Thur. Dec. 20, 2018 – gulag sweet gulag

53F and drippy. Never got real rain yesterday, but misty drizzle made it dreary. Occasional sun helped.

Woke up dreaming I was someplace like NORK, or East Germany. Not clear if I was a prisoner or a guest, possibly both, or one then the other. The scene from Schindler’s List went through my brain… the slave in the factory – proud to be German, doing his best work.

Is that us? Will it be?

n

Author: Nick Flandrey

Mid 50s, stay at home dad, with two elementary school age girls. Love my family and my life.

49 thoughts on “Thur. Dec. 20, 2018 – gulag sweet gulag”

  1. Old guy hood prop tip: Use your walking stick!
    Of course, you might need the stick to stand up to do the work…

  2. “you might need the stick to stand up to do the work… ”

    just lean against the car… remove belt buckle first though. (course, does it matter if you scratch a car that the hood won’t even stay up?)

    n

  3. 39º and cloudy. No run today as I have another errand to run this afternoon. Poor, pitiful me.

    Speaking of East Germany, I walked by the idiot plane (not a box anymore) and saw Rick Steves talking about Berlin. It’s been 30 years, but some of those sights brought back memories.

    In East Berlin, when I went there, everything felt grayscale, though there were colors everywhere. Everybody had an air of defeat. The general atmosphere was “unpleasant”. Not terrible, and I knew I’d be headed back to the West before evening, so it was bearable. But I get your feeling of unease. That was not a place I would want to be.

    In contrast, the Berlin of today is bright and airy. Optimism abounds. They still have their problems, but freedom has done a lot for them.

    That’s one of the things that makes me optimistic. Knowing that 45 years of Cold war, and 28 years of “the wall” could be overcome by liberty. Freedom.

  4. ”just lean against the car… remove belt buckle first though. ”

    My day is ruined by the image that won’t go away:
    Guy bent over the fender with his pants around his ankles!

  5. Speaking of East Germany, I walked by the idiot plane (not a box anymore) and saw Rick Steves talking about Berlin. It’s been 30 years, but some of those sights brought back memories.

    Rick Steves.

    When we started the Vantucky sentence -er- tenure, prior to legalization, I used to see Rick Steves regularly on Oregon Public Broadcasting late on Friday and Saturday nights, delivering one of his pro weed rants to NARAL or other like minded groups.

    IIRC, Steves lives in and runs his PBS empire and travel store from Mukilteo, WA. Away from the travel show persona, he’s deep into the Prog agenda.

  6. So Steves is “objectionable”. Not a big deal to me. He provides travel guides in a format that is easy to follow. I don’t travel, but do appreciate the reminder about Berlin.

    Tim Robbins does not take away from my appreciation for Shawshank Redemption. GREAT movie.

    I don’t care for Roseanne, regardless of her political views.

    Come to think of it, political views don’t mean much to me in anyone unless we’re talking politics.

    For goodness sake, my wife is a Democrat. She thinks we ought to get rid of the electoral college. Thinks Obamacare was a horrible mistake. I love her dearly.

  7. One of London’s airports has been closed since 9pm last night because of someone flying a drone over the airport https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-46623754

    Plenty of talking heads popping up to say that flying drones near an airport and endangering an aircraft is illegal, with a sentence of up to five years in prison, and we need new laws to stop it happening again.

  8. Tim Robbins does not take away from my appreciation for Shawshank Redemption. GREAT movie.

    I really dig Robbins “Bob Roberts”. I think that was the last true political satire.

  9. So much fail:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6516267/Man-spotted-wiping-weapon-toddler-shooting-arrested-firing-gun-children-car.html

    Ok, I try really hard not to make comments about stuff people can’t change, but HOLY COW, she looks like she’s gonna eat Sarah J Parker:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6514751/Michelle-Obama-dresses-impress-4-000-glittery-thigh-high-Balenciaga-boots-yellow-gown.html

    Um, how exactly would they identify “the stolen bills”?

    “East Rutherford police have now warned that anyone caught with the stolen bills or identified in surveillance footage of the spill could be arrested. ” — sounds like a good reason to get rid of them, like at the racetrack or the mall…..

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6516015/Nearly-200k-missing-cash-spill-highway.html

    Let’s not jump to any conclusions…. and it’s Muslimms

    “‘It’s Allah’s will’: Fanatics branded two Scandinavian women the ‘enemies of God’ as they filmed themselves decapitating one of the tourists in Morocco – ‘and posted video pledging allegiance to ISIS’

    Dane Louisa Jespersen, 24, and Norwegian Maren Ueland, 28, were backpacking
    They were found dead near the village of Imlil in Morocco’s High Atlas mountains
    ‘ISIS fanatics’ call the women ‘enemies of God’ in a clip of one of the murders
    Killings can be connected to ISIS, the Danish intelligence said this morning
    Three men have been arrested on a bus in Marrakesh over the gruesome killings ”

  10. “we need new laws to stop it happening again. ”

    yup, laws. That’ll stop it. Like the one Moses brought down banning murder, or theft, or envy, or or or.

    The thing about having a hammer and seeing nothing but nails applies in spades to “lawmakers”.

    n

  11. Hmmm, the US doesn’t have a shortage of people and companies trying to sell .gov on drone detection and interdiction technology. Wonder why the UK does?

    Even music festivals here have a ring of detection and potential interdiction around them, I have that firsthand from one of the organizers.

    I see the ads and articles in my security trade magazines too.

    n


  12. but HOLY COW, she looks like she’s gonna eat Sarah J Parker

    First thought that came into my mind was Sesame Street and Big Bird. The second thought was that is one ugly dress. A lot of money for what appears to be a theater curtain.

  13. Hmmm, the US doesn’t have a shortage of people and companies trying to sell .gov on drone detection and interdiction technology. Wonder why the UK does?

    The US has a lot more money to p*ss away on boondoggles than the UK.

    I don’t argue the prog point that the defense budget needs a big cut.

  14. My first thought was that The Powers That Be have been waiting for a drone incident so that they can use it to justify new laws and spending money on anti-drone measures, but it’s just as likely to be incompetence. The inquest into the Westminster terror attack showed that Westminster Bridge was not considered to be a target. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-45640007

  15. Given that they test aircraft by shooting frozen chickens at them with air cannon, I really can’t see a huge danger from a small drone. There is ALWAYS the danger of a bird strike on fuselage and engine. Landing is NEVER safe.

    It has the ring of “much ado about nothing”, and now they’ve given the jhihadiies another weapon- by shooting themselves in the foot and closing the airport all day. How many times will they eat those costs? Oh, right, they’ll just shift them to someone else.

    n

  16. BTW, does anyone have any strong feelings about which Ipad to buy? Wife needs a Christmas present. She has an Iphone, and a mini that is a couple of years old. She does email and kindle reading on it.

    n

    (I’m not ready to spend over 1k$)

    added- specifically is the cellular add, and the maxed ram worth the additional $$

  17. Note that like most progs, she admits to choosing designers not on talent or track record, but because of what they look like. Also she seems to be some kind of witch, as she chose people with ‘a good spirit’.

    n

    added- ONE of her legs is bigger than SJP. and they’re both wearing heels. Does she really need to wear HEELS?

  18. added- ONE of her legs is bigger than SJP. and they’re both wearing heels. Does she really need to wear HEELS?

    IMHO, Joan Rivers was dead on regarding Moochelle. Rivers was the only one who said what everybody else was thinking.

    I’m kinda concerned about this PR push for the book. 40% of the country would automatically vote Moochelle if the Dems ran her for President, and the woman has never held any job that wasn’t a patronage deal with Barry.

    She’s even more untouchable than he was.

  19. Note that like most progs, she admits to choosing designers not on talent or track record, but because of what they look like. Also she seems to be some kind of witch, as she chose people with ‘a good spirit’.

    Ever taken a close look at the catalogs from Ashro or Especially Yours, catering to African American women?

    I’m still not sure how we ended up on those mailing lists. Some of the outfits are hard to miss when I’m sorting the catalogs at the recycle bin.

  20. @nick: About 25% through a Jack Reacher book “A Wanted Man” now. Very good! Courtesy of local public library, OTA e-version. Reading on my Samsung 8″ tablet.

    CowboySlim whose very few % of tax dollars are not wasted.

  21. Yup, I’ll bet those aliens are pissed.

    The best episode of the “Dilbert” TV show featured a subplot with Dogbert getting careless with a laser from space.

  22. Hah, that’s like the Larry Niven Known Space books. Humanity is so pacified that our exploration ship doesn’t have any weapons. It does have a multi terawatt ” communication” laser though that ends up pointed at the Kzinti ship. The Kzin telepath can’t figure out what’s killing his ship, since the terrans don’t have any weapons

  23. “Shutdown talks collapse: Trump won’t sign spending bill without wall money”
    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/20/ryan-says-trump-will-not-sign-senate-passed-bill-to-avoid-government-shutdown.html

    I am ok with shutting the government down for a while. Say a year or three. The crucial items will continue on such as defense. Shoot, half of defense can go away too. Such as half of the 8,000 perfumed buffoons known as generals in the Pentagon.

    I am thinking that DHS (department of homeland security) has not been funded either. There goes the TSA over the silly season, that will be interesting.

    Hat tip to:
    https://drudgereport.com/

  24. Michelle Obama has always been a remarkably unattractive woman. Given the money and care at the disposal of the 1%, their public appearances are normally carefully polished. But this? When you are, um, as solidly built as she is, wearing bright yellow with sparkly thigh-high boots? This next to a comparatively delicately built woman moderator? It reminds me of the scene in the Harry Potter movie, when the Troll attacks Hermoine…

    – – – – –

    Re the women dead in Morocco: I am sorry for them, but…WTF is anyone from the West doing out on their own in an Islamic country? It’s sad, but it’s basically a Darwin award.

    I still like Reginald Bretnor’s proposal: create a new international organization, and drop the UN. Membership in the new organization would be restricted to countries that provably abide by civilized norms. All members of this organization then completely cut off all ties to non-members: No commerce, no charity, no tourism, no immigration – nothing.

    It’s hard to imagine a better incentive for those countries to clean up their acts. And if they don’t, well, not our circus.

  25. BTW, does anyone have any strong feelings about which Ipad to buy?

    Get the newest iPad 9.7″, not the pro. Get 128G of memory. Should be able to find for about $429. The pro does not get you much in my opinion unless you are an artist using the device to create images or you need 256G of memory. That extra inch in size for the small pro model makes a big difference in handling. And the price for the pro is about double the price for the regular iPad.

    If you have Comcast for internet they were running a deal go to get an iPad 9.7″, 128G, brand new for $5.00 a month added to your bill for 24 months. Brings the price to $120.00. And you can pay it off at any time.

    specifically is the cellular add, and the maxed ram worth the additional $$

    If she has an iPhone she can make, and receive calls, on the iPad if the devices are on the same WiFi network. Only reason to have cellular on the iPad is if she is ever going to use the device where she does not have her phone with her. If she needs data on the iPad and has an iPhone she can use her cellphone as a hotspot using tethering (if the cell plan allows it) and connect her iPad. Wife and I do it all the time while traveling so the wife can use her iPad for the web such as hotel reservations, etc.

    The extra memory is probably worth going to 128G. That will store a lot of movies, thousands of songs, and hundreds of pictures.

    One more word of advice. Get AppleCare+ for the device at $69.00. That can avoid a lot of expensive repairs. Close to the end of the two years coverage damage the device and get it replaced under AppleCare+. You get basically a new machine and most importantly a new battery for much less than buying a new unit.

    All together it will come to about $546.00, well within your target.

  26. I still like Reginald Bretnor’s proposal: create a new international organization, and drop the UN. Membership in the new organization would be restricted to countries that provably abide by civilized norms. All members of this organization then completely cut off all ties to non-members: No commerce, no charity, no tourism, no immigration – nothing.

    Rush Limbaugh said this morning that the “leadership” in the UN is going to propose and push hard for a new treaty in 2019 to drop all borders in the world.

    It is past time to kick the UN out of the USA.

  27. I am beginning to wonder if we will get the opportunity to purchase Amazon stock for a $1,000/share again.

    Chart doesn’t look great for supporting $1400, but I’ve given up trying to apply traditional Wall Street rules to Bezos.

  28. @ray, thanks! That was exactly what I was looking for.

    Microcenter.com has the ipad 6- 9.7″ 128GB, wifi only for $350 that’s the A10 latest chipset…

    now the only question is white/space gray/rose gold??

    n

    $50 LESS than Costco.

  29. Well, you married her. Rose gold looks like a lady’s color. And it’s not the everyday white or black.

  30. WRT the murdered backpackers… last month there was a heartbreaking appeal from a father to help find his missing 20yo daughter who had started her solo foreign adventure. We are not doing our daughters any favors by raising them in a worldview that treats these dangerous thirdworld sh!tholes as Disneyland. People DIE at DISNEYLAND. The real world is even harder.

    women alone are TARGETS. Men alone are targets too, but at least the evil will think twice. The list of murdered or disappeared girls from just the news and the last month is longer than I have fingers. “You go Grrrl!” only changes her interior mindspace, not the external realities of the world we live in. BTW, as our high trust society continues to crumble, this will only get worse.

    n

  31. I put the rose gold in the cart. I’ll pick it up tomorrow. Microcenter wanted to sell me their plan, not applecare. Fortunately, I think I can add that by calling Apple within some short time.

    n

  32. women alone are TARGETS. Men alone are targets too, but at least the evil will think twice. The list of murdered or disappeared girls from just the news and the last month is longer than I have fingers. “You go Grrrl!” only changes her interior mindspace, not the external realities of the world we live in. BTW, as our high trust society continues to crumble, this will only get worse.

    One of the craziest movies that I have seen is “Wild” by Reese Witherspoon as a woman who undertakes a 1,100 mile backpacking trip BY HERSELF. The person found herself during her backpacking trip on the Pacific Crest Trail. In real life, she would have been raped, murdered, and buried in a shallow grave somewhere along the trail. No weapons whatsoever.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_(2014_film)
    and
    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2305051/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_18


  33. Fortunately, I think I can add that by calling Apple within some short time.

    You can. Go to the Apple website. You need the device serial number and a credit card. I think you have 60 days. Apple will require a diagnostic be run on the device.

    Rose gold looks like a lady’s color.

    Never have liked the rose gold. Too many welfare clowns in my area with the color. Thinks it makes them look classy while sitting in their single wide with a Bud Light. I stay with space grey. But to each their own. More than one person has confirmed that I am very dull.

  34. Woke up dreaming I was someplace like NORK, or East Germany. Not clear if I was a prisoner or a guest, possibly both, or one then the other. The scene from Schindler’s List went through my brain… the slave in the factory – proud to be German, doing his best work.

    Is that us? Will it be?

    Jerry Pournelle used to say that the sad thing was not when the human race forgot how to build something. The sad thing was when the human race forgot that it could build something.

    Glenn Beck’s “Agenda 21” book examined what happened when a generation grew up in the USA in work camps without ever knowing that their ancestors were free. It was a chilling read, sounded like your worst third world nightmare.
    https://www.amazon.com/Agenda-21-Glenn-Beck/dp/147671701X/?tag=ttgnet-20

  35. The tally is three so far. We’ve got quite a ways before autonomous cars are ready.

    At work, we deploy a binocular camera system which replaces loops in the road for vehicle detection/classification/positioning. State of the art, but even with a fixed position and careful tuning, the system still makes mistakes.

    Autonomous vehicles will have to be *perfect*.

  36. Autonomous vehicles will have to be *perfect*.

    Autonomous vehicles will have to be better than humans.

    Fixed that for you. And they may be close to that now.

    But no running into parked fire trucks ! That is uncool. And, I do not want to be beaten to death with a fire hose.

  37. bezos has repeatedly shown his detractors to be wrong….

    I’m not going to bet against him.

    n

  38. bezos has repeatedly shown his detractors to be wrong….

    I’m not going to bet against him.

    Oh, sure, but that doesn’t mean Publix was wrong in their analysis.

    I think a separate set of rules exist on Wall Street for Amazon than the rest of retail. For now.

  39. Amazon has AWS, their bright shining star. The wall street boys will forgive a lot of problems while that star shines bright. The minute that star quits shining so bright, the wall street boys will scream for Bezos to split the business apart.


  40. At work, we deploy a binocular camera system which replaces loops in the road for vehicle detection/classification/positioning. State of the art, but even with a fixed position and careful tuning, the system still makes mistakes.

    Autonomous vehicles will have to be *perfect*.

    Here’s the thing – and it’s important. We’re going to keep doing it, and getting better at it until it’s good enough. Mankind simply cannot leave well enough alone.

    All of the greatest SF writers predicted this. They were more optimistic about the timeline, but they predicted it. In Methuselah’s Children, Heinlein describes Lazarus Long riding with Nancy (?) Weatheral. She puts the car to autonomous control and turns her seat to face Lazarus. When there’s an emergency, the car alarms and returns it to manual control. I can see that happening with these cars now. I would absolutely LOVE to get on the thruway, turn it over to the car, and take a nap.

    Of course, we don’t have flying cars (yet), but research in gravitics is progressing. I won’t rule that out either.

  41. People want to get back to the horse, you could drowse and the horse would get you home. But the horse didn’t move a couple of tons at 60+ mph….

    n


  42. But the horse didn’t move a couple of tons

    Yeh, I guess Oprah wasn’t alive in the horse and buggy era.

    When there’s an emergency, the car alarms and returns it to manual control. I can see that happening with these cars now. I would absolutely LOVE to get on the thruway, turn it over to the car, and take a nap.

    The problem becomes when you are suddenly disturbed from your nap by an emergency. Will you immediately be aware and able to assess the situation and take over within milliseconds? Would your reaction be worse than the car’s action?

    Over time would people lose their driving skills to the point of even basic control of a vehicle? Would the people know how the car would react to control input?

    The problem is not one of self driving but of people losing the ability to drive. Imagine not having to deal with driving for say six months then suddenly thrust into the position of having to drive, obey signs, watch for hazards, maintain lane control, speed control, etc. after not having done so for an extended period of time. Self driving would have it’s place in an urban environment, or inner city where speeds are slow. The patterns may be more complicated than interstate but fewer really bad things can happen at 30 MPH than at 70 MPH.

    The transition from computer control to human control would be a major issue for the human.

    Then you have the issue of liability in the case of an accident. Is the car at fault? If so is it the software and the software company? How do you determine? Or is it the owner of the vehicle at fault? They had no input into the situation so the owner did nothing wrong. What if the problem is a failed sensor that report erroneous information? Where does the liability belong?

    Beyond the technology which is quite mature there is the human factor and the liability factor. Those are going to be difficult problems to solve.


  43. …Beyond the technology which is quite mature there is the human factor and the liability factor. Those are going to be difficult problems to solve.

    All of those things can be (and will be) solved. It will present issues. We’ll solve them as we come to them. As we have in the past. So we will in the future.

    Just as there are still folks that ride horses (and make buggy whips, for that matter), there will be Luddites that insist on driving themselves. I think that’s a good thing. But it won’t stop progress.

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