Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Autonomy is doubleplus ungood. . . . .

Google's driverless cars are better than you or I.

I think this pretty well makes the case that we ordinary folk are too stupid, defective, inattentive and hormone-ridden to be trusted to get out of our own way and therefore our self-selected superior overlords at Google and all the state and federal legislative and executive offices should require us to give up personal driving. For our own good.

Not that there is an agenda or anything like that.

By the way, how much is a commercially viable Googlemobile going to cost, anyhow? And what's the chances of our being able to pay for one with the earnings from the part-time jobs that are apparently sufficient and will be all that is available to us as a natural consequence of recent government activities?

Oh, I didn't think. Cost of purchase won't be a problem because most of us will be riding light rail, and trams, and bicycles, and busses, all while our public administrative and corporate lords will be comfortably ferried around to their chosen destinations by a driverless vehicle while they play with their I-Pads and sip beverages, traveling at exactly 1 mph under the speed limit and introducing one extra precisely measured car length distance between vehicles for every additional 10 mph, no more and no less.

No doubt, driverless vehicles will be particularly adept at dodging ponderous big busses and trains, which stop at predicted locations, so big busses are good, right?

But how good are Google driverless vehicles at taking a pleasant ride in the country, with no particular destination or purpose in mind except to enjoy the day?

And when there is a desired destination, I can generally find my way to a place where I've been before, years ago, even though I don't know the address or the names of the streets along the way. Betcha Google can't do that.

So, as for driverless driving, screwgle.

Hasn't it been demonstrated sufficiently, over and over, that whenever a change is introduced intentionally rather than organically, there's always a pile of unanticipated consequences, usually bad?

Nah, no reason we should expect anything negative, not unless we are an unwashed troglodytes who fears all things progressive.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Doing what I can about demeaning American minorities . . .

A Minnesota Congressperson has called for the Minnesota Vikings not to display the flags or logos of the Washington Redskins when the two teams play in Minnesota.

I say that the dismissive term, "Viking," demeans Norse-Americans and is hurtful hate speech.

You know, this being offended act could become kinda fun.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

XX and XY, and the cosmic significance thereof . . .

The situation: The husband is awake, is up, has showered, shaved, and has made and eaten breakfast. The wife remains motionless under the covers, in bed.

The husband thinks to himself, "My poor darling must really need her sleep. I'll be real quiet so she can get all the rest she needs."

The wife thinks to herself, "That selfish shit is going to let me stay in bed forever. It's like he doesn't care that I'm around. I could be gone and he wouldn't know or care."

Scientists say we must doubt in cases where there is no evidence that a thing imagined actually exists, and therefore, there are no parallel universes.

I say, don't so quick to deny parallel universes, there, Sparky.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A literary note, the Alexandria Quartet . . .

The other day, while poking around in a terrific used book store in Ashland, Oregon, I encountered Durrell's Alexandria Quartet, all four books in one big volume. So I bought it.

I read these books fifty years ago, now, while in college. A horse's ass of a college professor had spoken rapturously and at length about the books, and being a horse's ass myself and an English major as well, I was obliged to read them in order to prove that the professor was, as mentioned, a horse's ass. Of course I raced through the books, in a hurry to find out what happens next in the narrative, consistent with my intention to be dismissive as all hell. Also, I was somewhat distracted in all my endeavors at the time, what with being always on the lookout for the next chance to get laid.

Having read the first few pages with an intervening fifty year's worth of experience in the world, and no longer being bothered by women as I have now become completely invisible to them --- I think I'm really going to enjoy these books

Sunday, October 13, 2013

So we vote for these people because. . . why? . . .

Ya'know, all this continuing resolution panic and yelping is an alternative to adopting a federal budget, kinda like the Constitution requires. Harry Reid's Senate hasn't voted for a budget since 2008.

Help me; altogether now, everybody say WTF!

Actually, at this point, WTF should be the stock response of all non-government citizens of whatever political inclination or affliction, left, right, committed, non-committed, ignorant or deranged, upon learning of each and every bit of news about the current political developments.

What would happen if bunchteen thousand citizens surrounded the White House and Congress, chanting, "WTF, WTF."

Nothing would change because our government masters no longer care. But it might make us feel better for a little bit.

Maybe we could all get matching tee shirts.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Potato Chip genius . . .

America does potato chips better than anybody. Just think, every potato is different, but American national snack companies can produce them in volume, all perfect in crispy, salty, potato chip goodness, packaged to assure you get the product while still fresh. I'm not talking about healthy eating. If you want to snack healthy, go ahead and munch vacantly on sprouts. And I'm not putting down other countries who may have their own national culinary triumphs, like . . . well, I'm sure there's something. Just, yea potato chips and American productive genius.

Monday, October 07, 2013

I don't care about the three-strikes rule. If you don't let me swing until I get a hit and be the pitcher, you can't use my baseball

Here's a growing list of things being shut down by the current tenant of the Spitehouse.. But the Spitehouse cooks and ushers and the military golf courses where the President plays, well, they are all essential federal services.

To switch metaphors, we are being treated like the bad doggie who has to have his nose rubbed in it.

I'm starting to think that it isn't a matter of we're all in this mess we're in together because of our unserious Democrats and our silly Republicans. I'm starting to suspect that maybe this mess we're in is because it's THEM against US.

I'm starting to suspect that shutting the government down all the way, not just 17% of it, could all maybe even work out.

But if we didn't have a federal government, the FBI wouldn't come if you called 911. Oh, wait, they already don't.

If we dint have the postal service, we wouldn't be able to get all our junk mail. Oh, wait, we can depend on email spam for that.

If we dint have the federal bank and the U.S. Mint, we would have to use debit and credit cards instead of cash. Oh, wait.

What if we didn't have the Department of Education, trying to make all state schools to look alike? Betcha home schooling could become an attractive alternative if the states failed to supply quality education. Oh, wait. And in the absence of student loans, colleges and universities might have to find pricing schemes based on demonstrative career value to students, instead of diversity and athletic showmanship, and the long con that is current higher education.

If we dint have the IRS, who could we pay our taxes to, under threat of penalties, for essential services, like Whitehouse ushers and cooks and cleaning staff? We'd have to depend on other tax nibblers, like states, counties, and municipalities. Oh, wait. We already do.

If we dint have the border patrol, who would prevent terrorists and criminals from walking in and preying on citizens? Oh, wait. That part of government is already shut down and the federal government says that states like Arizona can't step into the breach and patrol their own borders, even if they want to. Guess we are meant to welcome bomb throwers and drug dealers to their new home. Have a nice day.

For that matter, as to drugs, if we didn't have the DEA who would fight the war on drugs, you know, the attempted military and judicial interdiction on substances that a very many citizens routinely buy for their own entertainment, at prices way too high because of the interdiction activities of the federal and collaborating state governments? Like tobacco and booze.

And if we dint have the Department of Transportation and EPA, who would see to it that our gasoline supply was made artificially expensive with a heavy tax burden, used to require us to adulterate the fuel with 10% alcohol? Because polar bears, and because shut up. Who would manage things so that our miles per gallon is reduced due to the lesser caloric efficiency of the adulteration of the fuel with alcohol, while correspondingly reducing the availability of corn, which people around the world like to eat because it is cheap and nutritious. That is, cheap until we begin burning the stuff as fuel after processing the living daylights out of it, using fuel to do so, to turn it into alcohol to put into gasoline.

I'll observe that if a person feels antagonistic towards the current federal government, (Oops I typed "feral government by mistake so I fixed it.) that doesn't require one to be against all government, wherever and whenever. We could still have states even if the federal government were to be radically and brutally trimmed back or eliminated. And maybe the states could provide essential government services more effectively than the federal government. Or at least, no worse. For myself, I don't like the federal government much more than I don't like the state of Oregon. And while there is certainly an excessive portion of governmental boneheadery here, where would you rather live, Oregon with mountains and rivers and such, or the District of Columbia with, well, the District of Columbia?

Much of the basic structure of the modern United States of America was already in place by the time Woodrow Wilson went to the White House and began to progressivize government. There wasn't an interstate expressway system, but we have that now, because of Eisenhower. We also have much better communications and computing abilities but that largely is independent or even in spite of government activity, once DARPA turned the internet loose. And the federal government has grown awesomely since Woodrow Wilson, and especially, since Lyndon Johnson. (I'm told Harry Truman used to go for evening walks all around D.C., at night, instead of remaining secure in a White House surrounded by men with guns and ear pieces, as presidents are now)

So maybe the Spitehouse's attempt to rub out noses in it by closing some federal properties down will make us much more aware that those in government think that the free citizens of the United States of America must be coerced and managed and duped and bribed into behaving with deference to the wants, dreams, desires and beliefs in singing bullfrogs and unicorns of the political class and their fellow travelers. (I used the expression "fellow travelers" on purpose, and people of a certain age will know what I mean.)

Maybe the events of our current government shutdown could inspire many of us to begin to speculate about our relationship to our government -- there, I said it. "our government." And maybe there are those in our current government, from top to bottom, who could use a little dose of unemployment. Just as so many real Americans, not government Americans, are enduring presently.

I mean, think about it.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

"Take a Bow" Rides Again . . .

In the government shutdown in the absence of budget sppropriation, the administration and President can keep "essential" functions up and running. So, only 17% is actually shut down and stuff like defense and Socisl Security and Medicare continue. President Obama has now called all union representatives back on the payroll; they're just that important to him. Other stuff, like Border control, which has been ordered to stand down, and the Amber Alert system -- just not all that essential to the administration.

Great show, guys. Take a bow. I can't wait to see this administration's antics when it steps into the health care ring and all the clowns erupt from the goofy clown car and start making decisions about who gets what medical procedures.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Take a Bow, Junior . . .

According to the Constitution, spending decisions are for the House of Representatives. The Democratic message is that Republicans are a deranged minority. Nevertheless, the most recent congressional elections put Republicans in the majority of the House and the Democrats are the minority. They also expected the House to cave in to the Senate intransigence, as they frequently, but not always, have done in the past, for "the good of the country" and to support comity.


Now, the President wants the House to have a vote on a spending bill, as if they've been on strike or something. (He yelped that disgruntled workers who disagreed with their corporate employer and didn't do as they were told would be fired). But the House has passed and sent four separate spending bills to the Senate where they've been voted down and the President declared he'd veto them even if passed.

Great theater, guys. Take a bow, and exit. Stage right.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Take a bow, guys, II . . .

Now the shut down government is spending money to close parks that ordinarily cost nothing for the government to run in the first place. In other words, more shut down theater.
They even wanted to close down Mt. Vernon, which is privately owned.

Take a bow, guys.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Shut it down and take a bow! . . .

Check it off the list;I have now survived the first day of the Great Government Shutdown of 2013. It was actually okay and I bet most Americans found the day unremarkable.

Actually, maybe we should consider making it a permanent feature. When Congress chooses to ignore the requirement to adopt a budget, which Congress has done, and when Congress refuses to adopt a budget proposal from the president, which Congress has also done with an overwhelming vote against the president's budget by his own party, then the government should be shut down until it is properly funded with a true budget appropriation, and not just a cockamamie resolution.

There's now about bunchty thousand non-essential federal workers sitting on their non-essential butts, worrying that the public will figure out what non-essential means and will spy a path to government debt reduction springing into sight when the government doesn't loom so high on the economic horizon, because of the shutdown.

As for the rest of us, well, the economy is already pretty well shut down already, so us civilians don't see that the government shutdown is that big a deal, when you get down to it. All those non-essential government workers haven't done all that much by way of curing the economy in the past five years. The governmental cure for an economy that doesn't generate enough wealth to support everybody, is to extract a major portion of the little wealth the economy actually produces, and then re-inject the wealth back into the economy in a non-productive fashion, and then stand up with outstretched arms expecting thunderous applause, gratitude, and admiration.

So let's try this shutdown thing out for a while; we might find we like it. We might find that the only damage the shutdown does is to the political class and its parasitical hangers-on.

I can live with that. Government workers have not shown much concern for us so we need not feel bad for them. And I don't.