18 Wheels, etc.

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On Lotteries

I had an informer/agent/stooge/snitch in the Iranian community of Los Angeles many years ago, and for the purposes of this blog, we’ll call him Mustafa (which is not an Iranian name).

Mustafa was a well known character in his day, and I don’t think that they guy ever had a straight job after he left Iran, where he worked for SAVAK (Shah’s secret police), and when things went to pot, he landed on American shores. He is a storied individual and I won’t bore you to tears on the many follies of Mustafa.

When I left the law enforcement biz and moved on to other fields, Mustafa made money in weird ways. If I told you what he was doing, you might ID him and I don’t want to burn the guy.  One day, he hit the jackpot. His Mercedes was rear-ended at about 45mph by a doctor’s wife taking kids to school, while he waited at a red light, surrounded by witnesses.

He went to an Iranian doctor who would testify to extensive ‘soft tissue damage’. Lots of pain and suffering and the doctor and his insurance barfed up $150K cash to Mustafa + a replacement Mercedes, which was a good thing since his current ride had all but given up the ghost.

I returned from outside of the US shortly after that and met Mustafa at a watering hole in Fullerton, CA. Mustafa was buoyant! He had a scheme to parlay the $150K into millions. I cautioned restraint and suggested that he put it into the bank for a rainy day. He said that he couldn’t do that, because he owed the feds back taxes (he never paid taxes in his life – “they are for suckers”). But he, not being a sucker, had a sure fire path to success.

I left the US and the next time I returned, I met a now taciturn Mustafa at the same watering hole, where I bought him lunch. He was broke. He disclosed that he bought $150K in scratchers from an Iranian that owned a convenience store and had historically had some big winners.

I told Mustafa that I didn’t believe that he bought $150K in scratchers. Who would do that? After lunch he popped the trunk of his MBZ and there were six black plastic trash bags full of scratchers. I asked him what the pay-back was. He said just over $4K. And he’d gone through most of that.


Truckers – Not fond of Jo/Ho

The water reference is to bottled water.

Then again, what do you want to bet that the people who would suffer from this would not be the elites?


Life expectancy by country, 2019.


I hate Value Added Tax

More than 140 countries worldwide—including all European countries—levy a Value-Added Tax (VAT) on goods and services.


Government Housing in Europe


Property Tax

Where do people pay the most in property taxes? Property taxes are an important tool to help finance state & local governments, comprising more than a third of total state & local tax collections in the U.S., more than any other source of tax revenue.


Sometimes I Have a Star Trek Moment


Reality and Pleasant Fiction

It puts a spin on the question of, “how many rounds of ammunition should I have on hand?”

37 thoughts on “18 Wheels, etc.

  1. Best description of peace that I read – peace is a theoretical concept created because, on rare occasions, nobody was fighting with anybody else.

    1. The absence of open hostilities is not peace. William Federer, a noted American historian, showed that in 5,000 years there are less than fifty years of true peace.

      Of the last one hundred thirty years, even if there was not open hostility, someone was getting ready to commit carnage. I reckon that period of time can be expanded by the knowledge of history.

  2. somedays i wish the trucks would stop rolling, to the cities at least. then i’d have my star trek moment. rounds?….one more than the other guy.

  3. While the anomaly would be nice, I’m afraid realty may just be creeping up on us. How ammo is enough? No upper limit.

  4. As isnoften said…The Lottery is nothing but a tax on people who are stupid and bad at math. Your friend “Mustafa” may have been clever but he was NOT smart….and there is a difference.

    1. Mustafa wasn’t clever, but he was strong and a very good fighter. That was the only thing that he excelled at. Nobody would have called him smart, and for all of his “street smarts”, he was a ready victim for people smarter than he was. Which was why I tried to watch out for him.

  5. Ah Knew It! (read this out loud in Groundskeeper Willie’s voice)
    Life expectancy in the US by race (per that fount of truth, Wikipedia).
    All: 78.7y
    White: 78.6y
    Hispanic: 81.9y
    Black: 75.0y
    Asian: 86.3y
    Yes, the US is so systemically pro-white that Hispanics outlive them by 3 years, and Asians by over 7 years. I blame racism for this.

    Research on race and health in the United States shows many health disparities among the different racial/ethnic groups. Different outcomes in mental and physical health exist between all census-recognized racial groups, but these differences stem from different historical and current factors, including genetics, socioeconomic factors, and racism. Research has demonstrated that numerous health care professionals show implicit bias in the way that they treat patients.

    1. I was boned pretty hard by the medical establishment over the past six months. I had an acute condition, nobody would see me in person because of the plague. Nobody would order a CT scan because those were reserved for plague victims, yada-yada-yada. Medication for pain and infection? No, “go with over the counter”. So I got bootleg antibiotics and pain meds from Mexico. But the condition only got worse. The infection was cleared up. Finally the MD ordered a CT scan and said, “Oh”. Other MD said, we can put off surgery to late spring or summer. Claimed not life threatening. But in Jan, they did proscribe Ciprofloxin and pain management meds. When a specialist saw me in person and did an exam, he pronounced it life threatening and scheduled cutting stat.

      OR surgeon was Asian. If I’d have been Asian, would I have been seen earlier? I can self-identify as such in the future, if you think it will help.

      1. Some cowards have MD behind their names…not all are politicians. This is/was reprehensible. Glad it turned out okay.

      2. Damn. I am sorry to hear that. You are another example of the people boned by the COVID hysteria. In my corner of the world, people arriving at the cardiac cath lab with STEMI (the “widowmaker” kind of major heart attack) was down by 42% in 2020. Not because there were fewer STEMIs, but because people were afraid to call 911 for fear of catching The Coof from EMS. Seriously. And therefore they died at home. And my interventional colleagues have regaled me with stories of patients presenting (late) with heart damage that we haven’t seen in the US for decades. Similarly cancer screenings were canceled because Coof. So we are going to see people presenting with much more advanced – and less treatable – cancer. The (totally unnecessary) toll of unintended consequences secondary to Coof Hysteria will probably never be known, but you can rest assured that it is very high.

        Was the surgeon East or South Asian? South Asians are making huge inroads into Jewish dominance of medicine in the US (and probably UK). Lots of East Asians too, but the South Asians tend to be more aggressive about seeking leadership positions, and also tend to be better at the political maneuvering needed to rise. Which is a long way of saying that maybe being South Asian might have helped. But honestly, probably not so much unless there was a personal connection.

        Finally, as with all professions, there are plenty of just plain idiots to go around in medicine, Coof or no Coof.

        @ Don in Oregon. You are absolutely right. I forgot about that. Everyone craps on the poor Africans. Reminds me of a meme I saw the other day. Q: Is there any race that isn’t against Blacks? A: Yes, the 100-meter dash.

        1. Overseas Chinese. I’m not angry at him. Once I was seen, I was treated. Plague rules meant that I couldn’t be seen for months. And it turned a small matter in to a life threatening matter. The policies were set above the surgical pay grade.

      3. My wife, when faced with a life threatening spinal tumor, was turned down over and over and over again by doctors because she might die on the table. Um… the tumor that would definitely kill her vs possibly dying on the table? F…ing cowards all.

        She finally found one that took her as a crap shoot. After cutting into her it only took 8 hours for a 2 hour procedure. And he said she was maybe 7 days from death and he’d never seen one that infiltrated so far without going systemic.

        Another doctor went to remove a major organ that was cancerous. But did such a hack job, going through an umbilical hernia, that she left my wife with a wound that only took 7 years of bitching and begging for a doctor to take a look at, and basically it was “Ah, crap, can’t do it right away but will get my scrub nurse to schedule it December 23rd.” Well, turns out Scrub Nurse wanted to vacay, so we didn’t get scheduled. When doctor finally went in, he said… wife had about 7 days before she went septic and went tits up.

        And then there was the motorcycle accident that messed up her left leg, where the doctor didn’t wash his hands between patients. She’s the only one that didn’t end up dying.

        So your experience with docs is nothing new.

        Are you okay? Or are you circling the drain and getting ready to leave us alone in this dark universe without your warped sense of humor and intelligence?

        1. I’m no longer circling the drain and was out, working on the truck yesterday, hauling equipment around, etc. I’m not 100% but I’m fine. They said 6 weeks to normal and I’m a month in now. You won’t get rid of me THAT quickly.

      4. The policies of NOT seeing sick patients who DON’T have the WuFlu were set by people above the clinical level. The bean counters, board room bastards and bureaucrats. And that policy had serious consequences for a lot of people…..and it was all done to facilitate fear and enable the Crime Of The Century….the outright theft of the Presidency.

        1. I know, and the scheme worked. Not the fault of the line MD’s. I was just one of the expendable people with a problem.

    2. And it’s pretty obvious that Asians and Hispanics have longer lives AT THE EXPENSE OF Blacks, so it’s even more racist than you realize.

  6. My buddy in Montana asked me how much range time I was getting in? I told him that I didn’t want to needlessly expend ammo that was/is in short supply. He responded; “if you can’t hit who you are shooting at, you won’t need lots of ammo!” Duly noted and corrected.

    1. I am holding on to a somewhat large cache.
      Many are. That’s why range time is so available.
      I need to keep familiar with controls.
      Dry fire is good for that.

      1. I don’t train as often as I did, but muscle memory remains and I’m still not bad when I hit the range. If things get frosty, I’ll be out shooting on the Indian reservation, where it’s politically incorrect to bother an Indian while he’s shooting – whether or not I self-identify.

  7. I like this living parable a lot. If only Mustafa had bought DOGE$ all those years ago, he’d now be rich. Very rich. Well, you know what they say, irony loves fate.

    1. I don’t think that there was bitcoin or block chain then.

      But at PT Barnum once said, “A fool and his money are soon parted.”

  8. My brother-in-law was a grocery store manager and as such was responsible for turning in the scratchers. He and the other manager would split the responsibility and the winnings should someone miss turning them in. A couple times they got stuck with $200 worth of $1 scratchers and got no money whatsoever.

  9. Re trucking and water supplies:

    What’s critical is delivery of water treatment supplies like chemicals and filters. Secondarily, there are actually a fair number of residential consumers who rely on bulk delivered water if only seasonally.

    But the bottled water industry? About as important as the soft drink industry as far as I’m concerned.

    1. In the area (general area) where I live, there are a lot of bulk delivery customers. For the most part, they’re supplied by the well at the fire department and pay a small fee for the water. I’m on an 800′ well, but rely on electric power for the pump. There are a number of sources of electrical power here at the mine: Propane generator, diesel generator and the grid. If the world goes to hell, I’ll fetch it from the river and boil it.

      1. We’re lucky in that we have a decent water supply here. And we have several good quality filter kits in the “Earthquake Kit” we brought with us.

        Since this is an all-electric house (thank you, Jimmuh Cahter), we’de be living in the family room near the fireplace if the power went down hard.

  10. That last one, war vs regular life? I wonder how much of the globe is actually living under the given “reality”.

    1. If you ask about police states and war, joined together. Most of the planet now.

  11. Glad to hear you are just about back in battery. Re the truckers, just look what happened in Texas during our snowcalypse… ALL of those things came to pass in a lot of areas, even with people NOT being able to get out.

    1. It was an interesting incident/situation. People need to take notice and prepare. Some will, most won’t.

  12. The Apollo space program was very rayciss. Certain groups were advocating money be spent for medical research on Ricketts, a disease which has the highest incidence in negroid populations. ‘Ricketts, not rockets’, the signs of protest read.

    The VA gave my dad three staph infections after a surgery. I did not think it possible to have three separate staph infections simultaneously. Worse, the Docs initially said, rather vehemently, that dad was a whiner. Corrective treatment at a non-VA hospital cured the condition, in the nick of time I might add.

  13. I am not 29.
    I remember an English teacher in high school. Enough years ago that Moby Dick was course material.
    I recall him commenting during our reading of 1984 that when we see the government supporting a lottery it is the beginning of the end of that nation, because it signals that people have given up “making it big” on their own merits and their only hope is to win the lottery.
    I had no idea what a national lottery was prior to the exposure in reading about it in 1984 (The Goliad Bean Lottery excepting. My dad was born in Texas.)
    That teacher was quite prescient.
    My English teacher the previous year (sophomore ?) told me his job was not to have me memorize things, but his job was to teach me to think.
    My. How times have changed.

  14. Re. Ammo:
    As a young person I rationed my ammo use severly.
    A 50 round box of .22LR would have to last from my birthday in May until Christmas morning.
    A box of 25 shotgun shells had to last through dove season 01 September and stretch through quail season in the fall. Until we started reloading for centerfire rifles a 20 round box of cartridges for deer hunting would last for several years: a few rounds to confirm zero before season began, two or three rounds if two deer were allowed that season. Rinse repeat until another 20 round box was needed.

    While going through BCT at Ft. Ord in preparation for what we were certain was our deployment after AIT to the fabled Land of Bad Things, we had progressed in our training to assaulting up a hill using fire and maneuver. We were thankful for the sand that helped give traction on the ice plants that covered any area on the fort that was not covered with asphalt.
    As the pop up targets, sometimes in pairs, appeared as we moved up the hill I dropped them and kept watch as my buddy maneuvered up and we would switch off. After I had moved up to my next firing point and dropped my targets with one well-placed shot apiece my Drill Sargent who was following our buddy pair came near and using language heard infrequently in my Sunday school class, and in a voice that I could somehow hear clearly over nearby gunfire and through my earplugs began to tell me to keep shooting. I confusedly replied I had nothing to shoot at and that I shot both of the targets that had been presented. He shook his head and explained the principle of suppression fire.
    Now I admit this tactic should have been explained prior to the exercise, but my thrifty upbringing with ammo would have made this a difficult thing to understand.
    However, and there is a point to this lesson.
    I have mentioned my high school teachers in past comments.
    My history teacher was veteran of the WWII in Europe and a Korean vet.
    His son an I were friends. After graduation I frequently visited his home.
    He shared an incident, during his time in Korea, about the bravest man he had ever known. He was an Apache. They were in a trench type fighting-hole together and the North Koreans were putting a contiuous stream of rifle and machinegun fire just above the lip of the trench that kept them pinned down so they could not raise up and return fire.
    He said his buddy told him to get ready to move then stuck his head above the lip of the trench to fire at the Norks. Before he could get off a single round he fell back into the trench with bullet hole between his eyes.
    I had remembered that as a cautionary tale about not sticking your head up at inappropriate times.
    Instead it was a lesson on suppressive fire that I could not grasp at the time.
    The assault rifle with a 20-30 round magazine is designed and has its strength in fire and maneuver assaults due to its ability to provide suppressive fire in a team.
    Otherwise aimed fire is the best tool of the individual infantryman…unless you can call in an airstrike.
    Snipers were so effective during the War of Northern aggression that they were routinely dealt with by calling in artillery on their assumed positions.
    How much ammo do you need?
    How much you carry on a load out depends on if you are part of a team who have trained in fire and maneuver or are you a singleton scout/sniper. What is your mission?
    Oh, and how many magazines do you need?
    More!- Tamara Keel
    Oh, and if you are a singleton engaging fire and maneuver teams you are in a world of hurt once your position has been marked. Better shoot and move.
    Sorry for the wall of text.

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