Friday, January 29, 2021

640 African Elephants Balancing on the Tip of a Ballet Shoe

 A Random Randomnesses column 

                                   Image by Mystic Art Design from Pixabay

This is: A weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids and my great-grandkids — the Stickies — to advise them and haunt them after they've become grups or I'm deleted.

Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — A Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering. Viewing with a tablet or a monitor is highly recommended for maximum enjoyment.

Please Note: If ya click on an Amazon ad, thus opening a portal to Amazon, and buy anything, Lord Jeffrey will toss a few pence in my direction and you won't have to feel guilty about enjoying my work  well, hopefully  for free. Win/Win.  



Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlerreader

"People say she's crazy she's got diamonds on the soles of her shoes." -Paul Simon

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies and Great-Grandstickies (and Gentlereaders),

[Get comfortable... it's another long one.]

The title of this column, 640 African Elephants Balancing on the Tip of a Ballet Shoe, is a line from an article written by Sara Spary I found on (at?) As soon as I read it I knew I had to pass it along. Just because. 

The reason I read the article — Science can create diamonds at room temperatures in minutes  in the first place is that I've long been fascinated by the willingness of my fellow H. sapiens to spend a not-insignificant amount of money on pretty rocks to commemorate a given couple plighting their troth to marry each other.

Or, worse yet, purely for ornamentation, given that it's common knowledge that diamonds, in general, are not particularly rare, can be manufactured, and the average schmuck can't tell the difference between a "real" one and a manufactured one.

However, my dear Stickies and gentlereaders, never underestimate the power of good marketing and/or the pursuit of status.

It seems that a team of scientists has figured out a way to manufacture real, high-quality diamonds using a unique method in which they apply 640 elephants worth of pressure to carbon at room temperature. 

The manufacturing of real, high-quality diamonds has been around since the 1980s but the process requires high temperatures. Note the phrase real, high-quality. We're not talkin' pubic zirconias' people. 

[It's cubic zirconias, not...]  

I know, Dana, and I apologize. 

Fun fact! According to Wikipedia the current primary method for manufacturing pubic zirconia stones is called the Skull-Melting method because it requires temperatures of over 3,000 degrees. 

How cool is that?

- Is the fact that the Titans of Tech not only have more money than God but also have the sort of power the so-called Robber Barons of a century or so ago could only dream of, slightly concerning? 

[Oh great, yet another article about cancelation/censorship by social media, Big Tech, and/or the Purple Press. Or are you worried that the Goog has noticed you have tens of regular gentlereaders and is about to cancel you?]

Being a disciple of the late, great Alfred Enigma (What, me worry?) Newman, 1895 - 2018, I cultivate, albeit not always successfully, not worrying as a virtue. 

However, I do find non-nonprofits of Citizens of the Republic like Laurene Powell Jobs and her ilk, a bit worrisome.  

[What's a non-nonprofit and Who's Laurene Powell Jobs?]   

Non-nonprofits are organizations set up by gazillionaires that at first glance look like traditional nonprofit entities that have to report where the money comes from and where it goes. 

However, they're LLCs, private limited liability companies. For example, the business of the dude/dudette/person that owns your favorite local restaurant is probably structured as an LLC... assuming, of course, the plague/gummit hasn't destroyed it. 

So, a non-nonprofit "charity" can spend its money any way it pleases, even try to generate profits.  

[Wait... you made up the term non-nonprofit didn't you?] 

Guilty as charged.

[Who's Laurene Powell Jobs?] 

Steve Jobs' widow. Net worth $19,000,000,000 more or less. 

According to Wikipedia, she's the "... executive and the founder of Emerson Collective, an organization that, among other investing and philanthropic activities, advocates for policies concerning education reform, social redistribution and environmental conservation, and a major donor to the Democratic Party candidates including Kamala Harris and Joe Biden."

[So? It's her money and she can spend it any way she pleases.]
When you're right you're right, Dana. Must be me. 

Just because she bought herself an American literary institution, The Atlantic (Est. 1857), Lord Jeffrey (net worth $180,000,000,000) bought his favorite newspaper, the Washington Post ('cause he could), and Mr. and Mrs. Zuck-erberg (net worth $90,000,000,000) have also set up a non-nonprofit... well... that's not necessarily a disturbing trend, right?   
- Uncle Joe is wasting no time. He's crankin' out executive orders and memoranda faster than a newly enthroned divine right monarch on meth. Perhaps the reports of cognitive decline are bogus. 

No, I'm not going to comment on wiping out 11,000 jobs with the stroke of a pen by canceling the Keystone pipeline that so many people are bitching about. We're in a climate crisis and the little people who don't need private jets to save us from ourselves must do their part to compensate for the carbon footprints of those who do. 

For example, John Kerry (net worth a mere $250,000,000... of course his better half, another wealthy widow, is worth about a billion) Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, needs his private jet to buzz around the planet to attend meetings with his colleagues from other signatories of the Paris Climate Agreement. Hey! it's not actually a treaty, per se, so screw that Senate approval crap... and stop your whining. 

For the record, I do have a favorite Executive Order.  

“Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports.” This is a line from the Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation. 

[Catchy title.]

Boys who self-identify as girls want the right to choose which restroom or locker room they use, or which team they join, and Uncle Joe stands with them. What could possibly go wrong? Right?

And, a favorite memorandum...

The following is from a memorandum titled Modernizing Regulatory review, a masterpiece of bafflegab destined to be enshrined in the Deep State Hall of Fame. 

(i)    identify ways to modernize and improve the regulatory review process, including through revisions to OMB’s Circular A-4, Regulatory Analysis, 68 Fed. Reg. 58,366 (Oct. 9, 2003), to ensure that the review process promotes policies that reflect new developments in scientific and economic understanding, fully accounts for regulatory benefits that are difficult or impossible to quantify, and does not have harmful anti-regulatory or deregulatory effects; 

My emphasis. You've gotta read the whole thing to fully appreciate it.  

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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