Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Wednesday "day off" Activities

1. Took Jemma to school. Dahlia has been a graduate for a few weeks and has been kind enough to keep driving her sister to school, but we feel like it is only fair to give her a day-off now and again.

2. Stopped at Walmart on the way back (It is in the same general area as the HS). We needed a new wiper blade for the Subaru, which I had noticed on the way back from UVM last weekend and we were fresh-out of dishwasher detergent. I had put the last dregs in for the load I got going this morning.

3. While I was at Walmart, I looked at our grocery list (a phone app with the list shared by the whole family) and we needed a few other things. I got the things Walmart had.

4. Installed the new wiper in the parking lot: I had taken off the old one to bring into the store as an aid to getting the right replacement one. Every time I buy a wiper blade it seems like they change the design from the old universal fit, to a new universal fit. Hence, it always takes 5 minutes to figure out how it works.

5. Once home, I ran the wipers while spraying the window with a hose. This is an easy way to get off tough baked-on bug guts.

6. Took a morning shower.

7. Drank some leftover coffee.

8. Ordered 40 Lbs of green coffee beans from Burman Coffee Traders.

9. Trimmed a bunch of overgrown shrubs in front, back and a few other places around the house and cleared away the debris.

10. Went for a 6 mile run. Early-on I thought I would handily break 9:00 per mile--for years I averaged around 8:00 but suddenly 9:00 is the new 8:00--but then I must have been wool-gathering and slowed a lot. I came in at 9:10/mile.

11. A feast of left overs: Three left over lamb chops with tandoori spice and charcoal grilled, left over salad with left over blue cheese dressing from some take-out, left over Italian garbanzo stew AND a fresh Budweiser in a frosted glass.

12. Emptied the dishwasher.

13. Went out to pick-up Jemma.

14. Super glued a belt that was coming apart and a pair of shoes where the leather foot-bed had come loose.

15. Drove Jemma to dance--she actually drove herself, but she has a learner's permit, so I had to accompany her.

16. Packaged the leftover spaghetti sauce which had been frozen into pucks in a muffin tin.

17. Cleaned up the kitchen from all of the afternoon meals the girls made for themselves.

18. Picked up Jemma from dance.

19. Changed the battery in the Saab--It worked for picking Jemma up from HS and taking her to dance but the 3rd time was not the charm. After I put the freshly charged battery in, the car started.

20. Wrote this post.

ADDED:

4.1 Dropped off Jemma's Birkinstock return shipment at UPS.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Incel Intide

That was the joke:

Intel Corporation had just spent untold millions on their "Intel Inside" ad campaign and then it was reported that there was a flaw in their latest chip (of the time) which could give math errors

28 years later and there is an Incel movement, which is different but is related in some ways. Incel stands for involuntary celibate, by the way.

It is different since it is not a software bug, but more like a wetware bug. There are guys who rail against the "unfairness" of being unable to attract a mate, even though they do absolutely nothing to remedy the situation. Gallons of pixels could be spent on this, but to sum-up: What I would tell an Incel.

Are you attracted to unemployed, fat women with unpleasant personalities? Yes? Okay, then why would you expect an attractive woman to want you? Lift some weights, get a good job (or try harder at the one you have so you get promoted) and don't dress like a slob. You will be amazed at how your fortunes change.

So, how does this all circle round? Intel itself may not really be a big employer of geeks, but that is the stereotype and hence, Incel Inside makes a lot of sense--inside the buildings are involuntary celibates. At least they make good money, now all they have to do is lift weights and learn how to groom and dress. The final link is that the internet, which is tied tightly to companies like Intel, is also where these malcontents are able to meet and feed each other with self pity.

I blame, to some extent, the snowflake ethos of our time. You are wonderful just as you are. This is BS. But think of the implication if it were true? If I am wonderful just as I am, then it must be the fault of the World that I am alone. That is all that makes sense. Nobody is just naturally wonderful. Have you ever been around infants? They are utterly selfish and undisciplined, that is why they need to be so cute. Through the help of adults, the infants learn to walk, use words, share and otherwise become much more pleasant to be around. Though they gradually lose their innate cuteness. The process of improvement is life-long, though I think a fair number of teens think the process is complete by 15 or so.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Who Are The "THEY" In This?


From The Hill:


Former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton accepted her defeat on election night by saying that Americans were never going to elect her president, according to a new book by a New York Times reporter.

"I knew it. I knew this would happen to me," Clinton reportedly said, according to excerpts from a new book published in The Daily Beast. "They were never going to let me be president."

Notice where the quotation marks are and where they are not: The claim by The Hill is that Hillary Clinton means "the voters" when she says "they". I find this implausible, though very charitable, compared with the more obvious answer. I say implausible because of the way American English works: We say and think the voters are choosing their representative, not letting somebody be president.

Hillary has the worst luck, but the best friends one could want in the MSM. It was just her luck that she invoked the "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" in defense of her husband (in light of fresh sexual misconduct accusations against the president). A blue stained dress would cement the truth, Bill Clinton did indeed have sexual relations with that woman, Monica Lewinsky. A normal person would count her blessings that the MSM was so amnesia prone. A normal person would hope nobody would remember her hilariously wrong claim about conspiracy, but no, not Hillary. She invoked it in 2016! Is she trying to remind the voters of what a shameless liar she is? Or is she just that cynical, counts on the MSM to cover for her. they did

So Hillary Clinton had it right when she made her famous declaration that a “vast right-wing conspiracy” was out to get her and her husband. The opposition was and is passionate. It is well financed. It sees dark — sometimes preposterous — motives in nearly everything the Clintons do.

And counts on our lack of memory: But, we all remember TVRWC was a way of boldly placing a marker saying the sexual misconduct charges were false, but we all remember that the charges turned out to be correct. So, what conclusion can we come to: Hillary is either (for real) insane or she has discovered heretofore unplumbed depths of cynicism. Either way, it is clear that THEY in

"They were never going to let me be president."

Is that old and recurring bogyman, The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Satire Is Dead

Unless this interview was meant as comedy, in which case it is brilliant!


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Federal Judge Upholds ban on AR-15

I think the subhead should be either So What? or Be Careful What You Wish For

Why?

When the original assault weapon ban passed Congress in 1994, the law did not end due to a successful court challenge. The law expired after 10 years. So, this court decision didn't change anything.

The status of Congress when the Assault Weapon ban took place: Senate 57/43 House 258/176 Democrat/Republican, after the next election: 47/53 and 204/230. On one hand, I don't mind if the Democrats want to commit electoral suicide, on the other hand, I don't think their defenestration is worth the assault on basic Human rights.

Gun bans as Jim Crow. By Federal Law, blacks had the same rights as any other Americans after the Civil War. But Southern states passed laws which subverted this and it was only in the 1950s and 1960s that the Federal government dismantled this situation. Why not do this again, only with gun rights? States that have arbitrary bans on various fire arms, or require licences or registration are violating the Constitution. Congress should end-run this: Pass a law which states that US citizens may keep and bear certain types of fire-arm. The law should include the provision that possession is legal, as long as a background check is passed. Proof of such a check can be obtained at any Post Office for a nominal fee of $5, which includes a picture ID (suitable for voting) and is good for 5 years.

Note: Some absolutists hate the idea of a Federal permit to carry. I do too! That is why this is not a permit (the 2nd ammendment is your permit) it is merely proof that you have passed a background check. By law (the one I propose) you are permitted to keep, carry and purchase if you have passed a background check.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Why Debate This?

Over the weekend, my daughter accused me of being a troll, so this makes me think two things: She has never really encountered a troll and she stalks my twitter account. At the bottom is an exchange from last Friday about The Atlantic/ Kevin Williamson hire/fire event.

what that whole argument brought to mind is the concept of when or if ideas should ever be suppressed. It seemed to be the consensus of the mob who brayed until they got Mr. Williamson fired, that his ideas are so repugnant that they should not appear in The Atlantic. Please keep in mind that this is not a officially The proximate issue was his view (not published in any journal, but given in a debate) that women who have abortions should be hung. How outrageous is this? Something like 40% of Americans would like to ban abortion either completely or in almost all circumstances. Further, the death penalty is the majority opinion as the penalty for 1st degree murder. I think, by definition, if an opinion is held by a substantial part of the population, it is not fringe and should be debatable in a public space.

What about other issues which elicit strong emotional response? Should we debate people who think the Holocaust was fake? Depends on how many think this way: If it is a percent or two, that is a very different thing from 40% believing this way. In such a latter case, I think it gets toward mandatory. This would be even more so for people who think vaccines should not be given--large numbers of people who refuse vaccines could result in serious public health issues. How about really fringe ideas like Moon landing truthers or flat Earth types? I say, "debate them if you feel like it". But really, what significance does it have? These seem like relatively harmless delusions with no real significance.
--------------------------------------------------
I don’t think people who own guns should be hanged, but I also think National Review and Fox and Heritage are unlikely to ever extend me job offers based on my well-documented political views, and if I whined about that as if it were some kind of oppression, everyone would laugh.

David Pecchia

One of these things is unlike the others: Heritage and National Review are openly conservative--they publicly call themselves conservative. Fox is news and does hire liberals. Does The Atlantic call itself a journal of leftist opinion?

aislinn

Is the position that executing women is acceptable a mainstream conservative view?

David Pecchia

I don't think there is such a thing as an unacceptable position: There are positions I agree with and those I don't agree with.
One position I disagree with is suppressing obnoxious ideas rather than defeating them on the battlefield of reasoned debate.

No Pardons

Is that what you think is happening on the battlefield? Half the population can barely read, let alone debate ideas

David Pecchia

Not sure if I agree with that, but it doesn't change my opinion: Debate ideas or don't. Suppression of ideas is abuse of power--terms like "acceptable position" are just a way to feel virtuous when one is too lazy to fight for what they believe in.

No Pardons

No one is suppressing his ideas. This isn't some beat reporter who was thrown out of the newsroom for reporting on the boss's friends; it's a national pundit with decades of experience and 300K Twitter followers losing one writing gig for publishing some putrid opinions

David Pecchia

Well, he published those "putrid" opinions, BEFORE HE WAS HIRED! My "The mob won" template is looking closer to reality. Or, what? The Atlantic hired him while entirely ignorant of his past output? Then how did they know he existed?

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Apropos of Nothing

If you are an adult, here are minimal steps you will take whenever you have deliberately wronged someone:

1. Admit what you did and apologize for it.

2. (Optional) You may think that your reasons for doing it were compelling. To you, yes. To the person you wronged, not so much. But they may be curious.

3. Promise not to do it again.

4. Offer to make amends.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

In Honor of Stephen Hawking

Go here.

Then enter this text to hear what he would have sounded like:

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn. This is the creed of all faiths even the atheistic.

Props to H.P. Lovecraft & Dr. Stephen Hawking


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Error Of Mis-Aggregation

Hillary is back! Reminding us of how it is possible to lose the presidential race to a man like Trump:

"I won the places that represent two-thirds of America's gross domestic product... So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward. And his whole campaign, 'Make America Great Again,' was looking backwards. You know: 'You didn't like black people getting rights, you don't like women, you know, getting jobs, you don't want to, you know, see that Indian-American succeeding more than you are, whatever your problem is, I'm going to solve it.'

There is a hidden error in Her-Self's claim: She is laying claim to the whole GDP of the states she won, but she didn't win every single vote in the states she won, nor lost every vote in the states she lost. Take the deep blue state of Connecticut: Hillary won 55% of the vote to Trump's 41%. Her votes come mostly from public employees, minorities and a good slice of the very wealthy. Trump wins with everyone else. Not sure where to find the data, but I would bet that the taxes paid by Trump's 41% exceed what was paid by Hillary's 55%.

Similarly, a reoccurring complaint by the left, is that the Red states take in more in Federal benefits than they pay in taxes. Again, who is getting these Federal Dollars? A lot of it is that there are military bases, or big Federally funded agencies in red states. But the larger and certainly the intended impression, is that all these Republicans are on welfare or food stamps but vote for the people trying to gut these programs. Again, look at vote totals: Take Alabama: Hillary 34%, Trump 62%. Who can doubt that most of Hillary's votes in Alabama came from poor people and minorities? Heavy users of welfare.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Thoughts And Prayers

Friend: My Mom died last night from lung cancer, she was a lifelong smoker...

Me: I'm sorry for your loss.

Friend: Hypocrite!

Me: ???

Friend: You haven't tried to get cigarettes banned, so you obviously don't care about my Mom!

Me: Are you saying it is impossible for me to care that your Mom died and for me to simultaneously believe that adults should be free to smoke if that is what they want to do?

Ref.




Monday, February 19, 2018

Who Is The Master of Mansplaining And Why Does The Left Love Him?

Mansplaining is an invention of and complaint made primarily by the left. This is not to suggest it isn't real, though the validity of irritation can be obvious or disputable, depending:

The area of controversy is in situations where an explanation is asked for and then given. A woman may feel insulted by the condescending tone of the explanation, while the man may feel entrapped since he was asked and merely answered the question. I consider such situations to be resistant to simple answers, since it comes down to tone and degree. But there are areas where we can all agree.

It is irritating when an explanation is given where none is asked for. It is especially irritating when the explanation given is either wrong or is really just an opinion.

Enter the master mansplainer. Neil deGrasse Tyson. Feel free to take a break from this blog post and go to Neil deGrasse Tyson's twitter feed:

Not all his posts are mansplains, some are just facts:



But of his most recent four posts, two are classic mansplains:



AND



I will dismiss this last one as NDT trying to be saucy and playful and take it as given that nobody really takes what he is saying as anything more than an opinion.

The one before this is really awful with many mansplaining problems packed into such a short statement:

1. The Straw man logical fallacy: When people offer prayer, they are not claiming it will save the victims of the latest outrage, they are trying to show their concern. This is especially bad when NDT holds himself out as a champion of logic.

2. It is just an opinion packaged as if it is a fact. There is no such study and if you think about it, you will quickly come to the conclusion that no such study is possible.

3. Condescending and superior: There are people who naturally, because of empathy, feel bad for the total strangers who have had such pain and violence visited upon them. They are just expressing that feeling.

4. One cannot help but note that while there are two general kinds of response to school shooting: Thoughts & prayers, Ban guns now! NDT did not go after the second type. Why? The second type, in contrast to the first, is claiming an answer to the problem rather than offering empathy. But here is the thing, there is no evidence that posting tweets in the wake of a tragedy has any effect on the law nor that, even if it did, that the new laws would have any positive effect.

But let's get back to the claim about prayer not being able to stop bullets. Did the football coach who shielded kids with his body have a character shaped by religion and prayer? I don't know and neither does Neil deGrasse Tyson. He might not admit it but I will say it: It doesn't take a wildly overactive imagination to consider that it is at least possible.

Ah yes, why does the left love Neil deGrasse Tyson? They say that do not like mansplaining, but when the butt of it is a conservative, well, you know, it is just a tool and is good when used for good.

You should be careful though--the same thing could be said about guns.



Tuesday, February 13, 2018

My Dad Would Have Been 84 On The 17th Of This Month

My Mom wrote to me and let me know that she wants to honor her late Husband (who is also my late Father) with a mass on the 18th and would like to share some memories.

Of course there are lots of things I remember; Trips to see our grandparents, water skiing, huckleberry picking etc. These were not really personal memories though. After-all, my Dad was not specifically taking me on these trips; it was the whole family and as such, most of my interactions were with siblings and others my age, his were with my Mom and other adults.

There were not that many events which had just the two of us, though surely enough that I don't remember them all.

--One time we went deer hunting up North of Spokane. It was far enough that we flew up in his plane and landed in the hay field of his friend we were staying with. When you go hunting with someone, at least for deer, it does not mean you stroll through the woods together. It was more like: You go to the left and then hook around to the right, I will go to the right and slice to the left. We will meet at the top of the hill and hopefully one or the other of us will drive a deer toward the other of us. And by the way, don't accidentally shoot me! It ended well, my dad killed a nice little buck and we had some together-time dragging it back to the farm house.

--Another event a few years earlier was, I think, unplanned. We lived on Ardmore Drive in Spokane and had some family friends who lived in Brentwood--a development. I must have been 8 or 10 at the time. For some reason, just me and my Dad were stranded there--maybe my Mom had to take the car we all went there in, to run some errand, I really don't remember the circumstances. The upshot was that we decided to hoof-it home. We had a bit of an adventure. He thought it might be shorter to cut through the back of the development to the main road, this cut a lot off of the trip. As we got closer to home, we were in areas I knew from exploring and I guided us to another couple of short-cuts that got us home.

--One last event comes to mind. It was really nothing, but somehow stuck in my memory. I had just learned to tie my shoes but every time I untied them, I got a knot. Not an easy one either--at that age, I did everything with vigor and so when I got a knot in my laces, it was a tight one and very frustrating for someone in the lower single digits age-wise. My Dad happened along and showed me that if you pull both of the ends at once, there is never a knot. At that age, there really are few problems for a kid, he solved all of the problems I had.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

"Milk Sandwiches"

Whenever there is any kind of major snow storm, people act like it is the apocalypse and buy-out all the food in the grocery stores. Well, not really all the food; it seems like the only isles which look Cuban or Venezuelan are the milk and bread areas.


Hence the joke about people making milk sandwiches.

But really, what is happening? My theory is not that people are going for the bread and milk as their prime items. Neither keep for very long and so are not best for an emergency. I think it is the deliveries: Stores can keep a long supply of dry goods since they essentially never go bad, so even if the deliveries are delayed, there is plenty in the back. Bread and milk need to be fresh, so there are daily deliveries.

A bit of delay in delivery and empty shelves.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Syncretistic Homer Simpson





There doesn't seem to be a similar constituency in politics: I would love to see most people having the attitude that politics can be the solution to some problems (national defense, protection of liberty and property), but can also be the source of problems.

In Politics, the left believes that government is the solution to all of life's problems and conservatives believe government is the cause of all life's problems.

Obviously, I exaggerate. But not by much.

I have yet to see a problem so small that there isn't a Democrat willing to throw an offender in jail over it.

Monday, January 15, 2018

A Revolutionary Idea

In the news these days is the push to "fix" our "broken" immigration laws. Broken? How so?

Oh yes, I know; there are lots of innocent "dreamers" who were brought to the United States through no fault of their own and so it is unfair to deport them.

Some thoughts:

1. What is the point of changing the law? The current law is not being enforced. So why should anyone trust that a new, more favorable law for immigrants will be enforced either?

2. I reject the focus of the problem being on the "dreamers". Our focus as Americans should be, what is best for the United States?

3. It is not the fault of the United States that such "children" are here. They were brought here illegally by their parents.

4. Does anyone think that allowing this batch of illegal aliens to stay permanently will not encourage other foreigners to come and try to stay too?

5. The United States can benefit from immigrants. But they should be those we invite because they have useful skills. Every uninvited trespasser who is allowed to stay, takes the place of an invited one.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Oprah And Trump -- Similarities And Differences

Ed. Note: I will refer to Oprah Winfrey as Oprah, and Donald Trump as Trump. It is easier than writing first and last names for each and I am using the most commonly recognized name for each.

First, the similarities: Both are largely self-made. More so for Oprah, since Trump inherited vast wealth. He would not be and have been, a nationally known figure for decades had he lived comfortably off of his inheritance though. Both are almost universally known, due to decades-long media exposure.

The most obvious differences are in their public personas: Trump's is brash and confident, Oprah is also confident, but her most (to me) defining characteristics are being likable and comforting.

The whole point of this is to set the stage for a comparison of their political prospects:

A while before the last election, the main push for Trump seemed to come from Democrats. The idea being that he could disrupt the crowded field of Republicans and if he won the nomination, he would surely lose. I never got a good read on what they thought or if they even considered that Trump could win. I have to suspect that he would be quickly labeled as racist, sexist, anti-Semite and dim-witted/insane--because that is how they have labeled every Republican president in my lifetime.

What I see right now from Republicans is the opposite: Oprah seems more likely to win the presidency than any other Democrat out there. And Republicans hope she runs. To us, we would rather have a Republican president; but if we get a Democrat, Oprah would be a better president than any other Democrat who could win.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Major Shift In Luck

I stuffed my hat into the cup holder at the concert...

Wait, what?

Well, there was no drink to put in there. Because $13.50 is crazy for a beer and I would rather do without. Kind of; I would feel like not buying one, but would cave and get one anyway. Except, my wife and I are observing Dryuary. January, no alcohol. So the cup holder could serve to hold my vintage Bula jester hat.

I know, it looks stupid. But, I have never had a hat as warm, or as comfortable. I feel stupid now: I almost didn't buy it, because of the stupid thing. Now I wish I had bought one in every color they had. Bygones. Like 25 years ago and no longer made, bygones.


The concert ended (The Killers and it was amazing!), the lights came up and no hat! It wasn't on the floor either. We eventually found it about 6 feet away. All the lucky bastards, not doing Dryuary and so making multiple trips for more beer, had dragged it out of the cup holder and a fair distance away.

We were waiting for our daughter and friends to come up, from their standing area on the floor, to our seats and I spied a woman's clutch under a nearby seat. I locked eyes with an usher who was working his way through that section, as to say, "here is something you should collect. He went over to it and it was a concert T shirt. We communicated wordlessly, "It would be pointless to put something which is just like a thousand others sold tonight into the lost and found, right"?

He said, "Want a shirt"?

Sure!

From losing my irreplaceable hat to getting a shirt that sells for $40 for free!

The Stakes Are Low, The Lowest

There is a place on the way to work where two exit lanes merge into one lane on the ramp and then widen back to two after the ramp. The standard behavior, for 90% of the drivers, is that the cars weave together--one from the left, one from the right, one from the left, etc. But there is always some guy, it is always a guy, who wants to not let anybody in.

Why?

Chances are, the one car length gained will not matter: The car could end up choosing the same lane you choose when the road re-widens. But even if they choose the same lane, how much time is represented by one car? Quite possibly, none--one lane goes to an exit which widens into 5 turn and go straight lanes, the other goes to a 4-lane highway which is usually wide open. How much time is saved? A second, maybe if you are lucky? For this, you are going to try and bulldoze your way in?

This is on my mind because a guy tried this with me this morning.

Tried.

And failed.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Where Will The Stock Market Stabilize?

People with a PhD in Economics will be able to add a lot of detail, but what does basic Econ 101 tell us about the value of stocks due to the corporate tax reduction?

The old rate was 35% and the new rate will be 21%. If we assume that the value of a corporation is related to net profit* (after taxes), then the old value was 0.65x and the new value will be 0.79x. The change in the stock market should therefore be 0.79/0.65 or 1.215. The stock market should stabilize at 21.5% higher than before the tax cut.

*The idea is that net profit can be either distributed (dividends or stock buy backs) or invested in the business, which would result in greater future profits.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

I Can Now Die Happy

Not only did I finally clean and jerk 165 lbs, I got replied to and retweeted by the legendary James Taranto!