Friday, August 12, 2022

Dad Joke CCXXII

 Why does the Norwegian Navy have bar codes on the sides of their ships?


So when they come into port they can Scandinavian.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Finding Out

 Now that the U.S. is in some sort of escalating standoff with China, it seems like a good time to look back fondly to the country I grew up in. 

My grandfather sold Ford trucks, so we had a Ford. But all the major choices were made in America. As was the steel, glass, and rubber the car was made from. The only exception I remember were Volkswagens. Here's the parking lot at Disneyland in 1965.

The furnace, TV, the toaster, stove, refrigerator, washing machine, dryer, light bulbs, lamps, outlets, switches, faucets, silverware, dishes, and door locks were all made in America.

The towels, sheets, blankets, pillows, mattresses, rugs, chairs, sofas, cabinets, bureaus, and end tables were all made in America.

Shirts, t-shirts, underwear, socks, shoes, pants, belts, dresses, hose, coats, sweaters, and umbrellas were all made in America. 

Nike running shoes were made in America. I had a pair of the original waffle trainers in the late 1970s and they had this label.

The telephone wasn't much, it weighed as much as a bowling ball, was tied to a wire, and didn't even display who was calling, but it was made in America, along with the wires, switching equipment, and equipment racks that made it all work.

The tools hanging in the garage were all made in America, ours were mostly Craftsman. 

Tractors, graders, backhoes, cranes, big trucks. Made in America by companies many of us can still name.

When I was twelve years old and Americans landed on the moon, everything I owned that wasn't made in America could have disappeared and I think the only thing I would have missed was my Raleigh bicycle.

Now, in 2022, we are approaching the opposite situation. Except for the old furniture I have, everything I own is imported. It's isn't the electronics, but let's start there. 

No TVs, computers, cell phones, stereo equipment, or cameras are made in America.

Want a t-shirts, some boxers, socks, a pair of jeans, a towel, or some sheets? There's U.S. made to found, but it's boutique and priced to match, there's no mainline retailers selling U.S. made.

Bicycles. Schwinn frames didn't say made in America, the logo just said Chicago. Schwinn is still a name, but it's a low end import bike from China. Giant, Trek, Specialized, and the high end bike store bikes are all imported and all the components from tires to handlebars are as well. 


Craftsman's gone. The name's was sold along with Kenmore in the giant train wreck that Sears became, but it's all made in China.

Starting in the 1980s, the U.S has bled off it's manufacturing. Steel, glass, textiles, consumer goods are gone. It took 40 years to sell it all, move it offshore, and shut down the plants here. How long would it take to bring it back? If you started, who would do the work? Who knows how? There are YouTube channels dedicated to exploring abandoned factories, they illustrate the impossibility of reopening, it would have to be built new from scratch.

We made this bed and we climbed in it, to a large extent with China, although I recognize that imports do come from other countries as well. When Covid hit, we all saw what a "just in time" global supply chain looked like under stress. Which brings me back to the opening of this post. 

If we get knotted up in a conflict with China, they don't have to go to military force, they can just restrict their exports to the U.S. It would hurt them some, and they might feel some economic consequences, but we would be hamstrung. Think what every Wal-Mart in the country would look like if everything made in China disappeared. We can't afford to do it.

Which means that very likely we won't. I can't account for some moronic behavior like we've seen recently, but I expect we'll huff and puff and then claim that it all worked out for the best. China knows it. We know it. Taiwan knows it, too. They are on their own when it comes down to it, and they would do well to make the best deal they can. We aren't going to war on their behalf.

Tab clearing

Here's a selection of what I've been looking at.  There's no connection other than I found each fascinating, even if I don't agree 100% with all points.

John Michael Greer (the artist formerly known as The Arch Druid) looks at the Georgia Guidestones (recently blown up) and connects them to Klaus Schwab and his Great Reset - and brings ancient Mycenae along for the ride.  Here's a flavor from a loong and thoughtful post recommending some modesty from today's "elites".  I expect he will be disappointed by their lack of humility moving forward:

Grant for a moment that modern American society crashes to ruin over the next few centuries, following the usual trajectory of civilizations on their way to history’s compost heap. Grant that the decline and fall has the usual effects: population drops to 5% or so of the precollapse peak, most technology and information resources are lost, literacy becomes a rare skill, and a long and bitter dark age settles over the land. The people of that future time will use storytelling the same way every other illiterate culture has done—it’s apparently hardwired into human brains at this point, after so many generations of evolutionary selection in its favor. What stories will they tell about us?

If you think the stories in question will be the sort of thing that would allow us to preen our egos if we happened to hear them, think again.
The Bitter Centurion echos this in a very personal way.  If the "elites" think that they will be remembered as Gods they don't understand just how much people hate them today:
I've never truly hated anyone the way I hate these 'elites'. These corrupt politicians, corporate oligarchs, and central bankers. The people who have gotten obscenely rich and powerful on the backs of the regular, common folks who are constantly forced to do more with less just to provide for their families.

The entire globe is on the cusp of a Third World War with the Russians, not to mention the internal strife and turmoil in several nations around the world we are seeing as a result of this 'Build Back Better/ESG' bullshit, cooked up at the World Economic Forum. All the major conflicts and problems we are seeing in the world today, every single one of them, is entirely THEIR fault. It is all their doing.
Why can't America build anything?  Basically elites and government bureaucrats.

What Edward Gibbon got wrong about the fall of the Roman Empire.  This is a good overview but Gibbon really needed someone to take him aside when he started blaming it on Christianity.  After all, the Eastern Roman Empire was much more devoutly Christian than the Western portion and survived the West by a thousand years.  A millennium isn't exactly a rounding error, Eddie.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

A modest proposal to the Governor of Florida

Item the first: no Florida Law Enforcement personnel are allowed to work with the Gestapo FBI, under penalty of being dismissed from Florida employment, unless authorized by the Florida Governor.

Item the second: any Gestapo FBI Agent executing law enforcement actions on any citizen of Florida without authorized (by the Governor's office) are subject to arrest by the Florida State Police and prosecution under Florida law.

Actually, it would be nice if instead of "Gestapo FBI" it was "any Federal law enforcement employee".

Sure, sure, the Fed.Gov will fight this in (Federal) court.  Maybe the Federal Court will (shockingly!) rule in favor of the Fed.Gov.  This will just give the Florida Governor another bite on the same apple.  A Federal Court might issue a ruling, but (in Andy Jackson's wording let them now enforce that ruling).  Florida law enforcement will of course not enforce it, and for any Federal law enforcement you would need to refer to Item the First and Item the Second.

Next step, look at how many illegal aliens are apprehended in Florida and then released: these all need to be bussed to Washington D.C.

The Next, Next step is to look at all Federal property in Florida and seize sufficient property to compensate the citizens of the State against Federal impositions.  

This is a dance that can play out over years, to the detriment of the Democrats.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Dad Joke CCXXI

I could tell you that a zebra is a carnivore but I'd be lion. 

Sunday, August 7, 2022

A musical interlude

It seems that today is my birthday.


They also had another song about this:



But that's clearly wrong.  Why, I'm in my prime ...


Erich Wolfgang Korngold - Captain Blood

In a comment to last week's music selection from the Errol Flynn Robin Hood film, Aesop (who knows something about film) left a comment:

If Errol Flynn is in a movie with an Erich Korngold score, I'll be sitting twelfth row center, waiting for the overture to begin.
Yup.  And so to today's selection.  Captain Blood was the very first film to star Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland.  It essentially founded the genre of swashbuckling adventures.  It began a long collaboration between Errol Flynn and Basil Rathbone (later famous as Sherlock Holmes) who appeared together not only in Robin Hood but also in The Dawn Patrol.

And this film established the reputation of Erich Korngold, not as a great composer (he had already established his chops) but as a great film composer.  Shockingly he was not nominated for the Academy Award for this film; he got more write-in votes than almost any of the actual nominees.

He almost didn't take the gig, feeling that pirate adventures wasn't very interesting.  But the producers invited him to watch some of the filming.  Impressed, he signed on.  The problem was that the entire score had to be finished in three weeks.  To get the entire score complete he had to include a number of symphonic poems from Franz Lizst (remember, he was the first Rock Star).

Both Flynn and Rathbone were accomplished fencers, and justly famous for the well choreographed fight scenes.  Certainly Rathbone's fencing was more convincing than his french accent:


And the music is quite dramatic:



Next week we will close out our exploration of swashbuckling film music.

Bootnote on the actors:

Basil Rathbone was decorated for heroism on the Western Front in The Great War.  He was also the British Army's fencing champion (twice) and taught Errol Flynn much of what he knew.

Olympia de Havilland was cousin to Geoffrey de Havilland of aircraft manufacturing fame.  She only dies two years ago at the age of 104, the oldest winner of an Academy Award.  She is probably most famous for her role as Melanie in Gone With The Wind.

Errol Flynn got in a fist fight with his director during filming of Charge Of The Light Brigade.  A horse lover, he was infuriated by the intentional crippling of dozens of horses during filming.  He was a notorious womanizer and it is said that the expression "in like Flynn" originally referred to a successful seduction.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Gone shewtin'

I'm meeting Big Country and Wifey at the range for some recoil therapy.  It will be something like this:


And The Queen Of The World got me a nifty spotting scope so I can see just how rusty my marksmanship is.  Need to get out to the range more often.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Rest In Peace PFC Simanek

Awarded the Medal of Honor in Korea for falling on a grenade to save his buddies.  Lived another 70 years.  As you'd expect, Dwight has the details

Semper Fi, Marine.  Ave atque vale.