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October 21, 2020

The Only Thing We Have To Fear,... Is Everything.

As if things weren’t bad enough, a mysterious new illness that has the potential to kill tens of thousands of Americans including hundreds of children has started circulating throughout the United States.

Scientists have dubbed it “the flu.”

This strange and highly contagious virus is causing panic throughout the United States, particularly among parents concerned about their children’s susceptibility to the infection.

While a vaccine has been developed to help control this so-called “flu” it is at best, 50% to 60% effective, calling into question the motives behind the administration’s push for wide distribution. Why are they so intent on having everyone take a vaccine that still leaves your odds of contracting this deadly virus barely as good as what you’d get playing roulette?

Do we really want to gamble the lives of our children on the spin of a wheel?

That is why it is absolutely necessary that we shut down our economy.

Not the entire economy, of course. That would be reckless. Just the small parts that are not well-organized and lack political influence such as restaurants, independent retailers, other small businesses, and really anything that doesn’t rhyme with “Amazon,” or “Wal-Mart.”

This invisible enemy, this “flu,” can and will be defeated, but only if we all work together by wrapping our faces in scraps of cloth and staying home, doors closed and blinds pulled.

Further instructions will be forthcoming.

We thank you your obedience.

Cooperation. We meant to say cooperation.

J.

Spread the word. While you still can! Click here for the entire collection or the pics below.

Halloween-themed-mockup-featuring-a-t-shirt-surrounded-by-pumpkins-106

Mockup-of-a-woman-wearing-a-hoodie-featuring-a-collage-background-42538 Tank-top-mockup-of-a-young-woman-hiking-32231

Halloween-mockup-featuring-an-11-oz-coffee-mug-119

October 21, 2020 at 01:01 PM in Covid-19/Coronavirus, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

October 16, 2020

Graham-Feinstein Hug Sparks Outrage Because Of Course It Does

In a genuine moment of comity, two political rivals, Lindsay Graham and Diane Feinstein, shared a brief hug following the conclusion of the Amy Coney Barrett hearings sending a message that while we may have differences, in the end, we are all part of the same human family.

That is why it must be condemned.

Feinstein even had the gall to say kind words about Graham.  Naturally, calls for her resignation followed with one activist organization issuing a statement that read:

“If Senate Democrats are going to get their act together on the courts going forward, they cannot be led by someone who treats Sunrise activists with contempt and the Republican theft of a Supreme Court seat with kid gloves.”

We should note that this theft was organized by a group of notorious traitors known as “The Founding Fathers,” and set in motion 233 years ago with a diabolical plan that came to be known as “The Constitution” laying out in detail the specific conditions under which a Supreme Court vacancy is to be filled.

As bad as Feinstein’s ill-advised display of humanity might have been, her transgression goes beyond simply being courteous and following the law of the land, that hug she shared, maskless no less, was too much for some to take.

Quick, cover the children's eyes!

Some believed Feinstein deserves to “get a little Covid” for her wanton violation of Covid guidelines. This week's, anyway:

Indeed, don’t we all wish we could “turn back time and donut all over.”

via GIPHY

Many others went further, wishing she would die.

Interestingly, wishing the death of a United States Senator does not violate Twitter’s terms of service, but reporting on a potential financial scandal is totally beyond the pale.

Will we ever return to a time when political adversaries were simply people with whom we have policy disagreements and not evil enemies unworthy of being treated with any decency or respect?

Call us, “cautiously pessimistic.”

J.

October 16, 2020 at 08:53 AM in Covid-19/Coronavirus, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2)

October 15, 2020

The Truth Is Out There. Maybe That's Where We Should Leave It.

You know you’re living in strange times when legitimate evidence that UFOs exist isn’t the biggest story of the year.

Here are the facts as we know them: There are flying objects breaking the laws of physics as we understand them, zipping about our country including military facilities and we have absolutely no idea who or what they are.

Now let me be clear, I’m not saying these are aliens.

Guatemala just doesn’t have that kind of technology.

And I’m not saying these are extraterrestrials. We haven’t seen hard, irrefutable evidence of that yet.

What I am saying is, there are flying objects breaking the laws of physics as we understand them, zipping about our country including military facilities and we have absolutely no idea who or what they are!!

Are you okay with that? We’re not okay with that.

Are they from the future? From the past? Chinese? Russian? Interdimensional?

Is there a good choice?

There used to be one:

They didn’t exist.

We went with that for years, people were seeing things, they were crazy, and so on.

Good times.

But the government has been forced to be more forthcoming with information after some footage the Navy had was leaked to The New York Times:

The Navy eventually confirmed the leaked footage and had this to say about it:

“DOD [Department of Defense] is releasing the videos in order to clear up any misconceptions by the public on whether or not the footage that has been circulating was real, or whether or not there is more to the videos. The aerial phenomena observed in the videos remain characterized as ‘unidentified’”

Oh, well, that explains everyth… Wait, what?! The footage is real?! And you don’t know what those things are?!

Do you feel comforted? We don’t feel comforted.  It’s more like abject terror mixed with foreboding.  That’s kind of the opposite of comforted, isn’t it?

Now that we think about it, we may have preferred the lying. The government is good at lying. Go with your strengths, we say.

It gets even crazier:

Now, it is important to keep in mind that this is coming from, well, Harry Reid. For all we know, Harry Reid has anonymous sources telling him the extraterrestrials haven’t paid income taxes for 10 years.

If you’d like to learn more about these and other developments and the potential hazards these unidentified phenomena might present, we suggest you check out this new documentary:

Oops, sorry, wrong clip.

Try this one:

Sweet dreams.

J.

October 15, 2020 at 08:42 AM in Current Affairs, Science | Permalink | Comments (0)

October 10, 2020

We’re Guessing Bobbing For Apples Is Right Out

As you know, we are in the midst of a deadly pandemic with an overall mortality rate fast approaching that of the seasonal flu and to which children are all but immune.

That is why it is essential that we ruin Halloween for them.

AdobeStock_175283721It’s for the chil… okay, that won’t work this time.

Regardless, shut up because science.

To that end, the CDC has come out with a list of “lower risk activities can be safe alternatives” for celebrating Halloween starting with:

“Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them.”

Okay, maybe not the most imaginative idea given that close to 150 million Americans already carve Halloween pumpkins every year. Plus, it’s not clear how you make a holiday special by spending it with people you already Shutterstock_734744623spend nearly every waking moment with.

Leaving aside the wisdom arming people with knives who are probably at each other’s throats already, what about the hazards that already exist? Doesn’t the CDC understand how very very dangerous pumpkin carving is? In 2017:

“… pumpkin carving accounted for nearly 3,200 of the 16,706 Halloween-related injuries treated in U.S. emergency departments, doctors' offices and clinics, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.”

It’s almost as if there are risks in life.

Weird.

Another suggestion:

“Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends.”

Kind of like how you mow your lawn “with” neighbors and friends, at a safe distance.  Think of all the togetherness and camaraderie that fosters.

Oh, and again with the pumpkin carving. It’s like it’s okay to die of anything other than Covid.

“Having a virtual Halloween costume contest.”

Because you don’t spend enough time in Zoom meetings already.

“Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with.”

Yet more time with those people. This is actually starting to sound genuinely scary. Maybe these are good Halloween activities.

“Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house.”

Aaaaahhhh!!!!!

If you’re more of the daredevil type, the kind of adrenaline junkie who doesn’t feel truly alive unless faced with imminent danger, you can try some of the CDCs “Moderate Risk Activities.”

“Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance. (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard).”

It’s like looking into the jaws of death itself and prevailing.

“If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after preparing the bags.”

Has the air ever tasted sweeter than after a young child takes a thoroughly disinfected goodie back from the end of your driveway and yet you remain standing, unbowed?

Shutterstock_1794243364Incidentally, by ensuring your goodie bags approach the sterility of an operating theater, you are protecting the least vulnerable by eliminating the most improbable path of infection.

A couple of additional precautions. First, not wearing a cloth mask can be dangerous:

“A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face.”

Second, wearing a cloth mask can be dangerous:

“Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.”

You know what, forget about it. Halloween is way too risky. Stay indoors, get underneath your covers, and the government will let you know when it’s completely safe and risk-free to come back out.

Be patient, it might be a while.

J.

Spread the word. While you still can! Click here for the entire collection or the pics below.

Halloween-themed-mockup-featuring-a-t-shirt-surrounded-by-pumpkins-106

Mockup-of-a-woman-wearing-a-hoodie-featuring-a-collage-background-42538 Tank-top-mockup-of-a-young-woman-hiking-32231

Halloween-mockup-featuring-an-11-oz-coffee-mug-119

October 10, 2020 at 03:27 PM in Covid-19/Coronavirus, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2)

October 08, 2020

The Pope Gets Woke!

More like wokER.

AdobeStock_248723466Pope Francis has been suspicious of capitalism and free markets for some time. Not enough to forego the substantial flow of these ill-gotten gains into the coffers of the Vatican, of course. But you should know he has nothing but disdain for the millions of dollars it provides. Probably draws little frowny faces on the deposit slips.

“In today’s world, many forms of injustice persist, fed by… a profit-based economic model that does not hesitate to exploit, discard and even kill human beings.”

Unlike competing economic models like communism that in contrast exploit, discard, and even kill human beings in a slower, more methodical manner. And more efficient, too, if the numbers are any indication.

“The Pope decried the free-market “dogma of neo-liberal faith” that views ‘the magic theories of ‘spillover’ or ‘trickle’ ... as the only solution to societal problems.’ He went on to write that ‘market freedom cannot supersede the rights of peoples and the dignity of the poor.’”

Perhaps the Pope believes that the way you preserve the dignity of the poor is to have more of them. A lot more, given that the rise of free-market economies have witnessed an explosion in widespread prosperity.

Regarding property rights, the very foundation of all earthly freedom, the Pope noted that:

“The right to private property can only be considered a secondary natural right, derived from the principle of the universal destination of created goods.”

When property rights become a secondary right, everyone typically suffers.

But, we all suffer equally.

“The right of some to free enterprise or market freedom cannot supersede the rights of peoples and the dignity of the poor, or, for that matter, respect for the natural environment, for ‘if we make something our own, it is only to administer it for the good of all.’”

You know what happens when you administer something “for the good of all?”

Bad things.

Regarding our human family, the Pope notes:

“In a family, parents, grandparents and children all feel at home; no one is excluded. If someone has a problem, even a serious one, even if he brought it upon himself, the rest of the family comes to his assistance; they support him. His problems are theirs… In families, everyone contributes to the common purpose; everyone works for the common good, not denying each person’s individuality but encouraging and supporting it. They may quarrel, but there is something that does not change: the family bond. Family disputes are always resolved afterwards. The joys and sorrows of each of its members are felt by all. That is what it means to be a family! If only we could view our political opponents or neighbours in the same way that we view our children or our spouse, mother or father! How good would this be!”

Yes, how good that would be!

Shutterstock_1685806537Theoretically.

Now, think about how your nuclear family gets along as described above.

Now add extended family.

Go further, in-laws boyfriends, second cousins.

Shutterstock_114545716Now, picture Thanksgiving dinner, with your vegan niece, your football-loving uncle, the sister-in-law who just got divorced and discovered witchcraft, the twin cousins with their matching MAGA hats, the Bernie Bro guy who you think might be a nephew but you lost track trying to referee a disagreement between your fruitarian anorexic sister and your wife’s niece’s bodybuilding keto girlfriend.

Put another way, have you ever tried to organize a lunch outing with a few coworkers?

Ever try it with a thousand?

Agreeing on a place, well, that would be a miracle!

The Pope does have a point, though. Sure, free-market capitalism with its emphasis on property being a primary right might have brought prosperity to the world, greater personal freedom, superior environmental outcomes, and the resources necessary for the church to do its work. However, the alternatives result in the exact opposite, with less prosperity, less personal freedom, worse environmental outcomes, fewer resources for the church and even a wholly predictable botched response to the pandemic.

Wait, where I was going with this?

Oh yes. Pray!

J.

October 8, 2020 at 12:30 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

October 07, 2020

Michelle Obama Is Very Disappointed In You

We should note up front that Michelle Obama hates politics. She has said so herself. She has no interest in it whatsoever preferring to stay above the fray.

With that in mind, here is her 432nd political statement this year:

It appears Michelle Obama is very unhappy with you. You can tell she is very unhappy with you in part by her breathy delivery. The breathier it is, the more exasperated she is with you.

That, or she has Covid.

Part of the problem she has with you is your obsession over a “tiny fraction” of the protests that turned into violent riots.

You really have to keep these things in perspective. It’s not unlike Lincoln’s evening at the Ford Theater where only a “tiny fraction” of those in attendance assassinated him.

Suddenly everyone wants to make a big deal about it.

Weird.

We just need to accept, as Nancy Pelosi put it, that “People will do what they do.”

Among the things “people will do” absent any consequences is shoot police, burn down buildings, loot small businesses, block major roadways, and assault diners who refuse to bend to their will.

Somehow that that has grabbed everyone’s attention.

Michelle Obama is particularly disappointed in the obvious racism of it all. Here are some of the violent rioter’s mug shots Andy Ngo has been documenting. Look at their faces and tell us race has nothing to do with it:

Okay  these are not racist.

Also not racist.

Not racist.

Aha! One-half, to one-third racist.

This constant chronicling of predominantly white radicals committing acts of violence nationwide has got to stop if we're ever going to do anything about racism.

Still not convinced? We encourage you to go back and watch the video again. Ignore the lack of any identifiable facts, forget about the minimizing of the death and destruction wrought by the violence, and dismiss her accusing anyone who believes that death and destruction is a bad thing of being racist and just open your mind.

And listen to the breathiness.

J.

October 7, 2020 at 03:54 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

October 06, 2020

Review of Marxism: Philosophy and Economics by Thomas Sowell

Marxism: Philosophy and Economics by Thomas Sowell is not light reading. Or, in my case, light listening.

First of all, it has nothing at all to do with Duck Soup.

Second of all, it addresses in great detail the political philosophy and economics of Karl Marx (and to a lesser extent, Friedrich Engels), the famous author of Capital and co-author (with Engels) of The Communist Manifesto whose popularity was once limited to American academics, privileged young people, and others who never had to live under anything like the systems championed in those books.

Now, however, it’s gone mainstream, from Black Lives Matter founders to Critical Race Theory enthusiasts to Beverly Diangelo and her book, “White Fragility.”

The one thing that hasn’t changed is that none of the people involved in the above ever had to live under anything like the system Marx and Engels championed

While we’re on the topic, this is a key characteristic of Marxism that Sowell points out in the last chapter of his book, noting that:

“The offspring of privilege have dominated the leadership of Marxist movements from the days of Marx and Engels through Lenin, Mao, Castro, Ho Chi Minh and their lesser counterparts around the world and down through history. The sheer reiteration of the working class theme in Marxism has drowned out this plain fact.”

“But the crucial point is not privilege as such but the insulation from responsibility that that provides. Particularly during youth. Intellectuals enjoy similar insulation from the consequences of being wrong in a way that no businessman, military leader, engineer or even athletic coach can.”

People who have to live with the consequences of Marxism rarely advocate for Marxism. Probably just a coincidence.

Marx himself never had to live with the consequences of actually having to work much for a living as he was for the most part supported by his parents, plus various inheritances, the kindness of friends, and jobs, of a sort, from same.

In short, Marxism found popularity among people very much like himself, pampered, privileged, narcissistic and wholly divorced from what it takes to be genuinely productive in an economic sense, that is, provide value to others.

I warned in the beginning that this is not light listening. To be clear, none of the books I’ve been reviewing this year have exactly been light fare, but there are certain routine chores I do that require at most 10% of my attention (folding laundry, doing the dishes, watching CNN) leaving plenty of brain space to comprehend whatever book I’m listening to. Sure, I still rewind, or pause to consider a point, or make a bookmark, but mostly it’s pretty smooth sailing.

But this… was something different.

Take this small part of the discussion of “Surplus Value:”

“The capitalist circuit from money to commodities to money was abbreviated in the Marxian formula: M-C-M. The second M must be larger than the first or the circuit M-C-M would be absurd and without meaning if the intention were to exchange by this means two equal sums of money. Marx concluded: ‘The exact form of this process is therefore M-C-M Prime Where M Prime = M + Delta M = the Original Sum advanced plus an increment. This increment or excess over the original value I call Surplus Value.’”

Now imagine processing this while mowing the lawn.

I’m lucky I didn’t cut my toes off

Fortunately, that’s about as heavy as it gets. Overall, this book is an excellent primer on Marxism by a preeminent conservative scholar whom I started reading in the late ‘80s. In fact, that’s why I chose this book as my Marxism refresher.

Interestingly enough, Marxism originally came out in 1985, before I had discovered Thomas Sowell. Not to worry, the book dates itself only slightly towards the end with a contemporaneous reference to the Soviet Union. Otherwise, Marxism has been around a lot longer than 1985, and so the general analysis is still a useful and timely one.

Because of its age, it’s only available as an audio book (Audible through Amazon) unless you want to shell out some inordinate amount of money to some grubby capitalist looking for M Prime for a vintage copy. Do not permit the weighty subject to dissuade you. While I had to rewind, pause, and bookmark more often than usual, the book lends itself well to the audio format (the narrator does a very good job) with the possible exception of the economic pieces as illustrated above. That you might want to sit down for. And I say that as someone who studied economics in college.

And to be clear, while Sowell editorializes quite a bit at the end, most of the book strikes me as a fair review of the topic and the man. It’s a broad sweep (keep in mind, “Capital” itself spanned three volumes) and so can only be so comprehensive, but this is about as quick a primer you can get while still providing the depth and context required to genuinely understand the subject.

If you seek some fluency on the topic, to truly understand what it is you object to, or just to understand its obvious appeal to the young and impressionable offspring of the upper middle class, you’d be hard pressed to do better.

J.

Available here if you like. These are all affiliate links, explained in the right colum at the bottom, but rest assured, it costs you nothing extra.

Like communism!

October 6, 2020 at 09:59 AM in Books | Permalink | Comments (1)

October 02, 2020

The Week In White Supremacy 10/2/2020

According to all the white people on TV and all the white people in the White House press corps, it was a pretty good week for white supremacy.

First, the President appeared to refuse to use the precise words the media would have used in the exact order and with the same inflection they would have preferred in denouncing white supremacy during a debate with Joe Biden.

Even his press secretary refused to read off the prepared script Fox’s John Roberts had thoughtfully prepared for her.

Yes, the President may have condemned white supremacy on 20 previous occasions, but you can always tell you’re dealing with a true white supremacist when they refuse to condemn it the 21st time.

That’s when you know.

In other news, one of the white supremacist organization that President Trump did not denounce often enough, “Proud Boys” flagrantly used their white privilege to protect People of Color (POC) from left-wing agitators in “CHAZ.”

Interestingly, their international chairman is black, and they have managed to attract quite a few non-white people to their ranks:

We don’t know about you, but if you can attract African-Americans to your white supremacist organization, you have one hell of a recruiting operation.

In other news, completely irrelevant person comes out against systemic racism.

J

October 2, 2020 at 04:56 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)