Unspeakable Notions

     To suppress a truth is to give it force beyond endurance. – Originator unknown

     The attempts by the Democrats and their media handmaidens to render unspeakable any suggestion that the presidential election was stolen, or that Joe Biden is deep into senile dementia, or that the Usurper Regime is working hand in glove with Communist China to fasten a totalitarian state upon us, are having consequences the Left apparently did not foresee. Perhaps they were unaware that censorship is unable to kill an idea, though given the history of the practice it’s not terribly plausible. Or perhaps they believed that their control of the media, including the major social media, was sufficiently firm that “this time we can make it work.” In either case, we should regard the garrisoning of Festung Washington as a sign of their nervousness and uncertainty. One doesn’t surround oneself with armed men, fences, and barbed wire out of a sense of security.

     There’s also this: an unsuccessful attempt to suppress a proposition weakens one’s barriers against other propositions that had been rendered unspeakable de facto. Increasing numbers of Americans are willing to voice ideas that, only a few years ago, would have gotten them ostracized. Not only are they being heard, they’re persuading others. A few of those ideas:

  • There are significant differences between the races that can be important in particular contexts.
  • There are significant differences between men and women that have resulted in modern American women being considerably less happy and secure than their grandmothers.
  • There are significant negative consequences to the homosexual lifestyle.
  • Transgender activism is approaching the sexual abuse of children.
  • Islam is anything but a “religion of peace.”

     And my personal favorite, Number One with a bullet on the hit parade of any freedom advocate:

  • Government is not your friend.

     As long as the Powers That Be managed to confine those ideas to the darkness, and to anathematize those who accept them, it was possible to discourage the examination of the factual evidence for them. But factual evidence has a peculiar quality: a man who’s noticed and acknowledged it cannot thereafter be persuaded that “it was never there.” And of course, once the ideas the evidence supports are rendered speakable, the State will have a very hard time shoving them back into the closet.

***

     Ignorance is of a peculiar nature; once dispelled, it is impossible to reestablish it. It is not originally a thing of itself, but is only the absence of knowledge; and though man may be kept ignorant, he cannot be made ignorant. – Thomas Paine

     Some years ago I wrote an essay about the unspeakable that generated some very dramatic reactions. As is usually the case when one dares to contradict a society’s pieties, I was roundly denounced for my cheek. In the charming idiom of a friend, I was called everything but white. Yet a greater number of my correspondents expressed agreement and gratitude.

     My sense for our American moment is that a qualitatively similar sense of liberation is on our doorstep. The bulleted ideas in the previous segment are breaking out of their closet. In the process they’re freeing us to speak our minds more freely and openly than at any time this century past.

     The Left is not helping its cause by shrieking imprecations upon those of us who maintain that the presidency was stolen, or that Joe Biden is mentally unfit for its duties. The evidence is too plain, and too copious. Neither is it doing itself any favors by tacitly blessing black orgies of violence, vandalism, and looting in our cities, nor by attempting to shout down anyone who condemns them. The same is true for the obvious delusions of such as HHS Undersecretary nominee “Rachel” Levine.

     Perhaps they thought their control of our educational and communication systems had reached a strength sufficient to allow them a victory parade. If so, it seems they were wrong. Their attempt to nullify the First Amendment through their corporate allies is powerful evidence to that effect, as is the rapid proliferation of alternative outlets that guarantee free-expression rights to those who choose them. The national discourse over the next several months must receive close scrutiny, both macro and micro. Stay tuned.

The cherry on top.

It’s hard to admit but the pinnacle of Western civilization turns out to be a state of collective stupefaction and precipitous flight from reality. The civilization that studied the galaxies and the basic structure of matter in the end could not rise above the politics of crack whores, con artists, and pickpockets. We prided ourselves on putting superstition and magic behind us but ended up embracing fairy tales about reality with a vengeance.

The basic principles of economics seem to indicate that financial collapse grimly waits on America’s doorstep, and most of Europe’s as well. The gigantic debt load, rampant inflation, empty banks and unchecked counterfeiting all reveal a culture that is blind to its own weaknesses and now resorts to grasping at gimmicks for an easy fix.

The astounding part for me is the gullibility of Americans, and most advanced societies, to accept the illusion that an inbred clique of financial, political and corporate royalty can master the ability to speak wealth into existence by simply writing the words “this is money” (or something similar) on a piece of paper or a digital token. Continuing in that belief system, we now accept as an article of faith that ritual chanting about “stimulus” and “benefits” and “security” will save us from a day of reckoning.[1]

As a beloved friend once observed of certain people, “They don’t have the sense that the Lord gave a duck.” Not only is there a flight from reality but there is also a vicious attack on any who still have not abandoned common sense. There will be no dissent from suicide.

Notes
[1] “Financial False Hope, Part 2: Monetary Monotheism.” By Steve Penfield, ZeroHedge, 3/2/21 (emphasis removed).

Some Probing Questions

     I have no answers. Do you, Gentle Reader?

Pelosi Chose Her Military Quisling Well

Honoré was likely right about the number who are – by Pelosi’s definition – “unreliable” soldiers (not fully committed to implementing the Leftist schema). The thing is, I know people who work in that field. At one time, I taught the students of Fort Jackson’s military families (my school had about 1/3 of the population composed of those kids). So, I am familiar with their thinking and cultural norms.

Pelosi now has the excuse to weed out those soldiers. I would suggest to them – DON’T spend to the limit of your budget. Keep in touch with people outside of the military who can help cushion your sudden ouster, should there be a purge (what am I saying – of COURSE there will be a purge).

The stateside, cushy assignments will go to the pliable types. Crap assignments will be the lot of those who fulfill their oath.

It’s going to be a bumpy ride for the next few months (hopefully not years).

Did You Know This?

Obama was the second President to graduate from Harvard Law School. Hayes was the first.

I’d always assumed that JFK had a law or graduate degree. He didn’t. He attended Stanford for a short while, then left without a degree.

His undergraduate grades weren’t all that impressive. He was in the second tier of his class. If it hadn’t been for his thesis (later turned into a book “While England Slept”), he would not have gotten cum laude status. And, from what I’ve heard about his writing – he got a LOT of help from some friendly writers. Essentially just about everything he wrote was apparently ghost-written.

He did receive a BS at Harvard, but – from what I can tell, a BS was NOT necessarily either Science or Math heavy in coursework. There is only one Physics course shown, and he made a mediocre grade.

Hey, Special People, Special Rules!

Assorted 2021-03-04

     My “future columns” folder is once again overflowing, and I’m disinclined to slough any of the contents, so here’s a round-up of things that have poked me somewhere sensitive these past few days.

***

     Have a trio of election-related links from Gateway Pundit:

     Believe in the “integrity” of American elections if you like…but stay well away from me, move slowly, and keep your hands where I can see them.

***

     I’m beginning to feel a cold draft: Amazon is quietly banning books deemed to contain “hate speech:”

     Amazon has adopted a rule against books that contain anything the company labels as “hate speech.” It appears there was no announcement of the new rule. It was only noticed by media after the online retailer recently banned a book that criticizes transgender ideology.

     It’s not clear what Amazon means by “hate speech” or even if it used that label to drop that particular book. In general parlance, Americans hold widely diverging views on what constitutes hate speech, a 2017 Cato poll found. Some tech platforms describe it as speech that disparages people based on characteristics such as race, gender, and sexual proclivities. But insider evidence indicates the companies aren’t clear on where to draw the lines, perpetually redraw them, and at least in some instances ignore violations when politically convenient.

     If you’ve been putting off acquiring any of my books, or those of anyone else politically to the right, I suggest you get off the can and buy them. They could soon be deemed “hateful.”

***

     I don’t have to tell you that Chicken Little was a fictitious character, do I? Well, that doesn’t mean he can’t have real-life emulators:

     LIST OF DOOMSDAY PREDICTIONS CLIMATE ALARMISTS GOT RIGHT
NONE.
ZIP.
ZERO.
NADA.
BLANK
DONUT HOLE
NIL.
NOTHING.
VOID.
ZILCH.

     Doom-shouting, with the accompanying “We’ve got to act now” exhortation to mindless action, is one of the Left’s major tools these days. The more Americans they can succeed in panicking, the more power they accrue over everything from our social arrangements to federal policy. Preventing them from stampeding us has become an important undertaking.

     Irish’s post contains two extremely useful lists that everyone should have stored somewhere safe. Keep them handy for when the doom-shouters come to your neighborhood. You’ll be glad you did!

***

     Here are two on the always-lively Kung Flu front:

     Can you reconcile those two? I’d rather try squaring the circle – which, incidentally, doesn’t mean “draw a circle that looks square, or vice-versa.”

***

     I’ve only an outsider’s knowledge of the controversy over fantasy and science fiction publisher Baen Books, but the little I know inclines me to believe that it’s just another left-wing cancellation campaign against a perceived ideological enemy. Baen CEO Toni Weisskopf is one of the most admirable figures in publishing. Moreover, she’s open to books from every imaginable viewpoint, as long as they’re well written and tell a good story. But of course, the Left simply can’t have that. Its control of the entertainment, education, and communication industries must be complete:

     I grew up in the days before Kindle or the internet. I would periodically visit the local library, and look at the new selection. Slowly, and without my noticing at first, the books on offer changed. There had always been books I did not like, but now large numbers of them began to feature the same themes, over, and over, and over again – as though they were all written by the same person.

     In nearly every book that dealt with religion, religion was fake and bad – gods were made up or were deceivers / aliens / demons. Anything but benevolent and sovereign. In the book, “Heaven” by Ian Stewart even the desire to prolong life is portrayed as immoral and contrary to universal law. The more powerful features of an advanced space-ship are unlocked … by the diversity of its crew.

     The apparent monomania of science fiction was no coincidence. In those days before the internet, a lot of what was published was not decided by what the public thought was good, but instead by a self-appointed elite, believing they had greater knowledge of what was “good” or “virtuous” than everyone else. The fact that many of them are not particularly functional or successful by a variety of measures has never given them the slightest pause (or indeed, any of the woke). It was this elite that held up Bradley.

     The idea of a ‘virtuous elite’ reviewing art is a ludicrous idea. A book on mathematics, law and engineering, can be right or wrong (at least in large part). Art is aesthetic. A painting is not right or wrong. Neither is a fictional novel or short story. It has merit only insofar as people enjoy reading it, which can be measured by willingness to pay. The public, barring ‘that’ one minority, mostly do not wish to read books and stories about child abuse. When an ‘elite’ is put in charge however, there is a tendency towards degeneracy. What made Interzone devote an entire issue to Jason Sanford’s work? They would have been better off featuring popular stories from fanfiction.net, spacebattles.com or similar.

     In the above, author Samuel Collingwood Smith has described what became of speculative-fiction publishing as the Left’s colonization efforts bore fruit. Baen has been a lonely holdout against the Left’s campaign. At one time, I considered submitting some of my novels to Baen, but I sensed that it would come under the Left’s crosshairs, for its operating principle was (and is) to give the reader what he wants, rather than to push an ideological line. In the end I decided to self-publish.

     The Left cannot colonize the independent writer: he who self-publishes and answers only to his conscience. It’s one of the things that makes me happy to be an “indie,” even if the rewards, so far, have been slight. Given the anti-Baen campaign, in which a single sub-mediocre Leftist writer has succeeded, by the use of online libel, in drawing a fusillade down on Baen, I think I made the right decision.

***

     Finally, I’d like to point my Gentle Readers to a remarkable piece that describes the current, agonized state of American womanhood better than anything I’ve seen elsewhere. Here’s the merest taste:

     She wakes at 6:30 a.m. to leave for work by 7:30. Forty-five minutes later she’s parking in the basement garage then taking the elevator up to the 24th floor. Ten steps through the glass doors then make a right. Go down past the first door and make another right into the kitchen to put her brown bag lunch in the fridge and grab a coffee. She walks to her office, turns on the lights, and closes the door. Six months at a new job in a new city. It felt like 60 years….

     She finishes some reports and eats lunch at her desk. The sandwich and crackers leave her unsatisfied. This was followed by meetings and drafting a memorandum discussing the liability of some corporate client who screwed over some employees. She sends it to her boss for review. The boss returns it shortly thereafter, demanding a discussion of some irrelevant law.

     Near the end of the day she makes all the necessary changes, forwards it to the necessary people, and ducks out of there. She hopes to make it home by 7. Management says her future looks bright. If she continues with the long hours and the dedication to the firm she can make partner in as little as 8 years. That was the encouragement from her boss not long after she was hired and moved here.

     Partnership: the pinnacle of success. You might work Sundays and have multiple failed marriages, but at least you made partner.

     Please read it all. Then give it to your teenage daughters to read, if you have any. It’s a mirror to the perversity of our times.

***

     That’s all for today, Gentle Reader. My hand has hurt rather badly these past two days. I’ll hope to see you again tomorrow.

Just Because

Post this everywhere you are today – Hell, print it out and slap it on the company Coke machines, the drink fountain at the gas station, the coolers that sell the Coke.

Graphic courtesy of my cousin Eddie’s FB post.

YES! Just – YES!

Ace of Spades throws it down.

And, I agree. To hell with economic philosophy, to hell with principles.

Those who would primarily be personally affected would be the same ones that worked so hard to deprive the rest of us of a voice. Who treat us like $hit, then come around looking for a handout.

Who donate to our enemies, then expect us to roll over to get them special treatment.

F*** that. I agree – it’s WAR!

Mission accomplished.

The Petty, vain, venal, neurotic, obsessive, corrupt and cowardly denizens of our national political apparatus inherited the greatest concentration of wealth, industry, goodwill, and military power in 6000 years of history and squandered it in a single generation.

They believe themselves superior.[1]

People intend the natural consequences of their acts.

Notes
[1] Comment by gcjohns1971 on “‘A Tale Told By An Idiot’: The Second Impeachment Of Donald Trump.” By Martin Sieff, ZeroHedge, 2/21/21.

“Not Perfect”

     Have you said or written any of these things, or anything like them?

  • “The GOP isn’t perfect.”
  • “America isn’t perfect.”
  • “Trump isn’t perfect.”

     If so, I have a question for you…no, let me rephrase that: I have a demand for you:

Either define perfect
Or shut up.

     Take your time. Show your work – all of it. Grammar, spelling, and punctuation will count. I’ll be waiting.

***

     “Utopia is not one of the options.” – David Bergland

     David Bergland, the Libertarian Party’s 1984 nominee for the presidency, made the above observation many times. I was present at two of those times. It was an important reminder of a fact that people generally – i.e., not just libertarians – are inclined to forget:

If you insist on perfection,
You automatically fail.

     The late philosopher Robert Nozick, in his masterwork Anarchy, State, and Utopia, reminds us of another, equally important fact:

Utopia is inherently personal:
Mine is not yours, and vice-versa.

     Finally, we have this pithy rephrasing from the late, great Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra, catcher, slugger, and aphorist extraordinaire:

If the world were perfect,
It wouldn’t be.

     That should be enough large font for the moment. Each of those statements expresses a single, profound and immutable truth.

     First, nothing men make or maintain under the veil of time can be “perfect.” This is beyond all dispute, for men are not perfect. “Perfect” really means “finished; incapable of further improvement.” From that it “should” be “obvious” that we are designed to be imperfect – and I’m not talking about sin here. Our design makes us what Loren Lomasky calls “project pursuers:” individuals engaged by our very natures in choosing goals and finding ways to pursue them.

     Second, even if Smith has an attainable definition for “perfection,” it’s highly unlikely that Jones would share it in all particulars. Visions of any ideal – pick your favorite – will vary from person to person. The metrics we use for what will satisfy such a vision are vague enough to guarantee that, especially if one factors in the amount of effort required: 1) to attain the ideal; and 2) to maintain it.

     Third, when dealing with visions of utopia – i.e., “perfect” societies – we are albatrossed with human nature. If men are imperfect – and we are – we will inevitably screw up. We’ll make mistakes of perception, conception, reasoning, and execution. Worse, what some will deem masterstrokes are exactly what others will call our worst errors. Worst yet, we have the Law of Unintended Consequences to reckon with. What seemed a terrific idea at the time could well prove unutterably shortsighted and stupid in retrospect. Time offers no guarantees.

***

     As regards politics and public policy, the proper attitude is to seek improvements – and not just “improvements” in isolation, but coupled to a sober assessment of their costs and other consequences. Granted that any improvement may bring to light other possible improvements. Nevertheless it is mandatory that we take one step at a time, wait a little while to see what emerges, and assess what we’ve done in recognition of the consequences and how they varied from our expectations.

     Perfectionists and utopians never agree to this. They want their vision of heaven on Earth and they want it now. It’s what makes them intolerable.

     “Stamp out racism!” they cry. But racism is inherent in the human desire to be among “one’s own:” others like oneself. It cannot be eradicated. Indeed, there are good arguments for why a residual degree of racism is beneficial rather than detrimental to society.

     “Equality!” they screech. But no two human beings have ever been equal. Choose whatever representatives you like; one will be taller, stronger, heavier, wider, better looking, brighter, more articulate, more knowledgeable, more diligent, more patient, more insightful, more creative, more loving, more merciful, or more just than the other. The only approachable equality is equality before the law — and that ideal is one for which we can strive eternally without being perfectly certain that we’ve achieved it.

     “Respect everyone!” rises the call. But some are not respectable. I could go in to detail, but I hardly think it necessary. Still, consider: could you respect an able-bodied individual who refuses to support himself? Who disdains all methods for earning a living except for one – and that one only if offered him under conditions he alone may specify?

     If the above doesn’t do away with your inclination to say “Well, XXX isn’t perfect,” thus opening an avenue of attack against XXX (and you) for your enemies to exploit, I’m afraid you’re beyond my powers. Have you tried Hare Krishna?

A Jewel From A Cesspool

     Once in a great while, even that festering stew of hatred-soaked Leftists we call Twitter will yield up a gem:

     I could not have put it better. The Left, after all, was the source and bastion of racism during the Jim Crow years that followed emancipation. A Leftist’s natural inclination is toward force, fraud, and intimidation; those are the techniques that have historically served the Left. So transitioning from openly racist bullying to ersatz “anti-racist” bullying – in truth, just as racist as the Left’s previous posture – came quite naturally.

     Sun Tzu told us how important it is to know our enemies. Draw the moral.

Pearls of expression.

Bi is big because it’s a sexuality of status for a certain stratum of young females. It is also a sexuality of refuge—if you’re cowering from woke Einsatzgruppen on campus patrol. It’s the mark on your doorframe so the angel of cancellation passes over your dorm room and harasses some hateful heteros instead.

Bi, Bi, Miss American Pie.” By Peachy Keenan, The American Mind, 3/1/21.

Ballot Harvesting – a Long History with the Dems

I was wasting time improving my mind, when I ran across a reference that took me to this page:

The Democratic Party came into prominence in the 1840s by harvesting three out of five uncast slave ballots to check the North’s attempts at abolition. When Northern Whigs and Abolitionists had enough of Democrat vote padding under the three-fifths compromise, they formed the Republican Party to finally stop slavery for good.

Now, I’m against the practice. It is a throwback to the Bad Old Days of the Democratic Machine of the big cities, when voters would be bribed/threatened to cast their vote for the Democratic party, by virtue of the fact that their choice was public. Either they cast a colored ballot (indicating which party they were voting for) into a publicly-displayed box, or they vocally indicated who they preferred.

This was shown in the movie “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” in a scene that puzzled me, the first time I saw it. The saloon was closed, all the men (no women) voted on the representatives they wanted to go to the capitol of the territory to vote on statehood. It’s an open vote, by voice.

Before that, I’d just never realized what an improvement a secret ballot was.

Ballot Harvesting is a mechanism that allows party-affiliated representatives to go into homes, nursing homes, and other residences to collect a voter’s absentee ballot. There are many stories about collecting from easily intimidated elders, semi-coherent nursing home residents, and other people without the ability to insist on a private vote.

The Heritage Foundation (I know, I know) has a nice explanation of why it’s a bad idea. You can go to the link to download the full 10 page report.

CBS News had a story on the downsides of the practice – although it’s telling that the only example they used was the case of a GOP operative engaging in the practice.

The case heading to the Supreme Court this Tuesday is about just one small aspect of the practice, but an important one. It’s a law making it illegal for a non-related person to actually mail the completed ballot. Even if upheld, don’t expect it to change much – they still have to PROVE that the ballot harvester (another type of migrant worker) actually did that. Most people wouldn’t want to get someone in trouble over it.

From Town Hall:

Think of how dubious this process is by its very nature.   You have someone show up to your house.   They state they are there to collect your mail-in ballot for you.  And you just hand over your ballot to a stranger who comes to your door.  Government officials warn you about strangers coming to your door and trying to sell you anything from magazines to solar panels, but they legalize someone coming to your door with potentially ginned-up credentials to take your sacred ballot to the election officials.

The End Of Justice

     Do any Gentle Readers remember the 1991 Rodney King incident, and the trial that followed? Do you remember that, though provided with a complete video recording of the incident, Los Angeles news station KTLA chose to show only the most damning, easily misinterpreted part? Do you remember that once the whole video had been made available, three of the four policemen charged with assault / excessive force for that encounter were acquitted of all the charges?

     Riots ensued that ripped Los Angeles asunder. Fifty-three people died, many others were injured, and there were many millions of dollars in property damage. The chaos and destruction were worse than the Detroit riots of July 1967, which had to be quelled by Army and National Guard troops.

     One of the worst consequences was the nullification of the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee against double jeopardy. The L.A. policemen were tried a second time, this time on a bizarre, extra-legal federal charge of “violating King’s civil rights.” Two were convicted and imprisoned; two were completely acquitted.

     Justice, if the video recording of the King incident can be believed, was of little interest to that second trial. It was held entirely to mollify the mobs that threatened to destroy California’s largest city.

     It wasn’t long afterward that a second travesty of justice occurred in Southern California. The evidence for O. J. Simpson’s guilt in the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and bystander Ronald Goldman was overwhelming. The jury, which was predominantly black, acquitted him anyway. This time, the second trial was a civil one: a damage suit against Simpson by the families of Brown and Goldman, in which the plaintiffs prevailed despite the earlier acquittal.

     Bizarre, eh? But it wasn’t unprecedented, at least not qualitatively. The 1922 Teapot Dome scandal, in which Interior Secretary Albert Fall accepted a huge bribe from oil magnate Edward Doheny in exchange for a federal-lands oil lease, resulted in Fall’s conviction…and Doheny’s acquittal. Thus, a Cabinet Secretary was convicted for accepting a bribe that, according to the court verdicts, had been paid to him by no one.

     Yes, the above is plenty bad, but there’s more and worse coming.

***

     No doubt all our Gentle Readers are familiar with the name of Derek Chauvin. His is a notoriety characteristic of our race-inflamed times. He’ll soon be tried for murder for the death of George Floyd. The facts in the case are sufficiently muddled that I can’t allow myself an opinion about how it “should” come out. Anyway, that’s why we have courts and juries, isn’t it?

     The likelihood here is that, as with the cops involved in the Rodney King affair, Chauvin’s acquittal would touch off riots that would utterly destroy Minneapolis. That’s the way violence-inclined Negroes and their white supporters must be expected to react should Chauvin be exonerated. The probability is even higher than in the King case, owing to the rioting, looting, and vandalism that have already plagued Minneapolis this past year. The violence-inclined may be perfectly sure that the “forces of order” will do nothing to impede them, much less stop them and arrest them.

     What, therefore, are the prospects for a fair trial – i.e., a trial whose outcome has not been decreed before it begins? If judges, prosecutors, and jurors face the specter of personal suffering for acting on their consciences – if the high officials of a city already crackling with racial animosity and barely repressed violence must anticipate that one possible verdict, however just and fair, would result in the demolition of their city – what future has justice?

     Worse, the minorities of the continent are watching. If violence or the threat of it can predetermine the course of a criminal trial, violence-prone groups from coast to coast will draw the moral. Success, after all, breeds emulators. Precedents will be set. Incidents in other cities and towns will be used as a pretext for looting and vandalism.

     But sooner or later there will be a reaction. Americans, the best armed citizenry in the history of the world, won’t sit idle forever. Citizen militias will take to the streets of the afflicted cities. Many persons will die…including, no doubt, some who deserved to live.

     The great tragedy here is that, had the police of Minneapolis and other riot-torn cities reacted immediately and with their full powers to quell the rioting, far fewer persons would pay the ultimate price. We’ve already seen the cost of not acting swiftly and with decisive force in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland.

     Minneapolis is braced for impact. The evidence is ambiguous. There’s much fear abroad of what could follow the “wrong” verdict. Stay tuned.

     Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever: that considering numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation, is among possible events: that it may become probable by supernatural interference! — Thomas Jefferson

Killing Off the Octopus

It’s not as easy a task as “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” (Disney version) made it seem.

Google, and its parent company, Alphabet, have their tentacles deep into just about every facet of online life. The former host company for this blog, Liberty’s Torch, was Blogger – a Google company.

When you sign up/into an online service with a Google identity – such as your GMail account – you will be tracked on any subsequent activity, whether you know it or not.

If you signed up with GMail, your Facebook account will be tracked.

The same with ANY service you sign up for, using that GMail account.

Now, since so many of us do that, what does this mean for your privacy?

You’re F****d.

It’s easy to do so. It simplifies the process. I’ve done so, in the past.

Full disclosure – my Facebook account is linked to Google. My phone will not work on most of my apps, if I limit Google’s privacy reach. That’s not uncommon. MOST of us find that smartphone use is just about impossible, without that access to my data.

But-but-but – didn’t Bill Gates LOSE that antitrust case, and have to break up that “evil empire” of Microsoft?

Technically, yes.

In reality, he just started buying companies that were “affiliated”, and would, by making the process easier, ENCOURAGE you to give up your privacy to them ALL. Some of the associated companies (Alphabet is the parent company):

  • Nest – that wants your smarthome under their control. The aim is to have ALL your devices – whether high-tech or low-tech, under their watching eye. Lights, plugs, TV, phone, locks on your home, thermostat, smoke alarm, security (cameras, motion sensors), wifi router – just a short list of those devices that have been Smart-enabled. Now, older appliances/devices may not be fully compliant. But, just like the newer TVs, within a very short time, ALL the new items you could purchase WILL be.
  • DoubleClick – the actual entity tracking your Web movements. The underlying machinery actually providing the ad targeting. So, when MS/Gates says “we don’t track you”, TECHNICALLY, he is correct. His subsidiary company does. That distancing allows him to testify that his hands are clean – but, those of his puppets are not.
  • Looker – allows those companies/NGOs using it to easily look at the analytics of their users. Makes it possible, with some moderate work, to handle the process in-house, rather than having to employ the tech specialists.
  • YouTube – and, we all know just how heavy-handed their control over use is. Not so much for porn/Leftist content, heavy for NLDs (Non-Leftist Dissidents). Without it, reach of videos is limited, at this time.
  • Waze – crowd-sources mobile traffic advisory and navigation. Has branched into selling ads that are targeted to those who are nearby/whose path will take them near.
  • FitBit – the wearable location tracker (I have worn one for years). They do work well to seamlessly track your steps. OTOH, they allow your position, and the positions of anyone else wearing them to be located with precision. Do I trust government not to use that data against me? Don’t be ridiculous! Of COURSE I don’t.

So, what about Google’s claim that they DON’T sell your data?

Well, like a lot of claims by companies that Gates controls, that’s depends on what your definition of “sell” is.

Google never says “I am going to take your data for ads/nefarious purposes”. They say, “I’m going to make your life easier”.

Which, to be fair, they do.

It’s just that the cost is high. And, the tentacles reaching into every facet of our lives are becoming more enmeshed.

Take e-records, the part of Obamacare that was so insisted on – it would be a major savings, they said. It would prevent patient medication errors, they said. It would reduce the amount of tests that were made.

And, to some extent, that is true.

But, the cost is huge. Your privacy is at risk. And, the data industry is notoriously vulnerable to hacking.

You can act to turn it all off. However, the cost is high. Those apps you’ve been using? Most of them simply will not work without the data sharing.

I know. I tried it. It was difficult to make use of my phone or tablet. Ironically, your desktop/laptop computer is less likely to need to engage in as much data sharing as your mobile device.

Don’t think it’s a problem for you? Here’s a link to instructions that help you find out what Google and Facebook knows about you.

Political vision.

It is important for all ethnic groups, even the smallest ones, to know that this is their Motherland with no other for them, that they are protected here and are prepared to lay down their lives in order to protect this country. This is in the interests of us all, regardless of ethnicity, including the Russian people.

~ Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation.[1]

Compare this view of the Russian nation with the determined balkanization of America. Who here lays it on the line for minorities that this is their Motherland, not Wakanda? That fouling your own nest is an act of supreme stupidity?

What leaders speak of protecting the country as opposed to pursuing will-o’-the-wisps of exceptionalism, regime change, democratic “values,” white supremacy, domestic terror, Russian dreams of world conquest, and life free of pain and effort? Compare and contrast our decaying polity and what Putin demands.

Notes
[1] “Escobar: Putin, Crusaders, & Barbarians.” By Pepe Escobar, ZeroHedge, 2/27/21.

The populist epiphany.

That moment you really get it that the American political class is something hostile and parasitic.

The destruction of savings, which perversely is the policy intention, is a consequence of interest rate policies pursued to their Keynesian endpoint with social implications too important to overlook. Because they are not on any central bank’s radar, the misery of the loss of income for small savers is ignored along with the damage to private sector pensions and the higher insurance premiums compensating for lower investment returns. The whole thing is a deepening morass, but it seems central bankers are determined to continue with these policies nonetheless.[1]

You know we’re toast when the financial leaders all believe in free money (see below). Have none of them heard of the “free lunch” insight into human economic behavior? I gather the Turks have a saying, “Nobody loves you for your baby blue eyes.” Or, stated in up-to-date terms a la Google, Facebook, and the rest, if something is “free” to the citizen it’s likely that it’s the citizen who will be footing the bill. And we are on board with this, make no mistake. The government does the most damage with its embrace of “free money” but we take the crumbs from that and don’t insist on “real” economic policy that focuses on production. There are obvious stirrings of great unhappiness. Hence the obvious, strong, but still rather inchoate appeal of “MAGA.” Tea Party anger but more.

Inflating the quantity of money in circulation has become the most important objective for monetary policy. The other stuff about interest rates, quantitative easing and yield curve control is little more than supporting flimflam, even diverting attention from the inflation objective which reeks of confirmation bias. Confirmation bias is reinforced by the increasing dependency of the state on this form of financing. The fact it is apparently free money, justified by its alleged stimulative qualities, makes monetary inflation highly addictive. An understanding of the damage it causes is casually dismissed and along with it the painful alternative of cutting government spending to escape a downward spiral into the financial gutter. As an inflation addict, the US Government is edging closer to that gutter, now with the addition of an intensified socialistic modern monetary theory adopted by the Biden administration.[2]

The inevitable massive loss of small business and jobs that is just around the corner, on top of the sleezy, giant middle finger to American patriots in the form of Zimbabwe-scale election theft, will rip the face off of all of this. And the Democrats will, you may be certain, blame it all on “capitalism.” It’s not sure what kind of “reality” will take the stage. It won’t be anything like our current fairyland “Overton window.”

Mr. Macleod’s article is worth your time. If for no other reason that it serves up a heaping dish of what passes for normal in the world of banking, finance, investment, and government policy. That’s not a criticism of him just an observation that the “debate” among the uber technocrats is surreal, and he does a good job in describing it.

I don’t see any marker buoys laying out the passage to safety. Anywhere. And these fools lecture us about “climate change” and “Great Resets.” I can’t find the exact comment but I liked what a gent said to the effect that the political class has managed to destroy one of the most successful nations nations ever in two generations or so. Complete joke status achieved.

Fasten your seat belts. Some turbulence ahead folks. Even for the people in First Class.

Notes
[1] “Monetary Inflation: The Next Step….” By Alasdair Macleod, ZeroHedge, 2/28/21 (emphasis added).
[2] Id.

A Price Willingly Paid: A Lenten Reflection

     In his defense of Christianity as a mystery religion, C. S. Lewis has told us that we must deal with the facts, and as John Adams has said, facts are stubborn things. Among the facts at hand, we have the Passion and Crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth and His subsequent Resurrection.

     The Passion and Crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth are historical facts. The evidence for them, both sacred and secular, is so strong that it takes an act of willful rejection to dismiss the episode as “just a myth.” Jesus’s Resurrection – the key miracle upon which the Christian faith is founded – is almost as strongly supported by the available evidence. The recent movie The Case for Christ, which is based on investigative journalist Lee Strobel’s book of the same name, lays out these points in a simple and persuasive fashion.

     (Yes, yes, yes: it is still intellectually defensible to say “I reject the evidence” and remain an atheist. The episode, after all, cannot be repeated, nor is it possible to go back to 33 A.D. and witness it for oneself. It will always be that way. It’s in the nature of a supernatural event. End of digression.)

     But the evidence of the events leaves us with questions about the reasons for them. In particular, people – believers and skeptics both – have always asked “Why were the Passion and Crucifixion necessary?

     It’s a good question, one of the best of those relevant to Christian theology. God, after all, is omnipotent. He has no needs, as men understand the concept. Specifically, He had no need to allow His Son to be tortured to death. What’s that? He allowed it because it was necessary for the remission of our sins? He could have remitted them with a single act of His divine will. Chattering about “needs” and “necessities” when speaking of God is inherently self-deluding.

***

     From the accounts of the Passion, it was plainly about as intense a period of agony as a human body can experience. One of the visions of the Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich depicts the earliest part of it – the scourging of Jesus prior to His walk to Golgotha – in vivid fashion:

     These cruel men had many times scourged poor criminals to death at this pillar. They resembled wild beasts or demons, and appeared to be half drunk. They struck our Lord with their fists, and dragged him by the cords with which he was pinioned, although he followed them without offering the least resistance, and, finally, they barbarously knocked him down against the pillar. This pillar, placed in the centre of the court, stood alone, and did not serve to sustain any part of the building; it was not very high, for a tall man could touch the summit by stretching out his arm; there was a large iron ring at the top, and both rings and hooks a little lower down. It is quite impossible to describe the cruelty shown by these ruffians towards Jesus: they tore off the mantle with which he had ‘been clothed in derision at the court of Herod, and almost threw him prostrate again.

     Jesus trembled and shuddered as he stood before the pillar, and took off his garments as quickly as he could, but his hands were bloody and swollen. The only return he made when his brutal executioners struck and abused him was, to pray for them in the most touching manner: he turned his face once towards his Mother, who was standing overcome with grief; this look quite unnerved her: she fainted, and would have fallen, had not the holy women who were there supported her. Jesus put his arms round the pillar, and when his hands were thus raised, the archers fastened them to the iron ring which was at the top of the pillar; they then dragged his arms to such a height that his feet, which were tightly bound to the base of the pillar, scarcely touched the ground. Thus was the Holy of holies violently stretched, without a particle of clothing, on a pillar used for the punishment of the greatest criminals; and then did two furious ruffians who were thirsting for his blood begin in the most barbarous manner to scourge his sacred body from head to foot. The whips or scourges which they first made use of appeared to me to be made of a species of flexible white wood, but perhaps they were composed of the sinews of the ox, or of strips of leather.

     This was plainly torture of the most intense variety, designed not just to inflict pain but to shorten the Victim’s time on the cross as greatly as possible, so His executioners wouldn’t have to keep watch over Him for more than a few hours. So why did He allow it?

     A brief segment of the aforementioned movie comes to mind:

     But that answer stimulates a fresh question: “What did love have to do with it?” And it is upon the only plausible answer to this question that a Christian’s faith must be founded.

***

     The religious and social conditions that applied in first Century Judea constitute a critical context. First, Jesus’s message – His proclamation of the Kingdom of God and the requirements for admission to it – was a radical departure from the doctrines of the Jews. The Judaic faith incorporated a huge list of commands and demands; 613 discrete ones, by one enumeration. That made being a perfectly observant Jew a supremely difficult undertaking. It also made doctrinal compliance something of a competitive matter. Jesus’s prescriptions and proscriptions were blessedly few and brief. Consider the Gospel According to Matthew 19:16-19, and this famous statement from G. K. Chesterton:

     “The truth is, of course, that the curtness of the Ten Commandments is an evidence, not of the gloom and narrowness of a religion, but, on the contrary, of its liberality and humanity. It is shorter to state the things forbidden than the things permitted; precisely because most things are permitted, and only a few things are forbidden.”

     Second, when the requirements for compliance are so many and so various, it can become a matter of argument which of the requirements “really matter.” Now, you’d think that the original Ten Commandments, handed by God to Moses during the Jews’ desert wanderings, would take precedence, but it appears that Judaic priests’ promulgation of ever more commands and demands, beginning with those in the book of Leviticus, muddled matters sufficiently to throw that notion into doubt. In consequence, acts explicitly forbidden by the Ten Commandments were placed on an equal footing with trivia such as the halakhic proscription against lighting a candle on the Sabbath.

     Third, the ancient, pre-Christian religions, including that of the Jews of first Century Judea, all insisted that there can be no remission of sin without the shedding of blood. The blood shed for that dubious purpose was seldom that of the sinner. It was far more often that of a sacrificial animal, sort of a stand-in for the sinner himself. That was the pervasive belief of the era in which Jesus entered the world as flesh and blood.

     It was within that context that the Redeemer sought to establish His New Covenant and persuade men to adopt it. To countervail the weight of the Judaic priesthood and the power of a millennium of tradition, He had to do something so dramatic, and so filled with certainty, that there could be no doubting His sincerity. His acceptance of death by the era’s cruelest forms of torture fit the need so perfectly that no other gesture could compare to it – especially when on the third day He returned from the dead, certifying His Divinity and authority irrefutably.

***

     Yes: the answer to “Why?” is love – Jesus’s divine love for Mankind. He came as a liberator of several kinds. First, He came to proclaim the Kingdom of God and announce that the sins of Mankind would be remitted. Second, He came to replace the old, Levitical Covenant with His New Covenant, a simpler and far more easily comprehended set of rules. Third, He came to set at naught the authority of the Judaic priesthood, an important component in the matrix of oppression of that time and place.

     Jesus had to perform His ministry among the Jews for many practical reasons. That requirement, and the conditions it imposed, made His Sacrifice of Himself unavoidable – but not because the sins of Mankind could be remitted in no other fashion! It was a demonstration of His sincerity, His authority, and His love that could never be improved upon. The contrast that it made with the demands of other, current and prior religious “authorities” drove the point home with irresistible force.

     Meditation on the intensity of Jesus’s sufferings during His Passion should not evoke a desire to experience them personally – horrible thought! Rather, it should remind us of how great a price the Son of God was willing to pay to make it irrefutably clear not only that He meant what He said, but that He loved us enough to demonstrate it in so extreme a fashion.

     He is not content, even Himself, to be a sheer arithmetical unity; He claims to be three as well as one, in order that this nonsense about Love may find a foothold in His own nature. [C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters]

     May God bless and keep you all.

Sunday Roundup of Stories

These are just the ones that have caused me to pause, reflect, and adjust my thinking over the last week.

This has been a tough week for me, physically – nothing major, just the accumulation of a lot of little things:

  • Stupid cold lingering for over 2 weeks – the first week, I felt sick. Now, I just have leftover coughing, a runny nose, and a need to take a nap every day.
  • A swollen left eyelid, pain in it when touched, and no other symptoms (which means that it’s not pinkeye, which would have developed into an oozing mess by now). I wavered between going to Urgent Care and just waiting until my appointment with the opthalmologist on Tuesday morning. Finally made my decision when the UC center refused me service inside the facility after I admitted I had a cough (though they would allow me to be seen outside the facility). I declined, not wanting to be treated like a leper.
  • That above attitude is GETTING to me. I have asthma, and, sometimes, I just have to cough. At times, when I need an inhaler, it becomes a series of dry coughs, that leave me breathless. None of that is contagious. But, since COVID, people treat me like I’m Typhoid Mary. There are approximately 19 million asthmatics in the United States – what the hell are we to do, stay home because you’re AFRAID you might catch our non-existent Wu-Flu?
  • Look, it’s not the first time I’ve run up against this “imposed-upon” attitude. I was taking a graduate class in a dormitory, during a 3 week-teachers’ course, and had an attack. I eventually had to get up, unpack my breathing machine, and take several treatments in the common living room. I was informed that other people had their sleep disturbed, and asked if I could be quieter. As if! Lady, not if I wanted to keep breathing! Of course, I could have gone to a hospital (having to call an ambulance, as it was dangerous to try to drive myself in the middle of an attack). That would have caused me a lot of money, due to co-pays and deductibles. And, would have been the same treatment I was administering in the dorm. People with attitudes like that would have asked Stephen Hawkins to turn off his ventilator, as it “was too loud”. However inconvenient it might be for the complainers, at least at the end of it, they can walk away and live their normal life – unlike us.
  • Finally, I’m just going to point out the hardships involved in masking for the hearing impaired (I wear hearing aids). It’s not JUST a little convenience, it’s a MAJOR imposition. Yes, I DO know that I could use a clear face shield. NO, that won’t help me, as the problem is all the other people who are masked up, and virtually unintelligible to those who are hearing impaired. For now, one tiny suggestion? When someone asks you to repeat yourself, over and over again, try to hide your frustration. It’s a lot worse for us, who truly cannot understand what you are saying. Every time someone says (always in an aggrieved, impatient tone), “NEVER mind!”, I have to restrain myself from bitch-slapping them. It’s like rolling your eyes when a cripple asks for you to slow down – completely unacceptable.

On to the links.

I really hate that use of the word “distraction” that the Left have weaponized when called out on their blatant hypocrisy. This essay explains it better than I could have.

Clarence Thomas documentary pulled from Amazon Prime – during Black History month. I’m linking to a DDG (Duck-Duck-Go) page. If you scroll down, you will note that there is no mention of this in any of the ‘major’ news media outlets.

Does CNN think this worthy of mention? Don’t be ridiculous!

MSNBC? No mention of the balanced look at Thomas’ life, but plenty of links to a Pro-Anita Hill film.

I’ll give ABC News props for even MENTIONING the film – but, curiously, no mention of the de-platforming of the highly rated documentary.

On Amazon? In a search with the words “Clarence Thomas documentary”, the Pro-Left Anita: Speaking Truth to Power is the second film to come up. But, no mention of the Clarence Thomas documentary, at all. A search using the phrase “Black History Movies” also fails to bring up any mention of the film.

During Black History Month!

Ornery Dragon asks, “Cui bono?”. If you read the whole thing, you’ll also come across links to a full explanation of what constitutes Freedom of Speech. I’d suggest checking out the link, and bookmarking it.

One very good suggestion that the OD makes is this:

So, read. Watch movies. Pass those books and movies around to your friends (but make sure you get them back!). 

May I add that you should either buy a hard copy of those books that are foundational, or, if electronic, make sure they have Loan privileges, to encourage information transfer? Or just send the person a gift of the book (don’t just give an Amazon gift card, buy a Kindle version of the book, and send that link).

This ‘cancelling’ tactic is not a one-off. The very popular book on ‘transgendering’, When Harry Became Sally, has also been made unavailable on Amazon.

The thing about electronic books is that, if you buy them from Amazon, you can try to read them, only to find that Amazon has PULLED THAT BOOK FROM YOUR KINDLE. It’s happened before, when a particular edition of 1984 was, so Kindle claimed, in violation of copyright. They not only pulled the book from the Kindle store, but also deleted copies that had been downloaded.

The electronic nature of e-books, and their dependence on the popular app from Kindle, makes them vulnerable to this deletion. On other e-stores, this is not a problem, as long as you get those books in a non-Kindle format (a powerful argument for using other means to access those books).

Minnesota Nice

     [A short story for you. The corruption of the 2020 presidential balloting has had me thinking about what the Right might do to counter further attempts in that direction. Perhaps the idea encapsulated in this story would suffice, though I’m sure there would be the most vigorous of protests from the Left. – FWP]

***

     “What time you got?” the driver muttered.
     Simon glanced at his cellphone. “One ten. Plenty of time left. Anyway, they’ve already got all the windows boarded up and posted guards at the entrances, so we’ll be okay even if we arrive a little after three.”
     “Good,” the driver said. “Then I’m not gonna push this rig any harder.” He grinned. “She’s got a few years on her. Like me.”
     Simon grunted but made no other reply.
     Be a lot easier to relax about this if we didn’t need to have this crap trucked in from out of state. But there’d be too many ways to trace a load printed in Minnesota.
     The enormous surge of support for the Trump / Gaetz ticket had almost caught the Democrats unaware. There would be little chance of saving Minnesota’s electoral college votes for the Harris / Cortez ticket without deploying every known stratagem. Simon was just thankful that those methods had proved effective four years previously.
     Fortunes of war, I guess. You do what you have to do to win, and make adjustments later.
     He sat back, let his eyes rest on the passing woods, and tried to relax.
     Less than two miles from the Minnesota state line, a seeming explosion erupted from the front of the truck’s cab. The vehicle listed and slewed wildly to the left. The driver wrestled with the steering wheel as the truck slid several hundred feet forward before he could safely bring it to a stop. They debarked, hustled around to the front of the cab, and found that both the truck’s front left tires had been blown out.
     “God damn!” the driver snarled.
     “Can you fix it?” Simon said.
     The driver shook his head. “I only got the one spare. Can’t run the cab on just one. Not enough traction. So what now?”
     “Hang on.” Simon pulled out his cellphone. He looked up the number for Minnesota Democratic headquarters and started to dial.
     “Drop it! Hands in the air!”
     Simon’s head jerked around toward the unfamiliar voice. He saw six men in camo and balaclavas, each toting a rifle, approaching from the right. Six more, similarly garbed and equipped, were converging on the truck from the left. He raised his hands.
     The first of the intruders swung the butt of his rifle at the cellphone in Simon’s right hand. It flew thirty feet and landed on the macadam with a distinct sound of shattering plastic and glass. Simon gasped and cradled his bruised hand.
     “That was a fifteen hundred dollar iPhone 14,” he ground out.
     “So sorry,” his assailant said. “I did tell you to drop it.”
     “What the hell is this?” the driver shouted.
     “We just want to perform a quick inventory of your load, my friend,” Simon’s assailant said. “We have to satisfy ourselves that you’re not carrying contraband.”
     “You won’t find anything valuable,” Simon said.
     “Value is relative,” Simon’s assailant said. He gestured his companions forward and around to the back of the truck. It seemed he was the leader of the force that had waylaid them. “It depends on context. And today’s context is the kind that discards diamonds and sneers at gold, but puts great value on slips of paper.” He waved at the driver with the muzzle of his rifle. “Open up.”
     Muttering, Simon and the driver trudged around to the back of the truck. The driver looked meaningfully at Simon, who nodded. The driver unlocked the tailgate and stepped back.
     The leader nodded at the hundreds of cardboard boxes. “As we suspected. Pull ‘em out, boys.” The others converged on the load, toted boxes out, stacked them in the street a decent distance from the truck, and ripped them open. The leader crouched and riffled through the contents of several boxes, grunting as he went. Finally he rose with a fistful of papers: the ballots Simon had had printed in New York. Each bore a vote for the Harris / Cortez presidential ticket.
     The leader turned to Simon. “We’ll be confiscating these.”
     “But—” Simon immediately forced himself back to silence. The leader nodded.
     “It’s not going to be like last time, my friend. The votes of Minnesotans will be tallied up without any…help from your sort. This will be as honest an election as we can make it.”
     Simon sneered. “Are you a Minnesotan?”
     The leader pulled off his balaclava and smiled. “As it happens, I am,” he said. “As are most of the others here. But it wouldn’t have mattered if I weren’t. What you were about to do constitutes a federal felony. Interstate election fraud, and in a presidential election at that. I don’t know how many years you would get for it, but I think they figure them per ballot.” He waved at the boxes. “You’ve got thousands of ballots here. You wouldn’t be getting out of prison except in a pine box.”
     The leader quickly surveyed the inside of the truck to ensure that his team had missed nothing, turned to another of his companions, and beckoned him forward. As the man approached the load, it became apparent that he was toting a flamethrower and wore a cylinder of compressed gas as a backpack. At a nod from the leader, he lit the device, adjusted its throw, and played bright blue flames over the boxes of ballots.. When the leader was satisfied that all the boxes had been reduced to uselessness, he turned to the driver and smiled.
     “If you don’t have a cellphone,” he said, “I’d be happy to call a truck repair service to deal with those tires for you.”
     “I’ve got one,” the driver muttered.
     “Then I suppose our business is concluded.” The leader gestured his team back into the woods that flanked the highway.
     “This won’t change anything,” Simon said. “You think stopping us will sweep back the tide? There are a whole lot of others out tonight working to make sure President Harris gets a second term.”
     “Oh, we know it well,” the leader said. “We have a whole lot of teams out tonight too. Some of them are monitoring the roads into Minnesota, like my team. Some of them have cordoned off the ballot counting centers, to make sure that anyone who gets past us with a load of fraudulent ballots won’t get in. And some of them are in those centers, armed just as we are, standing watch over the ballot counters to make sure there’s no hanky-panky with the legitimately cast votes. You see,” he said, “you threw away the rules. You decided that the only thing that matters is winning—retaining power. But if there are no rules for you, there are no rules for us, either. The difference between you and us is that we trust the voters to make the right choice.”
     He glanced over his shoulder at his team as it vanished into the forest, faced Simon, and nodded once more.
     “You have a nice day, now. Minnesota nice!

==<O>==

     Copyright © 2021 by Francis W. Porretto. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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