May 292015

Baltimore Get Bloody as Arrests Halt

Baltimore suffers deadliest month in 15 years as arrests plunge following Freddie Gray case.

Basically, it looks like the Baltimore PD said “screw it, they don’t want us there, we ain’t goin’ there.” Which to me seems a perfectly sensible response. As a result, the murder rate has spiked… 38 so far in May. Arrests have dropped 56 percent from the previous year.

“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” – H. L. Mencken

 Posted by at 12:51 pm
May 162015

Pretty much this whole last week I’ve been sick. Fortunately it seems to have been merely the common cold; it doesn’t seem to be progressing towards a bout of bronchitis. Still, a common cold can take it out of you. Thursday I started improving; Friday I was well enough that I decided to go see “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

My simple review: if you liked “Mad Max” or “The Road Warrior”… get on over to the theater and see “Fury Road.” This movie is *bonkers.* It’s very clearly the product of a gloriously twisted mind and a whole lot of skill, talent and effort. It was, in a word, damned entertaining.

When I got home I decided to look up the reviews. On the whole people seem to agree. But I also noticed a degree of politicization that I didn’t actually get from the movie. People on both the left and the right are yammering on about how this is a “feminist” movie. And… I don’t get it.

The short form is this (it’s a Mad Max movie… the short form is all it takes to describe the plot): Max gets caught at the beginning of the flick, and taken to “The Citadel,” which is a lone outpost with a bunch of cancer and mutation-riddled folk, living in some sort of mucked-up new and rather unfortunate civilization. While there, the gloriously named Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), a driver of a “war rig” (basically a tanker truck with a lot of mods) takes off on a run to outlying outposts. With her are four or five other women that she has liberated; they were being used as baby factories by the tyrant of the Citadel, the incredibly creepy Immortan Joe. For reasons difficult to explain, Max gets dragged along as Joe and his band of freaks give chase to get the women back. And… there ya go. An hour and a half of chasing around the Namibian desert follows, with many spectacular car crashes.

Max is… Max. The actor may have changed, but the character is much the same; he’s not wussified in any way. Imperator Furiosa is a badass, and in their travels they encounter a band of impressively badass little old ladies. This, I gather, is the source of the “feminist” yammerings. But it seems to me that if you accept the premise of the world of Mad Max, that civilization has collapsed and the environment has gone to hell due to radioactive fallout, all of these sorts of roles seem likely. When TSHTF, it’ll be the strong preying on the weak. And thus an Immortan Joe-type will rise to power in his little corner, and the idea of using the rare healthy breeding age woman for breeding purposes will likely seem to make a whole lot of sense. It won’t be a pleasant world for womenfolk. And for those women who are outside of these little clusters of “civilization,” they will either learn how to be badass, or they’ll soon find themselves victims. This, of course, will be true for men as well.

Still… here we have an opportunity for people to politicize something that’s probably not political. And so you get stuff like THIS, where people who haven’t seen the movie pronounce it liberal propaganda, and other people who haven’t seen it decide to not see it based on those pronouncements.

And so they’ll miss out on one hell of an entertaining flick, with one terribly wacko villain.


One issue I did have with the movie: the timeframe. This movie is, I gather, a reboot rather than a sequel. But Max still mentions that he once was a cop. He’s not that old, so his time as a cop could not have been much more than a decade or so earlier, which means there was still a functional civilization a decade or so earlier. But there seem to be people middle aged and older who were born into this new and rather awful world. The evidence suggests that the fall of civilization was something that happened *generations* ago (Furiosa was kidnapped as a child, and at the time was a member of some “clan” or other; Joe has a son, Rictus Erectus, who is genetically flawed… and played by a guy who’s older than I am). So what we’re seeing aren’t people struggling to survive the Apocalypse… the Apocalypse is *over.* What we’re seeing are the civilizations arising from the ashes of the old one. And wow, these are some bugnuts civilizations. As I would pretty much expect under the circumstances.

 Posted by at 12:40 am
May 152015

George Zimmerman is clearly a piece of work. Trouble seems to follow him everywhere; many people – in general the same people who think he’s a murderer for shooting the guy who was bashing his head into a sidewalk – think he actively seeks out trouble. In my entirely amateur analysis, he’s got a definite problem with impulse control. But he also seems to be a magnet for trouble from *outside.*

Most recently he was involved in a “road rage incident” that resulted in the other feller shooting at him. Many people assumed that Zimmerman had flashed a gun at the other guy, who shot at him in pre-emptive self defense. In that scenario, Zimmerman would be in serious legal trouble. Well, today charges were finally fired in this incident:

Man Who Shot At George Zimmerman, Matt Apperson, Arrested – *Update* Three Charges – NO BAIL….

  • One count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
  • One count of aggravated battery with deadly weapon.
  • One count of firing deadly missile into an occupied vehicle.

Zimmerman keeps finding himself in the middle of crapstorms. When the legal system looks at him, it keeps finding that he’s not legally culpable. He *really* needs to just pack up and leave Florida and move elsewhere… change his name and start over somewhere else, and just keep his head down.

 Posted by at 9:04 pm
May 122015

So apparently there was a controversy at Oberlin College due to feminist Christina Hoff Sommers giving a lecture there. The problem wasn’t that she was a feminist; it was that she was the wrong kind of feminist. As a result, the causeheads went bonkers, ramping up the PC nonsense straight to 11. “Trigger warnings” and “safe spaces” and physical threats… all the usual campus hijinks we’ve come to know and love from these adorable little scamps.

Interestingly, one of the best replies to the fanatical snowflakes at Oberlin came from the Oberlin choir. I’m not what you’d call a fan of choir music… but this is pretty awesome.

 Posted by at 9:04 am
May 062015

70 mph speed limit doesn’t lead to drivers going faster, study finds

A number of chunks of interstate in Utah were raised from 65 to 70 mph in December. Four month in, studies have shown that the average speed on the road has increased a paltry 2 mph, and no increase in speed-relate fatalities. The consensus seems to be that drivers were already going faster than 70… but the speed they were going at was pretty much the speed they wanted to go at, so raising the speed limit didn’t make it easier for people to go faster because they were already going as fast as they wanted to.

Now, compare this to *your* local government:

When UDOT raised the speed limit in December, part of the reasoning was that motorists were already driving 70 mph.

“People are driving the speeds that they’re most comfortable driving at,” UDOT spokesman John Gleason said. … The Utah Highway Patrol initially opposed the increase but now maintains a stance of enforcing the posted limit.

Compare and contrast with states, counties and municipalities that set up speed traps specifically to raise funds through tickets.

 Posted by at 11:10 am
May 032015

The War on Poverty After 50 Years

Boils down to this graph:


In short… the poverty rate had been plummeting since just after WWII. The plummet stopped and leveled off once the Great Society wealth transfer “War on Poverty” programs kicked in, and the poverty rate has remained constant ever since. However, spending on these programs has skyrocketed. Since 1964, the US has spent (in 2012 dollars) more than 22 TRILLION dollars on anti poverty programs… NOT counting Social Security and Medicare.

How many comets could we have dropped on Mars to terraform the joint into a second Earth for even *half* that amount?

 Posted by at 12:12 am
May 022015

Venezuela to nationalize food distribution

Tell me this here ain’t high-larious journalizing:

Various estimates suggest the government already controls about half of the country’s food distribution, but that hasn’t stopped record shortages in shops and markets.

Heh. Ya gotta wonder if the writer is actually surprised that having a pack of collectivists taking over a good chunk of a vital portion of the economy results in lower performance… or if this is some form of sarcasm.

 Posted by at 11:58 pm