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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.


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?


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?

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?

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.

Monday, March 4, 2019

The Ultimate Undoing Of Governance?


It's easy and apropos to blame politicians, the media, academia, what have you. But is something else behind all this constant conflict?

Please  consider the analysis presented in "The Rise of the Ungovernables" (from Quillette, March 1, 2018, emphases mine):