Some Thoughts on Guns and Green Day (posted 7/1/22)

Last week I wrote about SCOTUS overturning NY’s law against carrying a gun, and I mentioned Breyer’s dissent.  Rather than talking about legal cases and precedents and the constitution, he spent a lot of time on how many guns and gun crimes there are in America.

After reading that, I concluded that he is smart, but detached from everyday life in a way that I think is pretty common among the elite left.  

I’ve heard an old cliché to the effect that “that’s an idea so dumb only a PhD would believe it.”  There’s a little bit of old fashioned anti-intellectual bias in that saying, but there’s more than a little truth, too.  (Cliches don’t get to be cliches unless there is some truth to them.)

In my years of experience with blue collar guys, I can’t think of any who thought that Marxism can work, or that giving the government more control of our lives and economy will end well, or that a man can become a woman, for example.  

But as a liberal arts professor, I know many, many profs who believe the first two, and at least pretend to believe the third.    

Breyer sounds like many academics I know, when he cites the 400 million guns in America, and how many gun crimes are committed, and suggests that the solution is to ban or restrict gun ownership.

This man has 83 years of life experience.  He has degrees from Oxford, Stanford and Harvard, and he’s been a judge for many decades.  But he’s rich, and he’s been living in very safe neighborhoods, surrounded by armed guards for a very long time.  And there are gaping holes in his argument which most of my blue collar friends could spot from a mile away. 

Alito points out one of them: the amount of guns that criminals have and use in crimes are huge reasons why law abiding people want guns to defend themselves! 

I looked through some crime stories for just one week before the ruling came out.  Some of them have happy endings and some are tragic, but all contain obvious lessons that I’m sure Breyer doesn’t understand.

For example, in Austin a juvenile offender and robbery suspect named Jaylyn Reed was released from jail on May 27th with an ankle monitor on. 

Elitist leftist legal experts thought that the ankle monitor would deter Reed from committing crimes.  Regular people thought that the robber who was let out was going to rob more people.

Within two weeks, Reed cut off the ankle monitor and went on a robbery spree with some thug buddies, committing at least 9 robberies in 5 days.  Until he robbed a couple walking to their car.  The male pulled out his own gun and shot Reed in the leg, and the cops soon caught up to the robbers and arrested them. 

Everyone involved was black, so Al Sharpton kept his trap shut, and I’m sure Justice Breyer never heard about it. 

Meanwhile, while the four armed robbers in Texas were robbing people, a scumbag criminal in Queens, NY called Subhan Zaib was going on a spree of his own.  His crimes became increasingly more violent over a 12-day period, starting with extortion and threats, then property damage, then pulling a knife on a man and threatening him with it. 

Two days later he punched, choked and threatened a woman with a knife in a hotel room.  Three days after that, he forced his way into a church bathroom and tried to rape a woman, and then threatened a man who intervened.

Three days after that, he stabbed someone on the subway.  Then he took two weeks off, threatened an ex over the phone, and went to Baltimore and raped a woman at knifepoint.

The total carnage: over an 8-day period, he was arrested and released without bail 5 times, before he finally raped the woman in Baltimore, and was arrested and held.

Elitist leftist legal experts support non-cash bail, and see him as an unfortunate case who slipped through the cracks.  Regular people think he should have been tried and sentenced to a lot of time in jail after the first incident, and that someone definitely should have shot him before he stabbed and raped those two women.   

In Chicago, leftist Mayor Lori Lightfoot (surrounded by armed guards, and possessor of a face like a river carp which would scare many offenders away even if she was otherwise unprotected) is all for a new policy that forbids cops from chasing suspects who run from them in many circumstances.

Regular people got their hopes up, thinking that when suspects flee, maybe now the cops can adopt a relaxed shooting stance and fire a warning shot between their shoulder blades. 

But no, the cops are not chasing because they’re giving up; they’re letting the criminals escape.  Elitist leftist legal experts are heartened, since they believe that foot chases can be risky, and the cops are probably only chasing in the first place because they’re bigoted racial profilers.

Expect even more crime in Chicago.

In Philly, by contrast, citizens have recently been allowed to get permits to concealed carry.  The highest number of annual permits requested between 2017 and 2020 was 11,814.  As crime continued to rise, the number of permits requested skyrocketed to almost 71,000; many of the permits were requested by women. 

Elitist leftist legal experts thought that criminals would soon be using those guns against law-abiding citizens, and wanted those citizens disarmed.  Regular people thought that that iron was about to get a lot of criminal scumbags’ minds right.

“I wonder who was right?” you are not asking, because you already know.  (Unless you are Justice Breyer, Kagan, or Sotomayor.)

The number of justified homicides against criminals “jumped 67 % from 2020 to 2021,” and 2022 is on pace to produce even more dead criminals in Philly.   

Since that kind of story gives our lefty elites the sads, I have a solution.   Philly media outlets need to find out the ages of all the criminals shot by law-abiding women in Philly, convert those ages to trimesters, and start calling them “very late term, ballistics-assisted abortion care.”

Problem solved.   

I’d like to close this column on a different topic, and with a shameful admission: at various times in my life I have enjoyed the music of Green Day. 

I’ve got pretty eclectic musical tastes, and while I can recognize that classical has a lot more substance than most popular music, I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for good blues, jazz, country and folk music, among others.

And there will always be a place in my collection for some mindless, dirty-guitar, three-chord rock songs.  Hence a passing appreciation for Green Day. 

Most musicians are, not to put too fine a point on it, morons.  They don’t typically knock themselves out in pursuit of learning or wisdom – not many of us do – but in practicing and playing and basking in the attention of a young fan base who is no smarter than they are.

Green Day didn’t write any profound songs.  But their lead singer, Billie Joe Armstrong, could write some catchy hooks.  “When I Come Around” and “Holiday” are decent songs.  “Basket Case” is good too.

The latter song in particular showed the kind of self-deprecating humor about their own shallowness that is welcome in this kind of music: these guys are modest about their brainpower, and they’ve got a lot to be modest about.

The song opens this way: “Do you have the time/To listen to me whine/ About nothing and everything all at once?/ I am one of those/Melodramatic fools/Neurotic to the bone, no doubt about it.”

Sadly, as many successful rock stars do, Billie Joe started to feel like he had something to say about politics.  (Following in the brain-dead footsteps of dimwits like Cher, Babs Streisand, the Dixie Chicks, Springsteen, etc. and etc.) The result was the album American Idiot, released in 2004, and mostly focused on how shallow Americans are, and especially conservative ones, such as the titular character of the Bushie. 

The title song was all over the radio, and it became an ear worm for me; I couldn’t get the initial catchy hook – “Don’t wanna be an American idiot” – out of my mind. 

So I made one small change to the lyrics – “Don’t wanna be an American Democrat!” – and transformed a simple-minded piece of pop fluff into a righteous declaration of political wisdom. 

Plus, it’s given me a nice little tune to whistle to myself as I’ve watched the last couple of years of Brandon’s unraveling.  So you’re welcome, anyone who has also gotten that song stuck in your head.

Anyway, I bring this up because Billie Joe is back in the news again.  He was in London when SCOTUS’ Roe v. Wade decision was announced, and Billie – 50 now, and not aging well — announcing a momentous decision to the crowd from on stage: he’s looking for a political separation from his native land.

As a point of comparison, here’s how Thomas Jefferson expressed a similar thought at the beginning of our founding document:

“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another… a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.  We hold these truths to be self-evident…” 

I’m sure that you can all complete the next phrases by heart. 

Well, not ALL of you.  (“All men and women created … by the — you know — you know the thing.”)

Here’s Billie’s version, screamed at the top of his lungs: “F*** America!  I’m f***ing renouncing my citizenship!  There’s just too much f***ing stupid in the world to go back to that miserable f***ing excuse for a country.”       

My first thought, as I’m sure it is yours: Okay now, don’t be a wuss – do it! 

I’m sick of this.  Every time something goes wrong for the left, a bunch of coddled celebrities threaten to leave the country… and they NEVER do.  Stop teasing us!

Here’s just a partial list of big-mouths who swore they’d leave if Trump won: mf-ing Samuel L. Jackson, modestly talented exhibitionist Miley Cyrus, insufferable dunce Whoopie Goldberg, alcoholic gadfly Chelsea Handler, pudgy irritants Lena Dunham and Amy Schumer, and botoxed illiterate Cher.  

As of today, they are all, tragically, still here.

I just hope that Billie Joe Armstrong will be a man of his word, and beat it.

By the way, the chorus to “Basket Case,” immediately following the lyrics quoted above, starts like this:  “Sometimes, I give myself the creeps.”

Us too, BJ. 

Us too.

Avenatti/ Billie Joe Armstrong, 2024!

Gratitude for the Supreme Court (posted 6/27/22)

I was still thinking about the implications of the SCOTUS guns opinion from Thursday, when the monumental Roe decision came out on Friday.  But now I see a through-line in both cases, so let’s see if I can make sense of that.

First, 3 quick thoughts on the Roe decision:

1. If the pro-abortion side believed their own propaganda, they’d be pretty happy about this ruling. 

They keep proclaiming that something like 80% of Americans are super pro-choice.  But if that were the case, the decision would cause a blue tsunami, since it will make abortion a live political issue in every state, and galvanize the abortion-enthusiast majority.    

Of course, polling on abortion depends heavily on how the question is asked, and I think most people are somewhere in the middle, probably leaning more pro-life when the issue is clearly delineated.  That is, they don’t want abortion completely banned, but they want restrictions to kick in pretty early in a pregnancy.

Only a very extreme fringe subscribes to the pro-infanticide “abortion until the moment before birth” position that many top Dems are revealing themselves to hold.

I think those folks are going to be in for a nasty surprise as the debate unfolds. 

And I think most Dems are decent enough to recognize what a terrible position that is, and to know that their party-line claim about an 80% pro-choice majority is as trustworthy as Bill Clinton at a sorority sleep-over.

Which is why there was no joy in Roe-ville this weekend.  There were f-bombs and angry chanting and a little foaming at the mouth.  And just a few, presentable talking heads, reciting the 80% statistic.

But that’s just whistling past a graveyard.

One with 63 million graves.

2. An inconvenient old interview with Joey Gaffes aired on Friday – on Tucker and all over the net  – which demonstrated how far left the Democrat party has moved on abortion.  Biden told the interviewer, “I do not view abortion as a choice or a right.  I think it’s always a tragedy.”

That’s a fossil from the old days, when Dems said “safe, legal and rare.”  If you’ve been watching for the last 10 years or so – and especially for the last 48 hours – those days are over. 

Now it’s all, “Shout your abortion!” and “Abortion is health care!” and “Won’t someone rid me of this meddlesome child?!”

You’re probably thinking: all of us go through immature phases during which we make the mistakes typical of callow youth, so we can forgive Biden this particular gaffe.    

Except that he made his comments in 2006.  When he was 63 years old. 

I know: how was he not at least 110 years old in 2006?  That was only 16 years ago, and he seems like he’s in his late hundreds now.

But nope.   He was just a spry 63, so we’ve got to cut him a break, because he was caught up in youthful exuberance when he gave that interview. 

You know, the kind of youthful exuberance you feel when you first fall in love, or have your first drink, or… collect your first several years of social security checks.

3. As in many political issues lately, I don’t see how people can avoid noting the huge gulf in behavior that makes our side look better than our opponents’. 

I really don’t enjoy saying that, because I know that we’re all flawed and fallen, and our side has plenty of absolute morons and idiots.  I’m looking at you, Crybaby Kinzinger.  And Mitt. And Susan Collins and John Cornyn and—

The point is, we’ve got some real boneheads and squishes on our side.

But the left is unrelentingly, unrepentantly, incorrigibly, metaphysically awful!  You can see the difference in many different areas.  

When the Tea Party used to have huge rallies, there was never any violence or property destruction or even profanity, and when the rallies were over, the public spaces where the rallies happened were left cleaner than they were before.

The same goes for almost 50 years of protests on the anniversary of Roe: no profane signs, no violence.  Just mournful protesting, and often prayer. 

The only exception was January 6th, and while parts of that were ugly and worthy of punishment, in scale and scope – only a few hundred people were involved in any violence, which produced no deaths and relatively small amounts of damage, and was over within 3 hours — that doesn’t begin to compare to the dozens of deaths, literally billions of dollars in damage and months-long “peaceful” rioting that leftists indulged in for most of 2020.

When lefties throw big rallies for climate change or Earth Day or Sacrifice to Gaia week, the grounds afterwards are always piled high with garbage.

Have you noticed that when a trial or a SCOTUS decision is expected to go the leftists’ way, state governments don’t have to deploy the national guard, and businesses don’t have to board up their windows, and nobody has to brace themselves for days or weeks of rage?  That only happens when the leftists don’t get their way.

I’ll pick just one example of a leftist celebrity’s reaction to Friday’s SCOTUS ruling, mostly because of how well it represents the overall zeitgeist on that side. 

Quasi-famous actor Michael Rapaport is the kind of person for whom we should pray and wish that he will get well soon.  (See how mature and restrained I can be?  Sure, my first draft said that Rapaport was “the kind of guy who should be beaten within an inch of his life, dragged to the nearest national border and tossed out, with a warning that if he ever comes back, he’ll regret it.” 

“But that’s why pencils have erasers,” I was told during my childhood in the 19th century.  I guess I can update that to, “that’s why keyboards have a delete button.”)

Anyway, Rapaport posted a series of obscene and incoherent tantrums on Twitter and social media, and in all of them, nary a rational thought was expressed.

My favorite bit was when he referred over and over to the way that evil right-wing Christians “are going to reap what you sew, you sick friends!”  (Of course he didn’t use “friends,” but that’s my gentlemanly way of substituting a different “f” word while recreating the “thoughts” of those without the self-control or vocabulary to express themselves like coherent adults.)  

To which I have two responses:

First, it’s “sow” – not “sew”—you dolt.  You sow seeds; you sew clothes.  What sense would it make to say that you’ll harvest (reap) materials that you’ve stitched up, Mr. Einstein?

Second, do you even know where “reap what you sow” comes from, Mikey? 

Hint: it’s a certain Good Book that usually drives you hateful Christophobes into paroxysms of rage, during which your head rotates 360 degrees while you projectile vomit all over the closest priest. 

So stop quoting the Apostle Paul to us, you theocratic fascist!  

Now here’s the commonality I see in both the Roe and the 2nd Amendment cases from last week: in both cases, conservatives trust the people to manage their lives and make decisions more than they trust bureaucrats and unelected judges. 

And progressives do the opposite.

In the Roe case, SCOTUS said that the court in 1973 took the issue out of the people’s hands and made up a new law that they imposed on the entire country.  On Friday, they corrected that mistake, and sent it back where it belongs: to the deliberations and decisions of a free people in the 50 states.

I saw a meme on Friday that summed it up well:

Screaming Dem protestor: Unelected judges should NOT DICTATE ABORTION POLICY!!

SCOTUS: That’s literally what we just said.   

In the guns case, arrogant bureaucrats in NY were forced to include in their law that people “may carry” (as opposed to “shall carry,” in more 2nd-amendment-friendly states), but they added a bad faith “proper cause” test: citizens who wanted to carry a gun for self-defense had to ask a politician’s permission to do so.  

They had to show a proper cause for why they deserved to exercise their right to self-defense.

Thomas backhanded that specious argument, pointing out that we don’t need to show proper cause to exercise our other enumerated rights – to speak freely, to worship as we like, to face our accusers in court, etc.    

To no one’s surprise, the NY bureaucrats consistently disagreed with citizens who thought they should be allowed to protect themselves with a gun.  The plaintiffs in that case, Koch and Nash, were both turned down.  Both of them were law abiding citizens, with no criminal records or mental defects.  Both were well trained in the use of guns. 

Nash was turned down once.  Then, after a rash of burglaries in his neighborhood, he foolishly thought that the increased risk should merit his being able to be allowed to carry.  Just as if he were a free citizen, in a free country. 

But nope.  Those NY pols enjoyed their power trip, and they knew better than Mr. Nash whether he deserved to defend himself.  They turned him down again.

So he joined with Mr. Koch, filed a suit, took it to the SCOTUS, and whipped their arses in court.

Cue Ray Charles (backed by the Voices of Jubilation singers) singing “Oh Happy Day!”   (A piano, a synthesizer, Mr. Ray Charles, and more dashikis than I’ve ever seen in one place.  And watch to the end, when the sharp-looking brother in a tux escorts Charles off the stage.  Goosebumps!)      

Despite all the problems our country is going through, this last week left us all a lot to be thankful for.  Our highest court gave us rulings that states can’t discriminate against people on the basis of their religion (the school case in Maine), and that we have a right to defend ourselves. 

Then on Friday they shredded the emanations and dispelled the penumbras, and gave the issue of abortion back to the people.

Sure, I’d like to give John Roberts a kick in the rear, and I shake my head in dismay at Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan. 

But I’m proud of the three Trump-appointed justices, and I’m especially proud of Alito and Thomas.  And for the first time in a while, I’m proud of our Supreme Court.   

So, I guess… Greatest Pride Month ever!

It’s been a long 17 years, but November is coming!

I’ve Read the SCOTUS Gun Case, and It’s Great! (posted 6/24/22)

The firehose of current events continues apace, and it’s hard to decide what to try to write about first.

Should I mention that Biden’s approval numbers continue to drop?  (He’s now slid below periodontal disease and Brian Stelter, and is currently nestled between chlamydia – just a few points below! – and Que Mala – just a few points above!)

Should I discuss his plan for a federal gas tax holiday for 3 months, which even his own party has given the thumbs up their bottom?  (Ask Imhotep Pelosi and her leftist co-religionists if the feds should even temporarily tax people less, and guess what answer you’ll get.)

Sorry, that’s “thumbs down,” not “thumbs up their bottom.”   Honest mistake.

Anyway, in light of today’s Supreme Court decision on the second amendment, guns and crime and the proper role of courts are on my mind.

Now a Supreme Court decision is not justified solely because it drives malicious lefty dim-bulbs like Keith Olberman, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar et al. crazy with poorly thought-out rage. 

But to paraphrase an old Yiddish saying, “It doesn’t hoit.” 

Beyond the entertainment value of watching halfwits acting out their half-wittedness, though, the SCOTUS decision slapping down NY state’s arrogant “prove to us you need a gun and maybe we’ll allow it” law is a thing of beauty.

It’s actually pretty easy to read and understand.   And I say that as someone with all of the legal acumen of Lionel Hutz, the famously incompetent lawyer from the Simpsons, voiced by the late, great Phil Hartman.

(My favorite Hutz scene was when he rested his case, only to have the judge point out that Hutz wasn’t wearing any pants.  Hutz, startled, then prompted this immortal exchange:

Hutz: “I move for a bad… court… thingy.” 

Judge: “You mean a mis-trial?”

Hutz: “Yeah!  That’s why you’re the judge, and I’m the… law-talkin’ guy.”

Judge: “The lawyer.”

Hutz: “Right.”)

Believe it or not, I spent a few hours today actually reading the text of this Supreme Court ruling, and it was fascinating. 

Here’s the text of the entire ruling, if you’re interested:  https://assets.bwbx.io/documents/users/iqjWHBFdfxIU/rUqQgvi13_8U/v0  

Here’s my quick overview: The entire document is 135 pages long.  The first 5 pages are background (descriptions of the parties and the case).  The opinion, written by Clarence Thomas, takes up pages 6-68, following by concurring comments by Alito (69-77), Kavanaugh (joined by Roberts, 78-81) and Barrett (82-83).  Then comes the dissent written by Breyer and joined by Kagan and Sotomayer, which takes up pages 84-135.   

Clarence Thomas writes the opinion, and it’s a model of clear, logical, sometimes acerbic prose.  I’ll give one quick example.

The supporters of NY’s position — that citizens must get permission from government officials to carry a gun outside of their home – listed a bunch of historical precedents for restricting arms, going all the way back to The Statute of Northampton (England) from 1328.   

Conservative originalists generally respect long-standing custom and traditions, and the web of law and precedents that have grown out of them over the centuries; their goal is to understand and follow the original intent of our Founders, and the clear meaning of the constitution.

“Living constitution” lefties, on the other hand, tend to cavalierly dismiss old timey laws that they believe originated in more benighted times, and favor adapting laws to our modern political ideas and desires.   (This tendency has led to such steps as “discovering” a right to abortion in a document that was read for almost 200 years as being silent on that topic, for example.)

Which is to say THEIR political ideas and desires.

By citing old English laws and traditions, the NY gun restrictionists tried to box the originalists in, and use their deference to earlier custom and tradition against them.  

Thomas responds deftly, and sarcastically.  First he turns the “living constitution” crowd’s habitual disdain for tradition against them: “Notwithstanding the ink the parties spill over this provision, the Statute of Northampton—at least as it was understood during the Middle Ages—has little bearing on the Second Amendment adopted in 1791.”

Then he follows with a chronological list of events that happened after the cited statue was enacted:  Northampton took effect “20 years before the Black Death, more than 200 years before the birth of Shakespeare, more than 350 years before the Salem Witch Trials, more than 450 years before the ratification of the Constitution, and nearly 550 years before the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

Take that, goofballs who whine that we shouldn’t pay attention to the constitution because it was written soooo long ago!

But Thomas goes one step further, showing how to analyze a legitimate historical precedent. (I picture Thomas cracking his knuckles above his keyboard and thinking, “You want to get medieval with me?  Okay, let’s get medieval!”)

He cites details that demonstrate that Northampton’s concern with people “going armed” focused on practices like wearing armor or using lances, since those were “generally worn or carried only when one intended to engage in lawful combat or – as most early violations of the Statute show – to breach the peace.”  

Thomas contrasts those items with knives or daggers, which contemporary documents show that most people carried for, among other purposes, “self-protection.”  Then Thomas twists the knife, as it were, into his opponents’ argument: “Respondents point to no evidence suggesting the Statue applied to the smaller medieval weapons that strike us as most analogous to modern handguns.”

Boom!

I thought Breyer’s dissent – the first half of which I read, and the last half I skimmed – was pretty weak.  He’s not the writer that Thomas is, but the problem is not the writing, it’s the thinking.

He cited some details of relevant laws, as Thomas did, but the lion’s share of his energy is devoted to current social issues which are outside the scope of the law he’s supposed to be interpreting.  He cites pages of statistics on the number of guns and gun crimes there are in America today, the trends in gun violence, and contexts in which guns have been used illegally (mass shootings, road rage incidents, etc.).

After a lot of that, he does admit that guns are also used legitimately (for sport, security jobs or self-defense) and that legislatures and the democratic process – not courts – should be the ones to determine the proper balance between legitimate and illegitimate gun ownership. 

But he doesn’t clearly explain why the clarity of the 2nd amendment should be trumped by the convoluted inconsistencies that New York uses to undermine it.  Or why the democratic process to change gun laws shouldn’t take the path specified in the constitution, i.e. passing a constitutional amendment.

The only logical inference to explain Breyer’s dissent is the Occam’s Razor one: he agrees with the political/social perspective of New York politicians.  And that’s not how Supreme Court rulings are supposed to work.     

Alito’s concurrence is a masterful rebuttal.  In transparent, forceful prose, he takes apart Breyer’s dissent at the joints!  Where Breyer is foggy and rambling, Alito is incisive.

He comes out swinging: “Much of the dissent seems designed to obscure the specific question the Court has decided…”  After summarizing the ruling, he says, “In light of what we have actually held, it is hard to see what legitimate purpose can possibly be served by most of the dissent’s lengthy introductory section.”

What follows is a series of concrete, pointed questions that lay bare the insubstantiality of Breyer’s diffuse musings:

On the relevance of recounting recent mass shootings: “Does the dissent think that laws like New York’s prevent or deter such atrocities?  Will a person bent on carrying out a mass shooting be stopped if he knows that it is illegal to carry a handgun outside the home?”

(He points out the obvious: the New York law was in place when the Buffalo mass shooter committed his crime last month.  That law didn’t stop him.)

On the relevance of suicides by gun: “Does the dissent think that… people [with guns at home] will be deterred from shooting themselves if they cannot lawfully take them outside?”

Perhaps most tellingly, Alito answers Breyer’s stats about the 400 million guns already in private hands in America: “And while the dissent seemingly thinks that the ubiquity of guns and our country’s high level of gun violence provide reasons for sustaining the New York law, the dissent appears not to understand that it is these very facts that cause law-abiding citizens to feel the need to carry a gun for self-defense.”

Yes!  New York’s law doesn’t keep violent criminals from possessing the tons of guns they have now – it only makes sure that law abiding citizens are prevented from defending themselves against those criminals.

Would-be gun grabbers – both the well-intentioned and the power-hungry Machiavellians – often rely on emotional anecdotes.  They cite the victims in Uvalde and Buffalo and Columbine, as if disarming law abiding citizens would have saved any of them.

Alito demonstrates that anecdotal evidence works both ways, by citing equally moving anecdotes on the other side.  He points to the story of two gay guys in Arkansas who were charged by 4 gay bashers with bats and pipes, and who drove them off by firing a shot in the air. 

He follows that with the story of a woman who was being beaten and strangled in a parking lot in Tennessee, but was rescued by a citizen with a gun, who held the woman-beater at gun-point until the cops arrived and arrested him.

For honest anti-gun Americans, Alito’s examples should provoke serious reflection.  For partisan anti-gun activists who fancy themselves particular champions of women and gays, his examples are powerful shots to the ribs.

Reading this case re-affirmed my faith in the wisdom of the originalist approach and the strengths of its arguments.  Reading the leftist reaction confirmed my low opinion of them and their arguments. 

I’m not just talking about the dullards on the View or on CNN/MSNBC/MSM.  I’m also thinking of the likes of lawyer and lefty commentator – and, judging from his name, Dr. Suess character — Preet Bharara. 

Preet tweeted, “SCOTUS read neither the room nor the constitution correctly.”

Nice tweet, Preet.  But you’re wrong about the second part, and off your rocker on the first. 

The court’s job is not to “read the room,” like Hillary Clinton trying to see if the crowd she’s in front of will fall for her terribly fake Southern accent (“Ah ain’t no ways tie-urred… CAW CAW…”).  It’s to interpret the law as it is written.  Full stop.

This column is getting pretty long, so I’ll save some more thoughts on crime and guns for Monday.

One final thought: Clarence Thomas turned 74 yesterday.  Joe Biden is only five years older than him.

Read Thomas’ cogent, persuasive ruling, and then watch Biden fall up the stairs, and off his bike, and then try to put three coherent sentences together and produce only f-ing commie gobbledygook (hat tip to Norm MacDonald)!   

I’m praying that Thomas will enjoy another 20 years of brilliant service to our country on the SCOTUS, and thanking God that Biden didn’t live to see the dumpster fire that his presidency has become.

It’s been a long 17 years, but it’s only 17 weeks until the mid-terms!

A Few Thoughts on Reality & Karma (posted 6/20/22)

In a recent column, I mentioned the need to accept reality on reality’s terms. Our society is getting worse and worse at this, to its detriment.

One example can be seen in a story about a plus-size model named Remi Bader.  She recently went to a horse ranch, but was not allowed to ride because of her weight, which she describes as being “more than 240” pounds.

My first thought was to sympathize with her.  I know that people can be very cruel, and that fat-shaming is a real and hurtful thing.  I felt bad for her.

But then she went on TikTok, and named and shamed the ranch, as if they could have no legitimate reason for not letting her ride one of their horses.  She claimed that the ranch “made me leave because I weigh over 240,” and that “it was very embarrassing.” 

Again, I felt bad for her, and the story’s details suggest that at least one ranch employee made some cruel comments.   Many commenters on the story supported her and criticized the ranch, whose business is apparently taking a big hit.

But her reaction seems narcissistic and self-defeating in a way that is become more and more common in our society.  Again: reality on reality’s terms.  The reality is that obesity is really bad for your health. 

People who deny that are lying to you, and even if their hearts are in the right place – if they want to spare your feelings, or feel more virtuous by championing your cause – you should reject them.    

And yes, when you add the poor horse to this story, it becomes darkly comic.  You can picture in your mind’s eye a horse with a look of horror on his face, backing away as this selfish woman tries to corner him.  And you know what the horse is thinking, don’t you?

“Nay!”

Because I’m from the 19th century, I’m a big supporter of so-called “tough love.”  (I would just call it “love.”  As in, “I love you enough to tell you the truth.  And the truth is that you need to lose some weight.  For your own sake, and so that you don’t squash that horse!”)

The “fat pride” movement is the opposite of tough love.  Perhaps out of a misguided idea that they are helping people who have been bullied because of their weight, they become bullies themselves.  They denigrate those who are not attracted to fat people as bigots.

You can see this in a recent story about an American academic named Caitlyn “Cat” Pause.  (Cat Pause would be a funny name, but there is apparently an accent over the final “e” that ruins it.)  A leftist and feminist, she has held a university position in New Zealand for the last 15 years, focusing on fat activism.

Photos of her suggest that she is extremely overweight, and her Twitter bio includes self-descriptors including, “Fatlicious.  Feminist. Glorifying obesity since ’09.”   She has spent her career arguing against “fat stigma,” and spreading “body positivity” about being morbidly obese.

On March 24th, she died in her sleep.  She was 42.

Announcing the news, one of her colleagues said that people she knew will be “shocked and saddened.”  “Saddened” makes sense.  But “shocked?”

Only if they’ve been holding reality at arm’s length, with their eyes tightly closed. 

Speaking of fighting a losing battle with reality, how about that Joe Biden? 

Just this month he’s insisted that the economy is doing great, yelled at some union guys that he didn’t want to hear any more lies about his reckless spending, and said that journalists have treated him badly because “they need to get clicks” on the nightly news.  

Um.  Does anybody understand that?  Or even overstand it?

His plucky spokesperson KJP – she’s a non-white immigrant who is attracted to other women, so shut up —  fielded a question about Biden’s mental acuity less than convincingly:  “He’s the president of the United States, you know, he… I can’t even keep up with him.”

Cut to video of Biden rolling slowly up to a bunch of reporters on a bike… and then keeling over. 

Which raises the old philosophical question: Which would you rather be – Remi Bader’s horse, or Joe Biden’s bike?

We literally have a cliché about something that is very easy to do: “it’s just like riding a bike.”

And our president can’t do that.  So, yeah.

Rather than ending on that down note, let’s run through a few fun examples of karma catching up with miscreants from this past week:

First, Dr. Fauci got covid.  

After 2 vaccinations and 2 additional boosters, and 2 years of ostentatious mask wearing and lecturing us and lying to Rand Paul, Dr. “Fooled You” caught the Flu Manchu.  (Just like many virtue-signalling multi-vaxxed empty heads like Whoopi Goldberg, Seth Meyers, Jimmy Fallon, Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie, etc. and etc.)

Of course he made the same statement that every repeatedly-vaccinated goofball makes when he or she comes down with covid: “I’ve caught covid, but I’m very glad that I was vaxxed multiple times, because otherwise… I might have caught covid.  Remember people: this is a pandemic of the thrice vaccinated, or something.”   

Second, CNN’s front-runner for the 2020 Dem presidential nomination, Michael Avenatti, plead guilty to an additional raft of crimes, which together carry a statutory maximum sentence of 83 years in prison.    However, he entered his guilty plea in a California courtroom. 

Which probably means that he’ll do a few months and be out with an ankle bracelet in time to set up his exploratory committee for a Dem presidential run in 2024.  (Yes!)

Finally, my favorite story from this last week was the tale of a thief from Utah who wanted to steal some gasoline.   This guy is such a dullard – he’s the AOC of thieves!

First, he and his partner in moronity (if that’s not a word, it should be) drove up and parked next to the target truck… and right in front of a security camera.

Then he tried to use a siphon to get gas from the target truck’s tank.  But a siphon works on gravity, and even though gravity is a physical law, this dope apparently couldn’t make it work.

So he did what any problem-solving genius would do — he drilled a hole into the bottom of the gas tank.  Because his philosophy is, “sparks, schmarks.”

You can easily find the video online, and you should.  He crawls underneath the truck until only his legs are sticking out.

Then his legs kick hilariously, and he comes flying out like his shirt is on fire. Which it is.

Apparently someone once taught him the old “stop, drop and roll” rule, because he drops to the pavement and starts rolling and rolling.  As he rolls, he keeps his hips and lower body on the ground and makes about a dozen revolutions.  (The Russian judges gave him a 9.5.)

Unfortunately, the top part of his shirt is what’s on fire, and he keeps his shoulder and upper body up off the ground as he rolls maniacally, like a flammable Curly Howard.   So rather than putting the fire out, he’s basically fanning the flames.

(For added viewing pleasure, as you watch the video, shout, “Whoop!  Whoop! Whoop!” in your best Curly voice.  You’re welcome.)

Finally the flames go out, and he jumps up, tears off his shirt, and runs for his buddy’s truck, and they flee the scene, trailing the acrid stench of burnt idiot in their wake.

The funniest detail of the story?  The truck he was trying to steal gas from has a giant sign on the side: “Byrd’s Fire Protection,” beside a giant logo with flames surrounding it. 

Oh, sweet irony!

Avenatti/ Dopey the Human Torch, 2024!

More or Less Random Thoughts (posted 6/17/22)

Because our political leaders are so depressing right now, I thought I’d take a column off, and write about a few other, non-political – though not necessarily wildly upbeat! — items I’ve seen in the news lately. 

But first, I’m in the process of updating my own website, and I recorded a short video there, if you’d like to see it.  With the coming of Father’s Day, I always think about my dad, and I thought I’d share a brief story of one of the funniest impromptu things he ever said to me.

To see it, go to Martinsimpsonwriting.com.  At the top of the page, you’ll see several headings, including one for “Videos” — the Father’s Day entry is the first one I’ve posted.  Fair warning, though: I’ve got a face made for radio, and due to my being from the 19th century and not understanding technology, the lighting is a little dim.  (Though some might say that dim lighting and my face were made for each other!)   

You’ll also see headings at the top of the page for “Short Stories” and “Road Trips,” as well as my regular political humor and commentary columns.  The former section has two of my published stories from years ago, and I’ll be adding more as I can track down copies; the latter section includes my columns from last year’s road trip on Route 66 from Chicago to LA, and this year’s trip around Lake Michigan. 

Coming soon, I’ll put up a section that will have pictures and possibly some videos and commentary about the ongoing restoration of our old Victorian house (Rosewood) that partially burned in April. 

If you do want to wander around the site, I’ve heard from some readers that there are problems seeing everything when using your phone, so you might want to use a computer.

Okay, in no particular order and with no particular theme, here are some interesting stories I’ve come across recently:

For this first story, I should warn you that it really is tragic, and involves what might be simultaneously one of the worst and best ways to die.  So it is graphic, at least in terms of what it makes you imagine — if you are queasy, you might want to skip the next few paragraphs.

A 39-year-old father of three died in a Caterpillar foundry in Illinois on June 2nd.  He was working near a gigantic crucible full of molten metal, when he fell in.  I’m not sure how something like this happens, and the thought of it is obviously horrific.

But while the last few seconds of this poor man’s life must have been terrible, his death was instantaneous, which would have been a mercy. 

The listed cause of death has to be one of the worst I’ve ever heard: “thermal annihilation.”    

The same day I read that horrible story, I came across another one that had a lot in common with it, and yet couldn’t have been more different: two employees working in a M&M factory in PA fell into a giant tank of chocolate.  Apparently neither of them was seriously injured, and the fire department was able to rescue them.

Boy, is life strange!  If I hadn’t read the first story, I’d immediately be thinking of jokes about the two guys in PA waving off the firefighters, insisting that they’d drink their way out of the chocolate tank, or some similar foolishness.

In any event, there can’t be too many more polar opposites in human experience than falling into something in a factory: you either find yourself surrounded by delicious chocolate with a funny story to tell later, or … (shudder) thermal annihilation.

Another social phenomenon that illustrates the incredible range of human nature and local behavioral norms involves crime.   Following the crime blotter in a new area tells you a lot about whether you’d be happy there.  Cartel beheadings in the news?  A weekly ballistic bloodbath in Lori Lightfoot’s allegedly tightly gun-controlled Chicago? 

For everyone not under the sway of a malign ideology, those should prompt a hard pass.

At the other end of the spectrum, my wife has drawn me into watching a few episodes of North Woods Law, which follows New Hampshire conservation officers and game wardens as they investigate and arrest people for hunting and fishing violations of various sorts, illegal camping, and reckless use of ATVs (as well as warm and fuzzy stories of finding injured animals or birds that they nurse back to health).

You can get emotional whiplash after watching the evening news in any big, Dem-run city, and then switching to the NH gumshoes, tracking down Gus and his ducks shot the day after duck season ended, and Bobby and his bucket full of fish, only half of which are long enough to have been legally caught and kept.      

Our own college town is big enough to have its share of occasional murders and terrible car wrecks and etc.  But it’s small enough that stories like the following one can make the evening news.

The staff writer clearly paid attention in J-school, because he or she does NOT bury the lede: “A Gainesville woman is in jail after coating another person with a condiment during a fight.”      

It seems that the 29-year-old was arguing with the father of her child, and things eventually got ugly.

And savory. 

Witnesses reported that the evildoer, and I quote, “dump[ed] a bottle of ranch dressing on [the] victim.” 

Thank God the cops got there before any croutons or hot sauce were involved!  The woman is now cooling her heels – and possibly licking her fingers – at the county jail, charged with domestic battery.  (Make your own pancake jokes if you must.)

Finally, I’ll close with a book recommendation. 

I’m halfway through Andrew Klavan’s new, “The Truth and Beauty: How the Lives and Works of England’s Greatest Poets Point the Way to a Deeper Understanding of the Words of Jesus,” and I’m really enjoying it.

It’s an eclectic and eccentric (in the best possible way) look at some great writers, great works, and the Gospels, and the moral challenges and truths that – Klavan argues – connects them.  In the first section, he discusses Hamlet, Paradise Lost and Frankenstein, among others.  I’ve read and enjoyed all of those, yet Klavan has shown me new aspects of each one.

He’s a skilled writer.  After discussing Wordsworth’s early infatuation with leftist causes and the ideals of the French Revolution, he deftly sketches out the transition the poet made to conservatism and a conversion to Christianity: “As time passed, the years did to Wordsworth what years will do, if you keep your eyes open.  They gave him both reasons to become more conservative and the experience to see the wisdom in old ways.”

Section 1 ends with this tease of Section 2, if you don’t mind a long quote:

“Wordsworth – lost and dispirited by the failure of the radical project – soon left London for the rural seaside county of Dorset.  There, one day in spring, he received a visit from a remarkable man.  The man was a genius and a drug addict, a polymath and an overly emotional fool.  He was also a Christian with perhaps the most profound and original insight into the Gospels since Aquinas.  And he had a preternatural power to ignite the minds of those who knew him with his ideas.

His name was Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and together, in an age of unbelief, he and Wordsworth began to reconstruct the moral imagination of the West.”  

How can you not want to read on, with a closing like that? 

If you enjoy great literature and aren’t averse to thinking anew about uncle Jesus, this book is worth a read.

Have a great Father’s Day weekend!        

Chuck Todd, Matthew McConaughey & Michael Moore are not Geniuses (posted 6/13/22)

I have no theme for today’s column, other than more leftist follies.  And while many things are in short supply lately — baby food, affordable gas, accurate MSM coverage of any story – there is no shortage of stupid lefty tricks.

Let’s start with Chuck Todd.  (Always a safe place to start, if you want to discuss dim-bulb left-wingery.)  It seems Chuck’s crack staff was looking for an influential Republican congressman to appear on his low-rated Meet the Press show last Friday, so they reached out to see if Alaska’s Don Young would be up for it.

The choice required some cost/benefit analysis on the part of Todd’s people.  On the upside, Young is one of the longest-serving congressmen in House history, so he’s got seniority and a lot of experience holding important committee seats going for him.  Also, he’s one of the few Republicans who might be willing to appear on a show with Chuck Todd.

The only serious downside?  He died three months ago. 

That’s right: Chuck Todd and the Toddettes reached out to book a dead guy on their show.  Did they not see how poorly that went for Jimmy Kimmel, when he did the same thing with the late Joe Biden (RIP) this week?

The late congressman’s spokesperson Zach Brown apparently got his degree from the University of Hilarious Understatement, because his response was top notch: “Unfortunately, I don’t think Congressman Young’s schedule will allow him to be on Meet the Press with you tomorrow, but I’ll circle back if that changes. Thanks for reaching out!”

I know what you’re thinking: That’s a mistake anyone could make.  Like me, you probably didn’t know that Don Young had died.  Or that Don Young was a congressman.  I mean, Chuck Todd had probably never met the man, and might not have been informed of his death.

Oh, wait.  Here’s Zach Brown’s follow-up email, which I swear I am not making up: “Sadly, Congressman Young passed away in March, but you all did a lovely tribute to him!” Then he linked to the less-than-three-month-old MSNBC story on Young’s passing. 

Ouch!  Even MSNBC’s Chuck Todd doesn’t watch MSNBC.

While reading the amusing details of this story, I learned that Todd has been doing so badly that his show was demoted from MSNBC, and is now appearing on the “NBC streaming network.” 

Yes, you read that correctly: there is a circle of hell so utterly horrific that going there would be considered a DEMOTION from MSNBC!  And that is the NBC streaming network – modeled, I’m guessing, after CNN’s streaming network, CNN+.

Which, coincidentally, is as dead as Alaska Congressman Don Young.

Good lord!  Can you imagine ever finding yourself in a position in which you are told, “I’m sorry, but you don’t have the journalistic chops… to work at MSNBC.”  

In the words of the late, great Norm MacDonald, that is the time when you should head to the rope store, followed by stopping in at the next-door rickety stool store.  

I’m momentarily feeling so sorry for Chuck Todd that I will offer him this advice:  I think you’re on to something with this Don Young invitation.  You should steer into that, and rebrand your show as “Meet the Deceased.” 

Your first show can feature Julius Caesar, Hammurabi, and the Credibility of Chuck Schumer. Maybe you can also consider closing with a panel discussion featuring a randomly chosen dozen people who knew too much about Hillary Clinton.    

When they weren’t busy booking dead guys or Toobin-ing over their second-rate, Stalinist January 6th show trial — the ratings are in, so look for the next hearing on NBC Streaming, and C-SPAN 8! – the media ghouls turned their attention to guns.

Actor Matthew McConaughey — the Dems tried to book actors Laurence Olivier, Abe Vigoda and Moe Howard for this gig, but discovered that they’re all as dead as Hunter Biden’s conscience – offered a litany of “common sense” steps we could take to decrease gun violence.

Spoiler alert: none of them included long prison sentences or execution for criminals who use guns in crimes, hardening school targets, eliminating “gun-free” zones that are demonstrable magnets for school shooters, or forcing the violent mentally ill into treatment.

But McConaughey had lots of ideas for ways to keep guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens who would never shoot up a school in a million years.  So, yeah.

I was shocked that the Dems didn’t take advantage of the best recent example to make their case for them.   I’m speaking, of course, of the pro-abortion and pro-gun-control lunatic who traveled cross country to murder a Supreme Court justice. 

When he got out of a cab down the block from Brett Kavanaugh’s house and saw federal marshals, he fled.  Because he did not want to face trained marshals carrying Beaver notebooks and #2 pencils, which they could instantly use to write strongly worded letters to deter criminals who wanted to harm the judge or his family.

No, wait. 

As I began writing this, I assumed that the marshals depend on a potent combination of sweet reason and the aforementioned writing materials to stop crime.  But because I’m nothing if not meticulous, I looked for further confirmation.  (Note to Chuck Todd: in the writing business, we call this “doing your due diligence.”)

I was shocked to find that US marshals usually carry either a Glock 22 or Glock 23.   Which, it turns out, are types of pistols.   

Huh. 

Since I was already on a research roll, I thought I’d look into the gun-related wisdom being offered by other socialist Mensa members.  So naturally I thought of propaganda-filmmaker and oversized-turkey-leg-enthusiast Michael Moore.

Moore just posted a podcast screed calling for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment, so I was prepared to give him points for honesty.

But then I read his post, in which he suggested that we need to focus not on our rights to own guns, but on our right to be protected from gun violence.  A protection, I guess, that we can effect by disarming ourselves, and trusting that armed criminals will no longer behave like…I don’t know… armed criminals?

“We have a right,” concluded Moore, “to live.”

(You’re not wondering, but yes, Michael Moore is pro-abortion.)

Lest you think this disheveled elephant seal in a dirty baseball cap hasn’t fully thought this through, he explains: “You don’t want a gun in the house.  If you’re afraid of somebody breaking in, get a dog.  You don’t need a gun.”    

Well, I already have a dog.  In fact, I’ve got a Wonder Dog.  And as much fun as it’d be to see Cassie launch herself onto a Biden-voting home invader and start masticating his jugular, I’d rather not put her at risk like that.  Not when I could use my gun to get that cretin’s mind right.

Don’t you just love it when a dope like Michael Moore tells you what you need and don’t need?  I mean, he never asks us if we think he needs that third sandwich or second supper that he eats every day, right?  And yet he knows that we don’t need guns, and he’s happy to share that knowledge with us. 

And you’re not wondering, but yes, Michael Moore is protected by armed security. 

You know, just like the trained, well-paid team of guys who surround you whenever you leave your house, and patrol the grounds of your palatial estate whenever you’re home. 

Which is why you, like Michael Moore, don’t need a gun, you peon.

Rather than end on that note, I thought I’d mention one of the more than one million stories that happen in America each year, in which everyday people use a gun to protect themselves.  Put down that pot roast and listen up, Michael Moore!

A young lady in the Houston area moved to a new apartment to get away from a man who had been stalking her.  But on May 30th, she discovered that he’d found her, because he turned up at her new place, screaming that he wanted to come in.  Then he began to kick in her front door.

The poor woman hadn’t seen Michael Moore’s latest podcast, so she didn’t know that she should yell through the door, “You’d better get out of here, or I’ll deploy my schnauzer!” 

And she must have given her armed security team the holiday weekend off, because the story doesn’t mention them.

So the distressed woman was helpless, and meekly awaited her fate as the evil stalker broke through her door and murdered her.  And all of the Democrats in Congress lived happily after ever.  The end.

Oh no, wait.  Since she hadn’t listened to Michael Moore and her condescending moral betters in congress, she had foolishly bought a gun. 

So she made sure that the safety was off, widened her stance and held the gun in a two-handed grip, and pointed it at the door that her creepy stalker was kicking.  And when he finally kicked it open, she gave him a Clint Eastwood-esque squint and said, “Molon labe, mother-friender!” 

And she shot him once in the chest. 

Okay, I may have taken some artistic license with that last part.  All the news story says is that stalker boy kicked her door down, and hero girl shot him.

But stalker boy definitely did win the room temperature challenge, because the cops arrived just in time… to draw a chalk outline around him.  (Hooray!)

The moral of this story, to paraphrase Sammy Davis’ funky theme song from Baretta that was stuck in my head for a big chunk of the 1970s:  Don’t be a thug, if you can’t take a slug.  (Don’t do it!) 

Avenatti/ Disheveled Elephant Seal in a Baseball Cap, 2024!

Good Things are Coming, if We Can Just Hang On (posted 6/10/22)

I’m writing this column as the January 6th dog and pony show is going on, and I’ve resolved not to watch it, for the sake of my morals and my blood pressure – both of which would be sorely tested by watching that dishonest, hypocritical circus. 

I trust that a lot of better people than I will watch it and distill a few crucial clips, and I’ll watch those later, when I’ve had the prescribed amount of medicinal bourbon and a more contemplative mood going.

In the meantime, my theme for this column is a more optimistic one: the Dems are beginning to reap what they’ve been sowing, and it’s heartening to watch. 

For much of the 127 years of the Biden administration, it’s felt like leftists have been getting their way on every front, and we’ve been powerless to stop them.  I won’t argue that they haven’t done an enormous amount of damage, and that they don’t have WAY more influence than – in a sane world – they would.

But I see a lot of heartening signs that normal Americans are feeling some justified, righteous anger and are fighting back.  I’ll point to several social arenas where this is happening.

In business, the scrappy little slogan, “get woke, go broke,” has gone from producing derisive snickers to  chills up the spines in many corporate boardrooms.  More than a year ago, one company after another was pursuing far-left smear campaigns against more than half the country, with no fear of a backlash. 

Razor companies castigated their customers for their “toxic masculinity,” sports networks lectured their viewers about that and racism, woke employees bullied their own companies into far-left campaigns  insulting the vast majority of their audience.

Sure, there’s still too much of that going on today.  But a growing backlash has cost many companies enough – in sales, ratings, and collapsing stock prices – to feed the growing perception that when it comes to the far-left crybullies who seemingly ran everything a year ago, those emperors have no clothes.

(And there’s nothing on God’s green earth more off-putting than an army of soy boys, blue-haired feminists and militant transgenders with no clothes on!)

A year ago, Netflix was greenlighting one insulting, perverse program after another.  A year later, their woke programming has performed badly enough to cripple their stock price.  Their management once  cowered before a small number of extreme left employees who raised a stink about Dave Chappelle and demanded even more woke programming.

But a month ago, the company pushed back, issuing a “culture memo” to their entitled workers that must have shocked the little darlings.  It said that Netflix will, “let viewers decide what’s appropriate for them, versus…censoring specific artists or voices.”   It even suggested that, “you may need to work on titles you perceive to be harmful,” and rhetorically Hillary-slapped them with the offer that, “If you ‘d find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you.”

That’s not as pointed as the “go friend yourself” message that I would have given if I were the king of Netflix.  But it’ll do.

Disney’s small contingent of sexually confused and hostile employees went to bat for an aggressive campaign of queering up (their words) everything they put out.  Now many employees are pushing back, and their stock price is falling like Joe Biden trying to walk up a mobile airplane staircase.  In the last 24 hours, one of their executives who has been an outspoken critic of attempts to stop them from sexually grooming children was fired.

Twitter spent the last 5 years lying about everything, and censoring everyone to the right of Mao, and now they’re in a death-struggle with Elon Musk.   If he completes the purchase, Pagan Narwhal and his band of slimy apparatchiks will be out on the street; if he doesn’t complete the purchase, the company could collapse.

In other words, current Twitter employees and management don’t know whether to Schumer or wind their watch.

In media and entertainment, the backlash is hitting just as hard.  The ratings for the Emmys, Oscars, Grammys and ESPN are lower than Hunter Biden’s moral standards.  Greg Gutfeld is whipping all the big-budget, late-night network “comedy” shows, and Fox news is beating the networks’ news shows like Victor Davis Hansen in a debate with AOC. 

MSNBC regularly gets outdrawn by the Korean Soccer Channel and the Watching Paint Dry network, and CNN+ lasted for less time than Jeffrey Toobin on a Zoom call.

In politics, every new primary brings worse news for the hard left.  Turnout is down, poll numbers are down, and far left candidates are under-performing. 

In San Francisco – San Fran-freakin’-cisco! – the voters recalled pro-crime Marxist DA Chesa Boudin by 20 points!  And he was a class act until the end, blaming Republicans and billionaires for his defeat.

Never mind that Boudin and an entire wave of leftist prosecutors across the country came to power largely because the leftist billionaire (and close personal friend of Satan) George Soros bankrolled their campaigns.

And never mind that our very own Christopher Silber and seven of his friends are the entire Republican voting base in San Francisco.   

Similarly, the egregious teachers’ union chief Randi Weingarten used to be able to call out ideological goons to steamroll all opposition in most elections nationwide.  But lately her endorsement has been as useful as teats on a boar.  (No offense to transgender boars in the audience.) 

She made a high-profile push for Terry MacAuliffe in deep blue Virginia… and elected his opponent, Glenn Youngkin.  She strong-armed public school systems nationwide to stay locked down so that kids who weren’t at risk for covid wouldn’t be harmed by covid – but would be devastated by social isolation.

As the nation’s pre-eminent advocate for public schools, she’s been a boon to enrollment in private schools and charter schools.  Her hardline anti-school-choice position is proving so unpopular that it’s even contributing to defeating RINOs in favor of conservatives; this week 4 incumbent state rep RINOs in Iowa lost primaries to school choicers.

And she’s not doing lefties any favors, either.  When the Texas State Board of Education held its Dem primaries in March and run-offs in late May, all 20 candidates endorsed by the teachers’ union lost.     

Other Democrats are proving nearly as unpopular.  Fauci has been banished to the same desert island where Fredo Cuomo, Daddy Cuomo, Bill DuhBlasio and Anthony Weiner are slowly starving in much-deserved obscurity. 

Michael Avenatti is in jail, Eric Swalwell is crying over a Dear John letter from Chinese spy Fang-Fang, and Mayor Pete is making the nation wish he were still on paternity leave.

Meanwhile Biden and his cabinet are drifting helplessly, like so many Portuguese men of war — sorry, Portuguese transgenders-of-war – in a sea that is ominously receding from the shore, as a prelude to the incoming Red Tsunami that is (God willing) going to pulverize them in November.

And it’s not just the Democrat politicians who are unpopular, terrible as they all are.  Their ideas are even more toxic.

A year ago they were screaming to defund the police, promising to kill gas and oil production, and crowing about how great it is that evil white folks are being supplanted by black and brown people. 

Now they’re pretending to be pro-police and anti-crime, and to be upset and confused about why gas and oil cost so much.  And they’re whining that the idea that minorities will soon outnumber whites is a conservative conspiracy theory. 

The sky above the Dems is dark with chickens coming home to roost, and we just need to hang on, and be ready to rebuild after the red wave storm surge decimates the rickety blue infrastructure that the left has been trying to build.

It’s been a long 127 years, but it’s only five months to November!

I Can’t Help but Notice that Biden is Terrible at His Job (posted 6/6/22)

I don’t want to write any more about Joe Biden.  You don’t want to read any more about Joe Biden.  But we’re all stuck having to notice him once in a while, since he’s – technically, infuriatingly, posthumously – the president. 

At least for the remaining 2.5 years of his presidency, which has somehow been going on for 127 years so far. 

Remember what it was like, 127 years ago? 

Our country had a border.  Inflation was around 2%.  Pronouns still worked the way they’d worked since around the year 450, when the Angles and Saxons said, “Let’s come up with a Germanic language called Angle-ish, so that Shakespeare and King James’ boys can kick some arse with it in 1000 years.  And we’ll base it on rational pronouns.”

Criminals tried to hide, and commit their crimes when no one was watching.  When they were caught, they used to be – get this! – tried and convicted and thrown in jail.  Usually for longer than a week or two!  

Mummies only showed up in monster movies, rather than in the House Speaker’s chamber.  And all the fake Indians in the country were either selling rubber tomahawks in roadside souvenir stands or acting in F-Troop, instead of occupying a MA senate seat.  (#wemustneverstopmockingher)

And Cassie the Wonder Dog was Cassie the Wonder Pup, but dogs were still Man’s Best Friend, instead of an “emotional support” prop for troubled people to take on airplanes. 

And there were constitutional amendments that Americans were fond of, including ones about free speech, and the ability to defend yourself with a shootin’ iron that would – it was well known – “get ya’ mind right.” 

And gather ‘round kids, because Grandpa Simpson is going to really blow your mind:  Gasoline was $2.20 a gallon!  Not a liter, or whatever you kids these days measure with, an actual gallon! 

And when young mothers wanted baby formula, they’d go and get it from a store.  Just the way it works in a first-world country.

And you knew where you were then, goils were goils and men were men.  Mister we could use a man like Ronald Reagan againnnnn!

Where was I?

Oh, yeah.  The ghost of Biden continues to ruin everything. 

Three examples from the last week:

1.NBC “news” had a long story – in which they were trying to spin FOR him! – that portrayed him as a bumbling incompetent.  The story listed a bunch of failures caused or exacerbated by Biden — the Afghanistan debacle, inflation, baby formula shortages, spiraling gas prices — but cast them as if they were acts of God, beyond his control.

Biden comes across as a self-pitying dope, whining about how he “can’t catch a break,” and asking, “What’s next, locusts?” 

Biden also moans about how he’s not getting “any credit” for all the good things that are happening on his watch.

Oh yes you are, Brandon.  If by “all the good things” you mean “the terrible things,” and if by “credit” you mean “blame.”

2. That NBC story mentions another metaphorical rake that Biden continues stepping on, and which other news reports have chronicled: he’s angry because his staff keeps “walking back” his statements.

In Biden’s “mind” – and yes, those are scare quotes – “he makes a clear and succinct statement,” and then his aides follow up to explain that he meant something else.  Biden tells his advisers that those constant clean-ups, “undermine him” and “smother his authenticity.” 

Ah yes.  Joe Biden’s many clear and succinct statements. 

Like telling Putin that a minor incursion into Ukraine would be okay, and saying that Putin can’t remain in power, and telling China that the US military will defend Taiwan, and claiming that meth-addicted, brother’s-widow-jumping degenerate Hunter Biden is the “smartest man I’ve ever met.”

Those statements.  How dare his aides try to walk those back?

Besides, how could they – or anyone — “smother” Joe Biden’s “authenticity?!”

This is the same guy who ended earlier presidential runs after getting caught plagiarizing.  Twice!  (In one case he spoke movingly about his early years spent mining coal – in a coal mine in Wales, where the original author came from.)  And who has claimed to have been a truck driver, with a high IQ, and highest GPA in his law school class.

Also, he was accepted into the US Naval Academy.  And he knows his way around a shotgun, and could whip your butt in a push-up contest, Fat!     

Obviously, if there’s one thing Biden is known for, it’s authenticity!

3. Don’t worry, though, because those same aides came up with a PR master-stroke to sell Brandon’s agenda to a nauseous American public: bring in a Korean boy band for a photo-op!

The idea didn’t go over so well at first.  One minion was explaining the phenomenon of K-pop to Biden, which made him drop to the floor and cower behind his desk.

Once the aide made clear that the plan involved K-pop and not Corn Pop, he got the green light.

But the event was a little confusing, for several reasons.  Biden clearly didn’t know any of the band members, and they didn’t know him.  The message was supposed to be a rebuke of all the white supremacists who have been assaulting Asians lately.

But inconveniently, all of the recent assaulters have been the same kind of white supremacists who attacked Jussie Smollett: white guys cleverly disguised as Nigerians, cosplaying as Trump supporters.

Sadly, when Biden took a picture with the 7 band members, only one person in the room was a fluent speaker of English. 

And that person was not the president of the United States.  

In the words of one of K-pop’s best known songs:  가자, 브랜든.  (Please look that up and see if I’ve got it right, because my Korean is a little rusty.)

By the way, for those of you who recognized the theme song from All in the Family above, I give you this gift: part of the lyrics to a second verse that weren’t sung on the show– 

“People seemed to be content.

Fifty dollars paid the rent. 

Freaks were in a circus tent. 

Those were the days.”

Freaks were in a circus tent!  That’s poetry right there, and it’s funny because it’s true.

It’s been a long 127 years, and it’s only been 70 weeks

Leftist Shenanigans, Coast to Coast (posted 6/3/22)

Let’s start in Washington, DC, where the trial of sleazy Hillary Clinton hatchet-man Michael Sussman ended with him following in the footsteps of Jeffrey Toobin on a CNN panel discussion: he got off.

Even casual trial watchers saw that this was an open-and-shut case for conviction.  Sussman was exposed as the kind of lying sleaze bag you’d expect to be working for Cankles McPantsuit, having taken a false story smearing Trump as a Russian collaborator to the FBI.  He turned over doctored evidence – which FBI investigators quickly recognized as having been faked – to support his claim.

When questioned under oath, Sussman denied that he was working for any campaign or outside entity, and had come forward simply as a – control your gag reflex – “concerned citizen.”  Criminal mastermind that he is, Sussman proved his own guilt beyond any doubt by… wait for it… billing the Clinton campaign for the time he spent providing fraudulent “evidence” to the FBI!

So why was he acquitted?  Because he truly had a jury of his peers. 

Three of them donated to Hillary Clinton, one donated to AOC, and one had a daughter who played on a sports team with Sussman’s daughter.   And the Obama-appointed judge presiding over the trial naturally believed that those people would be impartial.  Duh.

After the infuriating verdict, one juror gave a media interview in which she argued that the case should not have been prosecuted, since “There are bigger things that affect the nation than a possible lie to the FBI.” 

Great.  Is there any worse American city than DC?  

How about San Francisco, where the geniuses in charge have gotten their priorities – you’ll forgive the term – straight? 

Sure, residents of the city have to teach their kids a horrifying version of hopscotch that involves jumping around to avoid the used syringes that litter the street.  And they can’t leave the house without wearing hip-waders, as if they were going fly fishing in a pristine Montana river, rather than stepping through mounds of human waste.

And crime is skyrocketing, and taxes are ruinously high, and you need a home equity loan to fill up your gas tank.

But don’t worry, because the SF Unified School District has taken the crucial step that is going to turn everything in that benighted city around: they’ve banned using the word “chief” in all of the district’s job titles.

According to their spokesperson Gentle Blythe – and how on earth is she not a Puritan minor character from The Scarlet Letter with that name?! – “our leadership team agreed that, given that Native American members of our community have expressed concerns over the use of the title,” the word “chief” is henceforth off the reservation.

First of all, even counting the Indian from the Village People, the Native American population of San Francisco can’t be that large.  And not too many of those can be such frivolous dopes that they’d be losing sleep over such a trivial issue. 

“Chief” is not a pejorative term, and in the context of education, it is always used in ways that have nothing to do with Native Americans.  Its etymology isn’t connected to Indians in any way, either.

It comes, by way of Middle English and French, from a Latin root that means “leader.”  It’s cognate with terms like “chef” and “captain,” and has been associated with chieftains of Celtic clans, and in modern times with various leadership positions, such as Chief Executive Officer, Chief of Staff, Police Chief, etc.

But we should probably expect no less from the same board that recently made a name for itself by changing the appellation of schools that had been named for such disreputable characters as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. 

So congratulations, future San Franciscans!  One day you’ll be able to send around your transcripts from George Floyd Junior High and Hunter Biden High school!

One funny consequence is that 13 bureaucrats in the school district now have no job titles, since they had been chiefs of this or that.  The district’s website still lists them under their newly offensive former titles, since nobody in the place has yet come up with an alternative.

Might I suggest, “Jack Asses 1-13?”   

Get to work on those business cards.  

Finally, speaking of San Francisco, I would be remiss if I didn’t pay tribute to this happiest of all months in our new liturgical calendar.  It’s a month of festivities that will be in your face daily, through such a profusion of hectoring ads and self-righteous PSAs and obnoxious White House proclamations that you will never cease to be reminded of how much celebrating you should be doing, if you’re not a terrible person.

I am speaking, of course, of National Dairy Month.  

Which I am not making up.   

I started my Dairy Month celebration early, during my trip through Wisconsin and Michigan.  I had some cheese curds with several meals, made a pilgrimage to the birthplace of the sundae (Two Rivers, WI), and continued my life-long love affair with daily servings of ice cream.

Does my contemplative appreciation of all things dairy necessarily make me a better person than you?

Probably. 

But what certainly makes me even more better than you is my new PSA, which I am composing right this minute:

“Hi, my name is Martin Simpson — gentleman, scholar, and widely recognized hilarious genius.  You may know me from such previous PSAs as, ‘What is Lizzie Warren Squaw-king about Now?’ (#wemustneverstopmockingher), ‘Michael Avenatti: Con Man for All Seasons,’ and, ‘Rest in Peace, Joe Biden (1942-2019).’ 

I’d like to speak to you today about the linchpin of our American society: dairy products.

From the delicious butter that you put on your toast or corn on the cob, to the diverse array of cheeses that you enjoy separately or on crackers or hamburgers, to the sweet, sweet ice cream that helps you hold it together in tough times like these, dairy products are one of the consolations of life.

Dairy is also an important source of Vitamin D, which strengthens your bones.  That’s especially important if you’re a woman, and thus more susceptible to osteoporosis. 

Or if you’re a man who identifies as a woman, and who therefore magically has woman-bones, I guess.  

Speaking of which, please don’t let your cisgender, homophobic bigotry interfere with your appreciation of delicious, nutritious dairy products each day.

‘Martin, how could such a stupid-sounding thing ever happen?’ You are probably thinking.

Easy.   You probably are not consciously hateful toward any members of the bovine community.  You probably don’t think that you have attached any negative connotation to first openly gay California politician Harvey Milk’s last name.  You might even believe that when it comes to chocolate or white milk, you don’t see color.   

But when you are raised in such a sexist, transphobic, cud-bashing society like ours, you can’t help but be affected by it.  You probably assume that the breed a cow was assigned at birth is its actual breed, even though science has proven that if a Guernsey identifies as a Holstein, she’s a Holstein. 

And you probably assume that just because you are vigorously milking her, a cow is a female, and her pronouns are she/her.  But what if she’s a male cow who identifies as a female cow, commonly known as a trans-heifer?  What then?

Ummm… if that’s the case, you should probably stop “milking” that cow immediately.

So this June, observe National Dairy Month by consuming at least 5 servings of dairy each day, and celebrating the entire rainbow of cattle breeds and sexual orientations.

And remember the National Woke Dairy Manufacturers’ slogan: “In Our America, There’s No Tolerance for Lactose Intolerance.”

Avenatti/ Goody Gentle Blythe 2024!

Considering the Dems’ Dilemma this Memorial Day (posted 5/30/22)

This Memorial Day, I’m feeling more contemplative than usual, which is as it should be. 

Amidst all of our recent self-inflicted troubles, I’m still appreciative of our military, and the sacrifices that they’ve made.  As a conservative, I’m feeling optimistic about the prospects of a red wave in November, and the turning point that that might offer us for at least the short- and mid-term future.

I certainly wouldn’t trade our position for that of our leftist friends, even though they still have control over both houses of congress.  And I don’t think the their recent difficulties arise primarily from the uniform repugnance of their leaders.  (Although their terribleness is pretty stunning!)  

I think their main problem – and it’s one that’s much harder to solve – is that their animating ideas are fundamentally flawed.

There’s an old quote about the difference between philosophy and ideology that goes something like this: philosophy involves adjusting your mind to the reality of the world around you, and ideology involves adjusting the reality of the world to your mind.    

I’ve been thinking about that quote a lot over the last several years, and especially over the interminable 27 years of the Biden administration.  The quote sums up for me the dilemma that elite leftists find themselves in right now: their ideology requires that they force the world to fit the mental scaffolding they’ve built, and the world is not cooperating.    

That scaffolding has been creaking and shifting as it becomes more untethered from reality, and lately nuts and bolts and pieces of pipe have begun falling off.  Soon the badly built structure will inevitably collapse, and I wonder if even then the left will recognize and admit the shoddy workmanship undergirding their failed ideology.

I’m not confident that they will, because the more reality resists their ideas, the more they double down on what’s failing. Consider a few examples.

On the economy, they raise taxes and increase regulations, and generally make it riskier, more expensive and more time consuming to start or conduct business.  When productive people and businesses flee the cities and states they control, they seem genuinely shocked – and then furious.

They do everything they can to restrict the supply of oil and natural gas – killing pipelines, hamstringing attempts to explore for oil, and then slow-walking any permit requests to drill – and when prices skyrocket, they are shocked that people are unhappy.  And they get furious.

They borrow and spend trillions (the GOP is not exactly blameless on this front, either!) while calling it “investments,” and anticipating only benefits and no costs – and are startled when inflation results. And then call for more spending.

On crime, they crack down on policing and incentivize crime by excusing criminals and minimizing punishment – and when crime skyrockets, they are caught by surprise.  And they smear anyone who notices the bodies piling up as racists.

On guns, they refuse to support harsh treatment for criminals who illegally use guns, and focus instead on trying to get guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens.  When citizens resist, they are dumbfounded.  And they get furious.

On race, they insist that we’ve made no progress since slavery and Jim Crow, and they teach kids that they should judge (and hate) others because of the color of their skin.  They search for micro-aggressions and dog whistles and unconscious racism.  And when race relations get worse, they are happy.  (Which is much creepier than when they’re furious!)

On national pride, they denigrate America and sneer at patriotism, while exaggerating other countries’ virtues and our vices, and when regular people push back, or stand for the national anthem, they get furious.  

On biology, they insist that women can have penises and men can get pregnant, and that women are terribly treated in America, but also that it’s impossible to define what a woman is.   And when normal people laugh and mock them, they get furious.

A quote from the great C.S. Lewis’ treatise The Abolition of Man sums up their situation perfectly: “In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”

Especially in light of all of the trans madness going on, that last bit seems especially, painfully applicable.

I’m optimistic, though, because our country will soon have a necessary reckoning with reality on reality’s terms.  While that reckoning is going to bring with it a lot of pain for all of us, the brunt of it is going to be borne by those who have been steadfastly denying reality. 

Which, also, is as it should be.

Rather than ending on that grim note, I’d like to point you to a great musical version of the main idea of this column.  It comes via Billy Strings, the young country/bluegrass guitar wizard that I recommended a year or more ago.  (That recommendation was for an original song of his, “Dust In a Baggie,” which you can easily find on Youtube.)  

It turns out that in the same informal session in somebody’s modest living room that produced “Dust in a Baggie,” he also played a great version of Johnny Winter’s song, “It Ain’t Nothing to Me.” 

Although the analogy isn’t perfect, I consider the grim fate awaiting the Dems in November to be analogous to the song’s theme.  On the surface, it’s a song about a foolish man’s terrible choices, and the singer who tries – unheeded – to warn him.

With any luck, the song’s last line is going to be a political epitaph for the Dem House and Senate later this year.  Because we’ve been trying to get them to change course for a long time now, and when they (please God!) reap what they’ve been sowing, I think Johnny Winter will be speaking for all of us when he wrote…

“It ain’t nothing to me.”

Enjoy the song, and have a grateful, reflective Memorial Day.

It’s been a long 27 years, and it’s only been 69 weeks.