July 10th, 2021

#7728: Ten seconds.

Yesterday morning, on my way to work, I was in front of someone who was in a hurry.

I'd left home before my optimal departure time, but I was driving as I normally do: five over the limit, not lollygagging at intersections, etc. There was a panel van perhaps five or six seconds ahead of me going about the same speed so there was doubly no point to going any faster. That was not enough for the guy behind me, because he was in a hurry, so he was tailgating me and doing that stupid thing where he was hugging the line and riding as far to the left as possible.

Both panel van and I made the left turn onto the road with the 55 MPH speed limit. I was accelerating towards that speed at perhaps 50% throttle. I was already up to about 45 but idiot stick decided I was not accelerating fast enough (because he was in a hurry) and decided to pass me.

Fifty feet before the end of a no-passing zone. With oncoming traffic. Close oncoming traffic.

I yelped, "No passing zone! Oncoming traffic!" and immediately stopped accelerating, because the oncoming traffic--a freaking box truck--was that f-ing close. And bonehead doubled down on the manuever! He kept going!

Now, when I recall the event, I see the shithead coming within a few feet of the truck's front bumper, but I know he wasn't that close. But he cut over in front of me with perhaps twenty feet separating his front bumper from that of the oncoming truck's. It was not much more than a single car length. It was close enough that I stood on the brakes, not wanting to be hit by the shrapnel from what looked like an inevitable collision.

The driver of the truck honked at me as he went past. I shrugged: what do you want me to do about it? More probably he wasn't expecting some phimotic asshat to try passing under those circumstances and only thought to hit the horn after everything was over.

But with the threat of a collision safely past, I accelerated back to the usual "five over" the speed limit; and at the next intersection, the one where I make a right turn, Captain Craphead made the same right turn...getting through the intersection a bare ten seconds before I did. You see, there was that panel van ahead, not going any faster than I usually go on that road. El Stupido rolled up on his ass and started tailgating him, and hugging the center line, but it worked as well on the panel van as it had on me.

If there had been an accident I would have probably been involved, because there was no way that car would not ricochet back into my line of travel even though I was already braking. At the very least, parts from the car would have hit the Jeep. And so I would have explained everything to the police officer who investigated the incident: fuckwit tailgating and such when I was going five over, moving onto other side of the road from a too-close position behind me (where he couldn't see oncoming traffic) fifty feet ahead of the beginning of the passing zone; not ducking back over when he saw the oncoming traffic.

I don't think the brainless wonder would have been in much of a position to do any talking. Head-on collision between a newer compact car and a box truck, both going at least 50 MPH--that would have been messy. And, perhaps, ditto for the guy driving the truck.

So in his incontinent need to go faster, he saved himself no real time--ten seconds!--and put both his life, and that of another person, at risk. I don't think he realizes how close he came to being dead. Certianly if there'd been any kind of collision he would not have been getting wherever he was going very quickly.

Dumbass.

#7729: Slipping

Democrats are losing one of their core constituencies. Democrats used to be the party of the blue-collar worker; but that stopped being the case years ago. They're now the party of Big Business.

And the blue-collar workers, most of them can't stand "woke" and LGBT2QIQBFGLBBQ and trans and "green new deal" and all the other horseshit that the Democrat party is peddling these days. They'd never vote for a Bush or a Romney but lots of them voted for Trump, because Trump spoke their language and changed things such that there was more money in their pockets.

The democrat party has run so hard left over the past five years, it's become obvious even to many who don't pay much attention to politics. Nobody labors under the illusion that antifa is a right-wing organization, and the whole "defund the police" idea is extraordinarily antithetical to blue-collar America (in part because some of those blue collars are attached to police uniforms). Lampshading the burn-loot-murder movement as blacks reacting to the perception of racism in the justice system does not actually hide the fact that it's yet another leftist front organization; and the fact that these riots inevitably occur after a habitual criminal is killed while resisting arrest has not been lost on people, even those who don't pay much attention to alternative media.

...leaving them in a bit of a bind. You see, because the country is allegedly a representative republic, with over four hundred million firearms spread across a populace of some three hundred and thirty million people the democrats have to pretend that they're receiving a majority of honestly-cast votes even if they're fortifying the hell out of the election. But in order for the fortification to work, they have to receive a sizable chunk of real votes first. If the populace rumbles to the scam, if people actually start thinking that the election was stolen, bad things start to happen. To democrat politicians, specifically.
Just look at the issues the Democrats are pushing: defunding the police, which hurts mostly poor and working-class neighborhoods; critical race theory, which mostly interests woke white activists (and rich-and-guilty Dem donors) but which actually sends a message of inferiority to minority youths; gender ideology, which plays less well among the more traditional and more religious working-class minorities; environmental policies that produce higher gas prices and lower employment, while pushing food prices up; open borders that drive down wages for downscale workers; and so on.

Donors and activists love this stuff. They live in neighborhoods that are mostly insulated from urban crime and disorder. Their kids will still be privileged, regardless of what theories on race are popular. Transgender issues make them feel hip and cutting-edge. Higher gas and food prices won't affect them. And illegal immigration makes sure they don't have to pay too much for a nannies and gardeners.
But of course the blue-collar sector gets hurt by all this shit.

Thanks to all the "defund the police" stuff, a lot of cities are demilitarized zones now. Last night there was a news report on TV about the shit going down in Chicago. I pointed it out to my wife, who was in the room with the TV but not really watching it. Mobs of people running amok in the Loop--downtown--stealing whatever they want, hitting whomever they want, with police unable to do anything about it.

"That's Chicago?" She asked incredulously.

"Now you know why I keep saying that we are not going into the city," I said.

* * *

Remember that the USSR looked invincible right up until the Berlin Wall came down. CIA did not see it coming.

A bunch of people who went to left-wing colleges and who think Marx was a prophet--they were caught flat-footed by the collapse because anyone who claimed that the USSR was tottering would have been laughed out of his cubicle. I doubt things are any better today.

So at least someone is saying:
"If you look beyond that facade, economically China is more fragile than it lets on. This is something that experts have discussed for a decade.

"The economic model of this very rapid growth is unstable, unsustainable, and major reforms are needed.

"Pundits say if reforms are not undertaken in the near future what you could see is a flatlining of Chinese growth as we saw with Japan in the 1990s.

"China wouldn't be engaging in the extraordinary levels of censorship and repression if it felt secure, if it felt legitimate, so there will be a legitimate crisis on the horizon."
I have been saying and saying this, over and over, shouting it at the wind: China is where Japan was in the 1980s. It can't continue ad infinitum.

Trump's policies--if continued uninterrupted--would only have sped China towards that crisis.

* * *

This woman is an obvious bigot and transphobe who is incapable of recognizing a female penis when she sees one.

The "woman with a penis and beard" was probably identifying as female specifically so he could see all the little girls there:
'I wasn't raised to be super comfortable being naked around others. But I'm from LA and it's kind of hip to participate in authentic cultural things.

'I didn't want my daughter to feel uncomfortable and I saw a lot of little Korean girls naked with their grandmas and their moms, it was really cute actually. I was like, wow this is something that I didn't know existed, this is awesome.'

Anita and her daughter put on face masks, ate snacks and hung out in the sauna. Then the little girl asked to swim in the hot tub.

'We were in there with five or six other women. She was swimming and splashing at me and stuff,' she said.

'Then these three people came and sat down on the edge of the hot tub. It was two women and what appeared 100% to be a man.
...and of course she had to report this anonymously because she doesn't want to be canceled.

* * *

Just remember that lobotomies were once seen as a revolutionary, state-of-the-art cure for insanity. That's the problem with these people who claim they "fucking love" science: they don't acknowledge that just because everyone agrees that X is true, it does not mean that X is actually true. You can prattle on about "settled science" all you want, but the simple fact is that every last science fad was once considered "settled science" and anyone who dared to speak against it was derided as anti-science.

* * *

Well: today the driveway got sealcoated.

It's the first time it's been done here. Mom and Dad had the driveway re-paved while I was living in Iowa, but it's never been sealcoated. Mrs. Fungus and I talked about it, and had gone back and forth on me doing it or whether it was better to hire someone. I finally got the driveway measured and she called some places for estimates.

Turns out that the driveway could be sealcoated for under $190. Looking over the Menards site it looked as if I could have bought the sealcoat itself for $90-$120 depending on what I bought; figure maybe another $30 for tools and other supplies. A minimum of $120, probably closer to $150, and I'd have spent a day doing it. Or: sit here at the computer while a couple of guys take forty-five minutes to do the whole job, and pay a premium of maybe $60? And with my back hurting like crazy? That's not even remotely a hard decision to make.

Now if the price premium had been $200 or $300 or more? I don't know. But shit, $60 isn't even a tank of gas any longer (thanks Biden junta!). So it's done, and we don't have to do anything but stay off the driveway until tomorrow afternoon. I call that a win.

#7730: [Swearing] [Lots of swearing]

After dinner Mrs. Fungus "reminded" me to work on the washing machine, so I went downstairs to look things over.

Got the motor out, but the pump will not come off the pump. No matter what I tried. Best guess is that the pump impeller is seized to the motor shaft. There are no instructions for disassembly, but the parts diagram shows no fasteners or anything, other than two spring steel clips, holding the pump to the motor. It doesn't need a lot because the pump is self-contained.

Found the pump on ebay for $11.21 shipped, so I've done that, but it'll add another week to "no washing machine in the bunker" which means at least two weekends where we'll have to hit the laundromat.

Of course, all of this is predicated on the motor still being good. If the motor's shot--

*sigh*

Anyway, I apparently strained the shit out of my back yesterday (all I tried to do was to wash my damned foot!) so any length of time spent sitting and leaning forward guarantees that I will not be able to straighten up upon standing, not without an egregious amount of pain in my lower back. And this is dead center, right in the spine itself.

* * *

So there's this manga series, Again!, about a guy who's just graduated from high school. He's gone through the whole three years without making any friends or ever doing anything; and as he's wandering around he falls down a flight of stairs...and wakes up three years earlier, on his first day of high school.

A bunch of stuff happens and there's a bunch of things, but there is a sequence where he tries to help out a girl who was trying to keep the drama club going and who ended up doing adult videos after high school. When he encounters here in his first year of high school, the second time around, she's singing in the empty club room a song with the refrain, "I want to die!" It ends up being the signature tune for a production for the cultural festival.

But I mention all this because on days like today, when my back is killing me and I'm trying to fix something and I can't even get the motherfucking son of a bitch apart without power tools and hand grenades, I kind of wish I knew the song, so I could sing it. I don't really want to die but it would be a nice bit of emphasis.

* * *

I was going to use another anime joke there. "All these Max Factors add up to..." but it doesn't make sense without context.

In Project A-ko, the antagonist--B-ko--introduces her latest creation meant to help her deal with the super-powered A-ko, the Max 5000. She starts off saying, "The Max 5000: standard features include," and goes on to list the various weapons and defense features the thing has. Then she concludes, "All these Max Factors add up to an irresistable weapon: the Blue God of Death!"

So I am frequently tempted to finish a list of things by saying that, but it's a joke no one but me would understand, so I refrain.

* * *

Well, now it's raining on our freshly sealcoated driveway. The sealcoating is oil-based something-or-other so it doesn't really matter if it gets wet. The pavement has to be bone dry to apply the stuff, but once it's on I don't think it matters.

Hope not.

* * *

Used the new grill again today--hamburgers this time--and they turned out pretty good. Ordered a cover a few days ago and it arrived yesterday, but it's raining and the grill is wet, so I'm not putting the cover on it yet.

* * *

So, more evidence that China's not as strong as they like to pretend.
China remains fundamentally a poor country with limited ability to improve the well-being of its citizens much beyond what has already been achieved. And that has serious implications for China's leadership…

China's economy is not just about providing jobs, goods and services. It is about regime survival for a Chinese Communist Party that faces an existential crisis if it fails to deliver.

It's an illegitimate regime that will remain in power only so long as it provides jobs and a rising living standard for the Chinese people. The overriding imperative of the Chinese leadership is to avoid societal unrest.

If China's job machine seizes, as parts of it did during the coronavirus outbreak, Beijing fears that popular unrest could emerge on a potentially scale much greater than the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. This is an existential threat to Communist power.

President Xi Jinping could quickly lose what the Chinese call, "The Mandate of Heaven."

That's a term that describes the intangible goodwill and popular support needed by emperors to rule China for the past 3,000 years.
It translates to "the consent of the governed".

Why is this? Well:
To escape the middle income trap requires more than cheap labor and infrastructure investment. It requires applied technology to produce high-value added products. This explains why China has been so focused on stealing U.S. intellectual property.

China has not shown much capacity for developing high technology on its own, but it has been quite effective at stealing such technology from trading partners and applying it through its own system of state-owned enterprises and "national champions" such as Huawei in the telecommunications sector.

But the U.S. and other countries are cracking down on China's technology theft and China cannot generate the needed technology through its own R&D.
China can't innovate, not the way they need to.

Now, there is a way for China to get the technology they need: seize Taiwan. China's chip fabs are 2-3-4-5 Moore generations behind Taiwan's. And that's why China's making noises about grabbing Taiwan while the US is weak.

I don't know how much China cares about what the rest of the world thinks but if they were to take Taiwan that would not help them wiht the rest of the planet. China's economy is absolutely dependent on exports; what if the rest of the world decided not to buy any longer? What if the seizure of Taiwan pissed everyone off that much?

Notably, Japan leads the list with 88% unfavorable. That's because Japan and China have always hated each other; but I'd wager that this shit did not help any. China telling Japan they're digging their own grave over their Taiwan stance--really wise, guys, considering that Japan has a technological edge over you putzes.

* * *

This is why Chicago has a gang problem. Legal gun owner makes a mistake and tries to do the best he can. Cooperates with police and everything. Chicago justice dept plans to nail this guy's ass to the wall.

Meanwhile, last weekend there were more gang-related shootings than ever. If you're a multiple felon and you get caught with an illegal firearm, you're back on the street in minutes. But if you're an otherwise law-abiding person? THROW THE BOOK AT HIM. Including a $1,000 bond in a city where multiple felons don't have to pay anything to get out of jail after being arrested.

* * *

Anyway, frustrating nonsense today, aggravated by my aching back. Not sure what to do but I guess I need to get a doctor involved with this shit. *sigh*