Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Klobuchar & Franken: Pull your heads out of your asses.

SOPA isn't part of a war on piracy, it's part of the civilization-old push against the free exchange of information.

Don't think for one fucking second that because the internet exists as it does now -- as a place where you can say anything you want, blog about whatever, edit Wikipedia -- that it will continue to exist that way in the future.

I will quote Leary out of context:
"Throughout human history, as our species has faced the frightening, terrorizing fact that we do not know who we are, or where we are going in this ocean of chaos, it has been the authorities — the political, the religious, the educational authorities — who attempted to comfort us by giving us order, rules, regulations, informing — forming in our minds — their view of reality. To think for yourself you must question authority and learn how to put yourself in a state of vulnerable open-mindedness, chaotic, confused vulnerability to inform yourself."

The SOPA (and Protect IP) legislation, (and those who are also opposed to net neutrality) are another incarnation of that authority that wishes to crush the human spirit "for its own good". 

This anti-human legislation has support from people on BOTH sides of the aisle, including Klobuchar and Franken.  They can both go fuck themselves.

This is serious shit.  Capitol Hill Switchboard: 202-224-3121


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Steeeeeeeeeeeeeerike one

I hate love it when people use strike-through.  It was cool the first thousand times conveys originality.  Go fuck yourself Have a nice day.

(This isn't directed at anyone in particular, so if you're offended you're an idiot I'm sorry.


Friday, November 25, 2011

May the greed be with you

And also with you.

Being that today is black Friday, and I've been reading AdBusters for the last decade, and there's an occupy movement happening, I decided to think on greed a bit today.  I am a fucking concern troll.  That said, let's see the definition
excessive or rapacious desire, especially for wealth or possessions.
Shit.  That's not very helpful.  How about excessive
going beyond the usual, necessary, or proper limit or degree; characterized by excess: excessive charges; excessive criticism.
 Well piss.  It seems that we're going to end up on a loop of looking up subjective labels.  And... I'll be damned: that's the problem.  There's nothing inherently wrong/bad with/about greed.  There's not.  The real problem is with propaganda.  If I say:
I want to squeeze every ounce of money out of my employees, working them to death.  To do this I will lobby against the minimum wage under the banner of worker freedom.  I will work to convince people that the 40 hour work week is oppressive -- they could work more if only I didn't have to pay them more -- and should be abolished.  I will forgo basic safety precautions, as they are expensive.. and everyone knows they shouldn't put a stroller on an escalator, why do I need to spend the $50 to put a sign there anyhow?
 and call it anything other than greed, I am lying.  It is true that the definition is subjective - that excessive is "in the eye of the beholder".    But this subjectivity is being used against all of us.  The "Reasonable Person" has been killed (by Mammon himself, no doubt), and we've let everyone get away with it.  I think it is specifically because "greed is not inherently bad" that we forget that it is also not inherently good.  Because of this, we find ourselves allowing our conservative friends/enemies/whatevers to escape us when we don't say:
...perhaps Laffer was originally right, but how is cutting taxes on the rich while maintaining tax levels, or increasing them on the middle class and poor not an example of wealthy greed?
Right.  That's fucking right.  It's the same answer I give to "well, if you don't believe in God, what reason do you have to live"?  I say "any reason to live has no bearing on the existence of God".

But anyhow, we've got to stop allowing people to say that "big corporations are not greedy, they're just doing what they do", and the like.  While greed is not inherently bad/evil, neither is infanticide (it sounds pretty fucking lame that I would say that, but ontology is pretty brutal).  I think we can all agree that infanticide is unacceptable, can't we agree that at least SOME greed is also unacceptable?


Monday, November 14, 2011

OCI8 with Phusion Passenger/Rails 3.1 on Freebsd 8 ** UPDATED

This has been one of the most trying things I've done..  My employer uses a backend database of Oracle 9i, or the like.  I have to connect to it with Rails to simplify some queries, using oci8. 

Ruby 1.9.2 also.

Install the freebsd linux-oracle-instantclient-* ports
follow directions here:
(You will have to install both oracle ports)

Punch something that won't break your hand, but will be hard enough to relieve some anger

Use gems, NOT the ports collection for the gems..

gem install ruby-oci8 (Using the freebsd port fucks everything up)
gem install activerecord-oracle_enhanced-adapter

You will have to modify  /usr/local/lib/ruby/site_ruby/oci8.rb to make line 38 know where your .so file is.  replace site_ruby with your ruby install path.  I use site_ruby because of rvm (Another goddamn hassle to set up)

This got me up and running, but I am not sure if these steps are in order, or if I did anything else.  This was a fucking hassle and I  wouldn't recommend doing it.. but if you have to, and you get stuck, post a comment and I'll see if I can't help you figure out your problem



A ruby wrapper to set this bullshit is necessary as well:

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/oracle8-client/lib
export TNS_ADMIN=/usr/local/oracle8-client/network/admin
export ORACLE_HOME=/usr/local/oracle8-client
exec "/usr/local/bin/ruby" "$@"


This only works on fucking i386.  If you have to use OCI8 on FreeBSD, it's only going to work on i386.  I tried and tried, and no x64.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

God hates cigarettes?

"I don't really care what people do in their private lives," said 62-year-old communications consultant George Werl of Minneapolis. But he said marriage should be limited to heterosexual couples because it was designed to protect the children of those unions. (via)

What he means to say is:
"I don't really care what people do in their private lives.  I really care what people do in their private lives".  It's a Rick James moment.

This amendment vote is a year away.  We must all fight it.  Fuck the spin, it's homophobic, bigoted and simple minded.  Marriage is a dying arbitrary patriarchal institution anyhow, not to mention the SIBS study has all but proven that biological relationship between parents and children has no impact positive or negative on the child's "success" in life (but it's OK to use a child to force a mother or father into "calming down"/"growing up")

These are bogus issues designed to pit us against each other and ignore the reality that we're all being screwed ... by the 1%  (Thanks adbusters for making that so succinct).  If you REALLY FUCKING DON'T CARE what people do in their private lives, [then] SHUT THE FUCK UP.

Amen brother.


**edit: than? Idiot.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Let there be plight

I am severely troubled by how the fox spin machine is portraying the occupy movement (but not surprised).  It's something I am afraid has been picking up steam for a while: "college education is unnecessary" (I know, this isn't news).  Of course, these people don't believe that's true for anyone in their families..

I remember something that I heard on public radio years ago that solidified my stance of pro-education for everyone (regardless of costs).. some jacknut Eichten had on his program said "Now Gary, what do I care if my car mechanic knows where Iraq is".  I got a great insight into the bourgeoisie/proletariat divide in that moment, and I drew an instant parallel to the dark ages.  This seems to me to be the definition of serfdom (After enlightenment, but before access).

I want my car mechanic to know whatever in the fuck he/she wants to know, and to be able to critically think as to properly question their government, make wise decisions on health care, child raising, etc.  They're trying to put out our sacred flame of the enlightenment.  Every bit of money taken out of education, every extra pupil in a classroom, every closed Adult Basic Education program -- they're all one more depressant on that flame.

Also, too: fuck Locke.


**Edit I said fuck Kant: I was thinking Locke but wrote Kant.  I've got no beef with Kant's a priori (although I used to hate the concept), my beef is with Locke's private property nonsense.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fuck city living

A drive by shooting with over 30 rounds fired from 3 different firearms at 1am (All fired within about 5 seconds) NEXT DOOR?  A desk pig that basically mocked me for calling the next day with worry about that, two cars broken into down the block, and the dude who was trying to rob my renters house?  Subwoofers?  Why do I live in the city?

Whatever weapons were used in this fucking drive-by, they were serious shit.. The walls of that home are plaster, and apparently there were rounds that made it clear through the WHOLE FUCKING HOUSE.  The fridge, which has the outside wall, and an inside wall between it and the direction of fire, has bullets lodged into the side of it.  Apparently a few strays hit the neighboring house (on the other side).  This fuckhole pig is annoyed with my concern?

I can't properly show the vibe I got from him, but here's a little excerpt:
Cop: "We don't have any information about any of those situations"
Me: "uhhhhhhh ok?  Are you a cop?"
Cop: "uhhhhh yeah I am a cop"
Me: "How am I supposed to feel about this?  There was a fucking war going on outside of my home last night.  You can't give me any information about any of it.  What am I supposed to do?  Tell me.  Give me some advice here."
Cop: "Lock your doors and windows"
Me: "Helpful.  am I going to have to keep a loaded firearm under my pillow?"
Cop: "It wouldn't be a bad idea.  Get training and a handgun."
Me: "Reassuring."

6 Months ago all I had to worry about was obnoxious subwoofers.  Now I find myself plowing my gf off the bed to the floor at 1am because HOLY FUCK WE'RE UNDER ATTACK!

At least he'll see what he can do to up the patrol time for my area.


Friday, October 14, 2011

STNG weighs in on gender issues

Watching Star Trek the Next Generation on 'flix is probably my best time waster ever.  Anyhow, in "The Outcast" was this monolog from a person who was part of a "sexless" race, and she had feelings of being a woman her entire life, which is apparently forbidden on whatever-the-fuck planet she's from (Cut/Pasted from IMDB):

I am female. I was born that way. I have had those feelings, those longings, all of my life. It is not unnatural. I am not sick because I feel this way. I do not need to be helped. I do not need to be cured. What I need, and what all of those who are like me need, is your understanding. And your compassion. We have not injured you in any way. And yet we are scorned and attacked. And all because we are different. What we do is no different from what you do. We talk, and laugh. We complain about work. And we wonder about growing old. We talk about our families, and we worry about the future. And we cry with each other when things seem hopeless. All of the loving things that you do with each other, that is what we do. And for that, we are called misfits, and deviants, and criminals. What right do you have to punish us? What right do you have to change us? What makes you think you can dictate how people love each other?

The Judges Response: I congratulate you, Soren. Your decision to admit your perversion makes it much more likely that we can help you.

..Riker: "Did it occur to you that she might want to be like this?"
 It's a beautiful episode, one among many.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fuck you, homosexual!

The title is in reference to gingergate, and is intended to convey irony.

(via) "One school district bars teachers from taking a position on homosexuality."

I don't understand this concept of "neutrality" with regard to homosexuality... How do you remain neutral on a fact?  Let me hyperbolize:

Student: "Hi, I'm Billy, I am gay."
Teacher: "I can not confirm or deny the existence of homosexuality."
Student: "How about if I just say I'm straight?"
Teacher: "I CAN confirm the existence of heterosexuality."
Student: "Doesn't the acknowledgement of one infer the existence of the other, exempli gratia: darkness implies light?"
Teacher: "Why do people think I earn too much?"

Am I misinterpreting their idea of neutrality?  Perhaps I am taking them literally what they are asking for.  To remain neutral on a characteristic is to not have an opinion on its existence (See: agnostic(loosely)).  Though what's implied (and what they really mean) is that teachers ought to remain neutral on the "good" or "bad/evil" of such a characteristic, however this is not possible..  Just as some people might think Gingers are evil and should all be killed(I went there), which is highly irrational since hair color (along with skin color, sex, etc, etc) are characteristics over which the holder has no control, homosexuality fits the same bill, and is therefore transcendent of any arbitrary judgement of goodness.  The only choice a teacher has is to take a position something like:

"The fact in the matter is that this particular (or that particular) child is homosexual(or hetrosexual).  My purpose is to protect my students from hatred in any form, and therefore hatred, and/or bullying directed at any child is unacceptable.  I will not remain neutral when a child is harassed, and it follows that I will not remain neutral when a homosexual child is harassed, the harasser will be punished."

I remain neutral [and] on the moon.

These fucking haters are so GOD DAMN stupid, and nicotine withdrawal makes me that much more fucking angry about it.  Stop being a fucking hater. 


**edit: The MIA video was supposed to be interpreted far differently than it ended up being, and is used to progress a very long and old "ginger-phobia" tradition in UK, and other parts of Europe.  This (not the video, the UK/euro issue) was an ace card I had in my back pocket during Gingergate, and didn't need to use.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rails 3 - unit testing validators with check validate reflection method

I don't know if this is to best practices or not (and I really don't give a shit -- this works great). Here's the idea:


class Submission < ActiveRecord::Base
  validates_presence_of     :title 
  validates_presence_of     :first_name

I load some data in with a fixture to make the model valid.... blah blah

unit test:

require 'test_helper'

class SubmissionTest < ActiveSupport::TestCase
  def setup
    @one = submissions(:one)
  test "empty title invalidates" do
    assert !check_validate(@one,"title")
  test "empty first name invalidates" do
    assert !check_validate(@one,"first_name")

Now the check_validate method, and the quick check method:

def check_validate(object,field)
    #Make sure object is valid
    #set old to objects value 
      old = object.send(field.to_sym)
    #send setter to object along with nil to blank it
      object.send("#{field}=".to_sym, nil)
    #set return value to boolean of valid? on object
      return_value = object.valid?
    #send setter to object for field with old value
      object.send("#{field}=".to_sym, old)
    #Make sure we leave the object valid when we're done
    #return the value
      return return_value
  def assert_object_valid(object)
    assert object.valid?, "test entered with invalid object"

It works great.. nice and DRY, this way I don't have to blank them all out, and put them all back.. ruby's reflection is a billion light years beyond any I've used for anything else ever. (Java? what?) I plan on modifying the check_validate to simplify other checks as well, and create my own library of test for common tasks. Maybe it already exists? I looked, and didn't find one.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Liberal propaganda.

**Edit: I spelled propaganda wrong. Again.

Wheeee I've been saving that one. So I spend the last 2 days, about 16 hours working on my sweet new shed with my father. I've gotten him into reading some blogs, and we discussed at length a few repeating patterns we've both noticed (and are by no means immune to):

1. There is a liberal dogma.
2. I agree with a lot of it.
3. We both have a hard time with any dogma.

1: We all know what the liberal dogmatic stances are on everything from global warming, to birth control, to affirmative action, to every other goddamn thing under the sun. While I find myself in agreement with most all of the dogmatic stances I, become thoroughly annoyed when someone chimes in with a completely rational argument against one of them, and the chimer-inner is dismissed as a troll of some sort, and the argument is not explored. I haven't yet found myself labeled a troll on a blog (I don't comment much anywhere), but I can positively conclude that I would be labelled a troll should I chime in.

Even when I am in complete agreement with a stance, political position/posture, or the like my brain immediately begins the devil's advocate program (v 30.3 It needs work, but it's done well for me). I don't do this to necessarily be argumentative, but to be exploratory. I believe this is a byproduct of the general troubleshooting skills I have honed over the whole of my life. I must consider as many alternatives as I possibly can, and should I find a logical conflict, I must do everything I possibly can to correct it. Logical inconsistencies infuriate me, although I have to live with a few (for example, the only logical conclusion I can draw from some of my new-found non-religious frameworks is that eating meat is unacceptable (pain/suffering/killing/etc of sentient beings), however, I continue to eat meat.. and probably will until I can no longer withstand the mental pressure to do otherwise).

2: Yup. Most.

3: Following dogma means acceptance without regard for the truth (should the actual truth be part of the dogma is beside the point). I have, since I can remember, absolutely refused to believe anything that I couldn't conclude with my own thought (when I eventually find the time to think about it. The queue is long). This is why I have no problem dismissing arbitrary authority -- which has caused me a lot of easily avoidable problems -- and making that dismissal quite outward.

I have concluded that the label of troll, in some circumstances (I can't give a %) is intellectual laziness. It's simply name calling with the end of dismissal of an uncomfortable question (in the cases where it's lazy).

While the comfort of dogma may have great appeal to some (and dogma is politically agnostic), I will not accept what I am told. Regardless of the authority of the preacher.

To be cliche:


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I'm about to slap someone..

For the last goddamn week some fucking asshat has been parking across the street and down 2 or so houses. They pull up and about 10 people pour out of this vehicle and they proceed to test the nerves of the surrounding 2-3 blocks with wall-shaking bass. This, of course, annoys me endlessly. The passing vehicles with obnoxiously loud bass I've managed to deal with fairly well mentally.. as long as I know it will go away I can take a few deep breaths and forget it (When I first moved to Minneapolis in 1998 I thought I was going to die of panic attacks). But this lingering shit destroys my spirit.

SO -- Calling the cops is useless, they're too busy pulling people over for trivial nonsense (esp. if they're a minority)..

So what's a ginger to do?

I think I am going to buy a few Air Horns. I am going to rig something up so I can set it and leave with the goddamn thing blaring away. Leave it on the doorstep with a nice note that says "TURN YOUR FUCKING MUSIC DOWN YOU ASSHAT".

What will I really do? Nothing. I'll sit and stew in my basement while my nerves drive me to fantasize about some form of payback for my torture. ..Oh, and continue to browse for homes in first-third ring suburbs.. and wish I made more money.


Monday, September 26, 2011

We have a problem

We have a fucking problem here:

A small town in Alabama is offering non-violent offenders the choice between doing prison time and paying a fine, or working their sentence off by going to church every week.

From TPM


Rails 3 - Check if any possibilities exist before validation

In this work project I have a few models: contest model, submission model, and subject model. Subject is a table that belongs to contest, AND subject. Some contests don't have subjects, but if they do, I need to have the user select one. These few snips of code worked well for that situation:

class Submission < ActiveRecord::Base
  #Set up how the model works
  belongs_to                :contest
  belongs_to                :subject

  #Validate the field we're talking about in this post:
  validates_presence_of     :subject_id, 
                              :on => :create,
                              :if => :needs_subject?

.. And later I defined needs_subject? as follows:

  def needs_subject?
    if self.contest.subjects.any?
      return true
      return false
end #End the model.

So this allowed me to only check if there's a subject if there SHOULD BE a subject.

Hope this helps someone.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Probability of god making an earthquake and hurricane?


Tell yourself whatever you want. For the record, the probability of a hurricane arising within 1 day, 1 week or 1 year after any arbitrary point (in this case, after an earthquake) is exactly the same, given seasonal adjustments. When events are close together, we notice. Had these two events been a year apart it would be a different story for the christnuts.

Back to homework.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

LifeNet Autonomous net

Apparently my idea does exist, though it is in a quite broken-down and seemingly abandoned way. I would think that the source for that project could be branched and modified to do what I had proposed earlier. Find it here: LifeNet


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I just had a 9/11 flashback..

It was really about the earthquake. I just saw it out of the corner of my eye, and had an "oh fuck, not again" moment for about 1/2 a second. Terrible shot.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Ad-hoc autonomous wireless network for mobile devices

Dictatorships, and oddly BART have practiced shutting down of cellular networks to quell protests and dissent. It is clear that something needs to be done to remove this powerful anti free speech weapon. I've thought about this all last week, but have no time to write the software, but I will outline it in hopes that someone will do it (or let me know if someone already has)

The network should use both Wifi, and Bluetooth technologies.
It will work in a fashion similar to how Samba systems "elect" the controller (within the software).
Simple "multicast" type messages will be used to find neighbors, and use a common messaging protocol that requires nothing other than a private IP address (
Network splits should be dealt with by having another intermediary relay messages between newly autonomous segments.
IP addresses should be randomly assigned in such a way that there will not be collisions between segments.. Address should use a class-A private address (10. etc).
All traffic destined to the internet should be encrypted by the sender with a destination to be safe-server somewhere in the world with stable government and free speech laws.
The server host will remain neutral, and ensure the secrecy of all encryption keys, with a complete revocation infrastructure incase of compromise.
Should one of the participating mobile devices suddenly get internet access, it should be immediately shared, and use adaptive throttling.
If multiple devices have access, a delegation system should be used to distribute the load.
Internet sharing should be mandatory, but with a pre-set limit of usage (eg. "I'll share up to 50MB of my connection when I get access")
Any queued messages (that would be distributed on the network for later delivery) will be delivered by at least two devices, if not all to ensure integrity.

A network working like this will de-fang any cut off of internet/cellular access, as participants will still be able to communicate among themselves. The technology we currently have is capable of doing this with no physical modifications, and a moderately sized application. The application will probably require root/su access to the device, as the device will have to switch to access point mode. Devices that are not capable of ad-hoc will be used as Wifi to BT proxies.

Make it fucking happen, now.


** Added:

... for information to start moving out to the internet should take nothing more than ONE node gaining internet access. Since all messages (outgoing, and a log of internal messages) will be distributed to ALL nodes, all messages should eventually see the light of day. In the case that the primary relay-to-internet server is taken down, there should be fall-back machines. Since the messages leaving the network will be encrypted there will need to be some kind of central repository.

It is important to note that local messages in the network (not with the final destination of the internet) will not be encrypted in the local network, only encrypted on their way out. This will disallow tampering. The key for encryption for distributed outbound messages will be encrypted with the senders key. It will also be important to have everyone informed that all messages will eventually see the light of day. Though they (the messages) should be anonymous, the eventuality of them being out in the open will allow, theoretically, for some self policing -- If a group is cut off from internet access, uses this software and is found out to have been coordinating some kind of violence, everyone will know.

I would suspect that the safe-server would use some kind of application that posts the messages to twitter and other similar places, but also replicates them to other machines (post-encryption) to ensure their "liberation".

Not only does this have the potential to deal with internet cut-offs, but also to deal with emergency situations where cell service is overwhelmed, or destroyed. The idea arose from my interest in the historic, and recent use of ham radio in catastrophic situations.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Stephen Hawking's The Grand Design

The book The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking just became available to me via the Hennepin County Public Library (in ebook format). I suspect this will be a provocative book:
...Philosophy is dead. Philosophy has not kept up with modern developments in science, particularly physics. Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge (Hawking 14).


Security through obscurity

Security through obscurity is nothing but a false sense of security. Ma bell learned this with the advent of Phreaking, and a 2600Hz cracker jack box whistle. Countless others have learned this the hard way as well. I have a long time customer who insists on using the 4D platform, which stores confidential customer information in a not-so-awesome way. I've been pressuring him for a long time to move on to something better, but he is in a endless loop of the sunken cost blues. He says "I've got all this money in it already" which he says to only convince himself that he must put more money into it. You know the drill. Anyhow, I'll use this as an opportunity to plug my latest favorite large scale web application: Magento. Yes, it's written in PHP. I'll forgive that (Drupal is written in PHP as well, and is fairly sound).

I am spending some somewhat serious time learning this platform so I can move my current and future clients away from their archaic ASP/4D/ColdFusion garbage (not to mention the other proprietary garbage that good salespeople shove down unknowing CEOs throats.) Know anyone who needs a new webstore? If they have 6 months to wait, I will set one up at a deep discount for a chance to set up my first production ready Magento.


Well, that was fun

My new topic is something that I've been tossing around in my mind for about a year and a half, and I am working up a strategy for attacking it coherently. My thesis is along the lines of: "The rapid progression of technology, specifically since 1995, mirrors the drawn-out progression of human civilization". Stay tuned.

I have to mention the past few posts, emails and a few Google+ messages I've been dealing with:
Though I'm a strong proponent for metaphorical equine abuse, I will end my last string of posts with a bit of nuanced sarcasm mixed with some serious observation. I've learned some things in the past two or so weeks: a) I am really not afforded much space for an opinion on race matters without expending great energy on fending off straw men attacks, even from some very unexpected corners (I can only interpolate a reason from the messages I have received: this is because I am i)white ii) male. I am sure this will be parsed, twisted, and beaten nearly to death, but this is purely observation, and I've confirmed it's objectivity.) b) Discussion on race is an onion with an incredible number of layers that must be traversed before even thinking of any kind of open inquiry. c) I am now interested in taking at least 2 more upper division ethnic studies classes.

Oh, and for good measure: fo guck yourself. ;)


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Fuck, I need to re-work my last post.

I re-pasted some bullshit

Well, you see folks..

White privilege is purposefully ignored in my dialog, not because of its non-existence, but because of its being a given. I understand this, and reflect on it quite often. I am reminded of it every night I spend at N. Highschool working with H.S. dropouts (various reasons, but a lot of the dropouts have informed me that they dropped out because no one cared about them in their schools. I'm not going to parse out why minorities are concentrated in the city, hopefully you all understand this.) and immigrants from very terrifying places. I was reminded of something like it (maybe more of a American-privilege) by one of the Somali women who I've shared some very exciting moments of realization with. One day about a month ago she asked me "When did YOU learn to type", well of course I learned to type when I was very young. I've been a computer geek my whole life. She responded "Well when I was [very young] I was running from men with machine guns". It is because of the reality of "white privilege" that I devote a few hours a week to help make someone else's life better.

What's missing here is that the original G+ ginger post was meant to provoke the exact response that it finally did. I have largely avoided racial discussion in any public forum, despite my deep interest in it. A deeper understanding of social psychology and its impact on the world in which we lives fascinates me. I feel like I've entered some kind of bizarre parallel to a conspiracy theory: If I say I am not offended by a comment (I'll use the ginger comment for example) I am either secretly deeply offended, or I proclaim to not be offended as a way to "show that I am above it" (or somehow belittle the impact on people who are in a minority group through an arrogant display of "I am better than you"). If I were to be offended, I would also be belittling the effect of racial comments/attitudes/etc directed minorities. I did not realize that this dilemma would arise before I started this experiment (This is a byproduct of my approach I believe). I find this interesting and telling.

The original post was meant to be as vague as possible (check it again; it really is pretty vague), and allow for people to insert their own biases, but I didn't quite think it would end up being as much about me as it was. And no, I don't think I am in any way unbiased or better/worse than anyone involved. Just curious. "Curiosity killed the cat" you say? Good thing I am not a cat. (Thanks House.)

To respond to someone who's opinion I value greatly:
'The worst interpretation is that those were some ungrateful negroes, how dare they do something like that with you being all nice and all not oppressing them anymore. Indeed, in this post, you appear to be playing on that as well, that you are taking the high road and allowing these slurs without reacting, because “turnabout is fair play”'.

The post was meant to start a discussion on "reverse racism". Nothing more, and absolutely nothing less, and it appears that it was highly successful at doing so; so successful in fact that I am finding myself psychoanalyzed (which is intriguing in itself) by 5 individuals. The first responses to the initial post infuriated me, they were mostly pats on the back in the form of "Don't worry about it; it's ok". I wasn't looking for that. There are only a few things in this world that are capable of making me feel bad, and I assure you if someone had found one, no one would know about it -- least of all the person saying/doing it. These are cards I hold very close, for obvious reasons. "Turnabout is fair play" is an acknowledgement of typical human reaction; not a justification for anything, or a realization that allows me to assign myself a 'cookie' (or expect anyone else to). Is it not fair to expect that if you beat the hell out of someone, that this particular person wouldn't return the favor? Some will, and some won't. Some of those who don't will declare the moral high ground. Others (myself included) will let it quietly pass, not because I am trying to "be the better person", but simply because I have serious problems with violence.

My neighbor across the street, who recently moved away, was severely racist. He was unaware of this really, and I tried my hardest to help him understand the situations properly: "Yes, A., it is partially because they're Black that they're on welfare, but only because of a white supremacist atmosphere that has consistently applied downward pressure on the financial, mental and educational well-being of Black people." To which he would respond "Yup, cuz they're black." Very frustrating.

What was pointed out to me was something that I shamefully had overlooked: my response to the neighbor incident was a result in search of a problem. I am a little more self aware from what was a drunken response to my online musings. But nonetheless, it is true that racism exists and comes from both the majority and the minority. Does it demean the sufferings of minorities by the white supremacist majority to point out cases of racism against it? I don't think so inherently, like I have previously said; it's the USE of this recognition of "reverse discrimination" that will be the weapon. It is wholly intellectually dishonest to ignore the patterns of racism directed by anyone at anyone. I've kept this discussion to a small group of people intentionally to not give more anti-minority propaganda to conservatives who would surely abuse any findings. It is because of the possibility for acknowledgments to be used wrongly (aka, diminish the reality of majority to minority racism) that I have perused this with caution.

My "concern trolling" is perhaps that, but I don't take anything as given. My list of three reasons why "racism is bad" is part of an ongoing internal desire to dismiss, out of hand, that anything is considered inherently bad. This is not so that I can be excused for doing something wrong, it's purely a selfish personal search for some kind of objectivity in morality, whether possible or not. I do not believe in any kind of god, supernatural power, or anything of the sort. Morality needs to be derived from something, and the best ideas I have found so far has been Sam Harris' discussion of morality based on well being. It is full of holes, but it's the best I've found after looking for a very long time, and maybe I like it because it reaffirms something I've always intuited.

I think I would be more of a concern troll if I said what I am thinking right now: "I could get in trouble with the wrong people if I keep externalizing my exploration of race relations".

One can argue both sides of psychological evolution. I agree that it is hard to disprove most of it (the key to something being scientific is the ability to for an idea to be falsified), but not impossible to test in theory. I've read both sides on the issue of the alleged progression of rape in natural selection. I think that both sides are lacking in the area of free inquiry. I can see how both sides have co-opted an interesting fact-finding discussion for their own ends. I, personally, am on the fence. Dawkins and Sagan's arguments are very strong, and neither had no visible motive for having them, simply vigorous debate of important questions. It is important to know that I am not on the fence about things I see as morally right or wrong, only on the fence about why. And should I find that a moral position is wrong through vigorous internal and/or external debate, I am not afraid to flip flop.

The self-declared purpose of my life is to learn everything there is to know. This is an impossible goal, but the journey is full of exciting twists and turns, good and bad self realizations, course corrections, deep personal insight, and every once in a while, life-changing realizations. I take into consideration all criticism.

So, after all this nonsense, I'd like to explore "reverse racism". Clearly it exists. Clearly it's bad. Clearly it's nowhere near as socially negative as "forward racism" (I am going to grant this, although this deserves discussion all by itself). HOWEVER: Why does it exist? What are it's ends? Is it an in-kind response to received racism. Is it intended to be used as a dehumanizing weapon in the same way it's used by a majority? Is it something else? Is it built-in? (I have a strong belief that it is, and this is somewhat backed up with scientific inquiry, although there are some variables that are difficult to remove). These are important questions, because without answers to these questions, I think, we will not overcome racism in all its forms. In another post, eventually, I will continue the exploration that I started in my previous post.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Reverse Discrimination

I'm already posty tonight, and I've been thinking about this all night. It's quite a dangerous topic -- I am aware -- but I just assume that my audience of 5 people is interested enough in free and open inquiry to a degree that any honest discussion is on the table.

That said, "Reverse Racism" does exist, but it's not inherently bad. In my recent Ethnic Studies class, it was explored to fairly a deep level, enough that I felt my thoughts on the matter were somewhat objective, and had nothing to do with the conservative facile definition of such. I want to explore a few things on it:

Minorities in the United States (and everywhere else I would easily grant myself) show social grouping based on race, which is to be expected: I will avoid discussion of the reasons why, but it's a very common and well studied social phenomenon, and like all other "cliques", outsiders are not generally given "the benefit of the doubt". Indeed, this is the cause of a lot of white racism towards minorities -- this goes both ways, obviously. The danger around the observance of "reverse discrimination," is that it ignores the presence of "forward racism". Actually the terms reverse/forward discrimination/racism are really all the same thing - racism.

I believe that the purpose of a lot of acknowledgement/"calling out" of "reverse racism" is to all-out ignore the existence of racism directed by the "majority" to the "minority", and if called to task, I am fairly confident I could show this in argument. This is manifest in the ongoing (and fairly successful) push to eliminate all affirmative action, at least in the U.S., the purpose of which is (maybe "socially Darwinistic" but not in it's historical meaning, more in a meaning of an actual application of natural selection to self-categorization theory) to keep the dominant/majority race in their position (dehumanize people, and they see themselves as less human) or at least, status.

Any Darwinism is to be applied post hoc, and is intended to be a way of understanding, not as an "excuse" for any action (For a very nuanced argument of why, see Sam Harris' The Moral Landscape -- this isn't explored directly, but is easily concluded). I felt I needed to clear that up to avoid some terrible labels.

We're all racist (No, I am not saying that to excuse anything, it's merely a fact. I'd link you to the compelling study involving hand skin color, but I can't find any useful links), but this is another survival mechanism (10,000 years ago, I'd be afraid of a group of people looking different than me, especially after the other group that looked different from me killed everyone in my village) we've acquired along our evolutionary path; and awareness is key to the defeat of its prevalence in the same way "wanting to have sex with someone" isn't necessarily bad, but rape is, in all of its forms, absolutely morally bad (however from an application of Darwinism, explicable and productive.)

I understand why minorities can be "racist" (in the "bad" sense of the term), I also understand why it's bad:

1. It perpetuates the conservative pseudo-dialog on race relations
2. It's hypocritical
3. It feeds an endless loop of escalation

But I empathize because:

1. I catch myself racially generalizing
2. Minorities receive it all day, every day
3. Turnabout is fair play

Minorities shouldn't be expected to "just take it" and not respond in kind, this is the whole "turn the other cheek" thing (something that is not bad, but nearly impossible to always do), instead we should all be expected to accept the fact of inherent racism (A side effect of natural selection), acknowledge it, and attempt to suppress it in the spirit of its defeat. People can say whatever the fuck they want to me, I'll take it and then think on it later. Once racism is defeated by the majority, I would assume the minority would follow suit.

I don't get upset by the microscopic amount of racism I receive, it just reminds me that it exists, and people suffer from it all the time. This breaks my heart. It really breaks my heart that "white people" direct hatred to minorities, and the same goes vice versa. I've glossed over the other types of discrimination in this, however, it should apply the same in most/all cases of discrimination (sexual, sexual preference, religious, etc).

If we didn't have eyes, we'd discriminate by sound, feel, taste (weird) or (not an exclusive or) smell.


This site will (after updates push through) be accessible from (www)

The search term had brought a few people here (I used it as a post title a while ago), and I figured I'd see if it was available (Spoonerisms rock, and that's one of my favorites), clearly it was. I am very excited, for some unknown reason, that I was available to get that domain. Weird.

Anyhow, fo guck yourself.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

jQuery wildcard selector, and input mask on Rails 3

For my big project I wanted to be able to load one jQuery partial in my view (to have content_for a :jQuery_ui yield), and find elements with IDs containing certain things (Like *phone*). I searched high and low and finally came across comments in a blog somewhere (the link is long gone). *= works as a wildcard, surrounding whatever you put in with wildcards. This is significantly better than having to install a regexp plugin for jQuery (and all the overhead that comes with it)

I used masked-input-plugin, a simple jQuery plugin. My form contains something like:

<%= f.text_field :phone_number %>
(outputs [model_name]_phone_number)
and later

<%= f.text_field :postal_code %>
(outputs [model_name]_postal_code)

and this code applies the masks accordingly:

//Select anything with "phone" in it, and apply mask. '9's mean numbers only.
  $j('input[id*="phone"]').each (function(){
      $j(this).mask("(999) 999-9999");
  //Select anything with "postal_code" and apply mask
  //The '?' means anything following the '?' is optional.  In this case, the +4 on 
  //the postal code is optional.  Even though this is called postal code,
  //it's really only for a zip, since Canada (for instance) uses alphanumeric codes,
  //which will be disallowed in the input.
  $j('input[id*="postal_code"]').each (function(){
  //Select anything with "max" (for instance my_max_users) and apply mask.
  $j('input[id*="max"]').each (function(){
      $j(this).mask("9?99999", {placeholder:""});

Any non-numeric input is ignored with the 9s, another sanity checking bonus. Now, as long as the user has javascript turned on, I can expect MOST of my input to be sanely formatted.

This was a very exciting find, and is really here in case I need to figure it out again in the future. Hopefully someone finds it who's trying to do the same thing -- that's why the title is so verbose.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Come on teaple now, pile on your brother..

Remember when the US Gov. basically allowed JP Morgan/Chase to buy Bear Stearns for $2.00/share (it ended up being higher, but still..), which was decided in a corporate suite somewhere in N.Y., and we were told that if it didn't happen, the entire world economy would collapse? I do. We're in the exact same spot, but instead of Bear Stearns, et al, it's now the U.S. Federal Government.

It's interesting, exactly WHY the world economy would have collapsed. It wasn't that Bear Stearns was too big to fail, necessarily, it's that the failure of that (among other high-seas pirate investment firms) would have completely decimated the remaining threads of faith investors had in ... investment. "Too big to fail" was illusory -- an analogy to simplify the explanation of what would happen, but that's really besides the point.

My point is: It's not that a U.S. Government default would be necessarily devastating in itself, it's that, should such a thing happen, everyone will panic (I obviously only can assume...). Whether this herd-thinking is rational or not is irrelevant. Failure to raise the debt ceiling "proves" to investors in both private and public debt, that our system of government (namely, representative democracy) is incapable of self-correcting action when it reaches a[n] [arbitrary] certain point.

If the worst should happen, we should expect some pretty fucking dire consequences. There will be a domino effect, I would assume, of loss of faith in a wide gamut of institutions from government, to blue-chip, to ma/pa shops. I would assume there will be runs on banks (sooner or later people will realize that the FDIC is basically the federal government. Bond interest payments are paid before bank members), which will choke off the money supply (which apparently has a statutory limit), etc, etc... I can't make it play out any other way.

The fact that a few key puppet masters can control and manipulate large blocs in the federal legislature undermines the point of a representative democracy. It appears that we now live under the tyranny of the tea party, Fox News, and Grover Norquist.

I think we are witnessing the upper bound of the ability of a democratic republic, and this is regardless of any debt ceiling fallout. This is quite unfortunate, since there really is no viable alternative.

Hopefully I'm wrong.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Mr. West, here's a hint: it's not because your black

From TPM:

"The thing that really most aggravates me is that there is this double standard, in that the people on the hard left can continue to attack conservatives and especially minority conservatives, and female conservatives," said West. "But yet when all of a sudden you stand up and you say that you will not tolerate this anymore, then they claim to be a victim -- which I find just absolutely laughable."

This is pure propaganda. I dislike you just as much as Gingrich, who is "decidedly white". Matter of fact, when I first learned about your Wasserman-Schultz outburst, I had no idea who you were, not to mention your ethnicity. I thought it was just as fucking stupid and childish as I do now that I know your black. STFU.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

The people who will control our future

...lose again. In a game of brinkmanship, those who don't care about going over will always win. I'm disappointed in a way that Dayton gave in.. pulling more money out of the education hat to solve problems, but in all reality, what the fuck else could he have done? Held out? Norquist is breathing down these assclown's necks. Just ask Coburn. The Rs are afraid for their jobs, and pushing "lower taxes" sounds good to anyone without the time, or willingness to think it all out.

I like Dayton. He's a good man. His move today, I think, wasn't a political move, or anything like that. It was disappointing, but revealing. Nice guys [lose].


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Some skin in the game

So there's a new meme that seems to be picking up steam (heh) with even the more liberal of people I pay attention to: `The poor need to have some skin in the game too`. I would like to request that if you are one of the people thinking/feeling this, that you take a fucking step back and think about it for a second. What is the purpose of taxing (raising taxes on) poor people (No numbers are mentioned, I will assume below the poverty line of about $18k/year for a family of 4)? Is it symbolic? Do people who have shitty lives suddenly feel something like "Oh, well now that I've got skin in the game I don't want to be poor anymore"? Is that how this shit works? HUH? Is it to make an impact? Can you find me someone who thinks "Oh, well now that I pay [more] taxes, I suddenly..." I can't even finish that sentence. It makes no fucking sense to me at all. What is the point here? Enlighten me.




My favorite part?
"Ethan Nadelmann, Ann Cooter" @7:05


Friday, July 8, 2011

The Tea Party Drama Series: Courage, NH

It's cute, I suppose.

What I really wanted to comment on was this:

...secular humanism rules the airwaves...

YGTBFKM. In this fantasy land, where everyone-but-me is the perfect enemy, what is the color of the sky? Do these people actually believe shit like that (and various other bumbling) or do they know it's bullshit, and it's purely dogwhistle? I can't fucking pick it apart to figure it out, they've got me stumped. I know there's clearly some that go one way and others that go the other, but is there some kind of magical way to detect "grifter"? My grifterdar is unconfigured, and needs calibration.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Oh and, Fox:

You ARE the mainstream media. And you should be fucking ashamed of yourself, Mr. Murdoch.


Proof of god

Here's your proof.

No one saw lightning strike the pine tree on Suburban Drive in Orange County, Florida, where teddy bears and flowers mark the spot where 2-year-old Caylee's remains were found on December 2, 2008.

But long, diagonal strips of exposed wood scarred the tall pine tree, WESH reported, and bits of bark lay scattered across the road.

"It could be a sign from the angels that they aren't happy with what's happened," a visitor to the site told the Orlando Sentinel newspaper. "The rain, the lightning, the storm – it's the heavens indicating they aren't happy."

Oh how trite you are. Lightning? Why not a goddamn earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, tornado, and to top it off, flaming space debris.

We need better math education, specifically, statistics. This reminds me of a book I read recently. To paraphrase and mold to this story: How many people die terrible deaths, with unjust outcomes and there's NO lightning strike at the 'memorial'?



Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dayton VS the Rable Day 5

It would appear as though Dayton is starting to puss out:

Budget negotiations appeared to break down at the Capitol Wednesday afternoon after Gov. Mark Dayton offered Republicans two new offers -- both including tax increases.

One raised the tax on cigarettes by $1 a pack. The other included a temporary 2% income tax surcharge on millionaires. Both proposals also featured expanded school shifts and health care surcharges.

“A tax increase in general is a non-starter with our caucus," said House Speaker Kurt Zellers. He added: "Things went backwards today."

First: A cigerette tax increase is not a progressive tax. Second, School shifts are a republican budget "gimmick", stop using that shit. Dayton: Don't fucking puss out. Zellers: I thought taxes on cigarettes were "fees" not actually taxes. If they're taxes, T-paw raised taxes as governor. (Duh).


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

'Are You Proud of America This July 4?'

Fox news question: "Are You Proud of America This July 4?" Well, first of all it's July 5th (July 5th, 2:41AM to be exact), so you're fucking stupid, and second: what the fuck does that have to do with the price of beans? Maybe my answer should be "'Merica, we signed the dereliction (sp) of independents (Liberman, woot!) and freed the slaves! Now we just have to figure out a way to deal with these blacks". Sorry, sorry.. I spent the weekend and the holiday with a few 'teabillies' up nort'. JFC. When do we get a leader on our side with some goddamn balls? Where's our Grover Norquist? Don't fucking tell me it's Jon Stewart.. we're fucked.

Happy 'independents' day.


Monday, July 4, 2011

Let the oil flow.. into Yellowstone

Again? Really? What is it going to fucking take?


Friday, July 1, 2011

Dayton: Finally.

I'm glad he wasn't bluffing. Finally we get someone in a goddamn executive branch who will hold (at least half) their ground. Offering even to raise taxes only on people with incomes > $1m.. far far less than 1% of the MN population. That's a compromise t-paw would have never given (Mr. my way or the fucking (collapsed) highway). Dayton is clearly not worried about re-election (All the dems I know of would have folded long ago out of `sheer terror`). He's serious, and unless you're part of the 2% of the population making a fuckload and a half of money, he's on your side (even then, he's on your side. Despite rampant fuckwadism, we're all in this together). Whether you like it or not.

Hyperbolic poop-touchery, deriding "tax-and-spend liberalism" is not in line with the way of life that should be expected, if not demanded, in the richest country the world has ever known.

From an undisclosed location?


Thursday, June 30, 2011

The social network?

Well, when Google+ launches I will be annoying you again live, from the comfort of my living room. 'bout time FB had a competitor.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Google: I <3 you.

I've been an outspoken lover of Google for a long time. I easily saw past the "scandal" of collecting information when driving around for street view (just fucking google it). Their explanation made a shitload of sense, and they were recording APs they found for location information. S.L. at work is just a paranoid libertarian. I've blogged before about how I cautiously love Google, and their pushing of open source for the good of the internet community is in itself a good goal (and lucrative. One day I will explore the link between socialism, capitalism, mixed economies and the open source "movement".) But anyhow, I wanted to mention this a while ago and forgot:
Technology-Driven Philanthropy. It came up on NPR today, and that reminded me.

Oh, and,


Saturday, June 25, 2011

It won't be long now...

I give it a year tops. The republicans will be howling how the liberals never wanted gay people to get married, and the libs hate gays. On we march.


"You may say that I’m a dreamer..."

Yeah, well fuck you.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the state's marriage equality bill hours after it passed the Republican-controlled Senate on Friday night, making it the sixth state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage.

I stand by my naive stance that we'll just keep chugging forward, "progressively". Of course, there will be setbacks. So what?


**Edit: fixed a subjective quote.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The International Space Station

I just watched the ISS flyby.. from the NW. I've watched it many times. Every time I watch it it makes me smile a really big smile. I think to myself "WE did that". Not the "Nic and X" we (obviously I really had nothing to do with it), but the collective we. "There's so much more we can and will do". I remind myself of this every time I hear the Palins and Gingrichs talk. Keep your faith in god. I have faith in us.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I know, I am not a real programmer anymore

So some of you may recall my diatribe regarding frameworks. I've done a full flop, and am completely behind Ruby on Rails (and jQuery). I love them. However, some of my reasons for not using them are starting to come true in my everyday experience with RoR: Every FUCKING time I upgrade, or change ANYthing on any of my servers that has to do with RoR, or Ruby in general EVERYTHING GETS ALL KINDS OF FUCKED UP! It's getting obnoxious.. I have hours into tracking down stupid shit problems that are NOT documented any-fucking-where. RoR 3.1 is coming out, with some anticipated (at least for me) changes. I went to install the "edge" version (beta of 3.1), and I couldn't even get it off the ground, so I reverted back, but I had reverted back to 3.09 (coming from 3.03) and that got all kinds of fucked up, but not because I installed the 3.1rc gem, but because my 3.03 shit wanted to install mysql2 v 0.3.x which is apparently not compatible with any RoR v3.x.. so TWO FUCKING HOURS LATER, after finally reverting back to 3.03, and THAT NOT WORKING EITHER, I canned the entire fucking install, re-installed.. and NOTHING! FUCK YOU ROR! And then I solved it.. a workaround I was using for 3.03 was fucking fixed when some gem got updated, and removing that workaround allowed 3.03 AND 3.09 to work. Apparently I won't need mysql2 anymore with 3.1, but I wouldn't know that from my SHIT experience today.

BUT for every hour I spend tracking down these OBNOXIOUS problems, I save 5 in raw development time. Tradeoffs. Sorry for the long drawn out shit that you don't care about. This is really just so I have a record of what I did when I end up having to do it again.


Failin' with Palin 2.0

So Bristol's "memoir" came out yesterday. I have no desire to read it, but I had to do a little bit of research to pacify my curiosity of what in the fuck that person could possibly write about. Well, of course, denial, victim-hood, and other staples of the conservative American:

Bristol starts off her story with the night her virginity was "stolen" by Johnston, saying she had succumbed for the first time in her life to the "woozy charms" of wine coolers while on a camping trip with friends. She woke up the following morning next to Johnston's empty sleeping bag in a tent and found out that the two had slept together–an event, she writes, she couldn't recall.

OK - a few things I have to point out here: wine coolers don't actually contain alcohol. They just piggyback the placebo effect. At least - the few times I've drank them, I couldn't even get a headache. Also, at that age I couldn't blackout if I tried, that apparently comes later. I was forced to remember, in vivid detail, every drunk-beyond-imagination stupidity I found myself doing. This -- Palin 2.0 -- is pure bullshit, and a dodge of responsibility. If it's true, it sounds like rape, but since the [nice young woman] already claimed she can't remember anything, she'd find herself hard-pressed to prove that she didn't actually say "fuck me please" the whole night.

Bristol writes, concluding that she immediately felt obligated to marry Johnston, a boy she had a crush on since the seventh grade.

Now, it's not my place to say this, but this is, after all, the internet; sounds like dude was set-up. ..just sayin'.

"Let's just say Track was an 'abstinence only' advocate when it came to his sisters, and he was ready to enforce that philosophy with his fists," Bristol writes, although she doesn't fully disclose what happened at Johnston's house.

The book describes Johnston as a disloyal boyfriend who had "occasional romps with other girls."

This family has no credibility. They stand for all the hypocrisy that is conservative America. No wonder they're stars -- 50% or so of the population sees themselves on TV, and riding across the country in a goddamn bus, only to bail when no one pays attention.

It'll be fun watching her/them self destruct in the coming years.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Windows 8

Fuck. We're moving to cloud-only applications. Yeah, it will run legacy stuff, but for how long?


"I'm only here to spread some fear"...

The Target workers in New York who voted yesterday to organize rejected unionization. No real surprise there, I've heard reports of mandated new-hire anti-union videos.  No surprise then:

The United and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 says it's contesting the results and asking the federal government to order a new election. The union says Target management illegally threatened and intimidated the workers.
 This doesn't surprise me.  Target can easily deny this, and no doubt they will.  But we all know, their biggest fear, in the whole wide world, is paying their people "on the ground" a wage that can support at least a family of three.  I boycotted Target with the whole Emmer/PAC thing, and I will continue to (besides the cookies I bought for my class Thursday night at Target with the store's money.  I know I know).  But maybe all those made in China stickers will one day not make me think of 10 year olds at sewing machines slaving away for $5 a day or something.



To keep the theme (and ignore nuance) from Orwell's Animal Farm:
"Mollie," she said, "I have something very serious to say to
you. This morning I saw you looking over the hedge that
divides Animal Farm from Foxwood. One of Mr. Pilkington's
men was standing on the other side of the hedge. And I was a
long way away, but I am almost certain I saw this; he was
talking to you and you were allowing him to stroke your
nose. What does that mean, Mollie?"

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Goddamn startribune

Since the site overhaul, NONE of my comments get approved.. no swearing or anything! So I spent the time, I'll put them here. Links to some data included here, since I can.  I should have been keeping this shit bookmarked, it's hard to re-find the specific stuff I am thinking of when I post.

jrock612 "Because I'm the one stuck with the bill! I have to work harder and longer hours to support your family members. And do I get a thank you? No! They feel entitled."

Harder and longer hours than what?  Last year?  The year before?  State income taxes have gone down over the past decade.  This adds up to complete nonsense.. just like a lot of these other comments. 

kinghibernia "WOW!!! One out of every ten people in the State of Minnesota is receiving some type of government assistance!!! Is this correct? Thanks to the DFL majority that has controlled the House and Senate for the last previous forty years!!"

...Or for the "last previous forty years"  wages have stagnated (Adjusted for inflation, the lower income brackets are flat for a long time).

A quick look at cencus data for Minnesota tells us that 10.9% of Minnesotans live below the poverty line, which is $22,350 for a family of 4.  The 1 in 10 seems in line with income.  Interestingly, Texas, the land of the free, has 17.1% of it's population below the poverty level.


Saturday, June 11, 2011


Sorry I had to, I love it (Phideaux is fucking ROCK SOLID prog rock). I almost considered, tonight, a "drunk blog" (in the spirit of my drunk kitchen) something like "drunken redhead political bullshit".. I took it into serious consideration (I mean, drunk = stupid = awesome) but I suppose I'd like to find a job one day, so fuck that.

Tell me, when the planet was formed
Was it easy to believe there was more
Were we learning to expand and explore
Did we weather the storm?
Or get lost in the dust of disturbance and cloud
Caught in the force of the shadow of doubt
Feel the helix alive, feel it inside
So tell me how to lose the regret
The glass sits more than half empty yet
Salvation in one last cigarette
I might want to forget
Or get lost in the rush of distraction and lust
Take one little step
To the end where you must
Everything depends on a moment of trust
Come and be seen
And you’re saved from the dust
So come now and let’s settle the debt
It’s a wager I don’t want to accept
I’ll keep looking, maybe this is a test
To get up from the sloth and face what I see
In for the kill that is coming for me
All it feeds on is pleasure
All it values is crass
It’s depraved beyond measure
But it’s top of the class
Every god is a letdown
All heroes are false
So there ends the lesson
It’s a hell of a course


Thursday, June 9, 2011


Via: Pharyngula:

Click to view it larger.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Xbox or Grandma?

Re AZ fires (On the bright side, our sunsets have been really drawn out and red lately)

But not everything fit, forcing them to make tough decisions. The Xbox made the cut, but family photos stayed behind.

From here


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Online poker breadwinners?

Families Face Dire Straits After Online Poker Shutdown WTF?  There is way too much wrong with that, and none of it involves criticism of gambling.  I am going back to bed.

Don't know how I missed this..

"Some businesses like Broadway Liquor are fully insured."

OK, so then really - shut the fuck up dude.


Poor poor broadway liquor

This guy is such a victim... not only of the people who have no respect for the family who single-handedly opened a liquor store.. in a city, but of the tornado which also had no respect.

Fuck this guy.  I keep seeing this victim asshole everywhere.  Meanwhile, there's people who've lost everything they own.  And no, I don't know anything about him other than that he's a whiny bitch.  Shit happens.  (Isn't that the mantra when it's NOT you?)  .. AND since you didn't bitch about the injustices of the insurance company, I am going to go ahead and assume that pretty much everything is going to be covered.

Fuck you dude.


**EDIT I added a link, and a few other things, and removed captain victim's name.

So there I am..

For some reason I decided to go through the Minnesota Republican Party platform from 2010.. I went in looking for a laugh, so I wouldn't get too pissed off going through it.  It's worked pretty well so far (there's a lot to laugh about), and I am keeping at bay the realization that "it'd be funny if it wasn't the cause of so much idiocy," or something like that.  Anyhow.. a lot of shit caught my eye as being very stupid, or strange.  This one stood out:
We should continue to encourage the voluntary expression of religious beliefs and traditions of students. Specifically, educators who discuss creation science should be protected from disciplinary action and science standards should recognize that there is controversy pertaining to the theory of evolution.
 Lately I am on an anti-religion kick.  I suspect it will probably last for the rest of my life.. Anyhow: The only controversy about the "theory of evolution [by means of natural selection]" is that these (you?) people are too afraid of it to accept it.  If we've really been intelligently designed..well, someone's got a lot of 'splainin' to do.


Monday, May 30, 2011

You know you're crazy when...

...the fucking KKK counter protests you.

They said they were there to object to the Westboro Baptist Church's anti-troop message.
"It's the soldier that fought and died and gave them that right to free speech," said Dennis LaBonte, the self-described "Imperial Wizard" of the KKK group that he said he formed several years ago.

"That's fine," said Abigail Phelps, the daughter of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps. "They have no moral authority on anything.
"People like them say it's white power ... white supremacy," Phelps said. "The Bible doesn't say anywhere that it's an abomination to be born of a certain gender or race."

Wouldn't it be something to see a "moral authority" debate between KKK members and WBC members.


Religion strikes again

Holy fucking shit:

"We didn't want them to say we had sexually assaulted or raped them, so we wanted to prove that they weren't virgins in the first place," the general said. "None of them were (virgins)."

 That is one of the worst things I have read in a very fucking long time.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Since I've been so posty lately..

MPX @ 2:00PM.  Crazy shit.



From the strib


If I lived about 8 blocks south...


North Minneapolis around 43rd N and Emerson And no, I wasn't driving around there.  The aerial photos are insane.. I'm waiting to see if the city calls for any help, I'll jockey a chainsaw.


Saturday, May 21, 2011


It passed.. just now.



Looks like I might have gotten ahead of myself

After driving around the west metro watching crazy awesome clouds swirl and twist, I returned home to learn that apparently they are going to vote on the constitutional amendment to go up for a statewide G.E. vote.  If you catch this post in the next few hours/minutes you can watch here:

Really: Who fucking cares if two men, two women, three women, five men and two women, whatever get married?  These "conservatives", so full of hate.  The problem is that no one really calls them on it.  As the Balloon Juicers would say "The shape of the earth: views differ"; too many of us passively allow "views" to propagate unchecked (yes, you have a right to have an opinion, and I have a right to disagree with you as well.. and a right to tell you when you're completely fucking wrong.) that are irrelevant, and have no place in rational, or civil discourse.

This shit breaks my heart.  This is like the 4th post or so in a little over a week on this.  I'm not pro gay, or anti gay, or pro marriage, or anything like that.  I'm simply pro human, and pro freedom.  I wish some of my states' elected representatives could honestly say the same, despite their insistence that they are.


Father God

So  Captain Jackass who we all remember has worked with Minnesota Republicans in the past, is invited to make the opening prayer (whyever the fuck we still have this is beyond me).  He insists, indirectly that Obama isn't a Christian (because when you're everything-that's-not-you-phobic, that's a bad thing), and people figure out who he is.. everyone loses their shit.  The whole incident actually showed a thread of hope, not just for the delay and possible shelving of an anti-human power grab, but for the people in that chamber.. they were basically shamed into renouncing a man they may very well secretly adore.. after all, someone must have invited him.. or maybe he raptured in, or some hogwash.

The point is: If you bring someone somewhere who's a fucking bigot,   expect them to be a bigot, and don't be surprised when everyone gets all pissed off.  Who said republican idiocy was all bad?


Awesome - Rapture Fail

Rapture Fail

From the front lines of insanity,

Friday, May 20, 2011

Zombies, consumers, conservatives, christians...

I find an incredible amount of similarities between those four things, the CDC had a secretly serious message, disguised as a joke for us: Zombies are already here.  So while you sit there and wonder: are there really zombies (or will I be raptured on Saturday)? I'll sit back and watch as the other three eat our collective brains.  Slowly.  As they have been doing, and will continue to do.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

You can stop asking me

No, I don't "believe" the world will end on Saturday.  I also don't "not believe" the world will end on Saturday.  A stupid reader would say: "so you're on the fence", and observant reader would note: "so you choose to not even acknowledge it".

Here's a hypothetical conversation with an imaginary reader

Reader "But what if you're wrong"
Me "about what?"
Reader "Judgement day"
Me "Well, what if I am wrong about there not being a colony of smurfs on the sun?"
Reader "That's ridiculous" 
Me "."



Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Oh please.

From today's Strib readers write:

"Is it genuine bigotry to believe that a child needs a father and a mother?"

Yes in short.. and when you use what amounts to mobs to try enforce this legally, Yes.

"Is it mean-spirited to believe that the legal institution of marriage is far more about children's and society's ultimate needs than it is about the emotions and desires of the wedded adults?"

No, that's just plain stupid.  And to make it worse, you know it.  The "one mother, one father" thing only makes sense if you subscribe to a host of other utterly nonsensical bullshit.  Let me ask this in my own snarky bigoted way:

If having a mother and a father is the only way a child should be raised, why aren't we making an amendment to take children away from single parents, to make divorce illegal, and require a license to breed?  Oh right, because no one would fucking put up with that bullshit.  The argument is old already, but I will regurgitate it: If we put other civil rights up for votes, they would lose.  And the big one: If we had a constitutional amendment vote on banning "protests at military funerals" it would probably pass.  We live in a representative democracy to PROTECT the minority from the tyranny of the majority.  The minority is never really a tyrant, it's just that the majority is a bunch of babies. 

I get it: you don't like LGBT people.  It's not really cool to say it anymore, but you can still try to at least keep them down.  It's a good thing that people still die -- after a long life of course -- otherwise, ideas would never get a chance to progress.

Remember when you're out there screaming your hate for this ungodly thing, or that unchristian whatever:

We look about us, on the streets and in the subways, and discover that we are beautiful because we are mortal, priceless because we are so rare in the universe and so fleeting. Whatever we are, whatever we make of ourselves, is all we will ever have--and that, in its profound simplicity, is the meaning of life. 
-Phillip Appleman originally quoted here


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I like it when you waterboard me like that, baby!

By the time I get to writing anything, millions of people already have written far better things on the subjects I attack.  But this has never stopped me before, so:

Torture is a bad thing.

This isn't failsafe, but a good way to judge whether something is, generically "good" or "bad" is to do the would-I-want-that-shit-to-happen-to-me test.  Torture fails, and pretty much across the board.  The amount of good intelligence gathered from torturing someone is absolutely beside the point.  Again, we're asking the wrong fucking question.  Who cares if "torture led to Bin Laden"?  But to fall prey to another rhetorical seduction, I'll explore it a tiny bit.

Not all intel gathered from torture can be bad:
This fails the bullshit test.  If this is true, than SOME of the people tortured in the dark ages MUST have been flying around on brooms..  Or maybe it's that the only real use of torture is to force someone to admit something the torturer already knows (before these people were tortured into "admitting" whateverthefuck crazy shit they were admitting, the torturer had already decided they were guilty, and the 'crime' was quite specific).  If the torturer doesn't know exactly what information is to be gathered, then there's no real way to detect lie vs. reality.  Quick example:

Joe Patriot: "Tell me where Usama is, or I'll smash your balls!"
Freedom Hater: "No, Never!"

Joe Patriot: "I am serious, I will smash your balls, but I've got to work my way to your freedom hating seed from your freedom hating fingers!"
Freedom Hater: "OK OK, He's in Pennsylvania"

Joe Patriot: "You're lying!  I know he can't be in Pennsylvania!"
Freedom Hater: "You're right, he's in the big house just outside of Khan Abu ar Rayat, near 'highway' 12 in Iraq!" (Randomly zoomed in on a spot with google maps).
Joe Patriot: "Thanks you piece of shit!"

Now, Mr. Hater has bought himself some time, and can easily work his way out of the lie (Doesn't matter if it's a lie, or if it's just completely random) with statements such as "He must have moved" (I mean, who could argue with that?  It's highly plausible that living things that are not plants would move).

Now if Mr. Patriot already KNOWS where Bin Laden is hiding, and already knows that Mr. Hater ALSO knows (heh), he can successfully torture him for that information, but this is completely stupid, and by any rational standard can be considered a fucking terrible thing to do.

The REAL purpose of torture is, has always been and will always be to exact some kind of personal revenge, or to pacify some kind of bloodlust.  Neither of these have a place in any modern society.  Plus: what's the point of making pro-human laws if you only arbitrarily follow them?  (This argument also does well with god-miracles vs. reality).


**Edit: the spaces in the dialog used less than and greater than < > but I forgot to use HTML elements (GOOGLE: FUCKING FIX THAT!) so they're gone, but use your torturous imagination.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

"Roswell that ends well"

Obama at the Correspondents Dinner:

No one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than "the Donald"  and that's because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter, like did we fake the moon landing, what really happened in Roswell, and where are Biggy and Tupac?

Seth Meyers at the Correspondents Dinner:

Donald Trump often talks about running as a Republican, which is surprising, I just assumed he was running as a joke.


P.S. The title is stolen from a Futurama episode specifically.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Gay Marriage

This is infuriating.  It's been in the making for a while.  I'm really here to comment on idiotic politicians and clergy (from that article):

Such marriages run counter to "the intent of Almighty God," said the Rev. Tom Parrish, pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. "I've sat at the bedside of many [dying] gay men. I deeply love them, but I deeply disagree with them."
What exactly do you disagree with, Tom? Do you disagree with their gayness?  If so I disagree with your hair.  How stupid! 

The Rev. Bob Battle, pastor of Berean Church in the shadow of the Capitol, also said gay marriage runs counter to the Adam and Eve creation story in Genesis. A longtime politically conservative civil rights leader, he added that, "I don't think this has anything to do with civil rights."
According to the dictionary:
civil rights
The rights belonging to an individual by virtue of citizenship, especially the fundamental freedoms and privileges guaranteed by the 13th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and by subsequent acts of Congress, including civil liberties, due process, equal protection of the laws, and freedom from discrimination.

So apparently it DOES have to do with civil rights, Bob.   By definition. "[. . .]and freedom from discrimination"

"We should give this to the public to decide," Limmer said.
"This is the time for Minnesota to have this public dialogue."
 So can we have your paychecks back, since you're offloading your work onto the ballot?  Hint: This is a constitutional republic, not a direct democracy.  One of the main goals of our system of government is to protect the minority from the fucking mob of people against it.

Seriously you homophobes, go fuck yourselves.



So I was reminded tonight of the French ban on the Burqa (among other religious garb).  This has annoyed me since I found out about it.  The law is just as repressive as the symbolism it seeks to destroy.  I am not a religious scholar in any sense, so I won't pretend I am able to delve into what the Burqa means or symbolizes.  I do know that in the defense of civil liberties, any and all garments (try me) should be allowed, provided full consent of the 'wearer'.  This is the same civil liberty stance that has put me in awkward positions such as supporting Fred Phelps and his ridiculous crusade against homosexuality.

Speaking of homosexuality, I am reminded of my liberal cohorts who have been seduced into answering the 'timeless' question of whether or not homosexuality (among other things) is "genetic" or "natural" or if it's "programmed" by culture.  That's a stupid question.  Stop answering, it doesn't matter.  Let's say it's programmed (like religion): people have, in this country (supposedly) the autonomy to believe, think, and do whatever they want (this is obviously arguable, but only because we tolerate the closed minded who in turn tolerate nothing.. true liberalism).  If someone were to choose to be gay, that's their right.. a civil liberty.  If someone were born gay, it is their right to 'be' as gay as they please (don't read into that).. also a civil liberty.  The answer is the same, so long as you ask the right question: Why should someone be denied the right to do whateverthefuck they want so long as no person is hurt (against their will), and no (sacred) property is hurt.  I could go on for pages and pages, but I'll stop here.

The more you try to police people into thinking like you do (regardless of intent), the more resistance you will find.  It's almost as if we're "programmed" that way.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Could it be?

The Rapture has begun?  Or should people pay attention to the weather, and seek shelter?  It doesn't make sense why so many people have died from these storms.. Maybe it's the building codes?  Resistance to the gubermint telling trailer park owners to build tornado shelters? IDK.. I am grasping at straws here.


Monday, April 18, 2011

S&P VS GOP: Nothing makes sense anymore.

It would appear as though we're in a positive feedback loop.

(CNN) -- Standard & Poor's lowered its outlook for the nation's long-term debt Monday, saying the political grousing over the deficit could put more pressure on the still shaky economic recovery.
 (FOX News)South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint warns he will filibuster vote on debt ceiling unless lawmakers add a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution, adding a new twist in deficit battle.

 Grab your asses.


**EDIT In another twist, checking the  10 Year T-note (^TNX), the interest rate was DOWN today about 1.15% when I checked.  WTF?!?!?

**EDIT EDIT It appears that Krugman beat me to this by hours:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Class warfare.

Here we fucking go again (I feel like I should come up with a new cliché).  You'd think after spending most of my conscious life thinking about and debating politics, I would learn that there's virtually no movement of ideas within an ideology.. yet hope springs.. ephemeral..  generally in fits and starts, if at all.  Anyhow:

Millionaire A states: "If I really have to change my lifestyle because I'm being overly taxed, then I'm kind of doing something wrong to begin with. . ."  

Millionaire B states: "Increasing taxes on the wealthy means punishing the more fortunate and successful people of a society, and more so, violates their free will to independently help individuals who they would like to help . .  Punishing success in any field is evil." 

 A: It would seem that A wasn't born with a silver spoon in his ass.

B: It would seem that B should see a proctologist. 

Here's a cheap shot: Is punishing success at being a burglar evil?  No?  So where then is our arbitrary line to be drawn?  Perhaps some reduction should be applied... or maybe defining our terms: the greatest weapon against spin/propaganda.  I am looking too deep into this, but there's a point hiding in there somewhere.

I'm ignoring the infantile claim that such a thing as "free will" exists, and specifically in the way it's being used.   "Free will"?  I dare you to reduce it.  Then define it.