atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#1149: Eh?

What the hell is going on with the Democrat party in Durham County, North Carolina? "Satanic torture"? And WTF is this stuff about "indigo dawn" and raising "the vibration of energy on Earth"?

* * *

Asked to sing the national anthem of the United States, a black singer instead sang "the Black National Anthem"--whatever the hell that is--and "The singer told the Post she deliberately didn't tell anyone her plans, 'because I don't think it is necessary for an artist to ask permission to express themselves artistically.'"

I really hope she enjoyed her little prank, because I have doubts about her ever being asked to sing the national anthem ever again.

* * *

Keep your guns in perfect working order. If your semiauto rifle fires more than one round per pull of the trigger, it's a "machine gun" and you'll go to jail for it. Even if you made no modifications to it.

Can we please rein in the BATF? Please?

* * *

Underwater volcanoes have nothing to do with melting ice caps even though "The eruptions discharge large amounts of carbon dioxide, helium, trace metals and heat into the water over long distances."

Oh, okay.

* * *

Record low in Charlotte. 56°F, a 123-year record. The previous low record? Set in the trailing years of the Little Ice Age.

And we have a record low sunspot count and late start of sunspot cycle, just like back then. Coincidence?

* * *

Someone who is probably old enough to vote asks an incredibly stupid question about the mechanics of super- and turbocharging engines.

The jury seems out on whether or not the guy is seriously asking the question, or if he's just a troll. Either way, he's an argument for limit on franchise. (Such as, "In order to be allowed to cast a vote in today's election, you must answer three of the following four questions correctly....")

* * *

Any Jalopnik post with a picture of Retired Sherrif John Bunnell at the top is a must-see in Fungus-land.

Top 10 car chases, with video links. Heh.

* * *

Also from Jalopnik, BMW whines about recent CAFE standard change and wants special treatment. Suck it, BMW; because if you get special treatment, then the other automakers will sue until they get the same deal. know, go right ahead. 'Cause I thought the increased CAFE standard was a bad idea from the get-go, anyway.

* * *

Time waster: Photoshop disasters. Hilarious.

Especially when they engage in the intellectual equivalent of script-kiddy "leet-speak", deconstructionist metalanguage: "By renormalizing the model's waistline, Maxim Mexico takes a bold socio-political stance in the ongoing battle of the politics of representation, clearly referencing the oppressive reification of male-gaze heteronormative modes of synthesis in a semiotic blancmange of post-structural teakettle barbecue hatstand fishmonger."

* * *

The Anchoress thought the GOP was supposed to be the dumb party.

* * *

Yesterday night, when I left for work, at 9 PM, it was 84° and humid outside. This morning, when I came home from work, it was 64° and dry outside.

Naturally the store was an oven, particularly Receiving, where I worked all night. It's like the one Wednesday night when what's-his-face isn't there, I get to work in Receiving all night and don't have to go to the warehouse at all. WTF.

The half-gallon of water that dumped on me from a box with broken containers inside did not help. At least, I reasoned, it wasn't bleach or laundry detergent or something.

...but overall I did a pretty fair dinkum job of making Receiving habitable for humans again. As usual. And at least this time I had the time I needed to do it--none of this "hey, it's 4 AM, can you start Receiving and do 6 hours of work before 6 AM?" stuff, like last week.

My plans for the morning--before I got off work--had been to drive home with the car's AC on, to take a cool shower, eat something, and then lay in my bed in my air-conditioned room until I fell asleep. That lasted until I actually got outside.

Then I drove home with the car windows open. My watch crystal fogged up inside. I got home and had a cool shower, ate something, and then lay in my bed in my room with the window open and a fan blowing blissfully cool outside air in...and I slept like a log--like two logs--for six hours.

* * *

There's a Jalopnik post on some things US automakers are doing wrong, and I find it hard to argue with much of it. In the comments are several calls for socialized medicine, of course, because everyone knows that if the US had socialized medicine, it would make things much easier on the manufacturers who have to pay for health care for their employees....

It's all bullshit. Returning readers of the Fungus know how we view socialized medicine here in the bunker: it doesn't work, it never works, it can't work--and if we try it here it'll fail just as badly as it's failed every other time it's been tried.

The problem that the automakers have with health care costs is that the unions go on strike at the drop of a hat--any hat, anywhere on the planet, even if it's just been blown off by an errant wind. The automakers can't say, "Look, guys, 20 years ago these health benefits were fine, but these days this shit is killing us."

Well, they can say it, actually. The problem is, the unions' response is, "Oh, is that so? Tough shit! If you try to change it we're going to go on strike, so suck it, bitch." And all the automaker can do is say, "Okay."

So the UAW employees have the kind of health benefits that most blue collar employees in the US can only dream about--low deductible, low or no co-pay, prescription plans which border on mythical. And it costs GM about $3,000 per car to support that shit.

When I worked at Rockwell-Collins, for a while they had a great prescription plan. R-C even had its own pharmacy; you had your doc call the prescription in there and you could go pick up your pills after work or at lunchtime. Every generic had a copay of $4, and the copay for brand name drugs was around $8 or $10 as I recall.

That changed, of course. Why? Because it cost too much for the company to maintain. R-C also maintains its headquarters and manufacturing in Iowa, which is a "right to work" state, meaning that the unions don't have quite as much power there as they do in other states--so R-C was able to change its benefits package. No one in the rank-and-file, self included, liked the changes. But I understood the reasoning behind it, even if I didn't like it.

Sometimes you have to understand that shit you don't like and have no control over is going to happen, and it's going to mean your overall compensation package is lessened. Most people have to adjust to this when it happens. But not UAW members; no--all they have to do is threaten to go on strike, and what can the automaker do?

I could go on and on about the economics of why health care is so expensive in the US now--half of the reason is due to employer health insurance benefits!--but I just don't feel like writing a huge analysis of the situation right now.

It's my day off, I had a hard night at work, my feet hurt, and I'm still sleepy.

* * *

But I've always got the gumption for global warming news!

All this comes from Jerry Pournelle.

Quiet sun! Two months since we've seen a Cycle 24 sunspot! Holy crapzor!

...and there is a lot of interesting information in the comments at that link, too.

Another link says the global temperature anomaly is now 0.775° lower than at the start of 2007.

Sea levels falling.

50% of ozone destroyed in the lower atmosphere. Apparently bromine and iodine--both of which are halogens like chlorine--also destroy ozone.

Climate change is doomed. Al Gore had better start conserving money.

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