The Grab-Bag

     Hey, it’s Monday. Never imagine that that doesn’t distress a “retired” guy quite as much as a still-working stiff. Actually, I had more free time when I was working for someone else…and I’m not the only retired engineer who would say so.


1. What’s so important about this “freedom” crap?

     If you’re a Washington Post editor, it might not be entirely clear to you:

     Political freedom is the central concept of the Enlightenment. Yes, the Enlightenment was largely propelled by white European thinkers. So what? Is the Post trying to tell us that persons of other races have no desire to be free? Or do its editors have something more sinister in mind?

     Yet this paper, once regarded as a jewel of American journalism, is owned by the founder of Amazon. Go figure.


2. Who is Charlie Munger?

     Even people deep into equity investing might not know about him:

     Charles Thomas Munger (born January 1, 1924) is an American billionaire investor, businessman, former real estate attorney, architectural designer, and philanthropist. He is vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate controlled by Warren Buffett; Buffett has described Munger as his closest partner and right-hand man. Munger served as chairman of Wesco Financial Corporation from 1984 through 2011. He is also chairman of the Daily Journal Corporation, based in Los Angeles, California, and a director of Costco Wholesale Corporation.

     Clearly, this is a man who knows a little something about money. Here’s additional evidence to that effect:

     When a billionaire who’s one of Warren Buffett’s longtime lieutenants speaks on the subject, it’s wise to listen.


3. Insanity In The Empire State.

     You don’t have to be crazy to live here…but for the love of God, don’t become a landlord:

     An Airbnb user who never intends to leave. Tenants not paying enough rent to keep up buildings. A roommate temporarily renting a room who later decides not to move out.
     Under the Legislature’s misleadingly named “Good Cause Eviction” bill, these occupants can all remain in their apartments forever and the property owner has virtually no recourse.­
     “No Eviction Ever” would be a better name for an absurdly vague, sweeping proposal that would place strict new limits on rent increases and evictions for nearly 1.6 million New York renters.
     While some revisions are likely, the business community and real-estate industry nonetheless fear it’ll become law with its devastating core elements intact.
     The bill broadly defines nearly anyone who pays another person to occupy real estate in New York as a “tenant” and expressly prevents landlords from removing them except in the narrowest circumstances.

     New York City’s insane rent-control and rent-stabilization ordinances have destroyed the confidence of landlords in the Big Apple. Many of them have been frantically striving to get out of that role. The conversion of apartment buildings to condominia is one approach; another is just to sell the BLEEP!ing building, tenants and all, to some ignorant fool who’s unaware of what the city will do to him. A few landlords, driven to despair, have simply abandoned their properties…and have found in the aftermath that the city will pursue them wherever they might flee.

     Now we have this – statewide.

     Don’t sign up with AirBNB or the Hospitality Exchange. The downside is too steep.


4. Dispreferred Destinations.

     I wouldn’t visit Canada right now, for obvious reasons. But the Wonder Down Under is equally beset:

     A spokesman for ACT Policing has confirmed that LRADs were deployed during the anti-vaccine protests.

     Last weekend in Canberra the Australian Federal Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw complained that the grassroots movement against forced jabs were a “challenge” for law enforcement. Videos from the march show huge crowds rising up against their government’s dictates which is why pro-mandate government officials retaliated.

     The police deployed long-range acoustic devices (LRADs), which transmit at high volumes and frequencies. Even if they are referred to as “non-lethal weapons”, Canberra protesters (including women and children) were badly burned by directed microwave energy beams, complaining of blisters on their faces, arms, and torsos. Concentrated microwave radiation can inflict painful burns on the skin from long distances away.

     Protesters were also reporting feeling nauseous, and suffering from vertigo and dizziness – outcomes associated with acoustic crowd control weapons.

     This is nasty stuff. It can kill, cripple, sterilize, and generally ruin your day. I have personal experience to this effect, having worked on EM weapon systems for many years.

     Why are the governments of two important AngloSphere nations so averse to admitting to error? Have their ruling classes gone insane, or is it merely a case of “the worst getting on top” — ?

     Beware, America. We’re as afflicted as the Canadians and the Australians, and sooner or later it will bite us. Indeed, it’s already taking some hefty nibbles.


5. “Fundamental Rights.”

     Finally for today, we have a fresh excavation at the bottom of the political-rhetoric hole:

     Some argue COVID-19 vaccine mandates are human rights violations. Not really, say experts on actual human rights violations.

     In fact, some point to the more fundamental right of everyone to be protected from COVID-19 – particularly as variants continue to disproportionately impact the unvaccinated.

     You’ve got to love it. “Experts on actual human rights violations.” “More fundamental right.” “Disproportionate impact.” How did this clown manage not to work in “minorities and the poor will suffer most” — ?

     Forcing something into an unwilling person’s body under any other circumstances is an act of rape. No one and no government has a “right” to do that to anyone. Full Stop.

     But that phrase “fundamental right” was carefully chosen. It’s one of the entering wedges of the Left in their campaign against human freedom. Have a few other instances:

  • “We have a fundamental right to be safe from gun violence.”
  • “We have a fundamental right to affordable housing.”
  • “We have a fundamental right to non-GMO food.”
  • “We have a fundamental right to a living wage.”
  • “We have a fundamental right to health care.”

     “Fundamental rights” “Fundamental!” Don’t you dare claim your rights to your life, liberty, and your honestly acquired property are superior to these, you damnable freedom weenie! These are FUNDAMENTAL!

     This is the sort of talk that makes me look longingly at the Barrett .50 and the stash of Oreo Double-Stufs®. As one my favorite Heinlein protagonists said, “Some people talk better if they breathe vacuum.”


     That’s all for today, I think. I have other responsibilities to meet, a novel straining to be born, and a need for a nap. Enjoy your (ulp) Monday.


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  1. Item 5 first, then 4.

    “We have a fundamental right to non-GMO food.”

    Well, then try this and see if you get more than mere satisfaction by employing logical extension as you twit wokies with their own, er, medicine. “We have a fundamental right to non-GMO ‘vaccines.’” 


    During my work around satellites under construction there’d be moments where a blue light would be flashing. It was a warning of microwaves being pulsed somewhere nearby. Somehow I was not informed of the significance. My fault for not asking. Within a few years I developed cataracts. I had lens replacements in both eyes before I was fifty. Only one in my family.

    Later on badges were provided workers. They had sensitive paper in them that would indicate level of exposure. Of course the wearer would find out after the fact. Finally wearable devices were issued that would beep when microwaves triggered them. By then I was working vacuum testing and no longer working on the construction floor.

    Certainly such a wearable device could be used to warn the crowd when they are under attack — and broadcast that to the world in real time that this crime is being committed under color of authority. Maybe that will wake up more jerks. But I would not bet on it.

  2. Gee, I hope no one tells Harriet Tubman that. She’s liable to stir up an earthquake rolling over in her grave.

    • NITZAKHON on February 21, 2022 at 12:59 PM

    After my parents passed away I had two houses that I inherited.  One in Florida, and the one where I grew up in the “Peoples’ Republic of Massachusetts”.  Over time I sold both to – mostly – astonished wonder that I would be so willing to part with the real estate.
    Yes, I questioned that decision from time to time… right up until the whole Covid thing with landlords up a creek without a paddle.

    • Univ of Saigon 68 on February 21, 2022 at 7:24 PM

    “You don’t have to be crazy to live here…but for the love of God, don’t become a landlord”
    Economist Assar Lindbeck once remarked that rent control “appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city—except for bombing.”

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