Fuzzy Curmudgeon

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Date registered: Monday, 22 December 2014 18:31

Latest posts

  1. I’ll believe it’s a crisis when they start acting like it’s a crisis. — Friday, 14 December 2018 11:39
  2. The economic fairyland of the modern progressive — Monday, 10 December 2018 16:33
  3. Beavering away at beating a dead horse — Thursday, 6 December 2018 09:34
  4. R, A, C…I, S, T… — Tuesday, 4 December 2018 16:35
  5. Are you listening, G-d? — Wednesday, 28 November 2018 12:03

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I’ll believe it’s a crisis when they start acting like it’s a crisis.

Weather agency chief: I’ve never briefed Trump on warming

Um…so? And, “this is news, why?”

A friend says, regarding this article, “I think we can agree that this process has taken years to get where it’s at and even more years to reverse.”

Sorry, I said, I don’t agree with your premise, because I don’t agree that it’s really warming.

The current extremely weak sunspot cycle (and predictions for the next cycle to be as weak or weaker) argues that we’re going the other way and any warming we think we see is just false warming from residual, stored heat in the system, as the total amount of heat we’re getting from solar irradiation (insolation) is dropping. When you hit the brakes in a car, you don’t stop on a dime; you slow down first, because of inertia. The Earth is a big, complex system with lots and lots of heat-sink in its oceans, and thus lots and lots of temperature inertia. It won’t get cold overnight, but the cold is coming, whether Presidents “do something” about it or not, and it’s already been pretty well established that there is very little humans can do to stop either warming or cooling. The last estimate I saw indicated that trillions of dollars poured into warming remedies would result in merely a fraction of a degree of difference. Wouldn’t it be better to pour that money into improving the lives of human beings rather than throw it into the money pit of climate religion? We can cope with heat and we can cope with cold; we’ve done so many times before in human history. But throwing away wealth on things that won’t make a damn bit of difference in the grand scheme of things doesn’t help us cope with anything.

The politicians and the newsies and the noisy celebrities will continue to claim there is a crisis, while continuing to pump carbon into the atmosphere with their private planes and suchlike. I’ll believe there is a crisis when they start acting like there’s a crisis. So far they aren’t, therefore I don’t.

The economic fairyland of the modern progressive

A friend — sadly, a progressive friend — recently got all bent out of shape because the little cafe at Target now boasts an automated “front of the house”, thereby putting someone out of a job.  This is, according to him and his little progressive friends, little more than the rich getting richer, giant tyrannical Target Corp. with more money than it needs simply grubbing for more of the same.

Yeah, right.  Before you go to the barricades, think about this.

Automation at this level was never worth the candle until mandated minimum wages outstripped the value of human labor.

You can blame the rich all you want, but the fact is, at $15 an hour, nobody can afford to have humans doing this sort of work. And without a reasonable return on investment, businesses shut down. Even the little cafe at Target can’t afford to operate at a loss, because on the company’s balance sheet, it’s a cost center that needs to turn a profit at the end of the day. So unless you want to pay $10 for that $3 hot dog, it’s going to be a self-serve proposition.

Minimum wages were never intended to be living wages. They were supposed to be entry-level wages for inexperienced workers, like high school kids working part time at the local burger joint. Do these types of jobs have value? Sure. They teach basic skills to entry-level workers. And they’re not worth $15/hour plus all the other expenses incumbent on employers, like unemployment insurance, workman’s comp, employer’s half of Social Security — all of which are based on a percentage of the worker’s pay as opposed to being a flat cost, so whenever the minimum wage goes up, so does all that hidden-to-you cost to the employer, which runs (according to an MIT study that you can Google) another 25 to 40 percent of the employee’s base salary.

If you’ve never run a business or made a payroll and then had to pay all the additional squeeze to the government, that’s all invisible to you. And you complain when prices go up or something like Target automating their little cafe happens, and you don’t understand why that could possibly be, or how it could be anything but an amoral money grab on the part of a rich corporation, because Target obviously has more money than it needs.

Why this sort of thing happens is just basic economics. I understood that in high school, maybe before.  Yet one of my friend’s little Commie commenters opined, “Avarice is not just a sin. It is a sickness. They just can’t get enough. I do pity those poor wealthy souls.”

Yeah well…fuck you, you fucking idiot.  Go crack a book on econ, sometime, if you want to learn why businesses don’t like paying $15/hr minimum wages.

Beavering away at beating a dead horse

Badgering us with this cock and bull is very pig headed of them and displays a very dog in the manger attitude. I believe they’re just crying wolf, and the whole dog and pony show will go away because in a dog eat dog world hounding people to go along with something like this, like lambs to slaughter, is a harebrained idea – because a leopard can’t change its spots. They’re just setting themselves up as a shaggy dog kangaroo court.

— Seen on Facebook, in response to PETA’s campaign to eliminate “anti-animal language”

Seriously, PETA steps on their dick a lot these days with their brain-dead ideas on how to make the world safe for veganism.  Google “Jimmy’s Seafood” for a pretty good example of a business punching back.

R, A, C…I, S, T…

…it’s not for you or me.

Radical
Antifa
Commies
Inciting
Stupid
Trouble

Or something like that.

Are you listening, G-d?

During an August Democratic gubernatorial primary debate with actress Cynthia Nixon, [NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo] said he planned to serve a full four-year term if reelected to a third term unless “God strikes me dead.”

Lord, please provide proof of your existence to a world that truly needs you.  Amen.

Source:  https://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/ny-pol-cuomo-president-trump-lehrer-20181127-story.html, via https://pjmedia.com/blog/liveblogevent/live-blog-131/entry-246778/

The courts don’t have a say over national security

That’s the President’s province.  Yet:

“A federal judge barred the Trump administration from refusing asylum to immigrants who cross the southern border illegally.”

This is clearly an unconstitutional power grab by the courts into a matter which concerns national security, and in the visa cases, the Supreme Court has already indicated that the courts really don’t have the power to stop this sort of thing. Trump would be entirely within his rights to pull an Andrew Jackson, and say, “Jon Tigar has made his decision; now let him enforce it!”

Luckily, this won’t survive Supreme Court scrutiny any more than any of the visa-issuance cases did, and I’m beginning to wonder at what point these judges who are acting extra-judicially ought to be getting impeached.

Fuck you, AOL.

My wife has a basic AOL account (the free one) that got hacked the other week, and after she got control of the account back, all of her mail was going to trash.

So she called AOL support and asked how to fix it.

Long story short, they told her she’d have to pay for them to fix it.  We just need your credit card, ma’am, because you’re not a Gold Member (or whatever they call it now).  To make a short story shorter, she told them, “fuck off, you’re as bad a scammer as the guy who hacked my account.”

So she’s been trying to move over to Gmail and telling people to write to her there, and of course nobody is paying attention and just responding to her AOL account.

I am NOT technical support after hours, but I finally got tired of hearing her complain about it and went into her accounts to try to fix things.

First of all, I found out that the hacker had created a filter sending all of her inbound mail to trash.  AOL had actually told her that but I guess it didn’t translate back through her to me.  So I killed the filter and moved all of her trash back into her inbox.

Next, I solved the problem of people writing back to her at AOL; I made her a vacation message that says “don’t write to me here, write to me there.”

There’s apparently no way to set up an account forward (figures since it’s the free account) so now I have to figure out how to download her mail.  Using the Gmail method of importing from the other account apparently doesn’t work because AOL doesn’t extend POP privileges to free accounts.  It might download with IMAP to Outlook, but I don’t hold out much hope for that.

AOL, you coulda been a playa, but your service sucks.  May you soon be out of business and out of our hair.

That good old word doesn’t mean what it used to.

From Facebook, where an idiot tries to conflate Nazis and modern conservatives by stating as apparent fact

Nonetheless, in the early 20th century, Nazis and Communists loathed each other, and Naziism [sic] was almost universally perceived in Europe to be a far right movement.

The party included both some conservative figures (or so they proclaimed themselves) such as Himmler although Goebbels was more lefty.

Hitler did not consider himself to be either conservative or liberal.

Most historians still treat Naziism [sic] as ultra-far-right, and Communism as ultra-far-left.

This is so wrong, it makes me weep.

The main problem with calling Nazis conservative in the 21st century — or even in the last half of the 20th century — is that the definition of conservative has changed since the Nazis were defeated in 1945.

We on the right used to be known as liberals, because we were about liberal (small, freedom-oriented) government that preserved the rights of the people. The progressive socialists appropriated that good old term back in the ’50s and turned it into a by-word for government overreach and the subjugation of personal liberties into a welfare state where everyone would be equally poor (except for the elites at the top).

If a conservative today reads Hayek, for example, he can easily become confused because Hayek constantly refers to “liberals” and “liberal government”. That’s because Hayek was writing on the very cusp of the definitional change, when those who believed in small government, widely-defined rights, and personal freedom were still considered “liberal”.

Nazis, in their day, might well have been considered “conservative” because conservatives in their day were generally the people who opposed progress and preferred limited freedoms and rights for the masses. Conservatism meant “we don’t want change”, and for Nazis, all of the changes made since the First World War — particularly the secularization of the Jewish population and its integration into German society — were unacceptable changes. Thus the reaction, when Weimar finally failed, was to blame everything on those changes, and ultimately on the Jews.

Unfortunately, it is far too late for classical Hayekian liberals (whom we today call conservatives) to reclaim that noble word “liberal” from the progressives who have turned it into little more than a watchword for oppression.

It’s still morning in America.

So, this morning, if you’re a Democrat, feel free to rejoice…but in reality, you haven’t won anything tangible, so your celebration will ring sort of hollow.

The silver lining for the GOP in the ‘Crats taking the House is that they’ve now firmly gridlocked the system. They won’t be able to impeach Trump, won’t be able to expand Obamacare, won’t be able to raise taxes, and otherwise absolutely nothing of consequence will get done by Congress for the next two years. Because if you think 52 (and probably 54, by the time the counting is done; Tester looks done in Montana, and anyone with sense didn’t vote for Sinema in Arizona) GOP senators will vote for any of that in the current climate, you’ve got another think coming.

Oh, and? Remember, confirmation of judicial appointments doesn’t involve the House. Whee! Cocaine Mitch has got a big smile on his face, this morning.

All in all, I’d have preferred the GOP to keep the House, but this is the least bad of all other outcomes. And the senile Pelosi will make the ‘Crats continue to look worse and worse, with former bartender Alexandria Occasional-Cortex continuing to write checks with her mouth that her party can’t cash. Rush Limbaugh’s old rule of thumb may be wrong — Democrats may actually be funnier in power than they are out of power, at least in this cycle.

Blue wave? LOL. Blue ripple. Trump smiles. So do I. Now if we can just get that pesky 17th Amendment repealed…

I’d sell off tech, too.

If I owned tech stocks (I mean, outside of my 401(k), where I don’t have granular control over what the fund managers include in their portfolios), I’d be selling, right now.  Or frankly, would have been selling last month.

The WSJ has an editorial this morning talking about overheated tech stock prices, mentioning things like Amazon trading for 160 times earnings, blah de blah de blah.  They then say, “But what makes this month’s tech sale so jarring is that it comes amid strong quarterly earnings growth.”

Nah, not jarring at all, if you think about it.

It’s clear that the tech giants are not only due for a correction, but to be broken up like the monopolies they are.  There is great danger in someone like Google (or Alphabet, whatever) controlling the vast majority of search.  Facebook has long shown that it can’t be trusted with users’ information (and is a crap platform to begin with).  Nearly all of the big tech giants are doing really creepy things when it comes to privacy and censorship — and it’s time for that crap to stop.  Only Apple, of all companies, seems to take privacy seriously and is actually working actively to preserve it for its users.

Amazon, well, I dunno — Amazon is so diversified and allows so many small businesses to use its portal that I’m not sure it’s actually a danger to anything but your local big box department store.  It will never really be a danger to the corner grocery because nobody wants to wait two days to get a quart of milk or a pound of butter when they’re out of them.  And while it may be responsible for local small booksellers for closing their doors, I suspect most such booksellers were living on the ragged edge of disaster anyway, in a world that has gone head-over-heels for ebooks.  Again, the booksellers really being killed by Amazon are more likely big-boxes like Borders (dead) and Barnes and Noble (dying).  But Amazon is really another story for another post, because Amazon isn’t acting as a gatekeeper of information the way Google and Facebook are.  Amazon carries a lot of books and publications that probably horrify the censorship staff at Google and Facebook, for one thing.  And who is truly evil, if that’s the case?

No, I suspect the smart investors are getting out of tech because they see the beginning of the end for the large monopolistic conglomerates.  If there is a better predictor that the GOP will hold onto Congress next week, I don’t know what it would be.  Because if the GOP really does hold onto Congress, there’s a really good chance that Trump will be able to set some monopoly-busting into motion.  And I submit that’s good for the economy and the country in the long run.

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