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.
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.
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 donâ€™t want people opening those up, donâ€™t put them in the mail, certainly donâ€™t plant them. Contact us. Let us pick them up. Treat them like they are radioactive, like they are Kryptonite,â€ 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.
Thing is, The Tracks of These Things Always Tend to Move East Fortunately, I have a remarkable amount of hurricane/disaster supplies...for some reason.
July 28, 2020
The Solution to the Mess That is 2020 Is obviously to rename it U.C. 1.
This is still a work in progress, it's not finished or untethered yet, but it is looking really impressive.
There's more on this here.
Once finished, the robot will feature an incredible 24 degrees of freedom, meaning this thing will be able to walk.
The thing is supposed to be fully operational by October, and while its schedule was thrown into chaos by CoronaChan, it appears that they have now caught up and an October debut is a real possibility.
So the giant anthropomorphic robot is being rushed into Japanese service during a time of growing military tensions punctuated by cyberwarfare developments was temporarily delayed by a global pandemic, reporting of which is being stymied by megacorporations censoring the reportage of news that might cut into the profits of pharmaceutical companies. While there is additional worrisome news like urban riots and most young people in the developed world being addicted to a brain prosthetic. There is also a strong push to immigrate off planet, perhaps having the first settlers on Mars by 2024.
Dude....the future we read about as kids is here!
"But it's not Olaf Stapeldon...It's Walter John Williams! "
July 23, 2020
I'm So Vexed And Chagrined That I Might Cry
It appears that Twitter has run into a spot of bother regarding their ad revenue and the poor dears are considering a subscription service. That is, people will have to pay for the privilege of partaking in the Twitterverse.
One of The Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes has some thoughts.
July 21, 2020
Your Anime Review Quote of the Day
I don't know how much the SAO anime deviates from the source material, but I sort of get the feeling that it's not doing it enough.
Things That Make You Want To Say å…±åŒª
There's a lot to unpack in yesterday's NTD report. It looks like the 3 Gorges Dam may not be long for this world, the WuFlu (or something) is spreading big way, However the most disturbing bit of information is that the Uyghur Population in Xinjiang has dropped by 80 percent in the last three years.
That's worse than the drop in the Jewish population in Europe in the 1940s which was a drop of between 60 and 70%.
A U.S. and Australian report also makes some additions to the list of companies benefitting from Uyghur slavery. They include Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, and, to absolutely no one's surprise, Hugo Boss.
In other news it appears that malware embedded in chinese electronics and software is an even more pernicious issue than thought.
GoldenHelper, as researchers from security firm Trustwave dubbed the malware, hid inside the Golden Tax Invoicing software, which all companies registered in China are mandated to use to pay value-added taxes. The malware is able to bypass the User Account Control, the Windows mechanism that requires users to give their approval before software can install programs or make other system changes. Once thatâ€™s done, GoldenSpy can install modules with System-level privileges.
Additionally, it appears that this mess in the Himalayas is not lost patrols or communications glitches, but the fact that China is seriously poking at India.
China is a nuclear power which should give everyone pause. However, it should be remembered that even at the height of the cold war the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. were able to come to the table and ratify arms control treaties. Logically, China should be welcomed into the ongoing nuclear arms limitation/reduction treaty negotiations. And indeed they would be, if they hadn't rejected that offer from America and Russias with prejudice.
China, with the worldâ€™s biggest nuclear arsenal after the U.S. and Russia, has maintained it will not join in talks with Washington and Moscow on reducing its number of warheads.
On the upside: The CCP seems to be having its own walk away movement.
So there's hope that there will be a reckoning for the å…±åŒª.
July 20, 2020
This is Awesome A company that runs shopping malls is turning their mall parking lots into Drive-In Theaters. WallMart is already turning 160 of its parking lots into the same.
Image via Naught Shrubbery
Frankly, I'm surprised that AMC hasn't done the same with the huge parking lots at its multiplexes.
2020 Needs New Writers
A Federal Judge just suffered her son being murdered and husband sent to the hospital in critical condition by someone posing as a delivery driver. She was either not home or in the basement depending on reports.
In what is probably completely unrelated, the judge had just been assigned to a case involving Deutsche Bank, money laundering and the late Jeffery Epstein (who did not kill himself).
July 18, 2020
Nelson Mandela Nods
Two years ago there was an unfortunate customer relations incident at a Gamestop. One year ago, it was reported that Funko had graced its customers with this amazing Gamestop exclusive.
My question: Is this real?
It can't be real. All the Gamestops would have been burned down and their employees murdered by mostly peaceful transactivists. I've not been able to find any of the figures and most of the news articles have vanished into the memory hole. However, I can't find a single retraction or report that this was fake.
At this point it's about equally plausible that this was a brilliant hoax or that there was a short run of these things and the reports from major outlets have been purged as politically incorrect.
July 16, 2020
We're Rapidly Approaching the Singularity....of Derp Over at C&Rsenal....
They note that Silah Report, a research group studying the use of firearms in the middle east had been banned from Pay-Pal for violating Pay-Pal's policy on "NO FIREARMS SALES!"
In this case, the firearm in question consisted of a patch with a woven image image of a Krinkov on it.
July 14, 2020
Grant Imahara 1970-2020 Mythbusters host Grant Imahara passed away yesterday due to a brain aneurism.
A roboticist by trade, in addition to Mythbusters, he was at one time the chief model maker at Industrial Light and Magic who oversaw all their animatronics.
He was also an unrepentant nerd, playing Sulu in the fan made series Star Trek Continues.
He was only 49.
July 13, 2020
Oh. Today's special word is allegory.
Check out today's Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.
Maybe check out their store.
Then go thank J. Greely for pointing it out.
A Corporate Governance Question As many of you know Weyland Yutani Tencent ( a massive Chinese umbrella corporation that is controlled by the Politburo) has bought large stakes in many western media companies. This article focuses on their investments in video games and they appear to have majority stakes in Sharkmob, Supercell, Grinding Gear, and Riot.
My question is this: While a majority of shares does imply control, how much influence do smaller percentages indicate? Does a 20-40 percent share have real influence? It might get one on the board of directors, and of course the immense lure of the Chinese market is always going to be a severe temptation to those of weak conscience in making creative decisions or censoring content. Given the deep pockets of the CCP, less direct influences on board members are certainly likely and probably influence shareholder votes to a great extent, but I'm curious as to how much straight up power such share percentages might represent.
References on such matters seem to be very opaque on this particular point, but I probably just don't know what references to check out in this field as it outside my bailiwick.
July 10, 2020
Oh Look, She's Brought a Friend (Maybe)
There are a lot of reports that CoronaChan has a rival in the pestilence follies of 2020. Reportedly "Unknown Kazakhstani Pneumonia" has killed 1772 people in over the last few months.
However: This alarm is being sounded by the Chinese embassy in Kazakhstan and is being denied by the Kazakhstani government. Since China is hardly a bastion of credibility in any area and particularly so with regard to diseases I recommend not getting too stressed.
But do keep your eyes on this. You should stockpile ammunition, but as pointed out in the post before last, you should always stockpile ammunition just like I didn't.
The reason the Chinese are involved is because Chinese workers on Belt and Road Initiative construction projects are making up a lot of the fatalities and, reportedly, the Chinese are a little paranoid at the moment about ignoring mysterious respiratory infections.
This is possibly of more concern than the recent emergence of a new Swine Flu in China. That has potential to cause problems but it is literally "just a flu bro". This weeks Bubonic plague outbreak (also in China) is of basically no concern as it is spread by fleas and, honestly, it's plague season there anyway. The plague story, which is ONE person, with plague in inner Mongolia is just pandemic year click bait.
I Am Become Death, Destroyer Of Balls... ...or not.
July 09, 2020
My Trip to the Ammo Store Today I finally got time to go to the big downtown gun store, which I've been trying to do for months. Previously I'd been thwarted by their change in hours due to the WuFlu, some minor civil unrest which resulted in a cordon of police cars around the store and my own insane work schedule.
The second floor of the building is all ammo and previously had consisted of multiple rows of shelving fairly close together, like a used bookstore but with boxes of cartridges instead of bound volumes.
When I entered the ammo room I noted that the shelves in the middle were all gone save for a single waist high shelf. The shelves were mostly empty.
A few observations, keeping in mind that this is one data point.
If I owned a .32, I'd be in tall cotton as there was a vast selection of .32 ACP ammo. There was also a wide selection from .32ACP to .327 magnum.
There was not a round of .380ACP to be had.
5.56mm and .223 does not seem to be in especially short supply.
I picked up one box frighteningly cheap Tula 9mm hoping to see if it would feed reliably in my P-89, but....
...alas the range is only open to those who bought multi-month memberships before they stopped selling them.
I spoke to the owner who said that he'd never seen anything like this.He said that unlike a few years ago getting the ammo in stock, while slow, is fairly straightforward. It just blows off the shelves when it comes in.
I have ammo, enough for a range day or two and frankly if I have to run through more bullets than I have there will be an entry in Wikipedia about my demise, but, as Tam points out, I did not do due diligence. My grasshopper-fu was weak.
I DID however, finally get .38 snap-caps. I don't know why those were so hard to find last year.
Questions That Cannot Be Asked
This is Gonna Get Downvoted
...but it needs to be said.
Note that Karl Kasarda is about as libertarian as they come.
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