Natural Suckage

Whenever some natural disaster strikes a place where I’ve been before, there’s always a hint of a personal tragedy for me.  (I don’t think I’m any different from most people, of course, but there it is.)

Such is the case with Ahrweiler in Germany, which lies on the banks of the Ahr River right before it empties into the Rhine at Remagen, and it’s a town that has many happy memories for me.

I remember that when I was there, about a dozen years ago, I thought that I could easily live in Ahrweiler — the town is gorgeous (although come the summer every year it floods, only with tourists), but the scenery everywhere you look is just spectacular.

The Romans thought so too:  the mountainsides are festooned with grapevines dating back to those days, and there’s a large Roman villa outside the town that was only discovered a year or so before I got there.

Some pics I took when I was there:

And the town is shot through with drainage canals and pipes: 

…which didn’t seem to help much.

One would think that Ahrweiler’s proximity to the Rhine outlet would spare the town from flooding — especially as the town itself is ringed by a wall dating back to medieval times or earlier:

…but that didn’t happen this time:

The people of Ahrweiler received no warning of the impending crashing waves.

Leonie from Ahrweiler had the terrifying experience of watching the water destroy the city.  At about 11pm Leonie and her family had gone to bed, but before falling asleep she was disturbed by loud noises outside their home.

The electricity had gone out and it was pitch black. The only way they could see was with candles and flashlights.

She looked outside to notice that there was a lot of water running down the street, but didn’t realise the severity of the situation until the water level started to rise to her doorstep.  She woke up her mother and grandfather and they started to bring food and water upstairs.  However, the nightmare had just begun – a massive wave burst through the front door, obliterating everything in its wake.

I should point out that Ahrweiler lies at the very foot of the Ahr Valley, which starts way up in the Eifel Mountains.  It’s a steep drop from up there to the Rhine Valley below:

I hurt when I think about it.

They Hate All Of Us Anyway

Here’s one that made me chuckle:

Gunmaker Heckler & Koch tweeted agreement Tuesday with Miller Lite’s woke campaign against using sexy women — “bunnies” — to sell products, then doubled down in a second tweet, describing ad campaigns that objectify women as “trash marketing.”

On Tuesday, Heckler & Koch doubled down, responding to accusations that they have become “woke” by giving a detailed explanation of their opposition of “objectifying women” in selling guns:

Wow- woke? Allow me to translate: objectifying women was never a good marketing strategy. In the firearms industry, that was a prominent strategy up until recently. Many industries have done that (including beer corps).

As an actual woman typing this, I’ll use more words for you to comprehend: using bunnies to sell products is trash marketing. Supporting women by not doing that is good. 

Of course, it’s easy to say all that bullshit when your target market isn’t men buying guns for their womenfolk (unlike light beer).  If it was, H&K (who, as Larry Correia reminds us, think we all suck anyway) would paint bikini models on the oversized grips of their overpriced guns.

And by the way — and this applies to all gun companies — your job is not to “support women” by uttering platitudes like the above.  Your job is to support women by making guns that they can actually shoot.  (Last time I looked, H&K is kinda lean in that product description.)

As with light beer, I can’t boycott H&K products because I’ve never owned one in the first place — mostly because of H&K’s Ferrari-like premium prices.  (Only unlike Ferrari, whose cars are arguably worth the $$$$, H&K guns aren’t.)

Anyway, it’s all bullshit. Manufacturers have been using beautiful women to sell their products ever since Mrs. Aarg preferred Mrs. Thaarg’s leopardskin loincloth.  That’s not going to change, ever.

Bloody fools.

Secret Advanced Technology?

I got triggered by this (link):

A couple months back I needed a cooler trunk for a road trip — not a soft-sided freezer bag, but the kind of thing one takes on camping, hunting or fishing trips.  I haven’t had to buy one of these things in yonks, so I was completely out of touch with the whole thing, but I thought I’d just get a Coleman because I sort of know the brand and I’ve had good experiences with it in the past.  Also, I needed something in the 50-60-quart size.

So off I went to Academy because they’re located next door to my next stop, the Kroger which in turn is next door to my sooper-seekrit mailbox place.  (Efficient, that’s me.)

No Coleman.  Okay, no sweat;  here’s Igloo:

…not bad, but a little pricey, and I want a trunk, not a box.

Here’s Magellan, which is Academy’s sorta-house brand, made (as they all are) in China:

…wait, WTF?  $200 for a smaller cooler?  Any more Igloos?

FFS, two hundred and fifty dollars for a fucking cooler with wheels?  Does it come with independent suspension and power steering?

But it got worse, oh yes it did.  Try this proud Yeti number:


Okay, I said I’m out of touch with this category, but has there been some massive gain in static refrigeration technology that I haven’t heard about?  “Roadie”?  Does it come with someone to drag the thing around?

Had I wandered into REI, Whole Foods or a Ferrari dealership by mistake?

What premium-priced hell is this, where people pay this kind of money for what is, after all, a throwaway product that lasts a couple of years before the seals rot and you have to get another one?

Somebody ‘splain this to me, please.  I’m clearly just ignorant.

By the way:  I ended up getting two styrofoam coolers from 7-Eleven for $15 apiece, just put up with the styro-squeaking for the trip, then tossed them when I got home.  Job done.

Summing It Up

The problem with large numbers is that most people can’t comprehend them.  Here, for example, is a summary of our national economy by John Hawkins:

When it comes to the deficit, this year the federal government is expected to take in 3.86 trillion dollars in revenue (which is iffy) and is expected to AT LEAST have a 3 trillion dollar deficit (it will probably be much higher). That’s on top of our current debt which is at $28.7 trillion. If you count the unfunded liabilities the government has such as payments for Social Security and Medicare, estimates vary, but it may very well be closer to 135 trillion dollars.

The problem with millions is that few people will ever be in direct contact with that number (unless they’re looking at the odds against winning a lottery).  With billions, that distance (and therefore ignorance of the scale) increases exponentially.  Trillions?  Fuggeddabahdit.

Fortunately, Hawkins comes to the rescue in his very next sentence:

To put this in terms that are easier to understand, imagine your Uncle Sam is making $100,000 per year, spending $200,000 per year, is already more than $700,000 in the hole, and has another $3,000,000+ that he’s promised to people.

Now that’s perfectly understandable.  And to make things worse, there’s the attitude of our beloved Gummint towards this looming catastrophe:

When you ask him about it, your uncle tells you that he’s rich and so he has no plans to EVER dramatically cut his spending as long as people will keep loaning him money.

So the Day of Reckoning approaches.

I wish I could offer some kind of solution or hope, but I can’t.  I can only suggest that we stock up on food and ammo.  Lots of both, but especially ammo.

Note:  Hawkins’s larger point in his post is that bankruptcy is a catalyst for revolution — and it may even be a larger catalyst than political differences.  He’s right.

No Longer Guesswork

I was going to play our “Guess The Race?” game with this link, but it’s becoming too much of a slam dunk:

A mob of ninth-grade students has beaten up an assistant principal in Texas, who had to be rushed to hospital with serious head injuries.
The pupils at Westfield High School in Spring, 20 miles north of Houston, pummeled the administrator to the ground as she tried to break up a fight. 

…and the pics answer the question.

Oh, and the response?

“We take the safety of our students and staff very seriously, and there will be no tolerance for any altercations or disruptions to learning at any of our schools.” 

Let me know when these animals are charged with assault, and I might start believing you.