Thursday, December 31, 2020

Mark Zuckerberg Wants New York City Ruined

... at least that's what you'd have to believe if you listened to Tucker's talk at Turning Point USA. While I'm a big fan of Tucker, I only agree with about 85% of what he says and this is in that other 15%.

Tucker's claim is that the ultra wealthy Elites like Z-berg and the people who run Google, Apple, etc. are manipulating the rest of us for their own profits and interests. Well, that's kind of right. 

They are certainly manipulating us. The suppression of the Hunter Biden story was a clear attempt to manipulate us and rig the election in favor the Ds. Further, Big Tech and Big Business support for BLM is clear manipulation as well. Dig this funny video from Michael Knowles illustrating how big name companies are spending a lot of cash in support of the BLM / racist leprechaun narrative.

And that's as far as Tucker's accusations go. Unless the Z-man and Tim Cook want to see NYC in ruins, they aren't supporting BLM to advance their own interests, they're doing it, because like almost all of the rest of the Elites, they simply have no clue how anything works. We're, what, 6 months into this thing and the only objective results have been piles of black corpses and boarded up businesses in a dozen or more cities.

If you can explain how that helps Amazon, I'm all ears. Yes, in the short run, wrecked small businesses mean more online shopping, but in the long run, Amazon needs the Deplorables to make money so we can spend it online. 

Dittos for national solvency. As much fun as it is to print trillions and hand them out, in the end, that will come to a crashing halt. When the currency crisis arrives, it will be the Zuckerbergs and Cooks of the world that will lose the most, at least in an absolute sense.

Finally, if you've got mountains of gold coins, you still need some place to spend it. Of course, you could go to Molina, TN and spend it at the corner store, but that's not as much fun as making it rain Benjamins on Broadway in NYC.

Here's the NYC the Facebooky manipulation has created.


I'm sorry, Tucker, but I don't see how that benefits the ultra-wealthy. In fact, I would argue that the collapse of NYC, LA and SF hurts them more than it hurts bigoted rednecks like me. The fact that they're not changing their approaches even after months of this tells me something else is at play here.

They have no idea how anything works.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Go East, Young Man?

... and no, I'm not referring to the growing exodus out of California, although "Are you thinking about leaving?" is a common question among friends these days.

Instead, I'm referring to the trashing of Western civilization in the Academy and in public. I'm getting near the end of Thomas Sowell's Black Rednecks and White Liberals which has an extensive section on the history of slavery. In that section, he points out that only the West, led by the British, moved to stamp out slavery around the world. In fact, outside of the West, the idea that slavery might be morally wrong didn't occur to anyone. 

I had to work this morning and now I want to go downstairs and watch Newcastle get thrashed by Liverpool, so I'll close with these questions.

If we ditch Western Civilization, will slavery make a comeback? Without the Christian foundation of the West, what is the moral first principal arguing against slavery? The Chinese don't seem to have one.

Hmm.

These cheese-stuffed hot dogs wrapped in bacon have nothing to do with the post, but if you eat enough of them you will die.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

I Needed A Food Photo Today

Looking for something in particular, I searched The Scratching Post for the words "high school daughter" and came up with this list of blog posts. Almost all of them are from roughly 8 years ago. It's enough to make you despair.

All of the trends I identified - racial mania, lowered expectations in public schools, little effort from the kids and parents - have gotten far worse and have exploded into the country at large. Looking back, this should come as no surprise. The rot that the education industry deliberately spread among our children is now manifesting itself in the culture as they get older and take more positions of influence.

Ugh. I need a food photo to make me feel better.

Fried Okra with Comeback Sauce.

Bonus Video

I really like Ryan Long's work, but this one is a bit brutal even for me. Still, it perfectly captures what has happened, particularly when you watch for the generational differences in reactions. The younger actors in this skit are roughly my daughter's age. At work, I see the same thing, younger employees, having ingested race mania in school, posting social media hits about how horrible straight, white men are and older employees so cowed that they don't respond.

Enjoy?

Monday, December 28, 2020

I Just Hope I Don't Die Before The Alabama - Notre Dame Game

... but I'm going to give it my best shot.

I have a couple of Very Important Things to say today, but fortunately for you, I don't have time for a long-winded bloviation. Instead, I'll share my latest gluttonian indulgence. Pining for something filled with fats and cholesterol, I made biscuits and gravy. Not just any biscuits and gravy, but Deep South Dish's Butter Bombs and Homemade Sausage Gravy.

Of course, it was to die for, possibly quite literally.

My arteries are deliciously doomed.

Thomas Sowell For The Win!

I could add a Tomas Sowell For The Win section every day for a year and not run out of content. I consumed Black Rednecks and White Liberals almost all day yesterday and it was marvelous. It persuasively argues that the culture of the old school Southern redneck as well as the modern urban black came from the immigrants who made up the Antebellum South - Ulster Irish, Scots and the English who lived on the Scottish border. 

What's important is not just where they came from, but also when. Coincidentally, I had recently seen a quote from Scottish philosopher David Hume (b. 1711, d. 1776), exhorting his countrymen to learn and speak English and adopt their customs. Looking into it, I discovered that up until Hume, the rest of Europe had thrown in the towel on the Scots, giving up hope that they could ever be civilized and become more than arrogant, illiterate, lazy, violent drunks. Dittos for the Ulster Irish and the English who lived on the Scottish border.

Poor, Southern whites came from that culture, prior to the Scots adopting the language and much of the culture of England. Consequently, while their homeland grew out of those bad habits, the Southern whites, cut off from that evolution, did not. Immersed in that culture, black slaves abandoned African habits and picked up those of the poor whites. Hooray?

Anyway, I promised not to type so much today so I'll stop with a recommendation that you pick up and read Sowell's excellent book.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

High Cotton, No Gin

Well, like the tobacco experiment of last year, this year's cotton experiment is being closed out without an end product. It was highly educational, but I lack the time and resources to make completing it worthwhile.

When last we left our hero, he was struggling with making a cotton gin according to a YouTube video he had seen. The video claimed that you could make a gin by pressing two wooden cylinders together and counterrotating them. The lint would be pulled through to the other side with the seed pinched out of it.

That was nonsense. A cotton gin is nothing of the sort. While the time spent discovering how to make gears in a garage shop with relatively crude tools was valuable, the end result was never going to work. A real cotton gin is a rotating cylinder with metal teeth in rows. The teeth grab the lint and pull it through very narrow slits in a metal comb. The seeds are too large to go through the comb and thus the lint is separated from the seeds. Using wooden rollers to pinch out the seeds is for unlettered savages.

I took photos and videos of my efforts yesterday which will show you how the idea was utterly futile.

The Gears

Using strips from an automotive timing belt glued to lathed ends of wooden rollers worked well as gears. I didn't mill them down enough, so gaps still showed up in the rollers, but the concept was correct. If I had chosen to keep going with this experiment, I'd return to my new woodworking friend and have the rollers refined.

You can see from that video that the gears work, but the rollers separate as they rotate. Oh well. It was never going to work anyway.

Pinching Out The Seeds

This is a fool's errand. The wooden rollers lack the friction necessary to really grab the lint. Once they do, if any gap forms between them, part of the seed will sneak in and then get crushed into seed shrapnel by the rollers, ruining that particular piece of lint.

The person who sold me this concept should be run out of town on a rail. I was a credulous nitwit to ever have thought it was going to work. In a previous blog post, it dawned on me that this would be a problem when I suggested that I might replace the gears by gluing fine-grit sandpaper to the rollers and letting that friction both rotate the rollers and grab the lint. Like that was going to work. I might as well have glued my hand to the rollers and dragged that through them. 

Photos Of Success, Such As It Was

I was able to remove a couple of seeds from my lint using the faux gin, but to do so, I first had to separate the lint until there were only one or two seeds left in it. As the normal boll cell had five or more apiece, this meant I was doing all of the work of seeding the stuff by hand except the very last part.

Lint with not one, but two seeds in it! Wowsers!

After rotating for a while, the lint had been pulled off and the seeds were left on the other side. Whoop-de-freaking-do.

How A Real Cotton Gin Works

Unlike those of us who get taken in by fast-talking social media slickers on YouTube, wise cotton farmers process their bolls as shown in the video below.


Why I'm Quitting

The truth of the matter is that I simply don't have the time or the gear necessary to take this to a successful conclusion. I could make a working gin, but after that, I'd have to make a functional spinning wheel and the futile gin exercise has shown me that a spinning wheel would take more precise tools than I possess. As we want to move soon, there's no point in adding new equipment to my pile. Once we find a place with a bigger lot, I'll have a workshop that can handle it. Buying things now only to have to pack and move them later would be silly.

Secondly, I don't have the time to complete the job. I'm still working full time and I've got a couple of days work ahead of me to finish off my MGB project. Finding the time to do that will be hard enough without adding in the construction of a real cotton gin and spinning wheel. Once I finish the car, I'll be able to pack up the electrical wires, connectors and tools for moving and tidy up the garage.

Better Luck Next Time

Like the tobacco experiment, this was a good deal of fun. Once we have an acre or so, I'll build bigger raised beds and plant more cotton and more tobacco. With a decent workshop, I'll be able to build a proper cotton gin and a spinning wheel as well. I'd like to take both of these efforts to a successful completion. These first attempts were very educational. I'm pretty sure I'll only need one more attempt to get a finished product out the door.

Eli Whitney Was A Jerk

As an aside, while researching Eli, I discovered that he was partly responsible for the Civil War. Prior to the cotton gin, cotton was not a big cash crop. Processing the bolls was too expensive and slavery was on its way out because it wasn't economical. Slaves make for a lousy workforce. They cost too much to maintain and control and they don't work very hard since, like all victims of socialism, they have no incentives to do so.

By removing the labor required to process the bolls, the cotton gin made the use of slaves significantly less expensive in the production of finished cotton. Instead of phasing out the practice, big landowners in the South acquired more slaves and that set in motion the conflicting forces that led to a bunch of poor, Alabama and Indiana farm boys killing each other.

Way to go, Eli.

OK, I don't actually believe it was Eli's fault. The Southern plantation owners made the moral choices and they bear the lion's share of the blame from everyone, particularly the poor, Alabama farm boys and their families. Still, it's an interesting historical note that without the cotton gin, there probably wouldn't have been a Civil War in the first place.

Also, note that there is no parallel at all with people like LeBron James or Tim Cook and their massive paychecks coming from the slave plantation-factories of China. Nope, there's none whatsoever.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

'Twas A Very Weird Christmas

... for both wife kitteh and myself.

One of my sons and his wife bought a house this year. They live about 40 minutes away from us. Up until now, Christmas had always been at our house and all the little kittehs came home to celebrate. This year, daughter-in-law kitteh decided she really wanted to host the family. That meant breaking a longstanding tradition. It also meant that Christmas Eve was just the two of us, all alone.

Weird, man. Super weird.

But normal, man. Super normal.

This Christmas was a watershed for the family. The young, newly-housed kittehs deserve to create their own traditions and not simply be locked into ours until we die. Soon, we hope, there will be kittens on the way and then they really will start family traditions. That will be beautiful and we'll adapt to it. It'll be OK.

So we went to their place and had a lovely time. She's an excellent hostess and has turned their house into a warm and inviting home. He's a good man and a devoted husband. Seeing them always makes us very happy.

Even if the tradition is new, the family love is old. It's mature enough to deal with the passing of a baton.

Next year, I want to show up looking like this.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas!

From all of us here in the Catican Compound to all of your households, we wish you a very Merry and blessed Christmas.

Toys and treats are coming, we just know it!

My Christmas reflection is simply to quote G K Chesterton from his masterpiece, The Everlasting Man.

Everything changed on that day more than 2000 years ago. There was Before and there was After which is why the proper terms for the year are BC and AD. There is no comparable event to the birth of Christ.

Right in the middle of all these things stands up an enormous exception. It is quite unlike anything else. It is a thing final like the trump of doom, though it is also a piece of good news; or news that seems too good to be true. It is nothing less than the loud assertion that this mysterious maker of the world has visited his world in person. It declares that really and even recently, or right in the middle of historic times, there did walk into the world this original invisible being; about whom the thinkers make theories and the mythologists hand down myths; the Man Who Made the World. That such a higher personality exists behind all things had indeed always been implied by all the best thinkers, as well as by all the most beautiful legends. But nothing of this sort had ever been implied in any of them. 

It is simply false to say that the other sages and heroes had claimed to be that mysterious master and maker, of whom the world had dreamed and disputed. Not one of them had ever claimed to be anything of the sort. Not one of their sects or schools had even claimed that they had claimed to be anything of the sort. 

The most that any religious prophet had said was that he was the true servant of such a being. The most that any visionary had ever said was that men might catch glimpses of the glory of that spiritual being; or much more often of lesser spiritual beings. The most that any primitive myth had even suggested was that the Creator was present at the Creation. But that the Creator was present at scenes a little subsequent to the supper-parties of Horace, and talked with tax-collectors and government officials in the detailed daily life of the Roman Empire, and that this fact continued to be firmly asserted by the whole of that great civilization for more than a thousand years--that is something utterly unlike anything else in nature. It is the one great startling statement that man has made since he spoke his first articulate word, instead of barking like a dog. Its unique character can be used as an argument against it as well as for it. It would be easy to concentrate on it as a case of isolated insanity; but it makes nothing but dust and nonsense of comparative religion.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Crab Cakes

This is a bonus blog post for today. I'm doing it to bookmark the recipe we used last night as it got rave reviews. It's not from a cooking site I usually visit, so I figure this will be the easiest way to find it again later.

The recipe is for Maryland Crab Cakes from Sally's Baking Addiction. I had a brisket heating up in the oven, so I pan fried these in corn oil instead of baking them as the recipes says. In any case, the result was outstanding. I highly recommend them.

Yummy!

My New Year's Resolution

... is to do things earlier.

And with that, I'm done and can go back to sloth and self-indulgence.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Jose And Maria

Ugh. I have a bit of a hangover today because I had too much fun last night. No rest for the wicked, though. It's wife kitteh's birthday and she requested brisket for dinner, so this bad boy was trimmed at 0600, seasoned at 0630 and put on the smoker at 0645.

Boom shaka laka.

I promised you a story last night, so let's get on with it now.

The Story

Jose* was my parents' gardener. Maria, unrelated to Jose, was their housekeeper. My folks never had help until they grew too old to keep up with their place, about 20 years ago. Jose and Maria worked for them for the last 15 years at least.

Jose became my dad's best friend. Up until he died at 92, he would still do his best to work with Jose on the property, which was a little more than 3 acres in size. My father was a West Point graduate with a Harvard MBA and Jose was a Mexican immigrant and a single father. When I would visit and see them out back, I couldn't help but smile at the love between them. Their background cultures were nothing but flavoring in their friendship.

Similarly, until she became a near-invalid, my mother did the housekeeping alongside Maria. It would have been rude not to do so. Maria wasn't the hired help, she was a friend who made it possible to continue to live in their house. My mom was an officer's wife from an era when you wore white gloves and hosted parties with canapes and Maria was a Mexican immigrant who tried to support various family members.

When my mom was on her deathbed, Jose and Maria separately brought their families over to visit her and pay their respects. In fact, by chance, Jose's mother was visiting from Mexico at the time and she came along. The love and devotion was clear to see. Fortunately, my mom rallied both times and managed 5-10 minutes of coherence to properly greet them from her bed.

My parents wrote both Jose and Maria into their will. I finally managed to swim my way through the legal swamp of estate management and so yesterday, I brought Jose and Maria a partial payment of their inheritances.

The checks were mid-5-figure sums and only a quarter of what they will eventually get.

Jose lives with two of his children in a small apartment in a poor part of town. His kids sleep in the bedrooms and Jose sleeps on the floor in the family room. It didn't surprise me to find that out at all. That modest selflessness was one reason why my father loved him so. Jose's youngest daughter is a sweet girl with a learning disability. It's almost like Down's, but not quite. I'd guess her IQ at 80 or so. She was there when I visited.

When I gave him his check, he didn't even look at it. That would have been disrespectful. He rolled it up and chatted with me instead. He showed me one of my dad's old army field shirts that he had given to Jose. It still had my father's rank insignia on it. Jose loved my dad so much that he still wore it with pride.

Finally, dying to see his reaction, I asked him to take a look at the check. It was like he had been hit with a cattle prod. He was speechless. His eyes filled with tears. With our house sold, Jose no longer had a job and no savings, either. The stress on him must have been horrendous. That check dissolved it all, but more important was the love it showed.

Jose was unable to speak without crying and he was too much of a man to do that. I gave him a hug and told him what a beautiful person he was, how much my father loved him and how he deserved it. When he could finally speak, he choked out in that formal, respectful way he has, "Thank you, Mr. KT**." Jose was so blown away that I couldn't tell him there was a lot more coming. It would have ruined the moment by turning it into an accounting session. This was love in the form of money, not money itself.

When I left, I started crying as I got in my car. It was as beautiful as I had hoped.

I drove to where Maria was cleaning someone's house. She met me outside the place with her usual warm smile and we hugged. After we asked each other how things were going, I gave her the check. She looked at it and gasped. She asked, "What is this?" referring to the amount, unable to believe it. I told her. She replied, "No, no, no! This is too much!" Her eyes filled with tears. 

I wanted to say, "If you think that's too much, just wait until you see what's coming!", but I didn't. Again, it wasn't the money, it was the love. Instead, I laughed with the joy of the moment and told her that my parents had worked hard and saved money all their lives so they could do this for someone like her. I told her how much my mom had loved her and how wonderful she was.

I cried when I left Maria, too.

Last night when we prayed before dinner, wife kitteh and I thanked God for the gift of my parents who made it possible to experience moments like this. After I die, I want my kids to experience them, too.

* - Jose and Maria aren't their real names, as you might have guessed.

** - Also not my real name. :-)

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

It's Time To Party

With the help of my parents, I changed some lives today. I've got a story to tell tomorrow, one that I think will make you happy. For now, it's time to party.

Here's some music to get you in the mood. Turn it up!

God bless y'all and I hope you're having a great Christmas season.

Monday, December 21, 2020

From Nigeria To Dixie

I've fallen in love with Chef Lola. There, I said it.

Chef Lola is a Nigerian woman with a cooking blog. In pulling the culinary thread of cuisine from Dixie to West Africa, I came across her site. I blogged in the past about her excellent Easy Chicken Peanut Soup. In the last week, I've made her Poulet au Yassa and Ewa Riro. Check them out.

Pulet au Yassa is the Southern dish, Chicken Country Captain, but without the currants.

Ewa Riro is Dixie's Hoppin John with a couple of vegetable subtitutions.

Chef Lola's cooking blog is a bit small, so I'm closing in on the last of her recipes I want to try. I think I'll do three more, at most. In any case, I've discovered that West African cooking is certainly worth further exploration. I'm glad of that as I'd begun to despair before finding Chef Lola. I had bough a pair of West African cookbooks and their stuff was universally dreadful.

Meanwhile, the smoker is out back, our neighbors would gladly attend a block party and Food 4 Less has massive pork shoulders on sale for $0.77 per pound.

The proof is left to the reader.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Jordan Peterson Practices Witchcraft

"And then, my lord, I didst see that racist Jordan Peterson on a broom, fly around the tower of the castle thrice. And he didst cause to be placed toads in the stomachs of Javarius and Taniqua that they might not study their lessons for 6 years this day."

I just finished listening to Witch Mania, an excerpt from Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay. I've been feeling that there was a strong resemblance between previous societal manias and our current social justice madness, so I was looking for a book that described how they grew and eventually subsided. Mackay's work discusses the growth, but only mumbles about the dissipation.

Before you think I'm totally insane, dig this tidbit from Seattle's public school system wherein the teachers are instructed that white racism leads to the "spirit murder" of blacks and other people of color. Examples of this are popping up all over the place these days. This isn't rational, it's witch mania.

To further illustrate the point, here's a lengthy excerpt from Mackay's book and then a modern translation of below.

Then.

(I)n the early days of “little knowledge” this grand belief became the source of a whole train of superstitions, which, in their turn, became the fount from whence flowed a deluge of blood and horror. Europe, for a period of two centuries and a half, brooded upon the idea, not only that parted spirits walked the earth to meddle in the affairs of men, but that men had power to summon evil spirits to their aid to work woe upon their fellows. An epidemic terror seized upon the nations; no man thought himself secure, either in his person or possessions, from the machinations of the devil and his agents. Every calamity that befell him he attributed to a witch. If a storm arose and blew down his barn, it was witchcraft; if his cattle died of a murrain—if disease fastened upon his limbs, or death entered suddenly and snatched a beloved face from his hearth—they were not visitations of Providence, but the works of some neighbouring hag, whose wretchedness or insanity caused the ignorant to raise their finger and point at her as a witch. The word was upon every body’s tongue. France, Italy, Germany, England, Scotland, and the far north successively ran mad upon this subject, and for a long series of years furnished their tribunals with so many trials for witchcraft, that other crimes were seldom or never spoken of. Thousands upon thousands of unhappy persons fell victims to this cruel and absurd delusion.

Now.

These days, this grand belief in the power of whites became the source of a whole train of superstitions, which, in their turn, became the fount from whence flowed a deluge of ruined lives and fear. America broods upon the idea, not only that racism exists, but that whites constantly and even without knowledge of what they are doing, work woe upon people of color. An epidemic terror has seized the nation; no man thinks himself secure, either in his person or possessions, from the machinations of racism. Every calamity that befalls him he attributes to bigotry. If a storm arose and blew down his barn, it was racism*; if his cattle died of a murrain—if disease fastened upon his limbs, or death entered suddenly and snatched a beloved face from his hearth—they were not visitations of Providence, but the works of some neighboring white supremacist, whose slightest utterances or tweets caused the ignorant to raise their finger and point at him, her or xir as a racist. The word is upon every body’s tongue. Universities, the news media and Hollywood successively have run mad upon this subject, and furnish their tribunals with so many trials for racism, that other crimes are seldom or never spoken of. Thousands upon thousands of unhappy persons continue to fall victim to this cruel and absurd delusion.

Mackay discusses how accusations of witchcraft were leveled against political enemies so that they could be tried and killed on the most ridiculous of evidence. Ben Shapiro is a white supremacist? Really?

Mackay gives plenty of examples of people who got paid to find witches, expose them and provide testimony that ended in their execution. That sounds like millionaire racism hunter Robin DiAngelo to me.

The parallels are too numerous to list in a blog post. I'm still left with the problem of figuring out how, when and why this mania will burn out, but in the meantime, there's something we all know. Jordan Peterson practices witchcraft.

If you disagree and defend Jordan, it only means that you, too, are a witch and must be removed from society.

* - Or, in this case, Global Warming Climate Change. Note how the manias blend together. 

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Turning A Blower Motor Into A Grinder

... will depend on the torque produced by the motor. That is, will the motor be able to spin a sharpening disc while I put resistance on it in the form of a knife pressed against the disc?

Cleaning out my parents' house for the very last time, I came across a spare blower motor from their cooktop hood. My dad being who he was, the thing was in working order and properly labeled.

The model number actually refers to the cooktop hood, not the motor itself.

The wiring connectors are .093" Molex pins, which I have a-plenty from my MGB rewiring project. I applied some AC power to the pins, guessing at the color code, and the motor turned nicely. Excellent! I now have that magical creature from the start of the Industrial Revolution, a device for turning a shaft.

Excel, as they say, sior.

I know I could simply scrounge around and find a grinding wheel and affix it to the shaft in some way, but that would take away all the science. As a ignorant and superstitious orthodox Catholic, I feel it is my responsibility to study science as much as possible in order to discover a way to destroy it for the Papacy.

I digress.

Torque is measured in pound-feet (corrected, thanks to the comment of Mostly Nothing, below) and is radius times weight as shown in the video below. Now what I need is a mount for the motor, a wheel of known radius on the shaft, a rope, a pulley and a set of weights to lift.

Once I know how much torque it produces, I can attach the grinding wheel and find out if it works for sharpening knives. My torque experiments might be of no practical value, but at least my head will be filled with delightful numbers and equations while I ruin my kitchen knives.

Friday, December 18, 2020

It's Not The Person, It's The Year

Abraham Lincoln was full of hate. This much we know, thanks to the good people of San Francisco.

Abraham Lincoln, an iconic American hero, could soon be an outcast in San Francisco, his legacy called into question and his name ripped off a high school.

Lincoln is one of dozens of historical figures who, according to a school district renaming committee, lived a life so stained with racism, oppression or human rights violations, they do not deserve to have their name on a school building.

Lincoln may well have done all the things the committee charges, but which leader of that era could stand up to the scrutiny of the modern left?

Certainly not any of the Africans. They were enslaving and selling everyone they could catch. Pre-colonial India wasn't exactly an exemplar of human rights, either. The Chinese? I doubt it. The American Indians? Umm, no. Lots and lots of wars with very few POWs, if you catch my drift. No one can pass our test.

So it's not Abraham Lincoln that's the problem, is it? Or Robert E. Lee or Stonewall Jackson or even Jefferson Davis who are "problematic." It's the whole era.

Or maybe the problem is us.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

They're So Peaceful When They're Sleeping

 ... but so wiggly when they're awake.

Leah at rest.

Note: I had a response to One Brow's comments on yesterday's essay written, but I just don't feel like doing one more race blog post. I knew as I was writing it this morning that it was a clone of at least three previous ones. The only reason we're discussing race is because it benefits the Democrats. It doesn't do anything for the rest of us at all. I don't see any need to join them on their leprechaun hunt.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

How To Tell If You're White

Where I work, a terribly sincere and very woke engineer posted some racial angst on our social media site. He tried to come to grips with the awfulness of his whiteness and made noises about how whites keep People of Color (PoC) from becoming STEM Professionals of Color (SPoC). His post brought up all kinds of questions in my mind, assuming we still have at least a loose association with STEM.

The most important one is this: Who is white? Without an objective definition, we can't effectively choose up sides. For example, I know a young lady who is half-black. Is she white? She doesn't have a lot of stereotypical black features. If her husband is white, will her children be white? After all, they will be a quarter black. Perhaps we should consult one of my favorite infographics of all time, the Nazi racial chart from the Nuremberg Race Laws.

What if we decide that black and white refer strictly to skin color? We could then be issued color swatches to use when classifying our neighbors and coworkers. Imagine the fun we'd have, whipping out the swatches and holding them up against foreheads, arms, legs and scapula. We'd all look like a load of Nazi researchers. Yes, again with the Reich, but, hey, if you're going to obsess about race, why not learn from the master race?

Caliper nose measurements established Jewish identity. Color swatches could establish white identity. Accurate data collection is crucial in STEM.

Then we run into the problem of Asians. I've heard tell that a few jurisdictions are now lumping Asians in with whites because, you know, all that success stuff is so very white. We'd almost need a sensor like the ones stores are using to determine body temperature only this one would take color samples off your forehead and compare them to an RGB spectrum of color. That would tell us if you were one of the oppressors.

Yep, that's what we need to do if we're going to remain an organization in the realm of STEM. After all, as the thought leaders of the Fatherland asserted, racial categorization is ...

SCIENCE!

Pork Shanks

 

These are pork shanks I made the other day. I took down the post that was up today and posted this instead. I just put it back up again. I'll explain it later. Maybe.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Live Not By Defeatism

I'll admit, I didn't finish it. I finally had to put down Rod Dreher's latest funeral dirge, Live Not By Lies.

As usual for his work, it's deeply pessimistic. The secular world is going to crush us Christians with the help of the social justice left, Big Tech and the universities. Also, as usual, everything he says is correct. Finally, as usual, he leaves out anything hopeful.

The book takes interviews with survivors of communism and uses them to illustrate just what our future holds. Massive intrusion into our lives, demands that we espouse things that are untrue and prison if we don't. Some of that is accurate. Where I work, you do have to mouth utter nonsense such as men can become women. However, it is also true that you can freely mock that in the office. Even if you have an SJW or two around, they're not going to turn you in to the Stasi and even if HR came over to hassle you, there's a limit to what they'll do.

So yes, it's uncomfortable and yes, you have to endure the organization spouting lies, but no, it's not the same as being threatened with the gulag.

Rod's problem is not that he's misdiagnosed the disease, it's that it isn't fatal like he thinks. His remedies are always defensive, never offensive. I'll go into that more another time, but for now, allow me to share a funny video of someone who is fighting this stuff the right way.

Enjoy.


Monday, December 14, 2020

Of Rods And Timing Belts

Development of the Catican Cotton Gin Mark II continues. If you're new to the topic, I grew cotton this year. I harvested it, but it's full of seeds, hence the need for a cotton gin. A gin is simple - two counter-rotating rollers, pressed together that pulls the lint through as it squeezes out the seeds. I made an initial cotton gin, but it was horrible. On to the second version!

Disappointed with my second attempt to make wooden gears, I spent some time clicking around YouTube. Jackpot. I came across a brilliant idea - take an automotive timing belt and glue it to the rollers. Dig the photos below.



Ready-made, well-fitting, compressible teeth that you can apply to the rods. 

Now all I need to do is get the ends of the rods lathed so the timing belt rests at the same level as the wood of the rollers.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Maybe They're Just A Pack Of Screwups

It's so easy to get caught up in the modern zeitgeist of identity group victimhood. Every group save for straight, white men are victims in one way or another. I saw this mind-numbingly idiotic tweet from Harvard Medical School and it hit me for the first time: maybe they're not victims, maybe they're losers.

Right? I mean, it's a possibility. One reason the Chicago Bears suffer worse outcomes is that they spent gobs of money on two horrendous quarterbacks, Trubisky and Foles. It's not that the Green Bay Packers are oppressing them, it's that the people running the Bears are morons.

One possible reason that this doesn't get more discussion time is that the Elites are incompetent as well. Harvard Medical School is pushing "pregnant and birthing people?" We used to call them "women." Now our Ivy League Elites all kneel before the logically incoherent theology of transgenderism. Harvardly IQs have fallen to the point that they're confused about sex.

Think about that for a minute. Harvard Medical School doesn't understand sex any more. 

Harvard. 

Medical School.

...

SCIENCE!

Saturday, December 12, 2020

The Most Worrying Thing About The Election

...is not Trump's loss*. It's the DA who was elected in Los Angeles.

At least it is for me. Dig this.

LA is already a catastrophe what with all of the homeless encampments and productive people leaving. If Gasc√≥n really implements this, crime in LA will get much, much worse and the egress of the competent and the useful will accelerate.

This is a problem because it will mean that SF and LA will both be failed cities, leaving my own San Diego and Sacramento as the only remaining sane places and I'm not all that certain about Sacramento. In any case, we can't carry the state on our own, but we may well be asked to do so.

I'm looking for ways to reduce my exposure to California. First up will be the sale of our rental property.

* - Yes, he lost. Yes, the election may have been crooked or stolen, but then again the ref missed a blatant pass interference penalty against the Saints in a playoff game a few years ago and the Saints lost, too. It happens. I supported Trump, but I couldn't stand his personality. I think he opened the door for pugnacious, yet polite Republicans in the future.

Update: Just in case you think I'm being hysterical, check out this news. Just in the last week, Tesla, Hewlett Packard and Oracle all made decisions to move out of California.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Friction Gears?

I made the first gear for my Catican Cotton Gin Mark II last night. The inner circle is smaller and the teeth are thinner, so hopefully that will solve the problem of the gears not meshing consistently as they rotate. Still, when I was done, I hated the look of the it.

I drilled out the voids and used a jigsaw for the teeth and blah blah blah. It's all very clever, but it doesn't work well.

Just look at that horrible, misshapen thing. Meh.

Look, the whole point of the gears is to get the two rollers to counterrotate together, right? Well, couldn't you do the same thing with simple friction? Why not take some coarse sandpaper and glue it to the ends of the rollers so they act sort of like Velcro and grip each other as they spin? I'd have to sand the ends of the rollers down to make up for the height of the sandpaper and that might be a giant hassle. I don't know.

I wish I had a lathe.

Boston Gears makes metal gears that would do the trick, assuming I could lathe the ends of the rollers down and form a key on them so the gears' inner holes would fit on them. Again, I don't have the tools to do the job right. A bandsaw would help with the wooden gears and I saw a YouTube video showing how to make a bandsaw from a jigsaw, mounted upside down on some plywood. That sounds like a serious injury waiting to happen.

Hmm: I wonder if my Dremel could clean out the spaces between the teeth in those gears. I might be able to salvage those toads yet.

Semi off-topic: Wife kitteh and I are still looking for a different house, one with an acre or so of property. If we could find that, I could build a workshop and have room for all the tools I'd like.

Insane Idea Update: What if instead of using coarse sandpaper on the ends of the rollers, I used very fine sandpaper along their entire length? The rollers would then be their own gears. Kind of like being their own grandpas. Or something like that. The risk would be that grit would get into the lint or the lint would stick to the sandpaper.

Experiments will have to be run.

Next Day Update: My second set of gears were horrible. I need much more precision. Here's a good set of tips, although I don't own a drill press. However, I have a friend with one ...


Good Lord This Is Brilliant Update: All you need to do is cut wooden circles and glue on a stepper motor belt and you have perfect gears. Unreal.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

You're Not As Dumb As You Look

... unless your name is Gavin Newsom*, then you pretty much are as dumb as you look.

Our dear friend, Ohioan at Heart, has determined that the Governor of California is not moving the goalposts constantly, he's playing Calvinball.

See it is like this, I was thinking about why the Goober keeps changing the rules.  My first thought was that he's doing it because 1) he knows that it is all (nonsense) but it makes it look like he's doing something, 2) by changing it regularly we all are confused for a few days to reduce the backlash, and 3) by the time any lawsuits get to be actually heard and ruled on, he's made it all moot by saying those rules don't matter anymore... but then I realized that all that was ascribing way too much cleverness and deep thought to our Goober and it is really just that he's playing Gavinball.  Anyways, henceforth I shall refer to our Goober as playing Gavinball.

Genius. 

So what are some other new rules?  New rule number 2:  All restaurants, gyms, barbershops, and beauty salons must close.  This includes the outdoor seating and outside exercise areas despite the facts that the businesses spent some hefty change setting those up to comply with the previous set of rules and that no one has any data suggesting these are significant sources of spread.  Oh Well.  It's Gavinball!  New rule number 3: If your kid's school is already doing in person teaching, they can continue, but if they are not doing in person teaching they can't switch to in person.  Surprise!  The Goober's kids go to a private school doing in person teaching.  New rule number 4: Retail is limited to 20% of capacity.  But wait! It's Gavinball! New rule number 4 gets replaced by new rule number C after 24 hours: Retail is now limited to 35% (apparently CoViD just got less contagious in that 24 hours).  New rule number 5: Playgrounds are now closed.  Gavinball! After 72 hours CoViD just got less contagious again and new rule number 5 gets replaced by new rule number D: Playgrounds are open again.  New rule number 6: Although restaurants, gyms, hotels, and etc. are closed, ski resorts are not.  Wanna bet on what our Goober likes to do when he's not going to the French Laundry for an indoor dinner with 22 people for a lobbyists birthday?

It's enough to make your head swim.

I do believe that Ohioan has hit upon it. I would emphasize one feature in particular and that is stupidity.

Gavin Newsom isn't doing any of this to be arbitrary or cruel, he's doing it because he's an idiot. It doesn't look stupid unintentionally. It looks that way because the decisions are being made by stupid people.

And if you put Gavin Newsom in charge of it, the sand would all be in our eyes.

* - Insert your favorite politician's name here.

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Untrustworthy Data

Dig this.

Multiple states have thrown their support behind a Texas election lawsuit against Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin at the United States Supreme Court which alleges that those four states exploited “the COVID-19 pandemic to justify ignoring federal and state election laws and unlawfully enacting last-minute changes, thus skewing the results of the 2020 General Election.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed the lawsuit late on Monday night, arguing that “Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin destroyed that trust and compromised the security and integrity of the 2020 election.”

I don't disagree with the lawsuit at all. The entire election was untrustworthy. For example, we have private voting booths to prevent coercion. Mail-in voting makes the privacy of any particular vote uncertain to the rest of us. It's like a physics experiment to calculate the gravitational constant where you can't be sure if the dropped balls were stationary at the start.

Almost all of the raw data is unusable.

And so here we are.

Texas is asking the Supreme Court to order the states to allow their legislatures to appoint their electors. If this is successful it opens the door for the next step. 

The genius behind this is they don't have to prove fraud, there's no doubt there are "election irregularities" all that has to be proven is that they changed election laws by executive order and not by legislation as required by the US Constitution. Article II, Section 1 Clause 2...

Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, & South Dakota have prepared Amicus Briefs to join the Texas Lawsuit, we are expected an even dozen before this is heard by SCOTUS. 

Either way, this is horrible. If Texas wins and the four defendant states hand the election over to their legislatures, we will get ... hmm, those all have Republican legislatures. Well, you'd think we'd get Trump electors. Trump would then win.

And cities would burn. Lots and lots of cities. The rage on the left would be perfectly justified.

If Texas loses, it means that all of those states believe they are being governed by a sham administration. Cities won't burn in that case, but another layer of gasoline and dynamite will be added to the pile. The simmering fury on the right would be perfectly justified.

Yep, it's a good thing we didn't vote in person with IDs. Genius move, that.

Brilliant, guys. Just brilliant.

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Gin Is Unforgiving

Hmm. That came out wrong. I should have said, "A cotton gin is unforgiving." Oh well. As Pontius Pilate said, "What I have written, I have written." On with the show.

A cotton gin is a pretty simple device. You press two rollers together and counter rotate them. They grab the lint, take it through the rollers and squish out the seed. It turns out that the rollers need to spin freely and the gears need to keep the rollers together. When I built the Catican Gin Mark I this weekend, I figured that was a pretty forgiving process, so I didn't drag out my miter saw to cut the wood accurately. I also made the wooden gears too tight.

The end result was bound rollers and lopsided gears. Meh. The thing turned and all, but it turned all wobbly like and the friction on the rollers was such that the handle, screwed onto one of the rollers, started to rip its screws out of the wood. 

I tore it apart and began the Catican Gin Mark II yesterday. I used my miter saw and the frame now allows the rollers to spin nicely while holding them in place. I saw why the gears only sort of meshed and as soon as time allows, I'll cut new ones, this time with deeper voids and pointier teeth. Think of a gator's mouth and you'll get the idea.

In any case, here is a photo tour of the first version. Enjoy!

I designed the gears using this web app. I made them so their contact circles were a hair shy of 2" in diameter. That wasn't enough because my construction methods were so crude. The web app did a decent job designing them, but I had to use Photoshop to make sure the scaling was accurate.

Taking tips from a YouTube video about making gears, I used a drill to make the voids and a skill saw to make the teeth. Again, the process was too crude for the tolerances I had designed.

I dunno, Jethro. It sure looks like they're gonna work!

I was smart enough to know that the gears needed to be mounted pretty close to dead center on the rods. Using photoshop and a jpg of graph paper, I made a 2" diameter paper circle and that was my targeting system for drilling.

The Catican Gin Mark I, gear side. The turnbuckle was my own improvement to a design I saw a while back. Memo to self: get a hefty pair of cutters that can go through cable. Chewing your way through them with wire cutters is a drag.

The Catican Gin, Mark I, handle side. It was coming up on dinner time, so I just grabbed a piece of plywood and screwed it onto the top roller to try out the gin. By this time, I knew it wouldn't work properly, but I couldn't resist playing with it. The rollers spun and the gears did their work, but they were so lopsided and off-center that the rollers wobbled all over the place. The gap between the rollers didn't stay constant at all. When I tightened the turnbuckle, the handle's screws began to rip out of the roller.

I went inside and had some of wife kitteh's delicious Chicken Cacciatore.

So there you have it. A first stab at a cotton gin. The second version is well started. I should be able to finish it with ease by Saturday afternoon at the latest.

Monday, December 07, 2020

I Identify As A Trig Function

... that's what I thought when I saw this from Mark Perry.

"Cos?" The first thing I thought when I saw the top row of pronouns was that this must be a table of trig functions. Reflexively, I figured the next row would be "Si, si, sin, sin, sineself."

At least that would make sense.

I spent some time this morning trying to figure out what a coself was and as near as I can make out, it is a gender-neutral pronoun referring to someone who has absented themselves, err, coselves, from the community for a time. Whatever that means.

Maybe Harry Styles uses coself as his pronoun.

Harry looking simply fab. You go, co!
Not shown: Harry walking through Compton at ten at night in a dress.
Bonus question: Who or what is a Harry Styles?

Aside: When I saw the swooning over Harry's sartorial savvy, I wondered how a young man might fare if he wore a dress on a first date. My guess would be not very well, even in this woke age.

This brought to mind a different question, one I'd like to ask the 'Post commenters.

Have you ever seen a female character in a modern drama who expressed deep regrets at being childless and unmarried at 35 or older?

Surfing around the Interweb Tubes this weekend, reading discussions about marriage and babies, it dawned on me that this common complaint from women isn't represented in our art. As art is supposed to be a reflection of reality, maybe that's one of the reason that modern dramas don't appeal to me. The women characters seem fake and forced.

Wife kitteh loves to watch crime dramas. There are plenty of strong, female roles. Sometimes they're the lead, sometimes they're partners and lots of time they're the coroners or lawyers. They almost never have children or husbands and they never mention it if they feel empty. Here in the real world, I know quite a few unmarried, childless women who are deeply lonely and unhappy.

They use she, her, herself as their pronouns.

They'd never date Harry Styles.

Sunday, December 06, 2020

Almost A Cotton Gin

... it just needs a crank handle and some gears.

Yesterday, I bought the materials and did about 80% of the construction necessary to have a working cotton gin.

8' of 2x3, 4' of 2" diameter dowel rod, 10' of 3/32 braided wire, a turnbuckle and two wire rope eyelet kits.

I had odd bits of 2x4 at home which I used as the base as well as plenty of wood screws and other hardware for assembly.

A cotton gin is an ingeniously simple device. There are two rollers pressed together in a frame which are rotated. Raw cotton is fed into the rollers. The rollers strip off the lint and leave the seed behind. Since I just wanted the job done, I made a very crude gin and paid no attention to aesthetics.

I used a circular saw to make most of my cuts, so the measurements and angles were very rough.

The frame is a pair of 2x3s spaced 2" apart so the rollers can fit between them. A piece of 2x3 was cut down to 2x2, more or less, to act as a rest for the rollers. Some scrap 2x4s were the base.
Very close to being done. A notched 2x3 at the top presses the rollers together with the help of the cable and the turnbuckle. Some screw hooks I had laying around hold on to the wire. I haven't done the second eyelet on the cable nor installed the turnbuckle yet.

When I had the rollers in the frame, I brought out some of my raw cotton and tried the gizmo. It didn't grab the cotton lint if I only turned one roller. If I turned them both at the same time, it did. I was beginning to wonder if my rollers were too smooth, but that wasn't the case. Apply some pressure and turn them both and it worked fine.

To turn them both, I could either put hand cranks on both of them and do two-handed rotating or I could put gears on one end so they rotate together. I'm going to opt for the gears. I want to be able to feed the cotton into the gin with one hand and rotate with the other. I have hundreds of cotton locs* and I can't imagine feeding one into the gin, grabbing the handles, starting to turn them, watching the loc fall out of the rollers, picking it up, trying to put it back in, grabbing the handles, watching it fall again, grabbing it, feeding it, rolling, grabbing, feeding, rolling, losing my temper and then going a few doors down to yell at one of our neighbors, finally giving him a piece of my mind because he really is a pain sometimes.

No, in the interest of neighborhood harmony, gears are the best choice. I've never used gears in any of my contraptions, so this should be hours of frustrating fun. Unfortunately, the places that might carry the gears I need won't be open until Monday, so it looks like I'll have to find something else to occupy my time today.

Sigh. And we were so close!

Hmmm. Maybe I could make some gears out of scrap plywood ... 

Update: I'm going to make the gears myself, using a template generated at the link above. That way, they will be exactly the size I want and if they don't work, I can resize them and make some more.

* - A locule is a cavity in the boll. My bolls have 4 or 5 locules each. Inside of the locule is a loc, which is the fruit of the cotton. Each of my locs will have 4-7 seeds.

Saturday, December 05, 2020

It Usually Begins With A Series Of Misjudgments

 Dig this.


The blues don't know how anything works. It is in this blind spot that our biggest risks lie. The video above shows how Mayor Garcetti, heap big chief from deep blue Los Angeles and oblivious to the mood of the country, stuck his fingers in the eyes of local business owners. That video went viral with plenty of commentary from big name reds. Tossing that match on the stack of dynamite might set things off in LA. Or it might send this NYC red mob over the edge for real.

Holding an election that half the country told you in advance it didn't trust was another poke in the eye. To me, that's the worst part of it all. They didn't care whether you trusted the results or not. They're your superiors. Shut up and follow orders, peons.

Reading source documents from the start of various wars, it's not uncommon to see that the instigators thought they could get away with just one more outrage and were surprised when things blew up on them. For example, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas only seceded after Lincoln decided to invade the Confederacy. Hitler didn't think Britain and France would declare war in support of Poland. And so on.

But this kind of misjudgment is endemic to the blue Elites.

That's not surprising, coming from a group of people who thought they could endlessly trash the cops and take away their self-defense capabilities and the cops would just sit there and take it. They've been shocked to see cops quitting in droves. They've also been surprised at the increase in crime. Like I said, they don't know anything works.

More proof of that is how NYC is being bankrupted with lockdowns and racial madness. The wealthiest 1% pay 50% of the city's taxes and many of those wealthy people have bailed out. From the WSJ in August comes this data point.

New York City faces a $9 billion deficit over the next two years, high levels of unemployment and the prospect of laying off 22,000 government workers if new revenue or savings aren’t found in the coming weeks.

It goes on and on and on.

On top of all of this, we've got the Democrats howling for mail-in voting. This is just one more and perhaps the largest piece of ignorant insanity. We've got a deeply divided, heavily armed country going into a major election and we're going to use the least trustworthy method of voting? 

These people have no idea how anything works.

Meanwhile, here in San Diego, our local school district is going full Nazi.

To borrow from their inspirational leader, "Kumeyaay land must be restored to the great Native American Motherland. And not indeed on any grounds of economic calculation whatsoever...People of the same blood should be in the same Reich, err, nation."

It's all of a piece. No one other than them has free will. All of the people they despise will just keep acting the way they've always acted. Virginia will fall in line. Britain will remain pacifist. Business owners will do as they're told. Parents will submit to their children being taught self-hatred.

That works until it doesn't.

Friday, December 04, 2020

A Self-Inflicted Scorched Earth Campaign

On Twitter, many people who I used to think were stable and wise are posting videos and anecdotes showing evidence, such as it is, of election fraud. There's piles of it out there and it's impossible to sift through or judge. Scott Adams debunked one of them, but it doesn't matter whether he did or not. As I replied to him, 

It doesn't matter what is real because none of us can trust anyone who is trying to tell us what is real. In the grand experiment of life, almost the only data we can trust these days is our own, personal data. This is a consequence of having an utterly corrupt news media.

When I saw one of the videos showing fraud, I couldn't tell where or when it was made, what it was really showing or what any of it meant. In the end, the only thing I can trust is what I observe myself. I'll give credence to a handful of others, but they'd have to be direct acquaintances. 

This is no way to live, but it's where we are right now.

An Idle Brain Thought Exercise

From there, let's jump to pondering a split or civil war. I spent some time perusing military analyses of the topic, but I didn't see anything I liked. Most everyone split the sides at the state level, but that's nonsense as my Oregon Secession Map showed. 


Others split the sides by cities or counties and then proceeded to work out the GDP of the two sides. "Ha ha!" they cried. "The Blues are so rich!" That only works if you last long enough to get a couple of paychecks. In reality, the Blue cities would be cut off and brought to their knees almost immediately.

Then there came talk of the US Army intervening. "Bah. An insurgency would be put down immediately. A few cruise missiles and it would all be over." Really? Where? I took a look at Army combat units and where they're located. There's only one, the 10th Mountain Division, located in upstate New York on the Canadian border, for all of New England. That's Boston, New York, Albany, Passaic, Philly and on and on and on.

The truth of the matter is that the Army has nothing like the kind of infantry strength necessary to control even a tenth of the country, much less random popup hotspots. 

For a reference point, see also: Order of Battle, 1942 Eastern Front.

The entire Pacific Northwest is similar. There's only a single division up near Tacoma.

Then we come to the cities themselves. As far as I could see, there are lots of looters, but not many dedicated ANTIFA / BLM militiamen and militiawomxn. When you watch the Portland riots these days, the loons are lucky if they can muster 50 people. It's really pretty pathetic. Get a good looting started and you'll see hundreds, but looting is bad for the Blues.

How about the cops? The sheriffs aren't cooperating with the Blues in enforcing lockdowns and the city cops have bailed out. If things get dicey in the cities because they're running low on supplies, the looters will have a field day.

So what is this? It's not a civil war because there's not really two sides who can fight. Instead, it would be more of a self-inflicted scorched earth campaign by the Blue cities. Recall that a scorched earth campaign is where a retreating army destroys all of the supplies it can't carry so that the enemy cannot resupply by foraging.

Here, the Blues wouldn't be able to resupply through transportation. The end result is the same, a completely unsustainable campaign. In fact, the campaign could be carried out with a simple trucker strike and a couple of power lines knocked out. No need for massive bloodshed.

I have no idea what the outcome would be because I don't think there are coherent demands on either side except maybe the Reds asking to be let alone. 

Further thought experiment: Are Gavin "Goober" Newsom's hollow proclamations a foretaste of it? Is Irish Democracy, where leaders make pronouncements that no one follows, a better model?

Having said that, things might get a little dicey if the Democrats follow up on their idea to forgive all student loans. That's Boston Tea Party material right there. Truckers and plumbers paying for rich kids' private schooling? Maybe. Maybe not.

Thursday, December 03, 2020

Full Stomach, Empty Head

We had a party last night, celebrating God's gift of smoked brisket.

"And He so loved the world that He gave us Oklahoma Joe's smokers and cows, letting us do the math." - Billy Bob 12:4

It was a ton of fun. It was also one of the most expensive parties we've ever thrown as we rented a pair of outdoor heaters so we could gather on the patio instead of indoors. I think wearing a mask outdoors is stupid, but I don't think the Wuhan Flu is a hoax. Respiratory viruses spread in crowded, indoor places. No need to risk it when we can shell out some shekels and eat outside.

In any case, my second brisket was a big success. 9 hours of smoking and two hours of resting made it as soft as butter. 

De-lish!

This morning, I got some really good news from work. The sale of my parents' house is right on track and I'm hoping to close out the estate this year. All is right with the world.

I perused my normal news feeds this morning, but I just don't feel like waving my arms and yelling today. My deep thoughts this morning are personal and not appropriate for the blog.

If you want to toss out some topic ideas for the future in the comments, I'd welcome them. The regulars here are a pretty eclectic bunch, so I'm sure it would be interesting. I'd really prefer it to be general ideas instead of arguments, but that's up to you.

Me, I'm going to turn on my Spotify Top 99* for 2020 playlist and telework.

* - It's 99 instead of 100 because the number 1 song is something I don't recognize. Weird. Oh well. That's why there's a fast forward button.

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

In The End, This Mess Belongs To Us

A bit more on the election in a minute. First, breaking news from the world of beef briskets.

My first one was a disaster. I followed a recipe that said to cook it for 8 hours. 8 hours wasn't nearly enough and we served our guests late and even with the extra time granted by that social faux pas, the meat only hit 185 or so. It was tough as leather. Horrible.

This time, I started my brisket at 0000. I set my Oklahoma Joe's* pellet smoker at 225, used this rub from Southern Living** and went to bed, unsure if the pellet hopper would run out. Good news all around. The brisket smells fabulous, it's now 183 degrees with a full day's smoking still to go and the hopper could have gone another couple of hours. I just wrapped the thing in butcher paper. Dinner tonight should be fantabulous.

Nom nom nom.

More Election Blathering

I haven't codified it here in exact words, but I have become convinced that the most stable society is one where power is as decentralized as possible or at least far more decentralized than what we have now. Today, the presidency is an inconceivably rich prize. The people vying for it have almost always had a good deal of knave and charlatan DNA, but so long as they couldn't do much with it, we didn't have to worry. Now that the Federals think they can tell us what we can and cannot wear on our faces and who can go to which bathroom, control of that seat of power deserves a huge amount of our attention.

Anywho, that's not the real point of this blog post. Sorry for rambling.

The Point

The institutions telling us that fears of a stolen election are a conspiracy theory are themselves conspiracy theorists. They peddled the Russia hoax. They howled about systemic racism. They pushed the "fine people" hoax. It was all lies. Now they want us to believe them.

When you can't trust large institutions, the rational response is to give those institutions less power. We've done this with the news media by watching and believing them less. We need to do this with government in general. We really need to do this with Big Tech.

As a Catholic, Church hierarchy, up to and including Pope Francis, has shown it doesn't have our best interests at heart. He and they need less leverage in our lives as well.

It's time to get back to local governance over our lives as much as possible. If we do that, we can live with a venal, dishonest news media, a corrupt government and a wayward Church.

They were always thus, anyway. It was us who changed. We became too credulous and dependent. This election mess belongs to us.

We need to cultivate our inner Walt Kowalski and become cranky individualists. We need to be a bit more ungovernable and a whole lot more self-reliant. If I don't need central authority, then I don't care what it does.

Joe Biden, Donald Trump, Pope Francis, Facebook and the AP need to get off of our lawns.

* - Oklahoma Joe's is racist because Oklahoma.

** - Southern Living is racist because Southern. This is going to be a delicious, but very racist meal.