Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

Ball: dropped

Okay, so obviously I did NOT get done with work in time to sit down and expand on that previous post like I had hoped to. It’s been a hugely eventful week, particularly these last couple of days, and I gots about a million and three things I want to throw out here tonight. So this, by way of apology for last night’s lapse, and also to give the fundraiser a last plug, along with a huge thank-you to those folks out there who found themselves flush enough to toss a buck or three in the can. I can’t tell you how grateful Iam for your generous support. And with that…a-posting we shall go!

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The politics of everydamnedthing

Is there nothing the Killjoy Left’s relentless politicization of every facet of life can’t suck the juice out of?

Once PC culinary sages merely condemned what Americans ate as factory farm-driven, profit-mad and highly caloric. Twinkies and high-fructose corn syrup would kill us all, unless we gave up steaks and fries for low-fat, plant-based regimens.

But in the last year, the agenda’s lurched far, far leftward. Kit Kat bars are making people fat in South America, part of a “marketing juggernaut that is upending traditional diets from Brazil to Ghana to India,” The New York Times moaned on its front page as far back as Sept. 16.

At the new downtown Chick-fil-A, you’re buying into “creepy infiltration” of the chain’s “pervasive Christian traditionalism,” gay-hating views of its founders and the sinister undertones of cow portraits hanging on the walls, which “glorify God,” according to Dan Piepenbring in the April 13 issue of The New Yorker. (He doesn’t mention that Chick-fil-A’s NYC landlord is a Syrian-Jewish family who seemingly wasn’t offended when they leased the site to the Jesus freaks.)

The New Yorker has cornered the market on extreme “food politics.” A feature in a 2017 article about a South Carolina eatery founded by a deceased white supremacist wants us to know that barbecue “is America’s most political food,” when most of us thought it was merely the greasiest.

And the best, when properly done Eastern North Carolina style.

(Via MisHum)

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Fun sex facts

This isn’t exactly the sort of thing I usually write about here, nor is it quite the sort of thing I’d normally expect from Hawkins. But what they heck, they ARE interesting.

1. Throughout history, roughly 40 percent of men had a child while 80 percent of women had a child.

2. On average, gay men (6.32 inches) have longer penises than straight men (5.99).

6. Although there is an extraordinarily wide number of sexual interests you can find somewhere on the web, just 20 topics cover 80 percent of the things people are searching for.

7. For every pornography search for a thin girl, there are three for a woman who is large (BBW, plump, chubby, etc.).

8. In an experiment in France, padding was used to change a female’s breast size. She was then sent to a nightclub and the experimenter counted how many times she was approached by men. With an A-cup? 18 times. B-cup? 28 times. C-Cup? 60 times.

Hey, they don’t call ’em fun bags for nothing, you know. And quantity has a quality all its own.

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Evolution, not revolution

Another good start.

New proposed Trump administration regulations aim to make how much hospitals charge patients more transparent—a continuation of federal Obama era initiatives to pull the curtain back on the notoriously opaque American health care system by making hospital service charges easily available online. But, as with the Obama administration efforts, questions remain on just how useful the hospital pricing information will be for average U.S. consumers.

The proposal from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is part of its annual guidance for Medicare, the gigantic federal program that covers millions upon millions of elderly and disabled Americans. Its purpose is ambitious: To nudge American health care to more quality care and away from the fee-for-service model that rewards conducting more tests and services.

“We envision a system that rewards value over volume and where patients reap the benefits through more choices and better health outcomes,” wrote CMS in its release. “While hospitals are already required under guidelines developed by CMS to either make publicly available a list of their standard charges, or their policies for allowing the public to view a list of those charges upon request, CMS is updating its guidelines to specifically require that hospitals post this information.” In English: The listing of these prices vis-a-vis Medicare would become mandatory and, the hope is, eventually spill over to other parts of the health industry.

No, it ain’t repeal of Obamacare. Much less is it the desperately-needed removal of the dead hand of government from its choking grip on the American health care system. But it’s a good thing just the same.

(Via Insty)

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Overlawyered

Now if only the DC Circus would just go ahead and dispense with Mann’s spurious, expensive annoyance-suit against Mark and several others.

Today, Thursday, in the New York Supreme Court in Lower Manhattan, Judge Eileen Bransten confirmed the award to yours truly in the matter of CRTV vs Steyn. Short version: We won.

For those readers new to this wretched business, last February CRTV canceled my TV show on their subscription network and fired me, precipitating the worst year of my professional life. Over the course of the last twelve months I’ve been asked regularly by various people: Why don’t you just walk away?

Which is a fair question, with a very simple answer: I couldn’t walk away because CRTV sued me for ten million dollars. All this “claimant”/”counterclaimant” mumbo-jumbo obscures the reality: CRTV were the plaintiffs, they brought the suit, they dragged me into a pit of legal hell.

So I had no choice in the matter, because I was the defendant. So I defended myself. And today the New York court ruled that CRTV lost – and I won, comprehensively…

…I don’t intend to say more about this unless it becomes necessary. There’s a lot of he said/she said stuff out there, but we’re beyond that now: the judge gets the final word, and the above speaks for itself. CRTV brought a suit they should never have brought, and the judge punished them with damages, attorney’s fees, costs, interest, the lot.

Further details are included between my ellipses up there, should y’all want to go take a look. He also says that he’s been awarded four million smackers in recompense, with a slight hitch:

Notwithstanding the decisions of two eminent judges, CRTV have not paid us a penny – and have indicated they will attempt further delay.

I just bet they will. Nonetheless, congrats, good on ya, and best wishes to Steyn on his big win.

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Decivilization

It’s the culture, stupid: its art, its history, its philosophy. Mike Walsh is on it.

My thesis is simple: we can learn more about the nature and practice of politics from, say, The Oresteia or The Aeneid—to give just two examples more than two millennia old—than we can from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and that the visit of Vladimir Horowitz to the Soviet Union in April 1986 (about which I wrote a cover story for Time magazine) did more to hasten the collapse of the USSR five years later than all the white papers and policy statements from the American talking-head establishment wonks of the day.

The new book is more prescriptive—a kind of how-to combat manual of cultural touchstones from which we as inheritors of the Greco-Roman enlightenment can recollect our strengths and moral authority, reject the false equivalences of multiculturalism, accept that Western syncretism (known disparagingly now as “cultural appropriation”) is something profoundly good and beneficial to all cultures, and from which we can draw a renewed vigor in our defense of ourselves.

In Monday’s speech in the beautiful new Visitor Center, I located a signal change in the Western education system that, at the time, looked like an advance: the American reaction to the launch of Sputnik in 1957. Suddenly, America felt it was losing its technological edge over the Soviets so American schoolchildren became acquainted en masse with the wonders and joys of the slide rule and the hard sciences. The effect was immediate: we quickly regained and maintained our advantage over our antagonists, but it came with a price: the downgrading of the importance of the arts as a civilizing and ennobling force in American public (and private) life.

So while the emphasis on tech eventually resulted in the creation of the personal computer and the iPhone, it also reduced the literary and plastic arts from essential elements of nationhood to “entertainments” for the wealthy; triggered the coarsening of society and, worst of all, cut both America and, shortly thereafter, the Western European nations from the wellsprings of their shared patrimony. This may not entirely have been by design, but it was seized upon by the nascent philosophy of the Frankfurt School, which by this time had been transplanted from pre-Nazi Germany to Columbia University in Manhattan and quickly spread throughout the American system of higher education.  

The result? To take just one example, the New York City public school system went from offering a model education in music and the arts to needing police officers in the schools—a reflection of the overall changes in demography, to be sure, but also of the decivilizing effect the loss of a democratized high culture entails. More Mozart, fewer metal detectors…

In The Fiery Angel, I am not arguing that the arts should be politicized—that way lies the corpse of the old Soviet Union (and this is treated at some length in the chapter entitled “The Raft of the Medusa”). Rather, I am saying that the arts both predict and comment upon historical-political developments in ways that no dispassionate analysis can manage. Try this sequence of events on for size:

Beaumarchais–Mozart–The French Revolution–Beethoven–Napoleon.  From Le Marriage de Figarothe play, to Le nozze di Figaro the opera, to the start of the French Revolution and fall of Louis XVI is a span of only five years, and yet in that time the royal edifice was first lampooned, then sexualized, and finally pulled down around the aristocrats’ ears. Those with sensitive antennae—among them Louis XVI himself, who initially forbade public performances of Beaumarchais’ play—could see what was coming. Most could not.

Our Progressivist-run government schools have thoroughly perverted and politicized the history curriculum, “balancing” any notion of American greatness, uniqueness, and benignity (when those notions aren’t excised altogether) with immaterial nonsense like “Washington owned slaves!” and other such irrelevancies, and that’s no accident. It’s resoundingly evident that any lasting reversal of the cultural enervation the Left has deliberately inflicted on us must begin with instilling a proper appreciation for Western civilization, its achievements, and the intellectual and artistic roots of its unprecedented success in young minds.

Continue reading “Decivilization”

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Toys!

Ace runs down a whole bunch of great ones from the 60s and 70s, but he leaves out one of the greatest of them all: the M16 Marauder, by Mattel. Our whole neighborhood had these things when I was a kid, and they were GREAT. Only trouble was, after packing fistfuls of dirt down the barrel a few times to make it smoke when you “fired” it—which naturally we all did—the big, realistic sound it originally produced was rendered kind of…umm, humble, shall we say. First thing we all did, right out of the box, was rip the silly orange tip on the muzzle of the weapon off and throw it away to facilitate said dirt-packing. Also because it just looked goofy.

It had a select-fire switch which didn’t function—it was full-auto only, which means it was no more a true assault rifle than are the semi-only AR15s the libs are all soaking their Underoos over today—and a charging handle which did. You racked the lever back, laid on the trigger, and the handle would tick along forward until it reached the stop and the “magazine” was “emptied.” I don’t recall ever counting individual shots to determine what the magazine capacity was (according to this ad, it was “over 50 rounds”). You easily could’ve, as the cycling rate was somewhat slower than a real-life Thompson M1A1*. It just never occurred to us to do it, that’s all.

The mechanism that made the sound also created a modest vibration along with it, thereby heightening the whole M16 experience to the delight of all. When the charging handle got all the way forward to the stop the shooting stopped too. Then you “reloaded” by racking back again and the fun started all over. You blasted away on full rock-and-roll until you finally ran out of rounds, resulting in your position being overrun by Victor Charlie or the NVA, the pus-nutted commie bastards. Then you’d be captured and hauled off to the Hanoi Hilton for years of torture both physical and mental, your very existence denied by the US government for ass-covering purposes. Eventually you’d break and sign a statement denouncing American imperialism, whereupon you would be released to “serve” the next 70 or 80 years as a duplicitous, arrogant, self-serving Republican US senator, perhaps. If you were lucky.

The only thing that might’ve made this thing more fun was if it had come with a detachable magazine, with a spare or two included. But we’d only have lost ’em pretty quickly, I guess, so maybe it’s just as well they didn’t.

A mere hundred and forty bucks on eBay, folks. Probably around ten brand new way back when, fifteen at most. Nowadays, you wouldn’t dare try to buy such a thing for your kid at all. If you expressed a desire to right out loud you’d be hustled off to a facility for some vigorous “counseling” regarding such egregious child abuse, your kids heavily sedated to restore their shattered psychological equilibrium before being packed off to foster care for good. You MONSTER.

This is what we call “progress,” see.

*Best subgun EVER, by the way. And yes, I have shot one, and know whereof I speak. Many times, thank you very much.

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Our most powerful weapon

They eat their own, and all we have to do is sit back and let it happen. Because nobody—NOBODY—can ever be Left enough to suit the raving psychos.

Way, way back in the deepest mists of history, circa March 2015, the Starbucks Corporation rolled out an initiative they called “Race Together.” Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, concerned about the racial divide in America, instructed baristas to scribble the thought-provoking phrase “Race Together” on customers’ cups as a way to “foster discussion.” Because that’s exactly what you want when you’re waiting in line for an overpriced cup of coffee that tastes like it was filtered through a hobo’s liver. You want a lecture about what a racist you are.

After a solid week of razzing back in March 2015, Starbucks put the kibosh on the whole thing. It was a silly but well-meaning effort to do something about a problem that can’t be solved by writing words on coffee cups. So they stopped, and the baristas went back to misspelling your name on your cup, and America found other stuff to freak out about.

Until now! Look at what happened in a Starbucks in Philadelphia last week:

Two African-American guys said they were just waiting for a friend before ordering anything. The manager called the cops, and the two men were arrested.

I’m really confused about whom to believe here. The other customers claim that the two men did nothing wrong. But those other customers are… white. Am I really supposed to take the word of some white folks? You know how those people are.

So now, of course, everybody wants to #BoycottStarbucks. And they’re doing it #ByAnyMeansNecessary.

Okay, kids. I guess you gotta boycott something this week. Might as well make it Starbucks. I #BoycottStarbucks every day already, because their coffee tastes like burnt buttholes. Glad to help.

I hope this fiasco proves instructive to Howard Schultz and everybody else at Starbucks. No matter how liberal you are, no matter how hard you work to establish and maintain your #woke credentials, all it takes is one slip-up. Just one viral video, taken on one of the cameras that we all carry now, and the angry mob will descend on you. Nothing you do or say will appease them. No apology will be sufficient. You can’t grovel low enough.

I don’t much care what happens to Starbucks; as Treacher says, their coffee is awful enough even before the obigatory splash of liberal sanctimony renders it capable of inducing violent regurgitation. Too, I’m just fine with the Progressivist Purity Police turning on their slightly less extreme brethren and tearing them to bloody pieces; it’s less time they can spend on fucking with us, and sometimes mildly amusing as well. So I’m content to more or less ignore the Left’s occasional outburst of ideological cannibalism and just go on with my day.

But this hilarious picture makes the Starbucks tempest in a teapot worthy of notice:


starbucks_philadelphia_4-18-18-1.jpg

Ahh, the idiot Left and their ever-present bullhorns—indoors, no less. Looking at the poor put-upon barista’s stoic resignation to a high-volume hectoring from that bespectacled twerp makes me think that his disillusionment with Progressivist twaddle and his eventual abandonment of it in search of a saner, less self-righteous alternative just might be beginning…right…about…NOW.

Welcome to the Dark Side, bub. It’s much nicer and more relaxed over here, and when we want to indulge any propensity for making loud noises we usually do so at the shooting range, without bothering a single soul.

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You can thank me later…

For some reason, the fine American Greatness site doesn’t provide author-page links on its main page, or not that I’ve ever been able to unearth anyway. I finally managed to tease ’em out via some extra-sneaky circuitous navigation just the same, so I’m thinking I’ll put links to Codevilla and Mike Walsh, at least, somewhere in the sidebar here where they might come in handy for you fine folks. I have some past-due blogroll updating to do anyway, so look for the links over there as soon as I can carve out a spare minute or three to get it done for ya.

Because I CARE, that’s why.

Update! Annnnd they’re up, in the “Essayists” section. Like I said, y’all can maybe thank me later if you wish…during next week’s annual CF Spring Fundraiser, say. Ahem.

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The road goes ever on

Bop till you drop.

In the future, classic rock bands will melt into one another.

Actually, this is already happening. It’s like when people talk about global warming as a future threat to civilization when the polar ice caps have already largely disappeared. Classic rock bands have similarly lost members to retirement, personal differences, or, well, you know, permanent retirement. But because the brands are still strong, these bands have gone to extraordinary, sometimes deeply weird lengths to install new parts and keep on trucking.

Remember when the surviving members of the Grateful Dead hired John Mayer to replace Jerry Garcia and became Dead And Company? Or when AC/DC tapped Axl Rose to take over for Brian Johnson? This week, Lindsey Buckingham either quit or was fired from Fleetwood Mac on the eve of an upcoming tour. Taking his place will be Mike Campbell, formerly Tom Petty’s right-hand man in the Heartbreakers, and Neil Finn of the Australian pop-rock group Crowded House.

Does any of this make sense? Sure, I guess? You only live once, right?

What’s different now is that these classic rock bands are no longer in their primes. It doesn’t feel like Fleetwood Mac is recharging with new members before making another Rumours, just like nobody expects AC/DC to make another Back In Black with Axl Rose or John Mayer to become a new shaman for hippies everywhere from his perch in the Dead. These are marriages of convenience, ensuring that everyone can continue to live comfortably well into their senior years by catering to an insatiable market for nostalgia tours and $50 tour T-shirts.

Actually, it’s a lot more than just that. It’s a burning desire to get out there and play while they still can, however they can—to stand on that stage under the lights and bask in the crash of the drums, the thunder of the guitars, and the roar of the crowd.

And why the hell not? Over the years, lots of people have spoken to me in bemused wonder about “how much you must love it, to keep doing it for so long and all!” I always told ’em that, for a lot of us, it ain’t about loving it at all. You could even say that love has little if anything to do with it after a certain point, although it surely begins that way. But over time, it becomes much more than something you do; it’s who you are. You don’t love it, not exactly. You simply can’t not do it. If you aren’t doing it, you’re thinking about it.

You never feel more at home, more comfortable, more like your truest self, than when you’re on a stage making music for a crowd of folks who are enjoying it right along with you—dancing, shouting, swaying, screaming. Saying it’s like food or oxygen to you might be a bit of a stretch, but the hunger is real just the same, and you definitely do feel an emptiness in its absence. The assumption that you’ll be out there doing it again before too long goes way down deep into your bones, a given, sure as the sunrise. You take that next time out as read, without conscious thought, just like you expect to take your next breath.

Sooner or later, though, we all reach the stage where we start to break down physically and just can’t do it anymore, at least not on the level we’re accustomed to, wish to, and feel that the music deserves. I’m there already, sad to say, despite my having figured in my youth on being wheeled up onstage and propped up with a stick or something right til the very end. I’m weak and feeble now; the last few times I played I had to do so sitting down. Which is very damned demoralizing, let me tell ya—especially in light of the intensely kinetic, physically demanding shows the Playboys put on night after night for decades.

After a properly explosive Playboys show, I was completely exhausted, drained to the last dregs. My thigh muscles ached, my knees were trembly; often as not, my fingers were bloody and my throat raw enough to make me think it was too. My neck was stiff, as was the shoulder the guitar strap went over. I was soaked with sweat, so much so that I usually brought another shirt to put on afterwards.

It was SOOOO DAMNED GOOOOOD. Best feeling in the world, nothing remotely like it. I always said if it was a choice between giving up that or sex, it was a no-brainer. Sex didn’t even rate on the same scale.

Now I get that worn out just from carrying my amp into the venue.

My hands have become stiff, aching, arthritic claws, so painful they frequently wake me up at night. Especially the left one, which has made it necessary to re-learn and re-jigger how I play most songs and simply abandon others altogether. Certain of the most basic, fundamental chords are lost to me forever, I just can’t play them. Likewise with the singing; the power and the range just aren’t there like they used to be anymore. After thirty years of slap bass, my brother can’t lift his left arm above a right angle to his body, and his right hand is in even worse shape than mine. Our drummer used to bang those things so hard he’d just destroy heads, cymbals, and sticks with a quickness. He’s probably beat up worse than the rest of us, and in more spots too. Chipps, the rhythm guitarist, is the only one of us who still seems to be in good shape, a miracle considering how ferociously he went at it. Still has all his hair too, the bastard.

The damage done, the limitations that come inevitably with age, now make playing less satisfying and more an exercise in frustration and outright pain. It’s a bitter realization when infirmity has crept up and leeched all the joy out of what for so long was your entire raison d’etre, let me tell ya. You knew it was coming; you try to accept it with whatever grace and humility you can, which doesn’t mean you have to like it. That’s the way of the world; it comes to us all sooner or later, and no amount of argument, protest, pouting, or complaint is gonna change it. Not for me, not for you, not for anybody. Rage, rage against the dying of the light? For what? You make yourself look a fool, inflict unhappiness on yourself and others, and wind up in the exact same place anyhow. Better to retain a little dignity for yourself, seems to me.

What the hell, I had a good run. And I still got an incredible store of memories, at least until senility scrambles them all to hell and gone too. I really need to take another stab at writing a book about it all, if only just a straight, dry memoir (I tried once several years ago, as a novelization of sorts, and quickly gained a profound respect for novelists). I promise you, I could set out to write it just as bloodless and without passion or flair as possible and it would STILL be good. Trust me.

So yeah, more power to those old greybeard rockers out there who still burn with the old flame, and can still strike at least some sparks on a stage. I’ll never knock or second-guess ’em; I know for damned sure it ain’t about the money or some shallow, vain pursuit of departed glory, and is occasion for neither contempt nor pity. It’s about holding onto whatever pieces of your best self you still got, for as long as you can manage it—about making your aspirations take flight again, before you finally lose your wings for good. As long as those guys can crank it out credibly, at a level of artistic competence and panache they’re happy with, then keep on rockin’, I say. I saw most of the classic rock/hard rock bands back in the day, and there’s more than one I wouldn’t object to seeing again in their dotage.

Say, I wonder what my hero Ritchie Blackmore has been up to lately…?

(Via Ed)

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TOXIC MASCULINITY!!

I am now feeling triggered and microaggressed, which leaves me craving my footie pajamas and a delicious cup of hot cocoa.

The 20 Most Badass Quotes from Professional Fighters
1. “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” – Mike Tyson

2. “One way or the other we’re going to hit the ground and we’ll be in my world. The ground is my ocean, I’m the shark, and most people don’t even know how to swim.” — Jean Jacques Machado

3. “Right leg is hospital. Left leg is cemetery.” – Mirko Cro Cop

4. “I’ma beat you till you respect me. I’ma beat you and make you call me pretty. I’ma beat you like that.” — Floyd Mayweather

5. “I don’t want to lose ever. I don’t want to lose at anything. I want to make weight faster than the guy that I’m fighting if we both go into the sauna at the same time. When we’re doing interviews I want to have quicker wit so that I can make him feel stupid. I want to drink my water faster. And then when we get in the cage I want to beat him up. I don’t think people really truly understand the extent that I go to try not to lose.” – Daniel Cormier

6. “He went to the hospital with bleeding kidneys and me, I went dancing with my wife.” — George Chuvalo

7. “How tall are you? So I can know in advance how far to step back when you fall down!” – Muhammad Ali

Ahh, good old Muhammad. Hawkins could have easily culled 20 great ones just from him, from the leadup to a single fight.

Update! So I got to remembering the great old banter between Ali and Howard Cosell back in the day, which was a thing of beauty to behold. That inspired me to go dig up some more Ali quotes for y’all.

  • Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.
  • The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.
  • Often it isn’t the mountains ahead that wear you out, it’s the little pebble in your shoe.
  • Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right.
  • What you’re thinking is what you’re becoming.
  • The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.
  • Inside of a ring or out, ain’t nothing wrong with going down. It’s staying down that’s wrong.

And perhaps my favorite of them all:

I’ve wrestled with alligators,
I’ve tussled with a whale.
I done handcuffed lightning
And thrown thunder in jail.
You know I’m bad.
just last week, I murdered a rock,
Injured a stone, Hospitalized a brick.
I’m so mean, I make medicine sick.

Every one a gem. Number five up above is a good one too, noteworthy for the glimpse it gives us into the mindset that separates true champions from the rest of the field, in way more endeavors than just boxing. Agressiveness, drive, competitive instinct, confidence, determination, perseverance, will—these are all requirements, sure. But the really important quality in the making of a champion is not so much a strong desire to win, but a burning, inflexible abhorrence for losing.

Love him or hate him, Muhammad was the most entertaining fighter of them all to watch, from his era or any other. In the ring, he moved with the swift, smooth grace of a ballet dancer; his finely-honed skill put him head and shoulders above just about all of his contemporaries. Outside it, his charisma and quick wit made every press conference or interview unpredictable and riveting, real must-see TV. Lots of people who had little or no interest in boxing watched those interviews and press conferences anyway, just to see what outrageous, infuriating, or funny statement he might come up with next.

And since I mentioned Cosell up there, I might as well throw in a sample of the repartee between these two legends.

Cosell: “Are you taking Zora Folley too lightly?”

Ali: “Why would you say that?”

Cosell: “Because every indication has been that you’re confident that you can beat Zora.”

Ali: “I’m confident I can whup ’em all. This ain’t nothin’ new. My image has been confident. What you tryin’ to make it look like something new for? I’m always confident. I’ll whup all of ’em.”

Cosell: “You’re being extremely truculent.”

Ali: “Whatever truculent means, if that’s good, I’m that.”

Once, Ali peeled back Cosell’s famous toupee, pretending to peek at his scalp.

Or the champ would make a threatening gesture.

“Don’t touch me,” Cosell teased with a pseudo-glare. “I’ll beat your brains out.”

After Ali retired, he appeared less frequently in public as his medical condition worsened. Cosell retreated into privacy, too, particularly after his wife, Emmy, passed away. Cosell died in 1995 at age 77.

“(Ali) sat down next to me at my father’s memorial service,” Jill (Cosell’s daughter) recalls. “He could barely speak. After I read the family eulogy, Muhammad patted me. He had tears streaming down his face.

“I told him, ‘It’s OK, Muhammad.’”

Ahh, those were the days all right. Ali and Cosell were bona fide giants in their respective fields, the likes of which we won’t see again. Which brings me ’round at last to the prank he pulled on Ed Bradley on 60 Minutes, which I was fortunate enough to catch when it first aired back in…uhh…1996?!?




1996? Man, that CAN’T be right. Can it?

Damn, I’m gettin’ old.

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Happy birthday

To the RAF:

For this Easter Day, we have an audio special for you telling the story of the only Easter standard in the American songbook. However, April 1st 2018 is not only Easter, and not only All Fools’ Day, but also the one hundredth birthday of the Royal Air Force. So I thought this day we’d incline our eyes and ears skyward:

In April 1911 the British Army’s Royal Engineers formed the first air battalion, consisting of aircraft, airships, balloons, and men with kites. At the end of the year the Royal Naval Flying School was born. The following year – 1912 – both were merged into the army’s Royal Flying Corps. By 1914 the navy had reasserted itself and inaugurated the Royal Naval Air Service. And finally on this day exactly a century ago the RFC and the RNAS were merged to form an entirely separate third branch of the British military – the Royal Air Force, the first such independent air force in the world.

Good illustration accompanying the article of what I believe is an SE5, if I remember right. Nice enough, I guess, but when it comes to WW1-era flying contraptions my heart will always belong to the good ol’ SPAD XIII, with special fond mention going to the Fokker DR1. Read on to see where Steyn takes things.

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All apologies

Sorry for abandoning my post here all this week, folks, but it’s been a busy one for me—tragically, including the death of the only son of one of my closest lifelong friends in a horrible car accident. Funeral is tomorrow, and it just ain’t the sort of thing anybody looks forward to. Max was a good and decent kid; he’d been through some of the usual teenage travails—as well as some that were maybe NOT quite so usual—but he had finally gotten himself back on the right track again, and was doing well over the last several months. My friend and his wife are devastated, as one would expect; having dealt myself with the sudden untimely death of someone I loved more than the world, I can say with some authority that this isn’t the kind of thing anybody ever really gets over. It’s completely heartbreaking, is what it is.

Fare thee well, Max. You’ll be mourned and missed by all who knew you. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

Onwards.

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NUTS!

You folks in farther-flung corners of the world may or may not not have heard about this, but the story is getting a fairish amount of play around here.

The 18-year-old sister of Charleston, S.C., church shooter Dylan Roof was arrested Wednesday for carrying pepper spray, a knife and marijuana in her high school, authorities said.

Morgan Roof also posted on Snapchat a critique of Wednesday’s National Student Walkout protest against gun violence, the Post and Courier of Charleston, S.C., reported.

“Your [sic] walking out for the allowed time of 17min, They are letting you do this, nothing is going to change what (the expletive) you think it’s gonna do? I hope it’s a trap and y’all get shot we know it’s fixing to be nothing but black people welkin out anyway,” Roof posted, Fox 57 reported.

Jeez O PETE, man. Definitely something nasty afloat in THAT genetic cesspool.

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Damn dirty apes hippies

Shithole.

Years ago, Tom Wolfe published a funny piece dealing with the reappearance during the Summer of Love of diseases never seen in the modern epoch. Wolfe’s overall term for these disorders was, if I recall correctly, “The Crud.” Doctors were unfamiliar with these conditions and in some cases uncertain as to how to treat them. Some of those children of nature ended up with chronic disorders.

This served as a life lesson for the counterculture, most of whom resumed bathing. But now, fifty years later, we – at least those of us in California – are about to receive another such lesson, this one more drastic and widespread.

Over the past year or so, AT readers have derived quite a few laughs over what has come to be called the “s‑‑‑ map,” a map of the neighborhoods of San Francisco in which the streets are inundated with human waste left by the homeless. (Some commentators assumed that the map was intended as a warning to tourists. But in fact, its creator has recently added a comment asserting that it is intended to “bring attention to the issue of homelessness.” Thanks very much.)

Currently unknown in the industrialized West (most doctors have never seen a case), cholera was a filth-based disease caused by human and animal waste and nothing else. Originating in the Ganges delta, cholera spread across the planet until, in the 19th century, it was a standard feature of urban life. Cholera epidemics were chronic, breaking out wherever sewage mixed with drinking water. Cholera was an oddity among diseases in that it often progressed with no visible symptoms. An individual showing no symptoms at all could suddenly collapse at noon and be dead by sundown.

Cholera still exists in the Third World. According to the WHO, the most recent pandemic broke out of South Asia in 1961 and reached the Americas by the 1990s. “Cholera is now endemic in many countries.”

We will also point out that the city of San Francisco is a sanctuary city, or, in the words of the ordinance itself, “a City and County of Refuge.” That is, San Francisco has put out the welcome mat for tens of thousands of third-world illegals. The city has made itself a magnet for refugees from countries with no modern sewage systems and no tradition of personal hygiene – the same countries in which the WHO asserts that cholera has become “endemic.”

So put these two factors together – streets engulfed in human s‑‑‑ and immigrants from countries overrun with infectious diseases – and what do we get?

No more than we—they, rather—deserve. In the Left’s case, for being idiots. In our case, for putting up so long with their…ummm, shit.

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“Things didn’t turn out the way she hoped”

Did I mention the Sexual Revolution just now? Why yes, I believe I did. Meet one of its victims, who learned that no, you really CAN’T have it all.

Brigitte Adams caused a sensation four years ago when she appeared on the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek under the headline, “Freeze your eggs, Free your career.” She was single and blond, a Vassar graduate who spoke fluent Italian, and was working in tech marketing for a number of prestigious companies. Her story was one of empowerment, how a new fertility procedure was giving women more choices, as the magazine noted provocatively, “in the quest to have it all.”

Adams remembers feeling a wonderful sense of freedom after she froze her eggs in her late 30s, despite the $19,000 cost. Her plan was to work a few more years, find a great guy to marry and still have a house full of her own children.

In early 2017, with her 45th birthday looming and no sign of Mr. Right, she decided to start a family on her own.

She excitedly unfroze the 11 eggs she had stored and selected a sperm donor.

Two eggs failed to survive the thawing process. Three more failed to fertilize. That left six embryos, of which five appeared to be abnormal. The last one was implanted in her uterus. On the morning of March 7, she got the devastating news that it, too, had failed.

Adams was not pregnant, and her chances of carrying her genetic child had just dropped to near zero. She remembers screaming like “a wild animal,” throwing books, papers, her laptop — and collapsing to the ground.

Oops. The over-entitled bint (shouldn’t other Lefties be denouncing her as a “breeder” at this point?) ends up getting a donor egg fertilized by a sperm donor of her choosing—a result she seems to find somewhat less than completely satisfying, seeing as how she has no genetic connection to her incubator “offspring” whatever. Heartiste spares not the lash:

How can an ostensibly SMRT, overeducated woman be so fucking deluded? I doubt artificial wombs or lab-grown eggs, or the egg freezing already available and discussed in this sob story, will have the huge impact on the sexual market that I hear claimed in some quarters. Men don’t fuck frozen eggs or hidden wombs. Men fuck women. A woman’s face and body is what motivates men to fucking or to a bid at fucking. This is why I’ve argued sexbots will be the game-changer, rather than those other reproductive technologies coming down the pike. The sexbot correctly manipulates men by simulating the experience of sex with a younger, hotter, tighter woman.

Our Peak RBF has forgotten the common sense that “younger, hotter, tighter” doesn’t mean “younger, hotter, tighter eggs”. A sexy egg in a decrepit body is still an egg no man would bother fertilizing.

Sperm is economical
Eggs are valuable
Men are expendable
Women perishable

Natural selection in real time.

Another unintended consequence of tinkering with Mother Nature to suit one’s greedy, selfish whim, all oblivious to Mother Nature’s unfortunate habit of tinkering right back…hard. O Brave New World, that has such arrogance in it.

(Via WRSA)

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Nope, not sticking yet

Oh, we REALLY got him now!

So, the president may have been cavorting with Playboy playmates and porn stars a decade or so ago and…and what? Oh, right, we’re supposed to care.

We don’t care. We can’t.

And you can almost see the liberals drooling. You can see their Fredocon gimp bros’ nodding their vinyl-encased heads.

Yes, yes, this is finally it! This time we’ll strip Donald Trump’s supporters from him because he failed to meet the standards we think our opponents should adhere to! This time it will work!

Nah. We just don’t care.

I don’t mean that we are simply unconcerned about Donald Trump’s past hobbies. I mean that our depth and breadth of not caring is so deep and wide as to create a critical mass of not giving a damn of such intensity that it is brighter than a million suns.

I seem to recollect somebody or other, may have been Schlichter himself, scoffing at Lefty’s ludicrous hope that red-blooded Normal males would react to the SCANDALOUS!!! news that years ago (or hell, last night, for that matter) Trump boffed a hot porno dish with anything other than amusement, tinged perhaps by a bit of mild envy.

Admittedly, though, this latest shit-fit serves the useful purpose of reminding us yet again of liberalism’s irreconcilable, even nonsensical, contradictions: sudden sanctimony from the very same avowed libertines who so pridefully claim credit for unleashing the Sexual Revolution, for instance. We’re talking here about people who, on other occasions, demand respect and tolerance for “sex workers” and their “art”—in the immediate wake of denouncing all (heterosexual) sex as “oppression” and even “rape,” as often as not.

Then they bitterly complain about where all the “good men” disappeared to, and why even their de-balled, pantywaisted Pajama Boys don’t seem terribly interested in “commitment” to such as they. A real head-scratcher, that one.

And then there’s this, of course:

We talk a lot about the New Rules, and how the liberals and their lackeys are going to hate them. Well, they certainly do hate them. No, not because they have something against kinky side action. There’s no need to remind these hypocrites of their affinity for Bill Clinton, he of the human humidor and the Oval Office bad aim. Oh, and don’t forget the Lion of the Senate, Teddy “Vroom Vroom Splash Splash” Kennedy, the chef who liked to whip up the occasional waitress sandwich after getting staggeringly hammered. I once saw him stumbling out of the senators’ elevator when I interned on Capitol Hill – he smelled like a distillery and his nose was redder than Rudolph’s. So when liberals start telling us we should freak out and abandon a Republican who’s laying down the smack on Obama’s legacy because he used to indulge in his own reindeer games, well, that’s just not happening.

Nope, sure ain’t. But you liberal idiots feel free to keep on throwing everything you can at that wall, then shrieking hysterically when all you get out of us for your trouble—UNEXPECTED!™—is either an “attaboy, Donald!” or a hearty “hell yeah!”

They’re making fools of themselves, and they’re all too damned stupid to even know it. Progtard anguish surely must be the most sidesplitting clown act any circus ever had; Ringling Bros could only DREAM of coming up with as entertaining an act as these frenzied nitwits put on.

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Progress, if you like it

So I was clearing out the ol’ email inbox and ran across this item, sent to me by Monty back in…um, uhh, a while back. Don’t know how I let it get by me without a mention here back then, but consider that shameful lapse rectified.

German Muslims have established a self-styled biker gang — modeled on the Hells Angels — aimed at protecting fellow Muslims from the “ever-growing hatred of Islam,” according to Die Welt.

The emergence of the group, which aspires to open chapters in cities and towns across Germany, has alarmed German authorities, who have warned against the growing threat of vigilantism in the country.

The gang, which calls itself “Germanys Muslims” (the possessive apostrophe is not used in German), is based in Mönchengladbach and now has offshoots in Münster and Stuttgart. It was founded by Marcel Kunst, a German convert to Islam who also uses the name Mahmud Salam.

The gang’s uniform consists of a black leather jacket with a logo depicting a one-fingered salute, the “Finger of Tawheed,” which represents belief in the oneness of Allah.

Well, fine, I guess. But WHICH finger?

The logo also includes the number 1438, which represents the current year in the Muslim calendar, as well as the number 713, which stands for GM (Germanys Muslims), the seventh and thirteenth letters of the alphabet.

A bit of a departure from the old “13-69” patch that’s traditionally adorned so many club cuts over the decades—I probably have one of those same patches laying around here someplace myself—but what the hell. Legend has it that the “13” stands for the letter “M,” 13th in the alphabet, which in turn stands for “marijuana.” The “69” you can figure out for yourselves.

Oh, and as for that “apostrophe not used in German” business: it ain’t used in the HA logo either, a fact a lot of people who make it their business to write about them seem to be unaware of. Interesting to note that they got it right here. Punctuation aside, though, the most interesting aspect of all is just how long it’s going to be before the name gets changed from “Germanys Muslims” to “Muslims’ Germany.”

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Can’t stop the signal

So the other day Bill said this:

Gonna Take a Two Week Break
I’ll pop back in if something of actual moment occurs, but for right now, I’m totally burned out on the stupid wars between two lunatic positions: One, that Trump is Satan, or, two, Trump is a Perfect Saint.

Neither one is even remotely connected to reality, and I’m tired of dealing with it. Actually, bored with trying to deal with it.

Ever since which he’s been posting up a storm, starting that same danged day.

Okay, I just had to tweak my old friend a tiny bit there, no real criticism intended. Truth is, this blogging stuff is powerfully addictive. I’ve found over the years that if I stay away for a few days for whatever reason, it becomes easier to keep on staying away…for a little while. But then suddenly the urge is back on you, and before you know it you’re right back into the deep end again. Plenty of times I’ve done the same thing Bill just did, decided to take as much as a month off. I’ve even seriously pondered giving it up altogether. But at some point, usually after only a couple-three days, I’m right back at the ol’ keyboard, pounding away. The times I’ve gone silent here have nearly always been because of other things, circumstances I had no control over. And I was mulling over topics I wanted to write about and composing posts in my head the whole time.

For me, it’s never been about traffic, money, or recognition from my fellow bloggers. Since this humble hogwallow never has generated a huge number of comments, it isn’t really about that either, although I greatly enjoy the ones I do get and encourage anybody who is so inclined to jump right in. The give and take with readers is always rewarding, but I wouldn’t know what to do with hundreds of comments on each post like some of my fellow bloggers get. I barely have time to post, much less read and respond to eleventy million comments, which I would feel I have a serious duty to do. I seldom read the comments on other blogs at all, and then only on a specific handful of blogs.

It astounds me just how many of us are out there doing this now, and how many of them are quite good. It astounds me even more that I’ve been slaving away in the blogosphere fields now for, what, going on…uhh…shit…seventeen years?

REALLY? Damn.

That’s a long time by any measure. In that time, I’ve: moved house way too many times; played a shit-ton of rock and roll shows and travelled a great deal doing ’em; lost and found way too many jobs, in highly disparate fields; gotten married, had a wife killed, gotten married again, had a daughter, and saw that marriage painfully deteriorate and end badly; reconciled at last with the second wife and learned how to get along with her against my expectations; rekindled a lifelong interest in religion, accepted Christ, and made an effort to spend more time reflecting on and enlarging the role Christianity plays in my life; read a whole bunch of excellent books; bought and sold many guitars, amps, computers, cars, and Harleys; repaired a whole bunch of shit, and broken a whole bunch more; began working on a semi-autobiographical novel, and failed miserably; renewed contact with some dear old friends and lost contact with others; and lastly, gotten a lot older and more feeble—skinnier, slower, balder, weaker, uglier, but (sadly) no wiser. Or not so’s anybody could tell, anyway.

We’ve also seen tectonic shifts in our political landscape over those years, most recently a very welcome, heartening one indeed.

All that, and here I am still banging away at the old CF pop-stand, despite being a hell of a lot busier these days and finding it more difficult to make the time it takes to not just sit down here and put something out, but to do good work, work that doesn’t just embarrass the hell out of me. Life gets more complicated; it brings its changes, both large and small. It grants its favors, teaches its lessons, and exacts its costs. But, incredible though it seems, this blogging thing endures.

Yeah, I think I can make the assertion that blogging is addictive safely, with a high degree of confidence. Don’t sweat my teasing ya, Bill; you just keep on keeping on, as I already know you will. You can’t help yourself any more than I can.

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D-M-U-B

I gotta like this guy.

The New Jersey Assemblyman criticized for posing in front of a Confederate flag in a photo he posted to his Facebook page apparently has something just as offensive up his sleeve — a tattoo of the Stars and Bars on his left arm.

The tattoo appears in multiple photos of Assemblyman Parker Space posted on a Sussex County-based blog called Skylands Patriot.

In the snaps, Parker wears short sleeved shirts that show the flag on his left inner bicep.

Last week, Space posted on his Facebook page a photo of himself and his wife standing in front of a Confederate flag superimposed with the face of country singer Hank Williams Jr. The flag included this Williams lyric: “If the South would’ve won, we would’ve had it made.”

Being the proud bearer of a Battle Flag tattoo myself, I obviously have no problem with that. And the “Confederate flag” they’re talking about is actually one of those novelty deals featuring Hank Jr’s face superimposed on the center of it, framed by the tag line and title from an old song of his. The lyrics are actually kind of funny, lighthearted and tongue in cheek if kind of awkwardly phrased in spots, clearly not intended to give offense. I can’t imagine many folks in the Northeast having just a whole lot of warm regard for the line on Space’s flag just the same.

We had a flag very like it, with Elvis in a cowboy hat instead of Bocephus and minus any song lyrics, hanging in the living room of my old NYC apartment. That grand old flag belonged to one of my roommates, a longtime New Yorker who was originally from…uhh, Chicago(?!?) and remains a dear friend of mine to this day. I only wish I had kept the flag myself; I’ve looked for another one since, but never have seen one. Which tells me that American truckstops and flea markets, particularly here in the South, just ain’t what they used to be.

That said, Space’s forced explanation is kind of weaselly, frankly. I don’t doubt his political career is now over, however fair or unfair anybody might think that to be. It’s kind of mind-boggling that the guy—anybody, really, much less a politician—was oblivious to what posting such things on Facebook was going to get him. It doesn’t speak at all well of his astuteness regarding political realities and the current cultural state of play, particularly in the Northeast. And this is even worse:

“Hope no one is offended! LOL!” Space captioned the photo — later removing the “LOL.”

Dude. “Hope no one is offended”? SERIOUSLY? I mean, just…DUDE.

By the way, this post is an example of GAB paying off, seeing as how I found it in one of my new followers’ posts, which I’d link to here if I knew how. So, y’know, there’s that.

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Birds of a feather

One big happy family.

Rats — actual rodents — are infesting the newly renovated Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s headquarters, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.

Hundreds of the agency’s employees moved into their beautiful $124 million headquarters across the street from the White House in October as construction was still underway. Upon entering, they discovered rats also were making it their home, according to two sources who spoke to TheDCNF on the condition of anonymity.

The $124 million price tag was double the original $55 million estimate and 25 percent over the $99 million estimate approved by Richard Cordray, the bureau’s first director.

Not one word of this should come as any great surprise to anyone. The building was always going to be infested with rats anyway—of the two-legged variety.

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Publick Notice!

Just a site note or three: y’all may have noticed that in my arduous wrasslin’ and thrashing about with the site redesign after Christmas, I somehow left out the site-support section (PayPal, Amazon, subs, etc) entirely. In the process of getting a new advertiser all set up I realized my errors and got ’em back up there, which any of you experiencing a sudden surge of generosity accompanied by a surfeit of ready cash smoldering in your pockets will no doubt appreciate.

The aforementioned advertiser is actually a longtime lurker around these parts, and the ad is for…oh, I’ll just let him explain it himself:

Hey, Mike:

My name is David Dubrow, and I’ve been a lurking reader of Cold Fury for years, back when Instapundit wasn’t a group blog and the conservative blogosphere was getting into full swing. I’m also a writer. Along with two other right-leaning writers, Paul Hair and Ray Zacek, I’ve written a short story anthology called Appalling Stories: 13 Tales of Social Injustice, published by Obsidian Point.

Appalling Stories tackles current topics, though with a story-first perspective; we’re not fans of message fiction any more than anyone else. To quote the back cover copy, “Inside, you’ll read about a disturbing erotic resort that caters to an exclusive clientele, a violent Antifa group biting off much more than they can chew, a serial killer with a furious inch, and a lot more.”

We write about subjects, characters, and themes you’re not supposed to talk about anymore in today’s PC-soaked culture.

Here’s the product page link on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077ZK9VYP

There’s also a link in the ad itself, of course. David was kind enough to send along an e-pub copy of the book, which I’ll be perusing shortly and am most grateful for. Congrats to David and his co-authors on the publication of the book; these days, getting something truly transgressive released by a publishing industry that lists so heavily Leftward counts as a noteworthy achievement.

May as well throw out another mention and a link to my good friend Francis’s stuff while I’m at it here, along with my heartiest recommendation.

And while I’m on the topic of advertisers, I promised Ammoman Eric a mention as well. He sent a case of his wares in various calibers for me to blast through with murderous disregard for children and other living things, and I can tell you that the service was incredibly fast, the goods well and securely packaged. My experience with Eric’s service was entirely satisfactory, and I heartily recommend him too.

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DAMN YOU, MONTY!

Okay, so I did in fact get on Gab at Monty’s instigation and posted a few little things there the other day, and…well, honestly, I have to admit I do kind of like it. I can see it being useful for commenting on minor things that sort of catch my eye but for one reason or another don’t inspire the kind of extended rant I’m accustomed to tossing off here. I still have a lot to figure out about how to work the damned thing—like how to post links or embed images, among others—but all in all, I think I’m gonna play around with it a little more and just see where it goes.

I still don’t see any reason to bother with Twitter, seeing as how they’re only going to wind up banning me anyway, and that probably right quick. I never have seen any point in trying to persuade people to let me hang around in places I ain’t wanted—especially when I don’t much like them either. There does seem to be an option to load your Gab posts on Twitter as well, which might be worth investigating just for the purpose of making a small nuisance of myself over there. But I dunno; East is East and West and West, and never the twain shall etc. Maybe Kipling was onto something there. He almost always was.

Gab handle is @Tommygunmike, for any of y’all miscreants interested in watching me flail about in a new pond to see if I sink or float.

Just remember, we all have Monty to thank for this. If “thank” is the word. Ahem.

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Fake news, fake everything

Why I don’t do Twitter, Reason the Eleventy-millionth.

A few weeks ago I read a news item about the proliferation of “bots” as a commercially crooked, fraudulent, deceitful way by which celebrities try to fool the public into believing that millions of Americans passionately follow them on Facebook, on Twitter, and on other social media. If a celebrity has fewer “followers” than someone who has absolutely no reason to be famous, no discernible genius nor other socially valuable aspect, that reveals the celebrity’s social inconsequence. As a result, there apparently are entrepreneurs who create millions of fake accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere — and then get paid by the insecure celebrities or their publicity agents to set those fake accounts — “bots” — as “followers” of the celebrity. In other words, the celebrities pay for “Followers.” They pay fraudulent entrepreneurs to fabricate followers for them.

Think of your own name and identity. Now look in the mirror: how many of you are there? Perhaps one. (If two, either count calories or carbograms more carefully, or get a new mirror.) Meanwhile, let’s say there are ten accounts on Twitter with your name and identity — and all of them are set to follow someone you hate or never heard of. Guess what? Without you even knowing it, that person whom you hate or never heard of is going around bragging that he or she or it has ten more “followers” on Twitter than would be the case if your fraudulent “bots” did not exist, and if the celebrity had not paid for it. In all, hundreds of thousands — even millions — of Twitter “followers” do not even exist. It all is fake. It all is a lie. And the celebrities and their agents pay for the fake “Followers.”

Out of curiosity after reading the piece, I went onto Twitter. I personally do not tweet. I have serious reasons for avoiding Twitter. My law students do not care about my views about politics and religion. My synagogue members do not care about my interpretations or discussions of the civil laws of remedies, contracts, civil procedure, and advanced torts. My law clients do not even want to imagine that I do or think anything all day and night except worry about their legal issues. So I stay out of Twitter.

But — oh, what joy! Sure enough, there I am on Twitter: Dov Fischer, with my casual Hebrew rabbinic title, and the number of commandments that appear in the Torah by the Word of G-d and the hand of Moses. Apparently I have 4 Followers — none of whom I remotely have heard of, nor have even the remotest connection to my congregation, my Judaism, my law practice, my more-than-1,500 law students whom I have taught these past 14 years, my twenty-six years of published political and social commentary, nor my beloved New York Yankees and Mets. “Bots” following a “Bot”?

And — better still! — I am “Following” 41 people including Zedd (Who the heck is he? Is it a he?), Jimmy Kimmel, Tim Cook, Kobe Bryant (the one from the Colorado hotel), Ellen DeGeneres (Nobel laureate Obama’s Medal of Freedom winner), Bernie Sanders, LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (He’s still alive?), Elon Musk, SpaceX, Disneyland (Who can afford it? $600 to stand on line seven hours to go on a ride?), and just-plain Disney. Are these people or their publicity agents so insecure and desperate for attention that they actually need to pay someone to create a false Twitter account just to add a “follower”? And to buy millions more?

Are you as passionate a follower of the Rich and Pseudo-Famous as I am — or, more accurately: as my fraudulently created “bot” is? Go and take a look. Look yourself up. See whom you “follow”!

Naaaah. Don’t want to know. Don’t give a shit.

I DID sign up for a Gab account a while back, but I never have used it. I figure anything I have to say, I’ll just say it here. There are in fact plenty of Tweets I’ve linked here, as you all know, but only after seeing ’em mentioned someplace else. Don’t know why, it just never really grabbed me. Another symptom of my metastasizing old-fogeydom, I reckon.

Wonder if I have any Gab followers at all by now? Maybe I’ll go toss something or other up over there, just for the hell of it. If I can remember my login and whatnot, that is.

Just what I need, another internet time-suck update! Meh. Two followers, bizarrely enough. I posted something lackluster, just to say I did. I remain…uhh, unenchanted, shall we say, which I hasten to add is surely not Gab’s fault. The handle is Tommygunmike, if anyone is interested, but I don’t know that I’m in any real hurry to go back, honestly.

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A bad case of CRS

Jeez-O-Pete. So many open tabs to clear, so much catching up to do generally that I spaced entirely on updating you fine folks on the whole catastrophic-diabetes-foot issue. The initial appointment at the Diabetes Clinic went very well, or as well as such things can at least. The doc looked at the foot, which looked to me to be healing nicely, and didn’t shriek or faint dead away. Basically, she said, “keep doing what you’ve been doing” and prescribed some antibiotics to knock out what infection still remained. Along with that was ‘scrips for Metformin and Glimepiride for The Sugar, and a blood-pressure med called Lisinopril. She recommended a baby aspirin a day to help ward off the risk of heart attack, which I learned is seven times higher for diabetics than normal people.

My A1C checked out at 12, which is middling poor but not too awful, 7 being okay and 17 spelling real trouble. She told me the meds would have me all kinds of fucked up at first, until my body started adjusting to ’em, and she was NOT fooling about that. Nausea, lethargy and lack of energy, the runs—you name it, this stuff has inflicted it on me. She said that could go on for as much as two weeks, but thankfully after a week things seem to be settling down nicely.

So, well, yeah. Bottom line: I walked out of the clinic feeling way better about the situation than I did when I walked in. I think part of the reason my blood pressure was slightly elevated was that I was absolutely terrified over the prospect of being told the left foot was going to have to go, which seemed all but inevitable when I went in the place. The doc was nice, professional, and…well, everything you want a doc to be, basically. I go back on April 2nd to adjust the meds if necessary; one part of getting older that I’ve always dreaded was the increasing presence of doctors in one’s life that goes along with it. I’ve been blessed all my life with good health, and the magnitude of that blessing will be growing more evident as I age, I’m sure.

Sorry to be late in getting the news to y’all, and my humblest thanks for your concern. It means the world to me, and that’s the plain truth. And now, on with the tab-clearing.

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"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." – Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

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