Speaker for God

The Amish have a saying: “The greatest sin is to speak for God.” Or at least that is my memory after a goodly number of years. It occurred to me that this is what the Yankee governments uppest band of justicers (regrets, I am unsure of what the proper collective name is for justicers) has empowered religionist capitalist oligarchs to be.

One of my favorite authors, Lester Sprague deCamp has said (approximately) that “Freedom of Religion is the freedom to persecute those who do not believe as you do.”

Part of that is simple us versus them, in group/out group psychology that we can blame on biological and social evolution. But it doesn’t excuse it.

Bullying is evil, no matter what guise we wrap it in. Government does not have that privilege. Religion should not.

But that is the situation with Hobby Lobby and the other religionist oligarchist organizations. The religious beliefs of the owners is imposed on the employees.

If this is freedom of religion it is in deCamp’s sense, not that of the Founding Fathers.

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Patriotic Computing

Not a bad day so far although the weather beavers are foretelling a return to typical temperatures. The walk in the park was passable, temperatures were up a bit and so the experience wasn’t as brisk. And the podcast episode was fair although it did stir my righteous indignation a couple of times so I may have to excrete a blot on the matter of pens at some time.

For now however, I feel compelled to mumble about the Yankee government’s National eSpionage Agency’s labeling of Linux folk as “Extremists”. My colleague, Magnetic Inductance Force, who admits freely to the perversion that is FaceScroll but mitigates by noting he also is ORF and hence has need of some relatively mechanistic (and obvious) means of social contact with old acquaintances. I have to agree that the other, now more popular, social networking “places” don’t quite make enough sense to use commonly.

I conjecture, probably inaccurately, that at least some of this is about length of expression. After all, we are mostly ORF and hence seniors and thereby garrulous. Further, we have lived long enough that we have used up a lot of our hurry, and wish we had used up our wait, so why limit ourself to High Noon Gary Cooper style of communication. My colleague and I have commented several times how inadequate FaceScroll is that it doesn’t offer a decent (or any) equation editor. How can one maintain social contact with old acquaintances and colleagues if one can’t math?

One of the articles [Link] I was sent contains a few snippets of code that indicate what key words the NSA is supposedly watching for to identify “extremists”. I quote:
“word(‘tails’ or ‘Amnesiac Incognito Live System’) and word(‘linux’ or ‘ USB ‘ or ‘ CD ‘ or ‘secure desktop’ or ‘ IRC ‘ or ‘truecrypt’ or ‘ tor ‘)”
I have to admit that I was greatly relieved once I saw this. If the Yankee government was paying special attention to Linux folk then I would be rather concerned since we are a relatively small number and easily overwhelmed by the might and force of the YG. But if they are targeting people who use words like “Linux” or “USB” or “CD” … then the fraction of population being targeted is considerably larger than the number of folks who work for the YG. In fact, the only person I know and am conscirously sure of who does not use the term “USB” is my year+ aged (post partum) grandchild. And maybe my nonagenarian parent. Although she does surprise me. So I would feel safe in estimating this captures at least (modulo) half of the population of the Yankee republic. Even of the old Confederacy.

I also received a puff piece [Link] from the Electronic Freedom Foundation along the lines that it is a citizen’s duty to be targeted by the YG and use TOR to assure our freedom and privacy. Once I got over the initial humor of considering whether a Fermion can actually be free unless alone I decided the point was valid. I am not at all sure this will be understood by bogs, especially bogs who are adherents of political parties. At least democruds and repulsians. But I am not sure they know the words anyway. That’s one of the joys one obtains when less than half the electorate adhere to a political party. They tend to get excluded from the mode. Now if the same will just occur for religionists.

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Fourth of You Lie

Today is “we have worked up our courage and now we’re going to tell the poor, the women, and the not-us what we have gotten them into” day. It’s the anniversary of the day the founders got their courage screwed up, probably by use of ethanol mixtures, and announced to the general populace, or at least the minuscule bit of the populace within ear shot and with slack time to attend, what trouble was descending on their heads.

Of course that independence didn’t apply to the poor, women, and people-property. None of these folks could vote. Not that voting was that common in those days. So that is one thing that we can celebrate as tradition: the ineffectiveness of elections.

It somehow seems appropriate that today is when one of my colleagues, Magnetic Inductance Force, shared an article with me. [Link] The article claims that if one reads the periodical “Linux Journal” then one is identified by the Yankee government’s National Security Agency as an “extremist” and accorded extra surveillance attention. I also read the journal but do not subscribe. Somehow I doubt that distinction is significant in differentiating the amount of attention applied by the NSA.

Apparently, people who use Linux and/or support FOSS, and perhaps open access and actual democracy are considered by the Yankee government to be extremists, which is apparently an intermediary state between traitor and terrorist? I am unsure of whether to be proud or amused.

Obviously anyone who expects some privacy and takes effort to preserve it – as in using TOR – is immediately suspect, if not guilty.

Now tell me again what we have to celebrate today?

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Rejecting Good Sense Day

Today is the anniversary of “aw stercus! what have we done” day. Having signed the declaration of independence yesterday, the congress took today off to reflect on having told George#3 to cease and vacate the premises and whether they actually wanted to broadcast this to the public (and George!) or burn the document and slink off to being subjects (serfs/slaves) of tyranny. We might even call it “screw up your courage to the sticking point” day since the steeling oneself to do the tyrant an injury theme is apt.

Not that we have much to be thankful for today since their government has evolved to the point where it is more of a tyranny than George’s.

Nonetheless, I also reflected on the morning’s podcast, an episode of the English Ubuntu podcast, perhaps a fitting activity for contemplation on this day. Why does a country that gave us such oppression also do so much better at podcasts?

Anyway they interviewed some developer (coder) fellow who was bitchin’ about the Ubuntu SW store. I was amused to consider, after he listed a long set of complaints about how the SW store was NOT developer friendly how every developer I know of, who throws his SW out for general use to a wide public, has complained about how the system is not developer friendly. I have to admit to something of the sort myself. Most of my SW is nerd SW and it is very cruncherish. My favorite user interface is a text input file that you point the SW at and it read it, crunches numbers, and outputs a file of results.

And I only share SW with people who come to me and say that they have need of my methodology and may they have a copy? And if they come back and complain about the methodology in a constructive sense then I will discuss with them, but if they say either (a) it doesn’t work or (b) can I add something, I reply that they are free to make changes as they wish so long as I get cited properly.

Obviously, when someone puts a SW out on a storefront and you use it, you are not going to be able to modify it. You have to have source code for that and most of these chaps program in other languages than the few I know. (And they usually don’t know those.) So if the SW works I will use it and if it doesn’t work I will pitch it, unless I paid for it, and then I ask for reimbursement, and if it sorta works I will probably complain, but don’t expect me to answer why it doesn’t work questions if I don’t have source code.

Not that I really want to read your source code.

But when you give the SW away to folks who don’t pay or code, the man-in-the-street, Windows or Apple mindscrubbed, user, why would you expect anything constructive when the SW doesn’t work for them. Next you’ll be expecting your food to talk to you about how delicious it will be.

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Stercus Brick

I have long wondered why almost all GEN Ys spend so much of their time staring at their cellular telephones. I now understand. My IBM PC circa 1984 CE worked better, faster than my Motorola DROID. And connected to the internet better, which is not at all instead of seldom and randomly.

No wonder we are turning into a third world country: our manufactured devices are crap. No, crap squared!

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Two day and day of election. I have decided not to exercise my franchise. This is intra-party eliminations and none of the candidates are distinguishable. In particular, the repulsians have all been telling the same negative things they will do, at least half of which they cannot. And the only democrud candidates I have seen anything on have been hate commercials by repulsians. And the sad part is that there is no democracy in Alibam because the election is as pro forma as Syria’s.

And while I’m groaning and moaning, I ran across this cartoon: [Link]

the other day and it struck me as being a representation of our society. We forbid the use of certain words and thereby prevent discussion of any matters related to those words. And that’s why we get politicians who say what isn’t relevant and do what they want – or are told by their corporate masters.

Yep, definitely not democracy.

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Young is too hard

A belated start to the week. Schule must be desessioned given the density of educationalists this morning at gym. And I had to remind myself to listen to two-day podcasts. Which were diverting if not entangling.

Which gave me occasion and opportunity to consider a bit emitted by the campus of the Black Warrior on how high schule students should prepare for college.[Link] The meat too the form of a bullet list:

  • As you are preparing your four-year plan with your counselor, include classes to help you prepare for college. Many colleges require foreign language and science with lab components, among others.
  • Remember, your grade point average counts now, so work hard!
  • Commit yourself to extracurricular activities.
  • Create a resume that documents your successes, such as honor roll, civic clubs and sports recognitions.
  • During summer, evaluate your goals. Make needed changes to stay on track.
  • Take advantage of summer academic programs or volunteer opportunities that interest you.

I have to admit that much of my thought was along the azimuth of how different this was from my high schule days.

I don’t recall much opportunity to choose courses, much less classes. There were only two tracks in those days: college; and trade. And grades were a matter of parental demand. But extracurricular activities? There weren’t much of that that I can recall. Some kids had to work because their parents needed them to or they weren’t going to college and needed the experience, but for the college bound – the majority in techno-Huntsville – work was viewed as a distraction from good grades.

I do know some folks who were active in things like boy scouts but they were all extros. The closest I came to extracurricular was belonging to a couple of schule clubs that met sometimes after hours. And sports and civic clubs were out as well; they were for extros going into trade.

Summer was when you got to study what you wanted to mostly full time, in and around yard mowing and house chores and transporting younger siblings and their friends out of pester range for parents. I liked summer because I could increase my weekly reading of not-schule books to twelve or so a week. And spend time working on the project I wanted to work on, not assigned in schule. But there was never any evaluation of plans going on, just chugging away to finish high schule and go to college.

And the summer academic programs were remedial in those days. Summer schule was limited to those who were failing but only due to one or two courses and might recover in an intensive environment. It was not college enhancing. And volunteering was unknown in those days. Especially among Intros.

Makes my head hurt. Makes me glad I am not young.

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Totalitarian Alabama

A foul day so far. No, not weather but that the gym, if I may misuse the word so, will be unavailable on Monday. This facility is notable more for what it does not do for its members than the opposite.

I did listen to two episodes of the Ubuntu UK Podcast this morning, because they eliminated the humor and cut the length to half its previous which means that I alternate it with some other Linux podcast on Thor’s day. Not that most Linux podcasts have much about Linux in them. They are mostly about social things, but they are usually a cut above most amateur podcasts, are low on noxious advertising (redundant?) and give me diversion from the ache and pain.

So I had attention span-time to spend reflecting on Pat Sajak, who will probably never be called Sajak the Sagacious, except at a roast, although he might be noted for the size of his mouth since he can rather obviously accommodate both his feet – up to the ankles – simultaneously. He also seems to have vindicated an old saying that I first learned reading Boy’s Life, “man who throw mud lose ground.”

That and the grrr brrr over the Veteran’s Administration gave me direction to consider the political campaigns in Alibam. So far it has been decidedly one sided and amusing in a galgenhumor way.

Point being that the VA thing is really a microcosm of Amerikan health care, especially now that Affordable Care has been enacted. And no, this is not a sly Repulsian jab at O’Bama. I like the idea of making health care available to all citizens in a fashion that doesn’t cheat on source. I am not in favor of it reducing the level of health care for all but the stinking rich, however.

That’s the nature of the Repulsian campaigns, in the main, in Alibam this season. At least the ones I have seen on the electromagnetic audio-visual receiver. There are a few higher tone ones, notably that of the state dermatologist.  But the majority, especially the troglodytic chief justicer’s, are in the vein of diversion. First of all, they are anti-O’Bama and any of his programs which means they are in favor of denying people health care, making them deathly sick, and pandering to religionist persecution. And they are carefully not mentioning important things like climate change and the impending loss of the city of Mobile. How much of the state economy is that going to cost?

I am seriously considering skipping the elections this year simply because there are no choices. Reminds me of the Soviet Union somehow.

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