Scary Robots

Concerned about the coming robot apocalypse, my son has come up with several solutions for making sure that new technologies do not run amok.

 

( may have been too frank about some of my recent research into artificial intelligence…)

 

His first idea was that we need to keep public schools opened through every weekend, and the summer, in order to allow students to get ‘smarter than robots.’

 

I explained that humans need breaks to function well.

 

His next idea has actually had application in numerous books and television shows where the evil robot trope has been foiled by simply running the thing out of power.

 

“Then that’s good if my iPad dies,” he said, “then if it has no power it can be dead … It’s like if you run the car until it runs out of gas.”

 

The next solution was inspired by his love of martial arts.

 

“You could get really good at tae kwon do,” he said “and break the metal.”

 

However, he conceded, this strategy might come with unintended consequences.

 

“You could get electrocuted,” he said.

 

Having run through these options, he also had some commentary on which hapless human victims would get destroyed first by wild robots.

 

If you do too much screen time, then your brain gets mushy, then the robots would catch you because you’re not smart,” he said.

Reunion

It was inevitable. After all, she was the ‘female Jesus.’ They were the two witnesses. So it stood to reason that, after all of the boiling arguments about the nature of Islam, bickering over who would run to the store for cigarettes or alcohol, and even after over a month in the Albemarle jail, Ken just couldn’t stay away.

 

It was the dead of winter, true, and having been driven outside by his companion during one of the coldest snaps of the year, it was indisputably true that Ken could get “three hots and a cot” in the correctional facility. But those comforts were not sufficient to make the jail an attractive option, because jail is not a hotel.

 

In deliberately calling the police to come pick up her errant knight, Joanie chose an unfortunate time – a time when the landlord had become tired of promises to pay the back rent, and the utilities companies were knocking on the door for money to pay the light bill.

 

In response to Joanie’s aggravated wailings after Ken’s incarceration, we conceded that she was correct in arguing that Ken was some kind of functioning alcoholic and tended to say the same annoying things over and over again. However, we questioned her use of the phrase “emotional abuse” and used Ken’s own description of Thomas Jefferson :  “the man’s got his sins behind him” – but was repetitive alcoholism, we argued, not more of a petty sin than a venal one? And was it not in itself an abuse of the right of a restraining order, so necessary for an abused or battered partner, to use this legal tool to put Kenny in “the clink?” – all that clinking and clanking had an effect on his nerves and caused him to miss quite a few carpentry shifts that could have put money into the pot – money to go toward the rent, money to buy food and beer and cigarettes.

 

Instead, after over a fortnight of residence in a place where the doors make quite a bit of noise, Ken was presented with a bill from the state, a bill from the storage company, and various other bills all of which were apparently paid by his boss Andy.

 

After-the-fact, Ken admitted that the romance had soured and that all of the chaos was having a negative effect on his well-being, culminating in his prison stay where he sort of had a love-hate relationship with the Charlottesville clapper, Michael Jones, a man facing draconian grand jury charges for possession of illegal substances. Ken scrupulously abided by the terms of that still existent restraining order and refused to pick up his belongings from the house he had shared with Joanie. He abstained from calling her on his cell phone, although he explained that once in a while his fingers slipped a little bit.

 

But it is a small town. At the end of one month, Ken was calling everybody breathlessly and talking about how he had made peace with his woman, … and the fun started all over again.

Macron’s Dandruff Problem

Anticipating an appointment with his probation officer, Ken West took time to share some of his entrepreneurial visions and comment on current affairs.

 

First, West said, he is hard at work promoting his idea of conditional uses for abandoned shopping malls and other commercial facilities.

 

“People don’t want junk in their houses,” West said. “They want to get it out.”

 

West’s model proposes that municipalities host large homeless populations in abandoned malls to sort through the detritus of America’s consumptive lifestyle – items that would typically end up at Goodwill or Salvation Army or even in the dump.

 

Conceding that an investor is necessary, West suggests that with a little research and networking, he may be able to reach local government leaders to try to get this idea made into reality.

 

Having made this proposal to Leading the Horse and suggesting some collaborative research, West segued into news of recent interactions between president Donald Trump and French leader Emmanuel Macron.

 

“Why did he brush stuff off his shoulder?” West said “Trump and Macron are in cahoots for the next big event.”

 

If an EMP or nuclear event goes down, West said, it will be good for America to be on France’s side – and it may benefit the French, too.

 

The Viking Jesus

 

 

 

 

In light of the social and religious atmosphere around here, particularly in the last few years, many of us have started to examine the Christian doctrine a little more closely.

 

One thing that has struck me is the disconnect between the actual teachings of Christ and the preferences of large swaths of the self-identifying Christian electorate – you can start just about anywhere in the Gospels looking at the Nazarene’s philosophies, instructions and bits of wisdom, and point out glaring contradictions between these and the way that Christian philosophy has popularly emerged and evolved in America.

 

Where Christ preached assistance for the poor, American Christianity seems aligned with a mean-spirited attack on low-income individuals and families. Where Christ preached humility, American Christianity worships power. Where Christ preached radical inclusion, American Christianity tends to promote exclusion of the non-conformist, the outlier, the foreigner.

And perhaps most importantly, where Christ preached nonviolence, the brand of Christianity endorsed by many of the most devout American Christians tends specifically towards state violence, especially an appalling degeneration from post-modernity back toward a new anti-Islamic world crusade.

 

I could go into a tangent about how disconnected all of this is, but maybe it’s not until you really examine the sources that you get a better understanding of why these two ends of Christianity don’t match, and how one would go about on tethering them from each other.

 

A few months back I was thinking that you could say that while the left end of the political spectrum seems to embrace the values and teachings of Jesus Christ in the New Testament, the right end of the political spectrum, which again is where many of the most devout American Christians identify, tends more to embrace the teachings of the tribal God Yahweh (or Elohim) in the Old Testament.

The problem is that in orthodox Christianity, it’s extremely clear that the Messiah has come to bring the new covenant and disassociate us from the ancient Israelites. So how can the right deal with this assessment? How can they make themselves whole again, philosophically speaking, and regain some of the credibility that they have lost?

 

In short, the right needs a new Jesus.

 

These Christians who do not espouse those teachings of Christ enshrined in the Gospels as we receive them from history need a Jesus in word and action, in image, and possibly even in name.

You can think of him as “Jesus with muscles” and that would be a start. Really, to get to the root of the actual philosophies and thoughts behind this new Jesus, it seems like it would make sense for this figure to be rooted directly in Teutonic race origins.

 

In other words, the Viking God.

 

The Viking God is strong where Jesus Christ was weak. The Viking God does not call his followers to mercy, especially for those who are considered their enemies, or those who are less fortunate and might need something from them. The Viking God understands that by taking away resources from these hard-working individuals, the opposite philosophy is essentially robbing them – of their honor, of their rights and of their essential humanity. As for the enemies, the philosophy of the pre-emptive strike speaks clearly to a venal mean-spiritedness that is more 15th century Catholic than apostolic.

 

You couldn’t really go very far in this type of theoretical construct without talking about Friedrich Nietzsche and his essential rejection of Christian ideas and doctrines much earlier in the middle of the 20th century.

 

In my opinion, Nietzschian analysis makes all of the difference here. Nietzsche has already gone and detailed many of the reasons why the Judeo-Christian outlook disgusted him, and what should replace it. The Viking God will hew very strongly toward any number of Nietzschian ideals – the primacy of the individual, the need of society to be fair, and the rejection of the various weaknesses that are supposed to be so prized in New Testament religion.

 

The supreme irony here is that the parts of the American electorate who would warmly embrace the Viking God do not as a rule read Nietzsche or have a real affinity for his philosophies. The best way I can explain that is that in a truly nationalistic environment, a foreign philosopher is not American enough. So in the end, the American Viking Jesus will really be “supremacy-light” and not a total, naked disavowal of Judeochristian principles like what the Germans saw.

 

In the end, this could actually be the supremely ironic saving grace that stops us from running full-bore down the road to the types of Judeo-Christian rejections that led to a fascist and nihilistic German government.

 

That these ideas are somehow tarred as ‘German ideas’ and not embraced by an America that otherwise runs toward them is a great safety for all of those millions of people who fear a resurgence towards global fascism. In other words, America is not Germany and never will be. Its ability to insulate itself from German ideas may well be its eventual salvation.

 

And even if the American Viking Jesus exists – even if he emerges from the aftermath of this decadent age, he will not likely be the kind of raw glorious Teutonic figure so loved by those Germans of yesterday. He will instead be some strange facsimile combining those old Teutonic ideas with modern American ones – the American appetite for gluttony and indulgence, and American appreciation for strength that is much more innocent and naïve than that of Nietzsche, that is much more optimistic and sanguine then those of Nietzsche’s followers, and that does not appreciate art and culture enough to follow the likes of Richard Wagner into a political abyss shaped by music.

 

The American Viking Jesus will live in a world of first-class steaks and big shiny engines, in a world of abundance and denigration of want. A world of every man for himself and every woman following along….

 

The Viking Jesus will also be a God of conquest, but unlike some of those darker tribal gods, it’s likely that his conquest will be fairly innocent and unburdened by specific intent. As we understand the conquest of the Vikings, our Viking God would be. When we talk about it after reading our history books, we see it as a somewhat unmeditated and uncalculated conquest – it’s done out of raw aggression and desire, and not calculated satanism.

Of course, that doesn’t make it okay, and it doesn’t diminish the real danger and frightening exclusive figure like this. It’s important to be able to understand that although things could be worse, they are already quite bad for the poor, the disenfranchised, the minority, the foreigner, the non-conformist, the outlier, and all who resist the slide towards national aggression.

SON’s NOTES: TRIPTYCH

The following are three minor fragments of conversations with the kiddo that I wrote down and recently discovered.

TV IN CAVEMAN TIMES

“In caveman times, when they watched TV, it wouldn’t be bad for them – they could use spider webs.”

“For what?”

“To watch TV. There would only be dangerous shows – like the spider getting the bug.”

 

DIMENSIONALITY AND TIME TRAVEL

“Your brain could be the fifth dimension – if you went to the past, and you weren’t born, and you didn’t have a mom, you would be in your brain forever.”

(draws a picture of “adoring a baby to help the second dimension”)

 

UFOs

(picks up a book on UFOs)

“I think this is non-fiction.”

(reads first page)

“See, I told you this was non-fiction. They come from another planet. They are discoverers.”

 

 

ADDENDUM

I was really surprised to come see this amazing ring of treasures laid out so carefully – it just goes to show that if there isn’t a big neat swingset in the yard, or a backyard pool, kids will come up with interesting ways to have fun. At least, mine will.

The Kid Speaks on Egyptians

The Egyptians were smart, but they were kind of bad when they made cars!

They didn’t make cars.

They were kind of bad at the end of Egyptian times when they made cars!

There were no cars in Egyptian times.

At the end of Egyptian times!

There were no cars until the early 1900s. For thousands of years after the Egyptian times, there were no cars. Henry Ford invented the first car. The Egyptians were bad because they had slaves.

So then who was bad for making cars?

(later)

Can I tell you how we came to be here?

Ok.

So there was a sword and you grabbed it and, it was electrocuted, and you went really fast (zoom!!) through to another dimension, from another dimension, to here.

Like the Deorean?

Yeh – and in the game, you’re not my dad you’re just a guy. So you call me chief.

A Day in CVille

Ken West is on a mission today to help a dialysis patient.

 

“My backpack is loaded with orange juice and apple juice and all sorts of other gifts,” West said from a moving bus in the Charlottesville, Virginia downtown area.

 

In some ways, he added, his mission of mercy is payback for the generosity of a number of kind individuals who offered him charitable aid the night previous.

 

“People were throwing money and cigarettes at me right and left,” West said, renewing his repeated claim that he is “very popular in the neighborhood.”

 

West also reiterated another claim that he has often said is central to his mission in coming to earth from a “god-planet”: that he has been “challenged by Jesus Christ” to illuminate the human world.

 

“I have been put here for a short time,” West said.

 

Earlier in the day, he said, he was engaged in some important research on the military history of Western civilization, in particular, World War I.

 

“I saw the men in the muck,” West said. “It was horrible.”

 

After this, he said, he took his “skinny ass” down to the park, referring to the recently renamed Emancipation Park, and had a good long nap under the watchful eye of Gen. Lee, who may be able to see through plastic.

 

In a later conversation, West introduced us to an unnamed 90-year-old who he said had emigrated from China.

 

In interviewing this man, who spoke limited English, we found that he actually is from the Philippines, and doesn’t have much of a read on current affairs, but has been enjoying his time in the United States.

 

“It’s been good,” he said. “People are nice.”

 

Commenting on the rest of his daily mission, West said it is his aim to “bring peace among the races.”

 

“Rice balls – rice cakes – that’s the answer,” West said, referring to charitable aid to the hermit kingdom of North Korea.

 

After a brief hiatus, West returned, sitting in front of a “defunct hotel” to deliver some song lyrics as a banjo jangled stridently in the background:

 

“all round there is truth

In the ground we do not dwell,

I had a new dream,

There may be a new truth”

 

Trying to Get a Shower

 

Like Scarface said: “every time you try to get out, they just keep trying to pull you back in!”

After a long, stormy night under the cardboard, Ken West needed a shower.

A friend, he said, offered him a chance at showering off at his house – but when West showed up, he saw five men with a substantial amount of illegal narcotics.

“I had to bounce,” West said, explaining that he needed to leave the life of illicit substances behind. “Those guys get wild when they get in that stuff.”

Lamenting the reality of the American justice system, West noted that although minor offenders can do long jail time for a small amount of narcotics, that doesn’t mean that the drugs are not a social problem of mass proportions.

As for himself, West has just emerged from the bowels of the Albemarle County Jail after a period of over 30 days of incarceration. The crime? Violating a restraining order from a spiteful girlfriend.

In following up on West’s crime and punishment, Leading the Horse spoke to the woman who took out the restraining order, then called the police and had West arrested in February.

Claiming “psychological abuse,” the woman was unable to provide specific examples of any behavior that would warrant arrest and incarceration. Saying over and over that she “loved her Kenny” she maintained that “she needs to get herself right now.” At some points, she maintained that West went to jail willingly to get three square meals a day, an idea that West himself emphatically denied.

In short, from past reporting and knowledge of the actors (which you can read all about in the archives) it appears that West has been the victim of a poisonous, tumultuous relationship, and a punitive legal system (his girlfriend, in our view, is also a victim, both of her own situation and of Kenny’s annoyingly repetitive “gospel”). It should also be noted that America absolutely needs a system to protect women from their boyfriends, spouses, and other men in their lives. Domestic violence is no laughing matter. But in the “court of the street”, the jurisprudence of those who live with their actions, it should be said that like many who have been caught up in the American dragnet, West probably did not need to spend over a month awaiting a hearing at which he was released, unless his penance was in order to serve the general principle of domestic abuse protections. Oddly enough, West himself maintains that he was guilty and willing to do his time, explaining that his real crime was breaking the judge’s order.

Citing the prestige and the responsibility that America gives its judges, West argues that by accepting the punishment, and “fessing up” to the judge, he was able to achieve his eventual release, and justice was served.

Who’s Paying Michael Jones’s Canteen Money? – and – Peace, Peace, but There Is No Peace

 

In new revelations on the curious case of Michael Jones, Ken West is suggesting that Jones, as a mid-level drug runner, is leaning on some business associates to send him canteen money in jail.

 

“That stuff doesn’t just fall out of the sky,” West said

 

When Jones gets shipped out to “the box,” West said (referring to a longer term penitentiary), jailers will most likely cut off the long dreadlocks that hang in his face.

 

Remembering his ill-treatment at the hands of the Charlottesville clapper, West also mentioned some other existing grievances with local characters, including a man named “Will Stringum” who apparently operated a used bicycle shop in the past, and owes West $30,000 for “exceptional goods” which West later characterized as “fine English steel.”

 

However, West also needs to get his bicycle from his ex-girlfriend’s house.

 

Summoning visions of Will Stringum on his own bicycle pedaling furiously away from police, West said the delinquent bicycle hawker is probably on the run from the law.

 

West also chronicled another recent interaction he had with a state trooper.

 

The state trooper, West said, hailed from Georgia and was extremely racist. West shared some racist vignettes that the officer had shared with him.

 

In order to string the fellow along, West said, he raised the idea of a nuclear attack on North Korea. Unsurprisingly, the state trooper voiced his whole-hearted enthusiasm for using neutron bombs in a war capacity to “bomb North Korea back to the Stone Age.”

 

West further suggested that “neutron bombs” do not generate uranium decay or nuclear fallout.

 

A quick Google search by our fact checkers shows this is not the case, and that neutron bombs are considered to generate around 5% of their blast power as residual fallout. Brittanica.com gives these definitions:

 

“Residual radiation is defined as radiation emitted more than one minute after the detonation. If the fission explosion is an airburst, the residual radiation will come mainly from the weapon debris. If the explosion is on or near the surface, the soil, water, and other materials in the vicinity will be sucked upward by the rising cloud, causing early (local) and delayed (worldwide) fallout. Early fallout settles to the ground during the first 24 hours; it may contaminate large areas and be an immediate and extreme biological hazard. Delayed fallout, which arrives after the first day, consists of microscopic particles that are dispersed by prevailing winds and settle in low concentrations over possibly extensive portions of Earth’s surface.”

 

The bottom line, at risk of editorializing, is that neither the state trooper in question, the chickenhawk John Bolton, or any of the basket-dwellers who insist on “military solutions” of this kind have the brain cells to rub together to understand the simple premise of mutually assured destruction, although anybody who is anybody in conventional statesmanship has known this for about half a century. Set off enough nuclear bombs, and your environment will be an uninhabitable nuclear wasteland. The basket people, who seem to be popping up everywhere, are keen on getting the rest of us to agree that all of these diplomats and career scientists and government folks were really just pursuing peace for a lark. It’s one of the stupidest things anyone can ever think, but on today’s menu, it’s just the #3.

 

 

This Just In: West Changes Story on Jones

 

After passionately insisting for days that Charlottesville clapper Michael Jones had been “hemmed up,” in jailhouse parlance, and that the police actions in his case constitute entrapment, Ken West has suddenly reversed his character assessment of Jones, who he said threatened him in prison.

 

West’s new assessment is based on information he learned while consorting with a female friend who West said is a “jailhouse person,” explaining that she has extensive knowledge of some of the people around Michael Jones, and others who are well known in the local community.

 

When we spoke to this woman, who West called “Michelle,” she had no comment on the Jones case, saying that she was “in a situation” regarding her brother.

 

Later on the call, West explained that Michelle had spent a significant amount of time in prison for, in his words, “spitting on police.”

 

Why is this important?

 

Since our reporting was largely based on West’s repeated claims that Jones was being unfairly prosecuted, his abrupt about-face changes the narrative considerably. It will be up to a grand jury to determine whether in fact, Jones is, as West calls him, a “petty smalltime drug dealer and thief” or whether he is simply someone caught up in the wide dragnet of America’s war on drugs.

 

As for West, who claims to be an informant for the police, after being offered a spot in a Super Eight Hotel in Greenbriar, the “snitch” has retired to his usual hiding spot somewhere above chicken alley. His sofa is a cardboard box.