Fascism is always descending on America, but landing on Europe

April 8th, 2014

I’ve seen that a number of times over the past several years. It’s obvious to me that it’s now landing on the US. What with the IRS scandal (still scandalously being ignored by the media), the lies about Benghazi, overreach in several areas by the EPA, the federal bunny inspectors, and a whole host of other things just in government, it’s obvious that we’re no longer a nation of laws, we’re a nation of oligarchs and bureaucrats.

Then you get into the media, which drives the popular culture, and it’s equally obvious. I seldom go to the movies or watch popular television shows anymore, because the viewpoint is blatant and almost omnipresent.

Because of the leftist orientation of Hollywood and the news media, and because of the leftist indoctrination being performed in the public schools and the colleges, our rights as citizens are being abrogated at all levels.

The First Amendment?

Freedom of association is a dead issue now. The Supreme Court has declined to hear the case of a Christian photographer penalized for not agreeing to photograph a gay wedding.

Freedom of speech is also gone. What with free speech zones on college campuses, free speech zones being set up by the BLM, federal plans to monitor newsrooms, and speakers of conservative and pro-Israel stances being prevented from speaking publicly, it’s obvious that free speech is for the left, and nobody else.

Free exercise of religion? Please. You’re not allowed to disapprove of gay marriage, except perhaps if you’re Muslim. Christian holidays are downplayed, because Muslims and atheists don’t approve of them.

The Second Amendment?

Besides all the other efforts to restrict availability of weapons, we now have a new argument: since Leland Yee was running guns and involved with Islamic terrorists, we have to pass the legislation he supports to restrict citizens’ access to weapons. Don’t know who Leland Yee is? See the mention of media bias, above.

The Obama administration has set up new rules that allow a single health worker to abrogate the Second Amendment rights of veterans.

Some Common Core lessons state that the Second Amendment requires gun registration.

I only know of one case recently that involves a Third Amendment argument.

The Fourth Amendment?

We know have municipal SWAT teams being used for “dynamic entry” in situations where a knock on the door would suffice. We have people being searched without the ability to see the search warrant, and the warrant being sealed when they ask about it, and their complaint about it being itself sealed, as well as the order sealing everything.

The Fifth Amendment?

Members of this administration seem to use it a lot, don’t they? When they’re not outright lying under oath, that is.

We’re starting to see some efforts by the states to assert their rights under the Tenth Amendment, but I don’t hold out a lot of hope.

The First Amendment issues also go into the Eich situation at Mozilla. California requires that anyone who donates $100 or more to a cause has that donation associated with them in a public database. Mr. Eich supported Proposition 8 in California some years ago, which stated that marriage was considered to be between a man and a woman. He’s now been forced out of his job by what some are referring to as the “Gaystapo.” That’s enforcement of an approved position in favor of homosexual marriages; it’s no longer permitted to hold a contrary opinion.

I can remember when the position of most homosexuals (at least, the vocal ones) was, “Marriage? That’s for breeders.” That’s gone down the memory hole, and don’t dare think that way, or you may lose your job, too.

I’ve deleted Firefox from my computers, in response. Currently, I’m using Safari at home, and I’ll be trying Iron. Vox Day has an interesting graph showing feedback received by Mozilla. I think it’s telling. So does Will Best.

It’s not looking good for this country. It’s not looking good at all.

It’s all over now

April 8th, 2014

Today marks the end of support for Windows XP. Well, for most of us, that is.

I still use XP at work. Some of the software on the machine won’t run on anything else. I only got rid of my Windows 95 box at the office last year – a decision that’s cost a fair amount of my time recently, since we no longer have access to an obsolete-but-still-useful cross-compiler for a processor that’s past end-of-life, but still in use.

I understand why Microsoft wants and needs to kill XP, but I’ll keep using it. As I said, some of the software on my work machine won’t even run on Windows 7, how can it run on Windows 8?

Seventy Years Past

March 26th, 2014

It was the 70th anniversary of the Great Escape this week. Technically, the night of the 24th into the 25th for the escape from camp itself.

I have, of course, seen the movie several times. I’ll watch it any time I come across it. I don’t remember if I read the book before or after I’d seen the movie the first time.

A very good story, in either form. If you’re not familiar with the story, the movie is probably more accessible. The book is more in-depth, and more accurate – there are differences. Either one is well worth your time.

Miscellany 24

March 19th, 2014

Big roundup here of things that have been hanging around (non-political version).

It’s war! The ants are coming for our chocolate. The article is actually much wider-ranging, and quite interesting.

A Faberge egg not seen (and known for what it is) since 1902 was purchased a decade ago at a Midwestern antique fair.

Need a handy reference for musical intervals? This may help.

Planning to record some audio at home? This may help.

How to take excellent notes and be productive with paper. I can always use the help.

This looks like an interesting resource for computer science.

I’ll want to spend some time reminiscing at this site.

Two scary economic charts, billed as documenting the demise of the American Dream.

An interesting list of Google Easter eggs.

I like these thoughts on the Starship Troopers movie. I didn’t much care for it myself; I’ve usually referred to it as “Paul Verhoeven’s rebuttal to Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers.”

Google makes an emulator in Chrome for the Amiga 500. I still have two Amiga 2000s in my basement, although I’ve only got one monitor for them, and the hard drive on one needs to be reformatted. It’s too bad there was never a widely-available Ethernet board for them.

Men’s Health says these are the best over-the-counter medications.

The Smithsonian says these vitamins and supplements are worth taking.

Continuing on the subject of health, how old is your heart?

Here are photos of various famous locations. There are two photos of each location: one showing the normally-presented view, and one showing surroundings that aren’t normally seen unless you’re there. I’ve been to the pyramids of Giza, and it’s startling how close development has come to them.

Wanna learn something? Try here.

You can find over 22,000 comics that are out of copyright here. Via.

Man sublets his apartment, comes home to find a plus-sized orgy going on. Then he loses his apartment, because his lease doesn’t allow him to sublet.

Do incorrect and inappropriate use’s of quotes (like that one) bother you? Best stay away from this site, then.

I’ve seen the movie Head, but it was many years ago. There’s a link to the movie in this article.

It looks like there’s some good information in this gardening thread at Ace of Spades HQ.

They’ve found more Dead Sea scrolls.

Interesting art. I’ve seen similar things, but it’s still cool. Now, imagine the following in a Cockney accent: “That’s not a bird, that’s a bird! Via.

Speaking of birds, but not really

And not speaking of birds, but really! Rogue Chihuahuas overrunning a town?

I like this guy’s obituary. He’d have been fun to know.

What if the Winter Olympics had been held on Hoth?

I’m not surprised that this happened in Japan.

In 1731, King Frederick I of Sweden gave a lion to a taxidermist who had never seen one. Some of the comments are hilarious, also. I particularly like the first reply to this one.

Information you can use: 7 Myths About Storing Beer.

More Information you can use: Picking a lock with a hairpin.

Some people believe that this is the best newspaper correction ever. I’m not so certain of that, but I don’t have any other suggestions handy.

As a European, this is how I imagine Americans have breakfast. Via Protein Wisdom. The comments at both locations are good, too.

Looking for back issues of Starlog magazine?

Why do we do some of the things we do at weddings?

An interesting clock presentation.

These are impressive tattoos. Not that I’d ever get one, but …

Some carbon fiber musical instruments. I’ve played a Blackbird tenor ukulele and liked it, and I have a friend who is trying to set himself up producing carbon fiber soprano ukes.

I knew people drank more in the past, but damn! That’s a lot of booze!

How to make a sling from woven paracord. The site is often NSFW, but this post isn’t (unless your company employs extreme hoplophobes).

On the same website: If you ever feel stupid

Remember the warehouse scene at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark? It might not have been too unbelievable.

Figure skaters caught in mid-spin. They look much more graceful and elegant when you don’t catch all the details.

When it goes, it all goes at once.

Giant desert art project in Egypt.

Sarah Hoyt is a local science fiction author. I met her at a party at a mutual friend’s place a couple years ago. This post on her history with SFWA is absolutely hilarious.

There may still be time to apply for this job – it’s got to be hard work. Then again, a lot of people like swords.

Ever seen a ship break apart?

Were you aware that France was still conduction executions by guillotine as recently as 1977? Were you aware that the actor Christopher Lee attended the last one?

I wasn’t able to find an update on his recovery, but the fact that he survived going through a wood chipper is amazing. When I was in the Navy, if you were going to work on anything that could be dangerous if it were turned on during the process, you’d attach a red tag to the power switch. I wonder if they’ll implement a system like that for the wood chipper?

Boy, the Aussies don’t hold back with their PSAs, do they?

I have a friend who photographs most of his restaurant meals. I should send him to this site.

I think that’s about enough for now. I may do another one (with older accumulated links) later.

Happy Pi Day

March 14th, 2014

pi-pie

Apple Pi

I don’t expect to bake anything like these; I have enough trouble doing anything at all with the upper crust of the pies I bake.

Correct me if I’m wrong …

March 8th, 2014

… but wouldn’t the garlic be the organic component here (click photo for larger)?

Garlic-Salt

I’ve been sick

February 25th, 2014

For a while, actually. I originally came down with it at Christmas, and the medicine I was prescribed seemed to work fairly well. Unfortunately, I suffered a relapse. I got prescribed more antibiotics, but it’s been a struggle. At one point, I spent five consecutive days flat on my back, all day, every day.

I’m much better now, but I still have a bit of a cough and my voice isn’t completely back. I was going to go to a local ukulele jam tonight, but I came home from work exhausted and took a nap, and it’s too late to show up now.

I’ve been accumulating links, and I may make a huge “miscellany” post, or I may go through and keep the reference links and discard the rest. I’ll decide that later. Maybe.

Well, that was painful

February 3rd, 2014

Yesterday’s Super Bowl is now history, and Denver has, once again, lost big. I believe that Denver is now on the losing end of three of the five most lopsided Super Bowl games. I suspect that this fellow is feeling more pain than most, though. Ah, well. As John Wayne said, “You have to be tough if you’re going to be stupid.” Someone on Twitter suggested that he could fix it by having the “a” changed to a “u.”

Also on Twitter, a Denver fan asked for someone to tweet something funny, so that he could laugh instead of crying over the game. The response was quite amusing.

I’m rather partial to these, as well.

I was expecting traffic to be worse than normal this morning; I’ve seen surly drivers after Broncos losses before. Surprisingly (and gratifyingly), I saw nothing of the sort. Now, tomorrow, when there’s snow on the road again, things may be different, but that’ll be because there are always people who don’t know how to drive in snow, or don’t care to be careful.

That’s one way to tell I’m getting old

January 12th, 2014

I had a strange and surreal dream last night. Normally, I don’t remember dreams, but the alarm went off in the middle of this one.

I dreamed that I was lying face-down in bed, reading a section of the paper that Marion had just handed me. Apparently, the mattress was not an impediment to sight, my arms, or the newspaper. I was reading an article, illustrated with numerous photos, concerning people who had had copyrights violated or their DNA stolen, or both. A Japanese woman was next to me, explaining what had happened to a Japanese track team that was shown in one of the pictures.

When I was younger, if I had dreamed of being in bed with two women, we would not have been reading the newspaper.

Happy New Year

January 1st, 2014

After returning from New York, I saw a doctor for my cold, expecting to be prescribed antibiotics. The doctor wasn’t certain if I actually had a cold or if I was suffering bad allergies. As a result, I’m on both antibiotics and steroids. Because of the administration instructions, I started the antibiotics a day earlier than the steroids, and was feeling better before I started the steroids, making me think that allergies are not the correct diagnosis.

Be that as it may, it appears that it will be a while before I’m healthy again. However, it’s New Year’s Day, and that needs to be celebrated. My parents had several traditions for New Year’s that were a mix; Mom was from England, and wanted the house to be clean before midnight on New Year’s Eve. At midnight, the front door had to be opened for a minute to let the old year out and the new year in, and it was hoped that the first visitor of the new year would bring a coin and bread.

Dad was originally from Philadelphia, but the only tradition of his was eating black-eyed peas, which he picked up while he was in the Air Force.

Me, I don’t do much of anything special. Marion and I like to go dancing, and had plans for last night that were disrupted by my illness. Instead, we watched That’s Entertainment, Part II on TCM, then turned to NBC to watch the time-delayed ball drop, then went to bed. I didn’t sleep well, unfortunately.

I’ll finish this post with someone else’s view of New Year’s, found here:

calvin-new-year