August 22, 2020

Two in as Many Days.. 2020 is Jumping the Sharks.....


...and the alligators, and the water moccasins which will probably be swimming in the streets of New Orleans next week. Steer clear of NOLA Tuesday and Wednesday.


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When You've Lost The Moral High Ground to 4Chan, It's Time to Reassess Your Premises

In general though, those that have never do.


...and that's all we're gonna say about "Cuties". 

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August 16, 2020

Entertainment Bleg

The Last of Us 2 was dreadful.

The FF7 Remake was decent if tedious until the very ending when jumped the shark, lassoed it and rode it into a maelstrom of stupid. 

I just watched the premiere of Star Trek Lower Decks.


Are there any good shows? 

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The Latest Episode of 2020 Continues To Subvert Expectations

The National Weather Service has issued its first ever warning for fire tornadoes





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August 15, 2020

First world Problems That May Presage Larger Issues

Today I ran some errands and took the opportunity to stop at a hot dog joint that has turned itself into a drive-in due to COVID. I actually ordered a cheeseburger, as this is easier to eat on the road, and the burgers at the place are excellent.


Except this wasn't. It was not terrible but something was...off. It took a minute but I figured out what the issue was.  The cheeseburger was actually a cheesewhiz burger.


Such supply chain disruptions are only going to get worse are only going to get worse after the recent derecho wiped out 10 million acres of cropland. That storm may be far more consequential than most hurricanes, though it's getting diffident coverage, perhaps because most of those affected were not in 'relevant' zip codes. However, the knock-on effects need to be looked at. A lot of that grain goes to animal feed. Beef is already pricy, because of disruptions due to COVID, but, for instance, with regard to chicken farming the next brood of chicks may not have enough grain in the pipeline. 

In addition to this oddball storm, there is believed to be a  La Nina event developing, those tend to have deleterious effects on the grain crops of the U.S., as well as the big South American grain producers like Argentina and Paraguay. 


At this point we do not recommend taking a long position in grains until after the US harvest. It is possible that a developing La Nina could mean higher grain prices later in 2020 or 2021 if South American grain production is hurt.

Furthermore, a good portion of this years crop has actually been promised to the Chinese, who, with their own food security issues, are depending on the large shipments of grain they signed the trade deal in exchange for. 

It's unclear how big an issue the lost crops are going to be in the long run. The U.S. has a lot of reserve capacity after all. However the recent supply chain disruptions may be a compounding factor, and in any event have demonstrated  that our food supply chain is more vulnerable to disruptions due to non-intuitive domino effects. 

Stock up on food. This is likely to be a rough winter. 

Or this all could just be a hysterical overreaction to a bad customer service experience. 

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August 14, 2020

Nope. Didn't See THIS Coming.

France has deployed fighters, a Helicopter Carrier and a frigate to Cyprus in order to deter a feared Turkish invasion of Greece. 




Turkey sent an oil exploration vessel into Greek territorial waters with a strong naval escort. The Greeks then sent a naval force to eject the trespassers whereupon hijinks ensued...exactly what sort of hijinks is unclear but it involved either an accidental collision or deliberate ramming between a Greek and a Turkish warship. 

There's been weirdness going on on the Graeco-Turkish border for some time (not counting the fact that Greece fought many wars with Turkey from its independence 202 years ago to after WW1). As recently as May, Turkey invaded a 1.6 hectare piece of Greek marsh (yes, 4 acres). This was ostensibly in response to the meandering of the Evros river, which is on the border, but it raised tensions. The recent naval confrontations are not reducing those tensions, and given Turkish President Ergodan's expansionist rhetoric, the French have just put their foot down. This is a small force, little more than a tripwire, but it is good to see that the French at least are taking this situation seriously. 

There's more on this here, here, here, here and here.   

This is getting coverage, but it's very much back page coverage. I suppose that's to be expected. I mean really, who ever heard of some damned fool thing in the Balkans ever amounting to anything newsworthy?

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August 13, 2020

Amazon's Algorithms

....occasionally do make me smile.


BWAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! 

I guess I'm just not their target audience any more. 

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Andre Over At Midnight's Edge Simply Nails This Video.

Andre's a Norwegian. They know something about the habits of Quislings,  and those who stand up to them. 

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Oh No

Oh no no no no.




The issue of China's food security is a problem that's been simmering for some time. However, as we pointed out back in January,  "What we can be reasonably confident of is that the Chinese Communist Party, being a totalitarian state, is going to try to cover-up or minimize the situation to the maximum extent possible and even rather beyond credulity."

As we observed at that time with Corona-Chan, the fact that this grave blunder was being acknowledged and the public was not only being informed but enlisted to help deal with an issue, is a leading indicator that the Chinese government is scared of said issue. That proved a prescient observation regarding the beer-bug. This is why Xi's exortation to not waste food is so concerning. 

On the face of it, one's typical reaction to troubles for a brutal, totalitarian,  genocidal state might seem to fall somewhere between, "So!? We've got other problems....mostly Chicom problems.", and "feel good story of the day". 

However it should be remembered that the Politburo is not going to miss a meal. Over a billion people will suffer and many of them will die horrifically if this famine comes to pass. But there is more to ponder than that.

'Fear not the angry man nearly so much as the hungry man.'

That applies to people mobs and nations.The politburo will do anything stay in charge and protect itself, and will go to insane lengths to alleviate, or at least distract from its people's suffering. China is a nuclear power...in possession of most of our manufacturing capacity. A short sharp war to distract from famine of capture some crops might seem like a good idea to scared officials holding angry mobs at bay. 

As Seneca said: "A hungry people listens not to reason, nor cares for justice, nor is bent by any prayers, or pleas for mercy."

Keep an eye on this situation. It may ultimately be the most consequential of this years curveballs. And keep a month of two's worth of food in your home at all times. 

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August 07, 2020

Meanwhile On Bitchute

Nerdette finally snaps. 


Watch on Bitchute

Nerdette's Newstand has been fairly solid in her reporting, but she's hardly a firebrand and I did not expect this. 

The scary part of this video is the video she tacks onto the end. I think it is a Jon Birch film. But that's not why it's scary. It's scary because things have gone so very pear shaped that the Birchers were actually right and laid out everything that's happened. 


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August 06, 2020

Recovery Proceeds Apace

Power was back on fairly soon after the storm and internet is no longer twitchy. 


Isaias was a remarkably energetic event in contrast to what was expected. 



Hampton Roads was on the eastern side of the thing as it ran north and its 20 to 35 mph forward speed was added to a wind speed of 60-70 mph when it arrived here. Add in a few tornadoes and the intense rain and the storm was able to make its passage known. 


Pic via WAVY   

I do have a bit of advice for Americans who live in disaster prone areas. The day to order your 95-150 pound generators is not right after the storm comes and cuts your power. Also try to not order those on the same day that 30,000 other people did. Your UPS driver will thank you and your order won't risk being delayed by choking the system with huge boxes that fill up all the trucks. 

Note that my center did get all the packages out without rolling over or delaying anything, but it was a near run thing and, anyway, it's the thought that counts.

Just saying. 

I'm going to ice my back now. 

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August 03, 2020

Oh.

I'd heard he'd tweeted this set of words in this order, So I put on my hazmat suit and went to Twitter to check. 





So it's not that they see 1984 as a 'how to' manual instead of a cautionary tale, it's that the reference is unknown to them.

Matt Taibbi is only 3 months younger than me, so it's not a generational thing.

Most people my age would assume 2+2=5 was a reference to Orwell (I think they would). In fairness however, this was not, strictly speaking a 1984 reference, at least not intentionally, but the actual reference is a stygian cesspit of foetidly, anfractous, terrifying stupidity that I'll not touch for now. 

But 1984 wasn't even on his radar apparently. 

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Whelp

Tomorrow will be moist. 



This thing has stayed on track for almost a week. It's moved slightly west even.  That is really unusual. 
It's not a particularly bad storm, but it is looking to be rather wet, so while I'm not terribly concerned I expect problems with flooding. I'm actually more concerned about people in the Acela Corridor, Which this storm is straddling. It's going through areas with people who aren't familiar with how much flooding these things can cause. 

Be safe everybody.

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In Today's Thrilling Episode of "2020"



"Truly this is an example of a 2020 headline, but I'm even less concerned about this than the murder hornets."

Scientists in Japan have revived 100 million year old bacteria from Mesozoic mud deep the beneath the seafloor. 


"Wait. I've...seen this movie."

Meanwhile, Scientists in Denmark have discovered an ancient ancestor to the bubonic plague that;
1: was  apparently not spread by fleas and...
2: is believed to have wiped out much of neolithic civilization in what may have been the first pandemic. 
and
3: they've procured viable cultures from the teeth of victims, because, really, what could POSSIBLY go wrong?


"Are you frickking kidding me!?"

On the bright side, it appears that no one from the Wuhan Institute of Virology was involved in any way. 

Art is by 23 who is currently pushing his doujin, titled, I think, "Battling Nazi Monsters"

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August 02, 2020

Today I Learned Something

On a lot of sites the Disqus comment system is (quite reasonably) set to disallow posting images, except those in the Disqus menu of approved SFW pictures.


Today, to my astonishment, I learned that there are Lucky Star .gifs in that menu.

This has no bearing on anything, but made me laugh. 

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Oh They Made It!

I was inordinately worried about this. This is the first time the U.S. has sent AND RETURNED astronauts on its own since the Space Shuttle was retired in the wake of the Columbia disaster, and, well, it's 2020, so having watched the destruction of Columbia and Challenger live I was on pins and needles. 



And as I type this it's been 44 minutes they are concerned because there seems to be a fuel leak and they still can't open the door. That's new. Is it hydrazine?...I hope not. 
UPDATE: No it's NTO. Which explains why they haven't gotten the deckhands the hell out of there. 

UPDATE2: All good, it took an hour but they are both out of the capsule and fine. 


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August 01, 2020

I Got Up This Morning and Fell Into a Rabbit Hole of Stupid


Twitch has permanently banned the V-Tube streamer  OppaiPantsuu. It seems that after some years they realized that her channel name translates to "bosomy undergarments". The streamer behind the CGI model was perfectly willing to change the name and find out if anything else needed changing. But for Twitch this name is the line that must not be crossed. She'd done some appearances on IronMouse doing collab playthroughs and D&D sessions and is a fairly entertaining if lewd mouthed loon,  Here she is covering various aspects of current year stupidity and being refreshingly devoid of any pretensions of respectability.

But it was the NAME that got her banned! 
Also, this season appears to be a complete dumpsterfire of degeneracy.

I heard about this on IronMouse's stream and while looking it up, I blundered into this related bit of stupid, where another Twitch streamer got banned for referring to a character  as transg*nder. I assume that there's an "E" behind that asterikx, but the headline and article uses an asterix and I can't imagine what other letter would fit...and if I found one it would likely be another of the 57 genders which would just make my morning even stupider. There's a happy ending...sort of....if you've never read Orwell. You see they modified their decision to be a 2 week ban and as this article  reports...
Jinntty thought it was okay to use that word to describe the character after hearing so many other people talk about it. However, Jinnytty also used it in an aggressive manner after being annoyed with Abby's character portrayal and disappointment towards the Last of Us 2's story.
 
So she used the word to repeat what was reported in other media...but she used it in an "aggressive" manner and in the context of being annoyed with the aromatic bear spoor that is the game's story. 

That's creepy.
This once, context matters...not obvious context but inferred context... 

The Lives of Others is not a good model for IT support.

Twitch is just not reliable.
Someone needs to get to setting up a social media company that does streaming in West Virginia where one is not subjected to the intense mean-girl pressures of Silicon Valley. Is there some reason that everyone goes to Assholeville?  Is it proximity to magic smoke mines in the redwood forests or something? It can't be strictly necessary. They have social media companies run out of Australia, and Australia has a random-encounter-table that's like Skull Island.

Guess what. It doesn't matter, because of China.

Yes it all gets stupider still, because a Chinese company has copyrighted the word Aheago...and is issuing takedown notices, 




If you have no idea what aheago is then congratulations!....You are a good person!

The rest of us must suffer from the stupidity.




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July 31, 2020

I'm Gonna Get Off the Fence and Make a Prediction.

Monday's going to be wet here. 


 

This is not a particularly severe storm as these things go, and doesn't even seem to be particularly wet, though the ability to predict rainfall in these things is notoriously unreliable.


I did not get the grass cut today before the bottom fell out. I fear that I won't be able to do so now for a week, which will mean my yard will be a sniper hide before I can mow it. 

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Herman Cain

2020 is not messing around.




One of my favorite politicians, albeit, a very part time one, he had come from absolutely nothing as the son of a maid and a chauffeur in the Jim Crow South. He went on to become an actual rocket scientist for the Navy working on guided missiles. 

In his civilian life, he later saved Burger King and Godfather's Pizza from oblivion....and did so by actually saving the companies and their employees jobs rather than firing everybody, and selling off the physical plant like so many other corporate turnaround artists. 

The successes of those two companies was so remarkable that he was elected to be head of the National Restaurant Association. 

In that capacity, he saved us all. 

You see, in a nationally televised Q&A on the glories and wonders of Hillarycare, he asked some pointed questions involving some esoteric sorcery called "math". In the course of a back and forth with President Clinton he laid out how the plan was unworkable and would destroy small businesses. He then pointed to the fact that the subsidies that Clinton talked about were not actually in the plan and moreover could not be added as they would be too expensive. 

Between their lamentations, wailing and gnashing of teeth, Newsweek recounts the moment

Cain transformed the debate when he challenged Clinton at a town meeting in Kansas City, Mo., last April. Cain asked the president what he was supposed to say to the workers he would have to lay off because of the cost of the "employer mandate." Clinton responded that there would be plenty of subsidies for small businessmen, but Cain persisted. "Quite honestly, your calculation is inaccurate," he told the president. "In the competitive marketplace it simply doesn't work that way."

The switchboard at Godfather's was lit up with supportive calls. It was as if the small business community -- a very large and politically powerful group -- had been told to march on Washington. Cain, said Larry Neal, an aide to Sen. Phil Gramm, "was the lightning rod."

A lot of people on the right fetishize and covet the label "Reaganesque" but despite being frequently mocked by the those who consider themselves the arbiters of conservatism, Cain was one of the most Reaganesque politicians since Reagan, being extremely upbeat, positive and strident in his belief in America's potential while still being tough as nails in his focus on reform. Both came from media, Reagan being an actor and Cain a radio personality. Cain lost his bid for the presidential nomination in 2012 but continued to push for reforms like his 9-9-9 plan, which is really one of the more sane proposals for fixing the U.S. tax system and budget deficit. 

Cain got crap from all sides but he remained a happy warrior 'till the end. He succumbed to COVID-19 yesterday morning. 

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July 29, 2020

Wait. What in the FunkyTown Forrest is This Nonsense?

2020 is doing ALL the B-movies. 

 


The headline explains the situation satisfactorily but, while the question posed is never answered, this quote stood out. 

"We don’t want people opening those up, don’t put them in the mail, certainly don’t plant them. Contact us. Let us pick them up. Treat them like they are radioactive, like they are Kryptonite,” Miller said.

A bunch of seeds are showing up in peoples mailboxes, that the people did not order and nothing is known about except that they have been traced back to Communist Coronastan; yes; China.

This could be something as simple as an Amazon review scam, or it could be something more concerning. 



I guess we'll know soon. 

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