The Ignorance-Factory

“an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge”
 
See Here Is Donald Trump’s Full Speech From The Inauguration
From Trump’s inauguration speech one can peek into the abyss of his ignorance:

  • On education being flush with cash… Trump might be forgiven his ignorance thinking that a system where USA spends well above average on K-12 education was flush with cash but look where that money is spent: Expenditure per pupil actually declined in public schools since 2008. Only 60% of that money was actually spent on instruction. USA public schools account for 70% of K-12 education. 30% is private. The average OECD country has 84% public education. Perhaps private education is the problem and not the solution. Trump and DeVos seem to want everyone to attend private schools. Yes. That’s the solution. Wring more profit for rich friends running for-profit school systems. [SARCASM] Indiana, where Pence reigned, spent much less on public education. Only 35% of Indiana’s Grade 8 students were proficient in reading… Sadly, that’s average for USA where GOP governors reign.
  • On military spending – While Trump is right to point to wasteful military spending as a burden on taxpayers, he wants to increase spending on the military… Yes. If your head hurts because you’re pounding your head on a wall, keep doing it…
  • On “America First” – Yes, rich people controlling trade, taxes and foreign affairs is bound to benefit poor people. Yes, we know folks who grow rich ripping off poor people are the solution. [More Sarcasm] Trump promises to cut taxes for rich people saying they will hire more poor people, but what if they just use it to build more factories in the rest of the world, eh? Trump must feel rich people and poor people can’t do maths.
  • On Radical Islamic TerrorismTM – He promised to wipe it from the face of the Earth while doing the America First thing, keeping out of foreign wars and making others pay their fair share for defence. Wait a minute! Wasn’t that what O’bama (joke) was doing and isn’t it working? Obama didn’t need one more aircraft carrier to have Daesh rolled back in Iraq and hammered in Syria. He got the locals to do the legwork and some allies to provide air-bases. Is Trump going to claim the credit? Further, won’t moving the embassy to Jerusalem merely stoke the fires of radical Islam? Daesh has an idea, not just an army of murdering bastards. Spending more on the military and pumping out propaganda won’t defeat an idea.
  • On God being on USA’s side – Yes, but God isn’t going to do the work. He/she demands rational policies, not slogans. God isn’t going to be pleased hammering gays or Muslims or minorities. Jesus, himself, said “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” and recounted the parable of the Good Samaritan. Trump is a sinner of the first order. Don’t let him lead you astray. Trump has no compassion for you or anyone else. Everything is about him.
  • On total allegiance to the United States of America – so much for humanity. If you’re not a USAian, you don’t count. What horrors will stem from this? You can bomb others because they’re not USAian. You can cheat them. You can dispossess them. You can take their territory. … Oh, didn’t he say he didn’t want regime change/foreign wars? How is that going to work? “America First” could well result in wars with countries that don’t agree with the slogan. Hitler had a “Germany First” viewpoint. Japan had a similar view. Then there’s North Korea… How did that work out? Let’s see, spending more money on the military that is already the biggest and best equipped in the world is necessary because… Trump intends to use it to go to war! That’s always good for full employment of poor people used as cannon-fodder.
  • On making America wealthy again – Isn’t USA already wealthy? Isn’t the real problem that 1%, Trump’s rich friends, have 38% of the wealth and only 10% of the debt? Isn’t cutting the 1%’s taxes going to further tip the scales? How will that work out?

So, Trumpism is a bottomless pit of ignorance with slopes lubricated by slogans. USA is rapidly going down the drain. Will anything be left before the next election? Not if Trump can help it.

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Can GROKLAW Return To Its Former Glory?

“he’s relaunching Lavabit with a new architecture that fixes the SSL problem and includes other privacy-enhancing features as well, such as one that obscures the metadata on emails to prevent government agencies like the NSA and FBI from being able to find out with whom Lavabit users communicate. He’s also announcing plans to roll out end-to-end encryption later this year, which would give users an even more secure way to send email.
 
The new service addresses what has become a major fault line between tech companies and the government: the ability to demand backdoor access to customer data.”
 
See Encrypted Email Service Once Used by Edward Snowden Relaunches
I may be old and way past my prime but I can still connect the dots:

  • 2013 – PJ discontinued work on GROKLAW because the USAian government was pestering e-mail providers for users’ data, citing LavaBit’s decision to close.
  • 2017 – LavaBit re-emerges with new technology that eliminates the threat.

No doubt PJ has moved on but could GROKLAW make a comeback in 2017? No doubt there will be lots of interesting litigation in the global fight against Trumpism. Come back, PJ. We need you.

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NAFTA

“President Trump is committed to renegotiating NAFTA. If our partners refuse a renegotiation that gives American workers a fair deal, then the President will give notice of the United States’ intent to withdraw from NAFTA.”
 
See Trade Deals Working For All Americans
Well, assuming nuclear war doesn’t break out tonight, my number one concern with Trumpism is NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, you know the one that says Mexico, USA and Canada will treat each other’s goods and services like their own, crossing borders without duties paid. What could be more fair than that? Trump hasn’t actually said what he thinks is unfair with NAFTA, except that some jobs have been exported to Mexico that used to be in USA. What about Canadian jobs that moved to USA, eh? Like Winchester? Lots of USA corporations used to have Canadian branch plants. They’ve pulled back to USA because there was no longer a cost for goods to cross the border except freight. You don’t hear Canadians whining about that, eh?

So, the supposition is that the only thing that will please Trump is USA being the only party to NAFTA allowed to place duties on imports. That just isn’t going to fly, so the likely outcome is that NAFTA is dead, tariff barriers will go up and jobs will return to Canada, like Winchester and car-makers and USA will have fewer, not more jobs. Car companies may decide that they should all leave USA and that USAians love cars so much that they will pay whatever taxes Trump levies on them. That should make him popular during the mid-terms and definitely will cut him out of a second term…

The complete inability of Trump to remember the bad old days of trade wars means USA is bound to bring them back and we all lose. Those who ignore history are bound to repeat it. What a waste of time. I was there. Those weren’t the good old days. The enemy of jobs these days is lack of education and an inability of products of the USAian education system which cranks out people suited to the old economy rather than the future. I’m sure DeVos will wreck the rickety education system with her war on universal public education. Already teachers aren’t paid enough and she wants to pay them less unless they are working in schools reserved for her rich friends. Expect some circling of the drain before USA goes down hard with self-inflicted wounds.

Oh, yes, about that site:whitehouse.gov that used to run on GNU/Linux and Drupal content management system. Trump has someone up and running Drupal. He’s archived a lot of old content and plastered it with many articles praising his administration which hasn’t done much yet… OS is now listed as “unknown” and the IP address changed today and the domain name was updated this morning and the “copyright” link is broken… “Please release Trump’s tax return” petition is still up short of 100K though.

I guess he couldn’t wreck everything on the first day. I’m sure he’ll keep trying.

Oops! Found another one, “President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule. Lifting these restrictions will greatly help American workers, increasing wages by more than $30 billion over the next 7 years.”

OK, Trump considers jobs/wages important but not clean drinking water… How does that work? Is he going to grant Trump Water a monopoly? Isn’t water essential to life? Isn’t it better to have clean water? “Again” in MAGA seems to mean “Reset Life To About 1800 So Everyone Can Pollute Freely”. This guy is not your friend, working stiff. He’s out to help his rich friends ruin your heritage, making a quick dollar and heading to healthier locations.

Posted in politics, Teaching | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

4

On this day of Trump’s inauguration, I thought I would write of something
 
Dow Jones Industrial Average Never Quite Made It To 20K And Is Now Flat
more rare and significant, the recent release of Linux 4.4.44. Yes, that’s four consecutive “4”s in the identification of a release of Linux. That’s a really rare number, like one in ten thousand. Trump is just one in 45 and he has only one “4”. Hah!

I’m going to be very busy today, welding in the spring-like weather we’re having, working on more tank traps for snowmobiles and the cart for the alternator, too busy to waste my time watching the coronation of USA’s latest king. I’ll take breaks watching my Canadian stock portfolio grow… I hope he’s insulted enough to Tweet me at 0400 tomorrow…

Posted in politics, technology | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

Trump’s Preacher Is Way Out There…

“if we tell people what the Bible says that every other religion in the world is wrong: Islam is wrong, it is a heresy from the pit of Hell; Mormonism is wrong, it is a heresy from the pit of Hell; Judaism, you can’t be saved being a Jew, you know who said that by the way, the three greatest Jews in the New Testament, Peter, Paul, and Jesus Christ, they all said Judaism won’t do it, it’s faith in Jesus Christ.”
 
See Jeffress: Jews, Mormons, Muslims And Gays Are Going To Hell
Trump is going to church before his inauguration to hear a sermon by a bigot. No kidding. This guy thinks his flavour of Christianity is the One True Faith and all others are heresies earning a ticket to Hell. The ignorance of the man is palpable. He doesn’t seem to understand God at all. He doesn’t understand that Jesus was a Jew, and a good one, who drove money-lenders from the synagogue. Christianity, Islam and Mormonism are all attempts to understand, follow and worship the same God, not paths to Hell.

With guidance like this it’s no wonder Trump has bizarre views of right and wrong.

Some quotations from the Bible:
“021:011 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.
 
021:012 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
 
021:013 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
 
021:014 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.”

That’s from the Book of Matthew. Is it any wonder that Muslims consider Jesus a prophet, for that is what is written there? The King James Version, BTW, didn’t even exist when Islam was formed centuries later. That “temple” was a Jewish synagogue. Jesus went there to teach because he was a Jew who knew the religion well. The Mormon’s believe Jesus came to the New World and spoke to their prophet. How does any of that lead to Hell? Oh, wait, if you are a bigot, you believe people with other beliefs are evil. It all makes sense, in a circular line of reasoning and with no solid foundation of truth.

So sad that Trump chooses to believe a guy who wasn’t there and doesn’t believe the accounts of those who were so long ago…

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We Are Roasting

“This animation shows annual temperatures each year since 1880 compared to the twentieth-century average, ending with record-warm 2016. Because of global warming due to increasing greenhouse gases, the maps from the early years in the animation are dominated by shades of blue, indicating temperatures were up to 3°C (5.4°F) cooler than the twentieth-century average. Recent years’ maps are dominated by shades of red.”
 
See History of Earth’s surface temperature 1880-2016
A wise man once wrote, “I often say that when you can measure what your speaking about, you know something about it; but when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge if of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind;”. Amen. The global warming deniers have an unsatisfactory knowledge. Here is the fact, Earth is several degrees warmer today than in the last century. Yes, 2016 is the warmest year recorded in recent times, even beating out 2015… Take a hint. The temperature of Earth rose sharply in step with consumption of coal/oil/natural gas. The Arctic is being ruined for animals adapted for its extremes. I’m getting crazy mild winters in my old age compared to when I was a kid. I guess it’s someone else’s problem soon but lets not make it worse for our kids, eh?

Posted in weather | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Grizzlies And Politics

I don’t agree with Trump or some of his nominees on just about anything but “BetsyDeVos would not oppose putting guns in our schools. I was shaken to the core by her answer. So should every American parent.”
 
See Citing grizzlies, Betsy DeVos says states should determine school gun policies
making all schools gun-free zones is just silly. Police/guards/staff should have firearms as an option to protect children against predators. I’ve lived in communities where a teacher was chewed up trying to rescue a child who was being dragged off by dogs. I’ve lived in a community where a polar bear did walk right through the playground a few minutes before the children were to be released into it. Such bears treat everything that moves as food. Then we have the murdering bastards who figure schools are just a target-rich zone.

I’ve taught in many northern/remote communties and while I don’t remember any school having firearms you can bet the immediate community neighbouring the school did. That polar bear was hunted down and killed within minutes. Those dogs were shot. I’ve lived on school property and I possessed a rifle for hunting. There’s nothing wrong with firearms on school property if they are properly managed.

Posted in firearms, politics, Teaching | 8 Comments

Other Shoes Falling

Throwing a shoe at someone is pretty violent and insulting. Saying “the other” shoe means it’s repetitive. Expect a heck of a lot of shoes to fall on Trump in 2017. No one is waiting for the other shoe to drop. Here’s one now:

Yes, one of the many women who claimed Trump assaulted them has filed suit as a result of no apology. It will be interesting to see if others join the suit in some way or there will be “Chinese water torture” by way of dozens of suits. Lord knows enough people hate Trump to fund any number of suits.

This one is particularly interesting because she was “an apprentice” and may well have grounds to subpoena video recordings from the show. If any of the bad behaviour was exhibited on the premises that would be lapped up by a jury. I expect this suit might also call other women to testify to a pattern of behaviour. That would also be convincing. Expect a flawed man who was a flawed candidate to be a flawed president. He’s without shame and may attempt to carry on but I’ll bet there are enough gentlemen and ladies in the Congress to jerk his chain mightily. Of course this might do nothing to put Washington right but it would sure feel better…

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NEWSFLASH! ASSANGE TO FACE THE MUSIC!

Chuckle. Truth is stranger than fiction. The story line:

  • 2009/10 At the height of the Afghan war, Bradley Manning who was an intelligence widget in the USAian military, decided to dump tons of classified documents describing USAian operations to WikiLeaks. This included lots of diplomatic cables too.
  • 2013 Manning, now Chelsea Manning, was sentenced to 35 years for the crimes.
  • 2013 Request was made for a pardon.
  • 2016 WikiLeaks dumps a whole bunch of DNC e-mails in the midst of Hillary’s bid to become POTUS.
  • 2016 After the election of Trump, another request for a pardon was made.
  • 2017 January 12, WikiLeaks states Assange will face the music if Manning is pardoned.
  • 2017 Today, Manning’s sentence was commuted to end in May.

My! I’ll bet there will be some more turbulence in the air over Washington DC before the week’s out. I doubt WikiLeaks’ promise is worth much but it’s possible some negotiation was carried out in London with the Ecuadorian embassy to solidify the matter. The pardon may be unrelated but it is an interesting coincidence. No doubt Trump will not be amused to find he has to share some of the spotlight this week. His ego hates that kind of thing… No tweets visible yet… 😉 Hillary, the GOP, and the DEMs may all be upset unless bringing in the bigger fish is sufficient compensation. Obama has a press conference tomorrow. This is sure to be a subject.

UPDATE – A few days after the pardon, Assange decided not to surrender because Manning will not be released immediately

Posted in politics | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Most Fun Ever Had About A Party

“Michelle Naylor-Fetty: Sorry, I won’t be able to make it. I need to be well rested for this little march a few women friends of mine have the next day. Should be a good time. Maybe you will see us on the news. If so, make sure you tweet a sexist remark. Thanks.”
 
See People Are RSVPing To Trump’s Inauguration In The Most Hilarious Way
I’m not much of a party-goer. These days I get dragged to a few each year by TLW and she arranges a few at home. That’s it. Trump loves attention. He’s just like a kid advertising his birthday party for this inauguration. I think it’s hilarious that a president who is not even in office yet has ~40% approval by the people he’s supposed to be representing, serving and governing. It’s supposed to be a democracy. This is crazy.

I guess it’s OK though. If he’s going to wreck the world’s economy and political system, it’s only fair that we have a good laugh along the way. It’s reputed to cost ~$200million. Glad I’m not going…

Trump could be a regular on SNL when he gets impeached/jailed/voted out…

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Trump’s Strange Attitude To War

“One of Donald Trump’s closest advisers has told the BBC that the US would win a trade war with China.
 
Anthony Scaramucci warned that if China chose to retaliate when the Trump administration imposed tariffs on imports, it would cost them “way more” than it would cost the US.”
 
See Trump would win trade war with China, says aide
Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) has been a guiding principle in global affairs since I was a young man. Trump seems to have skipped that part of growing up. No one wins a big war. The costs are horrendous. The end doesn’t justify the means. No way.

That applies to economic warfare as well as nuclear war. Wars can be started in minutes these days. An economic war can involve turning back ships headed for ports of both countries. It could take years for both economies to come back to equilibrium. Total economic activity would be down and might never recover. What of all the businesses shut down, employees laid off due to lack of business? What is the cost of a new Great Depression brought on by Trump’s stupidity?

There’s a reason we have international trade agreements. They are not there to make Trump look good. They are there to help us get away from economic warfare. The world can’t stop the game just because Trump is having a tantrum about the rules. Just play the game, whiner!

Posted in politics | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Debian Creeps Closer To The Next Release

“The Debian Installer team is pleased to announce the first release candidate of the installer for Debian 9 “Stretch”.”
 
See Debian Installer Stretch RC 1 release
I’ve been alarmed by the slow progress of Debian towards the next release. They’ve had several weird gyrations in numbers of “release-critical” bugs and still many packages fail to build from source. Last time this stage, they had only a few hundred bugs to go. Now they are over 600. I guess some of that comes from increasing the number of included packages. There are bound to be more bad interactions, like changing the C compiler. I hate that language which seems to be a moving target… Systemd seems to be smoother but it still gives me problems.

I tried out the new installer yesterday and the installation was perfectly smooth except that my chosen network device in the virtual machine was not working due to missing firmware. When I booted I could not access the web so I could not add packages not in the ISO image. I changed device but still could not get onto the network. I don’t know whether that’s a problem with Debian or my configuration of KVM… I haven’t used KVM in a while and my network/firewall has changed considerably… I got tired and went to bed. Perhaps I will fix that today.

So, the fact that Debian can install the new release and only has a few hundred bugs in tens of thousands of packages renews my faith. It will happen when it’s done…

UPDATE Yes, the issue was the firewall… I neglected to include the interface to KVM, virbr0, in the Shorewall interfaces file… [BLUSH]. In the process of struggling to get networking to work, I discovered the ISO had none of my usual tools, dns-utils, net-tools and so on. So, I was handicapped struggling to use the unfamiliar ip. And, I had turned off Shorewall’s logging… Anyway, when well rested my brain does work, just not in real time. 😉 I’m finishing my installation over the network with my usual list of packages for desktop, including xfce4, libreoffice, gimp etc. It’s all good. It’s pretty smooth when you don’t put up obstacles. Also, I got the networking for the new wireless access point working. It, too, had a problem with configuration. It had one option the old unit did not have and I had to turn it on just to get the wireless LAN and the built-in network switch to share. Got good speed, just nowhere near as fast as the gigabit/s wired network. The old notebook gets 40mbits/s.

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