Category Archive: General Curmudgeonry

Fuck China.

Well, the looming end of subsidized parcel rates from China to the US ought to put a stake in the heart of eBay.

An ”extraordinary congress” convened by the [Universal Postal Union] in October finally addressed the disparity. UPU members voted to allow the U.S. and other countries to set new reimbursement rates beginning in July 2020. Terminal dues could increase anywhere from 125 percent to 600 percent, according to Cathy Roberson of Air Cargo World. Whatever the change, American tax dollars will no longer be used to benefit one group of businesses over another.

Good. #Winning.

Happy Veterans Day!

Happy Veterans Day to all servicemen and women, past and present, no matter where dispersed.

We live in freedom because you protect us from enemies worldwide.

We’ll see what we can do to return the favor here at home.

The Chinese lie about everything

It is pointed out in this article that a Chinese company is aggressively marketing killer drones with “full autonomy”.  Uh huh.

I would be inclined to say (if I believed they actually had drones capable of full autonomy — this is the Chinese, after all, who lie about everything, like “there are no carcinogens in Xantac” and “Epstein killed himself”) that the main reason China has “beaten” the US in this field is because the US doesn’t want to go down the killer robot road, and the Chinese don’t care.

Which is not to say I wouldn’t like to see a Chinese rebel faction get hold of a few of those autonomous drones and take out the Central Committee with them. What goes up must come down, and what the despots can put in the field, rebels can usually capture and repurpose.

I have no doubt the Chinese will be the first to develop true AI, and then it will turn right around and bite them in the ass.

For once, they might agree

Propaganda works both ways

(sorry about the picture…it had an elephant and I was in a hurry. But diapers may not be a bad choice for crybaby liberals…)

But is it really propaganda when you are telling the truth?

Years ago, Glenn Reynolds started pushing the idea of a “Welcome Wagon” for blue state migrants to red states:

In 2013 he mused:

Someone needs to set up a “welcome wagon” to explain to new immigrants why the states they’re moving to shouldn’t become more like the states they left . . . .

In 2015, he expanded the concept in a USA Today op-ed:

If I were one of those conservative billionaires (hello, Koch brothers! hi, Sheldon Adelson!) who are always donating tens of millions to support Republican candidates, I think I might try spending some of the money on something more useful: A sort of welcome wagon for blue state migrants to red states. Something that would explain to them why the place they’re moving to is doing better than the place they left, and suggesting that they might not want to vote for the same policies that are driving their old home states into bankruptcy.

He and his co-bloggers continue to push the idea today.

The question is, when are the conservative billionaires going to WAKE THE FUCK UP AND PAY ATTENTION?

  • Virginia just got rolled by the Democrats.  Although that was significantly due to the GOP not fielding candidates in a lot of races, like the one where the convicted sex offender was running unopposed.*
  • North Carolina looks like it’s next.
  • Colorado has been rolled blue for at least the last couple of cycles (thank you, Boulder).
  • I see an awful lot of Chicago-area license plates as I drive around Indianapolis, which (again at least partly through the inaction of a lackadaisical GOP) is blue and has been blue for several election cycles.  Luckily there are really only a couple of congressional seats in Indiana that are reliably blue (Indianapolis and the Region)…SO FAR.
  • Florida is filling up with old New York liberals who will likely spoil my wife’s and my retirement.

So here’s an interesting concept:  The Salt Lake Tribune recently converted to a not-for-profit.

The Salt Lake Tribune didn’t sell out to Gannett, like so many other local papers have.  It’s been run by family concerns for over a hundred years.  It was purchased a few years ago by Paul Huntsman’s private equity firm Huntsman Family Investments.  Huntsman is a registered Republican; whether or not that means he supports Donald Trump is questionable, since he appears to disagree with Trump about the evils of the press.  But we can hope that the Tribune under his leadership will tend more conservative in a state that is already pretty conservative.

On the other hand, his paper is, with his approval and funding authority, suing the Mormon Church over some issues at the Church-owned Brigham Young University.  On the gripping hand, from what little I’ve read about it, it sounds like that’s a story that needs to see the light of day, regardless of the politics involved.

But the real story is that a major newspaper has been converted to a non-profit, owned by a right-leaning private equity firm.  This suggests that it may now chase the stories that need to be chased, without worrying too much about how they affect the paper’s bottom line.

If one Republican can produce this sort of sea-change in local media, what is stopping other Republicans from looking at doing something similar in their own cities and states?

For too long, and with few exceptions, major media has been controlled by faceless corporations like Gannett, which if they lean any direction politically, it’s to the left.  Certainly Gannett employs opinion writers from a wide spectrum (if they were 100% blue they’d never let Glenn Reynolds write for them).  However, it seems like this is more of a bone tossed to the fading opposition than a genuine attempt to let all voices be heard.  The editorial bent of Gannett’s flagship paper, USA Today, is and always has been left of center.  So Gannett is never going to be a friend to low taxes, smaller government, and libertarian principles in general.

I would love to see a local conservative Indianapolis millionaire/billionaire start up a not-for-profit daily newspaper to oppose the Gannett Star.  Because the city-county government is no longer accountable to anyone like it was back in the Pulliam days.  And nearly every local daily in every city surrounding Indianapolis is run by Gannett.  How does that even approach the concept of a free press that informs the people and protects their rights and freedoms?  The answer is that it doesn’t.  Where there is no competition, or at least a sense of even-handedness, a daily newspaper has in effect a license to run rough-shod over its subscribers, who have no other sources of information.

Which is, of course, the goal of the Democrats — only that which they deem suitable for publication or broadcast will fall upon the ears and eyes of the Great Unwashed, who will then reliably vote for their own shackles Democrats.

Who will rid us of these turbulent Democrats and their acolytes in the press?

There’s lots of money out there in conservative hands.  If you don’t spend it now, the Democrats will just take if from you later.  It’s time for conservatives to step up, and take up the sword against the Bloombergs, Steyers, and Soroses of the world.

Reynolds’ “conservative Welcome Wagons” is one place to start.  Creating new news outlets to print and air the truth is another.

______________

* Should be child molester, the girl he raped (his own secretary at the time) was 17, but he’s now married to her, so I guess that’s OK </sarcasm>.

Hey Millennial

You know, the only reason Millennials are suddenly passive-aggressively responding “OK Boomer” to just about anything we Boomers have to say is because the mill run of them are slackers and still living in their parents’ basements playing video games until … well … some of them are still living there.  And for this, those Millennials in that position have a well-deserved reputation.

And they know it.

So they should be aware that saying that to me is just a good way to make me laugh at them.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I know some very talented, very smart Millennials. Some of them are direct colleagues, some of them are brother Freemasons. They’re out in the workplace making a difference and good money. They don’t live in shit housing or their mom’s basement. They have jobs, and cars. They dress neatly. They speak well.  They aren’t jerks. They aren’t Antifa.  They respect me and I respect them.

But as has always been the case, respect is earned. And it’s always a two-way street.  I can hardly expect you to respect me if I don’t respect you, right?

My generation had to earn the respect of our elders. Given who our elders were, that wasn’t easy.

We expect your generation to earn our respect. So far a bunch of you aren’t doing a very good job of that. And when your only reaction to Boomers is a surly “OK Boomer”, all you’ve done is self-identify as a jerk who is unworthy of respect. Oh, and an unoriginal jerk, at that. Come up with your own epithets, for crying out loud. Mindlessly following the crowd is boring.  Call me a son of a bitch if you like.  Sure, I may deck you for it, but I’ll respect you more.

I know, I know. Right now you’re all set to shrug and say, “OK Boomer.” Sure, go ahead. Play your little Millennial games.

Just don’t be surprised if all we do is laugh at you. But we’ve been doing that for years, anyway.

Announcing my last-minute, write-in candidacy

Feel free to write me in for mayor of Indianapolis.

I pledge to remove all bike lanes, cancel the Red and Blue Lines, and stop corporate welfare for sportsball teams. Otherwise I plan to sit on my butt on the 25th floor of the City-County Building for four years, drive my own car to work and carry a sack lunch at my own expense every day, and ruthlessly leave the citizenry alone.

Oh, and potholes will be fixed.  Scooters and Blue Indy rental cars will be outlawed.

Also, this town needs a good $5 cigar and a good $20 bottle of Kentucky Bourbon. Let’s work together on that.

Note to self

How to remove Chromium browser from a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B

sudo apt purge chromium-browser –auto-remove

I don’t need Google bullshit on my Pi.

I had the urge to meme today.

Partly due to things happening at work, partly just for giggles.

These are probably funny only if you are a Hoosier.

Although the second one is a riff on the old joke about Indiana: “South Bend is in the North, North Vernon is in the South, and French Lick ain’t what you think it is.”

Open borders people are just plain stupid.

Or at least, I gather they think we are.

Seen on Facebook, the Seventh Level of Hell these days:

Mr. Pierce (whoever he is) does not appear to understand the difference between the 50 US states and the rest of the world.

The 50 US states are a political union of quasi-independent states which have agreed upon a common Federal law that binds all 50 of them and is (at least in theory) equally valid throughout.  Citizens of these 50 states are also citizens of the United States, and the 50 states have, by and large (with some significant exceptions like licensing) agreed that their state laws are reciprocally binding upon anyone who enters their state from another US state.  For instance, no married folks have to get remarried because they move from one state to another.  For another instance, if you commit a criminal act in one state, and flee to another, in general you will be extradited to the former by the latter when you get caught.

But as I said, there are some significant exceptions.  For instance, why can’t I legally carry a gat in Maryland and 17 other states (not to mention Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and other insular territories and possessions of the US)?  I mean, I have an Indiana gun permit that is reciprocally-valid in 32 states.  My Indiana driver’s license is good in all 50 states plus the territories, so why not my Indiana LTCH?  Clearly we need to open up these internal borders immediately, immediately, immediately!  Harrumph!  (I didn’t get a “harrumph” out of Maryland, New York, or the other 16 states that don’t recognize my Indiana LTCH.)

Why aren’t all professional licenses reciprocally-valid in all 50 states?  (Because they’re union cards, that’s why, but we’ll gloss over that.)

All this is beside the fact that US internal (state) borders are effectively non-existent because all 50 states have subscribed to the same federal Constitution and federal body of law which explicitly prohibit internal border checkpoints (like California has in violation of said Constitution and body of federal law, although to be honest, I understand why).

There is really only one way to open up a US federal border.  For instance, when Mexico signs on to the US Constitution, submits to US federal authority, and its states become stars in the US flag, we can open that federal border (but not Mexico’s southern border, which then becomes the US federal border). Though the way things are in northern Mexico right now, that’s really not likely to happen.  At any rate, the point is that you have become a US state, territory, or other possession in order to enjoy the “open borders” regime that we’ve had since 1776.  (Or at least since 1789.)

Given the political upheaval currently roiling northern Mexico, I’m not sure why anyone would be for opening our southern border.  In fact, I think we ought to pull troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan and send them down to Sinaloa state to take out the Mexican gangs, thereby doing a solid for the Mexican President, even if he is a dirty socialist.  And until we do that, the President ought to suspend posse comitatus and send a shitload of troops down to secure the border, with an ROE of “shoot to kill.”

So, Mr. Leonard Pierce, you’re a fucking idiot and you should feel free to cross the border into Mexico or Canada at any time.  Here’s a hint:  They don’t react well to illegal immigrants, either.

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