Sunday, February 09, 2020

The Tree of Liberty



And what country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it's natural manure.



Joe Biden is exactly what Thomas Jefferson had in mind. The only kind of politician who envisions the US Military opening fire on civilians, is the kind who is a tyrant.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

What Does The Document Say About All This?

House:

The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

Senate:

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Congress:

The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

It seems as if the House can impeach for any reason, with the only requirements being one of votes and at least claiming the offense is Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

The Senate is also pretty much free, beyond the two thirds requirement.

No court can review these actions and so there is no case law or precedent. Sure, people can say, "They didn't do it this way last time". But so what? No court can overturn such decisions.

Added: Many Democrats and some "Republicans" are saying that impeachment is like an indictment and so the Senate is required to conduct a trial with witnesses called. As above, the Senate has sole power to try and can set whatever rules they choose. But also, many Democrats crowed that Trump's presidency will forever be stained by impeachment. In criminal and civil law, there is no stain attached to your name or conduct if you are found non-guilty. So there is a little bit of having your cake and eating it too with all this.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Friday, January 10, 2020

Three Bands

Three bands have similar (to me) names and because even though I like them all, I am not their number one fan and therefore get them totally mixed up.

The Stone Roses:



The Gin Blossoms: We saw these guys last Summer with Collective Soul.



The Wallflowers: Jakob Dylan, their front man is great in the recent documentary: Echo In The Canyon



I had been meaning to post this for a while, but every time I remembered the last band, I would forget one. Hopefully this post will allow me to keep all three in my head at the same time.





Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Iran Retaliates!

The expected reply has come from Iran for our killing of their general, Qasem Soleimani.

They fired 10 or so ballistic missiles at military bases in Iraq, which housed American troops. If early reports are true, all they did was make some holes in the sand and caused no casualties or meaningful damage. Now the news media has been telling us that these missals are like Skuds, except that they are modern Persian miracles and are very accurate. So this opens two possibilities: They are very accurate and the Iranians missed on purpose. They wanted a face-saving gesture for their domestic audience, but did not want to make the US feel like we have to retaliate in any meaningful way. The other possibility is that their missiles are crap.

I am inclined to this latter possibility because of the other two embarrassing f-ups they just endured: At Qasem Soleimani's funeral, 56 people were reportedly killed in a stampede. A Ukrainian jetliner was apparently shot-down shortly after takeoff from Tehran and right after their missile barrage ended. I say apparently because; 1. The Iranians are not sending the flight recorder to Boeing for analysis. 2. Ukraine has suspended flights into or out of Iran, not something you do over mechanical troubles.

Monday, January 06, 2020

What Is The Use of a Popular Opinion?

I got a comment from somebody I know IRL from a post in Facebook and there was something about it that seemed, off. Let's see what you, the reader, think:

David as much as you are entitled to your opinion, you seem to always be on the side of what most consider wrong.

What is the use of a popular opinion? I guess it depends on whether it is a hidden popular opinion or an open popular opinion. Let me elucidate. The Emperor's New Clothes (Kejserens nye klæder) by Hans Christian Anderson is a case of a hidden popular opinion: Everybody saw that the emperor was naked but they were afraid to say it. Only once a child said that the emperor had no clothes was the spell broken. An open popular opinion is one that is popular and widely stated. Here, what is the value in stating it yourself? To show that you are part of the herd? It is at best, an act of cowardice (wanting to belong) or of stupidity (stating facts that everyone already knows).

As to the specifics of this Facebook post, it was an article on the killing of Qasem Soleimani. This article did't take a position on the wisdom of the killing, which is why I think my interlocutor didn't read the article before he commented. But he knows I'm a conservative and probably assumed (correctly) that I approve of the killing. Most of the media has been highly critical, including the piece I posted, but I often post fair-minded articles that do not exactly hew to my own views. In any case, in spite of the MSM being fairly uniform in condemning the attack, I think that most Americans, once they find out about the career of Mr. Soleimani, are pretty much in favor of his demise.

Us little people are the ones saying, 'but the emperor has no clothes', in this situation

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Field Experiments

On the penultimate day of our stay in Mexico, we did a very uncharacteristic thing, nothing. My wife is very task oriented and wants to go, go, go, when we are on "vacation". I want to do things and have experiences too, but relaxation is one of those experiences.

After early morning activities, a run for me and work-out at the fitness center and/or spa treatment (I can't remember now), we had a late breakfast in our suite and then suited up for some pool-time. We secured lounge chairs, towels and umbrellas with the help of Hector the protector and then spent all day ordering drinks and food. In between the refreshments, there was swimming in the pool and playing in the waves of the ocean.


I have an active mind and there was plenty of time to just watch people and try to figure out their situation. My eyes were especially drawn to one particular lovely young woman and her companion. She had a radiant smile featuring bright white teeth and intelligence plus humor. Some of the humor could have been from the steady replenishment of whatever tropical concoction they were ordering--some white frozen-looking thing. The first thing I wondered was whether or not the companion was a brother or a romantic partner. They looked similar, but had they not shared the same ethnicity I would never have considered them siblings. They were not doing anything obvious like kissing or holding hands or hugging, but she seemed more focused on the guy than I remember seeing in brother-sister relations.

One thing I noticed, purely by accident is that auditory input can really be filtered: When I was reading a book on my Kindle, there was a constant din of voices but I could not isolate any one or tell what anyone was saying. But when I looked at the young woman and saw her mouth move, I could hear her voice! She was about 80 feet away. I couldn't make out what she was saying, but the occasional word came through. My mind must be able to filter sound using visual cues. I am pretty sure this is something known before now but I had no idea it was so pronounced.

Later, two of my daughters were wading around in the pool and the girl came over to them and the three of them had a long conversation.

This fits right in with my (other people too--it's not as if I invented the concept) belief that we live inside of a computer simulation. Anyway, they got--as they say, "the tea" on her. She is only 16 and her companion is her brother who is attending Tufts. They also indicated that she seemed pretty hammered. She came over to the girls to compliment their bathing suits.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Just in case...

Given the way things are in the world, I might get kicked-off of Facebook for this comment, so I'll just post it here too.

I think the Kennedy's should stay out of politics and stick to their core competencies of flying airplanes, piloting PT boats, driving cars over bridges and snow skiing.

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Like A Proud Puppy

The Democrats have excreted a ... Report:

THE TRUMP-UKRAINE
IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY REPORT

It really calls for a full Fisking, but so much to Fisk, so little Fisking-time. How about by each of the charges of "misconduct"?

SECTION I. THE PRESIDENT’S MISCONDUCT

1. The President Forced Out the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine.
The President can fire an ambassador at any time and for no reason.

2. The President Put Giuliani and the Three Amigos in Charge of Ukraine Issues.
Presidents often use informal channels. Also, there is no evidence that the so-called Three Amigos had any authority or were vetted, hired or known by Trump.

3. The President Froze Military Assistance to Ukraine.
The assistance was given by the deadline and Trump gave good reasons for the delay.

4. The President’s Meeting with the Ukrainian President Was Conditioned on An
Announcement of Investigations.
This is unprovable and even if true, so what? Presidents often make a visit to the White House conditional on some diplomatic victory.

5. The President Asked the Ukrainian President to Interfere in the 2020 U.S. Election by
Investigating the Bidens and 2016 Election Interference.
Trump asked for an investigation into Ukrainian interference into our election of 2016 and shady deals by the Bidens. The idea of interference into 2020 is pure speculation and fantasy by the committee.

6. The President Wanted Ukraine to Announce the Investigations Publicly.
So What? If anything this seems exonerating.

7. The President’s Conditioning of Military Assistance and a White House Meeting on
Announcement of Investigations Raised Alarm.
Is that a misdeed or just, you know, news/an opinion?

8. The President’s Scheme Was Exposed.
Is that a misdeed by the president? I only ask because this section of the report is called, "THE PRESIDENT’S MISCONDUCT". I feel like the final two points were put in this section because, who really reads the final two points in a list of eight? Am I right?

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Old Tweet but still just as relevant




1. "Nobody in this country got rich on their own. They relied on infrastructure we all paid for, employees we all paid to educate."

Okay, sure but so what? We all, rich and poor have access to exactly the same infrastructure.

2. "So if you're successful, good for you—now pay it forward so everyone has a chance at success."

--That's good advice, one should try to do some good in the world. She isn't really giving advice though, she is advocating for at least three things:

1. She is not giving advice to rich people, she is advocating the confiscation of their riches.

2. She is therefore not asking the rich to voluntarily donate their money.

3. Because if they did, it would be rich people deciding where it should be spent, instead of politicians like her.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Alert The Press: US Foreign Aid Comes With Strings Attached



Biden is on video bragging about how the Obama administration threatened to withhold aid unless the Ukrainians fired their chief prosecutor.



Trump apparently wanted Ukraine to investigate this possible corruption, implying that aid hung in the balance.

Let us just say from the start, that if a politician conditions anything he has official power over, on an entirely private gain, that would be impeachable corruption.

Given that Biden's son Hunter, was being paid $1 million per year by a crony capitalist company in Ukraine for what one would assume was influence peddling services and the Obama administration made aid conditional on the firing of a prosecutor, who says he was looking into that deal--It seems reasonable to think that this should be investigated.

Democrats want us to believe that Trump's only reason for asking Ukraine to investigate the Bidens is because Joe Biden is running for president. That might be part of what motivates Trump, maybe all of what Trump really cares about. But it isn't going to work.

Why? Because of the hypocrisy: The Democrats can't on one hand, claim that quid pro quo is de facto bad and pretend Biden is not on tape bragging about just that. They cannot move to the: What Biden did was in the US interest claim, without opening that same argument up to Republicans.

The fact is, that the Biden's deal has not been investigated through official channels and it is therefore of nebulous ethical quality. E.g. It is still a worthy subject for an official inquiry. And since many of the subjects are Ukrainian, it would help to have them on-board. The US, for all our power, cannot really subpoena people from other countries.

PC eventually gave up computing and joined the Army

Monday, November 11, 2019

When Economies Of Scale Meet Bureaucratic Bloat

I had an object lesson in economies of scale last night. I used about $2 in ingredients to make home made refried beans. I spent about an hour and turned those ingredients into what would have cost me $7 at the grocery store. This is a fairly poor rate of return on my time, but if it was scaled-up and automated, it could be a profitable business--as evident from the many brands vying form my attention on the grocery store shelves.

But there are things which ought to be benefiting from such economies of scale, but are not.

College Dorms:
Ask any student who has lived in a dorm and purchased a meal plan. They always report saving money by renting an apartment and cooking their own food. A dorm and cafeteria ought to be able to shelter and feed a student for less than the student could do on their own.

Public Schools:
They receive funding per student that is much higher than the average Catholic school and they are usually larger and yet they achieve consistently poorer results.

Electricity and other utilities:
We are getting rapidly to the point where it is less expensive to provide your own electricity and water than the local utilities can do. This will only get worse as people start to go off-grid. The cost of building and maintaining lines is shared by all the users, but when users start opting out, these costs are shared by fewer remaining customers. This gives further incentive to defectors and the system soon collapses.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Leaks

How all-over-the-place are Democrats on leaks in the impeachment hearings. This much:



The Republicans are only not leaking because any leak would be damaging to the president.



Democrats are leaking, which is a good thing because it pressures everyone to be honest. I suppose you could just have the hearings be public, like the Republicans are asking for...



Republicans would leak if there was anything in their interest to leak, so they really aren't any better than the Democrats.



Only Republicans are leaking (10 dimensional chess here) damaging information about Trump, to discredit the process.

Friday, October 04, 2019

Chronicles of the Simulation, Part Helbender

I purchased 3 books a bit ago and saved the funnest one for last, Hellbender by Frank J. Fleming. It was kind of a fake-out, in that I thought the story was some supernatural thing (and it is, kinda), but the name is from a group of 4 friends.

After I started reading the book, I saw a picture of a Hellbender, which is a kind of giant North American Salamander, which looks like this: Bear in mind, I have lived for almost 57 years and never came upon a Hellbender Salamander till now.


Photo by: David Herasimtschuk

Then, a week later in the book, one of the people who are part of Hellbender indicated that the name was from the same amphibious source:

Delgado stared at the group with confusion. "Hellbender?" "It's a type of salamander." Doug explained. Delgado raised an eybrow. "A salamander?" "That's like a lizard...but wetter," Doug said. "I know what a salamander is!" Delgado shouted. "But why would you name yourself after one?" Doug looked confused, like maybe that was a trick question. "Because it has a really cool name."


Doug is right, it is a cool name. And we live in a simulation.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Simmering Hack

I am almost certainly not the first person to think of this and it is probably not efficient with energy but it really works:

If you have ever make a large batch of spaghetti sauce, chili or other thick fluid-type food, the problem is that you want to cook it a long time and reduce the water level until it is very thick. The problem is that as it thickens, even on the lowest stove setting, it can scorch.

My solution is that once you have mixed all the ingredients together on the stove top, put a cover on the pot and put the whole thing into the oven set to 212 F. This will be high enough to keep the sauce at the boiling point (which is as hot as it can get on the stove top) but it will be too cool to scorch.

If you need for there to be some water loss, you can simmer with the lid off on top of the stove until it gets thick enough for there to be a scorching danger, then do the oven from there.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Blackface in Red, Brownface in Blue

Funny and totally coincidental how the media is referring to Justin Trudeau's costume as brownface instead of the much more commonly used blackface terminology.

Two of the top ten news stories listed from a Google search use Blackface, the rest use Brownface or some other euphemism.

Link

How common are the terms relative to each other? Totally interchangeable, right?


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

This Has Got To Be On Purpose.



1. Starts by decrying ignorance.

2. Admits she doesn't know what the charges are and wants to keep it that way.

3. Is nonetheless certain she lives in the "real world".

As intentional comedy, I have to admit that this is subtle and clever, even Titania McGrathesque. If it is not intentional it is both even more funny and really sad, but mostly really funny!

Update: The Washington Post rates Plame's claim, that Scooter Libby outed her, with three Pinocchios.

Monday, September 09, 2019

Need To Re-Think My Departures IS Always Better Than Arrivals Dogma

At an airport, all other things being equal, the departures area should be less crowded than the arrivals area. At departures, you are with your drop-off, so you don't need to find them. You are also at the same place at the same time, again unlike arrivals, where one of you will appear in the area before the other one does. An additional factor is that you can time-shift: Flights tend to come into an airport at different times than ones that are leaving, so you avoid a crowd by dropping off at arrivals and picking up at departures.

The real game-changer is that you don't do a pick-up or a drop-off, you use a ride app. The pick-up area for apps at Logan is really well thought-out: You order a ride, tell them where you are and go to the app area which has about 10 parking slots. The rides come very fast and there is no more than 5 minutes of waiting.

Surenna Moves To Santa Barbra