Miscellaneous Musings & Opinions (2021 - Part 1)
The Fall Of Afghanistan Signals The Fall Of America: I continue to be astounded by the Biden Administration's apparent desire to dismantle the USA. The flood of illegals at our southern border, the wanton, budget-busting federal spending, the rapid spread of homeless camps, the trampling of voters' rights, the rampant increase in crime in our once-great cities, and now, the surrender in the Middle East.
America is now the mess Democrats pretended it was under Trump.
Brian T. Kennedy, a Senior Fellow of the Claremont Institute, wrote, "It would be easy to attribute the disaster of leaving Afghanistan, both human and strategic, to the incompetence of President Biden and his administration. After all, human incompetence normally explains a lot. But the affairs of a great nation like ours and its military are not the work of one man. There are generals, well-credentialed foreign policy experts, and senior intelligence officials who have devised how best to leave Afghanistan in order to achieve certain strategic and political objectives. … It was a matter of high government policy that the United States depart Afghanistan, abandon military equipment, and leave both Americans and our allies to the tender mercies of the radical Islamic Taliban."
The notion that this was unplanned, Three Stooges-style stupidity makes no sense to me. I can't explain why an administration would do this. This is a mistake with an apparent half life of strontium 90.
Kennedy posits that the "exit from Afghanistan, then, appears designed to accomplish two things: first, to demoralize the American military and the American people. Over 22,000 American service personnel have been killed or injured in Afghanistan. Every American knows someone who served there. Knowing full well that the Afghan military would not defend the country, there could be little doubt that the United States was turning the country over to the Taliban. Moreover, the US did so with the appearance of being run out of the country in shame and defeat. One can only assume this was meant to demonstrate to American servicemen that their sacrifice had been in vain, and to the American people that our cause of defending America from the scourge of radical Islam was not just." Meanwhile, the Biden Administration sends their explainer-stooges to press briefings, offering the sincerity of a diplomat's cocktail party banter. And we captive television viewers search in vain for an omniscient Thumper in a herd of clueless Bambis.
"The second purpose of the Afghan debacle was to signal to the world that the United States has no interest in defending a liberal world order and that from here on out we will not defend either human freedom or our own self-interest, however bizarre that may sound. … What must Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea think of the United States and our commitments to defend them against the Communist Chinese and their predations in the region? …. Leaving Bagram Air Base, and the billions in advanced equipment that was there, with the Afghan military will be seen rightly as an act of submission by the Biden Administration to a global order headed by Communist China." Meanwhile, China is busy excavating rare earth minerals from Afghanistan, watching the Americans flounder much like a shark is excited by the smell of fresh chum. Or the way Nancy Grace perks up when some photogenic, unfortunate waif is found murdered in a ditch.
"An added bonus for the Left is having tens of thousands of Afghan refugees imported to the United States. … Many of them will bring with them an Islamic ideology that is incompatible with the Judeo-Christian West. Since the Left no longer believes in the West, they do not care about the threat posed to it by spreading Islamist imports throughout the country."
All of these appalling actions are "in stark contrast to President Trump's America First foreign policy and the simple proposition that if we were going to put America's soldiers in harm's way, it had to be for the good of the lives of the American people and the defense of the American way of life. President Trump was guided by prudence and an appreciation of how other nations viewed the United States. This was among the many reasons he was elected in the first place."
Kennedy concluded, "We are at a moment now like none other in our history. The American political order has been made a mockery of since November 3rd, 2020. Much will be necessary to sort that out. But our credibility on the global stage has now been eradicated and Americans will reasonably wonder whether our union can endure. Now is the time for men of good will to rise to the defense of the American experiment in free government."
Ladies and gentlemen, we are in some serious shit here. The Deep State - or the China Class, the Globalist Elite, or whatever you wish to call them - have screwed over loyal American citizens and now openly crow about it. It is time to break out torches and pitchforks and hold them to account. (posted 8/30/21, permalink)
But Wait, There's More - Just When You Thought Afghanistan Couldn't Get Any Worse: As a result of a soul-crushing terrorist attack at Kabul airport on August 26th, 13 American service members are dead - 10 Marines, two Army soldiers and one Navy corpsman. At least 18 soldiers are injured - some very seriously. The attack was the deadliest day for the U.S. military in more than 10 years. Over 170 Afghans and others were killed. The dreadful carnage was apparently caused by a suicide bomber and a car bomb.
Biden called the dead Marines "heroes" and threatened ISIS with "hunting you down" - probably an empty threat, sadly. Now he says the military told him Bagram Air Base was not necessary to complete the mission - hard to believe. He sounded out of it - he rambled, mumbled and spoke haltingly. It's like watching a senile old man sitting on the porch waving his cane and yelling at people on the sidewalk. You know that Biden's not going to do squat. Except give the finger to anyone who dares to impugn his "lifetime of service."
During the much-delayed presser, Biden did not respond to the terror attack with genuine compassion; he read some words off the teleprompter - poorly. His dwindling, narcissistic mind admits no light of criticism to enter. Biden and his minions totally botched the withdrawal. He has failed when many others - even those of us who are neither politicians nor military tacticians - could've done it well, without fanfare. Biden has outsourced U.S. security to terrorists - a complete catastrophe for America. And, before he left the podium, he took shots at the Trump Administration. And mocked Fox News reporter Peter Doocy. President Ninnyhammer then shuffled off the stage, slower than a fellow pushing a metal Dumpster through a magnet factory.
Biden said he was leaving "for another meeting." Yeah, right. I guess if you're late for dinner, Jill won't give you fruit cup. Plus the 'Barnaby Jones' twenty-year reunion special rerun was on after that.
Our nation was further humiliated when Commander-in-Chief Biden refused to go to Dover Air Force Base to pay his respects to the 13 service members whose caskets arrived Saturday. No one from the Biden administration bothered to show up and greet them. (Update: Biden finally showed up on Sunday, looked bored and checked watch during the second Dover AFB ceremony.)
Administrations are judged on how they respond to their first real crisis, it's hard to imagine how Biden could have done any worse. He is so dumb he thinks the French Maginot Line was a cruise ship company.
Meanwhile U.S. officials in Kabul gave the Taliban a list of names of American citizens, green card holders and Afghan allies to grant entry into the militant-controlled outer perimeter of the city's airport, a choice that's prompted outrage behind the scenes from lawmakers and military officials. Why? After all, the Taliban has a history of brutally murdering Afghans who collaborated with the U.S. So, the Biden Administration has provided them with a 'Kill List'.
Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of US Central Command, and Rear Adm. Peter Vasely, head of U.S. forces on the ground in Afghanistan, have referred to the Taliban in both written and verbal communications as "our Afghan partners." You're judged by the company you keep, fellas.
America will continue to suffer till the Biden Administration is either removed or becomes so crippled it can't do us any more damage. The Taliban freed ISIS from prison and then let ISIS bombers through their checkpoints. Start by killing the local Taliban at these checkpoints - they were in on it.
Meanwhile, Glenn Beck is working to get Christians out of Kabul. He said the U.S. state department and the White House were "the greatest impediments to his group's efforts." Most rescue planes are taking off half-full because people cant get to the airport. Glenn Beck's nonprofit organization - The Nazarene Fund - has rescued 5,100 Christian and at-risk Afghans in his private rescue mission so far. In related news, “the Biden Administration has demanded a stop into the "blatant Christianist interference in the internal affairs of another nation" by the mostly white and cis-male Nazarene Fund. "We don't want to be seen imposing ‘The Handmaid's Tale’ theocratic values on the Taliban,” said spokesdevil Jen Psaki. "We're better than that."" Actually, the Biden Administration is worse than that.
President Trump told Hannity, "We look like fools all over the world. We're weak. We're pathetic. We're being led by people that have no idea what they're doing. They take the military out and then they say now we'll bring out the people and all of a sudden the Taliban walks in. We had the Taliban so under control they wouldn't have moved without getting our approval."
Speaking of Trump, here's a flashback to September 24, 2020: "More than 200 retired generals and admirals endorsed Joe Biden for president, saying he had the character and judgment to serve as commander-in-chief instead of President Donald Trump, who has failed 'to meet challenges large or small'." The letter whined that "our allies no longer respect us" and that "climate change continues unabated." Ready to eat those words yet, boys? How come you're all being so quiet now? Spineless fools.
Don Surber opined, "The surrender imperils our nation in a manner not seen since Pearl Harbor. Terrorists have our arms. Terrorists now are cocky and confident. And terrorists have an ally behind the Resolute Desk."
My wish list: Have a do-over of the fraudulent 2020 election. Impeach Biden. Impeach Harris. Then put them on trial for treason because they handed over an entire nation to a violent group of goat herders. Put Hunter Biden on trial for treason, too - as a Chinese agent. Impeach Pelosi. Arrest Jill Biden for elder abuse. Court martial Gen. Austin 'Scottie' Miller (commander at Bagram), CENTCOM Gen. Frank McKenzie and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley. Arrest SecDef Lloyd Austin for treason. This is not a solution, but it's a beginning. More jacquerie to come.
I'll close on an upbeat note with a quip from Greg Gutfeld: "This is the worst pullout since Hunter Biden knocked up that hooker." (posted 8/30/21, permalink)
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Insaneistan, And The Unholy Mess In America: Last week, Lara Logan told Tucker Carlson, "The Taliban couldn't exist without Pakistan." The truth is there is nothing in that part of the world that is worth one drop of our blood. Trade fairly with them for what we want, if they screw us over do business with others. If they attack us, wipe them out from a distance. How difficult is that to understand? Did Team Obama and his Puppets Biden & Harris let the Afghan government crash in order to provoke a refugee crisis? To change U.S. demographics? To overcome the Trump Deplorables?
No country can flourish while being ruled by people who don't like it.
In any case, the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan is a grave blow to America's standing and much of the blame lies squarely with Joe 'Pepe Le Pew' Biden. And his Democrat handlers. Is it due to idiocy, malice, arrogance, or all of the above? Over the years, Biden had demonstrated that everything is just an expedient lie. He's a sociopath.
Howie Carr wrote that Biden owns "the catastrophe in Kabul, open borders, rampant inflation, skyrocketing urban crime, the destruction of American energy independence, endless nonsensical lockdowns over a mild virus that is killing almost no one, not to mention so many public misstatements by the doddering old clown that his own cabinet secretaries have to correct his insane lies even before he shuffles off to Marine One for the flight back to his weekend assisted-living facility in Delaware. But no more mean tweets, right?"
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair called Joe Biden an imbecile while PM Boris Johnson admitted "we would be better off with Trump." Much of America and the civilized world probably feels the same.
On Sunday, Mark Steyn wrote, "It is not just that General Milley and the Joint Buffoons of Staff cannot plan; they cannot execute. Compare the 2,500 Americans evacuated from Kabul over this last week to the 7,000 Americans and allies choppered out of Saigon in just nineteen hours. Can Milley do anything in nineteen hours other than call his tailor and order up his next row of ribbonry?"
If the propagandists of the Taliban had scripted the collapse of America's 20-year mission to reshape Afghanistan, they could not have come up with more harrowing images. As insurgents swept into Kabul, desperate Afghans, terrified about what the victorious zealots might do, chased departing American cargo planes down the runway, trying to clamber into the landing gear and inevitably falling to their deaths. The American-backed government had surrendered without a fight - something that American officials were insisting would not happen only days before. Afghans were left in such a horrifying bind that clinging to the wheels of a hurtling aircraft seemed their best option.
America has spent $2 trillion in Afghanistan; more than 2,000 American lives have been lost, not to mention countless Afghan ones. And yet, even if Afghans are more prosperous now than when America invaded, Afghanistan is back to square one. The Taliban control more of the country than they did when they lost power, they are better armed, having seized the weapons America showered on the Afghan army, and they have now won the ultimate affirmation: defeating a superpower. Think about it - Joe Biden has probably distributed more real assault weapons without any kind of background check than anyone else in American history. According to Fox News, the Taliban has seized 600,000 U.S. weapons, 75,000 vehicles and 200 aircraft from the U.S.
The level of dishonor in our Afghan capitulation is beyond description. For the first time in our history, our country is being led by people who have no concept of honor. The damage to our standing in the world is catastrophic. There is nobody in a position of responsibility in the Federal government who displays a shred of competence. There is no prospect that things will improve without a wholesale change of control.
Judeo-Christian values are regularly mocked. And banned. Perversion of many varieties are celebrated. Liberal fascists have taken over our very lives.
We're being told that a horrible epidemic is upon us. We can't live normal lives because of this dangerous disease, yet they import active cases into our midst, in the form of people who have no legal right to be here.
Then there's the travesty of the 2020 election. It's not just how any people accepted it without question. It's also the millions of people who supported and voted for Biden. He's always been dishonest, corrupt, and incompetent. Low-information voters, government lifers and Never Trumpers, I guess.
Now we're finding out that the January 6th mini-protest was an FBI sting blown totally out of proportion by Democrats and their operatives. Capitol Police let hundreds of people inside. "According to four current and former law enforcement officials, the FBI has 'found scant evidence that the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was the result of an organized plot to overturn the presidential election result.' The FBI doesn't believe that the riot was 'centrally coordinated by far-right groups or prominent supporters of then-President Donald Trump, according to the sources, who have been either directly involved in or briefed regularly on the wide-ranging investigations.'"
Remember all the talk of 'insurrection' over January 6th? Well, what if the current president of the United States were not mentally competent but his close staff and family were hiding that fact so they could rule the country in his name. Would that be 'insurrection'?
Our schools indoctrinate our children into Marxism. They teach our children to hate their country because it has flaws, but they pretend Cuba and China don't have flaws. And we pay taxes to support those schools, because we will lose our property and possibly our liberty if we don't pay.
We have law enforcement officials that pretend theft is not theft if it's only 900 dollars or so. Violent crime does not result in incarceration of the offender, because pigmentation is problematic. So violent crime increases, because the pigmentation of the victim is irrelevant. In fact, everything about the victim of crime is irrelevant, especially if the perpetrator is pigmentation-positive.
You can't be secure in your own property, which is one of the foundations of human rights, if the person destroying your property belongs to a sufficiently-pigmented group. Because ... grievances. It doesn't matter if you are also sufficiently pigmented - only the perpetrator matters.
There is a ray of hope. I watched Trump's speech in Alabama on Saturday night. He had much to say, mocking Biden and his administration for their multiple failures. He looked good - energized and refreshed. You could sense the excitement in the crowd. They hung on Trump's every word. They hunger for a Leader. Donald is a rock star to many Americans. They know his leadership is not built on platitudes but on actions. Not just the 25,000+ Alabamans in the audience but people interviewed on the street. Even some of the Trump-hating intellectuals are mumbling that The Donald may be the lesser of two evils.
Consider this: Late night television was once comedy (Steve Allen Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, et al). Then it morphed into mocking political theater of the Left (Colbert, Fallon and the other liberal media court eunuchs). People tuned out. 'Gutfield!', a right-of-center show, which mocks foolish liberals is now the top-rated late night TV show. Left-wing news programs are in free-fall. Newsmax - once a minor league right-wing cable network - is now the fourth largest news channel. It helps that Newsmax carries all Trump events live. The once-great Fox News does not.
If an election were held today, Donald Trump would win hands down, despite massive election cheating by Democratic operatives. It makes for a great story - Trump reemerges from the Mar-A-Lago wilderness to save the nation. America needs a great story in these troubled times. Trump can provide it - narrative, lights, camera, action, results.
We are in this midst of a historic event but the fog of war obscures some of the underlying facts. Time will provide clarity.
Someday … perhaps 1,000 years from now, if civilization still exists … the Middle East/Western encounters of the 20th and 21st Centuries will become allegorical, perhaps even legend. It will be recounted as a 'Game of Thrones' tale. Donald Trump will be the Hero King, Biden the crumbling Husk of an Evil Doofus, with his council of shrewd, cackling witches (hello, Kamala), abominable crones-still-in-waiting (hi, Hillary) and street-dumb, self-absorbed bureaucratic warlocks (Lloyd Austin, Anthony Blinken, Alejandro Mayorkas, Avril Danica Haines, Ron Klain, Ned Price, John Kirby, William Burns, Jake Sullivan, General Milley, etc.). The Clintons, Bushes, Cheneys and others will have background roles here and there as the fable unfolds. Their characters will be calculating but foolish, lacking insight. China will be revealed as the real archenemy - strong, sneaky, strategic, playing long ball. Our Hero King must teach America to play long ball, too.
I hope that the Hero King will reign in 2024, with strong and wise council supporting him, not some of the double-dealers and weak fools he was saddled with in his last administration. And that Trump will save us from the present Unholy Mess. (posted 8/24/21, permalink)
Abandoning Afghanistan: Don Surber wrote, "All of Washington wanted to get rid of the president. On this Republican and Democrat leaders agreed. They whipped up a fake scandal, greased the skids for an impeachment, and got the press to convince the public the president must be replaced.
His replacement was a reliably lame congressional lifer ... This is what Washington wanted. Instead of a competent executive whom the people backed, they wanted an old hack in the Oval Office. That he was ill-prepared or ill-suited for the job mattered not."
In 1975, congressional-lifer and boob Jerry Ford gave us the Fall of Saigon. Forty-six years later, another congressional-lifer and boob gave us the Fall of Kabul.
Wade Miller tweeted, "In case anyone is wondering how what is happening in Afghanistan is possible … in May of this year, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin identified climate change as the #1 issue facing the military. #2 was countering violent extremists in the military. #3 was team work with allies and agencies."
Surber continued: "The Deep State and Congress wanted an occupant in the White House, not a president because they feared an end to their trillion-dollar game of needless wars, dependency on Red China, and getting cheap labor, votes, drugs, and sex toys (girls and boys) from Mexico and Central America."
"Most Americans tired of Afghanistan and want to leave. President Trump left Biden with a pretty good way out. Which Biden rejected." Instead, Biden broke promises and left Afghan translators and other friends of America to die. He betrayed them and our allies. No wonder America is no longer trusted.
Specifically, "President Trump gave Biden a plan to evacuate Afghanistan, saving lives and dignity, while not arming the Taliban with the best equipment in the world. He learned from the Fall of Saigon, which happened on Biden's watch as a senator. America left behind equipment and people who helped us. Worse, we left behind our own children, the GI babies who were ostracized by society. Donald Trump was determined not to do that again. Biden did it anyway."
And Donald Trump outlined exactly how he planned to exit Afghanistan.
Former President Donald Trump wrote, "It is time for Joe Biden to resign in disgrace for what he has allowed to happen to Afghanistan, along with the tremendous surge in covid, the Border catastrophe, the destruction of energy independence, and our crippled economy."
As a U.S. Senator, Biden voted for the war. Then Biden spent 8 years as vice president advising to keep troops there. Now Biden has turned Afghanistan back over to the Taliban. The U.S. lost 2,300 servicemen and women in Afghanistan, almost as many people as died on 9/11.
Will Biden resign or be impeached? I'm not holding my breath. He is serving his Swamp Masters very well.
The late Kathy Shaidle wrote that "we should have nuked Afghanistan no later than 2:00 pm EST on September 11, 2001." Instead, we fought to free Afghanistan from the clutches of the Taliban and were rewarded with too many of our soldiers maimed or murdered by these 7th-Century bloodthirsty barbarians.
Now we're leaving - in disgrace and disorder. The blood is on Joe Biden's liver-spotted hands. (posted 8/18/21, permalink)
Racist Bridge: Recently, Jack Bogdanski wrote, "The politicians and bureaucrats in the Portland area can't do anything without first dithering for a long time about 'equity'."
"'Equity' is now part of the process for planning the replacement of the Columbia River Interstate Bridge connecting Oregon and Washington- a project that has generated a sum total of nine figures of waste so far, after twenty-plus years of meetings and proposals.
The guy supposedly in charge of the bridge deal recently proclaimed, "In the year since I have led this program, the team has been busy examining how we can embed equity into every stage of our project. We selected a general engineering consulting firm that prioritizes equity and appointed Johnell Bell, a longtime equity practitioner in Oregon to spearhead this work.
We also recruited and set up an equity advisory group of individuals from both sides of the Columbia River. I attend every meeting of this group and I hear their voices directly.
The first major milestone of this group was to develop a definition of 'equity' for the bridge-replacement program that looks at both process and outcomes.“ So, he can't define 'equity' but forms an Equity Committee anyway.
"'Process equity' prioritizes access, influence and decision-making power for marginalized and underserved communities in establishing objectives, design, implementation and evaluation of success. 'Outcome equity' is the result of successful process equity and is demonstrated by tangible transportation and economic benefits for those communities. The group is developing a framework for the program, from design to completion, to be finalized in the fall."
I started to laugh as I read the above until I realized that this is my tax money they're wasting. Yours too, because it is federally funded.
The Columbia River Interstate Bridge was built in 1917 and is the only lift bridge on busy Interstate 5 between Mexico and Canada. Over 130,000 vehicles cross the bridge on an average day and for four-five hours each day, the bridge operates at or beyond nameplate capacity. The bridge is frequently a bottleneck which impacts both traffic on the freeway, as well as on the river. The lift takes 10 minutes to open and does so between 10 and 20 times per month, which causes nightmarish traffic backups. But the real problem is the bottleneck on the Oregon southbound side where a lane disappears about a mile south of the bridge. This causes bottlenecks much of the day and Oregon has - for over 20 years - refused to increase the number of lanes because they hate car owners and want everyone to ride their slow and execrable MAX light rail.
I've been driving across the I-5 bridge for over 43 years and I've never seen the bridge act Racist. It never had a trap door that dumped Negroes in the Columbia River. Cars full of Mexicans have safely crossed without being knocked about by Giant Pinball Flippers on the side of the bridge. Asians bicycling across the bridge need not worry about giant flames shooting out from the railings. Crew-cab Ford F-250s full of jack-booted, flannel-wearing lesbians have never been shot into the air by a giant coil spring as they traverse the bridge. The old bridge is not equipped with Gaydar.
Whatever the bridge's shortcomings it treats all folks equally. 'Equity' is an unnecessary expanse to fleece taxpayers. In other words … a scam.
I wrote about the bridge and the replacement committee almost 14 years ago.
At a business lunch in 2004, I proposed a tunnel to replace the Columbia River bridge. This would remove the old eyesore and provide a sweeping view of the river from both shores. Unbeknownst to me, one of my dining companions was a member of the bridge replacement commission. "You know, no one has ever brought up the idea of a tunnel," he confessed. Too busy thinking-inside-the-box (TIB), I guess.
I suggested that the tunnel be financed by auctioning the waterfront rights to the highest tribal bidder and let them build a casino and resort complex on the water's edge. Make the winning tribe responsible for construction and upkeep costs for the toll-free tunnel. In exchange, the casino would get it a world-class, high-traffic casino location with its own exclusive exit and, heck, even its own transit stop. (posted 8/2/21, permalink)
"But Wait, There's … No More!" Ron Popeil, the Grand Old Man of infomercials has died at age 86, following an unspecified medical emergency.
He was an American inventor, pitchman, and founder of the direct response marketing company Ronco Corporation. He coined the phrase "Set it, and forget it!" (for his Showtime Rotisserie & BBQ) and popularized the phrase, "But wait, there's more!" on television as early as the mid-1950s. His dad, Sam Popeil was also an inventor and salesman of numerous kitchen-related gadgets such as the Chop-O-Matic ("Ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to show you the greatest kitchen appliance ever made ... All your onions chopped to perfection without shedding a single tear.") and the Veg-O-Matic to major department stores.
Ron also developed the Ronco Pocket Fisherman. Popeil is also well known for his housewares inventions like his Giant Dehydrator and Beef Jerky Machine, his Electric Pasta Maker, the Solid Flavor Injector, the Ronco Spray Gun, Ronco Battery Tester, Portable Smokeless Ashtray, Mr. Dentist, Spray-On Hair (Great Looking Hair Formula #9), Mr. Microphone, Inside-The-Shell Egg Scrambler, Automatic Pasta Maker, Drain Buster, Rhinestone Stud Setter, Cap Snaffler Bottle Opener and his Showtime Rotisserie & BBQ. His Showtime Rotisserie & BBQ sold over eight million units in the US alone, helping Ronco's housewares sales exceed $1 billion in profits.
The New York City native reportedly made $200,000,000 through his ideas and referred to his inner-circle as 'The Rontourage'. In August 2005, he sold his company, Ronco, to Fi-Tek VII, for $55 million. After retiring, Popeil continued to invent products including the 5-in-1 Turkey Fryer & Food Cooking System which he had been developing for over ten years.
Popeil was voted by Self magazine readers as one of the 25 people who have changed the way we eat, drink and think about food.
One Sunday morning several years ago, I arose in an insomniac daze and flipped through the cable channels. I found that, while there were several church services being broadcast, they were far outnumbered by infomercials hosted by Ron Popeil. God is everywhere. So is Ron.
Rest In Peace, Mr. Popeil. I was tempted to write that we'll not see his like again, but there's always Phil Swift of Flex-Seal fame. And all those Aussies selling miracle cleaning products like the One-Sweep Broom. (posted 7/30/21, permalink)
Of Bad Sunbirds and Bad Management: Recently, Tom Klockau wrote about a concours-condition 1976 Pontiac Sunbird. He was intrigued by this "corporate sibling to the Chevy Monza Towne Coupe, most of which dissolved by around 1990." The Sunbird was based on the Chevrolet Vega, a fact which explains some of its problems. I guess that, if it's a bad-enough car, it eventually becomes a rarity.
I only knew one guy who owned a '76 Pontiac Sunbird. Jack W. and his white Sunbird were a matched-pair - examples of everything wrong with corporate America in the mid-to-late-1970s. Jack was a corporate mid-level manager at Rohm & Haas Co. He appeared at the Plastics Division suddenly from some other division during one of the company's many internal reorganizations. He was officially my boss for about a week as I skillfully and successfully maneuvered to get out of his group and into another one. It took only one meeting for me to realize that this humorless, corporate ghoul spelled curtains for my career if I worked for him. So, I quickly found a new home.
Jack was 'suit' in every sense of the word - steel-rimmed glasses, mid-70s corporate hair, dark funereal suits and inoffensive and unimaginative ties. His appearance was a composite of 1959 Robert McNamara, 1975 Dick Cheney - when he still had hair, and 1982 Don Rumsfeld. Jack W. was notable for showing up at meetings - having never read the agenda for same - and asking short, stupid, kindergarten-level questions, such as: "Why am I here?", "How does this concern me?" and "Is this necessary?" (Jack couldn't be bothered to learn who in his circle would never call unnecessary meetings. And who might do so.) Jack was a do-nothing down-voter and behind-the-scenes axe-man who screwed up established, successful programs to "save money" and make himself look good - short term. MMAs, we called such people - Middle Management Assholes.
Jack was a short-term guy, planning to move onward and upward before his missteps caught up with him. So, it was wholly-appropriate that he drove a Pontiac Sunbird - a short-term automobile.
The comments section of Tom's Sunbird article was a blast to read. StingRay65 wrote, "I always thought they were nice-looking cars but every one that I saw was a terrible rattle trap and falling apart within a few short years and by the mid-'80s they were mostly gone." And CJinSD wrote: "GM used to run ads for the awful cars they built in the early '80s that benchmarked these Monzas and Sunbirds. The X-cars and J-cars weren't quite ready to measure up to the imports, but GM loved to point out how bad the cars they foisted on the public in the ’70s were. The cars that replaced them were much bigger on the inside, much lighter, and much more efficient. They were probably also somewhat serviceable. They were still often the last GM cars people bought."
That's very General Motors: "Our new models are crap but better than their predecessors." GM was benchmarking its past self instead of the current offerings from Japan which were killing GM in the compact car segment. I suspect that General Motors had a lot of MMAs, too.
R&H began its downhill slide in the 1980s. In 1998, R&H sold-off its iconic Plexiglas Division where Jack W. and I once worked and began selling off other well-established business units which were deemed as "commodities" or "inappropriate."
The Rohm & Haas name disappeared and its stock ceased trading on April Fool's Day 2009, as Dow Chemical Co. closed on its buyout of the company. Exactly two months later, General Motors declared bankruptcy. At the end of November, the Pontiac brand officially died, when the very last Pontiac - a white G6 four-door sedan - exited the Orion Assembly plant and went straight to rental car duty as part of a fleet order. So, the last Pontiac ever made was put to short-term use. Oh irony, thy name is General Motors Management.
GM made a comeback of sorts, but the effects of short-term thinking by MMAs linger at The General. JustPassinThru commented, "The Japanese-brand trucks (made in the United States, unlike the American brands which are made outside the U.S.) now are at least as resistant to corrosion and often rack up nearly twice the miles, on average. A 110,000-mile Tacoma is a nearly-new Tacoma. … Cadillac went from being, legitimately, a quality luxury car, to a badge-engineered, shortcut-designed, shoddily-built generic GM POS."
I left Rohm & Haas in 1978 and don't know what happened to Jack W. My buddies who remained at the company never brought up his name. He had probably moved to another division in short order. I doubt that his mistakes ever caught up with him. Too bad. It would have made a better story had Jack's career fallen apart like his Pontiac Sunbird probably did. (posted 7/26/21, permalink)
Guns Don't Kill People ... people kill people:
Rates of firearm deaths vary by race and location. Blaming firearms for deaths is no different than blaming your pencil for a poor score in a math test. (posted 7/12/21, permalink)
National Irrelevance: Rich Lowry is stepping down as editor of National Review's print magazine. Lowry came in, cleaned house of those whose opinions differed from his (example: John Derbyshire) and then drove readers away.
Don Surber noted that Lowry's biggest achievement in 23 years as editor: the Against Trump issue, writing, "National Review Hoists White Flag, Defiantly Rows To Outcast Island." NR's much-promoted annual cruises are now held on a rowboat.
National Review's circulation in 1992 was 200,000. It has since dropped by two-thirds. The incomprehensible Ramesh Ponnuru is the new editor.
Oh, that should work out fine.
Surber quipped that "in Lowry's defense, at least NR still exists, unlike Bill Kristol's Weekly Standard." True dat. (posted 7/1/21, permalink)
Ruskie Oil: Remember the good old days when Donald Trump made the U.S. oil independent? Well, it didn't take long for the Biden Administration to screw that up. According to The Epoch Times, "Russian oil imports have set a new record in the United States despite the strained relationship between Washington and Moscow. Industry experts believe the Biden administration's climate policies will make the country more dependent on foreign oil producers.
The United States imported record levels of crude oil from Russia in March and is expected to continue importing at high levels in coming months, according to the Western Energy Alliance, a trade association that represents 200 independent natural gas and oil producers in the United States.
Imports of crude oil and petroleum products from Russia reached 22.9 million barrels in March, the highest level since August of 2010, according to International Energy Agency (IEA). Of the total amount, crude oil imports from Russia stood at 6.1 million barrels. Russia has become the third-largest oil exporter to the United States."
"It's disturbing to our industry that the Biden administration goes out of its way to disadvantage the American producer while buttressing the Iranian and Russian industries," Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Western Energy Alliance, told The Epoch Times.
The recent spike in Russian oil imports has followed the "misguided climate policies" of the administration, including ending the Keystone XL pipeline and pausing new oil and natural gas permitting on public lands and waters, according to Sgamma.
President Joe Biden has "tipped us into oil dependence on Russia just a year after complete independence," Sgamma said, calling it "a geopolitical gift" to the Kremlin.
Phil Flynn, senior energy analyst at the Price Future Group, wrote, "U.S. oil production has fallen by 1.715 million barrels (per day) from a year ago, so a large part of that void is being filled by Russia. During Trump's term, America was competing with Russia and Saudi Arabia to be the world's dominant oil and gas producer, yet under Biden, we are retreating from that race in the name of climate change."
Biden is destroying our country. (posted 6/23/21, permalink)
St. Woke Prep: My old alma mater, St. Joe's Prep, was once an affordable private Catholic school for the middle-class. No more. Tuition is now over $25,000 per year. Like other expensive private schools, it has, sadly, become Woke. For example, the Prep now has a Director of Diversity and Inclusion.
The school recently published Our Year Of Solidarity' which mentioned "marginalized members of society" and "systemic racism." Systemic racism, I've read, is nebulously defined as "a form of racism that is embedded through laws and regulations within society or an organization. It can lead to such issues as discrimination in criminal justice, employment, housing, health care, political power, and education, among other issues."
I don't buy it. Today, we live in a world of hurt feelings and perceived "microaggressions" - a word that defies description. Most of those who write about "systemic racism" - a trendy, vague term that cannot be quantified and is, therefore, meaningless - have never experienced genuine, ugly racial prejudice.
America is, indeed, a land of opportunity. But it's not my fault that three generations of African-Americans have failed to take advantage of it. There used to be many black entrepreneurs and black business owners, but their number slowed to a trickle in the 1970s. Business owners in black neighborhoods saw conditions deteriorating and crime on the rise. Those with reasonably portable businesses moved away. Other storefront retailers either closed up shop or sold their companies. Local blacks were unable or unwilling to buy these establishments, so hard-working Asians moved in. Blacks grumbled and cursed.
Small mom-and-pop motels were purchased on the cheap by East Asians (mostly Indians and Pakistanis) and Koreans. Entire families worked hard at such places, keeping them tidy, functional and profitable. Neighborhood blacks were resentful but had a more than equal opportunity to buy such properties, given the widely-available Small Business Administration minority preference loan programs.
In Portland, Oregon, boat people (Vietnam and Cambodian refugees who fled communism after the war), went into low-investment, labor-intensive businesses such as janitorial services. I know of a local black-owned janitorial business which had gotten fat and lazy from Minority Preference jobs offered by federal and state agencies. Soon the Vietnamese businesses discovered the Minority Preference clause and beat the slothful black business at its own game. HA! Who knew irony carried a mop and bucket?
There is little if any systemic racism among white people these days. We're just tired of blacks blaming whites for self-created problems. Last week, I read a comment posted online: "Black Privilege: The ability to break every law in the country and still be the victim." Sad, but when you read some of the news headlines, there's a ring of truth to it.
William Katz has written, "We have racism in America, but America is emphatically not a racist country. A racist country doesn't elect Barack Obama as president, Kamala Harris as vice president, nor does it fight a civil war over slavery."
Ask yourself this: Remember back in 2009, when Obama, Biden, and the Democrats had complete control of the White House, Senate and House? Why didn't they end all that alleged "systemic racism" then? Why didn't they end all racism? Why didn't Black Lives Matter then? I'm not holding my breath for a coherent answer from anyone in the 21st Century Diversity Racket.
Nelson Mandela once said, "Our world is not divided by race, color, gender or religion. Our world is divided into wise people and fools. And fools divide themselves by race, color, gender and religion." (posted 6/11/21, permalink)
Oh, No! The iconic Elephant Car Wash in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood is scheduled to be demolished.
"The bright, rotating sign was a hit with locals and visitors alike. Elvis washed his car here in 1963 while he was in town filming 'It Happened at The World's Fair'." The elephant sign also made a cameo in the 2010 movie 'Love Happens', starring Aaron Eckhart and Jennifer Aniston.
"Luckily, this piece of Seattle history will be preserved at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI). The sign was taken down in November 2020, and is undergoing a restoration process to fix the lights and remove rust. When complete, it will join MOHAI's vast collection of signage from local businesses."
The owners of Elephant Super Car Wash said that they're permanently closing the Seattle location near the Space Needle due to urban blight, lawlessness and the city's business climate. "It is with deep sadness that we announce this closure as we have tried to keep this location open, even as it continued to lose money over the last few years. The increasing crime, drug activity and homelessness in and around the car wash has made it extremely difficult to retain staff and attract customers to our business," according to a statement released by the company.
"When coupled with the ever-increasing cost of doing business in Seattle and the city’s ever-increasing, burdensome regulatory demands, we have determined that it is impossible for a small, minimum wage-based business such as ours to successfully operate within Seattle, even one that's been established since 1956."
I have an animated Elephant Car Wash sign on my model train layout.
It is very sad when businesses close or leave because elected politicians are too stupid to manage their cities properly, allowing rioters and homeless to take over and drive away customers and visitors. While this is a Seattle story, the exact same thing is happening in Portland, OR, Los Angeles and San Francisco. (posted 5/24/21, permalink)
Inflation Alert: I am very concerned about the financial condition of the U.S. The current situation has the feel of the inflation I personally experienced during the 1970s and early '80s.
Recently, analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. estimated that the price of an automobile's raw materials have climbed 83% in first three months of 2021. The Bloomberg Commodity Spot Index jumped to its highest since 2011, with metals up 21% so far this year. Other metals, such as copper, silver and platinum have soared. Plywood has just about tripled. Lumber has tripled in price since the beginning of 2021. "$50,000 worth of wood could be used to build 10 homes a year ago. Today it would build only 2."
Wharton professor Jeremy Siegel said inflation could spike to 20% in the next two or three years due to "unprecedented" fiscal and monetary stimulus and an explosion of the US money supply: "I'm predicting here that over the next two, three years, we could easily have 20% inflation with this increase in the money supply." Siegel noted that the total money supply in the U.S. has gone up "almost 30% since the start of the year alone."
This is what happens when you spend money you don't have. The government does so by printing money. The United States is more than $28 trillion in debt about 130% of the country's annual gross domestic product.
We observed the results of the excesses of the 1960s when Lyndon Johnson's failed and expensive Great Society program was launched just as the cost of the Vietnam War was escalating. We paid for these excesses in the 1970s. Nixon took us off the gold standard. Then he cranked open the money supply in an attempt to delay the inevitable recession until after his 1972 reelection. The 1973 oil crisis further strangled the economy, resulting in the 1974-75 recession and subsequent anemic recovery. Inflation continued, even as the U.S. economy stagnated. Nixon didn't fix it. Nor did Jerry Ford with his Whip Inflation Now buttons. Nor Jimmy Carter.
In 1978, the consumer price index had gone up by 9%. In 1979, it rose 13.3%. In 1980, Carter's last year in office, 12.5%. In 1981, it dropped to 8.9% and averaged 3.6% for the remaining seven years of the Reagan presidency. Inflationary expectations, combined with monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve, caused interest rates to hit the highest levels in U.S. history. By mid-1980, the prime rate was over 20 percent! Unsecured personal loans were actually cheaper at Household Finance Corporation than small business loans were at my local banks in those days. Ronald Reagan quickly put a stop to this madness.
Inflation is rising again - this is the kind of thing that happens when you run your banking system like a dysfunctional three-card monte game, outsource all your subassemblies to Asia, close plants in Indiana and Michigan and move production to Mexico, close the tech support center in California and open one in Bangladore ... and vote for politicians who enact policies which make the aforementioned business actions the sensible thing to do. Obama did it and Biden is doing the same thing. As was often said on 'Scooby Doo': "Ruh-roh!"
Economist Scott Grannis recently wrote, "Looking further into the future, however, there are dark clouds on the horizon. On the monetary front, the Fed has supplied more liquidity to the system than ever before - and by orders of magnitude - but the inflationary potential of this has been kept in check by a still-robust demand for liquidity and safety. By promising to remain super-accommodative for at least a year or so, the Fed runs the real risk of allowing inflation and inflation expectations to run wild. Who wants to hold all that cash, when cash returns are zero in nominal terms and -2% in real terms? Who doesn't want to borrow at near-zero or negative real interest rates, when just about all commodity, real estate, and equity prices are rising? Absent a blow to confidence, the demand for money is sure to decline, and that in turn could fuel a substantial rise in the general price level (aka inflation) as economic actors attempt to unload unwanted cash - unless the Fed reverses course in a timely manner.
Perhaps the darkest of clouds is the Biden Administration's urge to expand government spending (on just about everything except a relative handful of actual infrastructure projects) while borrowing trillions in the process, reversing the de-regulation accomplishments and jacking up marginal tax rates on the rich. Common sense tells us that increased government spending, borrowing, regulatory and tax burdens, subsidies, and income redistribution cannot possibly strengthen the economy, and can only weaken it. Today we enjoy a long-awaited healing and reopening process, but by next year we could be slowly suffocating under the burden of Big Government.
It's hard to imagine a worse scenario than inflationary monetary policy coupled with anti-growth fiscal policies, but that's the risk that lies menacing on the horizon."
The widespread use of computers and the increased use of online sales and service functions means that clerical and support positions are going away. Such jobs used to provide a very decent living for earnest, smart high school grads and college graduates with unmarketable degrees (Humanities, Social Studies, Poetry, Music, et al). This is the dark side of productivity. When you can post your inventory online for prospects to browse and select, you no longer need support staff to answer phones and say, "Let me check our inventory list for ya."
Then there's the proliferation of outsourcing/offshoring. Faced with ever increasing labor regulation, upwardly spiraling health care costs (due in large part to the unreformed U.S. tort system) and the like, many companies are reducing their workforce by subcontracting - often overseas.
The annual cost of mandated Federal regulations for firms with less than 20 employees is estimated at almost $8,000. This does not include the cost of training poorly-educated, near illiterate graduates - products of our failing unionized education system, which turns out near-illiterate slackers with little knowledge and even less work ethic.
Many of those who have not experienced offshoring end up as freelancers with no benefits or job security. Popular alternative euphemisms include 'contingent worker' and 'temp independent consultant'. This is the new workplace world and it means that many well-educated, middle-class folks are now finding themselves 'underemployed', with reduced hours and little if any job security. Much like ditch diggers in the 1920s.
In the past, technological changes simply shifted opportunity within the U.S. As farm jobs were eliminated by mechanization, factories hired more. As factories increased productivity and moved work offshore, more Americans turned to lower-pay jobs in health care and other services. But nothing in any economic database indicates that the supply and demand for workers will intersect at a wage that is socially acceptable. Therein lies the problem.
Don Surber wrote, "Pumping trillions of dollars into Wall Street to give the appearance of prosperity is insane. Without farms and factories, there can be no prosperity. I am an optimist. Maybe the coming Biden Depression will last only 10 years."
Donald Trump was right to fight China and bring jobs back to America. His efforts were stymied by a lab-created China virus which caused a pandemic and forced the shut down of the world's economy. Without Trump to get us back on track, we are saddled with a bunch of socialist idiots in government and inflationary woes will soon return.
What can you do in the meantime? Do what smart people did in the 1970s: Don't save when the inflation rate outpaces interest rates paid by financial institutions. Don't trust the Fed. Put money in hard assets, such as real estate, artwork or old gold coins. Stay away from fads which have no intrinsic value - pet rocks, mood rings and, these days, cryptocurrency. (posted 5/20/21, permalink)
Woke Wigwam - or - Goodbye, Columbus: The New York City public school system has officially dropped Columbus Day and replaced the annual federal holiday with Italian Heritage and Indigenous People's Day, which will be celebrated this October. The city's Department of Education announced the change amid ongoing concerns about the European explorer's alleged treatment of indigenous people when in America.
Columbus Day has been celebrated for almost 100 years. Large parades were common in cities with a significant Italian-American population.
Los Angeles eliminated ol' Chris Columbus and replaced his day with 'Indigenous Peoples Day' in 2017. Seattle did so in 2014.
I have never understood the politically-correct celebration of Indigenistas, which seems to have started in the 1960s when Buffy Sainte-Marie appeared sanctimoniously singing her sad (on many levels) songs, appointing herself as spokesperson for an underachiever culture that didn't write anything down, invented nothing, domesticated not a single animal, never had anything like the Renaissance, Magna Carta, Arabic numbers, noodles, an abacus, Book of Kells or Thomas Aquinas - a people that basically spent two-plus depressing millennia fishing, weaving, hunting buffalo and making up stories about coyotes and bears.
Even after the Indians hung around buffalo for over 1,000 years, it was a white Italian-American woman - Teressa Bellissimo - who invented Buffalo Wings in 1964.
Consider this: The world is full of wonderful Italian restaurants, featuring such delicious dishes as Beef Bolognese, Lasagna, Chicken Marsala, Veal Parmigiana, Manicotti, Pizza Margherita, Pork Scallopine, Garlic Tomato Bruschetta and more. Ever seen a Native American restaurant (not counting roadside stands selling Fry Bread)? Me neither. Nuff said.
Poor Chris Columbus. He deserves better.
In related news, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Juneteenth will be made an "official" city holiday starting 2021. (I had never heard of Juneteenth until a few years ago. It commemorates June 19, 1865, the day news finally reached African-Americans in Texas that President Abraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves two years earlier.) Flip Wilson once said that October 19th should be made a national black holiday because it's the date that the new Cadillacs come out. (posted 5/18/21, permalink)
In Search Of Tinkerers: When John Derbyshire wrote for National Review, he bemoaned the general loss of interest in creating and fixing stuff.
"The other evening Bill O'Reilly had a segment on the old Cheers! sitcom of the 1980s. He brought in John Ratzenberger (Cheers' Cliff Clavin and host of 'Made In America') as a guest. As well as being an actor, John is founder of the Nuts, Bolts, and Thingamajigs Foundation, dedicated to raising awareness of skilled trades and engineering disciplines among young people." John says, "Skilled trades form the backbone of America!"
Derbyshire continued: "To anyone under forty, a garage is a place to keep your car, and a basement is a rumpus room for the kids. Yet the U.S.A. sprang up out of garage and basement tinkerers, small workshops, teen boys fixing up their cars on a Saturday morning. Everything from the aeroplane to the personal computer started in someone's garage."
"Take a walk down your street on a Saturday morning. See any young guys fixing up their cars? No, they're all indoors playing Grand Theft Auto and texting each other."
He concluded, "If we give up tinkering, we might survive but only as a bureaucratic empire of paper-pushers and lotus-eaters."
Shop class seems headed toward becoming a thing of the past, as educators prepare students to become "knowledge workers" - clerks and bureaucrats. Or diversity consultants. Or life coaches. Or community organizers.
I believe that tinkering skills should be encouraged and nurtured. I offer the following unscientific observations:
• College was a good idea until everyone started matriculating. Universities have dumbed-down their educational programs - "Don't Flunk The Customer!" - to the point where a sheepskin is meaningless. Too many college grads are morons. Employers know this and discount the value of a degree to the point where the cost of a BA - even from a low-cost state institution - will often never pay off.
• People in skilled trades - electricians, plumbers, cabinetmakers, machinists, etc. - now make far better wages than most college grads.
• Most of the unhappy people I've met are college graduates. My theory is that they were fed high expectations at the university (You're special!) which have been largely unmet in the workplace. (No, you're not.)
• I've met very few depressed carpenters. Why? Because there is something especially fulfilling about creating with your hands. Something physical - more than just a CAD rendering. Getting paid good money for it helps with that happiness thing - someone 'values' your accomplishment.
• While most cars, toasters and other appliances can no longer be repaired at home, there are still opportunities for manual creativity, whether it be modification of ordinary devices, making furniture or building a model train layout.
As someone who acquired woodworking skills later in life, I now have an appreciation of intricate, detailed wood creations. Acrylic fabrication was great training for woodworking; many of the same tools and techniques are used for both. In my Plexiglas display manufacturing business, some of my original employees were cabinet makers. They gave me a lot of tips for bringing out the best in wood.
An old wooden transit fare booth from the Philadelphia subway system offers a plethora of eye-catching detail if one takes the time to examine it. These humble, token-vending, change-making structures were, in their original form, little works of art. The photo, dating from the 1920s or '30s, illustrates fare booth artistry at its peak. By the time that I was a teenager and regular user of the subway, the booth's fine details were obscured by countless coats of thick paint, heavy soot, careless repairs and modifications. But, as presented by their original craftsmen, these lowly cubicles are full of interesting embellishments and have a certain boxy, utilitarian elegance.
Several years ago, I wrote about my aunt's mahogany drop-front secretary desk-bookcase that I restored in the early-1980s. I repaired and patched the underlying wood where necessary. I removed and refinished all the brass knobs, hinges and trim, replacing what was missing.
I spent many evenings sanding and steel-wooling the solid wood surfaces until they were silk-smooth. Then I carefully applied stain, worked it in with OOOO steel wool and reapplied more stain, working that in - repeating the process until the depth of grain of this fine wood specimen could be fully appreciated. Afterwards, I gently breathed a coat of protective urethane varnish over it. Then it was time to reassemble and realign all pieces. As a final touch, I reglazed the doors with bronze-tinted transparent Plexiglas panels.
It was greatly satisfying to work on this piece and watch it slowly come back to life. I think my aunt would have been pleased with the result. This piece of furniture, made in the mid-1930s, will outlive me. And, with a little TLC, my children too.
Learn a skill. Give your hands something to do. Someday, you may be able to make a living from it. And your creations may very well outlive you, providing joy and fascination for generations yet unborn.
Something which will never happen with, say, data processing. Or diversity consulting. (posted 5/4/21, permalink)
Full Of Hate: Appearing on 'Democracy Now' recently, Oregon governor Kate Brown (D) went on a bizarre tirade where she appeared to side with the violent rioters who ravaged Portland since last summer.
Brown shifted the blame to Donald Trump, vowed to use local law enforcement to "eradicate" Trump "forces," and seemingly sympathized with Michael Reinoehl, the antifa terrorist who murdered am unarmed Trump supporter in downtown Portland who later died in a shootout with the feds.
Predictably, Brown wants to investigate the feds, while refusing to condemn Reinhoehl's murderous actions.
I am appalled at such a display of contempt for a former president and his supporters. Imagine the reaction if a sitting Republican governor had said of former President Obama, "Now that he's gone, we want to "eradicate" his black supporters," refusing to condemn a white supremacist who murdered a black man wearing an Obama button.
"Shame on Donald Trump," continued Governor Brown, when asked about Trump warning rioters that they would face consequences for damaging the Federal courthouse and other buildings during the "peaceful" protests which began last summer. "The actions of the Trump administration were abysmal, and absolutely abhorrent in this state and we worked with our local law enforcement to eradicate these forces from our state. We want to make sure that Oregonians can continually peacefully protest to uphold those voices that ask for change and we will continue to support those efforts, uhmm, to eradicate racism from our institutions, from our structures, and from our systems." And yet, three months after the Trump Administration has been replaced, the riots in downtown Portland continue and are as violent as ever.
Meanwhile, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler reportedly backed down from his request the police bureau be given $2 million in emergency funds and instead voted with city commissioners to spend $6 million on grants to community groups and also hire 24 unarmed park rangers. The Portland Police Bureau is one of the most understaffed departments in the nation, partly because so many officers have left in disgust.
Interestingly enough, these institutions, structures, and systems that Brown claims are rife with racism have been run by Brown and her lefty allies for decades. She's despicable. And deplorable. (posted 4/14/21, permalink)
March 23rd Is National Puppy Day: I still remember my first dog, which I received as a pup in March 1947.
His name was Winky and, yes, he did wink at people. Winky was a purebred beagle with papers. He came from Van Aken Kennels in Bucks County, PA. Winky died of a heart attack - right before my eyes - in the summer of 1957. I hope his little dog-soul is romping around happily somewhere.
Winky got good veterinary care at Bree's Animal Hospital, which opened in 1947. Dr. Bree is long gone but Bree's Animal Hospital is still in operation, located on Frankford Avenue in the Mayfair section of Northeast Philadelphia.
I'll never forget my old buddy Winky. God bless him and all puppies and dogs. (posted 3/22/21, permalink)
Happy St. Patrick's Day!!
Discretion: Six retired Irishmen were playing poker in O'Leary's apartment when Paddy Murphy loses $500 on a single hand, clutches his chest, and drops dead at the table. Showing respect for their fallen brother, the other five continue playing standing up.
Michael O'Conner looks around and asks, "Oh, me boys, someone got's to tell Paddy's wife. Who will it be?"
They draw straws. Paul Gallagher picks the short one. They tell him to be discreet, be gentle, don't make a bad situation any worse. "Discreet?! I'm the most discreet Irishmen you'll ever meet. Discretion is me middle name. Leave it to me."
Gallagher goes over to Murphy's house and knocks on the door. Mrs. Murphy answers, and asks what he wants. Gallagher declares, "Your husband just lost $500, and is afraid to come home."
"Tell him to drop dead!", says Murphy's wife.
"I'll go tell him." says Gallagher.
Irish Nun Story: The 98 year-old Mother Superior lay dying in an Ireland convent. The nuns gathered around her bed trying to make her last hours comfortable. They gave her some warm milk to drink but she refused.
Then one of the nuns took the glass back to the kitchen. Remembering a bottle of Jameson's Irish whiskey received as a gift the previous Christmas, she opened it and poured a generous amount into the warm milk. Back at Mother Superior's bed, she held the glass to her lips. Mother drank a little, then a little more and before they knew it, she had consumed the whole glass.
"Mother," one nun asked earnestly, "Please give us some wisdom before you leave us."
The old nun raised herself up in bed and said, "Don't sell that cow!"
Irish Business Lesson: You'll find it here.
The Best Pub: Three Irishmen are sitting around in a tavern, debating which is the best pub.
The first says, "Aye, this is a nice bar, but where I come from, there's a better one. At MacDougal's, you buy a drink, then you buy another drink and then MacDougal himself will buy your third drink!"
The second then starts, "That sounds like a nice pub but, where I come from, there's a better one called Quinn's. At Quinn's, you buy a drink, Quinn buys you a drink. You buy another drink, Quinn buys you another drink."
Then the third pipes up, "You think that's good? Where I come from, there's this place called Murphy's. At Murphy's, they buy you your first drink, they buy you your second drink, they buy you your third drink and then, they take you in the back and get you laid!"
"Wow!" exclaim the other two. "That sounds fantastic! Did that actually happen to ye?"
"No," replies their friend, "But it happened to me sister!"
Irish Foreplay: "Brace yourself, Brigid."
An Irish Story … from Tom McMahon: When Alfie Byrne, Lord Mayor of Dublin, met Mae West in Hollywood she said "Come up and see me sometime." Alfie declined her offer, saying he couldn't because it was Lent. Not daunted, Mae just looked at him and purred, "Well, when you get it back, come up and see me sometime."
Another Classmate Gone: Mike Harkins, a fellow member of St. Joe's Prep Class of 1961, has died, following a courageous fight with myelodysplastic syndromes. Mike was a fun guy to hang around with at the Prep. He had a great sense of humor and was an excellent athlete. Mike dominated in touch football at lunchtime - he played fiercely, could never seem to keep his shirt tucked in and often broke his glasses, which showed multiple makeshift repairs with Scotch Tape.
Michael J. Harkins, M.D. turned out to be a very talented physician/surgeon, too. He practiced Cardiology in New Jersey from 1976 until he retired in 2019. He was a former Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab and a President of the Virtua Hospital Staff. Dr. Harkins performed the first catheter enzyme drip procedure in South Jersey in 1981 that opened a blockage in the heart of a patient amid a heart attack.
Mike was seen regularly running and walking with his Golden Retrievers through Haddonfield and surrounding streets, rain or shine, sleet or snow. He is survived by his wife and five children as well as seven grandkids. And loved by his many friends.
I hope they have Scotch Tape in heaven so he can keep his glasses repaired. Requiescat in Pace, Mike. (posted 3/3/21, permalink)
Ummm, Could I Get A Window Seat, Please?
A Must-Read Article: Lee Smith has published his work, 'The Thirty Tyrants', in Tablet Magazine. He documents the rise of pro-China globalism and how America is being taken apart by our own elites.
The beginnings of this date to the 1990s, during the Clinton administration. By 2008 or so, many corporate executives and other American elite "came to live by was globalism - that is, the freedom to structure commercial relationships and social enterprises without reference to the well-being of the particular society in which they happened to make their livings and raise their children."
"Undergirding the globalist enterprise was China's accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001. For decades, American policymakers and the corporate class said they saw China as a rival, but the elite that Friedman described saw enlightened Chinese autocracy as a friend and even as a model - which was not surprising, given that the Chinese Communist Party became their source of power, wealth, and prestige. Why did they trade with an authoritarian regime and by sending millions of American manufacturing jobs off to China thereby impoverish working Americans? Because it made them rich."
"Returning those jobs to America, along with ending foreign wars and illegal immigration, was the core policy promise of Donald Trump's presidency, and the source of his surprise victory in 2016." Ending wars was a threat to the military/industrial complex. Bring manufacturing back to America translated to lower corporate profits in many cases.
"The only people who took Trump seriously were the more than 60 million American voters who believed him when he said he'd fight the elites to get those jobs back.
What he called 'The Swamp' appeared at first just to be a random assortment of industries, institutions, and personalities that seemed to have nothing in common, outside of the fact they were excoriated by the newly elected president. But Trump's incessant attacks on that elite gave them collective self-awareness as well as a powerful motive for solidarity. Together, they saw that they represented a nexus of public and private sector interests that shared not only the same prejudices and hatreds, cultural tastes and consumer habits but also the same center of gravity - the U.S.-China relationship. And so, the China Class was born.
Connections that might have once seemed tenuous or nonexistent now became lucid under the light of Trump's scorn, and the reciprocal scorn of the elite that loathed him."
And so, the elite began working tirelessly to take Trump down. Meanwhile, China was busy corrupting American think tanks, universities and other influential institutions. "Think tanks and research institutions like the Atlantic Council, the Center for American Progress, the EastWest Institute, the Carter Center, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and others gorged themselves on Chinese money. The world-famous Brookings Institution had no scruples about publishing a report funded by Chinese telecom company Huawei that praised Huawei technology.
The billions that China gave to major American research universities, like $58 million to Stanford, alarmed U.S. law enforcement, which warned of Chinese counterintelligence efforts to steal sensitive research. But the schools and their name faculty were in fact in the business of selling that research, much of it paid for directly by the U.S. government - which is why Harvard and Yale among other big-name schools appear to have systematically underreported the large amounts that China had gifted them."
"But if Donald Trump saw decoupling the United States from China as a way to dismantle the oligarchy that hated him and sent American jobs abroad, he shouldn't follow through on the vision." Too little time, too little staff, too much back-stabbing by the embedded China Class mentioned in the article.
"And because it was true that China was the source of the China Class; power, the novel coronavirus coming out of Wuhan became the platform for its coup de grace. So Americans became prey to an anti-democratic elite that used the coronavirus to demoralize them; lay waste to small businesses; leave them vulnerable to rioters who are free to steal, burn, and kill; keep their children from school and the dying from the last embrace of their loved ones; and desecrate American history, culture, and society; and defame the country as systemically racist in order to furnish the predicate for why ordinary Americans in fact deserved the hell that the elites' private and public sector proxies had already prepared for them.
For nearly a year, American officials have purposefully laid waste to our economy and society for the sole purpose of arrogating more power to themselves while the Chinese economy has gained on America's. China's lockdowns had nothing to do with the difference in outcomes. Lockdowns are not public health measures to reduce the spread of a virus. They are political instruments, which is why Democratic Party officials who put their constituents under repeated lengthy lockdowns, like New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, are signaling publicly that it is imperative they be allowed to reopen immediately now that Trump is safely gone."
Everyone seems to forget how much President Trump got right about the virus, including his promotion of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment. The 'experts' mocked him. But Trump's instincts were proven correct. And Operation Warp Speed has been proven to be the correct approach. Without Trump, we'd still be waiting for a vaccine to be developed.
"Loathing Trump provided their political excuse, but the American security and defense establishment had their own interest in turning a blind eye to China. Twenty years of squandering men, money, and prestige on military engagements that began in George W. Bush's 'War on Terror' have proved to be of little strategic value to the United States. However, deploying Americans to provide security in Middle East killing fields has vastly benefited Beijing. Last month Chinese energy giant Zen Hua took advantage of a weak Iraqi economy when it paid $2 billion for a five-year oil supply of 130,000 barrels a day. Should prices go up, the deal permits China to resell the oil."
"Eventually, the pro-China oligarchy would come to see the full range of benefits the lockdowns afforded. Lockdowns made leading oligarchs richer - $85 billion richer in the case of Bezos alone - while impoverishing Trump's small-business base."
And, just to be sure, they rigged the 2020 election. I recommend that you read the entire article - it is quite eye-opening. (posted 2/25/21, permalink)
The Reckoning: Victor Davis Hanson recently wrote, "The corruption of the Renaissance Church prompted the Reformation, which in turn sparked a Counter Reformation of reformist and more zealous Catholics. The cultural excesses and economic recklessness of the Roaring '20s were followed by the bleak, dour, and impoverished years of the Great Depression.
The 1960s counterculture led to Richard Nixon’s landslide victory in 1972, as 'carefree hippies' turned into careerist 'yuppies'.
So social, cultural, economic, and political extremism prompt reactions - and sometimes counterreactions.
The Bush-Clinton-Obama continuum of 24 years (from 1993 through 2015) cemented the bipartisan fusion administrative state. Trump and his 'Make America Great Again' agenda were its pushback.
The counterreaction to the populism of the Trump reset - or Trump himself - is as of yet unsure.
Joe Biden's tenure may mark a return to business as usual of the Bush-Clinton years. Or more likely, it will accelerate the current hard-left trajectory. Either way, it seems that Biden is intent on provoking just such a pushback by his record number of early and often radical executive orders - a tactic candidate Biden condemned. On almost every issue - open borders, blanket amnesties, canceling the Keystone XL pipeline, promoting the Green New Deal, and hard-left appointees - Biden is touting positions that likely do not earn 50% public support."
No one told voters about the Fascism. "Social media are banning tens of thousands. Silicon Valley and Wall Street monopolies go after smaller upstart opponents. A wrong word destroys a lifelong career. Formerly sane pundits now call for curtailing the First Amendment. Thousands of federal troops blanket a now-militarized Washington, D.C." Nancy Pelosi and her friends want the concertina wire topped fencing to remain until Fall 2021. They forget that these buildings belong to We The People.
The Left "have instead alienated and insulted the American people, and will reap the whirlwind in 2022 of the wind they are now sowing."
Still unanswered: If there is nothing left of the system for us to believe in, where do we go from here? (posted 2/23/21, permalink)
A Giant Of An American Patriot Is Gone. Rush Limbaugh has died at age 70, following a one-year battle with lung cancer. President Donald Trump awarded Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom last February, recognizing the conservative giant's achievements over decades on his iconic show.
Limbaugh was born on January 12, 1951, in Cape Giradeau, Missouri. As a high school student, he landed his first job in radio at local station KGMO. Limbaugh attended Southeast Missouri State University in 1971 and dropped out after one year to return to the radio business. He was first syndicated in 1988. He had millions of loyal fans; the EIB Network claimed Rush had 43 million listeners in 2020.
Limbaugh was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1993 along with the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1998. He is also a five-time winner of the National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Award for Excellence in Syndicated and Network Broadcasting. He wasn't the first radio conservative, perhaps that title belongs to Paul Harvey. But Rush's radio show was much longer, with audience interaction and he brought humor and parody to the conservative cause. Rush provided hundreds of stations on that dying medium three-hours of popularity each weekday and the ad revenue covered the station's expenses. He probably saved AM radio. Rush was a uniquely talented performer, and a hugely generous man.
Rush always spoke the truth as he saw it. He was self-invented - a courageous, witty, often acerbic and insightful voice for millions. Rush Limbaugh was also an uncompromising champion of the unborn.
Throughout its 33 years, Rush's show stayed pretty much the same: an analysis of the day's top stories, punctuated by musical parodies, satirical sketches and Rush's own optimism and sharp wit.
In early January, an ailing Rush posted a heartfelt message for President Donald J. Trump:
"My days on earth are numbered; But before I fade away, there is something important I need to say. It may not be important to anyone else; but it's important to me. Win, lose or fraud President Trump, I just want to say thank you for the last four years.
Thank you for making it cool to be an American again. Thank you for showing us that we don't need to be under China's thumb anymore economically, or any other way. Thank you for one of the strongest economies we've ever experienced in my lifetime.
Thank you for all you have done for the minority communities, and the outstanding decrease in the unemployment rate you had. Thank you for making it feel good to love our country and to be a proud patriot again."
“Thank you for supporting our Nation's flag and the men and women who fought for the freedom that stands behind that flag. Thank you for supporting our nation's law enforcement organizations, and understanding how difficult their job really is.
Thank you for quelling the flood of illegal immigration, and bringing to justice the thousands of criminals that flood brought us. Thank you for giving corporations a reason to come back to America to make our own products and put Americans back to work.
Thank you for bringing our troops home from endless deployments that presented us with little more than body bags; and for your commitment to strengthen our military.
Thank you for operation warp speed and keeping your promise to bringing the covid-19 vaccine to us in less than a year. Thank you for your never-ending attempts at bringing peace to the Middle East and your support for Israel.
Thank you for your Tax relief, and thank you for our energy independence.
Most of all though … Thank you for taking a damn rotten job that you never had to take!! Thank you for caring enough for this country to want to try and make a difference. Thank you for showing America how little Career Politicians actually work for their constituents; for showing us how much those politicians despise you for showing America how easy it is to build a great nation, rather than rape her to line their own pockets and stock portfolios.
Thank you for allowing us to experience a President that wasn't a lifelong politician, but a lifelong American. Thank you, Mr. President - you did your best."
Rest in peace, Rush. (posted 2/19/21, permalink)
Why, It's Almost As If There Was A Conspiracy. Ya think? Jack Baruth wrote recently discussing something he found in the body of a New York Times article. It shows that there is a Grand Leader of Antifa, and you can get him on a Zoom call.
From the article: "The video call was announced on short notice, but more than 900 people quickly joined: a coalition of union officials and racial justice organizers, civil rights lawyers and campaign strategists, pulled together in a matter of hours after the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill.
They convened to craft a plan for answering the onslaught on American democracy, and they soon reached a few key decisions. They would stay off the streets for the moment and hold back from mass demonstrations that could be exposed to an armed mob goaded on by President Donald J. Trump. … The meeting was no lucky feat of emergency organizing, nor was the highly disciplined and united front that emerged from it.
Instead, it was a climactic event in a long season of planning and coordination by progressives… By the time rioters ransacked the Capitol, the machinery of the left was ready: prepared by months spent sketching out doomsday scenarios and mapping out responses, by countless hours of training exercises and reams of opinion research."
And: "Since the violence of January 6th, progressive leaders have not deployed large-scale public protests at all. Interviews with nearly two dozen leaders involved in the effort, and a review of several hundred pages of planning documents, polling presentations and legal memorandums, revealed an uncommon - and previously unreported - degree of collaboration among progressive groups."
Jack wrote that the "article is chock-full of bragging. In particular, it points out that this 900-organization coalition of the willing had pre-identified every single legal strategy Donald Trump would use. They had attorneys in the right places. They knew the judges. And they knew that the judges, like Stacey Abrams' sister, wouldn't recuse themselves for even the most gross conflicts of interest."
In other words: The Fix Was In. And, ever since Donald Trump got elected, the Deep State has been trying to get rid of him. Everything from a revolving door of turncoat insiders in his administration, to impeachment, to 'fixing' the 2020 election.
Sadly, they seem to have gotten away with it. Who will come along and make everything right again? Jack doesn't know. Neither do I. (posted 2/17/21, permalink)
Time To Break Out The Torches And Pitchforks: Last week, America learned of the ultimate conspiracy against President Trump: The Establishment was always hell-bent to stop Donald Trump from the get-go. They saw him as a loose cannon, who couldn't be bought. Or bribed. So, he was betrayed by members of his own administration. The Russia Hoax was created in order to impeach him. There was no one in the establishment who served him. They served the swamp. Bill Barr, John Roberts, General Mattis, Christopher Wray, Rod Rosenstein and many other highly-placed government and military officials blocked Trump at every turn. They put their careers ahead of protecting the president and the nation. The fix was in all along.
Recently, former Senior White House Economic and Trade Advisor, Peter Navarro, discussed how the Bill Barr's Department of Justice put up hurdles to executive orders prepared by President Donald Trump while fast-tracking the ones prepared by President-elect Joe Biden during the transition period leading up to Inauguration Day on January 20th.
Donald Trump is a patriot. But his presidency cost him a great deal financially. "Trump, who announced his candidacy in 2015 with a net worth of $4.5 billion, left office in January with about $2.5 billion, according to Forbes' estimates. … During his four years in office, Trump's $400,000 annual presidential salary, paid in quarterly checks, was donated to various causes."
The conspiracy to prevent his reelection has been recently exposed. Inadvertently. By Time magazine of all unlikely sources: "There was a conspiracy unfolding behind the scenes, one that both curtailed the protests and coordinated the resistance from CEOs. Both surprises were the result of an informal alliance between left-wing activists and business titans. The pact was formalized in a terse, little-noticed joint statement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO published on Election Day. Both sides would come to see it as a sort of implicit bargain - inspired by the summer's massive, sometimes destructive racial-justice protests - in which the forces of labor came together with the forces of capital to keep the peace and oppose Trump's assault on democracy."
The handshake between business and labor was just one component of a vast, cross-partisan campaign to make sure that Trump was denied a second term. "Though much of this activity took place on the left, it was separate from the Biden campaign."
Even the CDC was in on it. "The Center for Disease Control and Prevention stands accused of violating federal law by inflating coronavirus fatality numbers … CDC illegally inflated the COVID fatality number by at least 1,600% as the 2020 presidential election played out, according to a study published by the Public Health Initiative of the Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge." Why? Just to get rid of Trump.
In other words, the Deep State - or the China Class, the Globalist Elite, or whatever you wish to call them - cheated big time and now brag about it, telling us it is for our own good. They had to protect democracy from the voters. Maybe that's why there is still a big fence around the U.S. Capitol and National Guard presence all over DC. They're afraid. Maybe they should be. After all, we were robbed. (posted 2/11/21, permalink)
Buh-Bye: After, 125 years, Olympia beer is being discontinued. Now owned by Pabst, sales have been in decline for a while.
Olympia Beer was founded in Tumwater, WA in 1896. It's a storied historic beer, intertwined with the history of the Pacific Northwest. But, said Pabst, "While we've spent several years trying to bring Olympia Beer back home to be brewed locally, we've also witnessed a growing decline in its demand." Yeah, well, maybe that's because Northwest folks don't want to drink crap from California.
"A major part of Olympia's decline has been the dilution of its original vision. Decades ago, the beer's slogan used to be "It's the water," but the Tumwater, WA - just south of Olympia - brewery has been closed since 2003. After ownership started cycling through multiple hands back in the 1980s, the brand finally landed with Pabst Brewing in 1999, and the last batches of Olympia were reportedly being produced in California - meaning the primary connection the brand had with its Washington home was sentimental. In the past few years, Pabst was even involved in a legal battle over Olympia's marketing claims about its water." (posted 2/5/21, permalink)
Shipping News: In Model Auto Review, editor Maz Woolley recently wrote, "After disruption to Chinese production last year caused by Covid-19 we are told that the Chinese Government is enforcing staggered New Year holidays across China. This will be good for pandemic control, but it may again disrupt production to some extent.
Still, that pales into insignificance when it is compared with the impact on all exports from China of the current problems within the International shipping industry. Eloise Davies, MD of Oxford Diecast, gave collectors an insight into the issue at a recent talk. She noted that Oxford Diecast are seeing the quoted price of containers shipped from China to Southampton being around 500% higher than usual at the moment, if they are available at all.
I understand that this rise has been caused by containers and ships being out of place around the world, due to the mass movement of goods out of China in the middle of last year. This impact was, and is, compounded by the continued greater demand for PPE goods being shipped as priority items.
In the UK, this has been made even more acute by the failure of large container ports in Britain to cope with the number of containers arriving here, along with post-Brexit alterations to VAT, tariffs and customs paperwork. Hopefully things will improve, as ships return to China, able to pick up cargo after the Chinese New Year break. If it gets no better, then model companies round the world reliant on Chinese production will have to choose between delaying importation of products, or heavily increasing their prices." Or a little of both. (posted 2/5/21, permalink)
2021 Is Not Off To A Great Start: Videographer Keith Woods wrote, "They have rigged everything, silenced dissent with tech censorship and financial deplatforming, rigged the economy with insider trading, rigged democracy with lobbying and mass immigration, and they'll tell you with a straight face that racist rednecks are the problem."
And: "Remember when all the oligarchs were excited about an open internet because it would lead to popular uprisings against tyrants? Now it's doing just that and they hate it." Robinhood - an online a free-trading app supposedly for the small investor to trade stock, options and the like - blocked orders for GameStop. Its retail customers are pissed, will go elsewhere and Robinhood may disappear faster than a 1999 dot-com.
In related news, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen received more than $800,000 in speaking fees from Citadel, a hedge fund that has become embroiled in the saga over stock trades for video game retailer GameStop. Citadel paid Yellen $810,000 to speak at several events from October 2019 to October 2020. Citadel is invested heavily in Melvin Capital, a hedge fund that was reportedly on the brink of bankruptcy this week due to a surge in GameStop share prices.
Reddit users encouraged purchases of GameStop shares in order to exploit Melvin Capital's short position on the company. A buying spree from retail investors forced Melvin to cover its short position by buying shares of GameStop at elevated prices. A year ago, GameStop's stock was around four bucks a share. Then its price started to climb as it closed stores and moved online. The video game industry has exploded. And GameStop's price exploded, hitting at $469.42 a share last Wednesday. That cost a hedge fund $13 billion because its stupid managers bet against the company's price rising by shorting GameStock - big time.
James Lileks believes that "the usual gruesome endgame is gummint action, which means windy hearings where our betters display their lack of understanding, and ask questions crafted by the staff, and then there's blunt-force regulation that doesn't fix the problem but hampers something that previously worked well."
Daniel Greenfield offered a broader, darker view, writing, "The last generation has seen two political revolutions by the unheard, the Tea Party, and the Trump campaign, that were brought down from without and within. The establishment understands the threat of the revolutions that it dismissively labels as ‘populism’ because despite its constant posturing about values and the oppressed, it is wholly illegitimate.
America was never meant to be ruled by a single cultural class operating out of D.C., New York, San Francisco, and a handful of other cities and suburbs for its own benefit."
The 'unheard' aren't a race or even a class. "They are the culturally unheard. It might be their politics, their geography, their religion, their jobs, or some combination of the above. They're easy enough to spot because you don't see them represented in our culture anymore except as villains or buffoons. Once upon a time we called them Americans.
The unheard don't live in the right places, wear the right clothes, have the right beliefs, and don't occupy the right place in the culture. They have no role in the oligarchy's future except as cautionary examples of what happens to those who don't adapt to the establishment order."
Don't worry - there will be bailouts of some sort for the big players. Regular people - the unheard - will continue to get screwed. And none of the Big Players will go to jail - just like in 2008. That was the year I called for Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Franklin Raines and Jamie Gorelick to be "publicly handcuffed, frogmarched out to a waiting airplane and carted off to Gitmo for some serious interrogation." It never happened, of course. And it won't this time. You see, Wall Street firms spent over $74 million to back Biden for president. And they want their money's worth.
It seems like they're getting it, too. Biden stopped construction on the border wall to protect us but acting Capitol Police chief Yogananda Pittman announced this week they will erect a permanent security fence around the U.S. Capitol to protect politicians. And Capitol Police are bolstering travel security for lawmakers.
Furthermore, Joe Biden has withdrawn the U.S. from the Geneva Consensus, a coalition of 34 pro-life countries President Trump put together that agree there is no right to abortion.
And as a final thumb-his-nose insult, disgraced former FBI agent Peter Strzok's wife, Melissa R. Hodgman has been named Acting Director of the Division of Enforcement at the SEC. "Strzok was involved in the exoneration of Hillary Clinton and the set up and multi-year harassment and attempted coup of President Trump in the Russia-collusion national nightmare based entirely on lies."
Ace wrote that hedge fund managers are "all in favor of radical libertarian individualism and red-in-tooth-and-claw absolute capitalism when they're fleecing you of your money, but when they're losing money - as they did in 2007-2008 - suddenly they're in favor of socialized risk, government bailouts, and 'working together and pulling together'." Yeah, in the one-world, over-regulated direction they desire.
The Deep State is pervasive and relentless. (posted 2/1/21, permalink)
Inauguration Day - Theater Of The Absurd: To 'celebrate' Biden's inauguration, Antifa demonstrators smashed the windows of the Democratic Party headquarters in Portland, Oregon; burned American flags and spray-painted graffiti onto storefronts in Denver and Seattle; marched in Columbus, Ohio; and wielded shields and clubs while protesting in Sacramento hours after President Joe Biden's inauguration.
A group of protesters carrying anti-Biden and anti-police signs marched Wednesday in Portland streets and damaged the headquarters of the Democratic Party of Oregon. One of the signs read 'We don't want Biden, we want revenge!' in response to 'police murders' and 'imperialist wars'. The group in Portland smashed windows, spray-painted anarchist symbols and 'F*ck Biden' in multiple locations. Portland police said some of the group of about 150 people carried weapons "including Molotov cocktails, knives, batons, chemical spray and a crowbar." Peaceful protestors, no?
Meanwhile in DC, Biden, Harris and family members walked down Pennsylvania Avenue and waved to … nobody. Streets were empty - except for the National Guard - an army of greater size than Lincoln employed to prevent the invasion of Washington during the Civil War. This was reminiscent of what one frequently sees in countries run by dictators or oligarchs. Were he still alive, Mr. Rogers might ask, "Can you say Pyongyang?" All that was missing was the goose-stepping.
With the restrictions, fencing and razor wire, Washington looked more like The Forbidden City than The People's Capitol. Acting DHS Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli told FoxNews that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi requested more National Guards be sent to Washington, D.C., even requesting 'crew-manned machine guns'.
A select number of attendees witnessed the mock-inauguration of a corrupt, senile old hack - the fruit of ballot-box stuffing and ginned-up covid panic. Biden gave a bland and unmemorable speech which has already been forgotten.
Katie Kopkins of FrontPage Magazine wrote that she felt "haunted and numb in a horribly sanitized city. … There is literally no one here. Even pressed up to the gates within sight of the Capitol Building there is barely a handful of Biden supporters - alongside a small gaggle of media, scratching about, trying to find something to film.
Residents with the means to do so have moved out. Others stay locked in their homes. And visitors heeded the fear-mongering and stayed away."
"This should be an historical moment for the country. Instead it feels like an illusion, fabricated for the TV, right down to the made-for-TV flags and columns of light on the mall."
"D.C. now feels like one giant stage built entirely for a drama of the Democrats' own creation. I'd argue the troops are being used as bit-part actors, for crowd scenes and effect. If you wanted to create the illusion that the Trump administration turned America into a war zone, what better way than to make D.C. a green zone, build ramparts and blockades, and fill it with troops, trucks, and men with weapons?"
"I can feel the eyes of the plainclothes officers on me as I move about in D.C. One photographs my face, then slips away. And yet on Black Lives Matter Plaza, just a block or two from the White House, BLM protesters seem to enjoy special privileges. The entry point to this place remains relatively open and welcoming, their music system gives the place a party feel, and there are no National Guards visible here. How did we end up at a place where Republicans and Democrats are policed differently, even inside a militarized zone?"
"Biden stepped up to the podium, on an empty stand, addressing a mall void of life and spoke of his hopes for unity … I look around at all the facemasks and muted mouths. And feel my eyes roll in their sockets. … This man is all but alone with his lies. Nothing has prevailed here, not joy, not emotion, and certainly not the will of the American people."
Trump was right to blow town early and skip this Kabuki Inauguration. While our New Overlords were shivering in the January cold on the sterile Capitol platform - dressed for warmth, looking like a bunch of Soviet Party members at chilly, windy function in a mostly-deserted Moscow reviewing stand, Donald Trump was smiling and waving at the large crowds lining the streets to greet him in sunny, warm Florida. (posted 1/22/21, permalink)
A Great Man And A Great President: Delroy Murdock wrote, "One hundred years from now, a fair-minded assessment of Trump's presidency will recognize his abundant domestic and international accomplishments. Liberals unborn may be appalled. Conservatives unconceived may applaud. But both should agree that Trump was a consequential president whose sleeplessness achieved significant things, often while astonishing foes and friends alike."
He provided a lengthy list of some of President Trump's most significant accomplishments.
Journalist and talk radio host Howie Carr also provided a round up of President Trump's many achievements. As have I.
President Trump said, "As I conclude my term as the 45th President of the United States, I stand before you truly proud of what we have achieved together. We did what we came here to do - and so much more." And he did.
Donald Trump set records for low unemployment:
And he set new records for women and minority unemployment rates as well.
God bless Donald Trump - a president like no other. (posted 1/22/21, permalink)
Welcome To 2021 … where everything's racist. HBO's Bee Gees documentary falsely claims that the demise of disco music was because of racism. And homophobia.
To get the real story, HBO should have interviewed Disco Stu. In my opinion, Stu is the only real black guy on 'The Simpsons'. He's the worst of stereotypes - always boppin' and dancin', struts when he walks, does a lot of rhyming ("Disco Stu ... has nothin' to do."), wears groovy clothes and shades, has no job and hits on Marge. I think Stu used to have darker skin but got that skin disease Michael Jackson claimed to have. I'm pretty sure that, in the 1970s, Stu was one of the Ohio Players.
It's a little known fact that Big Band music died because the all the wind from the horn section was causing hurricanes, whenever Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra performed in Florida. And, there was a lot of warm air generated by the horn sections of those '30s big bands. All that wind is how the Great Dust Bowl was created. Damn you, Benny Goodman. (posted 1/15/21, permalink)
Before The Storm ...
Big Tech And Deep State Are Siamese Twins: According to The Federalist, Facebook and Instagram have banned President Donald Trump from their platforms. He has been banned at Snapchat, too. Twitter has already shut down President Trump on its site, while Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Louis Farrakhan, Richard Spencer and various Chinese propagandists continue to spew vile tweets undisturbed and uncensored.
Lizard King Mark Zuckerberg wrote, "We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great. Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete."
Google suspended Parler, a social media platform favored by conservatives, from its Play Store. Apple has suspended Parler from its App Store. Amazon is removing Parler from its cloud hosting service. Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell and other pro-Trump people have lost their Twitter accounts. YouTube has taken down Steve Bannon podcasts and Rudy Guiliani videos. The Trump campaign was banned from e-mailing supporters after being suspended by mail service provider. Shopify has booted MAGA merchandise from their stores.
James Woods has said, "In one twenty-four period, Twitter reduced my followers by 63,000. The purge is on and unabashed in its ruthlessness. Silencing voices is a sign of tyranny. The only sure truth about Twitter is that it is most decidedly not an unbiased "forum" for free speech." Facebook banned and deplatformed the Walk Away movement; Reddit banned a pro-Trunp group. Big Tech has indeed become a tyranny - censoring any of dissent from its prevailing liberal orthodoxies.
This feels like a Godfather movie where Michael Corleone eventually settles all scores.
Publishing house Simon & Schuster canceled the publication of the book, 'The Tyranny of Big Tech', by Senator Josh Hawley after his attempt to challenge the election results. Kate McMillan at Small Dead Animals wrote, "Big Media and Big Tech's massive overreach has managed to change the channel for conservatives who were disturbed and confused about the events in Washington, and reunite them in anger - all before the week was out."
From the book '1984': "People simply disappeared, always during the night. Your name was removed from the registers, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, your one-time existence was denied and then forgotten. You were abolished, annihilated: vaporized was the usual word." (posted 1/11/21, permalink)
Sad News: Canadian writer Kathy Shaidle has died at age 56 from ovarian cancer. She was a well-known blogger; her opinionated online quips caught my attention almost 20 years ago.
I have quoted Ms. Shaidle many times on this site. She blogged at 'Relapsed Catholic', later retitled 'Five Feet of Fury'. Kathy was one of the most incisive, witty (sometimes caustically so), and fearless writers on the planet, always standing up for freedom. She was fiercely pro-American and a conservative. Kathy was smart, never boring and had a great sense of humor.
When I found out she was very sick, I e-mailed her and wished her well and offered prayers. Kathy wrote right back even though she was in her final days on earth and in palliative, end-of-life care.
Her obit reads in part: "Kathy was a writer, author, columnist and blogging pioneer, as proud of her first book's Governor General's Award nomination as of her stint as 'Ed Anger' for the 'Weekly World News'. A target for 'cancel' culture before the term was coined, she was denounced by all the best people, sometimes for contradictory reasons." Yes, she was Ed Anger for a while but quit WWN because they didn't pay well enough or quickly enough.
Kathy Shaidle authored a great book of essays, 'God rides a Yamaha'. I have a signed copy. She wrote several other books during her lifetime.
Per her instructions, her tombstone reads: 'Get Off My Lawn' - very fitting. Kathy is survived by her husband Arnie.
Requiescat In Pace. (posted 1/11/21, permalink)
Remember When? Don Surber wrote that "storming the Capitol was cool in 2018."
"What a difference two years makes. On October 4, 2018, taking over the Capitol was just another form of protest. On that date, more than 300 people were taken into custody by police on Capitol Hill after descending on a pair of Senate office buildings Thursday afternoon to protest the confirmation process of Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump's Supreme Court nominee."
"The vast majority of the arrests, 293, were a result of protests in the Hart Senate Office Building, where protesters crowded in the atrium. Loud chants could be heard throughout the building, which is structured so the hallways of each floor open up and look out onto the first floor."
Back then, CNN - aka: Communist News Network - called the crowd 'protesters'. On Wednesday, CNN called pro-Trump protesters who stormed the Capitol 'rioters'.
On Wednesday, a Capitol policeman shot and killed an unarmed white woman - 14-year Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt. Twitter - a rotten-to-the-core liberal, pro-China mouthpiece and a known user of Saul Alinsky censorship tactics - is calling the protest on Wednesday an 'insurrection'.
Really? Where are the toppled statues? The burned out buildings? The splashed paint? The defacement of historic icons. The destroyed police cruisers? The purloined flat-screen TVs? Oh wait. That was Kenosha. And Portland. And Seattle. And Minneapolis. You know, those 'peaceful protests' masterminded by Democrat operatives.
Mr. Surber also wrote, "Waving an American Flag that is not on fire is now rioting. Burning down cities are still mostly peaceful protests. The media is insane." Don't forget the $26 worth of broken Capitol window glass, Don.
We've witnessed a Democrat administration, party and its donkey-media allies doing their best to get rid of a newly-elected president. The social compact is broken, once-respected institutions - Justice Department, FBI, CIA, Supreme Court, etc. - are utterly corrupted and Republicans are wringing their hands and cowering under their desks like Brave Sir Robin only because they no longer control their voters. No wonder the oft-betrayed peasants and deplorables are revolting.
If hypocrisy was a hanging offense, our country wouldn't have enough lamp posts. (posted 1/8/21, permalink)
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copyright 2021 - Joseph M. Sherlock - All applicable rights reserved
The facts presented on this website are based on my best guesses and my substantially faulty geezer memory. The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and are protected by the U.S. Constitution. Probably.
Spelling, punctuation and syntax errors are cheerfully repaired when I find them; grudgingly fixed when you do.
If I have slandered any brands of automobiles, either expressly or inadvertently, they're most likely crap cars and deserve it. Automobile manufacturers should be aware that they always have the option of trying to change my mind by providing me with vehicles to test drive.
If I have slandered any people or corporations ion this car-centric website, either expressly or inadvertently, they should buy me strong drinks (and an expensive meal) and try to prove to me that they're not the jerks I've portrayed them to be. If you're buying, I'm willing to listen.
Don't be shy - try a bribe. It might help.