Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Christmas is not my favorite holiday. I have always loved Thanksgiving, though it also is getting grossly commercialized. Christmas has gone the way of Sunday, which was lost to all rational people a long time ago. It used to be, and you can't talk me out of it, crassness was a sin, and now it has become a virtue. Walk into any Trump hotel. What about the wave of nausea you get walking in? Playing games with the rules has become a virtue. Life is to be lived on the edge of lawlessness. Then you are being smart. A smart businessman is a fellow who is as close to being a criminal as possible, and virtue is the knack of not getting caught. I will tell you right now, anybody who is making a lot of money is playing games with the law. Wealth is not about happiness or righteousness but keeping the nest of lawyers like hornets around you happy. Our politicians and businessmen and some of the businesswomen are actually proud of their "business acumen", which means how well they play games with the rules. Bruce Poliquin, Maine rep to the U.S. House, even seems quite proud of how his lawyers fix it so he does not pay taxes, and he runs on that ticket and he wins!  He even admits it, and his tax dodging has been documented again and again, and yet he won his seat this year handily. To put it mildly lawyers are not observant of ethics, they must not teach it in school anymore. I will not even talk about the chest beating Trumpy the Pig does about all his bankruptcies and his "secret" non-payment of taxes—"They would just waste the money anyway."  You can't really believe that bankruptcy is "just business" can you?  I am absolutely astonished that a many times bankrupt is now president of the United States. What lunacy elected him?  Probably the same lunacy that turned Christmas from a sacred day to another business day.

How did it happen that the inhabitants of a "Christian" nation have come to acting thus that they have seemed to lose track of what is just?  Over the past ten years especially I have noticed it. They were years of war. In the early seventies I remember at the end of and following another wartime disaster Americans in general seemed to lose their orientation. Now it looks like wartime is normal. We don't want to get out, and while American youngsters die, we are horrified to discover that maybe we can't get out. So now we are nervous and the stress has led us to a phony businessman who happens to be in fact a racist and a many times bankrupt. It looks like we are facing several years at least of government by the 1 percent. What does that do for you, who voted for him?  What were his promises?  He promised everything, and he and his billionaire cohorts are not going to do anything but rape you. There is not going to be a wall, the swamp won't be drained, a pathetic few hundred dollars per person in tax cuts will end up being paid for by the suckers many times over. Obviously it is fortunate that the military did not do the dirty deed, as has happened in many other countries suffering from fractured persona, but the generals have been kept busy with other projects. So we have a bankrupt for President Christmas 2016.

As you can see I am struggling for an answer why this has happened. Here's another attempt. Also in the early '70's the abortion issue came up. I happened to be in academia as a student at the time and everybody was warning about it, how it would become a major issue and might even change history. Trumpy's absurd and inaccurate description of abortion law in the third debate, for instance, is another one of his numerous lies. I think he has it mixed up with something else. That the cognizant and feeling baby is ripped out of the mother by the throat in the ninth month by cold and ignorant people and put into a bottle to be studied by medical students is farfetched to put it mildly. This election was not about change, as the kids in the press have said a thousand times, it is about the blacks and browns who are taking over and about babies being ripped out of the womb. This election was about these two issues not about change; it is about going backwards, cancelling human progress and returning, if possible, to pre-Gettysburg. And the forces who are obsessed by these two issues chose a bankrupt and a liar as their champion. These two issues created their state of mind, which no amount of reason could deflect. Merry Christmas!

Here is another clumsy attempt to explain this new year, another among a plethora. OMG, V. Putin is a strong leader worthy of admiration. All the jerks and murderers in the Kremlin for the last century are what they are. And you can take that to the bank. America, you have lost your mind.

There are many others, the most important of all being gender bias. America was not ready to move on in gender.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Winter Cardio for Fat Slobs

In the winter in Maine if you are getting old and maybe not so agile or athletic as back in the day, it is hard to get enough exercise to stay healthy.  Maybe you'll have to clear out the garage for long enough to get in a work out.  Now that most of the animals are gone, a small part of the barn beside the goat pen with the two stray milkers might work.  And you can maybe mend relations with the goat or cow or horse, carry on a chat with them, who are lonely, you being stuck in the living room with the TV all the time. You are nothing like the righteous gentleman farmer you used to be. In winter most old Mainers get fat, and then their legs go the way of their dreams.  Remember the first car you ever had that didn't rattle, remember making out in the back seat? Remember the big possibilities?  But you don't have to get fat and become a sit down slob, right?

I have been watching the cross training here among many other places of Dimitry Klokov. He is a very popular character on the web, and you can get ideas from how he trains and does things. Buy one of his t-shirts for inspiration.

Klokov, being at the end of a legendary career, looks for a big blow every time he trains. You can do all this stuff in a small area and you don't need a lot of fancy equipment. Everything is up tempo. No time to waste walking around trying to figure out how to get out of your work out. Instead, you get right to the cardio. Klokov gets stuck on an exercise and he keeps at it.  Instead of that dumbell, substitute a broom handle or crowbar.

One I like is skipping rope, though it took me a long time to get going on it. Some old men are capable of hanging on to basic strength, but endurance goes down the tubes. Another exercise I see Klokov encouraging people to do to build up basic strength for other more complicated and difficult exercises is beat on an old tire with a sledge hammer. Try that and eventually work up to 100 reps. You can easily do that in a small garage space. Then pick up the tire by an edge and flip it over till you get to a good blow. If by some miracle of life you don't have an old truck tire abandoned in the back forty, you can get truck tires at the dump for nothing. I am impressed by this stuff because it gets to the cardio and it is general body. The idea of spending hundreds of dollars on exercise equipment makes no sense to me. Klokov doesn't have any of the exercise machine manufacturers tattooed on his chest. Barbell, dumbbell, kettle-bell and wooden boxes are about it. You can get everything you need at the dump. He says he gets fired up by weights that have some color to them. Put a chain on your big junk tire and tow it around the yard. Just make sure you find a place to work on the abs. And don't forget flexibility exercises. The older you get the more important those abs are. Old folks get really soft in the ab area. And get off your sorry butt, get your legs into motion and drag something around for ten minutes a day. Eventually it might be so much fun that you'll try some of the other stuff, and increase your exercise program to twenty minutes a day plus a twenty minute walk with the dogs. That goes for you ladies, too, who think you must be dead by 70.

I have been running into the stupid old man or stupid old woman syndrome quite often lately, as I am always out and around in the world. Shy and retiring isn't my thing. One of my fellow stupid old men says it is class warfare, it has to do with the grey hairs and the colored hairs, and we must get up our spirit to battle them. Work out every day, fellow stupid old folks, and get up some spirit to take them to task, those youngsters, whom I have noticed acting very stupidly lately. At the very least you'll wake up the wild old cat who is curled up in the shavings on a cold winter day looking like a hockey puck.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Where are we now?

So what is going on?  Here's where we are:

1. Now that the Trump propaganda machine is revving up, we have begun to notice the pusillanimity of the media. This will continue and get worse until serious people will have to struggle to get the truth. (There's no truth, remember?  Even a lie is the truth.)  Lies will abound if you care or not. If you don't care about truth, you will be in your prime. Such as, for instance: a witch hunt will start over Hillary's back. etc. She has "blood on her hands" already and the child porno ring was just the beginning. Trumpy the Pig will end up witch hunting because of the ignorance of his base. Trumpy is nothing without his base.  The electoral college handed him the election not the people.

2. I said many times at the beginning of last year—go here and here among others—what this election would come down to: that is the outrageous gender bias that nobody talks about that is so obvious. America is not ready to move on with gender. Comey's face sticks out in all of this; there is also Putin, a murderer and despot, a blood enemy of political freedom. All of this is being discussed in the most off-hand way by people who should know better. There was no way this election was anywhere near fair. To think otherwise is ridiculous. And of course if it had been a male candidate, then Comey or Putin would not have happened. And Trumpy would not have been given a pass on all of his lies.

3. Now for the server. Nobody is more digitized than Trumpy the Pig, and nobody will ever see any file on his servers that is the least bit incriminating, unless it is hacked or otherwise stolen somehow. We will never know his taxes or his financial situation or the criminal element he has for many years cooperated with. He admits to playing games with taxes and the numerous bankruptcies are obvious. In fact, he admits to them, calls them good business. All these shady practices will continue, and worsen, and soon his propaganda machine will terrify "the media", especially the huge outlets like CBS, whom he, like the average despot, will be easily powerful enough to destroy. As I have been saying, if you think Hillary's server was bad, wait till Trumpy the Pig gets his own servers revving. He will bypass all of the normal government outlets and scare the bejesus out of the kids in the media, who are already too scared to talk truthfully about anything.

4. Now lets think for a moment about all the dyspeptic white men he is surrounding himself with. They are all as ignorant and inexperienced as the Pig is. They are rich: I should do another blog on how easy it is to make money. What more do you need to know?  They will all be consummate yes-men, and they will play the game with the shady witlessness of the Big Pig, their master. (And incidentally nobody but another pig can do it. That leaves out most of our educated American sons and daughters who were not brought up that way. It is the big secret of despotism. Nobody but another pig can do it.)  The obvious racism of his base will make it difficult to avoid what I know no effort will be spared to make happen. Black folks beware! The Big Pig will always return to the primal witlessness of his base.

5. I live in Maine, and in Maine we have a shadow pig of the Big Pig. He has screamed jobs, jobs, tax cuts tax cuts—he is Paul LePage, a little man, a racist, without ability to innovate, as is Trumpy the Pig—at least a thousand times since he became governor. But the racism and the endless haranguing of business has made every possibility that could make Maine richer disappear. Businesses leave because they know they could not get talented employees to move here. People born in Maine who love the big woods won't come back because they can't afford it. It is absurd to think that a black college grad with possibilities would want to move here. It has been all over the news.

6. The thought that this motley crew will do anything about the deficit is beyond ridiculous.

7. American womanhood who voted for Trump, what were you thinking?  All of the hard fought liberties and equalities of the last three or four generations are about to go down the drain. Don't you understand how lawless these constipated white men are? You deserve everything you get. And the black folks who didn't show up to vote. Good luck!

So here's where we are. An unfair election is nowhere being noted by anybody except a few "crybabies". The major networks are too busy playing with themselves and setting themselves up for what is about to happen so they won't lose ad money. Trumpy the Pig and chief liar is setting himself up solid with Wall Street, oiling up his propaganda machine, and he will begin to lose his soul to the tycoons next month. His base will be crying for Black ass. I don't see any heroes on the horizon. He'll snort a couple of times and give them what he can—as many as he can.

Here's what we do. Take care of your neighbors. And fellow bloggers, at least those who won't lie for money: hold on! We are the last defense. There is nothing rational at all about what is about to happen.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Beware, Citizens, Trumpery is About

About a month ago I thought that I was finished with this election. I had had enough. But my wife got interested, and when you are old and have been married a long time it is happy when you can get together on some subject. So we started watching MSNBC and CNN and others all day. We watched and watched fighting back amusement and disgust and times of intense anger. Nobody seemed to be getting it right. I began to warn my dogs before we went out together in the dark after supper not to wander far from me, there was "Trumpery about". But we continued to watch till the bitter end when Hillary appeared to be losing Pennsylvania. Then my wife said "Okay, shoot me." I couldn't think of anything to say. In my lifetime or hers we will never again see another woman candidate who can contend. Why? How many Hillary Clintons do you think there are in the world? I'll let you mull on that if you are capable of mulling.

Now I am reading everywhere about what I expected to read, which is everything but the one reason, and I don't think there is another reason, why she lost: gender bias. She lost because she was a woman, and Americans are not ready, and might never be, to move on with gender. In fact Trump will exacerbate gender bias, lean on it making it worse. He will turn all progress in that direction on its head because he knows perfectly what his base wants. He will hire a few women, they will be pretty, at least pretty, not too bright, not "nasty", and they will let him, at least for awhile, feel them up. But there is a lot more to gender bias than that. When I talk about gender bias, I am talking about a lot of subjects. But you know what they are, and though Trump's base knows what they are also, they are disinclined to think about them.

Which brings up quickly another subject. I am not one of those college professors that march around the sticks looking for reasons for the voter map of 2016. They saw blue cities and they saw the sticks in red. I live here in the sticks, and I can tell you the reasons why the hillbillies did not vote for Hillary. It is not racism, although there is plenty of that they still voted for Obama. And it is not that they feel left out from the free government and big city benefits that the suburbs get, which is a major theme of folks who wander around the sticks to study hillbillies like me. Just to be plain, there is a lot of fucking shit we don't want. We want the sticks. We don't want multi-lane highways cutting through our big woods from east to west and we damned sure don't want the Federal Government stepping in to turn our big woods, lakes and rivers to national preserves. Frankly, personally, I don't want the polluting paper mills. They stink, they all can go to China. You don't live in rural Maine for very long to realize that we have different needs. You don't take our guns away, you don't restrict our woods and you don't make us work when we don't want to. We don't need anything new. We don't need rules, restrictions. And most especially we don't want a woman president. Especially one who threatened, though vaguely, to take our guns away. Besides, women aren't tough, and the barbarians are at the gate. We don't want a woman that makes a guy look bad, either, as Hillary did so many times in this campaign. A woman who does that is a "nasty" woman, and if you are a "nasty" woman, as Trump informed us, you don't get enough votes to win.

Of course, nobody is talking about gender bias, except a few of the ladies who have exceptional fortitude in their hearts, that being hardly a one. Most women, even the "heroic" single mothers, don't care that they are second class citizens. Not even good enough citizens to get proper health care if they want and need it. They are too busy. You have to work the OT to put supper on the table for the kids; there is no time to better your self. Distractions are everywhere. Somebody gets sick, you have to stay home. If you have by some happenstance become a single mother, by the end of the day there is nothing left. Everything is so complicated. You might go to church where they teach you guilt. One recent good example was when Bruce Jenner became a woman. Though the pastors explained it in subtle, diffident language, it was the natural outcome of the present weakness of American motherhood that caused it. So that's the sticks. Whether it was "that" "crooked" woman or any other Joan of Arc in the world the sticks, to a last man or woman, would come out to vote against a woman. Any man and I mean any man could have run against Donald Trump and won. Are you kidding? All those bankruptcies! Wow! But that was something we forget about. Even the FBI got involved. All men! There was no logical reason for it, and I firmly believe that they knew it was exactly the right time. Hillary's campaign would have tanked if it had not been for the Obamas. But it was just enough to make the difference. Trump fear was a big reason. People got scared. Comey got scared. The hillbillies got scared. On the positive side, half of the hillbillies won't come out to vote again for another twenty years.

But I think it is time that this subject should enter the national discussion to a degree that it deserves. Quite a few women are around and they are American, too. But Hillary has lost so it'll get buried because Donald will shake a stick at it the same as Donald will shake a stick at discussion about the fact that there are too many guns around. Women with the looks, the figure, the style who have been lucky and willing to appear relatively naked in magazines will not push it because it is "nasty". And "nasty" women are nasty. Nobody likes them; they don't get along. Curiously, the same phenomenon makes it hard for women, even the ones who have lost children to gun violence, to take up that subject with their husbands. They are afraid. It is nasty.

Hillary was abandoned by the very women—and men, too–who stand to lose the most from a Trump presidency. The thought of Donald Trump calling them nasty was too much for them. The anxiety that drives them speaks as badly for them as it does for Donald Trump, the bully.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Redneck Ops

So Yeah

One thing about a redneck, at least this redneck, whom my wife married thirty years ago by mistake, they want to do all the stuff, wreck things build things etc., but they also want to die of natural causes in bed at home. The story of the life of a redneck is about strong forces in opposition. I have made seventy years old, so in a world of confusion and general upset, I think about that a lot. A redneck has to stay alive to be a good redneck. There is no such thing as a dead redneck. Consequently, there is a philosophic challenge to being a redneck. For instance, say you like working on cars, it is redneck to work on cars, and one way or another in consequence of need or enthusiasm, you end up working under cars without the wheels on more than you'd like, that is a challenge to staying alive. It is a challenge to staying redneck. Therefore, it is worth thinking about. Did Solomon think about it?  I guess not. But Solomon was a despot, and a redneck is a freedom loving man; the one thinks about this, the other about that. On the other hand, though Solomon wouldn't know a cam from a crank, he might know his dromedaries.

To put it in a philosophic framework, your redneck, when he or she--because nowadays we have redneck girls--a friend of mine was bragging to me about his gearhead daughter the other day, she is a carting champ and he is proud of her--when he or she arrives at a purple dot day, such as when he reaches seventy, he wants to continue on to the next purple dot day, such as when his eighteenth grand kid will be born. And so on. And he ain't gonna do that if he is crushed one lazy afternoon under a two ton vehicle.

I think it is philosophic and well worth thinking about, and I have thought about it a lot over the years. How can I jack that thing up so I can get out that nasty assed leaky gas tank without the car falling on me?  You've got Descartes and Wittgenstein and Spinoza, Plato and Aristotle, but you've also got to jack that car up and muscle out that freakin gas tank. Sorry!  That's the real world.

For what it is worth to all you gearheads, garden variety mechanics, shade-tree bullshit artists, this is the system I have worked out.

First off, if you can leave the wheels on, do so. That is nice, and there is a lot of work you can do on a car with the wheels on. Some people even build platforms with raised chocks, like aircraft chocks, made from sturdy two-by-sixes, to lower the wheels onto. With handbrake on and engine in gear, the vehicle is not going anywhere.

For a long time I liked the idea of cinder blocks. You set them up as you would if you were building a wall. They are supposed to bear the weight of a wall, that is what they make them for. The compression strength of a cinder block is 1900psi. That means that if you put it down holes up, as you would if you were building a wall, and put a sturdy board over it and 2 two-by-fours all common sense would seem to indicate that it wouldn't crush under the weight of a common automobile and certainly not under my 3,000 pound Focus. I wouldn't prop up a cement truck or a six-wheel Silverado or an F-350 that way, though. So it depends on what you are planning on propping up.

But gearheads warn about cinder blocks. They crush. Apply any lateral force and they may tip and crush. If you are banging on and manhandling an exhaust system, what you will be applying is lateral force. But I like the way they set up. They make a solid base on any surface. Since I don't have a cement driveway, I have a packed-down gravel driveway, I cut 3 foot by 2 foot squares of 3/4in plywood to set the blocks on, and a board and two 2 bys and I made a slotted 2 by to prevent crushing the door sills on the vehicle. I think that would be fine for jobs when you don't work underneath. You do most jobs from the side. The gas tank or filter you have to work underneath. They are buried somewhere in the middle of everything. You've got the tires off, and throw them underneath, too, and if worst comes to worst, you won't be under it, and you'll have a good place to catch and jack it up again.

Even if the tires are on, cars nowadays don't tend to have much clearance. Even the skinniest person I know can't crawl under my Subie or my Focus. You have to jack it up and if either of them did fall, it could hurt. The Subie has about 6" clearance. You might not die right away. If nobody knows you are under there, a redneck somewhere in the back 40, you could be in for a long stay, and then die slowly. You might have awhile to say your prayers.

Given the gravity of the possibilities, you might do some thinking about it. Garages have lifts, and the contractors build them under rules. Back yard mechanics have to think about it because they will normally end up protecting themselves. If they have a friend who shares their interest, that is always good. I have found friends are helpful to a point, and then, since the vehicle doesn't belong to them, they would after awhile rather depart. Even professional mechanics each have their own harrowing stories. Every so often in rural Maine somebody gets in a bind that way. The wifes go out and buy six ton jack stands and three ton jacks. The stupid redneck they married is always under the fucking beast tinkering on something.

When you put this problem to them, no matter how enthusiastic they are, every mechanic will say, "So yeah. It can get bad."  The "so yeah" is pregnant with a thousand possibilities. "Well, I tend to get them on the jack stands, and I kick them and shove on the car enthusiastically, then if it doesn't seem to bother, I take off the tires and get to work."   "So yeah", don't use cinder blocks.

Here is my method, and after seventy years I am still alive. First of all, you can't tell me not to crawl under a car, I am gonna do it as long as I figure the odds are in my favor because I am too cheap to pay the friendly neighborhood mechanic, who isn't too bright anyway; and whether he'll fix my car is debatable. But I look at the situation, whether tires are on or off, wonder if I scream "Help" will it mean anything to an uncaring world, or whatever. So yeah, this is what I do. Get a nice heavy duty jack. I spent a little extra for mine. I didn't buy the rock bottom el-cheapo version. Find good solid jack points. The owners manual will help you some, for the rest there is always common sense. The oil pan, for instance, does not make a good jack point. But any chassis part does. So find a good, solid chassis part, which I hope isn't bedeviled by body rot. I once put a hole through the floor of an Oldsmobile, thereby ending its practical life. But it had an extreme case of body rot anyway, and it was on its last days. Luckily when the jack went through I wasn't underneath, though I was in a seriously bad and reckless mood at the time, having observed that the Olds, which still ran fine, probably would never pass another inspection. It was a '96, and I had driven it for the better part of ten years and now was the end of a good thing. (Great in the snow.)

After jacking her up, you can place the jack stands in a good solid place where they won't slip off. The place I like to use is where the owners manual tells you to put the jack when you are changing a tire. But that isn't all I do. Then beside the jack stands I put a cinder block and load 2 bys till they reach within a quarter inch or so the height of the jack stands. I figure if the jack stands wobble and shift, the car will fall on the cinder block and that will hold it long enough for me to squirm out. I am a great believer in backing up. If one thing suddenly doesn't work out, perhaps the other one will. I am convinced that when I do it this way the car won't fall on top of me. You can't tell me otherwise but I know it is still a theory and though it has worked for me since I first started banging on cars fifty years ago, it may not work for me tomorrow. That's the way it is. It is true philosophy. Sometimes people say, "Well, as a rule."  Meaning, though it has worked a thousand times there is no definite proof that it will work the one-thousand and first time.

So yeah, you get into these situations. A nut is seriously stuck. You put a pipe on a breaker bar, but you can't swing it because damned if the jack stand is in the way, and you are not in a good mood and maybe the car stopped suddenly on a little hill. It's these details that make the difference on that first time after the thousand. So yeah. When a neighbor met his maker he was sitting up under it, and the car crushed down on him, bending his body over like a pretzel. I hope that he didn't suffer for very long.

So yeah, think about your jack stands every now and then.  When you get too old to wiggle around under cars, then metaphysics.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Trumpy the Pig at the Bazaar

A funny thing happened on the way to the bazaar: Trumpy the Pig quit his birther notion, blaming it on Hillary. Everybody is in an uproar, but facts aren't what this election is about. It is about an invasion of black and brown people, a funny religion, a wall and terror. The only way to kill Trumpy's terror is to create a greater terror. Okay, let's take a look at Trumpy himself.

His twisted message is about the superiority of white America. Everybody knows, says the message, that this colored, big-eared guy who has been president for forever isn't worth much. He is a stooge of the funny religion and dark countries. Look at Cuba! It makes you think, don't it? Putin is a better leader than he is. Trumpy no longer cares if the press is following him. He can leave them totally out of the picture, slime through the debates with outrageous lies and he can still win the election. He can say anything he wants. He might even skip a debate or two because why bother, there is no advantage to it. He builds his popularity around machismo, which appeals to American Patriarchy. It is hard to battle because it is all state-of-mind. Besides, "Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it." It is a fearful tale of a solitary hero.

I wish I could understand where he got the idea of making his corps fear. But then, that's what a bully does. It comes naturally. He often doesn't seem that much in tune. But he must be, right?

I have always thought racism was fundamental to the American temper. They go along against it, but then, you know… And right now a great majority of Americans,–this has surprised me, the number, I knew it was there but the number–, though the minority may plead otherwise, fear that America will take on the look of a third world country. It's appearance will be multi-racial, there will be a peasantry from Mexico or anywhere, and they will fuck up the old white bloodlines, and they will despoil white American maidenhood, and that is more than many Americans can handle. Secretly they want a white despot like Putin who won't allow such a thing to happen.

(The young folks who run the media are hiding this "trend" from themselves. They avoid discussing it, even the black youngsters who absolutely should. Liberals think it is too odious to talk about. They cringe, avoid it. When Trumpy called Marco Rubio "Sonny" or "boy" or whatever it was, I knew.)

And that's how Trumpy will present himself. He may veil the terms, but they must be clear enough for his corps to know. His philosophy is a dumb, playground mixture of Norman Vincent Peale and the KKK. It is spur of the moment philosophy. Maybe he will say: I don't think I can build a wall, Mexico won't pay for it. And that will be okay because at least he tried. Is it his fault that Mexico won't cooperate like it should? And besides, the fix is in. Brown and Black people have done it again. Maybe we should invade. With these new generals we will be able to. "I alone can fix it." And this will solve the problem of rapist brown people from Mexico. You don't have to be clairvoyant to figure it out.

Now what will he do with the debates? Will he decide to avoid them because how can the coverage be fair? They will check his facts but not Hillary's facts; they will rig the debates against him. How can he win a debate in such an unfair system? Why don't they check Hillary's facts? Well they don't, and our hero is getting beaten by an unfair system. This is what I mean by state-of-mind. Trumpy the Pig preys on it.

One woman I work with is absolutely convinced that Hillary's people will organize busloads of "blacks" and they will invade the polling stations, they will come up even to her own little town and they will vote for Hillary again and again and nobody will know about it, and because the system is rigged, nobody will stop them. She can't be talked out of this belief. I laugh at her and the only way I have been able to connect with her in any way is by suggesting that maybe she ought to go someplace quiet and sit down and figure out how that would happen. She says she did that and now she has even better ideas about how the system will do it. So her hero, the hero of the people, Donald Trump, will fall by treachery.

Also, the server has the mythic power over her like Pandora's box from which great evils will pop out. They will pop out of this server and they will threaten her family, her children and she can no longer feel safe. I am afraid to ask her what she thinks Google is. Maybe she should ask the FBI. Nor do I think her ideas are that unusual.

Now the birther issue comes up. It is more of the same. That won't stop. The thought has always occurred to me that Trumpy the Pig DOES NOT WANT THE JOB. He'd much rather dick around showing people his properties. I must be missing something. That is another legend of the America temper: the job seeks you. Soon he will be forced to stop dicking around with his properties and take on the job that the American people have thrust upon him.

You can theorize all day. Trumpy is definitely a noble patriarch, and Hillary is the little woman. Oh come on, how can the little woman be President? I mean really.

Another good question: how can Mike Pense, who has seemed to me reasonable, except for the mild stench of evangelical racism he hides, stomach hanging around with that nut. And to think it is only gonna get worse. But Trumpy has been blunt about abortion and the Supreme Court. And it goes with his general racism that he doesn't like gays. If you are Evangelical, there's nothing more you need to know.

There is the possibility that Trumpy is an all right guy, he is just losing his mind.

Scared yet? There's more.

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Monday, September 12, 2016

More Trumpy the Pig

Liberal thinking journalists are by nature cowards. They have never been friends of Democracy. One thing about Rush, who claims he is a Conservative, he is not a coward. If he were in Russia, he wouldn't shut his mouth. Of course, in Putin's Russia he would have been rounded up and sent to Siberia. A big mouth conservative Marxist? I don't think so. Rush, who is up and down on Trumpy the Pig, depending on what Trumpy has done in the last few hours, has moderated in the last few years. Maybe I have been lucky because when I end up listening to him once in a while when there is nothing else on the radio, he has seemed less excitable. But there are moderates in the media, and the moderates, who play with celebrities on morning television, tell you Trumpy is a tough interview. They make up all sorts of involved, inaccurate analogies. They pride themselves in their conciliatory lack of excitability. Why don't they admit it? Trumpy is not a tough interview. He is like a bully on the playground whom these press people are afraid of. Point out to Trumpy that Putin is a despot and all the guys in the Kremlin were despots. And then call him Trumpy and laugh at him. I'm sure they will never do that because they're cowards. Besides Trumpism is a state-of-mind and it has nothing to do with facts. What this election will come down to is if America is ready to break into American patriarchy and elect a woman. It won't be the economy, it won't be the server, the illegals, brown or black, it won't be Russia or ISIS, it won't be the KKK, it will be if America is ready to move on with gender.

Here's how you deal with Trumpy. First of all, you put a hard question to him, like all simple, unthinking people, his face gets red. His body language toughens. DO NOT CONTRADICT! Even while Matt Lauer was glad-handing him in such an obvious way, Trumpy's face was turning a ghastly shade of red, and I believe he was sweating. (Why did not anyone notice?) I for one would have given anything to have anybody remind him, "Trumpy, Putin is a despot. All those guys in the Kremlin were despots and before that they had Tsars. They are a sorry bunch." (Could it be the "moderate" press secretly loves a despot?) But there he was, red-faced, packing, and glad-handed.

One good Trumpy trick is to snarl and turn back on you, "Want me to tell you what Obama does?" (That may have been a key moment in the evening, maybe in the election. Lauer seemed to blanch and he continued on. Was it a worry about time or just plain fear?) And of course if you have any courage at all you immediately say "yes". That is the oldest playground trick in the world. "You know what YOU do?" It is sheer intimidation. Immediately putting the reasonable person on the defensive. "Say, 'Okay, tell me,'" and then the bully will ahem and haw, bring up some totally ridiculous impressions without any factual truth, they will sweat, and bluster and look ridiculous. It was like on the playground, there were the smart kids and then there was the bully. The smart kids were easily intimidated, and they rarely rose to the occasion because they didn't want to get slammed. Don't forget, Trumpy the Pig is packing. I wonder if he is REALLY packing, like right now? But Matt was probably worried about losing his job. The bully always knows who can be bought and sold and who can be bent down. Talk about pay for play! It has nothing to do with factual truth. It is more about after the election. Anybody who would like to buy real estate from that guy, good luck.

I could go on and on. Why don't they ask him how he plans to deport millions of people? Why don't they insist that he answer? Why don't they threaten and bully an answer out of him? How do you do it in a "nice way"? Are these people who are about to be deported going to run to Trumpy the Pig and turn themselves in? What are these safe havens? Who is going to be deported? What does it all mean? Meanwhile, what happens to big data, what happens to my cell phone and my server, and do I get deported when I will tell you to your face you are Trumpy the Pig and a big, fat hoot. He has to answer these questions. On the other hand the press has no problem dealing with Hillary. They put up all sorts of excuses why they are being unfair to her, why they are refusing to move on, though she has given the same answer to the same questions for fifteen months now and nobody has been able to prove anything. Of course they don't have a problem, she is a woman and women are not bullies. Even though the press may be acting like assholes, they are not going to lose their jobs. But Trumpy is gonna get you. I wonder how many people he has ruined? We will never know.

What kind of a man would go out in public and act that weird? When Trumpy came to Maine he carried on about the immigrants at length, not knowing a single thing about them, not knowing a single one of them, but in terms of the most absurd bluster. (I might add the Maine press was strangely silent. But this is Maine, which is a foreign country. Intelligent people want out of Maine as soon as they can walk. Besides, nobody reads Maine newspapers any more. They are not worth paying for.) Trumpy wandered on stage as if he had just woken up from a long sleep. He looked sleepy. This is too weird. Does he sleep all day on his plane while he is wandering around? Does he take pills? What do we know about this guy? What is he going to tell Dr Oz? The press is afraid to tell you anything or to find anything out. I doubt he had any idea what he was gonna say. It was off the wall and off the cuff. But bullies are like that. They step on your toes, they get state-of-mind. Facts are meaningless. But he looked lousy. I would be afraid, if I ever had a chance to interview him, which why shouldn't I?, I am a blogger and I bet there are a thousand of us on Quora alone or Reddit who would love to get in there and direct toward him a few questions the moderate press will NEVER put to him, I would be afraid that if I asked him where he got his information about Putin and modern day Russia that if he answered at all, he might have a heart attack. In Europe the intellectuals would have burned, excoriated, trivialized Trumpy the Pig into obscurity forever for remarks like that. But in America the intellectuals, except us bloggers, are afraid of their own shadows. But Trumpy knows perfectly that in America he doesn't need factual answers and he doesn't really care about factual answers anyway; all he has to do is go to Twitter and bluster, and his wife blusters, she's so empty headed she can't make up 140 characters of her own to bluster with, and so do his kids, who are good kids, loyal to Papa. But can you win an election via Twitter? That would be a first.

Trumpy is so easy to prick holes in. The hot air seeps out, the bluster disappears. Another bullying trick. When he is alone with you and nobody else is around, he'll almost act rational. Oh, man did he ever suck up Katie Tur one day! He did the same thing to Megyn Kelley, who has gone south since. Actually, a pig can be sweet even. Just ask any farmer. Get him alone. Incidentally, this all cuts across party lines. There are Republicans who are as afraid of him as there are Democrats. I am sure, if Hillary wins, after the election, the Republicans will have plenty to say about their courage in standing up to him. The only people I know of who are not afraid of him are Hillary and Bill. Trumpy says he is studying to prepare himself. Duh! Good luck. One thing about the Clintons is that when faced by endless advertisements, stupid glossing over, inaccurate data, and shilly-shallying journalists, they seem to rise. They don't fall. They seem inspired. It is a gift God gives to some people.

I have for a long time felt that America was ripe for a despotism. It can happen really fast, you know, and I no longer think that America has the strength to fight it off. These may be historic times. It will be interesting to find out who can take the heat, who will end up defending American democracy. And who will be sucked under. Name me one person who will say "No!" When you see somebody strangling the cat, you say, "Stop. You're strangling the cat." They may say, "Oh, he has a bad foot anyway." That doesn't change anything.

************

(Oh, incidentally, this is all a joke. Just being sarcastic. What's the matter? I can't be sarcastic?)

LONG LIVE CELL PHONES, SERVERS AND BIG DATA! I hope that after Hillary quits having to answer to the science-and-technology haters, she gets her own server again. Set one up, and it sure does work slick. Anybody who can't pair a bluetooth headphone to their iPhone is truly a "deplorable". I mean it. There seem to be plenty of them around. More than half.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Trumpy the Pig

Do old men naturally evolve to thinking about politics? No. ISIS is bad but when ISIS is finished there will be another. When nervous fringers see a monument in Trumpy, I see a pathetic overweight carpetbagger with a big jet. He loves that jet. I think that he has been searching all his life for a job that would profit as he rode around in it. He wears a lot of hats, just ask him. I have known rich people like that. He's a simple hard-working rich guy who loves whatever he can put his name on. I wonder if he would actually live in the White House. And if he didn't, what would that mean? Maybe he and wife would change the name. It scares me to think how he might change the decor. Motel modern, like Trump towers? I have never observed a public figure I have thought of more scornfully. How can stupidity be trumped? Why should an old man like myself care? I'll be dead soon, and I have a beautiful late summer evening to listen to. Besides, this is only the beginning. You can't get rid of pigs once they get loose.

But I am thinking about politics. Old men must naturally evolve to thinking. What else can they do? Besides, what's Trumpy the pig gonna do about me? He says he's packing. Kill me? I'm gonna be dead in a few years anyway. What's the difference a few years more or less. But is there anything about politics that is worth thinking about? That is the question. You see one thing, then it disappears, then you see it again maybe a generation or less later. What's the sense in thinking about comes and goes? But a man from India, I think, years ago, once reminded me that there is nothing else than politics worth thinking about, whether it comes and goes or not. Still it is hard. If somebody took upon himself to call me a bigot, for instance, I would burst out laughing. If somebody tried to prosecute me for some hypothesis by means of an email or series of emails stolen from my personal server by a criminal, I would burst out laughing. Some things you have to do, though the doing may seem absurd, like thinking about politics, or they don't get done. Not doing sometimes creates worse problems. Trumpy the pig claims he has common sense. Oh brother!

I don't know enough about American History to say definitely that the present time is different, but I honestly want to say that anyway. Our Maine governor, Paul LePage who is a racist, he happens to hate brown and black people, made a recent unfortunate phone call which is hard to think about it is so ridiculous. I theorize that he is suffering from a substance abuse problem. Trump is a teetotaler I have heard, but you can't tell me that. I feel like an alien from a lost planet. How can you explain this, which makes no sense? My wife and I kid each other about the spaceship from the home planet suddenly appearing to return us back. At any rate, something is happening, and it is happening in front of us. Think of it, this is history! How are the historians of the future going to explain Trumpy? As they have Huey Long or Ronald Reagan or Theodore Roosevelt? But he is not like anybody I can think of. He is Trumpy the pig.

I wonder if Trumpy's game isn't divide and conquer. It wouldn't be planned out, by accident, say. That has been my fear for a long time, that somebody would get elected that nobody likes. LePage never figured it out, but that's how it turned out. Hardly anybody likes him but nobody else could get enough votes to defeat him. We Mainers have especial experience with this: LePage's governorship has been a long story of debacles, fanning fires that didn't need fanning, loud, well publicized self-destructiveness. And now the true fringe racism is revealed. And it is "deplorable", as Hillary says. (I would used a different word: sucks, shits, stinks come immediately to mind.) What did Donald Trump accomplish by calling Hillary a bigot the other day? Every day there is some blatant brush fire started for no particular reason.

So I do carry on thinking about the "deplorable" and the "deplorables". Will politics come down to college grads versus non-college grads, or some other arbitrary fragmentation? In high school in the sixties I remember my fellow mates who didn't know who the vice president was. But they didn't know who the vice president of anything was, and I liked them nevertheless. Today I know people who rant about computers and servers and big data which they believe is the cause of all this commotion. Get rid of big data and everything wrong will right itself again. I don't agree with them, but I don't dislike them. Hillary is the devil in the computer box, she threatens children and families. Moms and Dads cannot sleep at night thinking about it. There are many such people and everyone has their own especial rant. My rant is simply this: how could a man with as many bankruptcies behind him as Trumpy the pig run for president of the US? Why wouldn't he hide his head in shame? How dumb is that? You pay your bills. Why does that sound so strange?

LONG LIVE BIG DATA, CELL PHONES AND SERVERS AND THE INTERNET!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Another Country

Sometimes a story happens that is better than anything a scheming story teller could make up.  Maine is fertile ground for stories anyway, as it is a foreign country at the edge of America.  I wonder if our Governor, Paul LePage, ever thought about building a wall along the New Hampshire border, as his friend Donald Trump has promised to build along the Mexican border.  The Maine wall would keep out the black drug dealers from Connecticut and New York named "D-Money, Smoothie, and Shifty" who besides doing their evil business impregnate white girls.  Just a suggestion. Might try the Canadian border later.

Mainers are softies most of the time, but gun ownership and matters about race, they tend to brick.  One day two "persons of color" not named D-Money or Shifty attended a town meeting held in North Berwick in which the Gov happened to be present. These two young men, whose presence at a town meeting in Maine caused issues aside from the story, had made a bet about which would succeed in getting under the Gov's skin most successfully.  This, of course, is easy, as he always looks constipated and he is incredibly thin-skinned.  Actually it didn't take much.  One of the young men Andrew Ritchie, a vacationer in Maine, asked the Gov: "Given the rhetoric you put out there about people of color in Maine, calling them drug dealers, etc., how can I bring a company here given the toxic environment you create?"  A succinct question, Mainers are succinct, but I don't think he made it to the end. Questions about bear baiting came up suddenly--a comic Maine interlude.

At that point one thing led to another. The Governor rewarded us with a voice mail to Representative Gattine which he was proud enough of to suggest publishing in the papers. Apparently nobody sees anything wrong with the threatening comments made afterwards.  And so on.  There was a flap and furor, but Maine is to this day a rural state.  The smart kids who are able to get an education disappear.  I stay because I love the big woods.  Any wise young person who has made an investment in an education, couldn't stay.  They may love the big woods but they couldn't stay for that reason.  So they leave, and guess who stays. Other people have curious, hard to understand reasons for moving to Maine and staying in the woods. They spend most of their time slightly batty.

The point is that nobody is enough in touch to feel any particular shame.  I find that troubling. The rest doesn't bother me. Oh sure, Paul LePage is crazy, gone south, a racist and the rest, besides the unhealthy appearance, gravelly voice and thin skin.  Like his friend Donald Trump the Governor has no problems with anger and he doesn't drink or abuse substances in fact he is fine. That's his opinion.  He cares about the State of Maine and the 95% of white people in it.  That he doesn't act exactly right is because he "has the sin that he is bluntly honest" like his wife says.  You can feel that your guns are safe and as long as he is governor the cops will go after D-Money and not the white boy on the corner who has been dealing drugs in the neighborhood for years.  (White boys get away with it.  All that stuff comes from the top.)

Hell, I was raised in a family of construction workers.  They didn't have any problems either. They'll tell you that any time. But you get inured to it after awhile.  I hope eventually to take a vacation and spend a few weeks in the Allagash.  As Andrew Ritchie says: “There’s also this kind of like performance element that appeals to me as a comedian, that you can walk up and - LePage is kind of a thin-skinned angry man that has these horrible values. Trying to get under the skin of this thin-skinned man in this very public space is just hilarious.”  I agree, it is hilarious.  But to a point, and then it is not hilarious. Mainers must like to suffer.



Saturday, August 27, 2016

Email Un-privacy

I have rambled on and on about the Internet for many years now. I am often astonished at who gets burned. But they inspire me to continue to wonder why. I attribute to them too much innocence and enthusiasm. But some of the people who get burned are not young any more. And when they get burned and it is their fault, I often feel as sympathetic as I do when it is not their fault. People want to use their Blackberries and iPhones in peace. I don't blame them. I believe they have a right to think that the thoughts in their emails belong to themselves and not the whole world. When you write an email to a friend that perhaps is unguarded, that does not mean you are a criminal. If you write an unguarded email to an enemy, it can mean you are a criminal. If you write a sincere email to a beloved family member about a forthcoming baby, you are not a criminal, and this email goes with sacred rights, and it should not be interfered with or bandied about in the public for any reason. This is not complicated, but it also may be at times complicated and it may get mixed up.

If you happen to have a geek in the house or you are rich enough to hire one, they can build a home server, and you will be amazed at the ease of use, dependability, and at least for me, the pleasure of working on a machine with NO ADS AT ALL and no interference. I can sit in my rocking chair and think for hours: no distractions.

A home server never goes down; it is open for business 24/7. You are free of Google. Your backups are simple to do. I back up to another disk and put the disk into a locked safe. And a home server if built by someone who knows what they are doing is surprisingly hard to break into. Open BSD is hard to crack. My favorite, Debian, is hard to crack. You hear of intrusions on Windows every day, but I can't remember the last time I heard that Debian was cracked. But Debian has been so dependable, I am out of the loop that way. When I don't hear about it, I tend not to go looking.

That backup disk is MY PRIVATE PROPERTY. What there is on that disk that I do not want anybody on earth to see I think I can protect for awhile, even if it is illegal. I do not have any interests that are illegal. I can run this server and not be a criminal. When I get emails, they should be private. I can delete them at any time. A home server and anything on it should be my property to do with whatever I want. It should be mine just like my house is mine. A private email should be a private email. If you break in, and steal the email, you should be a criminal. If they are stolen, they should not be admissible as evidence in court. If you harass or bully a person with them, no matter where you get them, whether stolen or dropped on you from the FBI, you should be treated like a criminal.

If you steal them, you should be prosecuted and locked up. Since that probably won't happen very often, famous people should try to find a way around this problem. Nobody uses the phones anymore. They use a digital file. Since digital files get no protection from the law, you have to protect your digital files yourself. The only way to protect your digital files is to delete them or put them in a memory somewhere locked up. Either that or write only what you want the world to see. Transmit only what you want the whole world to see. This, of course, is a terrible limitation. But there is no protection for you anywhere. The law may need a generation or two to catch up. In the meantime, like it or not, the private email belongs to everyone.

Understand! There is no such thing as a private email! any email belongs to everyone. They can be employed for all kinds of murky purposes. But they are not proof of anything. As evidence for anything they are laughable. Journalists will use them to theorize over all sorts of things. I suppose hypotheses and theories are their paycheck. What can you do?

Famous people listen:
1. Do not leave your baby pictures online. Take them off-line and put them in a memory media, and lock them up somewhere. Those beautiful pictures of your wife or husband, ditto.
2. Love letters to your recent flame, hide them immediately. (Don't tell me you don't want to do it that way.) Memos to your children, take them off-line as soon as they show up.
3. If you are famous and in the public way, government won't help you. But they are slowly beginning  to try. Huge computer systems are hard to defend and I believe that government is beginning to realize that something is wrong. It is embarrassing and troubling to the average human being to wander rapaciously through another person's emails in order to convict her of a hypothesis.
4. Julian Assange is a criminal.
5. If you don't pay attention, God help you.

I have given up. I am not going to write about this anymore. It is hopeless.

Julian Assange is a criminal.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Teflon

Besides being chock full of excellent weather, at least up Maine, this summer has been very interesting, and it is getting more and more interesting. Teflon is already insinuating that if he loses it will be because the election system is rigged. The upshot being, since he speaks for the people, the system is rigged against the people. The media also is rigged (biased or slanted) against himself, in fact, the media is the enemy. Uncovered facts continue to swirl: an underworld of political assassinations by the Clintons; Hillary's low energy and bad health: seizure medication. Fame and stolen emails!

How can she possibly bear up to the struggle with ISIS? At the same time Teflon doesn't look well at all. He must be drinking. His face looks reddish and bloated. It can't be the tanning.  When he was here in Maine, he looked weary, looked wiped out. Has anybody noticed? What will happen if say with 50 days to election, facing an historic landslide loss, he just decides to skip it and go on a long vacation? Has anybody thought about that? Recently he has looked increasingly unhappy.

Teflon has been crunched by wrenching, negative biographies which tell the tale of his unsavory family history and numerous bankruptcies. (How is he going to get around the bankruptcies? This seems so dumb to me, I don't know where to start.) I guess if you could pull out the family jet and do enough low level buzzing he might get by. He seems to love airplanes, even ones that he hasn't seen. So long as he doesn't open his mouth.

Is this a joke? How can anyone imagine that he can act like a real estate salesman and become President? He must not have read any American history at all. How many Americans do you know who can act the way Teflon does and not feel embarrassed with themselves?

For a long time I have thought that it wouldn't take much to curtail American Democracy. Though hopefully not kill it. And seriously, Donald Trump is a lightweight. He is living proof that you don't have to be very smart to make a lot of money. You just have to want to make a lot of money at all costs. Also, he is proof of the respect for wealth that is welded into the American character. Americans love wealth and the do whatever it takes attitude that comes with it has never been a drawback. I know Americans are not big on morals. Look at the Kennedy's Papa. The question has come up: why bother to vote at all? And if that does happen, people stay home, it should work more in favor of Hillary because there are more Democrats around.

All comparisons of Teflon with Ronald Reagan or Teddy Roosevelt are ridiculous and odious. Anyone who says that can't be serious.

I no longer think that America has the will to fight off an attack from a serious political. I might be exaggerating. What disturbs me is the fact that who Teflon attracts aren't interested in reality, they care about a state of mind. It isn't so much Trump as the world he appeals to. But there aren't enough of them. How can there be enough of them? Nobody likes Hillary but nobody likes Donald either. You can check his facts all you want, he lies and exaggerates impetuously, splendidly in fact, but the falseness of anything he says is meaningless to the people he appeals to. His lies are not debatable.

Bigotry, for example, is not about reason. You can be a bigot, make a bigoted statement and back off and that makes you not a bigot? You can be unreasonable and back off and then be reasonable again? Of course, if it does not disturb your state of mind.

Apparently, you can say anything you want so long as you back off on it.

Even his gestures are strange. He is forever hanging his right hand in the air with thumb and forefinger together. Then he'll almost turn his back to the crowd, as if in contempt, his tongue will flicker, wiping his lips, and then his eyes will turn back with an eerie glare like a pitcher about to go head hunting. He has hired a devil's crew to surround himself with. They are the worst lush face bastards I ever saw. I'm sure they'll be plenty of drinking in the Trump campaign. I'm sure there has been plenty already. Would you ever for any amount of money want anything to do with them? I would not.

But Teflon has managed to tap into something different, I honestly don't know what it is. I haven't read enough American history to be able to recognize it. Maybe it is a new territory. Before Teflon found it, I think I suspected there was something there, but I never imagined it could be that crude. It reminds me of an ignorance that is almost medieval. Back in a time when nobody knew how to read or write. Of course millions of Americans are not that bright, or that well-informed. But the greater millions, I trust, are very well-informed, though there are only a few who know everything. That is not anything new. Ignorance is not new.

Whatever this is, hardly anybody has managed to understand it. The media, (that means everybody, not just NBC or CBS or Fox), is for the most part as befuddled as I am or anyone else. What is it? Where did all the exaggeration come from? Rush made millions exaggerating the decline of America. He hit on the flea in the ointment. But I bet you anything he wouldn't be able to define this other thing either. Many times I have listened to him lately seeming confused about where the damned flea is that he has depended on for so many years. He blathers, goes on sudden breaks. I think that he is wondering where to direct his appeals for money now there is a new kid emerging.

I am old and retired and just getting by. But I don't worry about myself as much as I worry about the young folks working OT, husband-and-wife, never seeing each other with the kids, and still just barely making it. Any possibility of self improvement is ridiculous. It is a tiresome life. Which, Hillary or Donald, will somehow figure out how to alleviate this dilemma? Probably neither. But I doubt that Teflon, an expert on bankruptcy, will ever attach himself to this bitter problem or any other.

Then put him next to the button! It has been a long time since anybody has thought about that, the most important fact of modern life, the nuke.

I wish I could remember a time to remember that was close to being similar. People who urge you to remember are ignorant. There is no time like this to remember. It is different.


Friday, August 12, 2016

Real Time in the Mall

I have been dictating my journals into my iPhone for the last few days. I love the language that happens in the shopping mall. I have always loved the vernacular. It is democratic. It is a way to get at the democratic. Mall language is about buying things and invention. It is about pop up toasters, vacuum cleaners, dishwashers; it is about dirty laundry. It is about what people feel when they are trying to make do. When I dictate there is in the language THAT.

Mall language is nonpolitical. It is born out of necessity. It is the companion of silence, the language of people who speak little, who speak only when they must. When they speak, it is to make do, so they are quiet about it. Rarely in the shopping mall is there an uproar. Mall talk is the enemy of the bellicose. Even returns that are almost crazy, box gone, purchase unproven and disheveled are made without lament.

I spent several hours in the mall today. I have often wished that I could dictate into my iPhone in a quiet corner of sporting goods. But talking to yourself, even with an iPhone in your hand, does not seem like the right thing to do. Even in Maine Mall, for instance, where there is more bustle than the local Walmart on a weekday morning, a complaisant shell of privacy for dictating is nowhere to be found. People play with their computers in the coffee shop but they don't talk to them. That would be too weird. Even when sitting in my car making a note with Siri I have got peculiar glances. Earbud equipped geeks like me get the same disapproval bookish, intellectual people used to. If no BT, the wires are awkward. So I have to hide myself in my house to dictate and by then the freshness that I WANT is hard to find: memory is weak, the exact words befuddled.

In the mall today I was impressed by the silence. The mall is a great place to go to get silence. Notice how pragmatic bustle emphasizes silence. And in the language is humility and politeness. Remember there is as much evil in the mall as there is anyplace else. That's why the voices and language of the shopping mall appeal to me. The deal is a pressure of ego, deception and aggression. We mall shoppers are being led astray. We are being instructed to part with our money in order to buy things we probably don't need. Might use is different from need. We will discard these things whenever anything goes wrong with them, they cease to function for any reason, or something comes up that is perceived to be better. And yet we carry on with a soft language, and even seem to enjoy the experience. Some people obviously hate it; they stride rapidly and are anxious to get out. They are different. Most like it; they saunter leisurely. But all try to be polite, ingenuous, even though it is only an act.

What I am trying to get at is a sound. Though iPhone dictation is clumsy and difficult to work with, sometimes it allows me to get connected with that sound. Other people may not be able to tell the difference, but I can. The problem is the klutzy keyboard is still king; the desktop is still president. And it is not even close. The iPad also is a fight to write on, if you write every day and want to get somewhere. But mall talk, mall talk, I will get you with my iPhone!

But I believe the future is in the "smart" phone. I am determined to upgrade soon and my upgrade will be to a phone with almost the power of a laptop. I have a good collection of cargo pants and shorts to stow away connectors, earbuds, folding keyboard, a phone with a large screen, and that will one day be my desktop. Then I'll be able to carry my computer around and dictate notes on my universe in real time. I have always wanted to get deep but failed. Real time is close to deep.

The Pokemon connection in the Walmart was terrible. I ought to complain to the manager.


Monday, August 8, 2016

The Advantage of Earbuds

I have been playing with gadgets for a couple days. I have set up my iPhone on the Dell monitor. The monitor displays huge letters on the big space. I am preparing myself for when I am almost blind. With this set up I should be able to continue to write though almost blind. You can clearly parse the words; all the easier to pick out errors. And now I am dictating. It is an interesting experiment, but I think that my base model iPhone is too short on power to do the job consistently. I have to speak very slowly. The program gets hung up on grammar, and the vocabulary is limited. Also a corner of the screen tends to flicker when the iPhone is turned in landscape mode. Dictation is laggy, you have to speak very slowly. When, ceasing dictation, I pair up my Apple keyboard and wire my iPhone to the Dell monitor, that also is laggy. I intend to upgrade my iPhone soon. It is the direction I am going. But the iPhone comes nowhere near to being a desktop yet.

(By the way, you can use Emacs shortcuts in the app Plain Text. There are quite a few apps for writing on the iPhone. I pair Plain Text with Dropbox because Dropbox has never let me down in the five years or so I have been using it. But I am starting to use iCloud more and more. No particular reason.)

Very nice. Back to dictation. The number of characters that can be dictated at a time is limited. But with a more powerful iPhone I think dictation would be serviceable enough to write a major work with such as a novel. And you could write while moving around. Your basic writing machine would be in your pocket! Learn how to tell Siri to take a note, a name, a shopping list.

In order to enhance dictation I also purchased Bluetooth earphones. They weigh nothing. And they have range from the phone of perhaps 30 feet.

So there are three basic ways to write on your iPhone. You can dictate into the microphone in your earbuds. This way you can walk around and you don't need to stay right on top of your iPhone. You have to renew the done button after a short time or a certain number of characters, so you can't go very far away from it. Or you can dictate directly to the machine. In which case you have to carry it around. Or you can pair up your Bluetooth keyboard. Happy Hacker has recently brought out a Bluetooth keyboard. I don't know why the number of characters in dictation is so limited. Still each method has particular advantages. Unless you jailbreak there is no way to set up a mouse. You have to poke the phone to move the cursor. I don't see that as a deal breaker.

I personally like to use Dropbox. But there are other ways to go such as iCloud or directly to iPhone notes. I have done all of this blog by dictation. I notice that the sentences are shorter and inelegant. (Do you care?) I like the feeling of thinking and speaking. In my set up I have the monitor higher up than eye level. They say that is a good posture to think with. I need all of the help I can get. And I can walk around!

At first about six months ago when I began my career in dictation into my iPhone I never thought it would be worthwhile, or develop into something I could use for substantial writing. But the program has learned my voice and for the most part I can dictate for quite a while without having to go back and correct an error. Sometimes the program falters. It doesn't have a big vocabulary. Rebuke can come out as Reb Uker or delete as Del Eat. Sometimes you can go back and try to change it and the program will immediately change it back to something like deli eats, and so on. (You can change some tendencies in settings. For awhile the distinction between to and too was not accurately maintained. The program insisted on "to", but lately it has been doing better.) My personal style is uncomplicated; I blog as clearly and simply as I can for the few people left in the world who, suspicious of pictures, still love to read. The idea of dictation insists on brevity and simplicity.

When I dictate, I like how my sentences look and sound. I also like that when I dictate it is too much effort to figure out how to put bullshit so that it doesn't seem like bullshit.

Also, people you are not interested in talking to just plain hate people that have earbuds sticking out. It is a great advantage to wearing earbuds. God works in strange ways.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Crooked Hillary

I have been thinking a lot about crooked Hillary, monster, mass murderer, unwashed Hillary. This campaign season has been amusing and interesting more than normal. A lot of my thinking has been about the northern mountain woman I met at the dog shelter, although she did eventually admit that "she didn't like either of them". Each time she pronounced Hillary she bluntly used the epithet "Crooked". I thought she was hung up on the server. She seemed unclear what a server is.  I don't think she knew what a server is. When I said that there was nothing wrong with owning a server, that it was legal, she said, "What's wrong with doing it on the telephone?" I said, "Yes, but nobody does it that way anymore." Frustration and anger covered her face. For many millions of Americans computers are still evil. Computers are why nothing works anymore, why the children have become immoral, and so on. Much, if not everything, that is wrong with society can be attributed to the use of computers. Not only does Hillary use a BlackBerry, or whatever it is, so also does her buddy Obama, but Hillary owns a server and she runs it herself. But that wouldn't make her a monster would it?

I think the photo of Hillary in dark glasses holding up her BlackBerry is a reality problem for her. If Hillary were male, that photo would not have been mass-produced a million times in the media the way it was. The photo is very colorful, but it projects a shady image and adds to the "above the law" and the strange mass murderer insinuation that is going around about her and Bill. Many millions of Americans vigorously defend this insinuation with their above the law beliefs. All of this is so odd to me, and inexplicable, that it is hard for me to think about. But on the other hand it is also hard for me to ignore. How could it happen? When before have such extremes been matched? It is so completely unlike the American temper to hoot and call names and act this way.

I could provide another recital of Hillary and Bill's brilliant career but it has all been done a thousand times and doesn't need to be done again by a blogger. I could carry-on in wonder about Ken Starr, the Benghazi affair, and the recent server investigations, all of which cost the American public millions of dollars, and ended up with nothing. Miss Lewinsky was a great past time for a while. I guess that was one of Bill's errata but for some reason Hillary is involved in Bill's sexual peccadillos also. I guess I should try harder than I do to get excited about it. Some people are still riled up over it. But what on earth is this all about?

It's probably more simple than I think it is. Hillary is a woman. But Bill gets it too. Take away the ambition and the politics and you would have a family hardly different than the average on Main Street USA. Michelle Obama gets it, but not to the extent that Hillary does. The other simple possibility is that Hillary is always around to shoot arrows at. Nothing I can think of seems like enough except for the computer thing, which is a long shot. Can it be that there is a segment of American society that is so passed by that they don't even know what a server is, and this while information about it is in ads and on the media every hour of every day?

This idea seems far-fetched to put it mildly, but what else could be less far-fetched and seem mildly truthful? Probably the simplest thing of all: American patriarchy. That would help explain the mysteriousness that seems attached to Hillary. The language used to describe her seems so unruly that it must be something deep. American society is patriarchal. The media is obsessively patriarchal. Probably that is why the subject is rarely brought up or even suggested. Hillary also seems worried by it. Sometimes she makes statements about herself that seem unnecessarily negative. She rebukes herself, "I am not a natural politician." Meaning she is not a natural like Bill is. The recent "short circuit" statement was odd and unnecessary. But often times she speaks brilliantly with clarity, and she demonstrates a mind that has thoughtful depth to it.


I'd like to know if anybody can think of a person whose experience was deeper and more various. It is very interesting to observe how all her experience is played up as meaningless. Nobody seems to remember it. In the end this election will come down not to jobs, jobs, jobs or economy or immigration, it will come down to whether or not America is ready to put a dent in American Patriarchy.




Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Sidewalk Debate

crazyV2

On Bates Street beside Kennedy Park in Lewiston, Maine, in the shadow of Peter and Paul Church two old friends happened to meet as they proceeded in opposite directions. It was a tepid summer morning in Maine, sunny and clear. They talked about a character known to both of them, Pablo. You may observe Pablo at various times as he walks about town. He's the guy in the tan full-length dust jacket and fedora hat. Lots of people know him. I have known him for years.

Then the one fella said:


"Oh, that's Pablo, he wanted to sleep forever,
like most people do, tend to,
then everything changed.
He got in this battle with God."

Then says the other fella:


"They say he's crazy.
He likes sitting under trees,
and God made the trees,
and nobody said God was crazy,
since if He was, He wouldn't be perfect,
and how could God not be perfect,
therefore, he loves the trees.
He spent much time in the trees.
He seemed to get along, married,
made money, had interests, correctnesses.
Different maybe."

Then the debate goes on. One fella says one thing and the other says something else. They spoke in an halting way as if irresolute.


"But what does that mean? Tree hugging.
Why would he want to?
Keep balance, stay recognizable,
satisfy madnesses of curiosity:
stay sane. Isn't that struggle enough?
What happened between him and God?"

"He wanted to learn to whirl around like a dervish."

"Oh, what about God is for a man to make sense of?"

"He's the creator of the damned and the mad.
Figure that one out."

"Who would know more about it than Him?
Explain to me the wretched.
It's His creation. The old fables
claim He made them too.
He's perfect you know, infinitely good."

"Perfect! What does that mean?
Can't we talk about another word than perfect?
It might mean complete knowledge
whether of good or evil.
I know that word. An outsiders' word.
God, isolated among the Angels,
who are unable to understand Him,
might know enough about evil to avoid it.
Oh, in his glory he knows evil
but only as the outsider knows evil.
But how could that be perfect?
Sounds like ignorance."

"Is that what his battle was about?
Your tree hugger? That God must be ignorant
to have allowed evil in his creation."

"To a point. Everything with Pablo is to a point.
The keepers of the legends warned
that he was in company with the devil.
But he turned his back against them."

"Ceased going to church, I take it?"

"Dreamed about going to church, to a point.
Thought of it as a haven.
He wouldn't quit. He pondered it.
I think he'd prefer living unknown,
slipping between the garbage cans
than rattle his brains this way."

"Oh the answer is simple.
God created the damned and the good
to tell which was which."

(Why He couldn't have figured out some other
way to do it, hard to tell, in His perfect wisdom.
But I got the program and the backups,
witches, prophets, the box with the dragon,
computer parts, tin cans, sets of wheels.)

"Tell him to tighten up that screw!"

"Yeah. I'm goin home.
He ain't the only one
needs to tighten up them screws."

"Me too."

Thus they depart, two old friends talking about a third old friend, not present, and they wandered about their lives the same as all of us do.

Author: Paul Gigas

Created: 2016-08-02 Tue 08:53

Emacs 24.4.51.2 (Org mode 8.2.10)

Validate

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wake up!

Awake or asleep in front of the TV,
I am glad to ignore the evening news.
What is the precise point that signifies
whether awake or asleep?

How can you sleep in front of the evening news?
It seems tenuous as a fiction,
signifying indifference between the nightmare
awake and the nightmare asleep.

I nod off. The world will go its way
without my opinions. After the sleep
the garden I tend needs my help.
But hard to get up.

My rocking chair is now my chief influence.
But I launch myself, stagger the first few steps.
The atmosphere shifts about my sloping forearms.
It is a bent over shuffle.

Careful not to break anything,
I walk, as if on glass,
the bent shouldered caution of age,
for the glass may crack.

And when it busts you tumbledown,
tumbledown the vast underground,
a grim and grimy game. Or is it a dream?
Wake up! The legs strengthen as they go.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Swat Culture

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Cops-on-blacks has been in the underground for generations. I don’t know how anybody can possibly be surprised by it. Didn’t you know? How could you not know?

Being white I got away with a lot in the sixties and seventies. I mean a lot. No black kid would be still alive. Then, still alive, I got too busy to be an asshole. I almost forgot. Cops-on-blacks was there, I remembered, but nobody talked about it. When black friends and fellow workers talked about "not getting into trouble" they didn't mean with the other guys, although that was in the air too, righteous platoons or families on patrol, but I knew and everybody else knew that they were talking about the cops. I don't remember ever asking them how you get in trouble with the cops. I always thought about white gangs who "protected" certain neighborhoods. I had been lucky with them too, as I went around performing my various youthful errata. They seemed to insinuate that "getting in trouble" involved the cops more than anyone else. And further, it didn't take much. But I was trying to raise a family at that time, trying to make do, and that idea was too complicated for me to wrap my paltry brain around. I knew something must be happening. There were too many black dudes in jail. I had worked in the factories with black folks since I was old enough to work, and it seemed too strange. There were the drugs, but the black workers didn't seem any more interested in that than the white workers. They would seem all right, then they'd go away, disappear. I knew of white folks who went to jail too, but it had bothered me as being disproportionate to the number of blacks, out of kilter somehow. The black folks I knew at work seemed God fearing and too nice to get busted, and yet where did they go? All of this went underground; it was too complicated for anybody to talk about. Besides, who would want to anyway: they were taking jobs, and they were too willing to work, they liked getting paid in order to buy things, but they would not organize in a serious way.

So that's the story I knew from personal experience in my small world. I knew that I didn't want anybody in my family to get into trouble that way or put themselves in tight situations, and naturally, I'd persist in trying to explain that to them. I knew that I wouldn't want to be a black person in some of the neighborhoods I lived in. But I needed non-debatable proof. I needed more than my small world. Well here it is. It's on the Internet. Any reason anybody shouldn't believe a video taken from a cell phone?

There are numerous places you can go if you feel lacking in proof. My personal "favorite"; is here. I have spent hours thinking about that one and of course the shooter did eventually get charged with first degree murder. I am afraid to find out if the shooter is in jail. But there are others, one involving a man in a wheelchair armed with a knife who was shot to death by cop. That incident involved a white man. I don't see suicide by cop as being an excuse for anything unless cops have become involved in the suicide assistance business without my knowledge. Time is always on the side of authority. It is the bad guys who are pressed for time. The big rush astonishes me and I am nauseated to think about it.

It is important to remember that law enforcement is not the only occupation that is dangerous.

Now that the proof is out there, and obvious, where is the data? How many people, for instance, have got it this way? The fact of the matter is that nobody knows. I have seen various numbers for 2015 up to a thousand. Numerous cops have been killed, too, as we know very well. The numbers for 2015 seem less debatable—124. Lack of overall data on this subject is disturbing to me. You don't have to sit around very long to think of more subjects involving cops-on-blacks where data is scarce.

At any rate, whatever the final tally, that's a lot of dead people. If it had been a disease, it would have been a plague. Too many guns; too much secrecy. The Internet is making it harder and harder to avoid thinking about it. Eventually it has to become an issue people want to talk about every day. But then maybe not. Denial is a minor miracle. Even when denial is almost impossible without looking like a moron you can still do it. You just end up looking like everybody else. You'd never think that 28 dead children and school teachers could be cleaned up and shrouded as rapidly as they were. The attention span of the Internet is short. Soon this matter that happened in Dallas will get watered down like all the others, and the next one will happen, and maybe without the overwhelming evidence of somebody making a movie of it on their iPhone, although that debate point is running thin. After all, isn't it bad luck that there are people who have the cool to pull out their cell phones and take pictures of this bullshit while it is happening. How do they do it? It must be bad luck. There might not ever be another time. How many people are there like that in the world? What happens to them afterwards?

My fear is that the authorities will tighten up. Well, so we see the bomb toting robots and the armored troop carriers, the tanks, the NG. Maybe shut off the damned Internet that makes it so hard to sweep these situations under the rug. That would be useful. I am just cynical enough to think that this possibility is the most likely. Man, the toolmaker, has built most excellent robots and guns and bombs to solve these types of problems. Swat culture is bound to become more and more scientific. Swat culture is tough, in fact, it has become an institution. There is hardly any defense against it because it is pragmatic and there is always an excuse for the pragmatic. The Internet, on the other hand, is not an institution; its existence is a lot more delicate than most people think.

Hard to imagine is a "national discussion". The cops will complain that they are unsupported. They will complain how tough it is "out there". They will complain about Obama. About time they should be reminded that there are firemen and electric company workers out there risking their lives too. If the kitchen is too hot then get out. Much easier to imagine is that they will "suck it up" and send in the bots!