atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#7227: Well, so much for THOSE plans

Woke up at the usual time, decided to hit the can and have a PBJ. Did so; and when I got to the kitchen I saw that it was raining. Not just a sprinkle but a full-on soaking rain which had been going on for a while.

Looked out at the pool and saw something in the middle on the bottom. Put on clothes, braved the rain, found (to my relief) that it was merely sediment.

You see, it's a side effect of having to top up the pool twice in the past two weeks. The problem is, the Fungal Vale has well water and it is rusty. I set the pool up and filled it in the week leading up to Independence Day; because I've had to refill it twice, the filter hasn't had a chance to get all the rust out. I've been doing the usual routine with shutting the pump off, swapping filters, and rinsing them, but rust has accumulated faster than the pump can extract it.

The pool has a capacity of 2500 gallons when it's set up on level ground; since this one isn't, I doubt it's got that much water in it. The pump, theoretically, moves 1,500 gallons an hour. The water should be crystal clear after a couple of days at most.

Yesterday I waded in the thing and walked around, stirring evereything up and moving the sediment back into suspension, hoping that the pump would extract it, but we're talking about some rather large particles. The water color is off, too, because all this is without using any flocculent!


Anyway, the "something" in the middle, on the bottom, was just rust, so I stirred it up with the seive and then came back inside, and had my PBJ. Ended up back in bed around 9-ish.

Now it's going on 1, the day outside is murky and not-very-hot, and there was a rumble of thunder as I was typing this sentence. So, not going to do any swimming today, nor cut the grass; and at this point even changing the oil in Mrs. Fungus' car is looking iffy.

We didn't swim yesterday because Mrs. Fungus had a flare-up of whatever the deal is with her knee, so she could walk but not without pain, and no way would she be able to step over the pool wall. Me, I don't feel right using the pool and having "summertime fun" when she's laid up inside. (Even though that only extends as far as laying in a float and not moving.)

If I'd known that would be the case, I wouldn't have refilled it. This started happening Friday evening after I had already shut the water off, though.

Anyway, the rain has soaked the ground again, which means yet another week where I'm guessing whether or not the pool is still leaking--or if it is being sabotaged for whatever reason.


* * *

Plus side, my copy of Peace Talks arrived yesterday. I have already devoured about 60% of the book, because (as usual) it's easy and fun reading.

I am a little worried for our protagonist because at this point in the book he usually is in a lot more dire straits than he is in this one. He had one fight with some real bad guys (well, thugs) but he had help from his much more experiened mentor and neither of them took much damage from the fight.

...which means that there's going to be a bitch of a fight soon. I've read enough of these books to understand that much.

Of course this story arc is split across two novels, because when he set out to write it, the draft was something like 400,000 words, but even so--

I'm going to have to dig out my Dresden Files books and read them again, though. I don't remember the last thing that happened before this book started--it's been that long.

* * *

I would still be sleeping but for the fact that, in my wife's office, one of the employees tested positive for COVID-19.

Now, the employee was last in the office on the 6th, my wife wasn't in the office that day, and there's been no contact since. The incubation period is two weeks. Neither of us has any symptoms.

BUT there's been a furor of phone calls and text messages about getting everyone tested, or whether they need to be tested, or they can get tested if they want to but there's no reason since it's already been two weeks, blah blah blah.

I don't even care. The thing is as dangerous as the flu.


* * *

So, approximately three million links.

We were told, not long ago, that the world was running out of cocoa. During the Obama years. "Well, we're just going to have to get used to chocolate costing more," they said. Now suddenly no one's eating chocolate because of COVID-19 or something?

* * *

Really we promise we don't log anything you do online through our service! Honest! ...only of course they do log what you do, everything, because that kind of data is worth a lot of money to marketing people.

Count on anything you do on-line being logged. It's trivial to do it. A VPN won't help. Why do you think that the feds are so adamantly against strong encryption for consumers?

* * *

This ought to be entertaining. So apparently in Berkeley the police will no longer handle "routine traffic stops" but will instead leave them to "unarmed civilian city workers".

The good self-hating white liberals will certainly always stop for the unarmed civilian city workers who are pulling them over for speeding, right? But there are plenty of people in (and who pass through) Berkeley who won't bother stopping.

Okay, when a police officer signals you to pull over, and you keep driving, that's "felony evasion" at a bare minimum. What about when an "unarmed civilian city worker" signals you to pull over? Is that still "felony evasion"? Can the "unarmed civilian city worker" give chase like a cop would, or does he call the police to get you? And when the police catch you, if you further resist arrest, they're still going to tase you, hit you, or shoot you, depending on the level of resistance you provide.

To me, that sounds like "police making traffic stops" with extra steps.

* * *

Toothy McBigtits wants to drive more taxpayers out of New York.
But after months of hard work in Washington, AOC is turning her attention back to NYC, with her latest campaign: A "wealth tax" to finance an emergency worker bailout fund for poor and undocumented New Yorkers.

According to Bloomberg, AOC's proposed wealth tax would tax the wealthy on unrealized gains in their stock portfolios. Currently, investments typically aren't taxed until they are sold and a profit (or loss) is realized.

New York would be the first state in the country to enact a wealth tax that targets wealth, instead of solely income (whether individual or corporate) and consumer spending. The state bill will be considered when the NY legislature returns from vacation on Monday.
Basically, she thinks that New York should tax people on the value of their stock portfolios even if they haven't realized any profit from it.

Here's how it works: you buy $1,000 worth of stock in Fred's Computers. Fred invents a new gadget which sells like gangbusters and your stock skyrockets. By the end of that year your $1,000 investment is worth $100,000!

Under current rules, it's not considered income, because you own the stock. It's an asset, it's property, and it's not taxed until and unless you sell it at a higher price than that which you paid for it. This is called capital gains and they are taxed this way because the actual profit you earn on the investment cannot be figured before you sell it. Okay, let's say that the value of your stock in Fred's Computers hit a high of $100,000, but then dropped a couple of months later to $50,000. If you did not sell at $100,000, but sold at $50,000, your capital gains is $49,000 rather than $99,000.

Under current law, you can't be taxed for the $99,000 in capital gains because you didn't realize that profit. You only realized a profit of $49,000. But that's only if you sold the stock; if you kept the stock, and didn't sell it, then you're not taxed on capital gains because you didn't realize any capital gains.

What Ocasional-Cortex wants to do, though, is to emplace a kind of asset tax on that stock. In other words, every year, you'll pay a tax on the stock, the same way you pay property taxes on your house.

The instant that law goes into effect, everyone effected by it will leave New York. In fact, I've got a fiver that says even if this law did somehow pass and become law, it would not apply to the huge investment firms in New York City, because it can't. They'd leave, taking not only all their money with them, but all the people who buy, sell, trade, manage, fluff, primp, and fellate. All the business surrounding it would go elsewhere, leaving a vast smoking hole smack dab in the center of not only New York City's budget, but New York state's budget.

* * *

This would be marvelous. Understand, Pritzker broke the law when he pulled all the toilets out of his mansion to get a $330,000 break on his property tax. What happened? He got caught and had to pay it back, all is forgiven, and he got to become governor!

If you or I tried something like that, even after paying it back, we'd still be in jail. Repaying the tax break would be part of the sentence we got for committing the crime in the first place.

Pritzker's election demonstrates how effective the Illinois Democrats were at demonizing Bruce Rauner and laying all the malaise at his feet. Rauner was the first governor this state has had (since WHEN?) who wasn't under federal investigation at some time during his tenure in office. And Rauner wasn't even really right-wing--pro-abortion, and signed a bill that essentially made Illinois a sanctuary state, and supported same-sex marriage--and in general governed as a moderate, George W. Bush Republican would.

* * *

Anti-police assholes sure want the police to do something when counterprotestors show up to vandalize their vandalism. Why don't you have one of your crisis counselors go out there and de-escalate the situation and help these protestors channel their energies into a more positive activity?

* * *

These politicians who do not support their own police force are, of course, hypocrites but they don't care. You see, hypocrisy is power; if you can say one thing while doing something else, and no one can take you to task for it, you're very powerful. And the more you can rub your hypocrisy in peoples' faces, the more power you have.

* * *

Of course any plan to reopen schools that doesn't actually, y'know, reopen schools is doomed to failure but that's not why I'm linking this.

No. From a comment:
My school (West Side) bought everything student who was part of the free lunch program a tablet, it included everyone, $860 tablet per student with all the accessories and software. They were given out during the free breakfast, lunch, and dinner pickup. We had 8% of the students participate with daily virtual learning. To make matters worse when asked to return the tablets at the end of the school year, less than 10% were returned and parents advised the tablets were lost, broken, stolen, and in more than a few cases being used by family members for "other things" all have CPS inventory numbers. When we asked the CPS administration what to do, such as report them stolen, we were told no, we will just buy "new ones" when the next school year starts.
I would like to know how many thousands of $900 tablets have disappeared. I wish this person had said how many students "My school (West Side)" nominally has in attendance, because that would allow me to put some kind of number to this. The best I can do is make an estimate, though, so that will have to do.

So, let us say that it is a small school and that it has 1,000 students. For context: the brand-new $60 million Taj Mahal high school they built here in town takes students from miles around and has an enrollment of about 1,500 students. For an inner-city school, I think 1,000 is a reasonable LOWBALL figure. In fact, when I put the question to Googe the very first hit says, "In Austin on Chicago's West Side, a high school built for 1,000" so let's go with that number.

That means that CPS has given away $900,000 worth of computer hardware this year. If every student at that school got a $900 tablet-- And in fact it'd be more than that because of all the work involved in buying them and getting them distributed "one to a customer".

All we ever hear from CPD is that there's not enough money, yet they had enough money to make a million dollar purchase for one school on an emergency basis, and to simply write it off as a bad investment afterwards.

Now spread that across every school in Chicago. This is proof that the CPD has more money than it knows what to do with.

Like this.
I live in a middle class neighborhood, the homes aren't cheap but far less expensive than the nice part of town. Almost all the homes are owner occupied. Almost all of the homeowners have nice cars and jobs, many have boats and trailers parked in the driveway too. But yet the city/county/state pays cooks to cook the food, bus drivers to drive it to the stops and god knows who else to get $3 worth of food to the child for lunch. When this is discussed by politicians or others in authority the implication is that the kids would starve to death if the taxpayer didn't pay for this. But it's pure bull shit. I even know some of these people will look at the food delivered to them and if it isn't what they want that day they just toss it in the garbage. And on the TV they are telling us that we are feeding the "hungry" children. Bull shit.
The reason? Because the school district gets a cut, that's why.

The feds pay some figure per head, $X+$Y, with the understanding that $X is for the lunch itself and $Y is for "administrative costs". So the school district has an incentive to make sure as many kids as possible are on the list. But it gets better, because the more kids are on that list, the bigger the batch of lunches has to be, and in bulk the per-person cost is lower. And it's not haute cuisine to begin with.

Let's say the feds give you $10 per student for the free lunch program. So a $10 bag of fish sticks, a $10 bag of french fries, a $10 can of fruit salad, and a $10 bag of pudding will make maybe ten lunches. Let's say that making them and delivering them is another $10. You're clearing $50 for every ten kids you feed! If you have a thousand kids in your school who get free lunches, then you net a profit of five thousand dollars per day.

Socialized education is nothing but a scam.

* * *

Still a better mayor than Lightfoot is. Could not agree more.

* * *

After all the rain we got today, Mrs. Fungus called my attention to the fact that the pool looked to be on the verge of collapse. The inflatable ring had lost some air, so I went out to reinflate it. Naturally it turned into a huge fucking disaster.

Plus side, the amount of water that spilled out--while very large--was just about what the rain had dumped in, so the pool is still about as full as it can get, sitting where it's sitting in our decidedly not-level back yard.

But the back yard is a swamp--was already a swamp before I spilled the pool water.


* * *

Stick your "white fragility" up your ass.

* * *

Anyway, the rain has stopped and the sun's trying to come out. I don't know what that means.

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