Mike's Home Page

My ancestors knew this game. They were experts at it.

 

Rudyard Kipling

Dane-Geld

A.D. 980-1016
It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation
  To call upon a neighbour and to say: --
"We invaded you last night--we are quite prepared to fight,
  Unless you pay us cash to go away."

And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
  And the people who ask it explain
That you've only to pay 'em the Dane-geld
  And then  you'll get rid of the Dane!

It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation,
  To puff and look important and to say: --
"Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
  We will therefore pay you cash to go away."

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
  But we've  proved it again and  again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
  You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
  For fear they should succumb and go astray;
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
  You will find it better policy to say: --

"We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
  No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
  And the nation that pays it is lost!"

The Meh of the Five Armies
Dec 17, 201403:23AM

Category: General

As you gather from the title, this wasn't what I'd hoped.

First, we got punished for reserving for the midnight showing.  After that got booked nationwide, someone in production or distribution decided to open up earlier slots in the evening for all the people who didn't respond in time. So the latecomers managed to book earlier shows.

I'd hoped to see it on the Imax screen, but that was reserved for people doing the three movie marathon, and that was 8 hours I didn't want to sit in the theater.

So there were about a dozen of us in a standard theater. And the guy behind me kept practicing a tap dancing routine (literally) every two or three minutes (literally).  When I finally couldn't take it anymore and asked him to stop, he did.

On to the movie.

The problem with this section of the story is there's not a lot of character to discover, other than Thorin's fall, which was done well enough.  We have good character background on the others, and there's not much more to develop.

We did get to see the reveal of Sauron and the foreshadowing of the threat to come, and Saruman showed some depth, because Christopher %#$@ing Lee is awesome.

Laketown is too far from the mountain here, so rather than the refugees using the perfectly serviceable forest with game, timber, fresh water and nearby fish, they move up into the abandoned town across from the mountain, miles from anywhere, and are short of rations. Duh.

The battle was a huge mess, with some good scenes including the shield ramping, but otherwise was hack and slash from different POVs for an hour.  We've seen this before. The dwarves smashed, the elves shot and slashed, the men did what they could.

The cherry atop the turd was the resolution of the love arc between Fili and Tauriel.  Everyone saw it coming, and Jackson had a chance to NOT be cliche, and sold out.  Everyone was rolling their eyes and groaning, though some of that might have been the scenery protesting at being chewed.

It's one weak movie of six, but since it's the conclusion of this arc, it diminishes the entirety of The Hobbit.  They could have got as much material into two slightly longer movies, or they could have used this one to delve into more backstory, more detail on different fighting styles or overall strategy.

You're going to see it just to resolve the trilogy, but don't expect to be blown away.  It's once again "We need MOAR! special effects and mayhem or people won't watch!" sellout and cliche. 

Is Ferguson Still A Thing?
Dec 14, 201411:11PM

Category: Politics

A certain SF writer I blocked a long time ago, expressed the opinion, "If you're white, you're not entitled to an opinion about Ferguson."

Well, that's nice.

Dear Fascist, The First Amendment of the US Constitution guarantees my right and entitlement to an opinion on anything I want.

Dear Hypocrite, for someone who claims to support free speech and is in the business of it, this is about the 10th time I've heard you espouse limiting those rights based on your politics.

Dear white guy, you're whiter than cream cheese, so shouldn't you take your own advice, there in your 98% white upper middle class liberal neighborhood in California?

Dear racist, my skin color is not relevant to my right to talk.

Please go fuck yourself with a waffle iron.

~~

As to other ignorant comments I hear all over:

"Why wasn't there a trial?"
There was. The Grand Jury is the first step in a trial.  You should have learned this in 7th grade. If not, perhaps you should refrain from commenting.

"He only got shot because he's black."

No, he got shot because he was a murderous piece of shit thug, and white guys get shot for the same thing all the time. Google will find you thousands of them.

I have personally watched, in the black neighborhood I lived in, a shoplifter spill merchandise from his coat, then tell the officer who grabbed him, "You're just arrestin' me cuz I'm black." The arresting officer...was black.

Same officer asked a woman not to park in a handicapped space since she clearly wasn't and had no tag.  "You're just hasslin' me cuz I'm black."  It seems to be a default bleat with some people.

"Black people get shot more." Yes, but usually by other black people.  As far as by cops, no, not really.

If you want questionable cases, Tamir Rice's murder is a good one to focus on.  

There are two types of people in the Ferguson debate. Racists, and people who understand Brown was a thug attempting murder.

You Asked For It
Dec 14, 201405:06PM

Category: Writing

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00QZV08SW?ie=UTF8&tag=wwwmichaelzwi-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00QZV08SW

Flogging my collection of snark, satire, random internet bombs, hurled epithets and commentary.  These are my deliberate misinterpretations, vitriolic comments, puns, anecdotes and thoughts on everything, collected from several years of online posting and content.  Just in time for Christmas for that person you hate.

Eventually, I'll have download direct from the website, and possibly paper copies.

Enjoy. Or not. Doesn't matter.  Just give me money. That's what matters.

And remember:  Hugo Chavez is not a line of clothing. I stand corrected.

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-12-09/law-students-we-cant-take-exams-because-of-ferguson

If you plan to be a lawyer, you will lose cases, sometimes for stupid reasons, and sometimes because you're wrong. Rarely, innocent men are jailed. Often, guilty men walk.

This is the nature of our adversarial justice system.

I have noted your schools and your graduation years.  Because if a case you're not involved with can cause you to freak out to the point where you flub an exam, you are emotionally immature and will probably be a terrible lawyer.  So I will make sure not to hire anyone from that set to watch my interests.  I can't have you panicking over some case a week ago and a thousand miles away when I need a judgment or a claim. Yes, it's stereotyping all your classmates, but without knowing your individual names, I must assume the odds of getting someone competent are not in my favor. 

Congratulations, you've hindered the ability of your classmates to earn a living.

Stop shitting your panties, you whining little bitches, and harden the fuck up.

PS: Those of you so distressed are all white, middle class liberals, aren't you?

 
The Second Amendment has been misinterpreted. It says guns are permitted to a "well-regulated militia." That means trained citizen soldiers called into action for emergencies — because in colonial times every able-bodied man was required to be a member of the militia. It does not mean everyone with $50 and a driver's license is entitled to own a gun.
 
Wrong. Title 10 USC, Ch 13, Sec 311.

It would help if you actually understood what you were talking about before opening your ignorant yap.
 
Oh, you might also want to tell the Federal Government of this profound revelation you had.  Apparently, in the National Defense Act of 1916, they created the Civilian Marskmanship Program http://thecmp.org/cmp_sales/ for the purpose of selling SURPLUS BATTLE RIFLES to civilians for the purpose of ensuring they're trained in case of war...as members of the militia.

Every legal opinion for 200 years denied individual gun ownership was a right 

Cite, please.  You won't find any relevant (SCOTUS) rulings to that effect.  You're repeating bleats from Brady, et al, that are unsupported.
 
And even if so, so what?  For a long time, it was held legal for states to have official religions, ban pornography, and ban gays from marrying or even interacting. This isn't the 1790s.  Unless you want to go back to black people being slaves. (You probably do.)
 
— until the steady lobbying of the National Rifle Association created a climate that allowed a conservative U.S. Supreme Court in 2008 to strike down a handgun ban in the District of Columbia, and fuel the sense of entitlement of gun owners.
 
The same "conservative" court that upheld Roe v Wade and 0bamacare? Seek therapy, dude. You're paranoid and delusional.
 
You can't prevent mental illness. You can prevent humans from having easy access to tools they can use to harm other people.
 
Yes, that's worked so well in the UK that in 100 years has gone from similar gun laws to the US and 1/12 the murder rate, to very restrictive laws and better than 1/2 the murder rate.
 
Fun fact:  I don't need a gun to club your brains into goo.
 
But if you're obsessed with guns, you'd say something like:
 
 
Among the 24 most affluent nations of the world, the U.S. is the far and away leader in gun homicides. None of the other 23 affluent nations has a rate above 1 firearm death per 100,000 population.
 
Because somehow gun deaths are worse than drunk driving deaths?
 
One of us has an unhealthy obsession with guns.  It isn't me.
 
I'm talking about repealing or amending the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
 
Sometime about the fifth grade, most of us learned that that process involves both Houses of Congress, and approval of 3/4 of the states.  If you think that is ever going to happen, you need to put down the medical marijuana.
 
The idea of 500 students in a college library or a dozen teachers in an elementary school pulling out guns to shoot a gunman is ludicrous. They would wind up shooting each other.
 
And yet in places where this is legal, this has not happened.  Where in your professional firearms training did you learn this?  You DO have professional training in this field you're masturbating about, right?  Right?
 
Gun freaks say if you take away their guns only outlaws will have guns. That's a chance worth taking. Because if we ban guns, eventually the tide will turn. It might take 10 years or 20 years. Hell, it might take 50 years. But if we make it illegal to own a handgun, eventually there will be no handguns.
 
I have functional guns from 1872 in my collection.  In the UK, criminals convert dummy and airsoft guns to fire bullets.  Once again, the gun freak (you), opens his ignorant yap about a subject without doing the faintest modicum of research. That's probably why you're in "reporting," the Special Olympics of writing. Real writers have to do research.
 
Let the hunters keep their rifles and shotguns; those weapons are ineffective tools in a mass shooting.

BWUAHAHAHAAHA!  You went full retard.  Never go full retard.
 
Your typical deer rifle has 3 times the muzzle energy of an "assault weapon" (please define what that is for me.  Go ahead) and about 10 times that of a handgun. But they're "ineffective."  Because nothing that can kill a bull elk could be useful for killing people.
 
This is an uphill battle. Despite daily front-page stories of shooting sprees and killings, Americans don't want to give up their guns. Over the past 10 years, the percentage of Americans who support stricter guns laws has dropped from 60 percent to 47 percent. In a recent survey, 73 percent of Americans oppose banning handguns.
 
Yup. You're kinda on the same page as the homophobes and abortion banners.  And the Klan.
 
We're coming for your guns. And someday, we'll take them.
 
Fascinating. So, if I have a gun, and you do not, how precisely do you propose to take it?
 
Oh, one more thing--300 million guns, average value of $500 each. Per that pesky 5th Amendment (which you should have learned about in fifth grade), you have pay for the private property you seize for public purposes.  Now, you'll be buying me a new house, given my collection, but more importantly, you'll be ponying up $150 BILLION dollars or more.  Good luck with that.  

Perhaps you should have studied 5th grade arithmetic, too, if you didn't want to look stupid.
 
Bleat harder, you whining little coward.  You're going to shit your panties on the internet, and that's all.
 
Please continue.  Your dickless rage amuses me.
 
Stop the insanity.  Put this paranoid, delusional, ignorant retard into a home.
 

Have Fun Scamming a Scammer
Nov 28, 201401:24AM

Category: Humor

So, some guy calls the house, claims to be a Treasury agent, informs Gail our 2010 taxes are not paid, and that we're guilty of yadda yadda and about to be arrested, etc.

Now, we are currently resolving an issue with the IRS over MONEY THEY OWE US.  2009 and 2010 have been resolved, we have received refunds, and letters confirming settlement to mutual satisfaction.

She mentioned this fact, along with "Taxpayer advocate," and the guy hung up on her.

Had she stayed on the line, he was going to demand a prepaid Visa number for some insane amount of money, and repeat until we had nothing left.  And we'd have known as soon as he asked it was a  scam.

Because he hung up before presenting the scam, we weren't entirely sure, until I called back, got some non-English speaker who didn't know the proper terms, referenced some complicated forn number, then insisted on reading (And you are not allowed to interrupt) a lengthy "advisory" about debt, attempt to defraud, in violation of, etc., all scary sounding stuff that CANNOT ACTUALLY exist unless and until there is a trial and conviction.

I called him a scamming piece of shit, insulted his ancestry, penis size, worthlessness as a human being for working for shit wages for criminals, his lack of privilege, etc, then hung up.

But, these people do scam honest and usually poor people out of a lot of money.

So, if you'd like to play, please call 323-786-0626.  They will want your phone number to reference to the "Case number."  But I'm sure if you insist your name is Heywood Jablomi or Mike Hunt or Woodie Pfisterbotham, and you DEFINITELY spoke to Mr Thomas Benson (the name he gave me), can they PLEASE find the file because you don't want to go to jail, that the greedy slimefuckers will find a "case number."  At which point you can start tying them up with fake card numbers, or continue to mock their penis size.

Frankly, I don't know why law enforcement and the phone companies can't just disconnect these scumbags by the fourth complaint.  I'm not sure why they can't run 50Kv through the lines and electrocute the fuckers in the act. Someone flopping on the ground doing the Neutron Dance might have a salutory effect on the attitudes of the others.

I Will Be Going to WisCon!
Nov 20, 201411:50PM

Category: Humor

And I'd like you to join me.

I plan to make up some shirts with this:

And with statements like "SHITLORD" and "Cisgender heteronormative male oppressor."

Over those, we'll wear beach babe tropical shirts.

I recommend a beard, and an (unlit) cigar.

I expect to be attacked by femorrhoids.  We shall laugh at their hatred and ignore their whines. If attacked physically, we shall have them arrested for battery. Remind them that cosplay is not consent, and no matter how we're dressed, we're not asking for it.

My room will be a safe haven for the privileged, and you must prove privilege to enter.  We will drink Scotch and discuss how a belief in privilege equates to a belief in white/male/cishet genetic superiority.

I expect the lamentations to be epic.

Equality
Nov 19, 201404:38AM

Category: Politics

Dear femorrhoid cunts:

The women on Dr Matt Taylor's shirt can dress as they wish. You have no right to dictate their clothing choices.

Dr Matt Taylor can dress as he wishes.  Just because you don't like the shirt doesn't mean he's "asking for it."

Likewise, cosplay is not consent.

Attacking him is slut shaming, and also attacks the artisanal abilities of the female friend who made the shirt for him.

If you think I'm mansplaining to you, you're wrong.  I'm smartsplaining.  Also, if you thought that, you're a sexist cunt as well as a retarded one.  My sex is not relevant to the validity of my statement.

Instead of being bossy cunts and attacking your intellectual betters out of jealousy, why don't you go learn something useful, like how to make a sandwich?

Can't figure out why this is entitled "Equality"?  Because a retarded dick male would get the exact same treatment. So suck it, bitches.

Everyone else, donate here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/matt-taylor-rosetta-project-scientist

Oscar-winning scientist Al Gore now wants "A national food policy."  He refers to this "brilliant article" (Actually, it's an op-ed):

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/how-a-national-food-policy-could-save-millions-of-american-lives/2014/11/07/89c55e16-637f-11e4-836c-83bc4f26eb67_story.html?hpid=z2

First of all, nothing in a newspaper is ever "brilliant." They're aimed at someone with a 4th grade education.

Here are the pallid suggestions:

~~~

All Americans have access to healthful food;

~~~

Well, gee, who doesn't want that?  But you know, I've been helping a couple of recently homeless friends, and the food banks give away food.  Now, a lot of it is starch, because we produce so much of it. But, it's food. Almost no other nation on the planet can do that. This is the typical statist bullshit of creating a panic over something that doesn't exist, making it mandatory, making you pay for it, then providing less than you had before, but at least it's "Fair."

~~~

● Farm policies are designed to support our public health and environmental objectives;

~~~

Translation:  "Let a bureaucrat decide what you can eat." Because that's worked so well with health care, education and drilling for oil.  Oh, and the US Postal Service.

~~~

● Our food supply is free of toxic bacteria, chemicals and drugs;

~~~

It pretty much is.  And if it's not, you can sue or file criminal charges. Why, I remember just last week that 47,000 school children got gastroenteritis from bad school food and sued…oh, wait, no, they all ate perfectly safe stuff (other than being loaded with government mandated starch).

This is probably more anti-GMOtardery.  Fun fact: Without GMO food, we can't feed 7 billion people.  I propose everyone opposed to GMO stop eating.  That will eliminate GMO, and provide enough food for everyone else, mostly poor people in Africa and Asia.  Unless, of course, the anti-GMO crowd are mostly privileged "liberal" racists who hate brown people. Which they are.

~~~

● Production and marketing of our food are done transparently;

~~~
Because the government excels at transparency.  Seriously, did these idiots actually say that?  Why don't they ask for rainbow-colored unicorn jizz while they're at it?

~~~

● The food industry pays a fair wage to those it employs;

~~~

Ah, the "living wage" that destroyed Detroit.  "Liberals" will never learn, because they are not capable of learning.  What we really need is a national policy to declare "liberalism" (as opposed to actual Liberalism) a psychiatric disorder and put them in facilities where they can mumble to the walls and other inmates and not hurt anyone who matters.

~~~

● Food marketing sets children up for healthful lives by instilling in them a habit of eating real food;

~~~

Ah, "Real food." Which the USDA, which is run by...let me check my notes…ah, here:  The US Government.  It endorses eating gobs of starch that cause metabolic disorders, including obesity and diabetes. I even saw one recent report from this "US Government" that diabetics should get 70% of their calories from starch.  The article concurs with this problem, but suggests MOAR GOVERNMENT will make it better.

Hint for the scientifically illiterate:  Starch metabolizes as sugar. That's what it is.

What some of these tofu-munching pussies are hoping for is a law against meat, to stop those ebil, gun-toting, god-worshipping teahadis and make them comply.

Except California famously outlawed Caesar Salad a few years back, leading to literal bootlegging of salad.  Once you put a bureautard in charge, it's hard to get anything rational to happen.

~~~

● Animals are treated with compassion and attention to their well-being;

~~~
Most farmers do this, because maltreated animals don't taste good.  What this will turn into is more "animals are people too!" bullshit from the bunnyfuckers, and retards who try to feed their carnivorous pets weeds.

~~~

● The food system’s carbon footprint is reduced, and the amount of carbon sequestered on farmland is increased;

~~~

Wait, didn't you say you wanted the food to be cheap and plentiful?  So: We will regulate the food and the farmers, require them to spend more money on wages, demand they comply with "Carbon sequestration," and it will magically be cheaper, just like health care.

Actually, though, this is potentially achievable—we just reduce the carbon footprint of everyone in favor of this to zero, process them through a logchipper, then through a lime pit. We'll sequester their carbon and they won't produce any more. And, we won't have to listen to them. Win-win-win.

~~~

● The food system is sufficiently resilient to withstand the effects of climate change.

~~~

According to my research, the food system has withstood climate change for a half billion years. What we need to be concerned about is if it can withstand Al Gore, his private jets, his mansions all over the coasts (wait, isn't he afraid of sea level rise? Why would he have mansions on the coasts?) and his considerable bulk that is probably fed by cheeseburgers, not salad.  The carbon footprint of his houses exceeds my entire block.  The calorie footprint of his girth exceeds the local football team, and his bullshit quotient exceeds that of every cow in Kansas.

Even on an ephemeral basis, first we have to actually conclude what specific effects of climate change we are concerned about.  If we lose a week of frost-free days in Canada, their wheat crop fails.  If we lose rainfall, much of the corn belt suffers.  If we lose a couple of degrees in another Little Ice Age or Younger Dryas, there goes the citrus crop.  Then there's hurricanes, El Nińo, etc.  "Make it more resilient" sounds cute, but doesn't actually say much.  And of course, doing so will cost money, which will magically make food more affordable.

We have a system in the US that feeds not only us, but most of the world, and so well we actually pay farmers not to grow food.  But what this proposes is to raise the prices, reduce the output, and somehow, magically, cheaper!  And as for all those poor people in Asia and Africa, who cares?  Because at heart, "liberals" are racist, narcissistic, greedy fucks who only care about themselves.

And Al Gore is their spokesJabba.

So, we have an op-ed that's shallow, panders to the wrong market, does so poorly, and is endorsed by a fat albatross.  Ultimately, though, the proposal comes down to, "Government stupidity got us into this mess. We need more government stupidity to get us out."

Or, you could stop "helping" and figure that since people have been eating food for 3 million years, they'll figure it out.

Coming next: A national policy on masturbation and heavy breathing.