Saturday, April 30, 2011
  4loko ban worked.

Last November I noted:
For example, this year Spokane has suffered a dramatic sequence of berserk driving. Every two weeks or so, a young dickhead zooms off a curve and smashes into a house or power pole at 100 MPH. Previously this happened twice a year, not twice a month. Several of these crashes were known to involve 4loko.

After a whole party of college kids got close to death, Wash gov Gregoire decided to ban the product. A similar event happened in North Carolina.

I hadn't thought about the subject until today. (Writing about a subject tends to clear it from memory.)

During a small thunderstorm this afternoon, a lightning flash made the power blink for a moment. This got me thinking: What happened to all those outages last year? Despite lots of wind, snow, Donnergraupel, and other nasty stuff, there hasn't been a real outage in 2011, because no dickheads have flown into poles in 2011!

I'd say the 4loko ban has worked admirably. Saved lots of expense for homeowners and utilities, probably saved a few dickhead lives. Good for Gregoire!

A few minutes later: Turns out the power blink here echoed a major outage in the downtown area, which was sort of storm-related but not lightning. A wind gust blew a trampoline from a yard onto the main transformers at Avista, shorting out a large part of town.
  Perfect record for Amber Alerts

Since the start of the Amber Alert system about 10 years ago, precisely 100% of the Amber Alerts in this area have been for custody disputes or violations of State Ownership Of Children. One biological parent repossesses a child from the other parent, or both biological parents repossess a child from the State, Which Owns All Children.

Straight out of Brave New World. Biological parenthood is an Unspeakable Crime.

Until this week, the one situation that really needed a public alert was Joseph Duncan's horrific wipeout of the Groene family. An alert could have saved those kids, because Duncan hauled them around several states for several weeks, constantly appearing in public places. No alert was issued.

Now we have a fresh example of the Amber Alert system carefully avoiding an alert for a horrible abuse-murder-suicide, when a timely public warning might have prevented the final act.

No custody dispute, so no alert needed.

We haven't yet reached the British level of Huxleyan tyranny, but I'm sure we'll get there in a few months.
  Mitt figures something out

Listening and reading a few bits of last night's NH Repooflican speechifying.

Old Misteromney comes through with something new and important.

The other candidates are just reciting the pure Goldman Sachs mantra, with as much meaning as a rosary. ZERO TAX FOR BILLIONAIRES ZERO TAX FOR BILLIONAIRES ZERO TAX FOR BILLIONAIRES.

Mitt talks about something much more human, something the ruling class has totally forgotten: Learning from experience. He describes his experience with the Mass health care plan, notes the good and bad points, blames himself for errors. He's closing the feedback loop, which is the only way you get a functional system.

Highly refreshing by comparison. The other "acceptable" candidates are operating in pure Team mode. All mistakes are caused by The Other Team and all good things flow from My Team; even when the two Teams are doing precisely the same things, which of course they are. This broken loop guarantees tyranny. My Team is free to commit unlimited evil because the resultant suffering will be blamed on the mere existence of The Other Team.

However: Misteromney still lacks decisiveness, still has the instincts of a cautious bureaucrat. "I'll have to consult my lawyers on that."

Not good enough. Trump is telling us in precise detail what he will do, and Misteromney needs to match that if he wants to get anywhere.

More importantly, Trump's proposals will help the American people, while all the other candidates are still exclusively focused on serving China and Arabia. Goddamn slaves.
Friday, April 29, 2011
  Is this April 1?

The one-size-fits-all strictness of the SI measurement system is annoying. It gets especially annoying when scientists write everything in the LaTeX system of typography using SI units. When this format gets shoehorned into plain old HTML web text, the results range from ambiguous to incomprehensible.

Example: cost of electric power, typically given in cents / kilowatt-hour.

How would this show up in SI? You can't have a cent because that's a hundredth, and only powers of 10 that are multiples of 3 are allowed. Have to use milliDollars instead. The kilowatt and the hour are both in the denominator, so each must be written with an exponent of negative 1 to keep the expression on one line, as SI idiotically requires.

Thus "5 cents / kilowatt-hour" must be "50 mDkW-1H-1" in LaTex reformatted to HTML.

But wait! The hour isn't SI-legal at all. Have to use seconds. So we divide the 50 by 3600, to get the nice legal form:

0.013888888 mDkW-1s-1

Completely unreadable! And as an extra bonus, it's much less exact than the primitive old-fashioned 5 cents / kilowatt-hour. Just the way we like it in SI!

Now this article in New Superstitionist shows a new example of SI-lliness.
We have dog years, financial years and calendar years, but a quest to get geologists and chemists to agree on a scientific year has led to a surprisingly bitter dispute.The official bodies representing the two groups have now settled on the annus as their definition of the year, allowing both groups' data on the half-lives of radioactive elements to be pooled.

Some are still enraged by the decision, however, and a universal scientific definition remains elusive, as the annus differs from the year favoured by astronomers. This changes slightly every year because of the Earth's slowing orbital rate, so the team chose as their reference point the year 2000, when the tropical year lasted 31,556,925.445 seconds. They are using the Latin name for year, annus, which will be denoted by the symbol a, and expressed in terms of kilo-annus (ka), mega-annus (Ma) and so forth.

So far so good. But when a draft proposing the idea came out in early 2009, some members of the Geological Society of America cried foul.

They didn't object to the idea of a precisely defined year, or to the chosen length. Their gripe was with the fact that geologists already use the symbol a (as well as ka and Ma) to denote time in years ago, or "absolute age". Historically, the abbreviations y, ky, and My (or yr, kyr and Myr) have denoted the time interval between two events.

Well, at least that corresponds to the real world. Most people who find the annus interesting would rather use KY than kilo-annus.

Oh, the author of the article is Celeste Biever. Now I'm convinced it's April 1.


  China in a nutshell

BBC's coverage of the royal wedding includes reports from various countries where the wedding is being watched.

From Beijing: "People have time to watch because it's the May Day holiday here, shopping and all that."

Self-explanatory sentence!

Remember what May Day was supposed to be about in Commie countries?

Celeblate Glolious Dirigent Worker!

Glolious Same Size Boot Factoly #2047 Joining Palade!

Now it's shopping and watching royal weddings.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
  Why not concrete?

Tornado outbreaks always make me wonder: why aren't more houses built of reinforced concrete? A concrete "igloo" is just about indestructible. Nothing can destroy it: wind, fire, rain, hail, heavy snow, quakes, tornados, termites. Nothing. And it's cheaper to heat and cool.

If I were president, I'd make this a branch of the new WPA. Rebuild the steel industry for rebar and beams, expand the concrete industry, re-employ construction guys, save energy in the long run, save lots of lives. (The main part of the new WPA should be the same as the old WPA: hydroelectric dams, levees, drainage.)

Concrete houses were briefly popular in the '20s, with Edison and others developing mass-production methods. For some reason they faded out. Why? Apparently Edison's particular design was awful in many ways, but that shouldn't have doomed the whole project.
  Mafiocracy in action

News item:
The Education Department’s inspector general is investigating Wall Street short sellers’ role in strict new regulations of the for-profit college sector, sources confirm to The Daily Caller.

The investigation could reveal the extent to which the investors, who are hoping to profit when the for-profit firms’ stock goes down, influenced the process or received advance knowledge about regulatory actions by the department.

The for-profit schools, also called career colleges, are on the block for strict new rules following complaints they often trick unprepared students into enrolling with false promises of high wages from the jobs they’ll get after graduation.

Sens. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, and Richard Burr, North Carolina Republican, sent a letter requesting the investigation to Education Department Inspector General Kathleen Tighe Nov. 17.

Having taught at two for-profit vocational schools, I have mixed feelings on this.

On one side, the schools do stretch facts when recruiting students, and don't try to deselect or discourage students who are highly likely to fail**. It's not exactly fraud but it does waste the money of the 'wrong' students and waste the time of the 'right' students. Not nearly as much distraction as you get in public schools, but still more than the 'right' students deserve.

On the other side, these practices have been running for 50 years without any federal trouble. The sudden "need" for new regulations is unquestionably caused by the Jewish Mafia's "need" to steal infinite amounts of undeserved and unearned MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY.

I wonder: Has there ever been a Federal regulation that was NOT motivated by the Jewish Mafia's "need" for a criminal profit opportunity?

= = = = =

** Example: In my Electronic Tech classes, I had one student with a bad tremor and another with one arm. Tech work requires two steady hands. No way around it. This was in the 80's, before the ADA transformed disabled folks from workers to litigators, so there wasn't any legalistic excuse to take their money. After a few weeks these guys did realize it wasn't a good idea, but they didn't get a refund.
  Mensa nazis

Sailer's review of Bryan Caplan's new book on parenting made it sound interesting and commonsensical, so I looked at Caplan's own blog. Yikes! No common sense there. It's pure undiluted Ayn Rand. Not the careful Bowdlerized meritocratic version of Rand that you get from brand-R parrots like Rush. This is raw.

I really didn't know this line of thinking existed. The consensus there is clear and explicit: Only Mensa members deserve to live. Only people who can "think like economists" deserve to live. Lower-IQ people are simply "negative externalities" and ideally should be killed.

In other words, Caplan is leading the Daleks.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
  Okay, fine.

Obama has finally shown his qualifications for the job. Okay, fine.

My concern from the start was not his qualifications as such. I already knew he was completely unqualified because he was picked by one of the Goldman Sachs "parties".

No ordinary employer would hire such questionable and disloyal people for any important job, but McCain and Obama were just right for the two "competing" brands of Goldman Sachs. No need to check the documents, we picked them for their loyalty to GS and that's enough.

This told me that the elites don't even care whether the people see the "election" process as legitimate. When you have 100% absolute power, it doesn't matter what the people see.

The interesting part of today's revelation is what it tells us about the decreasing security of Goldman Sachs. Clearly both GS brands feel suddenly threatened by Trump's mobilizing power, and both have been trying their damndest to crazify Trump. It hasn't worked, so they had to acknowledge his mobilizing power.

= = = = =

Later: Well, no, not both. Only GS Blue Label has acknowledged Trump's power. The Red Label parrots (eg NRO, Doyle, Rush) are continuing to crazify Trump, thus alienating more than half of their potential voters. They don't need no steenkin Americans; they only want blacks, Mexicans, billionaires and Jews.

Would that be a good way to run a business? Aim all your advertising at people who will never buy your product, and slam the door in the faces of the people who might buy your product? Well, I hope they get their wish. Zero votes.
  SETI quits

News item:
Lacking the money to pay its operating expenses, the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., has pulled the plug on the renowned Allen Telescope Array, a field of radio dishes that scan the skies for signals from extraterrestrial civilizations.

In a letter to donors, SETI Institute CEO Tom Pierson said that last week the array was put into hibernation, safe but nonfunctioning, because of inadequate government support.

...Private funding came from donors such as Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, allowing SETI to raise $50 million to build the 42 dishes.

Plans called for construction of 350 individual radio antennas, all working in concert. But what’s lacking now is funding to support the day-to-day costs of running the dishes.

This is the responsibility of the University of California, Berkeley’s Radio Astronomy Laboratory, but one of the university’s major funders, the National Science Foundation, supplied only one-tenth its previous support. Meanwhile, the state of California has also cut funding.

SETI senior astronomer Seth Shostak compared the project’s suspension to “the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria being put into dry dock. … This is about exploration, and we want to keep the thing operational. It’s no good to have it sit idle.”

The Columbus analogy doesn’t work. Columbus and Magellan were not exploring purely for their own mental masturbation. They were looking for a route to reach natural resources more efficiently. Thus their exploration was worth a bet by government.

Paul Allen is exploring in a completely useless way, purely to satisfy his rich boy ego. We already know by the odds that life elsewhere is nearly certain. Even if we did catch a definite signal, we'd be receiving a broadcast that was made thousands of years ago. (Speed of light and all that.) We'd have no hope of knowing if the civilization still exists.

Allen has a remarkable ability to recruit government funding for his ego-projects like football stadiums. Luckily the recruitment ended on this one!
Monday, April 25, 2011
  Pi pie

Ever wonder what happened to the mystical Pythagorean religion? It ended up in the culinary traditions of Ossetia!

Geometry, numerology, God and yummy food, all in one!

Video yumsky!

= = = = =

Much later: Another conjunction of pi and pie.
  Nice to have it verified

From the London Telegraph:
The files, obtained by the WikiLeaks website and passed to The Daily Telegraph, disclose that a phone number of someone at the BBC was found in the phone books and phones of a number of extremists seized by US forces.

“The number is associated with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).” Analysis by The Daily Telegraph suggests the number is one for Bush House, home of the BBC World Service.

The assessment continues that US forces uncovered many “extremist links” to this number, suggesting that extremists could have made contact with BBC employees who were sympathetic to extremists or had information on “ACM [anti-Coalition Militia] operations”.

Not surprising. BBC has been serving Islam since 1988. As a steady SW listener, I'd enjoyed the relatively unbiased BBC for many years and noticed the sudden shift in '88 with dismay.

= = = = =

Overall, the latest batch of Wikileaks brings out with stark brilliant clarity how the English-speaking countries have been serving the enemy with gem-like perfection. A well-coordinated military, diplomatic, and economic campaign to commit national suicide. We are truly exceptional.

Toldja so.

Toldja so.

Toldja so.

  Self-explanatory whaaaaa

In a feature on Katie Couric leaving CBS:

"I think what might appeal to me [in a syndicated talk show] is just the creative freedom to pick subjects. To really dig deep. To have a smart, intelligent conversation," she said. "You know me, Matt. I'm like [makes funny face] whaaaaa."

Smart intelligent conversation. I'm like whaaaaa.

Yes. That says it all, doesn't it?

= = = = =

Old Murrow was a Commie, but he was totally unlike whaaaaa.

Murrow was like "I have been walking tonight - there is a full moon, and the dirty-gray buildings appear white. The stars, the empty windows, are hidden. It's a beautiful and lonesome city where men and women and children are trying to snatch a few hours sleep underground."

I almost miss him.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
  Fall back to sanity

Polistra's Seventh Law: When the elites say X is unthinkable, it's time to think X.

Today the elites all agree that breaking the debt ceiling is unthinkable.

Time to turn back the clock.

We can go back to a real economy, but the psychopathic genocidal alien mutants who infest DC and NYC will not take us there voluntarily. It must happen by force, and economic force would be less messy than physical force. (However, I'm only speaking carefully here. We all know which type of force will be needed.)

Let's examine the unthinkable consequences of returning to sanity.
The United States has never defaulted on its debt and Democrats and Republicans say they don't want it to happen now. But with partisan acrimony running at fever pitch, and Democrats and Republicans so far apart on how to tame the deficit, the unthinkable is suddenly being pondered.

A default would come if the government actually failed to fulfill a financial obligation, including repaying a loan or interest on that loan.

Among the first directly affected would likely be money-market funds holding government securities, banks that buy bonds directly from the Federal Reserve and resell them to consumers, including pension and mutual funds; and the foreign investor community, which holds nearly half of all Treasury securities.

First of all, one premise is wrong. Presently, most of the debt is being "bought" by Bugsy Bernanke of the Jewish Mafia, who is Weimaring the dollar in order to monetize the debt. If no bonds could be issued, Bugsy would have to stop Weimaring. That's good.

Second: If consumers and funds can't buy US bonds, they can buy other bonds. Or pension funds may choose to buy more companies, which they're doing already in some places. Or individuals can simply hold the money as cash. If you're buying a bond to get negative real interest, you're not getting anything that you wouldn't get with plain cash anyway.

If the U.S. starts missing interest or principal payments, borrowers would demand higher and higher rates on new bonds, as they did with Greece, Portugal and other heavily indebted nations. Who wants to keep loaning money to a deadbeat nation that can't pay its bills?

That's good. Zero interest is a tool used by the Jewish Mafia to insure that no economic activity occurs outside Jewish Mafia circles. If banks and corporations realize they will need to start paying and charging real positive interest, the financial sector will return to real free-market economics with the interest rate serving as the variable price that regulates supply and demand. Polistra has discussed this ad infinitum.

At some point, the government would have to slash spending in other areas to make room for any further sales of Treasury bills and bonds. That could squeeze payments to federal contractors, and eventually even affect Social Security and other government benefit payments, as well as federal workers' paychecks.

That's good. Slashing spending is what both "parties" pretend they want, but obviously don't want. It is unquestionably needed. When the unionized federal workers are unpaid, a useful form of hell will finally break loose, and the "parties" will have to do something.... but they still won't. And it won't matter. Reality will finally intervene. The states, which have not been living on credit, will still function, and some people will realize that Federal agencies are either redundant with state agencies or purely lethal.

A default would likely trigger another financial panic like the one in 2008...

That's good. The current supposed "recovery" is false, based entirely on government spending and misleading statistics. It needs to be cancelled.

U.S. stock markets would likely tank - devastating roughly half of U.S. households that own stocks, either individually or through 401(k) type retirement programs.

That's EXCELLENT. We should have closed down Wall Street, confiscated its ill-gotten loot, and jailed its criminal participants in 2008. Instead we handed even more privileges and trillions to Wall Street. Closing Wall Street will free up the real economy, force real companies to finance their activities by getting loans or seeking investment directly.

Eventually, the cost of most credit would rise - from business and consumer loans to home mortgages, auto financing and credit cards.

That's good. Variable interest is the 'invisible hand' of a properly functioning credit system. Discourages borrowing and encourages thrift.

Continued stalemate could also further depress the value of the dollar and challenge the greenback's status as the world's prime "reserve currency."

That's good. The "reserve" status of the dollar does no good for American consumers. We are subject to wild price swings that have no connection to supply and demand, all because oil is priced in dollars.

= = = = =

Well, all of these consequences are good. So where's the problem? Ah! The ruling class will be revealed as a pile of monstrous lunatic alien hyper-super-criminals! That's the problem! That's the unthinkable consequence.

Time to think it. Think it good and hard. Eat it.


Saturday, April 23, 2011
  Reset you, don't reset me

Newt has absolutely lost it. He still sounds smart, but he's no longer capable of checking his own logic.

Gingrich said that he would like for the entire health system to be reconsidered. He emphasized that scientific breakthroughs and technological advances held promise to bring down costs. “If you think about post-Obamacare solutions, what’s clear from the Ryan budget, which I think is a historic and courageous effort to at least get to the right scale of thinking, is that you cannot solve the cost of healthcare for an aging population within the current paradigm,” Gingrich said.

“I want to be quite clear: this is a deliberate, fundamental argument against the entire current delivery system – whether it’s the right-wing version of the current delivery system or the left-wing,” the former Speaker continued.

Gingrich singled out Alzheimer’s disease throughout his speech as an example of where medical breakthroughs could dramatically reduce future federal spending. If the onset of the disease could be postponed for five years, which Gingrich asserted was possible within a short period of time, then older Americans would either be less likely to develop it, or would not have it for very long, bringing down health costs.

Establishing a new brain science agency was one of Gingrich’s recommendations. Funds could be raised through the issuance of “Alzheimer’s bonds.”

Brand new thinking = Create an agency.
Brand new thinking = Create an agency.
Brand new thinking = Create an agency.

Does the dissonance strike you? It obviously doesn't strike Newt. I'm afraid he's already bought an Alzheimer's bond.

Dammit, dammit, dammit! We need LESS federal funding for science, not MORE. Federal funding is THE PROBLEM, repeat THE FUCKING PROBLEM, with science in this country. Federal grants guarantee adherence to bizarre anti-science religious orthodoxies like "Global Warming" or "the Big Bang" or "Biodiversity".

The way to 'reset' thinking in science is to work independently, or to work within academia for convenience while relying mainly on outside contributions. Art Robinson is a prime example of pure independence, and the Canadian Cancer Cure is a perfect example of the mixed approach. [Later: here's another great example of the mixed.]

If Newt really wanted to speed up Alzheimers research, he'd find ways to open up more independently funded small-scale research, find ways to get around peer review and FDA clinical trials.

The age of infinite bigness, the age of creating a new agency to work around the existing agencies, has collapsed. It's all gone, and good goddamn riddance.

= = = = =

Please, Newt, follow the Sol Saks principle. You're a genuine intellectual. You've made a vast contribution to American politics with your 1996 welfare reform, which was the only good thing done by Congress in my lifetime. Now you're quickly turning into a bad joke. Time to be satisfied. Sit back and enjoy life, before the joke gets even worse.
  Vive la France part 6

France has taken a first step toward breaking up the evil EU.
France wants to make it easier to suspend the Schengen agreement, which allows visa-free travel among 25 European countries. Under current European rules, a country can close its borders for a maximum of 30 days if it considers there is a threat to public order or security. France has accused Italy of abusing the Schengen agreement by issuing temporary residency permits to Tunisians, many of whom are likely to head to France.

Marine Le Pen, who is winning in polls at the moment, promises to break out of EU entirely. That would collapse the monster. Without France, EU would just be the Fourth Reich.
Friday, April 22, 2011
  Doesn't anyone notice these things?

News item:
Pope Benedict ventured where no pope has gone before on Friday when he answered questions on an Italian television programme – and was stumped by the first. A Japanese girl asked the pope, who, she said, "speaks with God", why she was having to suffer so much as a result of the earthquake and tsunami that had struck her country.

"I am very frightened because the house where I felt safe really shook a lot and many children my age have died. I cannot go to play in the park. I want to know: why do I have to be so afraid? Why do children have to be so sad?" said seven-year-old Elena.

A Japanese girl named Elena ???

It's impossible. Japs don't have a written representation of the letter L, and they emphatically don't give their kids foreign names. Japs have a strong sense of Us vs Them, and they know who Us is. That's why they succeed and we fail.
  Random olfactory observation

It's been a week since I got rid of the Pine Weapons on my property. Still enjoying the novelty of spacious skies and fearless days, which will undoubtedly wear off with time.

One odd thing: it seems that I'm able to pick up good smells in the air that weren't there before. This could be a post hoc coincidence ... I'm way too good at causalizing correlations ... but it's been going for 8 days now, through several kinds of weather. Nice smoky smells from nearby wood-burners are far more prevalent now.

Did the trees rechannel the wind around my house? Or was the constant presence of pine effluvia desensitizing my nasal nerves to related aromas? Probably never know.
  Casting lots for his cloak

History usually rhymes. Sometimes it repeats with a perfect da capo al fine.

In the Islamic Republic of al-Michigan, a jury is deciding RIGHT NOW whether Pastor Jones can be allowed to preach the Christian message.

From Reuters:
Dearborn, which includes one of the largest Muslim American communities in the United States, has denied Jones and a handful of his supporters a permit to protest outside the Islamic Center of America.

Detroit area clergy and community activists have rallied against the planned protest by Jones in recent days, calling him a divisive figure who practices hate speech.

Jones, who represented himself in court on Thursday, said he would attempt to protest outside the mosque with a handful of supporters even if he is barred.

From an earlier news article:
Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover. And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people. ...

Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves? When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness. Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest's house.

Da capo al fine.

I suspect the last note will be rather less dramatic this time, because we're ending with a whimper.

= = = = =

Update: Pontius II said Pastor Jones is guilty, and cannot be allowed to preach. This doesn't mean the death of Jones, of course, but it does rip the last tiny thread from the ragged remnants of the old Constitution. This decision explicitly rolls the stone onto the ancient Western tradition of religious freedom. Bye bye Magna Carta.

America now has the same official religious setup as China, with licensed and unlicensed religions.

Like China, we won't constantly persecute the unlicensed Christians unless they get uppity. When unlicensed religions get uppity (e.g. speaking in public) we'll bring in the Delta Force and the tanks, burn them out and snipe their women and babies.

Licensed religions will get better treatment. When they get uppity (e.g. flying planes into buildings) we'll give them Cabinet-level offices and appoint them as government advisers, and we'll send our military to fight on their side in randomly chosen foreign countries.

Hmm. We're already doing all of that. I guess today's decision just firms up the legalistic basis of a policy that's been in effect for 22 years.
  South Hill Welfare Queens

News item:
This Earth Day South Hill residents have the opportunity to drastically lower their carbon footprint by participating in SustainableWorks, a Spokane based non-profit that is offering reduced cost energy audits and home retrofits. SustainableWorks is partnering with Washington State University Extension, Avista Utilities, the City of Spokane Office of Sustainability, the Spokane Alliance and others to bring this energy saving opportunity to the South Hill. The purpose of this stimulus-funded program is to help homeowners and renters (with landlord approval) make home improvements that reduce their energy use and energy bills.

South Hill in Spokane is the old rich area. It's centered on St John's Episcopal. Similar in flavor to the Plaza area in KC, or Classen Blvd in OKC, or Oakwood in Dayton.

Perfect example of Gramsci in action. Get the government rolling on an impossibly mythical false theory, then use the gov't to enrich the rich.

= = = = =

Polistra and Happystar mark Earth Day.

Thursday, April 21, 2011
  Not the best imagery

Polistra has been pushing the Hyperion modular reactor system (the Silver Bullet) for a couple years.

In his latest Access to Energy newsletter, Art Robinson discusses Nuscale Power, a competitor to Hyperion. Art knows the Nuscale people, and that's enough to make me look at their website.

Unfortunately the Nuscale folks make a bad impression from the start. They've chosen to use a Chinese Poison Pod as their main icon. The CFL is sitting on a surface, not plugged into a socket, and it's glowing!

As symbol, this has 4 separate problems:

(1) Worst of all, Poison Pods are dangerous. They explode without warning, they leave ineradicable mercury when they break, and they emit various carcinogens whenever they're on. If you're trying to say that your plant is safer than others, you shouldn't use an innately dangerous icon.

(2) Glowing without a socket raises thoughts of Evil Radiation illuminating the bulb directly. Oh no! We're all lit up!

(3) The main selling point for nuclear is quantity of current. Nuke plants give lots of juice for very little material input, and do it steadily. The Poison Pod implies scarcity of power by its very existence. (Not that it really saves any current, but that's the advertising.)

(4) The people who like Poison Pods don't like nukes and vice versa. My instant semi-conscious thought was: "Hey! Which side are you on? Are you a Gaian mole?" And Gaians would probably think: "Hey! Who you trying to fool, you Bushitler Nazi Bigoiler?"

= = = = =

Aside from symbolism, the NuScale plant appears less intrinsically safe than the Hyperion, because the core is not deep underground. There may be mitigating factors, but that's an obvious difference in the design.
  The courtesy of simplicity

Two items run together to make a point.

= = = = =

(1) Sol Saks died at 100. I'd never heard the name, but I've greatly enjoyed the radio series he wrote: Ozzie & Harriet, Duffy's Tavern, Beulah. He also wrote the pilot for the TV series Bewitched, then had the good sense to be satisfied. Enough is enough.

"That was it: He just sat back and took in the royalties," said Paul Wayne, longtime friend and a writer who freelanced on "Bewitched" for two seasons.

"He was pretty honest about the fact it wasn't a particularly original idea," said Wayne. "He came in with both of those thoughts and wrote the pilot and sat back and just became a millionaire on 'Bewitched.' It was absolutely marvelous. He was very open about just being hit by a lucky stick, so to speak."

That's rare in show biz, rare in modern life. Most actors and writers are fame addicts, compelled to keep running long after their talent is gone. In doing so, they monopolize a certain quantity of the available buzz and money, making it harder for new talent to get into the game.

= = = = =

(2) Derb writes about simplicity in the context of shopping: All those coupons and rebates and Club Cards may save some money, but they waste time in a completely unproductive and unpleasant location. Paying cash is fast and anonymous.

I'd add another consideration: I use currency partly to save my own time, but mainly because I absolutely hate waiting behind some confused customer who can't remember her club card, or who tries to use 20 invalid coupons and needs a separate explanation and negotiation on each invalid coupon, or who thinks the cauliflower should be $1.46 instead of $1.47.


I don't want to cause irritation for others unless they deserve it!
  Diversity is suicide, part 357829758437589

I keep track of the Youtube channel ItvGoldNow which features some good '60s and '70s British movies and TV shows. (Mainly I like the '60s babes.)

Their latest offering is a British series from 1977, 'Mind Your Language'. The show is set in an English-language school for foreigners, and pretty much repeats the plot and dialog of the Hyman Kaplan books and the US radio series 'Life with Luigi'. Not especially original or well-made.

What caught my attention was the history given by ItvGoldNow:
Part 2 of the opening episode of the LWT sit-com, "Mind Your Language, "The First Lesson". The programme was cancelled in 1979 by Michael Grade, then-LWT's Deputy Controller of Entertainment, who considered the stereotyping offensive (some public debate had established that many people found it racist). Nevertheless, the series was sold to other countries, including Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, and Singapore. It was also one of the first British TV programmes shown in South Africa after the end of the boycott by Equity.

In other words, the people who were supposed to be "offended" by the "stereotypes" liked the show. Only the British Gramscian suicidal elite were actually offended.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
  Reanimating the Carbon Zombie

The carbon credit bubble has been shrinking, but it hasn't quite popped.

Silly me, I assumed it was fading because most people had finally sussed out the absolute criminality and genocidal lethality of the schemers.


A carbon credit insurance product developed by Parhelion Underwriting was underwritten by Kiln for a major international bank last week.

Carbon credits developed under the Kyoto Protocol, which are also known as Certified Emission Reductions, are financial assets that can be generated by companies when they remove harmful carbon dioxide emissions or greenhouse gases from the environment through adopting ‘greener' practices.

... Banks can purchase ‘options' to buy carbon credits at a fixed, pre-determined price for ‘green' projects (such as renewable energy or emission reduction activities) that have been approved by the Clean Development Mechanism Executive Board, under the Kyoto Protocol.

These credits can then be traded at a later date, when the current market price is higher than the option price, generating a profit for the bank.

However, as demonstrated by the recent change in regulation by the EU regarding the eligibility of CERs from HFC23 and adipic acid projects, there is a significant risk that credits may become ineligible as a result of decisions made by the EU, which can have a substantial impact on their value.

In other words, the bubble was fading only because of "governmental uncertainty".

Makes sense. The "science" was always an exiguous variable, basically a public relations campaign to induce governments to create the permitting mechanism. Now that the permitting mechanism is in place, the Mafia circle is complete. Mafia trillionaires can cheaply bribe and blackmail governments to increase, decrease or revise the permits, whatever is needed for their current shorts and longs.

Now occasional disobedience by governmental entities won't slow down the convoluted process, because this Kiln outfit insures against blackmail failure.

Now the bubble can merrily re-inflate, with the Mafiosi gluttonously betting on both sides (and both sides of each side, and both sides of each side of each side, ad infinitum) of the famine, starvation, disorder and tyranny that are speedily overtaking the "real" world as a result of the governmental decisions.

There's only one cure for this. Please, Sheikh Osama, do it again and do it right this time.


  It's not just the mercury!

A closer look at those Chinese poison pods shows that they are harmful every time they're turned on, not just when they break.

[German scientists advise] that the bulbs should not be left on for extended periods, particularly near someone’s head, as they emit poisonous materials when switched on.

Peter Braun, who carried out the tests at the Berlin's Alab Laboratory, said: "For such carcinogenic substances it is important they are kept as far away as possible from the human environment."

Several carcinogenic chemicals and toxins are released when the environmentally-friendly compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are switched on, including phenol, naphthalene and styrene.

Andreas Kirchner, of the Federation of German Engineers, said: "Electrical smog develops around these lamps."

The poison pods are already required in Britain, so the cancer is already well under way there. In this unfortunate land the deadline for eliminating all safe bulbs is still a year away, so I'm stocking up on safe incandescents as fast as possible. I see no hope that our Gaian Occupation Government will retract or repeal anything, since national suicide is the unanimous goal of everyone in DC.
  Steyn doesn't get it

Steyn almost always sees the world correctly, but he seems to have an elitist blind spot in the direction of Trump.

Won't bother to repeat here, since my comment there (as wpa38) already said what I wanted.

Obviously it remains to be seen whether Trump will carry through on his rhetoric; he has a poor record of principled steadiness, to put it mildly! But you can't validly argue with his rhetoric as such.

Unless and until a more steady character starts speaking the truth, I'm with Trump. The other candidates on both sides are firmly mired in the giant shitpile of agreed-on lies.

= = = = =

Anecdotal: I went downtown this morning for variety, trying to break out of the rut of taking morning walks to the grocery store. While hanging around the bus depot watching people, I noticed a cheerful old guy chatting with the driver of the #21 bus. They weren't talking about sports, they were talking about Trump. Both agreed that "Trump might be crazy, but he's a hell of a lot less crazy than the other candidates." Pretty much my thinking as well.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
  Charlie and the Porchers

A fine jug band indeed. Charlie Manson agrees closely with the Front Porch Republic gang. Both of them believe correctly that Wall Street is evil, and both believe correctly that Obama is just another slave of Wall Street.

Charlie and the Porchers also believe that Global Warming is the worst danger ever faced by humanity.

In other words, Charlie and the Porchers are classic Useful Idiot Hippies.

They spread a myth whose sole purpose is to Enrich The Man, while piously chanting that they're Fighting The Man.

In the case of Charlie it's just funny; in the case of the FPR folks it's tragic. They're smart enough to know better.
  Steyn gets it

Well, "Steyn gets it" is redundant, like "Dog has four legs", but this particular get is a huge one.

Same thing Polistra has been saying here for instance.
  The power of myth

The mythical effects of CO2 on global temperature have been conclusively disproved, so we don't even need to pretend they're worth discussing. But the effect of increased CO2 in the ocean is real and may be a problem we need to deal with.

Article in latest New Superstitionist discusses a potential problem with coral, but as always discards science and adopts myth.

Oceans become acidic when they absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. Once dissolved, the gas reacts with carbonate to form bicarbonate, stripping seawater of the compound that many organisms (coral, shrimp, crabs) need to build their shells or skeletons.

Bronte Tilbrook of CSIRO ... measured the concentration of aragonite (calcium carbonate) ... at over 200 locations on an Australian reef. Models suggest that if seawater becomes too low in aragonite, organisms with aragonite shells will dissolve. Studies in the Red Sea have found that some species of coral start to dissolve at an aragonite concentration of 2.8.

Almost every bit of water in this Australian sample was below 3.5. Depite suboptimal conditions, Tilbrook found little evidence that coral had reached a critical point. "They are still growing."

Okay up to here. We have models based on other corals that seem to indicate a threshold, and we have an observation in this reef that indicates the aragonite is below the threshold. We also have an observation that the corals in this reef are doing fine.

A scientist can only say one thing at this point: My models are wrong. I need to revise the models. Perhaps I need to look again at the other corals to see if their problem was solely the low aragonite, or something else, or a combination.

But what do these people say?
This could either mean that corals are more resilient than we thought, or it could mean that the corals are on a knife-edge of survival.

No, it couldn't. You simply can't draw the latter conclusion. If the corals are doing fine, they are doing fine. They aren't trying to fool you. They aren't wearing Clearasil For Coral to disguise their lesions. They're not that smart. The "knife-edge" only exists in your model. It does not exist in the coral.

Monday, April 18, 2011
  Why I listen to NPR. Part 9, I think.

This month the brand-R talkers are repeating over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over the canard that "Half of Americans pay no taxes" "Half of Americans pay no taxes" "Half of Americans pay no taxes" "Half of Americans pay no taxes" "Half of Americans pay no taxes" "Half of Americans pay no taxes" "Half of Americans pay no taxes" "Half of Americans pay no taxes" "Half of Americans pay no taxes" "Half of Americans pay no taxes" "Half of Americans pay no taxes" "Half of Americans pay no taxes" "Half of Americans pay no taxes" "Half of Americans pay no taxes" "Half of Americans pay no taxes" "Half of Americans pay no taxes" "Half of Americans pay no taxes" "Half of Americans pay no taxes" "Half of Americans pay no taxes" "Half of Americans pay no taxes" "Half of Americans pay no taxes" "Half of Americans pay no taxes" "Half of Americans pay no taxes" "Half of Americans pay no taxes" "Half of Americans pay no taxes" "Half of Americans pay no taxes" "Half of Americans pay no taxes" "Half of Americans pay no taxes".

In the middle of that shitstorm, NPR comes through with a clear and concise refutation.

It's not simple in either direction, but the broad truth is backwards from the brand-R canard. On a percentage basis, which is the only meaningful way to describe anything in economics, the richest Americans pay the least and the upper-middle bears the heaviest burden.

Meanwhile, the middle is steadily losing ground in real income and the richest are gaining exponentially.

= = = = =

Personal note: Even if the "lower half pays no tax" legend is true, it never did me any damn good. For the last ten years my average income has been around $12k, which is unquestionably in the lower half. Probably the lowest decile. Every year I've paid the 15% SS/Medicare tax, and every year I've also paid some income tax. In the lowest years the standard deductions made the net tax quite small, but it's never been zero.
  Old parable

Somebody asked Rebbe Bernanke to recite the Torah while standing on one foot.

Rebbe Bernanke stood on one foot and said:
"Starve your neighbor and steal his money.
The rest is details."
  A rare bit of actual debate

99% of what we call "debate" on TV and radio is pointless cheering and jeering, with each "team" repeating its official talking points and its official insults.

Every now and then we get a real direct confrontation on a serious question.

Laura Ingraham pulled off a serious debate with Haley Barbour last week. Ingraham asked Barbour about China, and Barbour ran the standard establishment line:

China is our dear dear friend. We need to try much harder to sell stuff there. Just imagine, a billion potential customers!

Ingraham wouldn't have any of it, came back hard with the facts. China is fighting a trade war and we haven't started to respond.

Barbour hemmed and hawed, said something like "Well, if God forbid China should ever stop being our dear lover and sweetheart, perhaps we may need to consider options to advise them of our dainty and delicate disapproval."

While he was running this servile crap, Ingraham repeated over and over: "How about a 25% tariff? How about a 25% tariff?"

Barbour simply didn't respond, appeared to lack all understanding of economics and national interest.

Point made, Laura! Well done.

This is why Trump is gaining so much ground. He does understand real economics, knows (at least verbally!) the difference between friends and enemies.

I'm puzzled that the other candidates haven't even tried to compete. Typically when an outsider shows where the public stands, one or two insiders will try to grab the message. In this case the insiders are either totally beyond all contact with reality, or totally enslaved by Wall Street. One way or another, they are totally incapable of speaking the truth.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
  Absolute silliness.

Feature on BBC, more detail in New Superstitionist.

Headline: New theory about linguistic evolution places origin in southern Africa.

Location isn't the problem. Might be Africa, might not.

The problem (as usual in modern "science") is a really dumb theory.

Africa turned out to have the greatest phonemic diversity – it is the only place in the world where languages incorporate clicks of the tongue into their vocabularies, for instance – while South America and Oceania have the smallest. Remarkably, this echoes genetic analyses showing that African populations have higher genetic diversity than European, Asian and American populations.

This is generally attributed to the "serial founder" effect: it's thought that humans first lived in a large and genetically diverse population in Africa, from which smaller groups broke off and migrated to what is now Europe. Because each break-off group carried only a subset of the genetic diversity of its parent group, this migration was, in effect, written in the migrants' genes.

Makes sense in genetics, doesn't make sense in linguistics. New phonemes and new grammatical forms arise quite often.

Vowel phonemes are most obvious. The alleged "mother of all languages" has plenty of consonants including those famous clicks, but only has aeiou for vowels. Many modern languages (including most Indo-European and most Ural-Altaic) have full sets of umlauted vowels which are phonemically distinct from the unrounded. Slavic tongues have a full set of palatalized vowels, also not present in the "mother". And you don't need to compare all the way back to Africa; some of the umlauts developed in historical times.

In grammar, old forms are constantly fading and new forms are developing. The original Indo-European verb, preserved nearly intact in Hindi, has an 'orthogonal' 5-dimensional grid of person, number, tense, voice and mood, done entirely with suffixes. Most of the descendants have dropped most of these suffixes, replacing them with a variety of separate words that allow more complex tenses. (As I was typing this, the BBC announcer said "is going to have to adapt", which is a damn good example! I suppose you'd call this a Future Continuous Necessitative form, and there's no way to form it in pure Latin.)

= = = = =

So the whole theory of steadily decreasing diversity may work for critters but it doesn't work for languages. Humans have a powerful drive to say new things, and a drive to develop more refined ways to say old things. Independent origin of language in several places seems equally likely, until better evidence emerges one way or the other.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
  Maharishi Maverick

BBC ran a feature this morning on Baba Ramdev, an Indian guru who is entering politics. It's clearly hard to compare Ramdev to Western politicians, because the implications of yoga are different here, with lots of connections to hippies. He bears no resemblance at all to our own political Maharishi.

If you start by assuming that yoga is a mainstream religion in India, he's a little easier to classify. He sounds like Oral Roberts + Jack LaLanne + Ross Perot.

Ramdev runs a big business in health foods, which he promotes in sync with his guru-ness. His political views are populist and traditionalist, a long way from hippiedom. For instance, he uses yogic practices to cure homosexuality. I guaran-goddamn-tee you no American guru would try that! Wouldn't be no peace & love in that ashram, more like tar & feathers.

Overall Ramdev sounds like an Agrarian, close in spirit to Tomas Masaryk and Maury Maverick.

Worth watching.
  Relief from wind-fear!

Or is that aeoliphobia?

= = = = =

4/6: This afternoon I had a tree-cutter (Tall Tree of Eastern Wash) give an estimate on chopping down all four of my trees. Two are low fruit trees that have gradually died; one of them collapsed under heavy snow this winter. Two are tall pines that are straight and healthy, but I'm simply tired of worrying about them every time the wind blows. (The tree-cutter said he's "hearing that a lot this year.") The odds of a crash in one storm are fairly low, but the trees partly overhang the house so even a big branch falling from the top could do serious damage; and a full topple would destroy the house and probably kill me.

Tall Tree quoted $1800 for the work, which was already much lower than I had guessed from various online sources. He then took off 10% for a Senior Discount, which I didn't ask for but certainly won't argue with!

Should have done this a long time ago, but this was the first time both important factors rose to hit a threshold:

[Available Money] + [Need to reduce danger] = [Do it now!]

Most years have featured only a few serious windstorms, thus only a few days of worry. The last 12 months have featured meaningful wind almost daily and serious wind once a month, with no sign of relief. Feels like the odds are closing in.

I don't need to be worrying about a real danger that can be completely avoided.

And I've never needed the constant mess of cones and needles and rotting fruit, and never appreciated the alleged beauty of Nature that allegedly compensates for the danger and mess of Nature. Reagan had it right. See one, see them all.

= = = = =

4/13: They got the first part of the job done this aft. Two messy sprawling apricot trees, down to flat ground in 90 minutes. They work fast!

= = = = =

4/14: Done. Purely wonderful. I didn't realize what I was missing. More than just safety, I was missing a usable back yard. With four trees jammed into a 50 x 30 foot rectangle, it was a dark, clotted and unmaintainable space. Now it's sunny and -- well, obviously not big, but spacious. I can see several nearby houses that were never visible before!

As an unexpected bonus the tree-cutter cleaned off my roof because he had dropped a few branches on it; but most of the pine-junk he removed had been there for several years, so he really didn't need to take it off.

"It's like a dream come true." Trite but appropriate. Many of my dreams have featured a more spacious and sunny version of this little place. Now the exterior part of that dream is here.

= = = = =

Evaluation for Tall Tree of Eastern Washington: Ten stars!

= = = = =

Artistic footnote: In honor of this occasion I gave Polistra the chance to close her eyes for the first time.
Friday, April 15, 2011
  Justice delayed...

"Justice delayed is justice denied" is a useless proverb because our court system rarely generates justice and always generates delay. Nevertheless, despite the best efforts of our court system to eliminate justice, occasionally justice prevails by accident.

Crystal Mangum, who ruined the lives of those Duke lacrosse boys and got away with it, continued her long criminal career thereafter. Now she's finally done something that the court system noticed, because her victim this time was black.

As long as the criminal is black and the victim is white, all is peachy keen for FBI and the courts. Situation normal, no action needed. But when the victim is black, all hell breaks loose.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Normally the brand-R commentators show a certain variety of subject if not opinion. The Fox boys and Rush chant the official daily RNC line, which is almost always ZERO TAXES FOR MILLIONAIRES.

Others like Larson, Doyle and Savage often hit different points relating to immigration or environment or the Wall Street Mafia, disagreeing solidly with RNC at times.

Today, with Obama proposing a tiny increase in taxes for the rich, all the brand-R rich boys are singing the tax song verbatim.

All voices sing:

It's remarkable how a real threat unifies people.

= = = = =

Semi-related: Apparently Harry Reid made some stupid comment about the "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance being responsible for the War of Northern Aggression.

Doyle noted the stupidity, stating correctly that "under God" wasn't there until 1954.

I knew the whole Pledge was considerably newer than the 1860s, so I looked it up.

Turns out the Pledge was written in 1892, so I was right about the chronology... but the origin is a lot more interesting than I had thought. The pledge was written by Francis Bellamy, an avowed socialist, cousin of dystopia writer Edward Bellamy (who I've mentioned several times lately).

Francis Bellamy intended the pledge to induce socialist patriotism, not just any old patriotism. Over the years the pledge (and Bellamy's original raised-right-hand salute!) were modified to suit non-socialist purposes.
  Bravo Sherrod

The PERFECT example of how the supposed 'economy of scale' no longer works.

From NPR this morning:

A form of progesterone that prevents some premature births has been available for 8 years through local pharmacies that know how to make the compound. The cost is about $30 a month, which is eminently affordable.

Recently the FDA approved a Big Pharma version by KV Pharmaceuticals, and FDA also started prosecuting local pharmacies that "violated KV's license" by continuing to make the $30/month version. Why does KV need a protected monopoly? Because their version costs $6000 per month. Only affordable by very rich people or government-subsidized people.

Sen Sherrod Brown of Ohio pushed on the FDA, and they finally agreed to stop prosecuting the honest businesses.

Good for Brown, but if we were still a capitalist country his special effort wouldn't have been needed.

We are a Mafiocracy, where honest business must pay protection to the gangs. Can't afford the protection, get whacked. Centralize, monopolize, commoditize, securitize.
  Electric dogs 2

As noted before, Seattle has a problem with ungrounded metal streetlight poles. One dog was killed by the shock, and people then realized that dogs can detect and warn us of the alternating field from an ungrounded pole.

Now another dog has detected a ground fault in a pole that was thought to be fixed:
A Seattle streetlight pole that workers believed was fixed for stray voltage was improperly installed, Seattle City Light said Tuesday, resulting in more stray voltage.

A dog detected the voltage from the metal streetlight pole, located at 23rd Avenue and East Marion, on April 4, the company said.

The dog and its owner were walking in the area, when the dog sniffed the pole. The dog was not injured. The owner reported the incident the next day.

Unusual, maybe even unprecedented: The power company has immediately accepted the locally formed observation that dogs can detect the field. Bureaucrats and corporations normally reject and 'crazify' all observed facts, obeying only Accredited Experts and Official Myths.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011
  Gaia takes over Bolivia

Bolivia has just passed the "Law of Mother Earth". This set of absurdities has been floating around for a while, with ecotyrant groups in many countries and cities trying to establish it. They tried it in Spokane a couple years ago, and it went down in carbon-neutral flames.

The new official Bolivian version includes:
The right to life and to exist; the right to continue vital cycles and processes free from human alteration; the right to pure water and clean air; the right to balance; the right not to be polluted; and the right to not have cellular structure modified or genetically altered.

In indigenous philosophy, the Pachamama is a living being.

The draft of the new law states: "She is sacred, fertile and the source of life that feeds and cares for all living beings in her womb. She is in permanent balance, harmony and communication with the cosmos. She is comprised of all ecosystems and living beings, and their self-organisation."

Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca said Bolivia's traditional indigenous respect for the Pachamama was vital to prevent climate change. "Our grandparents taught us that we belong to a big family of plants and animals. We believe that everything in the planet forms part of a big family. We indigenous people can contribute to solving the energy, climate, food and financial crises with our values," he said.

However, the government must tread a fine line between increased regulation of companies and giving way to the powerful social movements who have pressed for the law. Bolivia earns $500m (£305m) a year from mining companies which provides nearly one third of the country's foreign currency.

I suspect the real result of all this holistic holiness will be larger bribes from the mining companies. The bribes will be called something like "sacrifices to Pachamama", but they'll still be bribes.

= = = = =

Update: The ecoterrorists will try it again in Spokane on the November 2011 ballot. They've revised their referendum to make it more salable, which is rather scary.
  The usual crap

Lots of nonsensical "discussion" this week around the sesquicentennial of the War of Northern Aggression.

The current Russian veneration of the brutal killer Stalin parallels the long-standing Yankee veneration of the brutal killer Lincoln, with one exception.

Stalin served the interests of Russians at the expense of Ukrainians, Jews, and others. Thus it's understandable that Russians like him, and it's appropriate for Ukrainians, Jews and other groups to hate him.

Lincoln served the interests of the Wall Street robber barons at the expense of all honest Americans. Thus it's understandable that Republicans, who solely represent the modern Wall Street robber barons, venerate Lincoln. It's not appropriate for honest Americans to venerate madman Lincoln.

Simple logic. If Lincoln had wanted an America free of slavery he would have let the South secede. The remaining part of America would then be free of slavery.

This is what many Abolitionists wanted in the first place; they didn't much care what happened in the South. They only wanted slavery out of their country, no matter how large or small its boundaries. Madman Lincoln hijacked this noble impulse and turned it into mass slaughter and mass destruction, because he wanted THE WHOLE WORLD to obey his own demented delusions. ALL MINE. ALL ME. Just like modern neocons. Centralize, monopolize, commoditize, securitize.

And the neocons have carried on Lincoln's Big Lie as well. "That government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish." The whole point of the War of Northern Aggression was to GUARANTEE that no resident of this unfortunate land would ever THINK of self-determination again. "Government by the people" shall never never never never be allowed here. The neocons export this big lie to other unfortunate countries; they love to talk about self-determination while they invade other countries to determine their government by force.

Americans should hate and reject this genocidal monster and his murderous descendants.
Monday, April 11, 2011
  Even normal banking isn't capitalist

Wall Street needs no further discussion. It's pure Mafia and most people realize it by now.

But the status of actual banks is still questionable. Are they businesses or criminal syndicate operations?

Here's a quick test. In a functional market, a business that offers either a noticeably better product or a noticeably lower price will get lots of takers.

If 'real' banks were honest capitalist businesses, some smart banker would think of the idea of paying people to deposit money with him. The payment would have to be slightly above inflation to make it worthwhile. If this smart banker was the first to think of the idea, his bank would be swamped with money. He'd have so much cash that he could make loans without bothering with fractional reserve requirements, without needing to play securitization tricks.

In the current situation, no bank at all has thought of this idea. Nobody offers a 'rent' above inflation; you can't even get a 'rent' that approaches inflation. Therefore no bank is swamped with cash reserves from thrifty people around the world.

Conclusion: Actual banks are operating as something other than honest capitalist businesses. They are only playing Bernanke-Panke with free money from the Fed. Are they forced to do this, forbidden to solicit savings and make loans in the old capitalist style? That's how it looks.


Saturday, April 09, 2011
  Proof that nobody knows math

The noisy little puppet show in DC is over, and the results are perfectly predictable though perfectly trivial. There was no shutdown and there will be no actual cut in spending. In terms of the nominal numbers, Brand-D gets everything it wanted and Brand-R yields on every important point. As always.

Brand-R had a perfectly good chance to achieve all of its alleged "policy goals" during the years from 2002-2007 when it had full control. "Republicans" did absolutely nothing during those years, which proved finally and conclusively that their sole purpose is to be a foil, a silly sidekick, a Sancho Panza or Barney Fife, to make "Democrats" look competent by comparison. That's their job, and they're doing it brilliantly, exceeding all previous standards of boffo slapstick. Sancho and Barney never wept in public.

Now that the perfectly predictable and perfectly trivial result is done, Pasha Obama claims that $39 billion is the "biggest spending cut ever." And all the media are going along with the claim.

Sad. Trivially true in linear terms of billions, but utterly ridiculous in percentage terms, which is the only way to measure anything relating to humans, including economic factors.

At the end of WW1 and WW2, the fed budget was cut by 60% in one year, then by 10% for several years thereafter. From 1954 to 2009 there were no cuts at all. Last year was the first decrease in living memory, a huge dramatic 1.7% cut.

Today's meaningless cut is 0.8% which is half of the previous year's meaningless cut, and it's utterly microscopic compared to those earlier postwar downsizings.

The fact that a President can get away with such a patently fraudulent claim is the best evidence that we're sunk.

Nobody understands how numbers really work.
Friday, April 08, 2011
  New toy

Once a year or so, I buy a toy from Ebay. This time it's not exactly a toy, but not a necessity either. My increased NPR listening showed the inadequacy of my cheap Chinese radio. It doesn't separate stations and it sounds tinny.

Thinking about tuning, I vaguely recalled a nice Radio Shack tuner that I'd seen in the stores back in the '70s but couldn't afford** at the time. (Actually my hand remembered its smooth vernier dial more than my eyes remembered its appearance.)

Tried Ebay; the correct item popped up immediately. Realistic TM-175. The total price ended up around $30, and it's mint fresh, flawless, works perfectly. The controls are just as pleasing to the hand as I remembered. It has a cute little tuning meter, not quite as elegant as the old Magic Eye tube but still neat. When tied to my existing Radio Shack SA-150 amp and Minimus speakers, forms a complete RS system for the first time.

I'm trying to replace modern electronic crap with '60s and '70s items when possible. Older vacuum-tube equipment is the most esthetically pleasing but too fragile for daily use and too expensive to restore. The discrete transistors of the '70s were durable, the analog circuitry gives a full tone, the cases were square and solid, and the mechanical parts were designed to fit human hands and to give satisfying tactile feedback.

Modern crap is ergonomically atrocious and hard to fit in small places. Cases are often rounded so you can't put anything on top or stack things neatly; knobs are tapered and hard to grab, labels are either nonexistent or white-on-black. Many actions are controlled by indistinguishable digital buttons that have to be punched and held for several seconds.

In short, designed by lawyers instead of engineers.

= = = = =

** Later: According to online sources the original 1972 list price was $60. That was my weekly paycheck then, and comes to $320 in today's Zimbabwe dollars! This was an expensive radio, and its look, feel and sound are still expensive.

= = = = =

Artistic note: For Poser or Daz users, the digital model of the tuner is here.


  Goldman in 1720

Credit default swaps are not new, so the oft-repeated claim that today's financial crimes are too complex to regulate is pure ratshit.

From The etymological compendium by William Pulleyn, written in 1830:
The word Bear, applied to a certain class on the Stock Exchange, signifies one who insures a real value upon an imaginary thing, and who is said to sell a Bear, which is the same thing as a promise among courtiers, or a vow between lovers.

The party called a Bull is the opposite contracting party. It takes its origin merely from the circumstance, that the Bear being a voracious animal generally sacrifices the Bull when an opportunity presents itself.

These terms arose in the South Sea Bubble of 1720, and continue in our modern bubbles, always following the same model and always guaranteed to find a sufficient number of uninformed Bulls to sacrifice.

Swift gives a similar definition, adding the origin of the mammalian metaphor: "He who sells that of which he is not possessed is proverbially said to sell the skin before he has caught the bear."

After the South Sea Bubble popped, the British gov't acted fast and hard. All the financiers were arrested along with many members of Parliament who deregulated to enable the bubble. All their property was confiscated and the whole economic structure of Britain was rebuilt on a more solid foundation.

It wasn't too complicated for Britain to fix then, so today's version can't be too complicated for Britain and America to fix now.

Of course the problem isn't complexity, it's complicity. Total 100.00% corruption of ALL governmental and religious and corporate and educational and cultural institutions. No honest men have been allowed to get anywhere near the centers of power for several decades, so there is no danger of even the tiniest nanosliver of regulation interfering with the Ultimate Omnipotence Of Goldman Sachs, Lord of Lords and God of Gods.

= = = = =

This now completes a remarkable pattern. The murderous mutant Martians who occupy the seats of power in the English-speaking world always cry Unprecedented! Unexpected! Never Happened Before! to justify their treason.

War? Unprecedented! Must lose! Terrorism? Unprecedented! Must give terrorists Royal Privileges, must disarm and demoralize non-terrorists! Trade wars by mercantilist China? Unprecedented! Must surrender unconditionally! Pirates? Unprecedented! Never heard of pirates before! Must prevent ships from arming their crews! Droughts and floods? Unprecedented! Must prohibit breathing! Stock bubbles? Credit Default Swaps? Unprecedented! Too complicated to understand! Must donate entire economy, plus an extra quadrillion of made-up money, to Goldman Sachs!

All of these situations have happened before. More importantly, all of these problems have been solved before. And not just in Biblical or Roman times when records could be inaccurate and analogies hard to draw. No, all of these events have been fixed in the modern era, well within the institutional memories of existing newspapers and universities. Most of them were faced and fixed by FDR, who is still within living memory for the older generation.

Why do these modern mutant mafiosi get away with such idiocy, when so many people know the truth? Well, that's easy enough to answer. They have carefully excluded all truth-knowers from positions of power in the government and media, and anyone who tries to speak the truth is quickly crazified, quickly finds himself without a career and a reputation. All "fair and balanced debate" involves the Big-Endians vs the Little-Endians; if you think the problem is not in the egg, you're Crazy.

But why do they want to sound like goddamn retards? I still can't answer that one.
  Swift would love us

The marauding enemy army known as EPA made breathing illegal last year. Today the Lower Nuthouse, showing a remarkable brief burst of verbal lucidity, attempted to remove the enemy army's authority to halt breathing. But the Upper Nuthouse is solidly anti-breathing and so is the Executive Nuthouse, so the attempt to restore our right to breathe will not succeed. Which the Lower Nuthouse knows perfectly goddamn well, so their effort to restore life is an intentionally pointless gesture.

None of the dystopian writers of the past saw this coming. Swift's Laputa was closest to modern America in its relentless overturning of every known fact, but the Laputan rulers didn't have as much power as our Gaian Occupation Government. In Butler's Erewhon the rulers had the same suffocating "Message: we care" nannitude as our BushBushObama dynasty, but they didn't go in for literal suffocation. Huxley's new world was hedonistic; only political opposition was squashed. Orwell's Airstrip One prohibited most pleasures, but didn't prohibit life itself.

Still, I think Swift would understand and appreciate our plight best.
Thursday, April 07, 2011
  Another sign of hope

British teachers in Lancashire are striking, but not for better pay! No, they're striking over the lack of support for discipline.

About damn time!

The problem with public schools is not lack of money, but chickenshit administrators who fear regulations and lawsuits more than they respect students, teachers and parents.

As with malpractice suits in medicine, or ACLU suits against cops who dare to do their jobs properly, the actual suits are relatively rare. But any lawsuit can be so grotesquely expensive and obstructive that any rational administrator fears them.

The situation will only change when administrators fear something else more than they fear lawsuits.

When large numbers of teachers, doctors and cops strike for long periods, making it clear that they're striking for sanity instead of money, something will have to give. The admins will have to ask legislatures for serious restrictions on lawsuits.

I propose a temporary experimental moratorium on ALL lawsuits, for a strictly limited finite period like 100,000,000 years. If after the 100,000,000 year test period we find that things have gotten worse, we can let the murderous satanic lawyer-devils take over the world again.
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
  Down with "Franklin"

I'm ferociously tired of hearing Brand-R commentators "quoting" Ben Franklin:

"Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither."

When they use this proverb they act like it's part of the Constitution. Most of the time they are either (1) trying to defend an invasion of some goddamn country where some goddamn primitive stone-age savages allegedly hunger for Liberty; or (2) trying to defend government bailouts of trillionaires who deserve the Liberty to steal ever more trillions, while we lowly non-trillionaires do not deserve the Security of thrift and stable currencies.

According to Wikipedia, the quote was never said by Franklin at all; it was only the title of a booklet printed by Franklin. (As a publisher, Ben printed all sorts of things.) The nearest real Franklin quote is "Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power", which clearly advises against both (1) and (2) listed above.

Franklin or not, the general point of the first quote is still destructive.

Real human beings do not want liberty.

Real human beings want normalcy, which translates somewhat differently in different cultures.

First, we want our rulers to provide safety, to protect us from criminals and invaders. Second, we want our rulers to maintain an economic system that includes decent and useful work and a sufficient supply of necessities. Third (and it's a distant third) we want the freedom to behave 'normally' (as defined within our culture) without having to fight lawsuits by some Village Atheist asshole who thinks his deviance ought to be imposed on normal people.

In short, the only Freedom we want is Freedom from all the things that modern left-wingers and right-wingers call Freedom.
Tuesday, April 05, 2011
  What's that yellow thing?

A strange yellow object appears in the sky this morning. First time in 90 years, or so it feels.... More objectively 90 days since it last appeared in the morning. Once in a while it has popped up for a few minutes in late afternoon, but not early in the morning. It's such a strange event that the neighbor's dogs are actually barking at it!
  Scheuer is back!

The great teller of uncomfortable truths faces a couple of idiot Commie girls on CNN.

The really shameful thing is not the swoony adoration of Oooooohhhh Dreamy Barack by these tweenage girls, but their complete lack of memory and attention. If they had been paying even the tiniest bit of attention to any CNN broadcasts in the last 10 years, they would have heard Scheuer consistently, rigorously, logically, factually and repeatedly kicking the interventionist policies of Clinton The Husband and Bush The Son. Now that the exact same interventionist policies are owned by Obama, Scheuer is still against them.

You can try to fight Scheuer's logic. I did try, and finally had to admit he's right. But you simply can't call him a partisan.

Scheuer is an intelligence analyst, and that's exactly what he does at all times. He examines available information and draws conclusions. In the distant past, most newsmen had the same ability and could draw the same kind of conclusions. Now we have vacuum-brained newsgirls and newsfags who can't even remember their own newscasts let alone observe reality or analyze information.
Monday, April 04, 2011
  There are no Red Adairs in Japan

I'm always a little suspicious of sentences that begin with 'there are no'.

New Yorkers have a tendency to say ignorant things like "There are no pianos in Japan", or "There are no basements in Oklahoma", or "There are no second acts in America." They only make themselves look foolish to Americans when they say such things.

In this case, though, I'm going to make such a statement, and I'm (uncharacteristically!) convinced that America has a superior talent in this one area.

Japan seems to have been completely unready for the Fukushima disaster, only reaching a real emergency level of improvisation when it may be too late.

When something goes seriously wrong in America we have a number of specialist firms, pretty nearly mercenaries, ready to take on the job with instant ingenuity for big money. Red Adair of the oilfields is most famous, but there was a less-known nuclear effort when Three Mile Island went wrong. They found a company that supplied Jumpers, who Jumped into the containment building for very short periods with proper tools and protection to clean things up.

I knew one of those Jumpers... she was a natural adventurer who had been an Army nurse in Vietnam and went on to spy for the "State Department" (i.e. some agency without a name). She survived TMI just fine and made plenty of money in the process. Classic soldier-of-fortune type, female subspecies.
Sunday, April 03, 2011
  Tiny sign of hope

News item:
Charlie Sheen was heckled, booed and eventually abandoned by the crowd at his inaugural stage show, with many of the audience members chanting "refund" and heading for the exits even before the show abruptly ended.

Maybe there's an eentsy-weentsy microglimmer of hope for this unfortunate land.
Saturday, April 02, 2011
  Sometimes you wonder....

Sorta tabloidish news item in UK Telegraph:

King's teeth removed from auction.

What? Was the king biting the auction? Bad king! Rabid king! Down boy!

Oh... turns out that an estate auctioneer found some old dental X-rays of the royal family from the '30s and '40s among the property of a deceased nurse. Not the king's teeth, only pictures of the king's teeth. The royal family has quite properly asked the auction not to sell their private medical info.

Here's the part that makes me wonder:
Experts who have viewed them said that the king's teeth were not the cause for his famous speech impediment that his subject of the hit film The King's Speech.

Translating the Telegraph's usual poor editing, I think this means:
Experts who have viewed them said that the king's teeth were not the cause for his famous speech impediment, which was the subject of the hit film The King's Speech.

You needed to ask experts to find out that bad teeth don't cause stuttering?

If bad teeth caused stuttering then all Brits would stutter.

Hmm. I, I, I, say there, old, old, chap.... they do, do, do, tend to, tend to, tend to, stammer, now now now don't they? Not the same thing as real tonic/clonic stuttering, but it's on, on, on, the ah the ah the same spectrum.
  So that's what the 'con' stands for!

The news: Afghan and Paki savages are rioting because they don't like Christianity. Their excuse for rioting this time was that an American pastor burned their primitive "holy book".

In a sane time, before Wilsonian-Bushian-Obamian neocons took over our brains, this news item would have been uninteresting. In 1939, American news wouldn't have bothered to report the internal violence of some other country, especially a savage primitive country. And if anyone had bothered to pay attention, their sane response would have been "Good! That's a dozen dead savages who won't be making trouble for civilized people."

Now the internal affairs of savage countries are intensely interesting, and All Responsible Commentators Must Call The American Pastor Crazy.

Let's take this apart.

Why does the rioting of primitive savages IN OTHER GODDAMN COUNTRIES matter so much? I suppose it matters because our soldiers and contractors are deeply involved in those countries, doing a whole lot of something or other, spending a whole lot of money for some unknown purpose, and losing a lot of lives toward unknown goals. The generals don't know what we're doing, the politicians don't know what we're doing, but we apparently have to keep doing it because the contractors will lose profit if we don't. Or some other reason. Nobody knows.

And why do we assume that the savages are fully justified in their actual murder, while the American pastor is Crazy and Murderous and Criminal for symbolically insulting our enemy?

Here's the key to the problem. Neocons have the ego structure of a newborn baby. They do not recognize boundaries or distinctions. All humans are identical, therefore all humans are identical to ME. All nations and all cultures are within MY range of concern. It's not just ALL MINE, it's ALL ME. When foreigners disagree with Betty Friedan, when foreigners think that women should be modest and obedient, THIS MUST BE FIXED. When foreigners disagree that all children should be educated at Harvard, when they think children should work and learn useful trades, THIS MUST BE FIXED. When foreigners think their leaders should serve their own interests instead of the interests of Wall Street, THIS MUST BE FIXED.

The 'con' in neocon stands for Conjoined.

All people and all countries are Conjoined, so anything that disagrees with MY New York Attitudes is deeply important to ME and must undergo medical treatment, because it could spread and infect ME with the cancer of rationality. And that applies not only to foreigners in more distant places, it applies especially to Non-New-York Attitudes within this unfortunate land. Such as Southern Christians.

Needless to say, this conjoined-ness also works in economic realms. For the neocon there's no reason to build things in America, because China and America are equally part of ME. There's no reason to prevent illegal immigration, because America and Mexico are equally part of ME. Poverty and gang war in Detroit? Doesn't matter any more or any less than poverty and gang war in Mexico. It's all one big undivided ME, and the only goal is to maximize MY Swiss Bank Account. Centralize, commoditize, securitize.
Friday, April 01, 2011
  An endangered species that matters

Bats are being killed en masse by two plagues: a spreading fungal disease and wind turbines.
The study found that more than a million bats have died in North America during the past five years due to fungal diseases. Some estimates are that "by 2020, wind turbines will have killed 33,000 to 111,000 annually in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands alone."

And each dead bat matters, because each bat eats a whole lot of bugs. Without bats around, bugs consume our crops. We then have to use more pesticides, but the effective pesticides are banned by the same marauding enemy army that requires us to install more bat-mincing turbines.

Your national suicide, brought to you as ever by the generously genocidal EPA.

Polistra watches in horror. Happystar can't bear to watch.


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