Confederate Waterloo

“It had been a damned nice thing – the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life. (Waterloo 18 June 1815)

I have to admit to being bemused a bit about the election of Tuesday. 

Living in Alibam, I have to also admit that I didn’t expect very much. Alibam has the attraction of being primitive: I enjoy the primitiveness of its environment – except where it has been polluted by capitalist oligarchs – but I don’t enjoy dealing with some of the people. Especially the politicals and the ersatz Christianists.

When I approached the polling place I was a bit concerned that I would be met by a Christianist Fascist militia demanding loyalty oaths to their demigod, but the path was surprisingly void of any form of influence, including candidate propaganda signs. Inside the hall was as usual except for being a bit more crowded. But the density of scattergun toting ruffians in forest camouflage was no greater than usual. In fact, the notable thing was the density of women.

I presented my ID and was not greeted with growls about it being Federal in origin, but I was offered a privacy envelope for my ballot. I declined. Better to die young than suffer the transition from “Heart of Dixie” (license plate catch phrase) to “Heart of Pedophilia.” 

Even before the senator from the Campus of the Black Warrior had spurned his party’s candidate, I had reasoned my way past any consideration further. Simply put, the man was a pariah and if elected would reduce the number of Alibam senators to one even if he was seated. His career has been marked by an absence of cooperation with anyone so I would not expect any from him in the Congress.

I marked my ballot, admittedly in a booth, and walked to the nearest (of two) scanning machines. No one offered to look over my shoulder. I slid the ballot into the slot and the traction wheels drew it from my grasp into the bowels of the machine. I accepted an “I Voted” sticker and departed the hall, displaying my maternal programming by holding the door for three women leaving as I did. As Southrons used to do they thanked me and I “you’re welcome”‘d  them in reply before entering my motorcar and motoring to Castellum SCP. 

On the morrow, in gym, I was surprised to be informed by one of the Huntsville television stations that the other candidate had won. My efforts to steel myself to the reign of an ostracized sociopath proven needless. By a sparse but adequate margin, the citizens of Alibam had overwhelmed my fears of their depravity.

Not that such depravity is not still present, but it is demonstrated in smaller quantity than I feared.

One of my colleagues, Magnetic Inductance Force, related to me that he saw a clip – on the same station – of the loser in denial invoking among other things, the “Pursuit of Happiness.” We both rolled on the floor laughing over that. 

Why? Because the politician in question is a rather flaming evangelical bigot. Who evidently has no idea that that basic tenets of contemporary evangelical doctrine (dogma?) is antithetical to the “pursuit of happiness” in the Founding Fathers’ sense. As I understand it, contemporary evangelicals have no use for science unless they can warp it to support their interpretations of (many times translated and unknown authorship) scripture. 

The current theory and interpretation of “pursuit of happiness” is finding the deity by studying nature in a scientific fashion. It was practiced by the national founders and still, but also still rarely in number, today. 

And to my naive view, these two outlooks cannot be reconciled no matter how much shaken or stirred. But then I have scant ability at evangelical idea warping.

I find it hurtful that so many of our founding fathers who held political office “pursued happiness” and so few today. So no great victory of Amerika, only a small one for Alibam.

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No Answers Available?

Six Day. Had to wait to go to gym. AT least they opened on published schedule today. Blind squirrel, perhaps?

The nonsense of Black Fiveday continues. My email inbox has been clogged with multiple sales flatulences. Some of this has been good because it gave me an opportunity to relegate many senders to SPAM/JUNK status. 

But some of the content has been more than irritating and annoying. In a few cases it has given me pause to cogitate.

One such: under what conditions would I give someone a television receiver? I find myself at a loss to list even one condition. In fact, I can think of almost no gift more vapid and banal. 

For which matter, I am struggling with the idea of any electronics as a suitable gift. A gift should be something with high resonance to the receiver. Unless, of course, I consider the receiver unworthy of effort. So under what conditions would I be giving that person a gift? In-laws, perhaps. Or an organizational superior. But then I have to ask what kind of evil organization is it that superiors must be gifted? 

I suspect this is a variant on the matter of giving underwear. At least in utilitarian situations, not the gender harassment/intimidation shtick. But the action of parents gifting children with underwear is infamous, almost Hobbesian in terms of Dysfunction. 

This leads to the basic question: who should be satisfied – the giver or the recipient? 

(Several hours.)

Returned from a bit of run-about Greater Metropolitan Arab on errands with FD SCP. My role was primarily as toter, which, for those who don’t speak Old Confederate, is a person who totes. This is a role fulfilled by Southron men since the invention of the basket, which in turn, is the predecessor of the sack. (The anthropological theory I was exposed to is that the basket was originally woven strips of animal pelt or hide and with some bit of human rational ingenuity gave way to plant strips and diverged to whole pieces of pelt sewn together. Lots of technological advance there, comparable to the progress from Franklin’s kite to Bardeen’s transistor.)

One of the questions arising while out with FD SCP is why do so many people ignore STOP signs these days? This led me to consider that if robot motorcars were programmed to photograph and report human driven motorcars committing ANY crime, then the transition to all robot motorcars might be facilitated. Some of the people I see motoring in Greater Metropolitan Arab – especially of pickup trucks – would be forced into bankruptcy (and maybe life in jail) within a week. 

Happily we saw few others out. Which leads to ask if they have all motored nawth to Huntsville where there are actually stores that offer stuff worth buying – Arab is graced with a MalWart, which rather sets the scale for retail rubbish in town – or are they being rational and saving their money? 

That question seems a bit foolish, somehow.

Torroid Trepidation

Five Day. End of Week In. And change of regime at gym. This morning’s podcast was an episode of Destination Linux and during a boring (deeply) bit about gaming on Linux (more later,) I strayed to the monitor and a new item caught my eye. So as soon as I got home and abluted, I looked it up.

Seems some fellow in Ohio went to his local McDougal’s and asked for a “steak bagel.” When he was informed none were available, he drew his small arm and menaced the clerk with threatened violence and profanity. [Link] Since the McDougal’s had no security cameras, the irate undiner has probably escaped.

As a physicist, it is almost a redundant admission that I enjoy a good bagel. With a schmear. So in this regard I would like to sympathize with the fellow.

But I cannot. First of all, he went to McDougal’s. This is the second worst Amerikan company for depraved indifference and criminal negligence with regard to everything but corporate profits. (The first is, obviously, MalWart.) So the mere act of going to a McDougal’s is an indictment of the fellow’s integrity and intelligence, perhaps even sentience.

Next, a McDougal’s Bagel? This is a bagel in name only. It bears the same relationship to a real bagel that Wonder Bread bears to a French baguette. With the helpful addition of tons of sodium and other life decreasing additives.

And lastly, a “steak bagel”? This sounds rather like the level of abomination of impregnating both one’s grandmothers. I personally only put  a schmear on mine and admittedly it is an inferior schmear mostly because the Alibam dairy industry is incapable of competently producing cream cheese. 

And we can be pretty well certain that the beef in that “steak” is not brisket. Probably the cow equivalent of “chicken nuggets.” 

So if this were a just world, the fellow would have destroyed the McDougal’s and been discorporated by constables in the subsequent shoot-out. Both are so guilty of abomination as to be worth no concern.

There is the question of how the workers would have been spared. They are more to be pitied than detested. While they have scant moral fiber, these are difficult times and one has to do what paid work one can find. The managers are another matter. 

It is hard to find a decent bagel in Alibam. Not quite impossible. But very close. Ohio, however, is a bit more enlightened than Alibam. But this is something they should have a day of public shame over.

Shrubbery Combustion

This has been an exciting morning. First, the air temperature was a bit higher than yesterday, enough that I didn’t have to worry about the integrity of my teeth. And then I experienced a series of mental lightning strikes.

First, I received an advertising e-mail from Amazing. [Link] They were soliciting me to purchase Winders software from them.

This is not the first callously arrogant, ridiculous solicitation I have received from Amazing. They send me a weekly selection of shoes to purchase, none of which are available in my size.

But in this case, they know I use Linux because my browser tells them this when I visit their web site.

So what politician reject thought to try to sell Winders stercus-ware to a Linux user? The World Wonders.

Second, I got off on one of those evangelistic emails. This one was canny enough to evade the SPAM filters but it also gave me a few moments of rolling laughter on the floor.

Simply put, a thought occurred early on. Why is it that the Christianist bible does such an exquisite job of attributing human characteristics to the deity but never consider that the deity – if the human characteristic thing is accurate? – might have a sense of humor. Certainly observation of humanity evokes such a conjecture sine die.

Could this be an indication that organized religion is just about the organization?

Third, it also struck me how Amazing is like an organized religion. It has to be obeyed and placated with sacrifices. And it provides in return?

One Nation Stupid?

The weather beavers foretell a colding tomorrow. About time. But this does raise all manner of questions as I mumble walk down and up the lane.

Why do we call people without skin pigmented white when they are actually pink? Why do we call people with brown complexions black? 

Not that any of those are colors, but people keep calling them colors.

Why do we continually vote for members of political parties when we know (or should) that organizations only care about themselves? And the elected clearly demonstrate that they do not care about those who elected them.

Except enough to tell repeated, outrageous lies.

I think I understand Us-Them but I am continually surprised that there is ever any Us. 

Why do Amerikans take such delight in flaunting – and developing – their ignorance? 

There is a frawg in Sowth Amerika that is brightly colored but immune to being preyed upon and hence arrogantly oblivious to predators. It secretes a noxious poison through its skin that will assure any predator that consumes it a horrible and painful death. 

Do Amerikans suffer from frawg envy? 

Some days I wonder if the British provoked the rebellion so they could abandon the Amerikans.

After visiting the Bank

HANLON’S RAZOR: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

SCP’s corollary: Never attribute to stupidity that which can be trivially explained by technology.”

Sub-corollary – Technology is understood by so few people, none of whom are willing to admit their ignorance, that policy, reason, and rationality are swept aside.

At least in Amerika where ignorance is treasured above all else.

Stacked Deck

 Back end of Week Out. Nasty. Himicane rumbling through. High air speeds, at least for a Model T. And for trees. And dihydrogen oxide falling. So a good day to hunker down, be miserable and try to not dwell on the damage upcoming to domicile.

This has actually been a good week for some indication that Homo Sapiens may actually be smarter than he/she usually appears.

First, a couple of articles [Link][Link] indicating that by 34 KYA humans had figured out not to have bairns off their sisters.

This does raise a few questions. The obvious ones are: why so late?; and how did they come to this?

One would have thought, with humans, in various flavors, being around for about 2-3 MY, that we should have figured out early on that kinfolk kuddlin’ (as people in the old Confederacy put it,) would result in greater stupidity. But then, since it does that, the likelihood of each successive generation figuring it out would be decreased, so if you tried it for two generations it would be established. (As it sometimes appears to be in the old Confederacy just based on observing Bubbas.)

Of course, if this is the situation, the second question becomes even more relevant. Was the discovery something emergent like art or Pop Rocks, or was it an epiphany? And if the latter, from whom? Space Aliens or Neandertals?

This brings up another, related question, which is when did humans realize they were ugly? And is the ugly basic DNA or miscegenation originating? Did it take a genus level mutation for us to realize that daughter dinkin’ made kids that were not only stupid but ugly as well?

If the idea didn’t emerge until recently, a few KY in the past, then this could explain why humans have spent so much time futzin’ about and doing little more than rock knocking and drooling. Civilization makes a lot more sense if smarts started 50 KYA (approximately) than 2 MYA.

Second, another couple of articles [Link][Link] that relate a study that indicates religion is instinctual (and hence totally irrational.) This is even more uplifting. One quote is especially good:

our brains are hardwired with cognitive biases that have evolved in order to help us to survive, but which have the side-effect of making it natural to develop religious belief.”

In other words, religion is a congenital disorder like impacted third molars or failure of blood to clot. And we have the possibility of disposing of it with gene therapy.

Short of that we can be aware of it and do exercises to diminish its debilitating effects. And we can find ways to help people who are particularly afflicted with this horrible genetic disorder. Perhaps we can even form a national charity, akin to the March of Dimes, to search for a cure?

And lastly, [Link] indications that a lot of our undesirable aspects were passed on to us by Neandertals, probably in the process of explaining to us about miscegenation.

The traits they identified included those that affect hair color, skin color, skin tanning and burning, sleeping patterns, mood, and tobacco use.

So we can blame everything from skin cancer to drug addiction on those beetle-browed precursors of ours.

Probably the price of getting smart and inventing civilization and such like.