*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Monday 31 October 2011

Link Dump: "the importance of protests".

The importance of protests is to put fear back in the oligarchy, which we'd forgotten.  However, as Vollman pointed out in his work, 'Rising Up and Rising Down', which you really had better read*, the oligarchy turns to your non-violent wing when they fear your violent wing: IRA, Sinn Fein;Weathermen and the Panthers, Civil Rights Movement; Ghandi was better than another 'Black Hole of Calcutta'.

Am I advocating violence?  I wonder.**  We'd be stupid not to be thinking hard.  After all, the '1%' already perpetrated a coup on our backs.  Here's another non-violent step to put it on their backs.  Here's a working 'Declaration of Independence'.  Here's an aging veteran of the same sort of thing in the sixties we should even listen to, despite being a boomer, as he owns up to the greater seriousness of these occupiers.  The '1%' have perpetrated incalculable violence.  It's their responsibility to find a way to avert it.

Interesting times.  Can't say I could join the camp, but if I were in a politically engaged country, unlike Borg-Japan, I'd be taking down supplies.  Then again, their disparity is nothing on ours.  Maybe I'll double check someone isn't doing something in Tokyo...

*Yes, I read the abridged version.
**Unlike Derek Jensen's interminable 'Endgame', I won't coyly hint people should, say, blow up dams for me (in his case), unless I too am prepared to put myself on the line.

Sunday 30 October 2011

Quote of the Day: 'Occupy London' at St. Paul's II

"I'd like to see the bishops go out and wash the feet of the protestors. I mean, imagine if they actually fucking did that. What a fucking story that would be." - blinkyblinkyblinky
Me, a lapsed-Catholic, son of an Anglican to Catholic convert, is just loving this shit.

These links show this is getting better, and better and better and better!

Canada has the highest social justice of English countries: thanks to the province that's not English.

Why would I claim both that Canada has the highest social justice of English countries, and that it is thanks to Quebec?  What does it have to do with this picture of what our '1%' did to the Royal Ontario Museum?  Bear with me.

Salon had an article which discussed a study done comparing 'wealthy' states around the world.  Of the five English countries, they come out in this order: Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Britain and... "America, Fuck yeah!"  I won't bother to pile on the US.  Too easy.  All of the English countries come out poorly against Western and Northern Europe, and not even that well compared to some countries that got out of the 'Iron Curtain' just twenty-odd years ago.

What's so great about Canada?  Er, what makes Canada mediocre, making it so much better than the other English countries?  Quebec.  Name a progressive issue that makes Canada look good in its neighbourhood, and it's not thanks to the Anglos: thank Quebec.  Gay tolerance?  A decade ahead.  Turning away from religion?  Maybe two decades.  Subsidized daycare?  Can't say, as Quebec's has had it for a while, and the rest of us are waiting.  Here in Tokyo I just read they're still at it: fighting our conservative national gov't to get guns registered.  What ever you think about guns, only an ass thinks they're better not registered, or can imagine going the way of the worst fly-over States on guns will have any other result than the same it has had there: more dead.  Ans it strikes a real nerve in Quebec, as this happened during the years I was at McGill.

You see, when you are a minority, as the French are even in Canada, you believe your society has some meaning: you believe in society at all.  In the English countries, we don't.  Well, many of us do, but none of us have power, or get to be heard, until just recently: Occupy Wall Street, and the other cities.  Toronto is still run by its '1%', and badly!

A few years back the toffs on the board of the main museum got it into their heads that what would make Toronto a 'destination-city', and like NY (please.. and please fuck off and die, Toronto) would be to get a 'star architect' to do a piece of stunt-architecture, which Liebeskind was only too happy to dial-in.  It reminds me of nothing less than Terry Gilliam's 'Brazil', but there's no accounting for taste.
Not only did many people hate it as much as me; but 'the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal' is named after a member of the '1%' who got his money in some... manner; the damn thing had to be made out of siding instead of glass (you know like a fucking crystal might be) because they couldn't engineer it, not to mention it would have cooked the exhibits; the spaces inside are full of unusable acute angles; they had a fight with the city because they did not account for it extending into the airspace over the public sidewalk; and finally, they had to double the entrance fees to this public museum, because it cost a fortune.  Did the '1%', even Mr. Lee-Chin, have to swallow the costs?  Of course not, that's not how corporate naming works.  It doesn't pay for much more than the stationery.

Sure, tying the themes of this post together is a bit of a stretch, but so was the idea they could hose Torontonians and the visitors to the museum with this carbuncle at a premium, and still have a customer base.  They just had to slash the prices, after a couple of years.  And by the way, Toronto still ain't no NY (bloody hell).

Friday 28 October 2011

Every ruling class gets faced with a choice:

Negotiate, or be given terms that are final.

You see, '1%', you fucked up badly.  You had the people drugged by the media you control, and you bought them off with shiny electronics and Internet distractions, and seduced them with oil wars 'just wars', but you should have considered that once they saw Arab peoples use these toys to communicate and engage, your 99% would use them against you also.  No cops can be sent to assault a crowd without getting posted.  No 'mainstream' pundit in a suit that costs my month's gross can plausibly belittle the People anymore.  Nobody's going to turn off Twitter, Google, Facebook and the like, much less the whole Internet, because that's when you show you have lost.  And more of the '99%' are beginning to learn what the 99% in E.Europe learned in 1989: state power doesn't exist if we say so.

So, here's what you don't do: move jacked-up cops against the protesters.  Most of them are white, and young (you know, like voters' kids and grandkids...), and some are even war vets who've risked far more 'for their country' than any 'chicken-hawk' pundit or politician: get well, Scott Olsen.  Mayor Quan, you tool, you just pissed off the Marine Corps!  Sadly, you might still get away with treating Black Americans this way...  Never mind, you've rigged the game so their economic position is worse than before the Civil Rights Movement, as is their incarceration rate.

Quote of the Day: 'Occupy London' at St. Paul's

"Money is the number one moral issue in the Bible and the way the Church of England goes on you would think it was sex," he says. "It's easily the number one issue in the Bible … but how many sermons do you get about that? Very few."
"my red line was about using violence in the name of the church to clear people on. It has been very peaceful, the camp, and I feel that the church cannot answer peaceful protest with violence".
- Giles Fraser, the Canon of St. Paul's: a rare 'man of the cloth' who understands the Jesus of the Gospels did not equivocate on his ultimatums about wealth for all 'Christians', unlike the "the continuing silence of the senior clergy on such matters as greed, avarice, inequality and social justice – just a few of Jesus' favourite topics."

I am an atheist, but know the best words come from The Man, Himself:

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.
Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?'
And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'"
(Matthew 25.35-40)

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
(Matthew 6.31-34)

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
(Matthew 5.3-12)

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
(Matthew 6:24)

For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?
(Mark 8.34-36)
Jesus wasn't a god before Paul of Tarsus' Hellenic crap, but there was once a man who had the best lines ever.

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Take the waste out of your commuting time.

Cascade Bicycle Club - Vision 2011 from Punch Drunk on Vimeo.
From this website.

Commutes suck.  If you spend forty-five minutes commuting, you're probably wasting an hour and a half of every workday: something like four-hundred hours of every year, or twenty-five days of working hours!  Yes, that's more than three extra weeks of holiday hours your boss won't give you if you can find a better way to spend them.

Never mind.  GM has advice for you.

Longer commutes mean higher divorce rates, greater obesity, and a higher financial burden (look it up yourself).  For what?  Your suburban home that won't hold its value after peak-oil, and even now has slid in the States?  Even if that weren't true, how much energy do you have left to enjoy the dubious pleasures of the 'burbs after driving away so many hours of the week?
(Actually unfair to Ford, which was not bailed out like the others, and correctly cried 'unfair competition').  Imagine if the auto bailouts had been done for the good of the employees, and the society they live in (fuck the shareholders - investing is risk).  In WWII they retooled industries, so why couldn't the bailouts have been tied to transit vehicles, which at least gets the public something built for their money, rather than encouraging a company to continue building cars as badly as made them bankrupt?  Ever driven a GM?  I inherited one.  Utter shit.

I ride to work about half the days of the week, and should more: 12km in Tokyo.  Every time I bail on riding and take the train I regret it (I have a poor memory).  I'd love to live closer, but this apartment is cheap, and like the link below the video talks about, it makes me get out and ride.  In fact, I rather miss walking to work/school, as nothing beats the striding motion for tidying up cluttered thoughts, but I'd need to live a lot closer, and in a prettier town than Tokyo.  Montreal was ideal for walking.

Sunday 23 October 2011

"One of these things is not like the other one." Redux

Reposting this because I'm adding one more.

Four of the most beautiful women in Japanese media, IMHO.  One is semi-retired, and the picture is of her fifteen years ago.  Each has characteristics unlike the others. Can you identify what they are? Try to keep it relatively clean.

Kuroki Meisa

Otsuka Nene

Takigawa Christel

Hasegawa Jun

So how do they differ?  Well, I like me some miscegenation.  Grrrrrrr!
- only one is 100% Japanese, whatever that means
- one's half-French
- one's a quarter Brazilian
- one's a quarter Caucasian and a quarter S.Asian

Google all you want, but to the best of my knowledge you won't find a picture of any of them more unclothed than this, more's the pity...

Saturday 22 October 2011

Tesla Roadster!

Saw a Tesla Roadster outside my station today, on display by the Tokyo Automobile University School.  Very cool.

Do I think this is the future?  Not really.  Gasoline is such a good fucking energy-storage medium that a wack of batteries don't beat it, and won't for some time.  Even this premium car has only a 200-400km range, and refuelling is not as simple as for gas, yet if ever.  Your average car will get 500km highway, and refuelling is simple.  Were I doing high-mileage I'd go for a good hybrid, maybe plug-in.  That way you can always refuel.  Anything less than high-mileage though, you're still better off with an efficient all gasoline car.  Do your own research if you don't buy it.  Most of all, since a huge portion of a car's footprint is in its manufacture, don't get an electric or a hybrid as a replacement unless it is to save money on gasoline.

The idea of high-mileage hybrid car, or low-mileage efficient gasoline car, makes sense from a financial and environmental point of view.  Electric-car boosters forget that: batteries are very dirty to make and dispose of, wear out in five years, and you probably charge your car with carbon fuel via the power plant*.  The best thing to do is buy a hybrid if you commute by car, and buy none if you do not commute by car.  You can rent a newer car every weekend and still have extra money for beer, not to mention saving the costs of building another car.

On the other hand, in a perfect world... which could not include personal vehicles, but never mind... an all-electric car would be the most efficient, financially and environmentally, because all of the externalities** of oil would be factored into the cost of gas.  Gas would be several times as expensive as it is.  Electric cars wouldn't be any cheaper.  Commuting by car sucks anyway, as it does on bad transit.

Regardless, the Tesla is highly impractical, but it is fucking cool that someone's making it.  Anything that challenges the status quo is a good thing.  Sure, I'd love to try outrunning Japan's 'keystone cops' with it!  Fast cars are cool I cannot deny, even though I don't think the coolness is anything close to worth the costs financially, environmentally and socially (they ruined many N.America cities, lives, and asses).  I'd see nothing wrong with a world where you didn't have to spend a third of your money on transportation, or gum up the atmosphere doing so, but you could be a member of a racing club where members co-owned and drove the hell out of a few fast cars on closed tracks.

*Yes, night-charging tends to include a far higher percentage of hydroelectric and nuclear (problematic itself).
**Pollution; collisions; pavements' effects on drainage, farmland, suburbanization; oil-wars and foreign policy...

Friday 21 October 2011


If you don't care about babies or human instincts, you can skip this post.

The Ferber fascists are strident.  They're also wrong.  Their explanation is you are training the baby, by gradually lengthened crying, to sleep through the night by themselves.  However, this is a baby, not an adult human.  They're giving the baby a lot more credit for understanding the message they are trying to impart (more on that later) than most adults would deserve.  You know why a baby cries when it is left alone?  Same reason a baby bird or dog does, it's afraid it's going to be abandoned forever.

And why the hell do they think it is so important for an infant to sleep alone?  You get some Freudian explanations from most of them: Freudian justifications tend to give you more, unwanted, insight into the person using one than the subject.  Do any of our primate relatives make their babies sleep alone?  What about mammals in general?  Oh, but we are different.  No, we really aren't, least of all for an infant.  It's worth noting that most cultures do not have such stupid parenting ideas, and their kids are better served by them.  Ferberizing your baby gives the baby the same message as buying them a nanny while you stay at work, and sending her - the kid's real mother from the kid's experience - back to the Philippines when you're done with her: the kid is not a high priority.

Trust me, putting the kid in another room is not going to get you more sleep: you have to get out of bed and go down the hall to feed him.  Mind you, if you have him completely traumatized so that he's learned to stay silent all night so no predator gets him during his abandonment...  You think you're going to get to have sex with your wife sooner?  Nope, he'll cry in the middle of the few times you are both not too tired to be in the mood.  You're better off having him asleep in your bed and going off to the living room couch while he lets you.

It's actually nice to have the little one in bed with you.  You learn a lot more about him, as well as being able to do your duties as a parent during the night, rather than leave him to his fate.  Roll onto him and smother him?  Just how drunk, obese or stoned do you think you'd have to be?  Well... that does account for about half of N.Americans, but you might want to do something about your lifestyle rather than cast off your issue.

%$#@.  It's only in the West, the same place that took the story of an empathetic man of integrity and made it into a magic-ridden, anti-sexual, justification for the authoritarianism of boy-diddling eunuchs, that anyone'd even listen to Ferber's $#!+.

Coltish Sure Beats Rubenesque (NSFW)

This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.

Saturday 15 October 2011

'How Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down [in Toronto]? (After They've [Lived in Tokyo])'

Oh Tokyo -- I never can sleep in your arms
Mind keeps on ringing like a fire alarm
Me and all these other dice bouncing around in the cup
Did you have to show me that accident scene
Didn't I get enough shaking up?
Still I'm gonna miss you...
In a year or two I am supposed to go back to my 'real' career in Canada, a country that has a better future by most indicators, especially demographic and financial: Japan is old, without resources, and has moved its manufacturing off-shore.

So what's better about Toronto?
- I have an 'iron rice-bowl' there, if some future provincial government doesn't find a way to %$#@ teachers
- summer is livable; winter's not
- I have family there, who do not help to raise my kid unlike my J-mother-in-law
- I can buy a house bigger than I need, further out in a part of town I don't like
- parking is cheaper, for the cars I'll need to own
- I can read the menus, in the restaurants that cost more for much less
- I speak the same language, as its poorly spoken and unattractive residents

So what's better about Tokyo?
- everything else

Thursday 13 October 2011

Link Dump: 2011/10/13

Rage Against The Machine - Sleep Now In The Fire... 投稿者 LeBoulanger04

Democrats do not represent their left wing.
US State is Orwellian, of course.
Politics is evil, of course.
Carlin nailed this years ago.

Hockey is still for thugs.

No Conservative trifecta in Ontario: I can go home to teach.
Though the RC boards haven't a leg to stand on, and I have this BS to return to.

Housing will crash in Canada, too.
Doesn't help that Toronto doesn't work.

Yes, the Japanese speak quickly, though they don't say much...
Which is why this crap can happen.

As any idiot should know this, I gave that crap up years ago and lost the weight of an infant.