Thursday, August 30, 2012
  B & O, var & const

Another little variables & constants item.

Tinkerbell McKenna and Jay Inslee, the "two" "party" candidates for Wash governor, got into a fierce non-debate about their hate of a state income tax. One hated it, the other hated it more, the first doubled down on hating it, the other saw his hate and raised it, the first accused the other of obscenely insufficient hate, etc, etc, etc.

We must preserve our competitive advantage, must keep the job-creators here, etc, etc, etc.

Okay, Tink and Jay. Let's look at this.

Wash doesn't have a tax with the explicit TITLE of "Income Tax", but it does have the Business and Occupations tax. This is an income tax on businesses and corporations, which also applies to independent contractors. Thus it catches a good part of the population directly or indirectly.

I've been working in 'contractor' style and filing B&O tax returns for many years. So far I haven't had to pay anything, but the threshold is just above my typical yearly income, so I'll undoubtedly pay sooner or later. Either my income will rise above the limit, or the limit will slide down. Okay with me. This state provides pretty good service in general, and I don't mind paying for good service.

Now back to you boys. You say you don't want an "Income Tax" because it would keep businesses from coming to the state. Hmm. We ALREADY have an income tax SPECIFICALLY ON BUSINESS. If tax is the problem, this would already be the problem.

Therefore, our problem** is not income tax. It's other taxes and rules, especially environmental crap.

= = = = =

** Actually, I'm not convinced Wash has an employment problem. It could be that our taxes and laws are giving us the type of business we want, while Idaho's taxes and laws are giving Idaho the type of business they want. That's how federalism is supposed to work.
 
  Why an economy?

This morning I wrote a quick comment at Yves Smith's site that turned out to be a nice terse summation.

I've been making these points every day since 2006, but I don't think I've ever tied them up so neatly in one package.

Copying here with added context:

We shouldn't be asking whether we need more spending or less tax. We shouldn't be looking at GDP as the goal. We have to start by asking "Why do we have an economy?"

The answer is NOT "to increase a number." The correct answer is that we have an economy to improve the lot of humans. More specifically, we have an economy to provide decent jobs that ordinary people can do, and to provide decent stuff that ordinary people can buy.

America had an economy like that once. Roughly from 1945 to 1980.

Let's look at variables and constants.

At various times in those years we had high spending and low spending, high taxes and low taxes. So we know that spending and taxes are NOT the relevant forcing factors.

What did we have constantly during those years that we don't have now? Most importantly we had strong restrictions on financiers and banks. Second, we kept a firm hand on corporations. Third, we kept a firm hand on foreign trade. All trade treaties were strictly bilateral, none of this WTO/NAFTA shit. We weren't afraid to charge tariffs.
 
  "Journalism" = Incurable Evil

KREM, the most irresponsible and constantly wrong of the local media, is following the old evil Rodney King recipe for starting a riot.

Compare the text and the tape. The text describes a small incident at the STA terminal. One man is hassling another man. The security guard stops the hassler from boarding the bus along with the hasslee. The hassler then tries to pull the guard's hand away. At that point the guards move in and subdue the hassler.

In other words, it's a perfectly rational and proper police action, attempting to protect the public from a man who insists on being vicious.

The video, in true Rodney style, starts at the moment when the guards move in on the hassler. We don't get to see why the guards felt the need to move in.

Shame, shame, shame, shame, shame.
 
  Cute redefine

The Randian talkers are pulling a cute trick.

Non-Randians (including me) have been accusing Vulture Romney and other corporate types of being disloyal to America.

The meaning of loyalty is fairly obvious. When you're loyal to an institution or a government or a set of people, you do everything in your power to make sure it succeeds. Specifically, when you have the power to move money around, when you have the power to move jobs around, we can objectively measure your loyalty by watching where you put the money and jobs.

Corporate heads in modern times, including Romney, are putting their money in offshore havens, paying zero tax, and moving jobs to China. By objective measurement, they are disloyal to America. They are doing everything in their power to make sure America fails.

This wasn't always the case. In the aftermath of WW2 there was plenty of opportunity to move jobs overseas. Europe had millions of highly skilled workers who were desperate for food and would have worked for nearly nothing. But American corporations DIDN'T offshore jobs to Europe.

Now the Randians are saying "No. Patriotism does not mean paying more than you need to pay. It means paying as little as you can get away with."

Really? REALLY? Loyalty means doing less for the country than ordinary citizens do????????

I always thought laying siege to a country and looting its treasures counted as an act of war, not an act of patriotism.

Obviously I was wrong. Obviously then, Lincoln was loyal to the Confederacy, Hitler was loyal to France, Israel is loyal to Gaza.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012
  Terse

It's well known that terse writing takes more skill than verbose. Twitter puts the truism to the test. Most journalists fail, but one anonymous local writer at KXLY has a real knack for fitting it all into 140.

A couple of items from today:

Idaho couple holds fundraiser for daughter who they said has leukemia. The problem is the girl never had leukemia.

Man shoots shotgun @ bulletproof glass, confirms it's bulletproof. Ricocheted shotgun pellets confirm he's not.


Those are just plain elegant, damn near poetic.


 
  Misteromney's neighborhood, 5

Sequel to previous Vulture Romney pics, this and this and this and this and this.



As Polistra wrote earlier,

There's some personal resonance as well. Five times I've seen the devastation when Mitt types took over businesses where I worked, or colleges where I studied. In each case the business or college had a solid set of traditions that kept it going, kept its employees and customers/students in harmony. The institution had a SOUL.

In each case the Mitt type, the Numbers Man, the Turnaround Man, the Efficiency Expert, took over as CEO and destroyed the tradition, destroyed the harmony, destroyed the SOUL. The Mitt type ruled purely by NUMBERS, looking only at the bottom line and systematically tearing down the family-like connection that made the place worthwhile for its workers and customers. In each case there was a brief burst of profit, then a rapid decline as workers and customers/students abandoned ship.

America has been suffering the same fate for 22 years now, and it will get much worse if Mitt takes over. Bush and Obama are not expert criminals, and they don't know all the tricks of the Wall Street Mafia. Mitt is an absolute expert in cracking safes and cracking souls.


 
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
  It's an Essex Lion!

I finally gave in to modernity, bought me one of those new-fangled digital cameras.

And as soon as I tried it out with a snapshot through the front door, I caught a terrible monstrous creature, stalking my neighborhood!



It's an Essex Lion! Prowling around the street, knocking down fence posts, devouring trees and rocks!

= = = = =

Just a few hours later, the horrifying Essex Lion was gone, presumably returned to his normal habits of stalking squirrels and birds.

But the same front-door view is now filled with a different kind of orange monster:


The city has started building a sidewalk on the opposite side of this block. It's a needed improvement: the nearby school has a crosswalk that spills directly onto that side of the block, and the kids have worn a 'deer trail' through the grass. A real paved walk would be easier for the neighbors to shovel in winter, and less ambiguous for the kids and parents.

= = = = =

Two days later: They're just about done. The process was more distracting than I thought it would be. Constant rumbling of trucks, diesel fumes, banging and tamping and scraping, all within 50 feet of my front door. No chance to do any mental work. Still, it's always interesting to watch people who really know what they're doing. They don't bother to build complete forms; they just dig a precise trench and use a single line of 2x4s to hold the top edge, then shape driveways and curbs by hand.

= = = = =

Three days later (Friday morning): All done. The contractor left ropes to block it off while the concrete dries and cures.... but the ropes didn't last. One neighbor got tired of parking his car elsewhere, pulled down the rope in front of his house, and drove into his garage. I can't blame him; the contractors had clearly treated him with contempt and disregard. Then some kids came along and couldn't resist trying out the new walk. Whoops, there goes the rest of the rope.

Good to see small acts of rebellion.

= = = = =

Update 9/4: First day of school today. An unexpected difference: Typically about a dozen cars park in this block on the first morning, as some parents feel the need to "see off" their kids. Today, one or two cars. Does the sidewalk give the parents more confidence that their kids can walk safely? Or is this just a random data point? I'll never know, but the difference from a well-established pattern is dramatic. Anything that causes more walking and less driving is GOOD!

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Monday, August 27, 2012
  Sleepless roaches

Poor sleep tonight... For some reason I started pondering economic matters, still trying to wrap my mind around the Islamic prohibition of interest.

Why does this seem important? Because the rest of that system is so obviously accurate, based on real observation of real human behavior. None of the more recent economic theories come anywhere close to reality.

The banning of interest is a key part of Mohammed's pragmatic and logical system. If I can't see it, I must be blinded by my literal vested interest in earning interest.

Finally got up and started reading various sources. Got it pinned down in a form that I can understand, so I'd better write it out before it slips away!

Essentially, interest is a form of counterfeit. Money exists as a portable representation of labor, so any money that does not come directly from your own labor, or from your direct enabling of someone else's labor, is counterfeit. It's value that doesn't represent labor. Derivatives and options and Bugsy's "quantitative easing" are even more transparently counterfeit, since their "value" is assigned arbitrarily. Same with the "value" that comes from a bubble, such as housing "equity" that increases with no real change in the house or neighborhood.

All those counterfeits are a form of theft. They lower the value of each unit of currency, thus they steal value from people who earned it with their own labor.

= = = = =

Along those lines, bumped into a fairly obvious rule:

"The profit of an individual or a group should not involve a loss to others."

Think Romney. Think outsourcing, leveraged buyout, profiting by theft of jobs, profiting by stealing a company that was built by the labor of others.

Hmm. The Randians and Libertarians are always chanting that everything should be permitted as long as it doesn't harm others. But they stop chanting when it comes to private equity, Free Trade, and outsourcing. Those forms of theft are just fine with Libertarians.

Well, it's not hard to see why. Libertarians are aristocrats. From their haughty perspective, Losers and Takers and Moochers, i.e. vulgar untouchable commoners who actually work for a living, are not human. It's perfectly all right for Atlas to squash commoners in the pursuit of infinite profit and infinite power for Atlas. Just like squashing cockroaches to keep your kitchen clean.

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Sunday, August 26, 2012
  Nearly perfect

Montreal needs to rename one of its landmarks. One altered vowel will do.
The photo-shoot was part of a global trend to 'Trash the Dress' where brides do stunts to destroy their wedding dress after they get married, The Daily Mail reports.

While she was being photographed with her feet in the water the dress became saturated with water, leaving her unable to stay above water, police said.

The woman yelled 'I'm slipping, I'm slipping, I'm slipping,' before falling off the rock she was perched on for her wedding pictures.

Sgt. Ronald McInnes of the Quebec provincial police said her body was recovered about four hours after she slipped from a rock and fell into Dorwin Falls in Rawdon, north of Montreal. She had chosen the site as the backdrop for her wedding pictures.

Nuff said.
 
Saturday, August 25, 2012
  .

“… The next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”




 
  Bad idea

I don't have a dog in the Apple/Samsung fight at the moment, since I don't own any of those devices. Never even handled one. My phone has a cord and a handset. Still, the verdict strikes me as a very bad idea for the 99.99999999% of Americans who do own those devices.

Compare with automobiles. What would we have if Apple-style design patents had been upheld in the early days of autos? At first we'd have four or five conflicting ways to drive a car. Some brands would have the driver in the middle, some on the left, some on the right. Some would have steering wheels, some would have levers, some would have foot controls. When you got your driver's license you'd have to test on one brand, and you would then be more or less stuck with that one brand. It wouldn't take long for the more popular brand to become the ONLY brand, because everything from roads to licenses to traffic signs would be designed with the more popular method in mind. The less popular brands would have no legal way to adopt the more popular method, so they'd simply go out of business.

We did have those variations in cars at first, and the most popular brand (Ford) did in fact set the standard in most ways ... but there was no patent lawsuit involved. Standardization happened naturally and quickly, and all companies were able to pick up the standard without having to pay royalties or penalties.

Patents for the innards of machines or software make sense. There are many ways to design an engine, many ways to code an action. Some of those ways are more efficient, some more precise, some easier to maintain. Distinct companies can find ways to derive distinct advantages from their own methods.

Patents for ergonomics on a widely used consumer device don't make sense. They simply guarantee a monopoly.



Of course Polistra prefers the non-standard!
 
Friday, August 24, 2012
  Workarounds, 2

Way back in 2005 Polistra wrote about workarounds:
I wonder how much of our GDP is taken by workarounds? By this I mean parallel institutions that exist only because the "real" institutions are hopelessly corrupted by Sensitivity and other leftist poisons.

Private security is the most obvious and probably the largest. Urban police departments serve the interests of the Anti-Civilization Lawyers Union, leaving citizens who want police service to provide it separately. One statistic claims that there are more private than public police officers.

Second is private schools; in many urban areas less than half of the students are in the public system.

A more subtle and specific example: At Penn State, the engineering school genuinely wants its students to have a well-rounded education. The only way they can make this happen is through a workaround. Because the math department has its head in the clouds of abstract set theory, Engineering offers its own courses in applied math. Because English is devoted to Derrida and Deconstruction, Engineering provides its own curriculum in writing and communication. Because Physics focuses solely on quarks and quanta, Engineering has a whole department of "Engineering Mechanics" to teach real physics.



The three listed above are good workarounds: the nominal system is totally corrupt and good people have found ways to get things done without it.

Since then I've noticed five more workarounds, which are more mixed. In the list below, the first two are bad workarounds, where the nominal system was beneficial, but criminals have reduced the system to triviality while operating outside it. The last three are good workarounds, replacing a bad formal system with good informal arrangements.

Voting. [bad workaround] We go through the motions of primaries, conventions, and general elections, and all the Experts assure us that we're Exercising Democracy, Throwing The Bums Out, etc, etc, etc. In fact the results are decided in advance by gerrymandering and political operatives.

Trials. [bad workaround] We pretend that A Jury Of Your Peers decides everything. Nope. The jury trial is strictly reserved for the privileged 5%. (1) Rich dickheads who can afford excellent lawyers; and (2) Members Of Privileged Classes who can get Soviet-front organizations to pay for excellent lawyers. For the unprivileged 95%, "justice" means plea bargaining or arranged judgments. This works reasonably well for routine crimes and routine lawsuits where everyone knows what happened; but it fails wildly when a prosecutor goes rogue.

Science. [good workaround] Nuff said.

Capital. [good workaround, new and nascent.] The stock market has completely failed. It is pure crime, operating entirely to serve gangsters and automatic trading algorithms. Real companies can't use the stock market to raise capital. So they're finding new ways to do it, such as crowdsourcing. This basically re-creates the original concept of a stock market, without all the criminal shit.

Fashion and entertainment. [good workaround, new and nascent.] Young folks are tired of feeding off the conspiracy of TV, multinational corporations and Chinese slave labor. They're making or modifying their own clothes, hair and makeup; and making their own entertainment. Refreshingly, this also leads to a reassertion of healthy normal gender roles as young women find joy in women's work.
 
  Which?

News item: Lance Armstrong admits he cheated. (Well, sort of. In effect he's pleading nolo contendere, which is as close as any power-loving monster will ever come to the truth.)


Seems like the world of Sport is doing a pretty good job of detecting liars and cheaters lately.

Meanwhile, the world of Business/Government works the opposite way.

We continue to reward the banksters with trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions of dollars, instead of hanging them.

We continue to "elect" the same monsters over and over and over and over and over and over and over, instead of hanging them.

Which is more important? Obviously Sport is more important.

Business/Government is just a trivial light entertainment. It only starves millions of people and shoots thousands to maximize the profits of Goldman and advance the glory of grotesquely false pseudoscientific pseudotheories. Nothing important there.
 
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
  Unprecedented!

It's unprecedented! It's a historical first! It's a dangerous trend!

In measuring Number of Eyes Closed While Sleeping, I've discovered a new and lethal development! Last night (August 21) I closed TWO eyes while sleeping! This is a historical first! This has never happened before while records have been kept.

Look at the graph! (Excel here)



Numbers don't lie! Just follow the grim linear extrapolation to see the grim future! Only ten days from now I'll be closing at least 20 eyes when I sleep! Where am I going to get all those eyes? How many Chinese slaves will have to give their lives to supply my ever-growing ocular occultation needs? Who knows?

The theoretical reason for this lethal phenomenon obviously requires much more research, but one initial hypothesis could be that I didn't bother to keep records of how many eyes I closed until last night. Thus the graph properly shows zero eyes for the unrecorded dates.

Pending further federally-funded research, the Precautionary Principle requires us to remove all toxic Carbon-based eyes from all humans! Now! We must get underway before the Planet dissolves!

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  He would understand only too well

Via UK Telegraph:
When the George Orwell Memorial Trust proposed a statue of the writer for outside the BBC’s new headquarters it expected an enthusiastic response. ... According to Baroness Bakewell, who is backing the campaign, Mark Thompson, the Corporation’s outgoing director general, said the statue could not be erected on BBC premises because Orwell was “too Left-wing”.

Orwell worked as a BBC journalist, producing radio programmes at Broadcasting House during the Second World War...

Yup, Georgie would immediately understand purges, show trials, and icepicks.

This is one of Orwell's BIG POINTS, and it's one that most people miss. What makes Leninism especially evil is the constant CHANGE of orthodoxy.

All cultures and governments lie. All cultures and governments have an Approved Set Of Ideas. All cultures and governments punish people who oppose the Approved Set. This is not problematic, because people who grow up inside a certain culture or government naturally learn the limits.

Lenin's special invention is Total Confusion And Uncertainty. It's not just "2 + 2 = 5". That's a normal and tolerable lie. Under Lenin, "2 + 2 = Whatever we say it is RIGHT NOW, AT THIS MILLISECOND." Only a few people with an unerring sense of Status can keep their balance on the shifting sands of fashion; most folks just surrender, lay down and let the Master do what he wants.

And that's the goal.

= = = = =

More specifically, I'm trying to figure out why Thompson would consider Orwell "too left-wing". When Orwell was alive, most British Commies rejected him as "too right-wing". Why this particular switch?

Orwell thought a good socialist regime should serve the poor and punish the rich, but should NOT embrace thought control. The Commies of his time were Marxists, who agreed with Orwell on serving the poor but hated him for opposing thought control. Modern Gramscian/Randian Commies (the entire ruling class of the Anglosphere) have switched on the poor/rich point. They believe in enriching the rich and starving the poor, but they still love thought control. (Of course they have new names for thought control and total censorship. One "side" calls it Individual Liberty, and the other "side" calls it Human Rights.)

So a Gramscian/Randian must hate Orwell on both points. He was bad because he respected the poor, and he was bad because he disliked tyranny.

I'm not sure why this counts as "left-wing" in Thompson's mind, though. Presumably the poor/rich aspect is visible to him but the thought-control aspect is invisible. Orwell would understand that also.
 
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
  This is getting dull

Too easy, like taking carbon from a baby. But I'm going to keep doing it.

Comrade Peter Goldmark, Wash state land commissioner, talked about the supposed extreme fire danger in EASTERN WASHINGTON this year. He said the main problem was insect infestation, caused by DROUGHT (yes, that again) and also by lack of cutting. At least he got the latter part right, so maybe I should go easy on him... No, I won't.

Here's Eastern Washington as the NCDC divides it:



And here's a century of year-total precip for those 4 zones:



The 4 zones are fairly similar, each showing the expected 66-year cycle. But where's the fucking drought? The last 10 or 20 years have some ups and downs around the long-term average. What we have is a drought of chainsaws, not a drought of raindrops.

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  Nice but stinky

Nice welcome thunderstorm this morning, after a month of cool morning/hot afternoon summer. Typical for Spokane, and sort of reassuring to have the usual pattern locked in place again. Earlier this summer we had a couple weeks of Midwestern swamp heat with Midwestern thunderstorms. Swamp heat is much harder to take than desert heat; never gives you a break.

There is one good thing about steady humidity, though: Humid air carries sweet smoky and flowery smells. Desert air carries only diesel, sulphur and shit.

Today's storm is true to form. The rain didn't freshen the air; it just activated the dogshit in the grass and scared a nearby skunk.

Ick.



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Monday, August 20, 2012
  Coupla random thoughts

Our peculiar system of inverted and meaningless "parties" creates a lot of ingratitude.

Ordinary people are happy when their product gets used. Money helps, but usage means more. For a few years I tried selling my Poser graphics, and the money was indeed satisfying; but I finally pulled out of the sales market and stuck with ShareCG freestuff. In that setup, people feel obliged to let me know when they've used my furniture or cars, and they're happy to show off their own artwork modifying and surrounding the item. Satisfaction and gratitude in both directions. Can't beat it.

Well, how about politics? I think Obama has acknowledged that Obamacare is really Romneycare, and that it was based on a proposal from the Heritage Foundation. But Romney has never thanked Obama for using it. Heritage, which is in the business of offering detailed proposals for politicians to use, should be wonderfully happy and grateful to see their hard work turned into real policy for once! But they're not. It has the wrong label, so it doesn't exist.

The same idiocy happened the other way around with Emperor Teddy's "No Child Left Behind" education ruination. Teddy never thanked Bush The Son for implementing it, and the teachers unions HATED Bush for putting Comrade Teddy's plan into action.

Pure branding, no substance.

Assholes.

= = = = =

Completely unrelated: I was thinking about the so-called "grammar" rules that schoolteachers used to jam into our unwilling ears. Even in 9th grade I understood that Miss Marley's rules were not grammar. They were style rules.

Just now realized that some of Miss Marley's rules were in fact the exact opposite of grammar. Any moderately intelligent native speaker knows the rules of grammar by about age 12. Without training we simply can't use bad grammar. If we wish to express a negative preference toward rodents, we WILL NOT say "Micen likings I notted." But an untrained or young speaker WILL say something like "I don't like mouses." When he does that, he's not violating the rules of grammar; he's enforcing the rules too strictly. He's not allowing exceptions.
 
  Why did he have to do that?

Gack! Why don't the "parties" select candidates more carefully?

Todd Akin has given the Leninists two beautiful pieces of ammunition, all without any need.

When Commies ask why you oppose abortion after rape, there's a perfectly simple and logical answer: Because the baby is still a baby, and killing a baby is still killing a baby.

No need to throw in dubious stuff about automatic contraception, which may or may not be true. (Because the Satanic media are loudly calling it false, I'm inclined to think it's true; but it's completely irrelevant in either case.)

Akin has not only ruined the proper and strictly scientific case against abortion, he's also ruined the logical and moral case against the evil feminist invention of "date" "rape" with his odd use of the term 'legitimate rape'.

There is a huge difference between the following two acts:

(1) rape

(2) consensual sex followed by a decision that the dude wasn't cool after all

Under the Satanic influence of Betty Fried[m]an, we've decided to treat (1) and (2) with equal force. This dilutes the perceived immorality of (1), and yields thousands of false accusations against uncool dudes. Meanwhile, cool dudes know in advance that they will escape the false accusation, so they have a better advantage than before. Satan wins all the way around, civilization is fucked all the way around.

= = = = =

Next day: Britain is having its own Satan-storm on the same subject, but with a huge difference in results. On a BBC program, two well-known leftists have exposed the false "date" "rape" accusations against Julian Assange. The usual Satan-possessed bitches are projectile-puking the usual toxic green bile, but it's not working very well there. Why? First, because one of the exposers is George Galloway, a leftist hero, and the other is Craig Murray, a "human rights" attorney. The leftist media can't dismiss these two as crazy. Second, because Galloway and Murray are simply telling the plain goddamn truth, without throwing in weird stuff about automatic contraception. They gave the names of the false accusers, which caused BBC to pull down its podcast of the session. Pointless censorship. The names are already out, and the whole sordid story has already been told by no less than Australia's national broadcasting system. It's the usual soap opera shit. Bitch #1, Anna Ardin, was fucking Julian and thought he was "the coolest". Then Julian started fucking bitch #2, Sofia Willen. Apparently bitch #1 and bitch #2 were not friends. So bitch #1 decided Julian was no longer the coolest, and she brought "date" "rape" charges against Julian.
 
Sunday, August 19, 2012
  Cargo cult

The grocery stores seem to have adjusted to their new and highly profitable stock of liquor, but I'm still not used to it.

I haven't done any drinking since 1983, so the whole alcohol 'scene' has become unfamiliar. (Thank heaven!)

This morning I noticed a dude buying something called R&R, which stands for Rich and Rare. He paid about $20 for one bottle.

Wonder what was going through his mind? Was he subconsciously thinking that he would become Rich and Rare by consuming this liquid called Rich and Rare?

News for you, dude. You just became B&C, Broke and Common.
 
Saturday, August 18, 2012
  2012: Year of mega-droughts!!!!!!!!!

Our children will never know rain! We need to plant cactus instead of corn! We need to genetically modify our skins so we can slither like snakes! We're baking and burning! Dry! Dry! Dry!



Nuff said.
 
  Tiny status

Nice article in UK Guardian about the high-status attraction of Tiny Houses. I understand the basic appeal, since I've been cheaply and happily living in this 500 sqft cottage for 21 years. Distinctly small but not tiny by the proper definition.

Author touches an important point but doesn't quite hit it:
I know I'm not alone in finding tiny homes so weirdly compelling. People have lived in very small spaces since the dawn of civilisation, of course, whether out of necessity or monkish self-denial. ... The rural wing of the tiny homes movement, meanwhile, is motivated primarily by environmental concerns. How much more lightly can you tread on the planet than by having only one room to heat, and no space to accumulate the detritus of the modern consumer economy?

As usual the Greenies are backwards. When you own enough land for a farm but don't use it for farming or livestock, you're not Green. You're just another rich man engaging in Conspicuous Consumption. When you live far from town, unless you're strictly self-sufficient, you're using vastly more gasoline and other materials than you would in town. Number of rooms isn't the main variable when the energy has to be transported 30 miles to reach your house. The fuel and labor for the propane tank truck, the maintenance and resistance of the long single-user electric wire, and the electricity needed to pump and purify your well water, more than compensate for the rooms you're not heating.

The best way to use minimal resources is to live in a closely-built 'walkable' city with good mass transit. Apartment, semi-detached, or small house, equally good when you're not operating a car.

Some Greenies do appreciate that point, but not the Tiny-housers described above.

Another thought: Trailer-park living is pure Tiny-house, but the Tiny-housers refuse to recognize it. An 8 x 32 travel trailer is beautifully designed to make the best use of available space, and the trailer park uses land and utilities efficiently. Nope, doesn't count because it's incurably unfashionable. Associated with poor white Christians, thus unthinkable.

In short, the Tiny-housers are reinventing the 5th-wheel, and doing a shitty job of it.

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  Mencken on Pussy Riot



Listening lately at bedtime to the NBC series 'Biographies in Sound', from '56 and '57. Lots of good stuff.

Last night heard the episode on Mencken. It concludes with a rare recording of Mencken toward the end of his life, musing on religious matters. Perhaps those who are defending Pussy Riot based on "libertarian" views should pay attention to one of their "libertarian" mentors.

Here's the segment, about one minute.

Transcribed for non-listeners:
I think there is a limit beyond which free speech cannot go; but it's a limit that's very seldom mentioned. It's the point where free speech begins to collide with the right to privacy. I don't think there are any other conditions of free speech. I've got a right to say and believe anything I please, but I haven't got a right to press it on anybody else. For example. Take for instance the Catholic Church, which I'm on good terms with personally, but have no belief in whatsoever. I've got a right to print my dissent from its doctrines. I have exercised that right for many years. But I have no right to go on the cathedral steps on Sunday morning, when the Catholics are coming out of High Mass, and make a speech denouncing them. I don't think there is any such right. Nobody's got a right to be a nuisance to his neighbors.


In other words, Mencken agreed with Putin.

For what it's worth, I'm not endorsing this set of views ... I don't go along with the whole nonsensical doctrine of "rights" ... but Mencken (and Putin) are voicing plain common sense.

Under the Satanic guidance of the Soviet Front Anti-Civilization Lawyers Union, we've come to believe that "Petitioning For Redress" was meant to justify every sort of demonstration, disturbance and annoyance, as long as the demonstration, disturbance or annoyance is sponsored by the Communist Party. Needless to say, speech that differs in the slightest from this week's Communist Doctrine is not covered by "Petitioning For Redress." Speech that is not a verbatim quotation of this week's Communist Doctrine shall be silenced with maximum force. That's what the Constitution says, according to all Experts and Black-Robed Saboteurs.

Nope. Entirely wrong. "Petitioning For Redress" literally means literally presenting a literal petition to the literal government. That's literally all.
 
Friday, August 17, 2012
  The bucket's warm again

Polistra enjoys spotting rules by their exceptions. One such exception happened just now....

NPR was covering this year's pointlessly noisy campaign, the perfect illustration of Freud's Narcissism of Small Differences.

Played three clips in a row: Romney accusing Obama of something or other, Obama replying with fake outrage, and then a third guy who I didn't recognize at all. Never heard that voice.

The announcer identified the third voice as Joe Biden.

And there's the exception. The rule during my entire lifetime has been that VPs serve as effective 'head of state'. They wander around the world speaking and representing the administration, always pushing some stupid National Initiative that will go away after their term is over.

Not Biden. He's been absolutely silent during Obama's term. His voice is unknown. Biden has gone all the way back to the Alben Barkley style of veeping.

Barkley was known for being unknown, but it turns out that he was an interesting character with strong principles. This episode of NBC's "Biographies in Sound" program profiled Barkley. The program is worth hearing for one definitively dramatic moment.
 
  Freedom?

A BBC correspondent examining Russian response to the trial of Pussy Riot finds mixed feelings in Moscow, but universal and firm approval of the trial in less urban areas.

Good. Normal Russians, like normal people everywhere, do not want "freedom". They want normalcy, which has an especially strong meaning for Russians. They want to practice their own culture and religion. They want to work and support their families without constant disturbance and fear.

Pussy Riot represents "freedom". Pussy Riot destroys civilization, destroys religion, destroys culture, destroys marriage, destroys families.

That's why the Satanic media in America love them.

That's why normal people hate them.

Especially in Russia, where normal people had 70 years of experience with "freedom".

= = = = =

Bit later: Judge sentenced them to two years in a work camp.

Good. They will have to learn how normal people get along, and most of all they will be deprived of the status and pleasure of celebrity. Assuming the other women in the camp are dull ordinary criminals, I can safely predict that the pussies of Pussy Riot will experience a different sort of riot. Ordinary criminals don't appreciate radical deviants.
 
Thursday, August 16, 2012
  Big chief

Vulture Romney is still playing games.

"I did go back and look at my taxes and over the past ten years I never paid less than 13 per cent. I think the most recent year is 13.6 or something like that. So, I've paid taxes ever single year, Harry Reid's charge is totally false."

Okay, Big Chief Bathes-in-data. Nobody seriously believed Harry, but we don't believe you either. You're supposed to be the Numbers Man, Big Chief Bathes-in-data. You fired thousands of Americans, hired thousands of Chinamen, and ruined thousands of lives, to increment the bottom-line variable of your paycheck. You stole lives that had real value to increase your own numerical "value".

Now you give us a free-floating number, and you don't even tell us what the number means. Is this 13% the rate you pay on the adjusted gross? Or is it effective tax, which is the only meaningful number? (Effective tax = the check you wrote to IRS divided by the total amount you made.)

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =



Me Little Chief Bathes-in-data. Me do number also. Me workum heap new Iron Brain Machine, use many number. Me get wampum same like you, from publisher royalty. Me pay tax same like you, with check to Great White Tax Man instead withholdum.

Me poor man, you heap heap heap rich man. You no show 1040. Me show 1040. Now you do same, or you heap big liar.



Okay, enough Tonto talk. This is the bottom-line part of my 2010 tax form, which is somewhat above my average for the last ten years. The effective tax is 4239/21579, or 19.6%. That's more than the 13% you claim to pay.

Put up or shut up, vulture-ass.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Dead serious for a moment: The real problem is that Romney is NOT a numbers man. He showed repeatedly and consistently in 2008 and 2012 that he does NOT understand numbers or science or economics or business or foreign policy or much of anything. He's an empty mannequin, a jerky marionette, a wind-up doll reciting a random mix of prerecorded slogans clipped from Rush and Hannity. When he has to make a spot decision, the prerecorded response is always "I'll have to consult my advisors on that."
 
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
  Where's the Chief?

BBC feature on wheat growers in the Midwest said: "The current drought is much steadier and more persistent than the '30s." And along the same lines, On Point interviewed a fraudulent apocalyptic wacko posing as an alleged so-called quote "scientist" unquote, who bizarrely claims the current trend "inevitably" points to "permanent" "mega-droughts".

Say kids, what time is it? Especially you in the peanut gallery, sing along:

It's NCDC time,
It's NCDC time,
It's NCDC time,
It's NCDC time!!!

Where's Clarabell? More to the point, where's Chief Thunderthud?

I guess the chief is busy doing a rain dance, which he wasn't doing in the '30s.

Here are the main wheat-growing areas of Kansas:



And here are the NCDC precip charts for those zones, in the same positions. These are 12-month totals as recorded by Princess Summerfall Winterspring, with a highlight on the decade of the '30s.



Hmm. No matter how I look at it, the drought of the '30s was more steady and persistent than the current "flash drought". Note especially that the last 12 months are wetter than the previous 12 months, indicating that we're already on the way out of the "flash". More broadly, note the slight but clear upward trend over the century in all 4 regions. Predictions from limited data are always dubious, but the ONLY prediction you can draw from this limited data is that we'll get WETTER in the near future, not MEGA-DROUGHTIER.

Well, Howdy, I guess those BBC experts are just a whole lot smarter and holier than I am. They must be capable of sensing Spiritual Auras well beyond the mere earthly facts.

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  Day of weirdness

Weirdness comes in threes as well.

Finally finished off the latest QA fix on courseware. One of those typical 'jelly on a tree' programming things. You start to fix what looks like a simple missing button, and it turns out to be a deeply rooted bad assumption compounded by a Windows 7 oddity. Had to find the bad assumption that I made in 2008, then find a new way of making the same thing happen without bumping into the W7 oddity. I suspect this small section of the program doesn't get used much, because we hadn't heard any complaints about the problem from real users. Anyway, it's fixed now. Maybe. Knock on silicon.

Then I had to deal with another jellytree. For unknown reasons probably related to Obama/Romneycare, Group Health has switched its coverage to something called Molina. Again for unknown reasons, this automatic change did not automatically transfer existing prescriptions. I've been emailing with the Group Health people, and they've been calling the Molina people. Today, for unknown reasons, I had to call a toll-free number to talk about it: an impenetrable jungle of menus to reach a human, then a nearly incomprehensible conversation with a jungle-human who barely understood English. It appears that the ball has now passed back into Group Health's court for unknown reasons. Maybe. [Later: Found the exit from the bureaucratic maze! Persuaded Group Health to mail me a hardcopy of the prescription so I can take it to Walgreens and pay for it the old-fashioned way. Just in time, too. Dealing with this mess was raising my blood pressure, thus defeating the purpose of the pills.]

Then a mysterious hand-addressed letter comes in snailmail. Feels like a greeting card; it's addressed TO a house a few blocks from here, and the return address (without a name) is MY address. Apparently the intended recipient isn't at the nearby address, so USPS "returned" it to my address, which was not the actual source of the mail. The penmanship is elderly, which makes me think the sender is confused.

Later: Google tends to verify that assumption. The recipient has an ordinary-sounding name, but Google shows exactly one person with that exact spelling. She grew up in this part of Spokane and her 1966 Shadle High class hasn't located her for reunions. She's in Michigan now. I'd guess the sender is mentally back in the '60s, sending a card from her own '60s address (this house) to the recipient's '60s address a few blocks away. Maybe congrats on graduating, maybe Happy Birthday. The reality is probably less interesting, but I like this story.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012
  That's 2! Do I hear 3? Who'lllll gimme 3? 3, gimme 3....

Partaaaaaaaaaaaay time in Hell!

Comrade Helen Gurley Brown joins Comrade Gore Vidal at the doorway. Gonna be hot times in the old hot town tonight!

In the traditional 3-strike pattern for new Hadean recruits, we now eagerly await #3.

= = = = =

From the earthly perspective, our burden of evil has been notably lightened in the last few weeks. Two massively powerful servants of Satan, grand destroyers of civilization, highly efficient manufacturers of chaos and death, have departed.

Come on, #3! Do it now!


 
Monday, August 13, 2012
  Hottest ever in 48 ... oops, in ONE state.

I got tired of hearing that July was the "hottest ever in 48 states", so I looked at good old NCDC.

July 2012 is the hottest ever in ONE state, Virginia.

In several states, LAST year was clearly the hottest ever, but this year is down from 2011.

In many Western states, the last decade has been about average, with a definite downward trend.

In several Great Lakes states, 2012 appears to be on a strong upward trend, but nowhere near the '30s.

The overall pattern seems to ... No, there isn't an overall pattern.

GLOBAL AVERAGE TEMPERATURE IS LOGICALLY MEANINGLESS AND IMPOSSIBLE.

Here are all 48 thrown together in one loop so you can see the patterns.



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  Emanating



Polistra continues to pray for the success and strength of Egyptian president Morsi, as he continues to create a new government with the consent of God and the people.

Up to this point, the evident support of the people has prevented the military from roaring back into power, but there may be a limit to their tolerance.

Morsi clearly sees his power as emanating from the hearts of the people.

So, for what it's worth, I'll add my little heart to that spiritual force.
 
  All because of one day on the calendar

Drought? What drought?
A new government forecast says alfalfa hay production is up 15 percent in Kansas after a huge spike in harvested acres.

Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service reported Friday that Kansas growers are expected to harvest 2.25 million tons of alfalfa hay. The expected yield of 3 tons per acre is the same as a year ago, but it is coming off about 750,000 acres.

Kansas farmers planted 100,000 more acres of alfalfa hay this year in response to record hay prices last year.

Kansas always has droughts. Alfalfa doesn't seem to be bothered by this year's drought. Could we learn something from this? No, of course not. We're EXCEPTIONAL. We don't learn.

The current problem is a classic agricultural mistake: monoculture. Corn production is required by the Gaian national suicide laws, and corn production is subsidized by the Gaian national suicide laws. So farmers grow lots of corn, and ag research focuses on corn. Alfalfa fades into the background even though it's more adaptable, enriches the soil and encourages honeybees.

In terms of both government subsidies and the natural cycle, corn is 'taker', alfalfa is 'maker'.

But we keep growing more corn. All because the fucking Iowa caucus comes first on the calendar.

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Saturday, August 11, 2012
  Conflation is their secret weapon

Americans have trouble distinguishing ideologies from nations.

Why? Because of our idiotic insistence that all humans are identical and all traits and tendencies are learnable. Our rulers, both R and D, always write their warmaking narratives in terms of ideology, basing their fables on The Power Of Young Democracy and The Miracles Of Capitalism. If only those foreigners could learn to recite our miraculous Randian Scriptures by heart, they would instantly abandon their own established cultures and patterns and pick up our Superior Exceptional Culture. They would instantly leave off their nasty unthinkable habits of forming normal families and raising normal children, and pick up our much healthier Exceptional habits of sodomy, morbid obesity, stock bubbles, transparently false pseudoscience, total government paralysis and Kardashians.

= = = = =

This idiot belief in the power of ideology gives our enemies a secret weapon.

Example: the neocon conflation of Muslim with Arab. Sheikh Osama wasn't confused but made good use of our confusion. He was fighting to pull the ARAB NATION loose from Western influences. He was using Muslim ideology to fuel the fight because most Arabs are Muslims. As a secondary benefit, our conflation meant we would be overreacting against Muslims, helping him to fuel the fight.

= = = = =

What's the best way to distinguish nation from ideology? Actions taken to benefit a nation would be the same regardless of ideology.

Example: Soviet ideology and the Russian nation. Our actions in Korea and Vietnam were ordered by USSR through its agents here. Both wars served the interests of Russia as a nation, because we were mainly fighting China in both.

Any government of Russia would want us to keep their Chinese competitors busy.

By the time Vietnam came along, the Soviet agents had entirely taken over our media. They were able to use our ideological idiocy to conceal the basic national-interest purpose of the war. We believed we were "freeing Vietnam from Communism" when in fact we were just keeping China busy again.

Because the Soviets run our media, they were able to divide and collapse our culture, thus serving the interests of the Soviet ideology as well as the Russian nation. LBJ, Nixon and McGovern were all objectively working for Brezhnev. And that's all Brezhnev wanted. Russians are realists, unconfused by ideology.
 
  Not sure what I was trying to do

Started this chart a while ago... I don't really remember the point I was trying to make. Most likely arguing with some partisan commenter who was identifying the all-consuming enemy army EPA as a Democrat project. Decided to finish and post the result, just to get the files out of my active folders. (Excel here.)

It does disprove the partisan point. There's not much correlation between Pres party and EPA. Nixon invented it, and the longest and steadiest rise came during Reagan and Bush 1. After that, the Satanic agency reached a saturation point or ceiling. This is unusual and definitely NOT the goal of a bureaucracy. Every bureaucracy, like every bacterial colony, demands constant exponential growth.

Chart shows the genocidal EPA's workforce and budget. Upper blue line is workforce, lower yellow columns are budget.


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  Misteromney's Neighborhood 4

Sequel to previous Vulture Romney pics, this and this and this and this.



Two numbers men. Two bean counters. Two accountants who see nothing but the bottom line. Two stock traders who are willing to sacrifice meaningless stuff like lives and jobs and companies to maximize a numerical variable and fill in a term in an equation.

Just what we need.
 
Friday, August 10, 2012
  Icy day in hell!

News:
David Hallam, director of the FAO's trade and markets division, told Reuters that biofuels policies needed to become more flexible to help prevent new food crises developing.

"One idea is you have some kind of price trigger so that as maize prices rise then the mandates adjust," he said, adding that the FAO wanted to reopen debate on biofuels policies.

The UNITED NATIONS is urging the world to disobey a Gaian prophetic command!

Frozen hell, flying pigs, toothy hens!

AND:
BBC spewed the last-ever episode of its Gaian genocide propaganda splat, "Our Fragile Fragile Endangered Endangered Weeping Burning Burning Burning Burning Planet" today.

AND:
Radio Nederland spewed the last-ever episode of its similar Gaian murderfest a few weeks ago.

Not clear why these two monstrosities were halted; it's good enough that they are gone. The airwaves will be vastly less polluted by falsehood and grotesquery from now on.

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Thursday, August 09, 2012
  Busy signal



Publisher just came up with more quality-control stuff that needs to be done. I'll be neglecting this space for a few days.

Not that it matters to anyone... this blog is only read accidentally and randomly by people looking for strange combinations of words like "eggstacks porn" or "ufo moon" ... but I need to make this note for my own discipline. Otherwise I'll feel vaguely guilty when I don't write a daily pointless and unread comment.
 
  Nice compendium

UK Guardian has a clever article listing 25 major players in the 2008 Mafia takeover, asking 'Where are they now?'

24 of the players are individuals, ranging from Bush The Son to Greenspan to Brit hedge fund owners. The 25th is The American Public, who eagerly went along with the bubble as always.

None of the individuals are in jail where they all belong. A handful have disappeared from public life, but nearly all are loudly unrepentant, forming new companies to commit new crimes.

When gov't rewards you for criminal activity, you're going to commit more crimes. That's the lesson you've learned.

The only repentant player is The American Public. They have been eliminating debt and staying out of the stock casino.

= = = = =

Along the same lines: Here's an interesting 30-minute interview with Kirsten Grind, author of a book about the fall of Washington Mutual. What happened: In 2005 New York mafiosi took over WaMu, formerly a quiet and careful bank. The mafiosi transformed the bank into an engine of fraud and crime, and collapsed it so Jamie Dimon could buy it cheap.
 
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
  Confusion from 'Top two' primary

For the last couple elections, Wash state has been using a 'top two' primary for state offices, and has been voting entirely by mail. News media still haven't adjusted to either innovation.

The problem with the 'top two' is understandable.

In most cases the remaining two candidates will be one R and one D as expected.

In some local districts where only one team is active, the primary will send two Rs or two Ds to the November election. This is effectively a 'nonpartisan' election, though it's not described as such.

Because the media are locked in horserace mode they end up treating a D vs R primary result as a contest with one winner, even though it's not really a contest. The D and R are not 'squaring off' against each other, and neither one will win at this stage. In theory they have only risen to the top of a much larger set of potential candidates, though the other potentials don't really exist.

It's an ambiguous and unfamiliar situation, so I can't blame the media for having trouble with it.

= = = = =

The misrepresentation of mail voting is just stupid. Media breathlessly encourage us to make our vote count on election day, and try to build up suspense toward that fateful Tuesday. Nobody's listening, because the interested citizens have already sent in their ballots immediately after receiving them.

(I still do the latter, though I no longer see the point. This season's ballot contained exactly zero candidates worth the trouble of making a mark, so I had a little pointless fun. Wrote in names like Goldman Sachs, Ridpath Hotel, and Partly Cloudy. Since Goldman Sachs is the guaranteed winner in all elections, I might as well vote for them directly instead of by proxy.)
 
  Not supposed to do that!

The US "government" spends 30 years telling us that Persia is a deadly threat, and telling us that we should avoid all transactions with Persia.

Finally a New York prosecutor takes them seriously and tries to prosecute a British bank that was dealing with Persia.

So what happens?

The explosive allegations by Benjamin Lawsky, head of the recently created New York State Department of Financial Services, complicate talks between the Treasury and the 160-year-old British bank to settle claims over the transactions...

Mr Lawsky's report, full of colourful language alleging "fraud" and a "staggering cover up", threatens to rewrite the rules on how foreign banks settle such cases. In the past they have been almost choreographed with public shaming kept to a minimum.

Hey, Lawsky! You're not supposed to take this shit seriously! Most of all, you're not supposed to PUNISH a bank! We were getting ready to handle this in our usual way, by PAYING the bank a few quadrillion quintillion vigintillion gigamegateradollars to guarantee their silence, and now you screw it all up by trying to PUNISH fraud!

We see similar friction between NYPD and the federal Department Of Jesse Jackson (DOJ). NYC took the 9/11 thing seriously and proceeded to monitor the actions of suspicious Muslims. Department Of Jesse Jackson (DOJ) is now trying to squash this overly appropriate police action.

Many of us have seen from the start that TSA and DHS were created solely to keep the American people confused, disarmed and repressed. (I was retarded, didn't catch on until 2006.) By now it's clear that 9/11 was not a sudden and surprising attack, it was just part of the schedule.
 
Tuesday, August 07, 2012
  No consensus there

While Madman Hansen continues to pour out his toxic nonsensical gibbers, and his supine cult followers in other branches of government and academia and media and churches continue to obey him blindly, other parts of NASA are mysteriously able to avoid Consensus "Science" and Fashionable "Science".

I note that the latest Mars rover has landed on an alluvial fan, where the silt deposits are likely to show the presence or absence of life.

The Mars folks at NASA are casually using earthy words like delta and channel, fully adapted to the idea that Mars had lakes, rivers and oceans just like Earth. This idea is quite recent by Kuhnian standards. Until 30 years ago the absolute Consensus was that Mars was permanently dry and dead. Any other idea was risible and ridiculous. We learned in school about Schiaparelli's old and "stupid" image of canals on Mars. The ridicule was boosted by an intentional mistranslation: Schiaparelli wrote canali which means channels, not canals.

These Mars folks are clearly able to swing with the facts. They were persuaded by their own observations to abandon the old Consensus.

Maybe they could teach a few things to the Climate Criminals in another section of NASA... No they couldn't. You can't teach mass-murdering psychopaths. They will just keep killing and killing and killing and killing and killing and killing until they are locked up or killed.
 
Monday, August 06, 2012
  Hansen's brilliance

To all appearances, James Hansen seems to be a fully wacked-out psychopathic sadistic blood-loving hypergenocidal madman who has already caused thousands of deaths by starvation and freezing, and who has permanently destroyed entire national economies to satisfy his infinite power fetish.

Ah, but appearances are deceiving. I've finally sussed out what Hansen is doing. He's creating a Grand Synthesis Of Quantum Climatology. A Unified Pseudotheory Of Everything.

He has brilliantly mixed Heisenberg and Heatwaves, Schrodinger and Storms, Dirac and Droughts, Feynman and Floods.

By Hansen's ingenious new formulation, weather phenomena do not exist unless James Hansen observes them and describes them.

Previously we believed that thousands of droughts had occurred through history, and that most of them were longer and deeper than this year's drought. Not so! Hansen was not in Oklahoma in 1955, therefore no drought occurred there. Hansen was not alive in 1934, therefore the Dust Bowl did not happen. The many "lean years" mentioned in the Old Testament and other historical documents simply did not happen.

Previously we believed that hurricanes and tornadoes had declined in frequency. Not so! Certifiable And Peer-Reviewed Climatologists tell us that only this year's hurricanes and tornadoes occurred, therefore the frequency is infinitely increasing.

Previously we believed that deadly blizzards had occurred every year in some part of the world. Not so! Only this year's blizzards occur, because only this year's blizzards are under Hansen's microscope.

Nature and logic are easy for an infantile lunatic. I see it, therefore it exists.

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Sunday, August 05, 2012
  Modern speed

Someone was explaining how the Mars Rover's landing tonight will be heard 7 minutes after it happens.

Strikes me that this explanation is much less necessary now than it would have been in 1950.

The speed of light hasn't changed, of course! But in 1950 our systems were much more localized, which meant we never had a chance to experience the delay of finite signal speed. When the announcer on an AM station said "At the tone, the time will be 6:00" you could set your clock to the second. When you talked on the phone, the response was instant and crystal-clear. You could send mail in the morning to a resident of your city, and he would get the letter the same afternoon. (Two deliveries per day!)

Now everything is funneled into vast central repositories at vast distances, where it's digitally processed, held, and multiplexed. We're accustomed to slight delays and terrible quality in phone conversations. We're accustomed to hearing 5 or 6 second delays in satellite conversations on TV. We assume mail will take 5 or 6 days to reach a neighbor, if it reaches him at all.

Mush is slow as molasses.
 
  Where does this come from?

There's a deeply stupid assumption underlying articles like these, all taken from today's Science Daily. (Not picking on Science Daily; it's just that the common thread shows up in one place this morning.)

Crayfish Species Proves to Be the Ultimate Survivor

Giant Moa Had Climate Change Figured out

Extinction Risk Factors for New Zealand Birds Today Differ from Those of the Past

The common stupid-factor is a complete inability to account for adaptation. This often connects with the other stupid-factor: Global Warming Is Real And Satanic; but the failure to understand flexibility is deeper and longer-lasting.

"Scientists" can't figure out how birds will adapt to a supposed 2-degree increase in global average temperature. First, of course, there's no such thing as a global average; the bird's own local world may well be getting cooler or staying the same. Second and more important, birds somehow manage to adapt to a constant 40-degree daily variation and a 40-degree seasonal variation.

Right here in my yard, the California Quail are feeding every day, "ultimate survivors" in a total annual range from -20F to 100F. The quail already tolerate a ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY DEGREE RANGE. And you idiots think they won't tolerate TWO FUCKING DEGREES?



Quail-o-meter™


Where does this unspeakable dumbness originate? Is it from the total absence of negative feedback in the conceptual world of the "scientist"? Is it a total failure to distinguish living from non-living things? Every object is just an undifferentiated passive particle? Or living in a world of pure numbers and computation, never putting your eyes or hands on actual THINGS? Or more charitably, is it an unconscious projection of their own urban softness? I can't live outside in -20F, so birds can't either?

Damned if I know.

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Saturday, August 04, 2012
  The worst insults the best

Commissar Stamberg, in some kind of editorial, has insulted the memory of Norman Borlaug.

One of the worst humans dares to insult THE BEST human.



Listen up, Commissar Stamberg:

(1) Borlaug's "Green Revolution" had nothing to do with electric grids. It was all about improving seeds and farming methods.

(2) The problem with cascading grid failures is not TOO MUCH technology. It's STUPID technology. The push to connect everything together in one grid was not driven by technology. It was driven by greed. Enron. Ken Lay. Goldman Sachs. The grid is all in one piece so Enron or Goldman or the Indian equivalent can securitize electric flow; so all electricity can be traded as fungible abstractions on a single market.

(3) Good technology always requires minimal connection. We had it right in the 1950's. Each city or rural area had a separate system, large enough to make a profit but not large enough for New York traders to commoditize. If Spokane's system failed, it had exactly zero effect on Seattle's system, because there were NO FUCKING WIRES connecting the two systems.
 
  Mush at its best

Beautiful example of the Western "mind" at work, which is incapable of understanding human differences or regions or borders or nations. It's all one mushed-together average.
On July 4, a Swedish public relations firm used a light plane to dump 879 teddies bearing slogans supporting human rights over Belarus.

The invasion of the toys into Belarus airspace prompted the president, Alexander Lukashenko, to sack his air defence chief and head of the border guards.

According to Sweden's foreign minister, Carl Bildt, Mr Lukashenko has now expelled his country's ambassador, Stefan Eriksson. Stockholm retaliated by telling Belarus its ambassador is 'not welcome' in the Scandinavian country.

Mr Bildt said the Lukashenko regime had expelled his country's envoy 'for being too supportive of human rights'.

No, fuckhead Bildt. Belarus expelled your ambassador because you committed AN ACT OF WAR against a SEPARATE NATION.

In the bizarre demented imperial arrogant Western "mind", Belarus is not a nation. All humans are identical, therefore all humans are identical to Carl Bildt. All humans have the same tastes and needs as Carl Bildt. Thus Carl Bildt is perfectly justified in invading any part of The Planet to spread Feminism, Critical Queer Studies, Global Warming pseudoscience, and Multiculturalism. There is no boundary between Carl Bildt and other humans; all other humans are subsumed within Carl Bildt's galactic infantile ego.

For those who are too lobotomized to understand the concept of NATIONS, just turn it around. Imagine that Belarus or some other country, unhappy with our culture and government, sends a plane to New York without permission, and drops 879 teddy bears on New York. Would that plane be allowed to continue flying? Would any of those teddies (could be bombs, after all!) be allowed to stay on the ground? No. The US gov't would quite properly consider it to be an act of war, would shoot down the plane, would spend billions to find and detonate every one of those 879 dropped bears, and would invade three or four randomly chosen countries in response.
 
Friday, August 03, 2012
  Christy's minimum-temp hypothesis

John Christy's presentation of his hypothesis about rising minimum temps makes great intuitive sense. I'd been thinking along the same lines; UHI certainly keeps Tmin high, and that could be the source of higher averages.

It's already obvious that a global spatial average is nonsense. Each spatial region has its own independent patterns and trends. Christy is now starting to show that a temporal average is also nonsense. Each 'temporal region', such as night vs day and summer vs winter, has its own independent patterns and trends.

Let's try to compare a good long-term non-urban vs urban record, focusing on temporal regions.

For the non-urban, try Armagh found here. This goes back to 1853 for rain, but the min and max temps start at 1865.

Sorted out the text so it included only the full rows of max/min, ran up an Excel (here) and then a graph.

The Met Office records are in degrees C; I converted to degrees F so humans can understand it. X axis runs from 1865 to 2012.



Note that the data points are monthly min and max, which makes a highly crowded line graph ... but the net effect gives you a pretty good 'envelope' of the seasons. The top edge of the 'envelope' in each graph is summers, and the bottom edge of the 'envelope' is winters.

Well, do we see anything special about the present? Nope. Not in the min or max. I can see a period in the 1990s when the winter max was sort of high, but it doesn't beat the 1865-1885 range.

= = = = =

For a more urban site, here's the same stuff for Heathrow airport. This series starts in 1948, so the scale looks different and we can't see the big curve (down from 1865 then back up) that shows in Armagh.



Note that the min temp has a definite and steady upward trend for this urban site.

= = = = =

Armagh is a small city with lots of green, and Ireland has very little air conditioning.

So: If the 'temporal region' of min temps is rising, it has to be UHI. It's asphalt and compressors, nothing else.

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  Very Unprecedented! But wrong.

Something highly unusual occurred around here a couple days ago. The "Emergency" "Alert" "System" was activated for an Amber Alert. That wasn't the unusual part; they confuse us with Amber Alerts every week or so.

Here's the unusual part: For the first time ever, the Amber Alert was NOT about a custody dispute. Until now, EVERY SINGLE Amber Alert has been a repossession by one parent or the other. Sometimes the "law" enforcement agencies have fudged the facts to make it sound like an unidentified stranger, but EVERY SINGLE TIME it turns out that they knew exactly who took the kid, and EVERY SINGLE TIME it was the non-custodial parent repossessing the kid from the custodial parent.

This time, it was a troublemaking 16-year-old who rather obviously faked a removal from her room, then ran away to be with a boyfriend that the parents didn't like.

At least it's a different form of fakery.

One thing we can be DEAD SURE OF: If a genuine criminal abduction ever does occur, it will NOT lead to an Amber Alert. We can be DEAD SURE of this because it already happened ten years ago. Joseph Duncan killed several members of the Groene household, snatched two kids, and wandered all over the Northwest with them, appearing constantly in stores and other public places. He killed one of the kids before he was finally caught. A public alert could have led to much quicker capture and saved one of the kids, but no public alert was issued.

= = = = =

Later the same day: Well, we're already back to Custody Dispute normal now.
 
Thursday, August 02, 2012
  What's with 10.144.128 and Sitemeter? // Fixed.

I suspect the 10.144.128 range of IPs has somehow taken over Sitemeter listings as of about 3 PM yesterday.

If it were a pure automatic bot, I'd think all of its 'visits' would show a zero length. Instead, the pattern of times and lengths looks the same as usual, with a few 2 or 3 minute reads scattered among the 0-length reads.

The difference is that all the IPs are 10.144.128.# instead of the usual mixture of nations and sources. So it looks more like a 'detour' than a simple bot. A brief look at Google shows that other Blogspot-based blogs are noticing the same phenomenon.

Also: Blogspot's own statistics (independent of Sitemeter) show 14 reads of the blog coming from Sitemeter. Within Sitemeter, the 10.144.128 source made exactly 14 page-reads.

5 hours later: Yikes! It's getting worse! In the 5 hours since I posted this item, there are now 96 "reads" from that one IP. Normally I get that many reads in a full week. Again, a few of them them look like real human reads, but most are single-page zero-length.

= = = = =

Finally fixed. I removed the Sitemeter widget from my template, and the hits stopped. Obviously the hits seen by Sitemeter stopped; that's how it should work! ... but ALSO the hits as seen by Blogspot's own statistics stopped. So the hits were enabled by the Sitemeter widget.


Graph from Blogspot. I edited the template at 12:54 PM.


= = = = =

And a couple days later: According to the Twitter feed of one tech type, this whole mess was not a bot at all. It was Sitemeter changing its servers and missing some of its usual information. In other words, those mysterious reads that appeared to be in the normal time pattern were in the normal pattern, they just lacked the normal URL references. I've put the Sitemeter widget back, and things seem to have returned to normal. You'd think Sitemeter would want to provide info about these things, but apparently it doesn't.

= = = = =

Finally, Nov 2012, after several more failures and oddities, I switched to Statcounter. I don't know if Statcounter goes weird as often as Sitemeter, but at least Statcounter announces when it has a problem so you can tell what's happening! Also, Statcounter seems to give a somewhat more useful set of info.
 
  Risking a Sport metaphor

I shouldn't try Sport analogies, because I have zero understanding or knowledge of Sport.

Nevertheless, I'll stupidly wade into unfamiliar waters:

What we need is a Badminton World Federation supervising our politicians.

The Chinese Badminton team was banned for playing the wrong game. They were supposed to be playing Badminton, but instead they were playing Tournament. They were using their Badminton skills as tools, but their strategy was aimed at improving their team's placement in the next Olympics. They were trying to win Tournament, not trying to win Badminton.

Our politicians have the same problem. Playing the wrong game. They were hired to play Legislature, but instead they put 100% of their strategy and effort into playing Team-Builder.

They were supposed to use their Legislative skills to create, revise and revoke Laws, for the benefit of the people they represent. Instead, they make moves that appear to be Legislative moves, with precisely zero Legislative effect. They're playing without a ball. No new laws, no revised laws, no repealed laws, no budgets result from their actions. Their only goal is to expand the size and funding of their own team. The R-shirt players are trying to expand the R team, the D-shirt players are trying to expand the D team. Nothing else.
 
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
  Gonna be fireworks in the corporate suite

Roy Cohn, the current CEO of HadesBanc LLC, must have known this was coming. Comrade Vidal has entered the building!

A vicious and bitchy battle for supremacy is likely to keep Hell HQ buzzing for quite some time. Comrade Cohn destroyed more lives directly, but Comrade Vidal caused more widespread chaos and confusion.
 

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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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