4 Dead in Ohio

I’m the furthest thing in the world from a Trump apologist. He is a puerile, filthy, degenerate, incestuous pig, a national embarrassment and disgrace.

But I’m old enough to remember May 4th, 1970 when the National Guard (under another Republican embarrassment of a president) used automatic weapons [1] on protesting college students at Kent State, killing 4 of them.

Trump’s minor league compared to that.

1. I went on a live fire exercise once with the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg. This would’ve been 15 years ago at least. I’ve never heard anything as horrifying as a machine gun. It’s not “rat-a-tat-tat”, it’s a ripping noise as the hail of bullets tear the air apart. It gives me the creeps to this day. And to use that on rock throwing college students? Inexcusable.

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Sheep and Goats

Since I’m on a biblical tear here at zumbrun.net I’ll offer up another one.

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
– Matthew 25:31-46

Our so-called representatives [1] just passed a bill to take health insurance from the least in our country. Not for any good reason, just to score a few political points to pander to their base.

I guess we know who the goats are now.


Jim Banks (IN-03)

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Inauguration Day, 2017

It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. It merely required no character.

Joseph Heller in Catch-22, published in 1961.

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Driverless Car…

zumbrun.net is a happy place, but sometimes happenings are so egregious I can’t let them pass.

When will the idiots[1] at gmail realize that one false positive renders a spam filter totally useless?

If you have to constantly look at your spam folder to catch the emails that aren’t spam, the spam folder is useless.

It ain’t rocket science.

1. These are the same idiots who are bringing you a driverless car. Hence the post title. Keep your hands firmly on the wheel.

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Ethanol Revisted

I’ve written in favor of ethanol several times, here and elsewhere. Recently our own Senate voted to cut 6 billion dollars in subsidies and protective tariffs for the ethanol industry because according to Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK):

  1. We are too poor to afford to subsidize anything.
  2. The ethanol industry doesn’t need it.
  3. Ethanol is a ‘lousy idea’ anyway.

On the other hand, Brazil recently announced a government program worth 67 billion dollars to support their ethanol industry. See that story here.

I remain in favor of ethanol, I think it is a path we must follow if we intend to survive. We have built a country that depends on an inexhaustible supply of cheap energy. Yet we clearly know fossil fuels are exhaustible and are going to run out. Not in our lifetimes, but our children or grandchildren?

Nuclear energy? Seriously? If you consider this an option I suggest you re-read the news stories from Japan this year, and then reflect on the meaning of the word ‘hubris.”

To paraphrase Wendell Berry who was speaking about coal in his speech “Compromise, Hell!”, if we know that oil is an exhaustible resource, whereas the crops we can grow over it are with proper use inexhaustible, how can we not support bio-fuels?

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I’m as Mad as Hell, and I’m not Going to Take This Anymore

A light bulb went out in the ceiling light in our living room. The living room has a cathedral ceiling so changing a light bulb is a bit of a production. I have to get out a long pole with a grippy thing on the end, wave it around 17 feet in the air, remove the old bulb and screw in a new one.

I do all that and two days later that bulb burns out. And we’re out of bulbs, so the next time Debbie was at the store she picks up some GE (motto: Imagination at work) halogen bulbs, guaranteed to last two years.

Imagination At Work

Two years! Cool! I won’t have to be changing bulbs again until 2013! I get the pole out, wave it in the air and eventually get the bulb screwed in. I flip the switch and…

… nothing. It was darker than Jack Welch’s heart.

Muttering foul imprecations I tried again to screw the bulb in. I stood on the table to get a better angle, but the bulb refused to light. Finally I took it out and screwed it into a table lamp. Nothing. It was defective.

Who makes these quality-less products anyway? Is this some of that outsourced made in China junk?

Made With Pride In Hungary

Made in Hungary. Hmmm. Can we blame that on Bill Clinton and NAFTA or that gol-durn Obama and all his job killing medical reform?

Well, hey, no worries. This product is gawr-on-teed for two years. It says so right on the front of the package in a big red banner. Let’s see…

The Fine Print

So all I have to do is clip the UPC code off the package, find my cash register receipt, mail it to GE (at a cost of 44 cents, plus the cost of the envelope) and they’ll replace my bulb. That’s what I call standing behind your product!

Seriously though . GE doesn’t care. So what if it takes me 3 tries to find a working light bulb? Their guarantee is meaningless. Who is going to save cash register receipts, match them to UPC codes clipped from packages, and mail them in? I’ll not buy GE products in outrage for a while, but soon enough I’ll forget, or it will be the only brand on the shelf and I won’t be willing to drive to another store, and I’ll be buying GE again.

So what’s the moral of this post? Shame on all of us for fostering and accepting a culture of greed where it is fine to produce low quality products with meaningless warranties.

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