Thursday, August 31, 2017

This is your life on Holiday

Goodbye, Columbus:
The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to eliminate Columbus Day from the city calendar, siding with activists who view the explorer as a symbol of genocide for native peoples in North America and elsewhere.  
Over the objections of Italian American civic groups, the council made the second Monday in October a day in L.A. to commemorate “indigenous, aboriginal and native people.” It replaces a holiday that served as a touchstone for Italian Americans, marking the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Caribbean.
Because genocide is so much cooler when performed with stone knives.

UPDATE: A definition:
White supremacy or white supremacism is a racist ideology centered upon the belief, and the promotion of the belief, that white people are superior in certain characteristics, traits, and attributes to people of other racial backgrounds...
I would argue that holding white people to a moral standard higher than one is willing to hold people of other racial backgrounds is a assertion that white people are morally superior to others, and is therefore a white supremacist act.


Friday, August 25, 2017

Monday, August 21, 2017

Friday, August 18, 2017

Sane enough for you yet?

Illinois' favorite son
Behold the new iconoclasm:
A ninety-year-old bust of Abraham Lincoln, our sixteenth president, was destroyed in a South Side Chicago neighborhood overnight on Wednesday.
Trump is of course correct that no amount to statue removal will mollify the left, just as no amount of sexual equality will satisfy a feminist. Because it's not really about the statues. It's about using manufactured outrage as a means to power and control.

case in point: I was rather amused yesterday to hear Nancy Pelosi complain about Confederates in the halls of Congress:
The Confederate statues in the halls of congress have always been reprehensible. If Republicans are serious about rejecting white supremacy, I call upon Speaker Ryan to join Democrats to remove the Confederate statues from the Capital immediately.
Let me guess, when Nancy Pelosi was Speaker, she had those reprehensible statues removed and the GOP snuck them back in under cover of darkness, right? If not, then why did not Speaker Pelosi have them removed when she had the power to do so? Because the whole issue is fake.

The political violence is beginning. And make no mistake, this is only the beginning. There are lots of people on both sides who welcome it or at least plan to use it, which is why it will grow. Gutless Republicans are hitting the fainting couches now, but when people have had enough, those Republicans will be replaced. Once the Gracchi arrive, you do not go back to the Republic. You progress to Marius and Sulla.

The hysteria is also only beginning.  Last month was Russian hackers everywhere. This month it's white supremists and Nazis everywhere. It's obvious that the yanking of our populations' emotional strings is being orchestrated, surely to be rid of the deplorable Trump.  But what else will it release? I'm really thinking these folks have not thought that far ahead.

The insanity is also only beginning.  Did I just hear Trump state that we are looking at a military solution to Venezuela? Oh good lord.  How many troops should we send to Zimbabwe while we're at it? At least you can forget about martial law here.  At this rate we won't have a single soldier actually defending our country by 2018. Don't tell Canada, the warmongers. We haven't finished that wall yet.

Time to make sure your preps are in order. US and South Korean joint maneuvers begin Monday, which allegedly include flyovers near NK territory by nuclear-capable bombers. Surely that will go off without a hitch or a reaction.

Any other result would be crazy.

UPDATE: SHTF Stockpile will be free for 5 days starting the 19th.  Because I care.

Cuked out

Spears and chips and wholes, oh my!

So after putting up 5 gallons of pickles this week, I've had about enough of cucumbers for the year. Which is timely, as the most prolific group of vines is just starting to turn yellow... I'm sure they don't have much left in them.  Time to swap them out for a fall crop.

I have an idea I'm going to try this year that I've never done before: very late planting of cantaloupe, pumpkins, zucchini, you know, all those things that the Squash Bug Panzer Divisions tend to devour*.

The way I'm thinking is this. It's not the first generation of squash bugs that gets you, but the second. That's why when I've planted in April or so, by August my leaves are crawling with little grey demons and the vines are not long for this world. The first generation arrives and lays, but it's their offspring that really take it to the plants.

If I plant now, the second generation won't arrive until October or so. It's not quite frosting here (first frost is usually November 11 or so). But the nights are chilly and the days short. It's very unlike August. I expect they'll find the garden a much less comfortable place then.

But is there enough time between now and early November to get a full crop? Maybe. The plants are 4" tall and ready for transplant, and I was harvesting tomatoes well into November last year, so I'm hopeful.

And sure, hope is not a plan, but if it doesn't work out, at least I have lots of pickles.

* Technically, I shouldn't follow squash family with squash family in the same bed, but this is an experiment.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Friday, August 4, 2017

Christians are mean

When the press measures attitudes rather than facts:
Jesus Christ may have lived as a poor man and consistently been on the side of those with little material wealth, but a poll shows almost half of the Christians in the United States believe people who live in poverty do so because they’re lazy. Indeed, Christians, particularly white evangelicals, are much more likely than non-Christians to associate a lack of wealth with a lack of effort, according to a poll from The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation published Thursday. 
The survey, conducted between April 13 and May 1 with a sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points, indicated that 46 percent of Christians believed that a lack of effort is generally to blame for a person’s poverty, compared with 29 percent of non-Christians.
It goes on, blah, blah, blah, numbers numbers numbers. But is of interest to note that the issue of whether Christians are factually correct is never addressed. The author presents no facts concerning what objectively makes people poor. He is instead content to conflate "lazy" (a moral judgement) with "lack of effort" (a measurement of the activity dedicated to gaining wealth*) and put the former into the mouths of those whom he dislikes. That's because the article is not about why certain people are poor, but about how Christians are mean. It's an article dedicated to shaming.

But it is also a rather neat illustration in how the press can miss the real issue. There is a "mean" position: the poor are that way because of their own actions. And there is a "nice" position: the poor are that way because of circumstances outside their control. And there is a correlation between political and religious identity and the positions held.  But the positions themselves are mislabeled.

A truer description of the positions are that either one believes in cause-and-effect, or one does not. Those people who hold the "nice" position, that the poor are that way through no fault of their own, do not actually believe that there is such a thing as "fault of their own."  They do not  believe in cause and effect, or that actions have consequences, or that persistence and discipline matter. They believe in a world of magic and chance, where some people win life's lottery and others don't. They are believers in randomness rather than in a just and structured universe.

People who hold the "mean" position believe that actions matter, that causes have effects, and the universe and the economy and the market are generally predictable and structured.

It is not hard to understand how people who believe in an orderly and just creator God would generally adhere to the second. It's just too hard for a reporter.

* Plenty of people, like Jesus himself, expend significant effort on non wealth-generating activities.  They may be poor, but they are not lazy.