Tag: Trump

Let’s Trust The Science

The other day I rambled on a bit about a question I had – can you name an actual harm that Trump did to the nation? Not mean tweets harm, but real identifiable harm. Well I was shocked to find out that someone actually read my post, and not only that but took the time to comment (which I appreciate, good or bad). The comments pointed out that Trump took some actions to remove or modify environmental policies from the previous administration. Clearly that would cause harm, wouldn’t it?

You’d think this would be an easy answer. We have climate. We have smart people studying things. We’ve been measuring this for a long time. Simple, right? And the answer is… it depends on what data you choose to believe. Sigh.

But, but, these are scientists man. Science is always objective, right? Not when there’s billions of dollars in funding at stake. Oh come on, these are experts. They wouldn’t push science that wasn’t proven. Really? Please point me to any county, state, or country that can show any clear correlation between implementing a mask mandate and a lowering of covid case counts. We have a year and a half of clear data on this. The correlation signal should be pretty easy to spot. I’ll wait. Hint, you won’t find it. Yet the experts continue to yammer on and on about masking. We’re creating an entire generation of kids who are afraid to go outside and play without a mask on. Yet nobody can actually point to any real “science” to this other than “the experts say”.

Anyway, back to global warming. Yes, I said global warming because that’s what this was about until the “experts” decided it needed to be re-branded. It’s now called CLIMATE CHANGE. Convenient, because any weather abnormality can now be attributed to CLIMATE CHANGE. The last few years we’ve tacked on EXTREME WEATHER. Because, of course, EXTREME WEATHER is naturally caused by CLIMATE CHANGE. It’s just science, man.

This is such an enormous topic, it’s virtually impossible to boil it down to easy, bullet point, talking points from any side of the argument. Have we experienced global warming? Yes. Somewhere between 0.3 and 0.7 degrees centigrade in the last century. The global warming hypothesis that started in the late 80’s is that there will be about a 1 degree increase in temperature for each doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere. The kicker that Al Gore capitalized on is that the claim that greenhouse gases would cause a positive feedback loop, adding another 2-4 degrees of warming and eventually causing a tipping point that was unrecoverable. Throw in a scary hockey stick graph, some images of polar bears stranded on melting ice flows, and voila – we have a crisis!

The challenge with any hypothesis is that your findings have to be independently reproduced to have any credibility. Mann’s hockey stick graph used cherry picked data and code that turned any inputs into a hockey stick. The projections the IPCC uses year after year to predict gloom and doom are based upon models that have been laughably wrong. Not just by a little bit but by massive amounts. And wrong year, after year, after year.

But, but, what about the wildfires every summer? And the hurricanes? And the melting ice caps? And increased numbers of hot days? And rising sea levels? And polar vortexes? OH MY GOD, THERE’S EXTREME WEATHER EVERYWHERE!!

Burn acreage is down massively. Hurricane frequency is way down. Artic ice reached above normal levels this year. The number of hot summer days is actually down. Sea level isn’t rising. And on, and on, and on. Can you find a particular data point and extrapolate from that some causation? Sure. But when you take multi-decadal trends (which is what climate is), any changes seen are mostly… meh.

Unfortunately people cherry pick and alter the data. What? Yes, the temperature data is altered. Half the US weather stations are “zombie” stations – they don’t actually exist anymore. Their data is computer generated from a model/algorithm. Weather stations that 40 years ago were in a field are now surrounded by asphalt parking lots and building exhaust vents, a.k.a the urban heat island effect. Most scary graphs start from the 1960’s/70’s. Why? It was a very cold period – remember they were predicting in the 70’s we were heading into a new ice age. It’s not convenient to start your data points earlier than that due to the extreme global heat of the 1930’s (the dustbowl).

It goes on and on. Our data collection is a mess. And unfortunately scientists actually do lie. Remember climategate? Emails showed they were conspiring to find a way to “hide the pause”. We’d had a 17 year pause in any signs of warming at that point. A very inconvenient truth. So yes, count me as a skeptical when it comes to experts making any extreme global warming claims.

And the cherry on the cake is the UN/IPCC climate treaties. The US was correct to pull out. They achieve nothing except massive wealth transfer from the US to other countries, while not actually requiring other countries (CHINA) to do anything. China is building out coal fired plants as fast as they can go, meanwhile the US and Europe doom themselves to voluntary CO2 restrictions that cripple our energy production. Here’s a perfect example of looking at the data – we had a near complete shutdown of the world a year ago. A more extreme version than any UN agreement could have hoped for. And what happened? Atmospheric CO2 didn’t budge in the slightest. Zero change. So tell me again how any UN agreement (costing gazillions of dollars) is going to “fix” global warming when a global shutdown didn’t make any impact?

The global climate is ungodly complex. Solar impacts, ocean currents, equatorial winds, and yes even manmade issues… there are so many factors impacting the climate. We’re still in the infancy of understanding the impact of things like solar cycles and ocean currents. I think it’s foolish to think we can point to just one possible cause with all its associated faulty data, politics, and agendas and say conclusively – ah ha, that’s the issue.

So, did Trump cause harm by pulling out of the Paris Agreement? Since none of the previous four UN climate summits achieved anything… I’d argue it made zero climate impact. The effect of substituting Obama’s Clean Power Plan with the Affordable Clean Energy rule will depend upon which side of the global warming/greenhouse gas side of the coin you’re on. If you think, like the green new deal zealots that the world will end in 12 years if we don’t do something NOW!… then yes it caused harm.

My position is that when you strip away all the politics, media hype, and academics jockeying for the next round of funding – we honestly don’t really know. Lots of hypothesis, very little reproducible findings that conclusively prove correlation/causation. And with the frightening rise in fuel and energy costs (and the associated rise in the costs of all goods) happening right now, I’m going to be a skeptic when it comes to making changes that will make things economically worse for the planet.

Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth came out in 2006 and claimed we only had 10 years left before we reached the point of no return. And 15 years later… the polar bears are thriving. The west coast isn’t under water. We’re not wearing shorts in the arctic. I’m pretty sure we don’t need to panic. My prediction? At the current rate of change it will take about 100 years before we’ll see a clear enough signal in the data to show if we’re really warming or not vs one or two year abnormalities. Climate is measured in decade and century time scales. And in a century from now, I’m reasonably confident we’ll have alternative energy sources we currently haven’t thought of. Our technological advance is going to happen independent of global warming fears. It’s our human nature.

The entire point of science is to question. Question the data. Question the findings. Question the methods. Question the motivations. Question, question, question. And when you run out of questions and can’t find fault with the results, you’ve arrived at a solid scientific theory. With climate, we’re still at the very beginning. Questioning isn’t denial, it’s what we’re supposed to do.

Back off, man, I’m a scientist.

 Dr. Peter Venkman

A Return To Chaos

In about a week we’ll be watching the most consequential election of our times… according to the news. It’s for the governorship of Virginia. I’m sure there’s other elections going on in the country, but for some reason all the smart people believe the outcome of this one will signal the how the rest of the elections will go for the next four years. Whatever. The democrats are apparently worried and have brought out the heavy hitters to help campaign. No, not Brandon but Obama. And yesterday the former and current acting president said something during his speech that caught my ear.

“We’re not going to go back to the chaos that did so much damage” said Obama. Hmmm. Just exactly what damage is he referring to? That’s a serious question. I’m not talking about the four years of hysterical teeth gnashing and wailing brought about by Trump Derangement Syndrome. That’s entirely an issue brought about by the left and fueled by the “media”. Madonna and Ashely Judd wearing pink pussy hats and caterwauling like scalded cats about blowing up the white house and being nasty women perfectly encapsulates the TDS that started right after the election and grew steadily for four years. While annoying, that’s not destruction.

So what exactly did the bad orange man destroy? The economy? Jobs? Gas prices? Border security? A rapid vaccine development in the face of a pandemic? Trust me, there’s plenty not to like about the guy but I can’t think of any actual harm that happened or was exacerbated on his watch other than triggered snowflakes devastated by mean tweets.

It must be really painful for the left right now, as evidenced by the complete radio silence about this president. Nobody is even attempting to defend anything the administration is doing. CNN spends its time covering ani-vaxxers, an actor shooting someone, and never ending analysis of the Laundrie murder. MSNBC still covers the devastating capitol insurrection 24×7. Meanwhile kids, pull up a chair and lets think about the achievements under the current administration:

  • A disastrous Afghanistan pull out that got US solders and marines killed, droned a car full of kids, and left behind hundreds of Americans. Oh, and gifted the Taliban $80 some odd billion dollars in military hardware. Tens of thousands of unvetted Afghans have been brought in as refugees and released into the country.
  • Rapidly accelerating inflation, gas prices, food costs, and a worker shortage that nobody can explain.
  • A supply chain crisis the likes of which we’ve never seen before. Hundreds of ships anchored offshore with no way to offload. Store shelves are empty, manufacturing is shut down, and consumer goods like cars and appliances are non-existent. Meanwhile the transportation secretary who was already AWOL on this issue, goes on paternity leave (and nobody in the media even notices).
  • A mishandling of public health messaging that’s so inept it’s causing reasonable people to question vaccines simply because they no longer trust the governments message. Public health officials demanding you “follow the science” while actually ignoring the science. Our covid czar Fauci is caught lying about funding gain of function research in, wait for it… Wuhan. A president to actually believes millions of people should lose their jobs if they don’t submit to the jab.
  • An unimaginable border crisis that grows by the day. A record 1.7 million unvaccinated and unvetted people intercepted and released into the country. Hundreds of thousands more that snuck in without detection. New caravans of thousands are heading to the border at this moment. Secret flights are sending folks to cities across the country in the middle of the night. The Vice President, appointed as the border czar is… simply AWOL. But dammit, we will investigate the border patrol riding horses. The public imagery is horrific!
  • From a foreign policy standpoint, we’ve managed to piss off the French, provoke the China/Taiwan issue and North Korea is back to launching missiles. Straight out of the gate our secretary of state attempted to lecture Chinese officials and got his ass handed to him. Speaking of China, they’re now actively posturing and provoking militarily on the sea and in the air.
  • Crime and murder are at all time highs across the country. Meanwhile the attorney general appears to be more concerned with parents attending school board meetings.

In times past, any one of those issues would be enough to hamstring a president for the duration of their term. All of this and we’re not even a year into this administration. The growing list of crises is causing actual damage, with no relief in sight. There doesn’t appear to be anyone in the administration even attempting to get out in front of any of this. All efforts appear to be solely on getting the two, five, seven, ten trillion (I’ve lost track of what it is now) in new spending passed. Because printing new trillions of dollars during inflation/stagflation is clearly sound economic policy.

No offense, but I preferred the previous chaos and damage.

Radio Silence

  • As we traveled through the Trump years, there was always one constant. A never ending social media stream of negative comments, snarky one-liners, memes, linked articles, and virtue signaling over how horrible the former president and anyone associated with him was. I rarely checked Facebook because it was always an avalanche of negativity and Trump derangement syndrome (TDS) postings. It was truly toxic at times. Here’s the part I find curious. Now that Trumps out and Biden is in, I’d have thought we’d start seeing a flood of positive posts bragging about how much better, more competent, and smarter this new administration is. I was expecting a deluge of self-righteous gloating over how superior the Biden team is at handling the reigns of power. For God’s sake, we finally have a woman of color as vice president – her deft political skills should be trumpeted at every opportunity! But… nothing. Complete radio silence. I don’t think I’ve seen a single post praising anything the Biden administration has done from my friends on the left. I find it puzzling. Where is the vigorous defense and support of Biden from the left-leaning members of the public? Y’all were screeching like scalded cats for four plus years at the mere mention of the bad orange man. Why the sudden lack of interest in politics? It’s an interesting phenomenon. I will admit, I find it refreshing to not be bombarded with TDS every time I open up Facebook. It’s mostly returned to what I think it’s original purpose is – keeping up with day to day remote family and friend events and happenings. Oh, and never ending password phishing schemes masquerading as fun quizzes and questionnaires.
  • The last few days I’ve had the all-time worst (or at least in the top three) patient you could experience. A truly vile and horrible human being. Never ending berating, screaming at, and cursing every staff member who went in the room. Crying, manipulating, tantrums. Non stop accusations that she was being tortured, abused, and being denied her rights. At least one staff member was reduced to tears after one of her tirades. It’s overwhelmingly mentally exhausting to deal with that for twelve hours. I drove home last night wondering how someone could have turned into such a miserable person. What a waste of a life.
  • It was dumping snow a few days ago. It’s now nearly a hundred degrees. Must be due to climate change.
  • I spent way too much time this morning going through this list of lists. I was looking for a list of the Game of Thrones characters. We started re-watching the series and I’d forgotten how complex and convoluted (at times) the story lines could be. I didn’t find my list because I got side tracked by all the other lists.
  • I took a pretty good picture of a tree the other day. I’m proud of it, not because it’s anything special, but because it helped remind me that good pictures come from putting yourself in a position to take good pictures. I trudged up this hill in full motorcycle gear and crested the top only to be greeted by at least 30 school age kids on some sort of field trip. I was going to head back down since there was no way to get a picture without at least two of the kids being in the frame at any given time. For some reason, I decided to wait. I milled about and helped take pictures for several tourist couples. Suddenly, the crowd all started back down the hill. I ran over to the spot I’d been looking at and took a few pictures of the tree just as some rain started falling in the background. I had the spot to myself for about two minutes before a new crowd swarmed the hill. The storm blew out about 15 minutes later and the skies went clear. A few moments of patience (rare for me) paid off. Lesson learned.

Song of the day: B52’s – Private Idaho

Chapters In A Book

  • Have you read many really good books with only one chapter? Probably not. Those chapters serve the same purpose as scene changes in a good movie. Some are longer or shorter than others, but at some point the scene needs to change or your mind wanders and you get bored. It takes extraordinary skill to keep a long running movie scene with lots of dialog interesting. Quentin Tarantino comes to mind. Get it right and it’s brilliant. Get it wrong and it’s a 40% on rotten tomatoes. Life is pretty much like that. Hopefully you get to the end with many interesting chapters. What amazes me is how many people are afraid to turn to the next chapter. They cling to the current chapter, trying to prolong it, hoping it will remain just as good as when it started. I think the trick to being content with your life is knowing when to turn the page. Remember way back in junior high and high school? Every new event in your life was hyper exaggerated. Your clique no longer wanting to eat at the same lunch table, or having to change schools was earth shatteringly devastating. I think in part it was because at that young age you couldn’t fathom that your life will be filled with many chapters, so you desperately tried to hold on to a particular moment and pray it wouldn’t change. It’s funny how some people never evolve past that. They cling to their current chapter, prolonging the page turn until long after the dialog and scene becomes stale. Of course you don’t want to go too far the other way – life is not a race to the end. Speed reading may get you there faster, but did you really appreciate what you read? As you get older and wiser, hopefully you learn to appreciate the good and bad chapters in your life, but not dwell on them. There’s always another chapter, as long as you’re willing to turn the page.
  • Sticking with the same theme, one of my three regular readers wrote some wise words the other day about our working lives. Essentially there are three milestones in your career; the first job; course changes; and the best – ending it. Permanent summer vacation! Worth reading the full comment.
  • Last year when about 220,000 people had died from COVID-19, Joe Biden said that “anyone who’s responsible for that many deaths should not remain as president of the United States of America.” He also said that they would have a plan ready on day one to combat the virus. Well, there’s been 100,000+ deaths since he took office. Let’s see if I’m doing this right – Joe Biden is now responsible for one fifth of all Covid deaths. Sigh. The political gotcha game is tiring.
  • Speaking of political narratives, Trump said in an interview yesterday, “I said, I think you should 10,000… I definitely gave the number of 10,000 national guardsmen. I think you should have 10,000 of the national guard ready. They took that number, from what I understand, and they gave it to the people at the Capitol – which is controlled by Pelosi – and I heard they rejected it because it didn’t look good.” So if true, and Trump actually requested the national guard and Pelosi rejected it, that should be a pretty damming blow to the speaker. Unfortunately the press won’t pursue it, so there’s really no point. It’s very disheartening to constantly see how one-sided the public narrative is. For example, the same press that spent the last year fawning over their media darling Cuomo, are now being very reluctantly dragged into exposing him for the asshat he really is. The sad reality about the media is that they are only pursuing it because they have no choice after championing the #MeToo movement. Sucks when one of your own gets caught up in it. CNN posted about halfway down their home page “Cuomo says he’s ‘sorry’ for comments and agrees to independent attorney to review accusations”. Wow. There’s a blistering condemnation.
  • I’m very frustrated with technology. It’s looking like neither Android Auto or Apple Car Play support following a custom route. For example, with Google Maps or Bing Maps I can create a custom route with waypoints, markers, etc… save it as .gpx file and download it to a GPS or simply follow it via Google maps. Android Auto and Car Play only allow you to navigate to a single destination – which will always try to route you the shortest distance. This does me no good since I want to travel via byways primarily. Travel by Interstate and you’ll miss the worlds largest ball of string, the Emu museum, and all the cool ghost towns. It’s like they’ve designed navigation solely for people commuting and Uber drivers. My search for the right navigation system continues…
  • This is a hilarious HP ad from 2015. Pre Covid, working from home, Zoom meetings, custom backgrounds, etc… Could you imaging going back and telling them just how prescient they were? I’m not sure even they’d believe you.

Song of the day: Alesso – Nillionaire (Original Mix)

Let’s Go To The Timeline

  • I’ve seen episodes of NCIS and Perry Mason, so I know the importance of a timeline. But first a quick step back in history. The year was 1846 and President Polk wanted war with Mexico. Well, not necessarily war but he wanted the shipping ports of California. War was just a means to an end. The border between Texas and Mexico was highly disputed and Mexico had troops stationed in an area they believed was their territory. Polk ordered General Taylor to take his 4,000 troops and advance to the Rio Grande river. Mexico didn’t take kindly to what they saw was an invasion of their country and the inevitable conflict happened. US troops died. Polk went to congress and declared that Mexico had shed American blood on American soil. Congress and America got appropriately fired up and declared war (interestingly a young representative named Lincoln was one of the few to object. It cost him his seat in congress). My point is that what you see and your impression is very much shaped by how it’s reported. Back to the timeline. On Jan 6th I was at work all day, so my view of what happened was what I saw on the “news” shows when I got home. President Trump apparently called for his angry mob of protesters to march on the capital, resulting in the violence we saw. Trump is an evil maniac and we must impeach, invoke the 25th amendment, make sure he doesn’t have the nuclear codes, and erase all evidence he was ever in office. Maybe history will just show an asterisk like Lance Armstrong’s Tour de France wins? Is that really what happened though? That pesky timeline shows that idiots began breaching the Capital’s security 20 minutes before the end of the President’s speech. Seeing as it’s a 45 minute to hour walk from the speech location to the Capital (the area was shut down to cars), there’s no way these folks could have been inflamed by Trumps rhetoric and rushed to breach the doors. Reporters on the ground said that cell signal was non-existent, so they couldn’t have been listening either. The text of Trumps speech shows that he specifically said let’s “peaceably march” to the capital. Obviously these folks were planning to do this well before Trump said anything. You can argue that he should have known what was going to happen if he held that rally. That’s fair. The rally and speech was a dumb move on many levels. But to declare the President incited violence, is a danger, and needs to be immediately removed from office and erased from social media is beyond stupid. It’s simply the media, democrats and never-Trumpers exacting their final revenge. We certainly didn’t hold any of these officeholders and media to account when they were encouraging and celebrating protest in the street during the mostly peaceful BLM riots. Or when the Hart Senate building was occupied by Kavanagh protesters. Or when there were marches, protests, and rallies at Trump’s inauguration. The notable orator Madonna said that day that she dreamed about blowing up the White House. #notmypresident Ah, but those are woke causes. It’s different. Biden’s ironic inauguration theme is “America United”. Apparently a bunch of people on both sides didn’t get the memo. You have 75 million pissed off, angry voters. Yes, Trump should have kept his narcissistic ego in check and quietly conceded. And the left, media, and big tech should stop poking the bear. Eventually something (more) bad will happen if they don’t. And it will be everyone’s fault.
  • I got my second vaccine on Monday for the virus that must not be named. I had no issues with the first one. I had no issues on Monday with this one. Felt fine on Tuesday when I woke up. By noon, I felt like I got hit by a truck. Headache, body ache, and a serious brain fog. I still don’t feel a hundred percent this morning. Interesting the second shot invokes such a strong reaction. Worth it though. I can now run naked through the Covid ward without fear.
  • To use the irony word twice in one day… Twitter apparently has zero self awareness. Twitter’s Public Policy group posted the following: “Ahead of the Ugandan election, we’re hearing reports that Internet service providers are being ordered to block social media and messaging apps. We strongly condemn internet shutdowns – they are hugely harmful, violate basic human rights and the principles of the #OpenInternet.” Apparently deciding what speech is allowed is only moral if you’re the one doing it.
  • And speaking of the continued purge, Facebook has declared the phrase “stop the steal” as scary, banned words. They stated: “We are now removing content containing the phrase ‘stop the steal’ under our Coordinating Harm policy from Facebook and Instagram.” Well, if you don’t like it go create your own social media app. Just as long as you don’t utilize Google, Apple, or Amazon services.
  • We’ve begun the process of what Mrs Troutdog calls ‘divesting from work’. I changed my hours to part-time. I don’t know what that means yet. Honestly, I’m freaking out a little bit about this. There’s an element of guilt not working full time. The point is to start figuring out what full retirement will eventually look like for us. It’s a very strange feeling. Stay tuned.
  • If you’ve been following along at home, you’ll remember we had a sewer backup that filled our bathtub with some objectionable material. We thought it was fixed, until it wasn’t. Turns out there must be a tree root through the line somewhere catching “stuff” as it flows down. Unfortunately we can’t really do anything about it until spring as everything is covered in feet of snow. Sigh.

Song of the day: Big Audio Dynamite – E=MC2

Crack Some Heads And Lock Them Up

  • During the never ending BLM and Antifa riots this year I said on multiple occasions it was time for the police to take action. Billions of dollars lost in damages, buildings burned, business lost. 30 people killed. It’s time to start cracking some heads and locking up these assholes. And then the brief occupation of the Federal capital building happened yesterday. Do I still feel the same way? Yep. Protest is one thing. Rioting is something else. But in my inside voice I also had a different feeling about these rioters. I understand the frustration. I understand the anger. I don’t agree with what they did, but I get why they’re doing it. And then it clicked. The supporters of BLM and Antifa feel the same thing. They’re angry and feel hopeless. They feel marginalized by the system. That utter frustration makes people want to speak out, to be heard. Unfortunately with any protest, that emotion can start spilling over into riots. In every crowd there’s always a bunch of knuckleheads who are simply opportunists, ready to take advantage. Those are the folks who make the news. I agree with almost nothing BLM or Antifa stand for, but I do get the feeling of being left behind by the system. The irony (there’s that word again) is that BLM, Antifa, and the MAGA crowd are all actually fighting the same thing. An oppressive ruling class of elites who’s only goal is to enrich themselves and their donors. Regardless if you’re a minority in a poor neighborhood plagued by crime, failing schools, and zero job prospects, or a middle class blue collar worker struggling to make ends meet, it’s very hard to watch politicians pander and fawn over their political base with words and then go spend a trillion dollars on foreign aid and millions in handouts to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. But wait, you get $600! Don’t spend it all at once. While the anger from the left and right manifests itself differently, it’s fundamentally about the same thing. The system is rigged against me. The system is unfair. People don’t like when things don’t seem fair. Tucker Carlson said it best in his commentary on what happened yesterday. And this applies to this years BLM and Antifa riots as well as yesterdays ridiculousness. You can quell the riots. You can speak soft, soothing words about restoring the integrity of our democracy, bla, bla, bla. But if the ruling elites don’t start to address the underlying issues, this is going to happen again. And again. And at some point we’re not going to like the outcome. I think the ruling class underestimates the level of anger from both the left and right in this country right now.
  • I cannot emphasis strongly enough how dangerous this is – what you are allowed to think and say right now is controlled by three companies. Twitter, Google, and Facebook. Twitter shut down the Presidents account last night. Facebook announced today they are shutting the Presidents account for the next thirteen days. YouTube removes or demonetizes any video that has content that doesn’t echo the left’s talking points. I don’t care if you don’t like what the President says. Millions upon millions of people do. And a few corporations are deciding what the President of the United States can and can not say. If you agree with what these companies did simply because you don’t like the President, you’re a naïve fool. Toe the company line or you’re out. Censoring speech and ideas because you don’t like them leads us down a dark path. The antidote to what’s happening in this country is the exact opposite – we need to shine the light on everything. If you don’t first pull the curtains back and expose the roaches, you’ll never get rid of them.
  • The faux outrage and gnashing of teeth over yesterday’s events makes me want to vomit. Protests are cool as long you’re on the right side.

    AOC – “The thing that critics of activists don’t get is that they tried playing the “polite language” policy game and all it did was make them easier to ignore”. Kamala – “Protesters should not let up”. Pelosi – “I just don’t know why there aren’t uprisings all over the country. Maybe there will be”. Maxine Waters – “… you push back on them and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere”. Ayanne Pressley – “there needs to be unrest in the streets”.

    I don’t condone it on any side, but one thing is universally true. You squeeze people hard enough for long enough… and shit’s going to happen.
  • As I sit here writing this, I’m angry. I’m frustrated. I’m saddened. I’m fed up with the outrage. Part of me just wants everything to go back to the status quo so my biggest worry is should I go downhill or cross-country skiing. I don’t know if I’m going to stop blogging, write less often, or simply focus on brilliant commentary about puppy dogs and rainbows. But the overwhelming negativity on social media is getting to me and I don’t see it getting better any time soon. We’ll see.

Song of the day (repeat): Rage Against The Machine – Killing In the Name (Official Music Video)

The Delicate Art Of Zoom Cooking

  • Last night Mrs Troutdog and I participated in an on-line Zoom cooking class. It was sort of a corporate thank you gift. They sent a meal kit with all the ingredients, aprons emblazoned with the corporate logo, and a bottle of wine paired for the meal. Everyone connected on-line at the appointed hour and a celebrity chef walked us through putting our meal together. Or at least that’s how it was supposed to go. To the chef’s credit, this would be a hard forum to work in. He’s got an hour to get this done. It’s not in-person so people can’t really ask questions. Because it was real-time there was no way to go backwards if you missed a step. The chef was high energy and moved quickly. The end result was a frenetic hour of us trying to chop, stir, sauté, and mix while desperately trying to keep up. There were zesting accidents that drew blood. Literally every bowel, pan, and dish in the kitchen got pulled out at some point. We were laughing like maniacs as we just randomly threw ingredients in pans because we’d missed what he did. It ended up being pretty fun, but the kitchen looked like a war zone at the end. Good times, but I sure miss doing things in person with people.
  • Project Veritas dropped another recorded call from CNN. In it they discuss that they are not going to air the Hunter Biden emails. If you’re an honest person and have been a fan of CNN, I’d hope this at least makes you wonder what else they’re choosing not to report.
  • The great shearing event happened yesterday. To my great surprise, Mrs Troutdog said she likes my hair a little long, it just needed to not be so unruly. I feel sorry for the hairdresser trying to interpret my cutting instructions. “We’re trying to cut it today, so it will grow out correctly in a Brad Pitt look. Not Fight Club Brad Pitt, but Legends of the Fall or Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Brad Pitt. Can you do that?” She gave me a long look and said, “so do you want it above the ears or over the ears?”. Sadly, I did not come out looking like Brad Pitt.
  • While they haven’t all been Democrats, the vast majority of the “rules for thee, not for me” crowd have been. Why is that? At some point, people are going to have had enough. The randomness of the rules shutting down bars, restaurants, and boutiques, yet the Walmarts and Costcos remain open isn’t going to be tolerated forever. At some point this is going to get ugly and violent. Do these power hungry elites really want to put our police in the position of enforcing arbitrary rules on some poor schmuck who’s going to lose his business? I can’t eat at a restaurant, but I can go to Home Depot and stand in line with hoards of other people to buy tacky inflatable Santas and other Christmas crap? I hope people start pushing back soon.
  • It’s interesting how peoples perception of distance changes. We’ve got friends who just moved to our little town from LA. Previously they would have thought nothing of driving 45 minutes to go 20 miles just to do an errand. I caught him yesterday complaining that there was no easy route to get out of the neighborhood to the store (that’s two miles down the road).
  • The clock is running out for Trump. The electoral college votes on December 14. Seven business days left to make something happen. I don’t see it occurring. Do I think there was pretty significant fraud? Yep. To the level that Powell and Giuliani are claiming? Not so sure about that. Mrs Troutdog gets frustrated at me for being so pessimistic, but I think the swamp, the establishment, the deep state or whatever you want to call it, is just too entrenched. These people don’t want the status quo to change. I honestly don’t think the republican party wants to be in charge – they’d have to actually take a stand on something and that might risk their re-election chances. Much easier to run to the TV cameras and make fiery speeches, then go back and do nothing. Sorry, I’m a little cynical today.

Song of the day: X “More fun in the new world (live 1983)”

Behold, The Phat Pants

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  • That title has no meaning other than a poor attempt at being edgy and hip. But yes, this morning I had to put on the fat pants after yesterday’s ridiculous food coma. I hope you enjoyed your non-socially distanced Thanksgiving as much as I did. In reality I only show up for the mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and pie. Mission accomplished.
  • Are we still allowed to say Black Friday? I’m so confused at the rules lately. Is swarming the local Target for a $99 TV acceptable, or is that a super spreader event?
  • Who would have guessed that IKEA’s best selling item isn’t furniture? It’s meatballs. They sell 150 million a year. Say it with me… “Tha’s a-lotta meatballs”.
  • So let me get this right… Biden, who literally didn’t campaign, who only held a couple of events that had like six people in those weird crop circle things, who answered no questions from the press, is unable to utter more than a few coherent sentences without a teleprompter, who only won 16% of the counties in the country… somehow got 11 million more votes than Obama did? I get the Trump hatred, but this just doesn’t add up.
  • Twitter’s not even trying to hide it anymore. So they block retweeting and clicking on the link to the Powell Georgia and Michigan lawsuit filings. They put a “disputed election information” label on every tweet the President sends out, and they ban a PA state senator for holding a hearing on voter fraud. I’m going to keep saying it – I don’t care who you voted for, this should scare the hell out of you.
  • Russian internet videos never cease to amaze me. Flash bang Friday, what could possibly go wrong?
  • The strange history of Chuck E. Cheese.
  • The interstate highway system, drawn as a subway transit map.
  • And finally, the saga of Gerald the turkey. Worth a read.

Song of the day: Shabba Ranks “The Jam ft. KRS-One

Thankful in 2020. Are You Serious?

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  • If you’ve lost a loved one, a friend, a business, or your job this year due to the damn Wuhan Flu it’s going to be pretty hard to be thankful. Interestingly, Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving as a national holiday in the middle of the civil war. Some days it feels like we’re drifting towards another civil war. But if Lincoln could find something to be thankful for during one of the worst periods in this countries history, so can we. I urge you to take a quick look at images of Haiti, Jamaica, or the slums of India. Read through some of the world poverty statistics. In Sub-Saharan Africa 41% of the population lives on less than $1.90 a day. 9% of the worlds population still practices open defecation due lack of modern plumbing. Yeah, we’re pretty damn lucky to be living in this country. So yes, today gather your friends and family close and be thankful for the blessings we enjoy.
  • Sydney Powell’s lawsuit in Georgia did drop late yesterday. I have to admit, some pretty shocking allegations. What’s more shocking? Complete and total media silence. Crickets. You may think she’s a crackpot and these charges are tinfoil hat conspiracy theories… but how is it possible that the media seemingly universally ignores it? It’s at least worth exploring. Twitter is even blocking people from retweeting the link to the legal filing. I don’t care what party you belong to, that should scare the hell out of you.
  • I am not thankful for sweet potato casserole. That stuff is an abomination and has no place on the table. And no, adding marshmallows to camouflage it isn’t going to fool me.
  • I love my dog. Mrs Troutdog’s friend had to put hers down a day ago and, well, I just have a hard time thinking about it. My Instagram page is almost entirely pics of my hound. There’s no point to this other than I love my dog.
  • It’s time for LA restaurants to rise up en masse against their mayor. The county public health director has a B.A. in community studies and a PhD in Social Welfare. I’m unclear on how that qualifies you to destroy business and jobs? Because science, you know.
  • If you haven’t seen Charles Barkley’s golf swing, please behold. Even if you don’t know who he is or like golf. How did such a talented athlete go so wrong?

Song of the day: Rage Against The Machine “Killing in the Name (from The Battle Of Mexico City)

Is That A Key Fob In Your Pocket, Or Are You Just Glad To See Me?

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  • I have a small rant. Ok, I rant about a lot of things, but this time I mean it. What is it with the giant car key fobs that weigh like two pounds? I drive an older truck and it has a normal key and a tiny little fob to do the lock/unlock thing. I can also, gasp, just use the key if I don’t want to carry the fob. My wife has a newer vehicle with the fancy keyless, pushbutton start thing. Her key fob is ginormous. Do these manufacturers not realize that normal people sometimes do things where you don’t have a huge purse or backpack to store this brick? Like going for a run, a bike ride, or in my case yesterday, cross country skiing. I clipped the massive key fob to the waist belt thing I wear (DONT call it a fanny pack) and skated off down the trail. The damn key fob was so big it kept falling out of the little pocket in the waist belt and dangling on my hip like a giant set of janitor’s keys (hint, foreshadowing). The trail conditions were a bit challenging yesterday and sure enough, my skate skis went out from under me on some boiler plate ice while going ludicrous speed and I landed directly on my hip on that damn key fob. Now, I’m not a tiny fellow so that’s a lot of weight coming down on a hard plastic brick. It was already swelling by the time I got home. This morning I have a hematoma the size of baseball on my hip. It’s time to rise up and rebel people! Just say no to gigantic key fobs!
  • A few days ago I wrote about investigating the Ct and amplification value of the Covid PCR tests. Sure enough, yesterday we got a call from a friend who was in the exact situation I wrote about. Son is coming home from school for Thanksgiving, had a Covid PCR test done before leaving and it came back positive. He’s completely asymptomatic, feels great. If that test used a high amplification (greater than 30) he could have contracted the virus weeks and weeks ago and is no longer contagious. He also could have gotten it a few days ago and is highly contagious. What are the parents to do? (they opted to quarantine him in his room).
  • Is today the big day? Yesterday Sydney Powell said today she’d be filing the first blockbuster, bombshell lawsuit in Georgia. Trump’s legal team also said they’ll get legislative hearings starting today in Georgia and two other states. Georgia came back and said it’s not a hearing, just an informal presentation. The two other states said this was news to them. What a shit show. One of Trump’s biggest failings has always been the lack of someone who can ensure a clear, consistent message that doesn’t contradict what everyone else is saying. Unclear why that wasn’t obvious with the level of media hostility they’ve faced. When you know the media will pounce and ridicule the slightest mistake or inconsistency, it becomes even more important to get the message right.
  • Yesterday, thirty-two people read the words I wrote. Now, in the blogging world that’s a laughable number. But since my usual number is zero, and I often ask myself why bother, that’s huge. Thank you!
  • A compilation of “If 2020 were a…” memes. Because really, 80% of my internet time is only for the memes.
  • If you didn’t like the film “The adventures of Buckaroo Banzai across the 8th dimension“, you’re dead to me.

Song of the day: Stick Figure “Weight of sound (live)”