Friday, May 29, 2015

Presidential Election Swing Map

This is a 2004 through 2012 presidential election swing map by county.

Click to make bigger.

Darker blue = more Democrat. Darker red = more Republican. Percentage tiers as follows: • <1 13="" 17="" 1="" 21="" 25="" 5="" 9="" :="" color="" no="" span="">

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Byron Allen says President Obama Wears Blackface

The “Comics Unleashed” host took issue with the president’s use of the word “thugs” to describe the looters and arsonists in last month’s Baltimore riots.
“We’re being murdered in the streets. We’re being murdered in the courtroom. We’re being murdered in boardroom,” Mr. Allen said. “You have to stand up at some point. It’s OK to be the president of the United States and also be a black man. It’s human. And guess what? People will respect you more if you stop acting like you’re not.
“President Obama is, at this point, a white president in blackface,” he added. “Black America would have done much better with a white president.”
Or it's outright racism.

Although I won't dispute inequality in the courts or even possibly in the boardroom... although that last part may simply be jealousy from a television executive whose works primarily appeared on MyNetworkTV, or maybe UPN at best.

I'm not one of those that will jump to declare "thug" synonymous with the N-word and I condemn those that do.

Minstrel PosterBillyVanWare edit.jpg
Minstrel PosterBillyVanWare edit"
by Strobridge &
 Co. Lith -
 Licensed under Public Domain
Wikimedia Commons.

Really this sort of accusation is gross and uncalled for.  Mind you one blessing of the First Amendment, protected political speech, is so Byron Allen and others can expose themselves as jackasses.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bruce Bartlett on the Fox News Effect

Smart people know that echo chambers are hurting this country. Fox News is one such echo chamber. wrote a fifteen page paper for the Social Science Research Network on theat topic.   The adviser for Ronald Reagan asserts that some people tie their perspectives too tightly to Fox News.  From on interview on CNN:
Lifelong conservative Bruce Bartlet
Many conservatives now refuse to even listen to any news or opinion not vetted through Fox, and to believe whatever appears on it as the gospel truth.
Not taking in multiple sources and perspectives on any portion of reality that you did not witness yourself can be disastrous, especially when one takes in information in order to determine one's own actions.

This seems obvious.  There are indeed both right-wing and left-wing echo chambers yet the right-wing echo chamber was deliberately constructed as a commercial reaction to the bulk of the news media trending left-wing.

That's correct: I asserted that the right-wing media came about to make money from a Republican and conservative audience, not as an ideological counterpoint or to elect a certain kind of candidate to public office.  For my purposes right now I condemn the people on my own side, but in principle the same problem holds true for Democrats.
Many conservatives live in a bubble where they watch only Fox News on television, they listen only to conservative talk radio — Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, many of the same people... And so, they are completely in a universe in which they are hearing the same exact ideas, the same arguments, the same limited amount of data repeated over and over and over again. And that’s brainwashing.
This certainly creates a problem when there may be an actual reason something occurred that runs contrary to the orthodoxy promoted by, for example, Mark Levin.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Erick Erickson versus Memorial Day

Erick Erickson is nominally a grade-A Master Douche-Bag.  How he managed to con people into joining his audience is something I am never entirely sure.  Which is not to say that Redstate is not a fine product where a lot of people provide content and few people collect ad revenue (basically making Erickson a small business version of Google/Blogger, which I shouldn't be against.... except I tend to think of Google as a sort of government in and of itself.... but that's a philosophy for another time).

My general wonderment at the Son of Erick having an audience is that his massive level of contempt for other human beings. Every month month or week he posts something on the internet or says something on his radio show (which still is not in my market so I barely consider it of note) that makes me observe that he is the kind of ass that likely would get beaten half to death in a bar fight.... just for shooting his mouth off.

As an aside when I'm in a bar I converse easily with the patrons around me.  Mostly because they must be buzzed and therefore have low standards.  Self-deprecation!

Back to the point where I support my argument.

To celebrate Memorial Day Erick Erickson insulted a large number of his audience or his potential audience.

Let's be honest, whether or not the generation that won World War II and defended freedom is truly the greatest generation is not only debatable it's completely tasteless to debate it even though they brought the New Deal, expanded the role of government and diminished the role of the private sector in the realm of caring for our fellow man. That said there is nothing to be gained by having an argument about whether "old people suck" or not. We debate policy and our way of life or we move on. The point of Memorial Day, after all, is to celebrate freedom and remember sacrifice. We celebrate the fallen and their cause by being free and making feast. This is good. It is not a day for weeping and grousing.

straw men
Although if you are still mourning the loss of a loved one that gave their lives in combat for our freedom, we are there for you. We're Americans. That is what we do.

So in order to praise these heroes, the Son of Erick insults an entire generation (which oddly enough, contains many heroes that gave their lives in the last two wars).  To praise people from World War II he asserts the straw man that young people all think that they are the greatest generation, which of course, I have never heard anyone of my generation or young say.  So he insults them with a lie and then uses his lie as the basis for his argument.  He did not have to do that.  How does he still have an audience after asserting that most of his audience are self-praising jerks?  Most of us honor our heroic dead and sympathize with those left behind without turning on the living heroes... or the heroic dead of the modern generation.  I can't say for certain I'm a millennial but my nephew is.  He's a decent person, humble, hard-working, and like a lot of people's sons and nephews, deserves better to be insulted by a C-grade radio show host.

Erick Erickson by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Master Douche-Bag
"Erick Erickson by Gage Skidmore" by
Gage Skidmore.
 Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

simple update via a Facebook friend:
The average age of service ranges from 29 in the Army to a mere 25 in the Marines. Those ARE the Millennials.

Of course putting people down is the only way the Son of Erick knows to raise people up.

Bruce Bartlett versus Lawrence O'Donnell

Far leftist Democrat commentator Lawrence O'Donnell desperately wants to have a fight with independent (possibly former conservative) former Republican Bruce Bartlett but rapidly collides with the dilemma that because of his background Mr Bartlett hates most Republicans and refuses to be pigeonholed or to align himself with viewpoints of an accepted orthodoxy.

Mr Bartlett certainly seems conservative in his methodology and is correct that most Republicans desire to use a 1980 solution for 2011 problems, 2012 problems and now 2015 problems.

It is not 1980.

Lawrence O'Donnell is still a jerk. He eventually get satisfaction from finding someone that can hit the Republican candidates with a rhetorical sock full of pennies yet the great divide between O'Donnell and Bartlett is that Bartlett is less ideological at his premise and he can critique the proposed fiscal policies without using a straw man.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Schrödinger's Cat

The Wikipedian description:
Schrödinger's cat: a cat, a flask of poison, and a radioactive source are placed in a sealed box. If an internal monitor detects radioactivity (i.e. a single atom decaying), the flask is shattered, releasing the poison that kills the cat. The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics implies that after a while, the cat is simultaneously alive and dead. Yet, when one looks in the box, one sees the cat either alive or dead, not both alive and dead. This poses the question of when exactly quantum superposition ends and reality collapses into one possibility or the other.
We need to be especially aware that the Schrodinger's Cat experiment is a thought experiment, a satire, and a critique and not an actual experiment with a real cat. Which is to say that Erwin Schrodinger has never killed a cat in a box by using radioactive material or otherwise.

The scientist explains it thus:
One can even set up quite ridiculous cases. A cat is penned up in a steel chamber, along with the following device (which must be secured against direct interference by the cat): in a Geiger counter there is a tiny bit of radioactive substance, so small, that perhaps in the course of the hour one of the atoms decays, but also, with equal probability, perhaps none; if it happens, the counter tube discharges and through a relay releases a hammer which shatters a small flask of hydrocyanic acid. If one has left this entire system to itself for an hour, one would say that the cat still lives if meanwhile no atom has decayed. The psi-function of the entire system would express this by having in it the living and dead cat (pardon the expression) mixed or smeared out in equal parts.
It is typical of these cases that an indeterminacy originally restricted to the atomic domain becomes transformed into macroscopic indeterminacy, which can then be resolved by direct observation. That prevents us from so naively accepting as valid a "blurred model" for representing reality. In itself it would not embody anything unclear or contradictory. There is a difference between a shaky or out-of-focus photograph and a snapshot of clouds and fog banks.
from a translation that was originally published in Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 124, 323-38. [And then appeared as Section I.11 of Part I of Quantum Theory and Measurement (J.A. Wheeler and W.H. Zurek, eds., Princeton university Press, New Jersey 1983).]

Schrodingers cat.svg
"Schrodingers cat" by Dhatfield - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Schrödinger's thought experiment actually entered into the common ideaspace, however usually as a misunderstood principle invoked as cliche, metaphor, or trope.

I enjoy that it's employed as humor.  Essentially though it's a fair description of when an individual or institution fails to commit to a given dogma or a contrary one, when an outright explanation is far more worthwhile than a lack of controversy.  Essentially when one fails to suggest or determine for others if a state of being is certainly one or the other, then the metaphor is invoked and it is hardly charitable.

This t-shirt here is brilliant.  The undead cat, be it liche or zombie is used to suggest intelligence, at least on a superficial or beginning level.  Now, I understand the stuff of quantum mechanics thrown to the viewers on PBS.  This could suggest that I am intelligent.  Yet I'm no quantum mechanic.  Philosophy can be applied to the sciences but I cannot apply the science, expand  the science.  I'm layman in that field.  But in many respects the thought experiment is meant to explain a point to people like me, regardless.

Most importantly though, to me, is that this just plain opens the doors to humor.

Oh the jokes.

Someone is going to come along and make fun of this blog post.

and I deserve it.

Now the real reason I write stuff like THIS is not only to practice writing, as I must practice every day to at the very least entertain my fantasy of becoming a professional writer, but because I would rather link to my own definition of a given term than the wikipedia version.  I also want to believe that my own blog may be more reliable to ever-present for my purposes than any given university's page.... which is unreasonable to a degree... although while Michigan State University may outlive me by a thousand years they can eject a professor and his displays of work and definition any week or year.  That implies the professor's tenure has an exception.

Now I can explain the issue of Heisenberg and I certainly will at a later date.  I'm uncertain when that date will be.

Later I intend to visit this site as it explores the concepts further than I intend at this time.... and more importantly illustrates and exhibits the concepts.

In the meantime

Schrodinger's Cat by tatabatata on DeviantArt

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Game of Triggers

I don't know what this "trigger" bullshit is that is the Big Thing this year but yeah if you're freaked out by boobs, gay people, violence, blood, and a mixture of all of those don't watch GAME OF THRONES.

Or read them

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

we will never get rid of poverty

Although first of all.... Jesus plainly says we will never get rid of poverty. 

We will always have the poor, in His words. It was said so offhandedly and casually as if the sky was blue that it is inarguable.

However. We are still required to love as Jesus loved. 

I argue theologically that the point of feeding the hungry is less to eliminate hunger for the sake of the hungry but to demonstrate Christ's love.

Meaning that the reason for charity is less that the poor need charity but that people are poor so we have people to be charitable to.

We exist to love and worship after all.

Human deficiencies are caused by sin. But the reason God simply doesn't supernaturally feed them or erase our ills is also because of the free will that led to sin and deficiencies. We're supposed to demonstrate the love of Christ of our own free will.

Now the Church used to be a helpful organized entity and for the most part it still is.

Monday, May 04, 2015

shoot home invaders

from Rick Ector
Words: I just love the way the media plays with words when they report a story. For example, today one outlet stated that "A home invasion turned deadly." Since when was a home invasion a benevolent activity? If a person is ever so emboldened to come into your home uninvited and unannounced, the home owner should treat the invasion attempt as an attack on his safety and the safety of his family. Moreover, shooting a home invader is not "taking the law into your own hands." Once someone invades your home, the well-being of the occupants is not a concern. In fact, it is the ultimate disregard for the safety of any one legally present. Once a thug comes into your home, especially while you are there, there are only a handful of things that can happen. With exception of one outcome, all others are bad. Shoot home invaders. It is your duty. True story.