Sunday, August 20, 2017

Say It With Me

Rule 2: Never point the gun at anything you are not willing to destroy.

Because otherwise, eventually you get to this kind of disaster.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The story of Chinese immigrants in the Mississippi delta

This is pretty interesting, particularly all the southern drawls.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Showering and Anarchy - A Brigid Guest Post

I had a little time at lunch today to do some shopping before more thunderstorms come in, picking up a few gifts on sale for upcoming birthdays and holidays.

I bought this bottle of shower gel on sale, as sort of a fun gift for my Dad, just because the name sort of cracked me up and I figured it would be good for a smile.   Anarchy.  Unleash Chaos.

Then I opened it and unleashed something.  But it wasn't chaos.

Once, when my brother was going deer hunting and  I opened up the bottle of Tinks, deer in estros scent and took a big whiff, to see what it smelled like.

I do believe most of my nose hair incinerated, my retinas briefly detached and there was a compression somewhere between C-11 and C-12 as I attempted not to throw up.

This was worse.

Thinking it was just me, I ran it past a gal friend for a test sniff  as I stopped to drop off some books I'd borrowed.  " Wow, that's horrible" she said (and some special words she learned from Scandinavian relatives)  Her retired husband then offered his nose for a test and then promptly offered me a bottle of fine scotch  to get it out of the room and bury it.

Maybe, when one of the red hazmat bins is empty. . .no, safer to bury it.

To the Anarchy-showered male in the advertising above  - trust me, unless you're one of those effeminate vampires from Twilight and tube top dress girl has a wooden stake and a big mallet handy, she's not going to be smiling on her drive home.

Scent is a deeply personal thing, and certain scents bring do bring back memories. 

Brut was beyond popular when I was growing up, one of the first to use a celebrity endorsement to persuade men that grooming wasn't for wimps. Famed heavyweight boxer Henry Cooper was the original "face" of Brut, urging men to "splash it all over" long before David Beckham had his first shave.  I think there were little machines in the bathrooms in bars you could go into with a fake ID and have something with Kahlua and the guys would go douse themselves with it or so I heard as I don't know I was at choir practice. . .

I wasn't a big fan of Brut.  But I worked at the airport after school, pumping gas, driving this humongous truck with lousy brakes that was full of flammable liquid between large pointy moving objects and Samoans racing baggage carts.  And Dad freaked out if I drove the VW Bug on the freeway.

So I smelled like kerosene, which sort of canceled out the Brut smell.  Besides, I was holding out for my grade school girl crush, Illya Kuyakin, so teenager boys in Brut didn't stand much of a chance.

Remember Hai Karate! ? My Dad had some of that and was supremely disappointed and used to tease my Mom that his bottle must have been a dud as he didn't  have to fend off any super models with karate chops like on the commercials.   I don't remember what it smelled like but I don't think he ever had to fend off Mom wearing it, though, come to think of it, once, when he put on too much, she drove a golf ball from the back yard through the back kitchen window with a Five Iron.

Dad gave that up for Old Spice which he has worn ever since. When I go home, he gives me a big hug and I can still smell it on his sweater, that "Dad" smell that's both reassurance and comfort.

Now, there's not just aftershave, there is cologne, shampoo, body washes, shampoo/body washes (and the difference is?)

Most advertise themselves to smell like "fresh glacier extinguishing a giant fores  fire full of deer in heat" or such things.

I think the perfect man natural scent would be some sort of mysterious combination of, coffee, bacon, woodsmoke, and dark beer (with a slight undertone of 20-year-old British Motor Car Wheel Bearing Grease.)
But if one has to wear an actual store bought scent, I vote for the most subtle of sandalwood (And Demeter makes this unisex fragrance called gin and tonic that's smells really good on clean skin).

But boy, are there some bad ones out there.

Russia makes some particularly vile ones though they'd be good with a twist of lime and some ice,

And there's one I can't remember the exact name of,  from a small central European country that smelled like the bottom of the sea. The place where fish poop a lot, not the Aerial the little redhead Mermaid happy place.
Pinaud Lilac Vegetal- can be used as a substitution for Tinks.  Seriously. You'll have a 12 point buck trying to climb your head as quick as you can say C'est vraiment de ta faute!

Masters Island Breeze - be careful you don't get any on your skin.

Secretions Malefiques -  the Kardashians Kat in heat.

Aqua Velva Musk - if you want to be hit on by a hairy fur trapper,  go right ahead.

Clubman - Very 80's name.  Dries down to Cat box and Mrs. Butterworth syrup.

Black Magic (various grooming products) - If  you see it?   Kill it!  Kill it with Fire!

And I'd avoid Anarchy, for now.
- Brigid

A cooking tip to help you save time


You're welcome.

Most discussion about the Civil War is retarded*

Boy, there's a lot of idiocy being spewed about the Civil War.  I'm seeing the word to "traitor" being applied to pretty much everyone who wore gray or butternut uniforms.  The history that I learned growing up (and which was the common view as recently as Ken Burns' documentary) has seemingly been dropped into the dustbin of history.

This is retarded.  To help you understand this, here is a parable:
Let me try to make the decline of history more concrete by way of an analogy. Imagine that you had fallen asleep in 2005 and stayed asleep until 2150. Further assume that when you woke up in 2150, everyone loved the Iraq War. Not just Rumsfeld-style liked it, but fucking loved it. They loved it so much, that if you dared to question the righteousness of liberating the Iraqis from bondage, you’d be considered unfit for civil conversation. Intellectuals in 2150 prove their intellectual-ness by signaling to each other they support the Iraq War more than other people. In other words, by 2150, mainstream opinion on the Iraq War would be such that Donald Rumsfeld in 2005 would – by 2150 standards – be considered only moderately pro-war. 
Regardless of what you think about the Iraq War in the present day, you’d have a pretty low opinion of history as practiced in 2150.
We have all sorts of historians today rewriting the history of that period, because Reasons.**  Color me unimpressed.


As it turns out, there are a ton of primary sources from the day that are available to us, that we can use to check today's historical narrative.  That war was a defining event for the people of the day, and like the Greatest Generation's memoirs of World War II there were many, many who wrote of their experiences in the American War of Southern Independence.***  We can use these memoirs to see just how retarded today's narrative is, if we are careful.

We want to choose quality sources, of course.  There are quite a lot that can immediately be discarded as hopelessly biased - pretty much everything from Jubal Early and the "Lost Cause" school, for example.  But how can we tell reliable sources from propaganda?

We want to look for a number of things: We'd like someone who understood history and how it is documented; a professional historian would be ideal, as he would be writing at least in part for future historians.  We'd like someone who participated directly, of course, ideally fighting against the side that he defends in his writing.  As lawyers like to say, this "admission against interest" gives a lot of credibility.  And since the claim here is that modern historians lack credibility, we want credibility uber allies in the memoirs we choose from the time.

Is there such a source?  There is.

Charles Francis Adams, Jr. was a Harvard history professor, and first President of the American Historical Association.  Grandson and Great-Grandson of Presidents, he was from that Massachusetts Adams family,  He is more properly referred to as General Charles Francis Adams, having served in the Union Army during the war.

And so to today's charge of Treason leveled against Robert E. Lee, what can we learn from General Adams?  After all, Adams ticks all the boxes in what we are looking for in a credible source from the day.

Adams wrote a book (actually the transcript of a speech he gave to the Phi Beta Kappa Society - another box for us to tick!) that is available for free download today: Shall Cromwell Have a Statue?  You can download it yourself (it's a pretty easy read), but Fosetti covered this years ago:
The essay begins by questioning whether or not England should build a statue to Oliver Cromwell.  The purpose of the essay is really to discuss whether or not the US should build a statue to Robert E. Lee.  (Please keep in mind that Mr Adams fought on the Union side against Lee). 
Adams' answer is unequivocally "yes." 
He goes through a long argument about how Lee was not a traitor.  For if we wish to call Lee a traitor, we would have to call Washington, Cromwell, William of Orange and Hampden traitors as well.  Lee was loyal to his state, which was where he believed his primary loyalty lay. 
Then Adams tries to make a distinction between Virginia's decision to secede and other Cotton States' decisions to secede.  The latter states seceded when Lincoln won the election.  Virginia did not.  Virginia believed in secession (as did everyone who ratified the Constitution, according to Mr Adams).  Virginia was willing to let the other states peacefully secede, but did not wish to secede with them.  Only after the US government tried to re-supply Sumter, an act of war against a sovereign state (i.e. South Carolina), according to the logic of Virginia and the original understanding of the Constitution, did Virginia rebel.  According to Virginia, the North had effectively changed the Constitution at that point and Virginia seceded to defend the original Constitution.  Mr Adams understands this argument but sees it as hopeless outdated and out-of-touch.  Nevertheless, he sees it as consistent.  Lee then went with his state.
You can read Fosetti's review (or better yet, Adams' book) and learn what one of the best sources of the day believed.  Or you can keep calling Lee a traitor and keep sounding like a retard.  Alas, my view of the world is so jaded lately that I suspect that I know how many people will choose.  That's why I have a tag for "Decline of the Progressive West".

* I use the term deliberately, to smoke out people more focused on use of unapproved language than on actual thoughts and meanings.

** I think there's something to the idea floated yesterday on Instapundit that as long as the South voted Democrat, historians were happy to present a different history.  Now that the South reliably votes against the Democrats, it's book burning time:
But there’s also this: “Don’t overthink this, because it’s quite simple, really. When Democrats’ national position depended on unwavering support from ‘the Solid South,’ we got lots of pro-Southern propaganda: the Lost Cause, Gone With The Wind, Disneyfied Uncle Remus, etc. As a vital Democrat constituency group, southerners, even practical neo-Confederates, were absolved of all sins as long as they stayed in line.” If the south were still a vital constituency today, Democrats would sound like Bill Clinton did in the 1990s.
*** It wasn't a Civil War because the Confederate States did not want to take over the north.  "War Between the States" is ambiguous, losing the underlying motivations.

A meditation on Charlottesville

Miguel brings it.  Awesome.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Admittedly I'm not a fan of Mr. Lincoln, but this is going too far

Lincoln Memorial vandalized by anarchists:
Authorities in the nation's capital are searching for a vandal after the Lincoln Memorial was spray painted with explicit graffiti early Tuesday. 
The National Park Service said it was working to remove the graffiti after it was discovered at about 4:30 a.m., FOX 5 DC reported.

The graffiti, which was done in red spray paint on a column, appears to say “F*** law."
Actually my take on Mr. Lincoln is that he pretty much lived the advice from the graffiti, but this is getting out of hand.



Hat tip: Chicago Boyz.

"Unhappy is the land that is in need of heroes" - Bertolt Brecht

ASM826 says that the book burnings are coming.  I can't disagree, and the sight of Nazis and communists* fighting each other in the streets has a very Weimar vibe.

That vibe isn't because of the clashes of baseball bat armed groups of opposing socialists, it's because of the paralysis of the major political parties.  The Republicans seem terrified about this and are hastening to tar everyone up to and including the Tea Party as Nazis; the Democrats - at an historically low point in their power across the Republic - are gleefully throwing gasoline on the fire.  Both parties are terribly weak, and everyone sees it.

But Nature abhors a vacuum, and the vacuum of political will is no exception.

It's not true that Voltaire said "If you want to know who rules over you, ask yourself whom you may not criticize."  But it's a true statement nonetheless.
He who controls the past controls the future.  He who controls the present controls the past.
- George Orwell, 1984
Lenin once said that everything in politics is Who, Whom?  Who rules, and whom do they rule?  A conquered people are always deprived of their history, and especially their heroes.  The statues are being removed, and so we can tell who is the victor and who is the vanquished.  But only some heroes are being removed.  Others are quite safe.


Meanwhile, the half of the country that voted for a change in last year's election is beginning to wonder if change will be allowed.  I wonder what will happen when they learn the answer.

* The idea that Nazis are "right wing" is absurd.

Using The Big Eraser

A cynical guy would think that the recent events in Charlottesville were orchestrated, with law enforcement standing aside, counter-protesters attacking protesters to provoke a response, and the inevitable outcome of lit matches and gasoline playing out.

But no matter, the Confederate memorials are coming down. A couple of years ago it was the battle flag, now it's time for the next step. All across the country, big diesel powered erasers are going to remove history.

It won't stop there, of course.

The book burning is coming.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Django Reinhardt & Stéphane Grappelli - J'attendrai

I just ran across a Jazz musician who I'd never encountered before: "Django" Reinhardt, perhaps the first significant European Jazz artist.  There's a lot about him at Infogalactic, but in addition to his musical creds, he was a Gipsy jazz musician in occupied France during the war.  The Nazis hated both gipsys (and killed boxcar loads of them) but hated jazz as well.  He survived because there were a number of Nazi officers who actually liked the music, including Luftwaffe officer Dietrich Schulz-Köhn who was known as "Doctor Jazz" (!):
However, it's Kubrick's interest in jazz-loving Nazis that represents his most fascinating unrealized war film. The book that Kubrick was handed, and one he considered adapting soon after wrapping Full Metal Jacket, was Swing Under the Nazis, published in 1985 and written by Mike Zwerin, a trombonist from Queens who had performed with Miles Davis and Eric Dolphy before turning to journalism. The officer in that Strangelovian snapshot was Dietrich Schulz-Koehn, a fanatic for "hot swing" and other variations of jazz outlawed as "jungle music" by his superiors. Schulz-Koehn published an illegal underground newsletter, euphemistically referred to as "travel letters," which flaunted his unique ability to jaunt across Western Europe and report back on the jazz scenes in cities conquered by the Fatherland. Kubrick's title for the project was derived from the pen name Schulz-Koehn published under: Dr. Jazz.



The Intarwebz are a wonderful place.

UPDATE 16 August 2017 17:28: Here's a short documentary on how Reinhardt survived the War.



Palate cleansing news

It seems like the Republic is going to Hell in a hand basket, torn asunder by totalitarian pricks on both sides.  As a ever so brief respite from that, here is the big news from Ellsworth, Maine (courtesy of childhood friend 2cents).  Warden guides wandering moose back into the woods:
ELLSWORTH — A sickly looking moose that slowed Bayside Road traffic Monday morning was found to be healthy and sent back into the woods by a game warden.
Detective Dotty Small said the moose, which looked thin and sickly, was first reported to police at 7:37 a.m. Monday. It was seen in the area of 505 Bayside Road, just south of Spindle Road.
Sure, it's not exotic and dangerous like Bison chasing tourists at Old Faithful.  It's Maine - the way Life should be*.

* Well, that's what the sign on I-95 says.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Amazon recalls unsafe solar eclipse glasses

You'll, err, shoot your eye out with those:
Amazon has "proactively" recalled solar eclipse glasses that "may not comply with industry standards" before darkness descends on the US next week, August 21. 
To directly observe its awesome power without destroying their eyes, stargazers can use special filtered glasses that meet the ISO 12312-2 safety standards. 
But the American Astronomical Society based in Washington DC has warned that some companies have been printing the ISO logo and certification label on faulty glasses and handheld viewers "made with materials that do not block enough of the Sun's ultraviolet, visible, and infrared radiation to make them truly safe". Some manufacturers were also allegedly displaying bogus test results on their websites.
The American Astronomical Society has a list of tested and certified eclipse glasses.  If you (like The Queen Of The World and I) plan on going to see the eclipse, you should double check the glasses you have.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Driving Miss Brigid - A Guest Post

We live in a 100+ year old Village in Chicagoland.  The streets are small, and most houses have tiny garages that exit to the alley. With a lot that has side yards with lots of space between we and neighbors plus a long driveway exiting to the street, we are a bit unusual (we think the original owner bought two entire lots for the space, then added the two car garage in the 50's or 60's). A stand of 100 year old Spruces between us and the southern neighbors is nice, and the retired Veteran neighbor to our north also bought two lots and added a driveway, so we have some space., unusual for this area.

The problem is, people don't consider that we have to get OUT of that driveway to a very narrow street. After the giant four door 4 x 4 truck and I moved in after getting transferred to our office here, there were a couple of mornings I had to wait until the neighbors that park on the street left to get out. The house across and one down had been a  multi unit rental (basement, first floor, and second floor) after the previous single owner retired and moved, putting it up for sale.  There were several parties living there with multiple vehicles. There's plenty of open space further down, but that entails driving further, even if it's not any further away from their door. I made sure everyone got homemade baked goods, an introduction to the bat truck and an explanation as to how much space I need to get out without whacking their vehicles.  Other than having to sometimes put out cones when someone had a family member or sleepover date visiting on a weekend, everyone had been awesome.
But that house across and one door down has new owners - according to neighbors that had met them, a family who is going to live in it with the exception of the tiny upstairs dormer rental that a couple of their college age kids will occupy, with multiple cars, including a new Ford truck that likely will NOT fit in their little garage.  With several cars there as their extended family helps get the house ready for final move in, some spending the night, it's been a bit crowded getting out.

Yesterday, rather than consider the thought of going through THAT learning curve again and having to use leave because I am late to work - when I came home and the new owner and what looked like (from the resemblance) either adult sons or little brothers were standing outside waiting for a contractor (since it's been a rental, I'm sure there's a bit of work before it's move in ready) - I HAD A PLAN!
They spot cute redhead in big, shiny black truck and all hold their stomachs in, smile and give a friendly "hello new neighbor" wave.  I waved back.

I normally back in - in one fluid movement, as it makes it easier to get out in the a.m. Having been a jet pilot for many years, I can usually back that truck in very quickly and very efficiently, in one try (unlike the Reno airport in the snowy/icy winter where you just use differential power to SLIDE into the gate and hope you get it right).

Yesterday, while they all looked on, I deliberately took about 4 wide tries at it, less than gently stomping on the brakes, and on the last one deliberately taking the truck THROUGH the lawn (that will buff out) and intentionally almost hitting one of the spruce trees, before finally, getting the truck backed in with a screech of brakes.

Today, all the new neighbor's vehicles and those of their family were parked WELL down the street, away from my driveway.

My work here is done.

So who thinks that the climate data is bad?

Besides me, of course?  The National Academy of Sciences does, too:
In 1999, the National Academy of Sciences, the research arm of the National Research Council, released a study expressing concern about the accuracy of the data used in the debate over climate change. They said there are,
“Deficiencies in the accuracy, quality and continuity of the records,” that “place serious limitations on the confidence that can be placed in the research results.” 
This is huge - if you can't trust the data, you can't trust the results.  The science is settled?  Orlly?