Sunday, September 10, 2017

Climate Change Denial and Crimes Against Humanity

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At what point does global climate change denialism become a crime against humanity?

Furthermore, does a "crime against humanity" actually have any real legal meaning or is it more precious, politically correct bullshit from organizations such as the United Nations and therefore have no merit whatsoever  (see for example the "Zionism == Racism" or the Temple Mount has nothing whatsoever to do with Judaism bullshit)?

At what point is it recognized that the last election was invalid because of the intervention of a foreign intelligence operation? Does failure to acknowledge and address this issue make the so-called democratic process in this country a transparent fraud?

Many Americans, all of whom are wealthy and powerful, I notice, seem to believe that they can accept any corruption, and obvious criminal act, and still expect to have the American people support their corrupt system as if it was democratically elected.  What if that ceases to be the case?

Friday, September 8, 2017

Fashion Week 2017 in New York

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I was discussing Fashion Week in NYC with Ken Perlin and the recent trends in models to come from Eastern Europe or the Midwest. In both cases it was noted the high percentage of genetic material from Northern Europe which results in very tall, very slender women, at least when they are young.

As I read more about these trends and the issue of moral responsibility as poor, young women from the former Soviet Union literally starve themselves to death, starve themselves to fainting, throw themselves into hooking to make ends meet, resort to surgery to reduce weight, an industry observer, Emma Nussbaum, made the following observation:

A large number of the dominant fashion designers are homosexual men with pederastic interests and they insist that their female models lean toward the looks of boys in their early adolescence, which requires a very thin and lanky appearance, and the tall and masculine girls willing or forced to starve themselves to present such looks are going to disproportionately come from regions comprising of a large number of poor individuals with a Northern European appearance.

So I thought about that for a moment.

 Oh, I said.




You can read the rest of her comments here:




Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Restoration of Dr. Strangelove and the Triumph of the Free Market

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Growing up in America, I have been trained to believe that the “free market” solves all problems. That the invisible hand will inevitably lead to an equilibrium position that will be the optimal use of resources. Like any good cult, we are also taught to disregard any data or example that contradicts the central tenets. Any such example must be shown to be invalid because the free market is always right.

I have an excellent example here where the free market is one more time proven to not only find the optimal solution, it actually finds the only possible solution that could be acceptable to a right thinking American. No disgusting socialism or wooly thinking for us! The free market is always right.

Once upon a time, Stanley Kubrick attempted to put together a new print of his classic Dr. Strangelove: Or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964). The film is a classic of black and white cinematography and Kubrick was tasked to put together the best possible set of prints for a rerelease sometime long after the original release.

But he discovered that what should have been a straightforward task was not because the original negative of the film no longer existed. To explain this, I have to explain something about how distribution prints for film used to be made.

The way this used to work was this: when you have finished editing a film, you cut the various elements of the film together into an original negative. From this original negative, which you hope to touch as little as possible, you then create an interpositive (IP) and from that an internegative (IN). From the IN you strike as many prints as you need for exhibition.

Eventually the IN wears out, and then you strike another IN from the IP. In this way, you never touch the original negative any more than you absolutely have to. But this costs money you see, not much money, but money. So when the IN would wear out, instead of striking another IN from the IP, the studio (?) would save a few bucks by just cutting out the relevant parts of the neg and adding it to the IN and strike more prints. Which means that the original negative no longer existed, and the best that Kubrick could do was to go back to the IP.

In order to save a few thousand dollars, the original and best version of one of the classics of Western cinema was destroyed. As well it should have been. Nothing is more sacred than the profits issued to the shareholders. To even consider otherwise is sacrilage.

The idea that there are still morons out there who actually think that the profit-motive should have anything to do with cultural legacy or any other value driven topic, such as health care, education and justice, is clearly a person who has been driven mad by ideology and has nothing to contribute to the political process.

Looking to Rent a Monk's Cell




Sunday, September 3, 2017

Facebook Thinks We Are Worthless Scum

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I mentioned on Facebook (called FB so that we do not activate the incredibly annoying text recognition feature) how FB did not seem to mind changing the user interface whenever the fuck they wanted no matter how stupid the changes were and how much it inconvenienced their users.

And a friend pointed out that this was a completely valid thing for them to do and I was being wrong to complain because we are not paying for the service.

In fact, he said, this is the way it should be in the future because users are scum and we should choke down on that dick..

I think my friend is right, after all, FB only makes about $500 billion on us useless scum.




Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Knowing When to Retreat

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In the battle for public opinion, controlling the message is everything.

The issue of memorializing the Confederacy, an issue which is fraught with problems, was lost the moment the alt-right, the neo-Nazis and the KKK attached themselves to the process.

Whether or not these memorials are and must be to celebrate racism is no longer relevant. They are seen that way by too many people.

The fact is that racism persists in this country, just about everywhere. Its pernicious, its real, it penetrates our country in subtle and overt ways. Until that issue is dealt with, and I doubt it will be anytime soon, then the Confderacy becomes the great symbol of the struggle against racism unfinished.

The cause of commemorating those who fought and died to defend their home against invasion is not tenable at this time. Lets put these monuments and source materials in archive, underground, or in a warehouse somewhere, with museum-quality care. One day we will pull them out and have an exhibit.

But not for a long time.



Monday, August 21, 2017

Value of a Psychiatrist in our Late Capitalist Society

A friend, who is aware of the stress I am going through, suggested I go see a psychiatrist he knows down here. The good news is that my friend wants to help. The bad news are the details, so lets go through it.

I think my friend knows all this, by the way.

The short version is to skip to item 10.

1. The doctor he recommends is an adult psychopharmacologist, I already have a psychopharmacologist. About six months ago, I was thinking of changing, but now I plan to stick with the one I have until I leave the area at the end of the year. (This particular recommended psychopharmacologist is also semi-retired and expensive).

2. Psychopharmacologists are good for one thing, prescribing drugs, period. My psychopharmacologist already prescribes the maximum of the drugs I intend to take. (Note: I would take more if I could, but I cant, so I have to deal with that).

3. There is a more general kind of shrink called “a therapist”. Some of them can prescribe drugs, some dont. In my experience, they are useful for one thing: the rent-a-pal phenomenon. When you talk to a shrink once a week, you tend to lean less on your friends for moral support. This is valuable! But time consuming and expensive.

4. Doctors cost money. I dont have the money to spare.

5. The money could be spent on many other things, like travelling to Sf to see an ex girl friend. That might cheer me up more than any doctor.

6. The problems I deal with at this time of life comes from trauma experienced in my 30s and afterwards. That trauma results in anxiety attacks today when I am not in control of where I live or how I am going to afford to live.

7. Therefore, if you want to help, and my friends do want to help, you should listen and say something cheerful, or (this is much more difficult....) you should help me find a job, or arrange for a place for me to live, or give me money or introduce me to someone who can. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done, especially in today's world.

8. We live in a corrupt, late-capitalist society. Money is necessary to solve problems. Shrinks are a tool which used judiciously, can be helpful. But, like lawyers, they are not a panacea and they run on money. At the end of the day, money may not buy happiness, but money, or a steady job, or both, will buy stability and some satisfaction. This is not the only path but it is a good one and very straightforward.

9. I recognize that most people can not provide this help for their friends, or when they do, only in very limited amounts. I have sampling error here. There was a time when I could give people jobs, two different times in fact, but those times are past for me and may have never existed for my friends. Your good wishes and thoughts are appreciated.

10. But the biggest mistake here is to think that doctors are good for anything and the patient knows nothing, even after a life time of dealing with this.

11. Send money!  Just kidding, sortof.  Thank you!


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Scenario 1 for Post December (On the Road before School)

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version 1.0

I have to leave where I am living by the end of December.

The standard "tourist visa" for a European country is 3 months (needs to be verified). Moving always destroys my ability to work, and causes panic attacks. The latter can be managed, the former not so much.  If I can make the numbers work, I might look at spending three months in 4 countries, 3 months each, a total of one year.  I am a neo-luddite so I dont use craigs list very much, although it is a very useful resource, generally speaking.

This is all financed by $1450 $US / month early social security and some small savings which if used with care is intended for this purpose. For example, maybe $3,000 per country (e.g. for a 3 month period) to pick up air travel and other extraordinary expenses on top of room, board, internet, etc, which would come off Social Security

There is some hope that after that I might settle in a beautiful but abandoned part of the world like Western Mass.

I am applying for a masters degree in CS between now and December. I would apply for a PhD directly, but I dont think I have the recommendations which in my estimation are required. It would also be productive to pick up an MFA, or a Dr. of Theology, or a law degree, or even that PhD in computer science. This is all paid for by govt loans.  Which means that they would deduct from my social security, damn them, to pay the loans back.  I dont know if the US education loans would cover a European university, but if it did, that would be a possibility.

While on the road, I would continue to write my blog and try to make progress on one or both books.

As of now, the only thing that is certain is that I am staying here through the first of the year and that I am applying to graduate school.  

Thank you for listening.

Comments are welcome.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Problem(s) With Assassinating Kim

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There is lots of discussion in the media and on the Internet about assassinating the leader of N. Korea, Kim Jong-Un.

Lets review some of the reasons why this is probably a bad idea.

First, in our modern world, assassination can be hard to do. Kim, like all good modern leaders and revolutionaries under threat, has many hardened hiding places. If he is following standard protocol, he is never sleeping in the same place for two nights running. He also never chooses where he will sleep that night until the last possible moment, and as few people as possible know. If you do decide to attack *all* his hiding places at once in an effort to kill him, you have to attack them simultaneously, because if he gets a hint of what is up, he will be on the move at once and go deep.

Second, as they say, if you attack a King, you had better kill him. If you just wound him or miss him, you are just going to piss him or her off and you are likely to be sorry. In the case of Korea, if Kim goes to war, Seoul is within conventional artillery range of some of N. Korea's artillery. He doesnt even need nuclear weapons to kill a lot of people (millions, by most guesses).  Much of this artillery is hardened against air attack, and dispersed.

Third, historically, assassination is rife with unanticipated results, so you had better have a good plan up front and plans of this type are likely to go bad. I am under the impression that the CIA coup in Iran was not necessarily intended to put the Shah into power despite what you read on the Internet. The plan was to put a military Junta into power, with maybe the Shah as a figurehead, but I could be wrong about this. For a more certain example in history, note that the assassination of Julius Caesar did not really work out for either the conspirators or the Roman Republic.

Although I certainly think that “decapitation” is a strategy that does have merit, it is not always a good idea and one has to be very good at it.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Email to Larry Schnur about my Bicycle Progress

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I find it useful to report to you (and sometimes to my blog) my progress.

About 5 days a week I go about 2 - 3 miles.

Almost but not quite street legal.

Only ride at night, on mostly deserted roads.

Wear helmet, knee pads, gloves.

Getting better at getting on my bike.

Still very unstable in terms of steering when a variety of things happen such
that I get off my bike when cars are around.

Bought a cheap scale to measure my weight.

My general impression is that I am getting better, things are improving, and this is
valuable. I am way out of breathe when I finish for the night.

At this rate it will be a year to six months before I get close to Palomar, but I am
ok with this.

Thanks for listening! (Yes its a little weird but I am totally isolated here and so it
nice to have someone to talk to).

Thanks,

MW