atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#6566: Stalin is dead, after all.

Why can't we celebrate it? The guy makes Hitler look like Barney the Dinosaur. Hitler had about six million people killed. Stalin? Twenty million, more than three times as many. And that's the conservative estimate.

Mao takes the cake, of course, with a conservative estimate of 60,000,000 Chinese dead.

Makes me recall the use of the "Hitler" as a unit of measurement of evil. Stalin would be 3.33 Hitlers. Mao would be 10 Hitlers. Like that.
...[E]ven in theory, socialism implicitly requires theft, enslavement, deprivation, imprisonment, murder, and mass deception. The country and its people make little difference to the downward progression. No other pair of countries illustrates the difference socialism makes than North and South Korea. Situated in the same place with the same group of people in the same circumstances, socialism alone made the difference between one becoming rich and developed and the other becoming a miniature Hell on Earth.
This is exactly so.

* * *

Heh a boner is not exactly new, cutting-edge social commentary. "The phallus — used as a symbol of good luck by the Romans of the time —" Yeah, right. Sure.

"Heh, Lucius, this is what I think of Hadrian's Wall."

"That's, great, Titus! That's really mature! Now get your ass over here and help me move this."

* * *

"Crock of shit" pretty much sums up Democrat spin on any matter, not just Amazon pulling out of NYC.

* * *

Container rates from China to US have "collapsed" according to the leading indicators. But I don't know how worried I'd be about it, considering it's "collapsing" from the highest point in eighteeen months.

* * *

Cold Fury characterizes the opioid crisis as one that "ain't" and it's hard to argue his point. "Less than 1% of the addicts on the street got their start with prescription opioids. And chronic pain patients rarely die of overdoses."

It's more of government sticking its nose where it doesn't belong.

The thing is, making something harder to get legally doesn't stop illegal use of the product. In fact, it doesn't even slow down illegal use. That's why you can make it super-duper-illegal to own a gun in Chicago and still have a four-digit firearm casualty rate every year. The legal firearm owners aren't the ones doing drive-by shootings; faced with the choice of disarming or moving out of the city the legal owners make that choice based on their own preferences and abilities. But the criminals aren't deterred by the additional penalties for illegal gun ownership. Facing 20 years for "aggravated assault with a firearm", a thug isn't going to worry much about an additional 3-5 years for "carrying a gun without a CCW permit".

But by the reasoning that the government employs, we should take away the cars of sober people to stop drunk driving.

* * *

The first vignette here is about Uber. "We shouldn't be hitting things every 15,000 miles." Most drivers can go much longer than that without hitting anything. Until and unless the automatic systems are at least that good--

* * *

Remembering the dire predictions of global warming. Like all doomsayers, they were wrong. Old article is old, but still fun to read.

* * *

This. I can excuse the sound effects and the turning ships and the visible energy bolts. The debris was a lovely touch to that space battle, something not normally done by anyone prior to Gravity.

In my own recent space battles I did give a bit more than lip service to the cleanup afterwards; since the battle took place in Earth orbit I knew I couldn't just ignore that, and space battles make a lot of crap. Unlike in Star Wars, ships don't just conveniently vaporize when hit and flying through one while it's exploding would smash your ship to bits as you hit the shrapnel at multiple kilometers per second. Bad idea.

* * *

Not exactly a good sales line. The 8-second summary of Captain Marvel: "Carol Danvers is a tomboy with resting bitch face who accidentally becomes the most powerful being in existence."

Media types who desperately don't want to have their access cut off are trying to find nice things to say about it, and failing.

There is a big, big problem with having an ultra-powerful character of any sort, and that comes from the fact that an omnipotent being cannot be countered, or even frustrated--not even temporarily.

That's why Superman is vulnerable to kryptonite; without some kind of vulnerability there would be no one on Earth who could oppose him. And where's the dramatic tension when you know that Superman will save the day because there's absolutely nothing that can prevent it?

The first Superman movie with Christopher Reeve, for example. Lois Lane gets killed, so Superman just reverses time in order to get to her before she dies. What can't Superman do? (Next movie, General Zod and a couple of his cohorts escape from the Phantom Zone, and they go to Earth, getting there just as Clark Kent has given up his superpowers. Whee! A double-whammy, he has to fight people who are just as powerful as he is after getting his powers back.)

Carol Danvers ends up having absolutely no conflict in her life; just presto! she's Captain Marvel and can do literally anything and gee! Who cares about what effect her new omnipotence has on her daily life?

Writing an interesting story about any super-powerful being is not at all easy. It's difficult, because if the character is not challenged, there is no conflict, and you don't have a story. You have a series of affirmations: "Mary Sue is so smart! Mary Sue is so dextrous! Mary Sue is so strong! Mary Sue is good at everything! It's all because she's so talented and perfect in every way!"

And that's boring.

The first Harry Potter movie was like that. There was no conflict at all; it was boring crap because there was nothing that was allowed even to inconvenience Harry. I thought, at the end, that at least Gryffindor wouldn't win the whatever-prize-it-was--and that would have salvaged the movie for me if that had been the case!--but Dumbledore made up a bunch of extra crap so it would, and oh boy Harry Potter wins the day! Hooray!


...totally turned me off the entire ouerve.

* * *

Me: "The password needs to be 8-10 characters long."

Them: "I want it to be 'MONSTERBALL2018$'!"


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