June 22nd, 2019

#6717: Another cloudy day

Might rain later. Warmer, at least; weather site claims it hit 84°, which is about as warm as it's been all year.

Since I cut the grass on Wednesday I don't believe I'll cut it today. I am going to go run a few errands in a bit.

...wanted to sleep in today. Mrs. Fungus took Wednesday off--bit more on that in a moment--but because of that she's at work today, meaning I got woke up when she did. Kissed her and wished her a good and safe day, then laid down.

"I can't find my work phone!"

I had put it on the cabinet in the hallway, per her instructions, last night when I tucked her in. I reminded her of this.

"It's not there now!"

Got up, looked around: "It can't have fallen behind it," I said, noting that the space was too small.

Then: "Ah--I'm holding it."

Me: [stink eye]

That wrecked my pre-somnolent state so I got up, had a PBJ, and surfed the net a bit before laying back down. Woke up thinking it was super-late, but it was barely past one, so I laid my head back down...but that was pretty much it: I was awake for good.

A day when I can sleep in, and I got up at the usual time. *sigh*

* * *

California is a mess. I don't want to live there; I have never wanted to live there. I probably could have gotten a fantastic Silicon Valley job fixing the machines that make integrated circuits--there was a company that was hiring right out of my senior class at DeVry--but I would have had to move to California to take it. That was 1996 and CA was already at the top of the "fuck, no" list of places I wanted to live because even 23 years ago it was already a socialist shithole with egregiously high taxes and a stratospheric cost of living.

I made a lot of dumb decisions in my twenties, but that one sure as hell wasn't one of them.

* * *

Stories that make me say, "Oh, dick!" out loud. The long and the short of it is that when the State's Attorney decided to recuse herself from the case, she A) didn't really recuse herself according to how the law says it should be done; and B) the person appointed to handle the case in her stead was not appointed according to the law, either.

Meaning C) even if we are generous and accept her extra-legal sort-of-recusal from the case she then had no legal authority to appoint anyone to handle it in her stead. The procedure for appointing a person to handle the case is spelled out in the black-letter law and does not involve the state's attorney who recused himself. Further there do not appear to be any "penumbras" or "emanations" surrounding this law.

...with the result that the assistant who handled the case had no authority to make decisions about it. He couldn't just "drop" the case; and further, from a legal standpoint there was no prosecuting attorney handing the case.

Let's face it. This entire thing has been bungled, up one side and down the other. I mean, even if I give these cretins the benefit of the doubt and assume that they thought the case could be settled this way, they still fucked up so badly that any attempt at citing "double jeopardy" will be laughed out of court because he was never tried for the crime.

But in fact they had a case where they didn't want to prosecute the guy, because he was black and (kind of) famous and pulled a ludicrously inept stunt, and they knew he would have been found "guilty" by any reasonable jury applying any reasonable standard. So they pulled some hare-brained scheme out of their ass, and didn't bother to check the law to make sure they could do it that way--and didn't even bother to try doing it according to the law, figuring, "Hey, our side is in charge, so of course we can do it! *wink wink*" And probably thinking that if there was any criticism of it, they'd just yell "Raciss!" and put a stop to it.

...not thinking about the fact that the federal government that their side has spent the last eighty years empowering just might have something to say about it. And the federal government is not deterred by charges of racism.

I suppose I should be glad to see that the Machine is losing its grip. As much as I hate it, I should be thankful for the signs of senility that it's been giving off, the clues that foretell how it will come apart. But the real problem is that the Machine is the only thing keeping the south side of the city in check, and if it loses its grip who knows what that mob will do? Right now, thanks to the network of "community organizers", stuff only happens when the Machine wants it to; but without the Machine dispensing payola and clout--without its gnarled, withered hand on the tiller--what happens?

So when I see that the Machine has become so rickety that when they have a charge against someone famous and connected they can't even make it go away competently--well, I can only hope for the best, I suppose.

* * *

Another "Oh, Dick!" moment in Oregon. So the state legislature wants to pass some draconian eco-bill, imposing a carbon credit scheme on the state. The Democrats have the votes to ram it through over and above Republican objections, but for one thing: they don't have enough people to make a quorum. And so--unable to get any compromise on the thing--the Republicans, to a man, left.

We've seen this sort of thing before, done by Democrats. Of course, when they do it, it's a "principled stand against" whatever the [soy latte fishtank hatstand Cuisinart] Republicans are trying to do. In fact, there's even such an example in the article, and it even says:
(Of note, Oregon House Democrats once fled the capitol in 2001 for five days over a redistricting proposal - which [Governor Kate] Brown said at the time was "appropriate under the circumstances.)
As you can see, it's okay when they do it, but when Republicans do it, time to sic the State Police on them and force them to come back, at gunpoint if need be.
State police, meanwhile, will have the ability to track down senators and force them into a patrol car to return to the capitol, though the agency promises to use "polite communication" and patience throughout the process.
Okay, tell me how you "force" someone into a patrol car without pointing a gun at him? I've watched plenty of episodes of Cops and those guys don't use "polite communication and patience" when they're arresting someone who refuses to go. I mean, I don't expect them to treat sitting politicians like they do common criminals, but I also don't see the utility of having police standing outside of peoples' houses saying, "Please, sir, you're required to go with me," ad nauseum. What a waste of police time.

* * *

The one thing I don't see in this otherwise excellent takedown of reparations talk is why the Democrats are doing it which is--as I've said--to try to secure the black vote in 2020. Black support for Democrats is not monolithic like it was for Obama, because President Trump's policies have greatly benefitted the black demographic. The constant cries of "he's racist!" have not panned out, either, because there's absolutely no evidence to support it.

So they spool up "reparations" because that will certainly get the black people on board, right? "Hey, you know that free money we're always giving you? Look: we might give you more free money! Everyone likes free money, right?"

If I were a black person I would be insulted by the way the Democrat party treats blacks. Democrats act as if black people are idiots who can't do a thing for themselves, who need constant care and support and who absolutely cannot fend for themselves without the Great White Democrat Father's help. It's racist to expect a black person not to point a gun at a policeman. It's racist to expect black kids to learn to read. It's racist to think people should be judged on the content of their character.

The Democrat party is the party of slavery and Jim Crow and Affirmative Action, and believe me that latter element is just as racist as the one that precedes it. "We'll help you," says the Democrat party, "because we know you're incapable of helping yourself." And because the last thing the Democrats want is to lose that demographic.

* * *

I should have added that the Democrat party is the party of eugenics, too. The eugenic movement arose out of the progressive movement sometime after it was co-opted by communists, and the practice of human eugenics is a purely socialist initiative.
The whole point of Progressivism from its very beginning was to create Utopia by recreating humanity according to its own ideals: not merely to govern, nor even to rule, but to play God. Their misguided faith in their own innate superiority and fitness to assume their self-appointed roles as earthly Deities required absolute power and unquestioning obedience from their inferiors. Human "perfectability" through eugenics was the strategy, abortion the tactic. For them now to claim, as a matter of political expedience, that the one never had anything much to do with the other is risible. Even the most cursory review of PP founder Margaret Sanger's ugly ravings will put paid to that lie.
Margaret Sanger was astonishingly racist and promoted abortion in order to eliminate the "inferior" races--including blacks.

The funny thing is, Planned Parenthood has worked very hard towards that goal. I forget how many black babies have been aborted since 1974, but they far outnumber the abortions for other races.

Which connects to the Democrat need to import new Democrat voters. If it weren't for Roe v. Wade it's probable that most of those black babies would have been born--and the Democrats would have their supermajority of voters. Their own policies, though, have led them here.

Odd, isn't it, how evil is self-defeating? The very people who want to put on their human-face-stomping boots are having trouble getting to that point because of their own policies.

* * *

Well, I suppose I've procrastinated about as much as I reasonably can. Since I'm not cutting the grass today there is no real urgency to things, but I need to get to the store. There are a few things I need to pick up.

Oh well. Once I've done that I can tinker with the motorcycles!

#6718: Cirque du Soleil: Volta

Wednesday was Cirque night.

Mrs. Fungus bought the tickets for it--to be honest I'm not sure when it was, now that I think of it. Anyway, a damned long time ago. So when I worked Memorial Day I made sure to ask for June 19 off as my "floater".

Left the bunker at 5:30, expecting the usual rush-hour traffic jam--but this one was stationed at Soldiers Field rather than United Center, and we ended up getting there at 6:18. That was with a stop at McDonald's for food. The site opened at 7:00, the tent opened at 7:15, and showtime was 8.

The GPS tried taking me on a bizarre tangent, but one thing it wanted me to do I could not, which was to go straight after getting off Lake Shore Drive. (Heh. I could not go straight after getting off LSD.) I had the option of turning left or right; and since we'd seen the tent from the off ramp we knew it was very close and to the right, so I went that way.

Parking for Cirque, $25, so I pulled in there--and we were right there, parked within sight of the entrance. I'm not kidding; it wasn't more than about eighty or so feet from where we parked.

The show was amazing, of course. Stunning acts, as always, but this time what really impressed me was the lighting. They're learning how to use LEDs in stage production.

Biggest "wow" of the thing was the woman who was suspended from a wire by her hair. I could not see how they could have attached any harness to her. Just a D ring braided into a bun atop her head--and a crew cut on the back of her head, so there was no wire going down to a body harness. She freely turned her head left and right while being hoisted and there was no weirdness about the face, so there wasn't something wrapped around her head, either.

In fact, at the end of the show she stood on stage right in front of me--we had front-row seats--and I still could not see any evidence of a harness. Just the D ring in the bun.

...the act begins with the lights coming up on her, on stage, sitting in lotus on a cushion. The wire leading up from her head is obvious. And then she just lifts off, still in lotus, and the cushion is drawn backstage by a hidden wire. She goes up and down, sometimes standing--but such that it's obvious that the wire is taking some of her weight--and sometimes floating above the stage.

I still can't figure it out. I'm not sure I want to, though, either. I mean, the human scalp can support body weight (as long as it's a slender female dancer, anyway, not a fat-ass like me) and a good bundle of hair certainly has the tensile strength to do so. And the neck can hold you up without popping, as long as you're ready to take the strain and have trained up to it and don't weigh 300 lbs.

But dang.

The other mystery was one of the clown sequences. Guy doing laundry, and when he tosses his clothes into a washer they pop out of another washer on the other side of the stage. He does it with one of his shoes; then he tries it with the laundry basket.

I don't know if this was schtick, or an accident, but the basket didn't go in--but a basket popped out of the other washer. So he looks at the basket in front of him, and the one by the other washer, and mugs for the audience; and after a bit sets it behind him and casually kicks it backwards, sending it sliding backstage.

Was it on purpose, or a mistake? We don't know. Again, not sure I want to know. Too well-practiced to be an accident, IMHO, and this kind of meta-act is the sort of thing that makes CdS shows so entertaining; but the people in these things are professionals, and they're very good at what they do, so the mugging over the mistake might have been a professional covering his flub in a funny way and making it look as if it were planned.

All told, Volta was worth seeing; but that's true of any Cirque show. I really, really enjoyed it--also true--and the acts were astounding.

Especially that woman with the hair. Jeeze louise.

#6719: A summer day

I mean, it's actually a summer day out there. The cloud layer broke up so it's not 100% cloudy any longer. It's warm enough to wear shorts and be comfortable. I ended up turning on the AC because it was getting too warm in the house.

Now to see if it lasts. What's tomorrow like?

* * *

Cut federal money to any city which willfully obstructs federal agencies. The funny thing would be if the feds faked them out and did the raids on a different day so they weren't ready for it.

* * *

Our economy cannot support a universal basic income. The same way our economy in 1965 could not support everyone having a supercomputer in his back pocket.

I oppose the creation of UBI right now because we can't afford it; there is no way to make such a program affordable, and all it would do is raise the cost of living by whatever the UBI was. Give everyone $1,000 a month and pretty soon they'll need $2,000 a month.

What needs to happen first is for manual labor to be replaced with capital, wherever possible. That will not be a quick process, nor will it be painless; but it is as inevitable as the tides. Sooner or later robots will price humans out of nearly the entire unskilled jobs market. Given that and some power source which is too cheap to meter--maybe fusion?--that point, a UBI might be possible; but it would only happen after a massive deflationary depression.

My favorite example of this is the manufacture of incandescent light bulbs. You feed sheet metal, wire, paper, and the components of glass in one end of the factory; at the other end, out come light bulbs, neatly packed in boxes. Human involvement in their manufacture is extremely limited. That's why they remained so cheap that you can still buy a four-pack of the things for a buck: almost no human involvement in their manufacture. Imagine the same thing happening across other industries, until the only people employed by factories are the ones who tend the machines.

Eventually things get to the point that making twenty million units instead of two million becomes an incremental cost; and then providing people with food, clothing, shelter, and telecommunications is cost-trivial. Out of a thousand credits a month perhaps three-quarters would get used for basic living expenses and the rest is disposable. There are no penalties for saving or investing, and you receive a monthly UBI credit regardless of what you do for a living or how much money you earn. But you receive no other funding, no other welfare, no other benefits. It's up to you to budget and spend wisely. There are free government classes that will teach you how to do that.

Incidentally, enrolling to get your UBI gives you a government-issued photo ID card. You must present a government-issued photo ID in order to vote, and the UBI card qualifies.

It is not going to happen tomorrow; it can't. Any attempt to implement a UBI soon will end in disaster, particularly considering that UBI would be in addition to other welfare benefits; but also, we have fifty-odd years of "Great Society" welfare state to clean up after.

The points in the article:

1) UBI can't address the root causes of poverty and inequality. It's not meant to. It's meant solely to make sure people can afford to live who are too stupid or lazy to work.

2) People may spend it to ruin their lives. You mean, on booze and drugs? So--if you are an adult, how you live is your business, and if you choose to drink yourself into an early grave that is your choice. The people need to take responsibility for themselves. Besides, these same people are the ones currently stealing or prostituting themselves to get money to feed their addictions, anyway. Government can't fix that and it should stop trying.

3) It will get bigger. That's up to the populace. UBI can't work in today's society where schools are leftist indoctrination centers and no one bothers to think. In a society with real education, that changes, and people will oppose the expansion of the UBI if the expansion is unwarranted.

4) Government gets power from doing this. Look around you. With the current system, the government has already created a permanent, ignorant, idle underclass which cannot do anything for itself, but which is always guaranteed to vote for more government.

The UBI could be used as both carrot and stick, as the article contends; but one could say the same thing for every single welfare program that currently exists.

In summary, then: I oppose UBI in any shape or form, but only because our economy and society cannot support it. Power costs too much. Raw materials cost too much. Labor costs too much. And the lower classes, the people who live on government handouts now, would not do any better with a flat monthly benefit than they do with targeted benefits like WIC and Medicaid.

It'll be something out of science fiction for some time.

* * *

Well, we missed seeing Endgame in the theater, but it turns out we'll have another shot at it, as they're putting it back out with a couple of new scenes. Might be worth going to after all.

* * *

Very true.

* * *

Man, it's after 7.