Biography

RWP was born in Manchester, in the north of England, in the late 1950s, so he is very old. He really liked the north of England, which by 1965 was hip and had three TV channels, and where he went to a coed school. His parents, for reasons best known to themselves, then yanked him away, to Belfast and then Dublin, which had one TV channel that started up at 6 pm with the Angelus (Catholic call to prayer). He also had to go to an all boys school, where he realized he really missed girls. This probably let him focus on schoolwork, though, and at age 19, after he had finished college, he set off for America, where he still resides. He has a bachelors degree in biochemistry and a Ph.D. from Harvard in biophysics, and has lived also in Mainz, Germany, Setauket NY, and Richland WA. He currently divides his time between Nebraska, Rosslyn VA, and Florida.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Catching up with old episodes, like Matthew 28.

Not wishing to be disrespecful, or anything, but it's curious that this seems to have been news to the Pontiff. I'm pretty sure they taught us about it in Catholic primary school. It certainly isn't going to help dispel the stereotype that Catholics don't read the Bible, or that religious education in Latin America begins with the principle that the means of production belong to the workers.

Still please cut the guy some slack, and don't let slip what happened 40 days later. Nobody likes a spoiler. I myself haven't gotten through the first season of House of Cards yet.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A musical offering

I woke up this morning, and got into my car
Oh yeah, I woke up this morning, but I didn't get very far
As soon as I turned onto Route 44
The stupid damn ignition key fell on the floor
And that is why I've got me the Cobalt Blues.

So I found the key, and took it back to the dealer
Said "I damn near got run down by an 18 wheeler"
He said "Ask for a refund, but you won't get one
cos Chevrolet is now Gummint Motors, son!"
And that is why I got me the Cobalt Blues!

Please remember to tip your waitress, and we'll be here all week!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The end of class (3 letters)

Spring is finally here, and to celebrate its coming, UNL is hosting a free concert by the handsome and talented Mr. Sean Michael Leonard Anderson. Mr Anderson, better known as Big Sean, is a rapper who, like most of his kind, has had some brushes with the law, specifically a conviction for unlawful imprisonment of a 17 year old girl. Mr Anderson and a friend pled this down from charges of forcible touching, second-degree unlawful imprisonment and third-degree sex abuse.

Fortunately for the future of Western culture, this did not tangibly affect Mr. Anderson's career or diminish his artistic enthusiasm; his masterwork to date, Dance Ass, begins with the memorable and evocative lines:

Ass Ass Ass Ass Ass Ass Ass
Ass Ass Ass Ass Ass Ass Ass
Ass Ass Ass Ass Ass Ass Ass
My search routine informs me the song (Is that the right word? The rap? The oeuvre?) contains 61 instances of the word 'ass' (though this may well depend on the version), as well as 6 instances of 'bitch' or its plural, 3 instances of the word 'pussy', as well as 'Pootie Tang', 'shit', 'anus', whores, etc. etc.. It's a veritable ode to Mr Anderson's love for womankind, or at least those bits of womankind located between the waist and knees. It's sort of a Fodor's guide to the area, and best read with a copy of Urban Dictionary open, to properly acquaint oneself with its verbal nuances.

Campus feminists were unavailable for comment; evidently 'rape culture' activism has taken the week off.

Me, I'm just glad my daughters no longer attend this dump.


Update 4/15/2014: Assaults, thefts, MIPs keep UNL police busy during Big Sean concert.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Why I oppose LB 485

LB 485 is a law prohibiting discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation in Nebraska. I'm against discrimination based on sexual orientation, and would not discriminate. Why, then, would I oppose this law?

(1) Laws are bad things. Most laws can at best be a necessary evil; they generally constrain the freedom of some people, to bring about what we see as a countervailing social good. If we forbid discrimination in employment for category X, that means we take away people's choice not to employ category X. Whether or not employers should discriminate against people in category X is irrelevant; it's not freedom if you can only do that of which society approves.

In addition, an anti discrimination law requires a staff to execute it, and results in businesses adopting practices to protect themselves against lawsuits. Both of these are counter-productive.

There are many things that are wrong, but should not be illegal. Lying, for example, is generally wrong, but should not be illegal except under very specific circumstances.

(2)If a law can at best be a necessary evil, this law fails the test of necessity. Omaha, the year after it passed its sexual orientation/gender discrimination ordinance, counted three actual cases of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation/gender identity. There is simply no evidence gay or transgender people in Nebraska are suffering substantial unemployment because of discrimination. A feeling that you might once have been discriminated against is not a sufficient justification for this law.

Some of us, though libertarian, nonetheless support the 1964 Civil Rights Act, simply bacause discrimination at the time based on race and to a lesser extent based on sex was so pervasive that it constituted a genuine threat to the life and liberty of women and African-Americans. This is not the case at present with respect to sexual orientation or gender identity.

(3) While this bill covers only employment, as night follows day it will be followed by a law covering discrimination in public accomodations. Such laws have been used to force people to participate in activities that violate their conscience or desires. I don't believe in giving a special place to religious liberty (although the constitution does, and I think we should defer to the constitution), but if a photographer does not want to work a gay wedding, that should be his or her right. It's lousy business choice on his or her part, but maybe that's not important to him or her, and in any case it's none of our business.

(4) And finally, this bill is part of a general movement of intolerance of dissenting views in our society, particularly on the part of the 'gay-rights' movement. Brendan Eich was just hounded out of a CEO job at Mozilla for having six years ago contributed to Proposition 8, an anti-gay-marriage initiative in California. A similar hounding was attempted against Phil Robertson. Other proponents of Proposition 8 have been harassed. I don't agree with either of these gentlemen (especially Robertson) but I will defend to the death their right to hold, express, and act on their views. One should be generally skeptical of slippery slope arguments, but we know this slippery slope exists, and we've seen it in action. It's time some people learned tolerance is a two-way street. If for no other reason, we tolerate others so we will receive tolerance in return.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Do what the geopolitics dictates, tovarisch!

Nebraskans for Peace was a mildly obnoxious organization, apparently dedicated to reducing US standing in the world and achieving victory for the former Soviet Union. It was only mildly obnoxious, because it was a completely ineffectual coalition of moonbats. I thought it had gone away, but apparently they've found a new mission in helping the USSR's successor, revanchist Russia. Today Paul Olson 'a member of the Anti-War Committee of Nebraskans for Peace' tells Ukraine its place in the world.
But, most of all, it needs neutrality to take on the moderating middle position that geopolitics requires it to occupy.
Yes indeed, know your place, Ukraine. Forget about choosing your own direction; obey the geopolitics. You are designed to be a Russian buffer state. Too bad if you want to join the EU!

Olson, of course, is a multifaceted twit.

Crimea would provide Russia with Sevastopol, its only warm water port, and that Ukraine would provide the near-desert Crimea and Sevastopol with fresh water and electricity.
The picture above shows some of that 'near-desert'

Actually, Sevastopol averages about 18" of rain a year, about the same as North Platte, NE. It's classed as humid subtropical (Cfa), like, for example, Sao Paolo Brazil.

Olson also parrots Putin's line that the Ukrainian protestors are neo-Nazis, and claims they 'forbad' all languages but Ukrainian. I can find no evidence of the latter, and the former claim has been discredited.