Archive for the ‘Deadbeat Donnie’ Category

So, Joe Biden is going to be our next President. That’s what the numbers say. Short of a thousand Box 13’s suddenly turning up with 100% Trump votes, that’s how it’s going to be.

It is unsurprising that the most corrupt, racist, incompetent, and dishonest president since the 19th century was voted out of office. What is surprising is that it was by such a narrow margin despite Trump’s mishandling of, well, virtually everything, from foreign affairs to the plague.

All because white people.

Specifically, over 57% of white people either being either racist or brainwashed members of a cult that claims to be “Christian” but doesn’t stand for anything Christ stood for.

Oh sure, you’re probably white if you’re reading this, But you’re also probably well educated and live in an urban area, and probably not a member of an evangelical “Christian” cult. I keep telling my friends here in the West Coast Bubble that they are, indeed, in a bubble, that they don’t know just how racist most of white America really is. Then I have Indian friends who look Hispanic or black go out on a road trip and they’re appalled to find out that they get pulled over every hour or so by racist cops who see two minorities in a Mercedes Benz and think “drug dealer”, and when they go into a roadside diner to eat the waitress won’t seat or serve them because she thinks they’re a biracial couple, or white people in monster pickup trucks flying Confederate flags cut them off and brake check them because minorities don’t belong in an expensive car, or etc., and then those friends come back and they’re upset but they *still* don’t understand why exactly that’s happening.

Well, there’s two words that explain why that’s happening: White people.

Deal being, white people got their place in America by oppressing minorities, by forcing minorities to do the hard work that actually built America while they took the profits. It was imported Chinese and Japanese laborers who built the state of California, who built the railroads and highways and worked in the mines that made the state great. It was black people who built the entire South, who built everything from the homes to the roads while being almost 100% of the workforce growing the crops that were the main reason for the South to exist. It was imported Mexicans who built Arizona and Texas, who built the houses and roads and worked in the fields that made those states great. And they did this while being oppressed by white people, who either enslaved them or forced them to accept wages well below their worth via laws that rendered them less than human and unable to do other things.

White supremacy built America. And white people are scared as fuck now that white supremacy is no longer the law of the land. For one thing, they’re scared that all those minorities they oppressed at government gunpoint are going to turn the tables and attack them. Crime against white people by minorities is fairly rare — white people are mostly murdered or raped by white people, for example. But the terror white supremacists feel about how they’re physically imperilled by minorities if a white supremacist is not President has nothing to do with that reality, and everything to do with terror that if white supremacy no longer holds sway, minorities will do to them what they did to minorities. For white people who built their entire identities around white supremacy, like, apparently, the majority of white people in America, this is scary as fuck.

So forget about all that nattering about “socialism” or “leftism” yada yada being the reason white people voted for Trump. That’s utter nonsense — Joe Biden was known as “the Senator from Citibank” when he was a Senator, he was one of the most big business friendly senators in the Senate. White people weren’t scared of Joe Biden because he was Vladimir Lenin reincarnated. White people were scared of Joe Biden because he spent eight years as Vice President to a black man — and never undercut that black man, always supported that black man, was clearly personal friends with that black man and treated that black man as if that black man was, well, the President of the United States of America. And that makes Joe Biden a threat to white supremacy.

So white people, despite their denials to the contrary, voted for the blatant white supremacist despite that white supremacist’s utter incompetence and corruption and despite the fact that this white supremacist is literally getting them killed because of his incompetence. Because they view white supremacy as more important than, well, pretty much everything. Because in their minds, if they don’t have white supremacy, the minorities they historically oppressed will turn around and do to them what they did to minorities, despite lack of any evidence that this will happen from states like California that are already majority minority. Because white supremacy is a hella drug, and they just don’t want to let go of it.

I expect that we’ll get plenty of pundits whining that Joe Biden didn’t get a 50 state blowout because he didn’t pander to Bubba White Person in Podunk, Idaho. Thing is, there is literally nothing other than white supremacy that Joe could have used to get Bubba’s vote — and that would have lost Joe the rest of his coalition. It was literally impossible for Joe Biden to pander to white supremacists more than an actual white supremacist did, and the (all-white) pundits who are suggesting this is the reason Joe didn’t get Bubba’s vote are, well…. white supremacists.

That is all.

– Badtux the anti-Racist Penguin

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I mean, it seems obvious that Trump just isn’t a very good person. He lies. He cheats. He steals. He is a serial adulterer. He worships mammon. He doesn’t keep the sabbath, preferring to play golf instead. Not much Christian in all that, right? So how can someone who claims to be a Christian support that, rather than for a lifelong Catholic who goes to church every Sunday and prays every day?

Well, it’s simple. They say he’s “Born Again”.

At which point I’m like, say whuh?

First thing I do is check out whether Trump himself has ever claimed to be a Christian, born-again or not. So I go to Google and look at his official campaign site to see if I can find any statement by him or his campaign staff claiming that he is a Christian, born-again or not. Okay, so I see he’s got an Evangelicals For Trump sub-site, and a Catholics For Trump sub-site, and he has a lot of stuff calling Joe Biden (a church-going Catholic) un-Christian, but nowhere on any link in this page does he or his campaign staff state that he’s Christian, born-again or no.

Okay, so next thing I look at is his campaign speech transcripts. Has he ever stated he’s a Christian there? So I found a site that appears to have transcripts for all of his campaign speeches at all of his rallies, and searched it for the word “Christian” and got this result:

Your search – christian site:https://www.rev.com/…/donald-trump-rally-transcripts – did not match any documents.

So he’s never said he’s a Christian in any of his campaign speeches either. Huh.

So who *has* said that Donald Trump is Christian? Not Donald Trump. He has never claimed that he is Christian at all, nevermind born-again. There are various TV pastors who have said Trump is Christian, but Trump himself has never made that claim about himself.

It is well known by this time that Trump rarely attends church services, instead choosing to golf on Sundays (as can be seen by looking at his calendar of golf outings, most of which are on Sundays: https://trumpgolfcount.com/displayoutings ). He has hosted events for evangelical pastors at the White House and apparently has joined them in prayer from time to time. But Trump himself has never claimed publically to be Christian, born-again or not.

Not that it matters. Because, see, here’s the thing: Born-again isn’t something you say. It’s something you do

So, let’s say that Donald Trump actually *did* claim to be a Born Again Christian: What does that mean, actually?

Basically, what this means, in evangelical Christian faiths, is that you’ve accepted Jesus Christ into your heart as your personal Lord and Savior. From this moment on, you will try to let the Lord guide your life.

According to evangelicals, what this means is that your prior slate of sins is wiped off the slate. You can be a murderer and go to Heaven, according to evangelicals, if you but bend the knee and accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. Your sins are then washed away in the Blood of the Lamb. So according to evangelicals, if Donald Trump did this, all of his prior sins — like serial adultery, bearing false witness against others, etc. — are gone.

But here’s the thing: Merely *saying* you are Saved doesn’t make you Saved. You have to actually accept Jesus in your heart and let Him guide you. You may still sin. Most probably you will. But you will try your best not to sin, and try your best to live a better life, a more generous life.

I remember reading about a murderer who was Saved in prison. He went from being an angry vengeful man to being a model prisoner, a gentle mentor for younger prisoners, a calming influence to others. He spent hours each day reading his Bible to become a better Christian. He expressed sorrow regularly for the evils he had committed as a young man and said he belongs in prison for what he did. He clearly had accepted Jesus into his heart as his guide. Is there any evidence — *ANY* evidence — that Donald Trump has done so? Has Donald Trump’s behavior changed in any way since he paid off multiple mistresses in 2016 to keep quiet about his affairs?

Has Donald Trump released the caged kids? Has Donald Trump quit violating the Ten Commandments by telling lies about his political opponents? Has Donald Trump embraced the Christian humility of turning the other cheek and saying only good things about people, not bad things? Has Donald Trump engaged in acts of Christian charity helping the least amongst us? Has Donald Trump quit mocking the disabled? Has Donald Trump quit embracing greed and venality? Has Donald Trump started respecting the Sabbath rather than playing golf most Sundays?

And the answer is: No. Since he was inaugurated, the president has borne false witness or made misleading statements at least 19,127 times, continuing to violate the 10 Commandments. And he continues to do so, the most recent one being his assertion that Joe Biden was not a Christian. (Joe Biden is an observant Catholic who attends church every Sunday and has never been accused of adultery). This is not a man who has changed his behavior to a more Christ-like behavior. This is not a man who is letting Jesus into his heart to guide his life.

The murderer who became a gentle mentor and guide for younger prisoners clearly accepted Jesus into his heart. There is no — ZERO — evidence that Donald J. Trump has done so. He continues to violate the 10 Commandments on a near-daily basis, and has never repented of his prior sins. That murderer in prison for life is literally a better Christian than Donald J. Trump. At least he has repented of his sins. Trump never has, and never will.

– Badtux the Religion Whisperer Penguin

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Nurses are complaining they are screening possible COVID-19 patients in the emergency room and being sent into COVID-19 patients’ rooms without proper personal protective equipment. The problem is, there isn’t enough personal protective equipment. And why that is so basically boils down to two things: The normal operation of the supply chain, and the orange underwear skid mark.

It’s not a problem of short-sighted administrators not buying PPE. PPE is in short supply for the same reason that toilet paper is in short supply — the supply chain isn’t capable of meeting the demand. Nobody keeps a six month supply of PPE in their supply closet in case of a pandemic, just as nobody keeps a six month supply of TP in their bathroom closet in case of a pandemic — it just won’t *fit*. Hospitals have at most a month’s supply of PPE under *normal* usage, because it’s bulky, has a short lifespan, and has a reliable supply chain where every week they order their usual amount, and a few days later it arrives with the rest of their shipment from their local medical supplies vendor.

Until it doesn’t, because demand for it has basically quadrupled while the supply… hasn’t.

At this point it doesn’t matter how much money administrators want to spend, they can’t get it. The supply chain will at most deliver their “usual” amount, because that’s all the supply chain is *capable* of delivering right now, because no government entity intervened to ramp up the production and stockpiling of PPE months ago despite lack of orders from hospitals for PPE months ago because they had no place in their store rooms to put more PPE. And attempts by suppliers to increase their supplies of PPE are being impacted by the pandemic because much of the economy is shut down and we are finding out just how interrelated the parts of the economy are, as critical things needed to get new PPE factories running turn out to be in as short of supply as PPE.

In January 1942, less than a month after Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the War Production Board comprised of the CEO’s of the biggest manufacturing companies in America to devise a plan to produce all of the weapons needed to win the war. By March 1 2020, over a month after being warned that we had a pandemic that was going to require more supplies than were available in the supply chain, the response of the Trump administration was… [crickets]. That, in the end, is the problem. Not only do we not have the PPE, we don’t even have a *plan* to get the PPE, other than to beg the Chinese for it, which isn’t a plan, it’s an abdication.

One last thing: Should governors have been stocking up on personal protective equipment in February?

Answer: Not really. Look at the supply chain I described above. It’s basically a just-in-time supply chain. The manufacturers make what the distributors order, with as little slack above that as possible because slack resources aren’t making them money. The distributors order what the hospitals order, because keeping large warehouses of PPE around doesn’t make them money, either. And the hospitals order what they can fit into their supply closets, which generally is going to be what they usually use in a month. Unlike the Federal Government with its Defense Production Act, states don’t have the authority to order manufacturers to open up more production of PPE and doesn’t have authority to order distributors to warehouse larger amounts of PPE. The only thing states could have done by attempting to stock up in February would have been to take PPE away from hospitals that needed it, because there wasn’t any more PPE being made than what hospitals already needed. And manufacturers aren’t going to voluntarily add capacity to manufacture more PPE just for a short time use. It takes a lot of money to build a factory, and if the pandemic is only going to last six months or so, that’s not enough time to amortize the cost.

What was needed was a President, a President willing to invoke the Defense Proeduction Act and force manufacturers to act back in January, even, a President willing to declare a state of emergency and order the production of everything needed to fight this thing. What we got was an orange charlatan.

– Badtux the Manufacturing(*) Penguin

* Yes, I’ve been a manufacturing engineer before.

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I’d feel better about having a flexible schedule if the weather wasn’t so damned gloomy. It’s been cloudy and drizzling on and off every day since I started “sheltering in place” on March 13. My yard is starting to look like a jungle, but it’s too wet here in the Newark Swamp to do any kind of yard work unless I want to use my rubber boots. Yeesh.

I say this as water drips off my roof and falls to the ground. It’s drizzling *again*! Ugh, what’s the use of being at home if you can’t even get some daylight?!

So anyhow, my sourdough starter is bubbling away as I feed it twice per day. I’m having trouble regulating its temperature, the oven gets too warm when I put the light on and the starter gets overactive, then it gets too cool when I turn the light off. I’m thinking maybe open the oven door slightly while the light is on? Because of the cold damp weather outside, the house is usually pretty cool even during the daytime, much less at night when it gets down in the lower to mid 60’s inside. Too cool for yeast to do its job, anyhow.

I used some of the starter for pancakes this morning. They weren’t bad pancakes, but they were a bit tougher than I wanted too. I think the flour I’m using for the starter is a bit higher in gluten than the flour in the pancake mix I usually use, and I’ll need to add more egg to make it fluffier. Oh well.

About 40% of those hospitalized for COVID-19 are between ages 20 and 54. All these young fools out there partying like they can’t get COVID-19? Fucking #covidiots , that’s what they are. Not only are they spreading the virus, but they’re also getting sick themselves.

Nancy Pelosi unveils a $2.5 trillion dollar COVID-19 stimulus package aimed at bailing out ordinary Americans, not giant corporations. Which of course means it can’t happen. SIGH.

Trump suggests that we allow 8.5 million Americans to die in order to protect the stock market. This a day after Texas’s Republican Lt. Governor suggested that let’s kill granny in order to save the economy At this point the only difference between Republicans and Nazis is branding. Mass deaths are fine as long as they make money off of them. WTF?!

Of course, the problem is that 8.5 million sick old people in need of hospitalization, of whom 850,000 need ventilators would utterly overwhelm our healthcare system. We have around 825,000 beds total in our entire healthcare system, and on the average day around 750,000 of those are full. We have around 80,000 total ICU beds in the United states, and on the average day around 60,000 of those are full. We normally have around 62,000 ventilators of which normally around 50,000 are in use, and can surge maybe that many more older models if needed for around 130,000 ventilators total. So…. we’re talking about people on blankets in the streets outside of hospital doors because there isn’t even room on the floors to put more patients into the hospitals. We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of people gasping their last breaths like fish out of water because there’s no ventilators. And not all of these would be COVID-19 patients. If you’re in an auto accident and need emergency surgery to stay alive? Forget it. All the supplies, all the doctors, all the facilities are overwhelmed by people in front of you. So you just die. Have a stroke and need emergency surgery to put a stent in your brain to prevent further brain damage? Sorry, no doctors, no hospital beds, no supplies, you die. And so forth.

In other words, the Republican death cult wants to not only kill 8.5 million old people (who, remember, are their base, for fuck’s sake, it’s not that these Nazi-admiring motherfuckers are evil, it’s that they’re stupid evil who don’t even do evil that benefits them!), but they also want to kill hundreds of thousands of other people who need life-saving interventions on any given day. This is deranged. This is just fucking deranged. And evil. Let’s not forget evil. But hey, it’d save on Social Security and Medicare expenses in the future, right?

And that’s all for now. I’m going to go eat the last of the pulled pork and some brownies from the batch I baked on Sunday, then feed my sourdough starter, then go back to work. Tomorrow, eh?

– Badtux the Overeating Penguin

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From Nextdoor: “My friend is looking for a lawyer to do their will and trust quickly. Her husband is a doctor and there is a good chance he will be affected with covid19. Let that sink in.. while we are complaining about boredom.
And if anyone has a recommendation, please let me know.”

A lot of medical personnel are not expecting to survive this. There are a lot of wills being updated right now.

ICE wants masks for their deportation agents

So ICE is going to almost literally rip the masks off of nurses’ faces so that they can safely pursue their vendetta against brown people. WTF, America? People are going to literally die if nurses don’t get the masks they need. Meanwhile, nobody dies if ICE has to temporarily suspend being mean to brown people. Why are people who save lives (nurses) worth less than people who literally put lives at risk by putting toddlers into concentration camps?!

So, I had to go to the office to do a couple of things ( replace a hard drive in a RAID array, reset a switch and give it an IP address so I can get into its configuration UI to configure it).

Before I did that, I went by the Big Lots and bought a couple more boxes of that dark chocolate brownie mix, because chocolate (!!!). They had plenty of baking powder, which I don’t need (I have two cans), but no yeast. I went to the Lucky the next exit down and scored some Brawny paper towels, needed because I only had 3 rolls of paper towels left, but they didn’t have any yeast either — is there a run on yeast? Did Hair Twitler say yeast cured COVID-19 or something?

After scoring the paper towels, I headed in to the office and did what I needed to do. Doing this on a Sunday guaranteed there would be nobody around to infect me, though my boss and his wife were in the back room working on their Burning Man art project, as if Burning Man is actually going to happen this year (we’ll see, I guess, but I doubt it).

Then it started raining — just like every other day since the declaration of “Shelter In Place”. I was going to stop by Costco on the way home and fuel up including putting some into the gas can, but I’m not doing that in the rain, thank you very much! I outran the rain and then decided to try the *other* neighborhood Mexican grocer to see if I could find some bakers’ yeast. Success!

So I’m at home now, and a batch of dark chocolate brownies is baking in the oven. I’m going to open up the pulled pork and make pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw for supper tonight, with chocolate brownies for dessert.And now it’s raining outside here. I’m going to be 300 pounds by the time this is all done, between not being able to go outside and walk because it’s raining, and all this baking!

Oh yeah — since there was only three packets of bakers’ yeast, I’m going to set up a sourdough starter tonight. I’m going to try to make a plain old sourdough bread once it’s ready five to seven days from now.

Oh yeah, basic supplies: Lucky had plenty of general purpose flour, but no bread flour. I forgot to check for beef franks. The Mexican grocer had plenty of eggs and milk and lots of meat, but no beef franks. Plenty of chorizo though, of course! If I was going to make white sausage gravy for biscuits’n’gravy that’s what I’d use, it’s a yummy sausage and goes just right in that recipe. Of course, first I’d have to bake some biscuits, but I have a drop biscuit recipe around here somewhere that works real well. But not today!

Update: The pulled pork sandwiches were okay, but the brownies are great. Dark chocolate brownies… mmmmm!

Ah yes, the ferals are doing fine. Snowy and Patches are sleeping curled together in one cat bed most of the time, but earlier today were sleeping in two different cat beds as other cats came and went eating kibble on the patio (on the patio because it’s raining outside and I didn’t want the kibble to be wet). Chuck and T’Challa are doing fine too. Here’s the scene on my patio a bit earlier today:

Snowy, Patches, and Blaze — three feral cats.

And here’s Chuck in the cat trap:

The cat trap worked!

Right now Chuck and T’Challa are chasing each other up and down the central hallway of the house like a herd of stampeding cattle. Meanwhile I have servers howling in my ear as I do some work for the office. So it goes.

– Badtux the Still-alive Penguin

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You’ll notice that I didn’t post one of these yesterday because I was hip deep in computer parts. Here is my rack now.

My home office data center

From top to bottom: KVM switch, NAS/virtualization, SAS2 JBOD cabinet, new virtualization server. Then some spare disks and a spare 10 gigabit Ethernet switch.

So yesterday I put a SAS2 backplane into the antique SAS1 JBOD cabinet to convert it to SAS2, then put a SAS2 card and a 10 gigabit Etherent card into the new virtualization server. I tried moving the NAS disks to the JBOD and then standing up the virtualization server as an all-in-one connected to the JBOD with the unit on top then recommissioned as a part-time VMware virtualization server (since I only need it when I’m developing software during the day), but my Windows 2019 Essentials virtual machine that handles my video surveillance network refused to come up. I moved the disks back into the NAS/virtualization server and stood up the other server as ESXi only (necessary because I’m developing virtual appliances for the vSphere environment), and all is well again. The NAS is running Centos 7 Linux and serves as the data store for the VMware via a NFS file share. The ESXi box on the bottom is running ESXi 6.0 and has a fleet of virtual appliances running on it that I’m developing for work.

Other things that happened yesterday: An ER nurse says goodbye to her family, because due to lack of preparation she is almost certain to die.

We needed to start emergency production of PPE gear two months ago — and now it’s too late. She knows she’s going to be infected. She knows everybody else in her ER is going to be infected. Because there just isn’t any protective gear, yet they are the kind of people who can’t just let people die. There’s people who run towards fires, and people who run away from them. For all you emergency responders out there, thank you for what you do. And fuck Trump. May his orange asshole self get COVID-19 and infect every other stupid asshole in his idiotic regime who did absolutely nothing while China was warning us that shit was about to burn.

And finally, Governor Newsome said that with over half of Californians projected to get the COVID-19 virus over the next 8 weeks, he had no choice other than to issue a statewide stay home order to try to keep the hospitals from being utterly overwhelmed. As I mentioned before, California hospitals are required to have contingency plans for natural disasters. But nobody planned for an epidemic, because epidemics are so…. 20th century.

– Batdut the Geek Nerd Penguin

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So, looks like Chewy.com is crumbling under the weight of people ordering large quantities of pet supplies from them. Since the pet store where I buy cat litter is closed, I decided to order my second-choice cat litter from them. Nope. Sold out. So found a second choice they still had in stock, and put two 40 pound bags into my cart, then went to add some cat food to meet the “free shipping” criteria. First choice: Sold out. Second choice: Sold out. Third choice — yep, my cats will eat that one, so added it to the cart. If this goes on, things are going to get grim for cat owners, maybe to the point where they have to make their cats into indoor-outdoor cats. At least I can still get cat food in large 40 pound bags locally, at least until Costco runs out.

One of the interesting things locally has been what has happened to our local Nextdoor group. This is generally a bunch of angry white people who post messages about suspicious people walking down the street (suspicious people who seem to always be brown), suspicious cars (driven by brown people, duh), omg I saw a snake in my backyard is it poisonous (answer: no, we don’t have any poisonous snakes in our city, rattlesnakes don’t like swamps), and so forth. But now there is a lot of people who are offering to help the older members with shopping and who are filling us in on what stores are open and what items they have so that people don’t need to drive all over to find what they need, as well as restaurants we should be supporting by ordering take-out, and so forth. It’s more like what was always envisioned for Nextdoor, neighbors helping neighbors.

The Giant Orange Underwear Shitstain hit the markets hard today with yet another incoherent babbling speech that did more harm than good but that his moron supporters undoubtedly ate up like chocolate ice cream despite the fact that, except for color, his bullshit shares nothing in common with chocolate ice cream. Meanwhile, the most honest man in the NIH, Anthony S. Fauci, M.D, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases which is already testing a vaccine and a treatment, has been sidelined for, well, being honest. Despite the fact that his organization is the only one in the whole shitstain that is the Trump Administration that has actually responded quickly and competently to the crisis. Because competence is not rewarded in the Trump Administration. Loyalty is. Thus my new bumper sticker that came in yesterday:

Any Functioning Adult

Any Functioning Adult 2020

Mostly people seem to be complying with the shelter in place quarantine orders. The exception is Elon Musk’s Tesla, because building electric luxury cars for rich people is apparently an essential business in his eyes. Gotta meet those quarterly production numbers, y’know. Elon Musk now becomes a trope, the corrupt evil corporate executive. I bet those of you who were worshipping Musk a few years ago feel silly now, eh?

Food-wise, I finished up the hot dogs for lunch. With pickle relish, mustard, and ‘kraut, of course. I ate fish and baked potatoes for supper. I haven’t even touched the canned food in my pantry yet.

I haven’t ventured out of the house today other than to fetch the newspaper and feed the ferals that appear to be living on my back patio now, they’re sleeping in the cat beds and hanging around most of the day. It’s all been virtual interactions. We are well on the way to the world of the Newsflesh Trilogy, where people don’t interact with each other in person because anybody could be carrying the virus and turn into a ravenous zombie at any moment, everything’s done via the Internet or remote delivery into sterilization chambers. The governor has stated that school is probably cancelled for the rest of this school year, and has cancelled standardized testing since you can’t really test what hasn’t been taught because the schools are cancelled. People are setting up study groups and virtual schools on the Internet but that isn’t really a substitute for school, regardless of what the “unschooling” advocates believe.

Talk now is that the way things are is going to continue until at least mid-summer, which is going to take a horrific toll on the economy because most stores are closed and unemployment is going to go sky-high. And Republicans are talking about sending every American a check for $2,000. Republicans. Wow. We are in bizarro world.

I don’t know what the world is going to look like after all of this is done, but I have a suspicion it’s going to look somewhat different from what it looks like today. Meanwhile, I have food and drink, I’m healthy, I still have a job (for the moment), so we’re going to have to see what happens, I guess.

– Badtux the “Interesting Times” Penguin

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* Iran is a largely mountainous country.
* Iraq is a largely flat country.

* Iran has been a country since the early 1500’s, when the Safavids conquered Persia from the remnant Mongol regime and set up a government that has continued to rule Iran for the subsequent 500 years with occasional regime changes. That Iran claims to be heir to a 2500 year heritage of being a unified nation. Iran is a country that has a long and proud history of being a country for longer than the United States has existed, and has a culture and heritage older than Western civilization as a whole.
* Iraq was never a country until the British cobbled it together from three Ottomon provinces in the 1920’s and then fought a bloody war against rebels in those provinces to enforce their rule.

* Iran controls all of their territory as a unified nation, and its military is loyal to the Iranian nation.
* Iraq has never been a unified nation, and even under Saddam much of the nation and much of the military was under the rule of warlords who were paid off by the national government to stay loyal. The slick thing the U.S. did was pay them more than Saddam paid them, so that they (and the army units they controlled) stayed home when the US invaded. Obviously that cannot be done with Iran.

* Iraq’s military was based upon obsolete Soviet export gear that the Iraqi military barely knew how to operate, and operated via Soviet military doctrine which assumed the availability of unlimited amounts of men and equipment and the ability to retreat and wait for winter if facing defeat.
* Iran’s military uses a hodge-podge of American-derived (reverse-engineered), ex-Soviet, Chinese, and home-grown gear, and has home-grown military doctrines to go with it that have been actually tested against a Western army in Lebanon in 2006 and worked relatively well, in that the invading Israeli army’s tanks were swiftly disabled and the Israelis were forced to declare victory and go home, towing their disabled tanks behind them.

* Iraq had MANPADs which disallowed using helicopters for close support, but that didn’t matter because it’s flat so the US could use tanks.
* Iran has MANPADs wich disallow using helicopters for close support, but the US can’t substitute tanks there for close support because the land is so mountainous.

* Iraq’s air defense system was obsolete Soviet gear that they didn’t know how to use.
* Iran has the latest systems from Russia and China, which aren’t perfect but mean that we can’t just fly B-52’s over Iran and carpet-bomb them until a very lengthy (and expensive) process of degrading those air defenses take place.

Summary: Invading Iran would be much different from invading Iraq. Expect a constant stream of explosive devices, missiles, mines, and rockets to bring progress of U.S. tanks along tank-trap roads in mountainous territory to a crawl. Air superiority will be a given but it won’t be usable in the early days of the war, when Iranian air defenses would make things miserable for U.S. aircraft.

Now add in the fact that the Strait of Hormuz is overlooked by literally tens of thousands of Silkworm anti-ship missiles, all of which will render it impassable due to being littered with hulks within minutes of an invasion of Iran starting, and you will see why only a lunatic would start a war with Iran. Or Donald J. Trump. But I repeat myself.

What’s going to happen? Not war, hopefully. But when it comes to Trump, “*nobody* would be stupid enough to do *that*” doesn’t seem to work anymore for predicting what’s going to happen….

– Badtux the Grouchy Penguin

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What was interesting about life in Germany during WW2 was that until late 1943 when mass bombings of Germany began, life for the average German really didn’t change once WW2 started. Sure, everybody knew someone who’d been drafted and sent to the front, but you still got up, went to work, went to church, children played in the streets, grocery stores had food in them, etc. And yeah, “those” people had been taken away and put into work camps to build war goods, but so what, everybody knew “those” people weren’t any good anyhow, they were all criminals, so it was okay that Germany ran the biggest prison system on the face of the planet.

Then 1943 happened, with massive numbers of Germans killed on the Eastern front as the Soviets pushed back at German advances, and the beginning of mass bombings of German cities causing huge disruptions to daily life. Suddenly life became more desperate. Hellish, even. Support for starting new wars suddenly disappeared. People didn’t want to surrender, exactly, they were still patriotic Germans, but war was no longer a fun and happy thing for them.

The United States has been at war for 18 years now, and we’re still Germany in 1941. We’ll probably always be Germany in 1941 as long as we don’t have waves of bombers flying over us dropping bombs on our cities, because when war seems to have no cost other than full employment for our people, why *not* go to war?

Well, other than the fact that the last war we won was frickin’ seven decades ago, and we needed a huge help by the Soviet Union (which killed 3/4ths of the German military personnel killed during the war) to do it. But if victory isn’t your goal, well.

– Badtux the History Penguin

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So, the Great Orange Shitstain just issued a decree saying California can no longer set its emissions standards under a long-standing exemption to the Clean Air Act. Here’s the problem with that: his decree both violates the legislative intent of the Act (which was to grant California the power to set standards more stringent than Federal standards, since California’s emissions standards predate the Federal standards) and violates the processes decreed by the Act.

Look: You can’t just issue a decree and repeal an exemption like that. There has to be notices. Hearings. Environmental studies showing that it will not harm the environment, and economic studies showing that it will not harm the economy, all of which can take years. *Plus*, there is no provision in the Clean Air Act for *canceling* a waiver. You can decide not to renew the waiver, but California’s waiver doesn’t expire until 2025, long after Mango Mussolini is hopefully out of office. Canceling the waiver would clearly harm the environment and be against the legislative intent of the Act. Yet the Orange Racist Russian Stooge thinks he can bypass all that by just issuing a Presidential decree like some tinpot dicator of a third world country?

Dude must think he’s Vladimir Putin. Instead of Putin’s puppet.

We’ll see whether El Presidente Naranjo gets away with it. Hopefully, the answer is “no”. We’ll see, I guess.

— Badtux the Snarky Penguin

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