No Kidding

I know, we all have a good chuckle at stuff like this:

And then there’s this, which pushes the needle even past Code Red (click to embiggen):

I know, I make fun of our Oz friends a lot on these here pages, but this is no laughing matter:

About 100,000 homes in the Sydney area are said to be at risk, with 31,500 of those being in the city’s North Shore. Residents have been warned to take action before it’s too late.
‘Under these conditions, some fires may start and spread so quickly there is little time for a warning, so do not wait and see,’ the Rural Fire Service said on Monday.
‘There are simply not enough fire trucks for every house. If you call for help, you may not get it. Do not expect a firetruck. Do not expect a knock on the door. Do not expect a phone call. Your safest option will always be to leave early.’

Sheesh.

Looks like everything’s more dangerous Down Under:  snakes, spiders, sharks, Train Smash Women — and now, fires.

Good luck, me old cobbers.  Holding thumbs on this side of the water…

Quote Of The Day

Heard on a radio show the morning after a tornado hit north Dallas and took out houses in Preston Hollow, a ritzy neighborhood:

“That area’s so exclusive, even the Fire Department’s phone number is unlisted.”

This happened about ten miles south of us, which sounds close but isn’t.  (Plano seldom gets hit by violent storms, possibly because the insurance payouts would put the companies out of business.  Worst that ever happened to our old Plano house was a tree getting decapitated in the front yard, and on another occasion, high winds driving the rain sideways  into the roof, lifting shingles and causing a leak indoors.)

Night before last, the only thing that happened to us was a momentary power failure — enough to make my garage door opener lock up, and the electric security gate ditto.  Enter manual labor (not mine, the Mexican maintenance team’s).

Oh, yeah:  President Trump was in Dallas for a campaign stop a couple days ago, but the two events are probably coincidental, no matter what the Jackals Of The Press may say.

Miscarriage Of Justice

Somebody ‘splain to me why this little shit doesn’t deserve to be taken out behind the courthouse and shot in the back of the neck, instead of being jailed for only 20 years.  (Note that even without time off for “good behavior”, he’d be back on the streets at age 46.)

A California man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for hoax calls that led police to fatally shoot an unarmed Kansas man following a dispute between two people over $1.50 bet in a ‘Call of Duty: WWII’ video game.
Tyler R. Barriss, 26, was sentenced on Friday by U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren sentenced under a deal in which he pleaded guilty in November to a total of 51 federal charges related to fake calls and threats.
The 2017 death of 28-year-old Andrew Finch drew national attention to the practice of ‘swatting,’ a form of retaliation in which someone reports a false emergency to get authorities, particularly a SWAT team, to descend on an address.

If there was ever a malevolent, spiteful crime, this one of “swatting” another person deserves a massive prison sentence — but if someone gets killed (see story), it should carry an automatic death penalty… pour encourager les autres  assholes who want to play this sick little game.

Absentee Parents

Many years ago, my boss came into my office and said:

“Ever hear of a band called Whitesnake?”
“Sure;  plays hard rock, the lead singer is ex-Deep Purple’s David Coverdale, and so on.  Why?”
“My daughter won two tickets to a Whitesnake concert in some competition, but I can’t face going with her because it’ll be too loud.  Would you mind taking her?”
“Nope.  Gimme the tickets.”

So I took his 14-year-old daughter to the concert, which was okay as concerts go, and then discovered that — surprise, surprise! — the tickets included backstage passes and a chance to meet the band.  (I guess she’d forgotten to tell her dad about that little bonus.)

Anyway, all went well:  Coverdale and I chatted awhile about Deep Purple and such, she got all the autographs, and that was that.

I was reminded of that occasion when I was reading a series of articles about how David Bowie is supposed to have bonked a couple of underage groupies (among many others) back in his early years, and more recently too.

 

…and in similar vein, how Led Zeppelin did same with some “baby groupies”, also back in the 1970s.

 

No shit.

Listen to me tell it:  I played in a (vastly-less successful) rock band back in the 1970s, and even though we were never groupie-bait to the extent that the big guys were, there were plenty of opportunities to get up to (or more correctly, into ) mischief.

Which leads to my my main question:

WHERE WERE THESE GIRLS’ PARENTS?

How could they be so ignorant as to think that unaccompanied young girls were not going to get into trouble in the heady, loud and licentious atmosphere that was a rock concert?  How could they allow their adolescent daughters to go by themselves or (worse still) only accompanied by their giggly friends?  (For those still unclear on this aspect of parenting, let me explain:  without the presence of parents, one kid can get up to mischief;  two kids can get up to mischief-squared;  and multiple kids will — not can —  get into Hiroshima-scale trouble.)  As Jimmy Page memorably said: “Everyone knows what they come for.”   Groupies gonna groupie, as the modern idiom goes.

I’m not excusing the musicians for doing this stuff, but remember, most of these bands were (and still are) themselves only a few years older than the baby-groupies.  Asking young musicians to behave with decorum in such circumstances is an exercise doomed to failure — as is expecting young girls to behave with restraint when coming face-to-face with their sweaty heroes in the excitement after the concert.

Let me get even more explicit.  When a fresh-faced young girl presents herself to a whacked-out musician, don’t expect him to ask her for ID before he fucks her.  And he is going to fuck her.

It’s just stupid for people to clutch their pearls and accuse these now-septuagenarians of statutory rape committed half a century ago.  Leave them alone.

Young people are going to fuck up.  What’s needed is responsible adult supervision — just as I provided to my boss’s daughter on that occasion.  So if any of you are faced with a similar situation, either with yer kids or yer grandkids, act accordingly.  Somebody has to be the grownup, and it might as well be you.

Time For A Little Assistance

…or, as some might call it, benign colonialism.  Looks like somebody’s about to get rich, real quickly:

On the coast of South America, just north of Brazil, lies the obscure and impoverished former British colony of Guyana, distantly remembered for a bizarre mass suicide four decades ago that begot the term “drinking the Kool-Aid.”
But today, the discovery of a massive trove of oil off its shores, including two finds just this week, put Guyana on the cusp of becoming one of the world’s wealthiest nations, in the league of petro-states like Qatar.

How big a trove?

Since 2016, Exxon has made a dozen discoveries in Guyana that now total more than 5 billion barrels of recoverable reserves. This is enormous — for perspective, the industry calls a 1-billion-barrel field a “supergiant.”

Needless to say, the Guyanese are totally unprepared for this:

Guyana has barely gotten organized for what, in other countries, has triggered a free-for-all of chaos, corruption and war.
The country has been in political turmoil since last year. In December, the Parliament ousted the government of President David Granger in a vote of no confidence. That set in motion new elections within 90 days, but the government is challenging the move in court.
No plan has been devised for how to begin to build and upgrade the country’s roads, communications and institutions. Neither is there a plan for building up the capital of Georgetown.
No one has determined how to both husband the wealth, and to share it.
Insanally said the reaction in Guyana runs the gamut: “There are people who are excited, people who are apprehensive, and people who think oil should be avoided as a curse altogether.”

Ordinarily, I’d suggest that as Exxon/Mobil is an American company, that they (or the U.S. or even British governments) should step in and lend a helping hand in the organization.  But that would lead to loud cries of “Colonialissssssss!” from the Usual Suspects.

My modest proposal, therefore, is a little different:  let Norway  step up to the plate and show Guyana what they did with, I should point out, a relatively much smaller income stream than the one under discussion.  After all, nobody associates Norway with eeeevil colonialism, and indeed, the “Scandinavian model” is applauded by all the neo- and actual socialists out there.  And let’s be honest, if nobody on the West gets involved, then the Venezuelans will.

It may fail, of course, because nobody can fuck up a Good Thing better than the socialists — except of course for the Third World, who could fuck up Paradise in an afternoon without any effort at all.

But it’s worth a try.  Come on, Norway:  uff da, or whatever.