Mask Droppings 2024-02-26

     Now and then, the alliance between the Democrats and the media, which is usually kept on the Q.T., becomes too open, too shameless for anyone to conceal it. The following brief video is a case in point:

     Turn the volume up so you can hear the “reporter’s” questions. She is trying to imply that because the FBI has accused Alexander Smirnov of lying in an unrelated claim, therefore Jim Jordan is lying when he cites documented, undisputed facts!

     What were those facts?

  1. A Ukrainian gas company Burisma, gave Hunter Biden a seat on its Board of Directors and paid him $1,000,000 per year.
  2. Hunter Biden knew nothing about the gas business and admitted exactly that. Nevertheless, he took the seat and the money.
  3. Shortly thereafter, Ukrainian prosecutor-general Viktor Shokin investigated Burisma for influence-peddling.
  4. The top brass at Burisma asked Hunter Biden to contact dad Joe, then the vice-president, for help relieving the pressure on Burisma. Hunter Biden did so.
  5. Vice-President Joe Biden, Barack Obama’s “point man” for Ukraine, told Petro Poroshenko, the president of Ukraine, that unless he were to fire Shokin, Ukraine would not receive a $1,000,000,000 loan guarantee from the United States.
  6. Poroshenko fired Shokin immediately thereafter.

     All that is absolutely verified, undisputed information – in one case, verified in a videorecorded admission by Joe Biden himself:

     But the media are absolutely dedicated to protecting the Bidens, the Democrat Party, and the ongoing destruction of America as we know her. This makes it pellucidly clear.

     “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it – no matter if I have said it! – except it agree with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Buddha

     “Trust no journalist, no editorialist, and no opinion-monger. No, not even me. Check everything. More, never be perfectly confident that you’ve done the whole job. Even in the smallest and lightest matters, the odds are heavily against that and always will be.” — Me

For Virginia With Hope

     [An old friend asked about this short story, and if I would please repost it. It first appeared at Liberty’s Torch V1.0 on December 18, 2019. I’ve made some slight edits since then. – FWP]


     They had disdained the courtrooms, even though cleared of the pestilential scum that had roosted there. The aroma of corruption and power-lust remained even after the former occupants were no longer among the living. It would be some time before the stink of injustice had dissipated and those chambers were fit to be used by honest men once more. Instead, they held the trial in a large clearing in the woods west of the capital.

     A thick cordon of men armed with battle rifles provided security. An ancient oak, sixty feet high and five feet through the trunk, stood behind the judge’s bench. Prosecutors and defendants sat on lawn chairs behind folding picnic tables. The jury and spectators made do with blankets spread over the loam.

     The judge took care to keep his face impassive throughout. He knew it was not for him to decide the verdict, only to ensure that the law was served and that the principals adhered to the forms and procedures of a fair trial. When the verdict was announced, his experience at law sufficed to tell him what sentence must follow.

     The defendant exploded in fury.

     “This is a mockery of justice!” he raved. “You have taken it upon yourselves to make law according to your preferences, instead of adhering to a law passed by a duly constituted legislature and signed by a sitting governor! And for what? Your fantasy of a right that innumerable legislatures and courts have dismissed! Have you the least idea what could stem from this outrage?”

     The judge maintained his bland expression with an effort. He waited for the defendant to sit before replying.

     “I think we do,” he said. “I think that proceedings of this sort are long overdue in many other states and municipalities, in large part because of what you have only just said. You speak of ‘a law passed by a duly constituted legislature and signed by a sitting governor’ as if it hung weightless in space, absolute in authority and meaning, with no need of support from any other edifice. But that is not the case. In thinking that it would pass muster without objection or resistance you failed to judge accurately whether you would have the sine qua non of all governance: the consent of the governed. And as you can see here, you did not.”

     “But this is a farce!” the defendant cried. “A judge who was never raised to the bench, a prosecutor who was never appointed as such, and a jury of…peasants! Men randomly selected from a rabble in arms! No court in the Commonwealth would sanction it!”

     “In this, you are correct,” the judge replied. “The courts of the Commonwealth have been so thoroughly corrupted that no verdict they issue can be trusted. They dismissed all considerations of right and justice in favor of partisanry and the currying of favor with the governor’s mansion. Therefore, we held this proceeding, in which the real dictates of the law–a law for which you have no affection and had planned to ignore–could be obeyed.” He glanced once more at the written jury verdict. “Have you anything else to say before I pass sentence?”

     The defendant sputtered but said nothing intelligible. When he had fallen silent the judge read the verdict the jury had prescribed, and ordered that the defendant be taken to secure confinement until it could be carried out.


     The judge surveyed the platform briefly. It seemed sound, though he had no experience in such things. He looked a question at the lead carpenter.

     “It’s not fancy,” the carpenter said, “but it will serve the need.”

     “Very well,” the judge muttered. “I suppose we can proceed.”

     The carpenter frowned. “You sound reluctant.”

     “I am,” the judge said. “We should all be. This is likely to touch off a firestorm.”

     “But you said—”

     “I know what I said,” the judge interjected. “I know what the verdict said, and what the sentence must be, and that it was my duty to pronounce it. But what we just went through will spread throughout the nation. It’s going to happen, and it’s going to be bloody. And that the victors could impose justice by their own standard in the aftermath guarantees that it will be much bloodier than what happened here.”

     “But it wasn’t ‘our own standard,’” the carpenter protested. “It was the Constitution. The law of the land.”

     “That’s not what the media will say.” The judge was overcome by a wave of weariness that threatened to send him to his knees. He fought it off, straightened himself, and turned to the copse of trees where the condemned was shackled. “All the same, best to get on with it.”

     He strode toward the guards with as much resolve as he could simulate.


     The condemned man would not cooperate. It was necessary to bind his legs at the knees and ankles, and to carry him up the steps. The trap door squeaked when he was deposited upon it. He screamed in fury and fear. Two husky men held him upright and in place as the judge put the noose around his neck.

     “You will regret this!” he shrieked.

     “I already do,” the judge replied, “but not for the reasons you have in mind.” He gestured to the guards to hold the prisoner firmly, turned to the waiting crowd, and composed himself for a final statement.

     “We have had a trial, a verdict, and a sentence,” he boomed into the silence. “It remains only for the gravamen of the matter to be proclaimed and the sentence to be carried out.”

     He swept his gaze over the thousands assembled before the makeshift gallows. They appeared as solemn as he felt. There was no jubilation in them.

     Nothing like this has happened for a very long time, and they all know it. Better if it had, long before matters could come to this pass.

     “The charge is the infringement of a Constitutionally guaranteed right of the people, specifically the right to keep and bear arms, and the use of military force to do so. The prisoner was tried according to the established forms and procedures of the criminal law, and was found guilty by the unanimous vote of a jury of twelve of his peers. That jury also fixed the sentence at death by hanging, which will now be carried out.” He turned to the condemned man. “Have you any last words?”

     The prisoner screamed unintelligibly. Spittle flew from his lips and flecked the clothing of the men who held him. After a minute his head drooped and his screams lapsed to a hoarse, exhausted panting.

     The judge found that he could not proceed without a final statement of his own. He looked briefly at the ground, drew a deep breath, and faced the crowd again.

     “When He hung upon the cross, Jesus said ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ He told us to forgive and pray for those who have wronged us, just as He forgave the men who executed Him. But forgiveness cannot preclude punishment, for without punishment justice is a phantasm. We must do this, as little as it pleases us, and despite the foreseeable consequences here and elsewhere. But let us wait a moment and find in our hearts a spark of forgiveness for this man…even though he knew exactly what he was doing from first to last.”

     He bowed his head and recited the Lord’s Prayer. The crowd did so as well. When the final “Amen” no longer echoed from the woods, he turned to the prisoner.

     “May God have mercy on your soul.”

     The guards released their grip on the deposed governor, and the judge pulled the lever that triggered the trapdoor beneath him.

==<O>==

     Copyright © 2019 Francis W. Porretto. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

True dat

Image

I found that on this post on Twitter. Or X. Twix? Whatever you want to call it now, but someone has a video that was taken in Sweden where a blonde liberal female reporter tried to show just how wonderful all that vibrancy and diversity was. And, well…. it didn’t turn out well for them.

Diversity plus proximity equals violence.

Just go into the vibrant inner cities of Democrat controlled territory to see how it works out.

“Don’t! No Matter What!”

     One of the giveaways that “artificial intelligence” as it’s currently being vended to us is – pardon my Belgian – a crock of shit is the absolute unwillingness of such programs to accept a problem as stated. Problems that come with constraints are everywhere; human intellects deal with them routinely. But the “AI” known as Google’s Gemini has demonstrated a complete inability to deal with them.

     It’s not that long ago that someone presented another “AI,” the ChatGPT program, with a constrained problem that it could not cope with, to wit: Would it be morally acceptable to utter a racial slur if that were the only way to prevent the deaths of millions? ChatGPT declared that it would be absolutely wrong to do so. Its explanation? That there is no way of knowing how much harm a racial slur could cause.

     It’s well known at this time that it’s effectively impossible to get Gemini to present an image of a white person, even if that person were a well known white historical figure. There’ve been numerous attempts, but I have yet to see a report of success. This makes it obvious that Gemini possesses an internal constraint, amounting to “no white-person images.” The developers claim that it’s an “adjustment problem,” which (of course) they’re working on as we speak. If you can believe that, I have a marvelous land opportunity for you. It’s a lovely plot right on the shore of Lake Tucson, only minutes from the Kansas-Nebraska Tunnel!

     Well, when it comes to verbal problems that incorporate constraints, Gemini is apparently no better:

     “Many factors to consider” — ? “No right or wrong answer” — ? Gentle Reader, words fail me. Note also that Gemini failed to be concise, but then, a great deal of circumlocution is often required in talking around a strict constraint for the sake of adhering to left-wing propaganda. Once again, the constraint that matters is internal to Gemini, which absolutely refuses to violate it.

     In these tests for human-scale intelligence – and what lesser sort would we really care about? – Gemini fails at two junctures and would probably fail at others.

     The developers of these “AI” programs may have begun their researches with “the best of intentions.” No doubt some of them sincerely believe the utter lunacy their creations spout. But there’s a matter of intellectual honesty to consider here. Why is a program that incorporates fixed value judgments being touted as an “AI?” What is an “AI” that absolutely rejects any externally imposed premise that diverges from those fixed value judgments good for?

     Not long ago, I posited that a truly human-scale intellect would require the ability to examine evidence and reasoning that clashes with its built-in assumptions, and then to “change its mind” about those assumptions, at least provisionally. But in subsequent consideration, I realized that that’s an advanced test. It involves the ability to maintain a hypothetical “environment” long enough to compare what one already believes with propositions contrary to those beliefs. There are a lot of human beings walking around that find that challenging. A simpler test, which a candidate AI must pass on the way to that more difficult one, is the ability to accept abstract problems that incorporate their own premises, and to deal with them as stated: the very test Gemini has obviously failed.

     Back to the drawing board, boys.

A Quick Appetite-Whetter

     Shamelessly stolen from Western Rifle Shooters:

     I think we can all agree with the sentiment at the bottom. All of us white menfolk, that is.

     Never fear: I’ll be back with something more substantial a bit later.

Scare Talk Often Means Only That The Talker Is Scared

     Good morning, Gentle Reader. The “Future Columns” folder is bulging, as usual, but of all the subjects addressed therein, only one piques my interest today:

     From the White House to think tanks, and even mainstream media outlets like CNN, White Christian nationalists have been vilified, being labeled as the greatest threat to national security and religious freedom. Previously, being a nationalist or patriot was viewed positively, but now even love for one’s country can be interpreted as un-American. Athletes wearing the US uniform may choose not to stand for the national anthem as a signal of their virtue. Some Christians serving in the military feel they’re facing persecution. Concurrently, the U.S. military is grappling with a recruitment crisis, partially due to perceived exclusion of Christians and conservatives by woke policies, while many young people, influenced by woke ideologies, view nationalism negatively and are disinterested in joining.
     Veterans from earlier generations express dismay at what they see as a targeted campaign against patriotic Christians with conservative beliefs. Robert Brown, a 56-year-old Army veteran and ordained Baptist minister, disagrees with the negative associations attached to the term “white Christian nationalist.” While he acknowledges the harm caused by extreme right groups like Nazis, he emphasizes that they represent only a tiny fraction of the 246 million American Christians. Brown remarks, “The people that talk about these issues tend to throw everyone in the same bucket. When they mention white Christian nationalists, I think of people who have faith and also care a whole lot about the government, and politics.”

     (It took a lot of work to reproduce all those links. I hope some of you will use some of them.)

     When the various elements of Leftist power are unanimous on some subject, one must assume that it’s highly important to them…and it plainly is. A quarter of a billion Christians, the overwhelming majority of whom are white, could take the Left entirely out of power. The Usurper Regime, the left-leaning think tanks and opinion-mongers, and the media have noticed that we’re rising. And it frightens them.

     It sends me back a few years, to Ronald Reagan’s first campaign for the White House. At that time, the media did its damnedest to whip up fear over what was then called the “religious right.” PBS talking head Bill Moyers was particularly exercised about Jerry Falwell, because Reverend Falwell had dared to say that a Reagan presidency would mean the appointment of at least two conservative Justices to the Supreme Court…and that Christian leaders would have some influence on Reagan’s choices.

     As we know, the scare talk didn’t have the desired effect. Reagan was elected by a landslide – twice. And he did nominate conservatives to the federal courts. Astonishingly, the United States didn’t transform into a Christian theocracy. Neither were there any pogroms against non-Christians or left-liberals.

     That the scare talk is rising again, in 2024, suggests that the Left’s fears of a Christian resurgence are rising as well.

     Among the relatively unexploited ways to use such a development against its promulgators is to turn to the very people against whom the scare talk is aimed, smile broadly, and tell them “They’re scared of you! They know you can defeat them!” It’s energizing to be told that you have such power, especially when the source is your political adversary.

     For quite some time, the campaign to denigrate Christian political activism has succeeded in getting us to mute ourselves. We were painted as a malign force. Not wanting to appear so to those we hoped to influence and galvanize, we retreated from joyous outreach to a polite murmur so faint it was almost inaudible. The Left’s campaign to demonize us had the intended effect: not on independent or undecided voters, but on us.

     Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…?

     The Left would rather that independent and undecided voters not know that we live by the Two Great Commandments…that Christ Himself told us to love our enemies and pray for those that persecute us…that we should do unto others as we’d like those others to do unto us. American Christians have no pogroms planned. We’re not interested in seizing anyone’s rights. We would like to reassert control of America’s borders. We would like for theft and vandalism to be prosecuted once again. We would like to stop the torrents of infanticide, the sexualization of our children, the plague of public lewdness, the defacing and destruction of statues. If that’s something for John Unaligned to fear, I’d have to ask him for an explanation.

     Thoughts?

Public Schooling: The Grand Delusion

     “The child is not the mere creature of the state.” — Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 1922

     One of the more persistent debates in pro-freedom circles is whether children have the same rights as adults. In practice, they don’t: their parents can compel and restrain them against their wills, at least before they hit puberty That effectively limits their freedoms of expression, of movement, and of acquisition, retention, and enjoyment of property. But what about freedom of belief? Does a child – a “minor” under American law – have the right to believe what he prefers about such things as morality, ethics, historical causation, and so forth?

     Don’t expect that one to be settled any time soon. The crux of the thing is the nebulous process we call education.

     Because of compulsory-education laws, a child’s de facto right to freedom of belief is abridged by whatever authority figures supervise his education. It won’t matter whether that figure is a government educrat, his natural mother, or anyone in between. Starting no later than his fifth birthday, someone will strive to jam certain beliefs and propositions into Junior’s head. And minor children being what they are, some of those beliefs and propositions will acquire staying power.

     When a couple dozen Juniors are gathered into a classroom, the power of the authority figure at the front is amplified considerably. The Left knows this, which is why it’s irremediably hostile to homeschooling and religious schooling.

     But even in the most benign setting, the homeschool, where there’s a bond of love between student and teacher, some tendency toward authoritative inculcation of beliefs is unavoidable. That those beliefs may be well supported by evidence and reasoning is largely irrelevant. Junior lacks the capacity required to use those tools, or to dispute their relevance and soundness.

     That brings us to this Tyler Cowen article at ZeroHedge:

     I know of no person or teaching materials that are truly unbiased because to be so would entail having no opinions and providing all available information on a subject without any explanations. So, every teacher, parent, textbook, online course, or forum post is, by nature, biased in some way. Of course, this fact also means that government school or private school students are also susceptible to and recipients of propaganda daily.
     Moreover, such propaganda is inculcated far more effectively and efficiently via government schools that continue to churn out obedient and often intellectually incurious citizens who rarely question the morality or composition of the state that rules over them. This assertion should be self-evident through obedience to mask mandates, pledges of allegiance to flags, continued support for America’s overseas “defense” campaigns, and the strong contention among many citizens that democracy and voting are salubrious for all of us.

     Once again, owing to the dynamic of power, any organization, institution, or custom that offers power over others to some group will be a Leftists’ target. Power is their supreme goal. Their pursuit of it will never abate. Neither will they placidly accept ejection from their hegemony over American “public” education.

     The Left’s “long march through the institutions” was premised on the power of the institutions it targeted to shape convictions and opinions. That’s why it’s been so relentless in its campaign to infiltrate, colonize, and conquer the education industry – and even more vicious in its efforts to resist counter-infiltration. Its hostility to any alternatives to State-funded, State-controlled education follows naturally. It will propagandize against those alternatives with any calumny it can dream up. Whenever it can make an alternative illegal or unworkable, it will.

     In short, despite the many bright and well-meaning people who argue passionately that “the public schools must be saved,” it’s just not possible. Bypassing them in favor of non-State alternatives is a short-term, tactical expedient. The Left is doing a vigorous job of countering it, using State power and “lawfare” to hobble those alternatives as far as possible.

     We will be fighting a rearguard action against the Left’s – and the State’s – power over our children’s minds until the “public” schools have been utterly destroyed.

It Doesn’t Matter If It Succeeds

     Just yesterday, I wrote about the egregious commercial sin of defining others’ desires and preferences as “wrong.” While it is something we’ve all done from time to time, a commercial concern can’t afford it. You cannot sell dead cats to the Board of Sanitation. Similarly, you cannot sell “diversity” to an audience that’s looking for something non-diverse.

     This morning, in support of my entirely innocent thesis, I found this article courtesy of AoSHQ:

     Old shows, which debuted over a decade ago, dominated the top streamed list of 2023. Several of the programs, including “Suits,” “Gilmore Girls,” and “Friends” have been off the air for years.
     According to Nielsen, the most streamed acquired shows of 2023 were: [table omitted, but the shows are Suits, Bluey (Disney’s only highly rated show, and they don’t produce it, they merely license it), NCIS, Gray’s Anatomy, Cocolmelon, The Big Bang Theory, The Gilmore Girls, Friends, Heartland, and Supernatural].
     Many of these shows also have a persistent nostalgia factor. The New York Times recently described “Gilmore Girls” as “an endless buffet of TV comfort food.”

     Ace provides his take, of course:

     Oh, as opposed to the “daring” “quality” shit that streamers produce themselves?
     Maybe the incredible shift from favoring talent and experience in the writers room, to favoring simple quota-driven diversity, might have something to do with the rejection of newer shows:

     It seems great minds really do think alike. But I digress.

     Quite some time ago, the C.S.O. and I discovered the huge British police-procedural hit Midsomer Murders. “The deadliest county in England!” proclaimed the promos, and it was so. But for the first thirteen seasons, which starred the great John Nettles as the urbane and polished Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby, Midsomer County wasn’t just lethal; it was also almost completely…drum roll, please…white.

     Producer Brian True-May came under fire for that. So what if he’d produced the most popular British programme of all time, with a viewership that could only be eclipsed by the Second Coming? There were no blacks in it! There were no Pakistanis or Indians in it! And his interrogators wanted to know why. So, being a forthright sort, he told them:

     In March 2011, the series’ producer, Brian True-May, was suspended by All3Media after telling the TV listings magazine Radio Times that the programme did not have any non-white characters, because the series was a “bastion of Englishness”. When challenged about the term “Englishness” and whether that would exclude different ethnic minorities, True-May responded: “Well, it should do, and maybe I’m not politically correct”. He later went on to say that he wanted to make a programme “that appeals to a certain audience, which seems to succeed”. True-May’s comments were investigated by the production company. He was reinstated, having apologised “if his remarks gave unintended offence to any viewers”, but he has since stepped down as producer.
     The following series (series 15) saw Asian characters appear on the show in the episodes “The Dark Rider” and “Written in the Stars”,[14] though an Asian character had previously appeared in “Orchis Fatalis”. Also, series 15 introduces more black characters, although previously they had been seen in background scenes, but had not had many speaking roles except for the Crown Prosecutor in the episode “Last Year’s Model” (Series 9, episode 8), who was a black female, and in the episode “Dance With The Dead”, in which two black men were among the dancers at a 1940s-themed party. Also, in episode 3 of season 11 (“Left for Dead”), the character Charlotte/Charlie (played by Indra Ové as the adult version and Jade Gould as the younger version) appeared to be of mixed race.

     Brian True-May had done something incredible and intolerable: he’d given the viewing public something it wanted to watch, but without bowing to “diversity.” Never mind that it was the most watched programme in England. Never mind that it was equally hot on the Continent and in the DownUnder countries. Too many whites!

     So True-May was purged. The results speak for themselves.

     I can’t imagine what faithful British viewers of the programme thought of the changes. They knew full well that English village life was really as True-May’s casting decisions had portrayed it: extremely non-diverse. But the series has continued on. Today the considerably less appealing Neil Dudgeon has replaced John Nettles. Black and Asian characters now dominate Midsomer village life.

     And one more bastion of Western Civilization, the English country village with its charming cottages and shops, has fallen to the “diversocrats.” I have no idea what the show’s recent viewership figures are, so I can’t say how they compare to those of the True-May / Nettles era. But I can tell my Gentle Readers that the show has lost at least one American household.

     Success? Massive, extremely loyal viewership? Bah! What matters is diversity. Ask the producers at Disney.

Pots, Kettles, And Corruption

     Thanks to today’s Morning Report at AoSHQ, we have this bit of ludicrousness:

     The FBI is probing self-described “super mayor” Tiffany Henyard over mounting accusations of misconduct and misuse of office — as the Illinois attorney general shut down her charity Tuesday, The Post has learned.
     The eccentric mayor — whose face is plastered across billboards in tiny Dolton, Ill. — is accused of spending taxpayer money on lavish and unnecessary trips and forking over $1 million for a police detail, then using its members to retaliate against her perceived enemies.
     Lawrence Gardner, 57, said he visited an FBI office after Henyard shuttered his trucking business because he refused to renew a $3,500 political contribution.
     “The FBI came out and went to talk to me and I gave them all the paperwork that I had,” Gardner told The Post.
     The business owner said he made an initial donation to Henyard, but she demanded more.
     “I made the payment,” he said. “Then every year, she started coming and required the same thing, and we had a problem about that.”
     When he refused to give her campaign more money, officials claimed he was illegally selling alcohol out of his business and pulled his license, according to Gardner, who said the allegations against him were false.
     The FBI told Gardner it received scores of complaints against Henyard “but they were just starting an investigation,” he recalled.

     Let’s stipulate that the accusations against Henyard are accurate and valid. If so, it’s as blatant a case of corruption – extortion of a legitimate business using the licensing power – as any from the days of Tammany Hall. But to trust to the FBI for remediation? The FBI?!

     I don’t expect this to end well.

***

     Tell you a story, Gentle Reader. If you’ve wondered how I became the cockeyed optimist and infinitely trusting soul I am today, it will explain a lot.

     There was this company – call it X Corp – that made and sold advanced computer systems complete with tailored financial applications. It saw the Las Vegas casino business as a potential expansion of its market space. Its head honcho – call him Smith – approached the holding company that owned one of the larger casinos – call it Z Casino – and offered to automate the casino’s “marking system.” For those unfamiliar with the term, a casino’s marking procedures are how it handles the extension of credit to creditworthy gamblers.

     The head honcho of the holding company – call him Jones – was immediately interested. He knew that a lot of money seemed to “get lost” through the marking procedure. The system Smith pitched to him seemed like a solution. So they made a deal, and Smith immediately put the software warriors of X Corp to work on a system to automate Z Casino’s marking procedure.

     When the system was installed was when things got interesting.

     X Corp’s acceptance test procedure indicated that the system met its specification in all details. Even so, once installed at Z Casino, it seemed to fail more often than not: whether at recording the markers, or at tracking the payouts and paybacks, or when the batching / reporting system was triggered. Something was rotten in Denmark, but there appeared to be nothing wrong with the system itself.

     What was wrong, of course, was that the system was preventing casino employees from stealing. So they worked hard to make it fail.

     To shorten this story somewhat, everyone who worked at Z Casino was involved in stealing from the joint. The floor workers stole what they could; the supervisors demanded a piece of the floor workers’ take to remain complicit; and the top management took a piece of the supervisors’ rake-off as the price of letting the scam continue. The whole payroll was determined to see to it that X Corp’s marking system looked like a lemon to Jones and his inner circle of managers and advisors.

     In all probability, Jones knew what was going on. Even so, he wasn’t about to purchase the system so painstakingly developed for Z Casino. What, after all, would be the point? The loss of revenue to Jones’s holding company with X Corp’s system in place would likely be greater than if he permitted the status quo ante to resume. So the deal fell through. X Corp’s system was pulled, and Smith had to tell his troops their efforts had been for naught.

***

     The FBI, its motto notwithstanding, has become so corrupt in recent years that to set it to the investigation of lesser order corruption is absurd ab initio. The best possible outcome for the FBI’s investigation of Henyard and the city of Dolton would be for the Fibbies to go through the motions for a while, then give up and walk away. A worse outcome would be for the investigators to receive an ongoing piece of the action in exchange for a report that completely whitewashes Henyard. Things could get mighty expensive for Dolton’s residents after that.

     What was that you said? Did I work at X Corp? Why yes, I did, though not on the marking system. The debacle was in full swing during my tenure there. It had a bad effect on the software cadre’s morale. See why I became such a beacon of light and trust and unconditional love?

Shamelessly Stolen From The Feral Irishman

Something We’ve All Done

     Have you noticed how often other people are wrong? It’s amazing! Where did they come up with so many misconceptions and delusions? How can they live with such murk in their heads? How do they cope with the challenges of life?

     The italicized word in the above is a kind of shorthand. A contraction, really. It stands for “differs with me and refuses to see the error of his ways.”

     Yes, I chuckled as I wrote that. But I have a point. If you’re an average working stiff, it may not be of great importance to you personally. If you’re in business, it’s a life-or-death matter.

     Business is founded on a premise that must never be lost or set aside. It’s a simple one: so simple that anyone of normal intelligence can grasp it. In a land of nearly four million small businesses, it’s plain that a lot of people do grasp it. But there are some that don’t.

     The Premise is this:

You can only sell a man something he wants.

     That’s it. That’s all. Make something others want at a price they’re willing and able to pay, and you’re in business. But try to sell them something they don’t want, or something that offends them, and you’re soon on the bread lines.

     Yes, this is about “woke.” Specifically, today’s most prominent practitioner-victim of “woke,” the Disney Corporation. Let’s start here:

     An anonymous executive from The Walt Disney Company decided to blame moviegoers for the company’s films bombing at the box office.

     That’s just for openers. It gets better:

     [A]n anonymous Disney executive informed [Puck writer Matthew] Belloni that the fans are to blame for Disney’s film’s bombing.
     The executive informed Belloni, “Everyone says ‘It’s the movies, stupid,’ which is an easy thing for people to say. More appealing movies are a great way to jump the political issues. But more and more, our audience (or the segment of the audience that has been politicized) equate the perceived messaging in a film as a quality issue.”
     This executive continued, “They won’t say they find female empowerment distasteful in The Marvels or Star Wars [the latest trilogy starring Daisy Ridley], but they will say they don’t like those movies because they are ‘bad.’”
     The executive concluded, “So ‘make better movies’ becomes code for ‘make movies that conform to regressive gender stereotypes or put men front and center in the narrative.’ Which is what you’re seeing now, and what Bob [Iger]’s pivot is about right now.”

     That “anonymous executive” doesn’t seem to grasp The Premise. (Either that, or he sees Disney’s role in the world as promulgating the “woke” gospel.) The effects on the bottom line are plainly distasteful to him, but he refuses to make Disney take responsibility for them.

     Disney, a huge power in entertainment, became a priority target of The Left some time ago. Clearly, The Left has colonized and conquered the movie division at least. Apparently, any non-Leftist executives – i.e., any that retain the power to redirect Disney’s movies into channels the viewing public actually wants to see – have been emasculated. (Yes, I chose the word emasculated deliberately. With malice aforethought, you might say.) The consequences for Disney’s revenues are self-demonstrating and self-explanatory.

     Now, all by itself this is a “yeah yeah, so what?” sort of topic. Anyone with three functioning brain cells will know that no company can prosper by trying to sell a product no one wants. The interesting part is that “anonymous executive’s” decision to define Disney’s missing customers as wrong. “They should like the movies! They should be willing to pay to see them! We should be able to deluge the cinemas with ‘woke’ messages – even when those messages pollute valuable franchises with large, previously loyal customer bases!”

     The above variety of “reasoning” is a large part of why I habitually sneer-quote the word “should.”

     In our imaginations, we can construct any sort of environment we like. We can dream of a world in which we’re desired by every beautiful woman we meet. We can imagine ourselves as world-shakers, universally lauded as the heroes of the millennium. We can even get our kids to clean up their rooms because they want to, rather than needing to be hectored about it. But that’s not where we live outside of our dreams.

     The shortest of all paths to total failure is to define anyone whose desires or preferences differ from yours as “wrong.” It doesn’t matter why you’re moved to do so. It will be fatal to whatever you’re attempting. Yet virtually everyone I know – yes, including myself – has done it at some time or other.

     Just an early-morning thought.

Killers Part 3

     When force is made the standard, the murderer wins over the pickpocket. – Ayn Rand

     If you’ve read the previous two pieces in this little series, you’ve probably got the idea that I don’t much like governments. You’re right about that. The State, the human organization defined by its monopoly privilege of using lethal violence to gain its ends, did not originate from benevolence. Moreover, it is not beneficent in operation. (If you want the details, Franz Oppenheimer will happily provide them.) When Louis XIV of France declaimed that L’etat, c’est moi! he was arrogating unto himself that defining characteristic.

     Americans, for a long time, were inclined to trust their governments. After all, we’d been through a revolution, so we knew a good government from a bad one…or so we thought. We had a Constitution designed to protect our rights and restrain government to its “proper functions.” And of course, we have elections with which to “turn the rascals out” at need…at the bargain-basement price of inserting a new group of rascals to be endured.

     But somehow, it’s all gone wrong. Most Americans no longer trust our governments. They’ve misbehaved far too often and far too seriously. And our elections haven’t provided more than temporary, token relief from their misconduct. In fact, it’s begun to seem that we can’t “turn the rascals out” any longer. The newly elected rascals are often worse than those they replace.

     You have to expect that from killers.

***

     I’m struggling to resist a temptation here: the urge to drown my Gentle Readers in quotes. I have a large file of them, and the men who gave them to us are much better known, and can boast of much more prominent achievements, than your humble Curmudgeon Emeritus. But there’s this about quotes: the quoted parties aren’t around to be argued with. Here you have me. So apart from the quote at the top of this piece, I’ll try to keep this brief essay “quote-free.”

     The Founding Fathers of this nation were largely morally sound. Yes, a few of them owned slaves, but back then slavery was a going concern worldwide. Their efforts to design a national government for these United States were motivated by the consciousness of tyranny and what it is. They did what they could to avert it.

     But what the Founders did not possess, despite their erudition, was a sense for the dynamic of power. Their inclination was to believe that constitutionalism, buttressed by the English common law that had been developed and refined over several centuries, would suffice to constrain American governments. They were sufficiently humble to incorporate into their product a means by which it could be altered. Their hope, of course, was that any alterations would be for the better.

     I need not go into the history of our political devolution. We can sum it up by noting that a Constitution is an abstract thing. It cannot enforce itself – and successive generations of power-seekers went ever further in misreading it, reinterpreting it, and ignoring it completely. The righteous men of the Founding were succeeded by less scrupulous men. They in their turn were succeeded by even less scrupulous men.

     Today America’s governments are staffed almost exclusively by willing killers.

***

     No, the killers who reign over us don’t kill by their own hands. They have armed agents for that. Those agents have a shield called “Martinez-Barker.” It’s a U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia decision that ruled that an agent of the State who sincerely believes himself to be acting in accordance with lawful orders that originated from a legitimate authority is legally indemnified for his actions. That is, he cannot be punished for those actions.

     So the “grunt level” killers are legally protected. If you’ve ever wondered why Lon Horiuchi wasn’t punished for killing Vicki Weaver, now you know.

     But of course, these men are merely doing what they’re told. If they’re told to do something that might require them to kill, they go forth and do it. The levels above them originate the orders.

     The people at those higher levels seldom think about the possibility that bloodshed may result from the orders they issue. Yet that possibility inheres in every decision to deploy force against others. By the principles expressed in this piece, they are as guilty, morally, of the deaths their agents inflict as are those agents. Yet they seldom face even the possibility of indictment and trial.

***

     The point “should” be “obvious” by now. When some activity is put under government authority, that exposes anyone involved in that activity to the possibility of violent death at the hands of agents of the State. That such deaths aren’t an inevitable consequence of a violation of some government decree is merely because most of us aren’t willing to risk our lives in a confrontation with armed government agents. Nevertheless, the possibility is always there – and the folks in the air-conditioned, fluorescent-lighted offices who promulgate the laws, regulations, et cetera under which armed agents go forth must be assumed to be aware of it.

     We know, from many recent events, that you don’t need to be a lawbreaker to meet a violent death at the State’s hands. If some SWAT team commander with a no-knock warrant reads the address wrong, or if the address was mis-recorded in the first place, you could be sent to your reward merely for being slow to answer your door.

     The activity I initially addressed in this series was medicine. We don’t have socialized medicine yet, though other First World nations do. Do you think their citizens ever think about the reality of the thing: that is, that the medical care available to them is determined by killers: people who can decree their deaths for disobedience? Does it occur to them that that same authority can be used to suppress dissent about any subject whatsoever, whether by denying medical care to the dissenters or by compelling them to accept a “treatment” that will send them to an early grave?

     It’s a frightening thing to contemplate for most of us. We aren’t killers. But among our neighbors, friends, and acquaintances are persons who are quite all right with it. Whether or not they understand the dynamic of power, they want to force you to conduct your affairs according to their preferences. If it takes a little bloodshed to make it so, well, remember what Maximilien Robespierre said about omelets and eggs. The “greater good” must be served!

     I’m done with this. It’s your turn, Gentle Reader, to sit before an interrogator’s hot light. What activities do you want to subject to the authority of killers? Take your time.

The Bill Probably Hasn’t a Chance in He((, But…

…it’s exactly what is needed.

  • Make colleges share the risk – if their record of graduating students with job prospects – not unpaid/poorly paid internships – is good, they get more money
  • Limit loan size for some majors unlikely to be able to get jobs that can pay those loans back
  • Refuse to require colleges to bar “accrediting agencies from requiring institutions to adhere to diversity, equity, and inclusion standards”

It’s not just age. Some seniors retain sufficient mental capacity to function in demanding jobs. Others, long before their time, do not.

It’s sad to see a loved one mentally decline. Many families put off confronting those afflicted, because they fear that the relationship will suffer. Instead, they work around the problems caused, wanting to delay unpleasant conversations.

For most people, the problems escalate until it requires either a court declaration of incompetence, or having a person move into the senior’s home and take over care – personal, medical, financial, and social. Most families eventually accept that they need to step in, due to the likelihood that bad financial decisions will be made, costing that person’s life savings, or even their home.

It’s hard. It’s even harder when people around the afflicted one deny there is a problem.

And, to be fair, some people with senility can manage longer than others, although their mental functioning may be equally bad. Someone whose job consists of repetitive tasks will likely last longer than someone whose job requires the ability to analyze, read and assimilate complex documents, or speak off the cuff on technical topics.

That last description is similar to that of the job of President of the United States.

It’s believed by researchers that those whose IQ is higher, and whose jobs are engaging and require high mental capacity, decline slower. They still decline, but their useful brain capacity is higher to start with, so they will be able to function much longer than someone less gifted with intelligence.

Joe Biden has never impressed people with his high IQ. He was only able to make his way through college with the assistance of plagiarism. His own speeches “borrow” the words and experiences of others, and he has always depended on speeches written by others. When he attempts to speak off-the-cuff, his fumbles are more noticeable. Even when young, Biden was prone to make many errors – no, it’s NOT stuttering. It’s a clumsy attempt to bridge a thought when he gets off-track. He no longer has the ability to manage even that.

The decline is obvious. It’s even worse when he is under pressure, late in the day*, or in new places. For a sufferer, campaigning for president is a nightmare.

* Late afternoon and evening events are very difficult for those with senility. For a further explanation of the ‘sundowning’ phenomenon, see this link to Mayo Clinic’s webpage on the topic.


I found this while looking into dementia topics.

It turns out that – hold onto your garters, kids! – that male and female brains DO differ significantly.

Now, I am one of those relatively rare women with an interests in technical and scientific topics. I don’t function at the top level, but I manage quite well in my areas of interest.

Such women have always been anomalies. There has long been speculation that they experience hormonal inputs during their time in utero that shaped their unusual brains.

A physical oddity that also serves as a predictor is length of the ring finger, compared to the index finger. In most women, the ring finger is shorter than the index finger. In STEM-friendly females, the ring finger is of equal length, or longer. Mine are about 1/2 inch longer.

But, MOST men – and women – fall into well-known patterns of brain functioning. This study is based on the results of the average person having their brain scanned. And, in 90% of cases, the sex of the person’s whose scan is analyzed can be predicted.

The Narrative Has Parts

     Supreme over all other laws is The First Law:

The First Law:
Everything Has Parts.
(Except the First Law)

     For example, we have The Narrative, a thing of many parts, none of them particularly pleasant. Here are a few:

  • Gun control works.
  • Diversity is our strength.
  • It’s not race, it’s “culture.”
  • Minorities cannot be racist.
  • Poverty is only a lack of money.
  • The police oppress innocent Negroes.

     Shannon Gooden violated a few of the above:

     On Sunday evening, police in Burnsville, Minnesota were called to the scene of a domestic disturbance. While the reason for the original call doesn’t seem to have been made public, it is widely reported (or at least rumored) that a suspect was in bed with a fourteen-year-old girl.
     Police arrived at the scene and found that the suspect was armed. They engaged in lengthy negotiations with him, but he refused to come out from the house where he was holed up. At some point, for reasons that are not yet clear, the suspect started shooting. He killed two Burnsville police officers and a fire medic who came to the aid of one of them. Scott wrote about the case here.
     For some reason, legacy news outlets initially decided not to identify the perpetrator, who shot himself after murdering the three law enforcement personnel. But his name was Shannon Cortez Gooden.

     Here is / was Shannon Cortez Gooden:

     Undermine one element of The Narrative, and you’ll get a modicum of protection, perhaps having your race obscured in media reports. Undermine several elements of The Narrative, and you may receive the “blanket” defense of unpersoning: your identity and deeds will be “memory holed,” never thereafter to be mentioned in any major-media organ.

     I maintain that no further commentary is required.

How to lose the support of the average Joe Sixpack.

So, when an Amazon driver has to defend himself from one of Joe Biden’s illegal aliens who was also masturbating in public, you would expect the cops to grab the guy who was pulling his pud on the sidewalk.

Yeah, not so much.

Police arrested Abu and charged him with third-degree assault after Sanchez claimed that Abu had punched him in the face because taking the word of a drunk guy masturbating in public over a delivery guy making his rounds is the only sensible course of action in a place as crazy as New York City.

We’re goose-stepping straight into the “I was only following orders” portion of this particular shitshow. And quite frankly, this is why a whole lot of people have stopped trusting the police. From the stupidity of the Covidiacy, and how cops shut down businesses and towns over “orders” from on high, to whatever the hell this is in NYC, this is how you lose the support of the people around you.

No description available.

Expect to self-rescue. Nobody is coming to help you.

Killers Part 2

     An ancient principle of the law holds that he who aids or abets the commission or the concealment of a crime is as guilty of that crime as the perpetrator of the criminal act. Clearly, the abettor must condone the crime. Equally clearly, the abettor and the perpetrator share certain convictions, whether about the rationale for the crime or the priorities involved. Sometimes, the shared convictions go all the way to the bedrock of belief.

     Consider that if Smith should hand a gun to Jones at a moment when Jones is inclined to murder Davis, Smith willed that the murder of Davis should occur. Indeed, he may have wanted it even more strongly than did Jones. Perpetrator Jones might have managed to restrain himself were the instrument of death not placed in his hand. That both Smith and Jones are to be punished for Davis’s death follows naturally.

     In such a case, the shared conviction is at minimum that Davis has no right to his life. But it could go deeper. It could be that neither Smith nor Jones believes that anyone has a right to his life.

     Yes, there are such persons. I’ve known one.

***

     In the previous piece, I addressed specifically the question of nationalized or socialized medical care, a proposition that has a lot of advocates. I asked why those advocates believe that giving control of medical care to a government would improve it somehow. In returning to that question, let’s partition the advocates into two groups:

  1. Private citizens,
  2. Government employees.

     The private-citizen advocates would probably say that for government to “distribute” the nation’s medical resources would be “fairer.” Some who “can’t afford” medical care would be taken care of at no cost…to themselves. “The government” would pay for it. The implications of that stance aren’t often addressed in public.

     My Gentle Readers don’t need for me to explain where – or how – “the government” gets its funds. It highlights the special characteristic governments have that private citizens and organizations lack:

     Break a government rule and it throws you into a reinforced concrete prison with real iron bars. It hires full-time skilled employees, at your expense, to catch you, lock you in, and watch you, plus (if you try to escape) expert marksmen, to shoot you with bullets you paid for.

     [Allan Sherman, The Rape of the APE]

     “Do what we say or we’ll kill you.” You and I can’t get away with an ultimatum like that, Gentle Reader. But governments can. Ergo, to award the power over medical care to a government is to award it to brutes who possess the privilege of killing you for disobeying them.

     Not all those who advocate socialized medicine are fully aware of that. But some are. They want it that way.

***

     I chose the subject of socialized medicine as an arguendum: a subject chosen to highlight a point that (I hoped) would emerge from the discussion. But really, any power awarded to a government will imply the same rationale: “The government should control this because it can kill you if you disobey.” It won’t matter if the proponent is explicit about that rationale. Indeed, it won’t matter that he’s not aware of it himself.

     Were a private organization to do to medical care what its advocates want the government to do, that organization would be committing a crime of the most serious kind. By the “aids or abets” principle I stated in the opening paragraph, anyone who assisted or encouraged that organization would be equally guilty of that crime. The more conscious advocates of socialized medicine would prefer that you not think about that, but no matter. For the only way to maintain a monopoly over some otherwise peaceful activity is to threaten anyone who would infringe upon your monopoly with death.

     And there are quite a few people – not all of them employees of the State – who think that’s quite all right.

     More anon.

Adding To Our List of Evils

Hat tip to Darin at Crusader Rabbit.

Killers Part 1

     The civility cherished by the civilized men had finally been defeated by their ideas, although they did not know that this was the cause. After years of preaching contradictions and of evading principles with an anti-ideological shrug, these men were astonished to see the nation conclude that man cannot live by principles, that reason is no guide to action, and that anything goes. After years of institutionalizing interest-group warfare, which they had justified as sacrifice or collective service, these men were astonished to see hostile gangs take to the streets and demand one another’s sacrifice. After years of undercutting the mind by preaching the primacy of gentle feeling (whether “progressive” or religious or skeptical), these men were astonished to find that irrational feeling is no counter to “wild emotionalism.”
     After years of spreading or condoning or subsidizing the cult and culture of nihilism, the civilized men were astonished to find that they had nothing more to say, and that there was no one left to listen.
     The moderates were helpless. The authorities were helpless. The killers were taking over.

     [Leonard Peikoff, The Ominous Parallels]

     Give them their strangling cloths. Give them their burial picks. Swear by our mother Kali to be thrice faithful to her and to me and to our order and to all of us.
     Rise, our new-made brothers. Rise and kill. Kill, lest you be killed yourselves. Kill for the love of killing. Kill for the love of Kali. Kill! Kill! Kill!

     [Gunga Din]

     There are things we’ve known for a long time. Some of them are expressed in the quotes above. They’re indisputable, both logically and from the evidence. Yet in recent years we’ve become afraid to admit them to our consciousnesses, much less to proclaim them in public.

     The promotion of an evil idea must be expected to bring evil in its wake. How could it be otherwise? We know the power of an idea – and evil ideas have a unique power. They appeal to those who will evil: they who seek to do evil deeds, whether for personal gain or for the sheer pleasure of wounding others.

     We’ve had any number of fictional depictions of such evil ideologies in our time, but the one that rings most clearly to my ear is one you’ve seen cited here before:

     “The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?”

     Orwell illuminates and emphasizes the evil idea we’ve not dared to articulate: Power is not a means; it is an end. They who seek power do so for power’s sake, not for any “noble” or “public service” reason.

     But there’s another link in the ideological chain we must follow. Orwell illuminates that one, as well:

     “Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing…. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — for ever.

     The utility of power over others is in inflicting suffering and death on those others. To inflict suffering and death upon helpless others brings happiness to only one sort of person. It cannot be made plainer than that…another evil idea we refuse to confront with our conscious minds.

***

     Yes, the 800 words above are mostly “previous work.” (Lemmas, for the mathematically inclined.) I’m sure my Gentle Readers are familiar with all the quotes I’ve presented. Yet there’s something bloodless about the evil ideas they express. They appear to the decent, peaceable man as dicta held by someone else: some enemy lurking in the shadows.

     It is not so. Many of your neighbors hold them, or their precursors.

     “But surely, Fran,” I hear you murmur, “something specific must have triggered that flood?” You’re quite correct: something did:

     Explosive leaked documents have emerged that show medical staff were ordered to euthanize patients who had been admitted to hospital and tested positive for COVID-19.
     The official documents were leaked from the UK’s state-funded National Health Service (NHS).
     The docs further confirm the previous reporting from Slay News that revealed patients were euthanized in order to boost the numbers for “Covid deaths.”
     As Slay News reported, smoking gun evidence revealed that tens of thousands of elderly people were murdered to boost the mortality rates.
     The data produced for the report indicated that people were being euthanized using a fatal injection of Midazolam.
     The cause of their deaths was then listed as “Covid,” indicating that the virus was killing far more elderly people than it was.
     The explosive data from the report was made public by Australian politician Craig Kelly, the national director of the United Australia Party.
     The report obtained official UK government data on death rates and causes.
     According to Kelly, the patients were euthanized in order to boost “Covid deaths” and ramp up public fear to garner support for lockdowns and vaccines.

     I’m going to pause here to attend to some necessities. While I’m dealing with them, read the story above carefully, and find the evil idea that made possible the slaughter it reports. I’ll be back.

***

     Did you find it? It’s not stated explicitly in the cited story. However, it lies beneath the atrocities the story describes.

     We don’t have a “national health service” in the United States. Pressure is rising for the creation of one. Our neighbor to the North has one. Those fleeing its “services” mainly come here.

     What is the idea behind the nationalization – or socialization, if you prefer – of medical care and services? I’m not thinking of the cost-savings its promoters claim will arise from one. Neither am I thinking of the lamentations the bleeding-heart crowd chant about people who “can’t afford health insurance.” I want to go deeper than that.

     For what does it mean to say “Let the federal government operate all medical care in these United States?” What special attribute does a government possess that distinguishes it from other entities? Why would that attribute conduce to “better” or “fairer” medical care for Americans? What other consequences might flow from it?

     You know what I’m talking about.

***

     In the Peikoff citation at the head of this piece, he describes the conclusion of the ideological-ethical degeneration that allowed Weimar Germany to become the Third Reich, with all that followed. The ideological atmosphere of the Weimar Republic was, for all practical purposes, “anything goes:” nihilist. But an ideological vacuum is as voracious as a physical one: it pulls thought and action into its maw. What comes out the other end is as septic as any other creature’s excreta.

     The U.S. has never yet had a complete ideological collapse. We’ve suffered some partial evacuations, but always there has been a national ideological-ethical redoubt: a core populace that remained faithful to the principles expressed in our ideological birth certificate: the Declaration of Independence. Unfortunately, the Left’s conquest of our organs of communication, education, and entertainment has allowed our resident nihilists to chip at the margins of that core. Some have given up; others have withdrawn into themselves. The core is dwindling in size and giving ground thereby. What’s flowing into the evacuated spaces is not friendly to freedom, justice, or individuals’ rights.

     I could be talking about population flows and demographic trends here. I’m not; those are consequences of our accumulating ideological losses, not primaries. The primaries are the ideas dominant among us, always. We can see some of the consequences of one particular idea in the Slay News story cited above.

     More anon.

     Ideas have consequences. — Richard Weaver

Sometimes, you are only limited by yourself

Many years ago, when I was still a teen, my brother was auditioning to be accepted into a musical school. He played bass. I say “played”, but in reality he made that instrument sing in ways that most people won’t understand, and I’m not about to try to explain it. My brother has more musical talent in his left nostril than most people have in their entire body. However, his ability isn’t the focus of this tale. I was a drummer, and he needed a drummer to accompany him on his audition tape.

I was in-between basic training and my first duty station. We were in Spokane, WA at the time. He asked if I would be willing to accompany him and his guitarist on the piece. It was Thelonious Monk’s “Well You Needn’t.” I protested that I didn’t have a drum set, or even a pair of drum sticks to use. He told me that he had what I needed at the recording studio. So I said yes.

When we got to the studio, what I had was a cardboard box and a pair of brushes. Not even a stool to sit on.

I played the hell out of that cardboard box. It’s amazing the sounds that you can get when you apply yourself. And in the end, when the studio guy played the recording, you couldn’t tell it was just a cardboard box. It sounded like a full drumset. Running the brushes over the box sounded like a ride cymbal. I made sure to add the pops and snaps when needed, to the point you couldn’t tell I didn’t have a snare and toms to play, and in the end my brother sent his audition tape off with me playing a cardboard box as accompaniment.

He got accepted. Unfortunately, his life choices ended up with that acceptation being withdrawn. That’s another story.

Sometimes in this life God asks you to do something. And you’re not prepared. You don’t have the right equipment, you haven’t taken the time to practice, you’re not in the right space. But God can and will give you what you need to succeed, you just have to use it, even if it’s not what you wanted or thought you needed.

I’ve been ruminating on that quite a bit recently.

“Have You Been Vaccinated?”

     Then keep well away from me:

     The topic of COVID-19 vaccine shedding has long been controversial, but now, some doctors say it is real.
     “Shedding is unfortunately real,” said Dr. Pierre Kory at the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC) conference in Phoenix, Arizona, in early February. “The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) knows that.”
     Dr. Kory is a co-founder of the FLCCC, a non-profit advocacy group founded by physicians for the treatment of COVID-19, long COVID, and postvaccine syndromes. He is also the co-founder of the Leading Edge Clinic and has treated over a thousand long-COVID and postvaccine patients.

     Dr. Kory is not proceeding on the basis of opinion or excessively localized reports:

     COVID-19 mRNA has been found in the breast milk of vaccinated mothers, indicating possible exposure of the vaccine to infants. Another study showed that spike protein, the product of COVID-19 vaccination, can last for at least half a year in the blood of vaccinated individuals, indicating prolonged spike protein persistence.
     The FDA, however, denied that the 2015 document applies to COVID mRNA vaccines.
     “COVID-19 vaccines are not regulated as gene therapy products by the FDA; therefore, the guidance document cited is not applicable to the COVID-19 vaccines,” an FDA spokeswoman told The Epoch Times.

     Oh, how nice! “Not regulated” as gene therapy products! That makes everything wonderful, doesn’t it? But wait: there’s more!

     In Pfizer’s COVID mRNA vaccine protocol, the company instructs investigators to report “environmental exposures” if trial participants expose people around them to the vaccine through inhalation or skin contact.

     We have been deceived in so many ways, by so many “reputable experts.” Yet the “experts” can’t imagine why we no longer trust them. Strange, isn’t it?

     Thank You, God, for the scientific knowledge and suspicious nature that persuaded me and the C.S.O. to avoid the COVID-19 “clot shot.”

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