Discourse On Voluntary Servitude

That’s the best-known work of French judge and philosopher Étienne de la Boétie, a passionate and uncompromising advocate for human liberty and against tyranny. As y’all reprobates and nogoodniks may or may not have noticed, I have been stealthily expanding the “Notable quotes” section with some more good stuff lately, and ran across a memorable one from de la Boétie via a WRSA link to yet another excellent Robert Gore piece, which I will get to excerpting anon in its own post. But seeing the one I plonked into the sidebar mentioned in a comment at SLL inspired me to revisit some of de la Boétie’s work myself, which I admit to having all but forgotten about after his having been glancingly mentioned back in my college French class back in the Pleistocene or thereabouts.

So without further ado, enjoy (if that’s the right word; it makes for pretty uncomfortable reading, actually) these bits from his seminal Discourse On Voluntary Servitude, also known as “The Against-One.” It’s somewhat lengthy, but quite rewarding; you should bookmark it and read it all when you get the time. Written in around 1548 when de la Boétie was only 18 years of age (!), the central thrust is that tyrants hold power only because and for as long as the people concede it to them. Its relevance to current-day America’s self-inflicted contretemps is self-evident.

To achieve the good that they desire, the bold do not fear danger; the intelligent do not refuse to undergo suffering. It is the stupid and cowardly who are neither able to endure hardship nor to vindicate their rights; they stop at merely longing for them, and lose through timidity the valor roused by the effort to claim their rights, although the desire to enjoy them still remains as part of their nature. A longing common to both the wise and the foolish, to brave men and to cowards, is this longing for all those things which, when acquired, would make them happy and contented. Yet one element appears to be lacking. I do not know how it happens that nature fails to place within the hearts of men a burning desire for liberty, a blessing so great and so desirable that when it is lost all evils follow thereafter, and even the blessings that remain lose taste and savor because of their corruption by servitude. Liberty is the only joy upon which men do not seem to insist; for surely if they really wanted it they would receive it. Apparently they refuse this wonderful privilege because it is so easily acquired.

Poor, wretched, and stupid peoples, nations determined on your own misfortune and blind to your own good! You let yourselves be deprived before your own eyes of the best part of your revenues; your fields are plundered, your homes robbed, your family heirlooms taken away. You live in such a way that you cannot claim a single thing as your own; and it would seem that you consider yourselves lucky to be loaned your property, your families, and your very lives. All this havoc, this misfortune, this ruin, descends upon you not from alien foes, but from the one enemy whom you yourselves render as powerful as he is, for whom you go bravely to war, for whose greatness you do not refuse to offer your own bodies unto death. He who thus domineers over you has only two eyes, only two hands, only one body, no more than is possessed by the least man among the infinite numbers dwelling in your cities; he has indeed nothing more than the power that you confer upon him to destroy you. Where has he acquired enough eyes to spy upon you, if you do not provide them yourselves? How can he have so many arms to beat you with, if he does not borrow them from you? The feet that trample down your cities, where does he get them if they are not your own? How does he have any power over you except through you? How would he dare assail you if he had no cooperation from you? What could he do to you if you yourselves did not connive with the thief who plunders you, if you were not accomplices of the murderer who kills you, if you were not traitors to yourselves? 

It is incredible how as soon as a people becomes subject, it promptly falls into such complete forgetfulness of its freedom that it can hardly be roused to the point of regaining it, obeying so easily and so willingly that one is led to say, on beholding such a situation, that this people has not so much lost its liberty as won its enslavement. It is true that in the beginning men submit under constraint and by force; but those who come after them obey without regret and perform willingly what their predecessors had done because they had to. This is why men born under the yoke and then nourished and reared in slavery are content, without further effort, to live in their native circumstance, unaware of any other state or right, and considering as quite natural the condition into which they were born…Nevertheless it is clear enough that the powerful influence of custom is in no respect more compelling than in this, namely, habituation to subjection. It is said that Mithridates trained himself to drink poison. Like him we learn to swallow, and not to find bitter, the venom of servitude. 

By this time it should be evident that liberty once lost, valor also perishes.

Like I said, uncomfortable reading—not least for how thoroughly it reinforces the truth behind the hoary old saw which claims that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Despite how desperately the Left would like to believe otherwise, some verities really ARE eternal.

The Whiskey Rebellion

The current insurrection has put me in mind of that all but forgotten yet pivotal chapter in American history, so for the last several days I’ve been digging around and edumacatin’ myself about it. It’s a complex, deep, and endlessly fascinating story—almost impossibly rich in Americana, illustrative of so much that went into making America the great nation it once was. The parallels with current events are obvious; the names scattered throughout cannot help but resonate in the heart of any true patriot; the twists and turns of the story, compelling as the whole saga is, are almost too intricate to keep up with.

Alas, it also serves to remind of us just how very far America has fallen, how depressingly unlike our forefathers the succeeding generations grew to be. If the Whiskey Rebellion and other tales from our Founding era were still properly taught in schools, our sad degeneration and decline, both as a nation and as people, would almost certainly never have happened.

The Whiskey Rebellion (also known as the Whiskey Insurrection) was a tax protest in the United States beginning in 1791 and ending in 1794 during the presidency of George Washington, ultimately under the command of American Revolutionary war veteran Major James McFarlane. The so-called “whiskey tax” was the first tax imposed on a domestic product by the newly formed federal government. Beer was difficult to transport and spoiled more easily than rum and whiskey. Rum distillation in the United States had been disrupted during the American War of Independence, and, for factors described below, whiskey distribution and consumption increased after the Revolutionary War (aggregate production had not surpassed rum by 1791). The “whiskey tax” became law in 1791, and was intended to generate revenue for the war debt incurred during the Revolutionary War. The tax applied to all distilled spirits, but consumption of American whiskey was rapidly expanding in the late 18th century, so the excise became widely known as a “whiskey tax”. Farmers of the western frontier were accustomed to distilling their surplus rye, barley, wheat, corn, or fermented grain mixtures to make whiskey. These farmers resisted the tax. In these regions, whiskey often served as a medium of exchange. Many of the resisters were war veterans who believed that they were fighting for the principles of the American Revolution, in particular against taxation without local representation, while the federal government maintained that the taxes were the legal expression of Congressional taxation powers.

Throughout Western Pennsylvania counties, protesters used violence and intimidation to prevent federal officials from collecting the tax. Resistance came to a climax in July 1794, when a U.S. marshal arrived in western Pennsylvania to serve writs to distillers who had not paid the excise. The alarm was raised, and more than 500 armed men attacked the fortified home of tax inspector General John Neville. Washington responded by sending peace commissioners to western Pennsylvania to negotiate with the rebels, while at the same time calling on governors to send a militia force to enforce the tax. Washington himself rode at the head of an army to suppress the insurgency, with 13,000 militiamen provided by the governors of Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The rebels all went home before the arrival of the army, and there was no confrontation. About 20 men were arrested, but all were later acquitted or pardoned. Most distillers in nearby Kentucky were found to be all but impossible to tax—in the next six years, over 175 distillers from Kentucky were convicted of violating the tax law. Numerous examples of resistance are recorded in court documents and newspaper accounts.

The Whiskey Rebellion demonstrated that the new national government had the will and ability to suppress violent resistance to its laws, though the whiskey excise remained difficult to collect. The events contributed to the formation of political parties in the United States, a process already under way. The whiskey tax was repealed in the early 1800s during the Jefferson administration. Historian Carol Berkin argues that the episode in the long run strengthened American nationalism because the people appreciated how well Washington handled the rebels without resorting to tyranny.

I’ll limit my excerpting to the Wikipedia entry—by no means the only source out there, but a good encapsulation that’s very much worth a look.

When Washington left Philadelphia, then the US capitol, to review the mix-and-match militia force assembled to put down the rebellion once and for all, it was the one and only time a sitting US President actually led troops in the field. The overall commander of the force was one General Henry “Lighthorse Harry” Lee, father of another brilliant warrior who went on to play a pivotal role in American history himself.

24 of the Whiskey rebels wound up indicted for high treason, of which only ten were apprehended and tried. After a trial process lasting six months (!), just two of them were convicted. The sentence: death by hanging. A conciliatory and foresighted Washington, wishing to close the books on the matter for the good of the fledgling nation, pardoned both. He made a last-minute addition to his seventh Inaugural Address explaining his reasoning:

“The misled have abandoned their errors,” he stated. “For though I shall always think it a sacred duty to exercise with firmness and energy the constitutional powers with which I am vested, yet it appears to me no less consistent with the public good than it is with my personal feelings to mingle in the operations of Government every degree of moderation and tenderness which the national justice, dignity, and safety may permit.”

There’s much, much more to this story; as I said, it is incredibly rich and compelling, continuing to leave its mark on American history long into the future. To wit:

W. C. Fields recorded a comedy track in Les Paul’s studio in 1946, shortly before his death, entitled “The Temperance Lecture” for the album W. C. Fields … His Only Recording Plus 8 Songs by Mae West. The bit discussed Washington and his role in putting down the Whiskey Rebellion, and Fields wondered aloud whether “George put down a little of the vile stuff too.”

WC Fields, Mae West, and Les Paul—along with Jefferson, Hamilton, Adams, Washington, and all the rest; homebrew whiskey, hangings, riots, tar and featherings, vigilante justice, liberty poles, militias, a citizen uprising inflamed by the eternal tension between individual liberty and government power. If that ain’t enough to pique your interest and stir your soul, you ain’t anything close to what I’d call an American.

Of night, and light

A dismal tide is sweeping across America, leaving unprecedented destruction in its wake.

When the coronavirus landed on our shores, communist China came with it.

We have become part of a mass scale human experiment in government control and it turned out that stripping away our freedom wasn’t all that difficult. Under the guise of concern for our health and well-being, tyrants came out of the woodwork.  Our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, and our lives are being destroyed as the left solidifies and expands their oppressive powers. We’ve been herded around like cattle, threatened, isolated, confined, silenced, and arrested. You name it, it’s happening.

You tell me if what follows sounds like the United States, or China.

We’ve been told who can work and who can’t, with language that separates us according to who is and who isn’t “essential” as the almighty State supersedes individual rights and the family unit.

We’ve been physically and verbally harassed, threatened, fined, detained, arrested, jailed, and/or placed in forced quarantine. Business licenses have been revoked. Going to work without the permission of the government is now a crime. So is going to the park or a beach. Children playing together is also in defiance of the government. So is placing flags on the graves of veterans. The list of infractions goes on and on and on and on. Examples read like the manifesto of a demented madman.

Brown goes on, and on, and on from there, with a most impressive collection of supporting links, and it all makes for truly…well, dismal reading. But even as the darkness falls, a hopeful ray of light shines forth in the person of Texas Supreme Court Justice Jimmy Blackrock, who wrote the majority opinion springing hair-salon hero Shelley Luther from durance most vile:

He began with a quote, “The Constitution is not suspended when the government declares a state of disaster.”

Then he crisply explained it.

Blacklock wrote, “All government power in this country, no matter how well-intentioned, derives only from the state and federal constitutions. Government power cannot be exercised in conflict with these constitutions, even in a pandemic.

“In the weeks since American governments began taking emergency measures in response to the corona virus, the sovereign people of this country have graciously and peacefully endured a suspension of their civil liberties without precedent in our nation’s history. In some parts of the country, churches have been closed by government decree, although Texas is a welcome exception. Nearly everywhere, the First Amendment ‘right of the people to peaceably assemble’ has been suspended altogether. In many places, people are forbidden to leave their homes without a government-approved reason.Tens of millions can no longer earn a living because the government has declared their employers or their businesses ‘non-essential.’

“Any government that has made the grave decision to suspend the liberties of a free people during a health emergency should welcome the opportunity to demonstrate — both to its citizens and to the courts — that its chosen measures are absolutely necessary to combat a threat of overwhelming severity. The government should also be expected to demonstrate that less restrictive measures cannot adequately address the threat. Whether it is strict scrutiny or some other rigorous form of review, courts must identify and apply a legal standard by which to judge the constitutional validity of the government’s anti-virus actions. When the present crisis began, perhaps not enough was known about the virus to second-guess the worst-case projections motivating the lockdowns. As more becomes known about the threat and about the less restrictive, more targeted ways to respond to it, continued burdens on constitutional liberties may not survive judicial scrutiny.

“Ideally, these debates would play out in the public square, not in courtrooms. No court should relish being asked to question the judgment of government officials who were elected to make difficult decisions in times such as these. However, when constitutional rights are at stake, courts cannot automatically defer to the judgments of other branches of government. When properly called upon, the judicial branch must not shrink from its duty to require the government’s anti-virus orders to comply with the Constitution and the law, no matter the circumstances.”

That’s the whole decision.

And a most excellent one it was, too. That right there, folks, is exactly what I mean when I talk about our duty to defend the Constitution, rather than sitting back hoping it will defend us. Bravo to Justice Blacklock. We will NEVER have as many like him as we need, no matter how many there are out there.

It would take a heart of stone not to laugh

Okay Karen, time for you to Learn. To. Code.



Bethany Mandel, after having been lambasted for her “heartlessness” in arguing that the destruction of an entire national economy just might not have been the best approach here, is having herself a high old time as well over the best news to come out of the COVIDIOT panic-ninny lockdowns yet.


Enjoy the breadlines, “journalist” scum. And the frabjous good news doesn’t end there, either.

New York state’s tax revenue plummeted 68.4% in April, as the coronavirus lockdowns and the extension of tax return filings to July 15 took a toll on state coffers.

The Empire State collected $3.7 billion, or $7.9 billion less than the previous April. Personal income-tax revenue fell more than $7 billion from last April, a drop that was primarily due to the delayed tax filing deadline.

“New York is facing economic devastation not seen since the Great Depression,” New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a news release. “New York and other hard-hit states need the federal government to step up and provide assistance, or the state will have to take draconian actions to balance its budget.”

Yeah, umm, no. But really now: after slamming down all business and condemning every working individual in the state to an indefinite stay in the poorhouse, who could POSSIBLY have foreseen a sudden drying up of tax revenue? Sorry, no bailouts for you.

LOLGF, you stupid fucking dipshits.

(Via Ace and Insty)

Another two-month free trial

“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew
Someone had blundered.

After a two-month trial, researchers are collecting early outcomes of the Great American Social Distancing Experiment of 2020.

The results, to say the least, ain’t pretty—and the “experts” who initiated this experiment on 330 million well-meaning but unwitting test subjects are starting to admit failure.

“Wait. An experiment?” you may ask. But we have been assured by the credentialed class that keeping a distance of six feet between healthy people for weeks on end was the only tried-and-true way to prevent the deadly spread of the novel coronavirus. No way would the government shutter public schools and colleges for five months, bankrupt small businesses, send tens of millions to the unemployment line, jeopardize the nation’s food supply chain, prevent children from comforting dying parents and grandparents, and subject their fellow countrymen to soul-crushing house arrest for the first time in U.S. history if the so-called “social distancing” guidance hadn’t been carefully vetted over time, you might insist.

Certainly every variable and every side effect of social distancing has been factored into this economy-crashing “mitigation” strategy, right?

I’m sure you all already know the answer to that one.

The country, we now know, is undergoing an experiment to which we never consented: Further, it is as much a political and social experiment as a public health one. The short term results are not what the experts predicted but their lab rats—the American people—are suffering traumatic side effects that could last for years. And unfortunately, like most experts, instead of conceding they had it all wrong and walking away from the failed experiment, they insist they just need a little more time to make it work.

But this experiment needs to end, immediately. Cases continue to rise despite the lockdowns; hospitals are not overwhelmed, nor were they ever (with a few exceptions). The overall death count is inflated; it appears that COVID-19 is asymptomatic for most people and far less lethal than originally predicted. And the economy is in tatters with more bad news on the horizon.

The history of science, sadly, is littered with bad experiments gone horribly wrong. The Great Social Distancing Experiment of 2020, when it is over, will very likely be toward the top of that list.

Ah well, the story didn’t end too well for the Light Brigade, either.

A first

Namely, the first time I’ve ever endorsed Microsoft’s view on just about anything.

Microsoft has settled the great space debate, and sided with everyone who believes one space after a period is correct, not two. The software giant has started to update Microsoft Word to highlight two spaces after a period (a full stop for you Brits) as an error, and to offer a correction to one space. Microsoft recently started testing this change with the desktop version of Word, offering suggestions through the Editor capabilities of the app.

Much of the debate around one space or two has been fueled by the halcyon days of the typewriter. Typewriters used monospaced fonts to allocate the same amount of horizontal spacing to every character. Narrow characters like “i” got the same amount of space as “m,” so the extra space after the “.” was needed to make it more apparent that sentences had ended. Word and many other similar apps make fonts proportional, so two spaces is no longer necessary.

That hasn’t stopped the battle over one space or two from raging on for decades, however. A study on the hotly contested issue supposedly handed the victory to the two-spacers back in 2018, but many questioned the research and it clearly wasn’t enough to convince Microsoft. Expect to see the new changes in Word roll out to everyone in the coming months. Congratulations, fellow one-spacers.

The biggest problem I have with double-spacing is that the people who actually use it are wildly inconsistent. There are a handful of sites I regularly troll for blog-fodder (American Thinker comes to mind) whose articles are double-spaced…mostly. But in just about every double-spaced article you find out there, it’s a stylistic guideline honored more in the breach. Which means I either have to leave the thing as it stands—inconsistent and sloppy-looking, which irks the living hell out of me—or eyeball the excerpt closely and correct all that irritating laxity myself.

Which of course I do. Of course, I also occasionally (okay, frequently) miss something myself, sometimes spotting it later when I go back to check the post again. In such cases, I usually have no qualm whatsoever about making the correction, which is a felony-level infraction of the long-standing blogger protocol which dictates that publishing a post is analagous to engraving it into a stone tablet. Of course, I give not a single damn about that; spelling or grammatical errors, typos, even muddled phrasing are all subject to adjustment if and when I catch ’em. I make no apologies for that. My blog, my rules, dammit.

The third-party posting software I use has a setting that auto-saves and auto-publishes periodically, which I didn’t even know about until relatively recently. This meant that posts would be uploaded and published on the site prematurely, before I had even finished writing them. Throw in my habit of starting a post, getting partway through it and leaving the window open as a reminder to finish the thing eventually—you would not even BELIEVE the number of incomplete and now-abandoned posts I have still sitting in my posting app—and then coming back to it hours or even days later, and it adds up to a serious potential for confusion and disaster.

Trivial matters all, to be sure. But maybe Microsoft’s decision to walk away from the archaic double-space standard will lighten my burden at least somewhat.

Bloated numbers

A New York affliction.

According to The New York Times coronavirus report, as of Sunday, April 19, 2:48 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, there were 35,676 COVID-19 deaths in the United States. Of those deaths, 18,690 were in the New York metropolitan area.

That means that more than half (52 percent) of all deaths in America have occurred in the New York metropolitan area.

What makes this statistic particularly noteworthy is that the entire death toll for 41 of the other 47 states is 7,661. In other words, while New York has 52 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in America, 41 states put together have only 21 percent of the COVID-19 deaths. And all the 47 states other than New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have less than half (48 percent).

Now let us imagine that the reverse were true. Imagine that Georgia and North Carolina—two contiguous states that, like the New York metro area, have a combined total of 21 million people—had 18,690 COVID-19 deaths, while metro New York had 858 deaths (the number of deaths in North Carolina and Georgia combined).

Do you think the New York metro area would close its schools, stores, restaurants and small businesses? Would every citizen of the New York area, with the few exceptions of those engaged in absolutely necessary work, be locked in their homes for months? Would New Yorkers accept the decimation of their economic and social lives because North Carolina and Georgia (or, even more absurdly, Colorado, Montana or the rest of what most New Yorkers regard as “flyover” country) had 18,960 deaths, while they had a mere 858?

It is, of course, possible. But I suspect that anyone with an open mind assumes that New Yorkers would not put up with ruining their economic and social lives and putting tens of millions of people out of work because of coronavirus deaths in North Carolina and Georgia, let alone Montana and Idaho (and, for the record, I would have agreed with them).

Lest we forget, even the underwhelming non-NYC numbers are themselves grossly inflated:

The IHME model is considered the gold standard. In mid-March, without social distancing, they predicted 2.2 million American deaths. By early April they reduced their death projection to 100,000 to 240,000 assuming social distancing measures in place. Their April 17 update now projects 60,308 deaths, 3% of their original prediction.

What changed? Social distancing was in already in place when the death predictions dropped by a factor of four. For perspective, 61,000 Americans died in the 2017-18 flu season.

The CDC had its own models predicting gloom and doom. In mid-March they projected 160 million to 214 million infected and 200,000 to 1.7 million deaths. Did that leave President Trump any choice but to hit the off switch on the U.S. economy? What if the models were wrong?

Another factor influencing models is the death count from this coronavirus. Projected deaths determine projected need, as in the ventilators mentioned above. How accurate are the death counts?

Task force member Dr. Deborah Brix, on April 7, said the U.S. government is classifying the death of any patient who tested positive for coronavirus as a coronavirus death, regardless of any underlying health conditions that genuinely killed them. If one has a heart attack, and happens to test positive for the virus, he or she will be classed as a coronavirus death. Garbage in, garbage out.

Going further, New York City is including in their death counts, “people who had never tested positive for the virus but were presumed to have died of it.” Data by presumption? Models based on presumption?

What the hell, why not? Julie Kelly brings it on home for us.

Tests show about 434,000 Americans have contracted the disease so far. Only a few states indicate COVID-19 symptomatic activity; most of the country now is quiet.

Would those facts frighten you into government-ordered submission? If the United States had a population of 300 million and 48 states, would the fact that 18,000 people—sadly, mostly elderly and already sick patients—succumbed to the virus over a period of nearly two months warrant an ongoing lockdown that is destroying the economy, overwhelming unemployment rolls and food bank lines, shutting down schools and colleges for five months, and bankrupting small businesses?

Would it justify increasingly despotic orders from power-grabbing politicians to stop Americans from going to the beach or hosting dinner parties in their own homes let alone canceling graduation ceremonies and weddings and funerals?

Of course, it would pose a public health concern; strategies to mitigate the spread of the virus, particularly among the most susceptible, would be necessary. Plans to prevent a bigger outbreak later in the year would be appropriate.

The coronavirus crisis in the United States is largely a New York City crisis. One reason why many governors are afraid to fully reopen is over the fear that virus-carrying New Yorkers will flee to their largely unimpacted states.

Happy beachgoers in northern Florida are not a threat; subway commuters in New York City are. The fact that there is outrage over the former and not the latter speaks volumes about the politicization of this travesty while we remain under house arrest for the foreseeable future.

Wall it off. Should Air Force One ever go down inside…well, hey, we can always call in Snake Plissken.

“De Blasio Wants New Yorkers To Rat On Neighbors. Don’t Do It”

Disagree. Strongly.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio took to Twitter Saturday to urge his constituents to monitor, photograph and report each other if they aren’t strictly obeying his social distancing guidelines. Just fire off a photo to 3-1-1 of a few guys having a chat in a bodega and Hizzoner will send police officers, with guns and everything, to break it up. What could go wrong?

That rhetorical question is exactly why I disagree with discouraging meddlesome NYC panic-ninnies from snitching out their neighbors. No, no, let a million busybodies bloom, sez I. What more fitting opportunity to not only take a page from Alinsky (make the enemy live up to its own book of rules“) but also enact something of a Cloward-Piven Inversion at the same time? Remember:

The Cloward–Piven strategy is a political strategy outlined in 1966 by American sociologists and political activists Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven that called for overloading the U.S. public welfare system in order to precipitate a crisis that would lead to a replacement of the welfare system with “a guaranteed annual income and thus an end to poverty”.

So, yeah: if DeBalledZero wants to turn New Yorkers into a passel of skulking stoolies, then by all means let them oblige the Commie asstard…by lighting up those 311 switchboards morning, noon, and night with reports of real, imagined, or made-up infractions. That ought to be plenty enough to quickly exhaust police resources and manpower on a never-ending parade of bootless snipe-hunts for trifling infractions against The Rules laid down by the Kommissar of Public Cleanliness, until the whole goddamned system collapses into smoking, stinking rubble.

Should DeBalledZero himself be driven to nervous collapse and involuntary institutionalization by the anarchy and chaos resulting from meticulously strict obedience to the letter of his own dictates, well, so much the better.

Update! WHO COULD HAVE FORESEEN THE HORROR.

It is “unconscionable” that Rikers Island inmates who were released due to coronavirus concerns are committing new crimes, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday.

“I think it’s unconscionable just on a human level that folks were shown mercy and this is what some of them have done,” the mayor said during his morning briefing Monday, which came on the heels of a Post report outlining the issue.

You stupid fucking moron. If you’re uncertain about how “unconscionable” it might be, Comrade Mayor, try asking someone who gets robbed, mugged, assaulted, or worse by one of the thugs you just cut loose how they feel about it.

On the other hand, though, they’re the ones who voted you into office, so I guess they’re just getting the government they deserve—good and hard.

De Blasio said the number of re-offenders remains relatively small and that the city was “buckling down” on monitoring and supervising released prisoners.

“We do see some recidivism. I have not seen a huge amount, but any amount is obviously troubling,” he said.

Oh, OBVIOUSLY so, Perfessor. Because there should never have been so much as one act of “recidivism” in the first fucking place. And there wouldn’t have been either, if your dumb ass had sense enough to pour piss out of a boot.

Sheesh.

(Via Bill)

One of these things is not a LOT like the other

The ever-helpful and considerate SteveF created a handy Chink-N-Pox/Climate Change (formerly Global Warming, formerly Global Cooling, formerly “the weather”) compare-contrast chart for us which, unfortunately, I fear we’ll soon be seeing quite a bit of now that the trial run has worked out so swimmingly for TPTB.

AGW WuFlu
Used to increase government power
The public isn’t sure what’s going on but we know we’re being lied to
Attacks on doubters
Economic ruin in fighting it
Fear tactics, embellished stories, and doom and gloom scenarios
Actual deaths
Dramatically over-counted deaths
Disaster doesn’t live up to the hype – deaths fail to materialize
Money grab
Constantly redefined criteria for disaster
Blamed for problems that would have happened anyway
Gaslighting
The possible catastrophe is so dire that any amount of money spent to avert it is well spent

Hope nobody out there was kidding themselves that the Green Raw Deal was dead and buried.

Another good ‘un gone

Aww, man.

Brian Dennehy, the winner of two Tonys in a career that also spanned films including “Tommy Boy,” “First Blood” and “Cocoon,” and television roles including “Dynasty” and “Death of a Salesman,” died on Wednesday night in New Haven, Conn. He was 81.
“It is with heavy hearts we announce that our father, Brian, passed away last night from natural causes, not Covid-related. Larger than life, generous to a fault, a proud and devoted father and grandfather, he will be missed by his wife, Jennifer, family and many friends,” his daughter, actress Elizabeth Dennehy, tweeted on Thursday.

Dennehy was one of those truly great actors—like Michael Caine, Gene Hackman, or any of the others from this list—who is easily recognizable by pretty much everybody…most of whom couldn’t tell you his name. The gifted character actor submerges himself so completely into his role that the viewer submerges himself right along with them, without the slightest conscious awareness of having done so. Good character actors usually drive most any film they’re in; they’re the guys who can make an otherwise crappy movie at least watchable. You’ll see such an actor play a huge gamut of disparate characters over his (usually long and distinguished) career, and he’ll inhabit every one of those characters to perfection without ever seeming to break a sweat. To wit:

The imposingly tall, barrel-chested Dennehy won his first Tony for his performance as Willy Loman in a revival of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” in 1999 and his second Tony for his turn as James Tyrone in a revival of Eugene O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” in 2003.

The actor made his TV and feature debut in 1977 — a year in which he made appearances in at least 10 series or telepics, including “Kojak,” “MASH” and “”Lou Grant,” and the films “Looking for Mr. Goodbar” and “Semi-Tough.” From that point he maintained a heavy work load for decades.

In 1982 his profile increased significantly thanks to his effective performance in the role of Teasle, the sadistic small-town police chief who is Sylvester Stallone’s lead adversary in “First Blood.”

In addition to “Cocoon,” he had significant roles in the 1983 thriller “Gorky Park” and in “Silverado.” He was second-billed, after Bryan Brown, in the well-constructed 1986 thriller “F/X,” in which he played a cop not part of the conspiracy, and in the 1991 sequel. He was fourth-billed in “Legal Eagles,” after the star trio of Robert Redford, Debra Winger and Daryl Hannah.

That’s but a brief summation of Dennehy’s amazing career, but my all-time favorite is probably his turn as Cobb in the greatest Western ever filmed: Lawrence Kasdan’s brilliantly conceived and executed Silverado. His death scene after the classic showdown with onetime friend and partner Kevin Kline at the end is archetypical Dennehy, made all the more powerful and dramatic for its stark, understated simplicity. Compared to the kind of cliched thrashing, gargling, screaming, and writhing about we’re all used to, it’s a pluperfect example of the character actor’s art at its very highest pinnacle:




If you’ve never seen Silverado, I really can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s beautifully staged and shot, brimming over with well-crafted dialogue and star-turn performances from pretty much the entire cast. From what I recall reading when it came out, it was basically Kasdan’s intention to do an updated but respectful version of the classic Hollywood Westerns of yore, including all the hoary old plot elements and cinematique stylistic licks he could fit in. His own affection for the genre is in evidence from start to finish. I think he succeeded brilliantly, although some critics of the time disagreed. In the end, though, it’s a fun movie to watch, a well-made bit of old-school Saturday-matinee escapism of a kind we don’t see near enough of anymore. I’ve seen it a thousand times, have pretty much every line memorized, and will still watch it through to the very end any time I run across it flipping through the channels.

Fare thee well, Mr Dennehy. You were one of the greats of your art, and your place in Valhalla is assured.

Right all along

Bloody well right.

During the Republican primaries of 2015, I played a funny supercut of Donald Trump on my podcast. I had misjudged Trump then, fearing his flaws too much and appreciating his talents too little. The supercut put together all the times and tones in which he had said the word “China,” and backed it up with a jazzy bass. I found it hilarious.

Well, it was hilarious. But Trump was right about China. Right that its behavior was unprincipled and dangerous. Right that our trade imbalance with them represented a power imbalance that they could abuse. He was right about China when the Democrats and their press were distracting the country’s attention with trivial Russian trolling. And he was right to engage them even though the Wall Street Journal types screamed like a girl in a horror movie over how his “trade war” might affect their portfolios.

Do you remember Trump’s inaugural address when he spoke about the “American carnage” of closed factories and unemployment that was already causing an epidemic of deaths by despair? He was right about that, too. Right that it required attention when every Democrat and his pet journalist said it was “dark” to mention it. Right that it could be fixed when Barack Obama said it couldn’t. And right that it was a matter of policy when conservatives said he was interfering with the magic of global capitalism and, anyway, those lazy, oxycontin-chugging crackers kind of deserved it.

He was right that globalism could not thrive without a strong self-defending nation state, because nations are not just economic structures, they are also moral entities and some (like China) are wicked and some (like us) are good and deserve favor.

He was right that borders must be secured when blithering leftists were ready to virtue signal the west to death and high-minded right wingers like myself were shrugging off a slow-motion invasion, trusting to some imagined protective magic in our creed.

He was also right that the American news media has become corrupt and fake and needs to be regularly savaged until they are shamed into reforming and playing fair with the public. The Left, of course, loves it this way, though it destroys any chance of American dialogue. The Right underplayed the problem and was resigned to long-term death-by-culture.

The current pandemic has only underscored how very right Trump was: it was unleashed by China, exacerbated by globalism and weak borders, and has been endlessly darkened by the lies of a Republican-hating press.

The fact that he’s right on so many things is precisely why he’s hated so desperately by certain people.

Celebrate responsibly

Congrats to the gang at The People’s Cube, on…good Lord, has it really been fifteen years already?

Cough-cough, comrades!

As all progressive humanity celebrates the Glorious 15th Anniversary of The People’s Cube, we officially advise you to conduct spontaneous celebratory marches within at least six feet from one another in square formations. The Great Pandemic of International Coronavirus dictates that workers of the world must unite cautiously and without touching. Once having been united, don’t forget to sanitize your equipment, marching signs, and/or shovels. Beet vodka-based hand sanitizer will be provided behind Tractor Barn #2.

We can neither confirm nor deny that the ongoing global lockdown and universal self-isolation is the result of a conspiracy to usher the unwashed masses into the Glorious Progressive World of Next Tuesday. We can confirm, however, that the conspirators, who may or may not exist, have badly miscalculated and may have to face a very different outcome.

The unwashed masses will come out of this quarantine thoroughly washed, smelling of hand sanitizer, and with the realization that governments cannot be relied upon to protect and provide in a time of need, and that to be self-reliant is a better and safer way to go. With each passing moment, millions of idle minds around the world are getting infected with these and similar thoughtcrimes, which is worse than the very virus that had caused them to stay indoors and have idle thoughts.

The Cube—which I shamefacedly confess to not checking in on of late as regularly as I used to, and should be—is a fantastic site brimming over with hilarious articles, imagery, and sundry other madness. The joint is beautifully designed, the content a very deep well indeed. It was/is the brainchild of one Oleg Atbashian, an immigrant from Ukraine who is now an American citizen and in his younger days worked as a propaganda artist for the USSR. He explains:

Atbashian has an interesting story about how he came to be part of the Soviet propaganda machine – and eventually landed in the U.S. as a conservative activist.

“It sounds a little grander than it was. I was 23 years old. I wanted to be an artist and if I wasn’t an artist, then a member of the artist union,” Atbashian said “It was hard to get anywhere in that profession so the only outlet for people like me was to become a maker of visual motivational and agit-propaganda art that was in the street and in the interiors of companies.”

Atbashian compares the work he did to many billboards seen in the U.S. “They kind of brighten up the landscape especially around the cities and along the highways. In the Soviet Union we didn’t have any of that. We had motivational propaganda, so you would’ve seen a poster of a worker calling comrades to work in order to fulfill the five-year plan ahead of schedule to build Communism. Those were the only bright spots in the otherwise drab landscape. Everything else was dark and dated,” he said noting that most people would look at it as decorative art.

“Towards the end during the collapse of the USSR, most people didn’t believe in the propaganda. It was pretty cynical and everybody was making jokes about Communism,” he said.

Atbashian left Ukraine in 1994 explaining that while it was easier to leave the country after the collapse of the USSR, Western countries like the United States were not accepting many Ukranians.

“Getting a visa at the American embassy was more complicated than getting an exit passport and so I was luckier than others, but a large portion of people who applied for entry visas to the U.S. were not approved,” he said.

Well, see, US demand for Somali bigamists and other Islamonut ingrates was much higher, leaving little space to put intelligent, worthwhile human beings with something to contribute to society like yourself, Oleg. A couple of more-serious pearls of plainspoken wisdom from another interview with Atbashian:

The Leftists claim the moral high ground, but the morality is the only ground on which they can be defeated. We can attack the political figures all we want, but they will be replaced by different ones of exactly the same kind.

The reason why this socialist system is immoral is because equality can only be enforced one way (points down). You cannot elevate people to make them equal because people are all born different, but you can always bring them down to the lowest common denominator. That’s what they eventually wind up doing, regardless of their claims to the contrary.

Elsewhere, he deftly skewers liberal contradictions.

Years ago, living in America made me feel as though I had traveled in a time machine from the past. But after the recent “revolutionary” changes have turned reality on its head — which is what “revolution” literally means — I’m getting an uneasy feeling I had come from your future.

As your comrade from the future, I also feel a social obligation to help my less advanced comrades in the American community, and prepare them for the transition to the glorious world of underground literature, half-whispered jokes, and the useful habit of looking over your shoulder. Don’t become a nation of cowards — but watch who might be listening.

Let’s start with these few.

    People’s power:

  • Liberals believe they’re advancing people’s power — yet they don’t believe people can do anything right without their guidance.
  • People can’t do anything right — yet the government bureaucracy can do everything.
  • The government bureaucracy can do everything — yet liberals don’t like it when the government takes control of their lives.
  • Liberals don’t like it when the government takes control of their lives — yet they vote for programs that increase people’s dependency on the government.
  • They vote for programs that increase people’s dependency on the government — yet they believe they’re advancing people’s power.
    Public education:

  • Liberals have been in charge of education for 50 years — yet education is out of control.
  • Education is out of control — yet liberal teaching methods prevail.
  • Liberal teaching methods prevail — yet public schools are failing.
  • Public schools are failing — yet their funding keeps growing.
  • Their funding keeps growing — yet public schools are always underfunded.
  • Public schools are always underfunded — yet private schools yield better results for less.
  • Private schools yield better results for less — yet public education is the only way out of the crisis.

Lots, lots more like that at the link, every bit of it deserving of your attention. The above PJM piece hails from the earliest days of the Ogabe junta, as storm clouds gathered and the Shadow issued forth from Mordor On The Potomac. Somehow, though, Oleg’s perceptive observations still seem as current and fresh as a cold glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice—only with a way more sour taste, as FUSA’s long, dismal slide into the muck of Progressivist totalitarianism continues.

Oleg is one very smart cookie, a gifted writer of biting satire and more serious, sober-minded stuff both. Having witnessed the socialist nightmare up close and personal himself, can it come as much of a surprise that his lampooning of socialism’s eternal failure and inhumanity would be so sharp and tight? His adopted country is fortunate to have him, and should be listening a lot more closely to his words of warning. They come from one who knows all too well whereof he speaks.

A happy birthday to you, Oleg and The People’s Cube, and many happy returns.

New read!

Our highly esteemed boozum chum Francis, a truly gifted writer as you’re all surely aware by now, would like everyone to know that he has a new one out:

TheWarmLands.jpg


More a fantasy tome than straight-up sci-fi, I’m thinking, if the cover and blurb are at all indicative:

Gregor of Serebal, a journeyman sorcerer educated at the Scholium Arcanum in the East, is on a cross-continent trek through the Great Waste: the lifeless desert left by the Dieback that all but eliminated life from Aeol. He has been tasked to chart the courses of the major mana conduits of the continent. In the process he discovers that they have been diverted from their normal paths: Whereas they once flowed from north to south, they now flow from east to west. While there is no obvious explanation for their diversion, they appear to flow directly toward Pontreval, where the Scholium Arcanum in the West is situated.

Laella of Anam is a gifted one: a potential sorcerer not yet trained to the disciplines that would make it safe to practice. Yet the mana has already touched her to ill effect. It has made her a virgin mother, to the horror of her family and neighbors. The ruler of her village has executed her infant son, and the infant children of three other women similarly afflicted, when Gregor arrives in Anam.

Mutual admiration brings them together. Once mated, they travel further west through the Great Waste in pursuit of Gregor’s errand. But though his intent was to walk all the way across the continent, charting the mana streams as he traveled, events will force them to return to Urel, the site of the Scholium Arcanum in the East where Gregor was made an initiate of the Arcana. There he and Laella will confront mysteries the sorcerers of the Scholium cannot unravel. Beneath those mysteries lies a threat to the life of Aeol that will demand all that Gregor, Laella, and their colleagues have to give.

Fantasy or sci-fi, doesn’t matter; with Porretto, any and all genres are in most capable hands. The tariff is but a paltry 2.99 at Amazon, peoples, so hie thee thither. He also has a mention up over at his joint, which opens thusly:

Here it is at last: the long awaited fantasy novel by the foremost storyteller of our time…

(What’s that you say? I’m not the foremost storyteller of our time? Geez, what a letdown! Could you keep it to yourself until I sell a few books? Thanks.)

Heh. Pas de sweat, Fran, we’ll keep it strictly on the down-low over here.

I don’t want to live in a world without a Weinermobile in it

I swear, folks, I have this nagging recollection of having seen a most disturbing story someplace or other claiming that Oscar Mayer was doing away with its fabled fleet of Weinermobiles. Naturally, I was aghast at the grievous blow to classic Americana such a cancellation would represent. Worse still, though, is that in today’s PC nightmare it isn’t at all hard to imagine it happening. I’m quite sure that the “waste and excess” of it; the damage to Gaia from CO2 emissions and fossil-fuel usage; the safety hazards created by having these large, unwieldy vehicles lumbering across the nation, etc etc etc have made for some real headaches for Oscar Mayer in recent years.

The steady stream of protests, whining, and threats of violence doubtless endured by the fine folks at Oscar Mayer for this horrid display of callousness, reckless disregard, and bad stewardship would no doubt make deciding to just say to hell with it pretty much a no-brainer for at least some of the OM suits. Thankfully, however, I looked around some and could find no confirmation of my admittedly vague memory, nor even a hint of such. Eventually I ended up stubling across the very font of all things Weinermobile: Oscar Mayer’s own Weinermobile website, which is a laff riot. That happy sojourn led to further wanderings, which wound up providing all the excuse I’ll ever need to commend y’all’s attention to this treasure trove of fun facts. A sampling:

1940 Wienermobile:
The 1940’s Wienermobile was a bit smaller than the 1930’s model and featured a small pod on top for the driver as well as a hatch at the very rear for the ‘world’s tiniest chef’ to poke out of.

Wienermobile Specifications, 1940:
Builder: General Body Company of Chicago, Illinois

Cost: $5,000

Bells and Whistles: 13 feet of metal in the shape of an Oscar Mayer Wiener, open cockpits in center and rear of vehicle

Yes, of COURSE they have pictures. But alas, all is not perpetual sunshine and lightness of heart; even in Weinerville, trouble can rear its ugly head now and then.

Oscar Mayer Wienermobile pulled over for being a road hog
The Wienermobile just got a good grilling — from cops.

The famous Oscar Mayer marketing vehicle was stopped Sunday for hot-dogging on a road in Wisconsin, deputies in Waukesha County said.

The department seemed to relish the bust in a Facebook post.

“What really happened on that fateful day with the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile?” the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department said Monday. “The driver of the ­#Wienermobile was stopped and given a verbal warning by a Waukesha County Sheriff’s Deputy for not following the Move Over Law.”

The law requires drivers to move over a lane if they see emergency vehicles on the side of the road with their lights on — and the rule applies even to the operators of ­Wienermobiles.

God bless the Weinermobile, I say. May it grace our cultural landscape forever, to go on roaming America’s great highways and byways to bring a smile, a laugh, or simply a quick, delicious lunch to all people of good will everywhere.

Delusions and conceits, shattered

This is such a thoroughly refreshing change from the usual blibbering lunacy force-fed to us at every turn, I’m just gonna have to excerpt at quite some length.

In a powerful commentary in the Feb. 3 edition of The Wall Street Journal, biologists Colin Wright and Emma Hilton explain that, scientifically, there are only two sexes, male and female, and there is no sex “spectrum.” They also stress that “biologists and medical professionals” must stop being politically correct and “stand up for the empirical reality of biological sex.”

With the phenomenon of some men saying they “identify” as women and some women saying they “identify” as men, or any “gender identity” combination therein, “we see a dangerous and anti-scientific trend toward the outright denial of biological sex,” state the biologists Wright and Hilton. 

This notion that there is a sex “spectrum,” where people can choose “to identify as male or female,” regardless of their anatomy, is irrational and has “no basis in reality,” say the biologists. “It is false at every conceivable scale of resolution.”

As they explain, “In humans, as in most animals or plants, an organism’s biological sex corresponds to one of two distinct types of reproductive anatomy that develop for the production of small or large sex cells—sperm and eggs, respectively—and associated biological functions in sexual reproduction.”

“In humans, reproductive anatomy is unambiguously male or female at birth more than 99.98% of the time,” they write. “The evolutionary function of these two anatomies is to aid in reproduction via the fusion of sperm and ova.”

“No third type of sex cell exists in humans, and therefore there is no sex “spectrum” or additional sexes beyond male and female,” state the biologists. “Sex is binary.”

Furthermore, “the existence of only two sexes does not mean sex is never ambiguous,” write Hilton and Wright.  “But intersex individuals are extremely rare, and they are neither a third sex nor proof that sex is a ‘spectrum’ or a ‘social construct.'”

The fact that it IS such a refreshing change—that such a self-evident truth even needs to be said at all; worse, that openly doing so in today’s stultified atmosphere feels like an act of heroic daring—is a dismal marker of how successful the Marxist campaign to disrupt and weaken American culture via undermining our understanding of reality itself has been.

Cautionary note to any shitlib who has wandered in here by mistake and now might want to argue that these guys are just your typical Reich-wing fascist H8RRRZ!! pimping the usual revanchist falsehoods, with nary a tolerant liberal bone in their bodies: better think again. I’ll kindly boldface the dispositive parts to make it easier for ya. You can thank me later.

According to Wright and Hilton,  denying the “reality of biological sex” in favor of subjective “gender identity” raises “serious human-rights concerns for vulnerable groups including women, homosexuals and children.”

Women have fought hard for sex-based legal protections. Female-only spaces are necessary due to the pervasive threat of male violence and sexual assault. Separate sporting categories are also necessary to ensure that women and girls don’t have to face competitors who have acquired the irreversible performance-enhancing effects conferred by male puberty. The different reproductive roles of males and females require laws to safeguard women from discrimination in the workplace and elsewhere. The falsehood that sex is rooted in subjective identity instead of objective biology renders all these sex-based rights impossible to enforce.

Denying biological sex also “erases homosexuality” since “same-sex attraction is meaningless without the distinction between the sexes.”

Many activists now define homosexuality as attraction to the “same gender identity” rather than the same sex. This view is at odds with the scientific understanding of human sexuality. Lesbians have been denounced as “bigots” for expressing a reluctance to date men who identify as women. The successful normalization of homosexuality could be undermined by miring it in an untenable ideology.

See what I mean? Scientists whose views include a willingness to condemn the self-serving irrationality spewed by strident “transgender” lunatics openly…yet in the next breath mechanically regurgitate tired liberal shibboleths asserting that the threat of “male violence and sexual assault” is “pervasive,” rather than an aberration affecting only a statistical handful of psychologically disordered and dysfunctional men, tendencies which are condemned by the overwhelming majority; who offer unquestioning support for purported “sex-based rights” that are actually special privileges and status—ie, a pernicious form of sexual discrimination based on prejudiced assumptions; and who fret over the possibility of calling into question the “successful normalization of homosexuality,” which they obviously take to be an unassailable boon to society, rather than the bestowing of yet more special privileges and accomodations they have slowly evolved into; such views are NOT indications of any sort of “Reich-wing” extremism, mmmmkay?

Which just means that biological reality remains difficult for even liberal-leaning scientists to deny, or a couple of them anyway. Nice to know that even now, political correctness only carries some of us so far along the path to inanity and tail-biting irrationality.

“Daddy, how do airplanes fly?”

Correct answer: nobody really knows.

No One Can Explain Why Planes Stay In The Air

  • On a strictly mathematical level, engineers know how to design planes that will stay aloft. But equations don’t explain why aerodynamic lift occurs.
  • There are two competing theories that illuminate the forces and factors of lift. Both are incomplete explanations.
  • Aerodynamicists have recently tried to close the gaps in understanding. Still, no consensus exists.

In December 2003, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first flight of the Wright brothers, the New York Times ran a story entitled “Staying Aloft; What Does Keep Them Up There?” The point of the piece was a simple question: What keeps planes in the air? To answer it, the Times turned to John D. Anderson, Jr., curator of aerodynamics at the National Air and Space Museum and author of several textbooks in the field.

What Anderson said, however, is that there is actually no agreement on what generates the aerodynamic force known as lift. “There is no simple one-liner answer to this,” he told the Times. People give different answers to the question, some with “religious fervor.” More than 15 years after that pronouncement, there are still different accounts of what generates lift, each with its own substantial rank of zealous defenders. At this point in the history of flight, this situation is slightly puzzling. After all, the natural processes of evolution, working mindlessly, at random and without any understanding of physics, solved the mechanical problem of aerodynamic lift for soaring birds eons ago. Why should it be so hard for scientists to explain what keeps birds, and airliners, up in the air?

Even as extraordinarily broad and supple an intellect as Einstein’s couldn’t suss it all out:

In Germany, one of the scientists who applied themselves to the problem of lift was none other than Albert Einstein. In 1916 Einstein published a short piece in the journal Die Naturwissenschaften entitled “Elementary Theory of Water Waves and of Flight,” which sought to explain what accounted for the carrying capacity of the wings of flying machines and soaring birds. “There is a lot of obscurity surrounding these questions,” Einstein wrote. “Indeed, I must confess that I have never encountered a simple answer to them even in the specialist literature.”

Einstein then proceeded to give an explanation that assumed an incompressible, frictionless fluid—that is, an ideal fluid. Without mentioning Bernoulli by name, he gave an account that is consistent with Bernoulli’s principle by saying that fluid pressure is greater where its velocity is slower, and vice versa. To take advantage of these pressure differences, Einstein proposed an airfoil with a bulge on top such that the shape would increase airflow velocity above the bulge and thus decrease pressure there as well.

Einstein probably thought that his ideal-fluid analysis would apply equally well to real-world fluid flows. In 1917, on the basis of his theory, Einstein designed an airfoil that later came to be known as a cat’s-back wing because of its resemblance to the humped back of a stretching cat. He brought the design to aircraft manufacturer LVG (Luftverkehrsgesellschaft) in Berlin, which built a new flying machine around it. A test pilot reported that the craft waddled around in the air like “a pregnant duck.” Much later, in 1954, Einstein himself called his excursion into aeronautics a “youthful folly.” The individual who gave us radically new theories that penetrated both the smallest and the largest components of the universe nonetheless failed to make a positive contribution to the understanding of lift or to come up with a practical airfoil design.

Can’t recollect via whom I found this one; I suspect it was probably Insty, but a bit of searching around at his place didn’t turn it up. Whoever it was, my abjectest apology for failing to acknowledge the find with a return link. It’s a fascinating article all around, if you’re into the whole aviation thing. Which, y’know, I am.

Gloves: still OFF

Trump unleashed.

The Trump administration has removed 70 Obama holdovers at the National Security Council (NSC), Washington Examiner columnist Paul Bedard reported on Monday.

The Trump administration has removed 70 Obama holdovers at the National Security Council (NSC), Washington Examiner columnist Paul Bedard reported on Monday.

The administration removed Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a key witness in the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, from his post at the NSC last week. It also removed his twin brother Yevgeny, who worked as a lawyer on the NSC.

While Vindman has denied knowing the identity of the “whistleblower,” he has been suspected of being a leaker in the past.

A good enough start, to be sure. But Booboo Vindaloo of right ought to be sitting in prison for that leaking, among several other things, and I for one won’t be truly satisfied until he is. There’s a bunch of other news along these same lines out there today; I’ll shift you over to Sefton’s morning roundup for all that stuff, and limit myself to this one.

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2021 includes sweeping cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Commerce, and foreign aid, the White House announced Sunday.

The budget cuts funding to the EPA by 26%, foreign aid by 21%, and the DOC by 37%, though the majority of that could be attributed to the completion of the 2020 census. 

For the first time, the fiscal year 2021 budget will feature a chapter devoted entirely to eliminating “wasteful” government spending, as previously reported by Daily Caller.

The proposal targets agencies with overlapping and similar goals, agencies that provide similar or identical services to the same group of recipients, programs without a clearly defined federal role, federal programs that mirror state-level initiatives and erroneous payments.

Now, you might say that this doesn’t really matter much, and you’d be more or less right about that; none of it has the proverbial snowball’s chance of being implemented. Any President’s budget proposal is just that: a proposal. The House holds the pursestrings, and the House is currently in the hands of Guess Who. The odds of them paying a second’s worth of attention to what Trump asks for in any imaginable circumstance currently stand somewhere between “zero” and “you must be joking.”

Nonetheless, I still like it anyway. If nothing else, it’s yet another signal to Real Americans that their President is still engaged, still doing battle on their behalf, still undaunted and aggressively making whatever moves he can towards fulfilling his promises to them. The political PR benefits come November should be pretty obvious. It’s also a timely warning shot across the Democrat-Socialist bow that he’s stood up to the worst they could throw at him so far, yet somehow the band still plays “Hail To The Chief” whenever he enters a room. Rubbing their noses so thoroughly in last week’s humiliating crash ‘n’ burn like that, again and again, has tremendous psy-ops value, if nothing else.

Why no, I am NOT tired of all the winning yet.

Character flaws

Hate to have to do it and all, but I fear I’m gonna have to pick a few nits with the esteemed CBD’s premises here.

President Trump has many character traits that seem, at first glance, to be wonderful openings for his political opponents to make substantive inroads on his popularity with the 20% of the voters who are not firmly in one camp, and perhaps decrease the enthusiasm with which his base supports him.

Here is a partial list, in no particular order, and without vetting for accuracy. But any casual perusal of the raw sewage pouring out of the media will lend support to these tendencies.

He is undoubtedly thin-skinned,

Could be, could be. Alternative take, though, is that Trump does not suffer fools gladly, nor does he let an insult, slight, or treachery pass him by without returning the favor in spades. After seeing the deluge of pure shit he’s been indundated with the past three years, I’m okay with that myself. In fact, the more he bristles, bares the claws, and attacks, the happier I’ll be. If fighting back hard against any and all provocation is being thin-skinned—and perhaps it is—well, so be it.

Note too, though, that Trump was clever enough to entirely ignore the Shittpeachment farce in his SOTU last week, not mentioning it even once. In that case, he managed to suppress any reflexive tendency towards being thin-skinned at least enough to use forebearance to his own tactical advantage, which says a few encouraging things about him too.

is prone to exaggeration and hyperbole

Alternative take: is confident, a perennial salesman and self-promoter, and a self-made larger than life character.

uses odd grammatical constructions that seem ripe for parody

And that prevents his opponents from pinning him down, keeping them off-balance and uncertain.

has goofy hair

Hey, he’s 70 and still HAS hair. I just turned 60 and am quite frankly envious.

Is curiously uninterested in reining in a bloated federal budget

This is the one I have the hardest time disputing. On the other hand, the budget is Congress’s responsibility, not his; there just isn’t a hell of a lot he can do about it, even if he wanted to.

is a big fan of firing people, and on and on.

Another one I don’t have any problem with. Actually, in my opinion he hasn’t fired NEARLY enough people since taking office. Hopefully he gets himself good and busy with rectifying that after re-election.

I’m only needling CBD a little with this, but there is one complaint about Trump we hear constantly, mostly from people whose criticism is a lot less constructive than CBD’s and whose motives are questionable at best: his Tweeting. They claim Trump’s Twitter assaults are rude, vulgar, and a childish affront to the solemn dignity of his exalted position. They wish he would just cut it out already, relying instead on Enemedia to honestly vet and oversee his statements rather than bypassing them to communicate directly with the people via Twitter.

Stuff and nonsense. Taking to Twitter to both needle his adversaries and inform his supporters is simply Trump making good use of an extremely popular platform to reach as many people as possible, directly and without interference or manipulation by any self-appointed “gatekeepers.” FDR did pretty much the same thing:

The fireside chats were a series of evening radio addresses given by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt (known colloquially as “FDR”) between 1933 and 1944. Roosevelt spoke with familiarity to millions of Americans about the promulgation of the Emergency Banking Act in response to the banking crisis, the recession, New Deal initiatives, and the course of World War II. On radio, he was able to quell rumors and explain his policies. His tone and demeanor communicated self-assurance during times of despair and uncertainty. Roosevelt was regarded as an effective communicator on radio, and the fireside chats kept him in high public regard throughout his presidency. Their introduction was later described as a “revolutionary experiment with a nascent media platform.”

The series of chats was among the first 50 recordings made part of the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress, which noted it as “an influential series of radio broadcasts in which Roosevelt utilized the media to present his programs and ideas directly to the public and thereby redefined the relationship between President Roosevelt and the American people in 1933.”

I just bet the tightassed fussbudgets of that era didn’t care much for FDR’s end-run around the gatekeepers, either. I noticed a huge irony in the above-quoted Wiki, boldfaced below:

It cannot misrepresent or misquote. It is far reaching and simultaneous in releasing messages given it for transmission to the nation or for international consumption.
— Stephen Early, FDR press secretary, on the value of radio

Roosevelt believed that his administration’s success depended upon a favorable dialogue with the electorate — possible only through methods of mass communication — and that this would allow him to take the initiative. The use of radio for direct appeals was perhaps the most important of FDR’s innovations in political communication. Roosevelt’s opponents had control of most newspapers in the 1930s and press reports were under their control and involved their editorial commentary. Historian Betty Houchin Winfield says, “He and his advisers worried that newspapers’ biases would affect the news columns and rightly so.” Historian Douglas B. Craig says that he “offered voters a chance to receive information unadulterated by newspaper proprietors’ bias” through the new medium of radio.

How very odd that the Left doesn’t seem nearly so concerned about media bias or its corrosive effects these days. In fact, having been in charge of Old Media for so long now, they take its power to drive the national debate as read, viewing any challenge to its waning might as the threat to them that it truly is. It’s no wonder they’re so put out by Trump’s “unpresidential” Tweeting, and petulantly demand that he knock it off.

Behind the scenes at Limbaugh’s SOTU appearance

Rush explains how another of Trump’s pure-genius victories from the week past actually transpired.

Now, I know many of you want to know the story of the State of the Union address on Tuesday night and how that all happened, and someday I hope to be able to tell you the entire story. I can’t tell you the entire story now without divulging medical details that I, frankly, don’t want to give. I don’t want to give people an opportunity to start investigating and writing about and pronouncing opinions and this kind of thing. People know enough about what I have.

It’s late stage. It’s advanced lung cancer. But there’s good news associated with the diagnosis and the treatment. So we are where I am to have the first procedure that will set up the beginning of treatment. This is Tuesday, and it is scheduled for 5 o’clock in the afternoon. We took no clothes, Kathryn and I. We just… We went Grub City with shorts, T-shirts. I mean, the whole week’s gonna be in the hospital.

There’s no reason to take a coat and tie. There’s no reason to pack a whole bunch of stuff that you’re never gonna use. “Light” was the byword. The procedure was gonna be 5 o’clock in the afternoon. I’d have to show up for it at 12 noon to do the prep, talk to the doctors and so forth. At 9 a.m., the phone rings. I’ve got the number in my address book. So it’s the White House. I answered the phone, and they said, “Can you hold for President Trump?”

I said, “Yes.”

“Rush! Rush! How you doing, buddy? Great to hear from you! Hey, look, what are you doing later today?”

I said, “Well, I have a serious medical procedure that’s gonna start — all this — at 5 o’clock.

“Well, look, what’s the doctor’s name? I want to call him and have him delay it for a couple days ’cause I need you down here tonight.”

I said (chuckles), “Uh… (chuckles) Mr. President, um… I’m stunned.”

He said, “Look, your health comes first; there’s no question. But can’t they just do half of what they’re gonna do and then send you down here? Believe me, you don’t want to miss this. It’s gonna be great. It’s gonna be great. You don’t want to miss this.”

Well, I don’t know what’s up. He told me he wanted me to be his guest at the State of the Union, that he was gonna mention my name, recognize me. I hung up the phone and for the next hour and a half, I agonized — I literally agonized — over what to do. Kathryn and I are both sitting in the hotel room. As time is marching on, we’re faced with the possibility of having to ask an entire medical team to broom their schedule and reschedule to accommodate this.

An hour and a half later, I called the president back and tried to tell him no. Remember, I don’t know what’s gonna happen. I have no idea. I just… He’s told me, by the way… I should say, he has told me that he’s gonna present me with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, but a couple weeks from now in the Oval Office. I had no idea at this particular time on Tuesday morning that this was gonna happen at the State of the Union, and he didn’t tell me during all these phone calls.

Which is what makes this another genius Trump move. I read somewhere or other earlier this week that the reason Trump did it this way was that he felt waiting for a small, quiet WH ceremony in a couple of weeks would effectively deny Rush the wider recognition he wanted him to have, that the Fake News media would just ignore it or cover the whole thing up. Which was almost certainly correct, the safest of assumptions.

Given how the rest of the week since has gone, I also strongly suspect that Trump anticipated the explosion of rage and murderous hatred from the rancid Left, a response that has disgusted so many Normals across the nation. Trump handled this the way he did in part as a provocation he knew the frothing, flailing lunatics couldn’t possibly resist. He baited them, they bit down hard, and it ended up hurting them badly.

Again.

So I called him back around 10:30, intending to be as persuasive as I could, to thank him and just say that there was too much here to overcome to get down there, including the medical schedule. The doctors and everything have been scheduled. This story, if I could tell it — and someday, I’m gonna be able to give you every detail here. But for people that do not know Donald Trump, this story will explain him, his essence, his attitude toward life.

There simply is nothing you can’t do. There’s nothing that can’t be done, and there’s not a single obstacle that can’t be dealt with — and it’s not even hard. It’s not even… He didn’t have to stop and think for a moment about this. Now, granted he’s got presidential power. If he wants to clear us into Reagan National, if he wants to send a car for us and get us from the airport to the White House, he can do all of that — and he did, and he was willing.

But the fact was that this is what he wanted, but not for him, you see? It was for me, and he wasn’t going to let me talk myself out of it. Part of me is not wanting to create any problems for him. I mean, he’s got so many more important things to do than deal with logistics, and I told him. He said, “You think I’m gonna do it? I’ve got people here! What do you mean? I’m gonna call a guy here; in an hour, all this will be done. All you gotta do is find a way to get the clothes.”

Lots, lots more to the story at the link, all of it fascinating. We’re fortunate indeed to have these two men. The flipside, unfortunately, is that they’re both damned nigh irreplaceable. The hole created when they exit the national stage will be deep, wide, and difficult if not impossible to fill. It’s probably the only hope the Democommies have left. Somehow, we must see to it that it remains a vain one.

Gloves: OFF

You can’t win, Stretch. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.



SUCK it, fuckfaces. Suck it good, suck it long, suck it hard. If you spit, you start again.

Ahh, but does it get even better? I thought you’d never ask: Both the HEROIC!!!™ Vindaloo Blue Falcons got their soft, doughy asses frogmarched out of the White House today:

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman was fired from his job at the White House on Friday. He was not expected to leave his post in July, but the Washington Post reported Friday morning Vindman and “other national security officials who testified or cooperated with House Democrats” were being considered for dismissal. According to the earlier report, Trump discussed with aides removing officials he called “disloyal.” According to that earlier report, Vindman will be assigned a different position in the Department of Defense.

Vindman’s twin brother Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, a National Security Council attorney, was also fired, and both were escorted off the White House grounds.

Too, too delicious.

Trump was asked about Lt. Col. Vindman earlier on Friday. “Well, I’m not happy with him. You think I’m supposed to be happy with him? I’m not.”

That said, Trump needs to proceed with caution when it comes to firing people who have testified against him. Trump should be able to trust that members of his administration aren’t trying to undermine him from within, but any mass firing of individuals could backfire on him politically.

Stuff, nonsense, and bullshit. This sort of thorough housecleaning is exactly what Trump was elected to do; on the contrary, after being unleashed via the implosion of the phony Shampeachment coup attempt, FAILING to follow through on his promise to drain the damned Swamp is what would cost him politically.

Thankfully, our God Emperor seems to harbor absolutely NO inclinations in that direction. But even with the joyous news of the Vindaloo bints getting the bum’s rush, the Greatest President In American History wasn’t finished yet.

Ambassador to the European Union Gordan Sondland announced Friday that he was being recalled from his post by President Donald Trump.

“I was advised today that the President intends to recall me effective immediately as United States Ambassador to the European Union,” he said in a statement.

Sondland testified in President Trump’s impeachment trial, informing members of Congress that in his mind he felt there was a quid quo relationship between the president’s decision to halt aid to Ukraine and convincing Ukrainian officials to announce an investigation into Hunter Biden and the corrupt gas company Burisma.

Okay, that’s GOTTA be about it, right? I mean, just that much amounts to a fairly historic and frabjous day; there CAN’T be more, can there?

Why, hush yo’ mouf, honeychile.

The Department of Homeland Security has suspended Global Entry and several other trusted traveler programs for all residents of New York.

Chad Wolf, the Acting Homeland Security Chief, was on Fox News Wednesday night when he told host Tucker Carlson that all residents of the Empire State will be unable to enroll in the programs that make flying both domestically and internationally smoother.

Wolf said that New Yorkers “can’t enroll or re-enroll” in the Trusted Traveler Programs — which includes Global Entry, Nexus and more — because the department “no longer [has] access to make sure that they meet those program requirements.”

The news from the Trump administration official comes in response to New York’s sanctuary and Green Light laws, which allow residents to apply for a driver’s license or learner’s permit regardless of their immigration status.

In a letter to New York State officials, Wolf noted that the law prohibited state DMVs from sharing criminal records with Customs and Border Protection (CBP), as well as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The law “compromises CBP’s ability to confirm whether an individual applying for Trusted Travelers Program membership meets program eligibility requirements” and hinders ICE and their agents from fulfilling their mission.

Quoth the Ace, so very pithily:

Awwww, the well-heeled Acela Corridor class is going to have to suffer some inconvenience due to their own #Resistance policy choices, which put other Americans’ very lives in danger.

Cry more, bitches.

If you don’t like it: Secede.

To which I can only append:




Speaking of Ace, he laid utter waste to all the weepers, pissers, moaners, and boll weevils lamenting the beyond-righteous Vindaloo Boys shitcanning as well:

The left is now playing the game they play with all Republican presidents, insisting that Republican presidents must keep on partisan Democrat staffers.

Remember when Clinton fired all the currently serving US Attorneys, who’d been appointed by Bush the Elder? Probably not, because it wasn’t reported on. And it wasn’t reported on because of course an incoming president of the opposite party fires all the political appointees of the old regime.

But then the younger Bush fires all of Clinton’s US attorneys, and the press screams it’s unconstitutional and an attempt to establish a “unitary executive.” Which is supposed to sound ominous, but it’s not — the Constitution establishes a “unitary executive.” All lesser executive officials only exercise those powers devolved to them by the elected Chief Executive.

But during Republican administrations, the Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) start insisting that executive power is not vested in an elected Chief Executive, but resides chiefly with permanent or political bureaucrats, most of whom are Democratic operatives or strongly aligned with liberal policy positions, and that it’s an illegal abuse of office for the President to appoint people he trusts to those positions, or fire people he doesn’t.

Oh, and of course when Obama fired all of Bush the Younger’s US Attorneys — crickets from the media again.

Well, the National Security Council is supposed to advise Trump and if he doesn’t trust an adviser, he can fire him. And he should fire him.

Let’s hope Ciaramella gets transferred to a Bering Sea covert radar ship for his next assignment.

Well, now, that might be a little too vindictive; I’m not sure I could really endorse such a cruel…

Oh, who the hell am I kidding. Put every last treacherous, conniving Ogabe stay-behind to work scrubbing the White House toilets with a toothbrush, sez I. Their own personal ones, preferably. But hey, I’m a reasonable man; I’d be willing to settle for a one-way trip to the breadline, eternal destitution, and want for each and every one of them, too.

As Limbaugh has said so many times: this is what fighting back looks like. Let the NeverTrump Cuckpublicans, the effete handwringers, the Democrat-Socialist Party, and Enemedia (BIRM) cry as bitterly and copiously as they like. Let them wail about how “ugly” it all is. Don’t care, not a whit. A defeat for them is always and forever a victory for America, and at long, long last America has a champion willing and eager to wage total war on her behalf. You gotta cut the grass to see the snakes.

A grim morn, a glad day, and a golden sunset.

Update! As always, Kurt is having himself entirely too much fun.

Three Glorious Days of Democrat Agony
So, February 3, 4, and 5, 2020 were pretty much the most miserable three days in the history of the Democratic Party. I’m not laughing, really I’m not! You know how sometimes you have a bad day when nothing goes right? Well, these super-achievers managed to triple that streak. They are achievers in the same sense Hoover Snort Biden is an achiever.

Let’s start with Monday, February 3rd and the Iowa Caucuses. In their defense, it wasn’t like they had four years to get prepared to handle…counting. Oh wait, they did have four years to handle…counting. Okay, well, then in their defense they went to unionized failing government schools, so counting is hard. But not for the Republicans, who managed to count their votes just fine.

As of when you read this, they might still not have actual numbers. Audie Murphy Buttigieg, Crusty Commie Curmudgeon and Chief Sitting Bolshevik may well all still be claiming victory, while Gropey J’s handlers are likely still complaining about the process and Not Senile Joe himself is chasing an uppity squirrel around a Nashua park.

Fresh from the hellish nightmare that was Monday came Tuesday with its own infernal events. The Iowa situation remained fluid, that fluid being similar to the hobo juice freely sprayed around Scat Francisco’s sidewalks. On Tuesday, rumors spread that Pete Rambo Buttigieg was linked to the mysterious app maker designated the fall guy for the caucus circus. Maybe it was true, maybe it wasn’t, but these are Democrats so it really doesn’t matter.

And then President Trump gave the best State of the Union speech pretty much ever, spending much of it listing real achievements that help real Americans while Nancy Pelosi fumed behind him, offering a running commentary to her invisible friend. Trump played the Dems like Pete Townsend plays the guitar.

These may have been good looks on college campuses and in communist bookstores, but not so much in the United States. The speech was masterful, and when Pelosi tore it up, she highlighted just how owned she was for the whole world to see.

Then February 5th came along and their impeachment collapsed into rubble. We all knew it was coming, but then … poof. Gone. You tried to take out the king, and you failed. How lame.

Sorry, but I must cut in to point out that February 5th was also my 60th (gulp!) birthday. I considered the Shampeachment implosion a most excellent birthday present, one we can all enjoy and remember fondly. Onwards.

Yeah, history will record that you managed to impeach Donald Trump. History will also record that Donald Trump beat you donkeys like rented mules.

Advantage, Trump.

No—advantage, America.

Happy happy joy update! The agony of their defeat is such a pleasure.

FOX News host Pete Hegseth was in Carthage, North Carolina, on Wednesday morning talking to voters. Pete was asking for their reaction to President Trump’s SOTU Address. One woman said it best “We need to put a cape on his back, an “S” on his chest, and call him Superman. No mortal man could take what he has took in the last three years and do what he has done.”

Most remarkable thing? Even now, they STILL cannot begin to fathom how Trump consistently outmaneuvers them; where his support really comes from; why it still exists; and what they must do to end this nightmare. They’re the smart people, the good people, the educated people, the competent people.

Aren’t they?

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