Sunday, May 16, 2021

OddJob Wins The Internet For The Day

 h/t Odd Job



That, Right There

 h/t Wes








Period.

Sunday Music: Runnin' On Empty

 


There are any number of other songs of his I like better than this one, though it's definitely a rock classic, and yes, JB is a 70s hippie anti-nuke Leftard weenie, but he's cut some damn fine songs over the years. This one is for all you folks on the Hurricane Coast feeling the pinch right now every time you try to fill up the tank.

Friday, May 14, 2021

War, Shortages, Inflation


 

What Are Ya Gonna Do, Shave My Head And Send Me To 'Nam?

 



Always

 



















Dear Baby Duck

 












In response to yesterday's meme, and one of our comments, we received this little gem:

The Peace and Quiet of the smoking graveyard.

It's EASY to destroy stuff. Low IQ Antifa and Burn Loot murder has PROVEN that point well enough.

It's easy to destroy a country when you are Overseas and your family's is safe at home. I've done enough of that during my time in Uncle Sam's Army.

It's different when it's YOUR Smoking ruin of a home with your family strewed about beaten raped and dying while YOU were away going to work, going to church, going shopping for supplies.

A single crazy with a bottle of gasoline and your home with all your preps are smoking ruin eh?

THAT'S Rwanda X Bosnia in Real Life(tm).

And some dumbasses seem to be cheering for it? No offence but if the shoe fit's its on you.

First earthy duty is defending your family. Second in my heart is how to protect those folks I think deserve protecting.

Don't think that Clown World Morale Patch will stop me from popping a cap on you if your a danger to those I choose to protect.

As Ole Ben Franklin said "A Republic IF you can keep it", we failed.

As that Beatle Song Revolution goes, "We all want to SEE the plan".

If there is anything to do besides beat our chests about how bad ass we are blah, blah, blah let me know.

We can destroy infrastructure and kill 90% PLUS of our population, or we can fight a civil war and *Still* destroy our Infrastructure and lose 90% of our population.

The Marxist Monster is an Electronic Control Freak and KNOWS we will not pull the plug on our families survival. OR if we DO they have taxpayer paid for bolt holes to arise after the screaming and flames die down. THEY are Sociopaths'.

I see a series of EMP strikes a KINDNESS of 21+ days of struggling to survive VS years of seeing people wearing gasoline soaked flaming tires like Rwanda.

Praying for wisdom

I see your point, because I'd never once considered any of that in literal decades of thinking, until you made it clear.

You mean there could be, y'know, like...actual CONSEQUENCES?!?!?

Leviathan might not like being opposed?!?!? We might get in trouble???

Well, holy shitballs!!! 

" ' Oh! We're afraid to go with you Blutto! We might get in trouble!' 
Well just kiss my ass from now on!"

But...wait. Now I can understand the wisdom of sitting on our hands and losing everything we have and everything we hold dear, because the most important thing on the planet is you, your family, your spouse, your kids, your home, your property.

FUCK those other 330,000,000 people, amirite?

(I cannot imagine how "we" ever lost a republic with that attitude prevalent.)

So, by all accounts, let's not make any fuss, because there might be a cost involved.

And, of course, we've never made any of those points far more fervently and eloquently, not any hundred times, but thank a merciful heaven someone else has dropped in to enlighten all of us.











We should all just quietly self-load onto the boxcars in an orderly manner, and pray to impotent deities to save us, because we're too afraid to use the backbones and our own biceps to save ourselves, because those weren't given to us for exactly that purpose.

That strongly worded protest? I was just kidding. Can I go home now?



















Bravo, sir. Well played.

Let us know how that one works out for you.

And do have mercy on us poor dumb bastards, by letting us know just how far up our legs and ass we should cheerfully and blissfully let the crocodile snack, before we might have your gracious permission to maybe, possibly, perhaps, begin to commence to cogitate about thinking whether or not maybe firmer measures than a strongly worded letter to the editor (never to see the light of day) might be in order.











No offence [sic] but if the shoe fit's [sic] its [sic] on you.

Look, I'm sorry. Maybe you've been asleep for 100 years or something. Maybe you fell in a cave, and hit your head, and just got out after a year lost in the labyrinth. Maybe you've been in a medical coma for a decade. I don't know.

But just to catch you up on current events: The Germans bombed Pearl Harbor last November.

An entire presidential election was stolen in plain sight, with everyone watching, and it's so obvious even Stevie Wonder could see it from orbit in space. And then they doubled down, and tried to turn a panty raid into a revolution. And then doubled down again.

The Fourth Amendment's been in tatters for all of this century, and before. They've set the First Amendment on fire for the last six months and counting. Now they're coming after the Second Amendment, and the Third Amendment is the step after that. Let me know when the penny drops for you.









That's besides generational enemies worldwide sharpening their carving knives looking at the carcass of a once-great nation, the wholesale deliberate hamstringing and then gutting of the greatest military on the planet, and the imminent collapse of the entire world economy, starting, Gentle Reader, with your own little ricebowl, and your little patch of paradise on earth.

People have been yakking lately about the totally symbolic fart-in-a-hurricane letter from a bunch of impotent pensioned-off old-fart petty generals and admirals. You might have heard something.

It's all nothing but ass gas from people eating soft food and wearing Depends. 

The letter they should have read was from Zombie Admiral Stark, piped in from 1941 via the Twilight Zone:











So maybe, stop acting like a Baby Duck, and realize that the time for pusillanimous appeasement and pants-wetting caution went up in flames waaaaaaaaaay back, and either pitch in or fall in to commence training to reverse that, or else just resolve to taste bad when they feed you to the lions.

Because for those willing to put it on the line, despite all the bad things that will precede it, the day pictured below always comes for Communism, as surely as sunrise after a long night:










No one's asking for your permission to get there.

Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way.

Grownups are talking here, and you're not contributing anything but gravel in the transmission.

Get right. Or get left.





 

 

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Truth du jour

 h/t WRSA























Keep pushing, Progtards. See how that works out for ya.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

The Indispensible Item

 


Guns are fun. But they're just tools. Sometimes lifesaving ones, but not really different from hammers or hacksaws. (The former are just effective farther away than the latter.)

Ammunition. Water. Food. Medicine. Any other consumable supplies? Those are commodities.

But something that's both a tool, and a consumable, and will get you all of the other things you could ever need, or want, is the indispensible item.

Money.

Nota bene we did not say "cash". Cash is nice, but it's not money. In fact, it's explicitly something commonly accepted by people AS IF IT WERE money, thus not money, per se.

Gold is money. Silver is money. Other precious metals (nickel, copper, platinum, etc.) can be money. US dollars (nor Euros, British pounds, Swiss francs, Japanese yen, etc.) are NOT money, and haven't been since they stopped being readily exchangeable for actual specie.

Other things (jewels, bonds, stocks) are worth money, but they aren't money either. Nobody prices gas or milk in gallons per carat, for instance.

So as you're stocking up on canned goods (both in #10 cans, and in olive drab ones), and storing water, fuel, and all sorts of consumables from pins to nails to bolts to lumber products - you are working on that, right? - make sure you're storing money. And cash. In a cache. Or ten.

[BTW? Cache? It's also pronounced cash. Not cashay. Don't sound like the prepper version of Dubbya when he talks about "nukular weapons". Cachet is a perfume. A cache is where you store stuff. They don't sound the same. Ever. Just saying.]

So part of your efforts should include adding "junk" silver (i.e. U.S. coinage prior to 1965, which is 90% silver by content), and gold (ideally in fractional ounce denominations - 1/10th oz., 1/4 oz., etc. - as coins worth $1800 and up for full ounces are a bit too concentrated for everyday items) to your stockpile(s). I made that plural, because you shouldn't keep all your nest eggs in one basket. In any sense.

And, as every devotee of Dave Ramsay knows, have a cash reserve.

Six months' gross income is a worthy goal. It gives you options, not least of which is "F**k You" money, to cope with a bad boss, a bad situation, or a bad location. Anything you can't solve with six months' cash is pretty much catastrophic levels of problem. Probably 90% of life's problems are readily solved by a six month float.

Any or all of this should be stored, safely and securely, and not in places or institutions that do not have your best interests in mind. IOW, safety deposit boxes suck. Try getting into yours after a disaster, or a bank run. Or after a tax lien. [Hint: It ain't happening. And you're therefore screwed. Possibly terminally. Think about that.]

A safety deposit box is for Grandmother's pearls, or items of personal and sentimental value, not necessarily of financial value. Anything in them can be seized, stolen, confiscated, etc., at times and means out of your knowledge or control. Thus it isn't safe in any sense. Except from you, not for you.

So your emergency cash stash should be ready to hand. It's your bugout bankroll, or most of it. Cash will likely solve most of your small problems, and still be accepted (howsoever briefly) in major disturbances to society. IOW, long enough for you to get from current home to safety, if they suddenly cease being one and the same place.

The melt value on a roll of silver dimes is currently about $100, btw. A shade under $2/@, at the moment. In 50 years, it will still be 50 pieces of 90% silver. The $100 in a crisp Benjamin will not be nearly as valuable in 50 years' time, or even in 20 years. Bet on that reality. Ignore that truth to your own financial peril. 

FTR, US$100 in gold from 20 years ago is now over US$677 in gold. Put the other way, $100 in cash now, used to be $14.75 in cash the summer before 9/11. (An ounce of gold then was about $271, and it's $1,836 right this minute, for that same ounce.) That's how much inflation has destroyed your cash, even since 2001.  Now see if you can guess why the price of everything goes up faster than your salary, and faster than Fedgov can print fiatbux, 3 shifts/day since ever. Gas at $4/gallon is frightful? It could just as easily be $27/gallon. Let that news settle in for a minute, and bathe your financial consciousness. Your savings and income is being inflated away towards Weimar/Zimbabwean rates of loss while you sit reading this. And it's only going to get worse from here on out.

Find some places you can stash small hoards of money. (Actual physical money, in your sole control. Some B.S. account where they show you a piece of paper, for gold not in your hand, is worth less than the paper and ink to make it.) And begin acquiring them, and stocking them appropriately.



Dig, Bump, Spike...











 


We return to the topic of generalization and specialization.

Because of another one from Wilder's blog. RTWT.

We'll be here when you finish.

- - -

Generalists are good. Specialists are good.

Just, please, not in the same job. (I want the guy flying my plane, for instance, to be Jimmy Stewart, not Hardy Kruger nor Richard Attenborough. Especially in Flight Of The Phoenix.)

But my point remains that Heinlein was talking out his fourth point of contact, even as he wrote that bit about "Every human being should...". And he knew it when he wrote it. It was sociologically and entomologically a load of codswallop, from start to finish.

But JW's idea about everyone rewriting it for themselves? Genius.

My riff off of this one will probably be my own Notebooks Of Lazarus long - Aesop version.

Every human being should be able to swim a river, cross a river, make a target, shell a target, storm a beach, surf a beach, comb a beach, cause bleeding, stop bleeding, make a baby, deliver a baby, feed a baby, build a boat, sink a boat, salvage a boat, build a building, tear a building down, teach a lesson, learn a lesson, make money, save money, spend money, use language, speak another language, play an instrument, shovel bullsh*t, detect bullsh*t, win an election, subvert an election, lead people, follow people, ignore people, do the math, ignore the math, start a heart, stop a heart, know what matters, when it matters, why it matters, and when nothing matters. 

Specialization is for everyone.*

But if I'm stocking a society, I'd rather have an army of people who specialize in generalization, than one of people who generalize in specialization. One looks like Renaissance men, the other looks like an army of eclectic autistic mediocrity.

And if I'm making a list of things that "Every human being should...", in order to bank the fires of civilization in darker times (which always curiously takes the form of setting fire to banks and living in the dark - weird, huh?) it wouldn't look anything like Heinlein's list. And he knew that too.

Every human being should be able to find water, store water, purify water, make fire, put out a fire, build shelter, hunt food, gather food, grow food, store food, preserve food, cook food, harm people, heal people, gather knowledge, disseminate knowledge, store knowledge, synthesize knowledge, build a city, take a city, run a farm, run a business, run a race, build a base, and propagate a race. 

Or you're going to be a historical footnote.

And as I think of it, even his list wasn't that of a generalist; it was a list of things he could specialize in.

It was nothing like a list of things "every human being should" be able to do.

I have to wonder if Heinlein knew that too, and that knowledge was his Easter Egg Of Insight towards which he was leading the reader; or if he was actually that self-unaware.

Your contributions in Comments, sil vous plait.




*(For anybody interested, yes, I've done every one of those, and more, successfully, and far more, and as an adult. As have you too, in all likelihood.)


Sunday, May 9, 2021

Sunday Music: Gotta Serve Somebody

h/t Mike

 


Dylan's return from seclusion and conversion to Christianity sparked this album, and this was the first single cut loose from it. Liked it then, love it now, and yet again, Bob's proven to have been prophetic once again, this time 40 years early: There is a Slow Train Coming, but it's going to get here, and you're gonna hafta serve somebody. You might as well put this one on endless repeat for the next few years.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Quantity Has A Quality All Its Own











Lucky you: A Monday Medical chat, days early.

Today's subject:

The average time for a minor wound to heal is a week to 10 days. If you're also burdened with poor circulation or other health problems, or it's a more severe wound, your healing time goes up to two to six weeks.

With, at minimum, daily dressing changes.

That means your needs just went to from 10-40+ dressings, per wound.

So for an uncomplicated in-and-out penetrating flesh wound (gunshot, etc.), you're looking at perhaps 80 dressings for those changes until it's healed. Maybe more.

This isn't going to cut it.














Nor will even this.














So if you're any kind of serious about long-term care, for one or more people, you're talking buying case quantities of supplies: Gauze dressings in all sizes, bandage rolls, etc., plus skin cleansers, antiseptics, ointments, and antibiotics, in order to properly treat any and all emergencies that are likely to arise.

That's not an aid kit, nor an aid bag. It's more like a medical aid closet.





















Let's be honest: you don't have to do that. Or at least, not that much.

Maybe everything will be fine, the ERs will always be open and empty, civilization will continue unhindered, and you can always get everything you need, in quantity, at affordable prices, forever (or at least until you die).

It's not like a looming global economic crisis, a pandemic, riots in the streets, or hurricanes, tornados, floods, wildfires, earthquakes, etc., are ever going to happen either, right?

And maybe they never will. I mean, just look at how wonderful everything is right now!

Then again, they just might be cause for some concern to some folks.

So along with the hardware, and the canned goods - both #10, plus olive drab - that you've loaded up on, you should probably start adding to your collection of medical items, and start thinking in terms of big 100s/500s bottles of tylenol, etc., and box and case quantities of various important items.

And in quantities sufficient to ensure repeat customers can be handled, for some goodly amount of time, if things get annoyingly but predictably bad.

Stored properly, their lifespan is measured in years to decades.

If you're not willing or able to do that, stock up on how-to manuals for Civil War era medicine and nursing. Oh, and one other thing.











Suture self.

Bonus Pro Tip:

While you're up, you might need to know the best way to do proper wound care and dressing changes.

So you might want to add a recent edition of something like this to your survival bookshelf.















About $40. Buy once, cry once. Or get an older but still recent edition, or a used one, and save a few bucks. But get one.




Ouch! That'll Leave A Mark

 h/t ASM @ Borepatch


Good on this guy from Oz for calling it like it is.

Our so-called "news reporting" on ABCNNBCBS looks like 24/7 press release tongue baths and pasteurized horsepiss by comparison (because that's what it is) with actual journalism once you see 5 minutes' worth of the genuine 86-proof article.

If Biden is alive and semi-coherent at Christmas this year, I'll be astounded.

I'm still betting on Kneepads, in the Lincoln Bedroom, with Scalia's Pillow.


[BTW, for those of you into Deep Inside Baseball:

The DemoCommunist Party (both wings: Liberal Moonbat and Anarcho-Communist Moonbat) hates Kneepads almost as much as they despise Shrillary. So before anyone makes a move on Gropey Dopey, they'll have to ease her out first. When you see a conspicuous impeachable scandal crop up out of nowhere for Kneepads, resulting in her removal and replacement with someone more palatable by TPTB, you can safely add Gropey Dopey to your next Ghoul Pool. Mirabile dictu!]

Sage Advice

 h/t Peter




















 

"Play stupid games: win stupid prizes."

Ignore this reality at your own peril.

The easiest way to "Get off the 'X'" is not to walk over and stand on it in the first place.

What happens when BLM/Antifa finds out that their ambush has become the "X" in someone else's ambush is the point where hilarity ensues.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Yes, BUT...

 h/t Wilder

















This is all John Wilder's fault.



Yes, the John Wilder. (I love that meme-joke. It still cracks me up. And God bless his parents for the set-up.)

As in, gone and written another good piece. Homework prep: RTWT. It's not that long today. (Bonus: in fairness, what it lacks in length, it makes up for with bikinis, as usual.) But there's another side to that coin - perhaps even a whole sackful of other coins - and a few other codocils, addendums, caveats, etc. etc.

---

Did you read the OP referenced?

Good.

Now we reference a quote therein, one with which many of you are familiar:

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.
Specialization is for insects. - Robert Heinlein

Classic Heinlein, from a writer who is, for any rational person, canonical, whether we're talking about Starship Troopers, Tunnel In The Sky, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, or any dozen other cherished sci-fi classics.

But let's talk turkey here:

Heinlein, in that quote, was full of sh*t. And he knew it.

The quote sounds great, sure. And we can agree with the sentiment, to any degree. Hell, we've referenced the same quote on this very blog. But it's still a load of codswallop and bullsh..., er, rose fertilizer. As we will demonstrate.

Any human being should be able to change a diaper

Okay, granted. Last I looked, no degree needed, to this day.

Plan an invasion

So, how'd that work out for the amphibious "genius" anyones from Sandhurst who planned Gallipoli? And followed it up with the Dieppe soiree? And monkey-f**ked the American plan at Sicily in WWII, very nearly snatching defeat from what could have been a decisive victory? And would have rogered Normandy, given half a chance? Turns out, anybody can not plan an invasion. The Marines had been perfecting such things for twenty years before WWII. Actually,  more like 160 years, but still. And clueless Navy newbs would have made the same hash of Guadalcanal as the Brits did at Gallipoli, had it not been for some old-breed tough bastards. It was a near thing. Did the Army learn anything? Not until they'd mucked it up a time or three themselves. Read up on how Operation Torch went in North Africa. And then Anzio. So maybe expecting people to have a wee familiarity with the concept, over years and decades, isn't something every human being is going to have time to bone up on. Majors and colonels plan invasions. Guys with from 12-30 years moving through an up-or-out promotion system, besides being weeded out rather ruthlessly by bullets, bombs, shrapnel, and various other nastiness.

Butcher a hog

Look up the life expectancy and disease rate from improperly handled and prepared pork prior to 1930 or so. We'll wait for you.

Conn a ship

Not "sail a sailboat", nor steer a stinkpot runabout on the Inland Waterway, but "conn a ship". Every human being, Lt. Heinlein (U.S. Naval Academy, class of 1918)?? Says the man with a bachelor of science from the U.S. - and the world's - premier institution of seamanship, for the greatest navy in world history, after 4 hard years graduating 20th out of 243 midshipmen. Renaissance man speak with forked tongue.

How many ships routinely go down now that there are regs governing who can conn one, compared to past times? And ask the sailors on the McCain and Fitzgerald what happens when "diversity is our strength"  retardation and shoddy watchstanding practice lets "anybody" conn a ship. And shout it loud, because Arlington cemetery is a long way off.

Design a building

Been to Pisa, Italy? Too far back in time? Okay; anybody seen what happened to the "Future Is Female" walkway at Florida International U.?

Write a sonnet

Turn your radio to any modern music station. Shakespeare it ain't. Case closed.

Balance accounts

How much is your home state in the hole financially, both now and in the near future? What's the national deficit, just this year? How about the national debt? What's the average debt load of the average American, this minute? The amount of savings held in the bank by the average person? Yet again, case closed.

Build a wall

"Texas. Maybe you've heard of it..."

Set a bone

IIRC, practicing medicine without a license has been illegal in 50 states since at least 1900, even before Heinlein was born. Just saying.

Comfort the dying

Like diapering babies, no licensure or cert required, since ever.

Take orders

Ditto.

Give orders


And if you've watched and waited behind people at the drive-thru, you already know they're not Mensa members, college graduates, or certified by anyone, not even the Florida Clown College.

Co-operate

No certification required. Common sense is another thing entirely.

Act alone

Anyone who has ever herded cats or kindergarteners knows this is no great human accomplishment. And no certification required, nor necessary.

Solve equations


No certification nor degree required to operate at this level (nor will any be attained either), but we note with some humor that it takes Ph.D.s from MIT, CalTech, etc. to achieve the first landing of an interplanetary probe not on the surface of Mars, but actually 58 feet into  it, because they couldn't remember meters per second is not the same velocity as feet per second. "Secant! Tangent! Cosine! Sine! 3.14159! Q! E! D! Gooooooo Tech!"

Analyze a problem

Most people can do that. The brighter ones actually do it well. The rest get stuck on the first four letters of that, and can't get their heads out. In any case, yet again, no certification required.

Pitch manure

Pretty sure we've had this one nailed down since before Heinlein ever wrote it down.

Program a computer

Uh huh. I bailed out of computer science my freshman year and never looked back, and haven't programmed anything since Hammurabi and Lunar Lander, in BASIC, with punch tape. Say, how's that whole "learn to code, bro" plan  been working out for the Geek Squad since the 1980s? I wouldn't know, I've been working 8 days a week, and all I know how to do is turn the damned thing on and click on the screen icons.

Cook A Tasty Meal

No degree, been doing that since I was 14, ever since Mom's "so you won't starve to death as a bachelor" lessons as a barely teen. Only need a cert to do it for money, and given the number of times I've gotten the Food Court Two-Step at  the food court, the standards for that are still too lax.

Fight efficiently

Rifle expert, first six times I tried it. AFAIK, "One shot, one kill" is about as efficient as one can get (unless folks fortuitously stand three deep in a straight line). Cert? Not required, but I did get a sheepskin from MCRD, Class of '84. And it's nothing anyone can't master any weekend with a 10/22 at an Appleseed Shoot. Given who taught plebes weapons handling at Annapolis, this is not news to Heinlein either, since NLT than 1925 A.D. or so.

Die gallantly

I live in hope.

And BTW, the average honeybee is by turns an environmental engineer, building subcontractor, security guard, obstetrician, childcare worker, reconnaissance pilot, news reporter, and agriculture worker, all in one lifespan, and all while serving as a Minuteman kamikaze pilot in the Bee National Guard for life. So even insects don't specialize, and all this was known to Heinlein then, as it is to us now.

So it's pretty clear, Heinlein knew he was talking out his own ass, fluently, even when that little ditty was still wet ink. And, to be fair, his point was that everyone should be good at all those things, not just do them. Which, looking at them all, is more a life-long bucket list than anything, because it'll take that long to check all those boxes, and some will never happen.

Gifted amateurs like Isambard K. Brunel are all well and good, for 200 years ago. We had That Guy locally, where I grew up. His name was William Mulholland. He emigrated to America from Ireland, and started out as a literal ditch-digger for the city of Los Angeles, scraping mud out of the irrigation canals that supplied the bustling metropolis of 10,000 with all the water that could be gotten from the muddy semi-annual creek known as the Los Angeles River. He was an uneducated, unlettered, self-taught civil engineer who worked his way up to chief engineer of the city from scratch, just because he could figure things out. He had worked his way up to chief engineer when he and a former L.A. mayor took a horse-and-buggy trip up the backside of the Sierra Range near the turn of the last century, and bought up land, in order to legally secure rights to water for what the city planners hoped would someday grow to 100,000 residents. Mulholland thought they were fools, and expected several millions. No points for guessing which side got that correct. He then devised a plan that no one had done, to move water uphill over several mountain ranges, hundreds of miles, in giant iron pipes and through-mountain tunnels, which, by the way, no one in the history of Ever had done before. It succeeded spectacularly, because although the water had to go uphill at times, Mulholland, despite lack of any formal surveying training or engineering pedigree, sussed out that it then went downhill even further, creating a giant siphon, and actually generated power rather than needing it, by the time the water got to L.A. It's literally half the reason L.A. ever came into existence as anything but a sleepy cow town backwater in the first place, and he figured it out, with nothing but common sense and a high school diploma, and it opened in 1913.


What undid him? That same lack of a college diploma or engineering pedigree or certifications.

He was working on another project, still large and in charge, and he placed an earthen dam in one of the canyons north of Los Angeles. What he didn't know was that the rock there was a terrible location for a dam. Which hydraulics, geology, and physics all demonstrated rather rudely one night in 1928, when the whole thing collapsed, killing at least 431 people (they've found bodies up to as recently as 1994) in the ensuing flood, ending Mulholland's career, and he died a broken man.

---

Specialization is what happens in stable societies, because that's what works. It's not bad, nor lazy. Nor inherently good. It just is.

Want to see a society where everyone can do everything? Go to any country from Trashcanistan to Shitholia, and observe their mud hut architecture, and their shit-flavored combination village well/swimming hole/washing machine/sewer. Let us know the average infant mortality and life expectancy thereabouts, and ponder the perennial question of why tsunamis and earthquakes lead to a great post-event mud hut housing boom. And why is it, do you think, that most modern cities seem to be located on a mound 50-300' deep thick, made up of the debris, garbage, and sh*t from the previous inhabitants?

Countries and societies where anyone can do anything are called primitive for a reason. This is why advanced societies brought the wheel to sub-Saharan Africa, and metal, horses, and the concept of livestock to the Americas.

Specialization and certification have been a thing since medieval guilds, a thousand years hence, exactly as fascinatingly and engrossingly laid out even in modern novels. The castles and cathedrals that awe-inspiringly stand to this day were built by master masons. The ones you don't see, because they were tried by amateurs and jackholes, aren't there.

Done right [pro-level caveat, right there] certifications and pedigrees keep the riff-raff out. Ask a generation of altar boys and scouts (referenced in JW's last post before this one) what happened when anyone could become a priest or scoutmaster. Before people like Florence Nightingale and Clara Barton turned nursing into an actual profession, it was about as reputable as acting, being composed almost entirely of good-for-nothing unmarriageable spinsters too dumb to cook and too lazy to do laundry, and washed up old syphilitic whores. (Really; you could look it up). Nowadays, with college degrees and background checks, we've almost gotten rid of all the spinsters!

I have no illusions about certifications and credentials. They have and will always be misused and abused. In 1910, anyone could buy and fly a plane. In the 1950s and '60s, passenger airplanes going down in flames was a regular occurrence. At times, multiple ones in the same week. Nowadays, with everything about the airline business from mechanics to builders to pilots to controllers vetted and regulated up the wazoo, major commercial aviation has killed nearly no one on an American carrier since 9/11. We've gone years (2009-2018) with zero deaths on major commercial carriers, while passengers and flights have expanded a thousand-fold and more over early years.

Yet, exactly as I've told hundreds to thousands of nursing students, my license or anyone else's only guarantees that on any given day, there's an 80% chance the holder won't kill someone outright through egregious stupidity or ignorance. That's all it demonstrates, and all it's meant to. The guy who graduated last in his medical school class is still called "doctor".

But the obvious psychopaths, sociopaths, idiots, and absolute morons are almost entirely weeded out. That's what specialization gets you. 

That leaves only entertainment, journalism, the practice of law, and work in government to absorb those folks, and of those, only lawyers have to jump through any hoops. For the rest, most interviews are done on kneepads or couches, which explains most of what rises to the top in those fields.

In short, we're not forcing the right occupations to jump through the right hoops.

If every entertainer, journalist, and government worker (including politicians) was required to do, say, 4 years' honorable service in an armed branch of the military (thus excluding most of the Air Farce and Notional Guard - sorry guys) and get at least a 75% Fresh rating from their peers in every unit they ever served in to be qualified, think back and see how many of the current crop of douchenozzles in those trades would instead be frothing lattes at Starbuck's, or shovelling sh*t for the local septic company, instead of picking your pockets and shilling for open communism 24/7/365.

Everyone should, indeed, not just do many things, but do them as well as the professionals, to the extent such is possible, but everyone should be a specialist at something far exceeding their general abilities. That's where the money is, that's where society advances by leaps and bounds, and that's where we are most fully ourselves. You don't have to be as good as the experts in everything, but there damned sure ought to be something you can point to, that puts you in the upper ranks, even among peers.

To not be that, is to be a mediocrity among humans, which not only ought to be criminal, it's exactly what most criminals are, and where they rank.

Don't be a mediocrity among men.

Specialization is for everyone.

FIFY, Heinlein.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Retirement Planning

 h/t WRSA


















RTWT

Make plans now to brighten up your golden years.


Bad News, Good News

 
























So solly.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Sunday Music: Weapon Of Choice

 

I'm not a Fatboy Slim fan. Christopher Walken? Another story entirely. In one of the music viedos acclaimed "Best Of All Time", the right music can give you wings. Especially at 3AM in the lobby of the Marriot. If you're Christopher Walken. Pretty good moves for a guy (at the time) of 57.



Wednesday, April 28, 2021

SeeBS

h/t Angus 








Priceless.

The only thing funnier and more appropriate would be if they inserted it, fired it, and it somehow went off, live on-air.

I'm pretty sure this guy is their network gun consultant.



Nothing To See Here Dept.

 



Tuesday, April 27, 2021

The Fox And The Grapes, And The Oscars

h/t ASM @ Borepatch

The award if We ran the Oscars any time in recent memory.

 
















For those unfamiliar with the origin of "sour grapes", a certain parable from my namesake might be in order.

Are actors self-righteous virtue-signalling hypocritical lackwits with delusions of grandeur and egos the size of Africa? Yes.

Should people with no experience at a conventional job, struggling to make ends meet on an eight-figure salary, with four trips to rehab, three failed marriages, two arrests, and a viral sex tape (in every sense of that phrase) available on the internet probably STFU, mind their own business, and not try to run everyone else's life? O hell yes.

Is their job easy? Hell no!

And BTW: Anyone who thinks actors (or anyone else) is overpaid, is quite simply a communist. And I mean that, literally. Pop off, and dare me to prove it using your economic ignorance as a negative example, at your own risk of ridicule.

I am second to none in my epicaricacy at the well-deserved tanking of ratings for the uber-woke Oscars of late. But it's possible to go beyond the solid ground of opprobrium for foolishness, and leap headfirst into the Swamp of Foolishness oneself.

Case in point:

"Well, the last thing on the face of the Earth that I would be interested in is watching a bunch of A^ patting themselves on the back, especially for being overpaid to do one of the easiest things that can be done in life."

"easiest things that can be done in life"...??

Let's see if that idea holds water...


Sing Somewhere Over The Rainbow for the class. Flawlessly. Seventeen times in a row. Then do a medley of dance performances from Top Hat to Puttin' On The Ritz, followed by a step-for-step rendition of Singin' In the Rain. While soaking wet. Then swordfight Inigo Montoya and beat him. Segue into your version of the St. Crispin's Day Speech from Henry V , followed by any 5 minutes of James Cagney's dialogue from One, Two, Three. Then give us Tom Joad's speech about a man's soul from Grapes Of Wrath, Atticus Finch's closing summation from To Kill A Mockingbird, the opening speech from Patton , twirl a big lever carbine to hail a Stagecoach, do it again while holding your horse's reins in your teeth after shouting "Fill your hand, you sonofabitch!", beat Marsala in a 7-lap race around the Roman Circus Maximus, then top it by tear-assing around San Francisco in a '70 fastback Mustang chasing a couple of mob hitmen to the death. Hold Bubba Blue in your arms as he dies, and break our hearts. Tell us about your most memorable ocean cruiseShow us - don't tell us - how your life as a poor Jewish Russian milkman would be changed if you were a wealthy man; take us to a pub for drinks with your friend the invisible 6-foot rabbit, and close up by singing a chocolatier's delight in a land of Pure Imagination.

You'll look about as silly as the mouthy brat cat-calling Babe Ruth for striking out, when the Bambino walks over to him, hands him the bat, and says "Okay, how about you try it then, kid?"

Motion pictures are the quintessentially American art form, and a national treasure, which only makes their descent into madness and lingering demise that much the worse for the entire culture.









The ratings this year deservedly look exactly like the Hindenburg going into the ground at Lakehurst one fateful day, and it couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch of jackasses. They earned the worst box office and worst ratings in history, with exactly the hubris and self-delusion your comment displayed.

But don't, in your haste to condemn their long-standing jackassery and stupidity, ever kid yourself that you or any fifty other people would, even in five lifetimes, amount to a patch on the underpants of the people that make it to the top of that pyramid. It's one of the most brutally unfair backstabbing bloodsport shankfests ever created by mankind, and the people that are and have been acknowledged masters of that craft, since ever, have more talent in the tip of their pinkies than you or I will ever have in our entire bodies if we lived to 100. The lowest paid actor you ever saw on a screen still beat out 200 people for the job, in a town where you can hit major league talent by swinging a dead cat.

The people running the business for the last couple of decades are most assuredly top-tier world-class @$$holes. And even the biggest @$$holes in that pack could act rings around you, blindfolded, hog-tied, and falling down drunk.

And the only people that know that are every person who every bought a movie ticket or popped in a disc to watch one of their performances.

Hate the @$$holishness of the @$$holes all you want; it's your inalienable right. But please, if only out of self-respect, stop kidding yourself, and quit talking out your other end.


And another thing...

Monday, April 26, 2021

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Sunday Music: I Melt With You


 Modern English's wondrous one and only hit, still going strong nearly 40 years later.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Thursday, April 22, 2021

In Case You Were Wondering

 














I'm Here.

From Phil, at Busted Knuckles. RTWT.

Truer words were never spoken.

Most of you know what you should be doing.

(I can think of about a hundred things, just off the cuff. Most of which we've covered, long since.)

Best be about it.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Sunday Music: Save It For Later

 


The (English) Beat's best-performing song, with magical riffs and a tuning mistake that drove it to being a mid-range dance hit on both sides of the pond in the day, and good enough that Pete Townshend and others have stolen it and perform it regularly as well.  Adding to its earconic status is having shown up in half a dozen movie soundtracks, holding up so well after 40 years it was included in the Marvelerse's Spiderman: Homecoming.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Sunday Music: In The Midnight Hour

 


In case 1980's Blues Brothers didn't let you know John Landis loves him some classic rhythm and blues, in 1985, John Landis hired B.B. King to do the entire soundtrack for his movie Into The Night.
It not only got us another good flick and a good soundtrack, it got us B.B. King covering pieces like this Wilson Pickett standard. And B.B. does it better. If I was Emperor For A Day, the horn section would play the instrumental bridge from 1:30 everywhere I went, and at window shattering volume, until you could feel it vibrate your skull.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Movie Review: Knives Out

 


No spoilers.

Not paying attention to kneejerk woke-till-they're-broke Hollyweird, coupled with a pandemic, means there's damned little worth a look. For years.

But the cast, and simple curiosity, led me to pick up a copy of this one the other day. It absolutely breaks the drought, but then it's easy to shine with a movie that's just a movie, rather than an agenda.

If you want a great classic whodunnit, a fun cast (including the late Christopher Plummer in one of his final film roles), and with more twists than an Italian coastal road, this flick is yours to enjoy. Daniel Craig pulls off a new sleuth (with a convincing Southern accent, but then the thoroughly English Vivien Leigh in Gone With The Wind sounded more Southern than family trees that don't fork), and the layout and reveal is first-rate.

This one was simply a thumbs-up watch.

No wokism horsecrap whatsoever, no sex, minimal gore, all story, in a pure mystery yarn the equal of anything Agatha Christie ever came up with, and great entertainment.

Hate on the freak show that is modern Hollyweird all you want. But a movie like this deserves your eyeballs. Give it a look.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Iranian Nuclear Proliferation Talks: Open For Business

How it should be handled:










Oh, wait, I forgot; it's Gropey Dopey handling things. Hang on a second:














Standard terms, of course.

¡Viva Chiquitastan!




Women In the Military Part VI

 h/t The Old Jarhead














What's that? Women can't cut it in the military most of the time? Who knew?

I mean, besides literally everyone, including every veteran since the Spanish-American War.

(REALITY) The U.S. Army, currently stuck in a quagmire over a rigorous new physical fitness test, needs to get its act together and make sure soldiers are ready for combat, say a national security expert. 
The rollout of the Army Combat Fitness Test in 2019 hit a roadblock when initial test scores showed 65% of women failed compared to 10% of men. 
The new ACFT replaced the Army's three-event Physical Fitness Test, which graded soldiers according to sex and age, but the alarming failure rate caused an uproar among Democrat lawmakers who used a 2021 Pentagon spending bill to order a halt to scoring soldiers according to the new test. A study of the test is being done by the RAND Corp. 
According to Stars and Stripes, the fitness exam is a six-event test that is patterned after the grueling CrossFit program with weights and barbells, medicine balls, kettle bells, and a 90-lb. sled to simulate dragging a wounded soldier. 
The new test, which is meant to better simulate combat, includes a "leg tuck" station that 72% of women failed when they couldn't raise their legs to their chin. 
During the phase-in period, the U.S. Marine Corps was the only branch to publicly speak out after its own testing showed female Marines were failing to keep up with males during rigorous combat simulations such as loading artillery shells and carrying a wounded Marine to safety.

And this is after they lowered the bar, by command direction, for everything women try!

Let's talk turkey: No woman has served in the US military under the same requirements as a man since the American Civil War , and not a single woman serving now or anytime in the last century has had to measure up to the same standards as men for so much as one minute of her entire military career. Now that they're being asked to do exactly that, 4/5ths of them can't even meet the basic standard.

It's time women either put up, or shut up.

Meet the exact same standards, or kick them the fuck out, where they belong. Any job a woman can do isn't something that should necessarily be a military job. Put them back in civilian service where they belong, or else end the farcical experiment, and acknowledge there's something critical they lack for combat (that would be called muscle mass), ban them from it in perpetuity, and go back to the status quo when common sense and biology ruled military decisions, instead of woke retardation.

Clerks and jerks? In the rear, with the gear? Fine, sweetheart.

Combat? Combat arms? Anything within a country mile? No way in hell. No Combat Barbie, ever. Period. 

(That means no shipboard deployment on warships either, unless they can sling 4x4s for Damage Control and carry a full hosepack up five ladders and then put out a fire, after dragging Seaman Fatty McChowhound to safety too.)

And change back to common sense quickly, before Combat Barbie wannabes get themselves and other people killed for their immutable physical shortcomings. 

And the 10% of men who can't cut it either? At a time when the military is the smallest it's been in 100 years, and should have the pick of recruits? 

Those are some douchebag recruiters who need to be re-assigned to someplace seriously shitty for an entire tour, just to drive the point home to stop signing up couch potatoes and nancy boys. Any recruiter not making poolees at least pass a PFT before they sign them up is doing it wrong. Especially for female would-be recruits.

Maybe when it turns out they can only find 10-20% of women a year in the country who can even pass the test to enlist, they'll realize what the problem is. And it ain't the test.