Monday, June 22, 2020

Riots, Racism and Reparations

This is probably a post I shouldn't write, but when has that ever stopped me?

First, the obvious: the murder of George Floyd was a despicable and cowardly act by a clearly deranged individual who happened to have a badge. Unfortunately we are living in a time when such things are commonplace. Between the military giving both hardware and personnel to the local cops (around one fifth of all cops were former military), then jack around a quarter of them up on steroids and use military terminology meant to dehumanize the enemy when referring to citizens, and such acts are inevitable.

However.

To start at the end of the title of this rant, I, who has never owned a slave, will pay reparations to blacks, who have never been slaves, just as soon as I get my reparations check from the blacks who enslaved my white ancestors. Contrary to the bullshit spewed by BLM assholes, slavery is not and has never been some sort of uniquely white thing. Every race, ethnicity, nation, religion, etc. has both enslaved and been enslaved at some point in history. If we're going to start demanding reparations for every centuries-old wrong, there is going to be a lot of money changing hands.

As far as the riots, looting and arson goes, what is there to say? Blacks are doing what blacks have always done when they get pissed off: burn and loot their own neighborhoods. Six months from now, those very same blacks will bitch and moan about how shitty their neighborhoods are and how unfair and racist it is that they have to drive all the way out into the suburbs to find nice stores to shoplift in. I really don't care what they do as long as they keep it in their own neighborhoods. Bring that shit anywhere near my family and they will find out what a .22-250 does to a human skull.

And now on to racism. Are there whites that think blacks are inferior due to their skin color? Absolutely. Just like there are Asians who think they are innately superior to other races, Christians who think they are superior to all other religious belief systems, etc. etc. etc. Ranking humanity (with my race, creed, religion etc. being at or near the top) is as human as breathing. Whites do it, blacks do it (just listen to any of the BLM assholes or their apologists in the media), everyone does it. At some point, both white and black working class people will understand they have a common enemy (the investment class) and stop allowing themselves to be baited into hating each other by rich white liberals who live safe behind their gated and fenced neighborhoods patrolled by private security.

Which brings us to the whole defund the police bullshit. What an incredibly S. T. U. P. I. D. idea. To show just how stupid this idea is, we need look no further than CHAZ or CHOP or whatever the Seattle hipster ass clowns are calling the part of the city they claim is an autonomous zone. At least until the shooting starts, then they come whining back begging the residents of a foreign nation (the USA) to please, please, please come get our gunshot victims and arrest the bad guys and, while you are up, collect our garbage and empty our shit houses. Whata complete joke.

Meanwhile, cops nationwide are quitting and retiring in record numbers for completely obvious reasons. The ones that remain are giving BLM their wish and steering clear of black neighborhoods with lawlessness being the expected result. There is no way this ends well. The only advise I have for whites living in urban areas is to keep your powder dry.

I would get into the whole tearing down statues thing, but I'm pretty sure anyone reading this can figure out what I feel about that.

R.I.P. Western Civ.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Friday, May 15, 2020

Hello Michigan!

[This was written over a period of several days while we tried to find internet]

Saturday May 9th

Well, we are now living in Michigan for the summer. We had planned to be up here for a couple weeks, not for six months. But we couldn't figure out a way for my snowbird parents to live up here now that we've taken my dad's car keys away from him. So the only solution we could come up with was for us to become reverse snowbirds and spend the summer living in the cabin on my parents' property. We got here on the first of May and have been scrubbing and sorting 30 years of accumulated debris. What's really weird about the whole thing is that my parents furnished the cabin with stuff from the house I grew up in. It's beyond strange to be using the same dishes, pots, pans, utensils, etc. from when I was a little kid.

As this is now our new normal, we went through all our clothes and decided what would come to Michigan and stay, what we would carry back and forth, and what will stay in Florida. There was no way we could have ever fit even 10% of what we had packed up into my parents' mini-van. We thought we were going to have to UPS the stuff up here, but we found out that one of Debbie's cousins runs a business that hauls snowbird crap between Michigan and Florida, and for a fraction of what it would have cost us to ship it any other way. woot.

In pandemic news, moving to Michigan means we are now under the rule of some wanabe Mussolini. The governor of Michigan has the place locked down tighter than nearly any other state and for longer than most. Everyone knows about the protest in Lansing, but the news media has it all wrong. The protestors are not "white supremacists" or Tea Partiers". They are ordinary people that are being forced into homelessness and even starvation by a lock-down that is mostly unnecessary anywhere in Michigan other than Detroit. The county we are in has had exactly 2 covid-19 deaths. The county that is less than a mile to our north has had zero deaths. So once again, the entire state is being punished because Detroit can't get it's shit together. Everyone likes to blame it all on poverty and GM closing the factories, and that certainly didn't help matters. But Detroit was a wreck long before GM sent all the jobs to China. For my entire life, the rest of the state pays for Detroit's incompetence. I can't count the number of times that the state legislature has taken money away from the local schools here in order to have more for the Detroit schools. Detroit goes bankrupt through corruption and gross stupidity, and the rest of the state gets to foot the bill. So now counties that have less than a dozen cases and no deaths have their economies (still reeling from the Volcker recession) stomped in to the mud yet again. But on the other hand, they didn't vote for her, so why would the Governor give a shit about them?

Weather-wise, we thought we had lucked out. The first day we were here, it got up into the 70's. But that proved to be a teaser. The last two days have been barely making it to 40 with 20-30 mph winds. And SNOW! Not just a few flakes, but actual SNOW on the GROUND! I could have died happy if I had never seen snow again. I'm staying inside wrapped up in blankets as much as possible, but we are still having supper with my parents every day. I "run" across the yard as fast as I can go screaming like a little girl the entire time. At least I'm getting some exercise....

One good thing that has come out of the whole pandemic thing is that people are getting a taste of what a low-carbon lifestyle is really like. No windmills or solar panels or electric cars; just a lot less of everything. Michael Moore is pushing a video on his YouTube channel that more or less puts paid to the whole Green New Deal type thinking. The mainline environmental groups have always pushed the fantasy of everyone in the world living an American, middle-class lifestyle fueled by solar panels and windmills, but as anyone who has lived off-grid knows, it's just that; fantasy. The simple truth is that you cannot run the national electric grid on power that disappears whenever the wind dies down or the sun sets. The intermittency problem can be partially solved for an individual household by using batteries, but how do you build a battery that can store the terawatts of juice to last North America for several days? Add in the electric vehicles that we are all supposed to be driving any day now, and the problem increases exponentially. It. Can. Not. Be. Done. That should be tattooed on the forehead of every politician who has signed onto AoC's Green New Deal. The irony is that the attempt will likely create more environmental destruction than if we just keep on the way we are until the fossil fuels become too expensive for general use.

The elephant in the room is population. Prior to humans breaking into the planet's carbon stores, human population never exceeded 1 billion. We are well on our way to 8 billion. What does that say about our low carbon future? Exactly. Look around you; only one out of every eight people gets to live. There are several ways that can happen, one of which, ironically, is pandemics. We could try something like China's now-abandoned one-child policy, but doing so would create a demographic disaster even worse than what we see in countries like Japan. We are in a trap; we've painted ourselves into a corner that has no way out that doesn't look like the scariest parts of the Bible.

Thursday May 14

We've more or less settled into the cabin. The weather has improved somewhat. We used the couple of nice days to tackle my dad's shed, which has become filled with tools and random junk over the last 30 years. It was so bad that even getting in the door was a challenge. A dozen or so garbage bags later, we are starting to make some progress, but we still have a long way to go. Once we are done there, we will start on my mom's shed which is almost as bad as my dad's was. I can't figure out how two people who lectured me for my entire life about how having things takes away from what is important in life could have accumulated so much useless crap.

I'd also like to get a small garden going. There is a large fenced area on the property that my dad planted for years. Then it just got to be more than he could handle, so the garden has sat fallow for several years. There is no way I can do anything like he used to in my condition, but I can do something on a smaller scale. Now that we are allowed to buy seeds and plants (and temperatures have stopped dropping into the teens at night) I need to get my butt into gear.

We are going to go searching for a wifi connection, so this may actually get posted before November...

Friday May 15

We have internet!!! We ran into the Verizon and picked up a Jetpack. I was playing with it all the way home. Works great even in the cabin! I doubt we can stream video, but for most of what we do, it works just fine. There is no data caps, but there is throttling after a certain point, but unless we start trying to binge-watch X-Files episodes, I don't think we will ever get anywhere near our cap.

Woo Hoo!

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Shareholder Value

Keeping in mind what is really important...

(The S&P 500 is up over 20% over the last month. Buy! Buy! Buy! You don't want to be left out!)

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Easter 2020


Happy Easter to everyone!!

Life in Lock-Down

Florida joined up with most of the other states and declared a formal lock-down. We can still do take-out and drive thru for food; grocery stores are open, but good luck scoring toilet paper; most churches are shut down, although a few are defying the 10-or-fewer people rule and having regular services. We were already pretty much shut in and had even told my parents that they could not go to church, so not much changed for us.

One problem we had is that my parents eat out frequently, so instead, we started preparing meals and taking them over to their place. It's still eating out - as in eating out on the porch; for now, we are keeping them happy. Dad still has to have a Burger King every week or so, but we're working on weaning him off of that.

We've also been canceling "unnecessary" doctor visits, which raises the question: If they were unnecessary, why were they ever made in the first place? I had my first video doctor visit the other day; it seemed... well... unnecessary. Nothing was said or done that could not have been handled with a simple phone call or even an e-mail. The video quality was so poor on either end, I could never had shown him anything. But I'm sure some tech consulting firm made a mint setting it all up and that is all that really matters, right? After all, those legions of burger flippers put out of their jobs by automation are going to become tech experts after watching a dozen or so TED Talks, and they need jobs!

We are still trying to figure out when exactly we are leaving for Michigan. Medical stuff keeps jumping into our path, so by the time we get everything set, something else pops up. As of right now, there is nothing stopping us from leaving when we originally planned as long as the states don't try to close their borders. We keep hearing rumors of cops pulling people over at random and demanding ID's and proof that it's "necessary" for them to be on the road. If true, then we are taking a bigger hit to our constitutional rights (freedom of travel, freedom of association, freedom of assembly) than we took after 9/11.

And speaking of politicians over-stepping their authority, we have this little gem:

“If you’re not buying food, medicine, or other essential items, you should not be going to the store,” [Governor Gretchen Whitmer] said. Big-box retailers such as Walmart were ordered to shutter entire sections of their stores – such as furniture, carpeting, plant nurseries, paint, and garden centers – beginning on April 10.

The state’s strict lockdown measures mean residents will be stuck at home for the start of spring, but those who were hoping to plant a vegetable garden to help pass the time – or get some fresh air – are fresh out of luck.

...

Amanda Carpenter, a CNN contributor with more than 140,000 Twitter followers, wrote that her friends in Michigan are “irate” over the fact that they “can’t get farm supplies but booze and lottery tickets are available.”

Good to see my home state has their priorities straight, even in a pandemic: neoliberal exploitation in the form of liquor and lottery ticket sales are "essential", but seeds and plants that allow citizens some infinitesimal  bit of freedom from Corporate Food (tm)? NOT ALLOWED!

Whata bunch of bozos. I hope Michigan residents remember this at the next election.

If we have elections....

Thursday, March 19, 2020

COVID-19, Dogs, Tortoises, and Other Miscellaneous

Given that the State of Florida is closed for business until further notice, I haven't had much to share lately. Debbie finally got a picture of our latest rent-a-dog:


Her name is Sophie. She's very old and makes almost as much noise standing up and lying down as I do. She can also hold her own when we all got into a snoring contest. I think we set off the neighbor's car alarm....

We also have a gopher tortoise living behind our lot. We haven't named him/her yet, but I'm leaning towards "Fred". Except it might be a "Fredericka". We haven't bothered peeking at it's naughty bits. Yet. Anyway, he/she/it came out of his/her/its burrow to say, "Hi!"


I can't remember if I've already posted a photo of our rent-a-cat; a very vocal "free living" cat that seems to like hanging out with us:



For some reason, that is her favorite chair to take naps on, even though it's kinda slippery and she's slid off and landed on her head at least once.

The flowers are blooming. The amaryllis are up:



and the hibiscus are going crazy this year:


As I mentioned, everything is pretty much shut down at this point. A lot of the seasonal people are pulling out because if all you can do is sit inside and stare at the TV, you may as well be closer to family up in snow country. We are still planning on taking the 'rents up north around the end of April. I'm hoping by then that the worst of the insanity has worn off and things will be, if not normal, at least minimally functional. Rumors are flying that the states are going to close their borders, even though such a move would be constitutionally problematic, not to mention not all that practical. Shutting down the freeways? OK, that's barely plausible. But what about secondary roads? As we liked to say when we were kids, "You and whose army?"

Personally, not much has changed for us other than not going to the Moose Lodge for spaghetti and music on Mondays with my parents, and staying closer to home. Like everywhere else in the "civilized" world, the store shelves are stripped bare of toilet paper and bread, but we've always kept a fairly deep pantry, so we're good and have enough to keep my parents going for quite a while as well.

The big question is if we will be able to head north when we plan to. Will the hotels be open that we've already booked rooms in? Will the dialysis center in Michigan agree to take me on as a seasonal patient, or will they tell me to take a hike? Will things get bad enough  that some sort of national state of emergency will make any travel impossible? It's kinda scary that we even have to think about questions like that, but such is the "post-coronavirus world."

Well, given that everyone is hording the bread, it looks like I'm going to have to make some for us and my parents. Forcing me to make and eat fresh-baked bread: it's a cruel, cruel world out there....

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Thursday, February 06, 2020

When I Was a Kid







This was me as a kid, only instead of cool Bon Iver music, what you would have heard was:

You can't go out in just that sweater in this weather! You'll catch cold and DIE!

Don't walk so close to the water! You'll fall in and DIE!

Don't touch that! It could be poisonous and you'll DIE!

Quit looking up in the sky! You'll trip, break your neck and DIE!

Don't wade in the water! You'll get your pants wet, catch cold and DIE!

Don't touch that bird! You'll catch bird flu and DIE!

Don't climb on those rocks! You'll slip, fall and DIE!


Love ya Mom!


Thursday, January 30, 2020

2020 Is Off to a Good Start





Can't wait for February.....

Sunday, January 19, 2020

If You Are Easily Offended, Don't Read This

So I'm skimming through articles on RT and come across this little jem:

The United Methodist schism is all about RACIST white pro-LGBTQ progressives muscling out ethnic minorities faithful to Bible

The title of the article gives away the plot, but there were some interesting details. For example, the little insignificant detail that the UMC actually held a vote as to whether the church should abandon the 2,000-year-old doctrine that homosexuality is a sin and the majority voted "No" and that indeed it was still a sin. Like liberals everywhere, the ones pushing the church to change its doctine took the loss magnanimously and agreed to abide by existing doctrine.

Oh. Wait.

The expectation was that it was the progressives who would decide they had to leave.

It turns out Mohler was completely wrong. The opposite has happened. Somehow in the following year, the LGBTQ faction turned the tide and got the conservatives to call it quits.

All the MSM outlets are reporting the fallout the same way: the newly minted ‘traditionalist Methodist’ denomination will be allowed to continue to be bigots in their own splinter group.

And there is certainly bigotry at play here, but it’s not coming from the traditionalists. They are simply affirming the same truths Christians have always affirmed in a world that wants them to change.

Not having a personal dog in this fight, I've stayed quiet on this issue while watching denomination after denomination fall prey to the queers. The Bible is explicit in its condemnation of homosexuality, right along with fornication and adultery. If you are going to call yourself a "Methodist" and "Christian", then you cannot support the whole rainbow flag crowd. It's just that simple. Go start your own religion (or join any of the thousands out there that have no problem with homosexuals, adulterers, etc.), but stop hijacking Christian churches along with their real estate and other bankable assets. Cuz it's always about the benjamins...

Take my personal experience as an example. I was raised as a GARBC Baptist, active member, lay pastor, board member, etc. Paid out tens of thousands of dollars to get a degree in ministry. Devoted over 40 years to service in my chosen denomination. And then, gradually over a period of several years discovered that I did not agree with the church on several major doctrinal points.

So naturally, I used my position as a lay pastor and board member to hold the church's assets hostage. I demanded that the GARBC immediately change its doctrinal position even though the majority of the congregation did not agree with me.

I, of course, did none of that. I simply left the church, stopped identifying myself as "GARBC Baptist" and have pretty much dropped the "Christian" label as well. I am currently exploring other options, most of which incidentally are accepting of homosexuals (and adulterers and fornicators, etc.). Personally, I could care less who shags whom, how they do it or how many are involved as long as everyone is consenting and of age. But to claim that after 2,000 years, there has been some sort of new revelation and that everyone has been misinterpreting scripture (including those who spoke the languages the Bible was originally written in) has to qualify as the most arrogant and self-serving drivel that I've ever heard.

To say that I am disappointed that the Methodist leadership caved in to the fags is a massive understatement. Shame on those who orchestrated this hostile take-over and shame on those who stood by and let it happen.

And now that I've pissed off my last three readers, I will sign off.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

New Year, New Decade

Here we are in the year 2020, the far-off future we all dreamed about when we were kids (when we weren't doing duck-and-cover drills). I'm with Calvin on this one:


Last New Years Day I was in the hospital, so I didn't do a proper post, but I probably would have said pretty much the same thing I said two years ago:

Speaking of the future, it's that time of year to look back at what I expected for last year and what I expect for this year. I have to say that I'm really surprised that we made it all the way through 2017 without some sort of crash, bust, implosion, etc. I have to give credit to the Masters of the Universe at the Fed, ECB, BOJ, PBOC, etc. for keeping all the plates spinning for another twelve months. Not that the real economy is in any better shape now than a year ago. The opposite, in fact. But all the modern-day tulip bulb bubbles keep going up...

Just change the years, and that's my opinion for 2020. About the only thing I can think to add is that the insanity of the Fed hoovering up crappy stocks and bonds to the tune of a half a trillion dollars in the last weeks of 2019 does not seem like a positive thing. But given that this is an election year, we can assume the hoovering will continue in whatever volume necessary to prevent any serious downturns in either the stock or bond markets.

Speaking of the election, it looks like the DNC is doing everything they can to re-elect Trump. At this point, the Democrats have so shot themselves repeatedly in both feet, I don't see any way for them to recover short of putting a radical like Sanders up for the nomination. Unfortunately for the party, that will never happen. Instead, the party hacks will once again rig the primary for Biden which will guarantee a Trump win in a landslide. In the meantime, our famously free press will continue to be the 24-7 Re-elect Trump ad that they've become since 2016.

On a personal level, I'm not sure how 2020 can be any worse than 2019, but I'm sure Loki or Pan or God or whoever (if anyone) is in charge of things will figure out a way. Over the last year, my kidneys crapped out entirely, so now I get to do dialysis every day for the rest of my life. Yaaaa! Then my immune system ate all the nerves from the knees down, so now I'm basically a complete cripple unable to do anything for myself. Yaaaaaa! Then my thyroid bit the dust so now I'm on hormone pills for the rest of my life. Yaaaaaaa! And no explanation for any of it. Personally, I think it's all some autoimmune disorder, but none of my 17 doctors seem to give a shit other than racking up huge bills for Medicare and Medicaid. The question I keep asking (and not getting an answer to) is what happens when it kills an organ than can't be replaced with a pill or a shot or a machine?

What all this means is that any goals we had as far as getting work done around here just got flushed down the toilet. My day is basically wake up, hobble (barely) out to my recliner, sit all day reading, messing around on the internet, or watching movies, then hobble (barely) back to bed. The only excitement to break up the day is all the medical procedures we have to do to keep me alive and being driven around to all of my doctors appointments, lab tests, etc. There is a mile-long list of things that need to be done and I cannot do a single one of them. We tried to hire someone to do one of the easiest things on that list, but it turned into a giant, two-month-long clusterfuck, that we are still catching drama about. Life is too short for all that and so is money, meaning I expect 2020 to be nothing but a lot of sitting around watching the yard go to hell and nothing getting done on the house interspersed with doctor crap. Yaaaaaa!

Happy New Year!