Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Who Pays The Highest Tax Rate?

The young people pay the highest tax rate.

Listening to progressives chatter about "free" healthcare and "free" college and "free" wasp nests on your front porch, I keep thinking that the description is all wrong. Government is just a tube that transports money from one spot to another. There is no government money, only taxes paid by working people. Even if it's paid by corporations, the source is ultimately working people.

Government borrowing is a form of taxation. When you borrow, you are spending future earnings. When the government borrows, it is spending future taxes which are future earnings of working people. Who will be working in the future? Not me, at least not for much longer. When I retire, I will no longer be among the class of working people and will therefore simply consume things. It will be up to the younger generation to generate the general fund, generally speaking.

So live it up, kids! Have fun with all your "free" stuff. I shall watch your future progress with considerable interest. While you work multiple jobs to pay for those "free" goodies or perhaps while you comb the ruins of the zoo for animals to eat, a la Venezuela, I shall either be pushing up daisies or sitting on my front porch in a rocking chair with a bottle of bourbon, a shotgun and an ill-tempered cat.

Can we vote for free stuff? ¡Si, se puede!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Uncommon Common Phacelia

... or, as Simon  and Garfunkel might have sung, "Phacelia, you're breaking my heart, you're shaking my confidence daily ..."

OK, so almost no one will get that reference, but there you have it.

I've got a bunch of blog posts in my head, but I'm just not agitated enough to get them out onto the keyboard. Instead, here's a flower photo from yesterday's trip to Anza Borrego with wife kitteh. Flowers were everywhere and a good time was had by all. I left the photo large, so it's worth a click.


Sunday, March 17, 2019

Dive! Dive!

Yesterday, we planted fruits, veggies and herbs in our raised beds. Before doing so, we combed the dirt for grubs and found quite a few. I noticed an interesting behavior in them - they had an uncanny ability to bury themselves quickly. I took a video of it. The grub manages to get almost completely underground in less than 10 seconds. Interestingly, it leaves a bit of its tail above ground, perhaps because it doesn't know that part is still sticking up.

Grubs are gross, but I thought you still might like to see the video. Enjoy?

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Catican Bayou Hot Sauce

... is on the way!

We did our spring planting today and for the first time ever, we got a cayenne pepper plant. Like a dufus, I couldn't think what we might do with it, so while I was in the store, I googled "what can you make with cayenne peppers" and it said "hot sauce." Well, duh.

I don't like hot sauce that is just vinegar and cayenne. I really like West Indies Hot Sauce (I can't find it for sale, otherwise I'd ad a link), which has more spices than just cayenne. When it dawned on me that I could make my own style, I bought it immediately.

Catican Bayou Hot Sauce on the way.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Bursts Of Self-Discipline

... are what you need.

I've been trying to go to the gym almost every day and for Lent, I've given up alcohol. I've spent some time recently, watching my behaviors, trying to figure out my modes of failure and modes of success.

You need self-discipline in bursts.

Once you get started, you keep going, whether that's getting ready and going to the gym or opening a beer. The hardest part about working out for me is getting up when the alarm goes of at 0430. My gym gets crowded around 0530, so you need to get there by 0500 to have a decent weight lifting session. That 0430 alarm is a killer. We've had a cold, wet winter here in San Diego, so getting out of a warm bed is tough. Once I'm out, it's all downhill from there. I've had times where I skipped the workout because I didn't feel like getting out of bed, but never because I stopped after that.

My craving for a beer starts around 1630 and lasts until 1730. I don't want to drink in the daytime and if I've not started by dinner, my craving is gone and it just sounds gross to open a beer after that. I only need to steel myself for that one hour and I'm good.

Stress and excuses play a big part in my failures, too. Yesterday was incredibly frustrating, so I declared a Lent Jubilee and had some brews. I couldn't find the strength to resist during that hour and gave in to my cravings. If I can find a reason to skip the workout, like when my joints are hurting, I'm much more likely to turn off the alarm and go back to bed.

Good behaviors or bad seem to have a momentum all their own. They keep going once you start them. The obvious trick, then, is to find ways to let loose that burst of self-discipline. I'm still working on that part.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Beto O'Rourke's Call To Action

... sounds like this: "Me! Me! Me!" Dig his Vanity Fair cover.

"I want to be in it. Man, I'm just born to be in it."

Me. Me. Me.

Yep, that's what we're looking for in a president - someone who is there to fulfill his own ambitions. Trump is a lot of Me Me Me, but at least his sales pitch is "I will win for all of us. I'm the only who can win!" We're the ultimate purpose of his effort. With Beto, he's the ultimate purpose of his effort.

You go, Beto. Go far, far away.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Defining Sin Away

Back to the discussion of the dude who does not look like a lady, but identifies as one and the madness surrounding people like him.

These are all girls. Keep repeating it to yourself until you believe it. If you don't agree that these are all girls, you will be punished.
In my original blog post on the topic, I said that this is a fantasy. That photo is 2+2=5. The only way to get the rest of us to agree with it is to torture us in some way, to fill us with such fear of reprisals and punishments that we all agree that a massive man is actually a woman.

In my second post, I said we all want to be heroes, part of a large, noble enterprise, defeating evil and fighting for good. Racism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, they're all tiny problems in real life, but if we magnify them wildly, we can fight them with no risk to ourselves. At the same time, we can make believe we're heroes.

In this one, we'll deal with the question, "Why make transphobia a cause?" I would argue that the whole thing is an effort to eliminate any and all sex-based sins by pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable so far past our particular fetishes that anything we enjoy is seen as utterly mundane and normal.

Sex is a lizard activity, one of our basic drives. Eating, surviving and sex are about all lizards want to do. That tiny, core part of our brain, the part that drives our evolutionary impulses, obsesses on these things. It's why sex is so much fun. As the worry about eating and surviving become more and more distant, our lizard brains have more time to dive deeper into our sexual urges.

Also, as technology improves, the ability of gizmos, gadgets, elixirs and potions to give us new types of pleasures and eliminate the consequences of old ones increases. I read on Twitter that developers are using AI to create the ultimate oral stimulation machine. That makes sense as do ever more realistic sex dolls. We're pursuing the ultimate orgasm while our psyches are continually redefining what that means. It's a never-ending quest.

The only fly in the ointment is objective morality, specifically religious morality. No matter what happens technologically, those pious killjoys will try to stamp out all of our newfound sexual fun. There are two, complimentary ways to deal with them.
  1. Incrementally redefine what is moral. Porn isn't so bad, is it? Threesome porn isn't so bad. A little violence in the porn isn't so bad, after all, it's all make-believe. Gays, bisexuals, threesomes, whatever floats your boat, if no one is getting hurt, what's the big? Once one thing is accepted, find the next thing farther out and show that it's not much worse.
  2. Swarm-attack anyone who stands their ground when it comes to sexual morality. They must be smashed if we're to push the boundaries. The only thing that can prevent us from having all of our fetishes accepted is someone who says, "This far and no farther!" and really means it. They must be obliterated publicly as a warning to others.
You might not be into snuff porn. Your particular fetish might be substantially less deviant, but you want snuff to be accepted. If snuff porn is accepted, then there is a large buffer zone between the morality borders and you. You're safe and you can enjoy your weirdness in peace.

And that is why you must agree that a 6' 8" man is a girl.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The Horror That Is Venezuela

It's easy to sit here in the rich and stable USA and use what's happening in Venezuela as some kind of morality tale. Yes, it's a living story of socialism in all its glory. Yes, it should be instructive to the socialist enablers in the media. Yes, it tells you a lot about the Secular Left that they are learning nothing from the suffering. They care about power, not people and it's as plain as the nose on your face.

So what?

In yesterday's post, I shared the Twitter stream from the NYT reporter in Venezuela who had tracked down the problems with the power outages.
What caused the Guri failure? Corpoelec union leader Ali Briceño said it was brush fire under the 765 KV trunkline which caused a surge in the system and caused Guri to shut down. There are no skilled operators left there to restart it.
Therein lies the horror. It's not going to get better because there's no one who can repair things. It's only going to get worse. The water supply went out yesterday and now people are trying to get water from a polluted river. Cholera is inevitable.

Worse still, this is already a decimated population. Most of the folks who are good at life - the ones who are wise enough to predict the future and deal with crises - have left. That's evidenced by the fact that no one is around to fix the power or water systems. The ones getting water from the sewage-polluted river are the average to below-average ordinary folks. They're hosed in so many ways.

And tomorrow will be worse. The next day will be worse than that.

Pray for them. Whether or not they were foolish enough to choose the unicorns and rainbows promised by the Secular Left, they are still people and they're going through an apocalyptic event of the type seen in zombie movies.

Addendum: When you think about it, the people of Venezuela are living through the chilling ending of Atlas Shrugged. You will need to click on the image to read the passage.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Diversity Means Nothing

Competence is everything. Dig this stream of tweets on the Venezuelan blackout from, of all things, a New York Times reporter.
I went to the heart of Venezuela’s transmission system in Guarico to try to find out what’s going on with the grid. Here’s why partial blackouts are unfortunately likely to persist for a while. I sincerely hope I’m wrong...

San Geronimo B is not working because it’s not getting sufficient (if any) current from Guri. That’s the scariest part. It provides evidence that the government is far from successfully restarting its turbines

What caused the Guri failure? Corpoelec union leader Ali Briceño said it was brush fire under the 765 KV trunkline which caused a surge in the system and caused Guri to shut down. There are no skilled operators left there to restart it.

It did happen before. No one is cutting grass or maintaining fire breaks under the trunkline...

Most people I talked to say the problem had to occur inside Guri’s turbines themselves. And that’s a scary thought. If they are damaged, they will be very hard to replace or repair. No money or skilled people.

One Corpoelec manager said after the blackout a Guri operator told him “the turbines are failing,” before hanging up. He hasn’t been able to reach anyone there since. Sebin is a constant menace. And without Guri, it’s Mad Max.
The Secular Left would have you believe that diversity makes you stronger. Well, you could have as diverse a workforce as you want handling the Venezuelan power system, but when the skilled people leave, driven out by a hatred of anyone who is successful and rewarded for it, you end up with blackouts.

Bonus tidbit: I saw a remark on Twitter that made me shudder. Imagine what it's like inside of Venezuela's prisons right now without light, food or water. I can't imagine any of the guards are opening the doors or sticking around.

In the video below, dig the Collectivos patrolling the streets of blacked-out Caracas. Think of them as ANTIFA members. Great at supporting socialism with a truncheon, but not so great at maintaining or repairing generators. They're totally unaware that they drove the skilled people out of the country or even that those skilled people were necessary in the first place. Yep, sounds like ANTIFA.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Rare San Diego Green

We've had a much wetter than usual winter this year with our rainfall at about 150% of normal. This is typically our green season before everything dries up and dies, but this year is much greener. At least I think it is. Maybe I'm romanticizing it because of all the rain.

In any case, here's a photo from today's walk with the Catican Guards. I rather like it. I left it large, so it might be worth a click. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 09, 2019

I Need A Pet Tracker

... but only for the smallest of the Catican Guards.

Oddly enough, when we are sitting around at home, Lily, aka Grandma*, just wants to cuddle, eat treats and get even chubbier. When we're out hiking in the canyons she's the most adventurous and regularly disappears into the undergrowth.

Grandma isn't coyote-wise and never will be. The coyotes will eat her in an instant and that will be that. When she disappears, it's the first thing that crosses my mind. I looked into getting a bluetooth-directional or 1G-GPS collar medallion for Maddi, our previous Maximum Leader, but I didn't do it because I thought it was too big for a cat to wear comfortably. I really need to get one for Grandma, though. Her forays into the scrub when we walk are getting bolder and bolder.

Off they go, exploring!
* - We call her Grandma for her personality, not her age. She's only 3.

Friday, March 08, 2019

The Ilhan Omar Smash Up Is Just Getting Started

or ... "Brace for impact!"

Well, the Democratic leadership managed to work Ilhan's thinly-veiled Jew hatred into an attack on their ubiquitous cardboard-cutout villains, white supremacists, but that's going to be just a temporary deflection of what will become a steady stream of collisions between their victim groups. How long before one of Ilhan or one of her aides says something even worse about Jews or, gasp!, gays? Dig this news from England.
A primary school that taught pupils about homosexuality as part of a programme to challenge homophobia has stopped the lessons after hundreds of children were withdrawn by parents in protest...

On Friday about 600 Muslim children, aged between four and 11, were withdrawn from the school for the day, parents said. The school would not confirm the number.

The school made clear that it had never intended to continue the No Outsiders lessons this half term and confirmed that the lessons would resume only after a full consultation with every parent.
The Secular Left, obsessed with their fantasy world where they are superheroes fighting armies of white supremacists, haven't bothered to learn much about the victims they pretend to defend. One of their preferred minority groups is characterized by adherence to ideas instead of skin color, sex or sexual orientation. And adhere to ideas is what they do best. Gorilla Glue could take adherence lessons from them.

So good luck with that whole multiculturalism thing, guys. It was never going to work out and this is the first of many collisions. In England, when the collisions occur, they're picking the side with the most voters. Come to think of it, that's what was done here, too.

Aside: I got that collision analogy in my head this morning and found this collection of maritime thwackings and whackings on YouTube. There are some pretty amazing ones in it. The thing that hits you, ha ha ha, is how much momentum big ships have. They don't hit and bounce off, they hit and just keep going. Crazy stuff, man. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Everyone Wants To Be A Hero

Yesterday, I discussed the way the Secular Left is trying to force us to believe things we know aren't true, like the claim that a 6' 8" man is actually a woman. I linked to two explanations for it.
  1. The Left needs us to live in a fantasy world so it can achieve its totalitarian dreams.
  2. This is part of a new Gnosticism - a complicated belief system described here
Neither of these hold any water for me. I think the issue is much simpler and less sinister.

We all want to be heroes, part of a large, noble enterprise, defeating evil and fighting for good. Racism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, they're all tiny problems in real life, but if we magnify them wildly, we can fight them with no risk to ourselves. At the same time, we can make believe we're heroes.

This essay on the modern corruption of the education industry crystallized it for me. The whole thing is worth reading, but here's the key tidbit for today.
Though I didn’t realize it at the time, those were my first encounters with an alternate curriculum that was being promoted on many campuses, a curriculum whose guiding principles seemed to be: 1) anything that could be construed as bigotry and hatred should be construed as bigotry and hatred; and 2) any such instance of bigotry and hatred should be considered part of an epidemic. These principles were being advanced primarily, though not exclusively, by college administrators, whose ranks had grown so remarkably since the early 1990s.
In a country of 330,000,000 where it's harder and harder to get even 200 people together to put on white hoods and burn a cross, how in the world would you conclude that "hate" is at epidemic levels? Better yet, why?

The why is easy and it explains the how as well. You want to feel good about yourself. If you're fighting evil, that's pretty good, right? If you fight racism, you're part of a team of others who hate it just as much as you do and you all tell each other how awesome you are. Ooh, the emotional rewards of public, group virtue! How marvelous! Better yet, you don't have to actually fight. I mean, when was the last time you accused someone of racism and they turned on you and screamed about how blacks are inferior to whites? They all deny it, don't they?

This isn't a fight, this is a big cosplay game. You pretend people who disagree with you are racist and your friends do, too. You all agree how they are racists even when they deny it. They're not just racist, they're liars as well. We're fighting racist liars! What fun this is! And since there's zero chance anyone will shoot or stab you, it's all reward and no risk. Outstanding!

To maintain your fantasy world in which you're a hero, you look for racists under every rock and behind every tree. You and your friends discover new ways to reveal it. You're like detectives in a modern crime drama using the latest technologies to extract DNA samples from a hair found on a pillow. How exciting! Why, with the latest microaggression scanners, we can find racists wherever they hide. And there are so very, very many of them. That shows how brave we are, fighting such tremendous odds.

But it's all pretend in the end. As you and your pals put on your capes and masks, real people are suffering and dying for reasons totally unrelated to your fantasies. Oh well. To deal with those would require real courage and some of your buddies wouldn't go along with it. Better to keep up the illusion that you're a superhero and have fun with the gang.

Look, mommy (or my gender-fluid caregiver), I'm a superhero!
Note: This doesn't completely address why the Secular Left is trying to force us to believe that men can become women, but I'll finish these thoughts in future posts. I thought this was getting a bit long.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

2 + 2 = 5

This was bound to happen eventually.

These are all girls. Keep repeating it to yourself until you believe it. If you don't agree that these are all girls, you will be punished.
Gabrielle Ludwig, a 51-year old, 6' 8", 220# man is claiming to be a woman. A couple of years ago, he played on the Mission College women's basketball team. The news media reports all fawned over him. It was a breakthrough!

Oh, it was a breakthrough alright. It was a break through reality. John Zmirak, writing at The Stream, penned a marvelous piece tying this phenomenon in with George Orwell's 1984.
Leftists long ago abandoned as too restrictive any notion of Natural Law. That is, a structure and purpose and code of right and wrong encoded in human nature. Without such a law, we live not just unanchored. We’re more like a ship at sea that doesn’t even have a rudder. We simply drift from one place to another, based on the shifting winds of political power and intellectual fashions. We are ruled not by Reason but Will — the whims, in fact, of the cognitive elite, the bureaucracies they dominate, and the corporations they control.
Read the whole thing. John claims that the Secular Left forces this fantasy world upon us because it must create a secondary reality in order to survive. This is an alternate world where it makes the rules and we all must live by them. I don't agree with that part, but I'm open to being convinced. I have a different interpretation which I will explore in a future blog post.

Robert Reilly, writing at The Catholic World Report, suggests that this is a new form of Gnosticism.
Gnosticism does not accept the evidence of reality. It is not a matter of what Gnostics do not know, but of what they refuse to acknowledge. Composer Igor Stravinsky wrote that “the old original sin was one of knowledge, the new original sin is one of non-acknowledgment.” It is the refusal to acknowledge anything outside the operation of the human will—most especially “the good” toward which the soul is ordered. The Gnostic is not interested in conforming his mind to reality but in conforming reality to his wishes.
I spent some time investigating the Gnostics and I think it's a stretch to fit the square peg of the Secular Left  into that round hole, but I'm open to convincing on that, too.

The key feature of all of this goes back to 1984. This is a fantasy. That photo is 2+2=5. The only way to get the rest of us to agree with it is to torture us in some way, to fill us with such fear of reprisals and punishments that we all agree that a massive man is actually a woman.

Because the Secular Left are Nazis Without Ambition, that is they lack the ambition to be willing to die for their cause, I just don't see them being able to summon enough raw power to jam this insanity down our throats. You can see that in the replies on Twitter about men pretending to be women and just crushing the competition in sports. The Normals aren't buying it and until the Secular Left can figure out how to put us all in re-education gulags, it's not going to happen.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

The Never Trump Bubble

... or, Why I Stopped Reading Jonah Goldberg.

I loves me some Jonah Goldberg. Or I did, up to two years ago. After that, I found him tiring and repetitive, but that wasn't the real reason. It's taken me this long to figure out what turns me off about the Never Trump crowd, of which I was a founding member back when he declared his candidacy.

Here's the reason: I don't care.

The Never Trump gang, living in their self-reinforcing bubble, keeps beating the same drums over and over and over again. The guy is unpredictable, he's crude, he makes unforced errors because he's undisciplined, he has no political principles, blah blah blah.

I don't care.

You see, I don't live in the world of the pundits. I live in San Diego. I'm not interested in who tweeted what to whom and which poll says what. I'm interested in the Church, preparing for retirement, cooking, sports, diving, old cars and so forth. As far as my interests are concerned, Trump has been fantastic. What difference does it make to me if the High School Glee Club members that make up the media and the politicians are having a 4-year, thermonuclear catfight? Knock yourself out, kids. Have a good time.

Meanwhile, my 401K looks good, the Catholic Church isn't under attack (except by it's own idiot leadership), free speech is being defended from the Nazis Without Ambition Party, judges are being installed who will respect my votes, it all looks really good to me. At the same time, the Nazis are going bonkers everywhere, trying to shut down speech, hound people out of the public square, get others fired, and delete social media accounts whenever their views are threatened. They're a pack of almost-violent jerks.

How do you counter almost-violent jerks? With a big jerk of your own. With someone who isn't going to fold when CNNABCNBCCBSNPR runs wall-to-wall coverage of the hateful Covington kids the Jussie Smollett attack whatever scant evidence they can find to prop up their worldview that we Normals are racist homophobes. Heck, the Covington kids own diocese folded instantly, can you imagine what Jeb! would have done? He'd have been on his knees, begging for forgiveness within the first fifteen minutes that those fake news stories broke.

Instead, we've got ourselves a first class jerk. He gives Italian hand gestures to the media and the social justice crazies every day, telling them to do unnatural acts to themselves. As far as I can tell, he's the only one who could have stood up for us like this, the way we needed it.

Because he does that, I can go to church, work on my car, go diving and plan vacations in peace. If Jonah and the others in their bubble feel the need to rant all day that Trump is unstable or whatever it is they're on about now, so be it. I just don't care.

CNN or the staff of the National Review. I can't tell which.
Addendum: Yes, I know the deficit is enormous. It was going to be enormous anyway. Neither party is interested in fiscal sanity. Let me know when that changes.

Monday, March 04, 2019

Now Can We Have Our $150B Back?

... and maybe a million or so of the birds slaughtered by wind turbines, too?

Time Magazine's "Hero of the Environment," Michael Shellenberger, penned a staggeringly dimwitted piece on Quillette called Why Renewables Can't Save The Planet. He could have saved about 17 years of wasted time if he'd been reading Steven den Beste in 2002.

Mike's forehead-slappers are too numerous to mention here, so I'll grab some lowlights at random.

Mikey (2019):
The first (problem) was around land use. Electricity from solar roofs costs about twice as much as electricity from solar farms, but solar and wind farms require huge amounts of land. That, along with the fact that solar and wind farms require long new transmissions lines, and are opposed by local communities and conservationists trying to preserve wildlife, particularly birds.
Steven (2002):
Those advocating this kind of thing don't realize the size of the problem.

In 1998, the State of California consumed 13.496 billion gallons of gasoline. A gallon of gasoline yields about 130 million joules. So when you do all the math, you end up with about 1.755 * 10^18 joules, which is an impressively large number.

One anti-solar-power advocacy site gives the "yearly average" solar power density in Albuquerque as 240 watts per m2. (That appears to be a 24-hour average; another site says that it's 700 watts in daylight.) Then presuming that southern California is similar, each square meter of mirrors would be struck by 7.573 billion joules per year.

So if you assume 100% conversion, you'd need 231.7 million square meters of collection mirrors to make this work. 231 square kilometers.
Another challenge was the intermittent nature of solar and wind energies. When the sun stops shining and the wind stops blowing, you have to quickly be able to ramp up another source of energy.
In order for "alternate energy" to become feasible, it has to satisfy all of the following criteria:
  1. It has to be huge (in terms of both energy and power)
  2. It has to be reliable (not intermittent or unschedulable)
  3. It has to be concentrated (not diffuse)
  4. It has to be possible to utilize it efficiently
  5. The capital investment and operating cost to utilize it has to be comparable to existing energy sources (per gigawatt, and per terajoule).
If it fails to satisfy any of those, then it can't scale enough to make any difference. Solar power fails #3, and currently it also fails #5. (It also partially fails #2)
Happily, there were a lot of people working on solutions. One solution was to convert California’s dams into big batteries. The idea was that, when the sun was shining and the wind was blowing, you could pump water uphill, store it for later, and then run it over the turbines to make electricity when you needed it.

Umm, pump the water uphill from... where? It's like this idiot has never seen a river. One of the chief characteristics of a river is that it flows. As in the water goes bye-bye. It's not like our reservoirs empty into other reservoirs. Assuming you can solve that issue, what happens to the environment downstream as you jerk the flow into the river shut by pumping the water backwards for a while? I'd expect the rivers to go full-empty-full-empty-full-empty with a 12-hour cycle. I suspect the fish and birds and other critters haven't evolved to deal with that.

The thing goes on and on and on like that. Reading it, you realize just how dim our cultural leaders are. I won't accuse legit engineers of being dumb. I'll bet that when some of them had to attend meetings with Mikey, they wanted to slit their wrists.

No, Mike wasn't an engineer, he was a Hero of the Soviet Union, err, Environment. He had the ear of Barack Hussein Obama and Time Magazine and all kinds of other Important People and Deep Thinkers. They even spent $150B (detailed in his article) on these idiocies during Obama's term.

God help us.

This drawing clearly shows how you can pump water uphill and still keep the flow going.

Sunday, March 03, 2019

At Some Point, You Need To Play Offense

Wife kitteh is now down with the flu and this is my first day back from the sick list myself, so I've got my hands full. This will be short.

I'm currently working my way through St. Augustine's City of God. It's a great book, dealing with the fall of Rome and the changes wrought in Roman culture as a result of Christianity. Something hit me the other day, out of the blue. St. Augustine doesn't pull any punches. He doesn't dance around the topic of the Truth and what it means to believe Christianity is the Truth.

City of God takes on the Roman pagans and Roman secular culture in general and ruthlessly picks them apart, piece by piece. The entire thing is a long and detailed takedown of his intellectual opponents.

I wish we had someone like St. Augustine these days.

A G. K. Chesterton would do nicely as well.

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Kamala Harris Will Lead The Shortest-Lived Socialist Nation In History

Socialist nations always end in bankruptcy.

Kamala Harris, who I'd pick as the frontrunner nominee for the Nazis-Without-Ambition Party, wants to make the US socialist. If she wins, she'll have less of a honeymoon than the Venezuelans did and end up in the same place - with citizens eating zoo animals to survive.

There's not a lot of room to run, guys.
(Click on the image for a more legible version.)
We've been creeping towards socialism for decades now, under both parties. Unfortunately for Kamala and crew, that means we've got a huge head start towards total currency debasement.

Have fun storming the barricades, kiddies. Even if you win, you won't enjoy it for long.

Friday, March 01, 2019

When You Have The Flu

... it really helps to have a supportive family.

The Catican Guards are showing their love.
Bonus observation: You know someone isn't faking their illness when it starts on a Friday.


Thursday, February 28, 2019

Reading Online Product Reviews

... I always read the 1-star reviews and stop there. I don't trust anything else.

CBS News has a not-so-shocking story about fake online reviews at all of our major online shopping sites like Amazon, Walmart and others. I figured that was going on all along, particularly when you're buying something with only a few reviews. How hard would it be to get a couple of friends and family members to post 5-star reviews of your product?

Instead, I read the 1-star reviews and assume they are telling the truth. Then I ask myself if I could live with those faults in the product. If dozens of people are saying the thing falls apart or stops working after a week or so, I usually move on to another product. However, I neglect individual bad reviews about quality. Sometimes a bad widget slips through. If it's a restaurant review and they complain about the service, I typically neglect that as well. Slow service just means more time to chat.

In general, I'm looking for reviews that tell me the food is bad or the thing doesn't work as advertised. If I've gotten to the review-the-reviews stage, I'm already sold on the product, I just want to make sure it's not a mistaken purchase.

How about you? How do you weigh online reviews?

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Michael Cohen's Suit

... spoke with other suits today. It was something to behold. Or not.

I was at a Denny's in Chula Vista this morning, talking Jesus stuff with other Catholics. Apparently catering to people who can't live even 10 minutes of their days without the TV on, the place has big screen TVs everywhere. On weekday mornings, they're tuned to news shows because ... well, because the staff can't think of anything better for us to watch.

Today, ABC was running Michael Cohen's testimony from start to finish. The sound was off, but there were helpful subtitles so I could read what he was saying. Where I was sitting, it was impossible not to see it.

As I understand it, Cohen's testimony told us that Donald Trump was a crude, volatile blowhard. The Democrats on the committee, also in suits and no doubt with degrees from schools even better than Cohen's Western Michigan University, wanted to know if he was as crude a blowhard as they'd heard. Mike helpfully illustrated the crudity and blowhardiness. I didn't stay long enough to see what the suited and credentialed Republicans had to say, but it's safe to assume it was a robust defense of blowhardism.

Meanwhile, the president is negotiating a ground-breaking nuclear disarmament deal with the previously psychotic North Korean regime.

Oh, and India and Pakistan, both nuclear powers, are trading live fire on their border.

Meanwhile, our news thinks I want to see a bunch of Ivy League weasels in suits testify at each other. I felt like I was watching a particularly nasty, verbal catfight in the cheerleader's locker room of an upscale, private high school.

It's worth noting that this set of blowhardish accusations against Trump are piled ontop of a mountain of previous accusations, a mountain so high that the top is no longer visible to us Normals what are walking around it as we go about our meaningless daily lives.

Not as important as Michael Cohen.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Rotherham, Evolution And The Secular Left

Atheist and spokesman for the Secular Left*, Bill Maher, recently enraged conservatives with sneers that included these.
The HBO host continued to pile on the insult for red state residents, saying that there are “no red carpets in Wyoming” and no one asks them what they’re wearing because “the answer is always Target.”

“We have chef Wolfgang Puck, they have Chef Boyardee,” he said. “Our roofs have solar panels, theirs have last year’s Christmas lights.”
Everyone returned fire using the same weapons. Chef Boyardee was an immigrant who made it big blah blah blah. Maher offered up a machine gun nest and our infantry charged it with fixed bayonets. Yay.

Me, I would have pulled up with some self-propelled artillery and blasted him out of existence with 155mm shells at long range.

Bill and the Secular Left are losing and they will lose. They aren't losing because they're stupid, as stupid as Catholic leadership, they're losing because of who they are.

The contest is not only one of ideas, it's also one of populations. The world has seen plenty of good ideas that were overwhelmed by numbers, numbers from civilizations with bad ideas. The Romans, for example, were stomped by German and French barbarians. In that case, Chef Boyardee ran Wolfgang Puck through with a pike and then the Target employees ransacked Puck's villa and slaughtered his family. Hooray for high culture!

In Rotherham, England, Muslim rape gangs preyed on white, British girls for over a decade, gang-raping more than a thousand of them. The units which provide the Secular Left's primary strengths in their order of battle, the press and the politicians, knew about it and let it happen. They let it happen because they applied the Secular Left's number one strategic concept: racism. It was racist to acknowledge that their girls were being raped in massive numbers, so they let it happen.

What can you expect from girls who have been gang raped? Do they go on to become mothers? Will they produce the children that will determine who wins the evolutionary contest with Islam? No. Most certainly no. Their lives have been ruined.

It was strength vs strength and the Secular Left was routed.

Now look at the birth rates of the Secular Left and those of Muslims. That's the big scoreboard and Bill Maher's side is losing badly there as well.

So go ahead and cheer on the sidewalk cafes with their sophisticated cuisine. Hooray for the deep blue cultural strongholds of New York, Boston and San Francisco!

Well, maybe not San Francisco.

* - I posit that we are in the middle of a global competition between the Secular Left, Islam and Catholicism, the latter being a stand-in for Christianity in general.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Becky Sue And Mama

Let's see if I can do this one without crying. I'm usually pretty good at keeping my emotions in check, but this weekend it couldn't be done.

A dear friend of ours, we'll call her Emily, was pregnant. She and her husband were so excited, looking forward to being parents for the second time. Emily is one of the sweetest and most beautiful women you'll ever meet. All of us couldn't wait to share in her joy when the child came.

Emily gave birth this weekend with the child at 22 weeks. Her father, a Texan, gave her one of those classic double names. We'll call her Becky Sue. The doctors knew Becky was in trouble a few weeks earlier, so mama had done everything possible to keep the baby. She had laid flat on her back for weeks, doing her best to keep the baby until it was old enough to make it in ICU.

She missed it by about 10 days.

Becky Sue was one pound and lived for 10 minutes. My wife went to see Emily and her family in the hospital and told me Becky Sue was this perfect, little doll. 10 beautiful fingers, 10 beautiful toes. My wife held her for a while when a friend said, "You're rocking her." My wife, sobbing, said, "I can't help it." When Emily asked to hold her daughter one more time, my wife said she had to leave. When she told me the story after she got home, I started sobbing, too.

I haven't shared this next part with anyone, it's seems too tragically beautiful to do it.

When Emily and Becky Sue meet in Heaven, I think Becky Sue will run towards her, arms outstretched, crying out, "Mama! I've missed you so much! I know you did everything you could to save me. I love you more than you can ever know."

OK, I need to stop. I'm losing it. I think you get the idea.

Love you guys. Have a great day.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Getting To The North Pole

... is tough sledding.

Ha ha ha! Ha ha! Ha.

Sorry about that.

I've had a metaphorical model of our attempts to live a holy life in my head for years, so I thought I'd share it today. Imagine that sainthood is the North Pole. You are somewhere a good deal south of it. Life is a struggle to slowly head north as best you can. Everyone around you in real life should be trying to do the same thing, but they are at distinctly different spots on the metaphorical globe. Your location is all based on your particular weaknesses and how well you're fighting them.

For example, my recurring issues involve brewskis, sloth and anger. Let's say I'm in Mobile, Alabama. Yours might be infidelity, greed and selfishness. You're in Riyadh. When I meet you and note your sins, should I mentally sneer at you? After all, I may have one too many beers once in a while, but you're involved in an affair! You swine! I am so superior!

Err, no. It's just that you're in Riyadh and I'm in Mobile. We're both a long, long way from the North Pole. Our job is to help each other muddle north. Given how far each of us has to go, neither of us can very well look down on the other. We've got a big job ahead of us and it's a waste of time squinting our eyes at each other to determine which of us is closer to the pole.

Anyway, there's my analogy. Not sure if it made sense in prose, but it makes sense to me. Which is why I'm better than you. (Editor's note: STOP THAT!)

My path. I'm not going to get to the North Pole, of course, all I can do is try to get close.

Your path. On the plus side, when you get there, you can have a plateful of delicious herring!

Friday, February 22, 2019

Farewell To Peter Tork

I'm a huge Monkees fan. When I heard that Peter died yesterday, I was hit pretty hard by the news. I've seen him in concert five times, three times with the Monkees and twice with his own band, Shoe Suede Blues. Below is a video from a performance at the Topsfield Fair in Massachusetts. It rained like crazy that day, so the fair was pretty deserted and they brought the show inside, into the place where they had an exhibit of local quilts. It was hilarious and he turned it into something fun.

After the concert, we had a chance to chat with him. He was friendly and at the end, we took a photo with him. I'll treasure that memory.

As for the video, this was 2011, so I shot it with a cheap video camera. I couldn't get a spot for it far enough from the "stage" to get the whole band, so the lead guitarist, Lauren, was out of shot the whole time. In any case, enjoy.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Catholicism And LGBT

... is not as complicated as we make it out to be and should never, ever be hostile.

Catholic Twitter's endless howling about gays is driving me crazy because it's so insanely self-destructive. Were it not for the Secular Left constantly baiting us, we wouldn't talk about it much at all. We're such stupid, reactive people that when confronted, we keep rushing that machine gun nest and getting shot to pieces. This post is an attempt to formulate a response that maintains the Catechism while helping people not charge the machine guns.

The Catholic position on homosexuality is rooted in two simple premises.
  1. You were made in the image of God.
    • You are unique among living things in that you have a soul.
    • Each one of us is precious to God since he sent his only Son to die for our sins. You can't show more love than that.

  2. Biology, including evolutionary biology, is a science.
    • As the world was created by God as an ordered place whose laws can be reasoned out from experimental evidence, biology itself is a manifestation of the divine.
    • Since God does not make contradictions, science in general and evolutionary biology in particular must be taken into account when creating the Catholic Catechism.
Note that only the first of these premises is theological. It is also completely innocuous. Even if you don't believe, who can criticize someone who thinks everyone else was made in the image of God?

Evolutionary biology is based on the idea that all living organisms strive to propagate their genes through time by way of reproduction. Evolution happens as a result of competition for mates and survival advantages. Whether you're algae or Algernon, the science of evolutionary biology says you exist to make more of yourself as best you can.

Biology has proven that all babies come from the union of one man and one woman. Our faith teaches us that babies are unique among creatures as they have the divine in them. That means that the act of creating a baby, a new soul, is different in kind from all other acts. It is the only way to get a new being that was made in the image of God.

That's it. That's all there is. It's not that anything else is so hateful that we must crucify anyone who deviates from marital, procreational sex, it only means that act is unique and sacramental. Catholics believe that things should be used for the purposes God intended. It doesn't mean that we should obsess over such violations, only that we strive to do things the right way.

The serious trouble comes not from individual gays, but from the pro-LGBT leadership in the Church. If they change Church teaching to endorse the equals sign, then we cease to be Catholic because we've thrown out one of the two premises above. Those "leaders" are pure poison. If we discard objective reality, logic and science, we are no longer the Catholic Church. We may as well be snake-handling Pentecostals.

Having said that, for the average person, be they gay, straight, bisexual or identify as a transgendered wallaby, when confronted by the question, "Do you believe that LGBT people are going to Hell?" or some such nonsense, the proper response is, "I believe you were made in the image of God."

Try that and see where the conversation goes.

Both are designed to propagate their genes through time.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

I Am Not An Addict

I can quit any time I want.

Dig this photo from the other night.

It looks like I'm some kind of crazed cooking addict who pulled over on the side of the road to make rice in our Instapot.

Instead, what happened was that I brought red beans and rice to our men's retreat preparation meeting. I brought the rice uncooked because rice that sits for an hour turns into a gluey mess. I had thought we were going to be in a larger meeting room at the church and I'd be able to plug it in on a table in the back of the room. Instead, we were in a small classroom with no place to stick the Instapot. A friend found a light pole outside with an outlet and we had things going in no time. The cone was there to mark a small flood zone as we've had quite a bit of rain lately.

Nah. Who am I kidding? I was driving down the road when I had an uncontrollable urge to cook!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Walking Into A Trap

... over and over and over again isn't the fault of the person setting the trap. It's your fault.

I keep feeling that the whole gays vs. Catholics thing is a total waste of time and nothing but a hideous trap for us. It's not like we would be talking about it if left to our own devices. I put these nominal pie charts together to share on a tweet and, from my experience, they qualitatively represent how things are.

If homosexuality wasn't politically weaponized, would we even care all that much? For example, if I knew a 36-year-old man who, for whatever reason, was never going to be in a relationship with a woman, would I care what he did in his house? Not really. In fact, not at all. It also doesn't make any difference to me if he did it with someone else of a similar bent.

If what he was doing resulted in children outside of marriage, I would care very much indeed as it is manifestly unfair to the children and the mother. But alone or with another guy? Meh.

Exit question: Why do we keep taking the bait? Why do we allow the secular press and the progressives, but I repeat myself, two (one) groups who clearly dislike us and have no intention of understanding us, choose the topics we discuss?

Monday, February 18, 2019

Bishop McElroy Takes Hostages

Yesterday, we got out Annual Catholic Appeal* sermon at Mass. It was a doozy. We normally give $500-$1,000. Before this year's sermon, ticked off at McElroy's behavior, I had planned on giving nothing. After the sermon, my new donation amount is zero.

There are plenty of reasons to be disgusted with Catholic leadership. Outside of a few superstars, I don't trust anyone from Bishop McElroy up to and including the Pope. I trust my parish and that's it.

To name only one of McElroy's failures, he was named in the Vigano letter as part of the Cardinal McCarrick Cabal, albeit possibly only on the periphery. The dude has never come clean about it. He's a Catholic bishop who runs an organization that tells me how much I suck every Sunday, but he's clammed up about his role in one of the biggest scandals in Church history. By the way, the scandal isn't what you're told by the media. From my blog post linked above:
Those penalties (created to stop pederasty by priests) did not apply to the bishops or any of the prelates. The rules were deliberately written that way. If the feedback we got from the priests at this meeting was any indication, they're disgusted by it. Further, Bishop McElroy, our idiot leader, came out and attacked the Vigano letter which named names in the Lavender Mafia. Lots of other bishops came out in support of it, but the nincompoop in San Diego decided to rail against Vigano. Maybe because he was named as a member of that cabal.
Getting back to the sermon, we were told that this year, all of the donations were specifically targeted at programs we love: Catholic schools, homeless programs, prison ministries and so forth. "None of it will go to that weasel, McElroy!" was part of the message.

The other part of the message was, "If you don't give, children will be kicked out of school and homeless people will go hungry!"

"Targeting" donations is another way of saying the McElroy will take his discretionary cash straight out of the general fund and stiff the schools and other programs unless we donate. "Hey, man, if they go broke and turn people away, it's your fault. We warned you."

Sorry, the issues at hand are bigger than one year of funding for popular stuff. Bishop, if you want to hold the kids hostage and tell me they're going to get it if I don't donate, be prepared for my response.

Go ahead the strip them of funding, you fraud. I'm totally willing to let those programs wither in exchange for not supporting your fat, lying butt. I'm just a digit, no one knows my name, but everyone knows you. When the donations fall short, people won't blame me, they'll blame you.

When you're ready to come clean and name names in the Lavender Mafia, let us know.

In the meantime, enjoy poverty.

* - The Annual Catholic Appeal is where we donate to the diocese instead of the parish. All the money comes under the control of the bishop.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Jussie Smollett Isn't The Problem

... it is the fact that the media, the entertainment industry and academia all live in a fantasy world. Dig this tweet from a CNN dude.
I didn't keep up with Jussie's story at the time, but I couldn't help seeing every news outlet cover it wall-to-wall for days when I was at the gym. With my headphones on, I didn't know exactly what was going on, but I saw the visuals and could easily guess the gist of it.

Aside: Why are they showing news programs at the gym? Why not just sports and travel shows? I'm going there, in part, to lower my blood pressure, not raise it.

I've now become familiar with some of the details from his tall tale. Only a complete lunatic would have believed it. They threw a noose around his neck? They poured bleach on him when it was 20 degrees below its freezing temperature? "This is MAGA country!" was shouted? My God, it's like someone from the Orange Mad Bad Mental Ward wrote the thing.

Which is what happened.

But Jussie isn't the problem. It's the fact that owners of our culture from the Ivy League to Hollywood to the news media are also living in the Orange Man Bad Mental Ward. It was never believable to anyone living in reality.

That's a problem for the country. The culture is being controlled by lunatics.

As an aside, I was wrong in my prediction yesterday. Specifically, this:
(I)t's a good bet that most of the book-burning lefties still don't know it was a hoax and are continuing to march around their houses singing whatever passes for the Horst Wessell Song these days in honor of Jussie Smollett, almost-martyr for the Reich Social Justice.
The fallback position for the Nazis is pretty clever. "It's terrible that this singular hoax will take attention away from the daily horrors the Jews white men are inflicting on Germans minorities and women!" They didn't ignore it, they just flipped it to tell der Volk to ignore this clear sign that the Party is made up of maniacs.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Was The Jussie Smollet "Attack" A Crime?

I don't see how it's anything other than a misdemeanor of filing a false report. Dig this.
It looks to me like two of Jussie's friends play-acted an attack that wasn't actually an attack. How do you charge grown men for horsing around?

Other than the police* whose time was wasted, who was harmed? No names were attached to the homophobic MAGA-whiteys in Smollett's fantasy so you can't get him for libel or slander or defamation.

I don't see the cops in Chicago doing anything more than dropping this case. At worst, Smollett will have to pay a desultory fine. When the cops can only solve 17% of the murders in the abattoir that is Chicago, I doubt they'll devote time and energy to the fantasies of a self-absorbed, C-list actor. My bet is that he will go on telling his story to everyone and there will be enough race-crazed lefties believing him that he'll become a minor celebrity on the order of Anita Hill.

* - The media was harmed as well, I suppose, although I'm not sure if you could tell. They got to tell their slavering, Nazis-without-ambition audience another fable that caused everyone to have racegasms, so that was good. When it all turned out to be another progressive hoax, I doubt Der Stürmer CNN and NPR ran with that headline near as much as they covered the Smollett let's-pretend session, so their credibility may not have been dented at all. Heck, it's a good bet that most of the book-burning lefties still don't know it was a hoax and are continuing to march around their houses singing whatever passes for the Horst Wessell Song these days in honor of Jussie Smollett, almost-martyr for the Reich Social Justice.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Gratitude And Valentine's Day

In the past week, I've tried to spend a lot more time thinking of thanks instead of noodling on nincompoopery. Since I'm a firm believer that you can train your brain into specific default behaviors, I'm trying to see gratitudinous things all around me and stop yelling at the windshield while I drive.

It's made me a calmer and happier person and today it paid off in a concrete way. Coming home from the gym this morning, I thought about the sentiment I would write in my wife's Valentine's Day card and it came to me almost immediately. I just thought of the things for which I'm deeply grateful.

For example, if it weren't for her, I'd be this weird, hermit dude with wild hair and nervous tics, writing manifestos in a cabin in the backwoods of northeastern Alabama, surrounded by cats.

After getting over my deep resentment that she has taken away that lifelong dream from me, I considered how grateful I was that I could be seen in public without people around me being overcome by foul odors.

Sigh. It could have been so, so good.

Where was I? Oh yes. In all seriousness, being in the (new) habit of expressing gratitude made writing this year's Valentine's Day card much, much easier.

Me without wife kitteh.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Gratitude And Milton Friedman

In my effort to be happier and spend less time yelling and waving my arms, I went onto Audible and searched for books on gratitude. There are a zillion of them. I ended up choosing Thanks a Thousand by A. J. Jacobs almost at random and gave it a try.

The idea is genius. AJ decides he's spent enough time being constantly annoyed at everything in life, so he commits himself to finding and thanking everyone who makes his morning cup of coffee possible. He starts with the barista and then moves onto the dude who samples and selects the coffee his little, hipster joint serves. Along the way, he interviews them to learn how they work. As I understand it, he ends up talking to the coffee farmer and everyone in between. I've had quite enough of the book, so I'm stopping here.

It's a great idea, but I found the writing and the reading, well, annoying. AJ is sort of a metrosexual, postmodern guy and the book reads like one of those insufferable NPR pieces or maybe a particularly vapid TED talk. The company what puts on TED published the thing, so it's no wonder. AJ is an agnostic/atheist and he seems utterly lacking in any kind of historical or philosophical grounding, so the book lives in the moment as if the Universe was created the day AJ was born.

Going back into prehistory, like around 1975, we find the ancient scrolls of Milton Friedman. Dig this short video.

These days, of course, we're much more enlightened and would never allow someone to post something as racist and patriarchal as "The Power of the Market" without trigger warnings.

Ahem. Gratitude. Yes.

Snarking aside, AJ is right on the money. His gratitude journey is well-considered, even if the execution is airy. I'm going to look for another book on the topic, but I'm grateful AJ got me to go back and watch that Milton Friedman classic. My favorite line is that the people who combined to make that pencil might hate each other if they met, but they cooperate out of their own self-interests.

And if you think that self-interest is selfish, I recommend picking up a pamphlet on evolutionary biology.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Working Out

... isn't doing what I had expected.

I'm about 6 weeks into a weightlifting program. It's patterned after my youthful days as a dilettante bodybuilder. And I'm not being modest there. I really was a dilettante.

In any case, I'm combining it with drinking less, eating less and eating more healthy. It's got me feeling better and I have gotten to the stage where I notice some changes in my appearance, but I'm sure everyone else would say, "Oh, have you started yet?"

The weird part is that I haven't lost an ounce. Nothing. I've been weighing myself after I get out of the shower and for a while, it looked like I had lost about 5#, but this week, I'm right back where I started.

Oh well.

I know weight fluctuates and it's better to do a moving average plot, but I don't feel like it, so I'm just weighing every day and pretty much shrugging at the result.

Still, I do feel better and that's worth the effort right there.

How I see myself these days. Or something like that.

Monday, February 11, 2019

13 Years Of Blogging

... is a cry for help, right?

It are my blogiversary today, so I'll self-indulge a bit more than usual.

This has been a tough year for blogging. Some days are easy and I can sit down and blast out a long essay. Other days, I just don't feel like doing it, but I can't fight the OCD. I'm not carrying my cameras around like I used to, so the photoblogging thing is only available as a backstop from time to time.

I've thought a great deal about quitting this last year. I wonder what life would be like without the need to write every day. Since polemics are so easy for me, does the blog actually make me a worse person as I look for things to rant about?

On that note, I read someone say that taking a break from Twitter was like taking a break from anthrax. I then looked at my raw timeline, which is made up mostly of Catholics, and found that it was still an intensely negative feed. You didn't feel uplifted when you read it, you just wanted to wave your arms and yell.

Working on my most recent set of written goals, I've decided that I want to have more positive thoughts. Thinking about things for which I'm grateful would really help. I'm pondering starting or ending every blog post with a random thing for which I'm grateful. Like this.

I'm grateful for: Being born in AD instead of BC. What a drag it would be to live in a world untouched by Christ. Even were I Jewish, God would be infinite and distant. If I were pagan, it wouldn't take much thought to realize it was all hooey. And then there's the implicit, Christian ethics that shape our laws and behavior. I'm not thinking that the Romans cared all that much for loving the least among them.

Plus, I wouldn't want to walk around with a vegetable-cleaning brush on my head.
Not sure if I'll do it, but it might improve the general mood of the writing. It's hard to get angry when you think of how lucky you are.

As always, thanks for visiting and commenting. Love you guys!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

A Modern Day Knute Rockne

... if he were a priest or a bishop, probably wouldn't look down into the pews, shake his head and say, "You know what's wrong with you? Here's what's wrong with you ..."

I want to work this out a little more, but I don't have the time today. Instead, I'll just make the point that if you're losing customers, you might want to show some appreciation for them once in a while instead of every homily being a list of things we need to improve.

Looking out on his players who face the coming week as definite underdogs, Knute delivers a rousing speech.
"You guys are the worst. The. Worst."

Saturday, February 09, 2019

The Green Slave Deal

Looking at this summary of the Green New Deal, here are some "benefits" of the thing.
  • A government-guaranteed job,
  • Free education for life,
  • A salubrious diet,
  • A house, and
  • Free money.
The difference between that list and the list Antebellum, Southern politicians gave for the benefits of slavery is one of degree, not kind. Sadly, I'd suggest that the Southerners offered a better deal as only some of the population would live as slaves whereas under the Green New Deal, we all would.


Update: After I found the quote from Senator Calhoun (D-SC, 1850), the whole thing fell into place for me. Socialism is slavery. Master/government will give you a job. If you do not do the job you will be punished in some way. If you do the job, master/government will give you all the necessities of life and you might be allowed to keep some small portion of what you created.

The Green New Deal is just another way to getting to the desired end state: socialist slavery.

It's even harder being a slave.

Friday, February 08, 2019

Tiny, Purple Flowers

... run laughing through your fingers
And you want to take her with you
To the hard land of the winter

Her name is Aphrodite
And she rides a crimson shell
You know you cannot leave her
For you touched the distant sands
With apologies to Cream.

I shot these yesterday while at my mom's house and I think they're exquisite. I left the image quite large, so I think it's worth a click. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 07, 2019


Or is it too much gulping?

I'm at my mom's house, occupied with odds and ends. There's a wedding photo here of wife kitteh and me. That was several years and, apparently, a whole lot of fried chicken ago.


Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Buying In At The Peak

... is what the Catholic leadership is doing with the Secular Left.

Dig this article from the San Francisco Chronicle.
San Francisco has more drug addicts than it has students enrolled in its public high schools, the city Health Department’s latest estimates conclude.

There are about 24,500 injection drug users in San Francisco — that’s about 8,500 more people than the nearly 16,000 students enrolled in San Francisco Unified School District’s 15 high schools and illustrates the scope of the problem on the city’s streets.
San Francisco is one of the flagship cities of the Secular Left and it's rotten to the core. If you've got 50% more addicts than high school students, you're on the highway to Hell. Check out this snippet of the photo from the article.

The caption reads "Officer Brian Donohue checks on Jeffrey Choate after he sees him lying on the sidewalk along Larkin Street and asks him to dispose of used needles next to him in a proper container." You just throw up your hands at that, don't you? San Fran has a needle distribution program where they handed out something like 4,500,000 clean ones to the addicts last year.

What's the long-term plan here? Just where do you think Jeff is going to be in, say, 5 years? Pushing up the daisies is where Jeff is going to be. If that's what your poster-child city is doing, then you're holding jack-high nothing and bluffing all the way in the poker game of cultural competition.

Meanwhile, the pope, our cardinals and our bishops are all rushing this way and that, groveling in front of the Secular Left, going so far as to kick their own kids in the groin to prove their bona fides to them.

Way back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, I was sorely tempted to buy into the stock market right before the dot-com bubble popped. That was around the "delusion" point in the chart below, which is where I think the Secular Left is as well.

Instead of buying in, I kept my money on the sidelines and ended up quite happy with the results.

Catholics would be wise to do the same today.

Monday, February 04, 2019

Kamala Harris Makes The Case For Slavery

Dig this speech made by a senator from the distant past. I made a few changes to the text, marked in italics.
I may say with truth, that in few countries so much is left to the share of the laborer, and so little exacted from him, or where there is more kind attention paid to him in sickness or infirmities of age as it is under socialism. Compare his condition with the tenants of the poor houses in the capitalist portions of the world–look at the sick, and the old and infirm laborer, on one hand, in the midst of his family and friends, under the kind superintending care of the government, and compare it with the forlorn and wretched condition of the pauper in the poorhouse.
Does that sound like Kamala or Bernie or Hillary or any of the rest of the socialists or what? The original speaker was John C. Calhoun of South Carolina and he was talking about slavery, which isn't much different from socialism. Slaves/workers get health care, housing, guaranteed work, heck, they get dignity. In exchange for that, the master/government gets some of the fruits of his labor.

Don't look too carefully at how big that "some" might be.

If you want to read the original, you can find it here.

I'm always struck by how similar the pitch for socialism is to the pitch for slavery as a moral good. When I saw this Calhoun speech excerpt this morning, it leaped off the screen at me.

Is there something about being a pro-slavery Democrat that makes your eyes bug out like you're completely bonkers?

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Worrying About Pointless Things

... is what happens when we all get in a lather about whether some medical student went to a party in blackface.

It's also how we show that we really care, if the unimportant thing is currently hip, like people in blackface. We're standing up against hatred and bigotry while not actually accomplishing anything.

Meanwhile, about half of all black pregnancies end in abortion and of the remaining babies who are born, about 3/4 of them don't have a married father in the house. That means that in about 7/8 of all black pregnancies, the woman is effectively abandoned.

It's all good, though. We tell everyone that all families are equal and we stand up against drunk med students wearing blackface costumes. Don't worry about the fatherless children in the black community or the rest of the country which isn't far behind. They'll be fine.

As Crosby, Stills and Nash would say, love the one you're with, man. It's all groovy.