Member Post

 

Let’s consider a scenario.  A major corporation goes bankrupt rapidly, and lots of people lose jobs or money in stocks.  Even other companies are left holding the bag from purchase orders.  It turns out that a major executive was actively embezzling from the company and defrauding the investors while lying to the SEC.  However, the […]

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Is it Time for Our Own Lawn Signs?

 

For the first time, I am seriously considering doing lawn signs that express my political views. (Inspired by @gregstrange).

I am going for pithy and defendable – something that starts a conversation. What do you think of:

All Human Lives Matter

Souls are on Loan from G-d

Science is a Process

Earth is not my Mother

We are all Responsible for our Choices

Love is as Love Does

I think this gets the main points across, and does it in a way that makes it harder for the reader to discount as being something they already know they disagree with.

Suggestions? Changes?

Quote of the Day: Enslaved Once Again

 

“Miraculously, just as soon as we were given personal responsibility, it was taken away. In the darkest of ironies, after 345 years of having our personal responsibility stripped from us by governing white society, we allowed that same white society to take it right back. Their method for taking it had certainly changed. Rather than callously telling us we couldn’t be responsible for ourselves, by outwardly barring and banning us from various institutions, this time, they began telling us we shouldn’t be responsible for ourselves because it was unimaginable that blacks would suddenly be expected to perform at their level. This ushered in a period of black victimization, which our community readily embraces to this day.” –Candace Owen, Blackout

In part of her book, Candace Owen shined a light on the true purpose of the Great Society agenda. People close to Lyndon Johnson knew that he despised black people, and he made sure that they would see themselves as dependent on the government forever. By “enslaving” them once again, he guaranteed their political support of the Democrats into the foreseeable future.

Even though many of us on the Right realize that the Democrats often acted against the wellbeing of the black community (as in fighting the Civil Rights Act and participating in the Ku Klux Klan), they managed to hide their true identity. As time went on, blacks became convinced that in spite of evidence to the contrary, their lives should be entrusted to the Left. Although programs of the Left have repeatedly crippled blacks in America, they have remained loyal.

President Trump was the first and only one to offer blacks meaningful hope for a better future, and they began to rally to his call. Yet we have the rise of Black Lives Matter demanding everyone’s obeisance to their cause. They aren’t fighting for blacks; they are fighting to change our country to Marxism. They continue to garner the appearance of support of the Left, which continues to view them secretly with disdain.

Let’s hope somehow the strategy that President Trump began will lead to a hopeful and prosperous future for blacks in this country.

Member Post

 

I performed my own empirical analysis today of the Pennsylvania election results, on a county-by-county basis, by comparing the 2020 and 2016 election results. I do not think that this analysis conclusively rebuts any allegations of voter fraud, but I did not find empirical evidence that would significantly support such an allegation. This is an […]

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Signs of the Times

 

I’ve grown to hate walking through my suburban Atlanta neighborhood. The unease has been building for years, but in the insane year of 2020, the tipping point has been reached. The misguidedness of too many of my neighbors can no longer be tolerated. The only thing that gives me comfort now is the knowledge that very soon I’ll be leaving for “redder” pastures.

Who knew that beneath the leafy, idyllic exterior of my suburban redoubt lurked so many hearts – or rather, minds – of darkness. I won’t say “hearts” because, after all, they mean well.

Down every street, around every corner, are the signs (literally) of the decimation of traditional American values and the precipitous rise of human foolishness. Posted in front yards so all who pass by can see the supposed virtue of the residents, are the signs proclaiming their leftist, if not outright Marxist, viewpoints. Would it be too much to ask for them to just keep it to themselves? Yes, it would! They are fully in line with the zeitgeist of the times and that means putting it in your face whether you like it or not.

So, let’s start with one of the most popular signs of 2020: Black Lives Matter. My neighbors, like millions of other white people, don’t seem to comprehend that they are promoting a Marxist terrorist group that hates them, wants to overthrow the US government, wants to replace capitalism with communism, and wants to get rid of the traditional nuclear family. In other words, BLM wants to totally destroy the way of life of these clueless white suburbanites who are promoting them. But my neighbors apparently think that BLM is simply about racial equality and the ending of “systemic racism,” which in actuality was essentially dismantled decades ago. This all begs a very profound question: How do otherwise intelligent people get this hoodwinked?

The same could be asked of the numerous residents who have signs bearing an artistic portrait of … George Floyd! That’s right, the martyred thug who was used as an excuse to unleash violent anarchy in almost every major city in the country. Remember that? The burning buildings, the looting, the assault, the murder, the chaos, the nihilism? Because of the death of this career thug, the most colossally insane and self-destructive idea ever hatched by sentient human beings became a thing: abolish – or at the very least, defund – the police. That’ll show those racist cops! But will virtue-signaling white suburbanites still be down with that when the perpetually aggrieved hordes come to pillage and burn their neighborhoods and there’s no police to stop it?

Since long before the madness of 2020, there has been a particularly obnoxious sign dotting the neighborhood that catalogs the secular beliefs of the residents. There are numerous variations, but they’re always something like this:

IN THIS HOUSE WE BELIEVE

BLACK LIVES MATTER

SCIENCE IS REAL

NO HUMAN IS ILLEGAL

LOVE IS LOVE

This sign, in all its vapid variations, is what a half-century or more of leftist brainwashing and dismantling of Judeo-Christian values has done to our people. Rendered incapable of rational analysis, too many people are now just spiritually empty bundles of emotions and impulses that are then assuaged with leftist tropes and childish gibberish.

We’ve covered Black Lives Matter. Let’s move on to “science is real.” Volumes could be written on this, but just to put it in a nutshell: that realness only applies when it coincides with leftist ideology. Otherwise, it is utterly ignored, if not demonized. For instance, there’s this science called “biology” and it doesn’t square with the current transgender mania. Biology says that male and female are not interchangeable, but are hardwired and immutable. But anyone who dares say that in public will be censored by Big Tech and branded a transphobic bigot.

And then there’s Covid. Just follow the science, they tell us, because “science is real.” Problem is, until the science got infected with leftist tyranny, it had never proclaimed that civilization had to be shut down over a virus. Problem is, the science isn’t exactly “settled.” Back in March, Fauci told us that wearing masks is pointless. Soon thereafter, they practically became mandatory. Many months ago it was “two weeks to flatten the curve.” Now, we all may be wearing masks and enduring various degrees of shutdown through 2021, if not forever.

“Science is real,” huh? Like the science of climate change. You can’t count on your local weather forecast for the day after tomorrow, but the science of climate change is “settled,” nothing left to debate, case closed. Therefore, the entire planet has to undergo a fundamental transformation of its energy use, economy, and governance, which will leave us all in poverty (and maybe in the dark). Yep, science doesn’t get much more real than that.

Moving on from science, “no human is illegal.” You know, like an “illegal” alien? This is just an idiotic slogan designed to condone the illegal overrunning of our country by limitless hordes from the failed states of Latin America. And only because they are deemed “people of color.” If they were white, nobody – at least on the left – would want them.

Ah, here’s a sweet one: “love is love.” Is that like saying, “It doesn’t matter who you love?” So there are no natural boundaries? No such thing as sexual perversions? No taboos? Anything goes? Anybody or anything can “love” anybody or anything else? Just let your freak flag fly and follow any impulse that happens to tickle your fancy? It’s all so tolerant and liberating – and just look at how much better off we are after a half-century of this!

Well, that was a brief tour of the worldview and belief system of most of my neighbors as reflected by their yard signs. It seems pretty obvious that the “long march through the institutions” has been terrifyingly successful, both in this neighborhood and in the country at large. That “long march” was a cultural Marxist strategy first proposed by Italian communist Antonio Gramsci. The purpose of cultural Marxism was to overthrow Western countries that are based on Judeo-Christian values and capitalism, not through violent revolution, but through what amounts to the subversion of their institutions, which then trickles down through everything else. My own subverted neighborhood, as well as so many others, now lies in spiritual and intellectual ruins.

What I wouldn’t give to see yard signs with the following:

IN THIS HOUSE WE BELIEVE

IN THE JUDEO-CHRISTIAN GOD

IN THE U.S. CONSTITUTION

LIFE BEGINS AT CONCEPTION

SCIENCE IS A TOOL, NOT SOMETHING TO “BELIEVE IN”

BORDERS MATTER

But that won’t be happening around here anytime soon. Over many decades my neighborhood has devolved from traditional, common-sense American values into a la-la-land of vapid leftist tropes which, if seriously followed, can only eventually end in self-destruction. So I’m gettin’ the hell outta Dodge, and soon.

Where am I going? Without being specific, I’ll relate something said by a relative in a conversation we had months ago about the ongoing George Floyd riots: “If they come here, they’ll be taking gunfire from every house.”

That’s where I’m going. To a place where I’ll be surrounded by people like that, rather than the useful idiots in this neighborhood who would be rolling out the red carpet for those who would actually destroy them.

Member Post

 

I am feeling betrayed – betrayed by everyone on the Right who insists there either was no voter fraud, or it could hardly have made the difference. I am entirely gobsmacked by the senseless insistence that the people who engaged in fraud had no expectation that it could change the outcome. Of course it could. […]

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Walter Wenck at Stalingrad

 

Colonel Walter Wenck was in command of no one and nothing. There was nothing to command. Technically, he’d just been appointed chief of staff of the Romanian 3rd Army, part of German Army Group B. Again, technically, the 150,000 men of the Romanian 3rd Army held an 85-mile section of the Eastern Front just north and west of Stalingrad. Actually, the Romanian 3rd Army had ceased to exist over the past 48 hours. On 20 November 1942, a huge Soviet counteroffensive had smashed into the shoulders of the German salient at Stalingrad and pulverized the Romanian, Hungarian and Italian formations in their way. Soviet armored units poured through the gaps and roamed freely across the snowy steppe in the rear of the 300,000 Germans at Stalingrad. What was left of the Romanian 3rd Army was in headlong retreat, its path marked by columns of acrid black smoke spewing from ruined vehicles. Scattered units tried to turn and fight, but there was no front, no line of resistance. Just the maelstrom and sudden death as Soviet tanks appeared out of the snow.

Right now, there was nothing between the Soviets and Rostov-on-Don but air … and the remnants of broken units wandering in the steppe. Somehow, Wenck knew, he had to impose order on the chaos. At this moment, the Russians were concentrating on closing the trap on Stalingrad. But that wouldn’t last. If they reached Rostov, not only would Stalingrad be lost, but anyone south of the river Don between Stalingrad and Rostov would be doomed. That included the 1,000,000 men of Army Group A in the Caucuses. So Wenck went to work.

Out on the wind-swept steppe west of Stalingrad, each little village between Stalingrad and the Chir River housed some sort of repair shop, supply facility, replacement center, or transport depot. Mechanics, bakers, clerks, photographers, and drivers had been cast adrift by the Soviet onslaught. Men going on leave, men returning from leave, officers just passing through all suddenly found themselves on their own. There were some oddments of units cobbled together under names like Group General Spang or Group Colonel Schmidt or Group Colonel Abraham trying to dig in and resist. They weren’t much. But they were German and willing.

Wenck started recruiting whomever and wherever he could. He had a group of experienced non-commissioned officers, who in the traditions of NCOs everywhere set about finding their commander the tools he needed. His security team found some fuel trucks “belonging to no one.” Wenck had them put up ‘fueling point’ signs. Every vehicle that stopped became part of Wenck’s little army. They came across an entertainment company and had them set up their movie screens at several crossroads. Again, anyone who stopped to watch was rearmed and dragooned. Tank carriers transporting other unit’s armor were relieved of their cargo. They cleaned out repair shops and supply depots. Anything that rolled or shot, anyone with a weapon or without was collected and sent into Wenck’s ranks.

And unbelievably, these scratch units began to hold. They could give some ground, but they could not break. Makeshift armored units counterattacked into the flanks of the Soviet advance again and again in the cold and snow. In days they were down to six tanks and a self-propelled gun, but they grimly held on.

Finally, at the beginning of December, organized help began to arrive. The first to arrive was the 17th Army Corps commanded by General Karl Hollidt. Hollidt took command of all units in the area and Wenck’s odd little army passed into history.

Josey Wales, Politics, and the Price of Apples

 

Too much politics corrupts both the mind and the soul. So, for a moment, I will step back into the past and reflect on a favorite subject and reference, The Outlaw Josey Wales.

As many of you may already know, the Clint Eastwood film is based on a novel that began life as The Rebel Outlaw Josey Wales and was republished as Gone to Texas. The author was listed as Forrest Carter or Bedford Forrest Carter.

Carter also wrote The Education of Little Tree which supposedly was based on the author’s childhood as a Cherokee learning the white man’s ways while facing racism and clinging to his love of nature. But as it turns out the author’s real name was probably Asa Earl Carter, a former KKK member who at one time had an Alabama radio show in the 50s and later wrote speeches for George Wallace (maybe) and ran for governor against Wallace in 1970 under the flag of the Segregation Party. He is one of two men who occasionally get “credited” with writing the Wallace line: “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever”. Carter had moved to Texas and then to Florida to begin a writing career and always tried to disclaim his past.

But Carter was no less a shadowy figure than this first fictional subject, Josey Wales. Many contend that the Wales character was based in part on the real-life bushwhacker Bill Wilson of Phelp County, Missouri. There was a short 1939 book written about Wilson which was mostly a collection of Ozark stories about him. Some indications are that Wilson didn’t actually ride with Quantrill or Bloody Bill but did kill several Union soldiers and sympathizers and sold their horses to the raiders. He was certainly within their circle.

The records put Wilson’s birth as 1830 and the stories put his adult size as a handsome 6’2”, 185 pounds. He was said to be a dead shot and a fine violin player. 1861 saw him married with a family when Union soldiers questioned him about some stolen horses. The Union men later returned when Wilson was not at home, looted his house, and burned all of the buildings. As in any good story of revenge, he moved his family into a single room cabin on his mother’s farm and began to take a toll on those who had wronged him.

If the Ozark stories are to be believed (and who am I to dispute a sincere, well-armed mountaineer) Wilson’s ability to drop Yankee soldiers with a brace of handguns could only be approached by Clint Eastwood himself. There are multiple tales of at least four falling before his pistols. He once laid a false trail for three that led them into the quicksand of Little Piney River. I will admit, however, that often a little serious research into such frontier fighting will show ambush to be the preferred method when facing several opponents at once, just sayin’.

The end of the Civil War saw a $300 reward on the head of Wilson and several others of the bushwhacker trade. Before 1865 was over, he had resettled near Sherman, Texas.

Sherman sat just south of the Red River along the beginnings of the Blackland prairies and during two different winters had served as a cold-weather refuse for Quantrill’s boys and other Missouri raider bands during the War. They would normally be strung out between three or four different camps between Sherman and Bonham to the east. In 1864, state militia under James Throckmorton converged on the camps and “encouraged” them to return to their home state “at once”.

After the war, several of the former “Partisan Rangers”, as they were often called back home, collected around the Sherman area since it was familiar ground. The likes of Dave Poole, Arch Clement, and Jim Anderson made Sherman their home for a couple of years. Alan Palmer and his bride Susan, sister to Frank and Jesse James, lived there for five years. Frank was a guest of the Collin County jail for a night 30 miles to the south in McKinney. Some reports claim that as many as 144 former Missouri bushwhackers lived in the area at one time. How that exact number was arrived at is unclear.

In any case, Wilson married Mary Ann Noaks, a member of the Choctaw Nation, in late 1865 in Sherman. In early 1869, he was in McKinney with a wagon of apples to sell. As he completed his business there were two other ex-bushwhackers close by (is anyone ever an EX-bushwhacker?), William Blackmore and John Thompson. The two men saw the exchange of money and took note.

Wilson spent that night in the home of J.B. Wilmeth which was only about two miles north of McKinney square. The next morning, he struck out for Sherman with both wagon and money. Along the way, he was ambushed, shot, robbed, and buried in a shallow grave by Blackmore and Thompson.

An area collector of tales records that Wilson was ambushed just north of the “pioneer town of Van Alstyne”. This is the same source as the 144 number. The only problem with that information is that Van Alstyne didn’t exist at the time. It would be four years later before the railroad came through the area and created that town. However, about a mile and a half from the future home of Van Alstyne sat a reasonable-sized settlement known as Mantu which dried up when the rails came through.

The two killers were caught and confessed but the grave holding Bill Wilson’s last remains was never found. They said it was along “Prong Creek” which the Missouri men probably didn’t know the proper name for. By the description given it was probably the West Fork of Sister Grove Creek. That would mean if you headed due east from our family cattle pens you would probably strike Wilson’s path to Sherman in about 4 ½ miles and be within a few hundred yards of the “grave”. In any case, on March 26, 1869, Blackmore and Thompson were taken to the stand of oak trees three blocks north of the Sherman courthouse and hanged.

In 1979 Asa Earl Carter died in Florida from a heart attack supposedly caused by a fistfight with his son. His body was returned to Alabama for burial with still many details of his life missing or at least cloudy. And it appears to some that “the real Josey Wales” didn’t really find a Texas paradise to comfort him into old age. But he did find a shorted-lived haven among his own kind and in the end, it was his own kind who left him short of his 40th birthday, for the price of a few apples.

A Week of Gratitude: Day 2 – Hereditary Angioedema

 

I promise that these posts won’t all be about rare diseases, but somehow I’ve managed to roll the genetic dice and have them come up snake-eyes twice.  As I mentioned yesterday, I contracted a rare (1 in 100,000 to 1 in 1 million people per year) but, fortunately, curable form for cancer.  Several years ago, I was diagnosed with a different but also rare disease (1 in 50,000) called Hereditary Angioedema (HAE).  What’s that? I had to ask as well.  A genetic deficiency causes me to not produce a protein that is needed to keep part of my immune system in check.  A cascade of protein reactions that would normally be checked by this missing protein results in fluid leaking out of my cells into the surrounding tissue causing major swelling.  It’s like my body is trying to heal from a wound by sending fluids, but there is no wound.  My swelling occurs internally in my gut and causes three days of intense vomiting and cramping (imagine having your intestines pinched closed for a couple of days).  Others with this condition will have their throat swell closed which is life-threatening.  I seem to be the originator of HAE in my family and unfortunately, I passed it on to one of my sons.

Why am I grateful?

The doctors took six years to diagnose the disease.  When I’m not swelling, everything looks normal.  It was my hernia surgeon and a radiologist who made the discovery.  I was referred to him to check for a twisted bowel.  After looking over my charts with the radiologist he came back to me with a list of questions.  I was yes to seven of ten.  He sent me to an allergist who knows about the disease and I was given the tests to confirm the diagnosis.  It was a long process, but since being diagnosed and interacting with a lot of people with this disease I realize how lucky I had it.  Most had multiple surgeries hunting around for a solution to their swelling. I didn’t have any.

There are a lot of medicines to treat the disease.  I often marvel that anyone, as rare as it is, ever went looking for one.  I am so grateful for curious and dedicated professionals who are inspired to find solutions to so many of our challenges.

As I said yesterday, I’m grateful for a health system that encourages research and financing to make these treatments available.

My son and I have formed a unique bond as we both deal with the challenges this disease presents and we encourage each other through the difficult times.

I’m hesitant to share this last reason for gratitude because it is very personal. But I will include it because it may benefit someone else and I would be ungrateful not to share.  Before my diagnosis, I was lying on the bathroom floor late at night in agony.  I had prayed for years to be healed or to find a solution for my pain but I still didn’t know what was wrong.  In that moment I changed my prayer and told my Heavenly Father that if this was a burden He wanted me to carry then I would carry it and I asked him to please help me bear it.  Instantly the oppression of the pain eased and I could feel God’s love pour into my heart.  The pain didn’t go away, but the comfort I was feeling made it bearable.  I know that my prayer was heard and answered. Shortly after this episode, my surgeon was inspired to know what to look for and I received my diagnosis.

Day 1

I Wonder If She Wonders?

 

One of my patients today mentioned how excited she was that Joe Biden was going to be our next president.  That caught my ear, as you might imagine.  Most of my Democrat friends are understandably thrilled that Trump seems to be leaving the White House.  But she is the first to express actual enthusiasm for Joe Biden.  I asked her what she hoped Mr. Biden would do with his time in office.

She immediately responded, “He’s forgiving student loans!  That’s just a brilliant economic move!  I mean, these people are trying to improve themselves.  And once they get their diploma, they can earn more money, so they pay more taxes!  It’s a win-win!  How on earth can Republicans so short-sighted?”  I nodded sagely, thinking to myself, ‘Don’t respond to this.  Get back to medicine.  Do not respond, you moron.  Shut up and do your job.  Don’t respond…’  So naturally, I responded:

“That’s a brilliant point!  And I completely agree.  For example, I wasn’t making any money in my previous practice, so I bought this one.  It cost a lot of money to buy it, of course, and I didn’t have that kind of cash.  So I took out a business loan.  Now I’m making more money, and I’m paying a lot more taxes.”

She just stared at me, at tilted her head a bit, signaling that she didn’t understand my point.  So I continued:

“So I presume Mr. Biden will be forgiving business loans, just like he is student loans.  I mean, we’re trying to improve ourselves, we’re earning more money, and then we’re paying more taxes.  It’s a win-win!  Obviously, he should forgive business loans, as well.  If he can get it past the darn Republicans, at least.  You’re right.  Republicans are so short-sighted.  They just don’t understand basic economics.”

She sat there for a second, and said, “Um, I don’t know about business loans…”

I plaintively asked, “Why not?”

She looked sort of uncertain, and then stammered, “Um…would that even be Constitutional?…”

Realizing that I had an opportunity to get out sort of unscathed, I responded, “Ah.  Good point.  I know a lot about medicine, but I don’t know as much about our Constitution as you do.  I don’t really follow this stuff.  Now, about your carotid disease…”

I wonder if she wondered about that.

I was amazed by our pleasant, although surreal, conversation for a few reasons.  First, she’s the first person I’ve heard sound excited about Joe Biden.  Second, it sounded strange to hear a Democrat attempting to explain the benefits of their preferred policies using reason and logic.  It sounded sort of odd.  Not their style.  For good reason.

Third, I wonder if she went home and wondered why having taxpayers pay off other people’s student loans is Constitutional, but having taxpayers pay off other people’s business loans is not Constitutional?  That’s a head-scratcher.

And if she wondered about that, where does she stop?  That type of logical thinking could lead her down a dangerous road.  It might even lead her to read the Constitution, just out of curiosity.  Which then might lead her to wonder how much government spending actually is Constitutional.  A third, maybe?  Gosh, perhaps a quarter?  How many Democrat policies are actually Constitutional?  Lordy…

Scary stuff for a leftist.  She’s nearly 75 years old.  She’s managed to avoid curiosity and independent thought for this long.  I wonder how many close calls she’s had.  Surely this was not her first.

I’m sure she’ll be fine.  Just another close call.

But when I have a conversation with someone in which I think they might have a point, that can lead me to days and weeks of reading a wider and wider range of sources.  Partially to see if I was right, or if they were.  And partially just out of curiosity.  “Gosh.  I hadn’t thought of it that way before.  Maybe I should check this out a bit.  Am I missing something here?

Leftists appear to be remarkably resistant to such impulses.  While conservatives struggle to control their curiosity and desire to understand things.

And leftists consider conservatives to be closed-minded.

I wonder if she wonders about that?

Nah, probably not.  She’ll be fine.

QOTD: Governor Cuomo Wants A Venezuelan Thanksgiving

 

“I don’t believe as a law enforcement officer you have a right to pick and choose what laws you will enforce,” Cuomo told reporters Wednesday during an Albany-based press conference.

Mommy there’s an angry man outside looking at us through the window.

Defunding the police will make enforcing his edicts on officers counting cars in driveways, peering in windows, monitoring grocery stores to make sure that someone isn’t buying a 2o-pound turkey, and all the trimmings for a family dinner.

But a slew of upstate sheriffs have already declared they won’t be checking up on gatherings come Turkey Day, arguing limited resources and other public safety priorities trump “counting cars” in driveways and “investigating” how much turkey and dressing a household may purchase.

Hopefully, your neighbors in New York and other states aren’t STASI wannabes.

The 57th Anniversary of the Assassination of President Kennedy

 

I was in third grade when President Kennedy was murdered. They let us out of school early but didn’t tell us why. I walked home with my sister Joan, who was in fifth grade. My mom was watching the TV and told us what happened. I now have an apartment just over a mile from Dealey Plaza where it happened. We walked there yesterday and took pictures.

One of the first things you notice is how small of a space the plaza is. The pictures make it look much bigger. The man in the road is next to the X marking where the third fatal shot hit. In the picture below I’m next to where Zapruder was when he filmed the assassination.

I attended a discussion about it three years ago by Zapruder’s granddaughter.

At the base of the Texas Book Depository, there is a sign which reflects the controversy over the assassination; note the word alleged in it.

.

Member Post

 

If there is an award for Stoopidest Statement of the Year, this would have to be one of the finalists: A Wauwatosa, Wisconsin shopping mall was the scene of a shooting in which eight people were wounded on Friday. Naturally the local media sought out the Milwaukee suburb’s mayor for a little insight into the incident. Fortunately, […]

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Member Post

 

  On Friday, November 27, 2020, attorney Powell is going to file her case. She will produce the sworn affidavits then. The reason she would not give these to Maria Bartiromo or Tucker Carleson is that her sworn testimony witnesses will be subjected to threats against them and their family as soon as their names […]

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Member Post

 

I propose a new strategy:“Put up or shut up,” they say with respect to evidence of election fraud. Well, how about we consolidate it all in one place, for future generations, GOP bosses who have already moved on in the laughable belief that having capitulated on this that they will ever have another free and […]

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Current Status of the House Elections

 

In the Land of Confusion podcast that we taped Friday night, I gave a brief update on the election results in the House of Representatives. At that time, five races remained undetermined, according to RealClearPolitics. Two of those have now been called, one for each party. Here is the current status of the House as detailed by RCP (here):

The Democrats lead 222-210, with three races undecided. Thus far, this is a gain of 10 for the Republicans and a loss of 9 for the Democrats. Of the three undecided races, two were previously held by a Democrat and one was previously held by a Republican.

Republicans have a majority of the state delegations in 26 states, Democrats have a majority in 20, and 3 are tied. One remains to be determined — Iowa — which will either result in a Republican majority or a tie.

The three open races are:

1. California District 25: Republican incumbent Mike Garcia leads Democratic challenger Christy Smith, 50.1%-49.9%. The current vote totals per RCP are Garcia 169,060, Smith 168,660, a margin of just 400 votes. This is a rematch of a special election on May 12, 2020, which Garcia won pretty handily (54.9%-45.1%).

2. Iowa District 2: Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks leads Democrat Rita Hart, 196,862-196,815, a margin of just 47 votes. In rounded percentage terms, this is 50.0%-50.0%. The incumbent is a Democrat who did not seek re-election.

3. New York District 22: Republican challenger Claudia Tenney leads Democratic incumbent Anthony Brindisi 49.0%-48.9%, with a margin of 300 votes, 154,730-154,430.

If the current vote count holds, Republicans will win all three seats and end with an overall gain of 13 House seats. The Democrats will have a House majority of 15 at the most, 9 at the least.

Maintaining Standards

 

On the flagship podcast this week, James Lileks talked about how young people who yearn for driverless cars will miss out on the freedom of driving oneself, and made a brief aside about the disappearance of manual transmissions.  Growing up in the early ’70s, most of us learned to drive in big sedans with automatics, but after the oil embargo suddenly there were scads of Japanese cars with precise little manual transmissions.

It helped that the early Japanese imports had horrendously bad automatic transmissions and not much torque. So we became converts. We still own several cars with manual transmissions, although they are harder to find than ever. As long ago as 2001, we had to go 300 miles to find and purchase a CR-V with a manual. (more…)

Member Post

 

“Fifty years is ample time in which to change a world and its people almost beyond recognition. All that is required for the task are a sound knowledge of social engineering, a clear sight of the intended goal—and power.” — Arthur C. Clarke in Childhood’s End. Old-school science fiction often gives insights into how progressives […]

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Book a Private Movie Night

 

If you want the ultimate movie night, now is a golden opportunity. Until this pandemic abates or is dealt with, movie theaters across the country are trying about anything they can think of to stay afloat. Between customers too scared to come in, capacity restrictions, or out and out mandatory closures, while actually competing with movie studios going right to streaming while still charging premium screening costs to struggling theaters, many theaters may not even be around in another year. So they’re innovating.

Since you are not legally permitted to publicly show anything in your DVD collection, but you can show it privately, theaters are letting you privately book their giant screens and sound systems, and let you see your favorite films “on the big screen” the way they were intended in the first place. Tonight we took up a local theater on the opportunity.

I don’t know how many movie theaters will survive the pandemic. Many were doing poorly before COVID anyway, and now they’re practically begging for customers. In recent years even the large multiplex theaters have been offering customers the ability to book a screen, but the pricing has usually been affordable only for businesses, and the times available have likewise been in the daytime. This makes sense of course, as these are large buildings to heat or cool, and to staff for concessions and cleaning, so if one is going to open up for a private event, it needs to be remunerative. In this, the smaller independent theaters have a bit of an advantage – they only a few people on duty. Our local theater has decided to get in on the act.

The Strand is one of the 10 oldest theaters left in the country. It passed its centennial recently. Like many old theaters, it was not originally strictly a movie house, having a small stage and dressing room for hosting vaudeville or other live acts. It also originally had a balcony, though it was never large enough for private booths. I do not know how many owners it has had over the years, but it is now run by the local college as part of their business school. Sometime in the 70s or 80s the theater closed its balcony and turned it into a 2nd smaller screen. In the 1990s they acquired storefronts on either side, turned one into a new concession stand, and hollowed out the other to turn it into a third screen. Only in the last decade, however, were the original restrooms finally gutted, with modern facilities added within the expansion space. All of the renovations of the last 20 years have been funded by the community – we’ve done our part to keep the old girl going. Modern seating arrived at last within the last couple of years, just in time for COVID.

You can see where the old balcony was.

As it happens, we caught the very last movie before Ohio shut everything down – Disney’s Homeward – we had the theater to ourselves as people were already keeping away in fear. During Ohio’s long lockdown on theaters, lasting from March through June, when theaters were at last allowed a limited reopening, The Strand offered weekend concessions – genuine buckets of movie theater popcorn and theater-sized candy boxes and sodas, strictly on a drive-up basis. They also had a fundraising drive to keep the bills paid on the place. They survived, but barely.

Down in front!

When they reopened they tried going back to first-run movies, but this has not panned out well. The studios are releasing everything simultaneously to streaming services, it seems, and even at greatly reduced ticket prices the theaters cannot attract the audiences. My wife beelined there to see the latest Christopher Nolan film this past summer – then regretted that Nolan is taking himself too seriously (I long ago wrote him off and refused to go see it myself) Even the big multiplexes are by and large showing classic films instead. I went with one daughter to see Beetlejuice last month – a film she never would have seen “on the big screen” otherwise, and the tickets and concession prices were the lowest I’ve paid since the early 90s. The Strand has tried this too, but it’s still not really paying the bills.

Vestige of old times.

Now, they’re letting you pick the film yourself – all you do is provide the DVD or BluRay disc, and for a fee you’ve got your own private screening. For an upcharge per head, they’ll include popcorn, sodas, and candy (no nachos or hot dogs, though, unless you’ve got a really big crowd). We booked the screen for this evening, called a bunch of friends and family, and watched Wallace and Gromit – Curse of the Were Rabbit. We have it booked again right before Christmas for a yet-to-be-decided Christmas movie. Where my sister lives, she and her friends booked their own screening of The Princess Bride.

Old backstage stairs

There’s something about watching a movie in a theater instead of from your couch. Even with today’s large high-resolution screens at home, the still larger theater screen help you to pick out details you are not apt to notice at home. Plus, for whatever reason, the kids shut the heck up in the theater, while jabbering endlessly at home (or checking their phones every second). The popcorn tends to be, well, not necessarily better at the theater (and you can have real butter at home), but there’s certainly more of it at the theater, to the point of rabid abundance. I’m not of an age anymore where the giant sodas hold any attraction for me, but the kids were happy to indulge too. With the decreased movie attendance and increased theater sanitation, the sticky floors are no longer a problem.

As for the movie we picked, Wallace and Gromit are old favorites, but only our eldest daughter ever saw the film on the big screen, and she was five at the time. Number 2 was present in the theater, but at only a year old she remembers nothing. The other 2 hadn’t yet arrived on the scene. With this sort of opportunity, we can at last show them all, and without all the previews and commercials to wait on. Right now The Strand is only allowing maximum rental blocks of 2 hours, so I can’t show them the old epics like Ben Hur, or It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad World, but at some point perhaps we’ll have that chance.

And in the meantime, we and others in the community will keep doing what we can to keep the old girl going. If you get the chance, support your local theater too, while it’s still around. Many are already gone.

Member Post

 

@caroljoy has had her post on what is happening in California promoted to the Main Feed.  Well, some other blue states are also seeing their citizens objecting strenuously to the lockdowns. Let’s start in my state of Washington: Dozens gather in Vancouver for no-mask shopping event. It seems that some shoppers down in Southwest Washington (just […]

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Thousands of Californians Protest Gov. Newsom’s Illegal Edicts

 

Saturday, especially in Southern regions of The Golden State, many Californians saw to it that The Tree of Liberty Witnessed a Whole Lot of Enthusiasm on Saturday. From Breitbart:

Thousands of people in 16 California cities took to the streets on Saturday, Nov 21st 2020  to protest Gov. Gavin Newsom’s curfew order requiring people to stay at home after 10 p.m. Carrying Trump/Pence flags and “Open up California” banners, the crowds began to gather at 10:01 p.m., including in Huntington Beach and San Clemente.

“Governor Newsom’s sweeping edicts by moving 95 percent of California to purple tier and a curfew is an abuse of power,” Syndie Ly, who helped organize the protest and was on the ground in San Clemente, told Breitbart News. “We are all responsible adults so we can make our individual choices.” Pause. “This movement is about us rising up for our freedom and against Governor Newsom’s overreaching edicts,” Ly said.

“This is tyrannical and government overreach on behalf of Gavin Newsom and other Democrat governors. The American people, as well as citizens of other countries need to stand up against this,” declared Nancy Vu-Kerr, who took part in the Huntington Beach protest.”

Full article and short videos at the above link.

Member Post

 

When you’re in the business of mass communication it’s not often that one is afforded the opportunity to thank the people that make your paycheck possible. My work has been seen by hundreds of millions and it has been mostly consumed anonymously, sanitized by the medium of television. Unlike the announcers who are the face […]

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Mr. Trump: Speaking of Grace…

 

I’m a conservative. I don’t like chaos, I’m not attracted to nihilism and social destruction. I like things to proceed in an orderly manner, following sensible rules, and leading to understandable results that inspire confidence. Having said that…

For four years I’ve watched the Democrats and their cohorts in the media (which is to say, pretty much everyone in the media) make a farce out of politics. It started with Hillary Clinton paying for Russian-made dirt on candidate Trump. It continued with Hillary Clinton making up a Russian collusion narrative in order to save face after her unexpected defeat in 2016.

It continued with leading Democrats and, again, their pet news media (CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NYT, etc.) spending three years (!) pretending to have evidence to justify their absurd Russian conspiracy. It continued with endless speculation of scandal, of “beginning of the end,” of “walls closing in,” of “another bombshell.”

For all his flaws, President Trump was never, unlike his critics, comprehensively wrong. He spent four years presiding over an astonishingly robust economy, restoring Constitutional integrity to the nation’s courts, slowing illegal immigration to a crawl, getting the US out of pointless (Paris) and dangerous (Iran) international agreements. He was right about law enforcement, right about keeping the nation open, right about dealing with foreign powers.

Unlike the last guy, Trump was right about America.

Finally, in the midst of an absurd impeachment by petty men who had exhausted every other cockamamie scheme for his removal, and largely thanks to the President’s boldness, he presided over the dawning of an historical peace in the Middle East, as Arab states established relationships with Israel and became unified in their opposition to a still-dangerous Iran.

Now, after being defeated by a once-in-a-lifetime epidemic, the censorship and mendacity of a malicious press and tech sector, and an election riddled with fraud and misconduct, the President is not acknowledging defeat quite as quickly as his critics would like.

That’s tough. He’s been cheated out of the credit he deserves for an extraordinarily successful four years by a leftist elite that thinks he and every one of the 70+ million Americans who voted for him are snaggle-toothed illiterate racist haters huddling in flyover country.

He’s been attacked by graceless harpies for four years. I won’t demand a lot of grace from him now.

I’m just thankful for the enormous good he did while in office.

Oh, to Be a Low-Knowledge Voter!

 

For the first time that I can remember, I wish that I were ignorant of politics. To want to be ignorant about anything is so contrary to my nature. Although I know that I can’t undo what I know, I can’t help contemplating what life would be like if I didn’t know the disruption that was happening in the election process . . .

I could focus on getting my ingredients together for Thanksgiving. I make my own cranberry sauce with cranberries, sugar, dried cherries, and a bit of fresh orange juice; I love to watch the mixture bubbling and rollicking in the pan. And savoring it with the juicy turkey.

Or I could imagine the smells of my mother’s stuffing recipe made of matzah and other goodies, scents that fill the house with memories and joy.

Or I could think about the few lovely people I will see on Thanksgiving Day, whom I haven’t seen in many months. We’ll be catching up on smiles and stories and reminiscing about times past.

Or I could think about my beautiful orchids that are starting to bloom a whole new batch of flowers, swirling their colors around our lanai, a reminder that winter, even in Florida, is just around the corner.

Or I could look forward to our decorating our entire street with Christmas lights, standing wood ornaments, light post ornaments, and strings of lights on trees. It’s a time of man-bonding and woman supervision.

Or I could think about Hanukkah which is coming soon and our life-sized menorah that will be out early this year for the start of the holiday, for the commemoration of heroes, resilience, persistence, and miracles.

Or I could appreciate how fortunate we have been to remain healthy through these challenging times.

And then I am compelled to realize that I can’t unlearn my understanding of the difficult times we live in. I am a resolute lifelong student, not just of political stories but of life itself. I can’t stop myself from continually trying to be aware and engaged. I can’t imagine avoiding the painful stories, any more than I can ignore the smiles on children’s faces as they anticipate the holiday season.

Life demands of me that I watch and listen and learn, and embrace all of it, the joy of friendships and the holidays and the stories as they unfold.

I believe all of us are called to find a way to hold all of it, the tragic and the beautiful, the disappointments and the rewards.

We can do it. I trust myself. I trust you.

Member Post

 

Often it’s useful to take the other side’s position at face value, and instead of trying to prove your side, have them prove theirs. For example those who believe Epstein (probably) killed himself are telling us, in effect, that no one killed Epstein. It wasn’t possible. Even though the guards were ‘asleep’, the video was […]

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