Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Toothbrush That Spies On You? Really?

Writes Wolf Richter:

“What’s next? The day when we cannot get dental insurance without Internet-connected toothbrush.

There are many people who think nothing of it. They laugh at us. For them, we’re fossils that just cannot grasp the modern world where private life takes place on the Internet and is stored forever in the cloud. Formerly innocuous devices like toothbrushes, dolls, TVsthermostats, fridges, mattresses, or toilet-paper dispensers, that are everywhere around the house, will see to it that more and more personal and even intimate data gets uploaded to the cloud as the Internet of Things invades not only our home but our body cavities.”

Read the rest…

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Here We Go Again… (Facepalm)

I suspect that legions fail to grasp that this song is a satirical thrashing of U.S. neoconservative foreign policy.

America, Fuck Yeah!
Comin’ again to save the motherfuckin’ day, Yeah

America, Fuck Yeah!
Freedom is the only way, Yeah

Terrorists, you’re game is through
cause now you have ta answer to

America, Fuck yeah!

So lick my butt and suck on my balls

America, Fuck Yeah!
Whatcha’ gonna do when we come for you now

It’s the dream that we all share
It’s the hope for tomorrow
(Fuck Yeah!)

McDonald’s (Fuck Yeah!)
Wal-Mart (Fuck Yeah!)
The Gap (Fuck Yeah!)
Baseball (Fuck Yeah!)
The NFL (Fuck Yeah!)
Rock N’ Roll (Fuck Yeah!)

The Internet (Fuck Yeah!)
Slavery (Fuck Yeah!)

Fuck Yeah!Starbucks (Fuck Yeah!)
Disneyworld (Fuck Yeah!)
Porno (Fuck Yeah!)
Valium (Fuck Yeah!)
Reeboks (Fuck Yeah!)
Fake Tits (Fuck Yeah!)
Sushi (Fuck Yeah!)
Taco Bell (Fuck Yeah!)
Rodeos (Fuck Yeah!)

Liberty (Fuck Yeah!)
White Slips (Fuck Yeah!)
The Alamo (Fuck Yeah!)
Band-aids (Fuck Yeah!)
Las Vegas (Fuck Yeah!)
Christmas (Fuck Yeah!)
Immigrants (Fuck Yeah!)
Popeyes (Fuck Yeah!)
Democrats (Fuck Yeah!)
Republicans (Fuck Yeah.Fuck Yeah)
Sportsmanship (…)
Books (…)

 

Even Liberal Dershowitz is Appalled by FBI Trump Raid

Dershowitz: “If this were Hillary Clinton [having her lawyer’s office raided], the ACLU would be on every TV station in America jumping up and down,” he said. “The deafening silence of the ACLU and civil libertarians about the intrusion into the lawyer-client confidentiality is really appalling.”

Taking essentially everything in a raid plainly and clearly violates the particularity clause of the Fourth Amendment.

The Fourth Amendment to that piece of paper we call the U.S. Constitution reads:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The Deep State will stop at nothing.

Of course today, left-partisans will rejoice at this development and ignore the future ramifications when one of their own attempts to stand athwart the neocon cabal lording over our empire.

Regarding the Impending Death of Newspapers

#newspapers #endofprint #fakenews

Good riddance!

Even if a reasonable degree of objectivity and partisan agnosticism were restored…

Even if they stopped being a propaganda outlet for the ever-expanding, pervasive, authoritarian, spying, unaccountable welfare/warfare state…

Even if they actually served their self-ascribed role as “4th Estate” and exposed the corruption infesting both parties controlling government…

Even if they eschewed their Faustian bargain with corporations, politicians, and sports teams in which they dumped skeptical journalism in exchange for access…

…newspapers would still be doomed.

Newspapers are the castle walls on the eve of gunpowder… the guilds of scribes on the eve of Guttenburg… the buggy-whip industry on the eve of Henry Ford… the tax-abatement shopping malls on the eve of Amazon… the cartels of cab drivers on the eve of Uber…

Their time came and now it has gone. Let them pass on before they lose their remaining threads of dignity. Whether their demise be by obsolescence or suicide– stop trying to raise the dead.

Beyond Three Dimensions

I love #Carl Sagan. He had the keen talent to be able to reduce the complexity of hard science into a form relatable to the human experience. I was riveted by his Cosmos series when I was ten years old. I’m sharing him with my ten year old daughter today.

Here, Sagan describes dimensions beyond our ability to experience and relate by reducing the concept into a 2D model and working it up from there. I can’t help but be enthralled by the possibilities and implications.

 

Can the Impending Collapse of Russiagate Halt the Slide Toward a Nuclear 1914?

by JAMES GEORGE JATRAS | 02.02.2018

In the period preceding the World War I how many Europeans suspected that their lives would soon be forever changed – and, for millions of them, ended? Who in the years, say, 1910 to 1913, could have imagined that the decades of peace, progress, and civilization in which they had grown up, and which seemingly would continue indefinitely, instead would soon descend into a horror of industrial-scale slaughter, revolution, and brutal ideologies?

The answer is, probably very few, just as few people today care much about the details of international and security affairs. Normal folk have better things to do with their lives.

To be sure, in that bygone era of smug jingosim, there was always the entertainment aspect that “our” side had forced “theirs” to back down in some exotic locale, as in the Fashoda incident (1898) or the Moroccan crises (1906, 1911). Even the Balkan Wars of 1912-13 seemed less a harbinger of the cataclysm to come than local dustups on the edge of the continent where the general peace had not been disturbed even by the much more disruptive Crimean or Franco-Prussian wars.

Besides, no doubt level-headed statesmen were in charge in the various capitals, ensuring that things wouldn’t get out of hand.

Until they did…

Read the rest

The War to End All Wars to End War is featured prominently in my novel Crumbs. Please check it out.

How the #XFL Can Save Football

The NFL is dying. No, its demise is not eminent. Baseball, for instance, has been dying for 50 years. It’s way past its peak but it has managed to linger on. Football is going the same way: a slow erosion into irrelevance. I am concerned about that because I think it is the ultimate team sport in that it requires self-less, often unnoticed contributions, from unheralded teammates in order for the team to achieve its goal. I also believe it is one of the last remaining outlets for competitive, physical, alpha males. I am convinced that the reasons for the relentless, asymmetrical attacks on football’s safety originate partly in a broad cultural assault being waged on traditional masculinity in general…but that’s a topic for another discussion. It’s a violent sport. Nobody is forced to play it. It’s not for everyone.

No, this is a post about how the XFL might end-run the NFL’s grip on America.

Modern professional football is almost unwatchable. Every team essentially alternates between the same sequence of predictable, boring plays: short timing route pass, quick hitting inside run, short timing route pass, off tackle run, occasionally a long pass to keep the defense honest, and always, always a running back screen on third and long. Every team runs the exact sames plays and formations. Don’t quibble with me about West Coast this and Erhardt-Perkins that. It’s all the same B.S.: 2 wide, 1 slot, 1 back, 1 TE. Every team has the same identity…they are utterly indistinguishable with their utterly interchangeable, utterly unimaginative, utterly risk-averse coaches.

To make things worse, the sport is now dominated, in much the same fashion as the NBA, by a handful of super stars who are afforded the benefit of the doubt on all officiating calls by complicit refs. Like the NBA, if your team lacks one of these stars, your team has 0.00 chance of winning a championship. The star’s team will be bailed out by a suspiciously-timed illegal contact, holding or no-call. It’s almost as absurd as pro wrestling.

To make things even worse-er, the sport has been co-opted by our lamentable political zeitgeist and military industrial complex. The hyper-zealous flag-worship, the obnoxious jet flyovers, and the otherwise McDonaldsified patriotism has become a distraction and even an annoyance. I can’t tell if I’m watching a sporting contest or being recruited for military service or being jingo-ed up for war against the Nazis. Whatever it is, it’s way, way over the top.

If you want to make the pro game compelling again it must be changed on multiple fronts. Here are my proposals…are you listening #VinceMcMahon?

  1. Roll back the rules that enable offensive dullness. Rules like special pocket-passing QB protections and restrictions on coverage defenders have actually forced the game into its current, one-dimensional, predictable design. Take the security blanket away from the offensive coordinators. Force them to find ways to innovate and attack defensive weaknesses rather than just finding a guy who can throw a ten yard out on time. This would force coordinators to consider more misdirection, option, and exotic formations. It would foment an era of creativity. This would eventually challenge defensive coordinators who presently only have to diagram to stop about 5 plays.
  2. Widen the hash marks…dramatically. The wide-side of the field aspect of non-NFL football is a strategic advantage to offenses. It has to be honored by the defense. Without it, the NFL fans rarely witness the excitement of the outside run game. The defense can only be stretched laterally by the eye-roll-inducing bubble screens and hitch passes.
  3. Relax the jersey-number-pass-eligibility restriction. A player can legally receive a pass in the NFL so long as he starts the play in the backfield or as the end man on the line…AND has a number not between 50 and 79 (unless he “reports” to an official as an eligible end). This rule is for the benefit of dumb refs who can’t keep track of who the eligible players are on passing plays. I say dump the numbering rule. Make the refs spend more time tracking eligible players and less time calling holding penalties or illegal contact. It would dramatically open up the possibilities for new strategic innovations. Anyone hear of “A-11“? It would also de-specialize players. General athleticism would become more desired. Hyper-specialization is dehumanizing the sport and risking the health of its freak players.
  4. Radically change instant replay. Instant replay is anti flow. It’s a distraction. It represents an appeal to a pencil-necked, authoritarian bureaucrat, in a secret chamber, to lord over OUR populist, gladitorial game. Frankly, instant replay is totally un-American in spirit. It’s emblematic of the sovietization of the NFL. Here’s what I would replace it with: You can challenge any call. If the call on the field is over-ruled by a panel of three jurists agreed to by both coaches, the ref is given a red card. Three red cards in a season and the ref is terminated…or fed to the lions. If the call is not over-ruled by the jury, then the team who challenged the play is charged with a fifteen yard delay of game penalty to be applied whenever the opposing team would like to apply it. I doubt anything but the most egregious of blown calls would be challenged. But when it happens, the drama will be palpable!
  5. Limit the pre-game. Stretch. Walk-throughs. Anthem. Coin toss. No 400 foot long flags. No ear-piercing bomber flyovers. No smarmy politicians. Make the game front and center. There is a time and place for reflection on sacrifice and duty…it’s not during a game watched for amusement and escape. The NFL’s manipulation of militarism is obnoxious, demeaning and crass.
  6. If you are CONVICTED of a felony, you are fired, forever. End of story.
  7. Dial down all the annoying ancillary stuff. It’s just a distraction. Laser beams, fireworks, dance troops, scoreboard animations, smoke, 1980s heavy metal music between plays… get rid of it. Make the game the spectacle. Halftime is for getting a beer and taking a leak.
  8. Shorten the play clock. Force coaches to become economical in their play calling. The game is way, way too coach-centric. I don’t care that some washed-up player turned power drunk coordinator can sniff a laminated sheet that has scripted every player’s movement against twenty possible defensive alignments for 120 offensive plays. These control freaks think the game is all about them. I don’t want to see these sideline clowns overthink everything. If it’s third and a foot, run QB wedge. These idiots must think there are style points being awarded or something. I find myself loathing the very sight of them. Marginalize them! I’d make huddling difficult. Delay of game would always be a 15 yard penalty. Put the play calling back on the QB and back on the field. Make the game dynamic and real-time rather than the incremental chess match between middle-aged, managerial nerds that it has become.
  9. Limit coaching staffs to 6-8 coaches and a trainer. Limit rosters to 40 players. The over-specialization is stifling the spontaneity of the sport. It’s become like watching task-masters preside over children working in an Indonesian sweat shop. Let the players control the action, not the washed up, self-important egomaniacs on the sideline.
  10. Deepen the end zone to make passing easier inside the ten yard line.
  11. Narrow the goal posts to make place kicks much more difficult AND add another set of wider goal posts for drop kicks. If you’ve ever seen a drop kick, it is an exciting, fluid play that should be resurrected!
  12. And finally, go back to soft helmets. The sport changed with the advancement of hard shell helmets. The hard shell helmet became a tool to use for hitting. It changed tactics and the way offenses and defenses were designed. It also created a false sense of security for players. The prospect of imminent, immediate skull fracture is a much better deterrent to stupidly using one’s head as a battering ram than gradual, incremental brain damage by thousands of tiny traumas accumulated over years. I’m sure that safe technology is presently available.

So there you have it. What do you think?