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The Pink Billion

Sunday, August 20th, 2023

Okay, so there’s just no getting around it at this point. I’m going to have to blog the Barbie movie.

People are asking for it on multiple fronts, in the e-mail and on the Hello Kitty of Blogging too…which I find to be flattering and a little weird. Here was me thinking, well you know…nobody reads this blog. And many more talented people than me, have commented on Barbie already. But the demand for Barbie commentary seems to outstrip the supply, which I suppose is understandable in a way. “Barbie Fever” is everywhere and it’s affecting everything.

Which is not a good thing.

This is a bit like the bridge crew of the Titanic wanting to know a little bit more about where the icebergs are. It’s not for entertainment value. We’re in a situation here, and it isn’t good. Responsible and knowledgeable people want to know more, not because it titillates them, but because they know we’re heading into hazardous waters.

The movie has widespread and strong appeal, and the appeal is particularly strong when it’s felt by angry people. One wonders if any non-angry people like the movie. It’s supposed to be a nostalgia trip for people who played with Barbie dolls, so I’m sure there are some. But most-to-all of the positive feedback I’ve heard, comes from non-positive, angry people like Mark Maron. Who’s that? I don’t know. He talks like he’s just naturally vile and nasty, when extolling the virtues of something he likes. I can only imagine how he sounds if asked to comment on something he doesn’t like.Barbie

So perhaps non-angry people like the movie, but it doesn’t matter. This is an angry movie. It’s fueled by resentment, and if you don’t share the resentment you can still like it, but you’d be missing out on a big part of the experience. The core audience is people who are resentful, upset, and cruising for some chance to get even with someone about something.

There’s a lot of buzz about this Rachel Zeglar interview, which is only loosely connected to Barbie in that she’s so clearly sharing in this resentment. It’s looking like this is the summer of resentful, woke women venting all their frustrations with men for…I dunno. Being. The interview has a lot of people talking because whether Zeglar has made a winning move promoting her Snow White movie or not — and it’s looking like not — she’s providing definition for this new fad of “strong” women and princesses. And she’s accurate about it, the way people always are accurate when they’re sharing in an emotion-driven fad. These new, trendy, strong women are not quite so much strong, as woke. And this is an important aspect of woke, which I neglected to cover when I did my best to come up with a definition for the word: Women are not supposed to love or be loved. They are to be estranged, and to do the estranging, particularly when it comes to males. Male-and-female romance, if it’s not dead already, is to be murdered. And it doesn’t have to look like an accident.

Also, girls and women are to be leaders. Resentful both before and after. Resentful leaders.

This has been going on for a bit. It predates “woke.” When I emerged into adulthood, something that happened quite awhile ago by now, I quickly learned that pairing yourself up with a female wasn’t at all like casual dating in high school. It was a rite of passage back in these olden days. Wounded, incomplete, damaged and/or spoiled and anti-social females would sprout and then grow their trails of wreckage of failed & dysfunctional relationships with both men and women, romantic & otherwise, with this leitmotif of “I don’t take any crap and they can’t handle a strong woman.”

A particularly keen and disciplined observer might have noticed that whether these women thought of themselves as leaders or not, they weren’t running very much of anything, and were leading no one. Truth was, they just never learned to share an endeavor, or life itself, with another person. Or share nothing and just enjoy spending time with another. They were too broken and too damaged.

We quickly learned to run in the opposite direction when we heard the words “strong woman,” or “men are intimidated by me.” It’s a little disconcerting to see the negative energy from all those years ago, radiated yet again by someone who was so far away from even being conceived. It means something is sustaining this rot, keeping it infected and putrid. Something that packs a lot of influence.

That Barbie — this latest instrument for channeling this resentment — has managed to achieve billion-dollar status, and so quickly, just reinforces this.

Treacherous waters. Iceberg, right ahead.

Shoe0nHead, one of my favorite YouTube subscriptions, hit the nail on the head when she called the movie a Rorschach Test — after launching into this weird thesis about how it’s “actually pro-man” or something. I think that part was parody. Not sure. But it’s true there are some five or ten different ways of looking at it, and what we have here with all this buzz is lots of people each coming away with their own interpretation. I’m adding to that, of course. In fact I find it interesting that as people come away with their own Rorschach interpretations, each one of those interpretations, in & of itself, becomes another Rorschach test.

My favorite is the idea that it’s pro-man, because it takes pity on the men. Poor, poor men. Poor Ken. Let’s all feel sorry for Ken.

In this particular place, if in none other, Barbie functions effectively as a commentary on what we’re going through in real life. Feminism and pop-psych, for years now, have been peddling this idea that the social reforms they have in mind are actually pro-men, a soothing medicinal balm to be applied against the wounding done to our psyches by centuries of patriarchy. We’ve been victimized by our emotionally distant fathers who yelled at us too much when we were playing baseball. The chain of toxic masculinity has to be broken so we can get in touch with our feelings and enjoy Cats, something like that.

According to this, merely going about our business, acting like the men we are, is an act of self-injury. I’ve seen that in this article exploring male suicides. The male suicides are certainly there, but to me this looks like encouraging more of what made them happen, as opposed to curing the problem.

Or, maybe the movie isn’t commenting on that fad. Maybe it’s just participating in it. Again: Rorschach test. No right or wrong answers. You be the judge.

But as far as that fad itself, it’s clear a lot of militant feminists believe in it, either straight-up or they have faith in it as a recruiting tool, to bring some self-pitying males onto their movement. Is anybody going to explain to them what should be obvious? Here I go again…bravely, I step into the breach.

This “Actually the patriarchy hurts men too” buzz isn’t pro-man and it doesn’t make you look like you’re pro-man. If you hide behind that, you reveal that you don’t live in the world of men, and you don’t live in the world of grown-ups, either.

If you are “pro” someone, that would mean you know what they’re trying to do and you’re helping them get it done. It doesn’t mean to feel sorry for them or to start whining to others about their feelings in addition to yours. It’s a big world out there and there are lots of things for people to do besides whine about their feelings.

Men don’t cry as easily as women do. You know what? That’s just fine. Some men don’t talk about their feelings as much. That’s fine too. It doesn’t mean anybody is adhering to excess to some “social construct.” It’s just how some people tick. You’ve heard of “Ain’t got time to bleed”? Some people don’t have time to whine. They’re too busy doing things. Like…growing the corn that will be popped so you have something to snack on in the theater while you’re watching Barbie. Or, driving the trucks filled with groceries, including the box-wine you’ll be drinking with your girlfriends while you talk about Barbie. We don’t need a world in which everyone obsesses over their feelings and whines about how they’re treated, all of the time. You wouldn’t be able to survive in such a world. You’d run out of cat food.

Real men don’t want to be victims. Neither do real women.

Also, if your sympathy toward us has been exhausted or never existed, because we dared to have a different opinion about your doll movie or some other thing, it doesn’t bring us around to your side when you challenge or ridicule this male toughness. It’s not just plumage; it’s something that’s real, that we use to do the things we do, that you don’t do. So billboards like this aren’t likely to have the desired effect, because you know…we’re not in middle school anymore.


But I know, I know. If anybody needs to have this explained to them, they’re never gonna get it anyway.

This applies in a lot of situations, to a lot of people. The effort is out there to shame men into liking this movie that, one might reasonably infer, was never made for them in the first place. And that’s quite the silly thing; trying to shame someone who can’t be shamed, into liking something that doesn’t like them back, to bring happiness to yet other people like Mr. Maron, who’ve resolved to remain everlastingly unhappy. What sort of people engage in such silly things?

Do they find it as challenging to find the time to do so, as I find it to write up the more scrutinizing and loquacious blog posts, like this one? It would not seem so. Is anyone counting on them to do anything that really makes a difference in some way? It all reinforces this idea that none of this is really very deep at all, and it doesn’t rely too much on deep thinking or any thinking, that it’s all driven by emotion. Barbie has made a billion dollars triggering people, piquing their emotions, and starting a lot of talk about the deep thoughts that actually don’t exist. Which in turn persuades people to see the movie yet again and fork over some more money.

I tried, like an iced coffee customer struggling to access the last few ounces of liquid by probing the ice cube remnants with his paper straw, to glom onto and glean these deep thoughts. I really tried. There are a couple of monologues toward the end, one by America Ferrera and one by Ruth Handler herself, the inventor of Barbie, that are supposed to be deep. Maybe they went over my head. I was left sucking air. Something about…it’s tough being a woman because you’re subjected to criticism all the time?

As a man, my reaction was stifled laughter. Stifled, because other people were clearly getting more out of the movie than I was, and I didn’t want to disturb them. But if I didn’t stifle it would’ve been a horse laugh, a true guffaw. Tough being a woman because you’re criticized no matter what you do. Gee! I wonder what that’s like!

Handler’s speech was even more vapid. It didn’t miss the mark, because from what I could tell, she didn’t say anything. Just something about: Here, hold my hands. Now, feel. Barbie starts crying. Uh, hate to spoil the party but that’s not deep. Queen Victoria speaks for me: “That’s what I call twaddle.”

My sympathy is just not there. These are girls who played with dolls, in the comfort of their pinkified bedrooms. While, at the same age, I was out doing nonsense-chores, sanding down fascia boards and painting them, not quite so much because they needed painting but because Dad wanted to instill a work ethic. Now they’re grown up, watching Barbie, whining about how tough they have it. My heart bleeds.

This is the ugly side of Barbie. There are few things in human affairs more off-putting, than someone who’s been aided comforted and sheltered by some exclusive set of privileges denied to others — and then feeling sorry for themselves. It’s ugly when the reasons for their self-pity are well defined. And here, although I realize this may come as a shock to the movie’s makers and viewers, those reasons are not very well defined at all.

Nevertheless, some measure of respect is owed. The movie did make a billion dollars. Ben Shapiro, in his now-famous forty-three minutes of savagery, predicted the opposite. I might have made a similar error if I were called upon to do so, just because the public seems to be tiring of summer blockbuster movies. We really haven’t had one, post-pandemic, until now. I would not have expected this.

Why does it resonate?

There are those who credit the marketing, in several ways. The marketing was thorough. The marketing was brilliant. The marketing was…deceitful and sneaky. Those all contributed to the success, and they’re all true. This is a Trojan Horse of movies. It looks like a harmless nostalgia trip, a pleasant joy ride you can take your six-year-old daughter to go enjoy, while leaving Dad to…whatever. Girls Afternoon Out or something. But it’s loaded with a political agenda, and also, it’s PG-13 for a reason. Dissenters shout in unison: Please don’t take your six-to-ten-year-old to see this movie! And they’re right. It looks like it would be appropriate. It’s not.

I tend to gravitate toward the simpler explanations. I think of movie-watching as something that can be deep, but by default, is not. The most successful movies are the ones that brought the honest and effective effort, where things are shallow. Sound effects. Music. Visuals. Oh, the visuals in Barbie; even the trailer is a visual treat for the eyes.

Margot Robbie has a rockin’ bod and a pretty face.

The women are all gorgeous. And they smile.

Here I am writing about what the Barbie movie did well…and by the standards imposed by our present times, I’m full-blown sexist.

Tatiana Maslany is a good looking woman too, but in She-Hulk she didn’t smile that much. She frowned. She whined and carped and complained and scolded and whined some more.

Ladies, you have to have a nice body and mix in some smiles with your whining. Even better, maybe think about skipping the whining because compared to men, women actually have it pretty good. But be pretty and do more smiling.

It’s timeless wisdom. It works.

My favorite part of the movie: When the Barbie dolls, conspiring to retake Barbieland after the Kens have taken it over and made it into Ken-land, knock the Ken dolls off their game by pretending to be interested in Ken things. “Explain Godfather to me,” one of them says, setting off an avalanche of male wisdom about the complexities in the film classic. That was hilarious. Made me wonder about the beautiful, intelligent women who have said exactly the same thing to me, in exactly the same words, initiating the same avalanche. Hmmmm…

My least favorite part of the movie was right after that one. The mature, capable Barbie dolls who are now bringing beer and chicken wings to the Ken dolls and saying nice things to them, who have obviously learned how to coexist with them, get abducted by the wounded, incomplete Barbie dolls who never learned how to do this. And then the wounded, incomplete, immature Barbies brainwash the mature, capable, complete Barbies who know how to share their lives with men. Inside a truck! They interrogate them and browbeat them into not getting along with men. Yes this really happens. It’s the exact opposite of the way things should work. We don’t want wounded incomplete people to have an influence on mature, whole, capable people. We want it to go the other way.

I’ve long said this is the true division between conservatives and liberals. So if you really want to think of this movie as deep, maybe you could come away thinking it’s saying what I’ve been saying. But it seems to be advocating for things to go in the wrong direction, with the blind leading the not-blind.

This is not an isolated occurrence. Now that “superhero movies” have morphed into just a billions-of-dollars way of growing whole crops of these B.I.T.s (Bitches In Training) among the very-young female set…I am not optimistic about the near future. Looks to me like doubling and tripling down on what didn’t work before back in my day. Identifying the pollution and manufacturing a whole lot more of it.

How bad is it getting? Feminists fear and loathe their own sons.

So [HuffPost writer/contributor Wendy Besel] Hahn was “thrilled” that the smash summer movie Barbie, which has drawn widespread criticism among many conservatives for its heavy-handed feminist messaging, gave her the opportunity to educate her son about “the patriarchal American society we live in today.” As a former English teacher, she wishes “all teachers would assign their students to watch ‘Barbie’ in place of summer reading selections like ‘The Grapes of Wrath.’” She need not worry about that –there are plenty of activist educators who would eagerly swap out great literature from our cultural heritage for feminist propaganda. Hahn unwittingly makes a great case for homeschooling.

Of all the pieces you can take away from the movie, the most important one, in my mind, is the one it seems no one is discussing: The primary arc of drama. Barbie-Land versus out here, the “real world.” Frankly, I found the “real world” in this movie, to be less representative of the real world I know, than Barbie-Land was. “Men run things” in this “real world.” You can tell because when Ken is in the real world, he sees a lobby conversation among men, and when this lady-intern barges in with her prattling nonsense expecting to interrupt them, the one speaking offers her a polite reprimand because there’s a conversation already taking place and she needs to wait her turn. That’s “patriarchy” and, supposedly, our “real world” is filled with it.

Not from what I’ve seen. Like many polite men, I’ve become accustomed to letting women talk whenever they want. Chicks like to talk. They get to interrupt. Guys interrupting girls, something I’m told is happening all the time, is generally regarded in polite circles about on par with guys hitting girls in the face. You get to do that to another guy. You’re not supposed to do that with females.

But in the real-world-within-the-movie, chicks need to wait their turn like everybody else who has something of a non-emergency nature to say. That’s “patriarchy.”

What confounds me, almost to the point of agitation, is this drama about “running things.” The movie is halfway over and at a low point, when men “run things” in Barbie-land. It has a happy ending when the women are restored to “running things.” More Rorschach test outcomes here. It seems fairly straightforward, to some, that this makes it an anti-man movie; things are bad when men “run things” and things are good when women “run things.” Solid case, right?

Here’s what I notice.

In my world, running things is not about status. It is not uplifting. It is a burden. When you run things, you depend on a sort of a dashboard of living, changing factors, and on a premise that your dashboard includes everything you need to know to make good decisions. That premise is wrong a whole lot more often than it’s right. In my world, uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. Running things comes with something we call responsibility, and it’s not pink or plastic or fun.

It is, at times, a raging pain in the ass.

If you really do want to take an eight-year-old in to see a movie about “running things,” of either gender, it would be good to get that across to them. It wouldn’t necessarily discourage them from seeking out responsibility in their later years, in fact it might clue them in on the fact that we’re suffering a shortage of people who really know what they’re doing. It would also offer them a reason to show better and greater respect to the authority figures in their lives right now.

And that’s the biggest bee in my bonnet about Barbie. You bring up “running things,” I immediately think about accountability. In my “real world” that’s what makes everything go, how it all works. In this movie that’s so obsessed with who’s “running things,” accountability is like the water coming out of Barbie’s shower head; it’s not there, and you’re not supposed to expect it to be there, because it’s a doll’s world that has no running water and no accountability. That’s a punchline.

The jokes are intended for, or are more appropriate for, adults. The life-lessons aren’t really good for anybody. They’re aimed at mental children. Female Peter Pans, trapped in virtual childhood, who aren’t interested in growing up, now or at any later time. They’re still stuck, for whatever reason, in that innocent and halcyon phase of a lost childhood, back when “being the boss” was pure prestige, and had yet to carry any potential for failure or any real responsibility. Yeah, Age Eight is about right for that, if not right for the homoerotic jokes.

So…they’re dumping their boyfriends over this? Good on you, lads. That’s a bullet you dodged.


Monday, July 31st, 2023

Seventy-one charges against Donald Trump. That’s a lot. This is a reflection of…what?

His criminal behavior? His lack of manners? His hair? The so-called “January 6 insurrection”?

As always, if we’re going to argue about something then let’s do it honestly. An agenda exists, which some people support — and they can give convincing reasons why they support it — to make sure Trump never, ever, ever occupies public office ever again. This is not within the realm of dispute. It’s been announced by more than one public figure. So yes, of course there are 70+ charges. That’s twice as much assurance as 35.

But, is that how the law works?

Wouldn’t those who support this be willing to concede, this being the case, that if Trump is guilty of being dishonest about something then he certainly doesn’t corner the market on dishonesty?

There are those who offer a somewhat different argument: Right or wrong, this is surely surpassing the tonnage limit on acceptable baggage in a presidential candidate. The prosecution may be dishonest, but it’s a game the bad guys have won already, so let them have it. Throw Trump overboard, feed those monsters, maybe they eat us last then. After all, he’s not innocent. And then…as I understand the plan…we can get a Republican nominated who has a chance of coming out on top. And we’ll have a Republican President. After playing the game of “be nice to the monsters they eat us last.” Which, of course, has a long and venerable history of working out great.

Uh…no it doesn’t.

There’s something deeply flawed going on here. Deep within the layers that never see the light of day. A crack in the building’s foundation. We have people calling Trump an always-loser when they know darn good and well, if that were true, we wouldn’t be talking about him at all. So they’re saying something that isn’t true, and after they say it, they advance some alternative candidate who consistently fails to net anything within forty points of Trump. So their point is that everyone else can win and Trump’s a loser, but before, during and after they make this point, they see Trump winning and their guy losing. By a lot. Then they keep saying it some more.

It’s like truth has taken a vacation. It just doesn’t matter.

And this affects everything. The more you look, the more you see it.

People voting for Biden, not willing to admit it was the wrong decision. Not willing to admit Kamala Harris has serious problems, is an inarticulate idiot, and is reflecting poorly on women.

It affects things that don’t have anything to do with politics. We’re eyebrows deep in the muck. Truth. Falsehood. Consequences. Somehow, somewhere, these have fallen off the table.

People walking their dogs, watering their lawns and riding their bikes, all alone, on sunny days, with cloth masks on their faces.

“Woke” movies losing money. Ninety-nine box-office bomb money losers for every 1 money-making Barbie movie. Like a lottery, they just keep making them. Except lottery tickets are a buck, not $200 million and up.

Jussie Smollett.

Heavy plastic grocery bags built for “multi use” and we can’t use them for that.

Paper straws. In plastic packaging.

Intelligence has all but ruled out that Hunter Biden’s laptop was genuine, settling on that device being planted Russian disinformation. Eh, no. That was b.s.

The virus couldn’t have escaped from that local lab, we’ve ruled that out too. Eh, no you didn’t.

A zillion and one failed climate-disaster predictions.

Entirely preventable “supply chain” disasters.

Crime wave, California water droughts, inflation. Manufactured crises. These were very real, what’s fake is the “oopsie” part of it. The spontaneity, the unpredictability. “Unexpectedly!” No. These were avoidable problems.

We are told things that plainly thwart common sense. The “climate” is about to lower some kind of cataclysm on us, so we’re going to change some rules. Move power around. Give up sovereignty, raise taxes, have conferences. And all this involves lots of important people flying long distances in private jets…often.

Being born with genitals doesn’t define your “gender.” But surgically altering those genitals “affirms” a gender. Someone should be explaining how that works, squaring the circle. Such an answer has yet to find its way to me.

Florida’s new education curriculum says slavery was a good thing. Eh, no it doesn’t.

They passed a “don’t say gay” law. No they didn’t.

Lie after lie after lie after lie…they get thoroughly debunked, and people see it happen with their own eyes. They know the lies are lies. But they maintain a belief in the lie, and continue to act out this belief, that they consciously know holds no merit.

Hanlon’s Razor says you should never attribute to malice that which can be ascribed to incompetence. I have a third alternative explanation to offer:

Our leaders, just like the hoi polloi they represent, are simply unidirectional. They have encapsulated their beliefs and their behavior, separating these from the evolving base of knowledge that’s supposed to drive them. They don’t change bearing, don’t learn. They don’t say: This isn’t working. Or, that didn’t work. Something’s wrong. We made a mistake. Stop doing this. Do something different.

Think about it: When’s the last time you heard of anybody with any meaningful profile and visibility, even come close to that? They all just keep-on keeping-on. If something went wrong, that must be the fault of the other guy.

Politicians have always blamed the predecessor when something goes wrong on their watch. But this is different. In the world we’re living in now, no one admits to a bad call in anything anywhere. They won’t even hide behind the old excuse of “My decision was good based on the incomplete information I had at the time.” You haven’t heard that lately, either.

There’s been a sea change. We are all to blame. One thing we’re going to have to conclude, or acknowledge on our way to concluding something else, is that the social calculus has shifted. The penalty for admitting you were wrong, about anything, ever, must have spiked. Or, the penalty for acting out a belief you must know is incorrect, must have been removed, or flatlined. We trust someone who makes bad decisions, as long as he does it consistently, above someone who has had a learning experience and is willing to admit it, share it and talk about it.

This change has affected relationships, associations, circles-of-trust. Someone tells a lie and gets caught at it — they just puff out their chests and spout more stuff, acting like it never happened. You’d think it wouldn’t work. It works almost all the time, and perfectly. If there’s any enmity in the aftermath of a lie being exposed, seems it’s become popular to reserve that for the person who exposed the lie, not for the liar.

I’m guessing maybe the China Virus did this to us. The paradox of these post-COVID times is that the labor participation has cratered. You could go so far as to say that working for a living has become the exception, and coasting along on social safety nets and the kindness of others has become the norm.

And yet at the same time, we’ve crested out in the willingness and drive people show to reject what they know to be true, and embrace what they know to be false, out of fear of being unemployed or unemployable. They’re acting like the monkeys in the firehose experiment, attacking any among their peers who show signs of intention to call out the lies.

I don’t know how to reconcile that. Except maybe, if people have been taking advantage of the COVID potato-chips-and-video-games lifestyle, their ability to get a job again if they choose has become an unknown and thus a source of apprehension. That would mean they’ve been creating their own problem. It wouldn’t be the first time people have done something like that.

You can see a noticeable difference in the quality of “leaders,” be they merely figureheads, or genuinely influential people. Even among their fan base, seems no one would be willing to go on record saying these are anything close to our best. In families, organizations, state governments, all around the world; the most influential out of any gathering, are carnival barkers. The decision has been formed before they ever stepped into the ring, or the decision is a continuation of something they said before. It’s been thrust upon them. In their capacity, they sell the decision, they don’t actually make it. They sell options everyone knows are not the right ones. And they do it convincingly. Those are the leaders we have now. They’re not leading us to good places.

I used to see people make amends from bad decisions, or heed warnings that came from the bad decisions of others. Time was, you’d have to wait a little bit, then you’d see it. I haven’t seen it in a very long time now. Anywhere. Where there were people saying “That worked out well for him, let’s try doing the same thing” or “He fell on hard times after doing the thing we were about to do, so let’s not do it” — instead, you just see people gloming on to brainless mantras, memorizing the lyrics, melody and rhythm, and repeating it without accepting any culpability for the ultimate outcome if someone else does what they say.

And we wonder why things in general continue to suck. No one’s learning. People are doing, driving, encouraging, discouraging, and a whole lot of arguing and talking. But there’s no course change even when there’s a clear and demonstrable need to bear hard to port or starboard. Everything’s just cruising in a straight line, top speed, like an asteroid that hasn’t hit anything yet. So processes do not, and cannot, improve. If we fix anything else, but don’t fix that, we haven’t fixed anything.

Creativity, Resourcefulness and Jobs

Saturday, July 15th, 2023

In the final stretch before my birthday, I was thinking about jobs. Bringing creativity to a job. Bringing resourcefulness to a job. The difference between those two things. Knowing when not to bring them. Bringing them at the wrong time. Watching someone else bring them when they’re not needed. How annoying that guy is.

It occurs to me; now that I’m 57, I have screwed that pooch every possible way. And I should say something about it because screwing up has a way of educating you, that getting it right does not. And my experience is somewhat unique because all this time, at least in theory, the resourcefulness and creativity are how I’m supposed to have been paying the bills. That’s not true of everybody.

Also, the kids starting out in that situation, now, are going to have it much tougher than I did. Things are not getting better-defined. The newer technology is putting us in need of new definitions we never needed before, and no one is coming up with them. Worse still, activists are undoing the definitions we had in place already. And so, to those kids who are like me 35, 40 years ago, being hired for their “youth, enthusiasm, energy and creativity” I say…

I got nothin’.

Well okay, maybe I’ve got just a couple things.

You might notice I’m discussing creativity and/or resourcefulness in a job. It’s a big topic. I’m not talking about just coding. I’m talking about anything where you’re called upon to “think outside the box,” which for many decades now has been, at least in one situation or another, just about everything.

I’ve had jobs where I was specifically hired for exactly that. And I kept them because I figured out, that’s not it at all, my performance is being assessed purely on whether I’m doing it exactly the way someone else would do it. And I quit that. Another job, it worked that way but I didn’t see it coming, and I lost that. Most jobs, you’re hired to bring your creativity and resourcefulness if they’re needed, but if you read up you’ll find there’s already an established way to do it. And you’d better do that, because if someone else knows of that established way and they’re waiting for you to do it, and you’re goofing around re-inventing the wheel, that’s pretty aggravating for them. You’ll probably get your ass fired.

So do lots of reading.

Stay away from the following people:

The ones who want you to come up with a novel new idea that actually works, so they can steal it.

The ones who want your creativity to be challenged so that you come up with a novel new idea…and they can take credit for making you do it.

Salesmen who need this one particular new feature “so they can close the sale.” And then that becomes your requirement(s). You know, they’re really not the problem; they’re just doing their jobs. But if that’s how it works for you, you’re missing a layer of management and your life is going to become progressively worse as long as you’re missing it. It’s not important to explore how I learned this.

The ones who already have the script written out in their heads, that they’re the only ones who come up with any novel ideas; they just don’t know what they are yet. And when they see you doing it first, get into a rivalry with you because you did it first.

The ones who already have the script written out in their heads about what your novel new idea is supposed to be. And get upset with you because you didn’t follow that script, instead you came up with something else. They’re the worst. They don’t know they’re doing harm.

Of course — the ones who don’t want any creativity coming out anywhere at all ever. Everything worth inventing has been invented already.

And, the ones who don’t understand what exactly it is that you do. And decide, on that basis, that it must not be very important. Hehe that’s totally right Sprocket, the whole world revolves around just the things you understand, and everything else is just goo. If such a person is making decisions or recommendations when it’s time for a layoff, you might as well just go ahead and quit now.

Creativity is the impulse. It is the effervescence. When the cow is blocked by the bale of hay and she can’t figure out how to walk around it, that’s what she’s missing. Resourcefulness is the practical application of that creativity. It is the use of a limited set of resources you have, but did not choose, to achieve a particular goal, that you did not choose. Yes, you can still use these to build for yourself a whole career, hopefully amassing a retirement fund more steadily than I did. It’s a blessing, although it won’t always feel like it.

If that’s you, buckle up bitches. Get ready for a ride.

But you’ll still have to read people, to manage your career. Read them thoroughly and well. Admit you haven’t figured out yet, that which you don’t know. People are multi-layered. They can’t be completely honest with you about their motives if they’re not honest with themselves about those.

Keep your resourcefulness sharp, since you’re using it to pay your bills. But know when to put it away. Think of it like a knife; keep it in good working order, hide it when it’s not needed. And don’t forget about that reading. Do the reading. Get ready to do lots of it. After all, people are paying you to be something resembling an expert. So know your stuff. After that, if you choose your friends wisely and treat them with honesty and respect, you should do okay.

Affirmative Action in College Admissions is Dead

Saturday, July 1st, 2023

Link to decision here.

As expected…the democrats are not acknowledging their little con-job has ended. The Supremes ruled against them, so the Supremes are wrong. This time. How do they keep selling that unequal treatment is equal, when the judicial branch is no longer buying it?


My Governor Gavin Newsom made an ass-and-a-half out of himself over this. And in his usual style, he did it enthusiastically and quickly.

The Supreme Court’s conservative majority has yet again upended longstanding precedent, changing the law just because they now have the votes to do so, without any care for the costs to society and students around the country. Right-wing activists — including those donning robes — are trying to take us back to the era of book bans and segregated campuses. As Justices Sotomayor and Jackson put it powerfully, no one benefits from ignorance: diverse schools are an essential component of the fabric of our democratic society…

While the path to equal opportunity has now been narrowed for millions of students, no court case will ever shatter the California Dream. Our campus doors remain open for all who want to work hard — and our commitment to diversity, equity, and equal opportunity has never been stronger…

They can’t fool him. They’re trying to take us back to the era of book bans and segregated campuses.

But California voters must be trying to take us back to that too…

California voters in 1996 voted 54%-45% to pass Proposition 209, which stated that “the state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.”

The ban on affirmative action by the Golden State was later affirmed by voters in 2020 when Proposition 16 was rejected by voters 57%-42%. Proposition 16 would have repealed Proposition 209, and would allow affirmative action in California.

Still, for those wondering what democrats have to say about this, Newsom has laid down the template. Going back. Going forward. Trying to take us back to the era. Progress. C.A.L.W.W.N.T.Y. (Come A Long Way, We’re Not There Yet.) For which, I have a bothersome, pain-in-the-ass question: Can we see the omelet? Where is this progress the Supreme Court has interrupted, or reversed, in its plain acknowledgment that equal treatment is equal treatment and unequal treatment is unequal treatment? Where? Have we evil white people been properly knocked from our precipices of unearned privilege, or have we been well on the way? Have the poor poor put-upon ethnic groups been properly but fractionally empowered? Is inter-racial animus sharply but only partly declined? Resentments on one side, or the other, mostly but not quite completely soothed?

Not a trivial question, since you guys want to invoke C.A.L.W.W.N.T.Y. For it to work, the persuaders and those persuaded have to accept 1) we’re on a correct bearing of travel but also 2) the distance has not been fully traversed. How do you support that, with observed evidence, logic and reason? You don’t. It’s a pitch to feelings. Well even here in California, a majority doesn’t have those feelings and that means we’re not gonna get ’em.

If I were a consultant to democrats and I earnestly wanted them to win, I’d tell them to drop this toot-sweet. It’s a losing issue now. The support of the courts, alone, made it something other than that; nothing else ever did. It was always nonsense.

Links to some other great coverage:

Whatever happened to the affirmative action concept of “critical mass”?

Sotomayor’s Fake America

Affirmative Action’s Demise and Higher Education

Winsome Sears Nukes Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Dissent: ‘Chosen Because She’s Black’

Clarence Thomas Reading His Epic Takedown Of KBJ’s Affirmative Action Dissent Left Her “Visibly Angry”

The Morning Briefing: Clarence Thomas Flexes All Over SCOTUS Diversity Hire Ketanji Brown Jackson in Affirmative Action Opinion

‘Ted Talk’ Given After Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Disputed Claim About Black Babies in AA Case

But you know what? All of this stuff is fake and phony. The foundational premise is faulty. If the first floor of a building is faulty, you can’t rely on the second floor, right? If we’re going to argue then let’s do it honestly.

The Supreme Court did not belatedly realize “Hey…that doesn’t square with the Constitution after all.”

It isn’t a matter of “conservative Supreme Court justices” having one vision of the Constitution & what it’s supposed to do, and the liberals having a different one.

The dissenting justices are justices according to their appointments and the law, but they don’t function that way. They don’t sit on the court to impartially adjudicate. They’re there to make sure certain demographics win out over certain other demographics. They’re there to enforce a totem-pole stacking and sequencing; a caste system.

Just like union representatives going into a meeting to represent the interests of union members. Yes, things changed because they got outnumbered. But that’s not how the Supreme Court is supposed to work. It’s supposed to be nine judicial officers, acting as judicial officers. No one is guaranteed a win except the U.S. Constitution itself.

The quota-system bean counting was alive, and now it is dead. Something has changed. What changed?

The Constitution didn’t change.

Priorities didn’t change.

Logic and reason didn’t change.

Feelings didn’t change.

See, Gov. Newsom is right. It’s purely a question of votes. What changed was that before, there were enough of these “union reps” play-pretending as judicial officers, under thin flimsy disguises, to outnumber the real judicial officers and bury the Constitution’s plain text and spirit under bushels of nonsense. And then the makeup of the court changed so that the votes were there to peel back the nonsense.

Now the liberals are popping up on the news, and on Twitter, and Reddit, Facebook, and in the comment threads under various articles, to defend the nonsense. And all they can come up with is more layers of nonsense. They’re just posing and grandstanding, acting like they’ve read or in some other way come into contact with some game-changing nugget of information that has eluded anyone who disagrees. But if you dig into their arguments you see they have no arguments at all.

It’s how they work. This is why “liberal” is such a dirty word. It should be. Their executives and legislators have these constituencies, and they run for re-election promising the constituents they’ll nominate judges and justices who “preserve your rights” — guaranteeing wins under any & all scenarios that they have no business guaranteeing, acting like union reps piling on the nonsense. These judges and justices, along with the executives and legislators who nominate and confirm them, swear oaths to defend the United States Constitution. And then they break those oaths.

It’s unsavory, tactless and futile to mention it which is why people so seldom bother to do so. Sophisticated people on both sides of the argument, will maintain silence about this part of it. You have to wait for a rough-around-the-edges rogue like me. Nevertheless, this is what’s true. Half of our electorate is like a child, who’s playing Monopoly but is too immature to handle the prospect of losing, therefore has to win all the time. With an actual Monopoly game, that ends with a temper tantrum, foot-stomping, fist-balling, shouting, tears, throwing, kicking and plastic houses & hotels flung around the room. What passes for American jurisprudence, amounts to the real-life version of that. Because in our governmental system you’re not allowed to say “Hey you can’t participate, you lack the required maturity.” And so people do participate, when they lack the maturity. And then the Presidents, Governors and legislators they elect, pander to them and their need to win.

The Seesaw

Saturday, June 17th, 2023

We’ve had this lingering disagreement about voting; half of us say it’s too easy to vote, the other half tremble in fear over these “schemes” of “voter suppression,” thickly suggesting such schemes are race-based. But whether they are or not, the narrative says they’re always awful because everyone should be allowed to vote, in fact encouraged to vote. So half of us say there are too many voters and the other half say there aren’t enough and there are never enough.

We’re also divided on the ideas in circulation. Roughly half of us say there are too many and we need some restrictions. “Misinformation” shouldn’t find an outlet anywhere, CNN did the wrong thing giving Trump such an “outlet,” the First Amendment does not and should not protect “hate speech.” The other half of us say there cannot be an idea so dangerous that we have to keep it from being at least discussed; if it’s reckless, toxic or stupid, that should come out in the discussions. We should fear the censorship more than we fear the ideas.

Now I haven’t conducted a poll, but it seems to me like there’s a near perfect “seesaw” arrangement here. The people who say there are too many ideas being discussed are the ones who say there aren’t enough people voting. And the people who say there are too many people voting, point to some ideas we should be able to at least discuss, and we’re not allowed to discuss them. So those who say there is a deficiency of voters and a need to “harvest” some more, say there is a glut of questionable ideas and a need to restrict them. Those who say there is a glut of questionable voters and a need to restrict those voters, say there is a deficiency of ideas being discussed and we need to look at relaxing the restrictions we’ve placed on those.

To me, it makes a lot of sense that voters should be qualified. On what critical matters are we voting? How to spend money…and many of these ways are new and innovative, unheard-of just a few years ago. And on raising the “debt ceiling” so the country can become more insolvent. It’s lunacy to insist people should have a say in such things when they’re not paying into the system.

On the other hand, if the ideas to be discussed have to be filtered and conditionally declared off-limits, with posts flagged and removed, accounts suspended and closed…there has to be a decider. And I notice these deciders are not elected. I’ve seen them in action, learned of their decisions and the restrictions they impose, occasionally been affected directly by them. They don’t have my faith. I join ranks with those who say, if the idea really is all that bad, it should come out in the wash. We ought to be able to at least explore it and compare notes on it. We ought to be able to at least talk about it.

People who oppose me on both positions, and there’s no shortage of the ones who do, paint themselves into the awkward corner of insisting we need to hear from every last person in the country who can fog a mirror with their breath, to make sure no one’s left with their voice unheard. But when we’re done hearing from all these voices, there’s only a limited range of ideas they should be allowed to consider, or speak of, or hear of, let alone support…

The one thing that can possibly explain this: Vanity.

It’s like a wife, so vain that she wants the entire zip code polled on whether or not these pants make her butt look big. And make sure everyone capable of writing their own name can participate in the vote, leaving no one unheard. So that all can cast their vote…no honey, it looks just fine.

Ask the Questions

Saturday, June 3rd, 2023

The older people get, the more they see conservatism is the right way to go. Liberals protest that’s because old people find comfort in old things and are afraid to try anything new. The truth is, when something new works, that’s an exception and it’s rare. As a general rule, if it worked we’d already be doing it. And it’s the older people who can see it because this is a pattern of averages, and it takes time to see it. You have to watch a few plans put into practice, notice across the years what succeeds and what doesn’t.

Now obviously, if we accepted “new things are no good” as policy to be implemented and enforced across the board, in all contexts, without any exceptions asked for or granted, it would be counterproductive. But guess what? We don’t. Nobody advocates for such a thing. A conservative is not an unreasoning, strident extremist lobbying for the patent office to be shut down because everything worth inventing has been invented. Rather, a conservative asks questions. He refuses to grant the new thing the benefit of the doubt.

It is the liberal who is the strident, unreasoning extremist. “A new thing! Let’s get behind it!”

Anyone who says no, is their enemy.

Anyone who asks inconvenient questions about it, is the enemy.

Anyone who notices the wrong thing about it, is the enemy.

Anyone who politely inquires about the prospect of a sandbox test, a limited scope of implementation, contingency plans in case it doesn’t work, rollbacks…in fact, anyone who merely hesitates to say yes. Is the enemy. Because liberalism is not an ideology at all. It’s a cult.

The conservative merely asks the questions everyone should be asking: If this is such a great idea, how did we get to this point where we haven’t already been doing it? There may very well be a good answer. Like any responsible adult, the conservative wants to know what it is. Maybe the idea is so good we should have been doing it a long time ago, and we need to look at our traditions and our processes. But someone should be asking the question.

And then there are Prof. Sowell’s: Compared to what? At what cost? What hard evidence do you have?

Liberals have successfully sold the idea to the public that they have a lock on “nuanced” thinking and “open-mindedness.” It isn’t so. They’re the ones who refuse to ask the questions above, along with any other. They don’t question the direction of their travel, just like a bullet doesn’t question its trajectory — they just keep on going until something makes it impossible to go any further. And then, like the bullet, they deliver a high magnitude of kinetic energy that destroys things. But they don’t critically think or question, that’s a myth, one of the most successful and stealthy myths ever plied upon the American people.

Work Requirements Offend Poor People

Wednesday, May 31st, 2023

So much bad, weird stuff in the month of May. Which one single thing would be the worst?

It’s a given that the champion must emerge from matters pertaining to the “debt ceiling talks” or whatever you wanna call ’em. At this point, my affection for the mainstream media is not running terribly high. In fact, it’s bottomed out into a low nadir. “White hot rage” would be the most accurate description that comes to mind.

All across the board they’re selling the idea that brash, irresponsible recklessness would be best represented by cutting spending and/or refusing to “raise the ceiling,” and responsibility means raising said ceiling without conditions, the more the better. The exact opposite of what’s true.

I don’t know how successful this sales pitch is. But that’s what they’re selling. Stem to stern.

In a way, we’re outgrowing the ancient conflict between conservatism and liberalism. Throughout May, it’s bee more like: One school of thought says once you’ve given people the vote, and given them entitlements, you’ll never succeed in taking those things away again so you’d better just figure out how the republic can endure with criminals and other destructive individuals voting, spending out of control, interest on the debt out of control…find a way to make it work.

The other school of thought says it can’t work like that, so if you really want the republic to remain you’d better take the vote away from the criminals and the grifters, and withdraw the previous entitlements…find a way to make that work.

The first of those two is more popular. But there’s no way it can win. Math backs the other, and math won’t negotiate.

This doesn’t foretell happy times ahead.

There’s no kind way to ask the question. What the hell is the matter with these people? Do they not believe in math? I’m not going to sit here and type in words to the effect that I know exactly where the tipping point is, the hard limit only represented by these various legislative limits, where the center of gravity topples over the brink and the solvency of the republic is gone forever. But I can promise there is such a point somewhere. It’s in the laws of the universe. It’s Stein’s Law: Whatever can’t last forever, will not. It will stop.

If they knowingly concede to that most-fundamental of all rules, they must be fifth-column fighters destroying the union from within. If they don’t, then, how do I phrase it delicately. Any fair summary comes off sounding like a playground taunt. Their opinions would be relevant only because we have a negotiation process that makes them that way, and any negotiation process that makes them that way is poison.

They are children. Put their kind in charge of a household, and eventually the mortgage goes unpaid, the electricity is disconnected and there’s a panic because the freezer and fridge are full of ice cream and nothing else.

The worst out of all of it is the notion that work requirements are offensive to poor people.

After the “debt ceiling crisis” has abated — when we’ve secured, on credit, our latest two-gallon tub of I Dough, I Dough to stash in the freezer — we’re going to be ears-deep in stories about various efforts to “disenfranchise voters.” Nuh huh, folks. Negatori. we do not have a problem with making it too hard to vote in this country. We have a problem with making it too easy, with too many people doing the voting.

Because if they’re not fifth-column types trying to drive us over a cliff, the only other explanation is they’re half-blind hedonists who, as distinguished from not-believing in the tipping point, simply refuse to think about it. Or, simpler than that, are just never incentivized to start thinking about it in the first place. They’re not on the hook for the debt. It’s someone else’s problem.

This is a great nation, but it isn’t greater than math. If we’re setting it up under a set of rules that say beneficiaries of all the borrowing & spending can vote, and therefore have a shot at prevailing over those who are on the hook for it, then that’s setting up a system to challenge math. We won’t win at that. It’s the pickup truck challenging the freight train. No point in even asking the question.

Bend the Knee

Sunday, April 30th, 2023

Best I can do lately is a monthly recap. There are advantages involved in this. Sometimes, in fact a lot of the time, when you shut your mouth and watch & listen, things become just a little bit clearer.

Here’s what I have seen:

Elon Musk’s rocket blew up, and liberals cheered as if this proved something…like, Elon can’t build rockets? And they can, or something?

Also on the Elon subject: Liberals are throwing a hissy over the blue checkmarks. So far Elon’s having the last laugh.

Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon got fired. Lemon, because nobody watches him, and Tucker because too many people watch him.

President Biden officially announced he is running for re-election in 2024. Some prominent commentators, not all of them on the left, have tried to get this narrative rolling that Donald Trump is the only Republican Biden could defeat.

The Fox News network settled the Dominion lawsuit. I see a lot of people are commenting on this as if it proves an open hearing and full examination of the facts would be embarrassing to Fox, but I note that the suit was for an amount even bigger than the settlement. So perhaps Dominion, who had to agree to the settlement, would have been embarrassed as well.

Mike Lindell the MyPillow guy lost his arbitration and has to pay $5 million. This whole thing looks stupid to me, on both sides. The word “unequivocal” is being used strangely here, and I think, wrongfully. It’s clear to me that according to the terms of arbitration, Lindell was to enjoy the benefit of any doubts — plaintiff had to prove the data, and all of the data, were entirely disconnected from the 2020 election. Somewhere, halfway through the 22 or so pages, there’s a shift. In the end, nobody knows anything, everything’s left up in the air; and Lindell has to pay.

The know-it-all woke-woman who redirected Budweiser’s enormous marketing resources to “evolve” the customer base (??) is on administrative leave. Their failure is complete.

Chicago’s Mayor-Elect wouldn’t condemn looting.

In Congress, Marjorie Taylor Greene got in trouble, in theory, not really, for telling the truth about her unseemly colleague Eric Swalwell.

We have a terrible problem, or something, some awful danger that has something to do with men who won’t date “woke” women. When I was single, I didn’t date them either. Well I did. Until I learned things and then I didn’t. There are stories there, but the upshot is, sorry, I can’t condemn single men who do things the same way I did them when I was single, for the same reason. When she’s bunny-in-the-stewpot crazy, you high-tail it out of there, period full stop.

The Supreme Court refuses to rule on President Biden’s abracadabra student loan disappearing magic. I wish, when SCOTUS engages in this degree of damage, it would come out and admit it. “Refuse to rule” or “let stand” makes it look like they’re doing nothing. But it’s their place to lead, and this is a good example of how toxic a lack of leadership can be if it comes at the worst time and in the worst context. I mean gee, what else can the President do now? “You’re not overweight anymore! Executive order!” There’s no limit.

The “bullhorn” lawmakers in Tennessee who were expelled, have been reinstated.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has apologized for one of his most ill-considered comments.

A boy in a Pokemon tournament was expelled for laughing when asked for his preferred pronouns.

What do all these have in common?

I’m seeing a mix of good decisions and poor decisions. The decision-making, on balance, is deteriorating because the good decisions are badly outnumbered. And they’re made under duress, when the consequences of prior poor decisions have had a cornering effect. With very few and very rare exceptions, people are putting off the good decision-making until it’s become absolutely necessary.

In fact the decision-making is so bad, and the bad decision-making so universal, it drives me to look for a common cause. There must be one. Something is present that was once absent, or is absent that was once present. After mulling it over awhile and thinking of what’s changed, I think it’s the latter. Bad decision-making is the default. In times past we enjoyed the benefits of a restraining device that keeps us from making bad decisions, and that device is now missing or dormant.

And everywhere. Note what a terrible official Joe Biden is. People say “Trump is the only guy who could lose to him,” but what they really mean to say is “You can’t say anything good about Biden other than he isn’t Donald Trump.” And they’re just terrified that America might say “Okay yeah he isn’t…so that’s why we’re going to elect Trump.” It could happen. One percent of the people who voted for Biden in six different states, or far less than that…stay home. That would do it.

But Biden, in 2020, did win at least in theory. All over the world, elected officials with balls lost their elections, and the weird clowns who destroy everything they touch, won theirs. Everybody who runs anything anywhere is a Justin Trudeau. Something weird is happening.

I think there’s a certain quality we have sometimes, that we don’t have anymore. A lot of people think they have it and are exercising it pretty much constantly. But they haven’t done it in years.

Disagreeing, and remaining friends.

I mean, think about it. I walk up to you and say “We’re friends, right? Okay then. Water is dry. The moon is cheese.” And other ridiculous falsehoods…like the United States was founded in 1619 to preserve the institution of slavery, stuff like that…the proper response would be “Yes Morgan, we’re friends alright! And you’re full of it. You go down that road without me. But see you at the Christmas party!”

We all know that’s the right answer. But when’s the last time you’ve heard of someone in any position of visibility and profile, giving it? It’s just not happening anymore.

People are too desperate to be included in the group. The fear is going the other way — they’re terrified of being kicked out of it. It’s just like middle school, except it’s adulthood. And lately it’s everywhere.

We are, regularly…frequently…predictably…and universally…making terrible decisions. This is the pattern we’re seeing. People are being approached with ridiculous proposals and they say “Yes! Because I need to keep this job!” Instead of “No! Because I need my brain to work right. So I can do this job.” You don’t let dumb things like truth, logic and common sense win out over these Never-Never-Land overtures. If you want to stay friends, you bend the knee. And you presume your eventual demise if you don’t stay friends.

How did we get here? Unclear. Maybe the pandemic had something to do with it. China poisoned us in mind as well as body. Oh dear. Am I going to get punished for writing that where people can see it?

Another thing I notice: You can labor away in this effort to be included in the group, or to avoid being kicked out of the group, like in eighth grade; you can insist on quality in your elected representatives. Pick one. You can have one, and only one. You can’t have both.

It’s like keeping your eyes open when you sneeze. Seems possible, in fact easy. But just try it.

People don’t want to be social pariahs. They’re terrified of being excluded. And so they don’t insist on standards. If no one insists on the standards, the standards are gone, and when standards are gone…well, it’s like the ladder being gone underneath a window washer or a sign painter. Crashy crashy boom.

That’s where we are.

These things do go in cycles though. How we enter the next arc of the cycle, I don’t know. How quickly, I don’t know that either.

I do have my hopes.

Defining “Woke”

Friday, March 31st, 2023

Apart from the Trump indictment, and the awful event over in Nashville, perhaps the most significant event in the month of March was when Bethany Mandel was asked to define “woke.” She didn’t do very well, and a lot of leftists took to the Internet to make hay out of the “breaking of her brain” or some such thing…

She handled it well, shying away from excuses, and admitting that her performance at this key moment fell short of what she might have wanted. Also, she conceded the same point I did, in subsequent discussions: This is a fair question. We shouldn’t leave it unanswered.

At the same time, though, it’s mendacious to argue that the problem extends beyond mere ambiguity. “We know it when we see it,” while leaving the job not fully done, is satisfactory in most cases. Sylvester Stallone says None of this woke crap in my movies and we know exactly what he means. People aren’t lost on this.

It’s not easy to define, which gives The Left room to cheat, and cheat they do.

Mandel offers:

A radical belief system suggesting that our institutions are built around discrimination, and claiming that all disparity is a result of that discrimination. It seeks a radical redefinition of society in which equality of group result is the endpoint, enforced by an angry mob.

The lingering question, and the issue surrounding it, reveals something important about us. Every single high office that could be occupied by some woke piece of crap, is. I’m looking at the World Economic Forum, the Davos dipshits legislating away my carbon emissions, Justin Trudeau, etc. Sorry Catholics, but that includes His Holiness. Whose elevation to that position remains shrouded in secrecy, practically unprecedented, and bizarre. It also includes the President of the United States, whose elevation to that office also occurred under suspicious, weird circumstances.

Davos PeopleOutside of occupations of high office, every chance the people have to show they’re done with wokeness and don’t want any more of it, without exception, they take. Look at the Oscars. Look at subscription bases for woke printed material. Ratings of woke teevee shows. Sales of woke products. Movies starring woke superheroes. If there’s any sort of staged show to go with it, resulting in few having power over many, woke wins, and all or nearly all of the time. If the people have some clean and unfiltered way of showing their priorities and concerns, woke is an albatross, a consistent loser.

It has something to do with racism, climate change, LGBTQI+, homelessness, and many other issues near and dear to The Left. It is distinctly leftist, and angry too. But the relationships it has with being angry, and leftist, are subset relationships; all “woke” people are leaning left, and they’re all angry, but all angry people aren’t necessarily woke and all leftists are not necessarily woke. All left-invested issues aren’t necessarily woke issues. To want to put more decision-points that go with everyday living under government control, in & of itself, is not a “woke” desire although it’s exactly what leftists want to do. Leftists want to increase spending and raise taxes but that’s not necessarily what the “woke” want to do. They just end up wanting the same things, once all the serious proposals are in and we’re deliberating what to do about them.

Woke, I see, has something to do with the word “equity”:

While the terms equity and equality may sound similar, the implementation of one versus the other can lead to dramatically different outcomes for marginalized people.

Equality means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities. Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.

That’s what the word “equity” means after the wokesters and the social justice warriors have gotten done mangling it. They were flailing about looking for a word they could dress up as “equal, but not equal” and, like a predator pulling the least fortunate out of a herd of pack animals, set upon the poor slowest-of-the-bunch “equity.”

Well, this is what it meant before that happened:

The money value of a property or of an interest in a property in excess of claims or liens against it. Justice according to natural law or right; specifically, freedom from bias or favoritism.

You see what they did here?

Before they came along, equity meant “no bias or favoritism.” Then they start masticating the word, and when they’re done with their grinding and their salivating and their digesting it means: They see one contestant as advantaged and another one as disadvantaged, so they’re going to stack the deck in anticipation of equal outcome.

But of course, we know from observing social justice warriors that your membership in an oppressed class or oppressor class, is a brand. You carry it womb to tomb. They don’t anticipate equal outcomes, to the contrary they have it all figured out who needs help and who needs a hobbling. And there’s no precision in their deck-stacking because there’s no restraint. The more, the better.

They have screwed up the word “equity.” They’ve re-defined it to mean the exact opposite of what it really means. So getting back to the word “woke” — let’s not pretend we’re busting a sweat coming up with a workable and precise definition for the woke. They don’t need our help. We know them when we see them, and you can bet they know themselves when they see themselves.

An “Old Curmudgeon” came up with something good about this:

In short, woke ideas positively encourage paranoid habits of mind, which are analogous to those exhibited by people suffering from depression, anxiety, and other psychological disorders. Looking at the world through woke lenses leads one to see oppression and injustice even where they do not exist, to feel strongly aggrieved at this imagined oppression and injustice, and then to treat the narrative of grievance that results as if it were confirming evidence of the reality of the imagined oppression and injustice…


The difference between wokeness and other forms of delusional paranoia is that the wokester’s delusions and paranoia reflect what I referred to above as a hyper-egalitarian view of the world…What I am calling hyper-egalitarian is the tendency to suspect all inequalities of being per se unjust – for example, to suppose that if 10% of the population of a country is of a certain race yet less than 10% of the stockbrokers in that country are of that race, this amounts to a “racist” inequity that cannot be given an innocent explanation and must somehow be eliminated by governmental policy.

What we call “woke” is a betrayal against the progressive promise of a better new world in which we get along together in a sense of harmony that’s been missing up until now. Whether any particular “woke” person understands this consciously, varies according to which one it is. But for people of many different viewpoints and backgrounds to get along with each other and co-exist with greater understanding and less conflict, there would have to be provisions made for imperfections, and other things that could be perceived as slights.

In one word: “Slack.” We would all have to cut each other some.

And “woke” doesn’t cut us any. This is a microaggression, that is a microaggression, microaggressions everywhere…everyone with some of the five senses working and a pulse to keep ’em going, is a proximity-detonated land mine. Because every possibility for offense is an opportunity. That’s what really distinguishes them.

If we’re looking for the perimeter, so that we can minimize ambiguity in declaring this thing to be woke and that other thing not to be woke, it might be best to form and then judge by a bullet-form definition.

With that in mind, I submit the following. However many bullets qualify for a “positive diagnosis,” I’ll leave to the reader, although it’s clearly more than one and it may fall short of all ten:

1. Preferring visible expressions of dissatisfaction over less visible observations of fixable things.
2. Placing greater weight on group memberships than on individual hopes, dreams, concerns and ambitions.
3. Preening.
4. Angry.
5. Unready for normal human interaction or relationships.
6. Pursuing a cause that involves revenge against a group for a perceived slight.
7. In search of such a cause.
8. Advocating one brand of discrimination as redress against another.
9. Pursuing esteem but unready to offer skills, talents or values that would legitimately earn it.
10. Annoying.

Trump Indicted

Friday, March 31st, 2023



Do things their way, because the democrats own the prosecutors. We’ll just have to cope with homeless-pee and poop in our streets, windmills chopping up birds, being forced to buy EVs that cost a dollar a mile to drive…because…indictments.

Evidently, that’s the vision. That’s the plan.


Friday, March 17th, 2023

“Brought to you by ‘The Women Against Tiredness Society’.”

It’s kind of funny because there’s some truth to it. Watching wives & girlfriends shuffle off to work, I’ve often thought this. There’s a tiredness there the men aren’t sharing, and this is after the workplace has been turned upside-down and inside-out to make it more comfortable and appealing to females.

“Supporting women in STEM” is particularly concerning. STEM is something I know to be a thing where persistence prevails. People succeed there with & without support, and they fail there too. But if you have to have support in order to succeed in it, do you belong in it? I suppose there’s a possibility. At the risk of being called a sexist, I say let’s call that “possible but not probable.”

Well. The proponents of the two-income household have won, and the dollar has shrunk. No one’s chasing the American Dream, going on vacation every year and sending the kids to college on one income anymore, so we’re going to have to keep doing it this way for awhile. Stay tired, girls.

Death of the Mentor

Tuesday, February 28th, 2023

Well, now I get it. I thought I did before, but I didn’t. Since 1977, maybe before, watching Obi-Wan Kenobi get cut down in front of Luke Skywalker, like everyone else I was thinking: Gosh Luke, that’s a real gut punch even if you only got to know the old guy for a few hours or days. And it is. A popular trope has been built up around the mentor getting killed as part of the Hero’s Journey.

It occurs to me that until Gerard Van der Leun left us, I never really had reason to truly identify with this thing — after the loss of companionship, knowing I’ll never see a good friend again on this plane of existence, the confusion. Or I should say disorientation. Never had a mentor, at least not a real solid one, a mentor quite like him.

I said a few words at his service a few weeks ago, at Mrs. Freeberg’s urging. The officiator invited people to come up and share their stories, and such was the friend-making power of the deceased that this opened floodgates. One person would finish, and another hand would shoot up, and another and another. I wanted to let them all go first. This wasn’t about me, and all these people were from his church which he joined just a couple years ago. Over and over again I heard the wish expressed: Wish I knew him longer. Well, this is why I was taking these nudges from the person to my left. I’d known him longer than the two years, something like seventeen, eighteen or so, and I knew better than they did that this wish was a wise one.

But I’m not a church going guy. I’m a blogger guy. Different worlds. It’s a fitting send-off for our world-straddling giant of a friend, that each of these worlds should speak its piece. After waiting a respectful interval and waiting for the proper turn.

I did not mention the wisdom of wishing for more time with Gerard. It wasn’t necessary. I think everyone present got it. I did mention that we met when one of Gerard’s pieces made a nationally syndicated radio show, to which I was listening to a recording, and I had to drop what I was doing and mutter silently to myself “What’s that?” And “Where’s the rewind button?” I didn’t mention the radio show was Rush Limbaugh’s, nor did I delve too much into the subject of Gerard’s piece, because, again: World straddling. People who’s politics didn’t align with my own, or with Gerard’s, who nevertheless thought of him as a friend, were entitled to think the most positive of the available thoughts on this day.

I didn’t go into the routine that developed after I became gainfully employed again. I’d rise at three or so, read the headlines to figure out what was cheesing me off that day, or perhaps I’d fixated on what got to me the previous day. And I’d blog something. Then I’d get dressed and go to work, and at lunch I’d try to catch up on my personal e-mails. Every now and then, I would see: From VANDERLEUN. Subject: Psssssssssst… And I’d say to myself: Aw, shit. Misspelled this. Or that. Forgot to close a tag.

Nobody is infallible. Paying it back was fun and rewarding. But I knew I wasn’t infallible either, and if I paid one of those back, it was bound to come back my way full force when the time was right.

Having not gone into that, I didn’t get into the “Bubkes” debacle. That’s a real shame. I don’t know what Gerard anecdote is most amusing to others, but this one stands out to me. In my laziness and in my ignorance, I sidestepped the simpler expression — you should always use the simpler one, you know — when what I wanted to say was “nothing.” Couldn’t resist the temptation to spice it up, so I stepped outside the perimeter of my understanding and used “butkus.” Eight hours later, here it comes…Psssssssssst…

This time I pushed back. Butkus? Perfectly cromulent word. What’s your boggle?

I got back a dissertation about bubkes being right and butkus being wrong. This time, I thought, I had the master dead to rights. Urban Dictionary said so.


From VANDERLEUN. Subject: “Urban… schmurban”. You know how in poker a royal flush beats three-of-a-kind? It was like that. My “reference” link met up with two far more comprehensive definitions, out of dictionaries in the native Yiddish…definitions neatly overlapping with my original intent, “emphatically nothing”…etymologies…some cursory research into alternative spellings, and how & why those came to be…yet another definition straight out of Urban Dictionary substantiating his version and not mine. And, more. The words of 15 Jewish ex-in-laws of his who would back him up, and if all that failed to convince, an invitation to “just get two broadswords and settle this like men!”

Had to go back and edit this to add that; it’s vintage Gerard. Yes, the immovable object did yield to the irresistible force.

I didn’t mention how thankful I was that he found the church in the last two years of his life. I probably should have. I know it meant a lot to him.

I did include just a few highlights from our friendship. I tried not to make it about me. That’s a little bit of a fuzzy line and I hope I didn’t overstep it. I might have said something about my background, as a software weenie, a computer engineer. I could have made that relevant by explaining a bit more, but I chose not to: We are accustomed to a technical world, in which for the job to be done at any satisfactory level, you have to define everything. Stepping into the world of writing for humans, this has been a tough habit to shake. If you explain everything to humans, you create a situation in which there’s nothing more to be said. The human mind, naturally economizing, moves on to the next subject. And in the meantime, you’ve probably bored them with your bloviating.

Contrary to the impressions people pick up from my writing, I’m aware of the problem. What to do about it, is what eludes. What to cut? I haven’t got a clue.

To Gerard, it was second nature and I can prove it. You go to his impressive accumulation and pick one piece out of the thousands available to you. Pick any at random. He leaves out stuff that you don’t need, and he knows you don’t need it. It’s as if he knows you personally. As if he’s sitting right next to you. That’s how good writers write. It’s not how I write, although, not for lack of trying.

After I’ve coped with the loss of a friend, I have to cope with that. That’s the light that I’ve just seen extinguished. Some might say I’ve learned a bit here and there. They might say there’s been improvement over the last eighteen years, the benefits of shutting up and listening to him when I’d done wrong, reading his chicken-scratching over my manuscript. The constant drumbeat of mild criticism, the occasional harsher variety, up to and including “You should be shot for using this word.” And the praise which came at the end of an interval so long, that by the time there was any I’d all-but decided there wasn’t going to be any. I remember in particular, one long meandering piece I wrote when one of my older cars had finally blown its head gasket, which I thought was just stupid sentimental gibberish. His words are there now: “That’s good, Morgan. Very good.” I remember thinking: What? Why? But others agreed and I was decidedly outvoted.

Such is my conundrum. My high watermark is “I did good? Me no understand…well if you all say so…” A writer has to relate to his audience. And I do…here and there, now and then, by coincidence like the busted clock twice daily. It’s not good enough. Not for the big leagues, anyway.

Well you know — if the Lord grants me some more years and decades, I’ll keep working at it. Such is life. I’ll try and get better and better, hopefully succeeding on occasion. I can only hope to approach those who really know what they’re doing, never replace them. But cursing the darkness does us no good. The best we can do is what we can, when we can, and in the aftermath after such a great light has gone out, to show our gratitude for having had it by striving to do things we wouldn’t be able to do if we’d never had it.

And thanks to my friendship with him, that part, at least, is easy.

Gerard Van der Leun: December 26, 1945 – January 27, 2023

Monday, January 30th, 2023

More on this later. Our dear friend of many years Gerard, whom we’ve thought of us Dumbledore to our Harry Potter almost from the very beginning, checked into the hospital at the beginning of the year. Through the updates he managed to arrange, we found that he made it back home again, then had to check back in as his condition worsened. Through the additional testing it emerged that he was (known to him or not, we’re not clear at this point and it doesn’t very much matter) a Cancer patient and the disease had metastasized. This was a week ago, and just a few days after that he left for the next world in the middle of the night.

It always rattled me just a little bit when he linked to me. I seldom thought myself worthy. Readers of this blog — which (he was always amused when I repeated this line) no one actually reads anyway — might have noticed over the last few years there’s been a worsening deficiency in someone actually writing for it. What can I say, the world around us has been losing stability and it’s become a more daunting task to summarize what it is, while my available time for doing so has been on a rapid decline. Many’s the time I thought he was linking to me, not necessarily to capture the best, but to encourage me to get back into it so that maybe I could do better. Struggling away, maybe, igniting and re-igniting the sopping wet fire log. But, I don’t want to make this about me. I’ll just say it was a humbling experience to see, after he left us, he did it one last time and on his birthday. It gave me reason to stop and think about priorities, what we do, how much time we spend doing it, and what people think about it all. People who say “You spend too much time blogging” demand lots of attention. I’m not so sure they’ve put as much thought into it, as the people who’d say “You should spend more.” After all, we can concede the point this is a noisy world full of chatter, and blogs add to the chatter. But they add to the understanding as well, and does our world suffer from a crushing abundance of that? That’s a different thing.

I was re-reading the piece that introduced us to each other, The Voice of the Neuter is Heard Throughout the Land, and down in the comment section I beheld a beautiful example of Pure Gerard: His response to some egotist who’d wandered along to impress him with knowledge of the phrase “ad hominem” whilst accusing him of engaging in the fallacy. Ah, come on, let’s admit it: When we read blogs, sometimes we read them to watch “bring a knife to a flamethrower fight” moments like this. There’s no shame. It’s like admitting your head yaws around a bit when you drive past a domestic disturbance.

You seem, in your reading of the article, to have glided past the statement:

“What is of interest to me here is not what Stein writes or says. His own words damn him more decisively than a thousand bloggers blathering blithely What interestest me is how he speaks”

I also note at the beginning: “Once a blogpile of such mountainous proportions starts, there’s little left to comment on in terms of the content of Stein’s small dry excretion after the first five hours”

I fail to see how annou[n]cing I’m not going to do the content and then not doing it fails the promise of the article.

If you have not been able to see articles critical of Mr. Stein’s “content” you have been failing to look in lebenty-leben of the right places.

A scroll of will quickly lead you to an entry thick with pointers to those writers who have. Reading just a few of them will, I am sure, satiate your lust for content.

Sincerely…[emphasis mine]

That’s our departed friend, with the sparkly flaming part at midpoint on the short, short fuse. There was a different version to be seen after the fuse was all burned away and he just didn’t give a crap about pleasantries anymore. That one was every bit as entertaining, if not more so, but to keep this G-rated the milder one will suffice.

His impressive works are like the mighty ocean; simple enough a task to catch a glimpse, but to survey the entirety of it would be something to challenge the imagination, let alone actual achievement. I’ve been compiling a list of the best that might emerge from such an effort. Every now and then I’ll think of something to add, and the gods of the search engines will smile upon my efforts, or not.

For the top spot out of all of them, the web site updater evidently agrees with me: The piece he put in place on Memorial Day weekends, at least most of them, The Name in the Stone.

Just shut up and read. Maybe grab yourself a bowl of creamed onions, begin at the top, and proceed downward until you reach the end. You’ll likely emerge a slightly better, more appreciative person for the effort, leading a slightly richer life.

A mighty torch that gave off a great light, has gone out in our midst. I cannot speculate with confidence on our prospects for seeing another like him. We were fortunate enough just to have the one. Godspeed, my friend.

Definition of “Woman”

Thursday, December 29th, 2022

Must not yield to temptation…to explain the joke is to ruin the joke…

RedState adds:

The video was from June, but they were suspended from Twitter in March over calling Rachel Levine a man, so they posted the video again on Wednesday. But under Twitter 1.0, you weren’t have been allowed to see that kind of humor or that speech skewering the present problem with the left. Now you can again, and that’s positive movement. Indeed, it was the Babylon Bee suspension that got Musk interested in buying Twitter, to begin with, because of his belief in free speech.


Sunday, December 25th, 2022

I’m quite done with 2022. I had a politics-goal, and a career-goal. No goals for family. I scored three-for-two, which isn’t doing badly at all. I saw the Republicans take the House of Representatives this year. But, like many, I’m weary of this exercise of lowering the threshold of victory down into the floorboards. It’s tiring and it’s befuddling. In politics, the question is whether we like businesses to continue operating and prospering, or do we want to see them swallowed up in huge city-blight tumbleweeds of homelessness, illiteracy, sprawl, decay, drug use and human waste. What’s up with these photo-finish races?

Even if the center of gravity lands on the good side of the brink and the precarious teetering eventually subsides, with disaster averted — which is usually not the case — the question remains outstanding. Why this precarious teetering? Should businesses be successful. It’s a no brainer. Someone out there wants them to fail? And is picking up votes. Silly.

There are those who would protest, and earnestly, that I should look deeper at the underlying intent. Maybe people vote that way because they can see something I can’t see. But I dunno. Does it matter? The policies promoted make it much more difficult to run a business and hire people. Once they’re enacted, that’s the effect they have. Look at the cities these people run. Decay decay decay, time after time. So can their supporters really see something that eludes me? If there is something there, it doesn’t seem to matter. The far more relevant thing taking place here, is that they’re being fooled. The very few people who profit in some way from this continued suffering, have mastered the technique of fooling the electorate and knocking that center of gravity outward, over the edge, so the disastrous tumbling becomes inevitable. And then we get more democrats, with all the wreckage they bring. Soaring rents, permanent underclasses, tent cities, druggies, bums, and an ever-swelling smorgasboard of weird new “rights” and re-definitions.

For 2023 I want: Less deception. Less treachery.

It’s not realistic for me to demand fewer attempts. The attempts made in this year past, have worked. If deception works, you have to expect more of it. I suppose my hopes would then have to depend on the incredulity of those who are to be deceived.

And this doesn’t seem, to me, to be asking for a whole lot. Just stop buying bullshit. The people who are lying to you are trying to hurt you; if they weren’t trying to hurt you, there’d be no reason for them to lie to you. People need to ask themselves, when they see a “package” of something presented to them, if the contents are the same as the labeling. They’re usually not. For example, feminists want to stop men from “mansplaining” and this looks like an appeal to good manners. Is that what it is? A woman wants to use a cigarette lighter to check her gas tank; I should just go ahead and let her? That doesn’t seem like kindness or good manners to me. Or she’s jumping one car from another, hooking the cables up to the wrong posts. She wouldn’t want me pointing out to her the right way to do it? Funny, that; if I were her, I’d want someone to go ahead and correct me. Mansplaining: The labeling on the package is good manners. The contents within are different, a two-tiered, caste society in which men keep their male mouths shut unless someone addressees them first. So say no, because we don’t have caste systems in America, or at least we’re not supposed to have them or want them. That’s my wish. Do that with everything. Ask if the contents match the labeling. Presume a mismatch until it’s proven otherwise. Presume deception.

Because that’s where we’re living now.

There are people who look at themselves, and see something different from what’s there. To expect them to match up their labeling with their content, and present themselves with honesty, is too much. You can’t be honest with others if you’re not honest with yourself. So in situations like this, we have three, not just two, different compositions: what’s presented; what the presenter sees when he looks in the mirror; what’s really there. All three can be different. And my example of this would be the Trump hating Republican who goes around saying “Stick a fork in Trump, he’s done, he’s dragging down the party.” These people see themselves as party loyalists, weary of defeat, seeing something others don’t see. They’ve figured out the albatross that’s been weighing down the Republican party forever, and it’s the orange man who came on the scene in 2015. Get rid of him, and we have a chance! But…that’s not what they are. If they were really weary of defeat, and looking forward to victories, they’d be asking about agendas. The Republican party, you’ll notice, has never won without one. Quite to the contrary, the party has a long history of “good mannered” people who think dressing sharp and saying “please” and “thank you” will get the job done. It never has.

So the Trump hater sees himself as a far-seeing savior of the party, dedicated to good feelings and good manners; unbeknownst to him, he presents himself as something quite different, a curmudgeon who hates a certain orange-colored real estate and casino mogul; and what he is, is a third thing quite different from the other two. A neurotic, fearful little sycophant, intent on assembling a social-media coterie of disembodied voices helping each other hate. Only the last of those three maintains any sort of goal that has a potential for success. They log onto Facebook or Twitter or whatever, and do their hating. They look like what they are.

For that, we should be thankful. There are other things that are quadrupably mendacious — they pass themselves off as something, they see themselves as a different thing, they’re perceived as something different from those two, and what they really are is something different from those three. That would be our U.S. election system. I keep hearing all sorts of bad things about me that apply if I question this system or the results it produces, which suggests there should be some solid evidence available that would make me feel better about all of it. But I’ve come across no such thing. When the rubber meets the road, the argument that our elections should earn my trust, is based on usurpation of the benefit of the doubt. Apologists for the status quo get it, because they want it. I’m to prove my skepticism, or shut up, for some reason. But how much of a status quo is this? We’re living in a post pandemic world. Our elections have been reformed, hastily, and not entirely very well, out of our frantic reaction to the virus that came from China. If I want to be fair about it, I should maintain confidence in the system that’s directly proportionate to the rigor of the challenges and questions that were posed to the new system while it was in its developmental stages. Well, we were never allowed to ask any, and we’re still not allowed.

I look around and see — you know what? Everything is like this. Everything.

It’s almost 2023 and I’m still seeing people running around out there wearing masks. Driving in their cars, wearing masks. Alone. They are not presenting themselves as what they truly are, and what they look like, to me, is something different entirely.

It’s a simple wish. I’m gathering I’m not the only one that has it. As we bid good-bye to 2022, which I will recall only slightly more fondly than 2021 and 2020 — I want less bullshit. Less deception.

Say what you mean. Be what you are. See yourself as I see you, and correct things accordingly before you pop up on my radar, so I don’t have to do it for you.

And don’t ever lie to me. It’s not because it upsets me. You’re not succeeding the way you think. You’re actually amusing, in an annoying way.

Best way to get started going down that road, is not to do it. Everyone should insist on it. Less nonsense, less excrement.

And get off my lawn.

Perhaps It’s Just as Well

Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

Everyone’s claiming a mandate. The democrats, establishment Republicans, Trump, people who hate Trump, you name it. No one really has one. What’s the takeaway?

The democrats who’ve been running the country into the ground over the last two years, did not receive vindication. The Republicans did not earn confidence as any sort of replacement for them. I’m taking that to mean the populace is giving up, for the time being, on Washington solving our problems. Well that would be good. There are those who would insist, if Republicans decisively won this thing, they’d just spend money every bit as fast as the democrats ever did. I can’t call that wrong. Maybe the nation’s resolving to give up on big government and look within. Fire them all, get to work, and generate enough assets to maybe climb our way out of this debt spiral.

But, it’s a little worse than that. You’d have to admit the democrats did something right here, and the Republicans need to up their game at whatever that is. Besides the obvious cheating, there’s something else.

Suppose Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the premiere embarrassment of today’s democrat party, says something I don’t like and I confront a democrat about it. How do you think that would go? Let’s see…first there would be some denials that AOC is anything but a low-ranking, marginal player who doesn’t really represent anyone. If that doesn’t play, there’s going to be some “actually” stuff about how AOC is courageously calling it as she sees it, and there’s some meaningful nuance in there that’s escaped my notice. She’s the bright one here, I’m the ignoramus for not seeing what she actually meant. We know it would be something like that. Some sort of apologia. Something to soothe the tensions and soften the blows. Take it to the bank.

Now let’s say Donald Trump says something I don’t like and I confront a Republican about it. That will be like lighting a bottle rocket. Oh look! Someone (else) who doesn’t like Trump! Maybe we can make a wave out of that! There will be no apologia. There will be no “Maybe what he meant was…” There will be no “Actually that’s not so bad.” There will be plenty of “Yeah, and you know what else he did?”

A highly polarized, depressed and disenchanted electorate sees two political parties like these. A disengaged, distracted, weary electorate. Two sides jockeying for power, neither one worthy, both tried and both found wanting. But one side eats its own.

This is all twenty-twenty hindsight, which is gutless. But, gutless things are gutless because they enjoy advantages. We often frown on this kind of hindsight because it’s too easy to see things with clarity, looking in our rear view mirror. Right now though, clarity is a good thing. The democrats beat the Republicans here, and it happened that way because one party is united and the other one is being eaten alive by these Trump-hating parasites who have no vision for success and just want to hate.

So perhaps it’s just as well that we all learned this lesson.

Defending the Status Quo

Monday, November 14th, 2022

So, my blog just turned eighteen, yay. As it does so, we’ve been waiting on key House and Senate races, three, four, five days past Election Day. It occurs to me that when I first started it, there had just been an election, the smoke had cleared and nobody was waiting on anything. Four years before that, of course, there was the Florida debacle of 2000, and there was shame. Shame led to fixing things and elections became much more passionate but still much more decisive. One and done. Now we’re back to “Oh, lookee, hold up, I found a dimpled chad, or a station wagon full of ballots…”

Some people crave the drama. They don’t see anything wrong with this.

Well, to be fair, let’s break it down. There are three reasons to defend the status quo.

1. Partisan advantage. There’s a certain party that consistently wins, or at least benefits, from mushy/nonexistent definitions and inefficient, unreliable counting with convoluted variables tossed in the mix that shouldn’t be there. When the goalposts move several days after the deadline, they consistently move in one direction…which isn’t suspicious at all.

2. Fear. It has often been said that “If the public is polarized, and both sides of the polarization think they’ve been cheated whenever they lose elections because they lack faith in the process, that puts us in a REALLY bad place!” That’s certainly true. What’s not true is that you have to maintain faith you don’t really have, to avoid going to this bad place.

3. By default. A lot of people will defend the status quo just because it’s the status quo. Given doubts, they will award it the benefit of all these doubts, when it doesn’t deserve such benefit. Perhaps they don’t want to integrity-check the reform proposals for ulterior motives, so they figure it’s less work to leave things the way they are — forgetting about potential ulterior motives in those who want to keep the status quo. So they harbor the serpent to their bosom, hoping it isn’t venomous.

After those you get into emotional stuff. It’s fun and exciting to play-act like you’re in possession of some nugget of information that completely changes the game; everyone who agrees with you gets it, and everyone who opposes you is some ignoramus who hasn’t managed to catch on to the fundamentals and it isn’t worth explaining it to ’em. Trouble is, nobody can define what that nugget is. There has been a “branding,” of sorts, that you’re a cool sophisticated and good American citizen if, and only if, you maintain a belief that our elections are sound — without any evidence to support it. And if you’re hounding “election deniers” for evidence to prove the opposite, especially if you’re adjudicating consistently, and arbitrarily, that what they can bring you is inadequate. If you join those deniers and maintain any doubts, or just ask inconvenient questions, then you’re a slope-foreheaded rube type, best-case. A buck-tooth. Maybe a terrorist. A pariah, in any case. So the fashion-verdict is clear.

These are all terrible reasons to defend anything.

All three rely on this tactic I’ve heard so much over the last two years: “There is no evidence of widespread fraud, so unless you have some, STFU.” It genuinely shocks them when I tell them that’s not how it works — when I remind them that if you have integrity, but you lack transparency so you’re left just hoping the integrity is there, and assuming it’s staying in place, you might as well not have the integrity at all. So prove to me the results are honest. They look at me in genuine horror. They don’t know what to make of it.

But that IS right.

You really think, when countries dump democracy, they stop holding elections? You think that’s how it works? Give me five examples. Heck, give me just one. That’s not what they do. When countries get rid of democracy, they hold sham elections that are pure theater to make it look like they’re still holding them. That’s not what our elections are, even today? Prove it.

Technology has done amazing things over the last forty years. It hasn’t done anything to make our elections transparent. Look around. Derp dee doo, waiting on the counting, waiting on the counting, day five, day ten, day thirty…derp derp derp. You’re really that easily manipulated? Or you think you’re living in the 1830’s?

Anyway, if there was cheating, it’s only cheating that can be done if the numbers, pre-cheat, are close. And of course if there wasn’t any cheating, the numbers were close. What makes them close? What happened to the Red Wave? There are many thoughts about this.

One of them is that we did have one, and this is what it looks like. We’re living in an age in which all waves are reduced to trickles. Interestingly, this coincides with the age in which it takes several days or weeks to noodle out the results. That’s certainly suggestive of engineered outcome. But then there is this “Dump Trump” idea that has bubbled to the surface. This time we really got him! The public is fed up with Trump, and the Republicans better cut him loose.

Okay. Let’s give that a fair hearing too.

I say often that if we should be arguing about something, it’s important to argue about it honestly. People think that it’s easy and comes naturally. No. What’s easy is to get people to lie to themselves about what a thing is, when they argue about it. Seeing things as what they truly are is hard. Remembering what they truly are, throughout an entire session of arguing, is even harder.

Trump’s rudeness: Good or bad? Okay, what is that. Is it…making fun of a disabled reporter? That was resoundingly debunked, even by left wing “fact checking” sites. It didn’t happen.

And yet, Donald Trump certainly is not a model of refined, polite behavior. There’s something there. We call it “mean tweets” on both sides…so what is that exactly?

If we’re going to argue about something, then as always, let’s do it honestly. Donald Trump is “rude” because he says things like “Hillary managed such-and-such a thing very, very badly.” That is an example of his rudeness. He points out coherent reasons to vote against his opponent, which is something everybody who runs for office is supposed to be doing.

Argue honestly. Someone, somewhere, at sometime over the last forty years, give or take, came up with an “etiquette” rule that only democrats can talk about mistakes or missteps of their opponents. Republicans, somehow, are obliged to portray democrats as competent in all things…but, uh, vote for me because, uh, I love my wife and I’m a nice guy or something.

Trump is “rude” because he colored outside the lines of that stencil.

Argue honestly. There’s this big push to make Trump go away since Tuesday…but it didn’t start then. It’s been around awhile. A lot of people want to return us back to the way it used to work, the status quo pre-Trump, because that worked out well for them. Not for the rest of us though.

Everybody’s wondering what happened and what it means. My answers are:

One, because of the factors up top, a lot of people are defending highly suspect, sluggish, sneaky, shady elections because the results are providing opportunities for them to push their ideas. Republicans better cut Trump loose, keep abortion around forever, etc. They’re frustrated because they haven’t been able to achieve instant-victory with these ideas until now, and they see these sneaky, suspect elections as a handy tool to potentially generate enough lift to overcome the drag. They’re not focusing on the problem where it actually exists: Right or wrong, they never learned how to argue. How to attack an idea. Or how to defend one. They want the sneaky, shifty election to do it for them.

Two, when you advance the Republican argument, that the party in charge has to be dislodged because things are miserable, you’re thinking like someone over thirty-five. That’s not to say you’re wrong. But, kids don’t think that way. To them, the two parties are like two old guys, and it’s a “Devil you know or devil you don’t” thing.

I am among the people who have to face facts, and admit to error. I was walking on clouds toward the end, looking forward to an end of this chapter in which democrat party tutelage leads to economic misery, and economic misery leads to more democrats winning as their party escapes accountability, and it becomes a vicious cycle. It’s been going on since the 1930’s. Somehow, I had been lulled into looking forward to a bookend. I would have done well to remind myself of the hundreds and hundreds of densely-packed, blue-state cities in which this whirlpool of despair persists. The chapter’s not closing. The democrats bring misery, and then they thrive on it, that’s just how it works.

People lose sight of any vision for a cure. They get depressed — that’s why we called it The Great Depression. Your public schoolteacher will tell you FDR got re-elected three times because he was so bravely standing up and fighting the economic blight. Evidently that’s not really what happened. We’re living in what really happened, which is: The public’s desire for things to get better, wanes. They lose hope. They start to defend those who have been tormenting them, and to attack anyone else who comes along offering the potential of relief.

Control Communities

Monday, October 31st, 2022

On this “fake it ’til you make it” thing…

It occurs to me that we could think of this as how humans are built. We settle ourselves into communities, and at the community level a decision is made somehow about whether we’ll put up with fakery. This is why certain people don’t fit into certain communities. If you’ve watched people for a very long time like I have, you’ll notice certain people don’t fit into certain places: Alice invites Bob to live in Aliceville, and when Bob makes the move, things don’t click. Like much of nature, this is a simple thing until you take the time to study it, at which point you discover layers of complexity. “Bob couldn’t make it because Bob is a jerk” makes perfect sense, until Bob relocates to Bobtown, where he gets along just fine. Then: “Alice can live in Aliceville but Bob is relegated to Bobtown because Aliceville has a higher standard…and Bob’s a jerk” makes perfect sense. Until the day Alice visits Bobtown and can barely stand it. Then, you could keep things simple by saying: “Alice is a giver, and the people of Aliceville make it tolerable for her because they’re not a bunch of manic takers like the inhabitants of Bobtown who just take take take, until she has nothing left to give.” Which, again, makes perfect sense. Until you find the citizens of Bobtown are kindly counseling Alice, on her way out of town, not to let the doorknob hit her in the ass.

Deductive reasoning makes it clear, therefore, there’s something deeper and more complicated happening here. Neither side has a monopoly on civil behavior, or mutually rewarding associations. There must be flavors of communities; unwritten codes of conduct.

It’s got a lot to do with why you keep getting sent to jail on Facebook. Why Elon Musk is making such mighty waves as he takes over Twitter. Why we have red states and blue states during our elections.

It isn’t the people, it’s the “towns.” Certain people can’t co-exist with certain communities. The community might envision it as a flaw or shortcoming on the part of the person, but a lot of the time if you ask the person, you’ll find it’s a “principle” or some such thing. You can see that as a flaw. But not without being forced to admit that we all have flaws. The communities commit to prevailing narratives. It’s hard to see this when the narrative has something to do with recognizing what’s true and what’s not true. A lot of communities do this without realizing they’re doing it: “There’s no point to discussing climate change with someone who doesn’t admit to climate change.” “You shouldn’t be allowed out of your house without a mask.” “You shouldn’t be taking up precious medical resources if you won’t get vaccinated.”

All the people have the “but” in their “I’m a tolerant person, but.”

All the communities have the “but” in their “We’re an accepting and broad-minded community, but.”

Random Bullshit Go!The Book of Genesis, taking on the daunting subjects of what exactly we are, what are our spiritual problems and how did we get here, fulfills. It provides the hints. With the Expulsion, we came to realize we are corrupt, and we’ve become something different from what we were supposed to be when we were Created. With the Deluge, we found we can build communities that are corrupt, making spiritual recovery impossible, because you have to become a jerk to survive; a hard reset is the only fix. With the Tower of Babel, we found we can’t all live among each other, nor can we build communities that are truly welcoming to everyone, and any effort to do so is doomed.

Haven’t you noticed? To some among us, it’s ridiculous, risible and unworthy of discussion that Biden’s win was a cheat. To others among us, it’s ridiculous that it wasn’t. People assert Biden really did win, and they “win” the argument at this, by taking over the community in which the argument takes place, and regulating the information exchange. “Election deniers” must not be allowed to speak. If they are so allowed, “fact checkers” must have the last word. Those are the rules of the community. So there. They “won.” With their thumbs on the scale. Very impressive.

We’re to believe they have to exercise such iron fisted dictatorial control over arguments about the election…but the election itself was as free as…well. I guess that’s a whole different topic.

Observation: Where Biden didn’t win, there’s no squabbling. Even though information can flow freely there. Information Control is the one tool of cleanliness, order and refinement the human race has built, that works perfectly in reverse. It does nothing to retard or repel chaos; it draws the chaos in, where it sticks, like cockleburs to your wool socks. It does the exact opposite of what it’s supposed to do.

In the states where we don’t do this — communities — people say what they think. They aren’t playing the “fake it ’til you make it” game. They worry about what does & doesn’t work, rather than about what does & doesn’t soothe passions, or ensure their long-term survival within the evolving culture. If information flows freely and some of it turns out to be nutty, the people hearing it make the final call as to whether or not they believe it. There is trust in the individual, who doesn’t need a “fact checker” to tell him what is and isn’t so. Like competent musicians, they can play solo. If they screw it up, they can learn, and get it right themselves. They can also make the final call as to whether they were fooled at all.

We squabble in these other locales, the ones in which the bad musicians, the fake-it-til-you-make-it people, the “Random Bullshit Go!” people, are struggling to achieve dictator status. Where they want to run everything, but don’t yet…or, their bid to run everything is in the process of failing. Arizona. New Mexico. Wisconsin. Michigan. Georgia. Pennsylvania.

The United States of America, as a whole.

And Twitter and Facebook.

The Control Communities. The places where people say “We know it’s like this, we’re one hundred percent sure, because if anyone doubts it we don’t allow them to say anything.” Everyone has to consent to that, and those communities are unstable because everyone doesn’t consent to it.

My observation is that in those other places, where the “Random Bullshit Go!” people don’t run everything, or have been pushed off to the gutter the way they’d like to push others, you don’t have this instability. You have genuine freedom of speech, which is supposed to bring all sorts of dysfunction, confusion and conflict in perpetuity. But you don’t have that in those places. That’s what you have in the places where the fakers run things, where information flow is restricted and regulated by the bad performers, the fake-it-til-you-make-it people. Everyone else pays the price while their little emperors struggle for concertmaster status, when they can’t even hit the notes. And then everyone else is forbidden from talking about it…while the Elephant in the Room that has such an influence over their daily lives, grows bigger, and bigger, and bigger, and the pressure builds.

Their Endless Task

Friday, October 28th, 2022

In less than two weeks we’re having a contest with our friends, the liberals, to figure out who gets to have influence for the next two years. There are those who attach unusual importance to this election, and there are others who are tired of the biannual drumbeat-of-superlative and refuse to attach any. I’m in between the two. But, like many others, I’m struggling to figure out who these people are. More precisely, what exactly it is they want.

Their answer to rising prices is abortions. Who are these people? After spending a good chunk of a lifetime trying to figure it out, I’ve gained some better insight by looking within. Music. Music helps me to understand the liberals.

Random Bullshit Go!!There is this passage in Romeo and Juliet by Tchaikovsky that fills me with shame when I hear it. It’s the part I should have practiced more when I was playing it, and I didn’t do the necessary practicing so I was one of those mediocre players who did the “Random Bullshit Go!!” thing when the time came, counting on others to cover for me. Tsk, tsk. It’s actually a common practice among musicians who are not great. It is here, time index 13:07. Yes, I can see the problem: Just two seconds earlier, and ten seconds later, I know exactly what to do and I sound okay. At least, back in the day. So this was just a few moments of muddled mess, and after that it was over. My sin seemed small, and so the necessary practicing was just something I never got around to doing. But you know what? That makes it all the more egregious. In fact, this right here is the difference between a musician who should stick with it, and one who should give up and move on to something else. The practicing I needed to do, to make things better, was very slight. My sense of commitment must have been beneath even that.

Other pieces, other passages, I might have been good enough to play solo but I didn’t ask because I knew what the answer would be: You’re good enough to play solo all of it, or else none of it. Do the practicing you know you should be doing or else don’t waste anybody else’s time. For this reason, I never asked. In fact, I stopped playing. Anything. I’m not right for music. The years that came after I had this realization, I have spent concentrating on things I’m good enough to do without hiding behind anyone. I’m still not perfect, not built to be; but I’ve enjoyed better satisfaction that way, better life-fulfillment, and I have no regrets. I don’t do what we call “fake it ’til you make it” anymore.

But a very long time ago, in other pursuits, I did. And so I can start to understand.

How does this correlate to liberals? It’s got to do with living location and population density. Some of us congregate in tightly packed cities, others of us spread out over the sparsely populated farmland. A high population density offers an option of hiding behind others, to those who need such a thing. To the substandard performers. The softies.

The blue-state fantasy is that wisdom should proliferate outward, from the tightly packed cities, invading the sparsely populated farmland. This isn’t evident to the casual observer, because there’s too much emphasis placed on what should be taught. The truth is that the liberals don’t care. They want to do the teaching, they want us rubes to do the learning. That’s their wish. It’s a wish that can never come to fruition, and that’s because of the way people are made. When the population density is high, and it becomes possible to play piss-poor because you didn’t practice enough, hiding behind others, pretending you know what you’re doing when you really don’t — that’s what people will do. You can’t do that out in the farmland. It’s not merely a matter of being happy alone, or being tough or big or strong. You have to know what you’re doing so you don’t need to hide behind anyone else. It’s a process of gestation. An organism that gestates in a tough environment, reaches maturity with a hardness that’s missing from things that grow up in kinder, more forgiving environments. Since this attribute of kindness to the growing organism and forgiveness of any missteps, is linked to pretending, there is a truth-fiction dichotomy linked to the hard-soft dichotomy.

SisyphusThey’re soft. They hide behind each other.

We’re hard. There are consequences involved in our mistakes, so if we don’t know what we’re doing, we go get help. And then we figure out what we’re doing before we do anymore.

They pretend. They recite talking points they don’t really understand, like “Sure there was fraud, but not enough to change the results,” or “No human is illegal” or “We’re here. We’re queer. Get used to it.”

We don’t pretend. We can’t. And we can’t compress the work we do into a slogan.

They don’t define…really, anything.

We have to define everything. If we don’t, someone gets hurt.

Big-city-center denizens who pretend to know what they’re doing when they really don’t, hiding behind others, can’t invade the prairie, orchard or farmland. They may want to, but they’re not suited. It’s not because they’re stupid and we’re smart, or because they quit too easily and we’re stubborn. It’s the hard-and-soft thing, period, full stop. It would be talcum penetrating diamond. The softer material is going to have to yield. It’s physics. How do you argue with physics?

That’s the inherent futility of liberalism, in America, in a nutshell. Soft people who don’t know what they’re doing, pretending to know everything, seeking to impose their way of doing things on others who know what they’re doing. Softness trying to invade hardness. Every time it doesn’t work, and it never will, they get more and more grumpy and upset. Then they try to use their anger as an ancillary tool, to do the invading they’ve already learned they can’t do. Now you understand American politics. This is why we’re being told, with some legitimacy, every two years that “This election is the most important one of our lifetime.” It’s the liberals trying, once again, to invade the hardness with their softness, just like Sisyphus in the afterlife struggling to push his boulder up the mountain, only to see it roll back down again. That’s their struggle, and ours. It lacks even the faintest prospect of success, but they lack the understanding to realize this, so around and around we go.

Their champion is a senile old man who doesn’t know where he is, who likes to eat ice cream.

Liberals Wishing Hurricane Ian Destroys Mar a Lago

Friday, September 30th, 2022

It’s gross and disgusting, so we all like to move on from it after briefly taking note, if we pause to take note at all.

It’s an established pattern. After they’re embarrassed from seeing their “joke” reach the wrong audience, they excuse it by insisting that’s all it was, and there’s something wrong with anyone who noticed it at the time, or remembers noticing. The liberals who are above making such jokes, join in on this ritual of scolding anyone who notices/remembers. They may agree this is subhuman behavior and the joke isn’t funny, but after all, these are just edge cases that don’t signify anything meaningful about liberals in general. And hey! What about conservatives? Here’s an example or two of some of them who’ve said something equivalently nasty…judged by the liberals, of course. A little bit of “Only our side gets to do Whataboutism” with a side dish of “You have to see things my way but I don’t have to see anything anybody else’s way” washed down with a sip of “Stop watching what I tell you to stop watching and forget what I tell you to forget.”

Well…after seeing as many iterations as I’ve seen, having mulled it over awhile, I’m inclined to concede they have a point. Only one, and a small one at that. It’s not accurate to sweep these aside as exceptional cases; we keep seeing them after all. They’re predictable. But at the same time maybe it’s a mistake to assume we know what’s going on there, that the same thing happens when liberals wish death on people as when ordinary people do the same thing.

Liberals, I have noticed, have an unhealthy fixation on the Butterfly Effect. You see they launch into this special, years long white hot hatred against people who have altered the course of events in some way that they don’t like. Reagan, both Presidents Bush, Trump, Dick Cheney. As Ann Coulter pointed out ,”There’s no website called ‘Stop Lamar Alexander before it’s too late’!”

McCain-PalinThey only hated John McCain for a little while. When he was a threat. For that reason they hated Sarah Palin much longer and with a much greater intensity.

I think they deny cause and effect with regard to appeasing tyrants and taxing the most effective and efficient capitalists, and they know that’s wrong. We say “If you tax honest and productive business, what effect does that have over time and what does that do to your tax base?” They pretend not to understand, but I think they get it on some level. If they want to tax tobacco and use the proceeds to fund school programs, again we say “What effect on behavior does your new tax have, and what happens to your revenue when people smoke less?” — again, they pretend not to understand, but I think they do in fact understand. But their ideology doesn’t permit them to understand it audibly, and this drives their frenzied fascination with serendipity. I remember one found out the older George Bush ditched an aircraft during WWII, years before conception of the younger Bush, and so made some “jokes” about going back in time and telling the Navy rescuers to put him back in the drink. Haw, haw.

It bears repeating, in finding legitimacy in their defenses, I’m finding diamonds in the rough. Most of the defense is all bullshit. “Jokes?” No. No joke worth telling has exactly the same punchline as a long menagerie of “jokes” that came before. Everyone over seven years old gets that.

Anyway, that’s my point. They’re not wishing ill fate to befall someone. They’re after the ultimate result. They’re signalling to their comrades, not that they lack compassion for their fellow man, but that they’re devoted to the cause.

I think the lack of compassion is already understood among them. But it’s just passive, not active. It’s a shared understanding that when they show the rest of us how compassionate they are, it’s fake. But that doesn’t mean they would go out of their way to hurt people, like the Terminator coming after Sarah Connor.

After all. That would be kind of like having a job.

Memo For File CCXIX

Monday, September 26th, 2022

So I’m staying in hotels again a tiny bit. Which means I get to look at this special “news” outlet, spewing its stuff to the weary business traveler. This unique medium. The elephant being squeezed through a garden hose.

The alarm goes off at three and I’m showered & out the door by four. Rather typical timeline. Maybe some are getting their day started a bit later, but have the idiot box tuned into the “news” for the same number of minutes. Maybe a few more, if they go down to the hotel lobby to meet someone.

Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump…

You all are saying something about too much coverage of the dead queen? Not seeing it.

He incited unrest on January 6, 2021.

He took classified documents to his home.

He inflated the value of his real estate holdings.

There are reasons why Trump supporters, and non-Trump supporters as well, think all this is bullshit but let’s dispense with that because the arguments go back & forth and get quite involved. Trump-haters think they got ‘im. To get ‘im, they have to dispense with the concept of innocent until proven guilty, on all three, which is something I don’t see happening with any of the three.

But let’s just sidestep all that. You all realize he’s not President anymore?

There are those who think he’ll be back. I am among those. The Trump haters who think the walls really are closing in, best I can figure, don’t think he’s coming back again ever. And yet they’re the ones who act like he is. Without that indictment coming, which they think surely is coming, he’ll access those “levers of power” again and then we’ll have some kind of disaster.

As opposed to what we have now.

So there’s a logical wrinkle here. Trump, supposedly, has come and gone; it’s the MAGA voters who are crying in their beers, have yet to gel with reality and accept this. Everybody hates Trump. His defenders are few and far between and he hasn’t got the popularity to win an election again, not even close. Our elections — of COURSE — are beyond reproach, you can trust them to the moon and back. We have to do something extraordinary, like indict him, to make sure he never gets elected again.

Trump-phobes are a hundred percent sure of all three of those. But all three cannot be true. You can have two.

Let’s walk through it.

If everyone hates Trump and you can trust our elections, we don’t need to do anything to make sure he stays out of power. The voters will do what’s right.

If everyone hates Trump and we have to indict him to make sure he never is elected again, that would have to mean you can’t trust our elections.

If you can trust our elections, and it’s necessary to indict him to keep him from ever being elected again…that would have to mean not everyone hates Trump, and he’s a force with which to be reckoned. This would have to do with denying the “MAGA Republicans,” who still carry enough numbers and enthusiasm to elect a candidate of our choice, the opportunity to do that. All this Trump coverage has to do with distrusting the electorate. It, not Trump, is the affront to “democracy.”

I think it’s the last of those. Well I don’t trust our elections. I think the Trump phobes trust our elections as long as the elections give them a result they happen to like, and they’re not feeling that frisky or confident about the next two of ’em. They cheat, but they can only cheat up to a certain magnitude, and in 2020 they had to push it to the max to make sure Trump lost, so it got awkward. Now they’re memory-holing all the details and “fact checking” to keep us from remembering too much about it.

But for the weary business traveler consuming his or her twenty or so minutes of “news” before heading out the door, that’s not really necessary.

Suppose I’m wrong, though. Suppose they really got him. Trump-ism, or Trump at least, is genuinely over. What happens then?

Well…I guess that will really show us people out here in flyover country. Or Manhattan, for that matter, if we’re talking about a well connected celebrity who’s been “red pilled” and thinking of shaking things up in Washington. Don’t try it. Leave the “revolutionary” stuff to the fifty-year beltway blowhards. Or face jail.

But at least we, the citizens, will benefit from…

…a better foreign policy situation around the world? Hmmm.

…a stronger economy? Hmmm.

…a better, stronger, more robust, less laughable pandemic response? Hmmm.

…a more dignified, less vengeful, aura of cool, competent authority being given off by the occupant of the Oval Office? Hmmm.

…cheaper gas at least? Hmmm.

Here we come to the sobering conclusion: No matter how you feel about Trump, or about Biden for that matter, we have slowly but surely, bit by bit, sacrificed everything positive about what we used to call “news” for this mystery package, and when we inspect the contents of the box we see there’s really no upside to it. The booby prize at the end of it all is just a rush of euphoria, for just a few among us, those who don’t think things through all the way and just want to do some cheering. United by a common hatred focused on a common target, they’re cheering on something that isn’t good for them, or any of the rest of us. They’re piggies applauding the bacon factory. Meanwhile, we can’t have any real news because it’s all Trump, adorable pit bulls wearing Halloween costumes, hurricane advisories, and don’t forget to wear your mask.

Trump Is Not Your Problem

Sunday, September 11th, 2022

Trump is a lightning rod. And not in a good way.

Those who seek to manipulate, say to everyone else “Look at Trump. Look how wrong that is.” And those who are easily manipulated — or have a desire to be manipulated — look at Trump…and look no further. Oh yes! How awful! He hasn’t got the temperament for the job…that…he doesn’t have anymore. He is unfit for the job that…according to our narrative…he will never, ever hold again, no matter what. And somehow this is a huge crisis.

The rest of us try to tell them: What about the guy who has that job now? And they accuse us of “Whataboutism.”

Meanwhile, there is something terribly broken, and it hasn’t got anything to do with Trump. It hasn’t even got anything to do with conservatives & liberals. Twenty-one years ago today, radicalized Muslims who hate the U.S., launched an attack against our country and killed three thousand people. Now, we elect them to Congress.

The guy who has Trump’s old job, is inept.

The Vice President who fills in for him if something happens to him, is inept.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, who steps in if something happens to those two, is inept.

Parents are supposed to teach their kids to be dignified and respectable in all that they do, and whatever position or stature they earn in life, will depend on that. How are they supposed to make that stick? We’ve allowed crap to rise to the top three slots in our national bucket. The kids can see the crap floats. That’s three chances they have to see it, and we’re three-for-three.

Marriage is no longer between one man and one woman. That was supposed to be a harmless change. It was supposed to stop there. Well…now no one can define what a “woman” is. Marriage is a joke now. Everything that has anything to do with men and women, is a joke now. Even these pledges to “Put a woman on the Supreme Court,” are jokes. The job has to go to a woman, and that’s what…uh…er…ah…whatever someone says it is.

Fit and FitA “beautiful woman” is even harder to define! Now someone has decided a fit, strong, healthy woman is out of fashion. Obese, gross, chubby women who sit on the couch, and it shows, they do nothing to get in shape or stay in shape…that’s our “new standard of beauty” and they’re all over the fashion magazines.

We’re going through a terrible mental health crisis now. It’s a little hard to miss, really. Crime is up. Violent crime is up. Murders are up. The border is out of control and illegal aliens are invading by the hundreds of thousands. Texas ships a few dozen of them off to “sanctuary cities” and the mayors of those cities have an apoplectic meltdown, so we know those mayors are strutting around acting like they have a solution, when they don’t. They just want other people to deal with the problems they’re making and growing.

All the service branches of our military are running into extreme problems with recruitment, and why shouldn’t they? Have you been paying attention to what the young people are being taught about their own country? You’re expecting a sizeable chunk of that generation should be enticed to sign up, and put their lives on the line to defend…what? A good country or a bad country? But they don’t see the United States the same way previous generations did. They haven’t been taught to see it that way, they’ve been taught to see it another way.

You’re in trouble if you refer to someone by something besides their “preferred pronouns.” But they can change their minds about what those are, day to day. It’s obvious now that’s just a way to screw with people, and we keep putting up with it.

Your problem is not Trump.

You don’t look smart or clever when you carry on as if he’s the problem. It takes just a little bit of critical thinking to realize there are other problems. You only have to watch things a little bit. Might be good to stay quiet if you’re not up to the task. Like the old saying goes, “Better to be silent and thought a fool, than to bitch about Donald Trump and remove all doubt.”

The California Liberal

Friday, September 9th, 2022

The California liberal is a very special kind of liberal. If you had to pick a picture to put next to “Intransigence” in the dictionary, you could do far worse than to simply insert a picture of a California liberal.

It’s a one-party state, but it’s their party and they see nothing wrong with it. So their bosses can tell them…the wildfires are climate change…the power outages are climate change…the budget shortfalls are due to climate change…crime is out of control because of climate change…we’re just forcing you to suck up smaller sodas through these paper straws, and use these grocery bags, and buy an electric car you can’t charge, because of climate change. And they’ll buy all of it. There are no signs of possibly incompetent management. None are needed. It’s their guys running things.

Constant oppression requires a constant oppressor, so they have lots of bad guys picked out ready to be isolated and excoriated. That these bad guys run exactly nothing in California, doesn’t concern them in the slightest. They have their scapegoats. Tucker Carlson gives them nightmares. They can’t function if they see the letters T-R-U-M-P written on a sidewalk.

They’re full of criticism for the rest of us if we let our passports expire, because wisdom supposedly begins with visiting other countries. If only they visited other states within this country, they’d see it’s possible to turn down a thermostat to keep a room cool on a hot day, without setting the whole state on fire. But they won’t.

Bye, Fauci

Monday, August 29th, 2022

Dr. Anthony Fauci has announced his upcoming retirement. His office is not supposed to be political, but we see hagiographies on the left, and scorn on the right…everywhere.

I’d sure like to know why the liberals are swooning over him. I mean, of course I know the real reason; Fauci finally got rid of Trump. But of course that’s not supposed to be the reason. The reason they’d give, I imagine, is that he’s the nation’s #1 infectious disease expert and “saw us through the crisis.” Kinda like FDR saw us through the Great Depression, which, in actuality, lasted as long as it did because of his policies. So now, like then, they’ve got their figurehead and they’ve got their narrative, and we know from long decades of past experience that those two things are all they need to build their shrines and break out the candles and prayer rugs.

I think what a lot of people miss on both sides, is that Dr. Fauci’s best advice, by which I mean the stuff that has held up with the passage of time — didn’t require a “Number One infectious disease expert.” You could have gotten the same counseling from your nearest CVS pharmacist. Certainly, we would have heard the same things from the nation’s #2 through #5 infectious disease experts: Stay home if you show symptoms, avoid large crowds, test if in doubt. Fauci’s contribution was the creation of an environment in which we couldn’t hear from #2 through #5. There’s something about modern liberalism, they’re just suckers for this. They want a single point of control. I think, maybe, they like him because he took sides. He claimed to “represent science” but he never showed the tolerance for a dissenting viewpoint a real science practitioner should show. Conservatives noticed his advice seemed tailor-made to get rid of Trump. After awhile, Fauci came out and admitted it, he wanted Trump gone.

In addition to discussing whether Fauci was giving us the right advice, we could also have realized a benefit from discussing Fauci’s culpability in creating SARS-Cov-2 in the first place. Maybe this would have established his innocence; maybe not. Fauci made sure we never got started on it.

Our response to this hundred-year outbreak event, overall, has not been good. It’s been a model for how not to do it, and Fauci has led the way. He stifled the dissenting viewpoint at every turn. He pretended to be 100% sure of what he was saying, when he wasn’t. He politicized it when it wasn’t at all necessary for him to do so. He preened in the public eye to build up his image. He conspired against the sitting President of the United States.

He didn’t represent science. To me, he represented the people who ask complicated questions but demand simple answers. People who want one answer, and only one, and can’t cope with uncertainty. That’s who Fauci represented. God forbid we should ever see this happen again, but if we do, it’ll be a good thing Tony the Tyrant is gone. We need to handle that next one in a wholly different way from how we did it this time. We need different and better leadership next time. That’s our one saving grace in this, that our country is now experienced in how to do it the wrong way.

“It Was Warranted”

Monday, August 29th, 2022

Haven’t got much to add to this.

“Hunter Biden literally could have had the corpses of children in his basement, I would not have cared,” Harris recently told the Triggernometry podcast. “There’s nothing, it’s Hunter Biden, it’s not Joe Biden. Whatever the scope of Joe Biden’s corruption is…it is infinitesimal compared to the corruption we know Trump is involved in.”

“It’s like a firefly to the sun,” he added.

“It doesn’t even stack up to Trump University. Trump University, as a story, is worse than anything that could be in Hunter Biden’s laptop, in my view,” Harris continued.

Harris then acknowledges—and defends—the censoring of the Hunter Biden laptop story by the New York Post published in October 2020, just over two weeks before the presidential election.


“Now that doesn’t answer the people who say ‘it’s still completely unfair to not have looked at the laptop in a timely way and to have shut down the New York Post’s Twitter account,” Harris explained.

“‘Like that, that’s a left-wing conspiracy to deny the presidency to Donald Trump.’ Absolutely it was,” he admitted. “But I think it was warranted.”

He then replies to the accusations that this was a left-wing conspiracy to deny re-election to the sitting President, and his candor evaporates. Oh no, not left-wing…Liz Cheney isn’t left-wing…oh no, not conspiracy…this was out in the open…

Here’s what I think a lot of people are missing about this.

One. This wasn’t really “out in the open.” Experts confirmed, we were told, the whole laptop story was simply Russian disinformation. How did they determine that? I dunno. You dunno. It was just a thought from “experts,” meaning everyone else was supposed to echo it. With the benefit of hindsight, we see it wasn’t Russian disinformation after all, so this must have originated either from benign wishful thinking, or a malevolent…uh…what’s the word…conspiracy.

Two. To the extent this was “in the open” — so what? Had the “laptop thread” been pulled from the sweater, we don’t know how much of the sweater would have been wrecked. Today it looks like a whole bunch. If it’s in the open, but the questions aren’t being answered because no one’s asking them, then even that much isn’t so much out in the open. This is a power our “free press” has always had that people don’t think about much. We allow them to determine, in large part, what we as free citizens discuss. If they decide something like this is not to be discussed, and a bunch of us disagree, they pretty much win. We go off and exercise our right to free speech over on blogs or discussion forums or whatever…the citizenry in large part discusses what’s printed in the mainstream press. For just a few moments. Before turning the page to sports and entertainment.

Three. When the subject turns to the integrity, or lack thereof, of the 2020 election we know how that all works. We’re to presume the integrity was there, by default, and “there’s no evidence” of fraud. At least, not any fraud sufficient to change the result. And any of us who don’t follow along, or think of something to disrupt that train of thought, are to be mocked. Well gee; when those ballots got shot out to all corners of each state in this ramshackle “vote by mail” scheme, and when they were collected again, and counted, all of that was done by, and subject to the whims of, handlers. It’s a legitimate question to ask: Are those handlers like Sam Harris?

I guess I’ll just leave that there, and allow the reader to ponder the ramifications.

The Ice Cream Thing

Sunday, July 24th, 2022

Something weird is going on with democrats and ice cream.

I’m guessing someone has made a discovery somewhere, that if you want to convince the hoi polloi that you’re one of them, you should make it known you like ice cream because of course all the riff raff like ice cream. Someone forgot to include in their little research project or whatever, that the humble classes like ice cream because everybody likes ice cream — it doesn’t distinguish you in any way. It doesn’t make you look like a normal when you go around bragging about how much you like ice cream.

As a matter of fact, given the understanding that you want more babies murdered and you like gas prices to be high…tacking on to the end of that “Also, I like ice cream” is a bit weird.

What am I to think of someone devouring a huge ice cream cone? Well, first thing in my head is, it’s probably hot. They’re probably outside and it’s a hot day, when ice cream would taste darn good. After that, kids might be involved. Maybe they’re on an outing with grandchildren. The third thing, most applicable if it’s a person known to me, in an important and influential occupation is: The work must be done. What could be more natural, and pleasant, if you have a high stress and important job, than to get it all the way done when there’s still a lot of daylight left, and celebrate by wrapping your lips around a huge ice cream cone? But only when the work is completely done. Our hands are going to be sticky and messy afterward, so it’s understood this is a final terminus, not a break. The ice cream cone becomes a symbol, much like a cocktail: Things are right and good. All objects involved are in a satisfactory state. Everything that needs piloting is on auto.

So democrats — running everything right now — are eating ice cream cones because they must think all the work is done. They must like things the way they are, with crime high, gas prices high, antiquated and absurd COVID rules still in effect where they aren’t going to do any good…Putin…North Korea…supply chain…everything’s all good to go, time for some ice cream.

So no. To me anyway, they’re not making themselves more relatable by eating ice cream.

In fact, if this bit of research exists, there’s a good chance a Republican mole put it together, to do damage from the inside.


Sunday, July 24th, 2022

Liberals don’t discuss.

I recently saw someone blame Donald Trump for the fact that more people have died from COVID with Biden being President. Yes you read that right. This would not stand up to reasoned discussion, but that’s okay because of course there won’t be any. All of the premises on which liberals think and work, are not merely premises, they’re “settled” axioms that they won’t open to inspection.

Some would object to this. Some have. Liberals love to “discuss” how high gas prices are not Joe Biden’s fault, but that’s merely denying something. When you or I talk about a discussion, we’re referring to a process involving, at least, a fair hearing to the other side and a fair engagement of the other side’s points, and counterpoints. There’s an old rule that if you think you’re ready to discuss something, you should be able to express the position of your antagonist in such a way that he’d be satisfied with your summary. I don’t even know what that test would look like, were it imposed on liberals. I’ve not seen it done, haven’t seen them take up such a challenge. I know, based on what I’ve seen of their performance, it would be a sustained and spectacular failure, likely one inspiring laughter.

But, we don’t like to impose burdens or tests on liberals. Being a liberal is all about not having to pass any. Somehow, the rest of us comply with this. We let ’em skate.

We have gun violence because of “all these guns lying around.” How many guns per acre does it take, to make violence? I don’t know the answer to that and you don’t either. Liberals refuse to discuss it. All-electric cars over hybrids, makes no sense. How come they don’t push hybrids instead? They refuse to discuss it.

They “know” Biden’s victory was legitimate and they’re plainly frustrated that they’re not winning any converts. Well, they’re not winning converts because they don’t discuss it. When does life begin? They refuse to discuss it. Now they’re in the hot soup because abortion is no longer “the law of the land,” and refusing to discuss now means it’s the other side that wins. Still, they refuse to discuss it. It’s not by choice. Forty-nine years of atrophy have left them unable to make a convincing argument because throughout all that time, they’ve enjoyed the advantage of “We don’t discuss it, we win”…and now they don’t win.

If they see any signs anywhere that anyone is following a Christian faith, they have to get rid of those. Even if it’s just prayer. They say it’s because of an intimidation factor or some such thing. This is a lie. Christianity is something they have to drive underground so as few people as possible ever see it. Atheism can be out and proud. So can a lot of the other religions. But they have to hide Christianity, bury it down deep.

They will “point out” that atheism isn’t a religion. But they won’t discuss it. I’ve got a list of reasons why it is one, but none of it matters. “Atheism is not a religion” is a punchline; it’s intended to stand on its own, with no rebuttal. There isn’t supposed to be a “Yeah but how come this” or “Yeah but what about that.” You’re just supposed to say “Gosh, I hadn’t thought of that” and move on to the next subject. They won’t discuss it.

Jussie Smollett proved truth doesn’t matter with these race-baiting incidents. Their solution to that is to mock and ridicule anybody who notices the Smollett hoax, and by extension, any of the other hoaxes. They refuse to discuss it.

They think this makes them look assertive, and smart.

What a shame, what a shame. Some of them really are smart.

But it’s an ideological positioning for mental midgets.

Liberals and Leftists

Sunday, July 24th, 2022

Unpopular opinion of mine:

Leftists are liberals. Liberals are leftists. This comes up every so often because I’m usually in pursuit of some other point, and I just use the generic term “liberals.” Classic liberals, of course, were pretty much the opposite of today’s leftists. They cared about the sovereignty and dignity of the individual, limiting the oppressive power of the state.

They’re not monsters in disguise of yesterday’s liberals. They’re not the bug-monster from “Men in Black” wearing the skin of the farmer.

That isn’t what’s happening at all. “Liberals” are the caterpillar, leftists are the butterfly. They’re corrupted. They believed in the autonomy of the individual and the virtue of dissenting opinion; they held a revolution over it, they succeeded and became the new power. Then they decided autonomy of the individual, and allowing a forum for dissenting opinion, aren’t that great after all.

“Question authority until we’re the authority, then cork it” should be their motto.

I use the terms interchangeably. Because they got interchanged. The grape became a raisin.

They lacked maturity to play nicely with others, from the very beginning. They wanted a power shift because they were on the side of the spectrum that didn’t have the power. Now they’re on the other side and their beliefs have shifted, but they’re still the same people, with the same foibles and handicaps.

You might compare them to your idiot brother or cousin who isn’t old enough for Monopoly, and wants the “roll doubles to get out of jail” rule to work differently, depending on who’s in jail. In the end, there are tantrums, tears and the pieces go flying across the room.

They have always been the kind of people you don’t want running anything. Now they’re running everything.

Getting Back to the Cat, Is It Dead or Not?

Friday, June 24th, 2022

We’re surrounded on all sides by people who are working awfully hard to maintain a fantasy that the two sides, conservative and liberal, maintain similarities with each other. That they both have goals, and some maintain that the goals are similar although the methods are different. That each unseemly thought held by one about the other, is neatly reciprocated, with equal justification. A tat for every tit and an equal and opposite reaction for every action.

They must have scrambled around like mad, that weekend when Sen. Ted Kennedy sunk that poor woman in his car, for a Republican senator who did exactly the same thing.

Here and there, now and then, some people outgrow this idea. They’re usually conservatives, who’ve figured out the liberal attachment to truth is threadbare or severed altogether. They get drowned out by liberals and “moderates” who want to maintain the perception of a symmetry that doesn’t exist. Here and there, now and then, events rouse those who’ve been paying attention, from their slumber. “Critical Race Theory is not taught in the public schools” might be the most recent example. The air cackled with the talking point as it flew around thick and fast. This nonsense makes people tired. They read about yes it is, no it isn’t, yes it is and nearly every single one of them, reliable as rain, will tune out of the whole question forever. Well, somewhere someone is taking note of that. So just lie. Say it isn’t happening. You won’t fracture any trust relationships by lying, you’ll tire people out of paying attention to the issue, which is good for you.

Bad for everyone else though. The “middle of the road” people tire of it first, and come away thinking they’re the ones with the right idea, that all the bickering is just that and nothing more.

That’s not what’s happening at all though. Somewhere, detected or not, there is a truth of the state of things. The cat in the box is either alive or dead; one or the other, and it can’t be both. These parlor tricks are being used to tire people out of the whole notion of what’s true. So that they give up on following the whole thing. And it works like a charm. If it didn’t work, we’d stop seeing it, and quite to the contrary it’s become a sort of de facto way of propounding this propaganda.

Which brings me to this excellent article: “That’s not happening, and it’s good that it is.” It doesn’t mention “liberals,” instead it mentions “regimes.” Which is interesting, because a regime is supposed to be a structure of power preexisting, using its various resources to keep itself where it is. But that’s an observation I’ve made before a few times. Our “liberals” these days are what “conservatives” are supposed to be.

The seven methods summarized here are:

– Law of Merited Impossibility
– Celebration Parallax
– Law of Salutary Contradiction
– Smails Exhortation
– Lie-Back Imperative
– Enmity Counteraccusation
– “You’re worthless, baby; and if you even think of trying to leave me, I’ll kill you”

It isn’t hard to see what’s happening here. Relationships with other people are being built, sustained, maintained, replenished and in some cases destroyed based on the taking of sides. Professor Harry Frankfurt drew a distinction between liars vs. bullshitters, the latter of whom don’t need to know anything about what’s false vs. true, because they don’t care. Bullshitters, unlike liars, are just spewing stuff. Well that’s what’s happening here. The allure of building and preserving the right relationships crowds out what used to be a desirable goal, the preservation of integrity. People aren’t worried about damaging a relationship by saying false things, they’re far more worried about damaging a relationship by taking the wrong side. So they say things like “CRT is not being taught in the schools,” not to represent whether it is or isn’t being taught in the schools, but to show that they’re on the right side. If they get caught later with the revelation that it’s being taught in the schools and they fastened their identity to the notion that it isn’t, it doesn’t matter. They showed they were, and are, on the “right” side and they don’t care about anything else.

In other words, they’re bullshitters.

– It’s just a clump of cells, not a baby
– Kyle Rittenhouse is a white supremacist
– The 2nd Amendment only applies to muskets
– High gas prices are not President Biden’s fault
– “Replacement Theory”
– Men can get pregnant
– Masks work

This is playing with fire. I don’t recommend it. But, they don’t listen to me; the “regime” has all the “fact checkers” on their side, and so they’re going around saying questionable things in anticipation of what friends they’ll make, not so much in anticipation of whether they’ll be proven correct or not. Because there’s no reward for being proven correct. They just want to keep the right friends.

But it won’t end well for anyone.

The Worst Political Opinion to Have

Thursday, June 16th, 2022

Supposedly there’s a “red wave” coming. I’m pretty sure it won’t be enough to make me happy. Large numbers of people who voted democrat last time, or who stayed home, shaping up to bring about a better result this time aren’t going to do it for me. Even as power shifts for the next two years, that’s a blip. That’s a course correction, forgotten in another two years’ time. I want to see some attitude, some synapses permanently closed, some “I’ll never do that again.” Like the cat who walked on the hot stove. I want to see feelings of bitter betrayal. That’s what this was, right? Oh…Trump is overseeing slightly lower unemployment rates here, and there, but the Forgotten Man! People being left behind! Put us democrats in charge…oh, ha ha ha you put us in charge, buckle up bitches here comes gas three and four times as expensive as it used to be, to push you into an electric vehicle. Wear your mask, stupid!

You don’t respond to that with “I’ll put these other guys in charge for just a couple years, teach you democrats a lesson.” That would be a legit response to honest error, not to betrayal. The lesson to be learned here is that these jerks aren’t on our side.

Am I asking too much? If my fellow citizens are thinking, and want to succeed in life, this shouldn’t be too much.

I can’t think of a worse political opinion to have, than one that has recently prevailed right before everything got worse, with demonstrable and definable lines of cause-and-effect between what you wanted done & what got worse. One should expect even the faintest desire to have a good opinion, would inspire serious introspection. If not “I can see my idea wasn’t good,” then at the very least, “I can see my idea was open to misinterpretation in ways I did not foresee.” There should be some kind of learning…

But in American politics, we often don’t get that. Instead, the constant shelter of the bad-idea-people, the architects of pain, is some running narrative about nuance and complexity. Oh no, just because I wanted to get rid of Trump, doesn’t mean I’m pro-Biden, Oh no, just because I’m pro-Biden doesn’t mean I hold him blameless for the high gas prices. Oh no, just because I hold Biden blameless for high gas prices, doesn’t mean I want them to be high. Oh no, just because I want gas prices to be high, doesn’t mean I want the economy to sputter. Oh no, just because I want the economy to be wrecked, doesn’t mean I hate people. Oh no…you misunderstand…

It’s like paying back yesterday’s awful ideas, with more awful ideas today, to avoid admitting how awful they were.

For all of us though, if your paramount goal is to avoid ever having made a mistake, well…hope you enjoy that a lot, because that’s about all you’re going to achieve. If you want to accomplish anything else, the time’s going to come sooner or later you’ll have to admit to your own fallibility. That if you do indeed know everything worth knowing now, you didn’t before, and you made a mistake.

Truth is, it’s these “My ideas are so nuanced and complex” people who don’t understand. Their ideas are not complex at all. They are simple. “I hate Trump” is simplistic thinking. It is canine thinking. If a dumb dog doesn’t like you, he doesn’t distinguish “You’re immoral” from “You’re annoying” from “I don’t like the way you throw my ball” from “You support unwise economic policies.” He mixes all that stuff together and barks at you. This is why we don’t let dogs vote.

When you want to get rid of Trump, and you manage to do it and then things start sucking, and you don’t admit your idea was a bad one, it means you’re making the overall collective poorer by way of your participation. It means the rest of us would be better off if we could lie to you about Election Day, or your registration for it, so you don’t vote. Repeating the exercise three more times, or ten, or a hundred, would be pointless because you don’t learn. That’s what that means when you replace Trump with Biden, and with gas topping out over $8 a gallon, start playing these “Oh no I wanted this not that” games.

You opposed Trump because you wanted to be popular.

Now you’re popular like the guy who shit in the hot tub. Serves you right.