Wed. April 28, 2021 – busy day, and another on the way

Warm and moist, after a mostly ugly day on Tuesday. It was overcast and humid all day but got really uncomfortable late in the afternoon. One little spritz of rain was no help either. Today we’re on the edge of t-storms, which means we probably won’t get them. We could use a gully washer.

Did a bunch of errands yesterday but didn’t really advance toward the goals other than some grocery shopping. Oh, and trying to raise good kids. That one is kinda important.

Today I’m working on fixing one truck and possibly replacing the other. I’ve got to get them sorted and stop spending time on them.

The news was pretty quiet yesterday, what little I saw, and there wasn’t much link posting here. No idea if that is significant or not, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, right? It’s probably not the calm before the storm….

Whatever’s coming, it’ll be better with bacon. So stack some more bacon. And water. And meds. And guns and ammo. All the things.

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

Mid 50s, stay at home dad, with two elementary school age girls. Love my family and my life.

64 thoughts on “Wed. April 28, 2021 – busy day, and another on the way”

  1. In fact, Starlink / Musk reminds me of AT&T in the 1920s to 1960s. They actually set the world on fire and made things happen. Two of my great grandmothers were operators at AT&T and one of my wife’s grandmother’s was an operator there also. She left my wife’s father over a thousand shares which he just left to his daughters. 

    ‘T’ and all of the divestiture legacy or Modern AT&T?

    Paper certificates pre-dating the 2002 1-5 reverse split (sooprise!) and 2005 SBC takeover need to be turned in and converted to “new” company shares. If you have those, get in touch with investor relations ASAP.

    As much as I believe the pizza box dream dies hard, a lot more people rode ‘T’ all the way down over the past 40 years. “Widows and orphans” stock. I think my mother-in-law still has pre-divestiture certificates somewhere in her house.

    I’m a mercenary. I didn’t even look at my pre-reverse split options on my way out the door, and all of my matching 401(k) stock got dumped into a generic targeted retirement fund as soon as I was free of the restrictions.

    I never held T or GTE/VZ outside of a 401(k) while on the payrolls of either company. US telecom has been about printed money being thrown against the wall (and into spectrum auctions) for 27 years, and we’ve been out of desirable spectrum since the digital TV changeover.

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  2. 74F and 85%RH this morning. Yuck.

    Time to get the kids out the door.

    n


  3. Two of my great grandmothers were operators at AT&T and one of my wife’s grandmother’s was an operator there also.

     

    One of my grandmothers was a Southwestern Bell operator. She continued working after my father was born and worked during his whole childhood (another feminist myth crushed by facts!) up into our childhoods, I remember her “Retirement Tea” when we were small.

     

  4. Musk said that they were not able to serve all of the potential clients now. But he said, give them time to experiment and try new things out. I believe him, Starlink has as their goal to become the largest ISP in the world. They will experiment with stuff until they get it to working. After all, the satellites will only stay in orbit for a max of six years then they burn up and have to be replaced. I wonder if they will run out of fuel long before that. I don’t know if the satellites have ion thrusters also but I don’t think so.

    As I’ve stated before, my long standing belief is that Starlink won’t work as advertised, at least not for a large user base, and Musk is running the Trojan Horse for telecom to get the last available desirable chunks of spectrum auctioned off or even outright given to the industry on the basis that Elon is the Real Life Tony Stark (TM) who will help fulfill the pizza box dream for the masses.

    Giving up broadcast TV and FM radio so we can fire the existing Internet carriers would be a dice roll. To paraphase “Good Omens”, the problem with this dice roll is that Tony

    “… does not play dice with the his personal money; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players [i.e. everybody], to being involved in an obscure and complex variant of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won’t tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.”

    (Imagine Francis McDormand’s voice)

    I doubt the Congressional hearings will start before 2023, however. Republicans always give away the telecom farm.

    I had a front row seat in Vantucky for the meltdown of CLEAR. Similar promises from people with even more telecom cred (through mostly luck, but I digress) than Musk but just as clueless about implementing the tech — that family with their name on the Seattle concert hall.

    People really wanted to believe around Portland. One of my co-workers lives in a phone/DSL territory that even the telecom dumping ground Frontier abandoned since we left.

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  5. On the one hand, “Jump you fukcers, jump!”

    On the other,

    De Vaulx had founded the company 14 years ago and built it up to be worth more than $20 billion in assets at its peak before it was ultimately liquidated, the New York Post reported. IVA had $863 million in total net assets at the end of 2020.

    –when the pro’s aren’t making money in the market, maybe it’s time to get out…

    n

  6. Silly rabbit thinks he has 5 years left to get TRAINING facilities into shape….

    Australia is to upgrade military bases in its far north and expand joint drills with US forces after warnings about the ‘drums of war’ beating in the Pacific region.

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a plan on Wednesday worth more than half a billion US dollars to revamp four military training facilities in the remote north over the next five years.

    It comes as one top government official this week warned that free nations ‘again hear’ the ‘drums of war’ in the region, while newly-installed Defence Minister Peter Dutton openly mused about the prospect of a war between China and Taiwan.

    –they also mention that they started looking at the improvements two years ago. I think they probably should have started then.

    n


  7. Gunman is shot dead by cops after ‘killing newlywed man and an Uber driver in five separate drive-by shootings in LA’ in possible anti-Asian hate crime

    The suspect killed a newly married man and an Uber driver father-of-two during a ‘random’ shooting spree in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday morning
    At least one other person was shot but survived, while another was injured during a rampage of five separate drive-by shootings throughout the city
    The two victims have been identified as Mingzhi Zhu, 42, and Alexis Carbajal, 24
    The suspect has only been described so far as a man in his late 40s or early 50s
    He led police on a three-hour car chase that ended in a shootout on a freeway overpass, where the suspect was fatally shot after opening fire on officers
    Police said they are now probing whether the shootings were hate crimes as two of the shooting victims were Asian men, one of whom was killed
    It comes amid a surge in anti-Asian violence as well as mass shootings

    –odd that no identifying information about the shooter has been released.

    n

  8. Gunman is shot dead by cops after ‘killing newlywed man and an Uber driver in five separate drive-by shootings in LA’ in possible anti-Asian hate crime

    –odd that no identifying information about the shooter has been released.

    The meme being established is that Asians, particularly East Asians and Subcontinent “South Asian”, are the frequent victims of hate crimes. By not identifying the race, the groundwork is being laid for the “fact” in places like the suburbs around me that white people are most frequently the perpetrators.

    This allows the Asian execs in Silicon Valley among others in the demographic to participate in the victimhood culture. Serious money is behind this to the point that I’ve seen title cards in front of shows like “NCIS”.

    Maybe it is part of the push to anoint Andrew Yang Mayor of New York, possibly have him replace Kamala Harris when she moves up. Maybe Yang could peel off a Republican guilt vote in the Senate.

    Plus, the old Trump meme is … old.

    Here’s the thing. White people. I’m jus’ sayin’.

  9. If it came to war with China when the smoke settled it would be smart of the US to annex Taiwan. Heck, their chip industry is reason enough. Though, the Taiwanese may not like it, but they’d probably prefer it to being annexed by China. Put a large, and permanent, Naval base and Marine Corp base on the China-facing side of the island and flag a big ass American flag over Taipei. Spoils of war and all… 🙂

    One trick to dealing with China is building ties with India. How do you deal with an army the size that a country of 1.4B can put together? Become best friends with a country of 1.3B that’s right next door.

    Warm and moist

    That’s what she said. #BaDumTss

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  10. CDC. Torturing and abusing the english language in the name of political correctness and woke ideology. From a health provider newsletter.

    Explore what CDC and its partners are doing to address health disparities among populations at higher risk for COVID-19. Access CDC’s health equity resources to support communities who are more likely to get COVID-19, including

    Racial and ethnic minority populations — but but I thought race was a social construct?
    People living in rural or frontier areas
    People experiencing homelessness — not “the homeless” or “homeless people”
    Essential and frontline workers
    People with disabilities — not “disabled people” but at least not “differently able”
    People with substance use disorders — not “substance abusers” or “drug addicts”
    People who are justice-involved — “criminals” “prisoners”
    Non-US-born people — “illegal aliens”

    There is a shift to passive voice, and away from simple statements, that I find very distasteful. An unwillingness to properly describe or name something is an unwillingness to address it straightforwardly.

    n


  11. One of my grandmothers was a Southwestern Bell operator

    My mother worked for the Bell phone company as an operator during the 1950’s and part of the 60’s. I was given access to the facility on occasion. The backroom with all the switching gear was impressive. Relays moving up and down, rotating, to connect calls. Several techs in the room were constantly maintaining those relays cleaning contacts and replacing some. I also raided their dumpster for stuff that was interesting and basically entirely useless. But it was cool.

    When I was 8 I acquired a couple of field telephones from WWII. I scavenged some phone wire from the dumpster and strung it on a couple of poles between my house and a friend’s house. We could call each other on those phones. One of the linemen from the phone company found the wires, traced them to the homes, scolded us, and promptly removed the wires. I strung them again but this time on the ground.

    My aunt worked from 1963 until about 1990 with Pacific Bell as a sales representative. Selling yellow page ads and other duties. Served her well in retirement with health coverage and a small pension.

    Now those noisy, clacking back rooms have been replaced with computers and the noise of air conditioning. What used to take a half a dozen techs is now done by one tech sitting at a computer console in a city hundreds of miles away. A parking lot that used to have 50 cars now has just one or two cars.

  12. It’s RAYCISSSMMM that makes for the disparity, not the differences in racial groups.

    “The racial/ethnic groups that sought ED care for COVID-19 at disproportionately higher rates have also experienced long-standing, systemic inequities that affect their health (6). These inequities include limited access to quality health care, lower general health status and access to quality education, and disproportionate representation in essential jobs with less flexibility to work from home or take medical leave (7). Racism and discrimination shape these factors that influence health risks; racism, rather than a person’s race or ethnicity, is a key driver of these health inequities (8). These types of inequities can increase risks for infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and delay medical care, increasing the risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes and the need for emergency care.”

    –I wonder if CDC thinks it’s racism that causes sickle cell anemia? or ebola? or malaria? Because those disproportionately affect non-White persons…

    n


  13. mRNA are not vaccines as traditionally defined.

    As in “contain live virus or dead virus”.

    Not all “traditional” vaccines contain live or dead virus. They haven’t for years. Tetanus and diptheria don’t. (They are toxins) The HepB and HPV don’t. (They are proteins.)

    Meets my definition of “experimental” when millions of people get it for the first time where approximately none got it before.

    Well, that insurance company will cave if pressed and you get regulators involved. The COVID vaccines aren’t considered experimental by the FDA, which means they are legally part of accepted and usual treatment regimes.

    It’s been estimated in published studies that that the excess deaths due to Wuhan lying Chicom coronavirus are 2/3 to 3/4 of the total, with the balance being early deaths from treatable and untreatable medical conditions. Sorting the virus from the non-virus excess deaths is going to be the subject of papers for years. So the excess deaths themselves are not, strictly speaking, knowable.

    The excess deaths are completely knowable. The exact cause of an individual death may not be. (It is certain that many, many COVID deaths were missed in the early days due to lack of testing, particularly in NY state.) The CDC can predict with pretty good accuracy the number of expected deaths in a given week, given the demographics of the US. They have been doing it for years.

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  14. From the second paper….

    During March–December 2020, PHD-SR identified 3,780,251 total unique hospitalized patients, including 298,066 (7.9%) unique patients with a COVID-19 diagnosis. The racial/ethnic distributions of non-COVID-19 patient populations were similar in 2019 and 2020 (Supplementary Table https://stacks.cdc.gov/view/cdc/104959). The racial/ethnic distribution of hospitalized COVID-19 patients differed among U.S. Census regions (Table). In every region, Hispanic patients represented the highest cumulative proportion of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and highest cumulative aPHR relative to White patients.

    –interesting. Covid hospitalizations were less than 10% of total hospitalizations. Hispanics and blacks are much more likely to be hospitalized for covid than whites, which kinda kills at least one complaint I’d heard- that whites were getting priority of care.

    n

    first paper — https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7015e3.htm

    second paper — https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7015e2.htm


  15. The excess deaths are completely knowable.

    Nonsense. The number of humans living within the borders of the United States of America isn’t even known. It’s estimated. The expected number of deaths in a year is estimated from the estimated population and the estimated death rate from previous years.

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  16. When I was 8 I acquired a couple of field telephones from WWII. I scavenged some phone wire from the dumpster and strung it on a couple of poles between my house and a friend’s house. We could call each other on those phones. One of the linemen from the phone company found the wires, traced them to the homes, scolded us, and promptly removed the wires. I strung them again but this time on the ground.

    In WA State, I had OpenBTS and the requisite SDR hardware setup to make it work. Any GSM (AT&T, TMobile) cell phone inside my lab when I activated the switch would register with my “service” to make voice calls. Loads of fun, but, unfortunately, more illegal than your wire stringing if I didn’t close the lab’s inner door to complete the Faraday cage while the RF box was active.

    Playing with OpenBTS, I learned enough about Asterisk to create a perfectly legal limited VoIP service around my house with wireless access over WiFi from VoIP apps on Android. One of the entries on my long list of personal projects is to expand on that to add voice mail and external dial out.

  17. One of the linemen from the phone company found the wires, traced them to the homes, scolded us, and promptly removed the wires.

    The last time the cable tech was out, he noticed that, inside the box on the side of the house, I had a four way splitter on the incoming cable signal so I could send MOCA to my home office from the central point where I connected the cable modem.

    He said, “You only pay for one TV and the cable modem so you’ll have to remove two of the connections if you don’t want me to charge you on the bill for the extra ports.”

    “I only have one TV converter box. The other ports aren’t being used for any service from the company.”

    “Doesn’t matter.”

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  18. The last time the cable tech was out, he noticed that, inside the box on the side of the house, I had a four way splitter on the incoming cable signal so I could send MOCA to my home office from the central point where I connected the cable modem.

    He said, “You only pay for one TV and the cable modem so you’ll have to remove two of the connections if you don’t want me to charge you on the bill for the extra ports.”

    “I only have one TV converter box. The other ports aren’t being used for any service from the company.”

    “Doesn’t matter.”

    I’m shocked he cared. We have Cox Cable where I live and they’ve subcontracted out most of their field technicians. The guys from those third parties that come to your house for repairs and installations couldn’t care less. You could have a splitter running cable to all of your neighbors houses and they’d shrug it off and then do what they could to make it work as well as possible. Many of them aren’t even local. They do 30 day rotations where they come into town and stay at an extended stay hotel and then rotate out as they’re employed by an out-of-state company who has the Cox contract.


  19. When I was 8 I acquired a couple of field telephones from WWII. I scavenged some phone wire from the dumpster and strung it on a couple of poles between my house and a friend’s house. We could call each other on those phones.

     

    That is very cool! One of my sons, at about that age, 8 or 9, found an extra jack and wire from who knows where, and installed an extension jack in their bedroom. What freaked me out was not that it worked but that he drilled a hole through the wall to run the wire from the box into the boys’ bedroom!  I never did learn how he knew what to do or how to do it – probably watched a serviceman at a neighbor’s house. 🙂

  20. In junior high I figured out a way to get a phone line up to my bedroom so I could secretly call my girlfriend and chat without nosy siblings listening in.

    When I inevitably got busted, my dad shook his head and laughed. He said he’d been trying for a long time to figure out how to get a line upstairs. I ran the wire thru the cold air return for the hvac….

    n

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  21. Damn, just got done with a text exchange with the dealer in Rosenburg. The Expy isn’t eligible for Ford certified pre owned after all. Since it meets the model year and mileage requirement, and they claim to have run the VIN with Ford and gotten rejected, Ford must know something that isn’t obvious. I’m not driving an hour or spending $40K on a truck that Ford apparently knows has a warranty issue.

    n

    (or the sales guy or manager is a liar. either way, not something I’m going to pursue.)

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  22. When I inevitably got busted, my dad shook his head and laughed. He said he’d been trying for a long time to figure out how to get a line upstairs. I ran the wire thru the cold air return for the hvac….

    Not extremely risky, but I hope you aren’t still running a phone line that way, especially with wiring Hencho en Mexico or, worse, Made in China.

  23. “Union calls on Exxon to continue Texas refinery contract talks despite lockout threat”
    https://www.hydrocarbonprocessing.com/news/2021/04/union-calls-on-exxon-to-continue-texas-refinery-contract-talks-despite-lockout-threat

    1. demand for the refinery products are depressed
    2. the refinery just took a major hit during a freeze (very expensive to come back up)
    3. the company is not what I would call profitable

    So the union threatens to walk. The company responds with “do it !”.

  24. mRNA are not vaccines as traditionally defined.

    Yes, they are. They cause an immune reaction that produces antibodies and memory cell response from exposure to a novel protein.

    They are experimental, to the extent that most medical insurance will not cover any adverse reactions.

    Which is not true. It is NOT considered experimental by the FDA. It’s got an emergency use authorization. Life insurance and medical insurance both cover death/injury from the vaccines. In Googling around, it appears that many of the twitter and FB accounts spreading this are probably bot accounts. There are indications that the Russians are spreading disinformation again, like they did in the last two elections.

    I sure would hate to spend time in the hospital after taking a covid vaccine shot. My insurance deductible is about $7,000. Thanks Obolacare !

    “Nashville mother of three paralyzed less than a day after getting second dose of the Pfizer vaccine”
    https://americanconservativemovement.com/2021/04/28/nashville-mother-of-three-paralyzed-less-than-a-day-after-getting-second-dose-of-the-pfizer-vaccine/

    Hat tip to:
    https://thelibertydaily.com/

    I get my second Pfizer vaccine tomorrow.

  25. In fact, Starlink / Musk reminds me of AT&T in the 1920s to 1960s. They actually set the world on fire and made things happen. Two of my great grandmothers were operators at AT&T and one of my wife’s grandmother’s was an operator there also. She left my wife’s father over a thousand shares which he just left to his daughters.

    ‘T’ and all of the divestiture legacy or Modern AT&T?

    Paper certificates pre-dating the 2002 1-5 reverse split (sooprise!) and 2005 SBC takeover need to be turned in and converted to “new” company shares. If you have those, get in touch with investor relations ASAP.

    The wife gets three dividend checks from AT&T every quarter so I think that the shares are properly registered. I’ve been telling her that she needs to turn the shares into Fidelity so that they can turn them into electrons.

  26. Damn, just got done with a text exchange with the dealer in Rosenburg. The Expy isn’t eligible for Ford certified pre owned after all. Since it meets the model year and mileage requirement, and they claim to have run the VIN with Ford and gotten rejected, Ford must know something that isn’t obvious. I’m not driving an hour or spending $40K on a truck that Ford apparently knows has a warranty issue.

    n

    (or the sales guy or manager is a liar. either way, not something I’m going to pursue.)

    I would guess that the Expy does not meet one of Ford’s 172 items for the Ford certified pre-owned warranty. Run away !
    https://www.motor1.com/reviews/386590/ford-cpo-warranty/

    If I remember correctly, they offered me Ford’s 100,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty on my 2019 F-150 for $3,600. Not cheap. I figured that I could put in a new engine or a tranny for that amount.

  27. “US ‘Real ID’ deadline is now May 2023 because of COVID-19”
    https://www.chron.com/coronavirus/article/US-Real-ID-deadline-now-May-2023-COVID-19-16135206.php

    “WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans will have more time to get the Real ID that they will need to board a flight or enter federal facilities.”

    “The Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday extended the Real ID deadline until May 3, 2023. The deadline had been Oct. 1, 2021, but it was becoming clear that many people wouldn’t make it, in part because the COVID-19 outbreak has made it harder for states to issue new licenses.”

    “Congress passed the Real ID Act in 2005 to establish minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards following a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission.”

    I have to get my Texas DL renewed in June. I wonder if they will make me come in to get it ? I have not darkened their door in over a decade, I still have some dark hair in my license picture.

  28. Two of my great grandmothers were operators at AT&T and one of my wife’s grandmother’s was an operator there also.

    One of my grandmothers was a Southwestern Bell operator. She continued working after my father was born and worked during his whole childhood (another feminist myth crushed by facts!) up into our childhoods, I remember her “Retirement Tea” when we were small.

    Isn’t the power of automation amazing ? All of these people working as phone switch operators and now their jobs are all gone.

    I am wondering what will happen when all the fast food jobs get automated. Coming to a Mickey D’s near you !

  29. I have to get my Texas DL renewed in June. I wonder if they will make me come in to get it ? I have not darkened their door in over a decade, I still have some dark hair in my license picture.

    My wife and I renewed without going into the office. It was our first renewal since 2014.

    In my wife’s case, she renewed on her laptop from Florida last month after the rental car company declined her license.


  30. When I was 8 I acquired a couple of field telephones from WWII. I scavenged some phone wire from the dumpster and strung it on a couple of poles between my house and a friend’s house. We could call each other on those phones. One of the linemen from the phone company found the wires, traced them to the homes, scolded us, and promptly removed the wires. I strung them again but this time on the ground.

    When I was 11 or 12 I rescued a ‘punch card dialer’ phone (similar to this: https://www.thehenryford.org/collections-and-research/digital-collections/artifact/263907/ ) from a NY Telephone CO dumpster, although mine was mint green. Luckily it had some blank cards and the wall-wart (gray cube with two screw terminals) that powered it. Took it home, opened it up, removed the 25(?) pair line cord and replaced it with two standard cords which I had connected to Lines 1 and 2 and wired those into the two phone lines in our house. Got the line lights to work and figured out the punch card programming from an already punched card. Programmed my dad’s office and some friends. Cool technology at the time and fun for a kid to have. IIRC still on a shelf somewhere in the basement of my parent’s house in Brooklyn.


  31. I am wondering what will happen when all the fast food jobs get automated.

    If only the managers could pay the workers what they were worth to the business rather than some arbitrary minimum hourly rate, then the displaced workers might still have jobs.

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  32. The wife gets three dividend checks from AT&T every quarter so I think that the shares are properly registered. I’ve been telling her that she needs to turn the shares into Fidelity so that they can turn them into electrons.

    The Death Star would have held the dividends if the shares were not registered properly.

     


  33. Isn’t the power of automation amazing ? All of these people working as phone switch operators and now their jobs are all gone.

    I am wondering what will happen when all the fast food jobs get automated. Coming to a Mickey D’s near you !

    What happens?
    1. Everyone crying for $15/hour gets fired
    2. Your order, which they already have you entering at a self-service kiosk, no longer gets served wrong
    3. …
    4. Profit (for the franchise owner)

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  34. It comes as one top government official this week warned that free nations ‘again hear’ the ‘drums of war’ in the region, while newly-installed Defence Minister Peter Dutton openly mused about the prospect of a war between China and Taiwan.

    At least if a shootin’ war breaks out CNN can have something else to cover besides Uncle Joe.

  35. “‘Mom And Pop’ Landlords Dying On The Vine As Un-Evictable Tenants Enjoy Pandemic Protections”
    https://www.zerohedge.com/personal-finance/mom-and-pop-landlords-dying-vine-un-evictable-tenants-enjoy-pandemic-protections

    “According to Bloomberg, nearly $47 billion in rent relief from the Biden Administration has been slow to materialize, forcing “mom-and-pop” landlords into financial hardship – or forced to sell to wealthy investors. Bloomberg, perhaps to invoke sympathy for the landlord class, focused on the impact felt by minority landlords.”

    This sure does look like an illegal seizure of property, a violation of the 4th amendment. SCOTUS may have something to say about it, or not since Roberts is in charge.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

  36. Isn’t the power of automation amazing ? All of these people working as phone switch operators and now their jobs are all gone.

    I am wondering what will happen when all the fast food jobs get automated. Coming to a Mickey D’s near you !

    What happens?
    1. Everyone crying for $15/hour gets fired
    2. Your order, which they already have you entering at a self-service kiosk, no longer gets served wrong
    3. …
    4. Profit (for the franchise owner)

    One or two of the people get to stay, pushing a broom and wiping down the tables.

  37. “Biden Set To Unveil $1.8 Trillion Expansion Of American “Social Safety Net””
    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/biden-set-unveil-18-trillion-expansion-american-social-safety-net

    “President Biden will head to Capitol Hill Wednesday night for the first time since Inauguration Day (a casual visit by the president would risk spoiling the narrative that the Capitol remains a battle-scarred wreck since the Jan. 6 “uprising”) to unveil the second part of his “Build Back Better” plan, a $1.8 trillion proposal to expand the American “safety net” that will be financed by hefty tax increases on individuals and businesses, including a nearly 40% tax on short-term capital gains that spooked the market when it was first reported last week.”

    “The scale of the plan, which has been named “the American Families Plan” and is intended to compliment Biden’s “American Jobs Plan” unveiled four weeks ago, has increased in scope since the first details of a preliminary version were leaked to the press earlier this month.”

    “With spending spanning a decade, the plan’s main features include: $225 billion for child care spending, another $225 billion to create a national family and medical leave program. $200 billion in funding for universal access to pre-K schooling for young children. And $109 billion for two free years of community college, as well as additional subsidies for Americans to purchase health insurance. On the tax credit side, the plan extends a tax credit for up to $3,600 per child until 2025. Biden is scheduled to speak at 2100ET, according to his public calendar.”

    A trillion here and there and soon you are talking about real money.

    Get ready to pay a LOT of taxes.

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  38. “FCC Clears SpaceX’s Plan for More Starlink Satellites, Despite Rivals’ Complaints”
    https://www.pcmag.com/news/fcc-clears-spacexs-plan-for-more-starlink-satellites-despite-rivals-complaints

    “Opponents including Amazon’s Project Kuiper, Viasat, OneWeb, and HughesNet objected to Starlink operating at lower orbits. But in the end, the FCC sided with SpaceX.”

    “On Tuesday, the FCC granted SpaceX’s request to operate 2,814 Starlink satellites at the 540- to 570-kilometer range, down from the original 1,110 to 1,300km orbit.”

    “The FCC initially cleared the company to operate 1,584 Starlink satellites—or about a third of the licensed network—along a 550-kilometer orbit from the planet. Since then, SpaceX has launched nearly 1,400 satellites, enabling Starlink to deliver high-speed broadband to rural and remote locations across North America and Europe.”

    “The FCC’s current license allows SpaceX to operate 4,408 Starlink satellites. But the company has plans to eventually launch thousands more, pending FCC approval. So you can expect more regulatory battles to come.”

    That is a wild conjecture of the Earth with 4,000+ satellites. I wonder what 40,000 satellites will look like.

  39. Isn’t the power of automation amazing ? All of these people working as phone switch operators and now their jobs are all gone.

    I am wondering what will happen when all the fast food jobs get automated. Coming to a Mickey D’s near you !

    What happens?
    1. Everyone crying for $15/hour gets fired
    2. Your order, which they already have you entering at a self-service kiosk, no longer gets served wrong
    3. …
    4. Profit (for the franchise owner)

    Around here we have multiple fast food restaurants closed early and opening late because they can’t staff the places. Local DQ now closes at 8PM because they can’t find anyone to work there. Likewise, local BK is now 8a-8p because they don’t have the people to be open earlier or longer. Chipotle the other night had their food line closed and were doing app/online orders only because they didn’t have enough people on staff to man the line. Fried chicken kiosk in a local convenient store was closed the other evening. When my wife asked what was up she was told they close it at 5PM due to a lack of staff and then they asked her if she knew anyone looking for work.

    These are all things we’ve encountered in the last 2 weeks.

    Just google it…
    https://www.google.com/search?q=restaurants+can%27t+find+workers&tbm=nws

  40. What happens?
    1. Everyone crying for $15/hour gets fired
    2. Your order, which they already have you entering at a self-service kiosk, no longer gets served wrong
    3. …
    4. Profit (for the franchise owner) 

    5. E-coli epidemic since a lot of deep cleaning tasks are not amenable to automation.

     

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  41. One or two of the people get to stay, pushing a broom and wiping down the tables.

    They’ll use all waterproof materials for the customer areas, high pressure nozzles in the ceiling, drains in the floor and some air blowers – automated cleaning. I’m sure there are folks at Micky D HQ working on the totally automated McDonalds. And some guy at home in his jammies monitoring a bunch of restaurants remotely via CCTV.

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  42. A trillion here and there and soon you are talking about real money.

    Get ready to pay a LOT of taxes.

    “Joe and Kamala” are already walking back the promises made about the SALT deduction.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/biden-stiffs-dems-over-salt-putting-pelosi-pickle

    Yeah, its a pickle since the Dem female voters in the suburbs of DC and the tech hubs consoled themselves about how they voted by repeating some variation of the mantra, “*We* worked hard for this. Joe and Kamala understand.”

    Virginia requires property tax payments on the German grocery getter as well as the McMansion.

    We do better with the SALT deduction eliminated and expanded personal exemption but it isn’t hard to find places up the street that pay more than $20k in property taxes, similar sized house to mine, within the city limits.

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  43. This sure does look like an illegal seizure of property, a violation of the 4th amendment. SCOTUS may have something to say about it, or not since Roberts is in charge.

    Not. A remedy exists, and the voters failed last to utilize it properly last November.

    The pinhead landlord in the article even throws in a slam on Trump for good measure.

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  44. OK, that is it. No more small dealers selling auction vehicles. The 2011 Expedition had multitudinous small problems. The rear hatch had the paint bubbling on it in a foot square area. “Oh, you can get that fixed for $150”. Sure, after they sand it down and re-epoxy the unreported crash area on the plastic door for $500.
    https://houston.craigslist.org/cto/d/houston-2011-ford-expedition-2wd-4×4/7311741413.html

    The driver side sun visor was missing. Missing. The seat belts had weird stains on them. Mildew stains.

    The carpet was a weird color and appeared to be aftermarket. The driver side seat motor cover was broken off and missing. The A/C was making a weird thumping noise. “Oh, you can buy a new a/c actuator for $10”.

    What is this “you” stuff ? And this might be a Hurricane Harvey flood vehicle.

  45. A trillion here and there and soon you are talking about real money.

    Get ready to pay a LOT of taxes.

    “Joe and Kamala” are already walking back the promises made about the SALT deduction.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/biden-stiffs-dems-over-salt-putting-pelosi-pickle

    Yeah, its a pickle since the Dem female voters in the suburbs of DC and the tech hubs consoled themselves about how they voted by repeating some variation of the mantra, “*We* worked hard for this. Joe and Kamala understand.”

    Virginia requires property tax payments on the German grocery getter as well as the McMansion.

    We do better with the SALT deduction eliminated and expanded personal exemption but it isn’t hard to find places up the street that pay more than $20k in property taxes, similar sized house to mine, within the city limits.

    “Yet, according to a recent study from the Tax Policy Center, repealing the federal cap on SALT deductions would primarily benefit households making over $500,000 per year, while just 1% of the benefit would help those earning $100,000 or less. Meanwhile, repealing the deduction cap would cost the Treasury nearly $89 billion in lost tax revenue for 2021 according to the Joint Committee on Taxation – while lawmakers are seeking a repeal of the cap through at least 2025, when several portions of Trump’s tax laws are set to expire. This, of course, means that Congress would need to find hundreds of billions of dollars to either cut out of spending budgets, or raise through tax hikes.”

    How many households make $500,000 per year ?

    I don’t know anyone making that much unless they hide it very well.


  46. The A/C was making a weird thumping noise. “Oh, you can buy a new a/c actuator for $10”.

    Been there with my 02 Dodge truck. It’s not a $10 part, the dude is lying. It’s an $80 part. But labor? To drop the underside of the dash or what the F ever? Tack on $800 plus tax and the ever “piss me the F off” thing called “shop charges” for grease rags or whatever and it’s a grand.

    So, have the heater core and the a/c core replaced at the same time.

  47. The A/C was making a weird thumping noise. “Oh, you can buy a new a/c actuator for $10”.

    Been there with my 02 Dodge truck. It’s not a $10 part, the dude is lying. It’s an $80 part. But labor? To drop the underside of the dash or what the F ever? Tack on $800 plus tax and the ever “piss me the F off” thing called “shop charges” for grease rags or whatever and it’s a grand.

    So, have the heater core and the a/c core replaced at the same time.

    Oh crap, it is the heat / a/c blend door actuator ! I had both of those replaced in my 2005 Expedition for $1,500 ! ! !

    No freaking way would I pay $9,495 for that Expedition. And, I don’t have the time to get it fixed.

  48. <i>How many households make $500,000 per year ?

    I don’t know anyone making that much unless they hide it very well.</i>

    The Taxpayer Foundation used to provide a table breaking it down. The last time I went looking for it was during the 2008 election when I got tired of hearing my office mate whine about “the top 10% not paying their fair share”.

    He shut up for the rest of the election season because he was well within the top 10% by several percentage points, and we didn’t make big money at the Death Star.

    $500k? That wouldn’t be unusual money at households in DC and the tech hubs, particularly Silicon Valley with both people working in tech. Austin isn’t quite there, but the new Apple campus isn’t complete yet. Plus, Tony’s cracking the whip out in Del Valle to get the Gigafactory producing cars this year.

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  49. I am now the proud owner of a 2017 Expedition EL. The truck was very clean. Not in the clean sense, because the dealer hadn’t detailed it yet. And it was clear the the previous owner hadn’t done anything special before trading it in. And that said, it was still FAR cleaner than any of my vehicles. No marks on the paint, no scrapes underneath, no sand or salt on top of the frame rails. No dirt on the roof, or pine needles stuck in the top of the liftgate. Rubber covers on suspension parts all soft and good. Tires are like new. They did replace the windshield, and will need to replace the passenger door glass and tint.

    And they will detail the whole thing.

    Small dealer, way out in the country. Sold the truck, did the maintenance, took it back in trade, DIDN”T send it to auction. That says loads to me.

    Out the door less than $30K. That is 5-10K less than anything comparable that I looked at, and they include one year of service contract that covers everything but wear items and expendables.

    There is one shock that might be leaking, that they’re going to look at again.

    Only one key and when I pressed they didn’t have the other, and claim they can’t get it. Whatever. $10K less than I was ready to pay this morning. I’m ok with the one key.

    Yes, $30K is still $10K more than I really wanted to spend but there was nothing in that range that didn’t make me nervous.

    I’ll pick it up next week.

    The experience was very nice too, I didn’t spend a minute longer than I wanted to there. VERY fast process. One halfhearted pitch to upgrade the service contract, and I can add it later if I want to.

    All in all, I am feeling good and very relieved not to have to spend any more time or energy on the project. Touch wood.

    Now to get the Ranger sorted out….

    n

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  50. heck, top 1% is fairly achievable for a small business owner or professional, and it’s much less than you might expect.

    What does the average 1% make?
    Nationwide, it takes an annual income of $538,926 to be among the top 1%. Among the approximately 1.4 million taxpayers who meet this threshold, the average annual income is about $1.7 million – about 20 times the average income of $82,535 among all taxpayers.

    The kids’ daycare had some 1%ers, and the neighborhoods just south of us certainly do. My neighbor with the oil leases and apartment buildings definitely is.

    n

  51. “where the suspect — later identified by law enforcement sources as 50-year-old Carlos Lopez ”

    –had to get down past the mid point of the article to get the name… kosher. Totally.

    n

  52. @ech

    mRNA are not vaccines as traditionally defined.

    As in “contain live virus or dead virus”.

    @ech: Not all “traditional” vaccines contain live or dead virus. They haven’t for years. Tetanus and diptheria don’t. (They are toxins) The HepB and HPV don’t. (They are proteins.)

    True depending on what your age requirement is for traditional, but the Wuhan lying Chicom coronavirus is not close cousin to tetanus or diptheria either in origin or numbers.

     

    It’s been estimated in published studies that that the excess deaths due to Wuhan lying Chicom coronavirus are 2/3 to 3/4 of the total, with the balance being early deaths from treatable and untreatable medical conditions. Sorting the virus from the non-virus excess deaths is going to be the subject of papers for years. So the excess deaths themselves are not, strictly speaking, knowable.

    @ech: The excess deaths are completely knowable. The exact cause of an individual death may not be. (It is certain that many, many COVID deaths were missed in the early days due to lack of testing, particularly in NY state.) The CDC can predict with pretty good accuracy the number of expected deaths in a given week, given the demographics of the US. They have been doing it for years.

    No, not knowable.

    The short rebuttal is that if they were completely knowable we would not be looking at a 95% confidence interval which by definition is only right 19 out of 20 times.

    The finding that 1/4 to 1/3 of the theoretical excess deaths are attributable to non-Wuhan causes is de facto proof that the CDC does not have good accuracy for the pandemic period. I’d submit that we have our 20th year.

    Statistical comparison of populations relies on a determination that the populations are similar enough to compare. The deaths for calendar years 2014-2019 are almost certainly comparable to each other, but with the social and economic disruptions of the Wuhan virus, it is unlikely that 2020 can be compared with those earlier years.

    The cumulative deaths for any interval are the sum of deaths from all causes. A simple model has two inputs: population size and time of year.

    One method of refinement breaks it down by causes (sub-populations).

    Auto deaths for the last half-century or so were well-predicted by the number of vehicles or the number of miles driven. In 2020 miles driven plunged while number of vehicles stayed about the same, so the average miles went down. Yet auto deaths were up 8%. No model based on 2014-2019 (or any earlier years) is going to capture that.

    When enough of the sub-populations are disrupted and 2020 is not predictable based on earlier years, the total prediction is likewise disrupted. Unknowable.

     

     

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  53. Small dealer, way out in the country. Sold the truck, did the maintenance, took it back in trade, DIDN”T send it to auction. That says loads to me.

    How did you find the truck ?


  54. A trillion here and there and soon you are talking about real money.

    Kirk: Scotty, Uncle Joe called again, needs another trillion printed
    Scott: Aye Captain, but we’re already running at 100%
    Kirk: Gonna need you to crank them up to 110%
    Scott: Captain, gonna need more dilithium crystals


  55. They did replace the windshield, and will need to replace the passenger door glass and tint.

    @nick; can they replace the door glass with OEM? Wouldn’t that have the factory tint vs having film installed? Or are all the windows film tinted?

    Only one key and when I pressed they didn’t have the other, and claim they can’t get it. Whatever. $10K less than I was ready to pay this morning. I’m ok with the one key.

    Got one for my Subie from my local Ace Hardware. Process was painless and much cheaper than from the dealer. Make sure the ‘key guy’ is there before you go.

    https://www.acehardware.com/automotivekeys

  56. @alan, thanks for the tip about ACE, didn’t know they did auto keys.

    WRT the passenger door glass, I’m going to pretend I don’t know it was ever broken if it looks right when I go to pick it up. If it doesn’t look right, we’ll have a discussion. It has a star shaped chip, and I don’t know why it didn’t shatter.

    One small bummer is that they wouldn’t submit for special plates. They are crossing counties already, and don’t want to mess with it. I’ll get my hard plates and then swap them for the ham radio operator plates at some point in the future.

    n

  57. Ugg, child two has a scratchy throat and runny nose, and is sneezing. OF COURSE we had a friend over yesterday… and GS sleep away camp this weekend.

    n


  58. It has a star shaped chip, and I don’t know why it didn’t shatter.

    Those can start crawling in time… Trust me. 🙁

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