Kahomono - It Means Lucky

Random musings on whatever subject strikes my fancy that day.

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Democrats! No, Republicans!

Back before the 1960’s, the Democrats were the party of White Supremacy in the South.  They called themselves the Dixiecrats, to be distinguishable from the northern sort who were definitely more liberal and somewhat less racist.  Lester Maddox, George Wallace, Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms were all Democrats until the mid-1960s.

With a Democratic administration in the White House (JFK, then LBJ) and with support for the Civil Rights movement gaining traction, the Republicans crafted the Southern Strategy.  Taking the opportunity offered by Johnson signing the Voting Rights and Civil Rights Acts, they painted the Democrats as a party of “n***er-lovers.”  Unsurprisingly, they reaped huge electoral rewards among scared and hateful whites.  That’s when the rogues’ gallery mentioned above and hundreds more Southern politicians switched party affiliation from D to R.

Some argue the Southern Strategy should be called the Suburban Strategy.  Either way, the GOP flipped the script and picked up support across the old Confederacy, and in lily-white suburbs everywhere, by taking over the mantle of that most reliable vote getter in those areas: fear- and hatred-driven racism.

Chris Seward cseward@newsobserver.com

Photo by Chris Seward cseward@newsobserver.com

So shall we expect any better of Republicans than to foment racism with both hands while denying it to the public when caught at it?  I think not.  A masterwork of denial is documented in this Charlotte News & Observer article last week about someone with the breathtakingly beautiful name of Dallas Woodhouse.  Dallas is, by the destiny assured when his parents named him, a North Carolina Republican party official.  He tweeted on August 6 blaming “@NCDemParty” for a Wilmington race riot, a massacre of blacks, and for publishing the “White Declaration of Independence.”  These events took place in 1898, when the party called Democrat was indeed the unified voice of Southern racism.  They also, apparently, had the first Twitter handle, decades before @Jack was even born.  Who knew? 

OK, I don’t think the NC Democratic party in 1898 really had a Twitter handle.  Still, it’s not hard to figure out which political party in 2017 would endorse a “White Declaration of Independence.”  But the Democrats of 1898 were the same lineage that gave rise to Democrats Maddox, Wallace, Thurmond and Helms… all of whom in the 1960s magically switched to Republican.  Their philosophical brethren and descendants have now put a Pumpkin in the White House, and Nazis on the streets of Charlottesville, VA.

So I will say this without fear of contradiction: in 1898, Dallas Woodhouse would have been a Democrat.


I Just Lost The Game

As required by Rule #3 I am telling you.  So now you just lost, too.


The Game is a game that we are all playing.  The object of The Game is not to remember that you are playing it.  As soon as you regain awareness that you are playing The Game, you lose.  Not permanently, though: re-lose the awareness that you are playing, and you are winning again.  For as long as that lasts.

Good luck.

The website claims that this is the game “that broke game theory.”  I would try to figure out if that’s really true, but I don’t think I can take that much losing at one sitting.

By the way, it was today’s XKCD that made me lose the game this time.

What will do it for you, next time?

A Classic of the Genre

There are train songs all over the modern popular and folk music landscape.  Songs about trains, songs set on trains, songs that sound like trains.

I am one of those who find that sound of a train supremely soothing.  Whether I am on the train, or it’s going by, I love to listen to it.  As someone who doesn’t get ASMR in general, the experience its enthusiasts describe is very like mine of a train sound.  I could babble about this for a few hundred more words but I won’t waste your time.  So here’s a definitive tune, in a clip from the All Star Bluegrass Celebration:



Horse Battery Staple is Correct After All

The password advice we all hate – upper and lower case, numerals and punctuation, change it frequently – is wrong.  We knew this in our guts, but now Bill Burr, the original author of the NIST report that started it all in 2003, has recanted.

So now, we’re back to this.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has word lists you can use for this.  They recommend dice to safeguard your picks from any system compromise you may have.  If you’re a little less paranoid about it, you can use this Google sheet I have prepared from the SOWPODS.

Finally… DON’T change the pass phrase you make, unless you have a positive reason to believe it’s been compromised.  Changing passwords on a regular schedule makes people tend to use predictable passwords.  And no good can come of that!

A Follow-Up to that Memo

The author of the now-infamous Google “gender roles” memo, James Damore, has been fired.

There will be a lot of right-wing pissing and moaning about “free speech.”  Well, until someone proposes that what Damore wrote was criminal and he should go to jail for it, not just idiotic and he is a less-valuable employee for proclaiming such a thing… those right-wingers are lying to you.  Some of them may even be aware that they are lying to you.

Randall Munro sums it up nicely:

And the hovertext is priceless:

I can’t remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you’re saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it’s not literally illegal to express.

Oh, by the way, Julian Assange has publicly offered Damore a job.  So you know where that particular turd floats.

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