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.

Yay.

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

Gulp

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.

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Speak The Truth With Love

I've blogged a few times in the past months about my close friend who decided she was a man. I haven't agreed with that and it's led me to being excommunicated in the literal sense. We used to see a lot of each other and in the last year or so, she hasn't seen fit to see me, call me or even text. She wants to get together tomorrow for reasons that are unclear to me.

What do you say under such circumstances? Do you argue, do you stand your ground, do you agree with whatever she demands?

Listening to the Clerically Speaking podcast, which I can't recommend highly enough, I heard Father Anthony say, "Speak the truth with love." I now have an opportunity to put this wisdom into action.

My approach going in will be to say that I love what God made. She is a beautiful person and I love her. I'll be very careful not to use names or pronouns and do that out of love for her. I don't know what else I can do. I won't join in with the Social Justice mob and tell her she should hack off body parts and jam herself full of testosterone. By the same token, I won't assume that strident, biology-based arguments by me are going to change her mind. As Zig Ziglar would say, a prospect never buys your product because you won an argument with them. They buy based on emotional responses to what you're saying.

The truth is I love her the way she was born. Mutilating her body and drugging herself aren't an improvement on what God created.

I'm under no illusions that some golden oration by me is going to make huge difference in her life. I certainly have enough examples from my own life where people made wonderfully logical arguments against me taking one stupid action or another and I went right ahead and nuked myself anyway.

All I can do is speak the truth with as much love as possible.

Friday, February 01, 2019

It's Not The Met Gala, It's The After Party

... where they all talk about how the Deplorables are, well, deplorable.

The inestimable Sid Pound, who inestimable because he follows me on Twitter, posted this clever tidbit.

If you're not keeping up with Catholic Twitter, we Catholics are enraged that the pusillanimous Cardinal Dolan of NY won't excommunicate Heinrich Himmler Governor Cuomo after he cut the ribbon for the opening of a new death camp signed into law a bill for slaughtering babies. A lot of Catholics are wondering just what it would take to get excommunicated. I'm not.

Sid's right, the Cardinal would miss out on all the parties thrown by the Secular Left. He probably gets invites to many of them as he's a (mostly) reliable member of the cult. You could see his extreme discomfort in his whiny statements on the bill. "Come on, guys, we're all good progressives together. Why did you do this? Golly, now I'm going to have to figure out what to say to those mouth-breathing cretins that go to our churches every Sunday. It's just not fair."

Losing out on the parties would be bad enough, but the underlying, err, excommunication from the Team on the Right Side of History would be far worse. All of those Smart People in the Secular Left would get the wrong idea and yell at him. It would take forever to restore his reputation as a prog and who wants to waste time doing that when there's Global Warming Climate Change to fight?

So the good cardinal consulted his canon lawyer, who should be shot out of a cannon along with the cardinal, and got the all-clear sign. "Nope, can't do it. I'd love to show my spine, but he says I can't. Since my staff keeps my spine in a jar in the back office, I can't very well show it without their permission. Let's all just issue some Strongly Worded Statements and then get back to being disappointed with the nastiness in our society."

The real, unspoken reason he didn't pull the trigger on Cuomo is pretty simple.

He didn't want to because for the most part, he agrees with the guy. The cardinal is a member of the Secular Left himself. He believes in almost all of their tenets. Their politics are more important than any particular law and certainly more important than the Catholic faith. If a few babies need to die of exposure in the cause of Social Justice, well, you can't make a Resist Omelette without breaking a few fertilized eggs.

It's a few eggs. I mean, in the grand scheme of all births in the world, it's really just a few.