Of course, it’s a given that the cries for tighter gun control would become ever louder and more intense after the Mandalay Bay massacre of attendees at an outdoor country music festival. It happens after every such event … although I’m under the impression that such cries were fairly muted after the attempted assassination of Republican baseball team members two months ago by a disaffected Bernie Bro named … what was his name, anyway? Oh, yeah – James Hodgkinson. I had to look it up. Funny way that he went down the memory hole, wasn’t it? It was almost as if it never happened, and James Hodgkinson became an un-person in the eyes of the Establishment News Media. There are just some crises that just aren’t worth wheeling out the big anti-guns for, it would appear.

But I don’t have any problem bringing to mind Jared Lee Loughner. After he shot Representative Gabby Giffords, killed six people and wounded a dozen others, the great storm of protest about gun control arose, coeval with a twin great storm accusing eeeevil and irresponsible partisan rhetoric on the part of conservatives generally and Sarah Palin in particular of having inspired him. Well, it eventually developed that J.L. Loughner was inspired by nothing more than the voices in his head, being diagnosed by mental health professionals as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. Us non-professionals just call it “bug-nutz crazy” and move on. Frankly, I’d rather have the discussion be about crazy control rather than gun control, but that is a much more difficult, complicated, and nuanced situation – the control of the bug-nutz crazy among us. Easier just to hyperventilate about gun control, and how gun owners are compensating for having small pee-pees or some such pseudo-scientific twaddle. It’s nothing more than a means of easy virtue-signaling for the ostentatiously virtuous members of the Bi-Coastal Ruling Class and their coterie of sycophants.
Returning to my original thought; the newly-energized voices of celebrities, celebrated anti-gunners, publicity-whoring politicians and freelance media likely will have no better luck this time around in demanding tighter and more controls, or even outright confiscation of privately-owned firearms. Riding rough-shod over the Second Amendment would take more juice than they have at present, or are likely to get.
Because … the example that springs to mind, out of one of many is the reaction of a now-ex top employee of the CBS legal department, one Hayley Geftman-Gold, who posted in a Facebook discussion thread that she was “not even sympathetic.’”

“If they wouldn’t do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that Repugs will ever do the right thing, “I’m actually not even sympathetic bc country music fans often are Republican gun toters.”

Hayley Geftman-Gold, who is of such a nose-bleedingly privileged strata of the Bi-Coastal Ruling Elite that her wedding was noted in the social pages of the NY Times (the supreme chronicler of the doings of the Bi-Coastal Ruling Elite) basically felt OK with registering her dislike of a whole class of people and her indifference to their mass murder; a people of whom she ostentatiously knows nothing, and cares even less. The only surprise in this otherwise tawdry and routine spectacle is that she was fired by CBS before the end of the day. Well, obviously CBS had realized (belatedly) that writing off a good portion of the country as irredeemable deplorables, or bigoted, racist untermenschen is perhaps a bad business plan. After all, they want our money/viewership.
Alas, MS Geftman-Gold is not singular in her dismissive bigotry. She is only a minor voice in a mighty chorus, pouring disdain, contempt, and outright hatred on the working class of flyover country in general, and those who had the temerity to vote for Trump in particular and other conservatives in general. Which is a pity, since I would think that one whose nuptials were celebrated by a rabbi would be a leeeetle more aware of what results when a group of people are systematically “othered” by the ruling classes. We know now that we are hated, despised, marked out for … whatever fate dictated by the Ruling Class. And that is why the gun control that they urge will likely not go anywhere. Because we know that they hate us.
Discuss, if you can bear it.

Just when I had begun to think that those who hate conservatives generally could not possible become any more irrational and deranged; that they had dug them so very deeply into the pit of despair, loathing and frustrated fury – along comes the twin scourge of “pro-Trump Republicans are Nazis!” united with the push to remove monuments with anything to do with the Confederacy from public spaces on the grounds that the historical figures so honored were supporting, defending or enabling the institution of chattel slavery. Some of the more creatively deranged or misinformed parties demanding the removal of such monuments have also expanded their monumental loathing to include Christopher Columbus, Fr. Junipero Serra, and Joan of Arc – although it is a puzzle as to why a French saint burned at the stake two centuries before the beginning of European settlement of North and South America should be slated for demolition or removal. Deep confusion on the part of the person who demanded its removal cannot be ruled out, although as my daughter has pointed out (rather snidely) chances are that they are a graduate of one of New Orleans’ finer public schools.

Still, I admit to being rather blindsided by the sudden storm of demands to remove these statues and monuments on the part of the current ‘red guards’ of the American left, remove them from the places where many of them had been installed for at least a hundred years and often longer. As an amateur historian, I find this horribly depressing; the monuments for both Confederate and Union heroes and events were put up within human memory as ghastly and savage a blood-letting as we ever inflicted on each other to this date. The question of chattel slavery and states’ rights sundered families, friends, communities, established churches, military academy classes; for four blood-soaked years, North and South tore at each other without pity or remorse … and at the end of it all, the country was painfully stitched together by millions of grave markers and the grief and regret of survivors. Indeed, the dedication of monuments was seen often as an honoring of former foes, an acknowledgement of courage and conviction, and of deep sorrow that it ever came to such a slaughter – a gesture of reconciliation. This kind of purpose is perhaps too subtle for the BLM/AntiFa/Red Guards faction to grasp, raised as they have been in relative security and plenty, suckling the teat of carefully fomented racial resentment, informed by a Zinnified view of history, and enraged beyond coherent dialog by the fact that better than half the voters in the country do not agree with them … on anything and everything. The Confederate memorials are a handy symbol, something which the rage of the BLM/AntiFa/Red Guards faction has seized upon as the heights from which to make a proxy war on the rest of us. Useless to point out to them that there is a danger of sparking a very real war, as bloody and desperate as the war that the statues commemorate.

It is a kind of madness, I have come to think over the past nine months since the election of Donald Trump; an irrational madness very much like the Great Satanic Day-Care Abuse madness of the 1980s and 1990s. This was a panic which grew and grew, sparked by the fears and uncertainties of parents, fanned to a wildfire by unscrupulous child welfare professionals, ambitious public prosecutors, and a very credulous media. Even at the time, soberer commenters were likening it to the Salem witchcraft trials. The Great Satanic Day-Care Abuse madness took longer to burn out, although at the end of it, the accused and convicted were mostly dead, not just locked up in prison. But in all three cases – there is a purpose behind the madness, and a whole group of interested parties hoping to make something for themselves out of encouraging it. In the case of the destruction of the monuments, memorials and establishments which most ordinary Americans cherish and honor – I cannot see how the campaign to destroy them will burn out of itself.
Discuss.

To: Ms Yvette Felarca

Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School

North Berkeley, California

From: Sgt. Mom

Re: Selective Application of the Right to Free Speech

 

  1. It saddens me that I must inform a member of the teaching profession that the right to free speech – with certain exceptions for slander/libel, incitement to break the law, and falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater – is inalienable. It is certainly not within the rights of you or your so-called organization to make decisions regarding the exercise thereof by organizations of which you do not approve. I know, this may come as somewhat of a surprise to you.
  2. It is also a misguided notion for you and your so-called organization to enforce your judgement by exercising physical, organized violence upon those expressing opinions which you have ordained as unfit. This establishes an extremely bad and dangerous precedent in the civic life of this nation. I would suggest that you review the political and social history of Weimar-era Germany, with special attention to the party-based brawling which led to breakdown of a sort-of-stable social situation and the rise of the National Socialist German Worker’s Party, or acquaint yourself with this history, if such study has not been included in your previous education.
  3. By the way, do not assume from the tenor of this memo that I therefore approve or disapprove of Nazis, self-appointed social justice warriors, censors of any political stripe, the KKK, Donald Trump, freaks like the Westboro Baptist Church, or Twitter and Facebook mobs descending upon your employer threatening you, your employer and your students. I merely wish to emphasize to you and other community organizers what a horrifically bad idea you are endorsing.
  4. But having established the precedent that organized violence is an appropriate response to those whose political and social opinions you disapprove of, you have opened a particular dangerous can of worms; that persons who disapprove of your own political sympathies may respond in kind with perfect justification. As you deal, so will you be dealt with – and you will have no basis for complaint, having chosen to overturn a painfully-struggled for convention in American political life that violence against a political opposition is off the table. It is a slippery slope, this business of physically attacking other people, merely for exercising their rights.
  5. Hoping that you will consider these words carefully and take them to heart – although I am not holding my breath on that.

I remain, as always,

Sgt. Mom

20. October 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: European Disunion, Fun With Islam, sarcasm

Berthold Brecht’s bitterly satiric poem “The Solution” has now and again been quoted here, usually in regard to some towering idiocy on the part of a government given to complaining about a lack of support among citizens for some particular national objective. Note that I specified citizens in the once-commonly-accepted American sense, and not the citizens-as-subjects in the European sense, which seems to imply that the ordinary people of a particular nation are there merely to serve as a kind of sheep to be sheared economically, or as metaphorical cannon-fodder to be marshaled up and flung to the front of whatever national objective that the national ruling class has ruled must be the focus of the effort of the moment.

After the uprising of the 17th of June
The Secretary of the Writers’ Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?

Nasty old Commie that he was, he did have a way with words. The irony in this is so thick that I am surprised that it hasn’t coagulated, and dropped all the way through to the center of the earth. And it is only ironic – again – that Germany’s ruling class (analogous to our very own unholy alliance among elected politicians, the bureaucracy, the intellectual and media elite) appear to have decided to take the opportunity of unrest in the Middle East, to dissolve the people and elect another, welcoming them in with balloons, banners and stuffed toys.

Yep, opening the doors to any refugee with the energy and wherewithal to flood into Germany, that will likely end well. Note that only a few of them appear to be genuine refugees from the Syrian civil war. Note to, in contrast to the pictures of innocent, doe-eyed children and their mothers plastered across the main-stream media outlets, those pictures of the refugees in mass appear to consist largely of men. Young men of military-service age, pretty fit-looking, and nicely dressed, at that. I can’t pretend to know what Angela Merkel was thinking when she opened the floodgates and seemingly expected ordinary Germans to cooperate when her government seems to favor the newcomers at the expense of ordinary citizens … evicting long-time residents from rental apartments so that refugees can be parked there? Coopting school-children as volunteers to help feed and clean up after refugees in railway stations and refugee centers? Demanding that ordinary Germans – whose devotion to order, cleanliness and quiet is legendary – stand by and submit while public spaces are trashed, and women are sexually-harassed or worse? And never mind the almost certain possibility that ISIS/ISIL terrorists have slipped into Europe along with the refugees.

No, this will not end well, especially as the ordinary German citizens, (and British, French, Danish, Dutch, Italian and Swedish, just to name a few) begin to feel the bite of having been dissolved by their ruling classes in favor of economic and political refugees from the Middle East. The Camp of the Saints may be the best-case scenario – the worst would be Caliphate. Discuss.

So much idiocy, so little time and energy, especially when so many other people have come out swinging – but hey, if it’s worth doing, why not join in?

To the Trump, to the Trump, to the Trump-Trump-Trump. Say what you will about The Donald, all of his decades worth of baggage is out there, and out there proud and he doesn’t give a d*mn. Is he totally serious about running? Darned if I know – for all of it, he may be out there purely for the fun of throwing a spanner into the works of the long slow, gruesome march of the establishment GOP powers to force Jeb down our collective throats. At the very least, he’s making it possible for the other GOP candidates to start talking about the issues that 95% of the rest of us are concerned about – but which the establishment GOP is too darned lily-livered to even address. And at worst – that he could actually be elected? I don’t see that The Donald could possibly be worse than what got elected the last time around.

Speaking of long, slow gruesome marches … shall we start a pool on how much longer Her Inevitableness is going to carry on with her campaign? From where I stand, it seems like every appearance and event just seems to be making her more dislikeable and unpopular than before. Look, Hillary … the coronation just isn’t going to happen, not when your baggage train is about sixty boxcars long. May as well divorce Bill, settle down in Chappaqua and take up knitting for the grandspawn or something. Even coming out as a lesbian ain’t gonna help, not at this late date.
The revelation that the cheating website Ashley Madison has thousands of accounts at mil email addresses has me shaking my head. You need the help of a third-party website to organize an illicit affair? Back in the day, that’s what TDY orders were used for by determinedly unfaithful spouses. You kids – get off my lawn!

And finally – Shaun “Black Lives Matter” King turning out to be white, white, whiter than Rinso white? He ought to get together with Racheal Dolzeal, Elizabeth Warren and Ward Churchill, and start a group or something. I can see a future when someone starting a career as a racial activist or asking for academic preference on racial preference will have to have a DNA test run, and the results of it tattooed on their shoulder-blade for future reference, or something. It looks like young Mr. King is a fabulist of the first order, but scamming Orca Winfrey out of a scholarship intended to benefit youths of color in da hood is chutzpah above and beyond.

Discuss, if you dare.

Well, I see by the headlines that the Lucy and Ethel of Foggy Bottom have covered themselves with infamy in recent days. Marie Harf and Jen Psaki have outdone themselves as improv comedians – the dim blond in outsized glasses, and her even dimmer sort-of-brunette and horse-faced sidekick. I can only hope that the few remaining State Department professionals are cringing and pounding down another stiff drink every time one of them opens their mouth on national news. God save us – the psychotics of ISIS/ISIL are only being driven to char-roast and behead prisoners – because they are poor and don’t have jobs. Jen and Marie, sweetie, I will say this only once, so I hope you can put down the latest hashtag campaign and pay attention – the ISISlings have jobs, and ones which they appear to enjoy very much, have volunteered enthusiastically for and which enjoy the approval and support – monetary and otherwise – of a fair portion of Muslims.

It’s tragic to think that this hapless pair of ditzes are the best and brightest that the Obama administration State Department can field. I can only hope that they were hired to make John “I served in Vietnam, you know” Kerry look like a towering intellect. And that he’s not all that bright himself, so I suppose this was the best they could do without raiding the ranks of Special Education classes.

I believe now that the battle royal has been joined, between Her Inevitableness and the forces of … well, not darkness, exactly – but sort of café au lait darkness, in the person of the current resident of the presidential mansion … which I hesitate to call the White House, seeing that the current resident and his spouse seem to maintain a certain resentment-level regarding those citizens of these somewhat united states who are of a Caucasian pallor.
No, the current resident of the presidential mansion does not much care for those of us of pallor, or those of us of the working middle class, those of us who maintain small businesses – those who are not profitable enough to afford lavish donations to his eternal campaign and who take the principles of a traditional Judeo-Christian upbringing fairly seriously. I am also pretty certain now – especially after a scan of recent political headlines – that Her Inevitableness and the Current Resident do not care much for each other, either. In fact, I am convinced that they hate each other with the white-hot passion of a thousand burning suns, and we would observe open proof of this enmity at some point. I had supposed that the dirty laundry each had on the other would be aired later rather than sooner. Like, closer to the 2016 primaries.

That each party has dirt on the other goes without saying – and I always thought that Hillary was the ice-cold and manipulative intellect of the Clinton partnership; a Lady MacBeth as it were; Bill Clinton was the one with the charm, the gift for schmoozing, of being personally likeable and liking others in return – and if not, then of being able to mount a convincing facsimile thereof. There have always been grumblings from the military staffers, the Secret Service and those who worked in various low level staff positions in the Clinton White House of how horrible she was to … indeed, back in the dark ages of blogging (say around 2001-2003) the original founder of this blog was a humble AF maintenance tech for the Presidential aircraft at Andrews AFB. He once remarked that the only two members of the Clinton administration who rated flights on AF-1 or AF-2 who appeared to be genuinely nice people, and respectful of the staff who served on them were Louis Freeh and Tipper Gore. Just about everyone else they regularly flew were … well, apparently non-disclosure agreements were in force.

So is Hillary becoming less and less Her Inevitableness? Damned if I know how the low information voters see her – but I was pretty revolted by the revelation of how she defended a pedophile rapist by painting the victim as an unbalanced fantasist, and chuckling in self-satisfaction over her own skill as a defender. Look, every accused has the right to competent legal representation in a court of law, and the lawyer involved has a right to be proud of a good job well-done, but doing it by trashing the reputation of a barely teen-aged girl, and chortling about it in a video interview? That’s nauseating. Way to go about being the righteous defender of all womankind, Your Inevitableness. As a die-hard Tea Partier and libertarian-conservative, I eagerly await the upcoming revelations of horribleness – from both parties.
I’ll fetch some more popcorn in the interval. Something tells me I should see if Sam’s Club carries it in 25-lb bags.

It has amused me for years, how ordinary civilians, media figures and scriptwriters for movies and TV shows can believe so strongly that the military is one big monolithic secret-keeping machine; something which happens on a base, post, or on the front lines will never, ever see the light of day in the larger world and that the military commands can keep something quiet for years or decades. If it is something tippy-top secret, and know to only a few – well, yes, in that case. But quite often something – a program, a wild idea, a mission—remains unknown largely on account of lack of interest on the part of the larger world or the establishment news media organs. The military is actually far from being the big monolithic secret-keeping machine, once you get away from the deliberately highly-classified, ultra-secret-squirrel stuff.

During George Bush’s second term, the reporter Seymour Hersh was given to go around giving lectures to anti-war audience claiming that all kinds of horrible massacres were being perpetrated by American troops; massively violent stuff on the order of My Lai in the Middle East, involving scores of victims and whole companies of U.S. Army and Marine troops. Bodies stacked up by the bale, according to Mr. Hersh, who was at least careful enough not to commit these incredible tales to print. Mr. Hersh, I think, has the monolithic military secret-keeping meme on the brain. The atrocities which he was alleging to have happened among front-line troops in Iraq just could not have happened, not without a lot of personnel inside of the military family knowing. The truth is that the possibility of keeping something out of general knowledge in the military world expands geometrically with the number of people involved, directly or peripherally. And nothing much happens in the military world stays secret for long; yes, the knowledge of certain matters may not seep out into the ken of the greater public and the news establishment professionals – but that’s because military members are routinely briefed about OPSEC (operations security) and they don’t spill to outsiders, much. Something that may be common knowledge to those inside the family, as it were, may go for years without attracting undue attention or interest on the part of those outside of it.

Mr. Hersh and other fantasists might well have had an easier job in peddling incredible stories of military malfeasance in pre-internet days; it would take months and years for allegations to make the rounds and for those inside the military family to even become aware of them and respond – and then, of course, it was already over. History had been engraved in stone, as it were; set there by being repeated over and over. Any debunking was too late and too little. But the internet and a generation or two of tech-savvy and social media troops have tightened the OODA loop considerably. It took a good few decades for many of the established memes regarding Vietnam veterans – sullen draftees, drug-abusing, unstable, baby-killing losers – to be debunked by researchers like B. G. Burkett, and even now that meme refuses, zombie-like to lay down and die. It twitches now and again, over the last ten years or so, but refreshingly, military members and veterans today are instantly aware and more than willing to swing into social media action to debunk sensational accusations and to unmask fraudulent veterans – or even to speak out when there is a controversy such as Bowe Bergdahl’s status as a POW or as a deserter. Which brings me around to the thing about secrets. Among the milblogs like Blackfive there was no secret about there being something hinky regarding the circumstances of his disappearance from his duty station in Afghanistan. It wasn’t a big thing, but it came up now and again; one of those open secrets among the milblog family and commenters. Very likely, everyone that he served with and under knew that he was a flakey, unmotivated soldier, and after he went under the wire, a deserter as well. But it was one of those open secrets – which, because the Obama administration didn’t care to look before they leaped into a deal, a distraction and a show and tell in the Rose Garden, has now come back to bite – heavily.

Couldn’t happen to nicer people, I would say; except that whatever does happen next, in the wake of freeing five upper-level operators from Guantanamo, will very likely not land on the Obama administration or it’s high-level flunkies. Most likely, it will land on the rest of us, starting with those in the uniformed services.

(Crossposted at Chicagoboyz.net)

I know, it was a bitterly ironic move, and the novel it was based upon was even more bitterly ironic (Trust me, I read the darned thing –eh – moderately funny, but I fear that the only thing that the move took away from it was the premise) but what we may have here *assuming Strother Martin voice* is called a failure to communicate. I mean the imbroglio with returning Bowe Bergdahl, the only recorded POW from the war in Afghanistan to the bosom of his family, after languishing in durance vile for five long years. More »

20. May 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Ain't That America?, Rant, sarcasm, World

Oh, not to worry – I had my privilege topped up last week. Full of privilege I am, and ready to go … I assume that this is the ephemeral white privilege that these undergraduates-of-excruciatingly-top-drawer-non-state-uni muppets are referring to? Is this the female privilege, the veteran privilege, or the mainstream religious privilege, or even the privilege of having been brought up by a relatively well-adjusted heterosexual married couple in those benighted times when it was possible and even laudable for a male to go out and earn a living, while the spouse (usually referred to as a help-mate) stayed at home, raised the children, organized the housekeeping and the meals, the education, clothing and schooling of those children, the social sphere in which she and the pay-check winning spouse moved, and volunteered in the community where they lived … that must be it. (Hey, I’ll swipe my privilege card through the dispenser, just in case I have burned through some of my previously-deposited privilege.)

Here’s the thing, though. It’s been at least fifty years since in-your-face racism was socially acceptable and possibly even longer in some places and spheres … at least, open and totally unvarnished, un-self-censored racism displayed by people of non-color towards everyone else. The matter of open, totally unvarnished and un-self-censored racism displayed by certain ethnic groups of color towards practically everyone else is another matter entirely. The guardians of privilege seem to have no problem with that stripe of racism. See: We’ve had affirmative action, we’ve had ‘insert your ethnicity here’ history month, week or day, and we’ve had endless consciousness-raising and social actions-mandated training of one sort or another for at least that long. The unlooked for and annoying result of all – as I see it – is that those who have ground out a living or a career from raising everyone’s level of consciousness now have to work harder, and harder, and look for the tiniest of tiny incidents which might be construed as racially-based aggression on the part of those of no particular color towards those of color.

This is reaching the point of ridiculousness, considering the various affirmative action programs in effect when it comes to institutions of higher learning, doing business or being hired by federal, state and local government agencies, getting hired by MSNBC, in spite of being barely literate and incoherent in public speaking, at least as it is judged by those of us who are really literate and accustomed to speaking publically and being understood by the greater majority. (Yes, looking at you, Al Sharpton, although this could extend to other notably dim-witted media affirmative action clones, such as Melissa Harris-Perry.) To recapitulate – irredeemable white racism exists, but it lives in a trailer park in a low-rent district in the hinterlands somewhere. On the other hand, black racism has a nice media gig, a mega-church pulpit, academic tenure, or is – ironically – a media star with a house the value of which computed by a single square foot equals the value of my entire house with contents and both cars, White House residency or an enduring gig as political representative of a majority-minority Gerrymandered safe district. (OK, missed any particular sub-set of the grievously and professionally racially-annoyed? BTW, hearing that fabulously wealthy celebrities of color – who have gotten to be fabulously wealthy by appealing to largely audiences of non-color – are bitching and moaning about racism and prejudice is getting … well, pretty tiresome at this stage of the racial game as it is played in this century in America.. Word to the wise; n’est-ce pas? )

So, what really-o-truly-o emerges from this whole ‘check your privilege’ thing is a two-fold message. The first and almost inadvertent is that home schooling is a good thing, as it spares your children from being mind-f**ked by a bunch of trendoid quasi-Marxist educators leaping on the latest intellectual fad.

Second and most important; this has and will continue to do a number on the minds and barely-formed intellects of the impressionable school-age youth of all colors. For the so-called advantaged and privileged class (that is, those of non-color, or pallor) it will destroy any rightful confidence and pride in their ethnic heritage – because it’s all reduced to ‘white’. Never mind about any deeds of valor, intellect, or simply decent striving to better ones’ self. Nope- sorry, you are automatically privileged and henceforth morally damned … even if a quick look around to the real life around you gives you plenty of personal observations countering that supposition of superiority. For those children of other-than-pallor, the implicit message is every bit as malign, as damaging to the self-image – which is ‘there is nothing you can do, can strive for – because white privilege trumps all! Yer a looser before you ever start, kid! Because of that nasty privilege thing! And your darker epidermis! You poor dear child of color – you are doomed, I say–doomed to un-success and oh, yeah-BTW-blame it all on those evil-nasty-people-of-non-color!’

Essentially, that’s what the message is, when parsed down to the lowest level. Look; when there are abusive pervs willfully and energetically destroying the self-image and confidence of a single child-that’s a reason to call CPS and press charges. What therefore, is our response, when it is a whole generation of kids, systematically abused by the establishment? What then, oh wolves?

(Crossposted at www.chicagoboyz.net)

As a matter of interest as an independent author, with some affection for science fiction … (principally Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan series, and once upon a time for Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover series, both of which explored in an interesting and readable way, a whole range of civilizational conceits and technologies with a bearing on what they produced vis-a-viz political organizations, man-woman relations, and alternate societies of the possible future … oh, where was I? Complicated parenthetical sentence again; science fiction. Right-ho, Jeeves – back on track.) … I have been following the current SFWA-bruhaha with the fascinated interest of someone squeezing past a spectacular multi-car pile-upon the Interstate. Not so much – how did this happen, and whose stupid move at high speed impelled the disaster – but how will it impact ordinary commuters in their daily journey, and will everyone walk away from it OK? So far, the answers to that are pretty much that it will only matter to those directly involved (although it will be productive of much temporary pain) and yes – pretty near everyone will walk away. Scared, scarred, P-O’d and harboring enduring grudges, but yes, they will walk away, personally and professionally. Some of these are walking away at speed and being pretty vocal about why.

The crux of the matter in this particular instance, is that the SFWA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America – hey, what happened to the ampersand and the second F … guess the domain name was already taken or something) – got overtaken by the minions of the politically correct. The SWFA is, or was – a professional association of writers of science fiction and fantasy materiel (traditionally-published writers only, BTW), intended as a kind of support group, to lobby with publishers on behalf of wronged writers, and provide professional services, like health insurance. Sort of like the AARP … only for science fiction and fantasy writers. Alas, it seems that the minions of the politically-correct now appear to insist that to be members in good standing and to be considered for various book awards (and this is the short version) one must write glum and politically-correct bricks of sensitivity, emphasizing obedience to all kinds of shibboleths regarding race, gender, et al. Never mind about writing a cracking good story … the glum gruel of a liberal arts curricula at an expensive university is what the Social Justice Warriors at the SFWA have said we should have, and that readers deserve to get it, good and hard. Through a tube down the nasal passage, apparently, if all else fails. Naturally, being a somewhat cantankerous and creative provider of popular amusement, many of the existing membership has sad ‘no’ and not just no, but ‘no, with bells on.’ It seems from various discussion threads that many of the long-standing, better-selling and more popular creators are bailing out of SFWA, or at least, warning caution.

The organization may survive – or not. From the viewpoint of someone passing by the tangled wreckage on the Interstate, it’s of only academic interest. But I began to meditate on it all – another once-thriving and valued establishment, overtaken by the grand Gramscian march through our social and political establishments. Sure – they have taken them over, but at what cost? Yes, the politically correct, the Social Justice Warriors in every theater and establishment … they HAVE taken them over – and many others besides the SFWA, but at what cost if what they have is just a wrecked and hollow establishment?
So, this leaves me to wonder, whither SFWA? If the popular writers, with an existing or a soon-burgeoning readership leave, what then as far as the future of the organization is concerned? Indeed, what then, o wolves?

What then, of the many institutions, taken over and hollowed out by the Social Justice Warriors, or their Gramscian ilk? Most of them are bigger and more influential, then a little pool of writers perpetrating science fiction and fantasy … and yet they also appear to be ridden by factionalism, if not teetering on the edge then cratering economically. Just a few and from off the top of my head – the Episcopal Church, old-line print publications like Newsweek and Ladies’ Home Journal (and possibly very soon Time Magazine, too), and broadcast networks like CNN and MSNBC. Instapundit often points out how colleges and universities are staggering, and how more and more people who can are choosing to home-school their children. I can just barely remember the last Oscar-nominated movie that I went to see in a theater, (The King’s Speech, BTW) and the TV audience for the Oscars is plummeting also. Mainstream publishing is fragmenting, as independent writers go out on their own, cable television is also fragmenting. Just as the long march through the institutions is nearly complete … the institutions themselves crumble. They are run into the ground, as the audience, consumers, and genuinely creative flee in all directions.

There is talk of a non-ideological organization to replace the SFWA; likely the disaffected refugees from the establishments and organizations listed above (as well as many, many others) will form new associations. Creative destruction at work? I’d like to think so. Discuss.
(cross-posted at www.chicagoboyz.net)

I’ve been surfing my usual internet hangouts over the last week or so – in between working on various editing, formatting and sales projects for the Tiny Publishing Bidness – so although I did surf, and read and observe reports on a number of different and rather disturbing events – I didn’t have time to write anything about them until after I had finished the biggest of the current projects on my plate.

The biggest of them was the new-old range war of the Bundy ranch. I suppose that technically speaking, the Fed Gov had some small shreds of technical justification in demanding grazing fees … but the longer one looked at the whole of L’affaire Bundy, the worse it looked … which is doubtless why the Fed Gov backed down. A tactical retreat, of course; The optics of a shoot-out between the minions of the Fed Gov and the various Bundy supporters would not have been good, for Harry Reid and his clan and friends most of all, although they may eventually act – seeing that they have a position which will be at risk by tolerating defiance.

First it was state land, then it was Fed Gov property, and all this supposed to be for the benefit of desert tortoises? Dad did an early life study of the California desert tortoise, back in the day. Tough little critters, and seemingly in no particular danger of extinction in the Mojave, unless and until they paved over the desert with solar panels, which was why Dad was tasked with the research. (He went out into the desert near Needles, California, every six months for a number of years, rounded up the randomly-assorted selection of 50 tortoises fitted with radio-transmitter devices, and hauled them into a veterinarian’s office for an x-ray, and for other examinations. No, I don’t know of anything else that Dad discovered, peculiar to the tortoises, only that they seemed pretty easy-going about the whole process…)
Say, the Bundy family has been running cattle on that range since the late 19th century, and now they are the last ranch family standing in that part of the world? Hmm, says the observer, upon seeing a sudden interest by the political powers that be in otherwise pretty unspectacular desert property owned by someone else. This plot was played for laughs in Blazing Saddles – I guess this time around, Harry Reid is doing the Hedley Lamar part. A bit ago, one of the regular commenters, (Subotai Bahadur, if memory serves or perhaps it was Wretchard at Belmont Club), speculated that the cold civil war would turn hot in earnest at the point where a locally respectable, well-thought of and otherwise respectable good citizen was unjustly and viciously brutalized by the minions of the Fed Gov, or as in the case of the following – by a governmental body or several acting in collusion. As a note to L’affaire Bundy, a lot of people not living in flyover states, or in rural areas – have no idea of how heavy the hand of the BLM or the Forest Service lies upon those in the rural west. Living in Texas, I have little personal experience in this regard, since by a historical twist of good fortune, most of Texas is privately owned. One does hear stories, though. Do not underestimate the resentment felt by residents of western states toward representatives of the Fed Gov when it comes to the BLM or the Forest Service. There is a pile of dry tinder there, well-soaked in gasoline, only wanting a lit match or two.

The second local story of which I speak – is the case of a family in Colorado who own – for now – a tiny cabin, a little island of private property within the boundary of a national park. The Forest Service appears to be colluding with the local county to confiscate the property, with the stated purpose of making the park all pristine, by means of eminent domain. No, this park is the preserve of the general public who don’t have any existing property rights, so for the good of all, the property of the one must be confiscated. This will be another stick of tinder for the National Forest Service, by the way.

The third instance is a curious one, of a reclusive collector of a wide variety of artifacts in a little out of the way neighborhood in Rush County, Indiana. Suddenly the FBI is descending on a modest house and supposedly confiscating certain items for examination … and what? The owner appears to be a wholly respectable collector who acquired the items legally, through a long career as a missionary and as an archeological enthusiast? What gives, really? The few news stories concerting the matter are unrevealing when it comes to the question of – what brought this on? Why now? And why is the elderly owner being treated as if he is an international art thief with millions of dollars in looted Nazi art stashed in a warehouse somewhere? And would the same consideration be given to a multimillionaire with a private gallery and a house in the Hamptons? Especially if he were a generous contributor to acceptable Dem Party political causes? Yes, one really does wonder.

The final story regards the recent dismaying policy of the IRS to scoop up tax refund monies from descendants of people who – mirable dictu – are found to owe money to the Fed Gov. Usually, according to this story in the Washington Post (who astonishingly, now appear to be committing acts of journalism) the debts were incurred by long-deceased parents and grandparents, and the legal means established for going after such long-time debts was in an obscure provision of a farm bill passed some years ago. Well, as Speaker Pelosi once so airily remarked, we would have to pass the bill to find out what was in it. This case is curiously illustrative.
I take away from all this a somewhat more discouraging insight – that the various offices of the Fed Gov now seem to see themselves as above the original intent of the law.
Which would be worrying enough; but the underlying tendency that I sense in reviewing all this is a bit more worrying, as a property-owner and one with the odd bit of original art and small artifacts collected in legitimate sale from distant lands, as well as having parents and grandparents who might in the distant past have been briefly in debt to the Fed Gov. Extrapolating from these separate stories, one can’t help coming to the conclusion that if you have something in the way of real property (even just as paltry a thing as an income tax return) and the Fed Gov has a reason for wanting it – they will come and get it.
If such is the case, we are not citizens any longer – but sheep to be sheared whenever the Fed Gov needs a few more pennies. In which case, the Fed Gov sees their prime duty as mulcting the citizens of what items of value they possess, by fair means or foul (usually foul and by the misuse of the laws they choose to enforce), in order to pay for the towering edifice of the Fed Gov as we know it, or to pay off those to whom they owe favors. Discuss.

(cross-posted at Chicagoboyz.net)

… about the egregious Al Sharpton, whom I will not dignify with the title of reverend, first because there is no record of the fat, illiterate, race-baiting rabble-rouser ever having attended a seminary of any sort, and secondly because … oh, good lord, just look at those old pictures of him from the 1970s and 80s; jheri-curled, velour track suit and gold pendant the size of a man-hole cover. People, trust me when I tell you that I require a smidge more dignity from those who hold churchly office in any denomination, a standard from which Al Sharpton fell so far that he would need a bucket-truck with a three-story-tall extension even to get close.

Yes, in the interests of keeping abreast of news events in the pre-internet days, your Dear Author bought or subscribed to a great many print publications, to the point where on days when bulk mail came in to the military post office, I practically had to use a crow-bar to extract them all from my post-box. One of the regular reads – gotten from the Stars & Stripes bookstore, since I didn’t particularly feel the need for a subscription – was The Village Voice. So – yes, I had heard of the unsavory Mr. Sharpton some years before he burst upon the wider world of New York with the Tawana Brawley affair in the late 1980s.

Subsequently, I always wondered why the wretched little man seemed to be legally untouchable, even in spite of being ordered to pay out in the case of the Pagones defamation suit. The Crown Heights riots, the Freddy’s Fashion Mart fire – all of that had Al Sharpton’s smeary fingerprints all over them … and yet … he seemed to talk away always, unscathed by any meaningful payback. Falsely shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theater and setting off a panic which kills people – that would be actionable, surely?

And yet, nothing ever happened to the so-called reverend; he appeared to thrive as a particularly scummy and public race-baiter – and indeed, even to recent times, ascending to a presumably well-paid position at a major broadcast television channel. Which again – this really gives one cause for wonder, seeing as that the egregious Sharpton, who appears to have lost some weight and refined his sartorial taste – has gone vaulting up into higher and higher levels of visibility and social authority. Still – why?

Part of the answer, according to this story, courtesy of the Daily Mail, is that Al Sharpton was an FBI snitch. (Why again, are so many stories of this kind appear on a publication like the Daily Mail, which seems to have semi-literate high school students write their headlines, cut-lines and badly re-write stories lifted from other places? Well, at least they do, which is more than what can be said of our very own dear national media.) And if you believe he volunteered to be a snitch with regard to the FBI investigating two prominent Mafia families out of the goodness of his heart and as a fine upstanding citizen with a deep concern for the welfare of his community … then bless your heart and I have some fine Nevada swampland that I’d like to sell you. I’ll throw in a small bridge in Brooklyn, just because I am a good upright citizen myself.

No, Al got leaned on by the Fibbies, and I hope I live long enough to read in the headlines exactly what they held over his head and threatened to charge him with to ensure his cooperation. I’ll break out a $20 bottle of champagne or maybe a fine Fredericksburg Winery Fredericksburg and Northern vintage red Zinfandel and drink a toast. Al was a valued informant, and therefore Teflon in his subsequent career. Interesting also that it is revealed now – and I also wonder if there is some FBI agent a couple of weeks from retiring with a good pension who decided to square things by slipping the word to The Smoking Gun. Discuss.
(Cross-posted at chicagoboyz.net.)

Not to speak ill of the dead. But in the case of Fred Phelps, of the loathsome Westwood Baptist Church (which actually had no connection whatsoever with the formal Baptist church establishment save the name, and that was doubtless a bit of self-serving publicity. I’d lay any amount of money that the regular Baptists would have liked to have paid a pretty penny to make him promise to call his nasty little sect anything but Baptist … where was I? Oh, back to the convoluted sentence…) I could be tempted to make an exception.

God is infinitely merciful, and He is the ultimate judge, so I’ll leave it to Him to decide if Fred Phelps should be eternally deep-fried like a basket of French fries in the everlasting boiling lake of Hell … but I would argue that he richly deserves that fate for several reasons: One – he and his loathsome little sect coldly and deliberately used the pain and grief of other people. This was either to torment them for their own micro-sectarian jollies, as a means of getting in front of the TV cameras – or provoking outraged mourners into laying violent hands upon their disgusting and manipulative persons for the purposes of extorting money out of them by means of a lawsuit. All three reasons are sufficiently loathsome, IMHO, to justify hellfire. This judgment is not mine to make. It was not theirs, either, but this realization didn’t seem to instill any degree of Christian humility in the members of the cult.

Two – their actions noted in the above paragraph certainly did not reflect any credit on the Protestant denominations, or on American Christians, generally. Likely, they served to drive ordinary people away from an understanding of God and his many mansions.

On the other hand, I am told that Fred Phelps was a long-time Democrat party activist. So he can and probably will go on voting. There is life after death, you know.

I’m having mine chocolate-flavored, with a dash of whipped cream and mini-peanut-butter cups and toasted almonds sprinkled over, watching the Wendy Davis meltdown, high atop my perch in suburban San Antonio.
Yes ma’am, the spectacle of a relatively unknown local state senator, suddenly elevated to national media attention and anointed the great feminist hope of out-of-state Dems everywhere, suddenly melting down … it is delicious. I ought not to feel this degree of vicious satisfaction … but I do. Heretofore, Ms. Davis only annoyed me for her filibuster opposing tighter regulation of abortion and the three-ring circus which ensued in the Capitol; Honestly, is insisting that abortions must take place before 20 weeks of a pregnancy have passed, and that the facility in which they are performed be at least as hygienic as your average Lasik surgery clinic somehow rise to the status of Teh Great War on Wymens? Really!? She wasn’t representing a district anywhere near mine, and lord knows I have heard tales of state senators and representatives who were notorious for shenanigans even more embarrassing. She, in other words, was not my representative and not my problem.

So I paid very little attention to her, other than to note that she had that sort of slim, tanned and polished look which only can be achieved by relentless dieting, working out, regular beauty-parlor appointments and a lavish expense account at Neiman-Marcus; the very epitome of a modern major feminist. Of course, she would be the latest liberal flavor-fave, especially since her story of working up from being a single teenage mother, living in a trailer … and yet managing to pull herself up by her own efforts and graduate Harvard Law. Well, as Bertie Wooster would say, huzzah for all that! What better liberal candidate for governor of the state of Texas could there be? Although, as my daughter pointed out, if being a relatively impoverished, self-educated and hardworking single mother are the criteria for higher political office these days, I might be at least as well qualified as Ms. Davis.

I have not a shred of a doubt that Ms. Davis has pulled in out of state donations by the bucket-full – and I also have no shred of a doubt that she will move on to a profitable perch in the national Democratic party organization, or maybe to their propaganda arm, otherwise known as the national media. Where else can someone so essentially unself-aware be assured of a comfortable living after having mucked up a political future at the state level? Thanks to that devastating report in the Dallas Morning News, and her own ill-considered reaction to it, Ms. Davis likely has sunk herself with Texas voters three different ways. To male voters, she looks like the vindictive and social-climbing ex-wife from hell, to women voters, she comes off as a manipulative, gold-digging mean girl, and to all Texas voters, she appears as if she is more wedded to outside-Texas interests. And to whimper about having her personal and family life put under a hostile microscope, and have media outlets like NPR whine on her behalf, after what was said about Sarah Palin’s personal and family life? In this cruel world, that’s called turn-about being fair play. Hence the extra scoop of schadenfreude.

One would have to possess a heart of stone, to read about the grand Antarctic expedition intended to prove that the Antarctic ice was melting at an unprecedented rate… get stuck in the ice!

(Found at Samizdata)

Hey, boys and girls – lets all join in and support President Obama’s great new project – what about it?

that is apparently unasked by the establishment news outlets … where ARE these oh-so-very principled anti-war celebs? The world waits, y’know.

And I did notice certain musical trends, and many of them for the worst. Enjoy

You know, I am reminded of my own relative naiveté whenever I open a tab on my browser and go to my usual news and political websites these days. I remember when I could innocently assume that the elected representatives of the greatest democratically elected republic on earth could be assumed not to be professional sc*mbags not primarily interested in re-election and being able to soak up enough goodies through their connections to be able to retire as millionaires. I remember when it was confidently expected that they would do the business of administering to the needs of the republic – at least most of the time – with some pretensions at doing what would benefit the public at large, not just themselves, their scummy relations, present and former staff, and their media enablers.

I remembered when feminism meant basically that women should have the same opportunities for education, for employment – and without lowering the standards for either – the same pay for doing the same job, to be considered creditworthy without regard to sex, not be fired from your job on the instant of marrying and/or becoming pregnant, and to have the opportunity to seek election to any political office in the land. Big damn whoops there! Apparently the program of modern feminism means that you can be as ugly to the males in your personal life and those misfortunate enough to attend class or work with you as you please, to have unfettered access to abortion at any stage of the pregnancy, and to demand that your birth control be paid for by others. OK then – and that being considered for any political office while possessing the uterus and tits from your original issue – is also contingent upon being a graduate of an approved university, possessing a non-hickish accent, being the spouse or spawn of one of the accredited political families, and genuflecting before all the right altars of properly progressive thought.

So, when Sarah Palin swam across my ken, upon being honored with an invitation to become the GOP VP nominee, I was delighted. No, really – and so were a great many ladies of certain age of my acquaintance, many of them actively employed or retired from a lifetime of work at it, some of them in defiantly non-traditional specialties, and living arrangements. Intelligent, hard-working, happily and bountifully married, popular in her district and among those she had served, and who had elected her, outdoors-loving, and a partner in hubby’s enterprises, educated in much the same way that I was – community college and upper division at a state school? Hey, what wasn’t to like? A serious woman in serious business, and about to ascend politically as had not been seen since Gerry Ferrero in ’84. Well, as Bertie Wooster would have said in a much more innocent age and place, “Huzzah! Huzzah, and Huzzah again!” A woman in the second highest political place in the land! A woman’s place is in the House … and Senate … and in the VP’s office. Women-power has arrived, baby! Alas, not to be, for it seemed that Sarah Palin was Not The Right Kind, Darling, and the blowback was vicious beyond anything that I had ever seen, save maybe the savaging of LBJ in the late 60’s. The upper-class, establishment-elite, academic, and capital-F feminists were the most vicious of all. So much for sisterhood, ladies; not what I assumed feminism would be – what you have is Mean Girls writ large and nationally. So sad, ladies – it seems that the women’s movement, despite all claims to the contrary by the officially-declaimed mouthpieces summoned up by the established media/entertainment orgs, is only for the benefit of the properly anointed. The rest of us are on our own. We have the support of husbands, churches, communities and friends, I guess. But not the anointed Official Capital-F Feminists.

Which brings me to the thoroughly filthy Honorable Mayor Mr. Filner … good thing that neither my mother, daughter or I ever had the bad chance to be within his ken and reach, else he’d be minus a testicle or two and we’d be up on charges of assault … or whatever they would call it when you suddenly step backwards and grind your sensible 2” heel into his foot, shoot an elbow into his ribs, or a knee into his crotch after a swift pivot, while saying brightly, “Oh, I am so sorry, you startled me!”

So, he is only the most recent and most notorious establishment-blessed letch, although he and the risibly-monikered Anthony Wiener are about neck and neck for the title of Sexist Pig o’ The Day. Ted Kennedy firmly held those sorry laurels for the last couple of decades; most disgusting in personal conduct when it came to the hapless and unfortunate women in his personal orbit, beginning when he swam to the surface at a water-crossing and let a young woman drown in his car. Apparently, according to this representative of Official Capital-F feminism, Dem pigs are OK because they just are, and those horrible GOPers are untouchable (no matter how gallant they are in personal conduct) because in their Official Legislative Conduct, they vote for policies which Harm Teh Womyns! Gosh, it’s as if slogans like ‘The Personal is Political’ have vanished down the memory hole, along with the memory of every yearly briefing that I had to take about sexual harassment. Yes, dear official feminist operatives, I had to take that class, and I remember quite well what we were told. If it’s sauce for the military gander, it must also be sauce for the civilian goose. Otherwise, I am left with the conclusion that working-class women must put up with a certain degree of bad behavior from upper-class and elite male sexist pigs… because it’s duty or something.

Damn, I thought we had moved on from the 19th century Victorian standards of conduct with regard to sex and class. It does look like the Official Political Capital-F Feminists are lining up to urge Filthy Filner to resign, so maybe they did sit down and have a good think about it.

(Cross-posted at Chicagoboyz.net)

… it was a farce the first time around, and then it comes around again? I speak of Anthony Wiener’s wiener, of which the candidate for the mayoralty of the Big Apple is so insensately proud that he continues thrusting it – or the pictorial evidence thereof – into the public sphere, through the medium of Twitter … which I categorically insist is a fiendishly clever means of proving celebrity idiocy beyond all doubt and ensuring life-time employment for their public relations experts. But I digress … and yes, the grade school impulse to make fun of someone with a thoroughly risible name is something one never quite outgrows.

But seriously, Mr. Huma Abedin – how stupid are you? How stupid do you think the voting public is, that you could offend with the sexts and the pics of your unclothed bod, humiliate yourself and your spouse, and for all I know, the rest of your family and your neighbors – and then turn right around and do it again! Usually reckless impulses of this pellucid-pure stupidity involve the phrase “Hold my beer and watch this!” and a Darwin Award nomination, but since this involves a member of the bi-coastal ruling elite, that famous last-words phrase likely didn’t apply.
Sigh. Look, y’all in New York, it’s all on your heads if he is to be your next mayor. On the positive side, maybe tweeting pics of the mayoral junk far and wide will just be seen as an amusing personal foible – and a welcome distraction from fussing about salt consumption and the availability of large soft drinks.

You know, it’s sad and depressing, going and looking at the pictures of wrecked Detroit; seeing all the rows of once-tidy houses along straight-ruled streets, and most of them are burned-out, boarded up, and covered in graffiti, while grass and small trees come up through the pavement, and the open prairie and woodland slowly creeps back to reclaim it all. These were the homes of the working and middle class, in which they took pride. They raised their children, sent them to the local schools, went to church on Sunday … and now those homes, and churches and schools are crumbling. So are the factories which powered the working class and the small independent businesses that powered the striving and entrepreneurial middle class. Looking at the Detroit Ruin Porn is like looking at stills from some kind of post-apocalyptic movie. Here was the pride of industrial America, who put America on wheels, and Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan on their knees … and within five decades, the cities’ political elite have managed to destroy it all. For short-term and immediate gain, of course; making the city difficult for small businesses and hostile to whites – especially the middle-class, entrepreneurial sorts – came at a cost that is only coming due now. Hell, even the enterprising working-class-to-poor have decamped from Detroit, appearing to leave it all to the low-life segment of the population and the life-time bureaucrats. Welcome to the hell you made, folks. Nearly half the adult population are functional illiterates, which is a whole ‘nother category of special all on it’s own.

Look, as a person of pallor, an entrepreneur and a tax-payer – I don’t really mind paying taxes. Well, not very much, as long as I am getting some value from that portion of my income which I must turn over to the municipality, the state and the federal government. I’d like to know – and know first-hand, and without a doubt that the streets are being paved and maintained, and patrolled by law-enforcement. I’d like to be assured that the courts administer justice fairly and impartially, that the municipal authorities refrain from being anal-retentive and over-controlling morons, enchanted with the power of their own authority, and that I could walk three or four blocks through my own neighborhood on a regular basis in perfect safety and security. I’d like also to be assured that my property and others in the vicinity would be free from the threat of vandalism and arson. I’d like to be assured that the high school up the street is graduating eighteen-year-olds with a firm grasp on literacy, numeracy, and the obligations of being a responsible citizen, although I accept that I probably may not be able to count on that last with a hundred-per-cent assurance. The presence of art galleries, convention centers, parks and museums are all a negotiable benefit – nice to have in addition to the above. Doubly nice – in addition to all of the above – is not to be screamed at by the city administration and called a racist every day and twice on Sunday. It would also be nice also to not be called a racist for moving the hell out of the municipality which had become hostile to those small listed ambitions of mine.

In all of these modest ambitions, the city of Detroit has failed, utterly, repeatedly and over decades. So, let them reap the whirlwind. Don’t even think you can appeal to me with pleas of ‘think of the children!’ or any other media-ready cliché. Don’t care. Can’t be made to care. You broke, you own – my city and state has problems of it’s own (although since I live in Texas, those challenges are relatively minor in comparison), and my tax dollars are already dedicated. Although I hate to seem so callous, because I used to be a nice and rather liberal, charitable and tolerant person – in this current economy, I got over it.

Goodbye, Detroit. Nice to have had you with us – sad to see ya go. Revert to prairie and farmland, that’s my most helpful suggestion. Forget that you were ever the glory of the industrial upper mid-west.

I have begun to think that Twitter is just a social media device which reveals the idiocy of celebutards to a waiting world … but what if a celebutard’s Twitter account is just a means of guaranteeing full employment for the next decade or so for their professional publicist, who must clean up the resulting mess?

Discuss, if you dare. Twitter if you must.

Well, if that wasn’t one for the record books – a selection of Egyptian relative moderates taking back their country from a Muslim Brotherhood hard-liner through a protest-coup-counterrevolutionary thingy. Not quite certain how stable the reactionary moderate coalition actually is – or even if they are very moderate at all, or only in comparison to the Muslim Brotherhood gang o’thugs, but still – interesting. It did seem as of Morsi and his Brotherhood, even though freely elected in the wake of General Mubarak’s forced departure – were about to run Egypt straight off a cliff at speed, and perhaps this new coalition can only slow down the acceleration a little. As little as I know, I am fairly certain that the current American administration knows even less; late will the lights be burning tonight at Foggy Bottom, as the denizens of the State Department try and come up with some kind of reason, rationale and talking points. Of course, as a former Secretary of State remarked, “At this point in time, what difference does it make anyway?”

So, the good middle-of-the road and middle-class citizens of Egypt had a good bracing dose of what Islamic rule would mean and so spat it out of their mouths. The women, the Copts, the intellectuals, the middle class, the military, those who made their living through tourism, and I-don’t-know-how-many others, all rebelled at being ridden over rough-shod by increasingly stricter Islamists, just as the younger and more defiant Iranians have, although the Iranians are still simmering, while the Egyptians seem to have – at least for now – put their Islamic fundamentalists back into the bottle and jam in the cork tight. But Egypt, which once was the breadbasket for the Roman Empire – is reduced to importing food. The profitable tourist trade is wrecked beyond redemption, for who will want to come and look at the Pyramids, the temples of Luxor, and the museums full of antiquities, save the daring-to-the-point-of-suicidal Western backpacker types, who commonly don’t want to spend much money on expensive hotels, guides, transport and souvenirs.

And where are we – as Americans in all of this? Alas, nowhere – and thanks to our very dear President Kardashian, who has effortlessly managed to alienate and piss-off just about every party in Egypt, save Morsi and the Brotherhood who probably despised him anyway. It’s an interesting kind of gift, being able to alienate allies, while sucking up unsuccessfully to enemies. I’d deeply enjoy the taste of two scoops of schadenfreude, with a bit of chocolate syrup, whipped cream and a sprinkling of toasted almonds … but alas, we ordinary Americans will probably be cleaning up the damage from the Obama administration for decades after the principal architect of this Mid-east disaster has retired to a mansion in Hawaii and a series of well-paid speaking engagements.

The purely ironical part is that President Kardashian was so very, very popular with the usual Euro-lefty crowds, and in the Middle East – and now the bloom is so very much off the rose. I can hardly wait for the snippy Guardian-editorialists and readers, and all of their fellow-travelers to begin to whine about why did we stupid Yanks elect him to office in the first place.

(And for whatever NSA peon tasked with monitoring this blog, or perhaps me personally; we’re having turkey-burgers for supper, and I can make some extras. Let me know if you want a plate. Come by at 6ish or so – you know the address.)

White House Down

Comment would be superflous, so I’ll just say I found this little gem in the comment thread here.

It seems, from the link posted on Da Blogfaddah, that our very own President Kardashian will be gracing the great state of Texas with his presence for a brief and flying visit … which to no one’s surprise (at least in my household) – includes an appearance at a fund raising event. Holy jumping Jesus, does this political leech’s every move outside the White House involve a fund-raising event? Guess so, although Blondie’s cynical guess involved the presence of a hitherto-unknown prime golf course in the vicinity of Dallas or Waco.

He is, according to the news reports, intending to visit with and console the bereaved of West-comma-Texas, a tiny mid-state town of which I am certain that he and most everyone else who never traveled the IH-35 between San Antonio and Fort Worth, had never heard … until the local fertilizer plant blew up during a fire last week. Which explosion killed one-third of the local volunteer firefighters, and demolished a good portion of the town, since it went up violently enough to register on the Richter Scale. Honestly, reading the brief obituaries of the identified, I wonder exactly how his visit will console any of the next-of-kin. Firefighter volunteers, members of local fraternal organizations, small business owners, people who liked to hunt, rodeo riders, NASCAR fans, devoted to family, church, and the community of their little town. What a rootless, drifting cosmopolitan like the current POTUS has in common with them, besides being red-blooded vertebrates is anyone’s guess. He might as well be teleporting in from Mars; my suspicion is that his scheduling office was shamed into adding it to the itinerary for the day.

On the other hand, this hideous tragedy occurred in the very same week that the Beantown Blaster Brothers set a couple of home-made bombs which killed and de-limbed a goodly number of people either running in or waiting at the finish-line of the Boston Marathon. And it’s a lot easier to cover that news which happens within an easy commute of New York, Los Angeles or Atlanta.

It now appears that the Beantown Blaster Brothers were motivated primarily by the ever-refreshing well of Islam in it’s most radical application. Which is ironic to almost an industrial grade, as the aforesaid brothers lived and … well, occupied themselves in the most blue of blue-state enclaves, an enclave which afforded them every indulgence and liberty, marriage, higher education, refuge and support … and yet, they repaid all that with savagery and violence. And as it turns out, it’s the Islamic version of the above, which must be terribly embarrassing to the current administration. Don’tcha know, Islam is all about peace, and tolerance and the cries of the imam calling all to prayer being the sweetest sound, and you’re the most awful bigot if you say otherwise.

And I am just cynical enough, after the events of last week, if President Kardashian would rather that the public memory of developments in Boston just go down the ol’ memory hole as far as the mainstream media and low-information voters are concerned? Hence the flying visit to Texas … which visit incorporates an appearance at the dedication of the Bush II library, which (again and cynically) moves me to wonder how heroic an effort will it take for Bush II to be polite to him in private.

I am fairly certain that Bush II, and the residents of West-comma-Texas will be polite. Perhaps frigidly so … but always polite. This is how we roll.

Ok, so it looks like North Korea, in the person of Li’l Pudgy Kim has upped their game in the routine and semi-annual national unity game of chicken. (The Norks do this every six months, usually when they want to squeeze some concessions out of the outside world. It’s like an overgrown toddler throwing an international temper tantrum.). Likely, all of his generals (or uncles, even the generals who are not his uncles) have to go along and make the usual noises and poses for the cameras, in spite of the fact that for all their resplendent ribbon-salad displays – they have not fought an all-out, balls-to-the wall war since 1954. Which war was nearly sixty years and three wars ago, as Americans are counting it, which means that their equipment must be getting pretty worn-out as well as their tactical schemes and field practice for using them – outside the boundaries of a pretty tightly-controlled war game which will allow no margin for making the Kim dynasty’s pet soldiers look bad in any way, shape or form.

So, while they might have been able to buy some new stuff on the international black market – which hints that those drug sales by their diplomatic staff must really be paying off, big-time, and they might actually be able to hit what they might be aiming at, on a good day, depending on what they have purchased, and if their vendors didn’t rob them blind, and if the Chinese actually gave them some of the good stuff … still, I remain unworried. Relatively, it must be noted. Alas, while I do believe they can hit Seoul on a good day with their artillery, and kidnap lonely strangers off the beachfront towns in Japan in the wee hours, and possibly come close to hitting Japan with something high-explosive … whacking the continental United States with a ballistic missile is a bit of a chancy prospect. Even trying to smuggle something past the borders in a box-car would probably be a better shot.

But Li’l Pudgy may be just the one maniac to walk it far, far beyond where it can be gracefully walked back. Although this current administration likely will give him every assistance in doing so, being as they seem to be ready to give away the farm every time some international bad-ass gives them a hard look. Still, I’d love to know why the Norks are appearing to target Austin, Texas, as part of their threats to launch missiles in the general direction of the continental United States. Really – Austin? That little patch of blue in an otherwise red state? Holy crapola, Batman, the Leg may be in session this year, but on an Easter break. Was Li’l Pudgy mad at Samsung, or not getting an invite to SXSW this year, or is he just assuming that Austin is the storage site for our vital strategic barbeque reserves. It is good to see that apparently the local humorists are having fun with all this. (See this category on Twitchy.)

And that’s my weekend; half spent in the vegetable garden, seeing how many new varieties of tomato plants that I can sneak in without my daughter noticing, and the other half scribbling and posting on line.

PS- I just put up a new Kindle book of my blog-posts about Texas – The Heart of Texas. Think of it as a set of extended footnotes from my books; The Adelsverein Trilogy, Daughter of Texas, Deep in the Heart, and the latest – The Quivera Trail, which should be ready to roll in November. Assuming that the Norks aren’t really aiming for San Antonio, and this Austin stuff wasn’t a diversion.