Of all the things in the world that really get on my nerves…hypocrisy and hypocrites are right at the top of the list. Well…actually that’s not completely true as warm beer, weak cocktails, and ruint, err well done, steak are at the top but hypocrisy is right up there…along with stupidity..
To wit…a few examples gleaned from the news…along with an uplifting item I saw on FB.
However…before I get to that part lemme catch ya up on doin’s ‘round these parts. When last we left our heroes…the pond out back had risen considerably in level due to the ongoing rain and the Elks Lodge was about to open back up. We had a bit more rain but the past couple days have been mostly sunny…but the level in the pond has continued to rise a little…looks like most of the pond water is actually run off from the land and not storm sewer drains.
Thursday afternoon…we headed out to the Elks for tacos. David…one of the big wigs there…makes the meat and he cooks a pretty mean taco meat. Toss it in some crispy tortilla shells, add on lettuce, cheese, jalapeño peppers, and some sour cream…and then sell the whole thing for a buck apiece and for a more $5 we had dinner…way better than that 5 Dollar Footlong from some other place. To go along with it…Neil had 3 almost alcohol free Ultra brews in the bottle and Connie had some Merlot…and just mebbe she had jus’ a smidgen more than she shoulda had; but she weren’t driving so no real harm done there.
We stayed for the first two rounds of Show Me The Money…that’s like bingo for dummies or mebbe bingo for people with a short attention span. Instead of numbers you get 3 cards stapled together and the dealer pulls cards from a deck and if you match the card you cover it with a penny or a can pop top…and when you cover all 3 you yell Show Me The Money and ya win the prize. There are 3 rounds with 3 games each…Connie won the first game of the first round in 3 cards…like that will ever happen again. She won $25 for her victory and since each round costs $5 she made a profit. Now if they would only start bingo back up she might be happy.
Our friend Gail gave us a housewarming present…after careful evaluation of it…Neil says we’re just gonna call it a thing as neither of us are really sure just exactly what it is.
Yesterday we tried out our new pellet grill for the first time…we had a skinless boneless turkey breast half in the freezer and after brining it overnight we smoked it at 160F with heavy smoke set and then at 225F with heavy smoke for the last hour of our 4.5 hour smoking period (so it would get done in time for dinner). It turned out pretty good…but was a little light on the smoky taste and a little drier than smoked turkey’s we’ve had in the past…we think a bone in and skin on full breast would be a better choice for smoking turkey as it (a) would take longer and hence get more smokey taste and (b) the fat in the skin would slowly melt and baste the whole thing while it was cooking…leaving nice crispy smoky skin to nibble on. Since it took longer than expected…we had a snack of sliced Parmesana Regiano cheese with a drizzle of the good…meaning expensive because it’s aged a long time and gets thick like honey from evaporation…Balsamic Vinegar. To go with the turkey we had some leftover pasta, leftover winter squash, and leftover ciabatta bread that we toasted with some garlic and butter on it. All was quite yummy…the turkey had a text that was more like ham than poultry but we think that’s because it dried out a bit due to the lack of skin and bone to protect the meat. We do have some leftover turkey that Neil is going to make turkey gumbo out of this evening.
Neil also continued work on getting the garage square away…he put together his third set of shelves and thinks that either tomorrow morning or Wednesday morning he’ll have the garage done so we can pull the car inside…that will help keep it cool since it won’t be out in the summer sun.
We also briefly lost power yesterday afternoon…although lost power is really a misnomer in this case. We had a lightning strike nearby…we could see the flash from our living area…and maybe a 1 second power loss before the grid picked up the load from some other generation facility. Long story short…no real damage except it made our file server and internet stuff reboot on the power failure…which reminded Neil that he needs to order some uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs) for them…he’ll get to that today.
OK… moving along to the news.
Do you remember how a whole bunch of folks got in trouble over the past few years for appearing in blackface…VA Governor Northam, VA AG Herring, Jimmy Fallon, Megan Kelly (although she wasn’t in blackface but merely had the audacity to suggest that a discussion of whether it was always or only sometimes racist was in order and whether when it happened made any difference), Prime Minister Trudeau of Canuckistan, Robert Downey Jr, Julianne Hough, Gucci, Drake, Katy Perry, and Sarah Silverman…just to name a few. Now it didn’t matter that most of their offenses were multiple decades in the past and at least some of them were either dressing for the theme of an event or in an acting/comedy role…for years now we’ve been told that blackface is always, forever more, 100% racist and never, ever acceptable.
Except this week we found out that…at least according to the Woke and Media Mob (hereinafter referred to as WAMM) that it is perfectly acceptable if you’re an “influencer” and are doing it “in solidarity with BLM”. There’s even articles on the web explaining how to properly do your makeup to achieve the correct look…and one by that luminary white girl influencer Tania Saleh where she says “I wish I was black, today more than ever”.
So apparently…just like only some black lives matter…only some blackface matters.
Next up…remember when university professors were encouraged to allow controversial matters to be discussed in class to broaden the education of the students…although those of you who went to college from about 2000 on after safe spaces were mandated probably don’t remember this. A prof at UCLA…who has taught there for 39 years and at his previous job co-taught a black studies curriculum at a school in the Detroit area…we’ll he’s been suspended without pay and is under investigation for “potential violations of the school guidelines” although just what these potential violations are were.
His crime…well, due to the corona virus he is teaching an online only course where he posts videos, the students view them and then they have email discussions about the lectures…and it’s some sort of accounting course he’s teaching. From the beginning of the quarter…there was always only going to be a single final exam which would provide the totality of each student’s grade. The prof got an email a couple weeks back from a self identified white student who wanted to support his black classmates who were out protesting the death of Mr. Floyd and the student wanted the black students to either be exempted from the exam, given special grading criteria, or have a no-penalty exam where their grade could not go down because of the exam…in a course with a single exam providing the only grade. Now the prof’s boss had…before this email series started…sent out an email telling teachers not to change their grading criteria for either the Floyd protests or the corona lockdown…but to follow the university guidelines on what constituted a valid excuse.
The professor and the student had a back and forth email discussion in which the prof asked several questions…first, he had no idea of the race of students since it was an online only course; second, how about mixed race students and should they get a half pass on the grade; third, what about asian or white students who were in crisis because of the Floyd situation, should they not get a pass too; and finally the university had guidelines the prof was following. Apparently the original emailing student was happy with the responses…but somebody else started an anonymous petition to have the prof disciplined and fired because of his “extremely insensitive, dismissive, and woefully racist response to his students’ request for empathy and compassion during a time of civil unrest”. So UCLA…based on this anonymous petition…suspended and is investigating the prof.
Uncle Joe is currently choosing his VP running mate…and one of the potential choices is a lady named Val Deming…she’s a black congresswoman from FL who previously served as the chief of police in Orlando. She came out against the defunding or abolishment of police departments…and apparently this is enough for the WAMM to decide she needs to be eliminated from Uncle Joe’s short list…so the attack articles came out. An article in one of the FL east coast newspapers says she “supported police violence and excessive use of force” while serving as the Orlando chief…and cites a study that found 534 instances of police brutality/excessive use of force during her final year as chief…and this is 20% more than “the equivalent size and racial makeup city of Baton Rouge LA”. This didn’t pass the smell test…so Neil was able to figure out with 2 minutes of googling that Orlando has a population 20% greater than Baton Rouge does…and hence 20% more crime, 20% more arrests, 20% more resisting arrest incidents, and therefore 20% more of what the paper defines as brutality/excessive use of force. Seems to me that if the criminals weren’t resisting arrest and/or fleeing from the police…there would be less use of force. But no…Ms. Deming is pro-police brutality…except that maybe brutality/excessive use of force is in the eye of the newspaper doing the study…there was zero information about what the force was and who other than the journalist determined it was excessive.
You probably saw the headlines about the “senior Tulsa police department officer” who…according to the headlines…told a radio show that “the Tulsa PD should be shooting 20% more blacks than we actually shot”. Yeah…that’s a great headline for riling up the WAMM…but then if you read what he actually said you’ll see the headline is pure, unadulterated BS. What he actually said was that if you looked not at the 13% of blacks in the population but looked at the percentage of crimes that were committed by the various races and the amount of times each race was shot by police that blacks got shot 24% less than statistics would have led you to believe.
You might have seen the story this week about how HBO Max has pulled Gone With The Wind from distribution because of it’s racist depictions. Now first off…it’s a story about the pre Civil War antebellum south so naturally there are slaves and slavery depicted in the movie…and it could probably never be made today. So this author on one of the tech sites Neil looks at decided to take on HBO Max over their statement…the site usually offers a click bait section from an article on some news site, references the original url to read the whole thing, and then does some ‘analysis’ AKA ranting on the other site’s article. In the analysis…the secondary site author says “If it was so racist, why did you ever have it available for streaming? Even Disney recognizes some of its racist past and has refused to ever make “Song of the South” available on any platform.” He then goes on to say that it has always been a racist movie…and then in an incredible display of ultra woke-ness…he says that he and his wife saw the movie (10th time for him) over the past weekend and enjoyed it immensely despite of it’s racism…and that enjoying it is perfectly fine…as long as you embrace and acknowledge it’s racism.
So…if you’re a liberal and embrace it’s racism…it’s ok for you to watch. However…if you are a non card carrying member of the WAMM and enjoy the movie…you’re a racist. Me…I never thought it was a very good movie anyway.
Did you see on the news about the CHAZ or Capital Hill Autonomous Zone. Apparently…there has been a 6 square block area in the center of Seattle that has been occupied by Floyd protesters, Antifa, born again hippies, and who knows what other assorted other members of the WAMM. The police precinct in the center of the area has been evacuated and abandoned by police…and the chief of police said publicly “it was not my decision” and the are essentially given to the protesters. The mayor of Seattle says they are “performing an act of patriotism” and has stationed porta-potties and trash dumpsters at the borders for them. The entire area has been barricaded by the protesters with armed guards in military clothing and carrying “long guns” is the way the news describes them to protect the occupants of the CHAZ from police brutality. The chief of police has also publicly stated that “we have had rape and robbery 911 calls from inside the CHAZ that we have not been allowed to respond to”…and there is some evidence that the occupiers are demanding protection money from businesses inside the zone although are conflicting reports on this. The barriers around the CHAZ have signs that say “you are now leaving the USA” and “this is the property of the people of Seattle”.
Several things come to mind here.
I thought that secession was off the table after the Civil War…although it can be argued that the Constitution does not prohibit secession and the 10th amendment grants “all other rights to the states” which would presumably include secession…but I digress.
The “long guns” that the CHAZ security forces are using look suspiciously similar…in fact identical…to those “scary looking guns” that the WAMM usually identifies as assault weapons even though they are not. However…they’re called “long guns” by the WAMM and the WAMM emphasizes that they are breaking no laws as open carry is legal in the state of WA.
Can you imagine the outraged howling we would be hearing from the WAMM if a group of…say right wing nationalists or gun rights supporters…or god forbid President Trump supporters…were to take over 6 square blocks, declare themselves independent of the USA, and post armed guards with assault rifles at the border? Can you possibly imagine that the mayor of Seattle would not have called in the National Guard to evict those criminals? They’re taking over our city…and they have ‘assault weapons’.
Over in France…a nuclear powered attack submarine is undergoing overhaul to extend it’s life through 2030…it was launched in 1993. As part of the overhaul…duh…all weapons were naturally removed…and even the nuclear reactor has been de-fueled as getting a new reactor core is part of the overhaul…and new reactor cores are for all intents and purposes non radioactive, it is only after they are taken critical that some radioactive fission products exist inside the core. As happens frequently in overhauls…a fire broke out since a lot of welding is going on…but as does not generally happen frequently they apparently did not have adequate safety precautions in place fo a potential fire and a large portion of the submarine was damaged. The French are falling all over themselves saying there was no nuclear accident and no radiation was released…not surprising since there was no nuclear fuel on board…and that the smoke is not radioactive…again not surprising. It apparently took from mid morning to late afternoon to put the fire out…so based on Neil’s experience in submarines and overhaul the damage is probably considerable. His guess is that it will be cheaper to scrap the ship and build a new one than to fix the burned up one.
I’ve seen a lot of articles this week about defunding and/or abolishing the police and naturally the discussions around them…and also on the random topics area on Neil’s photography forum…are dealing with…well, debates is far too polite a word for what is going on…racism, slavery, the Civil War, police use of force and other things in the same vein.
Several thoughts here.
There is a lady running for County Commissioner over in Miami-Dade county on the east coast of FL (Miami, Hollywood, Miami Beach, and Fort Lauderdale area)…she said this week that this whole defund the police and/or abolish the department is completely nuts. She agrees that we need police to serve and protect but should try to improve rather than abolish them. Sounds like a brilliant idea, right? Well, not according to the Minneapolis city council and various other state and local governments who are steaming ahead with this dumbest of ideas. Oh yeah…I forgot to tell you who the lady is…she’s a black woman named Sybrina Fulton…it might not surprise you that a black woman disagrees with the idea…but she is also the mother of Trayvon Martin who was killed while attacking neighborhood watch member George Zimmerman. It seems to me that there are some black people…even those who have had family members killed by whites…who recognize the lunacy of abolishing the police. I have no idea what her other platform issues are…but at least she’s not gone completely off the reservation.
As part of the overall discussions about slavery…a common theme on both the articles, their comments, and the discussion board is that the Civil War was “solely” about eliminating slavery. While that is a nice easy to remember meme (did they have memes in the 1800s?)…the actual list of causes for the Civil War is a lot more nuanced than that as is easily determined by a little research as long as you don’t have a predetermined conclusion.
If the Civil War was solely about the elimination of slavery…then I wonder about the following facts.
Since somewhere between 75% and 94% of southerners did not own slaves depending on which statistic you choose to believe…but in any even a majority did not…just what were most of the southern troops fighting for? One could argue that preserving the free labor of slavery kept the poor white folks from getting the job to pick the cotton…so perhaps they were not fighting to preserve slavery…and if not then why did they fight?
Why did the 4 northern states that had slavery fight…surely not to eliminate slavery since it would eliminate the free labor they enjoyed as a result of slavery? I not to eliminate slavery…why did they fight?
Even that notorious southern sympathizer Abraham Lincoln said that the Civil War was not to either preserve or eliminate slavery…but to preserve the union. He wrote ‘I would save slavery if it would save the union, and I would eliminate slavery if it would save the union, and I would free some slaves but not all if it would preserve the union. My sole purpose in the war is to preserve the union. He even refused to meet and negotiate with a peace delegation sent by Jefferson Davis before the attack on Fort Sumter because making peace with the south would have not preserved the union.
Again…all of those facts are a bit more nuanced than I made them sound but it was done in the interest of brevity…but they do serve to illustrate that the Civil War was a lot more nuanced than you think. Sure…slavery played a part…and even a significant part…but it was not the only driving factor. The fact that the secession legislation by the various confederate states said it was to preserve slavery is another one of those memes that is used to fire up the populace…on both sides the relatively uneducated common folk really would not understand the tariff laws that were economically devastating to the south and played a role similar in amount to slavery itself.
Finally…there’s a lot of goings on about tearing down statues of Confederate soldiers and generals and renaming military bases that bear Confederate names…which is really dumb because those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it as a famous man once said…and like it or not the Confederacy and slavery are part of the history of the USA. The primary rallying cry of those that want to tear down the statues is “they were traitors and we should not honor traitors”…unfortunately there are a couple problems with this. First off…all Confederate soldiers were issued a federal pardon for any and all potential crimes they might have committed by that noted southern sympathizer Lincoln…and an act of Congress declared that Confederate veterans were US veterans and were entitled to and received military pensions from the US government. Second…as I said the actual legality of secession has never really been adequately legally settled (other than by the Union winning the war…which isn’t a legal settlement but a military one)…so if secession was legal then Confederate soldiers were certainly not traitors…go and google the definition of treason (which you have to commit to be a traitor) and you’ll agree. Third…and this is the one that really gets the WAMM crowd…let’s assume that the Confederate soldiers were actually traitors…and as such we should get rid of all statues of traitors, rename all streets and military bases that have traitor names, and generally expunge the traitors from existence. Yep…good idea…but wait, there’s one additional problem with that. If we’re going to get rid of memorials to traitors…then there is this monument in the nation’s capitol which we’ll have to rename as well…and in fact we’ll have to rename the nation’s capitol as well…because when you get right down to the actual facts…George Washington was a traitor. He was a British subject and citizen…and rebelled against his lawful king…and waged war against his country. That’s pretty much the definition of treason.
The redeeming factor…George won the war. However, if he had lost…he woulda been hung by the neck until dead with the rest of his traitorous cabal…otherwise known as the founding fathers.
As I said…a lot of this is really pretty nuanced. Yes…there’s still racism in America…but there’s been racism in the world since God took the sun critical for the first time…and no race is innocent of racism. Yes…we had slavery in America for a centuries…and it was legal…and both north and south supported and profited from it. Most of the slave in the south that were not born there…well, they were captured in black on black warfare in Africa and transported to America by ships primarily owned by British or northern companies. Remember…it’s nuanced and hard to fix.
Me…I’m not convinced that racism will ever go away. I would like to see it happen…but I’m not holding my breath.
OK…on to some more interesting things.
Did you know that in Las Vegas the churches accept casino chips in their collection plates. The problem with this is that all the churches get chips from the dozens of casinos in town and don’t have the staff to sort them out and turn them in to the casinos for cash. The solution…an enterprising monastery in town who provides this as a service. The monastery collects the chips, sorts them out, cashes them all in, and then distributes the proceeds to the various churches based on how many chips from each casino a church submitted.
The men that perform this task…are known as…the chip monks.
There were these three storks that met up in the sky one day on their rounds delivering babies and they got to talking…the first one said “I’m bringing a beautiful baby girl to that house over there”. The second one said “I’m bringing a healthy set of boy twins to that one over there”. The third one…older and wiser than the other two…said “I’m not delivering any babies…I am just going to go visit the convent to give them a scare.”
Interesting things found on the net.
This seemed appropriate as the bars reopen.
With the ongoing looting and violence…I can just imagine this from the late Billy Mays.
And if we abolish the police…this will happen when you dial 911. Remember…when seconds count…help is just minutes away.
Since we live in Florida with lots of old people…and by the way old is a state of mind…it has nothing to do with mileage on the body.
Of course it’s ours…why would you think it is not?
This was posted in a discussion on Neil’s Ugly Hedgehog photography forum on how close you get to the animals on safari in Africa. I guess this lady (a) had to go and (b) knows the answer to the question…or she will soon. Her husband probably took this photo…and said “Look honey, there’s a lion.”
Added later…already used this one…sorry ‘bout that but it is already posted so Ima leaving it in.
And finally…got this one from FB and while I usually don’t bother much with that platform…I have no idea whether Denzel Washington actually said this or not, I’m guessing no as the image appears to have been lifted from an interview on shortlist.com about his film The Equalizer with the text added later…but the sentiment is pretty much on the money. The world should be color blind…but it isn’t…and I don’t really believe it will ever be.