January 14, 2021

Little Windy

Well, if one considers 116 mph winds in the mountains to be "Little Windy."

VentuSky, which is always moderately fun if you want to turn raw data into, well, art, looks like this:

Only gusting into the low 50's here. 

Good times. 

January 13, 2021

Call a Social Worker

"All of these thoughts come rushing to you," she said. "I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of the day -- and not just in a general sense but also in a very, very specific sense."

Awww, did poor widdle AOC get scared?

Bizzaro World

We've entered some strange warped reality in which I find Glenn Greenwald as the voice of reason:

If one were looking for evidence to demonstrate that these tech behemoths are, in fact, monopolies that engage in anti-competitive behavior in violation of antitrust laws, and will obliterate any attempt to compete with them in the marketplace, it would be difficult to imagine anything more compelling than how they just used their unconstrained power to utterly destroy a rising competitor.

Do, please, read the whole thing.

January 12, 2021

Free Speech, Election Integrity, Current State of Affairs, and Other Sundry Thoughts

First, take a deep breath.  

Now take another one. 

Everyone needs to take a deep breath and tap the brakes.  

Now, I want you to read this.  Here's an excerpt, but it really is worth a few minutes of your time to go RTWT.

There used to be a joke that went more or less something like this:  There's a couple thousand white supremacist militia members in the US and two thirds of them are undercover FBI agents.

And that's the second reason.  Because we actually want the scary conversations to happen in public. Driving those conversations underground doesn't make them go away. Inflamed people are still inflamed except now they are also legitimately aggrieved. 

I think this is accurate.  Later in the post, she writes:

For a current example, did constantly punishing people for questioning the November election make anyone question it less? Did slapping a "fact check" on a post so that everyone knew that bad thought was happening make anyone question the election less?  If you were in charge of making sure that distrust of the election grew larger and larger, you couldn't possibly have come up with a better plan to turn merely inflamed people into legitimately aggrieved people.

I was having a conversation with a coworker the other day, and in that conversation, I mentioned that I don't honestly KNOW if there was fraud in the election.  Perhaps there was.  There are certainly many incidents that raise the suspicion of fraud.  But anyone who tells you with absolute certainty that such allegations are 100% factual and that they did indeed change the results is lying to you.  As is anyone who says there was absolutely no fraud.  The simple, and only, fact we know is that We. Do. Not. Know.

And that's the problem.  We have an environment where we are simply asked to trust those who say they are trustworthy.  Human nature makes this difficult, and moreso when one considers that the people claiming they are trustworthy and telling the truth are the same people who stand to gain from the results.

I'm in favor of a wholesale audit of all election results.  Top to bottom, soup to nuts.  And we'd need to find a way to make such audits free from fraud themselves.  Perhaps each state picks three people at random from a pool of professional auditors.  Sorta like the Powerball numbers... A pool of 70 auditors in each state, their names are on a ping pong ball, and the morning of the election three balls are popped up the tube.  

Now, they don't get to audit their own state.  No, the state they are sent to is also chosen at random.  "Missouri, you three are heading to Vermont.  Here's your airplane boarding pass, flight is leaving in 2 hours."

In addition to the above, all auditors results/conclusions get reviewed by a second team of three from yet another state.  "Florida, your second squad is going to back-check Colorado's first string team."  

I honestly don't know how to work that.  But we have GOT to find a way to restore faith in elections.  Hell, we can do the purple thumb thing they did in Iraq.  We can get rid of same day voter registration.  We can get rid of mail in ballots except in VERY specific circumstances.  Perhaps you can only request a mail in ballot once.  The next election, you get your ass to the polls or you don't vote.  

I will admit I did a mail in ballot in 2016: I had moved from Indiana to Colorado, and due to some kerfluffle with the DMV, I wasn't able to get registered in Colorado in time.  So I mailed in my Indiana ballot.  That's a unique situation where, due to no fault of my own, I was unable to register in Colorado and go to the polls to cast my vote.  So, yeah, I can see a mail in ballot in such circumstances.  But to allow everyone to mail in every ballot every time is, in my view, the wrong way to secure the election integrity.

The end game must be valid, honest elections.  If we lose faith in that, we are done as a country.

Also, President Trump has been behaving like a spoiled child who didn't get what he wanted.  I really wish he would start behaving like an adult.  He absolutely damn well should attend the inauguration ceremony for Mr. Biden.  Not doing so is a stain on the Republican Party and makes Mr. Trump look like a petulant snowflake.  

Me, I'm just hoping that when society comes crashing down, I get taken out in the first round so I don't have to see the destruction of my country.  

January 8, 2021

Larry Correia Rant

 Copied/pasted in its entirety, from here:

I don't even like Trump, but I've spent the last four years getting screamed at by angry people for defending him, when I'm actually usually just defending basic reality.

Oh, we are so fucked. Today is nothing. It's probably going to get worse, because we're on a road that I can't see any off ramps.

Sorry, here comes a rant.

People are confused and constantly bombarded by conflicting information, some correct, some bullshit, and nobody knows what to believe because nobody trusts the people we are supposed to be able to trust. Then we have a super powerful global media complex that straight up gas lights everyone, and we're shocked the people have lost trust in information sources.

Then when people have valid concerns, they get mocked, belittled, and insulted. They get gas lighted and told what they've seen with their own eyes didn't happen, and then they're "fact checked" with things that are basically a list of excuses generated by partisans who have zero clue what they're talking about.

Repeat that daily, for literally every topic, and you get to a point where nobody trusts anybody and we have massive competing groups that can't even agree on basic pieces of relative truth anymore. And social media then rubs that in everyone's face, so we don't feel any commonality with our countrymen.

But that's basically because we are several different countries crammed into one. As a people we've got two primary philosophies with a bunch of offshoots of those two, except they are mutually exclusive and cannot exist at the same time. So instead we get a muddled mixture of nonsensical bullshit that isn't really either, but is primarily a vehicle that exists to benefit the same people who benefit from our totally untrustworthy information sources.

Then let's have a global pandemic, make everybody poorer, put them out of work, make everything they would normally do to blow off steam illegal, and once again if they express any concerns about this situation and the conflicting information presented to them, they get insulted, belittled, disparaged, and disrespected.

Then let's have riots and looting and arson and murder for months on end, where the rule of law appears to be a one way street.

Oh, and let's have a bunch of scandals with our political betters that tell everybody we have a two tiered justice system, where we're peasants, but our moral betters can do pretty much anything and get away with it.

All while our information sources obviously lie and conflict with each other and run interference for their powerful friends, but giant soulless mega corporations will straight up destroy regular mundane people if they feel like it.

And then at the very end of this shitty year, let's have a election that is insanely anomalous in a bunch of ways, but let's not actually investigate it in any meaningful manner, and instead let's just insult anybody who is concerned about it.

Because nothing bad could possibly happen from tens of millions of people believing that their votes will never matter again and the system is irreparably rigged against them in a country with billions of guns and nuclear weapons.

Whew... And that's just this year, after the last two decades of escalating tensions in a country filled with people who hate each other's fundamental beliefs.

Which brings us to now... Which is why when buildings start exploding and politicians get beheaded, I won't be in the least bit surprised.

And I'm usually the optimist. I'm seeing people I would consider boring vanilla normies, not gun culture people, not Trumpkins, not preppers, not even that political, now talking about violence and revolution like those are perfectly normal topics. Twenty years ago that was reserved for us internet gun nuts and taboo crazy talk for everyone else.

Yeah... we are basically fucked.

I'm afraid he's not wrong.

January 7, 2021

Unemployed? Say What?

Got a letter in the mail the other day from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment that listed a few things about my unemployment benefits.

Wait?  My WHAT?

Now, normally correspondence from the state comes with colored letterhead, and this was all black and white, so I thought maybe this is a scam.  Added to that was that the website ended in a dot com, rather than a dot gov or state.co.us or other similar top-level domains that would be used by a state.

"Surely not a legit mailing", I said to myself. 

Yesterday, the HR lady at the office came into my office and asked me "Have you gotten anything in the mail about unemployment insurance?  I just got a letter from CDLE asking me for details about your termination..."

I let her know what I got, she said this is probably just a clerical error, and she'd call to get it fixed.

This morning, the lady I've been dating called me... She's got the same thing.  

So, apparently there's a new identity theft thing going.  When she spoke with her HR department, they instructed her to do a few things, one of them being reporting it to the local police department.  

"Yeah, we're getting 20 or so such reports every day", they told her.

Anyway: Filed report with local police, state Department of Labor and Employment, and via IdentityTheft.gov (Feds), put a lock on my credit at all three credit bureaus, set up alerting on my bank accounts, and added another authentication layer for my retirement fund (normally, if my primary advisor is not available, I can call Edward Jones Customer Service, give them my info, and they can move investments around, buy/sell funds, etc.  As of this morning, if I do that, they'll take down the instructions but don't do anything until they contact my advisor, who will then contact me and ask me to verify the changes I want to do... How much of this stock to sell, how much of that fund to buy, etc.  Sort of a Two-Factor Authentication for my IRA.)

What a pain in the arse. 

January 6, 2021

This Is Not Good

 I do not care what side of the political spectrum you are on, this is absolutely UNACCEPTABLE

Was there fraud?  Maybe.  If there was, was it sufficient in scope to change the outcome?  Maybe.  Does any of that matter now?  No.

This is wrong.  For the last year, we've seen the Antifa-types rioting and destroying property, and opponents of such behavior rightly called them riots.  

This, too, is a riot.  And the people doing it are rioters.  

This is not good.  Not good at all.

January 1, 2021

So Long, 2020


It's an Old Lang Sign...

December 27, 2020

Well, Now...


IF this is true.... And I'll grant that that's a man sized "IF"... then damn.


December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, from me to you. 

May we have peace on Earth and goodwill toward man.