Monday, June 27, 2016

Hot and Dry...ish

Although I would never classify anything Florida dishes up weather-wise as "dry" after spending several years in Arizona, it has been drier than normal for the last week or so. We had a bunch of rain a while back, everything sprouted, blossomed, etc.; now it's all dying off. The temps have been consistently in the 90's and lots of bright sun to really bake everything nicely. I'm managing to keep most of our plants alive, but that's about it. The 10-day forecast shows all sorts of rain coming our way, but it always seems to... er... evaporate before it actually gets here. It looks like I'll be getting another unexpected day off tomorrow, so giving everything a good soak is high on the list of things to get done.

OK, so much for the central Florida weather report. There have been a few things that have happened lately that I should probably comment on.

Orlando Shooting

One of the things that you learn very quickly if you spend any time studying human "intelligence" is that we suck at rational thinking, but we are top-notch rationalizers. Omar Mateen wanted to off some queers (probably due to self-loathing), and found an excuse to do so. The excuse was Mohammedanism, naturally enough given the legalized murder of gays practiced in many Muslim nations, including those considered allies of the United States. This is exactly what he himself stated when he called 9-11 to claim credit for the murders he committed inside a gay nightclub. So naturally, everyone from our president on down is busy turning themselves inside out to deny that Mateen's Mohammedanism had anything to do with his decision to murder 49 people.

Brexit

No surprise here unless you are one of the elites who have benefited from selling out the bottom 80% of your own nation to the international bankers for the last several decades. Average people are fed up with being told that high unemployment, low wages and crushing debt are good for them by the very people who are making more money than God by increasing unemployment, lowering wages and piling on the debt. Now these same elites are saying that the Leave vote doesn't matter because they ain't gonna do it and never intended to. These people are why God created lampposts; a convenient place for them to be hanged from.

The Donald

I'm not sure what can be said about this fraternity-prank-gone-too-far. Obviously, the bottom 80% in these united States are as pissed off as those in the UK, Poland, Greece, Italy, France, Spain, etc. The problem with Trump is that he is probably too compromised to do much, assuming he ends up being the Republican nomination (and I'm sticking with my previous statements on that being a big assumption) and manages to win the election. My concern is who will finally tap into all that anger in 2020. Read history; those most capable of harnessing mass hate are not the kind of people anyone in their right mind would want running the country.

Muslim Rape

The latest outrage involves three pre-adolescent boys dragging a mentally handicapped 5-year-old girl into a corner, stripping her naked, raping her, then pissing in her mouth. All on video, of course. (No one born since around 1990 or so is capable of experiencing anything first-hand. For an event to be real, even something as visceral as raping someone, it must be recorded and viewed later on a screen to have any meaning.) The news media completely ignored the crime. That of course didn't stop the locals from talking about it. Unfortunately, stories passed verbally tend to collect incorrect "facts", such as the exact ages of the boys involved, which Middle East shithole they originated from, whether or not one of the boys had a knife, etc. None of which really changes what was done, but it did give the news media the opportunity to claim that because a few minor details were wrong, then the whole thing must be made up. Because we all know that Muslims never rape. What is amusing to me is that in certain cases, the very people who jump all over obviously made-up rape stories that involve white males, like the UofV case a few years back, are the exact same ones screaming the loudest that this is all made up.

We indeed live in interesting times.

And speaking of time, it's time to go make dinner.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

And the Beat Goes On

First we had the (successful) voter turnout suppression in the Arizona primary. Then we had officials from the Clinton campaign placing the Hillary-Already-Won article with the Associated Press prior to the last of the state primaries; another (successful) attempt at voter suppression. Now this:

...the Democratic Party cut the number of polling places by two-thirds, from more than 1500 to less than 500. In addition, because there were two simultaneous elections — one for local officials and one for the presidential race — voters had to go to two separate locations if they wanted to cast both ballots. Then the Party cut the voting hours, the window of time during which any voting could be done.

And the result was another wildly successful attempt at voter suppression:

The number of votes actually cast in the Democratic presidential primary totaled just over 60,000. If my math is correct, that about 8% of the expected total, or a voter suppression rate of 92%. Again, the Puerto Rico Democratic Party, all good loyal Democrats I’m sure, suppressed 92% of their own vote, by reducing voting locations and hours.

Why? You decide. My answer? Too much democracy for the “Democratic” Party.

Please tell me there isn't anyone left who still believes voting matters.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Summer Chorus

And thanks to all that rain we got, the frogs are back (turn down the volume before you hit play):


video

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Rain, Rain and More Rain

Tropical Storm Colin blew through a hundred or so miles north of here so we've had nothing but rain for the last 24 hours. There were a couple good gusts of wind as well, but no big deal and no damage other than a couple tipped-over chairs on the patio and a ton of leaves and small branches on the ground. I haven't checked, but I'm sure the local news is full of all sorts of Armageddon stories featuring massive flooding, missing roofs, downed trees, etc. Even if they have to dig up years-old video footage like they were showing last night, hours before the rain even started, during the spots advertising the evening news. Add in the inevitable man-on-the-street interview from someone who swears that they've "never seen anything like it" and you have what passes for news these days.

A long-winded way of saying the whole thing was no big deal. It rained. The wind blew. It's Florida. In June. Get over it.

Another celebrity death this week. Muhammad Ali died Friday evening. Matt Taibbi is a few years younger than I am, but he sums up my neighborhood gang's view on Ali pretty well:

When I was growing up, it was impossible to imagine anyone cooler than Muhammad Ali. He had the perfect looks of a rock star, was hilariously funny, and was beautiful to watch in the ring. My friends and I used to pop in tapes of his fights and double over laughing watching his opponents flail about in search of that infuriatingly pretty face of his.

Our parents hated the guy; "draft dodger" and "coward" were probably the nicest things they had to say about him. But we didn't care. I saw the news from Vietnam every night. I'd use words like "smart" to describe anyone who did whatever was necessary to avoid that.

The absurdity called the presidential election continues and grows more weird by the day. James Kunstler's site has been knocked out. I'm assuming it was some form of SJW pissed about something they think he said that he probably didn't. In any case, it's the web and nothing goes away for long:

Considering that the 2016 election looks like a Dark Age puppet show — Pantalone and La Signora smacking each other with dildos — we forget this spectacle is serious. Rather large matters are at stake, such as the continuity of governance, the legitimacy of the two major political parties, the credibility of our financial arrangements, perhaps even the durability of the nation as a united polity.

It's hard to make fun of this stuff anymore. The image of Hill and The Donald in a televised presidential debate screaming incoherently and beating the crap out of each other with six-foot latex dongs should be hilarious, but in 2016, it's too close to the realm of reality to be anything but terrifying. And the latest weirdness doesn't stop there. Scott Adams is endorsing Hillary in self-defense:

So I’ve decided to endorse Hillary Clinton for President, for my personal safety. Trump supporters don’t have any bad feelings about patriotic Americans such as myself, so I’ll be safe from that crowd. But Clinton supporters have convinced me – and here I am being 100% serious – that my safety is at risk if I am seen as supportive of Trump. So I’m taking the safe way out and endorsing Hillary Clinton for president.

Now I've been reading Adams since he first popped up on the internet, and I know he loves to play mind games. I wouldn't be completely surprised to see a "Ha Ha!! Gottcha!" post, but this has been up for over 48 hours now. That's a little long for a joke. We'll see. But, again, the take-away is that there is doubt that this is anything but satire.

Speaking of real life as satire, another SJW has struck a blow for the emancipation of... wait for it... lobsters:

So hey, did you hear about the Canadian lady who “rescued” the lobster?

Apparently, the sight of a lobster for sale in a grocery-store tank “weighed on [her] psyche.” So she bought it, “drove six hours to Winnipeg, [and] shipped it via UPS to a vegan contact out in Halifax for $225, where the lobster was released into the ocean by a fellow vegan out east.”

This story might remind some readers of the first act of a 1998 episode of The Simpsons, but no, it happened in real life just a while ago, and if you dare, you can listen to this chick compare what she did to the Underground Railroad.

I wonder if this brain trust thought to remove the bands from the lobster's claws. Assuming it survived being shipped via UPS....

On a slightly different note, we have John Oliver ripping apart the debt collection industry:


Stumbling onto this clip is actually perfect timing. We've been being harassed since we moved here by some sleezebag outfit that calls itself Medical Services (813-675-0408). They keep calling our number asking for someone we've never heard of. The first time, we were actually helpful; told them the person they are looking for does not live here and we have no idea who they are. We've become progressively more hostile as the calls continue, looking for random people (and insulting and threatening us in the process) who all supposedly gave our home phone as their contact number.

Bullshit. Complete, unadulterated, 100%, Grade-A BULLSHIT.

Today was the final straw. Medical Services called our number four times between 9:25am and 9:30am. I ignored the first three calls and let them hit the answering machine. (They left no message, of course.) While these calls were happening, Debbie was trying to talk to a client and I was trying to get some stuff done while I had an unexpected day off. The last time they called, I answered and said very clearly and loudly, "If you call this number again, I will hunt you down and I will kill you!" Then I hung up. They haven't called back yet. I seriously hope they try to press charges.

That's a lot of typing; time for a nap.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Wait... Did Hell Freeze Over?

In the four years we've lived here, the park maintenance people have cut our grass exactly once, and that was only because I demanded that they do so. But something has changed. They've been back here twice in two weeks!! It's like a miracle or something.

Understand that I generally cut our own grass (and the seven other lots on our block). The maintenance guys start at the front of the park every week and work their way to the back. If something comes up, they don't make it to the back of the park. I don't mind giving them a hand, but sometimes things come up for me as well, and it would be nice if the park didn't assume that they never need to come back here. It's not like we get a break on the rent for doing their work for them.

But for now, it looks like the maintenance crew has finally discovered the back corner of the park where we live. It will be interesting to see what happens when the new owners take over in a few weeks. Lots of rumors, but not much in the way of facts. Other than they are yet-another multinational corporation whose primary goal is to make as much money as possible with as little effort as possible. In other words, I don't expect anything to improve unless it comes with a big price tag attached.

The theater-of-the-absurd presidential "race" continues, getting more surreal by the day. Rumors abound of violence at the Democratic convention, along with actual threats of violence at the Republican convention from the Black Lives Matter shitheads. There are other rumors of the Democratic establishment freaking out over what a piss-poor campaign Hillary is running, and I still expect the Republican establishment to do away with The Donald at some point over the summer, by whatever means necessary.

The latest absurdity is that Victoria Nuland is being considered for Hillary Clinton's Secretary of State. Perfect. I wonder how many days after the inauguration it will take for Vicky and Hill to do something really stupid with regards to... oh, I don't know... Russia? Just to pick a country completely at random. Not that we can't whip Russia in no time. I mean, look at how well we're doing trying to kill off a bunch of Kalashnikov-toting goat herders. With a success like that under our belt, who in their right mind would doubt that Russia's military wouldn't crumble on first contact with ours? As it turns out, several people who are fully in their right minds:

We, the undersigned, are Russians living and working in the USA. We have been watching with increasing anxiety as the current US and NATO policies have set us on an extremely dangerous collision course with the Russian Federation, as well as with China. Many respected, patriotic Americans, such as Paul Craig Roberts, Stephen Cohen, Philip Giraldi, Ray McGovern and many others have been issuing warnings of a looming Third World War. But their voices have been all but lost among the din of a mass media that is full of deceptive and inaccurate stories that characterize the Russian economy as being in shambles and the Russian military as weak—all based on no evidence. But we—knowing both Russian history and the current state of Russian society and the Russian military, cannot swallow these lies. We now feel that it is our duty, as Russians living in the US, to warn the American people that they are being lied to, and to tell them the truth. And the truth is simply this:

If there is going to be a war with Russia, then the United States will most certainly be destroyed, and most of us will end up dead.

But that's OK, because the really important news is that some fringe group of social justice warriors got a frog on a unicycle banned from their own, insignificant corner of the internet:

“Dat Boi” is an Internet meme that sprung up randomly, as so many memes do, about two months ago. It’s a low-resolution frog riding a unicycle, with the caption “Here come dat boi!” Don’t try to overthink it. It’s (supposedly) funny because it’s silly and random. A frog, retro low-res graphics, a unicycle, and slang for “that boy.” If you insist on knowing more, there’s no shortage of Dat Boi explanatory articles. But really, all you need to know is that it’s arbitrary on purpose, a non sequitur, a head-scratcher for “noobs”...everything that makes a good meme.

Except that according to black social justice warriors, it’s a bad meme. A very bad meme. Because it’s racist (you expected a different reason?). Yes, the frog on the unicycle is racist....

For a people who like to boast about being descended from kings, this is most surely an ignominious reduction in influence. “My ancestors ruled over a vast, fertile kingdom and commanded an army of warriors. I got a frog on a unicycle banned from a Facebook group.” From Zulu emperor to hobo emperor. It would be funny if not for the fact that the black community in the U.S. can ill afford such stupidity from its leaders and activists. Stoners wearing dreadlocks and frogs on unicycles... these are the worst problems black Americans face?

No, there are real problems faced by black Americans. But, in keeping with the rules of the Rescue Game, such "problems" as a frog on a unicycle make it possible for social justice warriors to put something in the win column (no matter how insignificant), and feel good about themselves, without doing anything that might be mistaken for actually helping black Americans. Like teaching them the importance of speaking standard English, rather than making up bullshit like African-American Vernacular English.

Well, I really should go outside and do a little work on my day off.