But let's say for the sake of argument that the government numbers are real and the recession ended when they say it did.
The employment situation is bad.
Other numbers are also bad. Quoth Denninger: "So why didn't the market dive? It expects more Fed heroin."
The "Fed heroin" ain't gonna work a second time, though. That bolt has been shot; and even if it did work, the situation in Europe is going to go to shit.
I know we've all been saying "Any day now!" for the past couple of years at least--well, if the banksters weren't allowed to get away with ever-more breathtaking levels of fraud the collapse would happen immediately.
As soon as a major bank gets hit with real penalties for all the fraudulent activity--and people start going to jail--that's when the whole thing comes falling down. But that's not happening, and those of us predicting the collapse aren't factoring in the government's willing blindness.
There really isn't an excuse for that, though. We know better. Don't we?
...so really, at this point it's anyone's guess what will make the whole thing come down, and that's why we're so often wrong: it would have collapsed in 2008 if SEC et al were doing their jobs instead of watching pr0n at work all day. But since the laws aren't being enforced the banksters are able to fake their books as much as they like, and the system can't seek its own level.
Except that it will, eventually, do just that. When the fakery and fraud don't work any more, that is when the collapse will come. And because of all the fakery and fraud it'll be that much worse.
The collapse must come because there is too much vapor money in the system for it not to. As long as the banks and governments can pretend the vapor money is real, the "extend and pretend" game can go on. The instant anyone stands up and says, "This isn't real money," that's it.
That's why no one has said that the Greek bonds which have been marked down to near-nothing are actually worthless; voicing the truth will jeopardize the entire house of cards. "That's not a card; it's a piece of loose-leaf the size of a card with an ace drawn on it. In crayon!"
* * *
Meanwhile, one of the applications I put in last week has been rejected, already. That was fast. *sigh*
* * *
FBI is helping some pro-life protestors understand the law. Isn't that wonderful? The FBI has solved all crime in the country and has so little to do that it has time to start making sure pro-life protestors aren't breaking the law, including helpful instruction on what the law says you can and cannot do as a pro-life protestor:
Then they warn that you shouldn’t trespass (even though you didn’t). Asked about the warning and why it was delivered, it gets repeated. And you’re told you cannot threaten violence, such as saying “If you get an abortion, I’ll see something bad happens to you.”Isn't that wonderful? The FBI is really community-oriented, isn't it?
It's not intimidation, as the slack-jawed bitter clinger writing the article attests, oh, no! It's just that the FBI has no other work left to do and they have to justify their enormous budget somehow, and community outreach is just the thing!
* * *
...I think that bit just set a record for sarcasm.
* * *
You don't use 90% enriched uranium for reactor fuel. You just don't. You see, the entire idea of having a nuclear reactor is being able to control the reaction, and in 90% enriched fuel that's hard to do. That's the laws of physics, not my opinion; you put about 10kg of 90% U235 in one place and you get a very big bang out of it. And it happens about 30 nanoseconds after you move the chunks together.
Even military vessels with nuclear reactors aboard don't use 90% enriched uranium for fuel. If you need to ask "why not", read Heinlein's "Blowups Happen". How'd you like to be sitting on top of a reactor that could blow sky-high any second, when the only instruments you've got to hand can only tell you that it didn't just blow up in the last second? (Which, believe me, you'd know. Because you'd be sitting on a cloud asking Saint Peter if getting that BJ last night counts against you....)
(In order to have an instrument which could tell you that the pile was about to blow up, you'd need magic. Or its technological equivalent, given the state of the art today.)
Nearly all the commercial reactors in the world use 3-5% enriched fuel. Some reactors may exist which use 10%, and I'm willing to allow that perhaps--maybe--there's a reason to use 20% enriched fuel. But 90%? For a reactor? Yotsuba has the answer to that one:
The only thing you're going to use 90% enriched uranium in is a bomb. As I've been trying to tell people for a very, very long time.
* * *
Gays are the A-number-one risk group for HIV infection. But apparently now it's "black men who have sex with men" who are the A-number-one risk group.
Me: So, gay black men.
Them: Oh, no! "Men who have sex with men" might just be black men who are heterosexual but who have sex with men, too, sometimes.
M: ...so, gay black men. Or--okay, gay and bisexual black men.
T: No no no! These are men who identify as heterosexual but who occasionally have sex with other men.
M: ...so, gay and bisexual black men--
T: Why are you being so difficult? It's prefectly simple! These are not gay men nor are they bisexual men! They're heterosexual men who sometimes have sex with other men!
M: But if they're having sex with other men they're not heterosexual; they're bisexual--
T: Well, you're just a bigot!!
I'm a bigot because words mean things?
What's wrong with calling a spade a spade? (That may be the wrong aphorism to use in this instance, but fuck it.) If a guy has sex with women but also sucks the tube steak once in a while, he's bisexual. I don't get what's so complicated (or bigoted) about that. We apparently have no trouble saying that a woman who has sex with men but also licks carpet is "bisexual", so why is it a problem when it comes to men? Why do we need to say "men who have sex with men" (six words) when we already have a single word ("bisexual") which means exactly the same goddamned thing?
I don't give a rat's ass how the man in question feels about having his sexuality described that way. WTF, if you're a guy who enjoys smoking the cock, you're either gay or bisexual, and the circumstances surrounding your cocksmoking are irrelevant to the definition. (Or if you like cornholing other guys, or WTF-ever. Gay sex is gay sex, regardless of whether you're "pitching" or "catching".)
Note that this does not include being an involuntary participant--but there's another one-syllable word for that: "rape". Gay rape is still rape; if you're a heterosexual man who gets raped by a gay man, it doesn't make you gay; it makes you a rape victim. Unless you start having gay sex afterwards, for whatever reason. Not because you got "gay cooties"; I don't know, maybe you decided you liked the sensation of having a penis in your rectum if if you didn't like the exact circumstances under which it first happened? Whatever. The point is, if you contract HIV because some guy assraped you, it still doesn't justify the "men who have sex with men" nonsense because it was involuntary assrape that got you infected.
But apparently we can't just say, "Black men who are gay or bisexual have the greatest risk of HIV infection," and I'm at a loss to understand why...unless it's the whole thing about "they don't self-identify as gay or bisexual".
I don't care how someone self-identifies. If the short guy down the street starts calling himself "Napoleon" we don't take him seriously, because he's not. A man who self-identifies as "heterosexual" who nonetheless goes out and screws a lot of guys is delusional and wrong about his sexual orientation. Fine, he doesn't want to accept that he's gay or bi--why do we have to encourage his belief?
And there's much more to it than that, even:
Black men who are gay or bisexual are “at the center” of the U.S. HIV/AIDS epidemic and should be a primary focus of testing, service and treatment efforts, a federal official and advocates said Wednesday.Well, shit--you think maybe if these guys are all bent out of shape over being called "gay" or "bisexual", maybe they might be trying to ignore their infection, too?
Black men who have sex with men (MSM) account for one in four new HIV infections, even though they represent only one in 500 Americans, the Black AIDS Institute said in its new report, “Back of the Line: The State of AIDS Among Black Gay Men in America 2012.”
"Shit, I got HIV! How can that be? I can't have AIDS! I'm a heterosexual! Damn, I'm late for the gay sex party at the bathhouse...."
* * *
Dig a hole, fill it in. Dig a hole, fill it in. Make-work to expand the rolls of unions, all paid for by the taxpayer.
Of course. No business would fund such idiocy; it'd go out of business if the stockholders didn't replace the entire board of directors first.
Ah, but when it's government--and, worse, government currently being run by someone who has absolutely no idea how to run an actual business....
Borepatch thinks Romney will be a disaster for this country, and I agree with him, but he sees this year's election being an absolute rout of Democrats.
Personally I think it also means 2016 will be an absolute rout of Republicans, since they have no plans to change anything. Spending will remain high, taxes will stay where they are in 2013, and the dumbassery will continue apace. The only thing that can possibly affect that trajectory is a worldwide economic collapse.
But the media is trying its hardest to smooth things over for their boy. They're not reporting all the economic bad news--at least, they're not pushing it very hard, putting it on the back pages--in order to protect Obama's chances of re-election this autumn.
But Borepatch correctly points out that this can't be swept under the rug indefinitely, because those bad economic numbers are not just laser toner on paper--they represent people, people who are out of work, people who are struggling, people who remember that just four years ago they had jobs and income and weren't worried about having enough money to buy food to eat and gas to keep the house warm in winter, and having enough money left over to keep the electricity on.
In a scant four years, we've gone from near-full employment to this, and it's long past being George Bush's fault. Someone else took over the reins of power on January 20, 2009, and that person has a little (D) after his name. The people are going to remember that come November.
* * *
Not that it'll do a lick of good. Romney=Obama. The stupid crap will continue and nothing will be fixed, and we'll continue sliding right down the rails--happily greased by banksters who care only about their own wallets--into a major economic clusterfuck. If the Democrats are very lucky, Romney will win and it'll wait to happen until after January 20th of next year--in which case all the blame will fall on the GOP.
And, in fact, the GOP shares in the responsibility anyway, since they're not doing anything more to stop the fraud, corruption, and fakery than the Democrats are. WTF, they're the same party now, anyway.
* * *
The Anchoress opines that Obama's opinion of Americans is not a good one. That's not exactly news, is it?
The message from Obama has always been the suppressive message of Homer Hickam’s grim, utilitarian, hope-deficient father, in October Skies. It is a dreary one that says “stop dreaming, stop imagining, stop thinking about the future, because the future is not yours to define”."You're too stupid to know what's good for you, so shut up and do what we tell you." That's the defining ideal of the Democrat party.
Yeah. Just get down there in the mines, and do your job. Don’t look at the expanse of sky and think it holds a tantalizing promise of infinite possibility. Because infinite possibilities are impossible in this place. Don’t hold out for your own ideas, because they mean nothing, here.
And, to an increasing degree, the Republican party as well.
* * *
No, it's impossible for blacks to be racist. After all, they're oppressed! And the only way to solve this problem is to give more money and more resources to big cities, because there is simply not enough money being spent on these people which is why they do these kinds of things. Maybe if you racist white suburbanites were less racist, this kind of thing wouldn't happen, but since you bigots stubbornly refuse to let us raise your taxes this is the kind of thing that will keep happening.
No, it's not extortion, it's compassion for the downtrodden.
* * *
For this one, I need the Yotsuba demotivator again.
You know what this is? It's slash fiction, that's what it is--only instead of writing their own material, these douchebags are taking the original works and editing them to add the sex.
The linked article is pretty sarcastic about the whole thing, and the writer came up with a bunch of titles for these "altered" works. I liked this one best, and I de-bowdlerized it since no kids read the Fungus: The Adventures of Buttfuckleberry Finn.
* * *
And speaking of buttfuckery, check out what they've done with Han Solo over at Darths and Droids.
Instead of being named "Han Solo", he's named "Greedo". And he speaks with an insane Italian accent.
I have finally gotten to the point of asking myself, "Why am I still reading this?" They've gotten so far away from the source material that I'm surprised they're still using the visuals from Star Wars. I half expect them to start putting stuff from Star Trek and maybe Battle Beyond the Stars and Silent Running into the mix.
The speeder bike has just about jumped the sarlacc, here.
* * *
...and that wisecrack has more in common with SW than that comic strip does!
* * *
Last night, while talking with Lemonzen, I had an idea that bordered on epiphany.
The damn weather is not showing any signs of improving; it's going to be a long and hot summer. Since I've got car work I want to get done but it's too f-ing hot to work outside, why don't I air condition the garage?
Well, because the garage windows are side-hinged crank-out windows, and the only good way to fit an AC to the garage without major structural alteration would be to replace a door--
It hit me that I could buy a cheap exterior door from Menards, cut a hole through it, and fit my little window AC into it. Replace the front people door with the AC cutout door. The original door is not ruined--and can be put back in place in a matter of minutes--but I've got an AC installed which can bring down the temperature and humidity in the garage to humane levels!
This would mean I could fiddle and tinker and bodge without having to sweat my ass and balls off! I'd still have to open the big door when I started an engine, but all the diagnostic and repair work that's done without an engine running could be done in moderate comfort. It might not be cool in there with the AC going, but it will be better than it is outside...and fuck, I'll take what I can get.
(Get a couple exhaust hoses and put fittings in the door for them. Then I don't even need to open the place up for running engines.)
Once I get the Fiero sorted, it and the MG are going to swap places while I work on getting the MG sorted. Once the MG is sorted I'm hoping to get it sold (either to my brother, or to a third party who's got at least $3k to spend on a very nice LBC) and then I can put the Cherokee in the garage when it's not in use.
BTW, I've also come up with a game plan for clearing out some of the shit in the garage. Like the pool table--I'm not going to wait for a dumpster; I'm going to drag it down the driveway and prop it up by the road with a scrap 2x4 and put a big-ass sign on it: "FREE"
There's other stuff in that pile which is obviously trash, and it's going to go out, too. And once that crap is out of the way, the remainder can be consolidated and stacked to take up a minimum of room, and there'll be more room in the garage. Win-win.
If it's not obviously trash, it gets kept. But really, how broken does a bottle have to be before it's garbage? How about the fake fireplace from my grandfather's house--is anyone really going to want that? Anyone? It might fetch $3 at a garage sale if we're lucky.
I'm tossing it.
The old radio, the old TV--those get kept. The old gas/coal stove is not going anywhere. I'm keeping the smoker. But that busted rocking chair? The pile of half-rotted 1x6s that used to make up part of the fence in the front yard? The bicycle frame that has no other parts on it, not even pedals?
The cabinet on the back wall, out of which the bottom fell years ago? I'm tearing that shit down and getting rid of it. All the scrap wood that will never be useful is going out, all of it--I'm not keeping a stick of it. I'm going to sort through the garden implements and keep the useful ones, and get rid of the junk.
...and while I'm dreaming, I'd like a pony. One with a Powerball ticket that'll win me a good-sized jackpot.