Sunday, September 30, 2012
  Brand new!

NPR highlights online education, focusing on a new for-profit consortium. Makes the point that online lectures can bring the thoughts of great teachers to a worldwide audience, from a Kazakh software developer who needs credentials to a US "senator" who likes poetry.

Well now! Polistra has a fresh idea! Let's take it one step further and make it sustainable! Let's make it possible to learn from the lecture without needing batteries and wi-fi connections.



Here's how it would work: We'll transcribe the online lectures into PDF form; then use a 3D printer to form up 3D versions of each PDF with the letters elevated from the spaces. Then we'll build a gadget to put ink on the 3D plate and press it against pieces of paper; finally we'll fasten the pages together around a single 'stalk' or spine. Since this is a lot like an E-book but can be used without Electricity, we could call it a -book. (The - is silent.) Wonder if that name is taken?

Pulling out of our deep dive into the Sardonic Sea... Polistra's point is nevertheless valid. Preserving the lectures of great teachers and disseminating the copies to the whole world? VERY OLD IDEA. As old as Confucius, Moses and Jesus. And holding remote classes with local teaching assistants using the disseminated lectures? Hmm. Seems familiar too. "Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Not sure who said that, but I'm pretty sure he lived before Steve China-Jobs.

Even if we take the more modern idea of broadcasting lectures with electricity, it's still 120 years old. Around 1890, telephone systems were 'broadcasting' music and lectures. In 1920 educational radio began carrying lectures to outlying towns as part of a full-fledged 'online' course. Educational TV started up with the same mission in 1950, and while PBS has gone commercial, it still maintains side-channels that carry classroom content. Even commercial radio and TV used to carry such courses (eg Sunrise Semester) in the early morning.

It's all old, and worst of all it's NOT LEARNING. Very little learning comes from lectures and books, no matter how fancy the medium. Good teachers have known this for centuries, but our idiot education system continues to focus on lectures.

Reification again. We treat learning as a noun, and we think it means memorizing countable objects called "facts". No. Precisely wrong. Learning comes from interacting and relating with Nature and humans, preferably with a specific goal and with supervision. Learn is a verb.

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  Darwin and Freud all in one

Spokane has plenty of Darwin Award contenders. It's too bad the DA website seems to have gone dormant lately.

The writeup of this Darwinian is especially good, with KREM's crappy writers yielding up a nice Freudian........
Spokane Police said a man accidentally stabbed himself during a fight outside a motel.

Officers said the men were arguing at the Belair Seven Motel in the 1300 block of E. Sprague Sunday afternoon.

Police said one of the men pulled out a “Rambo”-style knife and suggested the two go outside. According to officers, he man raised the knife and the other man pushed his arm in defense, causing the man with the knife to cut himself in the chest.

 
  Did most people know Latin?

I always watch an episode of some old TV show before bedtime. Lately I've been going through the late-50s 'Highway Patrol'. It was well written and well acted but cheaply produced, using the same few Los Angeles locations over and over in inappropriate ways. A house that's clearly in an urban LA neighborhood is sometimes meant to be a farmhouse, sometimes an abandoned cabin, sometimes an insurance agency.

Old radio and TV can give you a pretty good sense of common knowledge in earlier times. If a fact or concept appears in a mass-market show without explanation, you can be sure that most of the audience would understand it.

In this 'Highway Patrol' episode, a murderer has escaped from prison. He was shot in the process, and his accomplices have to find a doctor to patch him up. They recruit a doctor in the only way they know how:



The doctor realizes he needs to get someone else involved, so he tells the thug that he needs to stop by a pharmacy for antibiotic, and needs to write a prescription. The thug is suspicious, but doesn't see anything wrong about the scrip.



They walk into the pharmacy and the doc hands the scrip to the pharmacist.



Here's what he wrote:



Stat is familiar doctor jargon, but Voca custodis is unfamiliar Latin; it doesn't look anything like "Call police." There's no subtitle or explanation. Apparently the writers assumed someone in each household would know enough Latin to translate it.

= = = = =

Later sidenote: 'Highway Patrol' was especially strong on gestures and mannerisms. I noticed something in these screencaps that I didn't catch when watching the episode: The thug handles his gun in the same unconscious casual way that you'd handle a cigarette or a coffeecup. It's just another tool for him.
 
  Economics as a verb

In any area you examine, our current idiocy stems from the fallacy of reification. In some cases we think of a word as being reality; in others we think of a number as being reality; in others we think of an arbitrary unit of measure as being reality.

Word: In all aspects of politics we've lost the reality of offering different sets of actions. We no longer have a tension between opposing parties pulling in opposite directions. Both "parties" pull in the same direction, loyally following Goldman's commands; and both "parties" have fierce "robust debates" about sets of words and slogans that have zero connection to reality. [Nice example today. NPR interviewed some voters in Ohio. The Romney voters all wanted Romney "because he talks about God." Not because he will do anything different; just because he includes one fucking word in his randomly spouted sloganmix.]

Number: Quantum "physics" has abandoned all contact with reality. New "discoveries" are terms in complex equations. We spend billions on machines that force protons into completely unnatural conditions, in order to "prove" the "existence" of these numbers in equations. The machines can't tell us anything about nature, because their exact job is to create a situation that never occurs in nature. And of course climate "science" doesn't even bother to build machines for counternatural experiments. It just plays with numbers and requires mass murder to decrease one particular number.

Unit of measure: We get locked into booms and busts, inflations and deflations, because we forget that our measuring unit is only a measure. In Alan Watts's famous metaphor, a carpenter wouldn't stop work because he "ran out of inches", so we shouldn't stop work because we "ran out of dollars" or "ran out of liquidity".

Modern bankers have developed a monstrous structure of pure units depending on other pure units depending on other pure units, losing all possible contact with any actual underlying value. Options are literally and explicitly bets on the value of numbers, identical to the operation of a football pool. The difference, of course, is that we don't force nations to collapse when a football pool gets too large. We force nations to collapse when an option pool gets too large.

= = = = =

At its origin, economics seemed to understand this distinction. Early Catholic and Islamic thinkers saw labor as the key component of value. Islam went farther, declaring that any attempt to place value on abstract numbers (i.e. paying interest) is a sort of idolatry.

I'm proposing one more step. Treat everything, animate or inanimate, carpenter or car, as activities instead of things. Treat everything as a source of labor. Why is a carpenter worth money? Because he works for you, doing things you can't or won't do. Why is a car worth money? Because it works for you, doing things you can't or won't do.

= = = = =

This would not lead to a different set of economic equations. Instead, it would simply eliminate the whole fraudulent notion that you can condense human behavior into a closed-form equation.

= = = = =

I can imagine a few specific consequences at the moment:

(1) Delegitimize statistics. Don't use stats for any important purpose. Stats are designed to remove the time element and the relational element, leading to all sorts of evil thinking. Wave-type analysis represents the verbs of reality much better, but still doesn't capture the transitivity of verbs.

(2) Delegitimize idolatry of numbers. If you want to bet on something, you should do it in a clearly illegitimate environment. Currently we have a weird disjunction between two rackets: Betting on numbers related to stocks is run by the Jew Mafia, with total governmental approval and assistance. Betting on numbers related to sports is run by the Italian and Indian Mafias, with no pretense of legitimacy. Under the present system, if you lose your shirt betting on stock numbers, Ben 'Bugsy' Bernanke will make up your losses and give you a few trillion as reward; but if you lose your shirt betting on horse numbers, Guido 'Lefty' Salvatore or Ernest 'Two Dogs' Runs-with-bear will break your legs. We should put Lefty and Two Dogs in charge of stock-based betting as well. Much more efficient and honest.

(3) In foreign trade, treat labor and stuff on the same plane. Impose tariffs on stuff that comes from China, AND impose tariffs on labor performed in India, AND impose tariffs on laborers brought in from Mexico.

(4) In general try to think like Nature. Nature loves negative feedback and decentralized operation. In shaping an economy, encourage closed loops and discourage loopless control. Encourage direct ownership of companies, discourage shareholder ownership. Follow Henry Ford, "Pay workers enough to buy what they make." Discourage outsourcing of labor and capital. Encourage smaller units with minimal coupling. Discourage giant corporations and giant governments.

= = = = =

There's no such thing as matter, no such thing as particles. It's all energy and waves. It's all work, and we should value it accordingly. Furniture consists of the photosynthetic labor of trees, improved by the intelligent labor of humans; and furniture serves us with its own labor by giving us rest or helping us to cook. We should value it highly. Stocks and derivatives and "swaps" are pure numbers. We should consider them worthless and counterfeit, and punish anyone who attempts to use them.

= = = = =

Followup entry here.

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Saturday, September 29, 2012
  Random car thought

Google has persuaded Hippieshit Jerry Brown to allow its driverless cars in Calif.

Atrocious idea, but then what do you expect from the Antichrist?

Here's a piece of automotive automation that would actually save plenty of lives:

Forced turn signals, by god.

(1) If the car is using one of those "Turn left in 1.7 miles" gadgets, the gadget will activate the turn signal when it's time to turn.

(2) If you try to turn without signaling, you can't. The engine halts and a loud alarm shouts to everyone in a one-mile radius: "This asshole tried to turn without signaling! This asshole tried to turn without signaling! This asshole tried to turn without signaling!"

(3) If you leave the signal on for more than one minute without turning, the car keeps going, but the alarm shouts "I'm too old to drive! I'm too old to drive! I'm too old to drive!"

(4) If you turn the opposite way from your signal, the car melts down with you inside.
 
Friday, September 28, 2012
  Party of business?

By tradition and slogan the Repooflicans are the 'party that helps business', and the 'party that can run America like a business.'

Wrong on both counts.

Helping business? Wrong, and easy to see why. What changes have done most to hurt American business? (1) The marauding enemy army EPA (and later envirowack laws), which was a Repoof invention and grew most strongly under Repoofs. (2) Free trade, again pushed mainly by Repoofs (though with considerable help from Clintonian Dems.) (3) Repealing the 1930's banking laws, again mainly by R's with help from Clinton. [Note for clarity: all three changes helped the plutocrats and financiers but utterly destroyed ACTUAL PRODUCTIVE BUSINESS.]

Running gov't like a business? Also wrong, but takes more explanation.

A good business in a competitive economy does one thing above all: it provides stuff or services good enough to keep the customers coming back for more; good enough to charge higher prices than its less satisfying competitors.

At the city level there's not much difference between parties. Services like police, trash, paving and snowplowing can be judged immediately and accurately by the customers. A mayor who lets the trash or snow or crime pile up will be out by the next election, even before the next election in some cases. Slogans and party loyalty don't mean much when you can't leave your house. Competition works here, and government really does function like a business.

It's the fed level where the Repoofs fuck up. They actually advertise that they intend to provide shitty service. Vote for us so your SS payment will go away! Vote for us so your sons will die in pointless wars to serve Israel's interests! Vote for us so the New York bankers will steal all your hard-earned savings!

Admittedly the Repoofs also advertise a low price to compensate for the suicidal service, but the low price never actually happens. Taxes are cut for the super-rich bankers, but the normal American doesn't see any change.

How do they win even half the time? Pure blind loyalty; good redistricting; good electoral engineering (i.e. operating the machine of the Electoral College expertly); a huge cheerleading section on radio and TV; and the remembered vapors of Reagan. They do not win by applying business principles; they win by monopolistic manipulation. Just like Apple or Microsoft or Goldman.

A little incident in tonight's news illustrates the point. In the few states that actually vote, Repoof electoral engineers have been implementing Voter ID laws, which might change the numbers just enough to win those tightly balanced states. The advertising for the Voter ID product claimed that fraud was a real problem. Dem counteradvertising claimed that Voter ID was specifically meant to remove Dem voters. Now it turns out that Repoofs in those same states have been paying contractors to run registration and get-out-the-vote drives, which generated large numbers of fraudulent registrations. Hmm. Sorta proves the Dem claim, doesn't it? The ID laws were specifically crafted to filter out only one brand of voter, in order to make more room for real fraud by the other brand. Just like Microsoft or Apple or Goldman.
 
  Water on Mars means we should kill ourselves.

The latest detail from Mars is unquestionably exciting. Surface gravel implies underground aquifers, and aquifers can hold very old water. Could be a teeming sea of microbes down there.





I knew we'd find the usual ratshit from the Gaians, and sure enough the first comment on HuffPost's coverage comes through with flying green colors:

"It will be a very long time before we go there,so lets hope by the time they do,we will be more caring with both the earth and mars............. "

Okay, Gaians. You've been making that idiot point forever. Mars is the Horrible Example, showing us what Earth will become next week if we keep up our sinful breathing.

How about a little logic for once?

Q: Which planet has a human civilization?
A: Earth.
Q: Which planet is teeming with all sorts of life?
A: Earth.

If you want to attribute this type of causation ... if you want to say that the long-term presence of humans leads to one type of planet or the other ... THE ONLY FUCKING SCIENTIFIC CHOICE is to say that human civilization leads to a wildly abundant planet.

This shouldn't be surprising. Before the development of culture, humans were in fact the pure destroyers that Gaians imagine. Nomadic warriors kill anything that's good to eat, and kill it until it's all gone. After humans settled down and cultivated plants and livestock, they quickly figured out that wasting the earth's abundance is a bad idea.

Example from the Code of Ur-Nammu from 2000 BC, the oldest existing written law:

If a man had let an arable field to a(nother) man for cultivation, but he did not cultivate it, turning it into wasteland, he shall measure out three kur of barley per iku of field.

You waste, you pay.

[Translating the units, you pay 15 bushels of barley for every acre of field you wasted.]

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  Mrs Hunholz 2

In a tribute to a great teacher a couple years ago, I remembered this incident:
Mrs Hunholz wasn't short on discipline when it was needed. Once I fell under the influence of a big fellow named Charlie, who gave me the choice of helping him bully others or taking the brunt of his bullying. Unfortunately I chose the former, helped Charlie steal crackers from a weak first-grader. Mrs H heard about it somehow, and I spent the next day standing up in the cloakroom among the wet boots and coats.
I did learn a lesson from that. Though it's tempting to join up with a bully, it's better in the long run to avoid bullies.

= = = = =

Now we have a similar situation in part of the world. We have a bully nation, bristling with weaponry and constantly attacking its neighbors; and we have a weak nation that has been attacked and occupied several times in recent history, but has always managed to repel or outlast its attackers.

Charlie the bully is trying to get America to join in his bullying:
Netanyahu did not detail what should be done if his "red line" was crossed, but the insinuation was clear. In perhaps his final plea before Israel felt the need to take matters into its own hands, Netanyahu pounded away at the dangers posed by Iran. "To understand what the world would be like with a nuclear-armed Iran, just imagine the world with a nuclear-armed al-Qaida," he said. "Nothing could imperil the world more than a nuclear-armed Iran."
Fortunately, Obama seems to have learned from a teacher like Mrs Hunholz at some point in his life. He's not joining Charlie; instead he's trying to keep Charlie from satisfying his aggressive tendencies.
 
Thursday, September 27, 2012
  Aphid day! Autumn is here!

[ Annual feature. Last year the aphids were a month late; this year their swarm day is back around the end of Sept as usual.]

Every year in Spokane the end of summer is marked by the swarming of tiny white-winged flies.

Insects don't waste much time in adulthood; lots of bugs live several years as larvae and only a few days as adults.

These flies take it to an extreme. Adults are minimally equipped to get in the air and reproduce. They don't have as much brain power as other flies, nor do they have hard shells. Instead of flying purposefully, they drift with the wind like seeds, and die as soon as they bump into anything even at near-zero drifting speed. Result: for a couple of days, your face and clothes are covered with semi-liquid insects.

Despite their lack of navigation, they must have some kind of superior instinct or 'community intelligence', because picking the last warm day is much harder than picking the first warm day of spring. Termites and ants don't need to calculate their swarming day; they only need a simple neuron to detect when temperature rises past a certain threshold, plus an emitted pheromone to trigger the avalanche.

But how do these flies determine that today is not just warm, but the last warmth for their generation? They must be sensing something besides temperature.

At any rate, they serve as a reliable sign for us, even if our supercomputers can't match their calculations.



Polistra has put it into folk-wisdom format:

White flies swarming, no more warming.

= = = = =

[Artistic note: the swarm in the animation turned out nicely, but Polistra's head looks steroid-swollen and South-Park-ish for unknown reasons. Maybe she's allergic to the bugs.]

[Technical note: According to some sources, these bugs are smoky-winged ash aphids, Prociphilus americanus.]


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Wednesday, September 26, 2012
  Well, that was quick.

Two weeks ago Polistra wrote:

Putting this down as a marker, not really a prediction. Seems like this would fit a pattern, but I can't see how it would happen.....

It's been clear for two years that the Obama admin has allowed more domestic oil production than Bush did. Now Obama has verbally claimed the achievement in his convention speech, which forces Repooflicans to take note of the change.

I'm genuinely curious. How will they handle this? Will Repoofs rebrand themselves as the Environmentalist Party, just to have a talking point against those horrible Blood-For-Oil Democrats?

Leaving aside slogans and looking at facts, the Repoofs really are the Enviro Party. Note this graph of the marauding enemy army EPA over the years. It was a Repoof invention, and it grew most vigorously during Repoof admins. The biofuel mandate was purely Repoof. Subsidies for wind and solar "power" were implemented by Bush The Son. The ban on light bulbs was written by a Repoof congressman and signed by Bush The Son.

None of this should be surprising, since environmentalism is purely for the rich. It enforces the esthetic value of "wilderness" that only the rich can enjoy; it subsidizes rich investors who "create" wind "power" projects to gather more subsidies; it tears down factories where poor people had decent jobs; it halts logging and construction where poor people had decent jobs; it makes electricity unaffordable to the poor while paying huge dividends to rich shareholders. Both parties have helped to create these advantages for the rich, but it was the rich man's party that did most of the evil work.

The R's would probably lose a handful of their idiot votebots by openly claiming the Enviro brand, but that has never stopped them. For 20 years they've been trying hard to attract Mexicans, Jews and blacks, despite the plain observable fact that Mexicans, Jews and blacks are physically incapable of voting for the letter R. This appeasement of the unappeasable has already destroyed the real differences between the parties, and lost a big chunk of white support for Rs.

So why not go all the way?

= = = = =

And sure enough, they've already done it:
Former South Carolina Rep. Bob Inglis has already paid a price for being out of step with his party. In 2010, amid a Tea Party surge, the Republican lost his congressional seat, attacked for — among other things — accepting climate science. These days, Inglis heads the Energy and Enterprise Initiative at George Mason University, making a free market case for tackling global warming.

.....

"I think our group gives them cover like, 'OK, let me go and see what this is all about,' " says Michele Combs, who's with the Christian Coalition, and recently launched Young Conservatives for Energy Reform. Combs became concerned about climate and energy while pregnant, when her doctor told her not to eat fish because it contained mercury. She later learned that came from coal-fired power plants. "The more research I did on this issue," she says, "I realized this was really a family issue. It affects everybody; everybody wants clean air. And it was really sad that it was such a partisan issue." Combs has been organizing educational house parties around the country. Beyond health, they focus on national security and the large number of U.S. troops killed while transporting fuel. One thing she does not mention? The words "global warming."
Of course these two Satanic traitors had already been operating for a while before I heard about them, so I still can't use the word prediction... I'll just use drearily predictable instead.

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  More upgrading

Following up two earlier notes on the opposite of the 'broken-window effect'. Most recently I photographed the start of work on a sidewalk in this neighborhood, and noted that it seemed to have a positive effect. Before the sidewalk, a dozen parents would typically park along here each morning and evening, ferrying their kids to school. With the sidewalk, only one or two cars. Presumably the parents feel better about letting their kids walk. Lack of exercise is THE PROBLEM, and anything that causes more walking is THE SOLUTION.

Now that the sidewalk has been in place for a month, it's also showing some physical 'upgrading' effects. Last year I noted:
Right now, just within my daily 5-block walk, I count 3 flips, 3 existing-owner remodels, and one brand new house under construction. As mentioned before, something positive is happening quietly around here. ... Probably no way to pin down the cause, but the area of newness appears to be 'propagating' from Wellesley, which was beautifully repaved and residewalked last year.
This one block of new sidewalk has already caused one neighbor to finish painting his house, which had been caught between two colors for years. (I suspect it wasn't exactly the cement that caused the paint, but the removal of a eucalyptus tree that was blocking the right-of-way. The tree had been hiding the side of his house.)

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  Fantastically dumb idea.

Listening to national news this morning, heard two features in sequence:

(1) Knee replacements are growing more common and costing $9 billion annually to Medicare; we need to do something about this.

(2) Researchers are proposing a new way of gathering biodata for secured identification, using a 'Biosole' attached to your foot to measure your gait. Supposedly this is better than using retinas or fingerprints for high-security situations, because "those body parts can be amputated."

DUMB! DUMB! DUMB!

First, feet and legs are lost far more often than fingers or eyes. Second, weren't you listening to the item you read just before? Gait always changes with age, and various forms of surgery on joints are even more common than amputations. Third, what if you forget your 'Biosole' gadget? The high-income folks who tend to need high security are constant shoe changers. Drive to the gym in your $500,000 Maybach Saloon for a workout, change into your $1000 cross-trainers, drive back to the office, change into your $1000 spike-heeled Manolo Whatevers. Will the 'Biosole' look good strapped to the Manolo Whatever? Of course not, so it stays in the drawer. Fourth, easy hacking. The 'Biosole' will have to communicate with your computer by radio waves, which means a hacker can intercept and record (or jam) the signal from a considerable distance.
 
  By comparison....

Every now and then, amid the deepening gloop**, it's nice to notice that subsidiarity is still slightly alive in America, at least compared to Europe.

From England:
Ministers unveiled plans on September 6 to double the size of home extensions that can be built without planning permission, to 6m (19ft) beyond the back wall of a semi-detached house, or 8m (26ft) in the case of a detached house.

The relaxation in the rules, for a fixed three year period, is designed to stimulate construction activity. But delegates lined up to criticise the plans....
This level of microcontrol by the national level has been present for a long time in Britain; it's not just a modern envirowacko thing. Our envirowackos would love to impose such precisely measured tyranny on everyone at once, but they can't.

** Typo, but turns out to be a real and beautifully appropriate word, so I'll leave it there.
 
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
  Zombees

News item:
Mark Hohn didn't pay much attention to the dead bees scattered outside his shop when he got home from vacation a few weeks ago. He just pulled out a leaf blower and blasted away the mess.

It took him a few days to realize he had an invasion of the living dead on his hands.

"I joke with my kids that the zombie apocalypse is starting at my house," said the novice beekeeper. The dead and dying honeybees from Hohn's 1.25-acre spread in Kent are the first in Washington confirmed to be infected by a parasitic fly that causes the bees to lurch around erratically before dropping dead.

The discovery expands the range of the so-called "zombie bees" first discovered in California in 2008 by San Francisco State University biologist John Hafernik. Unlike healthy bees, which spend the night tucked up in their hive, infected bees fly after dark and tend to congregate at lights. Hohn noticed bees buzzing around the light in his shop, flying in jerky patterns and finally flopping on the floor.

He remembered hearing about the zombie bees, so he collected several of the corpses and popped them into a Ziploc bag. "Curiosity got the better of me," he said.

The fly's life cycle is gruesomely reminiscent of the movie "Alien" — though they don't pose a risk to people. Adult females, smaller than a fruit fly, land on the backs of foraging honeybees and use their needle-sharp ovipositors to inject eggs into the bee's abdomen. The eggs hatch into maggots. "They basically eat the insides out of the bee," Hafernik said.
My first impulse was to do an animation ridiculing the San Francisco bees, showing them staggering around with fat joints in their mouths. After rereading the above, I just couldn't do it. I've gotten fairly 'close to the soil' in the last year or so, and learned enough about bees and pollination to gain considerable empathy for the industrious critters. I like to watch them working on my all-clover back yard.

So my only thought now is: Jesus, what an awful way to die. Pushed to exhaustion in darkness by an internal demon.

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  Big chief is at it again

Big Chief Bathes-in-data is showing yet again that he doesn't understand anything at all.
Mr Romney brought up an incident at the weekend when his wife's aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing. He mused that she would have coped better if she was able to breathe outside air during the fire. "I appreciate the fact that she is on the ground, safe and sound. And I don't think she knows just how worried some of us were," Mr Romney said, according to the LA Times. "When you have a fire in an aircraft, there's no place to go, exactly, there's no – and you can't find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don't open. I don't know why they don't do that. It's a real problem. So it's very dangerous."
Most well-informed people do know "why they don't do that." At typical jetliner flying height, the atmospheric pressure is about 20% of normal. The inside of the plane is pressurized to near normal. That's why a blast of air carries passengers out through the hole when the windows or outer walls break. And if you were still inside after that moment of horror, you couldn't breathe the extremely thin air and you'd freeze instantly.

However, the "experts" are hardly better:
Experts pointed out that opening a window would provide oxygen to fuel the fire and a loss of cabin pressure that could rip the fusilage apart.
Sort of correct on the latter part. It's not the loss of pressure that rips the "fusilage", it's the momentary blast of air through the hole that rips the panels near the hole. But completely wrong on the former. In a house fire at ground level, breaking a window does let in air, because the fire has used up the oxygen. The internal pressure is slightly less than the outside. That couldn't happen on the plane, precisely because the inside pressure is so much higher. A few seconds after the break, the high-pressure air would be gone, leaving the interior air just as sparse as the exterior. Sparse super-cold air would give less support to combustion, and the fire would actually extinguish faster than in the pressurized cabin.

= = = = =

The real problem with Vulture is not his ignorance of basic natural facts. An executive doesn't need to know specific facts about science or foreign policy or anything. CEOs are delegators above all.

No, the real problem is that he doesn't know where he's ignorant. Any competent adult knows his own skills and limits, knows which parts of reality he can talk about and which parts he should remain silent about. Vulture clearly doesn't have that basic human equipment. He is not a competent adult.

Later: There's a nice audio example of the same phenomenon. People who have a realistic sense of their own abilities don't sing in public unless they're good. Compare Vulture singing 'America the Beautiful' with Obama singing an Al Green song. Vulture doesn't realize how awful he sounds, presumably because nobody has ever dared to tell him. Obama is good at singing and knows it.
 
Monday, September 24, 2012
  Interesting if real

News item: North Korea is finally breaking away from Soviet collective agriculture. Farmers will be allowed to sell half their produce on the open market.

When you start to open that gate, it's mighty hard to close again. Presumably Kim 3 is smart enough to realize that fact.
 
Sunday, September 23, 2012
  Haymarket East

Looks like Apple's 1890-style sweatshop in China is being hit by riots, started by a guard beating a worker.

So far no mention in America's main media; they're all too busy praising the latest cool iThingamajig 5 built by cool iSlaves 5. It's all okay if it's run by a cool iCommie.

Polistra wonders if China will rediscover the original American answer to sweatshop riots: Social Economics. Practiced most famously by Henry Ford, but also by other enlightened companies in the 1910's and 1920's.

We sure as fuck aren't going to rediscover it here; we'll just continue to cover up Apple's evil so we can continue to enrich the rich and starve the poor. Maybe we'll pick it up from China 50 years after they perfect the method. No we won't. We'll never learn any fucking thing. We're fucking EXCEPTIONAL.

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Friday, September 21, 2012
  Ptolemy as usual

Science Daily starts from the fact that the Arctic is warming and the Antarctic is cooling, and tries to connect those opposite movements with Evil KKKarbon. As always, they have to tack on a dozen little 'epicycles' to make their pseudotheory work. None of the epicycles are solid; all are mere possibilities.

Polistra finds this hard to swallow. A uniform source of heat, applied to the entire globe, causes one side to warm and the other side to cool?


Yum! Eggs with a side of ice, made in one pan!

Let's keep it simple.

If some force is causing all water to warm up, it would cause both ends to warm up. The Arctic (which is all water) would warm directly, and the Antarctic by convection from the water surrounding it. Can't have opposite action there.

If some force is causing all air to warm up, it should still cause everything under the air to warm. That's also out.

There's one simple mechanism that could warm one end and cool the other, and it's a mechanism that agrees perfectly with the observed changes. Currents in the semi-liquid core of the earth. Perhaps the liquid is upwelling at the north and descending at the south. This would give the north 'fresh' heat from the center; by the time it reaches the south, the liquid has given up heat to the intervening surface.

And we do know that something big is happening there. The earth's magnetic field is in one of its occasional periods of rapid change, which would imply movement of the semi-liquid core.

On this graph you can see that the latest sudden move started around 1980, which is exactly when the Arctic seems to have started its unusual warming; and it's accelerating sharply since then. (Excel here, based on this info. Y-axis is the move of the magnetic pole each year in miles.)

A remarkably strong 'phase-lock' plus a plausible mechanism of action. Sounds like a much more likely avenue of research than anything involving Evil KKKarbon.

Maybe it's time for a new Mohole project to figure out exactly how the core is moving?

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  Well, that was easy

Another little step in my 'decentralizing' push was to stop doing business with Amazon. I'd fallen into the habit of ordering just about everything except groceries through Amazon. I knew it wasn't good to patronize a monopoly, but going to one central place was just irresistibly convenient.

Couple months ago, Amazon's CEO tossed a million dollars into a pro-fag-marriage referendum here in Wash.

I don't care if all the employees of a company are fairies and bulldykes as long as they're not requiring the rest of us to go along. CEO Bezos is using dollars that had come from my wallet to force his political will on the rest of us. He's saying "Thanks for your business, sucker! Now here's a finger in your eye!" That was the last straw. Or the last finger. Or something.

Turned out that Amazon convenience wasn't all that important. Ordering things directly from smaller companies takes just a bit more work, but it's more interesting. Smaller companies tend to want your business just a bit more than Amazon does.

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  OJ reopens

What's with the sudden recanting of people involved in the OJ trial? First one of the incompetent prosecutors tells us what we already knew, that the defense intentionally made The Glove hard to put on; now Kato Kaelin comes out and tells us what we already knew, that he saw most of the murder and lied in court.

Is it just the statute of limitations, or has OJ suddenly lost his ability to blackmail everyone into silence? Seems like a real journalist, if any existed, would want to investigate that question.
 
Thursday, September 20, 2012
  Bloomberg predux

At one time in the very distant past, NYC had a mayor just as evil as Bloomberg.

In 1640, New Amsterdam had a "peppery little governor named Willem Kieft who looked like an irritated pug dog." Kieft banned smoking within the city limits. Smokers gathered in Kieft's office and blew smoke in his face. They gave him an ultimatum: Repeal the law or we'll smoke you out of town. He surrendered.



This episode of the late-30s radio program 'Strange As It Seems' dramatizes the incident. At that time Americans still had balls, and sharply recalled what happened when we prohibited alcohol. The idea that a mayor would ban tobacco was purely absurd and bizarre to those non-neutered Americans.

= = = = =

Reading more about Kieft... Damn! He wasn't just the proto-Bloomberg, he was the complete proto-Neocon. Applied his peculiar personal tastes to the rest of the world and created absolute Hell wherever he worked. Read about Kieft's War. Perfect precursor of Bush against Iraq, or Bibi against Persia. When you start with false intelligence and vicious blood-hunger, you end up with total destruction of your own people.
 
  Why you shouldn't start a war.

This little photo-essay accompanying a cantata by Fasch tells the story.

You may think you're bound to win. Wrong. You'll probably lose. Most warmongers do.

The Krauts thought they couldn't lose. They thought their empire would last a thousand years. Nope. They lost, and a huge part of their own infinitely valuable culture was lost in the process.
 
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
  Powdered

Headline on BusinessWeek:

Romney keeps relearning history's gaffe lessons
Romney hit the trifecta this time by saying that 47 percent of Americans believe they are victims, think "government has a responsibility to care for them" and are unwilling to step up and support themselves.

He may seem doomed to relearn the same loose-lips lesson over and over again in 2012.
No, he's not relearning, nor learning the first time. That's the real problem with Romney. He's just stone-solid dumb. Brainless. Incapable of processing input.

He says all this crap about bathing in data, but in fact he's completely unwashed. Like the aristocrats of Elizabethan times who applied layers and layers of perfume and powder instead of soap and water, Romney uses layers and layers of ghost-written scripts instead of knowledge.

In the end it doesn't matter, because he was never meant to be a winning candidate. At least two years ago, Goldman decided that Goldman's "Obama" brand would serve a second term as CEO of Goldman's "USA" brand, so the sane and intelligent candidates for Goldman's "Republican" brand sanely and intelligently stayed home.... leaving only a pack of dummies and self-promoters who figured the publicity and cash would be nice.
 
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
  Better than Bach

Good lord. I always thought that was logically and physically impossible. It's like finding a whole alternate universe next to this one, a universe that's recognizable but slightly more beautiful.

Nevertheless, there it is. Gottfried August Homilius.

I'd never even heard of him. Apparently he was one of Bach's students, and is listed as similar in style to Bach's sons WF and CPE. I'm familiar with those sons, but Homilius has something beyond them, something unique that I can't define yet. Probably shouldn't analyze, just enjoy.

I'm speechless.
 
  Chickens!

This part of Spokane is thoroughly old-suburb-ish now, but it was nearly rural from 1910 to 1940, with only one house built on each block and no utilities. You can still see indications of rurality. Several pre-1950 houses still have fuel-oil tanks, and a few retain a pure country feel.

One of those time-capsule farmhouses was sold earlier this year, after a long period of being occupied but untouched. The new occupant has removed the cars and neatened up the back area, which contains a long-unused cottage; but no changes to the sprawling main house. None of the usual flip stuff.

This morning there's a change! A chicken pen right out in front, with big white healthy-looking hens pecking and squawking! Have to wonder: why the front yard? The back lot has enough space for a pony, and the unused cottage would make a good coop.

Almost seems like a dare, as in "Okay, zoning board. I got chickens here. Whatcha gonna do about it?"

Later, after a closer look: About 6 chickens of various colors, all big flashy birds. I'd say these are show-chickens, if that's a word. Maybe fighting cocks. Not plain egg-layers or fryers.

= = = = =

Update March 2013: Now they've planted an organized set of young fruit trees in the front yard. 4 rows of 4 trees. Not the way you'd plant for ornamental purposes, more like starting an orchard. Looks like they're trying to build a real urban farmstead!

July 2015: For a couple years it looked like nothing was happening, and those fruit trees didn't appear to be thriving. I was afraid the place was going to fail. This year it's IMPRESSIVE. Hot weather has boosted astonishing growth in rows of sunflowers, tomatoes, corn, and other stuff in the back, and the fruit trees are flowering and growing.

June 2016: Last year's TALL crop must have been profitable. The front yard now has an expensive-looking fence to hold more chickens, and everything looks more prosperous in general.

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  Tomatoes, knives, stores....



I've been tracking my recent shift from centralized processed food to fresh, with some dubious analogies along the way. Might as well continue the tracking and the analogies....

The last time I got serious with food was 1970, when I set up housekeeping on my own. I started with some leftover furniture from parents, and bought a few things as well.

One thing I bought was this little serrated knife:


It came from C.R. Anthony's, a regional department store chain. Anthony's occupied a category that doesn't exist any more. It was a step above the dimestores like TG&Y, and several steps below the hoity-toity fashion stores like S & Q Clothiers. If you wanted clothes that you could wear to school or work, or you wanted pans and knives and gadgets for a regular kitchen, Anthony's had it. In short, it was a middle class store. We don't need that category any more because we don't have a middle class.

Here's a typical Anthony's store around 1960.

Why was Anthony's such a good store? Why did it have exactly what an ordinary Okie needed, and why was it a comfortable place even for a man who hates shopping? This might explain it:
The chain grew by ... using profits from one outlet to finance another. Each manager trained the next and held a one-third partnership in his store. The thirty-three that opened between 1922 and 1926 had sales of $2.5 million in 1926. That year, the C. R. Anthony Company incorporated, and in 1934 it converted to a common stock operation offering shares only to individuals associated with the operation. Deeming those who owned the business to care the most about its welfare, the company avoided outside capital until its late history. The firm saw growth during the Great Depression, a testimonial to its ability to meet the needs of rural clientele and earning it the slogan as the "friendliest store in town."


Closing the loop. Feedback and subsidiarity. Giving local managers authority and motivation, paying no attention to New York. That's why it was a good store.

= = = = =

My little serrated knife didn't get much opportunity to work on food, as I quickly switched to frozen vegetables then ate in restaurants for many years. It moved into my car toolbox and served more prosaic purposes like cutting rubber fuel lines and fan belts. After I came to Spokane, I stopped driving and working on cars, so the knife migrated to the kitchen tool drawer where it cut cardboard and plastic for twenty years.

Thus it was ready and waiting when I returned to food preparation. At first I thought about buying a non-serrated knife and a cutting board As Seen On TV, but then I got sensible and used this knife and a saucer. After consulting the web, it turns out that a serrated knife and a saucer are pretty much the right tools after all.

Thanks to C.R. Anthony for a good product, a knife that endured 40 years of misuse and was still ready when its proper job finally arrived!

= = = = =

Followup here. It turns out that Anthony's didn't just die. It was personally killed by Vulture Romney. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

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Monday, September 17, 2012
  Asymmetry

Mother Jones and NPR are all weeweed up about a clandestine tape of Vulture Romney supposedly saying secret things to a private conference.

Secret? Hardly. He's just quoting the Maker/Taker shit which has been the primary topic of all Repooflican yappers for the last few years. Each talker has his own variant on the theme, but they all follow the same vicious Randian line, and the conclusion is always the same. Billionaire gangsters are Makers. They create jobs in China. All others are Losers, Moochers, Takers. Therefore billionaire gangsters must receive all money and power in the world, while Losers must die. It's that simple.

Through this campaign Vulture Romney has been exclusively outputting random Repooflican talking points, and he's doing the same in this video. He's simply running a mixtape of Rush, Hannity, Doyle, Savage, Levin, Miller, et al. Nothing remotely new, nothing remotely secret or hidden.

= = = = =

The only odd thing is that the Commie talkers (Mother Jones and NPR) don't realize this is standard boilerplate. They genuinely think it's unusual stuff, and they're eager to get it out so people will see what Romney's saying.

Asymmetry as always. American Commies live in a bubble, paying no attention to the other side. Non-commies pay attention to both sides.

By itself this asymmetry should be an advantage to the non-commie side, because superior knowledge is an advantage in any conflict. But the non-commie side has destroyed its advantage by sticking with the Randian bullies, sticking with the gangsters, telling ordinary people to die. We may be losers, but when one side tells us to "Take one for the team" and the other side doesn't, we'll probably go with the side that doesn't explicitly tell us to die.
 
  Isn't that special.

Basically all that remains of America is a set of museums and tourist activities commemorating real things that happened in the past. This process has accelerated:
It's been one year since Occupy Wall Street began, when hundreds of protesters descended on the nation's financial center and kicked off a nationwide social movement. Organizers plan to mark Monday's anniversary, dubbed "S17," with scores of events and demonstrations. ... The main focus is again in New York, where the planned S17 events include a 6 a.m. bike ride in lower Manhattan, a "people's wall" picket line at the New York Stock Exchange, and an anniversary concert featuring Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine.
Very sweet. Instead of a movement with goals, you now have a Living Museum celebrating a movement with goals. Previous Living Museums tended to celebrate events from a few decades ago; now we can zoom from Real to Remembered in just one year!

Progress, I suppose. Goldman is happy.

= = = = =

Dead serious for a moment: Occupy has fizzled because it tried to run a movement without a leader, using hippieshit "universal democracy". Humans don't work that way. If you want to get anything done you need hierarchy. I was part of the peace movement of the '60s, and later part of the Nuke Freeze movement in the '80s. Both of those movements held together in an organized and sustained way because they had direct support from Russia, which didn't allow hippieshit randomness. Orders came from Moscow, and the top leaders managed to make the process look "democratic" to the low-level hippies without actually losing hierarchical control.

Maybe the Occupy movement should request support and assistance from Putin. I'm sure the KGB (or whatever it's called now) will still be able to organize things. We desperately need a second party in this miserable country, and Occupy has some of the correct opposition-party points.
 
Sunday, September 16, 2012
  Picoclimate?

Noticed something in my daily walk. When I started out, the sun wasn't visible yet. As I reached the westward end of the usual loop, I noticed that exactly one house had sunlight showing on its gable.

Caught the effect on camera several days later. The stopsign at the end of the street is the western end of the neighborhood.


This struck me as strange until I mentally diagrammed the landscape. This neighborhood sits under a fairly tall ridge on the east, and the sun was just starting to appear above the ridge.

I turned around and started back eastward toward my house, which is close to the bottom of the ridge. This took about 10 minutes. Five minutes later the sun started to illuminate the gables next to my house.

It's an obvious bit of geometry, and I always knew that houses in deep valleys don't get much sun... but I'd never actually observed the house-by-house advance of the sun before.

Specifically, my house gets 15 minutes less sun each day than the house at the west end of the neighborhood. That's a meaningful microclimate difference within a very small area. Or should it be called picoclimate?

Here's a schematic of Polistra and Happystar walking from west to east as the sun rises.....


= = = = =

Graphics note: This little animation turned out nicely, but I had to cheat to make it work. Initially I tied a light to Mr Sun, so it would rise with him... but the shadow persistently moved the wrong way. Poser's rendering software doesn't match reality in this peculiar situation. So I resorted to brute force: placed a directional light overhead and turned it to move the focus of the light.

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  Weekend at Bennie's

The propped-up corpse that Catholics revere as a "pope" is being hauled around the Middle East this week. The corpse is pleading with Arabs for "religious tolerance."

Well now. Who's intolerant? The Coptic counter-revolutionary who insulted an entire religion with the specific intent of bringing down the new government of Egypt? Or the Muslims who are protesting against the Coptic insult?

Just in case the point is not clear: The moviemaker is INTOLERANT of Muslims. Muslims are not angry because they are INTOLERANT of Copts; they are angry because this one Copt is INTOLERANT of Muslims.

Hmmm. Isn't that pretty much the standard lefty line? "I'm only intolerant of intolerance." It's a silly line, but it's exactly where these Muslim protesters are coming from. Seems like Bennie, who is pretty much a hippie type, is taking the wrong side. He should be speaking to the Copt bigot who started the fight, not to the Muslims who are defending themselves against bigotry.

The latter are missing their target to some extent ... this Coptic creature is not exactly the US government ... but I strongly suspect he's been helped by parts of the US and/or Israeli governments.

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  Who's crazy?

WUWT is focusing lately on a Stalinist psychology prof in Australia who ran a false 'poll' as part of a campaign to put non-Gaians in mental institutions. Not terribly surprising; commies have always put heretics in insane asylums, and the modern Gramscian type continues the tradition.

A small news item from Australia accidentally answers the bigger question: Who's crazy, Gaians or realists?
It was one of those jaw-dropping, beautiful spring mornings that make the Byron Shire locals bless their cotton kaftans and bikinis - and the visitors reassess their entire city lives.

The brisk southerly breeze polished the bay into a topaz gemstone, a humpback whale cavorted and waved a dorsal fin and her calf copied and a pod of dolphins frolicked nearby.

This scene is why the Byron Shire is the poster child for the green movement. It was the first Green council to be elected in the state in 2004...

Think about it.

The Gaia-brain syllogism runs like this:

Premise: Byron Shire is a place where Nature seems to be perfect.

Premise: Humans and Nature exist in harmony here.

Therefore: Nature is CRITICALLY ILL and we must DESTROY THE ENTIRE HUMAN RACE [except for China, of course] TO RESTORE ITS HEALTH!

Who's crazy?

However: The rest of the news item is actually good. It shows that the 30-year-long Gaia infection is starting to fade:
After 14 years of solid growth across all political levels, the Greens suffered a serious and humiliating backlash in last weekend's council elections. .... But even in the hippie haven of Byron Shire, disillusioned Greens voters let their dissatisfaction be heard. The Greens' mayoral candidate Simon Richardson won, but they do not hold a mandate and the pro-business groups moved in with four seats to counter the anti-development tradition of the Greens.

Even in Australia where Comrade Gillard is making a last stand for Gaia, the lower levels have finally had enough of this murderous madness.

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Saturday, September 15, 2012
  Last step toward destruction

Satan dba "BBC" is doing a half-hour feature on a seemingly odd subject: the tiny handful of atheists in black American culture. Satan's sympathy is obviously on the side of the atheists.

Hmm. Have they ever done a feature on the tiny handful of Christians who somehow manage to survive in the world of journalism?

Nope.

Satan dba "journalism" has exactly one mission: Destroy human culture. And they're nearly finished in Western countries. Breaking the adherence of blacks to Christianity is one of the last remaining steps. It's going to be hard, because Africans have an amazingly high moral intelligence; but I'm sure Satan dba "journalism" will pursue the job with full hellish force until it's done.
 
Friday, September 14, 2012
  Ecogenic diseases

Eco-idiots are building a special sterile cave in Tennessee, hoping to attract lots of bats to hibernate away from the fungus that causes 'white-nose disease'.

How did the invasive disease get to Tennessee? From European ecotourists hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Somewhere around 200,000 people are killed each year by iatrogenic disorders. Diseases caused by doctors and hospitals, such as MRSA bacteria and wrong prescriptions.

By analogy, we can call white-nose disease an ecogenic disorder, a disease caused by eco-idiots.

Meanwhile on the other side of the country, huge numbers of bats are being slaughtered by wind turbines. Yet another ecogenic disease for bats, and indirectly an ecogenic disease for trees, because the millions of dead bats are no longer eating billions of forest-destroying insects.



And thousands of humans are starving due to corn diverted to biofuel; and thousands are freezing because eco-idiocy made energy unaffordable.

Whole lot of ecogenic disease.

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  I like Ike

Ike Obama, that is.

Barack doesn't look much like Dwight David Eisenhower, but perhaps the Kansas side of his heritage is coming through. Just as Ike got us out of Truman's Korean mess and slowed down the world's biggest bully in 1956, so Obama has gotten us out of Bush's Iraq mess and appears to be slowing down the world's biggest bully in 2012.

Obama's careful pushback against the bully is bearing fruit, as parts of Israel's own government start to pull away from Madman Bibi.

Via RT.com:
Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor has spoken out in disagreement with the Netanyahu government's position of setting a "red line" for Iran’s nuclear program. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly called on Israel's allies to give Iran an ultimatum, and has threatened to launch attacks on the country's nuclear facilities. Meridor, who also serves as Deputy of Intelligence and Atomic Energy, echoed Washington’s desire to apply a more diplomatic approach toward Tehran.

Careful craftsmanship doesn't win points from either of our idiot "sides", but it sometimes avoids a major war. Good work.

= = = = =

Irrelevant sidenote: Obama and Ike share another connection. Obama is the first president since Ike to be seen smoking cigarettes in public. Apparently LBJ also smoked in office, but didn't make it public. (He had stopped after a heart attack in 1955, but started again on November 22.) Other post-Ike presidents have been seen with a cigar now and then, but mainly as a style statement, not real smoking.
 
  Puzzled.

As we watch Chief Counterfeiter Bugsy cranking his massive QE press yet again to jack up profits for his gangster buddies in the Jew Casino, I wonder yet again....

Financiers are the sole power in the world. That's an obvious fact. Nobody else counts.

But not every financier is helped by Bugsy's counterfeit. Stock traders are jizzing all over the trading floor, but pension funds and insurance companies are hurting. They are required by laws and corporate charters to invest some part of their money in bonds and other low-risk accounts. In a non-gangster economy, those assets typically bring a low but measurable return, around 3 to 6 percent. With Bugsy's Jew gang running things, those assets bring exactly zero nominal interest, which means negative real return. Pensions are in serious trouble, and insurance companies are having to increase premiums quickly. There's a limit to how much you can charge, and I suspect that limit has already been passed in areas like health insurance.

Those institutions are huge, and they're part of the financial sector. In other words, they have a voice in government. Are they silent because of blackmail? Or are they complaining loudly? If the latter, why don't we see a response to the complaints? Is Congress blackmailed by the Jew Casino? Well, I don't really need to ask that last question.
 
Thursday, September 13, 2012
  More sanity?

News item:
Wind tower maker Katana Summit says it will close its plants in Nebraska and Washington and layoff nearly 300 people.

The company said Wednesday its plants in Columbus, Neb., and Ephrata, Wash., will close around Nov. 1 unless a buyer can be found for the plants. ...

[CEO Kevin Strudthoff] says orders for the towers Katana Summit makes have nearly stopped for 2013 because wind power developers want to know if the tax credits that expire at the end of this year will be renewed.

Always nice to see an open admission of where the "power" in wind "power" comes from.

More interestingly, this means the "developers" are fairly certain that Congress will actually do something good!

Bearing in mind Rahm Emanuel's amazing education reform, I wonder if we're starting to see a trend toward sanity. Are Western governments finally starting to realize that money is not infinite? Are they tired of bubbles? Nah, that's impossible. More likely China is preparing to cut off our credit.
 
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
  Just plain good

The most interesting and newsworthy event this year is Rahm Emanuel fighting the Satanic teachers union. Everything else is drearily predictable and robotic, the same old people doing and saying the same old things over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. Everything else is well below Dog Bites Man; more like Dog Has Four Legs.

But this is fully surprising, pure information in the Shannon sense.

Consider: Rahm Emanuel has 100% perfect leftist credentials. He's solidly ideological, he's an Israeli-born Jew, he worked closely with Obama, and his sexual identity is, let's say with extreme charity, dubious. You simply can't beat that combination.

In the ancient past, politicians with perfect credentials and strong public support would occasionally do something good, take an action that simply helped the people of their city or state regardless of party labels.

These occasional events have gone extinct in the last 23 years, as real party differences disappeared and rigid but meaningless team positions guaranteed total paralysis.

Emanuel is going back to the ancient past. He's helping the people of Chicago! He's trying to force real reform on the school system.

Satan dba "Karen Lewis", head of Satan dba "Teachers Union", is striking to break Emanuel's reform efforts:
The whole idea of an imperial mayoralty, where you can wave a magic wand and cut someone out and things happen, is untenable.... This guy has the nerve to stand up and say that education is the civil rights issue of our time.

Normally Satan dba "Teachers Union" is the absolute core of the D team, and would follow a Pure Gold Democrat through a field of thorns, but not this time.

Vulture Romney would normally take any opportunity to knock a Pure Gold Democrat, but not this time.

All the expected team-based ratshit is absent in this situation, leaving a pure conflict of Good vs Evil. Even more amazingly, two politicians are on the side of Good.

We need more Imperial Mayors, more politicians who are willing to break through the paralytic plaque to do one thing that's Just Plain Good.
 
  Wow!

By god, there's an INTERESTING and refreshing advertisement. A short spot for Nationwide Insurance, heard just now on local radio.

Nearly quoting: Across the nation, a tree falls ... [other disaster stuff] ... a ceiling collapses. Nationwide is there, because you're not just a priority. You're our ONLY priority. We put members first BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE SHAREHOLDERS.

BEAUTIFUL.

Indicates widespread recognition of a point that Polistra has been pushing for many years. Capitalism works ONLY when it serves customers. Capitalism fails miserably when it serves shareholders.

We aren't going to solve any of our problems until we close and confiscate the stock casinos.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012
  Isn't it odd?

Everyone knows the Federal gov't is a complete crime, a complete failure, a complete shambles, a suicidal poison tank.

Why, then, do so many people fight so hard to OWN the crime? Why do they intensely need to put their own name on the fraud? Why is it critically important that OUR TEAM gets all the credit for the failure? Why does MY FLAG need to fly over the shambles?

It's a mystery.


 
  Brrrrr.

Yesterday's wind brought in some serious cold, 38 degrees this morning. Most of the roofs are frosty. I had to turn on the heater for the first time.

Clover doesn't have heaters, so it huddles:



Why are roofs frosty when the temp is above freezing and the last 4 months were uniformly warmer than today? Shouldn't a roof be the warmest thing in the area instead of the coldest thing?

And why does clover place its leaves vertically for protection?

Maybe the same reason? Horizontal flat surfaces radiate their heat content upward, with an 'overshoot' that makes them temporarily colder than the air? Sounds plausible anyway.

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  Pacts

During the Cold War, the world was divided between the Warsaw Pact and the NATO Pact, with some other Pacts adhering loosely to one side or the other.

Now we have two big Pacts again, and they're in the same general areas but not quite the same nations.

= = = = =

The more-or-less Western side (EU, UK, AUS, US) is firmly devoted to national suicide. Their governments are utterly delusional and totally insane. They act with remarkable efficiency to destroy their own people. They make nothing but imaginary counterfeit "money", to maximize the profits of Goldman Sachs.

These countries have a strong cultural bond. All are Post-Christian. All have replaced the biblical moral code with a vicious prissy-ass mincing-ass hatred of everything that works, a physical revulsion for everything that keeps civilization going, a screechy bloodthirsty compulsion to kill the entire human race.

We might call them the Suicide Pact, or the Wacked Pact.

= = = = =

The more-or-less Eastern side (Russia, China, Turkey, Korea, India) is firmly devoted to national success. Their governments are firmly grounded in reality, strictly sane, acting to advance their own economies and improve the situation of their OWN people. They make actual things.

These countries have no common cultural bond, and work together only when it serves each national interest. Their religious, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds are totally separate, but their moral codes are firm. They have no patience with Die-Versity or Tolerance.

We might call them the Fact Pact.

= = = = =

However: These two Pacts aren't really in competition. The Wacked Pact loves nothing more than submitting to members of the Fact Pact, while pretending that the submission is Exceptional or necessary to save the Free Market or some other bizarre shit.

Wacked countries give all their jobs to China, send all their money to banksters, and use all their soldiers to defend Israel.

China is unquestionably part of the Fact Pact. But which side is Israel on?

News item:
For now, environmental concerns have taken most of the shale gas potential off the table, keeping Europe dependent on imports. But Israel’s Mediterranean gas, combined with gas from Israel’s Mediterranean partner, Cyprus, have the potential to cost Russia its top-dog role as Europe’s chief source of natural gas.

Enter Gazprom Israel, a proposed subsidiary of Russian government-owned Gazprom, the world’s largest natural gas company. According to reports in the Israeli and Eurasian media, the Israeli government has agreed to give the Russians a stake in the Mediterranean find, and also to increase the amount of gas allowed to be exported — until recently, the Israeli government had reserved a 25-year supply for itself, to protect against future energy boycotts. With this deal, Russia would be cutting itself into any sales of Mediterranean gas to Europe or, possibly better from Russia’s point of view, it could persuade Israel to instead sell Mediterranean gas to Asian markets — a live option even without the advent of Gazprom Israel. Either way, Russia would retain the dominant role in Europe that underpins its national pride.

As for Israel, the benefit of aligning itself with Russia’s economic interests would be immense. Over the last half-century, Russia and Russian arms have been a mainstay of Arab nations and Muslim terrorists that sought Israel’s destruction.

Yes indeed. Just as the banksters "show remorse" for their thievery by stealing even more trillions, Israel "shows gratitude" for our total submission by whipping us yet again. That's sane and rational behavior on their part, putting them firmly in the Fact Pact. What's insane is our continual rewarding of the banksters and our meek submission to Israel.

= = = = =

Bit later: Interesting correlation with this map of public debt. The Wacked Pact is EXACTLY the countries with the highest debt. The Fact Pact countries aren't the lowest, but all have moderate or low debt. [The lowest public debt belongs to primitive countries that don't have real governments.] Probably a two-part causation.... If you're insane, you'll run up huge debts, AND you'll delusionally believe the debts don't matter. If you're sane, you'll live more carefully, AND you'll have a realistic sense about the dangers of debt.
 
Monday, September 10, 2012
  Ick! Fall is here!



Autumn has arrived. Windy day with an extreme amount of smoke from wildfires. So far none of the fires are close to Spokane, but the smoke makes you think otherwise.

I've exaggerated the wind somewhat for cartoonic purposes; actually it was gusting to 40 for a while, which is tree-thrashing but not quite branch-breaking.

But I didn't exaggerate the strange smoky light! Here's an actual inside photo with my new digital camera, which I clearly don't know how to use yet..... or else it's just a cheap camera that doesn't do closeups well.



Later: The same scene exactly 24 hours later, after the smoke is gone:

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  Trouble with 5's

For quite a while now I've been noticing an odd 'category error'. It may be a sign of senility, may result from damage during the few years of high blood pressure.

Or it may be a permanent short-circuit that I simply didn't start noticing until I got old. (Not bloody likely!)

Specifically, I sometimes have trouble counting money, but only when 5 is involved. Nickels or $5 bills trigger the error. Other combinations are fine.

It happened again this morning. This time I managed to replay the action and figure out exactly how it went wrong.

The bill at Safeway came to $13.61, and I had a bunch of ones fattening my wallet; so I decided to start with a $5 bill and do the rest in ones.

Pulled the 5, started counting ones. "Five, six,

At that point the Six changed roles.

It was meant to start a sequence: "6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14."

Instead, the 6 flipped semiconsciously to "Now I need 6 of these Ones to make 14."

So I obediently counted ones: "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6." Result: I tried to pay with $11.
 
Sunday, September 09, 2012
  What is this about?

A couple years ago there was a brief hoohaw in California when an anti-circumcision group got a referendum on the ballot. The referendum was soundly defeated, and the hoohaw went away.

Now a black-robed saboteur in Germany has ruled, without any legislative action, that circumcision is illegal. (It's a little surprising that the California hoohaw didn't involve a black-robed genocidist; normally they're the ones who create psychopathic insanity.)

In response to the saboteur, German Jews and Muslims are working together in protest. The Kraut government is apparently responding with a law to override the black-robed psychopath.

It's good to see that real democracy is still functional in Germany on some issues, even if it's absent on basic questions of energy and economics.

I still can't figure out why anyone would object to circumcision. It's clearly becoming a favorite cause among some leftist factions, but the, um, point of their objection is obscure. Something to do with "body integrity", whatever that means.

According to Wiki, circumcision has never been common in Germany, which makes it more of an exclusively religious question than in America. So perhaps the black-robed saboteur is just an anti-religious bigot? I dunno, but it would be typical.

As with most other ancient religious recommendations, circumcision is just good public health practice. Even in a modern country with good medical care, you'll live longer and need less medical care when you obey Moses and Mohammed.
 
  Unheeded advice

This 1946 radio news program includes an interesting bit of accurate prophecy. The commentator is Tony Morse, who seems to have been a well-known Los Angeles broadcaster, but has been lost to history. Google doesn't find any references, presumably because he was not an orthodox Stalinist. (Non-Commies were effectively purged from radio and TV after the Soviet victory in the Army-McCarthy show trial of 1954.)

Morse discusses the placement of the UN Headquarters. At that time the organization had decided to put its offices somewhere in America, but hadn't picked New York. The expected Communist cities were eagerly competing for the location. Morse makes a different suggestion: The UN really should be in Moscow.

It was already clear that Russia had a strong voice in the UN, though it hadn't yet become a pure Soviet device. Morse called the UN a "penetrating tool", and suggested that Russia needed to be penetrated by Western influence much more than America needed to be penetrated by Russian influence.

Very smart. Too bad they didn't take his advice.
 
Saturday, September 08, 2012
  Always look at the graph

One of my solid rules is Always look at the graph. Don't be fooled by statistics. Stats always eliminate the most important aspects of the situation, but a graph usually highlights the important bit.



This graph at Economic Populist genuinely shocked me. I hadn't seen the graph before, and I was fooled by stats. I'd often heard that the median income is 26K, so I assumed that 26K is also the 'typical' income. That's fairly decent; you can get by on 26K.

The real picture is absolutely terrible! We have a pure third-world economy. No other way to describe it. The most 'typical' income is around 7K, not 26K.

We're fucked.

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Friday, September 07, 2012
  Just curious

Putting this down as a marker, not really a prediction. Seems like this would fit a pattern, but I can't see how it would happen.....

= = = = =

It's been clear for two years that the Obama admin has allowed more domestic oil production than Bush did. Now Obama has verbally claimed the achievement in his convention speech, which forces Repooflicans to take note of the change.

I'm genuinely curious. How will they handle this? Will Repoofs rebrand themselves as the Environmentalist Party, just to have a talking point against those horrible Blood-For-Oil Democrats?

Leaving aside slogans and looking at facts, the Repoofs really are the Enviro Party. Note this graph of the marauding enemy army EPA over the years. It was a Repoof invention, and it grew most vigorously during Repoof admins. The biofuel mandate was purely Repoof. Subsidies for wind and solar "power" were implemented by Bush The Son. The ban on light bulbs was written by a Repoof congressman and signed by Bush The Son.

None of this should be surprising, since environmentalism is purely for the rich. It enforces the esthetic value of "wilderness" that only the rich can enjoy; it subsidizes rich investors who "create" wind "power" projects to gather more subsidies; it tears down factories where poor people had decent jobs; it halts logging and construction where poor people had decent jobs; it makes electricity unaffordable to the poor while paying huge dividends to rich shareholders. Both parties have helped to create these advantages for the rich, but it was the rich man's party that did most of the evil work.

The R's would probably lose a handful of their idiot votebots by openly claiming the Enviro brand, but that has never stopped them. For 20 years they've been trying hard to attract Mexicans, Jews and blacks, despite the plain observable fact that Mexicans, Jews and blacks are physically incapable of voting for the letter R. This appeasement of the unappeasable has already destroyed the real differences between the parties, and lost a big chunk of white support for Rs.

So why not go all the way?
 
  More countermotions

In the broad realms of science, two wildly opposing trends.

= = = = =

Some areas are making huge discoveries with an open-minded attitude, constantly expanding and breaking the boundaries of knowledge. Geneticists explore previously unknown parts of the chromosome, gradually realizing that every part has a function, and these functions are dynamic and 'analog' instead of static and 'digital'. Bacteriologists are painting a new picture of bacteria as component parts of intelligent colonies, and finding bacteria in all sorts of places where life was previously thought impossible. Materials science constantly finds new ways to manipulate polymers, composites, and fibers, making previously unimagined devices possible.

= = = = =

Many other areas of science are locked into myth, superstition, and apocalyptic religious fervor. Climate. Quantum "physics". Cosmology. Psychology. Economics. In these areas, facts, logic and reality are ruthlessly squashed by legal and physical force, leaving bizarre fantasies and total falsehoods firmly in charge.

= = = = =

This split in itself shouldn't be a problem. Every area of human endeavor has sane sections and dead-end wacked-out lunatic sections. Unfortunately, the dead-end parts have all the power and funding. When governments or educators look to science for solutions or answers, they exclusively consult the superstitious wackos; when governments want to pour money into science, they pour it into the myth-bound Inquisitors.

= = = = =

Later thought: Clearly there's a positive (bad) feedback loop. The presence of government power and funding is exactly why those dead-end areas remain locked in idiocy. When you have riches, power, glory and access to journalists, you'll fight hard to keep your share. You'll manipulate the media to insure that your views remain dominant, and you'll use every available means to shut out the competition. When these temptations are present, noble motives like the pursuit of knowledge, or practical motives like commercial usefulness, can't survive.
 
Thursday, September 06, 2012
  There's #3!

I noted two prominent new citizens of Hades a couple weeks ago:
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.


= = = = =

Now from UK Guardian, a delayed obit for a death on Aug. 26:
Shulamith Firestone was one of the early US radical women's liberationists who provided the theoretical foundation for a second wave of feminism. Along with Kate Millett's Sexual Politics, Betty Friedan's The Second Sex and Jill Johnston's Lesbian Nation, Firestone's The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution (1970) contributed to a theory of women's oppression and male supremacy that is as relevant today as it was at the time of publication. She has been found dead in her apartment in Manhattan, New York, at the age of 67. ...

Firestone's legacy is her challenge to the left in her refusal to accept that women's liberation should be shelved until after the revolution. "We shall need a sexual revolution much larger than – inclusive of – a socialist one to truly eradicate all class systems."

There's the third new Hadean!

Think about the last sentence in the obit. Sexual revolution will eradicate class systems.

What actually happened? We got a sexual revolution for damn sure. And it vastly increased the gulf between rich and poor.

Marx was replaced by Gramsci.

Satanism-feminism intentionally wrecked the division of labor that civilization had taken 5000 years to establish and maintain. Traditional gender roles leveraged the social mammal's natural drive for status to set up stable family arrangements, which enabled ORDINARY PEOPLE to prosper. Under the traditional Western system, being a Good Provider was a mark of status. This meant that males who lacked ripply muscles and impressive bravado could gain enough status to hold a good wife, by working hard and earning a steady living.

Satanism-feminism smashed the Good Provider arrangement, and females then reverted to their primitive simian status goals. Work no longer matters. Only the innate natural qualities of a male matter. Only the most muscular, attractive, brutal or RICH males are now able to hold a good wife.

When Betty Fried[m]an and Shulamith Firestone were breaking civilization, other New York Jews saw a profit opportunity. (Chaos is always a profit opportunity for a hedger.)

Since the law now required females to compete (badly) in the same economic realms as males, those economic realms had to dilute their standards and thus their value. Since males now realized there was no point in doing high-quality work, males didn't especially care about the loss of value in the job market. Families now had two degraded incomes and nihilistic expectations. This meant that each worker's income could be slashed beyond a simple halving, which in turn meant more profit for the executives and the shareholders, and more status and more wives for the super-rich.

The hellish Fried[m]an twins. Betty and Milton. Betty broke the males and forced the females into wage slavery; Milton showed capitalists how to enslave both sexes for maximum economic efficiency.

Okay, Milt. Relay time. Stick's in your hand. Go.
 
  Already knew that.....

I try not to pay attention to the idiotic partisan back-and-forth, but sometimes it breaks through. Vulture Romney says:
"You've heard no one stand up and say that people are better off than they were four years ago. They really can't say that."

Well, I'm better off. As I noted yesterday, I've been pulling out of a stupid tailspin since 2008.

More relevant to the partisan stuff, I'm better off monetarily. This comes mostly from my own planning and frugality over many years. There's only one partial connection to the world of DC/NY politics and finance: I would have been even more better off** if Romney's Jew Mafia buddies hadn't stolen the interest from my bonds and savings.

Clearly then, I'm not people by Vulture Romney's logic.

No people are better off.
I'm better off.
Therefore I'm not people.

But then I already knew that. I'm not a Jew, so I'm just a loser, a taker, a moocher. A negative externality. Disposable, expendable. Not people.

Fuck off, you monstrous thief. I'll go with the "side" that respects ordinary people, even though both "sides" are equally murderous in empirical terms.

= = = = =

**Yeah, it's supposedly "bad grammar." Nope. Better isn't really an adjective in that sentence; rather, be-better-off is a three-word verb.
 
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
  Countermotions

An opposing pair of motions in the Anglosphere. Britain is moving closer to sanity in energy AND education, while Australia marches closer to Satan in both areas.

In Britain, Cameron has replaced part of his Cabinet:
Owen Paterson, a member of Cameron's Conservative Party who was appointed Environment Secretary in the reshuffle, has hailed the potential economic benefits of shale gas...

John Hayes [is now] Energy Minister.... Hayes has been a vocal opponent of wind farms...


I've previously noted Britain's absolutely remarkable push toward discipline and common sense in education.

= = = = =

Meanwhile in Australia, Comrade Gillard doubles down HARD on the Carbon Crime, forcing many Aussies to freeze in winter.

And at the same time, Comrade Gillard roars backwards in education, pouring money into the worst schools and requiring teachers to have higher degrees in subject matter instead of requiring them to be good teachers. She's basically moving Australia into a pattern that America tried and rejected in the 1970's.

What an all-consuming fuckhead.
 
  Looking back on a stupid period

It's starting to get cold, so I looked in the closet to find more long pants.

While ruffling through the closet I found no less than FOUR winter parkas. Two of them are familiar, but I'd completely forgotten about the other two. This means the newest winter parka was completely unnecessary!

I bought Parka #4 in 2009 after Parka #3 got torn up in the desperate and losing fight against heavy snow and ice dams. Obviously I didn't even LOOK in the fucking closet, because Parkas #1 and #2 are perfectly usable though a bit grimy. It's not like I have dozens of closets and hundreds of clothes; this is the only closet in the house and it contains exactly 14 items right now.



I was seriously stupid in 2008-2009. The stupidity was clearly caused by high blood pressure. I wasn't paying attention to things. That's how I got whomped by a SUV in Oct 2008.

After that low point I started to make changes. In chronological order:

1. Stopped smoking pipe, which I had started in 2006.

2. Unplugged the TV.

3. Went to doctor, started pills for BP.

4. Cut down trees, re-created back yard and sense of pride.

5. Increased exercise.

6. Changed diet.

Each step has led to better health, more brainpower, less stupidity, better attitude.

The only negative is a loss of something like creative drive. The high pressure (or maybe the tobacco?) caused me to output more graphics work with more imagination. Deflating the arteries seems to have dulled the imagination.

Dull is better than dead.

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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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