Thursday, October 29, 2015

how much smug fits in a rug?

It goes without saying that continual japery toward The Silent T includes within the attack various forsaken opportunities to squeeze the trigger when a melon is in the crosshairs.

The continual 3-legged horse in their paddock's pride is the Little Glenn/Metro Eddie boondoggle.  Whenever either of those two B-actors' names is mentioned, the earnest Silent T scrivener on the job will assure you that we all owe a debt of gratitude to (a) Little Glenn for his tireless and incredibly fearless, life-risking exposure of dirty secrets that nobody ever disclosed before on any scale resembling that of Unclaimed Territory or Salon or GuardianUK or The Intercept; and/or (b) Metro Eddie for his death-defying globe-trotting evasion of Uncle Sam's homesick hitmen while simultaneously and/or immediately previously offering virtual e-mountains of undisclosed national secrets about hush-hush programs nobody ever disclosed before on any scale resembling that of The Intercept.

The fact that none of the Little Glenn/Metro Eddie story, and none of the mythology that it spawned on such a compressed timeframe, broke any ground on what had previously been disclosed about George C. Fortitude's business operations in the post-nyne E-leavened Murken Yooniverse™ -- well that's just an inconvenient truth, Alzie.

Inconvenient to those of us who have made money selling you rusted-out 15 year old Ladas and calling them Teslas, that is.

Take Jesse Walker, for example:

Today the parliament of the European Union voted narrowly—285 to 281—to urge its member states to give sanctuary to Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor whose leaks shed light on the U.S. government's covert surveillance programs. Specifically, the resolution said Europe should "drop any criminal charges against Edward Snowden, grant him protection and consequently prevent extradition or rendition by third parties, in recognition of his status as whistle-blower and international human rights defender." Snowden is currently exiled in Russia.

Jesse apparently believes that these game-changing revelations by Metro Eddie were history themselves, true insights into something dirty and devious, and yet despite that empire-crushing scoopery the homesick lads just couldn't catch him.  Not even when he was holed up in a Hong Kong luxury hotel, the location of which was published by Metro himself and also by Little as the conduit of Metro's displays of locus disclosure, via email and twitter.FN

Since, as well all know, Hong Kong is like The Vatican and no people unaffiliated with the Holy See are allowed in.  Thus those poor lads couldn't get in to give Metro the message offered by the homesick, who were, as you might expect, back home.  Sick with worry.  About Metro's scoops.

Sure, Jesse.  I believe that.  Truly.

Someone who so oversells an empty story & hollow myth would seem to be engaged in writing the sorts of puffery I've come to expect from The Supreme Arch-Druid of the North American Land Mass and possibly Pangaea, but the Silent T tends toward a veneer of skeptical rationalism where Archie's tack finds him riding big puffs of hot air informed or possibly driven by steam, punk.

Perhaps a gander at Jesse's blog will reveal the pretense as pretense? You decide.


FN - Or anywhere else he's hidden in plain view since doing the 23 skidoo away from the employ of some boozer named Alan from Hamilton NY.  Most practitioners of espionage tweet about their escape with the damaging intel/info/whatever.  The best even GoPro it.

Friday, October 23, 2015

in case it's a snow-free winter

I would say I'm looking forward to playing this, but it requires me to have either an XBone or a uber-gamer golden PC while I've got a cheese-class PC and a 360.  And no spare $$$ to pop for either the console or modern TV designed to run such stellar resolution.  The PC can't be upgraded to run modern games at decent framerate, because it's got integrated video rather than a mobo standoff card.  Ferpetesake, I'm still using a CRT teevee from 2004.  One of my friends actually joked about how I'm the last human in the USA to be without a flatscreen digital TV.

Maybe I'll be able to sell some ski gear for the $$ it would cost to get a modernist teevee and an XBone.  That makes a lot of sense.  $60 game requires ≥$600 in hardware purchase. 

I could always spend dead time writing and hope to get some $$ from keyboard battery, but an audience of nimrods and hesters who have dbl-digit SBs and a depth which mirrors the thickness of a sheet of vellum is no place to ply my palavering.  Not if historical reception is any clue, anyway.  The only hope for my scribbling is that a gaggle of pwoggy nimrods & hesters create a fad-bubble of Haterade (carbonated version) Belching and send it my way.  But what good would it do me to be hated by PBS and NPR fans, TED lecture fans, Hope&Change fans, Bernito Gasolini fans, etc?  No good at all, I'm afraid.  None whatever.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

shocking whistleblower revelation indicates that Internal Revenue Service is corrupt and inefficient

One of this blog's prior writers called him Jeremiad Cavedweller, but as of today he's a Big Famous Dude because he's got the hot solo scoop from yet another pivotal whistleblower, and today's tweeter revelation is that Obama --who joked in public statements about using drones to attack whomever tried to date his daughters-- was operating a "secret" drone program that NOBODY REPORTED ON BEFORE!

I hope Mr Cavedweller isn't hoping to fall back on law practice after his keyboard's battery is revealed to be whole-cloth fiction.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

the return of the panaracer dart

or if you don't recall the Dart, then its bastard child/clone, the WTB Velociraptor(front).

First Look: 2016 Michelin Wild Race’R Enduro Rear Tire

I suppose it's understandable that after being the dominant DH tire mfr for the 90s and early 00s, and seeing others copy your designs and offer them as originals, it would make perfect sense that some 10-15 years after your tire dominance ended and you became functionally irrelevant, you'd copy a front-specific trail tire of the late 80s/early 90s and reintroduce the pattern as a rear-specific "enduro" tire that "rolls fast" while cornering as well as an "enduro" rider wants-needs-dreams-hopes-anticipates.

Stranger things have happened.  Manitou's current forks supposedly work, and work well, and are reasonably durable.

According to the internet.

Monday, October 12, 2015

it's a piece of a circle flying overhead, anchored by two vertical supports

The other day I heard Hy asking Karl and Chuck (and would have asked Paul and Hal too, if they'd been there) why this esteemed weblog and/or alleged neurotic sink has spent so much of its history throwing shurikens at The Supreme Arch-Druid.  I stopped listening after hearing the question, because I had my own thoughts on the subject, and they involved waiting for Archie's next keyboard molestation and finding a suitable comment thereafter.

And here it is:

karl rove said it very well: we're an empire now and when we act, we create our own reality". the statement was notable for it's arrogance and narcissism, but it also illustrates the child-like faith in the power of abstraction. we often imagine that our leaders take recourse to abstraction simply to avoid unpleasant reality. i'm not so sure that's true. rove really believed that reality could be created by determined actors, just as many economists seem at a loss as to why years of quantitative easing, zirp, nirp and asset buying, i.e. creating more money-itself merely an abstract concept, has failed to juice the real economy.

i'm more and more convinced that what's at work here is a form of magical thinking (with apologies to those of the druidical or wiccan persuasion) in which wishing will make it so. i would almost prefer that our leaders were merely sociopaths that were using abstract ideas to try and mislead the public. sadly, i think what were seeing is perhaps even more insidious than a propagandistic campaign to persuade the public that all is well. our leaders have succeeded in convincing themselves, just as karl rove did, that they can create their preferred reality by sheer force of will. under such conditions, reality based politics, diplomacy and economics are no longer possible.

Have you ever heard the remark that the smarter you are, the more you know what you don't know?

...the more you realize you don't know as much as you used to think you knew...

...the more you realize that at every prior stage of relative ignorance, you felt omniscient...

et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Our good comenter above, who handles his internet projection under the name "jonathan," is one of those people who thinks having a little tiny insight on a subject automatically means you have in your mind's grasp the full scope of the subject's manifold possibilities.

He cites the oughta-be-a-dead-horse-by-now-but-it-still-prowls-the-paddock quote from Karl Rove about "creating our own reality," and that's where he has some little tiny insight that lots of people may not hold.  He knows Rove openly said this to a writer,** and so he feels like an "insider" for knowing this bit of the PNAC archival canon.  

The mention of "magical thinking" and attributing it to Rove but not considering it may be at work in his own (jonathan's own) perspective is classic bibble-bobble from the water cooler graciously provided by the steampunk-obsessed software millionaire who now maintains a significant online presence as a high priest in the Druidic cult.

This is the fake-skeptic hallmark.

Can't Rove actually be shrewd enough to publicly say that "we create our own reality" stuff on the simple premise that if you say such a thing, it carries two messages:  one is the language used (the words and/or sentiments conveyed), and the second is whatever strategic value such a statement may hold in the corridors of power where you ply your trade.

Does this second category need explanation for you? 

Rove would know a writer would pass along something gained from a talk with Rove.  Knowing this, he can craft his message with various goals in mind, making the writer nothing but a conduit.

Our man jonathan seems to think it impossible that Rove out-maneuvered Ron Suskind.  Or that Suskind and Rove worked together to share that idea about creating one's own reality.  Of course those possibilities would require jonathan to admit he doesn't know everything, and didn't think to be skeptical about Rove working him, or Suskind working him, or Rove and Suskind working in tandem to create a sort of moving ideological pick on him. 

It's easier to think, "Rove is so stupid, he just blurted that out in front of Ron Suskind, who got the scoop of the millennium, useful for proving the idiotic incompetence of the neocons."

I suppose it's also a mistake that the Healthy Forests Initiative destroyed lots of riparian and forest ecosystems, and/or that the No Child Left Behind Act leaves every poor victim of public school well behind those who wisely go elsewhere.

If Suskind reports what Rove says, if Suskind's editor runs it as it's been attributed, if everyone involved knows it's got several ways to play out in the eventual target audience (and the derivative audience of the re-telling) and one of them is that some guy who calls himself jonathan at Archie's Water Cooler thinks Rove is an idiot who blurted out a gaffe revealing magical thinking.

Tell me now, jonny:  who got played by whom?

The playwright and audience think it rivals Jonathan Swift; the true Swiftian rivals know it's not even juvenile parody.  And once again, satire and parody get confused on the internet, and everyone loses.


** Or --as some other than jonathan might observe-- at least, found it valuable enough PR to allow the quote to stand as-published, regardless of its veracity or fidelity to the sentiment expressed, in whole or in part.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

three chambers, checks and balances... it's all rot when I'm the king and everyone must obey me

I notice that the average informed Progressive continues to misunderstand what Citizens United is about, when put into the historical context of U.S. Constitutional law and jurisprudence, and specifically as a derivative of Buckley v Valeo, which is a case that most informed Progressives aren't informed about/on and really couldn't be bothered about because, let's face it, that was then and this is now, and right now, we want Citizens United overturned because everyone at The Nation and The Progressive and Mother Jones and Huffington Post and ESCHATON and Hullaballoo! and shakesville and Salon and Slate and even over at Utne Reader everyone agrees that Citizens United is what has destroyed all our hopes for a fully and completely progressive United States of America.

No, no, look it's way bigger than that.  No see since Citizens United all corporations basically own our lives completely and there's no way around it and no way out of it and no way past it, they own us thanks to Citizens United.  It's an unConstitutional decision because, let's face it, corporations.  Which are way worse than people, right?  I mean who can argue with that?  Sheesh.  I mean seriously.

What?  No I've never read the opinion in Citizens United.  What does that have to do with whether the Supreme Court should pay attention when a majority of Americans want to see the Supreme Court get rid of, or whatever it is they call it when they zap it out of existence and make it disappear as if it was vaporized by an alien laser weapon.  Whenever a majority wants that to happen to Citizens United, the Supreme Court should notice and take action.  Just like they did with Roe v Wade.

No, I think you got confused.  Roe v Wade is where the Supreme Court noticed that most everyone in America approves of abortions and, so, they're legal under the Constitution since most Americans agree that everyone should be able to get an abortion.  That's what Roe v Wade is about.  That's what I mean.  The Supreme Court should listen to Americans again, just like it did in Roe v Wade, and this time they should destroy that Citizens United decision.  Because most Americans want it gone.

Yeah of course.  The Supreme Court should pay attention to what Americans want.  They are supposed to be the highest judges in the land, who put into laws the opinions and views of the majority.  Whatever the majority wants, the Supreme Court should be granting that.  Or giving it.  Or declaring it, whatever, y'know?

Right, it's the Congress that are the people's representatives.  But it's also divided into Senators and Rep... Rep... Republicans?  Reprehensibles?  Representatives?  Yeah.  And since almost anyone can be a Representative then they're the people's representatives right?  Yeah.

Of course the system has to have checks and balances.  Otherwise the government runs over the people because it got too powerful and the people didn't have any checks and balances any more.

Well isn't it usually the Supreme Court who tells us when the checks and balances are needed and whether they are there?  I mean isn't that why we put those guys --those people I mean-- up there in those robes and on that tall bench in DC?  Because they're the ones who know what all this means, this checks and balances stuff, on a day to day basis I mean.

I'm not sure.  What do you mean?  I mean, the Democrats balance out the Republicans.  If you're a Democrat you have to have Republicans to be your opposite, the guys in the black hat, the rival.  Don'tcha?  Same if you're a Republican, those Democrats are your rival.  It's like having the NFL on Thanksgiving and the game is the Cowboys and the Redskins.  That's what it's all about right there.  That's checks and balances right there.

So then you're trying to tell me that it's the Congress that is supposed to listen to what people like me and you say about Citizens United, and do something about it?  I don't understand.  How could the Congress possibly do that?  It's a Supreme Court decision.

I thought all 3 branches were supposed to be listening to the majority at all times.  You know.  Majority.

Well I guess using polls.  Who would you choose?  See who the majority chooses.  Or what they want.  Ask the majority about Citizens United.  That's what I'd do.

What?  Why would I ask them if they've read the opinion?  That's the media's job, to know what it says.  That's what people like those legal expert journalists on TV are supposed to do.  You think the average American has time to sit around and read Supreme Court decisions all day?  Nobody's payin' me to read that stuff.

So you're trying to tell me that having an opinion on Citizens United doesn't mean anything?  You're saying the Supreme Court shouldn't be listening to people like me and making rulings based on how I feel about a Supreme Court decision?

My job?  What does that matter?

So you're gonna draw some parallel between my work and a Supreme Court judge's work?  Okay, I'm a software programmer.  A coder.

No that means I work with the language of a particular software.  Symbols, letters, numbers, spaces.

Well so far I have helped design an iPhone app that basically adds an additional app to help you open an app that already is on the iPhone.  It helps you find the files stored on your phone, like YouTube downloads or photos you've taken.

What do you mean, "bullshit job"?  My app helps people find things.  By downloading my app, they now can easily find their stored files.  Where maybe before they wouldn't have bothered to try to find them, not without my app being there first.

Why would I have to know the full hardware and software architecture of the iPhone in order to write a small app that basically shows you where your storage is?  Do you think brain surgeons have to know all about how your toenail grows?  I don't think so!

I don't really think the Supreme Court knew what they were doing in Citizens United.  I think they opened a Pandora's Box with that one.  And apparently a lot of people agree with me, based on the number of google hits I get when I look for Citizens United references and count the ones that want to see the opinion gone from our history books.

Well maybe I'm not a lawyer but maybe you're not a coder so you telling me I should know all about how an iPhone works in order to write good apps for it, that's bullshit if you ask me.  Writing an app for an iPhone is an easy task, the code comes in templates available everywhere on the web and in the cloud.  It's a lot like what my grandpa once described for me:  painting by numbers.  I think you're just jealous that we have so much great technology now, when back when you were my age none of this stuff existed and wasn't really even in sci-fi during that time.  You're not as lucky as me to be young right now.  There's a lot of opportunity for people like me with my background and my social media profile.  Maybe that's why you are trying to tell me I'm wrong about Citizens United.

Friday, October 2, 2015

josie packard time

"Push the plug, Pete."

Or maybe the plug's been leaking all along.

No matter.  We've got the budget renewal buddhabelly blues, so it's fat-trimming time.  Couldn't have trimmed fat elsewhere as elsewhere it's actually muscle that only looks like fat, and muscle is essential to national security.

If none of this ^^^^^^^ distracts you, then there's always the idea that "shyness" and/or wearing the same clothes every day brands you as a mass murderer in a barely-contained seething just prior to his/her most impressive spree.  That one should keep you properly afraid and distracted for the near term.

Or at least until the rest of America accepts your continual refrain regarding the inevitablity of first woman POTUS who has spent a lifetime grooming herself for this position.