Monday, March 31, 2014
  Erdogan wins firmly

Goldman wants to get rid of Erdogan because he's running a successful REAL-VALUE economy. Turkey's growth is based on manufacturing, not banking. Goldman can't allow real value. All countries must depend solely and slavishly on Goldman's counterfeits and scams.

Goldman's US media have been focusing heavily on protests by urban students, who are always Goldman's most loyal useful idiots.

Didn't work! Ordinary citizens of Turkey continue to support Erdogan's party for ordinary reasons: prosperity and security.

Now Erdogan promises to go after the Goldman-sponsored opposition, which is openly funded by rich Americans.
“The nation has foiled insidious plans and immoral traps,” Erdogan told thousands of jubilant supporters. He called the results a defeat for the “politics of lies and montage,” referring to the recordings. Addressing supporters from the balcony of his party headquarters in Ankara, Erdogan pledged to bring “a stronger economy and politics as well as democracy.” He also pledged to go after the movement of U.S.-based Islamist cleric Fethullah Gulen. The government accuses Gulen’s supporters in the judiciary and police of instigating the graft probe that ensnared several of his ministers, and leaking its contents.
Good. It should be easier to expose and disconnect this CIA agitation with a fresh mandate.

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Sunday, March 30, 2014
  It's Earth Hour!

It's Earth Hour again! Repeating from last year, Polistra and friends salute the power of natural gas, looking up to their Gas-Light Night Telegraph as a symbol and beacon of civilization.



I haven't focused much on the Carbon Cult lately; partly because I've been fairly busy with courseware, mainly because it's clear that the Cult is finally blessedly starting to fade. Extra voices on the side of logic are less necessary now that two of the major Cult nations (Canada and Australia) have switched firmly back to facts, and now that most of the EU has quietly acknowledged the futility of the Cult's apocalypse.

The Cult's central leaders are screaming louder and louder: "We're melting! We're melting! We're melting!" No, wicked witches. We're not melting. It's just you.

I was struck just now by a seeming contradiction that tells the true story. Our idiot media and imbecile Experts are constantly asking Christians and Muslims for proof. Constantly asking religious people to verify the truth of their scriptures. Our idiot media and imbecile Experts have NEVER asked Carbon Cultists for proof. Nobody has EVER asked Michael Mann or Phil Jones to show, by a properly done experiment, that CO2 is the leading variable. Because, of course, they can't. Because, of course, it isn't.

Traditionally, science is required to provide experimental proof. Traditionally, religion is not required to show experimental proof. That's the whole fucking difference between religion and science.

We have a complete reversal.

But! In the long run this is a magnificent reversal, because religion is quickly reaching the point where it WILL be able to provide strict factual proof for the existence of an intelligent Creator. Established christian churches haven't noticed this trend; they're too busy sucking Satan's barbed and fiery dick.

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Saturday, March 29, 2014
  Exception proves the rule

Following on previous post about global namespaces vs stolons...

Here's a rare case of a cult leader who had been able to use Coolness and moral blackmail to have his way, to expand his infinite ego to engulf and digest all of his little particle-like followers. Generally such cult leaders keep expanding until they engulf the entire world or until they get killed by some normal human or nation who finally says ENOUGH.

This leader has decided, at least temporarily, to allow some stolon-type structures, some branches and leaves, some distributed levels of control, within his infinite ME-cell.
Tesla and the New York Automobile Dealers Association have reached a compromise in their battle over Tesla's existing five stores in New York City and surrounding suburbs. The dealers had been pushing to shut down the stores, charging that they violated dealership laws that prohibit selling directly to customers. All other automakers rely on independently-owned dealers to sell cars.
Auto dealers are generally not nice people, therefore auto dealers have always been an important feedback point, an intermediate layer, between the maker and the customer. Through the history of autos, dealers have often forced manufacturers to clean up defects or get rid of stupid designs or create new models that were closer to what people wanted. Just picking a randomly chosen example out of the air, for no particular reason: Dealers would never put up with a car that turned into a brick when you let it run out of gas.

Customers could never exert such bully power on their own.

And that's why Infinite Ego Elon Musk refused to have dealers.
Tesla has argued that it needs direct sales to consumers so its own sales people can explain the advantages of electric cars. It says that if it had to use dealers who also sell cheaper, gas powered cars, the dealers would neglect the Tesla Model S, which has a starting price of $69,000.
That's crazy nonsense. Why would the dealer pay huge franchise fees, pay for required local advertising, waste showroom space and salesman time, if he wasn't going to push the car as hard as possible? The real reason is simple and obvious. Musk is a tyrant.
 
  Worm puzzle

We had a slow steady rain last night. About 1/4 inch, which is nothing special for Spokane. When we get any rain at all, it tends to hit 1/4 inch. A half inch is special, 3/4 is once per season.

Despite the nothingspecialness, the streets are absolutely covered with earthworms this morning. The quantity is enough to verify a question I've been wondering about.

I watched carefully during my morning walk. The worm density in the street varied from about 5 w/sqft near the center of the street to 1 w/sqft near the curb. On top of the curb, exactly 0 w/sqft.

Puzzle: Why don't they stay on the curb?

If they were simply responding to a basic tropism ... as in "Fuck! I can't breathe in here! I need some damn AIR!" ... they would reach the curb and stay there. The curb is actually less damp than the street, but the curb-seeking worm wouldn't need to make the comparison. It would reach the nice dry surface and bask.

But that's not what they do. They cross the curb and proceed as far as possible from the soil.

One possibility: The curb-staying worms had returned to the soil before my walk, and the street-seeking worms got hit by cars. Might be part of the answer, but traffic is sparse this morning and only about 5% of the street worms look squashed. Most appear fully 3-dimensional and fully dead.

Later: Maybe it's just a matter of gravity and dimensions. Getting onto the curb from the soil is easy because the soil is typically even with the curb or above the curb. A typical worm is longer than the width of a curb. By the time the rear end is on the curb, the front end has dropped toward the street, and it's too late to pull back. After the worm has fallen onto the street surface, the vertical curb is too high to climb. However: This wouldn't explain why slugs also end up in the same distribution pattern. Slugs are sticky and have better senses and better control. A slug would be able to stay on a curb if it wanted to, and a slug can easily climb a vertical curb.



Sidenote for SI fanatics: 5 worms per square foot would be 53.82 worms per square meter, or 53.82 wm-2. Obviously more exact and convenient than the old-fashioned primitive neanderthal English form.

= = = = =

Update 9/24/16: Saw it happen! Not on a curb but on a retaining-wall. Even better, Googlestreet has a nice view of the place, sparing me the trouble of 'drawing' the situation. The worm was trying to escape from the saturated soil behind the fence. (Sprinkler had just turned off.) It managed to pull up onto the paver, then wriggled across the paver to get more distance from the water. Fell off the edge. Fortunately there's enough soil between the pavers and the solid wall that the worm could burrow down into the soil. Happy ending.

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  Stolon vs Stalin

In programming a batch converter for my new courseware setup, I ran into a 'sync problem' that I couldn't solve neatly with my habitual style of programming.

Normally I treat each function as a sort of smart servant, capable of doing its complicated job with a couple of input arguments, and returning with a simple indication of success or failure. Sort of like a postman. You write a few words and numbers on the envelope, and you assume the complex organization of the PO will know what to do with those words and numbers.

The best solution here turned out to be a 'pipe' approach, with each function picking up all of the available info through lots of input arguments, processing the info, and spitting out the processed result via return arguments that match the pattern of the input args. This is clumsy but easy in Python. It feels completely unnatural to me because I've been programming in C for 30 years, and C strongly favors the postman function. (You can do a two-way pipe in C by passing a pointer to a struct, but it doesn't feel right.)

= = = = =

Unnatural? Well, no. The pipe is much more natural than the postman.

Nature runs three different styles of organization.


(1) Simple global namespace. Within one cell, all the pieces are bathed in the same chemicals. Ports on the membrane let desirable chemicals in and excrete undesirable chemicals. Specific functions inside the cell, like the DNA repair mechanism, draw on the common store and spit back into the common store.


(2) Pipes or stolons. Diskagma here shows the basic idea. Major parts are almost like separate creatures, and may be capable of separating. They may be able to reproduce or digest or excrete on their own, but constantly share nutrients and signals through the pipes. Plants are big fans of stolon-style, and use it at every level from roots to trunks to leaves to fruits. In many cases the vertical stalks that we see as "individuals" are semi-separate growths from a large underground stolon; and even when the stalks are not connected by roots they may be connected by a network of symbiotic fungus.

A typical animal combines global and stolon styles. Organs are semi-independent, connected by blood vessels and nerve fibers. All the organs are contained within one outer envelope, often with global distribution of liquids like mesenchyme or lymph.


(3) Postman style. Typical of animal communities, at least beyond the level of sponges and corals. Each individual takes care of its own reproduction, nutrition and excretion. It has no physical connection with others of its species, but it may communicate through temporary and abstract channels via chemical or visual or auditory signals.

= = = = =

Among human organizations and systems, the same three styles reappear.

Global namespace is typical of a cult or a total tyranny. All males must have the same haircut as Dear Leader. All females must wear the same dress as Dear Leader's latest girlfriend. All individuals are contained within Dear Leader. O'Sullivan's Law reigns supreme in a global-namespace organization. When Satan takes over the NYC office or the Rome office or the Canterbury office, Satan is immediately in charge of everyone. Satan loves global namespaces.

Stolons are the most resilient. Local branches or churches or houses or cities are semi-autonomous. They receive a constant flow of water or electricity or information or dogma from other branches or churches or houses or cities. Each unit can decide how to use the water or electricity or info or dogma, but it must use the material in a way that doesn't sacrifice or corrupt the other units. If a unit goes bad, the other units can close the valve, stop sending and receiving, forcing the bad unit to create its own set of pipes or die.

Postman style doesn't last long. Hippie idiots and Randian idiots assume incorrectly that it's possible to have absolute autonomy for disconnected individuals, but it always lapses quickly into a global namespace cult. Applies equally to physical disconnection. Off the grid means you're not tied to city water and sewer. You're drinking from an undifferentiated and uncontrolled water table, and your sewage is flowing into the same water table. Global poopspace.

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Friday, March 28, 2014
  Good old Ethics

This blog started 9 years ago with a long and intense focus on ETHICS, motivated by the Terry Schiavo situation. That was the trigger that made me start writing. Since then I haven't hit the topic often, but it does pop up occasionally in a way that requires a pushback.

ETHICS, of course, has a perfectly simple definition. ETHICS means: KILL BABIES. KILL OLD PEOPLE. KILL DISABLED PEOPLE. STARVE THE POOR. ENRICH GOLDMAN. When you diligently carry out all of these commands, you are ethical. When you skip even one, you are unethical.

Perfect example in the Conversation website this week.

The article is by something called "Julian Savulescu, Uehiro Professor of Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford and Louis Matheson Distinguished Visiting Professor at Monash University."

I'm not sure what Uehiro Professor is, but I do know what ETHICS means, and Uehiro Professor clearly knows what ETHICS means.
There could be a way of predicting – and preventing – which children will go on to have low intelligence, according to the findings of a study....

A common objection is that being smarter does not make your life better. In this study, researchers were concerned with those with an IQ betweem 70-85. Below 70 is classified as intellectual disability but an IQ of 70 to 75 is similar to mild intellectual disability.

Even for individuals with an IQ between 75 and 90 there are still significant disadvantages. Job opportunities tend to be the least desirable and least financially rewarding, requiring significant oversight. ...

Linda Gottfredson, who’s undertaken much of this research, concludes that at the very least, “an IQ of 75 is perhaps the most important threshold in modern life”. So it is clear that the low-normal intelligence, although not classified as disabled, are significantly disadvantaged.
Uehiro Professor cleverly stops short of the usual ETHICAL conclusion, but it's not hard to read the implication. Any organism which is not qualified to be Uehiro Professor is a mere negative externality, and should be squashed before it gets in the way of Uehiro Professor.

= = = = =

In fairness, some of those problems are genuine in a society designed by and for Goldman. We need to solve them by reverting to a pre-Goldman society, not by squashing the simple.

Problem #1: Simple-minded people will never be qualified as Uehiro Professor or Credit Default Swap Trader. They are good at many types of useful jobs, but in Goldmania all useful jobs have been moved to China and Bangladesh. Ethical solution #1: EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE! Unethical solution #1: Bring back useful jobs.

Problem #2: Simple-minded people, deprived of the ability to earn a decent living, are unable to marry and form stable families. In frustration they often resort to violence and theft. Ethical solution #2: EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE! Unethical solution #2: See Unethical Solution #1, bring back useful jobs. Also, bring back simple understandable punishment for simple crimes. Immediate public spanking or public shaming works. A lifelong sequence of trials, hearings, plea bargains, probations, appeals, jailings, releases, probations, warrants, revocations of probation ... etc ... provides an excellent living for Goldmanian lawyers but does absolutely nothing to reform a simple-minded person.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014
  No bail needed

Looks like the armed baristas won't have to take care of this idiot robber. The cops took care of him.

The so-called alleged "court" system has switched sides, guaranteeing perfect INjustice. Justice must be provided by citizens or cops. In general it's better for the cops to provide it; they're vastly better trained and equipped, physically and emotionally, and vastly less likely to make mistakes.

Good work, cops!
 
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
  Spokane goes local

Using 'local' in the trademarked crunchy-con sense here .... Still, this is the best governmental action I've seen since the 1996 welfare reform. Spokane's city gov't has passed a 'Market Garden' law loosening the rules for urban farming, and making it easier for urban farmers to run a business.



I don't have enough land** to get in on the selling end of this, but I'm hoping to do some buying. Anything that helps to break the iron grip of the banksters, anything that encourages people to MAKE THINGS, is eminently worth spending money on!

Reminds me of the originally planned Market Squares in Manhattan, which never came to fruition.

= = = = =

**Not enough land: Huge understatement. My lot is among the smallest occupied parcels in the city; depending on how you measure street right-of-way, it might be THE smallest lot with a house on it.

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  Satan's next step

Last year was Satan's VE-day over European institutions. The Roman former "church", the Anglican former "church", and the former "government" of Britain, all abdicated their ties to civilization and surrendered completely to Satan's purposes.

I was wondering about the next stage of victory. By now it's clear.

Inquisition.

All sorts of corporate and cultural leaders are SPINNING THEIR HEADS AND ROARING FROM THE ROOFTOPS that NO DISSENT WILL BE TOLERATED.

Tim Cook of Apple announced that sane people were not welcome as stockholders, which was superfluous because sane people have been avoiding all stocks for a long time. Several other CEOs followed suit.

Magazine-type websites have shut down their comment sections to avoid spreading sanity.

A strange monster named Torcello or Torquemada proposed in all seriousness that dissent from scientific "consensus" should be illegal. Since science ONLY progresses through dissent from current consensus, Torcello or Torquemada is proposing a complete ban on science.

Academic journals have rigidly and tyrannically ... but not officially ... enforced Consensus for many decades. Dissenters had to struggle against peer pressure and careerism, but didn't risk arrest and imprisonment. When the web came along in 1998, it briefly opened a broader social channel for 'heretical' thinking. Now the channel is violently and officially slammed shut.

Latest action: The founder of Wiki is ranting against 'alt-medicine':
Wikipedia's policies around this kind of thing are exactly spot-on and correct. If you can get your work published in respectable scientific journals—that is to say, if you can produce evidence through replicable scientific experiments, then Wikipedia will cover it appropriately. What we won't do is pretend that the work of lunatic charlatans is the equivalent of "true scientific discourse." It isn't.
Alt-medicine includes some techniques that are basically placebos and some techniques that work better than placebos. Polistra has covered one of the latter techniques in some detail. Electrotherapy, applying small currents across specific zones of the body, was an integral part of neurology in the early days. It offered well-documented cures or ameliorations of many physical and emotional problems. Around 1920 the pill-pushers took over all sides of medicine, and declared electrotherapy to be "lunatic charlatans". Then around 1980, after the screaming had died down, neurologists tried electrotherapy again and "newly" discovered the same cures and remedies that had been known and used in 1880.

If the new level of LEGAL censorship had been firmly and LEGALLY enforced in 1980, such useful therapies as TENS and TCDS would not have been "newly" discovered and used by proper doctors and PTs.

If all such techniques are officially silenced and prohibited, Big Pharma will gain even more obscene profits and many people will suffer or die unnecessarily and Satan will be happy.
 
Monday, March 24, 2014
  Warning me against what?

Lately I've had a consistent set of dreams that seem to be telling me not to get uppity, not to try a form of life that won't work. They're based loosely on times in the '60s and '70s when I did try wrong paths. Tried to live with lots of material stuff**, or tried to get along with a fancy high-upkeep woman. The dream-generator is saying "Whoa boy! Remember what happened before? Don't go there!"

Completely unnecessary warning. I settled all of that stuff (rather painfully) during the '80s. When you're a dachshund, you shouldn't try to be a border collie or an Afghan. You should simply be a good dachshund.

Every now and then I get wistful What-If impulses, but I haven't had those impulses recently. I've been especially content and grateful for my narrow simple little life.

The delta on waking certainly reinforces the gratitude, as in Wow! I'm glad that's not real! Maybe the dream generator is trying to create those deltas, but it's still an unnecessary effort.

By writing this, I'm hoping to either (1) make these pointless warnings stop or (2) locate the correct interpretation. If there is one.

= = = = =

**Example of material complexity: I was starting to cook supper in my kitchen, which was divided between two houses. I filled up a pan with water, walked through halls, left House #1, started to cross a pretty brick street toward House #2. The middle of the street was occupied by a full-dress wedding ceremony, so I had to thread my way between bridesmaids and best men while carrying the full pan. A Tour de France bicycle race came roaring through the street at that moment, knocked down the wedding party, and ran over my foot. Then I continued across the street into House #2, went through some halls and found the kitchen. Put the full pan of water into a larger pan of water equipped with electric heating elements, turned on the heating elements, and put this combination into a Dutch Oven.

Makes me wonder if the dream generator is simply discharging an overload of random details after several nights of short sleep deprived it of action.

Several days later: Sure enough, writing made the dreams stop. Writing an idea, or drawing an image, nearly always pulls it out of the mental bounce-house. This isn't necessarily a good thing: sometimes an image is pleasant, or an idea is being developed for programming purposes, and I would rather keep it bouncing for a while!

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Sunday, March 23, 2014
  1,2,3

The First World / Second World / Third World distinction was of uncertain authorship. I'm inclined to attribute it to Kennan, but can't find a reference. Oddly, most of the articles on the subject claim that 'Second World' was used often before 1989 but rarely afterward.

Nope, exactly backwards. I never heard 'Second World' before 1989. Western elites, all Soviet agents of influence, couldn't allow the proles to gain the impression that Soviet people had a somewhat difficult life. Since 1989 the elites, still Soviet agents, understand that the Second World is now nationalist, often "right-wing" by their standards, so they're free to use the term to denote inferiority.

As I was struggling with a deep and serious decision today, I heard a couple of simultaneous news items. The combo struck me as a Trifecta of the Three Worlds.

First World Decision: I had an especially good dump and a fine long walk this morning. This means I'm unusually hungry right now, but it's still 15 minutes before I normally cook my lunchtime omelet. Should I eat a mint to quiet my growling stomach, or should I tough it out for 15 long torturous minutes?

Second World Decision: Now that Russia is inviting us, should we in the Donetsk region vote to rejoin Russia? We might lose a chance of future prosperity, but we'll gain immediate and definite security and ethnic solidarity.

Third World Decision: Should I die a horrible death from Ebola, or should I become healthy and live a long life? Oops, I don't have the choice. I'm alrea

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  Bro does the tasing

Listening to overmodulated Kerry quacking in futile protest about Putin's retaking of Crimea....

I was struck by two separate analogies to police-type activity.

(1) Amber Alerts. These were meant to signal a criminal grabbing a kid. Here in Wash, 99.9% of Amber Alerts signal one actual biological parent repossessing the kid from the other parent who was given custody by courts, or both actual biological parents repossessing the kid from a state-ordered foster home. In other words, an Amber Alert is a government assertion of an artificial "law" that runs against Nature. Kerry is applying "International Law", which doesn't exist, to protest against Putin's repossession of his own biological relatives.

(2) Don't tase me, bro. Kerry is like the standard dumb criminal who insists on Knowing His Rights when the cops grab him for an actual crime. Especially like good old Don't Tase Me Bro, who intentionally set up a situation where the cops were guaranteed to grab him so he could make a scene. He blew it. The public saw him as a clownish idiot, not a Noble Victim.

In Ukraine we started the fight. We spent billions of dollars to set up a situation of unrest, hoping to make Putin look bad. We shouted Don't Tase Us Bro when Putin made a move we weren't expecting, even though he was responding to our provocation. Now we look like clownish idiots. (Which of course we are.)

I looked up the incident on Youtube and realized that I had forgotten part of the story. Don't Tase Me Bro was creating a disturbance at a political event where Kerry was speaking.

You'd think Kerry might have learned something about the hazards of setting up an incident to make your opponent look bad. Nope. We never never never never never never learn. We're fucking EXCEPTIONAL.

= = = = =

Later: Realized the title of this piece doesn't make sense. I wanted to indicate that the tasing was backwards this time, but it's not that simple. The tasing is the same in terms of characters or types, but Kerry is playing the opposite character this time. In the original incident, the idiot who provoked the incident (Andrew) got tased by Kerry. In this year's incident, the idiot who provoked the incident (Kerry) got tased by Putin.
 
Saturday, March 22, 2014
  Always training, never trained

Been working against a deadline on courseware. Not enough spare neurons to write much here. Made the deadline, so now I can relax a bit.

A local newspaper columnist was reminiscing about old newsroom behavior. Apparently pica poles made good fake swords for a fake swordfight.

This stimulated a line of thought...

My first real job was typesetting in a hot-lead shop. I used pica poles all the time, but never knew what they were called.



Pica poles might have been good for a fake fight, but this typesetting tool would have been more useful in a real fight. This little stainless steel scraper-thing was primarily used for lining up type in a tray.



It was also handy for scraping off the mold flash that sometimes remained on a Ludlow slug.

I didn't know the name of this scraper-thing, and still can't find it via Google or Ebay, though Ebay does offer some tempting Ludlow-related stuff.

[UPDATE Aug 2016: Finally found the name by accident, HERE. It's a composing rule.]

I kept the scraper-thing in my pocket for many years after quitting the print trade. It was just right for stripping wires or cleaning a surface, and the curved top was a fair screwdriver.

Why didn't I learn these names? Because I was never properly trained. I learned on the job, from occasional hints by the older guys. They were inarticulate and one of them was deaf, so there wasn't much talking in the shop.

In the '70s you couldn't find many resources for training. Now you can find anything on Youtube, including this short film on typesetting. If I'd had a chance to watch a film like that, I might have done the job more efficiently!

Next thought: I was never trained for any of my jobs. I spent many years in part-time college courses while working, but the college courses never gave me any useful skills. Everything I used on the job was learned on the job, or from unpaid practice and 'hobby' activity.

Why then am I so passionate about vocational training? Might seem contradictory, given that I survived 45 years of work without it. Partly genetic: my ancestors were all artisans and teachers. Partly the knowledge that I could have done some of those jobs better with proper training.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014
  Those pistol-packin world-changin mamas

Those baristas at Jitterz Java just might have triggered a major shift in public opinion. After three armed robberies, the owner decided to declare publicly that her coffee kiosk was no longer a gun-free zone. (In fact some of the ladies had already been carrying, but not visibly and not announced.)

The video has spread across the country, and seems to be received positively even in Satan's Homeland on the east coast.

Somewhat puzzling, because east coast civilization-haters are still chanting the same idiot mantra about arming teachers. It's crazy, intolerable, unacceptable, all options on the table, etc, etc.

I don't know why this small incident has slipped through Satan's radar to find a positive response in normal people, while the vastly larger and more deadly problem in schools still draws Satan's hardest and hottest flak.

Maybe it's lack of preparation by the Commies, or maybe it's the deep resonance of a simple "Mad as hell and not gonna take it any more" moment.

In any case, this has busted a major crack in the ACLU's carefully constructed anti-sanity bunker. Bravo.

Locally a 'gradient effect' is already showing up. Robbers are shifting their attention from espresso to Subway shops. What's the difference? Subway is a multinational East Coast corporation. It's not as aggressively lefty as some others, but it does follow the usual orthodoxy. You can be deadly sure ... and Subway employees can be surely dead ... that Subway shops will not become publicly announced self-defenders.
 
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
  Two good reads: Diagnosis and prescription

A couple of truly excellent columns appear online this morning. One is a concise diagnosis of our current cultural insanity in the West, the other is an even more concise prescription for fixing our economic insanity. Not quite a match, but cleaning up the economic mess will tend to open the gates for normal culture to flow back in.

The diagnosis is a rather long book review by R.R. Reno, editor of 'First Things'.

Sample paragraph:
Marsden ends The Twilight of the American Enlightenment with reflections on the dead-end to which we have come. Consensus liberalism suffers from a fatal dishonesty. Because it claims to serve the common good and at the same time sustain authenticity with what it regards as exemplary non-judgmentalism, liberalism cannot recognize itself as merely one view among others. It must see itself as transcending the worldviews competing for control over American society (and, increasingly, over world culture). It is this conceit that supports the tyrannies of liberalism, which range from full blown political correctness and the politics of denunciation (accusations of homophobia, bigotry, and sexism) to various forms of social exclusion of the kind so blatantly expressed by Richard Rorty ("that's not the way we talk about things").
The prescription is a perfectly short and perfectly comprehensive column by David Stockman. Do everything Stockman recommends, and we'll be on the way to overall recovery.

Key paragraph:
The 2008 bailouts were based on a grotesque urban legend that we were faced with Great Depression 2.0. None of that was true. The resulting spree of massive lunatic money printing since then, in my view, is a monetary time bomb that will trigger the third thundering collapse of the 21st century. The meltdown going around was almost entirely in the canyons of Wall Street. The gamblers running the last remaining casinos, otherwise known as investment banks, had hit the wall because they were funding massive multitrillion-dollar balance sheets loaded with toxic securities. It would have finished and burned out in the canyons of Wall Street.
Stockman's cure is the same thing Polistra has been prescribing here for the last 8 years. Won't happen, of course. We can't learn. We're EXCEPTIONAL. But we've been warned. We have no excuse.
 
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
  Aptronym of the year!

Not exactly the usual form of aptronym, but I think you'll see.......

= = = = =

Earlier development, reported in Satan's grotesquely confusing way:
Murder suspect Donna Perry had her bond set at $1 million in a brief court appearance today after refusing to come to court Monday.

Perry is accused of killing Yolanda Sapp, Nickie Lowe and Kathleen Brisbois in Spokane more than 20 years ago when she was living as Douglas Perry. Perry had a sex-change operation to become a woman in 2000.

The change caused some confusion for her attorneys, who reported in court that they were unable to meet with their client previously because she is listed as Douglas Perry in Spokane County Jail records. “They say she’s not here because they have her listed under her prior name,” said defense attorney Anna Nordtvedt.
More accurately and simply: Douglas Perry is accused of three murders. Afterwards, Douglas Perry decided to masquerade as a woman and changed his name to create confusion. His trick wouldn't have worked at all in sane times, but now that Satan has forced courts and media to go along with a masquerade if it's done with the proper verbiage, his trick is working to some extent.

= = = = =

Now the latest development:
Suspected serial killer Donna Perry faced a drag order from a judge Tuesday after refusing to appear in court Monday. A drag order is when a judge can force suspects to attend court if they refuse to voluntarily appear. Judges make their own decision on whether or not a drag order will be issued.
Drag order. Nuff said.
 
  What's the French word for Schadenfreude?

A few random non-modern notes on words and language.

Here's a neat French bit of Schadenfreude. Rather effective. A very old song that parodically "commemorates" a stupid English attempt to take over France. The song "sympathizes" with the plight of Lady Malbrough after her husband's raiding party died on foreign soil.



Professor Polistra finds it interesting that Malbrough is pronounced /mɒlbruχ/. A fossilized remnant of the original value of the 'gh' symbol. Since then it migrated to f or w or silence in English, and most final consonants in French migrated to silence, but this one old sound, preserved in a tasty jar, held its own. Malbrough succeeded in planting a phoneme instead of a flag.



The voiced velar fricative /ɣ/ is a delicate sound. Its fate depends on its necessity. In languages like Arabic where it's part of the grid, alternating clearly with /χ/, it tends to stick around. In languages where it's a transition or an allophone of /g/, it usually disappears or fades into v or f or w, as it did in English. Prof P is tempted to postulate that the allophonic /ɣ/ lives and flourishes in more intimate cultures where people are close enough to hear delicate sounds, while it mutates or disappears in more distant cultures. Probably not a valid hypothesis, but a nice thought.

[Looking at the diagram, Prof P can't resist a side-thought: /ɣ/ is the Bad Girl of phonetics. It sounds like a mating call and it goes everywhere.]

= = = = =

Premonish:

A classic back-formation. If we have admonition and admonish, why not premonition and premonish? The question seems to have been answered only once, and it didn't last.

The Army's Signal Service began as a specialized branch dealing with semaphores and carrier pigeons, and soon became the telegraph specialist. After Bloodthirsty Madman Lincoln's Grand Genocide, the Signal Service somehow lost its original mission and turned its telegraph network into a Weather Service for civilian purposes. From 1870 to 1890 the Signal Service was effectively the Weather Bureau and nothing else. In 1890 the Weather Bureau was mustered out into civvies, and the Signal Corps regenerated into a remarkably efficient builder and innovator in telegraphy, telephony and radio.

During the 20 years when weather was a military specialty, premonishing was the main task and mission of the Signal Service, and it premonished with great efficiency and precision.



It was the envy of the world:



Will this historical parallel premonish modern idiots? No. Modern idiots will continue to make their "forecasts" by the Carbon Psychosis instead of science, they will continue to assume that the Planet Is BURNING BURNING BURNING BURNING BURNING BURNING BURNING BURNING, and they will continue to repeat every old suicidal mistake 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.

Mironton, mironton, mirontaine.

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Sunday, March 16, 2014
  I envy these people.



I envy these people. To be instantly clear: I envy their current situation, not their hard past.

In the '30s, the situation was reversed.

America's wheatland was suffering through a rather ordinary drought that had been magnified into a disaster by previous gov't policies and Wall Street speculators. FDR tried every possible measure to restore the farmers to their land, to restore them to competence and prosperity. He subsidized them, trained them, provided labor to build new windbreaks and ponds and irrigation systems. His effort succeeded.

The Soviet wheatland was not especially troubled by drought. It was troubled by Stalin himself. He thought the farmers were too prosperous, so he mounted an economic war against them to drive them out of business and out of life.

Why do I envy them now? Because they know who they are. They are Russians, and they have overwhelmingly voted to rejoin Russia. They are Orthodox Christians. Note the lady in white making the sign of the cross after voting. They are actual males and actual females. They have no patience with trans and cis and gender fluid amorphodites.

Wanna talk about "legitimacy"? These people were handed over to the fake-independent Ukraine in 1954 by an arbitrary action of Khrushchev, for no apparent reason. Now they're returning to their own nation in the deep sense of the word, through a real referendum.

In short, these people may have lots of problems but Satanic confusion is NOT one of their problems. Satanic confusion is all ours.

= = = = =

Later: Western weirdos are busily "psychoanalyzing" Putin, calling him crazy, tying him up with the oligarchs and gangsters. Nope. Doesn't work. He's certainly NOT a purely calculating zero-problems leader; unlike Rouhani and Erdogan, he's not interested in smooth sailing. But he's not out of control or self-destructive either. His macho serves the needs of the Russian people. What about the gangster connection? This item from Bloomberg shows the oligarchs losing tremendous amounts of money because of uncertainty and the threat of sanctions. The oligarchs are trying to pull Putin back because he's ruining their portfolios. He's not listening. So: in both politics and economics, Putin is the opposite of Obama or Cameron or Merkel. Leaving aside motivations and personality, Putin is objectively working for ordinary Russians, not for the super-rich.
 
Saturday, March 15, 2014
  Another Sad Dude

I've talked often about the Bad, the Mad and the Sad. Here's an outstanding example of the Sad.
The Spokane County Sheriff's Office said on Friday that despite numerous warnings to knock it off, a 16-year-old boy was arrested on Thursday for impersonating a police officer. ... The complainant and a witness told deputies the 16-year-old approached them on a bicycle that had red and white police lights on the handle bars and "Spokane Police," "Dial 911," and "Crime Check" stickers on the frame. Despite being out of his apparent jurisdiction, the suspect, who was also wearing a police duty belt and radio, told them he was looking for a "crazy guy" and that they were "interfering with his work."

During the suspect's "investigation" into the crazy guy, he parked his "official police bicycle" in front of the complainant's U-Haul. When the complainant went to move the bike out of the way, the suspect pushed him and told them he was "on business and someone is going to get hurt." Deputies arrived and located the suspect, who was still wearing the duty belt, at an apartment complex. The 16-year-old told deputies he was "being stupid" and he knew what he was doing was wrong.

Chamberlin says this isn't the first time deputies have contacted the same individual. In fact, he says they have counseled the boy multiple times on the dangers and consequences of impersonating a police officer, and it appears he was out of chances as they arrested him and booked him into Juvenile Detention for Impersonating an Officer, Assault, and Disorderly Conduct.
The official handling of this Sad Dude was excellent. They gave him an opportunity to stop being dangerously dumb. He kept being dangerously dumb. Finally they had to incarcerate him. This is as close to perfect as you can get, within the modern limits set by Satan dba "ACLU".

Perfect would be a public spanking, but that's no longer allowed. (Later thought: The sardonic tone of the news articles may be a pretty fair equivalent.)
 
  Journalism for adults!

This brief item on Syria in UK Telegraph is notable in two ways.

(1) It features an actual map of who owns what. This is the first time I've seen a meaningful map in any news coverage since the '50s. (Probably not that long, but it feels that long!) You'd think it would be the other way around, with ubiquitous and easy-to-make digital graphics, but it's not. Journalism has been completely taken over by Who-ists, experts in personality and gossip and fashion. Who-ists are incapable of assembling facts. Back in the '50s most top-level journalists were What-ists, experts in gathering and assembling data. They knew how to use and deploy maps.

(2) The map acknowledges the existence of ethnic groups. Most "news" about the current Arab unrest has been nothing more than verbatim quotes of overmodulated cretins like Kerry and Cameron and Hague, who constantly quack out filthy meaningless verbiage about "democracy" and "sovereignty" and "die-versity". What's really happening in that part of the world, including Crimea, is simply a reassertion of natural ethnic and racial boundaries. The end of WW1, and to a lesser extent the end of WW2, created a huge number of arbitrary and unnatural nation-states, all of which are now dissolving, revealing old natural groups that never disappeared.
 
Friday, March 14, 2014
  Gifonts?

Couple years ago Polistra bemoaned the limited facilities of standard computer graphics. You can't overlap or stretch fonts to show things like interruptions in conversation.

Even simpler variations are equally impossible within text. In the immediately previous entry I wanted to show the media's Satanic reverence for Living Saint John L. Lewis by putting His Holy Name in an Old English or 'biblical' font. There's no practical way to do that, because there's no standard set of fonts. In theory you can change font with div font tags in plain HTML. In practice it doesn't work because you can't expect the reader to have an Old English font. If I really want this effect, I have to form it up in Photoshop, store it separately from the text as a rigid non-wrappable image, and incorporate it with an img tag.



Completely impractical.

Another trick that should be possible is animated text. For instance, I should be able to move some of the letters continuously while leaving others still. This would be useful in describing


To make this happen, I had to use Photoshop, Poser, and a GIF-builder. Made two separate text images in Photoshop; put the sentence on one rectangle in Poser; set up a transparency map to form the hole; put the more!more!more! on a smaller 'slider' rectangle behind the first; animated them appropriately for 10 frames; rendered the frames; assembled in GIF-builder. After all that, the result is still unsatisfactory. I'd have to spend another 10 minutes to make it look better.

This should be an instantly available action.

Oddly enough, we were closer to this type of convenience before Windows! The VGA graphics system made it easy to specify font size and color and flashing within any text, with reliable results.

At the moment, SVG does some of these things with a reliable result, but there's no easy way to set up an SVG file. (And that's an EXTREME understatement!!!!) If something like SVG was officially required in the hardware of all video systems, we'd be in better shape.
 
  Reversed priorities

Huffpo notes with disgust a fresh Gallup poll showing a 15-item priority list of most Americans.



If this poll is believable, it's truly amazing and encouraging. The people are READY for a second political party with a true populist flavor. This list is EXACTLY REVERSED from the concerns of media and politicians.

The 15-item priority list of media would look something like this:

(1) DESTROY CIVILIZATION TO GRANT INFINITE POWER TO FAGS AND BULLDYKES!
(1) DESTROY CIVILIZATION TO GRANT INFINITE POWER TO FAGS AND BULLDYKES!
(1) DESTROY CIVILIZATION TO GRANT INFINITE POWER TO FAGS AND BULLDYKES!
(1) DESTROY CIVILIZATION TO APPEASE GAIA!
(1) DESTROY CIVILIZATION TO APPEASE GAIA!
(1) DESTROY CIVILIZATION TO APPEASE GAIA!
(1) OPEN BORDERS! OUTSOURCING FOREVER! NO JOBS TO AMERICANS!
(1) OPEN BORDERS! OUTSOURCING FOREVER! NO JOBS TO AMERICANS!
(1) OPEN BORDERS! OUTSOURCING FOREVER! NO JOBS TO AMERICANS!
(1) 1965! SELMA ALABAMA! LIVING SAINT JOHN L. LEWIS!
(1) 1965! SELMA ALABAMA! LIVING SAINT JOHN L. LEWIS!
(1) 1965! SELMA ALABAMA! LIVING SAINT JOHN L. LEWIS!
(1) 1965! SELMA ALABAMA! LIVING SAINT JOHN L. LEWIS!
(1) 1965! SELMA ALABAMA! LIVING SAINT JOHN L. LEWIS!
(2-15) other stuff, whatever dude.


And the list for politicians (Formatted as R/D)

(1) BENGHAZI!!!!! / KEYSTONE!!!!!
(1) BENGHAZI!!!!! / KEYSTONE!!!!!
(1) BENGHAZI!!!!! / KEYSTONE!!!!!
(1) BENGHAZI!!!!! / KEYSTONE!!!!!
(1) BENGHAZI!!!!! / KEYSTONE!!!!!
(1) BENGHAZI!!!!! / KEYSTONE!!!!!
(1) BENGHAZI!!!!! / KEYSTONE!!!!!
(1) BENGHAZI!!!!! / KEYSTONE!!!!!
(1) BENGHAZI!!!!! / KEYSTONE!!!!!
(1) BENGHAZI!!!!! / KEYSTONE!!!!!
(1) BENGHAZI!!!!! / KEYSTONE!!!!!
(1) BENGHAZI!!!!! / KEYSTONE!!!!!
(1) BENGHAZI!!!!! / KEYSTONE!!!!!
(1) BENGHAZI!!!!! / KEYSTONE!!!!!
(2-15) whatever / whatever
 
Thursday, March 13, 2014
  Let me count the ways

This country desperately needs a second party. The Repooflicans claim to be a second party, but they completely fail to fit the definition. 90% of the time they agree with the ruling party, and 10% of the time they do unspeakably stupid and self-defeating things.

Latest stupid and self-defeating action:

"The House passed a measure Wednesday that would expedite lawsuits brought by Congress against a president who fails to fully enforce federal laws."

How stupid? Let me count the ways.

(1) Purely symbolic. Won't become law. Wasted effort.

(2) If it did become law, a lawsuit by R wouldn't get anywhere. At the federal level, judges are hardline Satanist/Maoists who will never allow a move made by non-Satanist/Maoists to get into court.

(3) But a lawsuit by D against an R president would be guaranteed to succeed.

(4) A truly conservative president would need to do a WHOLE LOT of nullification by executive order, or nullification by non-enforcement. Those are the only ways policy can be changed. Congress is non-functional and the judges are Satanist/Maoist.


THEREFORE: This purely symbolic measure would guarantee that all future Presidents must be Satanist/Maoist. Any president who attempted to turn the country away from its current suicidal path would be instantly stopped by automatically successful lawsuits brought under this law.
 
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
  Constants and variables 10

Sometimes I feel completely retarded. Here's a rule of life that's perfectly obvious. I didn't figure it out until two years ago:

If you want to be treated well by a business, be the customer. Don't be the product.

I suppose my stupidity is somewhat forgivable; you don't learn this rule in school and it's never stated by media or politicians. Also, in the old world of profit-seeking business, you were almost always the customer. In the modern era of share-value-seeking business, you're almost always a tiny piece of the product. For share-based companies, the customer is an equity raider. Either the company is trying to be purchased by JPMorgan, or the company has already been purchased by JPMorgan and is now being "creatively destroyed" to enrich JPMorgan.

The landscape has changed without changing the description.

Media have a special interest in retaining confusion about this rule because they're the prime offenders. As a paying reader you think you're the customer, but you're not. You're the product, or more precisely the raw material for the product. Thus you shouldn't be surprised when newspapers treat you like a lump of coal or a chunk of wood.

Here's the little incident that finally caused me to figure it out: When I paid a tree-cutting crew, they treated me very respectfully and carefully. Several months later, I saw the same crew treating a neighbor rudely and cavalierly. Puzzling. The neighbor hadn't done anything to deserve rudeness. What's the difference? Aha! The neighbor wasn't paying them. They were contracted by the city to trim street trees.

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  Attent-ion

Warning: The following is a loooooooooong stretch applied to an initially dubious analogy. At the moment the stretch looks reasonable to me, and seems to yield some interesting questions. No answers yet. (Your stretchiness may vary.)

Starting question: Where do you draw the line on awareness and consciousness? There's absolutely no reason to assume that humans are alone, but how far does the boundary extend? All animals? Plants? Bacteria? Rocks?

Intuitively or childishly, it seems that there's something special about birds and mammals. Possibly all vertebrates, maybe a few top-grade invertebrates like cephalopods. Beyond those bounds it feels less likely.

Well then, what distinguishes those inner-circle animals from the others? If awareness is the essential quality, what's the measurable manifestation? Getting engineerish as usual: If awareness is the pressure, what's the flow? If awareness is the static field, what's the current?

I'd pick ATTENTION or FOCUS. We 'smarties' (birds, mammals, cuttlefish) are capable of PAYING attention to an INTERESTING object, and we are equally capable of RECEIVING attention. There's the flow.

I know when a cat or crow has his eye on me, and the cat or crow knows when I have my eye on him.

Those verbs are trying to tell us something. Paying and receiving attention. Making and consuming attention.

Consuming? Yes. Humans and social mammals unquestionably consume attention, and it can be more nutritious and necessary than food.

Attention behaves like flowing charge. We can be positively or negatively attent-ionized. We can have an excess or deficiency of attent-ions, or we can be neutral after a discharge.



Comfortable nestmates are constantly bathed in a mutual field of attent-ions, like the plates of a capacitor or the primary and secondary of a transformer.

We can certainly tell when our attent-ions are being consumed by the receiver, but how? An electric source can tell when its electrons are being used, by comparing absorbed and reflected power. Can we sense absorption when we send out an attentive charge?


Artistic sidenote: Those bubbly attent-ions exuding from the mutual charge sphere around Happystar and Danbo are serendipitous, not intentional. They're just GIF artifacts, somehow arising from the random points of the grass. The grass itself is not changing from frame to frame in the original renders.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014
  Not a parody

This parody on First World Problems gets its point across.


I was thinking about it as I heard two simultaneous news items this morning:

(1) Israeli "senator" Diane Feinstein, who has done more than anyone to overfund our spy apparatus, now complains that the CIA has been spying on her "senate" committee. Obviously not a real complaint. Feinstein certainly understands how bureaucracies work in general. She's way inside the intel loop, which means she has known about this spying for a long time and probably ordered it. I'm sure there's a reason for this nonsensical complaint; perhaps CIA wasn't giving her enough profit on its funding. Only trillions instead of the expected quadrillions that a Chosen "senator" automatically deserves and requires.

(2) Here in Spokane, a homeless couple and their dog were sleeping in a dumpster. A trash truck picked up the dumpster and started its compaction cycle. The driver stopped when he heard their screams. Amazingly they survived with fairly minor injuries.
 
  Steppy and saggy

Continuing the theme of step functions, cliffs, slopes..... Back in September Polistra noted that the seasons were running in an especially steppy way. The steppiness has continued with the winter-to-spring transition. We had a short burst of single digits at the end of a long solid cold spell, then SNAP! All the way up to 60 degrees with lots of rain.

This is an extreme case of a fairly typical pattern here. In electronics the Spokane seasons would reduce to an 'underdamped' response, like this.....

The sun's input across the seasons (yellow line above) is a soft-saturated or flattop sine. The seasonal response (green line) is underdamped, with overshoot on the spring/fall deltas and a sag toward the mean in summer and winter.

= = = = =

Playing with black boxes..... If we assume that the local climate involves some kind of negative feedback, we can characterize the feedback.

= = = = =

First, could it be a strictly linear feedback, with no storage or filtering? In that case it would behave like the first animation. Mr Sun gives his flattop input to the Op-Amp. Feedback is nothing but a voltage divider, as visualized by the bouncing ball. Strictly following Mr Sun. Result, unsurprisingly, is the same flattop sine. This won't do.


= = = = =

Second, could the feedback be a high-pass filter? In that case it would behave like this second animation. Mr Sun gives the identical flattop input. Feedback (bouncing ball) is high-passed, giving only the deltas to the inverting input. Result would be a retardation of the ups and downs in spring and fall, and an emphasis on winter and summer. Nope, that's not it either.


= = = = =

Third, how about a low-pass filter for feedback? Mr Sun does his thing again. Feedback (bouncing ball) responds slowly to spring and fall, gradually reaching full top and bottom values. Result is an emphasis on the ups and downs in spring and fall, and a sag during the flattop times.

That's it! Goldilocks!
 
Monday, March 10, 2014
  Really dumb idea

Some Chinese "scientist" proposes building huge north-south walls in Tornado Alley to block the twisters. He thinks tornados are blocked by ranges of hills, so a manmade hill will do the same.

Nope. Twisters do occasionally stay above a valley after sliding up a hill, but occasionally isn't enough to justify the huge expense.

Perfect counterexample from Manhattan. The 2008 tornado came from the southwest, and first smashed a hilltop subdivision. Then it dropped immediately down a steep cliff into Wildcat Valley and smashed an auto dealer and trailer park in the creekbed. No obstacle, natural or manmade, will keep a tornado from eating its favorite snack!

MMMMM! TRAILER!


= = = = =

There's a smaller-scale example of an actual manmade wall in the part of Enid that I've been focusing on. The 1966 tornado came (unusually) from the NW. It ran into the Union Equity elevators, which are about 150 feet tall. Immediately dropped down and started eating houses at Cherry and 12th.



The twister didn't damage Union Equity; reinforced concrete will resist any natural force. Then in 1992 Union Equity was bought by Farmland Industries and closed down to pay Farmland's hostile-takeover debt to JPMorgan. Now the elevators are abandoned and decaying. Same old story. Unhurt by tornado, smashed by The Chosen.

= = = = =

Sidenote: The dumbness of the wall idea was known 200 years ago. I happened to post this old story in connection with another question about tornados (How was the sound described before freight trains or jet planes?)... but the story includes a clear indication that the tornado appeared on the side of a hill and descended to a meadow.

= = = = =

In fairness, there are some 'blockers' that might work better than a wall. If you can get the tornado to pick up some viscous blob-like objects, you could break up its angular momentum. The 'Sharknado' was supposed to be a maximally scary twister, but I think it could be the exact opposite. Seems worth a try anyway.
 
  Healed his arts

Spokane police blotter item:
8300 North Market, Commercial Burglary reported. Caller reports subject was trying to break in and the owner shot the subject. Suspect shot with shotgun. Location NW Healing Arts Medical Dispensaries. Suspect non life threatening injuries to reported leg and midsection area.
Leg and midsection. Yup, got his Arts healed, all right.

Instant justice. Works every time. Undoubtedly "our" satanic Persecutor, Comrade Steve Tucker, will find a way to convict the owner of murder and reward the burglar. Perfect reversal of justice is the satanic job of all Persecuting Attorneys. Nevertheless, the burglar's homies will learn from this experience.
 
Sunday, March 09, 2014
  No slopes, all cliffs

Yesterday I noted college presidents stating clearly and openly that their job is to kill their students.

Now we have the UK "government" stating clearly and openly that the "government" is not supposed to resist evil.
A bill drawn up by Lord Falconer, a former Labour lord chancellor, to legalise “assisted dying” – allowing doctors to prescribe a lethal dose of drugs to terminally-ill patients – is before the House of Lords. Peers are expected to vote on the plans in the next four months. The decision by the Belgian parliament last month to extend assisted suicide to children led to fresh warnings that any legalisation, however strict the safeguards, could become a “slippery slope”.
The slippery slope no longer exists. In matters of basic good and evil, all slopes have become cliffs.

Looking at it in engineering terms: Legislation is a step function. A new law is a cliff. In ancient times we had peculiar filters called "churches" and "families" that cushioned the step function; in some cases they were able to decouple entirely from the evils of the State. Cultural storage and physical storage provided a reactance or counter-EMF. People could rely on "churches" for moral guidance, and could rely on their cellars or silos or reservoirs or bank accounts for subsistence.


[Abbreviations: B = Battery or Bernanke. S = Switch or State. R = Resistor or Regulations. C = Capacitor or Culture.]


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


Now those filters are extinct. No capacitive filtering, no inhibitory feedback. No cultural storage, no financial storage, no source of power to counter the government. In place of cultural storage we have Apple and Google and Antipope Miss Francine, eagerly anticipating and augmenting each new evil theory. In place of financial storage we have Quantitative Counterfeiting, eagerly generating new false "money" to amplify the decisions of government.



Now here's the nice straightforward statement:
Several other ministers and senior MPs and peers have previously signalled support for the move. Mr Lamb said he was now convinced that “the State should not stand in the way” of people determined to end their life, as long as strict safeguards were in place.
Get it?

The State should not stand in the way of evil.

Too bad old Churchill wasn't aware of this British concept. Would have saved him, and his nation, a fair bit of trouble.

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Saturday, March 08, 2014
  Funny vs Not funny

It's fun to watch AFV-style fail clips. Teenage dickheads jumping off buildings or skating up walls or riding bikes without hands. You know what's coming but the dickhead doesn't. He (or his testosterone) believes he can do ANYTHING. I'm immune from the laws of Nature! Woo hoo!

Surprise! Gravity doesn't care if you're cool. Ha ha ha, asshole! What did you expect?

= = = = =

Not so funny when major nations do the same thing. Coolness doesn't exempt you from the basic laws of economics, nor does it exempt you from the laws of human behavior.

EU believes that Gaia will protect it from economics. We can do ANYTHING! We don't need to produce any steenkin energy, because Gaia will provide!

Oops. In reality it wasn't Gaia, it was Gazprom. And Gazprom can turn off the valve any time Russia is displeased with your behavior.

If the EU elites were only depriving themselves of energy, justice would be served. But of course they're mainly depriving poor and elderly Europeans of energy. Thousands of people already die each winter because they can't afford Gaia, or because Gaia requires the government to flood their homes; and thousands more will die if Russia turns off the valve.

= = = = =

Not so funny when major institutions do the same thing. Idaho's legislature passed a law allowing licensed and trained people to carry concealed weapons on campuses. Mass killers are not dumb. In fact they are smarter than educrats. They know the odds before they enter a place. When the odds are not on their side, they pick another target.

This law is an attempt to improve the odds. But educrats and students are resisting the law. They believe their Gaian coolness is sufficient to protect them from bullets. Even worse, the educrats are promising to spend millions of dollars to guarantee that no good people will be able to carry guns on campus. Nothing less than MAXIMUM VULNERABILITY will do! We're going to depend entirely on Gaia, and we're confident that she will take care of us entirely!

= = = = =

The solution in both cases is obvious, or at least it WAS obvious until mass insanity beyond insanity beyond insanity beyond insanity beyond insanity beyond insanity beyond insanity infected the West in recent decades. If you don't want to be vulnerable to blackmail and bullets, you need to be self-sufficient. Live cautiously and frugally, produce real value, MAKE THINGS, STORE THINGS, stay inside the laws of Nature and economics and behavior. Listen to 5000 years of wisdom. None of this is new. All of the experiments have been performed millions of times, and the data is firmly established.

Of course bad things will still happen. You will sometimes fail, you will lose some battles and you will die in the end. But you will fail less often and you will live with less fear.
 
Friday, March 07, 2014
  Annoying PSA

All the local radio stations have been running a hugely annoying PSA, or maybe a paid ad, about some sleep disorder that supposedly troubles blind people. The ad starts out "Now here's something you don't hear on the radio: a totally blind person."

Something you don't hear??? Nonsense. Quite a few radio personalities have been blind or nearly blind, and it wasn't something that 'came through the speaker'. Even if all the voices you heard on radio were blind people, you wouldn't know the difference. It's irrelevant. Hearing problems do come through the speaker, because deaf people have strange articulation and poor voice resonance control. When Rush suddenly lost his hearing, it was blatantly obvious.

The speaker in this PSA then claims that blind people have trouble sleeping because they don't sense light and dark. Maybe so, but if that's really the worst thing about being blind nowadays, it's a piddly thing.

I don't understand the problem anyway. Light doesn't affect my sleep one way or another, because I have these strange appendages called EYELIDS. Most other people seem to have EYELIDS as well, and I'm pretty sure they close them when they intend to sleep. I've lived alone for a long time, so it's possible I'm not up to speed on the latest fashions in eye accessories; maybe other people have stopped using their eyelids to block out light. Maybe I'm the last remnant of an old obsolete practice. Maybe I'm the only person in the world whose sleep is affected more by sound than light.
 
Thursday, March 06, 2014
  Gödelment

Idiot Obama has just declared sanctions against himself.
... the White House has issued a presidential executive order authorising sanctions against “individuals and entities responsible for activities undermining democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine”.
The US Gödelment was the prime mover in starting this whole mess:
US Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, Victoria Nuland said: “Since the declaration of Ukrainian independence in 1991, the United States supported the Ukrainians in the development of democratic institutions and skills in promoting civil society and a good form of government - all that is necessary to achieve the objectives of Ukraine’s European. We have invested more than 5 billion dollars to help Ukraine to achieve these and other goals. ”
Therefore we are imposing sanctions on ourselves. Gödel would understand. Nobody else will.

More broadly and seriously: Russia vs EU is a battle between real value and false theories. Post-Soviet Russia has focused strictly on self-sufficiency. It has maintained and expanded its manufacturing and resource sectors, producing real things that can sustain its own people and bring in money from exports. EU has focused on the three horsepersons of the modern apocalypse: "Global Warming", Die-Versity, and Free Trade. It has destroyed industry and mining and resources to maximize the profits of the Carbon Credit Traders. It has lost the loyalty of normal people by giving absolute total power and Aristocratic Privilege to criminals and fags and gypsies. It has outsourced industry to maximize the profits of the financial sector. Russia has done the opposite in each case. Result: Russia needs nothing from EU, and normal Russians are willing to defend their country. Not a full-fledged apocalypse, but a stinging defeat for EU.


 
  Squishy arrow?

NPR ran a feature on a modern jazz violinist who made new arrangements of some extremely old Southern songs. One of the songs was written in a modal scale, and the violinist caught the mode precisely. Shivered my bones. Music brought straight up from 1400, skipping the Tempered Scale entirely; but without the academic harshness that usually accompanies such modal stuff.

Reminded me of Winifred Jacobson's 1948 attempt to bring back Baroque. The same pure loyalty to old sources, sweetened by a modern sensibility.

Like a tree drawing from a deep artesian source to build new fruit. Water that hasn't been touched by modernity, jumping seamlessly through the strata.



If trees have awareness (and I don't see any possible reason why not**) ... Is their time permanent? Does a creature without a destined end feel time without an arrow? Time all at once? Mature religions attribute an arrowless time to God's awareness, so the concept is part of our human genome just as a modal tune is part of my hillbilly genome.

= = = = =

** Why not: This ponderation about trees was triggered by my perpetual annoyance with a tunnel vision shared by Commie behaviorists and Catholic intelligent design advocates. Both of them insist on drawing a bright and impenetrable line between humans and the rest of nature, and insist that ONLY humans have awareness.

I understand why the ID'ers draw the line. "Created in his image" and all that crap. I don't understand why the Commie behaviorists draw the line. Inside the range of the human species, behaviorists refuse to draw any lines based on genes. This means quite simply that they are NOT SCIENTISTS, because the lines between genotypes are perfectly well established by secular methods. At the same time, they constantly apply conclusions from pigeon and rat experiments to humans. If their basic rule could be described, it would be like this: There are no differences among humans. Any behavior shown by one type of human must be common to all humans. There is a sharp but one-way line between humans and other animals. Results obtained on rats always generalize to humans, but human qualities like empathy and awareness do not exist in rats or dogs or anything else.

Continued the ponderation here.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2014
  Always worth reading 2

I always read the NWS 'forecast discussion', though I don't understand half of the meteorology jargon. It provides a detailed picture of what's likely to happen, and it occasionally yields a hidden gem of poetry!
DISCUSSION...

Today through Thursday...A pair of surface low pressure centers will whirligig around each other just offshore through the next 36 hours...each in turn flinging it`s complex of warm fronts and occlusions through the forecast area. These frontal surface lifting mechanisms will be well fueled with deep fetches of Pacific subtropical moisture. Satellite indicates the offending lows pirouetting on the Pacific dance floor along 140W latitude. The first warm front appending from the northern storm is forming over the forecast area at this time and will push through this morning followed immediately by an occluded front which is approaching the Pacific coast at 2 am. A short but perceptible break period will occur this afternoon (from steady moderate rain in the morning to simply scattered/numerous showers in the afternoon) before the southern storm of the couplet hurls it`s warm front through the region tonight for another wet overnight period.


With the aid of some Jesus-on-toast imagination, you can almost see it....

 
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
  Two paths diverged

Here's a chain of thought that led to a plaintive question.

I was thinking about the odd US 'nation-building' experience in Russia during WW1. We were working with Czechs (who were supposed to be part of the Axis) and we were working with Japs who later mounted a war against Russia during the '30s.

Led me to our later 'nation-building' in China during and after WW2. My father spent his Navy tour in Shanghai, helping to train Chiang's military and government up to modern standards. Obviously it didn't work; Mao chased the Nationalists off the mainland shortly thereafter.

Nation-building never works, but we never learn. We keep doing it.

I wondered whether my father understood that his efforts were futile. He never talked that way; he seemed to enjoy his Navy time, and felt that he had been doing useful work.

His generation didn't ask such questions. Why? Because FDR had given them a genuine reason to trust the government. FDR had provided useful jobs for people who needed them, and had taken down the bankers who caused the problem. He never insulted or disdained the culture and tastes and religion of working-class folks; never shoved aristocratic Satanism up their asses.

So when FDR asked normal people to defend the country, they enlisted gladly because they trusted his judgment.

I've been over all this stuff before, but a new question popped up this time.

Why don't modern presidents WANT to be trusted? The experiments have been done and the data is unquestionable. How do you get people to trust your judgment? Do what FDR did. Bush had a chance to follow the correct path, and Obama had an even better chance. Neither followed. At every single point of decision Bush and Obama specifically chose the path that FDR had NOT taken.

Are they surprised to find complete distrust and cynicism, or is this their goal? I dunno.
 
  It's National Grammar Day!

Professor Polistra feels obliged to note this Day because it's in her sphere of influence. We're supposed to give a little extra attention to "grammatical" errors today... but in fact real grammatical errors are rare.

For instance, CNN has a little article on the subject. With one exception, none of the errors shown in the pictures or the text are grammatical problems. All are spelling or punctuation errors. The exception is a sign in Thailand that warned: "Beware slippery!"



Plain fact: It's very hard for a native speaker of English to make a true error in grammar. You have to be a learner, especially a learner whose original language is far removed from Indo-European patterns. And CNN's pictures illustrate the point perfectly.

= = = = =

This plain fact is quite useful. Just after finishing the above, I noticed this typical bit of spam in my inbox:
Notice of eviction,

Please be advised that your current dwelling has been condemned.

The eviction proceedings are already in process. You are hereby ordered to vacate the premises no later than 03/28/2014 or face forcible removal. Any attempt to resist is futile.

Contact our office without delay to make proper arrangements for a move out. We want to hope for you cooperation.

Our contact details and judicial statement are enclosed to this notice.

Real estate agency,

Alison Smith
Might be scary if I didn't know this plain fact. It's not scary because I see "We want to hope for you cooperation" and "enclosed to this notice." A real estate agency named Alison Smith could not write those phrases because they are genuine grammatical errors. [Also, my name is not Notice of Eviction, though it would be an interesting name. Sort of like Daniel of St Thomas Jenifer. Or maybe I could Irishize it into Notice O'Eviction just in time for St Paddy's Day.]

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Monday, March 03, 2014
  Ou sont les rayons de lune d'antan?

Old Moonbeam has gone too far in the "clean and sober" direction:
"The problem with anything, a certain amount is okay," Brown said on NBC's Meet the Press. "But there is a tendency to go to extremes. And all of a sudden, if there's advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation? The world's pretty dangerous, very competitive. I think we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together."
In a narrow sense he's right, and insulting his original constituency is rather brave for an American politician. Can't complain there.

But if alertness is the crucial variable, why has Calif been in the vanguard on banning tobacco? Everyone has known for 400 fucking years, and "scientists" are even starting to admit ever so carefully, that tobacco keeps you simultaneously alert and calm. That's why soldiers have always been smokers; that's why doctors and nurses until very recently were heavy smokers.

Potheads will always be a small segment of the population, and they're not the same people who need to be alert. If you enjoy the mental looseness of a pot high, you were never going to be a competent soldier or nurse.
 
  Okay, idiot. Try it.

Idiot Kerry is still making idiot noises. Tell you what, idiot: Why don't you go ahead and attack Russia? Maybe you can find 600 actual males in "our" milifairy, but I'll bet you can't. You'll have to send 600 mincing dancing prancing Tinkerbells, and the Russians will make mincing mincemeat out of them. Just like before.

I don't have time to work up a new picture this morning, but this old one (though slightly out of context) should express Polistra's solidarity with the Russian side.



Russia is a functional and normal** country attempting to defend its own natural empire. America is a bizarrely insane and totally bankrupt country defending nothing but wacked theories and mindless fashion.

** Note: 'Functional and normal' does not mean 'nice'. Nations are not supposed to be 'nice' to foreigners. Repelling foreign threats, whether military or economic, is the main ingredient of 'niceness' to your OWN citizens.
 
Sunday, March 02, 2014
  Openly and willingly

Satan dba "Tim Cook" has officially declared that he wants only card-carrying Gaian mass murderers to own Apple stock. Non-aryans not welcome here.

Satan dba "Tim Cook" has now explicitly associated Chinese sweatshops with Gaian genocide. He has explicitly associated stock speculation and feral capitalism with Gaian genocide.

Nothing ironic or paradoxical about those associations. They've been obvious to open-eyed people for a long time. Maurice Strong created most of the Gaian belief system to aid his Chinese bosses, and Wall Street has been strongly pushing Gaian beliefs for a long time to maximize Goldman profits. We Uncool People have been describing these connections for many years, but nobody listens to Uncool People.

It's wonderfully nice to have the facts stated openly and willingly by a High Priest inside the Church, a Maximum Cooooooooooooooooooool Hiiiiiiiiiiiiigh Priest who can be heard by other Satans. Satan only listens to Satan.

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  Pure as the snow!

Obama says: "... any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing, which is not in the interest of Ukraine, Russia, or Europe."

Absolutely! America never violates the sovereignty of other countries. America never tries to destabilize other countries. At this moment we have exactly ZERO troops stationed in ANY other countries! ZERO! We ESPECIALLY don't have any troops in any of the former Soviet countries!

Well, approximately zero, except for the troops stationed in Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antigua, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo Brazzaville, Congo Kinshasa, Costa Rica, Cote D'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Diego Garcia, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Helena, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, UAE, Uganda, UK, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Aside from those few isolated cases, we are PURE AS THE DRIVEN SNOW. We are the ULTIMATE MORAL EXEMPLAR. We are fucking EXCEPTIONAL.
 
Saturday, March 01, 2014
  Trial and error construction

Along one of my regular walking routes, an old house is being veeeerrrry slooooowly replaced by a new house. The process has been running for nearly two years now. The original was a fairly large house for this neighborhood, probably early '30s, and looked solid and clean from the outside. Maybe the interior had been ruined by methies, I dunno.

During the first year they disassembled the house literally stick by stick. Every time I walked by, the workers had done something, but the something amounted to three or four rafters or studs. Finally they called in the pros and got the remaining 40% down to foundation in one day.

Now the rebuilding (on a new foundation) is running slightly faster, maybe 30 studs/week. Before the snow hit they had the roof framing done, in an odd-looking pattern. Two gables facing the same way, like the letter M. Then they apparently realized the problem with an M roof, and took the back part down. Now they've got the back part up again, turned 90 degrees so the top looks like a T.

Slow cooking is fine. Slow building is not fine. Sweat equity is cheap, but exposing the new subfloor and rafters to six months of rain and snow is not cheap in the end.

Update May 14: The house is finally sort of halfway dried in. Scattered plywood on the roof and sides, but still no Tyvek or waterproofing.

Looking at this in an optimistic way: The occupants will never need to worry about leaky pipes or ice dams. All the wood is conveniently pre-rotted and pre-stocked with carpenter ants, and all the nails are pre-rusted. No further damage is possible.

Update July 1: Roof is nearly all shingled now. Walls still wide open.


Update March 2015: Roof is still nearly all shingled now. Walls covered with Tyvek but no siding yet. Front dormer on roof still open to the weather.

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  Costs? Nope.

Obama is promising "costs" if Russia invades part of Ukraine. Obviously we're not going to do anything militarily; we haven't been able to do that since 1945.

Well, how about economic costs? I wasn't sure about this. I had the impression that Russia never managed to re-organize after 1990. If that is true, Russia must be depending on Euro money and industry.

Nope. My impression was obsolete. We don't hear anything about modern Russian industry, but in fact it's doing just fine.

From Wiki on the Russian auto industry:
The Soviet Union possessed a large automotive industry. In late 1987, the industry produced 2 million cars, satisfying 45% of the domestic demand.[2] But after the dissolution of the Soviet Union the industry faced a crisis due to competitive foreign imports. ...

In the early 2000s, the Russian economy recovered. Macroeconomic trends were strong and growing incomes of the population led to a surging demand, and by 2005 the Russian car market was booming. ... The value of the Russian market grew at a brisk pace: 14% in 2005, 36% in 2006 and 67% in 2007—making it the world's fastest growing automotive market by 2008.

Russia's automotive industry was hit hard by the late 2000s recession, which started in the United States. Production of passenger cars dropped from 1,470,000 units in 2008 to just 597,000 units in 2009. Lorry production fell from 256,000 to 91,000 in the same period.

In late 2008, the Russian government introduced protectionist measures, worth $5 billion, to improve the situation in the industry. This included $2 billion of bailouts for troubled companies and $3 billion of credits for buyers of Russian cars. The tariffs for imported foreign cars and trucks were increased to a minimum of 50% and go up to 100%. ... Sales of Russia's largest carmaker Avtovaz doubled in the second quarter of 2010 as a result, and the company returned to profit. ...By the end of 2010, automotive production had returned to pre-crisis levels.
Other industries have a similar story.

Quite simply, Russia is self-sufficient. It makes everything it needs. There's no way we can inflict meaningful "costs" on a self-sufficient country.

And also quite simply, PROTECTIONISM WORKS.

A lesson we desperately need to learn, but we won't learn it. We are positively the stupidest country in the history of the universe.
 

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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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