Friday, May 30, 2008
  WD40 vs Ants

The last two weeks were especially bad. Unlike the previous jury term when it was clear that the duty was done after the first few days, the threat stayed present for all two weeks. And unlike last year's ant swarm, the ants kept going after I thought the swarm was exhausted. Finally I pinned down the location of the nest, and desperately trying something I'd read online, sprayed WD40 all around it.

Miracle! Like turning off a faucet. The visible ants died instantly, the swarm stopped short, and to all appearances the nest is fully dead. No signs of popping through other exits; just zero zip nada ants for a full week!

Keeping a fresh can of good old WD40 cocked and locked in case of further attacks.

= = = = =

Correction, much later: These were swarming termites, not ants. The WD40 did kill the visible insects, but didn't really kill the nest. A swarming action typically lasts for a few days. I mistakenly believed the WD40 had stopped the swarm, but the swarm had simply ended in its usual pattern. In August 2008 the swarm kept going beyond a few days, which finally caused me to call the Orkin man and get properly exterminated!

Polistra is up and about. Rush's salute to classical music yesterday did the job.

She's happy that a couple of good things happened during her rest: Italy has taken the reins of Western Civilization, and something like justice has begun to undo the Texas Kristallnacht. The return to justice has been solidly reinforced by the Texas Supreme Court. Unfortunately, there's still no basic accountability; Nurse Ratched shows no signs of learning anything, and will continue her witch-burning campaign.

Polistra observes that both of our idiotic political parties have done a truly peculiar thing this year. Each has intentionally destroyed its winning candidates in order to appoint its own version of the Guaranteed Loser. Plenty of historical data is available, but both parties made the same stupid move. Party R has appointed the Ancient Wounded Warrior, even after Bobdole's total defeat showed the stupidity of such a move. Party D has appointed the Egghead Radical, even after both Stevenson and McGovern showed the stupidity of such a move.

Each party had a better candidate available, a potentially winning candidate, a candidate who offered specific party-appropriate solutions to today's problems. Namely, Huckabee and Hillary. Both of these candidates were deleted by a conspiracy between the media and the party apparatus.

Normally one party puts forward its best available offering while the other, knowing it's going to lose this time, throws in the sacrificial lamb, the known loser and place-holder. This year is different. Loser vs Loser, with a campaign based on multi-layered deconstruction of Biblical interpretations.

The absolute loser, of course, is this unfortunate land. Either way, we're doomed to at least four more years of wild bizarre incompetence; four more years of filth, corruption and paralysis; four more years of unspeakably trivial jibber-jabber. Sheikh Osama is the only winner. Congrats, Sheikh!
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
  Gramm stain

While Congress does the perp walk thing with oil company executives, and while cable "news" anchors speculate in their usual factless way about the causes of high oil prices, it turns out the answer is not at all mysterious. It's not just supply & demand as Republicans want us to believe. It's not just the oil companies as Dems want us to believe. It's mainly the speculators, and both parties have their snouts in the trough.

How did these speculators get so powerful, and why is nobody willing to name them or regulate them? The answer is a law passed at the tail end of the Clinton admin, mainly pushed by Phil Gramm (to satisfy his wife's lobbying clients) and happily signed by Bill Clinton. The law removed all regulation from energy futures trading, which at first helped Enron pull its nefarious schemes, and then opened the door to the current mess.

Everybody has dirty hands, so nobody is willing to break the oath of silence. Note especially that Gramm is an advisor to Товарищ McCain, which means that Товарищ McCain is happy to wallow in filth.

Here's an excellent article about this law and its evil effects in both oil and food markets.

Michael Greenberger, former member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, has been publicizing the problem and the need for re-regulation. He sums it up:

"Should we have an economy that’s based on whether people make good or bad bets? Or should we have an economy where people build companies, create manufacturing, do inventions, advance the American society and make it more productive? We are rewarding people for sitting at their computers and punching in bets. That’s not the way our economy is going to be built, and India and China, with their focus on science and industry and building real businesses, are going to eat our lunch, unless the American public wakes up and puts an end to an economy that praises and makes heroes out of speculators."

= = = = =

Update 5/30: Apparently some part of the gov't is actually trying to put the brakes on the speculators. They won't get far without a change in law, though. The bastards who have been destroying lives and countries to fatten their own already-bulging piles of evil gold will not stop because of a gentle verbal warning.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Fox is simulcasting coverage of a huge patch of tornados in Oklahoma, from KWTV in OKC. The tornados are east of Enid, fortunately running mainly through farm land. Mighty impressive storm, impressive video.

One thing Fox is missing: the anchor of KWTV's broadcast is Gary England, a genuine American hero. Mr England has been working at KWTV since the '70s, and has saved uncountable lives. How? Not just by broadcasting. Gary England, working with the Severe Storms Center in Norman, has traveled around the state for decades, educating the public and officials about the best ways to save lives. He has organized the TV and radio stations in that part of the country to give early and meaningful warnings.

If there's a Heaven, and if it's built the way it should be, a special throne is ready and waiting for Gary England - may he live long and flourish!!! - in the same section with other mass lifesavers like Albert Schweitzer, Jonas Salk and Pius XII.
Friday, May 23, 2008
  Nader-Kennedy syndrome?

Watched a couple minutes of Comrade Ralph Nader doing his Impeach Bush rally on C-span. Something has definitely gone wrong with Comrade Ralph, within the last few months at most. His face muscles are asymmetrical, his right eye is out of focus, and he's making odd speech mistakes. Stroke? Brain tumor?
  There they go again

Товарищ McCain is distancing himself from Pastor Hagee, stating that Hagee's interpretation of Scripture is untenable.

Okay, someone should ask Товарищ McCain: Since you're perfectly sure Hagee's view of prophecy and WW2 is wrong, what is the correct interpretation? You must have a different interpretation in mind, if you can state categorically that Hagee's version is wrong. If you can only say "I don't know", then you are absolutely unqualified to say that Hagee is wrong.

Same with Obama. If he's certain that Rev Wright's interpretation of our pre-9/11 sins is wrong, he should be required to state in detail the "correct" interpretation.

And if Товарищи McCain and Obama are going to criticize each other for favoring different interpretations ... or more weirdly and bizarrely, criticize each other for insufficiently condemning different interpretations ... aren't we in effect imposing a peculiarly convoluted religious test on officeholders?
  Important reading

Via Steve Sailer as usual, here is one of the best articles of the year. Written by a college "remedial English" instructor, describing the plight of his students and the idiocy of America's fixation on egalitarianism. His experience closely resembles my own experience with adult students at DeVry, but I wasn't able to write about it nearly as well.

Modern Americans have been totally Leninized on this point. We simply cannot bring ourselves to allow that people are different, that some people are better roofers than others, some are better writers than others. Everyone must get a college degree, preferably a Harvard degree.

We weren't always so stupid. Here is an equally thoughtful piece of writing on the same subject from 1936, in a slightly different medium.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
  Jury done

Free at last, free at last, lord god almighty, free at last.....

In theory I'm still 'on call' through next week, but I'm most likely done at this point. This year's experience was really empty. Last time (March 06) I made it into the courtroom for voir dire twice, but never got seated in an actual jury. This time I sat in the waiting room Monday and Tuesday mornings, never even reached a courtroom. Part of the difference was random; the previous time I was assigned to the first of twenty 'call groups', this time assigned to the last.

Not complaining.

Only one interesting thing happened. As we dutifully tramped through the metal detector in the morning, a retired-military-looking fellow tripped the beeper even after removing all keys and belts. While his private parts were being examined by the attendant with the wand, he said quietly but clearly, "Heil Hitler."

Says it all. He probably spent twenty years defending this country from enemies, only to be treated as an enemy.

Later addendum for completeness: I got called again in Dec 2015, and finally made it 'into the box'. It was a surprisingly positive experience. Third time's the charm. Or something.
  Overdue process

The pogrom has been stopped! Amazingly a Texas appeals court has said the San Angelo Kristallnacht was totally unjustified factually and legally.

The cable "news" idiots, predictably enough, are having trouble comprehending facts and common sense. After treating every aspect of the pogrom, including the blazingly false accusation that started it, as proven facts on the same level as the law of gravity, the cable anchors are now treating the rejection as "alleged".

Though I'm happy to see something close to justice at last, this is why Due Process is no longer good enough. The mothers and children have been put through months of hell, and the effects of this state abuse will last a long time.

I hope the cult sues for a meaningful amount. What's meaningful? Somewhere around the entire budget of the state of Texas for the expected lifetime of all victims. The government won't learn anything in any case, but such a judgment would wipe out the government. Only way to cure tyranny.
Monday, May 19, 2008
  Goodbye mosque, Hello Fallaci !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I wasn't going to post during this jury thing because my mind is running on three cylinders ... but this is just too good.

Via Gates of Vienna:

VERONA — Goodbye mosque. In its place, Oriana Fallaci Square.

This decision was taken by the city council of Oppeano (Verona), where yesterday morning a building used by Muslims for prayer was bulldozed. In its place, the Municipality will create a public square named after Oriana Fallaci, the writer of The Rage and the Pride.

Both England and America are sliding merrily into the vicious embrace of Allah, as our generals kiss the Goddamned Koran and BEG THE ENEMY FOR FORGIVENESS.

Surprisingly but unquestionably, Italy stands alone in turning the tide.

Italy is also pushing back against other parts of the Leninist privileged class. Its national government is cracking down on Gypsies, who are a major source of crime wherever they settle. All the usual Bolsheviks (EU, UN, etc) are screeching, but Italy holds firm.

Less importantly but more interestingly, Italy's new Minister for Equal Opportunity, Mara Carfagna, has refused to give governmental support to Gay Pride marches.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
  Polistra is dreaming.....

I'll be busy with jury duty this week, for at least three days. In the meantime I'll leave Polistra in pleasant sleep where no ants, no courts, no idiot politicians can intrude.

= = = = = = sleepytime music = = = = = =

Later on, I suspect she will be telling us about her dreams.......
  Правительство обладает всеми детьми.

The government owns all children.

Yet another egregious case of an evil and unyielding prosecution by the social workers, this time in Buffalo.

Kim and George Hermance suffered the tragedy every parent fears the most, the loss of a child. Emily Hermance [who had severe CP] died four years ago, 11 days before her 13th birthday. She was asphyxiated when she got stuck between the bed rail and mattress of her special therapeutic bed in the family’s Clarence Center home.


That Tuesday afternoon, two days after Emily’s death, the State Police asked her parents to go to the barracks to answer a few questions.

The Hermances also had questions: What happened to Emily? How had she died?

They were told that the medical examiner had an idea, but investigators weren’t willing to share that idea with them.

For the next 2 to 3 hours, the grieving parents sat in separate rooms, as investigators questioned them individually about Emily’s death.

Investigators accused her of putting a pillow over her daughter’s head and smothering her, she said.

Her husband had to take off his shirt, to show there were no defensive wounds on him.

“Did you smother your daughter?” he was asked.

“I was completely irate,” George Hermance said. “I’m sitting there trying to get through this incredible grief, and then these guys think I murdered my daughter.”

Unbeknownst to the Hermances, the medical examiner determined that Emily died from asphyxia, caused by compression of the neck. And the medical examiner checked the box for homicide.

That evening, back home, the Hermances found a black van in their driveway and a K-9 unit parked across the street. About 10 law enforcement officers went into their home, to dismantle the bed and remove any other evidence.

And they heard one law enforcement official say, “We believe someone in this house killed Emily.”


Months later, their attorney obtained copies of the autopsy that listed the death as a homicide.

“I’m thinking the police are going to arrest me — or George or my son — tomorrow, that our whole life that already had fallen apart and you’re trying to put it back together is going to fall apart again,” Kim said. “I just sobbed.”

Meanwhile, Child Protective Services workers pursued their investigation of the family that fall, even going to [son] George III’s school.

The parents were not immediately arrested and charged, simply left in a Kafkan limbo. They pursued their own investigation, finally bringing in the celebrity pathologist Michael Baden. They showed without a doubt that the special bed was at fault, and that several similar cases had already occurred. After suing the county, they received some money and a private apology, but (of course) no public statement of wrongdoing by the government.

Full story here.
  Little quake? [edit: No.]

Think we might have experienced a small quake a few minutes ago, at 4:50 AM Sunday here in the northwest part of Spokane.

I was awakened three minutes earlier by something, which might have been another quake. Didn't feel any movement, but the sound was unmistakable: a series of five deep thunder-like booms, off to the east of my house, about a half-second apart. (Boomboomboom - boomboom.) Same sound, same direction, varying patterns, was made by many of the small quakes in the 2000-01 set.

Can't think of anything else that would account for the noise, especially at 4:50 AM on a Sunday! Car crashes and transformer explosions don't have five parts, and there are no clouds to create plain old thunder.

Normally I'd have a recognizable bad mood about 18 hours before a quake, but with the ant attack on Wed and Thurs, then impending jury duty next week, I've been in maximum bad mood anyway. So the fairly brief pre-quake mood might not have been detectable if it occurred.

5:26 ... another three booms. This time I'm fully awake and ready for the sound, and I'm not so sure of its "seismicness". Could be construction blasting or something like that.

Another three at 5:35. Okay, this is definitely Anthropogenic Booming, not a quake. Too much regularity.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
  Those Fox "right-wingers"

Just now, in discussing the wonderful illness of Comrade Emperor Kennedy, one of the Fox anchors stated as fact that Comrade Emperor Kennedy "has done more for the health of all Americans than just about anybody else."

Yes indeed, if you think the current totally fucked-up American health care system is "doing more for the health of all Americans", then you can give Comrade Emperor Kennedy the credit. He has in fact done more than any other politician to fuck up a system that formerly worked quite well. He introduced the HMO, among other things.
  Orphan copyrights

Lots of shouting lately in the graphics world over a proposed change in copyright law. The change would make it easier to use books, pictures, films, etc that have been abandoned or 'orphaned' by their original owners.

By looking at who's on each side of this dispute, you can spot two completely different modes of thinking about copyright.

Copyrights were originally meant as a compromise between the interests of publishers and the interests of the public at large. By giving publishers a LIMITED exclusive right to a text or picture, the publisher was able to make money while the item was hot, and the public was then able to use the item after the publisher had squeezed out the best value.

This worked quite nicely for two hundred years, until a strange convergence of corporate greed and weird Stalinist politics created the current setup.

The corporate greed can be named in one word: Disney.

The weird Stalinist stuff is harder to pin down ... it's been bubbling under the surface for quite a while, especially in Europe. It starts from the quasi-priestly premise that Artistes are a distinct and special class of hupersons, who have the moral right of perpetual control for everything that comes out of their brain or other bodily orifices. Under this weird notion there's no such thing as purchasing the right to use an object; when you buy an artwork or a book you are only renting a temporary and limited ability to cast your proletarian eyes in the direction of the Holy Relic.

Disney liked this idea, because it helped them to gain total ownership of every name, image, resemblance to an image, resemblance to a name, yea unto the seventh layer of the seventh layer.

Result of this unholy collaboration was "implicit lifetime copyright", which means that anything committed to paper (or recorded in more modern forms) belongs to the Artiste forever, even after the Artiste dies. It's not necessary to register the ownership; everyone is supposed to know from the Artiste's signature that the Artiste has total power.

Quite simply, this is no way to define property.

With important physical property like cars and houses, we have systems to register ownership, and systems to rent, lease, or purchase the ownership. If someone has stolen your car, the police will know what to look for, and will know by referring to the system that it's genuinely yours. When you sell your house, the new owners can be sure their title is clear and absolute. You don't retain the moral right to walk in and remove their furniture if it violates your Artistic Purity Standards.

The new 'orphan copyright' law attempts to re-impose a similarly normal system on copyrights, making registration easier through private agencies. (The government still has a registry for copyrights, but it doesn't work for modern products like JPG images or computer programs. It seems to serve book publishers fairly well.) More importantly, the new law attempts to re-impose the old notion of limited time on the ownership of copyright.

Predictably, the Piss Christ Artistes, who dominate the graphics world, are screeching and cussing as only Stalinists can do. They want to keep their unique priestly privileges intact.

The other side (which I'm obviously on) is more inclined toward 'libertarian' views, more comfortable with the ways of Western Civilization and capitalism. Both sides have considerable representation within the broad Left. Larry Lessig, the main author of the new 'restoration', has been working for the Obama campaign, which may seem a bit surprising.
Friday, May 16, 2008
  The latest HowDareYou

Our political ratshit class is engaging in yet another HowDareYouFest after Sultan Bush compared Obama to Senator Borah of Idaho.

At the same time, Sultan Bush is in das Vaterland, negotiating with the government of

Let's try to get this straight.

Obama's rather silly idea of negotiating with a country that is making noise and rattling sabers is UNTHINKABLE UNTHINKABLE UNTHINKABLE.

But Mr. Cowboy Bush is a hard-liner, a non-appeaser, a hawk, a patriot, because he is not only negotiating but GIVING NUCLEAR WEAPONS to

Yes, this makes perfect sense, if you are on the same side as

= = = = =

Yes, I'm shouting. Still tired from fighting goddamn ants, but at least they have more intelligence than Republicans. I'll give them that much credit.

= = = = =

More calmly and seriously......
Borah and his fellow isolationists had good reasons for their strong reluctance to participate in a European war. Wilson's participation in WW1 was still fresh in memory at that time, and we knew that it had only greased the skids for Hitler.

Reprinting what Polistra wrote a year ago:

Modern isolationists may sound just like Schwellenbach [and Borah], but they come from several different angles.

Some of them simply and straightforwardly agree that war never works: they are either uninformed or deliberately lying.

But futility is still our nemesis. A bizarrely mismanaged war still generates a fully understandable sense of futility in Americans. We see a mismanaged war that accomplishes nothing, and all of our politicians and enemy-controlled journalists tell us this is what a "hard-fought war" looks like. Our politicians give us only two alternatives: continue to "fight hard", or surrender now.

And the sense of futility is so powerful that it overwhelms even those of us who know better.

We know now that three choices are available: Fight fiercely and competently, fight softly and weakly, or surrender. Roosevelt, Wilson, Chamberlain.

Bush and the 'R' brand politicians are doing Wilson, while trying to fool us into thinking that they are doing Roosevelt. The 'D' brand politicians still haven't sorted out their position; a few are honestly talking surrender for the wrong reasons, but most are just plain befuddled.

Schwellenbach's sense of futility was perfectly simple and perfectly logical in 1938, given what he knew. Our futility comes from a different source. We have data that he didn't have and couldn't foresee, but we also know that our leaders refuse to act on the data. The path to success is known and available, but our leaders refuse to follow it. So our fatalism is deeper and more frustrating.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fighting ants is tiresome.
  Товарищ McCain's speech

Despite my better instincts, I have to admit today's '2013' speech is good.

Polistra has been begging for specifics: What, How, When. Товарищ McCain did an excellent job of supplying Whats and Whens. One of his Whats (twenty new nuke plants) is a gravely important goal. Two hundred would be better, but twenty is a start.

He still hasn't filled in the Hows. Will he fire the top five layers of bureaucrats? Will he operate without the consent of Congress where necessary? Will he eliminate the 9th Circuit? Unless a President is willing to openly and brazenly jump over the corrupt institutions, he isn't going to accomplish any Whats at all.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008

This year's ant attack was longer and slower than usual. The first fucker appeared on Feb 15 as always, and I laid down the poison around the house as always.

In the typical year, I would see no ants at all from that point until the first really warm day, when the Big Swarm happens. This year was different: after Feb 15, I kept seeing one or two ants per day despite repeated applications of poison. Perhaps the hive's thermal patterns were screwed up by the record snowy winter and record cold spring. Nearly every day since Jan 1 has been about 6 degrees below normal. (Global warming, of course. Just like the Jews and the Illuminati and the Devil, GW causes everything. It causes cold weather, hot weather, rainy weather, dry weather, more hurricanes, less hurricanes, and perfectly typical weather.)

The Blitzkrieg started tonight around 8 PM, as I was reading this news story about truly horrible ants invading Texas.

Just like last year, I heard a crackling sound, then saw the winged fuckers moving out from the water heater. Spent a couple hours with the vacuum, trying to grab every one I could see. Finally the swarm petered out.

Next year I call Orkin on Feb 15. That's a solemn vow.

= = = = =

One interesting connection to the Texas "crazy ants": these ants also enjoy electrical equipment. During the long dismal months when I was seeing one or two ants per day, their favorite spot was the digital clock in the bedroom. This doesn't fit the typical light-and-heat seeking tendency, because it's black plastic and only slightly warm. Many items in the house are much warmer and brighter, but the digital clock was somehow attractive to the bastards.

= = = = =

Next morning: finding a few scattered ants on the floor, but they're all dead. No new live fuckers. Looks like the winged nasties had just enough life to get through the slot in the floor and walk a few feet. Maybe my poison was partly effective after all ... the total number of the swarm was vastly less than last year, down from several thousand to one hundred, and these hundred were weak.

= = = = =

Thursday afternoon: Spoke too soon. Yesterday's attack was just the Phony War. Today was the Blitzkrieg. Two hours long, several thousand. But it did reach a definite end, so maybe they are done at last. I'm tired.
  Coming soon, to a neighborhood near you......

Britain is considering a proposal for "tension monitoring committees" at the neighborhood level. These TMCs would report on "the behaviour and attitudes of local residents". The "tension monitoring form" will ask for details of individuals considered to be making political trouble.


The monitoring committees will ask for information on those identified as troublemakers, [including] age, gender, ethnicity and faith of those being reported on.

Concerns have deepened in recent weeks after the Daily Mail revealed that Poole council in Dorset had spied on a family's life for three weeks because it wrongly suspected the parents of abusing rules on school catchment areas.

There are also worries over the spread of new council quasi-police forces, like the bin police that recently gave a criminal record to a bus driver in Cumbria who left the lid of his family wheelie bin open by four inches.

Do the latter two "crimes" sound awfully familiar? Here in Spokane the city council is setting up neighborhood Green Monitoring Committees, to insure that Neanderthal holdouts are forced to give up all their evil incandescent light bulbs.

Pitchfork time, folks.
  Haq Attaq

Court TV (or Tru TV, or whatvr thy'r calld now) has been running the Haq trial for a couple of weeks now. This is an excellent example of why we're losing this war, and why we will continue to lose. We are STILL treating enemy soldiers as conventional criminals, subject to all the "rights" of Due Process. Most of this trial is devoted to the question of Haq's "sanity" in legal terms, because there's no doubt that he did the shooting.

One of the shrinks was saying that Haq believed himself to be an enemy soldier on a mission, which (according to the defense) was a sign of insanity.

All right, let's look at the facts.

What we have here is an enemy soldier on a mission.

His mission is to kill Jews.

And the enemy soldier believes he is on a mission. This is not surprising, because he is on a mission. Why shouldn't he believe it?

This is what you'd expect from a competent soldier. He knows which side he's on, and he's proud to fight for his side.

The problem is that we don't know which side we're on. Instead of killing the enemy soldier on the spot, as soldiers have always done, we put him through the process intended for ordinary lawbreakers, and we spend weeks ASKING WHETHER HIS ENEMY STATUS SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS MITIGATION OF HIS PUNISHMENT.

We are utterly, totally, incurably insane.

We have already lost this war.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
  Rush hits the mark

Excellent rant on Товарищ McCain and global warming. One perfect statement:

"It is frustrating that all the candidates for President - candidates who have access to all kinds of information that we can't get - are LESS INFORMED than I am, LESS INFORMED than you listeners are."

Says it all.

Except it's really worse. They're not LESS informed, they are NEGATIVELY informed. They are all in the grip of a total lie.

Will Rush do something about this directly? Will he try to engage Товарищ McCain in direct debate? Or try to get Товарищ McCain to debate someone like Fred Singer? Rush may not have unique info, but he does have unique access. A brand-R candidate will at least answer Rush's phone calls.

= = = = =

Next day: Interesting. Today Rush says that yesterday's show - which I thought was among his very best - was awful, and that he's ashamed of it. He rarely departs from his "I am always perfect" ego shtick, so he must have been seriously bothered by that show. Today, which he thinks is better, is actually one of his worst performances. He's Chatty Cathy on the standard talking points (zero zip nada taxes is the cure for all ills) and his sentences are getting tangled up.

It's a common problem. I had the same problem when teaching ... on the days when I thought my lecture was perfect, the students were lost, and on the days when I felt useless and blank, the students learned plenty. Similarly with graphics products: when I do a perfect job, pour my soul into it, nobody buys it. When I slap something together quickly, it sells well.

This is why editors and 'selectors' have a necessary job. The talents of production are separate from the talents of predicting audience response.
Monday, May 12, 2008

Been uptight lately ... got called for jury duty again. Starts next Monday. At least I know the setup now. If I just act natural, be my usual disengaged cold unfriendly terse arrogant self, I'll probably escape long service. Lawyers on both sides want nice sociable pliant jurors, susceptible to peer pressure.

Still highly irritating. Citizens have to pay taxes to support non-citizens; citizens have to serve on juries; citizens have to endure injustice and false accusations while non-citizens, especially the MOHAMMEDAN ENEMY SOLDIERS WHO ARE AT WAR WITH US!!!!!!, are courted and cossetted and protected even from genuine accusations. What do citizens get in return? We get to make marks on ballots, and we are supposed to go along with the totally debunked myth that these marks are "votes".

This is no way to run a country. Pitchfork time is not far off.

= = = = =

Also, I just got word that the next revision of my courseware product is ready to begin, so I'll be busier than usual for the next six months. This adds to the tension at the moment, but it's a highly positive development in the long run. It means I can count on steady income for a few more years ... won't have to be quite so careful to preserve savings until the date when Social Security kicks in. More breathing room for house repair, new furniture, etc.
  They don't make em ...

The Ross Sisters look and sound a lot like the Andrews Sisters for the first minute or so. But then......

If you're not transfixed in slack-jawed amazement by the three-minute point, you're probably dead.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
  The material taboo

Haven't discussed this lately ... Stuttaford at NRO mentioned the switch of the 'organic food' fetish, or the cargo-cult style of concrete religious thinking, from Right to Left. This happened fairly quickly, I'd guess around 1970. The 'organic' fetish includes a perfectly standard and predictable set of taboos:

Hates fluoride in water
Hates pasteurized milk
Hates vaccines
Hates tobacco and alcohol
Tends toward vegetarian, not always total
Favors 'organic' or 'health' foods
Loves exercise, especially mass calisthenics

These were an intrinsic part of Hitler's program, and they came from an earlier German hippie-like movement (die Wandervogel).

From 1945 to 1970, you could predict with about 75% certainty that an American who held these preferences would be a Bircher.

Consider the right-wing general in Dr Strangelove, constantly afraid that Commies were "preverting his vital bodily fluids." Only slightly parodied: the Birch types really did talk that way.

After 1970, you could predict with about 75% certainty that a body-purity fanatic was a Commie.

The taboo switch corresponds exactly with the official switch of American Leftism from the universalist Marx to various forms of Fascist-derived identity politics in 1968. The taboos came into the Left from hippiedom, not from the Birchers. Just as they had come to Hitler from the Wandervogel, not from prissy monarchists.

I don't think the two changes were ever considered as a package. Ideological leaders of the New Left, like Frances Fox Piven or Allard Loewenstein, never thought about milk and vaccines. The Body Purity Syndrome just naturally fell into place, which indicates that it's an automatic companion of identity-style thinking.
  We believe, you submit

Fox has the totally undeserved reputation as the 'right-wing' network. In fact it's mainly a tabloid network. Perhaps it gives more time to Republican party talking pointheads than CNN, but it also gives more time to Democrat party talking pointheads than CNN.

Fox's weekend hosts appear to have more freedom to express their outright Leninist views than the weekday folks. Example: this morning's survey question is

When it comes to Going Green, which candidate do you trust most?

Note that we are not permitted to "decide" whether Going Green is a good idea or a suicidal idea, because it is in fact a suicidal idea. We are only permitted to "decide" which candidate will assist our suicide most efficiently. And as Polistra has already pointed out, Товарищ McCain is the greenest by Gaia's own standards.
Saturday, May 10, 2008

The 'suicide' of DC madam Palfrey is the topic of plenty of speculation and conspiracy-mongering. Not the sort of thing I usually bother about, but looking at the 'suicide note' caught my attention forcefully. Those two samples are unquestionably written by two different people. Absolutely no way the same hand, driven by the same brain patterns, could make those two curves naturally or incidentally.

Good lord, if I were trying to forge a note, I'd at least try to get the basic muscle-shapes right.

Also, the word monies in the note strikes me as suspicious, though not as definite as the writing. Monies is a word used naturally by bureaucrats and Nigerian scammers, not by ordinary people. I suppose Palfrey could have acquired the habit of using the word ... she did deal in an intimate way with lots of bureaucrats ... but it's still "out of tune" for a well-educated businesswoman. It would not seem "out of tune" to a bureaucrat who was trying to forge a note.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
  Negative deterrence

A few days ago, in the context of a discussion about capital punishment at NRO, Andy McCarthy gave an excellent account of the ways criminals can pursue their careers while still in jail. I'd seen this happen during my long-ago sojourn within the walls, but didn't realize how easy it is nowadays!

Spokane's main post office was evacuated today when white powder spilled out of a letter, along with a note saying "Take a deep breath!" Luckily the white powder was nothing more than crushed Rolaids, but it still scared people and wasted police time and resources.

Turns out the sender is currently incarcerated in Florida for committing exactly the same crime. So jail is performing negative deterrence, giving this fellow the time and facilities to continue his vocation.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
  "Cheat at home, cheat everywhere"

I'm dead tired of this idiotic notion. It pops up in every discussion of Clinton vs Bush. Everybody "knows" that a man who cheats and lies in his private life will cheat and lie in public. First, it's a weak correlation. Second, cheating and lying are NOT automatically bad qualities in a leader. It depends on how they're used. Lies and deception are dangerous when they destroy public confidence, but they are critically necessary to win a war. An executive who isn't comfortable with lying will lose a war.

Look first at Bill himself. A champion cheater and pathological liar in private life. But did he cheat the public? No. He ran in 1992 on three basic promises: improve the economy, end welfare entitlements, and make war against Milosevic. He accomplished all three promises. The Yugoslavia thing turned out to be a bad idea, but that's an entirely different question.

Now look at a clean apples-apples comparison between two men: Nixon and Eisenhower. Both served in the White House at the same time, so the cultural milieu is constant. Both had the same political position, at least by our poor labeling system. So we've controlled for other variables. How about their private vs public lives? Ike cheated on Mamie, but ruled with a steady and consistent hand. Dick never considered cheating on Pat, but ruled with a historical maximum of sneakiness and deceit, mostly unnecessary and stupid.

You won't find a more perfect opposition, a more perfect negative correlation.

Via NRO, this depressing but unsurprising article on the House Republicans. Newt is trying to tell them what's wrong, and they are completely incapable of listening. Instead, they dismiss Newt as a "has-been", and happily seek photo opportunities with Sultan Bush, the most unpopular president in history.

In nearly all situations I'm inclined to lay responsibility on the human rather than the tool or system. Blaming the tool or the system is a destructive leftist mindset. This may be the only major exception to the rule.

Here's why: Nearly all House members have worked their way up from State offices, and State governments are largely sane, generally satisfy their people. So these are demonstrably competent politicians with long experience in normal politics, whether you call it pandering or democracy. Then upon taking office in DC, they instantly start behaving insanely, doing everything possible to make the voters retch in disgust. I simply won't believe that all these competent normal politicians undergo an immediate Jekyll-Hyde transformation or some kind of lobotomy. Must be something truly filthy and bizarre about the system in DC, something that forcefully prohibits normal political behavior.

The McCainstream Media insist on using the "official" name of Myanmar, and then they tack on "formerly known as Burma" every single time they say it. If you're going to say Burma after all, just say Burma and skip the other crap. Conserve syllables for The Planet.

No other country gets the privilege of choosing its own name in English. We don't say Deutschland for Germany or Shqiperia for Albania or Zhongguo for China or Nihon for Japan. By allowing this particular dictator to dictate OUR name for his country, we gave him a legitimacy he didn't deserve.
Monday, May 05, 2008

Via David Warren at the Ottawa Sun. (I'm somewhat ashamed that I didn't catch this more directly!)

A new form of electrical component has been developed in semi-practical form. It's a 1971 idea, or more precisely God's idea finally re-manufactured. HP made the development; they're calling it a Memristor.

In simplest terms, it's a neuron.

What are the needed properties for a neuron? Its response - the amount of output it gives in response to each input - depends continually on the changes it has experienced. I'm emphasizing changes because everything in a nervous system responds to change, not to present state. Adaptation is the key. Your skin gets used to present temperature and notices a chill draft; your eyes get used to one shade of color and notice when it changes; your ears get used to the exhaust fan and wake you when it stops. Your visual memory gets used to the position of your furniture and signals you sharply when something is missing. Workers get used to a certain ratio of income to expenditure, and become bitter when it decreases. It's all about rate of change.

The Memristor has exactly the right behavior. Its resistance - the amount of output it gives for each input - depends continually on the changes, the 'history', of currents that have flowed through it.

We've been able to rig up complicated circuits or software to imitate neurons, or nets of neurons, for quite a while, but the new Memristor has the needed set of properties in a continuous way, at any point on a film or surface. This should make it possible to build a soft network with an essentially infinite number of paths. The film itself is surprisingly simple, nothing more than an extremely thin layer of titanium dioxide, the stuff that makes powdered donuts white.

A binary computer has to work very hard to imitate continuous variation: it has to run through a sequence of numbers, or use arithmetic to locate the correct number.

An innately continuous (analog) device can run through a smooth increase easily, but it has no convenient way to remember the direction and shape of the sequence. Again there are fancy ways to get there, but they tend to reach the same complexity as a binary computer, say 1000 internal components to hold one simple up or down curve.

One 'unit' of Memristance won't serve as a true memory; it will need to be combined and connected in various grid-like ways, and it appears that the HP researchers are just beginning to travel that road. In order to reproduce brainlike functions, the 'wires' will need to have a huge set of potential connections, and the outputs and inputs will need a way to gather or perceive which areas of the grid are most active at each moment.

THIS IS BIG. Maybe not quite as big as Fire or Wheels, but pretty close.


Watching Laura Bush's news conf on Burma. This is astonishing. She is in Tony Blair's league. Knows the big picture and all the details, communicates in clear and persuasive English, answers each question without any wasted time, weird nicknames or sports palaver.

When you have a Tony Blair and an Aphasic Imbecile available in the same office, why wait seven years to let the Tony Blair take over the podium from the unfortunate mentally defective stroke victim?

It is a mystery.

= = = = =

Or maybe it's the solution to a mystery. I've always been irritated by the smug insiders constantly referring to a "Schrödinger's Bush", an articulate English-speaking sharp intelligent Bush who only appears in private situations when nobody is recording. Whenever a recorder is present, the Bush we see is the usual imbecile. I always thought the smug insiders were simply lying to protect the imbecile, but now I can see a more elegant answer. Not quantum theory, not a lie. When they talk about the two Bushes, they're not talking about two different manifestations of George, they're talking about Mr and Mrs Bush.
  Define man, redux

Reprinting an entry from Aug 07.

= = = start reprint = = = = = = = =

Does your moral palate require cleansing?

Need a reminder of the definition of "man"?

Try this, from the WPA Guide to Oklahoma, 1941.

RED OAK (590 alt., 484 pop.), is a small farming center which was named for a large red oak tree that stood in the center of the town when this region was the Choctaw Nation. The Indians held district court there and used the oak as a whipping post.

The most serious political disturbance in the history of the Choctaw Nation had its finale at Red Oak when Silan Lewis was executed for his part in the Nationalist uprising, following the election of 1892. The fullblood Lewis, who had been sheriff of his own district, upheld the traditional Choctaw honor when he came striding in from his woodland home on the appointed day, November 5, 1894, and quietly sat with back against the tree to await his death from the firing squad.

That's a man.

= = = end reprint = = = = = = = = =

Yesterday while looking for something else, I came across this picture of the event. It's a huge old newspaper photo, taken just after the execution. The authorities are placing the body of Silan Lewis on a blanket before hauling it away for burial. You can see the Progressive Choctaw executioner smugly cradling his rifle; a friend of Lewis staring accusingly at the executioner; and a crowd of bovine white men watching the proceedings.

= = = = =

Now, also by coincidence, this story from London via shows that serious Nationalists are starting to push back against the Progressives in Britain. Best of luck to Mr Barnbrook. The Brits don't use capital punishment any more, but when Progressives are seriously threatened by Nationalists, they have a remarkable ability to find exceptions to their own rules.
Sunday, May 04, 2008
  Can't stay mad at Hillary.

Listening to the Jeff-Jack Day speech:

Okay, so she's just as bad as the rest on the subject of questioning enemy prisoners. Only two of the brand-R candidates were pro-American on that subject, and both of them dropped out early.

On most other matters, say 80% of important stuff, Hillary agrees with Polistra.

Most importantly, Hillary is the only remaining candidate who understands that the President is an executive who can actually do things.

Comrades McCain and Obama are good at emitting meaningless phrases, but never use a transitive verb, never promise action. Obama's sentences always begin with "we can" or "we should", which evoke a positive emotion but make no genuine promise. (I can't resist: What you mean WE, half-white man?)

McCain's sentences contain lots of negatives but no firm positives. This speech, for example, has several "We must not" and "We should not" constructions but only one "I will", namely "I will establish a goal..."

Even though nobody in the media has enough substance to ask basic and concrete questions, Hillary answers them exactly and consistently for every problem:
What will you do? How will you do it? When will you do it?

And that's why I can't stay mad. For three years I've been waiting to hear those three little words from a politician. What! How! When!
Saturday, May 03, 2008
  Insanity piled on insanity piled on insanity piled on insanity

From the latest New Science-ist.

In a recent paper in the journal Carbon Balance and Management, Ning Zeng [at University of Maryland] calculated that if we buried half of the wood that grows each year, in such a way that it didn't decay, enough CO2 would be removed from the atmosphere to offset all our fossil-fuel emissions. It wouldn't be easy, but Zeng believes it could be done. .... Zeng's proposal is to thin forests regularly and to bury excess wood, forestry waste and even trees that have been grown specifically to be buried, in trenches between the remaining trees. To prevent the wood from decomposing, which would release carbon, it would need to be buried deep enough to avoid being broken down by soil fauna and fungi, or STORED ABOVE GROUND IN WATERTIGHT SHELTERS.

... Burying wood sounds like a lot of trouble for a small gain, but Zeng insists that unlike simple growing, this is a long-lasting and perhaps permanent carbon sink. He estimates that offsetting all the world's current emissions would be achievable with a WORKFORCE OF ONE MILLION PEOPLE, substantially fewer than those already employed in the forestry industry in the US alone. Even so, to offset all our emissions, most of the world's forests would have to run a wood burial scheme.

I can't even allow myself to comment on this; if I let myself start thinking about this, I'd end up ripping the city to shreds with a shovel.

The article goes on to introduce a surprisingly sane and ordinary idea, but without even realizing it's sane and ordinary.

...Another approach to carbon burial has a much longer history. More than 500 years ago Amazonian people were creating almost pure carbon by smoldering their domestic waste and letting it work its way into the soil. This 'black earth' remains to this day. Such char can be created when organic matter is heated in the absence of air to around 350 degrees C, the kinds of temperatures reached in the Amazonian waste piles. The lack of air means the organic matter does not combust but most constituents other than carbon are driven off as gases or liquids.

Hmm. I understand that you enviro-commies are incapable of respecting an old idea unless it originates from your fellow human-sacrificing savages, but this particular idea was also common in non-savage areas of the earth. It was called the City Dump. It worked quite well until you enviro-commies required us to stop burning, and then required us to enclose it in plastic shields to prevent the carbon from working its way into the soil. I remember taking junk to the Manhattan city dump (which was not far from the Mill) and watching the yards-deep smoldering process. It was impressive.

Hmm again. Could the current rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 have started around the same time that City Dumps were required to stop burning and stop leaching?


Yikes! The online version of the article is quite different from the paper version that I read. It turns out that Zeng was STARTING from the exact premise that I came up with in the second Hmm. He was wondering whether the rise in American CO2 started when we stopped burning landfills!

But if that's the case, why go through all that weird crap about a million workers growing forests for the sole purpose of cutting them down and storing them forever in above-ground watertight shelters? Why not just suggest burning the City Dumps again, perhaps with better precautions to insure airless smoldering? It's still crazy.

Friday, May 02, 2008
  Chacun à son goût?

Comrade McCain, in a phone interview with Glenn Beck, firmly opposed drilling in ANWR, saying "I'd just as soon drill in the Grand Canyon."

Polistra is puzzled. She is trying to study the esthetics of the elites, so she can comprehend why a man with a hundred million dollars and free beer would desire to keep the rest of us poor and dependent on hostile foreigners.

As an educational project, she is examining these two towers to parse out the esthetic imperative that drives Comrade McCain.

The elites apparently consider one of these towers to be the ugliest thing on Earth, a blot on the landscape, an eyesore to be avoided by all civilized humans. The other tower is considered one of the most beautiful things on Earth.

Ah! She's figured it out! The one that keeps civilization going, the one that provides the fuel to construct beautiful things, the one that allows beautiful things to be transported from one place to another, that one must be the beautiful tower!

Eh? Non? C'est l'autre?

  That Kantor clip

Lots of brouhaha at NRO and other places over this clip from the documentary War Room. Supposedly Mickey Kantor says at one point "Those people are shit." ... referring to the people of Indiana. After watching it, I don't see how you could possibly reach that conclusion. What he says is unquestionably "Those people are shitting." The last syllable is soft but clear, and his lips form the last syllable. It's not clear who "those people" are from the context, but presumably he means the opposing campaign. It wouldn't make any sense to say "Those people are shitting" about the people of Indiana.

Here is an amplified but otherwise unaltered 5-second segment from the audio. You can hear the "ing" is whispered but present.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
  Bye, Hillary.

Maybe she had said it before and I didn't hear it, but in tonight's interview with Asshole O'Reilly, Hillary just now stated firmly and repeatedly that when given the choice between (1) annoying an enemy prisoner or (2) watching millions of Americans die, she would rather (2) watch millions of Americans die.

Traitor Hillary has now joined Traitor McCain and Traitor Obama in swearing an Oath of Disloyalty.

If this unfortunate land retained even a single drop of sanity, all three of these traitors would be firmly and permanently disqualified from holding any office.
  Cooling currents

The major commentators have done an excellent job on this, so no need to rehash the details.

Polistra has been tracking the gradual backing-away from Total Gaia in the world of science. First the 11-year cycle of sunspots is taken into account (which it should have been from the start, because it's been known forever) ... then the fact that heat evaporates CO2 from the oceans was taken into account (ditto) ... and now the effects of ocean current oscillations are taken into account. These drivers are sufficient to account for all real change, but the establishment continues to treat them as minor exceptions or counter-trends against the "real" (i.e. nonexistent) greenhouse effect.

The recent backing away, seen by itself without the accompanying context of religious and political certainty, would be part of normal science. Good science.

A parallel but non-political example: For many years speech scientists believed that the larynx produced voice vibrations by direct muscular action. In other words, when you sing a middle C, the muscles in your vocal folds are contracting and relaxing 256 times per second. When you sing a high note, the muscles might be contracting and relaxing 3000 times per second. This theory never made sense, because no other muscle in a mammal can vibrate much beyond 10 times per second. So the fastest muscle couldn't approach even the lowest voice pitch. As better thinkers came along, and better instrumentation could read the relevant nerve impulses and view the rapid flapping of the folds, a better theory gradually took hold: the muscles only set the shape of the folds, and the vibration results from air-pressure valving, just like the reed of a clarinet. This theory continues to agree with newer measurements, and continues to yield good therapy methods, so it stays in the books.

That's how science normally moves. One theory is proposed; many people test it with gradually better methods and instruments; if the theory holds up, it becomes more solid. If it doesn't hold up, new theories are proposed and tested.

If we could skip the religious and political crap, we'd see the same thing happening now with climate. The Greenhouse theory never made a lick of goddamn sense, so it would quickly end up as a dim heirloom in the minds of a few elderly scientists while better methods and measurements developed better theories, or better mixes of theory and speculation.

Unfortunately and lethally, WE ARE NOT PERMITTED TO SKIP THE RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL CRAP. Anyone who tries to do that will be ostracized or fired, and the advocates of the nonsensical theories own all the levers of power and money.

Polistra is infuriated by the backhanded arrogance of the establishment: they gin up a 20-year-long campaign of vicious and deliberate fraud, then after the fraud has succeeded in turning all political, cultural and religious authorities into craven little slavies, working at 1000% intensity for a galaxy-scale scam, the science-ists casually walk away, whistling a merry tune, resuming normal operations while civilization commits suicide on their behalf. At least they could thank us.
  Just when you thought...

Sultan Bush just now announced a big "aid package" to foreign countries to "help" them deal with rising food prices.

Let's think about this. Part of the rise is local, caused by temporary and typical conditions like a bad rice harvest in Australia. According to economists, widespread global trade should moderate such local effects, because rice will be easily available from other sources to replace the single-country deficiency. Instead, widespread global trade, plus a number of other factors, is leading to huge price spikes EVERYWHERE and IN OTHER COMMODITIES as a result of local effects.

Something is deeply wrong here. The basic theory of trade is probably good, because it has worked before. But the other factors are creating monstrous distortions, leading to actual deaths.

In other words, somebody or something is manipulating the worldwide economy, and poor people are dying as a result. (Who's the somebody? I'd be inclined to look first at China, only because China is the main practitioner of Mercantilism, war by economic means.)

Will an "aid package" help? No. It will only make things worse, because it will pump extra money into the buying side, which is guaranteed to raise prices even more. And since Sultan Bush finances everything by borrowing from China and devaluing the dollar, this added debt will devalue the dollar a little bit more, making every price a little bit higher.

The real puzzle here: why are no professional economists complaining about this? Why aren't they (at the very least) asking what's wrong? Are they all strongly stupid, or are they all blackmailed into silence?

= = = = =

Update Jan 2012: Well, now we know what happened. These rising food prices were purely generated by Goldman's speculation. Bush was insuring that those poor countries were able to pay the prices necessary to keep the speculation running. In other words, he was subsidizing Goldman, just as he did in a MUCH larger way in Sept 2008.


  Especially scary

Here in Spokane, a city employee has been run through the media torture mill for the past year, because of charges that he had been selling or passing on kiddy porn. He was finally cleared a few days ago, in the usual reluctant way that leaves the image of wrongdoing intact, and is considering suing for defamation. Hope he does, hope he wins.

This case is especially scary because it didn't start with the usual crazy and absurd false accuser: there was no Rozita Swinton, no Crystal Mangum. Instead, this man's credit card was stolen and used for illegal purposes by someone who never had any connection with him. The case never involved anything other than the credit card. The man had reported the card's theft before the card was misused, which means the authorities knew from the start that he couldn't have been responsible for its use during that period. Still, his name was trashed publicly, his employment was suspended for a year, and he will never get his life back in order.

The witch-hunt continues and expands. The chain of comings now includes victims of identity theft in the list of witches to be burned.

= = = = =

Later: This story may in fact be more of a positive sign than a negative one; more an indication of a turnaround than a continuation of the witch-hunt. The city and the media are taking great pains to give this guy a "restorative" welcome. Their motives are undoubtedly mercenary in part (trying to forestall a lawsuit) but it's still a dramatic set of apologies and gestures.
  How about a Bullshit Holiday?

Following up on yesterday's entry about the consequences of low-quality information.

= = = = =

Comrade McCain has been proposing a "gas tax holiday", and Hillary has unfortunately picked up on this trivial idea.

It's a dim reflection of FDR's original "bank holiday", which was his first real act as President. The bank holiday, followed immediately by new regulations, succeeded in stopping a slow but steady run on banks. Nationally, very few banks experienced a panicky stampede as seen in A Wonderful Life... but most people had lost faith in the ability of banks to keep track of abstract money, and preferred to have it in a physical form like gold.

What we have now is a complete loss of faith in government competence and truth. People are seeking information that feels more "golden", and much of this "gold" is actually pyrite.

So Polistra begs Comrade McCain: You're the man with the reputation for Straight Talk, the reputation for Mavericity and Independence. Start your term with a Bullshit Holiday to slow down the run on dangerous information. Instead of closing the banks, open the archives. Let us see all the documents relating to our government's lies and coverups, starting with the most obvious ones like Oswald's KGB connections and Terry Nichols's jihadi connections. We know you haven't been telling the truth about these things; we don't know what the exact truth is, but we know with 100% certainty that the official story is nowhere near the truth. Just as FDR coupled the Bank Holiday with new regulations, you can couple the Bullshit Holiday with a new resolution to tell us the truth about basic things like inflation and interest rates, and about our motives in continuing to waste soldiers in Iraq. You don't need to give away any strategic details; just tell us what you're doing and why. Treat us as adults. That will be enough. Please, sir?

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