Sunday, September 20, 2020

Your Independent Affiliation Will Not Save You


My right wing friend told me how frightened he was by "The Squad" and he was concerned that Biden would appoint people to his administration that would be radicals.  "No one knows!" he said.  Then he proudly said that he was not a Republican but planned to reregister as an Independent as soon as he could figure out how to use the California online registration system.

My response is as follows:

1. The so-called squad are just four junior congressmen who were legally elected. There is nothing to fear from them except perhaps as a bellweather that the people of the US have woken up to the gross and unacceptable failures of capitalism and neo-liberalism. They cant do anything if Americans dont elect a majority who agree with them to the house and the senate and then have a president who agrees enough to sign a bill.

2. The fear of Biden is also stupid. Biden has spent 50 years in government as a committed centrist. The people he appoints will in general abide by his beliefs. The problem you have is that American beliefs have changed because of the failures of the right wing policies that have been in place since Bill Clinton. It is those policies that have failed and people demand a change.

3. The corruption of the judiciary, the huge deficit, the children in cages, the destruction of decades of bipartisan foreign policy, the treason of the government, all of these things are going to be laid at the feet of the right wing. It doesnt matter their so-called party affiliation, all of you are guilty for humiliating this country and destroying our government. If I am wrong, tell me about when you contacted your congressman to demand that Trump be impeached for treason, tell me about the donations you made to people running against the republican swine/traitors, tell me that you voted against Trump in 2016 and plan to do so again in 2020. Tell me that you hate Mitch McConnell.

4. The electoral college is over. Justices nominated by a traitor are illegitimate. If our constitution cant be fixed it is time for a new constitution. This right wing abomination has gone on way too long.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Will The Police Murder You if You Protest Peacefully


My friend, Richard Thompson, esq, suggests that as a white person I am unlikely to be murdered outright if I protest injustice.  Just teargassed and beaten.  Accordingly this suggests that by teaming up with people of color one may be able to prevent them being killed by our right wing police forces.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Moral Improvement and the Redemption of Sin Through Good Works


I have always believed in the possibility of moral improvement through the process of higher education.  For a large part of my life this did not seem possible due to other responsibilities and a regrettable lack of resources.  

But miraculously some of those resource constraints have been lifted and my need for moral improvement has never been greater.  But people seem to be confused about why I would want an advanced degree so this note is an attempt to quantify some of what I might hope to achieve.

1. First, to be around and work with smart people on a variety of projects.  Whenever I am around smart people I seem to get smarter and I am always inspired and challenged by their work and their ideas.  Sometimes what makes a group interesting is where it is located. Some places are just naturally more interesting than others. Sometimes it is the group that makes a place interesting.

2. Bring my technical skills up to date, presumably by taking courses possibly on a tutorial (Oxford/Cambridge) basis.  

3. Be in an environment where I am exposed to people doing new work, including lectures by interesting people who have come to visit.  

4. Similar to the above, but slightly different, be in an environment where people are interested in doing new work, where that is their raison d'etre, and where they are aware of what the current work in an area is.  

5. Have access to a lab or facility where new things can be tried.  

6. And of course, a credential would be nice.  There are various types of credentials that are possible here and some flexibility because the normal requirements for a career are not present.  In other words, a PhD would be desirable from certain institutions, but since I am not going to have a normal career as a professor at a research university or an art institution, the need for a credential(s) and what type are more ... open ended?  ambiguous? 

7. Of course the ultimate goal is to do new work, work that is better for the exposure to new ideas and new people, possibly get this work published.  This work would speak for who I am and would hopefully lead to new opportunities in a world changing at great speed and going to hell in a handbasket as we watch.

If it is not possible to do all of these, then having some of these would be useful.

To the best of my knowledge the best way to achieve this is to be affiliated with one of the major industrial research labs or one of the graduate programs in the appropriate field.  

This was not so clear to me earlier in my "career", it makes me wonder if things might have changed.  It seems to me that 30 years ago it was a lot easier to hang around a research group or graduate program even though one was not affiliated. It seemed to me that those in "industry" were closer to those in "research".  Maybe that was an artifact of the time and the fields of interest.  Whatever. Not any more.

In a perfect world, one might imagine that I got a PhD in Computer Science and an MFA in Art or Design and be acknowledged and loved in my various fields.  That would be rewarding and demonstrate what I think of as the redemption of sin through good works.

It is not impossible that this could be inspirational to others who have fallen into despair and hopelessness. 

Thank you for listening.

Statute of Limitations to Add To the List


1. Remove the electoral college, 2. Find a way to invalidate and rehold elections that have been compromised, 3. End voter suppression, 4. End the Supreme Courts ability to throw an election as in 2000, and 5. Increase the Statute of Limitations ot make it possible to bring the criminals to justice.

Republicans Who Are Independents


Discussions with a former friend convince me it is possible to have extreme right wingers who are "Independent" even though they toe the Republican / Trump line perfectly.  They dont see it that way and nothing on this planet could convince them otherwise.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Receding Media Technology


Emerging technology media is so boring.  Lets embrace receding technology media.

At the Arlington theatre in Santa Barbara during SBIFF.

Setting Doctor / Patient Expectations


If we have healthcare by the free market system in this country, which I am told is the case, then it should be possible for one to have a contract with one's doctor in order to set expectations and obligations clearly.  In my experience, this is not done, and all the obligations are on the part of the patient, with the doctor being able to do whatever they damn please.

Although you will hear about such things as a "Patient's Bill of Rights" to the best of my knowledge no such thing exists in any serious form, at least not that it would have protected me in any of the dozens of cases where I might very well wish to be protected.

Having made this mistake many times in the past, here is a short list of things I would like known and agreed to up front.

1. The doctor will not release information about the patient without the patient's written consent.  This happens all the time when a doctor sells his practice to someone else.

2. The doctor understands that he is responsible for delivering proper prescriptions on a schedule and that failure to do so will cause the patient damage.

3. The doctor understands that he/she is responsible for advocating for patient in any dispute or misunderstanding with the pharmacy and any failure to do so will cause the patient damage.

4. The doctor understands that when he/she goes out of town or is unavailable for any reason, that another doctor is made available to cover and will know enough and be comfortable with prescribing the appropriate medication in his or her absence.

5. In the event that the doctor and patient must discontinue their relationship for any reason, that the doctor will still provide prescriptions and interaction with the pharmacy for at least six months (and this term may have to be more).

6. The doctor will understand that this responsibility is serious and he/she can not just say "oh thats not important".

I am tired of having to deal with these irresponsible scum in order to get the medication I need to live my life.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

History of Voter Suppression


Peace. I think the following are worth mentioning. First, voter suppression has been going on in this country since before I was born. It was a natural result of giving black people (and poor white people and Latinos/Latinas, and orientals and women ...) the right to vote. Therefore, when you hear about voter suppression you should not think that there is anything new about it (although there are interesting minor innovations and mutations) in broad strokes it is more or less the same: poll taxes, gerry mandering, removing polling places, hanging chads. You should think to yourself, "this is really tiresome".

Second, the courts are perfectly capable of stopping this behavior whenever they want.  I slightly exaggerate, but they have broad powers here. Often, they choose not to. Therefore, it is a mistake to put your faith in the courts to "fix things". The Supreme Court coup d'etat in 2000, its support of Citizens United and its destruction of the Voting Rights Act are three good examples. The courts permit the states to set voting procedures based on by-county tax rates, hence worse voting machines in poor/black districts which is a form of voter suppression (see hanging chads). The courts may help or they may not. Their record is inconsistant.

Third, if you read some of the comments and forums and editorials, then you know there are phrases used by racists and Trump supporters to justify their racism. If you use those phrases (e.g. "we must condemn violence on all sides...") then you should expect people to conclude that you subscribe to the full racist agenda. That may not be true, but you should be aware of this.

Finally, local police forces have been using intimidation and violence to keep minority groups in place since at least the War Between the States (Civil War to you Northerners). If by this time, we have not plausibly dealt with this issue, why do you think the so-called minority groups should have any faith in the system self-correcting? Why shouldnt they defend themselves? Its not as if the problem is going to go away and they live here too. As a Jew in Virginia, growing up, how many times was I asked why the Jews of Germany did not defend themselves? (*)

All of these issues have come up in the last few weeks as people criticise me for being opposed to institutional racism, as I understand it, in this country. Everyone here is on the side of righteousness but we come from different backgrounds so maybe it is good to state assumptions. I will probably need to edit this post. I apologize for making this post so short, obviously it could and maybe should be much longer. Peace!


(*) Of course, the answer to that is that they would have been slaughtered, I think.  

Monday, August 24, 2020

This is the Fate of All Traitors


Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Death to Traders?


Voice to text keeps translating my "Death to Traitors" to "Death to Traders".