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Atomic Fungus
 
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Below are 20 journal entries, after skipping by the 20 most recent ones recorded in atomic_fungus' LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, May 11th, 2016
12:55 pm
#5192: Not today, pal.
Mrs. Fungus had "the phone" from work last night.

She works for a company which requires that someone be able to take calls from clients at all times. The typical overnight call volume is not great, but the calls must be taken; and last night she was the person doing that job. It happens from time to time.

...meaning that she must keep a phone near her from 9 PM through 6 AM and answer it when it rings. She took a lot of calls last night, more than usual, but the last one came around 1:30 AM and the instrument was, otherwise, blessedly silent. Even so, we were up until 3:30 AM.

We watched Deadpool, which was entertaining. It was dismayingly violent and gory, because Deadpool is not really a superhero so much as a super-vigilante, but it was still entertaining. It was light and didn't take itself too seriously, but it makes me uncomfortable to laugh at people being killed, even when they're the faceless goons of the bad guy. I enjoyed the movie rather more than I expected to, as I knew approximately what it would be like going in.

We also watched the Doctor Who episode "City of Death", vintage 1979. Tom Baker as the Doctor, Julian Glover as Count Carlos Scarlioni, AKA Scaroth, last of the Jaggeroth. This episode also features a cameo of John Cleese, and is one of the eps edited by Douglas Adams. I forgot how good the old series was; and looking at it, now I think I understand why David Tennant did such a good job as the Doctor in later years: some of the same mannerisms he used were used by Tom Baker, who's probably the most popular Doctor in the lineup.

Next on that tape is "Arc of Infinity", which I'll have to watch because it recently occurred to me. I remember Omega being turned into antimatter and trapped or confined in an alternate dimension, and somehow (for some reason) trying to get out through Amsterdam. Omega is one of the great Time Lord scientists, and in later episodes the Doctor (played by Sylvester McCoy) uses a device called "the Hand of Omega" to do various interesting things.

Anyway, it wasn't a bad way to spend an evening, but we crawled into bed at 3:30 and I woke up at 10:30, unable to sleep longer. I might get a nap, later.

* * *

Even with my recent switch to no longer caring about pot being illegal, I did expect this. Regardless of what people say, marajuana is an intoxicant, and when you are intoxicated your faculties are impared. People high on THC may be more capable than people who are drunk, but that does not mean they are as capable as people who are sober. And when your faculties are impaired, you have no business operating a motorized vehicle.

Do you know what else is going to turn out to be true about pot use? They're going to find that it causes lung cancer and emphysema, same way tobacco use does. It's essentially the same process: you are burning a plant in order to deliver a chemical into your bloodstream. It's irrelevant whether the chemical in question is THC or nicotine.

* * *

We need to abolish the EPA. Guy gets a state permit to create a stock pond on land he owns, does so, and then the EPA steps in and tries to fine him $16 million for it. For what, exactly?

Well, the EPA never said what the problem was, except:
An EPA spokesman was not immediately available for comment when contacted Tuesday. The government had said Johnson violated the Clean Water Act by building a dam on a creek without a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers and claimed material from his pond was being discharged into other waterways.
Did the EPA have any facts or figures or tests demonstrating what material was being discharged into "other waterways"?

To say nothing of the fact that the "other waterways" in question was an irrigation ditch.

Yet another example of government overreach.

* * *

Don't believe the polls. Trump can beat Hillary. Hillary is a weak candidate, and if she wins nomination it will rapidly become obvious how weak she is.

The most interesting thing about the Democrat race is that Sanders hasn't given up--and probably won't before the convention. Sanders is on track to win the most state primaries, but Hillary has the superdelegates. (How ironic that the Democrat party uses such an undemocratic nominating process.) It'll be interesting to see how this plays out, considering that Hillary also has an active FBI investigation fluttering about in the wings.

* * *

"MFW" means "my face when". It took me a few minutes to figure that acronym out.

Myself, when someone accuses me of being racist or bigoted or unChristian or anything the first thing I do is to evaluate their reason for calling me that, and consider their own beliefs and actions. Then I ignore what they say because any time anyone tries to tag you with that kind of label it's because they're idiots who want you to abase yourself before them: OH PLEASE PLEASE DON'T CALL ME A BIGOT/RACIST/MEANY-MEAN-HEAD I'M SO SORRY. Only I don't play that game, and I don't care what 99.997% of everbody thinks and/or says about me. My concern for the opinions others have of me took a steep, steep decline sometime after my junior year of high school, and that sort of nonsense is nothing but high school interpersonal politics: "You'd better stop saying that kind of thing or we won't like you any more!" You already don't like me, and me saying something else wouldn't help matters any; and in any case your threat doesn't take into account the fact that I don't like you and never have, and I have no desire to associate with you. I don't care about your opinion.

And, incidentally, Japan does not have muslim riots.
Tuesday, May 10th, 2016
7:58 pm
#5191: Dystopia, and why
Little things add up over time. I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but even I can figure things out sooner or later.

The thing is, it's always the end of the world. Things have never been worse than they are now, who would bring a child into this world when things are so terrible, why back in my day if someone did that we'd-- This is a perennial complaint of humans everywhere, regardless of how good or bad things actually are. Romans said this kind of thing at Rome's peak, just as readily as they did during its decline. It was said during the Revolutionary War, and immediately afterwards, when America had won its freedom from England. So I tend to say to myself that peoples' feelings on the subject are merely part of the human condition.

But it was said in the 1950s, too.

I think that's what gave us the Baby Boomers. For the first time in human history, the people saying that to themselves had (they thought) good reason to believe it deep down in their guts. For the first time ever, humans had the ability to wipe out their own civilization in a single day, with the push of a few buttons, because now they had intercontinental travel and atomic bombs. Planes could depart the US, fly to Russia, drop bombs and destroy cities, and be home in time for dinner. (Assuming no inconveniences like surface-to-air missiles got in the way.) The Soviets had the same capability. And with the advent of the space age, it was even easier and faster: 90 minutes from the push of the button to the eradication of cities.

Their parents--faced with the knowledge that they'd built a world where everything could end in a couple of hours--indulged them. It wasn't pandemic; it wasn't all the parents--it was just enough of them. Somewhere along the way, enough of them figured it could all go up tomorrow that rather than raise their kids the way their parents raised them, they were more indulgent, less strict, and more forgiving.

To be sure: international communism reaped the fruits of decades of Democrat laxity regarding infiltration into the US, into its institutions; young skulls full of mush were ladled high with class struggle and inequality and all the other dreck while the Democrats excoriated McCarthy and anyone who agreed with him. Half the anti-war movement was sponsored by ComIntern (exactly the way George Soros sponsors his sorostitutes to protest Trump today).

The Democrats were eager to get their hands on the levers of power, to seize as much control over the nation as they could; they believed socialism was the wave of the future and strove to make it happen even as they denied wanting it. LBJ was supposedly an anticommunist, but that didn't stop him from enacting the Great Society, the biggest socialist reform since FDR's New Deal.

The national conversation wasn't about whether to socialize so much as it was about how much. Neither party believed the US could win against communism, and believed it was just a matter of time, and strength of arms was necessary to achieve a settlement that would result in the least amount of horror and destruction for Americans.

The result was the 1960s with all its excess. We lost a lot--jettisoned by feckless children with the aquiescence of their parents--so much that only forty, fifty years later is the real cost finally becoming known.

Here is one likely outcome. The upsurge in nationalism all over the world is a symptom of the pendulum swinging the other way. For decades we have been told that multiculturalism and diversity--themselves products of communist agitation--were going to fix everything that was wrong with the world. Instead, europeans who are tired of having "diversity" rammed down their throats are starting to talk (quietly, for the moment) about doing something about the so-called "refugees" being forced on them.
Contrast, in comparison, this ad for The Man in the High Castle which was quickly pulled because it was inadvertently serving as effective propaganda for the very ideas and peoples it was attempting to denigrate. It was run with the hashtag #whatifwelost.
The rising incidence of arson affecting "refugee centers" is not coincidental.

Compare, then, these two links:

"#WhatIfWeWon"

"Diversity is our strength"

The problem here is the way we have casually cast off old traditions, unwritten rules which kept society from becoming the cesspit it is now--which it has become because adults may no longer discipline children, because there's no stigma to unwed motherhood, because there's no shame in being addicted to drugs, because a lot of things which have become legion in the last five decades.

"What if we lost?" Asks Vox Day.
That snapshot of a supposedly scary future looks like a considerable improvement on 21st century America, in which single white mothers raise irreligious, low-IQ, racially-mixed bastards in tenements without support from the children's fathers, most people are up to their eyeballs in debt with less than $400 in savings, no one under the age of 40 can afford to buy a home, and it is illegal to fly the American flag lest it harm the tender sensibilities of young Aztec invaders.
Can you imagine your grandfather debating whether a man who thinks he's a woman should have his own bathroom? I cannot. I also can't imagine my grandfather putting up with "push one for English". My paternal grandfather was a powerfully-built man in his prime--a quarter could fit through his wedding ring--and if some kid had tried the "knockout game" on him and failed, Pops probably would have fed the shithead his own spleen, with his teeth as interest. I can't even imagine my grandfather putting up with having a kid mouth off to him. People didn't put up with horseshit, and no one had to, because there were rules and you followed them. Or else.

"Or else" you found yourself unable to do business in your town, "or else" you got a faceful of knuckles, "or else" the cops escorted you out of town, "or else" Judge Lynch broke out the tar and feathers.

Committing a crime led to punishment, not "correction". You were sent to prison, or hard labor, or the electric chair, not because some psychologist thought you could be "cured" of your tendency to commit crimes but because crime demands punishment. Especially if you hurt, maimed, or killed someone. Whatever the benefit to your behavioral tendencies, first and foremost you were being punished for your crimes, and that was the sole reason prison existed. Not to reform, not to fix, not to correct, but to punish.

So today, then--after fifty years of "the war on poverty"--we naturally have more of it than ever, because the government is subsidizing it, and similarly is subsidizing all the things which lead to it. The Great Society is a failure.

That failure is why we're looking the way we look now. Detroit is the first; it won't be the last--and the whole country is heading down the same road. Our government is spending vastly more money than it takes in, and the only thing keeping that from ruining it right now is the interest rate, kept artificially low by a compliant central bank, which itself has utterly ignored its mandate to prevent inflation.

All this money is being spent on subsidies for unwed motherhood, unemployment, absentee fathers, tenements, and a host of other ills which were decried by the progressive movement going back more than a century. They are not called that; they go by a variety of names (welfare, aid, assistance) but whatever behaviors are rewarded will increase. All the things this money is meant to prevent are instead increased by the money being spent.

And what is going to happen next?

One possible future is ethnic cleansing like this world has never seen. It would make the Crusades look like a birthday party. Western civilization has faced a threat like this before--in the centuries following the fall of Rome and the rise of islam--and we can look at the history books to see how that went. This time it would be worse, because we have mechanization, and the Holocaust would be swamped in magnitude by comparison.

The other possibility is a more gentle, and quiet, repatriation. This is greatly to be desired because it's not nearly as big a horror as the previous possibility.

But one way or another, western civilization is going to balance the scales. It can't be otherwise. The grand marxist ideal of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" has been shown to be an abject failure, a pipe dream that led to uncountable horrors in the 20th century; the knock-on effects of it are still being felt but it will not be long before that, too, turns over. It cannot continue; it's mathematically impossible.

In the United States there will be a great deal of civil unrest when the welfare checks stop--and stop they will, because they cannot continue, and it's only a question of when and how. Will it happen because the government runs out of money, or will it happen because the government itself has fallen?

The best thing we can hope for is something observed during hurricane Katrina: the poor of New Orleans could not do a thing for themselves, but instead waited for someone from the government to come along and tell them what to do. Perhaps when the disorders start, without public transportation working this group will be unable to do much more besides trash their own neighborhoods and maybe a couple of others within walking distance. This would save a lot of lives--both their victims' and their own--because while they may not be able to cope without a government man telling them what to do, their victims would not be so handicapped.

It's going to be a mess. And the longer it takes to get here, the worse it's going to be.
5:24 pm
#5190: Well, the deficit is OVER, baby!
Just got notification from the US government that our refund for last year's taxes is going towards paying down our taxes due from the prior year, when Mrs. Fungus was unemployed and I was working part-time and we had to take money out of her 401k in order to live. This is not coming as anything like a surprise to either of us, though we sure could have used that money (since we have a payment agreement and have been making payments steadily).

Amount: $101

Mrs. Fungus said something--I have forgotten what--which prompted me to say, "Well, honey, you know, the government needs that money!" Then I brought up CALC and did the math. "At six million dollars a minute--" here, she started laughing "--it'll be...hmm...."

"It's going to be less than a second," she said.

"Honey, I'm trying to figure out how many nanoseconds it is."

She laughed more.

The numbers came up: 1.66667 x 10e-5, or... 17 microseconds. (That's 17,000 nanoseconds, for those of you who don't know how many nanoseconds are in a microsecond.)

That $101 paid for seventeen microseconds of US federal government expenditures. What we owe the feds would pay for much, much less than a millisecond of federal spending.

As I said, the deficit is over, baby! We fixed it! You can thank us later.
3:50 pm
#5189: Four glorious hours.
This morning, both Mrs. Fungus and I woke up around 10, because that's when we usually get up for work. You get into a habit after a while; you can't help it. The body expects certain functions to occur at that time.

Today, we got up long enough to tend to that, then went back to bed. It was raining and it was quiet. I said, "It's raining outside, and we're in bed."

"Isn't it glorious?"

"Oh yeah."

...and then I proceeded to sleep another four hours. I woke up without a headache, indicating that I needed that sleep. I debated lying abed longer, but figured four extra hours was enough for one day and got myself out of bed.

It's warm out but it rained for about twelve hours; the ground is sodden and I can't cut the grass until it dries out a bit. So, yeah: win.

* * *

I think the link text from AoSHQ said it best: Clearly, teachers are underworked and overpaid. The headline: "Teachers Unions Quietly Spend Millions on ‘Grassroots’ Groups". Gee, a union supporting socialism--who coulda seen that one coming?

Related: meanwhile, teachers continue to prove how effective they are at doing their jobs. As long as you read "their jobs" as "socialist indoctrination facilitator" and carefully exclude any mention of the 3 R's.

* * *

Our government is spending six million dollars a minute yet it doesn't have money for infrastructure maintenance.

* * *

Proof that progressives/libs are nothing more than communist thugs. Might want to be careful, there, dude; if you call for crap like that, if your side starts losing you will wish you hadn't. The pendulum always swings, and it's been on the left side for quite a while.

* * *

Yes. Yes it is. Also, while we're at it, we should probably examine the effect that global warming is having on fairies and elves.

* * *

Another one with good link text--I think I also got it from AoSHQ--is this one. Hey, if this muslim woman wants us to respect her religion, why don't we do so and punish her crime according to its laws? I'm sure she won't have any trouble dealing with life less one hand, right? That is what the koran says to do, cut off a thief's hand, isn't it? Or does it go right to stoning? I can never remember; keeping straight the strictures of a death cult isn't worth my time.

* * *

And yeah, this.
we’ve been told for years with every successive election by these GAGA (go-along-get-along) Republican types that, from Clinton to Bush to Obama to Clinton, each of these elections was THE MOST VITALLY CRUCIALLY VITAL ELECTION IN HISTORY, our last desperate chance to make a stand against the Leftists and save our nation from sure and certain destruction, a collapse from which it might never recover. And now it looks as if that was a bunch of horseshit, just electioneering and cheap manipulation intended to get more Republican snouts in the trough without ever really changing a damned thing.
Emphasis his.

A lot of Republican voters twigged to this horseshit in the last presidential election, which is why Mitt Romney didn't get elected despite Obama's obvious incompetence. It's worse this time, because it's finally obvious to all and sundry what the GOPe is doing and why. There are no principles in play here; just a thirst for power, and they'll jettison anything (and anyone) they have to in order to ensure they get to keep their snouts in the trough.

The post originally concluded--before the update--thus:
But if you’re planning to vote for Hillary out of petulance and sore-loser spite, you really ought to stop lecturing everybody about your supposed “principles.” You clearly have only one, and it’s this: my way or the highway. Which ain’t nearly as lofty and high-minded as you so sniffily pretend.
Perfectly correct. (Again, emphasis his.)

* * *

...and now it's pouring outside again, complete with thunder and lightning. It doesn't look like I'm cutting any grass before the weekend. *sigh*
2:56 am
#5188: Weekend!!
So today was a long day, made shorter by two meetings and a training! ...which is to say I had a bit more than two hours of not answering phones while I was in meetings or learning stuff. The coaching got pushed back to Thursday, but I don't mind that one bit.

Calls were calls. People are idiots.

* * *

Trump has the right enemies, which is why I'm for Trump. Also, the bonus points! ...which won't come to pass because the asshats never actually do leave the country.

* * *

I learned today that absenteeism over the past weekend was stunningly bad. Let me put it this way: when your workforce is several hundred people yet you can express absenteeism as a fraction with a very small number in the denominator (as in "more than two but not a lot more") there is something seriously wrong.

You'd expect people to be held accountable for missing so much work--and I mean five, six, seven days a month!--but if they started firing everyone who called off too much, there'd be about half a dozen people manning the phones 24/7 to keep the place afloat. It's so bad they can't afford to fire people for poor attendance, and it's having a negative impact on the bottom line. I can't really say more, but holy shit.

* * *

Ended up going to my father-in-law's house tonight to help him with a computer issue. He's wanting to watch videos on his computer, only the player he has won't fullscreen some of them. I put the K-Lite codec pack on his machine and showed him how to run it; now he can watch them the way he wants.

* * *

Sunday night, my wife alerted me: "Honey, the light downstairs is flickering! It's a horror movie! I'm scared to go down there!"

Sighing, I went downstairs and turned on the lamps which I set up during my cleaning, and then tried to drop the diffuser so I could get a gander at the tubes. Mrs. Fungus shied away from it. "Don't open that with me under it!"

"There's nothing inside it," I said.

"How do you know? What if it's full of lobsters?"

"Wha--? It's not full of lobsters!"

This is typical of our conversations.

Anyway, I reseated the tubes and it seems to work again, so I'm not going to have to replace them or the ballast...at least not this week.

* * *

Also, we started reading Moby Dick. Same as Treasure Island we lay in bed together and I read a few chapters before we go to sleep.

I've observed that the novel is a lot more sarcastic and funny than the movies portray it. Our favorite phrase came at the end of the second chapter: "Yet Dives himself, he too lives like a Czar in an ice palace made of frozen sighs, and being a president of a temperance society, he only drinks the tepid tears of orphans." We laughed aloud at that.

Also, the mental image of Ishmael going into the street and knocking off peoples' hats, solely because he's had enough of civilization--it's hilarious. This book is funny, though I have to wonder how long that will last. Anyway, like Treasure Island, we're enjoying it a ton.

* * *

And so it's our Friday night, and I just tried to refer to the day before our Friday as "Thursday" even though it was actually Sunday, so I think I'd better do something about all this lest I completely lose my grounding in reality.

But first, bedtime...and since it looks as if I won't be getting the grass cut this weekend, I can laze about in bed tomorrow without guilt. Win.
Sunday, May 8th, 2016
9:50 pm
#5187: Today I did
I took a nap after getting home from work. And woke up even more tired, of course, because reasons. *sigh* This, after I woke up this morning at 5 AM to hit the can, and couldn't fall asleep afterwords for half an hour, yet fell asleep and was dreaming within seconds of hitting "snooze" on the alarm.

Work today was slow enough that I had time to breathe between calls, and in yet another stunning display of the paradox of life, I got 41 calls in today where I got 17 in yesterday, when call volume was a lot higher.

The nice thing is, besides being our Friday, Monday is also our team meeting day, and I'm also scheduled for a coaching, which means some time off the phones. (Now if there could just be some training, too, that would be extra-nice, but I'm not going to get greedy.)

Or maybe I will, a little. Heh.
Saturday, May 7th, 2016
9:45 pm
#5186: I always intend to take a nap when I get home, and I almost never do.
These early weekends are a pain. I wonder when that'll change? Or if?

* * *

Why, I thought this was common knowledge. Of course the Clinton Foundation is functioning as a slush fund for the Clintons! You don't think they'd go to all the trouble of setting up something like that and just give away free money, do you? These people are the embodiment of greed, for crying out loud.

* * *

So I'm hearing that the grrl-power Ghostbusters crapjob is going to suck, and I am 100% completely not surprised by this news. Reading the link to the synopsis, it sounds like an indescribably shitty movie.

So, yeah. Pass.

* * *

"This hat is symbolic of every pallid, limp response the Democrats have to the Republican Party. Instead of changing policy to benefit actual people, they make a Democrat hat to refute the Republican hat, equally false, and equally trivial." An excellent, excellent takedown of a stupid hat.

* * *

Keeping Win 10 off your computer. Yeah.

* * *

Apple Music eradicates music from your hard drive if it exists on their server.

It works that way by design.

This is one of many, many reasons why I have never liked Apple.

* * *

Today, I overslept in epic fashion.

Alarm was set for 7 AM. Alarm went off at 7. I hit "snooze". When it went off again, I turned it off entirely and said to myself, "I'll get up in a bit."

Next thing I know, text message alert is going off. It's my boss: "Where are you? Are you okay?"

Me: Oh Jesus.

While I was trying to cudgel my somnolent brain into formulating a reply he called, and I told him the sad tale. I ended up getting to work at 11 AM. *sigh*

Later, I told him: "The rule is that I don't turn the alarm off until I'm out of bed. Today, I turned the alarm off before I was out of bed, and overslept. That's why that's the rule."

Fortunately I didn't get in trouble for it.

In other work-related news, quarterly increases are out, and I've gotten another increase: double the minimum raise this time, which is pretty f-ing sweet. And I got it just in time for this next paycheck, which will be the biggest paycheck I've gotten since 2001 as a result. I can't argue with that. It's the overtime that put me over the top.

...and it's already earmarked for insurance and utility bills. *sigh*
Friday, May 6th, 2016
11:52 pm
#5185: Sticking the landing, again
And this was less ideal than the last time. "This was a high-velocity mission that SpaceX did not have high hopes of a successful landing for, yet they succeeded anyway."

The biggest problem with recovering a booster is energy. Something coming down from an orbital trajectory has a lot of it, and while the fall isn't a problem, the sudden stop at the end is. Like an egg--only an empty rocket booster is more fragile than an egg is. (A well-designed liquid-fueled rocket booster has as little structure as possible, because structure is weight, and weight is bad.)

That's why the Blue Origin tests weren't as impressive as this. That's a suborbital job; it makes a ballistic arc into space but doesn't have enough kinetic energy to make orbit--and the Falcon does.

..all of which is damned cool.

* * *

You will be made to celebrate the delusions of a madman. Bruce Jenner is not a woman. If he were, Sports Illustrated would not even be contemplating this.

* * *

If Jeb Bush were the presumptive nominee, he would insist that everyone get behind him and vote for him Or Else. Hypocrisy, of course.

* * *

Closed a bunch of tabs because it's Friday night and I have to be at work at 9 AM tomorrow, which leaves me little time for anything that's going to prompt me to bloggerate at length.

Sorry.
12:43 am
#5184: STFU, Meathead.
Meathead says Trump supporters are all racists. Of course.

Oh no, Meathead! Please don't think I'm a racist! I'll vote for someone you say to vote for but PLEASE GOD DON'T CALL ME RACIST--

*sigh*

Archie Bunker was right in 1972 and he's right now. This guy's nothing but a Meathead.

* * *

Government wrecked the gas can solely because it could. Boot, human face, some assembly required.

* * *

I have a complete set of Windows 3.1 and 3.11 install disks. I am unstoppable...assuming they still work.
Wednesday, May 4th, 2016
5:14 pm
#5183: That certainly was refreshing.
Last night I took a shower using hot water which did not smell of rotten eggs. It kind of smelled like water from a hotel hot tub (that was due to the half-cup of bleach) but that's nonetheless a massive improvement over the reek of hydrogen sulfide. As expected four ounces of bleach in a twenty-gallon tank did not result in my skin or hair being whitened (any more than it already has due to age) and it does seem to have at least temporarily fixed the immediate problem. We'll see how things are going forward, but hopefully we're done with this nonsense for a little while.

It took the impact gun ten seconds to hammer that thing loose. And I've still got it. Future replacements, should any be needed, won't take six weeks while I scrounge together the cash for the tool. My skunky impulse was to use the thing long enough to get the job done and take it back, but I don't operate that way; when I buy a tool I do so with the intent of keeping it for good. Most of my tools were bought with the intent of solving some immediate problem or another, but of course as time goes on I find them useful for other tasks. Money spent on tools is never wasted.

* * *

A lot of the conservative punditry is upset that Trump won. That's not terribly surprising; Trump's platform is going to upset a lot of rice bowls.

These two paragraphs sum the situation up nicely:
All of the wailing and gnashing of teeth over Trump disguises the fact that the American Left is collapsing. One place you see it is with their candidates. Hillary Clinton is a world class screw up planning to run as an old hen clucking about the men, with a mild whiff of lesbianism to spice it up. No wonder the 2000 year old man is giving her a run for her stolen money. The Left has nothing to offer so it coughed up these geriatric hairballs from the 1970's.

In theory this should be good news for the Buckleyites, but that's not been the result. Decades of trading away everything to the Left for a chance to guide foreign policy has left the Buckleyites incapable of winning fights over cultural and economic issues. They have been surrendering for so long, it is now their default response. Worse yet, they have been trained to scold the rest of us about the need for compromise whenever the Left assaults a part of the culture.
Which is why I (after Vox Day) now differentiate between conservative, traditionalist, and nationalist: conservatives are conserving a pseudo-American libertine culture that was handed down to us by the Baby Boomers in 1970, rather than the unique American culture that existed prior to 1965.

Yes, it's Trump, and:
Staying home, voting for a third party, or writing someone in are all honorable alternatives.
Which they assuredly weren’t back when you guys were ramming McCain, Romney, and a host of other go-along-get-along Compromise Republicans down everybody’s throat. Oh no, we were all expected to swallow our bile and wholeheartedly support that season’s next-in-line winning loser; we didn’t have to fall in love, we had to fall in line, remember?
This is what Trump's candidacy has done for us: it has reopened debate over what the party's core principles should be.

In 2008 I cast my primary vote for Mitt Romney because my choice (Fred Thompson) had already dropped out of the race and he seemed like a better choice than McCain. McCain won nomination and I held my nose and voted for him, primarily because Sarah Palin. In 2012, after the GOP had spent four years doing nothing--not even saying "Boo!" to Obama, not even trying to, particularly not even after the midterm elections gave them enough pull--I cast my primary vote for Santorum and flat-out refused to vote for Romney, who had since been demonstrated to be nothing more than Obama without the tan.

Since 2008 at least (and actually longer, since Bush presided over the largest expansion in federal power over education since Carter created the Department of Education) the GOP has been the party of "Democrat Lite" and I did my best to hold my nose and fall in line and vote with the party. Well, 2008 was the last time I did that, because the GOPe has demonstrated time and again that they don't care what I think and have apparently decided they eith don't need my vote, or think I'm so stupid that I'll fall for the same line of bullshit time and time again.

Well, I may be stupid, but I'm not as stupid as they think I am. And as that last post blockquotes:
It’s never been about Trump, what he says or what he promises to do. That’s just the glitter on the stripper. The Trumpening is about the people in charge and their callous disregard for their duties and the country they allegedly serve. It’s as if the voting public went out and found the one guy who most offends the ruling class. Trump is a more polished version of Chuck Tingle and the voters are the Rabid Puppies. It’s not about voting for something as much as it is voting against something.
It's not really a great, burgeoning affection for Trump so much as a massive, continuing disaffection for the GOP leadership and its callous disregard for the values of its core voters.

Predictably China is warning us not to elect Trump. Trump has campaigned on ending the outsourcing of jobs; China is reliant on free trade and any kind of resctriction thereof will cost them a lot of money.

Contrary to the poster of that article, I think China's response is due to a great amount of fear that Trump will both win the election and get his way. It's not just a wall on the Mexico border that his paltform implies; it's a lot of other, more virtual walls, walls that keep jobs and income inside the US rather than sending them overseas.

And it's about time, too.

I have gone back and forth, over the years, between protectionism and free trade; in all liklihood the actual best course here is somewhere down the middle--but NAFTA has been an obvious failure for everyone who is not a coastal elite, or a member of the aristocracy, and similar agreements in the works now do not promise to make things better. It's obvious that some amount of protectionism is a necessity; perhaps not as much as some (particularly unions) want, but certainly more than we are offered by our government. Trump's ideas are a good start.

* * *

Government spends $800,000 per "refugee" because their land might go away someday if a lot of things go wrong. Government refuses to spend any money helping people they screwed over. Both are ecological cases. The dichotomy demonstrates how capricious and arbitrary government is.

NYT is sensationalizing the story but I'm linking it here primarily for the other vignettes in the post. Esp. the latter one about Venezuela vying for "most environmentally sensitive regime" by having rolling blackouts. Keep it up, Venezuela, and soon you'll be as eco-friendly as North Korea!



* * *

So, the other day I was doing a little desultory work in the basement, and I came across a box full of 3.5" floppies. I mean full of them, all vintage 1992 and later. The hell of it is, this box is one of several.

How the hell did I end up with so many frickin' DOS-format floppies? I used floppies as my primary storage medium from the summer of 1983 onward, of course, having started my computer career with a C-64 at a time when a 10 megabyte hard drive cost as much as a good used car--but for PC/DOS format disks, that only started in 1990, and ended by 1998 at the latest, when I finally got a CD-R drive. In eight years I amassed an insane amount of floppy disks, and how the hell did I manage that?

So I started with one little box, and immediately threw away about a quarter of the disks in it--drivers for hardware I no longer owned, AOL disks, some other junk--and began looking at the actual contents. In this box, there's a bunch of old WAV files, which I'm archiving to the hard drive of this machine; once I've got that archive burned to a DVD I can dump the floppies entirely.

Being nearly twenty years old, some of them are no longer reliable, anyway. I've had several disks cough up read errors, and from a few of them my USB floppy drive can't even read the directory much less any usable data. None of the data on these disks is particularly vital--hence its being in offline storage for most of two decades--but the cost of archiving it to CD is practically nil, except for some time, so why not?

On the plus side, I came across a complete set of system 6.2.1 disks for Macintosh. I still have my old Mac SE, and I might resurrect it once I have finished cleaning up down there. It's kind of neat to fiddle with even though there's not much available for it now.

Besides that, I started working on the shelves. The basement used to have an entire wall of built-in shelves, but those were torn out in 1982 when the basement was finished; only the shelves that separate the laundry/utility room from the rest of the basement remain, and they're full of stuff. I'm paring it down to the bare minimum, sorting out the trash and the donatable stuff and keeping the stuff that's worth keeping. Dad had a collection of beer steins which are not particularly valuable (most were premiums/corporate swag from suppliers) but have some sentimental value and might look good on a high display shelf, assuming there ever is one.

I brought upstairs a bit of kitsch to get a laugh out of Mrs. Fungus, who wanted to keep it:



Her: "What is it?"
Me: "It's a 38 foot yacht."
Her: "Why are there feet on the bottom?"
Me: "Because it's a 38 foot yacht."
Her: "... Oh, that's funny!"

It's harmless enough. They're apparently getting $25 apiece now for pristine examples, which this is not; the box was ruined by three decades' worth of dust and humidity and cigarette smoke, anyway.

*sigh*
Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016
7:02 pm
#5182: Anode replaced!
So today I went to Harbor Freight and picked up an electric impact gun (price, $42-something with tax) and that was able to get the anode loose from the water heater. Sure enough it was encrusted with smelly stuff, which wasn't so smelly after it dried out, but because the space is so tight I had to bend it double to get it out.

Then I poured a half-cup of bleach into the water heater. Take that, smelly water! Anything that might be in there that thrives on hot water and iron oxide (and excretes hydrogen sulfide) should be dead now.

Once it was out I hied m'self to Home Depot for a flexible anode, because I could not fit the spare in with the space I had; then after stopping at Marnell's for beef sandwiches I got to work in the basement.

Now, some years ago, originally, there was a little 3x3 hole in the wall which gave access to the water heater. When one was replaced (not sure if the original or a later one) someone took a Sawzall to the wall to get it out, because the wall was not load-bearing and there was no reason not to make the hole bigger. Well, I enlarged it a bit more to see if I could get the spare I had on hand into the water heater, but even getting creative with bending it and then unbending it as it went in didn't help, so I discarded that plan and made with the $25 replacement from Home Depot.

Got it in, got it torqued down, repressurized the system--no leaks. I advised Mrs. Fungus not to run any hot water for a while as I want the bleach to have a chance to work, just in case some kind of bacteria is causing the stink. Fortunately, if it is, it's not going to care much for sea-level pressure and room temperature; extremophile bacteria are pretty fussy about their living conditions, just like we are. (This would also explain why the smell went away for about two weeks after the first time I drained it: draining the water heater wiped out most of the colony and it took that long for it to come back.)

Regardless, I can now change the anode with impunity, but I don't expect that I'll need to.

Step 2, cut grass. Got that done like a boss.

Step 3: enjoy the rest of my weekend with the knowledge of a job well done.
1:43 pm
#5181: The first deviation
It's a small one. Trump says we need to fix US economy before we go to Mars. Fortunately, this is the 21st century and we have SpaceX; we no longer need NASA to get us to Mars. So the feds can wank around doing whatever it is they think they can do to fix the US economy (which, it must be said, is merely getting the hell out of the damned way already) and just let SpaceX do its thing.

I don't think Donald Trump is an ideal candidate; far from it. Given my druthers I'd like to have a real statesman running, someone who has as clear a vision as Trump does and is not afraid to articulate it the way Trump has. Someone who's not going to kowtow to the press and the special interest but instead speak to what the voters want and need, yet who has consistently articulated a nationalist or traditionalist platform through the years. But we live in an imperfect world, and Trump is the only person who is talking about doing the important and politically difficult things ("difficult" only because the D.C. establishment stands in the way). I can put up with his peculiarities only because he is focusing on the biggest problems we face right now and has a plan for dealing with them, which is more than anyone in the Republicrat party cares to do. (More than just saying, "Oh, this isn't really the problem you make it out to be," before raising taxes and removing civil liberties.)

On the plus side, "fixing the economy" is at least a reasonably definite goal. When politicians talk about space exploration this way, usually it's in the context of "we have all kinds of problems to fix on Earth, first!" which usually means poverty, war, famine, injustice, inequality, and so on--all the commie-lib-prog bugaboos which never seem to be solved regardless of how much money gets thrown at them, because they cannot be solved, ever. Jesus said it best: "The poor you will have always," He said. We spend five million dollars a minute on welfare yet there are still poor poeple in the US; that poverty is relative rather than absolute considering that an awful lot of poor people have $800 smartphones and big screen TVs.

"Fixing the economy" is a bit more tractable. 5% GDP growth and 5% unemployment--real numbers, that is, not the fake crap ladled out by the D.C. aristocracy--would mean the economy had gone a long way towards being fixed, and if our country is doing that well it would mean having a lot of money to spare for space exploration. Maybe we could then fund useful things at higher rates. (Assume NASA's annual budget is $25 billion; the feds spend that much on welfare in about four days, yet NASA is considered a waste of money by most of our politicians. Primarily because there are no votes to be bought in space.)

This is, therefore, a small deviation. Trump is still the best choice.
12:20 pm
#5180: Damn these taste good
First bag of wasabi-ginger potato chips in quite a few months--dang, they are so good it makes you want to punch yourself in the face. I could eat the entire bag at one sitting; they taste that good.

* * *

Stephen Colbert is tanking and he's doing it because he is not funny.
Before he came to CBS, The Colbert Report on Comedy Central was little more than an extended bit of performance art that did little but caricature conservatives and did so in a way that wasn't nearly as clever as the New York Times's newsroom thought. Where Rutenberg talks of Colbert's "integrity, grace and wicked intelligence," he's glossing over the fact that much of his potential audience saw what he was doing as unbridled sanctimony in the service of a narrow political agenda.
And Colbert did as well as he did there for that reason--that and his show's proximity to Daily Show, another staple in the prog-lib media diet.

Stephen Colbert got where he is by being Archie Bunker 2.0; his caricature of conservatism resonated with a different audience than Carroll O'Connor's Archie Bunker did in the 1970s, and for a different reason, but nonetheless the popularity of the two shows rests squarely on the fact that both actors were presenting caricatures of conservatism.

Thus I am not surprised that Colbert is bombing on late night TV. He's not funny, and shorn of his faux-conservative schtick he hasn't got anything to draw people into watching his show.

* * *

TSA queues miss the point: terrorism is the object, not getting hands on aircraft. Sure, you can screen everyone entering the terminal right down to their skivvies and make sure no one brings bombs or rockets or guns or grenades inside the concourse...but of course now you have a mass of people outside the secure perimeter, all bunched up, and it only takes one or two ragheads with suicide vests to rack up a huge body count. (Warning, link to NYT.)

Look at that first picture. One person in a nail-studded suicide vest could kill or maim everyone in that picture if he detonated it at the right time. Close to the center of that picture is a woman in a red coat. Imagine if there was a vest made of C-4 under it--maybe with a layer of nails and screws atop the explosive--and shortly after the photo was snapped she set it off. How many people in that picture would be dead?

What we're doing now--what we've been doing since 9/11/01--is security theater. It doesn't make anyone safer; it merely moves the focus of the next attack. Hell, a couple of guys with machine guns could stroll in there and shoot a lot of the (guaranteed to be disarmed!) people standing in that line before they were taken out by airport security...if they were.

Either method would put a huge damper on air travel for months afterwards, if not longer.

* * *

Gas keeps going up, oil keeps hanging around $45 a barrel. One commentor gets it right: "It's not rising because of demand......and that should bring out the pitchforks and AR-15s."

Demand has not changed and neither have the other fundamentals of the oil market. There's still just as much of a glut now as there was in February. So why is gas costing nearly a dollar more per gallon than it did then?

* * *

Coming soon to a Democrat stronghold near you! Detroit is broke--past broke--and its educational "system" is out of money, having squandered a $48 million emergency bailout from Michigan.

The part I like, though, is the moving goalposts. The school board having secured enough funding to pay salaries through "the end of the school year", now the union is pushing to get more emergency funding to pay salaries through the end of the calendar year.

Michigan, to its credit, seems reluctant to continue to dump money down the hole. Like many metropolitan school boards, the Detroit board underfunded pension funds and spent money on a bunch of stupid crap, leaving them with a shortfall--to the tune of some $515 million--and now they want to stick the bill to the Michigan taxpayer. The union in particular wants the Michigan legislature to pass a bailout bill totaling three quarters of a billion dollars.

Chicago is heading this way.

I desperately want to see the voters of Illinois say, "Uh, no," to this kind of crap...but it's likely that they won't. *sigh*

* * *

Notice how this Hack-a-Day column neatly avoids talking about who commissioned Ferdinand Porsche to develop the Volkswagen Type 1.
Built by Ferdinand Porsche in 1930’s Germany, the Beetle was designed to be a car for anyone and everyone. Its leader at the time wanted a true "people’s car" (i.e. "Volkswagen") that was affordable for a German family, could reliably travel at sustained highway speeds on the new German autobahns, and easily be repaired by its owners.
Emphasis mine.

The fact that Adolf Hitler asked Porsche to do this does not taint the Type 1 "Beetle" as a "nazi-mobile". Why dance around the history? It's true, we have the Beetle because Hitler asked Porsche to build it; but we have interstate highways because Hitler had the Autobahn system built and Eisenhower saw how useful such roads are. All Hitler did was say, "Build a car!" Porsche did all the heavy lifting.

Oh well.

* * *

Yesterday was not really a bad day, all told. Today I've got some errands to run, little things, and then I'm going to see what can be done about the water heater. One of my errands to to Harbor Freight, where I'm going to pick up an electric impact wrench and see if that can do anything about the anode. It's a thrill a minute!

Got to get the grass cut--at least the front yard, as I suspect the back is a swamp after five days of rainy/drizzly/wet weather. Especially Sunday evening, when we had torrential rains which (fortunately) did not last long. On I-80 Between LaGrange and I-57 traffic was moving under 40 MPH for most of the way, that's how hard it rained Sunday evening. Dang.

Anyway, I'm going to check, and see what can be done, and do it. Fortuitously it is a nice day out, sunny and in the 60s, so at least I won't be freezing while I do it. And if I can finally get the damned water heater anode dealt with, that would also be very, very good. I am sick of the hot water smelling like rotten eggs.

But of course, "miles to go" and so forth. No time for Q.E.D. right now.
12:17 am
#5179: It's pathetic and annoying
People who are otherwise able-bodied who claim to be disabled and do nothing but fap around on the government's dime--and then buy $500 cell phones and complain that they don't have the money to pay for them because they're disabled.

Had an idiot like that today. Holy crap, what a douchebag. "I'm disabled! I'm on a fixed income!" Then why the hell did you spend $500 on a frickin' cell phone? If you're actually disabled and on a fixed income, you shouldn't be spending that kind of money for something whose functions can be adequately supplied by a $100 device.

One thing I've noticed is how people who claim to be disabled--who apparently are perfectly able to do a lot of things except hold down a job--cling to their "disability" because it is the only thing keeping them from having to get their lazy asses out of bed and go to work.

One psychological theory, Transactional Analysis, calls this the "wooden leg game". People who do this get validation from people trying to help them, and will do anything they possibly can to avoid fixing the problem so they can continue to get validation. People who play the wooden leg game get, from it, "Sympathy, [and] avoidance of responsibility".

Until the other people around them twig to the game being played, at which point they give up and stop bothering. At this point, the person playing the wooden leg game tries to up the ante. They don't realize that others are onto you, buddy and no one cares about your wooden leg. That ship has sailed.

...and it's annoying and pathetic.

* * *

Mexicans protesting against Trump, who's promising to end the gravy train. The very fact that leftists are rioting over the possibility of a Trump Presidency is enough to convince me we have to elect Trump soonest.

* * *

Under Obama, the US public debt has "necessarily skyrocketed". Thanks, Obama! Thanks, Democrats! Thanks, Republicans!
Here is the real kicker, though. In 2014, the Federal Government spent $3.5 Trillion which was equivalent to 20% of the nation’s entire GDP. Of that total spending, $3.15 Trillion was financed by Federal revenues and $485 billion was financed through debt. In other words, it took almost all of the revenue received by the Government just to cover social welfare and service interest on the debt. In the financial markets, when you borrow from others to pay obligations you can’t afford it is known as a "Ponzi scheme."
Okay, so let's break that down. $3,635 billion divided by 525,600 minutes (in a year) comes to...

$6,915,906 per minute. 75% of which is social spending. That means that our government is spending $5,186,930 a minute on social spending.

$5,186,930 a minute.

$5,186,930 a minute.

* * *

Asshole cop needs not to be a cop any longer.

* * *

Denninger gets it.
Tuesday Indiana votes and we shall see how that comes out. There's a lot of noise there in terms of the polls and the state is both an open primary and notoriously thin and hard to read. The latest poll shows Trump with a 15 point lead, one that has grown materially in the last couple of week as the Cruz "dirty tricks" machine has picked up speed.

The voters are not happy about this sort of crap -- at all -- with two thirds of the Republicans in the latest polls stating that if nobody has 1237 going into the convention the candidate with the PLURALITY should be nominated.

The GOP ought to pay damn good attention to that figure because if two thirds of registered Republicans stay home after the nomination is stolen not only will Hillary be President the party will be destroyed both in terms of vote-getting and fundraising. The GOP will quite-literally go from being a contender to a tiny minority party with no more chance of winning a Presidential contest in the future than the Libertarian party has since only electoral votes count in a Presidential contest and you will win exactly zero electoral votes with 25% of the electorate supporting you.
I am not the only person who thinks so. I knew it.

* * *

Yesterday I handled a call from an idiot who apparently doesn't realize that if your monthly charges approximate $340 and you only pay $170 a month, your bill will rapidly get very large. When I tried to explain this to him he simply said, "That's not right! I paid my bills! That's not right!"

The third or fourth time he did that, I merely said, "Well, I am open to an alternate interpretation." His response was that he didn't know what was going on, but that I was wrong. Uh huh.

The fact is, I can see the payments you've made. They're all listed right there. If you pay half your bill for months on end, your service won't be cut off--at least not right away--but you will see your "past due balance" line item get ever larger. There's no way around it. Simply denying the fact is not going to help, either.

All of this is painfully simple. If you don't like getting late fees and reconnect fees pay your fucking phone bill on time and you won't incur the fees. #Major_Telecom will bend over backwards to help you keep your service turned on but you have to make an effort, and if you don't, it's on you.

When I see that someone has multiple nonpay disconnects, and has recently had their reconnect fees waived, I almost never give them additional waivers. You had your chance already. This time it's not a mystery what is going to happen if you haven't paid your bill, and you already got your fees waived once.

Gah. People are idiots, and I hate them.
Sunday, May 1st, 2016
8:52 pm
#5178: I know I no longer identify that way.
Vox Day discusses how a lot of people who formerly identified themselves as "conservative" no longer do.

Myself, I'm a lot closer to "alt-right" than to "conservative", especially since most of the aristocracy describes George Bush (either one) and Mitt Romney as "conservative". "Traditionalist or Nationalist works better anyhow," Vox Day says in a response to a comment, and I think that's good enough for me; I've always been a Traditionalist.

And there are more of us than Republicans. The thing is Trump is the GOP's last chance; if they muff this they're done for.

* * *

UNEXPECTED CHEDDAR would be a great band name.

* * *

WATCH WHAT YOU WISH FOR BECAUSE YOU MAY GET IT NO GOD PLEASE MAKE IT STOP More about Princess Truckload, the commie-lib Hutt that interrupted that talk where the comedian delivered that epic rant.

* * *

I have two words: Falcon Heavy.

It's the next f-ing Saturn V.

One of these can boost the Red Dragon capsule into a Mars transfer orbit.
Concept to initial test firing of a 1,500,000 pound thrust vehicle booster in two years. That was early NASA. That’s when NASA was run by scientists and engineers and staffed by technicians who were veterans of WWII weapons and aircraft development and early jet aircraft development. They conceived an idea, refined and designed it, then went out about building and testing it right away. That approach is how we went from monoplanes to the SR-71 in twenty years. That is how we went from an idea for a heavy lift space vehicle in 1957 to men walking on the moon in 1969, twelve years later. SpaceX is run by the kind of people that used to run NASA. And the development work is paid for by the profits from the commercial side of their business.
For damned sure. Yes.

...and how about $750 per pound to Low Earth Orbit? The Falcon's main American competitor (Delta IV Heavy) can manage it for eight times as much.

This is made of awesome.

* * *

"it’s hard to socially & politically indoctrinate kids if they’re welding". Damn right.

* * *

Today was a long, excruciating day. We had a queue the whole day and everyone on the planet was either stupid or angry. (Or both.) But my Thursday is over and now I just need to get through my Friday...and then on my Saturday maybe I can cut some grass and do something about the smelly hot water.

It's a party!
Saturday, April 30th, 2016
9:28 pm
#5177: Because people aren't dumb enough to believe it.
"Knowledge of climate change basics doesn’t make people care," complains this Arse Technica headline.

See post title for why this is so. Twenty plus years of insisting "the science is settled!" has coincided rather neatly with about eighteen years of no warming even as CO2 concentrations continued to climb. The theory is wrong.

And the problem is not just limited to climatology. "There is a veritable truckload of bullshit in science." So the people who get all erect and spoogy over sciency stuff should probably take a cold shower, because it's not the do-all-be-all.
Now we are at a critical juncture. The conservatives who clean the crap out of the sewer lines and lay the foundations upon which buildings will be erected, that will house all sorts of publicly funded liberal-egghead think tanks, have come to the unpleasant realization that previous generations never quite learned: They have to make the time for politics. They’ve got to attend to it, as if it’s yet another chicken with eggs not yet gathered, otherwise everything else they’ve done is for nothing. They’ve got to write the code that works, they’ve got to build the diesel engines that successfully contain the explosions, they’ve got to manufacture the action boxes for 9mm pistols that don’t rupture under the stress, and do all the other things that liberals can never do. Then, they have to participate in politics like the liberals do. And the conservatives have to grow all our food.

Can you imagine a liberal being a potato farmer? It would never work. He would decide “this soil is good for growing potatoes,” and then he would do what liberals do all the time: Promulgate the narrative. The very last thing to figure into his actions would be the lingering question of whether or not the soil is any good…and come harvest time, there’d be no potatoes. If you want a big bundle of excuses about how everything is Republicans’ fault, liberals are your guys. Or, gals, or zhers or whatever. But if you want something to actually work then that’s not where you go. It’s not their bag, baby.

If liberals ever toil away under any sort of standard, their first move is to re-negotiate the standard. They’re so busy re-defining things, they’ve made themselves into strangers to the concept of ever getting any actual work done.

So conservatives have to make things work…food that can really be eaten, code that can really be run, combustion chambers that really do contain explosions…then they have to make time to argue with liberals who don’t have to worry about any of that. Wrestle with the pigs in the mud.
That's the problem with climatology: it doesn't work. It can't work. But the people pushing that narrative keep trying to force it down everyone's throats, even though it's bleeding obvious that it's horseshit.

* * *

The fall of the USSR in 1991 came as a complete surprise to everyone except, perhaps, the Soviet Politburo itself. China won't make the same mistakes.

...which is to say China might be tottering on the brink of collapse, clearing the way for a post-communist economy similar to Russia's, which wouldn't be too bad--but we'd never know it beforehand because they're commies and they don't tell the truth about anything, let alone their internal economic numbers. Same with the USSR: we took their numbers at face value but they were about 90% bullshit.

Which reminds me, strangely enough, of the US' economic numbers, which are also 90% bullshit right now....

* * *

Yes, blacks can be--and are--racist.
A Rhodes Scholar and leader in a black activist group at Oxford University posted a Facebook status in which he boasts of stiffing a white waitress on a tip as revenge for colonialism.
Yeah, you're really brave, standing up to that working-class woman like that. You sure showed her, didn't you? You know how to fight the power!

What a dickhead.

* * *

Speaking of which-- the second image is most apt. "Waves Mexican flag, doesn't want to live in Mexico".

They love Mexico so much they want to live in the US, and will fight tooth and nail to avoid being sent back to Mexico. Yeah.

* * *

SpaceX FTW. I keep saying it. They have developed everything they need to land a Dragon capsule on Mars. They can do it.

Which is a hell of a lot more than NASA can say.

Og has a post on his Facebook page, a picture of a full space shuttle ready for launch looking like a mesa with a cowboy in front. The picture bears the legend, "It's who we were." It's sad as hell.

I keep thinking about a similar image, a guy standing in front of the Saturn V lawn ornament down in Houston, looking sad, with that same caption. Holy shit.

At least SpaceX is doing something useful.

* * *

I agree. America First! There's nothing inherently wrong with that, any more than it's wrong for a German to say "Germany First", or a Kenyan to say "Kenya First", or whatever. I'm an American and I want my country to be great again, not the gelded shithole it's becoming.

* * *

The only correction I'd make here is to say "sexes" rather than "genders" but otherwise it's spot on.

* * *

Tonight I replaced the Jeep's left-side headlight. It blew yesterday, so on my way home from work I stopped at the parts store with a $5 off coupon and got a new headlight. At least this time I didn't get pulled over by the cops, and I was able to replace the bulb while sitting in the garage, out of the wind and the rain.

So both headlights have been replaced, now, and I paid just $14 for the pair of them thanks to my continued patronage of O'Reilly Auto parts, and their thoughtful and useful coupons. (Unlike Ace Hardware's useless crap coupons.) It would have been about $24 for the pair, otherwise.

Very tired tonight--that late night Friday followed by an early day Saturday is pretty harsh--but I'm in relatively good spirits and have just two days left in my week. I think that'll be okay.
12:10 am
#5176: And I just sigh and shake my head in resignation.
So today, I was on my way to work. Had to stop for gas, and on my way to the highway I was passed by a guy on a motorcycle. It was a sportbike of unknown providence, but based on the exhaust note I figured cheap Chinese bike because it didn't sound smooth enough to be Japanese. And it sounded like a 250, to boot. (There are Japanese 250 cc sport bikes, but they sound a hell of a lot nicer and smoother than this thing did. It sounded like a dirt bike.)

Anyway, he goes rocketing past me, and then I saw the printing on the back of his jacket:

FUCK
OFF


...in large, unfriendly letters.

Me: *sigh*

I wasn't even offended by it; I was just dismayed: This is how far our society has fallen.

Used to be even if there was some self-styled tough guy motoring around town on a bike, he wouldn't dare have any profanity written on his clothing lest he attract the attention of the cops, who would explain to him in words of one syllable why he isn't allowed to ride around with a billboard advertising his four-letter vocabulary, at least not in this town.

I suppose the cretin thought he was being edgy and cool, but all he's really doing is proclaiming his--and our society's--utter intellectual bankruptcy.

And that's why I was dismayed.

* * *

Speaking of gas prices--WTF, guys, nothing has changed in the damned oil market except the price yet gas has gone up $0.25 in the last 24 hours. Shit.

Oh, of course! How stupid of me! OPEC is going to open the taps, so right now we have to raise prices!

Oh, but now they're falling again, because reasons.

* * *

HOLY SHIT, YES.
Oxford, let us remind you, is the world’s second oldest extant university. Scholars have been studying here since at least the 11th century. We’ve played a major part in the invention of Western civilisation, from the 12th century intellectual renaissance through the Enlightenment and beyond. Our alumni include William of Ockham, Roger Bacon, William Tyndale, John Donne, Sir Walter Raleigh, Erasmus, Sir Christopher Wren, William Penn, Samuel Johnson, Robert Hooke, William Morris, Oscar Wilde, Emily Davison, Cardinal Newman. We’re a big deal. And most of the people privileged to come and study here are conscious of what a big deal we are. Oxford is their alma mater – their dear mother – and they respect and revere her accordingly.

And what were your ancestors doing in that period? Living in mud huts, mainly. Sure we’ll concede you the short lived Southern African civilisation of Great Zimbabwe. But let’s be brutally honest here. The contribution of the Bantu tribes to modern civilisation has been as near as damn it to zilch.
Emphasis mine, because damn.

* * *

When will Obama pardon Hillary? A good question. If it does not happen before the election, it'll happen before January 20th of next year. Count on it.

* * *

Does this mean we can start a "White Lives Matter" movement? Because if cops shoot more unarmed whites than blacks, you do know what that means, don't you?

* * *

Target is stupid, which is why they're winning such a stupid prize.
Just this week, a biological man was arrested after allegedly secretly filming a woman trying on bathing suits in a Target dressing room in Missouri.
But transsexuals wouldn't do that! They're just trying to be themselves! We have to give perverts every opportunity to be perverts in order to accommodate a vanishingly small fraction of the population!

Og rebuts.

* * *

"Many of the things that allowed people to get through the last great depression will not save them this time."

* * *

The divine flash of creation happens every time a sperm cell fertilizes an egg. Let there be light!

* * *

#EucharistProblems. Yeah!

And Camilla Paglia FTW: "If civilization had been left in female hands, we would still all be living in grass huts." A woman said it! I'm just quoting her!

* * *

Man, I've got to go to bed soon. Early day tomorrow!
Thursday, April 28th, 2016
3:47 pm
#5175: The Thursday of baking!
Pre-arranged day off from work today. Had to ask for it a month in advance, and if it had been a weekend my request would have been rejected before I could make it; the system we use for that stuff keeps track and always says "day full" whenever I ask for a weekend day off. Meaning, no Saturday off for you! (Or Sunday.)

But today is Mrs. Fungus' birthday, and so we're celebrating. I've already baked a cake, and when this post is done I must go bake cookies. This will be worthwhile and entertaining.

But first, the post.

* * *

Obama did not, in fact, save the world from anything let alone another great depression. Nothing he's done while in office has even mitigated the Greater Depression which--seems I must say it every time I talk about it--started in 2009.

Obama couldn't "convince" Americans that the economy is doing better BECAUSE IT IS NOT DOING BETTER.

Addendum:

Ace observes that the feds couldn't allow a GDP growth figure less than 0.5%, because a recession is defined as "two or more consecutive economic quarters with zero or negative economic growth" and we already had one of those in the fourth quarter of last year.

"We can't," as Ace observes, "have an official recession as we go to the polls."

End Addendum

* * *

Why is crude "soaring" to $46 a barrel when nothing has changed? No one's cut production and there's still as much oil surplus as there was in February. Where is this coming from?

* * *

In a true victory for equal rights for women, women will finally have to register for Selective Service, i.e. the draft. I registered in 1985, and ever since I've wondered why "equal rights" didn't mean women also had to register, not understanding that if it ever came down to a draft the US would be in a major shooting war and would be drafting cannon fodder, which is not something for which you want to use breeding-age females. Well, a bunch of morons have gone to a great deal of trouble to get breeding-age females the right to serve in combat roles, even though they are not physically suited for it, and the logical extension of that is that yes, women will have to register for the draft.

If you're going to insist that women can serve in combat roles and be just as effective as men, then they have to be subject to the draft. Nothing else is fair.

* * *

Will the GOPe get behind Trump? Milo Y. gives a bunch of reasons they should.

As Fred begins:
I love it: Donald Trump's campaign reveals the establishment for what it is, a swamp of corruption as fetid as those of Latin America. It is better entertainment than Vaudeville. The frantic scramble to rig the primaries, change the rules, and thwart the voters--anything to defend their cozy entanglement of political tapeworms--makes absurd any pretense of democracy.

This morning in the Drudge Report: "Trump Highest Number of Republican Voters in History." Who do the Republicans want to get rid of? Trump.
Well, of course they do. Trump's not one of the anointed.

* * *

Chuck Norris on gender dysphoria.

The difference between justice and social justice.

* * *

Besides baking that cake, I also got the dishwasher loaded and started. All that before breakfast. I rule.
Wednesday, April 27th, 2016
9:12 pm
#5174: Ahh, what a lovely day.
No, not the weather; the weather was shit. Cold (forties) and winds from the north and no fun outdoors.

We went to the Shedd Aquarium today, as we've been planning for weeks, specifically to see the amphibian exhibit--but also to see the rest of it, because we like animals and critters.

Because of today's trip I now know that the soft, continuous trilling I hear at night in summer comes from the American toad. The frogs I hear in springtime, the ones Mom called "peepers", are (I believe) cricket frogs, tiny little things about the size of your thumb. Pretty neat.

We saw a bunch of other things, as well, including an octopus, penguins, otters, and these odd fish which look like blades of grass. They're built to swim with their heads pointing down!

Then, our feet hurting, we went to Navy Pier and walked along it, thinking we might take a boat ride, but it was too cold and it began raining to boot, so we gave up on that idea and went home.

Lovely day. Absolutely lovely. And that was after we had one yesterday, where we ate sushi and watched the Charlie Brown movie, the computer-generated one, which was actually really good.

* * *

LOL: at 4m28s one of the guys says, "Hey, don't spill my soup."

I guess when you're in a 412,000 lb locomotive, you don't worry much about a tornado.

* * *

So, I said yesterday (or the day before?) that I wanted to see what prompted Crowder to go off on that epic rant.

I was wrong. Princess Hamhock looks like Chris Farley in drag.

Here's more at AoSHQ, including a video of the whole panel.

And here's where AoSHQ talks about Princess Hamhock.

* * *

Extra CO2 in atmosphere good for plants, econazis claim effect "diminishes over time". Yeah, because of course plants just get tired of their primary freakin' nutrient. That's like saying that Rosie O'Donnel gets tired of ice cream, you know?

* * *

Speaking of the climate nazis, Global warming hits Britain extra-hard this spring with freezing temperatures and snow.

* * *

SDB talks about grapefruit-sized hail. Do you know how much a chunk of ice the size of a grapefruit weighs?

* * *

Socialism's endgame: Venezuela can't afford to print new money. They have officially run out of "other peoples' money" per Margaret Thatcher.

* * *

Trump is hitting all the right notes. If we can actually do even half of what he promises here, it'll be an amazing time.

Bonus points if the usual commie-lib suspects make good on their promises this time. There's always a bunch of creeps who say, "If [Republican] wins I'm leaving the US!" but they NEVER! make good on their promises! Damn it, I know you can't trust a Democrat to stick to his word, but must they tease us like this? WTF!
But they won’t do it. These whimpering asswipes always threaten the same thing every election cycle that has a Republican running in it; I’ve been mocking them here for it since the Dubya days, and not one of them has ever actually followed through on it, more’s the pity.
...because that would be all efforty and shit, right?

* * *

2018? Really? SpaceX tweet says they're sending a Dragon capsule to Mars "as soon as" 2018. For damned sure NASA isn't bothering to land things on other worlds any longer; someone's got to keep the flame burning.

* * *

Take a $1,500 TV, put it in a new box, and sell it for $4,800! Yeah! Dad always said it best: "A fool and his money are soon parted."

Sheesh.

* * *

Pics from the aquarium!



Looks like Pen-Pen from Evangelion; first time I ever saw a real one like that.



Now I know why nothing at that cafe had prices on it. I think this cookie cost $4; two of these and a bottle of Coke Zero were $12 with tax.



A rare blue lobster.



An eel. He was posing for pictures.



The anemones were interesting. Should have gotten pics of the jeweled anemone exhibits, where the bottom of the aquarium was covered with tiny anemones.



I actually never saw a real octopus before, not alive and moving. Most cool.



Mrs. Fungus thought this cane toad was adorable. It was huge, too, about five or six inches across.

Saw a lot more than that, of course, but these are some highlights. We had a great time, too.
Tuesday, April 26th, 2016
3:16 pm
#5173: Motorcycles are proof God loves us and wants us to be happy.
SDB talks about Bakuon and one character's encounter with a not-at-all disguised Jesus. The halo and the crown of thorns painted on the helmet--not to mention the robes, the Holy Grail, etc--I mean, come on.

I have to say it's an interesting inclusion in a Japanese production.

Then again the Japanese don't get bent out of shape over stupid crap the way at lot of Americans do, so they find it easy to be respectful towards other ideas. (As long as you leave them alone, that is.)

* * *

Here is the infamous German forklift safety video which is hilarious. It's embedded there, between two other safety videos.

* * *

The town without a police force. (Autoplay video warning.) Home to 1,200 people in summer and 700 in winter, how much do you want to bet that the cessation of a police force will have little to no effect on the crime rate there?

* * *

President Lame Duck is delusional again. As usual: "We Are Fortunate to Be Living in the Most Peaceful...Era in Human History," quoth Boss Tweek, even as he plans to send more special ops guys to Syria to help with the war there. (If "help" is the word.)

Sure, it's an unprecedented era of peace and harmony...except for all the wars and saber rattling and unrest and terrorism. *rolleyes*

Then again I should not be surprised by this. We live in a growth economy as long as you don't count the unemployment. And, hey! As long as you don't count all the things that are experiencing inflation, there's no inflation, either! Education has never been better, except for all the functional illiterates turned out by our schools, and no one is starving anywhere in the world, except for the people who are starving.

Yep, we live in a utopia unknown to previous generations! ...as long as you ignore all the shit.

If a Republican President had emitted a fatuous load like that, the press would crucify him.

* * *

Vox Day matches wits with a half-wit.

Half-wit: "I love being able to back up what I say with hard evidence, peer reviewed scientific consensus."

Here's the problem with that: "peer reviewed scientific consensus" doesn't mean beans. In 1899, all physicists agreed that the luminiferous aether was a real and necessary part of physical law. It was a fluid that filled the universe, had zero viscosity, and was virtually indetectable, but it was absolutely necessary for light (and radio waves) to propagate. The waves had to exist in something, and the aether was it. Aether had to have zero viscosity because otherwise it would blow the atmosphere off Earth (hint: Earth has an atmosphere) and also slow the planets in their orbits until they hit the Sun (hint: there are planets). Any argument against the existence of aether was (or would have been, at any rate) met with derision and ignored, because the aether had to exist in order for light waves to propagate. There was concensus on this point, and physics papers published in the journals all proceeded from the assumption that the luminiferous aether--while not yet detected--was a physical fact of the universe.

Of course, there is no luminiferous aether. It doesn't exist, and it never has. The concensus was wrong.

Prior to the invention of the Big Bang, our universe existed in a steady state. It had always existed, period. Then Hubble came along and showed that the universe is expanding, and so then the universe had always existed in this constantly-expanding state; and because there was observable mass in it, other than our galaxy, it was concluded that the "stretching" of space-time caused hydrogen to pop into existence in the vast emptiness, leading to the formation of galaxies etc. Physicists agreed that this was so. They had concensus.

Our best theory now states that the universe exploded (from something) and if you present another theory you're labeled a crackpot, exactly the way you would have been labeled one in 1955 (for talking about the big bang) or in 1899 (for talking about photons).

"Peer-reviewed scientific consensus" is not an indication of fact. It's an indication of what everyone thinks is fact, which is not the same thing. Peer review in particular is no guarantee of certitude, as most of the time the "review" in question consists mainly of proofreading. Certainly a lot of the science (or "science") done to generate those papers is not replicated--replication is rarely attempted, much less achieved--but since a bunch of peers sign off on it, suddenly it's truth?

If you could get a hundred scientists to agree that the Laws of Thermodynamics were wrong, it would not mean that the Laws of Thermodynamics were, in fact, wrong.

* * *

Socialism is how it begins. Venezuela sits atop one of the largest oil reserves in the world, and should be able to make money hand over fist...and all it took to ruin it utterly was the socialist dictator Chavez.

Addendum:

From yesterday, the link I couldn't read--it's not just Venezuela. It's California, too...and then people wonder why I don't want to move there.

End addendum

* * *

Comedian utterly demolishes SJW hecklers. I'd like to see the whole thing, the start of the asininity from the hecklers, and so on. Well, the rant itself is epic and worth watching.

* * *

Today I have a bunch of stuff to do. As usual. I suppose I should get after it. *sigh*
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