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Pain sucks

On Saturday I washed and waxed the Whale. Big mistake. I had injured my back in October and apparently 5 months isn’t enough for a back to heal when you’re on the wrong side of 50. Just the slightest twitch left or right results in agonizing pain. Agonizing pain causes nausea. Nausea causes you to either not eat, or eat unhealthy “comfort” food.

Talking about which, I found a machine in the garage for making smoothies. It is kind of a mini-blender. F*ck smoothies. I just used it to make a chocolate milkshake using chocolate ice cream and milk. All the docs have to offer me is happy pills, happy pills that I despise because they interfere with my ability to think (been there, done that, many years ago when I originally injured my back). That chocolate milk shake did more good than all the bloody happy pills the docs can prescribe.

Finally, Ben Bernanke has a blog. Ben got a lot of grief from both the left and the right for his policies during the Great Recession. The left insisted he wasn’t doing enough, the right insisted his policies would create runaway inflation (yeah right, where’s that inflation again, right wingnuts?) But his policies arguably were the difference between a severe recession, and a replay of the Great Depression. While you can count me as one of his critics from the left, in that I thought he should have done outright helicopter drops, he had a fine line to thread and it’s arguable that if he had resorted to helicopter drops, the Fed’s independence could have been stripped from it and the Fed turned into yet another arm of the Republican Party with an agenda of crashing the economy for the political gain of Republicans. The Fed likes to pretend that it’s above politics, but the threat of stripping its independence and turning it into a political tool for the ruling party is always there, and so politics inevitably limits its freedom of action.

My hope is that Bernanke, now free of the requirement to thread the needle between left and right wingers who want to strip the Federal Reserve of its independence, will come out and talk about the policies we really need to get the economy back to the point where it’s good for all people, not just the 1%. Like it or not, Bernanke has a platform due to his history as Fed chairman. Let us hope that he uses this platform for good, not evil.

– Badtux the Hurting Penguin

Let it be

La Luz, “Brainwash”. Currently a single available via iTunes. Psychedelic surf music? Whuh?

– Badtux the Music Penguin

Luke 6:35: But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

I cannot fathom, reading the above, how a Christian who believes in the word of God could be hateful to a gay person even if he believes gay people are evil. Because if you are a Christian, you believe that the above is Jesus Christ speaking to you. And Jesus said to be kind even to evil people.

Anybody who puts a “No Gays Allowed” sign on their shop, as allowed by the new Indiana “Hate the Gays” law, is not a Christian, because they are not following the teachings of Jesus Christ. I don’t know what they are, they might claim they are Christian, but if they are not following the teachings of Jesus Christ they are not Christian. Period.

– Badtux the Bible Study Penguin

Bruce Springsteen, “Point Blank”, off his 1980 album The River. This was the first song on side 3 of the double album. It got that second platter off to a bleak start that melded in with how the first platter ended (with the title song of the album).

– Badtux the Music Penguin

No Jews Allowed

discrimination

Let me put this bluntly: I don’t like bigots. I don’t like irrational hatred of other people. I don’t care if you’re Jewish, black, Muslim, Indian, or Mexican, what matters is the kind of person you are. If you’re an asshole we got a problem, if you’re not, we don’t. I once disowned a long-time friend because he hit his wife. As in, he no longer existed for me. Because I don’t hang with the kind of people who do things like that.

Way back in the mid 1980’s I was a teenager and my brother and I were attending a convention well away from home. A gay couple offered us their sofa and their spare bedroom. At some point one of them asked me, “well, what do you think about gays?” I shrugged and said something along the lines of “Well, I think gay sex is kinda icky, but what people do in the privacy of their own bedroom is none of my business.” Which is how it should be, regardless of religious beliefs. My religion informs my behavior, not the behavior of other people. My religion is about how I behave, not about how other people behave. In the end, I am my own master, and nobody else’s. There are certain behaviors, such as murder, which must be illegal and anathema because society could not continue to exist if they were common, but gay sex is not one of those behaviors. If everybody was gay it’d be a problem, but all the stats say that gays are only 3-4% of the population. So they don’t reproduce. Big whoop. The other 97% of the population is doing just fine at that reproducing stuff, thank you very much.

If I were a member of a Christian sect that believed gay sex was evil, what that means is that I would refrain from gay sex (even if I were gay). It doesn’t mean that I demand that other people who aren’t members of my religion stop doing gay sex. My religion is mine, and guides my behavior. There is no — zero — moral justification, in other words, for me to refuse to photograph the wedding of a gay couple — even if my own religion says that gay marriage is evil. Because they aren’t demanding that I gay marry anybody. They’re just demanding that I do my job as a photographer, a job which in no way violates my religious beliefs, because it doesn’t require that I gay marry anybody, it doesn’t require that I have gay sex with anybody, all it requires is that I press the button when the bride kisses the bride. And as far as I know, no religion, anywhere, says that pushing the shutter button on a camera is anathema when a bride kisses the bride.

Unfortunately, the State of Indiana has decided that “No Gays Allowed” is a sign that shop-owners should be allowed to put in their windows. Guess that means I won’t be going to Indiana anytime soon. Not that I’d want to. Indiana has a long history of bigotry — it was the last state with a Governor who was a member of the KKK, after all — and it doesn’t surprise me that Indiana is being Indiana. Once a Kkklansman, always a Kkklansman, I always say…

– Badtux the Bigotry-despising Penguin

Self brutality

Poliça, “Tiff” off their 2013 album Shulamith.

– Badtux the Music Penguin

The evil empire being Google. Who believes they own the Internet and don’t have to obey little things like European privacy laws.

Europe has a “do not track” law. If you select “do not track” in your browser preferences, it’s illegal for web sites to track you. But Google figured they didn’t have to obey any such law. Because they are by-god AMERICANS. So they figured out a way to make the Safari web browser bypass its ‘do not track’ settings. And then when it was discovered that Europeans were being tracked without their permission, they claimed that because they’re a California company, any lawsuit would have to take place in California.

Uhm… not so fast, Googlebots. It has long been a principle of Anglo-Saxon law that you can file a lawsuit not only where a company is domiciled, but also in the place where the damage took place. And in this case, the damage took place in Britain as British subjects were tracked without their permission. And now Google’s found out not once, but *twice* that squatting in SGI’s former headquarters in Mountain View does *not* exempt them from that simple principle of tort law.

It couldn’t happen to a nastier set of evil people. The hilarious thing is that I know some Googlebots. In their arrogance they don’t even think they’re doing evil. They’re like a bunch of kittens. Rambunctious, energetic kittens. Rambunctious, energetic kittens that enjoy ripping the throats out of rodents because, well, that’s what kittens do. But they’re *cute*, Google hires based on cuteness, their employees look about as threatening as, well, kittens. And they think that excuses them from being responsible for any smashed dishes that get shoved off the kitchen table or any shredded upholstery that happens while the adults aren’t looking.

Err, nope, Googlebots. No it doesn’t.

That is all.

— Badtux the Non-googlebot Penguin
(I always hang up on their recruiters when they call me — which they do, regularly).

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