Monday, June 29, 2009


More on Michael Jackson

Let's play this game. If you are a writer or a composer or even a mathematician proving theorems, which one of your own works is yourself personified in your medium (a poem, novel, symphony, rhythm and blues song, or theorem)? I happen to be the mathematician, and my main theorem is one about group cohomology rings, which says that if you generalize it to groups acting on a set (sort of a relative group construction), the products all go to zero. In other words, if everything is relative, everything vanishes.

Anyway, let's try this game on Michael Jackson. What has Michael Jackson done, and what was his life like? After thinking about this I conclude that the work of Michael Jackson that most personifies himself is Thriller. He became a hit in his child and young adult years. But since then he has not done much of anything but go around the country celebrating his own worthiness and pride. He apparently got into molestation trouble with some of his children, and despite having a ridiculously huge mansion, spent himself into bankruptcy, while literally drugging himself to death. Some of the words of Thriller may pertain here. "The Midnight Hour is Close at Hand". Sooner or later his troubles are going to catch up with him. "Grizzly ghouls from every tomb
Are closing in to seal your doom". Talk about all of his troubles. Yes, I say that if Michael Jackson were a Michael Jackson hit song, he would be Thriller.

And isn't it like that with our entire society as well? Isn't the Time of Peak Oil the midnight hour that is close at hand? Richard Heinberg wrote a book called Peak Everything. In it Mr. Heinberg maintains that we are not only reaching the peak or the end of our oil supply, but also of water, gold, rare earth elements, natural gas, ice in the Arctic, and many other essential resources of our society. All of these are coming at us fast, like a horde of huge insects. And as the song goes, "Grizzly ghouls from every tomb Are closing in to seal your doom."

James Howard Kunstler gave an excellent description of Michael Jackson's life and what it says about ourselves today (2009 June 29) in an essay entitled "The Man in the Mirror" and you can find it here. Read it - it is interesting stuff. In the meantime, can you resist the evil of the Thriller? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Friday, June 26, 2009


Overreaction to Michael Jackson's Death Supports Scoundrels

Yesterday, Michael Jackson died of a heart problem at age 50. Now I like some of Jackson's (and his sister Janet's) music, but the media and Michael Jackson fans really overreacted big. In so doing, they neglected other people and events and supported scoundrels such as Iran's Ayatollah Khameini, President(?) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford.

When the story broke of his death, the networks ran steamroller over everything else, including local news and weather and other shows. The news caused them to largely ignore the death of actress Farrah Faucett. Her family and friends are going to be incensed about this. It has increased some Internet traffic by five fold, causing Twitter's infamous "Fail Whale" to appear many more times than it should.

The fact that the media was harping on Michael Jackson meant they were not properly reporting the violence in Iran. These people were fighting for their freedom; all that Michael Jackson provided was some catchy and scary music. The jam of traffic on Twitter means that Iran's dissidents can't communicate with the outside world and tell us what is going on in Iran. It's not enough that the Iranian government is trying to block it; at least that is what we would expect of such a totalitarian entity. Now we have Michael Jackson's fans effectively blocking Internet access almost as much as the Iranian government. With friends like Michael Jackson's ardorists, who needs enemies?

The Michael Jackson hype also means that South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford will get away with his affair. Normally a person like Sanford would be driven into the ground by media hype, enough so that the South Carolina legislature is forced to impeach and remove him. But that is not happening now because the media hypiots are going after Michael Jackson instead. So Sanford's little South America episode is now largely forgotten. The energy to get rid of him will now dissipate, and for that reason I now predict that he will complete his term as South Carolina's governor.

I have news for you. The death of Michael Jackson does not rank the same as the 9/11 attacks, Kennedy's assassination, or even Elvis Presley's death. All of you media hypiots and rabid fans need to know that your hyping of Michael Jackson's death has hurt a lot of people who were interested in other events or who just simply wanted to use Twitter and has helped several malevolent causes. Or maybe what he meant by "The funk of 40,000 years" was Twitter failures, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Ayatollah and the entire Republican Guard, the media, and politicians having extramarital affairs on taxpayer money.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


It's 10 calls for Terry McAuliffe now

It's election day, but that apparently does not bother the Terry McAuliffe camp. Maybe he wants me to vote for Republican Bob McDonnell in the fall. He threw three more calls on my phone, all computer calls, setting a new record of 10 calls during the course of the campaign.

One of these was from Congressman Bobby Scott. So not only do I not want Mr. McAuliffe to be nominated by the Democrats, but I also want Mr. Scott defeated in the next election. I find that a disappointment, since he was one of only THREE congressmen to vote against a bill in 2002 condemning the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals because they had the audacity to rule against "God" being said or sung in the schools.

Creigh Deeds apparently is a friend of the National Rifle Association. So therefore I voted for Brian Moran, and I hope he gets nominated. He alone of the three did not send any computer calls to my phone.

Monday, June 08, 2009


Excessive Telephone Calls in Virginia Gubernatorial Primary

It seems that Virginia's politicians don't get the message that computer calls and excessive telephone calls do not earn them votes. That's the case with Virginia's gubernatorial primary on 2009 June 9. Republican Bob McDonnell is unopposed so there is no Republican primary. There are three candidates for the Democrat's race, namely Terry McAuliffe, Brian Moran, and Creigh Deeds. Here is the score for telephone calls for the candidates:

Terry McAuliffe, 3 voice calls and 4 computer calls
Creigh Deeds, 1 computer call
Brian Moran, none.

The McAuliffe camp does not evidently see fit to leave our phones alone, it seems. They have made 4 computer calls, which are the absolute worst of all. You can't respond to them, and they seem to go on and on. Voice calls are better because you can talk with the campaign's representative. But three of them is too much, especially in two days. I consider that harassment. For that reason, there is absolutely no chance I will vote for Terry McAuliffe, no matter what his other credentials are.

I thought Creigh Deeds would be my choice, until he threw a computer call at me. But I was reticent to vote for the third candidate Brian Moran, because he wanted to ban ads solely on the basis of the mention of sex in them (Viagra commercials). I figure that if you are going to ban ads, ban all ads, not just Viagra ones.

That reticence vanished when I found out that Brian Moran wasn't the one with the ad ban. That was Jim Moran, a member of Virginia's Congress and the brother of Brian. It's a bit of confusion which did not help things as much. I was leaning towards Deeds, but I will now probably vote for Brian Moran, and I urge voters to do so, and in fact I urge voters not to vote for Terry McAuliffe, unless you want to put telephone harassment into standard operating procedure of the Governor's office.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Virginia Power Misstatement

Today I got my electric bill. Nothing too unusual, but it came with a newsletter called the "Customer Connection". The first story is entitled "Reliability". It says "we work hard to maintain and improve reliability". Then it goes on to say that its efforts have paid off, saying that a typical Dominion Virginia Power customer had power more than 99.9 percent of the time.

Let's see about that this past year. A storm marched forth with a sharp squall line on March 4 last year and cut the power for 8 hours. On May 12, on a windy day, a tree fell on a nearby power line, causing a 12-hour power outage. In mid-July, a severe storm with hail knocked power off for about an hour. On August 17, a hard-to-discern power outage occurred for 1/2 hour. And later that month, a car hit a utility pole that was well within the property, causing a 4 hour power outage. The total is 25.5 hours. The year had 8784 (not 8760 because it was a leap year) hours, so the power was on (8784-25.5)/8784 = 99.7% of the time. That is not over 99.9%. Where did you get your data from, Dominion? Did you single out my home somehow?

Further, even 99.9% is unacceptable. It should be 99.99%. Hours of down time for whatever reason is always unacceptable. I do not consider their power reliable unless they are up 99.99% of the time, with at most 52 minutes of power outage time per year. To me the main problem is all these aerial cables that are subject to tree strikes. I now fear any time the wind goes over 25 mph.

It's OK to set their standards, but Virginia Power should refrain from statements like "power was up over 99.9% of the time".

Tuesday, February 03, 2009



Has Barack Obama come down with a case of appointmentosis? So many of his appointments have things wrong with them, including taking payments and not paying taxes, that one wonders what's wrong with him. The answer is nothing.

Look, people. We have a CRISIS! Financial institutions are hurting because they have to write off so many bad mortgages. The stock markets plummet. Layoff after layoff occurs in the corporate world, and companies, such as Circuit City, fail. Further, there is peak oil on the horizon which threatens to make things a lot worse. And we are saying something is wrong because some of his appointments haven't turned out right. OK, there are some scoundrels out there like the guy who Madoff with our money. But are we going to get hung up on appointments because these people did not pay all their taxes? Where's the attitude of Yes We Can? We can't if we get hornswoggled around the propriety of an appointment where the appointee did not pay a mere $900 in taxes. Most of us lost far more in the markets. Besides, these taxes are hornswoggling us. The IRS calls on us to make estimated payments or else pay penalty fees. But how can we do that when we can't predict how much income we have? Depending on whether the economy improves or degrades, there could be a huge difference in income and hence taxes. Further, some of the most determining aspects of our taxes such as forms K-1 are the ones for which we get the information so late that we may have to file for an extension. I don't want any extension if I am due a refund!

We need to get over this appointmentosis and select and ratify some talented people, so we can get going with solving these Fourth Turning crises. Just do it. Appoint these people. They are paying back their taxes. We got work ahead of us. Let's get going.

Monday, February 02, 2009


The Gregg appointment

I see that Barack Obama has appointed Rep. Repr. Judd Gregg from New Hampshire to be his Commerce Secretary. This seems like an ideal appointment. It gets a Republican in his cabinet, so verifying that his appeal to the country is bipartisan. Further, by removing a Republican from the Senate in a state where the governor is a Democrat (John Lynch), it could turn a Republican seat into a Democratic one, and give the Democrats a cloture-proof Senate, at least for a little while (provided Al Franken gets to occupy the seat from Minnesota).

But Gregg himself threw a monkeywrench into this. He said that he will turn down the appointment if it favors Democrats in the Senate. If this happens, can Obama turn to someone else? Who are the Republican senators who come from states with Democratic governors? Here is the list of those states where such exist:

Wyoming 2
Kansas 2
Oklahoma 2
Kentucky 2
Tennessee 2
North Carolina
New Hampshire
Maine 2

So there are 17 other possible choices. I would choose the most Democratic state (the "bluest" state) among these, and so would pick Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.

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