been floating my boat lately:
"How fortunate for governments
that the people they administer don't think."
"Only two things are
infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the
Work has been insane
lately. Meryl has been slammed and took on more work than she should have.
I've got four guys working for me and we can barely keep up. One guy is
Moises' older brother who was working for the union, but decided to work
with me instead. That's three guys who have left the union to work with
me. I'll take that as a compliment.
There's a case
that went to the supreme court about a cheerleader who complained online
about cheer (she didn't make the team or something) and the school reprimanded
her for her online ranting. So, it's literally a supreme court case now
when a teenager complains online about school. I understand the ramifications
of it and I'm not going to wade into where free speech ends, maybe that's
for another day. However, I will point out what I've pointed out before
- there's an epidemic of bad parenting. And I'll expand that to include
bad mentoring of all kinds. This is a case where adults should take over
and have a discussion with the girl about what she's saying online and
how she should handle herself online and how she should handle disappointment,
etc. This isn't a big deal. It's a teen being frustrated and angry. The
school should work with the parents to find a suitable solution here. Instead
everyone's going to court. Going to court means that someone has failed
at being an adult. Could have been a teachable moment, but now it's a supreme
court case. Failure of leadership.
We've gotten to
the point where Rage Against the Machine is downright moderate in some
of its lyrics. For example, in Killing in the Name (infamous for its ending
repeated refrain "fuck you I won't do what you tell me....") there's a
line that goes " some of those that works forces are the same that burn
crosses." In other words, some police officers are in the Klan. Contrast
that with some graffiti I saw the other day in Berkeley that read "all
cops are Derek Chauvin." The first lyric by RATM has some subtlety and
allows for the possibility that not all cops are evil. The second suggests
that all cops are murderers.
We're living through
some truly nutty times.
Listening to NPR
has gotten really strange lately. Heard a piece
about diet culture the other day on Forum. It was a 40 minute program
that essentially posited that being fat might correlate with health problems,
but it isn't the cause of health problems in all cases. "There's no such
thing as bad foods" "We want people in our home to take up space" they
referred to the "cult of thinness"...there was even a bit about how "the
Kardashians have appropriated looks that are culturally black, and they're
not black." A lot of really odd stuff being put out there these days and
it's blatantly anti-science from an organization (KQED/NPR) that claims
to be all about science. Two people who called in pushed back slightly.
One was a physical therapist who pointed out that being overweight does
have some long term effects on joints, etc. I think most reasonable people
can agree that being fat shouldn't relegate you to a second class citizen
and it shouldn't mean you get ridiculed. However, to have the pendulum
swing so far in the other direction is just getting nutty. I honestly couldn't
make this shit up. The bit about the Kardashians was really laugh inducing.
Looks like the
lab leak theory of COVID-19 is finally getting some traction. Like most,
I heard about this theory early on in the pandemic and, like most, I mostly
discarded it when the so-called experts said it was a conspiracy theory
and that COVID definitely didn't come from a lab. But then I heard Eric
Weinstein and others talking about it and thought maybe there was more
to the story than the media and experts let on. Now it looks like it's
getting mainstream attention. A group of scientists signed onto wanting
an investigation into the possibility and On the Media, NPR, and others
are reporting on the idea as at least plausible.
What's really frustrating
about this isn't that the virus may have been leaked from a lab (purposely
or accidentally), it's the fact that the gate keepers (scientists and mainstream
media) brushed it aside as if it were a Q-Anon level hoax. On KQED's (local
NPR affiliate) Forum they explored the story with David Frum and he said
that the theory was so quickly brushed aside because it was associated
with Trump and his anti-China bias and they didn't want people latching
onto that. This is what's frustrating. When science and good reporting
take a back seat to politics and potential perceptions. They did this same
bullshit with the mask recommendations by saying we didn't need to wear
masks. Anyone with a brain realized that masks would help, but Fauci and
others said, with a straight face, that masks wouldn't help.
So, the end result
is that they damaged their credibility greatly by saying you don't need
masks (we're lying to you so that you don't take mask supply from front
line workers) and by brushing aside the lab leak theory as a conspiracy
(we're lying to you because it's associated with Trump and the far right
and we don't want an anti-asian backlash?). They must really think we're
We're living in
a post-truth world. Institutions have so damaged themselves at this point
that it's becoming increasingly difficult to point to NPR, NYT, Fauci,
WHO, CDC, mainstream news outlets, scientists, etc. as bastions of Truth.
Everyone has an agenda and giving you the Truth is hardly ever a part of
The fact of this
is part of the reason we got Trump, by the way. Oddly, but understandably,
people wanted a truth teller and thought that Trump was the guy. He's the
guy who admitted that the system was rigged and he knew how to play it.
He was seemingly unafraid of telling the truth that no other politician
before him would tell. Of course he turned out to be probably the biggest
liar in presidential history so that didn't work out, but you can understand
how a certain type of person, who pays attention only a bit, could see
him saying things no politician ever said before and be fooled into thinking
that this guy doesn't have a filter like the other phonies we usually get.
Sure, he's a piece of shit, but he's saying shit that no one else admits
so maybe he's the change Washington DC needs.
Speaking of anti-truth.
There's a bit of a stir about hot cheetos...Planet Money (one of my favorite
a story (one of their worst episodes, more on that later) about a guy
who claimed he came up with the idea of flamin' hot cheetos because he's
a latino and latino culture likes spicy things and his idea took off. Well,
turns out that the story of Richard Montanez inventing flamin' hot cheetos
probably isn't true. LA times ran a piece on it shortly after Planet Money.
What's interesting here is that people are invested in this idea because
he's latino. If it was a white guy the story never would have been run
by Planet Money. They bent over backwards to do the story even though it
doesn't really have anything to do with economics. It's a puff piece with
some economics window dressing and it turned out to be wrong. This is what
happens when you are motivated by a certain point of view. You saw it with
American Life when they reported on how Apple was abusing labor as
well. They liked the guy who did the story. They liked the narrative. They
liked the message and so the reporting got sloppy. When you want something
to be true you don't do anymore digging. I've written about this before.
The other bit about
this cheetos story is that the latino community is upset about it. Forum
had an episode about it and one guy was saying essentially that his
group was standing by Richard Montanez because he's latino. Meanwhile,
Gustavo Areano was standing by the LA Times fact check that asserts that
Montanez was lying because he thinks that's the true story. If you listen
to the program you'll see that one of the guests essentially admits that
he's sticking by Montanez because people always want to tear down latinos
and so he's saying Montanez invented flamin' hot cheetos in an effort to
stand by latinos. It's the kind of racial identity politics that is really
awful, but completely acceptable (in polite society) and predictable (thanks
to racialized thinking).
This is the kind
of anti-truth, racialized thinking we're going to continue to see for a
while. We've lost our collective minds and don't care about Truth anymore.
Perhaps that's okay. Perhaps it's going to be beneficial to view everything
racially now. "That woman didn't hold the door open for me because she's
white." "That guy crossed the street because I'm black." You can do this
for essentially ever single interaction you have. Believe me, I've done
it. I guess I listen to NPR too much. You should try it as well. Listen
to NPR all day for a week. Then pretend you are black or female or trans
or unibrow having
or whatever and notice every time a person looks at you a little long or
averts their gaze quickly after seeing you look at them or doesn't hold
the door open for you or doesn't wave you on when you get to the stop sign
at roughly the first time while driving or helps someone else in the middle
of helping you at Home Depot or doesn't smile at you when you get to the
register, but they do smile at someone else or only tips you 15% when other
people have been giving you 20% lately or or or. It goes on forever and
you can make it about race or gender or whatever as much as you want....because
THAT'S YOUR TRUTH.
Don't get it twisted,
though. This isn't the same as saying that discrimination doesn't exist.
I've pointed out before that it does, and probably always will. I've pointed
out that we all want to live long, to be old, essentially....and yet ageism
is a real thing. If we discriminate against a thing we eventually want
to be, then is there any hope that there will never be discrimination based
upon other things? So, yeah, some of those perceived slights and microagressions
may be real. And maybe you're so great at reading minds that you even know
which ones are real, in which case all the more power to you. But I think
it's probably a more honest, helpful, and healthy approach to assume good
intentions as much as possible.
Julia Galef recalls
an idea in her new book, but I forget who it's attributed to. Basically
it posits that it's best to eschew as many identifying groups as possible
because once you identify with a group you are tied to them and will feel
compelled to defend the group. I've written about this before with regards
to my not belonging to the two major parties. It's quite freeing to not
have to defend one party or another. I did vote for Biden, but I think
I've so far avoided defending him too much just because of that fact. At
any rate, when you identify with any group you are more likely to want
to defend that group and you see that with the flamin' hot cheetos story,
as pathetic as that sounds. This mindset is the soldier mindset where you
have an idea (or an identity in this case) and you feel compelled to defend
Galef's book (Scout
Mindset), by the way, is good and recommended. Most books basically follow
the formula of giving the grand narrative and then restating it in as many
ways as possible in order to fill up space or flesh the idea out. It's
one reason why I prefer podcasts over books. I think podcasts distill the
ideas more than books usually do. Scout Mindset falls into that category,
but it's still an important idea and the last chapter and conclusion are
worth it. The general thesis is that having a scout mindset is about trying
to find out the reality of things instead of having a point of view and
then defending it. That's a shitty summary, but you get the idea and I'm
tired. I like everything she does.
I linked it above...check
out the unibrow
video. Mark Rober is good and the fact that people discriminate against
unibrows is just another way of pointing out that discrimination is inevitable
and ubiquitous. Check
out this video as well. I like Eddie and the guy he's talking with
points out in the end that discrimination happens all over and people will
always find a way to discriminate....because they're people.
Lex Fridman was
talking with Sam Harris (?) about life and human suffering (I forget the
exact context) and Lex (who was born in Russia) pointed out that he knew
Sam Harris wasn't Russian because Sam said something about life being about
pursuing happiness or something along the lines of human flourishing being
avoiding suffering. I wish I remembered the exact context and quote. Essentially,
though, it was about the Russian worldview being steeped in the reality
of life as suffering. This resonated with me. Perhaps this is my inner
Russian Jew coming out, but I don't expect life to be great. Part of life
is that it sucks and involves suffering. I've written about this in various
ways before. Americans expect free healthcare and internet and everything
else. I don't suffer under the illusion that any of these things are guaranteed.
In some ways I'm just happy I'm not fighting off a warring tribe every
week while foraging for food.
guy who does a lot of moving for us and he put it like this: "Americans
believe in happy endings." I think that's well put. Americans expect everything
to work out. We expect that things will go well. It's good to be optimistic,
but it also comes with some entitlement so it's a double edged sword of
sorts. I definitely expect less than the average person in these ways.
When COVID hit I pretty much took it as a return to reality. For me, in
some ways, polite society, with everything working, is the exception -
not the rule. Chaos is the natural state of things, not order.
frustrating for me is when we say things are supposed to be ordered, we
claim we live in a law abiding culture, we claim that there are cultural
norms and mores and all the rest, but in reality no one is doing their
job and everything sucks. I prefer we drop the pretense and just assume
things are all going to shit. When COVID first broke that was the mindset
I had and it was actually a better place to be in some ways.
The Bay Area is
in full shit hold mode lately. Perhaps I should be more accurate. Oakland
and SF are the real shit holes. Homelessness is totally rampant at this
point. Oakland will try to clean things up from time to time, but it's
pointless. A couple examples 12
3. SF's Tenderloin
has long been a cess pool. It's a city that supposedly cares about liberal
values more than any other and yet they have yet to find a way to solve
the open air drug market and help significant numbers of people out of
chronic poverty. If you go to the Tenderloin video and read between the
lines, the police chief says he's going to keep doing his job and give
other people a chance to do theirs. By this he means he's going to give
the DA the chance to prosecute people for their crimes. The DA hasn't been
doing a lot of prosecuting of crimes in SF for a while now. The most famous
statistic I've seen is that a couple years ago there were 30k+ car break-ins
and 1 prosecution (which failed). This is essentially allowing people to
do whatever they want. CA also passed prop.
47 which allowed for looser penalties for small crimes and we may be
seeing the effect of that now.
in Oakland are still boarded up while remaining in business. Every day
I see burnt out cars and the kind of thing you see in post-apocalyptic
movies. I helped board up a woman's front window the other day (second
time I've done it for her in the last year) because her home was shot at
during a drive-by that involved someone else. She called 311, which is
supposed to help with this kind of thing, and they said that the police
have to initiate this kind of service. 1. Why? 2. Why didn't they do that
last night when they were collecting shell casings and interviewing witnesses?
So then she called a few different services and only one of them called
back. They wanted $4,000 to board up a single window (3' x 8'). So the
property manager called me and I took care of it the same day.
I was in SF today
and I saw two women get into a car accident on my way to a job. On my way
back I saw a tree branch that fell on a car and was blocking almost the
This is the kind
of stuff I see on a weekly or daily basis. This is the kind of thing that
happens when a society falls apart.
Okay, so I wanted
to finally revisit the CA vs. TX vs. FL COVID response. I want to look
at it since the TX governor said "we're open for business" and effectively
went against all the suggestions to keep mask restrictions, etc. I also
want to look at the bottom line number for the entire pandemic to see if
CA (which as been in various states of lockdown since relatively early)
did demonstrably better than FL (which was slow to respond and quick to
reopen schools, etc.).
Some factors that
might affect things other than the lockdown status (state government response)...population
density, population makeup (age, race, income). Local restrictions, which
might vary quite a bit depending upon county. Ideally we would look at
things zip code by zip code and compare public policy and demographics
and figure things out. With that in mind, it's too much work for me to
look into all those variables and come up with a really great idea of how
much each factor played into the death toll so I'll just do what's easy
and I think at least somewhat instructive considering the perceived importance
of the gap between CA and TX/FL.
One other note
is that I'm looking at the deaths per million people statistic. It's less
reliant upon testing, less likely to be manipulated, and is adjusted for
population. So here are the numbers...
CA is doing the best of the 3 I'm looking
at. 1586 deaths per million compared to 1679 and 1765 for FL/TX respectively.
So, TX is about 11% worse than CA and FL is about 6% worse.
If you look at the top chart and the
bottom chart, you'll see that both FL and TX did better than CA in that
time. CA went +286, FL went +260, and TX (whose governor was lambasted
for spiking the football too early) went +267. All pretty close, but CA
actually did the worst of the 3. Could be because of a bad vaccine roll
out, but, according to Google the vaccination rate for CA is 39.3%. FL
is lower at 36.2% and TX is lowest at 33.1%. So, FL and TX are worse than
CA at vaccination and far more open from an economic and social standpoint,
but they have done better than CA since 3/2/21 when Greg Abbott opened
up the state and only 6-11% worse than CA overall.
I think these numbers point towards a
much more difficult story than what we're being told by the mainstream
narrative. Public policy seems to have an effect, but it doesn't appear
to be the huge difference that many think...at least on the state level.
Again, we could look at zip code level stats and demographics like age
or BMI or something, but the bottom line for me is that CA destroyed education
for a year+, destroyed the lives of many lower income earners, destroyed
many small businesses, increased
deaths of loneliness, etc. and the result isn't as clearly better as
you might hope.
Another way of looking at it is, if CA
had done 11% worse (same rate as TX) they would have had 69,739 deaths,
which would have been an additional 7,080 deaths.
One question I've had since very early
on is how many deaths is acceptable? The prevailing wisdom amongst the
orthodoxy right now is that no deaths are acceptable. I've heard these
exact words from a teachers' union representative, in fact. But, what's
the actual number? We accept deaths from all sorts of things all the time.
What number of deaths would we accept to have our economy back or to be
able to visit our dying grandma (check the This American Life episode linked
above) or to have school back in session so our kids can learn and we can
go to work? Is 7,000 deaths in 16 months, in a state of 40 million okay?
As Nate Silver pointed out...if you've
gotten your vaccine and you're not changing your behavior then that's a
pretty good sign that you're overreacting.
There's an idea
of Truth (with a capital T) and poetic truth. The Truth is what I think
most people think of when they hear the word...it's the actual thing that
actually happened. You can play epistemological games and get philosophical
about it, but let's say that such a thing exists. Either a thing happened
or it didn't. Then there's the poetic truth, which is what we seem to have
in today's "post truth" world. It's the thing that is true enough, or,
even if it isn't true, gets at a fundamental truth. So, the poetic truth
might not be a thing that happened, but it could have happened because
of how the world is. Poetic truth maybe didn't happen in this instance,
but it has happened before so, hey, it's close enough. "Hands up, don't
shoot" is a poetic truth. Eric
Holder's DOJ found as much and yet it's a myth that persists. Supposedly,
Michael Brown said it before he was killed in cold blood. It's an inconvenient
truth that Brown was not a boy scout and was actually fighting with the
cop before he was killed. But, something like the narrative around the
Brown shooting certainly could have happened, and certainly has happened
elsewhere in the past...so it's true enough. At least that's how the argument
To what extent
does it matter that the poetic truth isn't the Truth?
Crypto market took
a dump today. I actually cashed out 80% of my position last week so I got
lucky on that. My worry about BTC (which I've never owned) is that it could
seemingly be easily replaced. Gold is gold and will always be useful and
important. BTC could be replaced tomorrow by someone who figures out a
better version (maybe it takes less power to mine or fixes some other issue
with BTC). Since BTC can't change, it could be obsolete with a better competitor.
I think the crypto
market is a bit bonkers and indicative of society. It changes rapidly and
doesn't seem to have any actual value behind it (in many cases). Unlike
stocks, which are connected to real companies with earnings and disclosures
and the rest, it appears as though crypto has a lot less behind it (thus
making valuation difficult). It seems the way to make money on it is the
same way you make mony on GME stock. Find the popular coin of the day and
invest short term. Less an investment and more an attempt at making money
out of nothing. Or maybe it's just a wealth transfer of sorts.
more signs of inflation...
If you think cops
aren't thinking about this
kind of interaction every time they make a stop then you're not paying
attention. I guarantee that there are hundreds of videos like this where
it's a close call or a cop gets killed that make the rounds with cops.
They talk about them in training and cops surely share them with each other.
I've seen dozens so I know the cops have seen even more. And I've seen
some of the training videos where they break this stuff down frame by frame
and talk about the mindset you have to have to stay alive. Unfortunately,
that mindset doesn't go well with regular policing. Any reform we suggest
has to keep all these things in mind. Most of the reforms I'm seeing from
the BLM crowd don't take any of this into account.
Been looking for
a warehouse space for a while now. The goal is to have all our work and
home stuff in one space so 1) we don't have to keep paying for storage
costs (which go up every few months) 2) have everything in one secure place
3) have everything in one place so it's easier for Meryl to manage her
staging inventory 4) have a bigger space for my tools/materials 5) move
so we don't have to be around our annoying neighbors 6) get a bit closer
to the amenities we like to be around. Can't recall if I've written about
this here yet. The long and short of it is that we've been looking for
a while. Found a place a few months ago that ticked all the boxes, but
it had two tenants so that would have been a challenge and it sold to someone
else anyway so... Now we've found another place, but it's 21,000 sf and
way more expensive than we can afford, but, if we rent out portions of
it, and get it for well below asking price, then it gets to a place that's
doable. Those are big ifs so we'll see. Meryl needs about 2000 sf for her
inventory and I'd like the same for my materials and shop space. The living
space could be 1500 sf and that would be good enough. We would need to
get our office in there somewhere as well.
One of the unintended
consequences of the "green economy" (pot) is that it has driven up the
cost of any warehouse type space quite a bit. This one may not be affected
by that, though, since it's near a school and they tend to be wary of that.
Crypto has been
really big the last six months or so. Wish I had gotten into it earlier.
The only two players that I see as solid at this point are ETH and BTC.
BTC has gone up like 500% in the last year and ETH has gone up 1.5k%
in that time. BTC I see less as an alternative to cash and more as an alternative
to gold. It's a store of value and hedge against inflation. ETH is potentially
the platform for the future. The problem with both of them is that valuation
is tough to justify since it's such a new market. I think people are still
figuring it out. My (small) stake in ETH has doubled since I went in. Obviously
I wish I had put in everything with returns like that in such a short time
I think this is the tough point with all crypto. Ultimately it's a supply
and demand thing of course, but that's not saying much. My hunch is that
ETH is much more likely to go up 10x in 10 years than it is to go down
10x in that time. In that way, the valuation seems to be on the side of
buying. I think there are more things that could drive the cost up than
down. Unlike BTC, ETH is dynamic and holds real value beyond a store of
value since it's a platform for potentially game changing things. Hopefully
those things come to fruition and it becomes the game changer that people
think it could be.
I have been going
on and on about inflation and MMT for a while now and it's one of those
things where I'll either be wrong or I'll be wrong until I'm right. I still
just don't see how the government can pump so much money into the economy
without a negative consequence. I don't know where/how it will all go wrong,
but I think it has to. The point of these black swan type events is that
you don't see them coming. Economists will measure inflation like they
always have and everything will look fine and then the shit will hit the
fan and they'll realize there was a blind spot somewhere and they'll start
measuring that for next time.
possibility is that shortages (like we're seeing in everything from
packets to chlorine)
could be one manifestation of inflation. Where we don't have shortages
we have straight up price increases like lumber, copper, metal, and more.
Ultimately, I just don't believe the super genius MMT folks.
In contradictory news, I've been trying
to have an abundance mindset lately, as opposed to a scarcity mindset.
In my work I've always worried about the next job and trying to get whatever
job opportunity is in front of me because I don't know if tomorrow will
bring another job. It's one of the worst things about running your own
business and part of the reason that I think business owners are a bit
more conservative. They are more in tune with the natural law of the wild
and I think that aligns more with at a conservative mindset. That is, there
are no guarantees in life. Be happy with what you have. Do the responsible
thing and save because a rainy day could always be around the corner. When
you are an employee, your mindset is very different. You have much more
security. Your thoughts aren't about where your next paycheck (customer)
is coming from, it's about how your job could offer more benefits, etc.
I think the employee mindset is more aligned with the left and the employer
mindset is more aligned with the right. Couple the mindset shift with things
like writing a check every quarter to the government (as opposed to automatic
deductions every two weeks...which you don't even really see anymore because
of auto deposit) and it's no wonder that the self-employed tend to skew
conservative. Of course there's also self-selection bias there....maybe
you're less likely to go out on your own if you have a leftist mindset
in the first place. It's also interesting that some of the most secure
people in their positions are tenured college faculty and they also tend
to be very highly Democratic. Hmm.
Anyway, I've been trying to shift my
mindset from one of worrying about where the next customer is coming from,
to one of abundance...thinking the best of future business prospects, rather
than the worst. We've kept busy regardless of how many people we've had
- from 0 to 4 people working under me in the field and haven't done any
marketing for years, so maybe it's time to worry less about how many jobs
are out there. Instead, maybe we should worry about finding the jobs we
want, rather than just filling the calendar. We'll see how that goes and
if I can be right about the macroeconomic situation and also not foolish
to believe that this new mindset is a good way to run a business.
I remember voting yes on the high speed
rail proposition in 2007-ish when it was on the ballot. My thinking was
1) it's going to take longer and cost more than they say, but 2) it'll
be great when it's done anyway. It's increasingly looking like I was wrong
on that second point and I underestimated just how much #1 was going to
be true. This is the kind of thing that I think Democrats, Democrat apologists,
and big government allies have to answer to. California is the natural
result of the policies that those people support and high speed rail is
one of those programs that those people love (including me at one time).
And yet here we are. It's 10+ years in the making and we have essentially
nothing to show for it. At some point you need to be able to point to things
that work if you're going to be an ally for a certain position. So, if
you have Democratic rule in a city or state for 20-50 years like it is
in CA and many large cities, and yet you have rampant homelessness, crime,
income inequality, etc. then your ideas have to answer to that. Of course
it goes for the other side as well, but you already knew that part.
Somewhere along the way there came this
idea that if you can make it in NYC you can make it anywhere. I think it
would be much harder to make it in most rural locations than in NYC. Maybe
at one point NYC didn't have a robust social safety net. Maybe it was more
edgy and dangerous. But these days it's got every resource imaginable and
it's easier than ever to access those resources because of the internet.
I'd argue that NYC is one of the easiest places to "make it" in the country.
Sure, it's expensive, but the minimum wage is high and there are just a
million opportunities. If you burn one bridge you've got a million other
options. If you become disabled then there are resources to help and a
million other jobs you can still do if you have the wherewithal. I'd just
rather be a poor black kid with below average intelligence in NYC than
in rural Alabama. That already disadvantaged kid would definitely be able
to make a living in NYC if he worked hard. The same is not true in rural
AL. Look into the rural vs. urban divide and you'll see this is a big issue
in a lot of ways.
Apparently there are many anti-rioting
laws that are being proposed by Republicans. They run the gamut from defining
riots to have an add-on penalty for rioting while doing some other crime.
On the Media podcast had their panties in a bunch over this, as did several
other outlets. The main arguments seemed to be that it was a violation
of the first amendment and that there's no need to add a riot designation
to bolster pre-existing laws that already outline illegal behavior like
assault or vandalism. They complained that it was too nebulous and subjective.
I find this second point to be pretty hilarious since these are the same
people who are so adamant about hate crime laws being necessary.
What's the deal with hate crimes? Why
do we need a separate designation for intent behind an already illegal
action? If I beat someone up should it matter that I'm doing it because
I don't like their religion? It doesn't make a lot of sense to me. If I
beat someone up to take their money and then I call them a kike does that
make it worse? Plus, it gets into a dicey area about intent and that seems
really tough to ajudicate. I think I'm going to stay consistent on this
one - we don't need anti-riot add ons anymore than we need hate crime add-ons.
I listened to Chuck Schumer on the Ezra
Klein podcast the other day. He has an imaginary middle class couple that
he always thinks about when he's thinking about new legislation or current
economic trends, etc. This is very nice of him to think about the middle
class, however it's absolutely hilarious that he needs to concoct a fictional
couple and come up with a story about them and think about what they might
think about laws he's thinking about passing. He has access to the actual
opinions of thousands of actual middle class couples and yet he finds himself
making up fake ones and inferring their opinions based upon whatever is
in his head at the time. I mean, you can't make this shit up. The guy is
legitimately retarded. Just have some middle class friends for once in
your life, Chuck. Or maybe ask a constituent what they're thinking once
in a while for fuck's sake.
Democrats support George W. Bush at 51%
today. It was 11% when he left office. What the hell is wrong with these
people? W may have been worse than Trump, but they have a short memory.
The guy was dog shit in a suit. Yeah, he danced with Michelle Obama or
whatever, BFD. He's basically a mass murderer for fuck's sake.
Reply All is a good podcast overall,
but it's become a woke fiasco the last year or so. Most recently it was
in the news because it turned out they're not as woke as they claim and
they were doing a story on another toxic workplace culture when it was
revealed that maybe they shouldn't be ones to talk. What a mess. Live by
the sword, die by the sword.
Have you heard of the problem
solvers caucus in congress? Probably not. You have to ask yourself
why you haven't or, if you have, why you haven't heard about it more. This
is why the media is complicit in the downfall of our society and worse
than W or Trump or Koch or Mercer or any of the rest of the individual
morons you may hate. Instead of focusing on people who are working to solve
issues in a bipartisan way, you hear about Schumer wearing Kente cloth
and McConnell being a douche bag. The media could focus on the efforts
of these 56 members for an entire week, but instead they've historically
been happier to parse Trump's latest tweet from the toilet. The mainstream
media are worthless.
An issue that comes up every once in
a while is the issue of free tampons. As part of a public toilet situation
I think it makes sense. You give free TP, so it would be nice to give free
tampons and pads as well. There's precedent and it makes sense. Same could
be said for poor women in shelters, for example. However, as a matter of
public policy to just pay for tampons makes no sense to me whatsoever.
It smacks of the kind of "more free shit" thinking that we get these days.
Under what logic does it make sense to provide free tampons to women (er,
sorry, I mean people who menstruate)? An aside about this - because some
trans activists are very particular, this is legitimately how we are supposed
to talk about this issue. Not all women menstruate - and we're not just
talking about menopausal women - we're talking about women who were born
with dicks who can't menstruate, so let's be sensitive. No, I'm not making
this up, I'm not that creative. Anyway, what is the precedent or analog
for paying for tampons? I just don't see it. We don't pay for TP and everyone
uses that. We do pay for free condoms and needles so maybe you could say
that? I'm not sure where the free stuff ends. This is the slippery slope
(remember, it's not a fallacy). This
is something people actually want and think they deserve for simply
There has to be a test to determine what
gets paid for and what doesn't. If we do it on a case by case basis then
we'll just slowly work our way down the line paying for everything until
the political contingents get so small that they don't have any pull. So
what's the test? If you say that tampons should be free because without
tampons there's a public health crisis then TP has to be next. And toothpaste.
And toothbrushes. And band-aids. And and and...At some point there have
to be women willing to stand up and say "no thanks, I can take care of
myself thank you very much." To do otherwise is to be anti-feminist in
my view. Women are so weak and unable to care for themselves that they
need a provider. It used to be their dad or husband and now it's Uncle
Sam. Is that what we want?
Since I'm digging my grave on the women
vs. men front today, I may as well continue.
You can't say that men are rapacious
and brutal capitalists on the one hand and then complain that women make
less overall. If men are brutal capitalists who have less empathy and are
implicitly worse people, but better capitalists then that's the cost of
making more money. In this system (according to the people who make these
claims) the men are making more money because of their attributes and capitalism.
If you want women to make more then have them adopt the same attributes.
You can't sit on your high horse and claim moral superiority and be virtuous,
but also make the same money. Life is about trade offs.
I think I've fleshed this out before,
but suffice it to say that the gender wage gap that Obama talks about ("women
make 22% less than men for the same work") is an utter lie. The same work
wage gap is in the single digits depending upon what your source is. And
the gap is almost entirely a result of having kids. You can see this, in
part, by looking at lesbians who don't take a year off to have kids, for
example. But it's a useful lie so the narrative continues.
If I'm steel manning the argument I'd
say that capitalism doesn't leave room for things like raising kids and
that disproportionately hurts women (mostly because of biology and individual
decisions, but still) so capitalism needs to be reformed to make that better.
Unfortunately it's harder to have the discussion when the one being proffered
instead is based on lies.
In the last year you've probably heard
more about Tuskegee than normal. Here's how the conversation goes, and
I've heard it at least a dozen times on NPR type programs: "The vaccine
rollout is going well, but we really need to reach out to Black communities
which are vaccine hesitant, and rightfully so because of Tuskegee and things
like that." I've heard an argument almost exactly like this many times
by now. They always mention Tuskegee and they never mention another example
of why the Black community is justifiably vaccine hesitant. One woman mentioned
in an interview that her doctors didn't take her seriously, but that's
the closest I've heard to fleshing out the "and things like Tuskegee" part
of the argument. So, if you know of other cases like Tuskegee, let me know.
I have very little faith in the government so I wouldn't doubt it, but
it's odd that they never mention anything else.
Speaking of Tuskegee...the reason this
is so egregious is that the government doctors had a policy of using Black
people for their experiments for so many years. It was a total of 600 men.
It was a failure of the medical community and the government. But black
men in particular are seen as disposable so they did what they did. Another
example of men being disposable is the Titanic. If you were a 3rd class
passenger and female you have a 50/50 chance of living (92 died, 87 lived).
If you were a 3rd class male passenger then the ratio was a wee bit worse
(389 died, 62 lived). Overall, 1345 men died out of 1669, that's 80.5%
of men died vs. 25.6% of women. The stats I have don't break the children
down by gender for some reason. Tragically 49 of 115 children died. 1st
class 137 out of 141 women lived. 1st class 56 out of 174 men lived. So,
regardless of class, men were much more likely to die.
Meryl got her first shot of the vaccine
the other day, I still haven't.
78% of people hospitalized or dead from
COVID were obese or overweight. Hm, I wonder if this has anything to do
with our poor outcomes relative to other countries.
What are the chances somebody with COVID
must be hospitalized? Think about it for a minute zero? 1-5%? 6-10%? 11-19%?
20-49%? 50% and up? Here's where we get to see how accurate your perception
is of the issue. How does the media you consume shape your answer here
and if you get this wrong are you going to demand better from your media
sources? The answer is 1-5%. 41% of Democrats answered 50% and up. 28%
of Democrats answered 20-49%. So, 69% of Democrats thought it was 4-10+
times worse than it actually is. 10% of Democrats got the answer right.
26% of Republicans got the answer right. Why? Because Democrats are the
party of science? Oops. Because Republicans are so much smarter than Democrats?
No, because of the news they consume.
I'm fortunate to remember this same kind
of misinformation coming around 9/11 when Republicans were asked questions
about Iraq and weapons of mass destruction, etc. They all watched FOX and
so they were horribly misinformed. Now, the shoe is on the other foot.
Garbage in, garbage out. Unless you were
close on that question, I don't think you can be at all smug. We should
all have some humility even though most of us leftists were laughing at
the idiots 17 year ago who didn't know the basic answers about Iraq and
George Floyd has a bunch of stuff named
after him now apparently. I mean...he didn't really do anything. Are we
allowed to be honest about the guy? He wasn't a saint. He didn't seek to
be a martyr. He didn't stand up against oppression or anything. He was
tweaking out and he died because a cop (at least one) was a piece of shit
who was posturing for the crowd. I don't see how that makes you worthy
of having a town square (among other things) named after you. It's the
ultimate sign in a time when being a victim is a badge of honor - get a
landmark named after you for no reason other than you were victimized by
someone. I'm not a fan.
I see the same sort of sentiment in other
places as well. Saw a sign the other day that said we should never forget
1/6/2021. Why? 9/11, never forget. Why do we want to remember the times
when something bad happened? Importantly, it's not that we're remembering
our reaction to the thing...it's remembering the thing itself. Remembering
the Alamo at least was remembering how the few fought against the many.
It's inspirational on some level. But remembering 1/6/21 or 9/11? Remember
that time you got punched in the dick and were crying on the sidewalk for
10 minutes! Yeah, makes a lot of sense.
I used to like Ellen Page a lot. But
now I just see her as a fraud or, at best, someone who is mentally unwell.
When she came out on Ellen's show she claimed to be so happy and she could
finally be who she is and all that. Everyone pretty much knew it already,
but whatever, you're gay and out - good for you. Now she says she's a boy
and claims she's known she was a boy since age 5. In the Oprah interview
she really comes off as supremely unhappy and unwell still. I think this
is going to be a Kirstie Alley type situation where she's up and down -
not with her weight, but with her mental wellness and overall happiness.
I don't see good things in the future.
One proposed fix to the SCOTUS is to
implement term limits for SC justices. If people really believe in this
idea then they should try to get it passed when Breyer retires under Biden's
administration (likely this year). Otherwise you're just a bullshit artist.
Either it's a good enough idea to start now or it's just bullshit. "Hey
guys I think we should jump off this bridge, but you guys should do it
first." vs. "Hey guys I think we should jump off this bridge and I'll be
the first to do it."
Same goes for the unity talk. You can't
give a victory speech and call for unity. Of course the winner wants everyone
to unite behind him/her. Do it when you lose. Lose to Trump and say, hey
he's our president and I look forward to working with the guy. Otherwise
it's just more bullshit talk from a bunch of phonies.
This is an old
one, but it may be my favorite meme.
& 2021 by me.
on here is my opinion, so don't sue me.