Sunday, July 03, 2022

If You're Stupid In Small Things, You're Likely To Be Stupid In Large Things

 Halifax Bank in England has gone woke.

Halifax customers are closing their accounts en masse today after its social media team told them to leave if they don't like their new pronoun badges for staff in what is being branded one of the biggest PR disasters in British business history.

The row began this week when Halifax, which was propped up by the taxpayer to the tune of £30billion as part of a 2008 bailout, tweeted its 118,000 followers on Tuesday revealing that it would allow staff to display their pronouns on their name badges, in a post that read 'pronouns matter'.

It showed a photo of a female staff member's name badge, which featured 'she/her/hers' in brackets under the name Gemma, and said the policy was to help avoid 'accidental misgendering'.

One customer replied: 'There’s no ambiguity about the name “Gemma”. It’s a female person’s name. In other words, it’s pathetic virtue signaling and is seen as such by almost everyone who has responded to the initial tweet. Why are you trying to alienate people?' Within 20 minutes a member of the Halifax social media team, calling himself Andy M, replied: 'If you disagree with our values, you're welcome to close your account'.

Andy M's response has outraged customers, and seen hundreds claiming they will boycott the bank with many saying they have closed their accounts. Others have cut up their credit cards or getting rid of insurance policies and said the threat was the final straw after it cut 27 branches alone in 2022.

I'd close my account, too. Not because I think trans isn't a thing, which it isn't, but because I would have lost faith in the bank. If they're willing to insult and lose customers over pronouns, what are they doing with their investments behind the scenes? God only knows what idiotic measurements they're using to decide where to put their funds. 

Look, I know they're all doing this right now, at least at the social media and HR levels. They're all recruiting new workers from the same pool of mentally-poisoned college graduates. I know I'm heavily invested in all kinds of companies that are racialist and gender-insane at those levels. However, a bank is a different thing. It's not part of an investment portfolio, it's the direct holder of my money. I wouldn't feel comfortable with them behaving like lunatics in public.

"If you will each state your preferred pronouns as you approach the teller, we will be happy to assist you."

Friday, July 01, 2022

If You Don't Work, You Die

Things are looking bleak for the blues in the midterms. Inflation, crime, cultural insanity, a bear market and recession are adding up to a well-deserved thumping for the Democrats. Wretchard the Cat has a decent essay about this, but I think he misses the mark. Here's a sample paragraph.

The problem facing the Democratic Party is that it based its plans on a future that never materialized without adequate provision for a failover. Its economic managers overestimated the fault tolerance of the American system and are now searching for a way out of the crisis they find themselves in. Their chief short term hopes of distraction lie in two directions: Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin: civil war or second cold war.

The problem is actually that their plans can't possibly work. We managed to conceal their failures with mountains of printed money, but even Modern Monetary Theory has its limits and those limits have been hit. I've yapped about this in the past.

From Life's Pricing Structure Is Broken:

Our pricing structure is broken. We no longer connect sacrifice with possessions. This is what I meant when I blogged yesterday, "It looks to me like American society has turned out the lights of reason and turned on the black lights of subjectivism. We're all kind of stumbling around, learning as we go just what this means."

From the post referred to above, When The Cat's Away And Not Coming Back:

The general problem really hit me today when I read about Modern Monetary Theory, MMT. MMT holds that any government that can print its own money and whose debt is denominated in that same currency, need not worry about debt. Print all you want until inflation hits. Inflation, not debt, is the critical measure of whether or not you can keep printing.

This is obvious nonsense. If you have mountains of debt, inflation, which leads to higher interest rates, immediately starts a chain reaction of printing and inflation that quickly spirals out of control and wipes out the economy. MMT can't possibly work. See also: Republic, Weimar.

But nonsense is OK, right? Sense is patriarchal or racist or mathematical, which itself is patriarchal and racist.

The problem isn't messaging and all the fund-raising in the world isn't going to matter.

Neither will it work to blame Putin.

Looking like a complete maniac probably won't do the trick, either.

Sam Brinton on Twitter: "It’s official. As of June 19th, I now serve my nation as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition in the Office of Nuclear Energy in the Department of Energy."

No, I'm afraid that The Gods of the Copybook Headings have returned and all we can do is work our way out of this. Well, the first thing we need to do is get rid of the biggest parasites in our governing class, but after that, it's up to us.

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

Thursday, June 30, 2022

The Crops Are Coming In Nicely

This year's plan to make watermelon wine is already ahead of last year's, if for no other reason than we have at least one watermelon on the vine.

Because I dropped the seed tray and got them all jumbled up back when they were tiny, I don't know if this is a Nancy or a Stone Mountain. I think we'll be able to figure it out when it matures.

The tobacco needs to be planted, but since we're moving in about 4 weeks in order to make way for a remodel, I'm going to put them in 1-gallon pots and then hastily build some raised beds for them as soon as we get to the other house.

I think I've got 24 sprouts. Actually it's 24 cells with sprouts. Some of them are doubled or tripled up, but I've decided to just let them grow in a big mob. After all, the only thing I want are the leaves.

You Need A Working Hypothesis

... otherwise, how do you know what experiments to conduct?

That's what I was trying to get at with the previous post. It's all well and good to point out the shortcomings of someone else's hypothesis, but if you don't have one of your own to propose, you're just an irritant, a sniper.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

You Can't Beat Something With Nothing

I'd promised a much longer post dealing with meaning, ethics, science and philosophy, but I went to the gym instead and then got to work at my job. Let me prime the pump for that post with the title of this post.

You can't beat something with nothing.

If you're going to trash wacky Christian sects, progressive politicians or gun-toting libertarians who like to wear beekeeper outfits while engaging in sex fantasies, you've got to have something better, at least in the areas their worldview covers. It works best if your worldview covers even more topics than the people at whom you're pointing and laughing.

That's what gets me the most about some of our dinner parties with secular people who like to mock the unsophisticated. Yes, there are Christian groups out there who cling to silly ideas and all of us Christians are hypocrites. Ha ha ha. You got us, pardner. Right between the eyes. Oof, I'm dead.

So what do you have? What's your cosmology? What's the meaning and purpose of life? Please derive why slavery is wrong, from first principles.

When you solve those, I have some more questions for you - 6,000 years worth, counting our Jewish foundations. Thanks to Aquinas, we get science and Greek philosophy as well. 

If you're going to point and laugh, just make sure you've got a superior replacement.

It was a great day at the gym. Leg and shoulders today. That's 480# on the leg press. My goal is 500#. I am SO jazzed.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Is Science Real?

Last night, we hosted a dinner party with our new grandkids and some very close friends and their family. Of the group, only wife kitteh and I are religious. The other family typically laughs at religion and last night was no different. Wife kitteh and I do not engage in arguments and almost always allow these episodes to go unchallenged. I hate that, but in the moment, I know my blood runs too hot to reply coherently. I want to blog what I should say the next time this happens.

The event that prompted them to sneer at religion was a wedding that some of the kids attended. The couple belonged to a sect of fundamentalist Christians which had all kinds of restrictions on behavior. There were mountains of hypocrisies on display. The couple had been living together for 5 years and kept it secret from the parents. Lies on top of religious infidelity made a mockery of the service. Everyone at dinner had a good laugh at those people. Ha ha ha.

The faith itself sounded pretty incoherent as well. Many fun things were prohibited, but the church had a long history of pirate-ship internal dynamics. That is, it looked like the way you advanced up the chain of command was to discredit and expel the person above you. Yarr.

Bishop Johnson was caught with his hand in the treasure chest! Scripture says that I be the new bishop now, you scurvy dogs!

Illogic and bad behavior aren't all that unusual among us religious types. That means it's all lies! Hahahahaha!

With all of this incontrovertible data, how can you say that religion is real?

Err, wait a minute.

About 150 years ago, our understanding of the atom was ridiculous.

In 1897, the English scientist named J.J. Thomson provided the first hint that an atom is made of even smaller particles. He discovered the presence of a negative particle in the atom – the electron. He proposed a model of the atom that is sometimes called the “Plum Pudding” model. His theory was that atoms are made from a positively charged substance with negatively charged electrons scattered about, like raisins in a pudding or chocolate chips in a cookie.

An atom is a cookie? Hahahahahaha! Only an idiot would believe in physics!

Back in the day, I was called a scientist and only faking lab results and claiming to have discovered gravity on my own led to my defrocking*. In those days, I knew plenty of scientists who were even more duplicitous and immoral than I was. Results were invented and claims were made solely for the purpose of obtaining another year of funding. In some cases, the behavior was more scandalous. Marriages were wrecked, children abandoned and secretaries ended up in a family way, even ones that identified as men.

Scientists are amoral scumbags! You can't trust even one of them! Hahahahahaha!

With all of this incontrovertible data, how can you say that science is real?

* - Or maybe I wandered out into the parking lot and the locks were changed on my office**. It's all a bit hazy in my memory.

** - In all honesty, this is a joke. My career evolved into engineering and then into marketing and sales.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Inflation Is Out Of Control

At the start of Joe Biden's presidency, there were only 72 gender. Now there are more than 150. Thanks, Joe! #Bidenflation

Their Teenage Years Are Going To Be Awesome

Tell me this isn't going to be thrown in their parents' faces. From the looks on the kids' faces, things are already shaping up, err, nicely.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Show Me. State

 ... why I should agree with you. Calling me a homophobic, racist fascist probably won't be a good opening line.

The SCOTUS ruling on abortion changes the game significantly. Now if the pro-aborts want the Constitution to preserve a woman's right to killing babies, they're going to have to convince a large number of pro-lifers to vote their way. Constitutional amendments are difficult on purpose and require a two-thirds vote at the state level and then at the congressional level.

The people of Missouri, for example, where abortion has been significantly restricted following the ruling, are good prospects for conversion and their conversion would go a long way towards getting such an amendment passed.

As an old salesman, marketer and general nuisance, I'd like to suggest that these two images won't be ... what is the word for it? ... ah, here it is: helpful.

This is an article in the left-wing magazine, The Nation.

At a protest outside Amy Coney Barrett's house, young women held plastic baby dolls and  had red stains coming out of their crotches while brandishing a sign demanding abortions.

If I was a pro-lifer, I'd save those images plus hundreds more similar ones and throw them all over the place whenever the topic arose.

All of the screaming and hysterics and name-calling is making the left's job harder. If they want their way, they'll need to convince us. It's kind of hard to convince someone whom you've just called a hateful bigot.

For that reason, I think this decision might lead to less anger. Of course, such a development would require people to understand the amendment process. Given the state of our education system, that seems to be the hardest part of it all.

Bonus Take

Thanks to the SCOTUS ruling, my opinion now matters to the pro-abort crowd. I kind of like that.

Do you think that's what is really driving them insane? That they can't just scream that I'm a white supremacist and still get what they want?