Archive for March, 2020

Breaking the Law

Tuesday, March 24th, 2020

Genius Times, which is a satire site:

Analysts were shocked that a state that encourages foreigners to break the law should have so many residents break the law.

“We let homeless people take a dump on the street in front of nice restaurants. We let people spread AIDS with impunity. We encourage immigrants to come here illegally. You’d think people would listen to my orders!” [California Gov. Gavin] Newsom said in a press conference.

Money quote: “Newsom issued a ‘shelter in place’ order directing the state’s nearly 40 million residents to stay home beginning March 20 to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Instead, residents have issued a ‘kiss my ass’ order for Newsom.”

Newsom is on the younger side of the “Baby Boomers” who, since roughly around Bill Clinton’s election in 1992, have been around the age where we expect people to be in charge of big things — even though, as kids, they started rebelling against authority and for the most part never really stopped. Having people in positions of authority who’ve spent their lives rebelling against authority has made things weird. That’s why this is good satire, it reflects what’s true. Newsom is representative of a whole generation of pricks who’ve aligned every fiber of their being in the direction of “Question Authority,” and now that they’re the authority they expect not to be questioned. That’s a generalization and it shouldn’t be taken as an indicator that every single one has this problem. But the ones that do have it aren’t completely sane, and yet they’re still in charge of things.

Because of this, we’ve got laws that you’re supposed to follow even though they don’t & could not ever exist; we’ve got laws that do exist, that people are expected not to follow. Like I said, it makes things weird.

Now if “Guy who has a blog that nobody reads anyway, came upon a graph someone uploaded to social media without any sources or citations, and republished it” is what turns your crank…here’s a good one…

Let’s just say I’ve spent exactly half my life, twenty-seven years, in this state and I find it entirely believable. In fact, as I’ve noted before, even at this very late date I still have a lot of trouble adjusting to it — a zillion-and-one little pain-in-the-ass laws that don’t really matter because no one enforces them and no one even knows they’re there. The concept confounds, baffles and distresses me, but that’s the reality here.

And so as I reach out and ask for sources and data for this plotting, it’s really just a formality. I already know this about Californians. They’re/we’re like cats. “Here Frisky, come here!! Come on!” (Cat: Fuck you. Feed me.)

I’m not saying I approve of that behavior. As tyrannical and anti-American as a “Shelter in Place” order might seem to be, and let’s face it, it is — it’s the right thing for us to be doing right now. This dumb virus lives on surfaces for several days, but at the end of a couple weeks it should be done. If we could somehow wave a magic wand and achieve perfect distancing throughout that period, this would be over.

But of course we can’t. Whenever someone acts out their selfishness and stupidity, they hit the reset button for the rest of us.

As far as my own situation, because I’m antisocial, I am naturally-distanced. The Powers That Be have reached out and asked if I can come to work, which I will be doing tomorrow morning. It’s that huge big office. I work in it all by myself. I really don’t even understand what you “real people” do at work that’s sociable. The traditional “water cooler talks”? Monday-morning quarterbacking? Jibber-jabbering about who got booted off Dancing With The Stars? Who got the rose on The Bachelor? I have no idea and I don’t really care. As a true twenty-first century nerd, I just go in, make myself a pot of coffee, design/implement/test/debug/document and then go home. Then I spend the evening with my lovely wife, whom if I’m going to infect I’ve already done it anyway…and in the morning I go on social media and argue with dingbat liberals before heading in to work again. So yeah I’m as low-risk as they come.

This event suggests the bureaucracy might be functional after all, contrary to my previous dismal predictions, and is going through the coarse unrefined people like me who lack social skills…therefore, at some point, will eventually get to everybody else. This is light at the end of the tunnel.

Some who remain in lock-down may take this as inspiration for a renewed effort to watch the same teevee shows, or do other things that call for being within line-of-sight of their lock-down-mates, knowing an end to this ordeal may be at hand. That would be a good thing. And so I’ve reached a decision that I should probably say something.

Please don’t hurt each other. Not yet.

This Ends

Sunday, March 22nd, 2020

I don’t know when but I’ve got a pretty good idea how. It ends with

1. A bureaucrat giving the all-clear, passing down the 100% guarantee of total safety
2. People disregarding the lockdown in all its legal and cultural shapes and forms, because Screw This I Gotta Work
3. A new police state that makes #2 a physical impossibility

#1 is unicorn doots. It is never going to happen. Bureaucracies simply don’t work that way. They gather together the kind of power that goes with complete unshared responsibility, but then they refuse to take any responsibility at all, resulting in no decisions made when they would really count for something. This is why no one aspires to build a bureaucracy, and no one ever takes credit for having built one either.

Somehow, the relationship between rule-makers and rule-followers is going to get changed, forever.

My state, California, has this reputation of “leading the way” for the rest of the country and it applies here. Our ideas are, on balance, bad and not good so this isn’t cause for rejoicing by any means. One of the things that makes us unique is that we have a busy blizzard of little-laws that say very specific things, but carry no weight because no one bothers to follow them and nobody cares.

I’ve lived here half my life, by which I mean exactly 50% of the time since my umbilical cord was cut, twenty-seven years. I’m still having a bit of trouble adjusting to this idea of “ten thousand laws that don’t mean jack.” When I first showed up here in the early nineties, it was a tumultuous adjustment for me to make. Did I mention I’m still not quite finished with it?

Looks to me like we all go there. Don’t you dare step out of that house, followed by a zillion exclamation marks!! And then followed by…yeah okay, whatever.

I do not like the idea of the other 49 states copying this idea of ours, that laws mean nothing. Like all the rest of our ideas that get copied, it’s bad.

But I think that’s how it goes.

We’re Not a Toxin Upon the Planet

Sunday, March 22nd, 2020

We humans, being more intellectually capable than all the other animals, unfortunately can enjoy a unique “gift” of being able to lie to ourselves. We can cobble together a phony reality of our own choosing and then select it over the one we see right in front of us, as no other species on the globe can. There are some among us who regretfully make a profession out of that, and others among us who regretfully patronize their professions, and others among us who regretfully encourage it all.

Humans have therefore been uniquely equipped to invent religion, which asks us to believe in things we can’t see; and cults, which require us to disbelieve things we’ve seen right in front of us. The former of the two helps to preserve our sanity, if we value it, and the latter of the two destroys what’s left of our sanity, if we so allow.

One of the most dangerous cults we’ve invented is also among the most widespread. It has no name, and can be identified only by way of approximations such as “radical environmentalism.” Without stringing the actual words together, it proffers a belief that humans are a toxin upon the planet, which would be far better off if we just went away. It reaches this conclusion about our uniquely intelligent species because we have used this intellect to build things that help us, which is something beavers do and birds do. “Yes,” the cultists would counter, “but beavers don’t build nuclear plants.” They’d be right. But that would be topic drift. Their movement doesn’t target human beings as the one species that doesn’t belong here, because of what we build; their movement targets human beings as the one species that doesn’t belong here, because humans are the ones who are supposed to be receiving the message. It is a message for dopes who hate their own kind, or want to be fed reasons for hating their own kind. It is a reinforcement of self hatred.

Everyone who applies some good old-fashioned common sense to what they’re hearing and seeing, knows this to be true. Some would protest, with legitimacy, that I am overstating their position unfairly. To them, I present two matters of indisputable fact. One, my state of California is in “lockdown,” as is much of the rest of the world. Two, that there are lots of outspoken, fuzzy-brained casual-thinkers who are celebrating this as a good thing. They have been programmed. They don’t know they have been programmed and they think their opinions are their own.

It seems to be so hard for so many thoughtful people to truly reckon with the ramifications of what they know to be true. The indoctrinating has been going on at least since I was a moppet, and I’m a crusty old fart now. Humans are poisoning the planet, humans are poisoning the planet, humans are poisoning the planet. The “real scientists” who prepare and vet these lists of ways humans impact the environment, are considerably younger than I am. They have been bathed, just like people my age, in this stew their whole lives. They are more activists than scientists, and they don’t know they are more activists than scientists. They have been lying to themselves. Oh yes, I’m sure in the strictest technical sense every little point they want to make is “true.” But everybody’s suspicions should be aroused when global warming, climate change and ocean acidification are listed as three separate bullets. Also, that lists like these are entirely devoid of any beneficial effects we might have on the environment. Then you know an agenda is underway. The people making such lists are pushing the agenda, or else they’re being fed their information by someone else pushing the agenda, failing to do the skeptical thinking that anyone positioned downstream is going to have to do on their behalf.

You’re better off relying on another list that might contain some overlap, wherever it’s scientifically verifiable — but contains a mix of harmful and beneficial effects we have on our ecosystem. That’s more in keeping with what we know about other living things having effects upon yet other living things. There is harm over here, there are beneficial effects over there; parasitic relationships and symbiotic relationships.

We’re not a toxin upon the planet. At the very least, we’re not a pure toxin; and we’re probably not a net toxin. I don’t think we are. I think, on balance, we are beneficial. There’s so much stuff out there trying to convince me of the opposite, and it’s just so energized and so enthusiastic, involving so many willing participants…and yet it continues to rely on leaving out so much & hoping I don’t go looking elsewhere to fill in the gaps. If your propaganda is true, on balance, then there’s no need for it to have been made into propaganda in the first place.

Am I relying on faulty logic here, or a gap in logic, or on logic that is less than solid? Eh, could very well be. I don’t intend this as a logical argument. I’m just capturing how I think of it. Zillions of dollars of money have been spent in an effort to convince my generation that humans are poisoning the planet. A lot of that came from taxpayers, which is wrong. I have yet to be convinced and that’s why; not the ethical problems with forcing taxpayers to pay for the propaganda drive, just the energetic disbursement of the propaganda drive itself. The truth shouldn’t demand so much sustained effort. Our curiosity about nature is, well, natural. If a sprawling out-of-control leviathan government has to move resources around this way to tell us what’s so, it’s likely not so.

Now comes the Wuhan Flu, or the Chinese Virus, or “COVID-19” if you want to be politically correct about it. The World Health Organization thinks it’s very important that you be kept from thinking of it as anything Asian. Now you see, that’s another thing; the politically correct argument doesn’t even make sense according to itself. Humans are a pox upon the planet — and Asian people are not. This reminds me of the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal, during the early days, before the blue dress, when it was still he-said she-said. “Doesn’t matter, public performance versus private, personal, secret private life. Everybody screws around on their marriage! All the politicians cheat on their wives! …And he didn’t!!”

Well in times like these, it’s very important that we know which agencies are functioning as scientific organizations, and which ones are functioning as political ones. There is no scientific value involved in programming me to think of the Wuhan Flu as something other than the Wuhan Flu — none whatsoever. So thanks for clearing that up, now I know WHO is a political organization and not a scientific one.

I truly don’t care. I don’t need a reprimand from a busybody political establishment to think of Asians as somehow exempted from the human race that is doing this damage, because I don’t think the human race is doing damage. I know Communist China has done injury to humanity as a whole, and that makes the human race the injured and not the injurer. “Communist China” is a country, not a race. Who still needs to have that spelled out for them? I mean, besides that twit at President Trump’s press conference. Who besides her?

Well, the race baiters are flailing about like hungry dogs chasing scraps, because they’re starving. It’s testable. “Chinese Virus” is a racist term, really? You wouldn’t be falling back on that if you had anything better.

Getting back to the subject at hand, though. For those who advance the narrative that humans are a poison on the planet, there is something better. Something fresh, new and topical. Good for them…bad for the rest of us.

Italy’s tourism industry took a hit as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country spiked in recent weeks. But those who remain in the city have posted heartwarming photos of dolphins, swans and ducks making their appearances in canals and ports.

“Venice hasn’t seen clear canal water in a very long time,” Francesco Delrio wrote. “Dolphins showing up too. Nature just hit the reset button on us.”

Some of this is bull squeeze, and easily debunked. The water looking cleaner in Venice is looking cleaner because of simple stillness; sediment still lies at the bottom of the canal, without any boat traffic to stir it up toward the surface. And no, the dolphins aren’t there. That’s not what interests me though.

What captures my attention is the part of it that, for now, is really true. Pollution that is connected directly to human activity, is down, since the activity is down. That much has to be true, right? Right. We do “pollute” when we go about our business, just like any other species. So the human-haters do have a point, do they not? We’re getting to see an advance preview of a post-human world, and it’s looking just as healthy and vibrant as they imagined. The people themselves, where they can be found, look happier too! Yes…I’ve seen them. Walking their dogs, jogging, etc. Singing on Instagram, etc…like the spoiled Hollywood actors singing that horrible commie song just for one example. There are others. Singing, singing, singing…all the happy people.

Haven’t you listened to the words, though? “Living for today.” Living for today…

That’s the whole problem. The intended audience for this pablum is not just people who nurture their festering hatred of other people just for being people — but also, people who lack a functional understanding of the fundamental concept of time. They’re celebrating a lifestyle that isn’t sustainable as if it’s sustainable. Now some of them may have pure intentions and simply want a cleaner Earth. But if so, and they’re still swallowing this hooey, then they’re not thinking.

This is not where we want to be. People are existing day-to-day, but they’re not thriving. For those who gravitate to sugary things, consider that socially-distanced kids can’t play together and can’t hug each other. Yes, you can dangle your feet off a balcony and play a guitar, but nobody can sit on the same balcony with you, dangling their feet next to you. But then there’s the business, the money, the working for a living. I’m more worried about that kind of stuff and everyone else should be more worried about that, too.

I don’t wish to rain on a parade that is stoking lots of good sentiment & feeling in so many strangers whom I assume are good people with good intentions. And like all sane people I consider messages of despair, even when true, to be better left unsaid. I have left this one unsaid for awhile. But I draw the line at pretending a negative is a positive. This is a whole new frontier of wrongness, and the fact that it makes lots of people feel good is no reason to allow it to careen about unchecked. Whole new frontiers of wrongness often make lots of people feel good. That’s what demons do. Evil is seductive.

This is not good. It is Pandora’s demons that have been allowed to escape a literal, physical “box.” It’s way too soon to lapse into the cloying pap about “Let’s not assign blame” when we don’t even know if the box was opened on purpose or by accident. Or if the box was built & filled on purpose, and opened by accident.

After half a century of listening to it, I’m past the limit of my patience with pretending there’s just one single species of animal living on the planet that’s bad for it. It doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. It isn’t scientific, it’s a child’s fairy tale relying overly much on Disney imagery filled with big-eyed adorable woodland creatures with cute names, every last one of them on a vegetarian (or grub) diet. It’s nonsense. The truth is that spiders kill flies painfully, lions kill gazelles painfully, species build habitats that screw things up for other species. And we’re all changing the environment, sometimes permanently sometimes not, with our daily business. That’s how an ecosystem works.

I started out noting that humans have intellectual capabilities other species do not have. I’m sure I lost a good portion of my readership with that opening…true as it is. There are ramifications to it. We have the unique ability to look, today, at the apparatus we assembled to make our living possible, yesterday, and ask ourselves what sort of impact it has on the environment. And to see if there’s a way to do the same thing more efficiently. If you accept that a unique ability may necessarily be fastened to an accompanying unique responsibility, then you must accept we have the responsibility to continually do this. To downsize to the more economical car, where it makes practical sense to do so, to swap out in favor of a more efficient light bulb where it makes sense to do so.

I will buy into just that much. Because, why not? I have no constructive statement to make by driving around in a V-8 when I can do the same thing with a four-banger. But I already drive a four-banger. I’m cheap and I don’t want to burn off that much of my lucre on gas, I’d rather blow the balance of it on beer, beef steak, ammunition or put it in savings. That is how intelligent creatures do things…naturally. We don’t need our benevolent government to push us into doing things an easier way. We gravitate toward whatever is more efficient, and we continually reassess. Which makes us, if anything, the most congenial species upon the surface of the planet — over the longer term of time. Long term, we are the best stewards because of our uniqueness as a species that acts like a steward.

We never needed a movement. We don’t need one now. We socially distance because it makes good sense. The “experts” say we can make a significant positive impact against the spread of this virus by taking these steps, now, and we don’t have to look at the history of these pandemics too long to see for ourselves that they’re right about that.

But this is not a positive development. My whole point here is that Gaea is not going to care what we do or don’t do, for a couple of weeks, or a month, or two months or more. She won’t care even a tiny bit, unless we’ve discovered some new lifestyle we can afford to maintain (and even then, only that tiny bit). We can’t afford to maintain this. The implication that we can, or that the Earth cares about it as if we can, is grossly irresponsible. At some point we’re going to have to move past this. It will be quick or it will be slow, but either way it will be wrenching. We’re going to rape Gaea like a three pecker billy goat made of rebar, when it’s time to get going again, because we’re going to be needing the things we have always been needing. Like any other species, we are toughest on the environment when we are under stress.

But our day-to-day activities, allowed to endure and evolve without scarcity or stress, don’t poison the planet. They affect the planet, just a little bit, which is fine. On balance, you are good. I am good. We all are a net good. And we need to get back to work.

Stop this nonsense.

Kung Flu

Thursday, March 19th, 2020

Andrea Widburg writes in American Thinker:

Kellyanne Conway proves again she’s worth whatever Trump pays her

The mainstream media are disgusting. That sentence could open every article about the mainstream media in a time of coronavirus. The media’s hostility to Trump is so extreme that there is no lie they won’t tell to damage him – never mind that doing so might destroy the American economy or cause other unimaginable harm to the American people.

In addition to lies, the media’s other line of attack is to call everything Trump says or does “racist”…
On Wednesday, when Kellyanne Conway made herself available for questions from the media, the assembled press members, mostly women by the sound of their voices, didn’t want to talk about things that might matter to the American people, such as plans for stemming the tide of the Chinese Virus or helping the financial hemorrhage the virus is causing.

Pin/HaystackInstead, the media’s shrieking harpies spoke in one voice: Tell us how guilty the whole Trump administration is because an anonymous White House official allegedly made a joke that offended an Asian reporter.
We’ve known for a long time that the media are morally corrupt. It’s helpful to see them reveal themselves in their battle against Trump. They’re all pretty, shiny, and articulate on TV, but behind those facades lurk debased, hate-filled people…

Well that word “all” is a fragile one — only takes a single contrary example to disprove it, you know. And to be fair about it, while the media is making a gross error in establishing priorities on this thing, by doing so they’re reflecting the society we have created. Somewhere along the line we seem to have compromised our ability to mentally deal with house fires. By which I mean, any crisis that creates so much day-to-day cumulative damage that any plan for ameliorating it is going to have to involve a phased approach, with the immediate phases having something to do with accepting more damage, and time is of the essence. We used to be able to process those — as a society. Nowadays it seems we can’t. We delegate the problem-solving to whoever is elected or appointed, which is nothing new; but it’s new that we can’t or won’t just let them work, and it’s new that we can’t or won’t share the Weltanschauung that would be needed to improve things.

No, whether the “firemen” have our sympathies or not, in either case the loudest among us turn away from the actual problem and go back to rooting out impure thoughts about things. If we were back in the days where a democrat was managing the fire crews, like for example in the case of Emperor Barack The First, our Loud Crowd would again be stuck in rooting out racism. They’d just train their sites on the President’s critics rather than the President Himself. But with Obama or with Trump, it seems like any concern about actually solving the problem, or taking steps to address it, along with any sincere curiosity about the associated details, have all fallen out of fashion.

The tweet that started off all the caterwauling was written by Asian reporter Weijia Jiang (“@weijia”) and it says, “This morning a White House official referred to #Coronavirus as the ‘Kung-Flu’ to my face. Makes me wonder what they’re calling it behind my back.” As of this writing, so far as I know she has yet to name this xenophobe or to state any reason she might have for maintaining this secrecy, even after several respondents to her original claim, for that reason, have called it out as bullshit. Which strongly suggests that that’s what it is, but who am I to draw any conclusions?

Other than the most glaringly obvious one: This is why it was important to prosecute Jussie Smollett, and without any delays.

We apparently are now in a chapter in our evolving history, in which the public’s passions can be rerouted like a mighty river, deftly, efficiently and with what looks like very little effort, by anyone who’s willing to just invent…whatever. Just come out and say someone did or said something with racist or sexist overtones/undertones. Anybody who’s ever said to themselves “I wish people would talk less about this and more about that”…not an exclusive crowd, by any means…just has to concoct a story with nooses and bleach. You have to wonder how we got here but with that Smollett drama playing out so recently, and with the wheels of justice having yet to have arrived at any real consequences, you don’t have to wonder long.

Honest and diligent observers have to come away worried about several things. There is the COVID-19 crisis itself and what it’s doing to our economy, there is the problem of liars getting away with their lying. I’m more worried about the problem with house fires generally. We can’t drop the “I think I found a racist” thing, even for a moment, even now, with a problem like this one? And we can’t fixate on a house fire, even with the odor of burning buildings all around us. Too busy wondering about whether the firemen said something insufficiently polished?

You find out he used the phrase “China Virus” and you want him to drop the hose?

I remember there was a movie about this…something about a Mr. Sansweet who didn’t ask to be saved and didn’t want to be saved

Hordes of Hoarders

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020

Babylon Bee always makes it look easy. It can’t be.

Bernie: ‘We Must Seize The Means Of Toilet Paper Production’

BURLINGTON, VT—In a video message recorded from one of his many, many houses, Bernie Sanders has called on the workers of the world to unite and seize the means of toilet paper production.

Sanders was under quarantine because he is old and susceptible to the virus. So he delivered the message remotely, but it was just as powerful as if he had delivered it to thousands of Bernie bros in person: “Workers of the world, unite and seize the means of producing bath tissue in large quantities!”

If I wrote for them, I’d have Poe’s Law embroidered into a wall hanging and displayed prominently wherever I work, just to remind myself of the difficulty involved in satire. I wonder if they have done exactly that, in fact.

I’ve been “socially distancing” like everyone else, sometimes even voluntarily. We did what everyone else is supposed to be doing all of the time before this hit, and so we have plenty of toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Mrs. Freeberg makes it a habit to keep me out of grocery stores, which is smart on her part because she knows I don’t have the patience to deal with much of anything there. And so I do not have first-hand experience with this nightmare. It must be awful, zipping around from store to store trying to find a roll or two. Oh yes, I do know it’s that bad. Facebook has been just plain boring lately. Just bitching and more bitching about toilet paper.

Restocking levels, people. That’s what businesses do. If X is your burn rate between deliveries, then 1.5-2.0X is your restocking level and after you take delivery, you have 2.5-3.0X. When it gets down to your restocking level you reorder. Don’t let it get to zero if it’s something you have to have all the time. But, a lot of people didn’t do that and so now we have a “shortage.”

Permit me a rant then. Since I haven’t personally experienced the grief, I have not had the opportunity to lay my hopeful eyes upon the empty shelves of despair, and those who have experienced this lacked the presence of mind, in their desperation, to take note on my behalf: If the coveted packages were there, how much would they have cost, hmmmm? The same? I’ll bet it’s the same. I don’t know what kind of rules apply here in the People’s Republic of California about what constitutes “price fixing” or “price gouging” or what the penalties are supposed to be…I don’t very much care. It really doesn’t matter. The cudgeling, the veiled civil-action threats, the potential headaches, they’ve all loomed large. There are no nightmares to be told about fifty-dollar packages netting four measly rolls, and if such a thing happened surely I’d be hearing about it. No, if it’s sixty cents a roll any other time, it’s sixty cents a roll in the most acute moments of our “crisis,” our “shortage.”

Normal forces of supply and demand do not apply.

Expensive Toilet PaperI’m putting “shortage” in scare quotes because my conscience demands it of me. This isn’t a real shortage. You have a shortage of something that’s a non-renewable resource, like petroleum, or gold. Every single component of this is renewable. No, this is a long and elaborate supply chain, and just like any chain it can be impeded at any link, with the effect of impeding the entire chain even with all other links fully functional. “Shortage” implies all of those links are destitute in what they need to do their deliveries, the problem being at the starting-end of the chain which is the manufacturing. No such situation exists here.

No, the problem is just ahead of those shelves that are breaking hearts with their emptiness. It’s with the restocking. And the restocking is happening hand-over-fist, seven truck deliveries in a day at one location…so the problem isn’t really there either. The problem is the consumption. If people bought something in line with what they were using, we’d be up to our ears in toilet paper.

This brings us up to what has become our conventional wisdom: The hordes of hoarders are TEH STUPID!! And furthermore are to blame for our current deplorable plight. In addition to being stupid. Yeah…well…mkay. Let me temper that just a bit.

I hold these hoarders to be guilty of emotional reasoning, which certainly does tick me off when it puts me in a bit of hot water through no action or inaction of my own. But is it really right and proper to start condemning people or calling them stupid when they succumb to it? I don’t have a perfect record of refusing the temptations when I’ve been put through an ordeal, and zipping around from place to place looking for just a roll or two certainly does seem like an ordeal. How many hops does it take me to become a quivering, angry wreck, even if my need is not acute? If I’m going to self-assess critically and accurately I have to say: Two. And not two stopping points across town from each other. Two points down the street from each other. Within minutes, not hours. For a computer part that isn’t even needed to bring the project online, and was an afterthought…two places that don’t have the item, is enough to work me into a lather, and start shooting daggers out of my eyes at anybody who stops to help me. Well okay if they’re trying to help me, because I was raised right and I know they’re trying to help me, I say the right things and I’m polite and I work at sparing them my wrath. But as long as we’re being honest, I know my ugly mood forces me to have to really work at it. Know what I mean? We’ve all been there, right?

But that’s some forty minutes or so immersed in a first-world computer-builder’s part or supply I don’t really need. Not an everyday bathroom staple that everyone with an alimentary canal absolutely needs. I should help get the hate out for someone making less than rational decisions when they’re five-hours immersed in the futile errand?

So now wait a second. You got off work at five in the afternoon, it’s nine-thirty at night you’ve hit six stores that were empty, the seventh store has some. Price controls…hard firm legislated ones, or soft-culture “We might hit you with a lawsuit that is wrong, but you’ll have to pay up anyway so do you want to chance it” ones…are in effect. I don’t care which one it is, remember? It doesn’t matter. So the last store in town has the product and it’s still sixty cents a roll. How many do you get? A sensible amount, or something along the lines of “I never did find out how much my truck can carry, it’s high time we found the answer”?


No that’s not what I’m telling you to do. That’s my nit-pick. People keep calling this a “shortage.” It’s not a shortage, it’s a run. Didn’t you see It’s a Wonderful Life? “I’ve never really seen one but that’s got all the earmarks of being a run.”

It’s an important difference for two reasons. The less important reason is that if you stock up to 2.5 or so times your burn rate like I said, but it’s an actual shortage, this likely won’t help you. The shortage just has to last 2.5 times longer and then it wins and you lose. A run, on the other hand, is just today’s activity. It’s just a ripple.

But there’s a far more important reason. We keep hearing about this “price gouging” being a problem, and the remedies, be they hard statutes or soft intimidation, must look something like the answer to the problem. The cause of the problem must be something along the lines of what the kids are being taught in those universities, about the evils of “unchecked capitalism.” We must have the suits, or the laws, or the sensible regulators running their check against these evil, greedy, greedy, evil shopkeepers who would have the unmitigated gall to charge sixty-one cents or more for a roll that must cost no more than sixty. It’s our right, gosh darn it! For economic justice!

Well…with just a little bit of common sense, and the understanding that this is a run, not a shortage…the scales fall from our eyes. Such remedies are the disease, not the cure. And the price “gouging,” if that’s what you want to call it, left to run its course would have stopped the whole problem from happening in the first place. Without these laws or such intimidation, how much were we set to be gouged, anyway? A dollar for a roll? Two dollars? Maybe five?

At five dollars a roll, do you think weary stragglers would be tempted to play the game of “let’s see how much my truck can haul?” Maybe a few of them would! So let’s try ten dollars a roll. Does that sound like a nightmare?

Well I don’t know. If you’re the one still limping from store to store to store well after dark chasing these essentials, what would you rather see? A shelf full of overpriced rolls ready for your patronage at ten bones a pop…or, an empty shelf?

So yeah, you people who were so opposed to “price gouging” until we started this glorious One Square March…as you labor away in your garage carving up old tee shirts into rectangles…maybe it’s time to reconsider things. How are you liking this trial period for your socialism? Some ideas are so good that when you actually practice them, you wonder why it took you so long. And then there are ideas like yours.

I’d rather pay a few dollars more, myself. When you gotta go you gotta go, ya know?

I Don’t Want to be Scolded by Any Mean, Nasty Women

Friday, March 6th, 2020

Okay so we have to talk about what Elizabeth Warren did yesterday. Oh no, that’s not right is it? It’s about what we did to poor, poor, perpetual-victim Elizabeth Warren. It’s sexism, right? There’s stuff on the Internet that says so, so it must be true. Male chauvinist pig conservative Republicans, somehow, stopped enlightened egalitarian progressive liberal democrats from voting for Fauxahontas.

Actually, yes it is sexism of a sort. Just not quite like that. Something else.

Someone, somewhere I know not who — could be a man, maybe? — has made the call that women have to be unpleasant and angry all the time, like Senator Warren, in order to be in charge. They didn’t ask me. It’s true in our politics, in our movies, our teevee shows, and anyplace else we come together and experience any form of art that is assembled in a central location and then distributed hither & yon. Somewhere there is a script: Women have to be mousey little types that stay in the kitchen and bake cookies, or else they have to give you a migraine. There can be no in-between.

ScoldingThe movies flop, just like the political campaigns fail. Rather predictably, because whatever remains of our national sanity, does remain. Mentally well-balanced people don’t like to be scolded, just because. We don’t like to be gaslit along the lines that there’s something wrong with us if we appreciate the sight of a beautiful woman with a smile on her face, and we deserve to have our hands broken and our motorcycles stolen because of it. Now if you surround us with said gaslighting then maybe, since we’re flawed humans with limited strength, you can get some kind of “There Are Five Lights” concession out of us. Maybe people who pay attention only casually can be lulled into thinking a lot of unpleasant female nagging is what they want…temporarily. But you’re just screwing things up for the aspiring politicians like Senator Warren.

This isn’t what strong women who make good leaders, are like. This is wrong, and it’s been going on for awhile. Walter Mondale’s running mate in 1984, Geraldine Ferraro, brought scolding to the ticket and very little else. Oh, the haranguing, I remember it like it was yesterday, all throughout that year she nasally-resonated at us. It didn’t work out well.

The scolding-nag woman keeps flopping. Someone somewhere keeps lunging for it, manufacturing it yet again, like a sadistic relative with a Christmas fruitcake recipe who can’t be told no. They keep cramming it down our throats. We’ve tried every other way to get the message across that we don’t want this but it keeps happening. Someone, somewhere, isn’t getting the message.

We have yet to try the most direct approach. We must do all we can, to avoid wasting the time and resources of future innocents who seek to emulate Senator Elizabeth Perpetual-Victim “I’m still mad where are you going” Warren.

So say the words in the title of this post, to yourself, as practice. Loud and proud. We are told this is what men say when they are weak and fragile, but that’s just “five lights” nonsense. This is a powerful message.

Not for DecorationThere are only three rebuttals. You can gaslight me some more, conveying the message of “You’re just afraid of a strong/intelligent woman,” in hopes that I’ll change my position. That’s an exercise in futility, because once I make up my mind that a pounding headache isn’t what I want, I won’t reconsider and decide anything different. So you’re going to end up arguing with me about it, and you’ll just look foolish because you’ll be trying to sell me, and anyone watching, on what’s virtuous about being given a headache by a mean, unsophisticated, unenlightened, toxic nasty unpleasant woman.

You could give me what I want, and haul the nag away so I don’t have to listen to her. Win.

Or, you can give me a very firm and assertive dressing-down about how my opinion doesn’t matter. That men like me who don’t want headaches, or women who happen to like men and don’t aspire to be unpleasant banshees, are all part of the inimical demographic that you have targeted and desire to make irrelevant. And that, as an additional trophy, you want to give us these headaches to punish us. That bugs to us are features to you. That, as a proponent of this tired worn-down scolding-harridan trope, your side is the “toxic” one. That would be honest. That would show that, far from being bogged down in some sort of toxic masculinity crisis, our problem is more like one of toxic femininity. How can any attentive observer not, at the very least, consider it? Nagging, scolding women have been cartoon caricatures for generations. Maybe there is a push now to bring them into fashion, but there’s a difference between trying for something and succeeding at it. With all the throat-cramming we’ve seen just over the last twenty years, unpleasant women are as rare as sand in the Sahara and half as precious.

So no, sexism did not destroy Sen. Warren’s campaign, at least not the way she says. She failed for the same reason Hillary Clinton failed four years earlier: She offered us something we don’t want. This leaves the democrat field rather un-diverse, which is bad for them, and it leaves the field as a whole also un-diverse which may be bad for the rest of us…dunno. I’m sure somewhere out there, there are some women with strong leadership skills who are positive. But one of the characteristics of positive people is that they fix what’s broken, and when something isn’t broken, they don’t go trying to fix it because it isn’t broken.

So maybe the positive women with genuinely strong leadership skills, just aren’t running this year.

Related 3-10-20: Redundant with what I said, although as usual he probably says it better. This idea that we’re going to choose to be lectured and annoyed has really taken hold over the last several years. It used to work, but those who are committed to furthering the cause are in a real bind now because once people get tired of something, there’s no going back. Must suck to be them.

I’m not losing a wink of sleep over it. I delight in watching the carnage. With popcorn.

The Anti-Sex Party

Sunday, March 1st, 2020

With the democrat field narrowing, I notice they seem to be sex-obsessed…in a negative way.

Their contenders look like the very bottom section of a list of Americans that others of the opposite sex would want to see naked. With the exception of Buttigeig who has no interest in letting the opposite sex see him naked. But we men can see this although maybe we’re not allowed to discuss it — Tulsi Gabbard got chased out of there because we wouldn’t mind seeing her naked. Warren and Klobuchar, if we were ever put in a bedroom with them and they got naked, before they even open their traps and start scolding us about something — which they would — would have us running out of the bedroom, screaming. And hey let’s be honest about it, that’s their draw. If manly men like something, Warren and Klobuchar supporters are going to dislike whatever that is just because we like it. It doesn’t have to be a sexy woman’s body, it can be beer pong, Star Trek episodes, whatever. These are toxic negative people who’ve programmed themselves to dislike whatever the targets of their disdain happen to like, and their targets are straight men. That’s why the two nags are still up there and Tulsi is not. Mediocre, toxic women do not feel threatened by them.

This has been true for a long, long time. LONG time. Rising stars in the democrat party who are female, are females men do not want to see naked…who do lots and lots of scolding. Their voices are shrill, in fact, artificially so. The resonance of their always-present scolding sounds like the waves were routed through a duck’s nasal cavity. Ever since Ferraro, and then Hillary and others, they could easily shatter glassware with that scolding. They are walking blue-pill antidotes. They irritate and annoy real men, which is why democrats like them.

Ugly GuysWhat’s interesting about this year is the males are the same. If horny women made a list of the guys they’d want to see naked, these guys would never make the cut. Not that I would either…but with average random guys like me, you could embiggen the list a few notches, or yards, and eventually we’d be on it, but these garden-gnomes seem to be the male version of Warren and Klobuchar, selected for their cosmetic fail. You could build the list to include everyone on the planet, and they’d end up on the bottom or very close to it.

And I’m far from the first to notice…this is the party that’s going to save us from a plutocracy run by rich old white men…and the white men they’re offering us have never been older, or whiter, or richer. Now, what is that? Is it fair to call it “irony”? That word would imply some sort of an accident, and it’s getting harder and harder to call this an accident. An election year comes about, the democrats put together a platform of “Don’t ever trust any rich people” and then they implore us to cast our votes for…their rich people. It just keeps happening that way.

It also interests me that every now and then the democrats take the polar opposite approach. They see fit to appeal to libidinous women who — like a typical man with regard to female candidates — are inclined to vote their carnal desires. They appeal to the females who’d like to see an underwear model up there, or someone good at playing the saxophone. A wonderful date to have. JFK, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were picked for their sex appeal. This strategy has worked out very well for them in the past. This year they won’t do it, or can’t do it. No woman wants to see Bernie Sanders naked. They don’t want to see Ban-Everything Bloomie or Joe Biden naked.

I dunno if this means anything at all, since it’s become abundantly obvious the democrat party is not choosing the circumstances in which it finds itself. If they’re purely captives of poor fortune then it doesn’t mean anything. But we’re only having these elections every 4 years, things are changing very quickly, and they have increasingly become the anti-sex party.

I think — hope — maybe what we’re seeing, is the first of many, many presidential elections in a row, where this is going to work out poorly for them. I’m hoping they’re literally un-breeding themselves into non-existence, as a political party. Maybe it’s the American way to vote with our sexual desires, and this is going to end up being what saves us from the monstrosity that liberalism has become. They just keep putting up these ugly toads, throughout the 20’s and into the 30’s or 40’s…the electorate goes “Ew, yuck” and eventually the democrat party goes the way of the Whigs.