Wednesday, September 02, 2020

New York Times: ‘vexed’ and ‘incendiary’

“Joseph R. Biden Jr. will travel to Kenosha, Wis., on Thursday and his campaign has unveiled a new television ad condemning the rioters and looters that have vexed some American cities...” Vexed. As in “I’ll vex you with a baseball bat and a flaming bottle of gasoline!” Vexed? “...Mr. Trump...countered Mr. Biden’s moves with two new ads seeking to leverage civil unrest in incendiary fashion as a wedge to divide the Democratic coalition....” ‘In INCENDIARY fashion’? After three months of the Democrat shock troops burning down cities with encouragement and explicit support of Democratic mayors, Democratic prosecutors who turn arrestees loose without their ever seeing the inside of a cell and refusing to prosecute them, and Biden campaign committee members contributing money to bail funds so those who are briefly locked up can be released the same night so they can vex cities with some more flaming bottles of gasoline, Trump acts in INCENDIARY fashion? “ Mr. Trump is trying to prosecute those arguments and persuade voters to see threats to public safety...” Uh, ‘persuade’? As in ‘perceive vexatious firebombings encouraged by Democrats‘ as a threat? ‘...which so far have been limited to sporadic violence in some cities...” The Blitz was limited to sporadic violence in some English cities, of course. The Civil War was limited to sporadic violence in some states. The Russian pogroms against Jews were limited to sporadic violence in some places. The Lebanese Civil War was limited to sporadic violence for fifteen years. I’ll bet the the whole lot of them didn’t realize they were vexed, though.

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Saturday, July 18, 2020

Political Violence

I’ve been saying for some time that 2020 will likely see the most violent Presidential campaign of our lifetimes. It’s now July, the conventions haven’t even been held, and we are already seeing mind numbing violence in major cities around the country, aided and praised by mayors, city council members and governors alike.

They allow the mob to pull down statues, not merely of Confederate generals, but an abolitionist who was killed at Antietam (Madison, Wisconsin), George Washington and Thomas Jefferson for participating in a slavery system which predated their births worldwide for thousands of years, Columbus, Cervantes (!), Lincoln, for being insufficiently race sensitive, and the targeting of police around the country.

And the mayors applaud.

However this turns out isn’t likely to be good.

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Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Democrats and Gun Control

When, several years ago, I pointed out the then current FBI homicide by weapon type data and included a link to the FBI website so doubters could check for themselves, I was told I’d “probably vote for Hitler” and that I was just fantasizing about shooting people.

These people are not open to reasoned debate. I think they are fervently pro-state violence so long as they control the state, and they intend to do exactly that with no qualms about methods.

Hence gun bans and speech bans, including, in NY city, quarter million dollar fines for Bad Speak.

These are not people of good will with whom we disagree. They are extremely dangerous, physically dangerous, thugs on the verge of complete control of the federal government and many state governments.

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Wednesday, August 07, 2019

What would happen if the police stopped responding?

I wonder what would happen if Chicago government refused to remove bodies from the streets, under a ‘You made the mess, you clean it up’ policy.

Just leave them. June, July, August... It would get ugly in a day or two, and stay ugly. I know, it’s a sick, dark, fantasy which won’t come about, but just what would happen?

I don’t know what can be done in the short run to reduce the violent crime rate in places like Chicago. Judging from news reports and commentary, as I don’t live in such an area, the politicians who represent those districts seem to believe the major problem is homicidally racist cops who leave home in the morning hoping for an excuse to murder some innocent minorities.

If they really believe that, then they should be calling for the police to stop servicing those area. Just stay out. Let the neighborhoods take care of their own issues. It actually would be an interesting experiment, but I think that in order to have any hope of a positive outcome (at least from a non-criminal perspective) one would have to allow non-criminals to arm themselves.

My guess is that in that scenario, the seriously bad guys wouldn’t last long. I lived in Milwaukee back during the crack wars. There was an interesting incident which kind of fits the scenario, though of course the police did intervene:

A guy complained several times to the police that crack dealers were operating on the sidewalk in front of his house. Broad daylight. Seriously degrading life for decent ie non-criminal people in the neighborhood.

Nothing happened. No arrests, no imprisonments, crack dealers just kept dealing crack in front of his house. For weeks, maybe months. It was a long time ago and I’m fuzzy on that.

So one day the guy decided he had had enough of crack dealers in front of his house and an unresponsive government. He stuck a 12 gauge shotgun out the window and ended that crack dealer’s career.

Then of course the police showed up.

So, suppose they didn’t show up anymore, and all the decent people knew they wouldn’t?

As a moral issue, the government has no legitimate powers which the People have not delegated to it. If the government refuses to exercise those powers in a responsible manner, then the People have a right to take back those powers. So, if government has a legitimate power to protect individuals and neighborhoods from violent criminals, it is only because the people, having that same right, have delegated it to government.

Now, ideally, that would mean going through the peaceful political process, but in real life that process has collapsed in places like Chicago. So, since government has clearly decided they aren’t willing to exercise their powers, maybe the decent people who have to put up with the reality of criminals openly operating could simply take back the powers delegated and do the job themselves.

I have trouble thinking that would be any bloodier or sicker or more immoral than the system we have today in parts of Chicago, Los Angeles, or Baltimore. Right now it looks to me that for practical purposes the government is on the side of the violent criminals. Government disarms all the potential victims but lets the criminals run free in the Disarmed Victim Zones the government created.

How sick a system is that?

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Monday, July 22, 2019

The Emerging Budget Deal

For nearly forty years the Responsible Faction has told us that balancing the budget ‘this year’ would bring about the collapse of civilization. ‘But soon, yes, in a few years, we will balance it. But not now: Banks would be embarrassed, the economy would collapse. Millions would die.’

If we had ignored the Responsible Faction 35 years ago, balanced the budget, suffered the short term problems, and continued to ignore the Responsible Faction, we’d be in far better shape today.

Instead, we submitted to the Responsible Faction’s wisdom, because they spoke with great gravitas and wore expensive suits and had impressive credentials and spoke with great authority and now we have over twenty trillion dollars in federal debt which very likely will be paid off with highly inflated dollars which crush the value of our own savings into worthlessness.

Then we will find out that the experts were every one of them marching stark naked in a blizzard and no one had paid attention to the foolish children snickering and pointing and exclaiming at the naked fools in the snow.

So let the federal government run out of money, and grimly rejoice as Department after department shuts down and interest on the debt is unpaid as that would would do the best of all things: drive the federal government out of the credit markets for decades. There is no good way out of the mess we voters and non-voters alike have created for ourselves, and we are the ones who should suffer for our irresponsible voting habits and submission to the Wisdom of Experts. Better sooner than later, when the debt is forty trillion or fifty, because we were too foolish and submissive to bring down the Experts when the debt was three trillion, or when it was five trillion, or when it was ten trillion, or even fifteen.

If we continue to submit to the Wisdom of Experts with Gravitas, the eventual result may make the Terror of the French Revolution look mild, and none of us needs that.

WaPo on the emerging budget deal.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Will the the 21st Century See The Dismantling Of Centralized Power?

“The story of the 21st Century will be the dismantling of centralized power.“ : Richard Bledsoe

I can’t think of any evidence for this. Are there any governments on earth which are smaller than they were ten years ago? Is Google’s power shrinking? Amazon’s? Big banks? Has Giant Faceless MegaCorp decided to break itself up into independent twenty employee segments?

We have seen in the last couple decades the creation of a global surveillance state of intertwined governments and private businesses which not even the Stasi could have dreamed of in their wildest drug induced fantasies.

We in the US have evolved from a nation of independent small business owners aka farmers and artisans, into a nation of employees trained to take orders. Our fundamental mindset has changed from that of owners into obedient order takers.

I see no evidence whatsoever that anyone in either major American political party would even consider overturning the foundation of the modern regulatory state -Wickard vs Filburn (look it up)- much less return our government to only those activities authorized by the Constitution.

The UN and leading politicians around the world are working openly to end national sovereignty, criminalize free speech including criticism of Islam and of immigration. Merkel may lose her office, but she has succeeded beyond the dreams of the mullahs in Islamizing Germany, and those people are not going to leave. Nor are those in France, Britain, Holland, Spain, or Italy.

Islam is hardly a force for decentralization, nor is the wave of socialism sweeping Americans who have been taught to despise individualism, capitalism, and the bourgeoisie.

Quite the contrary to decentralization: I think we are far more likely to see the complete politicization of economic activity coupled with a surveillance state like the world has never seen.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Oxford Comma

The Question of the Oxford Comma reared it’s ugly head today, so since I was weak on exactly what it is, I looked it up in Wikipedia. That was a mistake.

Wikipedia has more than I ever want to know about the Oxford comma. So much more that I chucked the reading of it after the Case of the Missing Comma aka O'Connor v. Oakhurst Dairy. Frank and Joe Hardy would have done a more engaging story. Heck, their mother could have, and she seemed to devote most of her time to baking cookies, or possibly running cocaine to Chicago, but F.W. Dixon never discussed that, so I don’t know for sure. She seemed way too good to be on the up and up. I’m less familiar with the cases of Nancy Drew, but I’m entirely satisfied she would have run rings around O'Connor v. Oakhurst Dairy while hedging her investments in the ax murder industry.

Good grief. This is the sort of article which so turned me off to language studies that I cannot for my very life tell you what an adverb is, nor a participle, dangling or otherwise, nor can I gin up the interest to remember even if someone were wishful, or wistful enough, as the case may or may not be, to tell me. Things of such dubious repute exist; that is sufficient and more. Participles and adverbs are like venereal diseases: I know there are people acutely, even joyously, involved in promulgating them, but I have no interest in joining.

I bet Dante didn’t know either (insert a comma or not, as you please) (had some nefarious meddler even invented participles and other such abominations by Dante’s day? Whoever foisted that horror upon us should have done some terminal dangling him or even herself, ideally from a naturally occurring oak cantilever) and he got around to write a decent thing or two. At least so some claim. Personally, I take my linguistical and culinary guidance alike from my hero and role model Huckleberry Finn. To wit:

While an inmate in the Widow Douglas’ house: "When you got to the table you couldn't go right to eating, but you had to wait for the widow to tuck down her head and grumble a little over the victuals, though there warn't really anything the matter with them. That is, nothing only everything was cooked by itself. In a barrel of odds and ends it is different; things get mixed up, and the juice kind of swaps around, and the things go better."

An even finer, and earlier manifestation of something, I can’t decide what, but surely literary, is Robinson Crusoe and his magnificent run on sentences, such as and to wit again:

After Crusoe was shipwrecked on his island and began to establish himself there, he discovered some stalks of rice and barley growing near his home. At first he was touched by God's goodness, but:

“At last it occurred to my thoughts that I had shaken a bag of chickens' meat [sic, that’s grain] out in that place, and then the wonder began to cease; and I must confess my religious thankfulness to God's providence began to abate too upon discovering that all this was nothing but what was common; though I ought to have been as thankful for so strange and unforeseen providence as if it had been miraculous: for it was really the work of Providence as to me that should order or appoint that ten or twelve grains of corn [sic] should remain unspoiled (when the rats had destroyed all the rest), as if it had been dropped from heaven; as also that I would throw it out in that particular place, where, it being in the shade of a high rock, it sprang up immediately; whereas, if I had thrown it anywhere else at the time, it had been burned up and destroyed.”

Now, that’s a sentence worthy of the writing. It’s unpretentious, it runs along, like a squash vine on the ground, putting out a fruit or some flowers now and then for one’s delectation, then turning back on itself and repeating in another direction without entirely losing the point, and meanders about until it decides it’s finished. It marches on, not boldly, but unselfconsciously, without worrying about participles, whatever they may be. Its a sentence the way sentences ought to be and sometimes were before the perfessers took ahold of them by the neck and strangled the life out of them and beat them on a rock like a piece of laundry just to be sure.

Another glory of the English language, on his struggle to make ceramics in which to store his grain harvest:

“It would make the reader pity me, or rather laugh at me, to tell how many awkward ways I took to raise this paste; what odd, misshapen, ugly things I made; how many of them fell in, and how many fell out, the clay not being stiff enough to bear its own weight; how many cracked by the overviolent heat of the sun, being set out too hastily; and how many fell in pieces with only removing as well before as after they were dried; and, in a word, how, after having laboured hard to find the clay, to dig it, to temper it, to bring it home and work it, I could not make above two large earthen ugly things- I cannot call them jars- in about two months' labour. “

Are those magnificent sentences er whut? I guarantee you Robinson Crusoe didn’t know a participle from a conundrum, but he got the idea across.

Yer Humble and Obedient Servant,


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