Power company kills eight

To be clear, this is indeed a tragedy, especially with regard to the very young children who could not have controlled the situation and wouldn’t have understood the astounding stupidity of running a gas-powered generator inside a house. The title of this post is not intended to mock the dead, but rather the predictable response of liberals to a simple case of death by idiocy.

Rodney Todd purchased a gas generator after the power company turned off his electricity in response to his unpaid utility bills. But he chose to run the generator inside the house and subsequently caused not only his own death, but the deaths of seven of his children. In response to this, I asked my friend if he thought liberals would say that the power company is at fault because they turned off the electricity, thus precipitating this disaster. This proved my own naivete because, despite my question being asked in jest, I found the following comment on DM:

In modern times, you cannot judge the seriousness of a statement by ridiculousness alone. No matter how outrageous a statement is, you may not necessarily assume that it was intended to be ironic or sarcastic. For any given level of ridiculousness, there is a corresponding statement made by a liberal intended to convey the utmost gravity.

The correct response, of course, is to either outlaw generators completely, or at least require state and federal regulation of generator purchases. This regulation must include waiting periods and expensive background checks. Under no circumstances should purchases of generators be allowed between private parties, and absolutely no online purchases of generators should be tolerated. Furthermore, the power output capacity of generators for personal use should be limited to one kilowatt, just to make sure that the rate of CO production is controlled (still enough to kill yourself, just not as quickly). I welcome submissions of suitably cute names for this proposal.

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Power company kills eight

Objective reality as a backdrop for the expression of liberal values

Seems several gaggles of my fellow New York Millennials have been taking selfies with the burning wreckage at the corner of Second Avenue and Seventh Street in the background. Apparently this has upset some folks.

But what’s the big deal? Or, rather, how is this inconsistent with the otherwise-mandatory liberal worldview? To liberals, there can be no such thing as objective reality, because the existence of objective reality implies that there are limitations on individual freedom imposed by nature. Therefore, in the absence of objective reality, all events — no matter how calamitous — have value only within the context of one’s existence. And thus, a burning building is significant only in the sense that it’s unusual and provides a neat photo opportunity. It has no moral implications. In the liberal mind, then, the things which non-liberals associate with objective reality exist only as a backdrop against which the liberal’s gratuitous expressions of social and sexual liberation may be showcased in the greatest prominence.

Objective reality as a backdrop for the expression of liberal values

Rant: New Jersey National Guard finally getting the publicity it deserves

The gaggle of inept moral cowards running the NJARNG into the ground is finally being outed, publicly.

What this article doesn’t mention is that the ills of senior leadership are not the concerns of only field grade officers. It infects the entire organization. By choosing senior officers based on their level of blind allegiance to a corrupt leader, the rest of the “mere mortals” are forced to deal with incompetent and clueless morons who are incapable of issuing clear and concise guidance. In fact, a great many of them are utterly ignorant of their role in the operations process, requiring subordinates to pick up the slack and simply guess as to their respective commanders’ intent. This creates frustration in the ranks of otherwise capable junior leaders, whose increased stress is reflected in their dealings with their own subordinates.

The effect, in a sense, is viral.

On another note, I have long held that given the country’s engagement in two prolonged armed conflicts over the past fifteen years, it is almost certain that anyone whose service in the armed forces spans that time period and has not been deployed to an imminent danger area is deliberately avoiding such a deployment. This sort of behavior is to be expected from the lowest caliber of service members, but it is not to be celebrated, and those who engage in it should be phased out of the military rather than rewarded with numerous promotions and awards. They certainly should not be appointed to the most senior position of leadership in the NJARNG, and yet the last two TAGs (James Grant and Glenn Rieth) have been of this very sort.

Rant: New Jersey National Guard finally getting the publicity it deserves

VoLTE working on Nexus 6

Google has released Android Lollipop 5.1 for Nexus devices. I installed build 5.1.0 (LMY47E) on my Nexus 6. I had to do this manually (as opposed to waiting for Verizon’s OTA update) because I was not running a stock ROM on the phone.

Bear in mind that I was happy with the phone’s functionality using LiquidSmooth, but because modern phones do not have separate CDMA/LTE antennas, I could not use data services (to include my unlimited-data hotspot, which serves as my primary internet connection) and make voice calls simultaneously. This was extremely frustrating given that I spent over 700 dollars on the phone. Hence the motivation for upgrading the OS to Lollipop 5.1, which provides support for VoLTE.

The process is arcane and non-nerds should not undertake it. Even with my vast system administration and programming experience I found it to be somewhat less than straightforward. The update has to be done over a USB debugging connection on a computer that has the Android SDK installed. Everything on the phone will be wiped out in the process (a fact I became aware of after I saw that all my music was gone following the update). Once you’ve completed the update, it’s easy to reinstall TWRP recovery and apply the SuperSU patch to enable root access.

Incidentally, VoLTE has to be enabled through your carrier account (in addition to device-level support), so I went to my Verizon account settings and did just that. For some reason, this resulted in my inability to send or receive voice calls (data continued to work fine). A quick chat with Verizon technical support and the problem was resolved. I believe this issue was related to my phone not being a Verizon device.

At long last, my Nexus 6 is fully functional and has the capacity for simultaneous voice and data. But achieving this level of functionality took entirely too much technical expertise and intervention on my part. Conclusion: the device is great, the software is okay, and the support sucks.

VoLTE working on Nexus 6

Witch-Doctor Psychology

I happened to come across the most recent edition of New Jersey Psychologist the other day and saw that the cover had the words “Energy Psychology” in large letters. They were accompanied by a pair of hands which appeared to be cupping an ethereal ball of light. My bullshit detector went straight to “10” and I just had to find out what they (“they” being the NJ Psychological Association, a supposedly reputable bunch of folks whose names are always followed by “Ph.D”) were talking about.

Just as I suspected, it’s typical pseudoscientific psychobabble. It’s the same old “ancient Eastern medicine” but wrapped up in a new name. Meridians, chakras, thought fields, the whole nine yards. What is going on?

How can a publication of a supposedly respectable organization, one which represents professional psychologists, be filled with such complete nonsense? How is it that there aren’t hundreds of enraged psychologists shouting down the idiots at the NJPA?

The honest truth is that I just don’t know. I suspect, however, that advances in our understanding of the underlying material origins of psychology has driven intelligent and scientifically minded folks with interests in psychology toward fields (medicine, neuropsychology) which demand empiricism. What’s left are the charlatans and idiots.

Witch-Doctor Psychology

White Guilt Jumps the Shark

In a move that can be described only as bizarre, Starbucks has adopted a policy encouraging its employees to discuss race relations with customers while serving their coffee.

Most of us react to this with revulsion, and Starbucks’ idiot VP of Global Communications Corey duBrowa has been shouted down for this in righteous fashion. But I think it’s important to explore why this policy is so ridiculous, because its ridiculousness transcends mere white guilt.

The traditional view of human relationships is that there exist various “spheres;” the private, the professional, the academic, and the political, to name a few. The way one acts and conducts oneself may vary significantly between those spheres because it may be helpful to emphasize different personality traits depending on present company.

But the liberal view is that any delineation between the public and private realms is wrong, because it’s oppressive in that it rewards people for acting publicly in ways which aren’t in exact accordance with how they act in private. In other words, any separation between the spheres is a violation of freedom of expression. It does not support their agenda of total liberation ideology. Therefore, the traditional boundaries on conversations between people in a public setting must go.

For example, the discussion of race relations would, under traditional order, be limited to the private, academic, and political spheres. It is inappropriate for a person to whom you relate in only the public sphere to engage you in a discussion of race relations. It is annoying; it is an invasion. And even liberals admit this — just read some of the responses from liberals in the linked article.

So it seems that, subconsciously, even liberals are drawn to the traditional order and hierarchy I support unabashedly and vocally.

White Guilt Jumps the Shark

Madison Madness

Another “unarmed black teen” has been shot and killed by a white police officer, this time in Madison, Wisconsin.

As usual, the “teen” Tony Robinson is actually 19, making him an adult. It turns out that the “teen” had a prior conviction for armed home invasion. What I find striking is that he was sentenced to mere probation for this reprehensible crime rather than actually serve jail time. How is this possible? How can anyone believe that probation is an appropriate sentence for someone who entered another person’s home for the purpose of robbing them and brought along a loaded firearm in order to kill or incapacitate the occupant in the event of resistance? It is absolutely unbelievable.

And yet, the “teen’s” white mother insists that he has “never been a violent person.” Well, thanks to Officer Matt Kenny, he’ll certainly never be a violent person again.

But the most disturbing thing about this situation is the pathetic, groveling, teary-eyed statement from Mayor Paul Soglin. He uses typical, politically-authorized language to describe the incident and his liberal sentiments. Of particular note is the misappropriation of the word “tragedy.” Indeed, it is tragic that even in a society which bends over backwards to afford opportunities to those of socioeconomic disadvantage there are still so many people who are simply incapable of acting in a civilized manner. But Mayor Soglin doesn’t mean that this is a tragedy in that sense; he means that Robinson’s death — independent of context — is tragic.

A tragedy is something bad that happens and is unavoidable in that it transcends mankind’s abilities to manipulate the material world to its will. Committing an act of violence, attacking a police officer, and getting shot is not unavoidable. These events do not transcend our ability to manipulate material reality. They are the decisions of a single person of moral and intellectual bankruptcy and the consequences of those decisions.

Madison Madness