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Daily Archives: January 26, 2020

What Every Little Socialist Needs to Understand and Why Bernie Really Does Want the US to Be Venezuela, Proven by Elizabeth Warren

Trigger (heh) warning: This post is political in nature. This will likely get me landed into one of the Bernie Bro gulags, but I’m willing to risk it. You don’t have to read this post if you don’t want. You have been trigger (heh) warned.

Socialist elites fancy themselves as intelligent. They bang on the table, complaining “capitalism, capitalism, capitalism”, and it all sounds so lovely when packaged with free stuff.

In the next five minutes I’ll show you where the rubber meets the road and explain very simply why socialism is stupid. Always. Every time. Stop it. Every time.

First, Elizabeth Warren just doomed her run for president when she was faced by a father who saved up for his kids to go to college. He footed the bill, while his buddy bought a nicer car, went on vacations, and made the kids get loans to pay for their school. Now Warren (and, for that matter, Bernie) claims she wants the government to forgive student loan debt. In doing so, she would be penalizing those who did the noble thing and sacrificed so they could pay their kids’ way through school. Better, her plan hammers those who worked to pay for their own school. Meanwhile, those who frittered their money away are going to get, what, a $100,000-ish bonus from the government? Where can I sign up for that?! My kids are just about to head off to college!

On one hand, it can be said the economy was helped by the fella who blew his money on a car and vacations and took out a loan for school. On the other, by paying off that debt, with more debt, you’re reinforcing bad behavior in the family that squanders their money, and with the new influx of government cash debt, college tuition goes through the roof because universities can get the money. This governmental two-step tit for tat completely cancels out any good the bad behavior does for the economy. And that’s why socialism sounds great but always crashes and burns. Always, every time. Socialism subsidizes bad behavior. The rule, tax what you don’t want, subsidize what you do, twas ever thus.

See, the ugly truth is, capitalism is the only thing that generates enough money to make socialism seem plausible (see also, John Maynard Keynes, the smart dumbass who made socialism seem plausible on paper and won a Nobel Peace Prize for the effort – the irony is amazing, ask Venezuelans how peaceful life is in Venezuela. Last I saw, the government was running protesters down). The real issue here is balancing in enough capitalism that socialism still lets it survive. See France.

Unfortunately, because socialism drags capitalism down, politicians who lack even a modicum of self-control and a rudimentary understanding of how stuff works, continually push for more free shit (socialism) to get elected. Eventually that unbalances the capitalism end and things go bad, causing the “state” to take over more industries to keep them running at a loss so people can have toilet paper. Eventually, “you run out of other peoples’ money” and socialism (more to the point, the bad behavior that socialism subsidizes) collapses the system.

Friends, it’s as simple as that. People will say true socialism has never had its day in the sun, it’s never been fully implemented. To believe this is ignorant, bordering on stupid. Paul Krugman, call the office. Venezuela was socialism. That is its day in the sun. The more socialism, the “state” taking over the means of production, is implemented, the less capitalism can breathe, the worse the economy does. It’s that simple.

It’s like saying President Obama performed the set up for President Trump’s economy… The only truth in that notion is Obama kept his foot on the neck of the economy so long, when Trump finally let the boot up and the blood started flowing to the brain again… well, the results are what they are. Awesome. Obama’s economy was disastrous because it was too much OAC. Trump is more the right balance, and why he deserves to be reelected come November.

Saying Obama did anything good for the economy by “managing the decline” is like saying he tried to open a jar for eight years. Along comes Trump and pops that sucker open with one deft move. Obama chimes in, “Yeah, but I loosened it for you!”


Capitalism is not perfect. It just beats the alternative. Every time.

Advanced Road Bike Setup; Getting the Shift Lever Hoods Right Can Save Serious Pain Down the Road

A couple of months ago I put a new aero drop bar on my Trek. It is fantastic on that my old 5200.  It’s hard to tell it’s a classic (it’s a ’99, so a classic just this year):

Unfortunately, there was just a little too much drop from the saddle nose to the handlebar with the new bar.  I added a 5 mm spacer under the stem to bring the bar up.  When I was done, the reach wasn’t bad, though maybe a touch long, and I could handle the drop a lot better, even with my winter five pounds…. and the bike looked awesome.

Just before Christmas, we flew to Florida to stay with my wife’s sister’s family and I started noticing some problems with my right hand and wrist. It felt like the tendons in my wrist would “catch” every now and again. The associated pain wasn’t a big deal, it was unsettling, though.  I worried it might be the onset of carpel tunnel syndrome.

When we got back, after a week and a half off the bike, I rode on the trainer with regularity and the popping and pain increased.

It took a minute (three weeks…ish) for it to dawn on me, but I finally put the puzzle together and traced it back to the new handlebar installation. Or more succinctly, I narrowed it down to something in the handlebar setup.

After a lot of thought about what to do, I settled on raising the hoods… maybe the angle was off, the way I was reaching for the hoods?

Still on the right plane, but with more rise.  Just riding yesterday was a remarkable improvement in how my wrist feels.

How did I come to the conclusion I did?

I could have done a few things to set this right: A) Lower the handlebar. B) Roll the handlebar back which would naturally raise the hoods. C) Raise the individual shift levers/hoods.

Raising the handlebar by adding spacers below the stem would be exactly the wrong thing to do.  That would increase the forward wrist rotation, exacerbating the problem.  Put your hands in front of you, like you’re holding your hoods, roll your wrist forward… now raise them up two inches.  The right thing to do would be to lower the handlebar.  It might have worked, decreasing the odd angle, but the physics of it just don’t add up; with my slight winter gut in the way.  Ahem.

I could have rolled the handlebar back, bringing the hoods up, but that would have thrown off my position in the drops big time.

The hardest option, moving the shift levers themselves, was the option I chose because that would give me exactly what I needed, even if it was a lot more work contrasted against the other two options (getting the hoods in the right position, level and square to the handlebar drops takes a bit of ingenuity and attention to detail).

What went wrong initially?

In my pursuit of being perfectly stylish, I tried to set the shift levers to perfectly follow the plane created by the drop – as should be (my wife’s old bike in the foreground is all wrong, but the way they did things on sport bikes vs. race bikes twelve years ago).  It looked awesome and aggressive, but even with the decent drop from the saddle to the bar, the long reach meant I had to slightly roll my wrists forward to hold the hoods.  I was putting a lot of pressure on my wrists while they were bent in a way they shouldn’t be bent.  Over time, this aggravated the tendons in my wrist which inflamed them, thus I felt like I had gravel in my wrist.  In fact, just sitting here typing this report up, I tried to mimic that movement, rolling my wrists forward.  Without any weight on my wrists it hurt.  I got a jolt up my right arm and I could feel the pressure in my left (I’m left handed, it would make sense that, being left hand dominant, it would take a little longer for problems to show there).

The conclusion.

The causes of my trouble are many little things rolled up into an ugly ball; cockpit reach (length of the stem in this case), geometry of the bike (I don’t have this problem on my Venge – standard vs. compact frame), choice of handlebar (I didn’t have any troubles with the last handlebar – the rise and reach are different on the new bar) and the location of the hoods on the bar.  All of these things combined make for an ugly problem in my bike’s setup.

Thankfully, I’m picky enough to have caught it before any real damage was done.  I hope.