Polustanochki

Polustanochki, in Russian, are little train stations that dot the map, “whistle stops”  There may be a town there, and there may not.  Across the endless expanse of the Russian continent, these outposts of civilization are plopped down in the infinite nowheres.

This album from the year 2000 is in my opinion the best from this Russian group, ЛЮБЭ, whose name is rendered Lyub in English.  The first, title track Полустаночки “Polustanochki” is intended to seat you in one of those little train stations, perhaps with a cup of Russian tea, watching all the myriad Russians going back and forth, buying a newspaper, eating some dumplings, and decidedly not watching them get smashed on 13% beer which after all is “not hard alcohol”.

My favorite tracks are the first “Whistle Stops”, the last Прорвёмся “Break Through!”, and the fifth track старые друзья “Old Friends”.  I find the sixth track солдат (soldier) tedious and wrought — it won a Russian “Grammy”.

This is a band with a mission, starting just before the fall of the Soviet Union.  They wanted to preserve some of the old Russian folk culture by bringing it forward through mergers with rock, pop, jazz, blues.  The group is joyously pro-Russian, and the lead singer Nikolai Rastorguyev was appointed by Putin to a post of Cultural Advisor.

I bought a couple of “mix-tape” CDs while I was in Afghanistan.  All Russian music, there was a lot of great stuff, and this band is one of the gems.

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Je ne comprends pas …

The morning after at least two were killed and an additional 12 wounded near a Christmas market in Strasbourg, France, Trump tweeted “Another very bad terror attack in France. We are going to strengthen our borders even more. Chuck and Nancy must give us the votes to get additional Border Security!

“The Democrats and President Obama gave Iran 150 Billion Dollars and got nothing, but they can’t give 5 Billion Dollars for National Security and a Wall?”

There are numerous ways to enter this country illegally:

  1. Over-stayed visas
  2. Vacations
  3. Anchor babies/ chain-link relatives
  4. Jobs given and paid ‘under the table’ with no employer ss id#
  5. Gang members attacking ICE officers and jumping over the currently impotent borders

The Donald is right re: #5: We do not have the physical barriers necessary that I consider the most important to keep out MS 13.

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Idiocracy

On the RAMU last night, I was amazed to discover that there are people who haven’t seen the 2006 movie Idiocracy.  Here are the first couple of minutes which, in opinion, is the best part.

Two years before the movie was released, I published my own, much less funny, study, “Global IQ: 1950–2050”, which, based upon U.S. Census Bureau population forecasts for 185 countries around the globe and the IQ measurements and estimates from Lynn and Vanhanen’s IQ and the Wealth of Nations, estimated the mean global IQ at yearly intervals between 1950 and 2050.  In short, in 1950 the world had a population of around 2.55 billion with a mean IQ of 91.64.  By 2000, population had increased to 6.07 billion with a mean IQ of 89.20.  By 2050, the forecast is 9.06 billion and an IQ of 86.32.

There is a great deal of uncertainty and possible quibbles with any analysis of this kind.  I discuss many of these issues in the document, which provides links to primary data sources.

One thing to think about when contemplating this trend and the élites’ notion of “global governance” is that I can find no evidence for sustained consensual self-government in populations with mean IQ less than 90.

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What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Why, do you think, did Michael Cohen plead guilty to two felonies in violating campaign finance laws?

He must know, as we all do, that even a violation of that law is extremely difficult to prove.  If there is any other personal motive for  the outlay,  it’s not a violation. They couldn’t even convict John Edwards!  Menendez still has his seat in congress.

And why would he plead guilty to felonies, when apparently it is not at all settled that a violation is civil or criminal?

Finally, what did he get for it?  Three years is a loooong sentence.  He does not seem to have struck much of a “bargain”.

Why not just say, you’ll never make it stick; I’ll take my chances with a jury?

Does what he did make sense to anybody out there?

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“Tele-Monster” update. (the saga continues….)

It almost make me want to terminate my land line.

There is one persistent “tele-monster” that had called 15 times in the past 2 weeks. Last night I had enough. Granted NoMoRobo does detect these scam calls and terminates them as soon as they can get the caller ID. Unfortunately the caller ID is transmitted after the first ring, so I must endure many single rings from my land line phones. Tired of this, I set up my phone system through my provider so that when another call would come in and I knew it would, it would forward that call and only that call back to the point of origin.

(Click Continue reading below to see the screen capture.) Continue reading ““Tele-Monster” update. (the saga continues….)”

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Steyn and the Judge on Steyn vs CRTV

We discussed the CRTV/Steyn business a bit on the RAMU today.  Here’s the Steyn post wherein he goes over the verdict (Steyn won) with lots of juicy details.

For those readers new to this wretched business, last February CRTV canceled my TV show on their subscription network and fired me, precipitating the worst year of my professional life. Over the course of the last twelve months I’ve been asked regularly by various people: Why don’t you just walk away?

Which is a fair question, with a very simple answer: I couldn’t walk away because CRTV sued me for ten million dollars. All this “claimant”/”counterclaimant” mumbo-jumbo obscures the reality: CRTV were the plaintiffs, they brought the suit, they dragged me into a pit of legal hell.

So I had no choice in the matter, because I was the defendant. So I defended myself. And today the New York court ruled that CRTV lost – and I won, comprehensively

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Good fences make good neighbors

Came across this paper from years ago in Nassim Taleb’s Twitter feed that is fortuitously relevant today: Good Fences: The Importance of Setting Boundaries for Peaceful Coexistence. As he summarized it, “…you don’t get peace forcing pple to hold hands & sing Kumbaya by the campfire.” Key quote from the abstract:

Our analysis shows that peace does not depend on integrated coexistence, but rather on well defined topographical and political boundaries separating groups. Mountains and lakes are an important part of the boundaries between sharply defined linguistic areas.

Switzerland is mentioned.

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Parody is still dead

This looks like an item out of The Onion: Students Demand Comedian Sign ‘Safe Space’ Contract Ahead of Charity Event. British comedian Konstantin Kisin has been asked by event organizers at the University of London to sign a statement agreeing to the organizer’s policy of

… no tolerance policy with regards to racism, sexism, classism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia or anti-religion or anti-atheism.

Best of all, since it’s a charity event, he’s not even getting paid.

You just can’t make this stuff up. The replies to his tweet are also hilarious.

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I Will vs. I Am?

I just read a phrase in James : ” the hopeless inferiority of voluntary to instinctive action”.

Twice, I’ve seen males: one a boy, one a man– put out fires with their bare hands, to protect a female.

Oh, admittedly, not big fires.  The boy did it in high school when a science project malfunctioned.  The man did it  at his retirement dinner, when one of the servers  at the buffet accidentally ignited her own hair.  ( An Afro, so quite spectacular…)

But I thought to myself on both occasions: this is raw courage, this is inborn heroism,  it cannot be faked, it cannot be fabricated: an instinctive response.

One can “will” heroism.  That is what the words “Nothing in his life became him so well as the leaving of it, ” describe.  You know: Sidney Carton and his ilk.

But I’m moved to write to you tonight about that nerdy, unpopular boy, and that somewhat embattled Irish-American doctor:

They HAD it, the hero gene!

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Macron Addresses the Nation, Says Nothing

Amidst rioting which continues to spread across France, and has become much more a sign of general dissatisfaction than a specific protest over fuel taxes, French President Emmanuel Macron made a nationwide televised address today.  Here is a version with English translation from France 24 English.

He spoke for thirteen minutes, which I can summarise as “blah, blah, blah”.

He’s going to raise the minimum wage (that’s sure to help!), encourage employers to pay year-end bonuses which will not be taxed, make overtime tax free, and—wait for it—ask large enterprises and and the wealthy to “contribute”.  And he wants to “discuss” immigration and identity.

I’m sure the gliets jaunes will be immediately mollified and go home to watch football.

Hey, it worked for Louis XVI.

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Ratburger First Anniversary, WordPress 5.0 Update

First birthday cakeRatburger.org opened to the public on December 10th, 2017, one year ago today, and the first member (non-administrator) account was registered on that day.  A year later, we have 143 members who have made 2,230 posts and 28,048 comments.  In the month of November 2017 (I cite the last full month, as partial month statistics can be misleading), the site welcomed a daily average of 1448 visits per day, with visitors viewing 9303 pages involving delivery of 24,745 files.

In the month of November, overall statistics were:

  • Visits: 43,450
  • Pages viewed: 279,101
  • Files transferred: 742,372
  • Total data transferred: 63.9 gigabytes

The site’s Access Statistics, updated daily, are available for anybody to view.

To celebrate, and mark how far we’ve come, I have just posted the never-before-published development logs for the site for December 9th and 10th, 2017 on the Updates Group, with this direct link.

WordPress 5.0

Unrelated to the anniversary (it’s just a coincidence), today Ratburger.org migrated to WordPress version 5.0, the first major update to WordPress released since the site was launched.  You may have heard some terrible things about this release, perhaps from me.  The WordPress powers that be have decided to introduce a new editor for composition of posts, which was originally called “Gutenberg”, but after user experience with it so poisoned that name, they decided to call it the “Block editor” in the version they finally released.  It is fully as bad as everything you’ve heard (shortly before the roll-out it had a user rating of 2.3 out of five stars, with 392 five star reviews and 923 one star reviews).  For details of just how awful, see Igor Ljubuncic’s post on why “WordPress Gutenberg will be the end of WordPress”.

The good news is that all of this is entirely hidden from Ratburger users, who may continue to use the “Classic Editor” in either Visual or Text (HTML/Quicktags) mode as they’ve always done.  WordPress have promised the user and developer community that the Classic Editor will continue to be available at least “through the end of 2021”, so there’s no immediate cause for concern.  If, by then, a viable alternative has not appeared, it is probable it will continue on into the foreseeable future.  If they, instead, decide to sink WordPress by forcing an unusable mess of an editor on their users, at least their competitors will have had adequate time to roll out alternatives in their products.

I have tested all of our local modifications against the WordPress 5.0 code base and found no problems.  (Other than the inclusion of the new editor, which we don’t use, the differences between 5.0 and the version 4.9.8 which we were running previously are actually not that great.)  If you encounter something that looks odd, that’s what the Bug Reports group is for.

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Gathering Storm

“These are the clouds about the fallen sun,/The majesty that shuts his burning eye:/THE WEAK LAY HAND  ON WHAT THE STRONG HAS DONE,/Till that be tumbled that was lifted high/And discord follow upon unison,/And all things at one common level lie.

And therefore, friend, if your great race were run/And these things came, so much the more thereby/Have you made greatness your companion,/Although it be for children that you sigh:/These are the clouds about the fallen sun,/The majesty that shuts his  burning eye. ”   –Yeats

 

(I promise you,  I have a lot of poems by other poets memorized, but, idk, Yeats just seems particularly apt for these times.   He was  a wartime poet, after all. )

I capitalized one line of this poem; you will know why.  Trump is a giant, our champion, no one else could have avhieved what he did!  And he has made good on his promises with unprecedented rapidity, and to an unprecedented extent.   But the etiolated pale bureaucrats, the envious Cascas,  now “lay hands” and oh! there  are so many  of them; their name is Legion.

But that is the fate of the strong, maybe even the hallmark of greatness.   If  the laudable project fails, is tumbled d by the weak,  it is our children who will suffer.  Pity them.

(Note:  This is what the poem says to me.)

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Revolution, American Style

I will give the French credit. When they do revolutions, they go about them properly: in the streets, at the barricades. Bodies, and particularly heads are put at risk. Not so in America; nothing so old-fashioned or crass as blood in the streets here. Above all, no risk that the failed perps’ heads will appear on spikes. No, here revolutions take place in secret grand jury rooms, where the mills (Muehlen, in German. A miller is a mueller – how about that!) of justice coups grind exceeding slow…

Much has been speculated since Mueller’s appointment as special counsel. The end result – that Trump would, with certainty, be accused of some wrongdoing – was baked into the cake at the outset. Comey, as agent of the deep state, somehow, saw to it that his friend Mueller was appointed. Were we still a nation of laws, their relationship would have been disqualifying, as should have been many of Mueller’s appointees been disqualified; they are known and vocal Democrat partisans. The fact that Mueller was never even slightly concerned with either of these blatant conflicts of interest tells just how sure of himself he is in his mission. And all of this is only possible because the “media” are now Democrat operatives; as such, they only scream about “apparent” conflicts of interest when they apply to Republicans. Blatant ones on the part of Democrats merit no mention, whatsoever. NOT news = fake news.

Trump’s ill-chosen former lawyer, Cohen, has become fresh chum strewn in the elasmobranch journalist pool, extra blood added by various Democrats of the same chondrichthyes family. All predictions aside, one thing, known to all inside the beltway is clear: no one can survive a federal investigation for anything without evidence of some felonious wrongdoing being “discovered” (or fabricated in the form of a perjury trap). The mere existence of this investigation assured the outcome: Trump will be accused of some felony or other, in the finest Stalin/Berea tradition – “You bring me the man and I will find you the crime.” Welcome to 21st century Amerika.

Let’s make a few comparisons. Hillary’s deleted emails were clear felonies, for which, still today, literally hundreds are sitting in jail – for deleting work-related materials of no national import. They will continue to go to jail in the future for this same act. Ordinary folks go straight to jail for doing this. To Comey and the media – no crime. Whatever Trump is eventually accused of will pale in comparison. Today, it is said Trump violated campaign laws by paying off women. What, by comparison, happened to women involved with Bill Clinton? Trump paid them money, Clinton and his wife destroyed Bills “bimbos.” Yet, they “love” women, while Trump hates them. And the kiss off – Obama broke the same campaign law Trump is accused of breaking, to the tune of about 10 times as much money. The result? No media coverage, no criminal accusation. Quiet payment of a small fine. End of non-story = more fake non-news, which, again is only no news when it applies to Democrats.

I have no idea how this will play out. What I do know is that in today’s America (it is no longer your grandparents’ America), all things are possible. I suspect Trump will not go down like Nixon did. That was a coup writ small. It was merely a warm-up for this, however. I hope Trump will not refrain from whatever he can do to fight and I hope he is joined – on the barricades if need be – by the righteously-irate citizens who elected him, lawfully. This is an attempted coup, under color of law, but, in fact extra-legal. It is a fake criminalization of political differences and has been conducted in secret and in slow motion. The perpetrators ought to be exposed for the treasonous revolutionaries that they are. They ought to fail and they ought to pay the heavy price of failure.

If this coup succeeds, count the moment as the definitive end of the American experiment (in my pessimism, I suspect it has already ended, but I could be wrong).

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Emanuel Micron and the Circle-Jerk Elites

I don’t know if I came up with that appellation – it seems obvious enough – but clearly his political status has been diminished spectacularly in just a few days. He always struck me as a strange man. He acts positively weird around Trump,  he married his high-school teacher(!) and he’s French.

At some point, even the globalist French ( and international) media can’t prop him up without further damaging their reputation(s).

They only have the ears and eyes of those who already believe them, and this pool diminishes at each new iteration of “news” reportage. There’s no way for these media outlets to maintain their narratives and also regain credibility with those who have seen behind their curtain, so they continue to lose traction. They are rapidly  becoming little more than a  psychological defense mechanism for the elites. It’s to their pages and programs the invested class, the cake-eaters, turn to for rationalizations, reassurance and guidance.

Certainly the media are supported and maintained by important people, thus providing them with outsized influence, but in the end they are gaslighting themselves/each other in a downward spiral of insanity. The reaction of the outside world comes as a shock, and they retreat into even more outlandish interpretations. This then reveals their insanity to the masses, furthering the cycle.

These elites are so self-insulated they no longer feel the need to make sense when lecturing us. They just assert. “Nationalism is the opposite of patriotism”, for example. The policies inflicted on the hardest-working people, transferring wealth (and rights!) to non-working new arrivals for the elites to take pride in their magnanimity as though there’s no cost, is more proof of their divorce from basic realities.

We’ve seen this here up close with the Trump phenomenon.

These people have proven to me one thing for sure. Even if they recover their sanity, they do NOT believe in democracy.

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“The Creepy Line,” a Documentary Worth Watching…

…and a subject worth reviling and fearing – i.e. the power of Google and Facebook to shape society in the image they, completely unaccountably, deem best. The title, an understatement – “creepy ‘ is much too mild a descriptor – comes from a statement by Eric Schmidt, who in 2010, told an interviewer that Google’s policy is to “get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.”While that makes for a catchy title, it in no way captures the nefarious things being done by a company whose motto is (or was) supposedly, “Don’t be evil.” Facebook does similar things as well.

The film explains how Google began as a search engine, but became something very different. As a non-technical individual, I cannot do the topic justice. Suffice it to say, the stories told by psychologist Robert Epstein and Jordan Peterson (both of whose email and youtube accounts were suddenly shut down without explanation and without recourse) are very frightening.

Epstein recounts scientific studies which show that the the mere order in which search results are listed (and whether or not even a single one of them contains any negatives regarding a candidate) easily sway the opinions of a randomly-selected, undecided group of people. This alone should give great pause as to how we view these companies.

In addition, the tension between acting as neutral forums vs. publishers is explained and fleshed out. Today, we have the intolerable situation where Google and Facebook are regularly, if sometimes surreptitiously, acting as unregulated publishers by editing much of what they offer online. Even while doing so, they claim to be mere neutral entities, not responsible for what they show (or do not, by intentionally suppressing them!) in their links. The situation as it now exists, this documentary makes clear, must not continue.

After hearing the tales of how their email accounts were suddenly gone because they said thing Google didn’t like, I have decided it is time to migrate off of Gmail (I stopped using Facebook years ago after giving it a try and finding it “creepy”). The risk of losing all my mail as a result of political speech disliked by Google, in its arrogance (they scan every word, including discarded drafts!!), I find to be intolerable. I also find it intolerable to support a company (as the product that I am, not a customer) which has incorporated evil into the very heart of its business model. If you think I exaggerate, please watch the film, available for free on Amazon Prime.

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