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.

The Teflon Don

Even in the current mess, the treacherous swine aren’t having things ALL their way.

A newly released ABC News/Ipsos poll finds that the attempts by the media and the Democratic Party to bash Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic have failed to sway voters. In fact, since the last time they polled the question, approval of Trump’s response to the pandemic has swung hugely in his favor.

According to the poll, which was conducted March 18-19th, 55 percent of voters approve of the way Trump “is handling the response to the coronavirus.” The poll shows a dramatic shift in opinion from a week earlier, when only 43 percent approved of Trump’s response to the virus.

This was not the only poll to show the public rally behind Trump during the pandemic. An Axios/Harris poll found virtually identical numbers in a survey conducted March 17-18, with 56 percent of Americans approving of Trump’s response to the pandemic, up from 51 percent in their previous poll.

In fact, the Harris poll shows Trump’s numbers have improved across the board. His overall approval went from 49 percent to 53 percent.

I saw a cheering sight earlier today, for whatever it might be worth. In the far corner of a local Wal-Mart parking lot, an enterprising middle-aged couple had set up a display table and awning to hawk miscellaneous Trump merchandise. They had “Trump 2020” banners flying over their little stand, with T-shirts, MAGA hats, and such-like paraphernalia on offer.

Now that was all fine and well, but better still was the gaggle of about fifteen or twenty customers queued up for their turn to plop down some hard-earned and grab themselves a souvenir. The crowd was chatting gaily among themselves, smiling and laughing, just generally enjoying a warm, pleasant Friday afternoon. Naturally, I honked and waved as I passed by.

Maybe I’m making a lot out of a little here, but I haven’t seen any impromptu Biden merch-purveyors around anywhere, and don’t expect to either. If I do, I don’t anticipate such a thing being any better-attended than Senile Grampy Joe’s campaign rallies have been.

Given the overwhelmingly negative coverage by the fake news media, complete with blatantly false stories, the fact that Trump’s approval in handling the pandemic is in positive territory is remarkable.

Au contraire, mon frere. At this point, all that “overwhelmingly negative coverage” is one of the things that’s driving those spiking numbers up. The peurile propaganda purveyors of Enemedia Inc, thanks to their own core dishonesty and doot-brained stupidity, have now created the situation they would very much like to have forestalled: the more they slam Trump, the harder his backers dig in their heels in support of him.

The horrid, hapless dolts have officially made Trump’s tongue-in-cheek campaign boast that he could “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters” into something very close to literal fact. Personally, I wouldn’t be much fussed about it if he took a Sunday afternoon stroll down Fifth Ave with guns ablaze myself, so long as it was Enemedia “journalists” he was blasting at. In fact, I’d guess more than just a few of us would be happy to chip in on ammo if that were the case, so as to avoid any risk of his running dry while doing the Lord’s work.

That’s how awful, how utterly despicable these alleged “people” are. Their own burning hatred and contempt, for Trump and for every Real American alike, has flashed back to sear them so badly that real Americans are now perfectly willing to overlook a broadening spectrum of transgressions solely for the purpose of pointing and laughing when the smug, whiny pinheads get their panties all in a wad over it. Trump is Our Guy, period, and to hell with what the enemy might think or say. The more the libtards screech the better we like it, and the more we hope to see of it from our esteemed Preznit.

Ask yourselves why we hate you, pissants.

It’s like the moronic mandarins of the mainstream media – luminaries like Honest Dan Rather, Brian “Badass Like Buttigieg” Williams, and Zombie Cronkite – got together to create a plan to make people hate the media even more than they already did. It was a daunting challenge, since people view the mainstream media as something akin to syphilis without the upside. But it’s as if they finally succeeded, accomplishing, against all odds, something besides failure, leveraging this pandemic to destroy the media forever. The Chinese Coronavirus Bat Soup Syndrome has taken what’s left of the media’s reputation, poured gasoline on it, then lit it on fire before flattening it with a bulldozer and finally having a Scat Francisco hobo download last night’s free bologna sandwich on the remains.

This was the media’s time to shine, a moment when we needed clear, objective information delivered by intelligent people who asked the important questions people care about so Americans could protect themselves and their families. It was a critical juncture when the media could step up and show us all that yes, the media is still important. It still matters. It still deserves our respect.

Instead we got, “Mr. President, isn’t accurately pointing out that the coronavirus originated in China racist?”

Really.

That was a thing.

Pointing out that the Wuhan flu came from Wuhan is racist.

Yep. If there’s any silver lining to be found shining forth from the grim Chinese Flu dustup, Leftymedia’s most spectacular self-beclownment to date—along with the collateral damage they incur from it—would have to be it.

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.

Backstory

I just gotta bring Georgiaboy61’s most excellent comment out front here, for anybody who might have missed it.

The convoluted logic by which Turkey was admitted to NATO was that Kemal Ataturk was a secular modernist ruler, and that by admitting the Turks, we could bottle up the Soviet Black Sea fleet while having the ability to station intermediate range nuclear missiles on their border.

The provocation of stationing missiles right hard up against the Soviet border was lost on the foreign-policy hawks, who did not realize that they had set the stage for the Cuban Missile Crisis by their action. Ataturk may or may not have been what he represented himself to be – a secular moderate (there is considerable evidence that he was not who he claimed to be) – but the fact remains that Turkey has been an explicitly Islamic nation for almost all of her long history, and perhaps the oldest and most-determined of the Islamic enemies of western (Christian) civilization.

We see this today under the neo-Ottoman ruler Recep Erdogan, an unreconstructed Islamic supremacist and Sunni Muslim who longs to return his nation to its glorious “golden age” as a new 21st-century caliph. Under Erdogan, Turkey is reverting to its historical mean and what it has heretofore always been – an explicitly Islamic nation.

Erdogan has done more than talk. He is one of the founders of ISIS/Islamic State, the Sunni Muslim direct-action jihad-terror group which has caused so much trouble across the Middle East and elsewhere in the world. In the recent past, Erdogan has been the biggest supporter of the group, and his son, Bilal, was caught red-handed smuggling oil to market in Turkish-flagged ships, the revenue from which had been funding the group’s operations.

Erdogan is also part of the cabal of globalists and other mischief-makers attempting to infiltrate millions of Muslims into old Europe, would-be conquerors for the new caliphate. His latest stunt along the Greek border is just his latest gambit. One in a long line of them.

The U.S. should remove its equipment, personnel and weapons from Turkey, as soon as possible, and then inform Ankara that they are no longer members of the NATO alliance. And if the other NATO members complain, then the U.S. should threaten to dissolve the alliance entirely. Once done, Turkey can then be treated as precisely what it is – an enemy of western civilization and of the alliance. Whereupon, if requested by Athens, NATO assets can be moved to Greece, should the need arise, to reinforce their borders.

Endorsed, to the last syllable, with all my heart and soul. Well done, G.

Again and again, the West has attempted to rehabilitate its Moslem enemy without Moslem consent or cooperation, recasting them as “moderates,” as “peaceful,” as civilized people who are “just like us” at bottom, who “love their children as much as we do,” without a single shred of evidence supporting any of it. The West perpetuates this pathetic self-delusion exclusively for its own near-term comfort and convenience, but the only thing such puerile folly has ever achieved is to convince the enemy of our weakness, our decadence, and our cowardice.

We crave safety so desperately that we’re willing to try nearly anything to get it, excepting of course the one and only thing that ever will: an honest, clear-eyed acceptance of certain unpleasant realities, along with the flinty resolution to act in accord with them.

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.

Nature, taking its course

UNEXPECTED!™

John Alpert is an American photojournalist whose work is featured in the Netflix documentary Cuba and the Cameraman. He first went to the island nation in 1972, a little more than a decade after the Cuban Revolution. Over the next 45 years, Alpert returned to Cuba, each time taking pictures of its towns and cities and people. The images he took are a timeline that chronicle how Castro’s socialist revolution played out for the Cuban people in the years that lay ahead.

SPOILER ALERT: it played out exactly the way it always does, in every place it’s tried. Shocking, I know.

To a young photojournalist who was idealistic and somewhat naïve at the time, socialism seemed to portend a bright future for Cuba. With its people happy and well taken care of by a paternalistic government, things were going well. But as time moved one, Cuba’s house-of-cards communist system fell apart. The free goods and services given to the Cuban people were funded not by the country’s top-down collectivist economy, but by a massive infusion of hard cash, gasoline, food, and other provisions from the Soviet Union. When the Soviets eventually pulled the plug as their own socialist economy was crumbling, the day-to-day lives of the Cuban people fell on hard times, a rude reminder of Margaret Thatcher’s observation the problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.

The once vibrant island nation of Cuba is but another place where socialism added to its unbroken trail of failure. The country’s capital, Havana, was once an international tourist destination. Known as the “Jewel of the Caribbean,” Havana was a glamorous city with beautiful homes and modern vehicles. After six decades of socialism, only the communist rulers and their cronies live in upscale homes, and the country’s poorly maintained roads are traveled by junker cars built in the middle of the last century.

Easy prediction: the longer they cling to socialism, the more all of these things will worsen. In some quarters, this strange phenomenon of escalating decay, collapse, and chaos is known as “bad luck.” In others, it is sometimes referred to as “getting the government you deserve—good and hard.” Not to worry, though; it’ll be diff’runt here in the US.

I find this next bit of puffed-up, self-dramatizing sanctimony hilarious:

Among the greatest heroes of the Cuban Revolution were two foreigners whose battlefield exploits were so legendary that they became the only non-Cubans to be awarded the rank of Comandante in Castro’s army. One was an idealistic 29-year-old American named William Alexander Morgan, the other a ruthless Marxist revolutionary from Argentina named Ernesto “Che” Guevara.

Hailed by Castro for acts of valor that earned him the affectionate nickname “the Americano,” Morgan said he joined the Cuban Revolution because “the most important thing for free men to do is protect the freedom of others.” 

Uh huh. And then—as also always, always, ALWAYS happens under Marxism/communism/socialism/Progressivism/WTFever—EVERYBODY’S freedom was taken away—along with their hope, their health, their wealth, their dignity, and their future. One just imagine the eager naif Morgan’s surprise at yet another thing that always happens:

A fervent anti-communist, Morgan was personally assured by Castro that communism would play no part in the future of the new Cuba. But once Castro had consolidated an iron-fisted grip on power, he revealed his true stripes.

NO! That just can’t be right. I can’t believe it. I won’t believe it.

I don’t quite grasp how any halfway intelligent person can honestly claim to be both a socialist revolutionary and a “fervent anti-communist” without suffering severe neck, spine, and brain injury from the whiplash effect of extreme cognitive dissonance. But that’s what the man says, so maybe I missed something somewhere along the line. Anyhoo, at the end of this article is a link to another worthy compendium on socialism’s inevitable failure from the same author.

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.

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.

Meatless makes morons

Well, DUH.

The vegan diet is low in – or, in some cases, entirely devoid of – several important brain nutrients. Could these shortcomings be affecting vegans’ abilities to think?

Hrmmm…let me see…since veg-head types seem to be overwhelmingly liberal/Left, I’m gonna have to go with “Oh HELL yes!” on that one.

The idea that avoiding meat is bad for our brains makes some intuitive sense; anthropologists have been arguing about what our ancestors ate for decades, but many scientists think that there was a lot of bone-crunching and brain-slurping on the road to evolving these remarkable 1.4kg (3lb) organs. Some have even gone so far as to say that meat made us human.

One reason is that intelligence is expensive – the brain devours about 20% of our daily calories, though it accounts for just 2% of our body weight – and what better way to find the enormous array of fats, amino acids, vitamins and minerals these fastidious organs require, than by feasting on animals which have already painstakingly collected or made them.

But though it’s hard to imagine our ancestors choosing turnips over tuna, today it’s a different story. According to the latest statistics, there are around 375 million vegetarians on the planet. In the West, veganism has ditched the hippie stigma to become one of the fastest-growing millennial trends; in the United States, it grew by 600% between 2014 and 2017. Meanwhile in India, meat-free diets have been mainstream since the 6th Century BCE.

Might at least partially explain why most of India is such a horrid, back-asswards dump, no? And why average IQ scores are declining, abruptly reversing a steady, 3-points-per-decade increase throughout the 20th century?

Ideally, to test the impact of the vegan diet on the brain, you would take a randomly selected group of people, ask half to stop eating animal products – then see what happens. But there isn’t a single study like this.

Instead, the only research that comes close involved the reverse. It was conducted on 555 Kenyan schoolchildren, who were fed one of three different types of soup – one with meat, one with milk, and one with oil – or no soup at all, as a snack over seven school terms. They were tested before and after, to see how their intelligence compared. Because of their economic circumstances, the majority of the children were de facto vegetarians at the start of the study.

Surprisingly, the children who were given the soup containing meat each day seemed to have a significant edge. By the end of the study, they outperformed all the other children on a test for non-verbal reasoning. Along with the children who received soup with added oil, they also did the best on a test of arithmetic ability. Of course, more research is needed to verify if this effect is real, and if it would also apply to adults in developed countries, too. But it does raise intriguing questions about whether veganism could be holding some people back.

In fact, there are several important brain nutrients that simply do not exist in plants or fungi. Creatine, carnosine, taurine, omega-3, haem iron and vitamins B12 and D3 generally only occur naturally in foods derived from animal products, though they can be synthesised in the lab or extracted from non-animal sources such as algae, bacteria or lichen, and added to supplements.

Others are found in vegan foods, but only in meagre amounts; to get the minimum amount of vitamin B6 required each day (1.3 mg) from one of the richest plant sources, potatoes, you’d have to eat about five cups’ worth (equivalent to roughly 750g or 1.6lb). Delicious, but not particularly practical.

And though the body can make some of these vital brain compounds from other ingredients in our diets, this ability isn’t usually enough to make up for these dietary cracks. For all of the nutrients listed above, vegetarians and vegans have been shown to have lower quantities in their bodies. In some cases, deficiency isn’t the exception – it’s completely normal.

For now, the impact these shortcomings are having on the lives of vegans is largely a mystery. But a trickle of recent studies have provided some clues – and they make for unsettling reading.

Well, unsettling if you’re a vegan, that is. Seeing as how there isn’t the slightest chance of me ever willingly making that switch, pas de sweat over here, thanks.

All my snark aside, this is actually a pretty interesting read.

Everything not forbidden is mandatory

Okay, I couldn’t keep myself from laughing out loud at this one.

Here is a story that shows progressive policies to be not only destructive, but also depressingly stupid. New York State recently passed a law requiring citizens to obtain a permit if they wish to gaze at the stars in public parks. No, really. You read that right. In New York, you must pay for a license to look at the freaking stars.

The Free Thought Project first reported on the story, explaining that “If citizens of the state wish to look up at the sky and view the stars at one of New York’s public parks, they will first have to obtain a ‘Stargazing permit.’” The site pointed out that pollution in the sky makes it more difficult for New Yorkers in “highly populated areas” to see the sky at night, so they travel to remote areas, many of which are located in state parks. 

The state is charging residents $35 to become a fully-licensed stargazer allowed to view the stars between January and December of the year. If you are not lucky enough to be a New York resident and you are just visiting, you will have to fork over $60 for the privilege of admiring your favorite constellation in the night sky.

“Lucky”? For certain values of the word lucky, I suppose. The more ironic ones.

The other problem is that there does not seem to be any real rationale behind the policy. Stargazing isn’t exactly known to be a dangerous pastime. Moreover, it does not cause any discernible inconvenience for anyone else. So why would they enact such a measure? The answer is simple: It is nothing more than a brazen money grab designed to separate New York residents from more of their hard-earned cash. 

In other words, New York’s government is needlessly restricting the liberty of its citizens to make a quick buck. The same folks who claim capitalists are evil are willing to use cynical political means to amass funds. Of course, requiring silly permits for activities that do not warrant them is the progressives’ bread and butter. It’s become an ingenious way for local and state governments run by far leftists to raise money while asserting their dominance over the populace. 

That last is the one that really matters. Granted, the Left does love itself some money-grabbin’. But even their blatant thievery is in service to an all-encompassing desire to control absolutely everything. Which, in turn, makes it necessary to constantly remind the serfs of just who is in charge around here, lest they begin to get…ideas about certain things.

Know what, though? I can’t really find it in me to get too exercised about this. Such demeaning, grubby nonsense is precisely the sort of thing one must expect from absolute Democrat-Socialist rule, which liberal New Yorkers have endorsed with their votes a bazillion times over, for decades. So now let those “lucky” New Yorkers enjoy the inevitable, predictable fruits of their own stubborn idiocy. Let them crawl on their knees to their masters to beg official permission to raise their heads and look up, ferchrissakes. Let them waste their hard-earned money to purchase this extravagantly generous boon from the Noble Ones upon whom they themselves foolishly bestowed such excessive power.

Maybe someday they’ll learn.

The looking glass, darkly

Steyn says Trump is the consequence of YOU.

For three years the question absorbing Swamp-dwellers has been: How did Trump get elected? According to Adam Schiff, the answer is the Russians. According to Hillary, the answer is sexism and/or Macedonian content farmers. According to the media, Trump “tapped into” a large segment of the American electorate’s ingrained sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia and other assorted bigotries. If these fine fellows were genuinely interested to know how Trump got elected, the quickest way to the answer would be for them to look in the mirror: Trump is the consequence of you. No Russians or Macedonians are required: it’s because of you – the permanent governing class. If the only alternative to Hillary is Jeb, it’s hardly a surprise that there’s a stampede to the “Neither of the Above” box. And, if the only fellow waiting over there is Donald J Trump, so be it: that’s on you.

As I put it just shy of two decades ago:

If the political culture forbids respectable politicians from raising certain topics, then the electorate will turn to unrespectable politicians.

And, when they do, it’s a conscious choice: they know what they’re doing. So, when the respectable class whines that “a real conservative walks with us” and therefore Trump can’t be a conservative because he doesn’t, they fail to grasp that that’s all the more reason to back him.

I understand that National Review has suffered somewhat since its “Against Trump” issue. That’s because, to reprise another old line of mine from four years ago, it’s always easier for the base to get itself a new elite than for the elite to get itself a new base. Given that the horrors they predicted failed to come to pass, and that the crisis of the republic these last three years has been the refusal of the permanent state to accept the result of the election, you might think, having hoist themselves on their own petard, National Review might wish to de-hoist and admit they were wrong. But, apparently, changing your mind is the ultimate no-no. 

From that first (National Review) headline “Witless Ape Rides Escalator”, much of the conservative establishment revealed its fundamental unseriousness. Most dismal of all, they failed to realize that it was they who were on the downward escalator – and still are.

Yeah, well, just wait till they see how very far down that thing actually goes. And suddenly I’m reminded of a classic AC/DC lyric from the Bon Scott days:

Come on honey gotta change your tune
Cause it’s a long way down

A DAMNED long way, bub. Ain’t no coming back from there, either. But maybe their mulish insistence on Resistance™ is an indication that they know that already. The ticket was bought, paid for, and punched a long time ago; might as well ride it on out to the bitter end.



What did the Ogabe junta know, and when did they know it?

Dirty as they come.

Fox News host Laura Ingraham reported Wednesday evening that she obtained a chain of State Department emails stemming from a standard request for comment from New York Times journalist Ken Vogel, whose reporting helped generate scrutiny of Hunter Biden’s ties to Ukrainian gas company Burisma.

On May 1, 2019, Vogel contacted State Department official Kate Schilling about a story he was working on regarding an Obama administration meeting in January 2016 with Ukrainian prosecutors and mentioned the name of the CIA analyst believed to be the whistleblower whose complaint sparked impeachment proceedings that led to two articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Ingraham did not state the name of the alleged whistleblower — Fox News hosts are banned from doing so until the identity is confirmed — and blacked out the name when showing excerpts of documents. However, she likely was referring to Eric Ciaramella, who some Republicans and conservative media figures believe is the whistleblower.

In the email, Vogel wrote, “We are going to report that [State Department official] Elizabeth Zentos attended a meeting at the White House on 1/19/2016 with Ukrainian prosecutors and embassy officials as well as … [redacted] from the NSC … the subjects discussed included efforts within the United State government to support prosecutions, in Ukraine and the United Kingdom, of Burisma Holdings, … and concerns that Hunter Biden’s position with the company could complicate such efforts.”

Trump, his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and other allies claim Joe Biden improperly used his role as vice president to pressure Ukraine to fire Shokin, who was widely seen as corrupt, in 2016 to protect his son from an investigation into Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company at which Hunter Biden held a $50,000-per-month position on the board. But the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, and other allies had the same objective, and Joe Biden was repeating U.S. policy that had been set out by Washington’s ambassador to Kyiv in the preceding months and was briefed by White House staff just ahead of the trip.

Joe Biden has dubbed the allegations as “false, debunked conspiracy theories” about him…

Why, of course they are, Gropey. Bizarrely, Honest Joe issued a more vehement and formal denial to his libmedia pals, urging them to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain:

Former vice president Joe Biden’s extraordinary campaign memo this week imploring U.S. news media to reject the allegations surrounding his son Hunter’s work for a Ukrainian natural gas company makes several bold declarations.

The memo by Biden campaign aides Kate Bedingfield and Tony Blinken specifically warned reporters covering the impeachment trial they would be acting as “enablers of misinformation” if they repeated allegations that the former vice president forced the firing of Ukraine’s top prosecutor, who was investigating Burisma Holdings, where Hunter Biden worked as a highly compensated board member.

Biden’s memo argues there is no evidence that the former vice president’s or Hunter Biden’s conduct raised any concern, and that Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin’s investigation was “dormant” when the vice president forced the prosecutor to be fired in Ukraine.

The memo calls the allegation a “conspiracy theory”  (and, in full disclosure, blames my reporting for the allegations surfacing last year.)

Uh huh. Which would no doubt be why you so obnoxiously bragged about it later, I guess.

It is irrefutable, and not a conspiracy theory, that Joe Biden bragged in this 2018 speech to a foreign policy group that he threatened in March 2016 to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid to Kiev if then-Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko didn’t immediately fire Shokin.

“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden told the 2018 audience in recounting what he told Poroshenko.

“Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time,” Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations event.

Yet more actual facts follow, every last word of which entirely damns Senile Uncle Gropey as precisely what he is and always has been: a wholly corrupt, dishonest, manipulative, and singularly incompetent political hack. Nick Arama poses the pertinent questions, saving the most important one for last:

Did someone squash it so as not to hurt Biden? Was this whole Ukraine call scam/whistleblower game cooked up to prevent all this from coming out because Trump had raised the issue of the case being possibly improperly shut down? And is it really not just to protect Biden but to protect the Obama administration in general from yet another scandal?

Oh, I think we can all guess the answers easily enough, thanks. The burning query at this point is simplicity itself: what, if anything, will be done about this?

Update! Hey, did somebody mention fake “whistleblower” and conniving Deep State grubworm Eric Ciaramella earlier?

Make no mistake. Although Democrats have tried mightily to convince America that their (fourth) impeachment effort developed spontaneously out of the patriotism of a career civil servant, the truth is, anti-Trump operatives in the president’s own NSC were already plotting to remove the president from office two weeks into his term. All they needed was a pretext to get the ball rolling. The Ukraine phone call in July 2019 provided the pretext they and their Democratic allies in the House had been waiting for.

As a former White House official told Sperry: “They had a political vendetta against him from Day One.”

I originally thought to include the meat ‘n’ potatoes of the Ciaramella revelation in the excerpt, but decided just to go with Heine’s closer instead. You’ll want to read all of it, though; it’s a veritable Who’s Who of Ogabe stay-behind saboteurs seeded throughout the FedGovCo permanent bureacracy, from shadow-government skulker Ciaramella to REMF doughboy Vindman, every last one of whom ought of right to be rockin’ orange for their acts of treason and sedition before too much more time passes.

Hirono speaks

Hilarity ensues.

On Tuesday, Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) told quite the whopper by claiming Republicans have been spreading a “weird conspiracy theory” that Democrats wanted to impeach Donald Trump since he was inaugurated.

“What I found astounding was they’re still saying that we were out to get the president from day one, some sort of a weird conspiracy theory that I have to say, even [Supreme Court Justice Brett] Kavanaugh brought up,” Hirono said on MSNBC.

For Mazie Hirono to claim Democrats haven’t been out to get Trump from the earliest days of his presidency is just bizarre, especially given the evidence.

Margolis lays out only the tip of the evidentiary iceberg; contra the idiot Horino, said evidence is plentiful, and utterly indisputable—except by lying and/or moronic Democrat-Socialist hacks trying to score a few cheap political points with an end-run around the truth, natch.

Getting what you voted for

My heart bleeds.

California has overreached in its effort to address the challenges in today’s tech platform gig-work economy. 

The live music sector, the progenitor of the term “gig” work, is being swept up by this law. The irony would be comical if it were not such a serious problem.

There are some worthy arguments to be made for Assembly Bill 5 by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, San Diego Democrat.

Like hell. There really is only the one argument, explicitly made by some Cali congresswoman or other when, in a rare burst of accidental candor, she complained that the state wasn’t glomming enough in tax dough off of rideshare drivers. Despite the property tax they pay on their cars, the fees for their license plates, the tax on every set of tires or quart of oil they buy, the tax on every gallon of gasoline, and their own yearly income taxes, they weren’t paying “their fair share,” see.

Funnily enough, though that revealing statement was fairly prominent in the reportage I saw at the time, it now seems to have vanished down the ol’ memory hole for some reason. I can’t imagine why.

Anyways, the writer quoted above is a California musician who feels “there are some worthy arguments to be made” for letting goobermint’s grubby thumbs dig deeper into any and everything it wishes, as long as they just leave him alone. His evident shock over this bit says it all:

However, the law has created a tangle of red-tape and administrative expense for large portions of California’s cultural sector.

NOOOO! Why, I can’t believe it! I WON’T believe it! Fret not, though; I’m sure things can all be ironed out with even more legislation, right? Right?!?

Under AB 5, we will be required to inform all U.S.-based musicians that they must now become employees of San Jose Jazz, or incorporate themselves before they will be allowed to perform for us.

If band leaders choose to pursue incorporation, they will then need to take on the responsibility of payroll and HR administration for the rest of their band.

In many performing arts disciplines, such as jazz, musicians are constantly reconfiguring line ups, performing as sidemen in various bands, and as one-time special guests for specific performances.

We will now be obliged to devote tremendous time and resources to constantly hiring, managing and tracking of musicians through this cumbersome process.

AB 5 unnecessarily complicates other work arrangements found in community cultural programming such as small festivals, neighborhood street fairs, parades and summer music series in our local parks.

San Jose Jazz is best known for producing our large Summer Fest which brings tens of thousands of visitors and requires hundreds of temporary roles to execute.

The vast majority of previously contract work roles will now be required to be employees. 

Tough noogies, pal. You voted for it, by electing nothing but Democrat-Socialists in your state for years and years. As the old saw has it, sooner or later they always get around to something you DO care about. And now they have. More SHOCKING yet:

Typical of such legislation, AB 5 comes with a hefty list of exempted categories that are a Who’s Who of the politically connected and well-funded: lawyers, doctors, accountants, brokers, builders, and others.

Actors, choreographers, dancers, directors, producers, and musicians are among numerous roles in the performing arts that exhibit a multitude of contract work arrangements. None of these are exempt from AB 5’s rules. 

So? If there are indeed “worthy arguments to be made” for handing government the power to make workplace rules of all sorts, why should performing artists be exempt from them, pray tell? Why should ANYBODY be? And can you really be so impenetrably naive as to find it surprising that the wealthy, powerful, and connected exempted themselves from the wonderful benefits of the law? Y’know, just like US Congresscritters routinely exempt themselves from having to comply with any and every piece of burdensome bushwa they roll downhill onto the rest of us?

Personally, after reading this whiny, clueless twaddle it would be a-okay with me if every last theater, concert hall, arena, neighborhood dive bar, and neo-hippie coffee house featuring annoying solo-acoustic singer/songwriters on the Left Coast closed up shop for good tomorrow as a result of this law. Voting the most intrusive, power-hungry nanny-staters extant into office again and again ought to be painful—not just for Uber and Lyft drivers struggling to eke out their meager living, but for everybody, right down the damned line. The lesson will be learned only after the misery is spread around widely enough for all to suffer. Let elections have consequences at last, I say.

HOW DARE YOU!!!

Yeah, great, we’ll get right on this. After we do some other things first.

The Guardian has published an open letter from teen climate alarmist Greta Thunberg and 20 other children in advance of the World Economic Forum in Davos listing their demands of the world’s leading countries.

She also notes that “many of us who signed this are children,” so “do not make up your own quotes or twist our words.” We’ve read the whole piece and can guarantee it wasn’t written by a 16-year-old, and we were a little disappointed that it wasn’t a list of demands, but rather just one:

We demand that at this year’s forum, participants from all companies, banks, institutions and governments immediately halt all investments in fossil fuel exploration and extraction, immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies and immediately and completely divest from fossil fuels.

We don’t want these things done by 2050, 2030 or even 2021, we want this done now – as in right now.

Kids often want things right now.

To twist a favorite retort of my dear old maternal grandma’s: “Demand” in one hand. Shit in the other. See which one gets full the quickest.

Greta is fastly evolving from a clueless, obnoxious, but still only moderately annoying little brat into a slightly more annoying little brat. Next time she decides to throw another tantrum like this, she needs to be sent straight up to bed without any dinner, made to stand in the corner for a couple hours, or bent over a knee and spanked. She “demands” a world without: transportation more efficient than horses or walking; anything made with plastic, which would necessarily include iPhones, computers, essential medical devices, many types of clothing, and way too much more to list; indoor lighting and heat; and oh, so very much more.

In other words, she demands that we revert to a way of living so primitive, so uncivilized, and so just plain miserable it’s too overwhelming to even contemplate for long. Average lifespan would go back to about 35 or so; starvation would again be the rule rather than exceptional; diseases once very nearly eradicated will once again be rampant. Tainted or spoiled food will become common thanks to the loss of modern vacuum-sealed packaging, which seals out bacteria and delays spoilage and rot. Speaking of food, everyone will pretty much be limited to whatever we can grow or hunt ourselves, without the variety, quality, and convenience of fully-stocked grocery stores and restaurants.

Yeah, no, Greta. You and all your moronic Green confreres are free to give up all that health, happiness, and ease to live the Cro-Magnon dream yourselves if you like; have at it, and best of luck to you. The rest of us like modernity just fine and will carry on as we were, thanksverymuch. We don’t intend to sit still while you regress the world into the savage, deadly conditions we spent thousands of years evolving our way out of.

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