Archive for the ‘Poitics’ Category

The biggest motivators in the new sport of shooting mass killings, is media attention. Not the fact the tragedies are covered but the salacious way in which the shooter is notorized and his psychology is made such an amateur study. The role of a free press is to inform objectively and allow a well educated public to apply critical reason, make informed opinions, and coerce their legislators and executives to comply with the majority opinion.
 
When the press turns these incidents into media events and attempts to sway public opinion, they are no longer free press but editorial. There is no effective difference between a headline news reader who takes a biased perspective (yellow journalist) and a shock jock like Hannidy or Limbaugh. Their speech is protected under the same Bill of Rights they are denigrating.
 
However, it is dishonest and potentially criminal to purport it to be objective news coverage. That is no different from the much touted “Russian Influence” in the American political process. I’m far more concerned about Canadian and Anglo influence. IT’s far easier for the English and Anglo Canadians to masquerade as American citizns and act to pervert the political process in the US. IF Russians helping Trump with dirt on Hillary is criminal, then Canadian PACs advertising in favor of gun-laws or Barack Obama or (yes) Hillary is just as criminal for precisely the same reasons.
 
Leftist nuts and dictators are the only groups historically to have blamed violence on the prevalence of weapons rather than the prevalence of bad actors. Leftists need a disarmed public so that their extremist politics can be enforced on an unwilling populace. Dictators of the feudal, monarchical, fascist, or plutocratic need a disarmed public in order to enforce unwelcome rule on the . . . Hey! That’s the same reason!
 
Go figure.

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The broader issue of the recent sexual abuse/harassment revelations is the depravity of the media based celebrity machine. Louie CK would never have been in a position to behave the way he did if not for the perceived authority attached to fame and media success. This is the biggest lie of the cult of celebrity. Entertainers, while a lot more fun than your average motorcycle mechanic or fast food delivery driver, are actually less important. This goes for the producers, editors, writers (Ugh! They got me, Joe) and technicians in movies and television as well. Actors like Spacey, producers like Weinstein, they are instrumental in providing a product you may like or pass on. But they aren’t important. Their failures, however criminal, don’t matter directly to you and yours, unless you are a victim or concerned with the very real problem of predatory sexuality. We all should be. And we all should do our part to change the social environment so that the victim is free and even comfortable telling.

The problem is the Baby Boomers have gotten increasingly paranoid and they’ve shared that paranoia with the Millennials. Every new violent crime, immediately brings out the [x] Broadcasting Company, or the [y] News Network to open the big top and pedantically call the play by play like some OCD sportscaster. “Okay, let’s go to Jimmy Joe who’s watching from the police barricade. Tell me Jimmy is the suspect wearing paisley with stripes? That looks like stripes. Did you know that Paisleys are made int the shape of the perimeter of the Himalayas?–”

This is followed by an endless cry for tighter laws governing every spoken word, meal item, clothing choice, etc. of the private citizen. Every move is strategically placed to further limit individuality, choice and privacy guaranteed by the US Constitution. From Louie CK to Civil Liberty? Really? Well, yeah. If louie had done the same thing in a protest against organized religion, guns, Donald Trump–staged on the White House lawn–the same people crying “foul unclean, go thee to perdition” would be celebrating his brave act of conscience in pursuit of PC values. The media would not be concerned with the collateral damage to young impressionable minds of children or young women. Why? Because as a celebrity, he would be perceived as having some authority on issues social and political.

This is the heart of it. If Weinstein were just an employer, a choice among many, women would have felt free to avoid his casting couch–and report to man for sexual harassment or rape. But as celebrities they had to protect public opinion about their private life. A Rumor of misconduct by those women, would have lead to an end of career. “A few phone calls,” and they’d “never work in Hollywood again.”

Why should an actors private sexuality, criminal misconduct, political opinions, religious affiliations, etc. matter one whit. They really aren’t stars. They are artists and craftspeople. They make a product you like buying. Nothing more. But nothing less. If a factory worker can’t get a job because he spent time in prison as a young adult, we say poor man. It becomes and Hallmark movie about human triumph, and we get Spacey to play the poor unfortunate. If a young girl struggling with too much celebrity and a total lack of privacy, shoplifts to self-medicate we crucify her and relegate her to years without work, until we forget and move on to the next victim.

The star system is nothing more than a particularly successful marketing scheme. It’s like fast food games and giveaway, BOGO, get your free gift with purchase, over a billion served. If it’s kept in propotion it serves its purpose. But when it creates a standard for vetting employees it is a problem. When that trend spreads and corporations begin vetting employees based on their social media, background checks, and an invasion of privacy worse than Big Brother, it is a threat to peace and security and needs to be put on hiatus.

When a young man has to wait 15 years to report a sexual assault by a drunken coworker, because he will be seen as a troublemaker and his career ended, due to his attackers Star status on broadway– When a writer finds it difficult to be published, not because of his skill with the elements of story and plot, but because he falls in the wrong canine classification– When a rising actress and comedienne can’t complain about a drunken lout masturbating in front of her because he thinks her discomfort is comedic–It’s not time for stars to fall, its time to take down the black velvet curtain.

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In the 1860’s, when he didn’t like his showing in the Whig primaries, Lincoln quit and split the party, running as a third party candidate with fringe party with a dubious commitment to the constitution.

In 1873 the election was challenged and the justices of the supreme court sat on a special commission to decide the election. Issue? Voter Fraud. Some states sent competing and disputed “slates” of electoral college results. The issue of which were “official” had to be settled. Statute now makes this congresses’ responsibility.

In 2000 the vote was too close to blithely accept the estimated counts that were reported, and number of districts were using a faulty system for recording votes that was so egregious it allowed them to vote for multiple candidates without even intending to. It had to be handled by auto recounts and the automatic discard of faulty ballots lead to a real question as to who the people had actually elected vs who became the default winner after so many were denied the franchise.

Trump has refused to go on record, and thereby hamstring himself, as blithely accepting a closely contested race. His stated concerns have been that some districts my commit voter fraud and allow those adopting stolen identities (such as those voting on behalf of the deceased or illegal aliens posing as US citizens) to vote in a US election. Illegal aliens and the deceased, even if they are somehow managing to pay taxes are not entitled to vote in US elections. It is a crime. More importantly, it is not the will of the people.

Mr. Trump has any number of personality and character issues. Hillary has justifiably pointed them out, and he has fired back by pointing out that her character and personality are no better than his. This is the worst election cycle in the last 60 years. But the disingenuity of pretending not to understand the man’s unwillingness to commit ahead of time to the outcome in the event that there is demonstrably fraud is the cite Raymond Fiest’s favorite new word, the work of “idjits”.

Note: per Donna Pozdro Presidents and Presidential candidates who’ve said privately or publicly that election results were questionable or even worth challenging (legally or otherwise) include: Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Samuel Tilden and Rutherford B. Hayes, Richard Nixon, Al Gore and George W. Bush, and John Kerry.

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The irony of the “animal rights” movement is the wild eyed murderous attitudes toward a particularly beloved primate species. How can you claim to love animals and insist that they be allowed to express their nature while attacking humans for exercising their instinct to hunt and prey? It’s laughably self contradictory.

Yabba-dabba-do!

Because I like to think, I like to read. I’m into freedom of speech, freedom of choice. I’m the kind if guy who would sit in the greasy spoon and think “Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the big rack of Barbecued spare ribs with the side order of gravy fries?

This spoof meme is a perfect example of the hate rhetoric that hunters and omnivores suffer from extremists like PETA. The picture is a link to an article exposing the silly responses that this photo generated on social media. Some got the joke, some like the author of the article only got part of it, and some may have missed the point entirely.

“Jay” the individual who originally posted the pic, was of course making fun of the big game hunter memes, including one that featured a young athletic female with her rifle and her kills. I think that one was photoshopped but regardless, the reaction was hysterical in every sense of the word. The ones who got the Jurassic Bwanna meme featuring Speilberg (above) simply reacted with the frenzied vitriol that so often attends real imagery of the sort. This lead them to stay in the moment so to speak with regard to the hunting incident and spoof the insanity of the animal rights lobby, as if the tricerotops were really the victim of a homicide.

If the concern is conservation of species, bear in mind that latest research argues that at least in the sea, predation drives population growth rather than suppressing it. The conservation movement was begun and grown by sportsmen attempting to preserve sufficient numbers of prey to continue the sport. bear in mind that without predation you can’t have your KFC, McDonalds or sushi. Or for that matter a reasonably healthy and alert human population.

Murder, Death, Kill!

Top Predators [including hunters] Preserve Ecosystems

Problems arise when predatory species are thinned and not allowed to compete with human predation. Trolling, culling, and other species management methods used in the past to protect prey species from starvation are based on models that fail to account for the balance between predation and competition between prey or between hunters. A better approach will likely eliminate corporate “farmed livestock” and deep sea trolling with floating canneries.

In fact, sportsmen with their low stress approach to species management will be critical to a healthy biosphere as just one of the natural predators necessary to restore a balanced ecosystem.

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A Dictionary Word to the Wise

Author: Fred Grenvile
“The contest, for ages, has been to rescue Liberty from the grasp of executive power.”
~Daniel Webster, Speech in the Senate, May 27, 1834

They problem in Websters day was the over bloated presidency and the thoroughly dominated Congress. It took it’s greatest expression in the dictatorships of the early republican presidents and a few significant democrats at the time. The last 25 years have been a resurgence of that dictatorship. Today however it is a union of all three branches in the interest of curtailing individual human rights. I will not use the word liberty, which implies that these freedoms are a grant of largess by an altruistic state. These are rights given by God and only kept available by hawkish curtailment of abuse by all three branches of government.

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Scoot Over

Author: Fred Grenvile

I recently bought a Scooter from Sunny Motorsports in Chino. Simple story intro. auspicious could go any direction, but this is real life not a story so it seems to go every direction.

I wanted a scooter because under California Vehicle Code a scooter is little different from a pedestrian. Now you can’t ride one on the side walks and you have to keep right. There are some very complicated and frankly ludicrous rules for turning at busy intersections, but a motorized scooter is defined as a two-wheeled vehicle with handlebars and a floor board, which may or may not have a driver’s seat (so long as you are able to stand on the floor board), and may or may not be human powered in addition to the motor. I thought this is what I was buying from Sunny.

There’s a whole new section to the vehicle code and the preamble says it’s purpose is to reduce traffic and pollution by encouraging scooters. Any Cali DL is sufficient and no insurance required. However when it arrived, the VIN plate said motorcycle. That had me puzzled.

The Vehicle code was specifically amended in 2008 to remove any engine size stipulation for scooters. So the fact my scooter was 150cc shouldn’t have mattered. There was the floor board and the handle bars. It had two wheels. I know cause I counted em twice. What was up?

I began reading the DMV website for more info. AHA! The vehicle code says “may be human powered” however the DMV has taken it on itself to alter that to “must” be. Interesting.

I read further, Scooters may be licensed (bycicles may as well), but aren’t required to be. I reread the scooter definition. Yep both the state legal site and the DMV agreed, scooters were not Motorcycles, Motorized Cycles or Motorized Bicycles. Now I got the first and the last, Motorcycles and Mopeds. No brainer. One has peddles and I was pretty sure that was the latter. SO what was this Motorized Cycle?

Fortunately the Vehicle Code defines these. Simply put it’s a motorcycle, but with less than 150cc engine. Less than. hrmmm. That reminded me of a first who had one of those little Honda MV5 bikes back in the 80’s. So that was pretty clear. WE all know a motorcycle when we see one. It has handle bars and pegs for your feet (no floorboard) and a bike frame with a gas tank and motor that snuggle between your knees and crush you in an accident. My scooter had a gap ther to step through and a floorbaord to rest my tootsies on. Nice and safe, with fram and farings to deflect fast moving steel in an accident. Mine was a scooter.

But then I read closer. The driver’s seat on a scooter can’t obstruct the rider from “standing up while operating it.” Could I stand while operating my scooter? After several tries I decided that the clear answer was no. But not because of the seat. The seat is quite comfortable and place far enough back to give me plenty of room for my size 12s. and theoretically I could stand on the floorboard while in operation without any interference from the seat whatever. However, the handlebars are far to short to allow such tricks.

If I were 20years younger and still had knees, I might manage just fine. But as it is I cannot stand with my knees bent at 30deg to save my life. Just can’t happen. SO. It remains true I can’t stand while in operation, but the seat isn’t the culprit and I find myself at an impasse. The inability to stand causes the DMV to declare it a scooter, while I maintain that it is a scooter, because handlebar height is not an issue in the actual code.

So I have a motorcycle (I don’t stipulate this only observe the registration in my hand) and all I can say is at least it’s 150CC so I can actually take it outside the city. At 150cc it is a motorcycle. I wonder if the “angels” that hang out at Deer Lodge will ever start replacing their sportsers and softtails for Vespas?

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Big Publishers DRMing us to death

Author: Fred Grenvile

As a writer, rights to my work are important. Anyone who copies my work and doesn’t pay me for it literally takes away from my ability to care for elderly parents as well as myself. Writing is hard work. So is practicing long hours with musical instruments, or painting, drawing singing, etc. Hard work, harder in some cases than selling rainforest kitch, flipping burgers or building electronics.

On the other hand the spread of facisim in the west has brought about an unholy union between big content producers and government that is choking the life out of the freedom of the consumer. DRM and digital media restrictions are making it criminal to own and use your own copy of an artist’s work. With paper, canvas and vinyl, we allowed artists and producers to create “licenses” to content, but the media was property. If I bought a book, the words belonged to the author or his assigns (publishers heirs etc.); the paper, ink and binding was mine. I owned the book, the copy. If I wanted to share it with a friend I handed it to him and he read it. Libraries exist for the sole purpose of collecting books and lending them for the use of patrons, whether on site or off.

With digital, paperless, initiatives we have a problem. Can I own the electrons on a flash card? Is it possible? And if I send it to a friend he has it, but I still have it too. I’ve been accused of an intense grasp of the obvious. But the obvious seems to have escaped the legislators, producers and consumer public. The obvious is that DRM or Cloud storage infringe on the consumers rights as they have existed for just as long a tradition as those of the copyholder. DRM cannot be allowed to be a means of simply removing the ability of the consumer to loan or sell his media. This is a one-sided draconian approach that infringes on the majority rights in order to protect the minority. Unequal protection. For Americans at least, a huge no-no.

This case, a conflict between a programmer and Silicon Valley powerhouse Facebook ®, is a clear case of big business content producers attempting to circumvent the like a book doctrine and force the consumer to relinquish traditional rights to control, manipulate and warehouse their privately owned media. A quick review will probably leave most readers ambivalent at best.

The issue will continue to be a matter of struggle as we try to figure out how to insure media control “like a book” while preventing piracy. A start, would be for consumers to have the good grace to “just say no” to Pirate Bay.

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Choo choo!

Author: Fred Grenvile

Siemens Steam Engine

Steam Power

This little Item from Professor Elemental’s FB fanpage caught my attention and held it. See the words are a bit ironic to me. It reminds me of an a somewhat dim acquaintance of mine that I spent a lot of time battling with over the last decade and a half. That is of course the subject for a different venue, let’s just say in a battle of wits his kit of choice is the Shield of Evil Banality and the Club of Low Cunning. He can always quote someone else’s witticism that will at least have some of the same words as the topic at hand.

But enough about that. The real issue is that the conversation in question started with him mocking Jay Leno for his avid interest in steam power. He finally fell to the question, why is it that you can only every find kits for low horsepower steam engines, none of which are organized as motors? That’s a paraphrase. He was never so articulate. I’m sure that ultimately he was trying to use his degenerate version of Scientology Lingo to seem witty. But he quite unwittingly tumbled onto a fine oddity.

He, like so many, believes that the internal combustion engine has supplanted and obsoleted steam power. Professor Elemental touches on that in the song linked above. He also points out wind power as an obsolete tech. I believe t he point of the song is that we had our hay-day mowing with gasoline and now we’ll have to buckle down and settle for steam. The implication is that it’s some sort pennence for the excesses of the 20’th century. But nothing could be more erroneous.

After World War I many ships were being converted to Diesel engine and this was a short lived detour that seemed like the big thing for the future. Mr. Diesel’s design for internal combustion is neat and “for a petroleum engine” marginally efficient. It doesn’t approach the the power and efficiency of a top fuel dragster or formula racer, but it does all right. And really, who wants a nitro-methane supercharged drag cruise-liner?

But the point here is that the foray into diesel was mostly a non-starter for really big vessels. Those that retain diesel today are mostly hybrid, using diesel to charge batteries that then run electric motorized screws. Even that design was scrapped on Naval vessels where, the big cruisers, carriers and subs use a nuke. Now my “friend” above was only too avid to concede that Nuclear (for texans: Nukular) power was the bomb. It’s latest and greatest, why it’s New Technology! Hmmm.

Reactors were invented in the 1930’s and used in the development of atomic weapons. Very new. Internal combustion dates from the late 19’th century, why that’s at least 40 years earlier. But there’s a problem with nuclear power.

Contrary to the Stark Trek ™ and Sci Fi vision, reactors are just giant furnaces where (in a terribly crude, even primitive way) zirconium plated metal rods are piled up till they get hot enough to spontaneously boil water. Said water “coolant” is driven through of all things a steam turbine which rapidly cools it. Then it is condensed in a coil and recirculated. This massively “high tech” generator is our old friend the steam engine.

Given the intense heat and radiation of a nuclear furnace, it’s probable that other means of gaining power from it are possible. But let’s face it, we’ve been living the steam punk fantasy for the last two hundred years. By burning hydrogen, oxygen and catalysts in various compounds, our wonderful liquid fueled rockets the main engines on the Space Shuttle are ultimately a form of–yes–steam power.

We are building windmills more often now. And I’m very happy to see it. As for some good old medieval tech, how about the hoover water-wheel. But it’s makes us feel more sophisticated to use terms like hydro-electric, harassing thermal energy, or reaction engines. So be it. All hail the heat expansion of aqueous fluid to provide mechanical energy!

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US Navy Topples Small Nation

Author: Fred Grenvile

I guess the strongest argument in favor of a state school education and curricula would  have to be the revolutionary insights of the US Legislature.

Hank

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