Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Good Guys

One thing we can be thankful for in the U.S. is that our police tend to be "the good guys" protecting us from "the bad guys," crazy criminals that commit every manner of mayhem. In other countries, such as China, the police are "the bad guys," controlled by corrupt politicians. I like the fact that I can rest at night without worrying about a home invasion, burglary or other crime visiting my household. There's always a slight chance, of course, but the odds are slim in this country that one will be the victim of a violent crime or even a property crime, and property crimes tend to be minor for the most part. The most I've ever lost to crime has been a bicycle. I lost two or three bicycles, as a matter of fact, but one was recovered by the police after the perpetrator was arrested on other charges.

China's Abyssmal Human Rights Record

The more we hear about persecution, corruption and human rights violations in China, the more China resembles Mao's old Red China. The Communist Party is a bunch of barbarians with no regard for their own laws, determined to steal the maximum amount of money from the State for self-enrichment and having no regard for human life or freedom.

I think that American CEO's like Steve "Jobs" (so-called) who have transferred jobs from the U.S. to China should be recognized for what they are: traitors, pure and simple, who stabbed their countrymen in the back. They demand protection from the U.S. government and the U.S. military for their property and their precious business interests, but they're not willing to give back in the form of jobs for Americans or even sufficient taxes. They are just like their compatriots in Red China: determined to steal the maximum amount they can get away with while doing the minimum amount of work required to fulfill that narrow objective.

 Meanwhile, Malaysia isn't looking too good, either. Malaysia still has not learned how to hold a fair election. Chalk that up to the corrupt and inept Muslim-dominated government. Wherever there is Islam, there is tyranny.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Sopranos Guide to Crane Accidents in New York City

Anyone who has watched The Sopranos before knows what happened in the case of the judge who found a construction company owner not guilty in a recent trial.

I find more sympathy for a defendant like Zimmerman than for yet another greedy and incompetent business criminal who is willing to sacrifice human lives in his quest for quick and easy profits. At least Zimmerman can say he acted in the heat of the moment and made a mistake based on real fear. The business owner made a cold and calculated decision placing money above human lives with fatal and tragic consequences.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Walking Dead Misogynistic?

Seems to me like all the female characters in The Walking Dead are major buzzkills, good for nothing save weeping, screaming and carrying on. I'd give the show a C- on the writing. The main reason I watch it is because I like movies featuring the undead. I also find almost all the characters attractive--yet not too attractive. Yes, it is actually important for characters in a show to not be too attractive, because then the audience can relate with them better.

Most women are not half as weepy as television makes them out to be.

Homeowners Associations = Communism

I couldn't have said it better myself. A home owner in one of these god-forsaken Homeowners Associations has described life in that community as the equivalent of living under communism. That's exactly my sentiment.

Homeowners Associations are just a bunch of uptight, paranoid, money-grubbing morons intent on making everyone as miserable and uptight as they are.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Today was the final day that Namecheap dragged its feet before transferring my domain over to a competent registrar and web host. I have no further dealings with Namecreep, and I guarantee it will be a cold day in Hell before I ever do business with Namecreep again. A more incompetent host would be difficult to imagine. Their entire outfit is just a bunch of clowns.

The Walking Dead

I have watched the first season of "The Walking Dead" and like it save for gaping holes in the head plot. The show is illogical. A single human being such as myself could fend off an entire world populated by zombies, even if I had no access to firearms, even if every bullet in existence were already spent. The simple fact is that, at least in season one, zombies are stupid. They are not even as cunning as animals. Therefore, all one has to do is secure a building, hilltop, or other point that is difficult to access, such as an island, and then cultivate a source of food via gardening or herding. Zombies could not storm a castle because they do not know how to construct ladders, ballista, catapults or any other device or tool. They know nothing of siege weapons or indeed of any weapons. Therefore the premise of the show, that zombies have overwhelmed all the world's armies, is laughable. Another problem is that zombies do not reproduce. Therefore, their numbers would quickly dwindle along with any reduction in the human population.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Heroin and Euthanasia

What I would like to see in the future is more progress in gay rights and also the legalization of most drugs, with the possible exception of horrible things like meth or crack, which have no legitimate purpose. I was going to add heroin to the list, but heroin may indeed have a legitimate purpose for those that have reached the end of their life and are suffering from intense pain or depression. I see no reason to deny heroin to the terminally ill. Heroin was used for medicinal purposes in the past, and in the case of the terminally ill, anything that might ease their passage should be provided to them without interference.

I think euthanasia should be allowed to those of sound mind who want it. There must be a comfort and a consolation to know the precise hour of one's passing. If this luxury is afforded to those condemned by the legal system, then surely it can be permitted to those who have harmed no one.

One envisions a hospice where the dying are high on smack and gleefully marking down the days to their carbon monoxide-assisted demise. Most strange it would be, to be sure, but I think it might be a better and more civilized method of passing from this world.

Foreign Aid, a Poor Investment

There is adequate technical information available about agriculture. No country in the world needs aid. Giving aid to countries such as Uganda and Zimbabwe is counter-productive. I don't see any point in worrying about Uganda. Charity begins at home.

Why some Americans feel the compulsion to go interfering in Afghanistan, Iraq, Uganda, Gambia, Zimbabwe, and all the other little countries of the world is completely beyond me. We can't even run our own country properly. Every time we try to tinker with foreign countries, they wind up hating our guts anyway. Wasted time and money is the only result of trillions of dollars of foreign aid. If some of that money was properly invested at home, then maybe people here would have jobs. Instead, about a fifth of the country is out of work, a problem that will have profound consequences for generations of Americans. It's serious business when unemployment is in the double digits, and it has been for years, and the government has been lying about the real unemployment figures.

Our leaders may have graduated from Harvard. They may have graduated from Yale. They don't know anything. They did not learn a lesson from Viet Nam. Instead, they keep repeating the same mistake over and over again. And that is why the country is in the lousy economic situation it is in--poor leadership. We just have a bunch of blowhards at the top that are interested in ego gratification and lining their own pockets. They don't give two hoots about which direction the country goes, as long as they look good.

Marine Le Pen

The media keeps referring to Marine Le Pen as far-right, with little or no explanation, and that made me suspicious, so I looked her up on Wikipedia. Turns out that far-right in France has no relationship to the far-right in the U.S. She actually sounds pretty reasonable, at least on Wikipedia, and I could envision myself voting for her. The only thing I read that raised question marks was her opposition to euthanasia, but one never finds a politician that concurs with 100% of one's political and social views. The reason the media hates Le Pen is obvious. She's against free trade, and the rich boys make a whole lot of money manufacturing things via cheap labor overseas and selling it in the West, and they don't want anybody to mess with their cash cow. So every time that Le Pen is mentioned in print, she is condemned with the term "far-right" which evokes Nazis and fascists. She sounds to me like a moderate Democrat.

The media is controlled by those who steal money from the government and the people on a regular basis. To the media, "far right" can be translated as "a candidate opposed to stealing."

Media Darling, Steve Jobs

The media continues in its lionization of Steve Jobs, who betrayed the country of his birth by stealing jobs away from his fellow countrymen. In later years, he will be recognized, not for what the right-wing media is saying now about their little darling, but for what he really was, yet another amoral CEO who made a lot of money by firing American workers and sending those jobs overseas to take advantage of cheap labor. He enjoyed all the advantages of living in the U.S. and having his big fancy company protected by the U.S. government, but gave back nothing. Everytime I see an I-phone, I think about Americans with college degrees standing in line at the job fair looking for minimum wage jobs. There's really nothing more to be said about the ironically misnamed "Jobs," who should have been named "Traitor" instead.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Time Team Dumbed Down in 2012

As far as I'm concerned, the last Time Team episode aired in 2011. There are no more Time Team shows worth watching. I read that whoever is in charge hired a model as a co-host (what was wrong with the current host? nothing at all), fired a bunch of archaeologists, and dumbed down the show by cutting much of the archaeological information.

Blithering idiots!

Another great show with scientific content has been gutted by executives who do not understand anything!

Hiring a former model as a co-host insults my intelligence, and I cannot accept that. I liked the old host Tony Robinson, he was superb. I don't give a damn that he is old and pudgy. Wrinkles make a host wiser. I liked Mike Aston as well and all the other crew.

I will never watch the new Time Team, but my consolation is that there are 18 great seasons to choose from, 1994 - 2011. Anything 2012 and onward will be stupid and not worth watching.

It is remarkable, when I think about it, that Time Team ever existed at all as a television program, because TV executives tend to be drooling idiots who cannot tie their shoelaces and their shows tend to reflect that. Who watches TV anymore other than stupid people? Most of the educated set spends all their evenings on the Internet with just an occasional foray on television to catch Mad Men or Downton Abbey.

Eighteen seasons offers quite a lot to choose from, however. I look forward to catching up on all the shows I missed.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Mary Kay

The Mary Kay Cosmetics program is a curious mixture of God, money, and sex, capitalizing upon the fact that women dig all three.

I am aware of the tendency among certain churches of a right-wing persuasion to equate moneymaking with divinity. Capitalist Christianity contradicts the early history of the Church. In truth many of the early Christian martyrs were aesthetes who renounced the material world and possessions altogether. The monastic tradition carried on with this practice for quite some time.

The middle echelons of the Mary Kay organization seem an excessively happy bunch. Happiness is alright in general, but happiness generated by greed and the prospect of separating fools from their money is not. I do not like to hear people boasting about the size of their paycheck and in the next breath talk about God smiling on their deeds.

I find the Mary Kay program suspect because it promises riches with little effort and all of it sanctified and ordained by God. I find it distasteful when people recruit God as just another low level manager trying to turn a buck. To say that God cares about money is demeaning not only of religion but also of the human race.

Oh, they were very smooth talkers, some of them, and they made well-rehearsed speeches. Perhaps they persuaded some of the women. I found their program objectionable on grounds of very poor taste and limited--or nonexistent-- social utility. I heard speaker after speaker boast of how they quit a job in which they were nurses and teachers in order to sell cosmetics to their friends and family. That does not seem like a worthwhile transition to me. It is noble and useful to society to be a nurse or a teacher. I hold nurses and teachers in high esteem. By contrast, selling cosmetics is a negligible contribution to the world. It is certainly nothing to brag about. I think that a janitor is a hundred times more useful to the world than anyone who merely sells cosmetics.

I sneezed and coughed when exposed to the products of Mary Kay. The question is what kind of allergens are put into Mary Kay products, and why do Mary Kay products cause me to sneeze and cough? Perhaps my philosophy has seeped into my marrow so that not only my mind but my body rejects Mary Kay.

The Power of Melatonin

For a long time, my body's been moanin' for melatonin. Last year, I announced an experiment whereby I would attempt to sleep in a completely dark room for 7+ hours in order to allow my body to manufacture sufficient quantities of melatonin. For some reason, according to my sources on Wikipedia and elsewhere, darkness is required, but the body is not a psychic and is not in tune with the Moon, so you can fool the body by simply wearing a patch over the eyes during the daylight hours. Apparently there are photosensors in our retinas independent of rods and cones. I heartily recommend the purchase of an eye patch for anyone who works the graveyard shift and needs to sleep during daylight hours.

I have had several weeks of full, blissful sleep wearing my eye patch and I do indeed feel a difference, possibly from the increased amounts of melatonin. I suspect I do have more melatonin, because my circadian rhythm is much more pronounced. No longer is it simple (or mandatory) for me to stay up late at night, past 3 AM. Instead, I find I can get to sleep at midnight without much difficulty. Also, I wake up feeling refreshed and reinvigorated.

I was talking to an unemployed gentleman the other day who informed me he had to quit factory work because the factory had a mandatory swing shift of two weeks 8 AM - 7 PM followed by two weeks of 11 PM to 10 AM. Anyone whose productivity declines is reprimanded or fired.

It is physically impossible to adjust to alternating sleep schedules that change in such a drastic manner on such short notice. Swing shifts are simply sadistic, no two ways about it, a means of humiliating and beating down the working class, and I think that factory owners should be required to alter their sleep schedule as well.

There is no logical reason to have a swing shift. Personally, I would be willing to work either day shift or night shift, but not both; the human body needs to adjust to one or the other. It is possible to adjust to the graveyard shift through the use of an eye patch and a soundproof bedroom. People with children should work the day shift, while single, childless and retired people can work the night shift and be paid a small premium to do so ($1/hour). There are plenty of single people in the world and it should not be difficult to fill a night shift. If I were a factory worker given the choice, I would volunteer for night shift simply because it is cooler during the summer and pays slightly better.

Business owners should make modest and reasonable attempts to create a  nurturing, positive working environment for their employees. Those that fail to do so find their businesses highlighted in the media for the wrong reasons. I am willing to wager that many cases of workplace violence or labor discontent could have been avoided by the simple and cheap expedient of rendering the interior design more hospitable to human beings. Business owners should consult with an interior designer, someone that knows how to create a positive and nurturing space. Decisions that are made on the purchase of furniture, decor, and lighting will persist for decades, and typically the wrong decisions are made with long-lasting and invisible consequences. Valuable employees leave the company, and the manager is scratching his head wondering why, because the troll is clueless about the ugliness of his cave. One should take pride in his work and his workspace.

Monday, April 16, 2012


I've never harmed another being in this world, and that is a great consolation to me at times when I reflect upon my life, because I know that my conscience is clean, and if anything I have assisted the cause of good.

I shudder to imagine the sleepless nights, the fitful dreams of those who have done unto others, who have added to the sum of sorrow in the world. Why be borne at all, why live, if one is going to do wrong? The only purpose that is worthy is to increase the sum of happiness and beauty in the world. To do otherwise is a betrayal not only of others but of self and of one's own family; past, present and future. I know that my ancestors would approve of me and that means a great deal to me.

One of the tragedies of modern life is that morality was hijacked by cults, and so many people feel they cannot talk about morality without inserting cult symbols and cult names into their speech, crediting to a prophet or deity what is obvious and just and rational to every man. I think it is better to talk about morality without the accoutrements of superstition and mythology, to defend common sense using nothing more than reason and compassion and honesty. Superstition muddies the waters and causes many to assume that morality, like superstition, is bunk.

I am a small being of limited awareness and ability. Perhaps there are superstitions somewhere in the world or in the ages of man that have or once had a bit of veracity to them; perhaps there is magic that is real. Even if this is granted, even if I say, your religion may be true, it is still beside the point. Morality is and must be nevertheless. Morality must be independent of your god, because there are many gods and many beliefs. Morality must be universal and godless, so that all may believe. Morality was the original reason, the original motive, and religion was the product. Without morality, there can be no religion. Yet there can and must be morality without religion.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Why I Support Capital Punishment

I think that there are cases, such as the recent one involving Norway's mass-murderer, where the death penalty should be applied no later than one year after the crime. I think allowing a murderer, who is guilty beyond any shadow of a doubt, to continue speaking and engaging the world is a decided negative, an evil influence that can continue to work harm in the world, even if said criminal is behind bars. Such a monster has a negative influence on the public, other prisoners and even on the prison guards. It would be far better to pierce his brain with a single bullet (to save on costs) as soon as possible. To not do so indicates pure negligence and incompetence. I believe that insanity is not an adequate defense for certain crimes, and that even the insane should be killed if found guilty. If California were a state ruled by competent leaders, then Charles Manson would not be alive today, and the parole board would not have to waste its time on his case. It is too bad when someone is insane, but the chief concern in the aftermath of a murder should be for the victims, the survivors, and the community. There is no form of insanity that cannot be addressed by a .45.

The death penalty should be rare, applied to the worst cases of murder, and only applied in cases where guilt has been clearly established. I don't support the death penalty for crimes other than murder. But once an innocent person has been killed by a murderer, they don't get a chance for "parole" or anything else, not even a single day of life, and they can't mount an "insanity defense" either. The murderer has acted without half the compassion or decency shown by the State. I do feel that turnabout is fair play. I also think that the feelings of the victims, survivors and the community should be taken into account. It is not fair to ask taxpayers to foot the bill for babysitting an unrepentant, intentional murderer for the rest of his life.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Zimmerman Facing the Music

Looking at the photo of Zimmerman in the court room, I pity the fool. I guess I'm a soft touch. He looks lost. I'm glad I did not go into law. I'd be a good lawyer due to my analytical abilities, but there are places I just don't like to go--things that I don't like to do to people. Like I said, I'm a soft touch.

People like Zimmerman should never, ever monkey around with firearms. The trouble is that people like Zimmerman are exactly the kind of people that want to monkey around with firearms. And they bring down a world of trouble on their empty heads.

My own feeling is that it will be difficult to pin Murder 2 on Zimmerman. Manslaughter, maybe. But to prove "hatred or ill-will" resulting from a five or ten (max) minute encounter is difficult. I don't buy the theory that Zimmerman was racist either. To claim such a thing without any compelling evidence is just a mistake. Race may have been a factor in the encounter, yes. But to prove some one is motivated by racist hatred is a tall order indeed.

I wish there were a way to resurrect the victim, Mr. Martin. I wish there were a living God in the world that presided over things and intervened to correct injustices that were beyond the power of humans. But God is deaf to the earnest entreaties of human beings, and that is why I do not believe in God.

Perhaps one day each of us will store our essence online in a computer system, and our physical bodies will be replaceable clones.

The best our justice system can do for a deceased victim is permit the victim's family to observe the punishment of the killer. That is not much consolation really, but it is better than nothing. I don't think we should be complacent about the status quo, however. We really need to be thinking about replacing these vulnerable and fragile fleshly shells that we dwell in. They are neither robust nor long-lasting and cause us many problems. The fairy tale about heaven is an inadequate answer to the problem of mortality.

H1-B Visas

If you wonder why you can't get a job in the computer field, despite having (like me) a college degree and ample experience, the reason is that employers have exported jobs and careers, and companies like Infosys are even breaking immigration law to bring foreigners over to the U.S. to replace American workers.

With two college degrees (and 3.9 GPA) and ten years of experience, I cannot even get a job working help desk for $15 an hour in today's economy. Companies would rather hire Joe India or Joe Mexico for $9 an hour.

That is another reason why I am glad I did not bring any kids into this world. There are no jobs available for people my age, let alone younger people who probably have an even harder time finding work.

Procreation, Sterility, and Abortion

This morning, I thought what a good thing it was that I didn't have kids. Some people should have kids. They know who they are. I just don't think that there's anything in me that is terribly unique or valuable that it needs to be preserved through another generation. I never earned over 60K a year, never managed employees, never published a book or story, never made any discovery scientific or otherwise, and never got elected to office. So, in my opinion, what's the point? I'm reconciled with extinction, if not oblivion. I still find the thought of death frightening for various reasons and therefore seek to avoid it by all means.

I remember one of my old friends, an eighty year old, told me that he was not afraid of Death. He lies about anything in order to make himself look better. The truth is not important, only appearances. He wants to appear brave. In reality, Death frightens him, because if it did not, then he would already be dead. Those who stop fearing Death altogether simply die and that is that. It is a great effort to remain alive. In the first place, one must eat. Hunger is simply Death scratching at the window. Those who fear Death eat in order to keep the window closed and the monster outside. There are many measures that one can take, great and small, in order to prolong life, and he takes them all and even some measures that had never occurred to me.

Extinction of my "line," though, does not bother me. The way I see it, if there were anything remarkable that was worth preserving, something so unusual that it would be a crime not to pass it on to future generations, then it would have showed in my own life. Many were the manuscripts I submitted to publishers, and many were the applications I made for better jobs and careers. Many were the projects I embarked upon only to watch wither and fail. But the most compelling reason not to procreate, in my opinion, was the utter lack of a suitable female, one with at least equal intellect (although one would hope for more), abilities, and physical health. There were absolutely no willing and suitable mothers, so the entire question of whether to procreate was and is an academic one. I am glad that I did not.

I differ from, I think, many people in finding it irresponsible to procreate with just any partner. I could have done so many times, but I felt that it was a mistake and did not do it. I think being gay was very helpful in that regard, giving me ample protection from the urge that drives heterosexual men to procreate with unworthy women. There are many unworthy women, just as there are unworthy men. In my opinion, people should never mate with a lesser, only with their equals or superiors. To dilute the blood is worse by far than abortion, because the consequences are incalculable, persisting for generations until the end of the line, and who knows what all of those future people will be capable of? Abortion, in that light, can sometimes be an act of absolute good, serving the highest morality.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

China and the U.S.

In China, people are protesting because of cuts to their social welfare, health insurance and pension benefits. Sound familiar? I think that there is much that can be found in common between the U.S. and China. In both countries, a wealthy elite tries to control, kill or beat down everyone else, the dispensable ninety-nine per cent, using police forces armed with firearms and pepper spray. In China, it is probably worse, due to lack of freedom of speech. I read in TIME magazine today that a blogger like me was sentenced to ten years in prison in China for speaking his mind on politics. Such a thing never happens in the dear old U.S. of A.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Present

The present tends to be underrated as a general rule, with people expressing opinions that the past was better or that the future will be better. But I think the present time is much better than many earlier times. I'm glad that today's U.S. does not have to deal with slavery or women's rights (for the most part). The world is a more just place. Around the world, it's an incredible achievement that the Cold War has largely ended or diverted into a calmer and more civil environment. China and Russia are now trading partners, rather than enemy armies. Also, the world is mostly at peace, despite problems in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Nothing the size or scope of a World War has been allowed to occur. These good signs bode well for the future and reflect well upon the present.

It would appear that businessmen of various stripes are in control of the world governments, rather than warlords. Indeed, warlords are an endangered species. The merchants are destroying them one by one. Warlords were defeated in the Second World War and ever since they have been defeated. I think that is a good thing, but I hope the merchants prove to be better rulers. Certainly it would not be difficult to improve upon the warlords. War has not accomplished much for modern warlords and has not proved to be a sound investment strategy for a country's resources. North Korea would be a case in point. Their excessively militarized economy is very poor, so much that they cannot feed their people, which really requires incredible incompetence in a modern government that has so much agricultural information and technology at hand. The warlords of North Korea appear to be drunk and out of touch with reality. Eventually technology will be developed to neutralize their nuclear threat, and then the surrounding states will reclaim N.K.'s population and natural resources to the proper stewardship of the merchants. It may be a hundred years in the future or it may be fifty, but it might be even sooner.

Sometimes things happen faster than one might expect. I remember how surprised I was by the fall of the Communist regimes of Eastern Europe. It seemed they were dropping like dominoes. Sometimes the time is just right. Overall, these times are good ones. I like the merchants a lot better than the warlords.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Sunday, April 8, 2012


I like to hear supportive words from friends. It is really amazing that other people, beautiful and wise people, can get you to such an extent that they like you and care about you, even a little. I grew up with faithless friends even into my college years, but over time I have witnessed an immense upgrade in my friends, with benefits deriving from their beneficial insight, feedback, and information. My own small store of wisdom expands as I absorb their own supply to augment my own.

A Mid-Life Crisis

Many people seem to have a mid-life crisis, a term used to describe adultery or some other inconstancy, a breaking away from the normal and expected behavior. It is amazing, the pull that a desire for adventure can have, particularly upon a man, who is driven in part by instinct to seek adventure, even in a small or restricted way.  Such a man may be pitied, praised, or ignored, depending upon the outcome of his adventure.

I really think that Americans should have forgiven former President Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky. His behavior was a curious and revealing lapse, possibly the most interesting thing that Clinton did during his Presidency. It was genuine and based upon a dangerous irrational passion. The act was fraught with obvious risks to his political career, his legacy, even his marriage, and yet he did it anyway, demonstrating a nature heavily invested with instinct. Clinton had the will to power. It is not any surprise that a powerful man will have a desire for frequent and enthusiastic sex. It is surprising only that people would be surprised at all to find out about it. I think that Americans are very naive.

Much was overlooked during the Presidency of Kennedy, so why not Clinton? It really was a bit hypocritical for many in Congress to hassle Clinton over the affair. It would be interesting, though impossible to know how many Congressmen have remained completely monogamous. I wonder whether the monogamous would even be a majority. Powerful men have an easy way with women, because power is an aphrodisiac.

I think the mileage that the Republicans obtained as an aftermath of the silly Lewinsky Affair really harmed the country in a number of ways. Right-wingers were able to grab a lot of power and keep for it a long time. Now we have two wars and a dismal economy, and none of the old problems from the past were addressed in an effective manner. The U.S. economy is broken, and it happened on the Republicans' watch. In addition, we have a right-wing Supreme Court. I don't know where all of this leads, but I do feel that the country has not been improving itself at all over the past ten years. I think the U.S. is going downhill in a number of ways and by any measure one would care to apply. It does worry me, but then I also keep in mind that younger people probably have more at stake then I do. It is probable that by the time things get hairy, I'll be checking out.

All is Fair in Chess

One reason I love chess is that all is fair in chess. Think about that for a moment. How often is everything fair? In chess, both sides are about as evenly balanced as can be achieved in a turn-based game. By saying chess is fair, I mean that any opening, strategy, or tactic, if over the board, is fair. Off the board, there are disagreeable things a player can do to make the environment more obnoxious for his opponent--these things I disapprove of. But anything played on the board is fair. Thus, I do not sympathize with sore losers who find fault in their opponent for winning based upon so-called "luck." I will tell you what "luck" means in chess. If your opponent wins on luck, it is because you missed something. You were at fault, period, and you deserve to lose every single time that you lose, and you deserve to win every time that you win. Therefore it is contemptible to be a sore loser in such a game, certainly online where each player has maximum control over their environment, and the other player's influence on one's environment is negligible or nonexistent.

The other thing I love about chess is that it is universal and timeless. Many people around the world play chess, and it is possible to find a game anywhere that you go. Chess has been around for centuries and found its way into history. As for the future, computers be damned, chess will never die. Unless our intellects evolve to match that of computers, chess will always be complicated enough to challenge some of the finest minds in the world, because even they make mistakes.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Open Season on Pedestrians?

The subtext to the spate of shootings in Tulsa, OK, is that once again, fools with guns, driving around in cars, were targeting an easy target, unarmed pedestrians who were just out walking.

Cowards in cars have always been a huge problem in the United States. They think their driver's license is a license to kill.

Anyone out walking appears to be a target for pranksters, criminals, vigilantes, police, make-believe police, and everyone else.

The irony is that walking is supposed to be healthier and better for the environment and the economy.

When I was young, I liked to walk long distances, but I'd have to think twice about that today in the wake of all these shootings of pedestrians and the epidemic of DUI drivers.

In my town, the local police department instituted a policy of setting up roadblocks about once a month somewhere in town to try to net drunk drivers and other yahoos. I have mixed feelings about police roadblocks. My desire for civil liberties conflicts with my desire for safe streets. On the one hand, I don't like the inconvenience and the random nature of the roadblock, where every driver is stopped and questioned. Is that not a violation of one's individual liberty?

On the other hand, I hate DUI drivers, and any illegal weapon seizure is probably a good thing, making our streets safer. To the extent that police roadblocks reduce the incidence of DUI or aggressive drivers, they may be a good thing. Certainly a police roadblock does not inconvenience the walker or bicyclist. Driving is a privilege, but many people abuse the privilege, and I think it is probably a good idea to take measures to detect and apprehend the many abusers. Overall, I don't like police roadblocks, but I can certainly understand the intentions, and the results may be worth the inconvenience. I expect that an accurate cost/benefit analysis must be performed by the local PD.

DUI drivers are perhaps worse than many other common criminals. I'm always sad to hear about someone becoming a victim on our nation's highways. The potential consequences of driving drunk just aren't worth risking, and any moral person would accept that. I am also opposed to public drinking. I think people should be sober when they get together. Sobriety leads to optimal relations with others, because it may be difficult to remain polite when inebriated. For me, inebriation is a seldom and a private activity. When I am around other people, I like to have control over my behavior and never be annoying or offensive, and sobriety is a good insurance of that.

Of course, anymore, I find that drinking any amount of alcohol just makes me feel bad. I don't know why. I think my body is not as good at processing alcohol as it was when I was twenty. At any rate, I avoid drink, although unlike former A.A.'ers, I will drink a single on occasion, and on rarer occasions two or three, and can limit myself quite easily. Drinking a single drink I think is my demonstration of willpower and a feeling of superiority over the beverage. I think out of sheer habit I still drink a single drink from time to time, even though much of the pleasure is gone. Really what pleases me most is a glass of tea and milk, followed by chocolate.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Appeal of the Supernatural

When I was a young man, I shunned all superstition, everything from God to magic and mysteries and took a fierce pride in doing so. As I get older, I find superstition immensely satisfying to the childish nature that thrives on awe and wonder.  I find that religious people are much more understandable and some of their joy can be perceived. Of course, religious people vary a great deal, but I have known some good ones, and fewer of the bad, because the bad I know better than to be around.

I think it is charming when otherwise educated and liberal people tell me their surprising opinions about magic, spells, homeopathy, astrology, charms, "cures," and gods and goddesses. I have learned that belief is quite common among liberals, and atheism is not in and of itself a liberal belief. When I am in a Church or a cemetery, reading the gravestones as I like to do--and so many gravestones speak of the Lord and the hereafter--sometimes I wonder if it is my destiny, as it was for so many ancestors, to convert to some belief system, either a philosophy, a theory of magic, or a religion. About all I know is that my religion would not be Islam, while unknown Hindu would be most unlikely, and although there are things such as scholarship, liberality and wisdom that I admire in Judaism, it might not be on the table either, because of the adherents' preoccupation with a narrow strip of land on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean. I never thought it was wise to place all the bets on Israel. A nomadic tribe might as well remain nomadic, because it certainly increases their odds. Being confined to a small area simply exposes a people to obvious risks.

After a survey of the competing alternatives, I decide to remain with atheism, because it seems the cautious and humble scientific approach. I don't think that any elaborate religion can pass the common sense test, and they all claim to know rather too much. How much better to say, there is a power, and it is miraculous and good, and I do not know more, other than I wish to be like it. A religion that confined itself to that sentence would be acceptable. But then, things tend to snowball after they are successful, and men have added on every manner of window dressing in the form of claimed miracles ancient and modern and other forms of divine intervention, and rules and opinions on matters that were composed by themselves, mere men, but presented as coming from infallible divine authority--preposterous to say the least. All can be debated and should be, in order that a better appreciation of the truth may be known. People get things wrong so often. When an error is discovered, it must be corrected. Every engineer would feel that way.

I had a speculative idea about Divine Providence yesterday. I'm sure it's not original, but I can't remember offhand where I got the idea, whether it was a film or a book. The thought occurred to me that the human existence, we ourselves, are like television shows for the gods, who watch us with amusement. Like a television audience, the gods do not interact with the show, other than to applaud or criticize, which we may or may not hear, depending upon our ability. Perhaps our very purpose is the same as a television show--merely to entertain or inform. The gods, if they exist, appreciate a wide variety of television shows among humans. Not only do they watch us, but they would watch the activities of life and all matter in the Universe. The sheer calculating power of all that omniscience is unimaginable. Such an intelligence would be more like a force of nature than a processor.

I suppose the human "show" is improving its story, because we are more advanced than our ancient ancestors from millions of years ago. With any luck, the humans will survive the atomic age and go on to make many more scientific discoveries and eventually unlock the secret to immortality. Will humans be the one species that continues to advance and evolve into ever more-powerful beings? Where does the improvement end? I suppose once a being has learned how to become immortal, then anything at all is possible afterward. At what point will the show merge with its audience?
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Friday, April 6, 2012


I believe that reflecting upon things is a very good trait and analytical ability is essential in order to maintain a good and well-structured life.  In many ways I do believe that playing chess is good for the spirit, as long as one understands chess to be a metaphor for other things, rather than the only thing. I look at chess as an exercise, like lifting weights. It is not important in and of itself to win games, only to understand moves and learn to distinguish good from bad. Chess is a school with a test in every game, but no grades and no pass or fail.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments


I believe that at times, particularly when blogging, I exhibit a moralistic personality akin to one-part lawyer and one-part preacher. When dealing with people in real life, I dial down the moralism and show more acceptance and tolerance, and even think and feel more, because obviously one cannot get on with others very well by being moralistic. It is not polite to nag and I do find merit in the dictum, "Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged," although clearly some judgements are necessary, or else the bad guys would have a field day with anyone that was good.

I am of the belief, not without foundation, that among my ancestors were at least some preachers, engineers of various stripes, and doctors (who are really engineers), and naturally many farmers (agricultural engineers) and merchants, but probably not that many soldiers or adventurers, except under the compulsion of war. Moralism does not jibe well with war. Not at all. In fact, war can be a dangerous thing for a moralistic individual.

Sometimes I do find myself offering well-intentioned, but uninvited advice. I think I am trying to help, but I am also showing off my knowledge and skill. I want to be perceived as intelligent and knowledgeable, so I think it advantageous to recite various bits and facts that I have picked up almost without effort as well as my analysis and interpretation of things. In that way I am being a preacher because I also have a desire to persuade others to my ways of thinking, to control them. This is a common among almost all people. All humans have a strong desire to control others, because it is extremely helpful. Talking about opinions and interpretations is, I think, a common trait among methodical thinkers who absorb details readily and like to do so. Anytime one is good at something, it is natural to want other people to know and mark our quality, that their opinion of us might improve. Is it not true that most people begin our acquaintance on a probationary status and only when they have proved themselves worthwhile, beneficial for some perceived quality, only then does an acquaintance advance to a distant friend. Further evidences of quality are required to advance from being a distant friend to a friend, and then additional effort is required (though it may be impossible!) to reach the inner circle of best friend or spouse.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

It's over, Satanorum

You lost again. And good riddance.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

The Wacko Nursing Student

With some interest, being a former nursing student myself, I read about the wacko ex-nursing student who went to his Christian college and shot a bunch of students, apparently at random. He didn't find the college administrator he was looking for, so he settled for anyone in sight. This is just one of many cases around the country of people that feel like they have no options career-wise or otherwise in their life, so they figure that life in prison or the death penalty is not too big a price to pay for extracting their revenge against the cruel, cruel world.

Such pointless killing indicates a failure of the imagination. After all, it is still possible for a man to retreat to one of the remote wildernesses of the world on any of the seven continents (perhaps excluding Antarctica) and live off the land, abandoning society altogether.  One does not "have" to be rich, famous, loved, admired, or respected. Certainly the primitive and half-naked tribes of the world would concur.

Years ago, suicides might have hollered "Goodbye, Cruel World!" as they jumped off a multistory building, but nowadays, some people don't want to walk into that dark night alone. They want company. They feel that if their life is in ruins, why not share the suffering? Spread it around a bit, let others feel the pain they are feeling.

To be sure, the world can be difficult for those without connections, money or any kind of support network. The social safety net is inadequate in many respects. Some people are satisfied with becoming homeless and begging for loose change, while others are willing to work for next to nothing in exchange for food and shelter, while still others exhaust every possible avenue, legal or not, to try to get ahead. However, those already suffering from mental illness, such as severe or recurrent depression and anger, and who have frequent experiences of suicidal ideation--imagining, visualizing and yearning for the termination of their life--for this group of people, the added impetus of financial, social and familial ruin may push them to consider suicide. Remember, there is still no health care for a large group of people in the United States, and many Americans don't want the poor to get any health care, either. So, mental illness above all other illnesses remains unaddressed, and those who are crazy are apt to become more so. Meanwhile, firearms are easy to obtain.

Once one has decided upon suicide, then other options, evil ones indeed, present themselves. The individual who has decided upon suicide has less to fear from the death penalty or indeed any consequences. The widespread easy availability of guns makes the scenario illustrated by the wacko ex-student at the Christian college in California all the more common and frightening. One does not require any combat skill, courage, nor any physical strength to kill, because the weakest and most incompetent fool can pull the trigger of a powerful firearm.

Many people believe the answer to the murder epidemic lies in gun control. However, there is more to this particular puzzle than just gun control. Birth control also is important. If there is no longer much need for workers--and that seems to be the case due to the astronomical unemployment rate of 20 - 25% in the U.S. (the 8% figure is a lie)--then people should stop having babies altogether, until such time that good jobs become available again. I think the time has come for people to consider getting their tubes tied. Just forget about having children, because the children probably grow up to be poor or jobless in today's economy.

Apparently, there are a lot of people in the world whose work, whose very being, is unwanted, undesired or at any rate woefully underpaid and under-appreciated. These people feel left behind by the Zeitgeist. They feel abandoned by the world, outcast and alienated, and rightfully so, because they do not have a career and do not have a profession and do not have any proper or respected place in the world, nor do they have any obvious means of obtaining the same. If they had not been born in the first place, then the problem would not exist. Instinctively, they seek to address this issue by reducing the population of fellow workers through crude, random and evil deeds.

Killers of any stripe should be prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law, but that does not address the underlying problems in the social fabric. Punishment addresses one individual and sets a proper precedent and creates deterrence against similar acts. My suspicion is that many killers would, if given the choice, select the death penalty in preference to life imprisonment, so I do not believe that the death penalty is a solid deterrent for all individuals. Again, those suffering from various mental illnesses, including depression, will not be deterred, but may even be attracted by the prospect of the death penalty. I believe that repeated incidents of gun violence are symptomatic of larger issues in society that need to be addressed through effective and meaningful measures, either conducted by the government or by private industry. There should not be a wasted class of people that are shut out from all opportunity and all hope; but if there is to be such a class, then society had better take all possible measures to reduce the birth rate in this class and curtail future members.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Exterior Appearances

One lesson young people learn as they get older is that some friends are only friends because they like what they see on the outside. They care less what is inside. As one gets older, one discovers the truth about one's friends. Those friends that were shallow and devoid of any soul will manufacture a plausible excuse to distance themselves. They will attempt to construct different motivations other than the simple and obvious aging process, which has rendered the outside less desirable to their base nature. There are many people in the world who judge all things, whether people or objects, based solely upon exterior appearances, either physical or related to prestige. Once such an individual has been identified, it is an easy matter to predict their actions, beliefs, opinions and future interactions with others. They are as easy to read as a primary school book.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Tax time reminds me of all the loopholes in the tax code and all the ways that I get screwed by the government as punishment for working hard.

There are about a hundred roadblocks preventing me from improving my situation, and all of these roadblocks have been placed in my path by Republican lawmakers. Everything that Republicans do is designed either to harm or humiliate workers or transfer wealth from the middle class and the lower class to the government, while eliminating the tiny tax burden on the rich. That is why I tend not to vote Republican. I feel that anyone that does vote consistently Republican across the board, when there are decent alternatives available, is either rich and selfish, a hardcore social conservative, not paying sufficient attention, or just plain old stupid, or a combination thereof.

I have to admit that many Democrats have let me down through the years. Edwards, Obama, Clinton, and the list goes on. Most of the Democrats are really nothing more than socially moderate Republicans, favoring more or less the same things as the Republicans but with a somewhat more tolerant attitude toward abortion and gays.

The only thing I can say about our system of government is that it was not better in the past (I'm not ignorant of history) and it has not gotten worse. If anything, government has gotten better in some ways, but the biggest problem of all nowadays is the huge amount of money the government spends on defense, as though we are still at war with the Germans. I have news for everybody, the armistice was signed in 1945, so it's time to reap the peace dividend. I can't believe how corrupt many of our leaders are that they open the vaults of the public treasury and just let defense industry salesmen grab however many bags of money they want.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Andy Rooney

My Dad liked "60 Minutes," and so I watched Andy Rooney on "60 Minutes" as a child and on into my teenage years, and I never once understood his appeal. All I remember about him was that he was humorless. Rooney made frequent gratuitous digs at minorities. He seemed like a college-educated Archie Bunker. He called himself a liberal and an atheist, but I never would have guessed either of those two things. I would have characterized him as a homophobe, a racist, and a conservative. He went the atheist route just to have an excuse to offend a new group that he hadn't offended yet.

I liked the other journalists on "60 Minutes," however, and feel like they performed very useful and necessary work in the U.S.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Monday, April 2, 2012

Strip Searches

You can now be strip searched and have your anus inspected for something as minor as a speeding ticket.

Thank the Republicans for that. Every Presidential election, there were ample warnings about the potential impact of another right wing Supreme Court appointee, but somehow the Electoral College decided in favor of the Bushes. Now the chickens are coming home to roost. When your "Bush" is inspected by a stranger with a flashlight, you can thank George W. Bush. His nominees voted in favor of granting police wide-ranging powers to undress and probe your naked body.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

The Mamas and Papas

The Mamas and the Papas are a better group than the Beatles. I think the Beatles were overplayed and over-promoted. Radio stations in my day only played a handful of songs from Mamas and Papas, but they played the Beatles and John Lennon over and over again. In reality, the Mamas and Papas are better in every respect than the Beatles, though not John Lennon, who is tops in Rock and Roll in my book. I think the main reason that Mamas and Papas never made it as big as the Beatles was that their lyrics were too druggy, talking about the use of hard drugs like smack. Of course parents don't want their kids listening to that sort of thing, so I imagine many radio stations refused to play a lot of Mamas and Papas. It was sad to read that so many of the Mamas and Papas died of drug overdoses.

The biggest defect of the Sixties was the experimentation with addictive drugs, bad ones like heroin, cocaine, speed and pills. If people had just stayed with weed, they would have been better off. I think the government made a strategic blunder by making weed illegal. A person that tries marijuana may be tempted to make assumptions about other illegal drugs, that they are OK and do not pose any substantial risks. If marijuana had been legal, because of its harmlessness (relative to most other drugs), then the logic of the government's position would be nigh unassailable. It is the illogical nature of the government's position that many people find to be offensive.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Bad Precedent

Malicious scum have been busy posting derogatory and irrelevant theories about a crime victim, Trayvon Martin. The relevant facts concern a single night. There are those that would prefer that the public become confused or grasp at some harebrained reason to rationalize a senseless slaying.

I am appalled that no arrest has been made in the case. It makes me wonder about the state of our Republic. The signal being broadcast from one end of the country to the other is that you can get away with shooting someone dead if you manufacture a claim of self-defense. The result of this and other cases is that more and more people are going to be carrying loaded guns with them in public, and they will shoot anyone that makes them feel the slightest bit uncomfortable.

One may expect more killings to occur as the result of unpunished ones. A precedent has been set, indoctrinating an entire generation with deadly consequences. This case is a public relations disaster, an ill omen, a bad precedent, an evil lesson for young people, and a bad influence on everyone. Republican politicians have mishandled the case due to their negligence, bad faith and gross incompetence.

Who would want to go live in the city of Sanford now? Not anyone that I would want as my neighbor. I would certainly think twice before visiting, let alone moving there, and setting up a business would be completely out of the question. I am not as sure about the implications for the state of Florida, because Florida is a big state with many features. Perhaps Florida will emerge relatively unscathed, although what happened in Sanford could have happened anywhere in that state.

It has become less safe to be a pedestrian in this country. Arrogant scum in cars in the U.S. have always been aggressive and dangerous, but nowadays an added wrinkle is that they might kill a pedestrian with a firearm. It is open season on pedestrians, some of whom will respond by carrying loaded guns in order to protect themselves against maniacal drivers, who also carry loaded guns. I used to like walking places in order to save gas money and to get a bit of exercise, but nowadays it seems like one takes the chance of being shot by some stupid ignoramus just by the simple act of walking home from the store. I suppose in order to be safer, one must use the car even to drive one block. It is not safe to walk any distance anymore, because Bozo might drive up behind you and shoot you dead.

Ron Paul is Right On

I can't find a single thing in Ron Paul's statement on CBS that isn't 100% true. The Republican Party is lucky to have Ron Paul. I wish that Ron Paul represented my state, because then I might think about voting Republican. He's the only one of the remaining candidates for the Republican primary that has anything remotely interesting to say and the only one that has not sold out.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Don't Bomb Iran First

Okay, I'm on the peace train. I hope that Israel does not bomb Iran, first. Only bomb Iran if Iran attacks first. It's an important distinction. I think that Gary Sick makes a cogent case against a preemptive strike. I cannot refute his analysis. It sounds plausible.

The fact of the matter is that the United States is overextended in faraway junkyards like Iraq and Afghanistan, and our economy is in poor shape, and now is not the time to start another big, expensive war with another idiotic country. Better to let Iran go the way of North Korea economically and politically. It is not our responsibility to rescue the Iranian people from their homicidal regime. They would only hate us for helping, anyway, just like the Iraqis and Afghanis. The time has come for the U.S. to focus on improving the U.S., not ungrateful foreign countries. Israel is going to have to learn how to cope psychologically with M.A.D., just like the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.A. did for fifty-odd years.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Animal Rights Vs. Human Rights

I'm against sharks, because they compete with humans for high-quality, nutritious food and offer little or nothing to humankind in the way of aesthetic value. Recently there have been a spate of shark attacks on humans in western Australia. I think that justifies permitting fishermen to catch shark for meat. It is not a bad thing to dispose of predators that compete with humans for food, because there are still people in the world going hungry. I take a more benevolent view of herbivores, such as elephants, and predators that are further down the food chain, such as hawks. Humans have increased their numbers to such an extent that there is no real benefit having other predators around that eat the same food, except in the special case of predators with aesthetic value, such as lions and tigers, who may also attract tourists. I am in favor of eco-tourism, because it is an effective way to redistribute wealth, separating the idle rich from their money.

However, I don't really understand men that want to kill big game for sport and not eat the meat. It seems strange to me, indicative of a lack of imagination among other things. Those who kill big game in order to feed their families are understandable. The big game would behave in the same manner, if the tables were turned.
techlorebyigor is my personal journal for ideas & opinions