Numbers game(s)

They ain’t adding up.

All admit that the numbers that are scaring the sense out of the country are mathematical projections. All projections are based on assumptions about the ever-changing numbers of “confirmed cases” of COVID-19, as well as of deaths resulting therefrom. But few—and here it seems we must include many “health officials”—consider that the latter numbers are themselves “soft” and tell us next to nothing about how much, how little, or what kind of dangers the virus poses to us.

To make intelligent decisions about countermeasures, we would need have hard data about all these matters. Yet, for two months, doctors such as Anthony Fauci have messed up millions of lives and commandeered trillions of dollars while scaring the hell out of people and watching curves based on projections based on meaningless numbers. Watching the several curves resulting from the testing that is now ongoing and that is projected to continue as the country suffers will provide only more guesses, that will feed more models and more disputes.

The most important fact about COVID-19, its true mortality rate, is the number who die of the virus divided by the number infected by it. No algorithms. Simple arithmetic.

In short, Fauci, et al., are showing themselves to be typical of our bureaucracy: over-credentialed, entrusted with too much power, and dangerously incompetent.

It’s mind-blowing to see how many of us who long since accepted American bureaucratic realities are now willing to set it all aside and squander their faith and hope on those same demonstrably inept, corrupt, and untrustworthy bureaucracies…with no evidence whatsoever of even the slightest change or improvement therein.

Learning the true figures about precisely what danger the virus poses to whom must begin by taking into account one thing we know for sure about COVID-19: that many, if not most, of those infected by this unusually contagious virus show few or no symptoms. This suggests eventual near-universal contagion.

But we don’t know how many of these asymptomatic people there are. Hence, meaningful epidemiological testing must include a random representative sample of the population, regardless of whether they are presumed to be infected or not. The numbers resulting from monitoring what happens to the health of individuals in this sample over a few weeks would tell exactly what percentage of people in each category and subcategory suffer what consequences from whatever contact with the virus they happen to have.

Backed by the media, Fauci and company have contended that actions by anybody, ordinary citizens, elected officials, or physicians that do not follow proper bureaucratic procedures are illegitimate. Who the hell do they think they are? We belong to ourselves. Not to them.

Surely, President Trump’s low point came when he supported bypassing roll call votes in the passage of a $2.2 trillion bill as part of his and other executive officials’ decisions to shut down the country. Making decisions on the basis of meaningless curves and bureaucratic authority rather than through open debate about hard facts followed by roll call votes is not just undemocratic. It’s stupid.

I’d tell you to go read it all, but it’s Codevilla, so I’m sure you know that already,

They’re getting the band back together

There they go again. But Trump, bless his stout heart, ain’t having any of it.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is doubling down on his call for President Trump to name a “czar” to oversee the production and distribution of coronavirus-related medical supplies.

Schumer sent a letter to Trump on Thursday saying it was “long past the time” to name a senior military officer to lead the effort, including allowing the individual to use the Defense Production Act “to complete and rapidly implement a plan for the increased production, procurement and distribution of critically-needed medical devices and equipment.”

“The existing federal leadership void has left America with an ugly spectacle in which States and cities are literally fending for themselves, often in conflict and competition with each other, when trying to procure precious medical supplies and equipment,” Schumer wrote.

The Hill, being just another Enemedia propaganda organ, minimized Trump’s scrumptiously scathing response to the tapeworm Schroomer. But I won’t.

SCHUMERletter-1.png

SCHUMERletter-2.png


Note Trump’s prominent mention of the failed Shampeachment hoax. There’s a reason he brought it up.

The team is back in action. On Thursday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the creation of the House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis. The new panel will have the authority to investigate any aspect of the virus emergency and the Trump administration’s handling of it.

Pelosi’s announcement came a day after House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff called for a 9/11-style independent commission to investigate “mistakes” in the virus response. Shortly after that, Schiff told the Washington Post that in Congress, House Democrats must investigate the Trump administration’s handling of virus testing and the government’s distribution of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers.

“We need to make sure there’s no favoritism in terms of political allies, no discrimination against states or governors based on lack of presidential flattery,” Schiff said, indicating the probe would be aimed squarely at President Trump.

Less than three months after sending to the Senate impeachment articles to remove the president from office and less than two months after the Senate trial ended in Trump’s acquittal, the Pelosi-Schiff team is up and running again.

So after nearly FOUR FUCKING YEARS of refusing to accept defeat in the 2016 election instead of pretending to be grown-ups and abiding by the result, here we go with Round Four of the perpetual coup attempt from these scrofulous scoundrels.

Lemme see now, what was it I was just saying about how they never, ever stop? And didn’t I have something about bullets in heads lying around here someplace, too?

There is no way in Hell that the next Democrat-Socialist president should be allowed one single moment of peace from his/her/zxher/xxhis/its opposition after this outrage. He/she/zxher/xxhim/it should be hounded into a total schizophrenic break beginning the very instant the election results are announced, without surcease or pity. Full stop, end of fucking story.

Live and (not) learn

Even when people are chanting the old “everything has changed” mantra, some things never really do.

Beyond China, the issue is preparedness. Actually, for almost twenty years, the issue has been preparedness. Since 9/11, freeborn citizens of advanced democratic societies have been subjected to a level of inconvenience and continuous surveillance they would never have previously entertained, from the pointless security theatre of the shoeless shuffle through LAX and O’Hare to the rubber-stamp FISA court warrants to monitor every aspect of Carter Page’s life for years on end with no probable cause. And what’s the upshot of all this 24/7 surveillance?

They didn’t see it coming.

New York, for example, is a city that has already had a huge smoking crater blown into it – and what’s the upshot? Eighteen years on, as I noted last night, after expenditures of billions on purpose-built federal, state and local bureaucracies, a city of eight million people can’t cope with an extra four thousand patients in critical condition.

Why? It’s not as if bio-warfare wasn’t expected to be part of our future: Immediately after 9/11, you’ll recall, there was the anthrax scare, and enthusiastic modeling about what would happen in the event of a suitcase nuke. And in the end hospitals are as overwhelmed as if all that money-no-object Homeland Security spending had never happened. As Kate Smyth has pointed out in our comments section, if Isis weren’t already planning something like this, the ease with which you can wipe out a third of the Dow Jones Industrials will surely have some of the savvier jihad boys dusting off the old bunsen burner.

The most significant change after 9/11 – “the day the world changed” – was the doubling of the rate of Muslim immigration to the west. Will we do the same now? More open borders, more flights from Shanghai and Beijing, more transfer of what’s left of western manufacturing to the Chinese Communist Party, more shrieks of “Raaaaacist!” at any questioning of Beijing’s official lies, never mind whether any advanced nation needs mass immigration or unscreened self-identified “refugees”…

The changes we make this time will be existential. We are suffused in death not only because of Chinese lies but because of those we tell ourselves, suppler and more beguiling as they are. “Preparedness” does not mean merely PPE and ICU, but requires also addressing borders and immigration and political correctness, and diversity unto death. In much of the western world, we are shutting down the economy and daily life, because our rulers could not bear to shut down their own virtue-signaling diversity bollocks.

Will it go the same next time? Absent serious sustained pushback, what do you think?

From here, I can see two possible ways things might go. Either we will continue on down the path to absolute tyranny, with states escalating from the current lockdowns to the establishment of curfews, then to declarations of martial law and the deployment of National Guard troops to strictly enforce them. The current nascent progression from verbal admonition or a citation and fine from law enforcement for infraction of The New Rules will rapidly advance to arrest and incarceration. There will be grumbling in some quarters, but no effective resistance.

Alternatively, the current restrictions will gradually be eased as it becomes evident that the coronavirus outbreak didn’t quite live up to its billing as a devastating planet-killer, and people who have grown extremely restless from their mandatory “stay home” period will be eager to return to something as close to whatever the hell “normal” used to be as they can. A general, widespread withdrawal from paying such close attention to international affairs and politics will ensue, which will in turn serve to blunt any “serious sustained pushback” against the idiotic, dream-world Leftist policies that got us into this mess in the first place.

Ever alert to any offered opportunity, the Left’s shrieked accusations of “RACISM!” at anyone with the otherwordly temerity to reference both China and COVID-19 in the same paragraph—as if the one could ever possibly have any relationship whatsoever with the other—will resume with vigor and volume. And the dastardly, genocidal perps of such naked atrocities will go back to being cowed by them, and methodically marginalized into fearful silence.

If the example set by our response to late 2001’s mysteriously-motivated “Some People Did Something” man-caused-disaster event is a reliable indication, and the Wuhan Fug doesn’t do a sudden 180 from current trends to more or less depopulate the nation’s close-packed urban areas instead, the latter option is way more likely. Such a relaxation of vigilance will allow the politicians and big-business tyros who collaborated to sell this country out to the ChiComs for a fistful of yen to quietly get back to doing dirty business with the abominable Reds more or less as before.

The treacherous and untrustworthy ChiComs themselves will face no serious consequences for their habitual lies, their brazen deceptions and misdirections, and the fact that they nonchalantly and knowingly poisoned the entire fucking world, murdered a largish portion of its elderly, and inflicted mass terror and tragedy on wholly innocent civilians. They, too, will quickly and quietly go back to Yellow-Peril business as usual, which means infiltrating and undermining as many other sovereign nations as possible, covertly sabotaging their economies, sapping their will and resolve via propaganda and manipulation, and expanding Red Chinese influence and power to heretofore undreamed-of levels.

All this Americans will proudly hail as “victory,” congratulating ourselves heartily for our courage, our perseverance, and our unswerving commitment to defense of our “freedom.” Y’know, precisely as we did after all those other wars we lost.

No fake news here

More plain-and-simple truth, inconvenient though it be, from America’s Only REAL News Source.

Americans Excitedly Anticipate Getting Paid With Their Own Money
U.S.—Americans have reported they’re very optimistic about the stimulus package passed by Congress last week. In particular, people all around the country are excited to get paid with a little bit of the money that they paid the federal government already.

Americans from all walks of life said they couldn’t wait to receive a check with a small percentage of the money the government had already taken from them.

“I can’t wait to get that $1,200.00 check of my own money,” said one man in Texas, rubbing his hands together. “Surely this will get the economy back on track.”

From the rich to the poor, American citizens spent many hours dreaming of all the things they will spend their newfound riches on. “With $1200, I could save enough to pay my taxes on time this year,” said one woman in Los Angeles. “Thanks so much, Congress. You’re the real heroes here.”

A small percentage of the population said they thought it would be way more efficient for the economy if the government just didn’t take the money in the first place. These people were shouted down as “libertarian conspiracy theorist wackos” and told to move to Somalia.

Sure, why not? Makes every bit as much sense as anything else does these days. Plus, what with Minnesota and other places having been “fundamentally transformed” into Somali enclaves, there’s probably lots of room over there now, available at fire-sale prices.

It begins

Shit just got REAL, people.

Waffle House says 418 of its restaurants are closed as coronavirus continues to spread

Updated: Waffle House has increased the number of restaurants closed since this story was first published.

Waffle House, the restaurant chain known for having its own unofficial index used during natural disasters, said it’s closing 418 of its restaurants.

In various social media posts, the chain featured a map showing the 418 closed restaurants, while another 1,574 across the southeastern U.S. remained open. The posts also featured the hashtag “#WaffleHouseIndexRed.

Being a HUGE fan of Waffle House myself—anybody who’s spent as much time on the road as I have over the years simply couldn’t NOT be—this reads like a real tragedy to me. But it ain’t just Waffle House that’s suffering; the national Restaurant Holocaust I’ve been predicting is just getting its boots on, looks like.

The Cheesecake Factory, one of the most popular sit-down restaurant chains in the country, says it will not be able to make upcoming rent payments for any of its storefronts on April 1 because of significant loss of income due to the coronavirus crisis.

The Calabasas Hills-based company informed all of its landlords in a letter dated March 18 (reproduced below) that a severe decline in restaurant traffic has decreased its cash flow and “inflicted a tremendous financial blow” to business. Cheesecake Factory’s affiliated restaurants, such as Rock Sugar and North Italia, will also not make April 1 rent payments.

Company chairman and CEO David Overton writes, “Due to these extraordinary events, I am asking for your patience, and frankly, your help.” He continues, “we appreciate our landlords’ understanding given the exigency of the current situation.” The letter says that the company hopes to resume paying rent as soon as possible.

Cheesecake Factory, for those of you unfamiliar with ’em, isn’t exactly your basic small-time mom-and-pop operation.

The Cheesecake Factory was founded in Beverly Hills in 1972 and maintains its original location on Beverly Drive, with 39 locations in California. In total, it operates 294 restaurants in 39 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Toronto, Canada. In 2019, the company also acquired Phoenix-based Fox Restaurants, including North Italia, Flower Child, and The Henry. Most of the company’s landlords are malls, including Simon and Westfield.

In telling landlords that it will not able to pay rent, the Cheesecake Factory essentially confirms that it is in the same position that many independent restaurateurs currently find themselves in. In a statement to investors on March 23 — five days after the letter to landlords — the Cheesecake Factory announced that it would curtail development of unopened restaurants and tap into a $90 million credit line to increase its available cash. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, the Cheesecake Factory has closed 27 locations across the country, and pivoted other locations to a takeout and delivery-only model — which it said just days ago was enabling the company to “operate sustainably at present” — and its stock price has fallen by more than 50 percent in the past month.

With 38,000 employees, the Cheesecake Factory is one of the largest restaurant employers in the country. Given its recent stock woes and the ongoing reduction in business due to the coronavirus pandemic, it seems possible that it, like many restaurants, could end up needing a bailout to survive.

As I keep saying, this shutdown/lockdown business is going to wind up being one hell of a lot more costly long-term than some folks seem to realize. If a huge national chain like CF is struggling, just imagine what this is doing to all the independently-owned places out there—and how many of those businesses are going to simply cease to exist.

Nor is the dismal impact limited to restaurants and bars; pretty much any small business you could name, in any field, is in a similar untenable situation. The jobs they provide, the taxes they pay, the livelihoods their employees depend on—all gone for good, never to return no matter how big a “stimulus” the goobermint finally comes up with. The suppliers and services they support, the customers they serve, the communities they enliven—all damaged if not brought to ruin themselves by this cascade of catastrophe.

Our “leaders,” in the arrogance of their mistaken assumption of omnipotence, decided to light a fuse that cannot be extinguished. Now it’s too late for the rest of us to do anything but sit back and wait for the explosion, and see how much of American society is caught inside the blast radius.

Sad!

He’s sinking fast.

Call off the search, Joe Biden has been found.

After days of people wondering exactly where the former VP has been, Biden decided to appear before some friendly faces on The View today. He was interviewed remotely from what I’m assuming is his home, as it’s the same background he’s had for the last several videos he’s made. Apparently, all the rest he’s been getting the last few weeks has done nothing to sharpen Biden’s mental faculties, as he ended up devolving into incoherence rather quickly.

Follows, a Tweet quoting some trademark Biden-blibber: “We have to take care of the cure. That will make the problem worse no matter what—no matter what.”

Wait, what? Yeah, I’m not going to even attempt to translate that. I have no idea what Biden is attempting to say there.

It got worse, though.

How could it not? The man is actually lapsing into morbidity and decomposition publicly, in real-time. Jazz Shaw picks up the rapidly unraveling thread, and remarkably, it gets worse still.

This is about as close as we can get to a transcript of Biden’s remarks falling into disarray.

“And uh, and, and in addition to that, uh, and in addition to that, we have to, uh, make sure that we, uh, we are in a position that we are, well, lemme, lemme go a second thing. I’ve spoken enough on that”

To be clear, there was almost certainly some sort of technical failure going on here. A couple of seconds into the clip you can see Biden gesturing with his right hand, most likely urging a staffer to keep the teleprompter rolling. I’m assuming it just froze up at that point. But it was the former Veep’s performance after that technical failure that sends some worrisome signals.

Let’s keep one thing in mind. This wasn’t some moment where Biden got caught by surprise when a reporter tossed a loaded question at him or an awkward answer to a pointed comment from an audience member at a town hall. This was a planned, staged event where Biden was able to set the tone and tempo at a time of his choosing. All he had to do was successfully read the words on the teleprompter. And even if the prompter failed, he had plenty of time to practice the remarks in advance, allowing him to push forward and summarize his message in the same general theme. He didn’t even manage to meet that low bar.

I swear to you that I’m not trying to be unkind to Joe Biden or just run him down in the name of gaining some momentary political advantage. My family has struggled with “mental clarity” issues involving some of us in our advancing years, as I’ve mentioned here in the past. I can totally sympathize. But this guy is asking to be made the leader of the free world and be given the launch codes. And if the Democrats are taking this election seriously and honestly care about something besides just replacing Donald Trump with any other warm body they can find, the DNC should be having a long, serious discussion about this by now.

Ahh, but they don’t care about anything else. It’s dubious at best, should he somehow survive and win the Presidency, whether they even have any intention of allowing Uncle Gropey to operate in any capacity other than as a front for the real Power operating behind the scenes anyway. If Biden can stave off his escalating collapse and decay long enough, we could well end up with a ventriloquist’s dummy as POTUS. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you President Charlie McCarthy!

Think I’m kidding? Think they’re not desperate enough to be gaming it all out even while we all watch in horror as Gropey continues to disintegrate before the eyes of the nation?

Think again.

Stay Alive, Joe Biden
Democrats need little from the front-runner beyond his corporeal presence.

Voters seem to have coalesced around Biden for his past—who they have known him to be for the past four decades in American politics—rather than for anything in his present. It’s as if Biden exists primarily as an idea, rather than an actual candidate.

Today, as the country (and the world) enters what is likely to be a prolonged period of darkness, left to the mercy of a deadly virus, Biden is grappling with the reality of what he can—and must—do in this hour of crisis, as the man who would like to take over leadership of the United States.

Gropey is grappling with reality, period.

In all likelihood, the desire to oust Trump will be piercing in the coming days, as death and chaos escalate. The president has been reckless, duplicitous, and morally hazardous in his leadership during a pandemic that is likely to be the defining event of a generation—forget about a campaign cycle. But the many union members looking at their closed casinos and the mothers in lockdown with their children and the students forced off their campuses and the older Americans living in complete isolation may find it impossible to imagine that their earlier fears about another four years of Trump have abated, or that the ferocity of their desire to get him out of office has lessened. Indeed, the emotion of this moment may displace any that has come before it.

Biden’s team appears to understand this, and to believe that what matters most now is keeping their candidate alive in the American imagination as an alternative to Trump.

Keeping him alive at all is the real task.

His appearances these days have an almost parallel-universe quality to them:

Don’t they. Don’t they just.

Biden’s audience-less remarks from his home in Delaware have the suggestion of an Oval Office address, and their content seems intended to offer a glimpse into the twilight zone

Okay, is this hapless bint just trying to be funny now?

where someone else, someone more empathetic and capable, is president. It’s as if Biden is telegraphing to his public: You have already imagined that I can beat Trump; now imagine what it will be like when I am president.

Oh, that one’s easy: we’ll be treated to seeing Gropey (or a stand-in) being trotted out now and then to recite a few meaningless words, maybe taken for a brief stagger ’round the White House lawn, then trank-darted back into stasis and returned to his sarcophagus until another PR turn is required of him. Meanwhile, the nation will continue to be (mis)ruled by a shadowy cabal of Swamp critters—out of view, out of reach, out of control, answerable to none.

Thus will the status quo ante be restored, and the Deep State preserved.

Internet Explorer

Maybe one of the best Tweets EVAR, I’m thinking.



Perfect pic, too. Via Francis.

NOT the Bee!

NOT. I swear to you, it’s NOT.

Isis issues coronavirus travel advice: terrorists should avoid Europe
The Isis terrorist group is steering clear of Europe because of the coronavirus. Having previously urged its supporters to attack European cities, the group is now advising members to “stay away from the land of the epidemic” in case they become infected.

The group has issued a new set of “sharia directives” that instruct followers to “cover their mouths when yawning and sneezing” and to wash their hands regularly. Isis militants have plenty of experience in covering their faces, though previously they did so to hide their identities when beheading hostages on camera.

No advice that I can see on what measures the monstrous ghouls might take in order to avoid being profligately doused from those great pools of their victims’ blood which they’re so enamored of wading around in. What the heck, though; anything that encourages the fiends to stay home where they damned well belong can’t be ALL bad…even if it’s a planet-killing pandemic.

Federalism: yer doin’ it wrong

Actually, it’s not that they’re doing it wrong. It’s that they don’t have even the foggiest understanding of it to begin with.



More hilarious responses to this embarrassingly clueless Bulwark bint here. Another spectacular self-beclowning along the same lines:



Which, y’know, is PRECISELY FUCKING WHY our Constitution was written and our federal gummint set up in the way that they originally were, you fucking moron. See, the Founders’ whole idea was that the closer to the people their government was, the more responsive, flexible, and accountable to them it would necessarily be, as opposed to having the nation entire dominated by an out-of-touch and out-of-reach central bureaucracy that…

Oh, for criminy’s sake, why am I bothering? I’m wasting my time, and annoying the pig.

Lordamighty, what are they even TEACHING in government schools nowadays, anyway? Anything? Anything at ALL?!?

Never mind. Best not to answer that one, I’m afraid.

NOTE: In case you didn’t already know, and there’s absolutely no reason that you should, the Bulwark is the perenially struggling, Lefty-financed vanity project of NeverTrumpTard Cruise Cap’n Bill “Ahoy there!” Kristol. Because Muh True Conservative Princibuls™ don’t care where the cash comes from.

That’s entertainment!

Gonna need a bigger blog, buddy.

Joe Biden’s Top Ten Mentally Deficient Moments
Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden is losing his mind in public. Unlike the classic movie Network, wherein an aging news anchor pours out his soul and righteously condemns our shallow artificial culture, Biden’s public meltdown mostly consists of spouting half-remembered anecdotes, confusing basic historical details, threatening to fight everyday Americans, and generally acting like a bewildered crank. Biden, who suffered multiple brain aneurysms in 1988, is basically liable to say anything out on the campaign trail, creating a precarious situation for a Democrat Party that has inexplicably made him their presumptive nominee.

Here are Biden’s Top Ten Mentally Deficient Moments.

Anybody thinking that committing political punditry for a living is an easy grift, consider for a moment how tough it had to have been to whittle this list down to only ten items. On the bright side, though, the folks at NF will be able to do another Top Ten listicle in a week or ten days max, continuing merrily along on that schedule until Senile Joe crumbles irretrievably into full-on babbling dementia, is bunged into the back of Hillary!™‘s Collapsemobile vanbulance, and hauled quietly off to the Ha-Ha Hotel for a nice, looooong “rest.” Then they could maybe compile a 40-volume series, chronicling the entirety of the addle-pated old coot’s shambolic output for posterity.

Y’know, I mentioned in the previous post how depressing it is that our political shitshow has decayed to the point that we have an open, self-proclaimed Marxist running for President instead of being shown to the city limits atop a stout rail, clad only in hot tar and chicken feathers, as is due and proper. So how much more depressing is it that the same party’s only other serious contender is a patently senile old corruptocrat, his condition rapidly worsening before the nation’s very eyes in real time…AND YET HE’S WINNING?!?

Can’t close

Red Bernie might just be the first Commie ever without a killer instinct.

To modify T S Eliot in “The Hollow Men” (whose theme seems not inappropriate), this is the way the world ends, not with a Bern but a whimper. As I said on Rush the morning after Super Tuesday, Senator Sanders blew the 2016 election with a single line – his crotchetty insistence to Mrs Clinton that he was “sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails”. That told Hillary that he wouldn’t go after her on the subject of her corruption and lawlessness. Which in turn told Hillary that Bernie wasn’t serious.

And so it proved.

Four years later, he was now, I said on the radio, making the same mistake again – in a pitiful Super Tuesday speech too gutless to mention Joe Biden by name. If he didn’t butch up before Michigan, he’d be over. That means not oblique references to unspecified candidates whose positions on Social Security and 2008 bailouts he disagrees with, but clobbering Biden by name on a) his decades-long corruption; and b) his more recent but increasingly obvious cognitive impairment. Only if a Democrat makes either an issue will the court eunuchs of the American media be obliged to cover it. Absent that, in the post-Iowa/New Hampshire avalanche of primaries, people vote on a vague recollection of Joe Biden from fifteen years back, when, by comparison with a Castroite crank flapping his arms around, he seemed “likeable” – or, in the dreary clichés of presidential politics, the candidate you’d enjoy sharing a beer with – even if Joe had no idea he was sharing a beer with you and was convinced he was sharing a margarita with Esther Williams and Mikhail Gorbachev.

Bernie blew it. The closest he got was tiptoeing up to the issue by noting that, while he himself was out there giving hour-long speeches, Biden’s were now down to seven minutes. If you’re paying attention, you kinda sorta know what he’s hinting at, even if trumpeting the charms of a stump speech eight times longer than your opponent isn’t the most persuasive way to sell it.

But again he needed to say it, and he didn’t. America’s Castro turns out to be not a real revolutionary, just a Vermont weekending flatlander of a revolutionary, a Ben & Jerry’s novelty ice-cream flavor of the real thing – Stalinist Swirl, Beria Blast, The Choctober Revolution, Hammer & Brickle…

What a joke.

It is that. Although I still say he’s the only one under the Democrat-Socialist Big Top with any real chance at unseating Trump, for what little that’s now worth. And I also maintain that the mere fact that we now have a bona fide Marxist running for a major-party nomination for POTUS speaks dismal, depressing volumes about where we are as a nation, regardless of how the 2020 race turns out.

Unheard of update! Brace yourselves, folks, for I am about to do something quite rare around these parts nowadays: link to and excerpt a piece from NRO.

The summer that my parents spared me a life in some soul-sucking collectivist factory—and Hungary wasn’t the worst nation in the Eastern Bloc at the time; there were no mass arrests, no gulags, just economic inertia and a tedious low-grade authoritarianism—Bernie Sanders was role-playing a Trotskyite in his class war against the Lumpenproletariat and kulaks of Burlington, Vt. 

There’s no record of the future mayor of that prosperous city ever defending the brave men and women of the Prague Spring—why would he, after all?—though he did find the time to publicly admire the Vietcong, a group responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans. Bernie would make apologizing for Communists a lifelong endeavor. You’ll forgive me if I take it personally.

Anyway, by 1969, my father, trained as a chemist but unable to find work in that field, began his new life packing bags in a warehouse while my pregnant mother assembled beads for which she was paid by the bracelet. But not for long. I doubt either of them was aware that in the United States a red-diaper baby could move to New England and become a professional revolutionary, never having to really work a day in his life. And I’m positive that the prospect of such a life would have chafed their newly adopted sensibilities. 

I’ve never met anyone who has escaped Communism—not from Cuba or China or Hungary or Ethiopia—who had any interest in living on the dole. Now, perhaps not everyone is as hard-working or as lucky as my parents—and, of course, chance plays its part in everyone’s life. But when socialists such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez mock and dismiss the notion of Americans’ “lifting themselves up by a bootstrap,” they are no longer pressing some liberal case for equality, they are embracing an un-American notion. They are trolling for victims. Victims of religion. Of industry. Of race. Of circumstance. Of history. Once socialists have convinced an entire generation they’re victims, there is no way back.

Fortunately, my emotional detestation of collectivism comports perfectly with my intellectual detestation of Bernie’s movement. Capitalism saves the victims that socialism produces. Nothing achieved under socialism can’t be achieved under capitalism—other than perhaps inducing perfectly healthy people from a beautiful island to get on rickety homemade rafts and try to traverse the Caribbean to move to Florida. And yet, here we are. Again.

The way we treat Bernie, as a crank or well-meaning left-winger, is itself a way to normalize Marxism—“democratic socialism,” in this iteration. We would never treat any other similarly destructive ideology with the same nonchalance. For me, it’s nearly unfathomable to accept that my parents—and thousands of others who gave up their friends and families to come to this meritocratic nation—would ever have as their president a socialist who praised the Soviet Union.

Happy warriors shouldn’t take politics too personally. When it comes to Marxists, and I have no doubt Bernie is one, I make an exception. I take history too seriously not to.

When it comes to Marxists, there’s no real necessity to bother about being “happy warriors” anyway. All we need to be is warriors, period. There’ll be plenty of time to get happy after the war has been won…and precious little happiness to be had if it’s lost.

Dazed and confused

JB Shurk contends that the Democrat Party is “wounded and dangerous,” which I ain’t gonna argue with, natch. But the really fun part of the piece begins right away, when Shurk jumps on Senile Uncle Joe and starts batting him around like a cat toy.

Joe Biden is hardly Lancelot to President Trump’s dragon. The Democrats and the Deep State needed a first-class warrior; instead, their best option is a walking advertisement for Alzheimer’s awareness. In his best days, Joe Biden was the political equivalent of Jack McCall, shooting his adversaries in the back. When he wasn’t using his position of power for financial gain or stealing other people’s words, he was helping his family line their own pockets. Today, he’s a disoriented and stumbling shell of an unimportant political hack who looks on in confusion while his wife does his fighting for him. If you’ve ever wondered what happens to the shriveled soul of a lifetime liar and Democratic swindler, just cast your eyes upon Old Joe. He’s a walking, talking effigy of Democratic corruption and amorality. He’s what the Democratic Party usually keeps far off the main stage for the back-alley entertainment; now he’s the main event, but no amount of stick-prodding by Donna Brazile or Tom Perez is going to turn Joe Biden into Fred Astaire. He’s a freak-show carnival attraction at best, amazing onlookers by his ability to occasionally jumble audible words together into a sentence. The Democrats needed a man who could command a movement; all they got was a man who can barely control his own.

I’m not saying President Trump’s re-election is in the bag. Far from it. We’ve never seen such an array of villains acting in concert to take down an American president. The Democratic Party has most of the permanent bureaucratic Deep State (as well as stealthy anti-Trump Republicans), Wall Street, Russia, Iran, China, Venezuela, cosmopolitan Europe, global warming doomsayers, the Middle East’s worst terrorists, and domestic Antifa terrorists here at home all actively working to dislodge President Trump from the White House. In the past, the chiefs of our intelligence agencies and clandestine services retired into relative obscurity, cognizant that duty commanded their silent withdrawal into the pages of history. After orchestrating a coup against the American president, however, it is not unusual to see the former heads of Obama’s CIA, FBI, and NSC all tirelessly justifying their criminal acts on cable news each night. The corporate news media and institutional government have spent years trying to gin up enough hysteria in the nation that mock beheadings of the president and ritual re-enactments of his assassination during summer theater might lead the American people to clamor for the real thing.

So, no, the 2020 election will not be over until all the votes have been counted on November 3, and it becomes clear that we have successfully preserved Western civilization for at least a little while longer from this most recent manifestation of Vienna’s bloody 1683 siege. All I am saying is that Joe Biden was never meant to be the establishment’s champion for resurrecting their oligarchic power. They wanted a formidable presidential nominee, someone who could check all the right identity politics boxes while stringing words together that were substantively meaningless while singularly inspiring. Instead, they’re settling for a politician past his expiration date who sounds less crème de la crème and more soused in crème de menthe. The Democratic Party may depend on dead voters to win elections, but running dead candidates is another thing altogether.

Things REALLY get tough for ol’ Gropey from there. Kinda sad to think, even of the Democrat-Socialists, that Senile Joe really is the best they can come up with. But, well, here we all are.

Update! Sad.



Yet again, I ask: is there NO ONE in the Biden family who cares enough about this pitiful, failing old man to step up and put a stop to this?

History rerun update! In with the Old.

If we skip ahead a couple of centuries, from France to America, we can recall that in 2016, the old regime of Barack Obama came to a close, when would-be Queen Hillary was defeated by Donald of the Deplorables.

Four years later, in 2020, Joe Biden, the crown prince in the Obama era—and a blue-blooded political royal for decades prior to that—is making his bid to regain the throne and restore the old kingdom. 

To put this another way, Biden would love to be, in effect, the Louis XVIII of America, the man who came back from exile and reclaimed power for the old regime.

Indeed, just as the Bourbon kings of yore returned to their beloved Versailles palace, so Biden would love to come back into the White House, bringing with him all his Obama and Clinton friends. In fact, since Biden was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972, he has a lot of old-guard friends going way back—all the way back to the McGovern-Carter era.

It’s a safe bet that a lot of old guarders will want jobs in a possible Biden administration, so that they can, among other liberal missions, purge Trump Deplorables in the government. (And yes, the Deep State will eagerly rise up to assist the Bidenite restorationists in making a clean sweep.)

We should remember that even Biden, the supposed nice guy, sounded like Hillary when he said in 2018 that Trump supporters are “virulent people” and “dregs of society.”

So absolutely, with a Democratic regaining of power this year, there’d be lots of purging and score-settling in the years to come.

More broadly, we might ask: Would a Biden regime be so reactionary as to bring back foreign wars, of the kind that Biden had long supported? Would it bring back bank bailouts, which Biden had also supported?  How ‘bout open borders? And more trade deals? And liberal-left judges?

Yes, there could be a revival of all that, and more, because many old liberals are now new progressives. Thus the self-declared “Middle Class Joe”—newly woke, if not always awake—tweeted on January 25, “Let’s be clear: Transgender equality is the civil rights issue of our time. There is no room for compromise when it comes to basic human rights.” By now we know what that means in terms of school- and workplace bathrooms, student athletics, and publicly financed sex-change operations, just for starters.

In fact, a look at the Biden campaign’s “vision” page shows that the candidate has, in fact, many plans for bringing back the good old days of liberalism, as well as the newer hip leftism, including a Thunbergian environmental policy. And while a hypothetical President Biden might well forget some of his plans, his staffers will be there to remind him—or simply do what they please in his name. 

He’ll do whatever his handlers tell him to do, between naps and taking his “medication.”

It’s somewhat amusing to see Senile Joe hastily being refurbed as a “moderate” or “centrist,” when ALL the power-chasing Dem-Soc candidates pledged support for the exact same platform: the Green New Deal; punitive taxation; gun bans; more regulation of the economy; no fossil fuels/coal/fracking; wide-open borders; bigger government, etc. Despite some fumbling attempts to distinguish themselves one from another, there hasn’t really been a dime’s worth of difference between Democrat-Socialist candidates for a while now. No matter how much lipstick they slather onto him, Proggy the Pig’s totalitarian agenda never really changes.

Portrait of a loser

I first posted this one back when it originally appeared in 2016. As something of a counterpoint to my gloomy take below, and with the CF archives remaining hosed for the foreseeable future, I think it’s time to trot it out again.

Sanders spent most of his life as an angry radical and agitator who never accomplished much of anything. And yet now he thinks he deserves the power to run your life and your finances — “We will raise taxes;” he confirmed Monday, “yes, we will.”

One of his first jobs was registering people for food stamps, and it was all downhill from there.

Sanders took his first bride to live in a maple sugar shack with a dirt floor, and she soon left him. Penniless, he went on unemployment. Then he had a child out of wedlock. Desperate, he tried carpentry but could barely sink a nail. “He was a shi**y carpenter,” a friend told Politico Magazine. “His carpentry was not going to support him, and didn’t.”

Then he tried his hand freelancing for leftist rags, writing about “masturbation and rape” and other crudities for $50 a story. He drove around in a rusted-out, Bondo-covered VW bug with no working windshield wipers. Friends said he was “always poor” and his “electricity was turned off a lot.” They described him as a slob who kept a messy apartment — and this is what his friends had to say about him.

The only thing he was good at was talking … non-stop … about socialism and how the rich were ripping everybody off. “The whole quality of life in America is based on greed,” the bitter layabout said. “I believe in the redistribution of wealth in this nation.”

So he tried politics, starting his own socialist party. Four times he ran for Vermont public office, and four times he lost — badly. He never attracted more than single-digit support — even in the People’s Republic of Vermont. In his 1971 bid for U.S. Senate, the local press said the 30-year-old “Sanders describes himself as a carpenter who has worked with ‘disturbed children.’ ” In other words, a real winner.

He finally wormed his way into the Senate in 2006, where he still ranks as one of the poorest members of Congress. Save for a municipal pension, Sanders lists no assets in his name. All the assets provided in his financial disclosure form are his second wife’s. He does, however, have as much as $65,000 in credit-card debt.

And then, a mere four years on, hey presto! Bernie The Klown somehow finds himself the nouveau-wealthy owner of three (count ’em, 3) palatial mansions. The TeeWee ad fairly writes itself: Are you a shiftless, talentless bum who is completely bereft of any useful skill, incapable of earning an honest living for yourself and your family? Are you nonetheless unshakably convinced that you’re destined for greatness—your ego inflated beyond reason, your sense of self-regard and worth wildly out of whack with your negligible real-life capabilities? Do you believe that your comprehensive failure to contribute anything to society in no way negates your presumed right to dictate how others conduct their lives? Then the career-politician grift just might be the racket for you, my friend…

The choice in this election is shaping up to be a very clear one. It will likely boil down to a battle between those who create and produce wealth, and those who take it and redistribute it.

All our elections come down to that. They have for a good while now, actually.

The Founders were appalled at the awful prospect of the eventual rise of a parasitic professional politician class to plague their carefully-crafted new nation. The sordid tale of how a grubby, toxic little insect like Red Bernie flailed about his entire life with pluperfect futility—a failure, a nullity, a waste of skin without redeeming quality or virtue—until falling assbackwards into the political cesspool, where he prospered far beyond his due, explains why they felt that way…and confirms the wisdom of their opinion, too.

Monsters!

Whoever fights Deep State monsters should see to it that in the process she does not become a monster herself. And if you gaze long enough into the Swamp, the Swamp will gaze back into you.



Poor Megan—now a fully-paid-up DC doyenne now completely adapted and in sync with her environment thanks to her comfy, cozy WaPo sinecure—and her fellow NeverTrumpTard Old Guard pundits still keep using that word, “libertarian.” I do not think that it means what they think that it means. Ashley so-deftly administers the coup de grace:



Oh, it ain’t merely “pretty hard” there, Ash. It quite literally cannot be done. As they say, one of these things is NOT like the other.

Imagine this

For a real change of pace, this one is perfectly easy to spot as a Bee satire.

John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ Rereleased With More Realistic Description Of Communism
UK—Have you ever tried to imagine living in a perfect world ruled by communism, but previously only received the information from catchy folk songs which praise the system? Well, lucky for you, it is now easier than ever to understand what a full-blown communist utopia actually looks like.

That’s because John Lennon’s commie classic “Imagine” has been rereleased with more realistic lyrics to reflect the harsh realities of communism. Lennon, long dead—though not by way of communism, since he was blessed to live in a capitalist country—would be proud of the change, due to its artistic value in realism.

While the classic folk song does do a fantastic job of laying out the basics of communism—no religion, no possessions, no food—it never invites the listener to imagine all the people in their true form, which is dead—usually by firing squad, but often by way of starvation as well.

The folks at the Bee are good enough to provide us with the new lyrics, which include a “re-Imagined” turnaround:

You may say I’m a commie
But I’m not the only one
And someday you will join us
Or we’ll shoot you in the face

Somehow, I just can’t quite see this more candid and factual version being sung at the next big candlelit ‘n’ teary-eyed circle jerk in the wake of yet another Islamic mass slaughter that has nothing whatever to do with Islam. Way too real for the “reality”-based creampuffs to choke down, maybe.

Bernie blowout!

America That Was hardest hit.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) can claim to have won the popular vote in each of the first three early states in the Democratic Party presidential primary with his victory in Nevada on Saturday night.

It is the first time a candidate for any major party’s nomination has won the popular vote in all three of the first states.

Opposition to Sanders within the Democratic Party remains strong. There are serious doubts about whether he would be able to defeat President Donald Trump in a general election. His “democratic socialism” is a fringe left-wing philosophy.

Yeah, just keep telling yourself that. I’m afraid observable reality, grim though it be, suggests otherwise. Left-wing philosophy is one hell of a lot less “fringe” than it should be, that’s for sure.

Smackdown!

No, as with all the others, I didn’t watch the latest Democrat-Socialist shitshow debacle debate either. Nor will I be watching any future ones; I can’t imagine any of the current line-up of power-crazed commie cretins ever uttering a single syllable I’d be the least bit interested in paying attention to. Life is just too short.

That said, however

A fiery end to what had already been a contentious Democratic primary debate, which included the billionaire businessman for the first time, was sparked by NBC anchor Lester Holt’s question to Sanders about two-thirds of voters being “uncomfortable with a socialist candidate for president.”

After seeming to question the poll’s results by pointing out his frontrunner status for the Democratic nomination, Sanders called Bloomberg’s earlier use of the word “communism” a “cheap shot,” contending his policies were more akin to “what goes on in countries like Denmark.”

After Sanders criticized “tax breaks and subsidies” for the rich, Bloomberg interjected: “What a wonderful country we have. The best known socialist in the country happens to be a millionaire with three houses. What did I miss here?”

What I missed myself was how an incompetent loser who never did a day’s honest work at a useful job his entire life scraped up the scratch to provide himself with three—count ’em, (3)—palatial mansions. Evidently, it’s so easy to take rich from a lifetime spent idling around as a (ahem) “public servant,” even a hapless stumblebum like Red Bernie can pull it off. Which, y’know, is saying something.

“Well, you missed that I work in Washington, house one,” Sanders responded defensively.

“That’s the first problem,” Bloomberg said.

Annnnd ZING! again.

“Live in Burlington [Vermont], house two,” Sanders said. “And like thousands of other Vermonters, I do have a summer camp. Forgive me for that. Where is your home? Which tax haven …”

“New York City, thank you very much,” Bloomberg responded.

Heh. Red Bernie’s reaction? Priceless.

BernieBustsAVein.tiff


So, final tally, then: three (3) solid haymakers landed by L’il Mike The Banning Bantam, a zippo-palooza for Bernie The Bugeyed Bolshevik. Note the deep purplish tint to that sweaty, wafer-thin skin as ol’ Bernie nearly busts a blood vessel in spluttering rage over having been so handily nailed to the cross by L’il Mike—his vanity deflated, his self-righteousness skewered, his grubby socialist hypocrisy exposed for all the world to see and be revolted by.

He’ll still win the nomination, of course, unless the Democrat-Socialists can scheme out a way to screw him out of it again without being too obvious about it. Much as I do hate to have to point this out, the sad truth is he’s probably the only candidate they have with even a prayer of defeating Trump. Horrible as Red Bernie is, tragically great numbers of ignorant, brainwashed Amerikan youth would gladly slide bareassed down the edge of a giant razor blade and into a vat of rubbing alcohol to cast a vote for him. Plenty of others too, perhaps even enough. Don’t kid yourself that it couldn’t happen, folks. Because it could.

But that’s a discussion for another day and another post. Howsomever, lavishing kudos on the L’il Tyrant for making a fool of as foolish a self-made fool as Red Bernie might be dismissed by some as damning with faint praise, and rightly so. It’s just too easy, what folks around here used to joke about as “doing the light work”—a thing anyone can do without breaking a sweat, certainly nothing to strut around bragging about. I do not care; I enjoyed reading about it anyway, although I’m also happy I didn’t waste an evening enduring the torment that led up to it. Good show there, Shorty.

Not unusual update! David Brooks misses by a mile.

Brooks: Democrats Lack the Ability ‘To Go After a Socialist’

They don’t lack the ability, David; they lack the desire.

Stolen valor—again

IE, just your typical Democrat-Socialist “war hero.”

When Mayor Pete Buttigieg talks about his military service, his opponents fall silent, the media fall in love, and his political prospects soar. Veterans roll their eyes.

CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Mr. Buttigieg Sunday if President Trump “deserves some credit” for the strike that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani. “No,” the candidate replied, “not until we know whether this was a good decision and how this decision was made.” He questioned whether “it was the right strategic move” and said his own judgment “is informed by the experience of having been on one of those planes headed into a war zone.”

But Mr. Buttigieg’s stint in the Navy isn’t as impressive as he makes it out to be. His 2019 memoir is called “Shortest Way Home,” an apt description of his military service. He entered the military through a little-used shortcut: direct commission in the reserves. The usual route to an officer’s commission includes four years at Annapolis or another military academy or months of intense training at Officer Candidate School. ROTC programs send prospective officers to far-flung summer training programs and require military drills during the academic year. Mr. Buttigieg skipped all that—no obstacle courses, no weapons training, no evaluation of his ability or willingness to lead. Paperwork, a health exam and a background check were all it took to make him a naval officer.

Mr. Buttigieg was assigned to a comfortable corner of military life, the Naval Station in Great Lakes, Ill. Paperwork and light exercise were the order of the day. “Working eight-hour days,” he writes, was “a relaxing contrast from my day job, and spending time with sailors from all walks of civilian life, was a healthy antidote to the all absorbing work I had in South Bend.” He calls it “a forced, but welcome, change of pace from the constant activity of being mayor.”

During a November debate, Mr. Buttigieg proclaimed: “I have the experience of being commanded into a war zone by an American president.” The reality isn’t so grandiose.

Mr. Buttigieg spent some five months in Afghanistan, where he writes that he remained less busy than he’d been at City Hall, with “more time for reflection and reading than I was used to back home.” He writes that he would take “a laptop and a cigar up to the roof at midnight to pick up a Wi-Fi signal and patch via Skype into a staff meeting at home.” The closest he came to combat was ferrying other staffers around in an SUV: In his campaign kickoff speech last April he referred to “119 trips I took outside the wire, driving or guarding a vehicle.” That’s a strange thing to count. Combat sorties in an F-18 are carefully logged. Driving a car isn’t.

Them that did it don’t talk about it. Them that talk about it didn’t do it. That slight twist on a hoary old SpecWarrior truism will peel the mask off a braggadocious little REMF queef like Buttplug every time.

New low for NRO

Brutal.

National Review’s Troll-in-Chief, Kevin Williamson, is calling for Roger Stone to be thrown in prison for 50 years, which is a literal death sentence for the 67-year-old.

This is just pathetic. Not just the desperate and trollish cry for desperate and trollish clicks, but to be so bitter, neurotic, and small you publicly and shamelessly call for someone to die in prison because of his political beliefs.

You see, National Review has principles, and those principles demand a 67-year-old, nonviolent, first-time offender gets 50 years in prison for 1) lying to Congress, something Deep Staters like James Clapper have done without so much as a reprimand, 2) tampering with a witness who says he was not really tampered with, and 3) impeding a congressional investigation into a hoax.

Muh principles!

Muh principles!

Muh principles!

Except…

I just completed a good faith search at National Review for those muh principles to be applied to James A. Wolfe (Deep State boll weevil sentenced to all of eight weeks in prison for the exact same offense they want Stone to do 7-9 years of hard time for committing—M), and I came up with, well, bupkis.

…Yesterday, I wrote at length about the Roger Stone case, about the brazen injustice of the four corrupt prosecutors who thankfully resigned. But because I at least put some effort into being principled, I made it clear that I do believe Stone does deserve some prison time. Not the seven to nine years demanded by those corrupt prosecutors, but some time.

Also, and you can Google this, I never wrote a word demanding Wolfe receive more prison time than eight weeks. In fact, I said nothing about Wolfe’s sentence.

You know why…?

Because for all my flaws, I am not some angry, partisan, sore-losing goddamned monster out to see people annihilated, especially by way of government power, and that includes scumbags like Wolfe.

Phew! Somebody open a window so’s the smoke rolling off of Williamson’s and NRO’s crispy carcasses can clear out, willya?

Sorta related: I sure did hate to see David Harsanyi abandon his old haunts at The Federalist to crawl into the fetid NRO sewer. No doubt he had reasons for making the move that seemed good enough to him, if to no one else; maybe he fancies himself the lone voice of sanity among the NeverTrump Bedlamites, the sole hope for elevating the discourse at that dump above the level of fake-conservative “Orange Man Bad!” blibbering currently extant there. Harsanyi was always a personal favorite of mine, and I do miss reading him. But he’s now removed himself from my radar completely, and like I said, I hate it.

JUSTICE FOR JUICY!

Again: play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

Former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett was indicted Tuesday by a grand jury in Chicago after a special prosecutor re-investigated allegations he bogusly reported being the victim of a January 2019 hate-crime attack, officials said.

Smollett, 37, was indicted on six counts of disorderly conduct related to making four separate false reports to Chicago Police Department officers, claiming he was the victim of a hate crime while “knowing he was not the victim of a crime,” special prosecutor Dan Webb said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.

Webb was appointed by a Cook County judge to continue looking into the false allegations after the Cook County State’s Attorney Office dropped all charges against the actor.

He said his office has made arrangements with Smollett’s attorneys for the actor to voluntarily appear at an arraignment on Feb. 24 in the Criminal Division of Cook County Circuit Court. Webb’s investigation began Aug. 23, after Cook County Circuit Court Judge Michael Toomin appointed him special prosecutor.

Toomin directed Webb to launched an independent investigation to determine whether Smollett should be further prosecuted for the allegedly false reports he made to police and whether “any person or office involved in the Smollett case engaged in wrongdoing, including the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office or individuals in that office,” Webb’s statement reads.

That last bit sounds like it might turn out to be the most, umm, interesting part of this whole shitshow, I think.

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