August 5th, 2017

#5777: Spoing

Yesterday I reached for a box with one hand, and when I clamped down on it something went "spoing" in my hand. It hurt considerably but I was able to continue using the hand. Mind you, it hurt a bit, but as long as I didn't exert too much force with my ring finger it was fine. I worked for another couple of hours at least.

Today I can make the "kung fu grip" with my hand, but bending my fingers further hurts. I can't hold anything smaller than about 1" in diameter in my fist, not if I need to exert any force on it, because that hurts.

Just what I need: a strained finger.

I know it isn't anything else because there's absolutely no pain in it as long as I'm not moving it. I can squeeze along the entire length of the phalange and even down past the metacarpal without any tenderness or anything. With my other hand, I can bend the fingers all the way to a fist and if I had some way to clamp it shut I could leave it in a fist all day without pain--full range of motion--but the instant I exert any muscular force at all, that finger starts yelling.

So "light duty" today, I think. Do the dishes and tidy the house from yesterday's work. The place is a mess because of all the boxes I hauled down; even though I threw away a lot of crap there's probably a half-dozen empty boxes (saved for use as trash receptacles) and some other things all over the house.

The boxes over the south side of the house aren't as old as the ones over the north end. The ones from the north end, most of them were put up there in 1965 and never taken down again, or even moved but once or twice in that time. At the south end, those have been shuffled and moved and looked over and overlooked time and again.

There really isn't any "buried treasure" at this end. It's just stuff. Someone has to go through it and be willing to jettison the junk, is all. Sadly, today that someone is injured and doesn't want to make his injury worse, so there the project will stall for a few days.

#5778: Acknowledging the kitten in the room

We keep Maki confined to various spaces so he doesn't have much room to run. What I like to do is to have him in the computer room while I'm doing my various things in there. He's not allowed to run or climb, so if he gets too rambunctious he must go back to his kennel, but I'm sure it's a big relief to him to have some supervised time where he doesn't have to wear the cone and can move around a bit.

As long as the tongue stays off the incision, he can groom as much as he likes. But there are only a few days left in that regime, and in fact I may take him in to the vet on Wednesday to get the incision looked at--when they say it's okay to take the cone off, that'll be very nice indeed.

I slouch back in my chair and let him lay on my chest, and he does, purring away and grooming himself; and once he's settled down to sleep I'll do his early PT.

* * *

And now that that's done, on to the rest of the post.

The problem with the present news model is that it doesn't work the way they claim it does. And it hasn't, in fact, worked that way for a very long time, if ever.

Certainly in theory the press is unbiased, as papers vie for as many readers as possible, and therefore advertising dollars--but they're not unbiased, and never have been. That's one of the reasons for the rise of alternate media. The ever-leftward slant of the mainstream media drove people away as soon as there were any alternatives.

But it's not just the everyday bias that's the problem. I learned, from my father, how to discern the real nut of the news stories on TV simply by reading between the lines: what wasn't said, what the newsreader's tone was as he said it, his expression, things like that. And as time went on frequently I'd find that yep, my skepticism had been warranted, because the story had left out this or that salient detail, or had glossed over the other thing which was politically inconvenient for Democrats.

Give the public an unbiased source of news and they'll flock to it. Look at the cable news networks; Fox News is on top because they're the most centrist news organization out there. They're right-wing only by comparison to CNN, NYT, ABC, CBS, NBC--organizations so far left-wing that they scarcely pretend they're anything other than pro-Democrat. They barely even try to lampshade it; if asked they'll deny it, but it's no longer possible for them to do so. Not after the Obama administration and the Hillary campaign.

* * *

I hate to break it to the Honolulu Civil Beat, but there's no such thing as "gun control rights".

Here's the entire text of the Second Amendment of the US Constitution:
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
You'll notice that nowhere in that painfully simple sentence does it say anything about states having the right to limit the right guaranteed by the amendment. The latter phrase is "shall not be infringed", not "is up to states because, well, you know, we need common-sense gun control."

That's the thing: under the Constitution as written and amended, states technically have no right to limit personal ownership and carry of firearms. The entire governmental apparatus of the United States is technically forbidden from enacting any law that interferes with that right. That's what "shall not be infringed" means: it means the government has no power to stop people from owning and carrying whatever kind of guns they want to, wherever the hell they please.

When we look at the jurisprudence, of course we see certain limits placed in constitutional fashion which fall under "reasonable and proper limitation". The age-old example is yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater when there is no fire; that speech is not protected under the First Amendment. A nonviolent Klan march is protected speech; the guy throwing rocks at the marching Klansmen is not engaging in protected speech.

Likewise, we accept certain provisions of law infringing that theoretically uninfringable right. Okay, we don't let people carry around grenade launchers--or even hand grenades--even though "...the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Likewise for fully automatic weapons. Such things are typically literal overkill for "self defense".

In fact, technically, citizen ownership of those items is permitted. It takes a rather lengthy and expensive process to acquire the license for the thing, and the thing itself is also expensive and highly taxed, but you may do it. This generally keeps them out of the hands of people who'd misuse them. (And criminals generally do not prefer such things; the idea is to rob the liquor store, not blow it up.)

But the federal bill is not about limiting these "reasonable and proper" restrictions. All this bill does is restrict states to federal levels of gun control, which is to say individual states may not have gun control laws which are more restrictive than federal gun control laws--and those are already too restrictive as it is.

This law would emancipate people in leftist shitholes like California and Illinois, who suffer under unfairly (and unconstitutionally) restrictive gun control laws. And Hawaii.

* * *

This is the main difference. Communists look at the massive failures of communism all over the globe, overlook the pile of human skulls (a hundred million of them) and say, "Well, real communism has never been tried."

Perhaps. Perhaps not. But every time some subset of it has been tried it has failed and killed millions in the process. Marxism stands atop a mountain of corpses and asks, "What mountain?"

To anyone who actually cares about people, that would be a gigantic warning sign: there is something about this ideology which is fatally flawed. But communists don't care about people, for all that they claim they do; what they care about is power and control.

And they'll kill as many people as they have to in order to get it.

* * *

Last night I added one page to Apocalyptic Visions.

...but it was the first page of "Book Two: The Colonial War" and it includes a scene I first thought of months ago. April, I think it was.

I'm champing at the bit to write more on the thing, but I'm so busy with the "clean out the house" project plus managing the kitten's recovery that I don't have the time and energy to write anything. By the time I've done four or five hours on the attic, all I can handle is taking a shower and maybe playing a little WoW.

Today I must clean the house after yesterday's marathon session of attic de-cluttering. Mostly this consists of stowing things, but once that's done I need to wash the dishes and clean the kitchen as best I can down a hand.

I decided to splurge today and try out Little Caesar's new "ExtraMostBestest" pepperoni pizza. As advertised it has plenty of pepperoni and cheese on it. For an extra dollar over the cost of their regular pepperoni pizza, I think it's worth it.

Is it the best pizza ever? Not hardly. It's fast-food pizza, made to a price point. But it tastes good, it contains calories, and it costs 1/4 of what a made-to-order pizza would run from a family pizzaria. Sure, I could go to Aurelio's or Chicago Dough Company or Beggar's or-or-or, and get something that was markedly better--and costs four times as much--but why?

I don't even like Aurelio's pizza all that much. Aurelio's crust is bland, and they attempt to make up for it by putting too much salt in the sauce. Given a choice between them and Little Caesar's (or Pizza Hut or Domino's) I'd take one of the fast-food places. Chicago Dough Company seems to have the best pizza in the Fungal Vale--and they're actually a bit cheaper than Aurelio's is--but the last pizza I got from them was $22, and it wasn't even a large, though it was a deep-dish. Good crust, tangy sauce, plenty of cheese and other toppings.

Pizza is one of those highly subjective things. I regard it as the closest thing I can find to a "food cartridge", so that I can eat quickly and then do what needs doing. I keep a couple $2 frozen ones in the freezer for times when I need something to eat that isn't a PBJ. I'm just not a pizza snob, I guess.