Well ... good news if true. But we're a long way from December's due date. https://issuesinsights.com/2020/11/12/look-closely-trump-still-has-a-good-shot-at-winning-reelection/
Thursday, November 12, 2020
Monday, November 09, 2020
Attorney Sidney Powell claims to have found 450,000 votes where the only mark was for "Joe Biden" for president. No other marks, no other candidates or offices chosen. Just Biden. Biden, Biden, Biden.... https://thepostmillennial.com/sydney-powell-claims-there-are-450-000-ballots-that-voted-only-for-biden-left-the-rest-blank
As this election has surely shown, the fat thumb of Big Media Platforms has unbalanced the scale of news reporting. We need to review the status of Facebook, Google, Twitter and others -- especially in terms of tax laws -- to set things right. https://pjmedia.com/election/tyler-o-neil/2020/11/09/report-big-tech-media-stole-the-election-by-burying-biden-china-scandal-n1132603
Read this article from Sarah Hoyt. It's about why you should remain calm for now. Don't be gulled by all the shouting and hadwaving the Democrats are doing through their media outlets.
She also links to a couple of articles by Larry Correia, author and former forensic accountant. He's been getting blocked and deleted by Facebook a lot.
(Still not sure why Blogger isn't showing the images from the linked articles when I post the link, as in below.) https://pjmedia.com/columns/sarah-hoyt/2020/11/08/dont-jump-off-that-ledge-this-is-just-a-blue-smokescreen-n1131834
Notice that all the irregularities only benefit Biden, not Trump. And few irregularities trickle down to 'lower' races, except in States where the allegations are about the software being used by County election boards. Biden, Biden, Biden....
Thursday, November 05, 2020
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
[This review contains significant spoilers, but only through Episode 2 of Season 3 for the series "Continuum".]
Just watched the fifth episode ("Thirty Minutes to Air") of Season 3 of "Continuum". America will see the third episode this Friday. Holy moley, but this show keeps getting better and better. And tougher to follow too, now that two Alec Sadlers exist in the world. Thank you, love, time travel and heartsick mad geniuses. They're working at cross purposes, our Alecs. One sabotaged Kiera from time-traveling back home so he could prevent the murder of his girlfriend earlier. He was motivated by watching his girlfriend die in his arms. The other Alec is baffled by the flurry of activity that suddenly seemed to inexplicably blow up around him one day.
The original timeline is gone now; replaced by one created when Future Alec saved his girlfriend's life (Emily). The Alec Sadler that came from a week in the future (in the show's reset timeline) has been forced underground by events he set in motion and by Kiera, who is now trying to stop him. (More on that in a bit.) Original Alec has taken control of the very wealthy and powerful Piron Corporation, which it turns out has a lot of advantageously advanced research projects underway. Piron's founder and president, the mysterious Mr. Escher, was murdered in episode 1 of this season, again as a result of Future Alec's actions rewriting his past.
What's amazing is that both Alecs are now much more like his 2077 self -- colder, more manipulative, distrusting and cynical. Especially the original Alec who discovered Emily was a hired spy and ninja killer, sent by Escher. We've learned the self-same Escher is Alec's true father and a time traveler himself! (Though we don't know from when or what he was trying to accomplish.) Not having seen Emily get murdered (since Future Alec stopped that from ever coming about), Original Alec's had his head completely spun around by all these events and is no longer caring about other people.
Is *your* head spinning yet? That's just one thread in a series chock full of them. There's also a whole host of developments from the final 3 episodes of Season 2 that were disappeared into an alternative history that now never happened. We know them, but their fallout and full scope is only known by Kiera herself. Future Alec doesn't know or care. The current Kiera has now traveled through time twice now. Oh yeah, the "original" Kiera of Seasons 1 and 2 is dead. Murderer unknown.
The murky "Freelancers" have come out of the shadows since the dramatic happenings of the Season 2 finale. Turns out, they are "time guardians" or a Time Patrol, working to keep the "original" timeline uncorrupted. They were able to send Kiera back in time after Alec. She's is now working with them, on the promise that, by correcting the current timeline to keep it more like the now-lost original timeline, she can be returned to her husband and child of 2077.
Who may not exist any more. Kiera has stuffed that pain way down deep and it shows. She's more grounded in the day-to-day of 2012 than ever and never mentions them any more.
See? This show seems to revel in demanding viewers keep up. That's why I love it. Big kudos to Rachel Nichols (who plays Kiera Cameron) and to Eric Knudsen (Alec Sadler), as well as the rest of the cast and the writers who are keeping this show exciting and challenging. As I've said before, if you are a fan of smart science fiction, of time travel handled intelligently without shortcuts or hand-waving, you have simply got to watch this series. Friday nights at 9 on the SyFy Channel.
Sunday, February 10, 2013
(I posted this to my Facebook account. I'm also posting it here for those who don't use FB. Please feel free to pass this around; just credit me, OK?)
I posted this yesterday. Please fee free to share it. Memphis needs to hear this:
To the people planning counter-protests against that KKK rally in Memphis this summer, a word of advice: don't. You are treating them as they want to be treated. They think theirs is a serious demonstration of the community's anger with the renaming of Memphis parks. Don't give the KKK the honor of treating them like worthy opponents. They aren't.
By holding a counter-protest, you are only feeding into their anger, creating a feedback cycle and ratcheting up the possibility for someone sparking violence. That's what the KKK wants that day. They can be counted on to take advantage of any opportunity they're given. Violence ensures they'll get media time, and the "rules of broadcast" ensure the media will have to give them time to express some part of their ideas. It will also inevitably portray the KKK and their oppoenents as equals in the debate. Don't give that victory to them. That's just what the KKK wants.
Don't fall for that. Treat them as they should be treated: as a sideshow. Call a party for that day, at their protest site or across the street. Let the people of Memphis come out and have a good time, with food and music. Hand out messages of love and tolerance; short embracing ones, not slogans nor screeds. Show the media that we can all, sometimes, get along, at least for a while and for a good reason. Let the KKK's anger be swamped by the merriness of Memphis showing who we are. That this city is better--has more to offer--than the KKK's hate and xenophobia.
At the same time, don't treat the KKK condescendingly. Don't give them a demeaning "pat on the head" or a sneer for a failed effort. Don't TELL them they're irrelevant, SHOW them. Don't give them an argument they can respond to. Give them a good time that demands they respond in kind. Remember, hate begets hate but genuine kindness in response to hate can only be responded to with more kindness.
Communities that have been afflicted with pernicious Westboro Baptist Church protests have had success with variants of this approach. I suspect the KKK is going to adopt the Westboro approach. Don't fall for it. Don't give them what they want.
Show them who we are.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Here are a ton of items I've got for sale on Memphis Craigslist:
1. Casio TI-310 Answering Machine. $15
2. Small pet carrier. $20
3. My old fleet of model rockets. $200
4. 45 RPM singles record rack. $10
6. Enesco plastic Enterprise model. $20
7. Tons of CDs: Euro-imports, Alternative, Industrial Electronic, Goth. $2 - 5
9. Board games and wargames. $5 - 40
10. 4 Rare vinyl LPs. $10 - 60
11. 3 ZIP Disks. $10
If you think I'm asking too much, let's talk! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 901-482-5464.
Monday, January 02, 2012
I first heard about Chris Hardwick's Nerdist podcast from reading Wil Wheaton's blog. Wil and Chris are longtime friends and former roommates. I enjoy the Nerdist 'cast; it's funny, relevant to my interests, and teaches me new things.
Chris has been expanding Nerdist Industries with new podcasts, and one is by actor/musician/performer Riki Lindhome interviewing various comics and actors about the process of getting to where they are in their careers. She got around to talking with Chris about how he arrived where he is, and I found the podcast really spoke to me.
Chris had some very general experiences and aims in his life that echoed mine. I was so struck by his advice to people that I actually wrote down some of the salient points and put them up on the bulletin board next to my desk. Here they are:
1. Surfing the Web isn't "doing something".
2. Why am I not pursuing what I love as a career?
3. Figure out what you want then carve a path to that thing. If it changes, that's fine.
4. I'm going to do this and I'm not going to stop.
5. It is your presonality that you are selling, your opinion. Information is free and ubiquitous.
6. People form an opinion and that's it.
7. If you expect an audience, you have to deliver.
8. Your gut is smarter than your brain.
9. You've been upset. now DO soemthing constructive with it!
10. Hire/partner with people -- people who are good at what you are not.
11. Learn to rely on other people. Find someone who complements what you do.
Pretty good advice, yes? That's why I put it right where I can see it all the time. They aren't my New Year's resolutions, but they are some points to always keep in mind for me.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
(This is just dashed off quickly, before I forget the train of thought. I welcome further thoughts that develop or refine the thesis.)
Some Americans complain that teachers are underpaid. The classic comparison is teachers and CEOs.
I think the reason they are "underpaid" is rooted in America's agricultural past, something we are still reaching back to as though it is a touchstone to the modern life we live today. I argue it's not. And by letting it go, we can find a different standard and therefore a different payscale for teachers.
There are a number of factors to consider. Number one is that education was always subservient to agriculture. Any time crops needed planting or harvesting, any time disaster struck, education was suspended until the "real" work was done. Education was always oriented toward agriculture. If you look at the famous "19th century exam" that floats around the internet, which purports to be a standard exam with standard questions any 16 year old should be able to answer, they all revolve around agricultural measures of weight and distance(hectares, pounds, etc) or involved transactions a farmer might be expected to make.
Which only makes sense. The vast majority of Americans would live and die on farms as farmers until early in the 20th century. America only had a handful of large cities and not many more large towns as well to handle the commerce of getting America's agricultural products to her markets, or the few international markets for goods like cotton, linen, wool, timber, etc. It wasn't until World War II that a majority of Americans lived off farms and instead serviced the factories that made post-war American an industrical giant.
Which shift is the core of my argument. In the days of farming, large families were necessary. Eight to twelve (or more) children were necessary. Firstly, because many children died young--in birth, in infancy, in childhood. Mostly through diseases, partly through accidents. Secondly, to handle the enormous workload of a farm. Not just the planting and harvesting, but the animal husbandry too. And the construction, then maintenance, of the buildings--the home and its additions, the barns, coops, fences, silos and racks, and more. And the unending workload of the household; the feeding, the canning and preserving and smoking, the animal preparation, the laundry, the dishwashing, the raising of the smaller children.
On this side of the Industrial Revolution and the women's rights movement, it's hard to picture the enormous amount of work a 19th century farm could be. And it was unending. In this environment, more children was better. In economic terms, the marginal costs of additional children was more than offset by the marginal utility of additional work hands.
Today, that's not at all the case. Passage through the Industrial Revolution into today's Computer/Information revolution has altered the equation, aided by suffrage, the women's rights movement and Civil Rights.
First and foremost, it no longer takes a small army of people to maintain a household. Two or three can do it; thanks to the women's movement, many women are trying it single-handed. With taxes for education, which is now mandatory through high school or age 16, children aren't net contributors to running the household. In fact, they are largely a net drain on household resources.
There's also the interesting phenomenon of Western liberal education and suffrage. As women have gained acceptance into the factories and offices of America, as they have gained an equal education to men, as their "place" in society is more and more the same as men, the size of families shrinks. This is true across Asia, Europe, North America, India, the Anglosphere; anywhere the Anglo-model of social organisation has taken hold. The size of the average family is shrinking. In many countries now, the birth rate is below the so-called "replacement rate" at which a society can be sustained. Russia, Japan, Italy and other counties are having children at a lower rate than people are dying. All these countries, and others, are shrinking in absolute terms.
(A brief digression to note something I won't dwell on: The dearth of births isn't a phenomenon entirely affecting the West, though. South America and Central American aren't seeing this trend to nearly the same degree. Spain and Portugal are seeing population crashes, but not the Hispanic-speaking nations of the Americas. This is also happening to some of the Moslem nations of the Asian Pacific. There is a theory that religion is a factor, which would also explain some demographic anomalies in the USA.)
With the move into an industrial society, our education model changed. Progressives who hoped to remake the moral nature of our country, and businessmen who were looking for a more efficient way of educating our youth, simulateously looked to Prussia as one answer. In the late 19th century and the early 20th, Prussia was industrialising at a furious pace. Their young workers came into the factories with wildly varying levels and breadth of education. The autocratic Prussians, with typical Germanic efficiency, standardised education across the nation so that everyone received the same education. It revulutionised Prussian factories.
American educators took note and tried to follow suit. But America was ill-suited to adopt the Prussian model. We were decentralised--education was the purview of Counties, thousands of them and mostly rural in the 19th century. And educators themselves were the product of hundreds of colleges, normal schools, state teachers colleges, churches and more. It ended up being the incomplete work of decades to standardise America's teachers.
And even though our schools are are nowadays built on the industrial model, the teachers themselves are still thought of in agricultural terms. The one-room classroom headed by a school-marm, who knows every child's name and his family's circumstances. That person hasn't existed except in isolated pockets of farm country in decades. We haven't found a new role-model for the teacher to match even the industrial/factory image, never mind the programmer/coder model of information-rich today.
We have fewer children today. They are investments of great value. Their intrinsic value is much higher than in years past. Each is "a precious individual pearl, unique". But our model of the teacher doesn't reflect that valuation, when it should.
And that is what will place the teacher of today in the position of most value--reframing the picture to include what we are as a society today and the new value of our fewer children.
Anyway, we are treating education (that is, the process of educating our young) as though our children are the products of an agricultural society--individually, not worth that much, in the aggregate worth quite a bit.
(This is an incomplete essay with only half-worked out ideas. I need to flesh out, work out, and connect a lot of these ideas.)
Thursday, July 14, 2011
It's been around about three years since the end of "serious", regular blogging here. Time to get back on the horse.
This blog has also undergone a name change. No more "Half-Bakered". (Sorry, Jackson....) So, those of you still following at home, make the adjustment in your RSS.
I'm switching over to a name I almost went with way back in 2002 when I first set this dump up. I like the homey sound of "rumpus room" and the air of childlike experimentation it conveys. Of course, your's truly loves the science. "Mr Mike" was a self-selected nickname I've used since college somewhere, almost as long as "Mr Professor", which was a high school thing. Hmmmm.... "Mr Professor's Rumpus Room of Science"? Nah.... Just a bit too much there.
Anyway, encourage me to stick with this. It's been hesitant and half-hearted the past few months. I really need to kick this into gear again. Twitter just isnt't a good place for me, though it has its uses.
I'm also testing out a new Google/Gmail/Google+ user account: email@example.com. Only I can't get my Blogspot dashboard to see the Half-Bakered account and on the mrhollihan account, it doesn't even see that I'm linked to this blog. So frustrating. I wish I could just subsume the old Half-Bakered account into the new "mrhollihan" account, but Google ain't set up that way, for some reason. So I may have to run two simultaneous accounts and jump back and forth. Anyone have experience with that?
It should go without mentioning, but I will: please don't add "firstname.lastname@example.org" to your Google+ circles. Use "email@example.com" instead. That's going to be my main online identity shortly. No more Facebook and less posting to Twitter (mostly pointers to here, eventually, or Twitpic, where I'm also newly installed).
So much new! I'm nearly giddy.
Saturday, July 09, 2011
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Nothing to see here, just testing the old system to see what still works. Move along.
Goodness, has it really been two years? Even more since I did a "real" post?
This layout is oooooolllllllddddddd. I need to clean up in here, sweep out the dust bunnies and cat hair. Anyone recommend a good two-column, black-background layout?
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Go here. It's an interactive map of the Middle East, the eastern Mediterranean, North Africa, Persia and the old Soviet Asian countries. You match the names to the countries.
I did a bit better than I expected, though I missed a good few. I really was at sea in sub-Saharan Africa and the "-stans" of the old Soviet Union.
Who said this?
"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest [our nation] become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance."
Nope, not some modern day Republican but Roman statesman and philosopher Cicero, writing in 55 BC. (Quote via Jerry Pournelle.)
I keep trying to tell folks that human nature doesn't change, just our surroundings. Core lessons, once learned, are eternal and always relevant. But no, even with all our technology to keep the lessons of the past alive, we still forget what we already know.
Years ago, I read a large part of Thucydides' (or Xenophon's?) history of the Grecian peninsula. It was full of wars, betrayals, sons turning on fathers, wives cheating on husbands, treachery, thievery, pride, ego, public scandal, you name it. It read just like Dallas or any modern soap opera, except the stories were thousands of years old and only described one very small part of a large world. I was struck that I could relate and understand it all so well.
In high school, I remember reading about Medieval and Rennaisance Europe, all the courtiers and schemers and social climbers and political maneuverers. Teachers tried to make it sound like it was all long ago, that modern-day Americans no longer behaved that way in our modern democratic republic. But you look at Washington, DC, today and you see that it is ever thus.
Nothing much changes because we keep turning away from what we know to be true, believing that this time we are different and things will be different.
We are lucky to be the direct inheritors of the wealth of observation and study and application that the Founding Fathers (and some Mothers, like Abigail Adams, Dolly Madison and Mercy Otis Warren) created and handed down. They were keen and discerning students of the past. And they too recognised their lessons would be lost in a couple of generations.
They understood that Democracy and Reason flowed against the natural human tide. That they were artificial and required vigilance and effort to keep.
Even with technologies that can preserve and spread that information far and wide as never before, that can enable self-study and education as never before, we still forget. Or, worse still, ignore and repudiate.
History shows us what will happen. We need only learn it and keep it fresh.
Monday, June 08, 2009
I think it was Lindsey who first pointed me to this song. Thanks!! Yeah, it's Euro-pop-metal and the band's costumes are uber-cheesy. But damn, does this song hit a major sweet spot for me. It's one of those rare songs I can set on endless repeat and let it roll on. And it's only a three minute song. Oh yeah, pure rock bliss.
The band won the 2006 Eurovision contest with this song and here's the video, in its full cheese glory:
It's the choruses that do me in. Those high, high harmonies ("Aaaah, aaaah, aaaah, aaah") just sail over the song. The guitar crunches nicely and it's a good solid riff; the synth sounding like shrill orchestral strings is a recurrent failing of Euro-metal (it's that high culture they all get steeped in) but I can live with it for this song.
Just the other day, I found what's apparently the official music video. You can't embed it, so here's the link. The whole "good girl going bad at terror high" schtick is silly, sure, but some of the edits (the cheerleaders screaming as the band hits those high harmonies) are inspired timing and the final "walking down the hallway" shot is, for me anyway, close to sublime. Some clever bits, like the way the cheerleaders' outfits change, too. And notice that the heroine is fully dressed in normal-ish clothes! It really is her face that sells everything and not American-style "sexi body" sluttiness. That's welcome.
Anyway, yeah, I'm lame. And I don't care, as long as I've got songs like this.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Tuesday was the 13th of course.
It's completely understandable that Republicans would want to expel Kent Williams after his stunt today in snatching the Speaker's chair for himself. The House, and Tennessee government, will be in chaos for months, just as we face the worst budget problem in a generation.
But it's a mistake to boot him. The first thing Democrats do is take him as one of their own, thereby giving themselves the de jure majority again! And don't think that Williams will be given any freedom as a Democrat. He will be Naifeh's bitch from then on. The supposed palaver about how Williams wants to appoint committee chairs based on merit and cooperation will not be Naifeh's.
Better to keep Williams in the party and make him, if he so chooses, depart on his own. Let his constituents in the 4th District see his actions for what they are.
What angry Republicans can do is this: Go to the dollar store, or a Fred's or Walgreen's, and buy a pack of those plastic coins kids use as play money or pirate's dubloons. Whenever you encounter Williams, just drop a few in front of him (on the ground or the table) and say, "Here are your thirty pieces of silver." Especially do it in front of Jimmy Naifeh!
Non-legislators can mail a few in an envelope to his House office with the same message. (See here for the address.) Let's see how long it takes before they begin piling up!
Everything I've heard so far has been that this move was a closely guarded secret kept by a literal few until Monday night and Tuesday during the session. Go to the Main Street Journal website to see a whole raft of stories on what happened. I don't think the Republicans can be too heavily faulted here for "letting" this happen. Their biggest mistake was under-estimating just what a conniving, scheming, vindictive thug of a man Jimmy Naifeh is.
It's times like this I almost wish I was a believing Christian just so that I could be assured Naifeh will roast in Hell for eternity.
Remember, the constitutional officers have yet to be appointed and now the Democrats likely control things unless a couple can be peeled away and the Republicans can stay strong. Not likely, given how the Democrats voted en bloc today. Say, someone should ask Senator Jim Kyle if he still believes constitutional candidates should still reveal their personal and campaign finances!
Also, redistricting is now in their hands. That means, at minimum, ten more years of a Democratically carved State district map. You think Naifeh was having fun today? Wait for redistricting....
INSTANT UPDATE: From a comment I spotted on the web:
In the November general elections, according to the Secretary of State's office, these were the voter breakdowns for all legislative candidates in the 99 districts for the House of Representatives:
Republicans: 1,134,374 - 54.2%
Democrats: 914,108 - 43.7%
Independents/Write-Ins: 43,955 - 2.1%
What the Democrats did today was anti-democratic; just the worst, most naked kind of power grab I've seen in a while. Regardless of party, it's a slap in the face to Tennessee voters. They clearly didn't want Naifeh in charge any more.
In fact, TN Republicans won with the same kind of "mandate" that Obama has. Imagine if McCain had tried to steal that election somehow! Democrats would be wailing a different story for sure. But ... it's not their ox being gored today, so as you'll see if you tour lefty blogs, they're all happy little putschers tonight.