Why I Only Did Acid Twice In My Life
Bill Quick

Oh God, Someone Ran Fear and Loathing Through Google’s Neural Network

By now, the entire internet’s realized that Deep Dream, Google’s artificial neural network, is capable of some pretty trippy images. But what happens when you run a movie about acid trips through the acid trip generator? Fear and Loathing in your worst nightmares, that’s what.

Some sinister Github user recently published a set of instructions that enable anyone to pump video through Deep Dream. As proof of concept, he gave a scene from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas the hallucination treatment.

Looks real to me.

I Expect the Youth of Portugal, Spain, and Italy Feel the Same Way
Bill Quick

Eurozone struggles to find joint response to Greek referendum | Business | The Guardian

The detail of Sunday’s voting patterns left no doubt about the devastating verdict and the challenges it now presents to Europe’s leaders. Around 80% of voters under the age of 34 voted no on Sunday.

If you want to know what the future portends for the Eurozone, this right here should give you a fairly obvious clue.

And We’re Unanimous In That!
Bill Quick

HotAir — Politics, Culture, Media, 2015, Breaking News from a conservative viewpoint

Sean Trende Why the gay marriage decision is unlikely to lead to polygamy
M.B. Dougherty How gay marriage paves the way for legal polygamy

Well, glad to see we’ve got that figured out.

At Amazon: The Digital Dime Store
Bill Quick

Remember, you can buy and give digital gifts like music and books on the same day, even on Christmas day itself!

Here are several links that feature the equivalent of the Amazon Digital Dime Store (for you geezers old enough to remember what a dime store was….).

The Kindle Daily Deal

This Week’s Featured .99 Songs

100 Albums for $5

100 Kindle Books for $3.99 Or Less

Remember – anything you buy from Amazon through any link on this site puts a commission in my pocket, at no cost to yourself, so thank you very much! Also, arf! from the Presidential Pomeranian.

The Ruling Class’s Wet Dream Notion of a City
Bill Quick

Let’s Explore The Corrupt Town That Inspired True Detective 

What it means is that Vernon is not a city by any normal definition of the term. Since 1990, the city’s population has never exceeded 150 people; 112 residents were counted in the 2010 census. Most of the people who actually live in Vernon are city employees or administrators, and they live in housing that is owned by the city. This doesn’t mean that Vernon is a small, quiet town, though. Every day, an out-of-town work force of about 50,000 people commutes into the city.

Well, an entirely industrial city like Vernon happens to come with a massive tax base. In 2010, the city assessed a $4.1 billion property-tax base despite having a population of just over 100. In 2011, the L.A. Times reported that the city was projected to produce $295 million in revenue. A good chunk of that revenue comes from the city-owned power plant, which provides electricity for the 1,800 businesses in Vernon.

Wait a minute: What does a city that has no population to speak of do with all that money?

They ball the hell out, man! Instead of having to build parks and roads and schools like a normal city, the administrators in Vernon get to draw huge salaries and spend all of that revenue on things like mansions, first-class flights, personal drivers, expensive golf outings, and hookers. Probably lots of hookers.

A few mansions at the top, and a lot of serfs at the bottom.  What could possibly be better?

Bring. It. On.
Bill Quick

Giant Japanese robot will fistfight America’s MegaBot

Get set for a live-action version of Transformers, as the company behind giant Japanese robot Kuratas has accepted a duel challenge from upstart US challenger MegaBot. However, it’ll only fight on one condition: Combat must be hand-to-hand with no guns. Kuratas has been around for three years and even went on sale for $1.35 million at one point. Since MegaBot was only just completed, the Japanese company was taken aback by the offer to fight. Still, it couldn’t resist needling its new rival. “My reaction? Come on guys, make it cooler. Just building something huge and sticking guns on it is… super American,” said CEO Kogoro Kurata.

Dude, I keep telling you, MMF is so last century.

Want to Live to Be 116? Eat Lots of Bacon. And an Egg Or Two.
Bill Quick

World’s oldest person, 116, eats diet of bacon and eggs – Telegraph

Every morning she starts her day with a breakfast of several strips of bacon, scrambled eggs, and ground corn.

A sign on her kitchen wall reads “Bacon makes everything better”.

Is there nothing this superfood cannot do?

Worm in the Apple?
Bill Quick

Apple should break its silence on Apple Watch sales data – Investors.com

iPhone sales are poised to impress again in the company’s June quarter results, Deutsche Bank analyst Sherri Scribner said in a report Sunday. But Apple Watch remains a “wild card,” given limited details about its initial sales from the company, she said.

Even though Apple has signaled that it won’t discuss early sales of its smartwatch, Scribner believes investors will be disappointed if Apple does not disclose numbers for the new product.

“This quarter marks the first quarter of Watch sales,” she said. “After tight supply early on, continued international expansion and recent comments from Apple lead us to believe that supply and demand (have) stabilized. We find it a bit unusual that Apple has not provided an update on sales as typically, Apple provides detail on units shipped for large and successful product launches.”

Perhaps it wasn’t a “large and successful product launch.”

 

At Amazon: One Stop Shopping For Emergency Supplies
Bill Quick

The Emergency Preps Store at Amazon

This is where you start.

Big Savings on Standby Power for the Entire House

My sister has one of the big propane Generac models, and she never stops thanking me for talking her into buying it. It’s saved her bacon during summer tornados and winter blizzards several times.

The Berkey Water Filter Store at Amazon

Berkey is my main water-filter, both for everyday and emergencies. I keep mine in the kitchen, constantly refilled with tap water. Berkeys will even filter out impurities as small as viruses. I have several different filter systems, as well as other water purification methods, but Berkey is the one I’ve used every single day for the past four years.

Dynarex N-95 Flat Folded Respirator and Surgical Masks – Box of 20 Individually Wrapped N95 Masks. Meets CDC Guidelines for TB Exposure, NIOSH Approved. Protects against transfer of microorganisms, bodily fluid and particulate material.

Dynarex Nitrile Exam Glove (non-latex) Powder Free – Large, 100 Count (Pack of 10)

Disposable Hooded Coveralls For Every Size

Uvex S8510 Bionic Shield, Black Matte Face Shield, Clear Polycarbonate Anti-Fog/Hardcoat Lens

Your first line of defense against airborne body fluids, coughs, and sneezes is to not let them touch any part of you in the first place.

At Amazon: The Mountain House Emergency Food Store

Mountain House can be slightly more spendy than some other brands, but in my experience it offers a wide variety of very tasty and easily prepared long term storage foods. Essentially you just add water and heat. In some cases water is enough.

Much of my base long term food is in the form of popcorn (I have a grain mill – and the cornbread I make from freshly ground popcorn is the best I’ve ever eaten), pasta, rice, and beans. But I have several cases of Mountain House stuff to go with it – pour the beef stew over a plate of rice for a tasty and filling meal, for instance.

Water Purifiers at Amazon

Would you be able to keep yourself supplied with pure water if your local water plant shut down for any reason? I would.

I take a lot of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. I can’t prove it, but I think they do me a lot of good. At least I seem to be in considerably better shape than most guys my age – 68. If you take them, make sure you have a couple month’s supply on hand at all times.

Multi-Serving Emergency Food Supply Kits

All-in-one emergency food for a week, a month, or a year. Saves having to think about what you want to store. Get it all at once, and in one shipment. These kits last for at least twenty years, by the way. Buy once, stop worrying.

The Emergency Preparations Bookstore at Amazon

There are ways to keep a collection of e-books in a grid-down emergency, but many preppers prefer a dead-tree library of such things. I have a core library in that format, although most of my stuff is digital. Of course, I do have ways to use e-books more or less perpetually.

Emergency and Long Term Storage Foods and Supplies

In order of importance, there are three things you need to get through an emergency: Water, food, and shelter/power. This helps cover the first area.

Save 50% On Pet Supplies

Get your pets something nice….and make sure you’ve got a few weeks of food on hand for them, too.

The Grocery Store at Amazon.com – Stock up!

Remember – anything you buy from Amazon through any link on this site puts a commission in my pocket, at no cost to yourself, so thank you very much! Also, arf! from the Presidential Pomeranian.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Check out my new bestseller, Lightning Fall: A Novel of Disaster. Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit.com says: “Bill Quick has authored a terrific thriller that is also an all too plausible warning. Highly recommended!” Available in Kindle e-book or trade paperback formats.

Oh, My: Trump Doubles Down On Not Necessarily Stupid
Bill Quick

Trump: ‘Infectious disease is pouring across the border’ | TheHill

Donald Trump doubled down on his controversial comments about illegal immigration from Mexico on Monday, saying that “infectious disease is pouring across the border.”

Trump issued a lengthy — nearly 900 word — statement invoking the death of a San Francisco woman shot and killed last week by a suspect who had previously been deported to Mexico five times.

“This is merely one of thousands of similar incidents throughout the United States,” Trump said Monday. “In other words, the worst elements in Mexico are being pushed into the United States by the Mexican government.”

The 2016 Republican presidential candidate said that Mexican drug cartels are using immigrants to smuggle heroin, cocaine and other illicit drugs into the United States. 

“The Border Patrol knows this. Likewise, tremendous infectious disease is pouring across the border,” Trump continued. 

His latest comments come nearly three weeks after he made remarks at his White House campaign launch that led to an intense public backlash from business and Latino groups.

Seven Reasons the GOP Should Fear Donald Trump – Matt Latimer – POLITICO Magazine

As James Baldwin once put it, “the most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose.” Donald Trump doesn’t need the presidency. He doesn’t need to win anyone’s favor.  He can just let his what is euphemistically called “hair” down and let it fly. And because the press will love to cover him, he will have the other GOP candidates following one rabbit hole after another, depending on whatever Trump feels like talking about that day – trade with China, Obama’s place of birth, life on other planets, or the plotline of “Mr. Belvedere.” Candidates, brace yourselves. You are about to go on one wild, crazy ride.

 Which makes the rest of us pretty happy. 

Me, too.  The GOP lineup is desperately trying to find some way to not piss off the base so much that it bolts or stays home, and yet at the same time keep the oligarchs who are financing their campaigns happy.  Trump is blowing all that straight to hell.

I hope he ends up going third party.  I’m not sure who it would hurt the most – the GOP or the Dems.  But I might consider voting for him just to send a gigantic “fuck you” to both wings of the Ruling Party.

Mostly because I’d like to torpedo the meme that poor illegal alien Mexicans are the key to the political future of America.  There might be some truth to that notion, but only because we permitted it to become so.

One Is Righty-Right, While the Other Is Wrongy-Wrong. But Which President Is It?
Bill Quick

Defense.gov News Article: ????? Stresses Cooperation, Perseverance in War on Terror

Emphasizing that failure in Iraq would be grievous and far-reaching, President ????? said tonight that American leaders must work together to set the conditions for success in the long war against terrorism.

“The war on terror we fight today is a generational struggle that will continue long after you and I have turned our duties over to others,” ????? said….  “That is why it is important to work together so our nation can see this great effort through.”

And…

‘This will not be quick,’ ????? says ….

….but the battle against the extremist group promises to be a “generational” one, President ????? said after military leaders briefed him on the campaign.

“This will not be quick,” ????? told reporters…. “This is a long-term campaign. It will take time to root them out.”

One was Bush, one was Obama.  See if you can guess which is which without clicking through.

Just a Hunch
Bill Quick

Michigan Woman Frisked, Jailed, For Not Renewing Dog License « CBS Detroit

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — A western Michigan woman heads to court Tuesday after being arrested for failing to renew her dog’s license.

Becky Rehr says she drove to the Kalamazoo County sheriff’s office June 23 to prove that she’s recently renewed the license for the family’s 11-year-old dog, Dexter. Rehr’s 14-year-old daughter waited in the car as her mother was arrested, fingerprinted and held for three hours, The Kalamazoo Gazette said.

I’d probably be more sympathetic if I didn’t think that she was precisely the sort of soccer mom who votes for every damned extension of the police state in order to “keep our kids safe,” and “if it saves one life,” and blah, blah, blah.

She’s probably lucky they didn’t beat her to the ground, tase her, and then toss her in a paddy wagon and give her several miles of “rough riding.”

“We prefer not for this stuff to go to court,” Lawrence told The Associated Press. “It’s just a $10 license. For some reason, some people like to make it hard for themselves.”

Don’t look at me.  I don’t vote for people who make laws like these.

Of Course
Bill Quick

Cleric said to be behind Tunisian beach massacre is living on benefits in Britain – Telegraph

A leader of the terrorist group suspected of being behind the Tunisian beach massacre is living in benefits in Britain.

Hani al-Sibai, an al-Qaeda cleric suspected of radicalising “Jihadi John”, lives in a £1 million house leafy street in fashionable west London.

He is said to be one of the “key influencers” of the Islamic fanatics believed to have recruited and trained gunman Seifeddine Rezgui.

Egyptian-born al-Sibai, 54, reportedly lives on £50,000 a year in handouts, disability living allowance, with his wife and five children.

Asked how he could justify taking so much in benefits, al-Sibai, who is under investigation suspected of benefit fraud, told the Daily Mail: “Ask David Cameron, don’t ask me.”

Lenin was wrong.  We won’t sell them the rope to hang us with.

We’ll give it to them.

Government Is a Dangerous Servant, and A Terrible Master
Bill Quick

Wisconsin ‘John Doe’ Investigations — Another Victim Speaks Out | National Review Online

Well, you know.

If you support an immensely powerful state, with police that you seem to think should have nearly unlimited power to wage the War on Some Drugs, and the War on Terrorism, you shouldn’t be entirely surprised if some of that power occasionally gets turned on you.

You Get What You Pay For
Bill Quick

Illegal deported five times who shot woman: I came back to San Francisco because it was a sanctuary city « Hot Air

A horrifying lesson in incentives for which there’s plenty of blame to go around. Blame for San Francisco, of course, because it’s a sanctuary city where local PD won’t ask residents about their immigration status. Blame for ICE, who handed Sanchez over to San Francisco police to face a drug charge knowing full well the city wouldn’t hand him back later because of its “sanctuary” status. And blame, of course, for our fearless ruling class, whose fecklessness on border security presented ICE with a choice of either sending Sanchez to San Francisco and knowing he’d soon be back on America’s streets or returning him to Mexico … knowing he’d soon be back on America’s streets.

And one other incentive here not mentioned:  This guy was a homeless bum.  San Francisco offers the largest amount of support, financial and otherwise, of any city in America.  And we don’t check on legal status for most of it.

San Franciscans also often wonder why we have so many homeless here….

San Franciscans are suicidal idiots.

But there’s a lot of that going around these days,.

Working For the Man – Or Not
Bill Quick

Greece votes No: The European Union is dying before our eyes – Telegraph

There is a bigger picture to consider, however. A huge generational dynamic exists, running through all of this. One poll from Antenna News in Greece found that 67 per cent of Greeks under the age of 35 voted No which shows just how much the seismic plates are shifting within European politics. The fact that young Greeks overwhelmingly rejected the Brussels dictat and voted No in huge numbers is of massive significance.

Whilst some of the older generation may still buy into the notion of the EU having brought peace to Europe, the younger generations are just not sold. And why should they be? The European Union today is causing massive resentment between European nations. Just look at how relations between Germany and Greece have deteriorated. Far from bringing peace, the EU now sows resentment.

It may also have something to do with the fact that the unemployment rate among Greeks under 25 is about 55%.

Or this:

Unemployed Greek workers face desperate situation – World Socialist Web Site

….around 55 percent of the workforce affected by unemployment are under 35 years of age.

I wonder what the Euros, especially the Greeks, think when they look at the hated AmeriKKKa and see unemployments rates hovering in the five percent range.

I know, I know.  Of course, if you calculate Greek rates including workforce dropouts, part-timers, and underemployed, the Greek rates are much, much higher, too.

Unemployed Greek workers face desperate situation – World Socialist Web Site

As appalling as the official figures are, the true picture is more devastating. It is estimated that the real unemployment figure, factoring in the underemployed and those underpaid or working without pay, stands at around 2 million. The official figures also exclude the many thousands of young people who have migrated from Greece in a desperate attempt to find employment. More than 200,000 mainly young people have migrated in the last five years—the largest movement of people from the country since World War Two.

Her Majesty Is Going to Grant Us Something. Goody!
Bill Quick

After long drought, Hillary to broaden media access, grant more interviews | Fox News

I like that “grant more interviews” thing.

Makes her sound like royalty, sort of.  Doesn’t it?

You know that’s what she thinks of herself as being.

So what does that make all of us?

Uh huh.

Thought So
Bill Quick

Blacks torn between anger, mercy for Charleston shooter – Yahoo News

Many African-Americans are struggling with those same feelings as the nation begins to move past the tragedy in Charleston. Although many say their religious faith requires them to forgive, there is a question of whether a public narrative of quick forgiveness actually provides cover for whites to avoid facing racism.

“It’s almost like white America is telling us, ‘Help us to forget the past by telling us that you forgive us,’ ” said Raymond Winbush, director of the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University in Baltimore.

Hey, if we give you a bunch of Other Peoples’ Money, would that help?

Don’t Worry. Be Happy. Everything Will Be Okay.
Bill Quick

Good Luck Finding a Place to Hide as Global Markets Crumble – Bloomberg Business

So for now, markets have been relatively sanguine Monday as the ECB expanded the assets it would purchase as part of its stimulus, China’s government pledged further measures to support the region’s stock market and Puerto Rico stayed out of default for another day.

After all, where will investors run? The government debt that used to be their safety looks more and more treacherous.

Eventually they’ll run to gold buried in their backyards.

But not yet.

And at the moment, the DJIA isn’t showing any real signs of fear, either.

I assume that everybody will assume that these little wrinkles will all get ironed out. And they will be right – right up until the moment they are wrong.

Then we’ll get to hear the “Who could possibly have imagined…?” song again.

In the ruins.

The World’s Smallest Fiddle Playing “I Weep for Your Pain”
SteveF

Border fence jumpers breaking bones

Reports of migrants getting hurt when trying to jump the fence or trekking through the treacherous desert are not new, but immigrant shelters and Mexican officials are seeing a spike of migrants — especially women — getting hurt trying to jump the border fence. …

“What surprises us is that people continue to jump from heights that can be the equivalent of a two- or even three-story house,” he said.

It seems that, despite expectations, even small bits of border fence work.

The reporter seems upset about the injuries to people attempting to illegally enter the United States. I’ll be she’d be horrified at my suggestion of leaving the injured where they are, or perhaps stringing them up on the fence they jumped.

Doin’ the Job and Doin’ It Right
SteveF

Health Insurance Companies Seek Big Rate Increases for 2016

Health insurance companies around the country are seeking rate increases of 20 percent to 40 percent or more, saying their new customers under the Affordable Care Act turned out to be sicker than expected

It’s a good thing we got Obamacare Robertscare to keep those costs under control. Just think of the horrors we faced before the federal government seized control of a large slice of the economy:

Per-person health care expenditures in the United States have risen 6.5 percent per year since 2000, and 5.5 percent per year on average since 1994.

To some extent that’s comparing tangerines and oranges, comparing (alleged) increases in total expenditures to requested premium increases. However, the coming rate increases are in addition steadily increasing deductibles, increasing denials of procedures, and increasing job losses due to ACA mandates. Funny thing is, that “6.5 increase per year” was from the Center for American Progress, which was shilling for Obamacare because the status quo was “unacceptable”. Funny thing is, CrAP doesn’t seem to be lambasting Robertscare for driving costs up or any of the rest. In fact, their web site has articles (editorials, mere like) saying we need more government in health care. Why, it’s almost as if Obamacare was designed to destroy the American health care system and replace it with a fully-government-run system. Funny thing, that.

Leland Yee: Servant of the People
Bill Quick

Anti-game-violence legislator pleads guilty to racketeering | Ars Technica

Through it all, Yee remained a staunch defender of the idea that the state should aid parents in making violent games harder for children to access. He has given numerous statements over the years to that effect. “Plain and simply, the current rating system is drastically flawed, and here is yet another reason why we need legislation to assist parents and protect children,” Yee told GameIndustry.biz in 2006.

“This is the same technology the armed forces use to help soldiers kill the enemy. All we’re saying is, ‘Don’t sell it to kids,'” he told The San Jose Mercury News in 2008.

One of our local scumbuckets.

Yee admitted to accepting bribes in exchange for special consideration in his role State Senator, as well as conspiring to launder money and shepherd illegal weapon shipments into the United States from the Philippines. As part of the plea agreement, the DOJ whittled down a litany of charges against Yee to a single racketeering charge.

Yee will face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 when a sentence is handed down in October. Three of Yee’s political associates pleaded guilty in the same conspiracy.

“Whittled down?”  You could say that:

Calif. pol Leland Yee sought to trade arms for campaign cash, feds say – CNN.com

And that’s how prosecutors say Yee ended up sitting across from an undercover federal agent in a coffee shop in early March, brokering what he was told was a $2 million arms deal that would include the purchase of shoulder-fired missiles from Islamic rebels in the Philippines.

“Do I think we can make some money? I think we can make some money,” Yee told the agent in a conversation recounted in a 137-page arrest affidavit. “Do I think we can get the goods? I think we can get the goods.”

The fix was in.  He might serve a couple of years in some country-club can, but I’d be very surprised if it’s any worse than that.

And BTW – Lee is a huge gun grabber – in whatever spare time he has from peddling terrorist missiles to Mafia gangsters.

Yee wanted campaign cash from gun conspiracy, feds say – latimes

Although Yee is better known as a gun control advocate in the Capitol, the complaint says he talked tough about having shady contacts who could obtain automatic weapons.

“Do I think we can make some money? I think we can make some money,” the senator said, according to the complaint. “Do I think we can get the goods? I think we can get the goods.”

The complaint says Yee described his approach to arms dealing as “agnostic.”

“People want to get whatever they want to get. Do I care? No, I don’t care. People need certain things,” Yee allegedly said.

The weapons, the complaint says, were going to be imported through the Port of Newark in New Jersey.

Yee promised that his arms-dealer contact was the “real deal,” but it’s unclear whether Yee was actually capable of delivering on his alleged promises to procure weapons.

Trust our leaders and our Ruling Class.  They would never lie to you, or betray their oaths of hon

Just Tell Me Who Won
Bill Quick

Clinton and Obama are on the wrong side of history – The Washington Post

These are not isolated events. Together, they show anew how the populist movement is ascendant within the Democratic Party, and they confirm that the balance of power has shifted. Clinton, who reports raising $45 million since launching her campaign in April, will almost certainly beat the upstart 73-year-old with the crazy white hair. Obama won on trade.

Bottom line:  Obama won on trade, and Clinton will defeat Sanders.  All the rest is Oligarchy Theater designed to keep the boobs stupid and happy.

Rahmbo the Desperate Taxman
Bill Quick

Chicago Netflix customers: Your bill is about to go up 9 percent | Ars Technica

Elizabeth Langsdorf, a cityspokeswoman, told Ars by e-mail that this new “ruling” is consistent with current tax law and is “not an expansion of the laws.”

“The City has issued limited official guidance on digital access to entertainment and information,” she wrote. “As a result, some online providers of movies, music and games have collected amusement tax, some lease tax, and some no tax. In addition, some online providers of financial products and other databases have collected lease tax, but many have assumed that they were exempt. The City’s new rulings clarify the application of taxes to digital goods to ensure consistency and eliminate revenue gaps.”

She also said that Chicago expects to take in $12 million per year due to this new tax ruling.

The ordinance says that the city will use a person’s billing address to determine whether or not the tax should be levied upon them.

In addition, Chicago is facing a massive budget shortfall largely due to school district pension payments.

Greece could never happen here.  Well, it could.  It already has in Detroit.  Chicago and other such socialist hellholes are now crowding to the top of the list as well.

BTW, keep in mind:  Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders:  Socialists.

Good News for Old Farts
SteveF

(Where “old farts” means anyone older than I.)

Older Athletes Have a Strikingly Young Fitness Age

Older athletes can be much younger, physically, than they are in real life, according to a new study of participants in the coming Senior Olympics. The study found that the athletes’ fitness age is typically 20 years or more younger than their chronological age, providing a clear inspiration to the rest of us to get out and start moving more.

The younger “fitness age” isn’t surprising. The size of the difference is. In fact, I’m not the only one who’s surprised:

“This is a massive difference,” Dr. Wisloff says. “I had expected a big difference,” he continued, “since these people have trained for years. However, I was surprised that it was this big.”

Interesting. I’d want to see a more rigorous study, rather than a largely self-selected group of respondents and I’d also want to look at the algorithm which determines the “fitness age”. Still, very interesting.

And here’s the second-most important point:

Few Senior Olympians returned to or began exercising and training regularly until they were middle-aged or older, she said.

“So you can start any time,” she said. “It’s never too late.”

So get off your butt.

Bernie Sanders Is Not A “Liberal.” He’s A Dangerous, Committed Socialist – And Proud Of It
Bill Quick

What candidates really mean when they invoke the ‘Founding Fathers’ – The Washington Post

You’ll encounter it especially when politicians want to take on large issues such as race or the increasingly prominent role of big money in politics. Expect to hear this from Clinton and especially openly liberal presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who has used it before to celebrate Independence Day.

Welcome to the Orwellian world of Newspeak at the Washington Post.

Bernie Sanders is an “open liberal.”  You heard it at WaPo first.

It’s a naked, bald-faced lie, part of a push to whitewash what Bernie Sanders is. 

But Bernie Sanders is proud to tell us openly what he really is:

Vermont’s Bernie Sanders Becomes First Socialist Elected to U.S. Senate | Democracy Now!

In Vermont, Bernie Sanders to become the country’s first self-described socialist to be elected to the U.S. Senate. Running as an independent, Sanders won 65% of the vote, easily beating his Republican opponent Rich Tarrant. We speak with Sanders about what it means to the country’s first socialist senator. [includes rush transcript]

Today, Sander’s official partisan designation is “Democratic Socialist.”

Election 2016: Five things to know about Bernie Sanders – CBS News

1. He’s not officially a Democrat: Sanders caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate, and he’s preparing to jump into the 2016 race as a Democrat, but he’s not officially a member of the Democratic Party.

Sanders identifies as a “democratic socialist,” and since a 1981 bid for Burlington mayor, he has actually campaigned as an independent in his political races. He ran as an independent for the U.S. House in 1990 and won, becoming the first U.S. House member with no party affiliation since Ohio’s Frazier Reams retired 40 years earlier. When he ran for the U.S. Senate in 2006, he again ran as an independent.

That, by the way, is a very specific form of socialism:

Democratic socialism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Democratic socialism rejects the social democratic view of reform through state intervention within capitalism, seeing capitalism as incompatible with the democratic values of freedom, equality and solidarity. From this perspective, democratic socialists believe that the issues inherent to capitalism can only be solved by a transition from capitalism to socialism – by superseding private property with some form of social ownership; and that any attempt to address the economic contradictions of capitalism through reforms will only cause problems to emerge elsewhere in the economy.[3][4]

Do you get that?  Bernie Sanders believes that capitalism in America should and must be replaced by socialism in a form that supercedes private property ownership.

This is not a liberal point of view by any stretch of the imagination.  Nor can I think of anything more in contravention of the heart of the American ethos: Free people and private property.  Sanders supports neither idea.  He is the most radically left-wing candidate to achieve semi-serious status in my lifetime.

And the hacks of the leftstream media are not just willing, but eager, to cover up what he is by calling him a liberal, or an independent, when the truth is, he’s a statist, socialist, capitalism-hating, America-hating bag of commie crap.  But then, so are most of the members of the leftstream media.

You think that Barack Obama was interested in a “fundamental transformation of America?”  Wait until you see what Bernie Sanders, committed Socialist as in mind for you.

Stupid, Ignorant Greek Child Wonders Why All the Bad Luck?
Bill Quick

A 21-Year-Old Greek Unloads: “I Am Terrified Of Tomorrow…It Feels Like An End” | Zero Hedge

They say that all we hear is propaganda; but we have lost our trust in all sides, now everything seems to be lies.

Well, there is your problem right there. They tell you bald faced lied that a three year old should be able to detect, and you believe them because you “trusted’ them.

Democracies fail when the demos has the collective IQ and mindless greed of a two year old.

It feels like an end. The end of our lives as we knew them. Yes, the lives that, before Friday, we already thought could be better; now we realise they were better then. The only thing we truly wish for is that the worst is not yet to come.

Too late for that, kid.

The Gods of the Copybook Headings are clearing their throats as they get ready to walk out on your stage.

It’s going to be a dei ex machina you won’t like at all.

More Popcorn, Please
Bill Quick

Mitt Romney: Donald Trump’s Comments About Mexican Illegal Aliens ‘A Severe Error’

Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney Join Marco Rubio In Attacking Donald Trump Over Immigration Comments: ‘A Severe Error’

Heh.  This just might be enough to push him to the head of the pack, at least for a while.  If all the Jeb, Mittens, and Rubio haters started supporting the Trumpster….

Conservatarian? Freethinker? Both?
Bill Quick

I have to confess, I’ve been a bit discombobulated over the past couple of years, as I’ve discovered that what I’d assumed were my political and ideological touchstones were crumbling away from me.

It was more of a shock than I expected when I formally admitted that I was no longer an Objectivist.  I’d thought I was for a long time, but every time I dug deeply into one aspect or another of Rand’s creation, I kept finding that the foundations were in large part made of clay. 

The worst realization of all was that Objectivism shared the same primary failing that Marxism possesses – it is a utopian philosophy/ideology that has not, can not, and will not ever work in any world that contains humans that are anything other than slaves.  That it contravenes human nature so drastically that is can never be more than an interesting mental exercise with some conclusions – never mind how shakily grounded they are – that I might find congenial, but that’s about it.

Libertarianism has at least a shot at real world practicality.  One can envision a libertarian state existing – at least for a little while, and providing that it is small enough – and that it concentrates on “defense and doing justice, government out of my bedroom and my wallet” (and all the other places governments so love to get in to).  Even so, a libertarian state cannot long exist in a heavily populated nation.  The history of the United States has been one long march away from the quasi-libertarian notions of the Framers to our current Oligarchic socialism – all wealth and power for me, bread and circuses for thee – a situation that has steadily worsened as our population has steadily increased.

It is no accident that the least libertarian organs of governance in our nation are in the biggest cities.

So, as I say, discombobulated.  It’s wrenching to realize that there is no handy word that sums up your thinking.

Conservatarian comes reasonably close.  In terms of conservatism as classical liberalism, I can find a fair description of my views of the proper role of government, and that view might even be realistically achieved in the real world.  It was, you see, once upon a time.  Although, admittedly, that time lasted only about seventy years.

And then I thought:  What about “freethinker?”

Freethinker | Define Freethinker at Dictionary.com

noun

1.

a person who forms opinions on the basis of reason, independent of authority or tradition, especially a person whose religious opinions differ from established belief.
Well, that sounds promising.  A bit or research turned up the following:
 

Freethought – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Freethinkers are heavily committed to the use of scientific inquiry, and logic. The skeptical application of science implies freedom from the intellectually limiting effects of confirmation bias, cognitive bias, conventional wisdom, popular culture, prejudice, or sectarianism.

Better and better.

Regarding religion, freethinkers hold that there is insufficient evidence to support the existence of supernatural phenomena.[9] According to the Freedom from Religion Foundation, “No one can be a freethinker who demands conformity to a bible, creed, or messiah. To the freethinker, revelation and faith are invalid, and orthodoxy is no guarantee of truth.” and “Freethinkers are convinced that religious claims have not withstood the tests of reason. Not only is there nothing to be gained by believing an untruth, but there is everything to lose when we sacrifice the indispensable tool of reason on the altar of superstition. Most freethinkers consider religion to be not only untrue, but harmful.”[10]

Bingo.  Although I don’t necessarily buy into the “harmful” part – well, unless you’re a gay person on the wrong end of a whole load of state-sponsored religious compassionate conservatism.

I know I’m not just a conservative, and not just a libertarian, but some yet-to-be-decided blend of the two.  So, maybe I’m a Conservatarian?

But that Freethinker stuff really calls to me.  It sounds liberating.  And it does reflect fairly well the way I think about, and approach most things.

So, what do you think?

Should I go with “Conservative Freethinker?”

Or just plain “Freethinker?”

I have to admit I’d look forward to responding, when asked what it means by people seeking to pin a perfect label on me,  “It means that I’m free.  And that I think.”

Just Discovered Something Interesting
Bill Quick

Apparently at the NRO site, if you post a comment and two other commenters downvote it, it is deleted.

This assures that there will always be a healthy amount of mutual mental masturbation healthy, vibrant debate, and a pleasant atmosphere as you hear nothing but the echoes of one set of constipated opinion.

I’ve noticed that over the past few years I’ve gone to that site less and less often.

Now I think I understand why. 

My sin was apparently that I dared venture the opinion that turning the Supreme Court over to the mob was neither a good idea, nor what the Founders had in mind when they put the Amendments clause into the constitution.

As usual, the prevailing opinion in a place like that is that the Supreme Court should be destroyed because it had the unmitigated gall to do something that benefitted sinners abominations perverts Teh Gayzors.   Oh, and that Obamacare thingy, too, but that’s way in second place – with just about every major conservative site, I might add.

Greeks Bearing Gifts
Bill Quick

Greece’s Sorry Reckoning – The New York Times

The effort to restore Greece to normalcy has been a failure, because of poor policies, fundamental problems in Greece’s dysfunctional state and a pitiful lack of leadership in Greece and among policy makers in Europe and at the I.M.F. The collapse of the parties that had mismanaged Greece for decades created a vacuum that Syriza, a coalition of the radical left, filled with promises: It would continue to procure bailout funds, scrap austerity, undo reforms and still keep the country within the eurozone.

Five months of acrimonious sparring with our partners and creditors failed to achieve this. Domestically, the government has overseen the unraveling of many reforms, done little to crack down on tax evasion and corruption, and repeated the cronyism of the past with blatantly political appointments in the public sector. With no options left before bankruptcy, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras rolled the dice and announced the referendum, urging citizens to vote “no.”

This is hilarious, in a surreal sort of way.

The author writes as if this all somehow just happened to Greece.  That it’s all nothing more than bad luck.

Well, perhaps it is.  At least in this sense of bad luck:

Quote by Robert Heinlein: “Throughout history, poverty is the normal condi…”

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

Or perhaps this:

Poems – ‘The Gods of the Copybook Headings’

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”

The Greeks, as they have often been through their long history, were once again ruled by greed and stupidity.  Those “pitiful, dysfunctional leaders” were elected and reelected solely because they promised an unending gusher of free money supplied at no cost from other people’s purses.

In fact, those leaders were shoved out of office only because they could no longer deliver the promised “free money prosperity.”

And the Greek people then turned around and put into power a new set of leaders who offered them exactly the same con.

And now that the con is fully exposed, and the endless open purse is revealed as the fraud and lie it always has been, the Greeks are beating their breasts and wailing, “How could this happen to us?  Why is the world so unfair?  Why is our luck so bad?”

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

In any successfulcon, there are always two elements:  The con man, and the victim made gullible by his own greed.

The Greeks have played their greedy, gullible victim role to perfection, and the con man has stripped them clean, leaving little more than bones.

But this is not to say that the con man did not, and does not, exist.  The bankers who conjured up this money, often out of thin air, knew full well that the Greek people were taking on a debt they could never hope to repay.  The Greek people took the money anyway, because they were greedy and stupid.  The con men, on the other hand, regarded themselves as highly intelligent, because, while they were greedy, and knew the Greeks would eventually have to default on their loans, they also assumed they could tap other peoples’ purses for other peoples’ money as well – in this case European central banks and large international institutions like the IMF, in order to preserve the stability of the Eurozone. 

They’re going to lose the bet they made, because just as the Greeks cannot pay their debts, the owners of the purses filled with other peoples’ money are not going to pay them either.  And once all of that becomes obvious, the entire con will collapse.

Now, that time may not be quite yet.  The Greeks might vote to stay in the Eurozone and make yet another attempt to pay off debts impossible for them to pay.  But five, or six, or seven months down the road, as their lot continues to worsen, they will elect yet another government that will promise them big piles of something for nothing.

Eventually the string will play out.  Eventually reality will reassert itself in no uncertain terms, and Greece will collapse into chaos.  Because at that point the Greek people will be like a maddened bear attacked by ravening hounds:  Their only thought will be that they must make it stop.  Somehow, some way, they have to make it stop.

But they can’t.  They no longer have that ability, if they ever did.  And those who might be able to make it stop will choose not to do so, because, well, there’s no point.  If somebody’s money cannot be tapped, they sure as hell aren’t going to risk their own money on an unwinnable bet like Greece.

And what happens then?  What happens when the money is gone, and no more is coming in?  When Greece exits not only the Euro, but the Eurozone itself?  Well, maybe this:

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

Exit note:  Most experts concede that even after a Grexit, banks would continue to loan at least something to Greece, but at enormously higher rates of interest in order to “cover their risks,”  In other words, their own greed would lead the cons to try to run their Greek Con one more time.  But the truth is, everybody involved is being conned, either by themselves, or the other cons.

Greece will never come out of its self-made abyss unless and until it gives up its fatal attraction to free lunchs.  And it’s going to take a series of amazingly poisonous meals to bring them, gagging and heaving, to that point.

Watch closely, because America is staring at the same fate.  We’ve got a ways to go yet, but we’ll get there, because it is now too late to turn aside, and anyway, our own stupid, greedy browsers at the free lunch table won’t let us.

Prepare accordingly.  And by that, take note at what the Greeks are going to suddenly find themselves without, post-collapse.  Check what the price of coffee goes to.  Water.  All food stuffs, especially imported food.  Medicines.  Power and transport.  Computer bytes and cycles.  All the things they can no longer afford.

And then think for yourselves about how you might meet a similar emergency.  Because even though intelligent folks will have seen this coming miles and years ago, to the greedy, gullible, stupid sheep who make up most of the population in the United States, it will come as a thunderbolt from the sky, totally undreamed of, totally unanticipated, unexpectedly.

As is happening in Greece today.

 

 

American Flag: With Friends Like These….
Bill Quick

This seems like it might be an appropriate post for Independence Day:

Weenies burn flag to protest cops, get attacked by bikers, need cops to save their asses | New York Post

Now they probably love the cops.

A group of flag-burning anti-NYPD protesters needed New York’s Finest to save their skin from a gang of angry bikers who tried to pummel them in a Brooklyn park for setting Old Glory ablaze Wednesday.

Okay, let’s keep score here:  Some protesters were burning an American flag to protest some unnamed police actions.

All perfectly legal.  Burning the flag, whatever you may personally think of it, is entirely protected by the First Amendment:

Texas v. Johnson – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The opinion of the Court came down as a controversial 5-4 decision, with the majority opinion delivered by William J. Brennan, Jr. and Justices Marshall, Blackmun, Scalia, and Kennedy joining Brennan, with Kennedy also writing a concurrence.

Note that the highly revered (on the right, at least) Antonin Scalia concurred in the decision, though he didn’t write an opinion.

Okay, so, while engaged in a legal and peaceful political protest, and a protected act of political speech, the protesters were set upon and beaten by a gang of motorcycle thugs.

That part is not at issue, either.  The motorcycle thugs, in fact, seem quite proud of their criminal actions.

Finally, the author of the piece makes much of the supposed irony that people protesting against certain actions of the police should find it necessary to call on the police to rescue them from physical harm by a gang of thugs.

I think we are intended to cheer on the motorcycle thugs here, because…American!  Flag!

Now, this is not a matter of what you think about the burning of the national flag.  I’m not very happy about this particular act of protest either.

Nonetheless, it is both legitimate political speech, and it is entirely protected by rights guaranteed under our Constitution. 

Nor do I see anything to applaud in the actions of a gang of thugs who took it upon themselves to initiate force, in the form of assault and battery, on a group of people peacefully and legally exercising their Constitutional rights.

As for the irony is calling for a cop rescue, well.   First off, they weren’t protesting the existence of the police entirely.  They were protesting what they felt were bad deeds committed by some police.  Doesn’t mean they feel the same way about police who behave as they think they should (which, by the way, even by their own standards, make up a large majority of cops in general).

In our society, who were they supposed to call?

Of course, this was NYC, so the other American alternative to calling the cops was unavailable to them.  But had they been able to bear firearms, a right guaranteed to them by the Constitution, they could have simply shot dead the gang of criminal thugs attacking them.  And, frankly, I would have preferred that very American outcome.

It would have been entirely legal, too.  Being attacked by a gang of motorcycle thugs would certainly rise, I would think, in the minds of any American jury, to the level of fear-for-life that would justify an armed response in self defense.

Of course, if you’re one of those folks who think a nation ruled by the fists of gangs of thugs is a great idea, you’ll love this story.

Me, not so much.  The gang of criminal thugs here are not heroes.  They are villains.  It’s a pity that many folks won’t instinctively understand that, or understand that their actions were a far greater threat to the flag, and the nation for which it stands, than anything the protesters could ever do to Old Glory.

Trump: Problem For the Scamnesty Addicts of the Gentry GOP?
Bill Quick

Donald Trump hinders Republican Latino outreach – CNNPolitics.com

Washington (CNN)Republicans seeking to broaden the party’s appeal to Latino voters have a challenge: Donald Trump.

Yeah.  Broaden the party’s appeal to Latino voters by giving the country away to their illegal alien Mexican counterparts.

If Trump is throwing a monkey wrench into that project, more power to him.

I Doubt This Will Turn Off Any of Trump’s Supporters
Bill Quick

Donald Trump’s Voting Record in Primaries Is Shaky| National Review Online

He hasn’t bothered to go to the polls in the last half-dozen campaign cycles.

I don’t blame him, given the endless banquet of crap sandwiches the GOP has had on offer in those primaries.

Happy Fourth of July, Everybody!
Bill Quick

On this day, 239 years ago, the Continental Congress issued a declaration containing the following words:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

I intend to celebrate the expansion of my ability to pursue happiness via the institution of marriage by heading off to the shooting range and blowing through several boxes of ammo.

Then maybe I’ll come home and grill a big chunk of dead cow for dinner.

Enjoy your Fourth!  I sure plan to.

 

California Christian Whackadoodle Pushes Initiative Calling For Death Penalty For All Homosexuals.
Bill Quick

Yesterday I was taking on a pack of socons and Christians who just hatey-hatey-hate themselves a whole bunch of Teh Gayzors.

One of these morons cited some BS from a tiny handful of gay loudmouths like Dan Savage, who said things like:

‘I Wish [Republicans] Were All F**king Dead’: Dan Savage’s History of Bizarre Rhetoric & Ties to the Obama White House | Video | TheBlaze.com

 ”I wish they were all f**king dead,” during an appearance on “Real Time With Bill Maher.”

This was offered as incontrovertible evidence that all gays want to murder all Christians and socons.

So I decided to return the favor:

California Sodomite Suppression Act Proposes Death Penalty for Gays | The New Republic

It’s been exactly one month since the office of Kamala Harris, the California attorney general, received the $200 filing fee and proposed text for a citizen initiative—the so-called Sodomite Suppression Act—that says “any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head.”

This whackjob specifically cites Christianity for his murderous insanity:

snopes.com: Sodomite Suppression Act Proposed in California?

a) The abominable crime against nature known as buggery, called also
sodomy, is a monstrous evil that Almighty God, giver of freedom and liberty,
commands us to suppress on pain of our utter destruction even as he
overthrew Sodom and Gomorrha.

b) Seeing that it is better that offenders should die rather than that
all of us should be killed by God’s just wrath against us for the folly
of tolerating-wickedness in our midst, the People of California wisely
command, in the fear of God, that any person who willingly touches another
person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to
death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.

c) No person shall distribute, perform, or transmit sodomistic
propaganda directly or indirectly by any means to any person under the
age of majority. Sodomistic propaganda is defined as anything aimed at
creating an interest in or an acceptance of human sexual relations other
than between a man and a woman. Every offender shall be fined $1 million
per occurrence, and/or imprisoned up to 10 years, and/or expelled from
the boundaries of the state of California for up to life.

d) No person shall serve in any public office, nor serve in public
employment, nor enjoy any public benefit, who is a sodomite or who espouses sodomistic propaganda or who belongs to any group that does.

e) This law is effective immediately and shall not be rendered
ineffective nor invalidated by any court, state or federal, until heard
by a quorum of the Supreme Court of California consisting only of judges
who are neither sodomites nor subject to disqualification hereunder.

This law is effective immediately and shall not be rendered ineffective or invalidated by any court, state or federal, until heard by a quorum of the Supreme Court of California consisting only of judges who are neither sodomites nor subject to disqualification hereunder.

Oddly enough, Snopes gives this claim, “Claim: A pending ballot initiative would make homosexuality a capital crime in California,” a rating of “Mixture.”

Which is strange, because this pending ballot measure would make homosexuality a capital crime in California.”

Although this is real, and is currently in the early stages of the initiative process, of course it has no chance of gathering enough signatures to make it onto the ballot (well, unless the Mormon Church decides to pour several million bucks into the California political process again – in that case, it might, because you could probably get 360 thousand Californians to sign anything), but even if that were the case, it has zero chance of passing or ever being implemented as law.

So, obviously, this guy is proof positive that Christians and socons want to murder all of Teh Gayzors.

Or, actually, in a sane world, it isn’t.  It is only evidence that there are some pretty crazy people out there.  And even Dan Savage, rude as he might be, at least isn’t actually trying to pass his tossed off wishes into law. 

Oh, wait.  Christians would never try to hijack the power of the state to enforce their religious bigotries on unbelievers, would they?   Of course not.

Later in the same comment thread:

Choose to continue to slander Christians and we will take the Muslim tack toward dealing with your kind. We’re very aware that you cower before them, and we know exactly why and how to apply the same methods.

But gawd help you if you call these fine Christian socons bigots.  Just because they think it is perfectly reasonable to murder you if you exercise your First Amendment right of free expression to disagree with them and their religious beliefs.

 

Today Only At Amazon
Bill Quick

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Also….

The West Wing: The Complete Series Collection – I never managed to watch even one episode of this show, but, as always, YMMV. If so, for you, this would be an excellent deal.

Remember – anything you buy from Amazon through any link on this site puts a commission in my pocket, at no cost to yourself, so thank you very much! Also, arf! from the Presidential Pomeranian.

* * * * * * * * * * *

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