Wednesday, December 31, 2014

No Expectations, No Demands, No Shame

Quite possibly the most racist article you will ever read - Page 2 of 2 - Allen B. West -

The quote I modified for the title is near the end of the article:
 "These men live in a culture with no expectations, no demands, and no shame."
The quote strikes me as at least one concept of liberal nirvana, but the article shows what the actual results are.

Most of us know what is in the article to be true if we have observed much of black culture for the past few decades. The once strong and very moral black culture that developed after slavery and actually thrived under Democrat controlled Jim Crow adversity, has devolved to a matriarchal welfare based anti-culture of drugs, dependency, no expectations and lawlessness that has totally devastated black lives.

As long as blacks remain "vote slaves" for TP ("The Party"-D), they can't be helped. As TP continues to rise in power, the blacks only hope is that once TP has total control, vast swaths of the rest of the population will join them in the despair of "no expectations, no demands and no shame".

When TP says "Hope and Change", think in terms of Despair and Destruction".

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Pelosi Spoke To Christian Business Group

UPDATE ... UNBELIEVABLY, the top story yesterday about Steve Scalise allegedly speaking to a neo-nazi group was "fake but accurate"!

Nancy Pelosi is under fire and may have to step down after reports today that she spoke to a Christian Business group in the mid-90's. In checking into some of the people at this meeting it was discovered that over 75% believed that killing unborn babies as wrong, 90% were against "gay marriage", a number of the businesses were profitable, and a few of the attendees had even donated to organizations identified for targeting by the IRS as "conservative". 

In a statement today, Pelosi said: 
This group in no way reflects my values and I apologize for having spoken to them. I was younger, I had less staff, and was really unaware that that type of bigoted "christian" even existed -- I thought they were a Unitarian group of non-profits!   
You all know my values. I favor subsidized killing of the unborn in any manner at any time at least up to birth. I am forced at times to speak to heterosexuals, but generally try to focus on the more representative  gay, lesbian, transsexual, cross-gender and uncertain. 
I have often and gladly spoken to Black Panthers, avowed black supremacists including Obama, Eric Holder and Al Sharpton. I regularly speak to Islamic freedom fighters, as well as any type of gang not including white people.  I have been willing to speak to Asian Gangs, but continue to re-evaluate that stand as evidence of too many of their families being intact and businesses being profitable continues to mount.  
I believe that anyone that gets into this country by any method should be able to vote early and often as long as they are in a group that strongly supports the values that you and I share.  Many Felons are on my staff and regularly help with all our vote outreach projects, especially focusing on the important dead vote as well as the current growth area of virtual voters.  
I have apologized repeatedly for being white, but am proud to be a woman. 
I thank you in the media for your continued strong support and hope that you and my constituents will accept my heartfelt apology. Together we can continue to stand strong and eventually stamp out Christians and profitable business. Thank You. 

Ok, so that may have been not a completely factual statement -- but in spirit I'd argue it is pretty darned close. 

The linked article is a good one -- covering just SOME of the many cases of Democrat malfeasance that are "forgiven and forgotten" -- Robert Byrd is always one of the most amazing to me, an actual OFFICIAL in the KKK that remained a D Senator to death. The article fails to mention Ted, Mr drown your young secretary, Kennedy. His "penalty" was that he didn't get to be president! (boo hoo) 

What the article fails to point out is the absolute insanity of the Rep Steve Scalise "charge". He supposedly SPOKE to a group over a DECADE ago that had connections to white supremacists? I can't even imagine how long the list would be if we went down the list of all sorts of "Nation of Islam", CAIR, communists, Black Panthers, gang connections, etc that Democrats had TALKED TO in the past. 

But I can't imagine that anyone in the media -- nor for that matter really people on the right would even WANT to demand that Democrats not TALK TO groups that may contain or be associated with causes that the candidate doesn't agree with. Why would we? There are basically only two parties in the country -- no matter how unpopular, marginalized, disenfranchised, etc some group may be, they are likely to vote for one party or the other. 

Much like leather fetish lesbian dykes may have 401Ks, jobs and even be somebodies daughter, sister, aunt, etc, even avowed white supremacists may likewise have 401Ks, jobs, be related to people, and do all manner of things that are common to all. They likely have to vote for one party or the other, and while one may THINK that given what identifies them, you could guess which party, you may not be right

Nation of Islam votes D, yet a large percentage of Jews vote D as well -- go figure. Most of this is likely left over from the false idea that "Nazi is right wing" (when of course like all other forms of Statism, it is LEFT wing), but it still remains one of the "biggest tent" paradoxes -- Nation of Islam wants to kill the Jews, yet they are both generally in the same political party! 

Of course we KNOW what the purpose of the coverage of this is. The Republicans won the election and are about to take over Congress, and The Party (TP- Democrat) and it's wholly supportive subsidiary, the MSM is MAD AS HELL! So, this is nothing but a very visible innuendo smear. It is clearly a smear they would never even consider -- or even be able to conceive of from the left, because they don't see that much wrong with Arab organizations with links to terrorism, support for Sharia Law, or black organizations that condone violence against whites or Jews, etc. 

The bottom line is that the MSM hates Republicans and we can get ready for outlandish smears of all manner over the next two years! 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The SR-71 Blackbird, The Titanium Spirit That Was America

The Thrill of Flying the SR-71 Blackbird:

This is one of those articles well worth just ignoring my words and reading in it's entirety.

This was the America that I was privileged to grow up in and enjoy most of my adult life in. The exceptional nation, and undisputed in that exceptional nature for those that cared for freedom vs the tyranny of the socialist system of the USSR. Even with the rise of godless socialists in this country during the sick 60s and the malaise of the '70s, we went to the moon, Reagan defeated the USSR, and we had unmatched audacious technology like the SR-71 that was undefeated. Enemy attempts, 4000, enemy success, ZIP! 4K to zip, American stats! Plus, in this rare case, we never lost anyone even in the ejection cases! Incredible for an aircraft that operated in the environment and mission of this one!

The Author of the article, Brian Shul is also the author of the book "Sled Driver", which thanks to thoughtful friend an autographed copy of which  has set on my shelf and been frequently read / admired for years, but now needs to move to my fireproof safe -- the non-autographed copies are worth $315!

Shul was shot down in Vietnam, assumed to never fly again, but with great personal effort came back and flew over 500 hours in the SR-71, or "Sled" as the pilots often referred to her as.

Just a sample from the article if you didn't take my advice! It is in reference to their penetrating Libyan airspace to assess damage after Reagan's '86 bombing of Libya:
It is a race this jet will not let us lose. The Mach eases to 3.5 as we crest 80,000 feet. We are a bullet now - except faster. We hit the turn, and I feel some relief as our nose swings away from a country we have seen quite enough of. Screaming past Tripoli , our phenomenal speed continues to rise, and the screaming Sled pummels the enemy one more time, laying down a parting sonic boom. In seconds, we can see nothing but the expansive blue of the Mediterranean . I realize that I still have my left hand full-forward and we're continuing to rocket along in maximum afterburner.
Some links:
The definitive SR-71 site which includes a list of SR-71s now on display which made me realize that the one that sat up at the MN Air National Guard Museum at the airport in the cites was "stolen" to sit at the CIA HQ in DC! I've seen that one before it moved, the one on the Intrepid in NYC, the trans-US speed record holder at 64min, at Smithsonian, the one at the US Alabama Museum in GA and the one at Wright Patterson ... so doing pretty well!

As this once great nation descends the path of Rome and Britain before her into the "ash heap of history", the SR-71 remains a symbol of what we once were. When we believed in God, I believe this battle with decline is one that "God would not let us lose" -- we abandoned him, he never abandoned us.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Lives That Don't Matter, 5 killed, 12 wounded, Chicago

5 killed, 12 wounded in Tuesday shootings | Chicago:

I know nobody cares about this article from Chicago, the TOP story on google news right now is about a teen that is SHOWN ON SURVEILLANCE VIDEO pointing  gun at an officer who shot and killed him.

That is the TOP story. There are NO stories about Chicago ... not even this one about a 14 year old being among those charged with the slaying of an 18 year old on Monday. The mug shots show you the people whose lives the media REALLY believes don't matter ... along with the victims of course.

They don't matter because they can't be used to further the agenda of "The Party" (TP-D) because they are the RESULT of the policies of TP! If there was too much focus here, people may realize that in Detroit, in DC, in Chicago, in Memphis, and in most major US cities, the welfare, unwed mothers and race baiting "Community Organizers" like Sharpton, Jackson and BO have led to an ACTUAL epidemic of killing of young black men. The ones that DON'T MATTER!

You are being told what to think about -- police shooting blacks, while blacks shooting blacks by the thousands (like 6K in 2011) due to the policies of TP is NOT NEWS!

All I needed to do was google "Chicago killing" to find a tiny bit of perspective, but the media wants to make sure that you, nor anyone else that follow mostly headlines has any perspective at all.

They want you to think that white officers shooting black teens is the problem you should be focused on!

You are being brainwashed by propaganda, get angry and get suspicious!

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

So Called Christmas

Where Christmas really came from (Opinion) -

It is that time of the year, the 2nd most important Christian holiday after Easter, so we need to have a little gratuitous criticism and debunking from someone who at the very end declares themselves to be a "Christian" themselves. Interestingly, in the author, Jay Parini's Wiki entry, there is no mention of his Christianity. As our Pastor is fond of saying, "if accused of being a Christian, you want to make sure there is enough evidence to convict!".

Whatever the foundations of his faith, they wouldn't seem to have a lot of connection to the Bible as we know it:
But there was, among early Christian gatherings, a strong need to have a myth of origins, a story about the beginnings of the man who ultimately became the Messiah, the Christ. Probably drawing on Persian myths, Matthew and Luke came up with Christmas stories that have almost nothing in common. They can't be reconciled, in fact
The article contains the usual litany of solstice connections, commercialization, Isis/Horus, Celtic Yule, etc, etc. Advent is part of the "So called" Church year, Paul doesn't talk about Christmas, so all the references must be made up -- we need to naturally call the Virgin Birth into question and even Christ being described as "The Word" (it should really be "understanding" according to the gospel of Jay P)

We then have his "statement of faith":
But one must never forget that Christians themselves -- and I am one of them -- consider this a holy time, a time of spiritual renewal, a time of the year when darkness opens to the possibility of light. 
Whatever the specifics of his birth, Jesus became the Light of the World for those who follow his path. He is, indeed, the Prince of Peace, and he invites us to a change of heart, a way of overcoming violence in the world with love and grace.
Let's see, "spiritual renewal", "light of the world", if you "follow his path", a "change of heart", a "way of overcoming violence". Anything missing?

Hmmm ... Unto us is born a SAVIOR? How about KING? Anything about a cross? Dying as sacrifice for our sins? Resurrection? How about Mathew 10:34, "Do not suppose that I come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword"?

It gives pause to think where Christians have ended up. If CNN had someone that "called themselves gay", but suggested that what sexuality one practices is a choice and those that have strong religious beliefs have every right to seek to limit special rights claims for those that choose to be gay? I wonder if that would bring a large outcry, calls for bans, "justice", boycotts, etc? Ya think?

Certainly we Christians don't want to go the way of Islam, where if such as article was done by someone claiming to be Muslim, their life would be forfeit, any CNN site would be a legitimate bomb target, and CNN personnel would be in grave danger. However, how have we gotten so unwilling to stand up that it is likely that such an article will go pretty much without public comment?

The specific day of Christmas is not important to Christian doctrine, and no doubt there are connections to holidays that are even older. What is important is the actual message -- the birth of a SAVIOR, which means realizing that mankind is sorely in need of one! That is what Christians focus on.

The other part, which Jay and CNN are intent on destroying is the value of traditions that are thousands of years old  -- because that is what "progressives" do. They work to make it seem as if the world can be culturally obliterated and recreated in their image de jour at any point in history as easy as a new suit of clothes. As Burke pointed out, they want to destroy the culture of thousands of years "so man becomes as the flies of summer".

They seek to make our existence "factual" ... like eugenics once was, or the idea that everyone can live life by having no children, and the modern secular negation of culture will "live on" --- somehow. Perhaps some future secular "deity" (it looks like they may need to wait longer than Obama) will raise up new suitably leftist population from dry bones -- although certainly only enough to be "environmentally sound".  Can't get in the way of the "fact" of AGW!

So from CNN, please enjoy your pagan, commercial, "so called" holiday!

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Sarah Palin Hecklers at Gabby Giffords Memorial

Protesters heckle NYPD cops paying respects at slain officers' memorial - Washington Times:

Oh, sorry ...  it was pro cop killer hecklers at the memorial for the two officers in NYC.

The MSM memory hole has naturally totally forgotten the rush to try to generate SOME sort of connection with Sarah Palin using "crosshairs"  on her website prior to Giffords shooting. No matter how hard they tried -- and not only did they jump out right away claiming that Palin had effectively pulled the trigger, the nut that did the shooting was (as is usual) far more left wing than right wing. From the media POV, damn ... no story there, move along.

Now we have BO, Holder, de Blasio and Sharpton to one degree or another believing that even AFTER due process has operated and Grand Juries have spoken, the protests are "justified". While they are mostly smart enough to not directly condone chants like "What Do We Want?? DEAD COPS!", they don't like to directly take action to quell such protests either -- and in Sharpton's case, they speak at protests where this was chanted without even condemning the chanting.

But what is the media position? They agree with the "civil rights activists and leaders" at  the end of this article:
Civil rights activists and leaders, including Al Sharpton who has been at the forefront of the Garner protests, have insisted that the ongoing demonstrations are not fueling anti-police sentiments.
Try to imagine for a second if a nutcase killed a couple people and posted a bunch of rants supposedly by the "Tea Party" on some website / social media! I continue to be most worried that sme lefty fruitcake will do just that because they understand what the firestorm would be like!

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Government Healthcare Popular Like Concert Tickets in Britain

The queue that shames Britain: 7.11am and desperate patients wait in the cold and dark outside surgery - just so they can be seen by their GP  | Daily Mail Online:

People wait in line for concert tickets don't they?

In an increasingly Statist world, it is hard to get any real reports as to how state run medicine actually works. It doesn't require much thought to realize why that is so, but just in case your puzzler is sore, here are a few easy ones:
  • There are many more well people than sick people and well people tend to like nationalized medicine. Why? Because it is cheaper of course! If you are generally well, then you have no idea how good it all works. It is like your fire insurance -- you likely assume yours is great, right? You most likely have never used it. 

  • All the news sources tell you it is great. They even tell you that in the US. They also told you we were completely out of oil in the late '70s, starvation would be rampant by '90, the US was WAY past being able to produce more oil (for DECADES), lots of carbohydrates were good for you and the USSR was going to be around at least as long as the US (and was maybe even a nicer place). But hey, you might be unpopular if you thought independently of the mass media! 

  • All those statistics on government run healthcare? They come from some GOVERNMENT! Of course you probably trust the government -- but still use FedX if it absolutely positively has to get there! But hey, just cuz they can't deliver mail all that well doesn't mean they can't do brain surgery. Right? 

  • "You met someone", or "Everybody that I talked to ...". Strangely, so have I and 80% of those that I've talked to are on the other side -- in fact some of them came from Canada, England and other places to work in the US explicitly to get healthcare in the US! Sorry, neither my sample nor yours is REMOTELY statistically valid, and in fact it is REALLY hard to get statistical information on something like "how good is healthcare" because: 

    1. Selection bias -- the coal mine canary problem. We interviewed 100 coal mine canaries as to the risk of their job, all responded it was risk free! See the problem?  The canaries that died in the line of duty (the reason for coal mine canaries) are not available for sample. In healthcare, those that have a REALLY bad experience are non-reporters in surveys, and in fact, those that are sick tend not to be anxious to pick up the phone, fill out surveys, etc either. (they are sick, remember?)
    2. Pool removal -- those that have a really bad time with public healthcare may well have emigrated to another country (likely the US) rather than live on with the problem. Your health tends to be high on your priority list -- people have been known to leave countries due to high taxes, it is a rare person who doesn't find their health to be MUCH more important. 
    3. Compared to what? If you live in say Canada it is unlikely that you get very much honest information about US healthcare (see media bias). The media is >90% Democrat, which means that their faith in government is statistically higher than someone who claims to be Christian having faith in the Virgin Birth. How would the average man in the street have ANY idea of what they ought to be comparing their healthcare to? 
Just like many things that I blog on, 90%+ of people have no exposure to any other view than "minimal standard MSM reporting", nor are they inclined to do much thinking about any of this. It's a damned shame that we have slipped to be so democratic. If we were more aristocratic, there would be no need for them to! 

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R-E-L-A-X! Fusion Is On the Way!

Skunk Works Reveals Compact Fusion Reactor Details | Technology content from Aviation Week:

OK, maybe not QUITE as small as the pair of units that power the Terminator in T3, but never the less a "Compact" Fusion Reactor (CFR) the size of a semi-trailer / container ship container vs a good sized building.

The article is well worth the read -- enough power for 80K homes or a major ship from a unit the size of a container -- lots of obstacles, certainly some likely over optimism, but WAY more real than "Hope and Change"!

It makes me think of Matt Ridley's excellent book "The Rational Optimist" which I read and liked but never blog reviewed. It gives a nice big picture of how from Malthus to Anthro Global Warming, alarmism as been constant, but so far human innovation has been FAR stronger.

The numerous predictions of "Peak Oil" and the reality of gas slipping under $2 due to Fracking is just one of the many examples of how innovation has a very strong tendency to trump a lot of what appears to be very rational pessimism that has the very bad Achilles heel of not taking technical innovation and the fact that "trend lines" often don't last into consideration.

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Evil GOP

Sure one has to be able to take a joke, but really, how much is this kind of gratuitous political negative advertising worth to TP?  (The Party - D)

"There is already a GOP and it is already an evil organization". Ha Ha

Right. Without a GOP, there would be only TP -- a one party system, and we can see how well that has worked in various places around the world.

We Want Dead Cops, Releasing the Genie

NYPD officers killed; New York ex-governor slams mayor -

Last week thousands of protesters in NYC chanted; "What do we want? --- DEAD COPS! 

This week they got them.

So there are something like a million Police in the US and something like 40M blacks. Let's see, if we are after eye for an eye "justice" here, vs the due process grand jury style, the police need to kill close to 80 more blacks. Better make sure they are all killed assassination style just standing around minding their own business if that is how we now do  "justice"!  Doesn't seem like the left leadership (BO, Holder, etc) is interested in honoring the results of our legal system via Grand Jury.

But maybe more importantly, we have released a malevolent genie -- one not seen since those heady days of the left in the late '60s, the tacit encouragement of angry mobs to kill, especially the police. The officers certainly realize it as they turned their backs on the NYC Mayor de Blasio as he walked into a press conference. The TP controlled media certainly gets it ... "Finger Pointing Begins". Contrast that with "Unarmed Black Teen Gunned Down" and countless things like "Ferguson Seeks Justice" --- nope, no "finger pointing" ever happened in Ferguson.

Somehow, the linked CNN article talks of the protests as "Black lives matter", peaceful, and seems to be blissfully unaware of  the many videos and articles (in the "right wing" media) showing the "Dead Cops" chants as linked. Isn't funny how ANY video that purports to show police violence is splashed everywhere, but thousands marching saying "What Do We Want --- Dead Cops!" is nearly invisible. Nobody in power -- not BO, not Holder, not de Blasio has had anything bad to say about this chant -- lots of words about "justice", even after the Grand Jury results, but nothing to say about thousands chanting that they want dead cops?

Is TP still running an exercise, or are we running up to the main event?  Cuba has a very active version of the CIA known as G2  perhaps our Dictator BO made a deal with his comrades for a bit of help?

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

North Korean Red Line, Unless That Dictator is ME!

Obama Vows a Response to Cyberattack on Sony -

BO on "The Interview":
“We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States.” That would encourage others to do the same “when they see a documentary that they don’t like or news reports that they don’t like.
BO on the tape that supposedly "caused" Benghazi (but didn't, just another BO lie):
In a speech at the United Nations around this time, the president declared — no doubt with Nakoula in mind — “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam." 
Hillary Clinton said: “We will make sure that the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted.”

Now that "red line" BO and Hillary followed through on!!

The guy in the picture is Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a person our current dictator saw fit to imprison for making a film that probably did offend some Muslims, but had NOTHING to do with Benghazi.

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Vermont, A Single Payer Canary Dies

As Vermont Goes . . . | National Review Online:

Vermont loved BOcare and thought they were going to do one better by going to single payer. Guess what? The liberal la la land of Ben and Jerry's found out it was too damned expensive!

This would be a really good story for Americans in general to be extremely aware of, so you can be certain that the coverage of this in the MSM will be very slight.

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Peak Left?

Next Up in America: The Liberal Retreat - The American Interest:

I VERY highly recommend reading the attached article. I FERVENTLY hope it can be true -- that we can significantly turn the corner without things being much worse or even an ending of the US as we now think we know it.

I would love it to be so, but I think there are a few things that must be soberly considered:
  • The political gains since BO have been in midterms. The bulk of the true low information and complete wards of the state voters don't come out in those elections. 
  • Even Reagan failed to actually REDUCE government -- he slowed the growth, but he did not reduce it. 
  • 40% of Americans now get over 50% of their income from some form of government transfer. Over 50% get a significant amount of their income via transfer. Those statistics and trends are not sustainable and must be changed for there to be an ACTUAL turn away from the left ditch. 
  • The top income quintile now provides over 90% of net US tax revenue. The 2nd highest quartile provides a bit, but the bottom 3, 60% of the population are net takers vs makers relative to tax revenue. People have a tendency to vote where their bread is buttered --- thus, smaller government is at somewhere between a 60% - 80% current disadvantage. 
  • 90%+ of government workers including teachers and university professors are left leaning Democrats who contribute millions to their employer / party via AFSCME, plus run the IRS, run any campaign contribution policing, and of course indoctrinate our kids that "left is best". We are perilously close to an effective single party run state. 
  • Maybe worst of all, people like to believe what they like to believe. An ACTUAL change of direction is going to be painful -- we have all been embezzled to the tune of $120T in unfunded entitlements + $18T in on the books debt ... something like a $138T hole. I covered this here
I could go on, but the bottom line is that the "soul of the nation" has largely been turned from the basic principles of America -- a highly moral and religious people, strong work ethic, strong belief in individual responsibility and initiative, belief in ACTUAL Equal Protection (as in no "progressive" income tax), etc, etc to very much a "Statist" view -- highly centralized and powerful state with impacts on all aspects of day to day life, strong redistributionist / leveling economic policy and maybe worst of all, the State taking over as the center of life vs God / religion / local community.

Until we ACTUALLY make a turn, what might look like a "turn from peak" is really just a pause with no progress away from the abyss and often just a reduction in our headlong rush to totalitarian state control.

We must make an ACTUAL TURN away from the leftward totalitarian slide if we truly want to make this time to be seen from the future as "Peak Left".

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Taliban Kills 145 Total, 132 Children, US Ends Operations

Pakistan school attack: Taliban kill 145 -

This story has pretty much flashed by the US media and disappeared. In other news, the US and NATO ended combat operations in Afghanistan this week

Things are going really well aren't they? Well, we are way to focused on more important matters. N Korea hacking Sony and successfully stopping a movie, and BO making nice with his comrades in Cuba.

It turns out that no matter how intently we would all like to gaze at our navels, there are people in this world that are quite busy going about creating the kind of world that they want. Since BO is in the WH, one pretty much has to read between the lines to understand that the kind of world they are busily making after the retreat of the US is not really what most folks here probably have in mind.

Our borders are completely porous, and we have plenty of home grown Islamic sympathizers that would be just find executing an attack like the Pakistan school attack here. While BO and the MSM went nuts over one crazy kid at Sandy Hook killing 20 kids and 6 adults, one wonders if an Islamic organization carried it out here it would be termed "workplace violence" -- that is what they classified the Ft Hood shooting that killed 13 and wounded 32 as, in fact as of 2013, the shooter was still collecting pay while awaiting trial.

We are certainly not awake. I'd guess that a very small percentage of Americans even realize that BO ended combat operations in Afghanistan this week. A few more know about the school attack in Pakistan. Maybe what "5%" or less know about the "workplace violence" and the pay still being collected?

Think WAY BACK to the W Bush administration. How much coverage was there of nearly ANYTHING that could possibly be construed (or fabricated) to be a negative reflection on the president? His National Guard experience, Abu Ghraib, the question of if he mishandled 9-11, Valerie Plame, Katrina, how low his poll numbers were .... the list was ENDLESS.

If Reagan was the "teflon president", BO is the "alternate universe president". It is as if anything that happens in the country or world that is less than completely positive is happening in some alternate universe that must be kept "top secret" from the American Public.

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

HP, "The Machine"

The Machine: A new kind of computer:

I swear I worked on one of these once ... "Pacific", the IBM S/38, somewhat descendent of IBM's abortive attempt to re-create computer architecture post 360, "Future Systems".

There is a part of me wants to dust off the old resume and beg to climb on board such an ostentatious endeavor ... "big projects", "big architecture", "millions of KLOC" and all that. I'm pushing 60, tilting at such windmills is a younger mans sport -- and yet.

There are not a lot of anything approaching "details", but it certainly sounds like the core of this thing is some version of "Single Level Store"(SLS),  one of the leading "features" (and and achilles heel) of the S/38 along with the concept of "A High Level Machine Architecture". Very useful as an abstraction -- see Java Virtual Machine and many others since, the devil is in the translation of virtual to real. Real hardware only runs the real -- and there is the rub.

An engadget article gives some more "detail" that makes it at least sound like this time the distance between the hardware and the SLS is tiny ... "memristors" make the memory actually single level. No actual computer memory and backing store -- although one assumes there are still faster caches and register stacks in the architecture, though one would have to see it to be absolutely sure.

But how "real" is the abstraction presented to the OS programmer, the compiler writer (really the back-end optimizer writer), and finally the application programmer?  Does it "show through" to the application layer? If not, then the issue becomes how well all this works with unmodified plain old Unix programming model code of various flavors. If it does, then there is maybe more hope for a true revolution, but it has to be BOTH very good, AND very fast ... as in VERY easy to program and runs like a banshee, else not even the middle ware guys (Web Servers, Data Bases, etc) will bother to create new versions of their products for it.

If anybody can write code that is actually not aware of "instantiation", the reading of data from disks in file or DB formats into "records / buffers / data structures" that can potentially be a step forward, though as many theorists have discovered it is also very much a two edged sword. Sever the human programmed in understanding of "temporary" (in memory) and "permanent" (written to media like disks) and all sorts of problems ensue. How does the underlying OS / programming language decide what is "garbage", ie working storage used by the program during execution, but not of use after it is done ... in some cases this is obvious, but if the programming model is changed to not make the differentiation clear, it gets very complex.

What does "permanent" mean? Is it ALL mirrored or otherwise protected? Huge amounts of real industrial programming (and resources like time/hardware/etc) are devoted to "checkpointing" where the program(s) were at so the ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) properties can be maintained through loss of power, processor failures, bus / communication network failures, disk failures, etc ... There is lots of code to make that happen. Does it change? If so, even for MUCH better, the conversion will be large.

I could likely wax on for a good deal longer. Clearly I'm curious and will be watching as this unfolds. 
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Postmodern Deconstructionist Rape

A Bad Week for Rape Culture | Power Line:

For those fortunate souls spared from the concepts of postmodernism, and deconstructionism, I'll be very brief ... you can look up Michael Foucault and Jacques Derrida on your own and attempt to arrive at a definition of these schools of "thought" (and the quotes are VERY appropriate) that were largely created to question all of the underpinnings of at least western, if not all thought. Essentially, they say that "truth" is all a matter of perspective, mostly defined by "power" and "privilege". So morals, law and even science become targets of "literary criticism" ... the ad hominem attack being as good as any and the straw-man argument being the equivalent of mathematical proof by their logic.

I'm not going to dwell on these definitions other than to say that folks like Foucault and Derrida wound my spirit. While there is no question that Middle Ages Christendom was corrupted by a bad series of Popes (see Borgia popes if you want your stomach turned), it has been quite clear since at least the middle of the 20th century that Secular Humanism has been corrupted to an even greater degree and part of the fruits of that are things like Postmodernism and Deconstructionism.

I believe that you have to be careful when exposing yourself to poison, and I find that very much exposure to things like Postmodernism and Deconstructionism have the effect of poison on my spirit. These concepts have however had a very large effect on our culture.

For those that have been involved in corporate life post '90s, at least the males are aware that "Sexual Harassment" is defined by "how the person reporting it FEELS".  In the case I was personally involved with, the "feeling" had to do with some mixture of discomfort in finding out that office mates who had helped care for a young lady when she had a broken leg by getting her lunch, water, etc also harbored "conservative political views".

 To make matters worse, they planned a Bachelor Party for a younger male co-worker, and they were supposedly "decent guys with wives that had kids and everything" ... a Bachelor Party! How could they! This would have been late '80s, it was my first experience of a "snowflake" experiencing the "horror" of the world not being exactly like she felt it SHOULD be!  If you have never experienced this, it may sound hard to believe, but it is a fact -- that charge is a LEGITIMATE charge of "Sexual Harassment" in our current USA corporate environs. Males can and do lose their jobs over things like this.

Fast forward to "rape" ... now sometimes asserted to be "unwanted kissing", and then sprinkle in "the truth is what you say or feel it is", "there is no objective truth", "western culture is a rape culture" and a witches brew of other bright ideas, and you get things like Leah Dunham and the University of Virginia referenced in the link.

We live in a society where at least all our elites are well versed in all manner of relativism, supposed noxious effects of power and privilege, as well as a strong desire to "be on the right ("The Party") side" and WELL aware of both the prizes of being on the "good" side (see Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy and thousands of others we never hear about) and the penalties for being on the "bad" side (eg. Bill Cosby, Clarence Thomas, Bob Packwood, and a cast of thousands having lost their jobs, promotions, etc.

In the words from Cool Hand Luke, "What we have here is a failure to communicate". Those of us on the "bad" side from the perspective of "The Party" need to be VERY careful, or better yet, "get our minds right".  While in SOME (very few) cases as in the linked article, the forces of "the truth is what I feel it is" will go so far out on a limb that the elites can't quite strain credulity far enough to accommodate them, but it won't be often, and it certainly won't be for lack of trying!

The historical end of this is that reality finally becomes too great for the masses to ignore  and there is a revival -- of Christianity at least, if not some form of conservative republican government, ala the original founding of the US or Burke's England. But it usually takes starvation, killing and lots more badness before that comes to pass.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Reason and Analysis, Brand Blanshard

After having this rather expensive "real practicing philosopher" book on my shelf for a long time partially read, I have finally finished the rather herculean task of completing it, although it is doubtful I will ever reach the ennobled state of claiming significant understanding of it in this mortal coil. The complexity, arcane technicalities of lexical analysis and obscurantism of thought that philosophy is drawn to never ceases to amaze me.

Let me TRY to make this somewhat simple.

The purpose of the book is to cover the various "assaults on reason" from the start of philosophy up to the present.  One can validly call that "assaults on transcendence", which in it's easiest to understand form is "God" ... and especially the particularly rational form of God introduced in the canon of Western Christianity.

To give the form of the problem, I think Mannheim does a good job:
"one must make one's choice between two views: on the one hand that there is a reason working in and through men's minds which can lay hold of a timeless structure of things: on the other, that thinking is a series of temporal events determined, like all other events, non-rationally" 
In other words, reason vs positivism. Reason (in it's most productive historical use) says roughly  "there is a grand plan, and it is discoverable because our minds happen to be made to relate to that grand plan". Positivism says there is no plan, only a pile of "events" with no "privileged frame of reference", certainly including our concepts of "reason", "meaning", etc.

Naturally, Mannheim liked the non-transcendent view, but wanted to make it privileged  ... which of course is immediately self-refuting as is all relativism, since there IS NO PRIVILEGED (eg "right", "better", etc) POINT OF VIEW ... if there aren't any universals, absolutes, etc, there can't be.

Or to put it another way in roughly the terms of Heidegger:
"As the existentialist contemplated this world, his feeling was one of nausea. Was there anything in this nightmare that he could tie to? One thing only - his own existence. Certain of nothing else, he could be certain at least that he existed, and that he was somehow fashioning his own fate. And in doing so, his safety lay in the depth of his disillusionment. He was weak; he was a pilgrim and stranger in a world not of his making; he would be defeated shortly by death; there were no principles that he could adhere to; his life therefore was to be one of anxiety and care. But for Heidegger, "deliverance from illusion is to be achieved by the man, who, opening himself to anguish, resolutely faces nothingness in anticipation of his own extinction"". 
Hard to beat that as an upbeat recruitment paragraph for  "Life without God, The Nietzschean way".

As is pointed out in the rest of the book in number of places, most philosophers in attacking reason, causality, universals, etc and attempting to replace them with mathematics, logical atomism, category differences, and a host of other chimeras, are actually unable to practice what they preach in order to even make the attempt. They are forced to use reason, causality, universals, etc in order to even get a running start at their attack.

"I attack the principle of solid ground while standing here on .... er, never mind". Only they fail to realize their predicament.

Needless to say, it gets quite hard to keep an open mind about the usefulness of all this after the first 10 or so attempts that always must be arrogantly and loudly launched -- after all, if one is to rush as Quixote to the windmill of all of human thought for thousands of years, as well as the day to day existence experienced by ones own self and all those of one's shared existence to date, one must have a quite high opinion of their own logic -- er "series of temporal brain events".

And so it goes. The vast vast majority of even all somewhat deep thinkers either fail to, or more likely refuse to, consider the difficulty factor of doing away with little basics like a rational repeatable universe that is understandable to themselves and others in the same manner taken as a "universal a priori fact". What they see as a "problem" is of course that such a universal a priori fact is hard to accept without some cause beyond "shit happens", and is perilously close to "God".

Much as in Mannheim's choice "You have to face the fact that there is a God, or there isn't", many like to jump to "there isn't" in hopes of being freed from moral stricture and eventual judgement, but like Mannheim, completely ignore the existential consequence of the no god, no order, no universals, no reason for there to be reason, meaning, etc. The abyss of despair.

The previous paragraph is the reason that I think having some understanding of how philosophy, or at least epistemology works is important and a major area of lack in modern western education.

Ideas do indeed have consequences.

I'm For Obama, I'm Against His Assassination

20 Hypocritical Republican Senators Voted to Fund Obama's Executive Amnesty - For America : For America:

One of the MANY reasons that Government needs to be smaller is that it is completely and easily identifiable as insane.

To the extent that there is anything remotely sane behind this nonsense article it is that these Republicans didn't join Ted Cruz in a stunt that could never pass in the current Senate under Harry Reid and would only gum of the works in getting the obscene but no-choice "CRomnibus" (Continuing Resolution omnibus) bill passed.

"Therefore" ...

The authors of this column want you to think that being against Cruz's stunt is being "FOR BO's Royal Amnesty Decree". A perfectly awful hash of Senate procedural obscurity with insane clown posse political muckraking.

There was really no choice but to do another obscene continuing resolution because of the involatile rule of government that has been established since Bush 1. "When the government shuts down due to a fiscal disagreement it is ALWAYS the fault of Republicans". This was proven by:

a) HW Bush, Democrat Congress demanded he sign a budget raising taxes, he demurred, government shut down was declared by media to be his fault, he eventually capitulated.

b). When Clinton failed to sign a budget passed by Republicans in both houses, it was declared to be  the fault of the Republicans,  they eventually capitulated with great credit given to Clinton.

c). Last year when BO and Harry Reid declared "we will not negotiate on the budget", the problem was declared to be the Republicans, who eventually backed down again.

The Constitution declares that the House of Representatives sets the budget -- they own the purse strings, but we no longer live under the Constitution, we live under control of "The Party" (D) and it's media arm, so Constitution be damned ... it is what TP says it is.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Orwellian Word Torture

Cheney unchained | Power Line:

Watching things like this Meet The Press segment I'm reminded of how our technically and socially cocooned western "Disney existence" makes us extremely vulnerable to thinking that problems like "long lines at Space Mountain" might constitute something with some relation to "discomfort" in the real world.

In 1984 and in Animal Farm, Orwell gave us a solid background in the relative ease with which a generalized media environment can totally change the perceived meaning of words for people living in the bubble of the influence.

So we see words like "racism" once about slavery, lynching, bull whips and Jim Crow (back when it was Democrats that ran "Animal Farm") now becomes "not supporting BOcare", or not running around saying "Hands up, don't shoot" after a convenience store robbing thug that attacked a police officer ends up shot dead during his assault of the officer.

So too "torture". What was once known and recognized as being treatment that went on for months and years and often brought death or permanent injuries carried for life, is now reduced largely to "waterboarding".

So we get insanity like Todd asking Cheney "if Iranians waterboarded a US soldier in the future, might we not want to see them tried for war crimes"? Indeed ... as Cheney responds (with less detail), such methods being used by folks that have no trouble twisting joints out of sockets, cutting off various appendages, gouging out eyes, blowing up intestines with air, etc, etc are not all that likely to go with waterboarding as a method.

In the insane "hypothetical world" that we live in however, I find it very easy to believe that if as far as Todd knew, the US had never used waterboarding on a prisoner and the hypothetical Iranian incident happened, he and all sorts of US (as well as international) media and government folks would be standing up and defending Iran saying "The US waterboards it's own soldiers as part of SERE training! How can it POSSIBLY seek to call Iranians "war criminals" for using a technique it uses on it's own soldiers!!!". Of course, it could not ... they would actually be right!

Then we have the case of hundreds of Vietnam era veterans covered in the linked article that actually WERE tortured at the hands of the North Vietnamese. Outrage from American press or elites? Nada ... in fact, they typically side with the North Vietnamese as being the aggrieved party.

One of the veterans actually tortured is quoted in this paragraph that I find to be useful:
Our world is not completely good or evil. To proclaim we will never use any form of enhanced interrogations causes our friends to think we are naive and eases our enemies’ recruitment of radical terrorists to plot attacks on innocent kids, men and women – or any infidel. If I were to catch a “mad bomber” running away from an explosive I would not hesitate a second to use “enhanced interrogation,” including waterboarding, if it would save lives of innocent people.
The rub is that it seems obvious that not only are good and evil both in presence, the positioning of which is which is often not what one might expect. It doesn't take very long to realize that in the eyes of Senator Feinstein or Chuck Todd, Cheney, W, etc are the "evil". The various terrorists (another word that BO and the media is really loathe to use) that might call themselves "Islamic", but our president assures us are not, are sometimes "misguided", or "over zealous" in the eyes of Feinstein, BO, or media elites, but they are clearly not "evil" in the sense of W, Cheney, or even old Dick Nixon.

Nixon and the US military were formerly juxtaposed with the zealous and at least mostly justified N Vietnamese. They may not have treated their US captives "perfectly", but one would need to understand "their culture" and centuries of slights or perceived slights by the west before having anything at all to say about their methods -- and even then, anything smacking of "judgement" would be presumptuous coming from a nation that once had slaves and mistreated Indians!

So too the long suffering Arab culture. If they seem to be "violent" to the less well educated, well, there were the Crusades,  the colonial era, the creation of Israel, and of course the corruption of western corporations and money in the grubby oil business. All the potentially problematic behavior of "the group that describes itself as the Islamic State" is to be viewed from some value free perspective of high minded consideration for all of the ills imparted by Western civilization, with no potential thought that 1400 years of Islam may have been less than perfect all on it's own.

We know that Cheney and W are evil. We don't even know what to call ISIL -- or ISIS. Our media elites have not fully succeeded in alchemy of turning ISIL into "good" as they did with the PLO, the Nicaraguan rebels, N Vietnam and the USSR, but they are well on their way -- we don't even clearly know what they are called, but it would certainly be unsophisticated to call them "evil" -- or (horror) "Islamic"!

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Conscience of a Conservative (Goldwater)

For a good long time I have been guilty of failing to read this work which many conservatives consider to be a cornerstone of conservative thought. I plead that some of the later utterances of Goldwater in his waning years led me to question his veracity as a conservative, but relative to this work, the proponents were right, it is first class.

It concisely covers the basics of conservative thought including how conservatism considers man as more than flesh and blood, having an eternal soul. "The root difference between Conservatives and the Liberals of today is that Conservatives take account of the whole man, while the Liberals tend to look at only the material side of man's nature".

Various pleas for limited government and clear delineation of the powers of the federal government and what are reserved for the states are included. "Throughout history, government has proved to be the chief instrument for thwarting man's liberty."

His two chapter discussion of States Rights is an excellent defense of against the idea that they are obsolete since the fight against Jim Crow in the South. "States Rights mean that the States have a right to act or not to act, as they see fit in the areas reserved to them." Worth a read in the age of BOcare.

He covers the attack of "progressive" taxation on Equal Protection and Property Rights under the Constitution as well as giving us an accurate preview of the what the unfettered expansion of the Federal Government has come to mean from the perspective of 1960.

My biggest surprise in reading the book was how accurately he predicted and largely provided the architecture for Reagan's victory over the USSR.

"Our enemies have understood the nature of the conflict and we have not. They are determined to win the conflict, we are not".

The closing paragraph of the book makes one glad yet again that we were privileged to have Ronald Reagan as President"

The future as I see it, will unfold along one of two paths. Either the Communists will retain the offensive, will lay down one challenge after another will invite us local crisis after local crises to choose between all out war and limited retreat; and will force us ultimately to surrender or accept war under the most disadvantageous of circumstances. Or we will summon the will and the means for taking the initiative, and wage a war of attrition against them---and hope, thereby to bring about the internal disintegration of the communist empire. One course runs the risk of war, and leads in any case, to probably defeat. The other runs the risk of war, and holds forth the promise of victory. For Americans who cherish their lives, but their freedom more, the choice cannot be difficult. 

Goldwater had the right architecture, Reagan implemented it, and the wall came tumbling down.

A quite short and well written summary of the basics of conservative thought. I ought to have read it sooner.

Forgiveness for $40M

The Torture Report Reminds Us of What America Was -

The top link is to a writing by a former Abu Ghraib interrogator now a college professor that proudly proclaims that "he can't be forgiven". His level of hubris is palpable, the need for Christ is rarely screamed as loudly.

"What America WAS"? What a sad joke -- the propensity of government agencies to abuse their powers is eternal. To not see the constant reality and threat of all forms of abuse by all forms of government is to show willful disregard for known and oft proven reality.

The second link is to some coverage of "the torture report" with what I consider to be the main reason for the report -- Feinstein and other Democrats in congress signed off on "enhanced interrogation", and they now want to do the Pontius Pilate symbolic washing of the hands.

For Feinstein, $40 million, long-term damage to the CIA, and the potential for deadly attacks on Americans overseas apparently are a small price to pay for this satisfaction.
 The insanity of our elites navel gazing about what was or wasn't done by one government agency or another in the months and years after 9-11, while we continue to do battle with a ruthless enemy that has no qualms about public beheading nor any forms of real torture (that leave lasting physical marks) is comedy. Which often gives way to tragedy.

Government agencies have always been and always will be capable to ANY form of abuse or torture imaginable. If the 20th century made anything at all clear, it ought to have been that. Ultimately, THAT is the reason that GOVERNMENT MUST BE LIMITED! Leave it un-limited and it is as predictable as aging that the eventual recipients of the most egregious possible tortures will be the thoroughly  demonized and scapegoated "opposition".  (See German gas chambers and Soviet Gulag)

Man has known from the time of his first consciousness of mortality that he is in dire need of forgiveness. All manner of sacrifice, penance, and sundry contrition has been attempted, but only God taking on the form of man and dying for the sins of all as made forgiveness a reality for billions.

What makes us "better" than our enemies? Nothing at all intrinsically -- we are all sinful humans.

To the extent we are "better" is to the extent we recognize the authority of Christ and retain increasingly small vestiges of being  a "Christian Nation". Much as surgery will always be painful, war will likewise always be painful. Attempting to put controls on the carnage is reasonable, but having illusions as to just how effective such controls can be given the doubly de-humanizing aspects of government bureaucracy (CIA, military, etc) and war itself,  is always going to be a recipe for disappointment.

We need controls, but we also need to be FAR more forgiving of the men and women in the front lines of the messy business of war than of the preening pretenders to royalty like Feinstein. Let's face it, they signed off on enhanced interrogation because they were afraid for themselves and their political careers, and now they want to "un-sign" for their own political skins and personal sanctimony no matter the cost.

We are rarely treated to such a clear example of total fecklessness.

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Wednesday, December 03, 2014

American Royalty, Hillary

Plans for UCLA visit give rare glimpse into Hillary Clinton’s paid speaking career - The Washington Post:

She is the wife of a womanizing ex-president. She led a failed effort to nationalize healthcare. She is a failed presidential candidate, a failed Secretary of State, and an exceedingly lackluster one and a third term Senator. She is American Royalty.

Her "reduced speaking rate" for universities is $300K. Between her and her husband since leaving office, they have amassed wealth of $100 million dollars. In 2012, Bill alone rolled in $17M in speaking fees.

The nice thing for the Clintons is that articles like the WaPo above are rare. Reagan did a couple high price speeches after leaving office and media was all over it as "inappropriate". Slick and Hilly pull in over $100 million and it is really no big deal.

The standard is clear ... if you are in The Party, Democrat, you are part of the "royal line" ... as long as you follow that line you can amass fortunes, avoid taxation (see Sharpton $4.7 Million in tax debt), womanize (contrast Bill Clinton and Bill Cosby), and who knows what else ... it is the TRUE "noblesse obilige" because TP is royalty.

Tea Party: Angriest, Most Hateful People On Earth

Anne Lamott: “Look at the Tea Party: Some of the angriest, most hateful people on earth, and they’re backed by what they think is Scripture” -

I know, it is Salon -- but sadly, Salon is a real entity. There are a significant number of people that read this and I think more than we actually know think it is quite true.

It is hard to read through something like this because it exposes so well the shallows of so much of modern life -- concern over how good the next woman looks, concern over wealth status, concern over how smart your kid is, etc ... and then the summary line:
I really believe that earth is forgiveness school – I really believe that’s why they brought us here, and then left us without any owner’s manual. I think we’re here to learn forgiveness.

This of course we juxtapose with the title line -- a summary judgement of a group of people along with a reference to "scripture" ... and then she gets up on her throne of wisdom and gives us this:
All wisdom traditions have at their root three basic ideas: To take care of the poor, to cultivate a sense of presence or union with a power much greater than ourselves, and to soften the heart.

Christianity is the acceptance of healing Grace through Christ's blood by Grace alone through Faith alone, followed by a life of attempting to follow Christ through the Holy Sacraments, Holy Preaching and Holy Scripture. There is "wisdom" in that, but the Old Testament / Judaism is more the "wisdom tradition". It boggles the mind to conceive of what Anne Lamont conceives of as "wisdom".

First she judges a group of people with VERY little of a specific agenda beyond "smaller government" as "hateful", then she claims "scripture" is 180 degrees opposed. Actually, Scripture is silent beyond "render unto Caesar" on government -- it is up to us. Christ never specifically inveighed against Rome, the death penalty, or even slavery. He was pretty clear where his kingdom was at and that earthy concerns were extremely minor when compared against the eternal.

I point this rather sorry example out for two reasons. First, because for a very large number of people that primarily get their news from mainline outlets, would tell you a statement like the title statement is a correct summary of the Tea Party. Those of us that have sympathy with something other than continued growth of government need to be aware of that ... the calculus is as simple as "government is great and benevolent, to seek to slow or Gasp!, reduce it is hateful, evil, etc".

The second point is that the BEGINNING of wisdom is the fear of God -- the actual recognition of our mortality, insignificance in time and space, but significance to God, of our very limited selves. In actual "wisdom traditions", humility is the start of wisdom. We as a people have lost so much that most have never read any "scripture" beyond some fluffy gauzy shards that convince many that whatever anyone thinks that isn't somehow conservative, traditional or actually religious in nature (as in they believe it and follow it) is all the same ... and my (Anne's) view is as good (and really better) than anyone's! ... past, present or future, so let me just tell you what is trump -- today we are all angry!

A short reading of actual wisdom tradition would quickly point out that such a position is the position of the fool claiming to be wise -- but today it gets published as wisdom, showing that much of our culture is about glorification of the fool. Wisdom is clear on the outcome of that.

Matt 7:26, 27
Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell-- and great was its fall.
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Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Return From The Plague, Thanksgiving

What a great way to spend a holiday -- 102 degree fever T-day, 101 Friday, finally broke Sat ... now just hacky chest cough, back to like "90% capability" and working out again since yesterday. I do believe that I notice that I don't bounce back quite as quickly at 58 as I once did -- nah, must be my imagination!

When I worked, I might have said "at least it happened while I was off so I'm not behind at work". The vast majority of my IBM career was like that -- 100ish e-mails a day, documents to review by dates, plans, schedules, status, architecture, presentations, approvals, issues .... Yes, in the early years there was actual code and testing, ah for the good old days.

I'd say I look forward to holidays more now -- chance to get together with people. I don't exactly lack  for human contact, but not so much the overload that one experienced when leading teams of 20+ and at times as many as 60 people ... and of course interacting with lots of others in various capacities. People invigorate me, there are days now that I can miss that a little.

Not a lot one can do about scheduling flu. I've gotten the flu shot for over decade, didn't get it before that. Think the only previous time I had flu this severe and long lasting was just after finals in one of my college years when I was down for close to a week. I'm sure it is an odds game -- supposedly they pick the "most likely" viruses, so statistics say that it "improves your odds" ... lots like various other things, when the sample is YOU, statistics don't really mean a lot!

It is a good chance to reflect on how bad it can feel to be human, and how little we actually control, though some of us love to fancy it otherwise. Good time for a little prayer that I avoid having a longer term illness as debilitating or worse, and the chance to appreciate how hard life can be for those who do.

Naturally, the little I felt like it during a lot of it, but more as I perked up, I read. Somewhere -- my brain wasn't on it's full correlation / recall mode, I hit "the 3 things needed for happiness". According to whatever I was reading it was 1) Meaning 2) Purpose 3) Hope.

Not a bad trio ... I can tell you that with a 102 fever, all three were pretty much a "don't care", but Hope! Reading that reminded me of a favorite passage though, I Corinthians 13: 12-13
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face;
Now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.
But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Even when we are feeling superb by our earthly standards, we are extremely sick by heavenly standards. Even when we think we have locked some piece of knowledge, technology or skill down cold, we are but barely dimly aware from a Godlike view. For me, the promise that I will FINALLY "know fully" is especially precious.

For today, I'm very thankful for the small measure of health and mental clarity allowed in this vale of tears! 

Happy belated Thanksgiving. 

Earth's Most Abundant Mineral Finally Sampled

Scientists Have Finally Sampled the Most Abundant Material on Earth | Motherboard:

Huh, how can it be most abundant and yet not sampled yet. Well, the answer is DEEP man, REALLY DEEP ... as in like 660mi deep.

The article is not all that interesting, "bridgemanite" is the new stuff.  The ringwoodite found in the Brazilian diamond and the speculation about an ocean larger than all of those on the surface "down there somewhere" is more interesting to me.

Perspective and humility -- there is A LOT that we don't know and have a heck of a time trying to even begin to figure out how we can know. ( have any ideas on how to drill a 660 mile deep well? )

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