Yesterday in Newnan

...is where Mrs. McG and I weren't. Instead we were in Starkville, Mississippi for Misissippi State University's spring Maroon and White football game.

A couple of dozen white "nationalists" of the National Socialist Movement staged a rally here in Newnan, however, and were met with a massive police presence and a loud and obnoxious "antifa" counter-protest. Personally, I think it was the demonstrated violent inclinations of the "antifa" bunch that explained most of the police presence. The community made it clear beforehand that both sides weren't welcome, but that the rally would be permitted because of legal and constitutional principles.

I'll share something with you today: in my genealogical dabblings I've been able to find only northern and western European ancestry on either side of my family tree; even the French ancestry came from a part of that country that got swapped back and forth with Germany over the centuries. I should be a perfect candidate for one of these "white power" mobs, but I've never seen the point.

Hate is too much of an investment of emotional energy to aim at billions of other people I've never met, just because they don't look like me.

As for those who have at times undertaken to put an end to people or ideals I care about, I notice that the bloodiest such undertakings of the last 100 years were instigated by socialists, including one by national socialists.

More recently, I noticed in 2016 that a lot of white "nationalist" types opining about that year's U.S. presidential campaign had a lot of very positive things to say about Vladimir Putin.

Just saying.

©   Kevin McGehee


Earth Day

An annual observance touted by the American news and entertainment media, on which environmentally conscious Americans gather in public places and pollute them.

Founded by a man who murdered his girlfriend and composted her.

©   Kevin McGehee


How High?

Seriously, how high does someone have to be to celebrate getting wasted on a mass murderer's birthday?

©   Kevin McGehee


Speaking of California...

Apparently one can accurately say "pew" about more than just drought alarmism.

Forget the Golden State. California should be called the Smoggy State.

Eight of the USA's 10 most-polluted cities, in terms of ozone pollution, are in California, according to the American Lung Association's annual "State of the Air" report, released Wednesday.

The Los Angeles/Long Beach area took the dubious distinction of being the nation's most ozone-polluted city as it has for nearly the entire 19-year history of the report.

Overall, the report said about 133 million Americans — more than four of 10 — live with unhealthful levels of air pollution, placing them at risk for premature death and other serious health effects such as lung cancer, asthma attacks, cardiovascular damage and developmental and reproductive harm.

"We still have a lot to do in this country to clean up air pollution," said Lyndsay Moseley Alexander, director of the Association's Healthy Air Campaign.

"In this country"...? When did California secede? I must have missed the raucous celebration in the other 49 states.

©   Kevin McGehee


Doom Sells

That's the only justification I can come up with for this bit of "new normal" alarmism from Pew.

Nearly a third of the continental United States was in drought as of April 10, more than three times the coverage of a year ago. And the specter of a drought-ridden summer has focused renewed urgency on state and local conservation efforts, some of which would fundamentally alter Americans’ behavior in how they use water.

In California, for example, officials are considering rules to permanently ban water-wasting actions such as hosing off sidewalks and driveways, washing a vehicle with a hose that doesn’t have a shut-off valve, and irrigating ornamental turf on public street medians. The regulations, awaiting a final decision by the California State Water Resources Control Board, were in force as temporary emergency measures during part of a devastating five-year drought but were lifted in 2017 after the drought subsided.

[...]

The picture of a coastal metropolis going without water once seemed inconceivable. But as a waterless Cape Town has become a potential reality, its story has sparked new concerns over the growing scarcity of the planet’s most basic resource.

Their basis for implying WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE is California -- where the Legislature has also been the state mental institution for decades -- and South Africa, where they have come to regard Zimbabwe as a utopia?

There have been legitimate resource failures in mankind's history, but most "resource failure" consequences, especially in the last hundred years or so, have been due to corruption, stupidity, and/or malice. California and Cape Town encompass elements of all three (in California's case, that includes electing Jerry Brown to his third and fourth terms as governor; hell, even his second was inexcusable).

It never occurred to me "Pew" wasn't just a name, but a perfectly reasonable reaction.

©   Kevin McGehee


Thoughts My Brain Made

There's a reason why cowboys don't like to follow the herd.

©   Kevin McGehee


The Eschaton Will Not Be Immanentized

As hinted here (and for that matter, here), not everything I write makes its first appearance -- well, here.

Yesterday Charles linked to someone waxing cosmological, and as is my annoying wont, I had my own thoughts.

It’s very sci-fi — we each exist, in a way, in our own personal universe, which veers off into another of infinitely many possible universes each time we make a moral choice.

I’m of the persuasion that, if there are parallel universes, everyone that comes along with us on the myriad veerings we cause by our decisions, must also drag us along on all of theirs — otherwise we eventually find ourselves in a universe in which everyone is merely a placeholder, a being without agency.

That “otherwise” is an easy way to dupe oneself into being God unto oneself, and I don’t like those implications. But the first alternative has each of us essentially creating lives and souls by the billions every time we waver on what to have for lunch, and I don’t like that implication any better.

I find predestination objectionable on similar grounds: if we don’t have the power to change the outcome of our lives, then we don’t have agency, and are therefore not created in His image. If we are of any value to Him at all, He had to have made us capable of surprising even Him.

And if He can’t do that, how can He call Himself omnipotent?

And to the inevitable retort that wavering on what to have for lunch isn't a moral choice, I reply, "Tell that to a vegan."

One of the irksome curiosities of this postmodern age is that now, everything is a moral choice except whether to murder, rape, rob or enslave.

©   Kevin McGehee


You Miserable, Whining Maggots!

Drop and give me fifty!

Sometime last year, Mrs. McG was Netflix-binging a TV show that had already gone off the air, and she asked me to come look at an actor appearing in an episode and tell her if that was R. Lee Ermey.

Well, I was busy, so instead of getting up from what I was doing I checked Ermey's TV credits on IMDb, finding none for that show. Then -- after asking Mrs. McG who the character was -- I looked in the show's IMDb cast list and identified the actor and told her the name. Later I had an opportunity to see another episode the actor appeared in, and while I will concede there were elements of resemblance, the actor was, for one thing, somewhat taller than Gunny.

In any event, I offered Mrs. McG a rule of thumb: "If you're not sure if it's R. Lee Ermey, it's not R. Lee Ermey."

Ooh-rah, Gunny.

©   Kevin McGehee


Uneven, but Watchable

This is not your grandfather's "Lost in Space." In fact, I'm still not sure whether I'm watching "Lost in Space" or just "Lost" ...in space.

The Netflix reboot makes the Alpha Centauri project admittedly more realistic by involving more castaways (a real colonization project wouldn't send families as early in the process as depicted in the 1965 series -- or for that matter in the 1998 movie -- and surely never just one).

Then again, the idea of a cast of regulars numbering in the dozens is also a consequence of 21st-century sensibilities, in that a plot line without a large (and of course diverse) variety of social entanglements seems too far outside the range of experience for the half-mythical millennial viewers who inhabit Hollywood's stereotype factory. How can you relate to characters who aren't constantly sidetracked from grubby issues like survival by trivial interpersonal drama? Who could live like that??? At my age, I'm more inclined to sympathize with the robot.

If you haven't watched any of the show yet though, Easter egg alert: look closely at the actor in the first-episode scene where the Dr. Smith character steals an injured colonist's jacket. Even on second replay I hardly recognized him.

©   Kevin McGehee


Hear Ye, Hear Ye

Increasingly, if ye don't hear me here, ye won't hear me at all.

I'm no longer participating in comment threads on sites that use Disqus, because it has begun to exhibit a disturbing malfunction. And since I'm already not participating in comment threads on sites that use Facebook or Yahoo, that means I'm running low on options.

Two Three of the three four sites in the blogscrap -- well, it's not really a blogroll, is it? Anyway, they host their comments in their own databases, so I can still be found there, once in a while.

Use the damn contact form! Look right over there at the link: it says, "WordPress login not required."

©   Kevin McGehee


Springtime in Wyoming

The Weather Channel has proclaimed another Winter Storm "Hey, Look At Us! We Name Winter Storms!", to hit Wyoming tomorrow.

It's so unusual.

©   Kevin McGehee


There Will Be Words

We are Bank of America customers. This does not make us happy.

Bank of America Vice Chairman Anne Finucane told Bloomberg TV on Tuesday her bank has told those companies “it’s not our intent to underwrite or finance military-style firearms.”

“We have had intense conversations over the last few months,” Ms. Finucane told Bloomberg, a network founded by tycoon and gun-control-financier Michael R. Bloomberg. “And it’s our intention not to finance these military-style firearms for civilian use.”

We will be discussing this with our financial adviser.

Update: The corporate line seems to be that Bank of Too Big to Fail® really won't have that much of an impact on the world at large when it decides that the second-largest bank in the nation won't lend money to makers of a legal product that millions of Americans use to exercise a fundamental constitutional and human right. Sorry, BofA, but when you're Too Big to Fail®, coming under special protection from the government, you lose some of your private-sector prerogatives.

As I said yesterday,

The use of unaccountable power channels to narrow the choices available to ordinary people, is a preferred tactic of the latter-day Left, fascistic both on its face and in its soul.

It appears that while some funds in which we're invested may trade in BofA stock, we don't own any directly. This means that -- if BofA corporate management doesn't reconsider -- we may have to take our banking business elsewhere.

I'm sick and tired of being betrayed by people who work for me.

'Nother update: Just had a thought which has improved my mood considerably: specific companies mentioned in the Washington Times piece linked and excerpted above are Remington, Sturm Ruger, and Vista Outdoor. Once I'm sure those companies aren't knuckling under to regain BofA's approval, I think I'd like to buy in.

I can also focus my ammunition and accessories purchases on brands owned by one or more of those companies. And for my next gun purchase, I'm looking at a Ruger Mini-30; just as scary as the Mini-14, and it shoots bigger bullets!

©   Kevin McGehee


I Hope It Doesn't Go Crazy from Loneliness

I seem to recollect my mother having a less than complimentary attitude toward Wells Fargo Bank, 40 or so years ago. The company hasn't exactly covered itself in glory in recent years, either.

Mrs. McG has, and her late mother had, an even lower opinion of Wells Fargo, stemming at least in part from their acquisition, back in the 1980s, of a bank where Mrs. McG's mother worked at the time, and its treatment of the acquired bank's employees.

So it's refreshing to see something good about them.

The American Federation of Teachers is demanding that Wells Fargo drop its relationship with gun manufacturers (and with the NRA). To its credit, Wells Fargo isn't budging. As the response from the CEO said (alongside the usual, and understandable, we-hear-you-and-we-want-you-to-be-our-friends business-speak),

As I have publicly stated, I do not believe that the American public wants banks to decide which legal products consumers can and cannot buy.

The use of unaccountable power channels to narrow the choices available to ordinary people, is a preferred tactic of the latter-day Left, fascistic both on its face and in its soul. That Wells Fargo is resisting it is a welcome and refreshing positive addition to the company's reputation.

I'm not ready to let this one occasion overrule all the negative, but it is a giddy-up in the right direction.

©   Kevin McGehee


Ballot Fatigue

I'm used to voting two to four times every two years, but thanks to this I've got at least four ballots to fill out just this morning.

Even when Mrs. McG and I lived in Alaska, where the municipalities filled seats on their governing bodies for rotating three-year terms, so that there was at least one election every year -- with an extremely remote chance of a runoff (we saw it happen exactly once in five years) -- I wouldn't have had to vote 31 times in as many days. (Yes, I went back and counted.)

Tiresome fact: In Alaska the threshold for avoiding a runoff is a plurality of at least 40%. Here in Georgia, where it's 50% even in a primary, runoffs are generally expected unless there are two (or fewer) candidates for a given post.

I suppose it's nice to know that my opinion is valued somewhere...

©   Kevin McGehee


You Dirty...

...rat snake.

Mrs. McG and I got back from a set of errands that included finishing up our state and federal tax returns for 2017, and as she returned from a home weather-station chore in the front field Mrs. McG spotted the above, a respectable sized serpent, making a meal of however many bird eggs were in that nest.

In my effort to coax said at-the-time-unidentified snake out into the open for a better portrait, I wound up instead causing it to retreat into a burrow under the gardenia bush that contains the nest. You can't really tell from this picture, but instead of being black all over, like a racer, this specimen had subtle markings on his sides and belly that point to the after-the-fact identification made above: eastern rat snake.

Normally a pair of birds that lays eggs and comes home to a raided nest will lay a new clutch, but we think these tragic parents and any future potential offspring would be better off if they were to nest somewhere else.

©   Kevin McGehee



 
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