While Twitter might now be X, to compete better with
And when X goes back to being called Twitter, we’ll still be here.
While Twitter might now be X, to compete better with
And when X goes back to being called Twitter, we’ll still be here.
It’s been a while since any of us posted and I know we’ve covered this topic on Twitter and here as well but as I start commuting more I’m noticing these a bit more. So here we go with GorT’s rules of the road, which should be pretty obvious to most drivers.
I’m sure I could list off another 10-20 rules but these are the main ones. Again, don’t break them as you’ll see the results above.
In 1988, The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie, hit stores and was an immediate non-hit. But its content, very loosely based on Islamic lore, upset Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran. Not only did Khomeini not endorse the book, seek Rushdie’s autograph, nor recommend it highly, he declared via fatwā that Rushdie should go into applications development instead.
Just kidding. He of course demanded that Salman Rushdie be put to death at the nearest convenience.
In the Spring of 1989, shortly after the fatwā was issued and still more-or-less in the news, the Czar happened to be sitting in a Korean restaurant with a small group of people, including a husband and wife. The wife was originally from Pakistan, and while she openly admitted to be Muslim, she was by modern accounts extraordinarily liberal: she never covered her hair (at least in the Czar’s presence), married a Catholic, and supported Israel, among many other things.
Mrs. N, as we shall call her, is now sadly deceased as a victim of cancer, but the Czar remembers numerous conversations with her on a vast variety of topics. On that particular day in that restaurant, we were well-sated on hanshik and soju. As we awaited the bill, one of our dining companions asked her to clarify what a fatwā even was, the word having been in the news so much in the previous weeks.
Mrs. N explained that a fatwā was a clarification or point of order on a topic of Islamic law, issued by an official expert on the topic. Yes, she was aware of Khomeini’s fatwā, of course, and conceded that he probably would, in fact, be recognized as someone able to issue them.
What did she think of the Salman Rushdie fatwā? She admitted she had no real opinion on its value, as she had not read the book, didn’t believe that Rushdie was offering a real religious opinion as he was not a Muslim himself, and that the whole reaction to the book seemed, well, a bit of an over-reaction.
Our dining companion then asked the most interesting question: did Mrs. N sense any obligation to carry out the fatwā?
Absolutely, she said. As a Muslim, she stated she was required to kill Salman Rushdie if any such opportunity presented itself.
Now, bear in mind, Mrs. N neither supported Khomeini nor was she Shīʿa. She also immediately stated she had no intention to every carry out such an act; just that she was required to do so even though Khomeini was, to her, as faraway as one distant branch of Christianity was to another. This last point sparked considerable discussion among our group. One of us drew an analogy: Rushdie writes a book that attributes some scandalous but apocryphal comments to St. Luke. A Methodist bishop announces that Rushdie should be assassinated for doing so; would a Greek Orthodox church member be obligated to carry out the task? Mrs. N looked a bit uncomfortable, but said in many respects, that analogy was pretty close to what was going on in Islam at the time.
Wow, the original topic starter exclaimed, Islam might benefit from having a pope.
But here’s the more interesting thing for the Czar: Khomeini did not issue a legitimate fatwā on Rushdie, a fact which is still being misreported in the press. A fatwā must be reviewed and approved through a complex process, and Khomeini’s never was. Abdallah al-Mushidd, the leader of the fatwā council at the time, stated this was a matter for Islamic courts, and he rejected the moral and legal standing of Khomeini’s fatwā across the board. The Islamic Jurisprudence Academy, in Mecca, went further and stated that Khomeini himself had violated Islamic law by issuing an illegitimate fatwā without the authority nor legal grounds to do so.
Okay, nice bit of trivia. But why is that interesting? Because Mrs. N believed it. And so apparently did a large number of non-Iranian Muslims who either perpetrated or planned to commit the murders of many people associated with the printing, publishing, or even translation of the book. And that includes Hadi Matar, accused of the brutal attack on Salman Rushdie last week, over 33 years after Khomeini’s declaration.
If guilty, Matar (an interesting last name in Spanish, by the way) seems to understand Islam about as well as Mrs. N did: not nearly well enough. 33 years later, and Islam still doesn’t have a pope.
We hope that Rushdie recovers from his terrible injuries.
‘Puter watches the Left’s reaction to last week’s Bruen ruling on gun rights and Dobbs ruling on abortion rights and marvels. Marvel is the wrong word, you say? What’s a better description for feeling when watches the Left’s utter insanity, willful denial of reality, and inability to understand our form of government?
The Left’s ignorance on abortion, guns, and government is so deep, wide, and endemic ‘Puter thought it deserved a deep dive on three topics:
Maybe later, if ‘Puter’s not half in the bag on his daily IV of fentanyl and pure ethanol mixed with Fresca (because Fresca has electrolytes), he’ll write a fourth installment tying everything up with a neat bow so that even the farthest gone leftist can understand it.
With that unpleasantness out of the way, onward to Part the First, America the Stupid-ful.
*clears throat* *drains a handle of Everclear* *commences to enlighten*
The Left as a general rule does not understand America. It does not understand from whence it came. It does not understand the founding. It does not understand its form of government. It does not understand its Constitution. Worse, the Left does not want to understand.
Without unnecessary editorialization, here are a few things the Left believes about America which just ain’t so:
‘Puter could kill thousands of trees explaining the sheer lunacy behind these bedrock quasi-religious beliefs of the Left. For brevity’s sake, ‘Puter will briefly touch on why each identified bit of American heresy is wrong without getting into a deep dive into the legal and philosophical groundings.
Ready? Here goes.
America is a constitutional republic. Our Founders designed America as such to avoid the tyranny of the majority. If one cares to look, one can see the fear of an unfettered majority running roughshod over a minority running throughout the Constitution. Indeed, the Founders thought a pure democracy (50 percent plus one vote wins all) such a bad idea, they made amending the Constitution purposely difficult, requiring a supermajority of states to pass any amendment.
The Constitution’s amendment process’ high hurdles make clear the Founders did not intend the Constitution to be a “living document” as the current Left understands it. The Left’s conception of a “living Constitution” is “the Constitution means whatever we want it to mean to accomplish whatever we want to accomplish on any given day we hold power.” The Founders had no such intention that the Constitution be a documentary equivalent of Harry Potter’s room of requirement. The Founders had just fought a war against a colonial power to escape this sort of arbitrary exercise of power based on majority rule (or monarchical fiat).
The structure of both the Senate and the Electoral College were necessary to achieve unity among the colonies sufficient to permit formation of the United States. Without these provisions protecting states with small populations, the Constitution would not have been adopted and we would not have had a country. The entire revolutionary experiment would have died in its crib. That’s how critical the Constitution’s minority protection provisions were, and that’s why the Left’s current rejection of these provisions for its own political expediency is both stupid on steroids and exceptionally dangerous.
The Supreme Court is the branch of government mentioned in the Constitution which has the fewest responsibilities. From the beginning of our nation, the Court chafed under its constitutional restrictions and began making up fun and exciting new stuff for it to do outside its constitutionally granted original jurisdiction and its congressionally granted appellate authority over lower federal courts. The first big power grab was the Court-created concept of “judicial review” of the enactments of Congress and acts of the executive for compliance with the Constitution. It’s all been downhill from there leading to the Burger and Warren courts deciding they had a mandate to remake society in their own image. Thus, judicially created concepts like Miranda warnings, expansion of qualified immunity, abortion, and gay marriage.
Even if you think all of those judicial inventions are groovy, to a greater or lesser extent each stems from the Court usurping legislative authority to a greater or lesser extent. And the Court’s willingness to act as an unelected super-legislature operating on fiat, fascism, and feels to great effect since the late 1960s to, well, the Bruen and Dobbs decisions.
The uproar you hear is less about the Court defending Second Amendment rights in Bruen and returning to constitutional limits in Dobbs than it is about the Left realizing their method of end-running the will of the people as expressed by its duly elected legislative representatives is no longer available. Instead, the Left must now return to convincing Americans to accept their horrible ideas and elect horrible representatives who will enact the aforementioned horrible ideas.
Rather than set about following the Constitution and convincing voters, the Left seems to have determined no one wants the poop-burgers they’re selling so they’ll use the ever-popular-on-the-Left violence veto. Take it to the streets! Stick it to the man! Losers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your pathetic lives in your parents’ basements! Plus, you can take all the free stuff you can loot!
The Left’s reaction is consistent with what ‘Puter calls his Grand Unifying Theory of Leftist Politics. To wit and writ large, “EMOTIONS, PARTICULARLY RAGE, ARE A VALID PROGRESSIVE VETO OF ANY LEGITIMATE, VALID, AND CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENTAL ACT WITH WHICH PROGRESSIVES DISAGREE.”
This is why America got rioting in the streets in Washington (and elsewhere) after Hillary lost to the Bad Orange Man. How could anyone deny Hillary her birthright as the First Woman President?* Especially to that man. The nerve! The gall of those deplorables!! How dare they not meekly and obediently welcome our benevolent rule over their icky, pathetic, miserable lives!!ELEVENTY!!1!
You can run the litany of riots and destruction resulting from the Left’s operating doctrine of “rage uber alles.” Ferguson’s Defund-tha-Police-A-Palooza. Portland’s Summer of Siege. BLM’s Riot and Looting National Tour. Pussyhats on Pussies on Parade. Give the Left a cause, and they’ve got just the violent act of defiance to fit.
Despite what you’re hearing from media, from Democrats, from Progressives, and from your weepy friends, neither the Bruen nor the Dobbs decision is an “assault on the Constitution.” The Left is gaslighting you. It’s the Left, not the Right, that’s ready and willing to unleash violence on our nation to continue operating in an unconstitutional manner.
As such, it comes as no surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention that the Left’s first reaction to the Dobbs and Bruen decisions was to fire up the Rage-in-the-Streets Signal which Speaker Pelosi keeps in her palatial office in the Capitol. And the hordes of rage-filled leftist drones obeyed unquestioningly.
The Left is more than willing to sacrifice your well-being, your property, and even your life to get its way. Never forget this fact. Such are the wages of ignorance of basic civics, the rejection of law and reason, and the warm embrace of violent emotional outbursts as a form of street veto.
And such is the state of our nation today. More to come.
* Arguably, Mrs. Clinton would’ve been the third female president after Mrs. Wilson and Mrs. Roosevelt, each of whom appear to have usurped the presidential role for extended periods of time when their respective husbands were unable to do so due to terminal illnesses.
In response to GorT’s thoughts below this post, the Czar has some addenda. In fact, he’s discussed this with one of our more liberal Twitter readers who agreed with the overall premise here.
So in addition to the revamp of the sciences in high school, the Czar would propose some additional classes:
Freshman year: one semester of Critical Thinking, as 14-year-old are generally prone to gullibility but quick to observe loopy thinking when asked to. This could be a two-semester course, of course, but let’s start here. After all, freshmen have plenty of other courses to take this year. Cover fallacies, evaluating evidence, comparing multiple sources, fact-checking, skeptical thinking, and more.
Sophomore year: one semester of Logic, including premise/conclusion, Venn diagramming, sets, and analysis.
Junior year: communications (one semester), covering speech delivery, enunciation where practical, ad libbing, humor, structuring an argument, handling debate, form, composition, etc. Rhetoric (second semester), examining how to persuade, use flow, structure, and basic speech writing.
Senior year: grammar (full year). In lieu of reading literature and poetry, maybe teach the kids to write at a college level, including how to write a thesis, edit for grammar, understanding why grammar works, how to cite sources, the dangers of plagiarism, formatting, and use proper vocabulary and avoid writing and vocabulary mistakes.
This past weekend, the GorTs and the Puters got together for dinner, drinks, and conversation. At one point, we landed on the topic of education without recounting the entire conversation, Mrs. P and I agreed that now is the time to do a major overhaul of the American education system. Mrs. P put forward a number of ideas and I’ll list and augment them here with both what we discussed as well as further thoughts:
Now is the time to do it. Right on the heels of the disastrous remote learning that was tried as part of COVID. Yes, it’ll be hard and it will require a lot of changes. New teaching methods and approaches. Families reorienting to the new schedule. But it can be done.
Your Czar is concerned with your health, and naturally has asked his Czarist Imperial Surgeon’s Office to prepare a bullet point list on how you can best protect yourself against the Monkey Pox, which is known as Corona Virus, MERS, H1N1A, Ebola, or more commonly, Zika. Monkey Pox has now killed over 500 trillion people in your neighborhood today alone. Do not be one of the statistics, and do not even read the statistics.
|Avoid places where Monkey Pox is known to congregate, such as door knobs.|
|If you see Monkey Pox on the ground, do not pick it up.|
|Avoid eating Monkey Pox or place Ebola near your mouth. Under no circumstances should Ebola be inserting anything up your nose.|
|Do not open the door for Monkey Pox. Do not believe its lies. If someone shows up at your door, even if it’s your sister, it could be Monkey Pox. Call the police immediately.|
|If Monkey Pox calls on the phone, do not attempt to engage it in conversation (especially if you have a Liberian accent). Hang up and call the police. Experts recommend changing your phone number frequently to minimize calls from Monkey Pox.|
|If you see Monkey Pox hanging around a playground or school, run out and scream warnings to the kids to get inside. Watching television is the safest activity for kids during this crisis.|
|If you see or hear anyone talking about Monkey Pox, it could be an invasion. Call the Army and tell them to start shelling. If you see something, say something.|
|Do not pet the mice. Actually, this is more true for the Hanta virus, but you can’t play it too safe.|
Ohio House poised to eliminate permit requirements for carrying concealed weapons reads the headline on Cleveland.com (née, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Czar believes).
This article is a great example of media following a template written for it by others.
The first several paragraphs are a neutral reporting of the bill sitting on Governor DeWine’s desk, awaiting signature that would bring Ohio into the growing number of states allowing Constitutional Carry or permitless carry: the ability of a citizen to carry concealed or openly with no permit, state application, or licensing of any kind.
Citizens, of course, would still need to clear any federal regulations, of course: parolees, people with known drug or alcohol dependencies, dishonorably discharged service members, and so on.
But keep reading and you start to see the template in action.
First, the vague statements of concern: the FOP (which is not a law enforcement agency but a labor union) and one sheriff have expressed doubts about the safety of this idea. No actual statements, facts, or figures to back up these concerns: just unexplicated doubts.
In nearly every story from every state entertaining the idea of Constitutional Carry, you see this same concern trolling: in Georgia, it’s going to be a terrible thing apparently, although no one can explain why. The same news story template can be found in Texas (paragraph 8 and following), Indiana (and it’s the FOP, again!), and on and on.
So every story seems compelled to explain that either Republicans, the NRA, or gun enthusiasts seem to point to the Constitution as the sole reason for having permitless carry. And here’s the crazy thing: while the Constitution stipulates that bearing arms shall be unfringed, the actual reason for permitless carry is never revealed in these stories: it freaking works and works well.
Worse, every story omits one key element common to all states with Constitutional Carry: crazy-ass shootouts do not happen. There’s this obvious myth among these doubters that the second Constitutional Carry is legal in a state, everyone will start popping rounds at each other at every opportunity: parking lots, ball games, church services, parent/teacher conferences, and even in the bathroom.
Yet, in actuality, these shooting events are nearly unheard of. As we have heard time and again from John Lott and others, violent crime invariably goes down when a populace is armed; however, put that discussion aside for a second.
Instead, consider this: 99.99% (a rough guess) of shootings that occur in these states are either (a) criminal in nature, and have nothing to do with the law, or (b) are self-defense in nature, and were legal anyway. Stories of legal gun owners resorting to gunplay over nonsense issues are rare, if not technically nonexistent.
It’s such a complete blow to the notion that either permitless carry or Constitutional Carry results in increased gunplay that none of these templates will entertain that point for fear of revealing the bias. And if you’re keeping count, over half the states in the union either have laws or have passed bills allowing the free carry of firearms.
You’d think that if a single one of these concerns were warranted, we’d have seen it years ago. And we don’t, but the media keeps pushing this:
INSERT STATE NAME has just passed a bill to allow so-called Constitutional Carry, or permitless carry, for citizens of that state. This will eliminate all permits for legal gun owners, allowing them to carry a weapon either concealed or openly without any legal review by authorities.
SELECT ONE: Republican lawmakers, gun lobbyists, gun enthusiasts point out that the Constitution does not mandate such licensing, and therefore all requirements are invalid. They add that such laws add unneeded hardship on residents.
FOP spokesperson PUT HIS NAME HERE as well as some county sheriffs have expressed concern that this new bill will make it harder for police to do their jobs, and may allow for criminals to slip through the safety net.
Last week or month, XX people were killed in a shooting when PUT SOME LOCAL CRIME STORY TOTALLY HERE, BUT REMOVE ANY ELEMENTS THAT INDICATE THAT IF THE CITIZENS WERE ARMED, THEY WOULD HAVE ENDED THE SHOOTING IN SECONDS. ALSO REMOVE ANY ELEMENT THAT INDICATES THE SHOOTER HAD AN ILLEGAL GUN DESPITE THE EXISTING LAW.
The incredibly controversial bill now goes to the governor’s desk.
Scene: United States, Washington, DC, Capitol Hill
Hart Senate Office Building, Room 216
Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings
Supreme Court Nominee Confirmation Hearing
[Third day of hearings, late afternoon DC sun pours through the windows as the usual summer afternoon thunderheads build in the distance.]
[The room is humid with the stagnant, pollution laden DC air barely cooled by the rickety air conditioning system, heavy with the smell of stale reporter body odor.]
[Senators file in from their afternoon break, hearings continue.]
[Crappy, grainy C-SPAN 2 camera pans in on Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Committee Chairman]
[Poor audio feed crackles and pops]
Sen Durbin: *bangs gavel* I call this Committee to order.
Sen. Durbin: Sen. ‘Puter, you may begin your questioning of the nominee.
Sen. ‘Puter to Chairman Durbin: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Sen. ‘Puter to Nominee: Ma’am, I have reviewed your resume, your decisions, and your writings. I have spoken with your supporters in the Senate. I have spoken with your colleagues on the bench. I have spoken with people with whom you have worked. You are an impressive legal mind and a competent jurist. You seem to be a well-qualified nominee.
Nominee: Thank you, Senator.
Sen. ‘Puter: I know you are well-qualified, though I do not agree with your views on constitutional interpretation. You know you are well-qualified. Even many of your opponents grudgingly admit you are well qualified.
My first question for you is why does President Biden not believe you are well-qualified?
Nominee: Senator, I’m not sure I understand your question. I do not believe I would have been nominated had I not been the most qualified for this position.
Sen. ‘Puter: I agree with you, ma’am. So how is it then that the president denigrates your accomplishments in the belittling circumstances surrounding your nomination?
[general murmuring in the audience, loud overlapping outbursts from the Committee’s Democrats]
Sen. Durbin: *bangs gavel* Order. ORDER! Sen. ‘Puter, the Chairman admonishes you to be respectful of the nominee!
Sen. ‘Puter: With all due respect, Mr. Chairman, it is not I who have diminished or cast aspersions on the nominee or her qualifications in any manner. It is rather our president. I have heard your admonition and am so instructed but I would like the nominee to answer my question.
Sen. Durbin: *glares at Sen. ‘Puter* *wonders what’s up Sen. ‘Puter’s sleeve* *knows he can’t get away with smacking Sen. ‘Puter down publicly yet*
Sen. Durbin: The nominee may answer Sen. ‘Puter’s question.
Nominee: I do not believe the president has belittled me at any time before or during my nomination process.
Sen. ‘Puter: No? You don’t? I’d like to come back to this question but I will move on for the moment.
Sen. ‘Puter: Ma’am, do you believe it would be legal for the University of Maryland to say it will only accept white men for its incoming class starting this fall?
Nominee: That’s a hypothetical and …
Sen. ‘Puter: It’s a simple question. Do you believe the University of Maryland could say it will only admit white men?
Nominee: *shifts nervously*
Sen. ‘Puter: It’s not a trick question. Can the University of Maryland say it will only admit white men, yes or no?
Nominee: Based on federal law and the Constitution, no. The University of Maryland could not say it will only admit white men.
Sen. ‘Puter: Let’s reframe the question and ask it from a different perspective. Could Howard University, a traditionally excellent HBCU right up North Capitol Street from here, say it will only admit black women in its incoming class?
Nominee: *is clearly nervous* *glances at Sen. Durbin* *consults her handler*
Sen. ‘Puter: Come on, ma’am. You know the answer. You can say it. I’m not trying to play you.
Sen. Durbin: *is clearly agitated* *is visibly worried about Sen. ‘Puter’s up to*
Nominee: Sen. ‘Puter, no. Howard University could not categorically exclude all applicants who were not black women.
Sen. ‘Puter: And why is that, ma’am?
Nominee: Again, both federal law and the Constitution forbid discrimination on the basis of race.
Sen. ‘Puter: I see. I agree with you, ma’am. And why is that the case, that racial discrimination is forbidden?
Nominee: *launches into a lengthy discussion of legal precedents and the Constitution*
Sen. ‘Puter: *listens respectfully* I see. That’s legally why we in America reject racial discrimination. But what’s the practical reason behind the wide agreement among Americans that racial discrimination is wrong?
Nominee: I … I don’t know what you’re getting at Sen. ‘Puter. Could you help me understand your question a bit better and I’ll do my best to give you a clear and honest answer?
Sen. ‘Puter: Certainly, ma’am. I do not mean to be unclear or obtuse. Do Americans agree racial discrimination is bad at least in part because it excludes capable people who may be better applicants for admission or jobs than the group allowed to apply?
Nominee: *thinks* *pauses* I agree that may be part of the reason Americans reject racial discrimination, particularly in education and in jobs.
Sen. ‘Puter: So then – and I ask this respectfully – is it possible that Americans might suspect that a person who gets a job from which every other group of Americans except for the group of which the successful applicant is a member might be less qualified or unqualified for the job which such person holds?
Sen. Durbin: *realizes with horror where Sen. ‘Puter is going* *bangs gavel* SEN. ‘PUTER, YOU ARE INSTRUCTED TO WITHDRAW THAT QUESTION IMMEDIATELY!
[chaos ensues in the hearing room]
Sen. ‘Puter: It is my questioning time, Sen. Durbin. I have asked nothing beyond the pale. I am asking the nominee for her views on racial discrimination. I have agreed with her throughout. I have stated she is well-qualified. What is your specific objection to my question?
[uproar from the gallery, Capitol Police enter]
Sen. Durbin: *sputters impotently* *turns red* *bangs gavel* THE CHAIR MOVES FOR A RECESS!
Sen. ‘Puter: No. I demand an answer to my question now and then we can go into recess.
[Committee Republicans shout down Committee Democrats. It is clear Sen. Durbin is losing control of the hearing]
Sen. ‘Puter: Senators, can we all please be calm? There is no need for an uproar. I would like an answer to my question and then we can adjourn.
[hearing room and senators call down]
Sen. ‘Puter: Ma’am, please answer my questions.
Nominee: I would prefer not to answer that question.
Sen. ‘Puter: That is your right, of course. However, it is then our right to take your refusal to be forthright into consideration of your nomination. I would prefer you answer my questions so there will be no blemish on your otherwise spotless record.
So I ask again, is it possible that Americans might suspect that a person who gets a job from which every other group of Americans except for the group of which the successful applicant is a member might be less qualified or unqualified for the job which such person holds?
Nominee: Yes, Senator. It is possible in such circumstances Americans would think such a job holder less or even unqualified for the job that person holds.
[audible gasps in the gallery and from the Committee]
Sen. ‘Puter: And that, ma’am, is the tragedy of affirmative action, the soft bigotry of low expectations, the assumption that minorities cannot compete and win on their own.
I would like to be clear, I will break with my colleagues to support your nomination provided no disqualifying information comes to light because I think you are clearly qualified. I am sorry the president has done you the grave disservice of tarnishing your accomplished career with his racial discrimination.
I wish you many productive years on the Court, even as I am certain I will disagree with practically everything you decide. Good luck, ma’am.
Sen. Durbin: *raises gavel* We are in …
Sen. ‘Puter: Mr. Chairman, I have not yet yielded my time. I have one final question.
Sen. Durbin: *exasperated* Proceed, Senator.
Sen. ‘Puter: I’d like to return to my earlier question, the one for which I did not receive an answer. After our discussions here this afternoon, do you now believe that by restricting the field of nominees to only black women that the president has belittled you and your accomplishments?
Nominee: *blushes* *pauses*
Sen. Durbin: SEN. ‘PUTER YOUR ACTIONS HERE TODAY ARE BENEATH …
Sen. ‘Puter: Question withdrawn. Mr. Chairman, I yield the remainder of my time. Are we now in recess?
[absolute mayhem erupts in the hearing room, reporters rush out the doors to their cameras in the corridor]
[Sen. Durbin, Committee Democrats, and Committee Republicans sit in stunned silence momentarily wondering what they just witnessed]
[Sen. Durbin murmurs something about being in recess until 6:00 PM, bangs his gavel.]
[Sen. ‘Puter rises, descends from the dais, and speaks quietly with the nominee. The nominee smiles after a couple of minutes, they shake hands and go their separate ways]
Buckle up, kids, this one is going to be long. If you are a follower of ours on Twitter (), you’ve probably seen a handful of us (largely ‘Puter, GorT, and the Czar) rip apart various posts from Washington Post opinion writer, and once labeled “conservative writer”, Jennifer Rubin. I’m not sure what has happened but something broke her. cough, cough, Trump, cough, cough, Democrat-leaning paper, cough, propaganda outlet for the liberals, cough, cough. In her latest opinion piece* titled, “Enough despair. We cannot be victims of excessive expectations.”, Ms. Rubin goes full tilt in support of the Biden-Harris administration turning a blind eye to anything the democrats have or could have done. It is so off the rails, that I’m going to take it apart piece by piece.
Most of us expected more from 2021. The year started with new vaccines that promised to remove the coronavirus cloud hanging over us. And the defeat of former president Donald Trump suggested the threat to our democracy was behind us.
Keep in mind that the Trump administration accelerated the path for the vaccines and the reactions by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were:
But, lo and behold, once the Biden-Harris administration is installed, the rhetoric changed and the emphasis to get a vaccine was amped up. Celebrities flocked to it. Biden and Harris televised their vaccinations. Why? Did the vaccines themselves change? No. Did the Biden-Harris administration do something different with the vaccines? No. They took what many in the press would characterize as a very anti-science position and were NEVER criticized for it. Never.
As far as the “threat to our democracy” – keep in mind that immediately following Trump’s win in 2016, the #Resist movement started. That is a movement specifically aimed at resisting the actions, policies, etc. of a duly-elected President. Is that not a “threat to our democracy”? I’ll be the first to say, the riots that took place at the Capitol on January 6th, 2021 were abhorrent, stupid, and criminal…but the democratic rhetoric of “threat to our democracy” is just dumb. Moving on…
the 50-50 Senate is paralyzed while large portions of the president’s agenda remain stalled
Here she is referring to the “Build Back Better” plan which only has 40% polling support in the country, Two Democratic senators are against as it has wasteful spending at a poor time for the country economically. And, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, the BBB act (as passed by the House of Representatives), does more for those earning over $1M than it does for anyone in the four income brackets from $75K to $999K. It also does less for those brackets than what the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” passed under the Trump administration.
The Supreme Court gave up the pretense of impartiality as its right-wing justices, who swear they are not “partisan hacks,” implemented a Republican agenda with little regard for precedent. The constitutional right to access to safe abortions, and with it a critical aspect of women’s self-determination, will likely vanish. The court made hash of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, as it did previously with Section 5.
The Supreme Court does not “implement” an agenda. It hears the cases brought before that are elevated from lower courts. There is NO Constitutional right to access safe abortions. Row v Wade is a set of interpretations of three parts of the Constitution that have been applied to abortion – there is no “right” defined in the Constitution for accessing abortion procedures. We’ll skip the whole “anti-science” part of the discussion for now. In both cases (abortion and the Voting Rights Act), the SCOTUS essentially pushed the issue back to Congress and the states to, for lack of better words, write better laws. Consider for a moment, the complaints from Democrats about requiring photo identification to vote but yet, they are enacting regulations in various localities to require “proof of vaccination” to enter bars, restaurants, concerts, sporting events, etc. If you weren’t aware, that usually means showing a photo identification and a vaccination card (or the data from it). I think voting is a more important institution in this country than bars and concerts (as much as I enjoy a good drink and concert)…why would anyone not support protecting it as such?
Internationally, the Trump administration’s blunder in pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal allowed Iran to race ahead with its nuclear enrichment program. Russia is poised to invade more of Ukraine, and democracy is in decline around the world. China shows no sign of easing its domestic oppression or its aggressive tactics on the world stage
No, the Iran nuclear deal was an enforced debacle that did nothing to deter Iran. They were pursuing nuclear enrichment before Trump, during Trump, and now after Trump. That conclusion is baseless (and hence, why it’s in an opinion piece…yet presented as fact). Joe Biden called Russia the “junior varsity” and during the Democratic Presidential debates said, “China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man. I mean, you know, they’re not bad folks, folks. But guess what? They’re not competition for us.” After the debacle of Biden’s Afghanistan exit (including ignoring the strong recommendations from the military), does anyone believe that Biden is going to play a strong hand against advances by Russia or China? “Come on, man”
All that said, the constant doomsday headlines and the public’s bleak outlook disregard bright spots throughout the economic and political landscape. It takes time to turn a country around and squelch a pandemic. Unemployment has plummeted to 4.2 percent. The United States leads the world in growth, and wages and corporate profits have soared.
Unemployment is down as many have left the workforce, likely most taking the opportunity of the pandemic to retire or stop working for a while. But much of what we see and hear as consumers is that places are “short-staffed” – including restaurants, shipping providers, docks, factories, etc. So touting a labor statistic when it’s not indictive and hides aspects of the full U.S. employment picture is lame. 3Q21 GDP growth was smaller than the previous two quarters under the Biden-Harris administration (6.3, 6.7, then 2.3). Wages have increased at a very modest rate (0.4% in October, for example) but with a 0.9% increase in inflation, that resulted in a net decrease in wages by 0.5% in October 2021. So, Ms. Rubin conveniently ignores that growing problem – that isn’t transitory at all.
Meanwhile, the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow produced meaningful progress on climate change. America’s alliances are on the mend, the war in Afghanistan is over and we are leading the international response to the pandemic. The U.S.-Australian-British security alliance provides a new and substantial check on China’s regional ambitions (and the spat with France over the United States poaching a submarine deal with Australia is in the rearview mirror). And let’s not forget, President Biden helped broker a quick truce in another Israeli-Palestinian conflict, avoiding a prolonged war.
Just by reading the report on the Glasgow Summit put out by the UN, the “meaningful progress” can be summed up that 197 countries agreed to report on their progress on fighting climate change in 2022 and they failed to adopt strong language about “the phase-out of unabated coal power and of inefficient subsidies for fossil fuels” largely bending to India and China. “Meaningful progress”…sure.
She claims alliances are on the mend – after Biden botches it with France over her later mentioned US-Australian-British submarine deal – and while maybe are “in the rearview mirror, they were still done by this administration. She credits Biden with brokering the truce in the ongoing Israeli-Palestine conflict when in reality, he blocked actions by the U.N. Security Council calling for a ceasefire, and pushed other regional powers to lead the truce. This is, of course, ignoring that the previous administration brokered two deals: the UAE-Israel and Bahrain-Israel.
America once more has a decent, informed and pro-democracy president.
Who is the least-accessible President in modern history. Has people “instructing him” on which press reporters to call on. Turns away from the podium when faced with hard questions. And, most recently, gets up and flies to Delaware saying, “There is no federal solution. This gets solved at the state level.” – a position the Trump administration held and promoted.
And decent? He has fought any investigation into past sexual harassment investigations by blocking access to records in Delaware. He has a creepy personal space issue.
Ms. Rubin touts Biden as pro-democracy but yet he is getting hammered in court over his far-reaching executive orders around the pandemic (that he claims is now a state problem). His OSHA vaccine mandate is likely next in line to get torn down. His administration is actively going after states for other policies, though, in a very authoritarian and not federal republic way. So, maybe she doesn’t know that the United States is a federal republic, what a federal republic is, what authoritarianism is, etc.
Ms. Rubin then spends the next 3-4 paragraphs touting the pursuit of action against people involved with the riots on January 6th at the Capitol.
Finally, we have made enormous strides in the battle against the coronavirus. More than 200 million Americans are fully vaccinated, schools are open and lockdowns are not in the cards. With boosters, almost all vaccinated Americans can regard covid-19 as a manageable disease. If the coronavirus becomes analogous to the flu, most Americans can get on with their lives.
A little context, Joe Biden said in response to American crossing 200,000 deaths linked to COVID-19, that “Anyone who’s responsible for that many deaths should not remain as president of the United States.” Biden took responsibility for the federal government’s response and touted repeatedly that Trump didn’t have a plan but that he did. Over 350,000 Americans have died related to COVID-19. Biden can’t and won’t live up to his own words.
To summarize: Ms. Rubin writes an opinion piece so NOTHING in her pieces should be taken as fact, as much as she pens it as such. It is clear she has turned a blind eye to the problems and faults of the current administration. I’m not touting the Trump administration – they had plenty of faults and problems. But the kid-glove treatment in her opinion pieces are little more than Democratic propaganda and one wonders if an opinion writer for the Washington Post could have or apply any critical thinking skills.
People ask me*, “Dread and Unusually Attractive Volgi of the Œcumene, it’s getting to the point in the NFL season where I’m really concerned about my team’s making the playoffs, or not screwing up their draft position, or needing to have some sort of exorcism to drive their evil owner away into the desert where he will dine on naught but locusts and camel scat.”
And I say, “That’s not actually a question.”
And they say, “Don’t interrupt. My problem is that I would like to pray for these outcomes, but I know that God Almighty is above the petty concerns of sport; and, moreover, there are probably an equal—if not greater—number of partisans of that team I really really hate who are praying (with, I hate to admit, almost equal merit) for the exact opposite outcome, and I’m fairly sure at least that one owner is employing Baphomet himself to effect his pomps and works.”
And I say, “Still not hearing a question.”
And they say, “I get distracted, ok? So my question is: do you think there’s a way I can get some sort of advocate for my team whose prayers might carry a little more weight than mine? I once asked the late St. Theresa of Calcutta, but turns out Mother Teresa really only followed the NBA and Australian-rules football.”
And I say, “I’m sorry, I dozed off there. No, no, just kidding. Yes, obviously, you’ve almost hit on it, but rather than scouring the land for living saints, why don’t you just ask some bona-fide, certified, grade-a, canonized saints in the next world for their intercession? I mean, that’s pretty much what they do. Sit around, basking in the Beatific Vision of God, hanging out in eternal love, and doing the occasional solid for us sweaty losers. I mean, I may be misremembering the Catechism slightly, but, close enough.”
And they say, “But whom shall I ask, of whom I can be sure that my ghastly enemies in the Next City Over won’t be petitioning the same guy?”
And I say, “That’s a lot of whoms. But to your question, don’t forget that saints have special interests, or ‘patronages,’ that they like to help out with, and they liked certain animals, or they got killed in some horrible way that they’re sympathetic towards.”
And they said, “So who’s the patron saint of my team?”
And I say, “How the hell should I know?”
And they said, “Isn’t this kind of your job?”
And I say, “I wish. Wait. Will you pay me for that information, like a job?”
And they say, “Uh…I guess?”
And I say, “Hundred bucks.”
And they, in their sweaty loserdom, say, “Fine.”
And I say, “Cha-ching.” And then I dig into my arcane library, and, after a suitably dramatic interval designed to torture the poor guy, I announce, “The Volgi-approved patron saint of your team is…” And I tell them.
Now having much picked up a decent amount of scratch for having established patrons for all the teams, I’m feeling guilty about the NSX Type S in my garage, and so I hereby donate all this knowledge to the communion of NFL fans.
St. Vincent of Lombardi, ora pro nobis.
*People don’t actually ask me this. Once that idiot Adept Lu asked whether the green dragon on his mahjong tile could bite him, but, man, he was drunk…
Update: Observant and knowledgable reader R.K. III points out that San Diego was named after St. Didacus of Alcalá, so my “James” joke is not quite on-point. I take refuge in the fact that ‘Didacus’ is thought to be a medieval Latinization of Spanish ‘Diego’ which is a shortened form of ‘Santiago,’ itself a contraction of ‘Santo Yago’ or ‘Saint James.’ Given that the gulf between James and Diego seems further and therefore funnier, I’m giving it a STET and Mr. K a commendation for a good catch. One coffer of Deccan-minted gold bullion will arrive at your house by Tcho-Tcho messengers forthwith.
On a tip by the Volgi, I subscribe to Klon Kitchen’s “Kitchen Sync”. It’s a great summary of key items and their intersection with government, politics, or society, largely in or related to the Tech industry. He sent a link today to an article that he guest-wrote on The Dispatch (linked here). It is a takedown of Congress’ attempt via the Filter Bubble Transparency Act to essentially regulate large social-media platforms. I’d like to pull the thread on a few items within his post.
In 1956, economist Charles Tiebout argued in his essay A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures, that a similar type of “foot voting” (a term he does not use), where consumers willfully relocate to jurisdictions where policies better align with their preferences, is more efficient and effective than voting to change government or its policies. Ronald Reagan, agreeing with Tiebout, often said Americans should “move along” if their local government was not to their liking.
Unfortunately, and to the point of my post here, there are many – some on both sides of the aisle but predominantly on the left, who believe that laws and regulations should be equally applied across the country at the federal level. They conveniently forget the 10th Amendment and get bent out of shape when state governments enact laws with which they don’t agree. Kitchen continues,
This is of course consistent with our diverse federal system of government so eloquently summarized by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, who said, “a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” Legal scholar Ily Somin says these laboratories of democracy and the migratory options they enable are, therefore, “a tool for enhancing political freedom: the ability of the people to choose the political regime under which they wish to live.”
So then, those in government who advocate that we should squash such efforts and actively pursue overriding them at the federal level are doing what? To draw the corollary to Somin’s argument, they are reducing political freedoms and forcing a singular political regime over the entire country. For those that follow us on Twitter, this is the point that we usually grind when Washington Post (motto: “The Federal Republic Dies Here in Darkness“) blogger Jennifer Rubin. She frequently comments on how the previous administration was tyrannical and authoritarian – but in reality, what party and what administration is actively advocating and moving towards limiting political freedoms and the people’s choice for political regimes?
This begets Kitchen’s key point of his article:
My point in highlighting this context is to bring into sharp relief this truth: Americans have agency and the opportunity to improve their lives more efficiently and effectively than government can.
Far too often, people turn to the government for help – in realms that we have “agency and the opportunity” to address ourselves. We need to stop being lazy about this and stop being so reliant on the government, particularly the federal government. There is a reason America is a federal republic. It is precisely to avoid having a singular, potentially authoritarian government control our lives. It is meaningful that we have state and local governments and that the Constitution specifically limits the federal government’s power.
Like many elements of the law and government, it is behind the curve on technology and its advancements.
The bill’s text is a hot mess of legalese whose implementation would undoubtedly be every bit as opaque as the algorithms it intends to manage. What is clear, however, is the bill will not work even if it could be coherently implemented.
I encourage you to go read the rest of Kitchen’s article – it’s worth digesting and thinking about the points he makes. And get out there and “rock the vote….with your feet”.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, of course. But when the measures get truly desperate, they also get truly goofy. Remember that scene in the Marx Brothers movie Go West, where they’re on a train that’s running out of coal? The bad guys are getting away, so Harpo begins grabbing everything he can to throw into the engine’s firebox to keep it in hot pursuit of the villains. When he runs out, he starts chopping up the wood of the train itself until the train consists of an engine pulling a bunch of skeletal platform cars.
And that’s about where America is with its tax base, right now, thanks to decades of Republican and Democrat politicians, in two branches of government, happily throwing money at every constituent they can. (You know, the Czar’s other doctor friend once remarked that the difference between Democrats and Republicans is this: a Democrat will promise to take your money and spend it; a Republican will promise to return your money, but spend it just as fast.)
So here we have Joe Biden, America’s mid-season replacement for Donald Trump. He’s like Charles Rocket, when Saturday Night Live saw their original monster cast leave en masse. He was gonna be great. Remember Rocket? That’s okay; few do. Sadly, he’s passed away.
Back on track; it’s so easy to lose your place when talking about Biden. So here we have Joe Biden, and he’s promised the progressive community a Big Thank You for getting Bernie Sander’s apparatchiks to vote for somebody not an outright communist. And his plan was clever: spend as much money as has ever been spent by a government on every crazy thing the progressives could think of. Free daycare? You’re in. Free community college? Sure, why not. Put wind farms in every neighborhood? Um, okay. But here’s the clever part: call it Infrastructure. Who hates that? Everyone loves bridges, and overpasses, and canals, and shipping docks, and conduit, and wiring, and plumbing and stuff.
Except the bill came in a well over 3 trillion dollars, setting up the perfect Simpsons gag in real life. Turns out, stupid stuff also costs real money.
Well, Americans don’t want to pay $20,000 per taxpayer extra. So in typical political fashion, the Democrats agreed that they could cut the spending down to about 1 trillion bucks, with some analysts estimating that a more realistic cost (after those cuts, of course) will be closer to 4 trillion.
Problem is: there is no more money. None. It’s over. Americans cannot afford to have taxes raised to this extent.
All right, all right, all right, all right: Bernie Sanders whips out his dull golf pencil (they’re free; just take one from the mini-golf admissions booth!) and uses his math skills to their full extent. He declares the bill will actually cost nothing. This amazing bit of calculus is predicated on his suspicion that billions of people are secretly billionaires who have been hiding money in regular bank accounts, and all this money should have been paid in taxes already. Sanders also assumes that “raising taxes” is not as essential if you simply call it something else, something more market-friendly, like… like “not raising taxes.”
And this fooled nobody. So another Democrat equally skilled in economics—so that’s got to be Elizabeth Warren—had the idea to investigate all bank transactions into or out of the United States if their amount was equal to $600 or greater. Evidently, someone is unaware that this is millions of transactions a day, in hopes they can find may be a few that are questionable. And gosh, if you catch like 10 a week, and tax those scofflaws for a couple hundred bucks, you’ll have those trillions collected in no time.
Guess what. Even a small Lhasa Apso in Yonkers understood that the costs to hire that many analysts to weed through millions of transactions would easily cost more than the possible revenue that would generate. So plan C was for Treasury Secretary Yellen to suggest that Americans pay tax on unrealized capital gains.
Okay, now Americans paused. What was that, exactly? “Okay, dummies,” she said, “A capital gain is when you make a lot of money cashing in an investment.”
Yeah, we said, we already pay tax on that. It’s one of the reasons more Americans don’t invest.
“Well, dummies,” she continued, “An unrealized capital gain is when you don’t cash it in, yet.”
Now we understood: you’re proposing to tax us for when an investment goes up in value, even if we don’t cash it in?
“Yes, now you get it.”
So today if we play poker in Vegas and win $20,000 at the end of the night, that’s a capital gain we pay tax on. But under your proposal, if we’re playing poker in Vegas, and on the turn discover we have four of a kind, we get taxed on the amount of money we could win if we played all the way through…even though we haven’t won the money yet, and therefore have to pay out of our own pocket.
That will do a lot more than cause people to not play poker. It will cause a mass sell-off of stocks. It will cause people to cash in bonds and crush the government’s cash flow. It will make people under-contribute to their 401(k)s and other retirement plans. And no one will sell a house, for fear of it going up in value, anytime ever. This will absolutely destroy the economy of the United States and push America into a massive depression.
Needless to say, that idea isn’t going forward, either.
These are all acts of desperation: America cannot—simply cannot—afford to pay government any more money. So like Harpo chopping up the train, the Biden administration is looking for any conceivable source of revenue to tax. But it’s all been taxed. So now they’re down to just bankrupting people in order to steal the money.
This all sounds terrible because, frankly, it is. But there’s a glimmer of hope: we are now extremely close to Washington admitting we’re broke. We need to start letting some of you go to save costs. The Department of Education was always a first choice, but lately the Department of Transportation has stepped up to announce it’s more interested in taking time off to spend time with the family. And with our military more invested in winning the hearts and minds of Castro Street than anywhere else, there’s probably some good cuts to be made there.
Come to think of it, maybe our Treasury and State departments have a little too much free time lately.
You could easily come up with some great ideas faster than they can, eh?
It’s been a while since GorT posted an actual blog post but in thinking about this topic, it was more than what I’d do on Twitter. ‘Puter might create a 22-tweet rant but I’m not sure I could adequately cover this in such a manner, plus I don’t really do epic rants like ‘Puter.
GorT’s been giving a lot of thought to the current state of affairs around the world and here in the United States and so much of it comes down to one thing: tribes. While this isn’t some earth-shattering revelation, I want to take it in a particular direction – specifically, I think we each belong to a number of tribes and there are people and technologies working to collapse tribes into larger ones that goes against our nature.
Let me try to explain myself. We each belong to certain tribes: our church community, our neighborhood, those we align with politically, socially, etc. We have tribes for our college and professional sports teams and other hobbies and pastimes. In the past, and still with certain communities, one will have tribes around their ethnicity (for those in certain cities, you’ll recognize the “Irish neighborhood” or the “Italian church”, etc.). To put maybe a darker spin on this – we all saw tribes in high school but just called the cliques. Well, they didn’t go away as we grew up.
The structure of the United States (a federal republic) is well suited for this. Tribes, to some degree, could co-locate and enjoy their community while being part of a bigger structure that provided overarching benefits. Our laws protecting free speech, religion, etc. granted protections for the tribes. This wasn’t (and isn’t) without flaws which result in various disagreements and even conflicts like the Civil War.
But as the 20th century progressed, the growing interconnectedness of our population largely through technological advances in transportation and communication, did two things. First, it enabled remote members of tribes to participate in tribes all across the globe. Second, it amplified conflict between tribes and made the conflict more public. Now New Yorkers started to be aware of issues, have opinions and, to put it mildly, offer recommendations for Texans. And conservatives in the midwest voiced concerns over positions by liberals in the north. And so on. And tribes began championing that every tribe should want, need, and adopt their beliefs. In the past, this has manifested itself in things like the “Catholic tribe” implementing the Spanish Inquisition. And one might argue that similar things are afoot today.
I’m not advocating that we should isolate ourselves in our tribes* and only talk with those with whom we agree or align. But there needs to be some realization that we are tribal in nature, you might not understand another tribe very well, and not everybody need be in one big tribe. Social Media, like Twitter and Facebook, enable this hyper-connectedness and I would caution that it’s not all good to be so connected.
Given that the horse has left the barn on this connectivity, I’m not sure where we go from here to address things and find some way of recognizing our tribal nature and desires while working within the hyper-connected world of today.
* There’s a reason Isla Introverta is a place…well at least a concept as far as you know
Your Czar is concerned with your health, and naturally has asked his Czarist Imperial Surgeon’s Office to prepare a bullet point list on how you can best protect yourself against the monkey pox, which is known as the Corona, Zombie Deer, Zika, Killer Flu, MERS, H1N1A, or more commonly, Ebola. Monkey pox has now killed over 500 trillion people in your neighborhood today alone, particularly in the Americas somewhere. Do not be one of the statistics, and do not even read the statistics.
|Avoid places where monkey pox is known to congregate, such as door knobs.|
|If you see monkey pox on the ground, do not pick it up.|
|Avoid eating monkey pox or place monkey pox near your mouth. Under no circumstances should monkey pox be inserting anything up your nose.|
|Do not open the door for monkey pox. Do not believe its lies. If someone shows up at your door, even if it’s your sister, it could be Corona. Call the police immediately.|
|If monkey pox calls on the phone, do not attempt to engage it in conversation (especially if he has a monkey |
|If you see monkey pox hanging around a playground or school, run out and scream warnings to the kids to get inside. Watching television is the safest activity for kids during this crisis.|
|If you see or hear anyone talking about monkey pox, it could be an invasion. Call the Army and tell them to start shelling. If you see something worrisome, say something worrisome.|
|Do not pet the mice. Actually, this is more true for the Hanta virus, but you can’t play it too safe.|
Now, this probably won’t translate into a general day off for Americans, just as Columbus Day and Presidents’ Day doesn’t. Schools are typically already out by this time. But it’s a great idea for a holiday: it commemorates the days the last slaves in American history were told the war was over: they were free.
From a non-partisan standpoint, excellent! It’s the day (actually, the exact date is a little hazy, hence the “Juneteenth” moniker) America was ready to drop an evil institution foisted on it by its predecessor nation, and in some respects set the stage for America to step up to be a major world power. Yes, slavery was holding us back. And with the last slaves freed, we could move forth and take center stage. That’s a pretty cool thing to remember, and a good reason to fly a flag and party it up.
For a purely partisan standpoint, it was a major victory for Republicans, who went from being an upstart party only a few years earlier to being the party of hope for a horribly oppressed chunk of the population. As you know, the Democrats were reviled for decades by Americans (until their lucky comeback in the 1930s), and it’s ironic but delightful that Democrats want to federalize a holiday that commemorates their greatest humiliation.
The Czar has seen some commentary on our Twitter timeline and in other social media that today’s Republicans don’t like the idea of Juneteenth being a federal holiday because it seems to give Woke Leftists an anti-racist win. That’s short-term thinking: critical race theory, Wokeness, and anti-racism are all misguided trends and will be gone and out and done within a decade. History remains: and the history of Juneteenth is worth celebrating, partisan or non-partisan. Republicans should rejoice, because Juneteenth’s history will be explored further by more and more Americans over the years. In the 1860s, the Democrats were a party of genuine Evil, and they were humiliated for their feverish attempt to enslave other people. Let the public learn; then, they can genuinely ask themselves if today’s Democrats have done a whole lot of good on that front.
Whatever. The Czar will say that if you really want..really want…to oppose a holiday, how about Labor Day? It’s a salute to socialist work organization, a day in which we honor the fact the labor unions haven’t contributed to worker safety since a small mining procedure in the 1960s. It’s pure political theater and really admits unions have been stealing dues from workers and acting as organized criminals, and isn’t really worth celebrating.
Now, we don’t know exactly when the last slaves heard they were freed, but we do know it wasn’t in early September. So maybe we keep Juneteenth in June, and when Republicans retake Congress in a little bit, they can propose something better for Labor Day. How about Patriot Day, to commemorate not (just) the victims of September 11th, 2001, but all the average men and women who supported our country over the last centuries? You know, the Patrick Henrys, the John Hancocks, the Abigail Adamses, the Frederick Douglasses, the Susan La Flesche Picottes, and yes, even the Malcolm Xs (who may have been unpleasant, but were right to take a stand and did, at great personal cost, for justice). Not so much the Abby Hoffmans, though.
Well, it’s just a thought. American history is resplendent with, and probably unique because of, all the average folks who stepped up at a critical moment to do the right thing, or who sacrificed greatly to make things just a little better for total strangers. Americans still do this, and it’s another good reason to fly a flag. Maybe a better reason, even.
*You know what the asterisk here is for.
‘Puter’s been bitching on Twitter for a few days about the New York Legislature passing and Gov. Cuomo signing into law the so-called HERO Act. The act is yet another expensive, expansive state government intrusion into the workplace. Worst of all, this law is a Trojan horse permitting employees, on their own and without a vote, to form a quasi-union to micromanage employers’ response to “airborne infectious diseases.”
How bad is the HERO Act? Behold, ‘Puter’s third-party human resources provider did a handy-dandy synopsis of the law’s lowlights.
If New York were purposely trying to destroy every business in the state, would its actions look any different?
Client Update – NY State HERO Act
May 12, 2021
HERO Act Overview
Gov. Cuomo signed into law the NY Health and Essential Rights (HERO) Act on May 4, 2021. This legislation requires employers to develop and adopt an airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plan and prohibits discrimination or retaliation against anyone who brings forth a complaint about conditions which could expose employees to infectious airborne diseases in the workplace. Employers may either adopt their own plan or use the model the state Department of Labor has been charged with developing. Plans must be industry specific. It may be advisable to wait to adopt the DOL/DOH model plan for your company’s industry, as any alternative plan must be developed in conjunction with employee input, and be specific to hazards in the industry and at worksites of the employer.
The original timeline for compliance with adopting a safety plan was 30 days after the effective date which would have been June 4th. However, on May 5th Gov. Cuomo secured an agreement with the legislature to make technical changes to the bill, including giving the DOL and employers more specific instructions in development and implementation of workplace standards and providing a clear timeline. This indicates effective dates could be pushed out further, especially in light of the clarification that employers will not need to adopt a plan until the model plans are developed and released.
What must the Plans Include?
Plans must include at a minimum the following:
Required Notices and Postings
Plans must be posted in a conspicuous area in the workplace, along with being published in an employment manual, if a company has one. It must be provided to all employees at the time of the plan effective date, and to new employees at the time of their hire. It must also be presented to employees upon return from any business closure due to an airborne infectious period.
No discrimination or retaliation
It is unlawful to discriminate, threaten, retaliate against, or take adverse action against any employee for:
The HERO Act creates a unique private right of action employees may take to directly sue their employer for violations that create a substantial probability that death or serious harm could result from a condition which exists, or from one or more employer practices, methods, or processes, unless the employer did not or could not have known about it “with the exercise of reasonable diligence.” This right to bring legal action against an employer was allowed during COVID under whistleblower protections. However, any action, defense or claim found to be completely without merit or is meant to harass or maliciously injure could result in sanctions against attorneys or parties who make such claims.
The act also defines and sets fines for noncompliance after a DOL investigation. Failure to put a prevention plan in place could result in fines of $50.00 per day. Failure to abide by the prevention plan could result in penalties ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. Repeat offenders will risk even higher fines.
Joint Labor-Management Safety Committees
The second part of the Act becomes effective November 1, 2021. It applies to employers that employ at least 10 employees or have an annual payroll of over $800,000 and a “workers’ compensation experience modification rating of more than 1.2.” These employers must permit employees to establish and administer a joint labor-management workplace safety committee, comprised of at least two-thirds non-supervisory employees who are chosen by non-supervisory employees. Where a CBA exists, the collective bargaining representative will choose members of the committee. Employers are not permitted to interfere with the selection of employees who serve on this committee. Employers are not permitted to retaliate against employees involved in safety committees.
The Act authorizes committees to:
Consult with your [third-party human resources provider] to review your current COVID Health and Safety plan, which should cover the minimum requirements of the HERO Act airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plan until the state publishes their model plans. It will be important to continue the workplace safety measures, including daily screenings, put in place when COVID first presented itself in our workplaces, given that these measures will be required under the HERO Act.
With America’s Handsy, Demented Grandpa President’s handlers currently throwing America’s southern border open wide to all comers and creating a massive human crisis, ‘Puter decided to spend some time pondering the state of America’s immigration laws. ‘Puter determined Congress is no longer able to function as a legislative body, what with being solely dedicated to preserving cushy lifetime sinecures for incumbents by avoiding even the most remotely controversial issues. Even if the new proto-communist “progressive” Left exemplified by Sen. Stalinist Zombie Sanders and the Squad’s Che-Leaders takes over in a bloody intraparty Democrat purge, it’s unlikely to get any immigration laws passed or reformed as many Democrats actively loathe and fear them.
What to do? ‘Puter’s got no clue but he does have thoughts, which is always dangerous. Rather than have GorT take him back to the Founders’ era so he could alter the Constitution at its inception, ‘Puter thought it more fair to draft a proposed constitutional amendment on immigration for your review and comment. Oh, and if you don’t like ‘Puter’s proposal, Czar has a bag of dicks on which you may suck. No, really. Czar has an actual bag of dicks. He’s a sick bastard.
Here goes nothing.
A Proposed Thirty-Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.
Section 1. Citizenship.
a. A citizen of the United States is a person who is:
• Born in the United States to a biological parent who is a United States citizen; or
• Born anywhere else in the world to at least one biological parent who is a United States citizen provided the citizen parent:
o Receive a certificate of live birth for said child within the United States within one month of the child’s birth; or
o Register said child with a United States embassy or consulate in the foreign nation in which the child is born by providing (1) a valid original or authentic certified copy of the child’s birth certificate issued by the foreign nation of the child’s birth and (2) proof of the registering parent(s)’ United States citizenship, such as a passport; or
• Adopted by a United States citizen or citizens through a legally recognized process in both the nation of adoption and the United States and timely registered in accordance with the provisions of Section 1(b) of this Amendment; or
• Born to a parent who is a permanent resident of the United States within the United States, within the federal district, within United States territories whose residents have citizenship at the time of the child’s birth, or on United States overseas military bases.
b. For the purposes of this Section 1, a child of a noncitizen parent(s) conceived through use of reproductive technology using a United States’ citizen’s donated egg or sperm shall not qualify for treatment as a United States citizen, regardless of place of birth. Similarly, a child carried by a United States citizen surrogate for noncitizen parents shall not qualify as a United States citizen regardless of place of birth.
c. The Fourteenth Amendment hereto is expressly stated not to confer birthright citizenship. The intent of the Fourteenth Amendment is expressly stated to have been to state that slaves freed by the Thirteenth Amendment were human beings, American citizens from birth, and holders of equal rights as the American citizens of any race. Any and all laws, regulations, and judicial determinations based on incorrect interpretations of the Fourteenth Amendment are hereby declared null and void.
d. Nothing in this Section 1 shall be deemed to affect the citizenship of any United States citizen who was a citizen on or before the effective date of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 or any person claiming citizenship through such a person.
Section 2. Dual and Multiple Citizenship Forbidden.
a. No United States citizen shall claim or hold citizenship with any other nation or nations. The executive is commanded to determine which United States citizens hold multiple citizenships immediately after this Amendment’s effective date and at least annually thereafter. The legislature is commanded to appropriate sufficient funds for the executive to accomplish such task.
b. United States citizens determined to have multiple citizenships shall choose one and only one of the following options:
• Retain their United States citizenship only if they formally reject and renounce citizenship in any other nation(s) of which they are citizens and turn in their foreign passports and any and all other such documentation associated with such citizenships to the Department of State or its designated agent or agents.
• Forfeit their United States citizenship and keep their citizenship in any other foreign nation(s) of which they are citizens. In the event of such forfeiture, the former United States citizen shall immediately be granted permanent resident status.
• In the event any United States citizen affected by Section 2(a) is later determined to have kept, renewed, or gained new citizenship with any other foreign nation, such United States citizen shall immediately be stripped of United States citizenship, deported, and barred from reentry for any purpose whatsoever for the life of such person.
• If any United States citizen affected by this Section 3 is under the age of 18 at the time of discovery of his multiple citizenships, such person shall be permitted to retain such citizenships until the person’s 18th birthday at which time the affected person must choose in accordance with this Section’s provisions.
c. Judicial review of determinations made under this Section is permitted but is limited to only manifest errors of fact or law. Unintentional procedural errors shall not be a basis for overturning a determination of the executive.
Section 3. Illegally Present Persons.
a. Illegally present persons shall have only the following due process rights upon arrest for illegal presence:
• The right to a final, binding summary proceeding within 90 days of such person’s arrest and detention to determine the right of an allegedly illegally present person to be legally present in the United States, during which time period the person must be physically held in United States custody at a secure facility. Both the holding facility and the hearing may or may not be within the United States.
• The right to government counsel to provide a defense, which defense is limited solely to mistake of fact. For the avoidance of doubt, “mistake of fact” in this Section shall mean only “such person was in fact legally present in the United States on the date of his arrest and during the entire term of pretrial detention.” This includes the right to daily contact with such person’s counsel.
• The right to contact their home nation’s consulate to inform such nation of their arrest and seek such assistance as such nation may afford.
b. There shall be no judicial review of any proceedings conducted under this Section except for (1) manifest error of fact or (2) manifest bias. For the avoidance of doubt, it shall not be a basis for a claim of manifest bias that a hearing officer routinely decides against illegally present persons or that a significant proportion of persons deported by such hearing officer are of a certain race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender or other characteristic. Appellants must prove both that such hearing officer is biased against an individual and that such bias resulted in an erroneous decision.
c. Immediately after the required hearing and on determination such person is in fact illegally present, such illegally present person shall be immediately physically removed from the United States. The United States shall not be required to return such person to the person’s country of citizenship.
d. Any person determined to be illegally present a second time shall be permanently barred from the United States. Any person determined to be illegally present a third time or more shall be mandatorily jailed for a minimum term of 25 years without possibility of parole.
e. The provisions of this section apply to all persons illegally present, including minors. For the avoidance of doubt, no minor may be released within the United States for any reason.
f. The executive must assess the structure of immigration courts and detention facilities necessary to implement the detentions and hearings and report such proposed structure to Congress within six months of adoption of this Amendment. Congress must immediately review, approve, and fund such proposal. Congress shall not have power to alter any proposal made by the executive, only to approve it in full or reject it in toto. No federal or state court or other adjudicative body shall have jurisdiction to review the structure, function, or due process rights afforded to persons affected herein. This subsection f shall apply to all detention and hearing functions necessary under Sections 1, 2, 3, and 4 herein.
Section 4. Asylum.
a. No application for asylum may be filed within the United States including territories and possessions thereof. Any such application is void ab initio.
b. The only permissible bases for an asylum claims are if the applicant has provably suffered persecution or can prove beyond a reasonable doubt they hold an objectively reasonable fear that they will suffer persecution in their home nation due to:
• Race or ethnicity
• Membership in a particular social group
• Political opinion
c. “Membership in a particular social group” shall not include transgendered individuals or individuals with an other than heterosexual sexual orientation. Further, the executive shall be permitted to designate certain social groups and political opinions which are not permissible subjects of asylum claims including but not limited to communist revolutionaries, antisemitic groups, and polygamists. Before such listing becomes effective, it must be ratified by simple majorities of both the House and the Senate, which must conduct no other business when presented with such a list by the executive until a final vote is taken. The executive is limited to presenting one such list per presidential term. The legislature can only vote once per Congress to reject an approved list or approve the last rejected list.
d. Any person filing an asylum claim which claim is denied for either being based on a non-recognized basis or for any other reason shall be banned for reapplying for asylum for period of 10 years commencing on the date of such claim’s denial.
e. Asylum seekers from Cuba are exempt from the provisions of this Section 4 and Section 3 above. Such individuals may remain in the United States while their claim for asylum or other legal immigration status are adjudicated. However, such persons must stay with a sponsoring United States citizen who shall be responsible for all such applicant’s upkeep including but not limited to food, shelter, and medical care.
Section 5. Familial Relationship Based Immigration; Temporary Protected Status; Refugees.
a. Effective immediately upon adoption of this Amendment and retroactive to January 1, 2020, no person shall be granted entrance to the United States, permanent residency, or citizenship based upon the citizenship or legal immigration status of a family member. Any pending applications for such status shall be void. Any applications granted on or after January 1, 2020 shall be revoked and such person given 90 days to leave the country.
b. Excepted from the provisions of Section 5(a) shall be: spouses and children of the United States citizen or foreign national holding legal immigration status. “Spouses and children” under this subsection shall mean spouses and children at the time of the United States citizen or foreign national holding legal immigration status achieves such status, not after.
c. Congress shall make no law, and the executive is without authority, to create or continue the Temporary Protected Status program or any and all programs granting legal residency and/or legal work status to foreign nationals based on natural or manmade disasters.
d. Congress may define the scope of who qualifies for refugee status with approval of the executive. However, refugee status shall require the existence of an active state of war in a foreign nation as agreed by three-quarters of the House of Representatives and two-thirds of the Senate and be limited solely to individuals directly affected by such was, again as agreed by the same margins in the House and Senate. Refugee status shall last only so long as either (1) Congress continues such status annually, but such continuation or termination shall only require simple majorities of each house or (2) the state of war giving rise to such refugee status declaration continues as determined by the foreign nation or nations at war, whichever shall first occur.
Section 6. Retroactivity; Miscellaneous.
a. The provisions of this amendment shall be retroactive to January 1, 1970.
b. In the event these provisions would render a current United States citizen a noncitizen because such person’s parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent would not be a citizen hereunder, the provisions of this amendment shall work only a revocation of the citizenship of the original person or persons through whom such descendant would claim citizenship.
c. The exception contained in Section 6(b) shall expressly not apply to people claiming citizenship through their or an ancestor’s birthright citizenship where neither parent at the time of the person’s birth was a United States citizen.
d. Nothing in this amendment shall be construed to remove citizenship from persons granted citizenship by acts of Congress. This exception is expressly limited to acts of Congress granting citizenship to citizens of territories and possessions of the United States which existed on or before January 1, 2021.
Section 7. Judicial Review, Appeals.
a. Unless otherwise specifically provided herein, there shall be no judicial review or other appeal of proceedings authorized or required under this Amendment whether by state courts, federal courts, or any other judicial or quasi-judicial entity.
b. In the event judicial review or appeal is permitted hereunder, disparate impact analysis or any similar statistical method of proof is expressly not permitted. An appellant must prove actual bias or manifest error in the case at hand.
c. The standard for any permitted judicial review or appeal is “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
d. No court shall be permitted to stay deportation or removal of or grant admission of any individual pending appeal. The appellant must leave or remain outside the country pending results of the appeal.
e. If a review or appeal is resolved in appellant’s favor, the United States shall pay the full cost of appellant’s repatriation plus appellant’s reasonable and necessary attorney’s fees and costs plus liquidated damages in the amount of $500 per day for each day after deportation and before repatriation, which $500 amount shall be indexed to inflation.
f. Either the government or the affected individual may appeal a determination if judicial review is permitted.
g. Class actions or other group aggregations are expressly forbidden.
Section 8. Ratification.
a. This Amendment must be ratified by the States on or before 15 years after its submission to the States for ratification.
b. Congress shall not be permitted to extend the date for ratification beyond this date.
c. The Supreme Court shall have mandatory original jurisdiction over determination of the ratification date only insofar as necessary to calculate the proper ratification deadline date and to enforce such date strictly. Any such case brought under this Section 8 must be immediately heard by the Supreme Court which must come back into session to hear such case within thirty days of such case’s filing. The Supreme Court may conduct no other business until such case or cases is finally determined and a decision and order entered of record.
d. Once the Supreme Court has issued a final decision and order expressly determining the proper ratification deadline date, no further cases on such matter may be filed. Should such cases be filed, the Supreme Court may dismiss them immediately and take such disciplinary actions against any individuals or attorneys involved in such filings, including but not limited to monetary penalties and disbarment from practice before any federal court of the United States.
e. State courts and any non-Article III courts are wholly without jurisdiction to make any determination regarding the ratification deadline or its effects.
Narcissists come in many flavors, with “harmless” being the most popular; however, a dangerous type of narcissist can ruin people’s lives, destroy reputations, and cost people their jobs—and often, the narcissist is oblivious to the damage he or she causes.
Fortunately, it’s possible to recognize many of these people, as they exhibit a few common warning signs:
Although politicians are often narcissists, and many actors make a good living by playing convincing fictional roles, there’s a growing class of narcissists out there: the anti-racists.
Sure, Jussie Smollett is a good example. He wanted to be a pitied, empathetic figure; he went to great lengths to stage a racist attack on him, and when confronted with the truth, he insisted he had a winning hand. Even when the truth was finally exposed as to who he really was, he continued to raise the stakes on his story. When he lost that media poke match, he left the table still insisting he was cheated.
Naperville, southwest of Chicago, is Illinois’ fourth-largest city with a population of 148,000 mostly middle-to-upper-middle class residents and tons of super-expensive estates and manses. Its school district, 203, is vast and encompasses multiple buildings and thousands and thousands of children.
Dan Bridges has been 203’s superintendent since 2011, and this is his first superintendence. The Czar understands from a couple of 203’s former teachers (prior to Mr. Bridges’ position) that 203 is a particularly difficult district: a common complaint was teachers would fail or reprimand a student…and then get a visit from the family’s attorney. The Czar heard from the two former teachers who swore that on rare occasions, an attorney would show up for parent-teacher conferences in lieu of the parents; they didn’t seem to be kidding. It’s that aggressive a place to teach.
So, understandably, Superintendent Bridges is likely under a microscope every minute of the day. Lately, he’s been criticized for not having a school reopening plan, despite the majority of his neighboring communities already opening to in-person classes most days of the week. This was corrected today, as 203 publicly released its plan to reopen. But his fortunes turned even worse when he attempted to fix a problem that Naperville wasn’t really having.
District 203 hired a self-title anti-racism coach named Dena Simmons to present her theories to the entire teaching staff; this was done via web conference on February 26th. To the embarrassment of the District, numerous teachers began texting each other during the lecture criticizing the incoherence of the slides, the nonsense jargon, and the hate-filled thesis that, once again and quite predictably, revealed that all white people are horrible, horrible folks. Many of these texts went public, and the District suddenly found itself on the defense with parents, wondering why—in lieu of a then-opening school plan—teachers were discovering that they were pretty terrible people for having been born in white skin.
Superintendent Bridges appears to have screwed up his PR recovery plan, repeatedly insisting that the problems were with the parents and residents, and that the program—seriously, honestly—was totally worth the money they paid to Ms. Simmons and, you know what? Frankly, it’s good if you were “uncomfortable” with the content. That means you’re probably hiding something.
Superintendent Bridges fails to realize parents and residents were uncomfortable with the fact that Ms. Simmons appears to receive payments for delivering a ridiculous presentation, riddled with nonsense buzzwords and critical race theory hoaxes. We’ll get to her in a moment.
So why did Bridges endorse this? Because he needed to be seen doing something—anything—to address the growing anti-racism (that is, critical race theory) in K-12 schools. As you may or may not know, the Illinois State School Boards is entertaining CRT and recommending—if not mandating—its expansion and incorporation into educational curriculum.
Superintendent Bridges was unwittingly bullied into hiring somebody the District knew little about, did not vet, and did not understand. Afraid of public backlash—as someone in his role always is, thanks to our litigious-friendly culture—he felt it was better to turn over the school lunch money to the anti-racist bullies.
Curiously, Naperville District 203 has a robust anti-bullying program for students. Maybe the school board should sit in on that and learn how easy it is to be a victim and not realize it.
Now to Dena Simmons and her source of income. From the evidence supplied in February by teachers in the 203 community, the Czar makes these suppositions about Ms. Simmons:
Yep, those check the five boxes for classical narcissism. And that’s the good news.
Because the bad news is that collecting checks for selling people something you know to be untrue is a con game. The difference here is that the confidence trickster knows it’s deceitful; the narcissist can no longer tell the difference between truth and reality. She believes the stuff she’s peddling because she is incapable of accepting why and where it’s wrong. She doesn’t even know she’s cheating at cards.
Maybe the next school district will be less prone to this sort of bullying, but having met a bunch of superintendents in our day, the Czar isn’t willing to bet on this hand.
Who doesn’t love boobies? You see the word all over social media, but what does it really mean? And how much do you know about them? The Czar, ever the sort of person who likes to lord his expansive knowledge over people, is here to help.
Here are 13 things you probably didn’t know about boobies.
‘Puter feels like singing. He’s had that one song from “The LEGO Movie” stuck in his head all morning. You know the one. It goes like this:
All you guys are racist! All you guys are tools because you’re not on our team! All you guys are racist! When you question our schemes!
At least that’s how ‘Puter think it goes. ‘Puter’s pretty sure he’s heard Democrats, media, and the establishment sing it this way for years.
Which brings ‘Puter to the point of this post, the Capitol riots. Earlier today, ‘Puter posted a far-too-long thread on Twitter, writing off the top of pointy little pinhead as ‘Puter is wont to do. GorT saw ‘Puter’s rabid screed, liked it, and informed ‘Puter he must post it on our blog. This is ‘Puter’s weak attempt at recreating that thread’s chaos using mostly complete sentences, close enough for government work grammar, and random punctuation.
The word has gone out from the Biden transition team* to Democrats’ lickspittle propagandists in media. The official establishment narrative regarding the Capitol Riot is that Trump-supporting “white supremacists” are solely responsible.
‘Puter has thoughts.
If media (and thus the Democrats and the Washington establishment (both Democrats and Republicans) because media is little more than a transmission method for Democrats’ preferred narrative printed verbatim from copy provided by Democrats) thinks “white supremacy” caused the Capitol Riot, media is sorely mistaken.**
‘Puter is certain he better groks the Capitol riot’s causes better than media. And not just because ‘Puter was smart enough to not become a media member, the last refuge of the people too stupid to get into the Peace Corps and too ugly to be strippers. Let harmlessly pervy ‘Puter break it down for you all. Pull up a chair, grab yourself a beer, and heed as the ‘Puter tells his tale.
As some of you may have noticed, DME spent the last four or five decades pissing on Middle America, blue collar workers, and the poor. If we’re being honest, DME focused its steaming stream of asparagus-stank urine mostly on Middle America, white Middle America to be more specific.
Middle America is not, despite DME articles of faith, full of subhuman mongoloids wandering the land, pausing only to produce food for the coastal elites, to spit out replacement subhuman mongoloids, and to worship their weird sky-god Jeebus or whatever his name is. ‘Puter knows. ‘Puter has lived there.
Believe it or not, some people in Middle America went to the same or better universities as their DME betters. Some of these Middle Americans even did better than their DME betters, in part because our DME betters are entitled jerks so convinced of their inherent superiority they don’t bother to work. Other Middle Americans are normal working people with normal dreams, normal needs, normal families, and above-normal bullshit detectors. In short, Middle America is smart enough to have noticed media’s warm, yellow torrent falling on it from above and does not much appreciate it.
This is the baseline from which DME should have started its “root cause” analysis of the Capitol Riot.*** But the DME doesn’t know (or even care that it doesn’t know) what it doesn’t know about Middle America.
For decades, let’s say Bill Clinton’s first term through George W. Bush’s last term, Middle America grinned and bore it as DME outsourced their jobs, restricted their gun rights, mocked their faiths, destroyed their cities, tarred them as racists, sent their sons and daughters to endless wars for undefined goals, and sat idly by as opioids, alcohol, and despair slowly killed them. DME did all this while explaining that everything that was undermining the foundation of their communities was for their own good and the good of the country.
Middle America grew disenchanted with globalism and military adventurism. Middle America learned to distrust politicians of both parties. Middle America looked around at what their faith in America and its political system had gotten them.**** And Middle America said softly to itself, “F*ck this shit.”
Then came 2008 and “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy” to run for president.***** Obama came promising “hope and change” and that America would move “forward.” Obama neglected to mention that he would govern from the left and disdained the “bitter clingers” (later renamed “deplorables” by Democrats’ worst candidate since McGovern) who make up Middle America. Middle America swallowed hard, gave it one more shot, and voted for Obama.
Their faith in Obama’s promise of “hope and change” was short lived. Obama proceeded to let China run rampant over the US economy, breaching trade agreements, stealing trade secrets, and enticing formerly American jobs to the People’s Republic of Xi Jinping. Obama destroyed Middle America’s health insurance with Obamacare because f*ck you hicks, elections have consequences. Obama continued America’s disastrous military adventurism without apology, abandoning his election promises to bring the troops home. Things got bleaker for Middle America.
And then Obama, in a triumph of hope over experience, and with a giant assist from media who painted Mitt Romney, the most milquetoast and moderate Republican of all time, as the second coming of Hitler with a magic wand that gave women cancer and subsequent painful deaths, got reelected in 2012, this time with less support from Middle America.
During Obama’s first term, around 2009, the Tea Party was birthed. The Tea Party was Middle America’s attempt to make (mostly) Republicans actually govern as they ran and as Republicans should. DME immediately recognized this as the threat it was and unleashed the hounds, using a combination of IRS abuse and media lies to marginalize the Tea Party. This was the moment Middle America had had enough.
Middle America was ripe for a populist revolt. Hell, the Tea Party was the *polite and in-bounds* Middle America populist revolt. And Republicans, Democrats, and media completely missed it. Trump did not.
Trump corralled and nurtured this discontent. He courted disaffected Middle Americans’ votes for the first time in a generation or two. Trump dared listen to Middle America’s concerns. Trump heard what Middle America wanted and promised to give it to them. All Middle America had to do was the impossible: get a jackass narcissist from Queens elected president.
And thus Trump became one of the approximately 1,193 Republicans vying for the 2016 Republican nomination, the orange man with the canary hair descending his tacky gold escalator into the hearts of Middle America, millions of whom would become Trump’s base.
No member of the DME thought Trump had a chance to win the Republican nomination much less the presidency. Neither did I. At least at first.
As it became apparent this one-man clownshow with no political experience had Republican candidates on their heels, the DME shifted tactics. The DME decided to do everything it could to help Trump win the Republican nomination. Enter Morning Joe’s adulterous tag team of screamingly liberal Mika Brzezinski and her slightly less liberal side piece and former conservative Joe Scarborough. The Morning Joe team, ostensibly in pursuit of giving Hillary Clinton (hereinafter, “Meemaw Winebox”) the easiest road to the presidency ever, gave Trump all the free airtime he wanted. Trump would literally call into the show unannounced from his penthouse and Joe and Mika would put him on the air, no questions asked. This went on for months. And the DME’s plan worked, or so they thought.
But an interesting thing happened, as interesting things do. This forgotten Middle America, this frequently shat-upon-by-DME-“elites” group of Flyover Country human flotsam dragged Trump into the Oval Office by his fabulous mane.
The DME was shocked. And ‘Puter means shocked. The pictures of the weeping women in the Javits Center, absolutely shattered that Bad Orange Man could’ve possibly bested the world’s most accomplished excuser of serial adultery who couldn’t find Wisconsin on a map of Wisconsin. Every single media outlet (with the exceptions of Fox and the Wall Street Journal) lost their ever-loving minds that night and have yet to recover them.
This is the moment when the road to the Capitol Riot was paved. Within hours of Trump’s election, the DME set out to ruin him. There would be no punches pulled, no holds barred. The word went out from on high that media was to torch what little remained of its credibility to cripple Trump’s administration and to deny a duly elected president the opportunity to govern.
The word went out to resist. From the thousands of hairy hippie Boomers wasting their last years in stupid pussyhats marching on Washington to the DME backed antifa rioters at Trump’s inauguration to the media opinionators who spilled ink like blood at Antietam in comical denunciations of a man who’d done exactly nothing yet, the game was afoot.
Unbeknownst to America at the time, Obama and Biden ordered the federal government to get started on destroying Trump and his incoming team before the 2016 election was even held.
Middle America watched and learned.
They learned the DME didn’t mean it when they said if Middle America wanted things change, win an election and change things. They took Obama at his word, “Elections have consequences.” Middle America’s candidate, Trump, won the election. The DME refused to let Middle America win. Middle America learned the cake is a lie.
That is, DME doesn’t believe in democracy any more than most of them believe in God, Western values’ supremacy, our Constitution, or our democratic republic. The DME believes in only in power: gaining it, keeping it, and defending it.
Middle America learned that DME would do *anything* including but not limited to lying, jettisoning their credibility, violating laws, ignoring the Constitution, and encouraging “resistance” (which is gee dee close to insurrection, in ‘Puter’s opinion) to keep themselves in control and in power.
But a funny thing happened. As the DME worked its chaos, things got better for Middle America. Much better. Trump’s economy improved because his instinct that government interference in business was bad and should be pared back. Trump’s instinct was correct. Middle America, the poor, and *minorities* did radically better under Trump than Obama, even though the DME continued saying Trump was a racist who led his racist supporters to do racist things. The DME’s problem was and is that Middle America and minorities have eyes and ears and can judge for themselves.
Amidst the continued chaos, some of it purely self-inflicted, Trump with Sen. McConnell’s help appointed conservative judges, got three conservatives on the Supreme Court (poor, dead, noted conservative Merrick Garland was not one of these). This did not go over well with the DME as it is forever and always their sole right to determine the makeup of the Supreme Court.
Naturally, Pelosi and her merry bunch of idiots in the House impeached Trump on the basis of a thoroughly discredited Russian dossier, produced by Meemaw Winebox’s failed, inept campaign, and leaked to media by the DME with instructions to push a narrative they knew or should have known to be false. This moment steeled Middle America’s nerve, an unjust, undeserved, unproven impeachment of Trump for no other reason than to damage him.
Between the DME’s garbage impeachment (the first one, not the current one, though the current one was far too speedy to provide any meaningful deliberation) and the Democrats’ purely evil behavior in the Kavanaugh hearings, the resistance/insurrection DME continued its quiet war on Trump and unintentionally on government legitimacy.
The DME sounded the war horn, calling their unthinking hordes to battle on social media and across America’s cities. Drag the DME’s chosen placeholder across the threshold of the Oval Office or surely Trump and his racist, white supremacist minions will kill all of us and make us all LARP The Handmaid’s Tale or something. And come the DME’s horde did.
The horde came to dox on social media. The horde came to cancel in board rooms and places of employ. The horde came to riot, burn and loot in America’s cities. Middle America watched as the DME not only let the loonies run rampant but encouraged and excused the horde’s worst excesses.
The horde demanded government “defund the police.” The horde demanded abolition of the Electoral College. The horde demanded the DME pack the Supreme Court because of the injustice of it being conservative for the first time since the Great Depression. The horde demanded a job-killing, government-power-maximizing Green New Deal. The horde elected avowed socialists to Congress, idiots whose politics will surely lead to the disintegration of American society. In short, the DME commanded its horde to create a crisis.
Meanwhile, a weird new virus in China appeared and spread like wildfire through a Chinese city few Americans had heard of before. Trump wanted to shut America’s borders. The DME called him a racist bigot and refused to let him do so. Not content to limit its chants of “racist” to Trump, the DME and its horde branded all Trump’s supporters as racist, white supremacist xenophobes.
When the ‘ronas arrived in New York City and people started dropping like flies, the DME shat on Trump for *not* closing the borders, as one does, in a brilliant display of gaslighting. Naturally, media covered for the DME, insisting that a pandemic possibly unleashed by China (wittingly or unwittingly) from a biological warfare lab in Wuhan was fully Trump’s fault. And media coverage when downhill from there.
Never one to “let a good crisis go to waste,” the DME insisted all of America be shut down, crippling Trump’s booming economy. The DME insisted at first that we “flatten the curve” but that quickly morphed into “do nothing until a vaccine is available,” which has now become “do nothing until everyone is fully vaccinated and we have ten year longitudinal studies of the vaccines’ effectiveness.” This is what the DME calls “listening to the science.”
But so-called science and scientists flat out lied to America. The ‘ronas are no big deal, kind of like the flu. You don’t need to wear masks. The virus isn’t airborne. Flatten the curve. Slow the spread. Vaccines can’t be ready before the election and administered by year’s end, Trump’s lying.
Even assuming Fauci and others were merely wrong, they never apologized or explained. If they did, media didn’t cover and the lying liars who lie never repeated their apologies.
Not content to leave well enough alone, media lionized the shutdown king Andrew Cuomo who literally killed thousands of old people in nursing homes by requiring the homes to take infected but recovering patients back. Hell, the idiots who hand out Emmys to other idiots gave Cuomo an Emmy. Some really solid first-responding there, media. You do realize that the goal isn’t to be fireman like in Fahrenheit 451 but firemen as in run into the collapsing World Trade center firemen, right?
Then came the summer of BLM protests and riots. The DME explained away the violence, the looting, and the arsons as “the language of the unheard” patiently informing Middle Americans that they were evil racists for thinking that people burning down their businesses and stealing stuff might should be prosecuted as the criminals they are. DME elevated a Marxism-based BLM to a position of unimpeachable moral authority and decreed any negative thing said is necessarily racist regardless of the truth of such statement.
Middle America watched their cities burn. They watched Democrat governors unnecessarily and heavy-handedly shut down their small businesses. They watched their loved ones in nursing homes die unnecessary deaths of loneliness. They watched their friends, neighbors, and kids kill themselves with guns or more slowly from drugs as the loss of jobs and interaction destroy social life. They watched DME explain how science and “we’re all in this together” required such sacrifices as Democrat mayors and governors sunned themselves on Mexican beaches. Middle America watched itself being played as suckers.
Next up, after America’s Summer of Totally Not Burning, Looting, and Rioting, the elections. Because of the conveniently maintained shutdowns, Democrat-run states pushed mail in voting for all despite never having done such a thing before and not having the infrastructure to do it properly. Democrat-run states changed voting rules illegally and Democrat-controlled state courts allowed Democrat-run states to do so. Federal courts largely sat it all out.
Many Middle Americans (including me) noted that the state’s utter lack of experience with and preparation for mail in balloting practically guaranteed errors at a minimum and opportunities for widespread election fraud at worst. DME dismissed such legitimate concerns scornfully, stating the only possible reason for opposing mail in voting was a racist method of suppressing the votes of minorities. Middle America learned.
In November 2020, Trump lost the election. The DME unleashed its hordes on those of us noted the election was so unusual as to engender suspicion from the get-go. The DME’s hordes made many reasonable and sane people instant pariahs, and had them deplatformed by their Silicon Valley allies running the woke leftist social media platforms. Then the DME hordes got around to doxing people which is pure evil. And the DME said nothing. Destroying people and trust in elections is fine so long as the DME maintains power.
The DME would brook no challenge to its rule. After all, the DME has always and must always rule. If the DME believed in a god, any god, the DME would claim the Mandate of Heaven. Middle America watched and learned.
After the election, Trump to his everlasting shame unreasonably fanned the flames of Middle America’s reasonable anger. A small subset of Middle America, finally and fully fed up with the DME’s lies and nefarious deeds, stormed the Capitol, overwhelming an inexplicably unprepared security force. Some of these rioters clearly planned to storm the Capitol. Some were clearly bent on installing Trump as president for a second term. Some were armed. Some *may have been* white supremacists. It was bad. Very bad. Inexcusable.
Not content to let Trump and his supporters who stormed the Capitol burn to ashes alone, the DME decides to pour gasoline on the dumpster fire. The DME decides that clearly, the rioters were *all* white supremacists. They were *all* operating on secret orders from Trump. They were *all* evil Nazi usurpers.
Leaping off from one burning dumpster into a raging tire fire, the DME decides that because all the rioters were evil, Nazi, white supremacist, anarchist, militaristic morons from gross Flyover Country, every single last Trump supporter is as well. The DME sends word and media heeds the call. The narrative has been set.
And this brings us back to ‘Puter’s original point: the DME has fundamentally misunderstood the Capitol Riot and has done so at its and America’s peril. The Capitol Riot did not happen because of racism or white supremacy. The Capitol Riot happened because of the DME’s decades-long phenomenal arrogance and disdain for America itself and certain types of Americans.
The DME’s arrogance created the Tea Party. The DME’s arrogance created the conditions which made space in Middle America’s mind for Trump to be considered a serious presidential candidate. The DME’s arrogance (not to mention Meemaw Winebox’s breathtaking incompetence as a candidate) got Trump elected. The DME’s arrogance caused Trump’s support to hold despite all the crap and chaos Trump wrought. The Capitol Riot occurred (in part) because of the DME’s arrogance. And the fracture of America will not heal because of the DME’s continuing and unrepentant arrogance.
Middle America learned a lot about the game and its rules during Trump’s term. Middle America learned it can do whatever it wants because the DME will hate them and lie about them regardless.
Conversely, the DME has learned nothing. The DME continues to repeat its mistakes, the same mistakes which led to a fractured country, which led to Trump, and which ultimately led to the Capitol Riot.
The DME continues to shit on Trump and Trump voters. The DME continues to disregard Middle America as dog shit on the bottom of its shoe. The DME continues to drive Americans farther and farther apart. The DME continues its grift unabated. The DME is content that the end of destroying Trump was and is worth the means of destroying Americans’ faith in elections, media, politics, and government. So long as the DME remains in control and in power, it sees nothing wrong, no festering cancers, no life-ending accidents on the horizon. The DME’s overinflated self-love, disdain for half or more of Americans, and insistence that it and only it can be correct has made it blind.
It is this blindness which has caused the DME to see the Capitol Riot as a death knell when it reality it was the sharp cries of a newborn and reinvigorated populist movement. Truly, this riot was the language of the unheard.
As a prediction, because of all ‘Puter discussed above, ‘Puter wagers Biden will fail in uniting the country. The DME certainly isn’t interested in unity and Middle America knows it.
And contrary to the DME’s current belief, Middle America’s populist streak wasn’t destroyed by Trump loss. Trump may or may not continue to lead our current populist movement, but the movement and the America’s rapidly progressing disintegration will not end until the DME changes its ways.
‘Puter is not hopeful.
* ‘Puter still can’t get over Biden’s bravery for coming out as a transwoman in process of transitioning to his intended gender of Enwanged-American-Totally-Female person. And if you’re a cis-het male and refuse to ass-bang him, you’re a sexist bigot.
** For ease of reference and because ‘Puter is a lazy sack of dung who hates typing and mean people, “Democrats, media, and the establishment” will be abbreviated “DME” throughout this screed.
*** Man, do the DME types sure love them some “root cause” analyses. Root cause analysis is their second favorite “we’re pretending to care about issue x while doing absolutely nothing to solve issue x” avoidance technique. DME’s favorite avoidance technique is, of course, the hallowed “national conversation” about what’s ailing America, usually defined as “something conservatives are doing that is working and makes them look good to voters.”
**** This is as good a place as any to note that a similar trend has occurred within the Democrat base among black people. Blacks have absolutely had it and are taking no more empty promises from their politicians as we have seen in this summer’s BLM protests and accompanying riots. It’s an interesting confluence of events and a massive opportunity for the right politician or party. But this is a topic for another day.
***** Joe Biden actually said this about Barack Obama. And blacks decided that Joe Biden is totally not racist and voted him into office because … heck, I have no idea why black people did this.
Senators. Congressmen. Bureaucrats. Judges. Lobbyists. Media. We call these people “the establishment.” They consider themselves gods. But twilight comes for all, even the gods.
Twilight is not readily definable, at least not in the vernacular. But we know it when we see it.
Twilight is a gradual process, a transition between waning daylight and encroaching darkness. Neither its beginning nor its end is determinable. It is an in-between time, a transition, a time of chaos as two things which cannot exist together touch. Twilight is the death rattle of light and the birth pangs of darkness.
Yesterday was a death rattle of the establishment gods. They have sown the seeds of their own destruction over the decades and now reap its bitter harvest. These self-anointed elites, these circle-jerking naked emperors, they do not recognize the rapidly falling darkness. Even were these “gods” to recognize the gallows on the horizon, they cannot admit their complicity in their end. To do so would be to concede they are human, not gods. And that they cannot do.
The establishment gods scattered their demonic seed to the wind, heedless of the destruction they were courting.
Media sowed the seeds of biased reporting, narrative pushing, anti-Republican hit jobs, Democrat scandal coverups, smug arrogance, unmerited self-importance, Trump Derangement Syndrome, outright lies, historical fiction (e.g., The 1619 Project), false belief in its own infallibility, doxing political opponents, lazily reprinting Democrat press releases, and myriad other sins. Media is reaping near universal distrust of its reporting and general loathing of them as a whole.
Democrats sowed the seeds of election rejection (beginning in 2000 and continuing to today), destruction of norms, inchoate rage, unconstitutional power grabs, destruction of filibuster rules, confiscatory taxes, overreaching and unnecessary regulation, thinly veiled hatred of capitalism, rejection of reality (e.g., pushing transgenderism as a valid life choice and not a mental illness), using government to destroy their political opponents, support for radical political movements incompatible with American law and tradition (e.g., BLM, antifa) and assorted other evils. They are reaping violent movements from within their own party and from without.
Republicans sowed the seeds of failure to push back against Democrats’ destruction of norms, their own destruction of norms, ignoring their constituents, entitlement, know-it-all-ism, dismissal of populism as a fad, bashing all Trump supporters, failing to speak up against Trump when warranted, failing to call out media for being a lying pack of liars, purging people deemed as insufficiently pro-Trump or TruCon for their liking, denying electoral reality, and as many other failures as Democrats if not more.
Americans of both parties have had enough. On the Left we see the rise of the Marxist wing represented by The Squad in Congress and BLM and antifa on the streets. On the Right we see the rise of the opportunistic populists represented by Rep. Gaetz, Sen. Hawley, and their comrades in Congress and the odd mélange of Trump-or Die and 2020 election truther folks.
These groups didn’t arise ex nihilo, springing like Athena from Zeus’ forehead. These groups formed over time, slowly at first but picking up speed, because the establishment gods ignored them. Ignore is the wrong word. The establishment gods rejected the notion these people even existed, much less that they may have legitimate grievances worthy of recognition and redress. Not content to simply pretend these Americans, their constituents (of politicians) and customers (of media), did not exist, the establishment gods insisted on shitting upon them from a great height.
Deplorables, bitter clingers, illegals, junkies, black people. All these groups were ignored and generally shat upon by politicians and media alike. Rejected, dejected, and without hope, it is only natural that people banded together to solve their problems, the problems the establishment gods would not.
And how do you make these establishment gods listen? You hit them where they live. You dox them. You protest loudly at their houses in the middle of the night. You mock them. You vilify them. You even storm Congress.
Our establishment gods have created the world of which they now loudly complain, pointing fingers outward without any introspection as to their own massive contributions to our current shitshow. They stand shaking their ancient, withered first, rage at the world, and blame everyone but themselves as twilight ebbs and darkness rapidly takes descends on America.
Here we abide, in the chaos the establishment gods have summoned. Unrecognized, forgotten, perhaps a bit apprehensive, waiting with no small bit of dread for what comes next, what twilight’s end will birth into our world.
Whose or what’s birth pangs occurred yesterday? As we stand amidst Götterdämmerung’s chaos, we do not know. And ‘Puter, for one, is certain we do not want to know.
N.B. This is not a defense of the Capitol’s storming. Not in the least. Every single person who forcibly entered the Capitol yesterday in a vain attempt to disrupt the proper functioning of our government is a criminal. These people should be quickly identified, tried, and if convicted, sentenced to the maximum punishment available at law.
Assuming there’s going to be a President Joe Biden* in January, he should realize that he has been given a very clear mandate on how to run the country. With a record number of voters casting ballots, few presidents have ever been given such a clear mandate by the people.
And that mandate is: don’t screw anything up.
The smartest thing Biden can do—which is saying a lot, here, given his propensity for being a dullard—is to be a “caretaker” president: don’t make any major waves, don’t start any wars, maintain, maintain, and maintain the economy. Speak as little as possible, as too many recent presidents have upset the economy by spouting off opinions as fact without appreciating the fact it has on the stock market.
Biden ran his campaign by hiding in the basement; frankly, that’s a great way to run the country. Put the onus back on Congress to do their job, stay the hell out of the limelight, and basically be a steward rather than a celebrity-seeker like the last couple of executives.
Yeah, you’d be right to think of Coolidge, but we’ve had other presidents who quietly steered the ship of state throughout our history. Maybe they won’t be as well-remembered, but you know what? The country benefits from presidents like that, even if the history books given them a mere sentence or two.
Look, Biden just doesn’t have it in him to be a spectacular president. He’s not intelligent or well-read. He’s not experienced in business, finance, law, economics, or international affairs. He can’t even comment on diplomatic issues without embarrassing himself severely. He tends to invent stories out of whole cloth even when it doesn’t suit his needs. And his history of racism, sexism, and abusive behavior are truly horrible.
But he has demonstrated that he can do the job as a caretaker. Just shut up, sit down, and quietly do the bare minimum. This way, the best parts of the Trump presidency continue to the benefit of everyone, and the most bombastic and over-the-top moments go away.
Remember, three-eighths of the country think Biden stole the election. Another eighth doesn’t like him at all. That’s pretty clear that he’s on super-thin ice at the moment; but by not changing too much on the economy and world affairs, and by not being Donald Trump, he’d have a solid majority of the country behind him.
Anything else would be disastrous for him. And us.
* Safe to assume his presidency shall always be marked by an asterisk, as there are too many questions about his electoral win.
The Joe Biden presidency,* assuming there eventually is one, will always have an asterisk after its name due to the incredibly unlikely events which transpired on the evening of Election Day, 2020, and the days which followed.
Reasonably, because Biden may have indeed won without the miracle of spontaneously appearing boxes of ballots, the Biden team is assembling its transition team and nominating potential officials…really, as they should, because waiting until this all gets settled may be too late for the good of the country.
Contemporaneous with this is a sudden and equally unlikely wave of unity from the Democrats, suggesting that with Trump more or less out of the way, we can finally begin our process of reunifying the country.
That’s a load of crockery.
For more-than four years, anyone who supported Trump, or who supported Republicans other than Trump, or who were simply undecided, were lambasted with accusations of being racists, fear mongers, Nazis, nationalist bastards, supremacists, Know Nothings, and worse in a near-constant torrent on social media. The media joined in with smartass retorts, lampoons and mischaracterizations of reasonable but differing opinions, and editorials protesting just how awful a small segment of America has become. Television shows and movies mocked and derided anyone insufficiently woke, or indeed anyone just suggesting that, hey, maybe let’s be tolerant of those with whom we disagree. During the last half-decade, television shows were pulled from the air, people fired from jobs, and books literally burned.
When George Floyd was killed, conservative Americans were first to decry the act, and demanded a full accounting of events to ascertain whether a crime had occurred. However, conservatives failed the immediate embrace of Marxism, and so we watched our cities burn and shatter and riot because we were so horrible. The murder of a black guy? Yeah, well, that’s not as important as a Green New Deal and reparations or whatever the hell Black Lives Matter and AntiFa decided was the cause of their riot du jour.
Then the election happened. And maybe Biden* won. Maybe he didn’t. But Democrats lost seats in the House and still failed to take the Senate. The Blue Wave we were assured would crush conservatism like some progressive tsunami turned out to be a drop…and not a drop of water, but a drop in sea level. The Democrats discovered, after the election, that more than half the country was done with their brand of politics. Outside of a couple million votes all out of California, Biden* would have lost the national vote as well, assuming he even won that.
Suddenly, after being slandered, libeled, and ignominiously mistreated by Democrats, conservatives were being asked to rejoin the American vision of one great country. Democrats don’t want to be friends again because Biden may have won and Trump was gone; they want to be friends again because they realize they’re not the cool kid they thought they were.
There’s a reason the GOP symbol is an elephant. Conservatives are not likely to forgive and forget, like some battered wife who’s suddenly assured she’s wonderful and precious again the next morning. Democrats made a mess of the 2020 election, and realize their toxic brand did not serve them well at all.
But if you view conservatives as the patient parent, and liberals as the spoiled, tantrum-prone brat kids who see their parents as old squares who must be racists because they say no a lot, then the outcome is certain. The parents see how the kids acted, and will react appropriately. It’s time for some tough love, some discipline, and maybe a good, old-fashioned grounding. Just be glad we don’t like to spank. Because that’s next.
Come together as one people to heal the country, Joe? Go screw yourself. You shat in the well and expect us to come purify it for you? Sorry. Because that few million more votes in California now means it’s going to be your well. Drink up.
*False popes are often listed with asterisks. False presidents, or highly questionably elected presidents, can have one as well.
Didja miss last night’s debate? Most Americans did.
The Czar wouldn’t be surprised, though, to see a slight uptick in ratings over most last-debate-before-election debates only because a lot of people were hoping to see a rage-fueled Donald Trump rip his podium apart and hurl the pieces at Joe Biden; and when it was apparent this wasn’t going to happen… say, perhaps, five minutes in, people likely decided to switch channels to see the less-disastrous Philadelphia Eagles hurl things.
That’s okay. There was a lot of tension early on, as viewers waited for the evitable tantrum by either candidate. Didn’t happen. In fact, the Czar could sum up the whole debate as disappointingly entertaining and unfortunately helpful.
There are four takeaways:
So you might be mistaken into thinking that this was the end of it. And for Trump, it pretty much was. He was wrapping up, for the most part, when the moderator (who wasn’t bad, really—she asked a lot uncomfortable questions of both candidates) asked Trump why so many Black Americans were suffering living near oil fields. Instead of taking the bait, Trump said that these Americans were living there because they were working there, under his economy. A nice answer, and Trump knew it. He pretty much started putting his coat on and turning off the lights when Biden was asked to respond.
And did Biden respond. He announced that he would seek to end the oil industry. Trump wheeled around and asked him to repeat that. Biden did, and announced he would—as president—end America’s use of fossil fuels. Trump was handed gold, and he made sure Americans recognized this as big news, especially folks living in Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Oklahoma.
Biden had a definite look of panic on his face as Trump named those states. Even he realized he just gave Trump 83 electoral votes, mumbling something about “on public lands” and “subsidies,” but Trump drowned out his babbling by reminding voters in those states what Biden just announced. There would be no walking that back, even with the media’s certain (and ultimately proven) covering for him on Friday. It was said, and at this point, if polls in other states stay where they are, those 83 votes will put Trump over.
Bear in mind, this doesn’t affect just four states. Shutting down oil and fossil fuels in this country will put nearly one million Americans out of their current jobs, in the form of drilling, mining, trucking, piping, distribution, distillation, manufacture, plasticization, and more. The Depression here will crush world markets that depend on us. Did Biden mean for all this? Probably not, but he reassured America that Biden, after 47 years in government, has literally no understanding of how the economy works.
Had the debate not asked that final question, Trump would have left feeling pretty good about what happened last night: he did a good job, and Biden did such a bumbling job that only CNN, MSNBC, and the world press would have the gall to suggest Biden won.
Biden didn’t win. But after that last question was asked, and Biden—in under fifteen total seconds—announced he would knowingly tank the world’s economy, Trump probably slept very well indeed last night.
Looks like I don’t have to do a write up of the next debate.
Americans of all political stripes united together last night to ask “What the hell did I just watch?”
Of course, the Czar is talking about the first—and potentially last—2020 Presidential Debate. Not only was there surprisingly little actual debate between the candidates, there wasn’t even a whole lot among Twitter readers. Incredibly, both Democrats and Republicans seemed to be echoing the same thoughts: “These guys are terrible.” “Chris Wallace is not helping.” “Why on earth are we still watching?”
You’ll still have your die-hard fans of either candidate. Your rabid Biden supporter (pictured, right) is still throwing a tantrum about that horrible, nasty Trump bully and his shameful ways. How unfair! How could they let that happen?
Of course, your fist-clenched Trump supporter was so excited to see his guy that he wound up fully undressed in front of the television last night (not pictured for reasons of decency). Definitely some carpet cleaning is in order for those guys.
You can safely ignore either of those. But for the average person, considering a vote for Biden or a vote for Trump, there seemed to be a lot of disappointment to go around. For the record, the Czar doubts there are any seriously undecided people left: you already know which way you’re voting, and if not, last night did not help anybody. In fact, both candidates made major mistakes.
Joe Biden was clearly going in planning to be the nice, affable, reasonable alternative, but came off acting like a smug elite who didn’t condescend to answering questions. Many of his statements were self-contradictory (So is he for the New Green Deal or not? Is he in favor of lockdowns or no? Does he support Antifa or no?). Another batch of pseudo-answers were so utterly wrong (Trump thinks racists are fine people? Antifa is just an idea? Teachers pay more tax than Trump?) that it’s difficult to believe he reads or watches the news. And he looked a bit desperate to keep using a hammer on the COVID nail, even working the virus into his answer on race relations; it grew tiresome.
Speaking of tiresome, our President! There’s no doubt that Trump chose to hit hard, hit fast, and hit often. Piss off Joe and he’ll lose it on national television! In fact, that’s a perfect strategy for last night’s debate. It’s clear that Trump studied Biden’s debate against Paul Ryan, and decided he wouldn’t let that happen again. It’s also clear he studied Crowley’s attack on Mitt Romney, and decided no two-bit moderator would get the jump on him, either. But rather than try a Sonny Liston early domination or a Muhammed Ali rope-a-dope, Trump went out there and looked like Curly Howard after hearing “Pop Goes the Weasel,” whipping punches in a furious frenzy until he pretty much knocked himself out, as well. While he got under Biden’s skin early, Trump did not actually rattle Biden enough to make it work.
Trump clearly had some great zingers, stingers, and sick burns saved up—but rather than slide them in at the right instant, he chose to rattle them off in random order, trying to get as many in as he could in 90 minutes. And this really didn’t work: hitting Biden with “You called our troops ‘stupid bastards’” would have been great when Biden was talking about the dubious World War I cemetery claim; instead, Trump threw it out talking about climate change. Trump should have kept some of those for the next debate; maybe the President felt there won’t be another opportunity—who can say. But his timing was all off.
Overall, Trump was masterful when discussing law and order: Biden looked totally cowed and worried. But while this resounded well, Trump totally skidded when answering the Critical Race Theory question. Rather than blast Chris Wallace for treating a thoroughly nonsensical concept as “sensitivity training,” he chose to wander all over the place. Trump, or you or the Czar, could have ended that one right there, for good, by spending one minute describing what CRT is, and another minute describing why it’s a poisonous form of subversion that has no place in the government—federal, state, or even local school board. What a blown opportunity.
Finally, a lot of folks are gnashing teeth at Chris Wallace. Yes, he threw a lot of ridiculous questions at Trump. But re-watch the questions: he also put a lot of threatening questions at Biden, too. Biden chose to dance around the topics, but Wallace failed to follow up. At the same time, his early finger-wagging at Trump cost Wallace dearly, as Trump now viewed him as an adversary, and stomped all over his moderation. Overall, Wallace didn’t do a great job of moderating, but really: no one can right a ship that speeds straight into a sandbar and tears its keel off. Once that debate started, any moderator was doomed.
The media will likely declare Biden the winner simply because they always side with the Democrat, and will likely use low-expectations bigotry to do so. “Biden looked to be the calmer person,” “He proved himself more presidential,” or “He was the adult in the room.” None of which was true: as we said above, Biden was openly self-contradicting, pronouncing debunked claims or made-up-on-the-spot theories, and tiresomely repetitive, and this was likely the worst debate of his 47-year career; however, Trump’s Wild Hyacinth act undid any harm Biden did to himself.
Well, we’ll see if the Biden campaign agrees to another debate, and if so, what the terms will be. The Czar still maintains debates are essential for candidates, even if they don’t change voters’ minds much. At least we can see what we’re getting, and the Czar would not be surprised to see fairly decent ratings for this first debate. Not so sure how a second debate would fare, though: people who didn’t see last night’s rodeo would probably be disinclined to watch another, especially if they hear it was nothing but yelling over each other.
To be honest, the Czar had that feeling he gets when he’s in a bar or restaurant, and two guys at the next table start getting into it, to the point that you start looking for the exit, gathering your stuff, and maybe watching for a weapon. Some of our readers will know what we mean: that tingling sensation in the hands, the tension in the neck, and the yawning feeling in the stomach that this could get serious. That explains why the Czar stretched a single glass of wine across 90 minutes, rather than the bottle he planned to down. You might just need your faculties, here.
The Czar can’t remember when the Gormogons last had a multi-post debate, but GorT’s piece, ”We Missed an Opportunity,” echoes a conversation the Czar had at dinner with his elder boy, who not only asked the same questions GorT did, but raised some of the exact same points.
GorT is obviously right that the bicameral nature of the American political infrastructure makes it extremely difficult to establish a third party. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, at least for the Czar, because a parliamentary-type system with three or more parties makes it very simple to pass legislation with only a plurality. Remember how we hated Obamacare? Imagine that passing with only 35% of the vote. That can easily happen in a trio of parties.
Third parties have successfully happened in America, but basically only twice and for very clear reasons that not only could happen again, but would pretty much need to happen for a viable third party to pop up.
First, you need a total collapse of a party. This happened with the once-dominant Federalists and it happened with the less imposing Whigs. When parties just can’t get candidates elected, that’s what happens. The far-more-common failure of third parties and independent candidates is a result of the comparative strength of Democrats and Republicans. Ross Perot, for example, was never going to be elected as long as Democrats and Republicans were still getting people elected to Congress at a good pace. Ditto for Teddy’s Bull Moose Party.
Second, you need a polarizing issue that isn’t really being addressed by either party. For the Democratic-Republicans, it was the imbalance of slavery that caused the party to split into a new party as the “Democrats” (as they later came to be known) solidified power, leaving the more anti-slavery members without a place to go. They became the Whigs, ultimately, but even then, the Whig party wasn’t able to get members elected in big enough numbers. As a result, the anti-slavery Americans in politics needed a place to go, and the new Republican party was the perfect place for them. The Republicans were a more-unified coalition of groups that were outcasts in other third-party attempts, to some degree, so this made sense.
Third, it helps to have a notable figure driving the ship. This might be a controversial claim by us, because this did not actually occur in the two examples we list above, but probably will be essential from now on. You need someone who can draw attention, consolidate power, and raise cash in a big way in a big hurry. Okay, maybe the newly formed Democrat party was able to do so thanks to Andrew Jackson, but it’s going to take someone with even more pull today.
Here’s a scenario that illustrates our point.
Let us say the Democrat party (although this scenario works either way, the Czar wants to use them for an example later) is unable to get people elected to government outside of a few local assemblies, maybe a governor or two, and few representatives here and there. Traditional Democrat voters are going to be disenfranchised by this, and will start shopping around.
Then, we need a major, polarizing event the Republicans can’t address. Slavery is more or less done, depending on whom you ask, so let’s say the Republicans have decided to outright ban abortion in any form. This won’t be popular among the remaining Democrats, and indeed might tick off a bunch of less-conservative Republicans, too.
Then, a popular figure arises (in our dinner table discussion yesterday, we picked Mark Cuban…not because he would do such a thing, but because he would have enough name-recognition, clout, and money to be a typical example). Cuban, for whatever reason, decides to run for office and established a third party. He dumps an incredible amount of cash into his effort, and suddenly Democrats and former Republicans start coalescing around him. This, by the way, is why Libertarians can’t seem to get real traction.
And let’s add one more thing into the mix: some sort of utter party PR disaster. Let’s say the Democrats or Republicans nominate their candidate, and suddenly—maybe in August or September before the election—he winds up involved in a major, humiliating scandal…something Americans really hate. Maybe he’s photographed naked watching Cuties on Netflix…something really bad.
Suddenly, outraged Republicans start drifting toward that third party, and now there’s a real party at work, developing policies well beyond the original issue that coalesced them (and that’s why the Green party will never be viable).
To form a third party in America, something catastrophic needs to occur; and as our examples above show, you need a series of events to happen. Indeed, most engineers will agree that a catastrophe requires a series of events of happen in advance.
Rather, there are easier ways to meet these needs than third parties. The Democrats, for example, have transformed into a new party yet again rather than create a third party.
In the mid-to-late-Sixties, the Democrats went from a pro-business, moderate-tax, pro-military group under Kennedy to a pro-welfare, big government structure. This drove a lot of Democrats to the GOP throughout the 1970s and especially the 1980s. The same dissatisfaction with the new direction of the party caused a whiplash in the 1990s, in which Democrats openly became more pro-Leftist. We’re at a point today in which the current Democrat party is being engulfed by socialists, Marxists, and even communists. In 10 years, the party will likely be unrecognizable from the perspective of John F. Kennedy. In fact, the Democrats will, functionally, be a brand new party as they purge out the moderates. They may be, functionally, indistinguishable from the Socialist parties of Eugene Debs.
Now you have a new political party without any of the catastrophic steps required. No third party required. It may be hard to turn a battleship, but it’s easier than building one out of nothing.
We may very well be in the early stages of seeing a new Republican party forming now. This takes decades or more, so the “Ahoy Matey”* cruise-ship Never Trumpers announcing the death of the Republican party are woefully premature, but they might not—in the long run—be incorrect.
The Czar doesn’t know whether the Republicans are moving more Libertarian or more Liberal to accommodate the moderates being purged from the Democrats.** But he is pretty confident we’re a longer way from a viable third party than it might seem.
*Hat tip to the Mandarin for this term. He says he invented it. The Czar bets Mandy heard it on the radio.
** The Czar, numerous times on this site, has postulated that Democrats are the opposition third party, and that the two American parties should be the Republicans and the Libertarians, which would provide moderation and balance as well as make changing party affiliation very easy on an election-by-election basis.
As stated before, GorT did not vote for Trump in 2016 and it’s unclear what my in-person vote will be in a few weeks. In reading and discussing politics with people, I believe there is a very large contingent in this country that is dissatisfied with our options between the two main parties. For the Republicans, we will have another four years of Trump, his crazy tweets, probably a few more mistakes, some good policies, and likely some more, less conservative, approaches. For the Democrats, they will need to live with starting with probably the most diverse slate of presidential candidates that Democrat votes, and Democrat voters alone, whittled down to a older, white man likely facing some cognitive issues. They have to live with a VP nominee who destroyed their Presidential candidate in the debates but has since written off those points as “just a debate.” (think about what happens during the Pence-Harris debate – it won’t matter because, in her words, “it’s just a debate”). And now Harris is calling their ticket, “the Harris administration along with Joe Biden”.
Regardless of the problems on either side, we missed an opportunity that is resulting in the lines being drawn with the Never Trumpers advocating to vote for Biden because he’s not that bad and the media doing contortions trying to paint Biden in a good light while pointing out any potential or fabricated issue with Trump. I believe that 2020 was a perfect storm to set up a viable third-party candidate. Think about it – it would provide representation for a large group that currently feels neither party represents them. With a conservative-leaning candidate, at least fiscally, it would offer the Never Trumpers an option that isn’t the “not so bad” Joe Biden. And for the more moderate Democrats, it would offer an alternative to a 35+ year politician that really hasn’t done much that has a weird personal space / groping women issue.
Sure, you can say, “GorT, you’re crazy, a third-party candidate will never make it.” Yes, the system isn’t really set up for third parties to be viable. And yes, history indicates that a third party candidate only garners a fraction of the vote and largely is just a distraction or side-show. But I’ll offer two rebuttals:
In the end, the real problem is that we are way too invested in the federal government. Look at the news cycles, particularly in the last 3-4 years, and how focused and laden with federal government, primarily Trump oriented, they’ve been. Our world doesn’t orbit around what Trump is or isn’t doing nor should it. There are real issues in our cities and states that local leaders should address and that we should care about not all the crap that the media is foisting upon us. It’s time to make the federal government less important in our lives. And while I would usually say that this means voting Republican, I’m not so sure anymore…but it sure as hell isn’t voting Democrat….so let’s get a third choice.
Operative AB needs to know more about body language, as he wants to be fluent in many bodies. He’s requested the above helpful guide, but got this instead.
|This cat is telling you he knows too much. The kid is telling you others know it, too.|
|This whiny, mewling brat is telling you he’s ready to start tweeting!|
|This angry young punk is telling you he’s ready to respond to things on Twitter.|
|These girls are ready to start dating!|
|This goldfish is telling you he’s a pseudo-abstract ready to discover Zen.|
|This goldfish is telling you she’s got the attention span of Puter.|
|Your spouse is ready to leave from the Southwark and begin a pilgrimage.|
|This wife is telling her husband that she’s ready to start dating.|
Your dog is always trying to tell you things, and you’re smart enough not to listen. But if you did, do you know what your dog is saying? Dogs don’t use words like people or birds do, or even puppets, because dogs communicate with their eyes, ears, tails, left rear paw, and the fifth lumbar vertebra even. Here’s a handy guide, developed by several experts, as to reading your dog’s body language!
|This dog is telling you she’s anxious.|
|This dog is confident.|
|This dog doesn’t like the weather.|
|This dog wants ice cream.|
|Good boy! This dog sees a rabbit.|
|This dog opened a CBD store.|
|This dog’s ears say she’s French.|
Whether your dog is anxious because of an impending storm or because your father-in-law sneaked into your apartment, smoke a couple of cigarettes while laying on the bed and trying on some of your roommate’s things, or simply because you’ve defeated the safety guard on that chainsaw, your dog’s ears, tail, and fifth intracostal space is all telling you what she’s thinking about. Maybe dinosaurs, or maglev transportation, or the crazy shit going on with Dark Matter! Who knows? Certainly not our experts.
Conservatives may not resort to temper tantrums (as often), vandalize private or public property, nor assume words have no consequences quite like Liberals do, but they do share an annoying trait: they can complain like anything!
The irony is that the Czar here is going to complain about complaints. So enjoy.
Complaints may make their authors feel better, or get heads nodding in sympathy, or point out some much-needed self-reflection on the part of the subjects, but the biggest mistake conservatives make is complaining just to create noise. The Czar has seen an explosion of opinion pieces, screeds, jeremiads, essays, and long-form articles from the Right over the last decade, and—unfortunately—the Czar is responding with “so what” at an increasing velocity.
Certainly a lot of complainers are being paid by the word, but if you’re trying to get your piece to do any good, as yourself “so what” before you hit the publish button.
If you believe Cicero’s old edict that good writing should be any combination of education, motivation, or entertainment, then a huge portion of conservative writing can be eliminated. There’s a lot of good stuff out there, even if you or the Czar disagrees with its premises or conclusions, but there’s just so much pointless word-wasting.
One last suggestion—let’s not call it a tip—but if you want to motivate a reader to change to your point of view, brevity is better.
Operative K takes time off from Tcho-Tcho whipping* to write in as well on the subject of statue toppling, and agrees with the Czar—which is largely why he gets the good jobs around the Castle.
I write today to agree in part with your assessment of today’s iconoclast brigade. For those who are Democrats out of more than a flag of convenience, I think you’re right about the motivation…and they may be the “useful idiots” of the revolutionary vanguard. That revolutionary vanguard, though, is as contemptuous of the Democrats as they are everyone else. The vanguard is pure Pol Pot-flavor Maoism, and their goal is not to hide their past, it’s to obliterate everyone’s. Year Zero.
*Way more fun than it sounds, and frankly, more than a little necessary.
AB has taken time off from microwaving fireworks in the kitchen to send a thought about Why Statues Topple.
It’s even more simple that that. The people toppling the statues have zero connection to the past. They are either immigrants who didn’t build this country or severed emotionally by school indoctrination if they have any link to the past.
The families that built this country no longer are the majority and therefore the majority has no vested interest in retaining the past. And the families that are left have been cowed into submission.
The country has fundamentally changed because of unfettered immigration and academic takeover, both were purposeful acts.
A couple of thoughts.
This first is a reaction we had to a tweet some weeks ago; the tweeter said he would rather leave a Conferederate statue up and in place, so that his son or daughter could ask “Why do we have a statue to this person?” This, then, would begin a useful conversation on the history of our country.
Frankly, I think his conversation might go like this:
Child: Why is there a statue here to this guy?
Dad: Well, this is Jefferson Davis. He was president of a rival country that formed when many of our states quit our country because they wanted to enslave other people, and the other states didn’t.
Child: Why didn’t our country just make slavery illegal?
Dad: The Democrats in those states kept blocking the legislation to do that.
Child: Aren’t you a Democrat, dad?
Dad: Uh… ah. Well…
In other words, the people who destroy statues—even back to the ancient days in Egypt or Babylonia—do so to erase their link to the badness. Today, the liberal rioters are trying to erase their party’s involvement with racism by eliminating all the Democrats who supported it. Once you erase the past, you’re free to rewrite it with yourself as the hero. You see that today, with most Americans thinking Republicans were slaveholders, supported the Klan, wrote in Jim Crow laws, and enforced segregation in the South. By doing this slowly, Democrats have completely made up a new history that turns themselves from villains to the heroes.
Statues can celebrate things. They can also serve as dire warnings. The Czar would love for that dad to have a conversation with his kids about slavery, and be able to point to a statue and say “…and that must never happen again.”
The Czar does disagree with your use of the word immigrants: it implies that the rioters were not born here; indeed, some of the most doggedly loyal Americans are those who were born elsewhere and became citizens.
So New York’s Museum of Natural History is contemplating—which means executing—the removal of Teddy Roosevelt’s famous statue. And why not? He’s been declared a racist and colonialist, even though he was most assuredly not a racist and actually fought against European colonial powers in this hemisphere.
The problem is that for many people Roosevelt is a racist not because he simply must be. This isn’t a question of whether they know their history—the Czar is pretty sure the MNH knows who Roosevelt was and what he actually believed—but a question of his white privilege.
For most Americans, this makes no sense. But for enough Americans, it’s totally the truth. And yes, a lot of the people arguing for it indeed know Teddy was not at all the racist his more famous cousin Franklin demonstrably was. See, Teddy represents racist colonialism; yeah, they’ll be coming for FDR’s statues sooner than anyone thinks.
Here’s what’s driving the issue: there are two popular definitions of “racism.”
Most Americans believe the dictionary’s definition that racism is the belief that races can be inherently superior or inferior to each other. You know, when you put it that way, it all sounds a bit silly. What American can seriously argue, in the 21st Century, that a person is magically better or worse than another simply by being born a particular skin tone, or having epicanthic eyes, or an inherited demographic trait?
In fact, there are extremely few people who believe this; in fact, if someone were to do a proper study, one might well discover that more Americans believe in Bigfoot than actually believe in some inherent, magical properties that make one group of people somehow superior to another. And notice we don’t indicate which race is superior—that doesn’t matter for the definition; anyone who thinks this way is a racist, no matter which race he or she is.
But a large-enough number of Americans believe in a very different definition based not on genetics but on economics. In this definition, racism is the result of one race instituting an economic system over other races. And because the white race happens to have been that race, here in America, the white economic system is racist.
And because economies drive government systems, then all government systems in America are racist. The founding fathers were largely racist white guys; so everything that derives from them inherits that racism.
And if this sounds a bit silly, here’s a different way of putting it: think about your computer’s software. If the operating system that runs your computer was written in the late 1970s or late 1980s, it’s probably buggy because coders weren’t all that ready for the future that hit technology. So no matter how many times you add new features or new components to your computer’s operating system, if the original source code was buggy, then you can bet you’ll be seeing increasing number of bug fixes, security holes, product updates, patches, and service releases—and indeed we are, on a nearly weekly basis. Because unless you rewrite the code from scratch to be bug-free, you will always have buggy software.
Likewise, if the founding fathers were racist, then everything that derives from it inherits that racist intent. All white people are racist if they espouse the American way of life; blacks, Hispanics, and Asians cannot be racist because they did not participate in the core planning in the late 18th Century: they are victims of racism.
This second definition is a real attitude. This explains a lot of the weirdness people who espouse the dictionary definition see: a white person is racist no matter what he or she really believes, and a person of color—who says something overwhelmingly negative about white people—can never be a racist. No, it makes no sense per the dictionary definition, but is perfectly reasonable by the critical race theory definition.
A police department founded in the 19th Century by white men is racist, even if 40% of its officers are black, and only 30% are white: its racism is institutional and systemic, because the institution itself and the systems under which it operates were founded by racists.
Except, there are some fallacies with this. First, that economics drives class struggle is not a fact: it is a principle of Marxist thought, not economic reality. Second, that economics drives government systems is also a Marxist principle. There’s no “there” there, unless you assume Marxist thought is a proven fact. This also explains the tight marriage between AntiFa rioters and Marxist thought. Hint: the link between the two originates in academia in the mid-1960s (see Herbert Marcuse, who was the source architect) between Marxism and minority oppression.
So now you understand why a statue of Teddy Roosevelt is going to be racist even if he, himself, was not.
But bear in mind one other facet of statue desecration: historically, the people who do it are not trying to destroy what the original person represents. They’re trying to cover up their involvement in the history. Leftists aren’t trying to destroy Jefferson Davis’ legacy, they’re trying to sever the link that binds Leftists to their own participation in slavery. With no statue to make tomorrow’s generation ask “who was that,” and later “why was he a Democrat,” you avoid a lot of uncomfortable questions.
Statue destroyers aren’t erasing out past. They’re trying to hide theirs.
What do you call a journalist who learns from his mistakes?
The media once again have absolutely no clue what’s going on, and are basically relying on what they’re reading on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to regurgitate a mass of mistaken opinions as actual reporting. So let the Czar explain to you media types what’s actually going on in the world, as you seem incapable of remembering this from month to month. Jeez, it’s like reporters can’t even go to lunch without needing to be retrained.
Here are the facts:
So here’s are some other salient things for the media to get right:
Another thought for the media: the arrival of COVID-19 finally stopped the Trump economic dreadnought, given Biden the smallest chance of a political recovery. The way you’re handling the covering of the George Floyd case is showing American voters that the outrageous responses by Democrat politicians, promoted on your media, is a promise of more to come…meaning that you’re making Trump’s reelection chances pop up all around non-urban and suburban America. Don’t doubt there are millions of people relishing this possibility.
Look, it’s not as easy as it seems.
In the last two weeks, the Czar has had issues with Chinese products. Indeed, nearly the same issue with both.
The Царевич wanted a small, portable hard drive so that he could back up and transfer important files to and from his laptop, as well as his friends’ devices. No problem: the Czar found a decent one for $40 on Amazon.com and ordered it. It arrived, dead as a doornail, with no real packaging instructions.
Well, we’d obviously like to return it, so the Czar started the usual return process on Amazon for a defective product. Instead of Amazon customer service, we received a broken-English reply from China. China? There was no indication at any point in the ordering process that this product was arriving from overseas, although you can’t be too surprised with technology accessories these days. The seller was quite apologetic for the defective drive, and indicated that sending it back would cost more than the drive was worth.
Really? How much was this thing marked up? Since it was defective, one supposes, the drive was of course worth nothing—which is precisely what the Czar calculates the seller knew. In exchange, the seller offered, how about he offer a 45% refund, and the Czar could use that cash to have it repaired?
We took the refund and pitched the drive–this would be the last time we did business with an off-shore Amazon partner. Trying to get the rest of the cash back would be a waste of time. Thanks, Amazon. Next time, maybe, you could warn us: Please Note: This product is being sent from a company laundering money for the communist party, and you will likely get a defective product you can’t return. That might have been helpful.
One week later, the Царевич said he needed a humidifier, as his room was dry and he was getting sore throats. Since this leads to nose bleeds, this seemed a fairly serious request.
On walmart.com was a nice, compact humidifier made by a company whose name was all over various Walmart healthcare products. So we ordered it.
The box arrived a couple days later, and just in time as the weather was heating up here in Muscovy. We opened the box, and found the humidifier was in an unmarked, inner box with no instructions other than a small pamphlet warning, in broken English, not to overfill it.
The Czar called up the order on walmart.com and looked at the photo: very different product. The manufacturer wasn’t even the same. It was a total bait and switch. The Czar went to walmart.com to initiate a retun, and instead was redirected—you guessed it—to a third-party email.
Again comes the broken-English response, apologizing for us not liking the product. If it worked, would be willing to keep it in exchange for a 30% refund?
No, we replied: the product is clearly a deception and we expect a full refund.
Well, the answer comes back, the product will cost more to ship back than it’s worth; would we accept a 45% refund?
Mathematically, it means the product they sent was worth about half what the purchase price was.
No, we need an address. Reluctantly, they emailed me a New Jersey address, which some quick research shows is this big return center for a bunch of different companies.
This is ridiculous.
The Czar understands that if you want cheap technology, some or all of it is coming from China. But the Walmart web page for the product gives you zero indication this product is not from America, and not even carried by Walmart.
This leave a really bad taste in the Czar’s mouth about Walmart. Anyway, just thought you’d want to know that Walmart is shipping products designed to send money to communist China, and the Czar is hoping to be contacted by Walmart as soon as he locates the correct individuals. If anything worthwhile comes of this, we’ll let you know in an update.
This hasn’t been working for me lately. Something GorT did, I heard, but I seem to have found my way back in.
‘Puter and GorT offer some advice for new graduates as they enter the workforce
The Czar talks about spirits…the alcoholic kind.
‘Puter, Czar, Doc, and GorT talk about music, our influences, and debate a few musical things.
‘Puter was bored so he wrote a song. Actually, he didn’t write a song. ‘Puter stole the music and rewrote the lyrics to make an irreverent parody song which he hopes offends the artist who actually did write the song.
Want to hear it? Too bad. Here goes.
C’ronavirus (Stay Home Tonight), by ‘Puter Gormogon*
Spread out now C’rona, doctors can’t figure out your strains,
You know knocking Boomers off is a killer virus’ game.
You bump off emphysem-iacs, then kill off obese ones,
And together we’re gonna go out tonight and make morgues overrun.
You don’t have to call me Fauci, C’rona, and I don’t want be your vict-um
The only code I’m ever gonna need’s your RNA transcription.
And C’rona, you’re the one!
Pelosi’s in the Congress, baby, holding up our cash,
And Schumer’s downtown in front of cameras, spoutin’ out his lies to Dana Bash.
Papa’s on his deathbed, gasping hard for air,
Mama, she’s dialing 911, praying they get there.
She’ll be there on that line when Papa ends his time ‘cause you know he’ll spit the bit.
You ain’t here to spare us, baby, you’ve turned our lives to shit!
And C’rona, you’re the tits!
C’ronavirus, prognosis is quiet dire!
COVID 19, set the world on fire!
I just want to have a vaccine, no liar!
C’ronavirus, econ’my’s gone, entire!
Andy Cuomo and Blackface Northam, don’t you know they’re gonna lockdown!
Florida and NOLA’s mayor, they’re gonna let you run around!
We’re gonna hack and drool, cancel school,
React like fools, stay up all night, a-holes clenched tight.
So C’rona pass over tonight, Grim Reaper, pass over tonight!
Hamptons are for cheaters, Elmhurst’s for the poors,
Home feeds for reporters, Ittly’s on the floor,
So kill us C’rona, that’s what you’re here for!
C’ronavirus, prognosis is quiet dire!
COVID 19, set the world on fire!
I just want to have a vaccine, no liar!
C’ronavirus, econ’my’s gone, entire!
Now I know the Chinese, they don’t like you, ‘cause you killed their economy command,
And I know Brits, they don’t dig you, BoJo never did understand,
Gubmint lowered the boom, they locked us in our rooms, with our Netflix on demand,
Docs’ll medicate us, intubate us, no one will hold our hands.
Someday we’ll look back on this and it will not seem funny.
Right now you’re bad, you’ve made us sad,
And the Dems are glad to see that we don’t have any money,
The Dems are glad to see that we don’t have any money,
Oh, the Dems are glad to see that we don’t have any money,
Well tell Dems this is their last chance, to turn us into mendicants,
‘Cause the pharma company, C’rona, just broke through a big advance!
Now the testing’s strong and you’re almost gone, but Lord have mercy,
First vaccine was a dud, bodies heaped in the mud somewhere in the swamps of Jersey.
Well, hold out, right! We’ll make it all right, ‘cause C’rona we’re coming on strong,
By the time we meet this June’s strong light, you’ll probably be gone.
I know a creepy little place in Northern California, up San Francisco way,
There’s a little lab, eh, where gene sims run all night and all day,
Servers in the back rooms humming,
So hold tight, C’rona, ‘cause don’t you know a cure is coming!
C’ronavirus, prognosis is quiet dire!
COVID 19, set the world on fire!
I just want to have a vaccine, no liar!
C’ronavirus, econ’my’s gone, entire!
That’s it. That’s the song. Didn’t like it? Too frikkin’ bad. You’re not paying for this. Just shut up and enjoy the free entertainment. After all, you’re locked in and have nothing else to do.
*And that godless commie, Bruce Springsteen
Doc and some of the other Gormogons talk about COVID-19
The Gormos host their first debate…Gormogon style…for World Domination!
So amidst the Coronavirus, companies are struggling – particularly travel and hospitality industry ones, including bars, restaurants, etc. Various discussions around government bailouts have been started and a stimulus package is making its way through Congress. Former presidential candidate, Elizabeth Warren waded into the fray with a set of requirements that she would levy upon companies accepting federal government bailouts:
Let’s get this out of the way, none of these were ever floated as requirements when previous administrations did bailouts. Regardless, let’s take apart the various, stupid ideas above:
Maybe out of all of these, I could agree with number one the most. Still, the idea of the government dictating how a private sector business should operate is insane to me. Changing employment levels is a routine course of action for companies. Under this provision, a company that was already planning on ramping down efforts that accepts the bailout, would have to keep those employees on…for some unspecified amount of time. What are these employees supposed to work on? Sit around and play games, watch the news, or pick their noses?
Number two has been a rallying cry among Democrats recently. Requiring a $15 minimum wage only increases costs on the books of the company. In order to address this, companies will raise prices to customers and therefore drive up costs to consumers. For those not at the very bottom of the wage scale will see increased prices but no increase in wages to offset the costs and therefore most savvy consumers will start to reduce spending and be more selective in purchasing. Basically, a tightening of consumer spending will take place. This isn’t good for the economy and reduces the growth at a time when we need to quickly recover from this set back. This advocacy by the Democrats only reinforces my belief that they really do not understand economics*
I just don’t get number three. There are a few reasons why a company would engage in stock buybacks – for example, for larger companies, it can be a preferred way to return cash to its shareholders rather than issuing a dividend. But in the end, the decision is really about trying to tune the company’s key financial metrics. This affects how it gets evaluated by investors. Having the federal government remove this lever it absurd and, again, goes back to the understanding the economy point I made in the previous paragraph.
“Companies would be barred from paying out dividends or executive bonuses while they receive federal funds and the ban would be in place for three years” Sigh. They really don’t get how the economy works, do they? There are a number of aspects to this one. While bonuses sound like a luxury, people should remember that at a lot of companies for financially conservation reasons, employees reaching high levels of salary compensation might be frozen at a certain salary level and annual bonuses make up any additional take-home pay growth. Dividends are paid to investors. That could be your 401k fund, a mutual fund you own, or maybe part of your non-retirement investing strategy. So what Elizabeth Warren is saying here is that she wants to take away money from you and your retirement funds.
Again, these requirements largely have nothing to do with good economic practices or recovery steps from the situation in which we find ourselves. Putting one or more employees on the Board of Directors for a company is this idea that liberals have where they think there’s this big “us” vs “them” within companies. I really question whether they understand what a Board of Directors does and what is expected and required of a board member. I doubt a random employee could effectively do the job mostly do to a lack of experience.
Of course, the Democrats echo what they know and seek to protect unions through ensuring collective bargaining agreements stay in place. Hey, while we’re at it, Sen Warren, let’s end and ban all public sector unions and really dig into union leaders who have outrageous salaries. Ready to go there? No? I didn’t think so.
Sen Warren also wants to mandate that companies must have shareholder approval for any political spending. So she wants companies to have to spend more time and effort in coordinating a shareholder vote for any political spending? Right, companies should have to work more inefficiently is exactly what we need at this time. I don’t think I can face-palm any hard than I am already. Is there any question why she isn’t in the race for president anymore?
Look, I’m no big fan of government bailouts. I get that we need to do something when the country faces crises like this where for public safety, national security, or other major reasons companies are negatively impacted. Individuals should strive to have some personal safety net but even then for some it’s really hard to build that up in the light of medical issues, tragedies, and other unexpected circumstances. Having said all that, any restrictions that are placed on companies should be done in the light of making sure that we reduce the recovery time as best as possible and encourage quick growth. Elizabeth Warren should stay out of this – she clearly doesn’t understand it.
* I’m looking at you, Paul Krugman
You’ve heard the expression a bunch of times by now: “Get woke, go broke.”
This simple four-word social media response often follows news stories about popular media events suffering huge financial losses after bending to Leftist diversity stereotypes. You heard it with the financial collapse of comic books, ratings dumps for popular television shows, and poor critical response of tentpole pictures. You’ll be hearing it a lot (a lot) with the upcoming James Bond movie, which is already rumored to be beyond subpar in quality.
Basically, what happens is this: 21st Century Diversity wardens swoop into an enjoyable or harmless franchise and immediately demand More Inclusion!!! at every step, even if it doesn’t make sense. Suddenly, the swashbuckling hero is replaced with a transsexual Muslim Filipina with a harelip. Or the smart-as-a-whip princess with the gorgeous figure becomes a corpulent Latina with a sassy attitude and an endless supply of meme phrases and hand gestures. All villains had to be good-looking white males.
Much of this started almost 20 years back, when the producers of the rebooted Battlestar Galactica series elected to replace the male comedic relief sidekick (Dirk Benedict, playing every character he’s ever played the same dopey way) with a tough-as-nails, scrappy woman with a drinking issue (Katee Sackhoff). There was good news and bad news: the good news was Sackhoff played the character way better than Benedict ever did, with a fascinating story of abuse and neglect turning the character into a driven survivor who never gives up. The bad news was she did such a great job that there was now a race to see what other changes producers could bring into tired storylines.
The Czar really liked Sackhoff’s brutal performance, and would have been okay if other franchises made changes of a similar nature.
Alas, this was not to be: from now on, producers and directors wanted to see just how much More Inclusion!!! they could jam into everything they could, whether or not it made sense or, in some cases, it was even plausible. See, it’s not just enough to consider replacing one of the Ghostbusters with a female; we had to replace all of them with three identical white females and one stereotypical black female.
But that’s nowhere near enough to ruin a franchise or even bomb a movie, because there’s no inherent reason that premise couldn’t work, or to put it the other way, there’s no reason that premise was certain to fail. The Czar thinks he knows why all these More Inclusion!!! books, films, shows, and series are all tanking.
The reason: because the viewers know it’s all horseshit.
Hollywood, whether it’s a movie, a show, or whatever, is the last freaking establishment that should be lecturing us about inclusion.
When a director or producer tries to sell us on the idea that women are every bit as good as men in a commanding or leadership role, well, it’s tough to accept this in the Me Too era. Yeah, we can buy a talking raccoon and a walking tree shooting apart alien spacecraft, but hearing about a fictional woman using her strength and intelligence to overpower the sexism of men is a little far-fetched when the movie was produced by Weinstein.
A couple of films starring a mostly-black cast tank at the box office, and it must be our fault because we’re all so racist, says Hollywood, whose record at hiring, using, starring, trusting, or rewarding black talent in the motion picture industry is worse than an Alabama Woolworth in 1950. Surely that’s our fault.
Perhaps what the last Terminator movie needed was a racially diverse cast, decided a room full of aging producers who are all white men that attend Temple Israel on Hollywood Boulevard.
And don’t get the Czar started about racist complaints about putting black actors in lead roles in the Star Wars or Marvel franchises when it’s soon revealed the so-called complaints started within (and were largely limited to) the films’ distribution offices as a way to fire up controversy and ticket sales.
The Czar could go on and on, and probably will, later when he’s been drinking and you’re already asleep. The point is that the people behind the Woke messaging—not just Hollywood, but the whole Woke movements—are such blatant hypocrites that it’s like hearing an overt atheist lecture you on why you need to attend religious services more often. It’s so out of character that it immediately rings hollow.
And it’s easy to point to a book, movie, or show after the release and say “Well, its preening lectures turned me off so I gave up on it.” That’s understandable enough. But audiences have been so beat up by this obvious hypocrisy that they already know to give up on something before giving it a chance. That’s why the Ghostbusters movie flopped on the first day: audiences already knew what it was going to be. That’s why the Picard show is getting such dismal reviews on Rotten Tomatoes: we don’t need sexist, racist, homophobic bastards screaming at us repeatedly about how awful we are as viewers when it comes to women, minorities, and gays.
Because we’re way ahead of you, there, guys (the Czar is pretty safe on using that word). And just like we don’t need Bernie Sanders lecturing us on how economics works, we really don’t need pop culture lecturing us on how society works. We’ve been part of it a long time, ourselves. So we skip your movie, your show, your book, your musical, or your concert and instead do things we’d enjoy. And that’s why you go broke.
The Czar and the Mandarin talk all about guns, gun ownership, and more.
‘Puter and GorT finish up the soccer discussion
‘Puter and GorT talk about Soccer…and why certain other sports are terrible
Social Security. To even mention the words in other than the most laudatory tones is to invite the wrath of Democrats and old people. ‘Puter, of course, cares not what Democrats or old people think of him. ‘Puter cares only for the truth.
So what’s the truth about Social Security? Which truth? There are a whole bunch of inconvenient truths as one wag once said. Here are but a few.
Truth 1: Social Security is a Ponzi scheme.
Ponzi schemes are where an “investment manager” takes “investors’” money, promising them great riches and wealth because he’s found the perfect, foolproof investment. The “manager” collects the funds, spends them, and pays out “investors” with funds taken in from future investors. The scheme can work for a time, even a long while, but eventually the scheme crashes. And when the inevitable crash comes, the only people who get their money back are the first investors who request their money back, if even them.
Social Security’s been this type of con from the start but one that was cleverly structured to work for a time. There are a few reasons it’s worked this long.
Unlike the usual Ponzi scheme, participation is mandatory. Con men have to go find marks and convince them to participate. Government simply forces all employers and all workers to participate. Much easier to find marks when you can require everyone be a mark.
Initially there were far more workers paying into Social Security’s so-called trust fund than were elibile to receive benefits. It’s tough to go bankrupt when way more money’s coming in than going out, so Social Security self-funded for a time. In fact, it threw off scads of excess money. More on that later.
Also, the eligibility age for Social Security was set such that more than half of Americans died before reaching the eligibility age. So long as there were way more people paying in than taking out, Social Security’ Ponzi scheme rolled on.
The hook New Deal Democrats used (and it was a brilliant hook) to sell Social Security to the public (aside from it being the Great Depression when everything sucked and pretty much everyone was broke) was everyone pays in now and everyone gets out way more than they ever paid later.
Truth 2: Social Security is flat broke.
The dirty little secret is Social Security’s pretty much always been bankrupt. But now Social Security’s officially broke. Costs will exceed income in 2020 and the so-called trust fund will be depleted by 2035. This is going to take some ‘splaining.
This is how Social Security works. You and your employer each pay 6.2% of your income in Old Age, Survivor, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) tax, docked straight out of your paycheck. Hence, OASDI’s often referred to as a payroll tax. When all your sweet, sweet Benjamins roll in the door, the Social Security Administration (SSA) spends every last penny in one of two ways. It’s either spent on benefits and administrative costs or, if there are any excess funds, those funds are by law invested “in special Treasury bonds that are guaranteed by the U.S. Government. A market rate of interest is paid to the trust funds on the bonds they hold, and when those bonds reach maturity or are needed to pay benefits, the Treasury redeems them.” Got that?*
“But ‘Puter! There are, like, totes US Treasury bonds in the trust fund! Social Security’s, like, completely not broke at all! MUH LOCK BOX!!1!,” Al Gore shouts from high above the Atlantic on his private jet returning from Davos to his energy-guzzling 10,000 square foot eight bedroom mansion outside Nashville.
Calm your tits, people. ‘Puter’s going to explain.
What are bonds? They’re government issued IOUs. And how does the government repay bonds when they’re redeemed or mature? Well, the government uses tax money to repay them. And where’s that tax money come from? It comes from non-OASDI taxes. Basically, it comes from your income taxes.
When the SSA has to dip into its so-called trust fund, chock full of IOUs, it’s broke. It’s admitting that there’s more going out than coming in. It’s running at a loss. As we see above, we’ve arrived at this point in 2020. But what about the Treasury bonds in the trust account? Those bonds aren’t assets, they’re liabilities. They’re IOUs. The IOUs are being paid to the holder (the federal government) by … the federal government. It’s literally a zero sum (or perhaps negative sum, depending on interest costs, etc.) transaction. There’s no there there.
Think of it this way. You’re the federal government. You deposit a $1,000 check you wrote yourself to your checking account. The check is drawn from the same account into which you’re depositing said check. This account started with $0. You know insist to the bank that you now have $1,000 in your account. You have the same $0 you started with, no matter how big the check your write is.
Or maybe this way works better for you. Under counterintuitive government accounting, the SSA treats the Treasury bonds (IOUs, remember?) as assets even though it’s the government repaying itself for misusing your tax payments the first time by taxing you a second time to repay the funds you already paid the first time. Understand? Probably not. Go back and read the unintelligible sentence until you grok what ‘Puter’s laying down then come back. ‘Puter’ll wait.
You’ve paid into Social Security for years, maybe decades. That money’s gone, used to either pay benefits or buy Treasury bonds (which in this instance are functionally worthless to the taxpayer). Any dollar you pay in OASDI today is going to pay Boomers’ benefits and it’s still not enough to meet the total payout.
Even if you don’t buy ‘Puter’s totally awesome “the bonds are worthless” argument, the SSA admits it will rapidly cash in its trust fund bonds/IOUs government wrote to itself (which as ‘Puter just showed you are worthless in the first instance) to make up the difference. In the most favorable light to government,
Social Security’s somewhere between the “people getting wise to the con” stage and the “total collapse and bankruptcy” stage of this Ponzi scheme.
Truth 3: Social Security isn’t a national pension.
Social Security was never intended to function as a pension.** It was intended to be an insurance policy. It was intended to insure that elderly people who were unable to do any work wouldn’t be homeless and starve in the streets.
In the most favorable light, Social Security’s akin to term life insurance. You pay a low amount for a large benefit if you die during the policy’s term. The insurer’s banking that the rates it’s charging you and everyone else, invested at a decent rate of return, will be sufficient to pay out the claims as made. Insurers also figure that most people they’re insuring aren’t going to die during the policy term. This is why they can charge you a relatively small rate for a large benefit. It’s also why life insurance gets prohibitively expensive as one ages. Everyone dies, and you’re likelier to die in a given period the older you get so you’re going to pay way more for coverage as the insured against risk (you croaking) has a high probability of occurring.
Social Security’s like this superficially, but Congress hasn’t permitted the SSA to charge policy holders (taxpayers) sufficient rates to cover the risk (lifetime payouts). Nor is SSA permitted to raise the eligibility age (risk rate) to ensure there are sufficient funds to meet reasonably assumed obligations. Last, unlike insurers, the SSA’s required to invest in the lowest returning investment instruments known to man. US Treasury bonds pay ultra-low interest rates, generally below the inflation rate meaning over time the SSA’s “investment” is losing money. Insurers invest in a low-risk portfolio, but one that will exceed the rate of inflation by at least a few percentage points so their portfolios generally gain.***
The biggest reason Social Security isn’t a pension plan is because Congress is free to change the terms and conditions of the program any time it wants. If Congress can crater a program you’ve paid into for years in good faith, it’s not a pension. Congress can even cancel Social Security entirely if it so chooses. Here’s the language ‘Puter lifted from his Social Security statement.****
Your estimated benefits are based on current law. Congress has made changes to the law in the past and can do so at any time. The law governing benefit amounts may change because, by 2035, the payroll taxes collected will be enough to pay only about 80 percent of scheduled benefits.*****
If you thought the money you paid over the years and decades was invested in a kind of public 401k, you’re like most Americans: morons who didn’t read the terms and conditions of the program you signed on for. Admittedly, the government’s going to ding your paycheck (and your employer) for 6.2% of your salary every paycheck whether you consent to it or not. But you’re still an idiot if you believed Social Security was a pension.
Truth 4: Social Security is a bad deal for you and for everyone else.
‘Puter ran some numbers. For ease of calculation (if Gracie were here, he would’ve used more complicated ones because she’s like some sort of Excel idiot savant), ‘Puter used the SSA’s benefit estimator.
‘Puter entered $50,000 for a hypothetical worker’s current year income, a birth date of January 1, 1970, and a retirement date of June 1, 2067 (67 years, 6 months of age). The SSA made income assumptions based on this information (lower early year earnings but $50,000 per year from now until retirement) and calculated a monthly benefit of $3,235 per month (in future dollars).
Even if we assume this worker made $50,000 for the entirety of her career (which the SSA did not assume), the total employer and employee contribution would be $279,000. ‘Puter’s best guess is that total contributions would be closer to $150,000 (probably even less) based on the SSA’s assumptions.
Assuming the higher OASDI tax paid amount, this worker would receive more benefits than amounts paid in a little over 7 years. The worker would be 74 years old and would have taken out every single penny she paid in, then transforming into a welfare recipient living off that sweet, sweet sucker taxpayer dime.
Assuming the lower OASDI tax paid amount, this worker would receive more benefits than lifetime OASDI tax paid in just shy of 4 years. The worker would be just 71 years old and already on the dole.
The current average life expectancy for an American male alive at 67 years old is about 83. A woman of the same age can expect on average to live until about 86. That’s about 9 and 12 years respectively of this worker living off the dole.
Or, using the assumptions on benefits, the male would get $349,380 in unearned benefits. The female would get $465,840 in benefits she didn’t pay for. This is 1.66x more than the woman ever paid in and 1.25x in the case of a man.
‘Puter assumes most of you would argue that while it’s a completely crap deal for the taxpayers, it’s actually a really good deal for the recipients. And you’d be right. Except it ain’t that easy.
If you invested that money yourself over the course of your career, you’d do much, much better.
If you assumed level annual investments of $6,200 (the $50,000 annual wage multiplied by the 12.4% OASDI tax over a 45-year period (the assumed career time) at a 6% rate (which is conservative), the person would’ve had roughly $1,400,000. Even without calculating any future compounding after retirement, it would take the assumed worker of either sex 36 years to burn through the money.
You’d have to live to be 103 to exhaust the fund and nearly all Americans ain’t getting there.
Even assuming average OASDI taxes of, let’s say, $4,000 annually (a $33,300 annual salary), you still end up with about $900,000. It’d take you 23 years to exhaust the funds which exceeds the life expectancies for a male or female 67-year-old.
Assuming an even lower OASDI tax payment of $3,000 annually (a $25,000 annual salary), you still end up with about $675,000. If you assumed you’d only live another 20 years after retirement at 67, you’d still have $2,800 per month which would equate to an annual salary of $33,600 which is more than you ever made in a year during your career.
And if you went crazy and invested in an S&P 500 index fund and assumed the average annualized total return for the index over the last 90 years of 9.8%, you’d have a lot more money than that. How much?
Under the $3,000 assumption, you’d have about $2,225,000. Under the $4,000 assumption, you’d have about $2,965,000. Under the $6,200 assumption, you’d have about $4,500,000. The power of compounding and investing smaller amounts over time for the long haul is for real, bitches.
So yeah. ‘Puter stands fully behind his assertion that both you and the taxpayers are getting royally screwed by Social Security.
Final Truth: It’s not the SSA’s fault you’re getting screwed.
It’s Congress’ fault completely and totally. Congress created this program.
If you’re angry after reading this, call your representatives and senators and light them up for creating a Ponzi scheme that’s bankrupting the nation and ultimately returns far less to you than if they’d simply mandated you invest the funds yourself.
* For purposes of this post, ‘Puter doesn’t address the dipshittery of investing funds in low-yield government instruments when you’re selling Social Security to Americans as a pension fund. That is, making one or two percent on 10 year bonds ain’t gonna get closing to meeting the needs of millions of people when considering inflation. The SSA really should’ve at least moved a portion of the portfolio into the market.
** ‘Puter’s using pension here even though it would be more accurate to use “retirement plan” since a pension’s technically not your money. It’s a contractual promise by an employer to pay you defined benefits on retirement. Employers are free to breach this contractual promise and many do so, especially through Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructures.
*** Don’t even get ‘Puter started on how quantitative easing and the Federal Reserve Bank holding interest rates extremely and arguably artificially low for more than a decade now have f*cked investors of all types looking for low risk investments with yields in excess of inflation.
**** If you haven’t looked at your Social Security eligibility and benefits, you really ought to go to their website, create an account, and take a gander. The site is quite well done and intuitive. Kudos to the SSA at least on this issue.
***** ‘Puter reaches full eligibility age (67 for ‘Puter) in 2036. So he’s got that going for him.
Mrs. GorT and GorT watched the entire Democrat Debate last night on NBC. I can’t tell you how many times one of us was snickering or outright laughing and making a comment like, “this is pure entertainment gold.” Keep in mind, this is the ninth of twelve Democrat Debates and, unless you avoid the media and social media, you’ve probably heard what a mess it was. Let me break it down from my perspective.
We need to put this in context – these are six candidates who are vying for the nomination to run for the office of the President. The debate was held on primetime television on NBC with five moderators. In the end, I think anyone objectively watching it will be unable to find a President in that group.
First, if I were any part of the Democrat National Committee, I’d ban future debates from the NBC family. The moderators, particularly Lester Holt and Chuck Todd could not control the format at all even given that all of the candidates couldn’t abide by the rules laid out. This, in itself, should be telling about the candidates that they couldn’t follow simple debate rules. Instead, we got multiple occasions with at least two or three of the candidates arguing at each other (yes, at not with) and no one could make out what was being said or discussed. Candidates veered way off course from the questions asked with little to no course correction by the moderators. And finally, the NBC moderator questions rarely, if at all, drew out a discussion on substantive topics but rather focused on some of the candidates’ potentially problematic histories. Glaringly missing were any prods into Warren’s abuse of race to benefit herself, Buttigieg’s relative lack of experience at scale, Biden’s Ukrainian dealings and riding of Obama’s coattails, and Klobuchar’s temperment. Instead, it was focused on Sander’s socialism and Bloomberg’s various problems (stop-and-frisk, his wealth, and his possible mistreatment of women). The debate completely lacked any foreign diplomacy discussion save for a discussion around Klobuchar’s failure to remember the name of the president of Mexico. The brief section on climate change lacked any real substance and no challenge by any of the moderators. For example, the disposal of aging wind turbine blades, the environmental impact of the materials needed to build wind and solar farms, the explicit exclusion of nuclear power from the New Green Deal – all would have been beneficial areas to explore. And there were more discussions around “passing” various laws – many from the Senators (past and present) on the stage who sit (or sat) in Congress were this actually gets done*
I’d offer a winners and losers section to this post but I don’t think any candidate won that debate. I don’t think any of them carried themselves in a presidential manner. None of the distinguished themselves. Let’s take a look:
Elizabeth Warren spoke the most during the debate and likely interrupted the most. This was a change and she was more active in her participation but not in a good way (at least to me) as she was stepping on opponent’s times and cluttering the discussion. She had about a full minute more than any other candidate** She went after every other candidate on a range of issues and had some obviously planned canned quips to use. When it came time for her to speak about her plans, she came off as the grade school kid vying for class president promising longer recess, free pizza lunches, and no-homework Fridays. She claims that her 2¢ wealth tax would pay for free college, preschool, etc. etc. with a serious pander to minority voters on this.
Joe Biden, as Mrs. GorT observed, basically had one answer last night: “I’m the only one on stage who has done [insert topic]” Seriously, at least four times he used that crutch. Apparently, the Obama administration achieved nothing without Joe Biden. Biden didn’t engage on a lot and when he did, I would argue, he didn’t look good. He appeared to be struggling to remember what he wanted or needed to say. Along with Bloomberg, he had one of the two lowest speaking times – more than 3 minutes less than Warren.
Pete Buttigieg was clam and forward-looking but continues to struggle with a lack of experience at scale. He tried defending against that line of attack by Sen Klobuchar saying that the debate stage and being a mayor in middle America is still “an arena” but he isn’t dealing with the complexities and scale that a Congressional member has had to navigate. While potentially inspiring, Buttigieg did not distinguish himself policy-wise or in other areas. And he needs to fire his stylist for allowing him to go out half-shaven for the debate. It’s not No-Shave-November anymore, Pete, and the facial
hair stubble isn’t working.
Amy Klobuchar tried really hard to make this about putting a woman in the White House. She was second to Warren in total talk time. Every reference to what a President could do was “she” and on multiple occasions was very defensively making the case that she has the experience and know-how to be the President. It didn’t feel inviting or genuine but rather like a petulant adolescent stomping their feet arguing with mom and dad as to why it isn’t fair that she can’t stay out past 11pm on a school night. Apparently, she’s been the lead senator on a crap-ton of bills but I’m not sure that any of them really did much to address the top issues like immigration reform, environmental policies, taxes, etc.
Bernie Sanders is back to the yelling with the weird, jabbing hand gestures – gives me the shivers. Bloomberg delivered a good shot at Bernie over being a millionaire and owning three homes. Let’s put this in context with some data: as of 2017, 9.26 million Americans live in a household that owns a second home. This is down from ten years prior. Another statistic puts it around 4% of the country owns a second home. I’d guess that the percentage of three-party owners is 1% or less. Sanders admitted that he would levy an additional payroll tax – a tax that hits any working American – to help pay for his Medicare For All plan. Buttigieg did get in a good dig on Bernie saying that “ordinary Americans [feel] like leaders [aren’t] speaking to them, then I think that turning to someone like Mayor Bloomberg, who thinks he can buy this election, is no better a way to succeed than turning to somebody like Senator Sanders who wants to burn the house down”
And then there was Mike Bloomberg. I don’t think Bloomberg fared very well in this outing. He’s avoided getting beat up in eight previous debates and took a beating last night by his opponents over his wealth, his past policies – again, specifically stop-and-frisk, and a new attack on his past treatment of women and the NDAs he has with some. I think he attempted to rise above those attacks but he couldn’t. NBC directly targeted him through their line of questions. And simplifying the office of the President to a “manager” didn’t help his case. He talked the least and I think came off as nervous and unprepared for the attacks.
Liberal friends and relatives are on social media almost begging for the Democrat candidates not to rip each other apart as they try to focus on one thing – get Trump out of office. I don’t think NBC or the six remaining candidates did anything to help that. In fact, they probably armed Trump’s campaign staff with plenty of material. As one of our followers on Twitter tweeted, “It’s clear that Trump won that debate”
* Holy crap, we need to really look at our Civics curriculum in our schools. Even one of the local news stations had the following in a “can you pass a civics test” segment: “Who was President during the Great Depression and WWII?” That’s a history question not a civics question.
‘Puter’s been thinking a lot lately. It’s that time of the year, the beginning of the end of Upstate New York’s interminable season of frozen death. ‘Puter’s got plenty of time to brood, knocking back a Big Gulp or five of vodka and catching up on his backlog of Discovery Channel fish mating clips.
With Election 2020 in full swing, ‘Puter pondered the impact of Trump on conservative political values. Has Trump, as media, Democrats, and the Never Trump diehards claim, destroyed conservative norms? And what are those core, non-negotiable conservative norms in the first place? Is there a list of conservative values around which conservatives can unite?
Conservatism today is much different from the Morning in America Reagan conservatism ‘Puter grew up under. It’s different from the Gingrich/Limbaugh last trench conservatism ascendant in the 1990s. It’s different from the Tea Party conservatism of the 2000s. And it’s different from the conservatism media paints Trump as championing.
‘Puter thinks conservatism and conservatives can and should unite around a few core concepts with which all (or most) agree.
Honoring Rule of Law
Rule of law means each branch of government sticks to its own knitting. Each does the tasks expressly assigned it under the Constitution and no more. Each jealously guards its constitutional authority and fights to protect it from other branches’ overreach. And it means leaving things to the states that ought be left to the states.
Congress negotiates tough issues, compromises where at all possible, acts in good faith, and enacts laws actually getting things done for a change. Congress doesn’t punt hard decisions to executive branch agencies through cop out delegation or wait for things to get so bad the judiciary legislates from the bench.
The executive enforces the laws as written, surely and swiftly. It doesn’t end run Congress with executive orders or novel interpretations of “sex” in the Civil Rights Act, reading it to include sexual orientation and the mental disorder of gender dysphoria. The executive insists Congress authorize in an act of war any extra territorial foreign combat missions wherever possible. It enforces laws as written.
The judiciary refuses to legislate from the bench. It doesn’t magically discover rights emanating from the penumbras. It doesn’t make up things that don’t exist. The judiciary has the humility and self-control to say, “There is no such right recognized in the Constitution so it is up to you to seek redress from Congress who may or may not enact legislation creating the ‘right’ you seek. We will then review as appropriate the new law to ensure Congress acted within its legislative authority, as is our duty.”
For citizens, it means pushing Congress to get rid of dated or useless laws or regulations. It means understanding the fewer the laws there are, the freer we are. It means understanding basic civics and not screaming for government to ignore the Constitution. It means being consistent and understanding that if your side loses but the other side has properly followed the process, you’ve lost. Accept it.
Respecting Current and Future Taxpayers
This is ‘Puter’s attempt to encompass what’s generally called fiscal conservatism. Government should spend what it needs, not a penny more. It must consider the downside to the taxpayers footing the bill for these never-ending programs instead of just considering and fetishizing the benefits to the recipients. Every dollar government spends is a dollar a family somewhere doesn’t have to spend on itself.
It means dealing with fiscally irresponsible and unsustainable borrowing and deficits. This doesn’t mean all borrowing is bad or that running some deficit from time to time is bad. It does mean that decade after decade of profligate spending and insane borrowing even as tax revenues increase year over year is a crime. You’re stealing taxpayers’ current prosperity and preventing future generations from ever achieving the level of prosperity their parents had. You’re eating the nation’s seed corn.
Acknowledging Government Welfare Programs Are A Necessary Evil
This tenet is a tough sell. But Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid ain’t going nowhere, no matter how unconstitutional they were and are. Americans expect these benefits. Americans think of them as birthrights. Conservatives are correct that the programs are Ponzi schemes, but Americans don’t care. The best that can be done is to make the programs affordable and sustainable again.
We need to recognize there is a place for government support of the truly needy. This includes short-term support for the unemployed, short-term food aid, short-term housing aid, etc. The issue comes not in the short-term help but when government decides it needs to be a long-term solution to individuals’ problems. In permitting lifetime reliance on government for the able-bodied, you’re robbing generation after generation of the gifts of self-reliance and self-respect.
Adopt a mend, don’t end approach. Be clear that there is a role for some government welfare. If we don’t, we will be unelectable regardless of whether we are correct in the long run.
Championing the Freest Possible Markets
Get government out of the way of American business. This doesn’t mean complete deregulation. It means considering whether regulations are necessary instead of merely politically desirable. It means significantly reducing or eliminating lobbyist input, especially where industries are angling for anti-competitive or barrier to entry rules and regulations.
It means getting rid of all industry subsidies over time. No more industry specific tax breaks or support programs. No more protectionist tariffs where the international competition is acting in accordance with laws. If our industries can’t compete on equal terms and conditions, they need to get better, not get protected. This doesn’t mean leaving industry unprotected where other nations are rigging the system for their companies, though.
Supporting and Enforcing the Individual Rights of All People
This means decrying abortion and working to limit or eliminate it insofar as possible. Unborn Americans have rights, too.
It means supporting the rights of people to choose whom they want to love and doing so free of harassment or discrimination. In return, the LGBTQ community needs to understand tolerance doesn’t mean acceptance. It means you get to live just as freely as ‘Puter does but not more freely. It doesn’t mean supporting the entire LGBTQ agenda because much of the LGBTQ agenda is for active repression of others’ beliefs.
It means supporting minority communities in their legitimate complaints, many of which should be linked to education and criminal justice in ‘Puter’s humble opinion. It does not mean accepting open borders and unlimited immigration. Illegal aliens aren’t Americans, are breaking our laws, and are stealing money from America’s poor. We have no obligation to illegal aliens other than arresting, trying, and deporting them as swiftly as possible and not abusing them while in custody.
It means speaking up when anti-Semites attack Jews on NYC’s streets, white supremacists publicly advocate for race wars, or antifa asshats violently attack people on Portland’s streets like the brown shirts they are. It means not tolerating cancel culture or engaging in it yourself. It means, as the ACLU used to do before it sold its soul, defending people with whom you vigorously disagree when they’ve been objectively wronged by government or others.
Anyway, that’s enough for now. This was nothing more than an off-the-cuff, poorly thought out brain purge. You’ll disagree, ‘Puter’s sure, with one or more of these, but ‘Puter thinks these principles are a pretty good core for conservatives to unite around.
‘Puter’s back. He had to go all the way down to the Leaping Peacock to get a fresh handle of scotch. We had more scotch yesterday, but Czar got an early start on celebrating Czars Day and drank the Castle’s last three casks of scotch.*
In Part Uno of this piece, ‘Puter introduced you to Kimberly Probolus, the woman whose heartfelt and totally not ideological cri de coeur shamed the NYT into instituting sex-based quotas on its daily letters page. Quotas were required in order to guarantee the letters page is vajjed-up to the appropriate level, you see.**
Since we have previously established Ms. Probolus is a godless commie ideologue, we may now move on to her most recent letter, a letter celebrating her victory over meritocracy and by extension, Whitey T. Mann, that oppressive bastard.
Ms. Probolus regales us with a personal story in her letter’s opening. As all good academics know, anecdotes are totally reliable data points and we shouldn’t question in the back of our heads whether she made the entire thing up because it’s too good to check.
In short, Ms. Probolus says this summer she was introduced to a man at a party as “the woman who wrote the letter to The New York Times about why not enough women write letters to the editor.” She claims the man proceeded to talk about why women don’t write letters to the editor and about the NYT’s hot new vaj-quota system. She tells him again she’s the letter’s author. He then understands and feels bad.
Ms. Probolus claims “the man I encountered was not the least bit arrogant, displaying a boyish giddiness toward feminism. And yet, he could not hear the small blond woman standing right in front of him.” You would be wrong to think this sounds totally made up because it is most assuredly totally not made up.
From this anecdote, Ms. Probolus gets to her real issue.
But it’s not enough to ask women to speak up: to write more letters, to raise our voices, to “lean in.” The problem is not that women aren’t speaking up. As far back as ancient Greece — when Cassandra warned the Trojans about that giant wooden horse — women have been speaking loudly and clearly. The problem is that men aren’t listening.
You see, it’s not enough that the NYT now has ill-considered quotas which force it to ignore merit in favor of genitalia. Now we are called on to force only one of the sexes to do the bidding of the other sex. Men must be made to communicate with women in the style and manner which women would like, screw them and their preferences. She goes on down Man Bashing Lane in her SJW coupe at 137 miles per hour. Surely this will end well!
Male readers of The New York Times, this is about you. You who call yourselves feminists and attend women’s marches. You who coach your daughters’ soccer teams. Yes, you are trying, but I’m struck by how spectacularly so many of you continue to fail at listening, this most basic of human skills.
It’s not women, you see. And hey, it’s sure nice that you emasculated beta male feminist are coaching your daughters and parroting the bullshit gospel of feminism. Unless you listen to women in exactly the way Ms. Probolus wants you to listen, you must be named and shamed. It’s completely impossible that Ms. Probolus has nothing of interest to say to men and thus they ignore her. Or perhaps that her hectoring and male-bashing so turns off even the progressive beta male manjina-endowed caucus that they ignore her assuming its more of the same horseshit. These thoughts never occur to her.
But how are we men to be reeducated? Will there be death camps and cattle prods and chicks in hot leather jumpsuits and no underwear? Read on.
Fortunately, there are practical strategies to help men become both better listeners and more active listeners. First, to be a good listener, stop talking. You cannot listen to her story and be present for her if you’re too busy thinking about yourself or your next brilliant comment. Second, active listening means hearing the words women are saying and taking them at face value, even if those words contradict your prior assumptions or your own agenda. Third, being an active listener means asking questions.
Huh. Let ‘Puter see if he groks your ladywords:
1. STFU. Don’t think about anything other than the line of shit she’s about to attempt to cram down your throat.
2. STFU and obey women. Jettison your own beliefs and adopt hers unquestioningly. Don’t interrupt to point out how stupid her positions are.
3. After you’ve done 1 and 2, you may speak but only to ask questions approved in advance by Ms. Probolus.
That seems about right, doesn’t it? Man, is ‘Puter smart or what? What’s next, O Great Oracle of Feminist Doctrine?
Women do not speak with one voice. We don’t all want the same things, which is why you need to ask women what they want and then respect their opinions, even, and most especially, if it means ceding some of your own power in any given situation. Practicing feminist listening is something you can start right now. Look up from your paper or screen and ask the woman across from you, “How can I be a better listener?” Listen to her, and do what she says.
Alright. Apparently, the only approved question is, “What do you want?” And the only approved response is “Yes, dear. Right away.” Give up all your power because women say so. Put her in control of your thoughts, words, and deeds. It’s interesting that this noted feminist is creating a world for men that closely resembles the world women existed in back in the 1940s. Keep quiet, look pretty, her opinions are your opinions, treat her as God. ‘Puter wonders when Ms. Probolus is going to get around to advocate beating your man if he dares get uppity.
After presenting her perfect plan for ruining male-female interaction and destroying all heterosexual relationships for a generation, could there be anything left to accomplish for our fearless Comrade Probolus? O ye of little faith. You bet there is.
This ask may seem small, but listening must be the first step toward systemic change. Members of Congress should listen to the opinions of their female constituents and prioritize the legislation that they ask for. Organizations should listen to their female employees about what policies would be most helpful to support their personal and professional flourishing, and then take active steps to enact those policies.
Wow. This is mind-blowing, world-altering work right here! How could ‘Puter have been so simple? It’s so apparent to ‘Puter now that all animals are equal, but female animals are more equal than others! Congress should prioritize women’s wishes above all other matters before them. Why? Because Ms. Probolus says so. After all, women are more equal than men.
Corporations should ignore shareholders and profits, instead turning the workplace over to women to run according to their whims. Need a menstrual day off? Sure, no problem! How about 18 years of paid leave to raise your family? Sure! No problem! After all, women are more equal than men.
“There can’t be any problems left for Ms. Probolus to solve,” you think to yourself. You’d be wrong. Follow me down the rabbit hole into the diseased, fascistic mind of a dedicated feminist.
Social media should regulate online platforms to safeguard women against harassment and to ensure that their voices are heard. Our legal system must figure out how it can listen to women, particularly in cases of rape. And it needs to respond to women whose identities exist at the intersection, listening to the nuances of what it means to be injured because one is both a woman and black, a woman and queer. Listening will not solve inequality. But progress is impossible if men can’t hear women.
Men’s free speech? F*ck it. Stupid men just abuse it anyway. Let’s deplatform and cancel the bastards! We’re going to force people to pay attention to women online! Marketplaces and robust debates are for chumps! Men have two options. First, men can accept us feminists cramming our program down their subjugated throats (which is totally not mind-raping, you sexist hater!). Or second, men can be destroyed. See? We women are offering you men choice. You get to pick!
And rights of the accused? Fuck ‘em. Due process and the presumption of innocence are archaic concepts. Show trials with predetermined outcomes are where it’s at! China and Russia are models of efficiency! Can’t you see how their justice systems benefit women? We need to replicate those here, run solely by women, of course.
Did Ms. Probolus mention men will be required to accept any old thing the LGBTQI+ community wants to foist on them, no matter how delusional or harmful? She didn’t? Well, guess what, dickheads? Either you accept completely irrational, made up shit, including gender reassignment hormone therapy for 5 year olds or you’ll be liquidated. Erm, reeducated. Definitely reeducated. Forget the whole liquidated thing.
All you idiots have to do is listen – really listen – to Ms. Probolus and she will usher in a workers’ paradise!
Do you wonder what Ms. Probolus’ capper to her totally-not-insane-plan-for-world-domination-and-oppression-of-men is? Boy, ‘Puter sure does!
Identifying and vilifying hateful, sexist men is easy. It’s a lot harder to tell the men in our lives who support us and love us unconditionally that they, too, are part of the problem. I hope that they will listen, and I hope that they will change. If The New York Times can do it, perhaps its male readers can, too.
Yay! After Ms. Probolus and her feminist death squads liquidate reeducate all the male haters and losers, it’ll be easier to force the weak beta men to obey. It’s amazing what the threat of death reeducation can accomplish!
And women? Do women have any responsibility here? Newp. Not a one. Ms. Probolus assures us that it’s all men’s fault. Women bear no responsibility for any of their actions or beliefs.
Now listen up, Ms. Probolus. ‘Puter’s got a brief response to your well thought out, totally not ripped right out of Stalin’s handbook plan. Are you ready? I want to make sure you’re listening – really listening – to what I’m about to say.
You can take your hateful, totalitarian agenda and fuck right the fuck off, you un-American bitch.
* We tell Czar that Presidents Day is Czars Day since he hates constitutional republics and loves brutal dictatorships (and himself). It’s easier than listening to Czar rant for the entire weekend about burying America while pounding his shoe on the table.
** ‘Puter does not fully (or even partially) understand what an appropriate amount of vajjing-up would be for the NYT’s daily letters page. Is there a Vaj-o-meter which measures it? So many questions.
Ms. Probolus is a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in the Division of Medicine and Science. Ms. Probolus received her PhD from George Washington University and her undergrad degrees from Smith College. She was a Fulbright Scholar.
Ms. Probolus seems to check all ‘Puter’s mental boxes for “probably a screaming near-commie leftist.” PhD level academic? Check. Fulbright Scholar (too bad she couldn’t get the Rhodes Scholarship like Rachel Maddow and Pete Buttigieg)? Check. Undergrad degree from a hard-Left feminist college Smith? Check.
But perhaps Ms. Probolus isn’t a screaming, crybullying leftist. We should give her the benefit of the doubt. Let’s look a bit deeper into her background. What else has our intrepid culture warrior been up to?
She has served in a leadership capacity at the George Washington University as the Chair of Equity and Inclusion in American Studies Department’s inaugural Graduate Student Association and as an organizing member of Graduate Students United!
Oh. Ms. Probolus was the Chair***** of Equity and Inclusion in the grad students association. ‘Puter’s fairly certain that’s not a position one gets for being reasonable and rational on issues like race and gender. Or quotas for that matter. It’s pretty much the exact opposite of reasonable and rational.
And what’s that Graduate Students United!****** thing about? Oh. “SEIU Local 500.” It’s a union. Ms. Probolus unionized grad students. Definitely the kind of person who would think that merit should govern transactions, not connections, genitalia, misguided and dangerous political ideologies, or thuggery.
Maybe Ms. Probolus’ worldview isn’t hard Left. We should check. There’s still hope ‘Puter’s completely wrong about her being a proto-communist. Let’s look at what she says about herself.
Broadly, my work focuses on the history of education, race, gender, and political economy in the postwar era. As a social and politician historian, I privilege the voices and ideas of non-expert over expert actors.
Oh. ‘Puter’s not a bright man but he knows that “race, gender, and political economy” are code words for “closet Marxist.” ‘Puter’s also pretty sure someone who “privilege[s] the voices and ideas of non-expert over expert actors” is definitely a not-so-closeted Marxist.
It sure appears we’ve got enough evidence to place her firmly on the godless commie ideologue side of the ledger but just for the sake of being thorough, let’s check Ms. Probolus’ dissertation.
My dissertation, Separate and Unequal: Gifted and Talented Programs in Boston Public Schools, 1950–1980, studies how parents, educators, activists, and social scientists mobilized ideas about race, gender, and intelligence in the postwar era to separate students on the basis of “ability,” reinscribing segregation in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education.”
The project makes two key contributions to postwar U.S. history. First, I argue that gifted and talented programs both reflected and contributed to the decline of liberalism during the Cold War by reframing public education as an individual right as opposed to a social good. While other scholars have explored the role that battles over school integration played in the retreat from state services, less attention has been paid to how programs for gifted students fundamentally impacted the public school system and informed this larger decline. I reveal how a new, overwhelmingly white, urban middle class used merit to secure the best educational opportunities for their sons and daughters while foreclosing those same opportunities for students of color.
Um, godless commie ideologue status confirmed. Not merely confirmed but confirmed in carved stone tablets God gave to Moses on Mt. Sinai confirmed. Working class wypipo who believe America is a place which rewards hard work and merit are bigots. Meritocracy in classroom placements is end-running Brown v. Board of Education and reintroducing racial segregation. Believing a founding principle of this nation – namely, meritocracy – is racist and damned generation after generation of poor minority kids to crappy education and probably drug addiction and a life of crime as well, you hateful, oppressor wypipo bastards! Meritocracy’s going to “put y’all back in chains” according to Democrats’ favorite serial child and wife molester, Joe Biden. At least ‘Puter’s pretty sure Handsy Uncle Joe said that.
Man, ‘Puter’s gone way farther afield than he intended. ‘Puter figured he’d be well into Ms. Probolus’ letter to the NYT editors telling men to shut the f*ck up, sit the f*ck down, and obey our commie feminist betters (or else) by now.
Seems like a good time for a break before diving into Ms. Probolus’ letter in depth. This will give ‘Puter a chance to go get a second handle of rotgut scotch since this one’s nearly empty now.
It would also be a good time for you to go take a gnarly, bowl-coating, Presidents Day dump. Go ahead. ‘Puter’ll wait for you. And pray for you.
See you on the other side.
* OK, she’s probably not bad. Definitely wrong though. Like Paul Krugman level wrong.
** Ms. Probolus would probably want ‘Puter to refer to her as Doctor Probolus or perhaps Kimberly Probolus, PhD. Ms. Probolus can f*ck right off. Unless your degree starts with M and the next and final letter is D, you don’t get called doctor.***
*** ‘Puter will admit dentists with their DDS degrees can also be called doctor but ‘Puter knows most dentists aren’t that uptight about it unlike far too many PhD holders.****
**** Mrs. Joe Biden and media can go f*ck themselves with a barbed wire wrapped baseball bat soaked in salty lemon juice for insisting on calling her Doctor Jill Biden. The woman has an EdD which is basically a participation trophy for people who want the cachet of a doctoral degree without the effort. It’s the short-bus version of advanced degrees.
***** Not Chairwoman or Chairperson, just a literal piece of furniture because MUH JENDUR KONSTRUX!!1! or something. To be fair, based on ‘Puter’s life experience, Chair is an apt descriptor for people who run most of these far-Left causes. They’re not that bright and easily ignored in most areas of their lives. Referring to yourself as “Chair” is a cry for help.
****** The exclamation point lets the reader know that Graduate Students United! is super-serious and will not suffer oppression lying down! The reader will intuit members know chants and are willing to occupy the college president’s office so long as there’s no physical or career risk to themselves. Super. Serious. People.
Over the weekend, ‘Puter sat down and read the Sunday New York Times.* In the Sunday Review section, the editors wrote a love-letter to women who write letters to the editor titled “Women, Please Speak Out.”
‘Puter considered synopsizing the letter but decided his minions couldn’t fully understand ‘Puter’s larger point without getting a sense of the utter raft of steaming, po-mo, SJW horseshit the NYT editors have become. Let’s take a gander.
A year ago, prodded by a reader who wrote eloquently about how women were underrepresented on the letters page of The Times, we started the Women’s Project, aiming to correct that imbalance and better reflect the diversity in society. We committed ourselves to work toward a goal of gender parity and to report on our progress in February 2020.
Barf. Lazy writing written for lazy people who are unable to think beyond nonsensical tropes media force-feeds them. Read on, if you dare.
For the last year, we have tracked and entered into a spreadsheet the gender of every writer we’ve published on the daily letters page. As of today, the tally is 43 percent women, 57 percent men — numbers that have remained remarkably constant for several months. While we do not have exact data from previous years, we do know that there are now far more women on the page than in the past.
We have also done spot tallies of the much larger number of submissions. There the percentage (when a writer’s gender can be determined) is about 25 to 30 percent women, about the same as a year ago, before the project started.
Got it? The NYT editors decided the daily letters page needed to be vaginaed up, filling a gaping void so to speak. Naturally, the editors instituted a quota just like the communist sympathizers they are.** Penises need not apply. Make letters snatch-tastic again. Letters are cooter-iffic!
On we go, dear minions, voyaging ever-deeper into the fever swamps of “elite” media minds where normal predilections and preferences of the sexes are prima facie evidence of societal oppression of women.
Over all, though, we’re not satisfied yet. While there was a small uptick in letters from women right after we announced the project, we still sometimes find ourselves struggling to ensure that women’s voices are heard on a wide variety of topics.
At the project’s one-year mark, we’re reaffirming our commitment to working to reach gender parity. But what was reinforced by this project is that our letters pages are richer for this new collection of voices — and it compels us to broaden our efforts further, to ensure that we are publishing a range of letters from an even more diverse pool of writers going forward.
The NYT’s editors placed a daily burjina quota on the letters page but women didn’t respond! Women are too stupid to realize they’re oppressed by white, male bigots! How dare women not validate the NYT editors’ pet theory! Do women not realize that they’re obligated to resist Not-Our-President Orangemanbad by whining (two times, real hard) on the NYT’s daily letters page?***
The NYT’s policy of daily letter set asides for women is not only insulting to women, it’s self-destructive.
It’s insulting to women because it tells women they’re not good enough to get their letters published without super-woke media elites putting their thumbs on the scale. It’s the editors’ soft bigotry of low expectations for women writ large.
It’s self-destructive because it destroys the NYT’s (currently undeserved) reputation for being a top-quality news and opinion outlet, America’s alleged newspaper of record. It’s the editors admitting they’re dumbing down the quality of its daily letters page by selecting on the basis of genitalia rather than the quality of the submission.
If the NYT admits it lowers its allegedly high standards for submitted letters to publish to push its political agenda (the aggressive enbewbification of letters to the editor), has it also lowered its standards for reporters and reporting? Does the NYT’s political agenda bias its coverage of events to the point that it is no longer a reliable source of facts? Are readers supposed to assume that everything in the NYT is false because its reporters aren’t hired for competence but rather because they check some race, sex, or sexual preference box somewhere in some HR executive’s tiny little reptilian brain?
Trump hasn’t destroyed media as media are wont to claim. Trump’s simply pulled back the curtain to reveal the decades-long rot and decay media’s inflicted on itself.
* Shut up. It’s Mrs. P’s subscription, not mine. ‘Puter subscribes to the totally awesome Wall Street Journal like all good white male oppressors. Now get that cute ass back in the kitchen and make ‘Puter a sammich, Sugar Britches. ‘Puter likes to watch you walk away. While you’re at it, drop a few pounds, put on a shorter skirt, lose the bra, and put on a skin-tight sweater, Tits McGee.
** The New York Times has still not returned the Pulitzer it won for the work of Walter Duranty who history showed (and the NYT likely knew at the time) used his articles on the Soviet Union-occupied Ukraine to cover up Stalin’s starvation of millions of Ukrainians (aka, Holodomor). Thus, “communist sympathizers” is a well-deserved (and earned) moniker.
*** The NYT daily letters page is what you would get if you took the zanier, more conspiracy theory-er moments of Morning Joe and The View and wrote them down. Since Trump’s election it’s been a nonstop circle-jerk of crybullies who hate the 63 million Americans who voted for Trump over Meemaw Winebox.
Doc and GorT chat about TV, streaming, and movies with one of our favorite minions, Darthie (@Darth_Mommie on Twitter)
Kicking off season 3 with another rendition of Ask the Gormogons
Your Czar is concerned with your health, and naturally has asked his Czarist Imperial Surgeon’s Office to prepare a bullet point list on how you can best protect yourself against the Corona virus, which is known as the Zombie Deer, Zika, Killer Flu, MERS, H1N1A, or more commonly, Ebola. Corona has now killed over 500 trillion people in your neighborhood today alone, particularly in the Americas somewhere. Do not be one of the statistics, and do not even read the statistics.
|Avoid places where Corona is known to congregate, such as door knobs.|
|If you see Corona on the ground, do not pick it up.|
|Avoid eating Corona or place Corona near your mouth. Under no circumstances should Corona be inserting anything up your nose.|
|Do not open the door for Corona. Do not believe its lies. If someone shows up at your door, even if it’s your sister, it could be Corona. Call the police immediately.|
|If Corona calls on the phone, do not attempt to engage it in conversation (especially if he has a Chinese |
|If you see Corona hanging around a playground or school, run out and scream warnings to the kids to get inside. Watching television is the safest activity for kids during this crisis.|
|If you see or hear anyone talking about Corona, it could be an invasion. Call the Army and tell them to start shelling. If you see something worrisome, say something worrisome.|
|Do not pet the mice. Actually, this is more true for the Hanta virus, but you can’t play it too safe.|
“As you read, your chest tightens and a sense of dread washes over you, radiating out from your heart. You feel anxious, afraid and intensely guilty.”
What’s this quote about? Biopsy results? Your 401k after an inevitable downturn? Your kid’s most recent report card? Nope. Read on.
“Just this morning, you drove a gasoline-powered car to work. You ate beef for lunch. You booked a flight, turned on the heat, forgot your reusable grocery bags at home. This is your fault.”
In her NYT opinion piece, Emma Marris* irrationally believes much of the American public is angst-ridden and self-blaming over the state of the Earth’s climate. To believe this, one must also believe two predicates: (1) climate change in the near term will make Earth uninhabitable and (2) all Americans are as deluded and as fragile as the author and other coastal elites.
Well, ‘Puter for one is absolutely anxious, afraid, and intensely guilty that he hadn’t yet considered that he should be anxious, afraid, and intensely guilty about climate change. What’s ‘Puter to do?!? OH NOES, TEH AYNGST IZ TEH OVARWELLMIN MEEEEE!!!
But our author is nothing but helpful. She reassures us:
“As an environmental writer, I’m often asked for guidance on coping with climate change. I have thoughts. Even better, I have a five-point plan to manage the psychological toll of living with climate change and to become part of the solution.”
First, “[a]s an environmental writer” could’ve just as easily been written “as a giant douchenozzle with totalitarian tendencies and irrational beliefs” and been equally correct.
Second, thank God for Ms. Marris. Imagine what we’d have had to do if not for an environmental writer (whatever the heck that means) helpfully coming up with a five-point plan to solve a non-problem, just like leftist heroes Elizabeth Warren and Josef Stalin. Wait. Stalin and his merry band of Soviet murderers had five-year plans. Close enough.
Anyhoo, what does Ms. Marris’ five-point plan entail? As one would suspect from an “environmental writer,” a whole assload of government control and reduced freedoms. Here’s Ms. Marris’ five points with some helpful ‘Puter commentary:
1. Ditch the shame.
“Yes, our daily lives are undoubtedly contributing to climate change. But that’s because the rich and powerful have constructed systems that make it nearly impossible to live lightly on the earth. Our economic systems require most adults to work ….”
It’s not your fault because big, bad one-percenters made it impossible for you not to pollute. Clearly, the solution is to exterminate the one-percenters to usher in a global green Utopia. It’s not your fault. The game is rigged. You’re programmed to believe that your consumption is the problem.
“It turns eco-saints against eco-sinners, who are really just fellow victims.” It’s not just you who are a victim. Everyone you know, everyone you meet, everyone ever everywhere is a victim! “As long as we are competing for the title of ‘greener than thou,’ or are paralyzed by shame, we aren’t fighting the powerful companies and governments that are the real problem.”
FITE TEH POWAR!! STIK IT 2 DA MANN!! EET THA RITCH!!! FREE BLEEDIN IZ KEWL!!!! Um, that last one, ‘Puter got a bit carried away. Sorry.
Also, it’s totes criminal that you’re required to work to earn a living. People should just give you free crap because Oregon and stuff. Say, where’d ‘Puter leave his bong? Must’ve left it in my Portland-based sweat lodge which is just a refrigerator box filled with nekkid, greasy, bearded homeless guys.
2. Focus on systems, not yourself.
Ms. Marris states we cannot reduce our climate change contributions to zero and even if we could it would eat all our time, “leaving us little time or energy for pushing for the systemic changes we need.” ‘Puter would’ve gone with “big, structural change” as an homage to hard-Left’s secular saint Sen. Liz Warren, noted Native American spokes-squaw.
Ms. Marris shares that she’s decided to fight the system by fighting against a natural gas pipeline, liquefaction facility, and LNG terminal in her home state of Oregon.** She states 42,000 people submitted comments to a state agency requesting it deny the necessary permits. This means that if the permits are denied, each person, according to Marris, gets climate indulgences equal to one-forty-two-thousandth of the facility’s emissions which would have occurred, about 876 metric tons per person. This compares to the average annual per person emissions of 16 metric tons.
I’d be interested to know if these 42,000 people also get credit for the hundreds if not thousands of lost jobs in Oregon and elsewhere by putting the kibosh on a valuable economic enhancement. And if we’re going to do the math, Ms. Marris should also include the increased emissions for coal and wood burning overseas (likely in China and India) where the LNG would have been exported, reducing the need to burn dirtier fossil fuels. Want to bet preventing the LNG export terminal’s construction is a net emissions increase?
The author’s point, she helpfully tells us, is:
“that the climate crisis is not going to be solved by personal sacrifice. It will be solved by electing the right people, passing the right laws, drafting the right regulations, signing the right treaties — and respecting those treaties already signed, particularly with indigenous nations. It will be solved by holding the companies and people who have made billions off our shared atmosphere to account.”
So elect hard-Left enviroweenies, trust in other countries to run our economy for the good of Gaia, and surrender your freedoms to those who know better than you (Ms. Marris’ compatriots, natch).
That’s a formula for success right there. It’s historically proven to work well in such paradises as the former Soviet Union, China, North Korea, Venezuela, and California.
3. Join an effective group.
First, there’s no such thing as an effective group. Second, joining a group accomplishes nothing. Ms. Marris cites several groups, none of which seem to have accomplished much of anything except offering a place for puffed-up leftist egos to go and talk to like-minded climate change induced dementia patients in a never-ending echo chamber.
The Swedish Climate Meatball is mentioned. ‘Puter did not feel it necessary to point out the absurdity in Ms. Marris’ claim that exploitation of an autistic child is a good thing because muh climate.
“Climate change is linked to income inequality and injustice, so if your passion is fighting for racial justice, the rights of the poor, or indigenous rights and sovereignty, that works, too. Or you might volunteer for a climate-focused local or national political candidate.”
You can meet this prong of Ms. Marris’ unfucking your fucked-up head plan by voting. Voting is something you’re supposed to do anyway. Perhaps Ms. Marris means voting only for candidates of whom she approves. In order to cure yourself, you’re required to cede all powers and freedoms to Ms. Marris and her ilk. That seems reasonable.
Totally not a cult.
4. Define your role.
This prong is “everything within the group, nothing outside the group, nothing against the group.” It’s a catchy phrase but it sounded better in the original mid-20th century Italian.
Lest you think Ms. Marris requires your absolute subservience, think again! Truly, she is a most benevolent Duce Fuhrer leader, concerned for her slaves minions fellow travelers:
“Take care not to overdo it at first and risk burning out. Set a sustainable level of involvement for yourself and keep it up. As a bonus, working with a group will increase the richness and diversity of your personal relationships, and may well temper your climate anxiety and depression.”
Only Ms. Marris can help you recover from your climate anxiety and depression. You should probably see her for an audit in which she’ll use an E-reader to rid you of your engrams so you may become cleared and an operational environmentalist.
Hey, Ms. Marris invented Scientology!
5. Know what you are fighting for, not just what you are fighting against.
‘Puter considered spending additional time and words to tear apart Ms. Marris’ last point but her own words do such a good job of discrediting her as a serious person, he decided to let you read them yourselves:
“As we fight, it is important for our mental health and motivation to have an image in mind of our goal: a realistically good future.
“Imagine dense but livable cities veined with public transit and leafy parks, infrastructure humming away to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, fake meat that tastes better than the real thing, species recovering and rewilding the world, the rivers silver with fish, the skies musical with flocking birds.
“This is a future where the economic inequality, racism and colonialism that made decades of inaction on climate change possible has been acknowledged and is being addressed. It is a time of healing. Many ecosystems have changed, but natural resilience and thoughtful human assistance is preventing most species from going extinct. This is a future in which children don’t need to take to the streets in protest and alarm, because their parents and grandparents took action. Instead, they are climbing trees.”
BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD, OR ELSE YOUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN WILL DIE IN A GIANT, GLOBAL OVEN OF YOUR MAKING! YOU ARE ENVIRO-HITLER EXTERMINATING YOUR KIN IF YOU DON’T AGREE WITH MS. MARRIS! OBEY HER!
And while you’re at it, buy Ms. Marris’ book so you can virtue signal to your hippie friends and quote from it to shame your backwards, hick relatives you abandoned back in Flyover Country to make your way in the enlightened, totes cool coastal enclaves.
Ms. Marris’ piece cements many Americans’ opinion of the climate change cultists. They are narcissistic, weak-willed people who want to use government force to destroy jobs and limit freedoms in order to enter the promised land of a world where the Earth warms slightly less and everyone’s equally poor and miserable.
Most normal people want no part of the world Ms. Marris and her ilk wish to foist upon them. And Ms. Marris and her ilk are too stupid, too power-hungry, or too brainwashed to realize it.
Heed her words and act accordingly.
* Ms. Marris is the author of “Rambunctious Garden: Nature in a Post-Wild World” which sounds like a story about hippies refusing to tend their commune’s weed patch after their Cat Stevens’ Greatest Hits 8-track broke.
** Did I mention Ms. Marris lives in Klamath Falls, Oregon? Because of course she does.
At least, we think you did. Perhaps hope is a better word.
Anyhow, the Gormogons are pleased to announce Season 3.0 of our award-not-winning-or-remotely-nominated podcast series is about to start production.
This season promises even more episodes will be added to our library, available to your left on the side of the screen. The Czar doesn’t mean we’re doing more episodes per season, but when we’re done with the third season, the sum total of all episodes will have increased over where they were last year.
So you can expect more information, fun, chaos, and rambling hilarity pretty soon. Check out Twitter, where you can submit questions for us to answer. If you’re not a Twitter-type, you can always send the Czar or GorT an email (we check ours, unlike the others) and we’ll include your question in our show. Our addresses are to the left as well.
But first, a little behind-the-scenes: what goes into making a podcast?
Basically, we record stuff, edit it, and post it.
The hardest part? Getting ‘Puter to read his email. Seriously, he may not even know he’s working on this. It’s pathetic.
For many years, GorT has been advocating that we need to improve our teaching of Civics in our schools. Never is it so apparent as during Presidential campaign season when we get to witness sitting Senators completely forget that they are in the legislative body of our federal government and promise one legislative act after another as part of their Presidential platform – many over-reaching, in my opinion, the bounds of the federal government. It typically ranges from various budget initiatives* and immigration practices to protection laws and taxes.
Kate Hardiman pens a great opinion piece in the Washington Examiner tackling the new Fairfax County (VA) policy allowing students in grades 7-12 to miss “one partial school day per school year” (not sure what defines a “partial school day”) in order to participate in “optional civic engagement activities”. Civic engagement is not defined by the policy so it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out. She makes great points:
She concludes by arguing that it would benefit the kids to have the schools focus on civics rather than supporting them missing school in the hopes that it could unite Americans above the divisions that current protests exacerbate.
If Fairfax County (or other school districts) want to allow this, I’d stipulate a requirement that any student participating in it must pass a comprehensive civics test appropriate for their school grade. And by this I don’t mean simple civics stuff. If an 8th grader is going to go attend the “March for our Lives” (supporting additional gun laws), then they should demonstrate a knowledge of the 2nd Amendment, the process by which Amendments to the Constitution occur, how laws get passed, an overview of current gun control laws, etc. in addition to general knowledge of the roles and responsibilities laid out by the Constitution for the three branches of government.
Have the school districts really thought out about how the kids will cover missed work and learning? Probably not. As a knee-jerk reaction, I’d guess they would say the students are responsible for determining what was missed and what they have to make up. So these students turn to their peers who attended for help. Now, the students who stayed in school and used the taxpayer’s money effectively and for its designated purpose, have to help those who missed to attend (or not) some political event that the students in school either didn’t agree with or weren’t allowed to attend. Maybe the school and teachers will feel for these students and go easier on them for missing class – setting up multiple standards for those who attend vs. protest. Imagine if a student is absent to protest something the teacher personally opposes – think that’ll go smoothly and without bias?
As an example, the Volgi, ‘Puter, and GorT attended a high school in the Washington DC area. The religion department our senior year decided that the class should take a field trip to witness the protests around the U.S. policies regarding the Contras in Nicaragua near the Capitol. As it neared, a number of students (rightly) pointed out a few things: (1) our presence at the protest could convey the support of our school (as many of us would wear school-logo/name clothing) for the protest – is the official policy of the school that we are in support of it? (2) a number of us were not in support of the protest and felt like this was coercive, (3) really, many in our class didn’t fully understand the full context of the political situation. As a result, and in some respects to the credit of the school, some students stayed home, many attended, and a few of us (‘Puter and GorT included) were told to sit in the library during the half-day “field trip” and write an essay about the Contras situation. GorT penned an essay (as did others) about why the field trip was coercive and wrong. Upon reflection, at least one religion teacher expressed an understanding that it might not have been the best idea and admired the students taking different stands on the event.
Civics matters. Far too many Americans are ignorant of how this country works – or more accurately, is supposed to work based on our foundational documents and laws. People should easily be able to discern Presidential campaign promises (from either side) that are legislative duties – and then go ask, “if these are priorities, why didn’t they champion them in Congress where they are sitting now?”. People should understand who controls the federal purse-strings and how that gets done – and why government shutdowns are solely the fault of Congress not the President.
But sure, let’s have our students miss more educational time and go marching around cities, waiving posters and signs, or sit at home for half-a-day playing X-Box. As GorT, Sr. has pointed out, American education is where it seems we aim to get the least for our money.
* Yes, I know the federal budget process starts with the President submitting a proposed budget to Congress but that budget is a request from the executive branch – Congress goes thru (or should go thru) a whole budgetary process where the President’s budget is, essentially, tossed out.
The Internet has a lot of useful things, but as we all know, it has a lot of nonsense as well. While that indeed is obvious, even reasonable people can—from time to time—get lost in trying to determine which is which.
A common theme we see on social media is the mistaken belief that Nazis fall on the right end of the American political spectrum. A great many sites attempt to correct this information, but generally fall into two categories: outlandish rebuttals that resemble spittle-flecked rants, or overly long and bone-dry lectures featuring just a little too much German to be quickly understood. This brief essay attempts to provide a quietly analytical resource for people of all political opinions but presented in a simple and straightforward manner.
Were the Nazis on the Left or Right?
If you are an American, the Nazis were technically on the political left, for reasons we will explore in a moment.
If you are from Europe or Asia, the answer depends on your sociopolitical outlook. We’ll explore that, too, in a moment.
Were Nazis Socialist?
The word “Nazi” is an abbreviation for the full name of the party: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, which means the National-Socialist German Workers’ Party. The Nazis embraced socialism and placed it prominently in their name. Were you to ask a Nazi of 1922, 1934, or 1945 if he or she were a socialist, that person would agree immediately.
Yes, Nazis were socialist, and repeatedly and insistently said so.
A fair amount of retroactive spinning has landed in the last few years that attempts to question this. Even the Snopes.com page spends a good portion of its answer wiggling out of this simple explanation. The problem with a lot of this 21st Century analysis is that it uses current definitions of socialism to dispute the idea, rather than using the ideas in use at the time. Socialism and communism were not new ideas in the 1920s, but they were a lot better understood then, than 100 years later.
And more interestingly, most of the current explanations attempt to explain why today’s socialism is not the same socialism embraced by Nazism, instead of asking the more pressing question: why did the Nazis call themselves socialists? We will address this more in a little while.
Aren’t Nationalists Associated With The American Right?
Nationalism—the idea that the country comes first, before party—is frequently used by both the right and left in this country. Roosevelt certainly liked the idea of putting the country’s needs first, as did Trump in his 2016 campaign. But while the Nazis undoubtedly felt similarly about Germany, that’s not the root of the word they used!
Instead, the Nazis wanted to nationalize their socialism (as a verb), in the way that some governments have nationalized industries, healthcare, and education. The Nazis were the outgrowth of some local labor movements that banded together and nationalized their organization.
The fact they were ardent nationalists certainly helped popularize the idea that nationalism is a bad thing, but it is essential to remember that both ends of the political spectrum use nationalism, and generally for good. As the Nazi’s version of nationalism became unquestionably horrific, politicians in this country were quick to push the idea that “nationalism” is bad, to any degree.
This isn’t unique to either side: just as Democrats attack Republicans for nationalism about immigration, so too will Republicans recoil from Democrats’ talking points about nationalizing healthcare.
In short—the word nationalism is neither good nor bad, and neither attributable to the Left or Right by itself.
Does National Socialism Mean The Same Thing As Modern Socialism?
Earlier, we mentioned that a lot of contemporary sources paint complicated pictures, attempting to separate socialism from what the Nazis were doing. Many of these sources are journalists and reporters and aren’t historians or economists. The latter group are pretty well agreed that the Nazis were socialists.
But—and here is the issue—it’s the 21st Century who define socialism incorrectly. For a huge number of people in the world today, socialism refers to a democratically-elected welfare state, such as Denmark, or Britain’s Labour party, or Greece. These governments are in fact capitalist with structures implemented along socialist lines. As a result, modern writers frequently attempt to redefine what socialism is, rather than clarify how the Nazis viewed it.
The list of things that made the Nazis socialist is quite lengthy: they had socialized medicine, education, a centrally managed military with law enforcement powers, nationalized industry, restrictions on free trade, free speech, and association, central economic planning with price and wage controls, government-run media (including newspapers, radio, movies, and even television), a strong welfare state, and on and on .
Many European governments have these things, too. If that makes them socialist, then fine; however, you cannot have these things and dismiss the Nazis as socialists without seriously stretching the ideas of Marx and Engels.
If Nazis Were Socialist, Why Did Nazis Hate Communists?
Sooner or later, the discussion comes down to this question. Nazis engaged in a bloody battle against German communists; the Soviet Union, as well, battled the Nazis to an even more hellish level. The reason, many people believe, is because the Nazis were capitalist and therefore hated communists, and vice-versa.
The Nazis and German communists were each made up of socialists, although with a few differences. Both were opposed to the free-trade and libertarian principles of the Weimar Republic, and both recruited heavily from the same disaffected population of people hurt by the worldwide depression. They were two flavors of socialism, in head-to-head competition.
Due to the seeming success of the Soviet Union, the Nazis were often on the losing side of recruitment, and quickly stepped up an aggressive policy of discouraging the disaffected population from joining the communists. In 1927, the Communists had superior numbers in the German government, but were still forced to share power with the Nazis. On February 11th of that year, the Nazis staged a presentation in the Communist Party’s meeting hall, and provoked the communists in the audience. Nazi thugs in the crowd injured more than 200 of the communists, starting a long history of violence between the two groups; the Nazis, however, won the public relations campaign and saw their numbers swell.
As an interesting side note, the Soviets were instrumental in promoting the idea that, whatever Nazism is, it isn’t socialism. The premise that Nazis can’t be socialist because they attack communists goes back as far as 1928, with the Communist International declaration that non-communist socialists (that is, the Nazis) were effectively capitalist, as a direct result of the violence in 1927.
The Nazis hated the communists all right, but not because they were anti-socialist; they hated the communists because the communists had more power in government until the Nazis used violence against them.
So Why Do People Put Them On The Right?
Many Europeans place the Nazis on the Right, but not because they don’t know their history; they put them on the Right because this term has a different meaning in different places!
In America, the “Right” tends to be socially and fiscally conservative, which means classically liberal (or libertarian). The “Left” views government as having a major interest in protecting and improving the lives of its people, which means liberally progressive. This distinction is rapidly spreading through Europe, as well.
In traditional European political thought, dating back to the French Revolution, the Right tended to favor the establishment (the monarchy), and the Left promoted limited government. This notion spread rapidly through Europe. “Left” versus “Right” depended on the physical location in which you sat in Parliament.
Hence, the term “Right” tended to favor beliefs of a strong, central executive power, while the term “Left” was associated with a classically liberal worldview. Often, Americans tend to think of this European model as reversed, but it really is not. Many Europeans still using this model put the Nazis on the Right due to fascist control and would place Americans as a whole on the Left because of the Constitution.
The terms “Right” and “Left” became current in America in the 20th Century but we apply them quite differently than mid-20th-Century political historians. A socialist in America is invariably placed on the Left; a libertarian is on the Right.
When Americans began seeing Nazis referred to as being on the Right in European analyses, the assumption was made that Nazis, as fascists, must be like conservative Republicans. In fact, regardless of what one thinks of conservatives or Republicans, the Nazis would certainly have opposed them, and would have found much more common ground with the American Left. But before liberals become outraged, read the next question!
Why Does This Matter?
In some respects, it doesn’t matter at all: the Nazis were their own thing, and whether they met the goals of Marx or Engels or anyone else is immaterial—the Nazis had a peculiar and distinct ideology that was so perverted that any approach they took was a bad one.
However, reasonable people do not want to be associated with Nazis; as a result, the faster you can distance yourself from Nazism, the better. Fortunately, the only people who want to be associated with Nazis are, well, Nazis. Unfortunately, political groups mistakenly want to go further than this and associate their political rivals with Nazis. As a result, Americans on the Right and Left are quick to point a finger at the other side and declare them to be Nazis on a tiresomely daily basis.
Unless the other side is made up of actual Nazis, this probably is a bonehead approach to political expression. Keep this in mind: the Nazis would hate the American Right, and they would just as surely hate the American Left. Hate them. To the point of trying to kill them equally, which indeed happened between 1941 and 1945.
But while it’s politically wrong to misuse the term either way, it’s especially wrong (technically and historically) to refer to the American Right as Nazis. It reveals a profound lack of historical knowledge and misunderstanding of socioeconomic theory.
Wow. The Czar got some actual mail the other day, and for a second, he had to check the date, as it’s been a while since anyone has sent anything. Fortunately, it was from Operative B, who had this to say on the Czar’s recent comments on the economy.
There is a phenomenon in the tech industry known as the “silver tsunami” or “gray tsunami”, which is defined as the impending and permanent departure, through either retirement or other means, of highly experienced and extremely capable senior engineers. This is not the same as the departure of financial managers, bankers, or other paper-hangers. It is a serious problem that currently has no solution.
It’s really simple: learning hardware design and engineering is hard work. Learning embedded software design and engineering is hard work. Learning firmware design and engineering is hard work. And all three skills are needed to turn out the highly complex and advanced systems that are needed to drive economic, commercial, and industrial productivity.
There’s a reason that all of these new technological wonders seem to be coming from companies located offshore: Americans became too lazy to spend the time to learn how to do the “hard stuff”. America is now reaping the seeds it planted by making it easier to go to a college or university, spend years in a curriculum leading to a useless “skill” while partying and protesting, and then feeding and clothing those graduates while they work as baristas at a local Starbuck’s.
Your friend who complains about not being able to find forklift operators is right, but for a reason he may not realize. For far too long, the “elite” have disdainfully looked down on anyone without a college degree from an ivy-league school. They use terms like “just a plumber” or “just a carpenter”, and then wonder why they can’t find someone to fix their pipes or re-hang a door
Some of us have spent decades advocating for a dual-track educational system: university and trade. In truth, a trade provides far more job security than a university degree in financial management. Plumbers, carpenters, mechanics, roofers, dental hygienests – these folks are needed all year long and all the time. They sometimes earn more money than some of the “professionals” and are in much higher demand: when you need a plumber, you need a plumber.
But to work in the trades, you have to put down your smartphone and pay attention to what you’re doing. You have to put someone else’s needs ahead of yours. Look at American K-12 schools, and you see more emphasis and attention to social and emotional “needs” than in teaching the skills needed to become functionally independent. When these children graduate from high school, they neither have the skills nor the emotional maturity to begin productive lives. Fewer and fewer students are entering STEM curricula because it’s hard, and too many of those who do enter STEM studies end up dropping out.
This is not wrong, but the Czar might quibble on the reason you can’t find a forklift driver: the simple reason is that they’re just not out there. They’re gone. We use to have a stockpile of people who could indeed do these things, as they weren’t particularly employable. But the economy is expanding so quickly that even these resources are dried up. They’re dried up because they’re all working.
This is of course a minor quibble, because (a) otherwise, Operative B is right about the priority of our resources, and (b) the explosive growth of Amazon and Wal-Mart have seen forklift drivers specifically skyrocket in demand.
Believe it or not, this was not foreseen. The Czar admits he was sympathetic to the Obama administration’s assumptions that these blue-collar jobs were gone, and simply were not coming back. However, Trump seems to have sputtered the manufacturing sector back into a flicker of life, and suddenly, yes, these jobs are needed again. And after 8 years of Obama and 8 years of Bush writing off the manufacturing world, yeah, we kind of agreed that kids should be looking elsewhere. Well, these jobs are back—and the workers? Well, they went elsewhere.
If you’re like most Americans and are fortunate enough to have a 401(k), you probably noticed that it’s gone up by $2.6 million dollars for every hundred you have invested in it. The Czar exaggerates, of course, but returns right now are crazy-high. Some of you may be able to retire early enough to enjoy the fruits of your labor. The Czar isn’t sure, because the Gormogons don’t have 401(k)s; we simply give GorT a couple of bucks, and he travels back in time to 1740 and deposits our cash in a high-interest savings account at Drummonds in London.
Anyway, your investment strategy probably varies from ours.
The Czar knows a lot of people in all walks of life; for example, he happens to know a handful of professional recruiters—who do not (as far as he is aware) have any knowledge of the other. Two, in particular, say similar things: unemployment is ridiculously low.
One of these recruiters despises the economy; as a partner in a recruiting firm, he is seeing his revenues plummet to historic lows because he can’t find good candidates. Many of his clients are long-done with trying to find CEOs and CFOs: he’s desperately trying to find forklift drivers and mail-room workers. There are none to be found. He told us that he joked to a business owner that perhaps the candidates would need to be “active felons,” to which the owner shrugged and asked if he could manage that. The owner was serious.
Alas, when he is lucky to find a candidate for a client, there’s no guarantee the candidate will stay. He’s had some quit after a couple hours…because another recruiter call the candidate on his cell and offered more per hour.
Another recruiter we know said, at this point, if he calls a candidate at home and that candidate answers, he’s inclined to hang up immediately: if you can’t get a job in this economy, there’s probably a reason no one will hire you and he’ll quickly determine what you’re problem is.
That last one is not quite fair; as we said, we know a lot of people. Some of them are not working right now, and are hurting financially. The reasons are not because they’re ding-dongs, or drug-addled, or window-lickers; indeed, they seem to have some elements in common: they are in their 50s or 60s, worked in the financial sector, and became specialized in their jobs. Unless you can code a financial app in Python for a major website and are willing to work 60 hours a week without ever leaving the office, there’s not much room for you. Some of our acquaintances have been looking, actively, for months, but once you’re past 40, the financial world has little desire to meet you. The Czar will vouch for these folks: they’re trying incredibly hard to get back to work, but can’t get a second interview once the new Millennial bosses see candidates who could be their dad.
Despite these pains, overall the economy is running pretty smoothly despite media hopes, much as we predicted. And while the Dow is a terrible indicator on which to rely, it shows American industry is much stronger than it has been in years.
During the most-recent Democratic debates, we heard a lot of talk about “Economic Justice.” We had to research that phrase to find out what it means. And it means what you think it does: Democrat millionaires need taxes raised on the middle class to shift the burden away from, well, Democrat millionaires. Whatshisface Yang says, despite the increase in salaries and lowered taxes, Americans aren’t doing as well as they’d like in this economy.
True: if you’re a 50-something financial expert trying to find work in the world of Internet banking, or if you’re an executive recruiter trying to find a commission that will keep the doors open another week, things aren’t great.
But if you’re a forklift driver or mailroom worker, you might be enjoying opening your monthly 401(k) statement right now.
If you’re glancing at the usual news feeds, doubtless you’re aware it’s the End of All Civilization Ever, because random-coiffed Boris Johnson’s Tories defeated the Labour Party of Jeremy Corbyn—the latter being a neo-Leninist, terrorist-kissing, anti-Semitic homophobe, making the former the racist because he’s not in the Labour Party.
The usual news feeds are telling you this election is all about Brexit, and how every time they hold the same freaking election on the same topic, oddly it keeps tilting more in the direction the media don’t want it to go. If you’re an American, which our blog stats tell us most of you readers are, your reading of the UK elections is pretty limited to “Racist jackass with stupid hair inexplicably beats reform-minded, popular working-class hero in order to take Britain’s economy to the Dark Ages.”
You can already guess the Czar is about to take you in a different direction. You’re correct.
The news story is this: Britain’s “party of the working man” has embraced as many goofy Leftist tropes as possible, promising a wealth of free services to the younger generation, for which only the extremely wealthy upper percentages will pay. In exchange, the British economy—despite showing no signs of recession but every indication of increasing cash flow for the average person—is going to be corrected by locking it into a regulation-heavy system of government control.
If that sounds familiar, it should. If it doesn’t sound familiar, substitute “America’s” and “American” for the words in red, and you’ve got the same message the Democratic candidates are pushing for 2020.
The biggest difference is that the Brits got to vote earlier than we did, and the result as a tremendous trouncing of Leftist lunacy. Not only did Brits reject the Leftist vision, they did so in a landslide.
Another important factor: headlines are screeching that voter turnout was down from 2017. This is true, but here’s what the Leftist media is not telling you: the voter turnout is down by only 1.5 percent over 2017—and 2019’s voter turnout was 67.23 percent.
That means two out of three registered voters came out to tell Labour to get bent. In America, 61% voted in 2016. This is significant because an old rule of political science is that anytime voter turnout goes above about 60%, the voters are pissed off. Lower turnouts indicate complacency. In 2016, Americans voted mostly to keep Hillary Clinton out of power; reason enough, it seems, to be a tad angry.
But British turnout is a bit of an exclamation point.
What’s more, Labour lost 7.8% of its vote share overall, which is a landslide defeat. Constituencies across the country, some of whom have been progressive liberal since the 1930s, flipped to conservative. To put this in perspective, this would be like Boston voting for Trump. In short, Labour didn’t lose—it was severely crushed.
While this is all paper hats and Christmas crackers for England, this can easily serve as a bellwether for America’s 2020 election. Of course, there’s still almost a year left before Americans vote, which is plenty of time for Republicans to drive their party wagon right into a tree. But if the elections were held today, especially with swing-state voters increasingly annoyed with the Democrats in recent weeks, it’s pretty certain Republicans would hold the presidency and Senate.
So what happens next for Britain? If history is any guide—and it is—we can expect two things.
First, the British economy will begin to reform as it did under Margaret Thatcher, and Brexit will result in the UK become a world economic player again. Tax loads will lighten for the economy’s drivers, and general unemployment will go down. Unions will suffer terribly, and consumers will benefit from reduced prices on goods and services, as well as see incomes tick up.
Second, the media will report, as they did under Thatcher, that the economy is terrible and stagnant under all this “austerity.” Britain will become the laughingstock of the world, particularly among countries led by the Left, and everyone just hates Boris Johnson. He’s awful, for sure, and horror stories will abound about individuals or very small groups of people you don’t know slightly suffering under the new economy. Everything will be his fault. And he’s racist. And hates women. And basically, he hates anyone who voted for Labour in the past. And Brexit was a mistake and we all told you so, but you didn’t listen.
The Czar is continually amazed at how vilified Margaret Thatcher remains in British popular culture, even though by nearly every measure, she was one of Britain’s greatest leaders. Boris Johnson can expect the same treatment; let us hope he remains “not for turning,” as Ms. Thatcher did.
‘Puter pointed out this thread on Twitter earlier today and given the nuances of Twitter, some of our followers couldn’t read it. While someone posted images of it back to Twitter, I reached out and @Popehat agreed that I could post a copy here. So the following is the content in its entirety.
I’ll repeat a point about how the law treats your lies very differently than the government’s lies, because the IG report about the Page FISA warrants shows why it’s important. The law is very strict about your lies and very lenient about the government’s lies. When the government lies in a warrant application, a defendant can challenge the resulting evidence through a Franks motion, named after Franks v. Delaware (1978). But the standard is very generous to the government and harsh to the defendant. A defendant must show that the government’s lie or omission in the warrant application was (1) intentional or reckless, not just negligent, and (2) material. (1) is hard enough to prove in a system where judges tend to take the word — and lame excuses — of law enforcement. But it’s (2) that is the real trick. In the Franks context, to be “material,” the lie or omission has to change the result. In other words, if the omitted information were added, or the lie deleted, the remainder of the information has to be insufficient to get the warrant. The problem is that the standard (usually probable cause) is so low that it tends to be easy to meet even with the lie deleted or omitted information included. So it’s rare for even a blatant lie or deceitful omission to be material, and thus overturn the warrant. Now let’s talk about what happens when you lie to the government. We’ve seen plenty of lying to the feds cases recently — usually under 18 USC 1001, false statement to the federal government. That crime also requires a showing of materiality. But a different materiality. In the false statement context, “materiality” doesn’t require the government to show that your lie made any difference, or deceived anyone. It just requires a showing that it’s the kind of information that could possibly influence the course of the government’s decisions. Hence your lies are criminal even if the government knew they were lies and they made not a second’s difference, but the government’s lies escape consequences unless they were actually determinative of the question. Every criminal lawyer knows this, it’s been the case for many years, and very few people give a shit. And so the system grinds on, noticed only when it catches up someone on our team.
Courtesy of @Popehat on Twitter. Link to tweet
The Supreme Court of the United States, which is apparently an illegitimate entity since it was taken over by Donald Trump, is going to hear a Second Amendment case arising from the state of New York. This is interesting to the Czar because, as far as he can remember, every time the Court hears a Second Amendment case, the result is a landmark decision.
At issue is whether the City of New York can restrict its citizens from transporting firearms outside of a few, select locations such as gun ranges or hunting spots. This, as intended, limits how and where citizens of the city can carry firearms. That this is even in question is a surprise to the Czar: the law in unfair and benefits no law-abiding citizen, instead placing unnecessary and unwarranted restrictions. Frankly, this isn’t even a typical infringement issue: it’s a bizarre law that serves no practical purpose beyond hassling people. Were the City to replace “firearms” with “toasters,” the law would still be silly.
As you expect, lots of the usual people are freaking out about this. In some respects, they should: in the last couple of decades, each time a municipality attempts to place a surprise restriction on firearm owners, the Supreme Court winds up striking down a few other existing restrictions as well. In other respects, gun-control proponents should not be surprised: the Supreme Court has taken a dim view of gun control even when dominated by liberal justices. Our two most-recent justices were not present on the Court when the last few Second Amendment cases gave gun owners very welcome surprises.
Already, congressional Democrats and media sources are attacking the legitimacy of the Court, pointing fingers at the NRA for somehow controlling the Court’s decisions over the last twenty years. In the Czar’s view, this trend of pro-gun-rights decisions has nothing to do with the NRA, but in the Supreme Court’s growing intolerance of government overreach. Every decision on the Second Amendment seems to revolve around passage of a law that’s designed to extend a middle finger to law-abiding citizens, exploiting a word or phrase in the Court’s previous decisions to underpin a new restriction. This sort of stuff is exactly how the Court fights back against the contempt people show it.
The final decision should reach us in May, 2020, but the Czar already has a pretty strong sense of what the decision is going to be. What he doesn’t know is what else the Court will do to punish New York City for wasting its time.
Are you a citizen?
No, not you. Your friends, family, and acquaintances who insist that “borders are only lines on a map.” Are they citizens?
These are the kinds of questions that vex ‘Puter late into the evening as he downs Sterno shooters sitting in his dusty parlor clad only in his smoking jacket and panda fur slippers.* ‘Puter likes to sit in his parlor and contemplate the dusty, rotting, rat-eaten wedding cake which dominates the room’s Victorian decor.
“But ‘Puter,” you protest, “Of course my family, friends, and acquaintances are citizens!”
Not so fast. Work with ‘Puter here.
If borders are only lines on a map, there’s no nation of which to be a citizen. Further, if illegal aliens are just as entitled to be present in America as citizens, then what meaning does citizenship really have? Surely citizenship has lost most if not all its meaning when governments cannot exclude noncitizens from entering a nation.
Thus, if we are choosing to ignore citizenship, America should be allowed to deport *anyone* as punishment for *any* crime. After all, you have no more “right” to be in America than an illegal alien and no less.
Hey, Aunt Bertilda. If you and Gertrude, your spouse, are driving home tonight and get pulled over for DUI, welcome to the Democratic Republic of Congo! America’s got no space for criminals like you. Good enough for poor Africans, good enough for you. I’m sure Chad’s government and populace will warmly welcome Gertrude and you and afford you all the rights and protections America does. After all, borders are just imaginary lines and Western ideals prevail everywhere!
And cousin D’zhawhn (pronounced “John” (he’s named after his grandfather who spelled his name properly and is probably rousing from his grave to grab his M1 Garand and beat some sense into this hippie-spawned whippersnapper)), enjoy Laos when you get arrested protesting capitalism at your $75,000 a year school your dad pays for with the heavily taxed income he earns as a Wall Street investment banker! I’m sure you’ll adjust just fine to a communist regime which as you never tire of telling us all is far superior to capitalism. Since you’re already a vegan (obnoxiously so as all vegans are) you’ll love the local cuisine of grass sammiches on tree bark bread.
It’s only fair. Unless, of course, your no borders position is liberal virtue signaling and you haven’t thought it through fully if at all.
Now finish your apple pie and get the f*ck out of my house, hippies.
See you at Christmas!
*For those new to the blog, ‘Puter is solidly Team No Pants.
**Also, suck it, Czar.
Let’s just get to the questions you want answered in life: what’s the difference between a bar, a tavern, a pub, and a saloon?
A lot of these words are interchangeable, especially in the United States, so it will likely surprise none of you intellectuals who suspect there’s obviously some difference to warrant different words for what is degenerating into the same thing: a dark, noisy place jammed full of skanky IPAs, mis-sized flat-screen televisions showing college basketball, and some annoying group trivia game not asking sensible questions like “What’s the difference between a bar, a tavern, a pub, and a saloon?”
Here we go.
Bar—’Puter’s bar exam is the only bar he’s ever passed, and interestingly, the words are related: they’re both short for “barrier,” or a railing over which things (drinks or legal documents) can be served. In court rooms, it became the gate that separates the audience from the court proper, but in drinking joints, it became the long table on which you put your drinks. But, metonymy being metonymy, the piece of furniture became the name of the place. Technically, a bar can exist inside a restaurant, a catering hall, a night club, or dance hall; it’s a thing, not a place…unless you simply call the building it’s in a bar as well.
Tavern—This is the oldest business listed herein: the word itself is a mispronunciation of the Latin taberna, which in Italia was any kind of a store or retail shop, but was also the word for a place go get intoxicatus/a.
Pub—As most of you probably know, “pub” is a shortening of the phrase “public house,” which meant a licensed drinking establishment open to the public. Indeed, there is an oppositive to this: “private house,” or a bar open only to private members. If you run a pub in the United States, you are expected to serve food as well; while this is common in the United Kingdom or Ireland as well, it’s not assumed to be the case. Frankly, the number of exceptions either way is about the same: there’s a bunch of “pubs” that don’t serve food.
Saloon—Okay, this is an interesting one. Remember up there, a few seconds ago, when the Czar explained that a bar is the counter where you set your drinks? A saloon is the rest of the place: the booths and tables where you can sit and converse, maybe eat and play cards…while, you know, drinking. The word comes from the French salon, obviously, which was a sitting room. So, if you think about it, a tavern can have a bar and a saloon in it. But just as “bar” became the name of the place, “saloon” also became the name of the place. Only a pedantic snob like the Czar would say “Shall we sit at the bar, or in the saloon?”
Gin Mill—obviously, this is slang, but it’s good slang because a person first hearing it can figure out its meaning immediately: a mill is a place where stuff is made, and gin is a spirit.
Beer Hall—Finally, something the Germans can contribute: the Bierstube! The great thing about this phrase is that it means how it sounds: a really big room dedicated to beer. Picture a real Oktoberfest (and not a fake), and that’s a beer hall.
Inn—Well, there’s no doubt about this. An inn is a place where you can stay the night. Maybe you can get food. Maybe, if they have food, you can get a drink, as well. In olden days, inns basically provided you a bed and that was about it; however, as the concept of the motel popped up during the pilgrimages to the Holy Land, inn owners needed to compete. Rather than let you and that precious denarii slip out the door, imagine if your inn sold not just a bed, but food and booze? The more your guests ate and drank, the greater the likelihood they’d want to stay the night. Modern inns rarely offer beds and drink. But both types of modern inns honor this tradition by (a) serving liquor or (b) stealing your money out of your pants pocket while you sleep in your room.
Lounge—Does anything sound worse than a lounge? Picture carpeting, worn furniture, and a guy hopped up on Viagra trying to convince some bar fly that he can still drive his ’78 Corvette. But in reality, “lounge” is a word that serves multiple functions: when the saloon became the name of the business, lounge replaced it for the area with the tables. In a public or private house, the lounge is where the tables and comfy chairs were to be found. And, in hotels and motels (and inns!), the lounge was the seating area adjacent to the bar. It’s a really useful word; one supposes that since “lounge” has become the name for an establishment, we’re going to need another word to replace it for the section of a tavern with the tables and chairs. “Parlor” is our pick. What’s yours?
Tap—Ah, more metonymy. Many of your around the country are unfamiliar with the use of “tap” to describe a tavern, but it’s been around a long time. And not just in the States. In the Chicago area, the Czar remembers fondly the Hilltop Tap, which sat on the apex of one of Chicago’s rare hills. He never drank there, but recalls the Lorchowicz brothers stumbling out of there and their many misadventures, including one (true) story of one brother falling into his car and snapping off the radio antenna. Rather than properly fix it, he widened the hole and stuck in a doorknob as a replacement. Evidently it worked, as he continued for some time to drive his beige 1972 Dodge Aspen with a doorknob jutting up from the passenger side front fender.
At this point, impeaching Donald Trump is little more than an obvious media stunt.
Although polls show that quite a few Americans support his impeachment, there’s a little reminder about polls that should pause anyone zealously hoping this means something: a little more than half of Americans who answer polls are Democrats. Of course they favor impeachment.
The Czar bases his claim on the fact that the majority of polls are conducted during the day, when more Republicans are at work or at dinner. Additionally, more Republicans don’t rely on home-phone landlines. This means that people who are at home during the day to answer a landline are Democrats. Ergo, you have a disproportionate number of Democrats responding to polls. The Czar, incidentally, isn’t making that up: it’s something pollsters seem to know.
The Czar would love to see the results of a poll targeted almost specifically at Democrats. This polls would consist of two basic questions:
Of course, you know the answer to both. But we would be willing to bet a small number of dollars that a large swath of Democrat voters would honestly think that, if Trump were impeached, Hillary Clinton would become president. To them, and this explains a lot of the zeal, an impeachment is a constitutional do-over. The fact of a President Pence or, failing that, a President Pelosi are more likely than a President Hillary Rodham Pufnstuf—who isn’t within a million miles of the chain of succession—doesn’t seem to temper the impeachers’ enthusiasm.
The media do not seem to be interested in instructing them, either, even though they would benefit nothing from a successful impeachment and ousting of President Trump. That’s, of course, because the media love hating on Donald Trump. At last, they have what they crave: a bad guy who in responsible for everything they don’t like.
Then you have the Democrats themselves. “High crimes and misdemeanors,” which we hear once a week now, is increasingly like a nuclear fusion: something that’s always coming next year, regardless of which year you’re in. By the time you read this, there will be a whistleblower claiming a new allegation about the President that just…won’t…seem…to…work.
Not that there’s any risk of an actual impeachment. Democrats who are actually old enough (which is quite a few, of course) to understand how impeachment works are well aware of this. That’s why Speaker Judge Judy Pelosi keeps changing the subject or downplays the idea when asked. While the under-30 Democrats are clapping their hands and do believe in fairies, they aren’t actually old enough to know how this works. Here’s how the actual impeachment would go:
The House would vote to impeach (not narrowly, but by no means overwhelmingly). The Senate would not even bother considering a trial. Dead in the water. Done.
Plus, an investigation would be disastrous. You probably think that all this nasty stuff would be uncovered about Joe Biden. You possibly think that an awful lot of bad things would be revealed about President Obama. What you may not think: that a larger percentage of Americans think you’re correct. Yep: here’s a poll you won’t see—how many Americans solidly believe that Biden and Obama are linked to the Russia-tampering nonsense. Oh boy, that’s not zero.
One of the unspoken reasons for the Democrats’ refusal to charge forward with an impeachment is because the truths uncovered would be worse for them than for the Republicans. Why else are so many Republican politicians wanting to go forward? They have a pretty good inkling of what would happen to the Democrats, and they can’t freaking wait.
And here we are: the realization, increasing among many, that the Trump impeachment story is largely theater for the benefit of very few. So why do it? Because following the humiliation of the 2016 election, which nags at Democrats every single day, the straw to which they cling is Impeachment. A straw, incidentally, that they erroneously believe will put Hillary Clinton back in the White House.
For those of you not following us on Twitter (@Gormogons if that’s not obvious), ‘Puter is sick (again)…man-sick…by which I mean, he is home sitting on the couch, complaining that he’s going to die, while watching TV and tweeting. Dying. Right.
Anyway, he cooked up, what I would assume is, some pretty good chicken soup. Coincidentally, GorT had Thai Red Curry on the menu for Mrs. GorT and I tonight and while eating it I thought, “man, this would fix ‘Puter up really quick”. A number of followers asked for the recipe – it’s pretty easy.
* I would make coconut rice to enhance the flavor – replace ½ the water the rice recipe calls for with coconut milk. You may need to extend the cooking time slightly.
Your Czar is concerned with your health, and naturally has asked his Czarist Imperial Surgeon’s Office to prepare a bullet point list on how you can best protect yourself against the Zombie Deer virus, which is known as the Zika, Killer Flu, MERS, H1N1A, or more commonly, Ebola. Zombie Deer has now killed over 500 trillion people in your neighborhood today alone, particularly in the Americas somewhere. Do not be one of the statistics, and do not even read the statistics.
|Avoid places where Zombie Deer is known to congregate, such as door knobs.|
|If you see Zombie Deer on the ground, do not pick it up.|
|Avoid eating Zombie Deer or place Zombie Deer near your mouth. Under no circumstances should Zombie Deer be inserting anything up your nose.|
|Do not open the door for Zombie Deer. Do not believe its lies. If someone shows up at your door, even if it’s your sister, it could be Zombie Deer. Call the police immediately.|
|If Zombie Deer calls on the phone, do not attempt to engage it in conversation (especially if he has a Cervidine or Haitian |
|If you see Zombie Deer hanging around a playground or school, run out and scream warnings to the kids to get inside. Watching television is the safest activity for kids during this crisis.|
|If you see or hear anyone talking about Zombie Deer, it could be an invasion. Call the Army and tell them to start shelling. If you see something, say something.|
Each morning ‘Puter stops at a McDonald’s near his office to pick up a steaming hot cup McDonald’s decaf.* Three creams, no sugar. Get it right.
Nearly every day the same woman takes ‘Puter’s order and gets ‘Puter his coffee. She is unfailingly kind, upbeat, and smiling. Too kind, upbeat, and smiling for 6:30 AM. Her name is Patty. Patty is rail thin, has long, mostly gray hair pulled back into a ponytail, and crooked teeth that only make her smile more charming. Patty is probably somewhere between 60 and 65 years old.
When ‘Puter takes time to think about it, ‘Puter is amazed at Patty. Here is a woman at retirement age (or darned close) who shows up each morning for an early shift at a job many would consider beneath them. She does her job exceptionally well and without complaint. She radiates self-confidence and happiness. Patty cannot be making nearly what she deserves.
‘Puter thanks Patty every day and talks to her a bit, about her weekend coming up, about where she was last week. ‘Puter wishes he could do more.
Patty is the face of millions of workers across America today. A good person working a difficult job for low pay and doing the best she can. ‘Puter figures the least he can do is to say thank you.
So, thank you all of you working difficult jobs which don’t pay you what you deserve.
Thank you, Patty and all the other fast food workers like you. You give those of us in “better” jobs perspective.
Thank you, people who pick up my trash, treat my sewage, and provide me clean water. You have saved more lives throughout history than all the doctors and surgeons combined. Suck it, Doc.
Thank you, moms who sacrifice careers and higher living standards to stay at home to raise (mostly) well-adjusted kids. Your kids will do great things.
Thank you, moms who go to work each day because they can’t afford not to and raise (mostly) well-adjusted kids. Your kids are no less likely to do great things no matter what guilt-trippers tell you.
Thank you, good teachers at every level. You may never fully know the enormous impact your life’s work has had on America.
Thank you, office workers. You work stressful jobs and make your bosses look good whether they appreciate it or not. We see you.
Thank you, cops. Those of who just want to do your jobs, not hassle anyone unnecessarily, and go home. We appreciate you.
Thank you, religious leaders of all stripes who work with vulnerable populations to make their lives better. In doing so you make the entire country a better place.
Thank you, public defenders. You do a job that many people hate you for doing. In defending poor criminals, you’re defending all our rights.
Thank you, truck drivers and railroad workers. You do a dangerous job invisibly so that we get our food, clothes, and other consumer goods seamlessly.
Thank you, oil and gas workers. From wellhead to refinery to pipeline to city gate to point of sale you power the country. Without your work we’d be sitting in the dark eating cold canned beans.
Thank you, farmers and farm workers (all of them, even the illegals), whether dairy, livestock, hard crops, or perishables. We don’t think about all the hard work, know-how, and time it takes to put a meal on our plates.
Thank you, manufacturing workers. You produce all the goods we use every day and take for granted, from cars to appliances to apparel.
Thank you, coders. Sure, some of you rat bastards are overpaid. But many more of you toil in thankless anonymity for relatively low pay. Without you, none of our electronics would work as well as they usually do.
Thank you, soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and coasties. You literally put your lives on the line for our nation every day.
‘Puter knows he missed thanking a lot of people. But it’s a start.
*Shut up. ‘Puter’s doctor made him quit caffeine. He hasn’t had caffeine in probably 10 years or so. Do you want ‘Puter’s hear to explode? ‘Puter thought not.
A lot of people make a big deal about open-heart surgery, especially those undergoing it, but in fact it’s quite easy to do, the Czar figures. Think about it. The heart’s always in the same place, it makes itself pretty easy to find, and everybody’s heart is pretty much like any other. How hard is this? Our own Dr. J. performs a bunch of these every day, and he doesn’t seem particularly put out by it.
Let’s take an example. Say you know somebody who’s got a bad ticker, maybe because their heart is three sizes too small, or they’re super-old, or maybe they just hang out with ‘Puter and the Czar and can’t keep up with the alcohol and hot wings. Probably, at this point, you’re thinking “heart transplant,” and without even bother to research this for a second, the Czar say’s you’re right. Let’s do a transplant.
First thing, you need a patient to operate on, because they’re no point doing open-heart surgery unless you have one of these. So go get one. We’ll wait.
Got one? Great. You know, the Czar probably should have said you should make sure he’s got a bad heart, but frankly (for purposes of instruction) this doesn’t really matter.
Second thing: you need a donor. Doing a transplant with only one person is a waste of time, as well. You could do it, one imagines, by taking it out and just putting it back, but… no, wait! That’s an excellent idea! Instead of a messy heart transplant, and you going to have to thump some second doofus in the back of the head only to find out his heart is even worse than the first guy’s, the Czar has just figured out how to do a heart transplant with one person. Read on. This is even easier than you think. Probably, even easier than the Czar thinks.
Okay, so your patient needs to be sedated. You could try the expensively traditional route, with anesthetics, but that stuff is hard to get. Plus, the Czar thinks you need to know how to use them, as too much or not enough is going to cause trouble. Therefore, stick to the less-expensive, less-complicated methods: tequila works well, or you could just swing an elbow into the side of the guy’s head, about an inch or so above his ear. If you’re on the smaller side, like Mrs. GorT, you might want to swing a couple of times to make sure he’s out and not faking. Frankly, we’re not sure why you’d want to fake being unconscious during open-heart surgery, but people are sure funny, you know?
Now, let’s say you got that down and your patient is out cold. Get a decently sharp knife and open up that chest. Move any ribs that are in the way. Ribs, by the way, are easy to find: they’re the ones going left-to-right. If you see them stacked up, top to bottom, that’s the spine and the Czar is very sorry, but you’ve open him up on the wrong side. Flip him over.
All right. By this point, you’ve got his chest open and there should be a lot of blood. This can make the heart hard to find, even if you knew where it was to begin with (hint: it’s in the center of the chest). Fortunately, the heart makes its location known by pulsing (what doctors call “beating”), often quite dramatically. You need to find it quick, because it won’t be beating long. Because of the blood, you might have trouble seeing it, so just reach into that pool of blood and feel around. It’ll be obvious once you do, so don’t make a big deal about this.
Remove all the connections to heart with your knife. Be advised, there are quite a few. Maybe only two, but some of these could be nerves and stuff so try to pay attention to what you’re cutting. When that’s over and done with, you simply lift the heart up and out of the pool of blood. Be ready, because there may be even more blood coming out of it. Pretty much that’s all the heart does, is dump blood on everything. Science does not know why.
Once the heart is up and out of the chest cavity (does that sound technical, or what?), wring it out. Try to get all the blood out. There may be some buttery stuff inside. If there is, you definitely want that out, so get out as much of that heart butter as you can. Also, you definitely don’t want to eat that. It may look like ear wax, but it’s really quite nasty stuff that was almost certainly responsible for his heart being bad.
If you don’t find much butter, well, he probably wasn’t that sick, so that’s on you. Either way, don’t fret too much because it’s probably good to just clean it out anyway. Maybe a couple times a year.
When the heart has been cleaned, you may notice it’s stopped beating. That’s not reason for worry, because remember you just unplugged it a couple of steps above. Put the heart back into the chest, as best as you can remember it looking, and reattach all those connections. Remember to get this right: there are definitely inputs and outputs, and maybe some nerves. You want this to be as close as possible to they way it was, because pretty much all those connections do important things.
Almost certainly, you should see the heart begin beating on its own again, due to the big nerve being connected. This is truly a miracle of nature. But you’re not done, yet! Because, as it stands, you have a patient with a huge hole in his chest. You’ll want to do something about that if you expect him to get up again and start walking around.
Fortunately, this is pretty straightforward. Put back and ribs you took out (they’re all pretty much the same, so don’t spend a lot of time monkeying with this), and pull the edges of the big cut you made together. Doctors will spend a lot of time and money with stitches, but they’re all on the take to begin with. Time is of the essence here, so just a couple of really wide strips of masking tape or, if you have it handy, duct tape. Just tape the wound closed until the bleeding has mostly stopped. In a few days, or maybe a week at most, that wound should heal up and the guy can just peel the tape off himself. It’s probably better if he does it, himself, especially if his chest is really hairy.
Not surprisingly, that’s all there is to it! You’re now a qualified and experienced cardiovascular surgeon, which is pretty sweet. The Czar may have left a step out (pretty sure we got it all, though), so Dr. J. can easily fill in any details or minutiae in a subsequent post. If you don’t see a subsequent post, well, that’s because we got it pretty much right the first time. And that’s awesome.
Today’s guest post comes from a long-time contributer, Dr. (KN)J, who is of course no relation to our own Dr. J., because, really that would be horrific for the former. Dr. (KN)J, for example, understands math, but he does not wish to be known as “the mathematician who writes those sad horse stories,” so keep that in mind as he does exactly that.
|Sometime around 2002, I started a search for a horse – we were “sort of empty-nesting” (a long story in itself), and I had always wanted a horse of my own. I had grown up riding, but always rode someone else’s horse and never had my own to train myself (for good or ill). My wife said that her farrier’s mother had a 3-year-old Quarter Horse gelding that she was willing to sell. He was basically trained as a trail horse, but mostly he just had such a calm disposition and a willingness to please that it seemed likely that he could be trained in any of a variety of ways (except, probably, for racing). I went to check him out, rode him on a trail for maybe 15 minutes and concluded, “I think we will get along just fine.” I’ve been right before, and I’ve been wrong before, but looking back, I have never been more right than with that prediction.|
For the next 17 years, Cowboy’s Jazzy Wonder (“JW” hereafter) and I rode Indiana corn fields and forests, then Texas pastures and woods together. He taught me to be a much better rider, and I taught him that, when I was on his back, he didn’t need to worry. Don’t get me wrong – he was not a panicky horse, he was just reluctant to do new things. Eventually, though, he understood that if I was aboard, I wouldn’t lead him to anything he couldn’t (or shouldn’t) do. I had a code word for this: “cohomology.” I told him early on that, as a mathematician, I knew what that meant but he didn’t. As far as he knew, it might be important in deciding whether something was OK to attempt or not, so, since he didn’t know what it meant, he should just listen to what I wanted. (Aside to the reader: cohomology has nothing whatsoever to do with anything we were doing, but, as I explained to him, he didn’t know that).
He was always a terrific horse with an inexperienced rider: most horses, if they are confused by what a new rider is cuing them to do, will become agitated and panic, causing a dangerous situation. JW’s consistent response to this sort of thing was simply to stop and look around for something to eat. Irritating, perhaps, but not dangerous. This led him to be the mount of choice for many, many children and novice adults visiting us.
An experienced rider, however, would usually find him a pleasant (if somewhat lazy) mount. On the other hand, for me, he would do anything. The only limit was whether or not I could figure out how to make it clear to him what I wanted to do. In some of the big, open cornfields of Indiana, I found out that actually he could really run (and enjoyed it). He needed a large space to be comfortable opening up, but he truly had a spectacular top speed. When we had enough room to run, I didn’t usually have to remind him about cohomology, but if we were crossing water or bridges or logs across trails, I might need to do so. Just a reminder was enough.
As he got older, his knees became arthritic, gradually degenerating to the point that he was in constant pain, despite the best treatments modern veterinary medicine has available. I hadn’t ridden him in some time, but it became clear that even walking around to eat and drink was horrifically painful for him. The only reason I was hesitating to do what needed to be done was that, selfishly, I knew how much I would miss my partner and friend. One morning, after his spending the night in his favorite pasture and seeing the sun rise from the highest point on our property, he started a slow, painful walk back toward the barn for breakfast. I had to lead him through a circuitous but fairly level path through the woods because the slightest downhill grade had become excruciating for him. As I got back to the barn with him, I knew that he couldn’t make that trip again, so I made the call that needed to be made.
Later that day, he managed to hobble to near where we needed him to stand, and as the vet needed him to take one more step forward to be positioned safely, I whispered into his ear, “Good-bye, old friend. Cohomology.” And he took the step.
‘Puter’s an early riser. He routinely wakes between 04:30 and 05:00 without the assistance of an alarm. He loves the wee, small hours of the morning when the whole wide world is fast asleep. ‘Puter often uses this time to walk for an hour or more around his little Upstate village. ‘Puter treasures his pre-dawn walks, especially at this time of year. Especially at this time of his life.
This time of year, the darkness lingers a bit longer each morning as if the sun, like Mrs. P, struggles to shake off its sleep and fights the temptation to remain in its warm bed just below the southeastern horizon.
Some mornings ‘Puter can see his breath fog in the crisp, dry air in the oddly orange glow of the streetlights. ‘Puter sees his brash rabbit friends doing brash rabbit things. ‘Puter wonders where the fox and her kits which roamed the neighborhood earlier this year have gone. ‘Puter startles a large buck, somewhere between 8 and 12 points. Its tail goes up and ‘Puter watches the massive beast disappear into a neighbor’s bushes.
During ‘Puter’s walk, the sky slyly transforms from inky blackness to midnight blue, from midnight blue to periwinkle, and, just before the sun peeks over the sky’s rim, from periwinkle to burnt orange.
Geese move overhead, low and slow, complaining loudly to one another as they gather before leaving town for warmer climes. The geese remind ‘Puter of local old people huddled together in diners at this early hour, talking loudly to each other about their winter plans in Florida.
The maples are losing some of their summer green turning a barely noticeable shade or two less vibrant, a prelude to their coming display of gaudy yellows, reds, and oranges. Nature’s starting its annual descent into death.
‘Puter walks on contemplating it all.
‘Puter thinks of his two boys, the youngest of whom he dropped at college this year. Tablet’s starting a new, adult phase of his life. Laptop’s preparing for graduation this winter and grad school next year. ‘Puter wonders how he managed to create two good, normal, functional young men. He decides it’s mostly Mrs. P’s doing. ‘Puter wonders what their futures will bring, what they accomplish, who they will marry. ‘Puter walks on.
‘Puter thinks of Mrs. P who’s preparing for a new school year, new annual cycle. ‘Puter frets about the new, empty nest phase Mrs. P and he have recently entered wondering when and if they will rediscover each other. He silently prays they will. ‘Puter wonders if Mrs. P is similarly worried. He resolves to ask her as he walks on.
‘Puter thinks of his father passing the time in a memory care facility blissfully unaware he’s unaware as the hours and days pass in an incoherent blur. Is Dad happy? Why won’t he die so Mom can be free? Dad’s already gone, God. Why do you let him live on? What are you trying to teach me?
‘Puter thinks of his mother dutifully visiting Dad each day. She spends hours with him. They seem happy together even though Dad has no idea who Mom is. Mom tells herself and everyone who will listen that Dad still knows who she is. Mom is lying to herself. Or maybe she knows something ‘Puter doesn’t. They sit together, Mom talking and Dad listening. At least he seems to be listening. Dad can’t really talk much anymore. Just short, nonsensical phrases. And yet Mom is there every day, uncomplaining, happy, caring. Is this why Dad lives, God? Is it so I can see what true, Christlike love is, what it means, and what it does?
‘Puter thinks of his recent 50th birthday, grimly realizing he’s likely lived more than half his life. What is he going to do with what time he’s got left? What difference has his life really made? What difference can he still make? Is there time? ‘Puter wonders.
A car passes. ‘Puter snaps of his contemplation.
The sun has risen. ‘Puter is home. He walks up his driveway and into his house, picking up the plastic-bagged newspaper en route, burdened with more questions and fewer answers than when he left.
“Politics is war by other means.”—any Democrat since 1968
It’s pretty clear the Democrats know they are handing Trump an easy re-election. The middle class, in particular, seems to really enjoy the economic benefits they’ve earned over the last three years. Many disadvantaged minority groups are finding themselves moving into the middle class, thanks to increased wages and record employment numbers.
A month ago, Democrats pushed the idea that their best bet in defeating Trump in 2020 would be his immigration policies. But polling rapidly showed that middle class voters felt the economy was too good, and they were probably going to re-punch Trump’s ticket.
Two weeks ago, Democrats were sure that gun control would be the winning solution to crushing Trump in 2020. However, again, the economy was just too good to mess with. Without the middle class on their side, Democrats had little hope in those polls showing urban and suburban communities would vote for Joe Biden. In fact, the numbers Hillary Clinton had at this point in the campaign were better than Biden’s, and well, they all remember what happened in 2016. Now add a strong economy to Trump’s voters, and things look grim.
If only there were a way to defeat Trump’s economic record. Early attempts to dismiss it as a Potemkin boon only benefiting the ultra-wealthy—you saw this in the Democrat debates—didn’t jive with the fatter paychecks lower class and lower middle class folks were finally depositing in parched bank accounts. Time for the Ultimate Weapon: in order to win the election, the Democrats would need to destroy the economy.
So, in late July, orders were issued from the DNC to start creating panic and fear in the voter’s hearts. Recession is coming! It’s almost here, the message went like some Game of Thrones fantasy (which is how an increasing number of voters understand politics). Within hours, the headlines appears on all the major outlets.
Just Google “economy beat trump recession,” and behold the hundreds of news articles warning voters that a recession is certainly coming, all written in the last two weeks.
Although a third of economists agree that a recession is imminent (specifically, those that vote for democrats), the other two-thirds might remind you that you can’t declare a recession until you’ve had at least two consecutive quarters of negative growth. It’s not like predicting a hurricane, where you can easily expect days of rain; it’s more announcing the Yankees will win two consecutive World Series. That’s a tough call.
We know this because we heard it from the Obama presidency all the freaking time. Remember how he repeatedly declared he solved the recession because there were a couple of non-consecutive quarters of slight improvement? Technically, he was right.
In truth, you can predict a recession if there’s a significant enough event—like the end of the Cold War, the housing crisis, September 11th, and so on. But the biggest reason you might see a recession in 2020—right at election-time, it so happens—is due to bond yield inversion, with Libra passing into the house of the moon, and a polar vortex pushing humidity out, or something. It’s basically theoretical nonsense.
But there’s an easier way to predict a recession: you manufacturer one.
And the media are great at this: they’ve done it before, particularly when a Democrat needs help.
This happened in the early 1990s. The end of the Cold War resulted in the Fed tightening money supply, the spike in the price of oil, and unemployment shuddering through the defense industry. But—we forget—this lasted only about three quarters, and things began to improve by the middle of 1990. By 1991, it seemed as if Bush could easily win re-election, so the media pumped out the R-word repeatedly, artificially lengthening its duration.
We saw it again in 2000. Popular memory seems to attribute this recession to the dot.com bust, the Y2K non-event, and the witches’ chant of bond yields (sound familiar). But the other Bush beat Gore, and by early 2001, the economy was back and happy again.
And again in 2003. There was a strong chance that Kerry might blow the election in 2004, especially with folks doing so well. Once more, the media rolled out their Recession taiko drums and began the rapid beat of terrifying voters. Remember this one? Chances are you don’t: the recession that preceded that election was not two quarters long, so it didn’t count. That one, too, was about a flux capacitor in the investment trust divestitures, or something.
Doubtless you readers can name other examples. But here’s a simple test to see if the media are driving the recession or if the recession is what economists would call a… well, a recession:
(a) Do you understand the reason for the recession?
(b) If not, it’s media-faked.
When the average person can explain to his or her family the cause, it’s real: a massive event occurred in the world, or in banking, or in international relations, and now everyone is suffering. But if the explanations about recession are about yields, or internal reserve tightening, or quantitative easing, or anything that makes your eyes glaze over, there is a solid chance the media is lying to you.
Look, the Czar isn’t saying that negative bond yield curve inversion isn’t a real thing. But if you don’t know what that means, what are the odds Antonio Spraytan on the Mass Media News on channel 5 knows what it is, either? If you can’t explain what’s causing a current recession, the media can’t, either. They’re making it up.
Tanking the economy is pretty easy if you control the message. The easiest way to destroy a good economy is to provide a recession. And the simplest way to do that is to scare the middle class into saving their money.
First, you’ll see predictions coming about how a recession is probably imminent. You’re seeing this now. One-third of economists agree (or, two-thirds disagree) that a recession is either imminent or long overdue. Some headlines might have subheads that we’re seeing “signs” of a recession, whatever those are. Technically, there’s only one sign of a recession: six-months of negative growth or more.
Second, which you’re starting to see, are checklists of how to prepare yourself for a recession. These are starting to appear. They’ll contain useless but obvious things like eating out less frequently, or vacationing closer to home, or stocking up on bulk store purchases.
Third, which should start in a few weeks, you’ll see vox pop interviews with people asking them how the recession is affecting them. Basically, assume there is one.
The idea is to create fear in the minds of the average person: maybe we shouldn’t buy that new car. Let’s not get that new washer and dryer. Let’s hold off on that Jamaica trip until next year.
Once that happens, it’s a matter of sitting back and watch what happens. Inventory for appliances, cars, and other major purchases piles up. Manufacturing slows down as supply increases. Bills are not paid on time. Layoffs follow. As the dominos spread outward to small businesses, more layoffs occur. Fewer bills get paid on time, so cash flows across the country wither and fade. Costs of groceries and gas go up. Real estate prices drop as inventory exceeds demand.
Eventually this all begins to correct itself—eventually, you will need a new car. You will have to take a family trip for a wedding or funeral. Someone will need to buy your house. And little by little, the country emerges from the recession—and if the media have timed it right, just when a Democrat gets elected.
It’s all about Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. There’s no actual trigger for these recessions—the real ones, like 2007, last for years. These smaller ones are intended to hurt the majority of American just long enough to switch to a Democratic vote. And that’s plenty easy.
A follower of ours on Twitter pointed out the awful immorality of such a move. Tanking the economy—hurting innocent people—just to win an election. But any Democrat will tell you that, hey, the Allies had to bomb Dresden to win the war. Or, as one of their intellectual leaders was rumored to say, sometimes to make an omelet, you gotta break a few eggs.
The Czar always suspected that grilling watermelon is a real possibility, and this weekend he took advantage of some old friends stopping by the dacha to do just that. Fortunately, the week before, one of the Czar’s neighbors introduced him to a grilled watermelon salad. The Czar is allergic to most fruits unless they’re cooked, and the neighbors thought this might be a safe thing. Look, the idea of mixing watermelon and onion together seems horrific, but the Czar caught a whiff of their concoction and was heartened enough to try. After a quick taste test, the Czar thought this was a knockout recipe.
There are a bunch of recipes on the internet for this, but here’s the one we did.
Basically, this is a mix of watermelon, onion, feta cheese, and balsamic vinegar, none of which sound like they should be combined together. It’s great because you can grill it up hours in advance and let it chill in the refrigerator as long as a day or as short as a half-hour, so you can squeeze this into your grilling routine.
|Your ingredients are olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a red onion, a Black Diamond watermelon, some pine nuts, and crumbled feta cheese. Try to get the Black Diamond as it’s usually seedless, inexpensive, and found in lots of stores.|
|Cut the ends off the onion and slice it vertically down the center, as you would for classic steak grilling. Discard any harder bits: you want the tenderest parts of the onion. Cut half the watermelon in to giant wedges. These are about an inch thick, in quarter-round pieces. Brush both sides of the watermelon and all the onion with olive oil. Put the other half of the watermelon away for the kids, later.|
Get your grill going to medium heat. We used gas, but this is equally good over charcoals (not pictured, but definitely verified). When decently hot, put the pieces right on the grill. See the onions? They’re up there, too.
|After about two-to-three minutes, flip the watermelon pieces over: check out those grill marks.|
|After another two-to-three minutes, the watermelon is done. The onion may need a little more, but the Czar put his over a known hot spot on the grill so these all finished up together. Total cooking time: five minutes.|
Look at that! The watermelon is evenly grilled on both sides, and the onion is nicely marked up and soft.
|Cut the watermelon roughly out of the rinds and dice it up in to easy-to-eat pieces. Julienne the onion as well, or if you’re pressed for time, just cut it up into tiny bits as fast as you can.|
|Drop the watermelon and onion pieces into a salad bowl. Sprinkle on a lot of the feta cheese, drop some pine nuts if you have them (we did, so we did, but this is totally optional), and then drizzle balsamic vinegar over the whole thing. Gently mix and store in the refrigerator so it sets a bit. You want this served a little cool to cold so the watermelon has some texture restored.|
We assure this is a fantastic combination of tastes. Our guests were as thrilled as we were with their first taste. Given the low cost, super-quick prep and cooking time, and the utter exotic nature of it, this one is sure to make your guests impressed.
The Czar is by no means the biggest fan of dessert. While millions of folks bang their forks and spoons at the restauramt, screaming “Caaaaake” like a bunch of over-caffeinated seven-year-olds at a birthday party the second the waiter shows up with that little, cardboard menu, the Czar himself would be happy to shrug that off and order a decent port and a nice plate of mixed cheeses, nuts, and some thin-sliced meats. Some restaurants refer to this as a charcuterie board, but the Czar believes (a) that’s technically not charcuterie in classical French cuisine and (b) this word is ridiculously foppish.
The Czar, however, got thinking about pie this morning, and thought “what a great way to eat fruit.” The Czar, you see, is highly allergic to pectins and can only eat a limited range of fresh fruits. He can, however, eat cooked fruits. But there’s only so much apple sauce and roasted pineapple one can handle.
Pie, on the other hand, is a great way to eat fruit. There’s almost all of the benefits of fruit in pie.
Plus, if you get a light, flaky crust, you’re not pulling in as many carbohydrates as, say, cake or ice cream, or a quad-scoop sundae with extra syrup.
There are even vegan options, too, but let’s be careful here—vegans are generally awful people and universally have nothing to contribute on the subject of good eating. So we won’t bother covering their options.
The Czar thinks there are three ways to eat pie.
|Good: Fruit and crust on a nice, tidy plate.||Better: Put some whip cream on that.||Best: Put some whip cream and ice cream on that. Extra healthier if you heat the pie up first, then add the cold toppings. This is how they do it at Donna’s in Juneau, Alaska, and there’s no better (and we mean, healthier) way to do it.|
Also, he’s pretty sure there are three types of pie:
So go eat pie. If you don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables (and who does, except those funky vegans), it could just be the healthiest thing you do today.
Well, you long-time readers know the Castle Gormogon so well that you could walk to it from the Leaping Peacock with your eyes closed, which in fact is how ‘Puter and the Czar often have to do it.
But we do have other neighbors, too, and not just along Castle Drive. In the back, behind the menagerie, and even past the trees, our “back yard” abuts the chain-link fence of Mrs. Schroeder, who’s retired, widowed, quiet, and makes her own pickles in Ball jars. She’s the kind of neighbor who gives out home-made apple Fiddle-Faddle on Halloween, and the kids trick or treating on Klesmer Street know it’s safe (and desirable) to eat, not throw away.
Alas, Mrs. Schroeder has been a bit bed-ridden lately, due to a small incident with force lightning that hit her from an unexplained source. She was out checking her tomato plants when, we heard from her neighbor from across Klesmer, Dan Weber, a zigzaggy bolt of bluish force lightning zapped her pretty bad in the shoulder, somewhere from the direction of our Castle. Anyway, that’s what Dan said he saw.
We did not see any such lightning, curiously, and you’d think we would have. Indeed, our own Dr. J. is something of an expert on the subject of producing force lightning (he’s a Sith Lord, or somesuch), and he was absolutely certain that none flew over our Castle from some random direction. But Dr. J. has been so nice, visiting Mrs. Schroeder every day, making sure her wound is healing nicely, and assures her that, in his professional medical opinion, she’ll be back to gardening, cooking, and basic human hygiene in no time! And just to make sure, he’s been bringing her candles, a floral arrangement, and a frozen lasagna over the last couple of days.
Doc has been so nice to her, in fact, that she’s offered to make him some of that Fiddle-Faddle, and it’s only August. Dr. J. assures her that he’ll keep an eye out for any future force lightning flying around, and if he finds out who did it, he’ll definitely tell her. Doc added that he’s pretty certain that it won’t happen again, as he is an expert at it and everything. And just to be sure, he bought Dan Weber a really nice bottle of bourbon to make sure that Dan doesn’t ever see any more lightning bolts come from over our Castle toward their homes. The Czar hasn’t spoken to Dan, but we hear that Dan is pretty sure he didn’t see anything the first time, either.
Such a mystery. But whichever way this goes, get well soon from all of us at the Castle! Sincerely, your neighbors, the Gormogons.
“Gosh,” the Czar exclaimed to his lovely wife, “Gormogonicon 2019 is just days away, and we still don’t have a venue!” As long-time readers know, we are loath to host our annual get-together at the Castle because (a) the Castle is appalling and (b) it’s not much of an annual get-together since we all see each other at the Castle pretty much every day. As a result, it’s much more fun for us vastly rich people to see how entertaining you little, poor people are. So we like to get out in the world once a year.
This time, however, Dr. J. was unable to attend, alas, because he would be Khyber crystal shopping in the Outer Rim, and would’t make the jump through hyperspace or whatever bullshit.
Since the Chicago area would be hosting the event, our wife recommended a place convenient for all our celebrities and spouses to meet; maybe Rosemont. Hey, maybe that German place near O’Hare Airport.
“Oh, yeah…Hofbräuhaus,” the Czar said. He remembered having lunch there fifteen years ago and thought the beer and food were pretty good. The Czar suggested it to Puter, Volgi, GorT, and Mandarin. “We all like German food,” Mandarin said, “Because it’s 99% meat.”
“Indeed,” ‘Puter agreed, “Even German salads are 99% meat.”
And so we met, except for the Czar’s wife, who volunteered to help some sick kittens find homes and thus backed out at the last minute. It’s almost as if she knew what was going to happen. “It was great of your wife to suggest this place,” ‘Puter said later, “…and then not show.”
Because, it turns out, Hofbräuhaus in the evenings is in a state of perpetual Oktoberfest. With a German onslaught musical act that plays German oom-pah polka versions of everything from Jimmy Buffett to the Baby Shark song. Oh, and you’ll be pleased to know they play that “Olé, Olé, Olé” song on an alphorn for about twenty minutes straight. Once every two hours.
Sounds fun? That’s because you’re a goof. We also thought like you do; in fact we thought Oktoberfest there would be like this:
Turns out, it’s actually more like this:
Since the Czar went stag, he decided to arrive in his usual style: on a palanquin convertible with a boatload of women, who were terrified of the alphorn. They left, and the Czar realized he’d have to drag that stupid chair down the shoulder of I-294 at closing time.
But the Czar can see why the virgins would be terrified of the alphorn. Seriously, this dude would walk around with the alphorn and play that horrific “Olé, Olé, Olé” song. He blew this straight into Volgi’s face, spraying the Volgi with saliva until ‘Puter paid him money to go away. The Czar was two liters of beer down in the men’s room at that moment, and missed out on paying the dude to leave. Which ‘Puter let him know several times in a row.
The music was far too loud for Mandarin:
GorT finally said it was time to leave, as it was already 10:30pm, we’d been there for for something like five hours, and no one could hear ourselves talk. The Czar had the valet drag his chair out for the long drag down the interstate.
Even so, we decided to end the event by roasting ‘Puter. Which we did over a fire.
The Цесаревич has always been fascinated by politics at all levels (local, municipal, state, and federal…and spends a lot of time watching elections overseas, too), and rather unsurprisingly is considering political science as his college major. As he gets older, now well into his teens, he seems cagier about the whole system and, to be honest, the Czar finds himself disagreeing with the boy less and less.
In a recent conversation, he mentioned that Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot—although still very green in Chicago’s foul political swamp—probably will be courted by the Democrats for a national role after a single term. Her honor may certainly decline the invitation and instead run for re-election, but the Czar indeed would not be shocked if she agreed. She isn’t Rahm Emanuel, and that alone is encouraging a lot of Chicagoans that the city might be improving even though she has done little, yet.
In other news, we see that US Representative Ocasio-Cortez, from New York, is not polling terribly well at home. In fact, the number of likely voters planning to support her re-election in 2020 is barely in the double digits. Things are so bad that at least four Republicans are running against her, which probably consists of every Republican in her ultra-blue District. While that may mean nothing, the Czar does expect that she will be primaried next Spring, and she may not win.
But so what if she doesn’t? Ocasio-Cortez enjoys far higher support nationally. The media, who are astonishingly stupid, mention that she enjoys stellar popularity nationally—except, of course, as a US representative, that counts nothing for her re-election chances since the country doesn’t vote for her. Yet, it does reveal that she would probably go further by running for president in 2024, assuming that President Trump is re-elected based on the fact his Democrat opponents seem to be most affected lunatics since the Civil War’s offerings.
Let’s talk about that. From Joe Biden, who can’t even say hello without turning it into a forehead-slap by the rest of America, to Sen. Harris, who has now repeatedly indicated that she will reign by decree (she calls it executive order, but her statements reveal she has no intention of following those rules), to Sen. Warren, who simply says everything you want will be paid for by…somebody else, it seems. Not one of these candidates is grounded in reality, and all and each are presently making a Trump re-election essentially inevitable.
These things are linked by a most interesting factor: the Czar’s boy assessing that Chicago’s mayor could play a big part nationally, if she chooses, to Ocasio-Cortez’s potential to dominate the Democrat party, to the utter tomfoolery rampant in today’s Keystone Kandidates—yes, they all share a common origin.
Back in January, 2014, the Czar predicted that competent Democrat politicians were as rare as a clean-smelling men’s room in the Castle. President Obama’s leadership destroyed the party: almost 1,000 Democrats were replaced nationally by Republicans over his 8 years in office, which left a significant hole in the number of eligible candidates with a modicum of competence. Only the lunatics were left: the ones so solidly locked into their jobs by their bluest-blue voters that they could be Charles Manson and be repeatedly re-elected.
Eventually, time was going to run out for the Democrats: the reasonable ones, the moderates, the charmers, the folksy down-homers…they’re gone. And while Grandma Ankylosaur still pulls the D-lever while clutching her beloved photo of Jack Kennedy, she worries that the Bookers, Klobuchars, and the Buttigiegs are going to stay. She’s right to be worried.
Things are so bad that this amazing Delta House of Democratic dopefuls (“Bernard Sanders…no grade point average. All classes incomplete!”) is running against Trump. Instead of four-or-five plausible candidates strategizing on a bigger plan, you get twenty cartoon characters all displaying raw incompetence in an effort to leave nothing left standing. And that’s because…ready?…these are the best that the Democrats can produce right now.
So many in 2024, you’ll see the rabid Vladimir Ilyich Ocasio-Cortez running as a primary candidate, because by then, there will be even less of a choice. And yeah, maybe the soft-spoken, passive-aggressive litigator from Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, will seem—by comparison, anyway—to be next Harriet Truman.
Hey, the Republicans have a dump truck full of reasons to be worried, but the Democrats are in vastly worse shape. As the Czar also predicted at the same time, they’re going to have to ditch progressive liberalism—and especially this rampant Leftism—if they want to do more than just be mayors in the country’s sickest cities.
Joe Biden is the most moderate, compelling candidate at the moment? Somewhere, Jack Kennedy is clenching his fists and wondering what the hell happened to his party.
‘Puter’s so old he remembers when racism was among the most serious charges a person could level against another. ‘Puter also remembers when racism actually meant racism. That is, racism had a set meaning. It meant discriminating against another person based on that person’s race or perceived race.
Now, however, Progressives have corrupted racism’s definition to mean anything a Republican or conservative does: (1) that affects a racial minority no matter how tangentially and (2) that Progressives don’t like. This definition without borders, as you may surmise, is a bit more flexible than the definition from ‘Puter’s youth.
Progressives deploy their new, more woker definition of racism with great frequency and even greater glee. ‘Puter has been amazed to learn that the following constitute examples of racism:
It’s even more interesting what falls outside the definition of racism. The answer? Pretty much any horrible thing black people do to white people. See, no matter how prejudiced against white people black people may be, up to and including actively seeking out white people to murder simply because of their skin color, it cannot be racist.
‘Puter can tell you think he’s been hitting the bottle a little early this morning.* No one can possibly believe that black people seeking out and killing white people solely for their skin color isn’t racist. Au contraire. Doyin Richards writing in the HuffPo is about to school you.
Now, let’s not confuse racism with prejudice. Prejudice is the belief that a person or a group of people are less than because of who they are. In other words, if a black woman tells you not to bring your bland, raisin-infused potato salad to the cookout because “white folks think salt is the best way to season food,” she’s not being racist. She’s displaying prejudice against you and people like you (and against your potato salad).
Black people can be prejudiced as hell, just like any other group of people. As a matter of fact, I think all humans are prejudiced in one way or another. But just because a black person hurt your feelings that one time doesn’t mean you’ve experienced racism.
This is where I’m going to lose some of you: I don’t believe that people of color can be racist in America.
See? It may be prejudiced for black people to hunt you down and murder you because you’re the white devil’s representative on earth but it’s not racist. Why isn’t it racist? Because muh historic power differential. Quoth Ms. Richards:
Racism is completely different from prejudice, because it’s systemic, as the -ism suffix connotes. I’d define racism as a political, economic or social system in which a dominant race uses its power to oppress others of different races.
So, people of color** cannot be racist against white people because whites are dominant and simply by being of the dominant race and existing, you are using politics, economics, and the entire social system to oppress everyone else. See?
All of which brings ‘Puter back to his initial point: Progressives have successfully redefined racism to the point of meaninglessness.
Rational people look at Progressives claiming black people cannot be racist and say to themselves, “O RLY?” Rational people see Progressives claiming national parks are racist and say to themselves, “O RLY?” Rational people see Progressives calling them “deplorables” and implying their mainstream Republican beliefs are racist and say to themselves, “O RLY?”
Rational people’s takeaway is that racism no longer means anything so claims of racism need not be taken seriously. After two decades of Progressives redefining racism down to cow timid Republicans into caving to Progressives, rational people no longer believe claims of racism. Progressives have cried “Racist!” once too often.
Today when media insists nearly everything Trump does is racist, when the Prog Princesses claim Nancy Pelosi is racist, when Sen. Kamala Harris and her fascist fellow travelers claim Joe Biden (a man who faithfully served America’s first black president for 8 years) is racist, rational people yawn and change the channel.
Progressives and their media enablers have overplayed their hand, conflating any support for Trump with founding membership in the Third Reich Revivalist Society. When Progressives and media incessantly call everyone who doesn’t believe the same things they believe racists, these people stop believing anything Progressives and media say. Rightly so.
Progressives and media in their struggle to out-woke their woke keyboard warrior comrades have destroyed the concept of racism. They have created the conditions for actual racism to flourish by desensitizing the public to actual racism and racist groups. No one will believe Progressives and media when they accidentally seize upon demonstrably racist groups. This harms Progressive constituencies the most. After all, minorities are disproportionately Progressive/Democrat voters.
The most unfortunate (and unjust) thing is it won’t just be Progressives and media who pay the price for their soulless, power-hungry, boy who cried racist wolf shenanigans. It will be America. All of us. Men and women, black and white, rich and poor, old and young. All of us.
Progressives and media are joyfully rending the societal fabric which binds us together. ‘Puter is unsure there’s a seamstress left among us talented enough to repair it.
* Joke’s on you! ‘Puter starts drinking before he gets up in the morning. He sleep drinks. It’s a thing. Look it up.
** “People of color” may be the dumbest woke term ever. It’s a stilted, wordier way of saying “colored people” which was once considered an enlightened term for black people but now is decried as the equivalent of genocide should the phrase escape a white person’s lips. You’re calling yourselves colored people but in an even dumber way.
The Czar meant to post this over the weekend, but he so busy doing nothing important that he totally forgot. The Czar will answer your questions on whatever the name is of this latest Marvel movie.
Is this movie as good as the last one?
That’s a bit vague. As good as the previous Marvel movie, or as good as the previous Spider-Man movie? Without knowing, we can’t answer this question, and we’re the one who wrote it.
Does this movie focus on man’s inhumanity to man?
Yeah, there’s plenty of high-school-level analysis for you to discuss on the drive home from the theater.
So that thing that’s supposed to be a big secret, is it really as cool and surprising as they say?
Um. Yeah, probably.
Can Superman beat the Flash?
Is this the one with Jamie Foxx?
No, that’s a different sequel, featuring a second Spider-Man, unless you count the Spider-Verse movie which has like 10 Spider-Men in it, and is a Sony movie possibly connected to this movie, except this one has Tom Holland, and the Jamie Foxx travesty isn’t connected to any of these until Sony decides otherwise.
That’s fricking confusing as hell.
Yeah, agreed, but that’s not a question.
Is it worth seeing?
Heck, yes. It’s a really enjoyable, fast-paced film with some really nice acting. It’s not as funny as other Marvel movies, but it’s still pretty light-hearted.
Did they finally make Spider-Man’s CGI double web-swinging through New York look realistic, yet, or is it still obviously fake?
Still obviously fake.
Imagine New York, and you might put the Statue of Liberty in that image. Think of San Francisco, and most of us still picture the Golden Gate. St. Louis? The Arch! Los Angeles? The Hollywood sign.
Picture Portland, and nearly everyone thinks of roving gangs of black-clad thugs, smashing, punching, and kicking in a Kristallnacht frenzy. While the mayor of Portland is probably proud of the city, the reality is that the entire city is an un-American disgrace, its reputation as trashed as its downtown, and its police department is a laughingstock of law enforcement. It not only joins the ranks of West Coast cities ruined by progressive politics, but surpasses it as a city currently undergoing a hot cultural war. Watch the videos of the now-weekly protests, and it’s difficult to resist the notion that it’s headed toward lethal violence.
Long-time readers know the Czar observes urban violence very closely: when anarchist riots unexpectedly occur in a city, the Czar is there to remind you that they are (a) not anarchist, but carefully organized, (b) not riots but orchestrated violence targeting specific goals, and (c) not unexpected, but planned out months in advance. In nearly every case, local law enforcement knows the names and faces of the people triggering the violence well before they arrive at the airport or bus station. This information is shared between departments, and the suspects observed. How? Because it’s almost always the same folks.
Why not lock them up for good? Because, incredibly, these folks don’t participate in the actual events. Instead, they organize the suckers who do. They don’t throw the milkshakes. They don’t even make them. They find people who do and put them in contact with each other. They’re quite good at it, and ensure that someone wearing black will throw a punch of kick at a bystander. It’s been going on for over a century.
The Czar has about a dozen posts on our site here that lists all the cities this has been happening at, all fitting this same template. What’s new about Portland is that the mayor is ordering law enforcement to stand down. That’s right! Don’t get in the way. Let them have their fun.
It’s utterly naive, and if 51% of Portland’s voting population still had triple-digit IQs, that mayor would already be an assistant manager at a Denny’s. Other mayors of other cities around the world get control of these situations as quickly as possible, before innocent people get hurt, or before controversial journalists are targeted and beaten by people.
Portland is a garbage city. You can blame the erroneously-named anti-fascists, and you should. And you should also remember to blame the people organizing these events. But it’s essential to blame the leadership of the city as incompetent and absolutely part of this terrifyingly ongoing problem.
*GorT copies yesterday’s posts, updates names, pastes for the post today on the 2nd debate. Done*
Well, reader, that would be the quickest way to get a summary of last night’s second round of of the NBC-Democrat-Train-Wreck-of-a-Debate but we here at the Castle don’t shortcut things. This is going to be a longer post. So here we go.
In summary, the debate did not disappoint. It was freaking (and freakingly) AWESOME. The train wreck continued – crazy, ill-informed answers, someone from New York interrupting others, multiple candidates talking on top of each other, complete ignorance of the stated format, NBC technical difficulties, etc.
First, it’s clear the Democrats want to expand Medicare to be the single-payer health care insurance system for the country – regardless of the cost. Bernie Sanders went so far as to say that he would raise taxes on the middle class to cover the costs of such a system.
Second, the Democrats’ view of our economy is this: it is the federal government versus the private sector. Seriously. Re-listen to the debate last night and no one said that they would “work with” or drive solutions using or “with the help” of the private sector. Nope. We got more of having to “take on” pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, gun manufacturers, etc. Andrew Yang propagated the lie that Amazon pays “literally zero in taxes”. At a time when growing American jobs and industries is so key and working in a global economy is crucial, this probably isn’t the right tact. Bernie Sanders is so out of touch with our economy he thinks that “today the worker in the middle of our economy is making no more money than he or she made 45 years ago.”*
As good as Kamala Harris’ performance was (see below), during the portion discussing gun control, she stated the following:
I will give the United States Congress 100 days to pull their act together, bring all these good ideas together, and put a bill on my desk for signature. And if they do not, I will take executive action and I will put in place…
Keep in mind, she is a sitting U.S. Senator so isn’t she part of the problem she describes.
I will immediately, by executive action, reinstate DACA status…
She really likes Executive Action – something democrats, including Harris, has criticized President Trump for using and having too much power.
These debates are largely meaningless to me – regardless of party. Candidates get up there and start talking about things they would do if elected that, by the very nature of our government structure, they cannot do. They talk abut “passing laws” to do this or that. Hello, that’s Congress’ job – one that many of you hold or have held. And largely, you can’t point to when you sponsored legislature in such a role about that very same topic about which you are so passionate. So GorT’s third point would be the utter lack of an awareness of basic civics by these candidates demonstrated across both nights but mostly the second night.
In an attempt to create more of a train wreck, Chuck Todd didn’t let me down and fired off not one, but two of his “down the row” “one or two word” response questions. Let me parallel my previous post with one from the second debate. To set the stage, here is the excerpt setting it up:
TODD: All right. We got to sneak in a break in a minute, but before we go, I’m going to go down the line here and I’m asking you please for one or two words only. All right, please.
Even the crowd, liberal leaning given the response to the candidates, finds this amusing and not serious. But Chuck Todd presses on being the intrepid host that he is with a question that asks, “what is that first issue for your presidency?” Remember, he has asked for “one or two words” about the “first issue” (that’s singular for you grammatically impaired folks).
Eric Swalwell: “For Parkland, for Orlando, for every community affected by gun violence, ending gun violence”
14 words. But he did stick to a single issue. One should note – he is “ending” not “reducing”
Michael Bennet: “Climate change and the lack of economic mobility Bernie talks about.”
11 words. Two separate issues. I’m not sure economic mobility is within the description of the job of the President or the Executive branch.
Kirsten Gillibrand: “Passing a family bill of rights that includes a national paid leave plan, universal pre-K, affordable day care, and making sure that women and families can thrive in the workplace no matter who they are.”
35 words. Not sure all of those are a single issue – I see some economic issues, some education issues, and maybe some equal-opportunity/non-discriminatory issues there. But she’ll interrupt me to add more, I’m sure. Between her and deBlasio, they are not demonstrating that New Yorkers are polite and can follow the rules.
Kamala Harris: “so, passing a middle-class and working families tax cut…DACA, guns, and…”
12 words. Chuck Todd cut her off before she kept going. What she didn’t say was that her “middle-class and working families tax cut” would also include a tax increase on others and I don’t think she’s defined what she means by “middle-class” or “working families”.
Bernie Sanders: “Chuck, the premise that there’s only one or two issues out there…This country faces enormous crises. We need a political revolution. People have got to stand up and take on the special interests. We can transform this country.”
39 words. Chuck Todd interrupted him twice and led in with a “first thing?” prompt. Bernie couldn’t follow the directions. Plus, he is literally calling for a revolution. I wonder if he has a security clearance because I’m familiar with the questions I get for background checks for others pursuing / refreshing their clearances. At the end, clearly seeing that Bernie is off the reservation on this question, Chuck Todd waives it on and moves to Biden. I would argue that Sanders never gave a response to the question.
Joe Biden: “I think you’re so underestimating what Barack Obama did. He’s the first man to bring together the entire world, 196 nations, to commit to deal with climate change, immediately. So I don’t buy that. But the first thing I would do is make sure that we defeat Donald Trump, period.”**
50 words. And his answer doesn’t fit into the question. The first issue that Biden is tackling upon being President is to defeat Donald Trump? Isn’t that a pretty easy first issue since it would have…already….been….achieved?
Pete Buttigieg: “We’ve got to fix our democracy before it’s too late. Get that right, climate, immigration, taxes, and every other issue gets better”
22 words. Kept it on point with a single issue. Although, I’d argue what he thinks “fixing” means and what really needs to be done are probably two separate ideas. The broken part is how modern politics has corrupted the three branches of government and the fact that we the people are allowing each branch to not do their Constitutionally mandated roles and overstepping into other branches’ jobs.
Andrew Yang: “I would pass a $1,000 freedom dividend for every American adult starting at age 18, which would speed us up on climate change, because if you get the boot off of people’s throats, they’ll focus on climate change much more clearly.”
41 words. Congress controls the pursue strings so his answer isn’t something a President would do. “Freedom dividend” – he essentially failed to answer Chuck Todd’s question on how this estimated $3.2 TRILLION investment in people would get covered by the federal government.
John Hickenlooper: “I would do a collaborative approach to climate change and I would pronounce it well before the election to make sure we don’t reelect the worst president in American history.”
30 words. Single topic. He struggled with this group and wasn’t a commanding enough presence.
Marianne Williamson: “My first call is to the prime minister of New Zealand, who said that her goal is to make New Zealand the place where it’s the best place in the world for a child to grow up, and I would tell her, girlfriend, you are so wrong, because the United States of America is going to be the best place in the world for a child to grow up.”
69 words. Wow. Ummm. Yeah, I’m not even sure where to go with that one.
TODD: You guys were close with the short — at least it was shorter responses.
MADDOW: No, they weren’t. Not at all.
At least Maddow is accurate with that statement.
GorT’s prediction on who won’t make it to the later rounds
On the Bubble:
* Sanders’ assertion comes close (but still wrong) if you take the average hourly salary in 1974 and 2019 and adjust for inflation (thank you, Jimmy Carter).
** Joe Biden is skating on thin ice with citing what he & Obama did with Climate Change. Biden was charged with overseeing the Recovery Act disaster. The Waxman-Markey act to do a cap-and-trade on carbon emissions failed to get out of the Democrat-led Senate. The next time the administration touched climate issues was in the second term when Obama signed the U.S. onto the Paris Climate Agreement. I could go on, but Mr. Biden is doing some revisionist history here.
GorT really didn’t watch the Democrat Debate last night. Around 10pm, Mrs. G and I decided to flip over to it on NBC and we weren’t disappointed.
My simple summary is these debates are the BEST thing for the GOP and Donald Trump. As stated before, I’m not a big fan of Trump and I didn’t vote for him. But I don’t think Republican strategists could have orchestrated a better way to showcase the train wreck that is the Democrat party than this debate.
Think about this recipe: 10 political candidates on stage with open mics, told that they were limited to 30 or 60 second rebuttals/answers, moderated by Rachel Maddow, Chuck Todd, and audience-roving Lester Holt. It was utter chaos. Candidates talking over each other, sticking their hands up or pointing to try to get called on, blowing right through any time limit, failing to even answer the softball questions by the liberal moderators. Toss in a technical problem at the beginning of the debate as well…because, well, NBC. It was glorious.
Case in point: Chuck Todd instructed the panel of candidates to respond with one word for what the biggest geopolitical threat is to the United States. Let’s consider the responses:
John Delaney: “The biggest challenge is China. The biggest geopolitical threat remains nuclear weapons.”
12 words. one could infer that the Iran deal wasn’t so great.
Jay Inslee: “The biggest threat is Donald Trump. No question about it.”
10 words. Wow, elevating Donald Trump to geopolitical status. Pandering to the Orange Man Bad crowd.
Tulsi Gabbard: “The greatest threat we face is that we are at greater risk of nuclear war.”
15 words. In the 30-40min portion we watched, I think Gabbard had a hard time stringing together answers on the fly but appeared to be rather reserved and calm. Also raising the question on the Iran deal. During the same time, Gabbard also argued we should be out of the Middle East so I’m not sure how she thinks we’re going to tackle this issue.
Amy Klobuchar: “Economic threat and China, but the major threat is what is going in the Mideast with Iran.”
17 words. She’s right about China, I’ll give her that. Must have had a good salad with utensils beforehand. Also implies a problem with the Iran deal.
Beto O’Rourke: “The existential threat is climate threat. We have to confront it before it’s too late.”
15 words. And doesn’t answer the question. He tells us what he thinks is the “existential threat” but not his top geopolitical threat. Beto looked like he was a 7th grader playing in a JV high school game. He was nervous, hunting for answers, and trying to score points but failing.
Elizabeth Warren: “Climate change.”
2 words. Winner for the candidate who could most closely follow directions but one could argue whether climate change is a geopolitical threat. On one hand, I might agree as the U.S. has taken steps to reduce emissions and be more ecologically aware and countries like India, China, and developing nations are increasing their emissions. But if she thinks that’s the number one threat, she’s not geopolitically aware.
Cory Booker: “Nuclear proliferation and climate change.”
5 words. Pretty short for Booker. Combined with his stance that he wouldn’t reinstate the Iran deal but “wants to keep options open to negotiate a better deal”, he clearly isn’t a fan of the Obama administration Iran deal. No mention of China or Russia….
Julián Castro: “China and climate change.”
4 words. Nails it, in my opinion, on China but then panders to the environmentalists with the latter portion.
Tim Ryan: “China, without a question. They are wiping us economically.”
9 words. Ryan gets it partially right. It’s not only economics but a longer term geopolitical strategy that is in play. Look at what China is doing in the Middle East and the South China Sea. Look at how they are strategically manipulating shipping (creating larger vessels that require larger ports that China is building/owning around the world)
Bill de Blasio: “Russia, because they are trying to undermine our democracy and they are doing a damn good job of it and we need to stop them.”
25 words. Longest answer by the group. He’s not wrong about Russia or their efforts. It is a geopolitical threat. But he is not-so-subtly tying it back to the whole Russia-Trump thing. That’s going to be a losing position.
This next statement is going to make me shudder but I partially agree with Slate in that Chuck Todd’s question was garbage. The “one word” geopolitical threat doesn’t allow for nuance and the threats facing the United States are varied and numerous. However, the “one word” approach does test whether a candidate can prioritize these and be succinct in their responses – especially helpful with the limited attention span that people seem to have these days.
As if to underline the apples-and-oranges problem here, MSNBC subsequently “fact check[ed]” the argument that climate change is a geopolitical threat, saying “it’s difficult to quantify how much of a threat it is relative to adversarial countries or global concerns.”
Fact checked?!?! Whether or not “climate change” is a geopolitical threat doesn’t boil down to a fact. It’s an opinion. Could be a widely held opinion but it isn’t a fact that it is or it isn’t regardless of your position on climate change.
Mrs G and I debated what our ideal debate format would look like. I think we settled largely on the following:
GorT’s prediction on who won’t make it to the later rounds
Riding the bubble:
If you’re solidly into triple-digit IQs, you’ve already seen a bunch of Jackie Chan movies. You understand they’re brilliantly directed, with hilarious scenes, literally death-defying stunts, and action that begs to be rewound and watched again. Did he seriously just do what it looked like he did?
And if you’re a movie buff, you can delight in his homages alone: that scene is clearly a hat-tip to Buster Keaton; that one, to Chaplin… and that last shot was clearly a jab at Kubrick. And it doesn’t always work: his experiments with romantic comedies have had mixed results, and his pairings with American comedians often showcase how inversely talented he is compared to his costar of the day. Overall, though, his film career has been something worthy of celebration. Frankly, he is to action movies what Astaire was to dancing, or Garbo was to glamour. When the Czar first saw Chan’s 1985 film Police Story, he immediately stayed and watched it right through a second time. We were hooked.
There’s no denying Jackie Chan has slowed down in recent years. His ability to fly around the set, so effortlessly, is clearly wired and CGI, now. It’s a bit sad, really, especially when he’s trying to pander to the fan base—that last stunt was a repeat of the same one in Armour of God, but only half as fast. And that one? Totally taken out of Who Am I?, but not as funny this time. It’s almost like his career ended with Shanghai Noon in 2000. And a lot of his fans were turned off by his surprising 180° flip to support China, once they took control of Hong Kong. His attitudes toward the United States show equal elasticity, especially when he thinks no one around him understands Cantonese. And his recent stuff, in which he tries out different characters, has been dreck: his 2004 New Police Story is unwatchable, an homage to movies that themselves were awful.
Therefore, curiosity compelled us to watch 2017’s quiet release The Foreigner. All we knew going in was this film had a different look and feel. Quite so: whereas Police Story was a hilarious roller-coaster ride of thrills, The Foreigner may actually be one of Chan’s best films. Certainly, for the Czar, in the Top Three.
If you have seen any of his prior work, you understand that Jackie Chan invariably plays The Nice Guy (such as in 1997’s Mr. Nice Guydeserves it, and generally the bad guy causes his own pain by underestimating the Nice Guy.
The Foreigner is the most reversed-expectation film in Chan’s filmography. The film is quite grim, with no obvious humor at all, despite most thrillers generally putting in some comic relief, somewhere. Chan’s character is a broken man who is forced to do terrible, awful things for reasons he doesn’t even fully understand. Supported by no less than the furiously F-bombing Pierce Brosnan, the two play opposing forces: one, a bad man trying to do a good thing, and the other a good man increasingly embracing a very dark side, out of pure frustration.
There are bad guys, to be sure, but they’re basically the B-plot. The real story—with dozens of twists and turns—involves the two main actors locked in a bizarre contest. Brosnan’s character never fully understands why Chan’s character is doing what he does, and truthfully, Chan’s character doesn’t really seem to comprehend what Brosnan is trying to do, either. Despite the mutual confusion each has, the movie moves at a brisk, engaging pace with realistic reactions, seriously competent henchmen (instead of the usually vapid redshirts in Chan’s movies), and a lot of reasonable calculations by the characters.
And rather than dummy up or hide Chan’s age, the film embraces it—his 60-something character is slow, shuffles, limps on occasion, and can get badly injured. And rare for any film, injuries don’t heal after six camera angle changes. The special effects are good, and some scenes of terrorist-related bombings (and the aftermath) are terrifyingly accurate to real-life trauma: blood, dirt, and glass, not gore. One of the scenes, involving a London bus, was indeed so accurate that London’s metro police were called during filming, from terrified onlookers who have seen the real thing and didn’t realize this was a stunt.
If you sort-of enjoy Chan’s goofy, slapstick thrill-a-minute treats, you may find The Foreigner unfunny, brutal, and sad. On the other hand, if you really like Chan’s work, you may agree that this film is one of his absolute best—Chan’s acting is top-notch, moving, and even vicious. The Czar is sorry he waited so long to see it, and hopes that you don’t wait too much longer yourself.
Oh, and if you never got into Chan’s kung fu silliness, you may be surprised to learn this is a hard-R action film with deep political twists and keen eye for details. Actually, you may like it better than anything you’ve seen him do before.