February 10th, 2020

#7021: Breathtaking ignorance

A stunning level of ignorance from a supposedly educated adult.
On Friday, [this inane dim bulb of a newsreader on MSNBC] asked a guest whether gerrymandering could be used to break up Republican control of the U.S. Senate.

"Is gerrymandering something that would help improve the situation? How does that sort of divide promote consensus in the Senate, or even in the House?" she asked.

Senate races are not influenced by gerrymandered districts as there is no such thing as a Senate district. The races are statewide. That a political journalist would not know this is absurd. That the anchor of a politics news show would not know this is something far beyond absurd. I am not sure if there is even a word for it.
Bet she's real proud of her college degree, too.

* * *

Wait, wait, WAIIIIIT, back the fuck up and say that again.
To shut up all the "man babies" complaining about the transexual timelord (didn't we already have one of those in Frank N. Furter?), the BBC would reveal that the Doctor had always been a woman, or, at least, had been a woman in xis original form.

Nerdrotic kept saying he didn't want that rumor to be true, but it's what he was hearing.

Was it true? Well... yes. With an added twist.

We don't know yet that this is the original form of the Doctor, but it must be an early version (some speculate this is a previously unknown regeneration between the first and second doctors).

The BBC went above and beyond the call of duty on this Identity Politics play. Not content to just say "If you don't like our horrible show, you must hate women," they cast a black woman as the hitherto never-even-hinted-at Lost Regeneration so that they can say, "If you don't like our horrible, terrible Magic Schoolbus lecture-fest, it's because you hate both women and [blacks]."

Showrunners have already clarified that this isn't any kind of "trick;" this isn't an illusion, or a clone, or an alternate version of The Doctor. This is the real doctor, they've told us.
I have watched just about every last damned episode of the entire series, right up until the end of the the first ep with Matt Smith, and nowhere in that series was it ever even hinted that there were regenerations that we hadn't seen. The very first Doctor was the original incarnation, and Patrick Troughton was what resulted from his first regeneration. And right down the line, Pertwee to Baker to Davison to Baker to McCoy and on, none of them skipped a regeneration. Saying that there was one somewhere in the early days there that wasn't seen is horseshit.

If they can wave their hands and say, "Ahh but it's time travel so the Doctor's history changed!" then there ought to be absolutely nothing preventing them from bringing back characters who died--even though the show had a hard-and-fast rule that dead characters could not be rescued.

The first scene in the first ep after Adric died, Tegan and Nyssa and I forget who else were pleading with the Doctor (Peter Davison, #5) to go back and save Adric, and the Doctor had to explain to them (with a grim expression) that he absolutely could not do that. "Laws of Time"--and part of being a Time Lord means that when something happens around you, it can't be undone with time travel.

Of course, the people who are making all these retroactive changes to Doctor Who don't give a wet fart about the canon and couldn't care less about following the established rules of the universe they're fucking up. Making it into woke SJW horseshit is too important--and when they've utterly ruined it and no one is watching they'll turn their eyes towards something else and ruin that.

* * *

It really does help that they're starting to self-identify. She's advocating for the mass murder of her political opponents.

* * *

As a holder of a green card, you were warned about what would happen to you if you voted illegally. So quit bitching about suffering the consequences. It is your own damned fault.

* * *

Illinois wants to make gasoline as expensive as possible and one way to do that is to require it be pumped by an employee of the gas station.

So not only will you have to pay more for gasoline, but you'll have to wait as the underpaid and overworked attendant shuffles his way from car to car? No thank you.

* * *

"If your corpse has the proper seal of approval by the liberals, it will be put on display and usage. Of course! The left loves murder and violence and will cheerfully dance in the blood of the victims of their own policies in order to gain political power.

* * *

Today was a dumb day, and I didn't get much of anything done. *sigh*

#7022: The car dilemma.

So, I was driving home in the Jeep, as usual, and thinking about things.

It has occurred to me, recently, that my father never relied on a 20-year-old car. In fact, the oldest car I ever saw him buy was the MGB, which--in 1986--was nine years old. He bought two used cars after my birth--a Plymouth Fury III and a Mercury Zephyr--and otherwise always bought them new.

Me driving that 2000 Jeep in 2020 is about like Dad driving a 1957 Chevy in 1977.

But then I started putting that in perspective. When Dad bought the 1975 Chevrolet Impala that ended up being my first car, new, in 1975, it cost about $5,000. Do you know what the median income was in 1975?

$11,000.

That's not adjusted for inflation; that's actual dollars. So you could buy a good, comfortable, safe family car for about half of an average person's annual salary.

Today the median household income for a two-earner household is about $63,000. So each earner makes about half that, more or less. And cars cost about $30,000, more or less, depending on features etc. About the average person's annual salary.

In 1979 a Ford F-150 pickup truck cost $5,500, or about $18,500 when adjusted for inflation. A 2016 Ford F-150 cost nearly $30,000.

Now part of that increase is just the fact that cars are built to last longer. You couldn't drive a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air for twenty years, not without major repair work. Engines and transmissions didn't last much longer than 80,000, 90,000 miles, and some crapped out before that. Bodies rusted a lot faster than they do today, because they weren't galvanized or treated or anything.

The '75 Impala threw its camshaft before it hit 90k.

I'm at the point now that I could afford to go buy a brand-new car...but I don't want to. At most, what I want to do is to get a vehicle which is somewhat newer than the Cherokee, and in better condition. The place I bought the Cherokee from, they've got a very nice-looking Wrangler there, white with a black hardtop, and it looks like it'd be a nice ride.

But then I think: for what it would cost me to buy that thing--down payment etc--I could put new floors in the Cherokee, fix the headliner, fix the exhaust; rebuild the front suspension, and maybe even buy a used engine to start rebuilding. Get one with a cylinder head that's not prone to cracking, and overhaul it; and then--in one strenuous weekend--pull the old one and swap in the new one. Maybe get a transmission with it. Go through the transfer case and either replace it or rebuild it if needed.

There's no reason this truck can't last another decade at least, though I've got to jump on its rust issues right now (well, this year) rather than wait. I've stopped noticing the crimp in the passenger side A-pillar but if I'm going to fix that, it's got to be sooner rather than later: I expect to take the A-pillar from a truck in a junkyard, with a hacksaw, and then stitch it in with my welder.

And then I think: the vehicle's value declines every year, regardless of condition. Though it may be cheaper to repair it, let's say I fix it up and then the worst happens and it gets wrecked. I'm out all the time, effort, and money spent on fixing it because the insurance company gives me current blue book value for it.

There are no easy answers.

...but I like not having a car payment to deal with, that's for sure.