Quibble’s Raiders

In a post on the likelihood of a hot civil war, Animal says:

A second civil war would be catastrophic. It would be fought not on distant fields, not by massive armies maneuvering against each other in open country. It will be fought in the streets, in the towns, amongst us in ways no other war has touched us since the Revolution, and if similar conflicts are any indication – see not only Bosnia but also the Spanish Civil War – it will result in hatreds that will last generations.

As I have mentioned before, here in the Ozarks, it was house-to-house and family-to-family raiding during the Late Unpleasantness. And some of the locals still have a kind of respect for Quintrill’s Raiders.

So I have imagination enough to know how that might go.

(Yes, I do read the rule 5 posts for the articles.)

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Mommyblogger, Where Do Aryans Come From?

Unsurprisingly, the answer the journalist presents is a mixture of racism and modern loneliness of immigrants.

However, gentle reader, one with historical perspective might point out that Aryans where proto-Persian/Indians from way, way back in history who conquered India and placed themselves, with their lighter skin tones, at the top of the heap and established what would become the caste system in India. As the young man in question has a lighter complexion and immigrated to the United States with his family, he might have been of those upper classes in India who might have looked down on other Indians. I’m not going to actually ascribe motives to him (or posit that he might be a fed like all the cool kids are).

But I am bogged down in the India book in The Story of Civilization (the Our Oriental Heritage volume), and this history is fresh in my mind.

Never is the question “How do other nations/ethnographies treat those of other nations/races/ethnographies?” Because that answer would be worse than the West and especially Americans do.

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In One Easy Step

The Springfield Daily Citizen proffered a podcast I did listen to because I already know the answer.

“Book Bans” today just means not putting sexual material in the elementary school library. You want to get around it? Order it on Amazon.

When a community objects to government subsidy and encouragement of objectionable material, that’s not a ban. Just because something is not provided by the government does not mean it’s banned. Unless one is actively arguing for “Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State.”

I am tired of how some political actors stretch definitions to conflate something objectionable with something wrong.

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My Backyard, Too

Springfield shelters overrun with kittens

We brought in a pair of black cats last year, so we’re topped up.

But in the last couple of days, we’ve seen some new faces, including a large black cat with white feet and, this very morning, a pair of very young tabbies.

It seems cyclical at Nogglestead. We see a lot of tabbies wandering around, and then we see a bunch of Jigsaw-spawn running around, and then we see a bunch of black cats running around, and I guess we might be back to tabbies somehow.

I guess it all depends upon the lifespans of their various mothers in the wild.

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The Baddest Word Strikes Again!

Actually, no, it’s people have made the word magic who have struck again.

The headline is Glendale High School teacher placed on leave after student records him using racial slur

However, the teacher did not use the baddest word as a racial slur. He discussed it as a word:

After a student notes slave owners’ use of the term, the teacher says he recognizes that, but then says, “Is the word (N-word) not allowed to be said?”

Amid several audible gasps from students in the class, a student begins to tell the teacher not to say it, noting, “As a teacher, if you want to keep your job — this isn’t a threat …”

The teacher responds: “But I’m not calling anyone a (N-word). I can say the word.”

Spoiler alert: It was a threat.

Weird times we live in, when “educators” can “safely” discuss sexuality with children and tell the children not to tell their parents, but discussing a word as a unit of language–not using the slur, but discussing it–is grounds for termination.

Also, I am probably a homophobe and a racist for bringing this up. But twenty years of this blog have already proven I’m irredeemable.

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I Knew The Hotel From The Headline


Mookie Betts apparently has no interest in messing with potentially haunted hotels.

Betts has become a team leader for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but during the team’s series against the Milwaukee Brewers, he’s not with his teammates.

C’mon, man, that’s the Pfizer, one of the premier hotels in the city. I’ve stayed there a time or two when returning home in the years immediately after college. When I could not really afford it.

Which is weird: I went from staying with friends to staying at hotels starting with the Budgetel on the northwest side and the motel by Timmerman Field to staying downtown pretty exclusively. Hearkening back, I wonder if the change took place after I got my job in IT. It must have. But I stayed downtown numerous times, including at the hotel where Teddy Roosevelt got shot (the Hyatt at the time, although it’s probably changed names since then).

Never saw a ghost in the Pfizer, though.

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The Explanation Obvious To People Who Don’t Have The Problem

The Internet has been awash with stories bemoaning the reboot and sequel addiction that entertainment makes have these days such as this New York Post story: Why nostalgia is ruining television one classic at a time:

Nostalgia is officially out of control.

The recent news that two franchises, “Twilight” and “Harry Potter,” will get TV series adaptations doesn’t mean you’ve time-traveled back to a decade ago.

This still is 2023.

The reboot culture in television has run rampant for a while — “Magnum P.I.,” “True Lies,” “Fantasy Island,” “Hawaii Five-0,” “Queer Eye” and “Cobra Kai,” to name a few.

This month alone will offer upcoming small-screen adaptations of “Dead Ringers,” and “Fatal Attraction,” with A-list stars attached to each project (Rachel Weisz and Joshua Jackson, respectively).

But at least those stories have been lying dormant for 20-odd years (or more) before their resurrection.

You know why creativity is going bankrupt in this country these days? No one reads books.

Well, that’s a bit narrow in focus. More broadly, later generations are not ramping up their imaginations by having to picture what’s happening in their own mind–which could come from reading books, or hearing stories, or probably even a little bit from listening to dramas on the radio (although I guess some audio-only podcasts could take this role, but not podcasts on YouTube with visuals that repeat images to not violate copyright or video of some person talking jump cuts to a camera). They hardly go outside to play with just a stick, or with a toy gun and a bike, or even a bunch of action figures to build their own stories.

Instead, they get screens at an early age and endless hours of children’s shows on television.

They only get shallow stories presented to them through television and games, and when it comes time to produce entertainment of their own, we get facsimiles of what they’ve seen. Much of the time, especially for twenty-somethings and under, they’ve seen reboots and sequels already. They don’t have the depth of imagination and the amount of material from wide-ranging reading to churn in their imaginations, and they’ve not had to develop imaginations at all.

So ever faster the vortex will spin.

Man, remember the good old days when you could see a new movie, but you could pick out what other movies it copied for its elements? Mash-ups? The good old days.


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It Ain’t Me, Babe

Comic book hoarder’s house buried in vintage collectibles ‘worth millions’:

What a marvel-ous home.

Vintage comic books and figurines fill an “abandoned” house discovered by urban explorer Devin Dark, who suspects the ’80s and ’90s merchandise is worth “millions.”

“You walk in and immediately you can see everything stockpiled right in front,” Dark, who hails from Chicago, told SWNS. “It’s just overwhelming. You just stand there looking at everything, not knowing what to do.”

Dark, 27, shared footage of the superhero fanatic’s lair on TikTok last week, quickly collecting over 26,000 views. He posted a longer video on YouTube, but didn’t disclose the home’s location.

Given this is the finest in reporting on a TikTok video based on an interview with a company that creates and distributes amazing news content which drives huge audiences across print, digital and social for the world’s biggest publishers, I am sure you can take it completely at face value.

The photos of an “abandoned” home that has not been lived in for 15 years that is in great repair and has not been looted of its pristine comic book memorabilia, fixtures, or copper show a pretty clean house except for the stuff scattered on the floor.

So, yeah, I make a gesture of warding and disbelieve.

What struck me, though, was a discussion in the comments.

As I have explained to my wife, one of the main differences between being a “collector” and being a “hoarder” is shelf space.

And value, hoarders usually have worthless junk.

We are fortunate to have space for the things I accumulate. Not collect as I do not strive for any completeness in particular items, and I do not go to collectors’ shows or prowl Ebay for what I like–I just look to find items in the wild, at garage sales or antique malls or book sales–and I do not like to spend much money on my gatherings. And I do not really hoard–the condition of my garage aside.

But I have been fortunate that we have been able to move to larger and larger houses as we’ve gone along. That keeps things relatively tidy.

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Not Even Close

Australia man Lucas Helmke beats world record with insane number of push-ups.

C’mon, we don’t want to see a large bunch of text telling us all about the guy. We just want the numbers.

3206 in an hour. Which is 53 a minute.

I’m not even close to that; I can barely eke out 50 in a row for my martial arts fitness test.

I still have not given up on the magic pushup dream. Although I am not actively training for it, either.

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School-Commissioned Study Discovers Schools Need More Money

Study shows nearly a quarter of kids in Springfield are not prepared for kindergarten:

The Mayor’s Commission for Children’s 2022 Kindergarten Readiness Study found nearly one-quarter of Springfield kids were not prepared for kindergarten.

The commission conducts the study approximately every four years. This year, the study was prepared by Dr. Melissa Duncan Fallone from the Dixon Center for Research and Service at Missouri State University.

  • A total of 360 surveys were completed by Springfield Public Schools teachers for a response rate of 80%. 2022 overall readiness results indicate 23.9% of those surveyed were not prepared for kindergarten.
  • 36.6% of free and reduced lunch program students were reported as “not ready,” while 13.5% of their non-free and reduced lunch program peers reported as “not ready.”
  • 53.8% of students who did not attend a formal preschool were reported as “not ready,” as compared to 20.4% of their preschool-attending peers.

I wondered what kind of hard metrics they used to determine if a child was ready for kindergarten, so I looked at the study itself. At my cursory glance, it looks like the actual hard data is simply a survey of kindergarten teachers who are asked how ready a student is, although the study references the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA) “evaluation” which basically scores conditioning to school conditions and the Developmental Indicators for the Assessment of Learning (DIAL-3 and DIAL-4) which is… well, a quick Internet search doesn’t explain exactly what it measures in children from 4 to 6 (kindergarten age), but I did see extracts of at least one paper disputing its value.

Which means that ready for kindergarten probably tracks pretty closely with has already been conditioned to sit quietly for periods of time and to do directed activities as directed (id est, to not be a pain in the butt to the teacher) and not so much academic performance or preparedness. So, yeah, kids who have already those school-coping skills at pre-school programs that cost money would be better prepared for school than kids who spent their days with their grandparents or moms and had the run of the house or the yard but are suddenly given desks and schedules.

The report does not break down or break out other children’s activities that might accustom them to the organized activities of school, such as day care, Sunday school at church, or Vacation Bible School. Nor does it explore whether children would be more ready for school at age 6 rather than as soon as possible.

Because it’s not so much science as it is lobbying for more money and to extend the state schools’ reach in childhood.

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Why Brian J. Has Not Commented on ChatGPT

Because I’ve seen that movie before.

Actually, I read about the movie in one of the kiddie computer magazines in like 1984–I forget which magazine, but I had a subscription to it several years before I had a computer–and I eventually watched it at some point.

I don’t have it in the library here at Nogglestead, and it’s not likely that I’ll find a videocassette of it in the wild, but one never knows.

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In Trash Pandas News


The Trash Pandas, unfortunately, were the team that threw the no-hitter.

(Remember, gentle reader, the Rocket City Trash Pandas have been my favorite minor league baseball team for five years, which means mostly I wear that sweatshirt in heavy rotation in the winter and I post about them when I see them in the news–not that I follow them closely.)

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Better Stay Home Where It’s Safe

Apparently, going to the gym is getting dangerous.

Here in southwest Missouri, my greatest danger at the gym is that I’ll do something foolish to impress my beautiful wife, like captain’s chair leg raises:

I know it’s a good ab workout when I think I’ve contracted the stomach flu two days after the ab workout.

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