The Apocryphoral Prediction Comes True

1986-87 Fleer Basketball Cards case containing Michael Jordan rookie sells for more than $1.7M:

An unopened case of 1986-87 Fleer Basketball Cards sold for more than $1.78 million in an auction conducted by Collect Auctions on Thursday night.

The auction house described the box as “the Holy Grail of all modern items” and possibly the last one left in the sports-card collecting hobby. The case includes 12 wax boxes with 36 packs to a box.

You know, I have many of my childhood collections, and I have always maintained that one cannot get rich from the things from one’s childhood.

In spite of this incident, I’m going to hold to it. Because an unopened box likely came from a speculator or the remnants of an out-of-business collector shop somewhere. Not from someone’s childhood.

(Link via the Springfield Business Journal.)

Has Our Journalists Worked Blue Collar Jobs?

Trucker sues Bass Pro after being hit by falling freight:

When Moore got to Florida, the lawsuit says Moore noticed that a load bar was dislodged and a palette had moved in the trailer.

The lawsuit says Moore asked Bass Pro employees to fix the palette and load bar, but they refused and told Moore it was his responsibility.

You know, I worked as a shipping and receiving clerk at an art supply store shortly after college, so the trucks I unloaded sometimes had palettes on them. But everywhere else where I’ve dealt with truck-delivered goods, the trucks have only had pallets.

The Current Crop Of Young Journalists Missed The Prequels

No Longer in Shadows, Pentagon’s U.F.O. Unit Will Make Some Findings Public:

Despite Pentagon statements that it disbanded a once-covert program to investigate unidentified flying objects, the effort remains underway — renamed and tucked inside the Office of Naval Intelligence, where officials continue to study mystifying encounters between military pilots and unidentified aerial vehicles.

Pentagon officials will not discuss the program, which is not classified but deals with classified matters. Yet it appeared last month in a Senate committee report outlining spending on the nation’s intelligence agencies for the coming year. The report said the program, the Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force, was “to standardize collection and reporting” on sightings of unexplained aerial vehicles, and was to report at least some of its findings to the public within 180 days after passage of the intelligence authorization act.

My oldest son brought the story up the other day.

Of course, I’m old enough to have read about Project Blue Book in paperbacks from the 1960s and to have downloaded Majestic-12 text files from BBSes in the 1990s. So I’ve seen stories like this before.

So I am skeptical, of course. I’m skeptical of everything I read on the Internet (even this blog) and most things I read in newspapers.

(Link via Glenn Reynolds’ USA Today column “In 2020, anything’s possible. New government intelligence might prove alien life is, too.“)

A Radical Idea

Check your couch cushions: One Chick-fil-A offers free food voucher if you exchange coins:

If you have at least $10 in spare change, a Chick-fil-A in Virginia will offer you free food for them.

Amid the nation’s coronavirus-caused coin shortage, franchise owners in the city of Lynchburg are running a special on Wednesday. The chicken restaurant is offering a free entree voucher to customers who exchange $10 of rolled coins for $10 in paper cash.

You know, if you exchange money for a food voucher, the food is not free.

Clearly, they are not teaching free-market economics to journalists these days.

My Painting Hat Is Now Problematic

The Sierra Club denounces racism of founder John Muir.

My current painting-the-fence hat is a green hat that I picked up on my first trip to the Bay Area in the first part of this century and now marks me retconned as a white supremacist along with the old timey naturalist.

We went for a hike at Muir Woods, and I didn’t pack a ball cap, so I had to buy one in the gift shop before I would go into the woods because one wears a hat in the woods to keep the ticks out of one’s hair. Although “one” does not include my beautiful wife, as she is hatless in the photos.

It does explain why many of my ball caps actually have the name of places where we hiked, though. My current running cap says Big Cedar Lodge on it, and my newest and hence most Formal Dressing Cap says Dogwood Canyon Nature Park on it since I forgot to toss my Big Cedar cap in the truck when we went to Branson this summer.

Also, in twenty years, when the animal rights people have had their druthers for a decade or so, Dogwood Canyon will mark me as a Dog Supremcist even though I have owned cats for a long time, most likely.

The New N-Word

Roger Stone calls black radio host Mo’Kelly a racial slur during interview:

“I don’t really feel like arguing with this Negro,” Stone could be heard saying.

* * * * *

“Thirty years as an entertainment professional, twenty of them in radio. ‘Negro’ was the first pejorative uttered.”

So Negro is a pejorative now?

That’s going to retcon a whole bunch of racism, ainna? I mean, in the early part of the century, that’s how you referred to African Americans when talking about Race. Of course, then the preferred term was Black, capital B, then Afro-American, then African American (and Black with a capital B was kind of looked down on as an almost pejorative, and now we’re back to Black with a capital B. And if you use or ever used the wrong one (or, perhaps, if you are also part of a targeted minority like Trump supporters or conservatives) at the time when only one is right, you’re an instant Racist and/or White Supremicist.

Definitely a trick to attack the wrongthinkers. I wish I could say clearly a trick, but I’m afraid it’s not transparent to a lot of people.

Meanwhile, let’s examine some other New Racists who used the new bad word:

  • James Baldwin:

    To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.

  • W.E.B. DuBois:

    The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife, this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self.

    (Note that he also says American which doubles the thoughtcrime probably.)

  • Malcolm X:

    The liberal elements of whites are those who have perfected the art of selling themselves to the Negro as a friend of the Negro. Getting sympathy of the Negro, getting the allegiance of the Negro, and getting the mind of the Negro. Then the Negro sides with the white liberal, and the white liberal use the Negro against the white conservative. So that anything that the Negro does is never for his own good, never for his own advancement, never for his own progress, he’s only a pawn in the hands of the white liberal.

  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:

    But I mean as far as the average Negro today, he knows nothing about Africa. And I think he’s got to face the fact that he is an American, his culture is basically American, and one becomes adjusted to this when he realizes what, what he is.

  • George Washington Carver:

    We know nothing about Africa, although our roots are there in terms of our forbearers. But I mean as far as the average Negro today, he knows nothing about Africa. And I think he’s got to face the fact that he is an American, his culture is basically American, and one becomes adjusted to this when he realizes what, what he is.

  • Langton Hughes:

    If you want to honor me, give some young boy or girl who’s coming along trying to create arts and write and compose and sing and act and paint and dance and make something out of the beauties of the Negro race-give that child some help.

  • John Howard Griffin, author of Black Like Me:

    You place the white man in the ghetto, deprive him of educational advantages, arrange it so he has to struggle hard to fulfill his instinct for self-respect, give him little physical privacy and less leisure, and he would after a time assume the same characteristics you attach to the Negro.

  • Booker T. Washington:

    There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public.

Come see the inherent systemic racism, and by that, I mean the system of finding racism where it’s not.

Also, is colored people a racial slur when people of color is not?

It would is so hard to keep track and to keep in Right Thinking these days. Which, I suppose, is the whole point.

Somewhere, Trog Is Smiling

Aaron Rodgers and Danica Patrick break up after more than two years together.

Me, too. Hopefully, now he can focus on football.

Aaron Rogers, I mean. Not Trog. He is from Wisconsin, so Trog will focus on the Packers, which is more than football. The Packers is life.

But that’s not why Trog celebrates, of course.

(Explanation to everyone but me: There once was a Wisconsin-based blogger Troglopundit who had a schtick that he liked Danica Patrick. I’ve posted about it from time to time even after his blog ended. Because it allows me to post news about the comely Danica Patrick under the pretext of doing it “for Trog.”)

In Other Words, It Succeeded

Emergency grant program for small businesses is out of money:

A pot of money meant to help prop up small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic has run out of funds.

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance program, a federal measure offering grants of up to $10,000 to entrepreneurs, has ended after reaching the $20 billion funding limit allowed by Congress, the Small Business Administration announced Saturday.

In other words, the program successfully distributed the funds allocated to it by Congress. And by the end of June, no less! Very efficient.

Good job, now back to your other tasks, everybody.

(Link via the Springfield Business Journal, who shriekingly titles the story Emergency grant program runs out of cash.)

Hasn’t Anyone Here Seen Kuffs?

Why Is a Tech Executive Installing Security Cameras Around San Francisco?

It sounds sinister. A soft-spoken cryptocurrency mogul is paying for a private network of high-definition security cameras around the city. Zoom in and you can see the finest details: the sticker on a cellphone, the make of a backpack, the color of someone’s eyes.

But in San Francisco, a city with a decades-long anti-authority streak, from hippies and pioneering gay rights activists to the techno-utopian libertarians and ultra-progressives of today, the crypto mogul has found a surprisingly receptive audience.

Here’s why: While violent crime is not high in the city, property crime is a constant headache. Anyone who lives here knows you shouldn’t leave anything — not a pile of change, not a scarf — in a parked car. Tourists visiting the city’s vistas like Twin Peaks or the famously windy Lombard Street are easy marks. The city government has struggled to solve the problem.

Come on, anyone who has seen the 1992 film Kuffs over and over (which might only be me) knows there’s already a thing that San Francisco can use that’s not exactly police: San Francisco Patrol Special Police.

San Francisco Patrol Special Police is a neighborhood police force authorized in San Francisco’s City Charter but not part of the San Francisco Police Department. They are non-sworn private patrol persons, appointed and regulated by the San Francisco Police Commission after an initial background review by the San Francisco Police Department. They are assigned to, or purchase, a specific area, or beat and charge private clients hourly rates for a variety of services.

The force has been in operation since 1847 during the California Gold Rush. By current City Code the force provides patrols on the streets of San Francisco as well as at fixed locations, and also provides a range of other safety services as requested by private clients.

The San Francisco Patrol Special Police is one of the oldest law enforcement agencies in the United States and credited for the first modern U.S. adaption of the Community policing concept.

Probably too much like actual police for right thinking people. Best to just install hackable cameras whose watchers are unknown and unknowable instead.

(Link via Althouse.)

I Noticed

LinkedIn users ditch polite networking for real talk on U.S. race and inequity

Yeah, I saw that the professional social network suddenly resembled every other social network with everyone suddenly reposting and giving up twinkies to approved thoughts.

Kinda like my Facebook feed but with fewer ads for t-shirts and otters.

Link via my LinkedIn feed, where someone uptwinkied someone else saying he was inspired by politics overrunning his feed.

Won’t Work

REPORT: Washington Redskins Will Likely Change To The Washington Warriors.

Come on, son: “Warriors” has been racist for over 25 years. Anyone remember these guys?

Yeah, me either.

Gosh, after 26 years, I guess I have to explain. The Marquette University mascot had been the Warriors for fifty years when a couple of activists of some stripe or another decided that the word “warrior” was demeaning to native Americans (the depiction was of a native American warrior, one iteration of which wore a historically appropriate outfit that native tribes helped design), so they held a poll amongst students to rename them. Strangely enough, my votes for Jumpin’ Jesuits and Fighting Octopi were wasted, as the first round yielded not the result that the university wanted, so they had a run-off to get the result they wanted. You can read my contemporaneous column for the Marquette Tribune here and a more recent history of Marquette mascots here.

And the clock is ticking for them to discover that the “golden” part of Golden Eagles is racist. And “Eagles” might be jingoisticly patriotic or something.

Meanwhile, Marquette University is in the news again in an unflattering way, again:

Marquette University is a ridiculously left-wing institution, but this, from the College Fix, is appalling. An incoming freshman may have her acceptance revoked because she is a Trump supporter….

So, Brian J., you’re a profligate supporter of education, giving money to various schools and churches across the country, but how much do you give to Marquette every year? None, gentle reader: I already paid for what I got from them. I chose Marquette when I was twelve years old, and when I went there it was starting to be an environment where a conservative was an outlier. Now, I’m sure, it’s a place that’s unsafe for conservatives because the other students feel unsafe. And, I remind you, it has its first lay president instead of a Jesuit, so it’s on the clock for its Catholic affiliation ending entirely. So, yeah, let it do its thing there.

(Link via Instapundit.)

Given Facebook’s Idea That I Like Otters

I would be remiss to pass along all the latest Man hospitalized with ‘significant injuries’ after encounter with mother otter at Northern California national park:

After an encounter with a river otter sent a man to a hospital, officials at Lassen Volcanic National Park in Northern California are warning people to stay out of the water at a popular lake.

The man was swimming in Manzanita Lake on June 25 when he was bitten by a female river otter, park spokesman Kevin Sweeney told The Times on Tuesday. The man was hospitalized with “significant injuries,” including scratches and puncture wounds that caused bleeding, but they did not appear to be life threatening, Sweeney said.

(Link via Knuckledraggin.)

What’s the deal with the Facebook fascination for otters? I have no idea, but Facebook keeps putting ads for otter-loving t-shirts and home decor in my feed. So I might as well go with it.

Goodbye, Magic Bus

Out of the Wild: State moves Stampede Trail ‘magic bus’:

The state of Alaska moved a notorious tourist attraction — often known just as “the bus” — from the Stampede Trail on the west side of the Teklanika River on Thursday.

The bus has long been a destination for pilgrims enamored with the book and subsequent movie “Into The Wild.” Some people have died making that journey to the bus. The Alaska Department of Natural Resources called it a “deadly attraction.”

“After studying the issue closely, prioritizing public safety and considering a variety of alternatives, we decided it was best to remove the bus from its location on the Stampede Trail,” Commissioner Corri A. Feige said in a press release. “We’re fortunate the Alaska Army National Guard could do the job as a training mission to practice airlifting vehicles, at no cost to the public or additional cost to the state.”

As you might know, gentle reader, I hated that book when I read it last year.

Weird, huh, with all the statues toppled that anger me, and I see this symbol removed and think, “Good riddance to bad rubbish.”

Because I’m a hypocrite.

That Was My Understanding Of It, Too

I have not gotten into high dudgeon about President Trump’s executive order on social media “censorship” because my understanding of the situation is that Internet Service Providers and forums have long been covered under special rules that treat them like a utility rather than a content provider (or newspaper/television station) that gave them immunity from lawsuits for the content passing through their systems, and that because they’re starting to “monitor” and “fact check” their users’ content, they’re acting more like a publisher than a mere conduit for information.

Which is why when I saw this piece in the New York Post, Mark Zuckerberg criticizes Twitter for fact-checking Trump, I thought, Yeah, Zuckerberg knows what’s at stake here, and he does not want his company subject to those lawsuits.

But the new executive order came down, and now Zuckerberg has to go on the offense against it, which yields stories like Mark Zuckerberg says social media censorship not the ‘right reflex’, and my response is Yeah, it’s not censorship. Do what you want. Cut off who you want. But recognize that you’re now subject to the liability rules that other publishers are.

That’s what I thought. Hindrocket at Powerline, an actual attorney, seems to interpret it the same way. I guess he goes by his real name now, but I’m an old school blogger.

I Know That Feeling, Too

Would you dine with mannequins -in the name of social distancing?

Restaurants are having to cut back on the number of people allowed inside due to social distancing and guidelines from local and state leaders.

One dining establishment uses unique stand-ins for customers to sit next to instead of an empty table.

I didn’t have to go to a national news segment to know it. I mentioned that my beautiful wife and I went to dinner on Friday. The restaurant had removed the tables in the middle of the floor and told us to sit on the same side of the booth so that people sitting in the next booth on the same side would be six feet apart (but we were so early that the other booths were not yet in use).

For the bar seating, though, instead of removing stools, they put mannequins every other seat or so. Which did trigger my uncanny valley response sometimes.

But I was able to mostly focus on the food and the company.