Rollin' Like Sisyphus

Good Music Friday

Posted in Good Music Friday by Huckleberry on September 19, 2014

Another week, another dollar.
I’m going to do these posts a little different.
And by that, I mean I’m simply going to add something to them.
In addition to the song that no one listens to, I’m going to include a BBQ recipe that no one will try.
How’s that for service?
Anyway, the sick heat wave has finally broken, it’s a cool and mild 82 degrees, and my weekend is all about hammock time.
For the song selection, I was going to go with something else until a discussion on the Facebook Dread Ilk page put this one into my head instead.

Beer Steamed Cheeseburgers

2 lbs ground chuck
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 minced garlic
1 diced onion
1 cup of strong lager

Cast iron skillet and cover – small enough to fit in your grill
Mix up the minced garlic, diced onion and ground chuck, form into hamburger patties, and let cool in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Heat up your grill to a good searing temp in the neighborhood of 300 degrees.
Place the patties directly on the grill and sear them up for about 1 minute on each side, then remove them.
Place them in the cast iron skillet, pour in the strong lager, place the skillet’s cover on the skillet, then place the skillet on the grill.
Cover the grill and let it steam up for about 5 minutes, depending on patty thickness.
Remove covers, flip the patties in the skillet, then cover with the shredded cheddar.
Replace the covers and let cook another 1 to 2 minutes.
Pull off the skillet, put the patties on a plate and serve ‘em up.
Have a great weekend and get ‘em in.

Interstate Love Song
Purple
Stone Temple Pilots
Atlantic Records | 1994

Reflections and Extrapolations

Posted in A Chronicle Of Decline by Huckleberry on September 19, 2014
Don't be surprised when moving pieces keep wanting to move.

Don’t be surprised when moving pieces keep wanting to move.

Charting the nature of this decline has proven elusive – beyond knowing that it’s coming*, how and when the bottom finally drops out is the biggest question mark in the mix. This isn’t going to be Rome, nor the Incas, Mayas, Mings or Khans. Western civilization isn’t a proper empire – notably it suffers all of the drawbacks with few of the benefits – but through its endeavors the world has never been smaller and the impact of any disruption has never been more widespread.
Simply put, there are a lot more things that can go wrong now than at any time in history, and an increasing number of ways each of those things can go wrong, affecting a wider range of other things in ways that can’t be foreseen. This is the consequence of overly refining and specializing the chains of production and distribution. When there are 39 distinct points in between you and a bag of oranges, and many of those 39 points only work in conjunction with another 26 separate operations that MUST hum along without issue, well, you have an overly complex system that’s begging to be toppled over.
If you haven’t been paying attention, history is basically one long story of things being toppled over.
The worst part about such over-complexity is that it diverts a lot of talent and treasure into supporting such a machine instead of innovating other areas of life. When everything in your house – from the pantry to the toolbox to linen closet – is entirely the product of over-complexity, you’re asking an awful lot of history to not topple you over.
Yet here we are.
While the usual suspects to begin the toppling are disease, diminishing energy, multi-party warfare, unstable currencies and accelerating Irish Democracy, one lesson that is clear as I read through the past is it’ll probably be a little bit of all of it, and a few other things we won’t see coming at all.
And it bears noting that there’s the slimmest chance we’ll be the beneficiaries of Fortune’s Gap and skate right on through without the obvious EPIC COLLAPSE that we all sense is in the offing.
Do you feel lucky?
* Yes, yes, it’s well underway, but the bureaucracy has yet to catch up on the paperwork necessary to note that.

Sovereignty In The UK

Posted in A Chronicle Of Decline by Huckleberry on September 18, 2014
Aye.

Aye.

So the votes are tallying as we speak to see if a less-perfect union can be cast by the wayside in favor of independence. While there are issues large and small that are all worth discussing in this matter, from the fractious history between kingdoms that comprise The United Kingdom of Great Britain (More or Less) to the practicality of a leach separating itself from its host, here we are. In a few hours, Scotland will either be the 31st “new” nation since WWII, or it will trundle on as the, literally, red-headed step-child of a British Empire in name only.
The end result, believe it or not, is less important to me than the many things that this vote foreshadows. If successful, Scotland’s will be the LAST sovereignty won through the ballot box for quite a while. All other existing governments will do their utmost to quell any peaceful and democratic secession effort. This, of course, only means that near-future secession efforts will forego the piddling token of “democracy” and earn it the old fashioned way.
If Scotland does indeed vote NO, though, don’t expect that to end the question at home or abroad. The Scots will get their independence eventually, either through the ballet box, through the muzzle of a gun or through the bottom of an empty wallet. The grand conceit it takes to attempt to freeze the map at 1999 and swear on a stack of UN charters that such a picture is the exemplar of human nation-state development is either insane or a clandestine conspiracy against the career prospects of cartographers.
Yet the most interesting aspect of the Scotland spectacle is the desperation on the part of the British power brokers and government officials begging the Scots to vote NO in exchange for more free shit. In terms of principle, Scotland deserves its independence if it will take it, yet in practical terms Scots in Scotland are THE tugboat pulling the rest of the UK toward the left bank of the river, and the UK elite know this. Cut the SS William Wallace loose, and the remaining territories in lesser Great Britain likely swing quickly toward the right bank, which means the Once and Future England is no good place to be a statist power broker or elite socialist. Much in the same way that US Democrats desperately need left-voting Mexicans for their future electoral security, and Republicans desperately want those same Mexicans to help balance the books once Boomers go bye-bye, the British elite use the Scots for much the same purpose.
The only important difference in that analogy, though, is this – Scotland is the home of the Scots, and their birthright to do with as they see fit. With the Mexicans, less so.
Note well, also, that even if Scotland votes YES, much like the Lisbon Treaty, somehow they’ll keep voting until they get it right, I have a feeling.

The Last Redoubt Of Our Resident Astrophysicist, Neil de Grasse Tyson

Posted in Who's On First? by Huckleberry on September 16, 2014
There's always time for pie.

There’s always time for pie.

It’s not a fun time for our Resident Astrophysicist, Neil de Grasse Tyson. In addition to not having time to “ask questions” about things, he also doesn’t apparently have time to perform any kind of research at all, choosing instead to fabricate an array of quotes, anecdotes, attributions and facts in pursuit of his “career” as a prosletizer of, as Vox Day would term it, Scientistry.
Sean Davis of the Federalist has been tracking all the corners that Tyson has been cutting so that he can cross the street and get on with it:

We’ve already established that a newspaper headline touted for years by Tyson likely doesn’t exist. We’ve also established that the exact quote he uses to bash members of Congress as being stupid also doesn’t exist. And then we established that the details within one of Tyson’s favorite anecdotes — a story of how he bravely confronted a judge about his mathematical illiteracy while serving on jury duty — seem to change every time Tyson tells the story.

So do you want to see how our Resident Astrophysicist, Neil de Grasse Tyson, fumbles everything from reading a calendar to reading the Bible?
Of course you do, because we all have time for that:

According to Tyson, in the days following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Bush uttered the phrase, “Our God is the God who named the stars.” According to Tyson, the president made that claim as a way of segregating radical Islam from religions like Christianity or Judaism.

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s story has three central claims: 1) Bush uttered that precise phrase, 2) in the days immediately after 9/11, 3) in order to distance American religion from that practiced by radical Muslims. As you have probably already guessed, every single claim is false. Every one! Then there’s Tyson’s aside that Bush’s quote was a “loose quote” of the book of Genesis. Yep, that’s false, too. Add embarrassing biblical illiteracy to Tyson’s list of accomplishments on his CV.

First off, Bush never uttered the quote attributed to him by Tyson. He did, however, include a separate but similar phrase in a February 2003 speech immediately following the Columbia space shuttle disaster. I don’t have a Ph.D. in physics, but I’m pretty sure February 2003 did not happen in the week after 9/11.

Tyson butchered the quote. He butchered the date. He butchered the context. He butchered the implication. And he butchered the biblical allusion, which was to the prophet Isaiah, not the book of Genesis (you can tell Bush was alluding to Isaiah because he explicitly said he was referencing Isaiah).

Remember, though, Neil de Grasse Tyson has a legit reason for all of this: He’s like a Shark of Science – always moving. And a Shark is equally ignorant of the fine line between research and fraud.

Good Music Friday Plus

Posted in Good Music Friday by Huckleberry on September 12, 2014

I know what you’re thinking – this is starting to be like the old days, where I didn’t post for months at a time.
Well, it may end up being that, but right now its just getting knocked off my ass on account of this None Dare Call It Ebola I’ve got here. Can’t even hardly climb a flight of stairs without hacking up a cup of lung butter.
So to get back on the horse, let’s just take a spin around existence and see what’s what.
First, speaking of ebola, it turns out I’m not the only one on the verge of hysteria about it. A doctor in the know suggests that this may be an excellent time to panic, for one simple reason:

The current Ebola virus’s hyper-evolution is unprecedented; there has been more human-to-human transmission in the past four months than most likely occurred in the last 500 to 1,000 years

This hyper-evolution, he warns, usually leads to easier communicability, such as going airborne. He then goes on to ponder the measures necessary to contain such a thing, and implies a solution that includes a lot of pre-emptive killing.
Next up, Our Simple Affirmative Action President is getting pushed into fighting an enemy he’s deeply sympathetic to, an enemy he doesn’t have any enthusiasm for engaging, yet here we are as US bombs once again rain down on exotic places such as Mosul and Tikrit. If you haven’t seen it yet, the video bringing together the past four presidents declaring their resolve to bomb Iraq into submission is illustrative mainly in the context that, before Bush I, Iraq was squarely in the Ally column on the US Foreign Policy spreadsheet.
So bombs away, then.
Moving on, the very people that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has spent that last decade courting now seek to burn his house down with him in it, because some other man punched his wife in an elevator that happened to have a camera in it. While his ouster would be fun to watch, the method in which it will happen, and the terms under which it will take place are simply another mile marker on this highway of lunatics. At least the French had the decency to use a guillotine, not a hashtag, to sate the frenzied mob.
At least we’re still batting above the Mendoza Line, so there’s that.
Have an excellent weekend, hope it’s not too cold for most of ya, or too hot for some of ya, and get ‘em in.

Simple Man
S/T
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Sounds of the South | 1973

Wherein Huckleberry Meets The Entero Virus

Posted in State Of The World by Huckleberry on September 10, 2014

Had an illness that suckerpunched me Saturday morning, and I’ve been struggling to get upright ever since.
Good lord.
I bubbled up to the surface pretty much just to see the Chargers blow an 11-point lead in two minutes of football on National Television, then some fever dreams about a man punching a woman and how he deserves to never work again, and now here I am.
Doesn’t look like I missed too much in the interim, but to be honest, these days I’m not so much interested in catching up, because nothing good ever comes of it anymore.
So if there’s anything else that happened since Saturday that’s “big” but doesn’t require me to ration my dry goods, I don’t want to know.

Good Music Friday

Posted in Good Music Friday by Huckleberry on September 5, 2014

When the world’s a mess from top to bottom, sometimes it’s best to just head out to the back deck, cold drink in tow, and think about it all only in the abstract.
The week hasn’t been kind on any front for players big and small, and if you’re wondering where you fit into that paradigm, leaning toward the “small” is always the safest bet.
Not much going on, football is in full swing, I actually have the next primer done but I need to go through it because, as it regards the vagaries of social order, I was plum drunk through the end of it.
To ensure that it reads as a primer rather than performance art, I’ll take some time to edit.

Found this to be interesting:

9 Lines In The Sand

After the devastation of World War I, and facing the specter of a new, strong German state in the 1930s, the French decided that the best offense is a good defense. Under the direction of the minister of war Andre Maginot, from 1930 through 1940 the French built a line of defensive forts and obstacles that ran from the border with Switzerland to the border with Belgium. Unfortunately, it was through Belgium that the invading Germans were able to outflank the Maginot Line, paving the way for a successful invasion of France in May 1940. This line turned out not to be such a good defense after all.

I’ll say.
Anyhow, enjoy the dwindling summer while you can, it’ll be winter soon enough. Get ‘em in and enjoy the weekend.

Olde Tyme Mem’ry
Bellingham & Philadelphia
Robert Blake & Erik Petersen
Art of the Underground | 2003

The Labor Theory Of Time, And Other Follies

Posted in A Chronicle Of Decline by Huckleberry on September 5, 2014
Honest to God, robots will be doing their jobs sooner than you think.

Honest to God, robots will be doing their jobs sooner than you think.

“All we want,” they say, “is $15 an hour!”
“We can’t,” they insist, “live off of minimum wage!”
One of the little-noticed effects of the shift to a service economy Service Economy is that the foundation of labor shifted from a focus on production to an infatuation with compensation. I suppose we can blame the communists, with their enamoration of the labor theory of value Labor Theory of Value, which states that the work you put into a thing IS that thing’s defining value, market demands be damned. The only just remuneration is one that pays you for your effort, whatever that means, rather than a share of the profit generated by the thing produced, a quantity forever at the mercy of the mystical forces of consumer demand.
The roots of pay-by-the-hour trace fairly evenly from this Marxian conceit that the sweat of your brow means more to the world than the fruit of your hands. Oddly enough, then, most workers began to treat their labor not as a means to an end, but as an end itself – 8 hours multiplied by the agreed upon wage, without regard to productivity, efficiency or market demand.
After a few generations of this, the number of separation points between a body and the product of his labor is so numerous, they may as well be two completely separate entities. We obviously no longer care about the results of our labor, simply the time we accumulate on the clock.
And serious people with impressive degrees can’t understand why it’s all crumbling down around us, but when a) nothing gets made and b) it costs too much in time and treasure to ensure that nothing will continue being made, pointing at all of the symptoms of malaise on Power Point presentation will never reveal one of the fundamental causes of that malaise.
The relationship between Man, his labor and the fruit of his labor is thoroughly corrupted, and nothing can or will save the economy The Economy until this is set right again.
And the only path to that is straight through the middle of the storm.
Winter’s coming.

Armies Without Borders

Posted in A Chronicle Of Decline by Huckleberry on September 3, 2014

Past the gates.

Past the gates.


As El Borak notes, the convention of nation-states delineated with clear borders defining specific jurisdictions is a novelty of a civilized world quickly fading into history before our very eyes. The ISIS/ISIL/IS/IL cohort is the first legit military organization without any nation-state underlying it to come on the scene in centuries, and their rise is a handy glimpse of what tomorrow may look like in a former nation-state near you.
And it isn’t just the ISIS group. Similar state-less militia groups are sweeping across the Arab world, toppling existing government structures wherever they’re found.
So of course most people watching this unfold want a response from the Civilized World, demanding a “plan” or “strategy” from the leaders of Western nations to stop this “existential” threat to a particular way of life.
The problem is, ISIS and the like aren’t causing the decline, they aren’t even contributing to it much. They are simply an inevitable symptom of an irreversible decay. If it weren’t these rabble, it’d be a different rabble.
Why?
Because governments around the globe are ripe for the toppling, and there’s good money to be had in the pursuit.
For example, ISIS, as it swept through Iraq, garnered enough in resources and material that it clears a couple million dollars US each month – which is some serious scratch when you consider that most nation-state armies are a net drain on the nation-state’s resources, rather than a direct revenue generation outfit.
So what’s to be done?
Wipe ‘em out if you a) can and b) need a reason to feel better about your own nation-state’s prospects, but understand that it will not staunch the hemorrhaging of a civilized world descending into a Hobbesian nightmare of barbarism and discord, and what rises up from those ashes will be even more difficult to topple in a handful of years.
It goes without saying that the folly of such hysterics bothered by ISIS beheading a single journalist on the other side of the planet, lamenting such an “existential” threat as that, actively encourages the very decline that precipitates the conflict through mass immigration here at home.
That’s not a strategy, it’s an emotional reaction.
As for the strategy and tactics employed by this force, someone somewhere in the recent past has effectively taught them a great deal about offensive and defensive OPS, and a cynic who vividly remembers the adamance with which Our Simple Affirmative Action President wanted to ally with this same force last year to topple the government(s) that it ultimately ended up toppling, well, if it comes out that a clandestine effort to train and equip this super force took place in the fall of 2013, I wouldn’t be shocked.
So which way do you see the winds blowing, toward the optimist or the cynic?
Yeah.

Nothing Like A Good Book To Whisk You Away

Posted in A Chronicle Of Decline by Huckleberry on September 2, 2014
Not the Reading Rainbow I remember.

Not the Reading Rainbow I remember.

So over the weekend with a holiday created by socialists, it was only fitting that news broke of an incident that eerily presages a sure-fire consequence of a socialist-styled civic order.
Don’t know how lucky you are, boy:

A 23-year-old teacher at a Cambridge, Maryland, middle school has been placed on leave and—in the words of a local news report—”taken in for an emergency medical evaluation” for publishing, under a pseudonym, a novel about a school shooting. The novelist, Patrick McLaw, an eighth-grade language-arts teacher at the Mace’s Lane Middle School, was placed on leave by the Dorchester County Board of Education, and is being investigated by the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office, according to news reports from Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The novel, by the way, is set 900 years in the future.

Well, he must have been a danger to everyone then, right?

Sheriff Phillips told the newspaper that, in addition to a K-9 sweep of the school (!), investigators also raided McLaw’s home. “The residence of the teacher in Wicomico County was searched by personnel,” Phillips said, with no weapons found. “A further check of Maryland State Police databases also proved to be negative as to any weapons registered to him.

Oh.
Well no harm, no foul, right? Case closed?

McLaw was suspended by the Dorchester County Board of Education pending an investigation and is no longer in the area. He is currently at a location known to law enforcement and does not currently have the ability to travel anywhere.

Hmm. Not officially under arrest, vague insinuations that he’s being held against his will, what could possibly be the matter with that?
A day later, and of course an official response only digs the hole deeper:

Reports circulated this weekend that a middle school teacher in Dorchester County, Md., had been placed on administrative leave over his two futuristic novels about school violence. That is not that case, authorities tell the L.A. Times. “It didn’t start with the books and it didn’t end with the books,” State’s Attorney for Wicomico County Matt Maciarello told The Times. “It’s not even a factor in what law enforcement is doing now.”

Oh?

Early last week the school board was alerted that one of its eighth grade language arts teachers at Mace’s Lane Middle School had several aliases. Police said that under those names, he wrote two fictional books about the largest school shooting in the country’s history set in the future. Now, Patrick McLaw is placed on leave. … Those books are what caught the attention of police and school board officials in Dorchester County.

I’m getting the sense something is not entirely above board here…

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