Monday, October 31, 2011


Halloween - 2011

My youngest as a Jawa.

All credit to my wife who sewed the costume and is generally an outstanding gal.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Juggalo Madness

“I love money. I love everything about it. I bought some pretty good stuff. Got me a $300 pair of socks. Got a fur sink. An electric dog polisher. A gasoline powered turtleneck sweater. And, of course, I bought some dumb stuff, too.”

- Steve Martin


Saw lefty guys I know posted this on Facebook.  I call shenanigans.

As long as we've got a state, and it does stuff that needs to be done, it has be paid for.  Taxes are a way.  Not the only way, perhaps not the best way, but it's what we've got.

One objection I've got to paying taxes is all the dumb stuff the government spends that money on. 

Paying teachers for two days of time off to attend a state-wide teaching convention that (drum-roll) was cancelled months ago.  Paying for a crack-team of SWAT cops to handcuff someone's grand-ma in the Denny's because she had a moon rock.

And for the Eff-Bee-Eye to spend God-knows how much money to write a report that declares that Juggalos are a threat to law, order, and the American Way.

Them fellers is weird and dresses funny and listen to god-awful music and fetish off-brand soda.  Danger-Will-Robinson-Danger.

Cross posted to The Daily Brief

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tab Clearing

I slept for maybe five minutes last night.  Then work's help desk called, and I spent the next eleven hours fighting a mother-lovin' fire at work.  I got a great deal done today but not much of what I planned on doing.  Not complaining - I'm well compensated for what I do and I like it.  Just .. man it's been a day.

So .. links.

The Roots of Lisp - Paul Graham.    In 1960, John McCarthy published a remarkable paper in which he did for programming something like what Euclid did for geometry. He showed how, given a handful of simple operators and a notation for functions, you can build a whole programming language. He called this language Lisp, for "List Processing," because one of his key ideas was to use a simple data structure called a list for both code and data.

Recursive Functions of Symbolic Expressions and Their Computation by Machine, Part I   I don't know if I'll understand this, but I'm going to give it a go.

Progress and its Sustainability - John McCarthy.  With the development of nuclear energy, it became possible to show that there are no apparent obstacles even to billion year sustainability.

The Sayings of John McCarthy.  When there's a will to fail, obstacles can be found.

US Air Force grounds the F-22 fleet (again).  I sure hope the Air Force kept the receipt for the F22. I want cash back, not store credit.

disable/enable dtlogin.  Work.  You don't think I'd run CDE at home do you?

AIRcable - Serial5x.   Saw one of these at work.  Sitting next to a rack, which is next to a machine blowing a hurricane of cold air across one's head, is an awful way to work.  This lets you get out of the room and into the hallway, while talking serial to the equipment.  I need this.

Dreamsongs - Blending Art & Science.  I don't know why I opened this up.

Professional Educators (I am the only one professional enough to teach children (BOOM)) [1]  told kids there was an intruder, go, run, hide.  They lied.  They lied so they could search the school for drugs.  They didn't find any drugs.  Anyone with a passing acquaintance with high school knows how friggin' improbable this is, can draw conclusions about the effectiveness of treating children like inmates.  And that of the Great Drug War.

Confessions of an Actual Man.  Men are like little boys, always wanting to go higher and faster, to explore jungles and invent exotic aircraft. Always childlike, we love to race alone across the late-afternoon deserts of Arizona on a Harley, with the air furnace-hot and sunset burning out from incandescent reds to rolling waves of oranges on celestial beaches, the night rising from behind distant mountains. Women want granite counter-tops. These last, and are easy to clean.

Cross posted to The Daily Brief

[1] That never gets old.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Government can't take out the trash efficiently. Solution: get rid of the trash cans.

The idea is to reduce the load on the authority’s overtaxed garbage crew, which is struggling to complete its daily rounds of clearing out 40 tons of trash from the system.

An idea only a bureaucrat or committee would embrace.

Look.  One person is going to be a good guy and carry his trash out of the subway.  A dozen people might.  Tens of thousands of people are a mob.  A mob will leave all kinds of crap behind.

Asked what waiting passengers would do without a garbage bin, Bianca
Thomas, 22, waiting for a Brooklyn-bound train at Eighth Street, pointed
straight at the track. “Right there,” she said, noting several plastic
water bottles strewn by the third rail. “They’ll more than likely toss
it. Nobody wants to walk around with trash in their hand.”


It is too early for politics

Who is the only candidate promising to submit a balanced budget to Congress in 2013?

Who is the only <br/>candidate ...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Our Glorious Revolution

I arrived here in 1995, a broken down vaudevillian from the old country. When I arrived in America, here is what America asked of me:

Nothing.  I was free.

Free of my own past, free to succeed, free to fail.  America did not even ask me to be a citizen. I choose to be a citizen.

Whatever mistakes we make along the way we, the People, always correct them. We the People, the citizens of the United State of America, are it's voice , we are it's soul, we are it's expression. Our leaders are but servants to our voice.

That is our Glorious Revolution.

Craig Ferguson - Prologue from 'A Wee Bit O' Revolution'

Cross posted to The Daily Brief

Thrift vs Responsibility is a terrible conflict to throw at an Anglo-Celt

Wisconsin Department of Justice sez in regards to the 2011 Wisconsin Act 35 (aka we get to tote guns around, now)

Act 35 requires applicants to provide proof of firearms safety training. Any one of the below listed documents will be accepted as proof of meeting the law’s training requirement:

3. Proof of military, law enforcement, or security firearms training.

  • Former military: DD214 or DD256 form showing either “honorable” or “general under honorable conditions” discharge
    or release from the US military.

Hey - I got me one o' them.

And?  Does the lege think that being in the service confers small arms proficiency?

In theory everyone who gets out of the service is a certified friggin' Rambo.  Death from above.  Etc.  In practice ... not so much.

Your average guy or gal learns the basics of firearms safety, knows how to carry and utilize a rifle.  They may fam-fire a pistol. [1]

There is nothing that says a former service member knows how to safely carry and use a concealed firearm, nor that they understand the legal and ethical ramification of using deadly force.

It's a stupid requirement. [2]  Either the regs should say 'pass a proficiency test meeting metrics X, Y, Z' or it should stay silent and let everyone carry.  

A kind of wink-wink-nudge you're in the club deal is flat-out retarded.

[1] Grunts will know all about shooting a variety of weapons.  Squids think that anything that doesn't take a team to prep and fire and a ship to carry it around and isn't really a weapon a'tall.

[2] I confess to an internal conflict.  I can carry concealed without having to pay: cool.  But I know deep in my heart that I'm never done that, have no idea what I'm doing.  Training is called for.  I guess that's what 'be a responsible citizen' is all about.  Thrift vs Responsibility is a terrible conflict to throw at an anglo-celt.

Cross posted to The Daily Brief

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ve Vant Ze Money Lebowsky

Everlasting Phelps

It’s been nagging at me how useless and nihilistic this whole Occupy Whatever “movement” (more like a fit) has been about,

Hold that thought.  Nihilists.  Demands.  Hey ...

Donny: Are these the Nazis, Walter?
Walter Sobchak: No, Donny, these men are nihilists, there's nothing to be afraid of.
Nihilist: Ve don't care. Ve still vant ze money, Lebowski, or ve fuck you up.
Walter Sobchak: Fuck you. Fuck the three of you.
The Dude: Hey, cool it Walter.
Walter Sobchak: No, without a hostage, there is no ransom. That's what ransom is. Those are the fucking rules.
Nihilist #2: His girlfriend gave up her toe!
Nihilist #3: She thought we'd be getting million dollars!
Nihilist #2: Iss not fair!
The Dude: Hey, cool it Walter. Look, pal, there never was any money. The big Lebowski gave me an empty briefcase, so take it up with him, man.
Walter Sobchak: And, I would like my undies back.
Donny: Are they gonna hurt us, Walter?
Walter Sobchak: No, Donny. These men are cowards.
Nihilist: Okay. So we take ze money you haf on you, und ve calls it eefen.
Walter Sobchak: Fuck you.

Oh, Big Lebowski - you are always there for me.

Cross posted to The Daily Brief

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Clearing Tabs

Node.js is Cancer. Node.js is a tumor on the programming community, in that not only is it completely braindead, but the people who use it go on to infect other people who can't think for themselves, until eventually, every asshole I run into wants to tell me the gospel of event loops. Have you accepted epoll into your heart?

Warren Buffet wants to pay more taxes.  Perhaps he should start by having Berkshire Hathaway paying the taxes that it already owes “The rough translation of the report is that Berkshire Hathaway did not pay all the federal taxes that it was required to for 2002 through 2004.  The IRS examination team caught Berkshire Hathaway on at least some issues.  Instead of paying up, Berkshire Hathaway is threatening the IRS with protracted litigation and is in the process of cutting a deal with the IRS Appeals office.”

Keith Ellison (DFL-MN) is an ignorant pus-weasel.  I have spent time working to comply with regulations.  Most recently this very weekend where a application that calculates regulatory compliance got a bit of bad data from ERP and threw up all over itself. In the end fixing it is going to involve four people @ several hours each.  Not counting the time Friday and Saturday that three of us spent holding up it's hair while it threw up in the toilet and whimpered.

There was nothing productive about it.  It was wasted time, time during which I neither delivered value to my employer, nor made life better, nor built a product, nor had a lot of fun.  The only thing I did was ensure that somewhere an auditor is happy.

Op-Ed: Obama 'Devastating' for Civil Liberties. (NPR).   (The) purpose of this column, is to address the fact that President Obama is a perfect nightmare when it comes to civil liberties. He not only adopted most of President Bush's policies in the civil liberties areas when it comes to terrorism, but he actually expanded on them. He outdid George Bush.

Obama has taken everything that Bush did and dialed it to '11'.  We wanted change ...

Evolve. A case for modernization as the road to salvation. Technology got us into this mess. Only technology can get us out.

The sound of capitalism.
Hip hop music was blamed for the August riots. But behind the celebration of “bling” is a culture of entrepreneurship.

Markets Not Capitalism is a powerful and long-overdue compilation of Market Anarchist thought.  And although editors Charles Johnson and Gary Chartier seem to have made the farcical mistake of including a couple of my pieces they have done an amazing job on the whole.

Vive La Revolution!  The US is probably getting ready for a revolution. Back in the Cold War days, the CIA was asked to do a portrait of a country that might have a revolution. It decided that such a country would have three characteristics:

Occupy Wall Street: Fighting Capitalism, One Food Cart at a Time. And while the occupation has been compared to the Arab Spring and Tahrir Square, the mostly Egyptian kebab cookers and breakfast sellers who are losing their livelihoods aren’t too sure.

Co-lateral damage, maaaaaan.

Cross posted to The Daily Brief

Take Back Your Government

Take Back Your Government!: A Practical Handbook for the Private Citizen Who Wants Democracy to Work
Robert Heinlein

From politics I have come to believe the following:

(1) Most people are basically honest, kind, and decent.

(2) The American people are wise enough to run their own affairs. They do not need Fuehrers, Strong Men, Technocrats, Commissars, Silver Shirts, Theocrats, or any other sort of dictator.

(3) Americans have a compatible community of ambitions. Most of them don't want to be rich but do want enough economic security to permit them to raise families in decent comfort without fear of the future. They want the least government necessary to this purpose and don't greatly mind what the other fellow does as long as it does not interfere with them living their own lives. As a people we are neither money mad nor prying; we are easy-going and anarchistic. We may want to keep up with the Joneses - but not with the Vanderbilts. We don't like cops.

(4) Democracy is not an automatic condition resulting from laws and constitutions. It is a living; dynamic process which must be worked at by you yourself- or it ceases to be democracy, even if the shell and form remain.

(5) One way or another, any government which remains in power is a representative government. If your city government is a crooked machine, then it is because you and your neighbours prefer it that way - prefer it to the effort of running your own affairs. Hitler's government was a popular government; the vast majority of Germans preferred the rule of gangsters to the effort of thinking and doing for themselves. They abdicated their franchise.

(6) Democracy is the most efficient form of government ever invented by the human race. On the record, it has worked better in peace and in war than fascism, communism, or any other form of dictatorship. As for the mythical yardstick of "benevolent" monarchy or dictatorship - there ain't no such animal!

(7) A single citizen, with no political connections and no money, can be extremely effective in politics.

Cross posted to The Daily Brief

Thursday, October 13, 2011

For UNIX heads

$ rm dritchie/dmr

It reads more like a Hollywood script than an actual Quds plot

"The Quds Force has never been this sloppy, using untested proxies, contracting with Mexican drug cartels, sending money through New York bank accounts, and putting its agents on U.S. soil where they risk being caught. It reads more like a Hollywood script than an actual Quds plot," he said in an interview. "I'm sure the administration is acting on solid evidence, and possibly this is the work of some rogue element of the Quds Force that for some reason is intent on embarrassing Tehran. But something doesn't add up. The Quds Force is simply better than this."

Robert Baer in Iran containment strategy cast in doubt

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pity they both can't loose

Two men, including a member of Iran's special foreign actions unit known as the Quds Force, were charged in New York federal court with conspiring to kill the Saudi diplomat, Adel Al-Jubeir.

And just as Mr. Attorney General Eric "Either a lying whore [1] or an incompetent boob" Holder was all in trouble and stuff for lying to Congress.  Guns ... Mexico ... testimony ... something.  Memories fade. 

Anyway: I thought we were just shooting guys in the head, now.  Trial by jury is so last month.

"This really, in the minds of many diplomats and government officials, crosses a line that Iran needs to be held to account for," Clinton said.

Wouldn't that be the business of Saudi Arabia, not the State Department?

The U.S. criminal complaint said the Iranian plotters hired a would-be assassin in Mexico who was a paid informant for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

Be nice if we caught a gang of bad guys where the key player wasn't working for the government.  Just once in a while.  Kinda mix it up.

[1] This is harsh to actual whores.  Sorry, ladies.


Frame of Reference

Every law involves the use of force. From now on, instead of saying "That should be illegal" say "Anyone who does that should have 3 grown men slam their face into the sidewalk, be shocked with electricity, be chained up, and be thrown in a cage where they'll probably be raped."  Think about the laws with that frame of reference and you'll be amazed how quickly you become a Libertarian.

Paying Someone To Kick Your Ass Should Be More Fun

Monday, October 10, 2011


Attention, Hordes of English Lit and Women's Study majors down to Occupy Wall Street:

Compensation: $350-$650 A Week Depending On Responsibility & Length Of Time On Staff.

Y'all need to get yourselves over to the Working Families (WFP) and get paid for sleeping in the park and waving signs.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Tab Clearing

John Walker: Why I Am Not a Conservative.  Among infringements upon liberty, it's difficult to top murdering citizens without any legal proceeding whatsoever.

SB7: Judge, Jury, Executioner.   The President of the United States of America unilaterally claimed the power to execute his fellow citizens based on nothing but his own say-so. That actually happened in real life. How are people not seething with anger about this? Has the whole world gone crazy? Am I the only one that gives a shit about the rules?

NYT Ombudsman: Who Can't America Kill?  The answer, as a matter of law, is simply unknown right now. That is an extraordinary thing, arising out of the new tactics and technology in use in the American offensive against terrorists and their networks. For the news media, it should be intolerable that the question goes unanswered.

Yet, by the ground rules of press and government interaction now in place, the government opts not to say and the press, including The New York Times, is pushed back on its heels.

DIY Laundry soap.  I am so going to whip some of this up.

An Argument Against Taking Occupy Wall Street Seriously. I guess the idea is that the American people will give up capitalism once they see how wonderful it is to camp out in a park and dress up like Zombies.

Occupy Wall Streeet Could be Disaster for Democrats.   ... when this many famous millionaires get preachy at the same time it can only mean one thing: they’ve had it up to here with the rich.  Just as when hundreds of protestors claim police brutality their next logical step is to demand a larger and more powerful state, of course.

Jerry Pournelle: Occupy Wall Street?   I can’t say I really blame the “Occupy Wall Street” groups. If I were their age I’d be thinking of joining them. They don’t really know what they want, but they really don’t want more of what they’re getting.

JWZ: Liquid Television.  Wow, it looks like MTV has posted the Liquid Television series from the early 90s -- possibly all of it! Good quality, too. 

I introduced my teen to The Maxx.  He's likes it!

Macdonough's Song

Macdonough's Song

"As easy as A B C"--A Diversity of Creatures"

Whether the State can loose and bind
In Heaven as well as on Earth:
If it be wiser to kill mankind
Before or after the birth--
These are matters of high concern
Where State-kept schoolmen are;
But Holy State (we have lived to learn)
Endeth in Holy War.

Whether The People be led by The Lord,
Or lured by the loudest throat:
If it be quicker to die by the sword
Or cheaper to die by vote--
These are things we have dealt with once,
(And they will not rise from their grave)
For Holy People, however it runs,
Endeth in wholly Slave.

Whatsoever, for any cause,
Seeketh to take or give
Power above or beyond the Laws,
Suffer it not to live!
Holy State or Holy King--
Or Holy People's Will--
Have no truck with the senseless thing.
Order the guns and kill!
Saying --after--me:--

Once there was The People--Terror gave it birth;
Once there was The People and it made a Hell of Earth
Earth arose and crushed it. Listen, 0 ye slain!
Once there was The People--it shall never be again!

Planets are the abusive parents of evolution

Planets are the abusive parents of evolution. Their very surfaces promote warfare, concentrate resources into dense defensible patches that can be fought over. Gravity forces you to squander energy on vascular systems and skeletal support, stand endless watch against an endless sadistic campaign to squash you flat. Take one wrong step, off a perch too high, and all your pricey architecture shatters in an instant. And even if you beat those odds, cobble together some lumbering armored chassis to withstand the slow crawl onto land— how long before the world draws in some asteroid or comet to crash down from the heavens and reset your clock to zero?

'The Island' - Peter Watts

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Tab Clearing - Part Two

New York State Senators Klein, Savino, Carlucci, and Valesky: Free speech is an entitlement, granted by the state.

Proponents of a more refined First Amendment argue that this freedom should be treated not as a right but as a privilege — a special entitlement granted by the state on a conditional basis that can be revoked if it is ever abused or maltreated.

North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue.

"You have to have more ability from Congress, I think, to work together and to get over the partisan bickering and focus on fixing things. I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won't hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover. I really hope that someone can agree with me on that. The one good thing about Raleigh is that for so many years we worked across party lines. It's a little bit more contentious now but it's not impossible to try to do what's right in this state. You want people who don't worry about the next election."

She's joking, of course, said her PR guy.  I dunno: she sounds (mp3) dead serious to me.

This is dangerous delusional bullshit and needs to be dismissed with extreme prejudice.

Tab Clearing

 `A Fatal Self-Absorption.   The difference between Americans and Mohammed Ali is that when he said, “I am the greatest!” he was.

COGs: Citizens Who Were Originally Generic.
  When the world is overrun with vegan community organizers who is going to fix the transmission on a Chevy?

Obama Most Scandal-Plagued President?   ... historians are about to document a rash of Obama scandals, any one of which could tarnish a presidency.

SB7 - Digest: 6 Oct 2011
Mao, like Stalin and three year olds throughout history, could not conceive of the world as an objective reality external to his own mind. Flying a plane is an actual thing you do to manipulate reality. It is not subject to ideological purity or politics. You can not magic that skill into existence by decree.

The Third Wave, CNC, Stereolithography, and the end of gun control.  And remember that thing about information wanting to be free? In our glorious jetcar-free, but peer-to-peer-laden future, collecting and swapping is no longer just for baseball cards; it’s also for plastic printing your own AR-15 magazines and lower receivers.  You can make the part of the gun that is legally a gun.  In your basement.  And there isn't a damn thing the government can do about it.

This might be the goad that gets my basement cleaned up this winter.

The price of life

Steve Jobs is dead: world goes mad with adulation and eulogy. Film at 11.

Me, I wonder, now that he's dead, how long it will take OS X to devolve into a pile of mush, unusable krep, and suck.

I give it five years.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Fiat Voluntas Tua

BlueCross&BlueShield of Tennessee, who happens to be the good doctor's insurer, funded a study how Obamacare would affect access to healthcare state wide. Their analysis suggests that in 2014, 700,000 Tennesseans will become insured, many of whom are younger men eligible for Medicaid, and the rest will be able to purchase subsidized policies through state run exchanges.

There are consequences of this influx of insured patients on to the insurance rolls.

And they are not good ones, as the doctor goes on to explain.

We took a working system - not perfect but it worked for the majority - and made it worse for everyone.

"...children of Merlin, chasing a gleam. Children, too, of Eve, forever building Edens--and kicking them apart in berserk fury because somehow it isn't the same."

That Walter Miller was a pretty sharp cookie.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Ding dong al-Awlaki is dead

Anwar al-Awlaki is dead.  Fine: he wasn't a nice guy.

I have some serious issues with how he was killed.  And you should, too.

The Executive, all by it's lonesome, just murdered a  U.S. citizen, without pesky krep like due process, a speedy and fair trial.

Whacking a citizen with a drone is no different than executing him in the street.

So - we set a precedent.  Act against the interests of the United States, or threaten to,  and the government can order you to be killed and fuck due process. [1] [2]

[1] Who defines what is a threat?  Why, the guy with the gun.  Don't worry - if you done nothing wrong you have nothing to fear [3]
[2] Not my words - that's what Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said on the radio this morning.
[3] If you believe that I have some ocean front property in Arizona for sale, cheap.

Internet Bid

For complicated reasons [1], I need an internet provider.

I spent a bit of time on the phone with Time-Warner, persueading them to take my money, but they found it difficult to do so.  We used to be a cable subscriber to them, which was confusing.  The residential gal could not access the business side's records.  The business guy couldn't find my records at all.  It was a big ol' suck.

So.  I live in Neenah, Wisconsin.  I need 'internet' for a family of four.  I don't especially care how it comes in, DSL, cable, ISDN, wireless, fire alarm circuit, just 'inexpensive' and 'reliable'.

[1] For a real long time, work paid for internet access.  It was a perk!  They're not doing that anymore.