Monday, August 20, 2018

Why Bother to Build a Server

A friend and I were building a server for machine learning, rendering, and some real time work. But now I wonder, why bother to do anything.  It will just fail and be expensive.  And then I will be accused of burning bridges.


Sunday, August 19, 2018

What I Learned From My Trip Where I did Not Enter Canada or Attend Siggraph

draft

This post will be added to over the next few days as I assembled my notes.

1. Only those who are working or have a sponsor can attend Siggraph.

2. Canada has some very reasonable rules for those who would cross their borders.  Sadly I did not know those rules.

3. The US Border Patrol was also unhelpful and much more rude.  (Canada was very polite while they were f*cking me).

4. The rules for crossing into Canada used to be having a passport and a good attitude. Today those rules include but are not limited to having a whole bunch of money on you (I use ATMs), having a clear plan for when you are returning and having that plan on paper (I was not sure when I was returning), having a clear plan for where you were staying (I planned to find the least expensive hotel at the last minute, like everyoene else).  Etc.

5. So they fucked me, and the implications of that go on and on.  Shame on me for trying to attend my professional conference.




Sunday, August 12, 2018

Maybe Write A Letter / Email to Grassley

draft

Perhaps today or tomorrow would be good time to write a letter to Sen Grassley (R-Hell) and remind him that since the Republicans lost the popular vote, they dont really have a mandate to turn the Supreme Court into their private retro-fascist 1930s America. And that he should think long and hard about what is good for America and not just what is good for his rich friends. 

Because when Kavanaugh goes on the court there is some possibility that this whole house of cards comes down. Keep it up Republicans, you are sowing the wind and you will reap an impressive harvest.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Notes on Samsung Tab E

draft

I bought a Samsung Tab E 9.6 inches with 16 GBs of internal memory and 128 GBs of external storage.  These are random notes on setting up and learning how to use the device.

1. The battery charges amazingly fast and lasts a long time.

2. Setting up WiFi is easy.

3. The thing has a desire to set up every application with the most lenient privacy, guaranteeing that you will be exposing yourself to the world.

4. The desktop is filled with applications I do not want, do not use, and can not get rid of.

5. I try to increase the volume of the Amazon Music player and someone (the app? the OS?) tells me that it could damage my ears.  Jesus.

6. After a day of using I am impressed with the hardware but think that Samsung or whoever made the software for this thing needs to choke back their greed and let the user choose the software they want.


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The New Flag of the Republicans

draft

I understand that the Republicans are considering running their candidates in November under the flag of Imperial Russia.  The double headed eagle is the heraldic symbol for power and empire, two of the most important guiding principles of our Republicans.




Double Headed Eagle on Wikipedia

Monday, August 6, 2018

This is the Fate of All Traitors

draft

I want to be one of the first, if not the first, to regret that we still have the death penalty on the books in America in the context of the manifest treason in Washington.

Yes, its true in America, at least, we generally only apply the death penalty to the poor, the people of color, the disenfranchised, to punish them for being poor, or Black or Latino, etc.

How ironic, then, that the classic legal punishment for treason that results in the death of an American is the death penalty. Will Trump and Pence go to the chair? How about Nunes, Ryan, McConnell, Grassley?

"This is the fate of all traitors."

OH! If only they had not betrayed their country! If only we did not still have the death penalty on the books! Its too late now, whats done is done. Justice must take its course.

SAD!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

The LeBron James Incident

draft

The latest Trump abomination has helped me to understand one of the great mysteries of our country: how such an incompetent, racist buffoon can keep his supporters.  So many supporters, what do they see.

The LeBron James incident should have been enough to get Trump impeached.  To recap, Trump attacked Mr. James and called him a "stupid n*gger".  Just about, not quite, but just about.  LeBron James is not only a self-made person, he has personally put 1,100 people through college.  Paid their tuition.  What has Trump done?  Inherited wealth, working with the deVoes criminal to destroy education for all but the rich.

Here is the theory.  The Trump supporters are those people who were angry that they did not go to college, and are resentful of the smarter people who did better than they.  And they racist as hell.  And Trump delivers for them, every day.  Every goddamn day.  Trump is a racist moron, just like them.

And they like it.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Getting Our Spineless Representatives To Grow a Backbone

Draft

Its fun to read about our spineless Democratic representatives terrified of speaking up for what they believe in, unless of course they dont believe in anything.

What we need is elected representatives who are willing to stand up to the right and demand freedom and sanity for us, their constituents.

Should we all be learning to use assault weapons and to make IEDs?  I go back and forth on this one. Since the supreme court has said that black people's votes do not count, what difference does it make if we vote?

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Writing up Helpful Notes


Writing up a collection of notes for my friends of how to deal with the complete failure of the constitution and the collapse of our government.

I think I can do a very good job at convincing people to work within the system mostly if we can (a) change the constitution and (b) remove the scum from the judiciary.

Problem is, I dont think we can do either.

But dont worry, all it means is that about 100 million americans believe they live in a right wing dictatorship, and obviously our govenment could not care less what those Americans think.

Monday, July 30, 2018

When Did Amazon Become Insulting?


First it said you cant buy it because you are not Amazon Prime.  Then it said I could not buy it because this was reserved for carts of $25.00 or more.  Then it said that you had to type in your credit card number again because this is the first time you have ever shipped to an address.  It isnt. Then they said, hey look, you can save $6.00 on shipping if you sign up for something you dont want.

And of course there is no way you can contact a human, and it doesnt matter because big is beautiful and nothing will dislodge Amazon from destroying retail.

But what is extra weird about this little unhappy shopping experience is that I routinely, and I mean maybe twice a week, buy a kindle book and there is no problem.  None of this.  I think these people are weird and maybe just a little out of control.


Sunday, July 29, 2018

Read What They Say

draft

A few years ago, the various blogs and forums were filled with Russian trolls.  They were usually identifiable once you realized what was going on which is one of the reasons I knew about Russian state sponsored interference long before the news media or Congress figured it out.  (Footnote: I have no idea when the intelligence community (IC) figured it out.  I hope it was before people like me did, but who knows).

Today, however, although the Russians are making heavy use of social media, they are either using a lighter touch, or not quite as obvious as they were, except in a few extreme cases.

My first point is, the Russians dont have to do much.  We already have a lot of right wing nuts without their help, nuts that are made even nuttier by deliberately false news outlets like Fox.

My second point is, before you tell me I am overreacting or being paranoid, may I request that you read for yourself what these people say.  I have spent a very modest amount of time doing so and I can tell you that whatever planet they are on, it isnt the planet that anyone who reads this blog is likely to be on.

You really have to read this for yourself.


Friday, July 27, 2018

Our Future Civil War with the Right

draft

Apparently it is commonly believed in right wing circles, or some of them, that a civil war is likely in this country as the "Left" attempts to destroy the Trump presidency.  I know this only because I keep seeing references to this meme when I check out various forums, blogs, news aggregators and because of opinions expressed on Facebook.

What they believe seems to be remarkably uniform given the random-ass nature of my exposure to them.  They all seem to believe that (a) the left is going to become irrational and violent, (b) the poor well meaning right wing is going to have to defend themselves and American values and (c) without doubt the right will crush the violent and irrational left in that war (in other words, the Left will all be shot or beaten to death).

Whether or not you or I believe them is probably not germane, we should certainly take them seriously. We all should know by now that the right wing has been corrupted by false news and bizarre beliefs and they could well act on their beliefs.

So it seems logical to me that we should all learn to use the standard weapons in order to defend ourselves. You know, handguns, rifles, rocket propelled grenades, mortars, radios, armored vehicles, basic small unit tactics in urban settings, stockpile weapons, that sort of thing.

But my friends tell me that this is old fashioned thinking and that none of this will be important in a future civil war, because, well, they are so old fashioned. My friends do agree that the Right is likely to become violent, and that civil war is possible, but that there is nothing to worry about.

I think my friends are too smart for their own good and are somewhat delusional.

In a future post I will describe some things I think we should be doing to prepare for this eventuality, which I think has a non-trivial probability of happening.

One Interpretation of Facebook's Loss of $150B in Two Hours


Facebook lost 150 Billion $US in two hours on Wall Street which, we are told, is the single largest loss of a company on Wall Street in history.  Whether or not that is true, it is natural to speculate what was going on in the minds of investors.  Obviously, they were responding in part to the loss of users, and other issues involving privacy which would result in lower revenues from advertising. But what does it really mean?

Well, one thought is that Wall Street had responded well in the past to Facebook's strategy of exploiting its users in the most crude and vulgar ways, working hand in hand with foreign powers to destroy democracy by emphasizing contradictions, spreading right wing propaganda, and assisting polarization.  When, unfortunately, Facebook was identified as a primary agent of Russian destabilization and had to start toning back its worst and most shallow exploitation in order to keep users and avoid regulation, Wall Street naturally and regretfully had to downgrade FB's value. It just wont be like the good old days, at least not for a while. Still Facebook will try to find more subtle ways to exploit the people who have, in the past, trusted them, so all is not lost and Facebook still retains tremendous value.

[Shel Kaplan reminds me that this apparent loss in value is actually just appearance, that FB's long term value has been monotonically increasing for years. So this apparent setback may be nothing more than a tempest in a teapot and a headline created by shallow analysis. So what else is new?]

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Trump Supporters and Civil War

draft

The problem with Trump supporters is that they think that their lies are truth, and no amount of persuasion works because any fact or counterexample is dismissed as fake news. One of the many things I have problems with today is that no one I know or have read has a plan for convincing these people otherwise. IMHO all we can do is put them out of power and then repress them when they resort to violence (they would say the exact same thing about me, I think).

This is the reason I believe we are headed towards a civil war of sorts, or at least a great deal of violence if "civil war" is too grand a term for you.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

The Russians and the Republicans

draft

It has been a puzzle for some time why the Republicans seem so anxious to protect Trump from the Russian investigation. Wh y is Ryan so intent on having Nunes destroy the House investigation even though the DOJ and FBI asked him to remove Nunes? The argument of this editorial is that they were not protecting Trump per se, they were protecting themselves. I think I get it now. I think the editorial is correct (although it may not be the only story). The Republicans may have f*cked themselves splendidly.

When did they know that the NRA money they received had been given to them by various black sources from the Russians? Yes, the Russians financed the campaigns of our right wing, corrupt, democracy hating, russian loving, Republicans representatives. All of them traitors.

When did they know their money came from sources prohibited by law and from an adversary of the USA, one on various prohibited lists? Just how deep does the Republican corruption go?

Call me cynical? No, I have not been anywhere near cynical enough.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/20/opinion/republican-party-national-rifle-association-trump-russia.html

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Attempt to summarize the current situation

Let me try and put this in my own words. In the most successful intelligence operation(s) in history, russian fsb and gru (a) compromise and own a potential potus, (b) execute influence operations to bring their candidate to power by manipulating social media and our political process, and thus (c) put into power a minority clique whose policies enhance gross income inequality, destroy unions, put two right wing thugs on the supreme court, and destroy the western alliance, (d) but do this in a way that their candidate is revealed as a traitor and must be impeached, thus causing a constitutional crisis and a probable christian nutty boy as president.

Did I get that right?

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Did Things Just Change

draft

The 12 Mueller indictments were announced today.  Did our little national tragedy just change direction?

Although it might have, my initial impression is that it did not.  Why not?  The right wing clique which controls congress and is about to destroy the judiciary could not care less about treason.

They only pretend to care about things like national defense, the deficit, the environment, the principle of regulation vs legislation, etc.  Republicans are proven to be pure devotees of Machiavelli, they say what they must to get power and achieve their goals which have nothing to do with acting in our nation's interest. This has been proven over and over again, that at this point if you dont know it is because you are either not paying attention, dont want to know, or because you are lying.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

That Secret Californian Medical Database

It was fun to go to Urgent Care in Santa Barbara and get a prescription for my ADD/ADHD medication.  This was very unusual and very convenient relative to going to the Emergency Room.  It would not have worked in Escondido, by the way.  

Apparently the new rules are that any prescribing doctor now has to check the database before giving a prescription.  What is entertaining about this is that the patient is not permitted to see his medical records that are in this database.

And you thought you lived in a fair and just society?

Monday, July 9, 2018

Violence Next?

One rarely gets to see a coutnry come apart in real time.

Its too bad the election was rigged by the Russians, its too bad the Republicans are traitors, and it is too bad the Democrats are limp.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

What I Want From the Democrats

I want my party to say 'Impeach this son of a bitch now", I want someone to say "that election was not legal", I want someone who will call out our Quisling democrats for what they are, I want someone who will say "that fascist is going to be in LA on this date, why doesnt someone go out and make his quiche a little bit less digestible".

In basketball terms, I am looking for a "full court press" here.

The Fraud of the Originalilst

draft

By now it should be clear to everyone but the most innocent American that Republicans are just interested in power and anything out of their mouth is just a lie designed to excuse their desire to destroy democracy.   Even so, it is valuable to look at their lies one by one and expose them as such.

One of the most odd is the idea that they want justices, especially Supreme Court Justices, to be "originalists", as in, "true to the original intent of the people who wrote the Constitution".  There is something very funny about this, in a sense they may not be lying.

Recall, the original Constitution did not permit women or Black Americans, whether slaves or not, to vote.  So, do you really want an "originalist" Supreme Court Justice?  Well, they do, and in this they may, for once, be telling the truth.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

The meaning of the 2000 Coup d'Etat

draft

I am trying to create a summary of what I think I know about the constitutional crisis we are experiencing in America and, to a lesser degree, what we do about it.  Its a tough subject and I tend to repeat myself.  There were several events that in my opinion foreshadowed the disaster we are now in, and this post describes one of them.

I realize that this could sound like I am being a know - it - all here, but bear with me.  You may not have grown up in the South and that there were certain elements in this affair that were very obvious to any Southerner (whatever position or side they may have taken) but may not be obvious to anyone else.

In November 2000, I protested the right wing, supreme court coup d'etat in Washington.  This is one of the four times in my life (so far) that I bothered to get out on the street and protest something.  It feels pretty silly when you are doing it, unlikely to have an impact, but still worth doing, I guess. It feels good to be doing something and its nice to get out of the house.

I realized just recently that the issues then were not as clear to my peers as they were to me and that there was some misunderstanding which I hope this post will clear up.  The thesis will be that the real issues at stake were only nominally about W. Bush vs. Gore, but issues much more important and tragic. It affects the legitimacy of the American government itself.  This is going to take a while, we are going to have to start from first principles.

For the system of justice to work in this country, we have to believe that,  generally speaking, the judiciary is not deliberately partisan to one party or another.  If that is not the case, it becomes more and more difficult to accept an adverse decision.  Since of course the judiciary is a mixed bag, some partisan, some not, one way of implementing a more fair system is to (a) use a jury of peers, (b) restrict a judge to implementing a decision based on the letter of the law and prior decisions.  That is useful up to a point.

But as we go higher up the chain into the appeals system, the justices must be permitted the ability to look at the law from a higher level and here the spirit of the law and the implications of a decision become more and more relevant.  Finally, when we get to the Supreme Court, they are the final decision about what is constitutional and what is not. They can not pretend, for example, that they are unaware of the history of voting rights in this country in the post Civil War period. They can and do override Congress and the POTUS. With great power comes great responsibility. Decisions of a Supreme Court become the law of the land, one must believe that they are always acting in the nation's interest, especially with controversial issues and controversial decisions. Failure to do so reduces the legitimacy of the whole judicial system, but worse, cripples one of the three arms of the American system of representative government.

But when the Supreme Court awarded the Presidency to W. Bush in 2000, it was clear that they were acting in a partisan fashion, to put the right wing candidate in power.  Whether you believe that or not, the fact is that many Americans at the time believed it, and presumably many Americans believe it today.  Was there an alternative?  Yes, the Supreme Court could have let the process continue, and all the votes could have been counted.  But it gets worse.

The problem was that while Al Gore clearly won the popular vote, the electoral vote was going to be decided by Florida, and Florida had election irregularities.  Those had to be worked out, and they were being worked out.  But it gets worse.

The irregularities came from the use of different voting machines in different parts of the State of Florida, with those in poorer districts getting machines that were more prone to counting error, the so called "hanging chad" problem.  But what you might not realize is that poverty in the South (and many parts of this country) is correlated to race.  Poorer districts may have inferior schools, poorer districts usually have a higher percentage of black citizens.

Therefore, when the Supreme Court terminated the counting it was really saying, we do not want to count the votes of Black Americans because you see, in case this was not obvious, the "hanging chads" were in Black districts and therefore represented Black votes, at least to a large degree.

And that is what they said.  They said, we are going to for partisan reasons, install a right wing President against the will of the people, and deliberately and in a racist fashion, not count the votes of Black Americans.

At that moment, the court could no longer be counted on to act in the nation's interest.  To many of us, it had clearly shown that it was a tool of partisan, right wing, and racist forces in this country.

Trust me when I tell you, no one who grew up in the southern states would have missed this message.  They might have needed to be reminded why some districts had their chads hanging and some did not, but once they realized this, well, the conclusion was obvious.

What astonished and disturbed me, is that the leaders I trusted to represent me were not willing to challenge this decision, and were not willing to say what was obvious.  That the judiciary could no longer be trusted to do their job.  That the constitution had failed.

In my opinion, when history looks at the current constitutional crisis, however it works out, this Supreme Court decision will be recognized as an important event, signaling what was to follow two decades later.



Friday, July 6, 2018

Steve Speer Channels Baphomet

draft

Baphomet was the demon the inquisition accused the Knights Templar of worshipping.

In this image, we see my friend Steve Speer, NY based artist, prepare for his performance channelling Baphomet.




Another image, and the Wikipedia page, below



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baphomet

Monday, July 2, 2018

The Disconnect Part 1


I am often told that we must talk to Trump supporters or we will never blah blah blah.  If they have not figured out by now what a disaster he is then nothing you or anyone says will change their mind. I have read literally hundreds of articles and editorials by Trump supporters and perhaps thousands of their comments back when I read the comments to articles in the WaPo among others and I can tell you that I know what I am talking about.

These people fall into several different categories (no, they are not all the same).  Some are racists, some are stupid, etc.  But some, more than a few, have something else going on.  I am going to call it "the disconnect" as in the disconnection from reality.

Here are two examples I stumbled on in one day, probably through Real Clear Politics, the right wing news aggregator.  I submit them to you here as evidence.

The first disconnect from reality was an essay pointing out with total certainty that those who are worried about Global Warming have been wrong about everything, and those who are skeptics have been totally vindicated.  What I find fascinating about this statement and this article is that the person who wrote it is clearly and unambiguously out of their mind.  There are many things we do not know about global warming, and there are many questions and issues going forward about what we can do and what we should do.  But there is one thing that is not in doubt: global warming is happening and mankind (people, humanity, whatever) is the primary cause.  You simply can not be an adult and doubt this any more unless there is something wrong with you.  Sorry if you disagree.  I don’t think it could possibly be debated any longer.

The second disconnect is an article whose title asks “Is Trump the Most Fun President Ever?”  Whoever wrote this right wing crap thinks betraying their country, violating the law, destroying the judiciary, and racism is fun. 

My point here is not that Trump supporters are all racists, or assholes or whatever.  My point is, there is something wrong with them.  I dont mean this in a nice way.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Is it Time for Liberals and Progressives to Arm Themselves?

Now that the right has filled the supreme court with right wing thugs, the time has come for liberals to accept that democracy, the rule of law, and so forth no longer exists in America. There are those who argue that it never existed, but I think their arguments are, frankly, irrelevant. Many Americans *believed* that they lived in a flawed democracy, but now no one could possibly believe that. Its just a dictatorship set up for and by the rich.

People have secured their rights in this country in the past by fighting for them, and I don’t mean that in a symbolic or “representational democracy” sort of way. No I mean standing in a picket line and getting their heads beat up by thugs who are supported by our government. I mean the bonus marchers murdered for protesting their treatment at the hands of the government. I mean riots in the cities when the FBI murdered Martin Luther King (not their first murder). I mean protesting with violence when an innocent man or woman is raped in prison, beaten around the head and shoulders and then “hung himself” in his cell.

Nothing is more American than violence. Nothing is more American than the rich using the government to destroy the rights of the poor in order to get more money.

So is it time for liberals and progressives to arm themselves?  This is a very controversial topic and I do not have the answer to that.  I can argue either point of view all day long and get nowhere.  So lets just say it *may* be time to buy firearms, a great American tradition, and ask a few questions.  That will be reserved for the next post on the topic.

Yes, I know this is an upsetting and controversial topic.  Hey, not my fault.  Stay tuned! Things are just getting interesting.

You Dont Talk to Nazis

A reminder of why it is useless to talk to Nazis.



Sunday, June 24, 2018

Infrastructure and Other Annoying Topics

There are several issues here and they are pretty annoying, they all come from poverty. A short version says that I have several different needs and not all fit any one computer. At the end of the day it seems to be something like this: a laptop capable of driving 4K graphics in real time (think going on location to a planetarium dome), a server capable of serious rendering and some machine learning, a display for reviewing images with some color integrity (not much, but some, see Eizo CS2730), a display for previewing 4K real time and doing development, a half dozen or more (or maybe just one) radio/computer controlled drones for testing, with associated infrastructure, a projector for a variety of purposes in public display and projection mapping, decent camera and lens, and the ability to attend perhaps 3-4 (?) conferences or shows, some of them international.

It is going to be tough. I am way out of date on some topics, less so on others. I have tentatively determined to try and work my way through maybe a half dozen subjects, all based around a text or two per subject, probably drawn from the texts used in entry level CS PhD programs at (for example) a place like Stanford CS. The Pharr book on physically based rendering is one such book. At the very least, a book/course on machine learning, presumably fundamental algorithms, and some others. Simulation of cities, society, and late-stage predatory capitalism? Computational biology? Original sin and the Fall from Grace? Modern sensors and explosives in public places? Kayaking? Burning Man?

"A man alone is easy prey", said Clint Eastwood in one of his movies. He went on to say that "a good man always knows his limitations", but in context it is meant as an insult.

Sadistic (Ex-) Friends


As many of you know, I recently experienced a very disturbing example of "kiss up, kick down" in which an old friend unleashed a flurry of emails at me listing all the ways I fell short, in his humble opinion.

Most of these shortcomings were false, but some were the necessary result of poverty.  In other words, it is true that the poor can not compete in most ways with the rich, so what?

But what was his motivation for this?  What was it all about?  My conclusion is that my friend of 30 years, a successful entertainment industry executive, is simply a sadist.  At some point, my number was up, and he decided to fuck me because he thought it was fun.

I mean, why not?  There is no downside to messing with me.  Like pulling wings off flies.



Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Role of Violence in Achieving Social Justice

draft

A friend wants an example where violence ever resulted in anything positive.  How about the civil rights movement, the labor movement, the voting rights movement, the post WW 1 veterans movement, the American Revolution and World War II?

The best explanation I have heard for why the rich allowed the poor and middle classes to advance between 1917 - 1970 was because of genuine fear of violent revolution.  Once that fear went away, they returned to their previous policy of "we get everything, you get nothing".

This is certainly not an original idea.



Friday, June 15, 2018

Mike Amron To the Rescue

Mike drove my car to Santa Barbara where, as you all know, I am studying to be a priest.  Thank you Michael!




This is not his best picture, but he did not want his picture in my blog so I had to take what I could. I wonder if I have any other pictures on my phone?

My guess is that Mike is afraid to be associated with me, and that he only helped out for the money.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Why The Hulk Refuses to Appear in Avengers: Infinity Wars


For those reading this blog in the future, we are in the interim between the third Avengers movie and the fourth.  There are many unanswered questions about what happened and what will happen.  This post is of course a spoiler.

There are many theories about why Hulk does not want to appear and fight in Avengers: Infinity Wars, but I believe I have a special insight.  People want him around to fight their battles, but then they want him to go away and turn into Bruce Banner.  In other words, they dont really love him, they love the other guy.  They just use him now and then.

Well, this pisses him off.  Wouldnt it piss you off?  I am guessing the Hulk is saying No, love me and have me, or dont love me and not have me.  Your choice.

Thats my theory.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

What Everyone In the South Knows (about the Supreme Court Decision)



I am from the South (Virginia, with time in Los Angeles) and anyone in the South would know immediately what the latest so-called Supreme Court decision means. But you might not, having grown up perhaps in a more genteel part of the world, so please forgive me if I mention something you might already know.

There have been dozens of variations on the Ohio law that the Supreme Court upheld, and they all had one purpose and one purpose only. It was to keep poor people, particular N-words, but certainly other groups as well including "poor white trash" and Puerto Ricans, and others, from voting. Period. End of story. There is a lot of history here. You and I might not know it all, but I promise you, everyone on the Supreme Court does. And anyone in the South would immediately know what this decision means.

Unambiguously, we have a racist supreme court.

Wells Fargo and Class Action Settlements


I had a wonderful conversation with a "banker" at Wells Fargo at 877 924 8697 about whether or not Wells Fargo had opened any accounts in my name.  Why they would not know that already and arrange to return any money is of course, typical corporate bullshit and theft.  But we checked and there is no unauthorized account in my name (didnt think there was, really) so I cant claim any money on the class action settlement.

What I really want of course is for their CEO who retired with $120 Million, coincidentally nearly the amount of the class action settlement, to give all that money to charity, but that will never happen in America where the rich live by one rules and exploit the rest of us.


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The New and Future Blog

I cant decide what should be the purpose of this blog.  Positive? Negative? Honesty to the point of self-defeating behavior?  Marketing?  Half empty?  Half full?



Monday, June 11, 2018

Test of New Blog Approach

This is a test to see if typing directly into Blogger will result in acceptable formatting.  If so, it will greatly facilitate writing this blog given that the previous infrastructure is gone with the wind.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

99 cent store

draft

I walked home from the train station, and found the local 99 c store. It was packed. I gave $7.00 to a beautiful homeless child outside. Maybe 17 years old. Collecting flowers. We discussed the bag of oranges she was planning to buy. She smiled at me. I hate this country.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Finally Saw Last Jedi


draft

Finally saw Last Jedi. The art direction & visual effects are certainly very good. Lots of good things to say about Snoke. I could see Luke going mad on that island and being apostate, maybe. But ultimately, no, it felt cynical. I did not believe that their heart was pure, I think it was all about making a buck. I look at the marketing in which the stooge, I mean the director,talked about what a fan he was. Yeah, well, maybe, whatever. I dont buy it. The diversity stuff felt cynical to me. If they donated the money to charity, I would go with it. otherwise forget about it. The dream is dead and died long ago.

In contrast, I felt Black Panther was far more sincere. What is the point of doing movies of this type if their heart isnt into it? I mean, why bother?

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

This is the Fate of All Traitors


Alan Dershowitz is a traitor. At a time when this country is on its knees, betrayed by the Republican Party and the piece-of-fucking-garbage Trump, it was Dershowitz who stood up and stabbed Mueller in the back.

One of several things will happen.

Perhaps Mueller will endure and bring down the Republicans and their traitorous president. In which case, Dershowitz will die, alone and despised.  Or perhaps the Republicans will establish the Fourth Reich, Dershowitz will realize that he has betrayed his country and commit suicide in despair.  That would be a happy ending, but not so happy for all those he had murdered.  Finally, if he doesnt have the guts to kill himself, the internal security forces will probably kill him anyway, as that is what they do, generally speaking, with fellow travellers that they can not trust.

But one way or another, when this country needed every man and woman to stand up for liberty, it was Dershowitz who worked to destroy the forces fighting for freedom.

Fuck you, Dershowitz.



Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Note to Duncan Hunter 05/08/2018


draft

Its been a while since I have emailed my elected representative, Duncan Hunter. I thought he might miss me so I sent the following note.



Message Text:
Dear Rep Hunter, One side effect of the Republican party's loyalty to Trump is the realization that many Americans have that Republicans can not be trusted to defend the Constitution. The last 15 months have proven that beyond the shadow of a doubt. This means that no senior military leader or court justice can be a Republican. Good job, Hunter. You guys really screwed it up. You have betrayed your country and however this works out you will take the blame. I am disgusted by you. You do not and never will represent this citizen. The best thing you could do is resign. Sincerely, MW

Sunday, May 6, 2018

A Big Shout Out to Karl Marx on his 200th Birthday




draft

The 200 years have just rushed by and before you know it here we are. What a surprise, Karl, what a surprise. Who would have thought all those years ago that you had something to say. That a spectre was haunting not Europe but America. And the spectre was of greed, oppression, lies and racism. Who would have thought that the workers need to throw off their chains after having them reattached while everyone cheered.

The real turning point was when I read some stuff you wrote all those years ago about Globalism and what it would inevitably lead to and every word you wrote was dead on.

All our politicians do is lie and steal and fuck. They fuck us of course, useful whores that we are. So very tight. So happy to be useful to the Koch Brothers and Shithole Trump and Gorsuch and the Republican swine.

Come back Karl, we miss you.



Thursday, May 3, 2018

Songs of Depression and Despair


I am listening to more music as I work and pack my house.  I really like cheery songs about depression, despair, betrayal.  Send me your recommendations or put them in a comment.  

Please dont let me be misunderstood
The weight
Heartbreak Hotel
Turn my life down
One way out
Down and Out in Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again
Feeling Alright?
Sixteen Tons
Mad World
I cant get no satisfaction
Lonely at the Top
But not for me
Suspicious Minds
Nobody knows you when you are down and out.

Make suggestions!

[We already have suggestions such as The Whipping Post by the Allman Brothers Band, and Ball & Chain as covered by Janis Joplin]





Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie Sets Off Facebook's Stupid A.I. Picture Checker


Facebook has an A.I. to maintain community standards. The following image violated those standards and got my post removed. Oh Facebook, we will miss your infinite stupidity when you are gone.




Of course, Ms. Thompson is hot, and the picture does have subtle sexual imagery, perhaps.  I really have to get over my affection for hot lesbians.  Its so juvenile.  But whatever.

It is our future to be tormented by weird, dysfunctional machine learning programs.  It is our fate, our destiny.  All in the name of greed.  We are so fucked.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Recycling Computers in California


draft

In California, when you want to recycle old computers and electronic equipment, you cant just give them to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. They wont take them. You must take them to a special recycling center, hand them over one by one to an attendant, who will itemize them and have you sign a variety of forms that certify that you bought these devices in California. The net result is that one thinks twice or maybe three times before going through the hassle. It probably never occurred to those who make the regulations that people value their time and those who are maybe less filled with civic spirit will just throw these items away. Would it be so bad to have a dumpster or something at these recycling centers for electronic equipment that people can leave things in? Do we really need an itemized form of where they were purchased? Really?

[OK, my informants tell me that I have this all wrong.  That in other states, people pay when they are recycling their computers so they either come to California and dump them here or leave them in the desert.  In California, of course, you pay for this service when you buy the equipment. 

Also, my friends tell me that at other recycling centers in California, they literally unload your car for you and you dont even have to get out of the car, it is painless, etc, etc. ]



Friday, March 16, 2018

A Friend of a Friend

draft

So I look at the wreckage of this country, our humiliation, the perversion of justice, the endless religious stupidity, and then a friend of a friend starts comparing Bill Clinton to Donald “Shithole” Trump and I let loose. I tell that friend of a friend that he is a MSFB (moron shit for brains) but I do not do that to insult him, no. I do that because I am in touch with my feelings and I want him to know honestly what I think so that he can become a better person.

Its for his own good.

Thank you.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Too Bad They Fucked Up Democracy in this Country

draft

Oh this so needs to be rewritten.  So many more things to say.  So much left out.  What a disgrace these people are.  How much they have degraded our country.  How pathetic.

Too bad they fucked up democracy in this country. I dont want to hear about it anymore. From now until the rest of my life, if they are Republicans they are traitors. That does not mean all Democrats are great, but at least we can give them the benefit of the doubt.

We live in a tyranny by and for the rich. Here is the minimum that they have to do to restore any faith in this country.

I think that the Russians are throwing Trump a bone to save his presidency.

1. Trump goes to jail.  2. Nancy Pelosi becomes president.  3. Gorsuch off the supreme court.  4. The tax bill is revoked.  5. Trumps accomplices go to jail.  6. The electoral college is eliminated.  7. The criminals on wall street behind the 2008 disaster go to jail.


My Congressman is a Traitor


Friday, March 2, 2018

Ups and Downs in Escondido

draft

Ups and Downs was the name of a skating rink in Escondido, CA. I am pretty sure, but not totally sure, that it was out of business by the time I got here in 2006. It has been empty all that time.

It happens to be located next to the Escondido Chamber of Commerce and a variety of local government offices.

This is the second time I have had occasion to walk past this formerly wonderful business, and the second time that I noticed the “No vagrancy” sign and the evidence of homeless people making this their home. I wonder if they can use the local government offices for their sanitation or a shower?

There but for the grace of God, etc.






Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Imax Theatrical Resolution and Say What Again

draft

Comparing resolutions by memory is notoriously inaccurate, which is one reason why we do side-by-side comparisons in the theatre in the motion picture industry.

However, I am going to tell you flat out that to the best of my knowledge, a torrent download that I am reviewing now of Thor Ragnarok has higher/better resolution than what I saw in the theatre for a so-called IMAX screening.





About the Xi Move For Longer Political Rule


CVS and Contempt for the Patient in California

draft

I want to live in a country where the law works to help the patient get their medication.

I have seen a man with ALS who needs his medication to work the next day be denied that medication and go home in pain. Dont tell me this isnt true. I was there. I know what the law says, I know what the pharmacist did. I know the man drove home in pain.

This is the 24 Hour CVS Pharmacy at El Norte Parkway not that anyone cares.




Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Shorter Posts After the Move

draft

I hope to spend more time on the blog after the move. The blog will evolve to shorter posts, mere sound bites as it were as that is all I can manage at this point in time. For those who have expressed concern, I appreciate your best wishes. I dont know if things will get better, but surely they will be different. Thats all I want to say in this post. Shorter posts, more pithy, a single point.



Friday, February 23, 2018

Expectations and Black Panther

draft

I recently saw Black Panther. I expected an important movie about people in spandex, and instead I got a movie that discussed such things as: 1. History is important to understanding a situation, 2. Mistakes made a generation ago that caused injustice will have an impact on the situation today, 3. Subsaharan Africa has nations but those nations are also made up of tribes with their own identity, 4. History has many excellent examples where disaffected ex-patriots serve in the army of a foreign power and come home with that knowledge in a big way, 5. Both the good guy and the bad guy loved their fathers, 6. Some people care about traditional ways of doing things even if those ways do not seem entirely rational to those outside the system.

I could go on.

This is not bad for a superhero movie.



Thursday, February 15, 2018

John Wick and the Internet Movie Firearms Database

draft

For those of you who have not seen them, the John Wick movies are very spiritually evolved movies about a retired assassin whose wife dies and leaves him a dog. Some idiot Russian mobsters steal his car and kill his dog, so John goes on a killing spree.

Its a very gentle movie, one with a lot of value on many levels. I doubt that more than 200 or so people are killed, although I could be wrong. I do lose count.

I am pointing you to a particular sequence listed below. The guy Wick (Keanu Reeves) is after is in the hot tub protected by maybe 30 or 40 Russian bodyguards.


But that is not the point.



Reload.... fire.


The point is to introduce you to an extraordinary resource: the Internet Movie Firearms Database. In which most movies are analysed by someone very knowledgable.

So please watch this sequence and then read about it here, and you will be impressed and enlightened, I think.




Millions of People Will Be Hurt and America is Disgraced

draft

When I discuss the political situation with friends and others, I try to make two points. The first is that at best millions of people are going to be hurt because of the Trump disaster. The second is that every day that asshole is in office disgraces America.

I am ashamed of America that we have allowed this to happen and for it to have gone on this far.

I am ashamed of America that the Republicans are all traitors trying to destroy America.

So when I meet a Trump supporter online or otherwise I tell them what I think of them. Which is to say, that I despise them, that they are morons or worse, and that they must be destroyed for the sake of America and all our people.

The time for compromise is over, and it was over a long time ago.



Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Visual Effects and the Art of Explosive Decapitation

draft

What makes truly great visual effects? Animation, design, attention to detail and many other elements. Rarely does mere story affect the greatest work in the field, as modern technology has proven that plot and story are obsolete and not worth the added expense.

Recently reviewing a much overlooked masterpiece, Pirates of the Caribbean part 18, Dead Men Tell no Tales, I came across a fabulous example of the dedication and attention to the *smallest thing* that can turn merely good work into great work for the ages.

There are few truly great head explosions in the western cinema, and if you look closely at one of the attached frames you will see that "Dead Men" contributes to this canon with a notable entry.

Congratulations to all the artists involved for making our lives that much more fulfilling and enriched through the art of explosive decapitation!






Friday, January 26, 2018

Delusions of Reference and this Blog

draft

Do you think you are seeing yourself referenced in this blog or on Facebook only not by name? I might say “a very successful friend of mine” or maybe “a very smart friend of mine”. And you think I am talking about you, and get offended or something of that nature.

Well, I have bad news for you, its worse than you think. In fact, there is a pretty good chance I am not referring to you at all, and if I was, you would know it because I would have asked your permission first (whether or not I use your name). Always, every time. Pretty much.

It is possible, even likely, that the person I am referring to does not exist but may contain some indefinable essence of your sacred uniqueness (as we are all unique, dont you know, all God's children, etc) in some sort of composite character that I am creating in order to make a point about society, our lives, our civilization.

And you want me to stop, in fact you demand an apology on Facebook, and after I plead innocence, you tell me that is no excuse and so I end up blocking another old and dear friend. This is a bummer.

But I am not going to stop, and you are going to have to go away bitter in total ignorance of the fact that I was not talking about you at all.



Swine McConnell Sells Us Out to the Russians

draft

Write your congressman, you never know. Post what you say. Encourage others. Those of you who are rich swine from the exploitation of the poor (present company excepted of course) should also make progressive donations as the great ancient philosophers have said "money talks".




Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Ursula K LeGuin Has Passed Away


draft

I wish to note that Ursula K LeGuin is dead. She was a great influence on me growing up. It makes me ashamed to have failed so completely when I had inspirations like Ms. Le Guin.

It makes me sad.

MW


Monday, January 22, 2018

Second Amazon Hub and Considerations Involving Labor and Housing

draft

Amazon is close to selecting its second hub and cities all over this country are bending over and spreading their cheeks for the privilege of having some employment and tax base which they suppose will come along with the Amazon hub. And indeed there may be some financial benefit to the local communities in certain sectors. No doubt the slaves will have to buy their rations from the designated franchises that are raping them for their undernourishment for example. No doubt there will be disenfranchised and impoverished men and women who will provide sex services to the slightly better off hub worker units. There will be other business opportunities as well.  

Many people believe Atlanta is a front runner in this race because of its developed airport infrastructure, mild weather, and guaranteed hostility to unions and workers rights.  We can be sure that Georgia will use the full range of the law, the police and private thugs to destroy any attempt of the workers to organize.  This makes for a productive business environment.  All of these characteristics are important and no doubt make Atlanta a plausible choice.

But there is one area that is emphasized far too much, and that is the issue of housing. Slaves should have no rights to housing. Slaves should plan on bedding down where they work, and maybe sharing a hose as a shower. It is disgusting and unAmerican to even consider giving the worker anything but a minimum fee. There should be no benefits, no time off, no over time, no health care, no pension, and certainly no housing. These are all leftover concepts from the last century.

When they execavated Caesar Augustus's house in Rome they found a floor filled with about 50 cubicles for the slaves. In our opinion, even that is too good for them and would be an unnecessary drag on shareholder value.

We are more sophisticated today and know better.  Let us hope that Amazon holds the line on these matters and does not give into any sloppy sympathy for the worker-swine.

After all, its a free country.  If they dont want to be a slave for Amazon they can go off and be unemployed somewhere else or just die as far as our government is concerned.  

Thats what America is all about.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Guess Which Picture Violates Facebook Community Standards

draft

Guess which of the pictures below violates Facebook Community Values and will get you blocked.







Have you guessed yet?  Examine each one carefully!  Which one is the most salacious, which one is the least?   Your average 12 year old boy would have no trouble answering this question.

The answer is image number 2 from Lifeforce (1985).   This is the image that got me blocked from Facebook for 24 hours.  The other two caused no problems with their totally automated, perfectly insane, AI guardian of public morality.

Pretty wacky, huh?

When you consider that Facebook also owns Tumblr, the very home of twisted pornography on the Internet, the mind achieves a unique state of Zen like incomprehension.

[My friend Jerry Weil informs me that there was a huge brouhaha about "nipples" on Facebook and so he knew immediately which picture was the offending one.  Well, me bad, I had missed this important social dialectic entirely but it reinforces my opinion: Facebook is not very sophisticated here, they are in fact, holding back my real feelings, near moron-like stupid.]


______________


Notes:

1. For those of you who are coming into this late, my objection is not to Facebook's removing images, my objection is to how they handle it, the lack of human communication, and the extreme punishment system which is probably malfunctioning.  You are welcome to read the forums if you want to see what other people think of this Facebook system.  Be prepared to read many swear words.

2. The other two pictures are (1) the famous Vampirella of comic book fame and (3) a still from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.




Facebook, Freedom of Speech and Corruption in America

draft

Since I use Facebook to discuss politics with my colleagues and friends, when Facebook blocks my account for no good reason, see picture below, and since there is no discussion and no recourse, and since Facebook is my only medium for having these sorts of disucssions, then that would seem to me to be a violation of my freedom of speech. It may or may not be a violation based on the First Amendment, but it is certainly a violation of my freedom of speech.




This is not to say that Facebook can not restrict certain images, although this is mighty funny given some of the blogging sites that Facebook owns, but that is different from blocking someone entirely.

But not in America, where after all, there is no freedom of speech and the government is corrupt.



Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Mystery of Blogspot / Blogger Anomaly Probably Resolved

draft


The reason some people can not leave comments on this blog, as well as other Blogspot based blogs, is because the commenting facility is broken under Google Chrome.

Go to another browser, such as Mozilla Firefox, and it seems to work.

What is weird about this is that Blogspot.com is owned by Google. You might expect that they would make it work with their browser.