Fuzzy little things that I find interesting.

Political musings from someone who thinks the S-D curve is more important to politics than politicians.

Thinking of visiting Australia.

And now I’m trying to sort out the logistics of visiting a place so large.

So of course we’re probably going to fly in to Sydney, which is a city of roughly 5.5 million people. Now I’m not a fan of big cities; of course we’ll spend some time in Sydney (because after such a long plane flight I kinda don’t want to go anywhere for a day or two), but I’m a big fan of seeing the small towns and villages.

But the logistics is… interesting.

See, if you superimpose an image of Australia onto the United States:


Sydney is roughly where Orlando, Florida is located.

One web site lists the time it takes to drive between different cities, and even two cities that seem on the map to be “on top of each other” (Sydney and Canberra) is roughly 4 hours. Sydney to Melbourne is 9 hours, and that’s just a straight line haul assuming no stops or sight seeing along the way.

By way of contrast, 9 hours is how long it takes to drive from Barcelona, Spain to Genoa, Italy–passing through the length of the French Riviera and half of the Italian Riviera, as well as part of the Spanish Costa Brava.

Distances in Australia are larger than you think.

The Great Barrier Reef? A 20 hour drive–roughly where Toronto, Canada is located in the map above. Visit the Quokka in Perth? A 40 hour drive–roughly in northern Baja California. And that’s 40 hours with no stops.


(Who doesn’t want to visit with the Quokka?)

So I suspect we’re going to pick a spot to fly to outside Sydney and fly there for the second half of the vacation. Even if it’s just Melbourne, I think I’d rather fly than drive, unless there is stuff to see along the way.

We’ll figure out the logistics, I’m sure. But Australia, you’re huge.

And I’m saying that as an American who is used to telling Europeans that no, you can’t just hop in a car in Chicago and pop on down to Los Angeles in an afternoon.

If Russia bought Trump the Presidency, they bought a pig in a poke.

Trump’s Renewed Russia Sanctions Look A Lot Like Obama’s

The sanctions target 38 new individuals and organizations U.S. officials say are responsible for tightening the Kremlin’s grip over eastern Ukraine as Washington and its European allies push for a diplomatic solution to the country’s three year-long conflict. They’re designed to “maintain pressure on Russia to work toward a diplomatic solution,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement on Tuesday.

The whole “Trump is actively working with Russia to win the election” meme started with an off-hand comment made by Trump about Hillary Clinton’s e-mail leaks and the missing e-mails.

When reports came out that Hillary Clinton had deleted a series of 30,000 e-mails on a server which many believed had already been compromised by the Russians (thus, inadvertently feeding sensitive data to the Russians), Donald Trump quipped “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

It was clear in context he was referring to the fact that Russia already had the e-mails Clinton claimed were lost.

But from that off-hand comment (intended to make light of the fact that Russia had been able to tap into Clinton’s private e-mail server and steal U.S. secrets), the Democrats have launched an entire industry within the Federal Government seeking to find some supposed link between Russia and Trump.

I suspect that President Trump is engaged in a rope-a-dope strategy: permitting the Press and the Democrats and a special prosecutor to continue to spin their wheels salivating at the prospect of a Trump/Russian tie (even going so far as not to release the details of his IRS filings in the same way President Obama was slow to release the details of his birth certificate) in order to allow the Democrats and the Press (but I repeat myself) to expend a tremendous amount of energy over nothing.

Think of it. Now that the special prosecutor has found no evidence of ties they’ve gone on a fishing expedition through Trump’s financial records, and start investigating Trump’s relatives. And you know damned good and well at some point some of those records will leak.

And each time the Press and the Democrats salivate at the possibility of a Trump impeachment–treating impeachment as if it were a political question rather than a legal one–they look even more unhinged. And unlike other Presidents who would rather lose gracefully than win dirty, Trump just doesn’t care.

Which is why Republicans voted for him.

This strategy of going after Trump (and looking like a bunch of unhinged idiots in the process) hasn’t exactly helped. In the special elections in Georgia and South Carolina–both seen as an opportunity for Democrats to repudiate Trump–didn’t go as well for Democrats as hoped. Both in Georgia and South Carolina, the anti-Trump sentiment Democrats were hoping to capitalize on failed to materialize.

In Aesop’s fable The Boy Who Cried Wolf, over time, after having the boy cry “wolf, wolf!” repeatedly when there was no wolf–the villagers grew to ignore the boy.

In some ways what we’re seeing amongst the Press is the same thing: we’ve been reminded for more than a generation that Bush is Hitler, that various GOP members are racist, sexist hate mongers–and if left to their devices the GOP would lead to the nightmarish destruction of the country. This charge goes back years and years and years and years.

And at some point the “blah blah blah blah” just becomes background noise.

Remember: at the end of Aesop’s fable, a real wolf shows up, the villagers ignore the cry, and the boy is eaten.

The lesson: if you cash out the trust people have in you in order to advocate your own agenda–eventually you run out of trust, and people will ignore you. Even in the face of an honest-to-God disaster.

Just think of the LGBTQIA protesters as Democrat shock troops and you won’t be far off.

Q&A With The ‘Sassy’ Teacher Of The Year About That Fan And Going Viral

What was President Trump’s reaction to the fan? Did he say anything?

Oh, he loved it! I popped it open when I walked into the office because I’m a very sassy person. And [President] Trump complimented it right away. He said, “I love the fan!” And he told me I had great style. Then, when I was ushered in for my private photo with the president and Melania [Trump] I was told I should put it away. So I just folded it up and held it at my side. But when it came time for the photo, I just asked the president, “Do you mind if I use the fan for the photo?” He said, “Absolutely go for it.” So I popped my fan and did my pose.

Making policy is like making sausage: you really really don’t want to know what goes into it.

But on a personal level it’s pretty clear that President Donald Trump is the most pro-gay President we have had since James Buchanan, the 15th President, a life-long bachelor who lived with his Vice President for more than a decade prior to being President. (The rumor was President Buchanan was gay, with Andrew Jackson referring to him and his “partner” as “Miss Nancy and Aunt Fancy”)

So all the attacks by the LGBTQIA community against a “homophobic Donald Trump” is bullshit concocted in order to make the gay community–who, now that gay marriage has been legalized has little to galvanize them nationally except fear–vote Democrat.

Posting this article for one–and only one–reason: to comment on the blatant fucking stupidity behind the underlying assumption made in this article.

Impeaching Trump is a Heavy Lift

Suppose most Americans were to conclude that President Trump is unfit for office. How long would it take to remove him? If President Nixon’s example provides any guidance, the answer is: a long time—if ever.

Consider the first chart, which shows Nixon’s approval ratings throughout his truncated second term, and also Trump’s approval ratings so far. (All of the approval numbers cited here are from Gallup’s Presidential Job Approval Center.) Nixon’s second-term approval started strong, in the high sixties, but plummeted as Watergate revelations emerged. By the time the Senate Watergate hearings began, in May of 1973, his ratings were under 50 percent. By the time of the Saturday Night Massacre, in October of 1973, his approval was mired in the mid-twenties, never to recover.

Do you see the incredibly fucking stupid assumption underlying this article yet?

Do you need a hint? (Try Article II, Section 4 and Article I, Section 3 of the United States Constitution.)

The absolutely fucking stupid assumption behind the article I liked to is this:

It is treating impeachment as a political question, rather than as a legal one.

You simply cannot impeach a sitting President because you don’t like him.

And that’s the underlying assumption behind this article: it is treating impeachment as if it were simply a matter of gaining enough Democratic seats in the Senate.

What frightens the holy mother-fucking hell out of me is that many Democrats see it as simply a matter of gaining enough votes in the Senate–that as long as we observe the form required by the Constitution, we don’t have to worry about the law.

As if we’re now a nation of men, rather than a nation of laws.

When this happens, buy a gun and some ammo. Because culture, codes and legal rights no longer protect you. All that protects you is the ability to blow someone else’s brains all over the wall before they do the same to you.

Remember: free market competition does not mean making the lives of large corporations cozy and comfortable. That’s called “oligarchy”–and has nothing to do with free markets.

Wall Street Still Annoyed That Competition Forced Wireless Carriers To Bring Back Unlimited Data Plans

Ahhh, poor babies! Being forced to produce a better product for a lower price so you can retain customers, because if you don’t, others will.

Cry me a fucking river.

Remember: minimum wage makes it illegal to hire people who aren’t worth minimum wage.

Restaurant die-off is first course of California’s $15 minimum wage

Consider San Francisco, an early adopter of the $15 wage. It’s now experiencing a restaurant die-off, minting jobless hash-slingers, cashiers, busboys, scullery engineers and line cooks as they get pink-slipped in increasing numbers. And the wage there hasn’t yet hit $15.

As the East Bay Times reported in January, at least 60 restaurants around the Bay Area had closed since September alone.

U.S. Census Bureau data show about 21 percent of workers in Bakersfield earned from $8 to $12 per hour in 2015, the most recent year for which data was available. In Fresno, 32 percent of workers were in that wage group, and in Modesto about 25 percent. Contrast that with Santa Clara County, home of Silicon Valley, which registered only 12.5 percent at that level.

The state’s diverse unemployment rates tell a similar tale. Unemployment in Bakersfield was 9.5 percent; 8.8 percent in Fresno, and Stanislaus County notched 7.9 percent. Compare that to Silicon Valley’s unemployment rate – 3.2 percent

“Part of our whole concern with (the $15 wage) is it’s a one-size-fits-all,” Rob Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable, told The Sacramento Bee last year. “Areas with double-digit unemployment, this is scaring them to death.”

We forget the utopian visions of Silicon Valley can only be supported by the gobs and gobs of cash being rained down on that tiny little region–and the rest of California simply cannot support this sort of clean, white, “Star Trek”-like vision.

Just as we forget that minimum wage–originally designed as a way to make it illegal to hire “marginal workers” such as blacks and poor whites, who were seen at the time as dragging the economy down–makes it illegal to hire someone whose work product is worth less than the minimum.

A fact forgotten by the software developers and venture capitalists and lawyers and doctors who comfortably zoom around in their Mercedes and BMWs from their air-conditioned condos and houses with carefully manicured lawns to their artfully sculpted office compounds, untouched by the world around them.

There are limits to the First Amendment. They’re just not where you think they are.

Woman Accused Of Telling Her Boyfriend to Commit Suicide Via Text Found Guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter

The limits are not saying things that are hateful. They’re not even saying things that you think should qualify as “hate speech.”

No; the limits of free speech come when someone says something that causes someone else to do something harmful.

And in a way, this is no difference than claiming free speech rights for saying “Could you go shoot my wife? Thanks in advance.”

On July 20, 2014, 18-year-old Conrad Roy killed himself by carbon monoxide poisoning. He had a long history of mental health issues; he had attempted suicide prior to his final attempt. Prior to succumbing to a loss of oxygen, he got scared and left the truck. However, he had been texting his girlfriend, Michelle Carter, throughout the process. After telling Carter that he was scared, Carter told him, “get back in.”

Amazon buying Whole Foods.

Amazon is buying Whole Foods. More information:

Amazon said Friday it plans to acquire Whole Foods Market for $42 a share, in a deal valued at $13.7 billion.

Whole Foods’ John Mackey will remain CEO of the grocery store chain after the deal closes, and the store will continue to operate under the Whole Foods brand.

Amazon’s offer represents a 27 percent premium to Whole Foods’ closing price on Thursday. The deal is expected to close in the second half year.

“This partnership presents an opportunity to maximize value for Whole Foods Market’s shareholders, while at the same time extending our mission and bringing the highest quality, experience, convenience and innovation to our customers,” Mackey said in a statement.

What the fuck is wrong with the Left?

Consequences, Part Whatever

… Today, I’m pointing the finger directly at those who have said that while they don’t agree with what the shooter did, those he targeted brought it on themselves. My only response to that is to say, “What the fuck?”

Many of those who I’ve seen saying Congressman Scalise deserved to be shot because of his support of the President are the same ones who decried the attack on Gabrielle Giffords at the top of their lungs. They claim the Republicans brought this on themselves because they are trying to dismantle the Affordable Care Act or because they are homophobic or any number of other accusations.

As someone noted on Twitter, in a few years we’ll be talking about that day when a Trump supporter opened fire on a bunch of Democrats at a baseball field.

Because fuck reality, the left wing narrative must be worshipped.

It’s fucking sick.

It’s amazing how much has changed.

It used to be if you wanted a portable map that goes in your car with street map data, you had to buy a separate device for around $300, and map updates cost a fortune.

Today, if you have an iPhone, you can download a free app, and for around $200 you can download maps for North America, Europe and Australia–and have free map updates for life.