Land of Confusion with Boss Mongo!

 

Hello Ricochet!

Join me, ToryWarWriter and Don Tillman as we interview Boss Mongo on this weeks episode of Land of Confusion, the show by Ricochet Members for Ricochet Members

We talk about his life, his career in the military, his work on the Ricochet Writers groups, and just a little about a certain Communist Insurgency that seems to be happening in the USA.

So come join us today as we continue to explore this wonderful place called Ricochet.  Be sure to stick to the end to see who might be our next person on the show.

The World Keeps Turning

 

The secret to any good magic trick is deception. The audience’s attention is diverted up into the air, while the trick is pulled off under the table. Politics is, in and of itself, a type of magic. How do governments and high-level officials pull off the corruption they do? Everyone else is looking away.

If you could find me an American who isn’t aware of either Coronavirus or Black Lives Matter, I would be shocked. The entire nation is held captive by these era-defining moments. Important as they are, it is imperative that we pay attention to the other events happening in the world around us that have just as much potential to play into future conflicts as Black Lives Matter does.

China is still moving forward with its One Belt One Road initiative. The Nine-Dash Line through the East and South China seas still encircles Taiwan and invites chaos at the behest of a communist superpower. The protests in Hong Kong (yes, remember those?) are still occurring and the methods being used to control those crowds are the same as are being used here. But of course, no one is offended by what’s happening in Hong Kong anymore. The Chinese ranking system and surveillance state has continued to expand. The Uighurs in Northwestern China are still being persecuted. Organs are still harvested from Falun Gong prisoners.

Iran still has its sights set on developing nuclear capabilities. They haven’t forgotten that we killed one of their top generals, Soleimani, this past January. Iranian boats continue to harass U.S. ships in the Persian Gulf, daring our military and challenging our authority in the Middle East. Iran still funds and supports global terrorist groups such as Hamas. And, they fund Iraqi militias in an effort to push the U.S. out of Iraq. Coronavirus cases spread amongst senior Iranian officials revealing the strength of ties between China and Iran in February of this year. 

Iran and China are two topics with which I am both educated about and interested in. By no means is this a finite list of everything else going on in the world which we ought to pay attention to. Rather, it is a reminder that the world keeps turning. Our politicians have chosen to keep Black Lives Matter firmly at the center of the Overton window, giving other issues little airtime. The ability to pick and choose what is and isn’t important at any given time isn’t magic. It’s just politics.

Member Post

 

Here’s my reason: Government takes, through civil forfeiture, more of people’s money and assets, than the sum of all reported theft. Corruption is baked into the government cake. I may not like the Antifa remedy, but I surely want a populace that is responsible for itself. In other words: fewer cops, and cops with liability […]

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Children’s Books that Bother Me

 

As I have noticed an interest in children’s literature among Ricochet commentators, I would like to write about some less interesting books we have recently received as gifts. Many people may disagree with me. After all we received these books as gifts, and I see from the Amazon reviews that they are much loved with some folks. “Amazing”, “wonderful” and “gorgeous” are the words that bubble up when people discuss this book. I disagree and Ricochet seems the place to air misfit opinions, especially when I suspect the consensus has been established by leftists. I think generally speaking there is far too little judgement these days and I think children’s behavior, parenting and children’s books as well as other cultures and religions should all be fair game for civilized discussion.

The first example of a book that bothers me is the much loved Benji Davies book, Storm Whale, published in 2013 and given to our kids by a (liberal) friend, who, excuse me but it’s true, last read a book in its entirety in 1998 and who is guided entirely in these things by his wife, a lefty with the sense of humor of a doorknob, in part to contest my ideologically worrisome assertion that today’s children’s books aren’t good because they have very few words on the page and no plot. I thanked him enthusiastically, and we parted on the best of terms, but The Storm Whale only confirms my suspicions that any children’s book published after 2000 (or even earlier – I am a hardliner) is worthless.

First of all, the protagonist’s name is Noi. What kind of name is Noi? Of what origin? It’s clearly superior to John or Peter, and if you read your child a book in which the protagonist’s name is Noi then you are obviously an educated, openminded, interesting person with cool sneakers who would never read Kai and Tabitha a story about a boy named Tom or a girl named Laura.

Noi is a funny, genderless, rootless little thing, clad throughout the whole book in a sort of close-fitting black cap that seems to fasten under his chin and the obligatory classic French mariner t-shirt beloved in the high-income enclaves where Storm Whale is a hit (full disclosure: my kids wear them), among parents. I doubt any child could ever truly relate to such an insipid muppet.

Noi lives alone with his father, a fisherman. Again, my alarm bells were going crazy here. Single father. (“There are all sorts of families, Kai!”) A single mother would push all sorts of buttons. And why are women always depicted as maternal? What nonsense! Men can look after small children. Even macho working-class men, as Noi’s father clearly is. (He is in fact the sort of brute that repels the sort of people who adore The Storm Whale, but we shouldn’t split hairs). The social messaging wallops the reader.

Noi doesn’t go to school or play with toys, but wanders around bleak wintry northern beaches, depicted with self-conscious artistry by Davies (clearly angling for praise for the pictures), and one day finds a whale which he takes home and puts in the bathtub. As one does, especially the kind of helicoptered, hyper-scheduled child for whom Storm Whale is intended. His dad makes him put it back in the sea, and that’s a Good Thing, because of Nature.

When I dutifully read this aloud to my daughter (it takes about 11 seconds to read and is therefore good for parents who have more important things to do), she looked blankly back at me at the end and said “OK”. Children are very alive to adult machinations. We then went off to get a book from the Arthur series by Marc Brown or Russell and Lilian Hoban’s Bedtime for Frances, both of which were written in prehistoric times when there were girls’ restrooms in schools and children were gendered and had mothers and fathers, who were women and men, respectively.

The second book which we received as a gift and which also bothers me is Quentin Blake’s Mrs Armitage Queen of the Road. Quentin Blake will be familiar to many as the illustrator of the Roald Dahl books, famous for his angular sketchy illustrations of angular, quirky, long-nosed Hampsteady-looking people.

Anyway, Mrs. Armitage receives a car from her Uncle Cosmo (again, these Quirky names) and she and her dog Breakspear (more Quirky) go for a ride and Mrs. Armitage drives really terribly. Bits of the car breaks off over the course of the book until it basically looks like a motorcycle and eventually Uncle Cosmo and his motorcycle gang adopt Mrs. Armitage and that’s Really Funny because you as a sophisticated urban parent can chortle quietly to yourself about the hilarity of a motorcycle gang going to the Crazy Duck Café to drink banana fizz and how funny it is that Mrs. Armitage, who’s clearly an art history professor type, is now wearing a studded leather collar bequeathed to her by the gang sexpot, Lulu. But kids don’t really know what a motorcycle gang is, or why it’s supposed to be funny, or why Lulu would have a studded collar and a bare midriff. But it does encourage a sort of faux sophistication in the child that in turn elicits beaming pride from the parent.

My kids didn’t get it at all. It was met with blank silence and requests for another story – they felt cheated and I was embarrassed. Nothing like a child for effortlessly calling out phoniness.

I think many of these books are written to épater self-conscious hipster parents, with very little time on their hands, who worry about the traditional character of the old children’s classics. I am incredulous that there are parents who cuddle their children at the end of a long day over The Storm Whale or Mrs. Armitage Queen of the Road. In any case, neither of my kids has ever requested either book after the initial time. I imagine that these are books for people looking for “new kids’ books”, because they are wary about the old ones and their repressions or their oppressions. There is no moral in these books unless it’s something performative and faddish, like liberating the whale you caught. Quirkiness is obligatory. Interestingly, these newer children’s books are very uncomplicated, compared to some of the complexities explored in A Bargain for Frances, in which Frances the badger tells Thelma her treacherous friend, “Do you want to be careful or do you want to be friends?” Or Rosemary Wells’ board books about Max getting the advantage over his bossy sister Ruby or Ira who hesitates to bring his teddy bear to a sleepover for fear of being ridiculed by his best friend, who ends up having a teddy bear himself. Children don’t need to think about motorcycle gangs or liberating captive whales. We are overthinking this.

Member Post

 

It may be hard for many of you to believe, but I’m not one to make public political statements.  I appreciate the opportunity to express my thoughts, and vent a little, here at Ricochet.  My other main outlets are my two Bible study groups, and we’ve been largely shut down due to the Forgotten Pandemic.  […]

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False Accusations and the Race Card

 

My wife reported something to me this morning, which occurred yesterday.

She took our older daughter to the dentist for an appointment. A black man came into the lobby and complained about paying his bill. My wife described him as big and towering, and he was talking to a fairly small white woman behind the counter.

All of a sudden, he fell down and claimed that the white woman working the counter at the dentist’s office had hit him. He took out his cell phone to film himself and sort of rolled around on the floor.

My wife witnessed this event, and his claim was absolute nonsense. A blatant lie, apparently in an attempt to get out of paying a dental bill.

This event is interesting in itself, but my reason for posting it relates to the current anti-cop rhetoric. As an example, one comment here at Ricochet at another post stated: “The officer Chauvin (fits, doesn’t it?) had police brutality complaints from those of all races.”

Now I doubt that the person making this comment knows the details of even a single complaint against Ofc. Chauvin. I doubt that the person making this comment knows whether the allegations were credible or not. Apparently, it does not matter.

People lie. They do this all of the time. I would expect that people interacting with police lie more often, in an effort to evade responsibility for an offense that led to the interaction.

Moreover, reports of police wrongdoing are usually filtered to us through the media. If you don’t understand, by now, that the media has a hateful and anti-cop agenda (among other bad agendas), and that the media regularly lies and misleads and distorts the truth so selective editing, you haven’t been paying attention. At least in my opinion.

I have a bias in favor of the police. I do not think that it is an irrational bias, actually. I’ve known some cops, and they’re generally fine people doing a difficult job. They have little or no incentive to oppress anyone. They just try to enforce the law and keep us reasonably safe. I know that there can be exceptions. They have to put up with unbelievable behavior, I think.

None of this seems like rocket science to me. So I have difficulty understanding why so many people, including many of my Ricochet compatriots, seem willing and even eager to believe unlikely tales of police misconduct, generally made by people who are criminal suspects, and generally reported by a media system that is unreliable at best, and actively misleading at worst (probably tilting toward actively misleading most of the time).

I find it very frustrating that I cannot rely on news accounts. The Tony Timpa story is yet another one. The Buffalo story looks like another. I just saw one out of Jacksonville, I think, in which I followed the link to a video of a white man claiming that he was mistreated by police (including being tased) for no reason. As usual, the video showed only tiny snippets of the event, but even on that part, you can see the guy forcibly resisting arrest — and then it cuts to an interview of him, in which he claims that he did not.

Skepticism regarding accusations of police misconduct seems like the proper response.

Lawless in Seattle

 

Sleepless in Seattle has morphed into Lawless in Seattle. From the City Journal:

Seattle’s hard-Left secessionist movement has claimed its first territory: six blocks in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Then, in a stunning turn of events, the City of Seattle made the decision to abandon the East Precinct and surrender the neighborhood to the protesters. “This is an exercise in trust and de-escalation,” explained Chief Carmen Best. Officers and National Guardsmen emptied out the facility, boarded it up, and retreated. Immediately afterward, Black Lives Matter protesters, Antifa black shirts, and armed members of the hard-Left John Brown Gun Club seized control of the neighborhood, moved the barricades into a defensive position, and declared it the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone—even putting up a cardboard sign at the barricades declaring “you are now leaving the USA.”

An exercise in trust and de-escalation did not work too well. There may be some police officers that should be removed from police work, and Chief Carmen Best should be one of them. Seattle now has their very own Warlord running the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.

On the new rebel state’s first night, the atmosphere was festive and triumphant. Hooded men spray-painted the police station with slogans and anarchist symbols, renaming it the “Seattle People’s Department East Precinct.” Raz Simone, a local rapper with an AK-47 slung from his shoulder and a pistol attached to his hip, screamed, “This is war!” into a white-and-red megaphone and instructed armed paramilitaries to guard the barricades in shifts. Later in the night, Simone was filmed allegedly assaulting multiple protestors who disobeyed his orders, informing them that he was the “police” now, sparking fears that he was becoming the de facto warlord of the autonomous zone. A homeless man with a baseball bat wandered along the borderline and two unofficial medics in medieval-style chain mail stood ready for action.

Businesses in Capitol Hill are being strong-armed for a $500 fee, payable in cash or Bitcoin to support the revolution. One business owner is hoping that it’s a one-time charge.

A second coup was attempted at city hall.

Politically, the Seattle City Council has already begun to champion the protesters’ demands. Socialist Alternative councilwoman Kshama Sawant declared the takeover a “victory” against “the militarized police force of the political establishment and the capitalist state.” Three councilmembers have signaled support for a 50 percent reduction in the police budget, with additional councilmembers likely to support a similar policy in the coming weeks. Sawant also opened Seattle’s City Hall—which had been closed by the mayor—to protesters, who immediately occupied the building.

Left unsaid was that Kshama Sawant unlocked city hall that was closed due to Covid-19 to allow protestors to occupy it and demand the Mayor resign. Not that I have any empathy for the Mayor. She is a socialist as well, but she was elected by the voters of Seattle, as dim as they might be.

I don’t expect Governor Inslee to be much help in this situation. He and Senator Patty Murray are competing, and in a dead heat for the title of, Dumbest Person in the State of Washington.

Quote of the Day: Up from Slavery

 

“More than once I have tried to picture myself in the position of a boy or man with an honored and distinguished ancestry which I could trace back through a period of hundreds of years, and who had not only inherited a name, but a fortune and a proud family homestead; and yet I have sometimes had the feeling that if I had inherited these, and had been a member of a more popular race, I should have been inclined to yield to the temptation of depending upon my ancestry and my color to do that for me which I should do for myself. Years ago I resolved that because I had no ancestry myself I would leave a record of which my children would be proud, and which might encourage them to still higher effort.”

— Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery, 1901

Member Post

 

Here is Calif, where the COVID mortality rate against the entire population is a mere 0.002 percent against the entire California population, we are required to maintain six feet of social distancing and to also wear masks. (The Imperial College model telling the public that COVID was a pandemic stated that COVID held a mortality […]

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Betrayed by My Fellow Americans

 

As citizens of the United States, we share so much. We were born in the light of greatness, or have voluntarily chosen to adopt this country as our own. We are the beneficiaries of a great tradition of freedom, men and women who risked their lives to sever ties with England and start anew. It was a daring task, a risky endeavor that is unique in human history. The men and women who took these steps knew that the establishment of a Republic would be fragile, that it would be subject to the whims and power grabs of people who care little for liberty and only relish and are obsessed with the opportunities to expand their own personal power. Those people have betrayed the Founders and affronted the sacrifices that were made to create a new nation.

Even worse, they continue to betray all of us in growing numbers. They hide behind the curtains of false compassion, virtue, and honor. They are violent, evil, and arrogant. And they care nothing about the welfare of blacks, other minorities, and the future. Instead, their goals are to lay waste to every human heart, to any remnant of human achievement and wisdom. Not a shred of decency should be left.

The tactics of the anarchists have been insidious. They have slowly transformed public education into propaganda; students at all levels have been props in their dark drama. The very people who have committed themselves to protect us, from those in local law enforcement to those in our military organizations have been brainwashed at their upper levels to believe they are serving the future. Our legislators have likewise either been programmed from the start or have been persuaded to join the ranks of the anarchists. They are feckless, foolish, and greedy.

So where do these conditions leave our country? I don’t know. What will it take for people to wake up and realize how much is at stake?

Will their recognizing that they’ve been betrayed be reason enough to try to take this country back? If so, how?

Dwayne Johnson Didn’t Steal His Muscles, Nor Jeff Bezos His Wealth, from Us

 

I think everyone “gets” that Dwayne Johnson isn’t “muscle rich” because the rest of us are muscle poor, but people don’t always understand the same about wealth. There’s been so much disinformation claiming that X can become rich only by stealing from Y that people all too often believe it.

A moment’s thought, however, should be enough to dispel the idea. Human beings emerged into the world with no wealth (aka “capital”) at all – nothing other than one brain, two hands, two feet, and five senses. And it was only by putting those puny assets to work that the world’s first capital was created. Clearly, then, wealth had to be created before it could be stolen.

Because of all the wealth created by those distant ancestors and by our more recent ancestors, we’re all now far better able than they were to use those same assets to create even more wealth – create, not steal, not expropriate, not vote away from someone else.

The catch is that we’ve got to put our assets to work – whether we want to be physically wealthy or fiscally wealthy.

Member Post

 

I’ve been in a roll call when the Mayor of Portland sent his chief of staff to sit in on the detail to end cruising on 82nd Avenue in Portland. Now one might say that cruising is rather innocuous, and it can be, but it wasn’t on 82nd Avenue. The residents that lived on the […]

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Music: Woke War I, Prelude

 

Laurel Canyon is an Epix documentary about a Los Angeles hillside neighborhood and the years when it first became a refuge for like-minded folk and rock musicians. Like a Simon and Garfunkel lyric whose out-of-date-ness always amused me, “Thirty dollars pays your rent on Bleecker Street,” the idea that Laurel Canyon was once a cheap place to get a house with a pool was already long untrue by the time my wife and I moved to the Hollywood hills in 1977, but in the mid-’60s, it was a bohemian paradise.

Laurel Canyon would be a good companion piece for All Things Must Pass, the recent documentary about the Tower Records store on the Sunset Strip. They take place next door to each other in a unique physical environment where busy boulevards, and much of the business infrastructure of the west coast music industry, is only minutes away from bucolic hillsides. The films share a sense of whatever camaraderie the LA recording industry had in the ’60s and early ’70s, when much of New York’s popular music scene was moving to California.

Everyone looks incredibly young in photos and 8mm and 16mm home movies, which brings us to one of the interesting choices of this doc: other than the two elderly photographers who took many of the pictures and provide some connecting narration, you don’t see any people as they look today. You hear them speak, sounding candid and often funny. But since the movie is about a certain long-ago time and place, not about individual lives or careers, it doesn’t distract you with discordant notes of how they—and boomer viewers like me—have aged since those days of Monterey and Woodstock.

The status of women in pop music, and in general during this period, was changing but still traditional in more ways than we’d think. Hippie husbands still expected dinner on the table at seven. In the summers of love, sex appeal still ruled. Michelle Philips and Joni Mitchell, major characters in this doc, were very attractive, and it’s not sexist to note that a lot of the access that got them where they were was based on beauty. They and others of that time, and of every time, go through lovestruck enablers like knives through butter, break hearts, and make strategic career alliances as instinctively as the women of the court of Louis XIII.

One of the narrators of Laurel Canyon says, self-deprecatingly, that despite their progressive image, the LA music “scene” in general wasn’t very advanced politically until the very end of the ’60s. The country was weary of the Vietnam war, to be sure, and no doubt there was scarcely a Nixon vote in the whole rock music industry.

But most of these folkies and sweet harmonizers of the Canyon, though certainly pacifist in spirit, weren’t hard-edged cultural leaders either. It’s one reason why they enjoyed mainstream success.

We were reminded just how tight-knit and local a scene this all was when the documentary kept mentioning an up-and-coming band called Love, a fixture at Sunset Boulevard’s folk-rock music clubs. The group had a recording contract and apparently “charted” modestly but I have to admit that I’ve never heard of them. A band member claimed it was because they had a black singer in the group, but frankly the song fragments we hear are not all that special.

Love is a case of one of the oldest bits of showbiz drama—not just the has-beens, or the never-will-be’s, but the almost made it, the one-hit wonders who missed major stardom by that much; the coulda-been-big if they’d had just slightly better luck, timing, or management. It’s only a sidelight in the film’s wider stories of friends, partners, careers, and rivals.

The ones who did make it are a motley bunch; Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention, The Mamas and the Papas, Buffalo Springfield, and The Byrds, who make a point of noting that they were acoustic folk singers who became electric rockers, not the other way around. “We were never a garage band.” David Crosby is one of the centers of the story, including the personnel shifts that led to the formation of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. Hugely popular in their day, CSN&Y was rarely a critic’s favorite in the decades afterward.

Being neighbors in Laurel Canyon meant improbable-seeming backyard friendships that extended from the Mothers to the Monkees, Columbia Pictures Television’s answer to the Fab Four. Plenty of musicians weren’t originally from city streets and the quirky almost-rural charms of the nearby Canyon appealed to them.

Part 1 of Laurel Canyon more or less ends in the summer of 1969. It was the year of Woodstock, but also of Altamont; of the Moon and the Mets, but also of Manson. The Pepperland-like dreaminess that people talk about in this documentary was real, but so was the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood dark reality in its shadows.

The changeover point between decades is usually exaggerated, but in 1969/70, it really did line up pretty neatly with a time that claimed to have a mandate for limitless change. The results show something else entirely. When the campuses exploded and the cities burned, the country didn’t turn left. Instead, they turned to Richard Nixon, a much-scorned, politically battered figure of the ‘50s, because he was the tough SOB who seemed able to handle it.

The problem was, much of the news media, academia, Hollywood, and culture in general was already locked into a victorious 1967 narrative that anticipated a lurch leftwards. They wrote metaphorical checks, and in Hollywood literal ones, in the hundreds of millions of dollars, predictive bets of radical social change in 1969-’70; bets that 1971-’73 would refuse to cash. I had a post last year about that changeover point, then applying to movies and TV shows. It was a time when 20th Century Fox tentatively added Salute to a Rebel to the title of Patton because some were afraid that America was no longer willing to honor warriors. Hollywood did not really intend to make screen heroes out of General Patton, Popeye Doyle, Archie Bunker, Dirty Harry, or Vito Corleone, but the people decided for themselves.

The music industry briefly joined the revolution, then sheepishly retreated. With few exceptions, the folk-rock Los Angeles musicians that are the center of this story were harmonic, not discordant, without urban grit or blue-collar edge. Today, singers like Joni Mitchell and Stephen Stills are gently ribbed by Gen-Xers and Millennials as Things White Boomers Like.

In part 2 of Epix’s Laurel Canyon, the next generation of Canyon dwellers were more unabashedly commercial than their predecessors, less hung-up on progressive ideals. Think Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, or The Eagles. Sixties folk/rock musicians were delighted to discover that you could make a good living doing what they loved. By the ‘70s, it was now possible to become seriously rich. The communes and the Maharishi and the acid were faded memories by then.

This post is part of the June 2020 Ricochet Group Writing project, relating to “Music that makes me want to…”

A Politician Dares to Speak the Truth

 

The question/lecture, during Prime Minister’s Question Time yesterday, was posed by Kirsty Blackman, a member of the Scottish National Party. BoJo’s response speaks for itself.

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Commentary on a Comment

 

I tend to wear a mask in public for consideration reasons, not a political statement. I don’t believe they are a necessity; but at the moment, I wear one to help others feel more comfortable. [emphasis mine]

I pulled this part of a comment from another “mask” thread, because it is a concept that I learned something about in my psychology training (Masters degree). In order to “help others feel more comfortable”, you need to be able to read other peoples’ minds. You need to know which others are uncomfortable, and what you have to do to make them feel comfortable. Since mind-reading is impossible, so far, it is next to impossible to know what makes anyone else uncomfortable. In sum, you are not, and cannot be, responsible for someone else’s feelings. Just like in the case of “harassment”, where you are expected to know which words will make a passerby uncomfortable (impossible!), so you say nothing to make sure you don’t offend anyone (especially when the concept of “third party harassment” is an actual thing that may prompt a lawsuit). Since I cannot know what makes someone else uncomfortable, I can’t behave so as to make them comfortable.

I choose not to wear a mask because I am not afraid of contagion, nor am I afraid of spreading a disease that I do not have. I operate on the premise that people I meet do not carry the dreaded virus, instead of the premise that everyone I meet, everywhere, is potentially deadly to me. We went for hundreds of years, with much more deadly diseases around, without government mandates to wear masks. Wearing a mask makes me uncomfortable, so most of the time I do not wear one. I am prepared to take the consequences of my decision.

On the BLM-Antifa Nation, Seattle

 

Christopher Rufo just published an excellent piece in City Paper on the failed city of Seattle’s capitulation to a thousand rioting thugs in Capitol Hill. For a little background, I will refer you to the tourism page for Capitol Hill here. The title is “The vibrant center of Seattle’s LGBTQ community offers endless entertainment, morning till night.” and, naturally, pushes the vacation destination angle with overpriced food, overpriced shops, and overpriced lodging situated in a dank and rainy climate.

By this point, I doubt many tourists were caught in the occupation. Only fools would be vacationing in Blue cities at this point. Rufo sets the stage for us:

For the past week, Black Lives Matter and Antifa-affiliated activists have engaged in a pitched battle with Seattle police officers and National Guard soldiers in the neighborhood, with the heaviest conflict occurring at the intersection of 11th and Pike, where law enforcement had constructed a barricade to defend the Seattle Police East Precinct building. Hoping to break through the barricade, protesters attacked officers with bricks, bottles, rocks, and improvised explosive devices, sending some officers to the hospital. At the same time, activists circulated videos of the conflict and accused the police of brutality, demanding that the city cease using teargas and other anti-riot techniques.

Then, in a stunning turn of events, the City of Seattle made the decision to abandon the East Precinct and surrender the neighborhood to the protesters. “This is an exercise in trust and de-escalation,” explained Chief Carmen Best. Officers and National Guardsmen emptied out the facility, boarded it up, and retreated. Immediately afterward, Black Lives Matter protesters, Antifa black shirts, and armed members of the hard-Left John Brown Gun Club seized control of the neighborhood, moved the barricades into a defensive position, and declared it the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone—even putting up a cardboard sign at the barricades declaring “you are now leaving the USA.”

On the new rebel state’s first night, the atmosphere was festive and triumphant. Hooded men spray-painted the police station with slogans and anarchist symbols, renaming it the “Seattle People’s Department East Precinct.” Raz Simone, a local rapper with an AK-47 slung from his shoulder and a pistol attached to his hip, screamed, “This is war!” into a white-and-red megaphone and instructed armed paramilitaries to guard the barricades in shifts. Later in the night, Simone was filmed allegedly assaulting multiple protestors who disobeyed his orders, informing them that he was the “police” now, sparking fears that he was becoming the de facto warlord of the autonomous zone. A homeless man with a baseball bat wandered along the borderline and two unofficial medics in medieval-style chain mail stood ready for action.

This is war? Clearly, their target was chosen for the lush accommodations and the fine restaurants. This is summer camp for traitors and gangsters. This is nothing that would give the Screaming Eagles a moment’s difficulty. They know the Hamas playbook cold already, and these guys are not even a Hamas-level A-team. This is about a mayor, Jenny Durkan, who somehow thinks her surrender here will be remembered as Trump’s America when voters vote in less than five months.

[A] coalition of black activists associated with the autonomous zone released a more specific list of demands, including the total abolition of the Seattle Police Department, the retrial of all racial minorities serving prison time for violent crimes, and the replacement of the police with autonomous “restorative/transformative accountability programs.” Activists pledged to maintain control of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone until their demands are met—setting the stage for a long-term occupation and the establishment of a parallel political authority.

The city government has not developed a strategic response to the takeover of Capitol Hill. According to one Seattle police officer with knowledge of internal deliberations, the city’s “leadership is in chaos” and “the mayor has made the decision to let a mob of 1,000 people dictate public safety policy for a city of 750,000.” The officer said that Chief Best had dispatched high-ranking police officials to the autonomous zone to establish a line of communication, but the officials were immediately sent away by armed paramilitaries at the barricades. “The tide of public opinion is on the side of the activists and they’re pushing the envelope as far as they can,” said the officer. “It’s not hyperbolic to say the endgame is anarchy.”

Seattle is getting the government they deserve, good and hard.

Dispatch from the War Zone of Seattle

 

This Fox News Web Site story today is just priceless.  The Mayor,a white, homosexual, female Jenny Durkan, has been “demanded” to resign by avowed Socialist City Council-creature Kshama Sawant.  Yeah, as if Durkan takes orders from the Clowncil!  Sawant let demonstrators into City Hall because in her view it “belongs to the people”.

“Protesters” Storm City Hall!  Those same protesters took over the Seattle East Precinct, making a 6-block “police-free zone”.

And now this, from MyNorthwest.com.  It seems that the so-called “demonstrators” on Capitol Hill (above) are armed, and now establishing checkpoints around the neighborhood, and attempting to extract “protection money” from local businesses.  How is this helpful?  With no police, this is what you get.

Here are some quotes from another article on the KOMO Web site, about the “protester-occupied Autonomous Zone” near the Seattle Police East Precinct on Capitol Hill.

After Seattle police boarded up and abandoned the east precinct, a story started to spread that protesters with guns had broken in and were occupying the building. This is false.  [emphasis mine]

Now, just think about the bolded statement above.  The Seattle Police have abandoned their precinct station, and basically surrendered to the Occupying Force of Protesters.  What, exactly, does this say about the Police of the City of Seattle, whose job it is to protect the citizens of the city.  This is appalling!  In my opinion, this reflects the known fact that the city government of Seattle does not support its police force, and has not done for many years.  They are the descendants of 1960s radicals who think of police as “pigs”.

However, armed citizens are patrolling the streets around the police station. It’s also true that rifle-toting citizens have set up checkpointsand may be restricting who goes in and out.

Does this sound like a revolution to you?  An entire neighborhood of the city patrolled by armed “citizens” who probably do not live in that neighborhood.

And the truth actually gets even worse.

“We have heard anecdotally reports of citizens and businesses being asked to pay a fee to operate within this area,” Nollette said. “This is the crime of extortion.”

“The collective believes in the diversity of tactics,” said protest organizerDae Shik Kim Hawkins, Jr. “I think a lot of different coalitions and efforts are trying to achieve a very similar goal.”

Police said they are reaching out to these leaders so they can move back into the east precinct without inciting more civil unrest.

What does this sound like to you?  To me, it sounds like, again, the Police have surrendered to the Protesters, and have to ask their permission to move back into their precinct house!  The Protesters’ Goal is a Police-free city.

 I have changed my mind about this being fun for us non-Seattleites to watch; it is now scary, and horrifying.  I feel sorry for all the business owners whose establishments were burned or looted during the so-called protests over the death of a career criminal in Minneapolis.  And I feel bad for all the citizens who are being prevented from returning to their homes, by armed thugs at checkpoints.

Hey, “protesters” and “demonstrators” in Seattle.   Be very careful what you wish for, you might just get it.  I wonder how criminal gangs and drug-pushers feel about Leftist wimps who pull the police from the streets in favor of social workers?  We may be about to find out.

[originally posted over at RushBabe49.com]

Day 141: COVID-19 The HCQ+ Wars Continue

 

One of the effects of the politicization of disease is the tendency for someone to beclown themselves. When it’s more important to score ideological points than it is to do good science, you end up doing neither. The latest examples involve the Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine.

Both respected medical periodicals published studies purporting to demonstrate how wrong President Trump was to offer that Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) might be a useful therapy in the treatment of COVID-19. They didn’t just publish studies, they rushed to do so, betraying how important it was to quickly neutralize the crazed speculations of the President. The World Health Organization listened and suspended ongoing trials of HCQ. The vaunted medical journals wanted to get into the game that the news media was already playing by pushing the story of the Arizona couple who had self-administered fish tank cleaner because one of the ingredients was chloroquine. Of course, it may well have been a poisoning by the wife who, being the only one of the two to survive the dosing, was also the only one left to describe the motives for and manner of ingesting the cleaner. We may yet get to see whether “Trump made me do it” is a valid defense to a murder charge.

The story of the Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) truly appears to demonstrate the truth that when you want something in the worst possible way, you usually get it. They appear to have been taken in by a totally bogus outfit, Surgisphere, that seems to be selling whatever the database equivalent of vaporware is, or maybe just milking the investors in the manner of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos. If you don’t know the story already here are the basics: Surgisphere purported to provide extensive hospitalization data to three researchers who crunched the numbers embedded in that data. The numbers now crunched, squeezed, spun and rinsed purported to prove that HCQ doesn’t work and creates a great risk of heart problems, including death–in short, taking HCQ for COVID-19 is worse than not taking it at all. How science works is someone publishes their work and methodology and then someone else tries to replicate the same result. The only way the replication can occur (and the results demonstrated to constitute science) is for someone else to have access to the same data. Turns out Surgisphere had an inconvenient problem. The hospitals whose data was supposedly analyzed had never heard of them. Therefore there is no credibility to the dataset that underlies the published study. Lancet and NEJM could have avoided egg on their face by doing a little due diligence about Surgisphere and verified with the hospitals that the data came from them. But, no, when a story is too good to check…well, you know the rest. The study has now been retracted by the three authors who did the number crunching — no word from the owner of Surgisphere.

Oh, and by the way, there is another study involving a potential COVID-19 medication, Ivermectin, that also relied on a Surgisphsere dataset. That study will likely be retracted as well. Ivermectin, an anti-parasite medication, may in fact be a promising therapy for COVID-19, but the study involving Surgisphere data will not be the one demonstrating its efficacy.

Not to be deterred by the Surgisphere fiasco NEJM has put out another critical study of HCQ, this time not alleging it is hazardous to take it for COVID-19, just that it doesn’t perform better than a placebo as a postexposure prophylaxis. That is, people who had actually been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 and then took HCQ or a placebo, got sick at essentially the same rate. So were there any problems or issues with this study? Chris Martenson discusses the pros and cons of the study in the linked video between 7:40 and 35:05.

And, of course, there are a couple of other studies — one from India and one from Lebanon — that are showing good results with HCQ+. Martinson discusses those studies as well from 35:05 to 41:10. Martinson’s (current) bottom line:

The HCQ Wars will continue until there is no value in them for whatever agenda is being pursued.

[Note 1: I will be arbitrarily ending the daily COVID-19 posts on Day 150. It is clear now more than ever that this is not a public health crisis, it is a public policy crisis dressed in whatever garb best suits those that promote government control over our lives. That will be the constant battle of the remainder of my life. But it has nothing to do with the disease we labeled COVID-19.]

[Note 2: Links to all my COVID-19 posts can be found here.]

Quote of the Day: The New “Jewishness”

 

“Systemic” racism is beginning to resemble the Nazi notions of ‘Jewishness.’ An all-purpose explanation of failures. Once accused, there is no cure, no redemption, no right to humane treatment, only eternal exclusion and punishment. Hatred of the enemy is fundamental to membership in the party of the righteous to whom the future belongs.

–Old Bathos, Blog comment on “Letter to a Progressive Young Relation” (Ricochet.com, June 10, 2020)

I nominate this for Quote of the Day for some day in the near future.

J.K. Rowling Doesn’t Back Down

 

J. K. Rowling delighted the Gender Critical community by publishing this piece today. In it, she eloquently expresses her concerns about the harm being done to women and to the feminist cause by removing the very concept of womanhood from language and life. She gets personal, bringing up some trials she has suffered and how they affect her feelings. She is not going to apologize for her opinions, and neither should she.

Huge numbers of women are justifiably terrified by the trans activists; I know this because so many have got in touch with me to tell their stories. They’re afraid of doxxing, of losing their jobs or their livelihoods, and of violence.

But endlessly unpleasant as its constant targeting of me has been, I refuse to bow down to a movement that I believe is doing demonstrable harm in seeking to erode ‘woman’ as a political and biological class and offering cover to predators like few before it. I stand alongside the brave women and men, gay, straight and trans, who’re standing up for freedom of speech and thought, and for the rights and safety of some of the most vulnerable in our society: young gay kids, fragile teenagers, and women who’re reliant on and wish to retain their single sex spaces.

For this thoughtcrime, she has been called ‘Voldemort’ and many of her SJW supporters who try to find a Harry Potter themed allegory for every situation are extremely hurt. Maybe they will try reading a different book. I, for one, support Rowling’s refusal to bow down to these insane people.

“We Are Leaving,” Says Police Officer

 

I’ve been puzzled that while the media, corporate America, and others are hyper-focusing on the relationship between law enforcement and the Black community across much of the US, it’s all been mostly one-side; focused only on what many in the black community have experienced and feel. And now, it’s morphed into “defund the police.”

The stories and “the conversation” are important. But what about the other side – the people who protect and serve our communities?

I’ve worked with law enforcement. As a newspaper editor eons ago, I occasionally would use my day off (Monday, the odd day we didn’t publish) to spend the day traveling with Oklahoma State Highway Patrol troopers I had befriended while covering crimes. After all, in my first job as a rookie reporter for the local newspaper while in college, I was responsible for the “police blotter,” including trudging over to the local police station to collect daily info about deadly car crashes, burglaries, and public drunks (Monday was the best day, after the weekend). I was captivated by the stories of the officers I encountered, which of course provided great fodder for news stories that weren’t off the record. I quickly grew to admire and respect what they were often called upon to do. It’s the toughest business that I know and it takes special people to do it.

One time, I was asked to join on a manhunt for three escaped prisoners. We found one that was left behind by the others. I’ll save that story for the future. They asked me to join them because they knew I would not get sick upon discovering what we would find, and as often happens, the local newspaper would also serve as the official photographer for such scenes.

An op-ed was published in lawofficer.com by a Tulsa police officer whose headline should capture your attention. It is a must-read if you would like a more complete perspective of our “current unpleasantness.”

Blue Lives Matter, too.

Member Post

 

How crazy is America right now? We’ve had low-level crazy for a while, and then they put us under house arrest for 3 months and they’ve hidden the faces behind masks, then we all watched video of a mind-bending murder, which was the go-ahead to pour back into the streets en masse and express ourselves […]

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The Masks Come Off. . .

 

In the White House press corps. Mask wearing has been a political statement by the media jackals. They have spent weeks hounding the President and his very attractive spokeswoman about covering their faces with masks, knowing this would look bad and obscure their words and expression. After the riots, something has changed.

First, notice the obviously ineffective and poorly worn face coverings in the room. Watch them slip as people speak. That bit of theater is not new, just more glaring in light of the past week’s events in the streets of our cities.

What is new, to my observation, is the decision not to wear a mask. We start with EWTN, a Catholic faith-based cable network, whose White House correspondent is Owen Jensen. He asked the obvious question about anti-religious discrimination by state and local officials who supported mass rallies they liked but forbade religious gatherings they disfavor.

Look at the stink-eye being shot at him by the masked woman in his row. His question came after one by the woman in front of him with a very colorful but entirely non-functional mask. You get a better appreciation of the wonderfully ridiculous face decoration in the side-by-side comparison above.

Fox News White House correspondent John Roberts sat front and center. He is no longer wearing a mask.

I guess the great masking of America is over. That, or we will know the partisan alignment of press pool members by their faces, at least through November 3.

The briefing was late in the day, so the transcript may not be up until Thursday morning on the White House news page.

One Yankee Cop Kills a Black Suspect, and Somehow My Confederate Ancestors Are the Problem?

 

So the latest is that NASCAR has banned the display of the Confederate battle flag from its races and properties. HBO Max has pulled Gone With the Wind from its streaming service. It will eventually bring it back, but only “with a discussion of its historical context.” Statues of Southern heroes and even monuments to our war dead are being vandalized in the mildest treatments and outright destroyed in some cases. A University of Alabama professor explains to her local mob how to effectively topple the Confederate war memorial in Birmingham. (Thankfully, that mob was incompetent, but the city has caved into them.) Confederate Memorial Hall, the headquarters of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (a group of nice old ladies who largely tend to graveyards and war monuments) was burned, destroying irreplaceable historical documents and artifacts.

What started all of this? One Yankee cop in Minnesota kills a black man he had in custody (why, we don’t know), riots start up, and now because everything has to be about race, the wild mob is turning its sights on us and our history.

As a Southerner who is very proud of his ancestors who fought for the State of Tennessee when we were invaded, this horrifies me. And yet, as bad as all of that is, the most frustrating, infuriating thing is to see how many conservatives, even some Southerners, are cheering this on, insulting the honorable men who fought, and calling my ancestors all kinds of awful names in their blanket denunciations. The modern Left has language about the sin of “erasing” one group or another by not portraying them (especially sympathetically) in literature or media, or by not mentioning their contributions to some field. But they’re on a hate-filled roll right now, doing this to my people. Don’t cheer them on, saying how awful my people were, and how we ought to reeducate those ignorant Southerners to reject their history. Don’t rub your chin and regret that it’s a mob doing it when really we ought to be erased and forgotten through proper channels.

I would like to think that actions like NASCAR’s are simple misunderstandings; that they simply don’t understand that a guy waving a battle flag at a race is simply expressing Southern pride and that this has nothing to do with the Klan or race. Maybe they just don’t get us. But they make no attempt to understand us. There’s literal prejudice and bigotry against my people, making judgments about motives and mindsets that simply aren’t true. But if NASCAR doesn’t get us, how can we hope for any other institution to understand?

The only solution is tolerance and pluralism, letting my people have our monuments and you having yours. They’ll come for your heroes next.

Update: What I mean by tolerance and pluralism is that if you object to our Confederate monuments and statues and symbols, fine. You can have your heroes memorialized, too. There are plenty of Yankee war monuments and statues up around the country largely built the same time ours were. You get yours, and we get ours, and we can all stay happy that way. I promise not to try to destroy, vandalize, or add “notes of historical context” to Yankee monuments, even though they honor men who invaded my state and shot my great-great-grandfather.

P.S.:  I don’t mean anything rude about you friendly Yankees here.  I have had a few Yankee friends who were perfectly comfortable with us pro-Confederate Southerners, and I don’t mean to insult your ancestors, either.

1984 Was Supposed to be a Warning, Not a How-to Manual.

 

The following is a quote from 1984 by George Orwell:

Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.

And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’

You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every moment scrutinized.

We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.