Categories
Thoughts

Uncle Tom, a must watch movie

If you care at all about freedom in the United States and the division being sowed between black and white people today, especially today, you need to watch Uncle Tom.

This movie, produced by Larry Elder, is extremely important because it shows that the black community is not a single ideological voting block. It shows that some black people are tired of protesting racism while continuing to vote for the same political party that perpetuates that racism.

This movie gives a different perspective on the history of black people in the United States. It pushes a perspective that in many ways the black community was more cohesive prior to the Civil Rights Act. It doesn’t say the Civil Rights Act was a bad thing. It does say the policies enacted in the wake of it were designed to weaken the black community at the time when they should have compounded the gains already achieved.

This movie is important because black people are giving their stories. They tell of when they reached the realization that they were part of the problem and perpetuating the old way of thinking. They were the ones holding themselves and others in their communities back. They decided to stop and make the change to improve the lives of not just black people but of all Americans.

Liberals of the United States created what they believe to be a permanent victim class and people like Larry Elder are trying to interrupt the victim thought process and push people to take control.

Categories
Thoughts

Eskimo Pie left out in the cold

First it was the Land O Lakes Native American woman, then Aunt Jemima, and now they’ve come for the Eskimo Pie. We can’t have nice things anymore.

The owner of Eskimo Pie treats said it would change the name of the nearly century-old ice cream brand because the term is derogatory, following similar moves this week by the makers of Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben’s.

“We are committed to being a part of the solution on racial equality, and recognize the term is derogatory,” Elizabell Marquez, head of marketing for Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, said in a statement.

Wall Street Journal

Forget that the images and connotation of the above names and likenesses have changed over time to better reflect the sensitivities of the day. According to the keeper of all knowledge, Wikipedia, the word Eskimo is not a derogatory word.

Etymologically speaking, there exists a scientific consensus that the word Eskimo comes from the Innu-aimun (Montagnais) word ayas̆kimew meaning “a person who laces a snowshoe” and is related to “husky” (a breed of dog), and it does not have a pejorative meaning in origin.

Wikipedia

Today we’re just too sensitive for anything. Or the skeptic in me sees this as a marketing opportunity for a brand that has been in the deep freeze for a while (I’ll stop with the puns now). Who eats Eskimo Pies anymore?

In that same vein, I propose we change the name of the State of Illinois to the State of Bankruptcy. At least it’s an honest description.

Why should we appropriate the culture of the Inoka? Using the name of Native Americans that used to roam this state is insulting to those people. Look what we’ve done to this beautiful land.

Categories
Technology

YouTube Music Review

Google is at it once again. For some unknown reason, later this year, they are deprecating Google Play Music (GPM) for YouTube Music (YM). What the hell is wrong with this company? They always feel the need to fix things that aren’t broken or to kill off products. I’ve been using GPM since it was first available and it was by far the easiest way to listen to my music library. Today I received the link to transfer my library and playlists from one to the other. So far I am not impressed whatsoever with YM.

YM is too graphic heavy. It’s pushing video all the time. There are three tabs on the bottom. Home, Explore, and Library. On the home screen I’m greeted with junk. Today is Juneteenth (which is a dumb name and should be changed to Emancipation Day or something else more appropriate because Juneteenth is not a word and doesn’t mean anything) and front and center are things relating to Juneteenth. I don’t care! I just want to get to my music and not be pushed to engage in stuff that doesn’t matter to me.

Next I hop on over to the Library tab. I’m greeted with what YM thinks is my most recent activity. It is not correct. The recent activity also included the Billboard Top 50 Christian Songs Playlist. I have never listened to this playlist… EVER. There is no way to get rid of that selection either.

Frequently I go to either a playlist I set up or I go directly to the artist I want to hear. In YM I tap on the Artists tab and the next screen has two tabs at the top. YT Music and Uploads. But let’s start with the list of Recently Added things. Who the fuck is Chris August? I’ve never heard of him and never listened to him. I don’t want to click on it either to find out in fear that Google’s algorithm will somehow think it’s something I want. Forgetting about Mr. August for a moment. The list is not what I recently added. It’s not the same as the recent activity on the last screen either. Shouldn’t the two things be related?

Let’s say I want to listen to Lianne La Havas. I tap on her name in the recently added list and I’m presented with a giant picture of her links to shuffle play, radio, an icon for her latest release, and the beginnings of her top songs. In GPM you would see the artists top songs right away and more than just one would be present. But scrolling down isn’t much better. After a few more of her tops songs the next thing you see is simply Albums and after that simply Singles. Are these all her albums and singles? Are they part of my library? What are they? After that you get the categories of Videos, Featured On, and Fans might also like.

You know what I want when I get to the artists page? I want to know if they have released anything new (which is fine here) and I want to get to the tracks in my library. After all that’s why I’m in the Library section of the app. But nowhere can I tell what is supposed to be in my library. In GPM there is a section on the artists page that shows exactly what’s in your library. I don’t have to guess or remember what is mine and what is other stuff in their catalog.

The next tab on the artists page is Uploads. This is a totally useless tab. It lists everything I’ve uploaded by artist alphabetically. But it’s not smart at all. In the pic above take a look at the bottom two uploads. They are separate tracks from the same album and YM lists them as if they are from different artists even though they are from the same artist and album. The metadata on the song lists the artist as being different on these two tracks because Alicia Keys gives credit to other artists that are on each track. This is stupid. It does that for several artists and albums. Any time an artist is featuring another artist and it’s in the metadata it will list it as if it is a different artist. This makes this tab unusable.

All I can say is thank you to Google. They are going to save me $9.99 per month because I will be cancelling my Play Music subscription as soon as the GPM app disappears. I’m not paying for YM and it’s pain in the ass music app.

I’ve already started to migrate over to using my own cloud media server from Subsonic. This is simple software that you install on your computer, tell it where your media files are located, install an app on your phone, and access your own music library anywhere in the world. It’s not as elegant as GPM and not as user friendly but the premium version only costs $1/month.

For other music that I want to sample I’ll use Amazon Music. I already pay for Prime. If I want new music I’ll buy it, download it to my PC, and stream it using my own personal cloud.

I’m so sick of Google doing this to their apps and services. I already stopped using Chrome and mostly stopped using Google.com for search. Next I have to figure out how to extricate myself from Gmail. If it wasn’t for their superior spam filtering I would have stopped using that long ago.

Back to wrapping up my opinion on YM. Don’t use it. It sucks balls.

Categories
Thoughts

Some failures hurt more than others

Clearly I have failed. In so many things and in so many ways. Some days these failures actually have a visceral effect on me and some days I just chalk it up to life.

The easy to take failures are ones that maybe were not totally in my control. It’s easier to accept the ones where success or failure was tipped in the wrong direction by things which I could not change or assert enough influence.

The visceral failures are the ones most difficult to cope with. These are things I felt I had control. I had the bases covered. I knew where I started and I knew where the goalpost was. I had a strategy. I feel I’ve done absolutely everything I could have done. I feel I made all the right decisions and took the right actions. I thought what I set out to do succeeded. Then I find that all my efforts were in vain. Little of what I set out to accomplish actually happened. I crashed and burned and there is no one to blame but myself. That stuff hurts. I can’t fix it either. It’s just there and will always be there.

The positive side of it is that once I accept the failure I can move on. My problem is that I haven’t succeeded at acceptance yet. Not a single time.

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Thoughts

Millennials may be the snake that eats its own tail

Millennials don’t know what they are doing. They are killing the United States and classical liberalism. I’m not talking about “liberals” like members of the Democratic Party I’m talking about classical liberalism where ideas matter.

There is no freedom of thought in their ranks. You either tow the line or you are ostracized and pushed to irrelevance. Sooner or later this will all come back to bite them. When the next generation or the generation after that rebels against the political correctness and the control freaks of the Millennial Generation. I don’t know how they’re going to deal with a lack of a safe space 30 or 40 years from now when they are at the end of their reign.

I always thought the Baby Boomers were the worst generation. But, I have reconsidered and now it is the Millennials. They’re rotten from the inside and don’t know it. That kind of ignorance is dangerous to a free society.

An ostensibly independent opinion section was ransacked because the social-justice warriors in the newsroom opposed a single article espousing a view that polls show tens of millions of Americans support if the police can’t handle rioting and violence. The publisher failed to back up his editors, which means the editors no longer run the place. The struggle sessions on Twitter and Slack channels rule.

All of this shows the extent to which American journalism is now dominated by the same moral denunciation, “safe space” demands, and identity-politics dogmas that began in the universities. The agents of this politics now dominate nearly all of America’s leading cultural institutions—museums, philanthropy, Hollywood, book publishers, even late-night talk shows.

On matters deemed sacrosanct—and today that includes the view that America is root-and-branch racist—there is no room for debate. You must admit your failure to appreciate this orthodoxy and do penance, or you will not survive in the job.

Wall Street Journal
Categories
Thoughts

Inconvenient statistics on crime, policing, and the black community

When emotion is brought into public policy we can count on bad things happening. Looting and rioting are doing damage to the argument for the need to reform policing. Is it bringing attention to it? Yes. But, not the kind of attention that is needed.

In the cold world of statistics we have these facts:

In 2019 police officers fatally shot 1,004 people, most of whom were armed or otherwise dangerous. African-Americans were about a quarter of those killed by cops last year (235), a ratio that has remained stable since 2015. That share of black victims is less than what the black crime rate would predict, since police shootings are a function of how often officers encounter armed and violent suspects. In 2018, the latest year for which such data have been published, African-Americans made up 53% of known homicide offenders in the U.S. and commit about 60% of robberies, though they are 13% of the population.

Wall Street Journal

We’ve seen this before but it won’t make it onto the nightly news. Instead the emotion of the current events will be highlighted because human suffering gets eyeballs to their TV screens. The coverage makes it seem like all white police officers are purposely looking for black people to kill. The numbers don’t agree with the narrative.

Meanwhile, looting and rioting are destroying businesses and neighborhoods. Chicago, in particular, we saw the destruction of many small businesses on the south and west sides. Retailers that were just beginning to look forward to somewhat getting back to business. First government stepped in with their heavy hand and closed them down. Now some people in their neighborhoods have put the final nail in the coffin. Who wants to re-open a business when the government can deem you non-essential and then because of the action by a police officer in Minneapolis your neighbors literally burn your business down.

A majority of the cities and states where the unrest is occurring are places where Democrats run the government. The people protesting overwhelmingly vote Democrat. There is cognitive dissonance happening here. The people protesting keep the people in power that they say keep them oppressed. It’s almost like battered wife syndrome. You get beaten and beaten but keep going back because you believe that person will change.

They won’t change. They will tell you they’re sorry. They’ll tell you they love you. They’ll tell you they’ll never do it again. But they will.

I’m not saying Republicans are blameless and there may be places where similar things are occurring where Republicans are in power. But, at least right now, what is happening and where it’s happening are not Republican strongholds.

We need to stop asking government to take care of us. Putting them in charge of our well being leads to abuse of power and overreach. If they are your parent expect them to tell you how, where, and why you should live. Keep them at more than an arms length and you’ll find your independence a God-send. You’ll be better off for it and so will the United States of America.

Categories
Thoughts

SARS-CoV-2 enters the lungs and attacks our blood vessels

Doctors and scientists are still struggling to figure out what is going on with this virus and why it is killing the people it’s killing. Symptoms are flu-like in the beginning, then pneumonia-like in the middle, but the end result seems to be that those symptoms are deceptive. The virus seems to be causing blood clots and attacking the vascular system.

Months into the pandemic, there is now a growing body of evidence to support the theory that the novel coronavirus can infect blood vessels, which could explain not only the high prevalence of blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks, but also provide an answer for the diverse set of head-to-toe symptoms that have emerged.

“All these Covid-associated complications were a mystery. We see blood clotting, we see kidney damage, we see inflammation of the heart, we see stroke, we see encephalitis [swelling of the brain],” says William Li, MD, president of the Angiogenesis Foundation. “A whole myriad of seemingly unconnected phenomena that you do not normally see with SARS or H1N1 or, frankly, most infectious diseases.”

“If you start to put all of the data together that’s emerging, it turns out that this virus is probably a vasculotropic virus, meaning that it affects the [blood vessels],” says Mandeep Mehra, MD, medical director of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Heart and Vascular Center.

medium.com
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Technology Thoughts

President Trump doesn’t understand the concept of the “Public Square”

A draft of President Trump’s Executive Order “Preventing Online Censorship”

President Trump today signed an Executive Order that threatens Internet based social networking platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. He says that these platforms are the 21st century equivalent of the public square and that the protections afforded by the First Amendment to the Constitution apply to these companies.

He has it totally wrong. The Internet is the public square and social networking sites are private companies that operate on the public square. If you don’t like what they do you can build your own site to compete with them. It’s important to remember that only the government is restricted from censoring you. Your school, your employer, or any private organization that you don’t control is allowed to control your behavior, to a certain extent, while on their property or using their service.

This is not to say that the big social networking companies aren’t partly to blame for his reaction. They are cow towing to a vocal minority that seeks to silence opposition to the main stream narrative of events of the day.

During this COVID-19 pandemic Twitter and YouTube have suspended accounts and taken down videos of scientists critical of the lockdown. I don’t believe that a person is sitting there at these companies manually taking down accounts and videos but this is done automatically when bunches of trolls flag accounts and videos reporting them as fake or harmful. That’s where the problem lies. It’s easy for humans to game the system of an algorithm that just responds to clicks.

The social media sites should relax their algorithms and just let the users decide for themselves. It’s bad enough that these automated systems create filter bubbles where all people see are views and news that support their own biases. Now we have these same systems shutting down debate.

I miss the early days of the Internet and the World Wide Web. It was such an open place to be where you could learn almost anything. You still can but you have to use a mental machete to chop away all the crap.

Categories
Technology Thoughts

SpaceX puts the US back into the space race today!

This is the most important thing happening today. I wish for a perfect launch and I’m hopeful for a resurgence of interest in outer space. Let’s get to Mars!

Categories
Thoughts

Contact Tracing Administration – The future federal waste of tax dollars

Let’s count the days until the Department of Health and Human Services has a new division called the Contact Tracing Administration. Or, maybe it will fall under the Department of Homeland Security since virus infiltration into the nation is sure to be a national security threat.

I can see these agents now showing up at our homes with their little uniforms and most assuredly a badge of some sort. They’ll show up at your house because no one answers the phone call from an unfamiliar number.

The idea is to reach out to everyone who has tested positive for the virus, find out whom they might have inadvertently exposed and encourage them all to avoid infecting others. But an army of 180,000 contact tracers provisioned with telephone headsets and scripts does not guarantee that anyone will want to talk to them, much less follow their advice.

New York Times

These people will be the new TSA. They’ll be called Health Security Agents (HSA), Health Security Officers (HSO), or maybe Contact Tracing Administration Agent (CTA Agent). You know they’ll have to have a nifty three letter acronym.

I predict billions of dollars getting wasted so the government can create huge databases of who we are, who our associates are, and where we go. Combine that with the push to go cashless and the government will own you and your bank account.

Don’t think this can happen? I didn’t think the government had the power to designate some businesses essential and some not. I didn’t think they had the power to shut down the entire US economy. I didn’t think they had the power to shut down religious services. Somehow they don’t have the power to do these things but they did them.

Good luck to us.