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Everyday life without electricity and dead battery disasters

Posted by Nate

From horse's mouth

From horse's mouth

Silly dependencies.

Story with Mazda Tribute

The battery died in my daughters' car, a Mazda Tribute 2004, and she asked me to help install a new battery

Sure. Not a big deal. My wife and I came to our daughters' garage.

Living in the city, my daughter always locks the car. So I took the key and tried to unlock the door. No such luck. The door would not open. So I thought that the lock might be bad. And we could not find another door lock on any other door! So we called our car mechanic. He suggested for me to clean my glasses and look again. Just try another door, there's got to be a lock he said. Nope. So we decided to call the Mazda dealership. As we found out from the dealership the lock does not work if the car battery is dead. And yes we are not blind - there are no other doors with locks. So we have the key, there is a key hole on the door but you cannot open the door if the car battery is dead.

We checked the gate- no lock there. Tried to open the hood – it opens from the inside of course.

You see I thought that if we opened the hood and installed the battery we would be able to unlock the door.

But car designers knew better than that. They would not allow an easy way out (sorry “in”). So what should we do, we asked the person at the dealership? Call the locksmith they told us. So we did and that cost us $75 to open the stupid car!

And for the life of me I cannot understand the reasoning for this design.

Stupid dependencies

No key!

Story about the car without the keyhole to start it

My friends' car (Hyundai) has another story to tell. My friend would usually start his car remotely by pushing the button on his car key. But one day he pushed the button and nothing happened. He figured that a little battery in the remote was dead. So he decided to start the car the hard way, by inserting the key (yes there is a key) and turning the key. Just like we used to do in the old days. The guy could not find the key hole! So being an older gentlemen unsure of his eyesight, he called his son asking what to do. And the son thought that pops is probably losing it. There's got to be a key hole if there is a key, he said. But poor daddy, for the life of him, cannot find the hole! So the son calls the dealership and was told there is no key hole.

So let me get this straight. If you are on the road and have stopped to eat or do the opposite and a little key battery died, you are out of luck. Cannot start you car. Period.

So can somebody explain to me what the hell is going on with today's cars!?

And where are the people who did this to a car?

Hi tech toilets

Who is smarter?

Hi-tech pooping

Another mystery to me are toilets and faucets in public places that don't have a manual override.

Without electricity toilets will stop working in many public places. And so the faucets will stop working. Also, we will not need to wash our hands because we didn't accomplish what we came for.

I wonder if we were able to go into the past and tell people that we in the 21st century cannot poop without electricity, they would feel sorry for future generations.

It is a long list but the idea is that over-dependence on new gadgets and cool technology will backfire and make us look silly.

One safe assumption I learned as an engineer is that whatever you are designing will fail and there is a need for an override or a “back door” like a hand-crank engine start or nearby bush that does not need a flush. Or a car key that actually is a key and not a fricking switch.

So, my friends, good luck with “connected” devices. Maybe I am getting old but why in the world do I need a smart toilet or a smart door lock? So these two can talk to each other when nobody is home? And discuss politics with the fridge?


Arab Boots on the Ground?

Posted by Nate

To Our “Partners” in the Middle East - Get off your Butts!

King Abdullah

Abdullah said groups such as IS "expose themselves daily as savage outlaws of religion, devoid of humanity, respecting no laws and no boundaries".

"So therefore we must act fast and holistically to tackle and respond to the interconnected threats whether it is in this region, Africa, Asia or in Europe," he said.

They were eager to fight then.

On May 15, 1948, the day the British Mandate over Palestine ended, the armies of five neighboring Arab states invaded the new State of Israel, which had declared its independence the previous day. The invasion, heralded by an Egyptian air attack on Tel Aviv, was vigorously resisted. From the north, east and south came the armies of LebanonSyria, Iraq, Transjordan and Egypt.

I agree with Bernie Sanders.

"The United States cannot do it alone," Sanders added. "In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia has the third-largest military budget in the entire world. They're going to have to get in and take on ISIS as well as other countries in that region. The United States should be supportive. We should be working with other countries. But the United States cannot always be the only country involved in these wars."

Where are they now?

Why don't Arab armies wipe out Daesh?

They did not hesitate to invade Israel several times that did not pose any physical threat to them.

But Arab states are not in a big hurry to put boots on the ground to fight Daesh who are an imminent threat to Arab states.

And yet these states spend huge money on military. Why don't they fight their enemy, in their region?

My guess is they are counting on Europe and the US to do the job for them. And that is why our “friends” and “partners” should be encouraged, pushed to do their duty to get rid of ISIS and other nuts. After all Saudi Arabia started this by spreading Wahhabism around the world.

Under no circumstances should Western countries put their boots on the ground in the Middle East and pay with their lives for lazy, rich cowards like the Saudis and Golf states. Let them do their fair share.

I have a suggestion that will make it easier for Arabs to send their troops to fight ISIS. Just imagine that ISIL stands for Independent State of Israel Liquidation. Use your imagination, you cowards.

But on the other hand, Israel defeated you every time. much for that idea.


Unanswered Love Bites

Posted by Nate

From horse's mouth

From horse's mouth

No action will be taken against the tiger that bit the woman who tried to pet it.

The police said Ms. Eide appeared to be drunk or under the influence of drugs. They said she was taken to the Creighton University Medical Center, where she was aggressive toward the staff who later called the police. Ms. Eide was cited for criminal trespassing.”

Just in case you had any doubt, if you pet a tiger you will most likely get bitten.” said Omaha police department.

Holy crap! It would never have crossed my mind that if you try to be friendly with a tiger it will bite you. It is so unfriendly and cruel for a wild animal in a cage to bite a friendly (but drunk) hand that is trying to pet you. So uncivilized. The poor woman broke into the Omaha Zoo just to become friends with a tiger. She just felt lonely and full of love.(and alcohol). And what is a better way to show and spread love than to break into the zoo at night and hug a tiger?

And what is even more appalling is that the mean and inconsiderate animal, the tiger, goes unpunished!

And I would like to ask this brute, the tiger:  Is that how you treat a woman? Have you no manners? Even if she was drunk. What were you thinking? That she would bite you? What a pussy!

And the poor woman ended up in a hospital and was so distressed and disappointed in the tiger that she started to abuse the hospital stuff. And it is all your fault, you uncivilized brute!

So, here is my thinking. If this poor woman had stuck her head in the cage instead of her hand, would the tiger have been more understanding? And, if not, this drunken, drugged bitch would have had no need to go to a hospital without her head.


I am Not Sorry.

Posted by Nate

Sometimes when I post on Facebook I don't check the facts before posting. And I am sorry for not being more thorough and not spending more time checking the facts.

But I am not going to apologize for saying what I think, for not being politically correct.

It is very rare for me to say that I hate anything or anybody. But I do hate political correctness.

And it started not here but in my country of birth. The Soviet Union.

Over there we had to be very careful what we said and how we said it. There were words and expressions that were appropriate to use and otherwise. And otherwise was dangerous for your health.

And one of the reasons I am here is that I don't have to think about every word I say anymore.

But as my American experience advanced and I started to participate in political discussions I noticed a frightening and familiar trend, especially in the liberal part of the country.

To me it is frightening and disgusting. These people are inventing their own language that is their correct way to speak. But that is another story. I have written about it in a previous article.

So I may have to disappoint some of the people that read my comments on Facebook and in my blog.

I stopped commenting on Facebook for a while because of the comments I was getting from my super liberal friends and conservatives. But later I came to the conclusion that I was wrong not to comment. I will not be quiet. I will do my best to check the facts but I will continue to express my opinions in the way I like and as my limited English vocabulary will allow.

Some of the people that I know are criticizing me for being “all over”. I guess in their opinion if I side with conservatives on one issue then I must side with conservatives on all issues. The same goes for my liberal friends. I am not sorry to disappoint both sides. Nobody is right or wrong all the time. So I may agree or disagree with a particular view without regard to the label assigned to the author.

Yes, and one more thing I hate...labeling people.

According to some you are either a conservative or a liberal. As if one has to think according to the label assigned. I will not volunteer for the bed of Procrustes.


I love to disappoint both sides. I am not a “Conservative”. I am not a “Liberal”. I have opinions on some subjects and I express these opinions without consulting Conservative or Liberal manuals.

And it is fine with me that sometimes I might agree with either side.

(Sorry for too many “I's”)

Yes, Jewish struggle for survival is very important to me...much more important than to some American Jews because of my experiences.

And if some of my liberal friends think that if they would love Muslims, they (Muslims) would love them back, then my liberal friends grew up in a nice comfortable bubble with a silver spoon in their mouths. There is widespread Islamic terrorism. Islamic fundamentalism is a world-wide phenomenon and is a grave danger for Western civilization. So there, Mr. Obama and my liberal friends.

The invasion of Iraq was a crime against humanity. Bush (W) and Cheney are war criminals and should be in jail, my conservative friends. They are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands, the Great Recession and the chaos in the Middle East, among other things.

Many blacks in our country are to blame for their violent and tragic situation...“Black Lives Matter”.

Yes. Just like white lives or Asian lives or any other life. But most blacks are killed by blacks. It is not all “black and white” of course, but liberals cannot blame it all on “white skin privilege”.

Gun madness in this country is the result of a devastating paranoia and it is a symptom of a sick society. And conservatives who blindly follow the NRA are either stupid or are paid by the NRA.

The antisemitic BDS movement in universities is largely based on ignorance and out-of-control liberals who would love to feel sorry for dead Jews or at least beaten-down Jews. And these liberal “intellectuals” disgust me and should be condemned for crimes against humanity.

I think that current wealth concentration in very few hands is a danger to Democracy and is creating an unstable society. Do I want socialism in America? God forbid. I came from there. But I do want higher taxes for the very wealthy. I want an end to “Citizens United”.

So who wants to label me a “liberal”? Or a "conservative"? A bigot? A racist?

Sure! Be my guest! Did all of this make you angry?

Good! Thanks!

Now please, take your labels and shove it!


Hypocrites and Babies in the Shower

Posted by Nate

Political correctness madness

Why are hypocrites so loud?

Hypocrisy of closet child molesters.

Perez Hilton is certainly no stranger to controversy, but it seems as though even he couldn’t have predicted the amount of backlash that he would receive after revealing that he and his two-year-old son, Mario, sometimes share a shower together.

Commenting on the snap, some users wrote: “IS THIS A JOKE? THEY’RE BOTH NAKED?”, “Kinda creepy”, and “That’s just odd”, with one particularly nasty comment reading: 'This is child abuse.' ”

I don't know who this guy is and I don't care. It seems like he and his son were having a good time.

In my not so humble opinion, only professional child molesters would think of this as something inappropriate...or very stupid “child protectors”. For the rest of the world, it would simply look cute and fun.

So my suggestion to these outraged puritanical hypocrites – check yourselves into a mental institution and confess the impure thoughts you are having while watching naked babies.

But, most importantly, just shut up and go away!


If I Were to Believe in God

Posted by Nate

If I were to believe in God

The tragic fate of the chosen people

Chosen for what?

People who gave the world Christ and Spinoza

Freud and Einstein

Exiled from Rome and Alexandria

From Spain and Germany

From Russia and Argentina

What are  the Jews chosen for?

They lifted countries that accepted them

Lifted from barbarism, from ignorance

Jews brought to people science and philosophy

Industry and commerce, music, arts and literature

And always, every time in return, the Jews were hated

Murders, persecution and expulsion followed.

The “chosen” people punished by envy, greed and ignorance

Punished by the same people who greatly benefited from the Jews

Blood thirsty mobs rejoicing mindlessly

Pogroms and Kristalnacht. Mass graves and concentration camps

If I would believe in God I would ask: what are we chosen for?

God, we have done our best to follow your teachings.

Is this what we deserve?

Is this the gratitude we earned from the omnipotent?

Exile, oppression and death?

Is that our reward for trying to make the World a better place?

If I would believe in God I would say: we are not asking for rewards from you, God

Just please let us be.

Are we being punished for giving the world Einstein, Niels Bohr and Wolfgang Pauli?

And then I thought that we, the Jews, are being used

Used like a dispensable tool. Used and discarded.

If I would believe in God I would say that we, the Jews, are just useful disposable tools in God's hands.

And God keeps our numbers low

Too many Jews are not needed for God's purpose.

There cannot be too many chosen people.

Just a bare minimum to fit into God's grand design.

And yet we, the Jews, are proud to be the tools

Proud to be the “chosen” people.

Yes, I am proud of my people, proud to be a Jew

But not because we are “chosen”

I am proud of my people for their accomplishment and will to survive despite being the “chosen” people

Six Million perished in the Holocaust.

One third of us “chosen” people perished, just variables of the “grand design”

A plan we mere mortals cannot comprehend.

So why should we blindly believe in you, the merciful omnipotent God?

Jews, the chosen people are being slaughtered while praising God.

The all-merciful

Jews-a useful tool, dispensable. Just a tool.

A tool used and then discarded by the cold, inhumane executioner of a grand scheme.

Lives, families' hopes destroyed

Oh merciful God

You chose the Jews

We, the Jews, are the chosen people

Just variables, inexpensive dependable and disposable

I do not believe in this cold, calculating God.

I do not know if there is a vast intelligence, orders of magnitude more powerful than our meager brains

I am just a mere mortal, a small ripple in the ocean of life

This intelligence would operate by rules where all civilizations are just variables in the Universal Game.

There would be no morals, no good or evil

No compassion, love or hate

Just immense (by our measure) play and movement

I do not know to what end, why the Universe exists

But we humans, including Jews, appeared and will be gone in the next Universal instant

Just a variable in a process we cannot comprehend

And that makes more sense to me


Professional Victim-hood and White Privilege.

Posted by Nate

Below is a quote from today's article in Chicago tribune by a successful black person: One man remembered feeling not just protected in his home, but also in his community, where neighbor women and men looked out for him. Many of us nodded because we shared a similar experience.

He talked about core values that his parents instilled about personal responsibility and hard work and respect for others that were reinforced by his community. About being required to say "Good morning," and "please and thank you."

"If someone saw you doing or saying something wrong, they called you on it or they grabbed you up in your collar," he said. "And your parents didn't argue or fight with them. Imagine trying to chastise somebody's child, nowadays."

White guilt.

It is a huge disservice black leaders and liberals do to black people by constantly telling them about their rights but not too much about their responsibilities. The fact everyone knows is that you cannot end racism by just outlawing it. Many people are just racists and will be racists as long as they live. And for many it is a stereotype of blacks as violent, lazy and not very bright. And as we all know a stereotype is hard to change.

Rights and responsibilities. “An overlooked feature of the declaration is that it ends with duties and obligations upon an individual to their community. Sadly, we have become obsessed with rights, without any corresponding sense of duty, obligation or responsibility. I truly believe that with rights come responsibilities. There needs to be a balance, for our privileges can be no greater than our obligations.”

My wife told me about a conversation she had with a colleague, a black guy (I didn't call him “African-American” because I am not sure if his ancestors are from Africa). She told him that her parents taught her since childhood that Jews in order to succeed have to be better than the next person. And he totally objected to this notion. He has the same rights as anyone else, he stated. And that is theory.

Many racial and religious groups were stigmatized, discriminated against...Irish, Jews, Italians, Orientals. “Native-born Americans criticized Irish immigrants for their poverty and manners, their supposed laziness and lack of discipline, their public drinking style, their catholic religion, and their capacity for criminality and collective violence. In both words and pictures, critics of the Irish measured character by their perceived physical appearance”.

Just like the Irish, be it Orientals or Mexicans, etc, they knew what they had to overcome. They were treated unfairly. It was harder for them to find jobs but they persevered and began to do just fine.

Yes, we have to fight for equal rights. But we all have to prove something. Prove with our lives, with our actions, with our hard work. Prove that we are a hard-working, successful group.

It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it. Benjamin Franklin

Who is more successful: a Mexican-American whose parents immigrated to the U.S. with less than an elementary school education, and who now works as a dental hygienist? Or a Chinese-American whose parents immigrated to the U.S. and earned Ph.D. degrees, and who now practices as a doctor?

Amy Chua (AKA “Tiger Mom”) and her husband Jed Rubenfeld, author of the new book The Triple Package, claim it’s the latter. They argue that certain American groups (including Chinese, Jews, Cubans, and Nigerians) are more successful and have risen further than others because they share certain cultural traits. Chua and Rubenfeld bolster their argument by comparing these groups’ median household income, test scores, educational attainment, and occupational status to those of the rest of the country.

More about “white privilege” and work ethics.

A new paper from a University of Chicago PhD candidate, Alison Rauh, finds that black immigrants tend to be more successful than black Americans. They out-earn black natives (after accounting for age) and are more likely to be employed. This is not surprising; white immigrant groups outperform their native cohort too. But what’s most intriguing is how their children fare. The children of black immigrants are more likely to go to and complete college than native blacks (and whites) and are less likely to drop out of high school.

Below is a quote by a “white privileged” guy:

Years ago, some feminist on the internet told me I was "Privileged."

"THE FUCK!?!?" I said. I came from the kind of Poor that people don't want to believe still exists in this country. Have you ever spent a frigid northern Illinois winter without heat or running water? I have. At twelve years old, were you making ramen noodles in a coffee maker with water you fetched from a public bathroom? I was. Have you ever lived in a camper year round and used a random relative's apartment as your mailing address? We did. Did you attend so many different elementary schools that you can only remember a quarter of their names? Welcome to my childhood.

So when that feminist told me I had "white privilege," I told her that my white skin didn't do shit to prevent me from experiencing poverty.

Now about my own experience.

I did not experience “white skin privilege”...not in my old country, the Soviet Union, where I was a Jew first and a citizen second. I mean second-rate citizen. We the Jews knew that we had to be better than non Jews in order to get into college or to find a job. Many colleges and jobs were off limits to Jews no matter how good you were.

I didn't know anything about the “privilege” when we came to America with a one year old child and $400. With my broken English and no US experience I did not feel “privileged”.

My wife and I knew that we would have to work hard and study the language in order to make a decent living for ourselves and our children. At that time we were helped by a Jewish organization and were expected to find a job within 3 months. And then we were expected to pay back the money given to us. And we did.

We did not know anything about any social programs so it never crossed our minds to apply for any kind of help from the Government.

Is there “white privilege”? Yes. Racism is one of the reasons. High crime rate among blacks is another reason. Is that fair? No it is not. A good friend of ours adopted two black kids. These kids are adults now. I know them. Great human beings. Decent and hard working. And they get stopped by local police for just walking in the neighborhood. Racial profiling? Yes. But let's get real. It will continue as long as the high crime rate remains among the black population.

The main problem of our country is the erosion of the middle class. Not just white or black. The backbone of our society is crumbling. So where is this so-called “white privilege” for most Americans?

There is privilege. For those born with a silver spoon in their mouth. Regardless of race or nationality.

In my opinion well-meaning people, by evoking “white privilege”, provide many blacks with an excuse to blame all their problems on discrimination. Some are practicing “professional victim-hood” and are spending most of their efforts blaming everyone else for their problems.

“Vester Flanagan, the gunman who killed a reporter and a cameraman on TV Wednesday, was a "professional victim" during his time at the station before being fired in 2013. Flanagan interpreted efforts by the station to improve his performance and persuade him to work more cooperatively with colleagues as discrimination”

What can we as a society do to help people (of any race) to break the cycle of poverty?

One thing that absolutely needs to be done is to provide a good quality education for those who want it.

The lottery. There are many families who realize that the only way to break the cycle of poverty is a good education for their kids. But there are no good schools in poor neighborhoods. But in order to get enrolled, one has to play the lottery.

It is a shame that the richest country in the world cannot provide good schools for its children who want to learn and to get a good education. This is the only way to eventually get rid of ghettos.

We as a country have to help those who want help.

And as a country of laws we cannot use excuses nor condone breaking the law, regardless of class, race or nationality.


Dinosaurs and the Military Budget

Posted by Nate

Our country spends more on our military than the rest of the world combined. And what I wonder: is it necessary to spend so much to be a superpower? America is building bigger and more expensive stuff all the time and I think that approach makes us more vulnerable, not more secure.

While the trend is smaller, smarter, cheaper, America builds bigger, more expensive and less efficient clunkers. It is just like the aircraft carriers it builds – huge inertia and slow-to-change direction.

Wasteful spending and the end of the dinosaurs in military.

F-35. New F-35 Prices: A: $95M; B: $102M; C: $116M

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the most expensive, and possibly the most error-ridden, project in the history of the United States military. But DOD has sunk so much money into the F-35 — which is expected to cost $1.5 trillion over the 55-year life of the program — that the Pentagon deemed it "too big to fail" in 2010.

The makers of one of the most expensive weapons programs in history went on the defensive today, saying a recent report on the F-35 fighter jet’s failures in old-school dog-fighting against a decades-old, much cheaper, legacy fighter “does not tell the whole story.”

But it is...a hugely expensive clunker

It is possible to build three cheaper and more effective fighters instead of one F-35.

The Scorpion is designed to be affordable, costing the US $3,000 per flight hour, with a unit cost expected to be below US $20 million.

Aircraft carriers

The Navy’s high-tech first Ford-class aircraft carrier, slated for delivery in March of next year, is widely known for cost overruns that brought the eventual cost of the platform to $12.8 billion.

Anti-aircraft carrier missiles also cost a fraction of the cost of a carrier. 

Carriers are more survivable than land bases by a large margin but they are still vulnerable, especially in the dawning age of widely proliferating quiet submarine technology; the anti-ship ballistic missiles such as China's evolving DF-21D. Also, since the majority of America's carrier force is in port at any given time, they are more vulnerable to an attack, especially at super-bases such as Norfolk, Virginia where around half the force is located.


  1. About 6,000 M1A1 Abrams were produced from 1986–92 and featured the M256 120 mm (4.7 in) smooth-bore cannon developed by Rheinmetall, AG of Germany for the Leopard 2, improved armor and a CBRN protection system. Production of M1 and M1A1 tanks totaled some 9,000 tanks at a cost of approximately $4.3 million per unit.

But do you really need a tank to kill another tank?

An anti-tank missile costs a small fraction of the cost of a tank...about one hundredth. Also the concept of a “smart mine” that runs under the tank's tracks...a kamikaze drone programmed to intercept a moving tank.

The idea is to produce cheaper, smaller and faster systems that are armed with state-of-the-art weapons.

A minimum amount of bells and whistles.

What is wrong with anti-tank drones (smart mines) that run under the tracks? They are cheap and will stop a tank.

The bigger the machine, the easier to hit it. And no matter what defenses one uses, it is still vulnerable.

Now try to kill the bee swarm with the tank. Or with the fighter jet. Good luck with that.

One sunken aircraft carrier is thousands of lives, billions of dollars and about 10% of the whole US fleet.

What is the alternative? Who needs an aircraft carrier if any location on this planet can be reached with the MAC 20 plane within an hour?

I am not pretending that I know the answers. But I do know that F-35 or 78 ton Abrams is not the answer. There is a “big” mentality in this country. Bigger, heavier, thicker armor and so on.

(Doesn't that remind you of the way of the dinosaurs?)

The result has been a pattern of fielding exquisite platforms in diminishing numbers at great cost.”

“Dramatic improvements in the fields of robotics, artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing, biology and nano-materials are changing the cost/effectiveness calculation in favor of the “many and simple” against the “few and complex.”

A long time ago Stanislaw Lem wrote a novel called Invincible where microscopic robots are fighting the Earth's powerful spaceship. The problem for the spaceship is that it is just one against trillions and trillions self-replicating flying bug-sized drones. The ship was defeated.

Interesting that insects on our planet have a much better chance of survival than elephants for example.

So, in my opinion, our military budget can be cut if the money is spent wisely instead of producing dinosaurs.

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