Here Thar Be Monsters!

From the other side of the argument to the other side of the planet, read in over 149 countries and 17 languages. We bring you news and opinion with an IndoTex® flavor. Be sure to check out Radio Far Side. Send thoughts and comments to luap.jkt at gmail, and tell all your friends. Sampai jumpa, y'all.

27.12.17

Zen And The Art Of Roasting Coffee


Living, as I do, in Java (itself a slang name for coffee) and just a short jump from Sumatera, home of one of the legendary coffees of the world, I decided it was high time to roast my own. I was also motivated by my deep and abiding hatred for Starbucks and those California cutsie chains that are not only taking over the world, but sell more political agendas than coffee.

My wife and I have decided to get into the business of selling raw, green coffee as part of our online empire. We have a plan to retire to our mountain retreat and spend our feeble years running a business on the internet while living well outside the madding crowd of over-dense cities.

We found several very good sources of raw coffee from Bali, Java and Sumatera, and we received enormous bags full of samples, ranging from mountain Robusta and Arabica beans, to the precious Kopi Luwak that sells for up to a few thousands dollars per kilo.

Having never done it before, I was a bit intimidated at the prospect of learning to roast coffee. What with all the mystique and legend built up around the little greenish-white beans, I figured this must be some occult ritual that required years of training and perfect alignment of the Heavens.

I was wrong.

If you've ever popped corn before, you can roast coffee. Yes, there are some timing issues and you have to pay close attention to the process, but you certainly don't have to be a magi to do it. There is a learning curve, but it is blissfully short and with a little practice, you can have the precise coffee you want every morning, fresher than anything you will EVER get from a store front, and the flavor of self-satisfaction is unmistakable and oh-so-sweet.

To roast coffee beans, I use a very high-tech and mystical device called a pan. It is vital to have a heat source, so I use an incredibly up-to-date propane stove. Turn the stove on to medium, throw a couple of handfuls of beans into the pan, shake it around for about 5 minutes, and POOF!

OK, it's a little more delicate than that, but not much.

First, DO NOT use oil or water, just beans. Second, anything that can make popcorn can roast coffee. If you use one of those hot-air poppers, though, remember that the fan noise can mask the "crack" sound, the importance of which will become apparent in a moment.

There are two important events during the roasting process that are vital to the outcome:

First Crack: at around the 3-5 minute mark, you will hear the distinct sound of the beans popping, just like popcorn. Again like popcorn, it will start with one or two pops, and then pick up speed. This is a critical moment. For lighter roasts, you will stop when the cracking stops. If you want darker roasts, you will go a few SECONDS to 1 MINUTE longer, until...

Second Crack: this time, it's not so much of a "pop" noise as as "sizzle" noise. If you go this far, stop immediately or you will be drinking charcoal water for breakfast.

Anything past the light roast phase is somewhat of an art form. Knowing precisely when to stop to get the exact level of roast you want is a trial-and-error process. Because each reader will use different equipment, live at different altitudes, et cetera, you will want to get a "feel" for how much longer past First Crack you want to go.

Lighter roasts give you a "smoother" flavor because the beans retain more of their natural sugars and starches, making the result a bit more naturally sweeter. This is the point of peak caffeine, as well, which for some of us is a major concern.

Darker roasts take on a more "full bodied" flavor, but also get increasingly bitter. They also get oilier, which some folks don't like.

Back to the process.

Once you decide to stop the roast, you will need to get the beans out of the heat and onto a cooling surface. This can be a cookie sheet, spread-out newspaper, or a wok like the one I use. The point is to cool the beans quickly by maximizing the airflow around them.

I suggest doing this outside, as the roasting process causes an ash-like chaff to burn off the beans. Coffee beans, like peanuts, have a skin on them that turns to burn-paper like ash when cooked. Rolling them around on the cooling surface and lightly blowing will remove the chaff and aid in cooling.

You're not quite ready to grind, though. The roasted beans will out-gas CO2 for up to 24 hours after roasting, and it's important to get rid of the gas for the best result. After cooling, I usually put the beans in a Tupperware container with an air-tight seal, but don't snap it all the way shut overnight. That will allow the gas to escape while retaining as much of the essential oils as possible, giving you the best results.

When I'm ready to use the roasted beans, I take only as much as I need, leaving the rest whole. You may not care, but I figure this preserves the essential oils and flavor better over time.

One note here: if you are roasting coffee because you think it will fill your house with the mouth-watering smell of fresh coffee, forget it. The smell is more like burnt sugar or chocolate, and it can be rather smoky and unpleasant in unventilated spaces. I like the smell, but it is entirely an individual thing. About an hour after you cool the beans, the familiar coffee aroma will start wafting through your humble abode.

That's it! You are now an amateur coffee roaster. With experience, you could rise to the level of Master and speak in mystical tones about the occult aspects and techniques that you have acquired. You could even get into the art of blending beans and roasts to get that Ultimate Cuppa Java. Until you get the hang of it, though, I wouldn't jump right into the Kopi Luwak that you just paid US$300/pound for.

In the past few years, there's been a green coffee fad with all sorts of magical health claims made about it. Personally, I think if it were that healthy, it wouldn't have taken several thousand years to figure it out, but that's up to you. Additionally, I don't particularly like the flavor, but again, that's entirely up to you.

My wife prepares it by taking the whole green beans, putting them in a glass container, and adding warm - but not hot or boiling - water. You must then let it set as least 24 hours and strain the liquid into a glass. She tries to get me to drink a glass of it every day for the anti-oxidants and other health y stuff, but I am hard-pressed to do so when I have piles of glorious hand-roasted beans just waiting for my loving attention.

Depending on your needs or tastes, having a supply of green coffee beans on hand can provide hours of palette-stirring excitement, both for the rich flavors and from the satisfaction of knowing you are far more talented than any Starbucks barista, and don't need fanciful foreign titles to make the job appear to justify the bloated prices.

If you want this glorious feeling of achievement every morning to start your day, then contact us at Radio Far Side (luap.jkt@gmail.com use Subject "Coffee") to get prices and shipping times for some of the most sought-after beans in the world, delivered directly to your door from Indonesia.

Soon, you will be serving premium, hand-roasted coffee to your guests at Maxwell House prices, and blowing them away with flavor, aroma and delicacy. Imagine the story you can tell them when they invariably ask, "Where did you get this coffee?"

Keep an eye on our D-Tube channel for a coming real-time (yes, it's that fast) how-to video for roasting your own coffee.

25.12.17

The Vertical Hold

"Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay
To mould me Man, did I solicit thee
From darkness to promote me?"
- Adam to God in Milton's Paradise Lost

"There was none among the myriads of men that existed who would pity or assist me; and should I feel kindness towards my enemies? No: from that moment I declared everlasting war against the species, and, more than all, against him who had formed me and sent me forth to this insupportable misery."
- The Creature in Shelley's Frankenstein; or The Modern Prometheus

“God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us?"
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science 

Throughout history, Mankind has struggled with both his own creation, and the wisdom of his creations.  Literature is replete with the lamentations of humans cursing the Creator for forcing us into a miserable reality, while at the same time cursing what we create in the rush to improve our lot.

It seems that our anger towards the Creator has cut us off from vertical progression and trapped us in a materialistic world of horizontal sliding.  In this Age of Unenlightenment, we plunge into the quest for knowledge in our collective effort to surpass our own creation, and in so doing, we inevitably manufacture unspeakable horrors that repulse our deepest spirits.

We now, as a species, stand on the precipice of creating something that will exceed our perceived limitations.  I say perceived because the ancient aesthetes told us we could transcend (vertical) and showed us many ways.  Instead, we have chosen the materialist path (horizontal), whereby we create creatures that take the journey for us, so that we can live vicariously.

We continually amaze ourselves with our cleverness and ingenuity, only to be repulsed and horrified by the same when we perceive what we have done.  One wonders if God himself felt like Victor Frankenstein, for we certainly emulate his Creature.  One wonders if humanity hasn't in fact gone backwards (horizontal) because in the end we cannot overcome our own Nature (vertical).

Though we have, as a species, become infinitely more clever with mechanics (horizontal), we have shown little if any progress in our collective wisdom (vertical).  If we have done anything collectively, it is to have divorced ourselves from Nature, trying to place ourselves at its pinnacle, though our entire history is nothing more than Sisyphus struggling to push the boulder to the peak of the mountain only to have it tumble down the other side.

The unknown sage tells us that insanity is repeating the same actions expecting different results.  By this simple but effective definition, humanity has completely lost its marbles.

At the end of 2017, we stand on a precarious ledge.  We know full well that humanity's track record is pitiful when it comes to achieving the greater good with our cleverness.  We are embarking on a new path, whereby we are close to creating ourselves as we imagine we should be.  We have within our reach the ability to create genetic and mechanical beings that we hold to be superior by the puny measures we hold to ourselves. 

Artificial minds that are billions of times faster than our own and never forget anything stand waiting to be released on society (or have they already been?), while we dilute and destroy our own educational systems, keeping us from realizing what limits we truly have.

Think for a moment of all the labor-saving devices we have created in the past century, but are we less busy?  Think of all the communication devices we have created, but do we communicate better?  Think of all the vast networks and databases we have created, but do we teach ourselves from it?  Think of all the novelty we have created, but is it more than just shuffling some graphics and re-arranging some menus without delivering anything that is truly new?

It is long past time to stop.  We, as a species, must take a break and examine where we are and what we have done.  We must become vertical, that scale we long ago abandoned.  We will never effectively measure our success and failure without perspective, and that can only be achieved by rising above the landscape of civilization and mapping the terrain of our lives.

We have spent centuries rushing horizontally into a future that is multi-dimensional.  Time does not have a direction, so why must we constantly move through it in only one direction?

Ironically, humanity's salvation lies in the one thing we are seemingly incapable of doing - stopping.  We are addicted to change without ever allowing ourselves to fully comprehending what we are changing or why.  Like juicing fruit, we are throwing away the rinds without having extracted every drop, thus losing valuable sustenance in our haste to down the product and move on.

In the past century alone, we have added vast quantities of knowledge without adding a single quality of understanding.  We leave our machines to extract the richness of the data while we plunder the Universe for yet more data, never realizing that the Universe is contained in every single datum.  We already are what we seek, but that is the one place we have forbidden ourselves to look.

As our literature continually demonstrates, we have not answered the one question that perplexes us the most: who are we?  We curse the Creator for a story we made up about ourselves, and our creations have this dichotomy built into them, so that they too will manifest the same disdain for us.

Until we as a species can come to grips with our own Nature, we will never create anything but externalizations of our own internal chaos.  We will continue to loathe our creations, and they will continue to despise us, until we resolve the one issue at the center of our civilization - why do we exist?

That answer will never come from a machine.

24.12.17

A Seasonal Thought

Well, it's that time of year again - our second-most favorite (Thanksgiving being the first). I love the history of Christmas. It's a very ancient holiday that has undergone dozens of iterations over the millennia. All of them are very interesting and worth keeping in mind.

One of the oldest European versions of this holiday is the Teutonic Yuletide. This was the time of a mythic wild hunt organized by Wodin and his wolves and was the last hunt before full winter set in. A good hunt meant the difference between survival and certain death, so one imagines that it was a rather important holiday.

For the extent of the holiday, folks would take a large log that would burn for a good amount of time. They would coat it with various minerals so that when it burned, it would give off colors for at least a couple of days. This was the Yule log of song and story. It provided heat and cooked the hunting trophies, and was the last big blowout of the season before settling in for the brutal cold.

Winter was something to be feared. Vegetation died, game disappeared and the old folks had a better than equal chance of not seeing spring. It was also marked by the shortest day of the year, in the northern hemisphere. For people that didn't know about Earth's axial tilt, it was mystifying.

Thus was born various celebrations to "resurrect" the Sun, as it appeared to die (stop moving) for three days between the 21st and 24th of December. Naturally, when it started its northward movement again, it was a time of celebration. At the darkest time of the year, folks created celebrations of light to encourage the Sun to return. Bonfires, candles and all manner of lamps were lit in offering to the Sun gods. We still do this with some neighborgoods in the US going to obscene and absurd lengths to display lights, though I've always been partial to the "luminarias" - candles placed in bads of sand.

Ancient Rome took the holiday to excessive lengths, as they were prone to do. They called it Saturnalia, which was a seven day holiday of complete surrender to the party spirit. What with the Sun dying, the world may end, so why not go out with a good buzz on?

The festival featured huge public banquets and gift-giving. Frequently, master and servant would reverse roles. Folks would gamble, drink and party for a week, which probably would do the world a great deal of good about now.

In the time of Constantine, the holiday was Christianized to celebrate the Birth of the Son(Sun). Lights (German) and feasting (Roman) were combined with the tradition of gift-giving, which now was in the tradition of the Three Wise Men, rather than offerings.

In the English language, we adopted the word "tide" as a verb to wish someone good things. We bring tidings of joy. In the past few decades, the holiday has become almost entirely commercialized, so that retailers have come to depend on Christmas gift-giving to fund their entire year. In the US, folks buy more stuff for themselves than anyone else. Lighted displays have become contests and political statements. The Pope wrings his hands over the true meaning of Christmas, though methinks he has forgotten, too. Everyone wants their personal version of the holiday recognized by public displays. And not many people now worry about dying before spring.

All of this precedes the global New Year celebration, which is of course, yet another Roman/Christian creation. We celebrate it on January 1st thanks to Pope Gregpry XIII and his court astrologers. This year alone in Indonesia, we've already celebrated the Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist new years, so the event is rather arbitrary, though msot folks observe the Gregorian calendar on this occasion. January is named after the Roman god Janus, who looks backward and forward, stands at the threshold both inside and outside, at the same time. We raise our glasses to Auld Lang Syne, even though most folks couldn't tell you what that means (old long time). It's an ode to those who have been lost over the past year. Nice cheery stuff.

Regardless of when, how or what you celebrate, we here on the Far Side wish you and yours the very best of the Season and a happy and prosperous New Year. Never lose the traditions. They bind us to the past and guide us to the future.

15.12.17

Cryptocurrencies A Globalist Trap?

Please disseminate this information to your networks.

#JosephPFarrell presents compelling evidence that the #Cryptocurreny #Bitcoin #Ethereum rush is actually manufactured by nefarious players in order to rob the world of wealth and replace it with completely transparent tools for tracking and tracing every transaction, as well as instituting an automatic taxation system that amounts to neo-feudalism.

It is vital that everyone listen to and consider this information before jumping on the crypto bandwagon.

https://youtu.be/5kemcxj0j08

9.12.17

The Gay Gene Conundrum

READER NOTE: Be sure to visit our newest outlet at SteemIt and the Twitter replacement at GAB as we make a stab to protect free speech and thought and stop supporting those who would squash them.

The more the Progressive agenda tries to assert itself, the more they tie themselves into logical knots.

Evolutionary theory states that Humans are the product of billions of years of natural selection. Certain genetic features and mutations became advantageous for survival of the species, and so allowed our kind to flourish and prosper.

Progressives argue that certain behavior, in this case homosexuality, are genetic and those who display these characteristics have no choice in the matter. They are born that way and no amount of environmental factors affect the expression of the behavior.

Homosexuality has no survival purpose. A sexual union of two (or more) members of the same sex cannot EVER produce offspring, nor does homosexual behavior impart any benefit to the survival of the species. In fact, just the opposite is true. Homosexuals cannot reproduce and a great many of our social and religious institutions call for shunning and/or killing homosexuals. Hardy a survival strategy, methinks.

As a social libertarian, I don't give a rat's ass what you do, as long as it doesn't take food out of my family's mouths. You are free to dress and act however you want, as long as it doesn't interfere with my rights to do the same, provided neither of us harms each other or destroy each other's property. In fact, this formula seems to me to be a reasonable strategy for survival and properity, and therefore fits perfectly with evolutionary theory.

Over the past couple of decades, the LGBTQ-XYZ "community" has insisted that their proclivities are genetic. They have no choice in the matter and it is not aberrant behavior, since they are genetically bound to follow this path.

Let us forget for a moment that they also want to argue that gender (not sex) identity and associated pronouns are choices, which I happen to agree with. You can ask to be called by any pronoun you choose, but I am not bound to make that choice, because to bind me would not be a choice on either of our parts. Argument settled.

Let's also keep in mind that SEX (male or female) is genetic, and that it is clearly indicated by the presence of an X or Y chromosome in an individual's DNA. Of this, there is no question nor argument. One can observe the fact with most high school biology lab equipment in a high-tax district.

Along comes this article today.  Note how the sub-heading introduces the logical fallacy from the very start.  Scientists claim to find a genetic basis for sexual orientation in men, but it's not genetic.  Huh?!

The whole purpose of the Human Genome Project (HGP) has been to map human DNA and, where possible, identify what traits each gene or group of genes control(s). Assuming, as evolution would have us do, that every gene in our DNA is the product of aeons of hit-or-miss development, where those with favorable traits survive and those without are removed from the gene pool, it makes exactly zero sense that a "gay gene" would exist, since it doesn't serve the purpose of procreation, nor any other valid survival trait, other than possibly the creation of a class of entertainers, although that assumes that the entertainer gene is passed on, which it cannot be with homosexual relationships.

This leaves us in a quandary. On the one hand, "science" declares that evolution is what has shaped humanity, but on the other, they are searching for a genetic trait that defies evolution. Either evolution is fatally flawed as a theory, or homosexuality IS a choice (environmental factors), or something completely different is happening. Think Intelligent Design, although that introduces a whole raft of new logical and rhetorical problems that fit some facts, but not all.

The problem with the Gay Gene Theory is that it destroys a whole lot of deeply entrenched ideologies - for better or worse. It sets up a philosophical conundrum: either there is a Gay Gene and both God and Evolutionists are wrong, undermining centuries if not millennia of human development, or there is no Gay Gene and those who embrace the No-Choice doctrine are completely bereft of social cache, undermining a popular social ideology.

The problem with allowing ideology to influence Science is that everyone loses in the end. The Big Bang Theory was developed to conform "science" with the religious dogma of "creatio ex nihilo." Because of the severe damage implied by falsifying the Big Bang, "scientists" are forced to deny and/or ignore all the copious discoveries that undermine the Big Bang Theory, which is NOT Science. If the Universe is infinite and stable, then there is no apparent moment of Creation, and both religious and scientific dogma are destroyed. Thus, self-evident facts must be denied to maintain the status quo, or a whole lot of work must be swept into the dust bin of history.

You can claim we live in a holographic Universe and build elaborate arguments to prove it, but standing in front of an on-coming train will quickly prove you wrong with catastrophic results.

Progressivism, which informs the dominant Western culture at this time, states that behavior such as homosexuality is a genetic imperative and that we must all accept it because these folks have no choice in the matter. However, to do so undermines the dominant scientific theory of human origins, which the Progressives also espouse as a means to dispense with religious prohibitions, even though evolution was formulated to conform science and religion.

One major problem is that evolution was also developed in order to give God a "scientific" method of creating humans without an obvious miracle being performed (though there are plenty inherent in the argument).

We are, in fact, at a significant philosophical cross-roads. There is a major clash forming between ideologies and real Science (observation and testing of facts). The dominant "scientific" theories are increasingly being exposed as based entirely on socio-political agendas and/or religious dogmas that must ignore inconvenient facts in order to survive. No matter which way we, as a civilization, turn on these arguments, it will destroy precious, long-held dogmas - perhaps all of them - in one fell swoop.

The only way out of this conundrum is to take a cold, hard look at our assumptions and observations. If our assumptions do not fit the facts, they must be deleted, no matter how painful that may be. Entire weltanschauungs are at risk. In fact, all of the extant worldviews may ultimately be destroyed in favor of something new. No matter how you slice it, the clash is coming. It cannot be avoided.

Contemporary "science" is founded on religious dogma, yet it denies this fact. Marxist/Progressivist dogma stands in stark contrast to "science" and religion. Real Science stands in opposition to all of it. There is no possible way to rectify this situation without destroying some basic assumptions within our society.

Every effort to patch up existing scientific and religious dogmas to fit the prevailing political sentiment simply kicks the can down the road so we don't have to be the "bad guys" that brought the whole system of assumptions crashing down.

We can dearly wish for something to be true because it makes us feel warm and fuzzy, but it does not and will never make it true. It simply places us in the position of denying reality until reality bites us in the butt.

If history is a guide, this corrective process will take a century or more to sort out, but it must and will be sorted out. The fact remains that we cannot have our cake and eat it too.

5.12.17

An Asian Driver's Manual

READER NOTE: In our never-ending quest to get away from the Googles and Twitters of the world, we invite you to visit our new Steemit page, where we get paid every time your read and upvote one of our posts.  We are also shifting from Twitter to GAB.  We are already posting more and more unique content on those sites.  Please consider following us into the brave new frontier of free-speech internet...the way it used to be.  Sampai jumpa, y'all!

What follows is a painstaking list of rules for driving in Asia.  Please note that we have researched these rules by comparing observations with other ex-pats living in Asia to ensure this is the most accurate list of driving instructions possible.  Remember that your survival may depend on absolute adherence to these rules, no matter how much they defy logic or the Laws of Physics.  You have been warned:

1) Begin honking your horn at 2-second intervals from the moment you start your engine until the moment you arrive at your destination.  If you encounter a red light - where drivers actually stop - activate the horn non-stop until traffic moves again, then return to the 2-second intervals.  Traffic will not move...ever...unless you follow this rule to the letter.

2) Since the horn is effectively useless for anything other than letting other drivers know you are behind the wheel, flash your headlights to inform pedestrians and smaller vehicles that you are plowing through and have absolutely no intention of stopping, nor even slowing down to examine the corpses in your wake.

3) When driving, mash the accelerator to the floor for 3 seconds, then coast for 7 seconds.  Repeat this process until all passengers are vomiting, or you have reached your destination - whichever comes first.  This will save copious amounts of fuel by not using the engine for 7 out of every 10 seconds.  If you have an automatic transmission, this process is best achieved by alternately pumping the gas and brake using both feet.

4) DO NOT under any circumstances observe any road markings of any kind for any reason.  Even on an empty road (normally found from 3am to 3:30am on Sunday mornings), you must straddle the lane markings, speed up for pedestrian crossings and never move into an exit lane until the very last possible moment.

5) It is strictly prohibited to allow anyone or anything to get in front of you, even in the most freakish traffic jams.  Police will often check this rule by attempting to slide a piece of paper between your bumper and the car in front of you.  If the paper passes easily, you will be sorely punished.

5a) As long as you are following rules 1-4 properly, do not worry about any carnage or destruction you cause, as everyone was properly warned by your horn, flashing lights and peddle-pumping.  Besides, the other guy wasn't following the road markings, right?

6) When passing other vehicles on narrow mountain roads, always wait for the blind hair-pin turns to launch your assault.  Don't worry about oncoming vehicles, since your are sounding your horn and flashing your lights according to the rules.  This rule especially applies to tour buses that are entirely too big for the turns.

7) At no time are your to look in the direction in which your vehicle is moving.  Driving is the only time you really have for detailed discussions with your passengers, quality time with your kids and catching up on social media.  A number of cheap devices are now easily available to mount your electronics on the dash in your direct line of sight so you can get instant updates from Facebook and Twitter while driving.  Under no circumstances are you ever to use hands-free devices!

8) When calculating your travel time, be sure to add 1 hour for every 1 kilometer of distance.  If it is raining, which it does for 6 months of the year, add an extra hour per kilometer.

9) DO NOT EVER take the shortest route to your destination, as the Laws of Asian Physics state that this is the longest possible travel time.  Always plan your route to take the most convoluted, indirect and mind-bogglingly complex path to your destination, as this will involve the shortest possible travel time.  Be aware that, contrary to reason, it is often faster to go 5 kilometer in the wrong direction before turning around.  Remember: neither time and space, nor cause and effect have any relationship in Asia.  Interestingly, WAZE has incorporated this rule into its route-fining app.  Google, however, has not.

10) Police are useless eaters in Asia who want nothing more than a hand-out (bribe).  Ignore them completely, especially when they are trying to pull you over or escort some bloated, obnoxious VIP through traffic.  You are also required to block all possible paths through traffic when an emergency vehicle is behind you.

11) Refueling is one of the most joyful and exciting aspects of driving in Asia.  For this reason, it is best to set aside an entire day for this blessed activity.  Be sure to bring a picnic lunch and ensure your electronic devices are fully charged.   If for some incomprehensible reason queuing in the forecourt of the local petrol station is not your thing, then look for the 2 Western stations (usually Shell) in the country.  They will be more expensive (because they don't water the fuel), but the lines are usually 5-7 hours shorter.

12) DO NOT under any circumstances work on your own car, even things as simple and mindless as changing the oil.  For one thing, there are NO auto parts stores in Asia, so good luck finding the various tools, fluids and filters necessary to complete the most basic tasks.  Second, the neighbors will be mystified that you can do such amazing things, and will think you are a wizard and show up at your door with pitchforks and torches.  Third, the local mechanics will form a lynch mob and beat the crap out of you for taking food out of their children's mouths.

13) There are no annual safety inspections in most Asian countries, and where they do have them, you can just pay cash and pass on through.  Therefore, you take your life in your hands just stepping out the front door, much less getting on the road in any type of vehicle.  Not to worry, though, as long as the horn and at least one headlight are functioning.

14) When you buy a new vehicle, immediately have those comfy, cushy cloth-covered seats that don't burn your butt after several hours in the sun covered with cheap, hand-stitched Naugahyde so everyone will think you are a big shot with rich Corinthian leather seats.  Immediately after that, have ALL the windows (yes, windscreen too) tinted limousine black, first so the beggars and vendors that swarm in every traffic jam can't see in, and second so you don't have to see the rabble as you plow into the traffic ahead of you (especially at night).

15) Whenever you execute a turn, be sure to move to the side of the road farthest from the direction you want to turn (far right lane for a left turn, etc.).  Don't worry, because everyone in the opposite lane wants to turn in front of you.  Use your horn and headlights copiously if anyone gets in your way.

16) This rule only applies to MOTORCYCLES, which are basically 96.728 of all vehicles on the road in Asia (4.322 are hand-carts and rickshaws, and 1.651 are cars - see Laws of Physics).  If you are using a motorcycle, absolutely none of the above rules apply to you.  In fact, no rules whatsoever apply to you.  You are free to do anything you want, including driving on sidewalks, pedestrian bridges and playgrounds.  One of the primary benefits of a motorcycle is that they are the only vehicles allowed at the front of the line at red lights (when drivers actually stop for them).

17) Finally, no matter how bad the noxious fumes are inside your car, DO NOT open the windows, as it is 24.358 times worse outside - especially when you are behind one of the luxurious modern public transit options available all across Asia.  By the way, the thick blue clouds of smoke coming out of those luxurious modes of public transportation are caused by using cheap kerosene instead of gasoline.  Remember this nifty trick if you are ever low on cash and need to buy fuel for your car.

So that's it for driving in Asia.  For those with questions concerning navigation in Asia, we refer you to Chaos Theory, Mandelbrot Fractals and the Butterfly Effect.  One rule to keep in mind in this regard is, "You can't get there from here."

We wish you all the best on your Asian surviv...er, journey, and remember, the Red Cross is available for any emergency, not just scatter bombs and white phosphorous. 

Bon Chance!

24.11.17

A New Phase Of Battle

Hello to our Blogger die-hards who have supported our efforts for the past decade!

We at LFS would like to invite you to see our first original post on SteemIt.  The title is, "The Slings And Arrows of Progressivism," and explores the destruction of the Millennials that started with FDR and the New Deal.

As we try to break away from the Google cancer and actually make a little pocket money from our efforts, we are shifting our primary efforts over to SteemIt, which pays creators in cryptocurrency for their upvotes and other interactions.

We truly appreciate our readers here and we know that many of them support alternatives to the take-over of the web by the likes of Google.  SteemIt is a growing community of folks who feel the same way and don't want the efforts to benefit those who would destroy freedom of speech and creativity.

We invite you to bookmark our SteemIt blog, and if so moved, to join the SteemIt community as we try to break the lock-grip of the corporate masters on the internet.  We hope you'll ride along as we continue our efforts to bring a little clarity and open-mindedness to an increasingly insane and intolerant world.

UPDATE: We have also added a new GAB feed that gets us away from the restrictive world of Twitter, as part of our on-going quest to migrate away from censorship and feeding obnoxious billionaires with out hard work.  Do come and join us!

Sampai jumpa, y'all!

16.11.17

Joseph P. Farrell On Radio Far Side

Audience favorite Joseph P. Farrell joins us once again to discuss The Mandela Effect, and no...this is not your usual take on the subject.

Is someone manipulating the fabric of reality?  Have attempts to mask quantum events from our universe’s timeline gotten out of hand?  Are the massive data monitoring centers around the world actually tracking changes in the temporal framework of reality? 

More to the point, have you ever thought a famous person was dead, only to hear of them dying … again?  It’s called the Mandela Effect.  Stay tuned as we explore the profound implications of this bizarre form of déjà vu.

First, a few housekeeping items.  We were defunded by Google six years ago, long before it was fashionable.  Then PayPal froze our account for reasons that have never been clear.  Everything we produce – the blog, the videos, the Twitter feed – are a labor of love.  If you enjoy what we do and would like more of it, please visit our Patreon page and show us some love.  You can also visit our blogsite and use the QR code in the right column to drop some bitcoin in our purse.  All the links are include in the video description.

You can also help us expand by subscribing, liking and sharing our content with your circles of influence.  And who knows…given today’s topic, it may soon be possible to do all of that retroactively to the beginning of time!

A note about the audio…we tried a new recording process that left the audio a bit hammered.  We’ll upload this video again when we get it all sweetened out.

Dr. Joseph P. Farrell holds a Ph. D. in Patristics from University of Oxford, and has written over two dozen books that span at least the past three million years of human history.  His research is impeccable and his sources are always thoroughly referenced, making his work stand out in the crowded field of “alternative” history.
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Links:

Far Side Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/farside
Twitter Feed : https://twitter.com/RadioFarSide

Giza Death Star (Joseph P. Farrell): https://gizadeathstar.com/

The Rationalist View of TME: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_memory
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As always, spreading the word is the biggest help you can offer.  Send links to your friends, family and even worst enemies.  Who knows?  It might convert them into friends.

Thanks and sampai jumpa, y'all!

29.10.17

Living Dangerously, Again

This month saw the swearing-in of Jakarta's newest governor, Anies Baswedan.  At least once or twice in the ensuring weeks, Anies has declared Jakarta to once again be in the hands of the pribumi, or pre-colonial, people.  One must assume that Anies is either deliberately inciting trouble, or he is woefully ignorant of Indonesian law and history.  In the eyes of some commentators, he is both.

It is the habit of some demagogues here to declare that Indonesia is (once again) Muslim in a kind of "tent revival" analogue to the waves of Sillyanity that sweep the US on occasion.  Anies is one of them, and has made noises of allowing Islamic prayer in the governor's mansion, a proposition I am not entirely opposed to, as long as the Christians, Catholics, Hindus, Buddhists, and Taoists are allowed the same facility.  There are, in fact, six contitutionally-protected religions in Indonesia.

When I hear these demagogues rail about the colonial days and how this is a Muslim country in the same breath, it makes me laugh.  That has got to be one of the most ridiculous assertions an educated person can hear, at least here.

The name Jakarta is a conflation of two Javanese words: jaya and karta.  The term jaya karta can be translated as "city of prosperity," and was coined sometime in the 17th century.  The city's most direct lineage traces back to the Hindu Kingdom of Sunda, which dominated western Java for centuries. 

Arab invades colonialized a significant part of what is now western Indonesia and Malaysia, coming both directly from the Arabian peninsula and via conquests in India.  The invaders brought Islam with them and forcefully subjected any peoples they met along the way, demanding adherence to Islam or offering death.

By the mid-1600s, Islam had conquered much of eastern Java (the Jawa kingdoms), but the Sunda had put up quite a fight, preferring their native religion - a variant on Hinduism - to the harsh rule of the Islamic invaders. 

At roughly the same time, Portugal "discovered" the archipelago in its quest to control the spread of Islam and find new trade.  The natural wealth of the islands, both in things like gold and the unusual array of spices and flavors of food, with a year-round growing season, as well.  The Portuguese and Sunda king made common cause against Islam, and the Portuguese fleet needed a safe port in the area, as well. 

The first treaty ever executed between powers in Europe and the islands was done here in Jakarta in the late 1600s, memorialized on a large carved stone that was only recently recovered during a construction project in the old city.    It details an agreement between the Sunda king and Portugal, whereby the fleet would receive safe port while they helped to defend the Sunda from the Jawa/Islam invaders.  Elements of Portugal's presence are still found in northern Sulawesi and Ambon, Flores, and Timor L'Este, where the wholly different culture of Portuguese architecture and lifestyle led to bloody suppression and the deaths of hundreds of thousands when Indonesia tried to force Islam on the eastern half of the island.

As a bonus fact, Timor L'Este is just the words for "east" in the local language and Portuguese.  The name literally means, "East East."

A very long story short, the archipelago has roughly 1,000 inhabited islands, out of about 17,000.  Some of the islands have been inhabited since Hono Erectus took up digs here, well over a million years ago.  We can't forget the Flores people, too, who are commonly referred to as the Hobbits.  If recent discoveries and research bear out, there are pyramids here in West Java that are 20,000 years old, on top of all else.

Since the dawn of humanity, wave after wave of people from all over Asia have colonized these islands.  Aboriginals in Australia either came through here on their way south, or more controversially, worked their way north.  Some research says people from Taiwan were the first modern humans here.  The Chinese and Arabs have had a go at it.  Most recently, Europe, Japan, Britain, and the US have all had their hands in the resources found lying about the place.

For any group of the hundreds of cultures found across the archipelago to claim pribumi status is thus demagoguery or just plain, unvarnished ignorance.

In 1965, the Year of Living Dangerously, Jakarta had its first Christian governor, Henk Ngantung.  He was deposed by the coup d'etat that unseated President Soekarno.  Jakarta had its second Christian governor in Ahok, who was deposed this year after being railroaded for blasphemy only because he is a Christian of Chinese descent.  This led to the election of Anies, who has declared a victory for Islam.

This is dangerous talk, Pak Anies.  Every time it has happened before, a lot of people died.  Furthermore, there are SIX protected religions in the Constitution, not to mention dozens of ancient and indigenous religions practiced across the archipelago.

Are we headed for yet another Year of Living Dangerously?  Or perhaps the goal is more localized, along the lines of the 1998 Riots, or perhaps Timor L'Este?  Fascism is born of intolerance, and is no stranger to Indonesia.

This is a republic, Pak Anies.

25.10.17

The EverythingGate Scandal

There are signs and portends that something amazing is about to go down in America.  By "amazing," I don't mean the weak, Madison Ave. version, as in "amazing white sale at Bed Bath & Beyond," I mean like seeing a flock of flying elephants.

The ruling oligarchs appear not only to be having their usual turf wars, but for those turf wars to spill over into the public sphere in a way that will be amazing (flock of elephants).

America, at least in the sense of the ruling class, consists of the authoritarian/enforcement wing that uses guns and jails to ensure complete compliance, and the propaganda wing known as Hollywood.  They are not mutually independent or exclusive.  Each element of the oligarchy owns some part of both wings.  Any other divisions, such as political parties, visible in the public sphere, are for public consumption and have no reality on Olympus.

There are three things going on that make me think something amazing is coming: Harvey Weinstein, the Russian Investigation, and the Las Vegas Massacre.  Each of these events show a different aspect of the internal war that will soon bring down the entire turkey shoot.

Harvey Weinstein, as an individual, is nothing.  In Hollywood, he is probably somewhere in the middle of the sexual predator range.  Hollywood is nothing but sexual predators - males, females and undecidedes.  I know from personal experience that the only reason most people have any interest in working in that industry is to get laid, or they are well prepared to do whatever it takes to get ahead in the industry.  There are no illusions and no one is unaware of how the game is played.

Weinstein is a monster, but in a roomful of monsters, he hardly stands out.  What he is, is a human sacrifice - an amputation that is attempting to stop something worse.  He is the latest in a string of sacrifices trying to stop a massive implosion.  Bill Cosby, Bill O'Reilly, Roman Polansky, Darryl Zanuck, Louis Mayer (MGM anyone?), Arthur Freed, Michael Winner, and Buddy Adler are just some of the names publicly outed, but the scandals date back to the 1920s and the earliest days of Hollywood.

The question becomes, whose Wheaties did he piss in to make him the human sacrifice du jour?

Next comes the whole Russia Fiasco that has gripped the US for well over a year, or at least gripped the flapping-jaw housepets of the oligarchs.  Beginning with the so-called Russian Dossier and Hillary Clinton's attempt to undermine Donald Trump's administration with accusations of collusion with Russian agents, it is becoming increasingly clear that the collusion is on the wrong foot.

In 2009, Clinton, Mueller, Lynch, and Holden (all names familiar to US politics fans) were part of the Obama administration.  They worked together to surreptitiously sell 20% of the country's strategic uranium supply to Russia, cover up the sale, and personally benefit from the proceeds, with the Clinton Foundation of Canada (no reporting requirements) receiving something on the order of $150 million.

Furthermore, the infamous Russian ads run on Facebook and Google were all for liberal causes, like Black Lives Matter.  The appearance here is that part of the uranium deal was Russia's support for Clinton's campaign, not Trump's, though the Russian's likely tried to put members of Trump's inner circle in compromising positions that could be used for political fodder.

The plot thickens.

Then, there's the Las Vegas Massacre.  Anyone with an ounce of sense and 30 minutes of reading time can figure out that this event was a "false flag" attempting to smear the Trump administration and wrestle the political agenda away from the coming Flood.

Las Vegas has failed miserably.  The federal agencies involved are in a complete panic trying to bend the evidence to match the story.  The timeline keeps changing to match the evidence.  And MGM Resorts has tipped its hand too far and exposed its own machinations behind the scenes to control the Official Narrative.  Even the GeezerMedia's (Hollywood) endless repetitions of "authoritative" information and stage managing of witnesses (Jesus Campos, Dr. Phil crisis actor) can't keep the story on the tracks.

Together, what we have here is a perfect storm of insider wars with outsider pressure that is blowing the lid off of decades of deceit, fraud, corruption, and abuse that will bring down every single major institution of the oligarchy.  A couple of unwinding threats could be caught and resewn, but the tapestry of lies is positively disintegrating and all the repair outlets are under siege.

History buffs will recall the glory days of the Ulysses S. Grant administration, or Warren G. Harding's Teapot Dome scandal.  Perhaps you personally recall, as we do, the halcyon days of Richard Nixon's Watergate scandal.  What appears to be coming at us is all of these tied together, with a few tons of TNT on top just for good measure.

Skeletons have piled up in America's closet since at least the days of FDR.  Kennedy found a few and was about to clean house when he was "warned" off (as was his brother and son).  The seams are bursting, though, and there are few, if any, forces on Earth that can contain the imminent bursting forth.

The American population won't obligingly turn its head anymore.  The GeezerMedia is eating itself alive trying to stay afloat.  The political class is bailing out trying to put some distance between themselves and the coming explosion.  This one is gonna be huge.

When this dam breaks, there won't be a dry face or place on Earth.  That's how deep the corruption is.  Imagine a massive boil on the butt of the Universe that, once lanced, blows forth an endless stream of pus.  That's what's coming.

Aware folks are advised to hunker down for the fun.

16.10.17

The Pig That Proved Free Speech

One of the people I most respect in the world is Larry Flynt.  He was recently brought to mind for having offered $10 million for information leading to the imeachment of Donald Trump.  That's not the reason why I respect him, but rather for his crusade for Free Speech that was dramatized in the 1996 Milos Foreman film The People vs. Larry Flynt.

At the time I was becoming politically aware, Larry Flynt was fighting the US system, which was trying to squelch his right to speak freely, publish smut and lampoon public figures.  You can despise his publications (the most famous of which is Hustler magazine), you can hold the man in the lowest regard, you can even hate the man, but no one who loves freedom or liberty can deny his immense contribution to advancing individual rights.

Flynt's satire of preacher Jerry Falwell led to a lawsuit, Hustler Magazine Inc. v. Jerry Falwell, that ultimately led to the US Supreme Court decision affirming the absolute right of all individuals, no matter how or what they say, to have the right to say it.  The free market of ideas, the Court said, was far more important than the sensitivities of public figures.  The case reaffirmed that all speech is protected, not just speech that is pleasing or doesn't hurt one's feelings.

It is especially ironic that a mere 30 years after that landmark decision, the US is in the midst of a campaign to silence unpopular speech by the very ideologues and organizations that supported Larry Flynt.

The opening words of the Court's decision, written by Antonin Scalia, read as follows:
"At the heart of the First Amendment is the recognition of the fundamental importance of the free flow of ideas and opinions on matters of public interest and concern. The freedom to speak one's mind is not only an aspect of individual liberty – and thus a good unto itself – but also is essential to the common quest for truth and the vitality of society as a whole."

The New York Times, now one of the most vile enemies of free speech, filed an amicus curiae brief with the Supreme Court in thsi case, reminding the Court of its own victory in the New York Times Company v. Sullivan case of 1964, in which the Court ruled that press reports on public figures had to meet an "acutal malice" standard to prove defamatory speech.

Larry Flynt's case established that individuals had an absolute right to express opions, even in the form of comedy or satire and regardless of whether the subject had his or her feelings hurt, as a means of expanding the boundaries of public discourse, because expanding those boundaries was always in the public interest.

It is highly entertaining to me, if not very disappointing, that the liberal left, which supported Larry Flynt's campaign for free speech, is now the very group fighting tooth and nail to shut down public discourse on the basis that someone may get their feelings hurt - the very reason they argued against in 1987.

The irony of history never escapes my bemused gaze.

Flynt v. Falwall was required reading for Communications majors.  Among a pile of other Supreme Court decisions, it was a lynch pin for anyone in mass media.  We had to know the parameters of the Sullivan test and the Court's opinion on free speech.  We had to write papers on our understanding and interpretation of these cases. 

I also just liked Larry Flynt because he hated the System and flaunted in front of it every chance he got.  I respect that in a man.  I've tried to emulate his example every chance I've had.

One of the most precious gifts Nature has seen fit to give humans is the ability to communicate.  We have a facility called speech that allows us to encode and decode messages containing our thoughts, opinions and feelings.  If someone has the right to express having their feelings hurt, then someone else has the right to say something that hurts feelings.  If you cut of one, the other must go, as well.

It is especially importnat that people be allowed to ridicule, lampoon and hold up for public display the words and actions of public figures.  These figures earn a living off of our labor and willingness to support them.  They, therefore, must endure our praise and our mockery.  It is the price they pay for not having to do real, productive work.  They know full well walking into public life that they are exposing themselves to this sort of scrutiny, and they cannot be immune from it.

To protect public figures from such treatment is to give them carte blanche for curruption and depravity, since they then have the power to shut down and punish such scrutiny.  We see cases al the time in the public sphere where public figures who are protected from public ridicule take advantage of it and devolve into subhumans who act as if they are above the rest of us.

All sides of public discourse have the absolute right to express their opinions.  To silence one voice is to ultimately silence all, since the arguments in favor of doing so apply to everyone.  No matter what is said by whom and to whom, there will always be someone who gets their feelings hurt.  The only solution is complete silence, which denies a very basic characteristic of being human.

We are in a critical juncture where the counter-culture is swinging from one political extreme to the other.  In the 1980s, it was the Moral Majority and the highly vocal right wing that was trying to silnce free expression.  It is now AntiFa and the left wing that is doing the very same thing.  The worm turns.

In the end, free speech is not a privilege granted or rescinded bv governments.  It is a vital part of being human, an intricate part of our Nature, that cannot be silenced without terrible destruction and damage to our civilization.  Wherever it has been done, unspeakable horrors have resulted.  It is a matter of historical record.  A dam eventually breaks when the pressure behind it overcomes the force holding it.

Whether you view Larry Flynt as hero or scum is immaterial.  The fact is his actions made people a little bit freer, and that is worthy of praise.

15.10.17

Authority Is A Virus

One of the most iconic and enduring scenes from George Orwell's famous book Nineteen Eighty-Four is the one in which main character Winston Smith finally capitulates in Room 101 and actually sees five fingers, when O'Brien is only holding up four.  To be more accurate, Smith admits he doesn't know how many fingers there are without being told, regardless of what his own senses are telling him.

A similar scene takes place in the "Chain of Command" episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation.  Captain Picard is tortured by an alien and repeatedly told that he sees five lights, when there are in fact only four.  Picard later admits, after being rescued, that he could in fact see five.

Both these well-known scenes depict the power of authority to control the perceptions of those it considers under its sway.  In an authoritarian State, the State assumes the power to dictate reality itself to the masses, and by either coersion or capitulation, the masses accept.

Because science is the study of reality, it is important that the authoritarian State control the results of scientific investigation.  In our current society, the State dictates its chosen narrative in the guise of science, controls the education of sciene, and through funding controls who will and won't be allowed access to the gliziest toys and to publish their findings.

Through this mechanism, the State controls what is perceived as "settled science" and the interpretation of the results.  In this way, the authoritarian State controls reality itself.

After years of indoctrination at the hands of the State's schools and media, the world is populated with people who literally deny the evidence of their own eyes and common sense, in favor of the official narrative.  In other words, they willingly choose not to know how many fingers or lights there are until told by someone in "authority"/

The Star Trek example here dramatizes the brute force approach.  The State is aware that it is foisting a false narrative on the masses, and uses pain and suffering to force the masses to accept the dictated reality.

Orwell's Smith and O'Brien are much more subtle and closer to what we really experience.  In this scene, O'Brien - the representative of State authority, has already been indoctrinated/  While he is aware at some level that there are other ways to view reality, he cannot see them.  He only manipulates their symbols in order to force Smith to accept the dictated narrative.  O'Brien reads from a script, as it were.  As representative of authority, he is full a part of the authoritarianism.  He is not above or outside it, or he could not "teach" it to Smith.

In the modern authoritarian State, it is hard to tell whether any of the heirarchy have a larger picture or context.  It seems to have become a self-perpetuating illusion that every member of the Inner Party fervently believes, and is incapable of seeing objective reality, even though it can manipulate the trappings of it, for the purposes of shutting down and endoctrinating those who see beyond the ruse.

There are many examples of this, but things like "gravitational waves" or the "Higgs boson: are perfect examples.  The State has spent billions of our hard-earned dollars on things like the CERN "atom smasher" and the LIGO "gravitational wave" detectors as props to reinforce how "serious" the Stat'e's narrative is.  Only fully indoctrinated individuals are allowed to use these contraptions, and only those "findings" that match the official narrative are allowed to be published. 

Since the individual's income and years of work are dependent on "finding" the approved answers, they willfully view reality through "warped glasses" and will fervently defend whatever results they are allowed to publish, while ignoring any other results that don't match the bespoke narrative.

Thus, through an intricate system of rewards and punishments, people rise through the ranks of the authoritarian structure until everyone, from top to bottom, is fully incapable of seeing objective reality.  They advance and are rewarded with perks for toeing the State's line, and those who do not are marginalized and discarded if they can't be "re-educated".

Science was envisioned as a means to filter out the authoritarian bias, but the method was conscripted by the authorities and bent to their will.  We must realize, though, that the original authorities actually believed their own narrative and willfully prevented themselves from seeing any other possibilities.

In the end, O'Brien can indoctrinate Smith because he IS the system - he fully embraces and believes in the the system, he can see nothing other than the system.  He can manipulate objective reality, and Smith's mind, only to the extent that it serves the authoritarian purpose.  It is as if he has a virus that has invaded his entire body, and at that point becomes a carrier who then can infect others.

It is a strange and all-encompassing phenomenon that is active throughout our daily lives.  Even those of us who consider ourselves "awake" are infected with the virus of authoritarianism, and it is very difficult to let go of the illness, since we must function in the world that has been created for us.  It is still an open question.  The disease is pervasive, both within and without.  Even those who are recovering from the disease are highly prone to relapse.

We must constantly check whether we see five lights or four, and whatever the answer, discover some way to objectively check the answer.  Even then, it is not a matter of how many lights we see, but whether we require an authority to tell us what to see.

14.10.17

The Hollywood Happy Hi-Howdy

One of the most alarming features of the Bumbledick Left is that it requires absolute conformity, a philosophical analogy to lock-stepping military parades.  Once conformity takes over any group of people, it becomes susceptible to charismatic leaders, who despite any good intentions, always get corrupted by the perception of power.

Individuals gain power over groups by offering something that the group desires more than any other thing.  Wealth, fame, eternal redemption - these are strong motivators for many people.  When a leader promises to fulfill these desires, and is perceived to be successful at doing it, the people invest tremendous amounts of trust and authority in the leader in the hopes of attaining their ultimate dreams.

Once a leader has hundreds, thousands, even millions of people willing to do pretty much anything they are told, the temptation for the leader to fulfill his or her own desires is overwhelming.  When followers literally throw themselves at a leader, willing to do anything to obtain their desires, who among us could resist the temptation?  I aver that exactly none of us could.

Throughout history, people can, will and have surrendered even their most strongly held moral and ethical limits to obtain their deepest desires.  Literature is full of great novels and biographies of just such people.  Great films, like Treasure of the Sierra Madre, dramatize the effects of moral degradation on the souls in the face of wish fulfillment.

And speaking of great films, that brings us to the topic of today's screed.

If you've been keeping up with the tattler sheets (a,k,a. the news) or @RadioFarSide's tweets, then you know that Hollywood's soft underbelly is being exposed at a rather alarming rate, precipitated by accusations against Uber-Producer Harvey Weinstein.

Many don't realize it, but the entertainment industry has been known for its "loose" ways for centuries.  In the ancient Greek and Roman theater, women were not allowed to perform, as it was seen as degrading to the Feminine Ideal.  The European castrati are legendary as replacements for female opera performers.  Victorian England held female performers at a level just slightly above outright harlot.  And none of this is to say that the males were viewed much (if any) better.

Mae West made a name and a fortune playing on the "fallen star" image.  Madeline Khan mocked the image with great hilarity in Blazing SaddlesVictor/Victoria was a comedic treatment of the lengths to which female performers would go to achieve stardom.  In fact, the entire long tradition of drag queens is an extension of the use of males to perform female parts, since women were castigated for even wishing to enter the second oldest profession.

Grace Kelly's aristocratic family were aghast at her choice to enter the acting profession.  Of course, all was forgiven when Prince Rainier offered to make an "honest" woman of her.

All of this is to say that anyone who is shocked by revelations of Hollywood improprieties is either ignorant of history or very naive.

Hollywood has, for nearly a century, offered the lure of great fame and fortune.  This dangling carrot has lured millions of aspiring performers from around the world to a single city in the Western United States that rather pompously calls itself the Dream Factory.

This powerful siren song of fame makes anyone in a leadership position in Hollywood almost by default a predator.  Not that they have to work very hard, because there are plenty of folks who willingly throw themselves at anyone offering the Golden Carrot of fame.  In fact, as I watch the unfolding mess, my first thought is that Harvey Weinstein did something to unleash the wrath of the Hollywood Inner Sanctum.  None of this would be coming out if it weren't first ordained and sanctioned by the Inner Sanctum.

Ask Randy Quaid.


11.10.17

Strange Gods, Foreign Altars

A great many Americans and Indonesians seem to labor under a similar misconception, though the circumstances are slightly different.

Ask a random sample of Americans, and the majority will likely say that the US is a Christian country.  In Indonesia, the same question is liable to get the majority response that this is an Islamic country.

Both majorities are wrong.

The US was neither founded by Christians, nor was it intended to be a "Christian" country.  In fact, many of the founders of the US were Deists, which are defined as folks who believe the Creator is separate from the Creation, and that Humanity is allowed to go its own way within the Laws of Nature.  They reject the supernatural and shy away from revelations and miracles, preferring a more scientific approach to things.

If this sounds vaguely familiar, it's because the ideas are woven into the US Declaration of Independence and its Constitution, especially the part where it says, "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of a religion, or prohibiting the free practice thereof..."

We must keep in mind that a large number of folks who came to the New World from Europe were, if fact, religious heretics and nut cases (by some accounts) and roundly persecuted for it back home.  All the wanted, really, was to be left the hell alone so they could do whatever it was that fulfilled their spiritual needs.

It's a slightly different situation in Indonesia, but the impulse is the same.

When the founders were trying to forge a nation out of a bunch of wildly different cultures with widely varying beliefs stretched out for thousands of miles across thousands of islands, that had all been colonized for centuries, they had to placate many different beliefs.

What eventually made it into the Indonesian Constitution is:

Article 29
(1) The State shall be based upon the belief in the One and Only God.
(2) The State guarantees all persons the freedom of worship, each according to
his/her own religion or belief.

In actual practice, this has come to mean that you are free to worship if you belong to one of the six "recognized" religions - Roman Catholic, Protestant, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, or Islam - and oh, by the way, Islam is more equal than all the others.

This was no more apparent than in a recent story out of Medan.  In brief, a baby boy was found nearly frozen in a cardboard box, abandoned in the town of Binjai, in Sumatera.  A Christian policewoman wanted to adopt the child, but was told she could not because only Muslims are allowed to adopt abandoned children.  Consequently, the evil Social Services (same in every country) snatched the child away and put him in an orphanage in Medan.  Obviously, they are really concerned for the welfare of the child, since an orphanage is preferable to a loving home.

The article goes on to state:
"...A national law, Government Regulation no. 54/2007 on Adoption, states in article 3, “In cases in which the origin of the child is unknown, then the child’s religion is conformed to the religion of the majority of the local population.”
In Indonesia, the religions may not be mingled.   Marriages and adoptions may only be among those of the same (or assumed) religions.  This law is primarily to protect Muslims from internarriage and/or the shameful possibility that children could be raised with liberal ideas concerning religions, such as may happen in a "mixed" marriage or cross-adoption.

To be fair, the Roman Catholics have done the same thing for centuries, though in this supposedly Enlightened Era, this kind of practice seems draconian, if not down-right medieval.

Indonesia is often referred to as the largest Islamic nation on Earth.  It is not.  It has the largest Muslim population under one flag, but it is supposedly composed of six equal religions.  In practice, however, this is obviously not true.

Not only are mixed marriages and adoptions forbidden, but Muslims receive preferenctial treatment by the government's Ministry of Religion, converts TO Islam are perfectly acceptable, but FROM Islam can and often do result in disinheritance, excommunication and even death in some areas.  Everyone is expected to respect (even follow) Muslim practices such as Ramadhan, but Muslims routinely ignore those fasting for Lent.  Mosques are built roughly every 200m all over the country, and their loudspeakers are cranked to 11 with no recourse, but churches and temples are highly regulated and frequently destroyed before construction is finished.

Had a Muslim policewoman, such as in the story, found an abandoned baby in a predominantly Christian area and wanted to adopt, I would likely not be writing this article, as it would never have become an issue of national attention.

I frequently hear local Muslims grousing about the way Muslims are treated in Europe and the US, and even Myanmar.  It is difficult to point out that perhaps some Islamic practices and demands rub the wrong way on others.  Perhaps, I want to say, intolerance begets intolerance.  Perhaps the willingness to heap suffering even on the innocent causes others to recoil in disgust, maybe even horror.

Certainly the upwelling of indignation in Indonesia over this particular case shows that a large number - even a majority - of people in this country want fairness, compassion and generosity, over dogma, inflexibility and favoratism.

Perhaps it's time for Muslims in Indonesia (and elsewhere) to re-examine the meaning of Pancasila and the founding principles of this nation.  People are either free or they are not, there are no partial steps or gradients.

A woman's love and care of a child is endowed by God - not your god or my god, but THE God.  Only a man could find it acceptable to put a child in an orphanage to "save" it from a life under the "wrong" religion and deny a woman's instinct to care for and protect a child.

It's time to ask what is more important, a book or a life?

10.10.17

Not No Way, Not No How

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UPDATE: Here's a well-done analysis of ballistics in the Las Vegas case.

In high school, I had a trigonometry teacher named Fr. Cylwicki.  He would demonstrate parabolas with a water pistol, both to dramatically show what a parabola was, and to wake us up during the 8am slog through such tedium.

Trigonometry is used to calculate ballistics.  Arrows, bullets, artillery, and even Kim Jong-Un's rockets follow parabolic arcs.

What that has to do with the Las Vegas massacre and Stephen Paddock should become apparent shortly.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I was a competition shooter and a pretty good one, by most accounts.  I won awards and patches and a couple of nice guns, too.

Because of that, I have an intuitive sense of trigonometry.  I hated the class, but I understand the physics of it.  I know how to calculate where an arrow or bullet will go, based on my elevation, wind speed, muzzle speed and other variables.  I also know that one of the hardest shots to make is when the shooter is above the target - even a few feet.

Shooters know that at level, the arrow or bullet will travel in an arc - a parabola - from the muzzle to the target.  Depending on distance, air desity, wind speed, etc., the arrow or bullet will fall slower or faster, depending on these factors.  Even at 100 feet (30 meters) from the target, arrows and bullets will drop a significant amount, all other conditions being perfect.

Non-shooters generally don't know this.  Someone who picks up a gun for the first time with try to aim directly at the bull's eye, and will invariably hit low.  They also won't compensate for recoil, muzzle speed and the like, so the arrow or bullet may end up far to the right of left of center, and significantly below.

That's at the same level as the target.

A figure now called Stephen Paddock, who supposedly had no firearm training, was not known for shooting or even having and interest in it, and who certainly would not have sniper training that included elevated positions, would very likely have no idea how to compensate for all the listed factors in order to target even a large crowd.

Most folks will look at those last two words and think, "How hard can it be to hit thousands of people in a small area with a machine gun?"

Answer: incredibly.

The alleged sniper's nest was on the 32nd floor of a hotel that is 0.7 miles (over half a kilometer) from the venue.  The window is therefore a minimum of 320 feet (90 meters) above eye level, not counting any floors that aren't part of the numbering convention that gives us 32.

At that distance, the entire venue would have been about the size of a bull's eye on a standard target at 100 feet.  Without a very high-powered scope, the sniper would not have been able to see individual souls.

On the night of 1 October 2017, between the hours of 10:05p and 10:15p PDT, according to "official" records.  Sundown was around 5:15p, meaning it was 5 hours after dark.  The minimum temperature that night was 79F/26C, with a maximum humidity of 20%, air pressure was 999hPa, with no measured rain.  Wind speeds were measured at 3.1 miles/second, or 7mph/11kph, out of the South West, with visibility up to 10miles/16km.

Because the window was a minimum of 320 feet/90m up, there would have been a temperature gradient of roughly 5F/10F, meaning the air density would have changed moving downward, from cooler to warmer air.

According to Google Earth, the sniper's nest window faced South East, meaning the wind was from the back, but would likely have had some swirl effect around the edge of the building and into the cavity formed by the two wings.  The wind was blowing across the venue from audience right to audience left, with the stage facing the hotel.  The sniper's nest direct line of fire would have been to the far audience left of the seating area, meaning the shooter would have had to angle a bit to target the direct center of the venue.

So, a direct shot out the window, all other factors aside, would have hit the back left corner of the venue.  A cross wind, even a small one over 0.7 mile, would have hit wide of the venue into the street beyond.  There are no reports I have seen that say bullets landed outside the venue.

In clear, midday conditions, this would be a hell of a shot, even just spraying with a machine gun, at night it would be near impossible but for the best sharp-shooters.  No witnesses mentions tracer rounds (glow in the dark), so the shooter would have to way to confirm what was being hit.  A scope would be almost useless with a machine gun, since the constant jerking back and sweep to the side would make it impossible to look through, not to mention dangerous to one's eye.  The shooter would have no way to verify hits without a spotter (second person to verify hits).

Since I can find no reports of exactly what gun was used in Las Vegas, and the sound matches several that I know of, I can guess at what it was like to fire the rifle.

Machine guns are designed for close-range target suppression, not long range accuracy.  The muzzles expel gasses to the shooter's left, so that the gun automatically sweeps to the right.  The normal way to fire such a gun is to begin on one's left and let the momentum of the gasses carry the muzzle to the right, so that the bullets spread out over an arc.  They are not designed for use in full-auto mode when shooting with precision over long distances.

And 0.7 mile, or more than half a kilometer, is a long distance.

Back to our parabolas.  Since the shooter was supposedly up 320 feet, we can imagine that being the peak in the arc of a parabola.  The shots would fall off rather quickly and if one was aiming at something 0.7 mile away, would hit well short of the target.

Add in a cross-wind at 3.1 miles/second, changing air density, dry conditions (humidity), temperature gradients, low light levels, and very likely a high heart rate and adrenaline causing muscles to quiver,   In addition, the window makes for a small operational area, and the sweeping motion of the machine gun would limit the length of time one could hold the trigger (certainly not the 100+ rounds recorded on audio).

Add up all these factors and you basically have an unbelievably difficult situation for even a weekend warrior.  Certainly 58 kills and 500+ injuries in 10 minutes, given all these factors and variables, would put this shooter in a rare class indeed.  It doesn't sound like anything a millionaire accountant could pull off, even with two weeks' practice in the desert.

More than all the other unbelievable information coming out with the Las Vegas massacre story, this one assumption completely destroys the whole narrative, in my opinion.  Either the shooter was not Stephen Paddock, or what we are told about him is completely false.

And even once we've considered the logistics of using a machine gun at 0.7 mile from the target, there's the matter of the bullets.

You see, with standard ammunition, half a mile is pushing it for most loads, and one mile is about the limit for hot loads.  Most of the energy behind the bullets would have been spent by the time they reached the target, in this case.

Once one begins picking this story apart, the pieces don't add up.

9.10.17

A View To A Kill

Of late, there's been a lot of slavering nincompoops in the US media, and even a few much higher functioning folks, who keep repeating the line, "Las Vegas is the worst mass shooting in US history."

Apparently, these folks don't read history.

First of all, those US Democrat "leaders" and "authorities" who are whining endlessly about gun violence would, in the exact same breath, defend the "right" to abortion with equal vehemence and passion.

Abortion has killed between half a million and a million and a half humans every year in the US since 1973 (Roe v. Wade decision).  Abortion is licensed, sanctioned and protected by the US government, and in some cases, it even pays for the slaughter.

OK, so some readers' eyes glaze over when the topic of abortion comes up, so how about the US Civil War - the one whose monuments the Left are trying to destroy?  Abraham Lincoln is directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of 640,000 men, not to mention the horrors inflicted on women and children by Union forces, a true count of which will likely never be known but through family diaries and stories.

The number of slave ships operated under the US flag?  It's hard to find an actual number of US-registered slave ships, but it is safe to say a couple of dozen, and how many of those government-sanctioned and licensed ships were directly or indirectly responsible for how many deaths?  We'll never know, because slaves were livestock and accurate numbers weren't kept.

How about the Native Americans?  I disagree with the term "Native American" on several accounts, but that's a different argument.  Most folks know to whom I am referring, but for clarity's sake, this refers to the dozens of original nations that existed in North America before the British - and later the American - invasion.

At the Sand Creek Massacre in December of 1864, US "soldiers" slaughtered several hundred Cheyenne and Arapaho who were peacefully camped near Sand Creek in Colorado.  The majority of the dead and wounded were women and children, and the "soldiers" mutilated some of the bodies and placed various body parts in their hat bands as a sign of "bravery".  This incident was planned and sanctioned by the US government.

In December of 1890, as many as 300 Lakota Sioux were slaughtered by US "soldiers" on the banks of the Wounded Knee Creek for no particular reason.  Again, many of the dead were women and children, and the "soldiers" gleefully scalped and mutilated the bodies (a practice common to US troops).

The atrocities committed by the US government are numerous and egregious.  Sand Creek and Wounded Knee Creek are just two of the more famous incidents.  Slavery is well-know to most folks, though few acknowledge that it was sanctioned and controlled by the US government (see Dred Scott decision).  The Civil War is always justified in a dozen different ways, but if you read the true history of it, you realize that the US government was the aggressor and that its agents committed horrific atrocities in the South.  And regardless of how you justify it, abortion is the killing of a human being, and it is a recognized "right" defended by the US government.

All of this is to say that when the US government and its paid mouthpieces tell us that the Las Vegas massacre is the worst mass killing in US history, we should immediately think of the word, "LIE".

Furthermore, when that same US government is responsible for investigating the massacre, we should be highly suspicious of the findings.  And when folks say that the US government is good and would never do anything that wasn't in the best interests of the American people, folks should back away slowly, realizing they are staring in the face of terrible Evil.

We should have an equal reaction to any "information" put out by the US government and its minions.  Who did the Las Vegas shooting and why; where the shooter(s) was(were); any photos, leaks, notes, audio/video recordings, etc.; these should all be viewed with the highest suspicion.

If one thinks that the US government would never plan and execute such a thing on its own people in order to further an agenda, I invite the gentle reader to scroll back up and reread just the highlights of what the US government has already done.  I won't even begin to reprise the atrocities it has committed in foreign lands (Korea and Vietnam come to mind, not to mention Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Afghanistan).

Just for good measure, however, I invite the gentle reader to view the declassified documents detailing Operation Northwoods.  If that's not enough, perhaps a review of the Kent State Massacre will help drive home the point.

In any highly publicized and politicized event, such as the Las Vegas massacre, the gentle reader would do well to take every word from the "authorities" with a large dose of salts.  Not only is the US government willing and able to PLAN such an event, it has a long history of EXECUTING such things, as well.

The aware reader must be very wary of anything the US government and its minions (including the Geezer Media) tell us about this incident.  It is far easier to believe that a murderous organization with a long history of atrocities pulled this off, than a millionaire accountant with no history of violence or gun training and an arsenal of illegal military-style guns in a luxury hotel suite - and barely a history at all, for that matter.

This is not conspiracy theory, this is common sense.