Sunday, September 30, 2018


     This one took place in the local CostCo:

FWP: (looking at what CSO’s carrying) Three pounds of mesquite wings?
CSO: Yes, ready to eat. Don’t worry, I won’t eat them all at once.

FWP: Well, you could, but you’d regret it later.
CSO: No, I think I’d regret it right away.

FWP: I prefer to defer my regretting. I get more mileage out of it that way.
CSO: (sniffs) When do you get around to it?
FWP: Saturdays, at Confession.

CSO: Ah, you papists. We do all our regretting on one day every year.
FWP: You matzoh-ball types have to hang on to a whole year’s regrets waiting for that one day to come around. We theophages clear the meter once a week. Less strain on the conscience.

CSO: Figured out how to make sure you die on a Sunday?
FWP: Working on it.

     Yeah, we get a lot of really odd looks at times like those.


     Many objects possess resonant frequencies. A solid object is likely to have one. A homogeneous solid object is almost guaranteed to have one. A prolonged wave at that frequency, even if the individual periods of the wave are gentle, can destroy the object through constructive interference. Nikola Tesla was known for experimenting with this phenomenon.

     Parasitic relations are subject to a similar mechanism. Let’s imagine that one side of a binary system is parasitic on the other, whereas the other side is capable of continuing on independently. If a resonance builds up in their relations, the result will be fatal to the parasitic side even if it succeeds in killing its “enemy.”

     A political system can possess a resonant frequency too.

     There’s been a steady build-up in the political passions surging through American society. Each side’s escalation has evoked an even greater escalation from the other. Though it’s a form of “constructive interference,” it’s wholly destructive in direction. It threatens to tear the country asunder, severing all amicable relations between the Left-dominated coastland and the Right-dominated heartland. There are many ironies in this. Not the least of them is that the two regions benefit greatly from one another. In such a system, for one side to threaten the well-being of the other is a clear indication of irrationality, if not lunacy. Yet both sides believe themselves not merely rational and sane, but the exclusive possessor of truth and virtue.

     Shall we have a rousing chorus of “This will not end well,” Gentle Readers? Because present trends continuing, that’s beyond reasonable dispute. The accelerating social and political disharmony of the past two decades has already been expressed in violence. More violence is threatened daily. Persons determined to have their way at any cost now plot openly to assassinate their adversaries – and those adversaries just might include you and me.

     I dislike to write about this sort of thing, especially on a Sunday.

     It is likely that the most relevant of the models in the previous segment is that of symbiosis. Indeed, it’s possible that neither the Left-dominated coastland nor the Right-dominated heartland is capable of going on without its “enemy.” Even if that isn’t so, the benefits of cooperation in a competitive market economy are great enough to make the desire by either to destroy the other utterly insane.

     Tragically, in our contemporary political battles, each side considers itself independently viable. Yet it might be true of neither.

     Despite living along a coast, I’m aligned with the Right. That’s not to say that I don’t dissent from its orthodoxies in some respects, for just as every man’s religious convictions are his own, so are every man’s social and political convictions. That having been said, I would prefer that the nation return to its Constitutional roots, which respect individual liberty and conduce to a high degree of harmony and stability. So I “have a side,” and would prefer to see that side’s values and ideas prevail.

     But not at the price of everlasting enmity toward and from those who hold to different conceptions.

     It’s a problem of some difficulty, for under current circumstances the Left has already decided that it will be victory or death. Indeed, the behavior of some Leftist luminaries suggests that should they not prevail, they’d prefer to see the country destroyed rather than have it adopt the libertarian-conservative course I advocate. That’s a mindset I can’t fathom. Reasoning with it is difficult. Dealing with it seems impossible.

     But here we are. We have no choice about when and where we’re born. We must cope somehow. It’s the great question of our time. Ultimately, it’s the only question.

     And as we search for an answer the resonances continue to build.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Preemptively Protecting Our Men

     The scurrilous barrage of vicious and implausible accusations the Left has mounted against Judge Brett Kavanaugh has achieved more than one remarkable result. The first and most conspicuous, of course, was the rise of Senator Lindsey Graham to alpha status. A second one, which really should have occurred well before this, was the surge of interest in just exactly how men might safeguard ourselves against similar assaults by vindictive women. That, of course, has been accompanied by a predictable renewal of interest in the wisdom of the late Billy Graham, which has most famously been adopted by Vice President Mike Pence.

     I expected the above. But one I didn’t expect appears at PJMedia, under Megan Fox’s byline.

     Fox’s article provides excellent advice to the parents of daughters, aimed at keeping them out of situations in which they might be abused or might succumb to an unwise impulse. It’s worth reading in its entirety, but its recommendations are neatly summarized in its four subheads:

1. Take her to church.
2. Teach her to be sober, wise, and chaste.
3. Get her self-defense training and teach her to shoot.
4. Fight like hell, get evidence, come forward, and LOCK THE BASTARD UP.

     I fully expect America’s shrieking feminists to assail Miss Fox brutally for her wisdom, especially for the following bit:

     Since everyone is fascinated by yearbooks, I recently took out one of mine and found this inscription by one of my friends: "If you mean no, don't dress like you mean yes!"

     After I chuckled, I thought about how far we've come from that very sound advice. It doesn't mean you deserve to get raped if you wear a mini-skirt. It doesn't mean that you have to be Amish either. What it does mean is that if you want to be respected then dress like it.

     Once upon a time this was broadly understood, by both men and women. The boundaries one wants others to note and respect are expressed in several ways. One of them is dress. There’s a contextual element to this, of course. No one but a Muslim expects a woman not to wear a swimsuit at the poolside. But going to a party that will serve alcohol and be populated by young persons of both sexes in a bikini is, to put it mildly, unwise. At the very least there’ll be “talk.”

     All that having been said, I must note the insight of Esteemed Co-Conspirator Linda Fox:

     My thinking on the Kavanaugh accusations by Ford are colored by my knowledge of women. With many (not all, but greater than 25%), it's more important that their victims SUFFER, than they receive full restitution.

     Let's put it this way:

     If a woman has a grudge against a man, and sees an opportunity to get him charged with a crime, she is more interested in finding a way for him to suffer, than to see him convicted.

     Gentle Reader, you won’t get such candor from many women, at least not in our time. It implies something very unpleasant for men, but impossible to refute:

Unless you’ve video-recorded your entire life,
You will always be vulnerable to a woman’s spite.

     That’s a fact, in this era of “#MeToo” and a man being deemed guilty of sexual misconduct upon a mere accusation. Remember the Scottsboro Boys? Remember what happened to Steven Pagones? Remember the “Duke Lacrosse” case and the young men whose reputations were despoiled by Crystal Gail Mangum, now in prison for second-degree murder?

     Men fight with physical weapons. Women fight with emotional weapons – and there’s nothing in their arsenal more potent than sexual slander. Ask any high school girls’ clique. Just now, the Left is heavily “feminized.” That has implications that men, especially prominent and wealthy men, must beware.

     No man is absolutely safe in a society that has weaponized the vicious edge of a woman’s tongue. That too is a fact: one men must resolve to endure until the current sexual-assault hysteria has damped down to pre-Weinstein levels.

Friday, September 28, 2018

A Mighty Wind

     Pivotal events, the sort that give rise to great and long-lasting transformations in the order of things, often go unappreciated until well afterward. Some such are never flagged in the history texts. Others assume their full significance only after a long period of reflection on “how things got to be this way.” But some are visible to millions as they occur and become permanent markers in our collective memory.

     Senator Lindsey Graham’s impassioned denunciation of the Democrat members of the Senate Judiciary Committee was such an event:

     That’s not stage anger, Gentle Reader. That’s the real thing, the sort of fury that once led to pistols at dawn. And from Lindsey Graham! The man most likely to pour oil on troubled Senate waters when “my Democratic colleagues” pretend that something perfectly reasonable is outrageous and unpardonable...or vice versa. It’s like watching the slow-motion video capture of a great explosion.

     One short sentence stands above the rest:

“These have been my friends.”

     Note the perfect tense of the verb: “have been.” The Democrats have finally gone far enough for Graham – Graham! — to put such a relationship firmly in the past. If any Republicans on Capitol Hill haven’t yet grasped the significance, it had better not take them much longer.

     “We’re all thieves and scoundrels, so whatever we say in public, let’s be friends in private” has been the working principle of Congress for decades. That rule has just gone into the toilet...and it’s about BLEEP!ing time. Beer bashes and softball shall no longer salve the wounds from political viciousness. Venality and injustice shall no longer be papered over with earmarks.

     It’s barely in time to avert an armed uprising. At least, I hope so.

     There are three figures at the center of this cyclone. Each deserves individual mention for his part in it.

     First is Brett Kavanaugh himself, who’s stood foursquare for his record and his reputation despite the most evil, utterly calculated slanders any Supreme Court nominee has ever faced. Kavanaugh didn’t give an inch. That’s the way it must be, for throwing a sop to the wolves only delays the moment when they eat the rest of you.

     Second is Lindsey Graham. He’s long been the U. S. Senator with the milquetoastiest reputation in the GOP caucus. He strained to preserve his amiable relations with men who did their best to savage him and the rest of us when the chips were down and the little marble was rolling. Clearly his priorities have undergone a revision. As I said above, it should be clear to the other Republicans in Congress that the time for playing nice in the forlorn hope that the other side will reciprocate has passed.

     Third and foremost is the 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump. His aggressive, combative style got him the White House. His string of victories in both the domestic and foreign-relations spheres confirms the appropriateness of his methods. His enemies, whether in office or in the press, are the measure of his stature. It’s unlikely that anyone else could have opened the eyes of the always-be-nice Republicans who even when they held the majority in both Houses have repeatedly kowtowed to the Democrats in the hope that “next time they’ll play fair.”

     All three have been instrumental in bringing us to this cusp. All three deserve our thanks and ongoing support. Don’t think the barrages of calumny from the Democrats will cease just because of this setback. It’s far more likely they’ll redouble their efforts. That’s what fanatics do.

     There are midterm elections coming. It’s had me worried. I think, if Americans’ memories aren’t totally wiped of the events of the last two weeks, the Right will enjoy those elections. The Left, poor screeching babies, will not.

     Judge Brett Kavanaugh will soon be Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh of the Supreme Court of the United States. Thank You, God. Don’t forget to vote on November 6.

Don't Make Me Angry... wouldn't like me if I get angry.

Bruce Banner - aka, Senator Lindsey Graham, UNLEASHED.


Never been so proud to be from SC.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

If You Have Time To Read Only One Thing Today...

     ...make it this piece at Conservative Treehouse / The Last Refuge. Have a tiny taste of its brilliance:

     Deliberate intent and prudence ensures we avoid failure. The course, is thoughtful vigilance; it is a strategy devoid of emotion. The media can call us anything they want, it really doesn’t matter…. we’re far beyond the place where labels matter.

     Foolishness and betrayal of our nation have served to reveal dangers within our present condition. Misplaced corrective action, regardless of intent, is neither safe nor wise. We know exactly who Donald Trump is, and we also know what he’s not. He is exactly what we need at this moment. He is a necessary glorious bastard.

     He is our weapon.

     Cold Anger is not driven to act in spite of itself; it drives a reckoning.

     Stunning from first word to last. Please read it all.

Boil Them Down!

     Slowly, the Mule bowed his head, as anger and despair cornered his mind completely, “Yes. Too late–Too late–Now I see it.”
     “Now you see it,” agreed the First Speaker, “and now you don't.”

     [Isaac Asimov, Foundation and Empire]

     The period between the completion of the first draft of a novel and embarking upon the changes required to reach a final draft is, for me at least, one of great intensity. Sometimes it tells me things I seriously needed to learn – and not just for the refinement of the current novel-under-construction.

     In my stories, the driving force is always character. More specifically, my stories are about the reasons people do things. Tom Kratman has said that illuminating the “eternal verities” is his fuel. That’s a good short way to put it, for the eternal verities are immutable facts of human nature – and the most important of those facts, at that. So as I write, the characterization process is continuously uppermost in my thoughts.

     That doesn’t mean I always get it right.

     A friend I shan’t name has served as an indispensable test reader for Experienced, which is drawing near to release. Her observations have proved critical to unearthing flaws and under-exploited motifs in the story. But the most valuable thing she’s done for me is to illuminate, to and for me, a stunningly important guideline to characterization.

     There are only three ways to characterize a character:

  • Through what he says;
  • Through what he does;
  • Through what other characters say about him.

     My friend illustrated this for me by capturing each of the Marquee and Supporting Cast characters in Experienced in no more than three sentences. And in reading her summations I had a brain flash that damned near incinerated the BLEEP!ing useless thing:

A character’s character – i.e., his animating desires, fears, and convictions – must be summarizable in no more than three sentences.
If you can’t do that, you’ve got a problem.

     That comes pretty close to being a fictioneer’s Philosopher’s Stone.

     Characterization is critical to any writer who has a theme of importance in mind. If Smith wants his story to impress the importance of some idea on his readers, he must do so through the decisions and actions of his Marquee characters, and through the changes they experience as they travel his fictional landscape. Bad fiction will fail at this; good fiction will bring it off beautifully.

     The novelists of centuries past often missed this point. I find it relatively easy to excuse them; after all, the novel as a form was still in its infancy, and what works / doesn’t work was still being discovered. We of today have no excuse.

     Theme is closely coupled to the emotions we feel at seeing a character triumph or fail, or be exalted or destroyed. In my little tome The Storyteller’s Art, I wrote:

     [I]t's the passion evoked by the theme that's really important. However, the writer can't simply scream at his readers, “Feel deeply for my characters!” That would be akin to an actor trying to evoke audience emotion without a script, by the sheer power of his expressions and poses. That's called “emoting,” and no self-respecting theatergoer -- or reader -- will stand for it.

     Theme, as embodied in plot and character, is the conduit by which the writer transmits his passion to his readers. There’s a conservation law at work here, though not one you’d study in first-year physics: passion can neither be created nor destroyed, but only transmitted from artist to consumer.

     This approaches tautology. Yet the heartily detested maxim ”Show, don’t tell!” which fledgling writers have resented since Ug first scrawled on the wall of his cave is about nothing else.

     And as always, the fewer words you need to capture a character you’ll use to transmit your passion to your readers, the more likely you’ll be to depict that character in a maximally effective way.

     So: Once you’ve decided on your theme and Marquee characters, for each character, write three sentences, no more. One about the sort of things the character will do. One about the sort of things he’ll say. And one about what the other characters will be prone to saying about him. Strain for concision in each sentence; concision is the best imaginable aid to clarity. For best results, do this before typing the first sentence of the story. Print the results on a 3” x 5” card, prop that card in front of your monitor, and make a point of reviewing it before you begin a scene.

     It’s the cure for what ails your stories, and it’s available without a prescription. Trust kindly old Dr. Fran. Might help with your rheumatism, too.

How Different It Was Then

Then, referring to the Bill Clinton testimony.

No distaste, today, for hearing from the women. No worries that this is a waste of time, and not properly germane to the main point of the hearings:
Is his professional background/opinions suitable for a Justice?
No, no. They're gonna dip their hands in slime. They're gonna entertain sleaze, UNSWORN testimony, and hearsay - by the barrel. LOTS of hearsay. Despite that not being permitted in any legal hearing.

Will they bring back the ducking stool?

While we’re all diverted by the soap opera . . . .

I don't know how much more forcefully Russia can say this:

- We see what you are doing. We always have and always will. You can't fool us, you can't swindle us, you can't hypnotize us, you can't bribe us, you can't con us, you can't humor us, you can't intimidate us, you can't bankrupt us and you can't destroy us.

- If you go over the line, you WILL be stopped. It will NOT be fun. Our lines are flexible and pragmatic, but they will not be flexible forever.

- We are willing to work with you, but only on the basis of fairness, rules, law and reciprocity. Wake us up when you are ready.

The problem? It is hard to communicate with the deaf, dumb, blind and inbred. Russia needs to come up with the new communication software to effectively communicate with imbeciles.

Comment by Deda Svetko on “Russia Releases Footage Of New Anti-Ship Missiles Pounding Warships.” By Tyler Durden, ZeroHedge, 9/26/18.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

It's Gonna Be a Tough Few Days

for the Republicans in the Senate. They're going to face an onslaught of protest - deliberately nasty, crude, and loud - that hasn't been seen since the anti-war protests.

The Progressives/Leftists are just about completely unhinged. They are burning bridges, and willing to take down anyone who will not bend to their pressure. Some Republicans may fold. I hope not.

It does seem as though the leadership - McConnell, for one - is getting a spine. They have not folded, so far, and even Lindsey Graham is pushing back.

Will wonders never cease!

It's gonna get ugly. It's gonna - unfortunately - probably erupt in even more violence. If the Capital police aren't frisking ALL visitors - even, and especially, the media, they may regret it. That might easily include the Senator's staff, most of whom are even more partisan than the members.

I'm going to be praying for this country.

There Will Come a Time the dark night, when the accusers - AND their facilitators, AND those who said "No smoke without fire", AND those who said, "It's really too bad, but I don't want to go on record as supporting him", will all have to face the reality of just what they have done.

I hope that they will be able to survive that night. It would be tempting to just give up.

There was an old book about a confirmation process. The targeted character, who was being blackmailed to vote for the President's nominee, had a brief gay affair. It was unearthed by one of those scurrilous hangers-on who float around the periphery of Presidents. The guy committed suicide. The leadership of the Senate reacted by organizing an action to defeat the nominee.

It was called Advise and Consent.
From a Senate old-timer’s wily maneuvers, a vicious demagogue’s blistering smear campaign, the ugly personal jealousies that turn a highly qualified candidate into a public spectacle, to the tragic martyrdom of a presidential aspirant who refuses to sacrifice his principles for his career—never has there been a more revealing picture of Washington’s intricate political, diplomatic, and social worlds. Advise and Consent is a timeless story with clear echoes of today’s headlines.
 Not a lot has changed in the Senate. Except, this time, the body spreading rumors is the Senate.

The Nature of Women

My thinking on the Kavanaugh accusations by Ford are colored by my knowledge of women. With many (not all, but greater than 25%), it's more important that their victims SUFFER, than they receive full restitution.

Let's put it this way:
If a woman has a grudge against a man, and sees an opportunity to get him charged with a crime, she is more interested in finding a way for him to suffer, than to see him convicted.
If you told her: Look. You can convict him, and he'll pay restitution, but he'll only serve a few years in jail. You can cause him to suffer - for LIFE - but the only way that is going to happen is if you die.
There are too many women who would reach for the knife, and stab themselves in the heart, smiling as they died, in the sure knowledge that the guy would SUFFER.
 That's what's behind this travesty. I've no doubt that, somehow, somewhere, Kavanaugh got on the wrong side of Ford. Maybe he said something that was less than flattering, maybe he failed to respond to an invitation. It would have been too inconsequential for him to remember. It didn't even have to be a face-to-face incident.

Whatever it was, it rankled. It caused her to probe the insult, over and over again, until she had convinced herself that it was The Worst Thing in the World.

Later, in counseling, she embellished (not in an "I'm deliberately lying about this" kind of way, just talking) and expanded on real/imagined past incidents - perhaps not even involving Kavanaugh, just someone who reminded her of him). By the time she was finished, she actually believed what she said.

And, so, she exacted a Womanly Revenge - Total Destruction.

If This Is Not a Call for Violence, I've Never Seen One

Some people think the Conservatives and Trump supporters - not the same group, by the way - are unduly paranoid about the possibility of assassination.

They're probably not. The LA Times has an op-ed that slyly avoids calling DIRECTLY for violence, but clearly indicates that, if women DID use it, the action would be justified.

Look, some of these women are not all that stable. It wouldn't take much to set them off. As we saw in the Scalise assassination attempt, those involved in jobs that are in public affairs are at high risk. The threats are ongoing, and seemingly will continue.

In part, that's the fault of a news media who has no problem in whipping up "outrage" at the Right, for real or imagined sins. Proof? Who needs THAT!

Justice? No time for THAT!

Street Action? Totes Justified!

This is not just threats. Rudy Peters, running against Eric Swalwell (Yes, the same person who 'Boo-Hooed' Senator Collins' complaint of death threats), was attacked by a man holding a switchblade. He was held off by the candidate, who used a campaign sign (good use of a defensive manuever!) to keep him away. The candidate eventually wrestled the attacker to the ground. That Peters was not stabbed was due to the good luck of a malfunctioning switchblade.

The attention that the news media paid to this attack ranked far below what they provided a a local appearance by a has-been rock star. Many people, if asked about political violence, wouldn't even think of it.

One of the papers of the mainstream press - The Atlantic - believes that Kavanaugh has "The Burden of Proof". Against all American legal precedent, he is expected to defend himself against a woman's accusation that has NO evidence whatsoever that a crime ever occurred, let alone that he did it.

It's a return to the Southern Democrat stance that a 'delicate flower of Southern charm and gentility just HAS to be believed, when the accused is a member of such a VILE community'.

Furor, Frenzy, And The Law Of Diminishing Returns

     A competent engineer will accept as an inviolable and irrefutable principle that no design can be improved indefinitely. At some point any further tinkering will reduce the design’s desirability. We’ve been given enough examples of this to take it as written.

     Of course, this is really just a specific domain of application of a general law of the universe: the Law of Diminishing Returns. Like the other laws of the universe, this one is self-enforcing. Every field of human endeavor obeys it. We all resent it, of course, but that’s as pointless as protesting against the Second Law of Thermodynamics...which, come to think of it, is almost certainly the principle behind the Law of Diminishing Returns, but that’s a subject for another screed.

     As I’ve watched the wrangling over the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the Law of Diminishing Returns has moved to the top of my thoughts. The Democrats, being utterly without a substantial objection to the confirmation of this exemplary jurist, have resorted to character assassination through sexual innuendo. It’s worked for them in the past, and they figured it might serve them one more time. Anyway, it’s not like they had a lot of alternatives.

     But the Law of Diminishing Returns has been at work. It’s stepped forward a pace every time some left-wing shill has attacked a conservative with an “ism.” It’s slid toward them with each allegation of unsavory motives against a Republican in high office. It’s taken a bold stride with the sexual misbehavior assaults on Brett Kavanaugh. Recent developments indicate that the Democrats are now injuring themselves and their agenda by continuing to saw on the sexual-misconduct fiddle.

     There are several implications to this. One of them is that the Right should pray that the Democrats don’t wise up any time soon. (Cf. Napoleon’s “Courtesy toward the enemy” maxim.) Three others are important enough for the politically engaged to ponder at length.

     First, when a tactic crosses the zero point of diminishing returns – i.e., the point at which a previously profitable tactic begins to harm its user – normally all the parties complicit in the deployment of the tactic take damage. The Democrats have made heavy use of their media allies and the organs of the press to ply their defamation tactics. The media, until recently slavishly obedient to their Democrat masters, are suffering intense damage to their already tottering credibility. In consequence the media have begun to reduce their degree of allegiance to the Democrats and the Left generally. Signs of this have appeared in places as remarkable as the New York Times and the Washington Post.

     Second, when such a tactic is wielded by a group, crossing the zero point induces fragmentation within that group. Committee meetings become contentious. Coalitions are stressed and sometimes come apart. Leaders find that their positions are threatened, and must divert some of their time and energy to defending themselves against challenges from ambitious others. This, too, can be seen on the Left: the luminaries who’ve promoted the defamation of Kavanaugh can no longer expect absolute conformity from rank-and-file members and followers.

     Third and last for this essay, the tactic will become unprofitable in all venues of usage, not merely in the one where it’s most plainly crossed the zero point. The damage to the Democrats from their allegations against Brett Kavanaugh will be paralleled in any near-future use of the sexual-defamation tactic against a prominent conservative or Republican. “They’re trying that old trick again” will be heard in every chamber of public discourse. While the tactic might regain its potency at some future time, there will definitely be an interval during which the Left’s memory of its self-administered wounds will discourage the attempt.

     This is not unalloyed good news. The nation’s politics has suffered grievously from the use of unsupported allegations of sexual misbehavior against prominent men. Viciousness toward ideological opponents is rampant in both directions. Good men who might otherwise have stepped forward to become champions for their convictions have been given a strong reason to say “It’s not worth it” and restrict themselves to their private pursuits. And of course actual thought about what constitutes a res publica that could be Constitutionally and usefully addressed by government action has been severely diminished in favor of bare-knuckle combat against “the enemy.”

     Perhaps the saddest aspect of all is that the Left, knowing itself bereft of any other useful tactics, is simply hammering harder and harder at this one. This condition is called frenzy: the accelerating amplification of an ineffective or unprofitable behavior, as if “doing it harder” could somehow make it work. Misleading surface indications play into this: ever-louder street demonstrations; increasing rhetorical violence from prominent spokesmen; concentration of media attention on the allegations instead of on more worthwhile items of news. The most probable outcome is the Democrats’ wholesale loss of attention from decent Americans, who are growing tired of being dragged into tawdry sexual fantasies for the sake of political advantage.

     That’s not good news for the GOP, either. Too great a victory has caused other victors to become overconfident and flaccid. There’s nothing like a capable, energetic competitor to keep you at the top of your game. If the Democrats haven’t learned that – and they’ve had ample demonstrations – the Republicans might not learn it either.

Rainin’ on the charade.

One week ago, Dr. Christine Ford claimed she was assaulted at a house party attended by four others. Since then, all four of these individuals have provided statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee denying any knowledge of the incident or even having attended such a party.”
~ White House spokeswoman Kerri Kupec, 9/22/18.[1]

Will this be Karo Syrup in the carburetor of the Democrat Senate Slime Machine? Why, no. It won't.

The Dems can't sell their treachery, lies, and preposterous social and political plans for their New, Multicultural, Welfare Total State Utopia for Minority Buffoons, Surly Foreigners, Globalism, the Sexually Confused, and Feminist Lunatics (NMWTSUMBSFGSCFL) to the voters, so all they've got left is the fervent desire to obtain and hold five votes on the Supreme Court.

That's it. Ultra-left Democrat Party Operation Overlord.

From there all manner of leftist viciousness, stupidity, and destruction can flow like sarin and chlorine from jihadi gas cylinders in Syria. The hopes for the victory of leftist malevolence and subversion over all that is decent and regular hang on those five votes and common decency and facts will not stand in the way of that leftist version of Operation Barbarossa organized against the historical American nation.

[1] "Woman denies attending party where alleged Kavanaugh assault occurred." By Burgess Everett, Politico, 9/23/18.

H/t: Yer Ol' Woodpile Report.

Pearls of expression.

Countries caught running large deficits are now having their Wile E. Coyote moment.
"The Gathering Storm In The Treasury Market." By Global Macro Monitor, 9/21/18.

H/t: Yer Ol' Woodpile Report.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

How I Got Where I Am - Part II

As I recall, I left on a partial sentence:

I first began having some small doubts during the Clinton

I'm continuing that thought process today -

... years. Yes, the economy was, generally heating up. In some sectors, it was OVER-heating - banking, risky investments, housing. We didn't benefit much from that - we lived in a modest home, and limited our investments to TSA's - what are called Teachers Saving Accounts. Those are tax-shielded investments in mutual funds, controlled by various companies. Most districts gave little choices to which companies could set them up for automatic deduction from your paycheck. More suspicious types might wonder whether there was a little - um - kickback to give favored status to certain companies.

Not me, of course. I was a wide-eyed innocent then.

So innocent, that I honestly believed in the 'vast right-wing conspiracy' against the Clintons. Oh, I occasionally had my doubts - the Travelgate brou-haha did lead me to question the story. No matter how much you wanted to believe HRC, the Travel Office's employees' stories rang true. And, eventually, they were vindicated.

But, my doubts were not enough to overcome my husband's strong support of the President. We both thought the worst thing would be for a Republican to take over again. In our defense, we did not gain from the rising stock market or housing appreciation of the Reagan years. We didn't even own our first house until 1988. As renters, all we saw was rising rents. It took a long time for us to stabilize our income, and begin pulling a LITTLE ahead.

In some ways, we were lucky. We didn't overpay for our education, and we lived frugally.

But, the Clinton years were good for us, financially. We were - finally - both working, and began to pull ahead. Eventually, I went back to teaching, which, despite what you hear in the news, DOES pay well compared to other jobs (and considering the good benefits), and we were able to begin saving for our retirement. It was a good thing, too, as we had 30 years to squirrel away our little pile that - hopefully - will last our lives.

Frugal living has outlived the need. We still live in a modest house, and, as a consequence, have few debts.

Little things, though, started bothering me. Hillary's role in the attempted Health Care Reform was underwhelming. I, like Congress, was not impressed by her report and the demand for Universal Health Care.

She 'retired' to play First Lady, but, even in that role, made one blooper after another, and they displayed her tone-deafness to those who held contrary opinions. And, during those years, we started a business, and began associating with people who didn't view the co-Presidents with admiration and approval.

In fact, that group of people thought of the Clintons as NOT as smart as they thought they were. So, I listened, and began questioning - not openly anti-Clinton, but - willing to listen.

Then, the Starr hearings began.

Frankly, I tuned out a lot of it. I was busy, and had little appetite for hearing stories of sexual sleaze. My husband, like many Democrats, argued that it was all just about sex. And, because it was a private sin, not an impeachable offense. It's an argument made by many, and it did have some justification.

But, when the story was everywhere you looked, even in the magazines at the supermarket, I started wondering. My sympathies were not so much with HRC, as with Monica. She looked and acted like a big dumb kid. Nothing about her said seductress. It said goofy, fun-loving kid.

She still is known by a stupid kid mistake.

She looks older now, but still quite pretty. From recent interviews, she is finally willing to acknowledge that the power differential between Bill and her made this still consensual, but...maybe less her fault than his?

She is right about one thing - she was the first person slut-shamed across the Internet. It truly has ruined the life of a young girl who seemed poised to become a contented wife and mother - which, she may never be.

It's sad. Just sad.

I really hated the public hearings. My family was glued to the TV. I made excuses to do other things. I didn't want to sit in the same room with my kids, and listen to the details. I had no interest (nor, do I now) in hearing about other people's sex lives.

The Democrats played for BLOOD when Bill was impeached. They forced Newt Gingrich to step down (he was having an affair), forced Robert Livingston into resigning (another adultery issue), and finally settled on Dennis Haskert - who COINCIDENTALLY was later charged with having sex with underage boys.

Hmmm. Could it be that the Dems had maneuvered Haskert into that position, so that they could control him with blackmail threats?

In the Senate, giving Clinton their Not Guilty Votes:

  • John Chafee - a Rockefeller Republican (according to Wikipedia)
  • Susan Collins - a long-time RINO, who appears to be also be playing a scripted part in the Kavanaugh hearing
  • Slade Gorton - ditto - he's long gone from the Senate, but he did endorse Evan McMullin in his failed attempt to Stop Trump
  • James Jeffords - voted Not Guilty, then left the Republican party (formally) to declare as an Independent. He did so after being returned to the Senate as a Republican.
  • Richard Shelby - no idea what motivated him to vote Not Guilty on one count, Guilty on the other
  • Olympia Snowe - always a waffling RINO
  • Arlen Specter - another RINO
  • Ted Stevens, Fred Thompson, and John Warner all split their vote as Shelby did, on the Perjury article.
That's TEN Senators. Even if ALL had switched their votes, Clinton would NOT have been gone. You need 2/3 of the Senators to agree.

So, in essence, as long as Dems would vote as a block - and, they ALWAYS do, conviction on the impeachment charges was NEVER gonna happen. Sometime, I wonder why the Republicans bothered.

I didn't see all of this at the time. Even 2 years later, I waited, on pins and needles, for the Bush-Gore outcome. I had voted Gore. I found myself wondering about the process, seeing that the Gore forces' arguments were not as logical as the Bush arguments. When it got to the Supreme Court, I accepted it, and moved on.

What I started noticing was that many Dems could not. They were re-visiting the Supreme Court decision every day. By this time, I had 4 computers in my classroom, and one on my desk. I got into the habit of reading my news on the web. At first, I was primarily CNN and other mainstream sources. I put search terms into Yahoo and other search engines (before the Monster That Took Over the Searches arose from Sergey Brin's and Larry Page's minds to crowd out nearly all opposition). I'd used the Internet since before WWW, so I had little trouble navigating it.

Then, I found Andrew Sullivan. And, eventually, many other bloggers (few are still around - heck, I don't even remember most of them). The counterpoint they provided to the 'regular' news had an impact on my thinking. I began to think about other points of view - up till then, I was barely aware that there WAS any other POV.

I started bringing up information that I'd learned from these alternative sources. I also started becoming aware of just how much NEWS is left out of the News.

You would have thought I'd sprouted devil's horns. My friends and family responded, "WHERE did you hear THAT?" as though I'd been reading the National Enquirer for the news.

Funny, given the role that NE played in the Edwards' uncovering.

We plodded along, my Progressive Posse and I. Just about every word out of their mouth derided Bush as stupid, Cheney as evil, and the rest of the Bush administration as both corrupt and inept. They were truly rooting for Bush and the Gang to fail.

Then, I woke up on September 11, 2001. I've written about this before, and I won't add to it now. That's a post that needs some time to reflect on.

And, life as we knew it changed. I upped my blog reading, and found I was not alone. I developed a truly massive blog habit. Then, something funny happened - a blog that I regularly read, RightWeAre!, sent out a call for another blogger.

And, I put my hand up.

The blog I started out on was Right We Are! in 2003. Here was my introductory post (first time blogging).

Like the Pointer Sisters, I'm so excited!

I’m the new girl (Woman? Chick? Old Lady?) at Right We Are!. I’m still in a state of shock that Maripat accepted my offer to help. It’s a little like seeing A-Rod sitting on a park bench, off-handedly saying, “Wanna toss a ball around?” and hearing back, “Sure.” Panic time!

I’m a science teacher, formerly teaching in urban schools, currently unemployed, and completing my master’s in technology. I have 3 children and 2 grandchildren, and a husband who:

· Cooks most of the time
· Picks up after himself (most of the time)
· Does laundry
· Still rings my chimes

What more could you ask for?

I am another used-to-be liberal. I was born in 1951, so that makes me a Boomer. I was too cautious (OK, I was chicken) to participate in drugs or random sex, but I seldom questioned the Boomer orthodoxy, either social or political.

Then came 9-11.

Two of my children were in the service that day (Navy and Army National Guard). I was worried about their safety, but my view about military response was the same as it is today. The terrorists crossed the line, and I’m going to open a can.

What gets me hot? (Not hot sexy, but frothing at the mouth kind)

· Most teachers – willing to blame anyone for student failure other than themselves. And don’t get me started on educational theory.
· Women who believe that all men are awful, and all women are wonderful, and everything would be perfect if men could just be more like women.
· People who sneer at “Christian values”. It’s those values that led us to end slavery and child labor, provide for the helpless, treat women with dignity, etc. Show me the Wiccan or New-Ager who’s had that kind of impact.
· People who laughingly say “I can’t do math”. Maybe you can’t today, but you could learn. 

That's it for now. I'll add to this story as I have time to think about it.

More Nefarious Doings

I made this meme today. Feel free to Share it.

How Serious is the EMP Threat?

The fact is, a relatively small actor could throw our country into chaos for a LONG time. But, that's true of many other countries, as well. Ironically, the less-advanced countries would have the most to gain from this strategy (like China). Most of the infrastructure is not dependent on electronics.

The figure bruited about in this article cites 2 billion to shore up our structures from EMP attack. Keep in mind, much of the infrastructure is in private hands. Some is in the federal government offices, and, even there, some of the functions are less important - the endless paperwork is, often, just not that essential to the rest of us.

The main, important features - Defense systems, air traffic control, records of Social Security contributions and other records - military, tax, etc. - are probably already as secure as it's possible to make them.

Frankly, that 2 billion figure is probably inflated. You could triage records/equipment by need. And, there are damn few government jobs/functions that are actually NEEDED.

But, yeah, go ahead and harden the most urgent areas. AND, do NOT use foreign nationals - even if they are legally resident, or have gained citizenship. Vet ALL that are involved in the project, and make sure that they can pass a military-grade security check.

A Public Service Announcement

You might try this method of reducing phone solicitations.


Just, yeah.

This List Will Take Your Breath Away

It's a list of 48 "offenses" that can get you sent to a Chinese re-education camp.

The full report is here. Let's hope the Leftists don't use this as a manual.

Monday, September 24, 2018

The Oldest Trick

     It’s getting so I hate to read the morning news. That’s not a condition conducive to opinion-editorializing. If this farce continues unabated, I might just drop this gig in favor of telling children’s stories.

     Annnnddd what do we have here? Oh, look at this! Another woman has trumpeted a charge of sexual misbehavior against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh! And once again:

  • The accuser is a far-left activist;
  • She’s named six witnesses, yet all six deny having witnessed what she claims to have occurred;
  • The New Yorker, once a worthwhile publication...well, the cartoons were funny, anyway...has published this bit of entirely uncorroborated scandal-mongering as if it deserves anyone’s credence;
  • And Senate Democrats have immediately jumped on it as automatically disqualifying Kavanaugh from the Court.

     Does anyone else see a pattern here? Don’t all answer at once, now.

     One unverifiable allegation of misconduct from a dubious source hasn’t been enough to sink the Kavanaugh nomination. However, it was enough to delay proceedings, temporarily keeping Kavanaugh off the Court. The Democrats consider that a sufficient success to be worth repeating the tactic. And why shouldn’t they? Delay sufficiently prolonged is indistinguishable from defeat.

     Once again, the late, undervalued though immeasurably insightful C. Northcote Parkinson is on the case:

     The theory of ND [Negation by Delay] depends upon establishing a rough idea of what amount of delay will equal negation. If we suppose that a drowning man calls for help, evoking the reply ‘in due course,’ a judicious pause of five minutes may constitute, for all practical purposes, a negative response. Why? Because the delay is greater than the non-swimmer’s expectation of life....Delays are thus deliberately designed as a form of denial and are extended to cover the life-expectation of the person whose proposal is being pigeon-holed. Delay is the deadliest form of denial.

     As regards Judge Brett Kavanaugh, endless delay would be the Democrats’ grand prize, effectively preventing his nomination from ever receiving a vote. However, they can’t rely upon any single stroke toward delaying the vote as “conclusive.” They must mount a barrage of nebulous accusations, each of which can “justify” demands for further investigation, negotiations over the terms of testimony, and the like. This will ensure that when the steam has bled out of the current “controversy” there are other shots in the magazine, ready to be fired.

     It really is the oldest trick in the book. Don’t say “no,” outright; that sounds stubborn, unpleasant. Say “Just wait a minute,” and keep saying it until your adversary throws up his hands and walks away. Then you can claim the field by default.

     The question that demands our attention this morning is a simple one: Why does it work? How can it work, given that the dismissal of the first few such accusations should constitute conclusive evidence of bad faith among the accusers and their supporters?

     Quite simply, the Democrats can keep the shitstorm raging for as long as they can keep the legacy media blathering about it. Organs such as the New Yorker are endlessly willing to do as they’ve been told by their Democrat masters. It’s their strategy for retaining the shrunken rump of their formerly robust readerships.

     For one “respectable” press organ to perpetuate such a “controversy” is sometimes enough, if that organ retains a sufficient veneer of seriousness from its days of wine and roses. For essentially the whole of the legacy media to do so creates a barrier that cannot be crossed without more courage and resolve than Senate Republicans possess.

     You asked why the seemingly discredited and disgraced legacy media remain a potent force? Now you know.

     If there’s a grand strategy behind it all, it would be to discourage good persons who’ve done things they regret in the remote past from contending for high offices, whether elective or appointive. It’s a working postulate of adulthood that no one’s past is entirely sinless. We’ve all done things we regret and would rather forget. The only safe harbor lies in leaving the past to fade from memory.

     The paradox here is that we all know that. What’s the saying? “We’re only human,” or some such? And with the conspicuous exceptions of Jesus of Nazareth and his mother, everyone who’s ever been born or ever will must repent of something before facing the Particular Judgment.

     Let’s stipulate that Brett Kavanaugh never, ever committed a sexual sin – that the accusations to that effect are fabrications in their entirety. A sufficient investigation of his past might well establish that beyond a reasonable doubt...but what else would emerge in the course of such an investigation? Did he ever cheat on an exam? Did he ever speak harshly to a child? Did he ever “borrow” some office supplies for home use? Unless Brett Kavanaugh is Christ come again, there’ll almost surely be something in his past that the Left can use, and a sufficiently prolonged, sufficiently microscopic investigation will ferret it out.

     The Left’s “standards apply to thee, not to me” position has been battered of late, especially as regards accusations of sexual misconduct. Well verified instances brought down Al Franken, Elliot Spitzer, and Harvey Weinstein, among others. Those blows have left them smarting, and perhaps particularly eager to “get a little of their own back.” That makes some of this tempest understandable, though it doesn’t excuse the presentation of nebulous and unsubstantiated charges – charges impossible to refute under a guilty-until-you-prove-yourself-innocent standard – to destroy a good man’s reputation. Still more to the point is something I’ve written about before:

Success Breeds Emulation.

     I guarantee that if the Left succeeds in torpedoing the Kavanaugh nomination with these accusations, they’ll have a stockpile ready for the next conservative nominated to the Supreme Court – or anywhere else.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

When Is Charity Merely Self-Congratulatory Posturing?

When its purpose is more to provide a 'good' experience for the well-to-do, than to assist the poor.

Despite the title, it's not just White Girls that are useless, it's pretty much ALL the school-age kids - AND their chaperones.

If they wanted to send kids abroad who have some skills and work ethic, they could do worse than hit up the rural and mountainous regions to do so. In those places, either their parents have taught them useful skills, or they've got a vo-ed program in school. For example, the school I was working for the last years before retirement had a terrific Work Prep program. Among the skills learned:

  • Welding
  • Construction
  • Carpentry
  • Cosmetology
  • Home Health Care/Nursing Assistant
  • Commercial Cooking/Dietary Aide
Useful things, primarily. The kids took their studies seriously. During the time I was there, ALL the students in the Cosmetology program got their licensing on the first try (not an easy test, BTW - SC women take their beauty SERIOUSLY).

We could do that in our own country, as well. Rather than send kids who are not trained to assist to flooded parts of the country, have them fund-raise to help someone else. Save the do-gooder help for projects closer to home. Our cities and rural communities have LOTS of problems, and opportunities for kids to help. It might knock some of that "White Privilege" stuff out of them if they actually worked with some down & out pale-skinned people.

Maybe they would start seeing CLASS as the dividing point between privilege and non-privilege.

No more living in mom’s basement. That’s IT!

This screaming comes not only from the US mainstream, but also from that European elite which has been housebroken for seventy years as obedient poodles, dachshunds or corgis in the American menagerie, via intense vetting by US trans-Atlantic “cooperation” associations. They have based their careers on the illusion of sharing the world empire by following U.S. whims in the Middle East and transforming the mission of their armed forces from defense into foreign intervention units of NATO under U.S. command. Having not thought seriously about the implications of this for over half a century, they panic at the suggestion of being left to themselves.
"Mass Dementia in the Western Establishment." By Diana Johnstone, The Unz Review, 7/20/18.

"Yablochko". Igor Moiseyev Ballet.

Pass the eye bleach, please.

Git down, momma!

H/t: Postcards from Paris.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Post Partum Tristum

     If you’re a creator – and that term applies not just to the arts and humanities, but to any field where considerations of grace and elegance apply – you probably know the unique variety of sadness that comes from confronting a piece of your work and saying: “It’s finished. There’s nothing more for me to do to it.”

     I’ve just finished the first draft of Experienced, about which my regular Gentle Readers have heard sporadically for some time. I’ve backed it up on removable media and put a copy in my fireproof safe. I’ve emailed it to my “alpha reader.” I’ve notified the artist who did my last three covers that it’s time to think about a cover for the thing. I’ve straightened up my working spaces and put all my notes in order. In short, I’m finished...and the realization has left me feeling as if I have no reason to live.

     It will pass, of course. Experienced is Novel #14, so I’ve been here before. I managed to claw my way out of all those post-creative pits of despair, so I’ll probably manage it this time as well. But I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it. I know I’ll never be able to “prepare” for it. It’s different each time.

     I’m told that women who’ve just given birth feel something like this. It stands to reason.

     When a creator gives himself wholly, for a time, to some creation, he cannot detach it from him without a wound. Such a wound is never fatal; in time it will scar over and heal. But the sense of emptiness as one allows one’s creation to part from him and face the world beyond him is still a difficult thing to bear. For a little while, life loses some of its luster. It can be sharpened by the fear that one’s work is permanently done – that there might be no more creations ahead. And of course, at some point that will be the case.

     I think I have a few more stories to tell. There’s one that’s been nagging at me from my hindbrain for twenty years, but which I’ve never successfully fleshed out. There’s another that seems absolutely smashing, but up to now I’ve had no luck coming up with a cast of characters for it. There’s no point thinking about them when I’m this tapped out emotionally. Indeed, the attempt makes the post-creative sadness worse.

     Never fear, this isn’t some sort of cry for help. I’ll be fine in a couple of days. But to those who’ve occasionally expressed a wish to become a novelist / artist / sculptor / composer / what have you, it should serve as a caution. This is part of the price of creative activity. It cannot be removed from the package. It can only be endured.

     To all my Gentle Readers: Thank you for bearing with me these last few weeks. Things should improve shortly. And now it’s 3:00 PM, which we call Snort Time here at the Fortress of Crankitude, and I can hear an unopened bottle of Harvey’s calling my name ever so sweetly. You might want to consider doing likewise. Have a nice weekend.

All my best,

Romper Room out of control.

I'm not an expert but I bet the Russian assessment on the US and their allies is that they're dealing with erratic, dishonest and dangerous basket cases.[1]
Exhibit A: Mike (we dictate, you obey) Pompeo, Hillary (“We came. We saw. He died.”) Clinton, Mike (kill more Russians) Morell, Nikki (U.S. go it alone) Haley, and Victoria (“Fuck the E.U.’) Nuland.

[1] Comment by Chunga on “Putin Keeps Cool And Averts WWIII As Israeli-French Gamble In Syria Backfires Spectacularly" By Robert Bridge, ZeroHedge, 9/22/18.

This Wins The Internet For Today

     “...the collapse of society starts with open mic poetry nights.”

     Bravo, Sarah!

Why I didn’t choose a career as an investment adviser.

Euphoria Grips Markets As Traders Brace For Quad Witching, Huge Index Rebalance
By Tyler Durden, ZeroHedge, 9/21/18.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Get On Gab And Help To Defend It!

     A Gab user has just captured the following on Twitter:

     How much do you value freedom of expression in the digital domain?

More on Secular Meditation

Dangers of New Age and other Creeping Practices. And, I mean Creeping, not as a commentary on the creepiness of that doctrine, but on the way they 'creep' into supposedly secular institutions, such as schools, government offices, and businesses.

Among the Other-than-Catholic practices being promoted:

  • Labyrinth - this is actually Pre-Greek. The legend is from the Minoan times, but "there is little evidence to suggest that such a labyrinth ever existed on the island of Crete. Whether imaginary or real, the labyrinth in the Hellenic world was a negative symbol, associated with fear and an overwhelming sense of evil."
  • Some medieval labyrinths - keep in mind that, during this time, Christianity in the West was borrowing art styles from many other parts of the world, including the East - India, China, etc.
  • Centering Prayer - this was developed in its current form at a Trappist monastery, where the abbot and his monks had been in contact with both Buddhist and Hindu teachers/monks. BTW, the link takes you to an anti-Catholic Fundamentalist site - but, the information about the practice's origins is correct. Here is a Catholic source for the same. Keep in mind the time period of the Centering Prayer's initial introduction - the 1970's - when Transcendental Meditation was all the rage.
A nice explanation of how Christian meditation differs from that which is being hyped today.

Call Them What They Are Cont’d

     Institutions, like individuals, have priorities. At this time the overriding priority of the legacy media is to defame the Trump Administration:

     The New York Times recently ended up being shamed into adding a correction to their story about a State Department expenditure for curtains that was clearly intended to give readers the impression that the purchase decision made by Nikki Haley and the Trump administration instead of the Obama administration.

     On Fox News Thursday evening, Haley said the Times had all the facts but decided to put an anti-Trump admin spin on it anyway, which ended up just adding another item to the mountain of “fake news” examples...

     This would not have been believed sixty years ago. The Gray Lady of the Fourth Estate knowingly propagated a falsehood? Unthinkable! Yet numerous similar cases can be produced by anyone who still tests his patience by reading the legacy media. But if it’s so swiftly and easily found out, why do they do it?

     The only conceivable answer lies in the priorities of the institution. One desideratum overrides all others: degrade the public’s perception of the Trump Administration. But how did the New York Times, once regarded as the world’s most reliable news source, acquire that as its top priority?

     The answer is easily arrived at, albeit massively unpleasant. The paper, like most of the rest of the “journalism” industry, was infiltrated and corrupted by Leftists – and to a Leftist, there is nothing more important than his political agenda. It’s entirely consistent with the fabled Gramscian “long march through the institutions,” which has corrupted education and entertainment with equal success.

     I’ve written about this dynamic many times. Here’s a fairly recent example. What baffles many is how individuals’ priorities become institutional priorities, when the substitution is nearly always unfavorable to the institution’s financial health and its original agenda.

     But an institution is nothing more than the people who populate it: its workers, supervisors, and higher management. If persons who promote politics over profitability can be brought in to replace workers who depart, the institution can be infiltrated and colonized. If those persons then relentlessly advocate the hiring of more like them and work to ensure that “undesirables” are marginalized, the institution can be conquered in its entirety. It’s why Robert Conquest’s Second Law of Politics functions so reliably.

     Of course, a Left-conquered institution will no longer function acceptably in the eyes of those who originally patronized it. It will usually require a sugar daddy, or governmental protection, or both, for market forces are inexorable. The New York Times has a sugar daddy: Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. Owing to the First Amendment, it’s harder to see how the Times could acquire legal privileges, but the way things are trending for freedom of expression, it would be unwise to imagine that that state of affairs will never change.

     For the above reasons, the entirety of the legacy media is operating in failure mode. All its major organs (and many of its lesser ones) have been targeted, infiltrated, colonized, and conquered by left-wing ideologues with no real interest in reporting the facts. Those organs disseminate falsehoods and propaganda labeled “news.” Every one of them has lost the greater part of its credibility. Every one of them is losing “eyeballs.” Yet every one of them is vehement about its dignity, its “journalistic ethics,” and its reliability as a trustworthy source of information.

     What was that saying about protesting too much?

Thursday, September 20, 2018

What If?

     What if, in 2015:

  • Hillary told the Democratic National Committee she “had something” on them?
  • And she threatened to expose them if they didn’t get her the presidential nomination?
  • And they knew she would lose, but until she got the nod she’d be a millstone around their necks?
  • So they jimmied the nominating process to ensure her victory?
  • And then they watched with satisfaction as her campaign crashed and burned?
  • And now they’re somewhat disgusted, because she still won’t go away?
  • And now they’re considering “stronger measures” (hey, the Clintons didn’t shy back from them)?
  • And the DNC has just bought majority control of Hillary’s favorite Chardonnay vendor?

     Yes...what if?

     (Memo to me: Hat is wearing out. Must buy more tinfoil.)

Insight From A Thriller Writer

     “University politics is very odd. You get a lot of people gathered together who, if they couldn’t do this, really couldn’t do anything. They are given to think that they are both intelligent and important because they have Ph.D.s and most people don’t. Often, though not always, the Ph.D. does indicate mastery over a given subject. But that’s all it indicates, and, unfortunately, many people with Ph.D.s think it covers a wider area than it does. They think it empowers their superior insight into government and foreign policy and race relations and such. In addition, these people are put into an environment where daily, they judge themselves against a standard set by eighteen or twenty-year-old kids who know little if anything about the subject matter on which their professors are expert.”
     “Makes it hard not to take yourself very seriously,” I said.
     “Hard, not impossible,” he said. “More of them ought to be able to do it.”
     “But they can’t?”
     “But they don’t.”

     [Robert B. Parker, Hush Money, 1999]

Citizens Need Recourse Against Those Depriving Them of Their Rights

As it stands, unless a government employee is convicted of a felony against a citizen, the citizen may well be unable to get compensation for his injuries.

In the case of a cop who has exceeded his authority, as some have done with warrantless home invasions, the dead victim is out of luck. Just another death by cop.

Now, most cops are decent guys. They work within the law. They do no use their guns without a reasonable cause - like being fired upon.

The few who do are too often in those units that treat the average citizen as a likely perp. These would, often, be the drug units. I'm generally skeptical of legalization, as my former profession as a teacher leads me to be suspicious that the outcome would result in massive increase in drugs in schools.

However, one beneficial outcome of the end of the drug war would be disbanding these units, and likely reducing the number of shooting incidents.

So, how would that change work?

Cops would have to get insurance that pays the victims of an unjustified shooting. Those cops that have a higher number of incidents would be rated to pay more. It's a use of market forces to rein in those cowboy cops.

Many professionals already do this - dentists, teachers, doctors, attorneys. With the union and county-wide or state-wide government entities working to get group coverage, the cost shouldn't be prohibitive.

Method, Not Madness

     Kurt Schlichter lays it out for you:

     Character assassination is the Left’s sole remaining weapon. It shows through whenever they accuse someone of an “ism.” It shows through in the accusations of miscellaneous venalities against President Donald Trump. And it shows through when the Left’s hold on its fallback bastion, the Supreme Court, is endangered, most clearly of all.

     But, in our nation, the fine (albeit unholy) art of character assassination requires that the charges be too nebulous to refute. That’s the case with the allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford and brought forward by Dianne Feinstein. Plainly, the demand from the Democrats for an FBI investigation is a smokescreen, for how could any investigative agency determine whether an alleged assault of indefinite time, place, and participants actually occurred?

     Draw the moral. Remember that success breeds emulation. Don’t just not let them get away with it; punish it as severely as possible at the ballot box this November.

The Very Definition of Chutzpah

The Democratic-leadership has stepped into what is an Executive function , and decided that THEY have the right to order around the Dept. of Justice.

There are several things that struck me about the letter - first, the neither the President nor his attorneys have been given access to the information available to select members of Congress, absent an indictment.

So, we have the explanation of why this 'investigation' has dragged on so long, without charging the President. They did this as a way of keeping him from accessing information about improprieties in the Dept. of Justice.

They became emboldened by the ability to conduct their plot without fearing that their machinations would be exposed. That, coupled by the truly juvenile over-emotional texting of several of the participants, has put them in a very bad way. And, remember - we have seen some of the plot released, with 'bad optics'. The Leftists have batted away the clear meaning of the texts and emails.

Just how bad do the non-released parts have to be to get this level of panic started?

If the communications of the plotters is released, there is no way to pretend that this was a fair process. Their only hope, a Hail Mary play, is to stop this release of the truth. That's why they sought to bring in the accuser - they were hoping to block a non-Leftist justice from being seated. The Supreme Court may be needed, to settle this. Between the Leftist Justices, and those whom they can - uh - PERSUADE to see things their way - they plan to keep in power.

Furthermore, the 'investigators' would be specifically that department that has been SHOWN to be filled with partisan, biased people. The fact that the Dems feel comfortable with the FBI handling this, is more reason to keep their hands off this entirely. They wouldn't call for the FBI to investigate if they didn't believe that they could control them.

Instead, this all happens before the election. When it seems that they might actually lose seats, not gain them. I just don't see the Socialists getting the votes from the average man/woman, even if Democrat.

Here's a link to one who sees the connection to history in this well-deserved smackdown.

An Oldie, but a Goodie

Found a reference to this on House of Eratosphenes. I'd heard many of these, but not in one place before.

Back in the Old Days, in school, I remember a math teacher (new, and not very good, but...) who taught about classical logic syllogism. For example,

All dogs are mammals,
Spot is a dog,
Therefore, Spot is a mammal.

It's pretty simple. I do remember one or two students who didn't get it. Just couldn't grasp the format of the steps. They would construct things like this:

All women have boobs.
Caitlyn has boobs.
Therefore, Caitlyn is a woman.

The distinction between the first and the second is lost on these people. It would seem to be a foolproof test for Progressives.

No Progressive can understand logic.
Diane Feinstein is a Progressive.
Therefore, DiFi cannot understand logic.

Yep. It does seem to work.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Mindful? More Like Mind-Empty

I've meditated just about all my life. As a Catholic, I learned about ways to enter a deeply restful, soul-enhancing state, that impacted my daily life afterwards.

It's called prayer. It can involve reading and meditation on what you have read, both spontaneous and structured prayers, using artifacts, such as candles, scent, or rosaries, and can be solitary or involving a larger group (such as in retreats).

This, apparently, is not anything like those practices. It's being used in many schools, at taxpayer expense.

Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn is a professor of molecular biology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He founded the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society in 1995. Previously, in 1979, he founded the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Clinic. He sold rather pricey CDs and other resources at the link to the Center.

He studied with Buddhist teachers, and founded the Cambridge Zen Center. He is a practioner of yoga. Although his theory on Mindfulness was based on his Buddhist studies,
He removed the Buddhist framework and any connection between mindfulness and Buddhism, instead putting MBSR in a scientific context.
 His Wikipedia has this eye-opening information:
Kabat-Zinn is married to Myla Zinn, the daughter of Roslyn and Howard Zinn
 Here's a transcript of an interview with Anderson Cooper.

One big attraction, for the secular-minded, is that Mindfulness is often called Buddhism, without the Buddha. By divorcing the practice from the religion, adherents hope to be able to bring it into schools, businesses, and other corporate entities, without triggering complaints about church-state interference. And, that is a downside, for Buddhists.

It's a common quest for the Modern Age - to find peace and harmony in one's life, without all that icky religion-y stuff. Like the Buddhists, Hindus also disparage the de-linking of the practices of their faith from the religion. Many have tried to de-God yoga, but, to Hindus, this misses the point of the practice. You do not copy the movements to reach spiritual bliss - you do it to reach out to your deity (whether singular or plural).

Some have pointed out the irony of using a practice embedded in religion to further secular aims.
this snack-sized approach won’t sort people out, it will only ever be a sticking plaster if the root cause of the stress isn’t being addressed. Twenty minutes of inhaling in a boardroom is pointless if a lawyer is going back out on the floor to complete a 16-hour day, endlessly interrupted by emails. It also jars that an essentially peaceful practice is being used to help train soldiers to kill with greater precision, as well as cope with debilitating PTSD at the other end of combat. What would Buddha say?
More importantly, for most Americans, what would Jesus say?

If you want to start meditation, you can start small - a 3-Minute Retreat daily.  You can work up to praying the Liturgy of the Hours.

Some thoughts about, and some links to, Catholic Meditation.

An app I've used for some time is Laudate, which I have loaded on my IPhone. It's especially nice, as I can carry it around everywhere, without adding weight to my totebag. I've used other apps, but keep coming back to this.

Call Them What They Are

     The “legacy media.” The organs that were once the only conduits through which “news” reached the general public. The institutions that viewed the pictures, decided which ones we should be shown, and consigned the rest to the ever-so-aptly named “morgue.” The gaggles of reporters, editors, and publishers who exercised the Olympian privilege of deciding what We the People “need to know,” and made sure we were deluged with it.

     They liked that perch. They particularly liked that no one could take it from them, owing to the high cost of operation and a shield for broadcast-media privilege called the Federal Communications Commission. Barriers to entry are nice that way, especially when buttressed by ample propaganda.

     The Left saw the value in the privilege of unchallenged one-way communications, so they infiltrated the news oligopoly and worked to ensure that only “their sort” were thereafter admitted to its halls. And like the Fabians, “their sort” moved slowly but steadily, taking ground a little at a time and never surrendering an inch. Neanderthals like Rowland Evans and Robert Novak were eased out; persistent voices such as Jack Kilpatrick were sidelined into farcical “features” where they would be outshouted by a strident, graceless Leftist.

     It was a good gig. It allowed the Left to tell the public what we “ought” to be told. Even more important, it allowed the Left to keep us from hearing “dangerous” ideas and voices that crosscut what they, in their unquestioned judgment, deemed “news.” And it worked very well for them, until the rise of the alternative media made possible by cablecasting, digital communications, and the partial deregulation of radio breached their protective wall.

     The new media’s stories came from reporters the Left could not disqualify. Its content went to the consumer completely unfiltered. The legacy media oligopoly could no longer rule on who could say what to whom, or with what substantiation. It could not pick and choose among stories or sources. Things got out of hand...that is, out of the Left’s hands. Something had to be done, but what?

     The answer they arrived at was to prattle about “reliability” and “journalistic ethics.” The legacy media operates by a code, you see. Its reporters are schooled in a tradition of sacred responsibility to the public. Its mechanisms ensure that only carefully verified facts are reported to the public. Layers and layers of fact-checkers and editors, all supremely protective of their publication’s good name and vigilant against anything that might tarnish it.

     I think all the chrome has been rubbed off that old jalopy, don’t you, Gentle Reader?

     Apologies for the above. I had a lot of sarcasm built up and ready to spill over, so I chose this subject as a fitting receptacle. I’ve become very impatient with folks who say “Believe it because I’m telling you so, and ignore anyone who disagrees.” Or in the Firesign Theater’s formulation:

You can trust me,
Because I never lie,
And I’m always right.

     That’s the line the legacy media have been feeding us since their mid-Sixties campaign against “Pay TV” – i.e., cablecasting. And if I refuse to accept it from the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church, I’ll be damned if I’ll take it from a self-nominated flock of ideologues bitter about the emergence of competition.

     Monopolies and cartels of information dissemination are infinitely more dangerous than monopolies in other sorts of commerce. When such institutions preen themselves about their “ethics,” a smart American puts one hand on his wallet and the other on his gun. Especially when its agenda becomes impossible to conceal:

     But “fake news” is tame in light of the media’s misleading, destructive, and willfully ignorant reporting last week that was intended further to inflame a divided body politic.

     Some of the lowlights featured MSNBC morning host Joe Scarborough, claiming Trump has done more damage to the country than the 9/11 terrorists; the editorial board of a major newspaper blaming Trump for Hurricane Florence; the wholesale acceptance of a highly flawed paper about hurricane deaths used to bash the president; and a despicable crusade not just to quash Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court, but to destroy his reputation and damage his young family.

     And it wasn’t just the dependable lunatics on the Left pushing trash commentary. Bret Stephens, the NeverTrump “conservative” columnist for the New York Times, compared Trump to a drug addict. Washington Post “conservative” blogger Jennifer Rubin warned that if Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) voted to confirm Kavanaugh, their names would be, “as was the case with [Nazi-era traitor] Vidkun Quisling—synonymous with ‘sellouts,’ ‘collaborators,’ or, to use a Trumpism, ‘phonies.’”

     As the week came to a close, the New York Times was forced to append its misleading article that criticized U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley for buying pricey curtains to decorate her official residence. The window coverings, it turns out, actually were purchased by her predecessor in the Obama Administration. But it was too late. Social media had pounded Haley all morning for being extravagant and heartless.


     This is why Americans, in a recent poll, cited inaccuracy and bias as the key reasons why they no longer trust the media.


     We are fortunate to live in a time when a news oligopoly, at least, is no longer sustainable. But there are other protected bastions of information dissemination at work. There’s one in your neighborhood. It gets a hefty share of your tax payments and over a thousand hours per year to indoctrinate your minor children, and it makes full use of both.

     Isn’t it about time we put an end to this crap? And I don’t mean cutting it back or limiting its “mandate.” That’s like excising half of a malignant tumor and leaving the rest in place.

     Outside of government, the Left has made almost all its gains through the exploitation of three institutions: the legacy media, the “public” schools, and the entertainment industry. All three have fought like wounded tigers to prevent the emergence of competition. But only one who knows himself to be vulnerable is unhappy about competition. Smart businessmen know that the competition is the greater part of what keeps them honest.

     Honesty! What a concept!