Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Education Really Is A Lifelong Process

     I must say, as your Curmudgeon Emeritus and dictator verborum to the World Wide Web, I seldom encounter a pithy word or phrase I’ve never seen or heard before. However, the #MeToobin affair has been an illumination in imagery and metaphor. More specifically, it’s taught me a whole new range of phrases with which to speak of male self-abuse: i.e., manual masturbation.

     I knew a few of the more indirect references to the act:

  • Shining the shaft;
  • Spanking the monkey;
  • Frisking John Thomas;
  • Polishing the family jewels;
  • Giving Wee Willie a workout.

     ...but I had no idea there were so many more!

     Here’s a contribution from Bookworm Room’s Wolf Howling:

     If you haven’t heard, Toobin was caught on a Zoom call in flagrante delicto . . . playing a solo on his organ. Yes, in a Zoom conference call with, among others, the staff of the New Yorker, Toobin was caught on cam with his joy stick out as he choked the chicken, beat the bishop, celebrated Palm Sunday, played a pick-up game of five-on-one, and burped the worm.

     When confronted about his actions on the call, Toobin said it was a failed attempt at a joke. “I was just trying to pull a fast one.” Later Toobin stated that he had misunderstood the purpose of the Zoom call. “What do ya’ mean, election simulation? Boy did I get mishear that one.”

     Not bad, eh? Have a few more from PJ Media’s Megan Fox:

     How does he expect us to believe he did not check this before deciding to whip out wee Willie? And worse, why is that a good excuse for flogging the dolphin during a work call? Do we need congressional intervention to tell us that being an Army of One on a Zoom call is the wrong thing to do? Do we need a new criminal code for 2020 specifying that hoisting your own petard while attending a conference call is offensive to others? It’s sad that humans can’t just self-police....

     And now Toobin wants the world to accept that he made a “mistake” and “accidentally” sexually harassed everyone in a Zoom call. That’s what we’re really talking about here. If MeToo has taught me anything it’s that consent matters and if a man exposes himself to anyone without their consent it’s akin to rape. Remember that Louis C.K. was dragged for engaging in this same activity on phone calls with women. So was Harvey Weinstein, who was reported to have sprinkled his house plant in plain view of witnesses.

     All very colorful. Are there any others? Perhaps we should take this opportunity to compile a definitive list. Add your favorites to the Comments.

We're Not Heading to CW 2.0, We've Been There, for Some Time

 It's been a long-simmering war.

Like CW 1.0, it didn't start when the first cannon fired. That just formalized the situation.

No, it all started earlier. The Missouri Compromise of 1820 could be considered the first skirmish. At that time, neither side was happy about the agreement. The North had to agree to allow the South to have slavery in their territory, and the South had to agree to limit slavery in Northern territory.

In 1850:

  • No slave trade in Washington, DC
  • Slavery not banned in Washington, DC
  • CA is a free state
  • No limits on slavery
  • Stronger Fugitive Slave Law
All of the above caused each side to feel as though they got the worst of the deal. It did not allow tensions to lessen.

Bleeding Kansas

    Popular sovereignty is the new rule for deciding whether a state would be free or slave. As a result, people flooded into the territory to be able to vote for their choice. Tensions rose, and the first major actions, with guns, occurred. Although some had used guns to handle disputes in the past, this was the first time it became widespread.

Fanatic John Brown becomes notorious for his actions against opponents during this time.

1860 - Lincoln wins the election; slave states immediately begin making plans for secession.

April, 1861 - Fort Sumter is fired upon, and falls to the South.

It didn't start with Sumter, or even Bleeding Kansas. Long before Lincoln's election, the train was in motion.

It didn't start with Trump. It may END with him, however.

Will Early Voting Doom Trump?

I'm thinking - No.

Look, the EVs - Early Voters - are a special breed. They are not going to be the Undecided Voter; they will be quite sure of their choice. No later happenings will dislodge their conviction.

Both parties try to move the On-the-Fence Voter to make a commitment earlier that Election Day. But, particularly this year, that doesn't seem to be likely. So, I would expect that most of the wishy-washy potential voters will vote on Election Day - if then.

I think some of the Undecideds are not. I think they're temporizing, like that guy who 'just can't make up his mind on marriage', who uses that defense to avoid saying 'No, I won't marry you'.

Think what it gains the 'Undecided' voter to claim indecision:

  • The Left will be nicer to him. They won't call him a Troglodyte, won't attempt to force him out of his job, will not ban him from family events or neighborhood gatherings. As long as he doesn't actually pick a side, the person can relax, secure in the fact that they will TRY to act normal around him.
  • He doesn't have to listen to people impugning his lack of civic responsibility. If he tells the truth, he doesn't like EITHER of the candidates, and just wants to sit and enjoy his beer, BOTH sides will re-double their efforts to change his mind.
  • He can avoid having lawn signs planted on his yard.
  • He can avoid hearing from party headquarters, asking for volunteers.
  • He can enjoy watching both sides pretend to care about him and his needs.
But, I also don't expect the 'Undecided' voter to wait in lines for extended periods of time on Election Day. So, I would bet that the lines on that day will NOT be full.

Also, college students aren't being signed up by their campus pressure group, so I would not expect the usual double-voting scams from the Left, using kids to perpetuate the fraud.

Surprisingly, many of the EVs are NOT voting for Biden. The GOP is turning out early.

If you do vote early, consider taking a vacation day from work, and volunteering to drive people to the polls. We need every vote we can get.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

When in the Course of Human Events...

 ...Is this that time?

People have been getting more and more outraged about the many ways that TPTB (The Powers That Be) have been working overtime to shove Trump out of the White House. Within days of the election - which, for those with short attention spans, he WON - they've been using various underhanded means to get rid of him.

Now, we are within a few weeks of the actual Election Day, and the methods have been amped up to 10 to the 1000000000000th power.

It's time to draw the line in the sand, and go All-In. Like the man from Major League said, 

"You know what we gotta do?"

“What Is It You Really Like About This?”

     I remember first confronting the above question in high school. I had a remarkable eleventh-grade English teacher, Edward Kelly, who refused to stop short in analyzing the works we read for his class. The title question was one of the first he proposed to us. If memory serves, it came shortly after the class read 1984.

     Opinion was, as you might expect from a gaggle of unlettered teenagers, mixed. Most sixteen year old heads are filled with concerns far removed from the study of great literature. But Mr. Kelly would not relent. Most members of the class concurred about having liked the book, though one or two of the girls thought it was “too depressing.” But why they liked it seemed at first to elude them.

     Style, we eventually concurred, was part of the answer. Orwell’s writing style is graceful and evocative, well focused and not at all pretentious. But that wasn’t the whole of it. As we realized after having read a couple of other novels that are equally well written but far less emotionally compelling, the story itself, the vision of ultimate oppression and the way it crushes protagonist Winston Smith was an inseparable part of the answer.

     Story, as I’ve written before, is identical to characters confronting and coping with crises. Style alone doth not a story make.

     Though Mr. Kelly continued to pursue the question of what you really like about this, it wasn’t until long afterward that I got a sense for what he was driving toward.

     Some years later, I had occasion to reflect at length upon the core question of esthetics: What is beauty? What position does it play in metaphysically given reality and Man’s experience thereof?

     I was hardly the first person on Earth to address this, of course. But there were related developments in progress as I pondered. Some of them have proved critical to the inquiry:

  • Trends in the visual arts and architecture;
  • Trends in music, including popular music;
  • Trends in women’s clothing, shoes, hairstyles, makeup, and ornamentation;
  • And of course, trends in fiction.

     Those trends were often multifurcate, such that streams of thought and practice were moving in many completely divergent directions at once. Some of them appeared to have no animating idea other than to mock and defy earlier notions and norms. Others built upon those earlier norms, preserving their core ideas while evolving new variations upon them. A complete survey is obviously impossible within the confines of a reasonably compact essay.

     These developments challenged us with the questions What do you like about this...if you do? Is there beauty in it? Indeed, those questions appeared to be more insistent, and to require more penetration, than ever before in Western history.

     Hindsight, as always, is twenty-twenty. From today’s perspective we can see that some of the quasi-esthetic trends of the Seventies, Eighties, and Nineties were unconcerned with beauty. They were attempts to shock, to scream “I am different!” often with a subtext of “And here’s what I think of you!” Beauty mattered to their practitioners less than their ability to attract attention. In consequence, today they’re mostly matters of minor historical interest.

     Yet as I wrote the above, I found myself wondering: What if it had been the other way around? What if the mockers and defiers had prevailed, and those who clove to the norms of earlier times had dwindled away? Would we have had a convulsion, an inversion in our concepts and standards of beauty?

     It’s difficult for me to contemplate...yet it remains possible. A parallel consideration of standards noted by Robert A. Heinlein in his early novella “Gulf” come to mind:

     "Each shape of society develops its own ethic. We are shaping this the way we are inexorably forced to, by the logic of events. We think we are shaping it toward survival."
     "Are we?" mused Greene-Gilead.
     "Remains to be seen. Survivors survive."

     To determine what characteristics are critical to survival, one must survey survivors, note their commonalities, and note their differences from those who failed to survive. The same is true for esthetic standards – and just as with survival, it’s impossible to “run the experiment twice.”

     It is possible – indeed, many have done it – to dismiss beauty and all questions of esthetics as subjective matters, resoluble only one viewer / listener / reader at a time: it’s “just what you like.” Robert M. Pirsig took a clawhammer to this in his analysis of quality in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance:

     What the classical formalists meant by the objection “Quality is just what you like” was that this subjective, undefined “quality” he was teaching was just romantic surface appeal. Classroom popularity contests could determine whether a composition had immediate appeal, all right, but was this Quality? Was Quality something that you “just see” or might it be something more subtle than that, so that you wouldn’t see it at all immediately, but only after a long period of time?...
     ... he rejected the left horn. Quality is not objective, he said. It doesn’t reside in the material world.
     Then: he rejected the right horn. Quality is not subjective, he said. It doesn’t reside merely in the mind.
     And finally: Phaedrus, following a path that to his knowledge had never been taken before in the history of Western thought, went straight between the horns of the subjectivity-objectivity dilemma and said Quality is neither a part of mind, nor is it a part of matter. It is a third entity which is independent of the two.

     Beauty, like Pirsig’s Quality, is an event. It occurs when the mind encounters some aspect of the world distinct from itself, embraces it, and finds it good. That “goodness” cannot be separated from either the mind or the thing assessed as beautiful. Both are required to create the beauty event.

     But such “goodness” is at no time universally agreed upon. There were people who genuinely liked the noisy “metal” music and the almost blatantly anti-esthetic “grunge” fashions of the Nineties. There still are, though there aren’t as many as there were, nor are there nearly as many “musicians” and “designers” promoting such things. Esthetic notions far closer to the older ones that “metal” and “grunge” sought to eclipse are the stronger ones today.

     Which suggests that while “what is beauty?” may be a matter of dispute at any given time, what’s really beautiful will persist and be celebrated when its mockers and defiers have been forgotten.

     I know I’ve seemed to veer a bit from the original question of “What is it you really like about this?” It’s time to return to it.

     “What you like” – the constellation of characteristics that give rise to a beauty event – is inseparable from either the mind or the thing perceived, embraced, and assessed. But then, events are like that, aren’t they? No matter how long the event endures, whether it’s over in a millisecond or illuminates the mind for many decades, the essential interdependence of all the elements remains. This has strong implications for a concept of integrity as beauty, though there remain reductionist approaches to things one finds flawed yet appealing in certain parts or aspects. (See also Douglas Hofstadter’s discussion of holism and reductionism in Godel, Escher, Bach.)

     A little abstruse for an early morning essay from the Curmudgeon Emeritus of Liberty’s Torch, eh what? Well, it’s been on my mind lately, in particular as I’ve struggled to review several books I’ve read recently. But the triggering event (“OMG! Fran’s been triggered! Is no one safe?”) came yesterday afternoon, when I set all my labors aside, sat back, and luxuriated in Derek and the Dominoes’ Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. Eric Clapton never tried to bury the listener in a storm of sixty-fourth notes. He refused to set pointless demonstrations of empty virtuosity above genuine musical quality...and beauty. He knew what he liked.

     As usual when I get like this, your mileage may vary. But do have a nice day.

Ultra-Quickies: Observant, Pithy, and Concise

     In commenting on the timing of recent events, Bookworm exhibits great felicity of phrase:

     I knew that, in 2020, it was always going to be Trump who controlled the October surprise. After all, since they subjected Trump to a daily colonoscopy for the last four years, the Democrats have no arrows left in their quiver.

     I couldn’t beat that with a tennis racket. Mixed metaphors and all!

The Russians did it!

The is a comment on a Caitlin Johnstone article about how the MSM are going to push the "Russian disinformation" and "classic textbook Soviet Russian tradecraft" (Clapper) nonsense to protect Biden from anything that will come out from his son's laptop computer:
Yep. Yep. Those crafty Russians. They KNEW years ahead of time that if they placed an infiltrator in a corner computer repair shop it would draw in a coke head with lap tops festooned with sensitive national security information into the lair. Man, you gotta hand it to those crafty rooskies.

Here's to you, Vlad!

Gobble D. Goop comment on "'The Emails Are Russian' Will Be The Narrative, Regardless Of Facts Or Evidence." By Caitlin Johnstone, ZeroHedge, 10/19/20.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Monday Maunderings

“The news is all bad,
But it’s good for a laugh.”
[Tom Paxton, “Jimmy Newman”]

     Decide for yourselves.

1. “Authorities.”

     How many times can you be wrong – serially, at that – and still command attention as an authority?

     Rethink big family gatherings for Thanksgiving, continue wearing your mask and keep your distance as cold weather likely ushers in more coronavirus cases. But don’t give up hope that more normal life will ever return.

     That’s the message delivered Friday by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top pandemic scientist, during a virtual “fireside chat” with the staff and students at Johns Hopkins University as part of a new series of discussions with Washington leaders.

     Fauci, director of the National Academy of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a top adviser to the Trump administration on the coronavirus, didn’t offer much new during the health policy forum. But as Ellen MacKenzie, dean of the Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said during the discussion, the pandemic has thrust Fauci, who has deep experience in dangerous outbreaks, into a new role as the nation’s and world’s “trusted source.”

     For his part, Fauci said his driving force is “the realization not only of the enormity of the problem, but the fact that we can do something about it. It is not an unsolvable series of problems.”

     At this point, if Fauci were to announce that the Sun had risen in the East this morning, I’d call the Naval Observatory for confirmation.

2. The Politics of the Wallet.

     It’s important that open minded persons, who are willing to listen to orations about “the greater good,” have a clear understanding of what the Biden / Harris economic agenda will mean for all Americans:

     Joe Biden has shrewdly kept the campaign focus on Covid-19 and President Trump, which has helped him avoid having to talk much about his own policies. That’s especially true of his economic proposals, which a new study out Sunday from the Hoover Institution shows will have a damaging impact on growth, job creation and household income.

     So far, nothing newsworthy. As Ann Coulter has written, if leading Democrats were ever truly candid about their intentions for America, the public would boil them in oil. But wait: there’s more!

     Overall, the authors estimate that the Biden agenda, if fully implemented, would reduce full-time equivalent employment per person by about 3%, the capital stock per person by some 15%, and real GDP per capita by more than 8%. Compared to Congressional Budget Office estimates for these variables in 2030, this means there would be 4.9 million fewer working Americans, $2.6 trillion less in GDP, and $6,500 less in median household income.

     That’s quite dramatic, especially as we’re still coming out of the WuFlu Recession. But surely the Democrats have a “greater good” rationale for imposing such severe economic and financial setbacks on America and Americans! What’s that you say? They haven’t? But they must! Something about “climate change,” or fighting “structural racism,” or some such. I’m sure we’ll be hearing it

3. The Laptop and the Media.

     FLASH! Journalist commits blatant act of journalism! Film at 11:

     I asked Joe Biden: What is your response to the NYPost story about your son, sir?
     He called it a “smear campaign” and then went after me. “I know you’d ask it. I have no response, it’s another smear campaign, right up your alley, those are the questions you always ask.”
     — Bo Erickson CBS (@BoKnowsNews) October 17, 2020

     I was startled that a mainstream media reporter would “break ranks” from the lockstep march to elect a Democrat. However, the allegations are juicy enough to tempt even a hardened partisan, as reportage from several other mainstream types suggests. But the real story here is the reaction of a couple of other media figures:

     Biden adopts Trump playbook – attacking pool reporter @BoKnowsNews for asking about Hunter Biden story which has been a focus of President Trump’s campaign over past few days. Fine to attack the story, but why personally insult Bo?      — Paula Reid (@PaulaReidCBS) October 17, 2020

     How are you all circling the wagons instead of being embarrassed for peddling Russian ops 18 days before the election. It's not enough that you all haven't learned from your atrocious handling of 2016 — you are doubling down. Truly incredible.
     — Neera -Vote Early- Tanden (@neeratanden) October 17, 2020

     Because it’s “irresponsible” to report on a stunning disclosure about criminal behavior by a member of the Ruling Elite, don’t y’know:

     The media in most of Europe is so much more responsible than American media. After 2016, I thought they would behave more responsibly. It's incredibly depressing that they are doing Russia's bidding. Again.
     — Neera -Vote Early- Tanden (@neeratanden) October 17, 2020

     Miss Tanden is determined to squelch the story before it can gain any traction. Can’t have the Bidens’ blatant corruption in the news when there’s an election to be won for the Democrats! But it appears that she’s up against a force too large for her: the lure of a Pulitzer.

     Howie Carr of the Boston Herald has a few observations, as well:

     Biden — or more precisely, his keepers — haven’t disputed the veracity of the Biden Crime Family documents, or that they are from Hunter’s laptop. They were obtained legally, after an “inebriated” Hunter abandoned the computer at a repair shop, according to the New York Post.

     The usual alt-left suspects — the AP, NBC “News,” Rep. Adam Schiff — went through the tired motions of trying to blame it all on, who else, the Russians. But seriously, how many times can these hacks cry wolf, even to Wolf Blitzer?

     And Darleen Click opines thus:

     Let me digress a bit about one very risible thing I keep seeing from the it’s a hoax! crowd. Too many seem to think no one of Hunter’s background and intelligence [… sorry, a moment here as I guffaw …] would ever leave such important data behind. After working in a District Attorney office for 18 years (now retired), don’t underestimate criminally stupid people who leave enough loose ends lying about it looks like wool tapestry after being locked up with cloud of horny clothes moths. Hunter McCrackpipe losing his info to the computer shop owner because he failed to pick up and pay for repair is second only to this gal whose prize for skipping three months rent was 25 to life.

     Someone tell Adam we’ve moved on, eh?

It’s Not Real
It’s Russian Disinfo
It’s Real But Doesn’t Matter <– YOU ARE HERE
It Matters But Not Very Much
This is Old News
Shut Up Racist

—The Plague Duck (@quackocracy) October 17, 2020

     Yet there are still millions of people who will uncritically swallow the “Russia, Russia, Russia!” nonsense, and will vote for Joe Biden on November 3.

4. Science Has No Clergy...Or Does It?

     At InstaPundit, Sarah Hoyt links to a scathing Robert Zimmerman piece about the politicization of the WHO:

     The corruption of modern science and our intellectual class was well illustrated today by the following headline and article in the peer review journal Science: Act now, wait for perfect evidence later, says ‘high priestess’ of U.K. COVID-19 masking campaign

     Please read it all. Also reflect on Sarah’s brief remarks:

     I knew we were in trouble deep when I started seeing the signs on front yards “In this house we believe in science” followed by a list of dubious statements most of which are semantically deranged, let alone not scientifically proven.

     Science is not a system of belief; it is a strict method for improving our confidence in our knowledge about that the world. To say “we believe in science” is to paint oneself as an ignoramus. Demagogues have made much of such ignorance:

     The mystery of where the milk went to was soon cleared up. It was mixed every day into the pigs' mash. The early apples were now ripening, and the grass of the orchard was littered with windfalls. The animals had assumed as a matter of course that these would be shared out equally; one day, however, the order went forth that all the windfalls were to be collected and brought to the harness-room for the use of the pigs. At this some of the other animals murmured, but it was no use. All the pigs were in full agreement on this point, even Snowball and Napoleon. Squealer was sent to make the necessary explanations to the others.

     "Comrades!" he cried. "You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organisation of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for YOUR sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples. Do you know what would happen if we pigs failed in our duty? Jones would come back! Yes, Jones would come back! Surely, comrades," cried Squealer almost pleadingly, skipping from side to side and whisking his tail, "surely there is no one among you who wants to see Jones come back?"

     Now if there was one thing that the animals were completely certain of, it was that they did not want Jones back. When it was put to them in this light, they had no more to say. The importance of keeping the pigs in good health was all too obvious. So it was agreed without further argument that the milk and the windfall apples (and also the main crop of apples when they ripened) should be reserved for the pigs alone.

     [George Orwell, Animal Farm]

Forgive Me For This...

     ...but you do need to be aware of it:

     Does your neighborhood have a functioning Neighborhood Watch in operation? If you don’t...well, suffice it to say that the vandals will have the initiative.

     That’s all for today, I think. I have to get started on my other chores – yes, including fiction – so in closing I’ll wish you a happy (?) mask-free (!) and generally untroubled Monday.

Why Now? Why Are the Scandals/LIes Coming to Light Now?

 It's not just accidental. The donors/facilitators/insiders can see the handwriting on the wall.

They know that their unfettered romp through our nation - its culture, its piggy bank, its tightly-enmeshed power circles - is nearly over.

They've been trying to hold back the fall. They've been throwing money and media at Trump and his supporters.

They've tried using their BLM/AntiFa/Feminist Shock Troops to scare the Normals into compliance and silence. They've used street violence, willing allies in the legal/judicial fields, abusive actions to deprive people of a living - either pressuring the corporate offices to fire opponents, or destroying their businesses.

Lately, they've collaborated in locking down the economy; the hardest hit were the independent business owners. The larger corporations got exempted from the rules, or were able to adjust to it by shifting to take-out and online orders.

But, it's over. I'm guessing that the Elite have access to truthful polls that show Biden/Harris haven't a prayer of winning. Worse, they will likely take down a lot of people at the state level, as well.

So, they're not fighting the release of the laptop files. Oh, sure, they're not helping it all get out - they've allowed their media stooges to clamp down on any widespread coverage of the revelations.

But, once the election is over, they'll be able to claim this as "old news", and insist that the problem was limited to Biden and his family. They'll do their best to 'move on' and not peek under the rock of the rest of the Entitled Ones.

In the end, there will be 2 'truths'. One, that correctly understands the extent of the corruption, and assigns the blame to the right people. The other, in which those Awful GOP (trademark pending) have 'ginned up' a minor scandal, involving poor Hunter Biden, who is a helpless VICTIM of addiction, and really deserves to have us all 'move on' from this wallowing in a private matter.

That'll be it, for many - just walk away, and never actually look at the extent of the monster's reach. Oh, perhaps a few people will gracefully retire, with copious praise from their fellow politicians/Deep State.

That'll be it.

The real question is: What do you plan to do WHEN, not IF, that happens?

Sunday, October 18, 2020

On the Other Side of the Election

 What will we have? What if, God Forbid, the Other Side wins (doesn't matter who you are voting for - the point is the same for ALL)?

Will we be able to put aside the Feverish Speech, the Frenzied Defenses of Our Side, the Refusal to Interact with Those Awful People?

What will the holiday be like? Never mind that they will likely be different, because of this generally less-than-lethal virus. Will all sides be able to gather at the dinner table, and enjoy the family's bonding time?

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately, and I'm not the only one that thinks we may be - at least for now - split into two or more factions, that will NOT interact. The difference in their position on what is real and what is "Fake" is too far apart.

And, that's a shame. If the North and South could eventually come to reconciliation, after the War Between the States, I'd like to believe that it's possible for us to do so.

The Atlantic posted about this recently. It comes down to trust - and, that's what we lack. We no longer trust that the opposition will operate within agreed upon limits. We don't trust that they will not lie, or, at least, purposefully be blind to the truth.

It's what finally breaks down a marriage - it's not the financial difficulties, it's not necessarily infidelity, it's not growing into people with different interests and opinions.

It's no longer feeling that you can TRUST that person to act honestly and with integrity.

That's true of governments and institutions, as well. And, if on top of that, you add in uncertainty, and the inability to anticipate some aspects of life's changes, such as the value of money, or what the regulations and laws are, well, it's over.

It will take a dedicated effort to re-build trust. It will take stability in government, as well as a willingness to rein in the unelected judiciary and bureaucrats, to get our nation's commerce to begin to function without cash handouts.

People will not put down their guns, as long as they cannot trust their government to respect their right to be left alone and manage their own life.

So, the solution is at least two-pronged:

  1. Rein in the tech giants/business interests that pose a threat to Americans' rights, and have effectively set up a competing governing authority over every aspect of private life. 
    1. Here's where executive orders can come in - FCC regulations that force the social media companies to choose - will they be publishers, censoring viewpoints, and opening themselves up to lawsuits for their actions, or neutral content providers, exempt from action?
    2. Banking/finance/platform providers - again, regulations or executive orders can handle this (legislation can follow later). All are in industries that are regulated; if they will not comply, anti-trust actions can be used. (Not to mention discovery would likely uncover a treasure trove of communications they would rather not have exposed).
  2. Reduce the budgets of agencies that have been abusive of citizens. If they have enough time to get into things that are not their job, they have too many people - aim for 20-25% reduction EACH YEAR.
    1. Get Congress to pass legislation that abuses of citizens' rights, or partisan action ON THE JOB, is grounds for not only dismissal, but loss of pension (they can have back any money they personally put in), AND lifetime ban from any job in any level of government, even as a contractor/advisor. Any such person working for an entity that receives government funding will trigger that company or organization to lose any government contract/money. That specifically includes schools, colleges, and universities.
      1. And, of course, such persons will have to surrender their law license and teachers' license.
This isn't punitive. It's the equivalent of forcing the soldiers of the defeated armies to turn over their guns, before accepting their surrender.

Some Stories Speak For Themselves...

     ...while others must be trumpeted repeatedly and relentlessly against a storm of enraged hyperpartisan Big Tech censors:

     Confirmation of what already seemed pretty close to certain, eh? But where’s the Big Tech censorship angle in this, you ask? Why, it’s right here:

     Twitter has refused to unlock the New York Post's account since Wednesday unless the outlet deletes six tweets about its reporting on 2020 Democratic nominee Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, the Post reported.

     Both the San Francisco-based social media platform and Facebook came under fire this week after the two blocked users from sharing a Post article showing purported communication between 2020 Democratic nominee Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, and an adviser to a Ukrainian energy company....

     Twitter confirmed to FOX Business that the Post "has been informed what is necessary to unlock their account."

     The company previously said the Post's Hunter Biden stories violate the website's Hacked Media Policy against displaying "hacked" information -- an allegation that the Post called "baseless."

     Is anyone in America prepared to argue that this “Hacked Media Policy” is not a “Protect the Democrats At All Costs” policy? It certainly didn’t prevent Leftist Twitter users from tweeting about the debunked Steele dossier or President Trump’s leaked tax returns.

     Sometimes the hard evidence of an evil is suppressible. But sometimes it isn’t, as is the case today – and that makes fevered attempts to suppress it just more hard evidence of the crime itself.

     For some months now I’ve been pessimistic about the future of this country. It’s looked to me as if no matter what good Americans might do, the Left would send us down the chute to civil warfare of the worst sort. They’ve already made several major cities uninhabitable. They’ve terrorized a significant (and still increasing) number of commercial concerns. Their doings have been fan-danced aside by the mainstream media, while alternative media and citizen journalists have been harassed, threatened, and assaulted for attempting to report the facts. All this has proceeded with the tacit cooperation and gratitude of the Democrat Party, which has baldfacedly told us that only the election of Joe Biden to the presidency will bring the violence to a halt. They might as well come right out and say it: “Nice country you’ve got here. Be a shame if something were to happen to it.”

     The violence has been spreading, amoeba-like, from the cities to the suburbs surrounding them. Whether it’s gaining or losing force as it moves is unclear, but the motion itself is alarming. The bloodshed to date has been horrifying, but it will be as nothing compared to what will follow should well-armed suburban and rural Americans confront these vermin.

     We suburbanites are the reason for the current shortage of guns and ammo. While we’re not looking forward to the necessity, we’re ready to use it all in defense of our loved ones, homes, and communities. And we’ll fire damned few warning shots — if any. So the rioters would be best advised to stay in the Democrat-infested cities that have let them run riot to date.

     But that’s not a sustainable situation. The cities are being drained of everything that makes it possible to live in them. They already lack effective law enforcement. Employers there are relocating and taking thousands of jobs with them. A dwindling number of suppliers remain willing to truck supplies into them. An even more swiftly dwindling number of retailers remain willing to do business in the cities, in the face of looters and vandals who seemingly have carte blanche to do as they please. Presently the afflicted cities will begin to starve.

     All this to replace a fiercely patriotic, highly successful president with a 77-year-old, provably corrupt dementia sufferer, so the socialists, the corporatists and globalists, the Red Chinese, and Kamala Harris can have their way with him – and us.

     It is to laugh...hollowly, and with many a tear.

     I doubt the above was what you came to Liberty’s Torch to read this fine Sunday morning. All the same, it’s what’s on my mind, and I write about what’s on my mind. Yes, the proof of the Biden family’s corruption is now ironclad, beyond all possible refutation. Yes, the re-election of Donald Trump to the presidency is now nearly certain. Yes, he’s likely to return with a strengthened mandate that will enable him to quell the riots, to arrest the conspirators and planners behind them, and to press on with his admirably America-centered agenda. Yes, yes, yes.

     But even if all that of should occur exactly in the right order and to the right effect, America has still been scarred. The guts of our political system have been riven by corruption. The magnitude of it is greater than most of us were willing to believe. Our political class has revealed itself to be composed of thugs, thieves, touts, and time-servers concerned solely with their paychecks and pensions.

     It’s too weak a summation to say that we’ve “lost our innocence.” Indeed, we lost that long ago. Remember Wilson’s suppression of dissent during World War I? Remember Teapot Dome? Remember FDR’s seizure of our gold, his cartelization of the economy, his Court Reorganization Bill? Remember Lyndon Johnson’s “I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for two hundred years” -- ? Remember Bill Clinton’s “there is no sexual relationship with that woman, Monica Lewinsky” -- ? Remember Barack Hussein Obama’s “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” -- ?

     Should it not be we, the decent majority, who are out in the streets petitioning for a redress of grievances? Apart from isolated ceremonies like the annual March for Life, why haven’t we been doing so?

     If I read the portents accurately, pretty soon fiery essays and protests will be of no further moment. I fear the arrival of that day. I don’t think I have enough ammo. I probably don’t pray enough, either. I’d bet you could say the same of yourself. Verbum sat sapienti.

The agenda of malevolence.

The agenda of malevolence.
Since she’s not running for re-election next year [Merkel] now has to do everything she can to deliver Germany to her Davos Crowd masters weak, divided, locked down and betrayed, as she’s been ordered to do.

It’s similar to what the Democrats are trying to pull off here in the U.S. and Labour has only partially succeeded in doing in the U.K.

Merkel has succeeded far more than Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats have.

The markets have begun sniffing this outcome for weeks. The firming U.S. dollar and failed bond rout from last week in U.S. Treasuries have been your signals that smart money is beginning to leave Europe.[1]

The notion that the Western political class is motivated by pure malevolence is hard to swallow. But . . . it's downright compelling according to the Holmes dictum that, once you've eliminated the impossible, what's left is the truth, no matter how improbable.

And the truth of the post-WWII has been the priority given by the political class, Homo toadus turpis, to mass third-world immigration. Which is proof positive of their utter viciousness as there is NO WAY that you can look at an influx of millions and millions of third worlders, Muslims in particular, to white, Christian countries and say that stability, social peace, and net improvement could be the inevitable result. Let alone a possible result.

Can you hear us now?
Given the no-go zones of Europe, frenzies of French car-b-ques, terror, street crime, rape, murder, street, garden, and swimming pool defecation, tent cities in public streets, declarations of eternal hostility and subversion, sexual abuse of young girls, FGM visits to the home country, honor killings, subordination of women, animal slaughter on public streets, abuse of welfare systems, and separate courts, inter bleeping alia, there's NO WAY you say there was any rationality or kindness behind it all. Only pure malevolence.

A dear lady friend picked up a hitchhiker some years back and gave him a ride of many hundreds of miles. Being the kind and benevolent, but overly trusting, person she was, when they reached her destination she allowed him to stay in the apartment of a recently deceased relative. Whereupon he proceeded to hock the valuables he found in the apartment. My friend made an incorrect judgment call in that instance and her judgment was clouded by her extreme compassion for others, for which I love her. But the toads who have engineered mass immigration and danced around the "diversity" maypole have no such compassion. They have in essence allowed an initial group of immigrants in and watched them do to the nation at large what that hitchhiker did to my friend. AND THEN proceeded WITH THE EVIDENCE of what immigration means to their orderly, ethnically and culturally coherent nations TO IMPORT MILLIONS MORE.

So it is IMPOSSIBLE to believe that what was done was dione with no knowledge of the disastrous consequences for their own societies, that it was done with kindness, and that NO OTHER alternative to assisting "refugees" or other benighted people existed such as (1) helping them IN PLACE in their own countries and, oh, (2) refraining from POINTLESS WARS and ARROGANT REGIME-CHANGE kabukifests where those foreigners live. No. The logic, so help me Soros, is that these vitally important wars and meddlings have . . . surprisingly . . . generated scads of "refugees" from Scythia, Bactria, Ephesus, Nubia, Zululand, Sumatra, Malaya, Papua New Guinea, Sambosia, Haiti, Aztecia, Ninevah, Tyre, Uttar Dinesh, Laputa, and Burmashavia and WE'RE HELPLESS to stop them crossing our borders because, well, they're just "seeking a better life (SABL)" and that's IT. END of story. End of Nowlogic calculation. As for you dorks, slobs, deplorables, degenerates, gulls, marks, dweebs, apes, missing links, tax donkeys, and LOCALS, well . . . SUCK IT UP, 'chachos, 'cause this is the New World Order and, btw, GFY.

So there you have it. The calculus of Homo toadus turpis is 100% focused on the needs of foreigners. 100%. Utter bullshit is marshaled to conceal this fact but you had better nod respectfully because legions of pretty boys and beautious bints from Networkia, academic harridans, and Masked Crusaders of Righteousness (MCRs) will rip the flesh from your bones if you dissent from this and, gasp, suggest that there are legitimate white interests that have been ignored. What?! You dare to mention such a thing? White interests?!

And I haven't even touched on the cultural, religious, educational, fiscal, monetary, and economic insanity that is the equivalent of 5,000,000 Scoville heat units dumped into the completely functional, adequate, admirable, tasty stew that Westerners and their ancestors cooked up for themselves over, oh, four or five thousand years.

There's no small number of pixels that has been spilled over what to do about all this. The political class appears to be untouchable, especially in view of the obvious massive vote fraud underway which, true to form, the political class has engineered and everyone is HELPLESS to do anything about it. After Barr and Durham drop the hammer on Comey, Hillary, Strzok, Page, McCabe, Brennan, and The Joker, maybe. The allegiance of the senior military leadership is unknown but recent indications have been that the allegiance of the upper layers of the civilian and military organs to legitimate constitutional authority is firmly situated in Iffyville.

Law that governs individual actions is not on the side of the citizen as merely holding a weapon that is visible to the gibbering apes is a chargeable offense. Contemplating "self defense" provisions of the criminal law is a pointless metaphysical exercise. Such laws are remnants of saner times when it was universally understood by juries who deserved killing and who deserved a good whoopin'. Individual action is fraught with peril.

Alas, riot, looting, arson, and murder will continue with the citizen effectively neutered, especially given the draconian censorship that rules the social and mass media and thus the inhibition of effective organization. Militia are obviously a good first step in pushing back against the tidal wave of offal but they, like talk of the efficacy of hydroxychlorophyl and the infection fatality rate, cannot be permitted. Citizen self defense and national salvation organizations are ipso facto racist and way waaaayyy deep into, you guessed it, neo-Nazi territory. Problem defined away to media and politician acclaim. Like sensible rightism and kick-ass capitalism. Defined away. Nazis being "right-wing," don't you know.

Talk of and engaging in individual prepping and working on creating local groups of trusted neighbors and FBI informants is all good too, but futile in the grand scheme.

Normalcy bias and the deleterious, reality-distorting effects of our astonishing prosperity are the real obstacles it seems to me. The Mandate of Heaven has not yet been withdrawn from our Western civilization. Rational argument and factual evidence do not operate in this subtle realm where legitimacy is maintained. A congenial and competent local friend remarked Friday that immigrants are crossing the southern U.S. border "seeking a better life." He's probably a vote for Biden I figger and illustrative of how the ballot box will remain a useless mechanism of salvation. It's a world-changing, revolutionary option but so long as the civilization as a whole is content to walk in the cloud of plutocracy, media distortion and concealment, and personal denial it will remain as pointless as tits on a tractor.

Europeans especially have had the option to favor patriot, nationalist, anti-diversity parties but time and time again they reinforce the status quo. Without fail.

This could change if the populace can understand the truth of what I argue here -- that we are ruled by a hostile, vicious, destructive political class that intends nothing less than the destruction of all that we cherish, that we've built, that gives us personal security, and that nourishes a culture that sustains us. Were such a new awareness to take root in the minds of all of us there would be no need for militia, prepping, and for this interminable blogal examination of the political tea leaves and the chicken guts every hour of every day.

Only a mental volte-face will save us from Solzhenitsyn's pitiless crowbar of events. The promise of populism, the Tea Party, and what Trump's election signified proceeded from a certain awakening on the part of some but it's not enough (unless the forthcoming election produces some earth-shaking results indicative of further awakening). In the near future, sad to say, our fiscal, monetary, debt, globalist, economic, and covid-19 stupidity WILL carry the rest of the populace into new territory.

What will replace the current flustercuck of corrupt politicians, enemy billionaires, media whores, pussyhat-wearing fools, beta twinks, scragglebeards, Supreme Court betrayers, and cuckservatives is anybody's guess. There will be the initial cries of "Please, sir. May I have some more?", tantrums, and a further swing to the left. But the health of the nation has been squandered. FDR could import his fascism and communist pals but he presided over a basically healthy and resilient economy and people that and who he was, not coincidentally, doing his best to obstruct because, well, because that's what "enlightened" assholes do. There was only so much damage he could do. The "winners" of the next election, however, will preside over a diseased body politic and fragile economy that no amount of "reform" and no customary "tools" will heal.

Precisely what arrows remain in any governmental quiver now, except for recklessness, arrogance, desperation, panic, censorship, repression, racial demagoguery, groveling, and street thuggery? Garden-variety handouts, pandering to minorities, more "stimulus" and bailouts simply will not work, and fairy tales will soon fly out the window when men who have families to feed grow weary of governments failing to fulfill core responsibilities -- protection from foreign invasion and maintenance of the king's peace.

We will soon see what the loss of the Mandate of Heaven is like and which way an angry, confused people will turn. The wisdom of the Founders will avail us naught in the face of the rise of the universal franchise and the now-complete, wholesale rejection of the salutary constitutional scheme. The chimpout, the personal attack, and the ambush are the new normal. The West could not, it seems, survive the advent of liberalism and its kissing cousin, socialism.

Gentlemens, start yo engine.

[1] "Who's Afraid Of A No-Deal Brexit?" By Tom Luongo, ZeroHedge, 10/18/20.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

The Blindness Of The Secular

     “It’s your own blindness that deludes you,” Jamethon said. “You see nothing, and so believe no man can see. Our Lord is not just a name, but all things.” [Gordon R. Dickson, Soldier, Ask Not]

     I’ve known people, including some reasonably intelligent people, who actually became offended at any mention of God, faith, or religion. One particularly memorable example was an arrogant fellow who was forever prattling about his own achievements. He would actually interrupt a conversation between others to announce his disapproval of a belief in God. While it didn’t sit well with me, I forbore to engage him about it, figuring that the Holy Spirit needs more time to work on some than on others.

     It’s a kind of closed-off-edness: a rejection of the possibility that there may be more than our senses and our unaided reason can encompass. There’s very little one can say to someone who has precluded such possibilities. Indeed, it might be a grievous mistake to try.

     Yet measured in terms of what it has animated, faith is the strongest force known among men. You might have to squint a bit to see some of its achievements, but once you’ve seen them, they can never again escape your notice.

     My late friend Joe sought on two occasions to introduce me to people he saw as kindred spirits. One of them was John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute. Whitehead and I never met, though I did acquaint myself with his work, much of which is exceedingly impressive.

     Today, via ZeroHedge, my attention was drawn to this Whitehead essay. In it, Whitehead makes several references and comparisons to one of my all-time favorite video productions: Patrick McGoohan’s The Prisoner. He also cites this little-known statement by McGoohan himself:

     Think for yourself. Be an individual. As McGoohan commented in 1968, “At this moment individuals are being drained of their personalities and being brainwashed into slaves… As long as people feel something, that’s the great thing. It’s when they are walking around not thinking and not feeling, that’s tough. When you get a mob like that, you can turn them into the sort of gang that Hitler had.”

     Yet it’s difficult to see the connection between this pithy observation and the central thesis of Whitehead’s essay, which is “the panopticon:” the overwhelmingly successful efforts of the State to be not only Omnipotent but Omnipresent and Omniscient: to be all that anyone sees or hears, and to see, hear, and record everything every last individual says or does:

     Government eyes are watching you.

     They see your every move: what you read, how much you spend, where you go, with whom you interact, when you wake up in the morning, what you’re watching on television and reading on the internet.

     Every move you make is being monitored, mined for data, crunched, and tabulated in order to amass a profile of who you are, what makes you tick, and how best to control you when and if it becomes necessary to bring you in line.

     When the government sees all and knows all and has an abundance of laws to render even the most seemingly upstanding citizen a criminal and lawbreaker, then the old adage that you’ve got nothing to worry about if you’ve got nothing to hide no longer applies.

     This government effort to be all-knowing proceeds in collaboration with the technological masters of the digital realm and those who exploit our dependence on it for information and entertainment. The collaborators get away with it by being “water to a fish:” so ubiquitous as to become our whole environment, rather than merely one feature of it.

     Whitehead is quite correct that this is anathema to individuality. However, to see the connection in all its horror requires something more than awareness of the problem.

     I’ve written on several occasions about the importance of distinguishing between what you are – your human nature, which you share with all of us – and who you are – your individual identity, personality, and character. Individuation requires the formation and conservation of something entirely secular persons seldom think about: an interior life properly partitioned off from the external environment. Without such a realm into which one can retreat for reflection and the drawing of life-critical lessons, the external environment acquires complete control.

     Success by the Omnipotent State and its nominally non-political collaborators requires the elimination of the interior life, or its reduction to a husk of no importance. To expand:

  • What we do must continually be engaged with the State or its collaborators;
  • What we think about must be dominated by State-approved channels of communication and entertainment;
  • What we decide must never arise from the interior life: i.e., from private ponderings or the promptings of conscience.

     This seems “obvious,” doesn’t it? Yet the bombardment of our senses with unending political and commercial messages, day in and day out, is in large measure an attempt to distract us from it. Thou shalt focus on our messages, and the goodies we parade before thee, to the exclusion of all else.

     But to the resolutely secular mind, the exterior world is all there is. Whatever reason there is for continuing on must lie in it: its necessities, its imperatives, its satisfactions and diversions. No question of higher or unseen things ever occurs to such a person. At every encounter he will thrust it away as “a meaningless distraction” from the “real world” that he can see, hear, and spend his wages on. For surely the “real world” is all that “really” matters.

     While a completely secular person can have an interior life, it will inevitably be overshadowed in significance by the beckonings of the “real world” around him.

     I began this tirade with some observations about persons hostile to God, faith, and religion. It’s to there – and to Patrick McGoohan and The Prisoner — that I shall now return.

     In a discussion of a bit of my fiction, I recently wrote to a friend that:

     There is nothing for Mankind that isn’t part of one of two realms: Reason, and Faith. We are unequipped to cope with matters that neither of those two facilities can address. Everything I write grapples with the opportunities and challenges of both, as I’m sure you’re aware. Yes, I create heroes, some of them so massively improbable that they make Superman look like John Q. Public, but that’s because they’re my “solution to the simultaneous equations.” One who has the powers of Reason can solve mighty problems…but without Faith he can never penetrate beneath his premises, assuming he even realizes he has premises. One who has the foundation of Faith has a firm foothold upon life, something that will sustain him regardless of his travails…but without Reason he will be helpless before life’s challenges, even the smallest of them. But one who has truly mastered both Reason and Faith is prepared for anything.

     He who has mastered both Reason and Faith possesses an armor against deception, distraction, and delusion that nothing can breach. He has achieved the ultimate in individuation. His interior life is safe from being overwhelmed by The World – and a mighty thing that is, for The World – in John Whitehead’s formulation, “the panopticon” – is one of the three great sources of temptation away from the dictates of conscience.

     In this essay for PJ Media about The Prisoner, I wrote:

     McGoohan's perspective on freedom-as-myth partakes critically of the concept of purposeful self-command as the negation of freedom. This is underlined by contrast: through the condemnation, in the final episode, of Number 48 -- "uncoordinated youth; rebelling against nothing it can define," -- and Number 2 (Leo McKern) -- "an established member, turning upon and biting the hand that feeds him."' For all revolts against control will be either thematic or unthematic. In the former case, the rebel defies an external locus of control; in the latter, there is none. The sole unaddressed alternative is internal control: self-command in obedience to values and priorities one enforces upon oneself....

     In this connection I will note something most commentators on The Prisoner have neglected to consider: the influence of McGoohan's lifelong Catholicism. The Catholic faith emphasizes self-command as do few others. We are encouraged to develop it early and to strengthen it at every opportunity, that it will serve us against the temptations of temporal life. From that perspective, individual freedom, though not precisely a myth, is nevertheless an ambiguous thing: a panorama of opportunities to do well or ill. Self-command equips us to choose the former and decline the latter, even when the former is stark and difficult while the latter promises endless delights.

     To insist on self-command -- Catholics call this a well-formed conscience -- is to impose an authority upon oneself to whom no excuses for deviation can ever be convincing. For it is the cameras of that Village inside us that we can never escape nor evade. Note that when Number Six has just been shouted down by "the delegates" to whom he'd attempted to explain the ethical grounds for his "rebellion" against the Village and its conditioners, he is introduced at last to the long-sought Number One, and finds himself staring at his double.

     One’s capacity for self-command – i.e., to hear and obey the voice of one’s conscience – is an expression of his interior life. Indeed, nothing else could express it nearly as well. To reject the enticements of The World in obedience to the conscience is the ultimate assertion of individual freedom, and of individuality itself:

I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered.
I am not a number; I am a free man.
I shall not be turned from the way I have chosen.

     And who shall say, with complete confidence, that the conscience – the “knowing with” that operates even when we strive most determinedly to ignore it – is not the voice of God? The resolute secularist will attempt to dismiss the notion by referring to “religious indoctrination” or “early conditioning.” Yet men who’ve known neither of those influences have heard the voice of conscience. It appears to be the one element of the interior life that no one can squelch.

     Which brings me to the only fitting conclusion for this essay:

O come, let us sing unto the LORD:
Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving,
And make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.
For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the deep places of the earth:
The strength of the hills is his also.
The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.
O come, let us worship and bow down:
Let us kneel before the LORD our maker.
For he is our God;
And we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.
Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your heart, as in the provocation,
And as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.
Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said,
It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:
Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.

[Psalm 95]

     May God bless and keep you all.

The Paris Agreement scam.

The Paris Agreement ostensibly is about decreasing global warming. Here's an excellent video by Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai showing what a scam it is and that Trump was wise to withdraw from it:

Friday, October 16, 2020

I Confess - Mother Was a Sexual Harasser

 In light of the inquiry to Amy Coney Barrett, about whether she had ever harassed or made unwanted sexual advances towards anyone, I feel it important to come clean.

My own mother was a sexual harasser.

That's right. Fortunately, she passed long before she could come to account for her crime. But, it's now weighing heavily upon my conscience, as - when she told me the story - I stayed silent.

I failed to confront her about her disgusting behavior. In short, I was an aider-and-abetter of sexual abuse.

Here's how it happened:

Both my parents worked at Ohio Bell. Dad was a janitor. Mom worked on the switchboard (at that time, there were a lot of women with that job classification. You needed an operator to make a long distance call).

My mother, and several of her co-workers, were riding the elevator back to work after lunch. The girls started giggling about how cute the new guy (my Dad) was.

My mother, the hussy, said, "he sure is", and proceeded to whistle at him.

My Dad saw her do it, and, rather than approach her directly, found someone who knew her, and asked for an introduction.

Which he got. After which, he asked her out.

That was in the fall of 1947. By Valentine's Day, 1948, they had eloped.

Dad was a saint. He stayed with his harasser for 46 years. He even laughed about his abuse.

So, there it is. I'm the daughter of a woman who blatantly pursued a man, and forced him to pay attention to her.

At work. Which made this Workplace Harassment.

But, you may say, the fact that he agreed to date her means that he wasn't unwilling.

Uh-uh. Because, at the time she whistled (treating him like a DOG!), she had no reason to believe that her harassment wouldn't be unwelcome. Which makes this an Evil Action.

Are They Lucy Trying to Trick Charlie Brown?

 This is an INSULT! They think we're stupid!

That's probably not a surprise to you, but this proposal is designed to pull away those feckless 'Republicans' for yet fun game of "Pull Away the Football".

Only a complete idiot would believe that the Dems would play fair, after a concession.

Warning for RINOs:

If you fail to put Barrett on the Court before the election, she ain't NEVER gonna get the job. They will use the crippled court numbers to ram through a SURPRISE Biden/Harris win!

I can't believe I actually have to explain this to those dummies. 

The Garbageman Cometh

     [A short story for you today, inspired by this article about a possible collision between two superannuated satellites and what might follow.
     Some of what’s discussed below is prefigured in my novel Statesman, and some in my soon to be released novel Love in the Time of Capitalism. -- FWP]

     Leo Hertel had to remind himself about his doctors’ advice that he avoid fits of frustration-induced anger. He breathed deeply, laid the palms of his hands on the surface of the Resolute Desk, and counted his fingers once, twice, thrice, as slowly as he could manage.
     This is going nowhere. I have to recover the initiative.
     “Todd,” he said in his softest tone, “isn’t this just as much a problem for you as for us?”
     “Not at all, Mr. President,” Todd Iverson replied. “The Habitat's LIDAR systems and defense lasers detect and destroy anything that comes into range. We’re on the verge of completely automating the process.”
     “Then why aren’t you willing to help your country protect its orbital resources with that system?” Hertel said.
     “Who says I’m unwilling?”
     Hertel emitted another long, slow breath. “These negotiations say so. The price you’ve asked is extortionate. Your country cannot afford to pay you what you’ve asked. How much would it really cost you to use your laser systems to clear the orbitals?”
    “What it would cost us is irrelevant, Mr. President. What it could cost you not to secure our services is what you should be thinking about. What’s the aggregate value of the American satellites in low Earth orbit, Mr. President? Do you have that information ready to hand?”
     “No, I don’t,” the president admitted, “but the cost to replace them must be hundreds of billions of dollars. That’s what makes securing your assistance so urgent.”
     “Believe me, Mr. President, I appreciate the urgency,” Iverson said. “As it happens I have the costings for replacing just the functioning comsats before me at this very moment. It comes to just a shade under a trillion dollars, not including the costs of transitioning the associated systems from the old ones to the new. Already this year, six have been destroyed or seriously damaged by collisions with orbiting junk. The cost of replacing those six alone is estimated at just under twenty billion dollars, correct?”
     “I don’t have the figures, Todd,” Hertel said. “So I have to trust yours.”
     “You can, sir. I got them directly from the owners of those comsats. Now I’ve asked twenty billion dollars for a complete job—the complete cleansing of the key orbitals of all decommissioned satellites and any other junk we find. A one-time sweep that leaves only the roughly twenty-two hundred active satellites in those orbitals. The problem would be solved for the next twenty years. It sounds like a bargain to me. Moreover, you could pass part of the cost on to the private comsat owners. Even if you couldn’t, it would come to less than half of one percent of the annual federal budget, so I can’t accept your unaffordability protest at face value. What’s your real objection?”
     Hertel pondered his reply.
     I have to assume that I can trust him. If I can’t, what point would there be to any of this?
     “I’ve received a lot of static about the Habitat from Congress,” he said, “How it hurts the United States internationally, how it exploited government intellectual property without compensation...” He paused to gather his forces. “And how it benefits from American protection without paying a dime for it.”
     The silence that stretched between the White House and low Earth orbit became ominous.
     I knew it was a risky play, but I had to say it.
     “Really, Mr. President? Todd Iverson’s voice was tight with fury. “Would you like to discuss the ‘protection’ the Habitat received from the McIlvaine Administration? My gunners had to destroy twenty-three killersats. The twenty-fourth nearly made an end of us. Or perhaps we could talk about McIlvaine’s destruction of the Arcologics Spaceport, instead.”
     “I don’t hold you personally responsible for any of that, Mr. President, but I do hold the federal government of the United States responsible—and liable. McIlvaine’s attacks on us took two hundred thirty-eight lives, including a major investor in the Habitat and one of my best friends. He also destroyed my only means of moving people and resources to and from orbit. In the two years of your administration, I’ve heard no faintest suggestion that the Spaceport be rebuilt at federal expense, or that restitution be offered to Arcologics, or that the families of the victims be compensated for their losses.
     “We are not garbagemen obliged to collect your trash for a pittance, Mr. President. We are the foremost scientific and technological community in existence. In less than five years, our efforts have produced advances in engineering and medicine that have lengthened and improved the lives of millions. We are also the first Americans to establish an enduring human presence in space. And we are the first agency of any sort that can solve the junk-in-space problem at an acceptable cost and without undesirable side effects. We will not be treated as tools or lackeys. Not by the government that has killed our colleagues and isolated us from Earth, at any rate. The price is fixed: twenty billion U.S. dollars, to be paid in advance. The funds will be used to cleanse the Mojave Cession, to rebuild the Spaceport and
Omnibus, and to provide some financial compensation to those who lost family members during the attacks.”
     Hertel’s resolve abandoned him all at once.
     “I’ll take it to Congress.”
     “Thank you, Mr. President. I’ll await developments.”
     The carrier wave hiss dropped to zero.


     Copyright © 2020 Francis W. Porretto. All rights reserved worldwide.

The Big Tell (UPDATED)

     I’ve been under the weather recently, and haven’t had the energy to produce my usual volume of bilge for this dive. But I have kept track of the news, as far as possible, and the most recent developments in the Biden corruption scandal compel me to draw my Gentle Readers’ attention to an important pattern in human deceit. Baldly, it’s this:

The “big tell” is not angry denials.
It’s a refusal to speak at all.

     If you want to know when a prominent party accused of wrongdoing has effectively confessed, it’s not when he’s most enraged by the accusations and passionate in his denials; it’s when he refuses to address the subject – in extreme cases, when he seeks to silence anyone who addresses the subject.

     Just now, the “Burisma scandal” emails purported to be to and from Hunter Biden are “front page above the fold” news for sincere journalists. The associated story about the FBI having been in possession of those emails for more than a year while not investigating the tale they seem to tell is merely extra glare thrown onto this sordid episode in American foreign policy. But Google, Facebook, and Twitter, the most powerful companies in the world of digital communications, are struggling to suppress the story.

     It gets better still: When Tucker Carlson introduced a new batch from that trove of emails on last night’s show, Twitter shut down completely.

     Have a few links:

     And what has the Biden family’s response been? Silence. They can’t outrightly deny it all because they have no idea whether they’ve seen everything. The critical, nail-it-to-the-wall item of evidence might not yet have been reported on. Should the Bidens issue blanket denials and then be confronted with something that makes the evidence of their massive corruption irrefutable, the damage would be thermonuclear.

     American foreign policy was perverted to serve Biden family bank accounts. The government of Ukraine was bludgeoned by its need for American financial assistance into firing its chief prosecutor and ending the investigations he was conducting. He who wielded the power of the Vice-Presidency to swing that bludgeon is now the Democrats’ candidate for President. Neither of the accused parties is saying anything to anyone – and the Bidens’ allies in the media and Big Tech are struggling to suppress all mention of the story.

     I submit that the “big tell” is now before us.

     The truly horrifying thing about all of this is that such corrupt wheeling and dealing has been treated as a de-facto perquisite of high federal office. The FBI, which has possessed the laptop for more than a year, suppressed the evidence. FBI agents may have threatened John Paul Mac Isaac, the man who came forward with the key laptop and the emails on it, in a further attempt to prevent disclosure, though at this point that aspect of the story is uncorroborated.

     But perhaps there’s something to ponder that’s even more horrifying: Despite all this – most especially despite the “big tell” of Biden family silence – millions of private citizens will vote for Joseph R. Biden for president of these United States.

     UPDATE: The nail-it-to-the-wall item has arrived:

     When asked how he could prove that the damning texts and emails came from Hunter Biden’s computer, Giuliani revealed that Biden’s lawyer contacted John Paul Mac Isaac, the Delaware computer repair shop owner who had discovered the material, as soon as the story broke.

     “I’ll give you something that really verifies it,” Giuliani said. “The very morning this came out, Hunter Biden’s lawyer called the merchant, and asked him if he could have the hard drive back,” he said. “We have email evidence of that. So if the lawyer is asking for the hard drive back—it must be the hard drive.”

     “He actually did it by telephone and email and we have the email,” Giuliani added.

     Crowder was stunned.

     “It’s almost as if it makes it worse on them, Mr. Giuliani!” he exclaimed.

     “Oh yeah, it’s the dumbest thing a lawyer can do,” Giuliani agreed. “”I mean, Joe Biden was the dumbest kid in law school.”

     There can be no further doubt.

Privacy stood on its head.

“The way things are supposed to work is that we’re supposed to know virtually everything about what [government officials] do: that’s why they’re called public servants. They’re supposed to know virtually nothing about what we do: that’s why we’re called private individuals. This dynamic - the hallmark of a healthy and free society - has been radically reversed. Now, they know everything about what we do, and are constantly building systems to know more. Meanwhile, we know less and less about what they do, as they build walls of secrecy behind which they function. That’s the imbalance that needs to come to an end. No democracy can be healthy and functional if the most consequential acts of those who wield political power are completely unknown to those to whom they are supposed to be accountable.”
Glenn Greenwald, quoted in "The 2020 Election Bamboozle: We Are All Victims Of The Deep State's Con Game." By John Whitehead, 10/15/20.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Way Past Time to Rein in the Tech Giants

 The CDA - Communications Decency Act - that enabled the original social media sites and content aggregators to function, without being slapped with nuisance lawsuits for the content users posted, need an overhaul. A clear line needs to be drawn between those providers who offer the same terms to all, regardless of political slant, and those that essentially act to censor opinions that are legal, but disapproved for various specious reasons (or none at all).

The Z Man has a good explanation of the current state of affairs, and some suggestions on how to release the overbearing hand of the Tech Giants.

It should be Job 1 after the election (I'm assuming that Biden/Harris don't win).

Diversifying My Output - Appears Ready

 I've been toying with the idea of podcasting for some time. Many people listen in while exercising (some while driving, but many of us are doing less of that now). So, I bit the bullet, and used a discount to purchase the Yeti Snowball microphone. It's specifically designed for the Podcaster on the Go. My life is likely to involve more movement outside of the house, and I thought I could make use of occasional dead time, waiting for my next appointment.

You can find the first two podcasts here - feel free to give me feedback. I'm eager to improve, and I don't think of myself as polished in this format. I'm going to be doing more podcasting, and perhaps, eventually, making videos, as I'm putting together a course that could utilize those formats (Blogging Your Life Story).

Update: For some reason, the podcast doesn't show up yet. I'll check back later today.

OK, I had to submit it for approval. I'll be working on the mechanics of this, and update when it's completely ready for download.

4 pm - I've tweaked the podcast, and it appears ready to access. The link above seems to work - comment if you have problems. Thanks.

Release the Hunter Files!

 Copy and Share - Everywhere.

Something to Cheer You Up!

 I was reading Don Surber (If you don't - start. He's a former Cleveland newsman, since moved to sunnier places.) I was also reading his comments - like many Conservatives, his readers are thoughtful and add much to the discussion.)

One commenter - DanJ1 - pointed out something I hadn't thought of:

Young voters will stay home. They are disenfranchised by being forced to choose between two bad candidates that they hate. Also, Covid scares on campuses is making it nearly impossible for the Dems to register students there.

Think of where the Left has made great headway over the last few Presidential cycles - grabbing the Freshmen, and registering them to vote. Not only do they get them to pull the lever for any Leftist the crowd can bully them into supporting, but they get a precious bonus:

They now have information - enough information to enable them to commit voter fraud in their hometown, as well (should the young person indicate a plan to vote Not-Left. Is there anyone who doubts they won't pass on that information to the local vote-fixers?

But, now, COVID has put a crimp in those plans. The would-be voters are home. They will control their own vote, and, they are surrounded by family, who will have more influence. 

Think of where Dems got other votes - brought in by their work bosses, and ordered to vote for the correct candidate. Being brought in by union bosses, on a break from work, and told to vote as they were told.

I'm not saying "Don't believe the polls, and skip voting". I'm saying work like hell to GOTV, but have some trust that the lackluster Biden support is a true indicator. From what I'm hearing, the Dems don't have a ground game.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Trans-Racial Adoptions: Some Questions

     There’s been some noise made – starting with a racialist Negro asshole who somehow got himself a teaching job at a prestigious university – about Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s adoption of two Haitian children. Here’s the tweet that kicked it off:

     The notion that the exemplary, highly intelligent, highly Catholic Judge Barrett had some sort of evil motive for those adoptions is about as ludicrous as the suggestion that vote-rigging by aliens from Pluto decided the 2016 Presidential election. But the attempt by this venom-filled, trash-mouthed Kendi nonentity to stir up controversy over the adoptions, by white parents, of two black Haitian children who badly needed new homes and a new family, has me thinking along lines I’m sure the cornrowed poseur would not want investigated:

Why don’t we hear about
Black families who adopt white orphans?
Would that be “colonization?”

     There’s also this to be explored

Are there statistical differences between
Black children raised by black parents
And black children raised by whites?

     Has anyone looked into the differences:

  • Between their academic attainments while in school;
  • Between their propensity to criminal involvements;
  • Or between their levels of success in their careers and family lives?

     Such studies would undoubtedly be fiercely opposed by racial axe-grinders of every stripe. Yet they might tell us things we need to know. For example, if black kids’ lesser levels of scholastic attainment are due to culture and upbringing, rather than to innate limitations, that would show in the statistics. If the differences between white and black rates of criminality are due to culture and upbringing, rather than to innate inclinations toward aggression and rule-breaking, that would show in the statistics. Surely this would be information of great value...but we never hear about any attempt to amass it.

     Admittedly, few black families adopt white orphans...something else that might deserve a deeper look. The rarity of such adoptions would complicate an attempt to amass comparable statistics. But that might not be the only factor in the mix. There’s also black racism toward whites – the only variety of racism that gets a de facto pass from the media – to be considered. Would it necessarily be absent from a black parents / white adoptees setting?

     Just a little late afternoon pot-stirring by your humble Curmudgeon Emeritus.