Potentially lethal combination of Cheap China(?)-made crap and low competence

Posted On: Monday - March 13th 2023 5:10PM MST
In Topics: 
  Cheap China-made Crap  General Stupidity  The Future  Peak Stupidity Roadshow

I am not sure that the long-lasting light bulbs in the traffic signal lights near me are Cheap China-made Crap or not. I could ask someone from the city Street Division, but I'd probably have to see one of the bulbs and look it up. I wouldn't be even thinking about this if there weren't more and more burned out traffic lights around.

I think back to about 5 years ago, when I could talk to my son about this. We discussed the problem. It COULD potentially just be my imagination or noticing bias, but I really don't think so.

It's the red light bulbs* that are worrisome. These small intersections have 2 sets of red/yellow/green for each direction, so 24 bulbs total. There is redundancy for each until a bulb burns out.

The yellows don't burn out much, because they aren't on for long. Were both out for one direction, it might be odd for some drivers, hearkening back to I don't know how long, but I would hope drivers would be able to deal with it.

If both greens burn out for one direction, I see even less of a danger, and only a problem with slower traffic, as those who know the intersection would slow to almost a stop before they can see the reds for the crossing road.

If that 2nd red in that direction goes out, it's an accident waiting to happen, by my guess, within the day. These are stoplights within a neighborhood. Most of the traffic is drivers who know there is a stoplight there. Not all of them, however, are good enough drivers to stay off the iCrap and not miss things like this. All it would take is for an unfamiliar or distracted (or both) driver to come through in the direction that should have a red light while a non-defensive driver comes through the intersection in the crossing direction.

Worse yet, many of these neighborhood intersections don't have good sight lines. In other words, defensive driving doesn't help much, unless you drive like Grandma. I don't blame people for loving their trees, bushes, and brick walls, but I don't think all the code is being followed. Due to simply the lay of the land, one intersection has the busier road in an ~ 30 ft. lower valley, as the lower-traffic crossing street comes downhill to the intersection for both ways. There are houses on all corners, and in one direction, you can't see to the left without being IN the intersection. People speed up due to the downhill and their wanting to catch the light. Years ago, probably without burned-out bulbs being involved, my friend witnessed a fiery crash there.

I happened upon one of the city guys once and told him about a burned-out red light. It got fixed within a few days. Now, I see this problem quite often, in fact the usual 2 stop lights I go through in one direction almost always have 1 or 2 of the 24 lights out. This is not the way it used to be. I know that for sure. Things are getting shoddy.

I believe it's a combination of lower quality bulbs and incompetence in keeping up with one of the primary jobs of the city, maintaining the infrastructure. Where's the money going? How big is the budget of the Office of Diversity? Let's get some DIE people up there on cherry pickers before people DIE.

PS: LED-based signals have been around for 25 years, by my recollection, but I've seen rows/columns of the individual LEDs go dark, so maybe they are not working out as well as I figured they would.

PPS: The style of traffic light fixtures in the image above is classic, but there aren't many left around of these all-12-in-one types. We usually have 8 (x3) fixtures instead of the 2 (x12).

* By that, I mean (red light) bulbs, not red (light bulbs), as the colors come from the lenses in front of the clear bulbs.

Adam Smith
Thursday - March 16th 2023 9:40AM MST
PS: Good afternoon, everyone,

In my experience light bulbs don't last like they used to. Haven't noticed any blown out traffic lights 'round here, yet. (One of the perks of living in a 95+% white area?) Like Mr. Cricket says, traffic lights are a construct of the white male patriarchy.

Mr. Alarmist, traffic circles are all the rage around here lately. (There may be more roundabouts in Lumpkin County than traffic lights as there are only 10 intersections with traffic lights. Not sure how many roundabouts but it's approaching 10 if not more.) They work pretty well, but we don't have much traffic.


Thanks for all the interesting reading and updates, Mr. Hail. The negative consequences of diversity ideology are many. Traffic lights not working are among the least of America's problems. Fortunately, (and a little surprisingly) the electrical grid still works most of the time. (For how long?)

Mr. Moderator, about that "Enjoy the Decline" topic key and "Captain" something...

Aaron Clarey

Enjoy The Decline

Curse Of The High IQ

And a couple more books just for fun...

Chaos Under Heaven

Crouching Tiger

“That’s the thanks Shabbos Goy DeSantis gets after pledging his allegiance to Israel?”
“NeoCons are like locusts, and the West is near being stripped bare.”


Interesting trick with that #selection tag.

Cheers! ☮
Thursday - March 16th 2023 6:02AM MST
PS: Thanks, Alarmist, and of course that'd be "The Tablet"'s take, but I'm now interested in your use of "#selection-429.0-429.902" to highlight that text. Can you explain this selection "attribute" or whatever you'd call it?
The Alarmist
Wednesday - March 15th 2023 2:25PM MST

The real NeoCon concern is how to get a toehold in increasingly anti-semitic China as their grip on the US becomes increasingly fruitless. NeoCons are like locusts, and the West is near being stripped bare.

Wednesday - March 15th 2023 10:48AM MST

Moderator says: "These Neocons are pretty blatant."

In the elite foreign-policy or "international-relations" world, this is as big a panic and tempest as we've seen in some time, maybe dating to the Afghanistan debacle of August 2021.
Wednesday - March 15th 2023 10:45AM MST

- DeSantis Ukraine updates -

--- Bill Kristol, the neoconservative godfather figure, has been on a 48-hour rage spree against DeSantis for the latter's opposition to the Ukraine War. Kristol is said to be seeking ways to ensure DeSantis loses funding.

--- The periodical "Jewish Insider" has sounded out the opinions of prominent persons who are condemning DeSantis for treason over Ukraine. This group of luminaries is led by Elliot Abrams, the neoconservative thought-leader. Also joining the chorus, per Jewish Insider, are Senators Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, Roger Wicker, John Cornyn, and Mitt Romney, and others. Rich Goldberg, a Republican bigwig, is said to donning warpaint as we speak to rally allies to the anti-DeSantis political warpath. Mke Pence, Chris Christie, and "Nikki" Haley have also now lashed out at DeSantis in similar terms. Also condemning DeSantis for treasonous disloyalty to Ukraine is Danielle Pletka. She is of the American Enterprise Institute and is the current Georgetown University chair of the Center for Jewish Civilization.

(See: "DeSantis’ Ukraine flip alarms pro-Israel Republicans," Jewish Insider, March 15, 2023).

--- The Dispatch, a neoconservative opinion journal led by the anti-Trump fanatic Jonah Goldberg (also long of the American Enterprise Institute), accuses DeSantis of "pandering to Tucker Carlson viewers rather than (seeking to) maximize American interests."

(See "The Schism is Here; Republicans are fracturing over Ukraine," The Disptach, March 14, 2023.)
Wednesday - March 15th 2023 6:46AM MST
PS: Mr. Hail, I've never heard of an "emergency editorial" before! What are we supposed to do, pull to the right side of the road and get on "The Atlantic" site immediately?

These Neocons are pretty blatant.

What does Donald Trump say about the Ukraine, besides bragging that he started no wars in 4 years? (True, by the way, but he did NOTHING to end the Warfare State either - scared of, or too trusting in, his Generals - that's no way to be.) I am asking seriously, as I haven't followed his every tweet or rambling speech.
Wednesday - March 15th 2023 6:42AM MST
PS: Alarmist, traffic circles are a big thing in some States now. They'd work better if people understood the deal. (Such as myself, in Ireland, in which I had to slow down and really think about it!) OTOH, at intersections with low traffic and one side having the green by default* they really slow things down.

* with sensors for the crossing direction.
The Alarmist
Tuesday - March 14th 2023 3:56PM MST

That’s the thanks Shabbos Goy DeSantis gets after pledging his allegiance to Israel?

It’s getting confusing figuring out which rings and posteriors are to be kissed.
The Alarmist
Tuesday - March 14th 2023 3:51PM MST

Ditch the red lights and put in traffic circles and go back to “right of way” rules ... that would be fun to watch in a country that prides itself on its independence, individual responsibility, and freedom.
Tuesday - March 14th 2023 11:37AM MST

- David Frum denounces DeSantis as a traitor -

David Frum, the neoconservative, has released an emergency editorial in The Atlantic today attacking DeSantis. ("Is Ron DeSantis Flaming Out Already?" by David Frum, The Atlantic, March 14, 2023.)

Frum says that Ron DeSantis' opposition to the Ukraine War is reckless, dangerous, stupid, callous, and signals that DeSantis is FINISHED as a politician on the national stage. Frum believes DeSantis is such a poor political strategist and of such weak character that he is "flaming out" before even taking off.

David Frum claims that he suspected DeSantis might have been a traitor to the cause of Holy Ukraine when he declined to greet the returning Florida National Guard members who had, for some reason, been in Ukraine in winter 2021-22. Frum said his suspicion grew when DeSantis refused to "praise" the Florida National Guard members who had been in Ukraine.

The suspicion that DeSantis is a traitor to the Ukraine Cause (and therefore--implied--a traitor to the USA), which had formed David Frum's mind in 2022, was confirmed yesterday with DeSantis' anti-war statement.

"DeSantis’s statement on Ukraine was everything that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his admirers could have wished for from a presumptive candidate for president," says neoconservative David Frum.
Tuesday - March 14th 2023 11:12AM MST
PS: WRT Ron DeSantis, thank you - that there is a post!
Tuesday - March 14th 2023 11:11AM MST
PS: Mr. Hail, thank your for the info and link on "Climate Tech". Regarding the statement: "Climate tech entrepreneurs and investors are dedicated to developing and funding technologies that support radical change while ensuring healthy economic growth.", well, there are solar panel manufacturers, energy efficiency consultants and whatever they do real work at least, no matter how many breaks they may get from government.

However, I wonder how many are just software companies that have big fanfare in their IPO "road shows" saying "We don't use disposable coffee cups! Our server farms run on solar! We are paperless!" Some are not bad ideas in general, but, hell, the writing of software is not an old-fashioned industry like forging steel or producing power from coal. There's not much pollution involved to begin with, real or imagined (CO2).

It's entrepreneur style virtue signaling, that's all. If that makes it easier to get loans and investors, then you do it, I guess...

Regarding Peter Navarro, I'm sure he must be written about in the book I reviewed. However, it was almost 2 years ago when I read it, so ... people forget. It's coming back to me, though. It sounds like he was right on the money in '16. Donald Trump was right to listen, but he doesn't have that much loyalty to the people that put it on the line for him either, I noticed.

BTW, I can't say that I worried about what Peter Navarro did long before, but probably back in '05 even I did. What's funny is that in the mid-1990s, when my friend discussed this all with me, I was more of a Reason-mag Libertarian, "it'll bring up their wages to ours. Good thing." Yes, I've been wrong. Trade with China in '95 though was - I could look it up, but just guessing - probably a couple of a % of what it is now.
Tuesday - March 14th 2023 10:58AM MST

- update on the DeSantis Ukraine controversy -

Media across western world, including such as The Guardian, is currently lining up to take turns condemning DeSantis for his (now on-record) non-support for the Ukraine War.

The talking-head senator of Florida, Marco Rubio, after having been apparently given some tablet to get worked into a frenzy, has been brought forward to ritually condemn DeSantis (who is the governor of Rubio's own state and from his party) over his non-interventionism on Ukraine.

The magic eight ball says: Signs point to the Ukraine War, for or against, as a major issue in the 2023-24 presidential race.
Tuesday - March 14th 2023 10:04AM MST

-- DeSantis calls for end of U.S. role in Ukraine War --

(in case you haven't seen it yet)

R-De-S says the USA must stop "prioritizing intervention in an escalating foreign war over the defense of our own homeland."

(When is the Peak Stupidity official announcement of an endorsement of a presidential candidate?)


For reference, this is the Ron DeSantis statement against U.S. involvement in the Ukraine War:



“While the U.S. has many vital national interests -- securing our borders, addressing the crisis of readiness within our military, achieving energy security and independence, and checking the economic, cultural, and military power of the Chinese Communist Party -- becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them. The Biden administration’s virtual “blank check” funding of this conflict for “as long as it takes,” without any defined objectives or accountability, distracts from our country’s most pressing challenges.

Without question, peace should be the objective. The U.S. should not provide assistance that could require the deployment of American troops or enable Ukraine to engage in offensive operations beyond its borders. F-16s and long-range missiles should therefore be off the table. These moves would risk explicitly drawing the United States into the conflict and drawing us closer to a hot war between the world’s two largest nuclear powers. That risk is unacceptable.

A policy of “regime change” in Russia (no doubt popular among the DC foreign policy interventionists) would greatly increase the stakes of the conflict, making the use of nuclear weapons more likely. Such a policy would neither stop the death and destruction of the war, nor produce a pro-American, Madisonian constitutionalist in the Kremlin. History indicates that Putin’s successor, in this hypothetical, would likely be even more ruthless. The costs to achieve such a dubious outcome could become astronomical.

The Biden administration’s policies have driven Russia into a de facto alliance with China. Because China has not and will not abide by the embargo, Russia has increased its foreign revenues while China benefits from cheaper fuel. Coupled with his intentional depletion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and support for the Left’s Green New Deal, Biden has further empowered Russia’s energy-dominated economy and Putin’s war machine at Americans’ expense.

Our citizens are also entitled to know how the billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars are being utilized in Ukraine.

We cannot prioritize intervention in an escalating foreign war over the defense of our own homeland, especially as tens of thousands of Americans are dying every year from narcotics smuggled across our open border and our weapons arsenals critical for our own security are rapidly being depleted."


This is from Tucker Carlson Show all-candidate opinion-sounding, released yesterday. This was once something done by newspapers (in the pre-Diversity era), and is surely better suited TO newspapers as they are carefully considered text statements with word-counts far higher than three-minute tee-vee segments allow or want. In any case, DeSantis makes the news by openly and totally opposing the Ukraine War.
Tuesday - March 14th 2023 8:51AM MST

RE, Moderator: "I recall a little bit about Peter Navarro. Trump had all of the Establishment big guys against him on the anti-CCC (Cheap China-made Crap) efforts"

Update on the Peter Navarro trial:

"A federal judge on (Jan. 23, 2023) delayed the contempt of Congress trial for former Donald Trump adviser Peter Navarro"

Of the world's 190 or so countries, which one tops the list for being happy that Peter Navarro may be sent to prison for some frivolous nonsense 'crime'?


Peter Navarro was an economist who wrote a book, "Crouching Tiger," calling for a decoupling from China. Published in about Jan. 2016, it made considerable waves at the time in the right circles. He warned about the danger of deep China ties and China penetration of U.S. economy and related matters. That is why he ended up high on the Blompf admin totem pole when it was put together in winter 2016-17.

Navarro's mid-2010s positions and posture on the China Question look now to be close to mainstream positions of the mid-2020s. But he himself is going to prison for some made-up crime, hounded by the Merrick Garfinkel (renamed, Garland) Justice Dept. in its quest to knock down all the pins around the orange-colored headpin. Navarro's former prestige (invited to think tank roundtables and all) today is in ruins.
Tuesday - March 14th 2023 8:39AM MST

RE: "Climate Ca$h"

By 2020, Silicon Valley Bank had built up the nickname a "climate bank" by friends and backers. It funneled large sums of seed-money to renewable energy companies, e.g. solar panel companies. This is said to be one reason the bank became popular.


New York Times: "Silicon Valley bank collapse threatens climate start-ups" (March 13, 2023)


Something interesting from SVB itself (r.i.p.):


Silicon Valley Bank
2021, 2022, 2023

Climate tech entrepreneurs and investors are dedicated to developing and funding technologies that support radical change while ensuring healthy economic growth. The latest edition of our report looks at the technologies driving a sustainable future..."


Tuesday - March 14th 2023 7:30AM MST
PS: Thanks for the comment, Mr. Cricket. Some of these people really believe that if sassy black women ran the country, it would not soon enough look like Venezuela or Haiti (on a bad day). What exactly is climate Ca$h, BTW?

Mr. Dobbs, thanks for writing in. Sounds like Indian junk is just as bad. Lots of manufacturing is now outsourced from China to Bangladesh, Vietnam, etc.
Tuesday - March 14th 2023 7:26AM MST
PS: From Mr. Hail" "What is the Peak Stupidity editorial position on the problem of "Made in China" consumer-goods and the various negative effects of the invisible hand dumping them willy-nilly across the fruited plain of the ol' USA?"

I'm against it.

Seriously, I'm not quite the Reason magazine Libertarian. It's hard to go full Libertarian with the world when the rest of the world doesn't play. I think of the history of this country and how tariffs were not only one of the 2 sources of funds for the Feral Gov't. (those and excise taxes, which didn't always go over so well). Our Founders had nothing against tariffs.

Yes, this is one are in which President Trump was really trying. I get this from the Josh Rogin book "Chaos under Heaven" which I reviewed here:




The latter one is about the small part of that book about the Kung Flu, near the end of Trump's term.

I recall a little bit about Peter Navarro. Trump had all of the Establishment big guys against him on the anti-CCC (Cheap China-made Crap) efforts and not nearly enough Americans giving a damn about it.
Tuesday - March 14th 2023 4:39AM MST
PS: I'll reply to the rest in a while. Gotta go. Thanks for the comments so far!
Tuesday - March 14th 2023 4:38AM MST
PS: "Peak Stupidity could transition to doing nothing but "Why Don't Things Work Well (Anymore)" commentary and could fill up posts for the rest of the year on the topic, without too much problem. " Yep, that would be "All Curmudgeonry, all the time, 24/7" We do have that topic key.

I guess there should be an "Enjoy the Decline" topic key. That was the name of a blog, or it's motto, that I used to read years ago. ("Captain" something was the blogger's handle). The problem is, he was just living it out, maybe as an ex-pat (can't remember) and didn't care. I do.

I agree. Between the amped-up AA called Wokeness and the worse-changing demographics, the center (White men) cannot hold.
Bob Dobbs
Monday - March 13th 2023 10:37PM MST
PS An oldster in the FAM had some hecho en India gift pack at Christmas that literally fell apart or didn't work.
It was office themed with magnifying lens that only blurs, pens already out of ink and some coarse notepad not meant for ballpoint pen.
A buddy loaned me a book about the EPIC battle at Kursk and the microprint revealed how worthless the magnifying lens really is.

@Hail, I contribute nothing to this abomination.
Slack Against The Machine by any means necessary.
Do enough to eat to live and nothing else, if possible.
Circumstances and results may vary.
Hegemony Cricket
Monday - March 13th 2023 8:00PM MST
PS All of those are constructs of the white male patriarchy.
Lineism of straight lines is racism!
The angles will have to be redistributed in the spirit of potato or the rainbow stew bubble up fountain will clog.
Diversity Bridge will be the first station on the NYC to Hawaii high speed rail choo choo and all the rail lines will be crooked.
High powered intellect and A Weiner hire K Jean Pierre will explain to the mere taxable serf unit whitey cracka deplorable kulak untermenschen scum who better get to work in order to pay for the bank bailouts.

@ Hail, there is a lot of ruin left in a former republic and Big Mike has to have something to burn down and destroy for 2024.

O/T-Just read that the SVB bank loaned out climate Ca$h like they had access to the private banking cartel (FED) printing press. (honk!)
Monday - March 13th 2023 7:43PM MST

RE: the topic-key "Cheap China-made Crap"

What is the Peak Stupidity editorial position on the problem of "Made in China" consumer-goods and the various negative effects of the invisible hand dumping them willy-nilly across the fruited plain of the ol' USA?

Some possibly-reliable Google info allows a calculation that the average U.S. household spends $4,250 on Made-In-China goods per year. That is several times more than the payment-flows to Holy Ukraine and Plucky Democracy Israel combined. It's actually on the order of the entire U.S. military budget.

I am familiar with the orthodox economists' arguments on why this happened and why it is supposedly a positive-good for all. I often see them as missing the point. Life is not reducible to a series of equations and graphs in which hypothetical utility is maximized. (cf. Mark 8:36).

The deep ties to China over the past thirty-plus years now, are corrupting and harmful in ways that cannot be graphed or plugged into equations.

The pro-U.S./anti-China persons out there are up against a free-trade ideological dilemma. Recall that Blompf semi-broke the taboo. He was criticized by Ronald Unz for being a dimwitted, lazy barstool ranter who didn't understand anything but just ranted whatever half-baked idea drifted into his mind. (That's closer to true than I wish it were.) But Blompf did have more-grounded, less-barstooly anti-China advisors and policy-guiders who wanted to reduce China's economic penetration of the USA. Few, if any, exceeded Peter Navarro in this way. Peter Navaroo was later charged with some kind of made-up crime by the FBI and currently on trial, I think.
Monday - March 13th 2023 7:19PM MST

"incompetence in keeping up with one of the primary jobs of the city, maintaining the infrastructure. Where's the money going? How big is the budget of the Office of Diversity?"

I suppose that traffic lights not working with 100% reliability could be considered a serious problem, but on the USA's long list of problems it would seem to be crowded-out by others.

As I see it, most of the USA's many problems are related to Diversity ideology.

Peak Stupidity could transition to doing nothing but "Why Don't Things Work Well (Anymore)" commentary and could fill up posts for the rest of the year on the topic, without too much problem. If you were to ask an honest and disinterested Martian anthropologist on his first visit to us, ask what the causes of x y and z problems are --- I tend to think that the Martian, too, would come up with Diversity ideology as the answer. These are first-order, second-order or third-order effects of Diversity ideology.

Things work well in societies peopled and run by White-Christians, especially Northwestern Europeans. We kind of demand things work well, and we have this public-spiritedness that makes things work. When Diversity ideology takes over a society we created and fostered and built up and 'ran' for so long, it creates these weird distortions that filter down to everything. That is the "lived experience" of much of the USA now. My fear is that this system can run on fumes for a long time to come.
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