Friday, June 05, 2020

Tim Pool, fantasizing: "If I were the mayor of Minneapolis..."

I've cued the following video to a moment in the podcast where Tim Pool is fantasizing about what he'd do were he the mayor of Minneapolis. What he says stretches the bounds of credibility and plausibility, but it's a nice fantasy to indulge in for a moment. Pool's imaginary scenario probably wouldn't fly for dozens of legal reasons, but I admit I kinda' like it:

For a guy who quite vocally dislikes Donald Trump, Pool sounds awfully Trumpian.

my new favorite picture

a quietly revolutionary video

I guess the Brits have a bit of an obsession with sausage rolls. The very term "sausage roll" doesn't sound all that American to me, so right there, in the words themselves, we have a slight hint of the foreign.* If I'm not mistaken, I've already linked to a Sorted Food video about sausage rolls and have tried making them myself. (The result was a failure, but I did learn a lot.) The following video caught my eye, not only because it was about sausage rolls, but because the guy claims to be able to make a "rough puff" pastry dough in about ten minutes. My mind blurted, "Bullshit—that's impossible," but the video now had my full attention, so I watched it all the way through. I had to watch the video: so-called "shortcut" versions of the standard puff-pastry recipe still take hours to make: the shortcuts are never that short. This was my first time ever hearing the claim that any sort of puff pastry could be made in less than a quarter of an hour. Ultimately, the method wasn't so different from making pie dough, but it involved a bit of stretching and folding to create layers.

Maybe I just don't get out enough. Have you heard this claim?

Anyway, the video was also informative when it came to making the sausage. Fatty meat is definitely the order of the day, and the guy—Gill Meller—used a technique that I had stumbled upon when making gyros last year: use panko or other bread crumbs in the mix to retain the fat and keep it from spilling everywhere.

As you saw in the video, Meller makes his sausage with sage—a nod to American-style sausage. However, he also salutes Italy by sprinkling fennel seeds across the tops of his rolls: fennel seeds are a crucial component in Italian sausage. I'm impatient to try making this recipe sometime soon. As for the "rough puff"... I'll believe it's awesome when I see it up close.

*Asian bakeries sell their own perverted forms of sausage rolls, usually involving some sort of bland, spiraled bread and a hot dog, which only barely qualifies as a bona fide sausage.

Thursday, June 04, 2020

young, dumb, and full of cum

Stupid teen suffers the consequences of his stupidity:

Scott Adams re: the pulse of the nation

Liberals don't know this because they're not anchored in reality:

If you don't trust Adams's poll, look at the other snap polls from the past few days. Most of the country is not with the rioters, and this attitude has nothing to do with ambient racism.

Styx elaborates on the country's mood here:

Styx sez "Calm the fuck down"

Styx: "Things Aren't as Bad as You Think: Stop Guzzling Left-wing Propaganda"

Strangely consistent with what Karlyn Borysenko is saying.

wow—choice words from Larry Correia

Just saw this on Instapundit (edited), quoted from Larry Correia (a fantasy novelist and co-founder of the "Sad Puppies" movement who writes on gun-rights issues among other things):

A friend of mine posted about seeing this: “Where are all you gun owners now that the federal government and police are attacking citizens in the streets?? Now that the National Guard is out oppressing citizens? I thought this was the moment you’re waiting for? So why aren’t you out there fighting them with your guns? You’re nothing but a bunch of fucking cowards!”

My response was the GIF of Nelson Muntz going HA HA. :D

But I’ve seen this sentiment a lot too over the last few days, so please if you are so incredibly fucking dumb that you are actually wondering why America’s gun culture isn't commuting into the Democrat cities you have banned us from in order to get into gunfights with the National Guard on your behalf, allow me to elaborate.

Hypothetical Liberal “Ally” Who Lives in the Suburbs Which Aren’t On Fire: “Hey, gun owners! Here is some civil unrest! Why won’t you come and help us?”

Snort. Fuck off.

“Pussies! Why not?”

Well, every single gun nut in America has spent his entire adult life being continually mocked, insulted, and belittled by the left. You’ve done nothing but paint us as the bad guys.

In Hollywood, we’re always evil, stupid, violent, malicious, redneck, racist murderers. That’s so ingrained in the liberal religion that when “ally” Harvey Weinstein was trying to get out of being a sleazy rapist, his repentance consisted of promising to make more movies about how the NRA is bad.

In the news, everything is always our fault. If there is a mass murder, we can always count on the vultures to swoop in and blame America’s gun culture. They flog it for weeks on end, 24/7 coverage, hoping for gun control. And if the identity of the shooter doesn’t fit the narrative, it drops off the news in mere hours.

And then at the local, state, and federal level, legally speaking, the left fucks us at every opportunity. You ban everything you can get away with. You ban things that literally make no sense. You ban shit just out of spite.

When we fight back against gun control laws, you declare we are stupid because only the police should have guns. (Hey, aren’t those the guys you are protesting right now?)

“Stupid, racist rednecks! We live in a civilized society! Don’t you realize the police will protect us?” until when your Democrat cities are on fire, and you call 911, and the operator tells you sorry, the police can’t come to your house right now, please try not to get murdered... How is that strict gun control working out for you?

Then you did everything in your power to chase gun owners out of your sainted liberal strongholds. You passed laws. You banned everything we like. Forced all the shooting ranges to close. Forced most of the gun stores to close. And just generally let us know that our kind is not welcome there.

But now that you’ve started some shit, YOU want US to go into Democrat cities, with Democrat mayors, and Democrat police chiefs enforcing Democrat policies that cause strife among Democrats... in order to get into gunfights on your behalf?

How fucking gullible do you think we are?

Because we all know that literally 30 seconds after a gun nut blows away a government employee on your behalf, all the national media coverage of the riots will instantly cease (sorta like the coronavirus coverage did), and the news will be breathlessly reporting about right-wing extremist gun nuts, and all you useless fucks will go back to whining for more dumbass gun control.

You’ve already thrown the black community under the bus, cheering as their neighborhoods get burned while yours are safe. Seriously, white liberals are the shittiest “allies” in history, and your moral foundation has the consistency of Play-Doh. Your moral compass is a wind sock.

Just a little while ago, gun nuts had a massive peaceful protest in Virginia. Tens of thousands of people turned out to protest gun-control proposals from a Democrat with a penchant for wearing blackface (he still considers himself an “ally” though!). They didn’t break any windows. They didn’t kill any puppies. They didn’t burn any horses. They didn’t flip any police cars or murder any security guards. They were downright boring. They were polite, and even cleaned up their litter.

Except then you called them domestic terrorists, and you were super sad that they didn’t get massacred by the government (said government you are now mad at for killing people, because again, you fuckers ain’t exactly consistent).

Liberal “allies” are quick to call gun nuts the bad guys, but we’re not trying to disarm people. We want everybody to be able to defend themselves. It’s a common thing to see some meme on the internet, showing a black family shooting or posing with their guns, with some caption like “bet this offends the NRA,” but that's liberal projection because, in reality, in my social circles, everybody is like, “fuck yeah, good for them.” And the harshest complaints I’ve seen have been about trigger-finger discipline or lack of eye protection.

My side isn’t the one that wants the state to have a monopoly on force. We know the 2nd Amendment is for everybody, regardless of skin color or where you live. You fuckers are the ones who keep declaring we can’t fight the government with AR-15s because they have tanks and nukes, but then you bumbling fuckheads try fighting the government by throwing rocks?

So not only no, but hell, no.

My own response to the question "Where are all you gun owners now that the federal government and police are attacking citizens in the streets? Now that the National Guard is out oppressing citizens?" would be: the accusations that the authorities are "attacking citizens in the streets" and are "out oppressing citizens" are lies. You make it sound as if we're dealing with a bunch of helpless victims when nothing could be further from the truth. If I were a gun owner, I would probably help the authorities by pacifying rioter brains with my own supply of tablets of the 300-grain Magnum or ACP variety. If this were a case of the government clamping down on citizen freedoms (which it's arguably already done, thanks to the pandemic—but at the state level, not the federal level), I'd be out there fighting the authorities. But that's not what's happening. When it's the citizens themselves who threaten the social order, then as sad as I am to say it, I'd stand against my fellow citizens.

I've repeatedly warned that, if there is indeed a violent civil war between the left and the right, the side with the guns will win. The argument that the government is far better-armed than the citizens is neutralized by the fact that most military officers vote overwhelmingly GOP/conservative: they'd most likely join the armed citizens in finally getting rid of the rock-throwing, property-destroying liberals who have no respect for authority or for human life. Beware of waking that sleeping giant, rioters, because once it's awake, its sole mission in life will be to unleash hell upon you. I don't look forward to that day, but if you keep pushing matters, there will be a massive, bloody reckoning.

John Pepple on liberal hypocrisy

From this post, after a remark about how leftists and liberals seem to think Trump thinks he is above the law (edited for style):

Meanwhile, the rest of us are noticing—and noticed this well before the death of George Floyd—that Antifa is above the law. They can do anything, and the police won't arrest them. A harmless woman in Texas wanted to return to doing her job as a hair stylist and was jailed for it, but Antifa’s members will not be arrested even though they destroyed, among other things, a police station. And even if they are arrested, they will not have the book thrown at them, which is what they deserve. And finally, the rioters have killed two black police officers (see here), but of course, none of the rioters care about that at all.

That about sums it up.

ADDENDUM: more hypocrisy here:

Dr. Karlyn has a fangirl moment

She's constantly loud and over-the-top, and as a result, I don't always trust the sincerity of her sentiments, but Dr. Karlyn Borysenko, who vlogs on YouTube, has just put out a video titled "Donald Trump is a genius. It's game, set, match in his battle with the media. It's over. He won." Keep mind that Dr. Karlyn is (or at least was) a dedicated liberal.

Borysenko's video focuses on the "Trump walks to church" incident, which is being univocally misreported as "Trump tear-gassed peaceful protesters just to get to the church." This is just more media bullshit.

#JOURNALISM: Media Falsely Claimed Violent Riots Were Peaceful And That Tear Gas Was Used Against Rioters. “The entire narrative the media glommed onto in lockstep was that Trump was a monster who tear-gassed peaceful protesters to do something meaningless. None of that was true.”

Paul Joseph Watson on the rioting in London (yes, it's spread to other countries):

the return of the chowder

Frustratingly, my local groceries aren't selling scallops, but they've got salmon and seafood medleys, so I bought those and, after spending way too long cutting up celery, potatoes, and mushrooms into little cubes, I now have the makings of a seafood chowder.

The motivation for this chowder began with the chicken pot pie: I simply had too much leftover cream sauce, even after making a second pot pie, so I decided to use the rest of the sauce up by making chowder. A bit of advice: never make nearly a gallon of Béchamel sauce unless you have very specific plans for every ounce of it. As I wrote above, I ended up making a second giant pot pie, which I brought to work on Tuesday. It got devoured. For the chowder, I used up the rest of the Béchamel and added my remaining heavy cream plus several cups of milk to thin the mix out. But that's the result of improv, not "very specific plans."

The chowder is pretty much ready to go; I need to cook and add in a pile of bacon, and I'll add the seafood on the day I bring the chowder to work (this coming Friday). Photos of the results may or may not appear. Stay tuned.

Bukhan-gang, here we come!

My buddy JW proposed a walk earlier this week. It's one I've never done before; it goes along the North Han River, i.e., the Bukhan-gang in Korean. (Buk = north; han = Han; gang = river.) JW originally thought the path would be 30 km long, but when I measured it on Naver Map, it was only 16 km. We're going on Saturday, when it'll be about 90ºF, so I'm not sure how much I'm going to enjoy this. This time of year, given how hot, humid, and miserable Korea becomes when summer rears its ugly head, I'd much rather walk at night. But I sighed and told JW I'd be happy to do the walk with him and his kids (both are coming along this time—his son and his daughter). He'll be picking me up Saturday morning at 9 a.m.; we'll drive out to Chuncheon Station, which is on the Gyeongchun Line. The walk will take us south and west to Gangchon Station (I assume "Gangchon" means "river village"), 16 kilometers along a lovely riverside path. Theoretically, we could walk longer, but JW doesn't want to push his kids to do too much. His daughter has done several walks with him; JW tells me that she's much more of a natural distance walker than his boy is, although I think his son did a pretty good job the last time we walked out to Yangpyeong (and without any whining!). Once we hit Gangchon Station, we'll take the rail back to the top again, to our starting point at Chuncheon Station, where JW will have parked his car. Perhaps we'll do a late lunch somewhere.

JW's wife never joins us on these walks. She may be relishing several hours of peace and quiet with no kids or husband in the apartment. I don't blame her; I hear that life has been stressful for her these days, what with her son, a pre-teen, becoming somewhat sullen and obstreperous. She may also have no interest in distance walking, which is understandable; we all have our particular preferences. It's sad, though: the only time I ever talk to her is around Christmas, and even that has been happening less frequently: we used to have a tradition in which I'd bring food over to JW's place, and we'd have a little Christmas Eve celebration. The past couple of years, though, JW and his family have chosen to travel around South Korea, and I don't think I realized how much I enjoyed those small family gatherings until they stopped occurring. Ah, well. You accept what life hands you, I suppose.

But Christmas aside, I can at least look forward to a family outing this coming Saturday. I'll wear my toshi to protect my forearms, plus my hiking hat to protect my head and neck. I hope 1.5 liters of water will be enough. 16 kilometers is relatively short, but the day will be hot, and I will be very sweaty. We'll see.

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Ilhan Omar: garbage person

Representative Ilhan Omar, garbage person extraordinaire, may have married her brother; she had an affair with a married political consultant (whom she has since married); she downplayed 9/11 ("some people did something"), and she has repeatedly taken an antisemitic stance toward Israel and its people.

Omar's latest: fallaciously comparing the Trump and Obama White Houses. Here's Styx:

Vote—that—bitch—out. Wake the fuck up, Minnesota.

Oh, wait... it's Minnesota.

well, good

WION News (I've mentioned them before) has come through again, this time with a report about the growing movement—going by the hashtag #BoycottChina— to divest from China. There is apparently a new phone app called "Remove China Apps," whose sole purpose is to hunt down and uninstall all apps originating in China. I find this hilarious, but it's also a fine step in the right direction. China needs to be disconnected from the global economy, and although there's no chance of that ever happening, the West needs to try, if only to regain its own soul after years of allowing the Chinese demon/vampire to suck the West's life out.

The app isn't visible when I try to shop the Android Play Store, so I guess it's been removed (some YouTube comments suggest the same is true in Europe). I'm in South Korea, so this isn't surprising: Korea has been kowtowing to China for a long time; as I've mentioned before, Korea was once a vassal state of China, so this subservience goes back centuries. China is currently South Korea's largest trading partner, so even as the rest of the world pivots toward #BoycottChina, South Korea will, alas, remain blindly loyal, especially under the current leftist government. If South Korea's attitude changes, I'll be pleasantly surprised.

riot videos

The indefatigable Ami Horowitz interviews some rioters about why they're rioting:

Did you find that inspiring and educational? Are you blown away by how smart the rioters are? I sure was! Over at Instapundit, there's an incredible post displaying links to many, many videos of rioting. People in the comments are saying, "Quick—download these and spread them around before they're taken down by the file-hosting service!" The depredations of the rioters are on full display, and this just reinforces the idea that you're a moron if you sympathize with these bastards even a little. Do I sympathize with George Floyd's family and the peaceful people who actually engaged in protest as they sought justice for Floyd's murder? Absolutely. But for the rioters who erupted in the wake of Derek Chauvin's firing, arrest, and murder charge, I have zero sympathy.

a laugh riot

Seen on Instapundit:

Hilarious if true, and there's some talk that the above story is itself a fake-news prank. Prank or not, the story is pretty funny.

it's on its way

I know that, last week, I promised a series review of "Burn Notice." I haven't forgotten that promise. I've already written several hundred words, and here's a sneak peek:

To understand "Burn Notice," think of it as the humor-filled love child of two mostly humorless TV shows: "24" and "The Equalizer" (the TV show with Edward Woodward, I mean, not the Denzel Washington movies). Michael Westen is cut off from the CIA, but he still needs to make a living, so he becomes a government-trained do-gooder. Every episode of "Burn Notice"—for the first six seasons, anyway—runs on two parallel tracks: Westen's pursuit of the people who burned him, and Westen's aid given to the show's victim-of-the-week. The show never quite explains how Westen and his team are able to obtain the often-expensive spy equipment and weaponry they rely on to resolve their cases. It often seemed to me, as I binge-watched, that Westen & Co. had a net income of zero dollars, especially once you realized that much of the work they did was gratis—a charity to help out a friend of a friend, or a friend of Michael's mom.

Expect the rest soon.

Tim Pool's greatest gift: exposing media lies

And yet again, the media are lying:

Unlike Styx, Pool & Co. believe Antifa's actions are terrorism.

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Tim Pool on the evidence that the riots have been planned

Individual humans can be smart. Collective humans, by contrast, are almost always stupid. People in groups are easy to manipulate.

A day or so ago, friend Bill Keezer sent out this email (lightly edited):


For several years, I have been predicting a coming civil war. I thought it would be over either one or both of the following issues: gun control and immigration. I obviously was wrong. As we see from the widespread violence and its organization, we are now in an active civil war, and it is neither over the issues I expected nor taking the form I expected.

I anticipated eventual federal versus local engagements over immigration and sanctuary cities, or citizen uprisings over gun-control attempts. The latter may happen if confiscation is seriously attempted, but Connecticut and New York show that gun-control law, which would cause confiscation, is not being enforced. It has become virtue-signaling. The Bundy ranch incident in Nevada was the revelation that government enforcement will not stand up to determined citizens. Virginia is walking a thin line in this regard. So far, their gun control does not lead to confiscation—simply to difficulty in obtaining CCW [carrying a concealed weapon], ammunition, or additional firearms. It is still at a stage where court battles are being waged.

Immigration was creating turbulence, but it has become less urgent as the number of illegal aliens entering the US has decreased due to the President’s stand against illegal entry, the building of the border wall, and the effects of the Wuhan flu. I had anticipated popular action and started to see it when buses of forcibly relocated aliens were being stopped at city limits. That issue has died down to the extent it doesn’t appear even in the conservative news sources or among conservative commentators.

I had started tracking resistance to government rule during the virus lockdown, and I listed it in my own archives and in items sent to others as a slow-motion civil war. Events have also overtaken those insights.

The rioting actually is really more an invasion by leftist activists than a civil uprising. Evidence keeps appearing that the riots are organized and supported by non-local groups. In fact, the current crop of riots is unusual in that, in the past, there would be only one local riot at a time. What does characterize all the riots are imported agitators, provision made to have missiles (bricks) available to the rioters, the rapid switch from protest to riot, the destruction of businesses that have no relation to the issue (and in fact are in the communities the rioters live in), and the passiveness of the government—local and state—in responding to them.

The President had it right when he said that, where there is looting, there will (should) be shooting. I have long thought that riots should be surrounded by heavily armed forces, told to cease and desist in the next five minutes, with rioters being drop to the ground, and with law enforcement shooting anyone who remains standing. Rapid response like that would break the back of the riot quickly. Do not talk to me about the civil rights of the rioters. They are criminals by their actions. They have declared there are no civil rights—only force. Let them take the consequences of their actions. Force must be met with greater force.

This civil war puts me on the side of the government, which is a surprise. I expected to be against the government on gun control, which was my favored issue. It is important to realize that the goal of the rioting is the destruction of our society by the agitators using blacks as useful idiots. This has been a long time coming, with the destruction of the family by welfare, the dumbing-down of children by the education system, and the rise of corrupt administrations. Let us hope we are not too late in combating it.

If the phrase "blacks as useful idiots" strikes you as offensive, please understand the background. Bill isn't trying to be racially insensitive; if anything, he's sympathetic to the plight of black Americans who are being used by various parties merely as a means to a nefarious end. By using the old, infamous phrase "useful idiots," which supposedly harks back to Vladimir Lenin (who may or may not have actually coined the term), Bill is talking about how the black community (among other communities) gets manipulated by people like Antifa, the Pelosi-Schumer-Schiff Democrats, or the larger left. Seeing anyone being used as a useful idiot should be cause for anger and pity, not for racist scorn or mirth. Immanuel Kant (who gets mentioned on this blog often enough that I think I really ought to study the man and his thinking more deeply) gave us the idea that people should treat other people as ends in themselves, never as a means to an end. I wholeheartedly agree. And wouldn't it be nice to see people treating each other that way?

pardon me while I double down

I've used various forms of the words "stupid" and "idiot" to describe the rioters. And yes, they're rioters, not protesters. I see no reason to back down from the language I've used: these dumb cunts deserve far worse than my casting of aspersions from thousands of miles away. If I were a homeowner, and these fuckheads showed up on my lawn, I wouldn't hesitate to blow off some heads to protect me and mine.

And as far as the "stupidity" label goes, the family of George Floyd backs me up:

No one has more right to outrage and anger than the Floyd family, Terrence Floyd told ABC News, but they want people to stop destroying communities in George Floyd's name. "They're using this as an excuse to be stupid," Floyd said about his brother's death at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers. The family wants an end to all of the rioting not just in the Twin Cities but around the country, which they see as an affront to the way George Floyd lived his life. "Do something positive," he urged, "stop making excuses."[emphasis in original]

ADDENDUM: seen on Instapundit (via Twitter):

Monday, June 01, 2020

Styx on the White House lockdown, Antifa, etc.



• Rumors that "the white rioters are white supremacists" are bullshit.
• It takes a lot to force the White House to lock down.
• Twitter idiots are in an echo chamber.
• You're free to assemble & protest, but not free to riot.
• None of this has anything to do with Trump.
• This is political opportunism by the left.

Styx on Antifa:

• Styx opposes Trump's move to classify Antifa as terrorist
• Antifa is clearly a gang, not terrorists
• govt has already misused the label "terrorist"
• govt would be able to work around 1st & 4th Amendment by declaring people terrorists
• Antifa riots are geared toward property damage, not killing
• we know where their $$$ comes from: Soros, etc.—people who can hide their funding
• there's no hope of ever arresting someone like Soros, so stop dreaming
• handle this on the ground level via law enforcement
• we need better guidelines for handling riots

Styx on George Floyd, who is already forgotten:

• most people rioting have forgotten Floyd or don't know who he is
• 90% are there for the riot & that's it
• Styx expresses sympathy for good, honest cops who're now associated with the bad apples
• rioters are disrespecting Floyd's legacy; Floyd will forever be associated with these riots
• people don't know civics; they ought to be taught civics to know their rights
• people need to learn civics to understand the difference between protesting and rioting
• nonviolent options were available but not taken
• the left lacks the self-control of the Gadsden Flag-wavers
• legacy media don't hold rioters to a higher standard; there's an assumption of stupidity

Happy June the 1st

Nothing like nationwide riots to herald the start of summer, ja? A lot of us expats have been saying, "Damn, I'm glad to be in Korea," and you know what? I'm glad to be in Korea. Not to say that this isn't a country freighted with its own form of crazy, but right now, things are as peaceful and as stable as they can be here. Unfortunately, we have no gun rights, so if something massive and chaotic were to start up here, I'd have little recourse but to visit the sports and hardware stores to arm myself with various bludgeons and bladed weapons.

And on that cheerful note, I wish you a wonderful day.

ADDENDUM: saw this at Instapundit:

Both Covid and the riots disproportionately affect urban blue zones.

Sad but true. Advocates of policies that create shitholes often tend to participate, passively or actively, in the shitholification of where they live and work. The way I see it, they're getting exactly what they asked for.

ADDENDUM 2: Dems keep blaming everyone but the right people for the riots. Most of the country isn't buying this bullshit. What's hilarious is that the insane leftie Twitter mob is trying desperately to spin the violence as all coming from the right wing when it's obvious that it's not: a Black Lives Matter banner was draped over part of the CNN HQ property in Atlanta, and the racial mix of rioters doesn't point to Trump supporters at all. Catching a few of these bastards and confirming who they are will provide us with plenty of evidence that the violence—as usual—is leftist-caused. In the meantime, it's hilarious to learn that Joe Biden & Co. have set up a fund to help bail out arrested rioters. So according to the retards on Twitter, Biden is helping to spring Trump supporters from the clink.

Imagine that. Joe Biden: supporter of white supremacists!

a Right Brother excoriates rioters

catching the Wave

So around 10:05 p.m. on Sunday night, I began a stroll over to Samseong-dong's COEX Center and World Trade Tower to see the Wave, the art project/display I'd blogged about earlier. I had thought that the Wave would be an all-day thing, a looped animation dispensing karmic comfort to the soul-weary (or is that Seoul-weary?). As it turned out, the Wave is but a one-minute animation that is part of a whole series of animations that do loop endlessly all day (and night) long. When I arrived at the huge monitor around 10:45, I was disappointed to see a forest scene on display, but I shot a quick video of that, anyway:

Once the forest disappeared, it was replaced by a series of unappetizing ads, but as I suspected, the Wave eventually showed up at almost 11:00 p.m. It caught me by surprise, however, so the following video is missing maybe the first 5 or 10 seconds of the animation. My apologies, but I think you'll enjoy what I did film:

The Wave did indeed look impressive up close. Too bad it doesn't loop all day long. And too bad you're once again seeing this lovely artwork through a camera's lens instead of with your own eyes. If you're in Seoul, go visit the COEX center and wait around until the Wave appears. You won't regret making the trip.

I took some other pics while I was out in the drizzling rain:

My cell-phone camera sucks for nighttime shooting, but there we are.

the insight of Wretchard the Cat

Richard Fernandez (a.k.a. Wretchard the Cat on Twitter) is often quoted with respect on Instapundit. Here's a recent tweet of Wretchard's—regarding the ongoing, suspiciously coordinated riots in the US—that made its way over to Glenn Reynolds's blog:

I'd say that that insight ought to be stapled to the stupid skulls of every rioting (and/or scheming) liberal out there, but there are a few Never Trump conservatives who also need a sharp, metallic reminder that they were wrong in 2016 and are still wrong now. Only pride keeps them from shifting position. I can be prideful, too, but in my defense, I tried to avoid that sin in the political arena by publicly admitting my huge mistakes. He who does not bend in changing circumstances will only break. You can't fight the Tao.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Ave, Charles!

Charles writes an educational post on the perils of linguistic and cultural incompetence, which can lead to poorly translated news items. In a time of COVID-19, accurate translation is paramount. A quick excerpt:

You may not have read all of the articles I linked to above. That’s fine. I only really want to talk about a very small part of each of those articles, specifically how they reported on the measures announced by Mayor Park. At the very top of the France24 article, in bold, it is written that the mayor “ordered the closure of all clubs and bars.” The original Vox article stated that he “ordered all bars and clubs indefinitely closed.” CNN metonymically noted that “Seoul ordered all clubs and bars to temporarily close.” There are some differences in the choice of wording, most significantly “indefinitely” and “temporarily,” which have very different denotations and connotations, but all three articles agree on the “bars and clubs” (or “clubs and bars”) part. The final Vox article I linked to above, though, is the odd man out, writing instead that “the local government ordered bars and restaurants to be closed” (emphasis mine).

It should be obvious that there is something wrong with that last Vox article. What might be less obvious is that there is, in fact, something wrong with all of the articles; not only have restaurants in Seoul not been ordered to close, but bars have not been ordered to close, either. Furthermore, neither bars nor restaurants have ever been closed at any point during this pandemic. So how did these and other news outlets get it wrong?

Charles is too polite to engage in a frothing rant about the prevalence of fake news, which is partly due to the incurious, superficial, and reality-distorted nature of "journalists," but I'd say that bullshit slips into public discourse via many routes, including linguistic and cultural incompetence. Think deeply and translate well, newsies, although at this point I wouldn't trust any one of you to report my own name to me.

Styx on the riots

It's all riots, all the time over in Styx's corner of YouTube today.

Not one mention of "riots" in the mainstream media:

Minneapolis's mayor is insane:

Democrats would rebuke the rioters if they had any dignity:

I miss Leonard Nimoy

Another Deepfake video that causes a pang in my heart:

(That's still Zachary Quinto's voice as the younger Spock.)

your fluff piece for the day

Cute and heartwarming:

the US/China cold war

It's the 80s all over again, I guess:

I really must live under a rock

Philosopher Immanuel Kant was famous for walking the exact same daily route in Königsberg every day. Locals joked that they could set their watches by him when he passed by their windows. He was a man locked into a nearly monastic routine, and while that routine may have provided him with some depth of experience (the path you walk daily is never quite the same from day to day—I know this as an inveterate walker), it also kept him from experiencing many other things that were right there under his nose. For all intents and purposes, Kant may as well have been living under a rock.

The ghost of Kant haunted me when I saw the following video, which is about a magnificent 3D image of crashing waves—an image that had been put in place specifically as a way to help passersby find a bit of peace in their currently stressful, pandemic-tinged lives. As a work of art, it's utterly gorgeous, and a magnificent demonstration of what computers in the service of artistic minds can do. What struck me, though, is that, according to the news report below, the video is practically up the street from where I live, and I somehow never got word of it. If the display is functioning at night, and if it doesn't get switched out in the next few days, I might go walk up the street to see it sometime this coming week.

The thumbnail is a bit misleading: there's almost nothing in the news report about VR laser tag or paintgun wars except for a brief, half-second flash of the scene shown in the thumbnail. The "Wave" display is right next to the COEX center and the World Trade Tower, so it really is just a matter of walking up the street maybe thirty minutes from where I live.

riot re-analysis

The new insight to come from the nationwide riots in the US is that many of them are planned. The left has, of course, gone the usual route of suggesting that it's white supremacists and Russia who are behind the riots, despite the fact that the rioters show every evidence of being pawns of the left itself. Did you see the Black Lives Matter banner at CNN HQ in Atlanta? Whoever did that wasn't a Trump supporter, given Trump's stance that all lives matter—an attitude construed as racist by people who sloppily psychologize their opponents, foolishly believing themselves to have special telepathic insight into the minds of their enemies.

Opportunism is the new buzzword. What may have started off as a protest against the injustice of the murder of George Floyd quickly morphed into something altogether different. Opportunists with a desire to "watch the world burn" jumped into the fray, gleefully sowing chaos and destruction everywhere they've gone. That's what the riots are about now: they're a roiling sea of random, undirected impulses—a monster of id raging out of control and having nothing to do with the murder of a peaceable man. Do you think I'm psychologizing now? I'd be psychologizing if I didn't have good, rational reasons to think this way. To wit:

Floyd Protests Transform Into Opportunistic Riots.

Here's a quote from two rightie talking heads:

"One of the ironies of post-Great Awokening politics is that white, lefty politicians facing violence from leftists within their own jurisdictions now have to reinterpret the violence as right-wing in order to assert the legitimacy of public order," NRO's Peter Spiliakos tweets.

"It seems like the looting of the CNN headquarters was the turning point that led pundits, political advisers, and govt officials to say 'actually, this is a white-nationalist psyop,' which is hilarious," Joe Gabriel Simonson of the Washington Examiner adds.

And here's a quote from a leftie expert:

Saagar Enjeti of the Hudson Institute sums it up: "Timeline of events so far: Dems cheered on riots and looting until they realized how bad those things actually are, and now they are desperate to blame phantom Russians and White Nationalists so they don't have to own the responsibility for the chaos they allowed."

Here's liberal Tim Pool:

People on the right and the left are sifting through the evidence and concluding the same thing: there's something manufactured about these riots. Tim Pool's video shows footage of a large stack of bricks that had ben quietly deposited in an area where no construction was going on. What might those bricks be for, if not for throwing through windows? Feel free to argue, in the comments, that the bricks were put there for perfectly innocuous reasons.

And yet the left keeps saying it's the right that's violent.


Or is she psychologizing?

tiny whisk

If you watch enough Binging with Babish on YouTube, you'll be familiar with Babish's tiny whisk. The diminutive kitchen implement has become something of a running joke, and it's made so many appearances that I finally broke down and bought one of my own:

Saturday, May 30, 2020

it's The Bonfire of the Vanities writ large

The USA is going nuts. The White House is apparently on lockdown. CNN's main HQ in Atlanta has been attacked by rioters. The genie is out of the lamp, and he's pissed off.

The above is a 2.5-hour podcast, but you get a clear impression of the state of the nation within the first five minutes. It didn't take long for my country to turn into a madhouse—at least in the big cities of the blue states. Yikes. Tim Pool contends that the nationwide rioting has nothing to do with the death-by-cop of George Floyd. Depending on how you take Pool's meaning, he may be right. The 1990s Los Angeles riots were an act of collective stupidity that probably had more to do with larger issues than just the exoneration of the police officers who had beaten Rodney King. If black folks were upset at white police officers, why did they attack Koreatown? At the same time, though, it's come out that George Floyd was a peace activist who is on video telling black youth to avoid guns, drugs, and a life of crime. This makes the man a saint and a martyr, so his symbolic significance has exploded in the minds of the already-outraged, i.e., George Floyd might be more relevant than the pundits think.

Pool also talks about how he might have been accidentally correct to advocate for disaster prep when he was covering the pandemic. Now, however, that prep might be necessary because of the riots and not because of SARS-CoV-2. I haven't listened to the entire podcast yet, but I did see Colion Noir talk about another form of prep that should be de rigueur for all able-bodied citizens: arming yourselves. Here's that video:

And here's Styx on what he calls "a confused mess of bullshit":

one via Bill

With thanks to Bill Keezer for linking to this meme:

The "shut down everything!" crowd really ought to look at places like South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. Here in South Korea, life continues. Traffic on the street and on the sidewalks remains at a normal level. Most businesses and industries are open and functioning. Life goes on here, which means that, in the States, life can go on, too. Enough with the "shut down everything!" nonsense—get the hell back to work and really make America great again.

Oh, and you idiots who are rioting and looting because of George Floyd: leave businesses alone, channel your anger into something constructive, and grow some goddamn brain cells instead of destroying your own communities.

Friday, May 29, 2020

the smash-burger cheat

Last night was the second time for me to make smash burgers.

A quick review: smash burgers have become popular in recent years, with the chain Shake Shack making the burgers a known quantity nationwide. The idea behind a smash burger is simple: much of the flavor in a hamburger patty comes from the surface char which, when combined with the patty's juices, produces an incredibly delicious, almost smoky flavor without the need for actual grilling. Essentially, smash burgers are a cheat, allowing you to avoid the grill while retaining most of the burger's wholesomeness. Making a smash burger requires literally smashing the burger patty flat against a very hot cooking surface—a cast-iron pan, a heavy griddle, or whatever. You get the surface ripping hot, as if you were about to cook a steak, but instead of a steak, you lay down these modest little patties that immediately sizzle upon contact with the hot surface. You then take your spatula (or flat implement of choice) and smash the patties flat. Depending on how "non-sticky" your cooking surface is, you may need to use a special scraper to peel the meat off the hot surface so you can flip the patty. Once smashed, your patty will be painfully thin, but that's the point: what gives the smash burger its charm is the fact that the act of smashing it creates an enormous surface area, allowing more of the burger to be charred. Because smash-burger patties are so small, they tend to be served as double burgers, and in terms of actual weight, two smashed patties weigh about the same as a single standard patty. A standard patty has X amount of surface area; a smashed patty has about 2X, which means way more flavor per bite.

Once you've had a smash burger, you may find it hard to go back to regular burgers. (I sure do.) Smash burgers, like properly done steaks, produce a ton of smoke during the cooking process, but almost everyone agrees they're worth the effort.

This is where my cheat comes in. I live in a studio, and I can't afford to trip the fire alarm for fear that the alarm might trigger the sprinkler system and ruin thousands of dollars' worth of my and my neighbors' possessions, including people's electronics. Upshot: if I'm going to make anything like a smash burger, I can't afford to produce too much smoke. The method I've used—twice, now—is super-simple but requires a bit of extra help in the form of pork fat.

The object of the game is to be able to produce a plausible char, and I've discovered that by mixing barbecue sauce into my burgers and frying them in bacon fat, I can achieve a result that, while not a true-true smash burger, is pretty damn close, and pretty damn delicious. I've enjoyed these burgers both times that I made them. My patties are a bit thicker than actual smash-burger patties, so I use only one patty per burger, but the amount of flavor in each patty is more than enough to make up for a modest amount of meat.

I don't have a formal recipe for what I'm doing, but commonsense eyeballing is enough to get me through the process. Assuming about 250 grams (a bit more than 0.5 lbs.) of raw ground beef to make two burgers, add maybe 3-4 tablespoons of your favorite barbecue sauce, plus some kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste. And that's it! Form your burger meat into two equal-sized spheres of potential deliciousness, then set aside. Put a thin layer of bacon grease down in your favorite skillet—one that is wide enough to accommodate two modest-sized burger patties. If you're like me, the unprofessional thing to do now is to crank your stove up to maximum to accelerate the pan-heating process. The sheen of the bacon fat will tell you when everything is hot enough, but if you need another method to verify your cooking temp, fling a drop of water off your fingertip and into the pan. If you get loud, obnoxious spattering, you're ready. Put your burger spheres directly onto the hot, greased surface of your pan, then smash the spheres down as flat as you can, but don't worry if your patties aren't super-duper flat. Immediately turn your stove's heat down to medium. If you forget and keep the stove's temp at high, you'll end up with way too much smoke. (Don't ask me how I know this.) Watch the sides of your patties to see how the brown color of cooked meat is crawling upward; once you're a bit past the halfway point, flip the patties. My method uses bacon grease, so you shouldn't have to scrape the patties off your cooking surface. If your patties are so thin that they're crumbly and prone to breakage, don't worry: this is how smash burgers are supposed to be. If you want to put cheese on your burgers, now's the time. Cheffy people will put cheese on their burgers, pour a bit of water into the pan, then immediately cover the pan with a wide lid to trap the steam. This accelerates the melting of the cheese. The entire smash-burgering process, if done right, shouldn't be much more than two minutes total. For thicker patties, like the ones I made last night, 4-5 minutes total is reasonable.

Flavoring my burgers with BBQ sauce and frying them in bacon fat is the short route to a good, smoke-minimal char: the sugars in the BBQ sauce caramelize quickly, and the bacon grease has a low smoke point, i.e., it burns easily. So you do need to exercise mindful control over the process I've described above, but it's a simple prep and a simple cook, so this shouldn't be too hard, even for someone with little skill in the kitchen. Timing is important, but if your first burgers come out too burned, well... live and learn. And try again! If smash burgers are already a cheat, my method is a cheat piggybacking on the original cheat—a metacheat, if you will. I really think you'll enjoy these little chunks of beefy heaven.

ADDENDUM: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt shows the classic approach to smash burgers (he calls them "smashed burgers," but there's room for all sorts of different designations):

George Floyd, RIP

You've doubtless seen the horrific video footage of George Floyd being pinned to the ground by Minneapolis police. An officer, Derek Chauvin, applies his knee to Floyd's neck, immobilizing him. Video of the incident includes audio of bystanders begging the policeman to stop what he's doing. Other police are visible in the video, doing nothing to help or hinder. Floyd himself is heard gasping that he can't breathe. Ultimately, Floyd dies as a direct result of his treatment by police. The video makes it pretty clear that this isn't an "innocent until proven guilty" instance, at least not in the court of public opinion. Legally speaking, Officer Chauvin is innocent until proven guilty, but like most folks on both sides of the aisle, I'd say Chauvin is obviously guilty, and probably guilty of murder. I wouldn't lose any sleep if Chauvin went down for a murder charge, nor would I care all that much if his fellow officers* were found guilty of abetting a homicide.

Tim Pool noted the weird irony that liberals scream about the need for big government but despise the police (who are, after all, a branch of government in a very literal, physical sense), while conservatives tend to deplore big government even as they defend law enforcement. I'm pretty sure I've remarked on this same apparent paradox on this blog, years and years ago.

Tim Pool's discussion of the incident is here:

Styx sees Officer Chauvin as clearly guilty of murder:

Meanwhile, parts of Minneapolis are, unsurprisingly, in flames.

Dr. John Pepple has some interesting insights here. Excerpt:

Looting businesses in your neighborhood may bring some short-term satisfaction, but as far as I know, no neighborhood that experiences looting ever recovers. Businesses will flee, for understandable reasons.

Moreover, as I understand it, the looting has spread from the rather lower-class area it was in last night to Uptown, the hipster area, and even to St. Paul and to the suburbs.

So, is Trump to blame? Of course not. This happened in a Democratic-run city. If this police officer is some kind of white supremacist, what does that say for the Democrats in charge? They are the ones who hired him, and they are the ones who should have been screening to check for the occasional fascist, Nazi, white supremacist, or whatever. Somehow he slipped through. Why? Was that because they didn’t do any screening? Here’s what they might have been thinking: background checks are fascist. (I was told this by some leftist friends once.) If they think of background checks as fascist, then they will think that a progressive city shouldn’t do background checks on police officers. But that means that the occasional fascist will end up on the police force. On the other hand, if they do do background checks, then they are fascist simply for doing them. Damned if they do, damned if they don’t, but that is their problem.

Anyway, the Democrats are to blame, if anyone other than the officer in question is to blame. They are the ones in control of the city, and it is completely unfair to blame Trump for this incident.

Read the rest.

In other, more lighthearted news, Joe Biden let loose a nasty, wet, juicy fart on camera during an interview—possibly a shart:

What is the country coming to? is the question to ask in the midst of police-sanctioned murder and Biden lustily passing wind.

*Officer or officers? Video from different angles makes it clear that there were at least three officers on site.

"Section 230"

There's been a long-running debate over whether big-tech companies like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube should be considered platforms or publishers. The difference between those two concepts is like the difference between, say, a phone company providing a service that everyone uses (platform) and a company that prints books (publisher). If you, as a publisher, choose to print a book that is somehow inflammatory, deeply offensive, or injurious, then in today's climate, you might find yourself staring down the double barrels of a lawsuit. Publishers are liable for what they publish because—with some notable exceptions—the act of publishing something generally indicates support for the thing published. If, however, you use something neutral like the phone service to spew Nazi rhetoric, the phone service isn't liable for what you say: it's merely a platform for all to use, and this clear from the beginning. The further logic is that, if you're merely a platform, then free speech ought to be close to absolute, and no one should be policing anything that anyone says.

The problem for big-tech firms is that they're trying to have it both ways by acting as both platforms and publishers. On the one hand, they invite everyone to use their services, which is in the spirit of a platform. On the other hand, they unjustly police the content that appears, usually in a way that indicates liberal/leftward bias. Conservatives who merely state that "a trans woman is still chromosomally male," for example, are cited for hate speech and promptly deplatformed. This happens routinely on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. To use social media of any sort is, effectively, to support the left. So-called "free speech" services like Gab (the alternative to Twitter) and BitChute (the alternative to YouTube) exist, but they enjoy only a tiny percentage of the total market.

In the video below, Tim Pool discusses an executive order regarding "Section 230" that, according to Pool's writeup (edited):

[targets] social-media censorship. [The order] has leaked, showing impending action, and it seems Big Tech is scared.

The order directs the FCC to clarify what constitutes certain phrases under Section 230 and could see Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube lose liability protections if they run afoul.

Democrats currently want to outright revoke Section 230 protections because they don't like conservatives' ability to communicate, but conservatives don't like Big Tech getting it both ways, being a publisher that can censor, but also a platform that can't get in trouble.

Many people, like Ben Shapiro and Robby Soave, feel that this could blow back on the right and end up generating more censorship.

I disagree, however, as this EO would restrict what could be censored.

textbook: dummy page

For the textbooks we're working on, we did a dummy page for a sample chapter before actually putting in real content, so as you'll see below, I made a six-panel comic strip by using two separate Garfield strips, stitching them together to form a story.

wake up: voter fraud is worse than you think

Here's Tim Pool:

I may have mentioned, several weeks ago, that my buddy JW scoffed at the idea of mail-in ballots for overseas expats. He zeroed in on the notion that cheating with such ballots would be easy. As it turns out, mail-in ballots are indeed easy to cheat with, but what's the alternative? If we have voters identify themselves via biometric markers, that's a violation of privacy/anonymity. Voting via email is fraught with potential problems since all encryptions are ultimately breakable. JW's idea was that US embassies should set up voting stations for expats. I think that's not a bad thought, but I can imagine the overworked embassy staff possibly staging a revolt because of the sudden influx of voters.

Now that I'm thinking more deeply about the question of voter fraud, I'm wondering whether my vote might even mean anything. Should I even vote this year? Like my buddy Mike, I'm torn, albeit for very different reasons.

probably the last graphic for a while

I've used Photoshop for years, but I'm molasses-slow at any sort of graphic design. Never having been tutored in the program, I'm unaware of the hundreds of nifty shortcuts that modern artists use in order to create designs in any sort of Adobe program. But I don't let my slowness stop me: as I've told my boss on many occasions: I can't work faster, but I can work longer. So here's the next graphic for a different chapter of the textbook we're working on:

You can guess the five scrambled sentences, but if you really want them displayed, I'll display them (although I probably shouldn't with proprietary material). Feel free to finish the story. I hope it involves a random pterodactyl.

Note: we've hired a graphic designer who starts next week (Korean dude whom I met in 2015—very friendly, hard-working, talented guy), so he'll be taking over the job of creating these comic strips. Thank goodness: I've been staying at the office late because of these illustrations. It's after midnight as I type this.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

cartoon made for work

We're working on several textbooks right now, generating material on a chapter-by-chapter basis. One chapter is devoted to the Salem witch trials, and since we're working off a content-based curriculum, everything we do is rooted in the reading passage that starts the chapter. To that end, I was tasked with creating a "put the sentences in the correct order" page. The idea was to have a six-panel cartoon whose sixth panel was left blank. The other five panels would tell a story, and it was the job of the student to look at five scrambled sentences and put them in order in accordance with the sequenced pictures. The student would then (1) draw his or her idea of what happens next in the sixth panel, and (2) supply the sixth and final sentence to finish the story.

Here, for your entertainment, is the paneled comic strip I drew last night, using hand-drawn line art and Photoshop to fill in color and detail. I've also included the five scrambled sentences so you can work the story out for yourselves. Feel free to leave a sixth and story-ending sentence in the comments.

The pictures below tell a story. The sentences below the picture tell the same story, but the sentences are out of order. Rewrite the sentences in the correct order, then do two more things: (1) draw a sixth picture showing what happens next, and (2) write a final sentence describing what happens in your picture.

The man changes into a frog.
The insect pulls the man-frog through the air and over a high cliff.
The man-frog, hungry, sees an insect flying past.
An evil witch uses her powers on a man.
He leaps after the insect, catching it on his tongue.



How fucking dumb do you have to be, as a reporter, to go around accusing everyone around you of not wearing masks while your own cameraman is also not wearing a mask?

From Instapundit:



ANCHOR: “Are the people there just not worried about it? Are they not worried about their personal safety?”

REPORTER: “I haven’t met anybody who is… you can see here, nobody’s wearing them [masks].”

GUY ON STREET: “Including the [cameraman].”

Videos at link of both Perry’s segment, and the footage from the man who walked by with a cell phone camera showing that two of Perry’s three crewmen weren’t wearing masks.

D'oh. And duh. Fucking idiots.

COVID math

The issue of credit or blame is complicated. Trump ought to be credited with adopting the federalist strategy of allowing each state's governor to decide for him- or herself how to handle the pandemic. Beyond that, though, I think the individual governors deserve the credit or blame for their responses. It seems that red-state governors generally enjoy lower morbidity and mortality rates in their states than do blue-state governors. (Trump continues to be blamed because certain Americans are idiots who don't understand how federalism works.) This style of thinking works in reverse, too: Trump doesn't deserve credit for "saving the country" since he left the actual saving up to the state governments. He deserves credit only for opting to go federalist, as well he should have. And in so doing, he has once again exposed which ideology hews more closely to reality. I don't give Trump credit for saving 1.9 million lives, but it's certainly true that 1.9 million people who ought to be dead, according to wild-eyed projections, are not dead. And that's primarily thanks to certain state governors.

ADDENDUM: regarding my claim that red states are generally faring better than blue states, there's this from Instapundit:

As states began reopening their economies a month ago — led by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott — the media’s favorite “experts” predicted doom. We were told to expect a deadly “surge” of new cases, a “second wave” of COVID-19 infections.

And then . . . it didn’t happen.

The per-capita death rate in Georgia remains 88% lower than New York’s; Florida’s rate is 93% lower and Texas is 96% lower. In Florida last week, there were 264 coronavirus deaths, an average 38 deaths daily, which is about half of what they were averaging two weeks ago. In Texas, 151 of 254 counties have never reported a single COVID-19 death. While Georgia reported an increase last week in the number of identified infections, officials say that reflects greatly increased testing, and the daily number of reported COVID-19 deaths in Georgia has continued trending downward after peaking at 55 on April 16.

The media don’t want to accept the reality that has become apparent, namely that this disease will never become as prevalent in the rest of America as it has been in New York and New Jersey, which combined have 40% of all U.S. coronavirus deaths. The specific conditions that gave rise to the epidemic outbreak in March and April — when the New York/New Jersey region was racking up hundreds of deaths daily, week after week — simply do not exist in Texas or Florida, and are not going to exist in the future. “Experts” have been reluctant to admit this.

And see here for how the media dupe you into thinking the opposite is true.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

chicken pot pie redux

I made the filling with Béchamel plus heavy cream this time, and it was so much better than last time, almost a year ago. Bottom crust was slightly burned, but not inedible.

Apologies for all the blurriness. I thought my camera's auto-focus would do a better job than that, but I guess not.

SARS-CoV-2 hates the color blue

Over at Instapundit: a post titled "The Pandemic Seems to Be Hitting Trump's Enemies." The post focuses on California's plight: the state appears to be taking fire from many different angles as a result of the pandemic. Most of this can be chalked up to over-regulation, stupid laws, and a leftie tendency to shoot oneself in the foot. Glenn Reynolds makes the point that Governor Gavin Newsom is demanding aid from Washington now, but not so long ago, he was trumpeting California's status as a "nation-state." You can't have it both ways, Newsom, you idiot. As far as I'm concerned, you and your failed state can sink to the bottom of the ocean.

Ave, Herr Gilleland!

"Penis—party of four!"

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

a #WalkAway perspective on Creepy Joe

This young lady doesn't come off as a Trump supporter, nor does she seem likely to vote Republican, but she's obviously disenchanted with the current Democratic party, and she's definitely not going to be voting for Joe Biden.

I do disagree with her claim that people who refuse to vote "don't give a shit." As I've repeatedly argued on this blog, not voting is a live option for people of conscience who refuse to sit at a restaurant where the only thing on the menu is shit sandwiches. A person should have the right to get up and leave such a restaurant, and that's what a refusal to vote is tantamount to—at least for people of conscience. Are there people who won't vote because they're lazy or mentally befuddled? Of course! But my point isn't to argue statistics or game theory or "wasted votes": all my arguments about voting are rooted exclusively in the idea that voting is an act of conscience, first and foremost.

more flak re: Biden's latest gaffe

A veteran speaks out:

I hope the disgust that this guy is talking about is pervasive throughout the various black communities in the US. It really ought to be, given Biden's (and the left's) cavalier treatment of black voters. My fear, though, is that not enough black voters are disgusted. The leftist media are waging a thoroughgoing war to distort perceptions. This is why so many voters think New York governor Andrew Cuomo has been doing a great job handling the pandemic while Florida governor Ron DeSantis has not. It wouldn't surprise me to find out that messages like the one above are not finding an audience in the communities where such ideas desperately need to be heard.

Styx re: Trump's COVID-19 response


one side is consistently right; the other is consistently wrong

So! At this point in the pandemic, would you rather live in a red state or in a blue state?

Don't expect the Dems to admit how disastrous their policies have been. Reality-denial is their thing. They obviously take their cue from the Chinese Communist Party, which also likes rejecting reality and substituting its own:

attack of the Karens

Just saw this on Instapundit:

Video of white woman calling cops on black man in Central Park draws outrage

As well it should.

A video of a white woman calling the cops on a black man because he asked her to leash her dog in Central Park Monday is drawing outrage on social media.

The footage, posted on Twitter by the man’s sister, begins with the masked dog walker marching toward the man and demanding that he stop filming.

“Please don’t come close to me,” the man, who doesn’t appear on camera, is heard responding several times.

She continues to ask him to stop filming — and then threatens to call 911.

When the man invites her to “please call the cops,” she says: “I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.”

“Please tell them whatever you like,” he responds.

The dog walker then pulls down her mask as she gets on the phone and says: “I’m in the Ramble and an African American man with a bicycle helmet, he is recording me and threatening my dog.”

She pauses before repeating that “there is an African American man. He is recording me and threatening my dog.”

After an other pause, the woman appears suddenly shaken up as she cries: “I’m sorry, I can’t hear!”

“I’m being threatened by a man in the Ramble, please send the cops immediately.”

Throughout the clip, the woman is seen grabbing her struggling dog by a neck harness and holding a leash, which she eventually attaches to the harness.

At that point, the man says “thank you” and stops filming.

I bet the lady considers herself a liberal, too. In my experience, white liberals often tend to feel more threatened around black folks than white conservatives do. Why might that be?

the unpleasant Saturday meeting

Go read about it.

Monday, May 25, 2020

a scene from this past Saturday

I walked out to the Jamshil Bridge and back this past Saturday, after my unpleasant meeting.

I slapped the above pic up over at Instapundit, and one guy gave a pointed reply:

South Korea put ankle bracelets on Covid patients. They traced all their contacts with their phones. That is the only way they have flattened the curve. None of this would be legal in the USA. We can’t compare apples to oranges if we can not ever recreate the apple here because we can not use the same techniques.

Annoyed by his illiterate spelling of "cannot" as "can not," I replied to this joker at length:


If I understand you correctly, you're not saying you're necessarily against certain draconian measures; you're saying that there would be an uproar if someone tried to implement these measures. Is that a fair reading? I don't want to go haring off after a straw man.

I see two major claims in your response:

(1) Korean authorities have used ankle bracelets to track infected patients.
(2) Tracking measures that violate civil liberties (specifically, ankle bracelets) wouldn't work in the US.

Business Insider has written a series on South Korean measures. Here's what one article says:

To wrangle the nightclub-linked outbreak, officials tried to get in touch with every single person who'd visited any of the clubs where the infected people went. That was possible because bars and nightclubs in Seoul required partygoers leave their names and contact information before entering, Time reported.

But not all of them left accurate or complete information, so police worked with telecommunications companies to use cellphone data to confirm who was in Itaewon that weekend.

According to Seoul's mayor, officials were able to get in touch with about half of nightclub visitors by May 10.

South Korean contact tracers also use interviews, GPS tracking, credit-card records, and video surveillance to trace people's travel histories, The Washington Post reported.

It doesn't stop there: After a clear picture of where an infected person went is established, the South Korean government then publishes that anonymized information on a public website so others can check to see if they have been exposed.

Unlike China and the US, South Korea never implemented large-scale lockdowns, though it did shut down schools and impose a curfew in some cities.

According to a South Korean government report called "Flattening the curve on COVID-19: The Korean Experience," more restrictive measures weren't needed because the government could easily alert people about whether they've come near someone who tested positive.

Officials in the country are constantly updating national and local government websites that track the numbers of cases and residents tested. That way, they can communicate to the public how many people are infected in each geographic area in real time. Then smartphone apps send people emergency text alerts about spikes in infections in their local region.

This is generally how the ROK government has been handling things. I know because I live here. Ankle bracelets might be being used, but if they are, they're rare, i.e., they're not the first go-to method for contact tracing—the above-cited methods are. I've also heard the authorities are using wrist bracelets and requiring incoming visitors to the country to have a tracking app placed in their cell phones. If you're contending that these measures violate basic civil rights in some way, I won't argue with you. As a long-time resident of South Korea, however, I've been completely untouched by any of these measures. At best, they exist at the periphery of my (and most other people's) consciousness, so I wouldn't make the mistake of assuming ankle bracelets are somehow representative of how the ROK is handling the crisis. That's a wild-eyed exaggeration. As for a person's right to privacy: when infected people are found, the authorities don't doxx them. Instead, announcements are sent out via text message saying that a "confirmed infected person" (hwakjin-ja in Korean) was in such-and-such district and visited such-and-such places while there. The ROK is trying to strike a balance between being draconian and having a light touch.

You might be interested to know that some US states are, in fact, considering using ankle bracelets.

Reuters: "To keep COVID-19 patients home, some U.S. states weigh house-arrest tech."

Miami Herald: "Ankle monitors, wrist bands, cell phones: How states might track coronavirus patients"

So maybe you're right to point the finger at South Korea and talk about apples and oranges, but it seems to me that it's becoming more apples-to-apples by the minute. Does the fact that US states are also considering ROK-style measures make it right? No, of course not. Although, again, I gather that your argument has less to do with rightness and wrongness and more to do with how Americans might react to such measures.

Which brings me to your second claim: Americans would #Resist if told to wear ankle bracelets.

Would they, though?

From my faraway perch in Seoul, it seems to me that huge swaths of the country have already proved willing to submit meekly to any authority. I think you have an overly optimistic view of many of our fellow Americans. Human behavioral tendencies tend to fall along a bell curve; most people are average Joes and Janes who aren't going to take up arms at the first whiff of oppression. If anything, most of those good folks will take up arms only after it's too late, like the overused metaphor of the frog slowly being boiled to death.

This isn't to say that many American's wouldn't resist oppression outright, but from what I'm seeing, the folks in the blue states seem mostly okay with the restrictions being placed upon them. In that context, what's an ankle bracelet? Many of us are willing to trade freedom for more security; that's a sad fact of life. Consider, too, the "Karens" who are willing to rat on their noncompliant neighbors. Such people would love ankle bracelets.

If you can argue that most Americans are, in fact, resisting government oppression with all their might, I'll happily concede your point. But observation and common sense lead me to believe that Americans are as human as everyone else, and they'll trade their freedom away if it means being safer... or at least feeling safer.

So the burden of proof is on you: show me the massive #Resistance—on the scale of millions—of people who are tired of government oppression (especially in the blue states), and show me, too, that ankle bracelets for the infected in the US are an absolute impossibility. Show me those two things, and I'll happily concede your point that freedom-loving Americans would never tolerate the contact-tracing methods allegedly used in South Korea.

Miller hasn't replied yet, but because he's a man, I expect him to (1) reply with greater emotional force because, well, now it's a pissing contest; and (2) attempt to dodge the burden of proof in some way, because it's the male tendency to try to escape from boxes when feeling boxed in, and to counter stark A/B binary choices by stubbornly choosing Option C. Few men are brave enough, in arguments and discussions, to counter a point head-on; the dodge is much easier. I'm guilty of it myself.

UPDATE: still no reply from Miller. I think I swamped him with my prolixity. Or maybe he's just "Biden" his time.