Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day

This is an especially poignant memorial day when we remember the veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for this country, her people, the constitution and our freedoms.

Heroes are not extraordinary people doing extraordinary things but average people who come to see there are greater things in life than themselves. And come to understand that if something isn't worth fighting for even risking their lives for, then of what value could that thing be.

Have we honored them or have we made all they fought and bled for into a farce.

Look around you.
Governors and Mayors have taken plenary power and rule by fiat. In taking such extraordinary measures ostensibly to protect us from the ravages of COVID-19, they offered no extraordinary proof of its necessity. A once free people are no longer free to attend religious services, congregate together or demonstrate for redress of grievance. Nor can they appear in public unless they wear a face mask and maintain a distance of 6 feet between them. People are obligated to wear face masks for the privilege to enter a business and spend there money there. We have now willingly separated ourselves into such arbitrary categories as "essential" and "non-essential" jobs and businesses. There is now such a thing as essential and non-essential people by extension. Even swimming at the beach, a memorial day, beginning of summer tradition enjoying the freedoms dearly bought for us by the sacrifices of our servicemen is now forbidden.

We have allowed ourselves to be turned into dependent and helpless children who are unable to decide for ourselves what is best for us. Just as we have turned our elected politicians and bureaucrats, those who are our employees, into all-powerful parents who command our absolute obedience and whose word cannot be questioned.

Worse is the docile and slavish attitude of the majority of people who adhere to these diktats without question. Cowards who willingly surrendered the Bill of Rights in fear of an exaggerated menace. A lockdown said to be only for 2 weeks to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed changed to 4 weeks to "flatten the curve" then more than 2 months to "save on precious life" ignoring all the other precious lives affected or even lost due to the decisions of politicians. Not even as the time frame extended and the excuses changed, the curve flattened, did people realize they were being lied to the entire time. The despotic rules applied will never be fully rescinded and the social mores changed with depersonalizing and ultimately dehumanizing forced wearing of masks and "social distancing" will become "our new normal". Something that should be regarded gravely and rejected as it will serve only to socially isolate people into atomized individuals suspicious and fearful of each other. Protests and rallies will be no more and unnecessary as individualized, non-essential cattle have no voice or will to resist. They will only silently maintain their mandatory 6 foot distancing as they are inevitably marched into the abattoir.

We have shamed ourselves and the memory of those lost in defending our country, our freedoms and our way of life. We've rendered their sacrifices pointless and even ludicrous. Not because we were conquered from without but because we cravenly destroyed ourselves from within. The men who fought the dictators in the second world war now have their children and grandchildren applauding and praising dictators in Nurse Ratchet drag here at home.



Donald Cavaioli

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Morons like me- Comments on the Newtown Pentacle post "Sunniest Room", posted May 12, 2020

Expanded from a comment originally from the Newtown Pentacle post titled "Sunniest Room", by Mitch Waxman, May 12, 2020.

We all make mistakes, going along with something because everyone else was doing it only to later realize how absurd and foolish we were. Like thinking polyester disco clothes or leisure suits looked cool. Realizing the mistake and fixing it is what we must do. Better late than never.

One way to do it: Changing one's position slowly and by small degrees over a period of time is the best way to do an about face. Hopefully there are no wits or wags out there to recall one's original, shall we say, not very well thought out stance, which would highlight one's gullibility. Well, we're all guilty sometimes of the proverbial brain fart. I do also count myself as 'present' in that dubious roll call.

Just in the aftermath, we're left with the sticky problem of extricating ourselves with whatever shreds of dignity we can muster. The last thing one should do is respond with sobbing and railing against their interlocutor as picking their arguments apart like some evil black raven.

That's OK for the cad or bounder but completely undignified for the learned and bookish sort of gentleman. One should realize that they should have constructed a better thesis and accept the criticism with stoic equanimity.

Yes, even with the seat of one's trousers torn away, we should hold our heads high as we walk away with our bare arses hanging out. Because sooner or later we 'll turn a corner where our detractors will no longer see us and distance will fade their mocking laughter. Stiff upper lip, keep calm and carry on and such.

OK, so what does the previous doggerel have to do with this Newtown Pentacle post or even anything sensible? Nothing, I suppose.

Hold on a sec! What's this: "Before any of you Libertarians, Bible Thumpers, LaRouchites, supply siders, Tea Partiers, or bleach drinkers accuse me of changing my tune on the Corona crisis… I’m as frustrated as everyone else is right now,..."

Is this the start of that slow about face or is it more "damn the iceberg, full speed ahead! Trust our experts, we're unsinkable!" I dunno. Maybe I'm one of those dullard Libertarians, Bible Thumpers, supply siders, Tea Partiers, bleach drinkers or just a moron.

We continue: "This isn’t a conspiracy, it’s a public health emergency. The kind which has historically scythed through the human population about once every hundred years or so."

So this super virus is the love child of the Andromeda strain and the black death. Only we can't see the sick everywhere around us and Eric Idle pulling a cart shouting "bring out your dead" but our experts and Mitch can. If any bleach drinking, bible thumping, libertarian supply siding Tea Partier says different, then they're conspiracy theorists which means their questions may be summarily dismissed because they drink bleach for heaven's sake. Furthermore as I quote from  Planet Moron:

"If you are confused with some of the media accounts regarding the Covid-19 virus, it could simply be because you are still relying on “old science. This is a common error.”...[snip]..." Old science was grounded on the fundamental principle that conclusions must remain subject to scrutiny and therefore need to change in accordance with new data and observations whereas New Science is grounded in the fundamental principle of because I said so." 

As President Fauci and the models said so seconded by our own Humble Narrator therefore it must be true even if the actual data says different. Got it. And for those who cannot get it even if they don't get it, go drink some more bleach.

"Those of you unfamiliar with New Science might mistakenly believe it sounds an awful lot like religion. Nothing could be further from the truth....[snip]...In stark contrast, people who adhere to religion are Republicans [Libertarians, Bible Thumpers, LaRouchites, supply siders, Tea Partiers, or bleach drinkers-my addition] And that’s why smart people know they should stick to science. Science helps everything make sense. There's no reason to be confused anymore. For example, still trying to understand why engaging in anonymous sex hookups on Tinder is okay but shaking hands isn’t? Because I said so."

There you go. Quod erat demonstratum. The CoronAmerica daemon virus is the worstest we've evah faced and all praise to his Celestial Majesty Andy Cuomo of Nipplerings (and seconded by our Humble Narrator with spaniel like fidelity) for shutting everything down lest we all die because He and the High Priests of Expertise said so. Stay at home, wear your mask properly or face the wrath of the NYPD, stay 6 feet apart and line up outside half empty stores like good Soviet citizens even if our betters do not.

So it isn't simply because I said so but do as I say and not as I do. That's okay with you, isn't it Mitch? Sure! Because it's a public health emergency even if the political and upper bureaucratic establishment don't follow the rules they impose on us. Pay no attention to the apparatchik behind the curtain or the bitter almond aftertaste of the Kool-Aid you're drinking. I suppose I'm the fool to disagree in light of the apocalyptic ravages of the daemon virus only the wiser and more enlightened can see. Fools had ne'er less grace in a year...

I guess I'm a truculent moron who adheres to hopelessly outdated notions of science and proof. As well, I have no credentials to gainsay my betters who are entitled to make ex cathedra pronouncements. But even a bleach drinking moron should conduct himself with proper dignity especially when bookish and learned gentlemen play the fool. I shall now walk away, trounced and bare arsed, with stoic equanimity.



Donald Cavaioli


P.S.

To be fair and play devil's advocate, I realize this may (or may not) be just some of Mitch's shtick In which case I would owe him an apology with the excuse that sometimes it's hard to tell when he's being serious or when he's putting you on as he has a perfect sense of timing and is very subtle when laying it on. I'd owe you several rounds of drinks at Doyle's, payable on demand, if it ever opens again. But he does make one of the best conversationalists or sparring partners and sometimes it's irresistible to make jokes on. This post is tongue in cheek so the reader shouldn't take my comments here too seriously. I really do like the guy.

Monday, March 2, 2020

World's Fair Special streetcar 1938

Been slacking off here, with an excellent excuse, of course, but I'm back. I wouldn't just abandon my duties at the mausoleum without saying goodbye.







Here's a PCC car in its original livery of Cordova brown running along the private right of way on Rodman Street (College Point Blvd today). The World's Fair special started at Brooklyn Borough Hall along the Flushing Ave. line then connected to the Grand Ave. line to terminal on Rodman Street next to the fair grounds. This is one of two brand new PCC cars that operated into Queens County as who would waste brand new, state-of-the-art trolleys on Queens when the PCC fleet can be operated in Brooklyn. To my knowledge, there is no existent original color photo of a PCC car in this livery so I just had to colorize this one.

Another point of note is the 10 cent fare listed on the white card on the PCC's front instead of the 5 cents B&QT was permitted to charge. The City did step in and force B&QT to stop this sacrilege against the 5 cent fare but then charged 10 cents as the fare for their IND World's Fair subway line. When you own the law, you don't have to follow it yourself.

The original B&W photo is from, as usual, NYC Subway.org carefully hidden behind 'World' sub-menu.



Donald Cavaioli

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Vision Zero doesn't work

This obsession progressive liberals have with creating ever more laws to force people to obey the existing laws that they aren't is a topic which I've touched on before in previous posts especially in regards to gun laws. But I thought I had written specifically about this Vision Zero thing here at the sepulchrum but apparently not. I must have it confused with posted comments on Queenscrap and the Newtown Pentacle. What can I say, I'm getting old.

However aside from a tangental subject on bicycle lanes where I wrote that being an entitled asshole with a lack of civility and exercise of common sense which cuts across all demographics is the problem, not lack of more laws or bike lanes and I might add more cameras. To actually believe it is possible to reduce all traffic accidents with fatalities to zero, let alone any and all traffic accident for that matter, is completely impossible unless someone engineers a new, flawless human who never makes mistakes.

So until that happens, this vision zero thing is an idea born of either industrial grade imbeciles or grifters of the political or activist stripe with an altogether different ulterior motive. Either way, it will not work for its stated purpose because it does not properly address the human element but maybe it was never supposed to work in the first place.

Here is an article from FEE detailing the progress of Vision Zero in that progresive sewer of Los Angeles. To any Angeleno who might take offense, NYC is just as bad of an leftist open sewer and festering progressive liberal boil on the ass of America so nobody's getting an attitude here. As to Vision Zero, it's just as I've said.


Donald Cavaioli

Friday, February 14, 2020

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Meeker Avenue at Penny Bridge ca 1936

Sometimes it's nice to escape back to a simpler time.


Here is Meeker Avenue on the Brooklyn side of the old Penny Bridge barely visible on the far right. This is probably around 1936 at the latest as with the completion of the Koscuiuszko Bridge, it was demolished. The photographer however, was far more concerned with this Stephenson model 1907 car at the terminal stop of the Meeker Ave line of the B&QT when it was a privately owned railroad company. The end of the track and catenary wires clearly visible on the right.  I like the little green convenience store, if that's what it is, with the coca-cola sign on front. Getting the colors of the Stephenson right was tough because these cars were originally convertible cars- double ended open motorman control and sides can be removed in the summer to permanently a fully closed car, front and rear doors with parts of slightly differing shades of red added.

The original black and white photo was found in the hidden back 'World' menus of NYC Subway.org where the trolley photos are carefully concealed (those ERA types, I tell ya!) and by myself colorized in defiance.



Donald Cavaioli

Monday, February 10, 2020

When the far right mirrors the far left

The model of the political spectrum I favor in a previous post here makes a prediction that can be tested that could strengthen it as a more logically consistent and better model than the horseshoes, circles and pretzels favored by others. It predicts that the extreme far right and the extreme far left would hold similar positions but for diametrically opposite reasons. They would be mirror twins.

For those who only look at the subject superficially, it would be understandable how they make the error of bending the spectrum to make the two ends meet. If A = C and B = C then A must equal B and they would still be wrong if the comparison were between libertarian anarchism of the right endpoint with communist anarchism of the left endpoint. One needs to look just beneath the surface to understand the differences in motivation and ideals involved. But as I have said, their endpoints are only similar as anarchism itself means different things to the right and the left.

For the left, anarchism is the end product of Marxist dialectic materialism, the synthesis after the communist anarchist antithesis destroys the current "capitalist" thesis. In Marxism, this synthesis is undefined as to what exactly it will be other than the state (the dictatorship of the proletariat interim phase) withering away under communism. As it is in the future, it is as unknowable today as capitalism and the industrial revolution would have been during the earlier patriarchy and feudal phases. This new synthesis is not only inevitable but the final stage of human history.

For the far right anarchists, there would simply be a stateless society as Man, in their view, is a naturally rational economic actor, a fundamental property of human nature as they see it, where all people would keep and dispose of the products of their labor as they see fit. No courts, no military, no police, no national borders, no basic services as each individual will see to these matters themselves or at worst, a minimal form of government for at most basic services like water, sanitation and sewage. It would be a society, if you could call it that, where each person is a country unto himself and his national boundaries don't extend beyond the tip of his own nose. Courts would only exist to protect individual property rights. Overall in the libertarian society, everybody does as he pleases and the whole of the law shall be do as thou wilt as long as it does not violate the non-aggression principle- another fundamental property of human nature in libertarianism.

So both believe in a stateless or nearly stateless society but the critical difference is the communist will have the fruits of individual labor equally distributed throughout the community whereas the in the libertarian anarchist society it's every man for himself, getting by or not based only on one's individual talent, ability and drive.

One interesting side note is in the dissident right there is an interesting similarity to Marxist material dialectics where some believe in either withdrawing from participation in the political process and allowing the political and economic system to collapse on its own or voting for the most extreme leftist to speed up the collapse. It is as if they are the antithesis in a sort of passive-aggressive  conflict with the present thesis and as with the communists, the future synthesis cannot be described in either how it will come to be or what exactly it will look like. It will just happen and it will work out in favor of the dissident righters in a sort of libertarianish (although DR'ers seem to hate libertarians as apostates are wont to do) society and this is inevitable because they have the best ideas. Again the right mirrors the left with opposite expectations and opposite outcomes. Even with tactics employed in the antithesis-thesis conflict itself, the right is passive where the left is active.

However, it is disturbing how this sect of the right seems quite comfortable with Marxists concepts like material dialectics and their acceptance of blurring the definitions of words and phrases such as their refusing to define the 'right' as anything more than the 'not-left'. As well as their distrust of corporations and big banks and seeing them as a greater evil than big managerial government. But as I've previously noted, the dissident right appears to consist of libertarian and objectivist apostates and heretics with some disgruntled blue-collar, big pro-union, old-school New Dealer Democrats thrown in. So it should not be too surprising to find them using New Deal rhetoric and ideas. Just as it should not be surprising that many DR'ers being from the blue-collar and suburban middle-class strivers set would think that having a lot of money translates into power- If I were a rich man, with my gold alone I'd rule over the men with the guns. Completely absurd. No understanding whatsoever of the difference between influence and power.

When you use the right model, understanding the present and predicting the future becomes much easier.




Memorial Day

This is an especially poignant memorial day when we remember the veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for this country, her people, the ...