Monday, May 17, 2021

Bodie The Wonder Dog, 2008-2021

The Captain of the Catican Guard passed away on Friday. In human years, he was roughly 80 years old. We're going to miss him very, very much. Wife kitteh, who is returning today from a trip to take care of a family member out of town, is devastated. The girls, Lily and Leah, are stunned and only now starting to return to normal.

He was adored by all and with good reason. He was a very good boy.

One of his earliest photos. I nicknamed him Bodius spasmodius because he was such a high-energy dog.

When he was little, he was quite the handful.

Living with Bodie the Wonder Dog is like living with a four-legged flood. He puts everything he can find into his mouth - socks, shoes, wood scraps, rocks, dirt, flowers, pens, pencils, broken glass, bits of pottery - absolutely everything. Consequently we have to keep everything of value well above his reach. It looks like we're preparing for a hurricane or a breach of local levees. Our countertops are covered with things off the floor and the tops of dressers have mounds of dirty clothes since he can reach into most hampers.

Last night, I was hanging up some curtains downstairs while Bodie was scampering about, devouring something or other. I was absent-mindedly throwing the cardboard curtain rod containers into what seemed to be a trash can on the floor. My wife said, "Don't put that in there. That's not a trashcan, that's Bodie's toy bin." I replied, "You're making a rather fine point there, don't you think?"

He paid attention to the lessons taught by our Maximum Leader and quickly learned Cat Protocol.


He was a patient instructor in his own right, teaching the girls how to be proper Catican Guards.

Fortunately, he was active right up until the end and other than the normal aches and pains that come with age, he didn't suffer.

He's going to be missed sorely. We loved the old man to the moon and back.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Lolcat Of The Day

There's a story to be told, but it will have to wait. I've got pressing issues here involving small dogs.

Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Rural Mississippi At 150 MPH

I just got back from my Dixie 2021 trip where I had a wonderful time. I had a hectic schedule in Arkansas and Mississippi, trying to see and do as much as I could. When I got to God's Country - Fairhope, Alabama - I slowed down. I know I'll be back, so I relaxed and let the green beauty and friendly people wash over me.

On the trip, I spent some quality time with my new GoPro 9. I had bought a suction cup base for it so I could do driving videos. The documentation said it was made to be attached to the outside of the car, but I was worried about whether or not that was safe. The GoPro 9 comes with two guaranteed camera replacements, so if the thing fell off onto the road, GoPro would send me a new one for free. Still, it didn't seem safe.

The interior mount gave poor results. The primary problem was the glare off the windshield, but it had other drawbacks as well. I finally gave in and mounted it on the roof of the car. From there on our, the thing produced clear, stabilized movies. I love it.

The film below starts with a shot of driving at normal speed so you get a sense of a dirt road in the Magnolia State. It then speeds up to 4x normal, which would have been about 150 MPH.

Enjoy!

Friday, May 14, 2021

The Scientific Community Is Nothing But Charlatans And Poltroons

Well, the CDC, President Biden and even the infallible Fauci are now telling us what right-wing extremists and white supremacists have been saying for quite a while.

  1. Wearing a mask outdoors is idiotic.
  2. If you've been vaccinated, you don't need a mask, not no way, not no how.
  3. Kids can go back to school.

This isn't science, this is and always was self-esteem pornography. That doctors and hospitals didn't shout out against it is an indication of just how corrupt and cowardly they are. The bloody thing was transmitted through prolonged exposure indoors. Closing our beaches and hiking trails never made sense. Never. And they knew it.

Not only did closing outdoor recreation areas make no sense as a preventative measure, it actually worked against you as it meant more people were spending more time in the one place they were at risk - indoors.

Again, they knew it, but it was all about Orange Man Bad or Social Justice or whatever gave them orgasmic delight.

Wanna know what's next? We're going to "discover" that giving children puberty blockers and adult women insane doses of testosterone is very, very bad for them. It will cause cancer or early organ failure or God knows what else because testosterone in even moderate doses is poisonous to women.

And they all know it.

Wanna know what else? No one in the mainstream media will raise a peep about the prolonged lying and cowardice just like they're not doing it now because Racism or Sexism or whatever gives them orgasms.

I made my living as a scientist for many years. It makes me sick to see what's happened to the field.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Trees And Inflation

It's a travel day, so this will be short. Heading back to the desert in a few hours. Apologies for spelling or grammatical errors I didn't catch in the first draft.

I figured out why I like Dixie so much. It's warm, green, friendly and has plenty of water. That's also why I like Maui. Maui has better snorkeling and diving, but I prefer the food and people in the deep South. I stumbled upon the comparison when I took this photo of a massive tree in the front yard of my VRBO place. It reminded me of the road to Hana.

Inflation

I read only a few econobloggers these days and they're all nearly apolitical and very data-driven. They're not making much of the inflation scare, but I wonder if they're not misapplying lessons of the past. Yes, this is a boomerang moment in the economy and some inflation is expected, but it's compounded by an attack on production through taxation and regulation.

That is, we're printing money like mad at the same time as we take steps to prevent goods and services from making their way to market. We pay people to stay out of the workforce. We shut down pipelines. We keep schools closed, forcing parents to stay home instead of return to work. And then there are all the little, niggling regulations that come with the modern Ds.

More money and fewer goods gets you worse inflation than more money and the same amount of goods.

Just a thought. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Trees Eating A Boat

Here's another example of predatory vegetation. Yes, those are trees growing up out of the middle of the boat. Amazing.

I left the photos quite large, so I think they're worth a click. Enjoy!


Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Predatory Vegetation

Today was a bit damp, so I drove to various spots in southern Alabama to take stock and take photos. Photos first.

I mentioned previously that in the South, the vegetation is particularly predatory. I've got a few examples of human structures that are being consumed even as you read this.



Confronting My Prejudices

There are a couple of places in Alabama that are a 2 on the Bortle Scale. That is, they are almost as dark at night as the middle of the ocean and are therefore excellent for photographing the Milky Way. It's going to be overcast while I'm here, so I won't have a chance to shoot the stars, but I did drive to those spots to check them out.

I had expected rural Alabama to be decrepit and a bit sketchy. I was an idiot. It wasn't decrepit and it wasn't sketchy. It was what we scientists call "farmland." 

Sigh.

That was the kind of bigotry that had me sneering at the South up to about 15 years ago. When I realized what I had done, I was bit surprised that my biases had stuck with me even after becoming a Dixiephile.

There's nothing like getting out into the real world to dispel misconceptions.

Monday, May 10, 2021

A Chihuahua Plantation

 ... is what I see here in Fairhope, Alabama. Dig this lovely piece of property.

Down a beautiful, tree-lined drive lies stately Catican Manor where chihuahuas roam free on 40 acres of grasslands.

Can't you just see it? Noble chihuahuas or, rather, chihuahua mixes, running here and there, wherever their delighted hearts and very, very small brains wished. There would be no risk of them running away as they'd never make it to the boundaries of the property.

Managing the situation would be several ill-tempered cats. Perpetually annoyed by the diminutive, frolicking nutjobs, they'd ensure that order was maintained, at least to some degree.

Yes, that would be heaven. Oh, you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.

Well, actually, to be honest, I'm pretty sure I'm the only one.

Sigh. Mine is a high and lonely destiny.

Sunday, May 09, 2021

Pink

Yeah, this is a cop out post, but to tell you the truth, I'm whipped. I drove from Vicksburg to Mobile with a stop at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Hattiesburg for Mass. Last night was 4 hours of sleep. Not complaining, just ... complaining. I'm sure you can tell the difference.

This beauty is from Bellingrath Gardens in Mobile. It made me think of my mom. It might be worth a click. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 08, 2021

Reality Will Trump Disney

Far-right extremists, which may include everyone who thinks $40T in debt might be a bit too much, and white supremacists, which may include any white who doesn't flagellate in racial penance on a daily basis, are noticing that Disney has embraced Modern Nazi Race Theory.

In the past year, Disney executives have elevated the ideology of critical race theory into a new corporate dogma, bombarded employees with trainings on “systemic racism,” “white privilege,” “white fragility,” and “white saviors,” and launched racially segregated “affinity groups” at the company’s headquarters.

Blah blah blah. So what? It's got a half-life of, what, another year or so? Just how much flagellating can the average wokester do before the reality in front of their faces makes them throw up their hands and give up on the thing?

Yazoo City Data

Yesterday, I drove through Yazoo City, MS, the boyhood home of one of my heroes, Zig Ziglar. It was less than the inspiring event I had hoped it would be. I was too spooked to take snapshots as I passed the ruined houses, but I went on Google Street View this morning and grabbed a couple of screenshots. Here's two of them, plus a ruined industrial building plus the test scores of the local, all-black high school.

The house seems habitable, but it's clearly abandoned. Dig the blinds. Blinds? You can't repair or replace blinds? That's got to be the easiest and cheapest home repair job in the world. Pathetic. 

Another abandoned house. Unlike others I've seen in rural neighborhoods across the country, the roofs here are intact. Collapsing roofs are the ultimate marker of doom. In this case, a perfectly livable place has been left to rot.

Best of all, dig the trash. You might make a weak case for not having money to fix blinds, but there's no case to be made for allowing trash to just lay there. Even if the place is abandoned, why can't the neighbors pick it up? It would take 30 minutes and it's free. This isn't oppression, it's sloth.

An industrial building returning to the jungle. In San Diego, I've had neighbors who were swine and allowed their houses and yards to go to pot. In SD, the desert climate means it takes a lot longer for nature to consume a structure. Here in the South, predatory vegetation doesn't give you nearly as much time to react. All of the ruins I've seen on this trip have been partially devoured by plant life.

It's the same story everywhere. Everyone I saw on the street had smart phones. English is reading. Project Gutenberg offers free classics online. 90% illiteracy means you're not even trying.

No Dads

What hit me on this trip was the realization that dads do more than supply money and discipline to a family. They also fix things. It's a cliché, but it's true. Wife kitteh is as competent a woman as you're likely to meet, but tools are an alien language to her. My first wife grew up in a family that built houses on their mountain property with their bare hands. She participated and was very skilled, for a woman. Late in our marriage, I had gotten to the point in handiness that I had to finish every job she started. She was good, but not good enough to get things completed.

So what does it mean to have an 80% illegitimacy rate? It means nothing gets fixed. Everything falls to ruin. Here in the South, with aggressive, imperialist greenery all around you, it doesn't take long for deferred maintenance to lead to a wrecked house.

It's not race. It's family.

Back To Disney

The lunatics goose-stepping around Disney's offices, preaching the Gospel of der Volk, are living on borrowed time. The poor devils suffering through their propaganda sessions can adopt all the anti-racist postures they want for all it matters. While they're doing it, the ruin will continue.

Eventually, all but the dimmest of bulbs will see that it hasn't accomplished a thing.

Friday, May 07, 2021

Post Apocalyptic

 ... is a good way to describe parts of Yazoo City, MS. Parts are good, but a lot of it has been left to decay by the residents. Dig this photo, which I left large and might be worth a click.

I have a couple more just like it. I don't spook easily, particularly not in the daylight, but this place creeped me out so I didn't snap a lot of pictures. I just wanted to leave. I had been looking forward to visiting because it's the home town of my man, Zig Ziglar. He talked about having a serious inferiority complex coming from poverty in Yazoo, but I had no idea how bad it was.

Of course, not everyone is allowing things to fall to pieces. Here are the test scores from the standardized English language exam at the local public high school.

I have some ponderings to share about what I'm seeing, but I think they will have to wait until I get back to San Diego. I like this little MSFT Surface, but its cramped keyboard is an impediment to long blatherings.

Thursday, May 06, 2021

Waterfalls And Butterflies

... have been the order of the day so far on Dixie 2021. I've got more to share, but I've got more to do, too. I'll leave you with these two photos. I think they're worth clicks. Enjoy!

Note to Tim: I didn't take the time to identify the butterfly. If you feel like it, I'd love to know what it is.


Wednesday, May 05, 2021

The Classic Waffle House Experience

I love Dixie and I love Waffle House. That's all there is to it. Every time I go to a Waffle House for breakfast, I get the same thing - waffle, sausage and coffee. And then I get the secret ingredient: the people.

Le Chateau avec Waffles.

Yesterday morning, I went to the Waffle House in Hot Springs, Arkansas. I sat down at the counter, my favorite place, but I was all alone there. That didn't last. A young man with a motorcycle helmet sat down one seat away. He couldn't have been more than 20 and had tats everywhere, including his neck. He looked like life had been pretty rough on him.

I asked him how he was doing and he told me he was really happy. He had just landed a second job. He was working at a restaurant whose name I can't recall, and his new one was working on a landscape crew. He was genuinely excited to get a gig doing landscape in the coming Arkansas summer. He opened his wallet and showed me the reason. It was a photo of his 2-year-old son. "I'm doing it for him," he said. "I got to take care of him." I didn't look for a ring or ask about mom. That would have been gauche.

A black family came in, mom, dad and ~7-year-old daughter. There were no booths available, so they stood and waited right behind us. Daughter was wearing a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles t-shirt. This being the South, it's OK to be friendly. I told mom that it had been a while since I'd seen a TMNT shirt as our youngest was at least 17 years older than her. Mom, young enough to be our daughter, beamed. "I grew up on them!"

Tat boy moved over to sit next to me and cheerfully offered counter seats to the family. They smiled warmly and said they really wanted a booth.

We resumed our conversation. I told him my theory that fatherhood makes a man. He blurted out, "I didn't have a father." I smiled and said, "Well, you're doing a fine job of it now." In my mind, I thought, "Now there's a man's man for you." He didn't look like much on the outside, but, by God, he was John Wayne on the inside.

We talked a bit more. He told me he was building a small motorcycle for his son to share his passion for riding. "I know he's not old enough, but he will be soon." It was beautiful.

I finished and paid. As I left, I told him, "You're a good man, son."

He laughed and replied, "No matter what people say!"

I patted him on the back and said, "You can't trust everything you read on bathroom walls, now."

We both laughed.

And that's a Waffle House experience. It's good to be back in Dixie.

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Arkansas Is Gorgeous

I'm cooking and otherwise occupied right now on the first full day of Dixie 2021. I'll just drop this photo here and run off. I left it fairly large, so it might be worth a click. It's from Ouachita National Park. Enjoy!

Monday, May 03, 2021

Flowers Wearing Diamonds

We had a bit of misty rain yesterday morning. Along with the mass-casualty traffic accidents that happen every time panicked San Diegans sense the sky gods becoming angry and spraying us with water, it also left some pretty droplets on our plants. Some of these look like the facets on cut gemstones. I left this photo as large as possible, so I think it's worth a click. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 02, 2021

On Masks And Normalcy

Once the risks of the Wuhan Flu drop into the region of the standard, annual flu or pneumonia, we should go back to normal. We weren't wearing masks and avoiding each other for those so we shouldn't be neurotic for this.

I haven't done the calculations, but just on a gut feel, we hit the equivalency point about a month ago, once almost all of the high-risk people had been vaccinated. It's all a charade now.

And above all, take off the mask when you're outside.

The image came from this excellent Twitter thread.

Saturday, May 01, 2021

Integrating The Lunch Counters On Sunset Boulevard

I recently heard about a church-sponsored trip across the South, visiting a whole chain of Civil Rights museums and places where important events occurred in the struggle for black equality. Pondering how the racial justice crowd clings to the Old Days while here in 2021, black men are being shot in massive numbers by other black men and how black women are getting smacked around since no fathers or husbands are there to protect them, an analogy hit me like a ton of bricks this morning.

They're playing out the movie Sunset Boulevard.

Sunset Boulevard is a film from 1950. William Holden is a writer who needs money and Gloria Swanson plays Norma Desmond, an actress from the silent era who clings to the glories of the past. Decades have passed since the silents were shown in theaters, great art has been created, movie technologies have made leaps and bounds, but Norma can only see the distant past. Those were real stars. Those were the great movies. You'll see. They're going to make a comeback.

Integrating lunch counters in Mississippi was the real struggle. Like Norma Desmond's old movies, it's still going on in the minds of the racial justice crowd. 

Meanwhile, the world outside keeps turning and cares not a whit for the silent movies of 60 years ago.

(I)t simply cannot be disputed that the prevalence of unjust killing and violence in the Twin Cities area has vastly increased since last summer’s protests and riots. Minneapolis recorded its second-most homicides ever in 2020 — after only 1995, when the city was ignobly dubbed “Murderapolis” in national media. And the trend has continued to escalate in 2021: between January 1 and April 25, the number of homicides increased by 92% compared to the same period in 2020. More than 80% of the shooting victims in 2020 were black.

“We’re gonna blow Murderopolis off the charts this year,” one Minneapolis cop told me...

The situation is roughly the same in Saint Paul, which tied its all-time record for homicides in 2020. This year, it is on pace to break that record comfortably. The latest homicide was on Sunday night; a man was shot and killed outside a bar in an apparent carjacking. I visited the bar the following day and there was hardly any sign something was amiss — the manager only insisted that the killing had nothing to do with the bar. (Carjackings in the area have surged to an astronomical degree, as I can personally attest.)

This is just the tip of the iceberg. I would bet my bottom dollar that black girls in the hood are getting thrashed at record rates. Meanwhile, the silent movie crowd is telling black girls that Cardi B is the model for a strong, black woman and only far-right white supremacists thought Cuties was degenerate.



I'll stop here because I'm sure you not only get the point, but can find dozens more examples with almost no effort using less than 90 seconds of Interweb clickery.

I'll leave you with a look into what the civil rights tour will be like.

Friday, April 30, 2021

Happily Unemployed

My contract ended yesterday. The best guest for its renewal is 4-6 weeks. Thank God for unemployment!

I am deeply invested in the project and even more deeply invested in the success of the people on the team. As the wise, old man, I've been able to mentor many of my coworkers along the way. I've thoroughly enjoyed it. Unbeknownst to them, I feel guilty when I'm not working as if I'm letting them down. I'm paid by the hour, so I've also felt like I'm letting wife kitteh down if I'm not making money. That's all my own neuroses, not pressure from them.

Anyways, big things have been accomplished and it's been a great ride so far. Going back after a bit will be fine. In the meantime, I'm going to make a point to slow down.

Prayer, Finally

A while back, I blogged about trying to choose prayer over beer and avoid an all too common fate among the men in my family: alcoholism. This morning, I finally relaxed and sat in the Lord's presence. Yesterday, I bought one of those religious candles you sometimes see at Mexican markets, the ones with the exaggerated photo of the Sacred Heart or Mother Mary*. As Mary and I have a thing going on, I chose her.

The candle makes me smile because it's so over the top. Humans are creatures of pageantry and ritual no matter what we say and lighting it this morning made the silence, prayer and listening more fun. Yes, prayer can be fun.

I don't usually recite prayers, but after a while of listening to the Big Guy, I found myself saying Hail Marys. It just felt right. It was, well, fun.

So less coffee, little or no beer**, more prayer and a slower life will be the order of the coming days. If I hadn't been forced into it by the ending of the contract, I'd never have tried it.

Understanding the Liturgy of the Hours

The Liturgy of the Hours is a Catholic thingy where you pray and read scripture at regular intervals throughout the day. I tried it, but it's got a ton of Psalms in it and I was not a big fan of them at the time, so I quit. I'm not sure how I feel about them these days.

At any rate, the reason you pray throughout the day is that the world can quickly drag you back into your habits. You pray and feel great and then 30 minutes later it's like you didn't pray at all. By doing it every three hours or so, you continually reset your head.

Explaining Everything

I've got a new Theory of Everything that I'll share with you another time. It's simple and easy to validate with personal experience. As we can no longer trust anything given to us by journalists, academics or political leaders, we must rely on our own data points. I think I've got the thing worked out. You can be the judge.

Looking for an image of a SciAm cover that was woke, I came across Stat. I'm not sure if it was ever reputable or how popular it is, but perusing a bit of it was like going in to work and listening to the younger crowd, many of them scientists and engineers, talk Critical Race Theory and Transgenderism like they were serious things.

We can't trust anything any more.

* - A Mexican pipefitter friend of mine always referred to her as "Mama Mary" like she was family. Because she is.

** - I drank more than enough last night to celebrate the end of my contract. Beer is the all-purpose tool for life events. Happy? Beer! Sad? Beer! Bored? Beer! Hmm. I think I see how this whole alcoholism thing works. 

Thursday, April 29, 2021

In Tragedy There Is Opportunity

The Catican Compound recently experienced a profound tragedy. We're still in shock, trying to make sense of it.

Our overflow reservoir of bacon grease ran dry.

The most optimistic of us see this as an opportunity. It's a chance to grow as we pull ourselves out of despair and sorrow.

We will overcome our difficulties by making more bacon until we have two full containers of delicious grease.

I hope that our story of courage and determination will inspire some young person out there to make an effort to rise above whatever troubles them today.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Slow Motion Bird, Take 1

My new GoPro Hero 9 can shoot at 120 fps which makes for some great slow-motion video. I set it up in front of our bird bath this morning and let it run for about half an hour. It took no time at all to find a bird in the frame, crop the footage in time and size and then reduce the speed to 20%. Here are the results.


It's fuzzy because the camera was too far from the bath. Here's a still from the raw footage to give you an idea of the shot.


For some screwy reason, the GoPro doesn't come with an adapter for a standard camera tripod, or if it does, I'm looking right past it. In any case, the solution is to move the camera closer so the bath almost fills the screen. I'm betting those results will be most satisfactory.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Delicious Dog Food

Wife kitteh makes dog food for the Catican Guards. We use it to supplement their kibble because the Captain of the Guard, Bodie, had lost his appetite. He's an old man now, in his 80s in terms of human years, and we love him dearly.

The dog food has ground beef, sweet potatoes, rice and frozen, mixed vegetables. We've commented that it looks pretty appetizing as a casserole and with a few seasonings, we would eat it. She makes it in large batches, separates it into gallon food storage bags and freezes the bags we're not using.

When the homemade food runs out, I thaw one of my beef stock pucks and give them that. They prefer the beef stock by a good margin.

Recently, I had some beef stock thawed in the fridge with no use for it, so I was adding it to their kibble-homemade combo mix, just to give them a treat. When the stock ran out and they were once more served only the kibble-homemade mix, they would look at their dishes and then look at me, as if to ask, "Where is the good sauce, daddy?" In fact, for two meals running, they only picked at their food.

I remained strong and didn't pull out more stock. I didn't want to make that the new standard and run through my stock of stock. It made me wonder why dog food can't taste like meat. This morning, I looked up the best-tasting dog foods and discovered that dog food is actually taste-tested by people.

It's nice work if you can get it, I suppose.

In any case, here's the list of the best-tasting kibbles ranked by someone who claims to know what dogs want. No warranty is implied with this list, use at your own risk and your mileage my vary.

  1. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Dry Dog Food
  2. Wellness CORE Original Flavor
  3. Blue Buffalo Chicken And Brown Rice Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food
  4. Natural Balance Wild Pursuit Chicken, Turkey Meal, And Quail

Quail? Really? What, are these quail that got caught in the threshing machine or something? How do you get enough quail to make a difference?

Whatever. Blue Buffalo is available locally, so we might try that. Anything to get those big, round, soulful eyes to look elsewhere.

The Catican Guards in action.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Purple And Yellow

In preparation for my upcoming Dixie 2021 vacation to Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama, I broke down and bought the 105mm macro lens I had tested out a while back. My contract ends on Thursday, so I'm sprinting to get things finished and train the kids where I work. I don't want the project to suffer in my absence. That means there's only time for a little play.

I took the 105 out into the garden yesterday, without reading the manual, of course, and blasted away. I liked these two shots particularly.


The top one looks like a microphone with one of those fuzzy covers on it. The bottom is a tiny tomato flower. I need to work with the lens a lot more to get comfortable with it, but I think that will happen in Arkansas when I finally have time to breathe.

Using Dimensional Analysis On Shakespeare

I also indulged in a brief discussion with some over-educated children on Twitter yesterday. Their position was that it's important to have the "black" perspective when it comes to considering classic literature. I asked them to define "black." I've worked, lived and played with plenty of black people and if you got them all in a room together, you probably couldn't get them to agree on much of anything. I used these four examples and asked them to tell me which one had the "black" perspective.

  1. The Ivorian immigrant
  2. The retired E9 Corvette Club member
  3. The Southern transplant who made chitlins for her kids
  4. The woman who listened to Rush Limbaugh every day in the office

Neither of my interlocutors had anything to offer because there is nothing to offer. I got no responses to these parting shots.

I am skeptical of your racial generalizations. I maintain that racial classifications are worthless as they give us no useful information. My 4 friends are good examples of that. You have not proven otherwise.

and

Racial perspectives are a fantasy. You have not proven otherwise.

Ex: My Ivorian friend and I have spent nights drinking where he laughs and tells stories of his Kenyan wife and how different their cultures are. 

To you, they all look the same => "black" perspective.

The last one was deliberately nasty as I wanted to slap her in the face with the essence of what she was doing. In the process, I slapped myself in the face with what was happening, logically.

If you tell me someone is a retired Navy Master Chief, I can deduce several things about him. He's a serious, accomplished man. He has seen much of the world. He is a leader of men. He has a blue-collar sophistication and his opinions cannot be regarded lightly. I may or may not agree with his views on Shakespeare, but I'd have to grant that there were a lot of life experiences that formed them.

If you tell me that a man is black, I don't know what to do with it. I've lived long enough and known enough people to say that I can't deduce anything at all from that.

A more concise formulation is that skin color has the wrong dimensions for the Shakespeare analysis equations. 

Skin color comes in wombats per hectare and Shakespeare comes in allegories per page. Or something like that. In any case, to make one apply to the other would require a very tortuous set of additional parameters indeed.

Bah. The "black" perspective on classic literature is a meaningless, gibberish equation.

Special Reader Request

If someone wants to come up with a constant that is in wombats per allegory, I'd love to see it!

Super Happy Plus Number One Epiphany

It just dawned on me that what I've been doing over the last several years on this blog is re-deriving MLK's codification of race relations from first principles. The Left in America has so totally screwed up the culture with their white supremacist witch hunt mania that it takes a great deal of effort to pull myself out of it and see what is real.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Sparrows Are A Social Construct

Sparrow moms and dads cooperate to feed their chicks. The workload is too great for one sparrow, so they both do it. If one sparrow parent dies, things go much worse for the sparrowlets.

Here, dad takes a break from his toxic masculinity to feed one of his children.

This is a simple and uncontroversial fact.

At Geneseo College, wherever that is, they've created a new, segregated dorm, Umoja House. Umoja House is based on the proposition that sparrows are a social construct.

Umoja House will create an engaged intellectual community where students of diverse backgrounds can come together in a supportive environment to celebrate their identities while nurturing their leadership skills. Umoja is the first principle of Kwanzaa, meaning "unity."...

Students living in Umoja House will:

Support the needs of students of color by designing and running programs, events, and dialogue in a community-centered space.

Umoja House is also based on the proposition that satire is a social construct. Its name means unity and it's segregated.

Well.

Geneseo is yet another organization that denies that daddy sparrows contribute to the nestlings' welfare. If they acknowledged that, then the whole students-of-color-are-oppressed thing would take a distant back seat to the students-from-unmarried-parents-are-disadvantaged thing. 

I wonder if their biology classes teach that avian racism is the reason chicks who are missing one parent do poorly.

H/T: Instapundit.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Stealing First-and-a-half Base

Alternate Title: You Can't Have A Police State Without Police

Ohioan and I had a conversation off the blog yesterday, discussing my delirious ranting of late about our culture going mad instead of being motivated by conspiracies. I tried to make my point a little more clear there, so I figured I'd do the same here.

It's not a conspiracy if it's never going to work. It's not an evil plot if the intermediate steps prevent the subsequent steps. 

As Manny Ramirez can tell you, you don't steal second base by starting your slide 40' from first.

No, Manny. Just no. Because physics.

If you make it impossible to maintain order in your city, the people charged with keeping order will give up and leave. Bringing in different people to do the impossible doesn't do the impossible. It's still impossible.

Also, good luck bringing in different people. Unlike our Ivy League Elites, the people who might work for them maintaining order actually know how real things are accomplished and can recognize an impossible task when they see one.

If your theory works great on paper, but every experiment in the lab fails, then it's not a practical theory. Critical Race Theory (CRT) is one like that. Building a conspiracy out of clearly unworkable theories isn't much of a conspiracy.

Updated Formulation: If your theory is based on assumptions that are false, it's also not a practical theory. Society falls apart without marriage. If only 25% of your kids are raised in married families, but your theory pretends that 100% are, it's probably an utterly impractical theory. CRT is like that. It's not going to produce anything we might recognize as a functional system. You might get to chaos, but you won't get to a police state.

Mostly because you won't have any police.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Watching Practice Sessions

 ... is mildly interesting, but it's the games that matter, unless you're part of the Chattering Class.

Virginia is fighting for equity in math.


The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is moving to eliminate all accelerated math options prior to 11th grade, effectively keeping higher-achieving students from advancing as they usually would in the school system.

Clicking on a link to a Facebook post in that article, I read a Loudon Country School Board member say this:

(A)s currently planned, this initiative will eliminate ALL math acceleration prior to 11th grade.  That is not an exaggeration, nor does there appear to be any discretion in how local districts implement this.  All 6th graders will take Foundational Concepts 6.  All 7th graders will take Foundational Concepts 7.  All 10th graders will take Essential Concepts 10.  Only in 11th and 12th grade is there any opportunity for choice in higher math courses.  

My first reaction to this was that it seemed absolutely bananas, and that it sets a soft cap on the number of higher math courses students are going to be able to take.  My second reaction was to wonder which outside math learning franchises (Kaplan, Mathnasium, etc.) are publicly traded, because I foresee their stock soaring.

This really is bananas and it's another example of insanity - thinking without rational structure. There is no plan. Kids from unmarried families tend to have lower expectations, poorer diet, unpredictable sleep schedules and chaotic home lives. That's why they're not realizing their potential.

Our secular faith denies the advantages of married families which is actually a denial of objective reality which is a hallmark of insanity. And so, to help "disadvantaged youths" in their "communities," we eliminate advanced math classes for everyone.

The "disadvantaged youths" are still screwed because we didn't address marriage. Now we're taking away tools from the "advantaged youths" so all youths will achieve the same results.

We are deliberately handicapping our human capital. You only do that when you have no competition. It's like designing an NFL offense around nothing but trick plays. So long as no actual games are covered by the news media and the academics watch nothing but practices, the talk will be about how brilliant it all is.

But games are being played. They look like this.

Or maybe it's more like this.

Kids in India. Do you think their schools have eliminated advanced math classes?

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Right Wing Conspiracy Theories

 ... are all wrong because a conspiracy implies some kind of rational thought behind it. There is no rational thought. There is no plan. There is only madness. We are dealing with people who think they are receiving radio transmissions on their fillings from the planet Zongo. 

Two things tipped me off to this. The first was the Racial Justice crowd reacting to this.

In Columbus, Ohio, a cop was called because one black chick was attacking another black chick with a knife. The cop drew his gun and shot the knife-wielding attacker dead as her arm was in motion and she was about to gut the other black girl like a trout.

The following three reactions provide a representative sample. I'm not including White House spokeswomxn Psaki's reaction which was along the same lines.

Valerie Freaking Jarrett, heap big squaw in the Obama White House: "A Black teenage girl named Ma’Khia Bryant was killed because a police officer immediately decided to shoot her multiple times in order to break up a knife fight. Demand accountability. Fight for justice. #BlackLivesMatter."

The ACLU of Ohio: "The systems that allowed George Floyd to be murdered remain FULLY intact. Moments after we celebrated a win for police accountability in Minneapolis, news broke that @ColumbusPolice murdered a 15 year old Black girl. Her name was Ma'Khia Bryant. Say her name. #BlackLivesMatter"

LeBron James: 

This is the white cop who saved the black girl's life with quick thinking, steady nerves and a great shot. He's since been doxxed, of course.

This finally convinced me we're dealing with insanity.

There Are No Conspiracies

The primer for this conclusion was reading some right-wing thinker trying to come up with the progs' plan to govern their cities after the cops had bailed. It was all about national control. The cops would leave and then the National Guard or some such military force would come in, with the strings all pulled from DC. Yes! Yes, that's it! Of course! The Marxists all want complete control from DC! It's all so clear now!

It's immediately obvious that such a plan could never work. Picture the Guard moving in to Baltimore and dealing with shootings there. It would take all of fifteen seconds for the howling to begin. "Racism! Of the Systemic kind!" It's not the cops, it's any authority figures imposing rules at all. The progs aren't planning on centralizing power. Get that out of your head forever. There is no plan.

If you must see things in a logical sequence try this one.

  1. Remove the police
  2. hsdlhucahf akxdkpawd9 q jnn
  3. Utopia!

Men Need Tampons

We are dealing with people who sincerely believe that some men have periods and some men can be pregnant. If you disagree they begin screaming at you.

Stop. Full stop. That's what genuinely crazy people do. Genuinely crazy people do not have plans that you can comprehend. Trust me, I tried to do this. My previous wife became a psychotic. I spent over a year trying to get into her head and see the world as she did. If I really, really concentrated, I could do it for 10 minutes, max. After that, I'd lose the thread and be unable to get back into it for hours.

It's Not Working So Do More Of It

We've done the Black Lives Matter thing for almost a year now. The result is about 2,000 extra dead blacks. Sane people would see this and recalibrate their thoughts. Instead, Valerie Jarrett is now wailing about cops breaking up a knife fight where a black girl was about to die. She's using the Black Lives Matter hashtag to defend the murder of a black. Valerie's political views have driven her insane.

Power Is All That Matters

The only area where the progs' behavior makes sense is their quest for more and more power. They're not going to do anything with the power, they're just trying to amass it. The border has dissolved and we're being flooded with illegals. This is not to feed the employment rolls of MegaCorp with cheap labor as some right-wing thinkers say. It's not to save People of Color. It's simply to import votes so the progs win every election, everywhere, forever. There's no plan beyond that because there's no anything after that. All that's left is money printing to pay the bills of insanity.

Dear Podcasters

I listened to the Daily Wire's Backstage show yesterday. It's my favorite of theirs, where all their hosts get together and talk about the month's events. They are all well-read and logical. Each had their own theory of what is happening in America right now. Each one's theory had big flaws which the others pointed out.

The reason that each theory had flaws is that there is no theory. There is no plan, there is no philosophy, there is no conspiracy. This is simply a religious frenzy. Instead of throwing virgins into volcanoes, they're throwing cops into prison. Chauvin may or may not have deserved it, but the reactions above show that it's not about Chauvin and Floyd. 

It's systemic, alright. Systemic madness.

Special Bonus Gratuitous Data Point

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Derek Chauvin Was

 ... someone I never met. The altercation was in a place I've never been. The big dude with all the fentanyl in his bloodstream was also someone I never met. I didn't keep up with the trial, other than what I couldn't avoid. The event doesn't seem to have altered the course of our supertanker of cultural rot, so we keep lumbering on in the direction of broken families and massive debt.

Hoorah.

Instead of being glued to the political yakkers, I experimented with my GoPro Hero 9 yesterday. The experiments were a success in that they discovered a dead end. Dig this horrible photo. Click on it to see its full horribilosity.

Motivation: I love derelicts. Derelict buildings, derelict barns and most especially, derelict ships. I don't know why, but there's something about stuff falling apart that fascinates me. I like to wonder what it would take to rehabilitate them. When you drive through the rural countryside, you see tons of derelicts. Most of them are barns, which are built with an expected lifespan*. It's too hard to maintain them, so you build them cheaply and let them decay into collapse.

How do you photograph the things while driving? Dittos for houses and boats. You can't ever be sure if someone isn't still living there and would take umbrage, perhaps buckets of umbrage**, at a stranger stopping and getting out of his car to take a photo of their ruined property. With my new Hero 9 and its suction cup attachment device, I thought I might stick it on the passenger-side window, turn on the video and drive. I could then extract stills of any derelicts I passed.

The image above was the result of my first experiment. Meh. It doesn't hold a candle to stopping, rolling down the window and unlimbering the Nikon Artillery Piece. I had hoped to find a remote shutter trigger for my Nikon D3500, but it turns out that the 3500 is one of the few Nikons that cannot be triggered remotely. Argh. So much for attaching that brute to the window and firing away while driving.

So we still don't have a solution that is both unobtrusive and produces quality results. Oh well. As Thomas Edison said to William Joseph Hammer as they trudged back to the lab, carrying big screen TVs and Nike shoes after rioting for justice, "Bill, there's got to be a better way to take photos from a moving car. If we keep working, we just might find it."

* - This is only a theory on my part, city slicker that I am.

** - I have to admit that I don't know umbrage quantity lingo. Is it hectares of umbrage? Gallons of umbrage? Square ohms of umbrage? Hmmm.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Genius

Dig this video from Take Charge Minnesota. Pure genius.

Mostly Nothing turned me on to them and when we comment-discussed their efforts to restore the black family in our culture, Tim asked the crucial question: How do they plan on doing it? Are they going to resort to finger-wagging?

Well, the answer is right there and it's brilliant. A cat with a history of prodigious finger-wagging, I would have wagged several fingers at the same time. Instead, they opted for a softer approach. I love that it's all good cheer and kindness. It doesn't tell you that you're a sinner, it just shows you a better way.

I liked them before, but I'm sold now. I feel like a refrigerator salesman who tries a new razor and loves it so much that he quits his job for Whirlpool to go join the razor company. Kendall Qualls, the chap who runs Take Charge Minnesota, is happy to work with others. I've started to hunt for connections and allies for them.

With my fulltime retirement hitch coming up in 9 days, I'll have the time to pull threads. This is going to be fun.

Special Bonus Tidbit

Wife kitteh saw the video and asked if we were supporting them. I said yes and told her how much we'd donated. She wanted us to give them more. 

Yep. It's like that.

TCM Contacts

Monday, April 19, 2021

The C And The Filament Proclaim His Glory!

... where C is the speed of light.

Yesterday, sitting in church before Mass, I was supposed to be praying, but I never do. It's too hard and I'm too lazy. Instead, I look around with my mind wandering.

Thinking of a conversation here on the blog about life as an adventure story, I stared at the incandescent lights over the altar. Watching the lights mixed with the thought that God has created the setting, a basic plot structure and, as the heroes and heroines of our story, we get to choose our own path.

In Orthodoxy, Chesterton compares reality to the world of a fairy tale. Things don't have to be the way they are. Grass could have been blue instead of green. More to the point, He could have created a world where there weren't many fixed laws and instead there was fantastic, whimsical chaos.

Going back to the light bulb, isn't it cool that we live in a world with so many natural laws to discover and inventions to create? It's like there's a constant dialog like this:

The Big Dude: Yo, Edison! Check this out. Current going through a resistive wire can make it glow.

Thomas Edison: Whoa! That's cool! How does it work?

TBD: You go figure it out. I gave you a world that consistently responds to experimentation, so it's all waiting for you to find.

Edison: Awesome! To the lab, men! There are divine Easter eggs to discover all around us!

I'm currently reading Killian Healy's Awakening Your Soul to the Presence of God and thoroughly enjoying it. It's an easy read with some nuggets of wisdom that I've heard before, but never absorbed until Killian rephrased them. One describes how to develop a delighted love for God through observing the natural world.

Like making time-lapse movies of tomatoes. Another divine Easter egg. Sweet!

Yesterday's photo. The plants have begun to fruit, so growth will stall out as they put their energy into providing us with delicious Roma tomatoes for wife kitteh's homemade sauce.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Ego And Pride

Preface: I'm retired from my career, come back as a contractor-consultant. My contract expires in 11 days and the customer is desperate to renew it ASAP. We're in the middle of rolling out an important product where I've been the chief engineer, designer and developer.

On with the show.

To say I'm looking forward to my upcoming, semi-voluntary vacation would be an understatement. Emotionally, it will be a watershed moment. The vacation will be a solo trip to Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama, dubbed Dixie 2021. As far as I'm concerned, it could be used to date things. There would be BD21 and AD21 - Before Dixie and After Dixie. It's going to be epic.

But ...

I have this huge fear that in the couple of months I'll be gone, waiting for a new contract, the team will discover they don't need me back.

Is it rational? Who knows? We'll find out. It's certainly not rational from a selfish point of view. I've run the numbers and there's no longer any financial need for me to work. If they called me and said, "We love you, KT, but feel free to stay retired," I could move on to culinary school, sailing, metalworking, art, photography, diving and being an annoying crusader for married families. I've 120 hours a week planned after retirement.

But what if they don't want me to come back? I'd be crushed. We can be such fragile creatures, no?

I can't bear the thought. When the project is fully fielded and stable, I want to go out, surrounded by coworkers weeping the bitter tears of despair. I shall idly straighten my cravat, brush a speck of dust from the irreproachable Mechlin lace at my wrists and say encouraging things with a whimsical, insouciant air.


Yep. That's the way to do it, not run out of the office like an unwanted cur.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

How Many Sequels Do We Need To See?

KT's Wild, Tinfoil Hat Theory of Secession: If it comes, secession will come for practical, functional reasons. At some point, it will become impossible to live anything like a normal life while attached to blue America.

Way back when, I remember watching a James Bond movie in the theater thinking, "The franchise has become a set of chase scenes glued together with an implausible plot. It's all about the chase scenes and nothing else." I'm sure you could say the same for the Fast and Furious franchise.

Daunte Wright got shot by accident in Minnesota after he resisted arrest. The political leaders blamed the cops and unsubtly implied they were racist. Racially-motivated riots ensued. Now we're sitting through another sequel. Last night, there were riots in DC and, of course, Portland, triggered by catalysts that are unclear to me.

If you took the time, you could calculate the expected value of the number of days between riots across the country. Blacks, most lacking intact families, commit a hugely disproportionate number of crimes. Cops have to respond. The Elites* cheerlead for a race war. When cops and suspects come in contact, sometimes the suspect resists arrest and gets killed. Riot!

I'm sure it's subject to a standard Mean Time Between Failures analysis.

We are doomed to experience more riots no matter what we do as individuals. In that chain, the cops have and will continue to respond by removing the "cops have to respond" link. That leads to more dangerous, wrecked cities for the rest of us. As long as we remain chained to Blue America, this will continue.

The cities aren't getting rebuilt. We may print money and hand it out to the victims of the riots, but there's a difference between holding colored pieces of paper and having a functional, urban shop. Best Buy becomes a burned-out husk which the Elites turn into digits in a corporate balance sheet with printed money. You can't shop at a balance sheet. In the end, Normals will have to choose between secession and living in chaos and ruin.

Powerline has done a good job tracking the most recent riots in Minnesota. Local sheriffs have been brought in to supplement the city cops. Blue politicians are telling them not to use force and the sheriffs are threatening to bail out, leaving the cops on their own. To me, it seems obvious that cops will continue to flee blue cities. Like an army that knows it is defeated, the soldier-cops will melt away, leaving blue America with no tools to maintain order.

Note that I'm not talking politics, I'm talking about the practical aspects of providing a livable society for the average dude and dudette. This is the logical next film in the franchise where the Elites don't understand how things work. Daunte's death and the subsequent riots were perfectly predictable. The Elites' response guarantees another.

That can't go on forever.

You could write this same blog post about the debt, the squandering of our human capital and the dissolution of our borders. All contribute to an unlivable society for Normals.

There won't be secession for political reasons, it will be a secession born of sheer resignation and exhaustion.

I know all of this is true. The aliens of Zontar-6 have been sending me brain waves, telling me about it.

Special Bonus Data Point From Last Night



Super Special Additional Bonus Data Point Submitted Without Comment


* - I've bought into Kurt Schlichter's separation of America into Elites and Normals. He's a wild-eyed firebrand, but I'm sympathetic to his themes.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Prayer Instead Of Beer?

I've got 13 more days before I turn into a pumpkin at work. My contract is ending and there will be roughly 2 months before it's renewed. It's no big deal to us, financially, but it's a big deal to the project. We're launching it for real right about now. It's big, it's complicated and I'm the primary architect / engineer of the thing. 

For the next 13 days, just like the last 14, I'll be working as hard as I can to get things documented and debugged. I want it bulletproof and well-understood by the time I leave so the team doesn't get blindsided by something. The workdays have been long and my sleep schedule is all horked up as I sometimes awake at 0300 and then can't get back to sleep, thinking about what needs to be done. My workday then starts at 0330.

By the end of the day, I'm fried. Habitually, I turn to beer, but I like the results of that less with each passing day. Dealing with brain fatigue by consuming low-grade poison is stupid. Looking up some tips on dealing with deep-fried brain, there's talk about "mindfulness" which is just a watered-down, secular echo of prayer.

Hmm.

Sadly, our local Perpetual Adoration Chapel is still closed due to Wuhan Flu Paranoia. That was my go-to sanctuary of prayer and meditation. Relying on somewhere I had to drive to was a poor choice in the first place. It's useless unless I've got an hour to spare. When I was a pup, I used to hear older people talk about having an area in their home they used as a small chapel. I thought it was interesting, but never did anything about it. It might be time to try creating one now.

The beer never really works anyway.

Note: When I pray, I don't recite. I used to start with the Rosary, but I don't do that so much any more. Instead, I try to blank my mind and listen to what The Big Dude wants to tell me.

Watching the critters at Ken Little's feeding station in Hoover, AL is always a good second choice.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Remodeling Vs. Moving

I don't know about where you are, but the real estate market in San Diego is crazed. I'd blogged before about our desire for a bigger lot and a house closer to future grandkittens, but that's all off now. Instead, we're going to remodel our 1970s-era house and somewhat modestly at that.

Like most houses of the time, it's broken up into small, dedicated rooms. There's a dining room we never use, a living room we never use and a family room where no more than 3 people at a time can comfortably watch Alabama drop 52 on Ohio State. The kitchen is adequate for parties up to 12 people, but beyond that, it's cramped. Cooking for 20 or more requires making some things a day in advance.

And so, we met with a designer and an architect, both with more than a touch of the Pampas about them. I've been through remodels and built a custom home. Wife kitteh has been through at least one remodel. We described what we wanted to the young Argentinian couple who had good ideas and plenty of enthusiasm. I smiled at my reaction to them. Part of me wondered if they were too young to be competent. Then I remembered that people my age wouldn't be doing that kind of work any more.

Soon, everyone will be too young to be competent to me. :-)

The other reaction I had was one of relaxation. I was ready to hire them after about an hour, but they didn't read the signals and the young lady kept talking. As Ohioan at Heart knows, you don't talk past the point of sale. Once the prospect has indicated a willingness to buy, all you can do is hurt yourself. But she chattered on in a charming way and I again wondered bemusedly at her youthfulness. It was cute.

I can predict the future of the project. They'll come back with a design or three, I'll go chalk them out in 1-1 scale on a blacktop basketball court nearby, wife kitteh and I will walk through it, there will be a quick and obvious choice and off we'll go. It's not that hard, really, once you know the tricks.

I brought this plan up to the kids and they were surprised. They had never heard of such a thing! They had 3D models and everything! Bah. 3D models indeed. Pull up a chair and let Uncle Tubby show you how to choose a floorplan, children.

Finally, I was relaxed because I realized an 80% solution would be fine. It doesn't need to be perfect. When you buy a house, you never get perfection, you get 80% at best and then you live. Your life isn't incomplete because the stove is here instead of there. You flow around your environment and adjust for it. It's all good.

People make fun of Bob Ross, but he's got the right idea. Searching for perfection is exhausting. That energy can be used for better things.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

So Much Programming!

At the end of a long day, I checked my YouTube subscriptions and watched this video yesterday. It's someone called Gina Florio talking about how she was red pilled. I have no idea who or what a Gina Florio is, but what captivated me was her description of the cult indoctrination at Harvard.

Also yesterday, while waiting for some scripts to run, I engaged in a desultory conversations on Twitter. Here's the exchange that seeded the clouds of conversation.

I had a back-and-forth for a bit with a young, black man who blamed systemic racism for everything, probably up to and including his acne. I brought up the example of Baltimore, wherein sincere, white anti-racists and black activists have run everything for 60 years and he replied, apparently unironically, with a Baltimore Sun story on police malfeasance that featured this photo.

I dunno, man, if I didn't know better, I'd say that looked like a white cop, undoubtedly full of racism, with a pair of black women in some sort of civilian, supervisory roles. That such an obvious data point slipped by the dude attests to the thoroughness of his racialist training.

Finally, there was a story on Fox Business about inflation numbers. I guess March came in at 0.6% after February's 0.4%. Of particular interest were all the right-wing cultists in the comments blaming Biden for printing money like mad. Um, guys? We just finished 4 years of Mr. Debt. Trump and his buddies in the legislature did the same thing. Certainly not to the level of madness of the Ds, but let's not kid ourselves here.

And so everyone received their inputs and everyone ran their subroutines. At the end of the day, I went downstairs and wife kitteh was watching PBS news. I hadn't seen it in a long while. I felt like I was watching a Soviet newscast. The proper narratives* were being reinforced with every story in a tone and patter fit for stupid children.

Don't think that I'm sneering at the people involved in these stories. The young, black man was pathetic only in that his programming had turned him into a whiny, self-defeating loser. The conservatives at Fox Business had lost whatever acumen they had and were merely repeating talking points like magpies. Worse yet, many bragged about getting out of the market to avoid some kind of Biden Crash when cash might be the dumbest investment you can have during an inflationary period.

I know we're all programmed in some way or another, myself included, but yesterday was full of extreme examples of it.

* - PBS had three narratives in particular.

  1. Diversity, diversity, diversity. Race is all.
  2. Democrat political leaders are so wise and kind! See? Here is Governor Newsom spending money to fight wildfires which are caused by Climate Change Global Warming.
  3. When it came to the government, the PBS female android told us how much was being spent and how much more would be spent later. There was no reference to what would be accomplished, only that the 5-year plan to spend elebenty zillion dollars would be met. An innocent dupe or not, I couldn't help being utterly uncharitable and feeling that she deserved everything that was coming at her.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

San Diego NASCAR

I recently bought a GoPro Hero 9 along with a suction-cup vehicle attachment. I attached it to the interior of my Juke's windshield and took it for its maiden run yesterday morning. 

The GoPro 9 has a TimeWarp feature which will do accelerated videos with stabilization, but I couldn't figure it out, so I just took a normal video and brought it into Adobe Premiere. I accelerated the video by a factor of 4, so the effective speed of the car is 260-280 MPH. 

The GoPro 9 video quality and size is substantially better than my old GoPro 3's. I discovered that larger videos need larger bandwidth, so I couldn't use my old standby data rate settings and had to increase them quite a bit. It still ended up a bit pixelated, but that's OK for a trial. In any case, enjoy!


More Thoughts on Daunte Wright

Police bodycam footage was released and apparently the cop shot the wrong thing at Daunte. She says she meant to taze him, but shot him instead. That's a tragedy. Cops are going to make mistakes. Daunte would still be alive if he'd obeyed the lawful orders of the police. He didn't and now he's dead. 

The natural response these days is to loot Target and burn Dollar Tree. Or is that loot Nike and burn Dorman's Auto Supply? Maybe it's loot and burn all four. After that, we will criticize the police and send them for more training. The cop who made the mistake may be tried in court for murder.

More cops will leave, more businesses will flee and more fatherless kids will run wild with the Elites patting them on the head and giving them permission. Money will come to the local government and insurance companies from "Covid Relief" or "Infrastructure" bills whose thousands of pages will be unread by any one person and whose multi-trillion dollar price tag will be paid by the Fed. No one will have to work an extra minute of overtime to fund the things since it's all colored pieces of paper.

The debasement of the currency is the shadow cast by the debasement of the culture.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Income And Wealth Are Markers Of Behavior

Over at The Grumpy Economist, there's a good essay that amplifies another good essay on Bidenomics. Here's a summarizing tidbit.

Growth

Old view: Scarcity is the default condition of economies: the demand for goods, services, labor and capital is limitless, their supply is limited. ...faster growth requires raising potential by increasing incentives to work and invest. Macroeconomic tools—monetary and fiscal policy—are only occasionally needed to deal with recessions and inflation.

New view: Slack is the default condition of economies. Growth is held back not by supply but chronic lack of demand, calling for continuously stimulative fiscal and monetary policy. J.W. Mason.. said, that “‘depression economics’ applies basically all of the time.”

It goes on to debate the economic models, charts, graphs and third-derivatives of M2 money supply vs hectares of soybeans in Kansas. Or something like that.

Keep that in mind when you read about yesterday's riots in Minneapolis over the death of a young criminal who was shot by police while resisting arrest. Here's what the state's governor had to say.

“I am closely monitoring the situation in Brooklyn Center,” Democrat Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz tweeted after the situation turned chaotic. “Gwen and I are praying for Daunte Wright’s family as our state mourns another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement.”

There's no mistaking that message. The cops, employees of the local government, "took the life" of a "Black man," Daunte Wright. Their boss' s boss, is signally to everyone that they're "taking lives." Just how long would you continue to work in a dangerous job for such people?

Here's a glimpse of the "Black man" from his own social media feeds. H/T: Ian Miles Cheong.



You're losing cops in defense of guys like this. In exchange for that, Washington DC will print money and send it to you. That's the essence of what's going on across the country, whether it's the open border down south or the ongoing riots in Portland or the San Diego School District eliminating tests and homework in the service of "racial justice."

All of those graphs and charts are derivative data points. That is, they're showing you results once-removed from the actual problem. The reason the debt is so massive and the reason we're having to print money in the first place is that we've debased our culture. Having isn't connected to earning. Success is not connected to work, it's connected to "equity," whatever that is. Kids like Daunte are being processed through the school system on a conveyer belt regardless of their performance because there are too many for the school system to hold back when they fail.

One more data point. We're losing wars without acknowledging that we lost or why we lost. Dig this.

Glenn is at least partially right, but he's missing the bigger point. While our military leadership gibbered about "diversity being a force multiplier," we lost the longest-running war in our nation's history to a technologically inferior enemy whose entire ihe kpatara ịdị adị* is the elimination of all diversity, everywhere. And yet, no one is aking our Joint Chiefs of Staff about this any more than anyone is asking Tim Walz about his preference for thugs over cops.

The Elites are living in a world of pure thought where feelings are the dominant currency. The Normals, like cops in Minneapolis and Army infantrymen in Afghanistan, live in the world of Rudyard Kipling. We don't have an economic problem, we have a cultural one.

Bonus Data Point

How long can we allow the destruction of private property to continue? Or, more to the point of the post, how long can you pay for the destruction with printed money?

* "Ihe kpatara ịdị adị" is Igbo for raison d'êtreRaison d'être is French and the French are white so raison d'être is racist, hence the Igbo translation. We try not to be racist on this blog.