May 10th, 2016

#5188: Weekend!!

So today was a long day, made shorter by two meetings and a training! ...which is to say I had a bit more than two hours of not answering phones while I was in meetings or learning stuff. The coaching got pushed back to Thursday, but I don't mind that one bit.

Calls were calls. People are idiots.

* * *

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

* * *

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

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

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

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

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

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

This is typical of our conversations.

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

* * *

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

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

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

* * *

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

But first, bedtime...and since it looks as if I won't be getting the grass cut this weekend, I can laze about in bed tomorrow without guilt. Win.

#5189: Four glorious hours.

This morning, both Mrs. Fungus and I woke up around 10, because that's when we usually get up for work. You get into a habit after a while; you can't help it. The body expects certain functions to occur at that time.

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

"Isn't it glorious?"

"Oh yeah."

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

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

* * *

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

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

* * *

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

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

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

* * *

...and now it's pouring outside again, complete with thunder and lightning. It doesn't look like I'm cutting any grass before the weekend. *sigh*

#5190: Well, the deficit is OVER, baby!

Just got notification from the US government that our refund for last year's taxes is going towards paying down our taxes due from the prior year, when Mrs. Fungus was unemployed and I was working part-time and we had to take money out of her 401k in order to live. This is not coming as anything like a surprise to either of us, though we sure could have used that money (since we have a payment agreement and have been making payments steadily).

Amount: $101

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

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

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

She laughed more.

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

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

As I said, the deficit is over, baby! We fixed it! You can thank us later.

#5191: Dystopia, and why

Little things add up over time. I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but even I can figure things out sooner or later.

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

But it was said in the 1950s, too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Compare, then, these two links:

"#WhatIfWeWon"

"Diversity is our strength"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And what is going to happen next?

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

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

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

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

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

It's going to be a mess. And the longer it takes to get here, the worse it's going to be.