Saturday, February 16, 2013

Video made today

Sure takes a lot of time to do this kind of stuff.  Spent most of the day on this and came up with a video that's only about six minutes long.  It's about Texas History.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Something familiar about this

Do you know what it is?

Posting is light, but I'm having a little fun

Well, to me it is fun.  It may seem pretty boring to someone else.

Being a long term Houstonian,  I'm interested in the history of the city.  That part may not be so much fun as looking at old city maps.

It is interesting to see how the city has grown.  The old neighborhood I grew up in was actually out of the city limits in 1915.   The family moved there in the late fifties, that's the area I was curious about, and found it. Interesting that it existed at that early a date.  If you notice from the history of Houston, the city exploded in population at about this time.

The Houston Ship Channel had opened recently.  The Spindletop gusher had come in not that long before.  The Galveston Hurricane disaster in 1900 had pushed Houston to the forefront in importance and it never turned back.  But there was a bumpy spot.  The Camp Logan Riot occurred in 1917, not too long after this map was published.  Camp Logan was military training facility located just outside of the city.  The Hogg family bought the land the camp was situated on and donated it to the city in the aftermath, and it was made into a park dedicated as a memorial to the tragedy--- and so named, Memorial Park.

Anyway, the places that would be considered "inner city" today were, like the park,  in the boonies in 1915.   The suburbs of the fifties weren't even on this map.  It didn't go out that far.  Maybe because those places didn't exist yet.

By the time I got to Houston, it was already big.  Now, it is frickin' huge.

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil

Nice pic, reproduced below.

Limbaugh's article was good, so read it.

The Mainstream Media = The Matrix


the truth is that almost all of us have willingly hooked ourselves into a colossal media system that literally tells us what to think. In the United States today, the average American watches 153 hours of television a month. We also spend huge amounts of time watching movies, surfing the Internet, reading books and magazines, playing video games and listening to music. Many Americans are so addicted to being "connected" that they will actually become physically uncomfortable if they are at home and there is total silence. 

Swallow that red pill, baby.

This is what the left really thinks of you.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cruise ship nightmare nearing end for passengers after hellish trip


Reminds me of the scene in Young Frankenstein, where Eye-Gor says "It could be worse".

Anyway, I may have considered one of these cruises before, but not now.  This ship's ill fated journey began in none other than Galveston, Texas.  Just an hour's drive from Houston.

About the light posting

Under the weather.  Don't know if it is the flu, but suspect so.  Less than two weeks after my previous doctor visit.  Didn't want to go back so soon unless things got bad enough.

I think it is improving, but it was pretty bad.

The illness was one part.  The other part is the reassessment that I've been doing.  Of the blog, of the nature of things as they are and so forth.

I get the impression that something really bad is ongoing and may be unstoppable.  In such a case, what do you do about it?  You could try to argue, but what if no one cares, or bothers to listen?  You could drop out, Ayn Rand style and/or "go Galt".  You could follow Dr. Helen's advice--- read the book and Enjoy the Decline. 

Then, there's Marco Rubio's SOTU response.  Very insipid.  I wanted something stirring.  Instead, it looked boring even in writing.

The country is being lost because there is no inspiration and no leadership---except on the wrong side.

What can you do about this?  Really?

Then, I just came across this post by Ace, in which I quote something I find remarkable:

People who are greatly accomplished sometimes have a difficult time acting as if they're not greatly accomplished, and sometimes act like They Know More Than You, which the American public hates, because people hate things that are obviously true.[ emphasis added]

People hate things that are obviously true.  I can't wrap my head around that one.  Do people live for falsity?  I can't believe people hate someone for being accomplished, or is that the whole point?  Therefore, you have to pretend not to be accomplished, for when you flaunt your accomplishment, people hate you for it.  Just exactly one of the themes of Atlas Shrugged.

The curious thing is the popularity of the book since its release.  It is not as if people are ignorant of Miss Rand's work.  Yet, here it is, happening just as she predicted.

Checked on YouTube where someone said Hitchens destroyed Ayn Rand.  All I found in that video was the typical insults that go for argument amongst the left.  Why is the left so successful when their ideas are so weak and seemingly discredited by history and practice?  Why is the left so successful when their ideas seem so stupid?  Why is the left so impressed with itself when it can't even wipe its own collective drooling chin?

Why do people follow this stupidity and foolishness?  Why would people willingly descend into madness and ineffectual government and decaying society?  Polls don't reflect approval of things being ship shape, but the thought runs through my mind that people want even more of this crap!

Something has snapped in this country.  It's like an illness, it has to run its course.

Braveheart Outtakes

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Space Pseudo-Program

Spudis Lunar Resources

A half-century ago, historian and Librarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin writing in his book The Image, took note of and characterized a societal trend that he found disturbing. Genuine accomplishment was being gradually replaced by what he termed the “pseudo-event,” something seemingly real but in actual fact, an occurrence representing no significant accomplishment or any real milestone.

Yeah, expanding on that theme a bit, I think this has ceased to be a serious country.  The article confirms that.

Dueling Viewpoints

Pat Buchanan says

The Secular City seems to have triumphed over the City of God. But in the Islamic world, an ancient and transcendental faith is undergoing a great awakening after centuries of slumber and seems anxious to re-engage and settle accounts with an agnostic West.

But there's a different point of view here:

Iran may be one of the world’s most secular countries; some reports put mosque attendance in the Islamic Republic at just 2%, lower than Church of England attendance. When the odious Islamist regime falls at length, we probably will find that there are as few Muslims in Iran as there were Communists in Russia after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Like other religions rooted in traditional society, for example the nationalist-Catholic faith that Europeans abandoned after the two world wars, Islam cannot abide the onset of modernity. Some forms of religion can flourish in modernity; Islam is not one of them.

The variable that best predicts fertility across all Muslim countries is education: as soon as women become literate, they stop having children. That is a hallmark of a faith that melts away in the harsh light of modernity.

The point?  We've got something to worry about here, but it may not be as bad as Buchanan says.  It may be worse, that is, in the near term.

Bullish Chart Pattern Being Traced In Gold


The pattern is a symmetrical triangle  In traditional technical analysis, a symmetrical triangle is a continuation pattern.

It would make sense.  At the time of the peak of gold's most recent bullish move to 1900 oz., the Fed announced operation Twist.   Whatever they may have accomplished with that must be over by now.

The fundamentals haven't changed.  The only question that one might have is if the Obamabots can manage perceptions so well that the bullshit goes undetected.  In that case, gold may even go down.  Everybody will believe the bullshit and began living like they did before, which would be a mistake.

Actually, if the government was really fixing anything, they'd be fixing something.  They aren't fixing anything, so nothing is fixed.  It is being made to look like it's fixed.  Like perfuming a turd, it's still a turd.

Capturing The Reagan Center

Dick Morris

In the 1990s, the Democrats under Bill Clinton needed to shed their image of being weak on crime, permissive on drugs, and tolerant of welfare abuse in order to prevail over their core issues of education, the elderly, and the environment. So they adapted, adopting many Republican strategies such as abolishing welfare. Now, the Republicans need to return to the Reagan center of the party — opposing big government, decrying over-regulation, and determined to cut our debt, public spending, and tax levels.

I remember the 1992 race like yesterday.  The Republicans said Clinton was fake, and so he was.  If you read between the lines, it looks like the only way to win in politics is to lie your ass off.

Morris is talking about fuzzing up the issues.  Let's take immigration.  I can only speak for myself, but we tried that during a conservative Republican administration.  It didn't result in more Latino votes.

Morris cites abortion statistics too.  Okay, but you are crossing a bit of a line when you say something like Clinton said ---legal, safe, and rare.

Morris seems to think that you can do these things without abandoning core principles.  How do you know the difference between "packaging" and abandoning core principles?  When does the pivot, as he describes it, becomes indistinguishable from the Democrats?

Will you do anything in order to win?

The Root of Money (Atlas Shrugged Part 2)

James Taggart is what would now be called a "crony capitalist." His wedding guests
are the elite of a politicized economy. Taggart, Francisco d'Anconia, and Hank Rearden are all members of the "1%" --but Francisco, in his "money speech" is challenging the whole idea of the "1%."

Ayn Rand on Donahue ( 1979)

Ayn Rand attacks altruism as evil and both defines and defends her philosophy of objectivism.

I remember this appearance.  I saw it on TV back then.

There was a discussion about the oil companies in this 1979 interview. The oil companies were a target of the left back then, and we probably came close to having them nationalized. Compare that with ObamaCare. If we left it up to liberals, there'd be socialism.

2. Her economic ideas.  Sharply critical of universities.   A discussion of faith and religion.

 3. A discussion about self esteem and its relationship to dictatorship.
Against the concept of Original Sin.  
Women's rights.  Interesting to observe the thinking of that time.

4. Says the woman who asked a question at the end of the last video was a hippie and impolite.  Causes quite a sensation.

Concern expressed about companies like General Motors taking over the world.  That's funny.

5.  Says if a woman ran for President, she wouldn't vote for her. Quite a stir. Overall, she says a lot of stuff here that one may call controversial.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Reading about big ideas

Big words like Zeitgeist, Modernism, Postmodernism, and Contructivism.

Yep, it makes my head hurt.

I've thought about these concepts before, but without knowing exactly what they mean.  I've come across some of them on Dr Sanity's blog, but the ideas seem to fade out of my consciousness.  I think I'd just as soon forget about this stuff, but it is very real, unfortunately.

How do I fit into the Zeitgeist?  I think my main problem here is that I don't.  I'm looking at it from a distance and critically.  Not that this is going to make any difference in anything.  What I mean by that is the seemingly indifferent attitude people have towards their own civilization and history.  Plus an indifferent attitude towards doing anything about our problems.  This is a phenomenon which I have noted again and again on this blog.  There's nothing that can be done about this.  The spirit of the times, or Zeitgeist, forbids any real solutions to real problems.  It is all a matter of pretend and fantasy.  Postmodernism posits that there is no absolute truth.

It should not be any surprise then, that the civilization is breaking under the force of reality that it can't or won't face.

Western Civilization is turning into a madhouse.  Sorry to be so negative, but what other explanations could there be?  Am I wrong, or is it this society?  I'm here to tell ya, it ain't me.

Pundit Press: Information on Christopher Dorner Firing by LAPD

Pundit Press: Information on Christopher Dorner Firing by LAPD: The horrible shootings that have come in the last week seem to stem from shooter Christopher Dorner's firing from the LAPD. Now the LAPD is...


I read some of Dorner's manifesto, in which he denies lying about Evans kicking a mentally ill man.

Dorner may be certifiably insane, you know.  He may be "seeing" things that aren't there.  Delusions.

Don't want to prejudge his case, but just because he says something, doesn't make it so.

Pundit Press: What Weapons Does Christopher Dorner Have?

Pundit Press: What Weapons Does Christopher Dorner Have?: Apparently some really serious stuff: Please bookmark!


If he really has these weapons, it implies some help from somebody.  These weapons are large and hard to move around undetected.  Hell, the guy is supposedly being tracked by drones.  How is he going to move these around unless he has some help from the inside?

The left is cheering him on, so I've seen.

Still, Dorner is fighting against what he sees as corruption.  I say, capture him alive and put him on trial.

The problem with that idea is that Dorner will be used as an ideological foil deployed against the right.  The left is salivating over that prospect, it appears.

Unfortunate that the corruption is being further corrupted by the corruption itself.  Dorner is a confused man and a very dangerous one, if these reports are accurate.  He is a victim of those who he is serving.

Parker: Downward Mobility For Generation Y In Job Market


Rising natural resource extraction costs, decaying demographics, less low hanging fruit for doing innovation are a few of the reasons. You need to raise your game if you just want to stay at the station in life you've reached.


If I am correct in my hypothesis that the government and the elite do not want you to succeed, then "raising your game" won't make any difference.  The government and the elite are out to kill you.  That may seem startling and paranoid, but why?  Look at the results and judge for yourself.  If the results can be the result of intention, then they are doing this intentionally because that is the result we are seeing.

For example, why are great ideas like molten-salt reactors ignored?  In its stead, useless projects like ITER are funded generously.  Why?  These people must know that even if ITER works, it won't be adopted because it is too big, expensive, and it will become radioactive itself over time.  If radioactivity is the problem, ITER is not the solution.  I suspect that the powers-that-be know this.

The powers-that-be don't trust the people.  That's why they want to disarm the people.  That's why they want you to shut up.  They are systematically destroying the Bill of Rights in front of our very eyes.  What protections do we have if these are cast aside?  They will do whatever they want against us and we can do nothing in response.  Not even protect ourselves or our property.

They won't seek justice against wrongdoers in their class.  Just look at Jon Corzine, as an example.  If anyone lower on the food-chain did something like this, they'd be in jail.  No ifs, ands, or buts.

Jon Corzine embezzled a billion dollars, folks.  And he walks about as a free man.  Nothing will be done.

Bill Clinton committed perjury and stayed in office.  This makes a mockery of the rule of law.  It goes on a grand scale, in my opinion.

You could include the litany of complaints against Bush.  Frankly, I don't count their accusations against him as relevant to this discussion.  That's because Obama is doing the same things Bush is alleged to have done.  Yet, I don't like Bush either because he isn't exactly the big champion of the common man.  Nor are the Republicans.  If they were, this would be an entirely new situation.  The right is in cahoots with the left.  The "great chasm" between the parties is an illusion set up to deceive you.  Neither intend to do anything to help the common man and are actually out to destroy the common man.

The internet is allowed to succeed as all other technologies are systematically destroyed.  Why?  So they can make robots that will replace you eventually.  You will have no means of support.  I don't think this is any accident.  The internet is being set up as the greatest surveillance racket ever devised in history.  This is already the most spied upon society in history and it is getting worse.  But the internet is the darling of the elite.  Why?

I am for the internet and the increase in technology, but these things are not being done for the good of all.  Just for the few who intend to get rid of the rest of us in time.  This is their main tool.  This idea of limited resources is part of their game.  There are no limits to resources, if that is the problem.  If that was the problem, we'd have conquered space by now.  But that's not happening, nor is it likely, if they get their way.

The dark side of the internet

'Google for spies' draws ire from rights groups

A multinational security firm has secretly developed software capable of tracking people's movements and predicting future behaviour by mining data from social networking websites

Yeah, and I notice that some webpages won't let you use their services unless you consent to allowing cookies.   Also, the smartphone that I got won't let you use some of those services unless you allow some creepy tracking software.  It's like they are aggressively seeking out your personal information for the purposes of using it against you in furtherance of their own interests.

It may well be true that the internet is a good thing for communication amongst the population, but the price to be paid for it may be too high.

The people are just sheep being set up to be slaughtered.


More here at Zero Hedge.

Google Moves to Destroy Online Anonymity … Helping Authoritarian Governments In the Process


Knocks into a cocked hat Glenn Reynolds idea that an Army of Davids can make a difference in this fishbowl world of the internet.  Looks to me like the government has already checkmated that possibility.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Big Bang Theory season 3 funny scenes

It's actually quite funny.  I don't watch TV, so I haven't seen any of these episodes.

Guest Post on Zero Hedge: China Surpasses U.S. As Number One Global Trading Power

Submitted by Brandon Smith from Alt-Market


  • Back in 2008...I wrote several economic editorials discussing what I saw as the single most vital trend in the global fiscal system, and how it would cause a disastrous upheaval that would leave the U.S. and the dollar financially sunk.
  • I tried to summarize as much of the situation and facts as I could in my article ‘How The U.S. Dollar Will Be Replaced’, which was published in May of last year
  • if China is one of the largest holders of Forex reserves on the planet...WHY did they feel the need or begin issuing Yuan denominated debt? ...They knew that there would be a crisis in American consumption and that this would lead to severe reduction in imports, which is why they began building trade deals within the ASEAN trading bloc to insulate themselves.
  • In fact, China has been pumping Yuan into global markets even faster than the Federal Reserve has been printing the dollar
  • China has also recently quadrupled imports of rice and tripled wheat and corn imports in only one year. Why? Again, I ask, what do they know that we are not being told?
  • As I have stated for many years, China is being groomed as an alternative economic engine in opposition to the U.S., and that this will lead to an eventual dump by them of the Greenback. 
  • For those who are still not aware of why this is such a big deal, it is essentially a turning point moment in global trade. There is no doubt that China will now be inducted into the SDR, and that their importance as a trade and consumption center will quickly lead to a move away from the dollar.
  • China is nearly ready for IMF inclusion. Volatility around the world is high. Our government has a final decision to make on the Fiscal Cliff in March, not to mention the sudden push for possible gun registration and confiscation. My instincts tell me that so many explosive aspects coalescing together at the same tenuous moment is not a coincidence. The next few months call for hyper-vigilance and every ounce of energy we can muster to educate as many people as possible in as short a time as possible.[ emphasis added]
The sheep are being led to the slaughter.  The sheep are innocent, but ignorance is inexcusable.  Wise up, people.  You are being screwed.

Next Big Future: IBM Watson providing superior cancer treatment pla...

Next Big Future: IBM Watson providing superior cancer treatment pla...: The IBM Watson system gained fame by beating human contestants on the television quiz show Jeopardy! almost two years ago. Since that time, ...


New WellPoint Interactive Care Guide and Interactive Care Reviewer...Delivers the first Watson-based cognitive computing system anticipated to streamline the review processes between a patient's physician and their health plan

Health plan?  I knew money had to be a part of this.  Anyway, it looks like a good deal that may get messed up if the government sticks its nose into it.

Pundit Press: Liberals Rush to Defend Murderer Christopher Dorne...

Pundit Press: Liberals Rush to Defend Murderer Christopher Dorne...: The Main Stream Media has been deafeningly silent on madman Christopher Dorner's liberal leanings . Dorner supports gun control. Dorner lo...

There's a screw loose amongst the left.  For, if they advocate violence, then violence is permitted in response.  Do they really expect their opponents to remain idle as a killer is loose and on the prowl, killing his enemies, who are their enemies?  If they approve of a madman of the left killing people on the right, how are they in a position to complain when someone on the right retaliates?


Keynesianism as a cargo cult

That's what Hugh-Smith said of Keynesianism---it's a cargo cult.  But he didn't offer an explanation for that, he just claimed it.  Let me expand upon that thesis a bit.

Now, if the government is encouraging the Fed to print money in order to prop up the stock market, then there's your cargo cult.  There's no underlying reason for wealth production, only a meaningless production of useless items like pieces of paper ( money ) that supposedly represents the value of the goods desired.  Just as the ignorant savages tried to reproduce the cargo dropping from the skies by emulating the soldiers actions, the mere creation of money does nothing to actually produce wealth.  The collective skill sets and wealth of a nation have to back up a nation's fiat currency, which by such means as described above, will only be diluted---not created.  Meanwhile, the real source of wealth, in terms of ability to produce such, is literally dying off as the old generation of producers die off and the newer generation fails to acquire the skills so as to replace them.

We seem to be going backwards in some important ways.  Especially in terms of energy production.  Renewable sources of energy aren't new.  Windmills were around a hundred years ago.  Same is true for electric trains and other "green" technologies.  Yet, at the same time, real advances are shunned and discouraged.  It was shunned in the case of molten-salt reactor technology created over 40 years ago.  It has been discouraged in its commercialization, as well as with new ideas such as aneutronic fusion.  Meanwhile, the excuse given for not developing molten-salt reactors is the radioactivity produced from it.  Yet, the ITER project will not cure this problem.  The plant itself will become radioactive itself over time.  It is not aneutronic, so it will produce radioactivity.  The problem remains, but the vast spending on it continues.  Meanwhile, aneutronic fusion projects go begging for funding.  The cargo cult assumes that by spending billions on a project, good results will follow.  But that isn't necessarily so.

If billions are spent properly, good results can follow.  Take the Apollo Project, which landed men on the moon.  It was deemed a waste of money and canceled.   The skill sets were allowed to die off and little was preserved.  Yet, if the program had continued, it could have been commercialized.  Today, we could be mining asteroids for platinum, which could help us with our supposed global warming problem.

The Apollo Project produced a nuclear thermal upper stage that was deemed space worthy.  It would have been bolted on top of a Saturn V rocket and doubled its payload.  The extra payload could have been used to build moonbases that could have provided fuel for more ambitious missions, such as a mission to Mars.

All of this was possible to us and has been squandered.  But the money printing continues unabated.  We are not getting richer, but poorer.  The Keynesian cargo cult has failed us.  We merely have the appearance of wealth.  The real wealth in terms of skill sets is dying off and very little is being done about it.  Except, perhaps to spend more money.


The idea of Keynesianism as a cargo cult has a number of links, as can be seen from this google search.

Try it:  type "Keynesianism as a cargo cult" in a google search box.

My post is sixth on the list.

Fed Creating $4 Billion in New Money Each Day, Helping to Rig Stock Market

By Charles Biderman

This is why I got out of the markets. It's rigged.

Random thoughts, 2/10/13

Several things on my mind this morning, so I'll glom them all together into one post

  1. Looks like this site won't accept google sites in order to run ads.  Shucks.  Update:  I suppose my own website isn't out of the question.  But that means directing traffic to it.  Which also means starting over.
  2. You may be able to run a 50/50 mix of ammonia and water in a fuel tank for an auto with an ICE.  Combine that with a hybrid concept and you have a nearly zero emission car.  The catch is that it may have a short range.  Another catch is that it may be illegal according to the EPA.
  3. Still learning things about my smartphone.  Long learning curve.  It does appear that I can find a use for this gadget after all.
  4. It appears that the PEM fuel cell is more compact than the Aronsson's alkaline fuel cell.  That means that the PEM would be ideal for automotive applications if it weren't so expensive.  The price of platinum must come down and the amount needed for the fuel cell must also go down.  How?  To get more platinum, mine the sky for it, or the oceans.
  5. The idea that machines will replace people seems premature.  There will always be a need for personalized service.   Until machines get as smart as people, and as physically mobile and dexterous as people, machines will be relegated to an inferior status with respect to their human counterparts.  But that can change, and it probably will.

That's all for now, as I am busy.

Quora app

One of the new apps that I've got on my smartphone.  Well, it's interesting.  Ask a question, and there are some answers that pop up to the question.  For example, here's an answer to a question that seems to be on people's mind these days:

Homosexuality: If homosexuality is innate/genetic, how has it survived evolutionary selection, given that a homosexual couple produces no offspring?

There are some interesting answers to this question that sound plausible.  It is but one of many examples of what you can find out about with this app.  Answers to the big questions, you might say.