Thursday, February 25, 2021

Trump Castrati and the Failure of the Constitution


I think that recent events put to rest any thought of even the most obsessed old school liberal that bipartisanship has any value at all. It has none, it is dead. The Republicans and the so called conservatives have cut off their balls and presented them to the great moron. Their path to power is through manipulating the states to suppress legitimate votes and so use the completely insane mechanism of the electoral college to steal another election. The Democrats cant and wont stop them game over. And if we want to lick the feet of the constitution ever again in my lifetime, then implement the 14th amendment, 3rd clause. Insert stupid excuse here, blah blah blah. But you cant just pick and choose like that. It makes it all an obvious joke. I think Biden is doing a good job given what he has to work with. Americans may deceive themselves that things are fixed but the knife is in and the problems cant be solved at that level.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Hannes Leopoldseder


There was a time, perhaps 1984 or so, long before computer animation was accepted by polite society, when the true believers would assemble at Siggraph. This was before the fall from grace and pretty much everyone there was dedicated and pure of heart. I would always stay through to the day after the conference and in the lobby of the conference hotel I would find my friends from Austria, always Christine Schoepf and usually Gerfried and Horst and maybe a few others from their tribe. Some years she was accompanied by someone who seemed very distinguished and interesting to me, but who I did not know well. Someone she called Hannes. I loved these people, people who were dedicated to the emerging arts as mediated by technology. Not just computer animation, whatever that might be, but the larger world of what computing and communications would bring to the arts as that world is defined by those communities. As the years went by, Christine and Hannes were able to sponsor me to visit Linz where I would torture them with my totally sincere and unplanned behavior as I explored Linz and bothered the hell out of the other juries of the Prix Ars Electronica. And always, there was Hannes who seemed to be above it all and yet in some sense it was clear that he was the keeper of the vision. One night at an event at a local restaurant, I saw Hannes at work and I realized that someone had to raise the money, someone had to convince the powers that be that these crazy artists or technologists or whatever were bringing something to Linz. That he and his partners in crime, Christine, Gerfried and the others, were here to contribute to their community and maybe even the larger world of contemporary art. I wanted to get to know Hannes better but circumstances did not permit that to happen. Did I ever thank Hannes for his generosity and his contribution and for allowing me to be part of their family for a few years? I dont remember. Thank you, Hannes.

Christine Schoepf 
Hannes Leopoldseder at work

Monday, February 15, 2021

Bachelor Vegetarian Cooking Internet Style


This book is for single people of whatever gender who for reasons of circumstances beyond their control (or within their control, whatever) cook for themselves more or less every day and on a budget.  I have done this for 25 years and I know something about it. 
- who should read this book
- required ingredients
- special diet requirements 
 - etc

Friday, February 12, 2021

California and Vaccine Allocation


I may have sampling error but I think what the State of California did was to partition up their vaccine supply by the total population of each county instead of asking what proportion of each county was in the designated target audience, e.g. how many 75+ and health care workers. This would explain why counties with a smaller proportion of these designated victims could immediately move on to other target audiences whereas Santa Barbara, with a higher percentage of older people, perhaps, has been struggling. 

If true, there are two morals of this story. First, one more time the State of CA is not being even minimally competent at the tasks they are called upon to do. I would expect better from any undergraduate economics student at a university and I do not even get that level of analysis from the state. Second, choose where you live carefully. and remember this is not the last pandemic.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

An Anecdote and the Test of Character


So my friends parents lived in a house in LA. They maintained pristine social isolation except for one caregiver / assistant who bought the groceries, cooked the meals, and so forth. Unbeknownst to the caregiver, she was exposed to the coronavirus and was asymptomatic, brought the virus home, and the two parents were dead within about a week from the time they realized that anything was wrong. There is no doubt, none whatsoever, that if Trump and his co-conspirators had acted minimally responsibly the course of this disease would have been different. The details of their failure are still coming out and its apparently much worse than anyone knew.

I need the Republican party in the Senate to find 17 loyal Americans who can do the right thing. This is the test of character. There will be no other test that matters. And we all know what is going to happen. This could be a moment of redemption and a step on the long road back. But they will fail this test, wont they.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Bipartisanship is So Dead Its Body Isnt Even Rotting


[... a copy of an email sent to a friend of mine, a strong supporter of bipartisanship ...]

I wrote a many page email to try and create a narrative to explain my point of view. But it was long winded and tiresome. Here is the short more direct version. One party no longer subscribes to tit for tat as you put it. Their constituents have successfully created a party whose strategy is "I get everything; you get nothing". Nothing but total victory is acceptable to them, when you lose you scream bloody murder, when you win its because you were right. Negotiating with the enemy is just a way to run out the clock and fuck them so that they get nothing and you get everything. The hope is that you can sucker the stupid morons, the Democrats, into doing it over and over again. Charlie Brown and the Football. As part of this, the laws are bullshit for other people. When you do something its the right thing to do. If they do anything to oppose you its because they are left wing radicals who want to destroy america. So, it is the right thing to do to destroy the judiciary. It is the right thing to do to strangle black people on the street. It is the right thing to do. Statistically speaking, at the national level at least, this is the policy of the Republican party and there are no other Republicans. They are all Devon Nunes. Every once in a while you get a shill like Collins who pretends to want to do the right thing, but she never does, its just a tactic to make the stupid Democrats waste time before they get fucked again. Ha ha ha! We fucked you! The constitution exists as a way to fuck freedom and steal elections. Everyone knows that. As Matt Gaentz (sp?) says, this is how the game is played, stop complaining. When the other party is in power you fuck the country as hard as possible so that people will get mad at them and reelect you to continue your looting.

Therefore as far as I am concerned, we stop complaining and we start fighting. Term limits, End the filibuster. Pack the court. If we own the senate, then goddamn it, own the senate. Remove citizens united. Restore the fairness doctrine. Put the motherfuckers in jail where they can learn moral improvement and become better people. Game theory has proven time and again that you cant compromise with people of bad faith. There is no point in discussing racial equality with Nazis. There is no point in discussing it with Republicans, either. The good old days of the bipartisan approach to the US Government is so dead the body isnt even rotting anymore. Now its just a matter of whether we live in a right-wing authoritarian and racist society or we dont. Some of us are tired of being treated like garbage, we intend to fight back. Lets see if the constitution actually has any value or if it is the joke people think it is like the high-sounding constitutions of your other, shithole countries. Enforce the law on the criminals of the previous administration. Use the power we earned to pass the legislation necessary. We have two years. Bernie Sanders, my favorite democratic socialist jew from brooklyn, has warned the Democratic party that it is time to deliver results. If not, people will be real mad and the Democrats can kiss winning an election goodbye.

I say this for your own good!

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Four Bad Things in One Day


Let me tell you what happened today.

1. The senate republicans voted against a trial for trump on procedural grounds, and while they lost it indicates there is no chance of a trial on its merits. For a second time the Republicans vote entirely on political grounds and show zero integrity.

2. Manchen (D-WVA) indicates he will not vote to get rid of the filibuster under any circumstances. Without Manchen the Democrats will lose every vote in the Senate, and with the filibuster, most bills will not even get to a vote.

3. A Trump appointed judge in Texas put a hold on the temporary block that Biden put in place on deportations. The judiciary has been destroyed and even if we passed bills the Trump judiciary would just block them.

4. The Russians, who put Trump in power, loved the insurrection and so they are now hosting Parler so the nutty boy right can plan more deaths.

I propose that given the Republicans are traitors, the judiciary is fucked, that the Democrats do not control the senate and with the right now having a secure comm channel, that the situation is about as bad as it can be.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Oh Columbia! Oh!

Though they may defecate in the hallways of your sacred justice and put their perjuring attack dogs on your most supreme court, they do not realize that without a legitimate process the opinions and judgments from this perverted court mean nothing and have no power to command.  
The American People will rise up and defend you.  They will defend the will of the majority against this minority of pernicious conspirators!
We are coming, Columbia!  We will defend you! 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Explaining Twitter's Ban of Trump


A friend of mine, Seth Haberman, is concerned about the free speech issues of Twitter banning Trump, who is an obvious criminal and murderer, from Twitter.  This was my response.

I suppose I should be pleased that people are trying to think about, and take seriously, such issues as freedom of speech, but I suggest you are overthinking it. Twitter supported a right wing criminal, bully and compulsive liar as long as they could, doing exactly what the Right told them to do. Then, when Trump gave that ridiculous speech and the rioters attacked the capitol, I suspect that Twitter's attorneys told their client to run for cover. Their position was and is legally weak, and the corporate sponsors knew that there was going to be a backlash from their users, from their advertisers, from voters, and from Congress. Twitter waited to the last possible moment that they plausibly could, I think they deserve credit for that. I am not sure what the final straw was, perhaps the guy in the horns, or the policeman who was murdered with the fire extinguisher to the head, or the MAGA folks defecating in the hallways of Congress, or maybe because a big part of their user base was hopping mad? Or maybe, like deVos, it was nothing of the sort, they just waited to the last minute to jump ship, at this point it is every person for themselves as they try to dodge the inevitable criminal indictments and civil lawsuits. I think it is nice that you and Merkel are concerned about the bigger first amendment issues, but I wouldnt worry, the right wing supreme court will keep things as they are. This decision was a pure CYA and had very little to do with ethics or free speech. That is and will continue to be just a superficial cover for the usual maneuvering for power and money.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Explaining Amazon's Action About Parler


Amazon removed Parler from their cloud after the riots on Jan 6, 2020, thus putting Parler offline, at least temporarily.  Well, it was a good move, but before people think that Amazon is therefore a company of character, lets review some background here.  This is a good example of why the riot changes everything. 
The fact is that Parler was wildly egregious about "violent content" before the riot. But also of course Amazon did nothing whatsoever to restrain their behavior and the riot was significantly promoted and planned on that social network. Amazon wanted the money and they did not want to be accused by the right wing traitors of persecuting the right, part of the mythology of right victimization, even though they are not only not victimized, they are given extraordinary and extralegal protection they do not deserve. But now that the right attack on democracy and the us government legitimacy has been made explicit, Amazon has to act or become both liable for anything else that happens but also has to face the wrath of the shareholders. In other words, this is not an act of principle, or even of a company obeying its own guidelines, it was a craven move of corporate executives to avoid criticism of their bad corporate governance.