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Another Year, post dumpster fire

by tgposzadmin on January 25th, 2022

2021, What a Year

Last year, about this time, I posted a 2020 “year in review” – my Dumpster Fire post. This year, things are only slightly better, but as you can tell by taking the temperature of the nation, not all is well. After all we started out the year with an insurrection that a lot of the country is saying now was nothing more than some tourists at the capital. Certainly the economic numbers are better, thanks to the injection of cash directly to taxpayers (due to the crushing issue of the pandemic). This will almost assuredly increase the rhetoric about inflation, but isn’t that to be expected with the pandemic and the following cash inflows to keep people afloat? Once in a century, we should be allowed to have some inflation. However, the question will always be how much can we stand. It’s a non-zero number, in spite of what some republican members of congress will say.

But let’s go by some of my favorite talking points:

  1. Tesla had, by June 10, 2020, reached a stratospheric price of $1,019 per share and a market cap of $188.2 billion – and of course since then there was a 5:1 stock split, which doesn’t affect the market cap, but does make the stock more affordable for the individual investor. Well, we’re back, meaning at least 5x since then since the price at year end is $1,070 hovering around 1100 this past week. The actual peak, which reached approx $1,230 in early November, suffered some setbacks, probably mostly because Elon Musk was selling shares and exercising options, both of which are taxable events for him. Ultimately the last quarter revealed stellar results with record deliveries at the car part of the company. This made his remaining shares even higher in price and thus his net worth.I’m struck by this latter point, since a lot of the “news” talking points and especially tweets from ultra liberal democrats hoping for a “tax the rich” change in tax policy think he doesn’t pay any taxes. Obviously, he will this year (he takes no salary, but will have to pay capital gains on these sales). It might be a record for what one person has to pay in taxes, literally Billions of $$dollars$$. But that truth will not get people to donate to campaigns. You see, it’s not just the Republicans that lie, surely Sen. Elizabeth Warren is aware of how much taxes he is going to pay, WITHOUT a “tax the rich” change in tax policy. So Democrats, they lie, too. She ran a bunch of Facebook ads saying it wasn’t fair for him to pay no tax and would you please, just to get that $10 donation to me so I can make it happen?

  2. Schools – my god; what is wrong with people. I have sisters that are teachers, and it’s very bad with the “freedom” issue, of mask wearing. I’m sure you’ve seen the “school board meeting” skirmishes. Science on the matter would seem to be settled, but if we were to settle for science, we’d be out of this mess, wouldn’t we? All for politics, that we as a country are willing to let people die, families in grief, not to mention shoving disinformation up their ass so far, that they will punch a doctor because their favorite horse medication wasn’t given to their loved one, never mind that it won’t actually work. Again, facts and beliefs – totally reversed.

  3. The vaccines came online this year and many of us got “the jab”, but in a nutshell, If you’re able to stay home, do so. If you need to be out, please take precautions to keep you and those around you safe. I personally know some immunocompromised (weakened immune system) people and wow – what if we all got the vaccine to protect them? Allow them to lead a normal life? Even if the Omicron variant isn’t as bad (if you’re vaccinated) you can still carry it to those that cannot take the vaccine, legitimately. You are wearing the mask to protect those around you. Not the other way around.Obviously, many more people died this year. At this stage those most at risk are those that are knowingly avoiding the vaccine, mostly because of disinformation. Sure there are those with legitimate religious or medical reasons, but frankly those are few and far between. Do you know someone with a fake vaccine card? I have utter disgust at the fact that certain opportunists decided to make vaccination a political issue with the misinformation, make it a political fund raising tool. Unvaccinated deaths account for almost all of the deaths at this point. So many families of the unvaccinated are begging for the vaccine, but it’s too late by the time you have to go to hospital, go on the vent, and perhaps never go home.So much anguish over this, they’ve been told lies and have done or are doing their “research” when they could just do themselves a big favor and talk to their doctor, jeez. There is one lady I read about that says she bleeds rectally when she simply stands next to a vaccinated person. Crazy, misinformed, or perhaps has rectal cancer, she should be seeing her doctor, but won’t because she doesn’t want to hear the truth if it goes against her worldview. There are those that say they don’t want to get the vaccine because it causes you to die if you get infected with Covid, which is the opposite of the truth. Where are these people getting their information? From Joe Rogan and people like him.

    I mean, really – do you need to research the physics of how an aircraft flies through the air in order to take a trip on an airplane? Do you research the training of the flight crew? Maybe you should individually ask them to submit to a breathalizer? Or do you just rely on scientists and some government agency to mostly get it right and keep you safe in that airplane? Does that doctor with a decade of training vs. what you can read in a week or a month – you really think you can do better? Claiming that vaccines don’t work because you can still contract Covid despite being fully vaccinated, that’s not the purpose of the vaccine. It’s like getting hit by another car while driving…but had your seat belt on and perhaps not badly injured. You were smart. You saved your own and perhaps others’ lives. It’s why you put passwords on your email and websites you visit. Or use an umbrella in the rain. It’s not 100%, but it’s better if you do.

    Seriously, shut the fuck up, get the shot, help mankind. Be on the right side of history.

  4. We had more forest fires this year, so did most of the rest of the west coast and even into Canada, even on the eastern side of the divide. Now there are fires on the high plateau in Colorado. I have family in Minnesota that was being smoked out by a fire in central Canada. I don’t know what else to say, other than the climate change, we’ve ignored it so long, it’s not to be ignored any longer. It’s one of the reasons I have solar and batteries and drive an electric car, charging it from the sun. It’s my part.Then this last week of the year, lots of rain (snow in the mountains). A skier had been missing since Christmas. He’s probably dead, but the search continued (he was later found some hundreds of yards from a residential area that he apparently was trying to get to when he succumbed). Food and gas in Lake Tahoe, for example, were in very short supply. Come spring, there will be mudslides, we can count on it.

    There was the inevitable traffic jam for 48 hrs in Virginia and Traffic JamTahoe and a “PREDICTION” (Wall Street Journal, no less) that in such a situation, EV owners would freeze. This honestly just begged to be fact checked. First, there were no reports of EV owners being stranded and then 2nd, one Tesla owner did his own experiment, related here: ( of course, because our social media cannot resist but to amplify a stupid person that would be otherwise ignored, there was a post about California needing to use it’s water (in a drought) more wisely, what with 7 inches of rain in LA and 18 inches in the nearby mountains. Not knowing how this all works is just the same as Ted Cruz complaining about illegal dancing in Washington state, not realizing that the “WA government” reference was to Western Australia. Back to the water, a friend of mine also slapped back on the California water use tweet with her own reference to all of us leaving our garden hoses running all day/night, such water is carried to the ocean and contributes to rising sea levels. If you don’t catch the sarcasm, I can’t help you.

  5. The party that only has the “stop the steal” as anything they have done this year fully expects to overtake the house in this year’s midterms. The party that is progressively building the country back up and making things better has their eyes closed, I guess. The fact is the economy is RAGING! This is what should be on the news programs, not this other crap about how Biden this or Biden that. I have a great sense of fear, because it’s so unnecessary to go backwards. How could we have sunk so far? Some say it’s been going on since Regan, others say stuff like white supremacists have been going on since the civil war, that we as a society have not addressed this for a long time.Of course, the Democrats need to play hardball. Because the other side is and has been playing hardball all this time, that’s why they can’t do anything to actually help the country. The economic news is great now, why isn’t that being shouted from the rooftops? The game has changed, I think everyone can sense this, and the left has not changed tactics. So for that, we can really fear what will happen after the midterms. If they are even close, the “big steal” will be shouted again and this time, the laws in the states have been changed. A third party offering might have value to push the election into the house of representatives, but the two party system is extremely entrenched.There is a story of one man, Stacy Blatt. He was dying. In hospice care, his monthly income was $1,000. He sends $500 to Donald Trump, after Rush Limbaugh says Trump needs money to overturn the election. The next thing that happens is the Trump people tap his bank account again and again until they take every penny the dying man has. He meant to give one contribution, a very generous one. Not just to Mr. Blatt, these people did this to thousands of loyal trumpers, thousands of them. Some people contested the extra charges on their credit cards, but debit cards don’t work that way. Either the credit card company is out the money and they try to get it back or the people themselves are out this money. Some have said that ½ billion dollars has been raked in. Of course, If you or I did this, we would be arrested. I don’t know why Trump and the people around him haven’t been held accountable. This was thievery, plain and simple. And it’s just one example. Is the Justice department ineffective?

  6. My daughter, Julia, has really turned her life around with school and work. She used to be a barista at Starbucks, but it’s not so great a work environment there. Anti mask and anti vax people really make things difficult for front line workers. She did get started with finishing her bachelor’s degree at Arizona State University because Starbucks paid the bulk of the tuition. She’s left Starbucks, doesn’t regret it, but it does mean she has to tap her education account to continue to pay for tuition. She has also found a few grants and scholarships, so it’s not all on her dime. The investments I’ve made in her education account have done well this past 10 years or so, so there is money for her to finish, one way or another.As far as her progress, she’s done really well, progressing far from some of her troubles during community college to where she is now, a young accomplished and very good student. This coming semester she gets to come back to the subjects she likes the best, writing. She is exploring internships at newspapers and the like. Even one at Tesla! She’s had pretty good luck with various internships up to now.

  7. We are getting started on our tiny house project, although we’ve shifted to what California calls an ADU, Accessory Dwelling Unit. It’s on a permanent foundation rather than a tiny house on wheels. After months, we were able to obtain the money needed as a mortgage on the main house, and it’s sort of funny that this little house is going to cost as much as our house did back in 1985, 36 years ago. But considering the housing crisis we have, it’s also sad that inflation in housing has driven things to such an expensive point.

    We’ve settled on the overall design of the ADU and next the company we’re working with will be submitting plans, etc. to the local building department. Because of a law in California, ADU designs are centrally approved by the state, the local building people only approve the things outside, like electric and water hookups, trenching, etc. The building design is also submitted, but local building division cannot argue much about the design, since these are pre-approved by the state. It’s one of the most progressive things I’ve seen and it should address some of the housing shortages here. The governor also signed a law this year that expands this ADU concept from being limited to only one ADU per parcel to multiple units per parcel, within the limits of the size of the parcel.

    Ultimately, perhaps, with Julia being the first resident (it’s more economical for her to start home ownership this way rather than trying to buy a first house or condo) eventually she would move out, and maybe then we move in; the expansion on our parcel can really begin at that point. This house is really positioned wrong for adding other units. It was originally a farmhouse for the walnut orchard that used to be here. Eventually that orchard became a new subdivision built in the late 1960’s with the farmhouse remaining on about 2 acres. Anyway, we expect that the main house could be torn down and 5-6 new houses be built on the parcel in its place. But as time progresses, we’re getting older and such details start to matter less and less. Still, I’d like to be here when this is undertaken, sort of be a supervisor to the contractor, perhaps a partnership. We shall see…

  8. Matt continues at the drug store, CVS, but really doesn’t like it. If you haven’t heard there is pretty much a constant theft problem, more so in San Francisco, but it does happen here as well. Last year, a big theft ring was busted up. Lots of stolen merchandise was seized in a warehouse, which the crooks were re-selling on Amazon and Ebay. It’s amazing to me that they (stores and law enforcement) cannot get control of this problem, but it’s many layered. The luxury stores in San Francisco have resorted to gates and solid barriers, perhaps you’ve seen the video of these stores being robbed in a coordinated fashion. Some arrests have been made, but I suspect the police will have to get more intelligence on how these coordinated activities come together. It seems like a sign of societal deterioration and I for one, do not have any answers that seem right.

    I do worry about us individually, being targeted, because we look like we might have money. Just this week, in a neighboring town of Danville, a lady had her purse violently snatched and within minutes they were using the credit cards 5 miles away at some upscale stores to buy stuff. When the perps were caught, they were in possession of lots of credit cards.

    Matt also has to deal with everyone that comes in without a mask. Some are belligerent, have to be removed (police), some innocently forgot. Every public facing person has to deal with this and he says it is so tiring. He works the evening shift, starts in the afternoon, often gets home after we’ve gone to bed. We don’t see much of him.

  9. Movies – obviously, we refrained from the theater experience for the most part, we did the Netflix and Disney+ thing at home. But Julia and I went to one theater for Black Widow and another time for Eternals. There was only one other person in the theater at the time, an afternoon matinee show.

    It must be really hard to have a movie theater these days. I used to drive by one during 2020 at the height of the pandemic, and it was closed and boarded up with a sign saying they hoped to be back in a year. Obviously, this is an example of what the government programs were supposed to help. I heard this story about a televangelist that applied for one of those loans that would turn into a grant, designed to keep the staff employed, but instead of using the $3.9 million for that purpose, he bought a jet aircraft with it. After the outcry, he did give the money back, but jeez, everyone is taking advantage. There isn’t much accountability, from what I’ve read. I told Eunice we should open a church, but not worry about any people coming.

So that’s the “way it was”, at least my nine things. Really this is a fair amount like last year’s Dumpster Fire, and frankly it shouldn’t have to be.

The monarch butterfly migration shortly begins in January and a lost dog from the Caldor fire was rescued in the snowy mountains, here in northern CA. Finally Klay Thompson is about to return to regular play for the Warrior’s, so some things are going right.

The public utilities commission is proposing to “tax” those of us with solar installations, which is really bizarre when you think that the opposite should be the way forward. The utility companies really hate homeowners being allowed to own solar panels. Some things are not going right.


From → Electric Cars, Misc

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