May 14, 2020


As I type this, I'm being spammed by Anonymous!

I don't know why I'm relevant, or who I've pissed off, but I obviously have done something of consequence.  

It's time to break out the dancing girls!

Yeah, we're still on a budget here,  but soon!

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May 13, 2020

I'll Just Leave This Here

A 33 minute video from The Epoch Times on China's methods and apparent goals. Epoch Times is a NYC based newspaper affiliated with the Falun Gong, a religious group that is being mercilessly oppressed by the Chinese government. They've tended to be pretty good with regards to their China reporting, frequently ahead of the curve regarding U.S. politics and way out in crazy land on those occasions they discuss U.F.O.s. 

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May 12, 2020

The Security Hazards of the Faculty Lounge Kool Aid

We're seeing a disturbing number of stories like this and this, involving college professors getting arrested for passing secrets to China. As disturbing as this is, it's good that this sort of thing is being cracked down upon now. 

It certainly is nothing new.

Many years ago (right after Tiananmen) during my first attempt at college, I was the VP of the ODU International Students Association and assisted with exchange student issues.I got a call to pick up an exchange student from China...not the ROC the PRC. Now exchange students from China had been stopped a week earlier so this was...odd. I asked about this and was admonished for doing so. I picked the girl up from the airport and she was a woman who was 40 years old if she was a day. All the way back from the airports to the dorm she kept talking about how much she wanted to get in touch with the Chinese students who were engaged in campus protests against the CCP. I explained this to the head of international services and she yelled at me for being paranoid. Giving no fucks, I then told the head of the Chinese protests and we both agreed that she was whatever the Chinese Stassi is. I then got admonished and called names for spreading rumors about this poor girl who I only then learned was supposed to be 20. I pointed out that this was clearly not the case and got a talking to that I don't entirely remember but involved women's ages and judging them or something. 

I didn't actually get removed as VP until I reported the Chinese student who was trying to get me to get him access to the library at NASA Langley. I put him in touch with the outreach office there but he then wanted me to fill out his paperwork as if he was Taiwanese because PRC students were banned from "the good stuff". I told the office about this and they lamented the cold war mentality that discriminated against Chinese students. This eventually escalated and the student obviously wanted to get access to classified stuff. The office would not call the authorities and forbade anyone from doing so so I did. 

In contrast to people like the Rosenbergs during the cold war, I don't think a lot of these people are actually traitorous in intent. I think they are naive, and provincial in a peculiarly cosmopolitan way. That is, they live, work, and make friends in a transnational borderless bubble and being in academia are rightly, if excessively, supportive of the free flow of information so they can't conceive that any infringement on that is justified or that foreign academics (who they have far more in common with than their fellow citizens outside the faculty lounge) could be a threat. (Obviously this doesn't extend to views outside their narrow norms.) They view government interference in THEIR affairs much like a libertarian rancher views the introduction of lobo wolves into forests adjoining his herd. They don't see it as legitimate. The difference between having ravenous predators unleashed upon one's herd and trying to protect military secrets is lost upon them. 

Of course there are some who are just on the take, or think China's policies are peachy keen and lament that we are not adopting them to the extent they'd like, but this is probably far outweighed by naive decadence and provincialism.

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After what started out as a great day (getting off early) I got home, took a shower, laid down, and suddenly woke up in agony 2 hours later. 

I moped around the house a few hours stretching and hoping that it could be "worked out" but as the afternoon came and became evening I decided to go to the hospital and get an MRI. I was genuinely afraid that I'd done something very bad to my shoulder.

The Hospital (actually an Emergency Room and minihospital satellite facility to one of the larger area hospitals) was surreal. It was almost empty (or seemed to be) additional rooms are set up and patients are strictly isolated from one another, no one is moved from one room to the other until the hall is clear of patients, meaning that there can only be one patient at a time in any one hall.  I was in a temporary, very small, room without a bed. This makes a non life threatening visit to the ER take even longer than it ordinarily would. This certainly qualifies as a second annoyance.

As it happens, I have a torn rotator cuff. I think "torn" is probably too dramatic as I'm slated to return to work Saturday. It hurts like a houndette at certain angles and is merely a dull pain at others. This was, of course, the first annoyance of the day, though due to my poor reporting skills is only listed second. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused you, gentle reader. I was prescribed 4 days off and muscle relaxants which leads to the third of the days annoyances. 

You see, the drugstore is now under plague hours, which ended two hours before I got there to pick up my prescription. This leaves me with unrelaxed muscles and a generally sour demeanor as I type this. 

A few minutes ago I drove to work to physically turn in my paperwork from the hospital and see if there was any other paperwork I needed to fill out. There likely will be but as the supervisor in charge of that will not be in until much later, so I'll have to endure the annoyance of having that hang over my head until I can get back. 

If the arm is not ready for heavy lifting by Saturday, then I have to see an orthopedist and contemplate surgery, but that is, as of now, a theoretical annoyance that I hope to avoid all together. 

Finally, here is a raccoon eating someone's peanut butter, which must be quite annoying.

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May 10, 2020


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Dispatches From the Shipping Industry

I'm frequently working more overtime than straight time. Our building has been consistently breaking its all time record for volume. On a personal note, I'm handling over 10,000 parcels a day. This is problematic due to the fact that both my plantar facitis and kidney stones have been acting up in a big way, though I have not called out since the 10th of April

With higher than Christmas volume and what was initially March level staffing, work has been rather hectic. Eventually the company became convinced that this was a long term issue and began hiring new people about a week ago. 12 people have been hired for our building over the last two weeks of which four lasted one full day and three are still with us. This has not caught us up from the attrition of those who quit due to the workload. 

We have the worst economy since the great depression and jobs starting at ~$16.00 with annual pay increases, full medical coverage, actual sick leave (unlike some places) and opportunities for advancement can't get filled because people come in and are horrified by physical labor...or they cant past the drug test or background check. 

What is wrong with these kids today? 


Anyway, I got the grass cut. I have to be to work in 6 hours so I should probably eat or go to bed or something. 

Blogging may remain spartan for a bit. 

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May 07, 2020

About Those "Murder Hornets"

You, gentle reader, have heard about the "Murder Hornets". They are very large hornets that carry a huge amount of venom and will often swarm like killer bees or yellow-jackets if provoked. Like other examples of new and exciting biodiversity we've been blessed with this year, these plucky insects hail mainly from the Middle Kingdom.  Note that in addition to being dangerous to people, they feed upon, amongst other things, European Honey Bees. 

Now one of the Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science-Babes takes a moment from her hornet hunting to re-assure us that while these bugs are dangerous they're not the end of the world, as well as to bring us  this video pointing out that North America is not without some indigenous defense. 

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May 05, 2020

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

No it's not the U.S.M.'s independence day, but it's not entirely made up either. The holiday, at least in theory, celebrates the Battle of Puebla, where a vastly outnumbered Mexican force routed an Imperial French Army in 1862 during the French attempt to install a friendly Austrian Archduke as monarch in the United States of Mexico. 

This was not the pivotal battle during the war, but it was a great morale booster for the Mexicans and gives American college students ample excuses to get drunk and pass out. 

This year, Cinco De Mayo it gives us fine opportunity to relax and not be reminded in any way of the current unpleasantness. 

The best way to celebrate a Mexican Drinking Holiday is, of course with Mexican beer, the best known of which is probably Coro....



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May 04, 2020

I Ought Not To Have to Say This

One thing I've noticed over the last few years is a rise in casual anti-semitism (outside of /pol/). Some of this is simply black humor, some of this is mental children needing to always push the edge of acceptable discourse to prove to themselves that they are free, but a fair bit of it seems to be based in an actual belief that Jews are a problem to be solved. 

I for one, am very grateful for Dr. Salk and the current lack of a polio season, for Oppenheimer for helping us win the second world war and prevent the cold war for going hot. Stanislaw Ulam for doing all that work on nuclear rockets that will, hopefully one day open up the vastness of space for settlement and the large number of Ashkenazi in the U.S. for raising our collective IQ.

I think part of this rebound in antisemitism is a generational thing. I'm 50. I lived for a very few years in a largely Jewish neighborhood in The South and there were a few women there with thick accents and numbers tattooed on their arms. The holocaust happened. It was real and when I was growing up, it was well within living memory. The idea that people would seriously deny it always seemed beyond belief. To young people today though, the idea that a major bit of history might be a lie is not a particularly novel concept when their education is steeped in Postmodernism and Social Constructionism. 

Leftists have always had a sort of passive aggressive love/hate relationship with Jews going back to Marx and his Essay on The Jewish Question. Apologists will claim it is actually a defense of Jews...somehow...but if so it is a very inept one that was quoted in several speeches by an odious Austrian during his beer-hall days. Recently, in fairly rapid succession, I saw several comments on various micro-blogging sites to the effect that 'Bolshivism would work fine if no Jews were present'. That at least one who posted comments along those lines was a Bernie Bro makes my head hurt. The decent of the labor party in the U.K. into the most foeted depths of antisemitism is appalling but not really surprising if one has been observing the left since the early to mid 90's. The U.S. far left is not far behind and is so sure of its own righteousness that it cannot see this (among its many other pathologies) in the glare of their own smugness . More disturbing to me is the recent resurgence on the right I've witnessed. In the South, we're at least aware of our past failings, and painfully conscious of how easily hatred can be embraced by ordinary people and how even the best can go down a dark path or simply respond to past injustice by giving in to hate and rage....becoming the very monster one rails against. Ours is a complex and sad tale that nevertheless has, for those who will listen, great lessons in both courage, redemption and dignity. Today, of course, no one is listening.  However, it is perhaps telling that what was once the center of the darkest chapters of antisemitism is one the parts of the country most supportive of both Israel and Jews in general. That is changing as others move in and the children are educated differently than we were. The memory of the holocaust is fading and the healthy and well-justified mistrust of government in general and institutional norms is, unfortunately, resulting in pretty much all things being opened to question, and as we've seen with the generally athiest alt-right, when unmoored from ones foundations, one can very quickly go to dark places. In contrast to the lefts increasingly strident embrace of this odious worldview, the number of anti-semites on the right is still small and largely confined to the margins (Trump's embrace of his Jewish family members and support for Israel is exceedingly popular with the vast majority of his coalition from the populist, to the more libertarian leaning conservatives to the Evangelicals) but it is there. 

This trend on the right is helped by the prominence of powerful Jews amongst the pantheon of of the promoted personalities amongst our tormentors. Names like Mike Bloomberg, Harvey Weinstein, George Soros, Sergei Brin, and other examples of malice and malevolence are all over the news, everybody knows their names, they are talked about all the time and most are some pretty execrable people, some of whom are direct threats to our liberty.... 

...and this is why I think that the anti-semites in general are not merely worrisome, odious and wrong...they are kinda' retarded. 

You know what the Jews would do if they were running the world?

They'd hide it. 

Instead, if there is some cabal type group  acting like Mafia Dons on a global scale, then the Jews are the distraction. 

The WASPy families and their ChiCom Sugar Daddies, the lesser known of the tech-weasels of Palo Alto and whoever might or might not be running whatever transnationalist progressive plot one might imagine are not the ones that the invective is directed at.  All the rage is directed at a handful of their Jewish associates who are getting an inordinate amount of press. 

So if you're actually into conspiracies, and you believe in a 4-D chess theory of world events, then the Jews are probably a distraction to direct our ire away from the real problem.  

If one is unpersuaded by the notion that the world is the plaything of a shadowy group of sinister members of our ruling classes exhibiting heretofore unsuspected degrees of competence, then, like with every other group there are a few bad apples amongst the sons and daughters of Abraham and crap floats to the to the top with them like everybody else. 

I'm still glad we don't have a Polio season. 

And while I emphatically oppose censoring the voices of these antisemitic numbnuts,  I'm quite annoyed that I have to  disavow, decry and denounce their numbnuttery.  

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May 02, 2020

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May 01, 2020

Wildcat Strike

Today is Victims of Communism Day, the day we remember the millions of millions of people who died at the hands of Goddless commies, their gulags and their collectivization schemes around the world. 

It was chosen because it's also MayDay, the day communists agitate the dull witted to put them in charge, and today the mountebanks were having another go at it. Yes today was a strike of essential workers to lobby for better working conditions....the sort of working conditions one might have if one did not have half of ones co-workers dumping the load upon one. 

This will not go well for those who left us to die under a tsunami of boxes. 

One: we did not die, and this has left us in an unforgiving mood. 

Two: UPS actually HAS a union. One which has a binding contract and one that takes a dim view of wildcat strikes.

I don't know any numbers, or how much participation in this slacker meme there was nationally, but it was an absolute nightmare of endless cardboard that made Christmas look almost pleasant.   

Nevertheless we got the food and supplies people have ordered and the medical supplies going to the hospitals and those damned Nordic Tracs and Gaming Chairs too...and we got them all out, albeit a bit later than normal, most everything scheduled to be delivered today will be. 

If, in the course of your very limited quarantine travels today, you spy a UPS driver, please thank them for coming to work. They are having a really bad day but THEY are doing their job. Me? I don't have to be back to work for....15 more hours. I should try to pass this stone or bathe or eat or something. 

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