October 22, 2019




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October 06, 2019

A Blast From the Past; A Legendary Asshat (UPDATED)

John Nestor was a man who followed the rules to the letter. Jonah Goldberg remembered this paragon of propriety  as part of a questionable analogy opening a 2013 column.

In the early 1980s, transit officials in Washington couldn’t figure out why traffic on the Beltway would grind to a near halt every day around the exact same time. The usual explanations didn’t fit.

Then it was discovered that a single driver was to blame. Every day on his drive to work, this commuter would plant himself in the left lane and set his cruise control to 55 mph, the posted speed limit, forcing those behind him to merge right. You can imagine the effects.

It gets better...

To his credit, this driver came forward in a letter to the editor of the Washington Post. The man’s name was John O. Nestor. He explained that the left lane was great; less traffic, less merging — why not ride it into work every day? Besides, he wrote, "Why should I inconvenience myself for someone who wants to speed?”

With that bit of daily narcissistic malice, this jackass was able to destroy the traffic in the DC area. The term "Nestoring" was coined by readers of the Washington Post to describe his antics.

It gets better worse still...

Fittingly, Nestor was a regulator at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Virtually no drug was worth the risk, according to Nestor. The FDA transferred him out of the cardio-renal-pulmonary unit to some bureaucratic backwater because he "had approved no new chemical entities ... from 1968 to 1972...
There is more on this here.

So this officious prick caused untold deaths because he stopped ANY approvals of heart medicine for 4 years. This does not count the deaths from any accidents he likely caused on the beltway or the people who got stuck in traffic in an ambulance and died on the way to the ER.

Mr. Nestor wrought all this misery by simply following the rules and exercising his lawful power over others. His comment about speeders belied the fact that Nestor was actually a bully. Devoid of empathy, he derived glee from hurting others with his passive aggressive mischief. His refusal to approve a single drug for the stated reason of fearing there might be harm speaks to either profound moral cowardice or fearful malice.

Jackasses are all around us. But few have had been able to make such a profound difference by themselves as Mr. Nestor. So today we remember a truly legendary asshat.

NOTE: The above was originally published in 2013.  In order to get reference material for this post I had to search my own blog to find Nestor's name so I just copy-pasted it and fixed the hyperlinks.

It is relevant because I had an unexpectedly intense discussion with a friend this evening about this topic and I could not, for the life of me remember the jackasses name.

It's more relevant to my Virginia readership because in looking it up, to my astonishment, I discovered that...


Actually, they passed it in 2017 to very little fanfare...and even less definition of pokey.

There are good reasons to discourage people from engaging in such despicable behavior...as noted by NPR, and this Canadian, but the Virginia law seems alarmingly vague. Cripes!

Additionally, There are other,  less definitive or peer reviewed reasons besides giving a damn about traffic patterns to get out of the way when someone overtaking you flashes their high beams.

Now, let's be clear, when this dreadfully annoying thing occurs, there is a 90-99% chance that the individual coming up behind you is a complete jerk with delusions of autobahn.

But here's the thing.

A few years ago my Dad was pulled over for traveling at...rather excessive speed...in the passing lane, and he had been flashing his high beams to get people out of his way. He explained to the officer that my mom was having a stroke, after some quick checking the officer escorted them to the hospital and no ticket was issued. Mom got there in time. I've known or known of several people in similar straits when they had to determine the minutes it would take to await an ambulance versus the dire need of a loved one. Now there are plenty of reasons why this is, in a macro sense a bad idea. One is after all engaging in a different sort of risky behavior, but cost/risk benefit analysis is less clear cut when dealing with a loved one.

90% or more of high beam flashers are probably asshats, but I am not such a narcissist that I'll take smug satisfaction in the power I wield over the speeder by refusing to get out of their way, because on the off chance that the speeder is in dire straits, to not yield (if safe to do so) might result in a preventable death, and that blood would, (if not legally, morally) be on my hands.

On this. your mileage may certainly vary.

*FULL DISCLOSURE: The word "pokey"does not actually appear anywhere in the aforementioned alarming legislation.

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September 27, 2019

Homonyms in Scotland

Two traps find a trap.

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September 21, 2019

Meanwhile...at Area 51

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September 16, 2019


...did Pixiv think I'm interested in this?

Also: Why does this exist?

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September 15, 2019

"...because that's illegal in 2019."


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September 13, 2019

One Hour to Go

...before we can safely debunk paraskevidekatriaphobia.

In the meantime, here is this...

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September 09, 2019

How Bad are GamerGaters?

Well,  pervy racists can't abide them.

Unclear on the concepts apparently.

On a slightly related note:

What did Gab do to so enrage so many people in the Fediverse?

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September 04, 2019

Augh! You Got Weebery in my Baconator!

What the hell am I looking at?

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September 03, 2019

Adventures in Algorithms.

One of these things...

...is not like the others.

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August 29, 2019


As pushy as Apple is J. Greely points to evidence that Linux is not the answer.....

UPDATE: Odd. The embed is not working as I type this but the link is.


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August 24, 2019

Hey, It Makes as Much Sense as The Last One

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August 22, 2019


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August 21, 2019

And Then This Happened

You Tube has removed robot fight videos because of their policy against animal cruelty.

No. We're not making this up.

"That's just...Wow."

Since YouTube is putting so much effort into encouraging their viewers to consider alternative platforms, I'd really be remiss if I didn't note that Brickmuppet Blog's BitChute referral page is here.

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August 13, 2019

Important Health Advisory

The Federal Department of Agriculture has issued a consumer warning  regarding certain treatments.

One of our Crack Team of Science Babes has thoughts on this unexpected headline and its impli.... Wait, Is she OK?

"Why is this warning necessary? What the actual Hell is wrong with people!? This is our society now! Game over! Game over!"

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Update Your Codebooks Brickmuppeteers!


Herbie, Herbie, Herbie.

begin edit

$ cat fileCHRIS CUOMO

change to

$1 sed 'li FREDDO' file1
Freddo McFredderson
Doxy Freddo
Punchy Freddo
Freddo Merch

end edit

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July 23, 2019

While The Nutbars Keep Focusing on the Jews...

...the REAL conspiracy reveals itself to be a plot by orange(?) loudmouth New Yorkers with strange hair to take over world leadership positions.

Everything is crazy.
I'm rather more OK with this crazy than most.

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July 10, 2019

Quick Status Update

As I type this, I'm in the University Library working on a research paper. 

Below the fold is a quick status update. For those justifiably not interested in such banality, here is evidence that Hollywood doesn't value diversity so much as they hate the Irish.

Source Unknown


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July 07, 2019

A Small Bit of Encouragement

Just click here


"Our fears of impending Molotov cocktails may be overblown."

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June 23, 2019

Gracious! It's Just Like an Isekai Show

Oh good. My login works in this universe. Fancy that.

So. Due to automotive problems and some ill-considered decisions, I have, for the last four days, been in a North Carolina swamp with spotty cell-phone connectivity and no internet whatsoever.
Today, after returning "home" I've discovered that I've returned not to my home, but someplace....else.

It's a dystopian alternate universe where Facebook is actually issuing its own online currency with the backing of multinational corporations, some of whom have a reputation of freezing the bank accounts of people they find politically suspect. This will make the Chinese Sesame Credit System a reality throughout the U.S.A. and the world...like it's some Walter John Williams novel.

In this dark reflection of my world, the news media is CREDULOUSLY reporting that cellphones are causing young people to grow horns out of their heads. Weekly World News must not exist in this universe...(checks Wikipedia)....aaand it went out of business here in 2007.
On the one hand "Yay! Draphs!" on the other hand....Bullshit. Surely it's bullshit? (does a modicum of checking) Yes it's bullshit.

In THIS reality the anti-war left is catatonic with rage that Trump...did...not...start a full blown war...
This grimdark science fiction novel has the poorly written, mustache-twirling, cruel and decadent aristocrats in the cities cutting off power to those in the rural areas just as the hottest days of the years approach...no doubt to maximize the impact of loosing refrigeration, air conditioning and access to home medical equipment.

In this sequel to Harrison Bergeron a beautiful, strong, competent, independent, heroic, mixed-race woman was forced to get a partial mastectomy because the Handicapper General demanded it so that the woman would meet approved global beauty standards.

Akshually that last paragraph consists mostly of snark as the non-story is not, in itself, of any importance...This most inconsequential of udder utter non-issues only becomes an issue because the media in this Orwellian Hellscape I find myself trapped in is, for some reason, literally trying to tell us that this non-event is not happening and that the new design has exactly the same bra size as the old...we're not seeing what we're seeing because 2+2=5.
The actual character design of this Tifa cosplayer is gorgeous (a 9/10 or better if one needs a numerical representation),  it's like the Megacorps of this alternate world are hyping largely non-existent outrage in order to distract from the fact that the game is being released in 3 to 5 separate games, over years, looks very much like it may have pay to win issues, will be entirely online and fully embraces the media-as-a-service cancer to the extent that no one will ever really be able to own their game and will always be at risk for loosing it if one crosses the ever changing threshold on speech standards.

In this world, far from being over, the Jussie Smollet case is just getting started.

It seems that Kaiju are real here: The Kyushu shinkansen nework was taken out by a single slug.

This universe seems to have diverged from mine around 1984, because here Atari has a new console coming out.

So. I find myself trapped in an alternate, and slightly crazier world

However, this worlds version of my blog (curiously) is unchanged.
Perhaps this isn't really an isekai situation.
After all. All those years of wasting my life on comic books, video games and playing D&D didn't prepare me for squat in this place..

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