Wednesday, January 31, 2018

How Plumbing Shows The Democrats Have Become Psychotics

Last weekend, I visited a friend's house and repaired her leaking bathtub faucet. I'm relatively handy, but I'd never worked on a tub before. Once I pulled the valve apart and took pictures of it with my phone, I came home and watched a couple of YouTube videos to see how the thing worked. I then went to Home Depot, showed the plumbing dude my photos and he sold me the exact right piece - a Moen 1225 replacement cartridge and the extraction tool.

It's 2018. I took a photo with my phone and watched an instructional video on YouTube. Everyone can do this.

Here's prog superstar, Joy Reid, talking about last night's State of the Union speech.

Joy has gone mad in the same way the Grammys have. Life is easier than it has ever been. It's easier to learn, to achieve, to dream, to share and to simply live. Joy, however, lives in a profoundly oppressive world of fascism, racism, whiteness, patriarchy and homophobia. People of color are being held down by the white supremacist patriarchy. For them, every day is a struggle to survive.

Well, a struggle to survive and a struggle to find the right YouTube video to see how to fix their plumbing. I mean, the thing didn't have a logo, so you couldn't tell if it was a Moen or a Delta without the help of the fellow at Home Depot looking at a photo on your phone.

Yep, it's a struggle alright, worse even than the pioneers making their way across the Continental Divide in covered wagons. Have you ever heard of them ending up in a spot without 4G? Ha! Never!

The progs have become psychotic. They live in a world that does not exist. In fact, they don't just live in it, they desperately cling to their dystopian fantasy, looking for proof that there really are white supremacists hiding under their beds. It's not just that it's still the 1950s, it's that the 1950s saw the tyrannical rule of fascist hate. We are evil because our heritage is evil and we haven't yet thrown off the yoke of the oppressors - white, heterosexual men.

Don't worry, though. Progress is being made. We're using YouTube and smartphones to organize and raise awareness.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

How The Grammys Went Mad

At the Grammys this year, performers gave impassioned speeches about sexual harassment which were met with wild applause and approval.

They then went out and performed utterly misogynistic songs. Many received awards and accolades for albums and songs glorifying the domination and abuse of women.

Cardi B, whoever that is, thrusting her pelvis and saying bad words which refer to women as dogs. Note that her singing partner, Bruno Mars, is not showing skin like she is. GrrlPowr!
How do you end up here? As longtime friend and commenter Ohioan at Heart might say, it is impossible to hold both of these concepts in your head at the same time without your brain exploding from the contradiction. And yet, they did. How?

I've spent a lot of time pondering this and I think I've finally come up with the answer. Racism and the patriarchy.

These people believe in racism so strongly - racism is endemic in America and white supremacists dominate the lives of people of color (POC)* - that nothing they do makes any difference. They have no agency in their lives at all. It's as if POC were left outside to survive a hurricane with no shelter save for what they can derive from politics.

If that's the way things are, then it hardly matters if POC have unrestricted sex, drop out of school, do drugs or record songs encouraging all of these things. If what they believed was actually true, you would expect them to live for today. Until the hurricane passes, there's no point in trying to make a better life for yourself. The best you can do is survive.

If you review the speeches and extract the essential points they are trying to make, I think this is what you hear. Every day will be a desperate, existential struggle for POC until the white patriarchy is defeated. Their songs, dances and behavior are irrelevant because the white patriarchy is omnipresent and omnipotent. Hence the endless stream of rabid, political howling at these shows.

There. That's the best I can do on that particular conundrum.

* - People of color includes gays, transgendered, women, Muslims and so forth.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Apple Makes A Play For The Wimpy Creep Market

I hate this ad.

When I first saw it, I didn't pay any attention to what was being sold or what it could do. Instead, I spent my time trying to figure out just what that creature was. Was it a boy? Was it a girl? The first 5 or so times, it felt like an ad for helping children to switch sexes, an in-your-face forced acceptance of weird, androgynous beings.

I finally figured out that it's a girl trying to be a not-quite-so boy. Not a man or a normal boy, mind you, but a wimpy, creepy boy as envisioned by hipsters living in a prog cultural bubble. When I saw the light blue fingernail polish at the start, that's when I thought it was a boy trying to be a faux-butch, creepy, hipster girl. The ad turned me off immediately and I still can't escape that feeling.

The ad is so hideous that it's made me start seeing a trend in modern advertising. Many young people in ads are the same kind of wimpy-butch-fem, hipster creeps. They aren't threatening because they lack any kind of aggression at all, even the protective, latent aggression of a normal man. Maybe that's what's so weird about the whole thing. You feel like these beings are translucent, made of fog or mist. There's nothing to them at all, no personality, no strength, no power.

It's not what I want to be nor is it what I want my kids to become. One of the things an ad should do is make you want to be like the people who use the product being sold. Look how it makes them desirable! Don't you want to be like them? Buy this widget and you will be!

Ick. No thanks.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Oregano Is A Weed

I know this because from a single, small oregano plant I now have four square feet of it in my raised bed garden.

And don't get me started about mint, parsley, sage and chives! :-)

Saturday, January 27, 2018

The FBI Surveilled Trump Out Of Fear

What if, in mid-2016, the FBI panicked? Good Internet-friend and commenter ligneus tipped me off to the video below and it triggered the thought that the whole Trump surveillance thing was a product of fear.

First off, Hillary committed dozens, if not hundreds, of felonies, mostly briberies and security crimes from her emails. These were pervasive throughout her time as Secretary of State. They weren't small, either. Not only that, her whole staff were felons as well - the laws regarding information protection are clear and precise. All participants in a chain of deliberate security breaches are guilty. If you want to disagree with this, don't even bother to comment. You are wrong. Period. Full stop. You are wrong.

It doesn't stop there. Andrew McCarthy pointed out that President Obama was guilty of felonies for the same reason.
If Clinton had been charged, Obama’s culpable involvement would have been patent. In any prosecution of Clinton, the Clinton–Obama emails would have been in the spotlight. For the prosecution, they would be more proof of willful (or, if you prefer, grossly negligent) mishandling of intelligence. More significantly, for Clinton’s defense, they would show that Obama was complicit in Clinton’s conduct yet faced no criminal charges.
They all knew it. They had all been to the mandatory, annual security training which tells them in excruciating detail that everything Hillary was doing was a crime. Annual. As in every year. If you had worked at the FBI for 25 years, you'd been to it 25 times. That's not to mention the mandatory, annual ethics training or the mandatory, annual cybersecurity training.

All of those sessions told everyone who knew an ounce about Hillary's actions that she was a felon. The trial would have been something out of a Get Smart episode where the jury would have left the room, voted in the hallway to convict and returned in 30 seconds.

Why They Went After Trump

None of this was going to come out if Hillary won the election. The press were zealous guardians of the Party and had no interest in and possibly no ability to comprehend the crimes. The FBI would have been given Clinton Mafia protection by her administration if anything leaked. (Not that it needed to, it was obvious that the fix was in.)

What if Trump won?

Consider not James Comey, but the upper echelons of the FBI. Think about what it took to run the Hillary sham-investigation and who knew. Think of the document release approval and review chains, the staff meetings where progress was discussed and the internal budget discussions approving things like travel and support contractors. It's not that Comey and Strzok and the other high-profile people were in jeopardy, which they absolutely were. It's that everyone involved ran some sort of risk.

What seemed like a good idea at the time - hushing up the crimes of the boss and his corrupt cronies - became a tar pit that none of them could escape. The FBI itself became a crime family and they all had to follow the Omerta.

My speculation: Someone, somewhere in the chain, began to worry. It's a crazy thing to even discuss, but what if that lunatic Trump won? He talks big about Hillary being a crook and his supporters rabidly chant, "Lock her up!" What if all the dice come up snake eyes on election night and the guy, gulp, wins? Screw Hillary and Obama, what happens to us?

The surveillance wasn't designed to find crimes, it was designed to feed Hillary's team ammunition to make Trump's victory impossible. That she ended running her final month's campaign on Trump and beautiful women shows they didn't find a thing.

Why It's Still Going On

The whole Russian-conspiracy insanity is still going on because they can't stop it now. They are desperate to find something, anything, to direct attention away from themselves. Horror of horrors, their mafia protector lost and without her to shield them, this preposterous "investigation" of Trump is all they've got left.

Here's the video. It's excellent.

Friday, January 26, 2018

The FBI Is Becoming The Gestapo

... that is, the surveillance and enforcement arm of a political party, the Democrats.

I've kept up a very modest interest in the whole Russia collusion thing. I've missed most of the details, but can't help tracking the general trend. The idea that the Russians favored Trump is ludicrous because they rely almost exclusively on petroleum products for their income and Trump's proposed policies would lower oil prices. There is simply no way a kleptocracy like Russia would favor an American presidential candidate guaranteed to threaten their wealth. It's ignorant stupidity to suggest otherwise.

The FBI is neither ignorant nor stupid.

If I were in the FBI, one of the things that would terrify me would be getting heavily involved in a general election campaign for president. Were someone to suggest that we surveil a presidential candidate or his staff, I'd need video of that staff accepting piles of cash from illegal sources or standing over dead bodies with dripping knives in their hands. Talk about a third rail!

The FBI went through the multi-level approval process of performing surveillance on Trump's team on the basis of an obviously fabricated document created by a known purveyor of political muck.

The FBI typically has a cordial relationship with Congress. Every department tries hard to do so as Congress controls their budgets and has extensive power beyond that. It's why you see department heads sitting respectfully while congressmen grandstand at their expense.

Yesterday, while reading a news article about the #ReleaseTheMemo campaign wherein Representative Nunes has written a 4-page summary of the FBI's corruption in the service of the Democrats, specifically Hillary Clinton as directed by President Obama, it hit me. The FBI must be completely out of control. That's the only reason something as damaging as this would be considered by Nunes and the rest.

Think how far down the list of levers to influence the FBI you'd have to go before you got to releasing a memo to the pubic informing them that the most powerful law enforcement agency in the country is hopelessly compromised. How desperate would you have to be? Some have said that this is all to protect Trump, but I'm not buying any of that. There are plenty of Rs in Congress who despise Trump and would be much happier with President Pence.

This is all just a continuation of the Hillary email scandal corruption, so it should be no surprise even if it's nauseating.

Do you want any president, be it Trump, Obama or whoever, to use the FBI to influence elections?

Thursday, January 25, 2018

If Your Argument Is, At Its Heart, A Lie

... you might want to rethink the whole thing.

I didn't want to post something snarky today because I'm not in a snarky mood, but I'm busy and snark is easy.

Gavin Newsome, who is some progressive digit from San Francisco (or somewhere like that), called Attorney General Jeff Sessions a racist because the Justice Department is going to pursue illegal aliens, even in sanctuary cities. Gavin is lying and he knows it.

A Mexican is a citizen of Mexico, it is not a race. An Hispanic is a member of a race or racial subgroup. Jeff Sessions wants to deport Mexicans here illegally, not Hispanics in general. It is a lie to call Jeff Sessions a racist and Gavin knows this.

How much of your soul do you have to sell to be comfortable basing your philosophical objections to an action on lies?

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Gender Über Alles

Not sure if you've seen it, but this 30-minute interview with Jordan Peterson is fascinating. In it, he discusses gender pay gaps, sexual differences and transgender pronouns. His interlocutor is some British chick who is the perfect model of a modern progressive evangelical. Her world is perfectly described by progressive politics and her belief in them is deeply religious.

That may seem like an almost-unsupported generalization and I may indeed have her wrong, but consider the way she restates almost everything Jordan says as shown in the video below.

She's unable to understand what he's saying because it violates her deeply religious world view. Everything gets pulled back into sexism and later, transphobia. When he argues that reality is too complex to be described only in terms of gender, she dismissed it and the remainder of her questions make it clear that, to her, you really can describe everything in terms of the identity politics laid out by the left. His use of the term "multivariate" goes right over her head. My guess is that she didn't understand the word and didn't bother to ask because, well, gender über alles.

Another thought on this was how intellectually exhausted the left is. She has one point - women get paid less than men, but she can't discuss it. She can only say it in terms of gender injustice. Sexual dimorphism seems to exist in a separate reality as do the ways in which the sexes sort themselves out in careers.

Finally, this is the first time I understood Dr. Peterson's assertion that our modern preoccupation with race and gender is Marxist. The evolution goes something like this.

  • Workers all over the world are members of a class which will band together and overthrow the bourgeoisie.
  • When World War I showed that British workers were perfectly happy to fight German workers, this changed to workers within a nation are members of a class which will band together and overthrow the bourgeoisie. That's where national socialism and fascism arose.
  • When the Soviet Union collapsed as well as Argentina, Cuba and all the assorted socialist failures occurred, that morphed into people of color and women and gays within a nation are members of subsets which will band together and overthrow the white patriarchy. That's where we are now.
It's all the same concept, we've just reclassified the oppressed group as each preceding concept turned out to be utter rubbish. This one is, too and you can see the interviewer struggling with that.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Helen Kane Explains The Sexes

I'm back on a Helen Kane kick. She came up while I was listening to my George Formby Pandora station, one thing led to another and here I am. Boop boop be doop.

Where was I? Oh, right. With all this #MeToo stuff going on, Helen provides a counter point worth noting.
A man showed me a lavaliere
He says "It's yours if you kiss me, dear,"
Oh, tell me, was there anything wrong in that?

I kissed him once, and he asked for more
Next week he's bringing the jewelry store;
Oh, tell me, was there anything wrong in that?
No, Helen. As far as I can see, there's nothing wrong with that at all. :-)

Monday, January 22, 2018

Conan O'Brien Lives In A Mental Bunker

This might be the weirdest thing I'll see all week.

Does it even need any commentary? I don't think so.

Update: OK I've got to add one comment.

This is not just a lie, it's a lie that everyone who worked on this event could see with their own eyes to be a lie. The resort where Conan is sipping his tropical cocktail in the water off the serene beach is surrounded by razor wire fences and patrolled by armed guards. All of the resorts down there have that kind of security.

Further, not only do they know it's a lie, we know it's a lie. We all know this is a lie and yet, there he is, soaking up the rays and sipping a drink like it's Grand Cayman.

What in heaven's name is going on with us? It's like the dominant culture is completely psychotic.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

How Long Can You Live In The Past

... and have any hope to be able to contribute to the present?

The WSJ has an article today about a new TV series which deals with the struggles of a female comic in the 1950s.

There, that's enough of a description. From that, you can probably derive the entire series. The penultimate paragraph of the article has this tidbit, which will be a surprise to precisely no one.
For the second season, “Maisel” will further explore gender dynamics in comedy...
My first reaction was to roll my eyes at one more lockstep show shoving progressive cultural talking points in my face. I thought about how utterly irrelevant the show was for dealing with the big issues of today - illegitimacy and its attendant pathologies, declining rates of marriage and Europe and Japan's unfolding demographic disasters. That's when the whole prog nostalgia obsession hit me. They're like middle-aged high school jocks, endlessly replaying their glory days in any way they can.

Great things were accomplished in the past. The environmental movement put an end to unchecked pollution, the civil rights movement stopped racism and feminism allowed women to pursue whatever path in life they wished. Just like the jock's faded glories, those problems are gone now. This is 2018, not 1964.

Here's something from today. It has 68,000,000 views and the artist, Kendrick Lamar, played the halftime show at the NCAAF championship game this year. That degrading dirge is part of the dominant culture in 2018, at least the one outside of the elite's bubble. It's not a healthy culture at all. Are the progressives trying to help? Nope. They're stuck in the past, looking to play the 1964 league title game against Central High one more time, throw one more winning touchdown pass, date that cheerleader again.

When you tell them it's no longer 1964, that's when they scream "Racist!" and "Sexist!" at you. Like the overweight and balding former QB, forever defined by the trophies on his rec room shelf, any suggestion that those days are gone is met with rage and denial. Sadly, they have the power to enforce that denial on the rest of us.

It's not just that we're bombarded by the elites' monolithic point of view, it's that they are, as the song goes, living in the past and demanding we do so as well.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

With Fried Chicken Breading, Less Is More

Yesterday was Lee's birthday, so we celebrated* with fried chicken and cathead biscuits.

Let's get the biscuits out of the way first. They were delicious, but horribly misshapen. My wife and her friend lectured me as I worked the dough and formed the biscuits about how I was doing it all wrong. That was because I was doing it all wrong. I need to work on it. On to the chicken.

When I was in Florida a month ago, I went to lunch at Po' Folks, a Southern restaurant, and had the best fried chicken I had ever tasted. Instead of being thick and crunchy, the coating was very thin and crunchy. It made all the difference in the world. Thick coatings have a lot of flavor, but you can only eat so much of it before the ambient grease fills you up or starts making you nauseous.

Last night, I put that lesson into action. In the past, my prep sequence was:
  1. Seasoned flour**
  2. Egg wash
  3. Panko breading
Last night, I did:
  1. Buttermilk soak
  2. Seasoned flour
The end result was excellent. Everyone enjoyed the meal, even the biscuits.

The crust still came out substantial. You wouldn't have known I was trying to be a minimalist.
So no more Panko breading for me. My only question now is what am I going to do with three boxes of Panko bread crumbs in my pantry?

* - I celebrated. My wife and our friends came along for the food. :-)

** - After having done this for a while, I now shotgun my seasoned flour. It's heavy on the paprika and then has whatever spices I feel like adding in varying amounts. Last night was, in no particular order, garlic, cayenne, salt, pepper, oregano, thyme. I think.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Maybe We Could House The Homeless On The Bullet Train

LOL! Nothing matters.

I thought of that when I saw the video below and this news story.

I had thought I was inured to homeless encampments having seen what I thought was a really big one here in San Diego. That one in Orange County is simply mind-boggling. I recently saw what LA's Skid Row has become and it's far worse than Orange County's camp. California has the highest poverty rate in the country, above even the mouth-breathing, redneck, bigot states of Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama.

That link, in case you don't want to visit it, takes you to an LA Times story about a massive cost overrun on the California High Speed Rail project. It's costing well over $10B to build the section from Merced (pop 81,000) to Bakersfield (pop 464,000). If you don't know Cali geography, those are in the sparsely populated center of the state. There's no purpose to that section of track other than to provide an easy win in construction. It turned out to be not-so-easy.

Then there's the return of the drought. We haven't built a new water storage or transport system in decades, so much of last year's rainfall was lost when it could have been stored.

Meanwhile, the state is going all-in on illegal immigrants and fought the tax bill which, in the end, will cause wealthy people to leave.

I don't know that anyone cares. This isn't on Twitter, doesn't involve President Trump and isn't racial, so who cares?

Basic competence at providing essential services and dealing with high-priority issues? Please! We have high-speed rail and the the fights against whiteness and the patriarchy to occupy us. We don't have time for anything as trivial as these things.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Canine Cultural Appropriation

I made Bangers and Mash last night. It came out quite well, but there was a moment of cultural conflict in our house as our smaller Chihuahua wanted to appropriate them.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Photos From Today's White Supremacist Rally And March In San Diego

Yesterday, Senator Corey Booker went off on some chick whose name I don't know and am too lazy to find. The topic was something about a place where they literally eat dirt, but Corey went right to the heart of the matter: white supremacists.

Here, Corey shows us all how enraged he was at white supremacists who use mild swear words.

I thought the whole thing was surreal. Even as his face began to contort in rage, I could see where his screaming was going to go even though the topic of eating dirt was seemingly disconnected from white supremacists. Further, as he yelled about crying over the s-word (or something like that), I wondered if I had heard it out of context. I couldn't recall a single white supremacist gathering of even a dozen of the creatures ever happening within 100 miles of me.

How wrong I was.

Things got real today in San Diego. Waving swastika flags where the swastikas were made up of tiny Confederate flags whose stars were even tinier swastikas, white supremacists gathered, marched, chanted slogans and terrorized the city. It was horrible. No wonder colorful people of color in colorful communities of color are living in fear. Below are the photos I was able to take as I made my way through the enraged mobs of Nazi racists.

I'll never see my home town the same way again.

The supremacists started their march here. You can't quite see how big the crowd was from this shot. It was probably a good 50% larger than it looks. I barely had time to use my coupons at Vons as I bought a week's worth of groceries, returned some shellfish that weren't fresh when I bought them the day before, rented a Rug Doctor and got a propane tank filled before I fled in terror.

Here, you can see them marching under their banners of hate. This is a lot more hate than I'm used to seeing in San Diego. It shocked me.

Even quiet neighborhoods were not spared.

More shots from the march. I tried to interview one of them, but he just snarled at me and walked on.

Peaceful, tree-lined streets in America's Finest City were turned into hellish scenes of hate-filled hate. It's hard to describe just how afraid I was at seeing them rallying here on this street. Tonight, I'm going to talk to my wife about moving to somewhere more tolerant and loving. Like Iran.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

I Love San Francisco

Actually, I love this video from J P. I had other things to blog this morning, but this is worth a share. I'll catch you tomorrow with something original, I (almost) promise. Enjoy!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Exxon Should Sue New York City

... because it would make a lot more sense than this.
The New York City government is suing the world’s five largest publicly traded oil companies, seeking to hold them responsible for present and future damage to the city from climate change.

The suit, filed Tuesday against BP, Chevron, Conoco-Phillips, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell, claims the companies together produced 11 percent of all of global-warming gases through the oil and gas products they have sold over the years. It also charges that the companies and the industry they are part of have known for some time about the consequences but sought to obscure them.
This has all kinds of problems. It would make a lot more sense for Exxon to sue them.

For one thing, Exxon just delivers the raw materials. As such, they contribute hardly anything to Global Warming Climate Change. If New Yorkers just left them in the gas station holding tanks, everything would be fine, but no, they have to deliberately pump them into their cars and then they drive around, on purpose, converting perfectly innocent hydrocarbons into CO2.

If I'm attacked by a knife-wielding maniac, can I sue Cutco for making the knife? I don't think so. It is the act which is criminal, not the weapon.

Second, who has more ability to influence the population? Is it Exxon with it's anodyne commercials during sporting events which, if they mention Global Warming Climate Change at all, make an effort to talk about how they are fighting it? Or is it the City of New York which runs public education and fills students' heads with whatever mush the prog activists are ranting about today? I'm going with the City of New York.

According to the National Council for Education Statistics, the average school day is 6.64 hours long and the average school year is 180 days. From Kindergarten to High School graduation is 13 years. That works out to 15,537.6 hours spend listening to propaganda from the City of New York or, more relevantly, 932,256 minutes.

Imagine the cost of buying that much air time to compete with the city's indoctrination campaigns. Preposterous.

I'm not even going to bother with the low-hanging fruit of the city's use of petroleum products in their various vehicle fleets. That's so obvious that it's not worthwhile.

There ought to be a countersuit in here somewhere, if for nothing else than for bringing a nuisance lawsuit against the oil companies.

After Exxon sued New York City into bankruptcy, many union members found themselves without jobs, pensions and opportunities for graft. That development was met with vigorous disapproval.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Coyote Gentrification

Out at my folks' house in North County San Diego, there's a pair of coyotes that have gone from scruffy, nocturnal beasts to sleek, daytime wanderers. They look more like normal dogs than any coyotes I've ever seen. They don't seem to be spooked by people or cars, either. Here's one of them as he or she posed for a photo. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Oprah Winfrey And Farm Animals

At the Golden Globes, which I missed due to a previous engagement with drying paint or grass growing, I can't recall which, actress after actress arose to speak furiously against powerful men in bathrobes waving their organs about in front of young, vulnerable women. It was capped off by a stirring speech by Oprah Winfrey who thundered, "LIKE THE REST OF YOU, I WAS A PUSILLANIMOUS HYPOCRITE WHO, IF I HAD A SHRED OF SELF-RESPECT, WOULD CRAWL UNDER A ROCK AND DECAY RATHER THAN STAND UP HERE AND GIVE LECTURES ON SEXUAL MORALITY!"

Or something like that. Maybe that's what she should have said instead of yelling at the cameras, admonishing all of us to stop assaulting women in our offices.

When I heard a clip of her yelling at me, I instantly wondered who she thought she was addressing. None of my friends do this, none of my coworkers do it and none of my family do it. In short, I have no idea what she's talking about. If it hadn't been for the bejewelled farm animals slorping at the troughs in the banquet hall with her, I'd have never considered the possibility that anyone would do it. When they all rose to their hooves and cheered her, the effect was even more surreal, if that was even possible.

Then came the plaudits from the media, in whose offices buttons are installed under the desks of powerful men to allow them to lock young women in the room and assault them. You know, those buttons that have a paperwork trail and list of enablers who approved, requisitioned, installed and inspected said buttons and mechanisms.

To be honest, I'm more interested in the actual mechanics of the thing. Was it electric or mechanical? A bluetooth remote control solenoid, perhaps? Hmm. In any case, I don't think I've ever met anyone who has ever even contemplated having such a thing.

Then again, my male friends can find dates on their own and aren't scrofulous subhumans who attack women like trap-door spiders going after their prey.

In any case, I felt completely at sea when I heard what happened at the Golden Globes and saw the slobbering press reactions afterwards.

Then came the Haiti comment from President Trump. I guess he said it was a lousy place, in his typical, New York cabby way. The reaction was similarly weird. Everyone is having spaz attacks over it. Why? Haiti is a lousy place. The hysterical teenage girls in the news media clutching their faux pearls and fainting are the same ones who have done regular, somber reports from Haiti about what a lousy place it is.

What on Earth is going on here? For some reason, the Hollywood stars and news media think we're idiots and perverts just like they are. Unreal.

The most powerful and connected woman in show business had no idea at all what was happening. Right.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Pheromone Traps In Japan

Whenever I see the stats about Japan's population decline, there are usually economic excuses that go with them.
The Japan Family Planning Association interviewed 3,000 subjects about their sex lives (both men and women). The study revealed that nearly 50 per cent of those quizzed didn’t have sex in the month previous to the interview. 48.3 per cent of men had not had sex for a month (an increase in 5 per cent from 2012).

Most startling of all, however, was that 20 per cent of men aged between 25 and 29 – the period of a man’s life usually dedicated to the spreading of wild oats – expressed little interest in sex at all...

According to Angelika Koch, Researcher in Japanese Studies at Cambridge University and author of Manga Girl Seeks Herbivore Boy, the number of these carnivorous (sexually active) men has decreased since the economic downturn that hit Japan in the early 1990s.
Oh, please. Men who don't want sex of any kind simply don't exist, not in any real numbers. Males have been refined over millions of years to desperately want to mate. It's a science. It's called evolutionary biology. Your little economic downturn isn't going to overcome biochemistry.

Following up on yesterday's post giving links to various sex-related stories and stats, heavy on the growing weirdness in the West, I offer this.

How Mating Disruption Works (against insects or Japanese and Western men)

There are several ways mating disruption may work. Dispensers in the orchard might mimic a calling female, attracting the male to many false sources, or dispensers might release so much pheromone that the background concentration masks normal communication...

Habituation occurs when high concentrations of a pheromone inhibit the insect's ability to respond for several minutes or even a few hours. The effect is apparently on the nerve that fires in response to high concentrations but does not recover normally. Then, when exposed to a normal amount of pheromone, the nerve does not send the proper signal. Habituation could play an important role in mating disruption by making males less responsive for long periods after exposure to high concentrations of pheromone.

False trails: Unlike habituation or adaptation, this mechanism assumes the male moth can still sense and respond to the pheromone. If numerous sources of pheromone are placed in the orchard, male moths would spend time and energy following pheromone trails to false sources. If there were enough false sources, the chances of a male finding a calling female would be very low. Ideally, the false pheromone sources would be distributed evenly and would all emit about the same amount of pheromone as a calling female.
Hmm. Does that sound familiar? Try this.
What happens when all you want is some connection but can’t find it in society? Japan's unmarried population is at a record high. While the culture of staying single persists, some Japanese men are finding love in alternative ways: like dating fake love dolls.
You can't find connection with real women? Ha! Try "you want to get off, but don't want to make any effort." Or, better yet, our sex industry has outstripped (haha) the human male's ability to cope. Porn and sex dolls are the pheromone sources, emitting at volumes much higher than a normal woman.

In essence, we're exterminating ourselves. There's good news, however. Unlike gas chambers, since no poisons are being used, our new methods don't increase pollution.
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency consider mating disruption to be among the most environmentally friendly treatments used to eradicate pest infestations.
Mein Führer, I have a new idea. If we just give the Jews sex dolls and lots of porn, we will be rid of them in a few generations and the world will see us as progressive and open-minded instead of the ultimate villains!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The West Will End Not With A Bang, But A Simulated Whimper

A set of data points submitted in no particular order and without comment. See if you can spot a theme.


The survey was carried out by public broadcasters among all adults in Germany, but figures separating women's and men's answers were not released.

According to a survey, now more than half of the German population would not mind if their partner had sex with a sex doll or robot and twenty per cent are considering buying one.


Fertility rates. 2.05 or so is the population replacement rate.


In a section claiming Google tries to “stifle” conservative parenting styles, the suit reads: “Google furnishes a large number of internal mailing lists catering to employees with alternative lifestyles, including furries, polygamy, transgenderism, and plurality, for the purpose of discussing sexual topics. The only lifestyle that seems to not be openly discussed on Google’s internal forums is traditional heterosexual monogamy.”

A footnote next to the word “plurality” adds: “For instance, an employee who sexually identifies as ‘a yellow-scaled wingless dragonkin’ and ‘an expansive ornate building’ presented a talk entitled ‘Living as a Plural Being’ at an internal company event.”


Marriage rates in the US.


In fact, in important ways the social justice approach — which emphasizes the dynamics of power and oppression — that many fear has taken over the humanities and social sciences at its best is actually an improvement over the “disinterested pursuit of truth” and more in line with the Socratic method. In fact, rather than constituting an attack on knowledge, the social justice lens reflects new ideas generated by academic disciplines and experts within them, and generally encourages expanding our knowledge and opening up subjects to new perspectives, much like Socrates advocated.
H/T: Ilion.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

You Share Your Passions

... and if you're not excited to talk or write or read about something it's because you don't really have a passion for it regardless of what place it holds in your life.

Professionally, one of my jobs is to try to make the culture of my organization and others more collaborative by using a social networking intranet. Some units are active, some are ghost towns. Some topics get lots of chatter, others are totally devoid of content. I've spent a lot of time wondering why this is so.

In working on the eulogy for my father, who was an outstanding story teller, I realized that his stories were really just an opportunity for him to share his passions with everyone else. He told stories because he loved the subject and wanted you to see how fascinating it was as well. That's why bloggers blog. It's why people go on Twitter and Facebook and all the rest.

Tim is a great example of this. Insects aren't his job, nor is photography, but they are his passion. That's why he takes all that time to blog. His site requires a ton of effort. Each post has fabulous photography and a good deal of research behind it. Those skills weren't picked up idly, they are the result of a good deal of hard work.

Motivational speeches are all well and good, but if they don't mine a vein of passion inside the audience, their effects don't last long. If you want to know why some of your colleagues are the CPGH sort - Collect Paycheck, Go Home - it's because their passions lie elsewhere.

Yeah, I know, this wasn't a particularly interesting blog post, but I needed to write it. I learn through writing and speaking, which is one of the reasons I blog.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Buddhism: The Search For The Off-Ramp

First, you have to understand that reincarnation is a real thing. You are doomed to an infinite cycle of lives, which, even if you behave well, will be tedious to the point of suffering. It's not that you might come back as a worm, it's that you will come back and come back and come back and come back and come back and come back and come back and come back and come back and come back and come back again.

Buddha found the off-ramp. You could embrace hedonism and party on all the time, but that doesn't lead to happiness, only empty, temporary pleasure. You could eschew all pleasure and live as a strict ascetic, but that's just deliberately turning your life into a total drag. Instead, you need to pick the third way.

The third way is where you realize that pleasure doesn't matter. It's not that you avoid it, it's that you understand that it isn't real, not in the ways that count. It's OK to own things, but you don't let your things own you, to use the cliche. The best thing to do is live minimally, thus finding peace with life and the Universe.

At the end of such a life lies Nirvana, a state of nothingness. You'll have found the exit from the endless cycle of life and will cease to exist completely. Winning!

At least that's the way I understand it.

I think the minimalism part is pretty good. Plus, Buddha statues are just cool.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Football And Gumbo

... or, "Odds and Ends."

NFL Playoffs

Exhausted from several business trips followed by the holidays with the family followed by nursing my father through his terminal stage left me exhausted, so I layed around this weekend and watched most of the NFL playoffs. It's been a dreadful year for the league, with the idiotic unforced error of bringing politics (of any stripe) into the game and mostly horrible games every weekend. This weekend's playoff games, however, were excellent.

My Saints beat the Panthers yesterday, primarily on the right arm of Drew Brees. This year, the Saints have been a running team featuring the duo of Ingram and Kamara. The Panthers decided to shut down the run, whatever the cost and Brees made them pay. Below, Mark and Alvin let you know that daring Drew Brees to beat you is a bad idea.

I love sports and the arts because I love effort and excellence. I don't care about a person's politics as long as they don't shove it in my face. It was great to watch these two men, who have worked constantly for years to be good at their profession, show such respect for Drew. As I listened to them, I could easily imagine an interview with Drew where he said the same things about them. Beautiful.


On Saturday, I received The Ghana Cookbook. I love Southern, Cajun, Creole and Carribean cooking, so I figured I'd trace the sources backwards across the Atlantic and see what West African food was like. There are some single-pot meals and stews (gumbos?) that look interesting. I'll blog the results after I try them.

Summing Up 92 Years In 5 Minutes

I'm giving my father's eulogy on Friday. It's ridiculous to sum up nine decades of life of a Renaissance man in a few minutes so I'm just going to pull out a couple of themes that I hope the audience will find familiar. I'll post it here so you can offer critiques.

OK, that's it until tomorrow. Hope you have a great Monday!

Sunday, January 07, 2018

What If They Just Don't Care?

After yesterday's post on Oakland, which is a small subset of what I really wanted to blog about the terminal contradictions (read: outright lies) of progressive thought and progressive results, I spent some time, like I usually do, sifting through the locals' homemade YouTube videos to get a sense of the place. Something hit me for the first time ever. They don't care. They're not trying to get out, to improve themselves, to make it in society. They simply do not care.

Pondering that, I dove into a couple of popular sites this morning West Oakland folks might visit and wandered  through the comment threads. A few months ago, I did deep dives through similar Twitter streams. All of them were full of racism, sexual crudeness and explicit calls for violence. You couldn't read them and come to the conclusion that they were making much of an effort to succeed in a traditional way.

It didn't hit me then, but those data points all make sense under my new hypothesis. They are not trying to achieve the same things as their progressive betters. They can't be. It's too easy to accomplish the basic goals required to excel in America to fail in such huge numbers.

Baltimore was another tip-off.
High school students are tested by the state in math and English. Their scores place them in one of five categories – a four or five is considered proficient and one through three are not. At Frederick Douglass (where Navon goes to school), 185 students took the state math test last year and 89 percent fell into the lowest level. Just one student approached expectations and scored a three.
I know kids with learning disabilities who also come from bad situations who were able to score 4s. To only get a 1 on these tests means that for all of the years you were in school, for whatever reason, you weren't even trying. Yes, I know, there will always be some with such severe conditions, they will fail utterly, but 89%? That's not a red flag, it's 20 red flags and 18 submarine klaxons with 6 skywriters.

I read Charles Murray's Coming Apart and thought I understood it. I didn't. The divide is way wider than I thought. Most of us, we don't inhabit each others' worlds at all. I blogged about this video before, but I get it much better now. Sherriff David Clarke is one of those few people who have feet in both worlds. He's frustrated that those of us in the suburbs with college educations and plans to see our children succeed can't see what's happening outside of our bubbles.

I thought I had a better handle on it than most because of the charity work that I've done. I was fooling myself. I'm sure my Cursillo brothers who work in the prisons are much, much closer to that reality than I am. I'll have to run this idea past them and see what they think.

In any case, it's pointless to try and smooth a path for someone who has no intention of taking it.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Oakland Violates The Laws Of Physics

... or maybe just the laws of progressive politics.

Oakland is the most progressive congressional district in California.

It is in San Francisco County, one of the most progressive counties in America.

It is in California, one of the most progressive states in the country.

Progressives work tirelessly to overcome income inequality and racism.

Median incomes in Oakland for a selected set of zip codes.
94607 is heavily black. 94618 is heavily white.
Oakland should not be possible.

Friday, January 05, 2018

Sushi, Reef-to-Table

... or maybe not, if you, like me, enjoy fish in the ocean.

I've been searching for livecams to put on my TV as background at parties and made the mistake of thinking I could find an app for our Amazon Fire. Instead, I should have been scouring YouTube for live feeds instead. I came across a Norwegian train cam that was excellent, but this one is even better. It looks like what we see when we dive here in San Diego. If you've got any favorites, let me know in the comments. If not, simply enjoy.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

The Next Big Thing In Hipster Dining

... will be all-you-can-eat jalapeño buffets.

My two jalapeño plants are producing like there's no tomorrow and I'm going to open my restaurant soon. I'm going to make a killing! Just think how great it will be to have piles and piles and piles of jalapeños in front of you and be able to eat as many as you want! Hipsters will pay through the nose for this.

We're talking red and green gold, man.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Living In A Madhouse

Your last name is Harrison. A few doors down the street is a fellow named Jack and his family.

Every morning, Jack leads his children in a few chants of, "Death to the Harrisons!" They also chant about the Weinsteins, but never about anyone else on the block. All of the hate is directed at you and the Weinsteins.

A few years ago, Jack deliberately poisoned one of your dogs. The dog wasn't in his yard or bothering him, he just poisoned it. Jack wears unique shoes. From time to time, you find his shoeprints in your front yard next to irrigation heads that have been mangled and sometimes flowers that have been hacked to bits.

Whenever possible, Jack complains about you and your family to the neighborhood council. You know he pays the kids of another family down the street to tip over your garbage on trash pickup day.

Sometimes, when you or your wife are driving down the street, Jack's kids get on their bikes and ride as fast as they can at your car, getting in the way, looking like they're going to ram you and then riding off. They don't speak to you or respond to your warnings when you try to talk to them.

Your father, who used to live with you, but has since moved out, did everything he could to help Jack and his family. When Jack's kids were arrested for assaulting your kids, your dad intervened with the police and got them released. Your dad even gave Jack a few thousand dollars, no strings attached. While your dad was in the house, it was impossible to even speak a bad word about Jack and his brood without strong denunciations from your dad.

None of your dad's efforts ever made a change in anything. The morning chants of "Death to the Harrisons" continued as usual and the attacks in the garden and upon your children went on apace. Now that dad is out of the house, you've decided to get tough with Jack and his clan.

Currently, some of Jack's kids are reporting him to Child Protective Services for abuse and have plenty of strong evidence against Jack. You've decided to offer the poor things what support you can. Dad and his friends are very angry about this and won't stop talking about how unreasonable and rash you are. It makes you wonder if the whole world has gone mad.

Some of Jack's kids have had enough of Jack.
Your dad's friends are saying you are wrong to get involved and none of this has anything to do with you.

Meanwhile, Jack and the rest of his kids still chant, "Death to the Harrisons!" every morning.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Farewell, Dad

My father died last night. He was 92. For the last ten days or so, he had drifted off, not eating and barely drinking anything. He died peacefully in his sleep. It was definitely his time.

The drinks post I did a few days ago was a scotch and soda I mixed for him that day. I sat with him, sipping a bourbon. At that point, he hadn't eaten in a few days, so a stiff scotch worked wonders, so to speak. I took that photo as a rememberance of nursing him through his final days. He wasn't fully cogent and hadn't been for about a year. I'm sure now, looking down at this, he loves it. It would have been his kind of thing.

The recent, cryptic post about redemption and forgiveness was from this experience as well. He made his peace with my wife after his own fashion and it is something she will treasure forever. That deserves a story as well.

I learned so much from helping him go through the process of dying. I had a couple of deeply religious experiences, at one point knowing I was being used by God through the process of loving my father. It was beautiful. Painful and difficult in many parts, but beautiful nonetheless.

My father was the most accomplished and intelligent person I have ever known. West Point, Class of 1949, Harvard MBA, graduating first in his class at the Air War College, flying B-26s in Korea and setting the record for truck kills by a B-26, two tours in Vietnam on the air war planning staff and flying combat missions as well, building a house nearly by hand after his retirement, turning to art after that, painting for 25 years with his oil paintings exhibited all over the place, serving on his local town council, working with the county government and on and on. He never could abide just sitting still. That was alien to him. He worked hard to become skilled at everything he did.

There's much, much more, but I will need to process it first. Below is a video of B-26s in action, based where he was, Iwakuni, Japan.Had I found this video earlier, he would have recognized much of it, I'm sure. He was a night attack pilot, so the scenes of planes in formation and daylight flying weren't what he did. He and his crew were sent out all alone to do what they could to the Norks' war machine. He told me that his given targets were anything and everything behind enemy lines. How's that for Rules of Engagement?

I'll stop here. I love you, Dad. I'm glad you've passed through this stage of your life. Dementia and physical handicap never suited you.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Black Eyed Peas On New Year's Day Will Make You Wealthy

Don't believe me? Consider this. More than 400 people will eat black eyed peas today and go on to have money deposited in their bank accounts by people not related to them within the next two weeks.

Think about it.

Don't throw away money. Eat some black eyed peas today.

Oh, and Happy New Year!

Update: This year, I made my Hoppin John with pork belly instead of ham, tasso or ham hocks. Pork belly is not smoked or cured the way bacon or hog jowls are. It comes out a bit bland, but the meat content is much higher than either of the others. I cooked it in bacon grease and added oregano and thyme to the mix and it came out excellent.

This one's a winner!