Deep Mind; Trump; No Castor Oil yet; Education; Buying Interplanetary Ships from Russia; and Not Everyone Ignored Tsunamis

Chaos Manor View, Friday, March 11, 2016

“This is the most transparent administration in history.”

Barrack Obama

Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for Western Civilization as it commits suicide.

Under Capitalism, the rich become powerful. Under Socialism, the powerful become rich.

Under Socialism, government employees become powerful.


Tuesday is do or die for Marco Rubio; after that he has a decision to make. Meanwhile, the number to watch is the number of delegates each candidate has.

Hitler and Mussolini used to disrupt their political’ opponents’ meetings and speeches, Hitler’s gangs with truncheons, Mussolini’s with castor oil which they forcibly fed to opposition leaders. These tactics had been honed by the Reds before the Revolution, and were exported for use by the Communists in various parts of Europe. To the best of my knowledge there have been no such operations by Trump’s followers, but apparently there are increasing numbers of protests at his meetings. While there have always been some roughhousing and scuffles in American politics, raiding each other’s gatherings has not been traditional, with some exceptions. More usual is getting yourself thrown out of someone else’s meetings, thus getting the publicity rather than the speaker. I expect to see a lot of that in the next few weeks, and a great deal more after the conventions.


Deep Mind, the Google computer and programs that have won at Go, learned to do so by playing thousands of games against a copy of itself, and analyzing the results. I see no reason why such a program cannot be used to teach Deep Mind how to pose as a human and thus pass the Turing test, and given the surprisingly short time it took to beat an international grandmaster at Go, I would expect it to be able to pass for a human with most interviewers by 2018, if it takes that long. The technique would be to have two or more such machines try to fool each other… millions of times, learning from each attempt. How long would that take?


If you think you know how this nomination contest is going, wait a day.

Today’s surprise is, anti-Trump protesters just started showing up at Trump rallies in large numbers rather than the previous couple dozen.

A bunch got inside a rally in St. Louis earlier today, locked arms, and shut down the rally for twenty minutes while cops removed them. Then in the last hour, a big crowd – Trump just said “a few thousand” outside the hall – showed up to protest the Trump rally at UofIL Chicago, and enough – hundreds? – got inside the hall that Trump after consulting with Chicago PD decided to cancel the rally before it started.

Reporter on the spot says, the protesters are a mixed bunch, not just students, not Black Lives Matter types. “Sanders supporters” was the description he eventually reluctantly came up with when pressed. He said he’s heard via his daughter (a local student) that this got organized via Facebook over the last few days, and just snowballed.

Spot interviews came up with one 80-year-old woman who didn’t like Trump quoting Mussolini, two typical lefty-protester types, and one Republican Kasich supporter who said she showed up because she just doesn’t like Trump.

No major violence reported – the Chicago cops are said to be doing a good job keeping the two crowds separated. A few punches thrown inside the hall. Protest continues noisily outside the hall.

If this is truly self-organizing via social media, things may have just gotten really weird. Weird-er. I’d suspect GOPe dirty tricks, but that probably ascribes them a lot more imagination and competence than warranted. There’s some real chance this is just people who don’t like Trump self-organizing.

How might this affect the race? You can think of the same 60’s analogies as I do – but how do they apply? Hardhats for Nixon? New Left sinking the Dems?

One way I can think of to look at it is, Trump has been playing with classic rabble-rousing techniques, only now anti-Trump rabble has decided to show up also.

And Trump just made what may be a very shrewd observation – that both sides are protesting the same problems – unemployment, underemployment, etc. Which would fit with the protesters having a Sanderista core.

If this was the thirties, we’d get to see who’s followers are better street fighters. Trump cancelled the rally and called for peace, and so far he’s mostly getting it. It ain’t the thirties, so far.

But the thing is, if protesting Trump becomes a mass thing, he may have to give up rallies to keep it from coming to that. That, or count on having good enough control over his followers that some don’t come loaded for bear next time. Playing with fire, etc.

Welcome to 2016…

So far no Castor Oil, and I expect Trump and his followers are too smart to retaliate in kind; but we’ll see. Interesting times indeed. And as you say, they are protesting what he is fighting. I saw a number of “Veterans for Trump” looking rather disgruntled but doing nothing.  The US Army, led by West Pointers, is not the Wehrmacht of the Thirties, nor is the American Legion anything like the Stahlhut. But there are veterans of the Iraqi wars not all that much older than the protesters, and it is rather unwise to taunt them beyond the limits of patience.  Eventually that is going to happen and the result will not be pretty.  Today’s veterans are all veterans of a volunteer army; very few squishes among them.




Microsoft uses the force: You WILL upgrade to Windows 10

They are wearing me down. This machine is Windows 7, but I expect I’ll eventually succumb to one of the free Windows 10 offers. I have advanced copies of Windows 10 on three machines now, and when it is good it is very good; and the glitches have been increasingly rare with the latest builds. And some of the features of 10 are excellent.


Subj: Wow –they caused it now they have to fix it

This is infuriating but good to know the strategy of the enemy!


Somebody has to fix it. The whole point of the United States was to allow many approaches to social procedures, with the theory is that the best ones would be adopted. Centralization, making a Federal Case of everything, defeats that; and the result is the train wreck they have made of what was once the best public education system in the world. I don’t know which is The Best system of education, but it’s certain that the US Dept. of Education doesn’t know either. Give the money now paying for DOE salaries and pensions to the 20%  poorest school systems, and go back to local school districts and local school taxes;  those who pay get to vote on who runs them. You’ll see instant changes for the better.


The Battleground Poll, which is equally funded by both Democrat and Republican research organizations, has, for nearly two decades, shown that self-identified conservatives outnumber self-identified liberals by two-to-one. This is irrespective of the candidates, issues, and other factors. The Republican establishment either doesn’t know this or doesn’t care. For decades they have done nothing but alienate the very people who could hand them permanent control of Congress and the White House.

If Trump takes the nomination and the GOP OB club sits it out, Trump still wins. Some conservatives are skeptical of him (I am one), but my guess is that most will be willing to give him a chance, seeing that he is hated by both the Democrats — particularly the mainstream media

— and the GOP establishment that has betrayed them so often. They will be joined by many blue-collar Democrats as well. Bernie’s supporters will stay home or get drunk. Hillary may spend election day behind bars, out on bail, or at least under indictment. Certainly Trump will not play nice with her, as Romney did with Obama in 2012.

He will go after her like an angry pit bull on email, Benghazi, Bill’s women and much else.

We live in interesting times.

Richard White

Austin, Texas

We do indeed.


The DOJ Threatens to Seize Apple’s Crown Jewels (Fortune)

The government’s over-reach in San Bernardino has finally gone too far.

The court papers filed by the Justice Department on Thursday—the ones describing Apple’s rhetoric in the San Bernardino standoff as “false” and “corrosive”—objected in particular to Apple’s description of the FBI’s court order as leading to a “police state.”

But “police state” is not a bad description for the scenario the DOJ paints a few pages later in Footnote Nine:

“9. For the reasons discussed above, the FBI cannot itself modify the software on [the San Bernardino shooter’s] iPhone without access to the source code and Apple’s private electronic signature. The government did not seek to compel Apple to turn those over because it believed such a request would be less palatable to Apple. If Apple would prefer that course, however, that may provide an alternative that requires less labor by Apple programmers.”

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Did you catch that? That’s a classic police threat: We can do this easy way or the hard way. Give us the little thing we’re asking for—a way to bypass your security software—or we’ll take whole thing: Your crown jewels and the royal seal too.

With Apple’s source code, the FBI could, in theory, create its own version of iOS with the security features stripped out. Stamped with Apple’s AAPL 1.08% electronic signature, the Bureau’s versions of iOS could pass for the real thing.

Does the Attorney General know what her lawyers are up to? Does the President?

They know exactly what they are doing; do not be mistaken about that.


‘It’s all another sobering reminder that any powers we grant to the federal government for the purpose of national security will inevitably be used just about everywhere else. And extraordinary powers we grant government in wartime rarely go away once the war is over. And, of course, the nifty thing for government agencies about a “war on terrorism” is that it’s a war that will never formally end.’


Surprisingly insightful, for Pravda on the Potomac.

Of course, they’re still unable to comprehend that this applies to *all* areas of government, not just ‘national security’. Or, if they comprehend it, to admit it.


Roland Dobbins

The Washington Post gets a number of things right. Those tend to vanish among the other stuff.


: Language requirements

Dear Jerry,

Some thoughts on the value of learning foreign languages-

Over 40 years ago, if I may refer to such antediluvian times and still be considered “relevant”, the United States Army discovered, more to my surprise than the Army’s, that I had an aptitude for languages. That, and a 160 (out of 160 possible) score on my Army General Test, led me to one of the most interesting scholastic experiences I’ve had: An eight month posting to the Defense Language Institute at the Presidio of Monterey. Interesting mainly for the way I went from “Ein Bier, bitte”

to being rated as being at a three out of five level of competency in speaking and comprehension of German In 32 weeks of six hours a day, five days a week study.

I had never been a good student. A solid C average in high school, and had flunked out Of community college. The Army ignored both data points, and suddenly instead of a buck private I was in E5 with a valuable skill. What skill? Not the German, though the Army thought of it that way. The Skill was something considerably more valuable: I had learned HOW to learn!

Nothing does that quite like being immersed in a task that requires every intellectual skill you have, gives you immediate feedback as you see yourself learning the new language and, not unimportant, also avoid the immediate transfer across the bay to Fort Ord for training as either a cook or truck driver should you fail to maintain passing grades. It concentrates the mind wonderfully, and once you have that skill, the world opens up for you.

I was never a good student. Learning a new language turned that into a degree from the University of California, Magna etc., graduate studies and a professional career.

Someone said that learning a new language is like getting a new soul.

Perhaps. Learning a new language gave me a new brain.

I’ll bet that stating the above would get me kicked out of any School of Education. But, I’ll bet the Christian Brothers in Tennessee would not be surprised by any of it.


I was required to take Latin. I am glad I did, and I learned to read it pretty well, but I have no one to converse with in Latin. But I was always taught that knowing how to speak in foreign tongues was very valuable. I managed to pass examinations in German and Spanish in graduate school, but there is some controversy over whether I can speak either.

Incidentally, my wife’s brother Bill used to be the Sergeant in charge at the Army Language School many years ago, around the time we came to California.


Hack Brief: ISIS Data Breach Identifies 22,000 Members


I will have more to say about this as the story develops.


Russia wants to use a modern NERVA to go to Mars.



Roland Dobbins


Shades of ORION:


When Barry Goldwater Jr. was in Congress – I was co-director of his campaign – we worked together to try to save NERVA, but NASA didn’t want it. We’re paying for abandoning it now.

We buy our booster from the Russians. Will we buy interplanetary ships from them too? And will they sell them?


Not Everyone Ignored Possibility of a Tsunami
The Japanese village of Fudai survived the tsunami that caused the meltdown at Fukishima. Why? Because of a former mayor that remembered a similar incident as a child back in 1933 and heard of another back in 1896 and knew it would happen again. He got a lot of resistance from the town council at the time.–village-left-untouched-tsunami.html

Arondell Hoch

Indeed. The Japanese reactors were not faulty; their sea walls were abysmally low. A strange risk to take.





Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.




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