Sunday, May 31, 2020

I Need An Experimental Farm

... or maybe just a house on several acres of land.

My Dixie project raised bed is currently full of healthy, happy cotton and cayenne.

I swear, two of my Nankeen cotton plants (far side of the bed) grew an inch the other day.

I've got new, Virginia Red tobacco seeds coming next week, but nowhere to plant them. Optimally, I'd grow about 30 of them so I could make a significant mound of cured leaves to test my fermentation ideas. I've got a new idea, by the way. If I had that many, I'd be able to construct a chicken wire box to fill with hands of tobacco leaves, effectively simulating a core sample from a commercial tobacco fermentation barn.

Imagine creating a 2' x 2' vertical slice of this pile.

The problem isn't growing the stuff or harvesting it, the problem is that I've run out of space.

This is just one more reason to move to Dixie, buy a house on 40 acres and start a chihuahua plantation.

Updated Thoughts on the Riots

I'm kind of losing interest in them. This is a blue-on-blue civil war. The left has cultivated racial paranoia in the black community in order to keep their votes following decades of disastrous Democratic rule of black neighborhoods. Through the academy, they've cultivated of America-hating ANTIFA radicals. Now, blue cities are being sacked by the radicals the left has deliberately created.

This was all perfectly predictable, when you think about it. When rioting, people don't travel far. Given the Democrats' domination of the cities, it was only ever going to be blue cities that would be wrecked by these groups.

Hilariously, they're doubling down on the whole race thing, making insane claims about white supremacists being behind the riots. I guess we shouldn't be surprised, given that the left screams that women can become men. In for a dime of delusion, in for a dollar. On Twitter, el gato malo said it as well as it could be said.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

It's All OK As Long As You Vote

Two and two are four. Here's two for you.

Hillary wants you to vote.

Candace Owens says that's all they care about.
Here are two more.

This is Jacob Frey, the impeccably credentialed (Villanova, class of 2009) and perfectly woke mayor of Minneapolis. Racial justice has been a big part of his political life.

Here are the standardized test results from Henry High, an 1100-student, majority-black high school in Minneapolis.

It's possible to succeed at Henry High. Black kids aren't succeeding, but as long as they vote, it's all good.

Vote Vote Vote

Votes are the only thing that matter. You can spend 12 years in the progs' school system and end up illiterate, just vote. You can riot and burn down businesses, just vote. You can shoot each other on the streets, just vote. Use drugs, wreck your life, drink too much, just vote. Vote vote vote.

Of Matches And Explosives

The press wants you to vote, too. For the right people, of course. That's why they pump stories that feed racial paranoia. There's a very narrow filter for the press. They're constantly on the lookout for stories where a white person inflicts some kind of damage on a black person. It's best if it's someone in authority and the very best are white cops doing it. Those stories have gone above the fold for a decade or more now. They run them for as long as they can, like hit Broadway plays.

Our schools are similarly filled with vote-groomers. My daughter went to a race-crazed public high school where her American History text book featured one story of racial injustice after another. Our local Catholic university has embraced the progs' version of Nazi Race Theory, Whiteness Studies. All across the country, the education industry teaches children to hate America. The NYT recently ran their 1619 Project series to engender hatred of America.

The progs don't care about the 550 black kids at Henry High, most of whom graduate unable to read. No one cares about the black kids at Camden High or at the high schools in Baltimore or Chicago, either. As long as you can read well enough to mark the right box on the ballot, it's all good. To ensure that you never deviate from voting for them, they feed your racial paranoia constantly.

Heck, Joe Biden even said recently that if you don't vote for him, you ain't black.

So now our cities are burning after a single incident where a guy we don't know was involved in the death of another guy we don't know. There's no indication that the event that led to the death was racially motivated. There's no indication that the death was caused by the acts of the first guy. Just yesterday, the coroner said he didn't suffocate or choke to death and that intoxicants in his body played a part in what looks to have been a heart attack.

Who cares? Burn the cities. Wreck your neighborhoods. Graduate from our schools unable to read. We don't care.

Just vote.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Tribal Madness

Minneapolis riot summary: Some guy you've never met got into an altercation with another guy you've never met. One of them died. Because of this, we're rallying tribal groups and Minneapolis is being sacked. Other cities are suffering some amount of looting and destruction.

Yep, that makes sense to me.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

How Innovation Works In Tobacco Fermenting

Whenever there's some kind of rioting, all I want to do is crawl under my blankets and hide there. All of the rage and vitriol is so depressing. Instead of blogging about what's going on in Minneapolis and LA, let's talk about something fun.

I recently listened to the podcast version of this episode of Uncommon Knowledge

I then went out and bought the audio version of Viscount Ridley's book, How Innovation Works. His primary thesis is that innovation is the product of trial and error more than anything else. I have a couple of patents and spent some time as a research scientist in my younger days. His assertion didn't ring true to me until I started thinking about my experiment with tobacco.

He's spot on as far as I can tell. When I thought about my inventions and documents, I realized that a great deal of trial and error went into all of them.

Going back to tobacco, my experiment failed when the leaves molded in the last step, fermentation. My postmortem made me wish I could try about a half dozen different ways of fermenting the stuff. Hobbyist fermentation of tobacco is trying to replicate what happens when you pile up the leaves in bulk in hot and humid places like the Carolinas or Cuba.

Since I don't have mounds of leaves and I live in arid San Diego, what I really want is a set of parallel experiments to try different ways to ferment small quantities of tobacco. What I want is trial and error.

Trial and error acknowledges that there are more variables or more candidate values for your variables than you can solve for analytically. As far as I can tell, the Viscount is right. Innovation owes a great deal to trial and error.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The Press Isn't Listening

I finally looked into Twitter's recent decision to post "fact checking" links on President Trump's tweets. The first foray into Twitter's self-destruction is all about voting by mail.

First, Twitter may have just signed its own death warrant. The only way it can survive is by being classified as a platform instead of a publisher. A platform, like the phone company, exerts no editorial influence on the content. A publisher does. A platform has no exposure to libel or slander charges from whatever passes over it. A publisher does.

Second, the whole vote-by-mail thing is a frightening example of what happens when you have a news media that is partisan. They are completely missing the story here. The deplorables are screaming out that they want elections they can trust. That means at least moving in the direction of voter ID if not using it universally. Vote-by-mail is the exact opposite of that.

If the deplorables feel like the ballot harvesting in Orange County and places allowing illegals to vote is happening more generally, then the militia protests in Virginia and Michigan will be repeated, only this time with more vigor.

In Michigan, peaceful protesters showed their unhappiness with the governor's lockdown orders.

In Virginia, peaceful protesters showed their unhappiness with the Democrats' modifications to the Second Amendment.

I don't know how much clearer this can get for the press. If they weren't so busy being political activists, pushing their progressive narratives, they might see what's coming. They might help us see what's coming, too. 


As I blogged before, an insurrection won't look anything like what most people think.

(A)rguments against an informal militia standing up to the government featured claims that hunting rifles were no match for fighter jets. One congressional idiot even went so far as to talk about nuclear weapons. This was all wrong.

The people fighting to get their livelihoods back aren't facing F-18s. They're going up against cops. Very quickly, they've got the cops outnumbered and outgunned. When their cause has some amount of righteousness, they've also got the sympathy of law enforcement.

 This could get very ugly.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Teaching Lies

The UC system has decided to ditch the SATs because inequality.
The University of California board of regents voted Thursday to stop using the SAT and ACT college admissions exams, reshaping college admissions in one of the largest and most prestigious university systems in the country and dealing a significant blow to the multibillion-dollar college admission testing industry.

The unanimous 23-to-0 vote ratified a proposal put forward last month by UC President Janet Napolitano to phase out the exams over the next five years until the sprawling UC system can develop its own test.

The battle against standardized tests has raged for years because minority students score, on average, lower than their white classmates. Advocates argue that the exams are an unfair admission barrier to those students because they often cannot pay for pricey test preparation.
Yeah, it's all about expensive test prep classes. Just like it is at Camden High in New Jersey.

The kids can't read or do math..

... despite having plenty of teachers ...

... who graduate them anyway.
There's a single review comment about the school on the site.
Camden high school is a very good school but the only thing why parents think the teachers don't teach is because the students do not want to learn. These students in this school is very smart but they does not show it. Only if the students was less disruptive and start paying attention more than it would be good.
No one cares. The press is on high alert for any examples of racism, but totally ignore the hundreds of thousands of kids just like these. The teachers are negotiating for more pay and bigger pensions while keeping quiet about what is happening in their classrooms. The local politicians talk about everything except the wretched culture and the wrecked families.

Yes, by all means, let's ditch the SATs. Why do we want any objective measures of reality? If we have those, we'll just have to lie about them. It's best to hide reality so we don't have to lie so much.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Ron DeSantis For President!

OK, I'm over it. I'm over the whole Trump tantrum thing. I'm done with having a 5-year-old as president. I can't tell you what put me over the edge, but the straw camel's back broke the dam past the tipping point. Or something like that.

I'm still going to vote for the Orange Infant, but I've hit my limit with his childishness.

Having said that, I think he was absolutely necessary for two reasons. The first was that he exposed our Aristocratic class for what they are - experts of narrow breadth who think they're far wiser than they really are. Second, he taught the teachable people in the GOP that the press is the enemy. They're not mistaken, they're not acting on good faith, they're not trying to get the story right, they're progressive activists. They are the propaganda wing of the Democratic Party.

Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida has gotten the message. Dig this.

John McCain and Mitt Romney never understood that. They never punched back as the press drowned them in stories designed to advance their favored, progressive narratives. With Trump, we finally have someone who stands up for us against a media that has completely lost the plot.

Now that some of our politicians have gotten the message, I wish we could move on from the Big Brat. Oh well. I expect that Trump will beat Biden and whatever cabal of abusive manipulators form up behind him to pull his dementia-coated strings. We'll get another spate of great judges, but we'll also get 4 more years of fit-throwing.


Sunday, May 24, 2020

You Had Me At Molasses

I made BBQ chicken using my favorite recipe from Deep South Dish last night and it came out great.

I made a couple of changes to her recipe, so I thought I'd post them here both to share with you and store away for easier recall later.

My key to making perfect grilled chicken is to use the brining step to heat the meat. The biggest problem with grilling chicken is that the skins will get cooked long before the meat is done all the way through. Dark meat like thighs might even start a grease fire if you leave it over the coals too long as the fat drips down onto the flames. Ovening the meat on a covered grill to cook it all the way through makes the white meat dry.

To solve this and to deal with the fact that I probably haven't thawed the meat all the way because I forgot to take it out of the freezer two days earlier, I heat up my brine to 120 and drop in the chicken. The cold chicken cools the brine, so after a bit, I turn the heat back on and bring it back up to 120.

This time, I experimented and used this hyper-aggressive brine from allrecipes.

  • 3/4 cup kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 gallon warm water
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
Whoa, Nellie, that's a far cry from a simple salt and brown sugar brine! I was concerned that it would dominate the flavor of Mary's excellent rub, but it didn't. In fact, it complimented her paprika, Cajun seasoning and brown sugar mix perfectly.

So there you have it. A complex brine to heat the chicken followed by Mary's excellent rub and probably 10 minutes or so of both direct and indirect heat on the grill with a painting of BBQ sauce at the very end. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Counting To Ten

I need to rant, but I don't want to do it too publicly. This blog doesn't get a lot of hits any more, so I'm going to do it here before, if my better nature doesn't slap me down, sending it as an email. I've already managed to say a tiny subset of this and it got me blocked on Twitter by someone I otherwise respect and like.

On with the self-immolation.

Up until yesterday, my favorite podcast was Clerically Speaking with Father Harrison and Father Anthony. I haven't missed one since they started. Yesterday, they had on Sister Theresa Aletheia and they discussed, among other things, the "double standards" for men and women in the Church. It drove me bonkers, particularly when they discussed sexual dynamics, especially dress.

JPII's Theology of the Body (TotB) says that men and women are different. Logically, you have different standards for different things. You don't judge an apple the way you judge a bar stool. On sexual matters, there is not a double standard, there is a single standard for each sex. Appearance is often a sexual matter, particularly when it comes to women trying to attract men.

When the sister launched into her complaints, the guys barely pushed back. Her positions were completely at odds with TotB as well as the science of primate sexuality, but that was ignored. Father Anthony weakly mentioned something about men being different, but Sister Aletheia smashed that down and it was generally agreed that men shouldn't be men and women should be able to wear whatever they want to church.

The priests had discussed TotB several times before on their show. As I listened, all I could think was that they weren't willing to defend their earlier statements. Pathetic.

If the faith doesn't reflect reality, then it has no more authority than intersectional feminism.

Years ago, I was dating a woman from work. She'd been lukewarm, but was worth another date. I had just gotten a big promotion which was announced at work. The next date, that skirt was short and tight. Yeah, honey, I got the message. A double standard? Nope. Two sexes with a standard for each. She liked a man with money and she hoped I liked what I saw. Women know what they're working with the yoga pants at Mass. Fathers Harrison and Anthony knew better, but stayed quiet.

Men aren't going to change the way they react to appearance and women don't want them to change. Without that, landing a guy would become nearly impossible. When they failed to make that point, all previous podcasts dealing with St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas and TotB were devalued as they let her drive a bus right over them.

Augustine and JPII recognized sexual differences. Aquinas recognized the value of science in revealing God to us. We now know how visual stimuli work on the limbic systems of male primates. This isn't a secret and keeping quiet when someone is talking bollocks about it just makes you look weak and insincere.

Men's addictions to porn got some blame. Porn isn't the habituator for a lack of control, it's a drug that exploits a natural weakness in the male, one that is similarly exploited by women who are looking for a man. Take a look at clubwear for women and clubwear for men and let me know what you find. The fashion houses serving those clients are experts and make a living reading human nature.

JPII knew this as well, which is why he codified Catholic teaching with TotB. I thought the guys had bought into that as they had done several shows on the topic, but she came along and challenged a logical inference from the central tenet of the thing and they folded like damp laundry.

If "double standards" bother you, that's something you're going to have to learn to accept. They exist in human sexuality and despite Sister Aletheia's claims of feminine prescience, women most certainly do not understand how men react to visual, sexual stimuli. Shrewd ones know how to exploit it, but they can only see the surface reactions even as they're hoping for a primal response.

On a humorous note, the whole time I was listening, I was thinking that the podcast desperately needed Aunt Boo. That woman, she understands Theology of the Body, apparently a good deal better than Fathers Harrison and Anthony.

Friday, May 22, 2020

More Pondering On Tobacco Fermentation

Stung by my recent epic failure with my tobacco crop when mold wiped it out in the final stage, fermentation, I've been watching videos showing how the large growers ferment the stuff. Dig this one.

All a home grower is doing at the end is replicating this process. Note that the barn is well-ventilated. Air movement is key to avoiding mold.

But notice something else: the tobacco fermentation is happening because the leaves at the bottom are being pressed together by the weight of the leaves on the top. Having said that, the leaves on the bottom have no idea that the pressure is coming from other tobacco leaves.

What if you piled the cured leaves together and held them down with a coarsely-woven cloth like burlap? You could pile the leaves on a table, drape a square of burlap over them and tie weights to the corners of the burlap square. You'd get air movement, pressure and ... fermentation?

I see two drawbacks to this experiment. The first is unavoidable and that is the cycle time on the thing is several months. The tobacco has to be grown from seed, harvested, cured and then fermented. If I'm going to do it, I need to start now, as in today.

The second is that the barn in the video is undoubtedly in a humid locale. I'm in San Diego where we'll get the hot days, but it will be a dry heat. I'm not sure how to solve that one and retain the air movement crucial to avoiding a recurrence of the mold.

There's a huge advantage to this method, however. The fermentation device will need almost no construction and won't require a heat source. The latter would be a fire hazard and in San Diego, fires are catastrophic, not just for you, but for everyone in your neighborhood.

Hmm. Well, it looks like I better get started with the seeds today. This time, I'm only going to plant one kind, the Virginians. That will simplify a lot of things. Growing the plants will give me two months to solve the humidity problem. I will also be a lot more sciencey and take measurements and make science noises as I grow them. Charts, graphs, tables, equations, all of that science stuff will be produced.

Unless I get bored and just turn on my Confederate Railroad playlist and eat barbecue while I watch my tobacco grow. If that happens, I'll just grow the darn things, cure them and then try my fermentation experiment.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Reality Is Too Complicated For The Experts

... and they reach the limits of their expertise long before they'll admit it and long before we realize it. That was the original genius of America. It gave the individual maximal decision authority because reality is best assessed by those closest to it. Aristocrats, be they of noble blood or with prestigious degrees, may well be smarter and wiser than we are, but their decision-making advantages are much smaller than most believe.

Dig this.

That tells you a couple of things. First, the experts were wrong about the lockdown. In hindsight, it appears obvious, but it wasn't at the time. The initial restrictions were a good decision because our data from socialist China was so poor that we had to collect our own before we could accurately assess the situation. After that, the experts hit and passed the limits of their expertise and we would have been far better off doing our own, individual risk assessments.

Instead of economy-crippling, addiction-boosting lockdowns, it would have been better to temporarily ban large-scale, high-compression gatherings like subway rides and sporting events. Given what we quickly learned about mortality statistics, we would have been well-advised to isolate the elderly as well.

After that, the experts not only had nothing to offer, but actually, through their boundless hubris, did enormous damage with their mandates. A traditional, American response would have been for the experts to offer broad suggestions and allow the Normals to make their own decisions. Instead, as Michael Barone discussed in this essay, our nation has indeed been fundamentally transformed along progressive lines and we now grant far more authority to our aristocrats than they deserve.
Fundamental attitudes can change in a nation over half a century, and the very different responses to this year’s coronavirus epidemic and the influenzas of 50 and 60 years ago suggests that people today are much more risk averse, much more willing to undergo massive inconvenience and disruption to avoid marginal increases in fatal risk.
The essay is typically excellent and worth reading the whole thing.

When progressives talk about fundamentally reshaping or reforming America, it's really all about risk avoidance. Everyone should get health insurance so no one has to risk being without it because some don't have a good enough job. Everyone should get housing because addicts can't afford it. Voting should be done almost automatically because some won't figure out how to go to the polls.

In short, the more of our decision-making we hand off to the experts, the lower our overall risk levels will be. At least that's the idea. It's all bollocks, of course. Our Ivy League aristocrats have gotten us a $25T+ debt, a losing, 20-year war in Afghanistan, culturally ruined black neighborhoods, below-replacement birth rates, familial decay through marriage avoidance and much, much more.

The experts hit their limits long, long ago, but we keep turning to them for advice. Some of it is worthwhile, but very little of it. We'd be far better off making our own decisions and handling our own lives instead of thinking they will create a Utopia that will save us from risk.

Their expertise is almost all illusion anyway. In the end, we'll have to go back to making our own decisions like traditional Americans because we'll have run out of money to pay for the experts brilliant ideas.

Note: these numbers have gone up since I posted this.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

What Was The Comey-Rice Plan?

Apparently, super-secret emails have revealed the Susan Rice, a brainiac working for Obama, was coaching James Comey, another brainiac working for Obama, how to spot Russians trying to cut their own pay by helping Trump get elected. Or something like that.

Man, it's a good thing those brainiacs have prestigious degrees. Otherwise, we'd think they were ordinary morons instead of brainiacs. Maybe that's what a degree does for you. It's just a marker that keeps people from assessing you by your performance and views. Hmm.

Anywho, the two of them and the rest of their brainiac cabal decided to withhold classified information from Mike Flynn, who was Trump's incoming NSA dude.

And then what?

For how long?

I guess I'm not as smart as the Obama people because I can't figure out how this was supposed to end in something other than a total collapse of their complicated conspiracy the way all complicated conspiracies end. Maybe next time they could try staffing their squad with something other than self-important wonks.

These folks were going to keep running the country after their president left.
Yeah, right.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Reflections On The Tobacco Failure

I've spent some time thinking about how my tobacco crop got ruined by mold while it was supposed to be fermenting. More research on the topic has confirmed my decision to throw all of it away. What I can't figure out is how to be successful at it if I do it again.

In the fermentation process, cured leaves are stored in huge piles and the leaves on the bottom ferment, sweating out their ammonia. Farmers keep thermometers at the bottom of the piles. Increased temperatures indicate fermentation is occurring and when the action gets too hot and heavy, they toss the pile so fresh leaves are at the bottom. At least that's what I think I read.

These piles are stored in barns in places with high humidity, high temperatures and plenty of air flow. I was able to simulate the humidity and the temperature, but I didn't work out the air flow. Without it, mold is almost a foregone conclusion.

While my Momma Daisy Memorial Chamber of Doom Tobacco Fermenter could hit 120 F without a problem, it had difficulties maintaining humidity unless I put damp cloths in the chamber. My biggest mistake was to drape those damp cloths over the tobacco. I did that because the leaves had all dryed out. My second mistake was to not toss the salad every day. Researching the mold problem shows that unless the leaves are moved around every day, you get mold.

Finally, I don't think the solar Chamber of Doom was a good solution. It only hit 120 for about 8 hours a day and the fermentation process really wants 120 all day. If I do it again, and I'm sure I will, I'll have to break down and build a real chamber with a heating element and a thermostat. I avoided that because I didn't want the fire risk of the heating element, but that's a problem I'm sure I can solve.

It's really bugging me that this was a failure. I had my heart set on smoking my own tobacco while listening to Old Bocephus.

"We make our own whiskey and our own smoke, too.
Ain't too many things these ol' boys can't do."

Monday, May 18, 2020

Is It A Revolt Or A Revolution?

King Louis  XVI: Is this a revolt?

Duke de La Rochefoucauld: No sire, it’s not a revolt; it’s a revolution.

I think it's a revolt. It may not be a full-fledged revolution, but it's heartening to see Americans behaving like, well, Americans and not allowing politicians to dictate their lives. Hopefully it will have some lasting effects and we'll find a little more personal freedom spine after this.

What a beautiful sight.

One more quick take. Governor Whitmer of Michigan made this claim to that premier toady to the Elite, Jake Tapper, about the militiamen protesting her tyranny.
“Some of the outrageousness of what happened in our Capitol this week depicted some of the worst racism and awful parts of our history in this country,” Whitmer in response to questions from host Jake Tapper. “The Confederate flags and nooses, swastikas and the behavior that you’ve seen in all of the clips, is not representative of who we are in Michigan.”
I dunno, man. I watched a whole bunch of raw videos of the events and I didn't see any rebel flags or nooses. If there were swastikas, it was a finger pointed at her, not indicating support for any other f├╝hrer.

It tells you everything you need to know that Tapper didn't push back on the Confederate flag references. The stars and bars in Michigan? Really? The claim was instantly recognizable as the preferred spasmodic reflex of the left when they're criticized. It's no wonder that Jake didn't question it as most of the press are nothing more than lickspittles for the progressives. In any case, had there been a rebel flag or two in the bunch, you still couldn't have made the case for that particular revolt being race-based.

All the same, RACISM! is the favorite shriek of the Elites. Since they're not very clever, one can hardly expect them to find a new line of attack. That one has a ways to go before they realize that it's empty of meaning.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Be Careful When Talking Trash About Kentucky

... because they have just as many senators as you do. That goes for all of the flyover states.

Dig this.
New York state’s tax revenue plummeted 68.4% in April, as the coronavirus lockdowns and the extension of tax return filings to July 15 took a toll on state coffers...New Jersey reported a 60% drop in April revenue on May 13.

The evaporation of revenue, combined with increased spending for health care and unemployment benefits, is upending state budgets. California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday proposed slashing spending about 9%, cutting state workers’ pay by 10% and tapping reserves to balance a budget in the fiscal year beginning July 1.
More here.
SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom painted a grim financial picture for the state Thursday as he presented a revised budget that reflected unprecedented unemployment, a massive decline in revenue and a proposed cut in pay for state workers.

The governor said the May budget revision reflected a 22.3 percent decline in revenue since January. The new revision draws on a $133.9 billion general fund and a $203.3 billion overall budget with a projected deficit of $54.3 billion.
I think that one of the reasons that states like Georgia are opening up is that their culture, redneck as it is and full of racism and hate, is a little closer to the real world. There aren't a lot of Ivy League schools, tech companies and financial hubs in places like Nebraska and Arkansas. Still, they have all  those senators.

If you think you're going to have to go begging to the feds to bail out your state after you drove it into the ground with lockdown paranoia, you might want to lay off all of the sneering at the hicks.

Bonus snark: Err, Governor? Can you show me the line item in the state budget where your organization sends money to Kentucky? What's that? You don't? Ah, I see. Your deliberately conflating roles and responsiblities to make you look like a victim. Not to worry, I'm sure Cocaine Mitch won't mind you dumping on his state.

Mr. Cuomo, meet the guy who approves your loans.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

There's A Vaccine For The Coronavirus Already

... and it's called mingling with other people and contracting the disease.

How do vaccines work? They expose your body to a virus in a harmless way. Your body fills with rage at the invader and produces antibodies to kill it dead. If you ever encounter that virus again, well, your body knows how to deal with lowlifes like that. Whap! Smack! Pow! No more viral scumbags.

How do vaccinations work on a population when not all of the population receives them? The more people you inoculate, the harder it is for the virus to find new victims. It can't land on a person with antibodies, infect him, flourish and then leap onto someone else like a panther jumping down onto an unsuspecting diversity consultant taking an eco-tour in the jungles of Guatemala to learn how horribly sinful America is because of Global Warming Climate Change ...

I seem to have wandered off point. Anywho, it works because it eliminates lots of vectors for transmission. The more antibodyful people you have, the slower the virus spread becomes.

Now dig this.

That's data for a single county in the US, but all of the data from around the world looks the same. Regardless of underlying conditions, if you're under 50, you're fine. That means we already have a vaccine.

Vaccine: Let everyone under 50 do whatever they want. You want as many of them as possible to contract the disease and develop antibodies. The only trick is to keep them away from the vulnerable people while they're contagious. That's it. That's the only way out of this.

Watching Bad TV - Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! - the ads are full of "we must all obey our leaders and remain locked in our homes until this is over." It drives me batty. Staying in our homes is how to prolong this thing.

The only way out is through.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Mold Ruins Tobacco

... is what I get from searching for info on the topic.

I'm looking for info because my fermenting tobacco turned moldy.

It's easy to see the dark spots of the mold in this photo.
And that's that with regards to my tobacco experiment. I'm not going to bother inhaling spores, I'm just going to throw all of it into the trash. I've never smoked and I had no intention of starting the habit, I just wanted to go through the process. Well, I went through the process and everything fell to pieces at the end.

I won't deny there's a significant amount of sadness and regret in this. I really wanted to smoke some of it. The only positive I can pull from this is that I've experienced a little of what it's like to raise a crop, only to have it fail at the end and be left with nothing. We've had failed plants before, but I've never taken something through this elaborate of a sequence only to end up with nothing.

In retrospect, I wish I'd raised only one or two plants and taken considerable care with the harvesting and storage. I bit off way more than I could chew. Or smoke, for that matter.

Oh well. I can say I almost did it.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

This Is Why We Have A Second Amendment

2A is there to give the people the ability to defy a tyrannical government. Like this.

Prior to the Chicom Flu, arguments against an informal militia standing up to the government featured claims that hunting rifles were no match for fighter jets. One congressional idiot even went so far as to talk about nuclear weapons. This was all wrong.

The people fighting to get their livelihoods back aren't facing F-18s. They're going up against cops. Very quickly, they've got the cops outnumbered and outgunned. When their cause has some amount of righteousness, they've also got the sympathy of law enforcement. What cop is going to get killed fighting against people who are desperate to return to work?

A political system where the population is armed is weak. It can't really enforce unjust laws if those laws become too onerous. The militias are showing just how weak the wannabe authoritarians are.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Groundhog Day In Los Angeles

Apparently, the LA groundhog saw its shadow. They're renewing their lockdown for another 3 months.
Los Angeles County’s stay-at-home orders will “with all certainty” be extended for the next three months, county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer acknowledged during a Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday.
3 months? Are they insane? Where are they going to get all of that money they love to spend?

Well, the truth of the matter is that sweet, sweet money is going to keep coming into the city government. Most of it comes from property taxes which will be due whether you can go to work or not.

You'll have to click on this to read it.

Governor Newsom, Goober to Ohioan, is going to be in a different kettle of fish once he jumps out of his frying pan. Or something like that. His money comes from income taxes. Of course, much of it won't hit him until Fiscal Year 2021, but still ...

If we had a decent press to ask it, the real question, then, is not simply whether we will see mountains or hills of dead bodies from the heartless efforts to reopen the country for business, but which line items in the state and local budgets we will cut in order to pay for the lock down. At the state level, education is going to have to take a serious hit as will health and human services, because those are the only significant outlays.

My first impressions of the LA lockdown were wrong. They won't see much of a drop in their budgets at all. Goober, on the other hand, is screwed.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Stay Closed Then

How much money do they need to stay closed?

That plea for money from someone else reveals the fundamental divide in this country. De Blasio cannot comprehend a civilization where the government isn't the prime mover, where it isn't necessary for the basic functions of life.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk sees things differently.

In Michigan, they're taking an even more direct approach. With guns.

Monday, May 11, 2020

On Your Last Day

... what would you do?

I mean your last day of decent health.

One of wife kitteh's relatives has been diagnosed with a particularly aggressive strain of cancer. He wasn't in good health to begin with and his age is pretty close to the sell-by date for American men, so things look pretty bleak.

He's not religious and doesn't have a whole lot of friends. He's coping with this kick in the head by spending time alone before he has to go for heavy doses of chemo. Once that chemo hits, he might well be down for the count. We're going to give him all the support we can, but he's not very optimistic about his chances and I can understand and respect that.

It got me to thinking what I would do with a similar diagnosis. I decided I would throw as big a dinner party for my Cursillo homies and my family as possible, given the lead time I had. If I had a couple of days, I'd get oysters shipped in from Billy's Seafood in Bon Secour, AL and crawfish from Louisiana Crawfish. I would put out a spread that would blow your mind. I might even make it an open house so people could come and go and we could maximize our guest list.

And that's about it. I'd probably do some writing, something to close off this blog and leave advice for our kids, advice they probably wouldn't use as they'll have a completely different set of challenges from me. Still, leaving the advice would seem like a good thing to do and would bring me closure.

My Cursillo homies would keep me sane. I don't know if you've got an active church community around you, but this one is fantastic. It's like having a mosh pit of love into which you can dive when you're hurt. These folks will carry you around and make sure you know that you're not alone. And, of course, they'd pray like crazy for you.

Yep, the party would be a great thing. It would give me a chance to give love one last time to my friends and family and give them a chance to show love and support to me.

I wonder if you can do chemo with a massive hangover.

Crawfish Etouffee would have to be on the menu.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Pine Creek

... was beautiful. I had no idea the place even existed before I started scrounging around for open trails. By August, this will probably be a dry creek bed, but when we went hiking there with the Catican Guards the other day, it was gorgeous.

I left the photo large, it might be worth a click. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 09, 2020

Thinkers Vs Doers

... is the contest going on in America right now.

Yesterday, we went to Costco. The meat department had been significantly reduced. Storage space had been removed to make it still look full, but they had about half of what they normally do. I've seen a couple of reports about farmers having to destroy their livestock and crops because they can't get it processed and shipped. Yesterday's shrunken Costco meat shelves were shocking.

I've also seen reports that the farmers will receive government assistance. That means cash.

Since you can't eat cash, that solution only makes sense from a theoretical point of view. Also, as Senator Rand Paul pointed out recently, all of that cash is imaginary. So we pay people who we're preventing from making the real stuff that we need with imaginary money because that makes sense in our theoretical world.

And people wonder why the average person doesn't trust the Elites any more.

On the plus side, I was able to find a couple of trail heads that were still open in the Cleveland National Forest. We took the Catican Guards out on maneuvers at one of them yesterday.

Friday, May 08, 2020

The Lockdown Had One Job

... and it's done that job.

In the past week, we've had people over for dinner and we've brought dinner to a friend. Everyone involved is in at least one of the ChiCom Flu risk groups. None of us care any more.

When you thought about what was happening from the virus' point of view, we were all putting ourselves at risk, just the same as if we had done this 1, 2 or 3 weeks ago. If we contracted it and died, what difference would it make if we died a few weeks earlier or later? None.

So the lockdown did one thing - kept the hospitals from getting overwhelmed. Other than that, it did nothing. Well, that's not entirely true, it gave us time to learn about the disease from our own data sets. Both of those benchmarks have been met. The hospitals are so underwhelmed that they're going out of business and we understand the disease.

The only thing the lockdown is doing now is punishing us.

Filets, cooked in a cast iron skillet and drizzled with an herb butter. They were awesome. If we get sick eating such things with friends, then so be it.

Thursday, May 07, 2020

Praying While People Drown

The video content in this tweet, is NSFW. It shows a massive brawl in a black neighborhood, chiefly between a couple of women. You've been warned.

When I came across that tweet, I wasn't surprised at the content, but I was surprised at the theme of the replies. The person who shared the video was black and was laughing at a young boy who was wielding a belt like a whip. At first, it's hard to tell whose side he's on, but after a few viewings, it looks like he has a side and is flogging his enemies. Meanwhile, punches are thrown, hair is pulled and, in the background, side-fights are occurring. It's wild.

How often do you see this in your neighborhood? How often does this happen to your family? Have you seen a lot of this in your life? How about all the progs at the universities and in the news media? Is this a familiar, laughable sight to them?

For me, it's people screaming as they drown. This is a neighborhood in crisis. It's a window into all those places where you lock your doors, roll up your windows and drive fast so you can get through them as quickly as possible. The residents don't get to escape like we can. They're busy drowning.

Meanwhile, the social justice crowd can't see them. They've got their eyes turned up to the sky as they admit their privilege to whatever power may or may not exist. They examine their consciences for microagressions, those times when they somehow contributed to the scourge of white supremacy that is keeping people of color in bondage.

"It's so freeing to admit my privilege!"
Movies, news shows, TV series, none of them show things like that video. It's all social justice all the time. While real people drown behind us, our eyes are uplifted to heaven.

Getting back to the Twitter replies, many of them laugh at the boy who they think looks like a plantation master whipping slaves. There is no self-awareness at all, it's all steeped in the modern zeitgeist of racial obsession. While the people replying, almost all of whom are black, talk about slavery, others will see things like this and make a note to not shop, dine or visit those neighborhoods. It's not like we were going to do it anyway, this is note number 83,429 in that series.

And so the poverty, illiteracy, illegitimacy and violence continue.

What if you loved these people as equals? What if we saw them as children of God, the same as us? What if they were our own children? I know that if my kids were involved in this, I wouldn't be sitting there telling them that white supremacy was to blame. I'd be reading them the riot act. When I was done, they wouldn't be laughing about it at all.

One more thing. This is in no way unique. A little searching revealed whole Twitter accounts devoted to showing raw videos like this. YouTube is full of them. That's the real world. The social justice movement lives in a fantasy world. It's possible because the social justice crowd, just like the rest of us, lock their doors, roll up their windows and drive fast when they encounter reality.

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

You Really Are A Peasant

Chris Cuomo, CNN hairhat, contracted the Chicom Flu and then drove around, visiting people. All the while, he lectured the rest of us on the necessity of staying home.

Lori "Daily Double" Lightfoot, the black, lesbian mayor of Chicago, has been threatening the proles she has the misfortune to rule with all manner of punishments if they don't stay home. She herself got a haircut from her stylist.

And the beat goes on. So what? All of the Elites lecturing us while living it up themselves have shown themselves impervious to accusations of hypocrisy. It doesn't even slow them down. Why would it? After all, they are the highest moral authority they know.

I've never thought of the real ramifications of Barack Obama saying that "sin is being out of alignment with my values" until now. Lori and Chris are from that same school. Hypocrisy only stings when the accused has a shred of shame or meekness. This new breed of ruler has neither. Where is it going to come from, themselves? Ha!

You really are a peasant. You are beneath them, they're just sure of it. They checked their Supreme Moral Authority, themselves, and decided that yes, they are high and noble people, far above you.

Oh well. In the meantime, we can still laugh at them. I find it hilarious to watch the sign-language folks who stand next to one of our Overlords and mime out God only knows what. The facial expression on Lori Lightfoot's chick had me in stitches. Check it out.

Addendum from yesterday: It occurred to me much later that there is a huge difference between Walter Duranty winning a Pulitzer for lying about the Soviet socialists murdering hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians with forced starvation and the NYT winning the Pulitzer for their recreation of a racially-adjusted version of Mein Kampf in the 1619 Project. The difference is that we can see what they're doing in real time. Everyone paying attention saw it.

Their ideological bubble must be made of steel-reinforced concrete and about 3' thick.

Update: I forgot to mention Neil Ferguson's booty call. Fortunately, Brendan O'Neill was on top of the situation. When I saw cuts of Ferguson being interviewed, I thought the guy was positively radioactive with superiority.
Ferguson’s booty call with his married lover actually reveals a great deal about the 21st-century elites and how they view their relationship with the masses. It’s one rule for them and another for us. They can carry on enjoying sneaky freedoms because their lives and jobs are important; we can’t because we are mere little people, whose silly work lives can casually be disrupted, whose love lives can be turned upside down, and whose families can be ripped apart.

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

There Are No Elites

Yesterday, I read that the Pulitzer Prize had been given to the NYT team behind their 1619 Project. That was the series of articles and essays that claimed America's founding was based on slavery. With some racial substitutions, it could have come from the Nazi rag, Der Sturmer.

Plenty of historians debunked the thing, not that you needed a history degree to do so. A little light reading of source documents from that era would have been more than enough to reveal that it was complete trash.

And that's it. That's all she wrote. The Pulitzer is awarded by the best of the elite news media to the best of the news media. They just told us that Nazi Race Theory is as good as it gets.

What's the point of criticizing them after this?

Monday, May 04, 2020

Things I Got Wrong, Chicom Flu Edition

After snarking at everyone else, I thought it might be interesting to see what I've gotten wrong about the pandemic. I reviewed March and April on this blog and came up with a few.

On February 25, we held a massive Mardi Gras party. That might have been a mistake, but none of our guests have been hospitalized, so maybe we escaped easily.

On February 29, I was still going to the gym. Ah, how I miss those days. My dad bod has returned.

I kept thinking that the homeless in LA, SF and NY were going to get whacked. That doesn't seem to have happened. I also thought Japan would be stomped as the virus really goes for the elderly. That didn't happen either, yet.

In mid-March, I said this was going to be over sooner rather than later and we should all hurry to make some use of our brief time in lockdown. Hahahahaha! What a doofus!

I blogged several times about candidate cures, sure they were going to prove me right. "Don't bet against Big Pharma!" I said, over and over. Err, never mind. They still might come up with the cure, but it's a bit trickier than I had thought.

I'm sure there were others, but that's all I found after a quick scan.

To make up for those blunders, here's a photo of some flowers from our garden. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 03, 2020

Can I Talk To You About Jesus And Tobacco?

Caveat: Wife kitteh really dislikes my comparison of evangelization to sales. Re-reading this post, I can see why now more than ever. It looks like I see people as commodities, potential tick marks on a sales scoreboard. That's not how I view them at all. I'm exploring the analogy and seeing what I can make of it.

On with the show.

Doing some research for a potential book on evangelization, I had a wild thought yesterday.

Selling real estate is not like selling shoes. (That was not the wild thought.) You can buy many pairs of shoes in a year, but you buy houses very rarely. The decision to buy a house is a momentous one. Part of the purchase process is developing rapport with the realtor and learning to trust them. From the sales point of view, the way you approach the customer is very different, too, for obvious reasons.

Coming to faith in Christ is much more like buying real estate than buying a pair of shoes.

Wild thought: You know those people who come to your door and ask, "Can I talk to you about Jesus?" It's the wrong question. The right question to ask is, "Can I talk to you about you?"

A good salesman is there to help the prospect solve one or more of their problems. That's it. If your product scratches that itch, you make the sale. If it doesn't, you still want to have sincere concern before moving on to the next prospect. If you're really good, you will do your best to suggest alternative solutions that will work better for the prospect.

When the prospect believes you have their best interests at heart, they're much more likely to buy from you next time. You've gotten rid of the largest obstacle of all to selling big-ticket items: a lack of trust.

In terms of evangelization, genuine care for the prospect's problems is crucial for another reason - it's what Jesus told you to do above all else. If you're just another salesman with an answer for every objection, you've missed the point and done more than damage your trust, you've violated the central tenet of the faith.

Don't do that.

Tobacco Update

I tossed the salad yesterday. By that, I mean that I rotated the leaves in the Momma Daisy Memorial Chamber of Doom Tobacco Fermenter. I should have done it days ago. The leaves on the top were crispy critters. The moisture had evaporated from the t-shirt rags covering them and they had dried out completely.

Hopefully I haven't ruined them. They represent about a year of work. There's a lesson right there about farming. If you screw up at any stage, you can wreck everything and lose a ton of invested labor.

These are the leaves that were on the bottom. They were soft, supple and fragrant. I'm optimistic that the crispy leaves will soften now that they are closer to the water. I will also dampen the covering cloth every day from now until they are done fermenting.

Saturday, May 02, 2020

Three Data Points And Surrealism

Apparently, Virginia will be locked down forever.
Meanwhile, herd immunity seems to have begun.

Finally, the minimum wage is now $25 an hour.
Unemployment is becoming a gigantic problem that is turning out to be much bigger than anyone anticipated. As Chart #1 shows, some 30 million people have been added to the ranks of the unemployed in the past six weeks, and virtually all of them from the ranks of the private sector. That means that about 25% of private sector employees have lost their jobs! The 30 million newly-minted jobless are not hopeless, at least yet. Thanks to the generosity of Congress (it's always easy to spend other people's money, isn't it?), the average weekly unemployment check now resides in the princely neighborhood of $1000 per week, or $25 per hour. Congress has effectively raised the minimum wage to $25/hr. by boosting weekly unemployment checks by $600/wk through the end of July.
Surrealism Summary: Words on paper and agreements made in staff meetings in Sacramento and DC aren't necessarily reality. If the people decide to ignore them, they're just words.

Friday, May 01, 2020

Avoiding Collisions With Reality

... but just barely.

Dig this. It's bad juju, no mistake.

Governor Whitmer of Michigan wants to extend her lockdown orders. The State Legislature turned her down. She's insisting she can do it anyway. That's when the guys got together to flex some muscle in the capital. Is the governor a dictator? That's the question that was being resolved here.

The first thing you notice in the photo are all the guns. It's a good bet those boys knew how to use them and the magazines were loaded. You don't go armed to a protest in the capital lightly. This was serious.

I saw lots and lots of people online, gasping in shock that this was not a well-regulated militia or that these were terrorists or that they were white. Maybe. So what? You can't poke a bear endlessly and not make it mad. The progs never thought it would get mad or if it did, had no concept of what an armed protest looked like.

Just how would you break up this protest, anyway? How anxious were the cops to get into an altercation with these guys? Would you call up the National Guard? Would they obey a governor disobeying the legislature? How many people on either side were exactly sure who had the authority? My bet is close to zero. What a mess.

This was the collision between the fantasy world of the Elites managing our lives and a seriously ticked-off bunch of citizens demanding to make their own decisions.

Broader Issues: How much authority should we give the Elites over our lives? How many decisions are we allowed to make for ourselves?

The Democrats have gone all-in on "all authority except for sensual gratification." The nomination of the hollow candidate, Joe Biden, a confused old man they can manipulate, is their latest plan. On their side, they have righteousness. They will end Global Warming Climate Change, racism, inequality, sexism, homophobia, racism, illiteracy and racism. They need total control to accomplish these things.

Governor Whitmer thought she had it. In her world, she did. Her world isn't the real world, however. Those boys with guns just introduced her to it.