Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Monday, March 27, 2017
Thursday, March 23, 2017
No thank you, Mr. Bank, you charge 1% for the dubious privilege of your pedestrian expertise, consisting of what is the difference between a stock and a bond, and your mutual fund selection is full of funds with expense ratios through the roof, an astronomical 1 - 2%. I will stick with my IRA and the only good mutual fund family, VANGUARD, thank you not at all, except for the free lunch, which was basically junk food, by the way, just like your entire product offering. What, are you trying to give us a heart attack with the food?
Some doofus raised his hand asking what the expense ratios were. The saleslady replied they were what the bank pays the mutual funds, which was a bald-faced lie, because the customer pays the mutual funds out of his principal. Nothing but lies in this meeting. They were telling us 401(k) was the only tax shelter, ignoring IRAs altogether, because they don't make money from that. After the meeting, I considered calling up Johnny to let him know the real scoop. I know my way around investing. But then I remembered back when I first started at the company. One day, when I was green on the job, Johnny sneered at me because I carried a heavy toolbox to fix a little problem that required just a single cable. Well, hey, you know what, expense ratios are Johnny's toolbox. The expense ratio's on him. That's his heavy toolbox he's lugging around, looking like a fool. Me, I'm with Vanguard. Let him pay that 1-2% for the next ten years.
Sunday, March 19, 2017
And I see no reason to add a "k" to the word "magic." Shakespeare didn't, so why should we?
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
As for Trump's increase of defense spending, although that sounds good in principle--we all want to be safe--the ugly truth about defense spending is that a huge amount goes to waste, up in smoke due to pure negligence, corruption, schmoozing, parties, kickbacks, gifts, you name it. Generals retire to become salesmen for the very firms they used to purchase from. In any case, this is the real reason that Trump wants to increase defense spending--to enrich his cronies the easy way. They don't have to work hard or think at all. They just collect checks from the government. Welfare for the rich.
Sunday, March 5, 2017
Saturday, March 4, 2017
One thing is sure. These United States cannot ally with Putin. Then we would be evil and so much worse for this poor old world.
Friday, March 3, 2017
Saturday, February 18, 2017
Who can define a dragon? I know one when I see one.
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Saturday, February 4, 2017
The problem with gays is alcohol. Drinking stops thinking.
The problem with blacks is crime. Solve crime, and the blacks will be better off.
The problem with whites is war. An obsession with war between nations has reduced the white race more than anything else.
The problem with the Middle East is religion. Atheism, which is shunned, offers an antidote for the muttering puppets of dark powers.
The problem with Chinese is corruption. Everything gets sacrificed for money: environment, aesthetics, freedom.
The problem with racists is group-think. Your group doesn't even like you that much, and wishes you were in another group.
The problem with homophobes is they are homosexual. Straight men really don't think about gays and appreciate not having to compete with gays for women.
The problem with Jews is fear. They are afraid of being the last Jew standing and of Judaism disappearing from the world.
The problem with atheists is boredom. They are missing out on a lot of fun that the believers are in on.
The problem with Christians is they owe everything to a Jew, and the Muslims believe similar things they do.
The problem with women is men. Men are horrible.
The problem with men is other men.
The problem with Republicans is they have to operate in the real world of today, not their fantasy world of 1950 television sit-com.
The problem with Democrats is business as usual. The party bosses think they can just arrange everything without taking into account the voters.
The problem with the Greens and other minority parties is they don't understand winner-takes-all and what it means.
The problem with people that don't vote is they want to complain, but not do anything about it.
The problem with North Korea is Kim Jong-Un.
The problem with Trump is Twitter can't solve every problem in the world.
The problem with religious people is gullibility.
The problem with people that believe in magic is gullibility.
Is that enough problems for you?
The problem with human beings is that they are human beings!
Thursday, February 2, 2017
The U.S. needs about ten years to recover from its addiction to crack
Probably Trump is going to wage war in Yemen, because that would please Saudi Arabia, an old Republican ally, and seems a safe bet and a way to get back at Iran.
I am parking money in a money market fund, because although inflation is cranking back up as I expected, Trump seems unfocused, unprepared and unprofessional, and he has hatched some major goofballs. Amateur hour all around with Trump in office. He is still campaigning. I don't think he ever stopped being a candidate. He does not know how to be President. I keep wondering when he is going to shut up and start thinking things through before he acts.
Monday, January 30, 2017
Maybe Qaballah is too ancient Hebrew for my tastes. I remember that I wrote a long time ago, before I knew what Qaballah was, that I was a spirit of fire, then changed to one of air. Well, per Ducky, per the Qaballah, my astrological sign corresponds to Mutable Fire, which is open to change to another element. Also, one my nyms from long ago coincided with one of the planets in my zodiac. Well, all of that could be coincidence or was it prescience?
I shall continue with his video series because I like watching Adorable Ducky, even if what he is talking about flies over my head. I rather wish Ducky had cast a fireball or two, or changed someone into a frog, or forecast the near future. Now, that is what I call real magic. That is what I want a proper wizard to show me. But he sat there, in his coat and tie, and just seemed a dear old professor, lively and vivacious and huggable.
Saturday, January 28, 2017
I feel the same way McWhorter does about Trump: "Even a stopped clock is right twice a day." Trump spouts so many words that a man is bound to agree with some. He is like a shotgun. Yeah, a couple pellets are going to hit the mark.
Trump talks too much, for one thing, and engages his mouth more than his brain. He is not the ideal leader. He is going to make a lot of horrible and costly blunders with that angry mouth and hot head of his. The best that I hope for is that he corrects at least some of the blunders of his predecessors, and that his blunders prove to be correctable by his successor.
Due to Trump, Putin, and Xi, I do not have any hope that humanity will do anything to reverse climate change. Anyone living on the coast anywhere in the world is in for a rude shock, and those in the interior are also in for neat experiments like desertification, violent storms, flooding and violent and hungry refugees from the coast. Trump can be wrong, but ninety-nine per cent of world scientists can't be wrong.
On the other hand, is it right that the U.S. and Europe make all the sacrifices in an effort to reverse global warming, while India, China and Russia pump out maximum carbon emissions? If climate change is really inevitable anyway, and it probably is, given the geopolitical reality, then the U.S. might as well do whatever is expedient, because Russia and China represent evil in our world, and must not be permitted any advantages. Putin and Xi are evil incarnate and will never do anything that is good. If the U.S. committed suicide en masse, resulting in the elimination of all man-made carbon emissions, then China and Russia would continue with business as usual, and colonize our space and replace the lost carbon emissions with their own. Therefore, global warming is truly inevitable. It is impossible that China and Russia should cooperate with the U.S. They prefer global catastrophe and large-scale reduction of the world population to cooperation. Perhaps a reduction in global population is the real solution to global warming. There is not as much need for people nowadays, with automation in so many facets of business. The world could get by quite well with a million, let alone the seven billion currently in existence. This is the sobering reality foreseen by the elite, such as Trump, Putin, and Xi. It is my grim prediction for the future. I do not see a future with populous countries, but a future of war and strife, nuclear exchanges, massive pollution (including radioactive), dictatorships, and overall a long-term reduction in the global population. A "Mad Max" future.
My view is, tough titty. They can hire a bright young fellow from Iowa, train him, and keep their workforce 100% American. There is nothing a foreigner can do that an American can't do ten times better. We have a country with 300 million people, a well-educated workforce with a high number of college students, and these tech companies say they can't find enough eggheads? Hogwash!
Personally, I hope that treacherous Microsoft and Google lose a couple billion for depriving Americans of jobs. If they don't employ Americans, they are better off going bankrupt. Executives need to learn that what comes around, goes around. They enjoy the safety and comfort of living in America, yet transfer most of the jobs overseas. Is it a big surprise that American workers are not sympathetic?
Friday, January 20, 2017
Through Wikipedia, I learned Nomi Marks is played by Jamie Clayton, a transgender woman. I like Clayton's work in Sense8. She appears interesting and genuine somehow. That is why my mind has incorporated the character in my dreams.
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Thursday, January 12, 2017
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Sunday, January 8, 2017
Not just sometimes, but all the time.
This is the law of Creation and cannot be repealed.
The only reason we have electricity is men burning the midnight oil with sweat pouring down their forehead worrying the details through to completion.
Genius is ninety-nine per cent perspiration and only one per cent inspiration.
Friday, January 6, 2017
A greedy beer, wine or liquor tycoon fears pot as a competitor, because pot is better for people than alcohol. People might wise up and stop drinking his poison. So he buys a rag like the L.A. Times and tells them what to print in their little editorials and "news" articles.
The L.A. Times not only says marijuana is bad, but they want to lock all the pot smokers up. Hard time for high times! Let us examine this evil logic. Lock the potheads up, and just maybe, they will embrace a new path in life, the demonic. For what sort do we find in prison, but the violent and maladjusted? What better mentors? Pot smoking is but a feeble half-measure, and Blood is the final--and inevitable--product. Convert the passive do-nothings into do-somethings. The something is unspecified. Pesky details. Always and forever, no one wants to get into the details, to the detriment of mankind.
In this world, men take a simple thing that is on balance good, like marijuana, and through wickedness, twist it into something horrible, associated with crime and violence. An intelligent creature of higher moral standards could exist in large numbers on this planet and not have any problem whatsoever with the herb, but use it for its [intended purposes].
Thursday, January 5, 2017
Here is hoping that Trump is really a Heart. A blind hope, at this point in time, but nonetheless. Why does a billionaire want to be President? Does he really, is he really so insanely driven that he wants more money through corruption, or is he, could he be... genuine, in some shape or form? Let us all hope Trump is a Heart, for the sake of the country.
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
It's always amusing when people vote against their own interests. The low-income folks that voted for the Republicans or did not vote at all or sent in a stupid protest vote or voted for the Green Party nitwit need to to learn how to deal with untreated disease. Take some Bufferin to ease your sufferin. There certainly is not going to be any Obamacare to help you in this world. Got cancer? Take Bufferin. Heart disease? Bufferin. Mental illness? Bufferin. Remember to say "Thank you!" to the Republicans for denying you medical care.
The reason the poor won't have medical care is Republicans need to steal all that money to get richer. Instead of being millionaires, they need to become billionaires. The Republicans say, "Make it rain!"
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Back in the day, there were similar creatures in Europe. Some committed suicide, while others were shot or hung, after the war. There is meticulous documentation about their activities. He is parroting them. The forces he draws upon are not congenial for human beings. It is in their nature to betray the summoner.
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Sunday, December 25, 2016
As for the new Stone Soup team, well, I like what they've done. Gozag is my "go-to" God for Mummies. The devs have made some rather controversial changes. I do wish that they would do something besides adding a new God every other release. Polytheism is cool, but you know, new content is best, in particular for the higher levels. Let us expand the divine astral realms and allow the player to contend with the gods themselves. Also, there are more Hells to conquer, more demons and devils. What about Lovecraft's mythos? Nyarlhotep, oh my, and Cthulu! These would be interesting challenges to place before the high-level player. Do note that Lovecraft is long since dead, and copyright issues should be null, but of course, I am not a lawyer, and publishers are greedy. In my opinion, there are enough gods as it is, and some gods, such as Sif Muna, cry out to the gods for an overhaul. I can't think of any reason anyone would want to worship Sif Muna when Vehumut offers so much more to the spellcasting faithful.
My Dungeon Crawl Cheat page is laden with dust. Frequent references to Windows XP betray its antiquity. I could edit and add guidance for Windows 10, but why? I like the patina. I will never use Windows XP in this life. I tossed my last Windows XP install DVD. XP is best buried. It was good in its day, but its day is past. There are too many limitations and vulnerabilities. I remember frequent problems with Windows XP and more particularly, Windows 2000, which kept having Registry problems. I read all about the "hive," but still did not understand it. In the end, we must heed Microsoft when they say upgrade. It is their product, after all.
Will Dungeon Crawl survive? Probably not. At some point, the Devs will age to a point when they cannot be bothered anymore. It is the same with Wesnoth and other old games. The younger generation has very high expectations in terms of graphics and whatnot. I hope the Devs continue as long as they possibly can, because I think the game is awesome, but there are many who grow accustomed to modern gaming with high-resolution graphics. I prefer slow, turn-based gaming over realtime, with its emphasis on hand-eye coordination, and I believe there will always be a market for that, so perhaps there is a slender hope for Dungeon Crawl into the future.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
There is no acceptable level of terrorism. Stop the so-called refugees at the door and tell them to go fix the problems in their own land before bringing their problems to our door. Why are these folk not fighting for their own land? All they want is a free ride in a rich nation. They shirk their duty and then want the West to fix all their problems for them. Europe does not need a bunch of fanatic know-nothings who do not even speak the language of their host country. They care nothing about the culture of Germany. They will ruin Europe and turn it into the same hell-hole they came from. They want sharia law, the rape of women, beheadings and public floggings. That is all they know for a hundred generations.
If the refugees belong anywhere besides their own land, then it would be in neighboring countries, not in Western Europe. The people of Europe are awakening to this truth, and it will not be long before the foolish politicians are cast out in elections.
Monday, December 19, 2016
I figured things out today. The new king hesitates to establish a precedent of prosecuting another king.
For the day may come when Trump, too, fears prosecution. He is likely to do all the things Hillary did or is alleged to have done and far more.
* - I italicized the word "precedent" because our president-elect proved to the world that he did not know how to spell the word. He called the Chinese seizure of our underwater drone "unpresidented" when he meant "unprecedented." The Republicans have a terrible time with grammar, history, and science. Why is that? I will tell you, a lot of people, and not just Democrats, arrive at the obvious conclusion.
Sunday, December 18, 2016
Friday, December 16, 2016
I can't speak about "the left." All I know is that I like what I read in The Guardian (UK), most of the time, if not all of the time.
I believe government should let individuals alone for the most part, save when they may interfere with the rights of other individuals. A man's home is his castle, pure and simple.
I believe that racism is nonsense. To see a man as part of a group only, based on skin color, is really stupid. People vary. They are individuals. They are not all the same. One must keep an open mind, informed by love, compassion, and kindness. To harden one's heart against an entire group, particularly based upon something like skin color, is folly and nonsense. We are commanded to love. It is our duty.
I believe that homophobia is nonsense. Gays have been with us from the beginning. Many will deny it, but gays have founded religions. In this veil, we do see as through a glass darkly. Some things are hidden in plain sight. Kindness is all that is required. Be kind to one another. Perhaps being different from all the others teaches one the importance of being kind.
I believe that bullies are evil. It is easy to harm the weak. We should look out for one another and attempt to create a kinder, gentler society not only for ourselves, but for future generations. Enlightenment is the goal. Liberate this human race from petty squabbles, from desperation, from despair. That is the liberal agenda. Perhaps it is unfeasible, sometimes. One must be pragmatic. But it is the long-term goal.
Sometimes, but not always, organized religion can be a bully. Other times, big corporations. Sometimes entire nations. I believe the world is a better place because the United States sacrificed an entire generation. We bled profusely and paid vast sums of treasure in order to stop Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. If we had taken the easy way out, the way of Trump, then we would have reached an accommodation with fascism. We would have struck a deal. Trump is a deal-maker. That is sometimes helpful, but there are moral imperatives. If one does not believe in good and evil, then there are no boundaries at all. I believe there is absolute good and absolute evil. I say that the world is a better place by far without the ideas of Hitler holding sway. Mankind can be reduced to insects, and if we are, we are doomed. The earth will be rid of us. Is that what you want? I would prefer that we improve ourselves. There is much to be improved, let us be candid with ourselves. Let us ameliorate. All that is required is patience, love and intelligence. We must use the higher faculties, while keeping the lower ones in check.
Now, I know very well that some will read all this and think liberals are all heart and no brain. That is what I hear all the time. But I am pragmatic. I want things to work. Fundamentally, things have to work. It is not possible to be good without intelligence, without correcting imbalances, imperfections. I write code. Sometimes the code has bugs. Am I perfect? No, I am flawed, and I create buggy code sometimes. I realize that mistakes must be corrected. The division between good and evil is like the serpentine dance of the dragon. It is not easy. Sometimes, with good intentions, we do wrong. That is acknowledged. Therefore, intelligence is required. We must learn from previous mistakes and listen to the other side, including the right-wing, which sometimes is going to be right. The right-wing also is composed of Americans who love their country. I acknowledge that and hope and trust that they, too, acknowledge my own loyalty. We are all on the same side and probably want the same things and are only divided by semantics, the power of words that are woven by politicians. If peace, prosperity, preparedness, longevity, and happiness are the goals, then we want the same things.
Monday, December 12, 2016
Meanwhile, Trump antagonizes our chief debt holder, China. For better or worse, China holds our national debt. If tensions rise between the two nations, as we have every reason to expect they will, the United States may default on its national debt for the first time in modern history. Now, Trump has defaulted many a time before, and this would be in character. What will happen is that no one will want to buy U.S. bonds, and anyone holding them is going to be holding Monopoly money. That would include retirees, dear old grandma and the like. There will be a lot of collateral damage, and suddenly the U.S. will have no way to meet obligations such as Social Security and so forth. There will be unhappy people gathering in the streets.
Trump may be cunning, but he is not half as smart as he thinks he is, and he is going to find that global politics is a lot tougher than it seemed at first. There is a reason that Putin backed Trump, and that reason is not to help America or the American people.
Predictions: the federal minimum wage stays the same or is abolished altogether. 2017 inflation rate of 3.5%, 2018 inflation rate of 7%, 2019 inflation rate of 11%, and 2020 inflation rate of 14%. Bonds look like a poor investment right now. Pollution gets worse. The capital spending that Trump envisions will not actually improve anything in the country. He is going to build a wall and spend more on military gadgets for overseas adventures. Spending on scientific research will stagnate, with the one exception of weapons research. The infrastructure will remain as it is, although prison building will expand and become increasingly privatized. Marijuana will become illegal again nationwide, if Trump's Attorney General has his way. Trump is going to put a lot more people in prison as part of the traditional Republican "tough on crime" thing. Most of the new people in prison will be for non-violent offenses like marijuana. The largest per capita prison population in the world is just going to get larger and may even double. The Trump Presidency will be all about culture wars, stocking the Supreme Court with right-wingers, and expanding the military and doing a lot of bombing missions against third world nations to show everybody that Trump stands tall. There probably is going to be some hot fire traded between China and the U.S. in the South China Sea as well, and then an unexpected peace mission resulting in symbolic, empty "concessions" from China that make Trump look good while changing nothing. Trump is all about appearances. All he wants is to look good in the moment. If a world leader understands that, as Putin does, then it is easy to deal with Trump. Give America nothing but a kick in the teeth, but lie and agree with Trump and say the things that make him look good. That is all you have to do with Trump.
Sunday, December 11, 2016
Saturday, December 10, 2016
Thursday, December 8, 2016
I like her in purple.
There is a certain nobility about her, in defeat. Her spirit is potent and should not be underestimated. Of course, the forces of evil have been at work for a very long time against her. Today they celebrate their dark victory, based upon lies, innuendo and half-truths. In the end, she just wasn't the very best saleswoman, and that is really all there was to the 2016 election. She was pitted against the ultimate salesman, Trump, who was willing to lie, cheat, and steal any which way, with the notable assistance of Russia, organized crime, and white racists.
Perhaps there are Angels, potent and furious, presiding over the situation now, for this crime does melt the heart of any with a heart. Such a crime as his is Satanic in every aspect. It will work, not toward racial animosity, as the depraved and doomed insect supposed, in his fevered brooding, but toward racial harmony; for no one with even an ounce of goodness would excuse such a grave and heinous crime. The Ways of the Lord are mysterious, and some do His Will by leaving this life. So will the murderer. He, too, must lay down his life for racial harmony. He must be sacrificed. That is the way to make amends and to assist in the healing of the survivors. He must not continue to new days. He must rejoin the earth.
Thursday, December 1, 2016
The one argument I could make against the death penalty is utilitarian. A murderer does possess something of value--a human body. It is not worthless. Yet the death penalty wastes it. There are organs that could be harvested, blood that could be donated, medical experimentation that could be performed. Clinical drugs could be tested. If a murderer consented to these things, then perhaps there might be value in granting temporary clemency of one or two months. However, even a murderer has absolute domain over their own body. I do not condone forced donation of organs or blood. Donations must be on a voluntary basis, or else humankind is reduced to cattle.
Sunday, November 13, 2016
- For every step backward, there are two steps forward. The good are not only right, but are wise, and because of their wisdom, they prepare for the darkness.
- The power of evil is finite. If evil is triumphant and if all is lost, then everything begins again. Nothing can destroy what is good. It will come again.
- Even in the darkness, the so-called absolute void, there is light. To understand this is more than a philosophy. It is a liberation.
I believe, however, that he will do nothing of the sort, because he does not care for anyone but himself. He takes shortcuts. The easy route is his perpetual choice. He seeks personal power, enrichment, glory, narcissistic pleasures, and popular approval. He will not trouble himself to fix any problems that are difficult. He is not any kind of fixer. He is not a charitable person. He is not a hard worker. He will continue the trajectory of his life-path. He will not suddenly change his colors, as some of his supporters assume, to their pending disappointment. They are fools--they do not see the man for what he is, they would sell their souls for pennies.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
It is not easy to tell the truth. Work is required. Perhaps Trump wants to be truthful, but he is lazy. He has never worked a day in his life. All of his success came from taking short-cuts, from swindling, cheating, and lying, and first and foremost, from Daddy's gifts and Daddy's business associates. Without a silver spoon in his mouth, Trump would be a used-car salesman in a podunk town in Nowheresville.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
I find it interesting that the media and the Republicans complain about Hillary's relatively minor mistakes over her 30-year career, whereas Trump has a list stretching from sea to shining sea of cheating workers, customers and contractors; not paying taxes and boasting about it; bankruptcies; sexual assault; outright lies and race-baiting; cozying up to the Russians--of all countries, the most toxic for a Presidential candidate; encouraging Russian interference in the U.S. election; attacking the integrity of our elections; alarming U.S. allies--and the list goes on without end. I don't see how any thinking person can vote for Trump. That he even made it this far points to the weakness of the other Republican candidates. I just don't think the Republicans have anyone that can step up to the job.
Sunday, September 18, 2016
Are either Trump or Clinton ready for the unique scientific and political challenges of the present? Global warming, financial uncertainty, unemployment, terrorism, Russia, China, North Korea and Iran (the Axis of Evil)? I doubt it. Do they bring new ideas to the table? No, they are orthodoxy.
Many intelligent people do not believe global warming will be resolved by human beings. They view the approaching apocalypse as inevitable. I count myself among them. I do not think that human beings are capable of dealing with the threat of global warming. We are too selfish, short-sighted, suspicious of others. Thus, disaster looms. The federal government foolishly, mindlessly subsidizes development in coastal regions doomed to be devoured by the oceans. Meanwhile, we squash bugs in Syria, Iraq, Aghanistan. Funny thing about bugs. They just keep reproducing. Meanwhile, the treasury is drained on a continual basis, and we become more indebted to China.
I know intelligent people who will not vote for Hillary Clinton or Trump because they see their faults and do not excuse them and see no value in pragmatism. Pragmatism is not sexy, but is boring and depressing. Our system is flawed. Winner-takes-all is a real problem. People will vote for the Greens, for Libertarians, for protest candidates. The system is not capable of processing their intentions.
Our Founding Fathers had good intentions, but ultimately failed us. Their deeds are regarded by the masses as carved in granite, never to be altered, and yet they failed. The system they designed cannot endure. It is being tested. It is doomed.
Global warming occurs, and our national debt increases with no end in sight, and many people are either unemployed or under-employed. Where are the jobs? Again and again, where are the jobs?
It is difficult to be optimistic about the future in the long-term.
Saturday, September 17, 2016
Sara - Fleetwood Mac - I remember several through this song. It is potent. Play it at high volume. That is the only way to appreciate its subtleties. The witch casts a spell.
1963 - New Order - I remember my best friend through this song. We have not spoken in over thirty years.
b - Nada Surf - A beautiful dream transports the listener. "I've got no time I wanna lose / to people with something to prove. What can you do but let them talke / and make your way down the block."
Strange Magic - ELO - magic is strange if it is not useful. I do have a strange magic. I am not rich and powerful. I write on a blog for free.
Nite & Day - Al B Sure - I can listen to this over and over. It never gets old. "If you and I were one, the love would share would be so fun. Just take my hand and you'll see that we'd take off into another world."
Say It Isn't So - Hall and Oates - I really like this song and, like "Nite & Day," can listen to it over and over. It may be the best of Hall and Oates.
One Hundred Ways - Quincy Jones - relationship advice that guys tend not to take! If guys would only listen to this song, they could make a happy life for themselves with a good and gentle person. Everything is spelled out here. All that is required is to listen with an earnest and receptive heart. There are real advantages to compassion, to kindness, to thoughtfulness.
Always Love - Nada Surf - wisdom distilled into a song. Few will understand or, understanding, follow. Always love is invincible. Hatred is poison to the bearer. "To make a mountain of your life / is just a choice." Brilliant!
How Soon Is Now - The Smiths - clubbing in my twenties. emptiness, excitement, despair.
I Heard a Rumour - Bananarama - saying no to a second chance is sometimes right. I have had to say No to many. I do not regret shutting them out, because they were base.
Our Lips Are Sealed - The Go-Gos - "Pay no mind to what they say. Doesn't matter anyway! Our lips are sealed." Truth may be found in the silence of the soul. The modern obsession with blurting out secrets is not always wise. With silence comes dignity. Think of the mountain, the tree, the stars, the moon.
A Tale of the Tribe - Beyond Life - "Break the mind-forged manacles. Correct the berserk machine." Is it too late for us?
Feel So Alive - Pod - "you have given me peace of mind."
Too Hot - Kool & the Gang - every beat is right.
Kryptonite - Three Doors Down - "I took a walk around the world to ease my troubled mind. I left my body lying somewhere in the sands of time." Indeed.
Jeremy - Pearl Jam - me in ninth grade, but for the Grace.
Interstate Love Song - Stone Temple Pilots - "Leaving on a Southern train." That is me. I am always Southward-bound.
Plush - Stone Temple Pilots - "And I feel and I feel. When the dogs begin to smell her, will she smell alone?"
Photograph - Def Leppard - sometimes all that is left is a photograph.
Shoot To Thrill - AC/DC - "I'm like evil, I get under your skin just like a bomb that's ready to blow."
Bring Me to Life - Evanescence - "Wake me up inside."
Getting Away with Murder - Papa Roach - "I drink my drink and I don't even want to." Drinking opens a gateway for evil to enter our world.
Lying from You - Linkin Park - "Let me take back my life. I’d rather be all alone." There is much to be said for solitude.
A Place in Time - Bosshouse (featuring Amanda Abizaid) - I loved the show, 4400, of which this is the theme song.
Take It Easy on Me - Little River Band - resonated with me when it first came out, though no more. As a supplication, it proved ineffectual!
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
On the one hand, I feel the transgender issue in her case is exploitative, riding upon the backs of the gay political movement. Perhaps many people follow her solely because she is transgender and happens to make the headlines. She is asking a lot in terms of medical care from the institution that she betrayed. However, in the end, it makes the military look good that they are providing her with recommended medical care.
On the other hand, perhaps her 35-year sentence does seem rather excessive. However, punishment in criminal cases is mainly for deterrent value. It is not Manning that society fears, but others that might do as she did in the future. That is the real explanation for a 35-year sentence. It is not that Manning poses a huge danger to society or that people want revenge against her (although some probably do, namely her superiors who were embarrassed by the leaks). It is not Manning, but the specter of future Mannings that the powers-that-be fear. Military justice is always about setting examples. Thus, a murderer may actually get a lighter sentence than Manning. It does not seem fair, but fairness ain't in it. Combat-readiness is the priority, not fairness.
In truth, jail sentences are a blunt instrument aimed at prevention of future crimes, both from the perpetrator and future perpetrators. Human justice often seems cruel and arbitrary. It is fear that keeps many people from doing things, and draconian sentences are intended to inspire that fear. I am sure that if Manning were released, society would not be in danger, but perhaps others would be tempted to do as she did, and in that scenario, how could the military keep any secrets? A larger question is, should the military keep quite so many secrets? Secrets sometimes exist for good reasons, but they also exist to cover up evil, corruption, negligence, and incompetence. What if the military had fewer secrets? Perhaps we could rid our military of evil, corruption, negligence, and incompetence. There are many advantages to openness.
I'd be in favor of reducing Manning's sentence, to make it comparable with similar crimes, if it can be demonstrated that the leaks resulting from her actions did not result in physical injury to others. That may be a rather high bar to reach. Perhaps the absence of evidence of harm would be sufficient.
Sunday, September 11, 2016
Saturday, September 10, 2016
Sunday, September 4, 2016
You see, I did not purchase Windows 10 through proper channels. Ever the bargain-hunter, I snagged a product key for Windows 10 Professional off an Ebay seller, who later was banned from Ebay, probably for pushing shady licenses, because all she ever sold was Windows 10 licenses.
Nevertheless, I had paid her $80 for Win10 Pro, and it seemed quasi-legit. I had researched and found it to be a volume licensing for some kind of online academic institution. Microsoft indeed had gotten paid, although not quite as much as they would have preferred, no doubt. No way I was coughing up another $140 for a brand new license. Just no way.
I called Microsoft, and the first Indian I spoke with was a guy with a really smooth, mellow voice. He had me recite my product ID, a 30-digit number. I just loved listening to his voice, it was so clear and smooth. He could easily have been a jazz singer. I didn't really expect that from Indian tech support. In the end, however, he handed me bad news. I had to contact my seller and get the product key, which is different from the product ID. No other way forward, according to him.
I didn't tell him this, but the seller is out of the picture completely. She is gone, kaput, does not answer emails, so forget about that. But I know a thing or two. When I bought Windows 10 originally, the seller did send me a product key, or otherwise I never would have had a licensed Windows 10 in the first place. I printed it out back then and filed it. I found my hardcopy and, armed with that information, called Microsoft again, because Windows for some reason was not accepting that product key anymore.
This time I got an Indian dame, whose name remains Anonymous, because when she connected to my computer, the window indicated it was Piyush. But googling that name suggests that it is a masculine name, not a feminine one. I do not see any male Piyushes in Facebook. I think she was using the previous tech's, or her boyfriend's, log-in details in order to preserve the sanctity of her true identity. In truth, it is not a good idea for young female voices to be attached to actual names that can be researched and tracked down to a location. I would have done the same thing in her position and indeed I do it. The fact of the matter is, although one desires to be appreciated and admired on the Internet before an audience of one's peers, one is well-advised to treat one's identity the same as one's chastity. Many people do not seem to understand that. But Piyush, as I call her, understood.
She fixed everything for me. Windows 10 Pro was activated on my new solid state drive, and she was quick about it and rather nice, too. As for me, I was sunshine and butter on popcorn. I had all my ducks in a row. She did not have to do any extra work or waste any time explaining anything to me. I was always two steps ahead of her. I am not surprised things worked out so well for me in the end. If it is at all possible to get a positive result out of technical support, I can do it, because I am technical support, and I like people and get along quite well with them, whatever their age or gender or any other factor that other people seem to think is important. I am neutral and results-focused and results-oriented, but I also like to have fun and joke around, within the parameters of propriety. I had quite a bit of banter with Piyush.
Here is the strange thing that set me blogging with a title of the false name she used.
She liked me. I was the nicest person she spoke to all day or will speak to all week. I walked around in her mind a bit. There were echoes of unpleasant exchanges with abusive callers upset at Microsoft, and I hated that. People don't always understand how difficult computers can be. They don't know how much patience and work is required to get them to function at all. Most people in support have been abused by the ignorant, the impatient, the negligent and the frankly stupid. I am honored and grateful to the Goddess that I am not like that.
After we disconnected, I walked around the house, exuberant that I had fixed the problem and feeling a lingering pleasure from the strangely potent connection with this Piyush lady from India. Five minutes later, there was a phone call. The caller ID indicated a long distance number, but I just knew it was her.
I picked up, and there she was. She had dialed me by mistake, intending to reach her next customer. But really, are there mistakes? Is it so difficult to dial the correct number in a call center? Her subconscious preferred to talk to me again rather than play the fool's lottery on the next caller. I would have loved to talk with her for hours and learn all about her interesting life in India, but that is not such a good idea. I redirected her back to her work with firm pleasantries. I mark her existence only in this blog. Perhaps in another Universe, another reality, who knows? She was a lovely lady. She deserves to be loved. I have said it. The world must do it.
Thursday, September 1, 2016
It is as simple as this.
In the doing, in the chaos of everyday, be aware that you witness the very soul of the other in their deeds and their words. Be aware of the moment. The other is here now, for a brief time, like thyself, never to be again, a flower that blooms and withers and dies so quickly, in the blink of the eye of the Buddha. You, even your humble self, are witness, and perhaps your entire purpose is to be so. We are all witnesses of each other. For that is the way that the world was made. We are witnesses to each other and to the whole world as it is.
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Saturday, August 27, 2016
Thursday, August 18, 2016
We think things matter because it is a prerequisite of living as an animal. Breathing matters. Feeding matters. To think that these things matter is very useful to an animal. The habit of mind can become all-encompassing, leading one to believe that even little things matter, such as a parking space that one has grown accustomed to or a brand of candy carried by the grocery store. We forget the ultimate reality, which is that nothing matters.
On this planet, there are people now. They were not there in the past. They will not be there in the future. No record will be preserved of their existence. This is a simple concept, but difficult to accept. The Universe does not play favorites.
Sunday, August 14, 2016
Afghanistan is an unholy mess, the product of the stupidity of our leaders. Their leaders are even more corrupt than ours, and their entire purpose in life is to steal the maximum amount of money from the American taxpayer. They even steal the bullets we give them to defend them against the Taliban. I say let the Taliban take over. We should exact reparations from the land, mining valuable materials from the mountains, while napalming the populated Taliban-infested areas whenever they pose a threat to the transportation of material out of that blighted region. The Taliban is like roaches, they can be sprayed on a periodic basis to keep them in check. Who cares who governs the rest of that country? Abandon the untrustworthy people, and take back from the mountains all the money that was poured into that cesspool. At least that way, the American taxpayer will receive a certain percentage of his hard-earned money back. A check should be sent to each and every American taxpayer, once per year, for the next hundred years, to distribute the profits made by selling Afghan stones and minerals.
Why is the U.S. determined to be the perennial loser in every foreign conflict? Why is our tax money destined to be poured down the toilet and flushed away?
Thursday, August 11, 2016
The alternative to chess, doing what many others do, which is to say, sitting around gossiping, seems pointless and rather debasing as well. At least with chess, one exercises the mind.
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Let us examine Trump's thinly veiled threat against Hillary in cold blood. Let us say Hillary is gone. Her replacement would also beat Trump and might actually prove a stronger candidate. That is why Hillary is perfectly safe. I do not fear any assassination attempt against her. The ones to fear for are the likes of Martin Luther King, Jr., who gave a better speech than any human being in living history. The evil-doers knew he was irreplaceable. That is why they murdered him. They will not touch a hair on Hillary's head, because she is replaceable, and what is more, the replacement might be better.
The quest after Truth is like the serpentine dance of the dragon. When you think you have her, she has eluded you altogether. Nothing is easy. If someone thinks that the world is easy, they have missed about ninety-nine per cent of the equation.
When possible, I like to out-Christian the Christians, not in words but in deeds, and to operate, not necessarily seen or recognized, as a force for good in the world, by helping and assisting others who are good. I do not mind being anonymous. I like doing good just because. Not because I believe some invisible man is watching, a godling or some such, though perhaps that is so. My opinion is unsettled on that matter. How would I know other than how I feel? Feelings are not infallible. I could well be mistaken.
But if there were a god, she is rather a goddess, because I cannot conceive of a masculine god. The power of generation is feminine. The male can only subtract, not add. We subtract rather too often in my opinion. It is regrettable.
As for Tacita, she is not the primary goddess, but a relation. Distant, I think.
Sunday, August 7, 2016
Our leaders are misguided anytime they donate money to foreign powers. Such a decision should be left to the voters in a special referendum. I do not consent for $1 of my tax money to be used on Syria, either on bombs or on reconstruction, and certainly not on both. Why not spend that money on improving our country, if indeed money must be spent at all?
The U.S. seems a foolish country, because we fund both sides in foreign war that does not involve us. We fund both the bombing and the reconstruction and get taken advantage of throughout the entire process by corruption. Trillions of dollars are flushed down the toilet.
The anger I feel over this probably explains the popular support for Trump. But Trump is disingenuous. He would do and say whatever to benefit himself. I do not think he has much concern for either the country or for humanity at large. I have never trusted Trump. His record speaks for itself. There is no need to listen to Trump's opponents. Listen to Trump and look at his history. Hillary's history is certainly better than Trump's. She is a worker, she is dedicated, and she works for what she believes to be the good of the country. She does not cheat and she does not steal. The greatest criticism of her is that she was around when hard decisions had to be made, and she made hard decisions in difficult times. What has Trump done, other than line his own pockets? That is why, despite my disapproval of U.S. foreign policy, I will vote for Hillary.
Thursday, August 4, 2016
Sunday, July 31, 2016
Saturday, July 30, 2016
Government service is sometimes viewed as an opportunity to be idle and, sometimes, to steal.
Perhaps it is true that people get the government they deserve. If bad leaders are voted into office, then the people do actually get what they voted for, after all. Those regions that elect good people get better government out of the bargain. I wonder whether the U.S. deserves Trump? I certainly hope not.
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Also, what is the difference between astral travel, as defined by Tyson, and writing fiction?
Sunday, July 24, 2016
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
I had a dream of my father last night. I dreamt that he searched my room, as he always used to do. It was his favorite pastime, rationalized as necessary, due to my typical teenage vices of cigarettes, alcohol and pot. He boasted of confiscating my vaporizer. I then pointed out that A.) the thing cost over a hundred dollars, and I really didn't appreciate having to buy a new one now, and B.) I was an adult now and in fact I was his equal, because I supported myself and was independent in every way. Moreover, he was elderly, and it was I that looked after him, rather than the other way around.
For item C, I pointed out that everyone with an education had by now accepted that marijuana was, well, not necessarily health food, but a medicine, and certainly not any more dangerous than alcohol, or for that matter, aspirin or coffee. My father was a learned man that liked to read magazines of the world's opinions and discoveries. In 2016, the truth is out there, for those that wish to listen. My father sagged his shoulders and said, "We know different, now. I was mistaken about this, and I am sorry. I concede to Science." Because Science was his God. And science has spoken about the medicinal plant, a gift to mankind. He apologized for having confiscated my vaporizer but had already destroyed it.
Perhaps in a way, my father's spirit was apologizing for all those searches and seizures, for all those angry scenes, a pointless parade of imagined parental duty. People do tend to act automatically, like robots, behaving in ways they have been programmed to do, rather than pausing to consider the merits of things. Perhaps there isn't always time or energy left over from doing to indulge in much thinking.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Monday, July 18, 2016
This would put a cap on all the negative stories circulating about law enforcement. The majority are decent, but there needs to be ongoing culling, just like in any other profession. Unfortunately, today, the bad cops just get reassigned or suspended, and go on doing bad things until one day they show up in the headlines.
Sunday, July 17, 2016
I'm happy with Linux Mint 18, because it has included a dark theme that just works all the time. Fastest and easiest route to nocturnal perfection that I have ever experienced in any operating system. I liked it so much, I donated to the project. In my opinion, Mint-Y-Dark is reason enough to convert to Linux Mint 18. Meanwhile, I don't know what Windows and Ubuntu are doing, but they are not doing anything for me.
Mr. Developer, please. Think, for a moment, about the human body. In particular, have pity on the human eyeball. It is not designed to stare into the Sun all day long. Try to design your product so that it works in harmony with the user and is not harmful to the user.
If there are to be less police, then the ones that remain will really be working on meaningful things, like crime, rather than driving around wasting gas and harassing poor people. To reduce the burden on law enforcement, we should also legalize marijuana and prostitution.
I don't really know what to say to people that think marijuana needs to be illegal in 2016 and beyond. Read some books, get educated, try to advance in learning. Go to Norml.org and learn the facts rather than the old, disproved propaganda.
Prostitution is a more honest form of a trade that goes on anyway under various pretenses. People will always be attracted to money and to power, and nothing is going to change that. Sex for goods or services is as old as sex itself and is practiced in all the animals.
Also, have the mentally ill homeless people taken care of by a specially trained mental illness service. We should not call cops to deal with the mentally ill. Cops are not therapists, psychologists, or anything like that. Cops deal with crime. The mentally ill need help, usually in the form of anti-psychotic drugs or just rest and food. Some people additionally need guidance and advice.
Another thing we can do to reduce the burden on law enforcement is install a governor on all motor vehicles to prevent their traveling above 80 mph. That would reduce speeding using a simple technical device, which can be verified as functional by a cellular internet connection, without the need for cops. Using millions of cops simply to enforce speeding laws is inefficient. I really do not think that people go into law enforcement with the desire to hand out tickets to lead-foots.
I like to gather knowledge about my idols, using tools that are familiar to me, and that serves to humanize and demythologize them. Then I can incorporate my former idols into my understanding of reality and human existence.
Best of all is to have a belly-laugh over a former idol. Thanks for that, Donald.
Friday, July 15, 2016
Friday, June 24, 2016
Thursday, June 23, 2016
In the U.S., we need some kind of outreach program, preferably Internet-based, to open channels of communication with desperate criminals that are on the verge of doing something horrible. Granted, it may not even be possible to reach them, because they tend to isolate themselves, or only associate with like-minded cretins, but it may be possible to reach someone with sense close to them, who may observe signs and symptoms. A free online mental health forum and chat service, staffed by psychologists, interns, and college students might be the ticket. The online service would not cost much money, and would offer paid experience to thousands of unemployed Americans. Just have a service with a domain name like help.gov that operates 24 / 7 / 365. Tips can be forwarded to the law enforcement as needed, emergency services can be dispatched as needed, and people that really need help really should be offered help in the form of free therapy and free medical care. Now, that part (free medical care) might be costly. The thought of socialized medicine raises hackles among the right-wing crowd. But I wonder which costs more. Treating the ill, or letting them just do whatever with a bunch of firearms and bombs or drinking and drugs and driving? If a person goes crazy, I grant you the most likely victim is the crazy person himself. After that, the most likely victims are the people around him. But the community also suffers. Who wants a bunch of crazy people running amok, anyway? It is bad for public order and morale. We need to get serious about mental health in this country and do something to put an end to the mass shootings, drunk and drugged driving, addiction, overdoses, violence, crime and everything else. I think that more cops on the street is not the answer. We have enough cops on the street. What we need is communication and therapy to heal the afflicted, or at least identify them and try to help them and reduce the amount of damage they do to themselves and others.