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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Inauguration Day

I saw a number of marching bands, marching in the dark streets, making their way to the reviewing stand. An interesting effect, I thought, and I was glad no band member seemed to have lost their way in the gathering dusk.
As I watched, they rose from the shadows, marched by the light, and went on into the night. It was a metaphor I was not all that fond of. I think I could have done without it. Surely, not everything is a metaphor... or is it? (Did Bishop Berkley ever consider that "to be" is "to be a metaphor"?)

That's all I saw. I do not watch inaugurations and never have. I think I watched President Obama take the oath, but did not stick around for the rest. I did also see Justice Clarence Thomas' severe and jowly face as he administered the oath of office to Mr. Pence. He has a nice voice, but he always seems to be doing a Harriet Tubman impression.

Some people have said Mr. Trump not my president and never will be.
I never did buy into the ritualistic idolatry of the president. I mean, he is elected to serve us and he should work from 7 AM to 7 PM to do so. The question whether he is "mine" or not never, ever entered my consciousness before.

From what I read, Mr. Trump sees himself as the character Bane in the Dark Knight Rises, a figure who is to go to war against all elites - whether Democrat or Republican - and restore power to the "people".

I'm all for it.
The only fly in the ointment so far is that everyone over the past hundred years who has promised power to the people has identified themselves as "the people" and has forced their own personal history and worlding-view upon the rest of the schlubs standing around.

Mr. Trump may find his lack of a real political ideology will work well, preventing him from forcing a non-existent ideology onto the backs of others. However, ideologies are also wonderful short-cuts: when faced with a situation that requires the bravery of Daniel and the wisdom of Solomon - and finding oneself a little short of each that particular day - the best way to "cut to the chase" is to rely on good old ideological belief system which one shares with a bunch of other of the clueless.

Mr. Trump, lacking ideology, will have to create his own coherence that extends beyond merely make America great again.
I mean, a National Patriotism Day! What the heck is that? The 4th of July celebrates a factually real struggle and accomplishment. Patriotism Day?!?! How can you celebrate an abstraction? Maybe you can force people into some "patriotic" mold.

We need something a bit more substantial. I think Mr. Trump knows it.


Cinéma En Plein Air [01/21/2017-answer]

The film is Moonrise Kingdom.

This was the Britten musical piece being performed by the children in the church during the storm.

Règle du jeu

Friday, January 20, 2017


I mis-titled my current flash fictions. They were supposed to be Ade Ilekes, short fictions, and not "flash fictions" which was supposed to be reserved for mob fictions.



Cinéma En Plein Air [01/20/2017-clue]

Cinéma en plein air means "movies in the wide open spaces" and I call my new game that because it is pretty much the exact opposite. It is covert - couvert - and not open at all - ouvert. I mean, what kind of game would it be if it was immediately obvious and open and you could guess the right answer right away?
Not much fun, I would think.
And I think about films in French, so there.
And there is a real film festival called  Cinéma en plein air  in La Villette, so the title is very much 24 frames a second, non?

 Film Festival  (estivale aussi !) in La Villette

[Last year it was partly behind closed doors (à huis clos) due to the prefecture of police figuring that such an assemblage of people in the open air would - in the case of terrorism - be too much like shooting fish in a barrel ( tirer des poissons dans un tonneau - or, as I say it, "teeray-d'poizon daz ut'tno".]

 Anyway, the game!

I show you a picture of something very much germane and involved in a movie and you guess the movie. Got it? 

For example:

and the answer is.... anyone? anyone?

Answer tomorrow.


Continuous Transportation: Trains

Un État de Transport Continu
inspiré par le film Transperceneige

UK, Ministry of Funny Transport, Shropshire just outside Whitchurch on the Welsh Marches Line.


The Dynamics Of Morals: The Big Lie

 George Orwell

Orwell, Freud, and 1984
By Paul Roazen
... Double-think is a Newspeak word for mastering reality by means of controlling memories. In 1984 old-fashioned contradictions become increasingly unsettling as apparent paradoxes dissolve under Newspeak logic. Since there are no laws, nothing can be illegal. The central principles of 1984— war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength—gain an eerie meaning by the end of the novel. Orwell once labelled schizophrenic “the power of holding simultaneously two beliefs which cancel out,” and considered similarly pathological the manner of thinking which ignores “facts which are obvious and unalterable, and which will have to be faced sooner or later.”
Double-think is described as the means by which one can hold “two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously,” and accept both of them as true. In this respect double-think is almost a parody of the psychoanalytic ideal of normality—the capacity to endure in the face of ambiguity, frustration, delay. By contrast, 1984 suggests that through neutralizing knowledge and altering the past, it becomes possible to forget that one has forgotten anything...
I have expressed my view that we are good and bad at the same time. We do not have to be tempted by the devil to be bad, for the probability of evil is always greater than zero.

But Orwell here is talking about active belief states, not about potential states. Whereas I am capable of waging war and enjoying peace, I do not actively believe that both are the same thing.

Realizing that I am both good and evil does not neutralize morality, rather it sharpens my quest for whatever level of perfection I have set for myself. However, to believe that "good" and "evil" are the same thing - somewhat like the Marquis de Sade and his emulators in today's films and novels - does indeed neutralize morality.
It is true that the initial confrontation with the pornography of evil is incredibly intense. Think of some of the really good torture scenes in Game of Thrones. Wow! Get things moving, don't they?
But after the initial horror, it deadens us to horrors and we need to seek more if we wish to feel that intensity again.

Think of the progress of Violence and Sex in the films since the 1960s. What was considered horribly violent in 1965 is laughable now.

I am not condemning anything. I am interested in the dynamics of morality. I do not seek to moralize.

 Sigmund Freud

There is a similar dynamic in the phenomenon of "Fake News", where we have a recreation of the Cretan Liar paradox:

Empedocles says All Cretans are liars.
Empedocles is a Cretan
Therefore, ... ?

which now is:

All statements about events are fake.
This is a statement about an event.
Therefore, ... ?

We are all liars and truth-tellers, but we must not believe that truth is a lie.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Racism In A Suit And Tie... And Flag Lapel Pin

Jean Genet Thinking Hard About Health Care
and Michel Foulcault's Naissance de la Clinique

As mentioned in my previous post
even though Mr. Trump speaks of a replacement for Obama Care that is universal, other Republicans realize that they cannot accomplish it.

In essence, Universal Care = Obama Care.

Thus, it cannot be universal for all the reasons of politics and religion and economy which can be found. It can't be universal because it just won't work, and anything that does work, like Mitt Romney's work in Massachusetts and the ACA which took many of its parts from Romney, will end up being Obama Care!

So... it won't be Universal. So what?

The "what" is actually a "who", and that is who is going to be left out. 

Why, the people that will be left out will be really, really, really poor (ouch!) and preferably dark-skinned.
After 8 years of President Obama, the masks begin to come down and the white elite breaths a sigh of relief. Now let the others put on their white masks and try to fit in.

It is cyclic:

Ivy Style
Medgar Evers’ Widow: Jim Crow Wears A Brooks Brothers Suit
June 13, 2013
The latest to invoke the unique set of connotations that hangs over the Brooks Brothers brand as is Myrlie Evers-Williams, legendary civil rights activist and widow of Medger Evers, who was assassinated 50 years ago Wednesday.

In an interview with Al Sharpton on PoliticsNation on the anniversary of the assassination, Evers-Williams said, “Jim Crow is alive, and it’s dressed in a Brooks Brothers suit, my friend, instead of a white robe.” The reference comes at 4:30 in the video above, and the quote served MSNBC as headline material for its recap of the interview. The remark was also tweeted many times on Twitter, though it’s impossible to say how those who retweeted it interpreted the comment. Needless to say, as race in America always is, it’s a complex issue.

Evers-Williams’ remark, linking a clothing brand to institutionalized racism, may be hard for younger people to understand. It feels unfair Brooks Brothers, which, like America, has changed with the times. During the ’70s and ’80s, its catalogs featured illustrations of idealized gentlemen, all white. Today, the company regularly features black models in clothing and settings once considered exclusive to white America...

And now we are off onto a different cycle of exclusion. The Republicans in their white heat haste to rid the country of the vestiges of the first African-American President have no compunction against displaying their hearts of darkness.


Health Exchanges For Judaeo-Christian Values

 Four horsemen riding, riding, riding to my chamber door...
We come to kill your health care... nothing More!

I have decided to adopt this wonderful drawing as my metaphoric representation of the US Congress, for it works on so many levels. As previously mentioned, the Congress has had a tendency to act as the stable boys and grounds keepers at some hunt club frequented by the Night Breed

So it comes as no surprise that Republicans - being rational actors, although their rationality is tainted by a severe strain of dubious ideology - would go about reconfiguring health care and repealing the ACA (ObamaCare) in a way that is "rational"... meaning that some people (think of them like salami) will be "left behind" (think of the salami hitting the fan).

It was obvious to anybody.
They have neither the motivation nor the charity nor the brains to effect such a change, as I said previously.

On health care, Republicans consider the meaning of ‘everybody’
01/18/17 09:20 AM—Updated 01/18/17 10:41 AM
By Steve Benen
Congressional Republicans recently conceded among themselves that they’ll “never” be able to craft a health-care reform plan that covers “as many people as Obamacare does.” No one, however, told Donald Trump.

The president-elect boasted to the Washington Post this week, “We’re going to have insurance for everybody. There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.” Trump added that Americans “can expect to have great health care…. Much less expensive and much better.”

The benchmarks, which Trump has no idea how to meet, were fairly specific: his administration is committing to universal coverage, “much lower deductibles,” and a simpler and less expensive system in which all Americans are “beautifully covered.”

Was Trump over-promising? Yes. Will he fail to meet his own goals? Definitely.

The funny part, however, is watching Republicans deal with the consequences of the incoming president’s rhetoric. BuzzFeed had this report late yesterday:

[S]ome Republicans in the Senate say they are working on repealing and replacing Obamacare under the belief that Trump misspoke.

Ah yes, the misstatement. The incoming president assured the American public that the Affordable Care Act will be repealed and replaced with a system in which “everybody” has insurance, to which GOP lawmakers are effectively responding, “Let’s assume he didn’t actually mean ‘everybody.’”


Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence Flanking the Head Horseman

Rational actors...
Very soon, the "invisible hand" of political markets will move and write
Mene, mene  tekel upharsin

In the disaster of the Republicans we will all come to grief. 
And art anticipates life again, as we note that "left behind" and "left out" are the same thing, and an imaginary moral taint will accrue to those without health care....

I mean, they must be seen as inferiors and not deserving of health care, for how else could we live with our "Judaeo-Christian" selves?


From the same op.cit. above we see:
...All of which brings us to the larger problem of what Trump’s aides and allies do when the president-elect says something problematic or demonstrably false. As Corey Lewandowski put it a while back, voters “understood that sometimes, when you have a conversation with people, whether it’s around the dinner table or at a bar, you’re going to say things, and sometimes you don’t have all the facts to back it up.”

A member of Trump’s transition team added in December that Americans should take the president-elect’s rhetoric “symbolically,” not literally. Kellyanne Conway said last week that Americans shouldn’t necessarily “go with what’s come out of his mouth,” but rather, we should “look at what’s in his heart.”...
It is hard to know what to say when confronted by this magnitude of claptrap.

I read Mr. Lewandowski's statement as something like talk about the weather:
"Ah, yup. That there health care is mighty fine, but it is Michigan, so just wait a few minutes 'n' she'll change!  Yup."
 As for Ms. Conway's statement, it is not Mr. Trump's heart that gives us the shivers. It is the withered hearts of the Congress.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


Stephen King

I suppose I need to explain the title. If you had read Stephen King's The Cell, like I told you to do, you would know already what is meant, and we could move along briskly. But, no. You wanted to read Picketty's weighty tome on the economic inequities and other stuff.

"Kashwak" is an area in Maine where there are no microwave towers to feed cellphones, hence, "Nofo" = "no phone". It was the signal transmitted through cellphones that brought the mighty to their knees, and left the country in mortal combat between two groups. (Hmmmm...)

Makes one misty eyed and come over all sort of  Sic Transit Gloria, eh? ...

... and renders us mindful of poems of decline and decay:

"I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said - 'In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
a stately pleasure dome decree...' "

All antique notions of foreign empires that did not punch their time cards in on that last era of recorded time...

Anyway, so I think Kashwak is sort of like old Xanadu, and Xanadu itself is a sort of TAZ. Now I know I am disclosing my age referring to a TAZ, a Temporary Autonomous Zone, but it is an idea too rich to let sit on the shelf.

A TAZ is that secret garden where we can go to escape whatever demons are pursuing us.

I think we'll need some TAZes soon, some strong Kashwaks to escape into, but where they will be...? Who knows?
As the old proverb says,

"The only thing uncertain is death (the time and place thereof) and TAZes."


Mystery Solved

Carly Fiorina, One-Time Presidential Candidate

If she were to run again, she would be quondam candidata, candidataque futura
to anachronistically paraphrase T.H. White. (And we don't mean Theodore White, if your memory extends back to the 1960s. This is a further stretch.)

Anyway, there has always been a mystery (take my word for it) about Ms. Fiorina's  pseudo-brother, Carlo Fiorina, a man of mysterious ways and one of the real-life blokes upon whom a character (I won't tell you which... figure it out) in the film The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen was based on.

{{spoiler alert:  if you're reading the novel Canaletto Blues, be aware that you may find out who really poisoned Bellini !}}

Interest sort of maxed out (like, it was, like, working to get traction before, but suddenly took off like a bullet) when advanced work on the theory of the georeactor nature of Earth's core was the center of all conversation not too long ago. Remember?

Apologies for the fuzziness of the photo, but there it is: the second author listed is Carlo Fiorina, yet another instance of the phenomenon noted by Dr. Sheldon Cooper of evil villains with advanced degrees.

Many, many people have argued on the media and in internet forums that Carlo is actually Carly; Carlo is an alter-ego of Carly Fiorina, when she tires of running a mega-corporation or running for president.
That notion actually held the field for a while.

However... have you seen a photo of Carly Fiorina lately?
Probably not.
And the reason why not is that Alan Rickman has left us. Please note the very close similarity between Alan Rickman as he appeared in Galaxy Quest and the photo of Ms. Fioriina above. Note particularly the lips.

If you need further proof, take a picture of Ms. Fiorina and color her hair black.
What do you see?!!?


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

What Have We Done?


The Independent
Former MI6 agent Christopher Steele's frustration as FBI sat on Donald Trump Russia file for months
Exclusive: Steele was so concerned by revelations he worked without payment after Trump's election victory in November
Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent who investigated Donald Trump’s alleged Kremlin links, was so worried by what he was discovering that at the end he was working without pay, The Independent has learned.

Mr Steele also decided to pass on information to both British and American intelligence officials after concluding that such material should not just be in the hands of political opponents of Mr Trump, who had hired his services, but was a matter of national security for both countries.

However, say security sources, Mr Steele became increasingly frustrated that the FBI was failing to take action on the intelligence from others as well as him. He came to believe there was a cover-up, that a cabal within the Bureau blocked a thorough inquiry into Mr Trump, focusing instead on the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails...

...Mr Steele produced a memo, which went to the FBI, stating that Mr Trump’s campaign team had agreed to a Russian request to dilute attention on Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine. Four days later Mr Trump stated that he would recognise Moscow’s annexation of Crimea. A month later officials involved in his campaign asked the Republican party’s election platform to remove a pledge for military assistance to the Ukrainian government against separatist rebels in the east of the country.

Mr Steele claimed that the Trump campaign was taking this path because it was aware that the Russians were hacking Democratic Party emails. No evidence of this has been made public, but the same day that Mr Trump spoke about Crimea he called on the Kremlin to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails...

It's not as bad as it sounds.


Ade Ileke: How I Get Ideas

 The Library in the Drones Club

My crowd seems very eclectic, which is pretty much to my taste. If I do not have a variety of people to talk to, I would have nothing to say.
I've said that most of my ideas come from other people, and it's true. I just sit around reading The Times at the Drones Club until Jespersen glides in holding his silver charger with a small ivory envelope on it, saying that a Mr. Darn-Good-Notion awaits without. I crack open the note, take a gander, sniff a bit, then tell good old J. to show him to the billiard room, where shall have our tête-à-tête... with plenty of good stiff pool cues handy. My morning horoscope in the Sun had said that I should beware of a tall dark stranger.

"Jespersen," I say to the retreating morning coat.

"Sir?" he says, pausing in his tracks.

"This Mr. Notion... is he tall? Tall and dark, actually. Is he tall and dark?"

"Yes, sir." J. affirms.

The brow furrows under my delving thoughts.
"Uh, very much so? I mean, very tall?"

"Yes, sir. I would say almost 2 metres."

I pondered. "And dark... very dark?"

"Like a Gypsy, sir."

Since the banter had descended to stereotypical descriptions - and decidedly Victorian ones, at that - there was nothing for it but to trot off to the carambole room and meet the fellow. One never knows. Usually they're ne'er-do-wells, but ... sometimes... a great... Notion?

What I mean is, if everyone were in total agreement and in if, in our discussions, shades of meaning were totally beigey earth tones, then we would all be rather dull.

an apocryphal quasi-pseudo-rehash


Will it be...

... Graham has called Islam a "very evil and wicked religion" and said Muslims are "enslaved by Islam."

In a 2015 Facebook post, Graham called on the U.S. government to put a stop to all immigration of Muslims to the country.

"Every Muslim that comes into this country has the potential to be radicalised – and they do their killing to honor their religion and Muhammad," he wrote...

... or

... Pope Francis says it is wrong to equate violence with Islam, adding that "I do not believe that it is true or right that Islam is terrorist."

On a flight back to the Vatican after a five-day visit to Poland, Francis was asked by a reporter about remarks he made following last week's attack on a church in northern France in which an elderly priest was brutally murdered. The reporter asked the pope why he refers to terrorists but never to Islam when talking about such violent incidents.

Francis responded that the characterization of Islam as violent is untrue and that violence committed by extremist groups such as the Islamic State should not be attributed to the religion as a whole.

"If I speak of Islamic violence, I should speak of Catholic violence," the pope said.

You choose.


Monday, January 16, 2017

Continuous Transportation: Iraq Trains

Un État de Transport Continu
inspiré par le film Transperceneige

The Al Mosul


The Bonfire-Stick Of The Vanities

We received an Amazon FireStick for Christmas. We get to see a whole lot of stuff now.
I shall be writing about some of it. I will write about Game of Thrones, but not quite yet. I want to make sure I get the right guys in my cross-hairs.

Today, the ScyFy channel series The Expanse:

In the picture above, upper right-hand corner, there is the statement "We've Gone Too Far."
That pretty much sums it up.

Appalling Features Section

(1) The eternal chasm between rich and poor is there, and I may not have the best memory in the world, I may not have total recall... but the Bumtown looks a lot like Poverty Corners in the original Total Recall. I mean, down to old-timey bladed fans of every scale moving air, and lest you miss it, strips of muslin and chintz blowing in the breeze, just to prove them fans are hittin' on all cylinders (or whatever the metaphor is for high-performance non-Dyson air moving devices!)

(2) No Arnold Schwatznegger.

(3) Oh, and there's a detective story twist that's a combo of Detective Bumstead's work in Dark City and  Rick Deckard in Blade Runner. Again, I liked the originals.

William Hurt as Detective Bumstead in Dark City


The Brand New Prometheus

Frontispiece from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Two good articles on gene editing. 
Make up your own mind. I do not believe in doing too much opinionating: too much like work.

The Conversation

The future of genetic enhancement is not in the West

Forget about designer babies – gene editing won’t work on complex traits like intelligence


The Four Horsemen Of Individual Health Care

...riding, riding, riding, not merely for the Affordable Care Act, known commonly as ObamaCare.

Even I, who am not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, knows that businesses do not like uncertainties, and they really do not like uncertainty on the scale of the Death Star in Star Wars.
I mean, the whole premise of starting a small business is having a hearty meal of torturous work preceded by an tapas plate of uncertainty and worry. Who wants more?

 The lack of intelligence, the lack of ability, the lack of real interest in individual welfare and in individual health are the four horsemen of the Apocalypse for the ACA and for all Individual Health Care that meaningfully addresses the needs of the millions who were without health care before the ACA.

It does not matter when the Republican repeal the ACA, because they will never have an adequate replacement ready. It is fairly obvious that the best the Congress will do is toss the hot potato back to the States, who will then let the bloody thing drop... like a hot potato.
I mean, the track record of the US Congress for doing things intelligently over the past 20 years is not stellar, and if the names of the four horsemen are Death, Plague, Famine, and War, the US Congress has acted more like a group of stable boys prepping the grounds armageddon-wise at some apocalyptical, end-of-times,  Ride and Hunt Club.

When the people in power say they are going to destroy something, businesses take heed. When the people doing the destroying have demonstrated no skill in building, businesses take note.

A very good summation here:

J.B. Silvers, Professor of Health Finance, Case Western Reserve University

The Conversation
As Republicans ready to dismantle ACA, insurers likely to bolt
December 29, 2016 4.19pm EST
There’s a joke among insurers that there are two things that health insurance companies hate to do – take risks and pay claims. But, of course, these are the essence of their business!

Yet, if they do too much of either, they will go broke, and if they do too little, their customers will find a better policy. This balancing act isn’t too hard if they have a pool sufficient to average out the highs and lows. I speak with some experience as the former CEO of one of these firms.

Employer-sponsored insurance has fit this model fairly well, providing good stability and reasonable predictability. Unfortunately, the market for individuals has never worked well...

An extremely good accounting of what has happened and so logical that it functions as sort of a spoiler alert  for what is going to happen. The last sentence quoted above gives it away: the market for individuals never functioned very well, so the task is to better that market; to amend, to make better, not to destroy.

Ah, well. It must await a more enlightened age yet to come.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

The End Of Our Era: the Pornography of Life

Amid Controversy Caitlyn Jenner Gets a 24-Karat-Gold Facial Ahead of Inauguration
Jame Jackson
Yahoo BeautyJanuary 14, 2017
Caitlyn Jenner’s the newest celebrity confirmed on the roster to attend Trump’s inauguration events in Washington, D.C., next weekend. Over the weekend, Jenner uploaded a selfie of herself getting a luxurious 24-karat-gold facial mask in California, right in time for the upcoming gilded festivities to go down in the nation’s capital.

Jenner’s attendance to the inauguration has been a divisive discussion for many social and advocacy groups. Many cannot understand how Jenner can support President-elect Donald Trump and his policies while still advocating for transgender and women’s rights...

There is a good deal about LGBT politics and so on.

What if the headline had read:

 Amid Controversy Caitlyn Jenner Gets a 24-Karat- Golden  Facial


It gives a whole new meaning to the "P" in "POTUS", doesn't it?

The old ways of behaving are dead, and the baby has -alas! - been thrown out with the bath water, for what is good is gone with the bad. The Future belongs to the purveyors of Pornography :

Pornography of life
Pornography of politics
Pornography of religion

Clock Boy

صبي ساعة 

A good story about the boy, Ahmed Muhammed,  who built a clock and made the Department of Homeland Security and its minions tremble.

I should have render the Arabic title somewhat differently, but it is too laborious with the limited software available.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Problem With The ACA (Obama Care)

The Republicans think they can repeal the ACA and slip in a replacement that is even better (!?!?) without any problems. I do not have any idea how they can believe this, since they do not have the replacement for the ACA - or Obama Care - outlined yet, so they really are going totally on Political Faith.
A great example of religion and politics being pretty much the same type of behaviors, great emotions, intense desires, vast hopes, and all summed up in some sort of ideological dogmatic.

I think I'm going to enjoy it. Not because they are going to mess up the health care system. I don't think I'll enjoy that. But I will enjoy being right in on the beginning of the end.

Point 1

The ACA was based on a lot of work, much of it Mitt Romney's in Massachusetts. Basic changes such as not requiring everyone to have health care insurance will destroy the nation's Health Care Insurance system as surely as our continued benign neglect destroys the nation's infrastructure.

Any workable replacement that is not a bad joke will resemble Massachusetts health insurance system and the ACA.
Any workable replacement of Obama Care will be (in essence) Obama Care.
And everyone will know it.

Point 2

If there is a disaster in the nation's health care system, Mr. Trump will loudly and clearly blame the Republican party, a party which did not much want him in the first place.
This will turn the Republican party into a  minority party of the wealthy, while the rest of the people who voted for Mr. Trump will continue to do so.

Then he will attack the Democrats. However, I'm not so sure they will self-destruct like the Republicans are going to do.

This will be bigger than the Super Bowl.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Orthodox Christmas

 Serbian Orthodox Christmas

I missed the Orthodox celebration of Christmas this year. I also missed the earlier celebration that comes in December according to the Gregorian calendar. 
My mother passed on just two days before the start of Childermastide...
(December 12, that is. Using the Gregorian calendar I calculate the start of Childermastide - which is the time or tide of the killing of Holy Innocent Children - starting on the eve of December 14th - when the children of Newtown were killed - and extending through December 28th, which day is the proper Childermas, or Feast of the Holy Innocents.)

... and I just never had my heart in the season; the first time in more than 3 score years I had ignored the time of year.
My daughter had a tree and decorations, and my wife and I did attend services at Holy Trinity in Washington, D.C.  It is a Jesuit church and St. Ignatius was mentioned in the sermon, and I started thinking about his works, thinking that I must read up a bit on him.

 Orthodox Christmas in the West Bank, Bethlehem

 Celebration in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral

The Christmas season is sort of my personal view of a complex Coherence, in which all human behaviors do not necessarily agree and coincide, our views may differ - even differ drastically - and we may emphasize the spiritual or the material...
Some people use the season as part of their political ideology, such as condemning some vague monstrous group's "War on Christmas" and stirring up the dullwitted troops with their usurpation of the word "Christmas"... a form of lèse-majesté, I should think.

Celebrating in Lviv, Ukraine

In our celebrations, there is no true, no false, only the behaviors of joy and spiritual exaltation.
In this is the coherence.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Making America Awesom-O Again: The Theocracy

Marco Rubio Seeking to Help God out of His Difficulties

... "Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish state of Israel, and that's where America's embassy belongs," said one of the sponsors, Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio. "It's time for Congress and the president-elect to eliminate the loophole that has allowed presidents in both parties to ignore U.S. law and delay our embassy's rightful relocation to Jerusalem for over two decades."

The Eternal Capital. Eternal. Infinity on display in the oratory of a man who traded banter with Mr. Trump about penis size.

Senator Rubio DIY evangelism is on display, helping the will of God to eliminate a legal loophole that seems to be stymieing God just like Dr. Strange's time-loop stymied Dormammu!!
Imagine that! God needs a work-around from Rubio!

Dormammu, Victim of Time-Loop

I will not become part of this benighted theocracy. 

This is where the Future ends. This continuing trend to infect our lives with the religious dogma of a minority that votes for Rubio is the root of catastrophe, not of faith.


Ade Ileke: Thomas Carlyle Meditates on Sartor Bis Resartus

Thomas Carlyle, Author of Sartor Resartus

While sitting at a dinner party at Cliveden... No, that's not quite true. We were not at Cliveden, and my gentleman's gentleman was not on the qui vive looking for a way to restore my uncle's memoirs - expurgated, to be sure - to the hall table, all of which my dear fiancee, Daphne, had put me up to. We were sitting at a dinner table, and having recently dined, talk rolled around to the various and sultry...err, sundry, that is.

This is not a Somerset Maugham novel - anachronistic scribbler! Toasts were made; great things and great men were hoisted up and flutes and goblets were drained. Now - and here's where the interesting part begins - a lady at my left said that I should make a toast to the younger crowd. She furthermore said that I had recently said something to her own offspring that she had found deeply moving. Now, you could not have knocked me over with a feather, for I had already passed out and hoped the medics were on the way. I was not aware that this particular individual had any use for any two consecutive words that had ever pushed and elbowed their way out of my mouth.

The Room Where Carlyle Wrote Sartor Resartus

I mean, my wife usually has me swear on the nearest holy text at hand that, upon going to some gathering, I shall not say anything controversial, personal, nor problematic. In short, mum's the word. There is a very, very short list of poses and postures I am allowed, most of them coming down to unobtrusively standing mute, but with a knowing smile plastered on my face like some hideous poultice for a scrofulous pimple. And if this does not work, if the effect of my oath wears off, and I find myself blurting out opinions, a swift, firm kick under the table usually serves to remind me.
Beyond this, I pretty much talk the way I write. I actually say things like "arduous", and "onerous", and "crapulous", words that usually make us wish we had a dictionary close at hand, preferably to "bean" me with.

I say things like "Obit anus, abit onus." and so on, laugh about Fermi's lab under the football bleachers at U. of Chicago, and tell jokes about G.E.Moore. So upon hearing that person X actually wants to hear something Y from my lips, you may imagine my surprise Z.
So I made a toast:  
Esteem Honor and Loyalty. Be fierce in Love and Friendship. Be firm in your commitments, be unswerving in your devotion, be truthful, be devout. Be all those things that have dropped out of fashion within my lifetime. Be real Men and Women, not mannequins of Materialism . 
Giorgio de Chirico presaged our generation in his enigmatic paintings: the faceless mannequins which conveyed a sense of desuetude and ennui. I feel like Winston Smith, standing before the infinitely reflecting mirror in his love nest in the proletarian section of the city: brief freedom... We are the living!... Only to have the Thought Police respond from behind the mirror: You are the dead! Escape, young people! Escape our castle enchanted by endless sleep! Escape from the cold marble of the winter cenotaphs we have laid over the Earth!

Am I Thomas Carlyle? Remade? From full clothe, yet twice? Or more?

Monday, January 09, 2017

Make America Awesom-O Again!

(Awesom-O, 116th Episode of South Park)

General Petraeus and Friendships?

It is good to see that General Petraeus was considered to be Secretary of State under the new administration. I do, however, have some reservations.

Does not General Petraeus... and Friend remind you of some other character whose loose lips sank ships? More correctly, sank many.... battlestars!

Yes, I'm talking about Gaius Baltar:

Gaius Baltar and Friend

of Battlestar Galactica infamy.  PetrAEUS... GAIUS, get it? (The link is even closer when you remember that Latin AE and AI pretty much were the same dipthong!)

Gaius Baltar, whose indiscretion allowed his Cylon-humanoid-paramour to destroy Caprica... (2003)
General Petraeus who resigned from the head of the CIA, the foremost covert intelligence agency of the USA, and whose indiscretion allowed his human paramour top secret information... (2012)
and Art anticipates Life once again.

In 2007, the organization MoveOn published a full-page ad in The New York Times referring to General Petraeus as "General Betray-us", saying he cooked the books for the Bush White House to justify more troops to Iraq.

I find it unnervingly odd, for Life is to precede Art, except in Sci-Fi. I mean, the meat packers are supposed to fight their way up from the slaughter houses and build vast cattle-processing empires and vaster fortunes before Upton Sinclair blows the whistle on the horrors.
Not the other way around.
When life becomes so sordid that the most outrageous imaginings of script writers becomes the mundane reality of everyday, I shudder. I do not await the incarnation of Quentin Tarantino's prophecies any time soon... complete with Samuel Jackson instead of Morgan Freeman doing voice-over!


Sunday, January 08, 2017

Die Große Lüge, or The Big Loogie

The title is a very loose translation - actually part translation and part sounding-out-words - and totally misleading, but that's the way I like it: not actually false, but misleading in a nice way.

A Happy, Uncomplicated Man...

We are are living in interesting times. That is, if you define "ghastly peril" as "interesting".

We have talked about "fake news".
In its simplest essence, fake news is lying about lying. There is no longer any truth.

Since everything has been or will soon be politicized, the basis for truth will be Coherence to some moronic political agenda of one sort or another. Even Science will bend the knee and "climate change" will be banished... no matter that scientists may utter behind closed doors, "... è ancora caldo."

The basis for true or false in a politicized system is Coherence, not truth nor falsity.

That is the underpinning for the 20th century discovery of The Big Lie.

 A Family Man...

Any lie, no matter how outlandish and bizarre, can be perceived as being true as long as it "coheres" to a set of accepted political beliefs. Therefore, The Big Lie is not false. It is "coherent" and acceptable.
News will be "coherent" or "not-coherent", but it will not be true nor false.
We experience it all the time now. New Media used to strive for objectivity and impartiality, and thus to be "outside" the political arena.

Now the trend is for the media to take up sides and thus become part of the politics itself. From the start of the Republican primary and Trump vs Meghan Kelly the media was part of the message and could not extricate itself - mainly because it did not want to anymore.

China has banned The New York Times and its app from China. You will need to hire a hacker to read The New York Times in China. Since China cannot force The New York Times to "cohere" to its version of the world, it must censor it out of the Chinese environment.
We shall see more of this as time goes on: censorship, resulting in (1) less robust diversity of news and opinion, or (2) the media target may give up and "cohere" after all.

People choose coherence, not truth. People believe in religious dogmas which are coherent to their present dogmas, caring not a wit whether a dogma be true or not. The concept never enters into their thinking.

Soon Justice will be based on Coherence to the party line again.

A Thoughtful, Studious Man...

And nonsense will parade as sense, and Katrina Pierson will be a paradigm
...Katrina Pierson, the former Tea Party activist who is now Donald Trump’s national spokeswoman, admitted on Wednesday that Barack Obama was not the president of the United States in 2004.

The reason it was considered necessary to extract this concession to reality from Pierson is that she had insisted, during an interview with CNN the night before, that President Obama was responsible for the death of Capt. Humayun Khan, an American soldier who was killed in Iraq five years before he became commander in chief.

So then
A new article in a peer-reviewed student journal finds that the zombie hordes would take Earth's population down to a mere 273 survivors in 100 days.

The paper, published in the University of Leicester's Journal of Physics Special Topics, was a fanciful use of the so-called SIR model, which is used in epidemiology to simulate how diseases spread over time. It's not the first time zombies have been used as a public health metaphor. In December 2015, for example, the British medical journal The Lancet published a tongue-in-cheek paper titled "Zombie infections: epidemiology, treatment, and prevention." And a viral blog post from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged zombie-apocalypse preparations as a a metaphor for real-life disaster preparedness.

And NASA did not land on the moon. The landings were filmed in a studio.

Why not? I know for a fact - fact! - that some of the better Zombie movies were NOT filmed in a studio, but were real-life docu-dramas!

A Sports Fan with Friends of Similar Interests