Thursday, May 7, 2020

Current Affairs. Suck.


Those of you who've been here for a while may have heard me express my disdain for current affairs every now and then. It's not that I don't want to know what's going on around the world, it's the way in which things are reported on.

Ever notice that as Christmas approaches we get a lot of news stories about people dying in house fires? I get it that lot's of people have things in their homes which they don't normally have, like live trees (well, they used to be alive) and faulty wiring.
"I've had this string of lights since 1965, they still work."
Of course, the electrical tape holding the thing together outweighs what little insulation is left. The news isn't trying to inform you, they're trying to indoctrinate you. But I digress.

Modern politicians, damned near every man jack of 'em (includes the ladies, would that be every woman jill of 'em? I'm so far behind the PC curve, I can't even see it from where I'm at), are like little kids who have been handed a loaded pistol. When the damned thing goes off and hurts/kills someone, they act surprised and decide, "It was his/her fault!"

Let's be honest, most of them don't know what they're doing. Never have. Far too many of them went to law school, then ran for office without ever having held down a real job. A job where you had to produce or you would quickly find yourself among the ranks of the unemployed.

Now getting through law school is a fairly impressive achievement. You had to at least finish high school, get through a bachelor's degree, and then get into law school. I'm sure there are crappy law schools which will take your money, let you pretend to go to class, then hand you a degree at the end of your stay. Hhmm, come to think of it, there a lot of schools like that these days, not just law schools.

Anyhoo, it's one thing to et through law school, it's quite another to actually pass the bar exam. Not even blue states will let any old Tom, Dick, or Harry (Tam, Daisy, and Harriet?) practice law. At least that's what I assume. Most states still have reasonable standards to get a law license. At least I would hope so.

As long as the job only entails showing up for a session, voting when told to, and constantly working towards reelection, most politicians are just fine. But hand them a crisis, like this virus-thingee, and they are completely out of their depth. Again, to use an analogy, it's like the pilot has died or somehow been incapacitated and one of the passengers has been ushered into the cockpit and told to "Get this bird on the ground! We're counting on you!"

Of course the poor jackass is eventually going to get so far behind the aircraft that he, and those with him, will be lucky to survive the outcome. I've flown a plane, even keeping the sucker straight and level requires some finesse. Now try turning the thing, lowering the speed enough to lower the gear and flaps, then trying to land. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, the non-pilot is going to kill everyone.

And the guy in that scene was a trained pilot! (Yes, I know, that was an F-14 Tomcat on final, the jet which hit the round down was an F9F Panther.)

Now we have this pandemic. People started out with the right intentions, "Holy crap, this thing is contagious as Hell, it's going to overwhelm the medical system!" Which may or may not have happened. Apparently this thing isn't as nasty as originally thought. Though honestly, we're still deep in the woods and don't know if that's a clearing up ahead, or just a thin spot in the trees. The road to normal is still under repair. (Please don't give me numbers in the comments. Every damned number I've seen falls into the category of "lies, damned lies, and statistics." Numbers get cooked all the time. BTW, next time someone tells you that they have a model for something, run, run away, run far away. Maybe smack the stupi out of the guy first, but get away from him. He's dangerous.)

Here in Little Rhody, my company, with no prompting from the state government, told us back in mid March that if we could do it, work from home. Which I've been doing. We have work, at least the defense side of the company does, the airline side? Not so much. My church made the same decision, to do services online, no one told us to do that. We've been acting like adults, not like good little Hitler Youth obeying the orders of our masters.

Sure, cancelling the town's famous Fourth of July parade (do not even think to "correct" me in the comments with "Actually it's Independence Day." Duh, no kidding Sherlock, to many it's the Fourth of July. Fourth is capitalized to give it some significance) when it's only early May seems a bit over the top. But the state is trying to keep stupid people from spreading this virus-thingee. I get that. I'm a adult I don't need to be told not to gather in large groups. Though some people will do so, as soon as they think no one is watching. Legally can the state order that?

Nope. Remember this, that whole Bill of Rights, 1st Amendment thing?
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (Emphasis mine.)
Can't order that, no matter how many non-practicing lawyers you've got in your legislature. I know a lot of these idiot mayors and governors aren't really Adolf Hitler/Joseph Stalin wannabees, they've just been given a situation which they have no idea how to handle. (Reference kid with loaded gun, passenger flying aircraft above.)

Sure, some of them are officious assholes who think that they are our "leaders." Nope, you aren't, we elect folks to represent us. The governors, mayors, etc., they lead their respective governments, if they do a crappy enough job, we fire them come election day. If we're paying attention, sadly many voters don't.

Am I getting overly crabby with all the bovine excrement going on? Well, I guess so. Perhaps just a tad. But seriously, we're going to have to bite the bullet here and get back to work damned soon. Sure we need to take precautions until actual doctors and scientists get an angle on this virus-thingee so that we can have better preventative means in the future. Will more people die? Probably.

It sucks but in reality, if we don't get back to business, there ain't gonna be no business. The food riots and starvation will kill us quicker than some damned Communist Chinese bug. (Those who still want to do business with those Commies, go ahead, be my guest, but move there, we don't want you here. Seriously.)

Anyhoo, enough of that. Damn, I've ranted twice in less than a month.

That ain't like me.



  1. AMEN, I say again, AMEN!! Old Guns

  2. Well these are interesting times so you get to do what you what Sarge, rant away! One good thing about this is the number of people revealing themselves to be freedom-hating Socialists/Communists by their comments and actions. Now if you'll excuse me I have to go some more meat and TP and masks and hand sanitizer and......

    1. Useful idiots and fellow travelers I reckon.

  3. Good rant, the truth and well said!!!

  4. I learned long ago that you can always count on the Master Sergeant to tell it like it is, perhaps in language that the clergy do not know, but always the hard truth.

    1. Well, after writing this and scheduling it I went back in a couple of hours later and toned down the language a bit. Some of the original wording would have made a longshoreman blush.

      This was me toned down. 😉

    2. You can’t make a longshoreman blush.
      He will just try to top you. (DAMHIK)

  5. One oint of disagreement, you could land the plane. It's all automated now. Pilots are mostly systems managers. Just input the proper data at the proper time, and it'll land itself. That's why when the aircraft wanders outside it's envelope, it crashes. They aren't flying the plane anymore. (yeah, looking at you Boeing) I reckon some don't know how. (*koff* Air France *koff*)

    But the rest, oh you know it. Sing it out Sarge. I'm right there with you. I'd LOVE to see every one of these tin pot dictators up on FOR SURE civil rights charges. I wonder why they haven't been filed yet...

    1. Unless you are fully conversant with those systems you will crash the aircraft. A trained pilot knows how to use the system. Aircraft are automated in the same way we have self driving cars. Oh wait...

      Seriously, if you have no idea what you're doing no amount of automation in the world will save your butt. Or those depending on you.

      A common misconception is that "the aircraft will land itself." No, it won't. It will return to Earth, eventually, whether or not you walk away from that "landing" is in God's hands.

    2. I am replying that I have no comment to the comment which caused your reply. Pilots still need to know how to adjust the seat, fold down the coffee holder and turn the mighty machine on. I will barely admit that some "stick" skills have wained, but you still get to touch the "yoke" and maneuver the aircraft if you want. They used to make us couple up the autopilot for a landing every month, now they probably make you log a monthly "manual" landing instead.

    3. Machine landing the aircraft? Not while I was PIC!

    4. My last jumpseat ride was in an Airbus 320. The FO was transitioning and had 10 hours in the stimulator. The PIC was a crusty old guy with a million hours. By the time we landed at SAT, I knew how to fly the aircraft's systems. And I'm not blowing smoke. It was all computer controlled even to movement on the rollout. Hands were close to the "stick" but they didn't touch it all the way down. It was insane. I was familiar with some avionics, but that glass cockpit was just a fancy pc with a non-standard keyboard. Plug in the proper dope, and it slides down the glide slope without intervention.

      If you got talked through the procedures by a competent pilot, I don't think anyone would be the wiser back in the cattle car. That is why the Max is on the ground. Their "Airbus programming" wasn't up to snuff, and the systems managers in the front office got "system-ed".

      High performance aircraft I know nothing about. But the current commercial stuff, is just being managed. The redundant computers fly the plane. I have no doubt at all that you could put the proper numbers in the pc if someone was coaching you. ;)

    5. Who said anything about coaching? That assumes the schlubb they pulled from the back knows how to operate the radios. Yes, if you know the switches and the weather cooperates, and the radios work, and the coach on the ground isn't an idiot, then yes, Joe Passenger might not crash the bird and kill the passengers. Remember that Korean Air crash in San Francisco on landing? Those were (allegedly) trained pilots. The analogy isn't foolproof, not at all. But the odds are pretty good that Joe Schlubb will touch something. It ain't a perfect analogy but you should get the point. Very few people in this world are technologically competent.

    6. I do remember the Korea air pilots. But you are correct. I did assume that you would be the pilot. And I know you are competent.

      I wrote a piece on my blog once upon a time about moving heavy stuff. And it suddenly dawned on me that there might be someone that didn't "see" from my perspective. Pulled me up short. Had to put in an advisory/small print CYA.

      I stand corrected.

    7. Well, if I was the pilot...

      Yes, I'd be looking for juvat's phone number!

      Dave's Daily Day Dream did mention that the planes these days are capable of landing themselves. But again, if I was at 30,000 feet, in rough weather, I'd hope the person in the left seat up front knew which buttons to push and how high to adjust the seat!

      By the way, I kinda suck at analogies (so I was told once, at OTS), so I grok your not understanding what I meant. 😎

  6. Well spoken, mi amigo. When things devolve such that a Harvard educated judge puts a woman in jail and fines her 7 grand for opening a hair salon a week earlier than he should, or obese and disheveled SWAT members show up at a bar in an MRAP, our respect for law enforcement and the justice system takes a big hit. Hope that everyone remembers in November.
    I miss Fred Thompson both as an actor and a Senator.
    Given the results of both covid and climate change models, the only models I believe in at this point are made by Revell.

    1. Yup, though my personal preference is Tamiya.

  7. It didn't sound like a rant, it sounded like the truth.

    1. Sometimes the truth has to be ranted about. But you knew that.

  8. I do computer modeling for a living. It is to design industrial machinery. Over the years I've learned enough that I can get the initial design in the ball park, then we build the prototype and test it. We take that data plug it back into the model and go from there. After the initial model we work with HARD data. The type of modeling that they are using has no basis in reality. When the whole "Global Warming" bit started, as soon as they said that they had to "massage the data", I said "Oh hell no!". We are in the same situation now. It is like the military. In wartime the warriors come to the top, in peacetime the bureaucrats come to the top (the warriors are locked in a cabinet with a sign saying "In case of war, break glass.". Right now we have the bureaucrats running the show. All they are concerned about is "funding, funding, funding". Personally I believe that the numbers in the initial models were skewed to make things look worse than what it was, so that the CDC and the FDA could say "see you need us" and then it blew up.

    1. Especially when the massaged data is so darned bogus.

      Here in Gainesville, FL, there are people who insist 95F is 'The Hottest Summer EVER!!!' and 32F is 'OMG Glaciers are Coming!!!' Even from people who lived here for over 40 years.

      But, my experience? Summer (August and first part of September,) of 1985 there were 4 weeks with at least 2 days over 100F. One week was 5 days of over 100F. Measured on my backporch, under trees, next to a pool. So any summer where we don't break 98F is good for me.

      And winter? We used to have orange groves all the way up to the FL-GA border, until 1975-76 froze orange groves all the way below Orlando. And the winter of 1989 was Icemaggedon. 3 days before Christmas it went from 78F and RAINY to 19F and FROZEN in 6 hours. All the little bridges over all the little creeks and rills and dribbles and open storm drains froze. As did the overpasses on I-75. All the way down below Ocala. So any winter where there isn't snow on the ground and ice on the roads is Meh to me.

      But tell this to all the panicheads out there?

      Like proof the Arctic and Antarctic Ice Sheets are, yes, breaking up earlier than normal, but it's because they're thicker than they have been for the last 50 years and too massive to hold together.

      And that's just discounting recent history. Go back far enough...

      Let's see. Greenland was far greener and warmer in the 900's than it has ever been in the 20th and so far 21st Centuries. Until... about 1300 when things started cooling and the last settlement was frozen to death around 1348ish.

      And one of the reasons for the 'Viking' explosion in the 8th through 10th Centuries was it was warm enough in 'Viking' Land for them to have 2 crops per season, and meat and fish populations exploded, thus allowing the survivalist population to explode into a larger number than there was available land, thus the launch of the Viking Era. Same same with the Normans. Showed up in Normandy in 911, used Norse agriculture (which was able to wrest a bounty out of Norway) in far warmer and friendlier climates and 'Boom' a royal province of France that was unproductive blossomed into one of the most productive and rich areas.

      But... You can't tell people this. They won't listen, because 'Global Warming.'

      As to the stupidity of CO2 panic. I point out to the idiots as to what gas Indoor Pot farmers use in very high concentrations to force fast growth of their crops. Which is... almost lethal levels of CO2. So the more CO2 in the atmosphere, the more 02 the plants produce. Which is one of the reasons why Ice Ages suck so bad, because the CO2 is so low there's not a lot of O2 to generate plants producing CO2 and and and.

      But... Nooooo... Global Warming...

      It has nothing to do with the radiation output of the local star known as 'Sol' or 'The Sun.' Nope.

      Of course, the same people that believe this carp or are monetizing this carp are also non-adherents to THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD. Which, in classic Scientific Method, means one always produces a result. But the result may not be what you were hypothesizing or theorizing. And the result must be reproducable in enough numbers that any outliers can be either noted or discounted.

    2. Rock on Sir Beans! Well said!

  9. I love it when you rant. How much coffee had you had for the first draft as opposed to the edited, posted one?
    Main point? They're there to REPRESENT us! No more. Term limits, no salary, same medical, no pension, etc., etc.!
    No chance, I'm afraid.

    1. Yes, now that they know where the cookie jar is, there's no stopping the thieving miscreants from robbing the country blind.

      People tend to get the government they deserve if they're not paying attention.

      It is to weep.

    2. First. Get rid of minimum wage. Or if you must have MinWage, it should be yearly 1/2 of what the poverty level is, which should be set by a scientific process derived from costs for basic food, shelter, utilities (sorry, if you can afford 3 big-screen tvs, you are not poor.) Nothing should be set by politicians directly.

      Second. Politicians, okay, pay them. Pay them minimum wage for the number of hours they are actually working. Have them clock in and out just like regular people. None of this 'Go to Congress for 3 weeks then screw off rest of year.'

      They should also be given the appropriate level of health care that they qualify for, governmental wise. So if they are poor, really poor, Medicaid. If they are old, Medicare. If they are veterans, VA. If they are rich parasites, fark off and buy your own, ya lazy son-of-an-unwed-mother or intact-female-canine-of-breeding-age.

      As to Pension, well, Social Security, baby. Or get your own. Just like the rest of us.

      Seriously. President Trump and his administration get it. Taking reduced or no salary, like the Founding Fathers, and actually working for the People rather than for their own personal fortunes.

    3. Well said, again.

      Our elected representatives are nothing more than parasites for the most part. Term limits would help.

  10. +1, Sarge. As to "Seriously", see the last photo in my "Handiwork". Call the bastids out. If you need a second, I'm available.

    Some random thots--

    "Stay at home" orders are a form of divide and conquer on a massive scale.

    A possible silver lining to all this is that the mask(s) have been ripped off, and many folks are waking up and stepping up.

    In Texas, the GoFundMe account set up for Dallas salon owner Shelley Luther is up over $200,000. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has offered to pay the $7000 dollar fine imposed by state district Judge Eric Moyé. Story is developing.

    LOTS of videos on YouTube of Kalifornia millennial's protesting beach closures.

    1. Stay at home is a suggestion, legally they CANNOT do that. There's that pesky Constitution.

      Again I'll say it, I don't see a pattern of evil, I do, however, see a pattern of stupidity. People whose only qualification for office is that they received enough votes to win. Do they really know what they are doing? Hell no. Did they panic and do something just to show they were "doing something"? Of course, it's politics as usual, not an evil plot to overturn our rights as American citizens.

      We will lose our rights when we give them up. Hell, even Californians are starting to rise up against the idiots they elected. Gives me hope it does.

    2. I have to respectfully disagree with you on the part about evil, Sarge. I do see a pattern. The Mueller investigation was deliberate. The set-up of Lt.Gen. Flynn was deliberate. Ad nauseam. Possibly the virus situation was "allowed" to happen, but it is deliberately being taken advantage of. What's that old saying?--"Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action".

      Point taken on teh stupid. IMO, the biggest chunk of collective stupid is in the electorate who vote them into office in the first place.

      And agreed on the Constitution. Problem is, they're doing it anyway. IMO, they know EXACTLY what they are doing. They just don't care. We need to tell the NO, and make it stick.

    3. *tell them NO,

    4. I do see a pattern of Evil.

      You can see it in the treatment of old nursing home patients in New York (mostly in the city.)

      You can see it in the way the Media and Dems did diddly towards or about Corona-Chan until impeachment flopped biggly.

      You can see it in the way some states are handling the 'coming out of quarantine' thingy.

      You can see it in the way some states are openly denying their people their due rights.

      You can see it in the way every time Congress 'does something,' the 'something' includes a host of evil socialistic 'control the stupid lower classes' measures like 'Vote by Mail' and 'Open Borders' and other stuff that has nothing at all to do with trying to fix the economy (for the better) or actually attack the virus (like, well, firebombing the NIH and CDC and shooting all of the upper management and politically motivated employees thereof.)

      You are just too nice.

      Embrace your inner-German. Look at it from a Teutonic viewpoint. See the dark filler behind the silver lining.

    5. You both are taking multiple events and linking them into a common pattern or plan. I'm not seeing that. Do I see greed and stupidity at work, yes, yes I do. But again, they are parasites and like parasites don't understand what happens once the host is no more. They die too. Again, not evil, if they were evil we'd be in the midst of a revolution right now. Do you seriously think that a party stupid enough to put Biden forth as a candidate are intelligent? Who is the puppeteer behind their machinations? Soros, Gates? Greed and stupidity more than explain what's going on.

      Perhaps it really is a form of TDS driving all this, that ain't a plan, that's a suicide pact. I hope you both are wrong.

    6. Seeing evil isn't just seeing the Big Red Guy with Horns and Forked Tail, it's more like a farmer noticing when to plant. Lots of little signs, portents, omens.

      Enough seemingly unrelated events that just add up to, in the LAW, would be called circumstantial.

    7. And I'm not seeing that. If one looks for a conspiracy, one can find it. If there is some evil plot afoot, it is certainly heartening to see just how inefficient and stupid "they" are. Hell, even Californians are starting to stand on their hind legs and demand their beaches back. Remember, you only see what the media wants you to see. Are you seeing these things outside your window? I'm not and I live in a deeply blue state. If the events are unrelated, they don't really amount to circumstantial evidence.

  11. Amazing timing Sarge. Two videos in support
    1. Pilot Dies, Passenger Lands
    2. Standing up to the cops

    Great minds think alike.

    And there went my post for Monday. :-)

    1. Video the first, he had received training as a pilot, supports my point that just any old schmuck can't land a plane. Video the second, even Californians can only be pushed so far. Those are the REAL people of California, not the idiot elites of SF, LA, and Hollywood. So yes, good videos. (But those real Californians probably elected the people they are mad at. Gotta pay attention when you vote, after the fact it's too late.)

      Sorry I wrecked your Monday plan...

    2. No worries. But I have revised my voting rubric a little

      1. No democrat ever
      2. No incumbent (in the primaries)
      3. No unopposed ever

      Several politicians have very clearly revealed their despotic tendencies. The majority, but not entirety, of those belong to a single party. Hence rule 1.
      Make politicians work for your vote, each and every election cycle. However, when it's for all the marbles, and the incumbent is the better than the bad choices by far, then don't take the chance that your vote won't matter. Hence I modified rule 2.
      Make the unopposed candidate look at his percentage of votes cast and wonder why his number wasn't 100%. I believe an unopposed candidate believes himself to have been so right for the job that nobody wanted to face him. Make him wonder about his real level of support. Hence, rule 3.

    3. Rules to live by!

      I'm going to create a new page "Juvat's Voting Rubric"

  12. Somewhere, probably between the extremes, one would hope, is a reasonable and rational solution.
    We could probably hear it if the pols weren’t screaming back and forth at each other and the media wasn’t taking sides.
    It probably wouldn’t be so bad if the gullibility level wasn’t so frickin’ high.

    1. There often is, but the politicos think they know best. And if we keep electing the same dumbasses, we keep getting the same dumbass result.

      Gullibility is nothing more than misguided, perhaps unfounded, trust. Trust, but verify, as a great man once said.

  13. "They" couldn't do it without the love and support of the peeps.

    Fun test. Printing money devalues everything you have. It's a principle, which can be defined as an unalterable state of reality. You can't have five apples and say it's six and actually have six apples.

    So what did you (the collective you) do with your stimulus check?

    None of us can individually change the government. What we can do is hew to our moral and ethical principles. Or not.

    When I'm pointing the finger of blame at them, I'm pointing three other fingers at me.

    What have I done for humanity today?

    1. I'll immediately disagree with your first point, unless your point is that the people elected the schlubbs making all these mistakes. Love and support goes too far, problem is too many people are like squirrels, short memories. They'll be mad at a politician but come election time they forget. It's too easy to not think and just go with the flow. The herd doesn't support the cowboy, they just go with the flow. (Only the thinking cows, if there be such a thing, know that the cowboy controls the herd. These days the media controls the narrative.)

      Your second point is a question of economics, it's not a zero sum game. As value is added to a system in the form of products, you can (in fact have to) print more money. But just printing more money without the backup in real items of value, yes, you just devalued your currency. If you take your stimulus check and go buy stuff, that might help. But it ain't the big box stores that are suffering, it's Joe-Bob's Local Hardware Emporium that has been shuttered for a month with no income that needs you to spend the money there. Which, as we all know, isn't gonna happen. It may save a few non-chain local restaurants but even that's a crap shoot. What will I do with my stimulus check? I have no idea, I didn't really want it.

      Yes, individually we CAN change the government, but it takes a lot of us, all acting as individuals, to do so. One person can change the world if they're in the right place at the right time. Ask Gavrilo Princip.

      If your answer to that last question is, "I did my job." Then you've probably done something for humanity. Hell man, you raise food, that's your job. I do defense work, that's my job. It's the cooks/waitstaff/barbers/librarians/shopkeepers that I'm worried about. I can only buy so much stuff, get so many haircuts, and eat out only so many times.

      Do something for humanity this November, be informed, VOTE.

      Great comment Shaun!

  14. I usually agree with all of your rants, uh commentary, but this whole WuFlu response by our politicians and, you should excuse the expression, journalists and "expert"s, reminds me very much of one of the bedtime stories my parents would read me: "Chicken Little" with all the sheep baaing and running behind her; the fox waiting in ambush, rubbing its paws and chortling gleefully just down the road

    1. You have a point there. But in the long view, cui bono? I think more along the lines of the boy who cried wolf, but Chicken Little works as well.

  15. I am of the same mind. Living in California I see the pontificating elected civil servants act like viral specialists. It's for your own good.... ad infinitum...
    When I get the chance I plan on telling one to pound sand.

    1. Well, they do work for you.

      Even if you're not the one who hired them!

  16. I agree with Beans. He covered the bases fairly well.
    Just think, what those creeps did in New York taking people they knew had COVID19 to nursing homes thus killing off huge swaths of elderly unviable people. That was pure evil. The next step is to let that sort of thing slip and drive normal people crazy by government action.

    1. After further review, yes. What happened in New York was truly evil.

  17. So many good comments. Beans's point about not all evil being from the devil is very valid, and while it may not be a collaborative effort to take down Trump, it is definitely a bunch of people and institutions all with a like mind working towards that. If money is the root of all evil, politicians seem to have their hand in so that has to do with our money, from how it's collected, disbursed, wasted, and used to keep themselves in office. I like how Trump was somewhat laissez-faire, or at least resetting the scales so that the invisible hand can work again, stopping the way international trade has been stacked against us. It has been an oft said comment here that we should vote out the incumbents each and every time, but we get no traction when the media puts its thumb on the scales. By the way check out

    1. I've heard of that film. Nothing good mind you.


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