Sunday, October 31, 2021

No Net November

Matthew 5:29, modified for today:

If your computer causes you to sin, turn it off and go outside. It is better for you to miss out on an engrossing Twitter brawl than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.

Or something like that.

I've been writing a daily blog for more than 15 years. Recently, I've begun to wonder what it has done to me. What would happen if I turned off the Internet for a prolonged period of time? I already know at least part of the answer as I have allowed many other projects go to seed while I surf the web and write.

I don't have a current list of goals. The old goals that I've got, like finishing up the clutch repair on my MGB and learning to make sauces, aren't getting done. It's not that I don't have time, it's that I want to check the web just one more time or I have to post something for today and I've really got nothing to share.

I've read plenty of essays describing how the Internet in general and social media in particular changes your personality and I believe them to be true. To find out how it has changed me, I'm going to quit it for a month. No blogging, no Twitter and no Instapundit for all of November. I'll still post to Facebook from time to time, but everything I share and everyone I follow only discuss family events and fun. In any case, I go to FB rarely, so it's not a big deal.

The Rules

  1. I can use the Internet for education and research as much as I want. 
  2. I can use the computer to journal, rewrite my goals and manage my personal Jira project for tracking tasks.
  3. I cannot blog or use Twitter in any way.
  4. I cannot visit my favorite news or pundit sites.
  5. I can read my favorite sports sites.

The Chain Of Events

The biggest change will be turning off The Scratching Post for the month. Doing that will alter what I do in the morning. Instead of making coffee and planting my butt in my computer chair, I'll make my coffee and ... do what? Read a book? Sit in the hot tub? Experiment with breakfasts? Go into the garage and putter? I'll certainly get to the gym earlier.

I'm actually really excited about this.

I can't wait to blog about what I discover. :-)

Love you guys. Have a great November. See you in December.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Ibram X. McAuliffe

At some point, don't you think this stuff has to stop? Here are two stories of make-believe racism from yesterday.

Race baiter Kendi was too stupid to realize this tweet contradicted his entire scam by pointing out that Victims of Color (VoC) get consideration over white supremacists when it comes to college admissions. When it was pointed out to him, he deleted it, but not before someone had captured it for all time.

Elsewhere, the Lincoln Project, together with various Democratic Party personnel, sent ersatz white supremacists to pose in from of Republican Glenn Youngkin's campaign bus because, you know, racism.

Predictably, this stunt blew up in McAuliffe's face in short order.

It's all so boring. Can't we please be done with it?

Friday, October 29, 2021

A Wet Dragonfly

 Last weekend, I took the Catican Guards for their weekend party. That's my name for an off-the-leash romp around a couple of office and industrial parks in Poway. There are no cars, no people and plenty of open space for them to play. It's all good fun.

It had rained the night before and I came across this little fellow, sitting on the wet pavement. The colors aren't striking, but I liked the way the water beaded on his body. I left the image large, so it might be worth a click. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 28, 2021

The Synod On Intolerance

I recently joined our parish council. At last night's meeting, I heard about the pope's plan for a Synod on Synodality. Rather than unpack that horrible name, I'll just say that the pope wants to see the Church become more inclusive and so he wants us all to have listening sessions.

That's not going to end well. When our very own Bishop McElroy did it, he discovered that his flock and he didn't see eye to eye. I guess there's a price to be paid for leaving your mansion and mingling with the rabble.

Bishop McElroy has visited a couple of churches in his diocese to allow the unwashed masses to speak with him about the Church's abuse scandal. The first one turned into a riot as people blew up at him and since then, the events have been scripted like a straight jacket.

But my despair over the whole inclusion effort isn't about a few evenings of rancor. It's that the outcome of the thing is perfectly predictable. At my work, "inclusion" is a big deal. It's all rubbish. Inclusion means accepting sexual degeneracy and bagging on straight, white men. They aren't subtle about it, either.

Inclusion can't possibly work. We all have different world views and many of them can't be reconciled. For example, it came as a surprise to the inclusion gang that the Taliban weren't interested in diversity and went right back to oppressing women and killing gays as soon as they had power in Afghanistan. 

Duh.

Given the pope's recent attacks on traditionalists in the faith, it's a given that inclusion will mean the same in the Church as it does at my work. Inclusion will be acceptance of sexual degeneracy and bagging on straight, white men. Our diocese is shot through with SJWs so there's no chance this turns out any other way.

If the people running the Church had a lick of sense, they let each of us approach God in our own way, guided by the Catechism as much as possible. 

Nah.

Bonus Snark: This is one more example showing that Pope Francis is the King of Unforced Errors.

An idea whose time has come.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

God Does Not See Race

 ... and therefore, neither should you.

This occurred to me while at the gym this morning and I felt the need to write it down where I can find it later.

Genesis 1:27

God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Luke 17:1-4

He said to his disciples, “Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the person through whom they occur. It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him.”

In Genesis, God sees all of mankind as the same. Black, brown, white, yellow, red, green and blue with pink stripes, everyone was made in His image. If He doesn't see it, you shouldn't either.

In Luke, when confronting sin, Jesus doesn't instruct you to whack everyone of the sinner's race with that sin, He tells you to confront the individual as an individual. If you find racism, you need to find the racist committing the act and discuss it with them, not weave it into a larger narrative about those people.

If you promulgate the kind of claptrap that comes from books like White Fragility, you are spreading your sins to others. You might want to get fitted for a millstone.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Let's Go, Candace!

This morning, I listened to two versions of the Let's Go Brandon song, which are currently numbers one and two on the Spotify Hip Hop charts. I also watched a minute-long video where boxer Floyd Mayweather gave support to an NBA player who said his natural immunity following his case of the Wuhan Flu was better than a vaccine.

What hit me was that these people are all saying what racial pariah, Candace Owens, has been saying for some time now. Think for yourself. Be yourself. Don't be a victim, take charge of your life. It was strange that a pandemic led to it, but perhaps not. Candace is only saying what works - personal responsibility. I guess, if you look at it a certain way, every crisis is bound to lead to self-reliance.

I've got to run, but I thought I'd also share part of the lyrics to one of the Let's Go Brandon songs. Make of it what you will.

Let's go, Brandon
I keep a drum like I'm Nick Cannon, ayy, ayy (Pow, pow)
Let's go, Brandon
Pandemic ain't real, they just planned it, ayy, ayy (They just planned it)
Let's go, Brandon
When you ask questions, they start bannin', ayy, ayy (Facts)

As for the "pandemic ain't real, they just planned it" part, well, the racial justice crowd has been pumping racial paranoia as hard as they could for years now and this is the harvest. I hope they choke on it.

The thing that interested me was the bit about "bannin." Everyone can see what's happening with the crushing of free speech. That's a key message from both songs and the part that lines up with Candace Owens.

Good on ya, girl.

Monday, October 25, 2021

You've Changed!

 ... but who are "you?"

In the case of the parents vs. the school boards, the answer is the school boards. The most dramatic case of a parent going ballistic at their school board comes from Loudoun Country, Virginia. The Daily Wire got the scoop on what happened while the MSM stayed in their plush studios, content to trot out the Party's talking points about divisiveness, hate and violence.

On June 22, Scott Smith was arrested at a Loudoun County, Virginia, school board meeting, a meeting that was ultimately deemed an “unlawful assembly” after many attendees vocally opposed a policy on transgender students.

What people did not know is that weeks prior on May 28, Smith says, a boy allegedly wearing a skirt entered a girls’ bathroom at nearby Stone Bridge High School, where he sexually assaulted Smith’s ninth-grade daughter. 

Juvenile records are sealed, but Smith’s attorney Elizabeth Lancaster told The Daily Wire that a boy was charged with two counts of forcible sodomy – one count of anal sodomy and one count of forcible fellatio – related to an incident that day at that school. 

It gets worse, much worse. The school system tried to hide the information from the cops by dragging their feet on the investigation and they transferred the boy to another school where he attacked another girl. The dad was enraged that his daughter had been raped and the school system lied to cover it up and protect the pervert.

One can safely assume that three years earlier, dad was pretty much the same guy. I don't recall news reports of school-board screaming matches all across the country back then. Something did indeed change, but it couldn't have been the parents. Instead, it was the education industry, which has gone completely mad by the embracing sexual degeneracy of the gender-confusion movement and the racism of CRT.

They're also down with tyranny. Dig this.

The message is clear: we can teach your kids anything we want and you aren't allowed to object to it. Your children belong to the State.

Good luck with that one. More than anyone else, it was suburban moms who gave Trump his well-deserved thrashing. When the association of school boards wrote to Biden, complaining that parents were yelling at them for pushing Modern Nazi Race Theory and child porn, they effectively took a big stick and whacked the hornets' nest. It looks as though they've been stung quite enough as they have recently released a letter backing off, begging the hornets to stop all the stinging.

In any case, it's the school boards that are the aggressors, not the parents. These parents have been there for years and years, dutifully taking their kids to school and doing what the education industry said. To get to the point that they're going to school board meetings, of all things, and losing their minds means the education industry has pushed things way too far.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

The Best Kind Of Party

 ... is the kind where you can count on your guests for lots of help.

I threw my semi-annual bachelor bash for the guys from Cursillo last night and we had a ball. Because they're all used to working in the kitchen on our retreat weekends and see that sort of thing as an act of love for one another, I was able to be much more ambitious with my menu. They fried the oysters, did the dishes, set the table and so forth while I made the shrimp, the gumbo, the rice and the jambalaya. It was heaven.

This time, all the dishes were successful. Usually, when I try to make so many things at once, at least one of them fails. I also chose to try out only one new recipe, a seafood jambalaya with oysters, crab and shrimp. And, of course, bacon. Duh. I had shotgunned this when wife kitteh and I were vacationing in Alabama and thought it my best jambalaya ever. This one was its equal.

At the end of the night, a bunch of the guys asked what they could do to help. The kitchen was a catastrophe with dirty pots and pans everywhere. Before wife kitteh got home, they had the place perfectly clean. While they washed and scrubbed, I sat and drank a beer with some of the others. Love all around.

Now that's a good party.

I had ordered a gallon of oysters from Billy's Seafood, not knowing if it was too much. When it first arrived, I was blown away at how many there were and figured I'd be throwing much of it in the trash. After last night, there's only a quart left and they should be good for another 3 days.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

It's Not A State, It's A Prison

Three counties in Maryland want to leave their state and join West Virginia. They're the westernmost three, in the spur of Maryland right above West Virginia. The people are cultural brothers of the Mountaineers, practically unrelated to the coastal Marylanders in places like Baltimore whose population allow them to rule everyone in the state.

When son kitteh and I went to Baton Rouge a few weeks ago, it was his first trip to Dixie. One of the things that struck him was how different the South is from California. For him, it was like another country. He immediately grasped the concept of Federalism. What makes the people of San Diego think they know best for those on the bayou?

If the people of Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties want out, why not let them go? What is it that you are preserving? Stephanie Smith, a Baltimore Democrat in the General Assembly, said on Twitter, "Congratulating my colleagues on this attention-seeking effort! But remember, viral relevance is but a vapor. You'll still be a Maryland resident after the re-tweets subside & the side eyes will be abundant."

That's the sneer of the warden, not the remarks of a friend. The replies in her feed and those in other tweets about the counties wanting to join WV were full of hatred for the pigs who live in both western Maryland and West Virginia. Still, they didn't want to let the counties get away.

Like the five counties in Oregon that want to join Idaho, the state is holding on to people of a different culture who want out because they lack the population necessary to have a say in their government. Since the government controls more and more aspects of their lives, it's not just having a say in government, it's not being able to live free from alien tyranny.

Combine that with the destabilizing effects of our crushing debt and you get the ingredients for real conflict.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Political Oysters

I'm throwing a stag party on Saturday night for a bunch of guys from the recent men's retreat weekend. I ordered shrimp and oysters from Billy's Seafood in Bon Secour, Alabama and received them yesterday. I rarely have access to shucked oysters, so my oyster-frying skills are rudimentary. It made sense to experiment with some, so last night we did just that.

So far, the winner is a simple seasoned flour dredge and then deep fried at 350 degrees for 2 minutes. We tried the seasoned flour - egg wash - panko routine you use when you want a thick crust on chicken, but it was too thick for the oysters and overwhelmed their squishy goodness.

I've got a few more recipes to try tonight and I'll post my favorite here.

The best oysters in the world come from the Deep South. So delicious!

Politics And Families

I've asserted elsewhere on this blog that the nation is too divided because the government is too large. The government is controlled through politics and politics is controlled by argument and argument is divisive. QED. 

If we had a much smaller government, I wouldn't care all that much how you voted. Bernie or Trump, it wouldn't matter to me. Last night, wife kitteh, still a Chicago Democrat and a consumer of CNN and NPR, talked about wearing masks at her volunteer job at a school for poor kids. I made my usual noises about how stupid masks were, but thinking about it this morning, I decided that was a poor choice.

Who cares if she agrees with me about masks and booster shots? What matters is that she feels unsafe. She is also concerned for the children. Me whipping out Ben Shapiroish data points about how it's unwise to vaccinate kids against the Wuhan Flu and showing the problems with masks using engineering diagrams doesn't address her primary concern - safety. Further, California is as one-party a state as you're going to find. Neither of our votes mean a thing.

Choosing political arguments over love is all cost and no benefit.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Everyone Living In The Gutter Is Equal

Two associate professors from respectable universities recently hosted a webinar entitled Toward Dismantling Family Privilege and White Supremacy in Family Science. Here's part of their description of the thing.

Family Science has long studied non-traditional families. The discipline still struggles with family inequality, though, in how it privileges certain types of families over others. Like White privilege, family privilege is an unacknowledged and unearned benefit instantiated in U.S. laws, policies, and practices and bestowed upon traditional or "standard" nuclear families to the disadvantage of non-traditional configured family systems (e.g., sole-parent families, unmarried committed partners rearing children together, grandparents raising grandchildren). Family privilege is defined as the benefits, often invisible and unacknowledged, that one receives by belonging to family systems long upheld in society as superior to all others. It serves to advantage certain family forms over others and is typically bestowed upon White, traditional nuclear families.

I found it fascinating. They're only kinda sorta denying the superiority of the traditional family. Instead of attacking it head-on, it looks like they're characterizing it as a kind of oppression against those from "alternative" families. The claim seems to be that policies and the culture gives advantages to the traditional family and that's why it works so well.

Instead of trying to increase the number of traditional families, they're trying to level the playing field for inferior families. We've been trying to do that with social programs for decades now and the result can be seen in Baltimore, Chicago, Yazoo City and on and on and on.

This is more evidence that the goal of the progressives is not happiness and success, but the elimination of all rules. We can either help more people lift up themselves and their families by encouraging wholesome behaviors or we can accept degeneracy and find ways to improve the lives of the degenerates.

I dunno, man. It didn't work in my family.

If we all work together, the children conceived under these conditions will do just as well as those raised in the unearned privilege of white-supremacist, traditional families.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Rachel Levine Is A Good Start

So Richard Leland Levine is now a 4-star admiral and the head of the US Public Health Service. He's also a complete lunatic, a man who thinks he's a woman and wants us to call him Rachel.

I mean seriously, dude. If that's a woman, I'm a marmot.

Adorable rodents aside, it says a lot about us that we've got someone with a raging mental illness running our Public Health Service. If you've seen full-body photos of the guy, you can see he's overweight, too. That means there's a delusional fat guy advising the president on health matters. The only way to follow this up would be to ...

Nominate someone who thinks he's Napoleon to be our ambassador to France.

Imagine how this would go over in France. They'd love it as much as my military officer friends love the idea that a complete nutcase just got 4 stars for being a complete nutcase.

All I can close with is this gem from Aerosmith. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Lizards Don't Care About Orgasms

With foam-flecked lips, I've raved about the Lizard Empire and how it has taken over the culture.

My Lizard Empire is an allegorical construct which describes our sexual mores using a map of the Roman Empire. The Romans wanted a large empire to protect Rome. The Lizards want to make wild degeneracy as acceptable as possible so our own degeneracies seem normal.

To recapitulate my mapping:

  • Rome is all acts acceptable to the Catholic Church.
  • Italia is all acts acceptable in America, circa, say, 2000 AD.
  • You, a person who likes to watch abusive threesomes online, are somewhere in Aquitania.
  • Epstein is just barely beyond the border of Dacia. When ABC spiked the Epstein story three years ago, that was an attempt to conquer that territory and make Epstein acceptable.
  • Trannies in the library are Brittania.
  • Desmond is Amazing, the 11-year-old who dresses in drag and performs in gay bars, is Mauretania.
  • Allowing children to choose their gender is Assyria.

Today, we'll visit Nebraska. I'll leave it to you to figure out what part of the Lizard Empire it represents.

The Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) shut out religious groups from a controversial curriculum development process, according to internal documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The original draft of the agency's sex education standards included plans to teach elementary school students about gender identity and transgender hormone therapy. Internal emails obtained by a concerned parent show the NDE added a Planned Parenthood ally to the 28-member advisory team for the standards, while it excluded input from religious education groups. The documents show NDE employees were privately aggravated that Jeremy Ekeler, the associate director of education policy at the Nebraska Catholic Conference, wanted to be included in the curriculum process because they suspected he would be critical of their approach.

"Jeremy is coming on pretty strong," one NDE employee emailed with a frowning face symbol.

"I know. I really think they want to advocate for abstinence only education as well as gender identity, sexual orientation, etc.; but that is only my assumption," another employee responded.

And blah blah blah. Second verse, same as the first. It's all the same, everywhere. Don't harsh their mellows, man. No rules!

And that's the point - no rules. The point is not pleasure. There's a whole flock of canaries dying in this particular coal mine and here's one.

Teenage girls across the globe have been showing up at doctors’ offices with tics—physical jerking movements and verbal outbursts—since the start of the pandemic...

Girls with tics are rare, and these teens had an unusually high number of them, which had developed suddenly. After months of studying the patients and consulting with one another, experts at top pediatric hospitals ... discovered that most of the girls had something in common: TikTok.

According to a spate of recent medical journal articles, doctors say the girls had been watching videos of TikTok influencers who said they had Tourette syndrome, a nervous-system disorder that causes people to make repetitive, involuntary movements or sounds.

I could add links showing increased anxiety in women, lower happiness, fewer marriages, fewer babies and on and on and on. If Daddy wants some sugar tonight, Mama needs to feel relaxed, secure and loved. All of the data I've seen says those feelings are rarer and rarer as we discard rules and limits on behavior.

If the Lizard Empire was all about the Big O, they'd be promoting stable, permanent relationships, less social media and much less porn. Instead, they're pushing to eliminate shame, judgment and objective rules. It's ending in sterile, unhappy libertinism, but that's fine with the lizards. 

Strangely enough, happiness and pleasure are not the point.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Fakery

Fakery

Pete Buttigieg was named Transportation Secretary and then he and his boyfriend bought a pair of babies and then he took 2 months of paternity leave? 2 months? I don't care if there was a crisis in shipping or not, who takes a cabinet-level position and then takes 2 consecutive months of vacation? A position at that level has its costs and one of them is lots and lots and lots of long days.

Just what was he doing during those 2 months? It's not like his boyfriend was breastfeeding the kids. Make some formula or buy a wet nurse like you bought the babies and change some diapers. It's not that hard for the guy. His boyfriend wasn't coming down from the hormone imbalances of pregnancy, he was just some dude who was the same the day before Amazon delivered the babies as he was the day afterwards.

I don't get it.

Two dudes.

More Fakery

President Biden is now giving addresses from a fake White House set created in a building across the street. Someone from a previous administration said that the real Oval Office has too much light and too many reflective surfaces to properly use a teleprompter. The dude can't even memorize short speeches.

Wait, what?

Still More Fakery

Kamala Harris' Geneva-Convention-violating infomercial about space had child actors instead of real kids in it?

Huge Fakery

There are still hundreds or thousands of Americans in Afghanistan where the Taliban is being the Taliban. There doesn't seem to be any concern about this.

I've Lost The Bubble

I have no idea what is happening any more. What are we voting for in our elections when our elected officials are clearly only pretending to do their jobs?

Palate Cleanser

LSU has decided to part ways with football head coach Ed Orgeron. After that marvelous 15-0 National Title season a few years back, I fell in love with Coach O, who sounds like the Cookie Monster. I'll miss tweeting, "T is for Touchdown. That's good enough for me," whenever LSU scores one.

If you want to see one of the very best farewell press conference performances, watch this. I love the guy even more now. 

Thursday, October 14, 2021

SanFranSicko And Hillbilly Elegy

Right now, I'm making my way through SanFranSicko (SFS), a progs' description of how he came to see that progressive politics are making many cities worse. It's well done and the author doesn't really take a red pill so much as open his eyes to the reality of homelessness and drug addictions. He's a long-time veteran of the fight to end homelessness, so it's written with emotion and knowledge.

Hillbilly Elegy (HE) was a book describing a man's extended family in Kentucky and Ohio and their struggles with poverty and drugs.

SFS is mostly statistics and data. The people aren't fleshed out and the protagonist is the government. The government takes the form of both the various official departments and the crowd of publicly-funded Not-For-Profit organizations. As the numbers wash over you, you really can't be sure if they're accurate. There's a ton of money in homelessness and mountains of egos on the line. None of the activists ever want to admit they were wrong. Further, the government can pretend to have limitless resources as they can print money at the Federal level and hand that down the line.

HE is all stories. The family members are detailed and the family has very limited resources indeed. HE shows the tough decisions being made every day and many of them are wrong. When wrong decisions are made, things get worse and there's pain. You learn, if you didn't know already, that some people are just bad at life and throwing scarce money at them is a bad idea.

In SFS, bad decisions mean the numbers that should go up go down and numbers that should go down go up. That's it. The dead are tallied, but no descriptions are given of the phone calls to family members or the visits to the hospitals to see the last gasps. It's all antiseptic and theoretical.

SFS was written by a progressive. HE was written by a conservative.

Make of that what you will.

I'm off for the weekend, working on a men's retreat. I usually blog from my phone when I do these, but I'm not sure I will this time. If not, have a great weekend.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Take Care Of Yourself And Live For Today

On Monday night, I drove to a hospital some 30 miles away to visit my brother. He was unconscious and is unlikely to come out of it. There was a machine helping him breathe. It wasn't the Wuhan Flu, it was the byproduct of looking out for number one. Sex and drugs and rock and roll, if you will.

My brother is 6 years older than I am. Growing up, he always looked down on me in scorn for having been the conservative, little twerp. While he was banging chicks and dealing and using drugs, I was engaging in only the mildest forms of self-indulgence. Between 6th and 7th grade, he introduced me to regular marijuana use. I discovered I didn't like it as I noticed my ambition dissolving into nothingness, even when I wasn't high. I suppose I should thank him as I didn't pick up the habit after that.

Still, even while his own life was lurching from one disaster to another, I always felt he had a worldliness and a set of experiences that I lacked. I knew it didn't make sense, but I couldn't shake it until I saw him in that bed. I saw what living for today and ditching all the rules meant.

His feet stuck out of the sheets. They had been bandaged at the heels, but his toes weren't covered, except from sores and infections. His knees were scabbed as well. The human body can take a good deal of damage before it quits, but it eventually will quit.

When our mom died and I was the executor of the will, he sued wife kitteh and me. We ended up settling out of court, as described here. He got quite a bit of money and I wondered where it had all gone. He must have worked pretty hard to blow it in such a short period of time. Oh well.

I don't hate him. I never did. I'm not even sure how much of what he did was genetically predisposed. Our maternal grandfather was the stereotypical Irish drunk and our oldest brother died from drugs. Addiction is a common theme among the men in our family, at least on my mother's side. Was it something he could have successfully fought? Who knows?

Whenever I hear people advocate for legalizing drugs, I wonder how many drug addicts they've known.

In any case, he was the textbook example of someone who followed his passions, followed his dreams, took care of himself and lived for today.

Meh.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Dixie Is Finished

 ... with the Wuhan Flu. Dig these two charts from the covidstim site.

Current cases per 100,000. Dark purple means there are very few. Light yellow means there are very many.

Percent of the population that has ever had the WuFlu. Dark blue is many, light blue is few. Alabama, Mississippi and Arizona are all over 70%.

Folks in the South don't like to be told what to do by the government, so it's no surprise that many of them didn't get vaccinated. That makes it no surprise that they had some of the highest death rates. Still, whatever happened in the past is now really in the past. Surviving the WuFlu is the most effective method of minimizing the effects of future WuFlus. There might be another variant or wave, but it sure looks like Dixie is well-positioned to ride it out.

Bonus Take: Just looking at the map, it sure looks to me like the most recent wave was an air-conditioning epidemic. On the percent-ever-infected chart, there looks like there's a demarcation line running from coast to coast across the top of Tennessee and Arkansas, extending out into California. Make of that what you will.

Monday, October 11, 2021

All We Ask Is To Be Let Alone

 ... is my favorite Jefferson Davis quote. Not being a fan of old Jeff, it might be his only quote that resonates with me, so take it with a grain of salt.

Drifting through Twitter this morning like undisciplined, emotional plankton, I came across a hashtag having to do with resisting vaccine mandates. There was a substantial number of people who were very, very angry with their fellow citizens for not getting with the program. I even saw a cartoon where someone had drawn a big box of ownerless MAGA hats next to the front door of a city morgue. Ha ha! Dead resisters! What fun!

Elsewhere, Southwest Airlines is cancelling more flights today, making transparently false excuses for the collapse of their flight network. They blamed weather when the weather is perfect almost everywhere right now and they blamed the air-traffic controllers when no one else is having mass cancellations. The news media were the only ones dim enough to fall for it. Conspiracy-minded reds made a strong case for an anti-mandate revolt among the SWA employees, but who knows if that's actually happening?

Finally, there was this essay from some dude at Rabobank about the latest, anemic job-creation numbers.

For once the US payrolls report *was* worth talking about, as jobs only increased 194K vs. the moderate 500K expected, despite an upward revision of the previous month from 235K to 366K. You think this whole data series is bananas now, as job openings soar even as job creation doesn’t? Wait until we see the impact of the forced lay-offs that begin as vaccine mandates are imposed on the labor force. Also imagine what this will mean for strained supply chains: let’s lose a few thousand more truckers, for example, and see where it gets us.

You know, all of this would calm down if we just stopped trying to force others to do what we want. Live and let live, you know? Get the vaccine if you want, but don't force everyone else to get it. Dittos for the parents howling at the school boards. Let the money follow the children and give the families the ability to make their own decisions. No one would be stomping around and shouting at the school board meetings any more.

As an alternative to President Davis, we could quote Princess Leia instead. "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers." If we stopped trying to ram things down each others' throats, all the talk about splitting up the country would probably die down as well.

Maybe socialism and fascism fail because people stop doing productive things and instead spend their time yelling at each other, trying to get the others to obey.

An idea whose time has come.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Cocodrie Pelican

This ragged, old bird was hanging out on the pier at the tip of Cocodrie, Louisiana when we visited last weekend. He had found some place to ride out Hurricane Ida and seemed to be telling us that his kind had seen hurricanes before and would see them again. There was a slow, peaceful wisdom to him or at least the vibe he gave me. Enjoy.

Saturday, October 09, 2021

Hiding The Data In NYC

Just a super short post today as I've got lots to do.

NYC is ending its programs for gifted students.

New York City will phase out gifted and talented classes in its schools, opting to end a program that critics said entrenched racial divides in the nation's largest public school system, Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed Friday.

I've heard plenty of howling on the right about how this is going to hurt the smart kids. Of course it is, you idiots. That's the point. Like the UC system ditching the SATs, it's designed to hide the data.

If no one can see the results of "alternative" families, then they can't suggest that traditional, married families are superior. It's another laser pointer for cats episode.

"Look! Look! The gifted kids are mostly white and Asian! Racism!"

It's nothing of the sort. It's all about moral choices. Kids from homes where mommy and daddy are married do fine. If you dump the gifted program, you won't be able to see how broken homes fail.

Friday, October 08, 2021

Abiding Again

My compadre and I finished the Abide sign I'd shared a while back. It's now gone to the printer to be made into an 8' x 4' sign. I really like the way it looks. It was a real act of collaboration. My friend is an accomplished artist, but he was kind enough to follow my lead. We had a good time doing it, too.

To recap, it's for a Catholic men's retreat weekend. The retreat leader chose John 15:9 as his theme. He loves the beach and the water. The last image is mine, a waterfall in Alabama. My artist friend coached me on getting the geometry within the images to blend and it worked well once we chose pictures from Adobe Stock that had similar internal structures and color levels. In the previous version, we had planned to use a black background, but we both worried about how evenly the printer would spray the ink on a massive sign, so we went with white instead.

I left the image large, so it's worth a click. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 07, 2021

Self-Inflicted Hysteria

Glenn Greenwald brought our attention to this bit of madness.

The Republican party allegedly believes in limited government. No authoritarian on Earth has ever wanted limits to their power, by definition. Whoever wrote this failed to apply critical thinking to their hypothesis. Then again, that's not unusual these days.

See also: 2016 Election, accusations of Russian meddling in.

I've been blogging a lot in the last few years about the irrationality of our Elites, specifically how they don't know how things work. I won't beat that deceased equine here, but instead say that I understand why it has happened because it has happened to me as well.

I use lists on Twitter to gather accounts under general categories. Among others, I have a politics list and a sanity list. My politics list is an endorphin pumper and my sanity list is just what the name implies - non-political, full of charming and beautiful content.

I read every post in my politics list. I mean every post. I rarely visit the sanity list. I go to the politics list for the rush I get from outrage. I know I'm doing it, too.

I would suggest that our current state of mania, particularly the one on the progressive side, is driven by the bubbles we inhabit. The rush that I crave doesn't encourage critical thinking, it encourages shrieking.

I've been thinking about taking a month-long digital fast, a la Dave Rubin's August tradition. Big Tech censorship is real - this blog has been muted by Google and my hits are a third of what they were just 6 months ago. It's not like many people read it or can even find it. I'm wondering what would happen to my thinking and emotions if I took a long break. 

I figure I could modify the fast and only post photographic content, which would force me to become more creative with my camera and Photoshop. That, at least, would be productive. I feel like I've pulled all the threads of my "why is this happening?" curiosities. It's getting harder and harder to write in the morning because everything has begun to feel like a repeat.

What's life like after you stop sniffing outrage glue?

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Closing Your Eyes Doesn't Create A Utopia

This morning, I read an interesting piece by Sohrab Ahmari wherein he suggested that we are not heading towards a dystopian novel future, but are in the dystopian novel right now. It's worth a read, but I think he's got it substantially wrong. Here's some snippets.

Our culture-creators are highly adept at prophesying dystopia, and we love to nod along as their premonitions come to life—but we can’t seem to be able to stop the process, much less reverse it. As Patrick Deneen has observed, “our popular culture seems to be a kind of electronic Cassandra.” It “offers entertaining prophecies born of our anxieties, and we take perverse pleasure distracting ourselves with portrayals of our powerlessness.”

What if dystopia is already here? What if our territory already conforms to maps drawn long ago by science-fiction authors? Could it be that we have crossed the invisible frontier that divides an ordinary place, an ordinary topos, from a dystopian realm?

He then goes on to draw parallels between modern life and a 2000 novel called Super-Cannes.

At Eden-Olympia, there were no parking problems, no traditional burglars or purse-snatchers, no rapes or muggings. The top-drawer professionals no longer needed to devote a moment’s thought to each other, and had dispensed with the checks and balances of community of life. There were no town councils or magistrates’ courts, no citizens’ advice bureaux. Civility and polity were designed into Eden-Olympia, in the same way that mathematics, aesthetics and an entire geopolitical worldview were designed into the Parthenon and the Boeing 747. Representative democracy had been replaced by the surveillance camera and the private police officer.

Again and again, Eden-Olympia’s architects drive home this point. In a telling exchange, Paul tells one executive that “‘there’s no drama and no conflict [at Eden-Olympia]. There are no clubs or evening classes….’

‘We don’t need them [the executive responds]. They serve no role.’

‘No charities or church fĂȘtes. No fund-raising galas.’

‘Everyone is rich. Or at least, very well off.’

‘No police or legal system.’

‘There’s no crime, and no social problems.’

‘No democratic accountability. No one votes. So who runs things?’

‘We do. We run things.’”

That utopian existence is what the modern professional class, the Elites, think they are creating. It's never going to come into existence because they're denying reality in so many ways.

  • Men can't become women.
  • Men and women are substantially different and have different drives and needs.
  • $3.5T does not equal 0.
  • Handing out needles and reigning in the cops is a really bad idea.
  • Dissolving the border is equally bad.
  • $30T of debt is destablizing.
  • It's a bad idea to keep trying to force a heavily-armed citizenry to do things against their will. 

And so forth.

The ivory tower belief that the utopia is coming through ever-greater intervention in the lives of the Normals by the Elites is a fantasy. The only way to convince yourself that we're on the path to said utopia is to close our eyes to reality. You have to hide the data.

See also: Scores, SAT, disposal of.

The Elites forced us to shut down the economy to fight a respiratory virus that almost exclusively attacks the elderly and the obese. It didn't result in utopia, it resulted in massive bottlenecks and shortages. Dig this chart of the Baltic Dry Index, which measures shipping costs.

"Inflation is transitory," said the Elites.

Reality is saying something different.

Here's the change in the murder rate, by city.

It turns out that cops actually serve a purpose.

Finally, here's a video from the streets of Los Angeles.

This isn't a dystopian novel where the Elites have walled themselves away from the dirty, real world. It's one where they've closed their eyes, temporarily. It's a make-believe utopia.

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Cocodrie 2021

Back in 2017, I went on a solo vacation, driving from Atlanta to Houston in four days. That's when I discovered how much I loved Mobile and when I drove all the way to the end of the Mississippi delta at Cocodrie, Louisiana. I loved that drive and treasured my memories of the people I met down there.

This weekend, I took one of our son kittehs to Louisiana and, after our swamp tour on Friday, we drove down to Cocodrie. In 2017, it was bright and beautiful. I saw colorful houses on stilts with docks in the channel wherein sat shrimp boats, most in very good repair.

Ida changed all that. Here's just one photo from that trip.

Hurricane Ida marched up Louisiana Route 56 from Cocodrie to Houma, blasting everything in its path. Some of the platforms had been wiped clean, the houses scrubbed off of them and blown to bits. The residents had cleaned the place up by the time we arrived, but the state hasn't been able to dispose of the debris just yet, so it sits in piles out in front of everyone's house.

This being Louisiana, it's not the first hurricane they've seen. The houses that survived the assault have blue tarps over the holes in their roofs and in some cases, the homeowners have started to rebuild. There was a USMC flag along with an American flag on one house with graffiti painted on what was left of the wall facing the road saying, "Semper Fi. We will rebuild. Cocodrie strong."

Even in the devastation, these people were beautiful.

Monday, October 04, 2021

Acme

 ... Oyster House was disappointing.

After wife kitteh and I had their chargrilled oysters a few years back, I've been talking them up something fierce. Son kitteh and I went yesterday and ... meh. Too salty, way too much Parmesan. I still like oysters served this way, but if you want something done right, you need to learn to do it yourself. Which I have and mine turn out pretty good.

On the plus side, they looked great.

We're heading back to San Diego today after having cheered both the LSU Tigers and the New Orleans Saints on to last-minute defeats. Go ... team?

Dire News Of The Day

Dig this.

Dozens of cargo ships anchored off the coasts of Los Angeles and New York face shocking wait times of up to four weeks and railyards and trucking routes are hopelessly clogged due to the lack of manpower to unload goods - with an expert warning that the government needs to intervene or face spiraling inflation and unemployment.

The backlog of billions of dollars of toys, clothing, electronics, vehicles, and furniture comes as the demand for consumer goods hit its highest point in history as consumers stay home instead of spending money on travel and entertainment.

Supply chains have lagged far behind consumer demand due to a lack of manpower at American ports and the restrictions that came with the COVID-19 outbreak early last year. These constraints, which include social distancing and mandatory quarantines, have severely limited the number and ability of port workers to do their jobs.

The solution, of course, is to print more money and hand it out to ... someone.

Maybe lockdowns weren't such a good idea.

Sunday, October 03, 2021

3 Miles Of Partying

Son kitteh and I went to the LSU-Auburn game yesterday. Research suggested that you needed to experience the tailgate scene before the game. Further interviews with locals said that the tailgaters would give you some of their food for nothing. Thinking we ought to have something for exchange, we went to a local Walmart and bought a cooler, then went to a Winn-Dixie and loaded it up with excellent, Southern craft beer.

As a beer snob, I will loudly proclaim that, outside of San Diego, the South has the best craft beer in the country. In fact, Southern craft beer is more consistently good than anywhere else.

The game didn't start until 8 PM and we got there around 1 PM.

I have never experienced anything like it. A remote son kitteh, when he saw photos we shared on the Catican text group, said it looked like Coachella. The son kitteh with me has been to several Coachellas and said this was next level partying. We walked through 3 miles of party. The people were Southern friendly as we picked out the tailgaters with smokers and big pots of noms. The food was spectacular, the people lovely and everyone appreciated the beer save for one proud old boy who was slightly insulted at the suggestion that we thought we needed to offer him something at all.

Mile after mile after mile of this. The photo doesn't capture the feel, either.

We went to Chimes, the pub right off campus that is the gathering spot before and after games and it was likewise stuffed with revelers and friendly as can be.

The whole experience was awesome and needs to be repeated.

The Tigers lost the game right at the end after leading for the first 55 minutes, but this team is built for next year and the year afterwards. The offensive line is dreadful and the QB is a sophomore. Like Cajun food, it needs some seasoning.

Today is the Saints game. We're so hoarse from yelling last night that it's going to be a real stretch to keep up the volume at the Super Dome. We'll do our best.

Saturday, October 02, 2021

The Creepiest Thing About Gators

 ... is their eyes. Those vertical slits are just weird.

We had a great time on our swamp tour yesterday. I've got a ton of pictures from that as well as plenty from the subsequent drive to Cocodrie. Hurricane Ida went right up the road from Cocodrie to Houma and blasted everything to bits along the way. The place is a mess, but the people are resilient and are starting to rebuild.

Still, it's a far cry from the beautiful places I saw when I visited it a few years ago. More on that, perhaps, in a future post. Today is all about the LSU-Auburn game. Hope you have a great weekend, too!

Friday, October 01, 2021

Bigger Then God

I'm in Baton Rouge right now with one of our sons, here for the LSU-Auburn game and some general Louisiana fun. We're taking a fan boat tour of a swamp today, something I've never done. Photos later, I promise. All of that is to say that I'm a bit delirious with travel and a lack of sleep.

On the plane yesterday, I listened to a few more hours of JPII's Theology of the Human Person. It's papally deep, deriving hidden meanings out of Genesis and other parts of the Bible. It's a work of genius. As the words washed over me, I began putting a few ideas together in my head. Here are some of them, in a sleep-deprived irrational sequence.

JP II frequently refers to Genesis 1:27.

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Quoting from that blog post linked above,

If you listen to MLK speeches, removing Genesis 1:27 removes the first principle upon which his Civil Rights movement was based. MLK pointed out the hypocrisy of Christians professing Genesis 1:27 and then practicing racism. That contradiction permeated the debates over slavery in Britain and America throughout the centuries and led to its abolition.

I began to ponder what happens to a culture that ditches Genesis 1:27. I would think that you would inevitably degenerate into the logic of Caesar, Geronimo and Hitler. Why not become tribal? It's an easy way to classify people and rally your clan around you. The progs have almost completely ditched the whole Christianity thing, choosing to attack it save for those rare occasions when they quote it for political purposes. See this bit of Hutus vs Tutsis logic from a progolicious professor at a decent university following the Gabby Petito case.

The missing white woman syndrome is reflective of the dominant ideology of white supremacy. In other words, too often news stories are reported within a white racial frame that reaffirms the notion of white superiority. As a result, we privilege the disappearance of a white individual while people of color are othered, marginalized and symbolically annihilated.

The academy, if this is any guide, is done with seeing humans as being created in the image of God and is instead falling into the loving embrace of the Nazis*. Under MLK's formulation of Genesis, Gabby was a person, not a white. MLK was a Christian, you see. How gauche! No, Gabby is white, white, white.

Andrew Klavan, on his excellent podcast, has recently been wrestling with the difficult concept of not judging others. His claim is that we should try to see the people around us as God sees them. The rain falls on the good and bad alike. We all have the same value to God. For that reason, we should not judge people. He also makes a great point saying that everyone around us has as rich an internal life as we do. 

That's another way to summarize Genesis 1:27.

When we ditch Genesis for racial classification, we don't just walk down the road of racial conflict, we also delude ourselves that we are bigger than God.

I could have made this myself. I simply chose not to.

* - Modern, American progressives would similarly love Caesar and Geronimo. Race first! If you think I'm being hysterical, here's the passage above translated into the language of 1930s progressives.

The missing Jewish woman syndrome is reflective of the dominant ideology of Jewish supremacy. In other words, too often news stories are reported within a Jewish racial frame that reaffirms the notion of Jewish superiority. As a result, we privilege the disappearance of a Jewish individual while Germans are othered, marginalized and symbolically annihilated.

Bingo.