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2020

 


Wednesday,  October 14, 2020

I’m Just a Little Black Rain Cloud, Pay No Attention to Little Me

I can’t imagine why you (whoever you are) might not have seen this story. It’s clearly not threatening to anyone — right?

The never-before-revealed meeting is mentioned in a message of appreciation that Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Burisma, allegedly sent Hunter Biden on April 17, 2015, about a year after Hunter joined the Burisma board at a reported salary of up to $50,000 a month.

“Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure,” the email reads.

An earlier email from May 2014 also shows Pozharskyi, reportedly Burisma’s No. 3 exec, asking Hunter for “advice on how you could use your influence” on the company’s behalf.

The article speaks not only to the corruption of the son of a prominent American politician and a Ukrainian company, but of the politician himself in his willingness to help his corrupt son monetize access to said politician while he was a high-ranking member of a previous administration.

And yet Facebook has chosen to “reduce the distribution” of links to this piece until they, Facebook, can fact-check it. Facebook has done this only very rarely, and only to stories potentially embarrassing to the politician in question. Twitter is blocking links to the piece altogether, deeming its source “harmful.”

Harmful to whom, you ask? Take one guess. Hint: it’s not anyone currently running for re-election...




Saturday,  October 10, 2020

A Different Kind of Delta Breeze

When I was growing up in Sacramento, summer evenings could be made pleasant after a hot afternoon by a “delta breeze” — the intrusion of cool air from the Pacific by way of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Here in subtropical west Georgia, ocean breezes don’t tend to make things cooler; indeed, this evening the “delta breeze” is an outer band of the tropical depression formerly known as Hurricane Delta, which spawned a tornado watch for our area for most of the day and a tornado warning this evening that has mostly been allowed to expire as I write this. The storm that led to the warning has moved into an adjacent county so a new warning has been issued for those areas.

The tornado was radar-detected rather than actually seen on the ground. Judging from the radar, the circulation seems to have passed very near to the west of our home — yet our power has been uninterrupted (so far). Mrs. McG has been monitoring the electric co-op's outage map and she says there are hundreds of customers without power very close to us, which could mean that restoring power to them could involve an interruption of power to us. We’ll see.

I’m just hoping all of our new trees made it through okay...

Update: Our neighbors' power seems to have been restored and ours never flickered.




Wednesday,  October 7, 2020

There Be Trees Here!

It took a while longer than originally promised, but the unwelcome visit of a weather system named Sally delayed some of the landscaper’s work elsewhere that they needed to complete first. At any rate, our once bare field irregularly dotted with volunteer sweetgums, pines, and oaks is now dotted somewhat more regularly with deliberately planted pine trees that could at this stage be easily mowed down by an inattentive yours truly on a lawn tractor. Fortunately most of the grass in the field has been killed off for the winter, so one or two last mows should be able avoid piney areas without any risk.

We also have a bunch of crêpe myrtle trees closer alongside the driveway, which will offer shade and color in future years. Crêpe myrtle leaves hereabouts don’t turn color in the fall that I’ve ever noticed, but they do flower multiple times during the summer and fall.

This all means my mowing outings next year will require less time in that one part of the property, leaving more time and energy for other areas that have been getting less attention in recent years. We have almost ten acres, and while most of it is already wooded, there’s a lot of mowable back-end that I've let myself neglect lately because casual passersby (and Mrs. McG) don’t see it.

For now, the field still looks like a field (well, two fields now — separated by a tree-lined driveway), but pines grow quickly, when they grow. By this time in 2021 it should have begun to look more like a Christmas tree farm. And by the time we’re ready to put this place on the market for our eventual move out west (assuming that takes as long as we fear), it should look decidedly less field-like and more forest-like.

If the new owners choose at some point to harvest the pine wood, they’ll get to decide whether to replant it, and with what.




Friday,  October 2, 2020

Positive Trump

Though I am hoping the President’s positive test for COVID-19 will prove to be a false positive, I’m disinclined to bet that way. Here’s what I predicted in a comment over on The Other McCain this morning:

1. not a false positive;

2. he’ll never develop symptoms;

3. except for the devout members of the Church of Chicken Little, Americans will realize that COVID is not Death Plague 2020 and pressure to lift every last restriction on the healthy will become irresistible.

The first thing I want to see is the end of the mask mandates. I've been wearing a neck gaiter when I go out so that, if I see that the staff of a business I want to patronize are wearing masks, I can easily reciprocate — but the damn thing keeps messing up my whiskers. I want to wear a gaiter to keep my neck warm in the winter, and maybe over my mouth and nose when I mow, but not as a @#$!!ing social obligation.

Update, Tuesday, October 6: Apparently he did have symptoms, temporarily — but he has already returned to the White House after a weekend at Walter Reed. Meanwhile several other White House people and Republican members of Congress have also reported positive tests for COVID, and no one seems to be at death’s door, so Prediction #3 looks like it’ll work out anyway, even as the Church of Chicken Little kicks and screams in terror.




Wednesday,  September 30, 2020

A Speedbump for Flatline

I didn’t watch last night’s debate. I haven’t been inclined to act as a politician’s cheering section since the 1980s, and it’s not as if You Know, The Thing had any chance of winning my vote away from Mr. Bigly Tremendous.

From what I’ve read, the big losers last night were Chris Wallace and the outfit that unwisely hired him years ago, Fox News Channel.

PJMedia’s Matt Margolis is of the opinion that even Flatline’s own campaign thinks he lost, and wants him to duck out of any further debates. It does make sense that they’d try to make it look like Trump was to blame, rather than Gropey’s own cognitive debility.

Personally, I think the Bidenistas must fear — even more than their own candidate’s creeping (SWIDT?) feebleness — the likelihood that President Trump will go into future debates having learned from what went wrong for him last night, much as Ronald Reagan did in his second debate with Walter Mondale in 1984.

I still suspect some Democrats hoped by nominating someone even older than Trump they’d be able to head off another “youth and inexperience” home run...




Monday,  September 21, 2020

“Think Carefully”

That over there is my new likeness. I got fed up with the sheer tedium of shaving and just up and quit doing it. I’ve had beards before, but now I’m old enough to carry it off.

If this site could support comments, you might be tempted to remark on how I look nowadays. The title of this post is just a friendly reminder to do things in their proper order.




Friday,  September 11, 2020

REMEMBER

As the 19th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks comes and goes, we find a nation recovering — health-wise at least — from an unusually bad cold while armed leftist militants commit acts of terrorism in Democrat-run cities where anti-pandemic lockdown tactics are tightening rather than loosening.

And there’s an election going on, with the national news media even more overtly biased toward a single party and its candidate than ever before.

On September 11, 2001, America was briefly united by the idea that external enemies could not be permitted to seek the destruction of our civilization.

On September 11, 2020, a band of internal enemies has undertaken the project of destroying our civilization and the President who’s made defending it his mission (and an excellent job he’s making of it, even in the Middle East — taking advantage of trends I pointed out years ago).

Do any Democrats have the least inkling what they can expect to replace it with?




Friday,  September 4, 2020

The Democrats: Crazy? Stupid? Evil?

Embrace the healing power of “and.”




Saturday,  August 29, 2020

I Won’t Be Mowing (Most of) That Anymore

After several years of dealing with an acre or more of weedy field at the front of our property — pockmarked with holes and strewn with roots just waiting to bend or break a mower blade — we are about to have most of it planted with pine trees in the hope that their accumulated needles will suppress grass, weeds, or brush that might otherwise need tending.

In recent years I had been letting various volunteer trees, mostly sweetgums but a few stray pines and oaks, establish themselves where they sprouted, and Mrs. McG had called a landscaping outfit to ask about pinestrawing large tracts of the field around these trees — some of the oldest of which are over ten feet tall already — to simplify my mowing chore and offer spaces for planting flowers. The landscapers suggested instead replacing the sweetgums and oaks with more pines, in the interest of a clean understory and further simplifying any DIY landscaping Mrs. McG might have in mind.

Step one will be spraying a comprehensive herbicide that will kill the weeds (but only those that are actually sprayed; we asked about that specifically, because of the pond we share with two neighboring properties) so that they lay down like a pre-mulch. Then will come removal of the volunteer sweetgums and oaks, to be followed by the planting of hundreds of pine sprouts close enough together to encourage fast vertical growth.

We’ll then have a more secluded homesite with less mowing area in the front — which I hope may make me less inclined to continue neglecting other areas behind the house that I used to keep mowed until recent years.




Tuesday,  August 25, 2020

Still the Theme

On my now-vanished Blogspot blog, I posted — sometime between last February and last month — what I expected would be the theme of the 2020 campaign for the Trump-led Republicans:

Nothing I’ve seen so far has changed my mind about it, other than it’s getting to be a taller order day by day.




Tuesday,  August 11, 2020

Joke-a-Mala

Former Vice President Joe Biden has chosen U.S. Senator and former Willie Brown mistress Kamala Harris to be his running mate. In 2020.

You know 2020, right? The year in which the Democrat base hates police and wants to murder them in their sleep? Look up Harris’ background in criminal prosecutions to see how attractive she’ll be to the Democrat base.

I previously described her as Hillary with extra melanin. She is nasty, spiteful, unpleasant, and unlikeable. She could make C. Montgomery Burns look like Mr. Rogers. And with Biden’s mental state in question, the prospect of Kamala Harris advancing to the presidency will almost certainly chill most voters.

There may be a poll bounce for Biden as a result of his having at last made a choice. It may blend into the expected post-convention bounce. But once the campaign gets underway and people start paying attention, the Democrats will start to see where this ticket’s coattails will really take them.

It won’t be into a blue future.




Wednesday,  August 5, 2020

The Adventures of President Biden, 1

SCENE: White House family living quarters, early morning, January 21, 2021

First Lady Jill Biden: “Joe? Time to wake up, Joe. You’re the president now, you have things to do.”

President Joe Biden: “I don’t wanna.”

Jill: “Joe, if you don’t get up, you know what’s going to happen.”

Joe: (groans) “C’mon, man!”

Jill: “Do you want me to call Nurse Gunther to blow into your nose?”

Joe: (whining) “No. His breath smells like old bratwurst.”

Jill: “Then you need to get up. They’ve got breakfast waiting for you. Your favorite.”

Joe: (perks up) “Cheerios in lime Jell-O?”

Jill: “Yes, Joe. Just the way you like them.”

Joe: “Well, okay.” (pulls back the covers, sits up) “Hey, after breakfast can we go in the backyard and play on the swings?”

Jill: “Not yet, Joe. Your swing set is still at home in Delaware. They’re taking it down today and they’ll bring it here and set it up this afternoon. You can play on the swings tomorrow.”

Joe: (looks around in confusion) “What do you mean at home in Delaware? Isn’t this home? Where am I?”

Jill: “This is the White House. You’re president now, and this is home.”

Joe: (frowns, lies back down) “I don’t wanna be president if I can’t play on my swings.”

Jill: “You’ll get to play on your swings tomorrow, Joe.”

Joe: “But I want to play on them today!”

Jill: (sighs, turns toward door where Nurse Gunther stands waiting) “Do your thing.”

Joe: (wails in alarm and horror as Nurse Gunther approaches)




Tuesday,  July 28, 2020

Seeds of Doubt

Those heathen Chinese just will not stop.

The Wyoming Department of Agriculture (WDA) has reported folks across Wyoming receiving seeds in the mail from what appears to be China that they did not order.

“Unsolicited seeds could be invasive, introduce diseases to local plants, or be harmful to livestock,” says WDA.

At this time, USDA says they do not have any evidence indicating this is something other than a “brushing scam” where people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false customer reviews to boost sales.

The USDA is currently collecting seed packages from recipients and will test their contents and determine if they contain anything that could be of concern to U.S. agriculture or the environment.

“Just a scam.” You can choose to believe that, or not. Either way, the U.S. Department of Agriculture strongly advises that recipients NOT plant these unsolicited seeds, and if they are in a sealed package do not open the package.

Save the seeds, packaging, and all labeling and contact the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for information on submitting the seeds for testing.

First they sent us devices and apps with spyware hard-wired into them, then they sent as bat fever. Now they’re sending us seeds that for all we know could sprout into Triffids as part of a fiendish plot to destroy the world for their own gain.

Why couldn’t they have been content with sending us tasty and nutritious kung pao chicken?




Tuesday,  July 28, 2020

Hmmmmmm...

It’s just occurred to me that the COVID panic began at about the same time I started using Blogspot again.

So, maybe I should scuttle that and go back to doing my blogging here.

Not that my blogging frequency will improve...




Saturday,  July 4, 2020

Independence Day

Originally posted on my now-defunct Blogspot site.

In the past, I’ve posted the text of the Declaration of Independence. This year I’ve been a little too busy, so instead, here’s a link to its text in The National Archives.

At a time when a noisy and over-indulged fringe of the population, representative of no one despite claiming to champion millions, seeks to overturn the fundamental principles of this federal republic where there is no king under God, it can only be to civilization’s benefit that you read its text.




Sunday,  June 14, 2020

Surprised? Who, Me?

Originally posted on my now-defunct Blogspot site.

If you use Google Calendar, you may have availed yourself of its option to note various holidays and dates of interest.

Today, June 14, is unremarked on Google Calendar. Nor is there a doodle, apparently, on their search page.

Maybe they’re afraid their employees will burn the headquarters down.




Monday,  April 20, 2020

Keeping the Wild Elephants Away

Originally posted on my now-defunct Blogspot site.

Old story: A man was riding a city bus in a major Midwestern metropolis, with a set of old phone books on his lap and an open window beside him. As the bus moved through the city streets, he periodically tore a page out of one of the phone books and threw the page out the window.

The bus driver, growing increasingly concerned about this odd behavior, radioed to the dispatcher and asked to have a police officer meet the bus at the next stop.

When the bus rolled to a stop at the corner, a uniformed cop was waiting, and saw a page come flying out of the bus window. He boarded the bus and made his way down the aisle to where the man was sitting.

“Hey, buddy, why are you throwing paper out the window of the bus?”

“To keep the wild elephants away,” replied the rider matter-of-factly.

“Say again?”

“I’m doing this to keep the wild elephants away. They’re huge, dangerous beasts and they could trample an innocent man, woman or child if they’re not kept off the streets.”

The cop took a deep breath and sighed. Why do I always get the lunatics? he wondered. “Mister, there isn’t a wild elephant for miles around here! The zoo doesn’t even have one!”

“There, you see?” retorted the bus passenger. “It works!”

When the facts finally come out about just how many people ever actually got sick from the Wuhan bat fever (as opposed to what seems to be the asymptomatic majority), and what the actual mortality rate was as compared to the hysterical predictions amplified by the panic-mongering media, some will argue that these actual, much lower figures are proof that their response to the pandemic danger was justified.

I’m not saying there never were any wild elephants, but don’t let anyone tell you that throwing paper out of the bus window is what kept them from trampling innocent citizens.




Monday,  February 10, 2020

Immigration Double Standard

Funny how the same people who blocked states from trying to use their own resources to enforce U.S. immigration law, on the basis of it being a solely federal function, now find it expedient to interfere with federal efforts to enforce U.S. immigration law.

Consistency may be the hobgoblin of little minds, but I haven’t seen a lot to recommend the big minds.




Tuesday,  February 4, 2020

The Real Threat to Civilization

If civilization is about to fall, the proximate cause may well be any number of things — war, famine, pestilence, technological collapse — but the ultimate underlying cause is more likely to be the complete incompetence of Generation Woke.

(I distinguish Generation Woke from the millennial and post-millennial generations because it doesn’t represent the entirety of any chronological generation — though its members seem to think everyone in or out of their age cohort should think exactly like them, hence “cancel culture.”)

Having taken over so many essential sectors of civilized life with priorities that have no bearing whatsoever on what those sectors are supposed to do, they are causing catastrophe in everything they touch. They have ruined news, sports and entertainment. They have made technology less usable with each new version. They’ve pretty much sounded the death knell for the Iowa Caucuses, though in my book that’s more of a mercy than a disaster. And Boeing? Don’t bet against it there either.

I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the emergence of the coronavirus in China is due to their own version of Generation Woke, as exemplified by their current dictator, Wini Dhu Pu or whatever his name is. (Edit: Sorry, Xi Jinping. It’s only pronounced “Wini Dhu Pu.”)

Generation Woke has no perspective, no sense of humor, and no concept of how civilization managed to exist in time for them to come along. They must think it’s all been some weird cosmic accident that enabled all the mindless cavemen of every previous generation to somehow have cell phones and jet planes and space probes. The first legitimate rocket scientist is in his 30s, and the first genuine brain surgeon is only a few days older, so the existence of these things before them has got to be just the real-life equivalent of an infinite number monkeys sitting for an infinite amount of time in front of an infinite number of typewriters. No way it could have happened on purpose!

And since those monkeys can’t possibly know how they did it, there’s nothing to be learned from them. The knowledge has been divinely placed in the heads of the woke! All you lesser creatures make way and let Generation Woke save you from yourselves!!!

You know, my generation gets teased for never reading the instructions, but largely that’s because my generation wrote the damn instructions. I suppose that speaks of an arrogance that, sadly, is our greatest legacy to our successors. I can only hope it’s not the entire legacy.




Tuesday,  January 7, 2020

Why Media and Academia Are So Distrusted

The local less-than-daily newspaper this morning features an op-ed prominently on its website, questioning whether the U.S. ought to have killed Iran’s terror-master, Qasem Soleimani. The author, a local college faculty member, worries that President Trump has given in to bellicose advisors who have been trying to get him into a war with Iran for years.

Just one problem: people who have actually been observing Iran for years, and who are observing the effect of Soleimani’s death on Iran’s standing in the Middle East — as well as on how well Iran’s actions match its blustery rhetoric — say Soleimani’s death has made war with Iran less likely, not more.

Soleimani was in Iraq planning and directing a campaign to inflame the country against America, of which the embassy attack a few days prior was a part. With the mastermind dead, that campaign is in ruins. It’s also worth noting that Iran struggled for years to win the Iran-Iraq war, stalemated by an enemy U.S. forces later swept from the battlefield in four days.

The hand-wringers worry about Iran’s nuclear program. They also worry about North Korea’s nuclear program. In the 1980s they were sure then-President Reagan’s staunch pro-Americanism would provoke the Soviet Union into nuclear war.

Normal people know and remember history, and make rational judgments about the present based on it. Academics, on the other hand, deconstruct and re-interpret history in counter-factual ways so they can seem to be the smartest people in the room for “knowing” things that just aren’t so. And the media promote these fantasies to sell papers generate page views. Neither sector has an incentive to tell the truth anymore, if they ever did.




Friday,  January 3, 2020

Whom Will History Dub Iran’s Yamamoto?

Japan’s Admiral Yamamoto is credited with ruing his country’s attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1941, with the words, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” The quote, however, originated in a movie about the attack, made in 1970.

Still, the quote lives on and sticks to the real-life admiral in the public imagination, and nobody seems eager to make a website of “Shit Admiral Yamamoto Never Said.”

In the wake of yesterday’s U.S. response to the Iranian-backed terrorist attack on our embassy in Baghdad, in which several high-ranking Iranian officials were killed, I can only wonder when a figure will emerge within the Mullarchy to whom some similar words of regret will be attributed.

This guy may press a claim, but I don’t think he has a leg to stand on.



 

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Original content and design © 2020 Kevin McGehee. Images and excerpts are © their respective owners.