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The Louisiana Literacy Test from 1964 November 16, 2014

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So I was on Digg and there was a link of a group of Harvard students trying to take the Louisiana Literacy Test from 1964. I’d heard of such a thing in the past but never actually seen the test.

The test is effectively ludicrous! No wonder they thought they could stop poorly educated aka black people from voting. Hell, I’m pretty well educated and the test makes no sense to me.

http://www.crmvet.org/info/la-littest.pdf

Try it out for yourself. And here’s the video of the Harvard students trying to take the test.

And it’s interesting – one of the students correctly identifies the modern equivalent being Voter ID laws.

What National Grid Sucks Part XXVII November 16, 2014

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So before I got this job things were tight. To the point where natural gas service was cut off with an $1,100 balance. I’d paid that off but trying to get National Grid to re-connect the service is proving to be an exercise in pissing me off.

And actually when they cut the gas off now – they just turn the valve to the off or vertical position and then insert a tubular lock through it.

So I’m waiting to see when the next gas bill comes – if they charge for the re-connect and they didn’t connect it. Becuase I have paid the $47 and ordered the tool used to open the tubular locks. And I can turn the gas service on by myself.

Plus National Grid scheduled the re-connect for a Friday. Yeah you know what wasn’t going to happen. Be a fun call as I’ll give them one more chance to turn it back on or as I said, I’ll do it my damned self.

Add to the fact that I couldn’t contact National Grid on Friday evening – so now I have to wait until Monday morning to call and bitch them out.

But I’m going to go further – not only am I going to write my legislators about perhaps removing the deregulation legislation from electric and gas providers, but also implementing penalties for non-service. Have a little fun with it.

A meme on Facebook November 12, 2014

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So there’s this meme – goes along with I’m the Soul of x, the heart of y, and the spirit of z. With x, y, and z replaced by things like gypsy, angel, etc.

Me I roll a bit different:

I have the soul of a Dragon.

The heart of a Lion

And the spirit of a demon.

Chew on that one if you will.

The Roosevelts on PBS – and what’s wrong with politics today November 9, 2014

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So I’ve been watching the PBS Series on the Roosevelt family. And one part of it struck me.

Both Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt came from old money  and understood the concept of noblesse oblige. In fact the last time we saw similar in the United States was John F. Kennedy. Everything after that not so much.

So the problem – is the Nouveau Riche – or more to the point their descendants today. I’m speaking of course of the Koch brothers and others like them in congress. They come from their parents money and so have no sense of noblesse oblige. Instead it’s that 80′s mindset of greed is good, of the Paris Hiltons, and the brats of the rich. It’s all about them and fuck everyone else. That is exactly what’s wrong with the United States. And of course the corporate interference in government vis a vis money is speech is a big problem too.

But the thing to keep in mind about the rich brats – there are a whole lot more of us than there are of them. It’s just how do we motivate the rest of the population of the U.S. to rise up against them? At this point they’ve no captured both houses of the legislature at both the federal and local levels.

And of course the Tea Bagger/Tea Party is being lead along by corporate interests – and will in fact vote against their own self interest.

Why is that the case? I’ll explain – we don’t really educate kids in the U.S. One thing we leave out is the critical thinking skills. Fortunately for me – I received a pretty good education in Catholic schools for the first twelve years. And it included what I would call back then subversive critical thinking skills.

But I am aware that public schools in the United States are controlled by political whim. And it is in the interest of the Plutocracy to keep the kids just smart enough to do the job, but not smart enough to wonder why. So I think at the foundation if we want to get the country back, we have to start with education. Give kids the ability to see through political double speak and the corporate plutocracy will end.

Reading: The Nazis Next Door: How Amereica Became a Safe Haven for Hitler’s Men November 8, 2014

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So I’m only a short way into this book. And right away author Eric Lichtblau tips it right away. The two primary organizations that helped spirit Nazi’s out of Italy were the Vatican and the Red Cross.

I mean I’d known corporate America including IBM, Standard Oil, et al were neck deep in the Nazi bovine effluent. And that the U.S. has a long anti-Semitic bias, most famously the man who gave us mass automobile manufacturing, one Henry Ford was an anti-Semite.

But this book promises to be a sordid tale. For example I know it will touch on how the U.S. space program essentially began as a Nazi program.

The book can be found on Amazon for about $14.

Count the CPU’s on or about you November 6, 2014

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For example here’s the inventory of my backpack on a daily basis:

1 Dual Core computer (2 CPU’s)

1 Amazon Fire HD6 table (4 CPU’s)

One Baofeng B580T radio transciever (1 CPU)

Then there is my phone, dual core (2 CPU)

My Bluetooth headphones (1 CPU)

That bring the total count to 10 CPU’s I carry with me daily. Weird isn’t it.

Now cameras

Computer has one

Phone has two

HD6 has two

So that’s FIVE cameras.

I really hate turning back from Daylight Saving Time November 3, 2014

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It’s not the having to set clocks thing. The computers, phones and TV all set themselves via network or NTP time.

It’s the fact that in the morning – it’s bright out. Prior to the changeover it was dark in the morning but enough light in the evening. Now it’s essentially flipped – light in the morning, pitch fucking black when I get home.

I think if I do get a shot at a delegate to the Constitutional Convention I might have RI ignore the changeover and stay on Daylight time year round.

That’s how much I hate it.

College Atheists place over 200 God Tombstones November 2, 2014

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This is fantastic.

So far in Georgia and Wisconsin we’ve now seen Graveyards of the Gods.

Think about this for a moment. There are hundreds of gods that have been relegated to history as mythos. So what’s so special about the current iteration or Abrahamic God?

I suspect that someday in the not too distant future we’ll see old Jehovah/Yahweh/God added to the mythos pile and we’ll move on from there. After all here in the U.S. at least 1/5th of us have moved on from the various Abrahamic sects. Although it is a bit tougher to get out if you practice Islam for the penalty for apostasy in regions under the thumb of Islam is death. And that death comes by stoning, hanging etc. But for Jews and Christians it’s a little bit easier. At least we escape with out lives.

But sure – it does cause some strife particularly if you have religious relatives or co-workers and even bosses. Thankfully the field I’m in has a much higher percentage of atheists than many other fields. It’s really odd when I think about it, why would I.T. people be more socially evolved?

But it isn’t just my chosen profession, but atheists are EVERYWHERE. So I am really happy to see college atheist groups doing things like the Graveyard of the Gods.

Sunday Stealing: Music November 1, 2014

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1. Which bands/artist do you own the most albums by? 

It’s sort of a tie between Earth Wind & Fire and Jamiroquai


2. What was the last song you listened to? 

Azymuth – Partido Alto – it’s Brazillian Jazz aka Samba Doido. Love it.


 3. What’s in your CD player right now? 

Who still owns a CD player? It’s all on my phone. It’s my entire music library. Plus I have a Pandora One account.


 4. What was the last show you attended? 

That would be a few years ago – P-Funk.

 5. What was the greatest show you’ve ever been to? 

My first exposure to P-Funk in the mid 1980′s at the Living Room when it was over on Promenade St. in

Providence, RI. Picture it, a small performance space, packed to the gills, a floor that was sticky as hell and all your could do was jump around a bit. Loved it.


 6. What’s the worst show you’ve ever been to? 

Can’t say I’ve ever been to one that I could qualify as the worst.

 7. What’s the most musically involved you have ever been? 

Did a few years as both a radio DJ and a talk show host.


 8. What show are you looking forward to? 

None at the moment.


 9. What is your favorite band shirt? 

Don’t own any band t-shirts. I prefer more acerbic, funny or profound t-shirts.
 10. What musician would you like to hang out with for a day? 

Probably Jay K aka Jamiroquai.


 11. Who is one musician or group you wish would make a comeback? 

The Thompson Twins or even Kajagoogoo.


 12. Who is one band/artist you’ve never seen live but always wanted to? 

Full Force – pretty into them back int he 80′s.


 13. What was your last musical “phase” before you wisened up? 

Didn’t have a music phase. In fact my musical tastes run the gamut from progressive rock, funk, r&b, jazz and so on. The only musical genre I cannot tolerate is country music.


 14. How many music related videos/DVDs do you own? 

Not a one. With YouTube it kind of defeats the purpose. And Google is never going to be able to put the copyright genie back in the bottle.


 15. How many concerts/shows have you been to, total? 

Probably a couple dozen.


 16. What’s your “guilty pleasure” that you hate to admit to liking? 

Dont’ really have one. Never got into the teeny bopper shit so no trouble there.


 17. What is your favourite movie soundtrack?

Has to be Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”.

Living ever closer to the future October 28, 2014

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It finally struck me today. I was checking my email on my Kindle Fire HD6. Recall in the old series Star Trek the Next Generation? The eponymous pads they used for everything that at the time were just painted pieces of board? They’re here already.

And it’s even true of my inexpensive 4G phone. Touch screen – does everything. That holy grail has been reached. We now have the tablets they carried around in STTNG!

Now if I could only have space craft with warp engines and maybe transporters I’d be happy.

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