Kicking Down Fences

I read this article via Insty a few days back, and it’s stayed with me ever since because it’s becoming an increasingly-familiar feeling:

Would you feel comfortable wearing a MAGA hat? Or would you worry you might get assaulted?

The Democrats are now embracing “democratic socialism.” Their activists are dressing up in hoods and masks and terrorizing citizens.

But we’re not supposed to complain about it. It’s getting dangerous to speak your mind. Dangerous to your career, and even to your safety.

I worry about how free America still will be in six years because the Democrats… they’ve got an agenda. They want to narrow the range of acceptable opinions. To cow us, restrict us, make us scared to speak. From day to day, Americans are getting bullied, browbeaten, and herded like sheep. The Democrats are driving us into the narrow, reeking pen of political correctness. Its fences are constantly moving, and in only one direction. They are closing in on us.

Here’s what worries me about this.  I don’t worry about being assaulted for wearing some kind of “offensive” clothing.  I don’t worry that my car will be keyed because I have an NRA/TSRA decal on the back window.  I don’t worry about being screamed at or spat upon because of [insert Lefty outrage here].

I don’t worry about any of that.  I worry about how I’ll react to any of the above.

I don’t want to beat the shit out of some snotty punk screaming insults into my face, or break someone’s hand when they’ve just keyed my car.  And if some Pantifa asswipe comes at me with a bike lock or pickax handle, I sure as hell don’t want to shoot the little prick in the face.

But I might well do any or all of that — and then have to face the legal consequences.

It’s all very well to say, “Oh, but you were in the right:  you were justified in responding to [whatever just happened to you].”  I might be in the right, but there will still be a mountain of legal crap to be endured, lawyer’s fees and all that nonsense.  It’s like having a car accident when the other guy ran the red light:  he’s in the wrong, but you’re still the one with a wrecked car.

That said:  I think these little Lefty shits need to face up to something:  it’s all very well to play these little games, but I don’t think they realize that our patience may be great, but it’s not limitless.

It’s only a question of time.

But in the meantime, I find excuses not to go to Austin, even though I have close friends there I want to visit, because Austin TX is Loony Lefty Central.  I sometimes worry about that NRA sticker getting me a bad Uber review from a passenger (I’m a  “five-star” driver, which has its privileges).  I worry about some SJW waiter spitting in my food after overhearing my dinner-table conversation.  And those are just the things that trouble me off the top of my head.

As the linked article suggests, they and all the other little micro-terrorisms are all fences.  And I’m starting to resent them.  Greatly.

Cheap At The Price

In our rush to save money, we often end up causing ourselves far bigger problems.  Here’s one example:

A common blood pressure drug has been recalled worldwide and production has stopped after it was found to contain a cancer-causing chemical.

The drug Valsartan, made in a factory in China, was recalled in 22 countries including the UK and the US earlier in July, but the warning is now worldwide.

Investigators found a chemical used in rocket fuel, called N-Nitrosodimethylamine, had contaminated the drug’s production at Zhejiang Huahai, a Chinese supplier which ships the medicine worldwide.

N-Nitrosodimethylamine is thought to be carcinogenic, meaning it could cause cancer in humans, so production of the pills has stopped.

China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission said yesterday that the drug must not be used for diagnosis or treatment, and the pills have already been banned in the UK and US.

Experts say the contamination could date back as far as 2012, when the company changed its manufacturing process.

The main manufacturer in China is Zhejiang Huahai, which was founded in 1989 and listed on the Shanghai stock exchange in 2003, was one of the first Chinese companies to get drugs approved in the US market.

Let’s hear it for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration…

Overall, more than two-thirds of all active drug ingredients originate in China and India, industry experts estimate, with China accounting for the lion’s share.

The revelation that the problem with Valsartan likely dates back to changes in manufacturing processes at Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical six years ago suggests many patients could potentially have been exposed to cancer risk.

I’ve been taking Valsartan every day for well over ten years.  At a rough guess, that’s around four thousand pills.

Fucking Weasels

My loathing for airlines has been well documented on these pages (couldn’t be bothered to find the links, you’ll just have to take my word for it), but even my cynicism about their foul underhandedness was insufficient to prevent a full-blown RCOB when I read this little tale:

British Airways has been accused of leaving customers high and dry after cancelling thousands of flights before hiking up their prices.
Passengers snapped up bargain fares earlier this year after tickets to Dubai and Tel Aviv were being sold for as low as £167.
But the airline claims the cheap offers were a mistake and sensationally cancelled all tickets on Friday – prompting fury among customers.

“Mistake”… yeah, I bet it was, you godless cocksuckers.  Note the unapologetic “fuck you” statement at the end:

‘Errors like this are exceptionally rare, and if they do occur, under contract law, there is no binding contract between the parties.’

I will never forget how BA fucked me when the family flew to India many years ago.  We flew into London, spent the night out near Oxford, then flew out the next day to Bangalore.  Our checked luggage was weighed at Heathrow, and was not overweight (as I recall, the limit was about 50lbs per bag — 22kg?).

Imagine my surprise when I checked in at Bangalore Airport (itself a fucking nightmare) for the return journey, only to find that BA’s “allowable” weight for the return trip had shrunk to 40lbs.  The choice was to pay the (exorbitant) weight penalty, or call The Mrs. to catch a cab to the airport to fetch the stuff that constituted the excess.  (She was staying on for a week to finish her training gig.)  Of course, option #2 was never going to happen because in Bangalore’s notorious traffic, it would have taken her two hours to get to the airport, and our flight was leaving in one hour.  So I paid — I forget how much, but $400 per suitcase (three) seems to come to mind.  And when I complained, I was simply told to fuck off and die that I should have read the small print in the ticket “contract” — and when I did, I found that the smaller return allowance was indeed noted — on page 12, in tiny print.

I have been angry with airlines on many occasions, but nothing beat my ire at BfuckingA on that night, and I swore never to fly them again.  I managed to keep that promise for many years, but last year I was forced to fly with them (twice!) because I had no choice.

No doubt I’ll have to use these amoral fucks again in the future, but I am going to be extremely wary.

Considering that all airlines nowadays seem to treat us oh-so-inconvenient passengers not as human beings but as self-propelled cargo, it seems as though we have little choice in the matter.

A pox on all of them.

Working Dogs Revisited

I received an email over the weekend which asked me to re-open Comments to my Working Dogs post from way back (okay, February).  He asked me this because he wanted to add to the conversation, but couldn’t.

Well, I don’t want to do that (reopen Comments), but instead let’s just use this as an extension.

So go back and read the piece and the Comment section, and if you’re one of the original commenters and have something to add, or want to post a different thought, please do so.  And if you’re a “newcomer” and want to comment, please do so too.

This is not a topic I want to let slide.

Hammer Down

Oh, bugger it all:

Fox News star Charles Krauthammer reveals he has weeks to live

It’s cancer, that vile illness.

And on a personal note:  I just learned this very morning that my closest childhood friend Mark Pennels is also in the final stages of cancer, with maybe a week or two left.  I spoke to him in December when I was in South Africa, and he was cancer-free then, so this latest episode has been a total bastard.

And you all know about Connie, taken from me just last year by the same ailment.

I think I’ll just go to my room and pull the covers up over my head for the rest of the day…