atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#4616: Stupidity, arrogance, superciliousness, corruption. And one bright spot.

I have a ton of it today. Let's get started!

Adam Kinzinger is not the only Illinois Republican who's got to go. Aaron Shock apparently accepted a $13,000 plane ride from a constituent and paid $3,000 for it under a false label. Futhermore he's had his office redecorated to the tune of $40,000, as if he's some kind of hotshot celebrity rather than a recently-elected politician.

Here's the problem with Illinois: everyone involved in governing the state is totally f-ing corrupt. Everyone--every last damned one of them--is a conniving, corrupt, lying weasel, from the lowliest staffer to the highest office, to the lobbyists and interest groups, all of them are corrupt. There is no honest governance in this state, and there won't be--can't be--as long as the Chicago Democrat Machine calls the shots.

The best answer is probably to saw Chicago off the state and sink it in Lake Michigan, but that's tectonically impossible with current technology so we're going to have to figure something else out.

A mass investment in tar, feathers, and rope by the general populace of the state would probably not be pushing it.

* * *

Feminists only care about rapes committed by white men. In other words, they reserve their outrage for rapes that are perpetrated by the melanin-challenged.

That's racist, for a variety of reasons, but I think that the main one is that these women think, "Oh, the darkies can't help themselves; what do you expect?"

A porn star explains it rather nicely:
I believe the feminists that get media attention these days are the same ilk as the wealthy Victorian era suffragettes: wealthy white women whose panties are in a bunch over imagined slights and imagined injustices. They do not, and never have, spoken for women who are on the outside of their exclusive group. Sex workers, women of color, economically disadvantaged white women are not part of their platform. Those women who have to think about how they are going to eat or live are excluded from the conversation. Women who cannot afford $29.95 "This is what a feminist looks like" t-shirts made by female slave labor in Madagascar are excluded from the conversation.
Here's the thing: plenty of women don't do pron because they're stupid; they do it because they are pretty and built and know they can earn a lot of money by letting people look at them naked. This is the way things have been for a very long time.

But the point she makes is valid: the women who get upset over "rape culture" and "the patriarchy" are women who don't have anything else to worry about. Certainly they don't appear to be very worried about where their next meal is coming from.

* * *

If you hired a disabled kid so you wouldn't have to wait in line at Disney World, you are the lowest form of scum imaginable.
In 2013, Disney discovered this policy was being badly abused in the most soul-crushing and miserable way possible: rich parents, mostly from New York City, were honest-to-God hiring disabled children to drag around the theme parks, all to skip attraction lines.
Emphasis theirs.

I just don't have any f-ing words for how disgusting this is.

But thanks to these skunks, now familes which genuinely have disabled children get to wait in line like everyone else does. I certainly can't fault Disney for ending the practice.

* * *

The economic funny numbers game began with the FASB. Instead of having to value their holdings at what they could reasonably expect to sell them for--as they had to prior to March of 2009--banks are now able to value their holdings at whatever they wish they were worth.

Kind of like me claiming that my Fiero is worth $80,000. It's not; it's not even close to that. In running condition I could get perhaps $2,000 or $3,000 for the thing. But if I were a Wall Street bank, I could say it was worth $80,000, and no one could tell me I was wrong, and I could make all sorts of business deals based on the assumption--pretense--that I was not lying and inflating the value of my car by twenty or thirty times, and that I actually had $80,000 worth of collateral.

Try that the next time you ask the bank for a loan, and see how you do.

* * *

Oil stocks are very high. So it seems the US will be out of storage space for oil by June, and then what do we do?

It's a combination of factors, of course. Refinery slowdowns/shutdowns. Overproduction. Also, oil companies are hedging: buy oil when it's cheap, gamble on the price rising, and sell the oil when it does. It's a very big and complex business.

But when we run out of storage, one of two things must happen: either we must start using oil at a faster clip than we now are--because if demand were high we wouldn't need to store the stuff--or we must stop importing and producing it. With the economy in the shitter, there's no money or reason to use more energy; every unit of GDP has a unit of energy behind it, but that cuts both ways.

If production is not cut, the world price of oil must drop. It cannot be otherwise.

With crude trading around $50 a barrel, economies which have been constructed around a higher price of crude are now foundering. This includes oil patch regions in North America, by the way, places like Texas and North Dakota and Alberta, places where it takes more to produce oil than simply sticking a straw into the milkshake.

An economy which was actually screaming along at maximum employment would not be an economy which featured a surplus of oil, so much that we are running out of places to put it.

* * *

Pixy Misa has posted an excellent discussion on why Obama and others of his ilk think they can deal honestly with Iran and other asshats of the world.
Russia, for example, and to some extent Iran, are in game theory terms rational actors. In an uncertain world, they will look to their short term interest. That means that unless you pose a convincing threat, they will cheat every single time, treating international politics as an Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma scenario.

The West is both affluent and peaceful precisely because it has learned not to do that. Except under extreme provocation, Western nations co-operate with each other every time, a strategy known as superrationality.

Superrational actors take into account not only their short-term interests, but the interests of the other party in the interaction, and that party's own reasoning.
The US has, for a very long time, been superrational, because it's a product of western civilization, which managed to flourish because superrationality is a superior way to operate as long as you are surrounded by other superrational actors. The success of western civilization can be attributed to this characteristic because mere rationality means everyone expends resources doing counterproductive things.

"Only a complete idiot would follow a superrational strategy against a known rational player," he concludes. "And that's precisely what the Obama administration does."

That's what makes that senator from the 1930s such an idiot, the one who said, "Oh, if only I could have talked to Hitler!" It wouldn't have mattered if he did; the senator may have been a superrational actor but Hitler was not. Neither was Stalin; both men knew what they wanted and didn't care about anything other than achieving their goals, regardless of what it took. fact, that's what made Chamberlain an idiot, too: Hitler never intended to honor that treaty longer than was convenient for him. The treaty was a strategem to keep England off Germany's back for a little while, nothing more...and Hitler was planning to violate the treaty even as the two men were smiling and shaking hands over it.

* * *

Borepatch describes a negligent discharge which injured a kid. It's not an "accident" if you fail to observe the safety precautions, especially one as basic as UNLOAD THE F-ING GUN BEFORE YOU WORK ON IT, DIPSHIT. The article that Borepatch links to doesn't explain what the moron was trying to fix, but are Borepatch points out a gun will not fire unless the booger hook pulls on the bang switch.

* * *

Today I pulled the broil element out of the oven and plugged the stove back in. Not only was I able to cook breakfast for Mrs. Fungus, but I was able to throw a frozen pizza into the oven. It came out just fine.

This means that I don't need to replace the relays to have a usable stove; I just need them to fix it so we can broil again. (Besides, it takes longer for the oven to preheat with the broiler element out.)

It's good that this is so, because I hated the idea of not being able to cook until I can get the new relays into the control board. I have no idea when they'll get here, only that they will, and my dance card is pretty full for the next week. I might have time on Saturday to do the repair, assuming that the relays get here by then.

I actually considered--briefly--putting in sockets instead of hard-soldering the relays to the board, but why get complicated? These relays worked fine for thirteen years, and the broil relay is the only one that failed.

* * *

Owing to the very, very late night I inadvertently had--I didn't get to sleep until well after 5:30, thanks, body!--I am only now finishing the blog post and ready to start getting things done. I want to try starting my motorcycle today, and I'm running out of daylight in which to do it; tomorrow is predicted to be eight degrees cooler than today and Thursday I am at work during the daylight hours.

It did not help that I got a spam call today that woke me out of a sound sleep. It's a common thing for certain companies to surf job web sites looking for phone numbers; they then call the numbers and claim they have an opening they'd like to put you into. The opening is typically a phone slave job, where you call people and try to sell them life insurance. The jobs pay by commission, so if you don't sell anything, you don't get paid. Unless you are a super-salesman (and if you are, there are job opportunities for you everywhere, and you'd make more money selling cars or aircraft components than you would selling life insurance by phone) you will not sell much nor will you make very much money. (Hint: I am not a super-salesman.)

Mrs. Fungus got about a dozen calls from these kinds of places. Invariably the person calling you has a thick foreign accent, usually Hindi or Pinoy. If you try to find them on-line, you find either nothing, or stuff that screams "scam!", or posts by dozens of former employees that warn you away from them. The place that called me this morning is one that called Mrs. Fungus, so that's one call I won't be returning.

It would be nice if there were a way to bill people like that for the time and energy they cost me. *sigh*

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