Publick Announcement

It tickles me no end to inform you that, after years of threatening bodily injury most dire to be visited upon himself, his wife, his children, and even his doggehs, our bosom chum Ironbear has at last cheerfully relented and agreed to grace us all hereabouts with an occasional post as and when the fancy may strike him. I couldn’t be happier about that, and I know you folks will feel the same way. Welcome aboard, my friend.

Update! As a few of you have recommended, I’m also going to be implementing a new open comments thread here, for the many topics I don’t get a chance to cover or just whatever comes to mind for the participants. I’d like to make it a daily thing the way Reynolds does, rather than weekly a la Bill Quick; it’s my thought that such a thing would be much easier to manage on a daily basis. Problem being, there are plenty of days I don’t even sit down at the trusty ol’ iMac at all, so realistically speaking it will probably end up being more of a three or four day a week affair.

Aside to SteveF: somewhere between the phone and the ‘puter your email vanished into the ether, which is why I never did give you a shout back. But as you can see, your lovingly-administered kick in the pants has yielded the desired result, shall we say. Ahem.

Apocalypse: now

Like, right now. I won’t belabor the point by excerpting stories about the burgeoning riots and civil unrest you’ll no doubt already be aware of, and instead content myself with providing you three of the most heart-warming, feel-good Tweets you’ll ever see. First up: Probably best not to be playing the Knockout Game with cops, you dumbass bitch.


Next: Monkey-boy shoulda probably paid closer attention when Mama warned him about the hazards of playing with matches.


Last: Burn, baby burn! NO NO WAIT GODDAMMIT, I DIDN’T MEAN ME!!!


OBLIGATORY DISCLAIMER: The MPLS po-po just flat-out murdered George Floyd, no two ways about it. Those four abominable pigs of right ought to spend the rest of their lives enjoying the prison-laundry attentions of serial felons like Tyrone McCorkle, Dwahwnzell Jones, and Kwanzaaalicious Isaiah Faheem—ie, bent over an industrial dryer in the dimmest corner of the room being vigorously group-buggered, far from the prying eyes of any screws and/or trusties haunting the area.

I suspect that almost all fair-minded Americans felt the same about it too, more or less. As with the heinous Walter Scott case in Charleston a few years back, the pig in question took it upon himself to act as judge, jury, and executioner in a manner most abominable, and packing their asses off for a long, hellish term in the slammer is probably the absolute least they deserve for it.

Right up until the missing-link mouthbreathers in Minneapolis decided to forego real justice for Mo’ Free Shit, Yo and abdicated the mandate of Heaven by raiding Target for a few spare flat-screens, burning out their own neighborhoods, and just generally flinging shit around the place like a pack of rabid screech-monkeys. They had the firmest of grips on the moral high ground just for a second there, with an overwhelmingly solid majority of Americans behind them all the way, and instead of building on that foundation, they chose to take a steaming dump all over it instead. As seems to be their wont.

Yeah, I know, I know, I probably sound like the most irredeemable racist in all the Southland with the above. I would like take this opportunity to assure one and all that I do not give a single shit whether I do or not. I’ve spent many long years scratching my head trying to puzzle out stupid, bizarre shit like this, which seems to happen on a fairly regular basis—always in the same way, always with the same predictable result.

For example, you can look for much anguished libmedia breast-beating over the “food deserts” in Minneapolis’ smoking ghetto ruins three to five years hence, along with many weepy articles and TeeWee news items lamenting the inexplicable lack of jobs and economic opportunity in those same areas destroyed by the semi-sentient fools who have now trapped themselves therein. Blame for these and other “tragic” developments will be laid squarely at the feet of Whitey the Blue-Eyed Devil, in due course.

I assure you once again that I do not give a damp fart about any of that bushwa either. The morons made their beds. Soon enough, they’ll be forced to lie in ’em. Now let me see, where DID I put the world’s smallest violin, anyway? I got a tune I’d like to play for y’all on it…

The American Eagle morphs into a pack of mangy jackals

Apologies for the extended posting holiday hereabouts, folks. But frankly, my disgust over current events has rendered me incapable of much beyond incoherent, tongue-tied spluttering. This revolting story should provide the first clue:


Do please note the imbecile who actually pulls his precious little mask aside to shriek at this poor woman, while the other hyenas brazenly defy The Power’s orders to observe proper social distancing in their eagerness to gang-terrorize their hapless victim.

All I can say is it’s too bad the woman lives in NYC, where her supposed “Second Amendment rights” have long been null and void. Otherwise, she could’ve shot her way out of that troop of mouth-breathing baboons, every last one of which is deserving of a much, much worse fate. May they all die screaming in agony, their souls shriveled by the fires of infernal Hell for a thousand years. Plus.

YMMV, but that appalling video to me is as sickening a display of true Amerikan cowardice and irrationality as I ever hope to see. At the moment, as far as I’m concerned the whole goddamned shitshow that we’re pleased to misnomer a “free country” can burn all the way down to bedrock. More later, after I somehow regain a little perspective and get my equanimity back.

“We were never asked”

Masters don’t ask. They know they don’t have to.

Last year, through an excellent HBO miniseries, the Soviet Union’s 1986 Chernobyl disaster came to life. Lies about risk were widespread. People were told for years that science proved the reactors were safe, only to be dragged from their radiation-contaminated homes with only the clothes on their back. Certain observers, particularly on the Right, saw the series as a lesson in the evils of communism. While it was indeed that, things also looked rather familiar.

Like our country today, the Soviet Union was full of hard-working and patriotic little people, whose lives and fates were controlled by authorities more concerned with saving face than doing the right thing. As the series dramatized, individualized justice and truth were often suppressed in the name of ideology and scientific progress. Rank and title counted for a lot, while common sense was often neglected. The Soviet Union was a Communist regime, but it was chiefly a bureaucratic regime, where the bureaucracy’s managerial class had privileged lives and a hostile relationship to the common people.

The United States has long been a more individualistic, entrepreneurial, and freedom-loving people than those in Europe, whether East or West. Our national life is much more than an abstract creed. Our culture can be found as much in the Federalist Papers as in the advent of the road trip, music festivals, and, in the days of Prohibition, the speak-easy. We are a restless, energetic, and unbridled people. We are wont to question authority and bend rules that seem stupid and meddlesome.

Public health has always had an uneasy relationship with that culture. At its worst, public health expresses a censorious, cautious, and schoolmarm instinct. It is the force behind book-length warnings on the side of lawnmowers, the demise of dodgeball, and Prohibition itself. If it is an American impulse, it’s the dark side of America; the perversion of our “can do” spirit into relentless crusades against fun in the name of safety and science.

We all have our own priorities, weigh risks and benefits differently, and, until recently, were allowed to decide these things for ourselves. The public health ideologue does not agree that risks of various kinds—including the voluntary risks of smoking, drinking alcohol, or driving motorcycles—are things that a free people should be allowed to do.

The lockdown crowd will invoke a countervailing principle: even people who believe in freedom will concede that you do not have the right to endanger others.

In the abstract, this is true. But is anyone endangering others if they fail to abide by these lockdowns? Setting aside the modest coronavirus risk for the vast majority of people, we have been told that social distancing is the means of safety. If you avoid others, wash your hands, and wear a mask, you will be safe.

If avoiding others, wearing masks, and social distancing are so effective, then—like refraining from smoking or skydiving—the people who feel strongly about risk have the means of protecting themselves. Perhaps vulnerable populations are well-served to follow these precautions. Just as people can choose not to get on a motorcycle, the vulnerable and cautious can engage in voluntary masking and social distancing.

The risks and benefits of living normally can be borne by those who want to live.

Read every word of this one, folks.

Status quo ante

The more things change, the more they etc.

U.S.—Americans in some states are finally starting to feel normal again, now that stay-at-home orders are being lifted. Children are at the park again, adults are back at the bar, and the elderly continue to play bingo at 4 p.m. sharp on a daily basis.  

But there’s one thing that has everybody feeling at a near-peak level of normal: conservatives are going to work while liberals stay at home and do nothing—just like always.

“We can now say with undeniable certainty that these are normal times,” explained social psychologist Ben O’Reilly as he handed a hippie a twenty-dollar bill. “Conservatives are once again doing all the hard work to keep the economy afloat, while liberals sit at home, pretend to be sick with the Coronavirus, and collect government paychecks. Congratulations America, you are back to normal!”

While some conservatives are upset that liberals get to stay home and mooch off of them, most say they don’t even care anymore.

“I just want to get back to work,” said Jared Renfro, an electrician from Wisconsin. “If liberals don’t want to work, hey, more power to them. I don’t mind paying their bills.” Renfro then polished his “Trump 2020” bumper sticker and hopped in his truck.   

Well, it’s not as if all those gender-studies grads, government employees, and liberal-dweeb college professors were doing anything particularly useful anyway.

Update! IF EVEN ONE LIFE IS SAV…uhhh, wait a sec here.

LANSING, MI- Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan took her already excessive restrictions in her state in the fight against Covid-19 a step further this morning when she announced that any violations of the executive order may authorize the use of lethal force by law enforcement.

The Michigan Governor stated, “If you think you can just go out and buy a bag of charcoal, think again. Going out for unnecessary purchases and risking the spread of Covid-19 would be no different than going out and shooting a gun at random people. It’s time we accept the reality of the situation and treat such instances accordingly.”

Michigan has already been essentially under house arrest with a risk of jail or a $1,000 fine for residents who simply leave their homes. Entire sections of areas in Michigan grocery stores of items deemed “non-essential” have been roped off to satisfy Gretchen Whitmer’s brand of compassionate authoritarianism. Items like bug spray and outdoor supplies among many other goods are now forbidden to be purchased by Michigan residents.

Gov. Whitmer’s authorization of lethal force for violation of the order has completed the task of making her power and reach absolute, as no resident of Michigan is now safe from the prospect of being publicly executed by their Governor.

Although the measure admittedly may never be fully implemented, the Governor has described it as a necessary symbolic gesture to show how far she is willing to go to protect her loyal subjects.

The profoundly Kafka-esque nature of our current national absurdity has made distinguishing between satire and reality so tough that Reuters is barely even trying anymore.

Social media users are circulating an article with a headline that reads, “Whitmer authorizes lethal force to maintain state lockdown” ( here ). It refers to Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D).

The claim comes amid a series of demonstrations against coronavirus-related lockdowns across key electoral battleground states like Michigan ( here ).

The article has been flagged multiple times as part of Facebook’s efforts to curb misinformation related to the new coronavirus.

The claim is false. It stems from a satirical article on the website The People’s Cube. The article lists the author as “Chedoh, Kommissar of Viral Infections, Hero of Change, Prophet of the Future Truth”. Despite these red flags, some social media users believe the story is authentic, making comments like “You need to vote her out!” and “The Power all Democrats want”.

On March 24, Whitmer passed an executive order suspending non-essential activities across the state ( here ). On April 13, Whitmer issued another executive order to extend the lockdown measures until April 30 ( here ). Neither of the orders specified enforcement conditions aside from mentioning that, “Consistent with MCL 10.33 and MCL 30.405(3), a willful violation of this order is a misdemeanor”. Michigan is one of 42 states where governors have ordered residents to remain indoors except for necessary outings like grocery shopping or doctor’s visits, while closing schools, universities and non-essential businesses.

VERDICT
False: Michigan Governor Whitmer has not authorized “lethal force” to maintain lockdown measures meant to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. This claim comes from a satirical article.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact checking work here .

Oh, I believe I’ve read just about all I need to about your “work” at this point, guys.

Clampdown

DeBalledZero lets his fascist-freak flag fly.

Cops will crack down on quarantine-fatigued New Yorkers partying outside their favorite bars, Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed on Sunday — as he threatening to fence off beaches if too many people flock there.

“I’m not comfortable at all with people congregating outside bars,” the mayor said at a press briefing when asked about alarming photos of large groups crowding outside watering holes over the weekend, as seen in Sunday’s Post.

The Upper East Side was singled out as having “had a particular problem,” but de Blasio insisted enforcement would be “everywhere around the city,” with both the NYPD and Sheriff’s Office deployed.

“We’re not going to tolerate people starting to congregate. It’s as simple as that,” de Blasio said, again encouraging New Yorkers to rat out violators.

“Please share with us those locations, and we will deal with them immediately,” he said.

A bartender at The Wolfhound in Astoria, Queens, balked at de Blasio’s bluster.

“It’s bulls- -t!” said the drink-slinger, who asked not to be identified. “I get it that there are places where it’s getting a bit wild, but otherwise we’re f- -ked. It’s our livelihood!”

The bartender added that cops have already come around the bar to ensure people are six feet apart while getting three sheets to the wind.

“They’ve been cool. Last night, they were here twice,” the barkeeper said, recalling that the cops switched on their patrol car’s loudspeaker to tell the imbibers to space out.

It appears that they’re being even cooler out in Jersey.

A few hours after workouts began Monday morning at New Jersey’s Atilis Gym — which is making national headlines for its early reopening in defiance of Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy’s coronavirus shutdown order — police showed up outside the Bellmawr business.

The large group of people outside the gym were angry and hostile, likely believing the officers showed up to shut down the gym, hand out tickets, or even make arrests. Amid the mostly unintelligible hollering, a few phrases rang out clearly:

  • “You have the right to refuse unconstitutional orders!”
  • “Freedom!”
  • “You swore an oath to protect our rights!”

Soon enough the crowd quieted down enough so that one of the officers was able to address them.

“We are and we’re only here for everybody’s safety today,” the officer began. “We planned for the worst, hoped for the best, and it seems like that’s what we have out here today. Formally, you are all in violation of the executive order.”

Then came the officer’s surprising follow-up statement: “On that note, have a good day. Everybody be safe.”

As police turned and walked away, the crowd immediately erupted in the kind of cheering you’d expect after a Philadelphia Eagles’ game-winning touchdown — and then a hefty “USA! USA! USA!” chant soon followed.

As well it should have. Nice to know they’re not all pigs.

Spoke too soon update! Apparently, not all THAT cool.

The owners of a Camden County gym which reopened on Monday in violation of Gov. Phil Murphy’s stay-at-home executive order have been issued a second violation by police when they reopened the gym again on Tuesday.

Bellmawr police arrived at Atilis Gym in Bellmawr Tuesday morning and issued owners Ian Smith and Frank Trumbetti the citation. The officers also stopped three gym members as they left the gym.

Each citation could cost $1,000 and six months in jail.

Ah well, it was nice while it lasted. Now back in your cells, serfs.

No mas(k)

Remember what I said the other day about my personal feelings on the wearing of N95 masks for non-surgical purposes?

Yeah. About that.

Every Karen on Facebook is shaming her neighbors for not wearing a face mask. We are being told by governors that if we don’t wear masks we are selfish, horrible human beings with no souls who want Grandma to die a horrible death. Police are tackling people who don’t wear face masks properly in the subway. Grocery stores are throwing maskless people out and denying them service.

But now, there’s another doctor weighing in—besides Dr. Fauci, bonafide sex god and ruler of us all, who also said face masks are largely security theater and of no use to the healthy. Dr. Russell Blaylock, a neurosurgeon, has written an editorial saying that “masks pose serious risks to the healthy.”

First, Blaylock says, there is no scientific evidence that masks are effective against COVID-19 transmission. Pro-science people should care about this.

Beyond the lack of scientific data to support wearing a mask as a deterrent to a virus, Blaylock says the more pressing concern is what can and will happen to the wearer.

Now that we have established that there is no scientific evidence necessitating the wearing of a face mask for prevention, are there dangers to wearing a face mask, especially for long periods? Several studies have indeed found significant problems with wearing such a mask. This can vary from headaches, to increased airway resistance, carbon dioxide accumulation, to hypoxia, all the way to serious life-threatening complications.

Blaylock says studies have also shown that face masks impair oxygen intake dramatically, potentially leading to serious problems.

The importance of these findings is that a drop in oxygen levels (hypoxia) is associated with an impairment in immunity. Studies have shown that hypoxia can inhibit the type of main immune cells used to fight viral infections called the CD4+ T-lymphocyte.

This occurs because the hypoxia increases the level of a compound called hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1), which inhibits T-lymphocytes and stimulates a powerful immune inhibitor cell called the Tregs. This sets the stage for contracting any infection, including COVID-19 and making the consequences of that infection much graver. In essence, your mask may very well put you at an increased risk of infections and if so, having a much worse outcome.

In other words, if you wear a face mask and contract some sickness, you will not be able to fight it off as effectively as if you had normal blood oxygen levels. The mask could make you sicker. It could also create a “deadly cytokine storm” in some.

That’s plenty good enough for me. Our state kommissar Comrade Cooper can issue whatever decrees he likes, but I’m content to leave the wearing of surgical masks to the pros, thenksveddymuch.

Class act

What a petty little punk-ass bitch.

The unveiling of presidents’ official White House portraits by their successor has been a long-held tradition—until now. Barack Obama is refusing to participate in the ceremony for the unveiling of his portrait, NBC News has learned.

“Republican presidents have done it for Democratic presidents, and vice versa,” noted NBC News. “Even when one of them ascended to the White House by defeating or sharply criticizing the other.”

True enough—Barack Obama hosted the ceremony of the unveiling of George W. Bush’s official White House portrait, despite Obama ascending to the office by being a harsh critic of the 43rd president. George W. Bush similarly hosted the ceremony of Clinton’s portrait unveiling. Bush had been a critic of Clinton’s during the 2000 campaign, promising to restore honor and dignity to the office, sullied by Clinton’s sex scandal with Monica Lewinsky. Bill Clinton hosted the ceremony for George H.W. Bush, whom he’d defeated in the 1992 election.

Obama has also broken the custom of refusing to criticize his successor publicly. His pride, however, is too big for him to participate in the ceremony during Trump’s tenure in the White House—a continuation of the rank partisanship espoused by Obama during his presidency.

Barack Obama has “no interest in participating in the post-presidency rite of passage” as Trump is in office, according to people familiar with the matter.

Fine by me; myself, I have no interest in ever seeing the slope-shouldered shitweasel’s smug mug anywhere near the White House he so sullied.

Stay home and sulk in one of your ill-gotten mansions for all me, ManBoy. We’ll ship your damned painting wherever the hell you specify, and you can just stand the thing in a corner of an unused broom closet or something. It would probably look GREAT under some boxes in the garage, I’m thinking.

Still blows my mind no end that this country elected such a witless stumblebum to the presidency in the first place, I swear it does.

Twice. We did it twice, ferchrissake.

Sick society

“Govern me DADDY”?? Really? REALLY?!?

Is anyone else getting nauseated by the public health-inspired slogans popping up everywhere across the country? My home state of Kentucky has been no exception. Folks there have been inundated with them during Gov. Andy Beshear’s regular evening addresses. It was in March that he first ordered Kentuckians to be #healthyathome, which was the cutesy slogan he and his team came up with for warrantless house arrest of all Bluegrass citizens. Next came #healthyatwork, the phrase that team Beshear gave to their phased (and painfully slow) approach to reopening the state’s businesses. Throughout all this, masks have been mandated to be worn in all public places, indefinitely, as part of the “new normal” in Kentucky. Folks at the state capitol must have thought that government overreach would be more palatable if it came with a jingle. If it worked for the Bolsheviks, it would probably also work for the Bluegrass.

They weren’t wrong. Many folks in Kentucky have eaten this up. Some have even taken to promoting their own state-worshipping slogans, as evidenced by apparel with a “Govern me, Daddy” logo. This odd, sexualized appreciation for the governor’s edicts would be hilarious if it weren’t sad. 

I checked. As fervently as I had hoped this was some sort of joke, it seems that it’s for real.

GovernMeDADDY.png


And there you have it folks: the face of the enemy, straight up. People like the ones dampening their panties over this disturbing shirt—the ones who believe with all their heart and soul that government’s proper role is to be “DADDY” to us all—these are the self-same people who will have to be crushed utterly, mown down wholesale, killed in job lots before anyone can even dream of trying to put this nation back on the correct course. Hate to say it and all, but there it is.

But the gimmick only works if citizens actually believe that leaders are also struggling right along with them. One minor inconvenience for the governor is that he legally has to respond to open records requests, which are aimed at fostering government transparency. In mid-April, the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions, a self-described free market think tank focusing on issues within Kentucky, asked to inspect time sheets from staff working at the governor’s mansion. Beshear (the former state attorney general) violated state law by not responding to this request in a timely fashion. Twelve days passed and no records were produced. After the Bluegrass Institute filed an appeal with the state attorney general’s office, he finally complied.

The cause of the delay became quite obvious once those records were unveiled. They showed rank hypocrisy on his part. Per Jim Waters, president of the Bluegrass Institute: “While restaurants and businesses providing personal services suffer … the Beshear family is still being served by several employees regularly working in the Governor’s Mansion, including four housekeepers, two chefs, two maintenance workers as well as a butler along with an executive director and assistant director.” The records also reportedly show that “some mansion staff members even continued working full-time despite recently being in contact with fellow workers who took COVID-19 emergency sick leave set aside for workers who contract, or display symptoms of having contracted, the coronavirus or been around an infected individual.” Some employees even reportedly logged overtime during March and April.

This seems troubling. Why does the governor require his staff to break his own executive orders at this time?

Screw that. Why in the ever-lovin’ blue-eyed world should any governor of any American state enjoy the service of so kingly an entourage as two chefs, four housekeepers, and a fucking butler for fuck’s fucking sake AT ALL?

Hey, remember when they used to call the US a “classless society”? When the very idea of royalty was pure anathema to any right-thinking American?

Nah, me neither.

SOLIDARNOSC!

Some eerie similarities.

Many U.S. states are acting like the early 1980’s and the imposition of Martial law in Poland to target the Solidarity movement. Subsequently I wrote about it on a Twitter thread, because the parallels were really quite remarkable.

Both Poland circa 1980 and the U.S. friction in 2020, center around fragile economic issues. Both were an outcome of state control; and the key connection is government targeting control over the workers.

In both examples the state took exclusive control of the economic and social state of the citizens, and the courts provided no option for redress. In both examples the state locked down the citizens and would not permit them to interact with each other.

In 1981 the government in Poland initiated Martial Law and citizens were forced to communicate underground. In 2020 a considerable number of U.S. state governments locked-down citizens in similar fashion and banned citizen assembly.

In 1981 in Poland the communist regime used economic psychological pressure, selecting workers permitted to earn wages. Those workers identified as “essential” to the state. In 2020 many State governors selected workers to earn an income by designating them “essential” to the state.

Isn’t it funny how ALL government employees always seem to be “essential”?

In 1981 Polish authorities arrested anyone organizing protests against the authoritarian state. In 2020 numerous authoritarian officials arrested citizens for non-compliance with unilateral dictates. From a New Jersey governor arresting a woman for organizing a protect; to an Idaho mother arrested for allowing her children to play at a park; to a Texas salon owner arrested for operating her business.

In 1981 Polish authorities had a program for citizens to report subversive activity against the state. Snitching. In 2020 New York City, LA and numerous state and local officials started programs for citizens to report non-compliant activity against the state. Similar snitching.

In both 1981 Poland and 2020 USA we also see media exclusively creating ideological content as propaganda for the interests of the authoritarian state (controlling citizens).

So where is the American Lech Walesa, anyway? Sundance finds reason for hope nonetheless:

Just before the authoritarian state in Poland collapsed there was a rapid movement for the citizens to take to the streets in defiance of state control. I remember watching with great enthusiasm as I saw a very determined pole shout on television:

…”we take to the streets and today we realize, there are more of us than them”…

If one person refuses to comply, government can and as we have witnessed arrest them. However, if tens of thousands rebuke these unconstitutional decrees, there isn’t a damn thing government can do to stop it…. and they know it.

If one barber shop opens, the owner becomes a target. However, if every barber shop and beauty salon in town opens… there is absolutely nothing the government can do about it.

If one restaurant and/or bar opens, the state can target the owner. But if every bar and restaurant in town opens; and if everyone ignores  and dispatches the silly dictates of the local, regional or state officials… there isn’t a damned thing they can do about it.

Even more to the point, a commenter notes this insightful quote:

Douglass-Tyrants.jpg


While I’m by no means as hopeful as Sundance (or Douglass, for that matter), that one is going straight into the Notable Quotes section in the sidebar, I believe.

Wonder what the percentages might be

Of present-day “Anericans” who are officious, insufferable, priggish assholes, that is.

I get it. No one wants to wear a mask. They muffle your voice. They itch your cheeks. They fog up your glasses. And, until recently, all the experts said they were ineffective against the coronavirus. But now the script is flipped, and it’s the virtuous thing to do. If you don’t, well, you’ll likely face the censure of your peers.

And that judgment is harsh. In the early days of maskopolis, my wife and I went to Safeway with our faces uncovered. Shameful, I know, but our connect in Hong Kong hadn’t yet hooked us up with a box of those blue bad boys.

As we strolled down an aisle — not noticing the arrows indicating that we were walking the wrong direction on a one-way path — our eyes met with those of a tall masked man, who was gingerly picking out cans with his surgical-gloved hands. He looked at us sternly, and pointed to the mask on his face and then to the arrows on the floor. A silent reproach.

And effective. Although it seemed incredibly rude at the time, the eyes of this latter-day Dr. T. J. Eckleburg stuck with us. We wear masks now, and pity those who are as foolish as we once were.

Effective, my fed-up ass. Shoulda punched the jerk right square in the mouth and left him layin’, sez I. “Effective”? Only insofar as it’s allowed to be, and not one jot or tittle more. The proper way to deal with any finger-wagging, self-righteous bluenose remains the same as it always was: get up in their faces, punch back twice as hard. A meek shrug of the shoulders and a firm tug on the ol’ forelock in humble deference only encourages the juiceless bastards. Then, next thing you know, they’re shuttering your business, yelling at you from Chinese-made drones, scolding you from billboards, and locking you in your damned house.

Mask-wearing, while certainly a health-conscious practice, is also a performance for the benefit of your neighbors. Those who play their parts poorly will be booed.

It is a grim show to be sure, put on in my neighborhood by a bunch of noseless, mouthless suburbanites imposing rules and regulations on their unexpectedly leisure-filled existences. But it is one in which we have all been given roles.

For most of us, it could be worse. On the front lines of this thing, there’s no chance to worry about whether or not to wear masks. Medical workers don’t have the time. My two brothers, one a pizza delivery man and the other a barista at Starbucks, don’t have a choice.

And yet, when no one else is around, I know they are just like me. Down goes the mask, and they breathe easier. For a little while.

This whole mess is nothing but a performance, really, Safety Theater for the boobs, the sheep, and the panic-ninnies. Speaking strictly for myself, I will NOT be donning any mask, unless I’m suddenly and inexplicably called upon to help remove a spleen or sew up a wound or something. I simply ain’t doing it, and I don’t give a shit if saying so hairlips every cannibal on the Congo, either. The performance will just have to stagger on without me somehow.

This ain’t Red China, people—not quite yet it ain’t, although it’s now one hell of a lot closer than I’d prefer. On these shores, the air is by no means so polluted as to require mask-wearing outdoors as a matter of simple survival. So I’ll just say it: I don’t care which government official demands that I do so, it just ain’t happening, bub. Might as well lock me up now, cocksuckers. I didn’t manage to make it to this ripe old age only to start knuckling under to every dimestore dictator currently crawling out from under every rock on the landscape now.

Wait, WHO’S got WHAT on WHOSE hands again, now?

In COVIDIOT Amerika, there’s “blood on your hands,” and then there’s, y’know, BLOOD ON YOUR FUCKING HANDS. See if you can figure out which is which from the following example, which is by no means the only one out there.

A Colorado inmate released from jail early to ‘slow the spread of Coronavirus’ has been arrested and accused of first-degree murder.

While we’re playing guessing games, take a whack at what the killer might look like according to his (most recent) mug shot. Three guesses, first two don’t etc.

A man who was released from prison last month on parole following policies enacted by Gov. Jared Polis to prevent an outbreak of the new coronavirus among inmates has been arrested in the fatal shooting of a woman last weekend in Denver.

Cornelius Haney, 40, is accused of first-degree murder in the slaying of 21-year-old Heather Perry near the intersection of East Colfax Avenue and Verbena Street on May 9.

Haney was released on April 15, four months early, under an executive order by Polis before that allows inmates to be released on “special-needs parole.”

Cristina lays down the bottom-line law.

Last month a Florida inmate released on March 19 to ‘slow the spread of the Coronavirus’ was arrested on a murder charge just one day after he got out of jail.

Dangerous murderers and sex offenders are being released from prison while pastors, mothers and business owners are being threatened with fines and prison time for violating social distancing orders.

Makes as much sense as anything else does in this back-asswards country nowadays.

To every thing, there is a season

The good Rabbi Fisher gets his hate on. To which I can only say: welcome to the party, pal.

When the Mets finally took it all in 1969, the other teams accepted the results. They lost gracefully. Now it was the Mets’ turn, and they had won it fair and square. But these past three years have been something different. Trump and Pence won fair and square. But there was no grace. Rather, there was instant character assassination, instant war, instant denial. Advertisements urging electors to violate their Electoral College oaths. Fabrications of collusion with Putin. Investigations that hamstrung a presidency. Lies and innuendoes leaked and published by the unindicted co-conspirators we call the “mainstream media.” A never-ending hunt to find scandals and Trump accusers: a bimbo who pole-danced at bars, her lawyer who now dances behind bars, another crooked lawyer who tape-recorded his own clients and now is locked up, disbarred from the Bar. One cartoon character after another.

As a rabbi of 40 years and a person who believes that most people have the potential for goodness, and who tries to find the good even in people who disappoint until they absolutely close off the possibility of goodness being discovered within them, I now have learned to hate.

I have come deeply to hate. I hate that Donald Trump never was given a chance to be president of the United States for even one day’s honeymoon. I hate that, long before he won the presidency — fair and square — corrupt crooks and criminals in the United States Department of Justice, its Federal Bureau of Investigation, were actively plotting to take him down. I hate that there are so few outlets in the media that give voice to condemn the criminality and corruption that broke every accepted societal norm by which we play the game. I hate that Obama was in on it, yet continues to pontificate on what is just and on what threatens freedom.

I hate that they all keep getting away with it. Every single one of them gets away with it. There is absolutely no price to be paid on the left for perjury, for conspiracy to overturn a legitimate election, for treason.

They took advantage of a good man who suddenly found himself combating in a different kind of military theater outside his field of expertise. He knew the jungles of Afghanistan, not the jungles of the Justice Department in Washington. The slime dregs of Justice, the Peter Strzoks and Andrew McCabes of the FBI, knew this. They had the lieutenant general on their terrain. He never should have been questioned about the call. He never should have been sucked into an interview without an attorney present. He never should have been lulled into what he said to the FBI.

Donald Trump has been the chief executive of this country for more than three years, and he has proven to be a great president in so many ways, but he sadly has proven incapable of cleaning the swamp. He at least identified the swamp’s existence, and he is fighting its effort to swallow him within its muck. But he has proven that, despite the glorious slogan he inspired, he cannot drain it. Not one single slime in the swamp has been brought to justice.

There is something so evil in a society that tolerates a dual standard of justice, dual standards of everything. On the one hand, we political conservatives harbor profoundly deep feelings, but we do not destroy people’s lives based on abstract politics. Yes, we oppose them and expose them, and we hope that contemporary society and history judge them for the evil they represent. But we do not destroy them in their lives. They get away with everything. Hillary Clinton spoliated 33,000 emails amid a federal probe, a federal crime that always ends up with prison time — but not for her. It is a federal crime to lie under oath to Congress. Comey, Clapper, Brennan — how have they all avoided prison time? Strzok, Page, the whole bunch of them? Adam Schiff. The outliers on the Mueller team. Not one single slime among them in the swamp has been brought to justice.

These animals destroyed the life of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. They drove him into such financial ruin that he had to sell his home to pay his legal bills. They went after a good boy, Nick Sandmann, and they cruelly made him into the face of racism. His own Catholic diocese in eastern Kentucky sold him out and sold out all the boys who stood with him that fateful day in Washington, D.C., when he was harassed by a messed-up Indian with a drum. And they did everything they could to destroy Brett Kavanaugh, a good man, a family man, a man who has devoted time throughout his life to his church and to the need. They endeavored through outright perjury to destroy him. The perjurers all got away with it. Name one single perjurer against Justice Kavanaugh who ever was brought to justice by Charles Grassley or Lindsey Graham of the Senate Judicial Committee.

The liars destroy with impunity because they know they always will get away with it. Republicans watch the character assassination and then go on Sean Hannity to sound brave for five minutes. “These people will pay a steep price, Sean.” “I won’t let them get away with it, Sean.” “Let not your heart be troubled, Sean.” “We will investigate every crime and every perjury, Sean.” Three years of hearing this from Paul Ryan, Reince Priebus, Trey Gowdy, Charles Grassley, Lindsey Graham, Rudy Giuliani, Jason Chaffetz, Kevin McCarthy. Well, Fox News Alert: They all got away with it. Comey. Brennan. Clapper. Blasey Ford. Schiff. Hillary. Strzok. Page. McCabe.

There is a time to love and a time to hate. This is a time to hate.

Well, good enough, as far as it goes. But nigh upon us is a quite different time: A time to act. We shall very soon see if enough of us remain in this benighted, ravaged nation with the wisdom to recognize it, and the gumption to do what’s required of us.

Three foes, just one enemy

Somehow, I wasn’t aware of this myself.

In October 2018, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared a 30-year war on the United States. When the war is over in 2049, the 100th anniversary of Communist Party rule, China expects to be victorious economically, politically and, if necessary, militarily. This is something about which few Americans are aware, and most who are don’t take it seriously. Donald Trump does—and Beijing knows it.

China must carefully consider “all complex situations,” Xi said at the time, voicing a cryptic note of caution. In the aftermath of COVID-19, as more of China’s secret ambitions are exposed and anti-communist sentiments not heard since the Cold War go public, there could be a lot of “complex situations” for Chinese leaders to consider.

After failing repeatedly, Democrats and their allies think they finally have the perfect one-two combination—spiked Chinese bat flu along with a sci-fi panic attack—for getting rid of Trump and capitalism once and for all.

The Democratic Party, the media and a newly aggressive China have morphed into a single opposition, and the one person capable of rallying the nation to fight back and win is Donald Trump.

And then things really start to get…interesting.

Reporters, spouting their usual Chinese propaganda at a recent White House press conference, tried to make it seem as if Trump’s name for the virus was worse than the virus itself.

But while they asked questions designed to make Trump look stupid, he used them to launch a major theme in his reelection campaign.

“Why do you keep calling this the Chinese virus?” one reporter wanted to know. “A lot of people say it’s racist.”

“It’s not racist at all,” said Trump. “It comes from China. Chi-na . . . I want to be accurate.”

Two minutes later another reporter said: “A White House official used the term ‘kung flu,’ referring to the fact that this virus started in China . . . Is that acceptable?”

“Say the term again,” Trump said.

“Kung flu,” the reporter replied. “A person at the White House used the term ‘kung flu’—”

“Just the term,” interrupted Trump.

“Kung flu,” the reporter said again.

“Kung flu?” asked the president, as if he hadn’t heard it the first four times.

“Kung flu,” the reporter repeated. “Do you think that’s wrong? And do you think using the term ‘Chinese virus’ puts Asian-Americans at risk?”

“No. I think they probably would agree with it 100 percent,” Trump said. “It comes from China. What’s not to agree on?”

Watching the White House press corps in action is a form of home entertainment for a whole population sheltering in place. There’s more going on here, though, than journalists beclowning themselves.

How many people cooped up with just their TVs to amuse them, agreed with what Trump said about China? Or thought the back and forth on “kung flu” (a phrase broadcast six times in the space of 20 seconds) was funny?

And how many sent links to their friends, who sent them to their friends? Thousands…millions?

Donald Trump called COVID-19 “the Chinese virus” and got an oblivious reporter to say “kung flu” over and over for the same reason he called Jeb Bush “Low-energy Jeb” and Hillary Clinton “Crooked Hillary” during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Four years ago he started typecasting Bush and Clinton as losers before a single primary voter went to the polls. A similar strategy is underway in the 2020 race, with a special coronavirus twist.

Can Trump really be that smart? If so, all the people currently making sport of him via snarky “12-dimensional chess” comments are gonna wind up looking mighty foolish themselves when all is said and done. As these things tend to do, though, it all comes back around to the fundamentals.

Less than six months before a presidential election COVID-19 has made Donald Trump a “crisis” president.

Instead of coasting to victory in November on the strength of his economic record, he will need to deal effectively with the coronavirus, revive the economy—for a second time—and confront the most formidable foreign policy challenge since Ronald Reagan was president.

In fact, Trump’s run for a second term in 2020 is a virtual playback of Reagan’s 1984 campaign. The similarities between the two men and their races, including the Cold War overtones, are uncanny.

Reagan was 73, so is Trump. Reagan ran against his predecessor’s vice president, just as Trump is doing. Both were Washington outsiders and former Democrats, who previously worked in the entertainment industry.

They also share two qualities—determination and resilience—particularly suited to campaigning in times of crisis. Reagan was an optimist and a fighter with a unique ability to communicate his ideas to voters. Trump has the same traits, using Twitter to connect with his millions of followers. And no politician in America can fill stadiums—and their parking lots—with supporters the way he does.

Because of the coronavirus, the 2020 campaign will be a debate about political systems, economics and national security, issues that play to the strengths that helped Trump win in 2016. And, as president, he can use campaign events, as Reagan did, to spell out the options in language every voter understands.

Will the United States be held hostage and eventually dominated by China and its Democratic Party collaborators, or will it “Stay the course,” as Reagan put it?

If the Democrats take over, the answer is obvious. Welcome to the United Socialist States of America (USSA), a wholly owned subsidiary of Communist China.

Shortly after Reagan’s second inauguration, Mikhail Gorbachev was appointed general secretary of the Soviet Union, the “evil empire’s” eighth and final leader. Later, Reagan was asked if Gorbachev’s reform-minded approach to communism had changed his strategic thinking about the Cold War. “No,” he said. “Here’s my strategy: We win. They lose.”

A most excellent strategy, that, with the added advantage of being truly timeless. Stupid or not, Trump is definitely crazy—LIKE A FUCKING FOX.

Despite my copious excerpting, there’s plenty more yet to come; yes, it’s another must-read-it-all article, folks. Don’t worry, you can thank me later.

FLYNNDICATION!

Best news we’ve had in a long, long time.

The Department of Justice on Thursday moved to dismiss the federal case against Michael Flynn following the revelation of gross government corruption and abuse against the former national security adviser.

After charges were brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador, but recently unsealed documents revealed that the FBI agents’ interview with Flynn was a perjury trap all along. Handwritten notes from FBI agents who ambushed Flynn at the White House without his attorneys present show that their goal was “to get him to lie so we can prosecute him or get him fired.”

In its motion to dismiss the criminal charges, the DOJ said the recently unsealed documents not only conclude the FBI had no proper predication for launching its investigation, but now call into question whether there is sufficient evidence that Flynn actually lied to FBI agents during their Jan. 24, 2017, White House interview.

“The Government is not persuaded that the January 24, 2017 interview was conducted with a legitimate investigative basis and therefore does not believe Mr. Flynn’s statements were material even if untrue,” the motion reads. “Moreover, we do not believe that the Government can prove either the relevant false statements or their materiality beyond a reasonable doubt.”

The previously undisclosed documents revealing the FBI agents’ intentions all along are a result of Attorney General William Barr appointing an outside U.S. attorney, Missouri-based U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen, to review the Flynn investigation. Last week, Jensen recommended Barr drop the case.

“Through the course of my review of General Flynn’s case, I concluded the proper and just course was to dismiss the case,” Jensen said in a statement. “I briefed Attorney General Barr on my findings, advised him on these conclusions, and he agreed.”

Well, you can’t say fairer than that. But does it get even better, you ask? Welllll…could be, could be.

Information released in the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss the case it brought against Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn confirms the significance of a January 5, 2017, meeting at the Obama White House. It was at this meeting that Obama gave guidance to key officials who would be tasked with protecting his administration’s utilization of secretly funded Clinton campaign research, which alleged Trump was involved in a treasonous plot to collude with Russia, from being discovered or stopped by the incoming administration.

“President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia,” National Security Advisor Susan Rice wrote in an unusual email to herself about the meeting that was also attended by Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, FBI Director James Comey, and Vice President Joe Biden.

A clearer picture is emerging of the drastic steps that were taken to accomplish Obama’s goal in the following weeks and months. Shortly thereafter, high-level operatives began intensely leaking selective information supporting a supposed Russia-Trump conspiracy theory, the incoming National Security Advisor was ambushed, and the incoming Attorney General was forced to recuse himself from oversight of investigations of President Trump. At each major point in the operation, explosive media leaks were a key strategy in the operation to take down Trump.

Not only was information on Russia not fully shared with the incoming Trump team, as Obama directs, the leaks and ambushes made the transition chaotic, scared quality individuals away from working in the administration, made effective governance almost impossible, and materially damaged national security. When Comey was finally fired on May 9, in part for his duplicitousness regarding his handling of the Russia collusion theory, he orchestrated the launch of a Special Counsel probe that continued his efforts for another two years. That probe ended with Mueller finding no evidence of any American colluding with Russia to steal the 2016 election, much less Trump or anyone connected to him.

An analysis of the timeline from early 2017 shows a clear pattern of behavior from the federal officials running the collusion operation against the Trump campaign. It also shows how essential media leaks were to their strategy to sideline key law enforcement and intelligence officials and cripple the ability of the incoming Trump administration to run the country.

Molly then goes on to present said timeline before coming around to her wrap-up, which is an absolute crusher:

This stunning operation was not just a typical battle between political foes, nor merely an example of media bias against political enemies. Instead, this entire operation was a deliberate and direct attack on the foundation of American governance. In light of the newly declassified documents released in recent days, it is clear that understanding what happened in that January 5 Oval Office meeting is essential to understanding the full scope and breadth of the corrupt operation against the Trump administration. It is long past time for lawmakers in Congress who are actually interested in oversight of the federal government and the media to demand answers about what really happened in that meeting from every single participant, including Obama and Biden.

Yes indeedy. As they say, the fish rots from the head down. So, in the mouldering, flyblown Ogabe junta, guess who that would have been.

But hey, anybody with even half a brain in his/her head at least strongly suspected already that Ogabe’s dainty, effeminate little fingerprints were all over this seditious coup attempt from the very start. The jug-eared dweeb is a megalomaniacal, famously touchy little control freak. Which makes the idea that any of the footling rumpswabs under him would have risked His Most Puissant Li’l Majesty’s ire by doing even the most piddling of things without his direct approval not one jot or tittle short of ludicrous.

If these newly-released Flynn documents turn out to be the pyre upon which the pusillanimous little shit’s shameful “legacy” goes up in smoke at long last, the nation will find itself owing genuine legal colossus Sidney Powell a debt of gratitude far too gargantuan to ever be repaid. Mad props, too, must go to AG Barr. As dubious as I’ve been about him at times, he has certainly covered himself with glory here.

As you recall, in January, General Flynn moved to withdraw his plea, and also alleged misconduct by the government. And at that time, I asked a very seasoned U.S. attorney, who had spent ten years as an FBI agent and ten years as a career prosecutor, Jeff Jensen, from St. Louis, to come in and take a fresh look at this whole case. And he found some additional material. And last week, he came in and briefed me and made a recommendation that we dismiss the case, which I fully agreed with, as did the U.S. attorney in D.C. So we’ve moved to dismiss the case.

What should Americans take away from your actions in the Flynn case today?

Well, as I said in my confirmation hearing, one of the reasons I came back is because I was concerned that people were feeling there were two standards of justice in this country. And that the political and that the justice, or the law enforcement process was being used to play political games. And I wanted to make sure that we restore confidence in the system. There’s only one standard of justice. And I believe that this case, that justice in this case requires dismissing the charges against General Flynn.

Are the actions you’re taking today bigger than the Flynn case?

Well, I think they are bigger because I hope that it sends the message that there is one standard of justice in this country. And that’s the way it will be. It doesn’t matter what political party you’re in, or, you know, whether you’re rich or poor. We will follow the same standard for everybody. Was there a crime committed, do we believe a crime was committed? And do we have the evidence to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt? And we don’t think either of those standards were applicable here.

Has this been one of the most consequential decisions that you have made as attorney general?

I don’t know. I let other people judge that. It’s certainly – I feel good about the decision because that’s what we’re here to do. We’re here to do what’s right.

Not what’s easy.

Right.

Good on ya, sir. DAMNED good on ya. The above is from an interview with CBS’s Catherine Herridge, of which you should read the all. Try as the liberal hack tries to trip him up, Barr eludes her word-salad traps every time, and broadly hints at the possibility of even more good stuff to come. It’s pretty toothsome stuff all the way ’round.

Update! Let’s not lose sight of why Barry The Weasel had his minions go after Flynn in the first place.

As chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2012, Flynn had warned that American support for Sunni jihadists in Syria had the unintended effect of supporting the new caliphate movement, that is, ISIS. Among all the heads and former heads of the 17 agencies that make up the US intelligence community, Flynn was the only one who had objected to the disastrous covert intervention in Syria and foreseen its baleful consequences. Obama fired him, but Donald Trump hired him as a top campaign aide and then appointed him national security adviser.

The Syrian debacle brought Russia into Syria in 2015; the American-backed jihad had turned into a Petri dish for Russian Muslims from the Caucasus, as well as Chinese Uighurs and a motley assortment of foreign militants. Russia had interests of opportunity, for example, a warm-water refueling station for its Mediterranean fleet, but the risk of blowback from the Syrian civil war was the most urgent motive for President Vladimir Putin’s intervention.

That is the background to the mutiny in the US Intelligence Community against the elected commander-in-chief. America’s noble – or perhaps narcissistic – intentions did more damage than Trump’s indifference. The world is better off with an America that does not choose to play Don Quixote. The problem is not that the emperor has no clothes but that the empire has no tailors. Both the left and right wings of the American foreign policy share the End of History delusion in one form or another, as they made clear with their unanimous support for the 2011 overthrow of an American ally, Egypt’s president Hosni Mubarak.

This is hard to explain to people who don’t understand the depth of American narcissism.

There’s also the small matter of Flynn daring to speak out in firm opposition to Bath-house Barry’s shady, near-treasonous Iran nuke “deal,” as well.

The abrupt resignation Monday evening of White House national security adviser Michael Flynn is the culmination of a secret, months-long campaign by former Obama administration confidantes to handicap President Donald Trump’s national security apparatus and preserve the nuclear deal with Iran, according to multiple sources in and out of the White House who described to the Washington Free Beacon a behind-the-scenes effort by these officials to plant a series of damaging stories about Flynn in the national media.

The effort, said to include former Obama administration adviser Ben Rhodes—the architect of a separate White House effort to create what he described as a pro-Iran echo chamber—included a small task force of Obama loyalists who deluged media outlets with stories aimed at eroding Flynn’s credibility, multiple sources revealed.

The operation primarily focused on discrediting Flynn, an opponent of the Iran nuclear deal, in order to handicap the Trump administration’s efforts to disclose secret details of the nuclear deal with Iran that had been long hidden by the Obama administration.

If there has ever been a US presidential administration more corrupt, more treacherous, more conniving, and more just plain dangerous to America, its interests, and its people than the Ogabe junta, I’d sure have a hard time naming it. Of course, if it’d been a HILLARY!™ admin *shudder* that Flynn had gone up against, he’d have “committed suicide” via twelve shots to the back of the head long, long ago.

Hot pursuit update! Is it me, or is Bath-house Barry beginning to sound just a wee mite worried here?

WASHINGTON — Former President Barack Obama, talking privately to ex-members of his administration, said Friday that the “rule of law is at risk” in the wake of what he called an unprecedented move by the Justice Department to drop charges against former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn.

In the same chat, a tape of which was obtained by Yahoo News, Obama also lashed out at the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic as “an absolute chaotic disaster.”

“The news over the last 24 hours I think has been somewhat downplayed — about the Justice Department dropping charges against Michael Flynn,” Obama said in a web talk with members of the Obama Alumni Association.

“And the fact that there is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free. That’s the kind of stuff where you begin to get worried that basic — not just institutional norms — but our basic understanding of rule of law is at risk. And when you start moving in those directions, it can accelerate pretty quickly as we’ve seen in other places.”

Snort. Like you ever gave the slightest damn about any “rule of law,” you dirty, despicable son of a bitch.

The Flynn case was invoked by Obama as a principal reason that his former administration officials needed to make sure former Vice President Joe Biden wins the November election against President Trump. “So I am hoping that all of you feel the same sense of urgency that I do,” he said. “Whenever I campaign, I’ve always said, ‘Ah, this is the most important election.’ Especially obviously when I was on the ballot, that always feels like it’s the most important election. This one — I’m not on the ballot — but I am pretty darn invested. We got to make this happen.”

Oh, you’re invested all right, bitch. With things suddenly unraveling on you as they now are, you’re invested all to hell and gone, I’d say. I’d bet that “sense of urgency” you’re feeling is well-nigh pegging the needles at this point. I’m quite sure, too, that you are very serious indeed about how important it is to you that Biden “wins” somehow. I seem to recollect you saying it was vital that HILLARY!™ win back in 2016, too. For the exact same reason then as now, which is actually well beyond merely ironic.

“That’s why, I, by the way, am going to be spending as much time as necessary and campaigning as hard as I can for Joe Biden,” he added.

I’m sure you will at that, boyo. A handful out of very few words ever to emerge out of your yap that weren’t a brazen lie—more honesty at one go than anybody ever got out of you your entire miserable life.

Oregon gov cancels Independence Day

The irony, it burns.

On Friday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown held a press conference to discuss the latest developments in the containment efforts of the Wuhan coronavirus, and how to implement safe reopening procedures for different parts of Oregon. She failed, however, to announce the specific framework of the reopening, and said she would extend the emergency declaration until July 6 — two days after Independence Day.

Although Brown has announced a gradual plan to allow businesses to reopen, her emergency declaration gives state agencies the ability to set their own rules for a longer period.

In her press conference, Brown said right off the bat, “I want to be clear. We will not be able to reopen Oregon quickly, or in one fell swoop.” She said that some rural counties could reopen by May 15, but it could take longer in counties with more than five cases of COVID-19.

Brown’s press address gave mixed messages and made it seem that she’s failed to grasp the serious damage being done to Oregon’s economy. Meanwhile, these requirements for reopening will take a significant amount of time to implement. While other states have taken strides to reopen their economies and activities, Oregon has yet to make progress. In fact, state parks will stay closed through May, and probably longer. The third requirement for reopening, 15 contract tracers for every 100,000 in population, will require the state to recruit over 600 people to participate, and then to produce results, before they can even consider when to open. Brown first declared an emergency on March 8. She apparently squandered the first two months of the shutdown and only now has gotten around to deciding what conditions will allow her to let Oregon work again.

I withheld the money ‘graph so as to save the best for last:

As of this past weekend, Oregon had 2,690 cases of COVID-19 and 109 deaths, putting them near the bottom of states in both numbers.

Whatever you folks in Oregon do, y’all be sure to keep right on voting Democrat now, y’hear? Elsewhere, we have related developments:

With many Americans eager to get back to work, state governors across the country are responding with their plans for giving everyone permission to be normal human beings again. One state governor is enjoying universal acclaim after unveiling his own innovative plan for getting his state reopened. 

The new plan is called ‘Our Vision for Health, Safety, Virtue, and Eternal Peace’ and is a 37-step, 10-year plan for slowly opening up sections of the state economy.

The 37 steps read like…well, they read exactly the way you’d expect them to. But hey, IF EVEN ONE LIFE IS SAVED…!!

Many states have begun extending their lockdowns permanently in a bid to end traffic deaths for good.

States found that as they locked everybody in their homes, car accidents virtually disappeared. So they did the obvious thing and decided the lockdowns should be made permanent.

“A million people die in auto accidents every year, and if you want people to be able to go outside, you obviously want all these people to die,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. “Why do you hate people so much, anti-science bigots? I’ll wait for an answer.” Cuomo then just stood there, arms folded, waiting for an answer, but since it was a live stream, he stood for hours before aides finally cut the feed off.

“Together, we can defeat death itself,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom as he announced the state would be under lockdown permanently. “O traffic deaths, where are your sting?”

Unfortunately, new projections indicate the number of people who will die of starvation and other lockdown-related causes may offset the decrease in traffic deaths.

Getting harder and harder these days to distinguish the actual news stories from the satire, ain’t it?

On your feet or on your knees

So here t’is, folks, the be-all end-all post I’ve been mentioning for several days. Since it’s been in the hopper for a week or more now, the opener will seem like old news, but it will still serve as a setup to get us where I want to go, I think.

When you think it’s time to start burying you guns, it’s probably time to start digging them up.

Lansing (United States) (AFP) – Demonstrators, including some carrying guns, entered the capitol building in the US state of Michigan on Thursday and demanded the Democratic governor lift strict coronavirus lockdown orders, as some lawmakers reportedly donned bulletproof vests.

Dozens of demonstrators crowded the lobby of the building in Lansing, where they demanded to be allowed inside the House Chamber.

State police, wearing masks, blocked them from entering. None of the protesters appeared to be wearing masks.

I’ve seen several on our side decrying the supposedly “threatening” behavior represented by the armed protesters as thuggish, excessive, or even self-defeating. They’re wrong about that, I believe, and here’s why:

“Directly above me, men with rifles yelling at us,” tweeted Senator Dayna Polehanki along with a photo showing four men, at least one of whom appeared to be carrying a weapon.

“Some of my colleagues who own bullet proof vests are wearing them. I have never appreciated our Sergeants-at-Arms more than today,” she continued.

Now admittedly, it’s a damned shame things have come to such a sorry pass. Also, We The People bear at least some of the blame for it, for decades of inattention to the sacred duty of safeguarding our Constitutional rights as they were slowly whittled away.

The truth as I see it, though, is that the problem is not that politicians found themselves fearful and intimidated by the Michigan protesters. No, the problem is that they aren’t intimidated enough, and as a consequence have grown accustomed to their commands being unquestioningly obeyed by the people they are now ruling instead of governing. They have become arrogant, imperious, and completely unconcerned about such trifling irrelevancies as “unalienable rights” and “the consent of the governed.”

For our 2A rights to mean anything at all in terms of preserving the Republic, the politicians and bureau-rats must be reminded from time of their role as public servants. Whenever they seem to have grown forgetful of that, I can’t think of a swifter or surer corrective than letting them have a good, close look at a large gathering of well-armed constituents intent on restoring a proper sense of caution in them. The sight of a gun seems to be the only thing that gets much of a reaction of any kind from them nowadays. Which means we’re all in a precarious place.

It’s to the Michigan protesters’ credit that the reminder was rendered peaceably, without a shot being fired. But you can be certain that, absent the implied prospect of bodily harm should the scoundrels prove obstinate in error, any and all protest will come to naught. Could very well be that it will anyway; that’s what I’d bet on myself, in truth. But I can’t see that any meaningful harm was done by showing the politicians a few rifles on the very doorstep of their workplace, and it may yet prove to be a good thing.

The saddest thing of all is that we might well be on the threshold of a do-or-die, now-and-forever moment here. After our free 30-day (and counting) trial of Communist tyranny and the onset of economic catastrophe to come—not to mention the systemic Deep State lawlessness confirmed by the ongoing Flynn document releases—can any serious person contend that this country isn’t now at a crossroads—an inflection point where the only choice is between abandonment of any hope of a restoration of some semblance of Constitutional liberty…or acceptance of our position as serfs, as slaves?

The situation presents us with a stark question: if not now, when? If the extended lockdown—the exercising by state and local officials of an authority that they clearly do not possess, or not legitimately—doesn’t suffice to stir at least the Three Percenters into open revolt, then what will? How much tyranny is too much for Americans to tolerate? Is there in fact no “bridge too far,” no line our ever-more-brazen masters need fear to cross?

Maxwell Hare and John Kinsman were given four years in a New York penitentiary for the crime of being associated with Gavin McInnes. They were jumped by left-wing street thugs and won the fight. They were arrested, but there was never any effort to find the men who attacked them. There was no effort to find witnesses either. Instead, the police and court relied on material provided to them by Antifa. When he sentenced them, the judge made clear he was doing it for their politics.

That is not an isolated example. Over the last decade this sort of thing has become so common that it is just an accepted part of daily reality. If you belong to a group holding unapproved ideas, you have to go to great lengths to meet in secret in order to avoid being attacked by state sanctioned mobs. If that happens, there is a good chance the police will charge you rather than the mob. The thing political dissidents in current year America fear is that the government will become aware of them.

There used to be a time when Americans associated this sort of thing with totalitarian states or South American dictatorships. The communists would never allow people to hold unapproved opinions. They smashed up illegal printing presses and banished dissident writers. Third world dictators sanctioned mobs to go around harassing people they saw as a problem. The communists are all gone and there are no more South American strong men. America is no longer a free country either.

This reality should be evident to everyone now. Government has spent the better part of the last two months closing shops and forcing people to stay indoors. They are creating bizarre and ridiculous rules for when people must go outside. Cops are pushing people around, harassing mothers at parks and otherwise carrying on like highly feminized goon squads. It’s hard to claim you live in a free country when you need permission from the government go outside to take a walk.

The remarkable thing about this is none of the things described above would have seemed plausible a generation ago. Conservatives liked to claim Bill Clinton was an autocrat, but no one seriously imagined he would so something like this. Left-wingers really thought Bush was Hitler, but even they did not think this was possible. In what feels like the blink of an eye, things we used to think were outside the realm of possibility are now normal. We have slipped into the darkness.

If you are of a certain age, the new normal is particularly tough to fathom. You spent much of your early life being told that the long struggle against communism was all about preventing exactly this. The whole point of America, its reason to exist, was to prevent exactly this from happening. Maybe it was always a big lie. Maybe it is the result of forces too complex for anyone to fathom. It really does not matter. The result is what matters. America is no longer a free country.

Not by a long yard, it ain’t. But is the worst part of the Hare-Kinsman story above that such a shocking, outrageous miscarriage of justice occurred in America…or that most Americans no longer find it particularly shocking or outrageous at all?

Mind you, I’m not advocating any specific course of action here, nor am I likely to do so. The prospect of Civil War v2.0 is an awful one, as I’ve said over and over here, a thing to be dreaded. In fact, I’m hesitant to even mull such notions over in a public forum, for reasons that ought to be obvious to anyone with a lick of sense.

But what does it say about us as Americans that we accept these travesties, even as we go right on congratulating ourselves for being the “land of the free”?

The questions keep coming: whither liberty? Whither the Constitution; whither America That Was? What senses do we lack that we cannot perceive the shadow of despotism falling over us? Does any of this really matter anymore anyway?

Update! Wilder, in the latest of his CW2.0 Weather Report series, sounds a somber note:

As I’ve mentioned before, a strong economy could take this sort of shock. Our economy isn’t strong. Let’s take New York City. What does it produce? Debt, real estate sales, insurance companies, financial irregularity, the stock market, and national “journalism” that at best is as biased as a Kennedy mother bailing her kids out of jail. If New York City were to disappear tomorrow, the only thing from NYC the Wilder Family would miss is the television show Impractical Jokers®.

Are we richer because of what comes from New York? Are we more stable? Does making another loan to a big corporation so they have enough debt on their books so a New York financier can’t buy them with their own money make us better off? Is it better because the dollars aren’t backed by anything other than a printing press?

In that same time period, manufacturing dropped from 25% of the economy to 11%. Does that make us better off, when critical goods are made an ocean away? Does that make us more stable and able to weather a crisis?

As the economy collapses, it’s collapsing because it has been hollowed out for decades. I will say that studies show, before 1980, Democrats were strongly focused on keeping the manufacturing and construction industries strong, since the unions that dominated that sector were lock-step voters for the Democrats. But, when a shiny new toy of being paid by the big banks plus being able to bring in a whole new class of voters (legal immigrants and illegal aliens) got too big, the Democrats dumped manufacturing and construction.

This collapse has been decades in the making. It won’t be done quickly. And it just might provide the pain to slingshot us into Civil War 2.0.

Revolutions, civil wars, and violent uprisings aren’t usually launched by comfortable, gainfully-employed people who are getting enough to eat.

Signs of life

Even in Amerika v2.0’s most liberal-fascist state, Real Americans aren’t quite dead yet.

They’re just, y’know, under arrest.

Last Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom told reporters he was “weeks not months” from any “modification” of his lockdown order, and the California Highway Patrol was barring any protest at the state Capitol. On Thursday, Newsom shut down state beaches and parks, and on Friday May 1, Californians hit the streets by the thousands, blocking a mile of Pacific Coast Highway down in Orange County, and as Fox News reported, staging protests in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

In the state capital of Sacramento, as Katy Grimes of the California Globe noted, “Thousands of flag-waving Californians descended upon the State Capitol Friday for a protest of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s statewide stay-at-home lockdown order, which has caused millions of residents to lose their jobs and businesses.”

The protesters, organized by “Re-Open California,” were not pleading for handouts from the government. For the most part, they were working people who wanted to get their jobs and lives back.

“Reach out to the government and make their concerns, worries, fears, anger, frustration known,” protester Erik Leisten told KCRA News. “Exercise their freedom of speech and right to peacefully assemble and let him know that he’s destroying the state economically, but more importantly our freedoms.”

California Highway Patrol officers in full riot gear formed a line and pushed people off the Capitol grounds. Police arrested 32 demonstrators for disobeying a lawful order, demonstrating without a permit and resisting or delaying a police officer. As Katy Grimes recalled,  “police were far less aggressive and few arrests were ever made at Black Lives Matter rallies, which were destructive and violent.”

After the police shooting of Stephon Clark in March of 2018, Black Lives Matter disrupted a Sacramento City Council meeting, blocked fans from entering a Sacramento Kings game, and shut down traffic in both directions on Interstate 5, California’s major north-south artery. A racist mob essentially took over downtown Sacramento, terrorized innocent citizens, and violated laws, but as KCRA reported, police made “no arrests,” during the protest.

By contrast when embattled workers show up at the state Capitol on May 1 to protest their losses, police make 32 arrests. With Gavin Newsom in office, that should come as no surprise.

And it doesn’t. Which is the saddest, most depressing part of all.

Pandemics, then and now

One of these Americas is not like the other.

Woodstock Occurred in the Middle of a Pandemic
In my lifetime, there was another deadly flu epidemic in the United States. The flu spread from Hong Kong to the United States, arriving December 1968 and peaking a year later. It ultimately killed 100,000 people in the U.S., mostly over the age of 65, and one million worldwide.

Lifespan in the US in those days was 70 whereas it is 78 today. Population was 200 million as compared with 328 million today. It was also a healthier population with low obesity. If it would be possible to extrapolate the death data based on population and demographics, we might be looking at a quarter million deaths today from this virus. So in terms of lethality, it was as deadly and scary as COVID-19 if not more so, though we shall have to wait to see.

“In 1968,” says Nathaniel L. Moir in National Interest, “the H3N2 pandemic killed more individuals in the U.S. than the combined total number of American fatalities during both the Vietnam and Korean Wars.”

And this happened in the lifetimes of every American over 52 years of age. 

I was 5 years old and have no memory of this at all. My mother vaguely remembers being careful and washing surfaces, and encouraging her mom and dad to be careful. Otherwise, it’s mostly forgotten today. Why is that?

Nothing closed. Schools stayed open. All businesses did too. You could go to the movies. You could go to bars and restaurants. John Fund has a friend who reports having attended a Grateful Dead concert. In fact, people have no memory or awareness that the famous Woodstock concert of August 1969 – planned in January during the worse period of death – actually occurred during a deadly American flu pandemic that only peaked globally six months later. There was no thought given to the virus which, like ours today, was dangerous mainly for a non-concert-going demographic.

Stock markets didn’t crash. Congress passed no legislation. The Federal Reserve did nothing. Not a single governor acted to enforce social distancing, curve flattening (even though hundreds of thousands of people were hospitalized), or banning of crowds. No mothers were arrested for taking their kids to other homes. No surfers were arrested. No daycares were shut even though there were more infant deaths with this virus than the one we are experiencing now. There were no suicides, no unemployment, no drug overdoses.

It’s not as if we had governments unwilling to intervene in other matters. We had the Vietnam War, social welfare, public housing, urban renewal, and the rise of Medicare and Medicaid. We had a president swearing to cure all poverty, illiteracy, and disease. Government was as intrusive as it had ever been in history. But for some reason, there was no thought given to shutdowns. 

Which raises the question: why was this different? We will be trying to figure this one out for decades. 

Contra that last line, the author knows the answer as well as the rest of us do, and provides it with his closing zinger.

Update! Another telling “then and now” from AEIR, a new-to-me site which I have summarily ensconced in Ye Olde Blogrolle.

The year was 1957.

Elvis’s new movie “Jailhouse Rock” was packing the theaters. The last episode of “I Love Lucy” aired on television. The show “West Side Story” held tryouts in Washington, D.C., and opened on Broadway in September. Ford’s new car the Edsel rolled off the assembly line. The Cold War with Russia was on and “In God We Trust” appeared on U.S. currency. The first Toys R Us store opened.

Also that year, the so-called Asian Flu killed 116,000 Americans.

Like the current pandemic, there was a demographic pattern to the deaths. It hit the elderly population with heart and lung disease. In a frightening twist, the virus could also be fatal for pregnant women. The infection rate was probably even higher than the Spanish flu of 1918 (675,000 Americans died from this), but this lowered the overall case fatality rate to 0.67%. A vaccine became available in late 1957 but was not widely distributed.

The population of the U.S. at the time was 172 million, which is a little more than half of the current population. Life expectancy was 69 as versus 78 today. It was a much healthier population with negligible obesity. To extrapolate the data to a counterfactual, we can conclude that this virus was more wicked than COVID-19 thus far.

What’s remarkable when we look back at this year, nothing was shut down. Restaurants, schools, theaters, sporting events, travel – everything continued without interruption. Without a 24-hour news cycle with thousands of news agencies and a billion websites hungry for traffic, mostly people paid no attention other than to keep basic hygiene. It was covered in the press as a medical problem. The notion that there was a political solution never occurred to anyone.

Again, this was a very serious flu, and it persisted for 10 years until it mutated to become the Hong Kong flu of 1968. 

So what changed between then and now? One of my go-to Shakespeare quotes provides a clue: The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.

Gee, I wonder if several generations of government-school indoctrination might have had something to do with this…

Chains, resting lightly upon us

Embedded in the post from Fran mentioned below is a video of last night’s Tucker Carlson monologue. I happened to catch its broadcast run myself last night while at my brother’s place, then spent a good bit of my time today desperately trying run down a transcript for posting purposes, it was so good. And finally, I did.

Last week we interviewed a longtime partner at the consulting firm McKinsey & Company named Peter Walker. Like so many in finance and consulting, Walker spent an awful lot of his career doing business in China. We have no idea how much money he made doing that.

We do know that along the way, Walker internalized a lot of the attitudes of China’s totalitarian government. During our interview, we asked Walker what he thought of China’s lockdown that was imposed in an effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

I asked Walker: “Now credible reports suggest that Chinese authorities locked people in their apartments and left them to die. We know they snatched people off the streets and threw them into police vans – God knows where they went. That’s the quarantine that you think they deserve high praise for. Why?”

Walker replied: “Well I think … if you just look at the results, I know there’s always going to be questions about exactly what the numbers are, but I think the harsh action that they took, given the scale of China and number of big cities in it, was exactly what they needed to do to prevent the outbreak from going any further. The reality is the outbreak hasn’t gone much beyond Wuhan.”

The secret police kidnapping citizens off the street, authorities locking people in their apartments from the outside until they starve to death – just look at the results. All of that, Walker said, was “exactly what they needed to do.”

This is the view of one of America’s most prominent business leaders. He didn’t seem ashamed to say it. Later in our interview, Walker suggested that American authorities could have done the same things in New York, if only they’d gotten an earlier start. Kind of a shame they didn’t.

Your jaw dropped watching it. But here’s the striking thing: nobody seemed to notice that he said it. Walker didn’t find himself on the front page of The New York Times the next morning. No one in American business denounced him. He went home and went to bed. Totalitarianism doesn’t shock us anymore.

Maybe that’s because, all of a sudden, it’s all around us.

Never in American history have politicians been more powerful than they are now. Effectively, they are God. In the state of Maine, Gov. Janet Mills now has the power to suspend any law she doesn’t like. She can seize any state resource she feels like seizing. She can force any citizen or all citizens from their homes.

The governor can do all of this for as long as she believes Maine is in a state of “emergency.” There is virtually nothing Janet Mills can’t do. Many governors now have these powers.

The First Amendment explicitly prevents government from making any law that inhibits the exercise of religious faith. It’s a cornerstone of our history and our law.

Millions of people have fled to America from around the world precisely because our Bill of Rights gives them this guarantee. It’s why this country was founded. Now it’s gone.

Where did politicians get the authority to do all this? Because some elderly, power-drunk doctor told them to? That’s not how our system works – or can work.

Occasionally, you’ll hear some lonely civil libertarian fret that we may be on a “slippery slope” toward losing our rights. If only. We’re already there.

We’ve slid to the bottom of that slope. Our rights are gone. No one has explained how politicians are allowed to do this, to override the Constitution. No one seems to care. They’re too afraid.

But if we think this is moment scary, consider what might come next. Now that we’ve ceded all authority in the country to our political leaders, what can’t they do? What are the limits to their power?

That’s not a theoretical question. It’s not an argument over philosophy or political theory. It’s the most practical possible question. The answer will define where this country goes next. What can’t politicians do in the name of public health?

Lots more betwixt my invisible ellipses, running down several more examples of the authoritarian fever currently enfeebling the nation—a mortal affliction for which there is but one known treatment. Each of tonight’s posts are intended to serve as kinda-sorta lead-ins to another one that I actually began working on last night, and may or may not get finished with tonight. If not, it’ll drop in another day or two.

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