Jan 25


Ani DiFranco is very much worth seeing. Great concert. I’ve heard the word “force of nature” used about people before. I didn’t really get it.

Now I know. Her stage presence is massive and just such a force.

Her guitar-playing is virtuosic– among the best I’ve ever seen. She has more personality than some entire countries and her band is also stellar.

My favorite song she did live was “Fuel” which she completely changed up to a 70s-style funk-inflected jam that was completely unexpected but also worked perfectly.

If you can see her live, do so.

If there were any justice in the world, her songs would be as culturally iconic as those of Led Zeppelin or the Beatles.

Jan 24

French experience

I’ve been looking for actual numbers, because that’s what I do. Turns out that most reported sexual violence even in France is already perpetrated by refugees/foreigners. That’s long been the case in Sweden which apparently as a country has a deathwish, but I didn’t know that about France.

Les 322 agresseurs identifiés par la police sont tous des hommes (pour les agressions sur majeurs), et âgés en moyenne de 34 ans. Plus de la moitié d’entre eux sont de nationalité étrangère (52 %) et 44 % sont sans emploi, rapporte le quotidien. 48 % d’entre eux étaient connus des services de police, dont 20 % pour des infractions sexuelles.

The important part of that is that 52% of the sexual assaults were committed by foreigners (which has a little different meaning in France than it does in the US). Admittedly this is only Paris and is a relatively-small sample…but still, think this is likely to decrease? Somehow magically get better?

Yeah, that whole “let anyone and their cat in” was a great idea, dontcha think?

Jan 24

Sacrificed by all

Other than the assault and rape that could’ve been prevented by not allowing unrestricted mass immigration, what bothers me the most about the events in Cologne and other European cities was just how many feminists were perfectly willing to sacrifice women to “refugee rights.”

Echidne talks about that a bit here and draws some interesting parallels with the Clinton and Sanders campaigns.

It should be pointed out again that just because the conservative idiots happen to be claiming something, that doesn’t make it automatically wrong. It just makes them accidentally right for ideological reasons. It doesn’t mean you should discard it automatically — which seems to be the feminist also-ideological response — it just means that you should do your own thinking for once.

Ignoring all that, I’m very sorry, European women, for what’s about to happen to you and to your lives. I wish that you could blame just conservatives or neoliberals or chance and circumstance, but you can also blame feminists, too, for bringing this down on you.

The betrayal of someone who should be on your side is always more excruciating than any other perfidy.

Jan 23


We are probably already in recession, by the way.

Because the economy is a large and slow-moving beast and difficult to assay, recessions often aren’t declared till well after they begin — sometimes 6-8 months after.

Hope you enjoy President Rubio!

Jan 23

Righting writhing writing

I like writing. I do it all the time. I did it before there were blogs. One of the reasons I forced myself to learn to use a computer was so that I could write. And in the past 10 years on various blogs I’ve written around 2 million words. That’s a staggering number, really.

I’ve never wanted to make a living at it. There’s no money in it. But I enjoy it. Why I keep doing it.

This blog like Frank’s is not the best example of my writing. In fact, it’s probably the worst. I spend about 3-5 minutes per post; maybe 10-20 for the lengthy ones.

When I take my time, when I cogitate, cerebrate and really get down, I’m not a really great writer — not like David Foster Wallace — but a pretty damn good to sometimes great writer. I have no illusions that I could ever write like David Foster Wallace. At least not consistently. Maybe one or two essays in a lifetime. But I am better nearly every time than almost all of the literary darlings you care to name. (Which is I think why I have trouble reading them.)

Like this asshole.

I’ve seen the novel City of Fire praised widely and many reviews declaiming what a great book it is, how deft are the sentences, extolling the succinctness of its expression and the parsimony of its metaphor.

It sounds like some garbage I wrote 10 minutes before class in 8th grade. Those sentences are so atrocious I wouldn’t wipe my shoe with them after I stepped in dog crap. It’d make the crap dirtier.

My god. This guy is famous for some middle-school level turgidly clueless word expulsions.

Yet I have no desire to compete in this field because it’d be a great deal of hard work to be poor — especially for the sort of writing that I enjoy playing with. But it does give me comfort that I’m better than those that are considered great for whatever reason.

This post took about four minutes to write, by the way. A little slow for me.

Jan 22

Cultural inconsistencies

One of the more mystifying inherent and increasing beliefs of most modern people — conservatives and liberals alike — is that though we are constructed molecule by molecule by the prompting and ministrations of genetic material, any basis of or differences in human capabilities or talents cannot be ascribed to genetics.

That is like claiming that a car built out of spaghetti noodles and bailing twine has no functional differences from one constructed of aluminum and steel.

Of course humans aren’t quite that divergent, but argumentum ad absurdum works well to see the inconsistencies in beliefs.

No one wants to be a robot controlled by their genes. I understand this.

But our behaviors are probably more prescribed and proscribed by this factor than most care to admit.

I don’t mind if that’s true. I’d rather know the truth and deal with it than make bad decisions individually and societally because I’m being forced to pretend falsehoods have veracity.

Jan 21


It’s just terribly embarrassing to watch pathetic liberals frantically attempting to convince themselves of Obama’s greatness as a president.

Handouts to banks, handouts to insurance companies with one of the most retrograde “reforms” in history (the ACA), and unprecedented secrecy and prosecutions of whistleblowers all while basically ignoring climate change — for which modern leaders 100-200 years hence will be seen as absolutely no different than we see the Nazi leadership now (no, I am not kidding).

Obama was handed the greatest crisis and thus the greatest opportunity in 80 years and utterly squandered it. His was the largest divergence in modern history between what he could have achieved versus what he actually in his milquetoast manner even bothered to attempt. That more than these other facts is what makes him a terrible president.

Simultaneously, there is a school of thought among the same set of liberals that when it’s convenient for them, they believe the president wields almost no power at all — he’s just a helpless tiny little baby buffeted along by Congress, the winds of public opinion, and the phases of the moon. All of which explains how he just can’t help giving trillions to banks and bombing people to freedom, of course.

Which is it? It can’t be both.

I know people will demand my head for this, but the main thing Obama will be remembered for other than being yet another leader who did nothing about climate change is being the first black president of the US.

The rest is meaningless, or actively harmful.

Jan 20

Not very secure

Stage may be set for cut to Social Security benefits.

If you are 40 or younger and going to be forced to depend on Social Security benefits for retirement, you are gonna be completely fucked. Don’t let any pundit tell you differently. They are wrong. Social Security basically won’t exist for you.

Same for Medicare.

The problems aren’t insoluble. They are easy to fix, actually, requiring very little change or sacrifice.

But they won’t be fixed. Society is going completely the opposite direction and climate change will only exacerbate this trend with its slow then sudden decimation of productivity and previous arrangements.

Jan 20

Science and math

In the end I’m glad I did not attempt to become a scientist (being a botanist or researcher was once a career aspiration) because the pay is poor and I do not function well where my educational path is so regimented.

That said, the main thing that dissuaded me from science as a career is that I am terrible at math and essentially untrainable in this realm — I can spend 1,000 hours to learn some bit of math that takes the average student four or five hours*, and then promptly forget it all with absolutely zero recall when moving on to the next thing. I think this is probably mostly just a neuronal deficit, no different than not having good balance (which I also do not).

But whatever the reason, the few people who bothered to discuss it with me either way when I was a kid told me that because my math skills were sub-par, I could never be a scientist and that is wasn’t even worth trying.

Whether is is true or not, I don’t know. But E.O. Wilson’s thoughts and this article on it are interesting.

Math is used as a proxy sorting out the high-IQ people and I guess on most folks that works since it’s not permissible to give an IQ test directly most of the time. However, it tends to leave people like me out — those who often see what others do not, and can pull together large amounts of data in our heads and make sense of it (at least to others) with shocking speed but who will never be able to puzzle out the quadratic equation for more than a day or two before promptly forgetting it and taking another 1,000 hours to train again.

*I know because I’ve done this. I spent more time just to pass one stupid math test in high school than I did studying for all my other 27 high school classes in all four years combined. That is not an exaggeration, alas. And then I squeaked by with just one point to spare, thus graduating.