A Bill That Costs Too Much, Does Too Little

 

There is a growing consensus that the Biden $3.5 trillion spending bill is in trouble, and for all the obvious reasons. The president is down on his luck politically, which gives him relatively little leverage to push hard on behalf of legislation that has divided progressives and moderate Democrats—and left Republicans united in their opposition to a bill that they claim does too much too soon.

One measure of Biden’s desperation is his belated announcement that the $3.5 trillion bill will cost nothing “because we’re going to raise the revenue” through higher taxes on corporations and high-net-worth individuals. Unfortunately, this one naive observation captures the fatal flaws in Biden’s grand vision.

It Doesn’t Pencil Out

Whither the FBI — and Us?

 

One evening in 1968, my father put down his newspaper and said to me, “Eugene McCarthy must be the cleanest man in American politics.” I was a little surprised. Dad was a pretty conventional Irish Catholic voter who made the transition from JFK to Reagan as the Democratic Party forced out people like us. That year I figured he would vote for LBJ (or Humphrey after LBJ dropped out). He was with the Civil Rights Division and worked on desegregation cases in Mississippi and Tennessee. He knew a number of FBI guys, as did any other DOJ attorney.

I asked, “How do you know that?”

“Because about a month ago, McCarthy called for the resignation of J. Edgar Hoover and made a campaign promise to replace him.”

Entertainment for Ladies

 

Radio entered American homes about a century ago. It changed life everywhere. It transformed rural life most of all, giving listeners a tenuous, vital connection to the wider world. At first it offered morning farm market prices, news, prayer, and a separate evening session of music before signoff, which in most of the country came early. Once most local stations were wired into national networks, big advertisers made more lavish programs possible, and what we now call old time radio flourished. Relatively few women worked outside the home in those days, so the afternoon became the traditional time for radio sponsors to reach and entertain them. Women, generally being more sociable than men, were especially glad to have radio’s substitute companionship during long hours of housework. Serial dramas with appealing and/or hissable characters instantly became popular.

Being a homemaker has always been a tough job, but 70-100 years ago it required physical labor to a degree that few of us lucky moderns realize. Hanging the wash, keeping an anxious eye on the clouds, and bringing it in were tiring enough, but the washing was also done by hand, scrubbing on a washboard. Variety had a once-amusing, condescending 1920s term for daytime drama, which it continued to use for three decades: “women’s washboard weepers.” That general line of midcentury wit is where the term “soap opera” comes from.

The Inhumanity of the Left

 

With one disaster unfolding after another with the Biden administration, the focus in America (at least on the right) has been on mistakes, poor planning, confusion, and mismanagement, just to name a few problems. But buried inside all these missteps is an attitude that the Democrats would vehemently deny but permeates everything they do: They are inhumane, and they are either clueless about the implications of their governance or they simply don’t care. Their inhumanity dominates their actions in Afghanistan, the steps they’ve taken (or haven’t taken) on the border, and their handling of the pandemic. I looked up the Merriam-Webster synonyms for “inhumane” and selected the words that I thought best applied:

callous, cold-blooded, compassionless, desensitized, hard, hard-hearted, heartless, insensitive, ruthless, soulless, stonyhearted, unfeeling, unmerciful, unsparing, and unsympathetic

Resolved: The Party Split Has Nothing to Do With Trump

 

The Republican Party was split long before Trump came along. I recall talking with one Joe Hoffman about when the Republican Civil War would begin. I think I said 2006 if W was not reelected, and 2010 if he was. If that’s not exactly what I said, it’s mi-i-ighty close.

The Republican Party is still split. Trump may or may not be gone.

While I Was Sleeping: Death on the Farm

 

File:Dont feed the coyotes.JPGWell, TBPH, I didn’t sleep through it.  I discovered, decades ago, that the reason I don’t get much sleep is not that I can’t get to sleep; it’s that I’m a very light sleeper, and everything wakes me up.

So last night, I was unsurprised to be awoken at 2:30 a.m. by a pack of yelping coyotes, obviously down the bottom of my field, making the sort of bone-chilling, “We Have A Kill!” racket that takes me back to my nights as a small child in Nigeria lying in bed and listening to the “laughing hyenas” outside. It’s different from the “howl,” a pack sound that’s often driven by the Claysville VFD siren, to which they respond in a sort of movie sing-along manner. (“The hills are alive, a-woo-woo-woo-w00,” etc.)  These are primal, gleeful, bloodcurdling, screams.

Of course, I was too late.  One of my black rams is dead.  I’ll spare you the graphic here, although I’ll publish it elsewhere.  There’s nothing left intact by now except his head; the vultures have been on the job since sunrise, and in another 24 hours, he’ll be picked clean.  At some point thereafter, I’ll roll over him with the tractor and the brush hog, render him into smithereens, and return him to fertilize the fields on which he’s lived, eaten, and played for the past eight years.  Anyone who finds that distasteful or odd probably hasn’t lived close to the land for a generation or two.

Threats to Privacy Are Limited by New Florida Law

 

Have you ever considered how your privacy could be violated through the use of your DNA? Florida legislators have taken this danger seriously by being the first state to expand on federal laws protecting the use of DNA testing results:

‘Given the continued rise in popularity of DNA testing kits,’ Sprowls said Tuesday, ‘it was imperative we take action to protect Floridians’ DNA data from falling into the hands of an insurer who could potentially weaponize that information against current or prospective policyholders in the form of rate increases or exclusionary policies.’

Federal law prevents health insurers from using genetic information in underwriting policies and in setting premiums, but the prohibition doesn’t apply to life, disability, or long-term care coverage.

Advice to the Next (R) President: If You Would Shrink Government, Move It

 

I’m hardly the optimist in this crowd about the possibility of us ever having another Republican president, given the implausibility that Joe Biden — that man of plagiarism, exploitation of his family tragedies for political gain, complete and utter foolishness about foreign policy, lack of accomplishment even in the arena of politics (or any kind of real-life endeavor, for that matter) other than getting elected, racist persecutor of Clarence Thomas, questionable cognitive function, and all-around low character — ostensibly got the most votes of any presidential candidate in American history including the deified Barack Obama, while campaigning from his basement.

Sure, he had a lot of help from the DNC-complicit media: Russia hoax, Charlottesville slander, threat to “our” democracy. . . that last bit was a half-truth. Trump was a threat to their Deep State oligarchy. And then there was ballot harvesting and unconstitutional (read, illegal) changes to voting procedures in several states, dodgy ballot counting in key districts, and anomalies like Trump winning 90% of bellwether districts, but still “losing” the election. . . The Left has figured out how to steal national elections. State and local are next.

Odd Physical Phenomena

 

We are used to ourselves, and to the way our whole bodies are marvelously engineered–the hinge, pivot, and ball-and-socket joints; the apparatus for speech that shapes sounds into words conveying abstract meaning; the brain and spinal cord commanding our little finger to move on our whim; and even the little pocket of extra flesh in our elbows that presumably allows us to bend our arms freely. These are just a few of the daily wonders we live with. Yet sometimes, our bodies behave strangely, forcing us to take more notice. For me, sleeping and dreaming is territory for the uncanny, but that’s not the only place I’ve experienced odd physical phenomena.

Nighttime Hallucinations: I remember these starting from when I was about nine or ten. They increased in my early twenties, and now seem to have mostly faded away. My best explanation is that I unluckily opened my eyes when I was dreaming, and saw characters from my dreams parading around me. I say “unluckily,” because these were mostly unpleasant creatures: bugs crawling over me, spouse with his head replaced with that of a dog, menacing canine-ish creature in the fan. Others were just creepy: A young girl in Victorian-era clothes playing on the floor of my room when I was nine, and years later, instead of a lamp, a miniature woman in a Civil-War era green dress standing on my bedside table. Whenever I witnessed these things as an adult, I’d think, “Okay, I’m really awake–my eyes are open–and it’s still there, I’m still seeing it.”

Explaining Monoclonal Antibody Treatments for Covid

 

Following any infection, your immune system will create antibodies to defend itself and store these blueprints for later in case they are needed again. Many of our vaccines attempt to replicate this response without the detrimental effects of actually contracting the virus. Inactivated vaccines, like the quadrivalent flu shot, take bits and pieces of virus particles that are grown in eggs (that is why they always ask if you have an egg allergy) and these stimulate the immune response.

The MRNA covid vaccines exploit this same principle but instead of inactivated virus particles, it contains small bits of RNA that are taken up by our own cells. Then much like how the virus itself replicates, our cellular machinery copies the code and makes the virus spike particle which causes the immune response. All this just to aid our bodies in learning how to fight off the infection.

Quote of the Day: California Elections

 

California continually elects the kind of people who want to change the world but can’t even change a tire. – Bryan Preston

And they did it again this Tuesday, retaining rather than recalling Gavin Newsom. What do I take from that? That California is doomed. The four horsemen of socialism, environmentalism, tribalism, and wokeness will continue riding over California ravaging the productive and rewarding the rent-seekers and takers. They are going to have to hit bottom before sanity returns.

Quote of the Day: Frank Herbert on Government and Bureaucracy

 

Most think of Frank Herbert’s Dune series as stories of prescience and the spice, of waring Fremen charging out of the desert.  The second trilogy, however, has some interesting perspectives on government and its excesses.  These quotes on bureaucracy are from the final Dune novel, Chapterhouse Dune.*

“Surely you know bureaucracies always become voracious aristocracies after they attain commanding power.”

California’s Highway to Hell

 

Nancy PelosiNancy Pelosi is the face of evil in our land, and a sign of how far we have fallen as a nation. Nancy Pelosi, the once and present Speaker of the House of Representatives, led her Democrat Party caucus to pass a bill federalizing the left’s abortion absolutism, just as they seek to end our constitutional republic by stealing elections the old-fashioned way with House Resolution 4, passed in August. Commendably, no Republican member of Congress voted for either of these bills. Pelosi’s defiance of her archbiship on House Resolution 3755, the radical abortion bill, is unsurprising and shows the long failure of Roman Catholic leadership to enforce church discipline on this life and death matter.

Archbishop of San Francisco Salvatore Cordileone called the falsely named Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021 “child sacrifice.” [emphasis added]:

HR 3755, the misnamed “Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021,” shows to what radical extremes the supposedly “Pro-Choice” advocates in our country will go to protect what they hold most sacred: the right to kill innocent human beings in the womb.  I support Archbishop Joseph Naumann in his demand to lawmakers to reject this “deceptively-named, extreme bill [that] would impose abortion on demand nationwide at any stage of pregnancy [and] … eliminate modest and widely supported pro-life laws at every level of government,” and, instead, that they “put the energy and resources of our federal government behind policies that recognize and support both mothers and their children.”  Any reasonable person with a basic sense of morality and inkling of decency cannot but shudder in horror at such a heinous evil being codified in law.

Dr. Peter McCollough on the International Approach to Covid and Vaccine Development

 

I don’t know how many of you have been watching or reading Dr. Peter McCollough.  He is a practicing clinician and researcher, specializing in the heart and kidney interaction, has some 650 papers to his name, has served on medical Safety Review boards, and is president of at least one professional association.  He speaks from professional expertise to a church on the international approach to covid, the NIH, vaccine development, safety and efficacy, home prevention and treatments, and vaccine hesitancy.  This video is an hour and 20 minutes long, but you should watch at least the first 12 minutes.

He starts with an introduction and an overview of his credentials.  Then he speaks on the importance of medical judgment and randomized trials at 8:34.

On Being a Country Class Schmuck: We Get What We Deserve

 

“…Lyndon Johnson, while he served in the House and the Senate, told people to purchase advertising on his Austin ratio station, KBTC, in order to get his attention. LBJ also frequently used his power at the Federal Communication Commission to obtain licenses for his radio and television stations and to block competitors from invading his markets in Texas. His company, needless to say, prospered. An initial investment of $17,500 grew into a media empire worth millions. – Perter Schweizer, Throw Them All Out, Pages XXI-XXII

Continuing with my current agenda this morning, I came across a name…someone I was unfamiliar with…in the first chapter of Throw Them All Out. So I looked him up.

Answering Cosmic Questions

 

Where did the universe come from? How does it work? When did it begin and when and how will it end? People have asked variations on these questions since people started asking questions.

“Where Did the Universe Come From? And Other Cosmic Questions,” by Chris Ferrie and Geraint F. Lewis examines those questions. They also show how the answers have changed over the last 50 years.

The pair looks at the biggest thing in existence, the universe itself. They also examine the smallest things, including subatomic particles. They explain how the largest and smallest things in the universe are interrelated and affect each other. They do so in language a layperson can understand.

Did the Media and Big Tech Conspire to Assure Biden’s Election?

 

We have more and more lately come to the conclusion that Glenn Greenwald is in the top echelon of honest, fair, hard-working journalists and we pay close attention to his frequent guest appearances on the Tucker Carlson show (just about our last bastion for real, deeply researched news in a “vast wasteland” of garbage). Some time ago I subscribed to his blog, greenwald.substack.com, which I can recommend without reservation for an in-depth treatment of the political issues of the day.

Through his blog, and his Twitter feed, I learned of the video he put out recently with a full analysis of the Biden [Crime] Family emails and the minutely detailed examination of the way the CIA, Corporate Media, and Big Tech conspired to censor the hugely important New York Post story on the Hunter Biden laptop about ten days before the 2020 (stolen) Presidential Election. It is entitled New Proof Emerges About the Hunter Biden Laptop: a Definitive Account of the CIA/Media Fraud. He incorporates into his analysis some of the deep reporting apparently done by the author of a new book just out, The Bidens: Inside the First Family’s Fifty-Year Rise to Power, by James Shreckinger.

The entire video, which is a little over an hour long, is one of the most complete, persuasive, and professionally produced compilation of the real evidence against the Biden Crime Family I have ever seen. I simply cannot recommend it too highly for anyone who really wants to have a more thorough understanding of the depth of the real corruption and deliberate deceit of the media— and the Bidens! However, if this boiling, bubbling vat of filth and degradation are not enough for you, as an extra dollop of Bidenesque sleaze, I commend to your attention the article “If These Latest Revelations Aren’t Enough to Arrest Hunter Biden, then Nothing Is” which can be accessed here.

One True Supreme Court Justice

 

Why is it so hard to get more than one or two real Supreme Court Justices at a time? Last week, Justice Thomas gave a stirring speech, a model of a classic American. Some excerpts:

“What had given my life meaning and sense of belonging, that this country was my home, was jettisoned as old-fashioned and antiquated. … It was easy and convenient to fill that void with victimhood. … So much of my time focused intently on our racial differences and grievances, much like today.”

“As I matured, I began to see that the theories of my young adulthood were destructive and self-defeating. … I had rejected my country, my birthright as a citizen, and I had nothing to show for it.”

Professors Richard Epstein and John Yoo are kicking off the fall semester with a bang, as they invite classroom participation in the form of questions from Law Talk listeners. On a wide-ranging episode, they cover the controversies over the Texas and Mississippi abortion laws, the crisis on the southern border, vaccine mandates, and a smattering of questions on everything from long-dead Supreme Court justices to the possibility of a new constitutional convention to revising the Declaration of Independence. You’ll hear all the wisdom and insight you’ve come to inspect from the professors plus a potentially career-ending gaffe from our intrepid moderator, who assures us he will submit to the Montreal Cognitive Assessment.

‘They Will Pay’

 

President Joe Biden called scenes of Border Patrol agents allegedly menacing Haitian immigrants trying to cross the Texas border “horrible” and vowed those responsible “will pay” amid growing criticism from his own party. An internal investigation is under way and the agents could face disciplinary action. — Bloomberg News

“It’s horrible what you saw. To see people like they did, with horses, running them over, people being strapped, it’s outrageous,” Biden said at the White House. — CNN

A Micro-Meetup in the Middle of Nowhere: Me and the LtsCol

 

I’ve been a member of Ricochet for ten years, nine months, and twelve days.  (But who’s counting?) I joined only seven months after the site went live, and after lurking for a few months on the advice of Powerline’s John Hinderaker, from his August 9, 2010 post, Moonlighting at Ricochet.  While I enjoyed my first few months on the down-low, I was galvanized into activity by the following post, which appeared on November 9 of that year:

member-feed

Man’s Search for Meaning on Joe Biden’s Facebook Page

 

Joe Biden’s Facebook page is an endless scroll of passionate meaningless statements.  For example, “It’s not enough just to build back to the way things were before the pandemic – it’s time to build back better.”  And “Instead of continuing to fight the wars of the past, we are focusing on the challenges that hold the keys to our future.”  And “We are committed to working with our partners and allies to build a more prosperous future for all people.”  And I could go on and on.  But you seem like nice people.  So I won’t.  You should be sure to not visit his page someday.  It’s worse than you think.  Yes, I know what you think.  It’s worse than that.

But a recurring (…and recurring, and recurring, and recurring…) theme of his deep thoughts is that the wealthy do not pay enough taxes, and that he is going to fix that.  I know that whoever writes the dreck on his website has no intention of anyone actually thinking about what he says Biden says.  But just for fun (?), let’s look it up.  I think we can agree that the top 10% of wage earners are wealthy.  I would sit down and explain to Joe that they make more money than 90% of Americans, but I suspect that would be like explaining calculus to my cat.  He wouldn’t understand, and he wouldn’t care.  Anyway, those top 10% pay 71% of all income taxes.  So when President Biden says, “Folks, I don’t want to punish anyone’s success. But those at the top have been getting a free ride for far too long.  We’re going to change that.“, I wonder what, exactly, he intends to change it to?

If 71% of all income taxes is not enough, would 80% be enough?  Heck, let’s just say 90%, for argument’s sake.  Ok, that means that the lower 90% of all wage earners (whom I suspect Joe would lump into one group called ‘middle class working people’), would be paying the remaining 10% of all income taxes.  This would present a problem when Joe says, “It’s time that working people in this country got the tax breaks for a change.”, how would he do that?  How do you cut taxes of people who don’t pay them?  Plus, well, um – look, I’m getting bored writing this, because it’s a stupid post.  But it has to be, because it’s a stupid subject.  This is absurd.  Why am I wasting my time?

Dad, Argentina, and the Best Steak I Ever Had

 

Growing up, I couldn’t wait for Sunday night. That’s when my father would cook dinner. My mother was an extraordinary person –a Master’s degree from USC, a member of the Red Cross team that followed Patton’s Third Army through Europe during World War II – but the woman could barely boil rice. Our weekly menu usually revolved around Swanson’s Salisbury steak frozen dinners and canned chop suey. But on Sundays, everything changed. Dad would don his grease-stained apron, flash his special set of stainless-steel tongs, and throw a couple of thick porterhouse steaks on the backyard grill. Oh, how this man loved a great steak. And his steaks were the best steaks I ever had in my life.

That is … until I went to Argentina.

I had arrived in Buenos Aires several years ago with moderate jet lag and a major appetite. I purposely hadn’t eaten in almost 24 hours so I would be significantly hungry and might actually finish an early dinner – something I don’t do very well the older I get. I asked around and chose the nearest parilla with the best reputation: Los Remolinos on Calle Sulpacha in Retiro. “Great steaks – what’s more …” But I stopped everyone right there. The other reasons didn’t matter. I knew steaks were legend in this corner of the planet and that’s what I wanted. A steak. A great steak.