Retired, sometime civil servant, sometime consultant, active intellectual, former lawyer, active property manager, and on rare occasions in the past a political activist. He has recovered from the experience.

Retired, sometime civil servant, sometime consultant, active intellectual, former lawyer, active property manager, and on rare occasions in the past a political activist. He has recovered from the experience.

God-Emperor Trump arrives in Daytona

I will be misunderstood, because I am not likening the two men howsoever, but the Trumpian propaganda was so beautiful, it was reminiscent of Leni Riefenstahl’s “Triumph of the Will” where in the opening scene, AH arrives in Nurnberg by plane through the clouds. Someone once called “Triumph of the Will” the first rock video, at least for its opening scenes.

You should watch all of “Triumph of the Will” at least once in your life. Watch as a nation goes berserk for a false god. See the incredible displays of emotion and mass uniformed displays. Watch as millions adulate the saviour of the nation. Ponder the dreadful gap between propaganda and accomplishment.

I do not mean to denigrate Trump’s arrival in Daytona. He knows how to make the right gesture. But my sense of irony immediately came to work when I saw the Daytona video. The Republican Presidential campaign is on, and these guys are good.

Cooperative critters

The recent video shows a coyote waiting for a badger so that they could both go through a tunnel together. They seemed like old friends; they knew each other as individuals. They were happy to see one another.

The viral video moved the biologist Jennifer Campbell-Smith to write the following:

“Scientifically, we are finally emerging from a dark period of studying nature simply as a stimulus-and-instinct-driven movie that humans can observe — the kind of thinking used to justify government-funded culls and mass indiscriminate killing of native speciesRecent research demonstrates the cognitive and cultural capabilities of non-human animals, as well as the importance of their proclivities and personalities, and more data keep piling up. Some individual animals, for example, have the right combination of bold, exploratory traits to do well in human-dominated landscapes, while more cautious ones may flourish in relatively rural and wild landscapes. In fact, researchers have observed population-level genetic changes in city-dwellers compared to their country cousins of the same species, in everything from coyotes to anoles and black widow spiders.

“Different animals also hold different social statuses within an ecosystem. Much like what can happen within a human community, the death of a specific individual may have a large impact on social structure. I’ve watched whole regions of crows restructure their social dynamics and movements due to the death of a single key individual, and I’ve seen how age and experience shape individuals and the behavior they pass on to others. Wildlife managers must take all of this into account rather than relying on the traditional, numbers-only management style that treats all individuals of a species as if they have equal weight in an ecosystem.

“In the viral video, I see an elegant demonstration of how complex and flexible nature is. How intelligent these two animals are — not simply two animal-robots reacting solely to stimuli. How the body language and ease between them suggests that they know each other as individuals, and that those individuals matter.

While it’s scientifically prudent to acknowledge only the data that exist in peer-reviewed studies, we humans must broaden our lens and see the metaphorical forest before we get lost in the trees. We must hold each other, management agencies and policymakers accountable for the broader picture that the evidence is highlighting and use it to better relate to the world we live in, and the organisms that exist alongside us.”

In short, animals are capable of acting like they do in children’s stories, when they are not required to eat one another. The lion will lay down with the lamb, at least until lunch, and Mr. Coyote and Mr. Badger will greet one another cheerfully as they commute to their night jobs in Los Angeles.

Bad news for Betelgeuse

Supernova, anyone?

CBC reports (certified free from intersectionality, reconciliation, or climate emergency the following:

“Red supergiants are some of the most massive and brightest stars, but they don’t live that long. In human terms, Betelgeuse is a geriatric at 10 million years old. It is nearing the end of its life. By contrast, our smaller sun is roughly 4.5 billion years old, just middle-aged.

“Red supergiant stars like Betelgeuse die in a spectacular fashion: after exhausting all their hydrogen and helium they collapse onto themselves, and finally explode in a supernova, one of the most cataclysmic events in the universe. And Betelgeuse is near the end of its life. “

As you can observe, if Betelgeuse were centred where the sun is, the radius of Betelgeuse would extend beyond Mars. Life would not have had time to evolve with so short a stellar life span.

We shall miss the shoulder of Orion when it blows up. Orion has been a marker of the autumn and winter sky since the dawn of man.


By the mark where the nails have been

Great Christian message from contemporary songwriters Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. Go to minute 35:00 for the start of the song.

When I cross over
I will shout and sing
I will know my savior
By the mark where the nails have beenBy the mark where the nails have been
By the sign upon his precious skin
I will know my savior when I come to him
By the mark where the nails have been

A man of riches
May claim a crown of jewels
But the king of heaven
Can be told from the prince of fools

By the mark where the nails have been
By the sign upon his precious skin
I will know my savior when I come to him
By the mark where the nails have been

On Calvary Mountain
Where they made him suffer so
All my sin was paid for
A long, long time ago

By the mark where the nails have been
By the sign upon his precious skin
I will know my savior when I come to him
By the mark where the nails have been

Source: Musixmatch Songwriters: Gillian Welch / David Rawlings

The rotary dial cellphone

Justine Haupt’s rotary dial cellphone

Justine Haupt explains the cellphone which she made:

“Why a rotary cellphone? Because in a finicky, annoying, touchscreen world of hyperconnected people using phones they have no control over or understanding of, I wanted something that would be entirely mine, personal, and absolutely tactile, while also giving me an excuse for not texting. 

The point isn’t to be anachronistic. It’s to show that it’s possible to have a perfectly usable phone that goes as far from having a touchscreen as I can imagine, and which in some ways may actually be more functional. More functional how? 

  • Real, removable antenna with an SMA connector. Receptions is excellent, and if I really want to I could always attach a directional antenna.
  • When I want a phone I don’t have to navigate through menus to get to the phone “application”. That’s bullshit.
  • If I want to call my husband, I can do so by pressing a single dedicated physical key which is dediated to him. No menus. The point isn’t to use the rotary dial every single time I want to make a call, which would get tiresome for daily use. The people I call most often are stored, and if I have to dial a new number or do something like set the volume, then I can use the fun and satisfying-to-use rotary dial.
  • Nearly instantaneous, high resolution display of signal strength and battery level. No signal metering lag, and my LED bargraph gives 10 increments of resolution instead of just 4.
  • The ePaper display is bistatic, meaning it doesn’t take any energy to display a fixed message.
  • When I want to change something about the phone’s behavior, I just do it.
  • The power switch is an actual slide switch. No holding down a stupid button to make it turn off and not being sure it really is turning off or what.

So it’s not just a show-and-tell piece… My intent is to use it as my primary phone. It fits in a pocket.; It’s reasonably compact; calling the people I most often call is faster than with my old phone, and the battery lasts almost 24 hours.”

More on her cellphone in Gizmodo here.

Where everything is policed except the crime – 2

From the Telegraph – “An Asian grooming gang was free to roam the streets and abuse young girls because police officers were told to “find other ethnicities” to investigate, a detective has claimed. 

At least 57 young girls are thought to have been exploited by a paedophile network of around 100 suspected perpetrators based in south Manchester in the 2000s. The gang, mainly comprised of Asian men, hooked their victims on drugs, groomed, and sexually abused them. One girl, aged 15, died after being injected with heroin by a 50-year-old man. 

Following a two-year inquiry, commissioned by Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, into the historic failings of police and social workers, a report was published today which concluded that vulnerable girls in care were groomed and abused in “plain sight”. 

The report found multiple failings at the hands of GMP, including how fears over race relations appear to have played a part in senior police thinking when tackling grooming gangs comprised of predominantly Asian men.

It added that officers were aware of “many sensitive community issues” around policing in south Manchester in 2002 and 2003.” 

Nothing new in the Church of Rome

St Joseph Calasanz

I came across this article in Wikipedia on a Roman Catholic educator, priest and saint, Joseph Calasanz.

It reads:

“His pedagogical idea of educating every child, his schools for the poor, his support of the heliocentric sciences of Galilei and his service towards children and youth all aroused the opposition of many among the governing classes in society and the ecclesiastical hierarchy.[4] In 1642, as a result of an internal crisis in the congregation as well as outside intrigues and pressures, Calasanz was briefly held and interrogated by the Inquisition.

“Problems were exacerbated, however, by Father Stefano Cherubini, originally headmaster of the Piarist school in Naples, who systematically sexually abused the pupils in his care. Cherubini made no secret about some of his transgressions, and Calasanz came to know of them. Unfortunately for Calasanz as administrator of the Order, Cherubini was the son and the brother of powerful papal lawyers and no one wanted to offend the Cherubini family. Cherubini pointed out that if allegations of his abuse of his boys became public, actions would be taken to destroy the Order. Calasanz therefore promoted him, to get him away from the scene of the crime, citing only his luxurious diet and failure to attend prayers. However, he knew what Cherubini had really been up to, and he wrote that the sole aim of the plan was “to cover up this great shame in order that it does not come to the notice of our superiors”.[7]

“Superiors in Rome found out but bowed to the same family ties that had bound Calasanz. Cherubini became visitor general for the Piarists. The Piarists became entangled in church politics and, partially because they were associated with Galileo, were opposed by the Jesuits, who were more orthodox in astronomy. (Galileo’s views also involved atomism, and were thought to be heretical regarding transubstantiation.) The support for Cherubini was broad enough that in 1643, he was made superior general of the Order and the elderly Calasanz was pushed aside. Upon this appointment, Calasanz publicly documented Cherubini’s long pattern of child molestation, a pattern that he had known about for years. Even this did not block Cherubini’s appointment, but other members of the Order were indignant about it, although they may have objected to Cherubini’s more overt shortcomings.[7] With such dissension, the Holy See took the easy course of suppressing the Order. In 1646, it was deprived of its privileges by Pope Innocent X.

“Calasanz always remained faithful to the Church and died August 25, 1648,[6] at the age of 90, admired for his holiness and courage by his students, their families, his fellow Piarists, and the people of Rome. He was buried in the Church of San Pantaleo.”

End of quote.

In the meantime, Pope Francis has declined the possibility that priests might marry [women]. Nothing changes. Until it does. I expect married Roman Catholic priests within a century.

Wednesday 12, 2020

Tucker Carlson explains why Pete Buddha Judge is a corporate hologram created by Silicon Valley, and why the race for the Democratic nomination will be a struggle between Bernie Sanders and that former Mayor of New York, Mr. Bloomberg. Either way it will be a disaster. Doesn’t Bloomberg sound like a Bond villain? Auric Bloomberg, an obviously anti-Jewish trope, says in fiction “Goodbye, Mr. Bond”

Why it is time for a purge at our universities. I like the opening of the essay, where the author discusses the delicious possibilities of a Klingon University, where it is always a good day to die. We can only hope.

An insightful piece on Dominic Cummings, the chief policy advisor to Boris Johnson, and architect of the 2016 Brexit vote. Cummings is a very bright star in the conservative firmament. [If all Guardian pieces were as balanced and fair, I would be tempted to support the enterprise].

Unassailable, by Mark Jeftovic. Mark’s book appears to be about protecting yourself from deplatform attacks and cancel culture. It is way more. It is a libertarian review of heresies, and a guide to practical steps to protect your on-line commerce. “Culture wars are all about narrative control” Mark Jeftovic. Worth a look.

Facebook is looking for a public policy manager in Ottawa. You will be expected to handle fall-out from the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review, which intends to be a counter-revolution against the Internet. See the op-ed by former CRTC Commissioner Timothy Denton in the Financial Post, for example. Professor Michael Geist has been particularly sound on the topic. Another former CRTC Commissioner who has seen the light is Peter Menzies. Take your pick.

Good night, Mr. Bond.

Charles Murray has just published Human Diversity: The Biology of Gender Race and Class. Expect Fireworks. If his previous books (The Bell Curve, Coming Apart, Human Accomplishment, among others) are any guide, you are in for an education and a delight. I consider Charles Murray one of the giants of social science, ever to have written.

Finally, and sadly, the great Christie Blatchford died today. The commentary below is written by Rex Murphy.

“In the trade as I know it, she was the bravest person out there. This is a time when, sadly, we have turned direct talk into a kind of taboo. People trip over themselves to find ways around saying what they mean. They wrap any opinion they think might get them in trouble with the Twitter mob in cowardly euphemisms, or fail to say anything at all because they are too afraid.

“Not Blatchford. If she saw something needed to be said, she said it powerfully, without cover or squeamish qualification. She was the empress of straight talk. And if that otherwise ridiculously over-invoked phrase, “speaking truth to power,” has any serious application in First World journalism, then Christie Blatchford is one of the select few who can lay serious claim to its meaning.”

Jerusalem, or England recovered

The poem by William Blake has become England’s unoffical national hymn. Music by Sir Herbert Parry.

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountains green?
And was the holy lamb of god
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?And did the countenance divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem built here
Amongst these dark satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold
Bring me my arrows of desire
Bring me my spear, o clouds unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire.I will not cease from mental fight
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England’s green and pleasant land.

A friend of mine once said that the lyrics of “Jerusalem” outdid the nationalism of anything the Germans have ever devised, including the Nazi regime. Transcendent national social justice.