You’ve probably grown accustomed, as I have, to hearing the part of the year we've just begun described as “The Season of Peace.” I know that’s what the shepherds heard the angels say as they praised God, but what the events of what we now call Christmas really meant to mankind was hope. Hope for salvation. Hope for a new covenant with God in which we are offered a way to escape the fate prescribed by Original Sin.
It’s true that we all feel at this time of year an impulse toward peace, a desire to gather with friends and loved ones and simply enjoy one another’s company. What that is, is a preview of what we hope our eternal lives will be, once we have allowed the babe in the manger to do His work in our lives.
Calling Christmas a season of peace, in my opinion, puts the cart before the horse. So long as we dwell in this world, we can only enjoy moments of peace. For more than that, we can have only hope — and the determination, if we understand what is expected of us, to do what we must to ensure that we and those we love will meet again in unending peace in the next world.
Now that there’s a Microsoft Edge for Android, I no longer have a reason to keep using Firefox, which turned its mobile browser into something unusable, and whose desktop browser has stopped loading many of the sites I want to visit.
I was using a legacy version of Firefox on my mobile devices, and will keep Firefox updated on Windows for some specific needs, but it will no longer be my default browser on any platform. And while Microsoft is no friend to those who like America as the Founders designed it, it’s fallacious to expect any corporate entity to be politically reliable.
At least they’re not Google.
Also: As implied by the previous post, I have also fired Fox. News, that is. Not that I ever watched it since it became Fox Argument Channel, but I had been reading its website — until its execrable performance on Election Night offered grounds for complete termination. My cable system has Newsmax TV, though I haven’t been able to watch it because allegedly it isn’t authorized. I’ll have to look into that.
Update, a week later: Having found Edge more troublesome on Windows than Firefox had been on Android, I’ve moved my bookmarks onto OneNote so they’ll be accessible from either Edge for Android or Firefox for Windows. It’s a compromise, and there’s so little overlap of bookmark needs between platforms (thanks to Android apps) that it may get very little actual use — but it’ll serve as a stopgap for now.
’Nother update, after ’nother day: OneNote sucks; too complicated and doesn’t sync reliably. So, since most of the bookmarks I need on desktop are replaced with apps on mobile, I’ve just eliminated those from Edge for Android, and won’t bother with synchronizing bookmarks between desktop and mobile. I already have a cross-platform password manager, and I’ve never bothered with tab sync because I don’t like leaving tabs open when I close a browser.
That should be the end of that.
’Nother other update, weeks later: I tried. I really tried. The Microsoft annoyances kept piling up. Edge mobile had all the downsides of Firefox mobile, and then some. And I had discovered that what was preventing sites from loading on Firefox desktop was a new add-on that I’ve since chucked. I won’t have the mobile browser back that Firefox used to be, but I’m much happier now that I’ve given up hope.
Who let Franz Kafka take control of 21st-century tech development anyway?
The die is, if not cast, in transit. We look ahead now to Schrödinger's America.
I have been, and remain, convinced that the core idea of Americanness is not as easily changed as the fundamental transformers would have us believe. As with any other nation, America is expressed uniquely by each succeeding generation, but that expression orbits always the center of the nation’s gravity. We are the land of the free, the home of the brave, the cradle of invention and, when necessary, the point of the sword.
The transformers say they want a revolution. Well, you know, revolutions revolve. They go around, and then they come around. Ask Robespierre about that, or Trotsky. They may seem, to the revolutionary, always moving in one direction — swept by the inexorable force of history — but anything of substance has inertia that always exerts far more effect on whatever energy is expended, than do the intentions of the expenders. The discovery of quantum effects has not abolished the Newtonian; dismiss the equal and opposite at your peril.
It was never intended that an election have as much at stake as we are being told is at stake today. To those who have made it that way, I say “Buckle up.”
If you’re lucky, you’ll learn to be careful what you wish for.
Media reports have begun claiming the Biden Harris Democrat ticket is pulling away in key states, in an obviously cynical attempt to reverse the encouraging news Trump supporters have seen since the last presidential debate.
This is of a piece with past elections’ predictable Election Day reports of Democrat strength that never pan out, all in an effort to demoralize Republicans and depress turnout. The Gaslight Media have established a narrative that early voting favors Democrats, which they’re also using to fuel their strategy even though they deliberately cooperated in efforts to drive up early-voting turnout generally with their pandemic panic porn.
The worst thing is, people who know how this business works, who have seen it happen in every election cycle of the 21st century, still allow themselves to get tied up in knots with the phony media claims as if such a thing has never been done before and must therefore be taken as true every time.
I dunno. Maybe some people just get a charge out of scaring themselves half to death for no good reason.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.