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Thursday, May 23, 2019

What Is Ramadan?

(Much of this blog post was previously published on July 30, 2011, and on June 18, 2015)

Ramadan 2019 began at sunset on May 6 and continues for 30 days until June 5.

What does Ramadan really celebrate, particularly Eid ul-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan?

If one understands the history of Islam and, especially, that of Ramadan, one will come to understand that such a commemoration, including iftar dinners at the White House, should be unacceptable to all those who oppose Islamic supremacism.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Fake Everything


Silverfiddle Rant!

Robocalls are a menace, and Caller ID spoofing is a sinister twist on this black art.  Remember the National No Call List?  It's a joke, brought to you by the same government apparatchiks who claim they can solve climate change if we just give them enough money.



Paul Starr rants about robocalls in his American Prospect article, The Robocall Deluge Is a Case of Government Failure.

And it's not just robocalls...
The robocall deluge is just one manifestation of a phenomenon I call “media degradation.” It goes along with spam email, spam text messages, fake news, deepfake videos, and much else.

Add to this a total loss of on-line privacy and "harmful content" in social media.  Mark Zuckerberg joins Paul Starr in calling for more government intervention.

I share their concerns, but not their calls for more Big Government.

Here's how I rank their concerns, #1 being the biggest:

1. On-line Privacy.  Government needs to pass a law. Now.  Stating no one may sell, buy, share or otherwise traffic my personal information without my explicit written consent.

2. On-Line Free Speech.  I want government to bust the on-line trusts.  Global corporations own the digital public square, so social media must be converted into a public utility that guarantees access for all who do not break the law. The Twitter Stasi banned the pro-life movie Unplanned's twitter account, un-banned it, and then erased all its followers.  King Twit Jack Dorsey needs to be dragged from his imperial palace by his hipster beard and publicly caned for all of the censorship he has engaged in.

3. Fake News. I do not want government intervening.  The situation is bad enough as it is.  The Infotainment News Media is going to have to police itself and clean up its act if it wants to up its approval rating, which is now lower than President Trump's.

4. Deepfake Videos. This is a biggie given how reliant as we are on video evidence and the unreflective credulity we invest in it. It's bad enough what the porn stuff can do to a person's reputation.  Think about deepfakes of "leaked conversations, etc" of world leaders, or deepfaked atrocities designed to propagandize us into one more rage mob or worse, another war.  What consoles me is the empirical fact that technology solutions solve technology problems.  Context, forensic examination, non-video corroborating evidence or lack thereof, etc will snuff most deepfakes, if the resulting hysteria doesn't get out of control first.

5.  Robocalls, Caller ID Spoofing, Spam E-Mails, Spam Texts.  These annoy me, but I don't see the need for government intervention, although I would like to see the tech industry try harder at deploying customizable apps to help us snuff this didgicrap.

6. On-line Trollery.  The Hill is rife with spam comments and obvious trolls, some flying false flags just to provoke. I would like to see some heuristic technology developed to eradicate such infestations.

7.  "Harmful Content" in social media.  If it doesn't break the law, Stop. Banning. It. I support some common sense community standards, but the Silicon Valley Archipelago has gone way overboard.  Turn them all into public utilities and regulate them as such.

What say you?

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Friday, May 17, 2019

Education Today? (With Addendum)

In what world is this appropriate for a second grade teacher to do?


And why is the teacher still employed at the school?

Addendum below the fold:

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

"We are a Good People"


Silverfiddle Rant!
Rabbi Dov Fischer speaks for his people, and for America, in the wake of yet another hate crime hoax and calls for slavery reparations...

Yes, we are informed by the Shoah, as we are by the destruction of the Holy Temple that someday will be rebuilt in Messianic times on its promontory on Mount Moriah, as we are by the expulsions, Inquisitions, blood libels, pogroms, Communist terrors, and other persecutions that have visited us. That makes us vigilant. But we do not build a culture on thatI wish so much for others in other cultures to understand that no culture can be built in 2019 America on a slavery that ended in 1865 by virtue of 300,000 White men giving up their lives to end it.

Vestiges of our racist past remain.  Yahoogle "Sandtown Baltimore" for one example. We have stubborn pockets of racists, some noisy, some violent, and some quiet and sneaky.  We always will, but our polite society that snickers at blasphemy and vulgarity does not tolerate bigotry. 

Dov Fischer again, from the same linked article:
We are a good people. We do not lynch Blacks or others. Rather, we had Loretta Lynch. Outside of New York, we smile at people we do not know as we walk down the street. When we cross a street, we wave to the driver who waits to make a right turn. We make friendly small talk at the grocery cash register, even a guy with a yarmulke when paying a woman with a hijab. We are a good people. And we deserve better than the despicable Big Lie that this country is riven on racial, gender, religious, or ethnic lines.
Very few of us had a perfect upbringing, and our family histories tell of struggle, oppression and every variety of unfairness life hands out.  Nursing grudges and grievances while believing people owe you something is a path to unhappiness and failure.

The best message you can give people is to encourage them overcome: Let go of the past. Do the right thing, work hard, delay gratification, get an education. Success--hard-won and self-earned--is the best response to the bigots and the haters.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Recommended Reading

See Democrat Contenders' Laughable, Massive Giveaways by Erik Rush.  Excerpt:
...Among the mind-bogglingly unaffordable proposals being floated are reparations for blacks for slavery. On April 8, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., introduced a bill that would study the concept of reparations for descendants of slaves. Booker said that the bill is “a way of addressing head-on the persistence of racism, white supremacy and implicit racial bias in our country.”

The persistence of racism, white supremacy and implicit racial bias in America is an utter fiction (unless one takes into account the uncomfy bed progressives have made for blacks), but blacks and rank-and-file liberals have been convinced that these are endemic to our nation.

[...]

...T]here are definitely enough propagandized blacks and foolish whites among us to make this a reality given the right (or wrong) combination of a Democratic president and Democrat-controlled Congress.
Read Mr. Rush's entire essay HERE. He discusses much more than race.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

For Mother's Day 2019

(For politics, please scroll down)

Four generations in January, 1978:

L to R: my beloved second cousin, whom I regard as my daughter (b. 1967); me at age 25; my mother (1916-1987); and, Wawa, my maternal grandmother (1898-1981).

The above photo was taken here in the living room of this old house, built circa 1935.

I miss you, Mom and Wawa.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Comment Of The Day

A few days ago, commenter Baysider posted the following insightful comment to Silverfiddle's May 2, 2019 post "Seattle Is Dying" here at Always On Watch:

I live in such a town - Soviet Monica. Crime (and vagrancy) is up, WAY UP, since the Crime Train is bringing boatloads more freeloaders into town. People are disgusted. We have to protect and defend ourselves. Government has abandoned that function in all but name only.

We ALSO contribute a lot to the private rehab agencies, but I'm not interested in YOU unless you want to take a step in the right direction. Don't expect free lodging and a latrine in MY yard. You can be willing to straighten up and move in the right direction and we'll help.

Our city actually threatened fines/jail to ordinary people like me who wash the filth away -- for spreading disease! What do they expect us to do, lick it up? My garage door guy wears a mask when he works in this area because of all the stench of urine which signals disease that he is working among.


Related reading: Medieval Diseases Are Infecting California’s Homeless: Typhus, tuberculosis, and other illnesses are spreading quickly through camps and shelters (The Atlantic, March 8, 2019).

How long can California survive this onslaught? Similar situations exist all over Southern California, including even in Beverly Hills and Bel Air.

Related...Police Union: LAPD Officers Contracted Staph Infection After Homeless Person Came Into Station (May 7, 2019).

Monday, May 6, 2019

Joe Biden's Brain

(At Always On Watch 2, in the wake of Mr. AOW's brain hemorrhage on September 1, 2009, and my consequent crash course in neurology followed by up-close and personal encounters with the rather peculiar phenomenon of confabulation, I posted a few times about Joe Biden's brain. This post is an update to those previous posts and is a post irrespective of Joe Biden's political views; in fact, I feel compassion for what I believe to be the man's neurological issues)


Joe Biden is known for making gaffes.  In fact, a Google search of "Joe Biden gaffes" yields lists of Bidenisms. One example of a Bidenism, an example which reads much like spinning tales around a campfire:
"When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened." –Joe Biden, apparently unaware that FDR wasn't president when the stock market crashed in 1929 and that only experimental TV sets were in use at that time, interview with Katie Couric, Sept.22, 2008
Read the entire list HERE.

Just last week, there was this: Biden Tells ‘The View’ Obama’s Presidency Had No ‘Whisper of Scandal’.

Funny? Sure. But is something else going on?

Check out the following information about confabulation:

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Animal Humor

(For politics, please scroll down)

With thanks to Warren, who emailed me the link to the video below:




Bonus video below the fold.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Seattle Is Dying


Silverfiddle Rant!
Mrs. Silverfiddle and I watched the captivating documentary, Seattle is Dying, available on YouTube.  It is a professional one-hour production and has almost 3 million views.  I recommend you cast it to your flat panel and enjoy the hi-res camera work.

The entire film is one long parade of homelessness and drug abuse, and the sadness and misery and crime that results. It's all exacerbated by the city's inability to address the growing problem.

The wife and I found one part particularly galling.  A homeless clown, enjoying it all as street theater because we are a nation rich enough and stupid enough to allow bozos like him to make a joke of it all...



In related news, the brain surgeons running Washington DC, thought it would be a great idea to put up homeless bums and drug users in luxury apartments, but it ain't working out so well.

Seattle defenders are pushing back against the viral documentary, but they've got a fight on their hands.  Even good liberals are fed up in this city that voted 87% for Hillary and only 7% for President Trump.

What say you?

Monday, April 29, 2019

Broken Borders

Silverfiddle Rant!

President Trump spoke for all sane Americans:

"We have the worst laws of any country in the world. ... You have to fix the asylum situation, it's ridiculous."



Damon Linker, a sensible liberal who excoriates President Trump daily, begrudgingly agrees:
It's a mess. But things truly cross over into the absurd with the recent decision of a California judge to block the Trump administration's effort to get most migrants to remain in Mexico until their asylum hearing. The U.S. is confronting a flood of migrants fleeing oppression, violence, and poverty in one country (usually Honduras, Guatemala, or El Salvador), crossing a massive intermediary country (Mexico) that no one claims is persecuting them, and yet a judge insists that it's a violation of the law to deny them entry.

That ruling is either an outrageous warping of the law, in which case it needs to be quickly overturned by a higher court, or it is a demonstration that the law itself needs to be changed […]. In the current situation of years-long backlogs and restrictions on detaining kids, it amounts to a wide-open door to anyone who shows up on the border with a child claiming asylum. To the extent that current law requires this fiasco, it needs to be scrapped and replaced.
Bernie Sanders agrees as well, stating he is not for open borders:
What we need is comprehensive immigration reform. If you open the borders, my God, there's a lot of poverty in this world, and you're going to have people from all over the world. And I don't think that's something that we can do at this point. Can't do it. So that is not my position.
The ground is shifting under the Democrats.  President Trump may be demagoguing the illegal immigration issue, but his demagoguery is working, and it is needed to wake us from our media-induced stupor.

Our president is stymied by our idiotic immigration laws and Trump-hating judges who allowed the previous president to make up his own immigration laws, but Democrats will pay a price in 2020.  

President Trump's trollery and demagoguery have manipulated Democrats onto the side of open borders and illegal immigration, where some don the presidentially-proffered political suicide vest, while others scramble and scurry to split hairs, make excuses and confect distinctions without differences. 

Despite losing every battle, President Trump is winning.  How do we know?  After struggling mightily to deny reality, Democrats now acknowledge the crisis, but blame President Trump.

At least half of the world's 7.5 billion people want to come here. Government needs to act.


See also:
Democrats Powerless to Stop Red Wave
David Frum - How Much Immigration is Too Much?

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Musical Interlude

Flute Concerto in A Minor, composed by German Baroque composer Georg Philipp Telemann (1681 – 1767):


Wonderful polyphony and antiphony!

Friday, April 26, 2019

¡Viva el Presidente!


Silverfiddle Rant!
Corruption is killing many struggling countries around the world.  Yes, we have corruption in the US, but we are so wealthy, with so much easy credit sloshing around, chiselers can rake off their take without the stupefied public taking notice.

Not so in poor countries.  Hunger and misery serve to sharpen the senses and narrow an intense focus on injustice.  Haiti is mired in misery nine years after an earthquake made the miserable nation even crappier.  Over $13 billion in aid has poured in (as of 2015), and outraged Haitians are asking where the hell it all went, because it sure has hell didn't go to the people.

Mexico is also afflicted by endemic corruption...
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday he will create a “Robin Hood” institute to return to the people the ill-gotten wealth seized from corrupt politicians and gangsters.

A 2017 report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development noted that recent studies estimated that Mexico lost between 5 percent and 9 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) to corruption annually. (Reuters)
Mexico's GDP is just north of $1 Trillion, so the amount stolen by corrupt oligarchs and criminal syndicates is staggering $50 to $100 Billion. That's how a country ends up a shithole despite having good, hardworking people.

I fear he will be killed before he reforms the system. May God bless and protect President Obrador.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

The Socialist Plan for America

By Sam Huntington

Most socialist countries have pursued extreme policies. Most, but not all. The argument made by socialists and dyed-in-the-wool communists, such as Bernie Sanders, is that socialist policy in the United States would involve fewer increases in tax rates, but one notices that Sanders never discusses the likely economic or social consequences of socialism. Why should he? He’s trying to sell socialism to the American people. A full discussion of socialism’s likely ramifications would only defeat his argument.

To begin with, socialist policy produces lower real growth. We know this because we can observe the effects of socialist policy on citizens who live in countries that embrace it. Experts who have not sold their souls to a proven ruinous ideology tell us that in the long run, American socialism would likely reduce real GDP by 40% (See Economic Freedom of the World, 1975-1995, Fraser Institute and Economic Freedom of the World Index). The Fraser Index provides a range between the least-free (1) and the most free (10). These indicators are aggregated to five main categories, which are given equal weight in the overall. The categories are indicators of economic freedom, not political freedom or civil liberties. The categories are:

• Size of government in spending, taxing, and size of government-controlled enterprises
• Legal system and property rights
• Sound money (measuring policies relating to inflation
• Free international trade
• Limited regulation, the freedom to exchange and trade domestically

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Names Have Meaning: Sri Lanka Suicide Bomber Mohammed Azzam Mohammed

About the Easter Sunday jihadist who stood in line at the crowded breakfast buffet at one of those high-end hotels and detonated himself just as he was about to be served:

Monday, April 22, 2019

It Ain't Over


Silverfiddle Rant!

Mueller Time! has come and gone, and its unsatisfying quaffs have left deranged Democrats with a skull-splitting headache and a wicked case of flatulent diarrhea.

Exoneration Schmoneration…

Investigators, prosecutors and their investigations don't "exonerate" people other than those wrongly imprisoned.  Our justice system doesn't work like that.  Progressive demands of "Prove your innocence!" are out of Stalin's Soviet Union.  In the United States, the government must make the case of a person's guilt within the judicial system. If they cannot, the person is guilty of nothing.

Mueller found no collusion and no obstruction (make no mistake--had he found prosecutable obstruction of justice he would have recommended prosecution in his theatrical report.)  

Obstruction??? President Trump cooperated completely with the investigation:
The president could have shut down the investigation at any time, but he didn’t. He could have asserted executive privilege to deny the special counsel access to key White House witnesses, such as McGahn. To the contrary, numerous witnesses were made available voluntarily (there was no need to try to subpoena them to the grand jury), and well over a million documents were disclosed, including voluminous notes of meetings between the president and his White House counsel. (Andrew McCarthy - NY Post)
It's not over, folks. With Democrats, its never over. They're still steaming and bawling over Merrick Garland's "stolen" seat. They're still fuming over Bush 2000, forgetting the Supreme Court decision to stop the Gore shenanigans was 7-2, not 5-4.

The Democrat conspiracy to trap the President has failed.  All Democrats have left is lies and smears.

Shred the Clean Bill of Health

Fat Jerry is demanding to see everything: The unredacted report, all the evidence, every page of grand jury testimony...  and the beauty of it is, he's entitled to none of it. Not one shred, but he will continue to beat that drum, because Democrats cannot abide this clean bill of health Robert Mueller issued to President Trump.

Fat Jerry, Gasoline Maxine and the rest of the bug-eyed unhinged nutballs in the Democrat congressional delegation will persist in demanding tax returns, bank statements, personal papers, stool samples and anything else they can dream up. It's an un-American propaganda game know as, "What do you have to hide?" and its great for fundraising.

The outrageous Democrat requests will be tied up in the courts through Election 2020, with President Trump gloating at massive rallies and Democrats fuming and raising money from the softheads.

Discredit the Attorney General

More damaging to our nation is the Democrat campaign--carried out with their co-conspirators in the Infotainment Media Complex--to demean, dehumanize and discredit Attorney General William Barr. Ad Hominem is the left's favored tactic.  Put the object of rage and hatred beyond the pale, smear him, drum up hatred and scorn against him.  That's the Democrat way.

Why?  Because Attorney General Barr will get to the bottom of the Clinton Crime Syndicate dirty tricks that sparked this historical travesty that sucked various alphabet agencies into the worst abuse of power in our nation's history.  His final report won't be pretty. The only Democrat defense is to use their Infotainment Media Complex toadies to preemptively mud up William Barr, smear him and discredit him in the eyes of the American people.

Pelosi knows they are scaring the normals, but she can't stop this circus train...


See Also:
Robert Mueller Obliterated the Trump-Russia Conspiracy Theories
Mueller’s Despicable Parthian Shot
Top 10 things the media got wrong about ‘collusion’ and ‘obstruction’

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Music For Resurrection Day

(For politics, please scroll down)

The promise we have, from this epistle from St. Paul:
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. - 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
"Wele'n Sefyll Rhwng y Mwrtwydd" ("Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah"), a hymn which is an affirmation of the Christian resurrection faith:


Lyrics in Welsh:
Wele'n sefyll rhwng y myrtwydd
Wrthrych teilwng o fy mryd;
Er mai o ran, yr wy'n adnabod
Ei_fod uwchlaw gwrthrychau'r byd:
Henffych fore, henffych fore,
Y caf ei weled fel y mae.

Rhosyn Saron yw ei enw,
Gwyn a gwridog, teg o bryd;
Ar ddeng mil y mae'n rhagori
O wrthrychau penna'r byd:
Ffrind pechadur, ffrind pechadur,
Dyma_ei beilat ar y môr.

Beth sy imi mwy a wnelwyf
Ag eilunod gwael y llawr?
Tystio'r wyf nad yw eu cwmni
I'w cystadlu â Iesu mawr:
O! am aros, o am aros
Yn ei gariad ddyddiau f'oes.
Parsing and translation of the Welsh words:

Thursday, April 18, 2019

A Sad Metaphor?

Silverfiddle Rant!

Notre Dame is a warning to Europe: don’t take what you value for granted 

From Gilles Gressani, writing in the Guardian...
The sorrow becomes even deeper when you realise that the catastrophe of Notre Dame represents so perfectly the condition of contemporary Europeans: people condemned to live among wonders, taking them for granted, ignorant of the fact that they may disappear– then suddenly finding themselves in a situation they’d never envisioned.
I can take that sorrow at least three levels deeper than the superficial sorrow caused by a smoldering landmark. Can you?

Today marks the anniversary of Our Lord's last supper. This happened the next day:
27 A large number of people followed Jesus. Some were women whose hearts were filled with sorrow. They cried loudly because of him. 28 Jesus turned and said to them,
“Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me. Weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 The time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the women who can’t have children! Blessed are those who never gave birth or nursed babies!’ 30 It is written, 
“ ‘The people will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”
They’ll say to the hills, “Cover us!” ’ (Hosea 10:8)
 
31 People do these things when trees are green. So what will happen when trees are dry?”  - Luke 23:27-30

Monday, April 15, 2019

Julian Assange: Hero or Criminal?

Silverfiddle Rant!


Barack Obama got in one more jab at the nation on his way out the door when he granted clemency to traitor Chelsea Manning, the Army Private who gave classified information to Julian Assange and Wikileaks.



Manning is back in jail after refusing to cooperate with a grand jury looking into Julian Assange:
Manning, convicted in 2013 of leaking classified U.S. government documents to WikiLeaks, was jailed in early March as a recalcitrant witness after refusing to answer the grand jury’s questions. (Gizmodo)
The US charges against Assange have nothing to do with "journalism:"
Assange allegedly aided her in attempting to crack a password that would provide access to Defense Department network used to store classified documents and communications. While Manning already had access to the network, known as SIPRNet, the password would have enabled her to download additional material under a username that was not her own. (Gizmodo)
Assange was just the conduit.  That in itself was not a crime.  If it were, our prisons would be filled with writers from the New York Times, Washington Post and many other media outlets who gleefully publish classified information.  This new information--that Assange attempted to crack a US military network--now puts him in the criminal category.  It looks like Manning may again be in legal jeopardy if new information is discovered that contradicts her earlier sworn testimony.

The most interesting aspect of this is the confusing scrum of different ideological camps attacking or defending Assange.  The battle lines do not break down neatly, with all left/Democrats on one side and all right/Republicans on the other. I will spare you explanations of this lunacy.

Julian Assange is no hero. He published stolen classified information that chilled secret nation-to-nation diplomatic efforts, many of which were humanitarian. His dispatches also damaged the United States. I wish we could prosecute him for this, but it is probably not possible.  I do support prosecuting him for his role in Manning's traitorous espionage.  I hope they both end up in federal prison.

What say you?

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Kudos To The New York Post

For this, when so many others would not take Rep. Ilhan Omar to task:


The mainstream media and AOC denounced the New York Post for the above truth-telling.

Oh, and by the way, contrary to what Ilhan Omar said, CAIR was not founded post-9/11.  CAIR was founded in 1994.

Related: Ilhan Omar complains about outrage over her 9/11 comments.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Personal Update

(For politics, please scroll down.  There was a post yesterday, April 10, 2019, a post about reparations)

Arthroscopic surgery today, to trim the meniscus in my right knee. I'm hoping for no complications! The good news based on x-rays and the MRI: no arthritis, therefore no knee replacement needed.

Also on the good-news front: my pre-op blood work was perfect. For the first time in nearly four years, my kidney-function values were normal. So, the kidney surgery I had back in November of 2016 worked. YEEHAW!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Reparations

By Sam Huntington

The United Nations Working group of Experts on People of African Descent* have determined that the United States owes reparations to African Americans.  Why? Because, they say, compensation is necessary to combat the disadvantages caused by 245 years of legally allowing the sale of people based on the color of their skin and because the US has never confronted its legacy of “racial terrorism.”  I’m not sure, but this could be the reason why the United Nations has no credibility among thinking people.

The argument is that people who never owned slaves (everyone alive today) should pay reparations to people who never were slaves.  It is an irrational argument, and yet dozens of leftists are supporting it.  

In fact, the proposition is about as illogical as a human being can get.  What about the Africans who took other Africans prisoners during tribal warfare and sold them to Europeans and Moslems?  Should they pay reparations, too?  What about white skinned people who were enslaved over the past 500 years? Should they also receive reparations, or is this just a black thing?

And what disadvantages are these people talking about?  Look, if black people want to get ahead in life, there are only three things they have to do to avoid being poor: (1) Finish high school; (2) Don’t have children before they are 20-years of age; and (3) get married before having children. Voila!  Problem solved.

As for the claim that the US has never confronted its legacy of “racial terrorism,” what in the hell do they think the Civil War was about?  I’d say the cost in blood more than paid the price for ridding our nation of slavery.  Ordinarily, I would shake my head and wonder how anyone could be this stupid, but then with a bit more thought, lifting a few layers, we’ll find other facts: no one on earth has been more cruel to blacks than other blacks.  The murder rate in Chicago bears this out.  Dig down a bit further, and we’ll discover the highly-successful leftist policy of racial discrimination toward blacks through the imposition of low-expectations.  Remove another layer and we’ll find that an overwhelming number of people who feed from the public trough reman there permanently.  This is the foundation of "black policy" in the Democratic Party.  

Final questions: Kamala Harris is one of many Democrats who support reparations for blacks.  Her ancestors were slave traders.  Does Harris write a check, or receive one?  Barack Obama’s mother’s ancestors were slave owners and traders.  Does he write a check, or receive one?  Since no one is able to control who their ancestors were, how would reparations payments off-set the (manufactured) “trauma” of knowing that someone’s fourth great-grandparents were slaves?

*No one should have a title that won’t fit on a calling card.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Guilty White Liberals: A Clear and Present Danger

Silverfiddle Rant!


White liberals are cracked, and if they have their way, they will destroy the nation, wreck our democratic republican form of government, and splinter out society into a turd-world toilet of battling tribes.



From Matthew Yglesias at Vox, of all places...

"...on key measures of racial attitudes, white liberals’ opinion has moved to the left of where black and Latino opinions are. White liberals are now less likely than African Americans to say that black people should be able to get ahead without any special help."

"White liberals also have warmer feelings about immigrants than Hispanics do."

"And, critically, white liberals are much more enthusiastic about the idea that diversity makes the United States a better place to live than are blacks or Latinos. Non-liberal whites are least enthusiastic of all, which is not enormously surprising, but Latino views of this are closer to those of non-liberal whites than to white liberals." 

Question from ANES 2018 Pilot Survey:

On balance, do you think having an increasing number of people of many different races, ethnic groups, and nationalities in the US makes this country a better place to live, a worse place to live, or does it make no difference?

Answers by Demographic:

Non-Liberal White  Better: 42.3%,  Worse: 26.8%
Hispanic           Better: 45.9%,  Worse: 16.4%
Black              Better: 54.2,   Worse: 11.4
White Liberal      Better: 87.1%   Worse: infinitesimal


It is clear. White liberals are a kook fringe 15%, a Berned-Out statistical outlier, but still a very dangerous demographic that thanks to the Infotainment Media Complex, always manages to punch above its weight.  

Face it.  White liberals are guilty, pathetic and suffer feelings of inadequacy, so they seek approval for being woke, unlike those red state hillbillies.  White liberals, stewing in their own low self-esteem and bile, decide they want to redecorate the place because they've grown to hate this nation and at least half of the population, because Trump, or their own failure, or whatevs.

To quote the Great Winston Churchill, we must defend our nation and our culture, "we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."

Related Links:

Gallup:  U.S. Still Leans Conservative, but Liberals Keep Recent Gains
Gallup:  Party Affiliation

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Impeach?


Silverfiddle Rant!

Robert Mueller has concluded there is not enough evidence to charge president Trump with Russian collusion. He also did not have enough information to charge the president with obstruction of justice, or he would have flat out said so in the report.

What he did do was leave the question open:

"The Special Counsel therefore did not draw a conclusion one way or the other as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction."

and...

"while this report does not conclude the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

Robert Mueller intentionally dangled impeachment bait for the Democrats. This is now a political matter, as it should be according to our Constitution.  Mueller could not establish that the actions he documented amounted to criminal activity, but the bar is much lower for impeachment.

Between now and Election Day 2020, I expect to see...

Democrats fighting each other over whether to impeach or not, with the pro-impeachment faction getting all the radio and TV airtime.

Congressional committees will be going full steam, billowing bald-faced propaganda and blaring sanctimonious accusations against the president.  This is not "guilty until proven innocent" territory.  This is the political and constitutional arena where the House of Representatives decides whether the president's actions rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors.

Wiser heads in the Democrat party will stave off impeachment while allowing the wilder elements to stoke the flames and keep the controversy alive as a campaign issue.

Craven Congresspeople will leak classified and confidential material from the Mueller report to disparage the president and bolster their case for impeachment.

The Justice Department will issue a report on how this Trump-Russia hysteria got started, detailing the "missteps" and "failure to follow department guidelines," sometimes naming names, but nobody's going to jail*, so I encourage my non-Democrat friends to do what Democrats cannot:  Let. It. Go.

We live in a world of Iron Laws. The rich and powerful rule the world, governments are fertile soil for corruption, and all bureaucracies put self-preservation above all else.

* - VDH disagrees. Read his Rogue’s Gallery of Liars and Leakers

Monday, April 1, 2019

Lesson Learned?

(Note: this is not an April Fool's prank)

Funny how an idea changes when it becomes personal — and connected to something to which budding socialists can relate.

From Campus Reform (March 29, 2019):
More young people than ever before now say they prefer socialism over capitalism. But students at Florida International University weren't so open to socialism if it were to apply to their GPA.
Please watch the short video below:


Read the full article HERE.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Recommended Reading: Racism Everywhere!

See Even Air Is Racist Now by Jim Treacher (March 12, 2019).

Brief excerpt:
...It's "pollution inequity." White people have a "pollution advantage" because we breathe less pollution than we generate. Every time we go pretty much anywhere or do pretty much anything, we're widening the atmosphere gap. We're creating air disparity. Presumably we owe some sort of oxygen reparations....
Read the rest HERE.

At what point does the very term racism become such a nuisance and so ludicrous that the term no longer has any meaning?

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Elected Public Servants?

Snippet from the March 11, 2019 Seattle City Council Meeting:


A sad window on the attitude of the ruling class — even at the local level.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Quotation Of The Day (Video Addendum)

[cross-posted to Infidel Bloggers Alliance]

A comment found on blog rounds the morning after the Mueller Investigation was concluded and a comment which sums up my own thoughts....

Commenter LL's evaluation as stated at Lone Star Parson:

Mueller, in the end, after making his retirement money (for himself and his cronies), and lacking ANY evidence, finally folded his tent and the aspirations of the Deep State and the Corrupt Media are weeping (more) bitter tears. The Russia collusion narrative is dead even though pawns like Adam Schiff (D-CA) will continue to beat the drum because it's the only drum they have.

Russia, military in decline, reduced to a regional power with a nuclear arsenal, is doing its best to follow a Russia First agenda, and why shouldn't they? China is having some money problems but it's still promoting its belt road agenda, and the US is energy and food independent, steel industry back in business.

President Trump has revealed disastrous trade deals with China, Japan, Korea and Europe is re-mapping how business is to be done and the Deep State trembles. All that money in bribes stopped. All those plans to weaken the US have been put on hold. Such a pity -- all that plotting, waiting and hoping that somebody like Beto or the fake Indian will capture the imagination of the voters. Somebody who can read the message of his/her handlers from a teleprompter the way that Barack did.


Last year, one of my clients, a dyed-in-the-wool member of the Democrat Party, said to me, with feigned sorrow, "I'm sorry. But Trump is going to be removed from office."  You see, she really believed the drumbeat she heard every day on MSNBC and The View.

And there are millions more like my former client.

I wonder....How long before more screaming at the sky commences?

Let the nervous breakdowns begin!


Related reading, from Lone Star Parson's follow-up post Satan Does Not Tolerate Failure. Worth your time.

Addendum:

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

Take a step back in time, to a gentler time:


The tunes on the above video:

Dancing In The Dark
Cheek To Cheek
I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
Stars Fell On Alabama
The Waltz You Saved For Me
Johnson Rag
Paper Doll
You'll Never Know
Taking A Chance On Love

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Trump Omitted From The 2020 Ballot?

[source]

From Trump could be left off some states’ ballots in 2020 if these bills become law (Washington Post, March 20, 2019, emphases mine):
In refusing to release his tax returns, President Trump bucked decades of tradition and set off a Democrat hunt to obtain them. Now several statehouses are looking at making their release a condition of the 2020 presidential election: Show us your tax returns, or you can’t be on the ballot.

Eighteen states have considered legislation this year that would require presidential and vice presidential candidates to post their tax returns to appear on the ballot during a primary or general election, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

Proponents of the bills, such as the one passed by the Washington state Senate this week, say they are aimed at increasing transparency and returning to the “norm” of candidates releasing their financial records. But Democratic lawmakers behind the some of the legislation have admitted they are also very much about Trump, which raises legal and political questions about how far states can — or should — go in regulating who appears on their ballot, especially in a hyperpartisan climate.

In addition to Washington, several other states, including California, Hawaii and New Jersey are considering similar bills....

[...]

...[N]ot all politicians think this kind of legislation is a good idea. In 2017, then-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed one bill that made it to his desk, calling it “politics at its worst.” Former California governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, did the same when California’s legislature passed similar measure.

“First, it may not be constitutional,” Brown wrote in his decision. “Second, it sets a ‘slippery slope’ precedent. Today we require tax returns, but what would be next? Five years of health records? A certified birth certificate? High school report cards? And will these requirements vary depending on which political party is in power?”...
Read the rest HERE.

The phrase by hook or by crook comes to mind. So does the word unhinged.

Related? Elizabeth Warren wants to kill the electoral college.

Monday, March 18, 2019

I Alone


Silverfiddle Rant!

Is the US experiencing an Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation?

"If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I?" -- Rabbi Hillel

In Everyman's Talmud, Abraham Cohen sums up the role of the individual in society:
  
"Man was not intended to live alone but as a member of society. He is a unit in the body of humanity, and that fact creates many duties for him with respect to his relationship with his fellow-men. His life is not his own to do with as he pleases. His conduct affects his neighbours as their conduct affects him."

Communism, socialism and all forms of coerced collectivism are a grotesque extremist mockery of this timeless wisdom. 

"Rugged Individualism" stands at the other extreme, routinely espoused by bloviators living in a house serviced by public utilities, who enjoy the freedom to relieve themselves in sanitary conditions that whisk away their excreta, who drive down public roads and who can get their packaged foods offered by grocery stores thanks to all the others around them who form a collective market for the safe delivery and economic purveyance of such goods.

Cult of Me

A non-ideological variant of Rugged Individualism is the virulent Cult of Self propagated through social media and stoked by popular culture.  We're all stars now, living the lifestyles of the rich and beautiful. This is a façade that hides insecurity, existential despair and a sense of disconnected emptiness.  

We live in a cartoon world, so I will avoid cartoon solutions.  Ancient wisdom says cohesive families and communities, bound by shared tradition and mores is the healthiest model, and I agree with that.  But I also left home at seventeen and have returned only to visit.


Ours is a mobile society that moves and adjusts based on the economy, jobs, boom and bust...  We move away from our communities and families, so old people are left to die in isolation, no opportunity to convey their wisdom to their children and grandchildren, who are instead condemned to get their "wisdom" from society's disordered artists, minstrels, and twisted storytellers.

What's wrong with kids today?  Answer: Parents.  Parenting is the most important job on the planet, but we get no training, and by the time we are experts, our children are grown.  But it has always been so.  What's different for us now, is that dislocated parents have lost their coaches.  The grandparents live in another state.  Strength and energy belong to youth; the old are the keepers of wisdom an knowledge.  A healthy family and society benefits from cross-generational cooperation to advance themselves and teach the children while they're at it.

It really does take a village to raise a child, but the disintegration of our communities is well-documented, and again, I blame our mobile society.  It's hard to form a community of diverse people who are all from somewhere else.  Human beings just aren't wired that way.

Pharma may ease the pain temporarily, but we are social creatures not meant to suffer in isolation.  Having a robust family and community around you centers you in something larger than yourself that yet does not overwhelm you, and a good support structure buffers you against the inevitable vagaries of life and also enhances celebration of the good things.

I don't have a pretty bow to tie up the loose ends of this ramble. This is a complex, multi-faceted topic. Sometimes even family and community cannot assuage one's "boredom and a sense of uselessness and inadequacy." 

Maybe it is as simple as this: The further we get from the soil, the further away we are from God and one another.

What say you?

Links:
Yuval Levin - The American Context of Civil Society
Can We Rebuild Community in an Age of Individualism
The Fallacy in the Culture Wars
Have We Reached the Limit of Individualism?

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

Composed by the master himself, Johann Sebastian Bach (hat tip to Grouchy Old Cripple):


According to the YouTube blurb (embedded links added):

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

"The End of Recycling"

Silverfiddle Rant!
When I was stationed in Germany, recycling there was mandatory and the rules were strict.  Paper went in the large bin that was almost the size of a normal American trash bin, metals and plastics in a smaller bin about the size of a kitchen trash can, and Restmüll (non-recyclable scraps) went to a bin about the size of a bathroom wastebasket.  You had to wash and sort everything.  If you mixed in trash or if a recycle bin contained dirty or stinky recycling, you would be fined, or if you were lucky, the garbage men would simply teach you a lesson by dumping the offending material on your doorstep.

My German friends in the small farming village where I lived would remind me, conspiratorially, that the government wasn't really recycling all that stuff.

When we returned to the states, we voluntarily paid our garbage service more money for a recycling bin, but we were shocked at how loose the rules were.  On a few occasions, to our horror, our kids had thrown garbage into the bins, but nobody at the garbage company even batted an eye.

My wife and I have long suspected US recycling was a scam, but then the free market solution came to me: We were paying other countries to take our dirty, garbage-laden and improperly sorted recycling (those bill envelopes with the plastic window? You are supposed to remove that window before putting the envelope in the paper recycling), and those nations taking our recycling paid slave laborers nickels a day to clean it, and then they sold it on the global market.

China's Not Taking our Crap Anymore

The Guardian calls it a Moment of Reckoning.  China will no longer take our dirty recycling, and most of our recycling other than metals and heavy plastics, are unmarketable, making them no better than garbage.  One municipality was selling recycling for $6 a ton, but now must pay $68 to $125 to get rid of it, and its the same all over.

It will be interesting to see how we deal with this challenge. What do you think?

Links:
Is this the End of Recycling?
'Moment of reckoning': US cities burn recyclables after China bans imports

Monday, March 11, 2019

Recommended Reading

See Why Renewables Can’t Save the Planet by Michael Shellenberger, Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment,” and president of Environmental Progress, an independent research and policy organization, and published in Quilette (February 27, 2019). two paragraph of the essay:

...[W]hen it comes to generating power for billions of people, it turns out that producing solar and wind collectors, and spreading them over large areas, has vastly worse impacts on humans and wildlife alike.

[...]

...I think it’s natural that those of us who became active on climate change gravitated toward renewables. They seemed like a way to harmonize human society with the natural world. Collectively, we have been suffering from an appeal-to-nature fallacy no different from the one that leads us to buy products at the supermarket labeled “all natural.” But it’s high time that those of us who appointed ourselves Earth’s guardians should take a second look at the science, and start questioning the impacts of our actions....
Read the entire essay HERE.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Time For Beauty

(For politics, please scroll down)

One of my Facebook finds:

Roman mosaic, Garden scene, fountain wall (detail), 1st century BCE. Pompeii, Italy. Massa Lubrense. National Archaeological Museum, Naples, Italy.