Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The "deep bench" Republican debate series--WTF

Yup--I'm a registered Republican and I know I'm not alone experiencing alarm at the way the party has disintegrated into balkanized factions and then writing it off with an awkward grin as "a deep bench".  Truth be told, if they got into issues deeply, they'd be more fractious than they are now.  Call that bench "deep" all you like, but the waters the bench wades in remains pretty shallow with the mud all to easily accessible.

Like I said when I first ran for office, I'd spent a lot of time recognizing Chicago politics to where I could smell it miles away, as I hail from the other end of the state of Illinois.  I really looked forward to moving to Republican-run Arizona when I changed jobs.  Guess what--that wasn't much of an improvement, actually. Power corrupts, and this applies to both parties.  AZ actually elected the atrocity we know as "The Guv", Ev Mecham.


When I moved to Oklahoma, I first registered as an Independent, only to find out that I was denied a vote in any primaries.  When Ron Paul was on the rise, I decided to register again as a Republican.  Went to a Republican meeting in Oklahoma to find that the establishment really really really really really frowned on Ron Paul, and I'm guessing it's because, at the time, he was also working out stuff with Ralph Nader and it's the two of them that founded the original Tea Party, which I didn't mind proudly proclaiming I was all in favor of.  The Republican establishment, not so much.  Somebody reported at the meeting how Oklahoma proudly got from Washington more money than it kicked in, in taxes, and I recall speaking up saying that we would be prouder if we were self-sufficient enough that we didn't need any Washington money...and that how that statement went over like a lead balloon.  But this is the only state that gave Wesley Clark a primary win, too.

Then the Gadsden Flag Tea Party came to Enid; I talked to the organizer of the rally on the library grounds and he said that he and the Tea Party despised Republicans, and I was wondering if that didn't automatically make them Democrats.  Mike Jackson showed up to the rally and was really kissing TP butt, so I guess not, and then I wondered, why not?

Well, now that Republicans are splitting hairs over what kind of Republican is which, I'm going to just put it out there that I'm an Eisenhower Republican.  Yeah--a pre-Lyndon Johnson Era Republican, for all you David Duke Republicans out there, which is why I have as much a problem with Log Cabin Republicans as the sons and daughters of the Republican establishment have, as much a problem as our governor has, which is none whatsoever.

You highly religious conservatives brought up your sons and daughters on the straight and narrow, like the upright Christian good parents that you are, and your sons and daughters don't (by and large) have a problem with Log Cabin Republicans.  You fell down on the job as parents somewhere, according to what you believe, then.  And so you face the choice between sticking to your godly principles OR appeal to most voters against your principles so that you can win the presidency.  It should be apparent to you that those two things have become mutually exclusive at this point.  Lindsay Graham, a long time Republican establishment guy, polling at ZERO, was unthinkable 8 years ago.  Establishment Republicans can't sway the balance of power there even WITH their thumb on the scales.

The Tea Party has been hijacked by people who claim to be more conservative than establishment Republicans, trumpeting the Constitution as Absolute Law from Above while at the same time showing complete disregard for the part of the Constitution which prohibits a religious test for public office OR positions of public trust.  Threw that completely out the window.

Every once in a while you'll hear Tea Party complaints about large corporations, too, and the Republican Party used to be pro-business.  Your ultra-conservative Tea Partiers are indeed sounding more and more liberal, all the way down to deriding mega-corporate National Broadcasting Corporation, maybe because they had a problem with Saturday Night Live ever since its inception.  But NBC is a corporation, people--a rather large one, formerly owned by a corporation in every investor's portfolio: General Electric.  Oh, I can hear the rebuttals from here: it's MSNBC that's the big liberal problem.  Really? Now you guys have a problem with Microsoft now?  Microsoft is the corporation that partnered with the National Broadcasting Corporation that came up with the MS part in the MSNBC name.  That brings us to tonight's Republican debate on another NBC entity, CNBC.

And now they're all owned by Comcast, so now y'all have a problem with the Comcast corporation...except for your stock portfolio, and most investment packages have that stock included.  Get real.

I just heard the point made that the energy sector is strong BUT the state mentioned is diversified.  This is not true in Oklahoma and Oklahoma is finding out that giving preference to the energy sector to the point where it's at the expense of other businesses, the lack of diversity is what's causing a precipitous revenue shortfall in a state that has already let its infrastructure languish neglected for too long and a diverse business sector depends on reliable infrastructure just to operate.  Giving preferences to fracking industries will keep other bricks/mortar businesses out of Oklahoma because who wants to build around where a fracking industry gets free license to wreck your property, hm?  Being pro-fracking = anti-other-businesses.

It's also anti-business-workforce, too; who wants to live where your house gets to be wrecked with impunity?  Conservatives don't like big government butting in on local issues, but that's exactly what we have in this state now, with state government giving the fracking industry a free license to wreck your house and your business buildings, with the best case scenario being that it gets to wreck your inventory if any of it is up on shelves.  Clean up on Aisles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10!

The worst thing about Oklahoma conservatives is that all a big government liberal has to say is "I've changed registration to Republican and I'm a conservative!" to get their votes.  That's all. That's how we've got the throw-money-at-it City Commission that we have now.  Ward 5 Commissioner switched from Democrat to Republican because just being on the registry as Republican is magic.  Ward 6 Commissioner proclaims himself to be a conservative, but he's part of the problem of downtown business occupancy and retention as property owner, and he doesn't recuse himself from voting in the interests of his property holdings when there's a vote about what issues involving downtown.  Hasn't anyone noticed that the Ward 5 Commissioner, snuggling in with Main Street Enid and her business partners in the event throwing business simply parties away City money without making any difference at all in downtown business occupancy or retention?

They throw lovely parties downtown, but retail revenue is down from last year according to the last tax report from the state.  These clowns have been partying your money away for years, and this is all the business we get out of it.  I for one don't buy any of their claims that they're pro-business conservatives.  You got liberals partying our money away while growing big city government.  You need to get real here, people.

"I'm a delegate! Where's the party?!"

Edited to add....right after I hit the Publish button, Carly Fiorina made the same point I posted here. Qismat.  And I'll add that being anti-immigrant under the guise of being anti-amnesty = being anti agribusiness.  Seriously, GOP, get your shit together already.

Friday UPDATE, GOP letter to NBC edition: Speaking of a party that has lost its way and is now the dog getting wagged by insurgents, and making note of the fact that this is the same party which insisted that personal character was a deal-breaker issue to examine in previous presidential campaigns (Bill Clinton's case), Reince Priebus now insists that all media debates going forward have to skip over personal character questions and must function as free advertisements for the party platform:

GOP letter to NBC

Evening Edition: Well, folks, y'all knew it was a snake when you let it in.  The same Wreck-It-Ralph crew of anarchists that are enraged that Boehner took away their favorite chew toy (shutting government down) have now wrecked the GOP HQ and took Fox News down with it. Face it--these aren't conservatives; they are anarchists.  But the GOP knew that already.

To all of your Constitution thumping anarchists out there who loudly proclaim that any government is bad government, your claim to be conservatives is fraudulent because guess what else is hallowed by the Constitution?  It's in the First Amendment, next to your religion clause--it's the PRESS.

And I'll add this, since I'm now hearing that Rush Limbaugh is one of the highly suggested moderators--what they want is a self-described water-bearer, not someone in control, and not a woman like Phyllis Schlafley.  By all means, if they haven't thought that they've already made a big fool of themselves showing an inability to play political hardball.  Bunch of misogynist wimps, if you ask ME.

Saturday mini-UPDATE: 4 dead in a Colorado Springs shootout, reports CBS. And the GOP still thinks it can claim to be pro-life when, so far, they've failed to defend children's right to life in our schools. You can't be serious.

A little late on the uptake, The Guardian now reports.
 What our domestic broadcasters (other than CBS, notably) are focusing on is the rather old but still disconcerting  Twin Peaks Shootout in Texas many months ago, but it's still apropos of this topic because in talking about the current destructive nature of the NRA at the top, NOBODY is bringing up the matter of the cover they give to organized crime.  When conservatives wax critical of unions these days, they've been omitting the usual bromide about being against organized crime as being part of why they're against unions.  That's because now that unions aren't safe havens for organized crime anymore because of successful union busting, it's simply moved from unions to the NRA--there's no better protection racket than providing 2nd Amendment cover for gun runners and gangs.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Separate monarch-related post, Google beacon MLMP 2519 OCT

"MLMP 2519"

If you have used Google to search that term inside quotation marks, this blog post should be right up at the top of your search as an exact match.  The second should be the site number 2519 on the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project's website.  Why? Because...

Right now I have 3 very late straggler monarch larvae that pupated in the first week of October, meaning that when they emerge as adults, it'll likely be close to November and the big monarch migration will be over.  An expert tells me they won't make it through the winter because of their late start--at least, they won't make it to Mexico.  Purchasing Monarch Watch tags for this year is out of the question according to the website of THOSE folks, so I've made my own tags out of repurposed plastic produce labels which I've chemically wiped clean, and with acetate-capable india ink, inscribed "MLMP 2519" on each of 3 such tags.

When the monarchs emerge, I will tag each one with one tag each, but if you're reading this because you have recovered one of my butterflies, there's something else you should know, too--the tags are tint coded, too.  The number in black ink indicates point of origin, but the tint identifies the individual.  Individual number 1 died, so there is no brown-tinted tag, but individual number 2 will sport a red-tinted (rose?) tag, individual number 3 will sport the orange-tinted tag, and the last individual will be wearing plain white.

When they emerge, get tagged, and get released, I'll post pictures here.  I have my email in the header of this blog so you can contact me if you catch one of my kids, but know ye that the color tint of the tag is just as important as the number.  Thank you.

Larvae 1 and 3 pupated first; 1 was a casualty. This is 3 and when it emerges, will get the orange-tinted wing tag.
In order from front to back (or right to left if you're counting 1 dimensional placement--don't do left to right, that would be wrong) pupa number 2, which will get the rosy tinted tag, and pupa number 4, which will get the white tag.
Below is a shot of the stickers I described, but the swirly background came about by my chemically wiping the original stickers, which were sitting atop other stickers salvaged from purchased produce, so it got a bit messy.  India ink is supposed to adhere to plastic, but you can see here that it looks chipped in places, so I might have to re-do that.  And then again I might not. We'll see when the time comes.

Monday Monarch UPDATE: pupa 3 has just completed pupation as of 10:15 this morning, and it looks like it's a girl!

I can now confirm with certainty that this one is a female. And it gets the orange wing tag.

Here she is this afternoon, tagged and ready for take-off:

Change of tag plans for larva 2, and it's because of a tagging complication I encountered. They're all girls except this one, and it was the last to emerge an adult, and it just didn't like the tag.  Wing tags didn't bother the girls, they went ahead and figured out  that flying stuff, but this guy just didn't even want to try.  He sat on a stalk of tall phlox like a bump on a log for hours. Released him in the morning and by mid afternoon, he hadn't budged from the spot.

I took him back in and verrrrrrrrrry verrrrrrrry carefully used the tip of a sewing needle to gently remove the wing tag--which took nearly all of the colorful wing scales with it--and I just took a Sharpie to write "2519" on the bald spot where the sticker  had been.  Miracles of miracles, he then decided he could figure out how to fly after all.

My youngest (larva 4) matured before this guy did even though he turned pupa before the youngest did. The youngest didn't play by any of the rules set forth for how monarchs are supposed to go through their assigned stages, and zoomed through the process at a remarkably rapid pace.  Here she is, perched on my pecan-stained finger:

Here's what Mr. Slowpoke looked like last night. The youngest was already out of her chrysalis (that dangly thing on your left) and I thought his emergence was battery pooped out before he emerged, so I didn't catch it on video despite best efforts.  He's still quite a dark handsome thing in this form, though...

Now here's a pic of Little Miss Get 'Er Done Yesterday next to Mr. Slow As Cold Molasses:

October 26 UPDATE: Finalized the images of monarchs in various stages to put on a calendar, folks.  Also usable for greeting cards.  Now I need to find a reasonably priced printer to do the job.

mini-UPDATE, printer edition: Decided on PDQ Printing, and though the cost of producing calendars proved out of the question (for now) greeting cards are being printed up as I write this update. WOOT!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Buried under pecans and the absurdities of the number system mathematicians use

Oh my, where to begin?   I haven't posted because I'm doing several things at once, and in a number of instances, where time is essential.  I can't let the pecans languish in their husks too long or they'll get moldy, even inside.  The last of my monarch larvae have all turned into pupae at this point, so I need to worry about making wing tags out of produce stickers because Monarch Watch warns against purchasing stickers for the wrong year, so screw that. Etc etc etc etc...and on the mathematics scene, just coming down the pike is news about a rather long-standing, obscure proof by a Japanese mathematician that is only now drawing attention: he takes over 500 pages to show proof of "The ABC Conjecture", just as Stephen Hawking contemplates a black hole paradoxothers revise the string theory, and computer scientists start to bemoan the possibility that there may be NO way to effectively compute long sequences (whether it be the human genome variations or working out the final decimal place that Pi computes to in decimal, I guess).

Please, people--you consistently insist on using a number system that considers imaginary numbers to be real, and you think you haven't gone completely bonkers proclaiming that certain solutions using this number system are simply not possible.  You guys should be the poster boys for irrational numbers rather than be proud mathematicians, in my humble view.  Einstein wasn't a mathematician per se, you know, so dwell on that as long as it takes until the situation finally dawns on you.

Consider the widely acclaimed brilliance of Stephen Hawking, for instance, the guy who threw a party for time travelers and reported that nobody showed up.  He doesn't see the flaw in his premise, that what he claimed to have proven is that NO intelligence ANYWHERE in the universe has EVER developed time travel, as in NEVER AT ANY TIME, AT ANY LOCATION IN THE UNIVERSE.  Capaldi's Doctor Who took a sour turn lately, too, in the science/math department by erroneously citing The Bootstrap Paradox and the Faraday Cage and I suppose just to make the claim that the Doctor Who series has finally opined that it's worthwhile for the series to take the science seriously again in its script even if it did less than a half-assed job of it.

The good news for Doctor Who is that whomever wrote Matt Smith's script hit the mathematical nail on the head when it was stated, "humans are so----linear."  That, people, is the mathematical and scientific description of the difficulty, even with Mr. Hawking, in a nutshell.

Even with loop-backs, string theory is, well, infernally linear.  So is the computation of a lengthy sequence. So would be the computation of any time traveler likely to encounter that Bootstrap Paradox.  All the time travel paradoxes I've seen listed online make the erroneous presumption of linearity, and so we arrive at why Mr. Hawking is in error just because no time traveler from any time, from any point in space in the universe, showed up at his party. A chess game is a perfect example of sequence from opening to end that is not linear, but at the same time it's a perfect example of why it's a mental trompe l'oeil to claim that it's amazing for chess masters to play several games at once, win every time against anyone less of a "genius", and even play "multi-dimensional chess" to boot.  Take a wild guess why a computer is capable of playing a game of chess.

Chess is too damn predictable, that's why.  So, any person can claim to be able to see far enough into the future to win at a chess game or multiple chess games played at the same time (yeah--THAT would be a non-linear enterprise, too, wouldn't it), because when you're capable of making moves that preclude the possibility of other moves, you know how the future moves are going to go. So anyone watching in amazement at a chess master is basically watching as much an illusion as watching a master magician insofar as what you're thinking about how it's possible is entirely wrong.

The linear-minded looks at a chess board and figures out to the nth power how many moves are possible.  The chess master, on the other hand, figures out how many moves get ruled out if his first five moves are such-and-such, which is why such opening moves (and response moves, for that matter) get formal names, as named gambits.  The irretrievably linear mind is convinced that one can never prove a negative, while the chess master, in his opening gambit, proves that certain moves cannot be made, proving negatives throughout the progression of the game.  You can't solve any sudoku puzzle without proving negatives, either, and goodness knows how non-linear THAT game is, even though it does incorporate linearities.  It is not confined to linearities like the frustrated mathematicians who are convinced that there's no shortcuts to long sequence calculations and that those bogus time travel paradoxes means that time travel is impossible.

Well, Stephen--time just doesn't work that way.  Just don't give up on trying to understand it.  The reason why the mathematic proof of "The ABC Conjecture" had to take no less than 500 pages is because even among high level theoretic mathematicians, they remain frustratingly and infernally too damn linear.  That, and their reliance on a faulty number system that treats imaginary and irrational numbers as real things, not to mention inable to establish accurately the precise ratio of Pi. Seriously--"quadratic time" talked about re: the Wagner-Fischer algorithm is clearly an improvement over strictly linear computing, but you braniacs still can't figure out the branched conditional exclusion chess game method of narrowing that down even one bit?  While we have computers that are capable of playing chess using that method?? Gimme a stinkin' break already.  You guys grasp the mathematics of fractals but you fall down on THIS job. Sheesh.


You were expecting maybe a lengthy screed about the Dem debates, hm?  It's too early.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Ongoing surprise situation on an Enid First Friday: parking takes a very curious turn into micromanagement

I don't have today's newspaper extensive article on the subject scanned just yet, but I do have a screenshot of a Facebook statement I made and the replies I got from my followup questions in that regard.   When I get the article scanned, I'll post it later.

This thing is still developing, and regardless of what the explanations are, it's what it appears to be that's just as important.

As you can tell by the screenshot, the response was rapidfire up until I asked the next question, after which, in an absence of the usual rapid response, I entered ".....crickets...."....and there's still been no response as of this addendum:

I will now scan the article.
....and while I was scanning the article, this belatedly came in, and so I responded thus: processing the article....

Notice in the following graphic, which appeared on page A3, is recommended by the AARP for personal use, not as a public policy experiment.

When a company pays to control what is the government's area to control, basically paying (via donation) to gain micromanagement "encouragement" control over public policy even as a one-time "experiment"--no self-respecting conservative can be expected to endorse even this level of micromanagement of public policy, with this or with any other "good idea".

Oh--for the record, I don't link to the Enid Eagle anymore because they're too restrictive on non-subscriber access even to articles that are properly due public discussion.  And if the Eagle lawyers are reading this and prepping for a copyright dispute, I urge you to re-read the Fair Use section.  And this constitutes public discussion.