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Journal: Random Scribblings 1

Journal by mcgrew

While I'm waiting for the corrected copy of Mars, Ho! to show up I've been working on another, Random Scribblings. It's a compilation of garbage I've littered the internet with for almost twenty years.

I'm having problems, though. There is a lot of stuff I've written that just doesn't exist any more, like my "Weak End Hell Hole" column I wrote for Arcadia. I can't find Arcadia at at all and saved none of the columns. There's stuff I could have sworn I'd saved but can't find on my hard drives.

But there's stuff I don't even remember. I do remember that I wrote 17 front page stories at K5 a decade ago, but I don't remember what they all were.

If you've been reading my stuff for years and have a favorite article, let me know and I'll put it in the book. That is, if I can find it.

User Journal

Journal: like hot ice 17

Journal by Bill Dog

Thanks to smitty for spurring a little Wikipedia journey, with:

Yeah, I don't mind the label "classical liberal", in the Hayekian sense.

So it seems that one way of looking at the Liberalism scale, politically L to R (at least in the U.S.), is:

Social Justice - Large amount of governmental intervention in peoples's lives.
Social Liberalism - Medium amount of governmental intervention in people's lives.
Classical Liberalism - Small amount of governmental intervention in people's lives.

And with Conservatism:

There is no single set of policies that are universally regarded as conservative, because the meaning of conservatism depends on what is considered traditional in a given place and time.

In the U.S. at least, a free market and a free society are for now still recognized as our traditional form.

Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others, called reactionaries, oppose modernism and seek a return to "the way things were".

So I'm a Liberal Conservative. Reactionary (and growing moreso, the more we move "forward") in my Conservatism (roll the country back to much of its traditional ways) and Classical in my Liberalism.

p.s. But when I look up Liberal conservatism, it says not to be confused with Libertarian conservatism. Yet I'm not seeing the difference between the two. I especially don't get this bit:

It contrasts with classical liberalism and especially aristocratic conservatism, rejecting the principle of equality as something in discordance with human nature, instead emphasizing the idea of natural inequality.

I believe in both, so maybe it's really splitting hairs by this point. This is me too:

Libertarian conservatism is a conservative political philosophy and ideology that combines right-libertarian politics and conservative values.

That is, I have very Conservative values, yet don't think they should be imposed by law. And I come at my libertarian bent from the Right, vice those who come at it from the Left, like my sister and John Stossel, which to me doesn't not make for a very predictable libertarian.

Finally, I like this:

Nelson Hultberg wrote that there is "philosophical common ground" between libertarians and conservatives. "The true conservative movement was, from the start, a blend of political libertarianism, cultural conservatism, and non-interventionism abroad bequeathed to us via the Founding Fathers." He said that such libertarian conservatism was "hijacked" by neoconservatism, "by the very enemies it was formed to fight â" Fabians, New Dealers, welfarists, progressives, globalists, interventionists, militarists, nation builders, and all the rest of the collectivist ilk that was assiduously working to destroy the Founders' Republic of States."

User Journal

Journal: Number Two 5

Journal by mcgrew

The first printed copy of Mars, Ho! came a couple of weeks ago, and I've gone through it marking it up five times. This morning I made the changes in the version on my computer and ordered a corrected copy. I'll have it in about ten days.

I'm hopeful I'll be satisfied with it. There were actually few changes and most were minor, like a missing opening quote and end smart single quotes where apostrophes should have been.

The cover was hosed. Damned Microsoft. I'd exported a high resolution cover from GIMP to JPG, and loaded it into Windows Paint since GIMP's handling of text is primitive and frustrating.

What came out of Paint looked fine on the screen, but printed it was a pixellated mess. So I used Lulu's also frustrating cover generator to add the title and author. This one should be okay.

I'm trying hard to get it done in time for Christmas, but I want it to be right. I'm still hopeful.

I had planned on only fans being able to get printed copies, but as Benjie said, "the best laid plans of mice..."

I tried to go to the "private" URL on my phone and got a 404. All the ways I can think of to alleviate this involve too much work and hassle and possible cash outlays. So I guess anybody will be able to get it from my site or at Lulu, but only the eBook will be on Amazon.

Site stats have been fascinating and puzzling me. I'm getting more visitors from Russia than anywhere, and they're coming from Russian language sites. Strange. Quite a few from the Ukraine, as well, they're #3 in the list of countries right behind the US. A few are coming from game sites, and some from porn sites. Weird.

In any case, I guess I'm on vacation for a week or two until the next copy shows up on my porch.

User Journal

Journal: As a conservative, I take full responsibility for ebola 10

Journal by smitty_one_each
Liberalsâ(TM) new message: You know who is responsible for Ebola outbreak in America? Conservatives
Never mind that I really don't actually wish harm to anyone; have vulnerable children; understand that ebola is likely to hurt the half of the economy still working, and not the couch potatoes. Oh no. The Holy Narrative must be protected. So, dutifully, I assume the role of bitter, raaaaacist, misogynist cling-on, Bible in my left hand, .45 in my right, and strike my best straw-man for you.
User Journal

Journal: Abject moron claims control over 1/26th of the alphabet 40

Journal by smitty_one_each
You have to enjoy the full context of this cranial rectalitis:
damn_registrars: "You were one of slashdot's foremost purveyors of President Lawnchair's pointless TLA"
me: "FDR, LBJ, BHO, WTF?"
d_r: "We have had the discussion before on why that argument holds no water. Bringing it back up is pointless. Take your fear mongering to a different discussion."
me: "That argument, and the rest of my post, is thoroughly buoyant."
d_r: "Wrong, wrong, wrong. You are full of shit on that one for the same reason you were full of shit on it before. You gave examples of three past presidents who are known by their initials, and I pointed out why they are known by their initials -
The all came from families where others with the same last name were president and/or commonly known as holding elected office in DC
You cannot say the same about Obama. Our government has never had anyone else elected by the last name of Obama. Your argument is invalid, end of story."

Listen, Hot Rod: you don't get to make some arbitrary distinction understood only by you, take the American tradition of referring to Presidents by initials, and bully people into not saying BHO.
Now take your bullying and get thee hence, creep.
You're just being peevish because you straight up lost the 'tantamount' discussion.
User Journal

Journal: Scientist says white is black 18

Journal by mcgrew

The British rag The Daily Mail has been coming up in Google News with the above linked story.

It is incredibly faulty; it's propaganda. The headline screams "The terrible truth about cannabis: Expert's devastating 20-year study finally demolishes claims that smoking pot is harmless".

In the first place, no drug is harmless. Few things in existence are completely harmless, in fact. Even something necessary for life, like water, can be dangerous. Unlike marijuana, you can actually overdose on water. People have died from drinking too much water, nobody has died from smoking too much pot.

"Is pot harmless?" is not only the wrong question, it's a stupid question. So lets look at this fellow's "20 year study" and at the fellow's credentials.

Is he a neuroscientist? Biochemist? Physician?

No. Wikipedia says that Wayne Denis Hall a psychologist. As such, he's no more qualified to study the dangers of drugs than I am. Lets look at the claims, with the most stupid first, that the Mail repeats..

"If cannabis is not addictive then neither is heroin or alcohol."

This is just not incorrect, it's WRONG and irresponsible. Apparently Professor Hall has never seen an alcoholic going through withdrawal, but I have. It's horrible; the addict goes through not just psychological terror, seeing snakes and spiders on them, it is physically painful and can cause seizures. Withdrawal from heroin or alcohol can be fatal.

Marijuana's "addiction" is psychological only; unlike heroin, alcohol, or coffee, there are no physical withdrawal effects. Marijuana is more like orange juice than alcohol. Get drunk every day for a year and quit and you could die.

Get stoned while drinking orange juice every night, and when it's gone quitting both will be similar, although you'll miss pot more.

If pot is as addictive as heroin, why don't potheads steal to support their habits, like almost all heroin addicts do?

The world has too many drug addicts as it is, and statements like these from a scientist will lead people to believe that heroin and cocaine are as harmless as marijuana.

One in six teenagers who regularly smoke the drug become dependent on it

That's likely true. Marijuana is, in fact, dangerous to teens. It has been shown to interrupt the development of the adolescent brain. Kids shouldn't smoke pot, but unfortunately it's easier for a teenager to get pot than it is for an adult. And every pot smoker I know who started as a kid is in poverty. Kids, stay away from it until you're 19 or preferably older.

We can dismiss adolescent pot use, it is obviously harmful.

Cannabis doubles the risk of developing psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia

Yes, there is a correlation between mental illness and all psychoactive drugs, but the causation goes the other way. There were schizophrenic kids in my neighborhood when I grew up, all were obviously batshit insane, and all wound up on drugs later.

One in ten adults who regularly smoke the drug become dependent on it and those who use it are more likely to go on to use harder drugs

Again, the "dependance" is little worse than orange juice and nowhere near as bad as coffee. As to leading to harder drugs, this is the fault of prohibition. "Got any weed, man?"

"No, I'm out. Want some coke?"

This problem goes away with legalization, as Colorado has shown.

Driving after smoking cannabis doubles the risk of a car crash, a risk which increases substantially if the driver has also had a drink

Well, duh. I grin at the "increases substantially if the driver has also had a drink".

I'll also note that unlike drinking, when you're high you don't WANT to drive a car. You're far less likely to get behind the wheel after a couple of joints than after a couple of shots of whiskey.

He also states that taking the drug while pregnant can reduce the weight of a baby, and long-term use raises the risk of cancer, bronchitis and heart attack.

Smoking anything does increase the danger of various lung diseases, but a study a few years ago baffled the researchers who did the study; the results were the opposite of what they expected. They studied four groups of geezers -- long term pot smokers, cigarette smokers, people who smoked both and nonsmokers.

They expected twice the cancers in pot smokers than nonsmokers and twice the cancers in smokers of both than cigarettes alone. However, the data showed that pot smokers actually had fewer cancers than nonsmokers (although statistically insignificant) and smokers of both had half the cancers than those who only smoked cigarettes.

Rather than causing cancer, pot may actually prevent it.

This sort of sensationalist bullshit is why so many people distrust science. This fellow is a psychologist who mostly studies adolescents. Yes, kids and pregnant women shouldn't smoke pot, or anything else. But we should legalize it for adults, partly to keep it out of kids' hands.

User Journal

Journal: precious phone spam 1

Journal by Bill Dog

Had two identical messages on my machine, arriving at about 10am and then around noon.

In an unrecognized accent, the recorded voice said:

Hi, uh, this is <unintelligible> Jefferson.

I'm calling you from Internal Revenue Service, Tax Audit Department.

Please listen to this important message really carefully.

The nature of my call is to inform you that we have received a legal petition notice against your name
under your Social Security number regarding tax fraud.

The lawsuit is going to be filed in federal claim courthouse today.

So, [to] receive more information about this lawsuit you can reach us at 509-590-0195.

I repeat, 509-590-0195.

And now please note that, a <unintelligible> arrest warrant has been issued on your name
as five criminal allegations are been pressed on you.

So please take care about it. Goodbye.

Not even a "This message is for Mr. Bill Dog..." opener, like all my official business messages begin. I guess Mr. Jefferson doesn't even know my name.

Googling that phone number, apparently Mr. Jefferson is also known as Brian Smith, to others from earlier this month. Maybe that's why he had to pause a moment before stating his name.

User Journal

Journal: Watch your language, young man!

Journal by mcgrew

Please excuse me, but I'm inebriated. Blame typos on beer and reefer, without which this story probably wouldn't have been written.

Sober edit: this journal is also here where the unicode works properly. Who would have thought a one year old could kick a teenager's ass?
        âoeWild Bill! Damn, what a surprise! Why didn't you call?â
        âoeBecause then it wouldn't have been a surprise! Give me a Newcastle, I haven't had a beer in nine months! How've you been, you old pirate killer?â
        âoeI'm doing great, just graduated business school two months ago. The bar is doing real good, and Destiny and her team have almost finished building that new kind of telescope. You sure you want Newcastle?â
        âoeHuh? Your Newcastle went bad?â
        âoeHere, you old asshole, have one of mine on the house,â John said, pouring from a tapper to a beer mug. âoeTell me what you think. There's nothing wrong with my Newcastle stock but I'll bet you won't want Newcastle after you try this.â
        Bill eyed the mug warily. âoeImport?â He took a sip. âoePretty good!â He took another sip. âoeYou were right! This is some damned good beer. What country was it imported from?â
        âoeMars, you asshole. I built a microbrewery here. At least, it started as a microbrewery, it's a lot bigger now. Hell, I'm exporting it to Earth.â
        âoeWhat? Bullshit, you're full of shit, you old bulshitter. Come on, you can't bullshit a bullshitter. After shipping it would cost ten times what Newcastle cost!â
        âoeYep, just like Newcastle is ten times what Captain Hooker's cost here.â
        âoeYoung man!â an old woman at the other end of the bar admonished, âoeWatch your fucking language, asshole!â
        Bill turned red as a beet. âoeOh shit, I'm sorry, Ma'am, I didn't see you down there, I thought just John and me was here.â
        âoeWell, just watch it, dickhead.â
        âoeYes ma'am.â He turned back to John.
        âoeBut who in the hell is buying it?â
        âoeWho do you think? People who eat pork.â
        âoeDamn, you must be doing good. What's with that giant framed picture of a guy in an eigtheenth century pirate costume with a parrot on his shoulder and playing a guitar?â
        âoeIt's a photo of an old blues guy centuries ago, John Lee Hooker, with the pirate stuff added in a computer.â
        âoeYour last run. The one with all them damned pirates. Now I get it. Damn, that was pretty scary. I didn't think I'd make it back to Mars. At least, until the fleet reached me. You were pretty far ahead...â
        âoeWell, DUH, you were on batteries.â
        âoeYeah, the pirates showed up right when the fleet did. I thought I'd get boarded. Scared the fognart out of me!â
        âoeYOUNG MAN!!!â
        âoeOops, shit, I forgot. I'm sorry, maam.â
        âoeSpew shit out of your mouth again, young man, and I'm kicking your God damned ass.â
        âoeSorry, ma'am.â
        âoeFuck you.â
        He turned back to John, his red face a little less red. âoeHey, sell me a half dozen kegs. I have to go back to Saturn and that's a long damned way.â
        âoeSorry, Bill, I ain't gonna do it.â
        âoeWhat?? What the fuck, John?â
        âoeSorry, Bill, but I lost too many friends already, damn them fucking pirates. I almost lost Gus thanks to my stupidity and I'll be damned if I'm going to be responsible for your dying. I ain't got enough friends to lose any more, especially you.â
        âoeJohn, what in the blagsphorth are...â
        âoeYOUNG MAN!!!â
        âoeOops, fuck, I'm sorry, maam. I keep forgetting.â
        âoeJust watch your fucking mouth, boy.â
        âoeYes, maam. John, what the FUCK are you talking about?â
        âoeI'm talking about Gus. I almost killed him!â
        âoeGus? Blagforth...â
        âoeYOUNG MAN! I'm not listening to this garbage!â The old woman stomped out.
        âoeBlagforth forgnart, Bill, that's one of my best patrons, spends a fortune getting blagforthfaced in here.â
        âoeGee, John, I don't want to cause you any lost business...â
        âoeGarp that old crant,â John said. âoeIt's a fognarth fucking bar. If she don't want to hear vulgar language she can drink somewhere else.â
        âoeWhy won't you sell me that beer?â
        âoeI told you, because of Gus. I almost killed him.â
        âoeWhat the fognarth are you talking about?â
        âoeGus came through about six months ago or so. I hadn't seen him in a long damned time, he hadn't had any Martian runs. Anyway, he wanted beer, Loved my Captain Hooker's Pale Ale...â
        âoeWhat am I drinking?â
        âoeLager. Anyway, he wanted fifteen barrels. I didn't think nothing of it, but he was drunk on his approach to Mars and the God damned pirates, as few as there are left, almost got him. I almost killed Gus and I'll be damned if I'm going to kill you!â
        âoeFognarth blagsphorth, John, you fucking asshole. Yeah, you shouldn't have sold beer to Gus. Shit, that asshole is an alcoholic. What the fucking blagsphorth is wrong with you, asshole? Jesus, John. You're a fucking moron.â
        âoeWell, garp, I guess you're not Gus. Okay, I'll sell you the garping beer, motherfucker. But God damned fognarth, you better not garping die!â

User Journal

Journal: I Sure Some Sycophant Will Claim They Were "Just Doing Their Job" 102

Journal by smitty_one_each

So, to sum up: it is likely that members of the Obama administration committed federal crimes by illegally sharing confidential taxpayer information with the White House for political purposes. With luck, we will find out for sure before our next president is inaugurated. The alternative is that a high-ranking White House official fabricated a baseless smear against the administrationâ(TM)s political opponents and passed it on to reporters to further the administrationâ(TM)s political agenda. Any way you look at it, this is a shameful episode in the already bleak history of the Obama administration.

Come on, defend it like it was the targeting of the Tea Parties, and collecting taxes is just what the IRS does, or something. Every time you use the Nuremberg Defense, down in Hell, Satan has a chuckle. Losers.

HELP!!!! I'm being held prisoner in /usr/games/lib!