Left Handed: August 13th is International Left Handers Day

Yes, it’s that time of year again, time to speak up for the one large minority that still has no voice.  While it is true that Left Handed People are unlikely to be murdered for their handedness (except in places where they still believe in and kill “witches”), it’s still a form of discrimination that society tolerates.

Yes, discrimination.  North America, Western Europe, and Australia/New Zealand may not openly discriminate or look down on being left handed, but the rest of the world still does.  It’s considered “rude”, “dirty”, “disrespectful” and other nonsense, and the abuse of forced hand switching still considered “acceptable”.

Yes, abused.  The bias against and forced hand switching of left handed children is the original “reparative therapy”, a form of emotional, physical and mental abuse.  If you’re against “reparative therapy” being imposed upon LGBTQIA people, why aren’t you against it being imposed upon left handed children?  (And if you aren’t against “reparative therapy”, what’s wrong with you?)

#leftiesrule  #internationallefthandersday

Below the fold are several sections on left handedness: resources, campaigns, information, groups, and others.  A second post will contain news and scientific articles with commentary.

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Let’s Backtrack: Tandy’s Model 100 portable computer came out in 1983

In 1983, Tandy produced the first widely used laptop computer, the Model 100.  The Epson HX-20 preceded it by two years, and luggable computers by a year, but the Model 100 was first lightweight portable (3.5 pounds) that was suitable for more than just data collection.  It was later followed by the superior Model 102 and finally the less liked Model 200. The series sold roughly six million units, one of the biggest selling computers, ever.

There is more below the fold.

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Copying Again: Jeffrey Epstein is the american Jimmy Savile

Jimmy Savile was the worst pedophile in British history.  He was not just a sexual predator and a sadist, he was a procurer, the organizer of pedophilia, providing access to children for other pedophiles.  And because of his “charity work”, high profile and connections to politicians and the “royal family”, he was protected by the media and the government, committing serial rape of children for almost 60 years.

Jeffrey Epstein oozed from the same mould, slime that orchestrated and participated in the organized serial rape of teenage girls.  Like Savile, Epstein was a procurer, the organizer of rape, providing access to children for others like himself.  And also like Savile, Epstein’s circle of friends (and often participants in crimes) protected him, enabled him to continue: politicians, business owners, scientists, and many others.

Below the fold are two documentaries on Savile.  Will one ever be made on Epstein that isn’t propaganda and whitewashing?

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Dead But Not Buried: Esptein’s suicide must NOT be used to protect others

As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, Jeffrey Epstein is dead.  Despite attempting suicide six days previously, he was take off suicide watch and put in a regular cell, not a suicide-proof cell.  Prisoners on suicide watch as supposed to be monitored until a psychological evalution is done.  That never happened.

This doesn’t happen by accident.  No, it doesn’t require a “conspiracy theory”, it only requires ineptitude, corruption and arrogance – the same sort that allowed for the abuses and murders of other people in New York jails.  And if there was any hypothetical outside interference, it wouldn’t require assassination or massive conspiracy.  It would only require one person telling the warden to move Epstein to a cell where he could kill himself.

Epstein escaped consequences at his first trial in large part due to his circle of friends, many of whom are alleged to be participants in his sex crimes against girls and women.  The list runs the gamut of the wealthy, powerful, and influential: business owners, politicians, lawyers, many different scientists, alleged intellectuals, and (not the least bit surprising) a member of the UK’s royal family, a group of criminals with connections to Jimmy Savile and his crimes (more about that in a later post).

With Epstein dead and a Department of inJustice under Cheetolini, there is the potential for abuse.  We might see either partisan prosecution (the republicans demanding that only democrats are targeted) or the investigation buried along with Epstein to prevent and protect any of Epstein’s friends from facing prosecution, just as they did for him in 2008.  There are many who want this to go away, for Epstein’s victims to be silenced and no case ever brought to trial.

This is a partial list of those who have been accused of participation in Epstein’s sex crimes or continued to defend him after his first conviction:

  • Marvin Minsky, AI pioneer, named by one of Epsteins’s victims as a participant in organized rape.
  • Lawrence Krauss, who left Arizona State University in disgrace after many sexual harassment accusations.
  • Alan Dershowitz defended Epstein during the 2015 trial.
  • Prince Andrew, member of the British “royal family”.
  • George Church, geneticist.
  • Lee Smolin, physicist.
  • Murray Gellman, physicist, who refuses to return Epstein’s donations to Harvard.
  • Steven Pinker, psychologist.
  • Martin Nowak, mathematician.
  • Roger Schank, computer scientist.
  • Larry Summers, economist and sexist.
  • Leslie Wexner, victoria’s secret CEO.
  • Glenn Dubin, billionaire investor
  • An unnamed foreign prince
  • An unnamed foreign president
  • An unnamed foreign prime minister
  • An unnamed French hotelier

If any of these are incorrect, or there are other names involved, let me know and I will amend it.  These names are culled from the news items and sources linked above.

How (To) Appropriate: Cisgender Supremacist

Don’t you hate it when you think you’ve coined a phrase, but it turns out that others have been using it for years?  Regardless, I’ll be happy to run with it.

I decided on a replacement phrase for TERF and transphobe, since one is gender specific.  From now on, they’re Cisgender Supremacists, because they are as  rightwing as white supremacists, they associate with them, and they employ the same tactics.  It feels à propos for the inappropriate like them.

 

Weather Report: It’s been an interesting day.

I had a premature wake-up call this morning at 5:30, a 6.0 earthquake.  The epicentre was about 80km as the crow flies.  I’m from British Columbia, so earthquakes never bother me, but my fridge teetering and bouncing certainly did.  I had to hold it or it would have fallen over.  This quake had a lot more lateral movement than most that hit Taiwan.

Tonight we get a typhoon warning, the government closing classes and government offices on Friday.  Yay, an unplanned three day weekend.  Typhoon Lekima won’t hit with full force, but the rain and winds are already bad enough.  Last year the government stopped forcing people to work an extra Saturday to make up the lost day.  Yes, they used to do that and we didn’t have a choice.

Does this mean I’ll be staying home tomorrow?  Hell, no, a friend who works as a flight attendant is flying in tomorrow for a dinner with friends.   She comes in once every two months.  The day off means I have time to see her.

There was weird rain yesterday, the “plum rains”.  In the span of ten minutes it went from clear skies to torrential downpour and a centimetre of standing water.  Then within an hour it was clear again.

Dots Connected: How Cheetolini and Fox Nuisance incited the El Paso shooter

Brandon Friedman was regularly monitoring the rhetoric coming from the mouths of Der Duffer and Fox Nuisance.  After the El Paso shooting happened, he compared the “manifesto” of the shooter with the words that incited his violence.  Large amounts of Crusius’s diatribe are direct quotes of the Pestulence in Chief and his ministers of disinformation.

Here is a direct link to Friedman’s twitter page.

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Speak Out: Politico wants you to solve the US’s problems – in 100 words or less

Seriously, that’s what they’re asking the public, one hundred words or less.  (I say seriously because they have no intent of taking people’s comments seriously.)

How Would You Fix America’s Broken Politics?

We aren’t looking for diagnoses. We’re looking for cures. If the problem is that America is not democratic enough (or too democratic), how would you change that? If the problem is with the news media, or inequality, or information technology, or social mobility, or racial relations, or gender equality, or Wall Street, or our religious institutions, or how we raise our children, or something we haven’t identified, what’s a structural reform—to our government, our economy, our society—that would make things better? In particular, we’re looking for ideas that are daring, new and specific.

Submit your suggestion below—in 100 words or fewer—by August 16, and we’ll feature the best ones in our issue, launching in September.

It’s farcical, until you remember that you can write in point form.  Below are my first fifty-six words:

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Final thoughts: Three verses for the three shooters

The mass shooters are all white,
And the mass shooters are all male.
The mass shooters are all childish,
In their small lives, all did fail.

Their self-inflated views are not,
A form of poor mental health.
They know exactly what they’re doing,
When they plan to kill by stealth.

“Alpha” incel underachievers,
Leaving wreckage, ruin, rubble.
If they just killed themselves first,
It would save everyone the trouble.

Murdery Rhyme: How many more before US politicians grow a spine

A murder-y rhyme, as opposed to a nursery rhyme….

Rat-a-tat-tat,
The bullets they spat,
And who do you think they be?
The butcher, the killer,
The coffin-box filler,
All on a killing spree.

Pop-a-pop-pop,
The bullets non-stop,
Empty shells all falling down.
The AR, the AK
All legal they say,
And fire off 200 rounds.

Ring-a-ding-ding,
The racists did sing,
And who do you think they be?
The criminal who rules,
The gun-toting fools,
All counting bodies with glee.

I’m glad to hear Elizabeth Warren speak out.  Now let’s see if anything comes of it.

Let’s Backtrack: Breaking Away was officially released on July 13, 1979

This is the second of two posts about memorable 1979 sports films. Were you expecting “Meatballs”?

Breaking Away is a great coming-of-age movie with believable characters, a likable cast, and makes you believe an underdog can win (because they sometimes can).  It’s about four misfit Indiana teens, call the “Cutters”. They are sons of the stonemasons who built the universities, but aren’t welcome there. They form a cycling team and compete in the Little 500 bicycle race.

The movie won the 1980 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, plus other awards elsewhere. An odd thing about Breaking Away is what happened to the cast. Dennis Christopher, the lead actor, had the least successful career, while the supporting cast’s careers speak for themselves: Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern, Jackie Earle Haley.

The Little 500 is a real race for women and men that takes place every April at Indiana University, 200 laps around a 440 yard track, emulating the Indianapolis 500. (At the speed it would take to ride a lap, the two races are equally long, about three hours.) The film’s Cutter team could never have competed because riders must be IU students. Most teams are from “greek” fraternities. A real life Cutters team from the general student population was formed in 1984.  They have won 14 of the 36 races since, becoming the most successful team.

“Breaking Away” at Rotten Tomatoes. How many films have a 94% rating?

Roger Ebert wrote a glowing review when he saw it in an early release:

“Breaking Away” is a movie to embrace. It’s about people who are complicated but decent, who are optimists but see things realistically, who are fundamentally comic characters but have three full dimensions. It’s about a Middle America we rarely see in the movies, yes, but it’s not corny and it doesn’t condescend. Movies like this are hardly ever made at all; when they’re made this well, they’re precious cinematic miracles.

“Breaking Away” can be found on youtube.

(Okay, Meatballs is a funny coming of age movie, especially Bill Murray’s “It just doesn’t matter” speech and the likable Chris Makepeace. But it’s not a great sports movie.)

Side Notes: Details about the El Paso shooter

I file this under Politics because unrestricted gun ownership is the fault of politicians.


Patrick Crusius, the mass murderer of El Paso, attended Plano High School in Plano, Texas, graduating in 2017. In 2016, the school had a spate of deaths by suicide while he was a student. In 2018, Plano West High School (a few kilometres away, one of three high schools in the district) had an attempted mass shooting that was stopped.

Claims have been made that Crusius posted a picture on twitter of firearms spelling “trump”.  He only “liked” the picture, it was posted by someone else.

 


A few thoughts:

If “shock” websites can and have been shut down by courts, why haven’t 4chan and 8chan?  It’s no secret what sort of cesspools they are.

I’m not in North America and don’t watch TV, so I may be wrong, but I have yet to hear a peep out of the Nationalist Racist Antagonists (NRA) about either the El Paso or Ohio shootings.  Could it be that they have finally been silenced, now that they are as financially bankrupt as they are morally bankrupt?  We can only hope.

How much does the NRA’s silence play in some democrats finally showing some spine and calling for gun laws?

And how badly is Cheetolini (aka Trumpelthinskin, aka Annoying Orange) taking this?  Is he raging hard enough that his staff need a defibrillator?

Everything about the Ohio shooter screams white male – the media have not identified the shooter’s race or name, the choice of weapon (AR15), and labelling it as a “mass casualty incident” instead of a terrorist act.

Out Yourself Or Starve: Canada’s message to victims of anti-gay purges

Canada, like most pseudo-democracies after World War II, bought into the myth of the “gay communist” and went on a red baiting campaign of harassment, discrimination and rights violations of people who had never committed a crime.  Dustbin Trudeau’s mealy mouthed apology of two years ago is worthless.

Why should the Canadians hurt by the purges have to apply for compensation?  The government already knows who the victims are, they have the RCMP’s files.  The government should be approaching these people in secrecy and protecting their privacy.  Forcing people to out themselves is yet another form of discrimination and harassment, like demanding women who have never reported a rape to speak out publicly or their rapists will go free.  Even if the people hurt by the purges are 90 years old, they may STILL want to stay in the closet, and that’s their right.

This “compensation scheme” is a scam.  Excerpts from the link, below the fold:

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Let’s Backtrack: Igor Sergeyevich Gouzenko, January 13, 1919 to June 28, 1982

Igor Gouzenko was born in the village of Rogachev, near Moscow, on January 13, 1919.  He was a cipher clerk (coding and decoding messages) for the USSR during World War II, and was stationed in Canada.  In September 1945, he and his family (back when the USSR didn’t use families as hostages for those working abroad) were ordered back to the USSR.  Gouzenko knew the political situation at home and in Canada, and made the choice to defect.  He took massive amounts of documents with him of Soviet agents in Canada and elsewhere.  (The link lists a different birthdate, but same month and year.)

Gouzenko was the first high profile defector of the Cold War.  As such, there was initially no paranoia or willingness to listen to him.  The Ottawa Citizen newspaper turned him away, and the RCMP actually considered handing him over to the Soviets.  In a rare display of competence by the RCMP, Gouzenko was taken to Camp X and questioned by Canadian officials, MI5 and MI6 of the UK, and by the US’s FBI.

Twenty spies were caught in Canada, the UK and US, along with Fred Rose, the leader of the Communist Party of Canada.  (Rose was ahead of most Canadian politicians, the first to propose a medicare system and introduce anti-hate legislation.)

Gouzenko was given a new identity (the imaginative name of George Brown) and lived a middle class existence in Toronto.  He wrote two books, one about his defection (“This Was My Choice”) and a novel (“The Fall Of A Titan”) which won a Governor General’s award for literature.  He died of a heart attack in 1982.