At this point in history, being able to see and count the effect of your own vote is more important than stopping the old-fashioned style of vote fraud. When Alderman McGrath paid you $100 for your vote, you probably weren't operating in the "Public Good", but you were voting in your own vested interest. Your vote had a specific value, and you knew it was important! Modern-style corruption destroys the value of voting entirely, discarding or altering vast numbers of ballots with one keystroke. Tracking your own vote to its destination would return integrity to the process, would allow you and the Alderman to check on each other. (It still wouldn't help in Presidential elections where the Electoral College automatically deletes all votes except a few hundred in Florida and Ohio; but it would re-value all the other elections.)

However! Since ordinary voting is currently secret, signing a petition should also be secret.
 
  Interesting replay

Just noticed something odd in MSNBC's annual replay of the 9/11 event this morning.

"Here in Florida, the President was getting ready to attend an education event, which has obviously been canceled. He was told of the attack while in his hotel, and we believe he will be making a brief statement soon."

This definitely disagrees with the (apparently!) actual situation, in which Sultan Bush was reading a story to schoolkids, heard about the attack from Andy Card, and continued reading for several minutes.

Was "told in his hotel" true, was it an attempted cover story by Bush staffers who quickly realized how stupid the real situation looked, or was it a misassumption by the reporter?
 
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
  iTunes new? Nope

The 1942 private-eye movie "X Marks the Spot" centers on an interesting and forgotten coin-op technology, something like a friendly juke box. This 1950 episode of the fine radio show 'This is Your FBI' also features the same system, with an interesting prediction of its future progress.



The "Number Please" system had a central office equipped with a record library and turntables ... presumably a separate turntable for each remote jukebox ... and pleasant-voiced girls as the DJs. It must have been familiar to moviegoers, but I'd guess it was only installed in a few big cities. Can't find anything about it online.

Private subscription music is much older, dating almost to the first organized telephone service. In fact some prognosticators thought the telephone would be more useful for broadcasting than for conversation; the telegraph and postal system seemed perfectly adequate for sending information. Starting around 1890, many city phone exchanges offered a "music channel" charged to your regular phone bill. These disappeared before WW2 in America but continued into the '70s in parts of Europe. Now the very same service is coming around again via Kazaa!

= = = = =

Later: Here's a picture of a real 'juke system', also from 1942. The movie wasn't too far from the reality.


 
  Obama's school speech

Great speech. Reminds me a lot of the way Mr Dillon treated his mostly black Remedial Math students way back in 7th grade, probably 1961, as I described here and here.

= = = = =

Mixing the relevant parts of those texts:

Every Friday in fall, the school football game started in the middle of last period. Most teachers walked their entire class to the stadium, about six blocks away. School wasn't dismissed, though; some teachers kept their classes in, and every student needed parental permission to attend the game. (Maybe there was a good reason for this confused arrangement, but more likely it was just typical woodenheaded school administration. Some things don't change!) On this particular Friday, Pete and I were the only students in Mr Schoening's history class who didn't have permission slips. So Mr Schoening sent us down the hall to spend the hour in Mr Dillon's remedial math class, which was among the few classes remaining in session.

After a while, with nothing better to do, Pete and I started working the math problems along with the class. Two-digit multiplication, as I recall, normally mastered in 5th grade. Pete and I reached the answer in a few seconds, and compared notes audibly: Boy, this one was really easy, wasn't it? Yeah, I don't know why it takes so long for these guys. Chortle, chortle.

Mr Dillon instantly caught on. He threw his chalk to the floor, stormed to the back of the room, yanked both of us out of our seats, and shook us by the shoulders: You miserable smartalecks! What do you think you're doing, making fun of my students?

By the time he tossed us back down, we were nicely deflated.

Back then, everyone knew which kids were dumb and which were smart. Still true now, but we know how to eliminate the difference by using Sensitivity and Self-Esteem to make everyone dumb. Poor benighted Mr Dillon, working before those two concepts were invented, saw his job in a different light. He knew that these remedial kids would only have a chance to achieve something in life if they mastered as much math as they could. And he knew that the only way to get there was by working. What a laughably primitive idea! But those kids, equally unaware of later developments, did in fact work their hearts out for Mr Dillon.

And Mr Dillon also knew that their enthusiasm would not survive a head-on collision with fatalism or cynicism. Those remedials couldn't afford to think "Hey, this stuff is easy for Pete and Dave, why isn't it easy for me?" Nor could they afford "Why bother? Why not just hang around the streets and steal stuff?"

So when Mr Dillon shook the smugness out of our smartass skulls, he wasn't just teaching us that mockery is bad. We knew that anyway, though the reminder was certainly useful. He was mainly trying to save his kids from infection by the mindset of criminality.

Mr Dillon's leadership recipe in short form: Respect, Expect, Protect. He told his kids they could do a good job; he expected them to do a good job; and he protected them against snide wiseasses like Pete and me.

= = = = =

Obama has struck the same notes: Respect, Expect, Protect.
 
Monday, September 07, 2009
  Private armies

Okay, we have Acorn on one side and the Tea Party on the other. We have Truthers on one side and Birthers on the other. For the first time since 1968, both left and right have their own private semi-organized rowdies. (The Left always has its private armies, ranging from Acorn to the Black Panthers, but the Right only occasionally and temporarily mobilizes.)

Could get interesting, especially since the President directly commands the rowdies of the Left.

But what's the goal of both sides? Cui bono? Who gains from Obama's power, and who would have gained from McCain?

The Wall Street Mafia gains from both sides. That's who.

What we have here is a phony war, both sides passionately fighting for Goldman Sachs.
 
Saturday, September 05, 2009
  Deep truth

Ran into this joke here, which is a good source for "elegant" jokes.


Why engineers don't write advice columns

Dear Joe:

I hope you can help me here. The other day I set off for work leaving my husband in the house watching the TV as usual. I hadn't gone more than a mile down the road when my engine died and the car shuddered to a halt. I walked back home to get my husband's help. When I got home I couldn't believe my eyes. He was in the bedroom with a neighbor lady making mad passionate love to her. I am 32, my husband is 34 and we have been married for twelve years. When I confronted him, he broke down and admitted that he’d been having an affair for the past six months.

I told him to stop or I would leave him. He was laid off from his job six months ago and he says he has been feeling increasingly depressed and worthless. I love him very much, but ever since I gave him the ultimatum he has become increasingly distant. I don't feel I can get through to him anymore.

Can you please help? I am desperate.

Sincerely,

Barbara

= = =

Dear Barbara:

Don't despair. A car stalling after being driven a short distance can be caused by a variety of faults with the engine. Start by checking that there is no debris in the fuel line. If it is clear, check the jubilee clips holding the vacuum pipes onto the inlet manifold. If none of these approaches solves the problem, it could be that the fuel pump itself is faulty, causing low delivery pressure to the carburetor float chamber.

I hope this helps.

Joe
 
Friday, September 04, 2009
  Comrade Sharpton wins

Two months ago I noted a local story of vicious violence. A criminal noticed a little dog inside a locked car. The criminal broke the window, reached in, yanked the dog out by its leash, and slammed it against the sidewalk several times.

At that time I wrote:

Human civilization depends on dogs, and this evil featherless biped has violated the basic dog-man "social contract" by behaving like an Arab.

Seems like the kind of story that would go national, but I doubt that it will. The vicious entity who committed this atrocity is an Authentic African-American (i.e. a gangster with a long criminal record) so the national media won't be able to digest the story. Our enemy-controlled media have a strongly enforced official line: "Only whites can do evil. Southern Christian whites do nothing but evil. Authentic African-Americans are incapable of doing bad things."


Now Michael Jones, the Authentic African American, has decided to turn himself in, which is unusually smart. Trouble is, our weenie-ass fag-ass Commie-ass local prosecutor hadn't even prepared any charges against the Authentic African American; when Jones and his attorney showed up at the courthouse last week, the weenie-ass fag-ass Commie-ass local prosecutor told him to come back some other time.

Crimes committed by Aristocrats are not crimes.

Told you so.
 
Thursday, September 03, 2009
  The wisdom of Shepherd


Polistra is all 1962-ed up while listening to the late great Jean Shepherd.

Several of his shows are found at this location. Somewhat surprising that more of his work hasn't been preserved, since his show ran from 1956 to 1977, after the "golden age" of radio, and well into the era when cassette tape recorders were common. I remember hearing him a few times in Kansas circa 1961; New York was only rarely audible from there, but I had a good antenna and plenty of patience.

Polistra is listening to a segment (about two minutes long) in which Shep states a few uncommon truths that Polistra herself has voiced often.

Here is the relevant segment from Shep's show.

Transcribed for non-listeners:

No, no, no. One small group of people cannot create a national psychosis. Hitler couldn't have been Hitler unless a large set of Germans secretly felt the way his philosophy was conceived. In other words, you just don't create a whole image like that; it has to be there in the beginning.

Another one of the great dreams that Americans seem to have, more than most people, is this: That we can separate the governments of nations that we don't like from the people. In other words, Khrushchev doesn't really represent the people of Russia; that the Communist regime there is really not the Russian people. [We have] this great illusion that we can separate the things that come out of the people, from the people themselves, that Hitler didn't represent all the Germans, no. That Castro doesn't represent the Cubans. Welllll, this is a questionable thesis. That Jack Paar and Ed Sullivan don't represent American tastes... Oh yes they do. [In fact] the people we elect [as] President represent our tastes rather than our thinking. It's a matter of taste, a matter of disposition. You can never separate what people do on a large scale from what they really secretly want. Television is the way it is because the large majority of people want it this way, even though they protest loudly about it.


Note especially his dissection of the Bush/Wilson delusion, the "dream" that you can cure other countries by giving them the Holy Water of Democracy.
 
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
  Feminist fools

Over the last two weeks a really stupid story has been unraveling at WSU, and the Spokane media have been going along with the stupidity instead of looking at facts. On Aug 19 a female "reported" being attacked by a vaguely described male. Then on Aug 24 another female "reported" a similar attack. Also on Aug 24, a third "report".

That's how the media treated it... until the first accuser recanted. At that point, by simple logic, any thinking human would know that the second report was also false.

Nope, the media continued to treat #2 and #3 as gospel truth, as usual leaving off the "alleged" that sticks like glue to real reports of real crimes. Finally the WSU police revealed that report #3 was made by the same female who lied the first time. At that point even morons could see that the second report must be false. Nope, the media were still treating it as gold, warning young women to watch out for this evil stalker. Worst of all, the WSU President was making a big show of activating the Wymyn's Anti-Male Guard Center or whatever it's called, and offered a $5000 reward from his own pocket.

Yesterday the WSU cops finally let us "know" what we already knew with perfect certainty by logic: the second accuser was also lying. (Not the same female as #1 and #3.)

It appears that (as usual) the two female criminals will not be charged with anything, and (as usual) their names will be secret, thus encouraging other criminals to waste police time and obstruct justice.

Responsible newspapers and media would now be trying to find out the names of these two criminals, and would broadcast the names loudly and repeatedly so that other law enforcement agencies and innocent young men could avoid their evil clutches. Of course this won't happen.

Most of this mess is drearily predictable, but the involvement of WSU Pres Floyd is mildly puzzling. At the time when he called out the Harridan and Harpy Squad, the WSU cops must have been highly suspicious about the truth of the reports. If they didn't tell him that the reports looked like lies, they were letting their boss look like a fool, which is a sort of passive-aggressive insubordination. If they did tell him, then he's simply a fool.
 
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
  Prop 71

Earlier this year the Wash Legislature passed a homosexual "marriage" law. Citizens wrote a referendum to undo the homosexual "marriage" law, and the petition gathered just enough signatures to get on the ballot. During the petition drive, the anti-Christian side made death threats against some of the leaders. Those leaders testified before the Wash Public Disclosure Commission a few days ago, describing the nature of the death threats and asking for an exemption to protect contributors from disclosure. The Communists of the PDC unanimously denied the request, saying "the examples provided were not clear and convincing evidence that the disclosure requirements were subjecting the committee to a manifestly unreasonable hardship."

I was previously neutral on the whole question, because I couldn't see how adding homosexual "marriage" to laws would ruin ordinary marriage. Normal marriage has already been killed by many other cultural and legal factors (feminism, no-fault divorce, the destruction of American industrial jobs) so this extra bullet didn't seem to matter much. I changed my mind when Carrie Prejean was stripped of her Miss USA title for expressing a pro-marriage opinion. My change is growing stronger with each example of death threats by the Communist side. Obviously this "extra bullet" is important to them; they clearly feel that normal marriage isn't dead enough yet. If it matters to them, it matters to me.

This is war.

= = = = =

Sidenote: When I say "the Communists of the PDC" I'm not throwing the word around loosely (as I sometimes admittedly do!) Watch the clip and you'll see it's literally true in this case.
 

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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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