Thursday, September 19, 2019

Politicians In Blackface

... are a serious problem and we should devote a lot of time to discovering who has done it, gathering the photographic evidence and gasping about how dreadful it is. It is absolutely not a stupid topic of conversation.
Reference: If you have a lick of sense and haven't been following along, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wore blackface in the past. The distant past.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The New York Clickbait Times

So, as I understand it, Justice Brett Kavanaugh allegedly crushed a California Condor with his boots while giving the Nazi salute to the Queen of England.

Do I have that right? It sounds familiar, anyway. According to the New York Times, the story was given to them by a fentanyl addict who heard it from a social worker who knew about a guy who used to do plumbing repair at Cornell which is in the Ivy League along with Yale where Brett went to college. Close enough.

I've read a couple of essays wherein the authors wring their hands and wonder just what happened to the prestigious NYT to make them run tabloid trash stories. Why is this so complicated? There are two factors at play as far as I can see.
  1. They've decided their clientele are woke progressives who crave stories of conservative villainy. Anything will do. They're no pickier than conservatives craving stories of progs acting like lunatics.
  2. Plenty of the staff members at the NYT are True Believers and come to work every day itching to put on their superhero costumes and cosplay a grand battle against the Forces of Hate™. Stories like the Justice Kavanaugh one are simply daydreams wherein the NYT crew plays Let's Pretend and they defend a transgender Hispanic from the Klan who has been released into the wild through the actions of the evil Brett Kavanaugh.
And that's pretty much it. If you were expecting a newspaper to have a shred of journalistic integrity in an era when J-schools are specifically designed to turn out Hitler Youth Social Justice Warriors and media outlets desperately need clicks to survive, you're fooling yourself.

Here, reporters for the NYT fight off Klan-Putties who serve the Evil Lord Kavanaugh.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Planting Tobacco

My tobacco seedlings have grown wildly over the last two weeks. Dig this evolution.

Two weeks ago, right before I did the final culling, they looked like this. When I pulled the small ones, they had single main roots with a few, spindly branch roots coming off the tap.
By this weekend, when I planted them in a raised bed, they had grown substantially.
The branch roots had grown even more than the leaves, making it all the way to the bottom of their cups and then looping back up the sides. The root structure was so complete that when I pulled the seedlings from their cups, not a single bit of dirt fell off.
The tobacco in the raised bed. A couple of the seedlings withered a bit. Both of them were Cuban varieties. I blame this on socialism and atheism. My Southern redneck seedlings were far more rugged and self-reliant.
Now comes the real test. Am I so late in the year that the seedlings will only grow to about 30% of their natural size and then quit because there isn't enough sun or heat? We'll see.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Dogs Can Have Nightmares

Little Pepito, our ancient chihuahua-mix, who we adopted after his previous family abandoned him, woke me up at 3:30 AM this morning, barking downstairs.

Pepito's barks are unusual. He doesn't really bark so much as he shouts, "HEY!" When he has a barking spasm, he stands and yells, "HEY!" at a rate of once every 5-10 seconds.

He almost always sleeps through the night, but this morning, we was clearly upset about something. I went downstairs and as soon as he saw me, he started crying. I sat next to him and he pressed himself into me as hard as he could and cried for a while. He finally calmed down and faded into his contented moans as I petted him.

Poor thing. I wonder if he had dreamed that he had been deserted again.

Pepito in a happier moment with a new friend of his at the park.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

In Support Of Progressives

Taking a break from my highly unpopular racial ramblings, here's a case where I agree with the progressives. Dig this.
On Wednesday, the Legislature passed Assembly Bill 5, which poses an existential threat to the very gig economy that Democrats tout as the heart and soul of California’s economy. It’s a union-crafted disaster that codifies the state Supreme Court’s Dynamex decision from last year. In that bout of judicial activism, justices imposed an “ABC Test” for companies that want to use contractors or freelancers as their workforce.

Those companies can only use contractors if the worker a) doesn’t take direction from the company; b) is involved in work that is not related to the company’s core mission; and c) has established some sort of independent operation, such as an LLC. In other words, Uber and Lyft can hire an independent contractor to, say, do some electrical work in their headquarters or repair their vehicles, but not to work as drivers. There’s no way around that test.
The article linked above claims this is just more lefty madness, but I disagree vigorously. I think it's high time we regulated the hipster sweatshops of Uber, Lyft ad the rest. Why do we allow the "gig economy" corporate titans to get rich off of lunkheads who aren't so good at math or financial analysis? Isn't that one of the biggest reasons we have labor laws in the first place?

I'm sympathetic to the libertarian side of things, but in this case, someone needs to look out for the poor slobs trying to make their rent payments by grinding their cars into the asphalt. I cannot imagine that any of them are making anything remotely approaching minimum wage, once you factor in depreciation and maintenance costs on their vehicles. The reason we have minimum wage laws in the first place is to prevent the ultra-rich from taking advantage of workers desperate for a job.

I feel like we give the smarmy creeps from Uber and Lyft a pass on this because you use an app to summon your rickshaw. It can't be injustice if it's on your iPhone! Yeah, get lost, you exploiters of the poor. Time to pay up.

Pull me faster, you worthless peasant! I don't care if you're losing money on this ride.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Elephants Don't Exist

When wife kitteh and I teach our marriage class, we have a section on communication where we talk about "the elephant in the room." That's where a marriage has an obvious problem, but neither person will bring it up. America in particular and the West in general has an elephant in the room problem where a significant portion of the population refuses to even grant the existence of elephants in the first place.

This week, in Minneapolis, a gang of blacks set upon a white guy, stole his cell phone and then beat him senseless when he tried to resist. There is security camera video that shows the complete evolution of the event. It's stomach-churning. It's so horrible that I won't include a link to it here.

One tweet of the video alone has had over 1,000,000 views. There are a couple of local news sites that have covered the story. The national networks haven't touched it.

Elephant Number 1: If the races had been reversed, if it was a gang of whites who beat a black man senseless, the media would be all over it. The local news sites I sampled showed the video, but just described the perps and the victim as "people" even though the video made the situation glaringly obvious.

Elephant Number 2: National crime statistics show how much more common it is to have this happen than the other way around.

Elephant Number 3: National crime statistics show massive racial disparities in crime rates.

Elephant Number 4: Historical crime statistics show that these disparities have grown over the last few decades.

I walked through the responses to the tweet I mentioned above and found what I expected. A couple of respondents discussed the racial disparities. I sampled a few of their profiles and, again, found what I expected: white supremacists.

Elephant Number 5: White supremacists exist, but they are minor players. The biggest account I found had 1200 followers. All of the rest had under 200. Compare that with race-crazed Ta-Nehisi Coates' 1,250,000+ followers as of his exit from Twitter in late 2017.

I'm not going to link to any of the racists' Twitter profiles here or show their graphs because that would distract from the point I'm trying to make.

What The Herd Of Elephants Mean

When there's an elephant in the room in your marriage, things get worse. If you can't talk about a problem, it festers and infects other parts of your relationship. Dittos for crime. Crime gets worse because combating it, either with law enforcement or societal conversations become problematic.

Going backwards in time, you can see that the elephants weren't always there. This isn't a problem bred into the participants, this is a problem that has arisen from the failure to discuss it and try solutions. In terms of this blog post, crime is not racial, but over time it comes to appear racial because we won't talk about it.

From there, it metastasizes into stronger white supremacist movements because you cede the truth to them. They're the only ones talking about the elephant. The fact that no one else is allowed to even admit elephants exist drives people irritated by the elephants into at least considering the white supremacist position.

Worst of all is that life continues to get worse and worse for the communities from which the criminals come. The white dude who got whacked is going to be crippled for life, but there's only one of him. Other whites, of all political stripes, will continue to avoid the worst black neighborhoods and remain relatively safe. Meanwhile, the amoral creatures who did this will return to their homes where they live, work and prey, 24/7.

What's it like to be their neighbors? Their classmates? Their coworkers? What's it like to have them around you and be unable to escape?

What's it like to live there and see that the whole of society makes excuses for them in those rare cases where their crimes are discussed?

What's the point of doing the hard work of self-denial required to live a virtuous life under such circumstances?

What's it like to be trampled by a herd of elephants?

Friday, September 13, 2019

Find The Bee!

Can you find the bee in this photo? I left it quite large, so if you click on it, you'll get large version that will help you discover the little guy. Enjoy!