Broad Spectrum Stupidity

Yup…just like there are these drugs that are effective against a broad spectrum of bacteria…stupidity knows bounds as to political persuasion, age, race, gender, or pretty much anything else. Today’s examples all came from the various news media sites today. It’s not all stupid today though…there are actually a couple of feel good stories in here.

First up…Representative Jayapal (D-WA) has a new plan for Medicare for All. She’s going to offer…copying right out of her plan here…ban employer health plans, no payments for anything but prescriptions, 2 year transition period, reverses Hyde amendment on federal ban on abortion funding, she says it’s not clear how it would be paid for but surely a wealth tax, mandatory employer contributions, and savings from reducing costs will cover it. Nothing in there about how much it would cost…no evaluation by the OMB or congressional cost estimation bodies, no evaluation of how much money the wealth tax would bring in or how much wealth would flee the country if it was enacted, no specification about the “mandatory employer contributions” which is essentially another tax that will be passed along to their customers, and no evaluation of how this plan will reduce costs. Has the government ever…I mean ever…taken over anything and made it more efficient. There’s an example of this further down the page in the SpaceX note.

Following right up on that…according to the headline…”California school called police on a 5 year old”. Then you get into reading the article and it turns out that this 5 year disadvantaged youth in Upland CA started his week off by initiating a fight with another kid in his class. Then the next day…something again sets him off and he proceeds to have a 45 minute tirade where he basically trashes the classroom including tossing chairs through windows, dumping file drawers and pretty much everything else on the floor. So the school resource officer…who granted is a policeman but is stationed in the school permanently to maintain order and protect the kids and staff therein…anyway he gets the report of a disturbance so naturally he goes to the scene…ya know it is his job after all. He watches while the teacher attempts to control the kid…can’t touch him of course in today’s litigious society and ya know how easy it is to reason with a 5 year old…anyway finally the cop escorts the kid to the office…he’s never spoken to the kid through all of this…and they sit there while the office staff calls his mother…her name is Chiquita or Chiniqua or something along that vein…to come and take him home. On the way out with his mother…the resource officer says “you be good now, ok?”. Now maybe it’s me…but that doesn’t sound like “calling the police on a 5 year old” at all…but ya know how the media will say anything to get clicks and make authorities, police, or school staff look bad.

Next up…the brawl in the legislature in West Virginia. Apparently some right wing member or staff…it wasn’t clear who posted it from the article…anyway they put up a poster that was…well, let’s call it politically incorrect. I won’t give the idiot who did it the web hits by posting the poster…but it essentially had a photo of the Twin Towers in NYC right as the second plane hit them…with wording to the effect of “you said you would never forget”. The second half of the poster had a photo of the Muslim congresswoman from Minnesota…she of the blatantly anti-Semitic remarks a couple weeks back…and wording that basically says “this is proof you’ve forgotten”. What kind of an idiot does this. Sure…there are Muslim terrorists in the world…but even if the number is 50,000 (probably a high estimate IMO) that’s a minute fraction of a percent of the 1.6 billion muslims in the world. The vast, vast, overwhelmingly vast majority of muslims…including both US citizens, immigrants, and citizens of other countries…are peaceful minded people and their religion specifically decries the violence and hate the bad ones espouse. Just like any other social, racial, religious, ethnic, or any other category you want to name…they all have good people and they all have bad people. I’ve never seen any evidence…although admittedly I haven’t really looked for it either…that any group has a significantly higher percentage of terrorists, criminals, drug dealers than any other group…the only real exception I can think of is suicide bombers. Whoever posted this in the legislature there is a complete loon…and I say this even though her politics, actions, demands, and policies are 100% opposite of what I believe.

This is Isaac (Ike) Fabella…he’s a WWII vet who lives in a nursing home in Michigan…he posted on Twitter last week that he would like to get 100 cards for his upcoming 100th birthday. So far…he’s up to 16,000. Goodonya Ike.

IkeFabella

Next in today’s hit parade…idiot millennials. Now I’ve blocked out their faces in the two images below and won’t mention their names so they will get zero publicity for this stunt from me. Anyway…according to the article…these two 20something Portuguese “social media influencers”…I’ve got no idea how you become one of those or even what it means…but apparently posting photos of yourself doing stupid things on Instagram is all part of it in the competition to see who can get more likes or followers or whatever Instagram calls them. Anyway…they were on this moving train in Sri Lanka recently and decided it would be a good place to do some of the aforementioned stupid things…I think the images speak for themselves.

SocialMediaInfluencer1

SocialMediaInfluencer2

Does this look like something anyone with more than 10 working brain cells would do? She claimed it “wasn’t dangerous at all” and encourages her followers to create similar “moments” in their Instagram feed. Morons I tell ya…

Joe Biden…well he’s apparently gotten himself in trouble with some of the alleged leaders in the Democratic presidential field…there are 14 of them running so far…and each one is trying to out-socialist the rest and make demands that are farther to the left than anybody else. Apparently…Uncle Joe is thinking about running again…and despite being considered pretty liberal when he was in the Senate…he’s not being described as “mainstream” compared to the rest of the candidates. So what was his crime against socialism and progressive mores…why he said that Vice President Spence was a good guy and he could work with him. Apparently Democrats aren’t allowed to say anything nice about the other side. I wonder if the “boss” AOC gave him permission to speak…after all last week she said she was the boss.

Bernie Sanders…well he says that “no action too drastic for the government to take to address climate change.” No mentions of how to pay for it or even achieve the advances it demands…but we should do it anyway…right along with enacting Medicare for all, free college, and a partridge in a pear tree.

In the “what were they thinking category”…in Kentucky…the legislature has actually passed and sent to the governor for signature a law that authorizes concealed carry of firearms with no permit, no license, no training, and no background check. Now the 2nd amendment guarantees…and has been upheld by the Supreme Court…the right to keep and bear arms…things like permits, background checks, and training strike me as a good thing…that will help keep guns out of the hands of crazies and make sure that owners understand basic safety items like safeties and making sure the cop that pulls you over for a traffic violation is aware you’re carrying. Nuts Ima tellin’ ya.

What does all this mean? Well…as my friend Randy Cunningham of This is True fame says…there are obliviots in every population no matter how you slice it.

Johnny Manzel…ya know “Mr. Football”…he of the failed NFL career who went on to get signed by the CFL up in Canuckistan…he got canned this week from his team for violating the terms of his agreement with the CFL that allowed him to play…and told that no other team in the league could sign him. Nothing surprising in there given that he’s never grown up past the age of 11 or so…but the article went on to talk about his wife Bre Tiesi-Manziel who took part in a half marathon race for charity in Temecula CA last weekend. She posted photos of her finishing the race in 1:58:22…which is about a nine minute pace and put her in the top 30 female finishers…and is certainly achievable for a first time half marathon participant who’s properly trained. However…some folks at the finish line thought she looked entirely too good to have just finished the race…and Neil’s run enough races for me to know that you never look good at the end of a race…makeup not smeared, not out of breath, not all sweaty…so they went back and looked at her mile times through the race. Turns out she passed the halfway point (6.4 miles) in 1:31:00 or about 14:15 per mile pace This means that in order to have actually finished the race in 1:58 she ran the second half of the race in 27 minutes and change. For those of you who aren’t runners…let me tell you a bit about this. This means that she ran the last second half of the race with every mile right around the 4 minute mark…ya know the one that Roger Bannister first broke back in the 50s. The woman’s world record for a mile as of today is 4:12…and that was obviously run with having first run the first half of the half marathon and the record holder only had to run a mile…and we’re supposed to believe she…a first time half marathoner…broke the woman’s world record for a mile by 12 seconds…not once but 6 times? Turns out that there was a loop in the course you were supposed to go around twice and a race pace person…that is a guy who was deliberately running a pace so he would finish in exactly 2 hours…saw her turn back to the finish line and skip the second loop. When you account for the reduced distance…she finished the whole race in just about a 14:15 pace…exactly like she had at the halfway mark. Once exposed in the media…she posted a photo of the 11 mile marker…that she would have passed if she did the second loop…and that’s supposed to “prove” that she ran the whole race. No mention by her of how she managed to break the woman’s mile record 6 times over. More millennial stupidity I guess.

In the “how the heck does that even happen” vein…the nation’s largest Neo-Nazi group…named the National Socialist Movement…short aside here on socialist…I’m a bit confused by the name as socialists usually believe in taking from the rich, giving to the poor, and giving advantages to every last “disadvantaged” group in the population…and that’s typically not what Neo-Nazi groups want…but maybe it’s just me. Anyways…they’ve got a new director now…his name is James Hart Stern…and his policy is to dissolve the group. The corporate filings don’t say how he got the job or why the last director left the position…but that’s not the most interesting part. Despite this being a Neo-Nazi group…the new director is a black activist.

Saw an article also about Bill Gates house. Ya know…Bill Gates who founded Microsoft, became a pretty much self made $100 billionaire, largely was at the forefront of the personal computer and high tech industry…yeah, that Bill Gates…the noted liberal, philanthropist, and believer in trying to lower carbon emissions. Anyway…he tells in the article about how being a billionaire makes his life easier because he has doesn’t have to worry about money. His house…and I”m not sure why he needs all of this…has 66,000 square feet, 18 and 3/4 bathrooms, a 60 foot indoor pool, an indoor trampoline room, an in house theater and a library. It was built out of 500 year old Douglas fir trees…wait, I thought he was supposed to be an environmentalist…I’m not sure why anybody needs a house with all of that…but hey, he’s got $100 billion so he can buy whatever he wants without worrying about medical or college costs. The article then went on into some questions about the Green New Deal…and despite being a liberal who believes in getting to zero carbon emissions…well he basically said it’s nuts. He said “It’s not realistic to think the entire economy and infrastructure could be transformed in a few years.” and “For example, for many people in low- and middle-income countries, cattle are an essential source of income and nutrients,” he wrote, adding that the best approach would be to “invest in innovation” so that things could continue “without destroying the climate”. He also stated that to solve the problem would require breakthrough inventions in many fields…but I guess AOC will just order those breakthrough inventions since she’s the boss.

Victoria’s Secret announced it is closing 53 more stores in addition to the 30 they closed in 2018. I guess millennial women don’t believe in buying sexy lingerie to entice their men (or woman) partners. Call me crazy…but I would much rather see a woman in a bustier, garter belt, stockings, and heels than in combat boots and stained/torn tightey whities…but mebbe Ima old fashioned.

Last one…let’s talk about Elon Musk. I don’t understand how somebody who’s obviously a gifted entrepreneur and forward thinker can simultaneously run SpaceX…which is doing spectacularly…while also running Tesla…which is doing spectacularly bad. SpaceX has a series of NASA contracts totaling $2.4 billion to develop a rocket and capsule that can deliver both cargo and up to 7 passengers to low earth orbit…that funding covers both development and launch of 10 cargo missions and 6 manned missions. It was founded in 2002 and launched their first rocket to orbit in 2008 and launched the flight demo test vehicle today…it will dock autonomously in a day or so, spend a week there, and return to earth again autonomously. They’ve achieved more than NASA in fewer years at less cost. Their current heavy launch vehicle Falcon 9 Heavy can lift 140,000 pounds to low earth orbit or 60,000 pounds to a geosynchronous transfer orbit for a cost of $90 million ($150 million if the flight profile prevents recovery of the first stage). This compares to 61,000 and 8400 pounds respectively for a space shuttle launch…which cost $400 million just for the launch without considering the development cost of the system. So as you can see…SpaceX is doing pretty well. Tesla…on the other hand…well they have a pretty decent electrical vehicle…but it costs $60,000 and they’ve built about 500,000 of them since 2015. It’s clearly not a vehicle for the masses…and he has been fine by the SEC for stock manipulation recently. Production dates keep slipping and they announced this week that they’re closing all their stores, shifting to online only sales, and providing no test drives to anybody. Their solution if you want a test drive is to buy one…you can then drive it for a week and if you don’t like it bring it back for a full refund less $1,000. Oh yeah…they also announced a new cheaper version of the Model 3…which only costs $35,000 but to get that they stripped all the cool technology stuff out of it and reduced the range. Probably has only an AM radio too. So how can a guy who’s smart enough to hire good enough engineers to do what SpaceX has done be such a miserable failure at building cars? I dunno.

OK…last one. You probably heard about the jogger that was attacked by a mountain lion out in Colorado a couple weeks back…he ended up bashing the cat in the head with a rock and strangling it to survive. Instead of congratulating him on his ability to improvise, adapt, and overcome…and survive the encounter…the media appears to be trying to generate sympathy for the poor innocent victim (the mountain lion). To wit…the local game warden people competed a necropsy…that’s an autopsy on an animal…this week and announced that it was a male “kitten” weighing about 40 pounds and about 4-5 months old…in the first place it’s a cub and not a kitten but the report makes it sound like it’s a house cat. Mind you…it’s 3 or 4 times heavier than even a big house cat, has sharp teeth and claws, is pretty quick, and is one of the apex predators in the west. Despite it’s size…it clearly considered the jogger to be lunch…so why does the media insist on portraying it as the victim and try to drum up sympathy for it? Anybody that’s ever gotten in a disagreement with a house or feral cat knows that even a 10 pound wild feral cat can do some serious damage to your person…so we’re supposed to be sympathetic about an animal 4 times that size who decided to eat a jogger? Nuts I tellya. 

On to other interesting things found on the net.

Stealth aircraft.

F117Nighthawk

This is a 21 year old Red Knot bird named B95 or Moonbird. He’ a shore bird that goes to the far north…like Baffin Bay in Canuckistan, the shores of the Northwest Passage north other, and northern Greenland and Alaska in the summer…then migrates to South America in the winter. Anyways…Moonbird has flown far enough in his lifetime during migration to have covered the distance from earth to the moon and back.

Moodbird Red Knot

This one is certainly apropos for Florida…since we have all the old people down here. I’ve been saying for years that old is a state of mind and doesn’t have anything to do with the mileage on your body…but let’s just say that a considerable percentage of the population down here easily fits into the old category.

DidYouKnow

Lego men…ya know those little figurines that come in your Lego set…they were introduced in 1978 and as shown by the chart below…the population of Lego men will surpass the population of humans by the end of 2019.

LegoMen

Interesting mannequin choice for a table saw display advertisement.

InterestingMannequinChoice

And finally…here’s a really cool looking mushroom. It’s a Mycena interrupta, commonly known as the pixie’s parasol. It’s pretty small…ranging from 0.8 to 2 centimeters in size…but it’s pretty cool, eh?

CoolMushroom

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More Actual News

We got actual news to report today…so no Reality Based Blogging (RBB)© this time.

One small note on previous stupidity though…now that Mr. Smollett has been charged with filing a false police report…it’s amazing how almost all mentions of his situation have disappeared from the news media. The only article I’ve seen in the past 3 days was one that talked about he deserved compassion for his misdeeds.  Yeah…right. That’s the only way that you can convert two positives to a negative connotation.

Anyways…Connie and Neil…well, they’re famous…or maybe infamous is a better idea…or maybe even they’re having their 15 minutes of fame.

To wit…back awhile back Connie had signed up for Money Magazine’s Consumer Panel…it’s some sort of forum where they can take the pulse of their subscribers or some such nonsense…and part of that entailed a brief description of her life so she talked about living in the RV full time.

She got this email from them back in January or late December and asked if we would be willing to give them a brief interview for an upcoming article on RV life. She said sure…and a few emails back and forth between her, the Money contact, and the freelancer author we had a phone interview for about an hour with Paul the author. Once that was done…and Neil sent Paul a few photographs of the rig and places we had been…we figured we were finished.

A couple weeks later…we got an email from the Money contact asking us if we could sit for a photo session…apparently the article had been green-lit for publication, upgraded to a “feature” (whatever that means in publishing-speak), and if we would allow them to send a professional photographer to take some photos. Again…we said “sure, why not”…and the appointment was setup.

So a couple days later Mary Beth and her assistant Ray showed up with a trunk full of lights and cameras and she spent about 3 hours taking shots of us outside the rig, inside doing action shots like cooking and such, and romantically walking through the campground…well Connie walked romantically but Neil wasn’t quite sure what that meant…but both Mary Beth and Connie assured him that holding hands and looking lovingly at her was just what the doctor ordered. We had another few emails back and forth with the Money contact telling us the photos were great and once again…we figured we were done. We did have quite a number of our neighbors wander by and stare at Mary Beth, Ray, and us…they were clearly trying to figure out what was going on but nobody asked. We were hoping to attend the campfire that evening…I’m sure we would have been the talk of the campground and it woulda been nice to see what people thought…but it rained and the campfire didn’t happen…and by the next week I guess we were old news.

Earlier this week…we got an email from Money saying the article had gone live online…and will be published in the paper magazine in the April issue. You can take a gander at the online version here…We Traded Our Home for a $50,000 RV in Retirement — and We’ve Never Been Happier. Pretty spiffy eh? We’re the second of two couples in the article and although there’s only the single photo in the online article I figure the print version might have a few more…otherwise the $$$ that the photographer and her assistant got paid in time and expenses wouldn’t be worth it.

True story following up on the other couple in the article…at the end she talks about meeting a person that worked for her dad. We were in Minnesota a couple years back and in the commissary on the military base we were shopping and this fellow about our age walked up and asked Neil if he was from Alabama (he had on one of his Crimson Tide hats). He says yeah…the guy says where from…he says Mobile…the guy says where…he says Crichton area…guy says where…he says Siena Vista…guy says “the street that always decorated at Christmas and the line of cars to come in and see the lights was blocks long”…Neil says yeah…guy says where on the street…Neil says about half way down just before the downhill on the left side…guy says “the yard that the street from the black folks neighborhood dead ends up against” (back then folks generally lived in areas that were single race rather than completely mixed race like nowadays…Neil says yeah…guy says “I grew up 2 houses from the end of that street.” They grew up within probably 150 yards of each other but never met…another one of those because back in those days things. He went to the rival public high school to McGill where Neil attended.

Our local eaglets are doing well…they’re 64 and 66 days old now and normal fledging (first flight) is typically 9-10 weeks…so that should be happening pretty soon. They’re pretty much full grown at this point and have all their flight feathers…but not the white head and tail that come with sexual maturity at about age 4…and are testing their wings on the nest.

Food deliveries to the nest today consisted of 5 fish and 2 rabbits…and it’s only about 1400 as I’m writing this…Harriet and/or M15 are out hunting almost all the time in order to deliver enough food for the both of them.

Screen Shot 2019 02 27 at 2 22 54 PM

We’ve been members of the North Fort Myers Elk Lodge #2742 since we transferred our membership down to this area 4 or 5 years ago…but this week we went over to Fort Myers Lodge #1288 and filled out the transfer dimit (that’s a fancy word for form…why they can’t just use the word form is beyond me…but then they got all these rituals too and most of them seem a bit over the top to me…but thems the rules) to move our membership…we should be approved next week at the 1288 monthly meeting, Neil paid our dues to the new lodge, and we’ll get new membership cards. I don’t want to go into a whole lot of detail on the reasons…let’s just say that 2742 isn’t as friendly a place to be anymore and many of our friends have also submitted transfer paperwork. The new lodge is about 10 miles away instead of 5…but from our visits over there it’s friendly people and more comfortable than we’ve felt at the old lodge the past year or so…and we will drive 5 more miles for that.

Yesterday we finished up the last remaining item from Neil and his sister MJ serving as co-executors of his mom and dad’s wills…his dad had a $20 gold piece from the 1800s that he won in a card draw with his siblings at their dad’s passing and he wanted it passed along the same way. Due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control…he and his 3 siblings have not been in the same place at the same time since his mom’s passing…and it’s just been too long. So after some discussion with MJ…we had Father Tom (the pastor at our church here in Florida) run a little lottery to select a winner. That’s been completed and Neil will be providing the coin to the duly chosen sibling in due course…but which sibling that is will be left to the unknown unless they choose to reveal themself.

Monday is the St. Therese Parish Mardi Gras dinner…it’s one of those formal cocktail/dinner/dancing things. We’ve got tickets and will be sitting at the choir table with a bunch of Connie’s friends from there. It’s a good time…he’s trying to get her to go to the dollar store and get herself a gold mask with feathers on it…but he’s not holding out much hope.

Connie’s looking forward to some Alex time in a couple of weeks…we’re heading up to see him…and the human kids as well as it’s Bryan’s 35th birthday coming up and with our trip from FL straight to TX for the NHOG rally VA just ain’t on the way.

Interesting stuff found on the net.

Ya know how they say there’s a story behind every rule and sign? I would love to know the rest of the story that resulted in this one.

StoryBehindEverySign

Punography

I wonder how much his hospital bill was afterwards.

HuntingFlies

RV IQ towing test…but I’m afraid most non-RVers won’t get it. He’s hooked his safety chains to a quick release clip. So if the trailer jumps off the hitch…instead of the chains ensuring it mostly stays attached to the tow vehicle…it will just proceed down the highway independently.

RV IQ Towing Test

TodayIsSunday

SeemsLegit

Aussie road sign.

WatchOutFor

They ain’t wrong.

TheyreNotWrong

Cyas.

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I Found Some More Stupid…

Yeah…a little more Reality Based Blogging…RBB©…today.

Turns out that the interwebs were right about ol’ Jussie Smollet…he of the racist, homophobic, bleach and noose attack by two guys wearing MAGA hats in downtown Chicago at 2AM when it was about 7 degrees…he’s been arrested for filing a false report. It turns out that he paid the two men of Nigerian ancestry to “attack” him. The reason was…he had earlier written a racist and homophobic letter to himself…he cut letters out of magazines and pasted them to a sheet of paper…who does that in 2019…and complained about it on the media. However…he wasn’t happy with the limited amount of exposure and outrage he generated with that letter…so he dipped into his Trump Derangement Syndrome toolbox and decided to up the ante by orchestrating an attack by Trump supporters.

Never mind that there was no video evidence and the likelihood that Trump supporters would just happen to be wandering around downtown Chicago at 2AM in their MAGA hats with bleach and a noose…or that the likelihood of a Trump supporter watching a TV show about a gay black music producer is pretty darned low.

This jack nozzle…with his hoax hate crime narrative…has made it harder for real victims to be believed. Lock him up I say. And it’s not even his first time lying to the police…back in 2007 he was pulled over for DUI and he gave a false name (his brother’s) and signed a false signature (his brother’s) to the summons.

On another note…the EU released the final draft of their new copyright rules today. I’m not sure exactly when they take effect as the EU Parliament still needs to vote on them but I think they were smoking crack when they wrote them…and if they’re approved the EU Parliament is nuts. These rules…which according to the EU are effective worldwide and not just within the EU…like the rest of us will pay much attention to them. Anyway…they state “any online community, platform or service that has existed for three or more years, or is making €10,000,001/year or more, is responsible for ensuring that no user ever posts anything that infringes copyright, even momentarily.” In the first place…this is impossible as a web site…say Facebook or Twitter for instance…has zero effect on what a user might post. Sure…if the user posts something that violates the terms of service or is copyrighted and the owner notifies the company they’ll take the material down…but under the rules they’re still responsible.

While the intent of the rules is to provide a legal remedy if a pirate site posts…for example…a full HD copy of a blockbuster movie that’s still playing in the theater…it also makes any commentary or review on that movie illegal if a short clip of the movie or some of the actual dialog is included in the commentary or review illegal and subject to sanction. There has been a fair use clause in copyright law for many decades allowing just this sort of commentary or review…and that’s still effective across the world…except for the EU of course and their statement that these rules apply worldwide. No wonder the UK wants to leave.

Speaking of the UK leaving…I’m still voting on them coming to Mar 29 and having what’s been called a hard Brexit…or no agreement. From the UK’s standpoint…this will save them billions of pounds in alimony. While both sides say they’re still willing to talk…they each have a non-negotiable demand that they won’t negotiate away…and those two demands are completely opposed to each other. That means that nothing will likely happen negotiation wise…and with the UK already legally set to leave the EU on Mar 29 it would require the UK to request a postponement. That’s unlikely to happen with the current government over there…and even if they did request it the request requires unanimous approval of the other 28 EU member states…unlikely to happen. The Prime Minister…who actually wasn’t in favor of leaving the EU as I recall…but she’s determined to carry out the wishes of the people who voted to leave in the referendum a couple years back. However…the folks that lost are now demanding another referendum…sort of like our politicians who want to overturn the results of elections.

One good bit common sense today in the news though…the Supreme Court acted to restrict the ability of states or cities to use a legal tactic called civil forfeiture. Under this tactic…say you’re a suspected…or even convicted and now released drug dealer and they stop your Landrover or BMW for say speeding. Since you’re a convicted but served time felon…or because the officer says he “smells marijuana” they search your car and find nothing except the $10,000 cash you have in you wallet. Under civil forfeiture…they seize your car and cash despite no crime being committed and then they hold a hearing at which you have no right to have an attorney present where the city or state decides whether the seizure by their officers was legal or not. Amazingly enough…the city/state almost always upholds the seizure…which means that they get the cash and auction off your car…the money typically goes into the budget of the law enforcement agency that seized it in the first place. This has always made zero sense to me…sure if you’ve got marijuana and a scale and cash in your car then it’s reasonable to assume that the cash came from selling dope…but with no dope or criminal charges from the stop they’ve basically made it legal under this tactic to seize cash and/or assets from whoever they feel like. I realize why the tactic was invented in the first place…but it’s been mightily abused and needed to be limited.

We’re getting ready for a little trip up to VA in a coupla weeks…got to go visit grand baby Alex before we head off on our summer travel season. Normally we would visit there right after we left Fort Myers…but since we’re going to Texas for the NHOG rally in early May we’ll head north and take a left turn at I-10…which doesn’t put us anywhere near VA. So we’re heading up early…besides, Neil needs to borrow his circular saw back from Bryan for a trailer upgrade project while we’re at the rally. We’ll have to stay at a hotel this time as the human kids have reorganized their house and don’t have a spare bedroom for us to sleep in anymore. We’ll be gone six nights but will have 3 full days to visit…we’ve found that to be a good visit length as by that time both we and the kids are about ready for the visit to be over and go back to our normal lives.

Big day today too…Connie’s off at the SW Florida District Meeting of the Ladies of Elks…basically an excuse to get together and have lunch. She went up to Deep Creek Lodge 30 minutes or so north of here. She’ll eat too much lunch…which means she won’t want much dinner. Fortunately…Neil has some leftover White Bolognese pasta from last night that he’ll have for lunch…then it’s taco night at the Elks where you can order by the each which means she can eat however much she needs. After that…it’s the meeting to elect the leadership for the lodge for the next year. There are actually contested elections for a change…for the first time in 7 years that we’ve been members each of the officers has two nominees and the competing slates have different ideas on what needs doing and how to do it.

On to interesting stuff found on the net.

WorldDidntSuck

LaughsLast

Ya know what this is…right…

WinterBareTrees

Nope?

Sure ya don’t have an idea?

It’s a Winter Bear Tree of course.

Wrong franchise young lady.

WrongFranchise

SameLanguage

PerfectSign

Cyas.

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Is It Just Me…

…or are people just stupid. To wit…and all these were news just from the past couple of days. Before I start though…let me tell ya about the new category of post I’m starting…it’s called RBB for Reality Based Blogging. I’ll use it when necessary and include a note at the beginning of the post so if’n ya don’ wanna read about obliviots ya don’ have to.

Anyways…back in December Amazon announced that they would build a second HQ in New York City…specifically in the Long Island City neighborhood in Queens. This would have employed 25,000…yes, 25,000…folks in NYC…and while some of them would have been transferred from other areas most of them would be new jobs for New Yorkers. Amazon was going to build a campus there…which would have generated construction jobs on top of the 25,000 permanent staff once it was built.

To get Amazon to make this commitment…the city and state offered Amazon tax subsidies…just like every other city and state does to get large corporate campuses built.

However…those construction and permanent jobs are now gone. Activists in NYC…there’s another word for them that starts with the same letter…and for which buttheads is a decent synonym…complained about the tax subsidies. Not satisfied with that…said activists complained that it would increase congestion and lead to gentrification. Now I dunno know ‘bout you…but I been to NYC and it’s already pretty darned congested…but with a population of 8 million people already it’s hard to believe that 25,000 well paying jobs that would pay the outrageous NY state and NYC income taxes would really increase congestion. Gentrification…I guess that the folks living there now would rather have their ghetto and a high tech corporate campus and all the benefits that go along with that.

The mayor blasted Amazon for not “working with the community to solve the problems”…which I assume means turn down the tax incentives involved.

Never mind that citizens of NYC support this deal 56% to 36%…the activists have torpedoed the deal for them.

To top it off…their newly elected congresswoman…she of the degree in economics…she thinks that “it shows that everyday Americans have have the power to fight for their communities and have more power than the richest man in the world.” She says that the $3 billion in tax breaks that Amazon would have gotten can now be used to hire more teachers and fix the subway. Never mind that NYC didn’t write Amazon a check…and doesn’t have that $3 billion…the city and state just agreed to discount the taxes that Amazon would have paid. Never mind that Amazon said the 25,000 jobs would average over $115,000 a year in salary…and pay some $20 billion of taxes in NY over the years that the tax breaks covered. Never mind that NYC has lost 25,000 tax paying jobs at Amazon plus who knows how many others at businesses that moved into or expanded in the area to provide services to those 25,000 workers.

Then there’s this whole Green New Deal thing…championed by that same newly elected to Congress 29 year bartender from NYC…ya know, the one named Ocrazyio…who wants to “eliminate climate change in the next 10 years. To do this she’s built a plan…well she calls it a plan but it’s actually just a progressive wish list with no thought given to technical feasibility of accomplishing any of it’s goals and no plan at all to pay for it except for the government to ‘just print more money’. To achieve this goal…she wants to convert the entire electric grid to renewable energy sources, outlaw coal and gas, eliminate all fossil fueled vehicles including planes, eliminate emissions from livestock (presumably by banning cows and pigs and making us all vegetarians by fiat), and institute high speed transportation country wide. But she goes further than that…in addition to some goals that arguable would affect the US carbon emissions…she then piles on every progressive wish list item she can think of…Medicare for all…a guaranteed job for “every person that wants one”…a guaranteed income for those persons that don’t want a job…free college tuition, and upgrade every building in the US to maximum energy efficiency.

She’s going to accomplish all of this in 10 years…and do it all on the government’s dime. A lot of this is technically unachievable at any cost…but quickly reviewing a few cost estimates for some of the ideas from other folks (not her though…her plan is to just print money remember)…reveal that Medicare for All would cost on the order of $300 billion a year and completely replacing every power plant in the US would be something over $2 trillion over 10 years or $200 billion a year, and upgrading all the buildings in the US would be another $300 billion a year. That’s $800 billion a year…and the current US budget is only about $4000 billion a year now. Add in the other ideas…and she’s going to increase the total budget by a minimum of 30%…without paying for any of it.

To be fair…she’s said that she wants to increase the tax rate on incomes more than 10 million to 70%…without any of the tax deductions that currently exist. To be fair also…her wacko buddy Elizabeth Warren wants to institute a wealth tax…not an income tax mind you but an annual wealth tax of 2% or 3% a year on NET WORTH…in other words she’s not going to tax their income (that’s handled by Ocrazyio’s idea) but she’s just going to confiscate the wealth that has already been earned and taxed.

To be completely fair though…both of the above plans put together would bring in about $300 billion a year…or just a third of the costs identified above. I saw one estimate that the total cost of the whole Green New Deal would be on the order of $20 trillion over 10 years or a mere $2 trillion a year…or about 50% of the current federal budget. And they’re going to do all of this on the backs of the American taxpayer. Now they call it “having the rich pay their fair share”…but seeing that the to 5% of income earners pay something like 60% of the total income tax paid by the entire country…well it’s hard to see how they’re not already paying their share as well as the share for the downtrodden. No mistake about it…enactment of this idea would…besides being technically impossible to achieve at all, much less in 10 years…would result in massive tax increases on people in the $50,000 a year income and up brackets…there’s just no other way to make the math work.

So…the Senate Majority Leader says that he’ll call a vote on the Green New Deal…and now the progressives are all up in arms saying he’s trying to torpedo the idea “before we flesh it out via a national debate”. Seems to me he’s just giving them a chance to go on record as tax and spend liberals or betray the…media’s words not mine…commitment of the new star of the left…said 29 year old freshman congresswoman with previous job experience as a bartender. Now how this woman who graduated with an finance degree from Boston University fails to understand that governments cannot just print money is beyond me…the last two countries that tried that were Zimbabwe and Venezuela…and they have massive inflation rates and economies that are in the toilet…so just printing money obviously isn’t the answer.

Then there’s another admitted socialist…again a newly elected congressman named Ilhan Omar from Minnesota…who wants to defund the Homeland Security Department. This is on top of her earlier on-video declaration that the President is a mother-f*** (I’l leave it to you to figure out the rest of that) and then last week she accused congressman and senators of supporting Israel solely because of “Jewish money”. Even her own party condemned her ant-semitic remarks and she subsequently apologized. No apology so far for the President though.

California announced today that they’re abandoning their high speed rail project between LA and San Francisco…yes, the same high rail that the aforementioned Green New Deal wants to expand nationwide. California started this project in 2013 and it was supposed to cost $6 billion and be paid for “completely by private investors”. Unfortunately…private investors have declined to take part…and they’ve spent well into double digits of billions in state money with a before it was cancelled estimated price tag of $77 billion…and so far with exactly zero miles of track being laid the cost would only go up from there.

Speaking of Elizabeth Warren…while we’re no fans of her ‘round these parts…she recently had some DNA research done and according to it she has a Native American ancestor somewhere between 6 and 10 generations back. While this Native American gene is not solely found in that population and is also found in other populations around the world but it’s more common in Native Americans. She did this DNA test to counteract the President’s description of her as “Pocahontas” because she’s said in the past that she has some Native American ancestry based on “tales from her grandmother”. Based on the DNA analysis…she likely has some Native American genes in her ancestry…but then probably 50% of the US population has some of those genes.

That’s not the stupid thing though…what’s stupid is the reaction from various Native American tribes around the country. They say that bloodlines, genes, and who you ancestors were has nothing to do with Native American ancestry…that only tribal allegiance and customs provide Native American ancestry. Unfortunately for them…that’s wrong. While “tribal membership” can be and is regulated by the tribe and restricted to those with significant ancestry…growing up as an Indian isn’t generally required for tribal membership as I understand it, merely a greater percentage of Indian ancestry in your genealogical tree. She…however…doesn’t claim tribal membership but Native American ancestry. In this case…even though we think her politics are cuckoo…she’s more likely right than wrong. Nonetheless…she’s apologized and now says that she misspoke when claiming to be descended from Native Americans.

Then there’s the guy in Arizona that raped the disabled comatose nurse in a nursing facility. Nobody knew she was pregnant until she went into labor and out popped the infant. DNA testing has confirmed the paternity of the child…and he was arrested…and obviously a comatose woman can’t consent…but this moron…well, he pleaded innocent and his lawyer says he “deserves the constitutional protections he’s guaranteed”. True…but DNA is DNA so there’s really no question as to guilt I’m guessing. However…instead of copping a plea for a reduced sentence…maybe this moron thinks he’ll get off.

Walmart recently announced that all employees would get 48 hours of sick pay per year…I don’t know if this is an increase from nothing or from smaller number…but good old Bernie Sanders…instead of congratulating Walmart on improving employee benefits…nope…he is condemning them because it’s “not nearly enough”. He and his fellow progressive Senator Schumer are introducing a bill to ban a company from buying back stock unless they increase minimum wages to $15 an hour and provide 60 hours of sick leave per year. Somehow…I don’t think making it illegal for a company to buy back stock is constitutional…but apparently…at least to progressives…the constitution means what they want it to mean instead of what it actually says.

Back in the 1500s…there was this period of cold climate called the Little Ice Age…according to the people that know these things the temperature of the earth cooled by an entire degree…this causing dramatic alterations in climate, widespread crop failure, famine…and probably the heartbreak of psoriasis for all we know. Now I’m not sure that just one degree of temperature change would cause the widespread famine an crop failure it’s alleged to…but then I’m not a climate change expert like progressives claim to be…and think that just maybe there were some other contributing factors.

However…I’m told according to Popular Mechanics…which quotes a study from University College in London…anyway they say that the Little Ice Age was caused by a decrease of atmospheric carbon dioxide of 8 parts per million starting in 1492. Again…I’m not sure that we really know precisely what atmospheric carbon dioxide was in the 1400s…or how they calculated that this precipitous drop started in 1492…but again I’m not a climate change expert so work with me here. Anyways…the experts in London have concluded that it’s all Christopher Columbus’s fault. His discovery of North America…I guess the people already here don’t count…triggered a massive population decline (their words, not mine) because of the tens of millions of Native American deaths (supposedly 90% of the population) that were killed off by European white people who came to North America. This population crash in turn resulted in 200,000 acres (that’s about the size of Texas) of former crop land being taken over by forests…which then sucked the carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere…which then caused one entire degree of cooling…which caused the dramatic alteration of climate in Europe and all the subsequent famine, death, and psoriasis.

Me…I think there’s probably a lot more to it than that. While it’s clear that over the past 50 or years or so temperature has risen…and it’s likely that cars, cows, power plants and the like have some contribution to it…it’s not entirely clear to me that there aren’t other factors that might be also contributing…ya know things like volcanic eruptions and variations in solar flux. I seem to remember seeing graphs of the actual solar flux over time that hit the planet…and amazingly enough the variations in it seem to pretty much parallel the graph that the climate change experts keep showing us showing the planet’s temperature over the past 50 million years. I’m still now sure what an “average planetary temperature” is…it seems like an oversimplification to me. I’m also not sure how we know what the temperature was 45 million years ago since thermometers were only invented 220 years ago. I know what the climate experts claim…they…well, the Soviet Union actually…dug up some ice samples in Antarctica back in the 1950s or so and these were analyzed for carbon dioxide content and dated in layers that supposedly conform to years and supposedly conform to average temperature. Again…that seems like an oversimplification to me…but as I said I’m not a climate change expert…just a simple minded bear.

There’s been this whole wall/shutdown/political brinksmanship thing going on over the past couple of months in particular…and today the President declared a National Emergency which will allow him to build the wall by reprogramming funds already appropriated. Naturally…progressives are all up in arms about this…threatening lawsuits and such…and I’m not really trying to argue for or against a wall or that Mexico should pay for it. There are places along the border where a wall is a good idea…and there are places along the border where it’s not really practical and more sophisticated technical measures might better be employed. However…I have noticed a few hypocritical statements…shocking news I know…from various politicians and pundits. 

Just a couple of examples. If walls are bad and do nothing to keep bad people out…why do wealthy progressives and wealthy conservatives both live in gated communities and put locks on their doors? If all immigrants are bad…how does one explain the huge majority of them that other than being illegally in the country are law abiding people…while I feel for their desire to better their families…there are legal ways to enter the country and calling them “undocumented” is just a progressive smokescreen…if you aren’t a legal immigrant or visa holding visitor and you’re in the US then you’re an illegal immigrant. If declaring a national emergency is bad…then why is the President being almost universally condemned by the media for declaring his first one while the past 3 administrations have had 13, 12, and 11 declared national emergencies respectively with most of those still in effect aren’t being condemned. If walls are by definition bad…then why have the past 3 administrations installed over 600 miles of border wall/fence/barrier between them. If walls are bad…why did the progressives support a bill last year that would have provided over $26 billion of wall/fence/barrier funding. If walls are bad…why were progressives for them before they were against them. I’ll tell you why…it’s because progressives must oppose anything the President does…we call it TDS for Trump Derangement Syndrome at my cave. And it’s not just progressives…the far right during the previous administration kept up all the crap about birth certificates and natural born citizenship of the previous President…and they were just as ignorant, wrong, and stupid as the current crop of presidential opponents.

Then there’s the whole Brexit thing…it’s not my country so I don’t really have much of an opinion either way…although I do think the EU is doomed to failure eventually as there’s no strong central government and no member gave up any of their sovereignty. However…the UK voted to leave…and their Prime Minister is trying to do what the people voted to…but it’s like the losing side over there keeps trying to change the outcome of the referendum because they don’t like the fact they lost. Parliament over in the UK voted down the divorce settlement that both sides agreed on…now the British want to renegotiate or else they will just leave as scheduled in late March. Both sides have what they describe as “non negotiable requirements”…unfortunately each side’s non negotiable requirements are 100% in conflict with the other side’s non negotiable requirements. I dunno what’s gonna happen…although I’m personally betting on the no deal exit option as that’s what’s currently in law…but it’s interesting to watch from afar.

OK…on to interesting things found on the net.

1998vs2019

Always read the small print.

AlwaysReadTheSmallPrint

BrrrrKillsHamilton

WhoLostTheKeys

WifeFellOff

ThanksgivingTurkey

Cyas.

Posted in Reality Based Blogging, RV, Travel | Leave a comment

Ya Know…You Really Can’t Fix Stupid

Note…Connie…ya know, Neil’s sweetie and the center of his universe and happiness…disavows responsibility for this post and thinks it shouldn’t be on the blog at all…but like Randy Cassingham from thisistrue.com…stupidity and obliviots should be pointed out regardless of race, creed, political party, gender, or any of the other categorization words you feel like adding to this list. I thought about having a separate section of the blog called “Bad Neil” but then that would be stealing an idea from Nick Russell of gypsyjournal.com fame. That rat also has a section called Nick Happens…so I can’t use that one either…and I couldn’t think of a better one. If you’ve got one…please let me know in the comments and I’ll make up a new section for posts that well…ya know who I’m talkin’ about…thinks are off topic.

The original idea for this post was to offer a few samples of people…mostly politicians…being stupid as seen on recent news. I even was going to be non-partisan about it since both of our parties are worthy contributors. I was even going to include foreign politicians…and even for extra credit some foreign non-politicians. The reason for the post about other than Fun Stuff© is the same as last time…there ain’t been any Fun Stuff© to write about.

However…I ran into a problem in that there were sooooo many potential contributions in the past week or so that this post would have read like War and Peace…heck…the socialist Ocrazyio-Cortez from the Bronx had 3 potential entries just on her own. So I decided to just pick one…and since we used to be residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia decided they would be the winners this week.

As you’re probably seen on the news…the Caucasian Governor and Caucasian Attorney General of VA are Democrats and both allegedly appeared in blackface back during their college days. The Lieutenant Governor is an African American Democrat…and he’s been accused by two separate women of either sexual abuse in one case or rape in the second case. As it happens…these are the first two in line for becoming the governor under the VA constitution succession rules…and the third guy in line is the Speaker of the House in VA. This guy happens to be a Caucasian Republican…and in a strange twist he’s only the Speaker  by virtue of a coin toss after the last election. Seems there was one house seat that was tied after all the mandatory recounts…and under VA law it’s decided by a coin toss. This duly occurred, the Republican for that seat was certified as the winner…and hence the VA House has a Republican majority and hence a Republican Speaker.

Before we get too far into the weeds though…I need to comment on the issue of blackface…which has been declared by the NAACP and numerous Democratic presidential candidates in the past week…to be universally and inherently racist. I think that there’s a problem with this though…while in the politically correctness times of 2019 it’s generally recognized as racist…was it really racist back then? Like a lot of things that aren’t acceptable now…there is plenty of historical precedent about things and situations that…back at the time when the precedent was “current events” were either legal, acceptable, risqué and frowned upon…or some combination of the above.

For example…slavery for instance…was legal up until the constitution was amended to make it illegal. Slavery…although primarily practiced in the “racist South” since cotton plantations needed cheap labor…was aided and abetted by primarily New England shipping companies and ship captains that journeyed…for profit mind you, nobody forced them to do so…to Africa to engage in the buying and selling of slaves. The KKK was invented by the Democratic Party…and it was the Republican Party (some President named Abe something-or-other) that was responsible for the abolition of slavery. Abroad…apartheid was the law of the land in the country of South Africa for generations before it became illegal. Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela was a convicted, sentenced to hang by the neck until dead murderer before he because the champion of black majority rule in South Africa. Nobel Peace Prize winner Menachem Begin was…back before he was Prime Minister of Israel…an admitted terrorist who participated in the violent takeover of the land that became Israel after the British pulled out. Robert Byrd was an admitted member of the KKK. He also participated in a Democratic Party led filibuster in 1964 against the Civil Rights Act. Franklin Roosevelt ordered the mass and arbitrary incarceration of US citizens of Japanese ancestry during World World II. Women could not vote until the constitution was amended to make that legal.

I could go on and on with examples…and I’m not implying that the folks in the above paragraph were good or bad…just that as a matter of historical record things that are now unacceptable in 2019 were perfectly acceptable back then. And while I personally have never appeared in blackface…I’m a bear after all and we don’t wear makeup…back in the day there were situations where it wasn’t considered out of line…like say you were participating in a Michael Jackson lookalike contest. 

Just sayin’. So the whole notion of blackface…or anything else that is dug up about a politician of either party from 30 years ago…needs to be considered both in the prevailing morals of the time for lack of a better word as well as considering that maybe anything you said or did in college that wasn’t illegal you might deserve a pass for and let’s look at your adult behavior and your political life behavior instead.

So…back to the Commonwealth of VA and their current governing crisis where this all started.

The governor may…or may not depending on which press release you believe…have put a picture on his yearbook page of himself in blackface. I can’t believe that we haven’t seen a complete facial recognition analysis of the photo yet with definitive proof…or non proof and then all the subsequent arguments about the definition of proof…whether the picture in question is him. He now says it’s not…but that he did wear blackface for a Michael Jackson lookalike contest.

The lieutenant governor…well, he’s been accused of sexual assault and rape by two different women…and at least one of them told her friends at the time that it happened…and their friends say they were informed back then. However…there’s no video, there’s no police report, there’s no rape kit so at this point there’s relatively little actual evidence that he did or did not do this.

The attorney general has likewise appeared in blackface and admitted it publicly.

The speaker of the house is a Republican elected basically because of a coin toss and he’s next in line for the governor after the LG and AG.

The Democratic Party…well they’re in a pickle over this. Numerous presidential candidates demanded the governor resign as his “transgression” was the first of the three to be publicly known…however they quit talking about that when it turned out that the LG and AG might also have to resign and that would make the governor a Republican instead of a Democrat.

The LG is now being defended by various other Democrats…with words like “there’s no proof” and “it’s he said she said”. Ya know…the same stuff that back during the Kavanaugh hearings they were all about “you must always believe the woman” and now they’re saying the opposite.

So what should happen in VA? I suggest that they all take a deep breath…or maybe several of them…and demonstrate a little common sense.

The governor should not resign in my opinion…what he did was (a) somewhat acceptable back then and (b) he was a dumb college student anyway. If what you did as a college student…or even a young adult…counted against you then both Connie and Neil…as well as just about every other person over the age of 25…would be in trouble.

The LG should be investigated…but absent any actual evidence that he committed these crimes he should not resign either. I said this same thing back during the Kavanaugh hearings…although to be fair these two accusers have somewhat greater credibility since they (a) told people about it back then even though no police report was filed and (b) they’re not political activists from the other party who might be trying to derail a career.

The AG…same as the governor…who cares. Has he been racist as an adult or politician? If not then let’s forgive what may…or may not as I don’t know all the circumstances but none of the media pundits do either…have been a bad idea.

This whole controversy…just like the one over Kavanaugh and several other judicial appointees by the President…is just a bunch of sour grapes sour loser bovine end product. Like our previous President said…elections have consequences…the winner gets to do things like appoint judges and serve as governor (or lieutenant governor or attorney general) and demanding a do-over ain’t the way it works in a federated democratic republic like the US of A.

Enough of that nonsense…I might…or might not, who knows…illustrate the other stupidities I found later on…but I will tell ya about the two worst foreign examples I ran across this week.

Over in the UK as you know they’re in the midst of the Brexit brouhaha…and there’s this female economics fellow at Cambridge University who’s against Brexit. She’s certainly entitled to her opinion of course…and as a US citizen whether the UK achieves Brexit or not isn’t anything I have any say in (and relatively little interest in other than the fact that I have always thought that the EU was a doomed concept from the start as the member countries didn’t give up any sovereignty to the central government…therefore they effectively have no central government but just an economic union)…she’s going ‘round giving speeches and appearing on youtube videos railing on about how Brexit is the 2000s version of “the king has no clothes” and it will leave the UK economy naked. The stupid part comes in here though. She gives these speeches with no notes while walking around on the stage…and during the first third or so of the speech slowly takes off her blazer, blouse, skirt, bra, underwear and shoes until she’s naked and then wanders around the stage blathering on. At the end she picks up her clothes and walks off. The really stupid part comes in next though…this week she appeared on a radio show…yeah, I said radio…and that of course means no video…and she still stripped naked in the radio studio. Hello!! Lady…it’s radio, nobody can see your show of defiance or metaphor or whatever you’re trying to do by taking off your clothes.

Then there’s this guy in India…he’s suing his parents for not getting his permission before he was born and forced to exist in the cold cruel world of Indian caste society. At least he’s honest enough to admit that he’ll probably not get a judge to rule in his favor…but he’s still stupid.

OK…what other interesting things did we find on the net this week…

As ya know we had wintergeddon or snowpocalypse or whatever the idiots on the news called it this time last week. All I know about it is that we had no snow down here in SW FL…and that Fred Flintstone was driving down this street.

FredFlintstoneWasHere

There was this farmer in the midwest somewhere that applied to build himself a shelter out in the field for his horses to get out of the rain (or snow or whatever, I’m not sure) to whoever had to approve such things in his state or city or county or whatever. That august body saw fit to disapprove his request. Fortunately for him though…there is no such approval required to build himself a table and set of chairs.

FarmerDeniedHorseShelterPermit

PeachCobbler

BeVewyVewyQuiet

RedBullWoodpecker

This is how you say CVS…with a Bastanh accent.

CVSInBostonAccent

There’s this cloud on Jupiter that’s shaped like a dolphin…at least if the dolphin was about 10 times larger than the earth is.

DolphinCloudJupiter

PushingTheCarHome

And finally…a salute to those who’ve served in our military. Got this from my Ugly Hedgehog forum…which is actually a photographers hangout. They’re a compilation of bumper stickers that were seen on or around military bases.

MilitaryBumperStickers1

MilitaryBumperStickers2

Cyas.

Posted in RV, Travel | Leave a comment

Assorted Ramblings of the Third Kind

Yeah…that’s what I said…the third kind. According to the Urban Dictionary…”third kind” means “an experience with a human that is so bizarre one might as well be dealing with an alien.” And that’s what we’re dealing with here.

Connie’s off to Bingo at the park tonight…and I’m bored…so on to the rambling.

First up…the cold weather up north. Yeah…I realize it’s cold up there…and it might even be colder than average…and the river in Chicago might have frozen over…but its winter in the North for goodness sake…you think it’s going to be tropical?

There’s a student in the upper Midwest somewhere’s…he froze to death in his dorm room apparently…and while that might be a tragedy for his family…and whoever was managing the heating in his dorm room might be…emphasis on might be…responsible…it’s winter…what did you expect?

If you don’t like cold weather…don’t live in the north. I’m getting sick and tired of the mainstream media naming winter storms and telling us how many millions of people…mostly those live in NY or other bastions of dense urbanism…are “under the gun of the polar vortex” and need to be protected.

Nanny state…get our of our lives…as I said before…look at the calendar. It’s January…which means its winter in the northern hemisphere…and…news flash…winter in the northern hemisphere means that there will be cold weather.

Even the US Postal Service has surrendered. Remember the old days…when the USPS creed…”Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” meant that…no matter what…the postman would deliver your mail to your mailbox. I remember back when I was just a cub…the postman came in AL even during a hurricane. Not so much now though…7 states had cancelled mail delivery today. Give me an elfin’ break I say.

Harden the f*** up and deal with it as the Australian bike racers say.

Moving on to Venezuela…we’ve been hearing for 2 years now how the Republicans aided the Russians with “hacking the election” in 2016 and participating in “collusion”…whatever that means. Now I understand that the Democrats didn’t like the outcome of the election…and frankly we’re not real fans of the President ‘round these parts either…but elections have consequences…and like former President Obama said…the losing side just needs to deal with it. Instead…we’ve seen 2 years of what Connie calls TDS for Trump Derangement syndrome…attempting to overcome the vote of the people. I don’t want to hear about how the Electoral College is bad…it’s the law of the land. I don’ want to hear about “collusion” or “hacking the election” unless you’ve got some actual evidence that either of those things happened. Just because Mr. Trump won the election…under the rules if I might add…doesn’t give the other side the right to claim it’s an illegitimate result.

I only got onto that tangent about the 2016 election in the US because of the current flap over the presidential election in Venezuela. While Mr. Maduro is s worthless scumbag communist in my opinion…the fact remains that…according to the courts in his country who have ruled on it…the official winner of the presidential election there. Despite this…the media in the US…aided and abetted any most of the foreign policy folks and various other talking heads on our media…insist on recognizing the opposition leader who has declared himself the actual president of Venezuela.

Now I don’t really give a damn about who the president of Venezuela is…no matter who it is the government there is corrupt and mostly interested in lining their own pockets…very similar to most of the politicians in the US. However…I do find it somewhat hypocritical that the same mainstream media that condemns our President for “hacking” and “collusion” doesn’t see any problem with advocating what is…essentially…the overthrow of an elected government in a foreign country. 

I agree that the election in Venezuela was probably rigged…and that Mr. Maduro is a scumbag dictator…but the fact remains that…according to the courts in his country…which may be rigged as well…he won. How is bitching about Mr. Trump’s alleged crimes while simultaneously trumpeting how Mr. Maduro is a bad guy anything but hypocritical?

Speaking of hypocritical…and dishonest…let’s move on to the curious case of Jussie Smollett.

Who you say?

I have to agree with you…I had no idea who he was either…so here’s the Cliff Notes version.

Mr. Smollett is a gay black actor…which we have nothing against. He’s the “star”…for lack of a better term…of a series on Fox named Empire…where naturally enough he plays the part of a gay black musician. ‘Round these parts…we don’t have anything against the man…or against black or gay or liberals…well, maybe liberals we do just a little…but that’s just who he is.

OK…last weekend…the aforementioned Jussie Smollett…who lives in downtown Chicago in the area known as the Loop…came home from wherever he was working that night…and then decided he was hungry. So…he headed out…at 0200…that’s 2AM for folks not familiar with military time…for breakfast…at of all places…a local Subway. Now remember that nothing good happens after midnight…but anyways…supposedly he was attacked on the way to the Subway.

According to Mr. Smollett…he was attacked by two white guys in MAGA hats…who said they recognized him as the N-word guy from Empire…and they beat him up, dragged him around by a rope around his neck and then ran off.

Mr. Smollett…well, he went home…with the rope supposedly still around his neck…and 40 minutes later his agent…who just happened to be at his home at the time…called the cops.

Immediately the media jumped on the “hate crime” bandwagon and further condemned anybody who has the unmitigated gall to wear a MAGA hat.

The police have been investigating ever since…and while if this story is true the low lifes who did it should be executed…it is starting to look more like a hoax than an actual fact. Here’s what has been in the news the past couple of days.

-Surveillance camera video in the area has been examined…with no evidence of any attack. They police did find a video of him walking down the street and out of sight…and a video of him walking…not running…in the next camera one minute later. So the assault must have taken less than a minute.

-In the second video…he’s seen wearing the rope “like a neck tie” according to the statement by the police…and he’s not in any manner appearing to be “fleeing” from his alleged attackers.

-He claims…backed up by his agent…who just happened to be at his house…that he was talking on the phone to his agent at the time of the attack. His agent claims that he heard the racial and homophobic remarks by the attackers…despite the fact the cell phones don’t pick up background noises that well. Both he and his agent…strangely enough…have refused to provide either their phones to the police for analysis or their phone records to document the existence of the conversation they were supposedly having.

While I have no evidence either way this claim is true or not…and if true it’s a crime and the perpetrators should be prosecuted…there’s a lot of things that just don’t add up here.

Despite all of that…the media is still talking about the “race and homophobic related” attack…the MAGA wearing white guys that allegedly attacked him…the the “hate crime” nature of it.

I wonder…if in days to come that it turns out this was some sort of PR hoax…if the media will be so quick to declare the white guys in MAGA hats innocent.

Given that he claimed that the white guys in MAGA hats recognized him as the guy from Empire…and given the most likely low number of conservatives that watch a black and gay oriented TV show on Fox…I’m still waiting on some actual evidence from either him, his agent, or the police. Call me crazy…but Ima not buying it yet.

Days later…still no evidence of anything happening.

Moving on to politically related things…the latest salvo from the liberal side is that from Senator Warren of MA…she’s proposed a 2% (or 3% depending on how wealthy your are) wealth tax on the net worth of “rich people”.

There are several problems with this…starting with its probably unconstitutional to tax net worth in the first place. After that…there’s the whole problem of determining…each and every year…what each “rich person” is worth…and that’s fraught with difficulty since things like privately held companies are inherently difficult to evaluate. But she’s not really interested in legality…or the amount of revenue that might be raised…she’s interested in scoring points with people who think that “rich people” need to pay their “fair share”.

Let’s ignore for the minute that “rich people” already pay far more of the overall federal income tax revenue than is their share…no matter how you cut the numbers when you’re talking about numbers like the US government’s annual revenue it’s not coming from poor people…it’s coming from people with higher salaries.

Connie saw an estimate today on the cost of “Medicare for all” that a lot of the liberal folks are touting as the solution to the health care issues in the US. This estimate…which was done by a business guy from George Washington University…and which used assumptions which he freely admitted underestimated the actual cost…came up with a cost of “Medicare for all” at about $6 Trillion dollars a year. Given that the current entire US budget is only about $4 Trillion per year…”Medicare for all” would raise the federal annual expenditure to about $10 Trillion a year…or an increase of 250%.

Folks…there’s just not enough money in either income or wealth owned by “rich people” to cover that.

OK…enough rambling…let’s see what interesting things we found the net this week.

Rules.

RulesOfCourse

Who’s the idiot here?

YourAnIdiot

You would think that a place named “Animal Planet’ would know the difference.

AnimalPlanetKnowDifference

And from over in the UK…after Price Phillip’s recent traffic accident…and yeah…I know the steering wheel is on the other side of the car in the UK.

OverInTheUK

Fire breathing polar bear…this photo was taken at either sunrise or sunset where the sun illuminated the water vapor the bear was breathing out.

FireBreathingPolarBear

This is how archeology in Canuckistan works.

ArcheologyInCanuckistan

And another example of how your brain can make sense out of mush…this one from famed physicist Stephen Hawkins.

StephenHawkingIntelligenceDefinition

The origin of evolution.

OriginOfEvolution

And finally…these worker guys wanted to get one final photo together before they get fired.

OneLastPhotoBeforeWeAreFired

Cyas.

Posted in RV, Travel | 1 Comment

And More Whole Lot of ‘Nuffin Goin’ On

Yup…the title really says it all.

I’ve been watching the news the past few weeks with all of the government shutdown stuff with red line demands from both sides and I gotta tell ya we really need to throw the bunch of the bums out…it seems the art of political compromise has died and been stuffed and put up on the mantle as neither side seems to understand that if you give a little and get a little then things can actually get accomplished. Ms. Pelosi and her crowd do have a point that a wall (or fence or whatever) is a 4th century bit of technology and we can do better with 21st century technology like drones, sensors, and more Border Patrol agents. There’s something to be said for that argument…but her side refuses to concede that in some places…like say downtown San Diego where there are literally feet between US and Mexican territory…a fence is a perfectly valid way to control the border. On the other side…although it appears that the President is compromising by offering to extend DACA for up to 3 years…that’s not really much of a concession at this point in time as the courts are still battling things out over the executive order eliminating DACA…but it does appear that he’s at least trying to compromise a little but the other side is just saying no. Now we’ve got a 3 week long continuing resolution so that the parties can negotiate…but if one side says we must have a physical barrier in some places and the other side says we’re not approving any physical barrier at all…then come Feb 15 we’ll just be right back where we are now.

There was another series of articles over gun control the past week…with again progressives insisting that despite numerous Supreme Court decisions saying that the right to keep and bear arms is a guaranteed individual constitutional right that we need to have more licensing, background checks, limitations on magazines and “scary looking” guns and associated restrictions. Yet the same people continue to insist that…despite you having to present identification to buy alcohol, drive a car, get onto an airplane and the dozens of other instances where ID is required…that having to present an ID to vote…which is the primary duty of citizenship and is restricted to only those who hold citizenship…is an onerous burden and that no restrictions on the right to vote are acceptable. Seems like that on the 2nd amendment side progressives have no problem with anything that limits a constitutional right while on the 15th amendment side of things they keep insisting that even simply presenting an ID is too onerous and unacceptably restricts a constitutional right. I really wish they could get their thoughts in line on whether a constitutional right can be restricted or not…seems like they’re being a might hypocritical to me. Of course…that would require that they recognize the ability to compromise and read what the constitution says…which is probably asking too much…

Frankly…we’ve got lots of friends in our age group that are both progressive and conservative…and we continue to feel that both political parties have catered way too much to the demands of either the far left or far right…leaving the majority of the folks who inhabit the political center-left or center-right agreeing that both sides have some valid arguments no party to really vote for. The trouble is that the far left and far right can’t win a national race…but those in the middle have nobody to vote for.

This bears out what Neil has been saying ever since the first election he voted in back when he was 18…in addition to the candidates on the ballot there should be a choice for “None of the above”…and if None wins then you have to have a new election and none of the previous candidates are eligible to run. Seems like that would pretty quickly convince the parties to nominate candidates that are actually electable instead of just pleasing to their extreme wings.

I realize it’s probably heresy to say this…but progressive folks do have some ideas that center-right folks can support…DACA for instance. Those kids were brought here as infants…granted their parents did so illegally but the kids grew up in America and don’t know anything but America…deporting them just isn’t fair. However…in a compromise maybe we could actually enforce our existing immigration laws and prosecute employers who hire illegals…heck, maybe we could even give them work permits so they would be able to work legally. I’m even willing to entertain discussions about a path to citizenship for them…but remember the illegals are here illegally and why should they get a head of the line pass to citizenship over those who waited their turn for a legal immigration into the country. It’s a hard problem…and as long as both sides think that winning, demonizing the other side, and making sure the other side “loses” is more important than silly little issues like say…doing their job…and compromising…I can’t see much changing.

Ok…what else is going on…lessee…

We’re actually going to replace our awning canopy fabric along with the slide toppers we did a few weeks back…Neil noticed more seams starting to come apart and after 7 summers on the road the fabric has just been sun weakened to the point that it needs replacing…Neil let Gordon the repair guy talk him out of it before but it’s so much easier to do here rather than on the road and we don’t want to be awning-less in the travel season.

Bill and Linda were here for a week…we had some good times with them although we only cooked once each, the rest of the time we frequented assorted eateries ‘round the area instead. Bill and Neil did a few trailer projects but mostly it was just visiting with friends. They headed off after their week here to visit some more friends on the way back to NC.

Things are a-stirring down at the Elks Lodge…don’t want to say too much here but suffice it to say that we’re starting to check out the other lodges in the area to potentially visit instead of our local one. I can say that it doesn’t look like the upcoming election will be a “one slate of candidates” thing, there’s actually going to be a choice it looks like.

We’re well into our planning for the upcoming travel season. We’ll be leaving here in late April so as to arrive at our first real destination in Kerrville TX for the New Horizons rally a few days early…that will allow Bill, our friend Jim, and Neil to install hardwood flooring in our LR slide to replace the worn out carpet. New Horizons didn’t start doing hardwood there until 2 years after we bought the rig so we’ll just buy the materials ourselves and the three of them will do the install before the rally starts.

Once the rally is over we’ll head north to Kansas City and do the western half of US-50 out to the Sacramento area, head north to OR and then head eastward on US-20 until we’re in IA. At that point we’ll cut south to Jefferson City MO and then do the remaining eastern half of US-50 back to the east coast…although we will skip a short portion through the Appalachian Mountains that’s just not rig worthy…even though it’s a 2 digit numbered US highway it’s just too curvy and hilly in that portion of the country to safely get down it with a 62 foot long Big Red with the rig in tow. We’ll stop with the rig in the DC area and do the last couple hundred miles out to Ocean City MD with just Li’l Red on an overnight trip. After that we’ll stop by and see Alex, Bryan, and Jen…then probably visit Knoxville TN for the weekend to see Neil’s Baby Sis…then stop at Cedar Key at the Low Key Hideaway for the last 10 days in October before arriving back in Fort Myers Nov 1. Connie’s got most of the campgrounds figured out and he’s about 1/3 or so through making reservations…all the really hard ones like holiday weekends are finished. One thing we’re doing different this season is taking a vacation halfway through the travel season. Around Aug 1 we’ll be stopping for 11 days in Douglas WY…although we do have a few Fun Stuff© things to do there it would have been a 4 or 5 day stop for that…but we’re usually getting tired out by the end of travel season so we’re going to try just chillin’ out for an extra week there and see if that improves the fatigue factor.

It’s a rainy day here in SW FL today…highs about 60 and intermittent showers. It’s a bit unseasonal…but still way, way better than snow and 20s would be.

Oh yeah…we’re gonna be famous…er, maybe…sort of, I guess…or maybe infamous…who knows? Neil and Connie got interviewed for an upcoming article in Money Magazine about full time RVing. We chatted with the person writing it, sent in some photos of us and the rig, and signed a model release. The article is currently undergoing editing and will be published sometime…maybe…and our contribution may…or may not…make it to print. I’l letya know if anything comes of it…no money is involved for us of course. The author of the article is a freelancer and despite being hired to write an article on living in an RV…he knew amazingly little about actual RVs. He thought that only a class A (the bus type) was an RV and had no idea that class B, C, or fifth wheels existed until they edumacated him a bit. Hopefully they helped him to write a more useful and meaningful article.

Our eaglets E12 and E13 continue to grow…they’re 32 and 34 days old now and are starting to get normal feathers coming out instead of the down that they’re born with. Still another 40 days or so to fledging (first flight) though…but both appear to be growing normally. Here’s a shot of Harriet and one of the eaglets…the other must sheltering be under her left wing which is pooched out a bit.

Screen Shot 2019 01 26 at 2 20 23 PM

Ok…on to interesting things found on the net.

Did you know that “Yuor biran has teh alibtiy to mkae oderr out of caohs”? Even though the words are garbled your brain easily read that…right?

I’m not sure how this sign will help any illiterate drivers who see it.

Huhh

It’s on the Internet…it has to be correct.

LincolnAndHisPhone

I can get behind this sentiment.

FundingTheLazy

Debate settled…this is the illustration from the original patent application for toilet paper…we now know how conclusively which way it’s supposed to be rolled.

DebateSettled

Apparently there’s this bikini hiker chick in Taiwan…her name was Gigi Wu and she used to hike up the mountains in Taiwan in her bikini to the…apparently…immense delight of her Twitter and Facebook followers. Here she is on a previous summit visit.

BikiniHikerYushwanNPTaiwan

Now Taiwan runs from latitude North 21 to North 25…this is the same latitude range as central TX…and the mountains on the island range up to about 13,000 feet…and having been in the vicinity of 13,000 feet myself…I can tell ya it’s cold even in the middle of summer. So last week…well actually almost 3 weeks back, but I digress…she goes hiking…solo…in Taiwan’s Yushan National Park…in the middle of winter, falls into a ravine and freezes to death. Now it’s not clear whether she actually hiked in her bikini…or whether the hiked in normal clothes and just changed into her skimpy suit once she was at the summit…because one article I read said that she was found fully clothed. However…hiking solo…in winter…on mountain peaks…is just asking for trouble.

There’s a community center in Indian Hills CO…and apparently they keep putting puns up on their sign out front…here are a few samples.

ThatsAMoray

MRICatscan

Hillarious

ChangeMyName

WorldPeaceTurnSignal

MAGA

Ok…enough of those.

SmokinHotBody

Be careful what you ask retired people.

SeniorCostcoTrip

I found this one that perfectly encapsulates Neil’s outlook on life.

TheOlderIGet

And finally…

How much wood could a wood truck truck if a wood truck could truck wood.

Why this much of course.

HowMuchWoodWould

Cyas.

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