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kleinbl00  ·  6 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: White Evangelicals Resist Covid-19 Vaccine Most Among Religious Groups

"I'll take 'disinformatziya' for 20ish%, LeVar."

Wanna see a terrifying graph, courtesy Daily Shot this morning?

Finland? To the best of my knowledge, has a trustworthy press. Brazil and Nigeria, to the best of my knowledge, do not. Germany? Sure. Turkey? Nopers. But the fact that the British trust their notoriously shite press more than Americans do says exactly what the RSF has quantified: sources of information in the United States are contentious, politicized and subject to self-censure.

I watched a fuckin' six part HBO documentary on "holy shit Ronan Farrow successfully reported on an open secret that everyone knew to be true." Meanwhile we've got congressmen yammering about Rothschild space lasers.

kleinbl00  ·  7 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The swoon in college enrollment

I paid the same amount for a quarter of community college as I did for a quarter of the University of Washington in 1999. The 4-years have gone up a batshit amount but community college isn't nearly as affordable as it was. More than that, the costs-benefits analysis on a college education have basically shifted to "if you can't afford grad school it'll take hella longer to amortize that degree" while Generation Z has watched their cousins and uncles blow a fuckton on degrees that they maybe didn't finish (Corinthian College etc) or didn't get them fucking anything.

Wanna see a hilarious article?

    Recent film program graduates of Columbia University who took out federal student loans had a median debt of $181,000.

    Yet two years after earning their master’s degrees, half of the borrowers were making less than $30,000 a year.

    The Columbia program offers the most extreme example of how elite universities in recent years have awarded thousands of master’s degrees that don’t provide graduates enough early career earnings to begin paying down their federal student loans, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Education Department data.

I know a girl who graduated from Columbia Film. She's one of the richest people I've ever met. She went to Columbia because her parents insisted on an Ivy and she insisted on film school. Guaranteed - no one in her family has filled out a W2 at least two generations back.

When you see grad schools climbing? Know that it's the bored and wealthy.

I support surrendering Hobby Lobby to the Iraqis as partial reparations. For one? The Museum of the Bible, if curated by Sunnis, would be fire. For another, I would happily trade the Hobby Lobby up the street for a Middle Eastern market of any kind. For yet another, the overthrow of a country to plunder its cultural heritage is peak British Empire and we should be ashamed of that shit.

kleinbl00  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: July 28, 2021

We had the in-laws over for a three hour discussion about their horrible daughter. It was basically "we aren't going to hunker down so you can preserve your neutrality any longer" which basically led to we will tell her to call you so that we don't have to take any position."

That phone call was this morning and was basically two hours of "gaslight gaslight false equivalency disappointment." My wife, of course, keeps her receipts so the email directly contradicting everything her sister lied about for two and a half hours was forwarded without comment.

It's fucking exhausting.

On the plus side, I had a conversation with my father about radioactive waste (a friend has a pad printer that was used for rrrrrrrrrrrrrrradium and she's wondering if she needs to worry). While we didn't discuss my father's collection we did have an interesting discussion about a friend of his who ended up in possession of his father's collection, which included a mason jar of yellowcake. Said friend asked my father what to do with this... curio.

"Yeah, what did you tell him?" I asked.

"I told him to wait until a dark moonless night and then dump it from the bridge into the Rio Grande," he said. "Yellowcake is natural and in the river it'll dissipate enough that nobody will be hurt by it."

So there you go, son. When I die, throw my plutonium in the river.

The fuck do you do with that.

kleinbl00  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: July 28, 2021

My gut feeling is if they offered it to you, the "unqualified" and "too young" aspects are a lie. Unless they've misjudged you terribly, they've surmised you'll figure it out quickly enough. You've never done the job. They've hired for it (or something similar to it) before. Don't look down your nose at that vote of confidence.

My one word of caution is that university salaries tend to increase more slowly than salaries out in the marketplace and with the economics we're looking at for the next few years, "pay cut" now might be "deep pay cut" a few years from now. If you've got an exit strategy should that pinchpoint squeeze you too tightly I say go for it.

If by "wages" you mean "buying power" then yeah - it's a real problem. But there are a couple chunks on the soccer ball below that Canadians have a different relationship with:

"Healthcare, personal insurance and pensions" are 20%. The Biden administration is already front-loading childcare tax credits into payments. That costs them nothing, but makes it look like the government is giving them money. They decide to do the same with insurance (which will raise inflation more) and suddenly yeah, prices are going up but the democrats are giving them money.*

"Money" or "Covid." Which do you choose? There will definitely be outliers but the Dems have a rhetorical advantage here.

If I were in charge of this mess?

I'd inflate the shit out of everything. It makes foreign goods more expensive, thus bringing American jobs back. It rewards savers because all of a sudden interest rates make you money. It likely pushes healthcare past the breaking point, so you basically push your pandemic medicaid plans forward and open it up to anyone. Wage pressures give you all the cover you could want to raise minimum wage and you can tie childcare, healthcare and other living incentives to inflation, which makes them centralized, which robs Republican governors of their power.

And I'd do all this because I know that the Democratic house races aren't really going to have to deal with inflation because they're not seen as having any power, and the four year runway I'm looking at means by the time I face any referendum on it, housing prices have been controlled by interest rates and wages are gonna be up.

Housing is deeply artificial at the moment. I think it's gonna crash like a ton of bricks, based simply on the fundamentals that are currently awash in PUA money. But we'll see.

Apropos of nothing, my favorite money pit is back on the market. For those of you who aren't as fluent in Redfin as myself, here's what you can glean with no skill whatsoever:

- Listed in July 2017 for $350k, didn't sell

- Price dropped $25k eleven months later, didn't sell

- Price dropped $75k four months later with another realtor, didn't sell

- Price dropped again with another realtor a year later (think it was $290k), didn't sell

- Price dropped again, didn't sell

- Turkey finally went for $245k riiiiight before things went hyperbolic with COVID

So really, some schmuck (this schmuck) is asking you to pay him $750k for holding this land for eighteen months, which don't get me wrong? Happens.

- BUT -

The original listing from 2015, when I first started watching it (I mean, waterfront! Next to a park! $350k!), had a legit tree through one room. There was a landslide in the kitchen literally obscuring the dishwasher. Place was red-tagged hard. You can still see some of the horrorshow from the 2017 sequel.

Because I watch this stuff, I was rather interested to see the house whose hillside is busily covering this property go in 2018 for about $1.2m. There was evidence that their yard had been growing... erm... smaller... but disclosure about the fact that nature was in the process of transferring topography from one parcel to another was absent from the notes.

And really - there's probably $4m worth of retaining wall that needs to be built there. And it's not on the property in question, but uphill from it. If you were to find yourself a semi-talented realtor they might inform you of some of this shit. But there are more realtors than listings right now so your odds of hitting a talented one are slim.

Despite that, though, this property tax suck (which is delinquent, by the way - Vlad hain't been paying on his dream house) is being listed "for sale by owner" because either (1) the ethical abyss that is the realtor's code actually has a bottom or (2) Vlad is too cheap to pay a realtor ten percent of whatever price they think you might actually get for this perpetual negative amortization scheme.

The best part is simply googling the address will give you some background.

    County planners have documented slides on the property going back two decades. They classify it as a landslide hazard area. Digital images reveal evidence of historic slides as well.

    The Lords’ former house was built in 1990, permits show. The construction met building codes of the day. Only later that decade did the county adopt its first rules for building near so-called critical areas, including places with high landslide risks.

    A previous owner applied for permits to rebuild the house after slide damage in 1998, county records show. He also obtained approval to build a large retaining wall engineered to shield the house.

    Convincing county planners that it’s safe to rebuild again could be tough.

    “If there is a fix, somebody’s going to have to be able to prove it to us,” county permitting manager Tom Rowe said. “And that’s not going to be easy to do. Bottom line.”

and still, they persisted

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 444th Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately"

Also y'all should know that

There's new MAIDEN

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 444th Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately"

So apparently Pigface is now called The Joy Thieves.

    With ‘American Parasite’ The Thieves have departed from their standard modus operandi of having a different vocalist front every track; the new album finds the mighty Chris Connelly (Ministry, Murder Inc., FiniTribe, The Damage Manual, RevCo) fronting every track. This time around the songs are also harder, faster and angrier, with Connelly describing the album as; "...Everything I wished I could have done with Ministry... It's like being hosed down with lava..."

    The Joy Thieves have always enjoyed an ever-changing lineup, and this time is no exception. New to the party this time around are drummer Paul Ferguson (Killing Joke, Warrior Soul), guitarist Chris Haskett (The Rollins Band, David Bowie, Iggy Pop), guitarist John Haggerty (Naked Raygun, Pegboy), drummer Joe Haggerty (The Effigies, Pegboy), songwriter Scott-David Allen (The Burying Kind, A Covenant of Thorns), and Grant Sutton(Jumpsuit, Monster Trux, The Party Downers).

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 444th Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately"

    There's a whole story to his career, and how he got screwed, and why he left the industry.

As with most such stories, it rhymes with "dick doobin"

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 444th Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately"

Longtime fan, first-time caller.

I had Hell With The Lid Off on TAPE

Had the opportunity to mix Cottonmouth, TX at one point in the '90s. Even rented them some gear because they didn't travel with a lot of backline. They were setting up and I said

You guys sound a lot like MC 900 Ft Jesus

and the keyboardist said

...we ARE MC 900 Ft. Jesus. We just swap out frontmen.

As far as I'm concerned, MC900Ft Jesus/Cottomouth, TX are the only worthwhile bands to come out of Dallas and yes I know what a horrible insult that is to Horton Heat, fight me.

The origin of the name is hilarious.

Suppose every Trumper out there went "well shit. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has never led me wrong before! I shall roll up my sleeve and Trump this virus!" in the next ten minutes.

They're partially protected tomorrow. They're partially more protected August 9. They're as protected as they gonna be by August 23rd.

This, more than anything, illustrates how reactive the Republican party has become. It's hard to believe there was any planning in this messaging. The most credible theory I've heard is every advertiser and lobbyist left jawboned every pundit and politician they could find after vague misgivings over Delta dumped the Dow 700 points last Monday.

So perhaps the money masters have taken over priority from the populism masters. You'd think any skillful pundit would recognize the danger of self-selecting their constituency for fully-preventable have-not status, let alone fully-preventable plague. "Hi, I'm a Democrat! I go to work every morning and Covid gave me the sniffles." "Hi, I'm Republican. I live in fear of ventilators so I snuggle with my AR to feel better."

They could point the finger at Putin. It's an easy gimme strategy - the Republicans have hated the Commies since Herbert Hoover. Trump's weird dance with Lavrov was never comfortable for them. But that would signal a full break from Trump.

I dunno, man. It seems like the Republicans are caught in one hell of an inverse prisoner's dilemma. Break too early, you're Liz Cheney. Break too late, they might not name a freeway after you when you're dead or some shit.

So they're all breakin' late.

kleinbl00  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Sin of Empathy

The frustrating thing about the lily-whites is that their history predisposes them to an ephemeral time-horizon for their own positions. Liberals have been fighting The Struggle since Engels was in London but conservatives aren't particularly interested in discussing the racial covenants on their HOAs right now because they didn't write them.

So Sanders and her ilk can postulate a new formulation for their behavior that lies in direct opposition to their formula from six weeks ago and like Golden Retrievers, the lily-whites will bark at the new squirrel.

You and I both know that if Trump had said "there's a catastrophe, it's Chinese, I'm instituting martial law to protect America while we develop the Freedom Vaccine and withhold it from anyone who trades with CHyyyyyyyynahhh" we'd be saluting his mug on the wall every morning while Toby Kieth plays like the goddamn muezzin. I firmly believe American democracy was imperiled by incompetence, and saved by said-same.

None of these people have more than a five-year timeframe for their investment. The question is how much can they clear if they sell in 2026.

And they're not paying insurance. They likely can't get it. I know a couple who decided to buy their "dream vacation home" in the Santa Fe National Forest and one of the big complications is they couldn't get it insured. The reinsurance firms calculated there was a 100% chance the property would burn in the next ten years so no one would write a policy.

They bought it anyway, all-cash.

kleinbl00  ·  5 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Delta Variant

"Motive, means, opportunity", my friend.

We both agree that the GOP's motive is craven, inhuman and unhelpful. Where we differ is means and opportunity. I agree with you as to what the Republicans want to do. Means? They're too busy spooling up about Mr. Potato Head. Tucker Carlson is currently at war with... Fox News. The general Republican response is to try and pin January 6th on the Democrats, which will definitely work with some people but let's be honest - they're unreachable by reason.

Opportunity? The Republican Party has become a party in exile, a force arrayed entirely and completely around a bored demagogue easily baited by Tom Brady.

And really - the economic locus of the country is vaccinated. The productive centers are inconvenienced by a mask mandate. No, there will be no further lockdowns. They're unnecessary for the vaccinated and the vaccines are abundant and free. The Republicans are big on whipping out Nazi imagery without realizing they're painting a picture whereby Anne Frank gets to flee the attic in exchange for two injections. We encountered this just yesterday - a friend who we assumed had been vaccinated is now quarantining for two weeks because lo and behold that cough is COVID. If I could sum up our professional experience of the past three weeks it would be "well shit looks like you can catch COVID after all."

Motive, Means, Opportunity. The forces of fascism definitely wanna be fascist. But they took their shot and got bupkis.

kleinbl00  ·  5 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Sci-Fi club no. 46: The Last Wish

"The Edge of the World" deals with the trope of Elves as the beautiful people pushed out by human progress. Fans of fantasy will likely pin this on JRR Tolkien. Tolkien, however, never illustrated elves beyond this:

On the other hand, it's been pointed out by those more interested than me that Tolkien was inspired by John Bauer:

Bauer's influence on fantasy art can't be understated; he was extraordinarily popular during his lifetime and died in a shipwreck with his wife and three year old son in 1918. His primary works were as illustrator for Norse legends of trolls and gnomes, endangered species pushed out of Scandinavia by the advances of man. JRR Tolkien wrote his first fantasy works while Bauer was in his prime and didn't finish The Hobbit until 1937, 19 years after Bauer's death, but more on that in a minute.

I will confess to being in love with "elvish architecture." You know what I mean without having to think about it. Elves have never walked the earth but we know their arches, their spare off-white columns. Eighty years of fantasy has taught us all that Elves live their lives like every day is Liv Tyler's wedding. This, too, is evident in Bauer's work. But more importantly, it's evident in Bauer's influences, such as Alphonse Mucha.

Such as Rene Lalique.

Such as Georges Fouquet.

"Elvish architecture" is fundamentally "bleached Art Nouveau architecture" and "Elvish design" is "bleached Art Nouveau design." Which doesn't really mean anything to you unless you've studied the history of design, but when you have it gets poignant.

The Arts and Crafts movement was a rebellion against mechanization, a rejection of the impersonal kludgework so worshipped by modern-day Steampunk. It was a celebration of the artists and artisans being wiped out by Edwardian workhouses, of the Luddites impoverished and displaced by mass production and mechanical assembly, of the very skills and talents being brushed aside, of the very way of life defended by Friedrich Engels in the precursor to Marxism and Communism. Arts and Crafts eventually blossomed into Art Nouveau, a working man's artisanal rejection of the diamonds'n'pearls'n'platinum ethos of the Belle Epoque (aka the "gilded age"). Artisans of the Art Nouveau period focused more on the craft than the materials, often making jewelry out of horn and glass. There was a humanist love of organic form, of erotic provocation, of natural subjects that arose in direct opposition to mechanization and crass impersonality.

And then The Great War happened.

It was personally ruinous for practitioners of Art Nouveau. Mechanization struck back in the newly impoverished European theater, while a resurgent America with its assembly lines and abundant electricity launched Art Deco. "hand-made" became too expensive to bother with and the advent of large-scale industrial machinery gave rise to a worship of straight lines and shiny facets. The humanism of nature made way for the curves of the streamliner. The world lurched towards the Spanish Civil War and WWII; horses were replaced by Model As. John Bauer died in a shipwreck and Alphonse Mucha was effectively tortured to death by the Nazis.

And the Elves diminished and went into the West.

What's interesting to me is that elves as "lost beautiful people" is an entirely European conceit. Robert Howard (Conan, Ctulhu) had zero fucking elves in his works. Burroughs? No elves. Jack Vance's The Dying Earth came out between The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings and it is entirely elf-free. In American fiction, the humans are generally inferior to whatever monster race is out there keeping them hemmed in while in European fiction, the tendency is to some sort of old, lost, noble race we've displaced.

And that old, lost, noble race sure looks a lot like Art Nouveau.

I can't help but think that "elves" are to European fantasy writers what the queens (dowager and regnant) were to Barbara Tuchman in Guns of August:

    So gorgeous was the spectacle on the May morning of 1910 when nine kings rode in the funeral of Edward VII of England that the crowd, waiting in hushed and black-clad awe, could not keep back gasps of admiration. In scarlet and blue and green and purple, three by three the sovereigns rode through the palace gates, with plumed helmets, gold braid, crimson sashes, and jeweled orders flashing in the sun. After them came five heirs apparent, forty more imperial or royal highnesses, seven queens–four dowager and three regnant–and a scattering of special ambassadors from uncrowned countries. Together they represented seventy nations in the greatest assemblage of royalty and rank ever gathered in one place and, of its kind, the last. The muffled tongue of Big Ben tolled nine by the clock as the cortege left the palace, but on history’s clock it was sunset, and the sun of the old world was setting in a dying blaze of splendor never to be seen again.

"Elves" to europeans represent the culture and society lost to modern democracy, a style and aesthetic lost to modern mechanization.

As an American, I'm equal parts wistful and resentful. Because it's abundantly clear that the barbarian is me.