Thursday, August 31, 2017

Jalapeños In Strange Places

... can be quite interesting. I just added three slices of pickled Jalapeño to a bowl of reheated chicken spaghetti and it worked out well!

Jalapeños - the Wonder Food!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Data On Racism

... may surprise you. It surprised me.

Update: I was just thinking about this and came up with something odd. You know how progressives like to point out when they see a group of nothing but whites and they start making accusations of racism? In fact, a group of white people would give you the lowest expected value of the number of racists in a group of that given size.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Pack Must Always Stay Together

There are three Catican Guards. Bodie is about 8 years old and he's an Australian Shepherd mix. Wiggles (a nickname) is a 2-year-old Chihuahua mix who looks to have some whippet in her. Grandma (also a nickname) is her sister and she is a fat, lazy, little Chihuahua mix.

When we go out for a walk, Wiggles is in front, straining at the leash, Bodie is mostly up front, with regular stops to sniff and mark and Grandma brings up the rear. This being inland San Diego, the summer days can get very hot which means that after about a mile, Bodie and Grandma are ready to go home. Bodie is getting old and Grandma would rather never have gone for a walk in the first place. Wiggles, meanwhile, is just getting started.

If you don't give Wiggles enough exercise, you pay for it. The worst is when she wakes up at 2 AM and decides we all need to get up and play. Having had enough of this, I decided to take just her for a walk. The other two didn't like this at all. Why is she getting to go with Poppy and we have to stay home? Crying and wistful glances ensued.

I hit upon a better plan. We all went for a short walk, one where the Bodie and Grandma got to decide when it was over. We went home, I unleashed them and then went out again with Wiggles alone. We got two blocks before she stopped and looked behind her. Where was everyone else? This won't do at all. We don't like to walk alone, we must all be together at all times.

I gave up and walked back. I'm still not sure how to handle Dogs with Different Exercise Needs. Maybe I can teach Wiggles to play fetch in the yard and get her wiggling out that way.

Grandma: Does it look like I want to go for a walk?

Monday, August 28, 2017

There's No Escape From The Racegasms!

I've coined a new phrase to describe the almost sexual pleasure we're getting out of Charlottesville: a racegasm. After years and years and years of talking about white supremacists like they were evil spirits - things that caused all manner of harm and yet were invisible - we had a sighting! The couple hundred morons marching in Charlottesville proved all of our notions of magical evil were true! Richard Fernandez put it best.
Liberation from causality is the cornerstone of "compassion", consequently it is the fundamental positive right offered by all paternalistic states.

It is also a perfect definition of magic. The recent war on statues and the media obsession with formulaic speech recalls the magical principles of similarity and contagion. As every believer of magic knows enchanted objects and special words are the key to changing reality. One destroys white supremacy by toppling statues of Stonewall Jackson, just like a voodoo doll. To use "hate speech", like an infernal spell, risks resurrecting Nazis from the dead.
I stayed away from political sites yesterday, but our parish priest had a huge racegasm right up in the pulpit as he gave his homily yesterday. I wanted to throw up. We had to hear about white supremacists, the KKK and the Nazis again. I guess if you've only got one opportunity a week to have a throbbing racegasm, you might as well grab it.


Meanwhile, lost in the racial satisfaction we all feel as we smoke our cigarettes and lie back on the pillows is the fact that we aren't accomplishing anything at all. We aren't even pretending to be doing something real. We're living entirely in the world of fantasy.

Don't believe me? Try this.

Imagine a young, black girl telling her mom, "Gee, momma, I sure hope they pull down that statue of Robert E. Lee soon so your boyfriend stops abusing me!"

Illegitimacy rates by race.

Sorry if I spoiled your racegasm.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Avoiding Temptation

Last Saturday I blogged about trying to overcome some recurring sins by following the advice of Earl Nightingale - you become what you think about.
I love to listen to Christian rock. These days, with a few detours into AC/DC, Judas Priest and Van Halen, it's all I consume. For the next 30 days, as I drive or take walks, I will turn on my Newsboys Pandora station and focus on the words, applying them to my two sins. When it's a song about failing and trying again, I'll think of times where I've failed. When it's a praise song, I'll think about how controlling these sins will glorify God. When it's a song of loss, I'll think of how my sins have hurt others.
It's worked to some extent, but there's something missing from the effort. That is, I need to avoid the things that trigger the unwanted thoughts. Anger wasn't one of the things I was working on, but it was front and center this week, brought on by my consumption of political posts on Facebook and Twitter. It was really rough as the progressive onslaught upon the culture and their obsession with race was infuriating. I felt like no one was responding with the right questions when accusations of racial oppression were raised.

Enough. I've posted about that here over and over again. I'm not changing anything by consuming that rubbish. In addition to listening to my music and trying to apply it to my sins, I'm going to lay off political Twitter and avoid Facebook as well. I've already stopped following a lot of political people on Twitter and I no longer visit Real Clear Politics, so that's a start. When I avoid those things, I find I have much, much better days.

So there you have it. Maybe that can help you, too. More likely, you're already ten steps ahead of me.

Have a great Sunday.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Not A Threat

Everyone is rushing to denounce the white supremacists and Nazis louder than the next guy. Why not denounce bathtub rings instead? They've got about the same threat potential.

The Charlottesville Freak Show was the largest collection of white racists in, what, a decade? If they achieved their highest goals, what would have happened? They'd have kept a statue intact in a town of 46,000.

That's it. A statue in Nowheresville, Virginia stays. Stretching to the very limits of their mobilization powers, the best they could do was fight and lose a battle over a statue. That doesn't seem very ambitious. Their failure at accomplishing even that small goal was followed up by universal, national denunciations where people were roundly criticized if they weren't sufficiently hysterical.

Meanwhile, how is that whole crime, debt, illegitimacy, bankrupt-Illinois, failing schools thing going?

Say, isn't that the financially largest state in the Union next to the bottom of the list?
We'd better attack white supremacists even more.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

What Happens When You Overplay Your Hand?

... and no one feels safe to tell you?

If you suppress the speech of people with whom you disagree it might come back to bite you.

Remember: There is no freedom of speech for hate speech.
Hate speech is whatever Google/news media/academia say it is.

Dig this tweet-and-response from yesterday.

It's just some tot with a stuffed animal and a flag and the Democrat focuses on the kid's race. I said "Democrat" because there is no way on Earth that this kind of thing will be associated with any other political party.

The implied hatred of the flag is there, too, but it's not as visceral, not as tribal. No one can say anything in public about this, at least no one in a position of authority. The press and ANTIFA and BLM would be all over them like a cheap suit. Oh sure, loonies like me can tweet back, but I'm a pipsqueak and Google hasn't yet shut down this blog for wrongthink.

Memo to self: Backup the 'Post. I've got a lot of work stored here.

The Democrats are going to be obliterated in the 2018 midterms and there's probably not much they can do about it now. They can come up with messages and slogans and economic plans, but none of that matters. They're so deeply invested in tribal hate that nothing else will count. The cultural issues they've created will dominate and things like this will stick to them like glue.

The worst thing is that no one has any illusion that the tribal attacks are going to accomplish anything. I got a cheap blog post or two out of wondering if we should erect Confederate statues in poverty- and crime-infested areas and then take them down so things would improve, but only the completely insane think that cultural cleansing will do anything at all for us. This is Taliban territory; it's simply the Morality Police enforcing cultural orthodoxy. The Taliban approach only works when there are no private voting booths and votes have no meaning. That's not the case here.

And no one can warn them because to tell them why this is wrong only begs for attack.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Frankly, I'm Disoriented

I have no idea what planet I'm on any more.

Welcome to Zarbulon-5.
In case you missed it, ESPN has removed Robert Lee, a sports announcer of Asian descent, from broadcasting the University of Virginia game because of his name.


I've walked back to the place were I landed my rocketship, but it's gone. Sabotage or theft, I am now stranded on this alien world with it's mentally ill natives and insane customs. I fear I shall spend the rest of my life in a futile search for a means of returning to Earth.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Directly Stimulating The Pleasure Center Of My Brain

... is what this felt like. It is so perfect, so amazingly perfect, so transcendentally perfect that I don't know if it will be outdone this year.

From the Guardian: 'Racist' Gandhi statue banished from Ghana university campus
A statue of Mahatma Gandhi will be removed from a university campus in Ghana after professors launched a petition claiming the revered Indian independence leader and thinker was racist.
That's it. I don't think I will find anything better in 2017. I figured we would take a while to get to Gandhi and we'd have to get through George Washington and Admiral Nelson first, but no, we swung for the fences and connected!

It just goes to show what you can do if you try.

I always knew he was full of hate. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Our New Priests: Interpreters Of Symbols

This is a response to a friend's post on Facebook, a friend who doesn't understand that Facebook and politics are like alcohol and vehicles. Mixing them is a dangerous thing.

The dude posted a long-winded entry opposing all Confederate monuments, quoting Robert E. Lee extensively. Lee being Lee, he didn't want any monuments at all. His reasoning was sound, but the monuments weren't for him, nor should they have been subject to his veto. The monuments, for the most part, were erected by families who survived the war as a way of paying tribute to their sons, husbands and fathers who died fighting for the South. They are monuments of grief mixed with pride. They aren't about the cause of slavery, they're a permanent marker of woe for the bereaved.

Insert an excerpt of a white supremacist example of a statue here. I'm sure there are some and they are easy to find. While you go off and Google them to insert them in the comments, I'll continue. Have a good time.

I'm a crazy Catholic. I'm trying to be as orthodox as I can, that's how nuts I am. If I wanted you to describe me to someone else, I'd ask that characteristic be given first.

For over a decade, homosexual priests in the Church raped and abused little boys. The Church covered it up and allowed thousands of little boys to be hideously scarred. I can hardly think of anything worse.

Who gets to define the meaning of my symbols? What does the Vatican flag that I sometimes fly mean? If I get to say, it means 2000 years of love and thought and striving to be like Christ. If an embittered victim of a gay priest gets to say, it means powerful people allowing priests to rape little boys. If it's the latter, I have to take down my Vatican flag. I can never fly it again for the horror of it all.

Whose symbol is it? Is it mine? Are you obligated to learn what I mean when I fly it? Is it yours and you don't need to hear from me at all? Am I your vassal, subject to your judgment, regardless of your understanding or ignorance? How and when did you enter the Priest Caste and gain your interpretive powers? Can I join, too?

If symbols are to be interpreted by others and not their owners, I'd suggest we take them all down to prevent justifiable violence. After all, I can see by that sticker on your car that you stand for the slaughter of Bearded Tamarin Monkeys. Sickening. Please remove it.

Why do you hate them? You're a hater and you're full of hate. I'm calling ANTIFA now. They'll sort you out properly.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

What Keeps You Coming Back?

... to try again to conquer your sins or weaknesses?

It's different for everyone, of course, but yesterday, while working in the garage, the song below came on my Newsboys Pandora station. Here's a tidbit of the lyrics that got to me.
To label me
A hypocrite would be
Only scratching the surface
Of who I've been known to be

Turn me around, pick me up
Undo what I've become
Bring me back to the place
Of forgiveness and grace
I need You, I need Your help
I can't do this myself
You're the only one
Who can undo what I've become
I finally understood the whole thing about "letting go and letting God" that my Catholic friends talk about. I always thought surrendering your life was pretty stupid and I didn't get it at all. It made me wonder why I was given free will if I was just supposed to give it back again. Ridiculous and illogical.

My wife tells me I live in my head. I think this is unfair, so I took some time and came up with a 7-page proof by induction to show that I didn't live in my head. In the process, I found a homotopic mapping of my life into an interesting topology that can be described by looking at a ring of integers where the following transform has been ...

Hmm. OK, maybe she has a point. A small point, but I'll grant her that.

Here's where my epiphany appears. I have given up my life to God evidenced by the fact that, after decades of continued failure and hypocrisy, I still fight my sins. I fight them because it's what I'm supposed to do. I know it's what I'm supposed to do because I've read and studied and thought and argued and discussed and thought some more.

I fight sin because I have a sound, theoretical foundation for my actions. I'm not giving up my free will at all. Instead, my free will led me to this point and it is now informed by knowledge and logic.

I let go and let God at the root level, the basic mathematics level. Just as I use algebra without thinking about it and algebra is core to actions I take, the Word of God is the (mostly) unconscious basis for my decision-making process.

It seems to me that you can let go and let God and at the same time retain free will after all.

Enough of my silliness. Enjoy the song. I think it's particularly good. God bless and have a great Sunday.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

You Become What You Think About

A few years ago, a friend turned me on to Earl Nightingale's talk, "The Strangest Secret." I found a YouTube of it and embedded it below. The payoff starts around 9:40 for those who can't bear listening all the way through.

"We become what we think about."

I don't think it's as simple as that, but I think it's a big portion of success. The brain happily rewires itself to match stimuli and responses. That's how neural networks work, mathematically. We've also seen this born out in all kinds of research. It's why studying before a test is advantageous and it's how porn works to destroy your desire for normal sex. Repetitive thoughts dig grooves in our heads that can become very hard to escape. See also: Bias, confirmation.

I've got a pair of repetitive sins I really want to eliminate or at least dramatically reduce. They keep me from a fuller embrace of God's will for me. I've tried all kinds of things, but these grooves are pretty deep. They are some of the reasons I've spent so much time on self-help books.

In The Strangest Secret, Earl proposes a trial for his hypothesis. Go for 30 days, he suggests, and focus on your goals. Think of them as often as possible. Write them down on a 3x5 card (this is an old, old recording, you know) and re-read them many times a day. Beyond that, allow your subconscious mind to work. He says you'll see a big difference and be much closer to your goals after 30 days.

This is a marked difference from my boys Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy. They recommend a full plan with steps and measurements and so on. Earl wants me to think about it. It's like being one of the band kids using the "think system" in The Music Man.

I love to listen to Christian rock. These days, with a few detours into AC/DC, Judas Priest and Van Halen, it's all I consume. For the next 30 days, as I drive or take walks, I will turn on my Newsboys Pandora station and focus on the words, applying them to my two sins. When it's a song about failing and trying again, I'll think of times where I've failed. When it's a praise song, I'll think about how controlling these sins will glorify God. When it's a song of loss, I'll think of how my sins have hurt others.

You get the idea. I've tried this method before, but in the absence of, let's call them musical study aids, I've never been able to make it 90 seconds down the road before my brain is back in its old grooves, having a good time, doing something my soul doesn't want done.

Maybe I'll blog on Sundays about how this is going. I started it yesterday and it was a marked difference from previous efforts. I was really encouraged.

Hopefully that will help some of you. God bless and have a great Saturday.

Friday, August 18, 2017

A Photographic Assistant

... or is that a photogenic assistant?

One of our sons and his fiancee just got a corgi puppy. His name is Watson and he's 8 weeks old. Plus, he's adorable.

I'm helping with the camera!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

All Wrongthink All The Time

... is what progressives pursue these days. There's nothing of substance, it's all feelings and words and symbols.

If you step back and look at the progression, you find:
  • Christian bakers who believe in traditional marriage
  • Little Sisters of the Poor who believe in chastity
  • Southerners who flew the Dixie flag out of regional pride (not including the bona-fide racists)
  • Speakers like Charles Murray who perform legitimate research, but hold inappropriate views
  • PhD biologists (the chap who got fired from Google) who point out sexual dimorphism in humans
  • Statues
I woke up today, made my coffee and worked on some PHP code. None of the aforementioned had any effect on my life. Even a statue of Karl Marx in a nearby park, if it existed, wouldn't have made a difference. It all exists in theory, it's all conceptual.

This is why Trump, God help us, won the election.

Out in the real world, where most of us spend our time, we face drug epidemics, states going bankrupt, rising health insurance costs and children who can't find full-time employment because of ObamaCare regulations. You're not helping me or even living in my world when you chase Little Sisters of the Poor all the way to the Supreme Court to force them to pay for birth control insurance.

Others have opined that the left and right now speak completely different languages. I'd go farther and say we live on completely different planes of existence. The left has become ethereal, conceptual, theological. Worse still for them, and staying with the point I made yesterday, their theology doesn't jive with reality. I've had a day to think about it and I'm more convinced today than yesterday that we're watching the death of a religion. When confronted with contradictions or refutations, they simply scream, "SINNER!"  all the louder.

Since our sins are in our heads, you have to accept that they are clairvoyants and can read minds. It's entirely possible that Charles Murray is well-intentioned and simply goes where the data takes him. To me, it's even highly likely. However, when faced with a Charles Murray speech, the response is hysteria. They are convinced they know what he's thinking. They know he's a racist. He must be destroyed.

We're not being punished for what's in our heads, we're being punished for what's in theirs.

So no wrongthink, boys and girls. Keep your thoughts pure and your statements scrubbed free of aggressions, even the micro ones which are too small to be visible to the naked eye. That's the way we should all live. ALL OF US.

Here, Iranian morality police issue a warning or maybe a ticket or maybe a jail sentence against a woman who is improperly dressed.
In the US, we call these police, "ANTIFA."

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Death Of A Religion

.. is what we're seeing played out all around us.

I was so disgusted by the recent political violence, almost all of it from the left, that I had seriously thought of ditching any serious blogging and just going to photography alone. This morning, it finally dawned on me that none of this is about racism or white supremacy or Confederate statues. What we're watching is the slow-motion death of the dominant religion. As it goes down, it does everything it can to change the subject, attack it's detractors and attack the concepts of truth and logic.

The functionally illiterate black kids in Baltimore kept nagging at me. I've blogged relentlessly about the state of our children and the pathologies we inflict upon them from broken families. Why are we talking about Robert E. Lee when these kids are getting hosed?

Because we don't care about them. Instead, we're invested to the eyeballs in postmodern progressive theology. As that goes down in flames all around us, the black kids in Baltimore can go shoot each other by the hundreds for all we care. First and foremost, we must defend the faith. That means not talking about them.

Or about how blue Illinois is bankrupt and insolvent.

As is blue Connecticut.

Their cities are being starved for basic funding. Their schools are being ravaged with budget cuts. Essential services are starting to fall apart. No credit is available. Heck, even the lottery won't play in Illinois any more because it won't get paid.

And then there's the epidemic of black violence in blue cities. Chicago and Baltimore are war zones of black-on-black slaughter. Those are just the high-profile cases. There are plenty more.

Want another example? How about Obamacare? None of its promises were kept, not one. The thing has collapsed financially as insurers have fled the exchanges. The central mission of any insurance provider is to stay solvent and it has failed even that.

We're talking about Robert E. Lee because to talk of anything substantial would strike at the core of the religious faith of the media, the entertainment industry, academia, all of the Democratic Party and much of the Republican Party. We're watching heretics be burned at the stake at Google. Heretical icons are being torn down. Anyone whispering about violence on the left is shouted down with cries of "White supremacy!"

The free speech battle on the campuses isn't an attack on Ben Shapiro or Milo, it's a desperate defense of a dying faith. They don't hate Ben, they hate the truth because the truth will kill their religion and force them out of what is comfortable, force them to recant. That's simply unacceptable and so instead, we talk about a nonsensical Russian collusion story and statues of Confederates, even statues of Teddy Roosevelt.

What happens when we tear down the last Confederate statue? We look for something else to destroy, something else to distract us from the collapse of our faith. Don't get in the way of the religious left or they will destroy you with all the venom and hate of a stricken cult. I think we'll just have to let this play out.

It's not about Lee at all.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Preening While Rome Burns

The bit below from Brendan O'Neill is the perfect summary of what I thought yesterday after posting my bit about utter ignorance of Robert E. Lee permeating both sides of the current ragefest. It's not about Lee or even the Confederate history of the South. It's all about the demonstrators themselves and their bottomless need for attention.

I'm creeped out to the point of literal nausea by what's happening. I'm just now getting to the point where I can articulate the underlying rational thoughts behind my emotions. Here's a subset.
  • Once we start allowing violent mobs to "cleanse" our cities of things that offend them, where do we stop?
  • As far as I can tell, I don't dare disagree with the mob publicly regardless of what the law says. The law won't protect me from the mob. All I can do is watch.
  • Once we've removed all things Confederate and the world is still the way it was before, what do we remove / burn / re-educate then?
  • Since the rage is detached from reality, how can it stop? 
  • If the Left is driven by intersectionality where we classify ourselves into smaller and smaller groups, each oppressed by other groups, aren't we just seeing the first shots fired in a war that can only end in Somali-style clan fighting?
  • The children of Baltimore cannot read, write or do basic math. There's no question that they're not alone. None of the rioters on either side address that. The media doesn't address it. The politicians don't address it. All we're talking about is Russia and the Confederacy. Meanwhile, a chunk of the young generation are coming out of school unable to function in the 2017 labor market.
  • It all seems to be vapid, moral preening while Rome burns.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Unworthy Of Lee

The more I think about it, the more I think Robert E. Lee, were he alive today, would have taken the white supremacists and thrown them in jail. They are utterly unworthy of him and have no more idea of who he was than the ANTIFA morons. If it was up to me, I'd force the white supremacists to remove the statue with their bare hands while someone reads from Lee's letters over a loudspeaker. I'd have the ANTIFA idiots forced to relocate it to another park while they were similarly instructed.

Lee was all about doing his duty without complaint or blame of others. If you read his writing, you'll know he was not in favor of slavery or secession, but when his nation called him, whether that was the USA or the CSA after his state seceded, he did what he felt he was supposed to do to the best of his abilities. Neither of these groups of cretinous swine can claim that.

Finally, to think that Robert E. Lee would ever, ever condone Nazis in any form is simply insane. All of this conflict is nothing but ignorant disrespect of a great man. Nauseating.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Statue Must Go

After yesterday's fun and games in Charlottesville where white supremacists rioted over a Robert E. Lee statue, the statue has to go. I'm a huge fan of Lee and I find this recent desecration of his statues to be a thoroughly depressing statement of ignorance, but you can't allow violence to succeed or you'll get more of it. (See also: Baltimore.) The crazies have to be humiliated and demoralized as quickly and thoroughly as possible.

The conversation. A few years back, Attorney General Eric Holder called for a "national conversation on race." Well, we're having one now, aren't we? Isn't it loads of fun? Personally, I'm not terribly enlightened by the witty repartee between the Black Lives Matter / ANTIFA side and whatever it is these white swine call themselves.

Professor Jordan Peterson had a great characterization of race recently. He called it "the crudest possible way to classify people." That's probably obvious to the rest of you, but to me it succinctly summed up what I had felt: race is valueless in my life, giving no actionable information. For example, I'm writing this as I watch the Newcastle United game. If you came over now, I'd prefer you to be a sports fan so we could enjoy it together. Your race would mean nothing.

But they get to do it! Where do we want to be 5 years from now? Wouldn't it be great to talking about anything other than race-based political violence? That's only going to happen if we stop fighting about it. It doesn't matter if the score is uneven or the other side got to have the last riot. These cretins need to be thrown in jail, wholesale. The authorities didn't do that in Baltimore or Ferguson or Milwaukee and look what we got.

Enough. The Toon are finally back in the Premier League and they're holding up well this morning against a top-flight Tottenham side. The game is way more interesting than blogging about melanin violence so I'm signing off here. Have a nice day!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

A Different Goal For North Korea

The current government must go. Period. Whatever it takes, up to and including war, those guys have got to go. And now, not later.

Traveling this week, I was assaulted by Airport CNN repeatedly wherein Wise People with Important Degrees and Long Years of Experience lectured viewers that Trump's rhetoric was dangerous and destabilizing. What we needed was dialog and de-escalation.

Until what? Until the Norks have 10 nukes instead of 5? Until they've mounted miniaturized warheads on missiles with 3,000 or 5,000 mile ranges? Until they've sold nukes to Hezbollah? What exactly is the plan 10 years out for the "negotiate" crowd? Dig this Hillary Clinton quote from a CNN piece today.
During former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's confirmation hearing in 2009, she said the Obama administration believed that six-party talks were "a vehicle for us to exert pressure on North Korea in a way that is more likely to alter their behavior." "We will embark upon a very aggressive effort to try to determine the best way forward to achieve our objectives with them," she added.
Alter their behavior? Really? I'm sorry, Ms. Clinton, but the rest of us can't hear the voices in your head. You're going to have to convince us using things we all can see. In any case, we tried just that during the Obama Administration and now we've got potential mini-nukes on 5,000-mile missiles. In the non-fantasy world, that was an utterly predictable failure of the highest order. It's time to stop doing what clearly doesn't work.

Yes, right now, the Norks probably have functional nukes that can be delivered by ship or submarine, if nothing else. Yes, a war might end up with a few cities flattened. Yes, Seoul would suffer mightily. Game this out 5 years into the future, using only actual facts and patterns of behavior and no wishful, peacenik thinking and let me know how it gets better and not much, much worse.

The time to knock off the Norks was when Bill Clinton capitulated, enabled by that epic schizophrenic Jimmy Carter. Carter, living in a world that only exists in his mind, played rogue negotiator and betrayed us all, giving that coward Bill Clinton an out from confronting the Norks. Well, that opportunity has passed and we are where we are. Waiting longer is just going to lead to more advancements in Nork missile and nuke technology.

Backing up to a higher level, what we're seeing is the fruits of 40 years of Pax Americana. This generation has grown up thinking that peace and prosperity are the norm. That's why we concentrate on trannies in bathrooms. We think we have the luxury to debate such issues and that they're even vaguely important.

Meanwhile, the world becomes less and less stable at a fundamental level. Huge debts in the West, nukes in the hands of Kim Jong Un and the Ayatollahs, Muslims slowly conquering Europe through demographics, none of these are discussed as existential threats because we've never experienced an existential threat in our lifetime. In our minds, they don't exist and never will. Instead we worry about men in women's restrooms and micro-aggressions.

If you think this is all over-the-top, caffeine-driven ranting, try this little exercise. Go back in time 20 years with the Norks and apply the analysis process below for all of our diplomatic efforts. Your goal is peace and stability in the region and no or reduced threats from the Norks. How'd "engagement" and "diplomacy" do?

Friday, August 11, 2017

Choose Your Front Yard!

Here are photos from two recent trips. Which would you prefer, Inyo-Kern, California or Manassas, Virginia?

Rainfall does make a difference.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Purple Lettuce At The Confederate White House

I sauntered down to Richmond today, expecting ... well, more. The main attraction for me was the Confederate White House and Museum. The White House was uninspired, to be kind.

The Confederate White House was built in the box style. Like a box. 
A. Box.
As its builder said when he was done, "Meh."
The museum was similar. All you could think of as you walked through it was all the Alabama farm boys fed to the Federal cannons so wealthy southern gentlemen didn't have to give up their $30K-a-pop slaves. That was nauseating and I'm a Dixiephile of the first water.

They had a reproduction of South Carolina's secession articles or statement or tantrum or whatever it was. It mentioned slavery by name, so that pretty much takes care of that.

Having said that, the Confederacy is unfair to the South. Just as "Hitler!" is probably the first thing most people unfairly think of when they hear about Germany, the Confederacy lasted only 4 short years and has almost nothing to do with modern-day Dixie. I love the South for the people, the climate, the food and the beauty. So fie on the Confederacy and their horrible White House! I'll take 2017 Alabama, Mississippi or Louisiana any day of the week.

The lettuce referred to in the title was a lovely flower on a tree behind the building. It was the best part of the stop. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Google Is Not The Problem

A quick second take on the Google madness.

Google isn't the problem. Mindless zealotry is. Dig this.

You might need to click on it to see the full thing.

Google's own search turns up data that says the heretic was right and the zealots were wrong. Think about that for a second. The Google Nazis only had to Google the question to see he wasn't being a bigot.

This isn't just about a company of intolerant morons, it's about a dominant culture that is saturated by irrational fundamentalism. To me, that's really scary. These people are living in a fantasy world where facts can't penetrate, one where their illusions are real.

We're living in a nation where the schizophrenics have organized to the point that we all have to agree the voices in their heads are real or we lose our jobs, social status, Internet access, friends, bank accounts, etc.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Biologists Should Start To Worry

So the dude who wrote a decent defense of sexual dimorphism got fired from Google for violating the social justice laws of the Reich. I guess that was bound to happen to someone with unclean thoughts and he drew the short straw. Rather than let sleeping Untermensch lie, I think we should start tracing this kind of thinking back to its source so we can root it out once and for all.

I'm looking at you, biologists. Especially evolutionary biologists.

Males and females have different roles and different characteristics? Really? You're going to teach that kind of nonsense to unsere Kinder and you think we're going to let you get away with it? Allow me to suggest a line of questioning for our cultural einsatzgruppen as they track down and exterminate those with hateful thoughts.
  1. Are humans animals?
  2. Do humans have two different sexes?
  3. Has evolution led to sexual differences in other animals with two sexes?
    • Why?
    • What are some examples?
  4. Does evolution apply to humans? 
  5. What are the implications of these differences?
Think carefully before you answer, biologists. Your careers hang in the balance.

We just want to ask you a few questions.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Playing Army Man

... with life-sized toys.

Dig this collection of functioning, refurbished, military vehicles we found at an antique store in Kramer Junction on our way back from one of the many California desert towns. It was crazy. The collection, of which this is only a subset, owned by two brothers who collect and restore this stuff as a hobby. Their collection of restored antiques must run into the $5-6,000,000 range.


Sunday, August 06, 2017

Japanese Beetles Like Pizza

From the Interesting Insects file comes these two photos from my recent trip to the Inyo-Kern area. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 05, 2017

What Went Wrong? Intellectual Arrogance

I just finished, for all intents and purposes*, The Ottoman Empire. I highly recommend it for all kinds of reasons. However, you might need additional information from Bernard Lewis' excellent What Went Wrong. The first book gives you the narrative arc while the second lays out the foundational ideas of Islam that led to the fall of the Empire.

In short, the problem was this: The Muslims didn't see any value in anything the infidels thought or said or did. For example, almost no books were translated from European languages into Arabic. The Europeans translated everything they could. Islamic chauvinism was so bad that when the Ottomans lost one particular war and had to negotiate a treaty with the Europeans, they couldn't find anyone on the Sultan's staff who could speak any European languages, so they dragged some poor Christian dhimmi out of their Balkan provinces and had him act as translator. Since the translation was so cumbersome, he ended up acting as negotiator for the empire!

The Ottomans were able to last so long because they had military superiority. The elite Janissary infantry combined with horse archers were more than a match for almost everyone for hundreds of years. When the Europeans finally developed technologies and strategies for coping with them, it took the Ottomans completely by surprise as the Ottomans didn't bother to monitor the Europeans at all.

After several defeats at the hands of the Europeans, the Ottomans still didn't fully adopt Western methods. They tried, but Islam and Sharia kept getting in the way. The result was an Ottoman economy and military that was hopelessly behind. For instance, when WW I broke out, the Empire had only a few hundred miles of rail while their opponents had thousands. Rail was the primary way to move troops and keep them supplied so the Ottoman forces were immobile and undersupplied most of the time. The Ottomans had clung to their old ways of doing things and didn't industrialize.

I could go further, but I think that makes the point. Islam brought together racially diverse peoples into a single, cohesive empire, but ended up being the reason the Empire eventually failed.

Ideas matter.

The Ottoman railway system, ca 1914. Note that the largest Ottoman offensives were carried out in the Caucasus against the Russians were there were almost no railways at all.

The German railway system, ca 1910. Enough said.
* - I skipped a couple of chapters and quit after the fall of the Empire after WW I. I have too many other things to read / hear and I wanted to move on to something new.

Friday, August 04, 2017

This Is Cheating

I was sent to a job today where the power had gone out to a house. Like an idiot, I quit after I checked the breaker box and didn't see any visible damage, but saw what I thought was an error code on the meter. SDGE came out a few hours later and found there was nothing wrong with the incoming power.

I had quit before I tested the line going into the main breaker. When I finally tested it myself, I found there was 220 coming in to the breakers. There was no reason to call SDGE at all.

I've changed circuit breakers before. It's actually pretty easy. Once you flip the main, there's no power to the bus and the breakers can't shock you. This was different as I'd never changed a main before so I called an electrician. He's going to change the main, but I came home and looked up how to change a main breaker on YouTube.

The simple answer is you cheat. Dig this.

You remove the meter? That's crazy talk! That belongs to SDGE!

Of course you remove the meter. That's where the incoming power is, well, incoming. Once you shut it off there, replacing the main is trivial, it's just replacing a breaker like any other. Sigh.

I still think removing the meter is cheating.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Yes. Yes It Is.

This is God's country. And He can keep it.
Greetings from the mouth of a furnace. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go outside and desiccate.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Religion Causes Wars

... is just nonsense.

Chaos all over the place for me this morning, so here's a short one.

I'm almost done with The Ottoman Empire and I highly recommend it. It's all war and conquest all the time for hundreds of years. Just like the French / British / Spanish / Germans. And Aztecs. And Apache. And Chinese. And and and.

Religions are collections of ideas, like philosophies. If some religions caused wars, then some religions would prevent them, too. Religions would also cause different kinds of wars, marked by the differences in the idea structures and content. They don't. It's one pack of dudes and dudettes taking on another pack of dudes and dudettes because they think it's easy pickings or they feel threatened.

As I got to the part where Napoleon invaded Egypt*, which at the time was part of the Ottoman Empire, I did a thought experiment. If there was no such thing as religion, if we all lived like ants or wolves or whatever, would there have been peace?

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! (Gasp) Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!


Yep, religion causes wars. Keep telling yourself that.

I think this is a picture of one of the popes. Or maybe the Dalai Lama.
* - The French, irreligious at the time following the Revolution, invaded Egypt to mess with the British. No religion involved there, just one side trying to get an advantage over the other.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

This Is Where It All Falls Apart

I saw this from CNN yesterday and everything just relaxed for me about the topic.

A pregnant man. Right.

No, the world hasn't lost its mind, CNN has. This is just stupid.

The story as it happened: A woman got pregnant. Either before or during her pregnancy, she was stuffed full of testosterone until she grew a beard and, from the looks of things, had her breasts hacked off. The baby was drenched in a bath of incorrect hormones and won't be able to nurse from its mother.

That's all this is. It's a mentally ill woman having a baby at the same time as the people around her played along with her deranged fantasy.

That makes CNN happy. It's not a sign of compassion or acceptance, it's a sign that CNN and everyone involved are demented.