The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Don't nominate a governor to lead the GOP

Any State governor currently running for office is neglecting his State. He might be talking a big game about Federalism, but if he's running for the office of Lord Of The Seven Kingdoms then he doesn't mean it.

Popular and powerful governors do have a way out: to seek out both like-minded governors and like-minded officials at the county-level within states like Colorado. This is Federalism turned against DC (and against Hickenlooper).

Don't vote for Jindal. Don't vote for Walker. Don't vote for Perry.

posted by Zimri on 17:40 | link | 0 comments

Monday, March 16, 2015

How to rip text from a TRS-80 DSK image

I've let out here and there, on this blog, that before I moved here I owned a TRS-80 Color Computer and a lot of old magazines. I managed to save some of the product. I've mentioned TIMPIST; there's more where that came from.

Bad news: It was all locked away on stuff I couldn't access easily. Good news: Last night I spent some hours figuring out how to get at it.

So. Say you've inherited a collection of .BAS files on a .DSK image, and you want to read 'em in a text editor. You could, I guess, read the files straight off the .BAS with Pilot352's CoCoDSK viewer. Problem with that is that everything in the DSK's likely all "tokenised". That means that the original CoCo has helpfully (for the CoCo) turned the program's BASIC words like "DRAW" and "PLAY" into single-character tokens. This saves space on the disk, and the computer likes it; but you don't want to put up with that - you're a human.

I haven't yet found a shortest-way (heh) to render .BAS on .DSK to text. Until we get that, here's what to do instead: load up and save that .BAS file again, this time as ASCII. Pilot352 says his app works great at reading ASCII and, despite some weirdness in the app, he's more right than not.

If you can boot up your CoCo in tandem with your PC, bully for you, but that won't work for everyone. For the rest of us there's a solution: emulators. Personally I use Xroar. You will, also, need to get your old CoCo's ROM onto the Xroar folder on your PC - and said CoCo's DOS ROM. There will likely be three files you'll need for that: the normal BASIC, the extended BASIC and also the DOS. There are ways of ripping all this from your CoCo; once you've done that, at least you won't have to do it twice. Others can try the Color Computer Archive. (I am assuming for the latter that you had once owned a legal CoCo, and simply left it in an attic in an old house or something.)

When you have the files in gear - say you had a CoCo 64 - create a batch file with this in it:

xroar -vo sdl -machine cocous -bas color64bas.rom -extbas color64extbas.rom -cart rsdos -dos disk10.rom -ram 64 -kbd-translate

Now run Xroar. Oops! It probably won't work. So run Xroar by way of that batch file. You SHOULD get that lovely green screen. Now mount the .dsk as a disk (Insert Disk in Xroar); remember to make it write-enable and write-back. You can now go to your green screen and "DIR" the disk; and - more to the point - you can "LOAD" the .BAS file you want. "LIST" it to make sure: woot! detokened! Now, "SAVE X.ASC, A" to get that thing into ASCII. When you exit this screen, the .DSK should be updated with the new ASCII file. Load up CoCoDSK, read it in, and you'll have your detokenised ASCII right there in the window.

posted by Zimri on 19:28 | link | 0 comments

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Onion pays homage to Terry Pratchett

Doctors in charge of providing ongoing medical care for Terry Pratchett announced Monday that the former author—whose mental and physical health have deteriorated since he was first diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in December 2007—has entered a critical state of rapid decline, causing his condition to be "even more hilarious" than before.

...His face betraying genuine emotion, Wachter then related several side-splitting episodes of recent Pratchett senility, including the former author's scrubbing his face and hands with scrambled eggs, his insistence that his table lamp had become pregnant, and his increasingly vehement demands to play "Mr. Horsey" with medical attendants.

Read the whole thing.

posted by Zimri on 19:39 | link | 0 comments

Upload #109 - setting boundaries

'Tis now time to disclose my thoughts on sura 6. This is another rummage through ye olde back-catalog ... a VERY long time in coming (perhaps a decade). For this, I had identified two chains of argument whose links had to be forged before I could harness them.

The first chain deals with the status of the Qur'an and of its suras as part of the Abrahamic Book. It is probably familiar to you; said chain has been hammered out in several of the ongoing "Upload" posts. The two links here are those essays about Uthman's mushaf: the sequence of 17 > 6 > 4 ("Muhkam of the Furqan Wasiya"), and Uthman's role in collecting suras like especially 17 ("Martyr for the Book"). Also in 2008 I'd whipped up a few words about the disputes over whether sura 6 should be split between vv. 91 and 92; this went into "The Scriptures of the Women", really as a placeholder for this project. And the recent "Parodies" had an "appendix" on Uthman's belief in Q. 6:1-91's Abraham, and on how he used it.

Meanwhile I'd pulled "Muhkam" off my site. It stayed off for two and a half years. So, that was annoying.

My other chain of argument is shorter. This deals with sura 6's catalog of outsiders. These included Peoples of the Book, but not exclusively. Some of these OTHER peoples had attributes that looked Hindu to me, or at least (H)indo-Aryan. So, when did the Arabs first meet the guys in question? Qutayba bin Said, sure; but that's much later than this sura.

Again, here I didn't have enough information. I'd tried to figure out the borderlands periodically since 2011: "Ghazwat", "Embargo Against The Turks" and "Return of the Shah". But I could apply these results only to the 720s AD. The information I needed for the 650s, I've just learnt, had been published in the meantime: Kevin van Bladel, "The Bactrian Background of the Barmakids", ed. Anna Akasoy, Charles Burnett, Ronit Yoeli­Tlalim, Islam and Tibet - Interactions along the Musk Routes (Ashgate, 2011), 3.43-88. Also I didn't want to post a standalone project that didn't affect any other projects here.

Here are the new projects, then. First: "The Turkish-Islamic Frontier", which deals with the Aryan para-Hindus between the Arabs and the Turks. Second, the big one: "The Addition of the Book", pinpointing sura 6 to the earliest 30s / 650s. Third: the extranea are now purged from "Parodies" and "Women". I'd also picked up some other minor fixes here and there.


posted by Zimri on 16:41 | link | 0 comments

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Lynch law

The chant was heard around the world.

The frat expelled these morons - as they should, since the morons brought the frat into this. And yes, the chant did bring the place into disrepute. SAE has had black members, including at this university; they say they weren't targets.

But still, the Internet kept pushing - because the story was clickbait, and people wanted to keep reading about it. And the UNIVERSITY expelled them. As Volokh has noted, the university has no right to do that.

So, for joking about lynching (badly) these guys got lynched themselves. Who're the good guys in this?

Some disposable music.

posted by Zimri on 19:11 | link | 0 comments

The origins of an anti-integration chant

I've been busy with stuff, and I don't want to be a George Martin who does politics instead of his damn job. That said... here's another political post dashed off in 15 minutes instead of doing my damn job. Sorry in advance.

I hear some fratbros chanted a chant. Here's the text:

There will never be a nigger at SAE
There will never be a nigger at SAE
You can hang him from a tree
But he’ll never sign with me
There will never be a nigger at SAE

As racist chants go, this one ranks among the worst - stylistically. It's hard even to know to what the tree / hanging refers; this interpretation quoted above (from Volokh) is most likely, according to Ace. Even then... if someone's been hanged, let's just say he's not in fit state to do Rush Week.

I'd say that a better version would sneer "you can hang ME from a tree". This would make the same point, with no overt threats; it also would have better assonance. I'm sensing "hadith" from this version they used. I think that it was composed in the 1940s, when civil-rights was really starting to gear up; and that it has been passed down to this generation.

UPDATE 10:45 PM: Mutawatir.

posted by Zimri on 19:03 | link | 0 comments

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Yes, it's valid to call Scott Walker a fascist

ObamaCare's core problem is that it is fascist. It forces people to purchase a product on pain of an additional tax.

The ethanol mandate, also, forces people to pay a premium for transportation: personal transportation being the obvious, but at the least transportation for necessities. (I suppose I could move to Walden, farm potatoes and chickens, and drag my stuff to market on a horse. Likewise for healthcare needs I suppose I could just not work and so not pay taxes. But in practice...) Mandates are popular with exactly one party: those who are selling the product to a - literally! - captive consumer.

For Iowans, their pet boondoggle is ethanol. On that - here's Scott Walker, once again, being a useless pander of a politician.

So not only is Walker fine with fascism, but he has no standing to oppose other forms of fascism; starting with the mandates in "ObamaCare".

posted by Zimri on 13:46 | link | 0 comments

Monday, March 02, 2015

Hierarchy of needs, yo

Ferguson's Toys 'Я' Us closes.

Safety trumps love and belonging. That's how far the town has fallen.

posted by Zimri on 18:31 | link | 0 comments

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The bad parenting enablement act sent me a link to a so-called "Help Stop Bullying: Pass the Safe Schools Improvement Act" by Danielle Green and Angie Stagge.

To get this out front: these two women failed in their task as parents, which is to protect their children. As is the nature of Americans, they blame America's legal-system for their own neglect and sloth. Hence, they are petitioning for a federal-level act of Congress. This, we are told,

will empower schools around the country to handle instances of bullying and cyberbullying that have the potential to impact a child’s learning environment, and requires that all schools that receive federal funding put protocols in place to combat bullying

Shorn of humbug-ese: the Feds are to get involved if A says something B does not like - including across state lines (how else could this be a Federal case?). Based on my experience with other hamfisted Federal regulations, this act will not solve the problem. It is more likely to be used as a cover for bullies and, more so, for school administrators to cover their arses. But I know who is slavering the most about this extension of mandate: Obama's politicised FCC.

Ultimately the Federal government is power. One who seeks power to exert one's will makes that one a bully herself.

And I wonder if we're hearing the whole story from the Green family in particular. In her suicide note, Angel asked for us to get her justice. From Hell's heart she stabs at thee! Clearly this suicide was an act of vengeance; by slaying herself she slew the whole world. Shall I mourn the woman who has slain me?

I will, of course, not be signing this petition. Consider this post my counter-petition.

posted by Zimri on 16:10 | link | 0 comments

Monday, February 23, 2015

Homeworld Remastered

New version of Homeworld on its way. And we ARE promised mod tools.

Maybe we can finally have that Crusade mod. I could say I was embarrassed but (my excuse anyway) I learnt halfway through the level-design that we never had the tools to do much. Fortunately... I saved the html back in 2001.

Real reason I couldn't get this off the ground: 9/11 happened, and I got into that other obsession. Given that my day-job is software, I couldn't really get into space-game development as a secondary hobby. I had to invest too much time into that "other obsession".

UPDATE 2/23: I'm bumping this from Saturday 18:39. Chant is, we're not getting the tools. At least, not straightaway.

I'm kind of interested now, now I consider things, and now that I know that at least one reason I should buy this thing is off the table . . . if we're at least getting that Turanic Raider mission, Raider Retreat.

posted by Zimri on 18:39 | link | 0 comments

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Governor Walker the crawler

Those who want Walker for President are pegging their hopes on Walker being a strong leader. But he acts like a politician too often.

It's nice he's for right-to-work now, but he had to be dragged into that. Really, he was forced into that; the union-thugs made it clear they were going to treat prevarication as weakness. I've not yet got the feeling, at least since Walker won reelection, that the man knows how to get in front of a ginned-up news controversy.

posted by Zimri on 19:27 | link | 0 comments

Throne of Glass 2e coming soon

I was right. Throne of Glass has 133 pages of maintext now. Its first outing had 128. I no longer see any point in pretending it's still a first-edition. Second-edition starts when it's out of "process" which by past experience will be tomorrow.

Ditto The Arabs, but that's still 5th edition. I had fewer changes to make this time.

posted by Zimri on 13:57 | link | 0 comments

Upload #108 - crusade

My references to Ghazwat al-Hind have, up to now, relied upon an anti-Islamic tract by Kashi Pandita. It's not too bad as a pointer to Islamic material, but it's not exactly scholarly. I needed to support these refs with something less polemical and with attention paid to source-transmission. If I'm reading David Cook's Muslim Apocalyptic right, there really hasn't been much about ghazwat al-Hind until 2001. And I haven't found anything else since then (if we're agreed to dismiss the, uh, Pandits).

So, as too-often happens around here, I've rolled my own: "When Jesus's Army Attacked India". (Well, okay, it might still be a little snarky . . .) Also my first "corrected" project, "The Return of the Shah", now points thither. Note that that one's still pointing to Pandita, also. Pandita had offered an Indo-Iranian perspective on Jesus's army, which is what that project is all about. So at least that essay cannot do without it. I lastly fixed up "Parodies" a bit.


*And, once again, I'm pulling down Throne of Glass and The Arabs and Their Qur'an. In addition to wanting a ref to this project I've increasingly had the feeling that there may be another page or three added to one or 'tother in the near future. Which means renumerations.

UPDATE 2/22: The books are back. Also re-posted "India". For the last two Nu'aymi ahadith, I dug some relevant information out of Madelung's classic (1986!) article on Himsi apocalyptic.

posted by Zimri on 10:43 | link | 0 comments

Friday, February 20, 2015

Billionaires against America

Giuliani said something and the media and the Left have decided to hit him Alinsky-style; to isolate the man. (I disclose here I've not been pro-Giuliani as a statewide figure let alone nationwide. So in the following I am supporting his statements, and his right to make these statements.)

From the Daily News:

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, “doesn’t question President Obama’s motives. He does question President Obama’s disastrous policies,” a spokeswoman said.

That's a given. Jeb Bush cannot question Obama's motives because Jeb shares those motives. Here's what matters more:

Even the host of the “21 Club” get together, billionaire Republican John Catsimatidis, distanced himself from Giuliani’s remarks. “I wouldn’t have said it,” Catsimatidis told the News on Friday. “I respect the position of President.”

Ah yes. The Order of the Even-Republican; elsewhere seen bestowed upon such luminaries as John Dean and John McCain. Humbug. HUMBUG, I say.

We've known out here in the blogosphere that Obama was our Salvador Allende since at least 2008. It was early on articulated in Moldbug's classic postelection analysis (I keep coming back to that) but, deep down, we knew it from when we first heard of Bill Ayers and the New Party. We can certainly argue over whether Obama is more a Fascist than a Marxist - Obama's only virtue is that he is lazy, and so cannot be a true Marxist. We cannot argue that Obama belongs in the truest American tradition. Obama simply doesn't belong here.

Which means Giuliani is right. To the extent he's right - which as I've noted, in this context approaches the asymptotic limit - he deserves our full-throated support.

Back to Catsimatidis: to the extent he wrings his hands and "won't say" the truth, he is an enemy to the truth. To the extent he won't do it on behalf of America, he is not on her side either. And look at the subtext: the "respect for the position of President". That's not respect for the Resolute Desk you're smelling. You're smelling Catsimatidis's fear of the man who is propping his feet on it.

Catsimatidis speaks for the Money Community. These gentry can, if they must, piss off to Switzerland or Singapore or Moscow. They'd rather not have to, so they host moderate Republicans like Giuliani (and not Palin). They hedge their bets. And when Giuliani himself decides he's done pretending, the Money Community abandons him. America is just the middle band of a continent to them.

The sheer selfishness and disassociation of the Money Community from those of us who are stuck where we're at are big reasons why ideologies like, well, Fascism exist. Catsimatidis is a worm. He'll go with the fascism he fears most. Giuliani, not being a fascist, or at least not a very strong one is less of a threat.

posted by Zimri on 22:20 | link | 0 comments

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