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Atomic Fungus
 
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in atomic_fungus' LiveJournal:

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Thursday, July 18th, 2019
6:01 pm
#6760: Winning
Winning.
Despite idiots like John Son-of-a-Postage-Stamp Kasich's bullshit about civility or whatever, even those on the Left are admitting that Trump won this whole thing hands down, and they're absolutely panicked about it. There was, in fact, polling done on Sunday or Monday and Trump's approval among Republican voters actually increased and significantly even after his "racist" America, love it or leave it comments. His rally in North Carolina further underscored it with the crowd shifting from "lock her up" to "send her back." After reciting a litany of horrid quotes about Bro-Fo and company, Trump actually brought up the Somali slag's dubious sham marriage to her brother and the fraud she perpetrated to come to the land she utterly loathes. And the wailing and rending of garments on the Lido Deck of Kristol's ship could be heard far out to sea.

Yet with everything crashing and burning all around them, what did Bro-Fo and Rancida Tliban do? Co-sponsor a bill promoting the anti-Semitic BDS movement. Perfect.
By getting up in front of the media and complaining about Trump's tweets all they did was hand him the perfect hammer with which to knock 'em down. I would not have believed it if I hadn't seen it.

Here's the thing: I am not a fighter. My instincts are to be conciliatory, to be placating, to be accommodating, and I need to get really mad before I start to fight. So when the so-called "conservatives" start to complain about how "divisive" Trump is being, and worrying about how he makes the GOP look, part of me understands where they're coming from.

Only part, though.

The "conservative" wing of the GOP has demonstrated that it is not at all right-wing, that it is in fact perfectly comfortable with ObamaCare and high taxes and NSA wiretapping and involving our military in a thousand brush wars all over the planet in which we have absolutely no compelling national interest. And what they definitely won't do is to say anything--ANYTHING AT ALL--which could be construed as being more than passively critical of Democrats or their politics or the things they say about Republicans. "Sure, they burned George Bush in effigy again, while chanting 'Not my President,' but we're gonna take the high road on this...." Why? Why don't you guys get up and tell those asshats, "We accept the results of the election when a Democrat wins the office. You people are crybabies and sore losers"? Why is "taking the high road" so much more important to you than stopping the tide of leftism? You call yourselves "conservatives" but what is it, exactly, that you are conserving, other than a status quo where the left can say whatever it wants and we have to take it?

They do not fight.

They do not fight, and when someone gets up and does fight they try to sabotage him and wring their hands, saying, "This isn't who we are!" These so-called "conservatives" active sabotaged the TEA parties, and that's part of the reason they have to look at President of the United States Donald Trump now; when presented with the choice between Trump and Hillary fucking Clinton they chose the latter!

...all of which is why I no longer identify as "Republican" or "conservative", but "right-wing". The Republicans do not represent my views. "Conservatism" has been co-opted by the country club Republicans--the kind of people who gave us EPA and OSHA, totally unrestrained, and who gutted the space program--and is worthless. It conserves nothing, it fights for nothing, and its sole function appears to be acting as a speed bump for socialism.

As for the articles of impeachment? They held a vote on tabling them indefinitely. 95 Democrats voted against that. The entire rest of the House of Representatives, save one abstention, voted to shut that shitshow down before it was even well-started.

Including 137 Democrats and Justin Amash, the former Republican turned "Independent" who was all frothing at the mouth over how Trump needed to be impeached, and got lots of attention from leftists who used his pro-impeachment statements as "proof" that Trump deserved impeachment. Hey, douchebag: put your money where your mouth is, or shut the fuck up.

And the end of that last linked post leads us quite naturally to the question of Rep. Omar (D from Shitholistan) herself and her questionable marriages. Let the headline tell the tale: "Powerline/David Steinberg: Case Closed -- Omar Ilhan, Born Omar Elmi, Married Her Brother For Purposes of Immigration Fraud". Not only did she marry her brother, but she is also married to another man at the same time. So, incest and bigamy in one disgusting little package, with a soupcon of immigration fraud for garnish.

In any case, hopefully this will put the "impeachment" horseshit to bed, for good and all, because they don't have anything, they have never had anything, and it was nothing but wishful thinking.

* * *

I like this.

Via Borepatch, who has his own suggestion that I really like: "[The Department of] Energy moved to the Permian Basin (or maybe Tulsa)." Two really hot freaking places, also deep in the heart of oil country.

* * *

Regarding President Trump's relationship with Jeffrey "Lolita Express" Epstein: the Democrat-media complex is really reaching on this point.

Timeline:
1992: Trump seen "partying with" Epstein at Mar-a-Lago.
Somewhere between 1992 and 2008: Trump says he's a "great guy" and has known him 15 years.
Also somewhere between 1992 and 2008: Trump has Epstein tossed out of Mar-a-Lago for perving on an underage girl
2008: Epstein arrested and given a gentle pat on the wrist. Trump ceases all association with him.
2016: Trump wins election to Presidency
2019: "Muh Russia!" fails and Democrats need something else, dredge up this.
You see, the problem here is that while I'm certain Trump did say that Epstein was a "great guy", and Trump did associate with Epstein, all the articles regarding this association leave out one crucial fact: WHEN HE DID IT.

And so what we have here is the Democrat-media complex smearing Trump for not having telepathy and not being a prophet and knowing who Epstein really is. They're smearing Trump for not saying "Epstein's a pervert!" before anyone knew he was.

Okay, if I'm a big name businessman and I move in the same circles as another big name businessman, what I don't do is to say, "Well, I'm not associating with so-and-so because he's a fuckin' pervert who abuses teenage girls," out of nowhere, with no proof, unless I'm a total fricking lunatic. But that's what the left is insisting Trump should have done: he should have somehow known what Epstein was doing and distanced himself from him even though no one else on the planet knew what was going on.

What in fact happened is that as soon as Trump realized who he was dealing with, he stopped the association. The stories don't mention that; they are desperately trying to make it sound as if Trump had said these things and had continued to pal around with Epstein after his arrest in 2008.

Of course the leftists are now saying "Trump's a proven child rapist" because they have absolutely no perspective and don't understand the difference between a) proven guilt; b) an alleged crime; and c) a baseless, unprovable smear.

* * *

Speaking of Epstein, he's been denied bail and he for damn sure ought to have been.

Look: with the money that guy has, once he posted bail he could go anywhere in the world he wanted to. Including places which are out of reach of the US government. Someplace which has no extradition treaty with the US and has no trouble letting someone with a couple of large suitcases full of American cash, but no passport, through customs. (I'm assuming that the feds confiscated all his ID. But maybe he has a backup somewhere.)

Does he lose all the assets he's got stashed? Well, he doesn't lose it all, not if he has half the brains God gave a rutabaga. The properties probably go, at least the ones inside the US, but he probably has a Swiss bank account crammed full of money, and that can be wired to any bank in the world. He can live like a king on that, for the rest of his life, and never have to face a single day in jail.

You know, like Roman Polanski. Who was convicted, coincidentally enough, of raping an underage girl.

* * *

Netflix has a problem. That problem is that they took on a lot of debt to expand. Problem with debt is, eventually it must be paid back. Yeah.

The other problem is that there are seven billion people in the world, and of that seven billion a significant fraction either lacks the wherewithal or the interest in subscribing to their service. That pool of potential users is not going to expand very quickly, certainly not quickly enough to sustain their current business model.

* * *

Republicans are apparently capable of strategy after all. The communist Democrats will vote against the minimum wage increase if there's a Republican procedural motion included in it, which will leave the Democrats without the necessary votes to pass the thing.

I don't want to see a minimum wage of $15 anywhere. It's bad for business; it's bad for everything. If the work being done by people in minimum wage jobs were worth $15 an hour, they'd already be getting paid that much, even if the minimum wage were set at $1 an hour.

* * *

Sorry, but stupid carries its own penalties. Short form: trio of people, armed with deadly weapons, break into a house. Guy is home alone, and he uses an AR-15 to defend himself, killing them. One kid's grandfather is unhappy that his grandson is dead (of course) but claims that he didn't deserve to die.

This story is from 2017. I remember blogging about it then.

Here's the facts: if three people break into your house, with weapons--if they have ability, opportunity, and intent to do you harm--you are justified in defending yourself, even with deadly force. I AM NOT A LAWYER so do not listen to me and do not take any legal statement here as valid, but the fact that the defender was not charged with a crime, nor even arrested, would seem to bear that analysis out.

It does not matter what the weapons are that they're carrying. Brass knuckles are considered "deadly weapons" and the fact that the dead goblins did not consider that their target might have ranged weaponry does not mitigate that.

"Ability to do harm": they were armed, there were three of them, against one person.
"Opportunity to do harm": they were in the house, uninvited, at a time when the person was home.
"Intent to do harm": they entered the house illegally, armed with deadly weapons.

That's all it takes; and sad to say that the fault for all this does not lie with the guy with the AR-15 nor with the laws governing self-defense. It has to do entirely with the upbringing of the three dead goblins. And it's really not all that difficult to understand, if you were raised right, that you don't enter peoples' houses uninvited, particularly not with weapons in hand! Grandpa, if you want to blame someone for this, try blaming your own damn kid who somehow managed not to teach his/her children this painfully simple survival tip.

Like I said, I know I commented on this before--but some stories are just so stupid I can't help myself.

* * *

I often find myself surprised that people still read "the fishwrap of record" considering how often they prove they're nothing but communists.
The Soviets launched the first woman into space, after systematically murdering some 20 million of their own citizens for the crime of having one cow more than their neighbor.

Remember that Water Duranty, the Moscow bureau chief for The New York Times was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for covering up the Holodomor, in which the Soviets deliberately starved to death millions of Ukrainians.

The Soviet army would take all the food the farmers grew. All of it.

If any Ukrainian citizen was caught trying to glean the fields, trying to pick up a handful of grain off the dirt to eat, they and their family would be shot.

The Soviets denied this and Duranty willingly published only the official government statements. For this, he was the pride and joy of The New York Times.
Go look up "Holodomor" if you want all the details. Walter Duranty just loved the USSR and the NYT still has the Pulitzer he won for his hagiographic propaganda about life in the USSR under Stalin.

Even though twenty million people were being starved to death when he wrote those articles.

But the NYT can't shit enough on the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, so they're quaffing magnesium citrate.

* * *

Chicago's new lesbian-of-color mayor hasn't spent a single weekend in the city since her inauguration but she's saying that "we're losing the streets." There's a comment which captures the situation nicely:
No blame on the criminals though. Don't blame the idiots who shoot other idiots over "being disrespected", or because they're from another block, or for some Facebook feud. No blame on the toothless states attorneys office, or the restorative justice judges. And Toni Bulwinkle is chiming in, send Kermit a mean letter about The Supt. and the "misleading" of the public...because her minions have no blame in any of this. Just like the old Toyota commercial slogan..."you wanted it, you got it". Now, suck it up and live with it.
A few weeks ago I saw an interaction that was all about someone feeling "disrespected". What happened is that a woman made a left turn against traffic just as a car was also making a left turn into traffic, coming out of a driveway. She pulled right into the guy's path and nearly caused a collision, and the guy honked at her. So she stopped her car where it was and started yelling and gesticulating at him. After all, he disrespected her. Who gives a fuck about backing up traffic? After all, you'be been disrespected! You got to keep your street cred, gnome sane?

People who act like this are savages and should not be allowed to vote. Shit.

* * *

Guess I need to buy more stuff from Home Depot, now that I think of it.

* * *

This assorted post from Liberty's Torch is worth reading. And discussing, in all its parts.

Like this. "What do you suppose the chances are of getting a Ben Carson from Africa?"

#3 in the list is AOC "Horseteeth" talking about calling civil rights activists "communist" by raising the spectre of what the KKK said about Martin Luther King, Jr. She seems not to know this, so I'll point it out here: Martin Luther King Jr. was a Republican, yes, but the segregationists were Democrats and they were the ones smearing him as "communist".

All the unAmerican tripe spouted by the commie bitches on AOC's team.

* * *

I really don't like the Beach Boys, either. Hate to say it. They have a couple of catchy tunes I can take or leave--mainly "leave"--but I never really thought they were all that good.

* * *

I don't think Heinlein considered this possibility when he wrote The Door Into Summer. Roomba (and its follow-ons) is an interesting gadget considering that Heinlein first wrote about a floor-cleaning robot in 1956. "Hired Girl" was the name of the thing, but it was capable of sensing and properly cleaning any type of floor that you'd find in a house. Roomba's just an automatic vacuum cleaner--but that's good enough for most houses, anyway.

But the interaction here is pretty entertaining. Two robots, one for each level of the floor--there's a step down from the main area to the kitchen, it looks like. Upper robot is cleaning the edge of the step just as lower robot happens to be going by, and upper robot mistakes lower robot for more floor and sidles right on top of the thing, confusing it enough that after trying to get its bearings for several seconds it gives up and shuts off.

Heh.

* * *

And now, the bad news.

Psychopath attacks a KyoAni office with gasoline, 25 dead, more missing. (There's an update saying "33 dead".)

This article says 33 dead, a similar number injured.

Wonderduck says, "Reportedly, the arsonist was yelling something that might translate out to 'you plagiarized me.'"

KyoAni is one of the best studios in operation right now. I mean, they produced a whole host of good stuff: K-on! and the entire run of Haruhi Suzumiya and a bunch of other stuff besides.

Everyone in the building is either injured or dead.

*sigh*

* * *

I don't know how to follow that one smoothly, so I'll just push on.

Today's weather is HOTTT. Dewpoint is a staggering 78°, temps about 88°. It's like a freaking jungle out there. Inside, 77° and a heck of a lot dryer. God bless Willis Carrier.

And tomorrow will be hotter.

* * *

Despite the heat I intend to cut the grass on Saturday. I will take frequent breaks and drink plenty of fluids, and won't use the pusher but stay on the tractor. And, for good measure, I may employ a "stay cool" trick I used in 2017 when I was cleaning out the attic: dunk my shirt in the pool, wring it out, and put it on wet. That did a great job of keeping me cool.

* * *

Thursday will have the distinction of being the only work day this week I was able to sleep until my normal wakeup time of 1 PM.

Monday: cat threw up on bed and I had to change the sheets at 6 AM.
Tuesday: had to hit the store for sundries.
Wednesday: had to go pay water bill.
Thursday: Ahhh.
Friday: Will have to go to the store to pick up my pills.
Saturday: Fuck y'all I'm sleeping in!

...which will probably mean "I'll get up at 1 PM as always." *sigh*
Wednesday, July 17th, 2019
8:01 pm
#6759: BECAUSE HE FIGHTS
In the wake of "the Squad" getting up and removing all doubt, support for President Trump has gone up. Because he got up there and said what a lot of us say every day: "If you don't like it here, don't let the door hit you where the good Lord split you. Go to those countries you say you like better."

Only they don't--they never do. Trump telling them to go back to where they came from and fix those places first, before being critical of the US, is just what a lot of us think. You came here. We did not bring you here. You could have stayed where you were and made it more to your liking, but you did not do that.

"The rise in support isn't the surprising part. The surprising part is that the Media still find this surprising."
Trump somehow triggers them even more than he did in 2016--don't ask me how; it violates several important laws of thermodynamics--so they're going all-in on goofballs like AOC and her "Squad." The Media loves "the Squad," and since The Media have convinced themselves that theirs is the whip hand, they're ordering us to love "the Squad" too. To which Trump replies with a version of "lol get fucked," and since "you're free to leave this country if you hate it so much" seems forehead-slappingly obvious to anyone without a journalism degree, Trump's poll numbers rise. Which prompts another stern lecture from The Media, which receives another "lol get fucked," and around and around and around we go...
That post goes on to talk about the impending impeachment vote, and what it may portend for politics in the next few months.

It's going to come down to a vote and the Democrats in the House will have to vote on it, one way or another. I mean, they have to cast votes, and what I think will be most interesting here will be not the "yea" votes (because they're voting with their party) and not even the "nay" votes (because those votes are either from Republicans or from largely sane people who understand what impeachment means for the future of the Democrat party, hint: not good) but the abstentions. Who abstains from voting, who votes "present", and why?

Regardless of the outcome of an impeachment effort, I see Democrats losing. Nancy Pelosi wanted to avoid this because the last two years have been an unceasing triphammer of Trump-hunting, and while impeachment might be red meat for the hard left it's not going to win them any moderate votes.

Especially for something as specious as a handful of harsh sentences posted on Twattler.

...and if the House votes to impeach, then what? The case gets tried in the Senate. Which is still controlled by Republicans. So impeachment fails there--and the Democrat party has just wasted an enormous amount of political capital. Absent a serious breach, they can't impeach Trump again without looking like lunatics--and I mean Trump would have to be caught red-handed, on camera, raping a ten-year-old girl on the friggin' Resolute Desk in the Oval Office level of "serious"--with an incontinent need to remove him from office.

The old guard (Pelosi et alii) know that impeaching a popular President during a reasonable economy is a bad idea unless you've got him cold on serious shit; a few tweets that his base likes is not enough to change that calculus, which is why impeachment was quietly taken off the table months ago.

I don't see the right wing rioting should Trump be impeached. I just don't see it happening; the right wing respects the process too much for that. If you doubt me look at the reactions from the right wing every time they've lost an election: we were not the people wearing "not MY president!" t-shirts, not in 1996, and not even in 2008 or 2012. And there will be considerable anger should he be removed but it would express itself at the ballot box: a lot of Senators would find themselves primaried and/or de-elected in the general elections.

But at no stage of the process do I see the left taking reversals well, and that's the problem Pelosi faces: the Democrats have to vote for impeachment or else they will lose the left wing, and there will be riots, and they'll lose big in 2020--probably in primaries where the left holds safe districts, but also in the general elections when disgusted left-wingers don't vote for the incumbent but either stay home or vote for a third party, thus splitting the Democrat vote.

Even if the left doesn't riot, Democrats lose seats in the house. A failed impeachment on top of candidates riding the coattails of a popular President on top of the Democrat party's incontinence in the face of losing in 2016--it doesn't look good for them, regardless of how I slice it.

* * *

Check out the video embedded here. Bride plays an innocent little trick on groom...who proceeds to slap her hard enough to knock her down for it. Ah, the religion of peace!

* * *

"We will bring the fire!" Right after an antifa goon tried to burn down an ICE detention facility.
Being as generous as I can be, that is ridiculously tone-deaf following the Tacoma ICE facility attack.

Being less than generous, that is a threat that the Squad is going to incite Antifa to commit more violence.
The Democrats certainly are not going to rein in antifa.

* * *

No, this is not how I will pay for things in 2025, or ever. I am not going to have anything implanted, nor am I going to use biometrics. If you won't take cash, check, or debit card, I'm not buying from you, period.

I don't care how fucking convenient it is for me, or inconvenient for you.

* * *

If one touch could kill you, getting close enough to touch it would also kill you. That's how radioactivity actually works.

"The Claw" was reportedly used for cleaning up radioactive graphite at Chernobyl. Taking as a given that it was used to clean up debris that was mind-shatteringly radioactive, it's been sitting where it is now for about 33 years. In that time, it presumably has rained rather a lot. 33 years' worth of rain and snow.

Whatever contamination was on the thing has either decayed, or been washed away. The metal itself is probably also radioactive, because of neutron activation. And if you touched it you might pick up a tiny flake of rust or paint that was radioactive.

...but I fail to see how that could be lethal when, apparently, standing next to it is not; if you know what you're about and you're still willing to get that close to it, then the tiny flake you might pick up from touching it won't kill you.

Now, if you get up close and personal with the thing, stripping yourself naked and spend time rubbing your body on it--I could see that being lethal. Maybe.

* * *

Man threatens his daughter with a stolen handgun. Bail: none. Yes, we really need to make guns more illegal to stop all the gun violence out there, but we'll release people who violate the existing gun laws on recognizance bonds.
A defense attorney argued the father should be released without having to pay a bond because he should enjoy the benefits of the presumption of innocence.
What a lovely theory that is! By that standards there should be no bail or bond or anything; just let people go until their trials.

Why the hell was that asshat not laughed out of court? WTF!

* * *

First flight of NASA's SLS now pushed back until 2021. Big surprise. Its first flight was supposed to be 2019, then 2020, now 2021. And it keeps getting more expensive, too.

* * *

Head of Planned Parenthood has been kicked out because she thinks having a uterus is a prerequisite for needing an abortion. Her language isn't inclusive enough, you see, and she doesn't think that male-to-female transsexuals need to be able to have abortions.

These people continue to amaze me.

* * *

Seen on faceboob:



Note the reaction to the story: "yes. Because harassing the unfortunate and homeless is a good idea?"

The thing is, we have laws against vagrancy for a reason. The conditions currently prevailing in places like San Francisco demonstrate why. And rather than helping people, rather than doing them any good at all, allowing them to congregate in tent cities in public places endangers them, even more than it endangers the people around them. Those tent cities are filthy, filthy places to begin with; but the lack of running water and adequate sanitation means that third-world diseases run rampant through them and run the risk of starting an epidemic among the larger population.

That's why we have those laws. It's not because the government hates the poor and the homeless; it's because when people live under those kinds of conditions it kills them. And that doesn't even begin to touch on the crime you find in those kinds of encampments, either.

* * *

We were concentrating so hard on them naming John Glenn first man on the Moon, we didn't even notice that they mangled the quote, too. "One small step for a man, one giant step for mankind."

Calling the Moon a "planet" is also technically incorrect but I can chalk that one up to poetic license; that doesn't bother me.

Still, guys--jeeze louise.

* * *

Oh, and this. "We want to thank the 400,000 people involved in faking six moon landings for keeping their mouths shut for 50 years." (The pic says 49 but it's 50 now!)

* * *

Hey, most of the killers are illegal aliens! How do you like that?
The Los Angeles Times takes care to point out in the middle of an article discussing 24 gruesome, violent machete murders committed by illegal aliens that "MS-13 has also become a bogeyman used by President Trump to justify stronger immigration enforcement by linking the issue to crime."

Bogeyman.
Well, yeah. They have to get their digs in somehow.

* * *

This isn't news, though. A left-wing rag ranting against air conditioning for the proles and the hoi polloi naturally is going to make sure their offices are air conditioned.
Almost every summer the bigots at the Times publish a jihad against the miracle of air conditioning, and now we know these Marie Antoinettes are doing so in the comfort of a 6250 ton cooling system, which has nothing to do with the weight of the unit, but its power.
It can transfer enough heat to melt 6,250 tons of ice in 24 hours; that's what the "ton" rating means.

Leftists, hypocrisy, blah blah blah etcetera. I almost closed the link without commenting because it's just the same-old-same-old we get from these shitheads day in and day out. And then they wonder why no one reads the paper any longer?

* * *

I did close a couple articles about the huge freakout over Werner von Braun's contribution to the Moon effort. Yes, he worked for the Nazis. And? I don't see you guys spurning Volkswagens, Mercedes, Audis, or BMWs, and those guys worked for the Nazis. The next time you decide you want a Braun appliance? Change your mind, because Braun worked for the Nazis, too. There are all kinds of German manufacturers who worked for the Nazis.

The ones that didn't no longer exist.

* * *

Remember this when they tell you that renewable energy has surpassed coal in generation capacity. 3% of the US electrical supply comes from "green" or renewable sources.

A rather significant amount of power is generated by burning coal. Lots more than 3%.

* * *

I beg to differ. This neural network does require power. You don't have to plug it in, but some of the photons that enter the glass are lost--absorbed--and that is what powers the thing.

It's an amazing bit of engineering, to make a neural network in glass that can identify numerals.

* * *

I always want to counter this kind of story with a question. That question is, "How much life insurance did the decedent carry?"

Putting a price tag on a human life is stupid. There are certain reasons we do it, but you can't tell me that Boeing offering a settlement of $150,000 per dead person is unreasonably low. What figure should they apply? The article says that the original estimate of $300,000 is "a pittance", so what number would be good? Should the corporation be forced into bankruptcy and all its assets divided among the families of the deceased?

It's hard to find a good average number for life insurance policies in the US, but apparently about 62% of people in the US have life insurance policies. 47% of the population has life insurance policies for less than $100,000.

Okay, 38% of the people in the US don't value their lives enough to have any life insurance; and 47% of the people in the US value their lives less than $100,000. Only 15% of the population value their lives more than $100,000.

By that standard, then, $150,000 is actually pretty good.

* * *

Africa suffers from two major problems. The first is that the people of Africa have vanishingly short time preferences. The second is the staggering level of ignorance that exists there. It's not that they can't learn, but that they won't--and they won't because of #1, the short time preference.

* * *

Galaxy's Edge is empty, because, "No one likes the First Order era Star Wars."

* * *

200 MPH in a Torino? No, thank you.

But back when stock car races featured, you know, actual stock cars, they had to build them fast. A rear spoiler might have fixed it.

Aaaand, no pitures of the engine. In an article published on a car-related web site. FAIL.

* * *

NASA is still making history, though! These days Berke Breathed would get flensed for using the word "mulatto", though.

* * *

Current dewpoint outside: 74. Yeesh. And tomorrow is when the real heat is supposed to arrive.

I've been keeping the house at 77 during the day; it's pretty comfortable in here with me in shorts and no socks or shoes, and the ceiling fan on. Maybe a little warm, but not too bad--certianly cooler than the offices I've worked at where I had to wear "business casual" and the thermostat was at 78. When I take a break and step outside, it's like being hit in the face with a soggy electric blanket.

Probably will not get any real work done outside this weekend. It's going to be hot and I'll probably also eschew using the push mower at all because of it. The grass needs cutting, but I'll do it all on the rider. And take frequent breaks. And drink Gatorade.

Summer has arrived, and with a vengeance.
4:51 am
#6758: It's bothered me all this time
...my first English class in high school was Creative Writing. First project was a short story. Everyone read theirs aloud, of course. And there was this one girl who wrote a horror story.

I didn't really listen to it; it wasn't my cup of tea and the class was a lot less interesting than I'd hoped it would be. But at the end of it, the main character got killed. Not really a problem, except for the fact that it was written in first person, past tense, and the key clause of the last sentence of the story was "...as I died...."

It's a bit clumsy and there was nothing in the story to support it ending that way. It wasn't really foreshadowed. The teacher said, "You can't do that!" The teacher said that you can't have a story in first person past tense in which the main character dies before the end of the narrative. "How is the protagonist telling the story if she's dead?" Age 15, lacking the ability to tell adults they were wrong, I didn't ask, "Why not?"

Maybe a ghost is relating the story. Maybe someone else is speaking for another person who died, kind of metaphorically or allegorically. Maybe the actual narrator is somehow experiencing what the decedent experienced. I don't know, but even at the time I thought it would not take much to fix the story as it was written; but the teacher's advice--in a creative writing class, a class that would be considered "advanced placement" today--was to rewrite it in third person because obviously you can't have the main character in a first person past tense story narrate his own death.

Of course she could have rewritten her story in present tense and kept the immediacy of first person. And like I said, there were probably an easy dozen ways to fix it and keep it first person past tense.

If you wanted to be really cheesy, "...and then I woke up!" would even do it. The teacher said not to do that and I don't blame her, but it was an out. The easiest one possible for a story like that.

I just don't like telling anyone trying to produce art, "You can't do that!" Why not? It's fricking fiction. It doesn't have to obey all the real-world rules. "Suspension of disbelief"--and since the story is over, you no longer need it.

I don't know. I accidentally took Midol instead of Tylenol for a headache, and the antihistamine in it has me feeling all woozy and loopy and spacy, but I just don't see why the ending had to be rewritten. The story needed maybe a paragraph or two, all told, added to it, to explain how it could be told this way. The ghost angle was the one that occurred to me at the time but as I said I lacked the guts to buck a teacher.

It reminds me of something Harlan Ellison wrote, about a workshop for writers that he held. Harlan Ellison seemed like a total douche to me. Knowing a bit about his personality it would not surprise me at all if it turned out to be because the writer had given a political opinion he didn't like--but he spent a session utterly shredding this guy's story and telling him that he'd never be a writer, so give up and don't waste your time. Ellison was proud of that.

Oh yes, Mr. Big Time SF writer says you'll never be good enough. Well, who the hell put him in charge?

There are people who cannot string sentences together to make a coherent story, yes, but there are plenty of professional writers out there who made it big despite that handicap. I don't think it's for Harlan Ellison to say who can and can't be a professional writer. (And as I said I cannot shake the impression that Ellison destroyed the guy solely because his story somehow gored one of Ellison's political opinions.)

It fits my impression of him that Mr. "Fuck you. Pay me," just wrecked one of his paying customers, and moreso that he did so in a way that publicly humiliated the poor guy.

* * *

Tonight's the full moon. It is sticky out there--low 70s with a dewpoint to match--and this afternoon I could see that the patio door had fogged up where the floor register blows on it.

* * *

Anime background music by Kenji Kawai--one of his OSTs was for Hime-chan's Ribbon. Now, Kawai has a real flair for doing the music for horror series, and for "cyberpunk" stuff like Ghost in the Shell. I think the ultimate expression of his talent is in the OST for the Vampire Princess Miyu (VPM) TV series; the track "Karma" is simply amazing to me.

A lot of the horror anime I've seen--the stuff that has affected me the most--does not rely on gore so much as a simple feeling of hopelessness. The stories in the VPM TV series go that way; the main character is a vampire and at the end of most episodes someone's life has been so utterly fucked up that the kindest thing that can be done is for her to bite the poor fool, drink his blood, and then let him live out the rest of his days, in a coma, in his dream world, his future otherwise gone. During those sequences, "Karma" is usually what plays in the background. It's a haunting tune, and the way he weaves the instrument sounds together just makes it.



"Ripples", from the same OST, is the same way.




The music he did for Patlabor has a different tone to it, futuristic without being heavy on electronic sounds. Patlabor is set in the early 21st century, when people are using mechs (called "Labors") for construction work and so forth. The second scene of the first Patlabor is built on the track "Heavy Armor".



This music underlies a scene where military Labors are being airdropped into a forest, and catching and then fighting another military Labor. It comes to a climax and then seques into an abbreviated title sequence, and it was hands down the absolute best opening sequence I'd seen in any movie for a long time.

Then, for Patlabor 2, this:



(Not sure where the video comes from. It's the music I'm talking about.)

"With Love" is the name of the track, and it's so chock-full of regret I just can't even. The antagonist in this movie is a man with whom one of the bosses of the Patlabor unit was in love, earlier in her career; and in fact it's made obvious that they still love each other even though they can't be together. Particularly since she has to arrest him for what he's done.

And Mermaid Forest--at the last, track 20 from the OST (I can't find it on-line), called "Now Only Herself". It plays when the antagonist of that story runs into an inferno, followed by the man who's loved her for decades.

But Hime-chan's Ribbon--go to 3:30 of this one:



The thing about Hime-chan's Ribbon is that unlike everything else I've mentioned here, this one is aimed at kids under the age of about 10. The main character, Hime-chan, is about 12, and she gets a magic ribbon that lets her transform into other people for a little while at a time. There's no real violence in the story, no sex; it's a harmless little story about a girl's adventures after some real magic enters her life. And the music for it captures that. It's innocent and light and cheerful, like the eponymous character herself.

Kenji Kawai's music is layered--textured--and I think that's why I like it; there's something going on everywhere in in.

* * *

Anyway, I got up originally to have a PBJ, to shut up my stomach. I'd better go back to bed.
Tuesday, July 16th, 2019
10:31 pm
#6757: AHHH HA HA HA HA HA H AHA HA HA HAh *ULK*
DEMOCRATS BRINGING ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT AGAINST TRUMP!

THEY DID!
Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) filed articles of impeachment against President Trump on Tuesday under a process that will force a House floor vote by the end of this week.

Green introduced his articles of impeachment after the House passed a resolution largely along party lines condemning Trump for suggesting that four progressive freshman congresswomen of color — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) — should "go back" to their countries.

Green said that the House should go beyond condemning Trump and move to remove him from office.

It will be the third impeachment floor vote forced by Green in the last two years, but the first since Democrats took control of the House.
Now the DEMOCRAT MAJORITY will have to PUT UP OR SHUT UP.

Nancy Pelosi wanted to avoid this, of course, because she can read the polls as well as the next swinging dick or labia can, and she knows how popular President Trump is.

And how popular the Democrat party isn't right now. Like it or not, Horseteeth is the face of the Democrat Party--and it's the face of a crazy woman.

So, you guys all go ahead, and keep on fuckin' that chicken. HAAA! HA HA HA!!!!
5:50 pm
#6756: Well, that's pretty risible, don't you think?
John Glenn named first man on Moon by NY Daily News despite layers and layers of fact-checkers.
The moon landing is one of the most heavily documented events in modern American history. There are more books and documentaries about it than I can count. Still, some New York Daily News staffer decides to shoot a Tweet from the hip and bumblefucks it.
John Glenn is the only astronaut whose name they can remember, because he was a Democrat politician after his astronaut career was over.

Hard to believe, though, that Apollo 11 took off 50 years ago today. Half a century ago--66 years after the Wright brothers' first powered flight at Kitty Hawk--a spaceship headed away from Earth towards the Moon, with the intent of landing there.

50 years after Kitty Hawk was 1953. By 1953, we'd broken the sound barrier and were starting to build airplanes that could touch the edge of space.

The pace of progress has slowed somewhat. *sigh*

* * *

A very nice encapsulation of everything that is wrong with electric cars.
A 1985 Yugo is functionally and economically superior to any new electric car.

It listed for $3,995 brand-new back in '85, which is just under $10,000 in today's money and so about one-fourth the MSRP of the new electric Mini. It had an 8.5 gallon tank that took less than five minutes to refill and averaged about 38 MPG--which meant it could travel about 300 miles before it needed to stop to refuel.

One needs to be very "open-minded" to accept paying $26,000 more for a car that is incapable of doing what a Yugo could when Ronald Reagan was president and people were renting VHS tapes from Blockbuster.
There were quality problems with Yugos, of course, being made in a Communist bloc country and so forth. The ones that worked were good cars, though.

The Hyundai Excel cost, in 1985, $4,995--a thousand dollars more than the Yugo did--and had much the same specifications, with much better reliability. That's a bit less than $12,000 in 2019 dollars, or $24,000 less than the electric Mini.

Yeah.

* * *

But you see, the more people that are armed in a community, the less likely it is that someone will try to rob them. It's nice to see that there are some politicians out there who understand that.

* * *

I can't help how I hear this quote in my head. In my mind, Horseteeth is standing there, screaming through her tears, mascara running, a total mess, possibly in the rain, "YOUR HEART AND MIND ARE RACIST!"

Borepatch says, "Trump is playing the Democrats like a fiddle. He is forcing the spotlight of public attention on their most extreme members who are poisoning the public's view of the entire party."

At the debates which were held not too long ago, all 19 candidates ran as hard left as they could, because they know they've got to capture the radicals first--as Bernie Sanders did in 2016--in order to have a ghost of a chance of coming out on top. What they can't do is publicly say, "Hey, Horseteeth, put a fuckin' sock in it already--you're a lunatic if you think that will work," because then the hard left will abandon them.

But the things they're saying to court the hard left do not play well with the moderates. I'm talking about blue-collar workers, the guys who string power lines and build highways and put union bumper stickers on their work trucks, people who thought Johnson was okay but who wouldn't vote for McGovern even though Nixon was their only alternative.

The Democrat nominee needs those votes. But it also needs the hard left vote. Hillary Clinton made the mistake of thinking she had the moderate vote sewn up; that assumption cost her the 2016 election. (Well, that, and the fact that she's an unelectable harridan with delusions of grandeur.)

The Democrat party also needs the black vote. (Autoplay warning.) The black vote is something the DNC has taken for granted since 1965, since Johnson bought it wholesale with his "Great Society", even though the Civil Rights Act was passed over Democrat objections. Prior to that, blacks voted reliably Republican since "Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves" and Lincoln had been a Republican. (Martin Luther King, Jr. was a registered Republican.)

The problem for blacks--and Democrats in general--is that the scream "Racist!" no longer gets the traction it once did. No one makes more than a token effort to defend themselves from the label, because it is applied lavishly and uncritically to anyone who opposes Democrat policies. Labeling someone a racist in 1994 had a much greater effect than it does 25 years later; that's because everyone to the right of Fidel Castro has been called a racist, one way or another. Like the boy crying "wolf" it just stopped working, and then when real racism arises, it's ignored: "Oh, that crap again." By now, hollering "racist!" does not change any minds; it merely confirms the biases of the people most likely to fling the label around.

And as I predicted, the leftists who say that America is inherently racist are ignored: "'Racist', my ass! We elected a black President twice in a row. STFU."

...so when Donkey-Chompers stands there in the rain with her mascara running, screaming, "YOUR HEART AND MIND ARE RACIST," it's not getting any traction with people. It's not refuting Trump's point. It's not changing anyone's mind. It's not stopping Trump from saying these kinds of things, either, because the stuff Trump is saying are things that his base have been saying all along--and that's why he won in the first place.

"I cannot spare this man. He fights."

He fights, unlike the entire Republican establishment. George Bush would never have said the kind of things Trump has said, not even in private. Imagine Mitt Romney saying, "If you're not happy here, then you can leave." WTF he'd stick pencils in his ears and cut his own nuts off before he'd be caught dead saying anything like that.

But the problem is--as the link prior to that last link makes plain--the Democrats do take the black vote for granted. There would not be so much discussion about primary elections and decreasing support for black politicians if they did not; they assume that they can replace blacks with hard leftists like the toothy barista, and the blacks will still vote for them. It ain't necessarily so.

To make matters worse, though? The new voting public that the Democrats are desperately trying to import, via illegal immigration, is largely not going to give a crap about blacks' feelings. And the black and hispanic blocs hate each other. That does not bode well for the Democrat party's future.

* * *

Trump's comments got them going, all right, because these people know that their prescriptions for the USA won't make it a better place.

* * *

On training police to be present in Chicago public schools Second City Cop says, "Anyone know if the students and teachers are being taught to (A) obey the law or (B) respect the law or (C) respect the police?"

The answer to that question is, of course, "Raciss!" See above.

* * *

I still maintain that they are technically correct on one point. The people who insist that there are fifty-odd thousand genders are right when they say that gender is a social construct. It is--specifically, it is a linquistic construct. "Gender" can be whatever you say it is.

But there are only two biological sexes, male and female, and the parts you are born with determine that. How you feel about it is irrelevant; whether you think the biological sex you are is wrong is irrelevant. You are either male or female, period. (With the exception of the rare case of hermaphodism. This is a rare exception.)

If you take steps to change your appearance to resemble the other sex, you are still the sex you were born with. Absent scooping your brain out of that body and putting it into a body of the other sex, that's all you are and all you'll ever be, and cutting off some parts and adapting others to look like the other sex's parts does not change that.

A man who has "transitioned" to female is a man with mutilated genitals. He is just a novel type of eunuch. And notice that a lot of female-to-male transsexuals retain their reproductive systems intact such that they can still bear children, so they are at best a kind of surgically-created futanari.

It is, of course, "bigoted" for one to point that out.

Oh, well.

* * *

It is racist to point out the failures of leftism.
Consider "food deserts." The idea is that the impoverished are not able to access healthy food, and that explains their obesity, but I can tell you from firsthand experience, if you're just scraping by, you're not able to eat such volume, healthy or otherwise. Besides, tins of tuna or sardines are not expensive in the slightest and they are packed with protein and healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. These people are not starving, they're just making poor choices, but of course the cost--moral, financial, having an actual country--is shifted on to us despite the fact that the very idea of democracy relies on each citizen having agency. So if these people have no self-control, if they lack agency, then why do they have the franchise? Further, the question is never asked why, exactly, it is only *certain communities* that are "food deserts" in the first place. Could it have anything to do with the fact that these are crime-infested charnel houses with zero social capital, and any positive investments in the community are torched in the inevitable race riot?
You're a racist even to make the suggestion.

And then we have the problem of crime itself. The left blames "easy access to guns" but that is at best disingenuous; if you give them the benefit of the doubt. It's actually an outright lie, though:
The firearm homicide rate in the US seems very high for a developed nation, but that’s until you look under (in?) the hood. The firearm homicide rate for white Americans is 1.7 per 100,000, which is identical to the Czech Republic and lower than countries like Canada, France, and Austria, which, to be fair, have their own issues with “diversity.” The firearm homicide rate for Hispanics in the United States is 6.4 per 100,000, or nearly four times that of white Americans. The firearm homicide rate for blacks in the US is 19.8 per 100,000, or eleven-and-a-half times that of whites. This is very obviously not a gun problem, but a people problem, and a black and brown people problem at that.
But again, it's "racist" even to notice that fact.

* * *

35 Disney World employees arrested in the last 13 years for various child sex crimes. Plus side, none of them involved kids visiting the theme park.

"Why do you rob banks?" "Well, that's where the money is!" Same notion.

* * *

The fact that retaliation against whistleblowers is illegal does not stop it from happening. It's actually a bullshit law; it's virtually unenforceable and I'm never surprised when it happens.

The stories I've read about the work environment at Googe do not make it sound like a place I'd want to work, even if I were a leftist. The place is a politically correct gulag.

* * *

"The left always goes to the gun." It's true.
...there's no way a Democratic party split happens peacefully. Why would they bother? They're going to the gun no matter what in the next few years. Even if they win the Presidency, the guns are coming out--they'll be too busy rounding us up to start shooting each other right away, but again, basic history shows what happens in a successful Leftist revolution. The execution of useful idiots, too, is a feature not a bug of Leftism in power.
I can imagine how it would work out if the party rank-and-file vote one way but the superdelegates put someone else in.

Like 2016.

* * *

AoSHQ's morning report post has a good bit:
Tuesday and of course the lead story is yesterday's utter fiasco of "The Squad" - that the four frosh Congressmen of the so-called "Justice Democrats" - who called a press conference ostensibly to slam President Trump for his "racist" Tweets against them, but instead unleashed a torrent of anti-American, anti-Semitic racialist bilge that, while disgusting to have to witness, nevertheless had the effect of making them and what they spewed the face of the Democrat Party.

I would surely have loved to have been a fly on the wall of Nancy Palsi's office as she drained her liquor cabinet and then started guzzling her own cologne or the can of Lysol under the bathroom sink, pausing only to shriek vulgarities in between swigs that would make George S. Patton blush and even Hillary say "jeez lady, get a grip!" Can you blame her? The Democrat Party, with the vital help of an allied agitprop media, has for decades successfully cloaked itself with an illusion of love-of-country as it did everything possible to destroy it while blaming Republicans and conservatives for the country's ills. Even during the Obama years, the illusion was maintained, gossamer thin as it was by that time, mostly because there was no one in the GOP to challenge it. Now, what took well over 100 years to establish is gone in the blink of an eye, and with it perhaps the last coffin nail in any chance the Democrats might have had of beating President Trump in 2020 has been nailed shut.
There is still the Democrat go-to of stealing the election by stuffing ballot boxes etc.

We'll see how that goes, though. Senator Lindsey Graham called them "a bunch of communists" which really warms the cockles of my heart, because IT'S THE TRUTH and at last someone is saying so, besides me.

* * *

The American left points to Sweden as its model for socialism but what Sweden has (had?) was not really socialism; and it worked only because it was racially and culturally homogenous.

Having imported more muslims per capita than even Germany, their crime rates have skyrocketed.

* * *

"Why Shoot Prairie Dogs?" Asks this National Review headline.

That picture seems to suggest that the answer is, "Because otherwise the coyotes will choke on them."

* * *

The weather reports say that it will be very hot this weekend. "First three-digit temperatures in seven years!" the guy on the news said, last night.

So, 2012 was the last time we hit 100 degrees? What happened to global warming?
Monday, July 15th, 2019
6:20 pm
#6755: The molotov cocktails are arriving rather earlier than I expected.
Of course it's just one guy, right?

An antifa goon was trying to set fire to a detention center for illegal aliens but ended up getting himself ventilated by police instead.

Dude was member of a group called "Puget Sound Anarchists". The funny thing about anarchists: they are almost universally leftists. Although I know there must be some (due to law of averages if nothing else) I have never met, nor even heard of, a right-wing anarchist. Closest that the fringe right comes to that is the militias.

"From milkshakes to Molotov cocktails in 14 days," says the article.

The dead goblin's manifesto said "I am antifa" which means, yeah, total leftist.

Pixy Misa says, "The response from social media has been swift and definitive and consisted entirely of crickets chirping." Of course.

They will continue to escalate the violence until they are stopped.

* * *

So, speaking of the whole immigration thing--

Karl Denninger lays out why the ICE raids are happening. As previously stated they're trying to deport people who have deportation orders against them. These people have had their days in court already, they've lost their cases, and they are simply fleeing from the authorities, attempting to avoid being sent back to wherever they came from.

President Trump is taking measures to end the asylum for people who travel through Mexico but of course some judge in Hawaii will block that measure, because Hawaii is an overpriced shithole that physically cannot have an illegal immigration problem. (You try swimming to Hawaii from Mexico.)

Third-rate-has-been actress compares Mike Pence to Heinrich Himmler because of course the Jews traveled thousands of miles to get into Auschwitz etc. Way to remove all doubt.

Another story about former ICE director handing Horseteeth her own ass. Heh.

DNC telling people how to evade the law. Gotta keep those illegal aliens here so they can vote Democrat. Right?

* * *

Here's the funny thing about this. The Chinese don't give a fuck about any of the racial third rails that Americans avoid touching.

* * *

How do the people suffer when their country falls to socialism? This guy explains it on a personal level.

(That's a link through Faceboob. I normally truncate them, but if I do that with that one it's behind a paywall. If it doesn't work, I apologize.)

But socialism is the worst economic system ever devised because every time it's tried it leads to poverty, famine, and mass murder. And, apparently, a lack of good beer.

And socialists always lie. If a socialist makes a statement that is allegedly a fact, you may depend on the exact opposite being the truth.

The Democrat party has been reduced to running hard left to get votes.

Environmental policy is about control, not about the environment. It's always been.

2019 politics in a nutshell. The instant Trump says anything the Democrat-media complex decries it. If Trump said the sky is blue, there'd be endless discussions on CNN about this controversy.

* * *

"If the gender binary is so bad, why do those who reject it sound like morons?"

* * *

President Trump keeps saying the most entertaining things, precisely because it pisses off all the correct people. George Bush wouldn't have said these things. John McCain and Mitt Romney wouldn't have said them. But they need to be said.

* * *

You need sleep. Everyone needs sleep. Somewhere along the line the doctors forgot that they, too, are human, and need sleep, so it's become commonplace for doctors in training to be run ragged.

* * *

The actual minimum wage is zero which is why the chain of restaurants has had to file for bankruptcy.</a>

* * *

A famine warning is probably premature but we can expect to see some price increases in the food sector. The excessively rainy spring we had kept farmers from planting, and you can't grow what you can't plant. Better hope the autumn is long and warm.

* * *

This is absolute gold. A gun advocacy group turned in some 26 junk firearms and got a total of $2,420 for them from a gun "buyback" program.

I put quotes around "buyback" because the government is doing the buying and the government never owned those guns, so it's not actually buying them back so much as it's just buying them, period.

* * *

Sometime in the next couple of months I'm going to have to do this. Not looking forward to it, either. But it's an apt description of the colon prep for a colonoscopy. Not for the faint of heart.

* * *

I'll look at the links in this piece on space flight later.

* * *

Some spectacular storm images over at Up Ship.

* * *

That's Monday in a nutshell. Actually, Tuesdays are the ones I always had problems with. And Wendesdays. Thursdays. Fridays, sometimes. But otherwise, the week's okay!

* * *

One of the things that annoys me on YouTube are the (seemingly) endless videos demonstrating how well an engine will run if you replace the oil with X, where X is pretty much anything which is decidedly not anything with lubricating properties.

So far I've seen videos that show what happens to an engine if you use soda pop, honey, Orbeez, and a host of other non-lubricants in place of the motor oil. And guess what the result is? Just guess! C'mon, have a go.

If you have half the intellect that God gave an artichoke, you guessed that the engine stops working in pretty short order, and you are of course CORRECT! Engines are not designed to run without lubricant; and not to put too fine a point on it, it's got to be some kind of actual petroleum oil, either synthetic or fossil. You can put a vegetable oil in an engine and it will run, for a while--at least until the heat polymerizes it and turns it into sticky goo.

But water? No. Soda pop is just water with sugar in it. Orbeez are hydrophilic plastic--so, water again, mostly. Honey is a sugar syrup and highly viscous, so it'll just clog everything up. KY or Astroglide--the water-based "personal" lubricants are, again, mostly water, so that's not hard to guess, either.

Vaseline--

Okay, if you fill your car's crankcase with Vaseline, it's too thick to do anything and it won't work. Cut it with some mineral oil, to lower the viscosity, and it would probably work pretty well. But Vaseline is petroleum jelly--it's a hydrocarbon paste--and in fact some guys pack their oil pumps with it to aid in priming when starting a new engine.

Laundry detergent: laundry detergent is soap. No matter what brand you buy, if you're buying a liquid, it's got plenty of water in it. Water in the oil kills engines. Soap, in fact, only feels slippery because it's a surfactant and it plays tricks with surface tension.

It's like that stupid Mythbusters episode where they tested all kinds of car myths, and poured bleach into the engine. Laundry bleach is 90% water. Guess what happened.

Stupid waste of machinery.

* * *

I've had a headache since about this time yesterday, and right now I just want to go back to bed. *sigh*
Sunday, July 14th, 2019
10:48 pm
#6754: Started work on the motorcycle
Yesterday was a busy day; today I am wiped out and dragging my butt around. I'm not kidding; until about 7:45 PM the most ambitious thing I'd managed to do was today's blog post. Otherwise I was laying on the gravity chair on the patio; laying in bed; or sitting in my rocking chair. I did manage to play a little WoW today but my heart really wasn't in it.

But my wife wanted Chinese food, and because there are no places around here that deliver I told her that if she ordered and paid for it, I'd go pick it up.

Had some food after that, then laid down for a little bit; but did not fall asleep, so I got back up, put on a grunge shirt, and hied meself out to the garage.

Took the seat and tank off the motorcycle. The air filter does not look dirty but I'll clean it, anyway, before I put it back in. I drained all the fuel out of the tank, and decided that was enough because I really needed to find the service manual to figure out how to get the carbs off the thing for a thorough cleaning.

Could not find the manual. TL;DR on that one was that it had been put into my closet in my old bedroom--a good, safe place for it--so after I had exhausted all other alternatives I found it there.

The troubleshooting section of the manual is spectacularly useless, though. It goes right to the worst-case scenario and then tapers off from there:
1. Tappet clearance out of adjustment.
2. Poor seating of valves.
3. Defective valve guides.
4. Defective signal generator.
5. Spark plug gaps too wide.
6. Defective ignition coil.
7. Carburator balancing out of adjustment.
8. Float-chamber fuel level out of adjustment in carburators.
9. Clogged jets.
Seriously. Instead of going to the simple to the complex to the "fuck it, buy a new bike", it's like the guy who wrote the manual just wrote down everything he could think of that would cause a poor idle, and didn't bother to sort it when he was finished.

Really, though, this manual was written for professional motorcycle mechanics, so the troubleshooting guide is meant to jog the mechanic's brain with things he might not have thought of.

Looking over the cutaway diagrams for the carbs and the theory of operation, though, I think I know what I have to do. The thing starts and runs fine with the choke open, but once the engine is warm enough not to need the choke, it stops running because the air/fuel mix with the choke on is wrong for a warm engine.

My aim, then, is to pull the carbs out, give them a thorough cleaning, and then put them back in and try it out. Put in fresh 93 octane gasoline with a good shot of carb cleaner in it, and then give that a try.

If that fixes the problem, then I might just take it somewhere, to get the carbs balanced and everything adjusted to spec by a professional. Wouldn't that be a kick? It'd cost a few shekels, but having the clutch and throttle and brakes and chain all adjusted by someone who knows what he's about would probably go a very, very long way towards making the thing fun to ride again.

* * *

I say "choke" but it is in fact a "cold start enrichment device". A choke is a butterfly valve similar to the throttle valve that closes (or is closed) when the engine is cold, in order to increase intake vacuum and therefore draw more fuel through the jets. A "cold start enrichment device", however, is a valve that opens another path for fuel to be drawn into the airstream.

* * *

Anyway, I'm not expecting to tear the carbs all the way down. I'm going to open them up, blast out the appropriate passages with carb cleaner (bought two cans at Menards) inspect and repeat as needed until I know they'll work right. Then reassemble and reinstall. Whee!

* * *

But while removing the gas tank, I discovered that there are some damaged wires right there. When I bought the thing from Og he had to remove a mouse nest from the air box; the mice that built that nest apparently had a time with these wires, as well. I'm going to have to de-loom them, see what I can do about fixing this, and then re-loom them. Argh etc.

* * *

Anyway I'm going to hit the hay early tonight. I'm hoping that means I'll be able to get up in the morning and work on the bike a bit--just an hour or two--before work. We'll see. I'm going to listen to my body and sleep as much as is necessary; Wed-Fri last week I was dragging my ass during work hours and Friday didn't seem like it would ever end.

Tomorrow I have a meeting at 9 AM--teleconference--so I've got to be here at the computer at 9 to do that. But the day after that meeting is over will be mine, until about 1:30-ish. So, that works.
3:35 pm
#6753: Fiddling while a transformer fire shuts down Manhattan
So, Saturday, the lights went out in Manhattan. Transformer blew up and took out a large swath of the electrical supply.

New York City's major was campaigning in Iowa for a primary election which will not take place until January.

In all practical terms, the only time you really need the mayor present is when there's something a department head can't handle. Most of a borough blacked out, that's the emergency management guy's job, and that's when you find out if the mayor picked the right guy or not. This isn't a game of SimCity, where the mayor has to micromanage every detail of the city's operation.

But it looks bad.

Karl Denninger on how much worse it could be if it were intentional. He's not wrong. Get a handful of determined people and they can wreak havoc.

* * *

The problem with applying hyperbole to the actions of SJWs is that they will then go and do it, thus ruining the joke. So: 007 will now be a lesbian of color. On the plus side, they're not going to tell us that she's the "new James Bond" (because that would be ridiculous, right?) but she is merely the next agent to carry the "007" designation. Bond is retiring, and so his designation is taken up by a black lesbian, of course.

Reading the source article, it sounds as if Daniel Craig will be in the movie (most of it, anyway) with lesbian-of-color 007. A "transition" movie, but it'll be the last actual Bond movie if these parasites get their way. I've got a nickel that says they kill him off; I've got another one that says the "humor" in the script is all making jokes at Bond's expense.

I mean, like this:
A movie insider said: "There is a pivotal scene at the start of the film where M says 'Come in 007', and in walks Lashana who is black, beautiful and a woman.

"It's a popcorn-dropping moment. Bond is still Bond but he's been replaced as 007 by this stunning woman.

"Bond, of course, is sexually attracted to the new female 007 and tries his usual seduction tricks, but is baffled when they don't work on a brilliant, young black woman who basically rolls her eyes at him and has no interest in jumping into his bed. Well, certainly not at the beginning."
That alone right there tells me exactly what this movie is going to be like--and it's not going to be good. It fits the trend, though, of making women into all-powerful entities and men into doddering, inept dolts who can barely figure out how not to run into the scenery. The writer of the script for this thing is hailed as a "feminist" first, and those lines are not all that hard to read between.

So: James Bond portrayed as an antique, a clueless old-guard spy who's really not "with it" any longer and due for retirement, replaced with a lesbian of color who gets all the wisecrack lines and saves the day.

All well and good, I suppose; but here's the thing: if it's not James Bond, it's not a Bond movie. So this upcoming movie will technically be a Bond film, because it will be James Bond's swan song; but anything made with the lesbian-of-color 007 will not be. And the franchise will tank, because Bond films have to be about James Bond, not some random black woman who has taken the 007 designation. When Ian Fleming started writing the things, he didn't write about "John Watson" and then "Mike Creighton" and then "Nick Bell" as 007. 007 was James Bond. James Bond was so effective an agent that they had to fake his death (You Only Live Twice) to take some of the heat off of him--but they didn't change his name or anything.

Maybe it's just as well. The quality of the films has been declining steadily. Goldeneye was pretty bad; and although Timothy Dalton was an excellent James Bond, the movies they put him in were lackluster. When I saw Pierce Brosnan in his debut Bond film, that was enough to make me lose interest in seeing the subsequent ones. I'm led to understand that the Daniel Craig ones are pretty good but I've just not had any interest in the series since Goldeneye.

Wait--now that I think of it, I did see Tomorrow Never Dies, but...well, the fact that I didn't remember it until I really thought it through says something, doesn't it? And I can't remember the plot, not even elements of it. Everyone thought Brosnan would be a great James Bond, but I didn't really see it. Then again, I liked Roger Moore in the role.

TL;DR: the franchise is doomed because the SJWs did something that sensible people thought was hyperbole.

* * *

You see, this is a problem.
The Rev. Dr. Amy Butler, the first woman to lead Manhattan's famed Riverside Church, lost her lofty post amid complaints that she brought ministers and a congregant on a sex toy shopping spree and then gave one of them an unwanted vibrator as a birthday gift, The Post has learned.
It should be reasonably obvious to someone with a PhD in (I assume) theology that masturbation is a sin, and that because sex toys are generally tools for masturbation, the last thing the leader of a church should be doing is buying them for people.

The problem is, however, that the people who get doctorates in theology and want to be called "Reverend doctor" end up losing sight of the fact that the idea is NOT to sin. They instead decide that "sin" is an outmoded concept, and anything goes because Jesus is this big fuzzy puppy dog who loves everyone and hates no one, even those who commit the worst sins, and no matter what you want, it's perfectly fine as long as you do you. Hell doesn't actually exist and God loves everyone so this month the sanctuary has been decorated with rainbow penis flags in celebration of--

What happens is that the important messages of Christianity get lost in consciousness-raising horseshit, "inclusivity", "pride", and the rest of the leftist mishmash. As a minister you are supposed to counsel against masturbation, not encourage it--not because God is a big meany-mean-head that wants everyone to suffer (quite the opposite!) but because of the path it leads to.

The entire point of religion is to harness and channel the self's animal nature--and ultimately to deny it. Absent some external controlling factor, humans run right down the rails to self-destruction, laughing all the way, and in destroying themselves they also destroy civilization. Absent God, there is nothing, no reason to do anything. In a world with no God, nothing matters, so people have no reason not to satisfy the cravings of the flesh regardless of consequence.

If you read the New Testament--really read it rather than look for pull quotes to justify yourself--you find that the basic philosophy of Christianity is founded on a deceptively simple premise: teaching people to know what sin is and teaching them not to do it. The property is often referred to as "discernment".

It's sin is when you say, "I know this is wrong, and I don't care one jot!" It is also sin when you say, "I know that I was told this is sinful, but I like it, and I'm not hurting anyone, so what's the harm?"

If you are a reverend who lacks discernment to the point that you take people to a sex toy shop and buy them for people, you need a heck of a lot of remedial training.

* * *

Another take on Horseteeth calling Pelosi "racist".

* * *

A bit of humor about ICE raids. These are agents trying to remove people who have been ordered deported by a court of law. This isn't just a random sweep for illegals--though there should be plenty of those going on, too.

* * *

The series has lost all resemblance to the original. Not interested.

The problem with the Tenchi Muyo! franchise is that it suffers from endless reboots. The first OVA series was 13 episodes long and told a pretty good set of stories. Then they came out with the first TV series, Tenchi Universe, which was a reboot of the first six eps of the OVA series, and that was also really good. Then came the movie, Tenchi Muyo In Love, which was a tour-de-force of an anime film. At the end of that series, TM! was one of my favorites, to the point that the characters almost felt like good friends.

...and then they went off the rails. Tenchi in Tokyo didn't really fit either of those continuities, for all that it bascially picked up where the first TV series left off. They made Tenchi Muyo: Daughter of Darkness which was...okay, but kind of weak, and I was never really sure where it fit in the continuity; and after that they popped out a few more OVA eps that didn't make any sense to me and Tenchi Muyo! GXP which wasn't about any of the established characters, but a spinoff series. And by the time Ai Tenchi Muyo! came out I'd lost all interest in the thing, precisely because of all the reboots and spinoffs and other stupidity, including changes in the vocal casting.

I really tried to like Tenchi in Tokyo but it wasn't all that good, which is about where things ended up for me.

The original first 13 eps of the OVA series (what are commonly called "OVA seasons 1 and 2", I guess) are the best. The dubs are some of the best dubs out there--Pioneer didn't play around with bad actors--and the characters were engaging. I loved that series. Done right, the series could have run a long continuity that told stories about those characters; obivously it was popular enough--but instead they squandered it on all this floofery that went nowhere.

Oh well.

* * *

Well, I have been told that because I've sat here, eating leftover pizza and writing this, that I am "missing the summer" so I suppose I'd better go outside and do some summer things.

The weather forecast is upper 80s and lower 90s as far as the eye can see, though.

* * *

Title of a YouTube video I doubt I'll watch: "I love Corvettes so I spent 30 hours restoring one that sat outside for 8 years".

If it only takes you 30 hours, you are not "restoring" it.

* * *

The other day I was looking over AV again, and couldn't put it down, so I suppose I've moved back into the "it's really good!" column. Oh well.
Saturday, July 13th, 2019
8:46 pm
#6752: You can hear it, if you listen
The video in this link shows a verbal exchange between Representative Horseteeth and the director of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), one that the supposedly-esteemed Democrat loses, badly.

That guy stomps all over her. She tries to tell him that seeking asylum is not illegal, and he quotes the law stating that asylum is to be sought at a designated port of entry...so she, with her voice shaking, changes the subject.

Ah, here we go with a transcript. But then Ms Horseteeth had the gall to twiddle this piddle:
When Homan says “they can come in a port of entry,” what he doesn’t say is that the admin has practically closed ports to asylees.

Out of desperation, families do what Óscar & Valeria(the father & daughter who drowned) did: face dangerous terrain.

These are policies of cruelty.
We have mobs of people trying to cross the border, Congress refuses to increase funding to handle the mobs--Horseteeth herself voted against the increase--and yes, people who want to enter the country legally have to wait their turn. Oscar drowned because he was impatient and did not want to wait his turn. On a Sunday he tried to enter the country illegally, in a fashion he was warned against trying, all because he couldn't wait until MONDAY MORNING when the center would be open.

...and dredges that horseshit up, after the fact. If you are going to make a career out of politics, you need to be able to politick...and I don't think she can. She's very good at rattling along in the Democrat-media echo chamber; but the instant she's challenged by someone as smart (or smarter) than she, who holds different views, she can't argue her points because her arguments begin from the assumption that she's right, and she doesn't need any facts to back up her argument because of that.

So naturally, someone who's well-educated and knows his job and is smart and dedicated enough to rise to a position of leadership--he's going to walk all over her. It's clear from the exchange who knows what he is talking about, and who is merely trying to score a political "gotcha".

And failing.

Because he was better prepared than she wasy. Which is why she went to twiddle afterwards.

* * *

Related, oddly enough, is this clickbait thing about fake experts getting schooled. I think we can add Mr. Homan's episode with Horseteeth to that list.

#3, though? Total bitch. Making an entire planeload of people wait because their pilot insulted her.

* * *

This story is totally believable. Trust me on this, it's not unbelievable at all. Not even remotely.

...when I was nine and wanted a hamster, it was spelled "hampster" by a lot of people. It is not the only correct spelling; "hamster" is also correct, and more people tend to use that one. Getting all bent out of shape over it is, however, unwarranted.

* * *

A positive review of Stranger Things 3 from a source I trust. Still have no intention of watching it.

* * *

Another blow to the "magic dirt" theory of immigration policy.

* * *

I'm sorry to be the one to say this but those pensions will never be paid. There will come a point at which the state will simply be unable to pay them. That will not be a good day.

* * *

Where's the damned popcorn? Feminists were the darling group of the left until gays came along. The feminists were okay with that because so many of the hard left ones were lesbians, anyway.

Now that transgenderism is the left's latest darling, though, they can't stand it, and are starting to insist that if the entity has a penis it can't be a lesbian which--of course--clashes with the left's orthodoxy du jour.

Heh.

* * *

Yes, unrestricted immigration should also mean the end of customs inspections.

* * *

Well, that was quite a nice day.

Step one: sleep in. I actually got up at the time I normally get up during the week, but there wasn't any interruption of my sleep because Mrs. Fungus had to go to work. So I slept in.

Step two: take donations to the Salvation Army. Mrs. Fungus continues to work on clearing out the spare room and we find stuff to donate.

Step three: fajitas. We've wanted them for a few days; I took her to Reuben's. We feasted. The really nice thing about that place is that the food is fantastic, and it's not really expensive, such that we could get out of there for $60 with two appetizers, two plates of fajitas (which at $15 is one of the most expensive items on the menu), drinks, and tip. And be stuffed to the gills.

Step four: Menards, for tiki torches (to replace the ones that rusted to death) and a few other sundries.

Step five: POOL!

We ended up spending the entire evening out there, until about 8 PM. Patio thermometer said 90. We lounged in the pool until maybe 7:20, then I tried to light a fire in the fire pit and we relaxed in our lounge chairs.

Only reason we came inside was because a thunderstorm was passing to the northeast and it was getting too close to us. It did end up raining a bit here, though not very much. We could hear the thing rumbling continuously, like the finale of a fireworks show, but only saw a couple flickers of lightning.

So now it's evening, we've had a nice relaxing afternoon, and it's still hot outside so we can probably swim again tomorrow, weather permitting.

I do need to cut the grass and work on tree chopping, though, so I'll try to get some of that done first. Heh.

* * *

Besides tiki torches and pool chemicals, I also bought carb cleaner at Menards. Hoping to get my bike running right.

Filled the Jeep's gas tank while we were in Indiana. $3.15 a gallon there; $3.30 a gallon in the Fungal Vale. Thanks, Illinois!

* * *

Mrs. Fungus gets these sampler packs in the mail. Some kind of thing you subscribe to, and they send you boxes of things to try out. Well, in 2017, one of the boxes contained a freaking pool ring--a big one--and today I decided we'd try it out.

The ring was too big for the old pool, but it's just fine for this one, so I grabbed it, took it into the garage, and used the compressor to inflate it. Once I figured out how to sit in the thing, I was able just to lay on it in the pool and drift around, eyes closed. Man was that relaxing. So that one's a keeper.

* * *

Anyway, now it's time to play a little WoW, I think.
2:57 am
#6751: The best customer service EVAR
Just sterling, I've gotta tell you, STERLING customer service.



Not sure how one gets from "tree growing next to power pole" to "Transfer service" but I am positive that it's because I have a tiny little brain, and ComEd customer service is staffed by geniuses whose intellects would be the envy of people like Einstein and Newton and Feynman.

But now that I think of it, it's obvious! I mean, you can't just cut down a tree, not in this eco-conscious age we live in! I mean it's...it's a TREE! You know?

They just forgot to mention that the only thing I can do is to move now. Instead of saying, "Well, this is a tree we're talking about, so you're going to have to move out and let nature take it's course. Here's how to transfer your service when you move, so we don't have to touch that glorious gift of nature which is threatening the power delivery to three of our customers," they skipped over most of it, and just said, "Looks like you have to move!"

See, that's because I've got a tiny little brain, and they're smart people.

In my tiny little world, I think that if a tree is right next to a power pole, and ComEd spends millions of dollars pruning trees and keeping them clear of power lines, then having one of their crews stop by the bunker and lop off a few branches is an incremental cost and a no-brainer. I figure ComEd would say, "Thank you for pointing this out. The last thing we'd want would be for a branch to fall on our wires and cause a service disruption, or--God forbid!--a fire." But you see that is because I do not understand the gift of creation that is that particular box elder tree, and I live in this narrow, infinitesimal universe where the relative value of one tree is rather lower than something like safety.

Sarcasm off.

...so I've posted it on Faceboob and added snark with "#ComEd", but tomorrow I'm going to have to call them and ask what the everlasting fuck they are smoking over there. I know weed is being legalized in Illinois but come on--at work? Really?
Friday, July 12th, 2019
8:22 pm
#6750: And the story just vanishes.
Oh, let's get Epstein out of the way.

Funny, isn't it, how the news coverage seems to be petering out?
The attempt to shift the focus of Epstein's crimes and who benefited from, partook in and covered up for them (spoiler alert: scores of 99.99% big time Democrat-Leftists) and hoodwink the public into looking at Alex Acosta's handling of the original case and Donald Trump's non-existent relationship has failed. And that means now a massive news blackout and embargo over the coming weeks unless and until the powers that be get Epstein to bear false witness against the President and resuscitate the all but dead impeachment attempt.
That's the prevailing theory. Epstein is going to sing like a canary and lie about Donald Trump going to Lolita Island on the Lolita Express. There's no evidence but the Democrats will take Epstein's testimony and use that to smear him and then impeach on that basis. At the very least, hit him with it in time for the elections next year.

Vanity Fair tried to quash the stories about Epstein before this latest thing cropped up.

Linked because of this:
...they are all channeling Veruca Salt, stamping their little feet, turning tantrum-red in the face, insisting that Orange-Man-Bad just has to be implicated, just because he once said something neutral-to-complimentary about a man who apparently occupied the same (elevated) social circles. Well, never mind that The Donald subsequently got Epstein thrown out of a golf club and banned from Mar-a-Largo for his tendency to perv on underage girls therein, and additionally was generous in cooperating with lawyers acting on behalf of the aforesaid perved-upon teenagers...Orange Man Bad, just because.

The tilt of this kind of coverage is so transparent; among those of us who have been paying attention to the Establishment Media Complex it seems like just another one of those torpedoes aimed at Trump circling around and holing those who have launched it well below the credibility waterline.
It's been said before that if there were any real evidence that Trump had sexually abused young teen girls with Epstein and his cohort, it would have come up in 2016, around September or October. These people are not above manufacturing evidence, though.

Big leftists are all "oh, let's not get all wrapped up in who Epstein's friends are were." He had a lot of very rich and powerful friends, which is why he managed to escape justice for so long. There's a good chance that he's got blackmail material on a whole host of powerful people, because no one seems to know where his money came from...yet.

NYPD let Epstein skip his check-ins. Again, "rich" and "powerful" got him a deal no average person could get, given similar circumstances.

* * *

Never be alone with a young woman. Always, always, always have a third party present. The candidate said that the young woman could follow him around all day and report on what she saw as long as she brought with her a male chaperone.

Perfect:
1) Making her bring the chaperone reduces the chance of someone calling the chaperone a liar when the woman accuses the candidate of shenanigans.

2) Specifying a male chaperone reduces the chance of the chaperone accusing the candidate of shenanigans against the chaperone.
Of course, reporter-ette is not happy about this requirement. "OH YOU'RE TREATING ME AS A SEX OBJECT!!!"

No...he's treating you like a woman. The only difference there is what you make of it.

* * *

The annoying shit is pretty solidly packed, there.
4) Gay group wearing 'lesbians are women' t-shirts are removed by police from the National Theatre bar after a transgender staff member was offended by their views — I'm trying to think how it's possible to fit more annoying shit into a single headline, but I can't — unless Michelle Obama was the trannie.
I have to say, as annoying as that headline is, it's also damned funny.

* * *

This seems perfectly reasonable to me. If Trump is not allowed to block twitter trolls, why does Representative Horseteeth get to?

* * *

The tiniest bit of accountability for the Chicago cop who was driving a city vehicle in Indiana and wouldn't pull over for Indiana cops.
Wodnicki's Ford Fusion was clocked at more than 100 mph at one point while the commander was on a cellphone, dispatch records show. "Not stopping," a trooper reported. "On his cell phone. He is not stopping. Passing. Waved at me when I pulled up next to him."
Not sure what Indiana law is regarding using a cell phone while driving, but I suppose that the penalty for it pales in comparison to, oh, felony evasion, which is what civilians get charged with when they refuse to pull over, drive 100 MPH, and then only stop when the spike strips come out.

* * *

Car2Go learns a painful lesson.
...in April, the company stopped conducting manual background checks in favor of automated ones - and almost immediately, about 20 people orchestrated the Mercedes theft by setting up 80 phony accounts using fake or stolen credit cards as payment methods. It's still unclear whether the theft was a direct result of the policy change or not.
Give me a break. How clear does it need to be?

Of course the service was temporarily suspended operation in Chicago because of this. Big surprise. They've gone back to doing manual background checks, of course, and haven't had any further problems.

* * *

I'm sure these two stories are related:

Do not expect to retire, ever. Social Security is going to go away. Our government cannot afford the safety net it is providing, and that is not going to get better. When Social Security goes away it will have a bad ripple effect which will wipe out other retirement options; I fully expect the government to nationalize all retirement accounts within two decades--possibly sooner--because Social Security must be saved and it's for the children. Whatever the outcome of that fiasco is, it won't be any good for the middle class or poor; the elites won't notice it but anyone who numbers his assets with fewer than mid-seven figures will be screwed. Those who number them with six figures might be able to retire, but will find themselves with a vastly reduced standard of living. (As in, "ramen and cat food".) Under that? Psh. Keep working, prole.

There is no special magic to retirement, in any case. The ability to retire is a product of early 20th century socialism; prior to the progressive movement people only retired if they had to, and otherwise they worked their entire lives. This is how God made the universe.

Besides that? There a thousands of anecdotes about people who retired in their sixties and then died within a couple of years. Retirement is a killer if you don't stay active.

But a lot of people aren't going to have a choice about retiring because automation is going to put people out of unskilled jobs and--as is shown there--even some skilled jobs. Or semi-skilled, anyway.

* * *

Horseteeth is calling her own majority leader a "racist" apparently because she's completely incontinent when it comes to advancing communism.

* * *

This is actually just. Funny thing: I have never had any beef with reasonable taxation. I dislike the fact that fifty percent of my wages disappear into the government maw in various ways, but the idea of paying for certain things does not bother me. The two constants in the world are death and taxes. The question is always, "How much?"

So, yeah, I agree with Vox Day on this:
There is no reason global corporations should be permitted to be active in a jurisdiction if they're not going to pay any taxes there.
Confiscatory taxation is unjust. The Beatles, those old communists, produced "Taxman" after they hit it big and started paying England's 95% tax rate. But a reasonable level of taxation is necessary.

* * *

Some railroad crossings need this level of blatant explanation, though. A big flashing DEATH sign might stop people from trying to beat the train. Maybe.

* * *

Apparently the Terminator movies have never had strong female lead characters before. *rolleyes*

The good part of this is that James Cameron is involved with this one, exactly the way he WAS NOT with numbers 3, 4, and 5 in the series...which is why they SUCKED so much.

All the Terminator movies that were made after Terminator 2: Judgement Day were complete--or near-complete--shit. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines sucked enough that I lost all interest in the franchise. I didn't bother seeing Terminator Salvation, and Terminator Genisys sounded like such a clusterfuck that I had no interest in seeing it, either.

The thing is, at their core, the Terminator movies are time-travel stories. First and foremost, you need to plot your movie very tightly because you cannot interfere with the extant canon; doing that breaks the continuity.

Not that Hollywood cares much about that.

I'm hoping that with James Cameron involved in T6 it'll be a good movie, but I'm not optimistic and don't plan to see it in the theater. Pay-per-view or even waiting until it's free to watch will do, I think.

* * *

It took a bit to get to the source material for this one. I got a link to a craptastic USA Today page which doesn't allow ad blockers from ASM826 over at Borepatch. The crappy newspaper site doesn't let you read anything unless you whitelist, and if you whitelist, it immediately spams your browser with a crapton of shitware. But I got a link to the source that the shitpaper used and that actually gives details about the problem.

(The linked video--I only watched about 3 minutes before I started skipping ahead, and as far as about halfway it doesn't actually talk about the actual problems with the PowerShift transmission. Maybe later it does, but I lost patience waiting for it.)

PowerShift is an automatic transmission that uses a dual-plate clutch instead of a torque convertor. If you like, it's somewhat akin to VW's craptastic "AutoStick" transmission, except that the PowerShift also shifts gears for you. The problem is that apparently the engineers couldn't calibrate a consistent take-up profile for the thing, so that sometimes the clutch would engage smoothly and other times it would shudder and shake. Apparently there were times when the car would simply lurch ahead, uncommanded. And at other times, the transmission would drop into neutral while cruising down the highway.

This problem was discovered before regular production began. An engineer told the higher-ups that there was a problem. It was, naturally, ignored.

I don't like these kinds of transmissions, to be honest. They incorporate the worst aspects of automatic transmissions with the worst aspects of manual transmissions.

The issue here is emissions. You see, the clutch-type coupling between engine and transmission is the most efficient interface, because once the clutch is fully engaged there is a direct mechanical link between the engine and the transmission. With conventional automatic transmissions, you use a torque convertor, which is essentially a hydraulic coupling. There will always be some slippage, though you can incorporate a lockup clutch in the torque convertor to get around that problem. Regardless, clutch yields better fuel economy than torque convertor, which is why manual transmission cars have always had better EPA figures. But with a manual transmission, every time you shift gears the engine gives off a little burp of nitrogen oxides as you decouple and recouple it to the rest of the drivetrain.

The answer--if you can call it that--is to give control of the clutch, the throttle, and the gearshift to a computer. Doing that is more expensive, but it limits the generation of nitrogen compounds while also raising fuel economy. The computer is better at synchronizing engine speed to transmission speed than a human is. (At least, any human who is not also a professional race car driver.) To the engineer, this is win-win: you get the benefits of a manual transmission without the liabilities.

But of course it's not as simple as that.

This design uses two clutches--one for odd gears, one for even. While one clutch is engaged, the other is not, and to shift gears the thing disengages (say) odd clutch and engages even. Then while you're merrily accelerating in second gear, the transmission has time to shift the odd gears to third, so when the time comes to go from second to third, it just releases the even clutch and engages the odd one again. This makes up for the fact that they can't build a reliable, fast, and inexpensive system for changing gears with a single plate clutch. At least, not for a car that costs less than a hundred thousand dollars.

And of course in practice, making the thing work nicely is hard to do. As we see here.

* * *

Some places will put up with more antifa shit than others but the right answer is to put them behind bars as soon as they start getting violent.

* * *

Now, this, I believe primarily because of "confirmation bias". But I do believe the Svensmark Hypothesis explains global temperature a hell of a lot better than "ZOMG teh SUVs" does. As mentioned many times, CO2 is a result of warming, not a cause, mainly because CO2 levels lag temperatures by a pretty significant degree.

* * *

Related: no surprises here. The people who are advocating "green" programs want nothing less than total government control of the populace.

* * *

Today's clickbait linkg: People will quit en masse if you're a big enough asshat.

* * *

Radiation exposure in perspective.

* * *

Someday when I have time. An explanation, with moving pictures, how antennas work.

* * *

People zooming ahead in the closing lane and trying to duck over at the last second really annoy the shit out of me, so I understand that one implicitly.

* * *

I've been dragging ass all day. I'm so glad it's Friday, even though a bunch of chores await me tomorrow. At least I don't have to work to someone's schedule, other than my own.
Thursday, July 11th, 2019
5:52 pm
#6749: How typically leftist of them
Death threats against the previously unpersoned are perfectly fine. Faceboob changed the policy after there was some outcry over it.

If the individual or group is "covered in the Dangerous Individuals and Organisations Policy" of Faceboob, then anything goes; you can say what you want about them. "Hey, you know that [whoever]? He should be flensed and boiled in oil for saying [any opinion to the right of Leon Trotsky]."

Of course anyone saying, "Antifa should not be allowed to wear masks" gets kickbanned immediately.

...but that policy has been changed.
I don't think there is much question that the SJWs who run converged sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Wikipedia would love to be able to publicly endorse death threats against the individuals they deplatform, but it appears that the lawyers have prevailed. For now.
Yeah. For now.

Never forget that the left wants to control you, right down to what you think.

* * *

Venezuela has its own Ernesto "Che" Guevara, and it's a woman. We will probably never know how many thousands of people were killed by her thugs. But the fact that there is a huge body count cannot be in doubt.

* * *

This post on the Epstein case quotes someone else who makes an excellent point. The people victimized by Epstein are not "underage women"; they are children. The only pass I give in that description is if the female in question is between the ages of 16 and 18, and that only because the law itself makes a distinction under "statutory rape". In most states, if someone over the age of 18 is caught red-handed with a female aged 16-18, they'll only charge him with statutory rape if she wants to press charges.

But the "Lolita Express" was all about kids under the age of 16, so...yeah. The operative words are "children" or "girls" and "rape" or "statutory rape".
Here is the thing, the French monarchy was also untouchable until it wasn't. The Romanovs ruled Russia for 304 years, but there are no more Romanovs left today.
A lot of people are going to get very tired, and fast, of the two-tiered justice system.

* * *

It doesn't matter if you call it "shaming" or "bullying". It wrong, regardless. Some people are fat for reasons other than the fact that they shove all kinds of crap down their pieholes. Still:
For starters, this whole "shaming" thing should be called what it really is: bullying. Shame is what you should feel if you commit a sin or a crime (some overlap); only scolds and control freaks (some overlap) want to ascribe the eating of a hamburger or a chocolate bar as sinful, and therefore worthy of taxing.
But on the other hand, if you want to "shame" people for activities which raise their potential lifetime health care cost, there are a whole bunch of things you need to start proscribing. Not just the obvious "lifestyle choices" ones (riding motorcycles, skydiving) but other, inherent characteristics, like being a homosexual. The statistics on the STD prevalence in homosexuals alone are enough to demonstrate that; over his lifetime an average gay man probably costs National Health Service as much (if not more) than an average straight fat smoker does.

For a very long time, health insurance costs in America reflected the fact that young women sometimes gave birth, where young men did not. Under this "if you cost more you pay more" paradigm, NHS would need to be compensated for this, because a woman's lifetime medical expenses are naturally higher.

The problem with socializing medicine is that it reduces medical care to a "one size fits all, or else" model. It works very well if you're a healthy man in his twenties. The instant you need care for a chronic condition, though--well, it starts to matter to the death panels just how severe that chronic condition is, and whether or not it's a good investment to keep you alive. The older you get and the more sick you get, the less important keeping you healthy gets.

Now, let the death panels start consdering age and "lifestyle choices" and sexual proclivities. Let them start using the statistics on longevity and productivity. It does not lead to a good place.

* * *

I take this with a grain of salt only because dietary science is always wrong about this stuff. But I do agree that sugar is bad for you--not because drinking too much sugared soda or fruit juice will give you cancer, but because of the metabolic disturbance it causes.

* * *

I thought it was a scandinavian country that did this. I was wrong; it's Portugal. Even so: Portugal is much more ethnically and culturally homogenous than is the United States. What works there may not work here.

But we now have two examples demonstrating that a flat ban on the stuff doesn't work: Prohibition for alcohol and the War on (some) drugs for narcotics. The amount of money we've spent trying to "get drugs off the streets" has resulted in the stuff being available just about everywhere.

Maybe time to try something different.

* * *

All uranium is radioactive. By default. If it's not radioactive, it's not uranium, FFS. There is no stable isotope of uranium. The most-stable isotope is U-238--the half-life is on the order of billions of years--but it's still not stable.

That's like saying they were found with a bottle of wet water.

...as far as I know, it is not a crime to possess uranium in the United States.

* * *

We've heard this tune from that man before and he was lying then, too.

* * *

Not all robots are big glamorous things. The cruise control in your car is a robot. The thermostat in your home is a robot. The DVR that records your TV shows is a robot.

...yes, technically, these are not "robots" in the sense that they can be programmed to do multiple tasks. But they are automation even so. The DVR monitors the clock, sets a channel, and switches on the recorder for you. The cruise control monitors several inputs from the car's sensors and keeps them in defined ranges such that the car's speed remains constant. The thermostat watches the temperature of the house and turns the HVAC system on and off to maintain that temperature. They are simple robots, but they do that job.

The "dishwashing robot" you can buy from an appliance store for about $300 is a little more sophisticated than those other things, but the fact that it's commonplace does not change what it is. Very simple robots already do things for us, but we don't think of them as robots simply because they don't look like what we think robots should look like.

* * *

This book on the Battle of Midway sounds like it might be an interesting read.

* * *

Yesterday it was beastly hot. Today--without any storms or anything--it's much cooler. Current temp is somewhere near 80. I'm thinking we might open the place up tonight if it's cool and dry enough.

Forecast is for upper 80s this weekend.

Last night and the night before, though, were the platonic ideal of summer nights.

* * *

Mrs. Fungus and I were discussing what we'd have for dinner one night--I think it was Monday--and she asked if we could have hot dogs. I told her, "No buns, and we're out of bread."

She said, "We have crackers."

Me: "Hot dogs and crackers? What do you call that?" ...which is my well-worn riff on Gordon Ramsay and by now I only need to say "what do you call that?" to get the point across.

Her: "Crogs"

She ended up getting Taco Bell for us, but at some point I'm gonna have to serve crogs.

Putting that one up there next to "cinnamon butts" (what she called my failed attempt at cinnamon rolls made with crescent roll dough).

* * *

Finished True Tears last night and liked the ending more than I remembered liking it the first time. The funny thing is that I didn't remember how it ended, so this was pretty much as if I were seeing it the first time--yet I had the memory of being dissatisfied with how it ended. I'm not sure why; maybe because the relationship between Shinichiro and Hiromi was not really shown to be a thing, and in fact when he asked her out she says "no," twice--but they are a couple at the end; that much is obvious from the denouement. There isn't any good sense as to why Hiromi said "no" to him, anyway, after going to all the trouble she went to in order to be his girlfriend. Maybe she was just playing "hard to get" or something.

Quite good. Quite good.

Going to try a more compact, lower-resolution version of Flying Witch, and I also ganked a few other things. The entire run of Maison Ikkoku with the final movie, Seiren, and Seitokai Yakuindono BLEEP which may or may not be something I've already seen.

* * *

Meanwhile, last night I started thinking seriously about what happened next in AV. There was a significant problem that I needed to get a handle on, plot-wise, before I could really start writing the first big battle scene. Now that I have the fix in mind, I should be able to get going.

It comes down to the "Captain Kirk" problem that Star Trek had, and that ST:TNG tried to fix by having the "away team". To wit: flag officers do not leave the ship to go handle things personally. The captain's job is to command the ship.

This is a bigger problem when you're planning to have the admiral of the fleet go jump into a fighter and chase down a missile that's otherwise going to blow up a space colony and kill a few million civilians. Admirals don't do that.

Ah. But he could, you see, if his fighter squadrons have suffered so much attrition that there are more colony-destroying missles in flight than there are pilots to go shoot them down.

...so we'll file that for consideration, because the Battle of Earth took like 30-40 pages to resolve and this one's a bigger fight. *sigh* Plus side, because I am only covering this one from the viewpoint of the defenders, that will save me some time and space.

* * *

Addendum: Saw a YouTube video in which a moron in a Toyota Camry tries to beat a train, and loses. The video title reports that both occupants of the car died in the collision, which is not terribly surprising. I'd embed it, but it's not in my watch history, which usually indicates that the video has been taken down.

Train is coming to a crossing with no gates, just crossbucks and lights. The train moving pretty fast and it's not that far from the crossing, and its horn is sounding, yet the dickhead driving the Camry doesn't even slow down. And as you'd expect, BLAT, the car gets mangled by the train--so badly that in one frame the front wheels are still flat on the ground even though the rear wheels are off the ground and no longer parallel to it, all the glass is shattered, and there isn't one body panel that's not distorted, even the ones on the opposite side of the car.

Figure that the passenger died at the moment of collision as the locomotive's front coupler would have punched right through the door and then crushed his torso. The "safety beam" in the door is meant to prevent the intrusion of other road vehicles, and is not going to be able to resist the impact of a piece of solid steel 10" on a side, backed up by a hundred thousand pounds of locomotive four-hundred-odd-thousand pounds of locomotive, moving at 40 MPH. Even if that didn't happen, the way the car is crumpling under the impact, the side of the car would be rammed into the guy's head hard enough to kill him from that alone. Even with "side impact air bags".

The driver would go next, because the passenger would have been flung into him, and as the entire safety cage of the car buckled and collapsed he'd probably receive other fatal injuries.

The thing about cars is, they're built to a certain safety standard that's mandated by the federal government. The side impact air bag works wonders if you're being t-boned by a pickup truck or a car or something. But a train masses so much that hitting an automobile will literally not even slow it down. The decline in speed is negligible; a loaded train weighs hundreds thousands of tons and a typical modern passenger vehicle weighs maybe 1.5 tons. So that air bag that's supposed to protect your noggin from hitting the door frame? It's designed with the expectation that by the time your head hits it, the speed of the impacting vehicle has already been lessened by the impact itself, and that the impacting vehicle has crumple zones and empty spaces which are deforming even as that air bag is inflating. Having a locomotive (just a locomotive!) hitting your car at 40 MPH is the approximate equivalent of sliding that car sideways into a concrete block at 40 MPH. There's no give to it; there's no crumple zone, no empty space--just solid steel. So, even the airbag wouldn't save you from a (probably) fatal head injury.

The moral of the story is fairly simple:

DO NOT TRY TO BEAT A TRAIN.

DO NOT TRY TO BEAT A TRAIN.

It's insanely dangerous to do it, because if you guess wrong you will die.

End addendum.

* * *

I'm not sure how much is advancing age and how much is advancing light pollution, but I just cannot see as many stars in the sky over the bunker as I used to. I remember the sky being darker at night; there were times, decades ago, when I could see the Milky Way from my front yard, at least sometimes. Now if I see it I'm confident that I'm imagining it, or seeing some kind of atmospheric effect rather than the Milky Way, because it's just too bright for the thing to be visible.

* * *

At least tomorrow is Friday. I have a bunch of chores this weekend, of course.
Wednesday, July 10th, 2019
5:47 pm
#6748: This is what "abject failure" looks like.
Twenty tons of cocaine. This is one shipment of the stuff interdicted by the feds. How many do they miss? How many tons of cocaine are imported into the United States per year?

The war on (some) drugs ignores the lessons that we should have learned during Prohibition. If people want something, they will get it, regardless of whether or not it is legal. Making drugs illegal does not keep people from using them; it merely makes criminals rich who supply them. Usually the people who make the most money at it are not people you'd want to sit next to at the annual Rotarian dinner. Or even attending it. They tend to be very bad men.

As mind-boggling as the idea of twenty tons of cocaine is--that's a semi-load of cocaine--it just goes to show that narcotics smuggling is big business. 145 tons used by the US in 2010, and that was the low figure. Can't find anything more recent, for some reason. If twenty tons is $1.3 billion, then 145 tons is a bit shy of $9.5 billion.

Legalizing narcotics has been tried, and it works. I don't recall offhand the country that did it (it was a scandinavian one, but can't recall which one exactly) and all the horseshit that comes with illegal narcotics got better.

Of course, it's also a fact that what worked nicely in a racially and culturally homogenous country with less than a hundred million citizens who have a very strong work ethic will probably not work as well in the United States. But we do have our own example; the Prohibition. We saw what happened when we banned alcohol: we got organized crime. Much the same has happened with banning recreational drugs, and all this has done is to drive up the street price of the stuff and enrich a bunch of very nasty criminals.

There is, in fact, so much money involved in the drug trade that I'd wager there are plenty of law enforcement people and politicians on the take. It's worth it to let the cops or the feds make some arrests and confiscate some on the way in, because the cops get to look good and that takes much of the heat off.

Dirty as can be, but none of those folks will want the gravy train to end, and will campaign quite effectively and legally to keep narcotics illegal. It doesn't even look bad. And the drug cartels want the stuff to remain illegal because it makes it cost more, netting them more money, so they take steps to make sure it remains illegal.

Stupid and corrupt as it is, that's the way it goes.

* * *

"Safe sexting". *whimper*

Lucky for me the linked post echoes my own sentiments, because I simply don't have the energy to deal with this one right now.

* * *

How bleeding incompetent can you be?

England's Ambassador to the US resigned, which is good considering that he doesn't have the common sense God gave a peach tree.
Sir Kim Darroch has resigned as the UK's ambassador to the US after Donald Trump vowed to no longer deal with him over bombshell comments he made in leaked diplomatic memos.

***

The leaked documents revealed Sir Kim had called Mr Trump 'inept' and described the current White House as 'uniquely dysfunctional'.
Here's what you do when you have such opinions about the country to which you are an ambassador: keep that shit to yourself and--more importantly--
NEVER WRITE DOWN YOUR OPINION.
While it is true the ambassador fell victim to a leak, only a complete fool would ever have put such gravely insulting words about the leader of his country's most important ally down in writing in the first place. The level of ineptitude that is the most obvious hallmark of modern life makes one feel embarrassed for our historical epoch.
"Ineptitude" is a good word for it.

* * *

I want to see the law that says I can't do this. Guy has a permit to demolish a building, but when he does it with his pickup truck, the cops come and tell him he can't do it that way.

Oh, and, "he had a permit to demolition the building"--well, WTF, it passed spell check, right? *rolleyes* But it was his building and it was on his own property.

The concluding sentence sums it up nicely: "If you want to know why Red rural America hates Blue urban America, it’s because of shit like this."

* * *

The free rider problem, in a nutshell. The reason that socialism always leads to oppression and horror is because of that very issue. If people don't have to work to live, they won't. Period. The takers far outnumber the producers, because only the True Believers will work their asses off for an equal share of the pooled production. The state must then force everyone to become a true believer, either through education or coercion. The vast majority must simply have guns held to its collective head, and they must believe that those guns are loaded and ready to blow their brains out, so you get "maintenance of terror" on top of all that.

The national socialists classified certain people as "useless eaters" and executed them. The USSR's solution was more general, such as the Holodomor.

As long as production requires labor, that will be the case. If there ever comes a time that production requires mere capital, then the problem inherent in Universal Basic Income is reduced, at least.

The simple fact is that a society needs to make work a virtue, and shame those who don't, regardless of its ability to support a vast swath of unproductive citizens. "Shame" is a notion that is passe, of course, because we must never be judgemental! But I notice that back when people had a sense of shame at breaking the rules of society, there was a lot less crime than there is now.

* * *

"Shame is passe" might be understating things a mite. Bill Clinton is the poster child for the shameless society. That post is worth reading.

* * *

San Francisco is a third-world shithole. It is starting to have a negative effect on the tourist trade.

* * *

So, last night I watched six, seven eps of True Tears. The story is better than I remember it being. Can't remember when I watched it last but it is very good indeed.

Problem: I have "Reflectia" (the OP) stuck in my head. Argh etc. But only two episdoes left of that one.

* * *

Today it's f-ing hot outside--over 90--and the weather site says "104". It runs between 6-10 degrees hotter than the actual temperature; as I recall it's sited poorly so that once the sun hits the thermometer it reads way too high. Anyway I believe the patio thermometer, which said "94" the last time I looked at it.

Upper 80s this weekend. Whee!

* * *

Waxing gibbous moon in the sky, about 100-110 degrees around the ecliptic from the Sun. The Moon moves around 12 degrees per day, and yesterday was first quarter, so I'd expect it to be about 102 degrees from the Sun, so that fits.

I remember that--when I was a kid, in grade school--seeing the Moon during the day was unusual. It only happened on really clear days, and rarely at that. Seems to me that as the EPA has tightened its grip on pollution the sky has gotten more clear and the Moon is more visible.

...which is not to say I think the EPA is the greatest thing ever. It's done its job, which was to clean things up; they're clean enough and anything further is overreach. The standards set in the 1980s are good enough, clean enough, safe enough.

And it's nice to see the Moon in the daytime.
Tuesday, July 9th, 2019
7:14 pm
#6747: Sure thing, Slick Willie. SURE.
Bill Clinton knows NAWWW-SSINK! about the "Lolita Express". He only rode the plane twenty-seven four times. Hell, Epstein gave something like four million dollars to the Clinton Global Initiative--or, as Bill and Hillary call it, "Personal Slush Fund #3".

The going theory is that the "deep state" leadership wants to get Trump any way they can, even if they have to sacrifice the Clintons and a chunk of the old guard. Clearly the feds want Epstein to sing like a canary for a better chance at not being put in the general prison population, where his life expectancy would be considerably shorter than his eyes are. (See what I did there?)

At that latter link there is an excellent point made:
Look, there is no doubt that the President knew Epstein as both moved in the same circles. But, there is zero evidence to indicate Trump actively and willingly participated in having sex with child sex slaves or this would have come out in October of 2016 or even earlier. The Democrat-Left-Media Complex is playing with fire because in their zeal to get Trump, there is no way they can avoid seriously exposing a lot of Democrat-Left politicians and celebrities quite possibly as co-conspirators in child rape. At the very top of that list is Bill Clinton, who has now publicly moved to distance himself from his teeny-bopper procurer and by extension Hillary. Maybe the anti-Clinton faction in the Democrat Party is engineering this to purge whatever influence they have left and clear the path (Shining or otherwise) for them to wrest control. Meh, maybe that's a fringe benefit or part of the calculus as a tradeoff to get Trump. For me, it smacks of desperation. They threw almost the entire apparatus of the Federal law enforcement and intelligence community at him along with almost every major and minor media outlet in the country and failed miserably, to the point that a clear majority of Americans now distrust the media and Congress more than ever, as the President's approval numbers hit record highs along with the economy his policies ignited. Pass the popcorn.
So let's go to Vox Day: Trump saw, and did not go back. "Only someone who knew perfectly well what was going on behind the scenes would have the confidence, and the determination, to do what he is doing."

Meanwhile someone edited the Wikipedia page on Epstein to remove references to his ties to Democrats because of course the last thing the left cares about is the truth when it's damaging to their side.

This is why they're doing this. Trump's name appears in Jeffrey Epstein's "little black book", along with a panoply of celebrities and politicians, most of them (but not all!) leftists. They want Trump, and will take down whoever they need to in order to get him.

That latter post contains an interesting theory about how Epstein managed to make his fortune, too.

...but it seems that Trump didn't take the bait. Which, as was said earlier, is why this didn't come out in 2015 or 2016. (Of course, in 2016 they were confident they'd win. All the polls said so.)

* * *

But speaking of pedophiles WHAT THE SHIT is going on at the Pentagon?
Hundreds of government employees were implicated as part of ICE's 2006 "Operation Flicker"--which identified over 5,000 individuals who had used credit cards or PayPal to buy child porn, or subscribe to websites that offered the material. Of those, ICE identified 264 DoD employees or contractors who had purchased child pornography online.

Nine of them had "Top Secret Sensitive Compartmentalized Information" security clearances, while 76 of them held clearances of Secret or higher.
...five thousand people buying pedo-pron? have they been fired, at least? Or has the government workers' union prevented that?

Oh, no:
Here's the kicker: Of those 264 DoD suspects, just 52 were investigated by the Pentagon's Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), meaning the Bush administration willfully ignored over 200 suspected pedophiles working for the Defense Department.
It gets even worse than that, though. It gets lots worse, and fast:
The National Criminal Justice Training Center, one of the groups that has thrown its weight behind the bill, reported in 2018 that DOD's network was ranked 19th out of almost 3,000 nationwide networks on the amount of peer-to-peer child pornography sharing.
"Perhaps instead Congress could divert some of its Russiagate energy to investigating the 200+ individuals who were given a pass nearly 20 years ago? Then again, that might not help anyone win the 2020 election."

*rolleyes*

* * *

"...just a bunch of uncivilized horrible people." We don't really see what sets off this sterling example of civilized behavior but the douche in the red T-shirt and topknot screaming, "I don't give a fuck, bitch!" in the woman's face is certainly not able to control himself in the face of provocation. She then spits in his face, which prompts him to start getting violent, approximately in the mode of a teenage girl--slapping at her--at which point the woman's friend/babby-daddy/husband gets involved, and now it's him and her attacking topknot guy, but no one gets a serious blow on anyone else. Then a couple more women get involved, though there isn't any indication if they are bystanders or if they know these...people.

Anyway, that turns into a free-for-all. Suddenly there's a "Mobility scooter" in the middle of the fight, and just when the original combatants have calmed down enough that their slap-fest ends, the second wave that came in start to fight and the woman who abandoned her mobility scooter gets knocked down. After that topknot douche comes back for more, and it goes on, more slapping and screaming.

3.5 minutes after the fight starts, security shows up.

Now imagine if one of those fucking idiots had a gun and had started shooting. Security was 3.5 minutes away. What kind of body count do you get in that situation?

And hell no if I see something like that going on, I just walk away from it. I don't stay to watch or film; I don't get involved. I clear the area in case it turns viral, you know, or someone has a gun.

* * *

Kimba the White Lion came first and just because Osamu Tezuka didn't sue doesn't mean Disney is in the right.

* * *

This would be a worthwhile test, all right. The US womens' soccer team that won the womens' world cup is now all "equal pay for equal play!" because they're not paid as much as male soccer players are.

The thing is, the womens' soccer matches aren't as big a draw. The teams simply don't make the same kind of money that mens' teams do. That's why the women players are paid less.

But to eemphasize the point I think it'd be an excellent idea to have this world champion womens' team play a serious game against the mens' soccer equivalent of bush league baseball, and see how they do.

See how the women manage to do against male pro soccer players who are paid about the same as they are.

Hint: the men would annihilate the women.

* * *

The dickhead who said that the federal government could nuke gun owners who don't comply with confiscation has quit the race for President. So that's one less nimrod in the Democrat lineup.

19 to go.

My wife says she heard that Oprah Winfrey was going to run for President. That would be entertaining; while there are a lot of people out there who would vote for her based solely on her popularity, I don't think she could handle being in a seriously contested race. Besides which, it would represent an enormous pay cut for her, and she couldn't run her media empire while also serving as President. SHe'd get a lot of votes and might even get the Democrat nomination, but ultimately I don't think she could win the general election.

Maybe against a Romney or a Dole or a McCain. Not against Trump.

* * *

The depression continues. It started no later than 2008; a convincing case could be made for it starting in 2000--but regardless of when it began, it hasn't ended. We're still facing the same problems that we faced in 2009. Nothing has been fixed.

* * *

It's still not surprising. Young people becoming less comfortable with LBGTSYBBQDDT people.
Imagine if instead of "drag queen story hour" it was "gimp suit story hour" or "Elsa She-Wolf of the SS Dominatrix story hour" or "coprophiliac story hour." These could of course all be completely straight people. But parents would go nope-nope-nope-nope and run the other way and not too many people would blame them...but if they dislike the idea of grown men not just dressing weird, but dressing weird in a sexually weird way, interacting with their kids, they are called names and made to feel like they're bad parents.
And the pendulum is swinging the other way.

The Stonewall riot was 50 years ago. "You've come a long way, baby." Pity it's not enough for them.

* * *

If there is no cash, the government owns you. In a cashless society your ability to buy goods and services can be shut off very easily.

Now, look at the banks that are refusing to do business with firearm-related businesses. Same theory.

* * *

$10,000 bail for spraying paint on that godawful chrome blob in Millennium Park. An 18-year-old carrying an illegal firearm got released on recognizance, a guy who beat up a cop got a $3,000 bond, a woman who spit blood into a cop's mouth got a $1,000 bond--but some shithead splashes paint on a piece of junk and that deserves a $10,000 bond? Really?

All of these came from the same arraigning judge. It's apples-to-apples, here.

$5 says this same judge complains that there are too many guns on the streets.

* * *

Japan does not allow muslims to live there. Visit, yes, but not dwell. That's why Tokyo doesn't have a problem with islamic terrorism.

* * *

I hope NASA doesn't get those tapes back. I hope someone else gets them.

...I'd like it because if a third party got those tapes and revealed what was on them, we could finally put the whole "faked moon landings" horseshit to rest. If NASA gets them back and releases them to the public, it won't dissuade anyone.

Of course the die-hard nutballs will still insist they're fake, that NASA planted those tapes blah-blah-blah etcetera. Oh well.

* * *

Absolutely class-A sarcasm. Yes, if you hate America so much, let's see you burn your welfare check in protest of it. I'll wait.

* * *

Let's go back to that bit about the shiny turd for a moment. The second link in that vignette talks about five arraignments, two on gun charges. One guy was let go on his own recognizance; the other was assigned a bail of $1,000. These were for men who were illegally carrying loaded firearms on their persons without a permit.

Now the Chicago Machine is blaming "repeat gun offenders" as a reason for all the violent crime in the city. And they raise the usual leftist shibboleths:
Lightfoot also called for "common sense background checks" and federal legislation to stop people from purchasing "unlimited quantities" of "military-grade weapons" across the state line Indiana.
There is already federal and state laws which prohibit that. If I want to buy a "miltary-grade weapon" like an AR-15--well, I'm stopped from doing that because I don't have a FOID card. But if my wife decided to buy one from a store in Indiana, we'd have to fill out forms and pay fees to have the gun transferred to a gun store in Illinois, where she could then go to pick it up.

What we cannot do, legally, is to drive over to Indiana, buy a gun, and drive back to Illinois with it.

..but there's that pesky qualifier there, helpfully isolated by itself between two commas: legally.

Let's say that I'm hell-bent on killing someone. Let's say that instead of the nerdy compu-geek SF guy that I am, I'm a guy with a criminal background and there's someone I want to kill. Let's call him BILLY BILLYBOY. Billy Billyboy has made me so angry at him that I want to kill him, and I'm gonna do it one way or another, but I decide I'm gonna get me a gun and shoot him. Okay?

I go to the gun store and am turned away because I don't have a FOID card. So I find a guy in Indiana who has an AR-15, and he asks to look at some ID before he sells to me. Seeing that I have an IL drivers' license, he asks to see my FOID card. I tell him I left it at home and he tells me to go get it. I leave and don't go back. Ditto for the various gun stores I try; none of them sell to me. Even if they were to sell to me, the legal way to handle the transaction would be to go to a gun store in Indiana and pay to do the transfer into Illinois as outlined above.

Finally I find a guy who doesn't check my ID or anything, just takes my word for it, and who sells me the gun for cash on hand, and I've got my weapon! I take it across state lines illegally, into a state where I am not allowed to own a gun (because I lack the FOID card) and I go put some new holes in Billy Billyboy's hide.

Besides murder and attempted murder, I've got a passel of gun charges for doing all this. But when you come right down to it, I'm looking at 20-to-life for the murder charge alone; the gun charges aren't anything compared to that.

There are people who argue against the death penalty, saying, "It's not a deterrent!" Those same people, however, insist that we make guns as illegal as possible, on the theory that doing so will keep people from buying them.

* * *

The left loses its shit when anyone supports Trump. Trump Derangement Syndrome has hard-wired the left to "racist/sexist/bigot" even though Trump is on record doing beneficial things for minorities and minority groups. They've decided he's a nazi, and anyone who supports him is by association also a nazi.

They're fucking nuts, of course.

* * *

Accurately describing islam is islamophobia precisely because the description is accurate.

* * *

Tried to watch Flying Witch--torrent download--on the laptop I fixed, but each file is on the order of a gigabyte and that old laptop (vintage 2009) couldn't play the files without the sound dropping out periodically. Not from SD card, not from the internal SSD. Argh etc. It's just not fast enough.

Ended up watching the first three eps of True Tears. Can't find it on my hard drives, ended up running a torrent of it to get it again. So far, excellent, perhaps even better than it was the first time I saw it.

I want to build a box to watch anime on, one that can sit in the family room and always be on and connected to the TV. I'm wondering if a Raspberry Pi 4 would do the trick.... The main point is that the computer has to be relatively inexpensive but powerful enough to decode videos that are made with the latest-and-greatest codecs. Obviously the 10-year-old laptop isn't enough for that, not even with a SSD in it.

I'm to the point now that I don't want to fuck with it, you know? I just want to sit in my rocking chair and watch the anime I've downloaded without having to recode or burn to DVD or do anything. The Blu-Ray player can play some videos, but doesn't support all the codecs. Ditto for the PS4. I'd rather build a computer and plug USB dongles containing video files into its ports to watch them. Run the K-Lite Codec pack so there's no problem with codecs, and have something like an i3 or a low-end Ryzen processor with at least 8 GB of RAM so there's no performance problems.

A low-end Ryzen probably does that handily. Probably would not even need a high-zoot video card; but Floristica's original video card would be plenty powerful enough for a video box.

* * *

So it was cool on Sunday and Monday nights. With things configured to push cold air into the bedroom, Monday and Tuesday I woke up in a warm bedroom, because the days are still between 80 and 90, but it's pretty dry out there (dew point 63).

Anyway ran the AC during work hours yesterday--shut it off around 7 PM. Don't think I'll do that today, though. Too warm out there for that. Cooling off, yes, but not cool enough. Maybe later. Weather web site says 88, the thermometer on my patio says 82. I believe the latter.

The pool is now crystal clear; the flocculant did the job. Needs a shot of algaecide to make sure it stays clear.

* * *

It's Tuesday. Whee.
Monday, July 8th, 2019
9:56 pm
#6746: Let's start with the Lolita Express guy
Dude had a shitton of childe prono at his home. The actual terminology is "extraordinary volume of photographs of nude and partially-nude young women or girls".

To be fair, to fit the bill for "pornography" the image has to be sexual in nature. In other words, just a nude girl standing there holding a flower, that's not "pornography", even if her pubic mound is visible. If she's laying on the sofa with her legs spread and her genitals are the focus of the picture, that is teh pronoz. "Baby's first bath" isn't porn. "Carla's First Vibrator" is.

I don't know what they found in Epstein's house, but I'm betting that a lot of it is not the innocuous stuff, because it's ending up being part of the case against him. The article linked by Vox Day says this:
His arrival came hours after prosecutors unveiled what they had uncovered from Epstein's house after they raided his mansion on Saturday night, turning up thousands of graphic photos which included images of underage girls.
And that includes, by the way,
...compact discs with hand-written labels including the following: "Young [Name] + [Name]," "Misc nudes 1," and "Girl pics nude."
Epstein sounds like he is an ephebophile. An ephebophile is someone who is sexually attracted to post-pubescent children, minors who are at least somewhat sexually mature. It differs from pedophilia in that a pedophile is attracted to prepubescent children, ie children with no developed sexual characteristics. They are not mutually exclusive, however; the same way a pedophile can be sexually attracted to adults as well, or a person can be bisexual.

...which is all well and good, but it's illegal to perform sex acts with someone under the age of 18.

These are new charges so "double jeopardy" does not apply here. In fact, the prior case may help get a conviction in the new one, since it establishes a pattern.

Leftists who want to tie Trump to Epstein are going to have a difficult time with this kind of thing on the record. Also, recall that Trump had Epstein thrown out of one of his places after Epstiein was hitting on underage girls there. Their entire case against Trump here is Trump saying, "I've known him for fifteen years. Great guy." And I'd bet that quote is taken out of context, anyway.

Yep:
In January 2016, Vice.com ran Silverstein's story on Trump's ties to Epstein, which framed them as more social - including dinner parties, two plane trips, and Epstein hanging out at Trump's Mar-a-lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. As Radar reported last April, "According to an investigation by Radar, Trump was among dozens of renowned New Yorkers who knew Epstein socially but ostracized him after Palm Beach police uncovered the financiers sleazy double life," adding that Trump "once barred child molester Jeffrey Epstein from his famed Mar-a-lago club after the presidential candidate caught him hitting on a young girl."
That quote is probably from a time before Epstein got caught the first time.

The prevailing theory seems to be that the left is throwing Epstein under the bus in an attempt to get Trump because at least one of the people in his administration has ties to Epstein.

I don't know, but if they're doing that, a lot of their people are going to get caught in it.

* * *

The left loves Evita Peron which is why there was a big musical about her. She and her husband were Nazi sympathizers but they were also big-time socialists, and when Juan Peron took control of Argentina, the changes he made were right out of the communist playbook:
In his first two years in office, Perón nationalized the Central Bank and paid off its billion-dollar debt to the Bank of England; nationalized the railways (mostly owned by British and French companies), merchant marine, universities, public utilities, public transport (then, mostly tramways); and, probably most significantly, created a single purchaser for the nation's mostly export-oriented grains and oilseeds, the Institute for the Promotion of Trade (IAPI). The IAPI wrested control of Argentina's famed grain export sector from entrenched conglomerates such as Bunge y Born; but when commodity prices fell after 1948, it began shortchanging growers. IAPI profits were used to fund welfare projects, while internal demand was encouraged by large wage increases given to workers; average real wages rose by about 35% from 1945 to 1949, while during that same period, labor's share of national income rose from 40% to 49%. Access to health care was also made a universal right by the Workers' Bill of Rights enacted on 24 February 1947 (subsequently incorporated into the 1949 Constitution as Article 14-b), while social security was extended to virtually all members of the Argentine working class.

From 1946 to 1951, the number of Argentinians covered by social security more than tripled, so that in 1951 more than 5 million people (70% of the economically active population) were covered by social security. Health insurance also spread to new industries, including banking and metalworking. Between 1945 and 1949, real wages went up by 22%, fell between 1949 and 1952, and then increased again from 1953 to 1955, ending up at least 30% higher than in 1946. In proportional terms, wages rose from 41% of national income in 1946-48 to 49% in 1952-55. The boost in the real incomes of workers was encouraged by government policies such as the enforcement of minimum wage laws, controls on the prices of food and other basic consumption items, and extending housing credits to workers.
And there was another sentence, way before those two paragraphs, "When Perón became president on 4 June 1946, his two stated goals were social justice and economic independence." Those two paragraphs are just chock-full of socialist policies.

...so, yes, Representative Horseteeth takes it as a compliment to be compared to Evita Peron. Of course she does. To leftists, Evita Peron is a hero.

* * *

It is indeed so that doctors are not incorruptible. Particularly when it comes to totalitarian regimes, the historical record would seem to suggest that doctors aren't so much about "ethics" as they are about keeping the social status they worked so hard to get.

The fact is, none of these doctors has interviewed Trump, nor even spoken to him face-to-face. They have no basis for making their pronouncements regarding Trump's sanity or a perceived lack thereof; the entirety of their diagnosis depends on reading what other people--who are not psychiatrists or medical doctors, and who were not speaking medically--have said about him.

That renders such diagnosis entirely invalid. And yeah, unethical as hell.

* * *

The left loves to expand "rights" to include things like housing and medical care irrespective of the fact that such things must be provided by someone, and that in order to so do government must enslave the people who provide those things.

* * *

I saw an article about this last week and forgot to comment on it. California now requires a background check for each ammunition purchase, except that the system was not ready for prime time and there have been a lot of failures.

As the linked post attests, I was going to say that this is a feature, not a bug. This is "common sense gun control" working exactly as designed; the purpose is to enact a de facto ban on the sale of ammunition because the California government could not impose a de jure ban without running afoul of the Second Amendment.

* * *

We are told that England has less violent crime than America does because guns are effectively banned there. Except that England has plenty of violent crime; it's just committed with knives and clubs instead of guns. Coincidental (yeah, right) with the rise in violent crime is the increase in migrant population.

* * *

He's right. Mostly.

Okay: given something built out of microchips, even vintage 1985, electrical engineers in 1947 would not have been able to figure out how it was made--at least, not the chips themselves.

But.

Let's say you handed a fully-functioning programmable calculator to the Air Force in 1947. They had multimeters, they had oscilloscopes; a reasonable array of smart people could learn a lot from the computer even if they didn't have the technology to suss out every last detail of its construction. Enough to get a jumpstart on building a computer using 1947 technology, certainly.

Sometimes it's not necessary to get a complete "how-to" guide; just seeing something in operation and being able to analyze its inputs and outputs can give you a leg up.

At the same time, though, even if you handed the Air Force a complete and functional flying saucer, they would probably not learn much from it if the technology was too far advanced from ours. Consider Nikola Tesla being given an iPhone. What do you think he'd learn from it, about radio technology?

Go back from there to 1880. Give that iPhone to Heinrich Hertz. What do you think he makes of it? Give it to James Clerk Maxwell.

"State of the art" is very important. You can't give a laptop to Thomas Edison and expect him to invent the CPU a year later. Edison could learn to use it and might figure out a few basic principles, but even if he set all his electrical engineering department on figuring it out they'd come up with only a few hints about how it worked. At best.

Give that laptop to IBM engineers in 1960 (or maybe even 1955) and it'd be a whole other story. The question comes down to "how advanced is it, compared to what we can do?"

Still--I doubt the Air Force (or our government in general) has a flying saucer to reverse-engineer, either whole or in pieces.

* * *

Most mainstream media outlets won't have a problem following antifa's rules.

Regardless of its legality.
If you “accidentally” film Antifa using blunt instruments and killing somebody, your video is now know as evidence. Not turning it to the authorities as per Antifa’s instructions could be construed by police as suppressing/destroying evidence, a felony in all 50 states if I am not mistaken.
Bah, laws are for the proles, not big important news outlets.

I mean, Mark Twain wrote that in the friggin' 19th century.

* * *

Charging whites twice the admission you charge "people of color" is illegal. You can't charge people different rates for things based on their race.

* * *

Because Democrats want gas to be expensive. They look at the taxes that Europeans pay on gasoline and wish mightily they could do the same. Illinois now has the third-highest gas taxes in the nation.

* * *

Government can't even fix roads so why do people think it can do anything else right?

* * *

Ford got rid of their passenger car lineup just in time! The real problem is this: because cars cost so much, stepping up to an SUV is kind of a "might as well". Spend $30,000 on a front-wheel-drive car which seats four; or spend $35,000 on something with four wheel drive and third row seating and which can carry large items handily. And be no less comfortable.

Cars cost too much.

* * *

Serious repercussions for Boeing in the wake of the 737 MAX 8 fiasco. Boeing ought to rescind the promotion and raise the project manager got for bringing that thing in "on time and under budget" since it's now cost them a crapton of money.

Here's hoping this will discourage them from trying these kinds of shenanegans in the future.

* * *

Absolutely if you are employing people you can require them not to have their phones on them during work. If you don't want to be without your phone, then don't work for the guy. Find a job somewhere you can use your phone. It's really that simple.

* * *

The result of leftism is violence and want, always. It can't be otherwise.

On celebrating pride, we are reminded that pride is one of the seven deadly sins.

* * *

Providence, Rhode Island, reportedly has some of the worst schools in the union. $18,000 per student per year--that's a hell of a lot of money for such craptastic results. But not unexpected. The socialized educational system demonstrates handily the ultimate failure of government to do anything in a reasonably competent fashion.

* * *

I was just thinking about this last night. In particular I was thinking about a specific, unnamed San Francisco cop yelling at people that they were in the middle of a disaster and now was not the time to stand around, that they had to gather water and supplies to get themselves through the night because no help would be coming. "You have two hours of daylight left," he finished sternly. "You'd better make use of your time!"

I can only imagine what it's like to be in a city as night falls, and it just gets pitch black in places where it is usually well-lit by streetlights. For the first time, standing on the street in front of your apartment building, you can see the stars shining brightly in the night sky. It's chilly and you're hungry and thirsty, but your refrigerator is now under thirty-five tons of rubble, and you can't see anything because it's dark.

From the TV coverage of that earthquake came an image I don't expect to forget: a street, flooded with a foot of water; and a 20-foot column of flame burning atop it. A gas main had broken and caught fire before the water came, and enough gas was pouring out of the leak that it could maintain the flame even after the water was there. Anyway that was image #1 in a mental folder I labled "apocalyptic visions", which is where I got the working title of that novel from.

* * *

Velleity. "A wish or inclination not strong enough to lead to action."

That is a habit I get from my father. Dad liked to talk about doing things. "One of these days, I'm gonna get me a sports jobby--candy apple red!" "I wanna take that wall of the house and move it one foot that way." "We should get a government surplus Jeep. They come in a crate and you have to put it together." Things like that.

I'm the same way; I talk about doing things that I never get around do doing, usually for practical reasons. Dad did eventually get his "sports jobby", the MGB, but he never followed through on having it painted candy-apple red. (For which I was just as grateful.) Moving the eastern wall of the house one foot east would have been prohibitively expensive for a lot of reasons. The Jeep thing--that was just talk, "wouldn't it be neat if we" kind of stuff.

I should have realized there was a word for it. Heh.

* * *

"Why no antifa in Florida? Two reasons. One, 2 million concealed carry permits. Two: "...Florida does not make a difference between Antifa and the Klan which I do believe is very appropriate."

Woot.

* * *

Well, we're coming up on 10 PM, and that means my Monday's within about half an hour of being done.
Sunday, July 7th, 2019
6:21 pm
#6745: Naturally
Cut the grass and changed the oil in Mrs. Fungus' car. Between those tasks I took the motorcycles off their respective chargers and tried to start them.

My bike: started, ran for a while--until the engine was warm--and then would not run any more. Looking more and more like I'm taking the carbs off to clean them. Argh etc.

Wife's bike: started, ran well, was able to take it for a nice spin around the block without so much as a hiccough or sputter.

And who is the one in the house who already has a license and could ride IF HIS FUCKING MOTORCYCLE WAS RUNNING RIGHT????

I've started thinking about saving shekels and finding a decent newer bike with fuel injection. There are some nice Yamaha and Kawasaki cruiser-style bikes for not a lot of money that wouldn't be beat to hell and would be fuel injected, and even if I had to take out a small loan to buy one I don't think that would be much of a problem. Blue book on these things is below $5,000 because they don't cost a lot to begin with, and of course they depreciate pretty quickly.

In five minutes on Craigslist I found a handful of bikes that would fit the bill, none over $3,000, vintage 2007. Found a 2013 bike for $5300.

As much as I like my GS450 it's just starting to get old, having to fix it before I can ride it. But we'll see; I'm going to pull the carbs off and get them cleaned and adjusted right, and maybe at the same time I'll finally do something about the valve cover gasket so it stops leaking oil everywhere. Perhaps making a project out of it and cleaning everything up will be enough to restore the thing to reliable operation. Clean the gas tank out, get fresh fuel in it, change the fluids. Fix the clutch so it doesn't slip in top gear.

*sigh*

...I probably wouldn't be this disgusted if Mrs. Fungus' bike--much newer and with fewer miles on it--had not just started right up and ran perfectly. What a pisser.

* * *

Tried to change the spark plugs on Mrs. Fungus' car. I found a socket that would fit and I could get onto the plugs, but when I tried to loosen it there was too much resistance for my comfort. Fuck up the threads and you're looking at pulling the cylinder head, which is not something I want to do, especially on a car that's got variable valve timing and WTF-else.

So, I'll take this one to a pro and let them do it. If the pro mungs the spark plug threads, they have to fix it. I don't think they will, but I don't want to risk it. I think they're the factory original plugs.

* * *

The other thing I need a pro to do is to get the Jeep's air conditioning system recharged. I don't have the gear for that; you need a vacuum pump to draw the system down, then you need the right kind of hookup manifold to get the correct amount of refrigerant put in.

Ah, well.

* * *

...go to look at a video on YouTube, a guy talking about his 1969 Mach 1 that he calls "the Disgustang". Starts out well enough, him talking about the rust repairs that were done and the original paint etc, showing an interior that's stripped down to the metal in most places because it's a work in progress. So far so good.

Then he opens the hood.

Sitting in the pristine engine compartment is a crate motor that probably cost $10,000, all chrome and anodized aluminum, and at that point I totally lost interest.

Any swinging dick can get a car and put thousands of dollars' worth of mechanical parts into it and then drive it around. That's easy. What's hard is to buy a car that doesn't run and make it a decent driver again, fixing the existing engine and transmission and brakes. That takes knowledge, skill, and effort. There are a couple of YouTube channels that do that kind of thing. One is "Fuzzy Dice Project"; the other is "TheCorvette Ben". These guys take cars as they are and fix them.

If I wanted to watch shows where people put fifteen thousand dollars' worth of new parts into old cars, I could just go through my old DVD recordings and find all the Powerblock shows I recorded. You know, where they get a decent-looking Camaro/Mustang/Chevelle/Nova and then put a brand new crate motor, a brand new transmission, a four-wheel disk brake kit, a new fuel cell and pump, new wheels and tires on the thing. Sometimes they install an entirely new suspension, too, of one kind or another.

It's a how-to show, of course, but it's "how to fix up a car if you have the budget like that of a television show". The defense is that, "We're just showing you what's possible!"

The mildly interesting series was where they built a Camaro entirely out of parts ordered from the catalogs. No old parts were used; it was an entirely new car. But that, too, was done on a virtually unlimited budget. I mean, if you're making a TV show about cars, budgeting $50,000 for car parts for half a season's worth of episodes isn't that difficult to manage. Especially when otherwise they spend an average of maybe $10,000 an episode on parts and supplies.

* * *

Anyway, I guess I'd better go see about rustling up some vittles.
2:45 pm
#6744: Well, see, that's one reason they tried to get rid of Trump.
Jeffrey Epstein arrested for allegedly sex trafficking "dozens of minors". Jeffrey Epstein of the "Lolita Express", that Jeffrey Epstein, the one that Bill Clinton evaded his Secret Service detail to board for a weekend trip to Epstein's island.
[Allegedly] Epstein sexually exploited dozens of underage girls in a now-familiar scheme: paying them cash for "massages" and then molesting or sexually abusing them in his Upper East Side mansion or his palatial residence in Palm Beach.
I suppose when you're a billionaire you don't need to use the old one about trying to find a lost dog, eh?

The left's take on all this is to dredge up the time Trump said that Epstein was a great guy, in hopes of linking Trump to it. But are there any reports of Trump riding the "Lolita Express"? Do they have anything actually linking Trump to Epstein's social circle? Somehow I doubt it. I'd be surprised if there were anything other than a tenuous connection--and I note that the lefties bring up what Trump said but don't describe the occasion on which he said it.

Look: they're both businessmen who operate in New York City. Their trajectories have probably intersected from time to time. If asked about someone you're acquainted with, and you don't know about his pedophilia, what are you going to say? Somehow I doubt Trump knew about "Lolita Express" and the rest of it when he said what he said about Epstein.

One commentor says, "NSA Child Crimes Twitter feed says Ray Chandler is singing like a bird. I think it was Q that said Chandler is Allison Mack x100." How sad it is that she's now a standard for sex crimes? *sigh*

* * *

They really can't take seeing the MAGA hat, can they? Here's the thing: if you accost someone and start calling them names in a public place, you're the one with the problem. Referring to that person as a "racist piece of shit" and calling him a nazi doesn't excuse it, not even if you bring the First Amendment into it.

For example, if I see some asshat kid wearing a Ernesto "Che" Guevara t-shirt in a public place, I don't feel I have the right to go over to him and start yelling at him about how his shirt contains the image of a murderous monster who hated gays and blacks. I am offended by it, because old Ernesto was a communist thug and does not deserve to be commemorated, but unless we are in a forum where we are discussing clothing my unelicited commentary is inappropriate. If he were to ask me, "Hey, how do you like my shirt?" I could then reply, in reasoned tones, that I think Ernesto "Che" Guevara was one of the worst human beings ever to exist and that the shirt offends me.

What I could not do is to go over to the guy, and say--apropros nothing--"You, there, wearing that shirt, you're a communist and a racist and a bigot!" And continue to harangue him about it.

It's not just that it's rude--though it most certainly is, and to a great extent!--but depending on the vehemence of my denouncement could actually be considered verbal assault. Some communities, that gets you taken to jail, depending on how vehement you are about it.

So, dickspittle sees a MAGA hat, then gets up and goes over to the people and starts yodeling at them about how evil they are, probably thinking he could get them tossed out of the restaurant. Except he's one douchebag and there are two tables of proud Americans sitting there. If you own the place, what do you do?

Well, if I own the place, I eject the troublemaker, the one who started it. And guess what: the people wearing the hats didn't start it, no matter what pussyface thinks.

(For the record, if I own a casual restaurant, I don't care what the customers wear as long as they're decently dressed and buy lots of food.)

* * *

Kind of related, the left wants to avoid actual debate because they will lose, and they know it. And so they say that debating people on the right will cause the right-wingers to try to recruit left-wingers. "Debate," says one communist, "isn't a fair and reasoned discussion, it's an extremely effective recruitment tool. You don't have to debate them. Nobody does."

Right there--right there--you see the tacit admission that they have no reasoned arguments to support their side. They can't have a fair and reasoned discussion about their political stance because it's damned near impossible to support it.

(It's not "fair and reasoned" because they can't win, because the facts don't support them. There is a reason leftists always lie.)

Suppressing debate is an essential component of leftism. Every time socialism has been tried, one of the first things that happens is that any discussion about it is disallowed. You may not speak out against the state, nor may you even question what the state is doing. Certainly you are not allowed to protest it; that's mercilessly quashed, at gunpoint if need be.

Example: Tianenmen Square.

There are three links in that post, all worth reading.

This one contains the following:
I see increasing numbers of so-called liberals cheering censorship and defending violence as a response to speech. I see seemingly reasonable people wishing death on others and laughing at escalating suicide and addiction rates of the white working class. I see liberal think pieces written in opposition to expressing empathy or civility in interactions with those with whom we disagree. I see 63 million Trump voters written off as "nazis" who are okay to target with physical violence. I see concepts like equality and justice being used as a mask for resentful, murderous rage.
What you are seeing there, friend, is in fact the true face of leftism. It has always been like that. The next sentence after that paragraph is, "The most pernicious aspect of this evolution of the left, is how it seems to be changing people, and how rapidly since the election," but it is not an evolution at all. It is simply the mask itself coming off; the left's irrational hatred (and fear) of Trump has led them to it.

"I don’t yet know what to call this part of the left," begins the next paragraph. Let me help you: simply call it the left.

The fact that this person is questioning the ideology at all means that, sooner or later, he is likely to discover that for himself.

...which is why the left says that debate is not necessary, why they say it's "recruitment".

* * *

The weather abruptly cooled off. Saturday a line of thunderstorms went through in the early afternoon; when I went outside to try fiddling with the motorcycle, it had gotten significantly cooler. After laying in one of the gravity chairs on the back patio for a while I went inside for something and declared, "We're opening the house up. It is cooler outside than inside."

Today it is warmer than last night, obviously, but it's still pleasant. In a bit I will head outside to do my chores for the day (cutting grass, car maintenance) and then see if I can't get a motorcycle to start after sitting on the charger all night. FFS, this is getting old.

Well, now it's nearly 3 and I haven't cut so much as a single blade of grass. I guess I'd better get going.
Saturday, July 6th, 2019
3:40 pm
#6743: I'm glad I was raised to know better.
Yes, you are SO funny, aren't you. Dumbass girl on video in a store, opening ice cream, licking it, and putting it back in the freezer. Now faces a "felony tampering" charge.

"One of the things that the USA has done very right is food safety. From refrigeration to packing to food handling, this country has never stopped trying to keep food as safe as possible."

Here's the thing. Imagine there was no video. Imagine, further, that this girl had hepatitis or something even worse, and no one knew she'd licked the ice cream, and someone ate it. Or, imagine that instead of licking the ice cream she sprinkled strychnine on it.

There needs to be real punishment for this.

* * *

As if I needed any more evidence that Rolling Stone doesn't know shit about music here they go an say that 1984 was the "best year" for pop music.

No.



I don't know what year was the best for pop music, but I know that 1984 was not it. I strongly suspect any year in the 1980s was not it. And that's speaking as someone who came of age in the 1980s, who ought to be saying the opposite--but I am not, because 1980s music simply was not very good.

Understand that I do not hate the majority of music that came out in that decade; I simply don't think it's the greatest ever. Plenty of catchy tunes, plenty of fun songs--but no, not the greatest.

* * *

Some rabbi you are. Not being an expert on Judaism, I suppose I am speaking from an anatomically unlikely orofice here, but it seems to me that if the Mosaic Covenant was broken it was people who did it, not God.

The Old Testament in the Bible is essentially the history of Judaism prior to the birth of Christ. It tells a simple tale, over and over again, of how the Jews were chosen by God and had good times, then forgot God and fell away from Him, and were punished, only to be delivered from their woes after coming back to God. Over and over again this happens, each one a parable of fall and redemption.

The Holocaust may have been another one of these stories. For a freaking rabbi to imply that the Holocaust happened because God abandoned the covenent--it just boggles the mind. It ignores thousands of years of history of the jewish race.

But of course modern leftism is so much smarter than anyone in history... *rolleyes*

* * *

Why are you surprised? The Chicago Public School system is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Democrat Machine. Waste and fraud are what they do. So, sure, they'll throw away an entire dumpster-load of usable books; why not? After all:
This happens every single year, but under the radar and out of sight. We also told everyone about pallets of computers and printers and assorted software, still wrapped in plastic and sitting in school storerooms across the city--because if CPS doesn't spend the money, they might have to return it to taxpayers. And that is a no-no.
Chicago teachers just got a 14% "cost of living" raise. The same inflation that our government has said isn't happening apparently leads to a 14% raise for government employees.

I sure would like to get a 14% raise simply because I kept my job another year.

* * *

Just STFU you morons. Jeeze-louise.

But it brings up an important point.

The necessity of freedom of speech does not extend merely to people being allowed to be critical of government.
You cannot counter a conviction or an ideology if you suppress the expression of it. The sense of exclusion and oppression will help it to flourish. It will grow in the darkness, and you will lose all knowledge of its extent or its virulence. You will also lose any skill you might have at arguing against it. And one day, when it's grown muscles and become confident, it will roar out of the shadows and take you by the throat.
Rush Limbaugh often talks about "the marketplace of ideas". I'm sure he got that notion from elsewhere, but he's my source for it, and it's really an apt description of what a fully-functional republic needs.

If you want to talk about "the national debate" or "the national conversation", freedom of expression is an essential component of it. All voices must be allowed to speak; they must be given room to say what they want to say. They must not be shouted down, drowned out, vetoed by hecklers.

...because some of them will be fucking lunatics. Because, I said, not "even though". You want the fucking lunatics to get up and espouse their lunacy and vent it in public, so that the public can see for itself what fucking lunatics they are.

Okay, you want the Illinois Nazi guy standing there with his sign saying, "race mixing and communism are jewish". You want the American communist party standing around with their red flags and hammer-and-sickle signs. You want the PeTA idiots wandering around with their "meat is murder" horseshit on display. You want the media to cover it all.

That way, people can see for themselves what the ideas are, what these groups want, how they express themselves. The people can see this and say, "Holy shit, these people are nuts!"

...because any cause that is allowed to fester in total darkness, unseen, can later erupt without warning.

And besides, the people who are making this argument about playing Nazis in video games are the same ones who scoff anytime someone says that certain types of music cause suicide.

* * *

I am constantly amazed that an unhinged leftist like Joss Whedon was capable of writing a character like Malcolm Reynolds. After reading the tweet embedded in that post, I am desperately trying to figure out what color is the sky in Joss Whedon's world.

* * *

Chicago failed at bribing the Olympic committee. Why am I not surprised? Remember how Chicago was out of the running after the first round of balloting by the committee? After then-President Jugears gave a speech extolling the wonders of Chicago for the 2016 summer games?

I am still so very, very happy that Chicago didn't get the games. It would have been a disaster. Not just because of how traffic would have been during the things, but because of all the money that would have been spent building facilities and venues, money that would have ended up being completely wasted at a time when Illinois in general and Cook County and Chicago in particular are totally fricking broke.

Still can't help some schadenfreude, though, over the water conditions. Lake Michigan is clean, so clean that Chicago gets its drinking water from it. Can't say that about Rio de Janeiro, now, can you?

* * *

Gay rights organizations don't care about Andy Ngo because he's got the wrong politics. He's gay, but he's a right-wing gay, so as far as the gay rights people are concerned, he doesn't exist.

Funny, isn't it? Gay rights people siding with the people who mobbed a gay man? Almost as if they were communists first and gay second.

* * *

Democrat politicians have all sympathy for illegal aliens. They have none for victims of illegal alien criminals.

Nancy Pelosi wants to publicize illegal aliens dying while detained because that helps her side. She ignores the victims of illegal alien criminals because doing so also helps her side. Can't have the American public knowing about the heinous crimes committed by some illegal aliens; that goes agains the narrative that illegals are just here because they're fleeing persecution and misery!

Nancy Pelosi always makes me want to vomit, but this kind of shit just makes it worse.

* * *

Yesterday I had a headache that alternated between "oof" and "migraine" just about all day long. It finally went away around 10 PM-ish but it left me feeling drained and irritable. Today I woke up with a crick in my neck. Probably related.

And when I did wake up, it was to thunder, because it was raining. So, probably won't cut grass today after all. It's sunny now, though.

*sigh*

...but last night I saw lights on over at Joe's place, and cars in the driveway all night. Today there is a pile of stuff at the curb--things being disposed of, presumably due to water damage--and more activity.

I really do hope they're staying. They're good neighbors. The fact that they're doing all this work on the place would seem to indicate they are intending to remain, because if you're going to abandon a place why bother to clean it?

I do notice that the PT Cruiser hasn't been moved at all. I wince to think of what its interior must be like. The big worry there would be the electrical system; water should not have gotten into the engine as it should not have been deep enough to get to the intake. But, who knows?

* * *

And it's Saturday, a day of rest, and I want to rest.
12:48 am
#6742: That's a bad day, right there
So, having a spin through YouTube after work.

I've seen, periodically, a livecam that's aimed at the great big horseshoe in Altoona, PA. It's a big loop of railroad track, a place where trains change elevation in a pretty tight curve, because going straight down- (or up-) hill would be beyond the mechanical limits of the locomotive's ability to control speed. They make a big loop around so that they can lengthen the run, so that the grade is less steep. It's still pretty steep for trains, mind you, but it's usually within the ability of the locomotives. It's a vital corridor, too. It's four tracks wide and a lot of trains run through there. There are not many other places nearby where trains can go.

So, this evening, a train derailed on it. About 8:40 PM. I was perusing YouTube and came across a video showing the aftermath, but then I found the livecam and was able to look at the streaming record and go to the time when the actual derailment occurred. It's not on camera, but you can hear it as the three locomotives in the lead casually saunter through the camera's field of vision, heading uphill without the load it was just pulling.

Looking at the wreck, we see that there was a string of empty lumber cars near the front. It looks to me as if , and they derailed, falling on their sides. What happened, I think, is that the weight of the cars was insufficient to keep them on the track with the engine pulling an entire train's weight through them. They tried to make a straighter line between the locomotives and the load, and fell off the track in the process.

* * *

Can't remember what type of derailment it's called, so I was trying to do a search for it. The Wikipedia entry on derailments says this:
Boiler explosions had been noted in locomotive-type fire tube boilers when the top of the firebox (called the crown sheet) failed. This had to be covered with a significant layer of water at all times or the heat of the fire would weaken it to the point of failure, even at normal working pressures. Low water levels in the boiler when traversing a significant grade could expose parts of the crown sheet. Even a well-maintained firebox could fail explosively if the water level in the boiler was allowed to fall far enough to leave the top plate of the firebox uncovered.
Now, I'm not an expert at this kind of thing, so I must defer to all those 9/11 truthers out there who insist that fire cannot melt steel. That being the case, this kind of boiler explosion was flat-out impossible. Right?

Okay, sarcasm off.

* * *

Last Christmas Mrs. Fungus got me a mask and snorkel, because I'd mentioned wanting to be able to float face-down in the pool and still breathe. I got it out Thursday afternoon and used it to inspect the bottom of the pool, to make sure that the drain was closed properly.

Strange: the 10' diameter pool had two drains in it. The 15' diameter pool has one.

I had noticed, early in the week, that the ground near the pool was staying soggy too long. I found that the drain cap was not tight, nor had the plug been inserted. That's on me. Anyway, I put the plug in and tightened the cap, but of course then it rained quite a bit Tuesday night, so the ground was still swampy. Argh etc. We'll see how it is tomorrow.

But I'd wanted to go around the perimeter and make sure everything was tight, and it is.

Anyway--the 15' pool is significantly larger than the 10'. The 10' pool is about 79 square feet; the 15' pool is about 177 square feet. The 10' was about 1,000 gallons; the 15' is about 2,500.

It's more than big enough for me, that's for sure.

* * *

Oh--it looks like I'm wrong. There used to be four tracks through that area, but one was removed in 1981 and it's now down to three. Even so.

* * *

I'm hoping I can get a little motorcycle tinkering in tomorrow. Couldn't do it Thursday because the battery was dead. Couldn't do it today because of work. Dang it!
Friday, July 5th, 2019
6:18 pm
#6741: Well, THEY didn't know anyone who was planning to go.
Media didn't think anyone would go to the President's Independence Day speech. He had, of course, a huge crowd, because he's a vastly more popular President than the media would like to admit or even acknowledge.

* * *

Creepy Joe B. seems to have forgotten who was President and who was vice-President during the 2016 elections.

But the simple fact is that he's actually correct. Russian meddling didn't happen in 2016.

* * *

Germans don't realize how sweltering hot it gets in the US. As soon as they get US-style heat and humidity, though, they shut down. They have to, because they don't install AC in their buildings.

* * *

Stranger Things 3 is heavy on the "grrl power" and that's reason enough for me not to want to see it.
It's not actually, The Bad so much as it is Even More The Meh. Grrl power. The first season was pretty much about boys, men and male problems. This season it's a completely vagina filled year at Stranger Things. The boys are along for the ride and so far they can't get anything right. We'll see if this lasts.
I think that's pretty funny, considering how everyone predicted that was going to be the case.

To make things worse, though?
Steve, (who is now hero,) has to suffer a massive loss in social status because he is now a hero and rich boys can't be heroes. Also the Duffers needed one of the heroes to have a job in the mall. So the same father who gave his son a freaking BMW 7 series, (a high end executive's luxury car) now forces him to get a job in the mall since the moron couldn't get into "Tech".
That was also predicted, that this character would end up being de-rich-ified because he's a good guy and we can never have a rich good guy. Only antagonists can be rich.

*rolleyes*

Anyway, season 2 was bad enough that neither Mrs. Fungus nor I are interested in seeing this one, even though I'm hearing tell that it's a better story than the last one.

* * *

Oh, wow! Who could possibly have predicted this? Venezuela has death squads! Someone go talk to Sean Penn and Danny Glover and ask them what they think of that.
To be fair, Venezuela's Death Squads have been a part of the country for decades, but they were more a case of Star Chamber than political prosecution. But Chavez developed the "Colectivos" whose mission was to scare and kill political opponents and every frigging body in Venezuela knows that. With that, add the SEBIN (Venezuelan Internal Police) and the Bolivarian Police's FAES (Special Actions) known to be engaged in extra curricular kidnappings and killings for personal profit and what you have is a country caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place for living in fear. Hell, a couple of days ago I posted a video of a death squad in Venezuela popping people behind some industrial building.
The asshats who champion socialism claim that when there are mass graves it's the "wrong" kind of socialism being practiced. But the maintenance of terror, the death squads, the mass graves--all of that is an inevitable consequence of socialism. You cannot have socialism without the threat of violence.

* * *

"In preparation for two upcoming friendlies against Russia, the U.S. women's national team played the FC Dallas U-15 boys academy team on Sunday and fell 5-2, according to FC Dallas' official website." So, this is the same soccer team which is riding roughshod over European teams, and has that lesbian who refuses to go to the White House to meet President Trump. That team.

...gets its clock cleaned by a team composed of boys under the age of fifteen.

This is why you keep biological males out of womens' sports. These are the best women soccer players around (evidence: they're beating Europe's best female teams) and they can't win a scrum against boys?

"They went easy on them!" I'd still expect them to win, considering that they're professionals. It shouldn't even be close. Certainly the boys should not clean their clocks like they did. But winning 5-2 in soccer is just flattening someone.

* * *

I wasn't going to comment on this but it made me laugh out loud. Asked what the first thing he'd do as President Joe Biden dredged up this winner:
...the first thing I would do is make sure that we defeat Donald Trump, period.
Okay, so you're Joe Biden, and you're sitting in the Oval Office on January 20, 2021, and your chief of staff comes in. "Okay, Mr. President! Gosh, it's sure good to say that to you, Joe! Mr. President, what should we work on now?"

"Our absolute first priority is to defeat Donald Trump."

Seriously?

* * *

I agree with this 195%. Men have no say in whether a woman gets an abortion, but if she decides to keep the child he's on the hook for child support. I think as long as it's solely the woman's choice, it should solely be her responsibility. (Unless they are married, in which case it's a joint responsibility until and unless there is a divorce.)

* * *

Cholesterol is just a number and statins are poison. Limit your carbohydrate intake if you want to avoid heart disease.

* * *

Whenever you hear someone crowing about a Republican who wants to impeach Trump it is usually Justin Amash. Justin Amash has just left the GOP, thus improving the average IQ of the party.

* * *

Disagree. Imagine if every vehicle on the road obeyed the traffic laws, and drove according to a fixed set of rules governing their behavior. Things like merging, lane closures, on- and off-ramps, and so forth--all preprogrammed to do the correct thing, every time.

A lot of routine traffic jams would simply vanish. Instead of traffic slowing to a crawl a mile from a lane closure, it would continue to move along at the speed limit, because the behaviors that cause the slowdowns would no longer happen, such as staying in the closing lane until it closes, forcing cars to slow down and let it in.

The other fact is that exceeding the speed limit does not really save all that much time. I proved that pretty conclusively with my commute to $Major_Hardware; leaving about the same time every day and driving at about 60 MPH (instead of 75) got me there a few minutes later. And doing so raised my MPG by 28%.

When you plot time versus distance, you find something interesting. You go a mile in a minute at 60 MPH. You go one mile in two minutes at 30. The curve is asymptotic because of how the math works, but the knee of that curve--the point of diminishing returns--is pretty low, somewhere around the 35 MPH mark. Increasing your speed from 60 MPH to 75 MPH saves you twelve seconds per mile. That's fine if you're going a long distance (20 minutes per 100 miles) but if you're on the expressway for 25 miles, as I was, it saves you a whopping five minutes. And the first time you have to slow down, for anything, that advantage is completely eradicated. If traffic comes to a stop, even momentarily. If there's a construction zone where the speed drops to 45. Anything that drops your speed below 60 MPH starts to cost you time.

Oh well. By the time they have fully-automatic cars that don't need human intervention, I'll be old enough to need one, anyway.

* * *

Make them take off their masks. We don't need snipers to end antifa. We just need to make sure they can't hide who they are. "...seeing as how individually they're mostly spoiled, pasty-faced little queefs living in Mommy's basement."

But they certainly don't have any trouble taking on little girls.

The left always targets people who can't defend themselves.

* * *

It resembles a woman's equestrian hat more than it does a ball cap--but it for damned sure looks better than the conventional "HYPER-NERD!!!" bike helmets do.

* * *

A couple of bits from Pixy Misa that I wanted to talk about.

Apple still struggling to put a keyboard into their $1,200 laptop that's as good as the one in a $500 Gateway.

What if someone held a strike and nobody cared?

I'm not sure what's up with the image at Pixy's post, though. Is that supposed to be Washington-chan crossing the Delaware, or something?

* * *

When I went out this morning to get bread it seemed like it would be cooler today than yesterday. However, the weather site just said "104". That's high--recall that the weather station nearest the bunker always runs about 10-12 degrees hotter than the actual temperature--but yesterday's temp was reported as about 98 degrees. So it's still warmer today than yesterday.

*sigh*

* * *

Activity at Joe's house today. When I went to get the bread I heard what sounded like a gas-powered pump running. Not sure what's going on over there but they're cleaning out the furniture from their family room (which I last saw floating in hip-deep water) and it looks like they're getting rid of other water-damaged stuff. And one of them cut the grass, too.

* * *

Tomorrow I expect to cut the grass. Hopefully the back yard won't be swampy. Once the grass is cut, I'll start working on tree removal. Whee!

Speaking of which--I paid like $65 and tax for the pole saw. I happened across a Menards ad which had a gas chain saw for $100, which was sorely tempting.

Oh well.

* * *

Our tiki torches all rusted to death. I tried filling them and, with the exception of one, they all dribbled oil right back out. *sigh* Garbage day is tomorrow.

* * *

Plus side, it's Friday, and tomorrow is Saturday. Here's hoping it's a nice weekend.
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