Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Thoughts On RV Camping During The Great Confederate Livermush Adventure

Wife kitteh and I are off on KT's Second Dixie Tour, otherwise known as The Great Confederate Livermush Adventure. Inspired by a desire to see Confederate Railroad in concert and a post on a Southern cooking blog that extolled the virtues of that North Carolina treat, livermush, we're back in the land of cotton for a week, having a grand old time.

Because we're traveling so much, we decided to rent an RV from Cruise America instead of booking hotel rooms. Neither of us like to be told what to do, so hotels and cruises are pretty much out of the question. Instead, our first choice is always Vacation Rental By Owner, or VRBO for short. We pick a spot, get a condo or a house and then move in for a week. We're both good cooks, so we have more fun and better food when we don't go out to eat. With VRBO, you have total freedom to come and go as you please, eat in your bare feet and imbibe a bit more with dinner because you're not driving.

The RV made sense this time because we're traveling so far. The map below gives our general path.

Our fixed destinations were Nashville for the airport, Fayetteville for the concert and Asheville for the livermush. After that, it was all up for grabs. I looked at VRBO places in the Tennessee hill country around Ducktown, but as we've never been here, that was really a shot in the dark. Driving distances are great enough so that if you made a home base, there would be days with 6 hours of driving. Wife kitteh said, "Do not want!" and that was that.

Neither of us have done RV camping before. We rented from Cruise America, a nationwide RV rental chain. Wife kitteh wanted a big bed, so we got their large camper, a 30' beast, shown here in a Walmart parking lot in Nashville.

"Honey, do you remember where we parked? Oh, right. It's the one the size of a barn."
 I'd driven U-Haul moving trucks before, but only the smallish ones. This behemoth was bigger than any of those. I read online in forums that you get used to it pretty quickly and they were right. I'm fairly comfortable with it now and it's only been a couple of days. Here are some other things we've learned.

Plus Side

  • No packing and unpacking! Yay! All your stuff is with you.
  • No need to waste time going to restaurants for breakfast and lunch. We've ended up going out for dinner, but one meal is better than three.
  • If you stop at a store with a good liquor selection to stock up and then get dinner to go, you can still eat with your shoes off and have that extra beer or glass of wine in the RV once you get to your camping spot. Wife kitteh drinks wine and I drink beer, so we didn't need to find any hard liquor, just decent wine and local crafts.
  • Mobility, with limits.
  • It's easier to drive than you might think. You're fine as long as you remember your turns are very wide and are careful backing up, using a spotter behind you.
  • If we wanted to bring the Catican Guards on vacation with us, the RV would be the only way to go. Three dogs in an SUV is fine for 30 minutes, but longer than that and you'd all go mad. Plus, there'd be much less room for luggage.

Minus Side (pretty minor ones, really)

  • You feel trapped by the size of it. Parking takes at least 2, but realistically 4 slots, so you quickly start crossing desirable destinations off your list like hiking trail heads with small parking lots.
  • It's not a VRBO house, it's an RV. It's nice enough, but it's not someone's house. Think one-and-a-half star motel, minus the vermin underfoot and the drug addicts staying in room next door.
  • Cruise America will rent you a decent cooking kit, but you have to provide all the spices and stuff. VRBO houses usually have an adequate collection.
  • The bed is a non-standard size. We got queen sheets and sheet corner clips to keep the bottom sheet on and it worked well enough.
  • You camp where there are RV campsites. That means you may need to drive 30 minutes out of your way to get to your stop for the night.
  • If you fly in and rent like we did, you buy things you wouldn't have to otherwise. We bought a cooler and beach chairs and a few other things as well. When we leave, we'll take the cooler with us, full of delicious livermush products, but the chairs and the rest will be donated to charity.
We've been discussing RV camping as we've gone along. I'm not much of a fan, unless, like this trip, it's a scouting expedition. Now that we've been here and have a feel for the place, I'm a lot more confident picking a VRBO spot. We both have loved the hill country of Tennessee, so we'll be back, next time with a house or cabin in the woods.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Trees And Water

I've got notes from Tater Melon Day in Molino, Tennessee in general and the Confederate Railroad concert in particular I want to share, but we'll do that later. I have lessons learned from our first RV vacation that will come later as well. For now, I wanted to share what I thought was a lovely photo taken at Tim's Ford State Park near Fayetteville. It's a gorgeous place.

What the heck. I'll share three photos with you that will give you some idea of its beauty. I left them large, so they might be worth a click. Enjoy.

This is my favorite. I looked up and got the idea from remembering the cover of the album, More of the Monkees. Not sure how many of you will get that reference.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

I'm Losing Track Of The Seasons

Blogging from my phone again.

At a Walmart in Chattanooga, I was surprised to see parents and children shopping for school supplies. It took me a minute to figure out what month it was and what that meant. Now that our children have all grown up and moved out, I no longer have them to keep me aware of the seasons.

Without sports schedules, I'd be totally lost.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Welcome To The Red State South

I'm blogging from my phone this morning. Meh.

I'm back in Dixie, this time with wife kitteh. We're going to Fayetteville, Tennessee to see Confederate Railroad in concert. Last night, we had dinner at a blue collar BBQ joint in Nashville.

Wife kitteh, a Chicago Yankee Hillary Clinton NPR Democrat, couldn't get over how integrated the place was. Mixed race staff, customers and couples dining. Where was all the bigotry she'd been led to expect from the media and the movies? I just smiled and said, "Welcome to the South."

Friday, July 27, 2018

The Pre-Vacation Camera Test

... and for me, it's no contest. Fuji for the win!

I've got the old Nikon Artillery Piece (a D60), a Nikon point-and-shoot and  Fuji X-T10. See what you think. We're heading to Dixie today and I'm taking te Fuji and the point-and-shoot. The Artillery Piece has an awesome zoom lens which the Fuji lacks, but it's clear I need to summon the artillery calibration team.

Jalapenos, Zoomed


Nikon Artillery Piece

Nikon Point-And-Shoot

Salvias, Not Zoomed


Nikon Artillery Piece

Nikon Point-And-Shoot

Thursday, July 26, 2018

I Want Twitter To Tell Me How Awful I Am

... before they shadowban or outright terminate me.

There's a lot of talk these days about Twitter shadowbanning conservatives. That's where you no longer show up in searches, making it difficult to find you. I've seen plenty of tweets talking about how this or that conservative had their account suspended. Allegedly, there's an algorithm for these things.

Why not let us see our score from that algorithm?

Think about it. If the goal was to tame the dog-eat-dog world of the Twitterverse, wouldn't it be better to let people know if they were on the edge instead of just letting them know with a pink slip? I went on a rant today about seminarians getting raped by a Catholic cardinal. Was that too close to the edge or was that OK? How am I supposed to know?

I think Twitter would be way better off if they gave us a way to find out our Obnoxiousness Score.

I think I redlined it with those tweets, man. Time to dial it back.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

This Is Why My Money's In The SP500

From today's WSJ.
At the time of the (Sohn C)onference, Heard on the Street columnists took on the stock pickers by throwing darts to create a portfolio of 10 stocks to go up against the 12 stocks picked by the Sohn speakers. Three months later, the darts have prevailed. The Heard team’s 10 picks, eight long and two short, have returned 7.23% on average. The combined performance of 12 picks by Sohn attendees has been slightly negative, lagging behind the S&P 500 by more than 6 percentage points.
My dad could beat them all and did almost every year, but he put an enormous amount of time and energy into investing. He would follow a stock for over a year before buying. He had an MBA from Harvard and there were specific characteristics he sought, mostly found by pouring over their financial documents.

Me, I don't want to spend the time on it. There's at least one article like this every year that shows experts losing to random pickers or the S&P 500. Sometimes, you get investment companies that can beat the S&P 500 for a few years and they try to make hay with that, but in the long run, I think the S&P 500 can't be beat.


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Stalin Plus Hitler Equals Thomas Jefferson

I heard that deliberately ridiculous formulation on a podcast recently and thought it would make a neat graphic, so I played around with Illustrator this morning and made this. Enjoy.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Joe Biden Vs. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Don't you figure there were plenty of Germans who went along with the Nazis reluctantly? The ones who heard the parts about the need for resurgent German pride, loathed the chaos of the Wiemar Republic and hated the punitive Treaty of Versailles, but didn't really like the whole anti-Semitic / invade everyone thing? These were the people educated in pre-Hitler Germany, where classical Enlightenment texts were used and Nietzsche wasn't seen as a genius, but a nut. By comparison, the people raised in the Hitler Youth were probably full-blooded Nazi loons.

Joe Biden has always struck me as the typical, smug, lefty opportunist. He has never come across as a power-mad nutjob the way Hillary did and certainly not as a panting, bug-eyed radical on the order of Ocasio-Cortez. Oh sure, he's willing to use the Democrat-Nazi racialist talk when he needs the black vote - "They want to put y'all back in chains!" -  but it never comes out of his mouth with the spittle and rage that you get with Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Here's my hypothesis. Joe's generation of Democrats grew up in the pre-postmodernist education system where we still taught the classics because they were classics. He might go along with tearing down pictures of dead, white guys at Harvard and removing Shakespeare from the curriculum, but it would be a mercenary act, a way to secure votes instead of the cultural violence of a true believer. He'd read Shakespeare and Dickens and his history textbooks as a child were relatively free of race-mongering. He might go along with the Nazis, but he isn't a Nazi deep down in his heart.
Aside: The more I see from the leftward lurch of the Democrats, the more I see them as Nazis without ambition. They tick off all the boxes.
  • Centralize authority in the government at the Federal level 
  • Expand that authority until it covers every aspect of life
  • Obsess on identity politics in general and race in particular
  • Goon squads in the street (universities) to enforce cultural orthodoxy
  • Desirous to exterminate Judeo-Christian culture unless it knuckles under and supports them 
  • No international ambitions: Invading other countries and war is out of the question
Meanwhile, Coates and Ocasio-Cortez grew up under the tutelage of the postmodernist education system. If my daughter's experience in public school is any guide, they were taught racialism first and useful information second. Every class not in math or science focused on or was informed by race. She was raised by her teachers to be an activist, not a wife, mother or employee.

This is the source of the Democrats' generational conflict. Ocasio-Cortez is aligned with Bernie against centrist Democrats because she's a full-on Nazi loon. It's a decent bet she's never encountered any serious treatment of ideas outside those of the postmodern progressives. In fact, they've been taught that anyone even slightly affirming ideas not in lockstep with the progs is full of hate from racism, sexism, homophobia and more. Hence, the reflexive screaming when they encounter someone like Jordan Peterson.

Meanwhile, the Bidens of the world are mystified by Cortez's attacks. Why, that's not done, my dear. You need to moderate your speech and go along with your elders. The Cortezes of the world narrow their eyes and stare at the Bidens, wondering how much hatey-hate-hate is deep in their souls. Biden doesn't realize that his talk of moderation cannot take root in Cortez's head because all moderating concepts were categorized as hateful hate by her postmodernist teachers.

So here we are. The progs took over the education system, entertainment and the media and then purged all opposing thought so the new generation grew up as Obama Youth. If he runs in 2020, Biden might manage to get the older folks' votes, but the centrists' time is quickly running out.

Isn't this what you wanted when you enforced your orthodoxies, progs?

Unlike the wimpy Bidens of the world, these guys don't tolerate hate.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Why You Need To Keep Up With The Russia Collusion Scandal

... it's because if you do, you won't have time to pay attention to the fact that one of our worst enemies, Iran, is on the brink of revolution. Bringing the Norks to the negotiating table and destabilizing Iran are huge wins for Trump and we can't have you finding out about that!

Trump Russia Collusion Stormy Daniels Putin's Puppet Collusion Election Trump Twitter Russia.

With that important, headline news out of the way, we can say a little bit about a trivial sideshow in Iran.

The Iranian government recently devalued their currency, cutting it in half. Ouch.
Thousands of traders in the Iranian capital's Grand Bazaar have held a rare strike against the collapse of the rial on the foreign exchange market.

Iran's currency has plunged almost 50 percent in value in the past six months, with the US dollar now buying around 85,000 rials on the open market.

The rial's decreased value is expected to result in an increase in the price of imported goods and push up the inflation rate.
Meanwhile, street protests against the regime have been going on for quite some Stormy Daniels Russian Collusion time.

Trump Twitter FBI Putin Russia. Mueller.
I'm thinking that it's usually not a sign of strength when an Islamic dictatorship starts having open protests in multiple cities at the same time. It's even worse when the women start taking off their veils in front of the Morality Police.

Oh well. Nothing to see here. The potential collapse of a regime that organizes daily chants of "Death to America!" is hardly worthy of your time. Please move on to Mueller Russia Trump Collusion Comey Hillary Stormy Daniels Payoff.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

When Facts And Reason Are Against Socialism

... you deny that objective truth exists and claim that mathematics and reason are oppressive.

I just finished my third time through the audio of this lecture by Stephen Hicks on Postmodernism, based on his book, Explaining Postmodernism, which I have yet to read. Combining that with my readings from Mussolini and Hitler as well as theology and other odds and ends, I'm starting to formulate a timeline and mechanism for the spread of the postmodern disease we suffer from today.

My own crude, incomplete definition of Postmodernism is that it is the rejection of the reality of objective truth. When progressives talk about "your truth" and "my truth" and, most importantly for this post, continue to support socialism, it is a direct result of the Postmodern movement that has taken over our academies.

Here's my basic timeline so far. I'm sure it has plenty of inaccuracies, but it is, after all, my truth and therefore is just as valid as whatever really happened.

  1. Karl Marx comes up with this great new idea, Socialism which is a transition stage to Communism. He makes all kinds predictions about how the world is going to go there because he's all sciency and stuff.

  2. Lots of intellectuals sign on to this because they like wacky new ideas that promise a utopia ruled by people like them because they are so much smarter than you, you mouth-breathing peasant.

  3. World War I comes along and the workers of the world don't unite, they kill each other in huge numbers because one worker of the world is from Germany and the other worker of the world is from France.

  4. In contradiction to Marx's science-filled predictions, revolution comes, but it comes to agrarian Russia instead of industrial Germany, France or Britain.

  5. Mussolini and Hitler, big socialists themselves, can see that something is wrong. Is it socialism? Ha! What a joke! It's not socialism, it's the failure to center socialism in the nation instead of the world. Thus we end up with National Socialism under Hitler and Fascism under Mussolini. Yay! Winning!

  6. Err, not so much. National Socialism comes to an end in a bunker in Berlin in April of 1945. Fascism sneaks out the back door and heads to Argentina and later, the maunderings of the Clintons and Barack Obama.

  7. This is all OK for the atheist socialist intelligentsia. Their religion just needed some tweaking. Now that the dead branches of Marx's slight miscalculations and Hitler's right-wing socialism (ahem) have been pruned, we can get down with that dancing fool, Papa Joe Stalin and his Soviet Union, which will lead the workers of the world to victory.

  8. 1956 happens. Papa Joe dies and it's revealed that the Soviet Union was a horrific prison camp where the roads are lined with the skeletons of slaughtered millions. As if we needed more proof, the Soviets put down a peaceful revolution in Hungary and that is televised all over the world. Walter Duranty and the New York Times can't save them this time, that sucker is right there, live, in your living room.

  9. The intellectuals throw up their hands, scattering sheafs of papers from their latest tracts excoriating the bourgeois all over the faculty lounge floor where it will later be picked up by the maid whom they all despise. This isn't working at all. Looked at from a logical point of view with data from objective reality, this whole socialism thing was a fraud from the start. It's time to embrace the Christian, democratic, capitalist nations of the world who have been trouncing the socialists like LSU playing football against Harvard.

  10. But wait a minute here. What if objective truth doesn't exist? Didn't some of the eggheads at that other university try to tell us that we each perceive reality differently and that means there is no such thing as reality? Or something like that. In any case, if that's true, we weren't wrong after all! We can continue to cling to our faith! Socialism can't be disproved because there's no way to disprove anything if you dispense with objective reality and logic!

  11. Take that, you reactionary swine! We win after all because we tossed the rules of the game into the trash and refuse to play that any more. We win because we define winning as power and control, which we will achieve by spreading our religion throughout the academy, the media and entertainment. Victory will be ours!
And so here we are. As a devout Catholic, I can assure you that I have been a staunch Papist all my life, including those decades where I drank beer, played softball and chased skirts while not bothering to look into any of that Catechism mumbo-jumbo. In other words, I outsourced thinking to Catholic intellectuals and just parroted what they said as if it were real.

Kind of like the progressive foot soldiers today.

I love the look in her eyes. It just shouts, "I am open-minded and rational and not at all a crazed, religious zealot who wants to rule over you crude, racist pigs!"

Friday, July 20, 2018

Fried Catfish Is Easy

... easy to make - seasonings, flour and cornmeal and then hot oil.

And easy to post on a blog when you've got a long discussion of postmodernism in your head, but you didn't have the time to type it out.

Fried and frying.

Properly served with cheap, white bread and a salad.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Keurigs Make Horrible Coffee

Our Keurig 2 is dying and I couldn't be happier.

Its screen is on the fritz*, which is the way most of them die. That makes sense as the thing is a tub of water, a heating element, a thermostat and a small computer with a tiny screen running DOS 3.2. The computer/screen is the only item on that list with an MTBF not measured in decades.

Anyway, I'm glad to see it go. It makes ghastly coffee, it's a pain to use and the cups are expensive. It's the ultimate 21st Century device - it costs a lot, looks modern and does something that a much simpler thing could do better. I'm sure the Keurig 4 will be connected to the Internet.

We stopped using the Keurig as a Keurig a while back. I make French press in the mornings and the only thing the Keurig did for me was dispense 12 oz of hot water into my press. My wife likes decaf, so we buy the beans at Costco, grind them and then use the little, plastic, reusable K-Cup cartridges we have to fill ourselves while spilling coffee grounds all over the counter. Meh.

I made cold press overnight for the first time, bypassing the Keurig entirely. I heated a mug of it in the microwave and it was comparable to the French press I usually have. In any case, the Keurig was extraneous. Wife kitteh has bought a simple kettle that will replace the Keurig. It's smaller, prettier and will do just what we need done.

Finally, I could only find one K-cup brand I thought was decent. Black Rifle Coffee makes some good ones, but they cost about a dollar a serving. I'm not paying a dollar for a cup of coffee I make myself. That just ain't happening especially when the coffee is at best mediocre.

So farewell, Keurig. And good riddance.

* - I'm sorry for using technical terms like this, but I don't have a better way to say it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Style Over Substance?

All in all, I thought Trump's European vacation was pretty much a complete disaster. Other than his dressing down of the Germans for funding the Russian military with $21B of imported energy products, which desperately needed to be said in blunt terms, Trump seemed completely off the rails everywhere he went.

His snarking at Prime Minister May was unnecessary and the press conference with Putin was one unforced error after another. The guy hasn't changed a bit. He has no filter between his brain and his mouth. Or perhaps, that filter switches on and off at irregular intervals. Whatever it was, the whole trip could hardly have been worse.

My wife can't stand the guy for the same reasons I can't. He's a self-aggrandizing loudmouth. Every utterance is there to make him look big and everyone else look small. It dawned on me after a conversation with her about it the other day that I've pretty much tuned him out. I don't watch the news, I don't watch most of his speeches and I don't read most of the quotes. What's the point? Occasionally he's right on target, but a lot of the time, he's a bombastic nut.

Until you get to his performance.

I can't think of anyone, save perhaps Ted Cruz, who would be doing a better job as president. Everything you want to happen is happening, with the exception of the wall. His judicial picks have been out of this world, giving a free hand to the military has led to the obliteration of ISIS, the market and economy are going gangbusters and he's reigning in the out-of-control regulatory state. The Catholic Church and its schools are safe from cultural attack by the government, something I didn't feel under Obama.

Meanwhile, the left is going totally insane, screaming about impeachment and treason and racism and God knows what else. I can't watch them, either.

I've decided that the biggest difference between the sides was best put by my wife. "I love what he's doing, but what he says and the way he says it drives me crazy!" If his reelection was held today, I'd vote for him and it's a good bet she'd vote against him.

Does style outweigh substance? (Good Lord, how I wish we'd elected Ted Cruz.)

All in all, this was probably a fitting symbol for the trip.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Searching For A Reason For The Putin Panic

Wouldn't that be a cool new dance? The Putin Panic?

Can someone please tell me what's the big deal with the Trump-Putin summit? For the life of me, I can't figure out why everyone has their panties in a wad over it. Yeah, they've got a lot of nukes, but that's about it. If that moron Podesta hadn't fallen for a phishing scheme, we'd never have had the Russia-Democrat-Bonehead-Email Scandal.

It's a wonder the Nigerian prince who inherited $17,000,000 didn't get to Podesta first.

Anyway, the Putin summit is a big deal because ... reasons. Someone told me recently that the issue was Russian aggression. Aggression with what? Their army is tiny for their land mass size and they lack the ability to project power outside of a 20-mile radius around their borders. If that prime buffoon Obama had given the Ukrainians lethal aid, they would have been able to wipe out a decent chunk of Russia's operational units.

I did some research and found the Russians have lost the ability to direct fires and coordinate attacks. Their missiles might have great accuracy, which itself is debatable, but they can't see where to shoot the things.

That leaves you with ... what? A wasting population with one of the lowest birth rates in the world? A ossified economy reliant on only one export - petroleum and related products? Wow. Better jump into the bunker, it's the Russians!  Or not. It looks to me like we can safely ignore them.


Here, a Russian assault vehicle attacks a small park.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Climate Change Hysteria Is A Nazi Scam

As if you didn't know already.

The video at the bottom explains the chart up above. The chart explains why we need to learn to cope with global warming climate change if it is happening at all. We're not going to be able to stop it.

The weak-tea Nazis on the left know it. At least their leaders do. But then, Nazis never care about saving the planet. They just want to run it.

Aside: I was going to leave the word "Nazi" out of the title, but since it's thrown around by the left so much and they own the thing ideologically, I figured I'd put it there and see what happened. Click-baitery? Yeah. Sometimes I sink pretty low.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Peter Strzok And Nathan Bedford Forrest

Why in the world do congressional committees interrogate people? I mean, I can understand if it's a budget issue and the agency in question is mismanaging the money given them by Congress, but why are they acting like prosecutors with swine like Peter Strzok?

I read an autobiography of Nathan Bedford Forrest, the famous Confederate cavalry leader. Among his many victories was his capture of Fort Pillow. Yes, that's the real name of the place, Fort Pillow. All I can think of is guys hitting each other with bags full of goose down and feathers flying all over the place.

Ahem. I seem to have digressed.

The Federals defending Fort Pillow included a unit of colored troops who were allegedly massacred by Forrest's men. Whether or not it happened and whether or not Forrest controlled it is a murky issue. It was played up in the North and at the end of the war, Congress held inquiries about it. Forrest was brought before a congressional committee just like Peter Strzok was this week. And just like Strzok, Forrest lied to them. He didn't even bother to keep his stories consistent during his testimony.

In the end, the committee ran out of time for the hearings and nothing came of it. Nothing ever does. Nothing will come from Strzok's testimony, either. To my mind, everyone associated with Hillary's emails and the subsequent investigation is a criminal and should be prosecuted. That's not going to happen in Congress. Instead, we get this grandstanding rubbish followed by each side's partisans pulling out the portions that make their team look best. Strzok and his cronies walk and the nation is no better off.

Please, can we do away with these?

The capture of Fort Pillow. I think.

Friday, July 13, 2018

The Statue Ate My Homework

I had a Twitter conversation the other day with someone who was complaining about conservative racists. I shared this little graphic with him.
He was actually sane and we had a pleasant discussion. In the end, we followed each other and agreed that the goal was a color-blind society. He was willing to admit that the vast majority of conservatives were not racist. I had some help from another person on Twitter who, fortunately, took a gentle approach to the thing. It was all good

Still, it made me think about what was happening. The racialist used the now-familiar trope of tiki torch-waving, racist nutjobs as examples of all conservatives. After I pointed out that using a self-selecting, fringe group of, say, 100 people as indicative of what's happening with 350,000,000+ people was a bad idea, I started wondering just why any of us ever saw them as representative of something larger.

Why do the tiki goons and statues and flags get all that press? It's a giant misdirection play.

If we ever stopped focusing on racism, we'd have to confront sexual morality. The real problem is babies before marriage, not statues. The racism cant isn't about people of color, it's about us not wanting to talk about the birds and the bees.

At 75% illegitimacy, a culture is simply screwed. No one can get ahead because no one has two dedicated parents to teach the self-denial and self-control. The parents can't take time off work to improve their skills and get better jobs. Parents can't make it to conferences with teachers. Young men grow up without discipline and fall back into violence and crime. It's what men do in the absence of discipline and expectations. See also: Illiterate German barbarians sacking Rome instead of building Berlin.

So we talk about statues and flags and who might have said the Forbidden Word eighteen years ago while drunk at a cocktail party as a magician's trick. We all look here at the distraction instead of there where the switcheroo is taking place. We keep doing it because we start our conversations with the topics handed to us by the media, the academy and entertainment.

If you want a better world, you need a better culture. Statues, flags and a hundred nitwits aren't the problem. Our inability to discuss the realities of biology and parenting is.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Another Example Of Hipster Hoodwinkery and Organic Tricksterism

I went to a Starbucks this morning to hook up with some of my Catholic homies and talk Jesusification. Not wanting to consume any more caffeine, I went with a green slurry. This green slurry, to be precise.

I thought, "This is gonna be great! It's got to be filled with nutrition because it's all green and murky!" I did wonder about the chlorella, though. Was it the early stage of cholera? Who knew?

What I did discover was that I would have been better off drinking some Hi-C made from a powder using tap water. Here's the nutritional information.

It had some fiber and a little bit of Vitamin C. Not much, though. It set me back a few bucks and looked like pond scum. In exchange for that, I received ... sweet-tasting fluid with a bitter aftertaste that resembled grass clippings.


Stupid hipsters. They get taken in by this rubbish all the time. Snake oil is what it was.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Men Are Stupid

... that's what we learn from this article.
Intelligent women should consider marrying less clever men if they want to start a family, according to researchers.

There are simply not enough brainy men to go round... (W)omen may be slow to follow Professor Inhorn’s advice as her own research also shows that hypogamy or ‘marrying down’ is unpopular with women.

‘They didn’t want to marry or partner with someone less educated and of lower socio-economic status,’ she said. ‘They wanted equality in their relationship.’ In fact, another study co-authored by Professor Inhorn found women often desired men from a higher socio-economic level.
That's it. That's the whole of the article. Do you notice anything missing? Yep. There's no mention of what men want.

It reminds me of the old joke about the dog food company that came up with a new flavor and marketed it with tons of advertising money, but no matter what they did, it just wouldn't sell. Finally, some young executive said, "Maybe the dogs just don't like the taste of it."

Maybe all those degrees aren't super attractive to men. I don't know about you, but I was looking for a wife, not a partner for a law firm. I admire the accomplishment, but my wife doesn't have one and I think she was a great catch.

And then there's the condescension. I'm sure it's a real turn-on to learn that your girlfriend is "settling." Oh yeah, that's a winner. "I guess I love you, even though you're not all that clever." Golly! Thanks!

In the end, isn't this what we wanted? Isn't this what we've been striving to achieve - more women with degrees and professional careers and fewer men with them? What's wrong with that?


Monday, July 09, 2018

Floris van Schooten, Early Food Blogger

Yesterday, trying to escape the current heat wave here in sunny San Diego, we went to the art museum. There, we came into contact with the work of Floris van Schooten, food blogger.

Last night's noms, ca 1645.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

The Novel We Need To Read

The news media doesn't tell you the news. It serializes chapters from a novel it wants you to hear.
The reason those (heavily slanted stories) were written (by the news media) ... was that they were the next chapter in the story (they were) telling you. Just like a regular novel, there are stories going on all around the hero, but it's the hero's story and one story in particular that is laid out in the book. It's not even the most important story, either.
What story should we be reading instead of the one the media feeds us? Last time, I said it needed to be about sex because there's something dreadfully wrong with our culture. Despite the benign environment, we're not reproducing. That's a huge telltale that something is broken. On this blog, I've ranted for years about the decline of the traditional family and all of the pernicious effects that causes. A healthy media, desiring a healthy culture, would be telling that story.

More of this, please!
©Zdenka Darula - Adobe Stock Images)
Imagine that instead of trying to push a political viewpoint, the media wanted healthier and happier children, higher family incomes, less crime, fewer people on drugs, fewer people in prison and better performance in school. What novel would they serialize? Certainly not the one they're doing now. Think of all the rags-to-riches stories you could find out there among stable, married, traditional families. There are millions of them. If they wanted to choose only the sensational and photogenic, so be it.

When we saw Dr. Jordan Peterson a while back, the last question in the Q&A session was about all of the left-wing violence and public shaming we're seeing. Asked what caused it, he replied that sometimes you look at the end result, the actual product of the actions and wonder if that's not what was intended in the first place.

Maybe instead of wanting healthier and happier children, higher family incomes, less crime, fewer people on drugs, fewer people in prison and better performance in school, the media wants conflict and violence.

Hey, they're reading us the current novel for  reason.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Drying Herbs In A Desert Is Easy

... even if it's a coastal desert like San Diego.

Our oregano and rosemary have become weeds. I offered to dry some for friends and yesterday it hit 105 here. I cut some, washed it off and then put it on cookie sheets on top of our spa cover. I didn't bother to shake off the excess water. It evaporated in 20 minutes and by the end of the day, the oregano and rosemary were thoroughly dry and ready to give away.

The cookie sheets hit 150 degrees. They were so hot that I needed to pick them up with a towel and that was at the end of the day. I can only imagine how hot they were around noon. Yowsers!

Mmm. Delicious spaghetti sauces are on the way!

Friday, July 06, 2018

We Should Read More Novels About Sex

A lot more.

The news media does not tell you the day's important news. Instead, it serializes the novel it wants you to read, feeding it to you bit by bit.
The reason those (heavily slanted stories) were written (by the news media) ... was that they were the next chapter in the story (they were) telling you. Just like a regular novel, there are stories going on all around the hero, but it's the hero's story and one story in particular that is laid out in the book. It's not even the most important story, either.

During the course of a Harlequin romance novel, where Theresa is wondering if Brian is thinking about Muriel while he strokes her hair and tells her sweet lies, there are other things going on in the world. China is building up a military presence in Southeast Asia and Iran is spinning centrifuges while British police officers are arresting English fathers for objecting to Muslims raping their daughters. You don't need to know any of that, this is a story about Theresa, Brian and Muriel. For all it matters, Pakistan and India could be trading nukes and annihilating millions, but what matters to the story is Brian's fidelity to Theresa in the face of slutty Muriel's advances.
I get my news from the Wall Street Journal and then a wide smattering of blogs, Twitter feeds, podcasts and other sources. I also read a lot of non-fiction books, preferably written before 1960. Right now, I'm thoroughly enjoying Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee, written by one of his sons. It's like it came from another planet, it's so different from the images conjured up in the novel we're being told by the news media.

When I do tune in to the news media, typically from questions about current events asked by my wife, they always come at me from left field. I always wonder why we're even bothering to talk about the subjects the MSM covers, they're so irrelevant.

I often feel the same way about the podcasts I follow. The podcasters might be independent thinkers, but most of the topics are reactive to the day's news which is chosen by ...  the MSM. So even when you get a different take on the same story, the MSM is still choosing the subject. Their subjects are almost all pointless.

So what should we be talking about?

Sex. There should be lots and lots of talk about sex. I don't mean just the act, I mean the preliminary courtships, the relationships, the pregnancies or lack thereof, the babies and the families. It should be the number one topic of conversation because it is an existential issue in so many ways. Consider this.
I also just described Japan, Russia and now, America. I did not describe Islam.
Marseilles is roughly 30% Muslim. I don't know the stats for Nice, but as Nice is nearby, it's reasonable to assume a similar population.

The Muslims in France are having babies. The French are not. That means that the newborns in Marseilles and Nice are probably split about 50-50. You can't have any more 21-year-olds in 20 years than you have 1-year-olds today. Marseilles and Nice are within sight of Muslim parity and then majority...

If I was a French father and husband in Marseilles or Nice, I'd be seriously looking at moving north. You make different calculations when you've got a family to protect than you do when you're a member of the political, artistic or academic elite. They can talk and talk and talk about multiculturalism and lone wolves and legal processes, but when it's your wife and children, those words mean nothing. That 50-50 split mentioned above isn't going to take 20 years if the French start fleeing north.
We aren't discussing this at all. Instead, we talk about Global Warming Climate Change which is of unknown importance instead of this which is existential to our way of life. We talk about racism which is at best a third-order problem, but not about the destruction of the traditional family. We talk about civility, but not biological sex roles. None of those topics have any real meaning. Instead, we ought to be talking about sex.

Maybe it's too much to expect eunuchs to discuss the creation of healthy babies with promising futures.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

End The Public Education Monopoly!

... or at least take steps to see that our children don't grow up to be insufferable ignoramuses. At a recent party, while watching Jeopardy as a group, a young family member shot out a reply to a question that the answer was "a dead, white male!" He works at SDSU and is thoroughly steeped in modern, campus thought.

I replied that he might want to show a little more respect to dead, white males as they invented everything he uses today. He replied with a very short list of things invented by others. As far as I could tell all of them were predicated on the civilization built by those dead, white males, so his list was derivative at best.

Now dig this.
I'm betting my readers get the joke. Poor @Afsaneh_J appears to have missed it. At the risk of being a self-serving bore, allow me to quote myself.
I'd suggest that instead of hating slavery, racism and imperialism, we hate success. To borrow this tidbit again from Hilaire Belloc,
Whatever happens we have got
The Maxim Gun, and they have not.
It's hard to imagine that the Turks, the Mongols or even the peaceful, living-in-harmony-with-nature Apache would have eschewed the use of the Maxim Gun if they'd had access to them.

Instead of getting wound up about one warlike empire among many, we might want to ask ourselves why the Europeans developed the technologies they did. And no, "Because slavery!" isn't the answer. Everyone had slaves, but only the Christian, white, Europeans developed almost all of the technologies we use today.
 My bet is that @Afsaneh_J is completely unaware of the history of the Aztecs. Or the Ottomans, the Mongols, the Ashanti, the Incas, the Caribes and all of the others. I recall my daughter being shocked to find that America's black slaves were sold into slavery by their fellow Africans. That certainly wasn't in her history textbooks!

I find it exhausting to read through tweets like the one above and the all of the derivative ones wherein dead, white males are excoriated for succeeding. I wonder if we'll ever get tired enough of it to spank the education industry into behaving. They certainly could use some firm discipline.

Here, Edmund Burke takes a switch to the backside of an SDSU professor to punish him for teaching absolute twaddle.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

George Washington At A BBQ

... would tip his hat to you and wish you a happy Fourth of July!

Whom am I to argue with the great man? Hope you have a fun day and God bless America!

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

History Changes Its Mind

Remember back when we were on the right side of history letting everyone cross our southern border? Yes, we had laws, but Barack Obama refused to enforce them because, you know, that's not who we were and the Arc of History was bending towards Justice and all.

History is a fickle mistress.

Merkel is getting pummeled in Germany for leaving the doors wide open.
BERLIN— Angela Merkel’s fight to secure her shaky coalition faced a new hurdle on Tuesday as the German chancellor moved to persuade her center-left allies to back tighter immigration rules.

After two weeks of wrangling that brought her government close to a collapse, the German leader and her rebellious interior minister reached a compromise late on Monday on measures that would make it easier for police to expel some migrants who turn up at Germany’s southern border.
Italy is telling the NGOs rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean just where to go.
MILAN -- Italy's populist, anti-migrant interior minister said Friday that Malta should allow a Dutch-flagged rescue ship carrying hundreds of migrants rescued from rubber dinghies off the Libyan coast to make port there because the ship is now in Maltese waters. "We ask humanly and politically that Malta finally opens one of its ports and lets these desperate people disembark," and then seize the ship, Salvini said.
I love CBS' anti-Italian bigotry*.  The Italian interior minister is "anti-immigrant?" Err, I don't think so. He's anti-illegal-immigrant, you hopeless purveyors of fake news and enemies of free people everywhere.

Meanwhile, the polls show that Americans are pretty supportive of being tough at the US border, so long as the kids don't get thrown in dungeons or whatever it was that was supposed to be happening.

So just what happened to being on the right side of History? Hmm. Maybe History had a little talk with Douglas Murray.

* - Hey, two sides can play the over-the-top labeling game, you know.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Dogs Don't Like Hockey

... at least our dogs don't. Dig this.

When you consider this was playoff hockey, it tells you all you need to know about their level of interest in the sport.