September 29, 2021

A Different View

Styxhexxenhammer is, despite reports to the contrary, not Razorfist after having mellowed out by ingesting lots of weed. Razorfist, to the utter disbelief of some is NOT Styxhexxenhammer's Hyde-like alter ego who surfaces periodically as a result of a magic mushroom mishap.


They are, I am told, COMPLETELY different individuals. 

So here is a totally different person's take on the Arizona audit.


There is more on this here and here

Again, I think the implications of the findings are consequential and troubling, but of little immediate practical relevance. I think the damage has been done and the biggest danger is if people let themselves get demoralized by this. 

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September 25, 2021

Wow.

By no means a dispassionate analysis; but one that, between expletives, handily puts into perspective what was and what was not found. It also provides some historical context regarding senate race shenanigans in AZ that explain why conservative Arizonans were so hot about this thing.



There is more on this here and here and the current mainstream take on this....ignoring the elephant in the room...can be found here.

A few things. 
This is 1 county. This is NOT going to decertify the 2020 election, at least any time in the next year or so. 

Even if it turns out that Biden did not win this (and other states sufficient to swing the election)....and even though that does seem quite possible, this will not change anything. There is no constitutional process for fixing this. The election was certified. That's it. The end. A president can be impeached, but that replaces the president with the Vice-President, not the opposition in the last election. As gobsmackingly inept and malicious as  Dull Joe's Bizarre Misadventure has been, Kackels Mc Karen is almost certainly going to be a step down for the country and it behooves us to delay that inevitable transition as long as possible.

This audit does lend credence to the notion that our election systems are seriously broken and need to be secured. Mail-in voting has always been exceedingly vulnerable to fraud and needs to be massively limited. 

The very real possibility of screwed-up ballots aside, the total subversion of the media and tech landscape has "fortified" our elections for a decade, to the extent that they're not even hiding how rigged the system is, they're bragging about it. If there is to be any hope of voting our way out of our pickle, the out and out scam of mail in ballots will have to be ended. 

But as important as pushing for reform, indeed even more so, is to not give up. The only reason I can come up with that the bizarre Time mea-culpa was published was  wave in our faces that they could admit what we'd long suspected and do so without fear. The Time story was an expression of dominance intended to demoralize the right. Whatever horrid revelations come of this ongoing process it is imperative that everybody (who is legally entitled to) vote. Because if we beat them larger that the margin of fraud, we still can save the country, but if we throw our hands up in despair and say "What's the point?" all hope is lost and we will never carry the day again.

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Blogging Via Dial-Up Sucks

On the other hand, finally being able to walk 4 miles without a cane is most gratifying.


I still can't  run or jump, but I'm now going to out-patient Physical Therapy and have access to special equipment so I can work on that.

Furthermore, I walked past the school and blundered upon a gun store on the side of the road 2 miles distant and discovered 9mm ammunition for less than 50 cents a round. Walking back carrying the unexpected prize was harder, but it was satisfying.


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The Levels of Quislingry are Being Exaggerated

One of the things that has been reported in the news is how the people of Australia have just followed the recently reinstated COVID restrictions without protest (save a few outliers) and enthusiastically begun snitching on any compatriots who diverge from the government mandates.


I decided to ask one of the Brickmuppet's Crack Team of On the Ground Sources in Australia about this and after gaining confirmation that opposition to the policy is quite broad was given the following reply from the utterly mysterious  BCTOOTGSIA#000001......

  The current protests are mostly construction workers that the state government abruptly put out of work.

Since it's a Labor government with close ties to the unions, they are desperately spinning it as anything other than jobless union members.

They've even banned news helicopters to try to hide the size of the protests.  The TV networks are suing: 
Well that last bit sure sounds familiar.


BCTOOTGSIA#000001 also recommended checking out two Twitter channels which have documentary footage of the large protests and the government response.

Melbourne has imposed draconian restrictions (which has been reported) and has undergone massive civil disobedience (which is not being widely noted, at least here in the U.S.). I should note that the results of the 15 days to flatten the curve have, in Melbourne been 235 days locked down and the highest daily case rate yet.  

There's a local opinion piece on this here

The main reason I post this is because the reporting from Australia has been largely unanimous in saying that Aussies are taking this lying down or even enthusiastically. That does not seem to be the case and it does a disservice to the Australians and only serves to demoralize the rest of us. 

A special thanks to our totally anonymous man on the spot who is enduring deadly spiders, boxing kangaroos, IT woes, and a shortage of chicken nuggets while trying to survive in a cyberpunk dystopia.

In completely unrelated news you should check out Ambient Irony daily.

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September 18, 2021

Some Good News!

Space-X's INSPIRATION-4 capsule, the first crewed, private, wholly civilian space mission to go into orbit, returned safely this evening.



The fate of of the Soyuz11 crew demands that we not be satisfied with merely observing the splashdown though....


So yeah, good news! 

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Annoyances and Frustrations

Banality is below the fold. As compensation here's a rendering of GranBlue Fantasy's Zeta by Houtengeki. Support him on Pixiv Fanbox!



Yeah, I know, but it was pretty canonical before the...'downgrade".
more...

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September 11, 2021

Symmetry




.....

20 years on, the verdict is in.

They won.

2973 people were killed on  that  day 20 years ago. A further 2461 military personnel were killed in Afghanistan prior to our disgraceful and inept pull-out earlier this month. Those totals do not count the thousands who died later or those who succumbed to the after-effects of the asbestos cloud that poisoned lower Manhattan  in the wake of the towers collapse, the thousands who died in the ostensibly related adventure in Iraq, the multitude of Peace Corps and U.S. aid workers who died in Afganistan, including one killed last week via U.S. drone strike, those who succumbed to their injuries after being evacuated out of the country, nor does it count the servicemembers who are killing themselves now as they watch what is transpiring, and it doesn't touch on the vast numbers of innocent Afghanis who died either because they were caught in crossfires or suffered retaliation from the Taliban.
The Taliban, who hosted and gave aid to those who struck us on that fateful September day now own the country. They are proceeding to bless the nation with their own diverse and exotic take on gender relations policy..


...and take inventory of the cornucopia of armaments that our leadership has blessed them with.


Graphic via the London Times

The Taliban are Islamists, have a history of funding and giving aid, spiritual, financial, and logistical, to terrorists Now they have not only won, they are armed to the teeth with our guns.

Adding to our government's complicity in this fiasco is the fact that among their leaders is at least one who was freed from Guantanamo Bay to buy the freedom of a traitor.

Oh well. At least there aren't any mean tweets.

Like Polyphemus, we have lashed out destructively and violently, but blindly and in for all our efforts appeared impotent. But unlike the mythical Cyclops we have actually enriched our tormentors.

Given the money, blood and effort put into the Hindu-Kush for 20 years the towns of Afghanistan should look today like the pictures of Kabul before the Soviet invasion.

Given the assumption and conceits of those who turned a punitive expedition into a Jacobin effort at nation building......Assuming a 12 year education, the schools of Afghanistan that we spent so much to build  should be putting out their 8th class of high school graduates educated in math, science and civilized mores. However our leadership cadre has no firm belief in civilization and the schools which so much money was spent on seem to have done very little.

Until this year, despite all the missteps by our feckless leadership class, Jihadist political islam had been seen as a spent force. It was broken and scatters mainly by Trumps demolishing of ISIS in Syria and the steady and ongoing French efforts in Africa. However, many countries, including most NATO members and many Muslim majority nations had joined in driving jihadism into irrelevancy. There have been but a few successes for islamist movements in isolated backwaters, and while the danger of these movements has been real, ISIS, AlQaeda, Abu Sayeff  and BokoHharam were but husks of their former selves.

Now however, radical Islam has been give a massive shot in the arm, and ironclad legitimacy in the eyes of its formerly demoralized followers. Quite aside from the material benefits the kit we left behind will provide them, the morale boost is going to supercharge the until recently moribund movement.

On the other hand the cowardly and venal way in which we left the arena has alienated or demoralized our allies and given our enemies confidence that they can act against us without fear. 

This was all unnecessary. There was a plan in place during the previous administration to pull out and leave a small counterterrorism force back in March, when the Taliban would have been hobbled by the weather. Our current leadership chose to sneak out unannounced leaving our allies in the lurch and kneecapping the Afghani army.

The damage this has done to us and our interests is as Brobdingnagian as as the aid we've given our adversaries. 

As we commemorate this 20th anniversary of the attacks, we lie prostrate in total defeat at the hands of those who helped perpetrate them. And we still have people over there who were abandoned by our own government both U.S. citizens and former allies. All the while the exquisitely credentialed careerists who perpetrated this pat themselves on the back.

The government and ruling class that perpetrated this unnecessary self-own has shown that its enemies are not our enemies. 



This fiasco will likely have terrible consequences internationally. But I fear this will be more immediately felt domestically.


I am so angry and saddened by this fiasco I cannot adequately express myself. But my frustration and despondency are vanishingly irrelevant compared to the momentous calamities this fuck-up will precipitate.

There's more on this and intertwined sub-optimal current events by people who can write well here, herehere, here and here.

UPDATE: Pithier version of my point here.

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September 10, 2021

Adventures in Algorithims Again

This evening, after a day of doctor visits and other annoyances, I sat down and watched a V-tuber named Hyasynth finishing up a Resident Evil 4 run. She'd sent out notifications and members of her chat with Facebook accounts were congratulating her on her apparent new sponsorship...or were complaining about the sponsors aggressive marketing.  


She was a tad confused, not having any sponsorships yet, but the matter was soon clarified. Her announcements of her Resident Evil 4 play-thru's have, on Facebook, been helpfully accompanied by ads for a pharmaceutical company

I have questions.

Not so much about how the advertising algorithm decided that weebs on Twitch were the target audience for the distribution of peptides and selective androgen receptor modulators, that is obvious. 

Rather I find myself wondering why in the name of Mercury, Greek god of messaging and commerce, someone actually thought the name Umbrella Labs would be a good one, especially for a medical supply company and even more especially since their logo indicates that they not unfamiliar with the potential downsides of that decision. 

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September 08, 2021

Achievement : UNLOCKED

Walked 1.2 miles outside. 



Unrelated  picture of... I guess it's a Windmill... is by Kokotan.

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Meanwhile: In Hermitstan

According to The Diplomat, the DPRK (North Korea) has restarted their Yongbyon nuclear reactor. The Diplomat, then inexplicably asks 'Why would they do such a thing?'


There are many obvious reasons that come to mind, but for the sake of facetiousness, I'm going to suggest that a lack of mean tweets is the cause. Certainly, there is a correlation.

The Diplomat suggests, in a somewhat hyperbolically titled article, arms sales to pariah entities. While the DPRK has a long history of selling advanced conventional weaponry to all the world assholes, I seriously doubt that the DPRK is going to sell nukes to anybody. I don't rule it out completely but it really doesn't seem to make any sense from a cost benefit aspect. If some paraiah outfit gets nukes, they are gonna use those nukes...probably on us, Israel, or Rome. The first two will go right to the source with nuclear hellfire and Rome, while lacking in atomic ordnance of its own is under our nuclear umbrella, so doing such a thing would be
tantamount to suicide and would outweigh the desperation of North Korea, and the vast monies it could gain the hermit kingdom.

Unless...

Unless desperate commissars somehow see in our rout in the Hindu Kush a lack of competence and resolve, or in the lack of recriminations a display of moral cowardice and a window of opportunity for mischief.  Perhaps those tasked with cost benefit estimation look at the patterns and signals coming out of the Beltway as indicative of a ruling class that cannot unite against anything except its domestic opposition, and is unlikely to respond coherently to a strike from abroad with so much as a mean tweet. 



Signals matter, and displaying weakness is a more consequential and tangible indicator than being gauche. 

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August 30, 2021

Banality Update

With the cascading fiascoes and calamities in the news, the status of you humble blogger is of limited concern.With that in mind, there's this.


more...

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August 29, 2021

Fingers Crossed

While all eyes are on the debacle in the Hindu Kush, another calamity may be forming in the Gulf of Mexico.



The storm is expected to strengthen quite a bit, it is already stronger that Katrina and Rita were when they hit, and unlike them, as I type this is is looking like this storm will make a direct hit, at hight tide.
  


The National Weather Service alert is grim reading, especially for those who remember the events of 15 years ago today.



In about 18 hours, we will know how bad this is. The Federal Government has sent dumptrucks full of dollars to the city for them to fix the levees, pumps, and other infrastructure that failed, causing the calamity 15 years ago . But there are already reports of pump failure and the levee system seems likely to be overtopped by this storm, so it seems that not all of that money was well spent. Though this has been known for at leas three days, the order to evacuate was given too late and people are now being asked to shelter in place


This could be very, very bad.


The storm is expected to be between category 2 and 5 when it makes landfall. Katrina hit as a category 1 or 2.

All we can do now is wait and hope that the levees hold.

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August 26, 2021

On a Happy Note





Today, the Whitehouse Twitter account issued no mean Tweets.






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August 23, 2021

Meanwhile: At the Skynet Symposium

Elon Musk, who has for years warned about the trancendental threat that is A.I., has decided to stop worrying and love the anthropomorphic killbots.


To be clear the new TESLABOT is not technically a killbot in that it is not equipped with a keyboard command for terminating peons who offend the users of TESLABOT, but a workaround for that oversight is likely simple. If it comes equipped as advertised with such features as opposable thumbs, it will certainly be equip-able with phased plasma rifles in the 40 watt range or other items with similar functionality.


OK in all seriousness, this diagram notes what the "killbots" will kill...

...or in the polite language of the promo, "eliminate". 

Those 'dangerous, repetitive, boring tasks' are what most of us call "jobs".

That is the prey of this killbot.

Of course for 200 years, jobs have been eliminated by advancing technology only to unleash by their increase in productivity a need for more jobs. This, new development, if it comes to pass may be more of the same, but there is concern that it might be different as it is not "the machinery" but is designed to move amongst and service "the machinery" and do the scutt work that the machinery couldn't. 

Technology is generally double edged, everyone needs to stay on their toes.

Theres a lot to be skeptical about in this announcement and it is does look like, as one commentator pointed out, "Musk as his absolute Muskiest". But as Brian Wang points out, Must does have experience and some infrastructure for producing high tech, semi-autonomous products on a massive scale, so while skepticism is certainly warranted, don't dismiss it out of hand. 

Exit quote: "In the long term I do think there needs to be universal basic income,” Musk said. "But not right now because the robot doesn’t work.”

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Life's Little Milestone's

I put on my shoes and socks ALL BY MYSELF!



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August 19, 2021

A Question For My Readers

Why does salt have an expiration date?

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While We're Up

The blogs servers are in Sydney and are getting intermittently arrested for COVID violations. Having caught them between run-ins with the law I'll use this short window to post this, which is a fairly informative overview of the dumpster fire that is current events.


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Banality Update

A quick update on the recovery.



 Unrelated art by XilmO@夕末
more...

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August 15, 2021

Current Events

...are somewhat less than uplifting, but they can lead to moments of absolute wonderment.




I cannot...even.

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August 13, 2021

That Moment When

...one realizes that the website one is perusing is a bastion of bullshit can be jarring, but it's always best to find out early.


One of The Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes brings us just such a moment from Physics-Astronomy.org

"So much von-Däniken. So very derp."
Nijisani's Rosemi Lovelock is by Loop.


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