Sunday Rant – 0719


Joe’s Comment – Some cartoons are an order of magnitude better than others.
Mick Stevens cracks me up.  Also, I’m going to be 70 this year.  The old guy in the cartoon looks like a miserable S.O.B., and you can’t even see him.
That, folks, is cartooning excellence.


Blazing Saddles
Joe and I think Blazing Saddles is the best all-around comedy of the 20th Century.
Not a romance-comedy, or a thriller comedy, or a mystery comedy (or is that comedy mystery?), not slap-stick comedy.
It is a no-holds-barred rumble, ridiculing every cliché, every stereotype, every racial identity, gender, intelligence, sexual orientation; a rowdy fast-paced laugh, a laugh at everything that people do or say or think.  A laugh that included everybody.
We thought highly of it.
The best test of a movie is to view it over time and against the backdrop of your own experience and maturity.
Joe and I have probably seen Blazing Saddles once a decade since it was released on February 7th, 1974.
After 45 years, we laugh harder and longer each viewing.
This is the best picture by Mel Brooks in our estimation.
The Silicon Graybeard has a worthy remembrance titled “Another Major Anniversary Slips By“, well worth the read.
It was a different time, with different politics, with a different culture.
If you have seen Blazing Saddles, you understand why it is called “the greatest movie that couldn’t be made today”.
Here’s a scene.  One of dozens that are priceless and verboten today:

Speaking of verboten, the following scene (circle the wagons) cracks us up.  One wagon circle.  Mel Brooks plays the indian chief and speaks to the blacks in Yiddish:

Translation of the Yiddish – Shvartses! (Blacks!) (To Indian raising tomahawk): No, no, zayt nisht meshuge! (Don’t be crazy!) (Raising arms to the heavens in stereotypical Indian pose): Loz im geyn! (Let him go!) Cop a walk, it’s alright. Abi gezint! (As long as you’re healthy!) Take off! (To other Indians): Hosti gezen in dayne lebn? (Have you ever seen such a thing?) They darker than us! Woof!


Robert David Steele
Joe and I stumbled into an interview with Robert David Steele.
Very startling.
Unlike most people you research on the Internet, we couldn’t find any nasty criticism or negative press about this man.
That is scary stuff.
He is a former CIA operative who doesn’t hold back.  At all.
Loud, brash, damn near shouting.
Reminds me of Alex Jones.
Makes Joe’s hair stand up on his neck.
Give a listen:

This dude is toxic.
Read the comments below the video and be afraid.  Be very afraid:


Joe and I misconstrued; we were vague in understanding.
We read further and inferred a meaning but it wasn’t nice (precise, accurate).
Then we looked it up: Dystopia {dis-toh-pee-uh} noun – a society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding.
Hmmmm…. that makes more gooder our comprehension.
The new, improved, socialist Venezuela comes to mind.  And Cuba.  And North Korea.  They all have an abundance of more than one of the qualifying terms in the definition.
Further examples, in various shades and degrees, most of Central Africa, the Middle East, large parts of China, and anyplace not blessed with high IQ averages (100 and above) combined with a version of “Capitalism” / “free trade” / personal property / liberty.
Those examples are the result of political decisions.
What about the causal studies?
Enter Dr. John B. Calhoun and his studies of mice; specifically mouse behaviour.  He created a mouse social experiment where the controlled living space of the original 8 mice (4 male, 4 female – no pervs or wackjobs) was supplied with unlimited food and water, a mouse perfect environment, and no predators to limit their population.  Dr. Calhoun then watched and reported.
Joe calls it “Mice on Welfare”.
Dr. Calhoun’s title for his research report was “Death Squared: The Explosive Growth and Demise of a Mouse Population“.
It is a study on population density.
His conclusion was that mice are mammalian creatures as are humans, so the human behaviour in similar circumstances may have parallels.
Good work, Dr. Calhoun.  The report is worthwhile reading.
Enter the commentary found at the website Wilder, Wealthy, and Wise – a quote from the linked article –
Dominant male mice had previously protected their harem of mice-ladies. But when there were 600 mice? It became difficult. The mice-ladies had to fend for themselves. The female mice became aggressive in self-defense. They became solitary, and lashed out at their own young, often injuring them. It was as if the higher population density was somehow more difficult to cope with without a male protecting them.”
Joe read the article and said “STOP THE CLOCK!!!”
Between strings of invective and bluer than sailor language, he made the comparison to large, progressive cities, welfare, single motherhood, drug use, welfare, abortion, welfare, modern feminism, and welfare.  And welfare too.
Insurance is arguably a wise expenditure in the hope you can mitigate unforeseen risk not otherwise accommodated.  Both the vendor and the purchaser of an insurance contract hope that (a.) the A
ctuarians know their craft inside out, and (b.) an unforeseen calamitous or catastrophic event does NOT occur to invoke the terms of the contract.
Joe and I consider this wise in business and in personal / family risk management.
However, welfare is NOT INSURANCE.
Welfare is poison.
The “r and K” reproductive strategies are polar opposites.  A short tutorial here.
Any cognizant person can make the leap.  This is applicable to humans, and we suspect as IQ rises so does “K” strategy.  Conversely, as IQ drops, “r” strategy is more prevalent.
Joe goes out on a limb and theorizes:  as welfare increases in a society, increases in lower IQ averages and “r” reproductive strategy will follow.
The Western world is in the throes of destroying itself from within.
Which begs the question: where will the high IQ people migrate to, and what will they leave behind.
This is John Galt (Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand).
As stated by Helmuth Nyborg, “Enjoy your civilized life….. as long as it lasts”.

All, however, is not lost.  The on-going philosophical battle of morality being inexorably connected to religion has great minds battling mightily with logical cascades, emotional appeals, theoretical gossamer-fine constructs, and every illogical fallacy possible woven through the argument.
The following video shows some of our species’ relatives displaying behaviour that incorporates the foundational concepts of morality:

The point is somewhere between coercion and liberty there is a place where conscious beings can be productive, free, and cooperative.
Where dystopia is minimized.
Where or where can it be?


Joe’s Garage

Zephyr 8
How about an unmanned spy plane that is solar powered and can stay aloft almost indefinitely, flying ABOVE the weather – as high as 70,000 feet –  that’s 13 ¼ miles or 21 kilometers – a pseudo satellite.
Sounds like a proposition, or a prospectus, or a proposal.
It was all of those.
Now it is a reality.
From the comments below the video –
Zephyr is a High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite (HAPS) UAS/UAV which runs on solar power. According to Airbus, the unmanned aircraft provides local satellite-like services, “it endures like a satellite, focuses like an aircraft and is cheaper than either of them


Ford Motor Company
It is no secret that Joe and I are Ford fans.
When people see the constantly changing but always close to 30 Fords in our yard, the comment usually reflects a concern for our sanity.
Joe says if your hobby is collecting diamond rings, or dollar bills, or postage stamps, or any other collection that does not threaten the well being of others, go right ahead and fill your boots.  Or gather your boots, if that’s what you like to do.
Leave us alone to our hobby.
Joe says his desire is to own one of every model of Ford ever made.  North American models.  Don’t want to seem too ambitious.
Henry Ford was a practical farm boy who hit the big time.  He had serious personal issues (such as antisemitism, admiration for Nazi accomplishments, hatred of labor unions) but the bottom line of his philosophy was to provide a product that is dependable and inexpensive, returning good value for your investment.
Joe and I have cursed Ford engineers for some of the novice / forced blunders they have made trying to dance to the tune of the accountants and marketing “geniuses” and government wackjobs demanding technology solutions years before the nuts and bolts of innovation are invented.
All considered, we think Ford has done a fine job over the years.
2018 seems to have been a year FoMoCo got it right.
They have announced profit figures and the profit sharing payout (an agreement between the UAW and Ford) for 2018 comes to $7,600 USD for every Ford employee, with some exceptions.  Read the article to learn the detail here.
Looks good for both Ford and the UAW.  And our shaky North American version of “Capitalism™”.
Joe and I have used Henry Ford quotes to make our point for years and years.
Here are two that seem apropos to the spirit of the moment –


USS Hornet
Joe and I found this article very interesting.
The pictures are fantastic.
USS Hornet was an aircraft carrier in the World War II Pacific Campaign.
The Hornet (CV-8) was crippled by Japanese dive and torpedo bombers in the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands and subsequently abandoned, and sunk by American torpedoes.
Paul Allen (Microsoft) and his team found the Hornet in late January.
What is unbelievable is the research and technology employed to find a ship 3 miles below the surface of the ocean.
An article here.
A video overview.  Lots more on YoubeTube and the Internet:






A special preacher for this week’s sermon.
Gad Saad is one of our Canadian heroes.
This is a discussion he and Dave Rubin had in the summer of 2017, in two parts:



This week in Vernon BC the well below zero Celsius temperatures ruled at night.
However, as the week progressed, the daytime temperatures crept slowly toward the positive side of zippo.
On Thursday it snowed a piece.
And warmed considerable.
Saturday was balmy!  Like 1°C in the afternoon!
Sunday we experienced zero to minus 2 most of the day.
Joe is grinning.
Old Man Winter ain’t dead, but he’s not firing on all cylinders.
Only 43 days until April 1st!

Joe (Wistful) Mekanic
p.s.  Ramirez inspires sane thinking –


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