Sunday, March 31, 2013
  Random thought on Yahoo

Random thought.... Yahoo showed a remarkable talent for creating and losing opportunities. Yahoo had a very good search engine before Google came along. Yahoo had 'Groups' before Facebook came along. Yahoo had 'Briefcase' before Amazon's cloud came along. Yahoo had Flickr before Instagram came along. They had almost everything first, but sat back and watched while other companies picked up the ideas and ran hard.

At one time I was a complete Yahoo customer. I used all of those services, and gladly paid for the Briefcase service, until they arbitrarily halted it with insufficient warning.

The search engine, Flickr, and Groups are still around, but pretty much stopped improving.

If the new wyyyymyyyyn CEO thinks she can fix those problems by keeping everyone in the office where she can watch them pretend to work, she's even dumber than the previous management. And that's some serious dumb.
  Economoid retard

Unbelievable example of theorigenic blindness. BBC interviews economist Andrew McAfee who has JUST NOW REALIZED that something changed after 1980. He talks about a "mysterious decoupling" between economic growth and jobs, which began around 1980 and got worse around 2000. He says economists simply assumed that improvements in technology would lead to more and better jobs.

Indescribable ignorance. It's like a doctor trying to determine whether some illnesses might be caused by little animalcules that can't be seen with the naked eye; or an engineer wondering how these mysterious self-moving chariots are propelled.

This "decoupling" has been explored thoroughly by non-economists. I've been talking about it since I started writing here. Others have been describing it in more quantitative terms, even occasionally in ways that economists might be able to dimly perceive.

My best effort on the subject was probably this 2009 entry.

It comes down to two things: (1) Big business was decoupled from profit around 1980, partly due to the influence of Jack Welch at GE. Since 1980, business has been seeking to maximize share value instead of profit, which means that "negative externalities" like production and employees must be eliminated. (2) Big business rediscovered the criminal side of stocks and bonds in 1999, after Bill Clinton and Phil Gramm eliminated FDR's regulations. With no limits on purely numerical transactions (i.e. counterfeiting), it was finally possible to give up those horrible factories and workers entirely.

There's your mysterious "two stages of decoupling", econotard. And you're welcome.


= = = = =

Artistic sidenote: Just realized this character I've been using for capitalist and economist types looks almost exactly like the new Pope. Resemblance DEFINITELY not intended! So far at least, Bergoglio/Francis appears to be the exact opposite of capitalists. He may not be able to mobilize the Church in opposition to the economoids, but his intentions are unquestionably on the side of frugality and civilization.

And a couple years later: No, the resemblance was correct after all. Antichrist Francine has turned out to be Goldman's best friend.


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Headline from Reuters:

U.S. B-2 bombers sent to Korea on rare mission: diplomacy not destruction

Diplomacy? Hardly. Looks like this meaningless threat was the last straw for Kim 3. After this B-2 overflight, his rhetoric switched into full-on war mode.

There are two types of stupidity involved here, and both are very old.

Back in '39 we sent a naval fleet on a 'good will mission' to South America. Fibber (or rather Fibber's writers) noted this event and wondered why a battleship was seen as an instrument of 'good will'. "It's like sending Dracula to deliver a valentine." We didn't fool anyone then, and we're not fooling anyone now.

And later in WW2, the Krauts lost a big naval advantage when they built the Bismarck, the biggest and best battleship ever. On its first voyage it got trapped in a canal, and when it finally got into battle, its size and clumsiness left it vulnerable.

It's always tempting to build super-expensive superweapons, but it's always better to build a large quantity of smaller stuff. The B2 is another Bismarck. We can only afford a few of them, which means we're not going to send them into an ordinary battle. We'll reserve them for an event that isn't going to occur.

Banks, battleships, bombers. Same principle. When the item gets big enough to be truly impressive, we can't let it function normally. We have to keep it in drydock, constantly supporting it but never allowing it to join into normal battle or normal commerce. It's a pure albatross, and in effect an enemy weapon.

Too big to fail = too big to use.

= = = = =

Later thought: Of course, Kim 3's brand of stupidity is also old. He's following the time-tested script of The Mouse That Roared, using threats to get foreign aid. There's one difference, though. Mouse-that-roared-ism used to work nicely when America was bustling and prosperous with lots of money and food to give away. It doesn't work quite as well when America is struggling and tired of foreign adventure, and it especially doesn't work when even China is getting tired of the tantrums.
Friday, March 29, 2013
  No, you don't need an Einstein

BBC is running a series on improving science in Africa. Today they discussed a project aimed at bringing out the 'next Einstein' in Africa.

No. No. No. Dead wrong. Exactly diametrically wrong. Africa does not need its own Einstein.

Africa needs its own Henry Ford. It needs a visionary businessman who can develop an industry unique to Africa, and make it work for the benefit of both customers and employees.

Africa needs its own Norman Borlaug, GW Carver, and Cyrus McCormick. It needs agricultural visionaries who can start with existing technologies and add effective storage and distribution.

For that matter, nobody needs an Einstein. His theories brought nothing but new ways for Big Science to absorb infinite amounts of money with zero benefit.

Judging by the Africans interviewed in BBC's feature, I'd say many Africans already understand this point. While the English presenter was nattering on about Einstein, the fucking Apollo moon shot, Gender Die-Versity, and other suicidal ratshit, most of the African discussants were trying to pull the focus toward more concrete needs. They clearly understand that Africa needs economic discipline and development, clearly understand that science education has to be about experience, not theory. If the BBC dickhead would stop distracting them, maybe they could get the job done a little faster!

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  Back in the saddle

Yesterday morning I switched back into working mode for unknown reasons. Decided to get stuff out of the way. Called the plumber to take care of a faucet that had started leaking, then immediately walked to the store instead of waiting for 'just the right time' as usual.

When I got back from the store, an email popped up .... which FINALLY gives me the instructions to start on the next version of courseware.

Almost always happens this way. I know when it's time to get back in the saddle.

Trite but true: Humans need work. Even 'retired' humans need work. This publisher's hurry-up-and-wait cycle gives a nice alternation between working periods and non-working periods, but the latest non-working period was too long. About 10 months since the last revision was finished.

Knowing that the next project would be difficult, and knowing that each month of delay would make it even more difficult, led to a buildup of tension. Without specific orders I couldn't do any specific preparation; I could only keep my programming skills sharp with play-type projects.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
  Perfect example

Normally in this part of the country, the cops and persecutors respect a victim who defends himself. For some reason this case is getting a different response, more of a New York Commiefag response from the persecutor.
A man who admits to shooting the suspect accused of stealing his SUV could face second-degree murder charges. Gail Gerlach, 56, says he shot at his 1997 Chevrolet Suburban just once after seeing 25-year-old Brendon T. Kaluza-Graham taking the vehicle. Gerlach told police he saw the suspect pull out of his driveway. He followed Kaluza-Graham on foot and allegedly saw the suspect raise his arm. Gerlach says he fired when he thought he saw a gun. The suspect died instantly when a bullet hit him in the head.

Investigators finished searching the SUV Tuesday night and did not recover any weapons from the car. Gerlach does not have a criminal history and was legally allowed to carry a concealed weapon. Kaluza-Graham had several run-ins with the law before his death. Police say they found two sets of shaved keys, a flashlight and a screw driver on his body.
Perfect example of the distinction I was discussing yesterday. We have a typical innate criminal, Kaluza-Hyphen-Graham, doing what innate criminals do. Taking things and harming people. And we have a typical good citizen, Gerlach, enforcing the laws of universal morality and eliminating one born criminal from the gene pool.

The persecutor is operating on the basis of written "laws" instead of real laws. Surely he knows that a local jury will instantly find Gerlach innocent. Does he plan to move the trial to New York where he can find a jury of his own commiefag peers, or is he just dumb?

Update a year later: The case finally did reach a local jury, and the jury did instantly find Gerlach innocent. Thanks be to the Lord or whoever. Mainly thanks be to normal sane people.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
  Duh of the week

Headline: Brain scans predict which criminals are more likely to reoffend

No need to quote from the article, the headline says it all. Idiot "scientists" are always surprised! shocked! astonished! to find that PEOPLE ARE DIFFERENT. Their toxified "brains" are jammed to overflowing with the bizarre alien notion that LIFE DOES NOT EXIST. In the "mind" of a "scientist", all items are identical passive point-like particles with no innate qualities, no innate purposes, no innate differences.

In the "mind" of a "scientist", some entities become classified as criminals by a random process, so it's astonishing to discover that the classification somehow correlates with reality.

You grotesque all-consuming mass-murdering pea-brained wackos, anyone who has ever been in jail, any cop or teacher who has dealt repeatedly with bad kids or bad adults, understands the BASIC FUCKING FACTS OF LIFE. Any sane human, after some experience, can distinguish criminals from non-criminals without the need of a brain-scan.

FUCKING FACT: Criminals are a special type of human, innately different.

If we used the words criminal and law-breaker accurately, the bizarre idiocy of "scientists" would be more obvious and less acceptable. Criminals are naturally inclined to break the natural laws of universal morality. Law-breakers are people who get caught violating current laws and regulations. In modern Western countries, a large number of current laws and regulations are in direct and violent and lethal opposition to universal morality, so a large number of law-breakers are not criminals at all. They are either too simple-minded to keep up with this week's satanic Gramscian diktats, or they are good moral people attempting to live in accordance with universal morality.
Monday, March 25, 2013
  Turd drops a turd

One of the biggest turds in America, on his way out of LA, has left a giant turd for the city to remember:
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced Friday the city will become the only city in America that won't get any electricity from coal by the year 2025. "A new era of clean power is dawning and we're blazing a new trail for the rest of the country and the world to follow," he shat.

At the event downtown, the mayor was joined by former Vice President Satan. "I want to shit in the strongest way I possibly can, this is a really big deal," Satan shat.

Right now electricity from the Navajo Generating Station in Arizona and the Intermountain Power Project in Utah make up 39 percent of the energy purchased by the DWP. Under the plan, the city will sell its share in the Navajo plant and convert the plant in Utah to natural gas.
Good for the rest of us, I suppose. Doubling the power rates in LA will give a comparative advantage to other cities where some degree of sanity remains.

LA's main resource problem is water, not electricity. It sits directly on a large body of water called the Pacific Ocean, but it completely ignores the ocean. Instead, LA pulls water from several other states, requiring a huge wasteful infrastructure of canals and pipes.

Desalinate, dammit. Unlike a city, a desalination plant can be directly solar-powered, and LA has plenty of sun.
Sunday, March 24, 2013
  Thanks to the weather gods

As the Midwest gets hammered yet again, Spokane is getting a week of nice cold crisp sunny days. According to the Weather Bureau, our total snowfall this winter was 43 inches, just an inch behind the long-term mean. Pretty much what you'd expect from a weak El Nino year.

This winter felt much weaker than average to me, probably because the snow was slow and slutty**, with only one big storm.

My own measure of winter severity is Number of Roof Rakings. This winter my NRR was only 2, and one of them was more obsessive than strictly necessary. Last winter was around 4, if I'm remembering right; yet its official snow total was even lower at 35 inches. More big storms, less slutty.

Polistra and friends thank the weather gods for sparing us this time. We'll get our turn again next year, no doubt.

**Might as well use the phrase, since it belongs to a Spokane weathercaster!
  Good day for Turkey.

Looks like the 'Zero Problems' policy is paying off nicely. Two (probably) unrelated events this week show it:

(1) Israel sort of apologizes to Turkey for bombing the Gaza relief ship. As you'd expect, Israel is taking back the apology almost immediately. Nevertheless, the momentary appearance of an apology is the first time Israel has even momentarily appeared to apologize for any of its endless bullying and aggression.

(2) A more lasting and meaningful result: the Kurdish rebel group PKK has laid down its arms after decades of sporadic but deadly fighting for autonomy. Motives not yet clear, but generally rebels stop fighting when their popular support disappears. When people sense that their situation is 'good enough', they no longer feel the need to risk their lives for improvement.

Bravo Erdogan!

And also bravo to Obama for showing a slight bit of resistance to Bully Israel. His 10% firmness is a refreshing contrast to previous 100%-enslaved presidents, and may have triggered Bully Israel's momentary halfhearted apology.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
  It's Earth Hour!

Polistra and Happystar are doing something a bit different for Earth Hour tonight. Celebrating the renaissance of gas!

The Signal House on the hill is my digital model of the "Gas-Light Night Telegraph" dreamed up by some nameless and penniless inventor in 1826. His system never came to fruition because Wheatstone's electric telegraph came along at the same time.

In the spirit of alternate futures, I wanted to take up his dream and complete it. Seems especially appropriate now that the gas era has come around again. Circles and circles and circles and circles.... Nature is never linear.

= = = = =

Update: The digital model is now released on my ShareCG page.

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  Why ampersand?

I've always been bothered by the bizarre-sounding etymology of Ampersand. The symbol itself is no mystery: just a stylized version of et. But the usual etymology for the name doesn't make a lick of sense. Supposedly some people said and per se while others said and. The symbol was meant to stand for either version, thus "[either] and per se [or] and" got condensed to Ampersand.

This morning I took the time to check it. Turns out I was right about the usual story: nobody ever said and per se as an alternative for and. But the real story is even stranger! Lots of people did in fact say and per se and. It was a peculiar recitation method in English schools 200 years ago.

From a rather roguish set of essays on language written in 1830:

Odd that a classroom method of reciting short words got attached to this one character, but not to other symbols or words.
  Laudable but fatally wrong

BBC reports on an effort to attract more black kids toward science, using rap noise.
According to UK’s The Sun, Dr. Emdin started this project in the Bronx to tackle poor science results among black and Hispanic students. “It’s not just a race thing – it’s also a cultural thing,” he said. “We should find new ways to capture the interest of a new generation. I think hip-hop is the way.”

He also said, “If you don’t bring in youth culture into the classroom, you exist in the space where you are only putting in an established culture, and an established culture necessarily alienates someone. The thing about science in particular is that historically, its been known as a discipline that is very Eurocentric and is completely divorced from the ways of knowing and being of a diverse amount folks.”
It's a laudable motivation, but unfortunately it has NOTHING to do with science, and completely misses the point. Emdin is looking at the world from an absolutely non-scientific viewpoint, and clearly knows nothing about science. In CP Snow's terms, Emdin belongs completely to the literary mindset.

Science in the most basic sense has nothing to do with "an established culture", and if you teach it PROPERLY, you'll enable kids of any culture to think more clearly and gain some part of a scientific mindset. Teaching it PROPERLY means one thing above all:


You don't even need language, let alone culture, to teach science. You can do it without speaking one word. Set up an experiment or experience. Show how to do the experiment. Let the kids try it at their own lab stations, and guide them toward seeing the result, feeling the result, smelling the result, hearing the result.

As far as I can tell from the media coverage, Emdin is not teaching science. Emdin is teaching ELITE ORTHODOX STATEMENTS ABOUT ELITE ORTHODOX SCIENCE. For instance, he's getting the kids to "craft a rap" about Darwin. He is trying to shape black kids toward ELITE ORTHODOX BELIEFS, most of which are precisely anti-factual, anti-logical, and anti-scientific.

Judging from my own experience in teaching electronics, I'd say black kids are more receptive than white kids to ACTUAL SCIENCE. Africans are better than Europeans at dealing with direct sensory reality, and drawing conclusions from direct sensory reality. Europeans are too easily fooled and distracted by words and formulas, which are enemies of ACTUAL SCIENCE.

Quoting GW Carver: "Look about you. Take hold of the things that are here. Let them talk to you. You learn to talk to them."

That's the perfect definition of science. Elegant and all-encompassing. Can't be said any better. (It's so perfect I had to add it to the top icon.)

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Lately I've been noting an odd little string of musical coincidences. The left end of the FM band is occupied by two autopilot stations. KAGU is owned by Gonzaga and runs a constant pre-recorded sequence of classical. KEWU is owned by Eastern Wash Univ and runs a constant pre-recorded sequence of jazz. Sometimes I need an injection of baroque, so I tune all the way to the left end... but if the first few notes sound uninteresting (ie Brahms or Wagner), I'll tune across the rest of the dial.

Almost every time, the randomly selected few notes of the uninteresting classical on KAGU are repeated by the randomly selected few notes of the jazz on KEWU. Not just repeated in transposed or parallel form, but repeated exactly in jazz instrumentation.

Why? Is this sort of like the "first digit is 1" paradox?

Update 18 months later: Still works. Oddly it doesn't work the other way around. When I pass through the jazz station on the way to the classical, I'll hear a few notes of jazz, then settle into the classical. There's no relationship between the notes in this direction.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
  'Poetry of Science'

From an 1863 'Electrician' magazine.... Seems to be a pretty good credal statement. A description of science at that time, and a moral prescription for future science.

It would sing nicely to the same tune as Hymn of Morning Praise, which has the same general theme.

= = = = =

Unfortunately, future scientists lost the moral prescription. Today's scientists sing a different hymn expressing different values:


  In any other context....

NFR features a discussion about some meta-study claiming to show that fag "marriage" is good for kids. They had the usual two discussants: Satan defending the study, and some weak-minded reverend saying the usual crap about marriage being good for everyone, which is neither true nor the proper opposite side of the argument.

Both sides missed the blatantly obvious demographic problem. Fag "couples" who adopt kids are white educated rich high-status people who live among other white educated rich high-status people. Of course those kids are going to perform well on a set of measures designed by white educated rich high-status psychologists.

In other contexts, Satan would (quite properly and correctly!) kick a study out of the house for failing to sample across all demographics. But because Satan is blinded by the Absolute Categorical Imperative of defending sodomy in all circumstances, she is incapable of seeing the problem here.
  Accused alleged tornado

A solid storm pounded this area yesterday, complete with thunder and hail. True thunderstorms are rare here; typically 3 or 4 a year.

The storm spawned a small tornado near the Idaho state line:
The barn's roof, the siding and its innards are now strewn over acres of land. Melissa Weems, who is a neighbor, saw it all happen. "Just out of nowhere, I'm looking out the back door and I see my neighbor's barn lift up and just take off," said Weems. "It pretty much lifted in one piece and then I could see it being carried and I could see it just shatter. ... We have trains about a mile from here but this sounded like it was right on the street."

"People may think I'm crazy but I think it was a tornado," said Weems.
No, you're not crazy. You're perfectly correct and perfectly SCIENTIFIC. If the barn lifted, you had a tornado.

Even so, the media refuses to use the word in the article or headline. ("Strong winds destroy barn.") The Weather Bureau's legalistic approach has lifted and shattered our minds. We can't use our own senses; must wait until the Official Secret Stürmpolizei have secured the scene and gathered enough evidence for a trial.

We're fucked.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
  Stupidest idea of the year

Jesus, what a fantastically stupid idea.
The city of Coeur d’Alene is going to try a low-cost way to make walkers more visible. The idea: having them carry brightly colored flags. ... Officials say it’s a model that has reduced crashes in other cities. The way it works is people will have the option to pick up a flag and carry it across the street. Then they can dump it back in a canister that will be attached to a street sign.
First, teenage dickheads will steal all the flags. Second, the walkers who are most vulnerable (young kids or semi-senile oldsters like me) won't remember to pick up the flags. Third, SUV drivers are not unaware, they're murderous. A silly-looking flag-waving pedestrian is just begging to get flattened. "Here I am! Come and get it! Can't miss!"

Much better idea: Arm pedestrians with AK-47s and give them absolute unpunishable authority to kill any driver who threatens them. After a few thousand SUV drivers die, the survivors might dimly perceive that whomping a walker is no fun.
  Greeks grow a spine! // And Christians grow a spine!

After first meekly caving to the Kraut blackmail, the Greek Cypriot government has turned around and said NO! This will probably not end well. When Krauts are on the march, it takes huge force to stop them. In WW2.0 the Russians provided most of the force; now in WW2.2 it looks like the Russians are stepping up to the plate again, offering to buy the debt in exchange for some natural gas fields and possibly a warm-water naval base. The old game is underway again, and I'm rooting for the Russkies.

From the modern tribal viewpoint, this legislative NO is truly unprecedented. Not just the Krauts but the Banksters everywhere have been attacking Savers since 2008. Until today, no government has defended the Savers. US and UK have continued to reward the Banksters and punish the Savers through ZIRP and trillions in blackmail payments.

Update: The Orthodox Church has backed the Cyprus government against the Krauts!
The head of Cyprus' influential Orthodox church, Archbishop Chrysostomos II, says he will put the church's assets at the country's disposal to help pull it out of a financial crisis, after lawmakers rejected a plan to seize up to 10 percent of people's bank deposits to secure an international bailout. After meeting President Nicos Anastasiades Wednesday, Chrysostomos said the church was willing to mortgage its assets to invest in government bonds.
Again unprecedented! In the West, all Christian churches supinely obey the Banksters, probably because the Banksters know how to use Holocaust guilt as an extortion tool.
Monday, March 18, 2013
  Not all of Cyprus

There's an important ethnic dimension hidden in the discussion of the current Cyprus mess.

Ever since Britain gave up its ownership in 1960, Cyprus has been divided in Greek and Turkish parts. In 1963 the Greeks made war on the Turks, forcing a partition. Since then, the official government has been all Greek, and the Turkish part (roughly the NE quarter) has been a dependency or colony of Turkey, though the UN and most countries don't acknowledge its existence.

Turkish Cyprus is not part of the current mess, because Turks are competent. This mess is all fucking Greek.


  Silly season

Congress hasn't been running its usual silliness lately because it hasn't been doing anything at all. No recent investigations of football players or tech schools.

I suppose this is a good sign in some perverse way:
Senator Charles Schumer of New York is calling on the cruise ship industry to adopt a ‘‘bill of rights’’ to guarantee passengers certain protections while aboard their ships. .... He’ll ask industry leaders to voluntarily adopt the guidelines including guarantees that ships have sanitary conditions, back-up power, and medical staff. Schumer’s plan would also include the right to a full refund if a trip is abruptly canceled due to mechanical problems.

The senator is also calling on the secretary of state to negotiate with countries that host cruise ships to adopt the bill of rights.
It's hard to imagine a more perfectly unnecessary law. Cruises are voluntary and expensive activities for rich shitheads, and (for once!) the media has done an excellent job of pointing out the hazards.

If you're rich enough and asshole enough to buy a cruise, you also have a 59357.9-megafoot 1080XPRT-NN355-tI9b-super-ultra-turbo-plasma television, or whatever this week's biggest and best asshole entertainment might be. If you've turned on your 59357.9-megafoot 1080XPRT-NN355-tI9b-super-ultra-turbo-plasma television for even one second in the last few months, you've heard about the troubles on cruise ships. If you still decide to take a cruise after that, you deserve to die, and your death will vastly improve the human race.
  Kraut economic terrorism

Looking at EU events, Polistra finds herself rereading Robert Parker and reprinting a previous observation...........

= = = = = =START REPRINT

I've been reading Headquarters Budapest by Robert Parker, published in 1944 when the Germans were starting to lose but not yet clearly defeated. Parker was an AP reporter, back in those wonderful days when AP reporters were on our side.

The book tells how Hitler took over the 'little countries' of Eastern Europe with very little military action.

I'm starting to wonder if we are currently fighting Service Release 2 of World War 2, not a brand new war.

- - - - -

Here's Robert Parker interviewing Otto von Erdmansdorf in 1939, just after the Hitler-Stalin pact:

A member of the Prussian aristocracy, von Erdmansdorf had served German diplomacy for twenty years before Hitler came to power. He told his friends he abhorred the Nazi regime - but he served it faithfully. ... "And what do you think will happen if war comes?" I asked von Erdmansdorf. "France and Britain will probably fight alongside Poland."

The German minister swung around in his chair. "I think, if war comes," he said slowly, "that Germany must lose."

The Hungarian newspapermen stared at him. "I think Germany will lose if war comes now," repeated the German envoy, "but we will win the next one."

I asked him to explain. "Yes," he said. "We will be defeated in this war as we were defeated in the last war. But it will be only a token defeat as it was the last time. Just as in 1918, France and Britain will be terribly weakened. Germany has greater recuperative powers. We will recover faster the next time than we did the last time. On the other hand, the French and English will find themselves worn out. They will be dying nations even in apparent victory. Then, the third time, our job will be very easy." ...

I asked him whether Germany did not fear the power of the United States. The Hungarian editors nodded their heads as if joining in my query. "No", said von Erdmansdorf, "not in the long run. For you Americans don't know what you want."

He was wrong about the token-ness of the defeat, but he just might have been right about the persistence of the German imperial compulsion.

Parker went on to explain the Kraut tactics:

First the Germans gradually pulled the 'little countries' into total dependence on German trade. One cute trick: German businessmen and trade reps would buy up huge quantities of wheat and other raw materials at very high prices, then - often but not always - would fail to pay the debt. This made the 'little countries' reluctant to displease Germany, because their farmers and businesses stood to lose huge amounts of money if Germany pulled out entirely.

The Germans had long understood the possibilities of illegal currency markets in the Balkans. Their operations in dollars helped bring on the confusion and panic which later made some of the little countries easy victims for German diplomacy and arms. Loot from Poland and other northern countries was sold by the Nazis through Southeastern Europe for local currency. The proceeds, carefully manipulated on the illegal markets, brought them control of much of the Balkans' industry. Hitler's operations on Balkan black money markets brought him large dollar balances in the United States. The dollars were transferred to American citizens of German extraction and were used to finance Nazi propaganda and Nazi organizations in America.

= = = = = =END REPRINT

Modern methods differ in detail, and of course the name "3rd Reich" has been changed to "EU", but the blackmail is still the same.
Sunday, March 17, 2013
  And while I'm there....

As long as I'm thinking in WW2 terms....

Cyprus. Krauts attack Russia. Eastern Front. Nuff said.

In terms of modern tribal divisions, this is the Second Blitzkrieg by the Banksters against the Savers. The first blitz softened us up by wiping out interest, and now they're outright stealing our savings. As an Enrolled Member of the Savers tribe, I'm directly involved in this war.
  No, wait!

Listening last night to some WW2 radio stuff about FDR's futile effort to get South America involved on the Allied side. According to the commentators, it didn't work well because Argentina and Chile stubbornly resisted. Well, that's understandable, I thought, since Argentina is heavily Italian and Chile has lots of Germans. The rest of SA is mainly Spanish and Portuguese, both nominally on the Axis side though not belligerent. Not many Brits or Russians in that part of the world, so not much reason for Allied loyalty.

But wait! Doesn't that apply as well to North America? As of 1940, about half of the US had some German genes. Very few Russians. The South was more Irish than English, and Ireland was no friend of England. English blood was common in the Northeast, but Irish and Italian blood were more strongly represented in politics. Most importantly, England was not seen as our friend. Memories of 1776 and 1812 were still strong, and England had helped the South in Madman Lincoln's war. Everyone remembered what happened when we helped England in 1918: pointless bloodshed that created the conditions for the latest war.

Given all that, it's easy to see why we didn't join until Pearl Harbor.
Saturday, March 16, 2013
  Why diamond?

When I made a model of Wheatstone's needle telegraph, I puzzled over his diamond-shaped 'map' of letters. It seems like a highly inefficient use of the available signals and actions.

Here's an indication that diamond shapes were all the rage among telegraph makers and code designers in that era. This proposal used gaslights, which were more familiar and reliable than electricity in 1826:

Note the alphabet ending in VUWXYZ. Though U and V have always been perfectly distinct in English and its Teutonic ancestors, the power of Latin scholarship lingered in the silly pretense that U/V is the same letter, and I/J is the same letter. Apparently the pretense was stronger than the need for a settled alphabetical order!

= = = = =

Update 3/23: The word 'Signal-House' on that drawing somehow awakened my graphical Muse. I felt the need to bring the 1826 vision to completion. Results visible here. For Poser and Daz3d types, the complete set is on my ShareCG page.
  Austerity forces sanity!

News item:
US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has scrapped the final phase of its European missile defence shield, citing development problems and funding cuts.

The US has always insisted that the missile shield was intended to protect against attacks by Iran and North Korea.

The dropping of the fourth and final phase of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) for missile defence was announced quietly at a news conference, reports the BBC's Matt Wells in Washington.

Almost as an aside, Mr Hagel confirmed that in order to fund 14 new Ground-Based Interceptors (GBIs) in Alaska by 2017 to guard against increased threats from North Korea, the SM-3 IIB programme - a land-based standard missile - would be "restructured", our correspondent adds.
Bravo Hagel! For the first time in many decades, we're DEFENDING THIS COUNTRY instead of fucking around in other countries that have zero connection to our interests.
  Storm doesn't exist

Friday night around 6:30, a huge wind came through this part of town, along with a moderate amount of rain and hail. Judging by tree motion, stuff skittering down the street, and the noises made by my house, I'd say it was near 60 MPH. This radar from shows the precisely focused wind as a sharp yellow stripe in the middle:

But because the storm happened in Terra Incognita (the "uninhabitable" North Side of Spokane), it didn't make the news and didn't get onto any of the official records.

How did we reach the point where we ignore weather in cities? Nobody lives at airports, but only airports have weather.


Friday, March 15, 2013
  More 1840s

Long as I'm doing 1840s today, here's a little more. The 1848 meeting of the British Assoc for Advancement of Science includes the first good compendium of world temperatures. It was assembled by one Professor Dove. [Starts on page 427 of the PDF in above link.]

Here's part of one page:

It's a little hard to match those with modern American records, because America stopped just west of the Mississippi in 1848. I tried Key West and St Louis, to get one ocean and one continental reading. Added a purple line to each of the NCDC graphs at the 1848 temperature for that month.

Comparing with NCDC records that start in 1895, there's only one notable difference. Key West's summer was already considerably warmer in 1895, and continued warming since.

Yet again, "global" warming turns out to be Gulf Stream warming.


  New idea? Not exactly.

Seismologists in Los Angeles have set up a sort of early warning system. It's not predictive, doesn't use any ionospheric indications. It just senses an actual quake at some distance from LA, and sends the signal to LA. In theory this could give as much as 30 seconds advance warning. But it's basically useless because a quake at that distance isn't going to do real damage in LA. A damaging quake will be too close for the 'advance' warning.

The announcement is appropriately modest and honest, doesn't make any unwarranted claims. Refreshing. No complaints on that score!

But is it a new idea? Not quite. From a report by the British Assoc for Advancement of Science, 1850:

Well, at least we've got the battery problem solved. Heh heh heh.

Face it: we're still running on the vapors of the 1840's. Only a few fresh ideas since then; mostly we're developing new implementations of 1840's ideas through gradual improvements in manufacturing methods and materials.
  Krauss again

An unparalleled example of leftist "liberalism" and "tolerance" and "enlightenment" and "human rights". Lawrence Krauss, the worst living humanoid entity, was invited by a student Islamic group at a London college. Bigot Krauss was supposed to take the atheist side in a debate about the differences between Islam and atheism, but he was astonished and horrified and offended to find that there are ACTUAL DIFFERENCES between Islam and atheism! Bigot Krauss DEMANDED vocally and aggressively that the Muslims MUST CONFORM to his atheist culture, or else he'd leave.
He said: "People are not only afraid to offend, but afraid to offend a vocal and aggressive group of people. There is a segment of the Islamic community that is very vocal about this. I think the notion that these cultural norms should be carried out within a broader society that not only doesn't share them but that is free and open is a very serious problem."
Yessir, Bigot Krauss. Ever look in a fucking mirror, asshole? Yessir, Bigot Krauss, we are "free and open", THEREFORE we don't allow non-atheists to practice their religion.
Eventually his request was met and the event continued but some members of the audience were upset with him. One even shouted "intolerant" as he left, which he found "remarkable".
Yessir, Bigot Krauss. It's remarkable that a mere lowly Untouchable Non-atheist has the guts to call an Officially Approved Aristocratic Bigot "intolerant".

Ultimate irony: Bigot Krauss didn't even need to participate in the debate. His life is complete proof that God does not exist. All he had to do is show up and breathe. QED: Satan is totally in charge.

Though doublethink was described by Orwell, this species of doublethink is rather new among tyrants and bigots. In earlier times, murderous genocidal tyrants and bigots understood and stated their own purposes honestly and openly. They didn't see their own "vocal and aggressive" lethality as sweet tolerance.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013
  Who's innovative?

Earlier Polistra noted that the Vatican, supposedly slooooooooooooooooooow-moving, has moved with remarkable speed and precision to solve the problem of a suddenly retired pope; while the US, supposedly a fast and adaptive "democracy", has been completely paralyzed for many years.

Now the Pope problem has been solved, indeed quickly and smoothly, and the inversion gets more intense.

The Vatican, supposedly mired in 2000 years of unchangeable tradition, has chosen a completely unexpected Pope. None of the prognosticators had seen this Argentinian in their crystal balls. His selection doesn't break any rules but it does break lots of traditions. (I was sort of hoping for an African, but this guy fills the same slot. He represents a seriously religious part of the world, and he understands the poor.)

Meanwhile the US, supposedly innovative, can't think of any new solutions. We can only argue ferociously and raucously between two "party" alternatives: (1) Roar down Suicide Boulevard at 180.0000 MPH, or (2) Roar down Suicide Boulevard at 180.0001 MPH.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
  We should? We are!

It's not just Satanic media idiots who don't read their own stories.

Two "science" items from the "science" of anthropology, appearing on the same day.

First item:
"A study led by Thomas and Randall Thompson ... examined mummies from four drastically different climates and diets -- and from cultures that mummified regular people, including ancient Peruvians, Ancestral Puebloans, the Unangans of the Aleutian Islands and ancient Egyptians. Overall, the researchers found probable or definite atherosclerosis in 34 percent of the mummies studied.

"We found that heart disease is a serial killer that has been stalking mankind for thousands of years ... A common assumption is that the rise in levels of atherosclerosis is predominantly lifestyle-related, and that if modern humans could emulate pre-industrial or even pre-agricultural lifestyles, that atherosclerosis, or at least its clinical manifestations, would be avoided. Our findings seem to cast doubt on that assumption, and at the very least, we think they suggest that our understanding of the causes of atherosclerosis is incomplete, and that it might be somehow inherent to the process of human aging."

Second item: Northwest coast natives were definitely smoking tobacco 1000 years ago. And what were they eating? Fatty meat, no greens. (Actually the interesting thing about this story is the picture of the pipe they used for smoking. Sophisticated ceramic work.)

In other words, we ARE imitating the ancients, at least some of them. Eating lots of greasy food and smoking tobacco. Seems to be a general human tendency.
  What's the purpose?

This came in the mail today from the Repooflican "party".

The last time I contributed directly to any named Repoof party or candidate was 2004; the last time I gave to a local [nominally non-partisan] candidate with R connections was 2010.

The format of this letter is borderline fraudulent, certainly IRS trademark usurpation.

What's the motivation anyway? If you're a likely Repoof voter, you're a proud tax evader. Anything that looks like an IRS notice will stir primal hatred in your heart, so your first impulse is to throw it away. When you look more closely and see it's from your own party, you still carry the hatred as you open it. And when you see your own party behaving exactly like government agencies (DO NOT DESTROY! YOU MUST RETURN THIS DOCUMENT!) you're bound to ask "Why am I supporting this arrogant bureaucratic institution? How can they claim to be anti-bureaucracy when they behave just like the IRS?"

Oh well. I should be glad to see self-defeating behavior by either of the Goldman parties. We need a revolution.
  Ought to rename it

A map showing the spread of white-nose disease among bats tells a story with remarkable clarity. The fungus-based disease was first seen in New York, and then it spread in several directions from NY. For once the "scientists" aren't blaming Evil KKKarbon, but humans are unquestionably the culprit.

What grabbed my attention on the map was one solitary county in Oklahoma. Woodward County. I know the place; back in my idiot hippieshit days I went on several spelunking expeditions to the Glass Mountains. Lots of caves there, with lots of bats.

The disease pattern makes no sense by natural geography. Normally a fungus would be carried by the wind, but the wind doesn't blow from New York southwestward along the Appalachian Trail. The wind emphatically doesn't blow from the Appalachians to Oklahoma. Never. What does move in those directions? Spelunkers.

Thus the map shows where people like to explore caves. Should rename the disease "Spelunker Syndrome."


Monday, March 11, 2013
  Why the exception?

Pretty good generalization: When research gets significant amounts of federal money, the research gets locked into an unproductive loop.

Worst case is climate "science", where the fed priorities are intentionally genocidal. But even in medical areas where the feds have good intentions, the phase-lock prevents innovation. Cancer researchers pursue grants based on old ideas, and each slight increment of progress on the old ideas generates new grants for more tiny increments. Fresh ideas like dichloroacetate, no matter how promising or tested or proven, simply can't break into the loop.

BUT! Agricultural research is a major exception to the phase-lock rule. Ag research has received federal funding longer than any other branch of science, yet it never goes whoring after wild nonsense, never wastes time on obsolete dead ends. It has always tried to solve the problems of real farmers, and has often succeeded magnificently.

Why the exception? Are ag scientists smarter and saner than other scientists? Probably not. More likely it's the County Extension Offices providing constant and direct feedback. Ag researchers always have a strong link to their true customers, which is absent in the disciplines that run wild.


  Lunacy to the aleph-null power

Headline heard on radio:

"Japan marks the 2nd anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that led to the Fukushima disaster."

Utterly crazy.



And which one is the DISASTER? The event that killed ZERO PEOPLE.

The EVENT that killed 20,000 people is just a sort of minor prelude or overture to the DISASTER that killed ZERO PEOPLE.

To aid my own comprehension, I shall attempt to reconstruct the contents of a journalist's "mind" with pictures.

This is some kind of little thingamajig that happened before a disaster:

And this is a disaster:

We are beyond all salvation. Even after CARRYING two years of actual news stories showing repeatedly that NOBODY was killed by the radiation, our mass-murdering Satanic media still goes pedal to the metal on nuclear panic.
Sunday, March 10, 2013
  Drax footnote

Drax, the name of the English coal generating company mentioned in previous entry, recalled an advertisement I'd heard in exactly one 1945 Fibber episode. During the war Johnson's Wax had developed and used a wax-based preservative for uniforms, and the ad promised that Drax would become popular in peacetime applications. The ad stuck in memory because it was atypically talking to fabric manufacturers instead of consumers.

I googled to see if Drax ever got used. Most of the items relate to the same Fibber episode, but there are a couple of newspaper archive ads for actual products using Drax.

This 1947 ad in a Shelton, Wash paper shows Sleepmaster sofas treated with Drax. "Stain resistant! Water repellent! Longer lasting! Stay clean longer!"

Still doesn't tell the full story. Why did it go out of use? Not very good? Too expensive? Sounded like Dracula?

Maybe it's time to bring back waxes, Nature's surface protection. Drax would probably be less toxic than currently used stain-guard compounds. Even Johnson's own 'Pledge' no longer contains wax!

= = = = =

Another postwar development that quickly vanished: Admiral introduced one of the first frost-free refrigerators, with an ultraviolet light to kill germs and mold. Frost-free fridges obviously continued, but the ultraviolet 'Sterilite' went away. Seems like a highly useful feature!
  Sane state, sorta

The Wash state legislature is trying an experiment this year, with a bipartisan coalition holding the majority and setting the pace. Results are fairly good so far. More productive than previous years, and immeasurably better than the DC suicide bombers.

The Senate discussed another education bill Thursday that would do away with a number of unfunded education laws that supporters say have been weighing down the budget.

“We have put mandate after mandate on our school districts, but we never include any funding,” said Sen. Curtis King (R-Yakima). The bill repeals and suspends more than a dozen laws, ranging from a requirement for schools to observe Temperance Day to a law that requires schools with gardens to teach both organic and conventional gardening.
Good work.

But not everything is sane:
Another bill aims to improve reading levels of third graders in the state. Third-graders who test below their level would either be required to repeat the grade or go to summer school. Students who speak English as a second language are exempt from the requirement.
Testing sounds good. Unfortunately, non-native speakers are the only students who really need intensive training by the third grade, thus they are the only students who really need to be tested. Exempting them in the name of Die-Versity makes the whole thing pointless, like the fraudulent "core inflation" measurements.
Saturday, March 09, 2013
  Those wonderful Three Horsepersons again

Professor Polistra has analyzed historical instances of Leftist Wackitude. The EU continues to break its own Wackitude records day by day. EU's Three Horsepersons of the Modern Apocalypse (Climate change, diversity, free trade) constantly pull together to form truly unprecedented levels of psychopathic suicide.

= = = = =

"Global warming" + free trade =
An English coal-burning power plant is getting rid of coal, even though abundant coal is nearby. EU regs require civilization to collapse in the craziest possible way, so the Drax plant is switching to "greener" power sources. What's "greener" than coal? Here is the process that is "greener" than coal:

(1) Cut down forests in Mississippi and Louisiana, leaving nude land that will erode into the rivers. Remove the pollution-absorbing qualities of forests. Use gasoline to run the chainsaws and the logging trucks.

(2) Use gasoline to haul the wood to a chipping plant, which runs on electricity produced by coal.

(3) Use gasoline to haul the chips to the New Orleans port.

(4) Use heavy fuel oil to ship the chips across the Atlantic to England, and more heavy fuel oil to bring the ships back without the chips.

(5) Use gasoline to haul the chips to the Drax plant, where they will finally be burned.

So. How is this fantastic consumption of energy and ruining of forests "greener"? Damned if I know. This is EU.

= = = = =

Diversity + free trade =
EU is getting ready to ban pornography on the Internet. What will happen after this?

(1) Since most of the Internet is pornography, all of the Internet will detour around Europe, leaving Europe in a pre-1996 tech situation.

(2) Europeans who want porn (or pretty much any sort of writing or images, since we know EU's definition of porn will be comprehensive and exhaustive) will have to resort to samizdat-style communication by paper and ink.

(3) Since the paper and ink industries will have to be outside Europe, they will be unregulated. Again we'll have forests consumed and land denuded and eroded; again we'll have gas consumption for hauling and coal consumption for processing; and in addition, paper manufacturers are notorious polluters.

= = = = =

When I get disgusted by the constant march of insanity in DC, I can look to EU for a sort of backhanded relief. We're crazy, but we're not quite that crazy and self-destructive and dirty and polluting and suicidal. Yet.
  Once a parasite always a parasite? No.

Another brick removed from the old theoretical structure of Random Evolution, another brick added to the Grand Blueprint idea:
A pair of University of Michigan biologists say they found evidence that contradicts one of the fundamental laws of evolution. .... Pavel Klimov and Barry O'Connor indicate evolution is not a one way road. During a study focused on the evolution of free-living house dust mites, the duo found evidence that challenges Dollo's Law which stipulates that once an organism evolves and assumes certain features it cannot drop them and adopt the form of its ancestors. ... Researchers analyzed DNA from more than 700 different mite species and tested 62 different hypotheses about their evolution. Their findings suggest dust mites have forgone the parasitic lifestyle of their ancestors who depended on their host and instead have become free-feeding organisms that dine on such things as discarded human skin.
Really shouldn't be a surprise by now, and we really shouldn't have any "laws" about irreversibility. If you must have assumptions, the cleanest assumption is that a wide range of genetic combinations are always available to every living thing. We won't start to learn how wide until we get rid of the random mutation crap.


Friday, March 08, 2013
  Math class is hard

As Polistra has noted several times already, the neocon leaders in DC are hopelessly confused about the Arab Spring.

Nothing in the actual event is confusing. Rebels disliked their old regimes because their old regimes were serving America and Israel instead of serving the PEOPLE OF THEIR OWN FUCKING COUNTRY. Though the rebels haven't yet settled the shape of their new regimes, they agree on the basics. Secular regimes that favored Christians and Jews are out; the new system must generally favor the Muslim majority.

These goals are transparently clear. Nothing remotely mysterious. Any friend of civilization, any friend of decent government, should celebrate the goals if not always the immature first results.

But why should DC celebrate? It's still a mystery. The old regimes were our SOBs, and the new regimes are cultural if not military adversaries of DC. Even so, the neocons have decided to support the rebels, for reasons that are completely opaque and probably nonexistent. Having decided to support the rebels, neocons then had to invent a policy-sounding justification. Aha! We'll say the rebels are Young Democracies, just like the Young Democracies that we so generously provided for the miserable surviving residents of Iraq and Afghanistan. And Young Democracies must be pro-Israel and pro-fag and pro-bullbitch and pro-abortion because we neocons are Jews and fags and bullbitches and abortionists. Trivially obvious.

Well, since today is Hundred Flowers Madame Mao Glorious Official Wyyyyyyyyymmmmyyyyyyyynsssessess Day or something, the DC neocons picked out some genuinely heroic females among the rebels, and tried to celebr.....

WHOOPSIE! When we look closely at these heroic women, we find that they are ACTUAL HEROES, which means we can't possibly celebrate them. Actual heroes in a Muslim revolution hate America and Israel, because the main point of the revolution in Muslim countries was to get rid of American and Israeli influence. Oh dear, it's just soooooooo confusing. Math class is hard for Western neocon wyyyyyyyyymmmyyyyyyyynssses.

Math isn't hard for women in Muslim countries, who have a perfect mastery of real logic. I salute them without reservation.

  I'm repetitive. I'm repetitive. I'm repetitive.

A bad week.

First, my back decided to celebrate its annual Sacroiliac Hell Week, though admittedly it's been two years since the last big bash. Probably should be thankful for the longer gap than usual, but it's hard when you're hurting.

Second, the annual royalty check arrived, much smaller than the previous few years. Again I know the pattern: each edition starts big and fades after a few years. Again I should be thankful that I've been frugal and cautious in the fat years, so a lean year doesn't matter much. Still keeping 10 years in the bank, and SS can fill in the gaps if needed. But again it's hard to be thankful. Human perception always picks up the deltas, and a negative delta always hurts.

Finally, I noticed that the commenters at the Spokesman-Review had started using my comments as a source of snarky amusement, piling onto everything I wrote whether it was meant to be silly or informative. That was the last straw, or at least the only straw I could do something about..... so I fired off a nasty Cancel My Subscription email.

My money won't make any difference to the paper; like other Satanic media, they are completely deaf to all feedback from mere local customers and readers. We are all Nazi rednecks in their "mind". They only listen to their super-rich Satanic Commiefag Good Buddies. Pointless or not, it's still satisfying to withhold money from an evil place.

After firing off the Cancel email, I realized it was a near-perfect repetition of a much earlier series of events that I'd forgotten. When I first moved here in '91, I subscribed to the local paper from habit. In '93, their universal venomous snarling contempt for every aspect of civilization riled me to the point where I fired off a Cancel My Subscription letter. (Snail mail back then.)

Again in 2011 I had a moment of good-citizen delusion and tried subscribing. Again it took two years for the ratshit to reach a combustible level.

The wording of both Cancel notes, 20 years apart, was nearly identical. Must be a dormant circuit in my brain that gets triggered by this particular situation, and fires off one verbatim sentence every time it's triggered.
Thursday, March 07, 2013
  Close but no spit

An 1835 article on the first demonstration of cooking with gas:

The description is a bit unclear, but the burners are perfectly familiar. "A circular burner ... pierced with numerous small apertures." Still the same 180 years later.

Everything else was weird. Each burner had a vertical spit coming up through its center, like the gadget used in cooking Gyros. There was no provision for pans at all. Instead you had to put food into a tin boiling compartment mounted on the side of the smokestack! How would you get the food out of that compartment, and how would you wash it? Why didn't they immediately think of a grate to hold ordinary pots and pans directly over the burner? The coal stove with four pan-holes on top was already common in 1835, so the pattern was well-known.
Tuesday, March 05, 2013
  The miracle of 502

Polistra is watching the growth of a strange coalition. Wash state's legalization of pot is bringing the hippieshits and Repooflicans together on three separate points.

(1) Last month I discussed taxation. Repoofs want to evade all taxes because they're naturally treasonous, but hippieshits normally don't think much about taxation. Prop 502 will have to bring existing semi-legal "medical" marijuana businesses into a new highly-taxed and highly-regulated system for all pot, because that was the main selling point of 502. Those semi-legal businesses don't like the change.

(2) Today the UN has repeated a call to cancel both Wash and Colo laws. Drug prohibition means huge fortunes for the third-world dictators who dominate the UN, and they're not going to give up their fortunes easily.

(3) Also today, eight former Drug Enforcement Administration heads call on the federal government to "nullify" the Wash and Colo laws. Not a proper use of "nullify", but DEA never cared about any sort of propriety or legality. Drug prohibition means huge fortunes for DEA and local cop departments, and they're not going to give up their fortunes easily.

So we have hippieshits and Repoofs agreeing on taxation, the need to eliminate the UN, and the Tenth Amendment. They're both wrong on taxation, both correct on the other issues.

  1938 again

Polistra has been asking about the conventional understanding of the 1938 "second depression". Most leftists follow the Krugmanite insult to Keynes, insisting that FDR didn't borrow enough and "stimulate" enough to keep a recovery going. In the previous episode, we found clues that the real problem was bankers going on strike in response to stiff regulations.

Here are a few tables from the 1939 Statistical Abstract that cast more light on the "re-depression". Still no decisive evidence one way or the other.

First, look at national debt. FDR increased the debt steadily by 3 billion each year, which is about 50 billion in modern dollars. No difference between '36 and '37 here, no "failure to borrow". (Incidentally, can you imagine a modern president adding only 50 billion to the debt? Physically impossible.)

Next a table of 'firms in business' and business failures. Nothing special in '38 here.

How about WPA and CCC? Those were the main conduits for "stimulus". This table shows thousands of participants. CCC highlighted in green, WPA in red. CCC held steady during this time. WPA went down in '37 because the economy was improving, then back up in '38 to compensate for the decline. Doesn't look like "failure to stimulate", and the families who needed the WPA weren't going to buy a new car in any case.

Next a table of total wages. Note the highlighted row of wages indexed to pre-crash 1929. It looks like '37 was an outlying positive blip, with '38 returning to slightly above '36.

Finally a more detailed table of income. Same picture: fallback from '37, but still above '36.

None of this would seem to account for the cut-in-half auto production. Banks halting loans would explain it.
Monday, March 04, 2013
  Praying for the monarch

Polistra is praying hard for the life and health of Elizabeth, the only competent ruler in the world. Please, Lord, let her outlast Chuckie the Microwit.

Long live the Queen!
Short live Chuckie The Microwit!
Very short, please!
Sunday, March 03, 2013

Article in local paper features a museum exhibit on Mid-century Modern in Spokane. They detail one house that supposedly represents subtle functionality.

“In a way, it’s sort of Zen-like, with no unnecessary movements, no unnecessary notes if it were music – only what’s necessary to accomplish the program, whatever that happens to be. There’s a very simple beauty in that.”

Well, let's look at the featured house, 723 W. Sumner. It's in one of the best neighborhoods, and the landscaping is unquestionably beautiful. Google gets a nice view of the featured house (left) with its older "non-Zen-like" neighbor.

Which is more functional? Old non-Zen-like. It has a sloped roof and wide overhangs on all sides. Snow and rain can flow naturally off the roof; sun reaches the windows more in winter but less in summer; the foundation is protected from water (and thus somewhat protected from termites.)

The Zen-like modern house has a flat roof and no overhangs at all. It is highly vulnerable to snowload and leaks, it has no shelter from the sun, and its walls and foundation have no protection from water. That's not functional, it's just dumb.

Most of the dull ticky-tacky '50s houses in Spokane are more practical (i.e. less Zen-like) than this highly architected raw rectangle, which is why they have held up with very little maintenance. (Sidenote: The Google Street front view of the raw Zen-like rectangle was blocked by a maintenance truck parked in the driveway!... which is why I had to slide over to this side view. Probably unfair to draw conclusions from a single-day sample, but nevertheless it was there.)
Saturday, March 02, 2013
  Shitting in the nest

We've become so bizarrely focused on WORDS that we can't even see ACTIONS.

Turkey has been bearing the brunt of the Syrian civil war, doing VASTLY more than any other country for the rebel side. Turkey has been taking care of massive numbers of refugees, who would otherwise pour in other directions including Israel.

Supposedly our policy favors the rebels, and Israel is spared considerable trouble and expense. So you'd expect American officials to be at least gentle if not thankful to Turkey.

Nope. Turkish PM Erdogan made a political statement against Zionism which is historically accurate if a bit overdone. Now our traitorous Secy of State, and a bipartisan chorus in the traitorous Congress, are slamming Erdogan for what he SAYS while completely ignoring what he DOES.

And we still expect the world to love us, and we're still idiotically surprised when it doesn't.

= = = = =

Later: More chutzpah from the same traitor Kerry. He was one of the 'supercommittee' that designed the sequester, then couldn't agree on a way to prevent it. Today he's lecturing Egypt on Egypt's inability to get its economy in order!
Egypt's bickering government and opposition need to overcome their differences to create "a sense of political and economic viability" if the country is to thrive as a democracy, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday. He urged them to compromise for the good of the country.
Jesus. He just played a major part in ruining his own country's "political and economic viability", and he dares to instruct other countries about the need to compromise.

And we still expect the world to love us, and we're still idiotically surprised when it doesn't.


Friday, March 01, 2013
  Smoking saves lives

News item in Spokane today:
A baby was jumping on a bed in a 2nd floor bedroom when the child tripped over something and fell out of the window. Mom was in the same room and dove out the window and caught the baby by the leg. The mother started slipping further out of the window and was about to fall, but luckily the grandmother was smoking out on the front porch, heard the commotion and caught the baby.
Bravo for grandma!
  I was wrong, but I'm glad

Well, I was wrong about the 'sequester' nonsense. I haven't thought much about it, because I don't have enough spare blood pressure to let partisan shit contaminate my mind. I simply assumed that Congress or the Pres would prevent it from happening. Why did I assume that? Because we DESPERATELY NEED to decrease spending AND increase taxes. A solid 20% on both sides of the ledger would be about right. Failing that, any move that brings the budget a tiny bit closer to balance, or even DEMONSTRATES that moving toward balance is POSSIBLE, is a small good thing. So the sequester is a micro-good thing.

And that's where my assumption went wrong. I assumed, on the basis of 25 years of consistent data, that DC would NEVER LET A GOOD THING HAPPEN, no matter how small or inconsequential. Since the late '80s, DC has operated on one Prime Directive: DO ONLY EVIL, AND DO A WHOLE FUCKING LOT OF IT.

But I underestimated a newer Prime Directive, which is DO NOTHING AT ALL.

In this particular case, doing nothing accidentally allowed an eeentsy-weeentsy picosmidgen of good to happen, at least for a few days. Not worth cheering, because the whole mess is still malignant.

A secondary effect might be worth cheering, though. It appears that the sequester is making military people and defense contractors angry with the Repooflicans, and making Official Victim Classes angry with the Dems. If this meaningless event serves to disconnect a few mechanical votebots from the Party Machines, it might force politicians to pay a few nanoseconds of distracted partial halfway semi-attention to actual Americans. Remains to be seen.

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