SOLIDARNOSC!

Some eerie similarities.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Douglass-Tyrants.jpg


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

Wonder what the percentages might be

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cristina lays down the bottom-line law.

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

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

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

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.

Perfect game

A wonderful tale straight from the heart of America That Was.

BELLE VERNON, Pennsylvania—As Ron Necciai recalls, the first two batters both went down in strikes. The third guy got lucky—sort of. The ball got away from the catcher, who quickly got the batter out at first.

It was May 13, 1952, a cold, damp Tuesday night for 1,100 people at Shaw Stadium in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Necciai was pitching for the Bristol Twins, a Pittsburgh Pirate-affiliated Appalachian League farm team, against the Welch Miners.

The gangly 19-year-old from Gallatin, Pennsylvania, had no idea he would not leave the mound again that night. Nor did he know that his name and what he did in that game would be forever etched in baseball history books.

“The thing is, the game didn’t really stand out in any way when I was on the mound. I mean, I hit a guy, had a couple of walks and an error or two,” he told the Washington Examiner from his home, just eight miles south of the house he grew up in.

What the right-hander from a smoky coal town along the Monongahela River did not point out until prodded was that he struck out 27 batters in nine innings.

“I didn’t realize that 27 guys had struck out until after the game was over,” he recalled. “George Detore, who was the manager, came up to me and said, ‘Do you realize what you did?’ I said, ‘No. No. Why?’ And then he said, ‘Well, you struck out 27 batters.’ And always being a wise guy, I said, ‘So what? They’ve been playing this game for a hundred years. Somebody else did, too.’ Come to find nobody else ever did before or after.”

“I guess I lived a lifetime of baseball in one night,” said Necciai.

The National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues called the 27-strikeout game “the greatest individual performance in the history of baseball.”

And he did it while battling a bleeding ulcer that had him throwing up blood in the dugout before the game and drinking glasses of milk between innings to drown the heat that was burning his insides.

It is a record that has never been broken.

His 1952 minor league season on the mound remains one of the most dominant ever. In his next start a few nights later, he struck out 24. He got called up to play for the Pittsburgh Pirates in August 1952 and played until the end of the season. By the time he was 22, he was done in by a torn rotator cuff, something doctors did not know how to repair back then.

There are no stats for the speed of his pitches since there were no radar guns back then. But the legendary Branch Rickey (the famed baseball executive who signed Jackie Robinson) measured it perfectly: “I’ve seen a lot of baseball in my time. There have been only two young pitchers I was certain were destined for greatness simply because they had the meanest fastball a batter can face. One of those boys was Dizzy Dean. The other is Ron Necciai. And Necciai is harder to hit.”

The author of this fine piece misses on only one particular, when he proposes that the real beauty of baseball is in its slow, languid pace. But to my way of thinking, the real beauty of the game is in one simple, unavoidable fact: the pitcher on the mound can stall and lollygag to his heart’s content; the batter can step out of the box to tap his cleats, tug his crotch, and generally fumblefart around as long he may like. But sooner or later, come hell or high water, the eternal truth remains: the pitcher is going to have to heave that pill, and the batter is going to have to either swing or take.

There is no way around it, none at all. The confrontation MUST be resolved, and WILL be resolved. Ain’t no passing the ball around well outside the lanes to run out the clock on a slim lead as in basketball; ain’t no snapping the ball for the quarterback to fall on, milking seconds as the resulting pileup gets sorted out. There is the pitcher, there is the batter, and the better man in that singular moment will eventually out, no matter what else may or may not happen.

And THAT, my friends, is what they call baseball.

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)

To every thing, there is a season

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sick and tired

Of our free 30-day trial of Communism. Among other things.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I am finding that my patience is running thin with everything that is going on with the virus. I’ve never been much of a television watcher, but I still catch Tucker’s monologue a few times a week. I’ve stopped that this week as I cannot take another ad from a corporation telling me how much they care and how hard they are working on my behalf. I can’t take anymore nonsense about hero nurses and doctors. In fact, I’m starting to become a nursist.

Know what I’ve grown weary of myself? The sudden emergence of a new vapid, ubiquitous catchphrase for bidding farewell to strangers and/or passing acquaintances alike: “Be safe!” Before, we endured “Have a good one!” with gritted teeth. That one was plenty bad enough if you ask me. Now we’re stuck with this one, God help us.

Going outside has now become a depressing reminder that we now live in an explicitly authoritarian society. It used to be a very soft, passive-aggressive authoritarianism that you could ignore while enjoying your life. Now it is an in-your-face corporate authoritarianism that is impossible to ignore.

Well, yeah. It’s kinda hard to ignore a brand of authoritarianism that orders you to remain in your house indefinitely and summarily removes your ability to make a living, after all.

It is tempting to think that people will finally have enough and put an end to this madness, but that is a fantasy. The few brave souls taking a stand are getting support, for sure, but the bulk of the public is happy to be treated like children. You can be sure the majority oppose the protests at state capitals. Until the food runs out and the machine breaks, people will accept unlimited torment. That means we are left to hope for the end times if we want to escape this madness.

Pretty much, I’m afraid. In fact, as the COVIDIOT panic rapidly recedes in light of a manifest dearth of mass graves, rotting corpses stacked like cordwood and left to fester and ooze on city streets, and the complete breakdown of an overwhelmed health-care system, I’m seeing a perplexing surge in the number of people in masks.

Alas, though, like “Be safe!,” social distancing, and an annual lockdown as an ongoing test to gauge whatever might be left of American defiance and resolve, I suspect the masks are going to be with us from now on—an abiding thing, the New Normal. The sad, sorry truth is that we’ve let the Regulators get their fangs into us deeply. They’ve gotten the taste of blood in their mouths; like the vampires they are, they like it, and you can be sure they’ll be back for more.

RIP Little Richard Penniman

Belated, I know, but still. At the risk of making this post more about me than him (even though I’ll probably end up doing just that regardless) I’ll lead off with a snippet from the text conversation on Richard’s passing I had with my band’s former manager:

LittleRichardScreen-1.png

That last refers to a pic he included in the message, in which I am conspicuous only by my absence. Don’t worry, I’ll explain later.

Those three December nights remain among the most memorable of my entire life. We did three (3) shows opening for Little Richard at a legendary music hall called Tramps, on 20th Street in Manhattan. The above-mentioned Terry Dunne was the owner of that fine establishment, a big, bluff, Irish-to-the-bone man with some truly alarming IRA connections: bone thugs who would show up in NYC periodically when over here for a fundraising or arms-procuring jaunt, to the vague terror of one and all.

But it was the last night of that momentous three-night stand when Richard made the above-mentioned declaration, to the deep chagrin of a long, long line of autograph seekers—and to the spluttering rage of one Terry Dunne, who had a huge stack of Richard LPs he was hoping to get signed, a stack that ended up sitting untouched and forlorn by those famous hands on Dunne’s lonely office desk.

Almost didn’t get paid? Hell, we almost didn’t make it out alive. Mike, our manager, later told us that Terry was absolutely fuming when he went in to collect our fee that night—a handsome enough one by the usual NYC standard, as was always the case for us at Tramps. There was Terry’s big stack of LPs, unsigned. And there was Terry, screaming himself purple over how Richard had breezily dismissed one and all to spend thirty or forty of his precious green-room moments with us alone before announcing, “Y’all, I gots to GO! My legs, my legs are hurting! The legs is the first things to go!” and strolling right out surrounded by his entourage with nary a backwards glance at anybody.

Terry, poor guy, issued a few dire threats regarding things he really ought to hire somebody to do to us, then coughing up like a prince in the end. I stayed friends with Terry throughout the rest of my years in New York, even playing a few gigs with my local side-band at a little bar he opened up down on 1st and 1st, right off Houston Street. But the Belmont Playboys were pretty much persona non grata at Tramps after that.

Little Richard Penniman was known as The Architect of rock and roll, which was certainly accurate. There really was nobody quite like him; his piano playing was simultaneously frenzied yet virtuosic, and his singing was simply otherworldly, a revelation. He could growl, he could scream, he could croon, he could wail, every note of it pitch-perfect and bursting with a passion that was big as mountains and as moving as a desert sunset. He was less a performer than a force of nature, way larger than life both onstage and off. The truly astonishing thing isn’t how very good he was; given that the candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long, it’s that he lived as long as he did. When your peers are icons like Elvis, the Killer, Roy Orbison, Chuck Berry, and others, and you still stand out so sharply…well, that says one hell of a lot.

His band back then, the Upsetters, were every ounce equal to their Herculean task too; quite simply, they were probably the single best rock and roll backing band there ever was. Hey, when you can hire and then fire Jimi Fargin’ Hendrix, ferrchrissakes, none but a fool could consider you anything less than the creme de la creme:

Hendrix was an off-and-on member of Richard’s backup band, the Upsetters between late 1964–January 1965 until June–July 1965. So far, Hendrix biographers have identified only two songs he recorded with Richard, but are uncertain about the dates: “I Don’t Know What You’ve Got (But It’s Got Me)”, a two-part single released by Vee-Jay Records in November 1965, and “Dancing All Around the World”. Neither song appears on this album, although they are included on the West Coast Seattle Boy: The Jimi Hendrix Anthology (2010).

In July 1965, Hendrix played guitar during a WLAC-TV television appearance by Upsetters backup singers Buddy & Stacy. They performed the Junior Walker hit “Shotgun”, which was broadcast on Night Train, a Nashville, Tennessee, music variety show. Soon thereafter, Hendrix moved to New York City, where he sent a postcard to his father:

He [Little Richard] didn’t pay us for five and a half weeks, and you can’t live on promises when you’re on the road, so I had to cut that mess loose.

Richard’s brother, Robert Penniman, later claimed that Hendrix was fired because “he was always late for the bus and flirting with all the girls and stuff like that.”

Whatever the true story might be, the Upsetters were definitely the real deal all right, which this classic among classics demonstrates nicely.




One of the best tenor sax solos EVER, I think. Note ye well, though: the Upsetters could swing out, they could do jazzy, and they could turn on a dime and just rock the roof off the joint without seeming to break a sweat. But even so, it’s Richard you somehow can’t wrest your gaze from. That, too, says one hell of a lot.

And when we played with him at Tramps, the man STILL had every last bit of it. His band would take the stage without Richard first each night, spending about twenty or thirty minutes getting the SRO crowd good and warmed up. Richard would climb the long staircase up from the green-room dungeon near the last of the warmup set, waiting quietly and calmly in the wings behind the stage-right curtain to be brought onstage to a mad roar from the now-pumped crowd.

Which just happened to be where I was standing that last night, completely enraptured by his band and oblivious to the most august personage standing right beside me.

Little Richard really wasn’t particularly little at all, I realized when I turned to find him close by. He had a big head, big eyes, big hair, big hands, and a robust overall physique, even at the ripe old age of 60. Abruptly, I found myself in the immediate presence of true, honest-to-God greatness after not interacting with him at all on the previous nights. I struggled to come up with a few words to express my gratitude for the sublime honor of allowing us to share the bill with him for three nights.

And then came the moment I will never for one second forget. Richard stepped closer in, warmly grasped my hand in both of his, and then positively gushed with praise. Exact quote, as burned into my increasingly feeble brain for all time:

Oh, I just LOVE what you did with my friend Gene Vincent’s song! That Be Bop A Lula! You have SUCH a wonderful voice, so powerful! Thank you, thank you so much for that!!

Whereupon I immediately fell to my knees and kissed The Architect’s hand. I mean, come on, man! What the hell else was I going to do?

It might help you to better appreciate the impact if you recite the above words using your most flamboyant, gay-ass Little Richard voice, I dunno. Not that Richard was really gay, of course. No, Little Richard, elemental force of nature that he always was and will always remain, was parsecs beyond being tritely categorized as merely “gay” or “straight.” Richard was what one might call sexually omnivorous. To wit:

Beautiful, eccentric, fast, flashy, honest, intelligent, lascivious, rough, spiritual, trashy, wild, witty, the singer, pianist, saxophonist and raconteur Richard Wayne Penniman performing as the frightening and thrilling Little Richard is a musician’s musician and a pervert’s pervert.  Little Richard, who tried out some of his songs in front of audiences before recording them, an entertainer who challenged cultural barriers with his talent, and who for a time would live in Los Angeles in Sugar Hill near boxer Joe Louis, another Georgia boy from Macon, was a concert performer admired by fellow entertainers James Brown, Otis Redding, Elvis Presley, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Jimi Hendrix, Elton John, Michael Jackson, and Prince—and Richard’s gospel singing was admired by Quincy Jones and Mahalia Jackson.  Like many African-American artists, Richard Penniman would feel himself torn between the sensual and the spiritual.

Money and sex as well as the salvation of souls were, with music, among Little Richard’s lasting interests: they offered ecstasy, power, and transcendence.  Little Richard had a girlfriend named Angel who was a devilish sex vixen who became the practicing bisexual man’s friend, lover, and tool, as much of a freak as he was: “I loved Angel because she was pretty and the fellers enjoyed having sex with her.  She could draw a lot of handsome guys to me” (thus the libertine is quoted in 1984’s oral history of Little Richard’s life and career, The Life and Times of Little Richard by Charles White, originally published by Harmony Books in 1984, then Da Capo Press in 1994, and republished by Omnibus Press, 2003; page 73).  When the performer Buddy Holly walked into a backstage dressing room in which Little Richard and Angel were engaging in sex, Holly quickly joined them.  Following new religious devotion, Richard Penniman for a time would be married to a woman, Ernestine Campbell, who was satisfied with their married and sexual life but not with his renewal of show business obligations, leading her to seek a divorce.

I have that book around here someplace, and in its recounting of the Holly tale, Richard waxed rhapsodic about the size of Holly’s, umm, courting tackle, going on and on about how much fun it was to share out his then-girlfriend backstage before being walked in on by a stagehand anxious as to why Holly wasn’t onstage at the moment, like he was supposed to be. More from the same link:

“Homosexuality is contagious. It’s not something you’re born with. It’s contagious…The gay thing really came from me being with a guy called Bro Boy, who was a grocery boy. Bro Boy really laid me into that—he and Hester. It started with them and it growed.”
—Little Richard, page 11

“There was this lady by the name of Fanny. I used to drive her around so I could watch people having sex with her. She’d be in the back of the car, the lights on, her legs open, and no panties on. I’d take her around so that the fellers could have sex with her. She didn’t do it for money. She did it because I wanted her to do it. She wasn’t very old. I used to enjoy seeing that.”
—Little Richard, page 41

“We were breaking through the racial barrier. The white kids had to hide my records ’cos they daren’t let their parents know they had them in the house. We decided that my image should be crazy and way-out so that the adults would think I was harmless. I’d appear in one show dressed as the Queen of England an in the next as the pope.”
—Little Richard, page 66

“All I wanted was to have sex with the most beautiful women and get high…I used to like to watch girls be with girls, you know? I thought that was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.”
—Little Richard, page 178
 
“A habit like mine cost a lot of money. I was smoking marijuana and angel dust and I was mixing heroin with coke.”
—Little Richard, page 186

Those quotes make it plain that Richard was simply too supersized a character to ever be constrained within definitions meant to apply to mere mortals. His appetites—sexual and otherwise—could never have been anything short of voracious. How could they? I repeat: the really remarkable thing is that he lived so long.

His talent, too, was high, wide, and deep, as oversized and uncontainable as his personality. He could play, he could sing, he could write, he could perform; the man was a bona-fide colossus. He was the living incarnation of everything anyone ever meant when they used the word “fabulous,” and I am profoundly grateful to Whomever for the all-too-brief moments I shared with him. I’ll close this out with a photo from the green-room dungeon at Tramps on that last December night, along with a bit of audio I’ll never get tired of.

LittleRichard-backstage.jpg

From right we have our manager, guitarist/vocalist Chipps, Little Richard, and our drummer Mark. Visible in the background are a couple of Richard’s bandmates.



If there’s a rock and roll heaven, Little Richard Penniman just took charge of the band, making it wilder, more out-of-control, and just plain better than it ever was before. Fare thee well, Richard; may your lion’s heart and unquenchable spirit be forever at peace.

Sad, sad, sad

Ho. Lee. CRAP.

It’s hard to believe now, as I write this, but just two months ago, when we were allowed to roam free, when we could board planes and alight from them and wander into rental cars and check into hotels — when we could chase down and replenish the beauty and wonder our very cells need to survive — I went to Los Angeles, where I was asked this question by Val Kilmer:

“Do you think South by Southwest will be canceled?”

But Val Kilmer no longer sounds like Val Kilmer, the movie star of the ’80s and ’90s who has mostly vanished from screens. He hasn’t since his tracheostomy. He can still squeeze air up through his windpipe, however, and past the hole that was cut into his throat and the tracheostomy tube, in a way that makes him somewhat understood — not very, but somewhat. The sound is something between a squeak and a voiceless roar. He says the fact that I can understand him is a result of the endless vocal exercises that he was trained to do when he went to Juilliard after high school, that he was taught to work his voice “like it was a trumpet.” He hated the authoritarian rule at Juilliard while he was there; he hated those stupid vocal exercises. Now look at him, still using his most beloved instrument when really, by all rights, it should be useless. See how it all turned out for the best?

All Val Kilmer’s stories are like that, told with that same dash of preordained kismet. He was traveling in Africa in 1994 when he decided to spend a morning exploring a bat cave; later that day, literally seriously that day, he was inspired to call his agent, who had been trying to contact Kilmer for weeks to see if he was interested in playing the role of Batman, now that Michael Keaton was hanging it up. Another story: In the days before he set eyes for the first time on his (now ex-) wife, Joanne Whalley, he dreamed that he met the woman he was destined for and woke up and immediately wrote a poem called, “We’ve Just Met but Marry Me Please.” Then right after that, he went to London, and while he was there, he saw a play, and Whalley was in it. He was so taken with her that he followed her to the pub after-party just so he could look at her. This was crazy even for him, so he made no move. But two years later, in 1987, she would be randomly coincidentally serendipitously cast opposite him in “Willow,” and they would end up married. So yes, he can talk, and it’s such a miracle that he has these abilities, because if you have enough faith, you’ll see how every part of your life is just a piece of a bigger part of your life, and nothing is an accident, and everything is good.

Tragic, just tragic, and strange as he’s always been, you can’t help but feel awful for the man. The pic accompanying the article is just…well, it’s just grotesque, frankly. Just wait till you see it; there’s almost no resemblance to the classic matinee-idol hunk you most likely remember. Remarkably, though, Kilmer seems to be maintaining a pretty positive attitude for a guy in his current straits. So that’s something.

Whatever else he may have been along the way, Val Kilmer is undeniably a gifted actor. Which is all the excuse I need to put up one of my verymost favorite scenes, from another of my verymost favorite westerns: Tombstone.



(Via WeirdDave)

Three foes, just one enemy

Somehow, I wasn’t aware of this myself.

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

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

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

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

And then things really start to get…interesting.

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

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

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

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

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

“Say the term again,” Trump said.

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

“Just the term,” interrupted Trump.

“Kung flu,” the reporter said again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FLYNNDICATION!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not what’s easy.

Right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plenty of blame to go around

Good on Ted Cruz, I suppose, for as far as it goes. Alas, that’s not very far.

Sen. Ted Cruz Gets Haircut At Salon A La Mode After Owner Shelley Luther Released From Jail
Cruz told Luther he hasn’t had a haircut in about three months, and that his wife Heidi even warned he would “start bringing mullets back,” if he didn’t do something soon.

At one point during his visit, Luther started crying, thanking Cruz for his support, “When people reach out with true authenticity, it’s huge,” she said.

Luther told CBS 11 News, “It’s a nice gesture. His family actually called my boyfriend and prayed for him for 20 minutes while I was in jail. To me that’s not political… that’s just really nice people reaching out and making sure that our family is okay.”

A fine gesture and all that jazz. My problem, though, is this: wouldn’t a MUCH better time for Cruz to visit the salon have been BEFORE Luther got thrown in the slammer, but was still under unconstitutional lockdown orders? Which brings me to my next complaint:

A Look At The Democrat Dallas Judge Who Jailed A Salon Owner
A Dallas salon owner was thrown in jail this week by a local judge after defying state restrictions ordering her business remain closed. Shelly Luther was fined $7,000 and ordered to seven days in jail by District Court Judge Eric Moye on Tuesday whose ruling has since become a nationwide controversy highlighting the growing tensions under lockdowns where government-mandated closings are throwing millions out of work.

Luther was released on Thursday however by the Texas Supreme Court which came just after the state’s Republican Governor, Greg Abbott issued an executive order retroactively suspending local ordinances that throw citizens in detention for noncompliance with local stay home orders.

“Throwing Texans in jail who have had their businesses shut down through no fault of their own is nonsensical, and I will not allow it to happen,” Abbott said the day after Luther was given jail time.

Yeah, except that you DID allow it to happen, Gov; it happened on your damned watch. And before anybody goes harrumphing at me for waxing all pissy at poor Abbott, let’s also remember a few other things:

Abbott Spokesman John Whitaker made clear in a statement to The Federalist however, that the governor’s executive order still allows local fines and other penalties such as license suspensions to be handed down to those who open without authorization, implying Luther may still have to pay $7,000.

Moye condemned Luther’s defiance as “selfish,” charging Luther with “putting your own interests ahead of the community in which you live.

“You disrespected the orders of the state, the county, and this city,” Moye told Luther.

All of which is, however inconvenient, perfectly fucking true, up to and including the part I boldfaced.

Now, in fairness, Abbott’s lockdown order was probably less onerous than some, and was implemented relatively late in the game. But still, there’s just no getting around the facts regarding A) who it was that implemented the Constitution-flouting thing in the first place, and B) stuff like this here:

The most immediate action will see state parks opened for recreational activity Monday, so long as citizens wear masks and maintain a distance of six feet from each other. Additionally, no groups larger than five people will be allowed to congregate.

Subsequent measures will allow hospitals to resume elective tests and surgeries while stores can start “retail to go” services, starting on Wednesday and Friday, respectively.

It is not clear whether or not Abbott’s executive order will supercede the actions of local officials, such as those in Austin, which earlier this week extended its stay-at-home order beyond May 1.

Abbott first issued an order telling Texans to stay at home starting April 1, but he never accepted that it was a stay-at-home lockdown in the same manner as those adopted by other states.

I don’t give a tinker’s damn what Abbott chooses to “accept.” Somehow, I doubt many of the small-business owners currently being bled white by the ridiculous COVIDIOT overreaction do, either. Somebody in Texas should maybe remind the Gov that if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and etc etc, then it’s probably a goddamned duck, no matter how reluctant he or anybody else might be to face up to it.

And Democrat-judge me no Democrat-judges, either. This is bipartisan bullshit we’re looking at here. Far as I know, we currently have precisely one (1) US state governor who well understands her legitimate role, and what boundaries the US Constitution explicitly sets around her own power. Sadly, tragically even, that would NOT be Governor Abbott of Texas.

It would be a serious mistake to think of what’s been done to us as a Demican/Republicrat thing, or to allow it to be portrayed as such. What we actually have here is a tyrant/non-tyrant thing. Unfortunately, we’ve all had the chance to get ourselves a good, long look at how many there are of the former out there, in both Uniparty flavors—and at how infinitesimally few remain of the latter.

Update! Now don’t get me wrong, I see no reason not to frankly acknowledge that the judge, who appears to be functionally illiterate, is a complete asshole.

It is further ORDERED that at any time the Defendants should wish to purge themselves of their Contempt, they may petition this Court for release from confinement. Should the Defendants aver under Oath that they shall immediately cease and desist the continued operation of the Salon, publically express contrition, publicly expressl contrition for the violation of the Order of this Court and the Orders and mandates of the State of Texas, of Dallas County and of the City of Dallas, and take all steps necessary to comply with the Temporary Restraining Order of this Court, they may seek release.

It is so Ordered.

This braying jackass also demanded she “admit that she was wrong and selfish,” along with the apology.

“Publically express contrition”? REALLY? Yeah, fuck you, you fucking fascist. Which, to Luther’s everlasting credit, was pretty much her response:

After Dallas Judge Eric Moye told Salon À la Mode owner Shelley Luther that she had the option of acknowledging she was wrong and had been selfish, and should apologize to elected officials for violating their orders, Luther responded, “Judge, I would like to say that I have much respect for this court and laws and that I have never been in this position before and it’s not someplace that I want to be. But I have to disagree with you, sir, when you say that I’m selfish because feeding my kids — is not selfish. I have hair stylists that are going hungry because they’d rather feed their kids. So, sir, if you think the law is more important than kids getting fed, then please go ahead with your decision but I am not going to shut the salon.”

Moye sentenced Luther to seven days in jail for criminal and civil contempt. CBS Dallas reported, “She and her business are also each being fined $500 for every day… seven in all so far… that it was open in violation of the governor’s order.” That daily fine will end May 8.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins had sent Luther a cease-and-desist letter, but last week Luther publicly tore it apart. Last Wednesday, Luther stated, “Apparently there’s a very good chance that I’m getting arrested today and I will do everything I can to keep the shop open because I’m not closing the store. If they arrest me I have someone that will keep the store open because it’s our right to keep the store open. It’s our right for those women to earn income for their families.”

It most certainly is, ma’am. With her courageous, principled stand against blatantly unconstitutional oppression, Luther has established her bona fides as a worthy successor to Rosa Parks:

“I’m not anyone special,” she reportedly said at the event.  “I just know that I have rights.  You have rights to feed your children and make income, and anyone that wants to take away those rights is wrong.”

Luther said she, along with several of her 19 stylists, had fallen behind on paying their mortgages.  “It’s either come in and make money to be able to feed your family or stay home and freak out.”

Meanwhile, the scum-sucking judge handed down an even more offensive decree from his exalted Holy of Holies:

If you would like to take this opportunity now to acknowledge:  that your actions were selfish, putting your own interests ahead of those in the community in which you live; that they disrespected the executive orders of the state, the orders of the county, and this city; that you now see the error of your ways and understand that the society cannot function when one’s own belief in the concept of liberty permits you to flaunt your disdain for the rulings of duly elected officials; that you owe an apology to the elected officials who you disrespected by flagrantly ignoring and, in one case, defiling their orders which you now know obviously regard to you; that you know the proper way in an ordered society to engage concerns you may have had is to hire a lawyer and advocate for change, an exception, or amendment to laws that you find offensive; that you publicly state that this is the way that citizens in the states should behave and that you represent to this court that you will today cease operation of your salon and not reopen until after further orders of the government permit you to do so; this court will consider the payment of a fine in lieu of the incarceration that you have demonstrated that you have so clearly earned.

S’cuse me very much, Your “Honor,” but it seems to me that any proper and correct concept of liberty not only permits but REQUIRES the flaunting of disdain for blatantly illegal rulings, whatever official orifice they may have been excreted from. Sir.

Ehh, what’s the use? Fascist thugs like Moye will never come anywhere near getting it, even assuming they had any interest in making a sincere try at it, which they assuredly do not. There is no discussing, debating, or reasoning with such as they. They can only be crushed, utterly. They have no place whatsoever in even a nominally-free society; are in fact a serious threat to it; and should therefore not be tolerated there, but abolished. In whatever sense you wish to take the word.

Oregon gov cancels Independence Day

The irony, it burns.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

On your feet or on your knees

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Signs of life

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

They’re just, y’know, under arrest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The wrong shutdown

Oh, we definitely need a shutdown, all right. But this time, let’s try and get it right.

For whatever reason, many governments persist in destroying resources and fundamental liberties on the basis of a debunked epidemiological model. The national government should actively intercede, as it did to protect Americans’ rights during the Civil War and Civil Rights Movement, neither of which were very civil. But even if it doesn’t want to interfere with states’ rights today, under no circumstances should it FUND their oppression. Verily, I believe any attempt to do so will lead to a tax revolt, probably of the quiet variety at first. There is just no way Americans in the free states are going to fund the continued subjugation of their fellow Americans in California, Michigan, and elsewhere, which have essentially been invaded and occupied by their own governments.

But what then shall the poor state and municipal governments do? Obviously, they need to lift most economic restrictions so that taxes again begin to flow in. And they also need to cut their “nonessential” workers, which is essentially most of them. In the short term anyway, we need courts and police officers and other first responders. (Ultimately, we do not need any of them but this is no time for novelty, even if we have rich comparative and historical examples from which to draw.) But teachers, recorders, prothonotaries, and all sorts of other bureaucrats need to be furloughed immediately. (If you think that many will then join the ranks of protesters, you’re starting to understand the power of the purse! They can arrest some protestors, but not all of them, especially with their budgets so tight.)

There is no reason to exclude national government employees from furloughs either. The bailouts and other forms of hush money already paid out has to be repaid somehow, through higher taxes or lower expenditures. Why do we need parts of the SEC if no corporations are issuing securities? What good is the EPA if factories are shuttered? The USDA if meat processors are closed? What does the Department of Education do even in normal times? Surely most of the Department of the Interior can be let go.

Is furloughing 75 percent of government workers a draconian suggestion? Absolutely, but why shouldn’t government employees suffer along with the rest of us? You can’t expect civvies to bear all the burden of flattening an already pretty flat curve indefinitely. Plus, unlike the private sector, which is all “essential” or it wouldn’t exist, we know from budget battle government shutdowns that much of the national government is nonessential. Life goes on, and some think improves, without it.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated the deadweight loss of the 35-day partial federal government shutdown in early 2019 at only $3 billion. We will be lucky to get out of the current mess for $3 trillion in deadweight losses.

Governments messed up by botching testing, then not stopping the spread of the virus when it was still manageable, then did so again by shutting down too much of the economy for too long to cover their incompetence, and now they want to be rewarded with continued nonessential employment, and the forced redistribution of wealth from all Americans to Constitution-smashing state governments? Where is the last straw?

There isn’t one, near as I can tell. Which brings us one step closer to the dropping of the post I mentioned at the end of this one, and am still putting together.

Pandemics, then and now

One of these Americas is not like the other.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The year was 1957.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who IS this “Karen” person, anyway?

And why is she running our lives all of a damned sudden?

A Karen is a person, usually a woman, who is never satisfied with the service she’s receiving and demands to talk to the manager. It doesn’t matter if Karen’s complaints are valid or not.

This is because Karen has been incentivized by cowardly corporate officers and government officials (but, I repeat myself) to get something she doesn’t deserve simply because they want her to shut up and not disturb everyone else.

It was one thing to indulge Karen her entitled behavior when she was getting a free order of fries or month of cable. It’s quite another when Karens become the State’s target audience for public policy.

It’s worst of all when they’re the ones MAKING policy, a la Commissar Gretchen “Karen” Whitler.

Karens, at heart, are simply spoiled children who have never had boundaries properly set. A little power creates a self-reinforcing feedback loop.

Progressives are the ultimate Karens, never satisfied with having moved society in a terrible direction through their constant complaining. Never once do they self-reflect that maybe they’ve been wrong and all of their demands have made things materially worse rather than us not having indulged them enough.

Progressives are the worst winners I’ve ever met. They’ve won every political battle of note for the past 100+ years and are still whining in their lattes about us electing Trump, whose presidency they’ve destroyed with their incessant Karen-isms and his inherent weakness.

So is is any surprise that we’ve reached a point where the government is more worried about keeping the Karens from complaining than actually governing effectively?

In fairness, who among us wouldn’t be willing to go to some pretty extraordinary lengths to get Karen to just shut the fuck up and go bother somebody else?

Yes, you’re gonna want to read the whole thing, trust me.

(Via WRSA)



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Comments appear entirely at the whim of the guy who pays the bills for this site and may be deleted, ridiculed, maliciously edited for purposes of mockery, or otherwise pissed over as he in his capricious fancy sees fit. The CF comments section is pretty free-form and rough and tumble; tolerance level for rowdiness and misbehavior is fairly high here, but is NOT without limit. Management is under no obligation whatever to allow the comments section to be taken over and ruined by trolls, Leftists, and/or other oxygen thieves, and will take any measures deemed necessary to prevent such. Conduct yourself with the merest modicum of decorum, courtesy, and respect and you'll be fine. Pick pointless squabbles with other commenters, fling provocative personal insults, issue threats, or annoy the host (me) and...you won't. Should you find yourself sanctioned after running afoul of the CF comments policy as stated and feel you have been wronged, please download and complete the Butthurt Report form below in quadruplicate; retain one copy for your personal records and send the others to the email address posted in the right sidebar. Please refrain from whining, sniveling, and/or bursting into tears and waving your chubby fists around in frustrated rage, lest you suffer an aneurysm or stroke unnecessarily. Your completed form will be reviewed and your complaint addressed whenever management feels like getting around to it. Thank you.

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

"There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." — Daniel Webster

"It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged." - GK Chesterton

"To put it simply, the Left is the stupid and the insane, led by the evil. You can’t persuade the stupid or the insane and you had damn well better fight the evil." - Skeptic

"The limits of tyranny are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress." - Frederick Douglass

"Give me the media and I will make of any nation a herd of swine." - Joseph Goebbels

“I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.” - Ronald Reagan

"Ain't no misunderstanding this war. They want to rule us and aim to do it. We aim not to allow it. All there is to it." - NC Reed, from Parno's Peril

"I just want a government that fits in the box it originally came in." - Bill Whittle

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