I Notice an Omission in This List

In this Discourse piece, much of it is admirable and reasonable.

All frameworks and ideologies should be open to criticism—true of the old creeds like Christianity and Judaism but also of progressive faiths like sexual identity and climate change. And it goes without saying—but must be said nonetheless—that we should begin by criticizing our own most passionately held positions.”

Can you spot the missing religions/faiths?

The Newest Federal Holiday

     Perhaps you’re already aware that the word holiday is actually a contracted equivalent for holy day. And perhaps it troubles you just as much as it does me that the federal BLEEP!ing government takes it upon itself to declare new ones, entirely to placate noisy interest groups. We dodged one a few years back, when the greeting-card companies attempted to push “Grandmothers’ Day” on us. It didn’t work; the association was too overt. But this “Juneteenth” business…

     Yes, it has me in a lather. The Usurper Administration is on a vote-buying spree; this is only one manifestation thereof. But it’s an egregious one, arguably worse than the Usurpers’ attempts to buy the youth vote by “canceling” student-loan debt.

     The history of the thing:

     Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day, is a holiday that commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas in June 1865, and more generally the emancipation of African-American slaves throughout the Confederate South. Celebrated on June 19, the term is a portmanteau of June and nineteenth and is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in most states.

     This points up a little-known and less-understood aspect of the famous Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863. As a diktat that was issued by the Union side in the midst of the Civil War, it had no effect on districts still in rebellion until the Confederate surrender. Districts that had already fallen to the Union forces at the time of the Proclamation were few: Tennessee, parts of Virginia, and parts of Louisiana. Moreover, the four slave states that had not joined the rebellion – Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware – were not affected at all.

     The Proclamation was essentially a political move. Its principal legal effect was to nullify the Fugitive Slave Act. (The complete nationwide abolition of slavery waited for the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution on December 6, 1865.) Its hoped-for practical effect was to encourage slaves in the Confederate states to flee to Union states, increasing the disorder in the Confederacy.

     But on June 19, 1865, with the surrender of the Confederacy already two months past, the formerly Confederate state of Texas announced that the slaves of Texan masters were free. Thus we have “Juneteenth,” a silly name for a silly “holiday.”

     But it’s a federal holiday, which means that federal employees will get the day off with pay. Not that having them at work is actually vital to the nation, mind you. State and local employees will get that paid day off too, so quotidian services such as street cleaning and pothole repair will have to wait. Then again, when don’t they?

     And, like the Emancipation Proclamation, it’s a political stroke. The Usurpers are in a panic about the defection of Negro voters from the Democrats to the Republicans. Apparently Lyndon Baines Johnson’s prognostication (“I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next two hundred years”) may not have been perfectly accurate. So the Usurpers have thrown American blacks a sop: a new holiday.

     Do I sound unusually cynical? I do feel that way. Every time I become convinced that our political class has hit the moral-ethical bottom, they whip out a bigger shovel. After a while, the belief that things will only continue to get worse becomes deeply embedded. (NB: It’s not a conviction that they can’t get better; it’s the certainty that they won’t.)

     There’s an irony here, too, and you know your Curmudgeon Emeritus: he’s always on the lookout for a healthy irony. To whom have the Democrats chosen to pander? Why, the thirteen percent of the American people responsible for the greater part of its crime and disorder! Hearken to Arthur Sido:

     [It’s] the weekend before Juneteenth, a celebration of White people letting slaves go free and then watching the descendants of those freed slaves royally fuck up the country White people built. Since the inception of Juneteenth as a new Federal holiday in an attempt to placate blacks so they would stop burning down cities, there have been plenty of mass shootings accompanying the “holiday”. We have already had our first of 2024.
     […]
     Never in the history of human kind has a group been given so much freedom and opportunity only to squander and spit on that freedom and opportunity quite like American blacks.

     But give them their own holiday! Why not, after all? We’ve already given them de facto legal immunity for rioting and pillage. We’ve already given them “affirmative action.” We’ve already given them guaranteed places in every new movie and television drama (often as paramours to white women, and what do black women think of that?). What’s a new federal holiday compared to all that, if it might keep them voting Democrat?

     What, indeed…unless it’s the last straw, the final cleavage point, the one that finally persuades the white majority that it has had enough.

     What was it Herbert Stein said? If something cannot continue indefinitely, it will…do what?

     Perform your own prognostications. I have mine. And I hope most passionately that I won’t live to see them come to pass.

Two For The Quote Collection

     I’m always on the lookout for pithy epigrams and penetrating observations. Just this morning I have two fresh ones:

     “Laughter is the salve that keeps reality from scarring.” – comedienne Monque Marvez

     That’s good stuff. True, too. And here’s one I found by way of star commentator Roger Kimball:

     When asked what qualities are essential to a politician, Winston Churchill replied: “The ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen.”

     This is absolutely correct. Watch any politician for confirmation.

Doing the crime that Americans won’t do

So, what illegal gangs are in your state courtesy of Drooling Joe and his open borders policies? Idaho has the Mexican cartels, and I can tell you that I see plenty of Mexicans running around my town in Northern Idaho. I’m not talking guys who speak English with a Hispanic accent, I’m talking no English at all groups of young men.

Looks like ISIS cells have been found in New York, Pennsylvania and California. Oh joy!

At this point the Cartels control the border, and they have for years. This was a huge problem when George W Bush was in office, and he did nothing about it. Every time the GOP has controlled Congress, they have done nothing about it. The Democrats want to import as many illegal aliens as possible to get more votes, so you know they won’t be shutting down the border any time soon.

It used to just be illegal aliens trying to get some work. Then came the drug smuggling. Then came the human smuggling. The sex slaves. This image is from May of 2023.

An 8 year old girl, raped AT LEAST 67 times. Any person who says we need open borders is supporting this. They support the rape of an eight year old girl, and they’re actively pursuing MORE rapes of eight year old girls.

That whole “Let families in?” crap from the Obama years? The Cartels started trafficking kids to be part of a “family”, and once the illegal aliens got into the USA the kids were taken back to Mexico to act as kids for the next “family”. Often times the kids were raped and abused the entire time by the Cartels and the “families”.

Let me repeat it in no uncertain terms. Anyone who supports an open border supports the trafficking and rape of children. And if you support that, you are evil. There is no grey area here. And that’s only a fraction of the crime coming across our border. That doesn’t take into consideration the Chinese, thousands upon thousands of whom are in our country illegally, for purposes unknown.

Anyone who supports an open border does not have America’s concerns first in mind. In fact, they’re actively working against it. You know it. I know it. And they know it. Don’t be coy about it. When you see someone who supports open borders, call them out for being the child-sex-slave-trading supporter that they are.

Those Who Forget History…

…will fall for the same old, tired tactics.

Up early, as usual. Did NOT walk the dog, just let him out in the backyard. Between the heat, and the poor air quality (likely related), I will not be outdoors much today. It’s just as well, I have a lot of office filing and tossing paper to do today.

It’s not even officially summer, but the summer vacation season seems to be racing along very quickly. My schedule for the rest of the month is packed, and July is filling up fast. My ideal day, mostly sitting on a recliner or lawn chair with a book/tablet and a cool glass of water, is likely NOT gonna happen.

I’m trying not to follow the news. Most of what is being reported – IF you believe the Leftists in charge – is indicative of urban riots, violent outbreaks, terrorist attacks by those unvetted Dreamers, and a meltdown of the country’s economy – if not the entire world.

I’m changing out my bookcase. I’ll be stocking it with spiritual reading, classic history, uplifting stories, and other means to calm my weary mind.

I’ll put the prepper stuff one of my go-bins.

For now, I chose to work on soothing my soul, and learning from history.

The Anti-Death-Cult League Has A New Member

     …and his name is Elon Musk:

     Welcome aboard, Elon. Good to have you.

A Proper Response To Ignorance

     Three years back, Elon Musk was briefly in the news for this statement:

     “Goods & services are the real economy, any form of money is simply the accounting thereof.”

     That tweet was absolutely correct…but it displeased a lot of less savvy types, including a few who argued that Musk’s statement was tantamount to claiming that “money isn’t real.”

     I’m not about to return to the old debate about “what is real?” My ventures into metaphysics are mostly utilitarian. (There’s a concept for you! Utilitarian metaphysics! It’s gonna be big, I tell you. Get in on the ground floor while you still can.)

     Well, anyway. Today’s item of general interest is this somewhat surprising turnaround by one Donald J. Trump:

     In a sharp reversal, former President Donald Trump has embraced the cryptocurrencies he once reviled, looking to outflank rivals Joe Biden and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. among the technology’s devoted young fan base — and its deep-pocketed executives.
     Hours after meeting with bitcoin miners at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida on Wednesday, the former president said on his Truth Social media platform that cryptocurrency users should “vote for Trump!” because he will stand up to “Biden’s hatred of Bitcoin.”
     […]
     But just a few years ago, when Trump was in the White House, he made his thoughts on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies clear.
     “I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air,” he said in a series of social media posts in 2019 while he was still in office. “Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity.”
     “We have only one real currency in the USA,” Trump continued, “And it will always stay that way. It is called the United States Dollar!”

     To someone deeply interested in fiscal theory and the history of money and currency, this was a sharp jab in the side: “Heads up, Fran!” And indeed, it indicates that President Trump has been thinking seriously about a very serious subject.

     I’m no fan of the cryptocurrencies. They’re subject to the same objections as any other fiat currency, with the added vulnerability of anything digital that’s manipulated on a worldwide communications net. But as long as there are vendors of goods and services who are willing to trade their wares for a cryptocurrency payment, they constitute real currencies. Thus, they provide something that Americans have needed since March 5, 1933: competition for the U.S. dollar.

     Once again, quoth Brian Loasby:

     The argument for competition rests on the belief that people are likely to be wrong…. In the end, the case against an authoritarian system of resource allocation rests on the same principle as the case against an authoritarian structure in any discipline: part of the case…is that no person or body of persons is fit to be trusted with such power; the (other) part…is that no one person or group of persons can say for sure what new knowledge tomorrow will bring. Competition is a proper response to ignorance. [Loasby, Choice, Complexity, and Ignorance]

     The variety of ignorance on trial in the world of competing currencies is one that’s recently come into sharp relief: Among the currencies now extant, which ones are likely to hold their value – i.e., their purchasing power – best?

     When the American dollar was competing solely with the currencies of other nations signatory to the Bretton Woods agreement, there was in fact no competition. All those “competing” currencies were linked to the dollar by that agreement. Few currencies of significance were utterly independent of the dollar. Moreover, one of the world’s vital resources – oil – was traded internationally solely in dollars, giving the U.S. an immense advantage in the international bourse.

     The cryptocurrencies don’t play that game. The rules under which they operate are separate. They cannot be inflated or otherwise manipulated by any nation’s central bank; in particular, their volumes are limited by their “mining rules.” Thus they constitute a true competitor for national currencies of significance.

     The Democrats, wholly dependent on “coalition politics” (i.e., vote-buying), are scared shitless by the cryptos for that reason. If a significant volume of trade “abandons” the dollar for one or more of the cryptocurrencies, the jig will be up. The superior stability of the cryptos will become highly visible, a matter of general interest and discussion. Movement away from the U.S. dollar, already largely drained of its historical purchasing power, will accelerate. Inflating the dollar, the Democrats’ traditional technique for “expanding” or “solidifying” their coalition, will be seriously endangered.

     If President Trump has come to understand this – i.e., if his turnaround isn’t just a political stroke – then more power to him. It would be even better were he to work to restore the redeemability-in-specie that once protected the dollar’s purchasing power, but all things in their proper sequence.

Happy Father’s Day

If your father is still alive, go spend some time with him.

Trust me. Do it.

“All Together Now” — ?

     I know a great number of faithful Republican voters. That is to say: they’re faithful to the Republican Party, they uncritically accept the statements of Republican politicians, and they vote the straight Republican ticket at every opportunity. And I would say, strictly from my acquaintance with them and their past behavior (I know, I know, “no guarantee of future performance”), that they’ll keep on doing so until they’re boxed and covered with dirt.

     Anyway, there’s no better example of two old maxims:

  • “Hope springs eternal in the human breast.”
  • “There’s a sucker born every minute – except of course the minute you was born!”

     I might be adding to that list in a moment. Bear with me.

     What distresses me is that I’d previously have thought that Donald Trump was not such a person. But this morning there’s evidence to the contrary:

    

     (Politico) – “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and former President Donald Trump set aside their years-long cold war during a private meeting with Republicans Thursday, a gathering McConnell described as “really positive.” (more)

     Not surprisingly, Senator Rand Paul refused to endorse President Trump, preferring to talk positively about Robert Kennedy Jr. so far.
     Factually, regardless of what any of them say, the Brutus delegation within the Senate will be sharpening their scorpion tails quietly and wait for the most vulnerable opportunity to strike. All sixteen DeceptiCons, soon to be led in 2025 by Senator John Thune, will sting viciously and simultaneously. This is the one political constant in an ever-changing universe.

     Sundance may not be absolutely correct about that, but it’s the way I’d bet.

     The behavior of what Sundance calls the DeceptiCons is founded on what they perceive to be their self-interest. Self-interest is reliably a stronger motivator than any less personal consideration. It nearly always trumps party loyalty, or encouragement to support a fellow partisan. That’s the basis of Public Choice economics, the discipline for which James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock won the Nobel Prize.

     The DeceptiCon Caucus in the Senate won’t openly oppose a Trump initiative – at least, not often – but they won’t support him merely because he’s a Republican President. Don’t expect them to work for Trump’s legislative agenda should it put them at odds with the GOP’s strategists and kingmakers. Don’t expect them to support Trump’s position in filibuster standoffs. And don’t expect them to fight the inclusion of anti-freedom “poison pill” amendments in Trump-supported legislation. Their personal interests in:

  • Remaining on good terms with the leadership;
  • Preserving “collegiality” to protect their prospects in a future Democrat-controlled Senate;

     …will take precedence.

     Political parties, pace David Friedman, are vote-maximizing machines. Their leadership may have deeper aims – indeed, I’d bet my house that they almost always do – but the only thing a party can do is strive to whip up votes for their candidates. To that end they compose and publicize party platforms. To that end they solicit contributions and volunteer labor. To that end they mount advertising and ground-pounder campaigns. But ultimately, their function is to get people into elective office, and to keep them there once elected.

     Or so it seems. Sometimes, a party’s leadership will undertake a covert campaign to oppose a partisan whom the voters love but the leadership deems too threatening to the status quo. Under those conditions, the party will appear to be doing one thing openly while it does another under cover. The Democrats’ kingmakers did it to Bernie Sanders. The Republicans’ kingmakers did it to Donald Trump, albeit unsuccessfully at first. Establishments are like that: they don’t like boat-rockers.

     I’m no fan of governments or politics, and with very few exceptions I’d cross the street to avoid an oncoming politician. People who like them can have them, for all of me. But I will say this to those who feel that loyalty to the Republican Party is the nation’s best hope for returning to its Constitutional roots:

Watch what they do,
Not what they say.

     And adjust your expectations – and your behavior – accordingly.

     “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results.” – actual author unknown; often attributed to Albert Einstein

How It’s Done

     The following, clipped from this piece by James Kunstler, had me howling uncontrollably (and very nearly incontinently):

     [T]he cabal running things behind the empty suit “Joe Biden” is dominated by women, and my guess would be the women directly associated with Barack Obama: Susan Rice, Lisa Monaco, Kathryn Ruemmler, Sally Yates, Valarie Jarrett, Samantha Power, Avril Haines, Torie Nuland, give-or-take some combo of them, et al. I have alleged for years that the motif driving batshit-crazy, Cluster-B Democratic Party women is that Donald Trump represents Daddy’s-in-the-house. In their boundaryless state-of-mind nothing threatens the Cluster-B ladies as much as the imposition of boundaries by a fearsome daddy figure. Daddy = the monster of monsters to them.

     That’s a gem of merciless penetration all by itself. But wait: there’s more!

     “Joe Biden” is not long for this world as a token in that game. Mere days, I’d say. There is no way that the Democratic Party can afford to put him in a debate arena June 27th with Mr. Trump. Two minutes in, “JB” would be leaking sawdust and stuttering incoherently. The Party would be revealed as a fraud for the ages. And then, by the time you’re scarfing down blueberry pie on the Fourth of July, Hillary Clinton (better known here as Rodan the Flying Reptile, or She-Whose-Turn-It-Is) will be flapping her leathery wings on-high in triumph as “JB’s” emergency replacement. I am here to save our democracy, caw caw—! Wait for it! Trouble is, batshit crazy women are exactly what our country is sick of and done with.

     My sides hurt.

Disallowed Pride (UPDATED)

     Pride Month! When all the freaks fly their flags boldly, even aggressively. But you know who’s not allowed to have pride? Heterosexuals:

     An Ohio news station employee was fired for posting a joke about “straight pride” in response to LGBTQ Pride Month in June.
     “Celebrate straight pride,” the post says. “It’s natural, it has worked for thousands of years, and you can make babies!”

     In Ohio, Gentle Reader. Not a coastal or “blue” state. Apparently it’s now offensive nationwide – to whom, you may ask? – to proclaim that you’re proud of being heterosexual.

     I suppose this was the next step. After all, whites are disallowed any pride. Now heterosexuals have been banned from proclaiming their pride. It’s been reserved exclusively for Negroes and the LGBTQ crowd: the demographics that are turning our cities and streets into “no go” zones.

     The years have defused for me many of the occasions and developments that once lit my boiler. Overall, that’s been for the best. But this is an outrage to which I refuse to grow accustomed.

     Please, those of you who have the means, post the following graphic wherever you can: fearlessly and unapologietically. If anyone, of any persuasion, gives you a hard time about it, tell him to go fuck himself. It’s the commonest insult now circulating, so you’ll be right in line with the trends – and we know how important it is to be “with the trends,” don’t we, Gentle Reader? Now excuse me; I plan to lie down in a dark room and wait for the steam to stop pouring out of my ears.

     UPDATE: I’ve just gone to Café Press and created men’s and women’s T-shirts that bear the graphic above. The links:

     Men’s T-Shirt

     Women’s T-Shirt

     If you want your country back, this sort of counter-protest is but a modest stroke. Feel free to join me. The more, the merrier…or the angrier. Maybe both.

Subtlety Is Often Wasted

     Especially on the Left. They often need to be hit between the eyes with a two-by-four to get their attention. But then, the Left is so monomaniacal, and so blind to unintended consequences, that they often willfully ignore even blatant evidence that their maneuvers are rebounding against them. Consider this “little” story from the Epoch Times:

     Four times a week, 16-year-old Olivia Rife flicks on the lights of her bakery at 7 a.m., on the second floor of a grey, plain brick building in Richlands, and begins preparing to bake today’s sweet goods.
     Usually, that means cupcakes, assorted squares and brownies, fondue strawberries, Oreo cake pops, and her specialty: the giant chocolate chip cookies she and her clients have come to love so much.
     Olivia, a native Virginian, has been at it—running her own bakery in a commercial location on Grayson Avenue—for over a month. Impressive for an 11th-grader.

     Impressive already, isn’t it? But what made it possible for Miss Rife to embark on a particularly yummy entrepreneurship at her age?

     Making it more than just a hobby, the real springboard for Olivia to launch her bakery business, Liv-Y-Licious, was boredom. The COVID lockdowns left Olivia missing her friends and classmates.

     That’s just Exhibit One, Gentle Reader. To continue:

     Olivia tries to strike a “perfect balance” by hanging out with friends on weekends and handling her homeschool work in the evenings. The bakery is open four days a week, she says, though business usually eats up five or six.

     Ahem! So the young lady is homeschooled, is she? Did the embrace of a task that many parents would dismiss as “too challenging” and “leave it to the professionals” inspire her? The story doesn’t say, but it’s certainly possible. Of course, the flexibility of write-your-own-schedule homeschooling also contributed to Olivia’s opportunity. But the insistence of teachers’ unions on closing the schools and keeping them closed, despite the infinitesimal risk the virus poses to young people, surely factors in as well.

     The current government-mandated system of mandatory education has often been called the “twelve-year sentence.” There’s a lot of resonance in that. What opportunities are denied to young, energetic Americans by their involuntary incarceration in classrooms – classrooms where they must endure a pace and a difficulty level set by the dullest and most sluggish of their coevals – when they could actually be learning something?

     Apprenticeships and internships have been making a comeback, especially in the trades: plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, construction, and so forth. This rediscovery of the old method by which young people entered such trades was set back by two major influences: mandatory schooling, and the emphasis on “white-collar” careers. Mandatory classroom schooling took a body blow from teachers’ unions greed. For several reasons, white-collar occupations no longer look quite as attractive as they did twenty years back. The consequences are steadily being flapped in their faces.

     But don’t bet on any open remorse from the Left. They’re still straining to find a rationale under which they can blame the Right for the COVID disaster – a many-faceted jewel they chose, purchased, and gift-wrapped specially for us. The bill has yet to come due in full.

Strolling Among The Universes

     Forgive me, Gentle Reader. I’ve been so wrapped up in my novel-in-progress that thoughts about fiction and its attendant trials are nearly all I’ve had lately. But perhaps this will provide you with some amusement.

     Writers write. Few of us are as diligent about it as we should be – I’ve had long stretches where I couldn’t bear even to think about the projects I’d started or had promised to start – but still, that’s what we do. Unfortunately, one of the concomitant obligations of the writer is to read. We have to know what’s going on “out there” in Fictionland. We don’t want to repeat one another…well, except for those of us who do want to…and we don’t want to become unaware of the trends. The trends are signposts: for those who hope to make a few bucks writing what’s currently “hot,” and for those of us who’d cut our own throats before ever merging our output with the mass. As the late, great Lawrence Peter Berra has said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Choose according to your preferences.

     I read a great deal. It’s a lifelong habit. But it interacts in curious ways with what I write.

     A little earlier I was working on my current project, writing away at speed, when it hit me that I’d been including in the action characters that…aren’t mine. They were from another SF writer’s “universe,” one that I enjoyed quite recently. It was correctable, of course…but then I noticed that I’d invoked technology from yet another SF writer’s “universe,” stuff that simply doesn’t belong in Onteora County, New York USA in the Year of Our Lord 2031. That made me sit back.

     Strolling among other writers’ universes is all very well in fancy, but one must curb one’s tendency to appropriate their works.

     Today virtually any writer in the speculative genres will have his own “universe,” constructed according to rules and events particular to his stories:

  • Asimov had the Galactic Empire and the Foundations.
  • Heinlein had his “Future History” series.
  • Tolkien had Middle Earth.
  • C. S. Lewis had Narnia.
  • Clayton Barnett has his “Machine Civilization.”
  • Ripley Harper has the “Dark Dragon” universe.
  • Mackey Chandler has the “April” / “Family Law” universe.
  • Lilith Saintcrow has the “Jill Kismet” and “Dante Valentine” universes.
  • Our own Margaret Ball has the “Din Eidyn” universe, and the “Harmony / Esilia” universe, and the “Applied Topology” universe.
  • Diana Pharaoh Francis has the “Crosspointe” universe, and the “Horngate Witches” universe, and Diamond City, and a couple of others.
  • Simon R. Green has the “Nightside,” and the “Secret History” universe, and the “Deathstalker” universe, and several others.
  • P.S. Power has about a dozen such environments.
  • Michael Anderle… no, let’s not go there. Life is too short.

     The best of those fictional settings are irresistibly absorbing. The reader starts to live in them, to think and feel along with their Marquee characters. That’s dangerous if he’s also a writer trying to stay faithful to his own “universe.”

     But a writer must read. He has no choice. Without the stimulus provided by other writers’ imaginations and speculations, he would eventually “run dry.” At least, it’s happened to me on occasion.

     Thank God we aren’t able to do what some other writers’ characters can do: i.e., to “tune” among the universes they’ve imagined and step from one to the next according to their current needs or tastes. Far worse if we could travel among the universes of many writers, some of which are utterly incompatible with the operation of a sane human mind. It might be entertaining for a while, but the dissonance it would induce would probably land them in the loony bin – and then what would the rest of us do for leisure reading?

     That’s enough of that for the moment. Time to get back to William Alan Webb’s “Last Brigade” and its fevered efforts to rebuild America. I wonder what he reads?

Today I Found Out

That Hamish from Braveheart is Mad-Eye Moony from Harry Potter.

I feel rather old right now.

That’s Right, It’s Not the ILLEGAL MEETING That’s the Problem…

…it’s how the attorney found out about it.
Unbelievable. The attorney found out that he was not informed about a meeting between the judge, the star witness, and the prosecutor – which is not only illegal, but grounds for a mistrial AND both the judge and the prosecutor being brought up on charges and potential disbarment.
But the attorney is headed jail for refusing to tell the judge where he heard about it.

The Fears of the Karens – Exaggerated?

Well, Yah!

Image

See HERE for context.

Look, it’s no secret that Rachel Maddow is an hysterical, self-important conspiracy theorist of The Left.

But, she is not alone.

All social media contains a plethora of such women (and more than a few fem-men). They LIVE on social media, thriving on the toadying affirmations their every posting receives. The same affirmation they just don’t get IRL.

Offline, their posturing is laughed at, ignored, and easily refuted. That’s why they cling like limpets to social media. There, they will not be confronted with proof that their ideas, convictions, and superstitions are illogical, self-serving, and believed by no one outside of their rather pathetic circle of ‘friends’.

God save the painted Queen | Tick Yes Blog

But, on social media, they are QUEENS!

They are She Who Shall Be Obeyed!

They are Important in Their Own Mind – and nowhere else.

Unfortunately, the rest of us – those that do NOT echo her every utterance with reverence – have joined that platform, as well. I say ‘unfortunately’ for two reasons:

  • I’m generally against the artificiality of social media. It’s pumped up to the Eleventy-ith to create a buzz and get more ad money. It eggs people on to more and more outrageous stunts, revealing posts – both bodily and psychic, and creates an unrealistic bubble that distorts human interactions, emotional/intellectual growth of children/immature people, and divorces actions from consequences.
  • And, for the second reason, it has moved regular people away from an honest (even if tactful) expression of opinion, to a cowed echoing of the latest cultural/social/political blather. People who in Real Life would provide pushback at the Karens’ proclamations, might try it for a while, then, coming to their senses, say “The hell with it!” and either find a more congenial platform (X, Truth Social, Gab, or the like) or just disengage entirely. That outcome is fine. It’s when the regular people become co-opted (generally easier with the younger ones, and those dependent on approval of the mob) that danger lurks. That is, BTW, the intended result The Left HOPES for – they want to cow the rest of us into submissions to their ridiculous/dangerous ideas.

Every minute you spend on social media is time that is not available for:

  • Interactions with those in your own communities
  • Restorative reading, whether philosophical or religious
  • Work – either using that time for GOOD (Get Out of Debt), or shoring up your home (maintenance, upgrades, cleanliness, prep, gardening, etc.)
  • Time with your family IRL
  • Physical work – exercising, yard work, walking, sports
  • Volunteering
  • Did I mention Prepping?

Set a limit, and don’t exceed it. It does help to corral your use – limit it to one device (desktop preferred), or only at a certain time of the day. Detach from all those contentious groups/people/threads. I have several I’ve been following on Ham Radio topics, but the trolls therein are bringing me down with their constant jabs – not at me, but at the newbs. I place to leave those groups, but only after explaining to the admins/moderators my feelings about letting the trolls run free.

Oh, NO! Does that mean I’m for Censorship?

Nope. The groups are the equivalent of your neighborhood get-togethers. Just as you might choose to stop inviting persistent annoying or disruptive people to the next barbeque, people who act in ways that are counter to the goals of the group should be told they will be dropped if they continue their actions. And follow up with action, if necessary.

That action could be to kick that person out of the group, or just take away their right to comment. Either would solve the problem.

Karens SHOULD fear pushback. The Left has a history of getting rid of annoying people when they no longer serve The Left’s purpose.

Babies For Sale?

     There are no coincidences.

     Last night, our beloved Margaret Ball, with whom I often exchange ideas for and about books, sent me this incredible bit of news:

     On June 12, the Massachusetts House is expected to vote on a bill that would allow mothers to exchange their children for money—that is, engage in baby-selling—under the name of “parentage equality.”
     The “Parentage Equality” bill seeks to redefine parenthood. Parenthood is recognized on its natural biological basis, or in cases of adoption, justice for a child who has suffered loss by providing them with a safe, loving home. This bill redefines it on the basis of a “person’s intent to be a parent of a child.” In doing so, it strips all mention of mothers and fathers from parentage law, replacing these vital familial roles with gender-erased language.
     Finally, and most concerning, under H.4672, Massachusetts would allow for commercial surrogacy both in cases wherein the woman carrying the child is genetically unrelated to the child and in cases where she is exchanging her biological child for money.

     We have arrived at the entrance to Hell.

     I’ve written on other occasions, and in other venues, about the commodification of human life. However, just now the news above has a special impact on me, as I’m writing a novel about a development which, though it’s as value-neutral as any other aspect of science or technology, has the potential to enable evil men to inflict horrors on helpless children…and in some cases, on their biological parents as well.

     I have no idea what notions inspired some Massachusetts legislator to propose such a measure, nor what impulse led the legislature to entertain the proposal. They vote on it today, apparently. The vote will tell us a lot about how far we have fallen. I’m not sanguine about it, especially as the bill probably has the support of the odious LGBTQ+ “community.” (Note the presence of the word “equality” in the title, and the absence of any reference to men, women, fathers, or mothers.)

     If this adroit method of selling human flesh should become legal in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, you can bet your last dollar that other “blue” states will swiftly adopt similar measures. There’s a huge market for babies. The market will only grow with the advent of detailed genotyping: babies to specification and on order.

     Writer Patience Griswold concludes thus:

     Women and children are not commodities. Children have a right to be born free, not bought and sold. No amount of saccharine wording can mask the fact that the “Parentage Equality” bill monetizes women’s bodies and turns children into products. The women and children of Massachusetts deserve better.

     It cannot be put more plainly – nor more horrifyingly – than that.

     Ironically, Griswold’s observation that the bill “monetizes women’s bodies” is one that has been made before. The occasion, of course, is prostitution, an activity which many in the liberty movement say should be legal. (Full disclosure: despite the potential for abuse, I agree.) I have no doubt that there are libertarians who will compare the two cases and say “Well, if one should be legal, why not the other?” Yet another reason why I’ve chosen to distance myself from other libertarians.

     Can you smell the brimstone, Gentle Reader? I can.

Another reason I support Public Execution

Anyone who’s read me for a while knows that my contempt for Mark Milley, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, is only exceeded by my contempt for Lloyd Austin. However, he might have just moved up to be shoulder-to-shoulder with Blue-Falcon Austin.

These Democrats grew anxious as over 140 House Republicans planned to contest the election results during the electoral college certification that day. Milley was then deeply engaged with a circle of confidants including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, former Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice, and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, among others—all of whom shared a unified disdain for President Donald Trump.

Mark Milley was working with the American Communist Party Democrats in the run-up to January 6th, 2021. He was calling his counterparts in China. He was preventing the National Guard from being deployed. He was bragging about how he was going to stop President Trump.

Mark Milley needs to be public executed. He needs to be stripped of his rank, and then stripped naked, and then hung. This needs to happen in front of the Pentagon. And then his body needs to be left hanging in front of the Pentagon until it falls to pieces, as a warning to all the other Marxist perfumed princes of the Puzzle Palace who might get the same ideas in their head as that traitor Mark Milley did.

Quite frankly, if we want a military that can actual win wars again, the entire flag officer corps needs to be removed and replaced. You don’t have to execute them all, although I’m certain that there are many of them who deserve such a fate. Every three and four star general needs to be retired immediately. And quite frankly, a good portion of the two and one stars as well. Replace them with people who actually care about the military being able to function, rather than the Marxist DEI bullshit artists we currently have.

Or, watch as our military continues to fall into disgrace. Which is what the Left wants. Which is entirely why people like Mark Milley and Lloyd “fuck the troops” Austin were put into their positions to begin with.

Can’t Fight The Pressure

     I intended for my “Web vacation” to be a bit longer than this. I planned to take the whole summer off, to spend it writing fiction and only fiction. It seemed the best way to force myself to re-engage with the living world… something I’d been holding at arms’ length for far too long. You know, meet a few actual people, buy a round or two at the local tavern, tell some fanciful tales of skullduggery in high places and see which ones “grow legs.” But I made the mistake that doomed me to be a blog-blatherer in the first place.

     I read the news.

     It’s a mistake, Gentle Reader. Heinlein told us in Stranger in a Strange Land that it’s the source of the greater part of human misery:

     “But this lady is one of Ben’s fans; she reads his columns every night—a hideous vice.” Jubal blinked. “Front!”
     Anne appeared, dripping. “Remind me,” Jubal told her, “to write an article on the compulsive reading of news. The theme will be that most neuroses can be traced to the unhealthy habit of wallowing in the troubles of five billion strangers. Title is ‘Gossip Unlimited’—no, make that ‘Gossip Gone Wild.’ ”
     “Boss, you’re getting morbid.”
     “Not me. Everybody else. See that I write it next week. Now vanish; I’m busy.”

     Yet we do it anyway. Not all of us; just enough to afflict the society we live in with a deadly conglomerate of suspicions: the sense that things are out of control and careening downhill (they are)… the sense that those around us are “up to something” they’d rather we not know about (true for some of them, surely)… and the haunting fear that our covert maneuvers, however licit in the eyes of God, are on the verge of being found out and paraded before a clucking, finger-wagging multitude to our embarrassment, hazard, and prodigious legal expense.

     Anyway, I’m back for now. And if I may borrow a phrase from Thomas Sowell, the passing scene continues to pass much as before.

***

     First on the carousel is the media’s treatment of the recent Israeli hostage-rescue operation:

     It was a busy weekend morning in the market at the Nuseirat refugee camp, Osama Abu Asi recalled. Fighting could be heard in the distance, but it didn’t keep away the shoppers, who perused the few bags of flour and sugar he had spread on his blanket.
     Abu Asi said he did not know that nearby, in an apartment one floor above the street, sat a young, dark-haired woman known around the world — last seen in a viral video clip being driven into Gaza on the back of motorcycle on Oct. 7, screaming, “Don’t kill me!”

     “He did not know.” Yeah suuurre.

     She was Noa Argamani, one of about 250 Israeli hostages taken captive by Hamas.
     Her 245th day in captivity had started like most others until, shortly after 11 a.m., she heard a knock at the door, followed by yelling. Suddenly, the room was filled with Israeli soldiers. “You are being rescued!” they shouted in Hebrew.
     “They simply came, just like that,” Argamani, 26, would tell her close friend Yan Gorjaltsan hours later.
     The rescue operation on Saturday that freed four Israeli hostages and killed more than 270 Palestinians, according to Gaza health officials, was one of the most dramatic and deadly episodes of Israel’s war against Hamas. This account is based on more than a dozen interviews with former and current Israeli military officials, family members of hostages, and Palestinian eyewitnesses, as well as analysis of verified video footage.

     So far, not too terrible, for the Post. But hark:

     It was planned for weeks and executed smoothly, Israeli officials said, until the tight commando raid turned into a firefight with militants. The Israeli military responded with a massive aerial assault on the crowded streets of Nuseirat.
     The bombs kept falling and the streets echoed with screams, Abu Asi said.
     It was like “doomsday.”

     And a bit later:

     Hussam al-Arouqi, 33, was returning from the bakery with his brother Issam, he recounted, when two men in plainclothes and about 10 heavily armed soldiers poured out of the back of the Mercedes. The soldiers opened fire, hitting his brother three times, he said.
     “He fell to the ground and started bleeding” and tried to crawl away, Hussam said, adding that Apache helicopters were flying low overhead.
     It was more than an hour, he said, before it was safe enough to reach Issam and take him to the hospital in a donkey-drawn cart. Issam remains in critical condition.

     Get the idea, Gentle Reader? “Innocent Palestinians” were shot and bombed. Some were killed. And they’ll swear – the survivors will, anyway – that they “did not know” about the Israeli hostages being kept captive among them.

     The Post knows which side it’s on. So does CNN:

     The media are no friends to Israel. So what if HAMAS killed 1400 Israelis and kidnapped more than a hundred others? So what if rocket bombs from Gaza have repeatedly killed Israelis going about their ordinary, peaceful lives? Why should the “occupiers” be permitted to live in peace? All of Palestine is an Islamic waqf!

     Article Eleven:

     The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. Neither a single Arab country nor all Arab countries, neither any king or president, nor all the kings and presidents, neither any organization nor all of them, be they Palestinian or Arab, possess the right to do that. Palestine is an Islamic Waqf land consecrated for Moslem generations until Judgement Day. This being so, who could claim to have the right to represent Moslem generations till Judgement Day?
     This is the law governing the land of Palestine in the Islamic Sharia (law) and the same goes for any land the Moslems have conquered by force, because during the times of (Islamic) conquests, the Moslems consecrated these lands to Moslem generations till the Day of Judgement.
     It happened like this: When the leaders of the Islamic armies conquered Syria and Iraq, they sent to the Caliph of the Moslems, Umar bin-el-Khatab, asking for his advice concerning the conquered land – whether they should divide it among the soldiers, or leave it for its owners, or what? After consultations and discussions between the Caliph of the Moslems, Omar bin-el-Khatab and companions of the Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, it was decided that the land should be left with its owners who could benefit by its fruit. As for the real ownership of the land and the land itself, it should be consecrated for Moslem generations till Judgement Day. Those who are on the land, are there only to benefit from its fruit. This Waqf remains as long as earth and heaven remain. Any procedure in contradiction to Islamic Sharia, where Palestine is concerned, is null and void.
     “Verily, this is a certain truth. Wherefore praise the name of thy Lord, the great Allah.” (The Inevitable – verse 95).

     Well, Gentle Reader? Do you have a stance? Does Israel have a right to exist, or is it “consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day?” Or do you prefer not to take a side in a “religious controversy?”

***

     That was enough to get my blood up. (Granted that it doesn’t take much.) But what sharpens the impulse to vent is that a fair number of commentators nominally on the Right are openly espousing the hatred of Jews:

     It boggles the mind. The Jewish people are the most persecuted demographic known to history. Yes, they tend to excel when left alone. They take education very seriously, which a lot of Gentiles do not. The huge over-representation of Jews – especially Israelis – among Nobel Prize winners should convince anyone. Their centuries-long involvement in finance isn’t due to a conspiracy; it’s because moneylenders were despised throughout Europe from ancient times – and moneylending was one of the few trades that weren’t barred to European Jews! Has no one else read The Merchant of Venice?

     Thomas Sowell, when asked how the Jewish people could defuse the antagonism toward them from other groups, answered succinctly: “They could fail.” But they don’t. They study, and they work, and they don’t allow obstacles to daunt them. Also, they aid one another. So do Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese immigrants to the U.S. – and they prosper too!

     But the typical bigot didn’t reason his way to his bigotry. He resented his way to it. He envied, and griped, and detracted. For the one thing he won’t blame for his lesser degree of attainments is himself: his laziness, his lack of academic aptitude, his inferior work ethic, his unwillingness to assist others or accept their assistance, and so forth. He’d rather hate.

     What was it C. S. Lewis said in Screwtape Proposes a Toast?

     The feeling I mean is of course that which prompts a man to say I’m as good as you.
     The first and most obvious advantage is that you thus induce him to enthrone at the centre of his life a good, solid, resounding lie. I don’t mean merely that his statement is false in fact, that he is no more equal to everyone he meets in kindness, honesty, and good sense than in height or waist measurement. I mean that he does not believe it himself. No man who says I’m as good as you believes it. He would not say it if he did. The St. Bernard never says it to the toy dog, nor the scholar to the dunce, nor the employable to the bum, nor the pretty woman to the plain. The claim to equality, outside the strictly political field, is made only by those who feel themselves to be in some way inferior. What it expresses is precisely the itching, smarting, writhing awareness of an inferiority which the patient refuses to accept.
     And therefore resents. Yes, and therefore resents every kind of superiority in others; denigrates it; wishes its annihilation. Presently he suspects every mere difference of being a claim to superiority. No one must be different from himself in voice, clothes, manners, recreations, choice of food: “Here is someone who speaks English rather more clearly and euphoniously than I — it must be a vile, upstage, lah-di-dah affectation. Here’s a fellow who says he doesn’t like hot dogs — thinks himself too good for them, no doubt. Here’s a man who hasn’t turned on the jukebox — he’s one of those goddamn highbrows and is doing it to show off. If they were honest-to-God all-right Joes they’d be like me. They’ve no business to be different. It’s undemocratic.”

     Contemptible.

***

     One more emission of bile and I’ll close for today. There’s a growing conviction among Americans generally that the police are not to be trusted. It’s unfortunate – we’d certainly like to believe the police are trustworthy – but a growing number of stories to the contrary are making it hard. Here’s a recent one:

     SACRAMENTO — The bullet scars on the upper arm of Kyrieanna Liles, 24, serve as an obvious reminder of the November encounter with police that would forever change her life.
     Still, Liles says the emotional wound will take the longest to heal. Rancho Cordova Police Officers, claiming self-defense, opened fire on her fleeing car after a tense encounter in November 2023, striking her twice.
     “I know I’m safe and I’m fine but part of me just doesn’t want to remember it at all,” said Liles.
Liles sat down exclusively with CBS13’s Ashley Sharp to share her side of the story for the first time since being found ‘not guilty’ of assault on an officer and being released from jail.

     Wait just a moleskin-gloved moment there, Colonel: how did Mrs. Liles “assault an officer?”

     Read the linked story. Apparently a policeman tried to drag Liles out of her car through the driver’s-side window. Why? No reason. She hadn’t been and wouldn’t be charged with a crime for any previous conduct. She wanted to leave; he wanted to prevent her. She drove off. That, apparently, constitutes “assaulting an officer” in Sacramento. It certainly wasn’t resisting arrest.

     But what does firing ten shots at a vehicle known to be occupied solely by a woman not accused of any crime constitute?

     Media mishandling of the reporting of high-profile police encounters, especially with black perpetrators, has done American police much damage. But events such as the one chronicled above don’t help.

***

     I often find myself muttering “What’s the use?” and “I’m getting really tired of all this shit.” The C.S.O. catches me at it now and then. She, who somehow manages to retain her equanimity despite reading the same news sources as I, doesn’t get it. Perhaps you do, Gentle Reader.

     So anyway, it was a nice break, but I’m back. Damn it all.

That Seasonal Perennial

Immigration, that is. And it’s not just election season, although that IS when the rhetoric is dialed up to the highest level.

Now – obligatory disclosure – I have little problem with the entrance of immigrants into this country, assuming they can both support themselves and have proper paperwork.

I DO have problems with charities and other NGOs taking money from the US government to provide that assistance. They can choose to use their OWN money. It is not acceptable for them to get a grant – which is essentially a GIFT from the American taxpayer – to do that function.

Such grants should be used to help American Citizens. Not citizens of other countries. Even if related to American citizens.

Here is an essay about one person who was involved with immigration cases for some time, and what he has to say about the way the ‘system’ has been twisted to work against American interests.

Here is another BY an immigrant, one who saw the underbelly of Leftists at a young age, and is quite aware of the damage they do to a functioning society. Ayana Hirsi Ali is both an educated woman, and one who does not fear The Left, nor the consequences of speaking out.

Please note the chart at the link that details the methods of the Left, and how many of those methods have ALREADY been employed in our country.

The enemy is not a single party, nor monolithic. They use MULTIPLE allies to achieve their ends. Only once they have achieved complete control do they come out of the cracks in the foundation, rather like cockroaches, and take down those who formerly helped them.

Is there any rational person who doubts that the events of 1/6 were planned, orchestrated, and ultimately used as an excuse to keep Trump from holding any office in the future?

McCarthy’s role in the plan to delay the National Guards presence in the Capitol, and the facts that the absence allowed the Capitol Police to commit violence against the protesters, leading to the deaths of at least two f them at the hands of the police, is shameful. For that, alone, he was rightfully removed from the House leadership position.

I have little doubt the judge will hand down a LONG sentence tomorrow. There will be considerable pressure put on him to beg for leniency, which, of course, would be dependent on his acceptance of guilt for his role in federal, as well, as state, crimes.

He has said he will not beg. I hope he holds to it.

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