May 28th, 2017

#5622: YESSS IT'S ALL GONE FINALLY

Today I got up when my wife did, left a bit after she did with a truck full of used oil and coolant. Drove up to the collection point in Naperville, where I left all of it, and it no longer darkens my domain! I've wanted to be rid of that stuff for years but always ran into schedule conflicts or other issues whenever there'd be a collection day for that kind of stuff. Well, it took getting up early and making a special trip, but it was 100% worth it, because now it's all gone and I no longer have to trip over it!

* * *

So, the Democrat at the center of that child pr0nm investigation in NYC is president of the Manhattan Young Democrats and only had to put up $7,500 in bail. His father made $21 million on a land deal; that's a vanishingly small bail for that crime, especially given that he comes from such a rich family. The brief bio of his father reads like a "Who's Who in NYC" entry.

Let Joe Blow get caught with that kind of sick crap on his computer and see what his bail is. It wouldn't be any $7,500. $75,000, maybe. But of course the guy is the son of a rich and well-connected New York Democrat.

* * *

Chicago population shrank from 2015 to 2016. "CHICAGO ONLY MAJOR U.S. CITY TO LOSE POPULATION FROM 2015 TO 2016," the article blares.

Well, of course. Chicago (and by extension Cook County) is a festering shithole. People can't say that--the real reason is "vibrant youths" and their propensity for violent crime--so they say "taxes", which are also a big problem in IL.

Illinois politicians do think that taxpayers represent this bottomless pool of money they can reach out and dip into whenever they like. That's why the Chicago Democrat answer to the pension problem is, "Well, the taxpayers will just have to pay it."

I'm not astounded at the stupidity of Illinois Democrats who--given the example of Detroit--are doing exactly the same things that made a ruin out of Motor City. Because Democrats always double down on their idiocy, carry it all the way until it can't be carried any longer; thinking they're the smartest people ever, even as they pull the dumbest shit imaginable they think that because they are doing it, it'll work fine.

So they keep on spending borrowed money as only government can, thinking they'll just raise taxes. The people who can leave are getting out; the remainder are people who can't leave...and those people don't pay taxes, certainly not at the rate of the people who could, and did, leave.

The result will be that Chicago will resemble Detroit in a couple decades. If not sooner.

* * *

Never believe a politician's promises, especially with regards to taxes. The California legislature swore that their new massive gas tax hike would go into infrastructure spending, and now--of course--they're planning to divert money from that to non-transport spending.

Same reason I voted against the stupid referendum here in IL to constrain gas taxes to transport infrastructure: Illinois would then just raise taxes somewhere else.

* * *

Man, today is gorgeous. I have a couple minor chores to do, but the day is mine otherwise. I'm going to watch the race and do my chores. Whee!

#5623: Perception

Look at this picture and tell me what you see:



If you're a normal human being, you see the face of a pretty little girl, maybe a bit too young to have lipstick on, but certainly a positive image, no? She's smiling, obviously happy and healthy. There are millions of little girls like her all over the world, and in western countries they have a reasonable expectation to grow up, get educated, maybe start families of their own. You see the face of a child, still reasonably innocent, something to be protected until she can stand on her own.

But muslims don't see that. What they see is the painted face of a harlot, fit only for subjugation and rape, or extermination. They don't see a pretty little girl, but something to be controlled, or killed. They don't see a person there; they see a chattel to be married off to a suitable husband, who will be able to demand that she service him sexually whenever he pleases, who can beat her, and even kill her if she "dishonors" him.

She was eight years old when the islamic savage's bomb took her life. To a muslim, that's a year shy of the age of the wife of their "great prophet" mohammed, whose teachings are what compel them to regard women as chattel and people as expendable munitions.

Under sharia--if she were alive--she would not be allowed to drive a car, or to own property, or even attend school. She'd be required to cover herself head-to-toe. If raped, she would be stoned for "adultery". She would not be allowed to go anywhere by herself, and to be caught in a closed room with a man she was not related or married to would carry grave consequences, like lashes or even execution.

That's why so-called "moderate" muslims won't control their radical elements: they agree with them. They won't stop the radicals because they don't think it's wrong to kill whores and infidels.

You and I, looking at that picture, we see a person. But muslims see a target.

#5624: What a race!

If you're intending to watch today's Indy 500 later on, don't read this, because I'm talking about the race.

These days, mechanical failures are few and far between. We understand how to make V8 engines pretty well, even the hyper ones used in IndyCar racing. In fact, the technology we have has the potential to push these cars even faster than they are now, but then we start to run into the problem of human limitations; there just aren't that many people who have the reflexes to run a car around an oval track of reasonable diameter at 300 MPH. Race car drivers are already a bare fraction of all people; to go as fast as the technology could go, we'd need a bare fraction of that bare fraction. So the various regulating bodies have put restrictions on what can be done, which effectively limits the top speed of the vehicles to something mere (though very talented) humans can manage.

The side effect of all this is that the machines don't break as often. It's not uncommon to have one or two cars retire because of this or that failure, and most of the time it's someone 'way back in the field. But in this race, three cars retired due to engine failures, and they were from major teams to boot.

The broadcast team showed video from inside two of the three cars of the engine failure. Car's roasting along at 225 MPH, BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! and then pow! and the magic smoke gets out. In the third case, we watched the driver bring the car to a stop, the engine making a noise like a garbage disposal with a fork caught in it until he shut it off.

Go to 0:38 in this one to hear it:



Before the engine blows, you can read the "McLaren" logo on the steering wheel. After it does, there's too much vibration. Dang.

And here, he shuts the engine off at about 0:09. Beforehand, "fork in garbage disposal".



Honda did something to their engines this year to squeeze an extra bit of power from them, but it's cost them reliability. Three engine failures in the same race--that's just not something I'm used to seeing from IndyCar. The Indy 500 is meant to be a test of endurance as well as speed; normally it's wrecks that take cars out of the race, not mechanical failures.

And wrecks--hoo boy there were a couple doozies in this one.

First off, Scott Dixon and Jay Howard on lap 53. Howard's car was forced high in a turn; he became a passenger, hit the outer wall and then ricocheted right into the path of Dixon's car. Dixon had nowhere to go, got launched over the left rear wheel of Howard's car. The car went airborne, came down on the inner wall, and broke in half.

The fact that Dixon was unscathed is a testament to two things: good car design, and pure luck. If that car had come down on that wall just a little differently, Dixon would have been killed. As it was, the transaxle broke right off the friggin' engine and components of the car were strewn across the track. The wreck was so bad it tore the safety fencing, so the officials stopped the race for almost twenty minutes while the safety fence was repaired and the shrapnel of the wreck got cleaned up. I don't think I've ever seen a race get red-flagged for anything other than rain.

But Dixon got out of the car and walked to the ambulance. Reportedly he has a minor injury to his left ankle, something on which he can walk but requires further attention. That is good safety engineering.

Race resumed, and all was well. Yellows popped from time to time; cars seemed to be losing pieces left and right, and when the engines blew, that also prompted yellow flags. A few spinouts.

Came down to the last 20 laps, and at lap 17 five cars got into a wreck. Somehow the safety crew got it cleaned up with 11 laps left, and those last 11 laps were nail-biting tense.

I wanted to see Helio Castroneves get his 4th win. But Takuma Sato--who spun out in the final lap in 2012--won, and I'm okay with that (I recall rooting for him in 2012). Castroneves came in 2nd, and while it's not winning, getting 2nd place at Indy is certainly nothing to sneeze at. There's always next year!

The Indy 500 is the only sporting event I watch, and at that I rarely get excited about it. I got excited about this one; it was a good race.