On Shiny Pony and Witch Berning

This week Canada’s shiny new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is hanging out with Obama. You can imagine my excitement: two photogenic lightweights sharing a heartwarming bromance on the public’s dime. I am at a loss to imagine a more hurl inducing scenario. I shared my feelings with a terse CBC comment.

As a dual US-Canadian citizen I must avert my eyes when confronted with such unctuous and expensive dog and pony shows. At least, we know who the dog is and who the shiny pony is! In a few short months, the toilet of history will flush on the Obama administration. For this we can thank term limits: one the best ideas in government ehh! This will cure the American Obama problem and ruin Trudeau’s play dates for years to come as I’m pretty sure neither Hillary or Trump are compatible with whatever is putting the wave in Justin’s hair.

I have safely ignored Justin Trudeau, (Shiny Pony), for decades and no harm will come from continuing this practice. Canada is, in Douglas Adam’s immortal words, “mostly harmless.” It’s one of the things I love about the country. It balances out the smug, preening, holier than thou, moral posturing that erupts from many Canadians when presented with conundrums like Trump. Batman’s nemesis the Joker said it best, “Why so serious?” Canadians take themselves more seriously than the Danes. If you’ve ever lived in Denmark you’ll understand.

Unfortunately, the United States is not mostly harmless. It matters a little bit who is elected President. It doesn’t matter nearly as much as many Americans think and we can praise the all squiggling Flying Spaghetti Monster for that. Living under a hubris-infused narcissist like Obama would be far worse if we didn’t have the luxury of ignoring him. And this brings me to Hillary, (Hildabeast), and Trump. It’s going to be difficult to ignore either one of them, and sadly None of the Above, my preferred candidate, is not on the ballot. This is a problem.

My solution, as always, revolves around who I hate the most. Animus is my animating principle. Trump is a bombastic tool, but, at least, I don’t want to hold his head under water until it stops making nagging noises. The prospect of four years of Hildabeast barking is profoundly depressing. The bitch must be stopped so I’m resorting to extreme measures. Next week I’ll cast a primary vote for that old 1960s era western hippie-commie, Bernie Sanders. Sanders has no chance of winning the presidency in November. If by some miracle, he ends up as the Democrat nominee he will be crushed by whatever crawls out of the Republican swamp.

I almost feel sorry for Bernie. Like all 1960s era western hippie-commies, he’s a weird mixture of earnest naiveté and historical ignorance. Western hippie-commies differ from their real eastern counterparts. They’ve never held power, never run anything of importance, and have a serious marketing problem!

Anyone, even remotely cognizant of 20th-century history, will find it hard to overlook the vast pile of corpses various communist and socialist regimes piled up. We’re not really sure how many tens of millions died at the hands of Stalin, Mao, Kim Il-Sung, Pol Pot and lesser thugs but it exceeds the toll exacted by the Nazi’s. This is beyond historical dispute. You can whine, attempt to change the subject, and hurl as many epithets as you want but it won’t change this nasty fact. People’s regimes are demonstrably bad for people.

Western hippie-commies like Sanders know this so they rebrand themselves as socialists. Socialists believe that if you only do communism right none of the brutal side effects will accrue. You can have somebody else’s cake and eat it too. This is naïve. Ask anyone in Venezuela about the wonders of 21st-century socialism. While you’re at it, explain how the socialism of Bernie Sanders differs from the socialism of Hugo Chavez. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t!

A primary vote for Sanders is mostly harmless. It’s like sticking a cocklebur on Pussydent Hildabeast’s hideous hide. Still it amuses me? I must take solace somewhere. Let’s Bern the Witch!

bernthewitch

What is Required: Print Captions on the back of Photographs

I am tired of waiting for “the market” to exploit painfully obvious opportunities so I will now provide guidance, in the form of milliblog entries, that tell our less imaginative entrepreneurs just what some of us would buy if we could.

Here’s a deep request. How about printing captions on the back of photographs?

I just went through the excruciating ordeal of ordering about one hundred prints from SmugMug. SmugMug prints meet my high standards but their online ordering software is clunky and clearly geared toward very small print runs. If you have hundreds of pictures, of varying and custom sizes, the software will punish you. The obvious steps of setting a paper type, selecting all your images, and then letting the software work out the paper size from image aspect ratio is not available. You must go image by image setting one easily derived parameter after another. I would print a lot more if it wasn’t such a frigging chore.

As annoying as SmugMug print-ordering is at least I get the prints I want with one major exception. If you check out my online photographs you’ll see I use captions like nanoblog entries. Many people have told me they really like my captions. One of my pet peeves is unlabeled photographs. I have wonderful hundred-year-old photographs of elegantly posed complete strangers because nobody left a clue on the back.

So, in addition to printing timestamps and file names on the back of photographs, include captions as well!

P.S. It takes about five years for the market to meet my obvious requirements; don’t hold your breath.

American Star Chamber creates Foreign Passport Business Opportunity

Good news citizens: the putrid rogue intellects in Washington D.C. have created a brand new shiny Star Chamber. What’s a Star Chamber you ask? It’s basically a secret kangaroo court. The US system of injustice already employs an alphabet soup of Star Chambers. Perhaps you’ve heard of FISA and its outstanding work of rubber stamping the surveillance of dangerous American citizens – oops terrorists. Well, I’m happy to report that the self-aggrandizing assholes that drool us are no longer content with monitoring our terrorist naughty bits; now they’re going for what they covet most: our money.

The new Star Chamber law plugs an egregious hole that citizens – oops terrorists – have mercilessly exploited in the past. You see, when an American – oops terrorist – determines that residing in the US and maintaining American citizenship is no longer worth it, said American could simply gather up his holdings, leave the country, and renounce his citizenship. Remember Eduardo Saverin? He was a cofounder of Facebook who did a little arithmetic and figured out that dumping his US citizenship would save him many millions of tax dollars. Eduardo did what any intelligent human being would do. He analyzed the cost-benefit ratio of his citizenship and made the correct financial decision.

Of course, the entire financial position of the US government is predicated on making sure that citizens do not get in the habit of making such cost-benefit analyzes. In the past, the old tropes of patriotism, honor, giving back, national pride, and so forth kept many of us from firing up our computers but that’s the past. This is the age of hope and change.  And many little Eduardo’s hope to get out of here with some of their change!

The years of hope and change have led to an ever-increasing number of Americans fleeing the country. It’s only a trickle now but wait until Pussydent Hildabeast takes over. The trickle will turn into a flood and that’s a problem because without taxpayers how will Pussydent Hildabeast pay off her cronies, reward her allies, and punish her enemies? It takes a lot of money to bribe – oops run – government.

Fortunately, the new Star Chamber fixes the exile problem. Under the new regime, if the government thinks you owe them back taxes1 they can refuse to issue you a passport. You’re a flight risk you ungrateful terrorist – oops citizen – scum.  It gets better! If the government thinks you’re aiding foreign terrorists they can also refuse to issue you a passport. Of course, what constitutes “aiding foreign terrorists” is completely unspecified. Better not send any attaboy ISIS tweets, they might be construed as “aiding foreign terrorists.”  And, because we are so hope and changey these days if you dare ask why the government thinks you are aiding terrorists this shiny new law allows them to withhold evidence because: terrorists!  Due process is so white privilege! With such an idiotic and oppressive law in place, it’s just a matter of time before the US harbors thousands of internal tax and terrorist aiding exiles. They’ll be joining a larger cohort of hundreds of thousands of former American drug offense prisoners that are also, oddly enough, frequently denied US passports.

This is all good news! What the morons in Washington have created is a gigantic business opportunity for any country that will issue Americans passports for cash.  If you don’t already have another passport contrive to get one as soon as possible!  You really don’t want to be imprisoned here if you run afoul of our increasing fascist authorities.


  1. Of course the IRS never incorrectly assesses a citizen’s – oops terrorist’s – taxes.

Copulation, Cooking and Cleaning

A refreshing blogosphere development is something called the “manosphere.” The manosphere is a mangy collection of young male bloggers that have had it with man hating feminism. I’m an old boomer fart, not exactly the manosphere demographic, but I see their point. I remember when rational1 feminists set their sights on “equal pay for equal work.” I fully supported pay equity and, when you correct for actual hours worked, that battle has been won in oppressive western cultures.2 But, as every married man knows, what women ask for is seldom what they really want.

Equity was never the goal of radical feminists! Radical feminists are nasty menstruating socialists. Their perfect world looks a lot like an old-fashioned new-man communist utopia: a utopia that was rudely rejected for all sorts of Gulag’ey reasons. Sadly, radical feminists don’t take rejection gracefully. Once a month their bitter frustrations manifest as malignant misandry. Yeah, “femnazis” are real and they’re everywhere! Femnazicism rears its ugly bull dyke head in repressive campus speech codes, phony palimony suits, bogus rape claims, “fat acceptance” campaigns, and tiresome PMS laced whining about how hard it is to find a real man. Well ladies, I am going to let you in on a little guy secret; it’s much harder to find a real woman!

What I am about to say will strike manospherians, and real men everywhere, as obvious but we can no longer count on men being men. There are a lot of misguided white knights and whipped manginas out there so grab your sanitary napkins and brace for reality.

In pre-pussy-boy days, men looked for, fought over, and highly valued “three C” women.

What the hell is a “three C” woman? A three C woman understands men. She has intuitively, or intellectually, grasped that human males are simple short-lived creatures that are biologically programmed to seek three things from woman: copulation, cooking and cleaning – the three Cs.

You can determine a man’s age by how he sorts his three Cs. When we’re young copulation is our absolute number one priority. Given a choice between copulation, cooking and cleaning we’ll always pick copulation. When we’re older, more settled, and our frantic need for copulation subsides, given a choice of fine cuisine or fine ass, we may choose the former. Finally, in our limp dotage, when Viagra no longer works, gently wiping the dribble off our chins, (cleaning), after a fine meal, (cooking), is greatly appreciated. Ladies if the three Cs are graciously on tap we’ll happily put up with any amount of lady-shit. It sounds simple because it is!3

Bang us, feed us, and cleanup afterwards, without nagging resentment, and we will love, cherish, protect, work, and die for you! And, here’s the good news; you don’t have to be a Victoria Secret maximum babe to pull this off. In purely economic terms, any comely young woman who masters the three Cs is literally worth her weight in gold!4 At current gold prices, one woman weight is about $2,300.000 US. Amortized over a fifty-year marriage that works out to around $45,000 per year. Guys, just try paying for hookers, gourmet takeout, and maid services for a measly $45,000 a year. When you throw love into the deal the quality three C woman is the biggest bargain out there. So ladies, if you really want a real man, master your three Cs and you’ll have your pick of them.


  1. Rational feminist was not oxymoronic when the movement started.
  2. Not such much in Clitoridectomy happy nonwestern societies.
  3. Male maintenance requires some real work. Men expect to put in long hours looking after the women in their lives and they expect women to reciprocate. Unfortunately modern feminism labels such reciprocation “oppression.”
  4. I am assuming a normal female weight of less than sixty-five kilograms. Obese land fe-whales are not worth their weight in gold.

Social Security Numbers are Broken beyond Repair

Imagine that you are buying a new set of wheels with cash. Being a cash transaction there is no need to negotiate loans or check credit; you have the money in your wallet. Usually, vendors are delighted when handed a thick wad of bills but we are living in unusual, no depraved, times. Before the dealer takes your wad you will probably be asked for your Social Security Number. WTF you think! It’s a cash transaction; why must government stick its inept grasping tentacles in your business?

Of course if you are financing a set of wheels, applying for a mortgage, negotiating a rental, submitting a job application, or buying a fricking big screen TV, you will be asked, over and over again, for your Social Security Number. Why are so many tiresome busybodies obsessing over nine measly, easily forged, digits? Well, cowboys and girls, the Social Security Number has morphed into a general-purpose personal tracking identifier. Busybodies covet this number because once they have it they can:

  1. Check your credit history.
  2. See if you have ever been in prison.
  3. Determine if you owe money.
  4. Track your movements from one state or city to another.

And god knows what else!

When Social Security was setup in the 1930s paranoid right wingers darkly warned that Social Security Numbers (SSNs) would be used to track people and ultimately infringe their freedoms. Silly ancient right-wingers: who really cares that they were completely right about SSNs? Only criminals, and evil people with things to hide, care about the widespread abuse of Social Security Numbers. If you believe this moronic twaddle please leave your Social Security Number in a comment on this blog. You can trust me! I would never abuse your number.

Now if you’re a big government guy or gal you will loudly assert that it’s perfectly acceptable for the government to maintain some identifier that links you to your Social Security account. On this I agree, some identifier is required, but Social Security Numbers are probably the worst possible way to do this. The ideal Social Security “Number” would:

  1. Unambiguously link you to your Social Security Account.
  2. Be impossible to counterfeit or fake.
  3. Be useless for any other purpose.

The idiotic nine digit scheme used for Social Security Numbers completely fails all three of these tests.

Let’s start with unambiguous linking. News flash: your Social Security Number does not uniquely identify you. There are many reasons for SSN duplicates with identity theft being the leading cause. Is it fair to blame SSN numbers for criminal abuse? Yes, you dumb fucks! Identity systems must operate on the bedrock principle that people are liars, cheats, and disgusting defecating naked apes. Always assume the worst of your fellow apes; you will still be disappointed. Good identifier schemes make it impossible to generate duplicates regardless of how thoroughly evil or incompetent people are. Social Security Numbers naively assume we are good people. This is asking for it.

How hard is it to counterfeit or fake Social Security Numbers? It’s so damn easy you can go to this website and push a button. While it’s unlikely that nine random digits will form a valid SSN it’s clearly not rocket science to concoct plausible SSNs. Good identifier keys are unavoidably unique. There are many high-quality unique key algorithms. SSNs are crappy keys; any database professional that advocated their use would be fired on the spot.

As for being useless for other purposes: here the failure is so complete, so total, and so absolute, that it’s hard to attribute it to mere government stupidity. I don’t blame the paranoid for thinking it was a clumsy backdoor scheme to label citizens for other purposes. Heh, even the official government Social Security Page brags that your SSN has “come to be used as a nearly universal identifier.” Anyone that contests this is an idiot. Every two-bit database out there has an SSN column in it. Many SSNs are still completely unencrypted; they’re begging software professionals like me to get into the identity theft business. Keep that in mind the next time some outfit asks for your SSN.

When you make a VISA, MasterCard or Apple Pay purchase with a “chipped card” a onetime transaction code is generated and mixed with your credit card number.1 This allows the central authority, VISA and MasterCard in this case, to verify your credit without creating a permanent number that is forever tied to your name. This scheme is vastly more secure than SSNs but falls short of high-quality cryptographic key schemes used in systems like Bitcoin. The QR code on this blog is a Bitcoin address with money in it. Try and steal my Bitcoin bitches! The point is there are sound ways of creating account links that do not invite abuse and tracking. So why the hell are we are still tolerating static, insecure, come and get it identity thieves, broken beyond repair, Social Security Numbers?


  1. One of the consequences of chipping credit cards is that it is no longer necessary to display the number on the card. You only need the number to interact with non-chipped devices. Eventually, people will figure this out and start asking for credit cards that do not display the number. I see a great advertising campaign in the future. “You can get our numberless smart card or their numbered dumb fuck card. What’s it going to be?”

An Honest Resume Personal Statement

While updating an online version of my resume a nagging web page advised me to include a personal statement: apparently the personal statement is my chance to stand out, make that all important first impression, and firmly affix my lips to succulent corporate ass.

Being programmer oriented, the web page suggested I write about my first computer. This is just conniving HR speak for, “How old are you?” HR cannot directly ask so they’ll probe circuitously. Sorry gals, (HR is a female ghetto), I’m on to you. I am excellent actor and liar. I can play your little game but I am no longer interested. Still your little page made we wonder what my personal statement would be like if I was telling the truth and not spinning like a millisecond pulsar. I think it would look something like this:


I want to solve problems: not create them. You would be surprised how many software organizations cannot tell the difference.

Ask yourself:

  1. Does your organization think the orthodox application of trendy project management “methodologies”1 like agile is a substitute for real insight and work?
  2. Do you bind yourself in SOX inspired straitjackets and wonder why programmer morale and productivity has plummeted?
  3. Do you have an antiquated remote work policy and insist staff show up for periodic management brow beatings and pointless brain numbing meetings?
  4. Are you wedded to standard software tools merely because they are standard?
  5. Are you afraid of iconoclastic viewpoints and meekly seek a lowest common denominator consensus?
  6. Finally, do you follow industry trends or set them?

Perhaps my bad attitude shocks you.

“Who would hire this guy?” you ask.

It’s a fair question. I’ve had my fill of “Software Theater.” I will no longer act like I agree with bad ideas just to get along. From now on I am going to tell people what I really think, not what they yearn to hear.

To work with me your organization must be:

  1. Located somewhere I want to live to or have an enlightened 21st century remote work policy.

I am tired of wasting my life in humdrum hellholes because that’s where an employer is located. This is inexcusable for 21st century software developers. If you haven’t figured out how to manage geographically dispersed remote workers your organization is hidebound, myopic and doomed!

  1. Have a positive attitude about novel approaches to problems and encourage programmer autonomy.

I have often solved problems with nonstandard tools and techniques only to be told to do it again using a standard tool. Sometimes this makes sense but usually it’s motivated by pure organizational fear.

“Oh my God we won’t be able to find someone to support this!”

Or even worse, “We’ll have to learn something new!”

Companies make a big show about “thinking outside the box” while huddling like bed wetting cowards in the corner of one.

  1. Accept the simple fact that work is small part of life and stop trying to manage employees outside of the workplace.

It’s amazing what some companies think they can get away with! Would you believe asking recruits for Facebook and Twitter passwords? Don’t try this with me; I might punch you! Most companies know that asking for passwords crosses all sorts of inappropriate boundaries but even more enlightened organizations often have a “velvet fist” social media policy that basically tells employees not to involve the company in their personal jackassery. This is a reasonable request but it’s usually seen as bullying. Most will shut up: not me! Freedom of speech is fundamental and absolute. Companies that try to silence employees should be ashamed of themselves.

If you’re still reading and think, I like the cut of this guy’s jib. We have enough kowtowing eunuchs on payroll: a few ballsy shitheads may spruce this joint up. I’d suggest you look over my attached resume, peruse my public GitHub repositories, read my blog, browse my extensive photos, and check out what I’m reading. You’ll get a pretty accurate sense of who I am, what turns my crank, how I approach problems, and how I deal with difficulties. Unspoken social conventions demand that we suppress ourselves to work. I will no longer do this. I am what I am; I do what do; I will not change for you.


  1. I loathe the word “methodologies.” The correct word is “methods.” Wanton syllable inflation is a reliable bullshit tell.

Mauna Kea Morons on the March

Thirty Meter Telescope

Thirty Meter Telescope

There are two types of stories about major astronomical observatories. There are stories about new discoveries and observation technologies and then there are stories about how batshit crazy people are! Lately a rash of batshit crazy has broken out over the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea. The ignorant press is casting the story as another tale of wanton destruction of sacred pristine aboriginal environments by “big astronomy.” On most days I ignore the moron maelstrom but I’m in bad mood today. I couldn’t resist venting on The Register. The following is a slightly edited version of my contribution to the conversation bitches!

Trigger Warning: searing contempt for tools and fools!

You are making way too much sense. As a long-standing amateur astronomer and aficionado of major observatories I can state with absolute certainty that if you want to preserve the environment around a mountain one of the best ways to do it is to place a major observatory on it. Large telescopes require large dark zones. If people would turn their damn lights off at night development in dark zones might be permissible but as you are well aware people will not turn their fucking lights off and will look at you like you’ve just beamed down from starship Looney Tunes if you try to tell them that light pollution is a real thing. The only way to insure a dark environment is to restrict development and, as you point out, that limits how much money certain cretins can extract. What’s happening on Mauna Kea happened before on Mount Graham in Arizona. So called environmentalists fought for decades to block the Large Binocular Telescope because it might stress some squirrels. Well the scope got built and the squirrels are doing just fine and will continue to thrive because their habitat will not be sodomized by condo developers and other invasive lower life forms.

Mixed in with all this phony eco-warrior nonsense is even more phony religious nonsense. I realize it is horribly judgmental and privileged white male of me to say that sky fairies of all types, even “protected class” aboriginal brown people sky fairies, are complete and utter rubbish! Jesus did not rise from the dead, Mohammed did not ascend to heaven, and Pele is not stomping around on Mauna Kea regardless of what native Hawaiians believe. If this offends you demonstrate why your sky fairy is any less imaginary than The Flying Spaghetti Monster. “Belief” is a bullshit word. It will be a pathetic day if the construction of a major 21st century observatory is stopped to placate scientific illiterates and religious primitives.