Saturday, September 30, 2017

To the Enemies of Free Speech




"Have you ever read Milton, Captain?" - Khan Noonian Sing, 2268

Friday, January 20, 2017

Congratulations, Mr. President!

We extend a salute to the rising sun.

Welcome to the White House, President Trump.

"Sacred angels guard your throne and may you long become it."

Sunday, January 1, 2017

ON HIATUS FOR A WHILE....BUT NOT FOREVER

Some business to tend to. I WILL be back. Don't know when. Thanks for your patience.

ADDENDUM: October 25, 2016: Work has overwhelmed. In my absence from January 1, 2015, the number of hits has gone from 200,000 to 520,000+, so someone is reading this thing. Thank you.

I will be back. Don't know when. If you want to chat, send me an email at rkentesqva@yahoo.com. Thanks.

ADDENDUM: January 1, 2017.

WATCH THIS SPACE.

My Personal 2016 Facebook Post of the Year

October 28, 2016, the day the FBI reopened its investigation.


"And even far away.... the Power was shaken, and the Tower trembled from its foundations to its proud and bitter crown. The Dark Lady was suddenly aware of him, and her Eyes piercing all shadows looked across the plain to the door that she had made, and the magnitude of her own folly was revealed to her in a blinding flash, and all the devices of her enemies were at last laid bare. Then her wrath blazed in consuming flame, but her fear rose like a black smoke to choke her. For she knew her deadly peril and the thread upon which her doom now hung.

"From all her policies and webs of fear and treachery, from all her stratagems and wars her minds shook free, and throughout her realm a tremor ran, her slaves quailed, and her armies halted, and her captains suddenly steerless, bereft of will, wavered and despaired. For they were now forgotten. The whole mind and purpose of the Power that wielded them was now bent with overwhelming force upon Anthony Wiener."


(with apologies to the Professor)

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Rules of Bureaucratic Warfare (Repost)

...learned at great personal expense and compiled only after I ticked off my Honcho for the last time.

------



The following is a repost of one of my earliest entries on this blog, from February 2009 (and recently revised). It should be carefully reviewed by anybody who wants to make a career in the Federal or State bureaucracy. BE FORWARNED.

YE RULES OF YE WARFARE OF YE BUREAUCRACY


"Thus Always to POLADs"
I’ve decided to return to the emperor’s court
once more I shall see if it’s possible to live there
I could stay here in this remote province
under the full sweet leaves of sycamores
under the rule of sickly nepots....


- Zbigniew Herbert, The Return of the Proconsul

I live in the Managerial Age, in a world of "Admin." The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern.... – C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (Introduction)

The Rules of Bureaucratic Warfare

00. Always check thy six.* This is rule zero as it cometh before any and all other rules. [Six: n. Your immediate rear; "six o'clock", the part of one's aircraft most likely to acquire an enemy fighter.]

01. There are but two types of individual in thy organization: Honchoes and Weenies.

01a. There are but two types of Honchoes: Thy Honcho, and everyone else’s Honcho. If thou art a Honcho yet work for another Honcho, thou art a Weenie to that Honcho. (Thou forgettest that at thy peril.)

01b. There are but two kinds of Weenies: larval-Weenies and permanent Weenies; larval Weenies may one day grow into Honchoes. It is always to be hoped that thou art the first sort. If thou art the second sort, a permanent Weenie, this compilation shall make no sense. Get back to work.

02. Rememberest thou the Principle of the Most Holy Peter and forget it never.

03. Thou hast two bosses, Thy Honcho and The High Honcho whom Thy Honcho doth serve; when there is a conflict between them, servest thou Thy Honcho over The High Honcho.

04. Forgettest thou never that Thy Honcho can fire thee at any time, and that thou must always serveth him first before all, yea, even before the High Honcho. Rememberest thou that The High Honcho can fire thee immediately and more permanently, but has many other targets and his attention is divided amongst them; thou therfore hath a much reduced chance of receiving a smiting by his lightning bolts from on high than from Thy Honcho.

05. Nobody can be the servant of two masters; he will either love the one or hate the second, or love the second and hate the first. Noone can be the servant of both Thy Honcho and The High Honcho. (The fact that thou must do so anyway is thy problem.)

06. Remember that thou art what thou art only because thou makest Thy Honcho happy and makest Thy Honcho look good; forget this not, lest thou committeth a CLM (Career Limiting Maneuver) and be consigned to the staircase at Meduseld (see illustration above).

07. If Thy Honcho is male and Thou art female, be nice and pleasant, but never too familiar and never, never dress in a manner too physically revealing (female receptionists/low rank secretaries can ignore this rule, but only before their 30th birthdays).

08. If Thou art male and thy Weenie is female, never shalt thou dippest thy pen in her inkwell. Forgettest this rule at thy eternal peril, for lo! this rule doth apply triply regarding receptionists/low secretaries; rememberest also that even if thou thinketh that the relationship is consensual now, twenty years from now it won't be if she retroactively changes her mind. (Corollary: keepest thou thy lust always, always to thyself; bureaucrats by definition hath no need to screw any but the public.) (Lookest thou to the sad case of High Honcho Weinstein and forget it never.)

09. Discretion is the better part of not getting caught. (See Rule 30 below.)

10. Choose Thy Honcho even more carefully than he chooses thee, for his sins are thine or very quickly shall become thine unless thou shalt quit in a few weeks. Yea, even those sins that occurred before thou beganst to work with him shall be thine, now and forever, amen.

11. Always check thy six. This rule is not repeated by accident.

12. Always check Thy Honcho's six.

13. When checking Thy Honcho's six, double check thy own, in case thou hast annoyed Thy Honcho recently.

14. Always check thy Weenies' sixes lest they not check thine.

15. After checking thy Weenies' sixes, recheck thine own in case they haven't.

16. Thou shalt act as a shit-screen for thine Weenies, lest they fail to check thy six.

17. Honorest thou Thy Honcho in public. Never forgettest thou that, Peter Principle aside, he may not yet have reached his level of incompetence; even his decisions which appear nonsensical may have context of which thou art unaware.

18. It is thy job to determine what that context doth be before he does.

19. Diss Thy Honcho to anyone other than thy spouse at thy eternal peril; and disseth Thy Honcho not even to thy spouse if thy marriage is rocky.

20. Fearest thou not to keep thy wagon hitched to Thy Honcho's, unless and until it is clear that he has met St. Peter and has risen to his level of incompetence. When that doth happen, thou must then find a new Honcho. Discreetly.

21. Be diplomatically frank with Thy Honcho in private, and never in front of a co-Weenie and never-never in front of thine own Weenies. Failure to do this is a major CLM.

22. Always check thy six. (Like I said.)

23. Forgettest thou not that, the longer the title, the lower the weenie doth be on the totem pole.

24. Disseth thou not the individual with the long title, lest thou find thyself under him at a later time with a higher position and a shorter title.

25. Today's junior SOB is tomorrow's Honcho. Diss the junior therefore at thine own peril.

26. Never forgetteth that thy Weenies, thy compatriots, and Thy Honcho are all as ambitious as thou art, and that fact can be made to serve thee.

27. When something goeth wrong and Thy Honcho doth inquire about it, tell everything. Thou art likely screwed regardless, but Thy Honcho may yet be able to pull thy chestnuts out of the fire if he/she is fully informed about it. (Corollary: If he knows about problem x before he is asked about it by the High Honcho, he may forgive problem x, particularly if problem x is fixed forthwith.)

28. When something goeth wrong and thine Weenies inquire about it, tell them no more than they need to fix it.

29. Thou shalt not keep Thy Honcho in the dark about anything with the exception of thy personal life and thy lust for Thy Honcho (if applicable); these latter, yea, must remain eternal mysteries, amen.

30. Know the art of keeping thine mouth shut.

31. If thy Honcho engageth in wrongdoing, one must evaluate: is he acting in a grossly illegal manner or is he merely being a dick? If the former, discreetly find thyself another Honcho immediately. If the latter, thy answer shall be to be like unto the immortal Sergeant Schultz and zee nothink. NOTHINK! NB: Thou may be checkmated into the necessity to blow the whistle on Thy Honcho. Do so at thy eternal peril and be ready to return to thy hometown to spend more time with thy family.

32. If thou must engageth in wrongdoing, rememberest thou the Eleventh Commandment and keep it wholly. Trust not one of thy Weenies to cover your back.

33. Rememberest thou that when Thy Honcho is replaced as replaced he must be, thy chance of thy career coming to an untimely end after a CLM goes up dramatically. Thy new Honcho will always weigh thine usefulness against the degree to which thou shalst annoy him; if the latter unduly outweighs the former, he will replace thee with one of his former Weenies from a former job who will not do thine job as well as thou--but who will at the very least well know how not to annoy him.

34. Learneth thy Honcho's pet peeves ASAP and avoid them like thou shalt the plague.

35. Richard Friedel's Law: When outside bureaucratic forces come to 'investigate' a CLM by thine Honcho or thyself, (a) Admit nothing. (b) Deny everything. (c) Make counteraccusations. (d) Take hostages only when necessary. (e) Do not fear to take hostages if necessary. (f) Never, never call the Inspector General.

36. The rule immediately previous applieth not if the investigators art from law enforcement or the I.G. If this is the case, STFU and contactest thou thine lawyer forthwith.

37. When the choice is between thy going to jail and Thy Honcho or Weenie going deservedly to jail, thou shall choose the Honcho or Weenie to fulfill that role. Loyalty doth hath its limitations.

38. Remember this even if the price of Thy Honcho going to jail is thy being consigned to the stairs; it is forsooth better to stumble down the stairs and to then need to find a real job than to wind up in the federal tennis prison at Danbury. Thou can later tell harrowing stories of bureaucratic warfare to thy grandchildren.

39. Security enforcement nazis are to be respected and feared but not overly so; they are like unto wasps who can be swatted if thou shalt move carefully enough.

40. Forgettest thou not that thy tongue is thy gravest enemy, particularly when Rules 33-36 are applicable.

41. Remembereth that even thy most junior Weenie have one nuclear bomb at their disposal, to wit, thy Weenie's ethnic resentment doth trumpeth thy Honcho's displeasure.

42. An incompetent Weenie who doth cry racial discrimination hath enormous power to screweth thine resume (and trigger Rules 33-37) and get thee consigned to the stairs. The fact that such cries are baseless or have been repeated by the same Weenie in previous positions will not save thee.

43. Kicketh thou not a former or lateral Honcho on the way down, no matter how much of an SOB he doth be, lest he later return the favor; Honchos have an unfortunate habit of bouncing back.

44. When given the choice between offending thy God and offending the bureaucracy, offend God; unlike the bureaucracy, He may forgive thee.

45. Model thyself on the Vogons, forgetting not that they were amateurs compared to what thou must become.

46. Rememberest thou the Klingon rule: if thou wouldst not have a thing heard, say it not. As regard thy tongue there are no do-overs.

47. Thy Honcho is responsible for and always gets all credit for thy work.

48. Thou art personally responsible for all thy honcho's failures; if thou does not wish to be, find someone junior to thee to be the scapegoat.

49. If thou loveth not making thy junior Weenie responsible for thy and thy Honcho's failures, worketh not in a bureaucracy.

50. Did I mention to always, always, ALWAYS check thy six?




Richard L. Kent, Esq. is former Deputy Political Advisor (POLAD) to the Commanding General of Multinational Division North, Stabilization Force, Bosnia, (See Rule 22) until he did piss off his Honcho and was thereupon consigned to the stairs. He is now a solo attorney, and hath nobody as either a Honcho or Weenie, for which he doth thanketh his Creator, and spendeth more time with his family.


 

Friday, November 11, 2016

Jonathan Pie Tells Why Trump Won.


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Morning After The Night Before


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election Day 2016

"The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our tsars but in ourselves."

Sunday, October 30, 2016

In Re: Emails


Thursday, March 24, 2016

KARADZIC GUILTY OF GENOCIDE 40 YEARS SENTENCE!

Just stopping in for a moment to gloat if my old site pest still reads this stuff.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35893804?SThisFB

There IS a God and He is just.

Charges

Genocide

  • Count 1 - genocide (in municipalities of Bratunac, Foca, Klyuc, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Vlasenica and Zvornik) - not guilty
  • Count 2 - genocide (in Srebrenica) - guilty

Crimes against humanity

  • Count 3 - persecutions - guilty
  • Count 4 - extermination - guilty
  • Count 5 - murder - guilty
  • Count 7 - deportation - guilty
  • Count 8 - inhumane acts (forcible transfer) - guilty

Violations of the laws or customs of war

  • Count 6 - murder - guilty
  • Count 9 - terror (in Sarajevo) - guilty
  • Count 10 - unlawful attacks on civilians (in Sarajevo) - guilty
  • Count 11 - taking hostage of UN observers and peacekeepers - guilty

    http://www.icty.org/x/cases/karadzic/ind/en/markedup_indictment_091019.pdf

Saturday, September 26, 2015

And on the Seventh Day, He Selfied.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

WE CONDEMN!

.....THE RACIST SHOOTINGS IN CHARLESTON.

This is unspeakable evil. The perp must be found and if taken alive he needs to see state justice (after due process of course).

I am not a supporter of the death penalty except in the rarest of circumstances.

This is one of those rarest of circumstances.

Prayers arising for the families, for Charleston, and for America.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

ON THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF WINSTON CHURCHILL


In honor of Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill--the primary reason this blog is not being written in German. (That, and the fact that my German is terrible.)


Friday, January 9, 2015

More thoughts about Charlie Hebdo


The beginning of my political awakening was when I discovered MAD Magazine when I was 10.

I loved satire. I loved the artists who created it: Norman Mingo, who created Alfred E.; Dave Berg ("The Lighter Side"), Sergio Argones (the little cartoons in the margins) and Antonio Prohias ("Spy vs. Spy"), and above all the immortal Don Martin and his awesome drawn sound effects (KERSPLORTCH!). The fold-ins and William M. Gaines, Editor.

Imagine if all these great cartoonists were brought together at their offices on MADison Avenue ...

... and some asshole with a machinegun killed them all, and MAD Magazine with them.

The more I think about it the angrier I get.

God bless them.  Their names:

• Charb – (real name Stephane Charbonnier) 47, an artist and publisher of Charlie Hebdo

• Cabu – (real name Jean Cabut) 76, the lead cartoonist for Charlie Hebdo

• Georges Wolinski – 80, an artist who had been drawing cartoons since the 1960s

• Tignous – (real name Bernard Verlhac) 57, a member of Cartoonists for Peace

• Bernard Maris – (known as “Uncle Bernard”) 68, an economist and columnist for the magazine

• Honoré – (real name Philippe Honoré) 73, the artist who drew the last cartoon tweeted by the weekly publication 

• Michel Renaud – a former journalist who was visiting the Charlie Hebdo offices

• Mustapha Ourrad – a copy-editor for Charlie Hebdo

• Elsa Cayat – a columnist and analyst for Charlie Hebdo

• Frederic Boisseau – a building maintenance worker

• Franck Brinsolaro – 49, a policeman appointed to head security for Charb

• Ahmed Merabet – 42, a police officer and member of the 11th arrondissement brigade [and a Muslim]

Regardless of their political views, they were martyrs for FREEDOM. Remember them.

Remember this. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Today We Stand With Charlie Hebdo





Horrible news from France--a satirical leftist magazine was struck by two terrorists today, who appear to have killed at least 11 people (including several police) before fleeing.

While I wouldn't normally be a fan of Charlie Hebdo, which according to the Great God Wiki is a leftist rag, today everyone who loves the freedom to speak must stand united with them.  This attack in Paris was an attack on every free man and woman wielding a pen (or keyboard). It was meant to terrify us all into silence--in particular, silence about Islam, and silence in the face of Islamist fundamentalism.

In short, the islamist-fascists want us to cooperate with them, if only passively.

No.

As I have said before, freedom still exists where you can stand up and say "Fuck you!"  ..... and live.

Today we stand together with Charlie Hebdo.

We will not be silenced.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015!!!!

It's the new year. With some Fridge Pics for your edification and enjoyment.

Happy New Year, everyone, may it be peaceful, prosperous, and funeral-free for its full extent.



























Monday, December 8, 2014

AFK again

Crowded schedule. Back soon. RLK.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Repost: Tattered Remnant #2:
Elizabeth Everest,
A Woman of No Importance



Few remembered to history live a more obscure life than Elizabeth Everest. She was born in around 1832; she died in 1895. She never married, never had any children of her own; she wrote nothing, invented nothing, created nothing. She boasted no scientific achievement or artistic gift. Although a woman of deep faith, she was not a nun or any other kind of the formally Religious: she was, in fact, vehemently Low Church Anglican. She was truly not the least bit extraordinary, except in this:

She had a great deal of love in her.

She was born in Chatham, in the county of Kent; we know nothing of her early life. She was, by profession, a care-giver. She spent her thirties raising a girl named Ella Phillips, in a tiny town called Barrow-in-Furness, Cumberland. Having raised the girl to her teens, the girl’s father, an Anglican cleric, sadly released her from his service; but she took with her his references, which served her well to get a new position.

In 1875, one of England’s most noble families had need for a governess. The younger son of the Duke of Marlborough, a well known rake, had married a wealthy teenaged American, a young woman of great beauty but highly questionable morals. She had given birth "prematurely", seven months after the wedding, and, having done so, wanted nothing to do with being a mother.

The young lady – only a "mother" by convention and only a lady given her title by marriage – hired a wetnurse, who fed the child; when he was a month old, she hired Elizabeth Everest to care for him.

Having dropped the child with her, the child’s mother and her husband devoted themselves to a life of pleasure: balls and parties and soirees and all the entertainments that went with their set at the time. They consigned their child, a sickly redhead with a tendency to throw temper tantrums, to the nanny's care as they lived the 19th Century equivalent of ‘la vita loca’. As the years passed, the father became publicly prominent, a well known member of Parliament; she whom he called his wife spent her time throwing parties and seducing other men.

As the boy grew, the father abused the boy intellectually and verbally on those rare occasions he actually paid attention to the child. His mother gave herself to an endless series of high-ranking lovers and hardly noticed that the child even existed.

The parents called the nanny “Mrs. Everest” – an honorific offered all nannies, as she had never married. The boy addressed her as "Woom", from a baby-speech attempt to say the word “Woman".

“Woom” changed his diapers, offered him her arms for comfort, wiped his tears. She gave him all the love and parenting that his own parents should have given, but did not. She was his love, his caretaker, and shaped him in the ways of life in ways that his foolish, frivolous mother and cruelly insane father could not hope to do so. She was his confidante and he loved her dearly, in ways he never could his own mother and father, who viewed him with annoyance, cold indifference – or worse.

When the boy was seven, he was exiled to a series of boarding schools where he was abused and beaten; when he came home for holiday, he often found his parents gone – without warning – and spent his Chrismasses alone with his nanny and the other servants of the house.

The father was often in London, where he was prominent in Parliament; the mother was, in essence, wherever she wanted to be, which was generally the beds of rich, powerful and handsome men other than her husband, whom she came to actively loathe, as he – now ill with tertiary syphilis – treated her with the same callousness he did the boy.

Through all this, “Woom” was the boy’s light and his comfort, and she shaped him in ways his parents were incapable of doing. As the boy grew older, he had to cope with the bitter reality that his mad and cruel father would never love him, and that his mother – for all the nobility of her surroundings, an incontinent libertine with scores, or even hundreds, of lovers – could never be a mother for him.

The father's infection finally ended his life; he died in January 1895, when the boy was twenty. In June of that year Mrs. Everest fell ill with peritonitis. The youth--now a young man--rushed from his military training camp and was with her in her sister’s home in North London, where she passed away on July 3, 1895.

She was buried in Forest Park, London, and the young man erected a headstone over her grave. It stands to this day: “ERECTED TO THE MEMORY OF ELIZABETH ANN EVEREST, WHO DIED THE 3RD OF JULY 1895, AGE 62 YEARS.”

At the base of the stone is the simple addendum, visible if you scrape away the grass.

“...BY WINSTON SPENCER CHURCHILL”.

PS Yesterday was Winston's 140th birthday... remember her too.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Extracts from the Little-Read Book: Chapter 035



Wit, wisdom, pseudonietzscheanistic aphorisms, and bad jokes.

* If you were to rewrite My Fair Lady so that Professor Higgins was (say) Condoleeza Rice and Eliza Doolittle was (say) named Rufus Willis.... but of course they'd never let you.

* Quote of the Day: "I made two mistakes in my time as President, and one of them is sitting on the Supreme Court." --President Dwight Eisenhower describing his misgivings about nominating Earl Warren, presumed to be a staunch conservative, to the Supreme Court, where Warren quickly showed he was very much aligned with the liberals Earl Warren was the man who sent the Japanese to American concentration camps.... and spent the rest of his life repenting it. At other people's expense. (Sometimes, as in Brown v. Board of Education, he actually got it right, though.)

* Every dollar not taxed is a personal abomination to a leftist.

* I keep getting flack from evolutionists because I’m a "creationist." (Yes, I’m looking at you, Charles Johnson of LGF.) Others flack me because I’m not a YOUNG EARTH creationist. Bah. I’m not interested in impressing the faithless. Me, I rely on the church that Christ personally founded. For all its faults, well, Catholicism is the worst church in the world except for all the alternatives.

* I keep hearing "Amnesty is unfair to people waiting in line!" So what? People get all upset about "illegal aliens voting." Yet they're eager to give a "vote" TO PEOPLE WHO HAVEN'T EVEN COME HERE YET. If we decide to give a break to people already here as a matter of public good and public security, those waiting patiently in line get absolutely no say whatsoever. Hiding behind 'people waiting in line' is lower than sphagnum moss.

* I hear sneers at the word "amnesty" for illegals. Well the illegals are here because we murdered 55 million people, half of whom would be working adults now. The parents of the aborted *got* their amnesty!

* From Wikipedia: "During this spring frenzy, hares can be seen "boxing"; one hare striking another with its paws (probably the origin of the term "mad as a March hare"). For a long time, this had been thought to be intermale competition, but closer observation has revealed it is usually a female hitting a male to prevent copulation." Yeah, I know what that’s like.

* I'm a very bad Catholic–but I am not worried about the eternal effect of my missing Mass. Christ knows--literally--He has so much to pick from if He's looking for a reason to send me to the down escalator.

* I do poor people law. It sucks, but someone has to do it.

* I despise the concept of the "private prison." Imprisonment is a function that MUST NOT be commercialized. There were two judges in Philly who owned 50% in the very private prison they were sending juveniles to. They each got 20+ years (one 28 years). Oh, they were white, and 100% of the kids they sent were not.

* The bedrock of the anti abortion movement is the fundamental belief that men are responsible for their flies. I am not talking about Victorian notions. I'm talking about objective morality binding on all humans since the beginning of time. If you don't want to pay for a child, don't screw Mom. Men don't have to f---. If you do, it's called "assumption of the risk." If you don't want to face this choice, to paraphrase Monopoly: do not pass COME, do not expend $200,000.

* Lefties love conservatives who turn coat. Yeh, the Ron Reagan syndrome.

* GMO producers should be punished as terrorists, Russian MPs say (rt.com)  He meant Kulaks of course. In the Russian tradition of how they treat productive corn growers.

* It sez here: I got Centaur! Which Mythical Creature Are You?  (www.buzzfeed.)  Humphrey Boggart.

Monday, November 24, 2014

REPOST Teledeception And The News
(Or: "This... is PNN")



"This is the Palantir News Network."
(Ran this first on September 17, 2012.)

Did you know that Lord of the Rings talked about television news?

Well, not directly. But J.R.R. Tolkien wrote about it quite prophetically. This is most astonishing in that TV news hadn't really been invented yet. (The first experimental TV broadcasts began in 1936 at the Berlin Olympics, but all TV broadcasts were terminated from the start of WW2 to 1945 – after LOTR was completed.)

But yes, Lord of the Rings talked about it a great deal.

In the LOTR universe, the Elves had once created seven great powerful items – the Seeing Stones, or Palantiri: "Far-Seers" (tele-vision). They were connected to one another, so that an individual who looked into one could see individuals looking into others.

By the time of the events of LOTR, only four of the original seven Seeing Stones were still in existence: one was held by Sauron, the great villain; one was held by the evil wizard Saruman; one was held by Denethor, the Ruling Steward of Gondor. A fourth one, off stage, was kept hidden by the Elves, unused.





"Now This."

What is fascinating about this was that every individual who used a Seeing Stone is deceived by it.

Saruman reveals early on that he sees a great, huge army in place by the hand of Sauron, so great and huge that it cannot possibly be overcome by force. He falls into despair and is tempted by Sauron to betray the West and to become his own, Sauron's, servant. He is deceived by what he sees as the overwhelming strength of the Enemy.

Denethor, the lord of Gondor, sees the same forces, a huge army that he knows cannot be defeated through military force. He, too, falls into despair; not into treason, but into suicidal depression and madness, ordering the death of his own son and heir by fire, and suddenly and eventually his own spectacular death in the flames.

He too is deceived by what he sees as the overwhelming strength of the Enemy.

The Hobbit Peregrin Took took hold of a captured Seeing Stone and stared into it, wanting to gain knowledge and power in his own small way. He mind was captured and examined by Sauron, and he was subjected to a great and horrible terror by staring into it. He was deceived by his wish to know too much.

And Sauron himself, the great and powerful wizard, all wise – he himself was deceived by it!

Sauron saw Peregrin's mind in the Stone and thought that Saruman was torturing Pippin by forcing him to stare into it. He knew that some Hobbit, somewhere, had his Great Ring; he thought that Peregrin had it: and revealed to Pippin, unwittingly, his plans to destroy Gondor through force majeure.  He was deceived by seeing in Pippin what he wanted to see, that is, Frodo, who truly had the Ring.

Finally, Aragorn declared himself King of Gondor by taking up the reforged sword Anduril and staring down Sauron through the Seeing Stone of Denethor. By this means he again deceived Sauron into making Sauron, think that he, Aragorn, was now bearing his Great Ring. Again, Sauron was deceived, and kept his eye on Aragorn, never watching his back door where the valiant Frodo and Sam crawled, ring in hand, to destroy it.

But Aragorn, too is deceived, or shown a lie by Sauron: he sees his great love, the elf Arwen, dead in her room (she lives).

Now why do the Palantiri deceive? Two reasons: for most viewers, the one who controls what is seen (i.e., Sauron) forces the viewer to see what he wants. Saruman and Denethor see overwhelming military force; Pippin sees torment and torture; Aragorn sees his love deceased. Their limited view, narrow focus and their preemption by the will of Sauron show the viewer what Sauron wants rather than the truth.

But it also deceives Sauron himself! -- by showing him what he wants to see: he wants to see the Ring Bearer, a hobbit; he sees a hobbit and sees the Ring Bearer. Even the Program Chief of this tiny TV network is deceived by his own vision device. (This is likely also one of the drawbacks of being an Evil Overlord; one tends not to trust one's trusted lieutenants and not hears contradictory advice. As Paul Simon put it, "The man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest... doo doo doo....")

So a Palantir is a dangerous tool indeed.

When the war is over, there are only two stones left; Sauron's is destroyed and the fourth one is removed from Middle Earth by ship. Both of those remaining stones are in the hands of the King of Gondor, and since they are colocated, they really do no good, and they are not noted as having any further effect on history.  It is likely they were never used again.

Why? Aragorn knew:

Every single instance of the use of the Seeing Stone deceived the viewer, in almost every instance, to their self-destruction.

Now, these are not exactly original insights; they are well known to fans of the LOTR world.... so well known that they are given in the Wikipedia blog entry for Palantir, which I did not consult prior to writing the above.... although I will confess that I may well have read it some time previously.  Nevertheless the points are valid. And the resemblance to the real world remain valid.

How does that relate to television news today?

Each of us now has a Seeing Stone in our living rooms: a TV set that can bring views of the world directly to our faces, our families, our children. Through it we can see scenes half a planet away, in close detail, repeated endlessly until it is drilled into our heads. Sometimes visions on that screen–the coffin of a martyred President, an aircraft demolishing a skyscraper–can haunt our dreams for a lifetime.

Can it be trusted as a source of the news, of what is most truly going on in the world?

My answer is a most decided no.

The problem with TV news is that it is supremely the product of the large organization that is necessary to bring it to your doorstep.

Every TV news company – NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, MSNBC, CNN – is an organization made up of thousands of individuals, from the bubble headed beach blonde who comes on at five down to the janitor lady pushing the broom when the lights are out. That organization is necessary because bringing the news from out there to here – a sight to a camera, a camera to a signal, a signal to a satellite, a satellite to the home office, where it is edited, transformed, shortened, edited again, put in context.... and turned into a two or three or four minute mini story with moving pictures, described to you by the aforementioned bleach blonde.... requires an organization.

And organizations are made up of people who need to eat.

TV news, therefore, is extremely dangerous. It must, must, be assumed by the wise viewer that almost every news story brought to you on TV is, to some extent or another, an organized lie.

Oh, not necessarily by intent. But the story requires hundreds of hands to make it happen. Those hundreds of hands have hundreds of mouths attached to them, not to mention those mouths' family member's mouths. It therefore requires vast amounts of money. To obtain that money, they must sell advertising. To sell advertising, they must get people to watch. To get them to watch, they must tell people what they want to hear! For if they don't people don't watch; if they don't watch, no money from advertisers. That simple.

Ergo and therefore, the news that is brought to your doorstep is brought to you in such a way that THEY (those who control the news) ... WHAT THEY THINK YOU WANT TO KNOW.

They don't bring stories that are 'too complicated for TV coverage' (like the budget deficit, the national debt, the massive sequestration of funds that will happen in January 2013, or any real details of the Obamacare package). They take complicated questions (should the USA fight in Iraq?) and turn them into simplistic 'grim milestones' like "Today the 8000th soldier died in Iraq."

They don't bring stories that will outrage their advertisers, or more importantly will outrage those who the advertisers are afraid of. For example, all stories about (say) "gay marriage" will support it (in order to avoid gay fascists from trying to force their advertisers to drop them).

They will not bring stories that go against what they themselves view as "obvious and true" such as (a) the Democrats being absolutely in favor of the little people or (b) the Republicans being the tools of nazis, white supremacists, or racists.

In order to find the truth of what you see on TV, you must supply an extremely careful and discerning eye. You must know the cant used by TV news broadcasters, must understand their ideological starting points, must look for the 'dog whistle' phraseology they use to transmit the real news, and look for the buried lede–the actual meaning of the story–which is forever given in the last 20% of the story.

In other words, you need to be in essence carefully trained to watch the TV news, otherwise you will be deceived.

If great and powerful wizards can be deceived by tiny screens, how much more vulnerable are the rest of us?

ADDENDUM I:
Robert A. Heinlein. Smart man.

I will admit to having a great hostility for the TV news.

I'm' an inveterate reader--and a trained intelligence analyst from my days in the Army.  Reading (and writing about what I read) is what I *do.*

There is something deeply dangerous out of watching the news on TV as opposed to reading it.

An analyst can read a news story and fairly easily identify the deception and slant found in that story. You can look at the source (NY Times, WashPost, The Guardian, Wall Street Journal, LA Times, etc.) and know immediately what kind of a slant you're going to get. If you read this stuff for a living, you can recognize who is trustworthy and who is not. You can read through a story and find the 'buried lede' fairly quickly, and you can extract poisonous deception (if you're trained to spot it) much as you can remove a bad mushroom or berry from a salad.

You can't do that with TV news. It goes directly through your forebrain into your emotional center with the pictoral impact; you watch the picture of the burning tank, the crashed plane, the yammering politico, or the bleach blonde, while the voice-over gives you the message approved by the corporate leadership of the news network. It is impossible to analyze, impossible (without great resources) to separate the wheat from the chaff--because it's neither wheat nor chaff, it's homogenized liquid with a significant, indeed deadly, poison thoroughly mixed within. You can't filter poison out of a poisoned drink!

I've been very fortunate: I live in a TV broadcast bowl; we can not receive broadcast TV in the precise spot where I live, and we do not have access to cable TV by choice. (I have three adolescent males in the house and if you think I'm going to have MTV vomit into my living room, think again!)  Thus, I'm pretty much restricted to print news via the internet.

I much prefer it that way. It's easier to extract poisonberries from a salad than poison from a poisonberry drink. And I am able to live my life in blissful ignorance of the meaning of certain cultural phenomena (oh, like "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," which I hadn't heard before Thursday).


There is a key scene in Orwell's 1984, where Winston Smith and his love Julia meet with O'Brien, the Inner Party member who they think will help them subvert the Party.

At the start of their meeting, Winston looks up and stares into the face of Big Brother on an oversized telescreen. O'Brien turns a switch, and the face disappears as the screen is disabled.

"You can turn it off!" says Winston in astonishment.

"Yes," O'Brien says. "We have that privilege."


Turn it off. You have that privilege.

ADDENDUM II:

A friend of mine sends the following:  

Excellent essay. I only have broadcast TV and Internet entertainment services, not cable. I don't watch TV news, and don't miss it. This post recalls Madeleine Albright's statement to Newsweek a few years ago about how she missed the 1960's-1970's situation of all the nation having the same three evening news broadcasts (ABC, CBS, NBC). She said that gave us a common narrative, that we all started discussion with the same facts, etc. I thought: anathema sit! Good riddance to that! Let me consult multiple sources and think carefully and form my own judgment. I don't need networks, all of whom are controlled by secular postmodernist-autonomists, setting the terms of discussion. In fact, that situation is actively harmful.


The same was true of metropolitan newspapers, which IMO abused their power as the major print gatherer of local news and have eminently deserved their decline. For decades in my hometown, the liberal daily paper set the terms of political discussion in the county. The paper is still influential, but it IMO doesn't have the absolute control it used to. I say: good riddance! Bring me the news, but don't try to make us all Democrats.
Palantir, indeed. I do just fine without TV news.

ADDENDUM III:

As I was saying: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2012/09/19/Rasmussen-internet-over-TV



Saturday, November 22, 2014

♪♪Ya Say Ya Want A Revoluuuushuuuunnnn.....♪♪

















A very good and otherwise very sensible friend of mine, pissed off over ObAmnesty, just invoked the Declaration of Independence as justification for overthrowing Obama.

Sigh. Really, my dear friends.

We need some history here.

Let’s look at the list of George III's abuses that they cited in 1776 and see how many of them Obama has committed, shall we?....

Y?
He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
Yes, but so what? Unlike George III, we GAVE him veto powers by electing him President, like or not.
Y?
He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
Some laws–particularly Arizona’s anti-immigration acts–actually meet this standard. (Whether it is good or bad it has been suspended is another question.)
N
He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
Nope.
N
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
Nope. DC is a place usual, comfortable, and near the depository of its public records. Our representatives are fatigued, yes, however, but not his doing.
N
He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
Not yet.
N
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
Nope.
N
He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.
Quite the opposite. Congress has done precisely this. On the other hand, per the Constitution, that’s Congress’s job.
N
He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.
Nope. Nominating useless leftist loser judges is NOT the same as obstruction as Georgie 3 liked to do.
N
He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
Nope. US Constitution prevents this.
Y
He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
Okay, got him on that one.
N
He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.
Nope. He’s actively tried to REDUCE the military and standing armies, and so far Congress has gone along with the gag.
N
He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.
Nope. Quite the opposite.
Y?
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:
Well, this is arguably yes, if you believe that citing the United Nations’s various “Conventions” in court documents and so on counts.
N
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
Nope. They stay on base or in their own homes.
N
For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:
Nope. Although some might argue Ferguson applies. (I don’t so argue!)
N
For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:
Hardly. Foreign trade is as lucrative as ever.
Y?
For imposing taxes on us without our consent:
Arguably yes, particularly through the ACA.
N
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:
Nope, except for those schmoes at Gitmo, and they aren’t Americans so they don’t count....
N
For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:
Ditto above.
N
For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:
Um, get back to me on this one if/when Obama conquers Canada.
N
For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:
Giving 4 million poor Mexicans work cards may–MAY–qualify.
N
For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
Nope. Believe me if he could suspend the next Congress, he would.
N
He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.
Um, no.
N
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
Nope.
N
He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of the head of a civilized nation.
Nobody believes this but overheated Michigan Militia types.
N
He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.
Nope.
N
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
The closest we could come if his peeps are behind the agitation at Ferguson, which I don’t believe for a nanosecond.


28 charges of which Obama has arguably committed two or VERY arguably committed four more.

In other words, get a grip peeps. Obama’s acts do not reach the point of calling for revolution!

Two more years.

We can wait two more years.

(((shaking head)))

Fridge Pics: Memes of the Week 11/16-11/22, 2014












 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Tattered Remnant in Jerusalem



Druze-born Israeli policeman Zidan Sayif died yesterday at an Israeli synagogue where terrorists murdered four rabbis at prayer.

His sacrifice preserved the lives of the survivors.

A true TR.

To quote the traditional benediction: May his memory be a blessing.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Extracts from the Little-Read Book: Chapter 034



Wit, wisdom, pseudonietzscheanistic aphorisms, and bad jokes.

* It sez here: Are Democrats getting too liberal? (washingtonpost.com) That question was answered last week with a resounding "yes." Leftists ALWAYS overreach. The only question ever is: how much damage will they do before power is struck from their hands?

*  The reason I fight Homeland Security is because after the next 9/11, Congress can, and probably will, turn IMMIGRATION COURT (a kangaroo system that can deport "them") into CITIZENSHIP COURT (a kangaroo court that can internally deport YOU, say, to Alaska).  My job is to hold their feet to the fire.

* Demilitarize the cops. "More Mayberry, less Fallujah."

* It sez here: Nancy Pelosi to Accept Award Honoring Black-Hating Eugenicist Margaret Sanger (tpnn.com) The Joseph Mengele Memorial Medical Center voices its approval.

* Welcome to the German language: Mit hugeunreadablesesquipedelianwordscrammedtogetherunreadably with the verb at the end of a very long sentence finally coming.

* It sez here:An (Eastern, it figures) German city wants ‘green police’ to raid homes to enforce electric heater ban" (dailycaller.com) Not an idea lacking in German historical precedent.

* The leftist self-title "Coalition of the Ascendant" to be unbearably snobby and bears the seeds of its own destruction.... as the election just proved. "Coalition of the Ascendent"? Only in the sense of their noses.

* Basia Trzetrzelewska. Polish jazz singer from the 90s. Still has an awesome voice--but the old grey mare ain't what she used to be! (Google image a recent pic of her and, alas, you will understand.)

* Politics is showbusiness with live ammo. Statesmanship is politics with nukes.

* The first piece of genetically modified anything I ever saw was firefly genes added to a tobacco plant--resulting in (no shit) a glow-in-the-dark living tobacco plant. Cool, yet scary. I gots no trouble with DNA research given proper controls. What I fear in this department is the 'decentralization' of genetic research--when it becomes possible for the GE equivalent of script-kiddie hackers start mucking around with microbes' DNA in their garages. Remember, all we need to do is screw up ONE microbe and we're back in 1350. Yes, I have probably read "The Stand" once too many times.... yes, I *do* Fear the Reaper! Y. Pestis is not your friend!

* "....and He said 'Let the one of you who is without sin cast the first stone!'. And a rock came out of the mob and hit the woman square on the noggin. And Jesus said, 'Mother, I'm trying to make a point here....!'"

* Biden is no dummy.... for a dummy cannot speak. Alas.

* What came first, the chicken or the egg? Answer: The egg, laid by the last of the protochickens.

* Now, remember, bird, as soon as we get over the top of Mount Doom, you drop the ring into the lava. 'k? (Of course, nobody would have read THAT short story!)

* Which reminds me of the world’s shortest Star Trek episode, entitled "The Logical Thing To Do." Sarek: "you’re WHAT?" Amanda: "You heard me!" (Roll end credits.)

* It sez here:   Sandra Fluke: ‘‘I’d rather be a captive Nigerian girl than touched by a Republican’’ duhprogressive.com Shudder. At least now the people of California have spoken, and Ms. Fluke has taken her rightful place somewhere insignificant on the ashheap of history. Good riddance.

* Accepting the specious* equating of opposition to gay marriage with anti-gay violence opens the door to persecution of religious believers because they will not submit to a bogus law. (*"Specious": lawyerese for "bullshit.")

* No matter how bad Obama is–and he is unimaginably bad–the next Democrat President will be even worse. Even Hillary.

* If Republicans were stuffing the ballot boxes the Democrats would turn the country upside down to stop it.

* You call the GOP obstructionist? Of course we are. We must be obstructionist to treason, madness and evil. Not to mention theft, plunder, and self-aggrandizement.

* PS if the people didn't want the GOP to obstruct they wouldn't have elected them.

* In the end, Obama but one of several items on the floor of the Augean Stables. Time to commence the river-diversion project.

* No, not buying that Jesus is coming here any time soon. If the Universe is 13.7 billion years old, then the Second Coming in the year 20,000 AD is still "soon" by the Cosmic scale. I’m not looking for Jesus to come here any time soon. (Much more likely I will go see HIM. But, alas, likely for no more than a few minutes.)

More Thursday.