The Summit of Hysteria

Trying to sort through the hysteria pile concerning the Trump/Putin “summit”. This is a portion of conversation I had with a good friend:

 

  1. World leaders never upstage each other on the same stage; the idea that Trump would berate Putin in a press conference is idiotic and childish. Set your Wayback Machine to 1972 and recall that President Nixon met with and shared a stage with Mao Zedong, numerically the worst butcher of humans in history. No one expected Nixon to Mao, and it would have been a disaster had he done so. Event though Mao had the blood of some 60,000,000 people on his hands.

 

  1. Trump’s style, near as I can figure, is to co-opt his rivals. This is a classic business approach that we see every day on Wall Street. If you can’t beat them, join them or better yet, buy them. No, we won’t buy Russia but maybe instead of treating them like an enemy (they aren’t), try to get them on our side in terms of getting along. This may not work, but it has seemingly borne fruit in North Korea.

 

  1. The one fault I may have with Trump is publicly calling out the intelligence services, but it’s a minor quibble. From long before the 2016 elections, the alphabet soup of our “intelligence” agencies have seemingly embraced a unitary purpose: The downfall of candidate-now-President Trump. Should he be a “bigger person” than that? Perhaps. But as a shot against the “deep state (more on this in a minute) it was a darn effective shot precisely because it falls in the category of “you just don’t do that”. Kinda like with Air Force One flew direct from Riyadh to Israel. Trump was told that no one does that. He said, essentially, “hold my beer” and had it done. That is good in my eyes.

 

  1. Back to Russia quickly. At one point the Soviet Union was publicly on record as seeking to destroy the United States (and just about everyone else in the west). They were enemies then. Now, at best they are rivals, more like China but with the potential to be co-opted as if not an ally, a reasonable party. China is a much bigger concern to us and to Russia. It makes sense to see if we have mutual interest.

 

  1. (last one): Call it the “deep state”, call it Leviathan, call it the Elite. Whatever you call it, it is…not good for this nation. There was a great study performed a few years ago that got turned into a long-but-not-too-dry book. It’s called “What Washington Gets Wrong: The Unelected Officials Who Actually Run the Government and Their Misconceptions About the American People” by Jennifer Bachner and Benjamin Ginsberg. The Cliff’s Notes of the Cliff’s Notes: Laws are passed by elected representatives but regulations are written and implemented by a massive unelected bureaucracy that is not only unaccountable to the people, they statistically are at odds with the majority of people on most issues. Furthermore, many of these folks couldn’t possibly tell you what the average American thinks because they live, work and breathe in a bubble. This is the essence of that FBI agent saying that you can “smell the Trump support.” That dripping condescension runs deep in DC.

 

So along comes Trump, speaking out against Leviathan to great effect. Much of what you see on the news is the reaction of Leviathan to Trump and by extension the American people. The “deplorables”, as Hillary called many of us. In my view, the more the media screams, the more they are all scared that at some point enough people will decide “enough” and start electing battalions of Trumps. Not the most pleasant thought, I do understand that. But this $4 trillion per year blob sucks the life out of the nation and uses the media as its mouthpiece, constantly berates people like me as morons, racists and worse, and frankly goes on its way and does what it wants regardless of who we elect. It probably will never change. But I will enjoy it when Trump makes it squirm.

 

Deep state

Do these folks run the world????

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Non-Virtuous Signaling

There is a ghastly trend gaining strength today: The practice of “virtue signaling” or showing everyone else how totally awesome you are by performing a meaningless gesture that serves no other purpose. Indeed, it’s all the “rage” now.

To be fair, anyone who has even put a bumper sticker on their car, bought an article of clothing solely for the logo, or put a candidate’s sign in their yard has done this. After all, no one is going to decide to vote for someone because of your yard sign. And disarming our nuclear arsenal may be a good thing in certain circumstances, one of those is most certainly not because “You Can’t Hug Children with Nuclear Arms”. So, this is not new. But it seems we are taking it to new levels.

Social media causes some of this: Remember the “99% of people won’t post this” postings that ran rampant a few years ago on social media?  Yes, “99% of people” won’t post whatever it is because it’s (fill in the blank – religious, controversial, bold, whatever), and these people are (again, choose one or more – cowards, bigots, morons, whatever) but doggone it, I will post it and that makes me awesome! Sorry, you 99% losers, you suck compared to me.

Or take the recently minted “Just Be Kind” signs. Please. No one except the most naïve simpleton is going to think that a Bad Person – on their way to be a Very Bad Thing – is going to see this sign and change their minds. This sign – like the English, Spanish and Arabian language signs post-2016 election declaring strangers to be welcome – is all about the virtuousness of the person posting the sign. That person is kind; those without signs are hateful haters who hate.

If mere annoyance was the worst of it, the increase in virtue signaling would be bearable. Unfortunately, it takes on far more sinister – and frankly, deadly – forms. For example, let’s look at everyone’s favorite school policy, the “gun free zone”. This is virtue signaling at its most idiotic and dangerous. Like the Just Be Kind signs, only a fool thinks that making schools “gun free” will prevent a determined maniac from entering the school armed and to devastating effect. It’s a progressive fantasy of the highest order that an armed intruder, upon viewing a “gun free zone” sign, will turn around, drop their guns, and have a good hug and cry with the staff.

Let’s look at this another way. I design mechanical and electrical systems, some of which are outside. In these instances, we install fencing around the equipment. Why? For one, to keep vandals out. But also, to keep people and wildlife away from dangerous equipment. No one wants to have an accident where someone is killed by electrical shock.

But taking the logic of the gun free zones, why do we need a fence? Would not signs do? Why do we need fences around electrical substations? For that matter, why do we need x-ray machines at the airport? Or baggage screeners? Or security guards at banks? If mere signs are expected to do the trick at schools, why can’t signs be counted on everywhere?

And it’s now worse still. The left, in its latest fit of unhinged rage, is showing its “virtue” by berating those they disagree with in a bizarre form of “shaming”. This is truly ironic, since it’s the political left that for decades told us that “shame” has no place in society. Egged on by congresswoman Maxine Waters and others, people are encouraged to show how enlightened thy are by shouting, disrupting and otherwise making nuisances of themselves. In other words, their virtue is such that they are permitted – no, encouraged, even commanded – to engage in the most non-virtuous behaviors to make their point.

It will never work: Minds will never be changed by someone screaming at them. Nor are minds changed by violence or the threat thereof. Scream, threaten or throw your tantrums. No one will listen, and no one will change.

It’s like a Very Wise Man once said long ago of His day’s own virtue signalers, “they have their reward”. So be it with today’s.

 

virtue-signaling

Beware the wolves in sheep’s clothing…

Whose Funds?

Peruse the news for not a very long time and you will inevitably stumble upon one or more of the following lines:

“The project will be 80% paid for by a federal grant.”

“FEMA has pledged to help rebuild the community.”

“The governor plans to ask for federal funds to pay for the new program”.

Or this one, taken from the web site for the Indianapolis Bus Rapid Transit boondoggle:

“Construction of the Red Line is being funded primarily through a $75 million federal Small Starts grant. Additional federal resources are being provided through a federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant already in place.” (emphases mine)

These claims, and all other like them, work from the same basic premise: Federal funds are being used to offset local funds. The federal funds are presented as free, so what would have cost $100 million now “only” costs $20 million. It’s as if the federal government is a distant rich uncle who just writes checks from a large mountain of cash, saving the locals from horrible bills.

The reality is different. Yes, the federal government does have a large mountain of cash, but that cash comes from you and me in the form of taxes. In fact, because of our insane levels of debt and ongoing deficit spending, the cash comes from you, me, our children, our grandchildren, and likely their children and grandchildren. What is presented as free is anything but.

Without delving into the argument of whether the good citizens of Alaska should be forced to pay for Indy’s bus system, what would happen if the example paragraph above was rewritten as follows:

“Construction of the Red Line is being funded primarily through a $75 million of taxpayer-funded ‘Small Starts’ grant. Additional taxpayer resources are being provided through the taxpayer-provided Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant already in place.”

It reads a bit differently, doesn’t it? Would it make a difference? Maybe, maybe not. Probably not at first. But over time, as people look at everything that is being paid for by the federal government taxpayers, some will question why? Why are we paying for a bus system few will use? Or a new convention center? Or an arts center? Or surplus cheese? Or a glow-in-the-dark marijuana joint on a billboard?

Because proponents of massive government work in the media, don’t expect to see this anytime soon. But you, dear reader, can train your mind. When you see “federal program”, replace with “taxpayer” and see how you feel about paying for the program in question. You will find yourself questioning a great deal of that is being done for “free”.

 

shell-game-dog

There’s no free treat under there

The Kids Aren’t All Right

With word of another school shooting – this one near where I live, involving a middle school student – I expect the usual barrage of nonsense about inanimate objects needing to be banned. What I will not hear is any of the following:

  • What is causing kids – boys, primarily – to decide to kill their fellow human beings? When I was in school, disputes were settled – at worst – by fisticuffs in the school yard. Using a gun was simply unheard of. Even thinking of using a gun was something that did not happen.
  • These are not passion crimes – events where in the heat of the moment little Johnny goes and pulls the Glock from his locker and starts unloading. These are pre-planned, pre-meditated, and often have much thought put into them. In other words, these kids have a rage that they are able to maintain for weeks, if not months, if not longer. How is this going undetected? What is causing this?
  • Are we hurting our kids by pretending no one loses in life, everyone gets a trophy, and all are special? How painful that must be when at 14, 15, 16 years old Johnny wakes up and realizes it’s all a load of crap? How devastating. Who helps him deal with that?
  • What, if any, role does the prescribing of mind-altering drugs such as Ritalin have to do with this? If I try to think of what is different now than it was in the 1980s, this is one major area. Kids those days were not on antidepressants, or anti-ADHD meds. They are now. Correlation does not equal causation, of course, but it should be examined.
  • And finally, echoing my posting last week, what is to be done with a generation of young adult males that seems to have nothing inside that acts as a conscience? Now that God is out of the schoolhouse (and out of the public house), now that the family is decimated resulting in less male guidance, and now that even being a male is considered “toxic” in some corners of education, how do we get these kids back? Is it even possible?

Suppressing the rights of everyone by pretending that suddenly guns have become the Teen Whisperers – enticing young boys to grab them and use them like some sort of creepy clown doll in a horror movie – is no different from putting our heads in the collective sand. As always, any solution starts at home and in your local community. I just hope something can be found, and soon. Eventually the forces of hysteria will win.

Hard Questions

Answers needed. Soon

YOU CAN’T MAKE THAT TODAY – WKRP IN CINCINNATI

(Number 2 in a Series)

 

What: WKRP in Cincinnati

Category: TV Series

Genre: Comedy

Dates(s): 1978 – 1982

SJWs offend if aired today:

  • #MeToo
  • Blacks
  • Hispanics
  • LGBTQ
  • PETA

Others possibly offended if aired today:

  • Radio Executives (if they had souls)

 

THE PREMISE:

WKRP in Cincinnati was a fun show that ran for 4 years in the late 70s and early 80s. Featuring a cast of misfits running a radio station, the show was quite funny most of the time. Even when taking on social or political issues (the Cincinnati “Who concert tragedy” of 1979, the “Moral Majority”, and the Soviet Union through the eyes of a wannabe defector among many others), the show did not preach. It poked fun at the radio business while playing some of the coolest music ever to be heard on a TV series. Indeed, the band Blondie even presented the show’s producers with a gold record for their playing of the song “Heart of Glass” before it became a hit.

THE OFFENSES:

The show would run afoul of today’s screeching harpies that, ironically, perfectly mimic the role of Dr. Bob Halyers, the Jerry Falwell-like preacher who wants to change the station’s “offensive” playlist. Among its unforgivable sins:

  • A serial womanizer (Herb Tarlek) that is always hitting on the station’s hot secretary
  • Les Nessman, the classic newsman who referred to professional golfer Chi-Chi Rodriguez as “Chy-Chy Rod-ri-gweez”. He also has a hilarious segment talking to a black gang leader who is there to meet with Venus. Hilarious then; cause for termination today.
  • Les also threatens to jump off the balcony in Season 1 after being accused of being gay. That’s cause for an LGBTQ sponsor boycott today.
  • Finally, PETA would be deeply offended by the classic episode “Turkeys Away”, when the station decided to drop live Thanksgiving turkeys from a helicopter.

(A word on the Radio Executives: No group in business has sold its soul to the extent these cretins have done. They have sucked the life out of every terrestrial market and replaced it with generic, pre-packaged crap. Neither Johnny Fever nor Venus Flytrap would make it. Nor would Steve Cooper, Steve Kelley, Garth Hemp, or many of the others I still remember from FM radio back in the day. Sadly, we’ll never get those days back. They have completely destroyed the industry.)

CONCLUSION:

WKRP could possibly air today if it got rid of Les and Herb. After all, they were the serial SJW-value offenders. The show, of course, would then lose a large amount of humor. Come to think of it, that’s par for the course with the SJW crowd. But in 1978, no one would have watched this show if Les and Herb were replaced by a dour bespectacled lesbian and a vegetarian cycling Nazi. Humorlessness, alas, is a nonstarter in any era.

 

 

turkeys away

PETA would NOT be amused….

 

The Power Farm

First in a Series

 

Let’s create a thought exercise:

You own a very large farm. It’s so large you call it Mammoth Farm. You bought the land for Mammoth Farm. You cleared it of trees and tilled it. You installed irrigation so that it grows food regardless of rain. You installed greenhouses, so it grows food all year. You even own the entire distribution network – all of the trucks that take your product to market. Your farm is so productive and consistent and efficient, no one can economically compete with it. So, you accept regulation, a fixed rate structure and profit, and provide all the food to the local community. Everyone is happy.

Well, not quite. The government comes along and declares Mammoth Farm a polluting menace. To reduce the impact of Mammoth Farms, government encourages smaller, “alternative” food producers and offers subsidies to encourage them. Furthermore, the government mandates that a growing percentage of all food musty come from the alternative producers. Even Mammoth Farms is required to purchase 20% of their product from the smaller providers at costs of 3-4 times their own costs of growing food.

But the smaller providers have issues. Some only operate half the time. Others operate somewhat randomly – they match Mammoth’s capacity one day and stand idle the next. The lack of consistent production means that sometimes the community has to import expensive food from elsewhere at costs 10,20 or even 100 times the local rate. Even when the alternative producers meet the demand, its not without cost as their food costs 200%, 300% or more of what it costs Mammoth. Even with subsidies, prices begin to necessarily skyrocket, as one government leader promised.

By now billions have been spent propping up the alternative providers – many of them well-heeled individuals and corporations. Yet the same problems remain: Their food is expensive and requires subsidies. Food is intermittently produced, requiring Mammoth to always be on “standby” to fill in demand. Mammoth is now struggling to survive because they only sell when the smaller producers cannot. Such a business model cannot survive, and it’s becoming likely that Mammoth will go out of business, leaving the smaller, much more expensive and much less reliable producers as the only suppliers of food.

If you haven’t figured it out, this is not-exactly-a-parable of our electricity system. “Mammoth” is the existing power grid, with large power stations and transmission grids. The smaller, “alternative” producers are wind and solar, for decades massively subsidized with no end in sight. No matter how many billions, if not trillions, we sink into these boondoggles, they never match the performance of the base grid. They never can. They never will.

Part 2 of this series will show why “green” wind and solar are anything but good for the environment.

 

 

Wind 1

Rainbows and sunshine? Not so much. Behold the true cost of wind.

 

(Author’s note: I know this is not an exact analogy. Food, unlike power, can effectively be stored. But general knowledge of how electricity is produced and consumed is lacking. I work in this field; I could bore my readers with engineering geekspeak. I’d prefer to try examples that more readers may understand.)

YOU CAN’T MAKE THAT TODAY!

One thing I want to do with this space is a recurring feature called “You Can’t Make That Today!”, featuring TV shows and movies from the 60s, 70s and 80s that would in no way be permitted in our hyper-PC culture today.

I start with one of the most popular sitcoms of the 1970s and early 1980s, M*A*S*H.

YOU CAN’T MAKE THAT TODAY!

What: M*A*S*H

Category: TV Series

Genre: Comedy

Dates(s): 1972 – 1983

Would offend if aired today:

  • Blacks
  • Asians
  • Women
  • LGBTQ

M*A*S*H the TV series was based on the movie of the same name and became one of the most beloved TV shows of all time. Although it certainly became leftist and quite preachy in its later years, there’s no way the series survives the first year today. After all, Season 1 featured:

  • A black surgeon named Oliver Harmon “Spearchucker” Jones
  • A Korean houseboy named “Ho-Jon”
  • A sexed-up Head Nurse (“Hot Lips” Houlihan) who seduced or tried to seduce numerous generals and at least one visiting Colonel.
  • A crossdressing male (Corporal Klinger) who, when offered a chance to be declared a Transvestite and a homosexual and be discharged, refused because he was offended at those things. He wasn’t gay, he just crossdressed to show he was crazy. Very bad form in 2018.

Furthermore, of the four primary doctors, three were Matt Lauer-level skirt chasers. Since they outranked the nurses they chased, they would today be accused of sexual harassment.

Although Spearchucker and Ho-Jon went away after Season 1, the show’s basic bawdy premise continued until the departure of Col. Henry Blake and Dr. Trapper John McIntyre after Season 3.

CONCLUSION:

If M*A*S*H aired today, its creators would be forced to issue tearful apologies and attend sexual harassment, cultural sensitivity, and LQBTQ acceptance training. To survive, the show would have to turn Trapper and Henry into sexually frustrated married gay men who have an ongoing affair, while Klinger has gender reassignment surgery and actually becomes a woman. And Hawkeye (Alan Alda) would have to become an overly whiny, sensitive metrosexual poster child. Oh wait – that last part actually happened.

 

Spearchucker Jones

A Clear Violation of the PC Police