Well, hey, look where we’re at.
Let me step out for 22 minutes and before I get back it’ll be next Friday, guaranteed.
Fun day so far. Woke up to a spontaneously bricked cell phone, a bunch of power lines that power the light rail line I use to get to work spontaneously fell down last night despite no wind, rain or inclement weather at all, which caused major havoc, several issues at the job that should be small are at or near critical mass, and in all the hoopla I forgot to grab my lunch bag out of the fridge this morning.
But fuck it, it’s Friday.
Beers are chilling as we speak, and I expect the wife will have one in a glass in my hand before I even have a chance to sit down upon my return home.
That’s life, friends.
That’s all it is.
Not much on the weekend to write home about, which is a good thing. A great thing. UCLA’s Spring Game is tomorrow morning at the Rose Bowl, and since it’s free I’ll be there. Also, shopping for a new phone, I guess, even though I really don’t want one.
I don’t care to keep in touch with anyone, much less pay handsomely for a device explicitly to do so.
Sunday is finally (hopefully) getting my goddamn 55 gallon steel drum. I’ve found a couple of different leads, but I’m doing quite a bit of due diligence to ensure I get one that’s unlined and open lid.
Have a great weekend and get ’em in.
The Toughest Street In Town
Black Rose: A Rock Legend
Vertigo Records | 1979
“And that better worry them, for the coastal elites are uniquely unsuited to a world where force rules instead of law. The Serbs were, at least, a warrior people. The soft boys and girls who brought us helicopter parenting, “trigger warnings” and coffee cups with diversity slogans are not. I know the endgame of discarding the rule of law for short-term advantage because I stood in its ruins. Liberals think this free society just sort of happened, that they can poke and tear at its fabric and things will just go on as before. But they won’t. So at the end of the day, if you want a society governed by the rule of force, you better pray that you’re on the side with the guns and those who know how to use them.”
— Kurt Schlichter, Liberals May Regret Their New Rules (5 APRIL 2015)
Just a quick grab-bag of stories, picked nearly at random, that illustrate the state of the world to the precise minute you happen to be reading, underscoring just how desperately they want you to go away, quietly, and never come back:
Black Lives Matter – Data Says So And Everything | Washington Times
Based on that data, Mr. Moskos reported that roughly 49 percent of those killed by officers from May 2013 to April 2015 were white, while 30 percent were black. He also found that 19 percent were Hispanic and 2 percent were Asian and other races … Adjusted to take into account the racial breakdown of the U.S. population, he said black men are 3.5 times more likely to be killed by police than white men. But also adjusted to take into account the racial breakdown in violent crime, the data actually show that police are less likely to kill black suspects than white ones. “If one adjusts for the racial disparity in the homicide rate or the rate at which police are feloniously killed, whites are actually more likely to be killed by police than blacks,” said Mr. Moskos, a former Baltimore cop and author of the book “Cop in the Hood.”
Writing The Ship Of Income Inequality, One Putrid Novel At A Time | Independent UK
The research, commissioned by The Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society, found the top 5 per cent of writers earned close to half of all the income received by professional authors in 2013. The median income for professional writers is just £10,432, less than the minimum wage. Technical and academic writers are among the worst paid. The report, compiled by Queen Mary, University of London, concluded: “There is a high concentration of earnings in a handful of successful writers whereas most do not earn much at all.” Nicola Solomon, chief executive of the Society of Authors, said: “While it’s always been a profession where the biggest authors earn disproportionately more, what’s concerning to see is that the inequality is getting wider.”
Japan Learns This Sucker Is Nuclear | Zero Hedge
A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police Department said an official from the prime minister’s office found the four-propeller drone, which was about half a meter wide and equipped with what appeared to be a small camera and a plastic container. She declined to comment on the container’s contents … Later Wednesday, a police official said that trace levels of radioactive cesium were found near the device.
Every Once In A While, The Law Is Upheld | San Jose Mercury News
In a ruling with major implications for California’s water conservation efforts during the historic drought, a state appeals court on Monday ruled that a tiered water rate structure used by the city of San Juan Capistrano to encourage saving was unconstitutional … But the 4th District Court of Appeal struck down San Juan Capistrano’s fee plan, saying it violated voter-approved Proposition 218, which prohibits government agencies from charging more for a service than it costs to provide it. The stakes are high because at least two-thirds of California water providers, including many in the Bay Area, use some form of the tiered rate system. Gov. Jerry Brown immediately lashed out at the decision, saying it puts “a straitjacket on local government at a time when maximum flexibility is needed. My policy is and will continue to be: Employ every method possible to ensure water is conserved across California.
California Governor Jerry Brown (D) announced mandatory water conservation measures last week but left out the two biggest water users in the drought-stricken state: farmers and frackers. Brown’s order to cut water consumption by 25% over 2013 levels applied only to residential users. Those cuts will prove to be the proverbial drop in the bucket as 80% of the water in the state goes toward agricultural uses.
This is the way technology is being used in many workplaces: to reduce the power of humans, and employers’ dependency on them, whether by replacing, displacing or surveilling them. Many technological developments contribute to this shift in power: advanced diagnostic systems that can do medical or legal analysis; the ability to outsource labor to the lowest-paid workers, measure employee tasks to the minute and “optimize” worker schedules in a way that devastates ordinary lives. Indeed, regardless of whether unemployment has gone up or down, real wages have been stagnant or declining in the United States for decades. Most people no longer have the leverage to bargain.
So cheer the fuck up already.
This is a lot less about science and a lot more about corrupt LEO/Prosecutorial conspiracy:
The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000. Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory’s microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far, according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Innocence Project, which are assisting the government with the country’s largest post-conviction review of questioned forensic evidence.
Not only is the science unsettled in most of this, taxpayer-funded experts gleefully lie to juries about both the veracity of this unsettled science, and lie about how much that science provides a whizbang CSI-style smoking gun aimed straight at the defendant’s case.
For the fourth amendment to have any viability, DNA should no longer be allowed admissible as evidence in a court of law. For the same reason that Barack Obama and George W. Bush share fairly recent genealogical heritage, a DNA sample comprised of only four building blocks simply isn’t refined enough to provide a Silver Bullet in a prosecution’s case, and even if it were, you are supposed to have a constitutionally protected right to not incriminate yourself – that such is interpreted as verbal testimony only is one of 10,000 reasons why the Republic is gone, really gone, and there’s no getting it back.
Fuck me, it’s Friday.
Actually kind of ready for it this time around. A miserable end to an insufferable week, to be sure. If I get through the evening without doing some serious damage to my alcohol shelf, I’ll be greatly impressed.
In fact, the weekend is shaping up to be little more rubbing salt and crushed glass into sore, open wounds. From top to bottom, just a singular two-day slog through a gauntlet of social and semi-professional obligations that I simply would rather not bother with.
Such is life.
In the Week That Was, Russia helped Iran fortify their air defenses, because Fuck Israel I suppose, a math problem containing no actual math stymies the best and brightest that the Millennials have to offer, and the Hugo Awards continue to go up in flames.
Anyway, have a better weekend than I plan to, and get ’em the Hell in.
As I mentioned last week, this will be a bit of a different deal. While I wouldn’t call it “good” I will note that my buddy and I wrote this song 19 years ago — in high school — and our shitty band recorded it 17 years ago, and much to my shock and dismay, the Clintons stand poised to extend their reign well into my mid-life crisis.
Anyway, if it sounds like it was recorded in a Dumpster with the lid closed, that’s because it pretty much was — a tin shack out in the cow fields of Chino, CA, back when Chino was only dairies and a maximum-security penitentiary.
Anyway, seems fitting now that Clinton II has officially hit the campaign trail to abscond with the Cherry Blossom Throne.
The Bridges of San Bernardino County
S/R | 1997
Mario Draghi, head of the European Central Bank, had a bit of a day:
Mario Draghi has then been dramatically cut off, as a woman rushed to the front press conference repeatedly shouting “End ECB dictatorship. End ECB dictatorship”* She also threw something at the ECB chief – which looked like paper.
The reason tens of thousands of parents are sweating blood to get their child into an Ivy League university is the signaling power of that degree is widely viewed as having the near-magical ability to guarantee lifelong highly compensated employment. But the power of higher education credentials is eroding for systemic reasons.
1. Credentials of all sorts are in over-supply: there are more people holding credentials than there are jobs that require those credentials.
2. Higher education does not prepare graduates for the real world of work in the emerging economy, so the signaling value of a diploma has been lost.
3. The opportunity cost paid by those graduating from college is now more noise than signal.
4. The intrinsically ambiguous signal value of a credential cannot be substituted for real-world accreditation of real skills and working knowledge.
In essence, the failure of signaling to accredit actual skills and knowledge bases is being acknowledged by employers … The job-market value of a college degree was relatively high in the 1970s when Spence developed the Signal Model because the number of workers with college diplomas was still relatively modest (around 15% of the workforce). The most basic function of the market–supply and demand–worked in favor of what was relatively scarce–a college diploma. As a result, the assumption that the applicant had worked hard to obtain the degree was more signal than noise.
It’s all going away.
All of it.
And by all of it, I mean all of it.
Colleges, career paths, job interviews, snarky sitcoms set in
white gray-collar office spaces — everything gone.
Also a comfortable retirement, a living wage and metropolitanism as we know it — gone.
You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…
It’s Tax Day, Americans!
Fill out those totally voluntary forms doing all of Uncle Sam’s work for him with regard to whether you and yours have been paying your Fair Share.
Patriotism demands it.
But don’t worry, they’ll throw you back a trifle so it seems like you’re winning in the deal — just enough to know you’re still alive and hungry enough to keep working.
This seems weird:
The problem is that laying people off and shuttering stores two months after a celebrated wage hike initiative doesn’t inspire much confidence and could turn into a PR issue, but one thing you could do is get creative, and while we’re not plumbers, we do find it curious that five geographically distinct WalMart stores have been closed in the past week for “ongoing plumbing issues that will require extensive repairs.”
So we’re shooting just about par, then.
Not that I really watch much TV anymore anyway, except for sports, and even then much less than I used to. Almost all of my baseball I now listen to on the radio like it’s 1955, which has a certain kind of charm. As for “shows” and such, the last one left I actually enjoy is playing its Swan Song tonight.
Justified is an intricate, well-written show that in many ways works because it throws back to the tried-and-true story-telling elements of the past while presenting interesting characters doing interesting things in believable ways, without nary a preachy or social-justicy moment to be had. Based on a series of books and short stories by one of my favorite writers, Elmore Leonard, the show is simply entertaining the same way things used to be entertaining – without giving a conscious wit to whether toes might be stepped on and how severely so.
Looking at my DVR it’s fairly clear which way the winds are going – I’ve only got the one show anymore that’s about to go off the air; the wife has about 29 that are either those True Crime Docu-Shows or “reality” shows where different gaggles of upper-crusty women gossip about each other in exotic locales.
When Justified is done, it’s clear to me that there is simply nothing left worthy of my time or interest, and that’s alright.
So now that the presumptive heavyweights are “in” the race for President of the United States of America, we can call the 2016 Election Season OFFICIALLY UNDERWAY.
If you’re even half as excited as I am, well, check your pulse because you just might be dead.
That the candidates are virtually indistinguishable from each other as far as the particulars go won’t stop any of the panic-mongering on both sides of the contest, which makes me question the whole sad clown show altogether.
Another nagging question is why millionaires vie so vociferously for a position that pays worse than junior partner at most law firms – whoever wins in 2016 will blow nearly 2 billion dollars to get there – when all you hear in more mainstream sections of the Internet is that money equals influence and politicians are puppets. If this were truly so, wouldn’t the more prudent course of action for these millionaires be to simply buy the political outcomes they desire without the muss and fuss of mingling with the middle-Americans they so adamantly despise?
Of course not.
Money can buy power, but it isn’t power in its own right.
It can also buy influence, but that’s not the same as wielding influence through your own mandate.
But you sadly know all of this, even if you don’t realize that you do.
Onward, then, to the Clown Show.
I hope the retard wins.