All Gassed Up

Tags

, ,

With nowhere to go.

It’s a little ironic: gas is the cheapest we’ve seen since almost the end of the previous century, and yet we have no place worth driving to.

U.S. crude prices fell to their lowest level since 2002, briefly dropping below $20 a barrel, as investors grew more pessimistic about oil demand.

West Texas Intermediate futures, the main U.S. crude gauge, were down 6.5% at $20.11 a barrel after hitting their lowest level since February 2002 on Monday. Brent crude, the global benchmark, fell 6.4% to $26.18 a barrel.

The taxes are up, but by the old metrics, going below $20 per barrel should yield gas under $1. I’ve seen it, where I am, for around $1.60. I’ve heard it’s $1.30 elsewhere. It’s gonna be like 1995 again! Minus the functioning society.

Remarkable Analysis

Tags

, , , ,

Just moments ago, the babbling idiots on CNBC BRAGGED!!! about the multiplier effect, noting (correctly) that for every dollar in “public” loans from that hideous $2+ Trillion bailout, five to ten dollars in private bankster loans can be created. *Poof* Instant “money.” This sounds oddly like what Todd Vispoli tried to explain to the sheeple back on St. Paddy’s Day:

There used to be a ratio – nine to one or ten to one. For every dollar in public debt, they could technically manufacture another nine on the private side, though they didn’t always do it or have to. Now, that’s a thing of the past. There are, now, no reserves to manipulate. It’s all debt-based fakery and smoke, and now, they just print whenever and whatever they think will work. Or, that they think they can get away with.

They get away with a lot. And, people brag about it. So, two trillion could become ten to twenty trillion. Like magic.

Meanwhile, Orange Man is bigger than the Batchelor.

Welcome to Clown World, the pandemic edition.

If You Were Surprised

Tags

, , ,

You weren’t paying attention. There is no pretense anymore about fiscal (or other) responsibility in DC. The next time someone warns that you have to vote Republican or else the Democrats will win, just remind them about this tiny little stimulus Act:

Republicans who have spent the past decade howling about the danger of ballooning deficits embraced the coronavirus rescue package approved by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump, shrugging off past concerns about spending in the face of a public health crisis.

In many cases, the conservatives who backed the $2 trillion bill — the largest economic relief measure in U.S. history — were the very same who raged against the nearly $800 billion economic stimulus package backed by the Obama administration.

But facing the unprecedented threat of a global pandemic — and working under a Republican president who has largely brushed off concerns about debt and deficits — the GOP was willing to overlook an unprecedented flood of taxpayer spending. Leading budget hawk Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., who insisted in 2009 that government cannot spend its way out of a recession, this week joined a unanimous Senate majority that approved what he described as “the biggest government intervention in the economy in the history of the world.”

“This is a response to an invasion,” he told reporters. “This is the kind of thing you’d have to do if we were at war.”

Oh, silly me. I forgot we are at war. That totally justifies sacrificing everything to the very real and visible viral enemy that invaded and took complete control of the dead nation. Carry on!

Another War in Iraq?

Tags

, , , ,

Could this be the source of all the war talk of late?

The Pentagon has issued a secret directive, as of last week, calling on the military commanders in Iraq to plan a massive campaign against Iraqi Shi’ite militias, with an eye toward totally wiping one or more of the factions out.

The offensive is being advocated by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who believes they can destroy Iran’s proxies while the country is distracted by the coronavirus pandemic. Some commanders, particularly Lt. Gen. Robert White, are opposing the idea.

The general warns that the new campaign would take thousands more US troops, divert resources from existing missions, and risk blowing up into a full-scale war with Iran. Escalating a war with Iran, however, probably isn’t going to deter Pompeo from advocating the effort.

I had the feeling they were planning something larger and even more stupid. But, who knows? At least there’s a little opposition to the madness.

A Social Distance – a little fiction where we left off…

Tags

, , , , ,

Noo Yawkas and Congress-critters are telling each other to “shut the f-ck up,” and the police are hunting out-of-staters in RI, FL, and TX. But, let’s take a look at the lighter side, if any, of the current panic:

A Social Distance

Steubenville, Ohio, Saint Patrick’s Day 2020, 6 PM…

A woman was screaming at the top of her lungs. The words were incoherent but her tone and demeanor left no doubt as to her murderous intentions. Another woman, a little older and quieter, had just connected with the emergency operator and frantically pleaded for help. On the floor, two men rolled and wrestled violently. Neither trained or experienced for the encounter, they flailed and tugged; each unsure whether to grapple or strike, they did both with inartful abandon. Nearby, a larger man began shoving several teenagers towards a wall, cursing and spluttering as he did so. It had come to this so rapidly. And it would surely get worse as night fell. Part of the large crowd pressed in closer, jostling with each other – to avail themselves of a better view of the mayhem or, possibly, to join it. Others, having no desire for brutality, began to depart the scene.

Seeing his chance, he darted through the madness and ran a short distance. He quickly glanced over his shoulder. Someone, maybe another irate woman, yelled something about “go ahead and run!” He didn’t care so long as he was temporarily free. He had a job to do. Turning away he again scanned the environment. It wasn’t his usual neighborhood and he would have been out of place on a good day. Just then, as he started to recover his wits, a crazed man in a medical mask rushed by in a frenzy. Rammed almost to the ground, he jumped up. He resisted the urge to say anything and kept moving. He was also resisting the calls of his own better judgment: “Just get out of there, you fool!” He’d never in his life been in war nor any serious criminal altercation. As he ducked and dodged forward, he wondered if his luck would run out. He fully expected gunfire to ring out at any moment.

Then, when from behind the shouting, screaming, and sounds of physical objects being broken reached a frantic peak, he came to a corner. Turning it, he beheld utter devastation. It was like the views of some third-world country in the midst of a civil war that one sometimes sees on the evening news: he was about to enter an area of desolation and despair. He did so at a run, fast enough (he thought) not to become a target, but slow enough (he hoped) to allow his senses to process the survivors – if there were any left. 

Foot by torturous foot, he made his way – as quickly though carefully as possible – through a sea of destruction, down a veritable bombed-out street. He knew it had been quaint and civilized just hours earlier. The thoughts, augmented by the whirling fury around him, made him sick. What has become of us! he asked himself. Portions of a lunch too hastily consumed ventured to the back of his mouth. He fought the urge to vomit. He fought the stronger urge to make a break for safety. To say things were looking black would have been an understatement. Here, here of all places where it should have been, he found only chaos and the crumpled remains of civilization. Only when he was about to give in to all his urges, to abandon his desperate quest, did a ray of hope shine in like the sun through dark clouds: he saw something! No, it wasn’t what he’d come for, what he expected, or even what he thought might be useful. But, damn it, it was all he had now. Figuring any alternative would make do under the circumstances, he reached out his free hand and grabbed it. He grabbed it and ran! Now! Now, he pursued a speed he had not known since his days in college and that failed tryout for the varsity track team. This time around, his prize might well be his life. He knew that and made use of all his cascading fears and all his remaining energy.

A moment later he was rewarded. This thing, made so precious by the insanity of his fallen world, along with the other odd bits and pieces of things he’d found in a pinch, was finally and truly his. The monetary price, small though it was, did not matter. Ten times the value he would have paid and happily. The extra plastic bags he snagged, almost as an afterthought, were the icing on the sour cake. He had made it through the gauntlet of death! Phone in hand, he collapsed into the comfort of his waiting SUV, somewhere out there in the vast Kroger parking lot.

‘Honey! Honey,’ he cried into the small, flat glass screen, ‘I found some! They were all out of toilet paper, but I got a box of Kleenex. The last one. It’s a small square one, but it’s better than nothing. I love you, baby, I love you!’

‘Todd,’ Claire asked with mild annoyance in her voice, ‘where are you?’

‘Kroger. Steubenville,’ Todd gasped as another police car screeched to a stop nearby. ‘On my way back, I tried everywhere. The Kroger and the Shop ‘n Save in Weirton. Even Walmart. All I could find was a little four-pack. A roll of paper towels. Some canned tuna. No… No hand sanitizer anywhere. It’s a wasteland out-’

‘Todd Vispoli!’ Claire said, the annoyance crystal clear now; ‘It’s time you came home. I’m cooking supper and Bryson wants to toss the football around. Ruthie wants to play cheerleader. And Lizzy has a question about something. I need my husband and the kids need their father. Quit playing soldier and come home!’

‘Okay, okay, baby,’ he panted as he watched more police cars and a firetruck enter the lot. ‘But, it’s going to get rough. We need toilet paper. Basics. Tom Ironsides, my new friend, said it’s going to get really ugly. Already is. I just saw people trying to kill each other for grits and bacon. Not a loaf of bread left in the store-’

‘Todd, my dear,’ Claire said with a bit more understanding in her voice, ‘we know that. It’s all on the news – all that’s on. You didn’t need a CIA spook to tell you. I asked you not to go to Pittsburgh in the first place. Remember?’

Todd thought back to the weekend and her advice that the conference would probably be cut short even if it was allowed to commence. As he watched an officer retrieve a rifle from the trunk of a Dodge Charger, he shifted into reverse and prepared to depart. ‘You were right, you were right,’ he said. ‘We were wrapping up a panel discussion when the cops and the health inspector shut it down. Tom and I went to a bar – you’d remember it, Marv’s place on the river – for beer and sandwiches. But, we’d just started eating when the police came in and ordered everyone out. I was a little afraid we’d get arrested or something. They had many harsh words for Marv.

‘Anyway, as we were walking out the front door, these two FBI agents approached and wanted to talk to Tom. “Colonel,” they said, “we’ve got some really bad news. Need your input on some things,” they said. He talked with them for a few minutes, half of it in whispers. He seemed almost amused and kept telling them, “I just don’t care.” Then, they said something that got his attention, something about it backfiring and the Omega Section, whatever that is. All of a sudden, Tom got really serious. Before he left with the G-men, he told me to head straight home but to maybe stock up before I got to the house. He said there was about to be panic – but not for the right reasons – and that things like toilet paper would be in short supply. He said we might be locked down for a while. Said it might turn into martial law – or worse. I’ve been looking for tee-pee since I left Pittsburgh. Tough luck out here.’

‘Well,’ she said, ‘I did my big monthly shopping a few days ago, while you were packing. Then, this morning, based on the ordinary news reports, I decided to do a follow-up. Riesbeck’s in Anytown had plenty of toilet paper, paper towels and everything else. We’re set for a good three months, maybe longer. I’m a prepper if you recall.’

‘And, thank God, baby!’ he said with relief as he pulled onto the highway, passing an ambulance and more police cars, all with sirens blaring and lights flashing. ‘I’ll be home in thirty minutes. Tell Bryce to be ready.’ He thought for a second and then asked, ‘Hey, in all your prepper readings and so forth, did you ever hear anything about this Omega whatever?’

‘We’ll all be ready when you arrive, dear,’ she said. ‘Omega? No, sweetie. Sounds like a big hoax to me.’

 

 

Goodbye, Public Schools?

Tags

, , ,

Maybe the best thing that has come out of the Corona hoax is the closure of the government’s “schools.” They’re done for the 2019-2020 year and it’s possible that they might not return this fall. Good riddance.

Allegedly, the kiddos are “learning” remotely. I guarantee that 90% of them haven’t even logged in since they left the prison halls a few weeks ago. And the prisons are beginning to drop all of their precious tests, now existing only to deliver lunches and host neighborhood parades.

Georgia school officials took steps Thursday to scrap final exams and relax a wide range of other accountability rules for the state’s nearly two million public-school students who have been out of class since last week due to the impacts of coronavirus.

I realize this may hamper my efforts to ridicule low scores for this year, but hopefully, this is the end of the “schools” so that will no longer be necessary.

For the other ten percent, and parents, you are essentially homeschooling. You might as well make that permanent. Kara Stiff offers some words of encouragement to that end.

My heart goes out to all the parents who were never planning to homeschool, but nevertheless find themselves teaching their children at home today. I chose this beautiful, crazy life, and I completely understand why some people wouldn’t choose it. But here we are. We have to do what we have to do. You don’t want them to fall behind. You don’t want to lose your mind.

Believe it or not, it’s a golden opportunity.

Read the whole thing, but remember that it is almost impossible to fall behind what the inmates have left. Take advantage. After their parades, and if there is any money left in the coming years, maybe some of the good teachers could involve themselves in true education.

The GOP is Dead

Tags

, , ,

It no longer exists, if it ever did in other than but theory. The one Representative trying to live up to all the lies the Republicans told in days gone by is the one they want to get rid of. Tweeted the Marmalade Moron:

“Looks like a third rate Grandstander named @RepThomasMassie, a Congressman from, unfortunately, a truly GREAT State, Kentucky, wants to vote against the new Save Our Workers Bill in Congress,” Trump wrote. “He just wants the publicity. He can’t stop it, only delay, which is both dangerous …& costly. Workers & small businesses need money now in order to survive. Virus wasn’t their fault. It is ‘HELL’ dealing with the Dems, had to give up some stupid things in order to get the ‘big picture’ done. 90% GREAT! WIN BACK HOUSE, but throw Massie out of Republican Party!”

Well, might as well do so; he’s just making them look semi-responsible. As an accelerationist, I, of course, support the boondoggle (and the coming versions too).

To fairly spread the blame, I just heard the worthless Italian wonder, Andrew Cuomo (rhymes with “go-home-o”), whine about “the enemy” in this “war” “targeting” – do you see the pattern? – the most vulnerable. This, from the “man” who recently legalized infanticide.

You’re running out of elections to play with, so enjoy what you can. You have ruined your nation.

Shaking Heads not Hands

Tags

, , , ,

I realize the man is between a rock and a hard place, but dear Lord. Everything he says now sounds like the ravings from the… Ah. Don’t shake hands. Ever.

“Maybe people aren’t going to be shaking hands anymore,” Trump said, adding that he had discussed the practice with Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “He was saying the regular flu would be cut down by quite a bit if we didn’t do that, if we didn’t shake hands.”

The president has said he wasn’t much of a hand-shaker before he ran for political office.

I was watching (or listening) when he said that. And I remember reading, years ago, about his aversion to contact. He also puts ketchup on well-done steaks and does not smoke cigars. Should we all start bowing like the Chinese? The “Chinese Hand Shake?” How on Earth did humanity make it all these years, in such a hostile world, while engaging in such risky behavior as pressing palms?

I’m about ready to “call the time” as March of 2020. But again, this distancing from an insane society sounds better every minute. The ad says the satellite phone will provide an internet uplink (for stuff like this post) from just about anywhere. Now to look at solar inverters.

Let’s Hope So

Tags

, , ,

This could be the return to civility America really needs. Or Not. But, I’m not sure God will be all that happy with the way it’s presented here:

Could a plague of biblical proportions be America’s best hope for religious revival? As the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II approaches, there is reason to think so.

Three-quarters of a century has dimmed the memory of that gruesome conflict and its terrible consequences: tens of millions killed, great cities bombed to rubble, Europe and Asia stricken by hunger and poverty. Those who survived the war had to grapple with the kinds of profound questions that only arise in the aftermath of calamity. Gazing at the ruins from his window at Cambridge University, British historian Herbert Butterfield chose to make sense of it by turning to the Hebrew Bible.

“The power of the Old Testament teaching on history—perhaps the point at which the ancient Jews were most original, breaking away from the religious thought of the other peoples around them—lay precisely in the region of truths which sprang from a reflection on catastrophe and cataclysm,” Butterfield wrote in “Christianity and History” (1949). “It is almost impossible properly to appreciate the higher developments in the historical reflection of the Old Testament except in another age which has experienced (or has found itself confronted with) colossal cataclysm.”

War again. Notice? Drool for the bell. The hoax to end them all led to the JUDEO-Christian awakening? What? The lens of the Old Testament only. Hmmm. This is starting to smell.

I’m not sure who the next target is – likely China and/or Russia. Whoever it is, I am firmly against the next war. This one won’t go as planned, nor will the next. Kids, resist the urge to “serve,” especially in the Navy, unless you’re just dying to see the ocean floor. I’m also against all these blasphemous comments and taglines. Talk about a colossal cataclysm in the making.