Saturday, February 28, 2015

Net Neutrality wins. Bad move. The idiots who favor Net Neutrality are the same idiots who favor Modern Monetary Theory. In both cases they're ignoring Nature and worshipping Magic.

ANY TIME you force all prices to be the same, you're going to get evil results. You will end up with rationing by SOMETHING OTHER THAN PRICE, which usually ends up being Aristocrats vs Commoners. The Soviet system at its Stalinist peak showed this beautifully. ZIRP-style banking shows it as well. (Can we spell TBTF, boys and girls?)

You MMT types believe you're Aristocrats now, which is why you like the idea. And you probably are Aristocrats at the moment, because you loyally serve Goldman's purposes on Global Warming and Die-Versity.

But in Stalin's world, up becomes down at any moment. Then you'll be on the skinny end of the wire.

In most businesses there's a good reason for quantity discounts. Consider electricity, which is similar to web service. A factory gets a lower rate than a normal consumer for two reasons. (1) The constant overhead of poles, right-of-way, disaster repair, insurance, financing, and central office employees is about the same for each CUSTOMER. Some factors like generator fuel and maintenance do increase with each KILOWATT. So it's POSSIBLE to charge less per KW to a large customer. (2) When you keep a large customer happy, you're generating more than you would otherwise, which lowers the overhead for EVERYONE. So it's HELPFUL to charge less per KW to the factory.

The utility can only offer the discount because it knows who the factory is. The utility may be providing heavier wires and bigger transformers at the factory site: somewhat more expensive materials to avoid vastly more expensive repair costs and to keep the overall demand higher by satisfying the factory.

With guaranteed equal access, anyone could become a "factory" at any moment, so everyone needs to have heavier facilities. More expensive for everyone whether you're using the capability or not.

With a fixed and higher price, the big user has no special advantage, so he will find another way to get the service. Build his own generator, build his own ISP. Now the utility has much less demand overall, which means overhead for each customer and THUS PRICE TO EACH CUSTOMER must increase even more.

Thanks, fucking infantile magic freaks.
  ODD infill.

The lot at G and Providence was originally occupied by a homemade-looking house. Sort of a shotgun plus a back porch converted to a wing plus a back porch converted to a wing plus a back porch conv.... etc.

Around 1998 the house got methed up and torn down. Since then the lot has been vacant. Now a truly odd-looking foundation is going in. It appears to cover almost the whole lot; maybe 70 by 30 feet overall. Not a rectangle; a complex shape made of various-size rectangles and ells, all outlined at foundation level showing the floor plan. Reminds me of Tetris tiles. Even stranger, the foundation walls are much wider than the usual castings. They appear to be 2 or 3 feet wide, so the open areas between them are small. The result will be a dozen little separate crawl spaces that can't be ventilated.

Why not just pour a single slab? Maybe there's a reason.

I'll be watching this to see what happens next!

Bit later: Think I've figured it out. What I'm seeing is effectively the floor of the crawl space. The outer foundation, not poured yet, will be taller. These wide 'sidewalks' will be platforms for posts that support the walls in various places. With platforms under all the walls, later posts can be added as needed without having to pour new concrete.

If this is a correct assumption, it's a smart trick. Still seems like a single slab would be easier and cheaper, though.

= = = = =

And a week later: Assumption was correct. They've poured the outer walls now, and the whole thing looks more orthodox. It's going to be one LONG and sinuous house, stretching from street to alley. Hmm.... writing the word 'one' in previous sentence made me think. Maybe it's not going to be 'one' unit. A triplex would explain a long skinny structure with offsets between the three units. Still seems like etc etc.

= = = = =

And another two weeks: They've got it framed up, nearly dried in. Not a triplex. It's one LONG and sinuous house after all, and it's even weirder than I imagined. Sort of like a stickbuilt replica of a giant travel trailer with a slideout in the middle. Maybe Polistra will have to revise her Law Of Infill. This house is NOT going to improve the neighborhood.

And another week: Weirder and weirder. The center slideout has grown a second story, so the whole thing now looks like a tugboat pulling a garage-barge.

And another week: No real change, except the tugboat now has a sign saying it's going to be something called Design Apparatus, which sounds like it could be the name of a business. At least it's not going to be a residence, but it's still wildly inappropriate and still just plain weird.

Three weeks: No change. Still at the Tyvek stage, and the Tyvek is starting to wrinkle and flap. Design Apparatus is going to be an 'architecture studio'. WYSIWYG, I guess. If you want an unfinished wrinkly Tyvek building that looks like a tugboat mated with a travel trailer, then you should hire Design Apparatus to Design your Apparatus.

Two more weeks (June 7) No change. Did they run out of money?

July 12: Change! They've added exactly one 4x8 panel of "siding" on top of the Tyvek. Looks like interior paneling to me, but I suppose it's "siding" in the context of tugboats with slideouts. And they've ductaped some of the flapping corners on the Tyvek.

Aug 15: More of the siding is installed. It's an assortment of indoor paneling, horizontal gray corrugated metal, and vertical blue corrugated metal. Maybe they're trying for a favela look, or a Gypsy Shack look.

Sep 15: Finally appears to be done.

Final update: Turns out to be a house after all, not a business. Design Apparatus was only advertising their contribution to the horror. Makes absolutely no sense as a house. Everyone talks about it with a mix of wonder and disgust.


Friday, February 27, 2015
  Common Core again

Reprinting what I wrote several months ago:

= = = = = START REPRINT:

Spokane public schools got their first Common Core textbooks this week, accompanied by the usual partisan idiocy.

Well, no... Actually the partisan idiocy is only halfway usual.

One side is expectable. Repooflicans are automatically and violently opposing Common Core because it was introduced by a president with D on his nametag.

The other side is surprising. Normally the teacher unions would automatically and violently support Common Core because it was introduced by a president with D on his nametag, but the unions are generally unhappy with Common Core.

I read the Common Core documents carefully when they appeared last year. At least on paper, the approach is EXACTLY right. Everything I'd dreamed about when I was teaching. Common Core emphasizes usefulness and job training, and the approach to English and Math is both utilitarian and accurate.

Repooflicans hate it. Teacher unions hate it. Real teachers like it. Those three preferences add up to a pretty good recommendation.

= = = = = END REPRINT.

Turns out that the Common Contempt by Repoofs and Unions has led to an added positive development. State Ed Boards and textbook publishers have been slow to pick up CC or generate official curricula, so teachers are free to write or select material that follows the general principles.

Excellent! Teachers almost always know what's good for kids. Educrats never know what's good for kids.

And now the best recommendation of all. A hypersatan writing in Unpopular Anti-science bitches that CC doesn't contain sex ed! In other words, it doesn't enforce the Ten Commie Commandments:

1. Thou shalt worship Betty Friedan as thy Sole Lord[ess] and Saviour[ess].
2. Thou shalt invent 58 new "genders".
3. Thou shalt abort.
4. Thou shalt abort.
5. Thou shalt abort.
6. Thou shalt abort.
7. Thou shalt abort.
8. Thou shalt abort.
9. Thou shalt abort.
10. Thou shalt abort.


  il Dottore Clouseau

Lots of sparks zapping around the Italian surgeon who is proposing Full Body Transplants. BBC-satan interviewed Dr Canavero and got almost everything wrong.

Canavero's personality doesn't help. He has the perky cockiness of Inspector Clouseau, which isn't reassuring.

BBC-satan was mainly concerned about "Human" "Rights", whatever the fuck that means. Bothered by the "lack of consent", even though Canavero has dozens of volunteers waiting.

Surprisingly the Guardian got it mostly right. Connecting nerves is a small problem now. Making both ends run in sync AFTER the connection is much harder.

The most critical piece is not the spine but the Vagus nerve, which controls pretty much everything that matters. Heartbeat, gut bacteria signals, breathing, larynx. You can miss quite a few spinal connections to leg or arm muscles and still have a useful body. The brain can readjust many of those connections in software. Not so with the vagus.

Guardian also notes that limb transplants are turning out to be dubious. Even when the connections are good, the recipient often hates the new arm and decides to have it re-removed. Expand that to the whole body, and what happens? Not much fun.

Biggest problem, not mentioned by either BBC-satan or Guardian:


Self-produced stem cells have ALREADY succeeded in reanimating a quadriplegic body. I guess it's understandable that the Brit media haven't heard of this success. It was done by Dr Geoff Raisman in a mysterious distant obscure place called LONDON.

More seriously, Raisman succeeded with stem cells derived from the patient's own nasal nerves, which means he didn't use Real Science, i.e. embryonic stem cells. No murder needed, thus his method must be TROLL DENIALISTIST PSEUDOSCIENCE HALLIBURTON BUSHITLER KOCH KOCH KOCH KOCH KOCH KOCH.

Real Science is genocide. Nothing less counts.

= = = = =

Artistic sidenote: I've used this doctor character before, as an ecofreak or bureaucrat. But he was meant to be a doctor, and he looks amazingly like Canavero. The genius artist who built this character is German, so I doubt that the resemblance was intentional.
  Mighty moon

Still a few days before full moon, but already getting powerful. I can feel it in my own moods, and the city police and fire depts are clearly feeling it.........

Screencap, only slightly condensed:

  Language update: phrases

Professor Polistra has been impressed ... or depressed ... this month by a series of trite phrase constructions instead of simple words.

= = = = =

Prepositions as list-formers

A time-consuming syntactic device. Not new and not necessarily bad. It's always been around, but it's spreading like wildfire lately. Runs counter to the more general modern trend of attaching prepositions to the verb. Never heard in casual speech, and rarely seen in writing. Seems to exist mainly in the carefully rehearsed speech of activists and 'experts' who habitually provide lengthy standardized answers to interviewers.

"...hampered by a lack of courage, of vision, of consistency, of dynamism."

instead of

"...hampered by a lack of courage, vision, consistency, and dynamism."

"We have rights in regard to our bodies, in regard to our children, in regard to our families."

instead of

"We have rights in regard to our bodies, our children, and our families."

= = = = =

Abbreviations that don't abbreviate:

Most Latinate and Slavic languages use either /i/ or /e/ for and. Thus no abbreviation is necessary. The word is already one letter, one keystroke. Despite this, you'll often see & in a brand or company name or in Twitter posts.

Even sillier: 2k15 for this year. Doesn't save any strokes, harder to write by hand, harder to understand. It made some sense to abbreviate 2000 as 2k, and it became common because of the Y2K thing. Makes no sense to abbreviate anything else with k.

= = = = =

Hit by a bus:

This has become THE ONLY cliche for "die unexpectedly". It's all over the place. It's also statistically stupid. Bus vs pedestrian accidents are rare.

In Spokane cars hit people once per day. Buses hit people once per year. Bus drivers are professionals, and the downward vision from a bus is much better than the downward vision from an SUV or massive pickup.

Seems to connect nicely with the anti-bus bias noted a few days ago.

= = = = =

Greek Default Crisis:

This exact phrase has become standard. Perhaps because it's correct in two [clap] two [clap] two ways at once.

It's the crisis about an inevitable Greek default on bonds due to** LBO Raider Germany; and it's also the default crisis for Greece. It's been happening over and over for 70 years.

Putting it sort of mathly: It's the Greek DefaultCrisis and it's also the Default GreekCrisis.

The only way to break out of a default default crisis is to change your habits. Listen to Dave Ramsey. Or more appropriately, listen to South Korea. SoKo is geographically similar to Greece, and similarly lacks natural resources. Not much oil, not much farmland. In 1962 SK decided that it was tired of being first a colony of Japan and then a colony of USA STRONG. SK understood that SAVING, NOT BORROWING, is the way out of default defaults. They practically forced SAVINGS with a TWENTY PERCENT interest rate. The people happily responded. The pool of investable money grew quickly, and it was used constructively by government and by the chaebols (Ford-style paternalistic companies.) Result: an economic powerhouse.

** due to: Also correct two ways.


Thursday, February 26, 2015
  One Weird Trick

One weird trick:

Tornado cures the heartbreak of psoriasis!

Well, not exactly. But there is a chain of causation.

For many years I'd been noticing little patches of white fungus or psoriasis or something like that. Mainly on ears and elbows.

Just after this summer's gustnado, something changed in my house's plumbing. I'm guessing the long power outage messed up the city's filtering system, letting sand through the pipes. The sand partly blocked the hot side of the shower.

At that point I was busy catching up on work after the week without power and the two weeks without web service. I didn't want to add the interruption of plumbers, so I made do with trickly showers.

By the time I could stop and think again, I'd figured out a nice quick method of using the trickle. Less soap, more active rinsing. Previously I'd just stand there and let the water carry off the soap. Now I have to rub and splash like a Hudson engine.

After a few months of this, I realized the white fungus or psoriasis or whatever was all gone! Presumably the active rinsing is what makes the difference, or maybe the scanty soap. In any case, a long-lasting annoyance has disappeared.

One weird trickle! Thanks, tornado!


  Not shared-lie?

Can this Irish Times article be true?
The row between the White House and Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu has intensified with US officials saying his outspoken condemnation of efforts to secure an Iranian nuclear deal had injected destructive partisanship into US-Israeli relations.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, engaged in international talks with Tehran on its nuclear program, said Mr Netanyahu may be wrong. Mr Kerry told a congressional hearing: “He may have a judgment that just may not be correct here.”
If so, it's an astonishing and encouraging exception to the Shared-Lie rule. Until I read this one item, I was getting ready to growl about this extreme and ultimate Shared-Lie.

Until now, it appeared that Kerry and Our Lord And Saviour Bibi Netanyahu [pbuh] were working together to plan an unprovoked attack on Persia, EVEN AFTER the entire premise of the attack had been dissolved and deleted by the South African leak of Mossad info.

I was getting ready to write some biting satire on that Horrible KKK Anti-Semitic Hate Group called Mossad, which DARED to question the Holy Word Of Our Lord And Saviour Bibi Netanyahu [pbuh]. We must investigate Hate Group KKK Mossad! Bring in Bnai Brith! Bring in the "Southern" "Poverty" "Law" "Center"! These groups undoubtedly have all the dirt on Hate Group KKK Mossad! .... Whoopsie. This Hate Group KKK Mossad seems to be the official intelligence agency of the Nation of Israel?????? No!!!!! No!!!!! Can't be!

Now I can't write any of that. Well, I did anyway because I think it's a good biting satire, but it DOESN'T WORK.

I'm sort of holding my breath to see if this Irish Times article is a proper interpretation, because it's so far removed from normal USA STRONG procedure that it requires considerable evidence.

Incifuckingdentally, I FUCKING TOLD YOU SO.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Well-written article on why people hate buses. The point, nicely stated, is that there isn't an obvious or single answer to the question. Only a consistent theme from various surveys: People who have never ridden a bus hate buses MUCH more than people who ride a bus often.

One of the observations should give STA a clue. Get rid of the downtown Plaza which is a visible gathering place for "those awful bus-riding weirdos". In fact the Plaza regulars are mostly "awful NON-bus-riding weirdos", so they're false advertising for buses. But people who drive past the Plaza don't know this. They see the regulars, make a rational assumption, and form a rational prejudice.

The main point of the article strongly agrees with my experience. Twice in my life I could have kept a job if I had overcome busism.

1973, OKC. Car failed, and I couldn't afford to fix it. The bus line was damn near door-to-door. I could have walked a half block from house to bus stop, then two blocks from downtown stop to workplace. It would have been more convenient than driving, when you consider downtown parking; and it would have been cheaper on a monthly basis if not daily. I don't know why the bus was a totally unacceptable choice. At that time I didn't have any of the misconceptions listed in the article, and the choice of keeping my job should have overruled those misconceptions anyway.

1988, PSU. I had been walking to work, then stupidly moved a few blocks away to a location that was much harder to walk from. More hills. Again the bus was damn near door-to-door. I actually tried the bus once, found it was tremendously more convenient and less tiring, then instantly went back to walking.

Why? I simply fucking DO NOT KNOW. The only thing I can think of now is that I hated the jobs and was looking for a way to quit without seeming to make the choice myself. Absolutely crazy.
  Couple of bright spots

Trying to break up my sleepless retarded grumpiness by noting a couple of little improvements.

(1) Spokane Transit has finally set up a proper website after two years of crap. Their checkout was generic and dumb, requiring you to enter all of your information twice (for billing and shipping ... WHY would anyone have a separate "shipping" address for a regular envelope?????) and then confirming purchase with an email from "" which inevitably ended up in the spam box. Now the shipping and billing address are automatic, and the notification comes from a meaningful email. Much better user experience.

Thanks, STA!

(2) FrontPorchRepublic is one of the 'populist' websites that I WANT to enjoy reading, because their nominal theme is God's work. In the last couple years they lost all their good writers and declined into a weird combination of abstract Catholic mysticism and standard Gaian idiocy. They reached an absolute low point last month with a long article consisting of pure Gaian platitudes written with oily unctuous arrogance, which seemed to be recommending that we lowly peons must shut up and Trust Our Academic Elites.

Now they've finally pulled out of the sanctimonious Goldman-serving shit with a FULLY SANE article that ACTUALLY QUESTIONS Gaian orthodoxy for the first time.

Thanks, FPR!

(3) The Harmonious Infill House, built on a lot forcibly cleared by the July windstorm, is now occupied. A nice civilized neighborhood takes quiet revenge on harsh Nature. In a broader sense the non-ironic return of late 1950s house forms is civilization's revenge against arrogant avant-garde critics of suburbia. "Functional" architecture turned out to be wildly non-functional.

Infill is a city's salvation.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015
  Fine shared lie

Headline in UK Telegraph: Bennett believes Britain should appease Putin. [Bennett is apparently some sort of politician; doesn't really matter.]

Classic example of a Shared Lie. Everyone accepts a shared lie as absolute fact, and then everyone has Robust Debates about whether we should respond to the "fact" with $999,999,999.9 trillion of wasted money and lives or only $999,999,999.8 trillion of wasted money and lives.

Everyone agrees that RussiaAggression started WW3. Everyone agrees that Nudelman Pyatt War Partners LLC set up the coup in Ukraine as a Time-reversed Response to future RussiaAggression against Ukraine. The coup wasn't a war-starting action because RussiaAggression had already started the war in the future. Similar to the way modern carbon emissions cause all warming episodes in the history of the world.

Thus everyone also agrees that RussiaAggression started WW1 and WW2, and RussiaAggression attacked France in 1812. Germany and Japan and France were just innocent pacifist victims minding their own business and knitting delicate stockings, when RussiaAggression aggressively aggressed them into huge world aggression wars of aggression RussiaAggression aggression aggression.

These truths are self-evident, like gravity.

Well then, was this unfortunate Bennett disagreeing with gravity? Was she unfurling Neville's umbrella? Of course not. Inconceivable. She was only saying that UK/US/EU might spend a minute or two talking with RussiaAggression before we bomb RussiaAggression down to bedrock for starting all wars in history including the Big Bang.

And this, of course, is also inconceivable. You can't insert irrelevant subjects like negotiation in a Robust Debate. If you're going to participate, you must propose MORE bombs and bullets and troops than the last speaker, and then the next speaker must propose MORE bombs and bullets and troops than you did. Robust Debates are auctions to bid up the cost of the war, and thus bid up the budget of the Defense Department and the profits of the Defense Contractors and the share value of NudelmanPyatt War Partners LLC.

  Century of locusts

Thinking again about 'fight like a plant', and mixing with my observations about the One Necessary War (ie WW2) and the need for hardass propaganda to force a nation to fight an Unnecessary War (ie all other wars).

Krauts and Japs, the constant aggressors in XX century. Both are highly refined cultures when not in War Mode. Both turn into an entirely different creature for War.

What does this remind me of? Locusts.

Locusts are not a separate species. Grasshoppers transform into locusts for War Mode. Locusts look different and act different, but they're the same creature that formerly behaved in a more normal way. Look different + Act different = Gene switch.

Why are locusts able to destroy plants so effectively? Perhaps because their switched genes create a different output pattern of smells and sounds. Plants encounter normal grasshoppers all the time, so they already have adequate repel/kill defenses against them. Locusts appear as an entirely new threat, so plants don't have time to prepare chemical weapons, or time to warn nearby plants of the threat. By the time those responses could happen, the whole field is dead.

Human locustation can sometimes be cured. WW1 didn't cure the Krauts of locustation. It left the impulse in place, ready to be stirred up again. It's not yet clear if WW2 cured the Krauts; they seem to be relapsing after a brief remission. WW2 unquestionably and permanently cured the Japs.

Now that US/UK/EU have become locustized against Russia, is there any chance of cure before we eat the world and guarantee our own destruction? Doubtful.

What does a cured locustation feel like? I can sense it in myself. From 1990 to 2007 I was locustized against Arabs. Ready to do anything within my power to end Arabs. After I started writing this blog and organizing thoughts, I came to see that the locustation hormone was coming from false sources. All of us were being locustized via false and distorted "facts", solely to increase the budgets of the war machine and increase the share value of war's financiers. We were not actually being attacked, so we didn't need to be in War Mode. My immune response, now aimed against the locustizers and against the susceptible parts of my own fucking idiot self, is just as harsh as the locustation itself.

Emerson: "As no man thoroughly understands a truth until he has first contended against it..."

Is this an epigenetic change? It would be worth looking.

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Monday, February 23, 2015
  Till your own patch, dammit.

Why do important people with GENUINE and MEANINGFUL accomplishments suddenly turn their efforts in guaranteed useless directions?

= = = = =

Dmitry Orlov, who gave us the ONLY clear thinking about the Cold War and the transfer of Sovietism, is now selling a nice school-reform effort that won't go anywhere. Outside the unsalvageable big cities, schools are FINALLY AND AMAZINGLY beginning to move in correct directions. Community colleges are pushing vocational training focused on manufacturing. Public and charter schools are developing excellent job-based science and tech programs. Common Core will increase this positive movement. These schools don't need an external push, and the NYC schools won't change no matter what happens. Even Giuliani couldn't fix them.

= = = = =

Which brings us to Giuliani. He should be the ideal D candidate by any objective standard. You say "black lives matter"? Giuliani's revolutionary changes in policing ACTUALLY saved thousands of ACTUAL black lives, which current D politicians are trying to KILL by undoing Giuliani's policing reforms and destroying civilization. Culturally, Rudy is also perfectly aligned with D tendencies. He seems to be a fag; he hates religion and worships Gaia; he loves every sort of avant-garde coooooool shit.

So what's he doing now? Defending his GENUINE AND HEROIC police reforms against Sharpton and Holder and other lethal enemies of black people? No. He's neglecting all of his own GENUINE work and all of his own GENUINE tastes and opinions. Instead, he's unconvincingly quoting Sean Hannity's fantastically stupid and pointless OPINION about Obama's OPINION, in a vain effort to gain support from a party that he firmly opposes on all imaginable points.

= = = = =

**Footnote on fantastically pointless: SOME harsh comments about Obama would be valid and objective criticisms IF we were still in the 2012 election. In 2012 you could validly and objectively call Obama incompetent and indecisive. Those are meaningful judgments about any executive, and they are objectively true about Obama. Commenting on his "love for America" or his "Christianity" is neither objective nor relevant. We have no way of seeing inside a man's soul, and those qualities have nothing to do with an executive unless he's leading a church or the America-Lovers Club. But Obama is not on the ballot in 2016, so NO opinion about him is worth discussing AT ALL.
Sunday, February 22, 2015

Meanwhile, at the other end of the scale from the Torch:

A sleeping homeless man rolled into the Spokane River near Mission street bridge Saturday afternoon. The man was sleeping under the bridge when he rolled into the river. He was able to grab a branch and prevent himself from flowing down the river. A person in a nearby apartment complex witnessed the incident and called the fire dispatch. Two firefighters arrived at the scene and were able to pull him out of the water.

The "nearby apartment complex":

Hmm. Doesn't look like the sort of place where you live to gain maximum altitude and maximum prestige. Looks more like the sort of place where you live because you're lucky to have rent every month.

One of those somewhat more lucky people paid attention and cared about the somewhat less lucky homeless dude.

As I was saying, Point A to Point B. When you've reached Point B, you can still see Point A and you remember what it was like.
  Commies fighting commies

Beautiful news of the latest ratfight:
The United Nations' top climate change official will miss a key meeting in Kenya with Indian police investigating a sexual harassment complaint against him. Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Nobel-Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has withdrawn from next week's talks due to "issues demanding his attention", the UN body said on Sunday.

His cancellation comes after Delhi police said Dr Pachauri, 74, was accused of sexually harassing a 29-year-old researcher from his Delhi-based think tank The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).

"A lady had lodged an FIR [first information report] against him for sexual harassment ... about a week ago and the matter is under investigation now," Delhi police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said.
My cautious and measured response:



Saturday, February 21, 2015
  Torch vs torque

I'm thoroughly puzzled by the story about the burning Torch in Dubai.

The people who live in that phallus are RICH. They can afford far more safety and security than I can. They could build a super-private super-secure house with topnotch burglar alarm and sprinkler systems. Instead, they choose to live in a place where someone else's mislaid cigarette can burn their residence. Not only that, it's a place where the fire alarm system constantly gives false alarms but fails in a real fire. And it's a place where you have to walk down 70-some flights of stairs to escape.

This is EXACTLY what most people want to get away from. When I finally had enough money to get OUT of apartments, I breathed a 25-year-long sigh of relief.

I'm reading an old-car book about Duesenbergs, which solves the puzzle. Duesies were sold to the same super-rich fuckheads who like the Torch. For a mere $160,000 (in today's dollars) you got a running chassis, with cowl and hood and fenders. You had to order your own coachwork separately. Why was the chassis worth so much? Because it WENT FAST. Faster than any other car on the market, with handling and brakes capable of taking the speed. (At least by the standards of that era.)

Working-class drivers favored Dodges and Fords. Cars with long-stroke engines designed to give plenty of torque at low RPM. Cars that could lug you from point A to point B with a minimum of shifting and thus a minimum of wear and gas usage. Slow but sure.

And there's the key.

Rich folks want horsepower. Poor folks want torque.

Rich fuckheads want MAXIMUM NUMBERS. INFINITE NUMBERS. They want a top speed that wins every race, even though they never get near a track. They want an altitude that exceeds everyone else's altitude, even though it means losing the basic benefits of a residence. They want an infinite net worth, even if the numbers in the net worth are counterfeit.

Poor folks want to reach point B, not point Z++++++++++. And they want to get there safely, with minimum wear and minimum expenditure.

It comes back, as always, to exp vs tanh. Rich assholes fantasize that they can run a life by exp. Poor folks understand that life is tanh. Wacked economies are designed to favor Goldman's exp function. Sane economies are designed to favor Nature's tanh function.


  Should I own a car?

Thinking about my stupid error in acquiring 100 pounds of printer paper.

First impulse: If I owned a car, this type of problem wouldn't have occurred. I could just drive down to the Office Supply Store and get the right combination of high-quality Office Supply Stuff.

That's how it actually worked back in the '70s when I drove a car daily. In Enid I would have gone to Vaters Office Supplies, and Judy would have located the right paper and file folders and other stuff. (Of course I wouldn't have been looking for CDs in 1975; maybe mimeograph spirits.) The transaction would have been pleasant (especially Judy), and I would have driven the stuff back home and used it.

Unfortunately the example doesn't apply to modern times. Spokane doesn't have an equivalent of Vaters. I doubt that any city does now.

I could theoretically buy all of those things at WalMart, which is within my usual walking distance. So now the need for a car goes away.

But I know from experience that WalMart never has all of those things at once, and often has none of them. Finding any specific item in WalMart is a gamble with poor odds. So now the need for a car returns, but this version of the errand might well take all day.

Online buying has the same certainty and quickness as Vaters. When I look in LDProducts, I know they will have everything I need, the items will be good, and the shipping will be fast.

But online buying doesn't have Judy. It doesn't have a clerk who can say "Are you sure that's what you really want, hon?"

Summing up: If Vaters and Judy still existed, a car would be worth owning, at least for these twice-a-year episodes. Vaters and Judy do not exist, so it's a moot point.

[For clarity: I hope the actual Judy is still alive, but Judy-as-icon-of-store-clerks is definitely gone.]

= = = = =

Later and better thought. This isn't about cars at all. This is about Old Economy vs New Economy, Ford Economy vs Goldman Economy. I already covered the point much more effectively in this tribute to the C.R. Anthony department store. Anthony's was a place where a working-class family could count on finding decent AMERICAN-MADE stuff at an affordable price. The price was somewhat higher than WalMart's price, because the working-class family HAD MORE FUCKING MONEY in the '70s. And they HAD MORE FUCKING MONEY because America MADE THINGS.

This connection should have triggered immediately in my mind because C.R. Anthony was RIGHT FUCKING NEXT DOOR to Vaters Office Supply. They were in the SAME FUCKING BUILDING on the downtown Square.

I'm retarded and cranky this week from bad sleep. For no apparent reason I've dropped into a pattern of broken sleep: 4 hours at night, 2 in morning, 2 in afternoon. It adds up properly, but it leaves me semi-functional all the time. (My optimum is 6 at night, 1.5 in afternoon.)

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Friday, February 20, 2015
  Kim hints at demotion

Dear Leader Kim seems to be hinting at a future self-demotion. His new hairdo has Ambassador written all over it!

If he wanted to base his style on AMC vehicles, he should have chosen the Eagle Premier.
  Well, that was dumb.

I ordered a bunch of office-supply stuff online last week. The first part came yesterday: a pack of CDs and file folders. The CDs got used immediately, to archive the courseware project. Might have done that earlier, but daily USB backups were okay until it was definitely done. The file folders will get used soon**.

The second part came today: two 50-pound boxes of printer paper.

ACK! I thought I was ordering two reams, not two 50-lb boxes! Two reams would have been good for a year or so. This is more than a lifetime supply. (Nice reminder of mortality there.)

It did serve one good purpose.... the UPS man weighed the boxes as he got them out of the truck, and each was 50.1 pounds. Knowing this, I was able to calibrate my bathroom scale.

Not sure what I'll do about these. Returning would be more trouble and expense than it's worth. I don't want to injure my back by carrying the boxes. (Another nice reminder of mortality!) Guess I'll just open the boxes, pull out enough of the reams to hold me for a couple years, and gradually throw away the other reams in non-back-breaking tranches.

Basic lesson I've learned over the decades: Storing my work product and work logs in full detail is always worthwhile. I always go back and use some of the thoughts and solutions and source code fragments. Storing great quantities of stuff is never worthwhile. I never use it.

Later, after looking at the transaction: It wasn't pure stupidity, though I should have checked before clicking Submit. I had ordered two reams a year ago, which is how I know that two reams last a year. I thought I was clicking the "Repeat Previous Order" button. Apparently I clicked the "Other Customers Bought" button, which was the large quantity. Still my error, but marginally less dumb than simply entering the store and picking the wrong thing ab initio. Maybe.

= = = = =

**Update 4/4/2015: Finally got BORED enough to use those file folders for intended purpose. Sorted out all the paper paperwork from courseware project that had been accumulating through the years. Made a folder for each year, eliminated some irrelevant stuff. I'd forgotten how long this project has been running! 21 years, through at least 4 LBO's and three name-changes of publisher.

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Thursday, February 19, 2015
  Greece vs Croatia, City vs County

Lately I've been noticing examples of flashy ideology vs plain functionality in government.

Example 1: The usual "populist" bloggers are breathlessly following Greece's "revolution", which amounts to letting Goldman do what it wants as usual. The usual "populist" bloggers paid no attention at all to Croatia's Jubilee, which ACTUALLY HELPS ACTUAL POOR PEOPLE. Why? Greece's new government consists of prettyboys who like to flash ideological fashion statements. Croatia's government is nationalist and old-fashioned Catholic and rather dull.

Example 2: The policy-making side of USA STRONG has gone a trillion light years beyond the bounds of insanity. The mechanical parts of the Federal Government continue to serve ordinary people rather well.

Example 3: Spokane's city government has been taken over by ideological tyrants. This turboleftist majority, working in evil double harness with "Republican" "Mayor" Condon, claims to help the poor, but spends most of its effort silencing the public, silencing and ejecting the remaining 2 non-crazy councilmen; doubling the destruction of natural disasters; passing thoughtcrime laws; and adding more divisions to the EPA Terrorist Army.

Spokane's county government is mechanical and dull. The commissioners don't do anything interesting at all. They just keep things running more or less competently, despite the best efforts of the City lunatics.

Today I got the annual property tax bill from the County, which I'm always happy to pay. While opening the envelope I noticed that the postage meter was not an official county 'frank'; instead it was from something called Master's Touch LLC. This seemed spammish, so I googled to check. Turns out the county sends its printing business to a non-profit run by Union Gospel Mission, which gives homeless dudes job training.

Quiet. No fanfare, no ideology. Tilling your own plot, minding your own business, getting the damn job done. Helping ACTUAL POOR PEOPLE.

Bravo, county!

  Hi, Europe!

Immediately after posting previous item, I checked Statcounter and found that the blog was visited by Europe! The whole damn continent! And what did Europe look at? The stupidest entry in my whole 10 years of posting. The only entry that's based on Popular Celebrities As Seen On TV.

Yeah, it's just Statcounter's way of describing an unspecified location, but it seemed highly appropriate given the content of previous item.
  XX century, you had one job.

Professor Polistra has been pondering epigenetics and Life As Purpose. She came to a sudden realization.

One way of expressing the Purpose Of Life is:

Learn how to do something. Teach it.

This holds true for everything from bottom to top, bacteria to mammals. More complex critters (flowering plants, insects, molluscs, vertebrates) have a wider variety of learning and teaching methods, but everyone has some methods.

Every living thing spends its brief span figuring out how to get along in its situation, and improving its chances. The learning may be a few switched genes or a complete set of skills forming a discipline.

At least once in its brief span, it passes the learning on to others in the same generation, or to the next generation. The passing may be via mitosis or cloning or sexual reproduction; or via scent signals describing a predatory bug; or through an apprenticeship.

Learning and teaching. That's what life does. That's what life is.

What makes humans unique? We're the only species that can learn backwards and teach backwards. We've spent 100 years doing just that.

From 1100 AD to 1910 AD we were mostly learning forward, with lots of local and temporary exceptions. Gradually expanding and sharpening our methods of getting along in our situation. Making it possible for more humans to live longer and less desperate lives. Printing, water and sewage systems, plowing, vaccines, dams and irrigation, communication systems, transportation systems. Bach.

In 1910 we decided to run full speed in reverse. First we tore down the old learning, then we slammed the lever into R and hit the gas. For every accomplishment in previous human history, we made a bonkers pseudotheory to SMASH and undo and reverse the accomplishment. Total war, total genocide, total tyranny, random mutation, Global Warming, multiverses, Endangered Species, Quantum "physics", Quantitative Easing, Die-Versity, Free Trade. Stockhausen.

We reversed the teaching side as well. We replaced apprenticeships and experiential learning by Critical Queer Theory Lectures. We replaced the normal mammalian child-raising process with Abortion and Same-Sex "couples" and Amber Alerts when a heretical parent dares to possess her own child. We are no longer reproducing.

Large sections of the Northern Hemisphere are permanently turned to antilife, but most of the Southern Hemisphere decided to stay out of the craziness. Africans continued to figure out how to get along in life, continued to practice and teach the Natural Laws of morality, continued to reproduce.

Now in the 21st century, some Northern learners have finally broken free of the reverse toxin, but they are relentlessly squashed and swallowed by the all-consuming reversers.

Africa is the only hope. After we Northern monsters have wiped ourselves out, the adaptable and positive-learning Africans will take over.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015
  Quality control = quantity control

My return to home-cooked food after a decade of bad luck with pre-digested (sophisticated) food was initially triggered by quality problems with Campbell's sophisticated Chunky soups.

I switched to a chili-like concoction. The new concoction used half a can of Campbell's Tomato Bisque along with various combos of fresh tomatoes, beans, squash, and barley. A few months ago the quality of Bisque started to decline. The recipe and taste changed, and the allegedly "condensed" soup was no longer condensed. It took a full can to get the same amount of actual stuff. So I switched to plain Tomato soup, which is cheaper and less sophisticated. Now the same thing is happening to plain Tomato. More water in the can and dubious taste. I don't know if these are national changes or solely in the west-coast processors, but the changes are clearly** moving in one direction. Inflation by dilution. Older word: Adulteration.

I should have learned something about the brand from the FIRST step in this process! Well, though retarded, I've finally learned the lesson now.

I tried making the chili with no added sauce or soup, but it doesn't work that way. Unsatisfying. I'll try to find a more local brand of tomato sauce or paste, not owned by Campbells. ... Update 1: Tried the default choice, Hunt's tomato SAUCE. Doesn't add any bad taste, but doesn't add any texture or good taste either. Too much like water. ... Update 2: Hunt's tomato PASTE. Now that's more like it. Adds texture and taste, and it's so densely concentrated that one can of PASTE lasts 5 days. Unavoidable slogan: Use paste! More taste, less waste!

** Footnote on metrology: These adulterations came in a zigzag fashion, presumably because different batches got shipped or stocked in random order. The NW Blvd Safeway, which runs through stock slower, still had the better versions for a while after the Shadle store had gone entirely to the new bad versions. So I know this isn't just my own elderly taste declining.

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  Batch vs craft, 80 vs 20

The decision of batch conversion vs hand-crafting comes up often in my work and play. In any version-change situation you have to decide how to handle your painfully acquired collection of data files. Mass-audience programs like Word and Excel generally offer internal conversions for old files, up to a point. In narrower contexts you're generally on your own.

Over the years I've learned when to batch'em and when to hand-craft'em; or in more subtle situations, how much of the conversion is worth batching. The decision often feels wrong at the time (as in JESUS! THIS IS A LOT OF FUCKING WORK!) but usually turns out to be right. The alternative would have been EVEN MORE FUCKING WORK!

These decisions are related to the well-known 80/20 effect, the observation that the first 80% of the work takes 20% of the time, while the last 20% takes 80% of the time. In short, the decision to automate or not is the ONE piece of programming that CAN'T be automated.

Now that the latest courseware project is finished, I decided to go back and sharpen some tools, including some oddities and bugs in my batch converter. This is an extremely narrow context! I'm the sole user of this converter, which turns my old (nicely compact and orthogonal) courseware script into the modern jumbled mess of HTML/JS/SVG.

This image shows the flavor of the conversion. The left and right sides are the old and new codes for the same section of one page. It's not a direct mapping in any way; the underlying worldviews are entirely different.

Toward the end of the courseware project, QA decided to get fussy about HTML quirks. Can't blame them. It was running fine as is, but in the O'Brien world of HTML/JS/SVG you never know when Acceptable will suddenly become Intolerable. There were two constant oddities that appeared on most pages, and several variable oddities that had to be located more carefully.

Should I try to fix the converter and run everything again? Or just edit the bad pages directly? I decided it would be faster to craft'em in this case. Manually checking and fixing all 5500 HTML pages took 8 hours, distributed over 3 days.

Now that the deadlines are gone, I'm trying the opposite approach, fixing the converter itself to avoid the problem entirely in potential future projects. One of the 'constant' errors took only 30 seconds to fix; the other took 5 minutes. So far I've spent 8 hours TRYING to fix the 'variable' errors, and I'm nowhere near finding them let alone fixing.

So the decision to craft the HTMLs separately was the right decision. As usual.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015
  Ottoman-Russian alliance?

Watching a press conference with Putin and Hungarian president Orban, announcing a trade deal. Hadn't seen Orban before... strikes me as an old-fashioned Serious Man, belonging to a pre-TV political style. There aren't a lot of Serious Men in top positions now. The only one in the Western Hemisphere is Mujica of Uruguay.

I wonder if we're seeing the early stages of an Ottoman-Russian alliance? Turkey and Russia are already working together, and now Hungary moves into the circle. These countries went through a long period of artificial secularism, and now they're returning to a more natural monarchic nationalism with religious connections.

Reminded me of something I wrote about two years ago....

= = = = = START REPRINT:

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.

= = = = = END REPRINT.

Now I'm seeing a historical connection between some of the Fact Pact. Also, I wouldn't put Korea in the Fact Pact as such, but it's running in the same direction.

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  Does Nature do LBOs?

Lately I've been noticing the all-pervasive LBO in governments as well as business. Undoubtedly I've got some hammer-nail bias. Start noticing X, and you see X everywhere. Still, the technique is widely used if not quite as universal as I think.

Keeping up my usual habits, I have to ask: Does Nature do LBOs? Strictly speaking, no. Nature doesn't do debt. If we were paying attention, this should close the subject. We shouldn't need to know anything else. NATURE DOESN'T DO DEBT. NATURE DOESN'T DO DEBT. Are we paying attention? No.

But there are some rare and exceptional relationships that come remarkably close to LBOs, without an exact analogy to debt.

Cymothoa exigua, the tongue-replacing louse. It enters the mouth of a fish, grabs onto the tongue and starts eating the tongue while keeping its claws in the uneaten tissue. When done, the louse takes the place of the tongue and eats its share of everything the fish consumes.

Ophicoryceps, the Zombie Ant Fungus. It infects the brain of an unfortunate ant, robotizing the ant. Sort of like Google Car. Under fungal command the ant climbs up to the highest leaf or branch available, clamps and dies. The fungus then breaks through the ant's head and grows a 'fruiting body' which distributes its spores.

Some of Nature's most delightful and productive organisms! Goldman and Morgan are proud of their role models.

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Monday, February 16, 2015
  Vocalic meteor

Was reading a piece in Curbside Classics about a car that got poked by a meteor. The damage was unique ... you can tell by the way the metal is deformed and streeeeeetched that it wasn't hit by a car or tree or thrown rock.

There are only three reported car vs meteor collisions: the one in the article (a 1980 Malibu in 1992), an unnamed convertible hit in 1950, and a 1928 Pontiac hit in 1938. [Unfortunately no Comets or Meteors were hit.]

The 1938 incident happened in a town with a highly unusual name: Benld. That's an L, not an I. Named in a unique way after the founder BENjamin L. Dorsey.

Benld has to be the only word or name in the English-speaking world that honestly expresses a common phonetic tendency. Czech is always honest about vocalic liquids L,N,R. English is jammed full of vocalic liquids, but we always toss in a fake vowel or apostrophe so we can pretend it's not a vocalic liquid. Just a few exampLes: PaneLs, rattLed, puLls, sampLe, flatteNed, buRneR and keRneL. If we represented these sounds honestly, we wouldN't** be so puzzLed by Czech woRds!

= = = = =

** Admittedly some peopLe inseRt a real vowel in wouldEnt, couldEnt and didEnt, but that's not normaL.

LateR thought: There is one otheR woRd that represents a vocalic liquid honestly, but it's not quite fuLly at home in English. DiRndL.

Still, we can't possibly come anywhere near the contrived Czech sentence Strč prst skrz krk, can we? No chance. Well, not unless you weRe ordeRing the starship's captain to rub diRt on all the diRndLs that had been conveRted to handbags. Off by only one consonant, and equally contrived.


Sunday, February 15, 2015
  Participation propaganda pattern

I've read a lot of technical publications in the WW1 era, in the context of building digital models of antique crap. I'm constantly immersed in WW2/Korea era radio. I lived through all the more recent wars.

These inputs started to create a pattern of sorts. Specifically, I've noticed that the ROAR of all-consuming propaganda for WW3 is identical to the ROAR for WW1. In both cases, the propaganda fills not just the mass media but tech stuff. In WW1, every automotive and electrical and agricultural trade journal was PACKED with pro-war propaganda. In WW3, websites like Wired and ArsTechnica are PACKED with pro-war propaganda.

There was no ROAR in WW2. In fact the radio coverage, while maintaining a pro-Allied attitude, was careful to include our failings along with our strong points, and constantly emphasized that both sides were emitting propaganda.

I decided to assemble a table of the major wars that USA STRONG has participated in, starting with WW1.

Name of war Aggressor Reason Participation justified? Propaganda needed?
WW1 Krauts Europe felt froggy NO YES
WW2 Krauts, Japs Insane emperor-worship YES NO
Korea China* Expand China's power NO NO
Vietnam China* Expand China's power NO YES
Iraq 1 Iraq Expand Saddam's power NO YES
Iraq 2,Afghan Unknown* Unknown* NO YES
WW3 USA STRONG Putin and Muslims have insulted Our Prophet Satan! NO YES

Focus on the last two columns, US Participation and US Propaganda. With one exception, it's a pretty good correlation. We ROAR when ordinary Americans understand that the war is wrong. When ordinary Americans see the war as justified, there's no need to ROAR.

Korea is the exception. Our war machine and war mindset were still running strong, so Truman could just pop the clutch to get it underway again. No propaganda at all. TV, radio and magazines from the period contain EXACTLY ZERO mention of Korea, and no insults against the North Koreans. There is an occasional generic mention of "our current military activity" or similar phrases.

Also, the draftable generation had been undisciplined while growing up because Dad was fighting and Mom was making airplanes. Result was a tremendous crime wave by teenagers after 1947. These youngsters may have felt the need for Army discipline, and their parents certainly did.

= = = = =


China was the aggressor in both Korea and Vietnam, but our leaders chose to portray both as anti-Russia wars. Russia had no problem with this portrayal because we were keeping China nicely occupied AND we were damaging our own culture. Our leaders may have been following Russian orders; for sure they were serving Russian interests.

The Iraq2 & Afghan wars were portrayed as necessary because 9/11. We still don't know who actually aggressed or why. We know who piloted the weapons, but we have no idea who ordered or commissioned the pilots. Maybe Saudi, maybe Israel, maybe FBI. The simplest assumption is that Goldman Sachs commissioned the attack to destroy their competitor Cantor Fitzgerald, since Cantor was in fact the prime target.

Possibly a later generation will be permitted to learn these facts, but I doubt it. The one thing we know for sure is that Iraq and Afghanistan were only marginally and indirectly involved in the attack, so our "response" in those countries was effectively an unprovoked aggression on our part. Some other war may well have been justified, but those wars weren't.

Thus a simple rule of thumb: When you see Lusitanias, you know the war is unjustified.

.... Later thought here.


Saturday, February 14, 2015

I've discussed the oddness of those Standard Superstitions before. Media and commentators always run features about the ladders and 13s and black cats, even though nobody seriously holds those fake beliefs today.

Everyone has genuine private superstitions about times and places. Good-luck things you do, bad-luck things you avoid. Private superstitions are based on actual experience, thus basically rational. Correlation isn't simple causation, but correlation does indicate a connection somewhere along the chain.

I saw an interesting woman in Sears once, so I shopped in Sears more often than strictly necessary. I got hit by a car immediately after including myself in this blog as a character, so I quickly removed my representation.

= = = = =

Another variety of fake belief doesn't have the same medieval flavor but it's equally inappropriate for real modern people. These are specific things you're required to say and think about days and seasons. Nobody outside the idiot elite circles actually thinks this way. These credal statements aren't exactly superstitions, so I'll call them infrastitions.

Infrastition: "It's snowing in November. Winter doesn't begin until December 21. This is weird."

Reality: Everyone knows that winter begins in November. Not weird at all.

= = = = =

Infrastition: "Christmas is over. You must take down your lights or be seen as a Redneck Idiot."

Reality: Everyone likes bright colors, especially in the grayness of winter. Our souls need bright colors. We owe thanks, not contempt, to the generous folks who leave their lights on.

= = = = =

Infrastition: "GLOBAL WARMING!!!!! THE SKY IS FALLING!!!!"

Reality: Everyone knows that weather has cycles. Seven lean years, seven fat years. The weather is always breaking a record SOMEWHERE.

= = = = =

Infrastition: "TGIF! It's Wednesday, Hump Day! It's Thursday, and that means it's almost Friday!!!"

Reality: Like DST, these day-flavors might have been meaningful 40 years ago when most people worked 8-5 M-F. Now most people are retail store clerks with variable shifts in 24-hour stores. Weekends don't mean much. Possibly these sayings still resonate among schoolkids or bureaucrats, but I don't think those groups are big parts of the media audience.


  Austerity =

I see the Modern Monetary Theory scammers are coming to life again with their idiotic Magic Platinum Coin trick.

"Just as sumer is icumen in, so too are budget fights. And that means another opportunity to talk up the platinum coin as a way around budgetary tactics designed to inflict austerity on ordinary Americans."

A big part of the problem, as I mentioned before, is the word austerity. I don't think it was intended to be deceptive. It was applied to EU actions for convenience, and doesn't have the same flavor in Euro and English. It's a False Friend like actual and control and realize, which are nearly universal but have entirely different meanings in different languages.

The MMT scammers are using this confusion to distract us from the proper answer.

What Germany is inflicting on Greece is NOT austerity=frugality. It is simply a Leveraged Buyout. Nothing new. Germany pulled austerity=LBOs in that part of the world in the 1930s as a cheap way of enslaving those weak but resource-rich Balkan countries. Use various tactics to get the country indebted to Germany, then take control to satisfy the debt, then cut costs to eliminate pesky humans, then own the real estate. Austerity=LBO.

Ordinary Americans have NOT been suffering from government-imposed austerity=frugality because there ISN'T ANY SUCH FUCKING THING. We have been massively suffering from austerity=LBO, but not at the government level. Jobs have disappeared because Share Value Is Supreme. Companies that formerly invested in factories and gave good jobs to low-skill males have been LBOed, and the jobs have been eliminated or handed to foreigners.

Ordinary Americans recognize the importance of austerity=frugality. Despite lack of jobs, we've been pulling ourselves out of personal debt since 2008. The quiet but informative econ blogger MyBudget360 shows a surprising comparison of US vs Canada. We think of those Scottish Canadians as champions of austerity=frugality, but in fact they've been rolling up more debt since 2008 while US consumers have been painfully cleaning up our act.

The correct solution must be imposed by government, but not by any sort of budgetary device. The correct answer to Krugman On Crack should be Glass-Steagall On Crack. Literally and concretely. Treat speculators and LBOers the same way Crips treat Bloods. Or in metallic terms, we need lead instead of platinum.

= = = = =

Sidenote: On 'Scottish Canadians' I wanted to href the old joke about all Canadian men being named either Duncan or Stewart. Google couldn't locate the joke because it was clogged up with THOUSANDS of LinkedIn and Facebook pages from Canadians named Duncan Stewart or Stewart Duncan. Digital version of the same joke, I guess.

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Friday, February 13, 2015
  Why not store reality as reality?

Something called Vint Cerf, allegedly one of the "founders" of NSA's telescreens, appears to have recognized an obvious problem.

Much of the data stored in the massive coal-burning structure known as the Cloud is formatted to be read by specific types of equipment. As those types of equipment grow obsolete, the data becomes practically unreadable. This problem has already been obvious for 30 years, as data stored on Hollerith cards, McBee cards, magnetic tapes and 8" floppies has already been "lost"... or at least not worth the expense of recapturing.

The entity known as Vint Cerf proposes that we should reserve a special area of the coal-burning structure known as the Cloud, to store the descriptions of older devices.

The entity known as Vint Cerf has literally lost all contact with physical reality.

First: Digitally storable descriptions for use by CNC machines or 3d printers must be written in some type of vector or raster code. There are a dozen such codes in common use, and most such codes are ALREADY OBSOLETE. What happens when the CNC devices that read these descriptions become obsolete?

Second: The vector or raster code must be stored in binary with some specific storage format. What happens if THIS format goes obsolete?

Third and most important: The Cloud is infinitely insecure and ephemeral. It depends on the continuation of several corporations and power grids and server manufacturers, all of which are totally vulnerable to failure or bankruptcy or hacking.

I've got a more radical idea. Why not simply preserve the devices AS FUCKING DEVICES? There are already several small museums and private archives devoted to such preservation. Let's help them and coordinate them.

A punch-card reader calmly continues to exist when vector codes change, when formats storing vector codes change, and when the Cloud gets hacked by internal blackmailers posing as "China" or "North Korea" or "Christians" or "RussianAggression™" or "StoneAgeMuslimSavages™" or our current** supposed "enemy". The punch-card reader doesn't know and doesn't care about all that shit. It simply continues to function properly if you continue to maintain it properly and use it respectfully.

If the devices need programs to run, store the source code of the firmware on PAPER. Maintain a priesthood of technicians who know how to maintain and run and reprogram the devices, and keep the techs and devices 'exercised' as much as possible. Make the exercise semi-profitable by offering to read and print obscure materials. Build new devices by direct physical matching when the old ones start to deteriorate too much.

PAPER RETAINS INFORMATION FOREVER, doesn't depend on any level of coding or corporations or grids or anti-virus protection, and degrades analog-ly. A few scratches or tears leave a book fully readable. A few scratches destroy everything on a USB stick or DVD or hard disk.

= = = = =

** In old-fashioned wars you could say things like "This bomb has your name on it, Kraut scum!" Those lines don't work any more. Now our bombs and bullets are addressed to Occupant or Current Resident. Gives a new meaning to Total War. Everyone, especially including our own citizens, is an enemy.

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Thursday, February 12, 2015
  Curing paranoia

Infinitely evil Satan-shaming entity Comey is continuing the Holder/Sharpton game at a higher and more abstract level.

= = = = =

EDIT! NO, THAT'S EXACTLY NOT WHAT COMEY SAID. I ASSUMED HE WOULD FOLLOW THE OFFICIAL LINE. HE DID NOT! I TAKE BACK THE ABOVE PARAGRAPH!!! What Comey actually said was remarkably sane and factual and pro-police. Bravo to Comey for breaking away from the Holder/Sharpton game. It won't matter much in the long run, because the Holder/Sharpton side has firm control of the culture, the media, and most of the government. I apologize deeply to Comey, but the rest of what I said below is still valid.

= = = = =

This is part of a long game with one consistent purpose, using different methods in different generations. The purpose is to remove blacks from ordinary citizenship and turn them into a private army serving the Left. Turn them into guided missiles.

LBJ started it with his Piven/Cloward welfare system. Before the mid-60s, rural blacks had been moving rapidly upward, under the dual influence of two Ts. Booker T and Model T. Or three Is: Intact Families, Intense Christianity and Industrial Jobs. Other parts of the lower class, such as rural white sharecroppers and recent Euro immigrants, were also moving up, but Piven/Cloward apparently didn't see them as useful weapons.

Urban commies didn't like the trend of social economics in industry, as symbolized by Ford. It was bringing a natural type of economic equality that would diminish their power. When weaponizable groups are solidly bourgeois, they don't cotton kindly to being weaponized. Something had to give.

So LBJ started to yank blacks away from the rising class. Instant weapons, appropriately first used against Ford.

After that, it was much easier for urban commies to break down the entire industrial system, using EPA and OSHA and Black Riots and Free Trade and Die-Versity Laws as carrots and sticks. The process ran somewhat slowly, but by 1990 it was effectively done. No more Negative Externalities (ie new bourgeois). Pure share value. No money wasted on labor. All jobs go to foreigners, all money goes to Goldman. Urban commies were finally canning salmon with ledgers. Nirvana.

Now to the title.... In the 80s some black leaders understood what was happening, though they misattributed the chain of causation. They blamed the CIA for introducing crack. Maybe it happened, maybe not. But even if it did, crack was a very late piece of the weaponization. By that time it wasn't really necessary.

Nevertheless, those "paranoid" leaders were onto something, and the urban Commies knew it was necessary to turn the "paranoia" around.

Hmm. How can we do it? Hey! I've got it! Let's select a president who comes from a perfectly reliable family background of leftists and CIA and bankers, so he's locked into all of our interests. Kicker: He's got to be black, so the black "paranoids" will stop looking in the right direction, and the white "paranoids" will be prohibited from looking in the right direction. Presto! Found him!

So now we have a brand-new stage of weaponization, an especially cruel and dehumanizing stage. Poor blacks, two generations removed from the memory of middle-class jobs, are being persuaded that it's OK to attack a cop. They expect to be treated as a hero for attacking a cop, and the cop is treated as a thug for doing his job. Result: No police in black neighborhoods. Total control by gangs. Increased segregation. All jobs leave black neighborhoods. Even more control by gangs. Frankly, I don't see how this yields a final advantage to Goldman. I only know that it does. Everything yields an infinite advantage to Goldman, whether visible to slow-witted outsiders or not.

= = = = =

Later, trying to figure out why I went so far wrong in misinterpreting Comey. I had heard NPR's version of what he said, and stupidly imputed their version to him without reading the actual text. Their version matched all previous statements by Federal officials on this subject, so I didn't see any reason to check. The problem is that Comey's actual words DO NOT MATCH all previous statements by Federal officials!

All the mediasatans rectified Comey as HONKIES ARE RACISTS! HONKIES MUST DIE! That was in THEIR LUNATIC GENOCIDAL ALIEN CRANIAL ORGANS. It was NOT in his speech. In reality Comey was HONESTLY stating ONE BASIC FACT for the FIRST FUCKING TIME EVER among Fed officialdom. BASIC FACT: In big cities, violent crime is black. When you see a young black male dressed and behaving like a criminal, he IS a criminal, and the cops HAVE arrested him before. Probably dozens of times. That's why cops automatically treat young black males differently. Because they are different. Because they are dangerous to cops and especially dangerous to non-criminal black folks.
  Sweat 4

Requoting Emerson......

There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better or worse as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what he can do; nor does he know until he has tried. ... It is not without pre-established harmony, this sculpture in the memory.

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I'm really trying to be semi-retired, but it's not as easy as it seems. After spending a year of hard tilling...

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I hoped to spend a long time relaxing.

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It just doesn't work that way. In reality the toil keeps me grounded, gives my potentials a firm reference point, keeps external interference out.

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Two weeks after the end of tilling, I'm ungrounded. I pay too much attention to external shit, most of which is grotesquely evil and insane these days. I respond to the QRM and QRN appropriately...

So I'm going to find a way to restore a work-like schedule, developing SVG animation methods and such, aiming toward the next project if any. If not any, I'll still be saner!

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My expectation of rest wasn't just theoretical. I've been running this semi-retired pattern for 13 years. On average one crop year followed by one fallow year. In previous crop to fallow transitions, I adjusted smoothly to unpaid graphic play-work. Intensity is the relevant variable. Previous work years were somewhat short of full-time, allowing some play-work graphics to continue in the background. After the crop was harvested I could simply ramp up the current play-work project. This work year was well above full-time. Had to clear the decks entirely.

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Feb 15 update: There. Found a path to re-enter development mode. It won't be specifically productive, because the next project (if any) will undoubtedly run in a direction that I'm not anticipating. But that's not the real purpose. Keeping the brain churning and the soul 'pointed forward' is the purpose.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015
  Kirby's revenge

Haven't been paying much attention to this fired-anchor thing with Williams. TV is purely outside my world. Since the entire job of an anchor is to tell 100% lies, I didn't see why an off-camera lie was "harmful to his reputation". It would seem to improve his consistency. Figured there must be a more ordinary reason behind this "scandal". Either his second-in-command was pulling some blackmail strings to take over, or management was pulling the strings because Williams was just not performing well.

If NPR can be believed, it's the latter. Apparently Williams has been uninterested in anchoring, not giving full force, because he really wants to work in the branch of genocidal lies called "comedy" instead of the branch of genocidal lies called "news".

Probably not a wise career move.

Couldn't sleep last night, ended up listening to a part of the OTR playlist that normally happens while I'm blank. It included this 1944 broadcast of CBS news sponsored by Crisco. The most interesting aspect is the female anchor Bernadine Flynn. WHAT? NO! THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE! ALL WYYYMMMYYNNS WERE BAREFOOT, PREGNANT AND IN THE KITCHEN UNTIL OUR LORDESS AND SAVIORESS BETTY FRIED[m]AN FREED THEM FROM THEIR CHAINS!

Along with the impossible and non-existent female anchor, the co-anchor was Durward Kirby. Yup, the same dude who submissively clowned for Garry Moore and various game shows in the '50s. As newsreader, Kirby was the consummate professional. His voice was authoritative and pleasant, his English diction and syntax were perfect but not obtrusively so, his pronunciation of foreign names was perfect but not fake foreignish. Gold standard. Best in the business.

I don't know if Kirby had a similar desire to get out of news and into entertainment, but that's definitely what happened to him. And now we remember him as a clown instead of The Perfect Newsreader.

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Sidenote: Bernadine Flynn was primarily an all-purpose utility actress, not 'officially' a newsreader or a reporter ... but nevertheless she was the anchor of the Crisco news segment.
  Decoupling again

Spokane's city "council" is currently 5 satans and 2 humans. It was 4-3 after the last "election"; then one human (Salvatori) moved out of town and the 4 satans simply appointed another satan to replace him. No need to fake an "election" when you own the place.

Now Mike Fagan, one of the two remaining humans, has made an uninformed and self-destructive statement. He equated the expert view on vaccines with the expert view on "global warming". It's understandable. Assuming that experts are universally wrong is a safe bet statistically. Experts nearly always oppose facts and experiment, and nearly always support beyond-crazy hyperpsychotic gigagenocidal pseudotheories.

But vaccination is an odd exception. For unknown reasons, most experts are taking the experimental and factual side, running counter to their own friends and allies.

Immediate result: Fagan has been kicked off the Public Health Board. Makes sense. Regardless of which side is correct, you can't expect to stay on a specific-purpose board when you oppose the specific purpose.

I ran through all sorts of overanalyzed thoughts. Maybe he's responding to an Agent Provocateur. Definitely possible when the satanic majority wants to get rid of you. It's happened before with a different type of satanic majority on this council. Maybe he's mistakenly trying to appeal to his voters, using the old Strangelove model. He doesn't realize that the anti-vaxers are now on Satan's side of partisan politics.

One thing for sure: A functional opposition party, like a competent defense lawyer, would have advised him in advance to stay quiet and avoid the problem. This incident tells us with dead certainty that there is no functional opposition party.

Given those facts, the best advice for a sane human is GET OUT. Reform is impossible, and there is no strategy or assistance available to conquer Satan from within. "Working within the system" never works. Let the satans have it all. When it crashes, the fault will be ENTIRELY THEIRS. You will not be involved.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
  This sculpture in the memory

Interesting article** on the supposed disadvantages of English spelling, with yet another effort at Reformed Spelling. An old song, and not a catchy tune. The article suffers from two distinct 'compartmentalist' myths........

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(1) Compartmentalist myth that speech consists of a sequence of phonemes.

Nowhere near true. That's not how the ears and brain and mouth do it. Phonemes are ONE convenient way to notate and analyze speech for recording and replay, but the reality is much more continuous, more fugato, full of anticipation and nostalgia at every level. Most of what we hear and understand is contained in the anticipation. Maybe you can validly mark segments between clauses or phrases, but nothing finer than that.

The oldest representation of language runs at the clause level. A cave painting means something like "I killed three rabbits!" or "I want to fuck HER three times!" or "She's gone and I'm sad!"

We are returning to this clause level with aniGIF emoticons. Cave painters undoubtedly dreamed of ways to animate their paints. Maybe they even found an aniGIF technique that we don't understand....

She's gone and I'm sad.

More modern representations of language are finer than clause level. They range across a three-axis spectrum. Pure ideogram on one axis, pure phonemes on the second, and pure syllabary on the third. As with other complex spectra, the zero point is NOT "a little of both". In this case the origin of the graph is just sort of sloppy and chaotic.

Chinese is nearly pure ideogram with a few quasi-syllabic elements. Korean*** is nearly pure phonemic, grouped into syllables that form visual units. Japanese combines pure ideogram and pure syllabic with no obvious logic for choosing which goes where. English and French are around 60% phonemic and 40% sloppy, while most other Euro languages are around 80-90% phonemic and 10-20% sloppy.

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(2) Compartmentalist myth that education consists of a sequence of "subjects".

Certainly true that English-speaking kids spend more time and trouble on spelling than less sloppy languages. But there's no reason to believe that avoiding the time and trouble would leave more "brain space" for math. Chinese and Japanese require vastly more "brain space" and learning time for their purely arbitrary mix of ideograms and syllables. Are they worse in math? Nope, better.

But Orientals are genetically better at abstractions, so this doesn't tell us much. We need a cleaner comparison of the constants and variables. Let's try Argentina. It has roughly the same gene mix, culture and economic status as North America. Spanish spelling is much more regular than English. Spanish-speaking kids don't have Spelling Class at all, so they should have more time and more brain space for Math Class.

Here's a pretty good ranking of math literacy at age 15. Orientals are WAAAAAY up on top as you'd expect, but Korea and Japan are below all of the Chinese-speaking countries. Korea's perfectly logical alphabet didn't help. Argentina and Chile are well BELOW the US score. Their more logical spelling, and the corresponding saved time, didn't help. When I try to pick out other language groups like Germanic or Slavic, I find each group scattered across the non-Oriental part of the list.

This ranking leads to a blazingly obvious conclusion: Genes count. Culture and discipline may be mildly important, but are probably inseparable from genes anyway. Language is absolutely irrelevant.

I could hypothesize that time spent mastering the semi-regular semi-patterns of English builds up your problem-solving ability, which then helps you with math. Maybe, maybe not.

For sure: You can't separate brain activity into compartments. Any time and effort devoted to improving your ability in any area will spill over into all areas.

= = = = =

As good old Emerson put it: (slightly edited to modernize syntax)

There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better or worse as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what he can do; nor does he know until he has tried. ... It is not without pre-established harmony, this sculpture in the memory.

= = = = =

** Footnote 1: I'm uncomfortable bashing this article because it's partly an advertisement for Dmitry Orlov's reformed spelling scheme. I admire Orlov HUGELY for his observations on collapsed empires. Probably the wisest and most important writing since Emerson. But his reformed spelling idea is just a waste of time and effort. I hope he makes money from it, but it's not going to make any real difference.

*** Footnote 2: Korean is unquestionably the most logical of all languages. It shares a logical grammatical structure with many other agglutinative languages. Every 'dial' you can set for a verb has its own 'column' of morphemic 'buttons', and every 'dial' you can set for a noun has its own 'column'. You run from left to right, starting with the root for the meaning you want, then pushing the correct 'button' for each 'dial'. Along with agglutination, the Korean alphabet is absolutely unique in schematically representing articulator position for consonants. The shape of the symbol tells you whether to close the oral cavity with the back, middle or front of the tongue, or the lips.

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  Mystery? Nope.

This is completely incoherent from a normal "foreign policy expert" view.
Europe’s creditor powers have reacted with fury as Greece presses ahead with plans to smash its EU-IMF Troika programme and demand war reparations for Nazi occupation, raising the risk of a traumatic rupture with Athens by the end of the month. ... In a clear sign that Washington is losing patience with the eurozone’s strategy of fiscal contraction, Mr Obama almost seemed to endorse Greece’s demands for a radical shift in policy. “You cannot keep on squeezing countries that are in the midst of depression. At some point there has to be a growth strategy in order for them to pay off their debts to eliminate some of their deficits,” he said last week.
I'm deliriously happy to see Greece firming up. At first it looked like Syriza was surrendering even before the fight. Now they're at least SOUNDING serious about breaking away. Anything that helps to break a monster is good. EU and US are infinitely evil monsters. Both need to be broken.

But why is USA STRONG sort of halfway supporting Greece? This is happening at the SAME time that we are using EU as a weapon in our multi-front vicious nasty unprovoked attack on Russia.

I understand why we're starting WW3 by attacking Russia. Putin has blasphemed the Holy Image of our Satanic Prophet[ess] by supporting Christianity and supporting Natural Law. Anyone who blasphemes the Prophet[ess] must be SMASHED.

But why do we halfway support the new government of Greece against our satanic ally EU?

I got a clue from the attitudes of the usual quasi-populist bloggers toward Croatia. They were completely uninterested in Croatia's ACTUAL AND ACCOMPLISHED populist action, the Debt Jubilee that ACTUALLY HELPS poor people. For years these bloggers have been pushing for debt forgiveness here and abroad. Now that it's ACTUALLY DONE, they're bored. But they've been fanatically supporting Syriza, which hasn't ACTUALLY DONE SHIT yet. These bloggers seem to think something else is more important than ACTUALLY HELPING THE POOR. What is it?

Hmm. Let's try a few quick googles. Yup, yup, and yup.

Okay. Now I understand. No longer a mystery.

In other words, WW3 is a RELIGIOUS WAR, not a territorial or economic war. Some of the battles and weapons pertain to territory and economics, but it's primarily about religion. Putin and Croatia have insulted our Prophet[ess] and must be SMASHED. The new Greek government sort of favors our Prophet[ess] so we sort of support them.


Monday, February 09, 2015
  One of the best inventions

A fatal house fire in East Central Spokane reminds us yet again. The humble smoke detector is one of the best inventions of the 20th century. It won't prevent all fire deaths, but it saves a whole fucking lot of lives. And it's remarkably 'intelligent' for such a simple gadget.

A smoke detector was hanging in my house when I bought it. The detector has never given a false indication, even during power outages when I'm using a propane stove and candles. In the years when I was smoking a pipe, the detector never triggered.

The one time it did beep was exactly the one time I needed to be alarmed. It was around 2007, when I was stupefied by high blood pressure (and no exercise and prepackaged food) but didn't know it. I woke up from an afternoon nap, thoroughly hazed out. Put a pan of water on the stove and got out the prepackaged Lipton food-like substance. Turned on the burner and went into the bathroom to pee. The detector started beeping, pulling me out of my haze. I ran into the kitchen and found that I had turned on the wrong burner, igniting the Lipton package. The flame was about 2 inches high, but it could have caught the nearby curtains and started a cascade. A glass of water was enough to put out the Lipton package. Later I disconnected all the burners except the one I use, to prevent the same accident from happening again.

Footnote: Simple way to disconnect a burner on an older electric range. Yank the heating element out like you're going to clean the reflector dish. Instead of cleaning the dish, turn it at least 90 degrees so the opening isn't near the element's jack. Slip the heating element back in the hole. It still looks normal, it's still able to hold a dish or a package of food-like substance, but it can't get warm. If you turn the knob for this burner the voltage will simply go to the empty outlet under the surface, where it won't do anything. No flow, no power usage, no heat.

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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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