A system me and a few friends have been working on for the last couple of years is nearing completion of development. It is a tiny controller board that harkens back to the early days of computers. Although it is big by those standards. It has 32K of ROM (Flash actually – no programmer required) and 4K of RAM. I am using the design to develop special purpose boards. Like a controller for small text display LCDs. Among other things.
Speaking of things that Suck Big Time, what a lovely headline I found staring me in the face.
The latest round of speculation about the 2016 presidential race stars former Florida Governor Jeb Bush whose Republican nomination could potentially lead to a matchup between two powerhouse political families. Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton holds a double-digit lead over Bush in a hypothetical matchup, but half of voters are less likely to vote for Bush because of his family’s history in the White House.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that if the 2016 presidential election were held today, 47% of Likely U.S. Voters would choose Clinton, while 33% would opt for Bush. Fourteen percent (14%) prefer some other candidate, while six percent (6%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
The Republicans seem bound and determined to maneuver themselves into another pending disaster, when all they really need to do is find a candidate the majority of the country can feel comfortable voting for.
This country hates Obamacare. Obamacare is wrecking the economy, ruining medical care, and destroying what little is left of personal privacy. The truly remarkable thing — and the best thing I can say about the GOP — is that NOT ONE REPUBLICAN voted for it. To win, that’s the only issue they need. Forget the rest of it. Americans don’t like social conservatism, and it doesn’t play well at the polls, and the Republicans have a perfect issue to run on. But even putting that aside, to invoke the Bush dynasty right now is pure insanity.
How moribund can they get?
I am having a nostalgic moment.
Back when I was living in Philly, there was a huge scandal involved corrupt then-Mayor John Street which was called “Pay to Play.” The general idea of Pay to Play has its own Wiki entry (which doesn’t mention Street, but does cover Illinois Governor Rod Blog Blagojevich).
Today I learned that Organizing for Action officials were caught red-handed selling access to the President. Naturally, it isn’t being reported.
Organizing for Action is revamping its fundraising practices and fired a fundraiser amid questions about whether the group was promising access to Obama administration officials in exchange for donations.
Samantha Maltzman, a top fundraiser for the Democratic group with strong ties to President Obama, resigned from the organization after NBC News obtained emails between her and Dr. Munr Kazmir, a New Jersey businessman, explicitly listing prices to attend a summit last week with the president.
I am hardly surprised. Actually, my dark side finds it strangely reassuring to know that we have a president who can at least be bought.
Politicians who cannot be bought, OTOH, are fine if they are on your side.
But if they aren’t, they’re kind of scary.
Is Vladimir Putin emerging as some sort of conservative hero? Earlier I left a comment saying that I would not write a post about such things, as I don’t need the headaches. But an article I read made me decide to take that back. After all, if other people are already discussing the issue, I can just link it here as a sort of throwaway post and not have to put much thought into it myself.
Anyway, this post by David Ernst explores it in all its unpleasant details.
Russia’s rightward turn renders Putin’s regime immune to the criticism of western liberals, and polarizes western conservatives. It therefore strains the Atlantic alliance, and neutralizes the claims of policymakers in both Europe and the United States that Russia’s resurgence presents a threat. Thus it strengthens Putin’s hand in the former Soviet periphery, Eastern Europe and in the Middle East against the moral, legal and political objections of Western governments. Moreover, it establishes an entirely new ideological precedent for autocratic regimes who seek to challenge the American led world order. As Ukraine’s liberals seize the initiative against a government that enjoys Putin’s backing, they will look to the Western world for validation and support. The West could easily respond in kind; as of late however, its leaders have either been too reluctant, or have forgotten how. If Western Europe and the United States are serious about sustaining a world order that prevents conflict, enables prosperity and promotes liberty and the rule of law, then their governments should defend it on those terms. Evidently, the Kremlin has figured out how to either shut them up or turn them against each other.
To hear a former KGB colonel bemoan the “erosion of ethnic traditions and differences between peoples and cultures,” and the “destruction of traditional values from above” is at the very least amusing, if not astoundingly mendacious. Putin is nevertheless speaking to sentiments that an increasing number of Westerners share. Moreover, he is the only statesman of any noteworthy stature who is publically addressing them.
In the United States, Putin’s right turn has exacerbated old divisions among its conservative intelligentsia. The reaction of some conservatives to Putin’s December speech has been positive, if not affirming. Putin’s call to return to traditional values and scorn for elites who willfully promote “abortion on demand, homosexual marriage, pornography, promiscuity, and the whole panoply of Hollywood values” compelled Pat Buchanan to wonder aloud whether Putin “was one of us?” Writing in The American Conservative, William Lind went so far as to claim that “American conservatives should welcome the resurgence of a conservative Russia.” Such praise for Putin couldn’t more strongly contrast the loathing of other American conservatives. Writing for National Review, the Stanford classicist Victor Davis Hanson compared Putin to Milton’s Satan, arguing that “he winds up existing to warn us in the West of what we are not.” Throughout the Cold War, American conservatives were predictably unified in their ideological stand against communism. Indeed, the Soviets faced few enemies as unyielding as those who shared the views of either Mr. Lind or Mr. Hanson. Evidently, Putin has divined the formula for polarizing his more traditional opponents.
(“Great right hype” is more like it… Divide and conquer is one of the oldest KGB tricks in the book, and homo-baiting demagoguery carries little political cost, especially in Russia.)
MORE: Politics makes strange bedfellows. And politics makes me sick. (I mean that more literally than you might imagine…) God, how I hate the “red meat conservative” WorldNetDaily-style right wing. My problem is that I hate the left wing much, much more.
Not much time right now, but this news just plain sucks.
SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine — Russian armed forces seized control of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula on Saturday, as the Russian Parliament granted President Vladimir V. Putin broad authority to use military force in response to the political upheaval in Ukraine that dislodged a Kremlin ally and installed a new, staunchly pro-Western government.
Our heroic president has bravely denounced the invasion.
Mr. Obama accused Russia on Saturday of a “breach of international law” and condemned the country’s military intervention, calling it a “clear violation” of Ukrainian sovereignty.
Right. Like he’s going do actually do anything except maybe sing “Give peace a chance.”
The rest of the world will be equally lame. Sooner or later, it will be some other country’s turn. History shows what happens when bullies are allowed to get their way.
And in the U.S., children are being systematically raised not only not to stand up to bullies, but if they do, they are considered equally culpable.
Damn. Things are getting too predictable for comfort.
MORE: This article is worth reading.
I no fan of the wind industry so when I came across “Gaslighting” by the Wind Industry I had my suspicions (and knowledge) confirmed.
How often are we told by the wind industry that their development will create so many jobs, so much power to “X” number of households and that their will be no heath effects to those close by. But wait a minute, reality indicates the jobs created couldn’t fill a small town arena, yet the lie is still repeated over and over again.
The same holds true for the power to households claim. Never mind that actual power numbers and data show otherwise, you’re still wrong. What motive would the wind industry have to misrepresent or inflate the performance of their product?
How about the health claims that turbines are causing sleepless nights, headaches, tinnitus and other ailments.
So what is all this “Gaslighting” stuff?
Psychologist Martha Stout states that sociopaths frequently use gaslighting tactics. Sociopaths consistently transgress social mores, break laws, and exploit others, but are also typically charming and convincing liars who consistently deny wrongdoing. Thus, some who have been victimized by sociopaths may doubt their perceptions.
Yep. That about covers it. We are run these days by sociopaths.
And how did I come across that fine piece? It was linked at Mothers Against Wind Turbines.
In a comment, Gringo asked me whether I built the “Hackintosh” over concerns about the demise of Windows XP.
I did it because in order to get the degree I want, I have to take a listed course to demonstrate what is called “computer literacy.” Among the listed courses was Adobe Illustrator, which I wanted to learn anyway. Problem is, the school’s computers are Macs, while mine is a PC. Which means that files are problematic. You’d think AI files would be fully transportable between PC and Mac. I can assure you that they are not. They totally mess up, for reasons that escape me. Also, the Mac commands are different, and I don’t like changing back and forth just to satisfy the whims and subsidize the expensive real estate of whomever it is who wants satisfaction.
So… I built this Hackintosh — without question the most difficult computer project I have yet undertaken — so I could take a class in which I enrolled to demonstrate what is called “computer literacy.”
It might be ironic, but I guess that’s above my pay grade.
Pointman has a terrific piece up A climate of deception, deceit, lies and outright dishonesty. You should read the whole thing. It was prompted by this Jo Nova bit: Busted: 120 gibberish science papers withdrawn — so much for “peer review”. For those of you into electronics the IEEE published about 100 of the papers.
So I am writing my first blog post in my Hackintosh computer, which was kind of a bitch to put together. But for the resources discussed in places like these (which made me think it would be easier than it was), I would never have attempted such a ridiculously nerdy thing.
And nerdy it is! You have to become familiar with “kexts” (something Id never heard of until this) and you have to be able to figure out how to enter “boot flags” (and which boot flags to enter), how and where to get the correct Mac OS X distributions, which PCs might be the best bet, and more than anything, you have to have the patience to see it through.
I started out with Snow Leopard, using iBoot to get it booted after formatting a hard drive. A good way to start, but that had all kinds of problems, and the Apple store would not let me get away with updating it to the newer versions (either “Mountain Lion” or “Mavericks,” their latest). They can tell if you’re running a hacked version, and you will get a message saying your computer “could not be verified.” DOH! It ain’t a Mac; it’s an old Dell! And it doesn’t send out the right signals, and unless you can figure out how to make it do so (which most sane or normal people can’t), you are SOL. So I was stuck with an older version which worked — barely — and had a lot of bugs. Like not being able to view or edit jpg files, no matter what. When I installed sound kexts, I lost Internet, and when I installed Internet kexts I lost sound.
Finally, in exasperation I decided to try out a hacked version of Mavericks, which first required an interminable 16 hour dirty download (which caused incredibly irritating malware symptoms to spring up — fake “help” and real porn) and forced me to run MalwareBytes to get rid of the trash. But eventually, I got the right torrent to give me the right image file. Not an easy-to-burn iso, mind you, but a .dmg — which had to be custom-installed onto a USB drive and then booted up for the install.
Six installations failed and gave me a black screen after installing, no matter what I did, each taking over a half an hour. I kept entering boot flag after boot flag, but nothing worked. Finally it occurred to me that the NVIDIA video card (which I bought only because I was told that Macs want “better” video cards) might be the problem, so I pulled it and tried installing the system with only the Dell’s internal graphics card. Amazingly, that let the installation proceed past the black screen and on to the initial sign-in, and from there I had it working, with only adjustments.
So here I am.
There is a certain moral lesson here. If you want a Hackintosh, you have to be determined. Or crazy.
Take a look at these Drudge headlines:
I’ve read the law in question, and it says nothing about gays, lesbians, or homosexuality. I think it’s a ridiculous law, but I don’t understand what is anti-gay about it — any more than it is anti-anything else that might offend someone’s notion of What God Says.
Sure, it would allow people to invoke their “religious beliefs” to fight government actions of which they disapprove, and it might very well cause chaos.
But why is it being spun as anti-gay? It might just as easily be invoked against government infringement of religious beliefs by a wife-beating Muslim who claimed the Koran sanctioned the practice. Or by a spouse claiming he or she had a right to oppose divorce for religious reasons. Or any number of things. Like the prohibition on money lending. Or eating pork. Laws sanction, allow, permit, and otherwise regulate all sorts of things that are condemned in the various holy books. And so what?
There is a fine line between government and freedom. Religious freedom means the right to practice one’s religion free from state interference (“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”). But does “free exercise” convey a right to worship freely, or does it convey a right to do anything an individual might think God wants him to do?
It’s worth thinking about, because some people think that the free exercise of their religion translates into the right to kill people they think their “god” wants them to kill, whether it involves Aztec ritual sacrifice, or suicide bombings…
This blog has been getting slow and buggy in recent days, and I am trying to figure out why. In addition, we are getting a HUGE amount of comment spam, which is abnormal, and is causing some favorite commenters to be blocked. I am sorry for this, and I am trying to solve the problem.
The past week has been a crash course in learning Arduino technology, especially its related offshoot, the Melzi (which I got working in both Windows and in Linux). And earlier today I built a Hackintosh and got it working. Not an easy task. Here’s a shot of the screen:
So… you’d think I ought to be able to figure out what is going on with the blog, but the Internet is complicated in ways beyond my control.
MORE: Here’s an actual screenshot of the updated version (Mavericks), examining my earlier photograph version.
From 1969. Firesign Theater, anticipating GPS by at least 20 years.
The full album:
H/T Chief IO Sensitivity Training Is Evil.
A friend of mine was touting the marvels of solar energy in Hawaii. So I wrote him something to try to get him back to reality.
Hawaii has always had very high energy costs. They can afford the high cost of “Green”. That is mitigated to some extent by the tropical climate moderated by oceans. It is a special place. In Great Britian OTOH the move to green energy has caused 30,000 excess deaths in winter. Germany’s industry is becoming uneconomic due to the costs of “Green” energy. So they are scrapping the “Green” plan and moving to coal fired plants. In Spain the “Green” plan has cost 2 jobs for every job created in “Green” industries. Spain has some of the highest unemployment rates in Europe.
Now if you were doing solar cells would a good place for them be near he equator or northern Minnesota?
On top of all that “Green” industries couldn’t survive at their current level without Federal and State subsidies.
Proof that “Green” is a bad idea? It can’t survive without handouts. Your government at work. And yes “conventional” power gets subsidies and more of them. But the correct way to think about its is subsidy/KWh. For the “Greens” it is 10X to 20X higher.
So how is the scam pulled off? Most people don’t run the numbers. Most people don’t get thermodynamics (a wicked subject). Most people don’t get computer models. A good computer model gets you to within 5% and there are multiple ways to make mistakes even then. The best models get you to about 1% and that takes a LOT of effort accounting for second order effects. The climate modelers claim much better than .3% accuracy and the problem involves important third, fourth, and higher order effects. Did I mention unknowns? Did I mention knowns unaccounted for? Did I mention unknown interactions between the knowns? Did I mention chaos and strange attractors? That may have something to do with why temperatures don’t rise steadily but seem to change in jumps. You see it in weather. It tends to change in jumps.
I wouldn’t put a lot of faith in climate models.
Reading about the humongous asteroid that had a near miss. Or at least, the astronomers lost it:
Last night, a giant asteroid was supposed to streak by the Earth, close enough for us to catch a glimpse as it zipped by. Except it never showed, and now astronomers say they have no idea just where the 900-foot asteroid has gone.
So, just how does one misplace an asteroid the size of three football fields?
Beats me. It seems to me that the best way to go is to not see the end coming.