Thursday, September 29, 2022

Goodbye NATO?

This is something that's been shuffling around in my head for a while now.

What happens when winter comes to Europe? I've read lots of articles about how European energy prices are exploding, but that's just an indicator of the real problem. Print and hand out all the Euros and Pounds you want, you can't make energy out of thin air. When it's all used up, it's gone, not available at any price.


People are going to get angry. Voting people in particular. Frightened politicians will need a scapegoat and who makes a better scapegoat than President Dementia? They can point to lots and lots of videos of him flexing his sagging, wrinkly biceps at Putin, but who is really paying the price for sending bombs instead of diplomats? How long will the German and Polish pols sit there and take the hits for his obsession with Vlad, particularly now that everyone can see that Russia isn't a threat to anyone?

I know this is a really crazy idea, but could this end NATO? If we get a hard winter, if the new holes in the Nordstream pipeline get bigger or cannot be repaired before cold weather and rough seas hit, if people start freezing in their homes, it will be really hard to keep following the lead of a guy who is clearly out of it.

Finally, who really cares about Ukraine anyway? Once the krauts take to the streets and demand heat, jettisoning Zelensky will make a lot more sense than stiffing die Männer und Frauen of Düsseldorf and waiting for them to respond with real rage.

PS - The greens have got to be toast by now. Global Warming Climate Change is a hard sell when you're freezing your schnitzel off

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Plantar Fasciitis

I had to share this with you. I've been fighting some very painful plantar fasciitis over the past two weeks. It has made it painful to walk and I've had to cut my workouts short when I've gone at all.

My Achilles tendons have always been very tight. I had to quit Kung Fu because of them, short of my black sash. I stretched and did yoga, but in the end, I simply could not do the necessary, exotic kicks to make the final grade. Plantar fasciitis exploits that tightness to cause tremendous pain in your heel.

Today, this arrived from Amazon.

Great googly moogly, that thing works wonders. Just for grins, I wore it for a half an hour when I got home and already my pain is almost gone. You're supposed to wear it overnight, but many people complain about how bulky it is. Who cares? I figure I'll wear it as long as I can and then put it back on when I get up in the morning and I ought to be able to work out as normal tomorrow.

I can't recommend it highly enough if you're suffering with the big PF.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Hang 'Em High

 ... the tobacco stalks, that is.

I harvested my tobacco yesterday. Well, all I had room for in my garage as things stood, which amounted to 8 of my 20 plants. This time, I took the easy way out and cut down the whole plants and hung them upside-down, as-is.

The crop right before harvesting. The Virginians were tall and stately. The biggest of them was 5' 6". The Tennesseans were short and swarthy, but with broader leaves. I only harvested Virginians and ran out of hanging space in the garage before I got them all.

The stalks in the garage. Fittingly, you can just barely see the pictures of Lee and Jackson looking on approvingly in the background.

This time, I'm not going to let the cure to the point of crispiness. Once they turn brown, I'll take them down and go about the fermentation process while the leaves are still pliable. I might even smoke some of it before I ferment it, just so I can get a few puffs of it in case I ruin it again.

I ended up with a lot more tobacco than last time because I planted them well-spaced in the ground instead of crowded together in a planter box. They responded by stretching out and getting really big.

This might just end up well.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

What's The MBTF For Cops?

That is, if you are a cop, what is the mean time between howls for racial justice from the politicians that run your city?

I've read quite a few essays like this one discussing candidate solutions for the loss of police in blue cities. New Orleans, for example, now has fewer than 500 officers on the beat. They need something on the order of 2,000. The city is disintegrating into lawlessness.

Dig this bit from Philly.

It's chaos with no cops in sight.

The Democrats must keep blacks voting for them in the 85-90% range in order to have any chance of winning national elections. Their primary tool for this is racial paranoia. The message is simple: Whites are out to get them and their only protection is to vote blue.

In most blue cities, being a cop gives you a shot at a handsome pension after about 25 years of service. The trick is to survive to get your pension. Under optimal conditions, the job is sufficiently risky to make that less than a sure thing. Under modern conditions in blue cities, a dispassionate calculation of the odds makes it a risk not worth taking.

In short, someone entering the police force in a blue city needs to assess whether or not he can trust the Democrats running the place to not scream for his blood one or more times during a 25-year career. In 2020, the Democrats did just that, all over the country. With that in very recent memory, solutions like this, pulled from the essay linked above, won't work.

The obvious solution is to recruit and train new police officers to reduce overtime costs and stress on the thin blue line. But over the past two years, there has been a dramatic drop in police department applicants. Many young people who may have had an interest in taking the exam and going through the rigorous preemployment background investigation have witnessed the inaction of cities across the country to support their officers. Without a significant change in leadership and tone, these possible recruits may move on and never look back.

At issue isn't whether or not progressive politicians will say nice things about the cops this year, it's whether or not they're going to go full Ta-Nehisi Coates in the next ten to twenty years. A brief perusal of lefty media such as NPR, CNN and MSNBC says they almost certainly will. The recent release of the deranged, racial-vengeance movie, The Woman King, says that Hollywood isn't going to help, either.

Finally, there's the matter of scale. Watching the video above, what would one or two cops have been able to do against that mob? Given the level of hate whipped up by the progressives since George Floyd OD'd his way to immortality, you'd have to be suicidal to take that on without a platoon or more at your back.

Offer all the pay incentives you want, I don't see how you can even get to replacement level recruiting so long as your chances of surviving to reach retirement are doubtful at best.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Angry Watermelons

 ... make angry watermelon wine.

That's the only thing I can think given the results of my wine making. I finally bottled my Georgia melons last night after having given up that they would ever finish fermenting or take the edge off their hostility. You're supposed to allow them to ferment until the hydrometer reads below 1.0, which indicates that all of the available sugars have been used, but mine stalled out at 1.024 and no amount of waiting around would get it to finish.

A quick tutorial is in order. Water has a specific gravity of 1.0. Alcohol is less than 1 and sugar water is more than 1. As the yeast eats the sugar and converts is to alcohol, your specific gravity falls. You're supposed to take a specific gravity reading before fermentation starts so you get an idea of the percent of alcohol in your wine at the end, but as I'm full on Johnny Reb these days, I rebelled against doing it the right way and skipped that step.

Read: As usual, I was trying to do too much and was in a hurry when I began fermentation.

My bet is that the wine started out with a ton of sugar and a very high specific gravity. The yeast did its job until the alcohol content rose to the point that the yeast died of alcohol poisoning.

Mostly Nothing will tell you that I used to brew beer the same way. These days, my old Schweinbrau would have been considered a double or triple as I would let it ferment until the yeast was killed by the alcohol. No hydrometering for me, no sir!

In any case, Uncle Tubby's Old Vine Pink, as we are now calling it, is a pretty angry wine. Wife kitteh thinks it has a bouquet reminiscent of low quality cough medicine and can't get past that to acknowledge the fact that for a cheesy fruit wine, it's not very sweet. To be honest, as she didn't try it two weeks ago, she has no idea how far it has come. Two weeks ago, I was about to throw it all down the drain. When I tried some sips last night, I actually liked it.

In order to boost the sweetness, I added about 3/4 tsp of sugar to each bottle I left one undoctored and we'll see how that goes. It's got to age for at least two months in the bottle and I'm hoping that further tames the brutes.

I looked up solutions to hostile homemade wine last night on the web and discovered that watermelon wine is difficult to make for just this reason. I guess the unpleasant flavor of the melon rind comes through unless you do everything just right. Oh well. 

Now it's on to label design.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Fat, Fat, The Water Rat

In August, I celebrated my 60th birthday. I had been lifting weights for the previous year and was quite serious about it. I tried to work out 6 days a week, but typically, it was 5. I had set goals for myself to hit by my birthday.

  • 60# dumbbell curls
  • 90# tricep extensions
  • 500# incline leg presses
  • 6-pack abs

I hit the first three, but not the abs. There's an old saying that I learned last year - abs are made in the kitchen. There's another - you can't outwork a bad diet. I worked my abs hard, but they remained concealed by congeal.

At the Instapundit's suggestion, I recently bought Bigger, Leaner, Stronger. In it, I discovered that my diet had indeed been poor and not just because of the brewskis. If you're lifting, the author recommends a 2-2-1 diet. That's the ratio of grams of carbs to grams of protein to grams of fat. Mine had been more like 4-2-1. I was getting way too many carbs and only about half the protein I needed.

I've adjusted my diet since reading that, but I'm not counting my macros - those grams by type, listed above. I'm just doing better. I've been tracking my beer intake now for months and over the last couple of weeks, I've cut it back in a way that's sustainable.

By the way, beer has carbs, but bourbon doesn't. No, I'm not hitting the sauce, but facts are facts.

In any case, being a sciencey type, I decided that things need to be measured. I looked up local body fat assessment places and finally made an appointment with an establishment that does full-body scans. Those are supposed to be the most accurate.

I bought a 4-pack of testings and went for my first one today, figuring I'll go every 3 months to see if I'm making progress. Today's results were disappointing.

I'm 34.4% lard. Ouch! I doubted the results, but then I looked at photos of men by body fat and sure enough, I'm in the 30-34 range.

I'm stronger now than I've ever been in my life but there's the blobby gut just sitting there, mocking me. My new goal is 20% body fat.

At first, I'm just going to see what happens when I'm aware of my macros. I'm not going to count calories, but I will continue to track the brews and see if I can keep them under control.


The other thing the book taught me is that my sets have been wrong all this time. In order to make weightlifting gains, you need to push your muscles for more sets than I'd been doing. My previous routine was 15-12-10-5 reps with the weight increasing commensurate with the decrease in reps. Only the last set really pushed my limits. I should have been doing double that. These days, I'm doing 15-10-7-5. The last two sets are stressors. The first set is a lightweight warmup to get my joints used to the motion.

In any case, wife kitteh has been able to tell the difference and I feel a whole lot better after a year of working out seriously. My cardio has improved, too. I'm now doing 25 minutes of incline fast walking on the treadmill at the end of every workout. I've seen my heart rate drop over time, which shows me at least that part is doing it's job.

Now if I can just get rid of this gut...

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Admiral Scheer Was A Pedophile

Let me see if I can connect these dots.

The Admiral Scheer was a German pocket battleship in WW II. It was a commerce raider, designed to prey upon transatlantic convoys. It had one particularly successful encounter, described in detail here.

The Admiral Scheer.

(Convoy) HX84 departs on 28th October with two Canadian destroyers as escorts and one auxiliary cruiser, the HMS Jervis Bay. The weather is typically unpleasant for that time of year, but nevertheless the convoy presses on across the rains and big waves of the North Atlantic.

After one day, both the destroyers make their way back to Halifax, leaving the ships of HX84 under the protection of Jervis Bay. But she isn’t a warship: an auxiliary cruiser was an ocean liner with guns bolted to her decks...

After a week at sea, in amongst November’s darkening nights and cold seas, the convoy is spotted by the German heavy cruiser, Admiral Scheer. This ship is well armoured, has a basic radar for finding range, and six 11” guns. Her class has been designed as commerce raiders and she’s exactly what the British fear: convoys are strong against submarines, but are effectively lambs to the slaughter where surface raiders are involved...

After tense minutes, the captain of the Jervis Bay orders them to fire. They are hopelessly outclassed; some shots land near the Admiral Scheer but after a handful of salvos, the bridge of the Jervis Bay is hit. She is ablaze from stem to stern, mauled by those 11” guns, and sinking fast...

The Admiral Scheer sank the SS Maidan, then set the tanker San Demetrio ablaze. She turned, sank SS Trewllard in short order, and started firing at SS Kenbane Head. For convoys this was the nightmare scenario : they might avoid the lone U-boats of the period, but once a commerce raiders was amongst them, they were doomed.

Beaverford’s captain was Hugh Pettigrew, a 60 year old Scot who had been a merchant seaman for most of his life, although seeing service in the Great War. Seeing the Kenbane Head come under fire, he realised the game was up. He ordered his crew to come about, and fire her 3” bow pea shooter at the Admiral Scheer, as the late Autumnal darkness fell about them.

The first shot landed surprisingly close to the German panzerschiff. By this time, Kenbane Head was sinking, and the Admiral Scheer turned its sights onto Beaverford. She fired star shells to light up the target, and Captain Pettigrew ordered a turn, to bring the stern 4” gun into play. He signalled the rest of the convoy:

“It is our turn now. So long. The captain and crew of SS Beaverford”.

The Pedophile

Earlier this week, video surfaced of a teacher in an Ontario, Canada public school who is clearly a massive pervert. He used to dress as a normal man, but now he wears a wig, short shorts and grotesque,  massive, fake breasts. He is not a woman nor is he pretending to be. He is a degenerate fetishist.

From Matt Walsh's show:

Tucker did a better summary of it, but there it is.

If you see the children as the convoy and the pervert as the Admiral Scheer, you quickly come to discover that there are indeed, no escorts.

The school system and the school board have sided with the pervert.

There's a future blog post here wherein we ponder why no fathers have come in to rough up this creep. He is engaging in a sexual fetish with the kids as passive participants.

What happens when you try to suppress masculinity? One consequence seems to be the absence of fathers protecting their children from perverts. All this time, I've been waiting for one of these predators to get thrashed by a dad or a group of dads, but it never happens.

The escorts aren't coming to save the convoy because there aren't any around.

I suspect that had this happened in a predominantly Muslim community, things would be different.

Monday, September 19, 2022

50% Casualties Is Perfectly Acceptable For A Dinner Party

 ... at least that's what I told myself on Saturday as I thawed 8 Cornish game hens.

The problem with the hens is always this: They come from the store as little elliptical solids of ice. I typically buy them the day of the party because I use them so rarely. They're an inspirationally-driven dish and it's only when I get that spark of madness that I decided to make them. As such, I've got to get them thawed by 4 PM or so to begin their preparation.

This being the Catican Compound, nothing is ever as straightforward as going to the store in the morning, buying the hens and having a full day to thaw them. Instead, the best I can manage as I try to do too much, is to get them home by about 1 PM or so. On Saturday, it was 2 PM.

So there I was with eight hens - wife kitteh having invited three couples - and two hours to thaw the tiny brutes. I went with my tried and true method of putting them in warm brine. 1/3 cup of salt and 1/3 cup of brown sugar per gallon of water at tap-temperature will do the trick for a couple of frozen pork chops or chicken leg quarters. 8 hens were a different matter. The sheer mass of ice meant you couldn't do it at room temperature.

That's a lot of ice.

I made two gallons of brine, put it in a huge stock pot and dumped in the birds. I put it on the stove and heated it up to skin-warm temperature. My guess was 85-90 degrees. And there they sat, poultry in a warm bath, the perfect breeding ground for gut-wrenching bacteria.

You know it's going to be a good party when you're making guest survival odds estimates in your head.

And yet, they came out perfectly. They were thawed all the way through and I was able to stuff them without pulling out any lingering ice. I wondered if the salt water had something to do with it.

Afterwards, they browned properly on the stove and cooked quite nicely in the oven. No one got sick and the taste was just what I'd hoped for Cornish Game Hens with Crawfish Cornbread Stuffing.

I never doubted it for a minute. Two hours of doubt, maybe, but never a minute.

Stuffed hens, extra stuffing, gravy and beer. Life is good.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

McDonald's Jails

 ... would be the answer. Dig this.

McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski has called on government and business leaders in Chicago to do more to address safety concerns in the city amid a wave of crime and violence.

The CEO said the company will move its innovation center from Romeoville to its West Loop headquarters.

However, Kempczinski said the burger chain had been battling chronic crime issues which have in turn made it harder for the chain to recruit new workers, Chicago Business reported.

“There’s a general sense out there that our city is in crisis,” he said.

“The truth is, it’s more difficult today for me to convince [a McDonald’s executive] to relocate to Chicago from one of our other offices than it was just a few years ago. It’s more difficult for me to recruit a new employee to McDonald’s to join us in Chicago than it was in the past.”

Outside of the family, the only solution to crime is more jails, more cops, more arrests and more convictions. That's it. That's all there is.

The alternative is more traditional families where one man marries one woman and then they have kids. At which point, dad takes the family out to dinner at McDonald's.

Just out of curiosity, did McDonald's participate in Pride Month?

Yes. Yes, it did.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Arm The Transmen!

I saw this article about putting more guns in our schools, which was greeted with applause on the right. I wondered if anyone was thinking about the direction this is going.

LOVELAND — The Thompson School District Board of Education on Wednesday approved a plan that officials say will allow them more flexibility in arming school staff, while keeping down the cost to the district.

Thompson School District covers Loveland and Berthoud in Northern Colorado.

A resolution creating the new School Security Officer (SSO) position in the district will allow employees who volunteer to go through extensive training to carry a concealed handgun as an expansion of their current duties for the district.

We didn't used to have armed guards in our schools. I remember going to grade school in Oklahoma and the nuns weren't packing heat. Even the PE coach didn't carry.

Maybe this isn't the success we think it is. It sure looks to me like another example of civilizational collapse. When even your children need infantry support, you're going in the wrong direction.

Bonus tidbit: We didn't user to have to protect our children from mutilation and poisoning by our medical establishment, either. This is all very dystopian. Maybe we should be giving guns to our children so they can defend themselves from their doctors.

We anticipated living like the Jetsons, but the Jetsons had a traditional, married family.


Monday, September 12, 2022

How Do You Convert Money Into Electricity?

 Europe is in the middle of a power supply crisis of their own making. They don't have enough of anything - gas, electricity, oil, etc. Because of this, prices are blowing up.

The Europeans have discovered the answer! They will print money and hand it out to the people straining under the increased costs. Genius!

European nations are scrambling to backstop consumers from having to pay electricity rates that could increase tenfold or more—if the electricity is available in sufficient quantity at all. What this means is massive government bailouts for energy suppliers. Britain’s new prime minister Liz Truss plans to freeze consumer energy costs for two years, at a likely cost to the government of perhaps $200 billion, because utilities face bankruptcy if they can’t pass along higher fuel costs. The bill for continental Europe, and especially Germany, which may have to shutter even more of its heavy industry, is sure to be much higher—perhaps reaching $2 trillion over the coming year.

Um, one question. How does handing out all this money generate more electricity or produce more natural gas? If we print a grazillion dollars and hand it out to everyone, will we all be able to buy Ferraris?

Honestly, these people have no idea how anything works.

Jackson Revisited

I did a little more digging around the Jackson, Mississippi high schools. If you recall, Jackson ran out of water because their systems broke down and they couldn't repair them. My assertion was that their human capital is rubbish and they simply can't find enough competent people to maintain the things left behind by their ancestors. Traditional families are the foundational elements of civilization and if you don't have those, eventually this sort of thing is bound to happen. You don't get the benefits of civilization without them.

In that blog post, I noted that the kids coming out of Wingfield High School are effectively illiterate.

Wingfield HS

Wingfield is all black. Here are the test scores for Pearl High School, which is roughly half white and half black.

The score is 46-7.

The superintendent of schools is Dr. Errick L. Greene. He's black. 5 of the 7 school board members are black. One presumes they've seen the test scores.

As I've ranted before, none of this is about race. It cannot be. If the black students were suffering under white supremacy, it would have to come from somewhere in a system run by blacks. If racism was the problem, you'd expect them to do worse in a majority white school, not better.

If blacks were inferior, it wouldn't matter where they went to school, you'd see only 7% master the English test everywhere.

It can't be racial bias in school funding because the people distributing the money are all black.

I'll go one farther. Pearl is in a different. but nearby district. Maybe they have more money? Nope. Pearl spends $9200 per student. Jackson spends $10,900 per student.

Just like the Europeans rediscovering electricity the hard way, we're rediscovering traditional families the hard way.

This is the worst class of Elites ever.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Watermelon Wine

I pureed my watermelon yesterday. I then added sugar and yeast and then put it in the fermentation bucket. With six melons, I was able to make two gallons. The mix started fermenting almost immediately as it's just flavored sugar water with yeast. It should be ready for bottling in about two weeks.

Friday, September 09, 2022

Luftwaffe Parrots

 My father was an Air Force pilot. He flew B-26s in Korea and just about everything with wings or rotors in Viet Nam. Back in the late 70s, when we were building a house in SoCal, he liked to say that blue jays were the worst flyers of all. Lots of flapping of wings, not much lift or agility.

For me, the SoCal green parrots look and fly like Luftwaffe He-111s.

Maybe it's just me.

Thursday, September 08, 2022

Designing A Plant Growth Experiment

A while back, when I posted an update to my tobacco plant growth, Tim left a typically interesting comment, wondering about plant growth in general.  I replied saying that I think plants grow as a percentage of their size, a kind of vegetable compound interest.

How could you quantify this?

Oregano is a ground-hugger and it grows like the weed that it is. What if you cleared out some space, outlined the area in a circle and planted the oregano in the center. A photo from above would allow you to measure the percent of the circle inhabited by oregano. That ought to give a decent measure of growth.

If you did an experiment with tobacco, you could measure height, but that doesn't seem to get the volume of the plant. Since oregano clings to the Earth, it's more of a 2-dimensional creature and better suited to photo measurements.

Kind of like this.

It's something to ponder.

Wednesday, September 07, 2022

Can You Use A Smoker As An Oven?

The answer is: well, sort of, but not really.

I tried to make Sheet Pan Greek Chicken with Roasted Potatoes a few days ago. It was very hot outside and wife kitteh doesn't like being too hot, so I decided to cook in the smoker instead of the indoor oven. It seemed like a reasonable idea. The smoker can get into the 400s without much effort and 400 was all I needed. I followed the recipe pretty closely. Here's how it looked going into the smoker.

Here's how it looked coming out after adding about 15 minutes of cooking time to make sure the potatoes were done.

The chicken was cooked all the way through, but the potatoes are still crunchy, even as leftovers reheated in the microwave for 2 minutes. Meh.

A friend on Twitter recommended that I parboil the potatoes next time and I think that's a really good idea. Crispy, fully cooked taters are much easier to make if they get a good head start in a pot of boiling water.

Other than the crunchy tubers, the recipe was pretty good.

Tuesday, September 06, 2022

How To Mute A Gas Pump

I don't know about you, but I can't stand those gas pump TVs. All you want to do is fill your tank and they're sitting there going YAPPITY YAPPITY YAP at you the whole time you're pumping. Argh!

One day, I started playing around with the buttons surrounding the screen as some dingledork on the tube was doing his YAPPITIES. I discovered that one of the buttons is the mute. It's always worked for me, but yours might be different.

You're welcome.

Saturday, September 03, 2022

Jackson Whole

 ... as in what is happening in Jackson right now sums up the whole of our culture.

Jackson, Mississippi is out of drinkable water. Yes, there were some floods recently, but Mississippi averages about 55" of rain every year, so floods are something for which you must plan. What happened?

I did a little digging and discovered that it was well known that Jackson Water's maintenance was shoddy. There had been statewide efforts in the last decade to try to give them help, but the place is badly run and it all went for naught. For example, Jackson Water contracted with Siemans to get smart metering going. That ended up in a lawsuit. Jackson Water's billing system is dysfunctional as well with about $100,000,000 in unpaid water bills. Some customers get no bills, others get outrageously wrong ones.

In short, there's a human capital problem at Jackson Water. One of the articles I read hinted at the state having to send in its own technicians to do the work that Jackson Water's people couldn't do. Once you strip away the red vs blue and black vs white garbage, you get down to the real problem. The employees at Jackson Water just aren't up to scratch.

Jackson Water is the answer to the question, "What are the long-term ramifications of destroying the traditional family?"

Dig the test score data from two public high schools in Jackson.

Jim Hill HS

Wingfield HS

Those are your human capital feeders for water system mechanics. They come out of high school, go to a bit of trade school and get hired by the water district.

There's nothing there. You can't do anything with someone who is illiterate.

Dittos for the financial administrative staff. What are you going to do with an admin who can't understand math?


These children are clearly not even going to class. Which ballot measure will get kids to attend school? How much should you pay teachers to get the kids to do their homework? Is it better to vote for Democrats or Republicans if you want the kids to study for tests?


The essays pointing fingers over the Jackson Water failure all mention racial problems. Jackson is run by Mayor Chokwe Lumumba. Chokwe vowed to make Jackson the most radical and progressive city in the nation. Jackson has had an unbroken string of black mayors since 1997. The power structure in Jackson is black from top to bottom.

I'll say this for him, Chokwe is a stylish fellow.

What must you do to stamp out racism when everyone managing the place is the same race? How many statues do you need to pull down to get the kids to pay attention in class?


Here's an interesting story about the way Jackson is run.

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba gave an impassioned defense Monday afternoon of his administration's actions in its ongoing dispute with the city council over who picks up residents' trash.

In a news conference the following day, Councilmember Kenneth Stokes said the mayor was wrong about what happened during bidding, also known as the request for proposal or RFP process.

Lumumba's statements came during his weekly news conference, just 10 days after he lost in court and only three after the city was sued by the company that is currently collecting garbage.

Richard's Disposal, a minority-owned business based in New Orleans, has been picking up the city's trash since April 1 under an emergency contract enacted by the mayor, without the council's approval, but they have yet to be paid. They are now suing the city, seeking the $1.6 million that the council has thus far refused to give them, citing the lack of a contract.

Everyone involved in that story is black. It's possible that racism is to blame, but the mechanism for that is, err, unclear, shall we say?


I work for an organization where most of the workforce wear steel-toed boots and hardhats every day. None of them are obese. You can't be fat and do their jobs. Whatever else you want to say about it, Jackson is in first place in one category. Obesity.

America has an obesity problem. And it's one that's costing Americans almost $316 billion per year in related medical treatment, according to WalletHub.

The organization came out with its 2017 Fattest Cities in America list Wednesday. It analyzed 100 of the most populous U.S. metro areas, looking at 17 weight-associated factors, ranging from "share of physically inactive adults to projected obesity rates by 2030 to healthy-food access," according to the report.

The Jackson, Mississippi metro area took the top spot on the list, while Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue in Washington snagged the lowest.

What needs to be said in a speech by a politician or activist to make it possible for a fat man to be able to crawl around in tight places to repair pumps and drains? 

Look In The Mirror

So the resource pool from which Jackson Water draws its employees is fat and illiterate. As I understand it from the Very Smart People in the punditry class, this is all someone else's fault. Hmm. That's possible, I suppose.

Or maybe there's something else at play here. Could it be that unmarried households produce undisciplined children who grow up to become fat, illiterate and unskilled people? Could it be that a population of fat, illiterate, unskilled people won't be able to maintain what their ancestors left them? Maybe.

"I'll just leave this little pamphlet here. You may read it at your leisure ..."

Friday, September 02, 2022

What Was That?

 My retirement savings took another beating last month. My full retirement date is now about two more years off, possibly even more if the market keeps getting whacked.

Recent SP500 performance as of today.

Gas prices are falling, but only because we're draining our strategic petroleum reserve at an insane rate.

We're down almost 400,000,000 barrels from our peak with another 1,000,000 barrels being poured out every day. 

Our border is totally out of control.

Meanwhile, last night, the president gave a positively deranged speech last night where the backdrop looked demonic.

He raged against "MAGA Republicans," whatever they are. As he tells it, MAGA Republicans are poisoning wells and eating babies. Or something like that.

What is going on here? Some people have said that it's the prelude to legal action or seizures or violence or chaos, but I don't see that. I see a leadership class that is completely adrift from reality. What in the world was he saying? MAGA Republicans are a threat to democracy? Would it be too much to ask our government not to wreck things? Maybe they can concentrate on that instead of their attempts to reenact the 30 Years' War with red vs. blue instead of Catholic vs. Protestant.

I watched some of the speech, a section picked at random from the middle, with the sound muted. It looked exactly like my dad did when he would get agitated and angry near the end of his life. It's one thing for Biden to be suffering from end-of-life, dementia fury, it's quite another to see ostensibly rational and educated team in his administration lean into it with an aesthetic that looks like it was pulled from Dante's Inferno.

Seriously, try this one with no sound and see what you think. I got nothing after that.