If we just ignore the neo-Nazis and white supremacists, will they go away?

Charlottesville Nazis

Some are advising people to not counter-protest when Nazis and white supremacists demonstrate or have a rally. Some are advising people to not pay attention to them or give them any more publicity. Let them shout into the “empty air,” as Tina Fey put it.

I understand the sentiment, I really do. If we were dealing with any other kind of loud-mouthed troublemakers, that is absolutely the right response.

But what about when Nazis start running for office? Do we speak up then or stay quiet so as not to give them undue attention?

What about when they start taking over local and state governments? Do we speak up then?

What about when they take over the national government?

It’ll be very easy to stay quiet then because the punishment for counter-protesting or speaking out will be jail… or worse. Make no mistake. Just as Hitler’s ultimate goals were quite evident years before he took over Germany, so the goals of the white supremacist movement are clear now: The elimination of non-white people from the United States “permanently.” If you’re listening, that’s what they’re saying, and I have no doubt they’re telling the truth about that.

When this kind of barbarism raises its ugly head, it can be truly said, “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” We’re not even a hundred years away from the last example.

I do not advocate for counter-violence. Ultimately, that serves the goals of the white supremacist movement. They copy the tactics of Nazi thugs in the 20s and 30s who sought to provoke violence to justify brutal retaliation.

I do, however, advocate wholeheartedly showing up, speaking out, raising our voices. Do not be intimidated into either silence OR counter-violence.

The Cookie Jar

“I’ve caught you with your hand in the cookie jar!”

“No, you haven’t!”

“Dude, yes I have! I’m looking at you right now! You literally have your hand in the cookie jar!”

“I don’t! This is not even a cookie jar!”

“Dude, it says ‘cookie jar’ right on it!”

“Fake labels! Besides, just because I have my hand in it doesn’t mean I’ve got a cookie.”

“But you’ve got cookie dust on your tie, so obviously you’ve been eating them!”

“Witch hunt! Look, can you see my hand inside the cookie jar? It’s not a transparent jar, so you don’t even know that it’s my hand.”

“But it’s connected to your arm.”

“You’ve got hands on your arms, too! So does almost everyone else. What about them? Why aren’t you investigating them for stealing your cookies?”

“BECAUSE I’M LOOKING AT YOU RIGHT NOW WITH YOUR HAND IN THE COOKIE JAR!!!”

“There aren’t even any cookies in this jar. You’ve really got to stop with this obsessive persecution of me to distract from your own crimes.”

“My own crimes?”

“Yeah! You put cookies in this jar and did NOTHING to stop people from stealing cookies! THIS IS YOUR FAULT!”

“But just a second ago you said there were no cookies in there.”

“I did not. I don’t know where you’re getting this fake news from.”

(The sound of bloody squelching as I repeatedly bash my skull into a wall.)

How to recognize despotism: 1946

Back in the olden days, America opposed despotism and fascism.

Here’s a documentary from 1946 explaining how to recognize despotism. America and its allies had just defeated fascism. We recognized the evil of it then and spent vast amounts of blood and money to eliminate it from the world.

In the video, it’s interesting to note the pre-1950’s Pledge of Allegiance, which is a bit different from the one people recite today.

Oh, and this video has absolutely no relevance to today. None at all.

John Oliver explains “the most influential media company that you’ve never heard of”

The largest owner of local news stations in the country, Sinclair is finalizing a deal to acquire Tribune Media, making it an even larger force in local media.

Stall

This is an absolutely true story. I swear.

It was a long day at work, and I needed a men’s room break for a few minutes. When I walked in someone was in the first stall. I don’t normally notice these things, but it occurred to me whoever was in there was very quiet and motionless. And he was wearing some very nice shoes.

As I said, it didn’t register with me at the time. It did the next day when I went in and saw that someone was again in the first stall, and I thought it was the same guy. Nice shoes. Silent. Motionless. The whole time I was in there, not a sound or movement. Weird.

But it gets weirder. The third day, he was in there again. At least, I assumed it was the same guy because I swear it was the same pair of nice shoes and, as had become usual, he made not a sound and not a movement.

I started thinking, “Is someone dead in there? Has he been sitting there dead for three days and no one’s noticed?”

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Dell XPS 7760: A quick review

The Dell XPS 7760 All-in-One Desktop is a powerful machine, with a gorgeous 4K monitor and plenty of speed from the Intel i7 chip. As is usual with Dell, I called and ordered the computer just the way I wanted it.

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I saved some cash by not ordering a touch-screen because it’s just not conducive to the way I work. My wife has an HP all-in-one touchscreen, and she never uses it that way.

I give it five stars in just about every category, with some exceptions. It’s advertised as having the best sound quality for any all-in-one, with its multiple active and passive speakers built in. The active speakers are front facing just below the screen, and the passive speakers radiate from the bottom of the unit. These may be the best-sounding speakers in any all-in-one, but I had Klipsch speakers with a subwoofer on my last system, and the integrated speakers just can’t compare.

The biggest complaint about the unit is the difficulty of reaching all the ports in the back. The stand makes it difficult to get your hands in there, but if you take the time to plug in all the USB’s you need, you don’t have to mess with it again. Speaking of ports, there are plenty, including some USB-C. There’s an additional USB port on the side, along with a flash card reader with easy access.

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My only other complaint, albeit a small one, is the integrated camera. It’s at the bottom of the screen, which gives your video friends a stunning view of your chest and the underside of your chin. But I put my other camera on top of the unit, so we’re okay.
As for the rest, my eyes are still adjusting to a 27-inch super-sharp 4K screen. I can’t imagine going back to any monitor less than 4K. It sits up a little higher than I’m used to, but I don’t think I’ll notice in another week or so.

My usual practice when buying computers was to choose my mouse and keyboard, but this is the first time I won’t. The Dell mouse and keyboard are terrific. No change needed.
Keep in mind, however, if you use or need an optical drive, you’ll have to get an external, because this all-in-one doesn’t come with it. I only use mine to burn in my massive CD collection, though. Does any software still come on a CD or DVD-ROM anymore?

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Bottom line: I’m thrilled with this machine, and it’s well-worth the money. Dell scores again.

Oh, and the cats are certainly happy with my purchase because now they have a new fort.

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An evening with King Crimson

Wednesday, June 21, 2017, at the Greek Theater — the big eight-man big band beast lineup of King Crimson. Photography was not allowed during the show, but I managed a few pics before and after.

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King Crimson ticket