I love the demands of difficulty and discernment — and I’ve been at it for a really long time. As I wrote on The Yellow Brick Road:
I learned early on in life that what you want gets in the way of what you see.
It seems like only yesterday
I didn’t have a clue
I stood alone not knowing where to turn
Now suddenly I look around
And everything looks new . . .
They call it understanding
A willingness to grow
I’m finally understanding
There’s so much I could know
Until the day you came along
I used to just get lost
I only heard the things I wanted to hear
It always seemed like no cared
Then you took the time
And now I look and everything seems clear . . .
Like many alternatives, however, it was psychologically impossible. Character is fate, as the Greeks believed. Germans were schooled in winning objectives by force, unschooled in adjustment. They could not bring themselves to forgo aggrandizement even at the risk of defeat.
The projects you see below were built by the same principles that are woven into everything on the site.
In the wrong hands, this turns into a big block of wood, waste of money, and vision shot to hell.
I made a massive mistake
But I’m good company with how I operate.
Seeing my way around problems isn’t luck — it comes with experience and a helluva lot of desire:
Taking on a challenge you choose is one thing — how you adjust to challenges that get in the way is something else entirely.
You’d think that something that could cut through solid steel that thick would cut through wood just fine.
Manufacturing engineers much smarter and more experienced thought the WaterJet would work too.
To be fair, that was just a casual observation on their part — this was my responsibility and mine alone.
I only mention that others made the same mistake — because it shows the pitfalls of assuming something even when it seems clear.
The WaterJet buzzed through the particle board sample like butter. It was just a trial run on the design (which I altered for structural-integrity reasons — so the test was incredibly beneficial).
If I were reading this, I would know that “structural-integrity” is not tangential commentary — but I didn’t pick up on what’s going on here in The Godfather.
I took note of how the other guy’s hands are shaking and Michael’s aren’t, but I didn’t grasp why he paused to look at the lighter like that.
I love people showing me something I didn’t see – as it not only open your eyes in that context, it’s training your mind to look at other things more closely.
He’s noticing and thinking about why his hands are steady
What I have argued against throughout this site — is repeatedly doing things that are not structurally sound.
I set out to maximize the number of CDs that could fit into a circle that size. That sounds great on paper, but once the sample was cut — it was clear that this thing would never hold up with weight over time.
So I significantly reduced the single slots and dropped doubles from 5 to 4.
More surface area — more structural integrity. Not only that — looks better with less anyway.
The goal of “most CDs I could get” was just a concept — but in the face of new information that says . . .
That’s not a good idea
That — is the exact opposite of this.
These numbers and fantasy-filled language — are an illusion that makes believers think that they’re accomplishing something.
Same goes for the tangibility of toppling monuments and kneeling — things to latch onto to feel part of a cause that’s going somewhere.
But you’re not only going nowhere — you’re going backwards.
As I wrote in Part 3:
7 years of Black Lives Matter and the increasing level of attention is the first thing that comes to mind as a measure of success?
I actually disagree with your take. I think all 3 (1619, Kaepernick, and BLM) were extremely successful as far as attention being brought to what so many Black Americans have on their collective mind.
There’s nothing strategic about their efforts — it’s entirely tactical with meaningless measures of success.
In no way does that suggest that increased exposure is meaningless — it means that you damn well better have something to show for it.
I don’t do black & white stances
What if Kaepernick kneeled and acknowledged that they need to do their part while asking the police to do theirs?
“Hold the phone — you want us to share some responsibility?”
You wanna solve the problem or protest about it?
We cannot solve life’s problems except by solving them. This statement may seem idiotically tautological or self-evident, yet it is seemingly beyond the comprehension of much of the human race. This is because we must accept responsibility for a problem before we can solve it.
Kneel, but couple your message with Kobe’s — and you change the dynamics of the discussion.
I won’t react to something just because I’m supposed to, because I’m an African-American. That argument doesn’t make any sense to me. So we want to advance as a society and a culture, but, say, if something happens to an African-American, we immediately come to his defense?
Yet you want to talk about how far we’ve progressed as a society? Well, then don’t jump to somebody’s defense just because they’re African-American.
The Right would still fuss over it — but they might cut ya some slack if you’re kneeling with a shared purpose.
Without a strategic element — they taking nothing into account that could reveal the counterproductive nature of their efforts.
On that note
As with squirrels like Kaepernick’s kneeling, Black Lives Matter, and the removal of monuments — what are you really gonna gain out of 1619?
Even if you could miraculously get what you want — and you have a better chance of walking on water:
What’s it gonna take for you to see the unintended consequences that come with it?
And therein lies the insanity of it all.
This consortium of causes has no chance of achieving anything remotely in the realm of your aim — and you’re doing catastrophic damage to the very thing you’re trying to remedy.
Then there’s the echo chamber of the asinine on the other side.
Colin Powell’s case revolved around 3 WMD claims:
Defenders of the Indefensible invariably ignore #2 and #3 and distort the hell out of #1. On an issue where fractions of a millimeter matter — this is against the rules as it gets:
That you even think that something so complex and convoluted could be explained away so easily — is a monumental problem all by itself.
Percentage of people peddling “everybody believed Iraq had WMD” — who couldn’t write a sound argument on the subject to save their lives:
And then we have the Immaculate Intellectuals who unwittingly provide cover by proxy — as they pump candy into that piñata.
And right on cue, the Right sales Scot-Free — easily getting away with their abominable behavior, record of recklessness, and hypocrisy that knows no bounds.
That the Left brings the piñata on themselves is another matter.
We’re a university. We should be above whatever the fad or the fashion is of any given day. We should be looking at the deep questions. We should be analytical. We should be emphasizing reason. Instead, it was like a kind of emotional rush — in which . . . the president and provost and the top leadership of my university — wanted to jump on a bandwagon. They wanted to wave a banner.
And I thought to myself, what have we come to at the university — that the first reaction to grave matters — and the rioting in the street after George Floyd died is a grave matter.
That the reaction is not to think it through, not to question, not to assemble facts, not to make arguments — but instead to wave banners and spout slogans such that you could hardly distinguish what they were doing from a manifesto that would come out of Black Lives Matter.
— Glenn Loury
Remove the references around George Floyd — and that behavior rings a bell.
Now I Remember . . . as the patriots “Never Forget“
the aftermath of this
That the reaction is not to think it through, not to question, not to assemble facts, not to make arguments — but instead to wave banners and spout slogans such that you could hardly distinguish what they were doing from a manifesto that would come out of . . .
Invading a Middle Eastern country on manufactured lies in the aftermath of 9/11 — seems like a pretty “grave matter” too — but we never had that conversation.
As this is the mark of the Party of Personal Responsibility:
Preach responsibility and take none
The Right delights in ridiculing the Left for burning buildings to further the cause. Yet they went batshit crazy after 9/11: Setting the world ablaze — and browbeating anybody out of line in their March of Folly.
And they got away with it with ease
Forever sailing Scot-Free.
And because the Immaculate Intellectuals have no strategy either — they are utterly oblivious to the counterproductive nature of their efforts.
They don’t deviate from their lane, so they don’t understand the roadblocks within it that were created outside of it.
That’s bad enough
But then these hero-worshippers — who have no idea what they’re talking about outside their lane — heap praise upon their precious “maverick” . . .
For stepping outside of his:
Lending credence to Sowell’s credibility on things he knows nothing about.
No matter how interesting the analysis may be — I’m not a fan of endlessly talking about the same ol’ subjects, with the same ol’ people, in the same ol’ ways.
And that’s all these guys do.
Over and over and over again
I suspect that the increase in their well-deserved attention is giving them the impression that they’re making more of an impact than you really are.
By fully understanding the lay of the land — they could refine their efforts and be smart (just like I explained in Part 1):
You don’t drive down Broadway to get to Broadway. You move diagonal . . . you jag
Right idea — wrong tool
Bouncing between South Carolina, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan to build this thing — I did something I never would have done without such constraints:
I glued up the blocks before I was able to get the 5 in. thick sample block tested.
It failed — miserably!
I was totally screwed — until it hit me
We will cut the wheel down the middle
The Working Man’s MacGyver
Now this guy, talk about ideas — my dad’s ingenuity is off the charts.
I’ve never seen anyone who could do more things in more areas — and accomplish them all with the same top-notch skill.
It’s rare that parents play such an integral role throughout your entire life — where your ongoing journey is so directly connected to theirs along with their involvement in your pursuits.
That would be a big deal if you only had one that way.
I’ve got two
One of my favorite things about crisscrossing the country for a few years before landing at Elara — is how my mom was always running ops out of CENTCOM as my co-pilot — providing intel on hotels down the road, and what apartment might be best at the end of it.
While she hasn’t been involved on this project, she’s had her hand in most others that involved editing and design work.
You wouldn’t believe the amount of time we spent on that documentary postcard — well, at this point you probably would. ;o)
The bottom line is — whatever I’m up to, if she touches it — it’s invariably better!
Sometimes it comes in the form of a flat-out change — and other times it’s a collaborative process where we shape the result together (and have fun every step of the way).
I’ve always been lucky that way — with my long line of immeasurable influences illuminating my path.
Don’t you love it when there’s welding in the background in movies? There’s nothing that emits activity like the light given off from that glow. I’ve said for a long time that there should be an Oscar for moments — and this one would most certainly be worthy of such an award.
If you haven’t guessed what’s going on already, Mr. MacGyver here came up with a brilliant idea that solved my planer problem. I still hadn’t found a planer wide enough, so he came up this aluminum-guide mechanism where I would use a regular router to plane the panels.
Most people probably won’t care about all this process stuff, and that’s fine — but this jig was a work of art in my book.
How could I resist?
I swear, the stuff I’ve gotten away with on my government work.
I’ve always had people take an interest in helping me out — owners, managers, tech guys, engineers, teachers, schools, NAPA paint experts — the list just goes on and on from a lifetime of exploration and discovery.
And get this, I no longer even worked at Hendrickson — and they still let the Water-Jet tech cut the test block for me. I just find that absolutely incredible — the open spirit of so many that merged with mine.
Without all of those people, I would not have these successes to share. Small or large, they played an important role — and it’s always more fun and enlightening that way.
For all those who mattered more than they’ll ever know in Runnin’ Down a Dream
Every success I have was in service of the best idea — no matter whose it was.
And if you’re paying attention — that’s at the heart of what this site is out to say. I don’t give damn about your politics — I weigh information on the merits, period.
My trusty tape measure at my side has served me well — as it doesn’t care what color evidence comes in.
It doesn’t care who’s in the White House. Doesn’t factor for who’s on the Supreme Court or who controls Congress.
And I use it to nail politicians & pundits to the wall whether it’s in my interests or not.
I think you’ll find these exact same measurements as our gym back in Hickory
People like this have no such notion
Whataboutism in the world they wallow in — and nothing computes outside their echo chamber.
And this is just precious
Can you show me a single instance of pursuing the truth that wasn’t in your interests?
I’d be happy to answer a question like that (and you can see it all over my site). It’s a “‘gotcha’ moment” to ask some if they can produce a single instance of scrutiny that didn’t serve their interests?
It’s only at the foundation of who are you — and his answer told me all I need to know.
Had he just replied, “Oh yes, I did such and such when it was so and so.” Good for you — thanks for your time.
He’s a bullshitter, plain and simple. He’s slinging that shit because he doesn’t have an answer.
Bullshitters never do
[B]ullshitters seek to convey a certain impression of themselves without being concerned about whether anything at all is true. They quietly change the rules governing their end of the conversation so that claims about truth and falsity are irrelevant.
Right on cue with their kin on Rolodex of Ridicule — IBSO members all subscribe to whatever brand of bullshit that serves the moment.
The Get Help Routine
On a world-altering topic that involves material properties of centrifuge rotors that enrich uranium — in an industry where fractions of a millimeter matter:
I’m a bit unclear on what my therapist has to do with it.
Even if I had one and needed a change — do you mind offering an argument somewhere in the realm of what we’re talking about?
Nearly 20 years on this issue — and not a single conservative has countered with anything but contempt.
When “Expert” By Association shot his mouth off about yellowcake — and I countered with an explanation about uranium hexafluoride, this kind of crap was the height of his “argument”:
But I will say one thing – I believe you when you say you’ve never been to a cocktail party – I doubt anyone is comfortable being around your narcissism – “Hey everyone – have you seen my documentary? You need to watch it to save the world. Please watch my documentary…..please…..please.”
On top of violating the bare minimum of common courtesy . . .
His behavior was in gross breach in those precious NAVY Core Values he holds so dear:
These aren’t values to people like that — they’re marketing tools to browbeat the opposition — and abandon those beliefs the second they become inconvenient.
And pick ’em right back up the second it suits them.
Their only guiding principle is getting what they want — and Anything Goes to get it.
And once again
This pompous son of a bitch acts like I imagined it all.
As he brazenly ignored the debauchery in his own camp — to politely pounce on the other.
Then this hack gets hailed a “National Treasure” for following the facts — never mind he didn’t go anywhere near them on the biggest and most costly lie in modern history.
Loury & McWhorter made sweeping assumptions outside their lane in order to praise him — would they step back out to correct him?
Of course not
Loury chose to protect Sowell’s reputation over the good of the nation — so he’s no different from those he’s spent his life calling out.
They protect their interests — he protects his.
These guys are in the myth-busting business — but by perpetuating the myth that Sowell is some kind of Sherlock Holmes in anything he touches, they help perpetuate the most dangerous, destructive, and costly myth in America.
Not to mention the world
While the WMD delusion derails everything they’re trying to do . . .
As they bring comfort to countless millions who march to mantra over merit — singing out to Sowell as the Godfather of Facts Over Feelings.
Never mind his record — and never mind theirs.
McWhorter rightly knocks anti-racism as religion — while he conveniently ignores his own in the Immaculate Intellectuals‘ blind faith in Thomas Sowell.
I’ve yet to see a single person of influence who has the guts to call a spade a spade.
It’s f#*%!@g fraud everywhere you look
Who do ya think Roger Ailes was targeting below?
People don’t want to be informed, they want to feel informed
Did he really say those exact words? That quote is the irrefutable record of what happened on Fox — so it doesn’t matter.
To be sure, the Left has gone off the rails in following suit to feel informed. And all the while, the Right celebrates freedom by slinging snippets of certitude in a ceaseless cadence of crap.
There’s a classic scene in Seinfeld that delightfully illustrates the divide between declarations of virtue and delivering on them
And it just never ends
I swear, the intellectual cowardice in this country is sickening.
This blog was the most non-sensical thing I’ve seen in a long time. I genuinely worry for this blogger’s mental well-being.
There’s nothing genuine about this person (not in the realm of politics, anyway).
It would be unthinkable for me to say, “This is nonsensical” and leave out the . . .
And here’s why
I don’t care about this guy’s childish insults — I care that this is what America has become.
Our country has become a free-for-all for whatever you wanna believe — no matter how dumb, dishonest, or delusional.
It’s dangerous, destructive, and embarrassing
This was the right tool
Adjusting in light of new information is at the heart of everything I advocate.
I adjusted in the face of my findings and allowed input from others to inform how my mission took shape.
Even an 8th grader raised a key question
That — is amazing
By the standards of these jackasses — he’s just an 8th grader.
I don’t roll that way
To this day, this painting remains in the Monticello, Indiana post office. As far back as I can remember, I loved going in there and looking up with wonder.
It sounds idealistic, but I’ve been around such beauty and brilliance for real — where the manner in which everyone works toward their own goal, serves a shared purpose.
One of the things I love so much about people working together — how the best idea for one person is a wall ornament, but for another — it’s a coffee table.
The medallion on the left is my dad’s from a welding course he took at Purdue — and the one on the right was molded in the same shop nearly 15 years later in my Industrial Technology class.
The walnut tabletop was from the table my dad build in high school. It hadn’t been used in ages and he had the fantastic idea to turn it into a wall ornament.
It broke out in the center — but that was a blessing in disguise, because my mom had the lovely idea to use it for displaying seasonal knickknacks.
Somebody foolishly stepped on the panel and it broke on a seam. That would me!
Glued it back together and all was well. I took this that picture with the table lined up with the wheel with this “full circle” theme in mind.
I gave the particle board piece to my grandmother to put on the wall.
She had a better idea.
To have some smoked glass cut to turn it into a table.
If you can’t learn something from this site — your mind is poisoned with ugliness and bankrupt of desire to be challenged.
You’ve surrendered your intellect in slavish service of people who don’t give a damn about you.
You’re endlessly loyal to shit shovelers who don’t want you to use your mind — and you instantly ridicule those who would love for you to.
They dumb it all down into Happy Meal morsels to munch on . . .
Soothing you into submission — while they put a wrench to your brain to remove it from the equation.
And you eagerly let them
It is hard to fill a cup which is already full
The different forms that the wheel took is exactly in line with how things are supposed to work.
But you don’t want things to work — unless it goes your way.
You act like somehow you can magically mold America to your liking, and that’s never gonna happen — nor was it designed to.
Well, I suggest you gentleman invent a way to put a square peg in a round hole . . . rapidly
You don’t wanna work together to solve problems — you just want to complain and pretend to have integrity in pursuit of your cause.
Your record says otherwise
In my youth, I could not have imagined an America just chock-full of chronic complainers.
I do what I do with this site and try to get the word out.
Outside of that.
I want nothing to do with this
I’m only interested in this
I come from a different place. A different time. A different way of life.
Restless feeling, coming up from inside
Nothing’s easy, mountains to climb
Take my chances, got a long way to ride
Pushing, pushing, pushing it right to the top
Ready or not
Let’s go American flyer
You aim high, a race against time
I know, your heart is on fire
Going the distance leaving the others behind
“Ready or not”
<Some people are>
You’re asking the people that you’re working with to like, push you — and to be more game than you are. And to commit to things at the same level you are or more. And if they’re doing it more than you, it’s not about bigger performances or anything — but you see somebody who really gives a shit, and is really committed and game, and you’re like, “Oh, I gotta . . . do what he’s doing.” It’s one of the only spaces where it’s not cool to like, opt out.
I can really relate to what she says at 2:15, as my life has hinged on being inspired by people operating at a higher level.
To not step up my game in the midst of opportunity or challenge — would be tantamount to treason upon my very existence.
I’ve never held anyone to that standard, but for people who plant themselves at the other end of the spectrum and pretend otherwise . . .
The cemented minds I’ve run into over the years — wouldn’t budge one bit, or at best, moved one millimeter at a time.
A lifetime ago it became clear that I could not expect people to be game in the ways she speaks of in that clip. But to seemingly strive for the bottom of the barrel — how anyone could find that satisfying, I’ll never know.
By that standard, the likes of Loury are not nearly as intelligent as they think they are. They cannot detach their loyalty to Thomas Sowell for even a second to see that it’s misguided.
We really could have done something significant with that kind of courage — that would have actually elevated Sowell’s status . . .
And made it authentic to boot.
And all we had to do was add a new tool to your belt.
The guy with 11 followers and a “blog nobody reads” — is the same guy with a history of doing things that had never been done before.
The same guy who did a documentary that exhaustively details the biggest and most costly lie in modern history — unlike any doc ever done.
And the same guy who’s faced nothing but bullshit and belligerence for decades — simply for telling the truth.
When I was in college I had braces — and got into the habit of brushing religiously.
When the braces came off, I kept the same habits and have to this day. Until they were removed, I had no idea how disgusting it was not to brush as often as I do.
I mean, if you wanna torture me — forget the waterboarding, just take away my toothbrush.
There’s nothing I could tell you that could fully capture how disgusting America’s decline is in my eyes. If you’re on the Right, you blame the Left — and vice versa.
I blame ya both — so it’s a whole other world of absurdity from where I sit.
Forming new habits is the only way you’ll ever feel the film of filth that coats your convictions. If you’re fortunate enough to sense it someday, you’ll spend the rest of your life scrubbing it off.
One night late last year I was beating my head against the wall in trying to solve a problem with my virtual servers during my DBA certification pursuit.
While I was waiting for various tests to finish — I caught Joan Jett’s documentary, which in turn led me to a Suzi Quatro kick.
It amazes me that she was so overlooked in her prime.
How in the hell could you not not sell a ton of records with a lady who looks, moves, and sings like this (playing a bass to boot)?
And she’s sharp as a razor with her wit.
When I saw her on Happy Days, I was hooked — but that was nothing compared to the stuff she was doing that I hadn’t seen.
And this is my favorite
My God, that growl she does at 1:13 is to die for.
Love this one too
Good god, she’s got it all
Make fun of me all day long — and I’ll stand by Suzi to the death.
She was the only one of her kind — breaking down doors that no one else did. But there was no market in America for a female who didn’t fit the mold.
I can relate
Remember that guitar in a museum in Tennessee
And the nameplate on the glass brought back twenty melodies
And the scratches on the face
Told of all the times he fell
Singin’ every story he could tell . . .