Dennis Hof Joins Silent Majority, Takes Nevada by Landslide

Dennis Hof, Heidi Fleiss, Ron Jeremy (cropped).jpg
Dennis Hof

Dennis Hof (1946-2018) has been part of the Silent Majority for the past two weeks, and is now Republican Representative-elect of the 36th District of the State of Nevada House of Assembly. Readers of my website will know that this is not the first time a dead man has won an election. Indeed, dead people are an integral part of the American democratic system, either acting as voters, or those who are running for election. The dead cannot speak for themselves, and there are many more of them than us, hence the phrase “Silent Majority”.

The dead operate on both sides of the aisle, sometimes aiding Democrats, and sometimes aiding Republicans. Hof is a Republican, and Nevada law says that if a person joins the Silent Majoirty before taking office, a member of the same party must be appointed to take his or her place. It wasn’t too long ago that Mel Carnahan, a Democrat, back in 2000, won a Senate seat in Missouri, running against Republican John Ashcroft after joining the Silent Majority as the result of a plane crash.

Hof, among his many titles, owned several brothels where it was legal in Nevada to do so, and was the star of the reality HBO TV show Cathouse. He wrote an autobiography called The Art of the Pimp. All of this sounds vaguely familiar.

Before becoming Republican he was Libertarian and supported Ron Paul.

Hof was 72.

BOSE Sleep Buds, and a note about fraudulent websites

Bose Sleepbuds have helped me sleep this past week, so they appear to live up to the claim of using white noise and nature sounds to mask outside noises. The question is, was it really worth the $325 price tag?

Other reviewers have complained about the earbuds not fitting properly, despite the three sizes of earbud attachments that come with the device. Others have complained about the discomfort of trying to sleep with earbuds stuck in your ears all night. To the first charge (the price that is), it really comes down to how badly you want to have a good night’s sleep, and if it works for you, then it works.

To the discomfort issue, I must say that we all have different sized heads and ear canals. My buds weren’t exactly perfect, but they also weren’t totally uncomfortable. And it did make a difference in how I slept. The sleepbuds end your sleep with a pleasant sounding alarm, which woke me up feeling alert and relaxed.

I found that getting a full charge is not straightforward, unless you remove the buds from the earpieces each morning. If you try to connect the earbuds with their rubber earpieces still on, as depicted here in the ad (see left), it is not always guaranteed you will get good contact, and hence a full charge by the next evening. There were some mornings I woke up with the batteries nearly dead and the alarm didn’t go off.

Also, if you were expecting to go to sleep with your favourite music, then these buds are not for you. These buds only play the white noises/nature sounds programmed into them. They are essentially loops of shorter sounds set to repeat all night. The loops of leaves rustling or rain falling were more obvious, and were more annoying after I noticed it. The best sounds were the fairly uniform sounds, such as the airplane cabin, river sounds, warm static, waterfall, or ocean sounds.

The earbuds are not big enough to fit Bose’s noise-cancelling technology. Thus, they do not detect or cancel surrounding noise, if you were expecting it to. All they do is produce is a sound, which is designed to mask other sounds. The rubberized coverings over the earbuds are made to fit snugly into your ear canal, and act as another sound barrier as well as not falling out at night (they never did in my case, unless I chose to sleep on my side — I mostly sleep on my back).

I also found that the re-charging is often unreliable, and you have to be absolutely sure the contacts are engaged between the earbuds and the charger. I found that you need to check the screen that tells you the battery levels. It is charging both earbuds if both earbuds are not detected. This often takes a couple of extra minutes out of your morning. Before knowing this, I had taken my earbuds out of the charger at night, to find out that one of the earbuds could be as low as 1% charged.

Last night was the first time in a week without sleep buds, and I have to say I tossed and turned and woke up into the night, so the quality of my sleep did suffer without them. For me, the sleep buds was worth the money, despite its limitations.

I also want to say that fake Bose sites are out there. A couple of days ago, boseaen.com came up in a search engine with a high ranking, as a clearance house for Bose products. I saw sleep buds there for $69. Too good to be true, since these sleep buds have only been selling for the past couple of months. I even saw their uber-expensive aviation headset for $79. I know you can’t get those for under $1400 in Canada. I checked the WHOIS database on my shell account, and found that boseaen.com, while looking mighty convincing, is based in China. I called a local Bose retailer in the Toronto area, and he tells me they are a fraud. Nice to know, before you give them your credit card information, as well as other private information. If you find you have been scammed for any reason, and your credit card is involved, notify your credit card company as soon as possible, to have your card cancelled and issue a new one.

For the record, I purchased my sleepbuds from a real person at a real Bose store, located at Toronto Premium Outlets, an outdoor mall located in Halton Hills, north of Oakville on Regional Highway 3 (Trafalgar Road) and Steeles.

Rape accusations are a distraction

It is just in the character of politics that accusations of sex crime become more important than actual corruption and bias on the job. I do not wish to downplay Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford’s narrative. I was moved, as would anyone be who listened to even part of it. But it is still a distraction in its utter lack of evidence. There was no real testimony or calling of other witnesses. The lawyer (not a senator) who did all of the questioning, failed to boost Brett Michael Kavanaugh’s credibility, so the senators, who had all given up their right to speak, had their right to speak materialize from out of nowhere (and out of protocol), and began impassioned defenses for Kavanaugh. In other words, it was a media circus. While this was not a criminal trial, the US Senate was still expected to use the testimony of Ford and Kavanaugh to render judgement on Kavanaugh’s suitability for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.

The real issues that got to me would require me to look a little deeper into Kavanaugh’s participation in the line of sexually explicit questioning that impeached former President Bill Clinton. There is a mountain of evidence from here that would easily result in showing that Kavanaugh is a creature of the Republican Party, and could not be expected to render fair judgements on matters of political import, or for that matter of other kinds of importance regarding matters that are in the Republican playbook, such as abortion.

What does it matter if Kavanaugh assaulted Ford? Did Kavanaugh pass out after drinking?

These questions are smokescreens that just keep people guessing. Strategists in the Republican party seemed to have figured out that they can’t promote Kavanaugh by allowing the truth to come out, so after suppressing a rather voluminous paper trail left by him during the Clinton and Bush administrations, and limiting the FBI investigation after Ford’s testimony, and instead, focusing on a he-said-she-said account of “what might have happened 35 years ago” or “whether the Clintons were seeking revenge” was a way to keep the discussion off anything that matters.

Ford’s testimony, along with those of two other women, have been helpful in keeping the conversation moving toward “did he rape her/didn’t he rape her” and away from “what else was Kavanaugh doing under Bush’s payroll?”, or “isn’t there a conflict of interest in appointing supreme court judges at all when the president is under criminal investigation?” the latter two of which are either more recent or has a provable paper trail, and would be more compelling. Not for the Democrats, who have already seen enough, but for the public, who need to be shown these details to convince their Republican senators to vote against him.

Though Kavanaugh has been sworn in, the documents won’t be held forever. In fact, most of them will be released at the end of October.

August in a Hamilton Airport Lounge

After I was compelled to go all the way to Hamilton to catch a plane to Edmonton to visit my parents, I had an earworm in my head – a song that wouldn’t leave my head: Bruce Cockburn’s January in a Halifax Airport Lounge, which appeared many decades ago. It had its imagery: the jets flying overhead, the Cyprus-bound RAF detail waiting to board, and the cocoon-like feeling of being stuck in a small airport in the middle of a snowstorm.

Hamilton is slowly being built up, and I am sure as it expands its tax base, it will try to beautify its old buildings downtown, including City Hall. The airport is still much-neglected, small as it is, and too close to Pearson Airport (I consider 70km too close, since Pearson is so massive) to be viable to any but locals.

And it was true. I felt like I was one of few people from out of town in this airport. The only “store” that exists here is a Tim Horton’s. No souvenir shops, and barely 100 meters exist between the baggage checks and the boarding gate (there is only one, leading to a general area). In the lounge area in front of both the gate and Tim Horton’s, families kept their kids occupied, one lady was doing her knitting, some people were on their devices, everyone seemed generally relaxed. It is in contrast to Pearson’s bustle, tension, and people’s crises over lost luggage, or possibly worse matters.

Political Correctness

Today, I am going to possibly offend both sides of a sensitive discussion about political correctness, and that’s because my opinion here is neither on the “left” nor “right”. I think that means I will piss just about everyone off with this article. If discussions on political correctness make you angry, then feel free to skip this article.

To me, PC has a good and a bad side. We like to put an end to prejudice and stereotypes, and doing so, means to address people with labels that show respect. It would seem a good thing, and would have a civilizing effect on how we treat each other in discourse. In fact, is it wrong to give added opportunity to marginalized groups? Once again, giving eveyone equal opportunity can’t be wrong.

The problem is, as I have always maintained, when any “good idea” becomes a totality (as in totalitarianism), the idea is ruined, no matter how good it is. So, some dude with a high-level degree, who spent way too long researching marginalized groups, was given a job where he or she gets a little power to decide who gets to participate in programming at, say the British Broadcasting Corporation, decides to place racially-mixed people into his/her comedy programming, and cancels programming from the former members of Monty Python. That’s right, if you click on that link, former Python member Terry Gilliam is now telling the world he is a “black lesbian in transition” in order to get back into the BBC’s good graces.

You may have your own take on this discussion. Maybe Gilliam is an aging crank who should come off it and go retire some place. It is as if, the zeal of showing a lack of discrimination has created a new form of discrimination. Can anyone dispute that Monty Python has a place, then and now, in the annals of British comedy? The effort to be non-prejudicial has created another kind of prejudice. And this is the bad side of being too PC. It’s all well and good so long as you have contributed to a civil and egalitarian society. It fails when your actions and words amount to a new kind of hostility, a new kind of discrimination. Then, society is less civil, and the worse for it. In fact, the PC movement will, in the effort to be egalitarian, completely fail to meet its own object, at a time of increased racism, tribalism and prejudice. It is a sad crisis of their own making.

We need political correctness more than ever. But we need the civilizing kind. PC people will always offend racists. Racists will always be offended, and I am not concerned for them. PC’s have the power to put an end to tribalism, but are actually making it worse, by trying to define new marginalized groups at every turn. There is now such a complex maze of marginalized groups that it is hard to keep track, making it nearly impossible to have a casual conversation about people without fearing that you have offended this-or-that group by referring to them with the wrong name.

I don’t need a scorecard for certiain folks. African-American people probably shouldn’t be labelled with the N-word, since that has a very obvious history. Calling aboriginal peole “Indian” is wrong (people from India already have that label). In Canada, we call them “indigenous”,  as a catch-all to refer to Metis, Inuit and First Nations peoples. But this is after several changes. In fact, I just found out I may have offended someone by using the word “aboriginal” earlier in this paragraph, and had to look up “indigenous”. It is thus a bit discomforting to write such articles as these, since any reference to racialized and marginalized groups in a blog will require a mini-research project, which I am OK with, but I think that an open-minded discussion on these topics requires that we not be too casual in using what we know to discuss things about people we don’t know. We live in a big world, and it wouldn’t hurt us to challenge our own stereotypes.

There are groups calling themselves trans-gendered; and I have some rather touchy questions: why do we need to refer to the rest of us as “cis-gendered”? Will anyone listen to me if I say I am offended by that label? Where are the PC police now? I am sure most of us did not agree to that label, not that I can say I am terribly offended. It just sounds like the “cis” labelling is a rhetorical device to make trans people feel better. I am not denying I am “cis”, I just don’t see  the point in using that label at all. And to trans people, please feel free to strip yourselves of labels also.

“Trans people” are, I am sure not a unified group. Each consists of a collection of individuals with their own lives, concerns, interests, hangups, like most of us. I think the ultimate goal of the PC police should be, not to refer to “trans people” or “indigenous people” as a group, but to rid ourselves of all labels one day for all groups. Because to label is to stereotype, and we ultimately should be concerned with the lives of individuals rather than of people we envision as belonging to “groups”. To label people is to tribalize and separate. To not label is to re-engineer a society based on individual concerns and needs, in a way that is doomed to be non-judgemental. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.

Todd Taliaferro’s Trump Limerick series Part XIV

This is the last entry. I would like this to go on forever, but all things must end.

Trump just can't be bothered with laws 
He scoffs the Emoluments Clause 
Though most folks suspect him 
The brain dead protect him 
At most we've got probable cause

Kim Jong Un and Trump should be friends 
Upon them our future depends 
They both have weird hair 
But clearly don't care 
They're focussed on how the world ends

Trump's lawyer makes violent threats 
A ploy that's as wrong as it gets 
He should be on guard 
He could get disbarred 
Then Stormy would have no regrets

Todd Taliaferro’s Trump Limerick series Part XIII

The closer we get to the facts 
The more freakin' guilty Trump acts 
He thinks we're all dumb 
And under his thumb 
I hope that I'm there when he cracks

Trump tries to pretend he's not nuts 
His clan plays along for tax cuts 
And Putin's web trolls 
Still act like assholes 
From far off (cuz they ain’t got no guts)

Trump's guilty of serious crimes 
A fact that's been proved many times 
His fans are insistent: 
It's all non-existent 
"Fake news" as one voice the mob chimes

Young Trump staffers and their dating troubles

I think we can agree that Business Insider is not exactly a Leftist online publication. The news item has been echoed on MSNBC, GQ, The Cut, Vice – and possibly many other media (Politico apparently broke the story), and it lays bare a rather painful on-the-job hazard of a Trump Employee or supporter working in the DC area.

They can’t get laid.

Being a Trump staffer or supporter takes a toll on their private lives, apparently. Young staffers going on online dating find that the lifespan of the relationship is cut short soon after they have “the talk” with their partner. “The talk” is when the date comes out of the closet and admits to being a Trump staffer or supporter. It appears you would have better luck admitting that you’re bisexual or that you howl at the moon.

So, you don’t even need to work for him. This is also happening to people who came out of the closet during “the talk” saying they voted for Trump. One of the reasons reported for the impending break-up in this case is that they voted against birth control by voting for Trump. If this “talk” is happening over a text messaging, then it could devolve into the partner screaming in all caps calling the Trump supporter a “RACIST” and a “BIGOT”. One staffer was asked: “Did you rip babies from their mothers and send their parents to Mexico?”

DC. Whether you want to call it the District of Columbia or the District of Calamity, it is one of the most Democratic districts in America. Where coming out the building from work at your Trump-appointed government job at the end of the day means you have to endure getting yelled at, or having people flipping the bird at you.

The coping mechanism for dates has become either evasive, vague answers, or simply lying about their job or support. Looks like dating people who work for a racist, corrupt demagogue is falling out of style these days. Staffers will now be well advised to steer clear of bars where people might heckle them; or in restaruants where protestors might suddenly gather and loudly play recordings of crying babies and toddlers held in detention centres while they are quietly eating Mexican food.

In the end, they may be forced to look at each other for companionship. In fact, they do tend to gather with friends at home rather than go out into the town. But every niche needs to be filled. There are now Trump-friendly dating apps. And rumor has it that there are local bars in the DC area which cater to Trump supporters.

In most of these articles, including Business Insider, the article usually ends up with some kind of equivocal statement about the great career prospects and connections of the Trump staffers more than compensating for a decreased level of popularity.

But there is a deeper question here that is not getting looked at. The divisiveness of Trump’s style of governing is being felt to not too small a degree by his employees. Divisiveness, sustained as it is, is a sign of society devolving.

Todd Taliaferro’s Trump Limerick series Part XII

Trump's doc says he's fit as a fiddle 
But I think he's fudging a little 
No doc talks like that 
Plus Trump's crazy fat 
Too fat for a framework that brittle

All of the president's men 
Run out of mean tricks now and then 
Trump chides them, "You jerks, 
Just go with what works: 
Investigate Clinton again!"

Trump's mindless supporters don't know 
Their hero's tough act's just for show 
He not only cries 
When critics crack wise, 
He pouts when his way things don't go.

Todd Taliaferro’s Trump Limerick series Part XI

Republican voters must wonder 
What sort of a spell are they under? 
Fox News says Trump's cool 
But he's Putin's tool 
Should we have to pay for their blunder?

We can't keep on going this way 
Our plight seems more desperate each day 
I think we all know 
That Trump's got to go 
There's just no time left to delay

Because he was honest and wise, 
George Washington never told lies 
But now Trump's the guy 
And his lies are why 
All over the world he's despised

Todd Taliaferro’s Trump Limerick series Part XI

Stress made Devin Nunes get sick 
Trump told him, "This should do the trick" 
"Hey wait," Devin cried 
"That's pure cyanide!" 
"Don't worry," Trump said, "It works quick."

"Those bastards have me in a fix," 
Trump whined, "Democrats are all dicks 
I'm useless, they say 
'Cause I sleep all day 
Please tramadol 50mg buy move your hand faster, Ms Hicks"

Trump's ass was in trouble, no doubt 
He prayed to his god "Help me out" 
But Trump's god is money 
(and this part is funny) 
It turns out that cash has no clout

Todd Taliaferro’s Trump Limerick series Part X

Stress made Devin Nunes get sick 
Trump told him, "This should do the trick" 
"Hey wait," Devin cried 
"That's pure cyanide!" 
"Don't worry," Trump said, "It works quick."

"Those bastards have me in a fix," 
Trump whined, "Democrats are all dicks 
I'm useless, they say 
'Cause I sleep all day 
Please move your hand faster, Ms Hicks"

Trump's ass was in trouble, no doubt 
He prayed to his god "Help me out" 
But Trump's god is money 
(and this part is funny) 
It turns out that cash has no clout

Todd Taliaferro’s Trump Limerick series Part IX

There once was a VP named Pence 
Whose passion for God was intense 
He called his wife "Mother" 
Had eyes for no other 
And lacked but one thing: common sense

A filthy rich fat guy named Trump 
Saw his pageant beginning to slump 
His beauty queen cried 
Trump took it in stride 
And canned her when she became plump

Trump likes to watch hookers go pee pee 
The sparkle and warmth thrills him deeply 
Some may think it's funny 
To pee pee pee for money 
But most people think it's just creepy

Todd Taliaferro’s Trump Limerick series Part VIII

Our president promised a wall 
The neighbors would pay for it all 
But when it came time 
To show us the dime 
All Trump could do was just stall

A well-to-do nitwit named Trump 
Was a liar, a thief and a chump 
He said "Yes I'm rich, 
The son of a bitch, 
My real name's actually Drumpf

Keebler Elf Jeffy Sessions 
Had style that just begged bad impressions 
In courtroom confusion 
He copped to collusion 
Which led to more heartfelt confessions

Todd Taliaferro’s Trump Limerick series Part VII

While driving his daughter to school 
Trump farted and felt like a fool 
Ivanka said "Dad, 
It really is bad 
I'll just walk from here if that's cool"

What's up with Sean Hannity's hair? 
Did he mean to put his part there? 
The way that it's cut 
It looks like a butt 
I bet little kids point and stare

Some leaders like to educate 
While others just pontificate 
But ol' Trump is sly 
And I'll tell you why 
His secret is to obfuscate

Todd Taliaferro’s Trump Limerick series Part VI

Trump met a young girl named Melania 
They went out to dine on lasagna 
He plied her with liquor 
And told her, "Eat quicker, 
By seven I plan to be on ya"

One evening while roaming the White House 
Trump wondered if he had the right house 
Melania said "Hey, 
If I had my way 
We'd live in an Uglegorsk lighthouse"

"My daughter is gorgeous" Trump said 
"I can't get her out of my head 
That tight, sexy body – 
God damn, she's a hottie! 
And one day I'll get her in bed"

Oh yeah, and by the way: JFK Documents released

Back on 26 April, what I understand should have been the last of the JFK documents released to the general public and made available for download. Apparently, the deadline to release the last of them has been now moved to 2021.

With all the distractions surrounding Donald Trump, including those distractions Trump made for himself, you could be excused for not hearing about these rather ground-breaking developments, moving toward trying to end over 50 years of speculation and conspiracy theories.

The irony is, you can thank Trump for allowing the release of these documents. You wouldn’t know it from his preoccupation with making angry tweets about the news of the day. This would have actually made him look good, had one of his tweets mentioned it.

Since 24 July 2017, over 54,000 documents were released relating to the JFK assassination, made available largely as PDF scanned copies. A good deal of the early releases are listed as “NBR” or “Not believed relevant” on the Excel spreadsheet I downloaded, which lists the files and their links. There are hundreds of documents that are just plain illegible. I noticed a lot of newspaper clipping among the interviews and transcriptions of what must have been handwritten notes. There are also official correspondences on government letterhead., memos, and so on.

Todd Taliaferro’s Trump Limerick series Part V

Now that the memo's released 
And all of the screaming has ceased 
Those four little pages 
That seemed so outrageous 
Have gone from "the worst" to "the least."

Melania hated her life 
She didn't like being Trump's wife 
To deal with the man 
She thought up a plan 
Involving scotch, roofies and a knife

While styling his coiffure last May 
Trump wondered if he might be gay 
So he stuck his thumb 
Deep into his bum 
And there it remains to this day

My thoughts on the Logitech K380 Keyboard

The k380. Its longest dimension is 11 inches. This contrasts with my full-size desktop keyboard, which is some 17 inches.

I am writing this blog on the K380, first made by Logitech in 2015 or so. C-Net did a review, basing their experience the way I am — writing this article using it.

Starting with the most visible features, it is predictably a small keyboard. You could feel cramped if you have large hands, but then you probably wouldn’t be making a practice of writing text into a smaller device, as I am doing with the K380 into an iPad. Despite this, the space is managed surprisingly well, and the keys are well-spaced for a keyboard this small.

I am also a fan of Logitech input devices, since all of my external mice and keyboards are made by Logitech. My two PC keyboards are solar-powered (available at a range of prices — no one should pay more than $80 for it), the only ones I can find like it. I liked the concept, and they have been serving me well on my two desktop computers for several years.

I also own a small “Keys-to-go” keyboard which works nicely with my android. But with my iPad, it didn’t work so well. The k380’s behaviour on the iPad is quirky in comparison — sometimes the output would freeze, and sometimes it would be quite responsive. It was surprising that I was able to connect to the keyboard without a pairing code.

I tried the k380 on my Motorola Moto 3G cellphone, and while it recognizes it and offers a pairing code, I could not get my K380 to connect. At least, I couldn’t until I found a way to do a kind of hard reboot of my Android. I pressed the power and “up” volume buttons at the same time for a few seconds while it was shut off. This is nearly the same keypress combo as for a factory reset. I was able to avoid a factory reset, and I still have my apps, music and personal info. But be it known that an ordinary power off/power on reboot didn’t work.

Outside of that, I liked the feel of the keys, and its quiet sound.

In memoriam: World’s oldest living person, dead at 117

Living it up the only way you can!

There is always “the oldest living person” somewhere. Sooner or later, they will pass on, and it is someone else’s turn to be the oldest. But the demise of Nabi Tajima of Japan would not be worthy of further comment, except that it appears as though she was the last person known to have been born in the 19th century. To our knowledge, there are no longer any people born on or before 1900 living anymore. She was said to have 116 descendants, counting children, grand children, and great grand children.

In 1900, the year of her birth, she lived in a world pre-dating Jack London’s Call of the Wild, Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz; just before the days of films and the existence of movie theatres; there were no airplanes, zippers or toasters; no Panama Canal, no Australia, and no radio or TV — to say nothing of internet. Electronic communication was by Morse code over telegraph wires. Transport was either by horse or other beasts of burden, unless you were walking or riding a bike.

Males always seem to die younger than women, and I have found that in going through “oldest living persons” lists, oldest males are usually younger than oldest females. Of the 100 oldest people still living, only 7 are male right now. 1 in 1000 people living past age 100 live past their 110th birthday. Worldwide, there are likely as many as 600 people alive past age 110. Going by the 100 oldest living persons’ list referred to above, the number that can be verified may not be much over 100.

Nabi died of natural causes yesterday in a nursing home where she had been living since 2002.