SPECIAL SECTION: Message For Our “Friends” In The Middle Kingdom
I normally save this for near the end, but…basically…up your shit-kicking barbarian asses. Yes, barbarian! It took a bunch of sailors in Western Asia to invent a real alphabet instead of badly drawn cartoons to write with. So much for your “civilization.”
Yeah, the WORLD noticed you had to borrow the Latin alphabet to make Pinyin. Like with every other idea you had to steal from us “Foreign Devils” since you rammed your heads up your asses five centuries ago, you sure managed to bastardize it badly in the process.
Have you stopped eating bats yet? Are you shit-kickers still sleeping with farm animals?
Or maybe even just had the slightest inkling of treating lives as something you don’t just casually dispose of?
Zhōngguò shì gè hùndàn !!!
China is asshoe !!!
And here’s my response to barbarian “asshoes” like you:
OK, with that rant out of my system…
Biden Gives Us Too Much Credit
…we can move on to the next one.
Apparently Biden (or his puppeteer) has decided we’re to blame for all of the fail in the United States today.
Sorry to disappoint you Joe (or whoever), but you managed to do that all on your own; not only that, you wouldn’t let us NOT give you the chance because you insisted on cheating your way into power.
Yep, you-all are incompetent, and so proud of it you expect our applause for your sincerity. Fuck that!!
It wouldn’t be so bad, but you insist that everyone else have to share in your misery. Nope, can’t have anyone get out from under it. Somehow your grand vision only works if every single other person on earth is forced to go along. So much as ONE PERSON not going along is enough to make it all fail, apparently.
In engineering school we’re taught that a design that has seven to eight billion single points of failure…sucks.
Actually, we weren’t taught that. Because it would never have occurred to the professors to use such a ridiculous example.
Justice Must Be Done.
The prior election must be acknowledged as fraudulent, and steps must be taken to prosecute the fraudsters and restore integrity to the system.
Lawyer Appeasement Section
OK now for the fine print.
This is the WQTH Daily Thread. You know the drill. There’s no Poltical correctness, but civility is a requirement. There are Important Guidelines, here, with an addendum on 20191110.
We have a new board – called The U Tree – where people can take each other to the woodshed without fear of censorship or moderation.
And remember Wheatie’s Rules:
1. No food fights
2. No running with scissors.
3. If you bring snacks, bring enough for everyone.
4. Zeroth rule of gun safety: Don’t let the government get your guns.
5. Rule one of gun safety: The gun is always loaded.
5a. If you actually want the gun to be loaded, like because you’re checking out a bump in the night, then it’s empty.
6. Rule two of gun safety: Never point the gun at anything you’re not willing to destroy.
7. Rule three: Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire.
8. Rule the fourth: Be sure of your target and what is behind it.
(Hmm a few extras seem to have crept in.)
All prices are Kitco Ask, 3PM MT Friday (at that time the markets close for the weekend).
So here it is, Friday, 3PM MT after markets closed and we see:
All over the map here. Gold up, silver is exactly where it was (though I am sure it moved around a bit over the week), all of the PGMs down. That says to me the industrial users are demanding less, and gold is serving as a safe haven.
But that interpretation is worth exactly what you just paid for it.
JWST instrument commissioning proceeds apace.
This morning, I saw they had two of the seventeen instrument modes checked off. It’s now 3PM mountain time…and they have four!
That tells me they’re working a bunch of them (maybe even all of them) at the same time.
The JWST blog is busy, too. As some here noted, they’ve already dealt with a micrometeor strike. They expected these and designed with that in mind. (Though if a meteor isn’t so “micro-” there could be problems. However, the bigger they are the less likely they are.)
Also they’ve posted about the near infrared imager and slitless spectrometer (NIRISS), one of the four instruments on JWST (there’s a fifth, but it’s used to keep track of the JWST itself). They can do spectroscopy on one object, or everything in the field of view at once, interfermetry (getting increased resolution at the cost of some light), and just plain old imaging to back up and/or supplement NIRCam.
If I were to try to overstate how important spectroscopy is to astronomy, I’d fail. It’s thanks to spectroscopy that we can tell radial velocity (how fast a star is moving towards or away from us), how fast something is rotating, what it is made of, and (with a lot of sophisticated processing) the mass and period of many exoplanets and even what the atmosphere of an exoplanet might contain (provided in the latter case we are in the exoplanet’s orbital plane), all without leaving the comfort of our home planetary system (and let’s face it, we still haven’t much choice there). The overwhelming majority of what we know about “out there” is thanks to spectroscopy. And it was key in discovering at least a dozen chemical elements, including one that was discovered in the sun before it was discovered here (I’ve told that story–hint/reminder, it’s the chemical element named after the sun).
You may have wondered how they’re going to decide who gets to use JWST. After all there are more astronomers than there are James Webb Space Telescopes. And, it turns out, it’s a bureaucratic process.
I know that some of the available (24/7 minus takedowns for maintenance, usually adjusting mirror secoment alignments) time is held in reserve, at the discretion of the manager of the JWST. That’s quite a privilege, but other than his personal research, he’ll be expected to use it to study things that go kaboom or comets, especially comets about to hit things. In other words, if a supernova were to go off near by (a totally unanticipatable event), it gets priority over the guy who wants an image of NGC-1234…and that guy would probably even agree with the decision; we haven’t had a really gonzo supernova since before Galileo’s telescope. (The fact that the one back in 1987 was visible even though it was a hundred thousand light years away tells you something about how bright a star like Betelgeuse would be if it went kaboom! since Betelgeuse is a couple of hundred times closer. Yes, it would be visible in daylight.)
Meanwhile, we wait for the awesome.
An Interesting Point Made Here
Yesterday cthulhu linked to this:
(Very first post for Friday.)
And the first part of that was worth a read:
When we conservatives decline to volunteer as a dish in the progressive buffet, the leftists have no choice but to feed upon each other. We will see more of it as conservatives wake up and smell the kombucha – leftists only win when they can bully and intimidate, and if we choose not to let them do that to us, then it’s not as if they will give up their go-to move. No, they will turn on each other, and we will gobble up the Orville Redenbacher as they fight to the death for our amusement.
And we are amused.
Donald Trump was the first guy to push back, really push back, but it was not simply his pugnacious nature and cunning ability with mean tweets that made him important. It was his moral position. At some level, for some reason, so many establishment Republicans had approached these bad faith actors as legitimate critics who were at best misguided and who might actually have a germ of a point within their critiques. Trump, however – having been among them for decades and understanding exactly who they are – read them correctly. He considered them garbage.
It was not so much that Trump fought back, it was that he made it clear that the leftists are scum. And because he did not credit them with any moral stature, their slings and arrows bounced off his armor. Of course, Ron DeSantis has taken the same tack with them, refusing to credit them with any kind of merit. And that deprives them of their most powerful weapon – their victims’ complicity.
The thing about words is that they can only hurt you if you let them. At one point, “racist” and “sexist” and all the other lies might have stung. Now, we consider them a punchline and an outright slander. We laugh at them.Kurt Schlichter on TownHall
This is precisely what Ayn Rand called “the sanction of the victim.” It comes about when, deep down, you cede moral authority to your oppressors. Rand would, in particular, highlight the effects of an altruistic world view in this connection, i.e., where your worth is measured by how much self sacrifice you are willing to do. If you can be guilt-tripped for not being willing to give up something you value, to help out a bum on the street, they’ve got you.
This sort of thing is, I believe, why many RINOs cave regularly. They believe that the Left has a bunch of impractical ideals, and they think of themselves as practical people who have to rein those impractical people in. But the problem is, they think of the left’s ideals as ideals that can’t be achieved practically–which means they say to themselves, “Well it’s nice in theory.” So they can be pressured to help try. After all, it would be nice if real communism could work, so why not get as close to it as is practical?
But in doing this they cede the moral high ground to the Left. Which is why RINOs are inveterate invertebrates.
Rand, of course, thought altruism (which she considered sacrificing something of greater value for something of lesser value, about which more below) was a crock, so she was immune to that.
But even those immune to altruistic appeals might not be immune to accusations of “sexism” or “racism” and modern Leftism isn’t so much about Marxism of the “workers own the means of production” as it is about race and sex inequality “built in” to the culture. (Though the former is supposed to be a means to correct the latter…or maybe the latter is the excuse to implement the former…ah, well, who cares which one it is?) So they pull guilt trips that can only work if you cede them the high ground. If you do that, you will feel you deserve what they do to you.
That’s a major philosophical thread underlying the entire novel Atlas Shrugged.
(By the way in her non-fiction writing Ayn Rand was explicit that she was not talking about “sacrificing” to put your kids through college or things like that–you are trading a lesser value (that fancy car you couldn’t buy) for something of greater value (your children’s futures. She would not consider that an actual sacrifice but rather a high price paid for something of great value. A sacrifice is giving up something more valuable to you, in exchange for something less valuable. With that in mind, Ayn Rand opposed sacrifices in life, often gotten from people through guilt trips.)
And now, thanks in part to the Left going over the top with accusations of “racism” and in part to Trump showing them to be paper tigers, the Left is losing their power…and they’re losing their shit over that.
The subject of the new quarters came up a couple of days ago, and I thought I’d bring in a historical perspective.
It’s hard to imagine today, but in the early days quarters weren’t that popular a denomination. Since, back then, the mint made coins to order by anyone who brought silver or gold in, that meant if people didn’t specifically ask for it, they didn’t make it. And most people bringing in a bunch of silver would want it done as dollars or half dollars.
But, nevertheless they did make a few thousand of them in 1796.
Note there’s no denomination on the coin. You were expected to know what it was by its size. And the other silver coins had the same design themes on them.
They made a few more quarters in the 1800s (i.e., 180x, not the 19th century) with a different eagle (and now, the denomination is given as 25 C though it looks like an afterthought):
And then in 1807 or so they changed designs completely.
Collectors refer to the prior designs as “Draped Bust/Small Eagle” and “Draped Bust/Large Eagle” and this design is the “Capped Bust” because Liberty is wearing a cap. This ran until mid 1838, though the recently-founded New Orleans mint adopted it a couple years later. Again, all silver denominations basically used the same theme, the coins looked like each other except for size and the written denomination (half dimes, dimes, quarters, and halves–there were no capped bust dollars at all). [Yes, half dimes…silver coins half the size of a dime. The nickel we know and love didn’t exist until 1866.]
Again, there’d be multi-year gaps where no one ordered quarters from the mint.
Next was the “Liberty Seated” series which ran until 1891, i.e., it lasted longer than the mint had been in existence when it was adopted. Again, all of the silver coins basically looked the same. We had silver dollars again. But the half-dime and dime were a little different, instead of an eagle they had a wreath on the reverse. So we finally started to see a breaking up of the monolithic one-design-for-all-denominations rule.
There was one major change to this in 1866 for the quarter, half dollar and dollar, because “In God We Trust” was added, on a ribbon over the eagle’s head and wings.
A multimillionaire might decide it would be fun to get one of each date and mintmark, in uncirculated condition…that’s the typical collecting type, albeit with a budget the typical collector doesn’t have (most collectors don’t even delve into Liberty Seated and earlier coinage at all; if you collect by type–one of each design type rather than one of each year and mint mark–you have a considerable advantage; you need six or eight coins instead of over a hundred).
That multimillionaire will never succeed if he undertakes that quest. Many dates, especially from the San Francisco mint, are unknown in uncirculated condition; i.e., absent someone opening a box in an old attic somewhere and making a discovery, there aren’t any. Period. Again, quarters were not that popular, and the mint didn’t make many. (And the Civil War was not good for specie coinage on top of that.)
The mint got bored with the Liberty Seated coinage and decided to replace it starting in 1892. We were now down to four silver denominations, the dime, quarter, and half dollar, plus two distinct types of silver dollars. The silver dollars had their own designs, now, but the dime, quarter and half dollar still had liberty seated on the obverse and an eagle (or wreath) on the reverse. Anyhow, the replacement quarter was…
And collectors are almost unanimous in finding this design to be incredibly blah. (What’s with Liberty’s neck?) This design had one big advantage though, and that is that it struck up well, with all the detail, and as it wore down, it was still readily recognizable. That was the criteria Charles Barber was working from, and he succeeded.
Why am I showing you all of this? Because people were talking about the artistry and symbolism of the new quarters. So the design has been my focus so far.
In the 1900s…as in 190x, not 19xx..none other than President Theodore Roosevelt decided our coins were artistically atrocious. Not just silver but also the coppers, nickels, and gold pieces. (Probably the only then-current design liked a lot today is the Indian head cent.) So he embarked on a crusade to change the designs. There was, at the time, a law against changing the designs more than once every twenty five years, but the then-current gold designs had been around since 1839 or 1849 depending on the denomination, so those could be done right now. Roosevelt brought well-known sculptors famous for their work into the project, and this was in the days before modern “art.” (You can look those up: Indian head quarter eagle, half eagle, eagle, and St. Gaudens double eagle, I want to focus on quarters).
But the effort to change our coinage actually did outlive Teddy Roosevelt. In 1916, under Woodrow Never-to-be-Sufficiently-Damned Wilson, the silver was addressed (and again, there was no dollar being produced at all). And this time the designs were completely different for each denomination.
So I present you the “Standing Liberty Quarter.”
Only a few were made at the tail end of 1916 and command a huge premium today, but more were made in 1917 and then there was a design change.
The shield looks different, the eagle is higher up, the stars on the reverse are rearranged…and yeah, Liberty is now overdressed.
[The modern “old wives’ tale” is that there was a huge hue and cry over the bare breast and that’s why they changed the design, but in fact little evidence of such can be found in contemporary newspapers. And John Ashcroft wasn’t even alive then.]
These coins are much, much more artistic than the Barber series, but the mint hated them. The design was nearly impossible to strike up. Oftentimes detail in Liberty’s head was just not there, and so today, if you’re shopping for one of these, an “FH” or “Full Head” designation can bring a premium. But even on “Full Head” coins, many of the rivets on the shield (and the US shield on the shield) can be soft or nonexistent.
It was difficult to mint these well in the sorts of quantities the mint was now being called upon to produce. (The “Mercury” dime and walking liberty half dollar also introduced in 1916 had similar issues…also worth looking up.)
Charles Barber was stung that his design had been dropped after 24 years (with a little creative interpretation of the exact text of the 25 year rule), and considered these designs failures–and by his criteria, as a man charged with producing designs that would strike up and wear well, he was actually right.
Washington’s 200th birthday was fast approaching, and Congress passed a bill to put Washington on the quarter in 1932. The last standing liberty quarter was made in 1930 (none dated 1931).
So now, who gets to sculpt George Washington?
The Commission on Fine Arts had hired Laura Gardin Fraser to sculpt a commemorative medal, and they suggested the same bust be used on the quarter. But instead Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon chose the James Flanagan portrayal, which in turn was based on a sculpted bust by Jean-Antoine Houdon made in 1786–i.e., a sculpture made using Washington himself as a model.
So the Flanagan portrayal should be very, very close to an actual image of Washington. (It can be hard to nail down a good image of someone who lived before photography.) Anyhow, here it is:
This of course is what we’re used to. But please note, there is actual detail in Washington’s hair. By the 1960s and 1970s the master hub from which the dies are made had worn smooth from repeated use and Washington’s hair began to look like a skullcap.
A touched up version of this began to be used sometime in the 1990s, but they overdid it and it looked like Washington’s hair was made of spaghetti.
It only got worse in 1999. The image was shrunk slightly to make room for legends brought from the reverse for the state quarters series.
And the spaghetti hair looks even worse. (BTW, here he faces away from “In God We Trust.” This is nothing new; it has been like that since 1999.)
Still, it looks very much like before. Flanagan might not have liked what was done to his portrait, but at least it was recognizable as an attempt at his portrait.
The state quarters series, and the subsequent national seashore series ended, finally in 2021, early in the year, and the mint reverted to the 1990s full-size, spaghetti hair portrait, for just that one year (with IGWT on the left again below Washington’s chin).
On the reverse is this image of Washington’s crossing of the Delaware. (I couldn’t find a decent sharp image of the obverse of this coin; the focus was on the new reverse.)
But this was just a gap filler. We’re on to a new program for quarters, one recognizing women…and OBTW it’s quota time. One White, one “Native American,” one Black, one Asian, one Hispanic. (And we get to do this for three more years after this one. Oh joy. Oh rupture.)
(The feminazis must be downright orgasmic over the Amerind honoree, Wilma Mankiller.)
And it being women…well, it has been alleged that Mellon made his decision for the Flanagan portrait over the Fraser portrait on purely sexist grounds, and so, where better than on quarters designed to honor women should one rectify such an injustice? So Fraser’s portrait, used once on a $5 gold commemorative in 1999 (shown below), got brought back.
Well, Mellon’s choice might have been due to sexism, or it might have been that he thought this was butt ugly by comparison. Judging from the commentary here earlier this week, I’ll go with butt ugly.
On the other hand, a “Fine Arts Commission” did recommend this over the Flanagan design. So I’ll allow that perhaps sincere people could differ over which one is better.
Now I’m going to come to Fraser’s defense, a bit. She and her husband, James Earle Fraser, were “real” sculptors too, just as St. Gaudens, Bela Lyon Pratt, Adolph Weinman, Victor D. Brenner, and Hermon Atkins MacNeil were (these people had all done coin designs in the early 20th century). In fact James Fraser did the Indian Head (or “Buffalo”) nickel. Laura did one of the two sides of the Oregon Trail Memorial half dollar (struck intermittently between 1926 and 1939):
She and her husband both liked to use American Indian subjects in their sculpture, and I realized earlier this week that might be why Washington looks very “Indian” in her portrayal.
(By the way the other side of that coin was done by James:)
Obligatory PSAs and Reminders
China is Lower than Whale Shit
Remember Hong Kong!!!
Zhōngguò shì gè hùndàn !!!
China is asshoe !!!
China is in the White House
Since Wednesday, January 20 at Noon EST, the bought-and-paid for His Fraudulency Joseph Biden has been in the White House. It’s as good as having China in the Oval Office.
Joe Biden is Asshoe
China is in the White House, because Joe Biden is in the White House, and Joe Biden is identically equal to China. China is Asshoe. Therefore, Joe Biden is Asshoe.
But of course the much more important thing to realize:
Joe Biden Didn’t Win
Qiáo Bài dēng méi yíng !!!
Joe Biden didn’t win !!!