Car Problems, & Karma Comes for Many Corporations (posted 6/1/23)

I’ve had the better part of a week to try to get caught up on the national stories I missed while I was traveling with the cousins.  But I have one post-script to my Kentucky and Tennessee trip.

As you’ll remember, my trip ended in Illinois last Wednesday night.  From there I drove down to Tennessee on Thursday, to see my mom, sis and brother-in-law.  (Mom is doing just fine after her recent covid bout, and Eddie the dog is also doing fine after the weird seizure he had last month, thanks for asking.)   

On Friday I made the 10-hour drive back to Florida.  Or at least I made the first 7 hours of that drive, until my car died on the interstate in Georgia. 

And yes, I’m aware of the irony that I had just successfully traveled 1500 miles in a 47-year-old car with many non-functioning features, only to have my 9-year-old, normally reliable Acura break down three hours from home.    

This situation provided an opportunity to consider the “optimism vs. pessimism” world view.

On the “glass is half full” side:

  • My engine died when nobody was close behind me or beside me, so I could safely cruise over to the shoulder.
  • The breakdown could have happened when I was much further from home.
  • Or when I was in downtown Atlanta, in which case I would have barely had time to make my peace with God during the 95 seconds it would have taken for my car to be plowed into by a moron texting at 83 mph or a trucker hopped up on amphetamines.
  • Instead of being a stranded young woman – who crime shows tell me would immediately be picked up a serial murderer in a windowless kill-van – I’m an intimidating figure of a man with hands that are registered as lethal weapons.  
  • There were still 3 hours of daylight left, and it wasn’t raining.

On the “glass is half empty” side:

  • My reliable car died when I was three hours away from seeing my top-shelf wife and wonder dog after 10 days away from home.
  • My dead car came to rest along a hillside that turned out to be covered with ants.
  • Always try to break down right at 5 o’clock on a three-day holiday weekend, so no mechanics will be available within your time zone.

So I called my wife, who immediately got into her car and started the three-hour trip to pick me up.  (She’s the best!) Then I called Triple-A, and talked to a nice lady who I’m guessing was in Bangladesh.  Or possibly

 Rangoon.

I told her I was broken down along I-75 somewhere in Georgia, south of Macon, and that the next exit sign I could see was for Centerville and Warner Robins.

After some computer typing, she told me that she sees that there is a Warner Robins in Ohio. 

I thanked her for that Geography Bee info, and said that I would look that up the next time I’m in Ohio.  But right now I’m in Georgia, somewhere south of Macon.

More typing.  Then she said, “I see ‘May-kahn.’”

Then I said, “Yes, Macon.”

Then she said, “Have you passed ‘Buy-rahn?’”

And before I could say, “Do you mean ‘Byron?’” I suddenly realized I was in the hilarious Key and Peele black-substitute-teacher-taking-roll-in-the-white-high-school sketch.  (“Jay-quellen?” “Do you mean ‘Jaqueline?’” “If one of y’all says some silly-ass name, this whole class is gonna feel my WRATH!”)

In her defense, the Triple-A lady was very nice, and said that she’d called for a tow truck, but that it may be an hour or two before it arrived. 

Because I was once a Boy Scout, I am always prepared with a book to read.  So I climbed the small hillside beside the interstate and sat down to read about the Roman writer Tacitus’s book Germania, and how it became a favorite of the Nazis twenty centuries after it was written.

Thirty-seconds after sitting down, I learned that there were a lot of ants on that hillside. 

So for the next hour and a half, I paced back and forth reading about Tacitus. 

Sidebar: the book is called “A Most Dangerous Book: Tacitus’s Germania from the Roman Empire to the Third Reich.”  If you are interested in Roman writers of the first century, the convoluted stories that explain how some ancient texts were able to survive into the modern world, or how Himmler and the Nazis could mine a Roman historian for racial propaganda, this is the book for you!

I eventually got the car towed and left at a local mechanic’s closed shop, and Karen got there, and I got home.  The car’s engine might be blown, but it’s being flat-bedded home, and I’ll soon see.

It was nice to be away from politics during my trip, but in the days since I’ve been home, I ran through enough stories to see that the supply of idiocy continues to outstrip the demand.  

I saw a short video clip of poor old Dianne Feinstein being pushed around in her wheelchair, and heard a snippet of John Fetterman struggling through an attempt to ask a coherent question of some unfortunate sap who was appearing before a congressional committee.

All I can say is that Feinstein is making Imhotep Pelosi look like a dewy young ingenue, and Fetterman is making Joey Gaffes look like a well-spoken and intellectually agile politician.  And if you’d told me that either of those things were possible, I’d have bet the mortgage against it.

I also saw the infuriating story of the MSM beclowning themselves over the “citi-bike Karen” story, in a way that is representative of our elites’ racially poisonous dishonesty.  It was another tale that was too good to check: entitled white lady victimizes angelic minority kids.

But just on the face of this story, it was absurd.  We were supposed to accept the idea that a diminutive, pregnant white nurse confronted several young black men and tried to steal THEIR citi-bike?  Of course it later turns out that she did indeed pay to use the bike, which the young thieves were trying to take away from her. 

I hear that she’s suing the hospital who suspended her without gathering any facts, along with the media who smeared her.  I hope she takes them all to the cleaners! 

On the bright side, I see that some sweet, sweet “reap what you sow” stories continue to abound.   

Exhibit A happened when Triple-Crown winner in the imbecility sweepstakes Joy Behar was blasted by everybody after her recent absurd attacks on conservative blacks who have actually accomplished something in their lives – as opposed to taking a paycheck in exchange for lowering the national IQ by yammering idiocies on the daily fat-suit follies on the View. 

Joy was talking about Senator Tim Scott, whom she said “is one of these guys, who you know, he’s like Clarence Thomas, black Republican, who believes in pulling yourself by your bootstraps, rather than, to me, understanding the systemic racism that African-Americans face in this country and other minorities. He doesn’t get it.”

Sure, Thomas was the son of sharecroppers and rose to one of the highest positions in the country, despite the sanctioned bigotry of the Democrats’ Jim Crow laws.  And Scott has been black his whole life, and was raised by a working class single mom.  But they both need a bottom-quintile-IQ dimwit like Behar to explain racism to them.

Thank you, octogenarian white lady!

Karma has also continued to Hillary-slap the corporate world.

Fox’s firing of Tucker Carlson continues to ravage their ratings, and deservedly so.  Disney’s years-long campaign to defecate on their brand’s legacy of wholesome entertainment in favor of advancing a bigoted, woke, “not so secret gay agenda” (their words, not mine) continues to produce unwatchable and unwatched movies, along with catastrophic flight of their audiences from Disney+ and a drop (so far) of a third of their stock valuation. 

Bud Light’s trans idiocy continues killing their sales and their stock price, and yet they continue in the face of their deepening crisis to say, “hold my beer.”  Which is easy to do, since there are huge, unsold quantities of it in every grocery store, retailer and bar from coast to coast.  (Also, hat-tip to whoever first called them “Trans-heuser-Busch.”)  

Target’s case is also hilarious, costing them many billions for their head-scratching decision to promote a sexual confusion message to very young children.  Until I read about their line of girls’ swimsuits for boys (yes: marketing genius!), I’d never heard the term “penis tucking” before. 

And now I can’t un-hear it. 

Of all of the events I would have happily gone to my grave without witnessing –  the election of another Democrat president ever; the invasion of our country by mostly dependent and unassimilated law-breakers as Biden has undemocratically obliterated our borders; the establishment of professional soccer in America – a major corporation pushing a castration-adjacent campaign to persuade young boys to take what God gave them and tuck it (painfully, I assume) into a girl’s swimsuit is definitely on that list!

I look forward to more financial and emotional pain for all involved.

 Biden delenda est!

“Dr.” Jill Biden/Joy “Black-Face” Behar, 2024!

Road Trip w/ the Cousins in the Caddy, Part 3 (posted 5/29/23)

Day 5 – Tuesday, 23 May 

We slept a little bit later than usual – it had nothing to do with the bourbon, scotch and tequila tasting the night before – and Sharon made some great scones for breakfast, and we took our leave around 10.  As we were filling up and putting some air in the tires in Townsend, a couple of guys came up and talked with us about the Caddy. 

One of them had a pistol in a holster on his belt in plain sight, and it didn’t bother me or anyone around us.  For any readers who live in big, blue cities, this is because guns are morally neutral tools that don’t shoot people.   

(But if I were in NYC or Chicago – where the police have been hamstrung and the criminals emboldened by leftist politicians – and sharing a train car or some other “legal-gun-free-zone” with a bunch of recidivist gang-bangers?  No bueno.)

We took a short drive on the Foothills Parkway, which climbed to a stretch of ridgeline overlooking Townsend, and then turned back to retrace our steps toward town.  On the way back, we came across an adult black bear calmly tearing into a fallen tree, no more than about 12 yards off the road. 

After a lifetime spent in farm country and college towns, I can never quite shake the impression that a bear in that situation looks suspiciously like a really big guy in a bear suit. Until you see one tearing a tree trunk into kindling while looking for grubs or whatever bears eat that comes from a tree trunk. 

After that we drove for over an hour with the top down through the same sort of pretty, rolling landscape we’d been seeing, before pulling into Wartburg, TN.  And yes, the city fathers really fell down on the town-naming front.  (“Come see charming Wartburg!  Just six miles south of Festerville on Poisonous Snake Road, or take Oozing Lesion Lane for 10 miles from Tumorton.”)

We looked around the very nice little Visitors’ Center for the Obed Wild and Scenic River National Park, and got a map and some park info from the rangers there.  It turns out that the first trailhead we found in the park itself is about 6 miles of winding road away from town.  We’d never heard of this park, but it was really impressive; I think it’s as pretty as the much more well-known Smoky Mountains park, but much less crowded.

The trails were similar: shady and cool, with a wide creek flowing on one side, and a steep hillside and occasional cliffs on the other.  The first people we came across on the trail were some young lunatics doing some rock climbing on one section of the cliffs.  The base of that rock wall was recessed just a bit, and the cliff face rose beyond vertical, so that the top of the cliff was extended out maybe 10 yards or more over our heads.

The effect was of a half-bowl of rock, with a cleared space beneath it, and a heavy canopy of trees that shaded the entire area.  The climbers were very friendly; they were a group of a dozen 20-somethings, three of whom were female, and they obviously knew what they were doing.  They had the right gear – ropes and clips and goofy-looking shoes – and they picked their way up the rock using handholds that I couldn’t see.

A very mellow baby lay in a carrier at the edge of the clearing, and I got him to smile at me.  (Or her.  I mean, I don’t even know what sex he was assigned at birth, so who’s to say?)  

We watched until one of the climbers beneath the cliff top crawled out, upside down just below the spot where the out-thrust rock bends back toward vertical, and lost his grip.  He fell for about 10 feet before his friends holding the rope below sent him swinging away from the rock face with some good-natured mockery.

Even though I knew each climber was rigged up with ropes, my heart went into my throat when he lost his handhold and fell.  As I passed the baby on our way back to the trail, I pointed up to the guy who had just fallen and circled my index finger around my ear in the universal sign for “cuckoo,” and the baby smiled at me.

He knows what’s up. 

Or she.  Who can say?

We hiked our way back to the trailhead and then drove up onto the plateau above the cliffs, and hiked out to an extensive series of wooden walkways that give a panoramic view of the park.  According to our map, we were looking at Clear Creek from the Lilly Bluff Overlook.  (You see, Wartburg? THAT’S how you name things.)  

According to a display on the overlook, Obed is a “dark sky” park, due to the remoteness and lack of light pollution there.  A poster listed a schedule of night sky observation events, during which visitors can bring their own telescopes, or use those that park rangers will have on site. 

That sounded amazing to me, and I really want to come back and see that sometime.  I was reminded of a quote from Emerson that has always resonated with me, about what an incredible event it would be if we only got to see the stars once in many years. 

Here it is: “If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown!”

Have I mentioned how many things we take for granted?

Back on the road and somewhere near the small town of Deer Lodge TN we saw a series of hand-made signs with directions to the “Redneck Haven Mud Resort.”  It doesn’t sound like my usual kind of place, but I’ve got to say that the name closes strong with a mud “resort!”  (You can take the Simpsons out of Kentucky, but you may not be able to completely take the Kentucky out of a Simpson.)

A while later we were driving along Route 127 around 10 miles south of the Kentucky border and came across the Alvin York home and burial site.  It was after 5:00, and the well-kept, two-story farmhouse was closed, but we saw the bust of York, with a plaque and some carvings on a pedestal outlining some of his accomplishments.  

During the WWI Meuse-Argonne offensive, York (a private, but an “acting corporal” – which I assume means the other corporals in the area were dead or wounded) led a squad of 16 guys on a mission to silence some German machine guns.  After capturing some machine guns and prisoners, the Germans had killed 6 and wounded 3 of his squad. 

Because he was an Ameri-CAN, not an Ameri-can’t, York took the remaining 7 guys and opened up an industrial-sized can of Tennessee whoop-ass (it’s like Tennessee whiskey, only more potent) on the remaining German machine gunners in the vicinity.  When it was over, he’d killed at least 25 German soldiers and captured 132, along with 35 machine guns.

It’s Memorial Day as I write this, and even though York didn’t die in battle for his country – he made the guy on the other side die for his, as Patton later advised – we still owe him our gratitude for what he did in 1918.

Twenty-three years later, Hitler welcomed the news that the Americans had entered WWII, because he thought that they were “soft.”  Apparently he’d never heard of a Tennessee farm boy named Alvin Cullum York! (I’m with the late great Norm MacDonald on this issue: “You know, with Hitler, the more I learn about that guy, the more I don’t care for him.”)

A little farther down the road, we had some very good Mexican food in a very small town, and then spent our last night on the road in Columbia.

Day 6 – Wednesday

This was mostly a get-back-home day, with about 7 hours of driving to do.  But we did manage to get one more stop in, this time to Lincoln’s birthplace, a Historical National Park near Hodgenville, Kentucky. 

Once again they had a nice museum with exhibits on Lincoln’s early life, including farm implements, his family Bible, and the pelts of some of the local animals that could kill you in the early 19th century: a black bear, a mountain lion and a wolf. 

(They also had a sizeable beaver, which I guess could play hell with you if you happened to have a wooden leg, after previously tussling with one of the aforementioned three predators.)

The grounds included more shady trails, but the two main attractions were the Sinking Springs – which is still flowing in a recessed kind of grotto, and from which Abe likely often slaked his thirst – and a cabin dating from Lincoln’s time, which is enclosed in a columned, stone building at the top of a hill.

Lincoln lived in Kentucky for his first 7 years, and then in Indiana until he went to Illinois at age 21, but I thought it was touching and a little funny how the short films at each of those sites’ centers emphasized their state’s contribution to Lincoln’s character.  Kentucky pointed out the formative experiences young Abe had in his first 7 crucial years, and Indiana highlighted how he’d arrived there a boy but left a man.

When the ranger at one of those sites asked us where we were from, Darryll – who has a tendency toward smart-assery that I obviously don’t share – said, “the Land of Lincoln.”  The ranger took that in stride, and with a wry grin said something to the effect of, “I guess you guys have to claim Chicago, then?”

Check and mate.

We arrived back home that night in time for a late supper with yet a few more cousins, and I headed home to Florida the next day. 

I enjoyed this year’s trip as I had the previous two.  One additional good part of our travels was made possible by a set of blue-tooth speakers that Darryll brought along for the trip.  We were able to listen to a lot of great, Kentucky-centric and Appalachian music as we drove around the region from which those songs came.

Singers in heaviest rotation included Steve Earle, Tyler Childers and of course Sturgill Simpson.  (Though I’m not related to him as far as I know, if Liz Warren can say that Cochise was her great-great-grandpa, I can say that Sturgill is my second cousin, or maybe a half-brother.) (#wemustneverstopmockingher)

One frequently played song was a live version of “Choctaw Bingo,” by James McMurtry – son of Larry, who wrote the great book Lonesome Dove, among others.  Even though that song is about the north Texas/south Oklahoma region, its themes and setting – a huge family reunion of a chaotic bunch, a least a few of whom are involved in opioid distribution – seemed to fit the trip.

Like his dad, McMurtry can turn a phrase.  Some of the lyrics that we found ourselves singing included mentions of a Desert Eagle (“That’s one great big ol’ pistol/I mean 50 caliber made by/ bad-ass Hebrews.”) and the exploits of a certain Uncle Slayton (“He’s got an Airstream trailer and a/Holstein cow./ He still makes whiskey cause he/ still knows how.”  And later, “Cooks that crystal meth/ because that ‘shine don’t sell/ You know he likes that money/ he don’t mind the smell”).  

Another song that I kept thinking of was, “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive.”  (My favorite version is by Flatt Lonesome, who have a female lead singer with a beautiful voice that just inhabits the song, but Ruby Friedman has a spare, haunting version that causes chills, too.)  Though it focuses on the coal mining areas that are well east of Campbellsville, the opening lines never fail to move me: 

“In the deep, dark hills of eastern Kentucky/ that’s the place where I trace my bloodline./ And it’s there I read on a hillside gravestone/ we’ll never leave Harlan alive./ My grandfather’s dad crossed the Cumberland mountains/ where he took a pretty girl to be his bride’/ Said won’t you walk with me out of the mouth of his holler/ or we’ll never leave Harlan alive.”

I’m very grateful that my grandparents left the hollers around Casey Creek, Speck and Knifley alive!  As beautiful as that country is, and even though my generation tends to romanticize the hard, gritty lives they lived there, they made good lives in Illinois.  And without that move, my dad would never have met my mom.

In fact, by the end of the trip, I found myself returning again and again to an appreciation of the long odds against my cousins and I even getting the chance to exist in the first place.  Walking through those cemeteries and tracing my convoluted bloodline brought home the fragility of life.

If at any of a hundred turns, any one individual Simpson in any of many generations hadn’t survived what Shakespeare calls “the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to” – vulnerable childhoods and dangerous work; wild animals, deadly plants and feuding neighbors; wars and disease and primitive conditions – I would never have been born.

Even discounting all of those odds against survival, each of the Simpson men had to marshall their Simpsonian magnetism and beguile their eventual wives into having their children.  Hezekiah Simpson had to close on his Mary in the 1840s, and William Lee Simpson had to seal the deal with his Nancy in the 1870s, and Grandpa Zack had to land his Rose a hundred years ago.  (He was 25 and she was 15 when they married, and that’s all I’m going to say about that.)

And that still left dad needing to meet and marry mom.  And her parents needing to meet, and their parents, and a chain of many more ancestors back in Germany, while dad’s people were knocking around Ireland and Scotland until they could catch a rickety boat to cross the Atlantic.

Am I saying that it’s a miracle and a blessing that I even get to be here, to live this life?

That’s EXACTLY what I’m saying.  And the same goes for you too.

And the fact that we have all gotten to virtually “meet” and get to know each other on this site that the great and powerful CO created on a whim?

Icing on an already delicious cake, baby!

Thank you all for reading about this latest trip, and remember…

Biden delenda est!

Road Trip with the Cousins in the Caddy, Part 2 (posted 5/28/23)

Day 3 – 21 May

We got an early start on a sunny and cool Sunday morning, and we spent a few hours driving through several hollers on the same kind of roads we’d been on since before we crossed into Kentucky.  (Linguistic note: “Hollers” got their name because of the distinctive, frustrated cries of travelers trying to get cell reception to call their Uncle Bob for more local color information.  True story.)

We eventually ended up at the Green River Tabernacle Cemetery, where we found the stones of Hezekiah Simpson and his wife Mary.   Hezekiah was my grandpa Zack’s grandfather, and a fine instance of the Old Testament-named Simpsons.  We have multiple Moses-es in the family tree, for example. 

(And I just now realized that there’s no logical way to write the plural of “Moses.”  Because you can’t go with the Latin “Mosi” for an OG Hebrew like Moses.)  (Luckily for all of us, we are very rarely called upon to summon up the plural of “Moses” in everyday conversation.) 

In all three cemeteries I noticed a lot of infant deaths, as well as many deaths tied to Spanish flu, and one of several wars.  (The things we take for granted, again.)  I also found one grave with a carved symbol that I’d seen on several graves at each cemetery: a hand with the index finger pointing upward.  But in this one, the hand was not particularly well-rendered, and the effect was that the middle finger seemed to be the one doing the pointing.  Beneath the hand were the words, “Gone Home.”

I know that that was supposed to be an earnest expression of faith.  But feuds were not unknown in Kentucky, and I’m tickled to think that maybe the woman beneath that stone was a fiery lady with a wry last message for some kin of whom she may not have been particularly fond.  (As in, “I’m gone home now, Jedediah, so suck it!”)

Not far from the Green River, we drove down a road where my dad and his brother Bob (Bobby’s dad) had spent many childhood summers.  (Dad and Uncle Bob were “Irish Twins,” dad born in January and Bob born in December of 1938, when Zack and Rose were turning out Simpsons at a furious pace.) We found the small home of one of their Gabeheart uncles – the house still in very good shape – on a beautiful little piece of land that dropped away in back to a creek running through some timber. 

In the backyard, halfway between the house and the creek was an old, weathered spring house that uncle Bob remembered and described to us, in between dropped phone calls.  Which made us – you guessed it – “holler” in frustration.

As we got out of the car on the road and took some pictures and video, a lady who looked to be in her 70s came to the front door of the house.  She invited us to come up and talk to her, and we told her who we were.  She said that she had lived in the house since the early 1960s, and gave us permission to walk around the property.  Darryll went into the spring house, where water was still running inside, though the building looked like you could knock it down by sneezing on it. 

After leaving the old Simpson stomping grounds, we cut across country on yet more winding and scenic roads.  Darryll eventually came to what looked like a private driveway between two very nice homes, and he drove right up and parked like he owned the place.

Then he led us across the backyard and through a gate in a farm fence, and then for about another 30 yards, where we came to an old wrought-iron fence surrounding maybe a dozen graves.  Three of those were Darryll’s ancestors on his dad’s side.  Their recently replaced headstones showed that they had all fought as officers in the Revolutionary War, and received land grants of 400 acres each, after the war.

I imagine those homeowners must be legally required to provide access to the old family plot, which is otherwise landlocked.  But I’d like to think that they’d do so anyway, out of respect, and because they’re not a bunch of grievance-study-majors who have minored in tearing down statues.    

Back on the road, we soon came across the Mill Springs Battlefield National Monument, near the small town of Nancy, KY.  The visitors’ center had an impressive array of weapons and equipment carried by Civil War soldiers.  We learned that the average size of the soldiers was 5’8” and 140 pounds.  So I could have been a god among them!

I mean, until it came time to load and shoot an old rifle.  Or hit a squirrel.  Or cook or eat the squirrel that I had somehow miraculously shot.

A display inside told of how Confederate general Felix Zollicoffer had a rough day, getting killed in the first hour of the battle.  He rode up to talk to some soldiers whom he thought were his – I guess the blue uniforms weren’t enough of a clue – and got shot by them.  (If I were to learn that that guy was the great-great-grandfather of bumbling Merrick Garland, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised.)  

We crossed over into Tennessee in the late afternoon, ending up in the valley town of Townsend, where we’d be staying for the next two nights.  We took a half-hour drive into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where the forest seemed to envelope the road, surrounding us with cool air and bird song and a green canopy overhead.  The road rose gradually, turning in gentle curves alternating with tight switch-backs. 

Gliding along in a convertible gave us the full sensory experience.  The sounds of splashing water were almost constant, either from the shady creek that flanks the road or from small trickles of ground water that run off of cliff faces and rocky outcroppings that had been dynamited to make a path for the railroad that preceded the road.  

The woods were green and clean-smelling and sun-dappled, and we enjoyed a brief foretaste of the hiking to come, before returning to our destination for the day.

Darryll’s cousin on his dad’s side lives with her husband in a house above Townsend, and we eased the Cadillac up into the hills and then up their curving driveway, before bringing her to a stop on a flat section of pavement beside the house.  It was not unlike maneuvering a large boat into a small berth. 

That day ended with a warm welcome and a full table, courtesy of our generous hosts.

Day 4 – 22 May

We had breakfast at a mom-and-pop place, and our waiter was Larry. He was as friendly as can be – as was pretty much everyone we came across all along the trip – with a Tennessee accent as smooth as Tennessee whiskey, as the song says. 

It was the kind of accent that when he called each of us “buddy” – which he did repeatedly – he sounded like we were old friends.   (In most places, when a stranger calls you “buddy” it’s usually in a tone that suggests an unspoken “what’re you lookin’ at?” or “keep moving.”)

After breakfast we drove into the National Park again, this time driving the 11-mile loop through Cade’s Cove, a small and primitive mountain community that had been there until TN and NC began purchasing the land for the eventual creation of the national park.  By the end of the 1940s the residents had all sold their land or died, thus ending life-leases they had to their homes, leaving behind some scattered churches, cabins, barns and a gristmill.

The Cove road moves partly through forest, and partly along the edges of open meadows.  While there were a good amount of cars driving the loop that day, it gets much more crowded in the summer months.  A local said that the 11-mile loop takes 5 hours or more to drive then, so I’d suggest going either in the winter or spring. 

The traffic stopped ahead of us for awhile when we were maybe 3 miles in, and when we finally moved through, we saw that an adolescent black bear was eating and walking in the long grass maybe 20 yards from the road.  In a couple of more miles, we parked at the trailhead entrance to Abram’s Falls, and spent the next 3 hours on a 5-mile hike with around 600 feet of elevation difference to the falls and back.  

The path ran alongside another wide creek, and much of it wound between sweet-smelling mountain laurel and several other flowering bushes that we didn’t recognize.   The first half of the trek made a slow ascent, but after reaching a ridgeline, the path dropped more steeply down to the falls.  By the time we had retraced our steps up to the ridgeline and completed the hike, we were ready for a slow, cooling trip around the rest of the cove, and back to Townsend.       

We had supper out that night, and after we returned to the house above town, Bobby and Darryll’s cousin Sharon called it a night pretty early, but Darryll and I stayed up and hung out with Sharon’s husband Gary.  We talked books for a while, and he gave me a U.S. Grant biography that I hadn’t seen before.

Then he broke out the spirits. 

As a curiosity, we tried a Marsala wine, and it tasted just like you’d expect, if you’ve ever eaten chicken Marsala.  We did a taste test of his favorite bourbons – Booker’s and Baker’s – and then had some aged Talisker single-malt Scotch, which was very smooth.  I had the feeling that all of these bottles were way more expensive than your humble roving correspondent is used to, so I was hesitant to take very much of any of them.  

But like any good bartender, Gary has a heavy pour.   

We also had a shot of very good tequila, the name of which I can’t remember.  (Possibly because of the bourbon and Scotch that preceded it.)  The only thing we tried that I didn’t like was absinthe, which had the same weird, licorice-y taste that I remember from the first (and only) time I tried ouzo at a Greek restaurant.  

We hit the sack in a state of contentment after a very good day, with a plan to head back north the next day. 

Biden delenda est!

This Year’s Road Trip with the 2 Cousins in the old Caddy – Part 1 (posted 5/26/23)

Today’s column will be a departure from my usual ramblings about politics and other ridiculousness, because I’ve been in a news blackout – or at least a brown-out – while I’ve been on my annual trip with two of my cousins.

Regular readers may remember that two years ago one cousin bought a 1976 Cadillac El Dorado convertible, and that May the three of us took it on a trip on Route 66, starting in Chicago and ending up at the Santa Monica Pier.  Then last May we took it on a “Lap the Lake” ride around Lake Michigan, starting in Chicago, and going up through Wisconsin and Michigan, and then back down through Indiana. 

We had some logical concerns about whether the old Caddy would make those trips, but she performed like a champ.  So we decided that we’d press our luck and try another trip this year. We left on Friday 5/19, for a six-day trip down to Kentucky to see where the Simpson side of our family lived before moving up to Illinois. 

We left home in north central Illinois on Friday morning under low skies and a light rain.  Our plan for that day was to wander south and east through the state, mostly on country roads, towards Vincennes, Indiana.  We had breakfast in Dwight – a small spot on Route 66 that we’d passed through in ’21.  By the time we got to Champagne the sun was out, so we put the top down and headed east under blue skies that held up the rest of the day.

If you’re wondering whether the political tough times in Illinois have kept the farmers there from doing their work, worry no longer.  Because we ended up driving behind one piece of farm equipment after another for what felt like the better part of 100 miles.  Those things take up a little more than half of the crowned roads they run on, and with the Caddy floating gently in a slight breeze, passing them can be an adventure.

The only other adventure that morning came when I pulled up to a country railroad crossing that was being crossed – slowly – from west to east by a train that appeared to stretch to Iowa.  After five minutes of boxcars ambling by, the train stopped. And sat there.  For a long time. 

The guy hauling a tank of fertilizer in front of me finally gave up and turned around. So we turned the Caddy around – in only six back-and-forth maneuvers! – and headed back the way we came.  By the time we reached a side-road heading east, I noticed that the train was moving again.  Because of course it was.

Now we’re in a parallel race with a train that’s picking up speed, and we don’t know how far the next crossing is, or how many farmers driving 30-foot-wide combines are between us and that crossing.  So it’s a Thelma and Louise situation, only with toxic masculinity instead of annoying Susan Sarandon.

I’m not going to say that we went airborne over the crossing when we reached it.  But the lights were on and the gates were just starting to come down when we made it across.  And we all raised both arms above the windshield in celebration, with a single finger on each right hand raised in salute to the train.  Because we’re essentially children.

We reached the Wabash River in the late afternoon and crossed into Indiana, where we immediately stopped at a monument to George Rogers Clark, a Revolutionary War soldier who took back Fort Sackville from the British in a strategic victory that secured the land that would later make up 5 states. 

Sure, the Brits went wrong when they named the fort “Sackville.”  Because come on: you’re literally asking for the fort to be sacked.  (My free advice to future military planners?  Give your forts scary names, like “Fort Razor Wire and Land Mines,” or “Fort Death to the Enemy!”)

We had expected a statue and a few plaques, but we found out that the site is actually a small national park, and it was way more impressive than we’d anticipated.  The monument itself is a round building of granite and limestone, the size of the Jefferson monument in DC.  A statue inside of Clark is surrounded by huge paintings of important events in the fort’s history. 

The one that depicts the British general giving his sword to Clark at the surrender was my favorite.  Clark had taken 170 men on a 4-mile slog through chest-high, near freezing water to catch the Brits by surprise, and when their commander believed that the besieging force was much larger than it was, he surrendered after two days of fighting. 

In the painting, he looks p*ssed!

At the foot of the pedestal on which Clark’s statue stands, the following quote appears: “If a country is not worth protecting, it is not worth claiming.”  Stirring words.  I don’t know how anyone can read that and not think of the chaos on our southern border, and not wish for a congressional delegation to confront Biden, and make him hand over his sword.

Except that he’d probably cut one of his spindly legs off trying to get it out of its scabbard.  Which would be fine with me.  

Afterwards we drove around Vincennes.  There’s a college there, and the home of president William Henry Harrison, who died after only one month in office.  (Those were the days!) They’ve got a cool old downtown, and a restaurant serving some good Italian food. 

We left Vincennes with full bellies and a plan to stop for the night at around 7:30 in Jasper, Indiana.  But the landscape and roads were hilly and pretty, the early evening sunset bathed everything in a warm glow, and the Caddy floated like a cloud, so we continued on until we reached Owensboro KY just as darkness was falling around 8:30.

Our only disappointment that day was that Darryll didn’t get to try the mutton BBQ that Owensboro is known for. 

Day 2 –

Saturday the 20th was another day that started out with some overcast and rain, but then turned sunny.  We were up early, and during breakfast we decided to backtrack a short distance to Indiana to see Lincoln’s boyhood home.  Because organized planning is not our strong suit.

The Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial is in the middle of nowhere, as it was in Lincoln’s day.  By the time we got there, the morning was crisp and cool, and the site made a strong first impression. The area surrounding it is heavily wooded, and the memorial has an impressive, crescent-shaped visitor’s center.

Outside we stood in the center of a semi-circle, surrounded by bas-relief carvings of moments in Lincoln’s life.  Inside, we walked through several rooms of displays of life during Lincoln’s youth.  From there we walked up a small hill to a cemetery where Lincoln’s mother Nancy is buried, having died when he was only 9.  Then we followed trails to a small collection of recreated buildings from Thomas Lincoln’s life: a small one-room cabin, a barn, and a workshop. 

A woman inside the cabin answered questions about the primitive living conditions, and a young man was hand sawing a large piece of oak outside.  We had a mile or more of some good hiking along trails that had stones associated with Lincoln’s life, along with signs explaining them. 

Some of the stones seemed pretty spurious – a stone taken from a mile away from Thomas Lincoln’s farm that Abe could have stepped on, one from a store three miles away, etc. – but there was also a stone from the White House, and one he had stood on to deliver the Gettysburg Address.  Darryll stood on that one and delivered the first paragraph or so that he remembered. 

And we booed him off the stage, as it were.                                                         

I came away from the site with a renewed appreciation for one of my boyhood heroes, and an appreciation for how insanely difficult life was on the frontier back then, and how much better we have it today, where we take most things for granted. 

From there we headed back into Kentucky with the top down, seeing a lot of rolling and beautiful countryside, along with many small and sometimes neglected houses or groups of houses.  We ended up taking a short detour to see Mammoth Cave, despite its website reporting that its guided tours had been sold out for weeks.  But we serendipitously got to take the shorter, self-guided tour, and it was great. 

Finally we drove to the Campbellsville area, which is where the Simpsons on dad’s side came from.  After a quick supper, we drove a series of small, winding and hilly roads to see several cemeteries.  Jones Chapel Cemetery is on a small hilltop beside a brick church, and we found the stones of Moses and Mary Mann, my grandma Rose’s grandparents.

Sidebar: When I was a small kid, my dad told me that Grandma was a Mann before she married grandpa.  Which may have been the first recorded case of gender dysphoria in Kentucky, and which scarred me in a way that triggered PTSD when I later saw “Admiral” “Rachel” Levine, and the nuclear waste bigshot who wore dresses and lipstick at the office, and moonlighted as a luggage thief. 

Oh how I miss the days when saying that “grandma was a man” was a harmless joke!

Walking through that cemetery, I was surrounded by many familiar names from my boyhood.  Half of my hometown was made up of Italians who immigrated to the Illinois River valley in the late 19th century, and the other half came north from Kentucky in a wave in the 1920s and 30s.  (Hence the nickname for Marseilles, IL: Martucky.)

The peaceful grounds of Jones Chapel were thick with names of the kids I went to school and church with. There were Gabehearts and Coxes and Farmers, along with the requisite number of Simpsons and Manns.  The oldest stones were barely legible, and some of the newest had photos of the deceased, and in a few cases the truck or car that the departed had loved.

The inscriptions included sentimental poems and expressions of hope for future reunions.  One that really touched me appeared on the marker of a mother who died in the 1930s: “She was the sunshine of our home.”  I’ll bet she was, and God bless her memory.

From there we drove through more green, hilly landscape, until we came to the tiny spots in the road that had once been tiny towns from which many Kentuckians left for the north.  We saw Speck (perfectly named!), and Knifley, and Casey Creek, all three of which combined couldn’t have more than several dozen residents. 

My paternal grandpa Zack was born in Casey Creek, in a house that is no longer there, on Feathersburg Road. Which is supposedly a county road, even though it is basically two wheel-ruts that wind through the backyard of a barn and cow pasture, and then go down into a section of the creek (proper pronunciation: “crick”) that cannot be forded by many vehicles.  Including a 47-year-old El Dorado. 

From Casey Creek we drove about a mile to the Roley Cemetery, where a herd of cattle grazed in a field next door.  We found the same range of familiar names, plus the stones of William Lee and Nancy Simpson, my grandpa’s parents. 

By then it was the golden hour, and we drove through some more hills and into Campbellsville, arriving just as a huge orange sun was sinking below the horizon.  

Next: More Kentucky Simpsonania, the etymology of “holler,” and then on into Tennessee…

Biden delenda est!

Slingshot Boy Rules, a Luxury Tax Crashes & Burns, & Weirdo Beats an Indecent Exposure Charge for the Worst Possible Reason (posted 5/18/23)

You may notice that this Friday column is actually appearing on Thursday.  (And if you did, you are provably more coherent than Dr. Jill’s husband, who is constantly mixing up Thursday and Friday. Along with his wife and his sister, and also the Vatican and a bathroom.)

My writing schedule is going to be erratic for the next week or so, because I am taking my third annual May trip with two of my cousins. 

Regular readers may remember that one of the cousins bought a 1976 Cadillac El Dorado three years ago, and the three of us drove it the length of Route 66, from Chicago to LA.  (If you’re interested, you can see my daily diary from that trip on Martinsimpsonwriting.com; scroll down to see “Road Trip.”)

Last year the three of us took the “Lap Around the Lake,” driving around Lake Michigan, from Chicago up through Wisconsin, into Michigan, and back down through Indiana.

I’ll get up to Illinois tonight, and after supper with yet another cousin, we’ll hit the road on Friday.  Depending on the weather, we’ll either be heading for West Virginia and Virginia — seeing Harper’s Ferry, the Shenandoah Valley, etc. – or else heading south, with a stop to see Lincoln’s birthplace in Indiana, followed by taking a tour around Kentucky to see where my dad’s side of the family comes from.

Will we be listening to some John Prine and Tyler Childers as we’re driving around the old Simpson stomping grounds in Kentucky?  Damn straight.  There may even be some moonshine involved, in honor of our humble roots.

Whichever route we take, we’ll be doing some hiking, either in Tennessee on the Appalachian Trail, or in the Virginias.  I plan to write about some of what we’ll be seeing and doing, but I’m not sure when or how often I’ll be posting.

Having said all that, today I’ve just got a few disconnected thoughts for you, based on stories that caught my attention in the last week or so.

In the “good news” column I’ve got the tale of a 14-year-old Michigan boy whose 8-year-old sister was looking for mushrooms when a 17-year-old boy “came out of the woods and grabbed her.”  As you might expect, the brother defended his sister.

As you might not expect, he did so by deploying his… slingshot!  And if you’re now asking yourself what century this is, me too! 

The story starts out like a Grimm’s Fairy Tale, with a young girl gathering mushrooms (!) and an ogre jumping out of the Black Forest to snatch her.   Then the kid brother goes all Tony Montana on that guy – “Say hello to my leetle slingshot friend!” – before ending up in ancient Israel, where he’s facing off against Goliath. 

If the idea of a kid in 2023 carrying a slingshot isn’t disorienting enough, consider what a badass sling-shotter (sling-shottist?) he is!  If a bad guy was wrestling with your little sister, how confident would you have to be that you could miss her and hit him — with a slingshot!?

Well this kid was apparently a graduate of the Mel Gibson School of Slingshottery, because he both aimed small and missed small.

State troopers found the 17-year-old at a gas station a short time later, suffering from “severe [slingshot] injuries” to his head and chest.  Which has to make for the coolest police report ever written in the history of Michigan.  (“Hey Captain, what caliber would you say that kid’s slingshot is?”)

The only downside of this story: expect the Dems to start screaming about how we need to ban slingshots with large capacity pouches, especially if they’re scary looking “assault” sling shots.

In another feel-good story, leftist dullards in LA just got groin-kicked by reality again, as yet another of their money-grabs failed spectacularly.

Last November, the LA Dems voted for a new “luxury tax” of 4% to 5.5% on houses that sell for more than $5 million.   It passed with a vote of 60%, and the numbskulls who sponsored it crowed about all of the social justice they’d be able to achieve with the $900 million they expected it to raise in the first year.

Well, the tax went into effect on April 1st, and I’ll bet you can guess what happened.  Because you’re not a leftist who doesn’t understand concepts like incentives, disincentives, and unintended consequences.

The “journalists” at the far-left LA Times must have felt like they’d been caught on the wrong end of a sling shot when they had to report the results.  It turns out that rich homeowners rushed to sell their places before the tax took effect, and if they weren’t able to sell them, they took them off the market.   (Duh!)   

How bad was it?  In March, before the tax, 126 of the targeted properties were sold.  In April, once the tax took effect, that number declined slightly.  To 2! 

As AOC could tell you, that’s a drop of at least 50%, if not more.   

But buck up, little Marxists, because your goal of $900 million might still be achievable.   There are still 11 months left in the year, and you’ve only got $899.5 million more to raise.

Finally, I don’t know how to classify this last story, so I’m just going to report the facts.

An Ohio man named Darren Glines has decided that he’s now a woman, so he started calling himself “Rachel.”  Which isn’t as problematic as the fact that he started going into YMCA female changing rooms and getting naked. 

After he did so when three juveniles – actual females, it turns out – were present, he was charged with indecent exposure.  And because the world has gone crazy, he was acquitted a few weeks ago by an idiot judge. 

Glines’ defense – with which the aforementioned idiotic judge agreed – was that his obesity prevented any indecent exposure. 

That’s right.  The combination of his huge gut and tiny genitals meant that the girls couldn’t have seen the latter.  So case dismissed.

Leave aside the philosophical question of what is more offensive: a male exposing his genitals in a women’s locker room, or a naked zeppelin of a human who identifies as a poorly endowed male, in a women’s locker room. 

Both of those options involve indecent – not to mention traumatic and nausea-inducing – exposure!   And that judge should be forced to shower with Dirigible Darren, while that Michigan kids unloads on both of them with his slingshot.

One final quiz question:  Who do you think has humiliated himself more? 

A. Jeffrey “the one-armed bandit” Toobin, after getting caught pleasuring himself on a Zoom call?

B. Darren Glines with his “huge belly/tiny phallus” defense?

C. Alejandro Mayorkas, after the last several months of embarrassing himself with his transparently dishonest gas-lighting press statements.  (Somewhere in Iraq today, even Baghdad Bob is saying, “Dude, have you no self-respect?”) 

Biden delenda est!

“Dr.” Jill Biden/Alejandro “The Border Czar’s New Clothes” Mayorkas, 2024!

Kamala at West Point, a Marine Gets Scapegoated, & Biden’s Cheat Sheets (posted 5/15/23)

I hope you all had a great Mother’s Day.  I posted a pic of me with my mom from a couple of years ago; you can see it on my site, listed at the bottom of this column.  She has come through her recent covid bout like a champ, so thanks for everyone’s good wishes.

First up today, I’ve got to give some gratitude and sympathy to our military. 

The US Military Academy was founded in 1802.  In the past 221 years, West Point has prepared generations of young Americans to face the rigors of combat and the horrors of war on several continents and against many determined enemies. 

But never have the cadets faced a challenge as daunting as the sword of Damocles hanging over their heads now. Because on May 27th, the speaker at their graduation is going to be… brace yourselves…

Que Mala Harris.

May God have mercy on their souls.

On the bright side, if the cadets can survive this withering verbal assault, they should have no problems with ever being waterboarded, or captured by the Taliban.  In fact, given the choice, many of them would probably volunteer for both right now, if it would get them out of the doomed public-speaking equivalent of the Battle of Balaklava. 

(“Into the valley of rhetorical disaster/ rode the 600!  Theirs not to make reply/theirs not to reason why/ Theirs but to clap hands over their ears/ and pray to die…”)  

It’s been said that in the past, kings and emperors would take small doses of poison every day to build up an immunity that would protect them from attempted poisonings.  In that spirit, allow me to provide the cadets with a small, prophylactic dose of a simulated Que Mala speech.

Listen to it until your gag reflex kicks in, boys, and then listen to it again.  Because we want you on that wall.  We need you on that wall.  And in order to get onto that wall, you first have to power through the gibbering banalities of Identity-Hire Harris:

“As I speak to you now, currently, in this moment in time, on this beautiful day in May, we are all reminded of the significance of the month of May.  It is not only the month that comes after April.  It is also the month that comes before June, right?  Ha ha HA HA HA HAA!   It reminds us all, even as it carries with it the remembrance of many significant moments that we should recall, and that occur throughout this very significant month.

Moments such as May Day, and May 7th.  And 29 other days in May.  We think of the maypole, and we should remember the memory of April showers bringing May flowers.  And even mayflies, right?  Ha ha HA HA HAA!  And we must all recall – including me, and you too, and your family, and many other people who aren’t with us today, along with those who are – that our forefathers first came here in the MAYflower.  Which is very significant, and filled with signification, especially when compared to the random fact that Brian May played guitar in the band “Queen.” 

I remember that when I was a young girl, riding the yellow school bus each day – weren’t those GREAT?! Ha ha HA HA HAAA! – we would all play a rousing game of “Mother May I?”  Which wasn’t really about the month of May, but was still incredibly significant…”

If you hear what sounds like a 21-gun salute during her speech, that is probably the sound of some of America’s best, shooting themselves in an extremity so that they can be discharged from the service that they’ve trained for their whole lives. 

Am I saying that this will be the first West Point graduating class in US history to be ravaged by PTSD before they ever step foot on a battlefield?

That is EXACTLY what I’m saying. 

Speaking of military heroes being put through unjustified persecution, the case of Daniel Penny – the Marine who put aggressive recidivist Jordan Neely into a submission hold on the NY subway, inadvertently causing his death – is the latest example of the perversity of leftist policy prescriptions.

Not “perversity” as in disordered men wanting to put on exhibitionist drag shows for children, or Biden nuclear officials posing with weirdos in dog costumes on leashes. Though there is plenty of that nonsense going on. 

I mean “perversity” just in the sense of defying basic logic and reason.  The kind of thing that an average person can look at and – without long study or unusual gifts in terms of IQ or formal study – confidently say, “There’s no way that can work!”

Ideas like, “if we teach people that they’re powerless victims, they’ll end up stronger and better off.” And, “if we take cops off the street and decrease penalties for crime, there will be less crime.”  And, “if we make it harder and more expensive to open a new business, we’ll see a boom in new businesses.”

Because leftist governance in NY has failed at every level, Daniel Penny was put in a no-win situation: wait and watch until a dangerous, ill man assaulted someone, or take action to prevent that. 

Because he tried to do the right thing, the Soros-funded creepy DA has charged him with manslaughter, and his freedom is now going to be in the hands of a New York jury.  While it’s possible that enough of them have been threatened by lunatics like Neely in the past, and might therefore rule correctly, nobody should have to take that gamble.

We should all have Penny’s back, and I’m heartened to see that many people do.  To date he’s received donations of over a million bucks to pay for his defense.  I hope his lawyer beats Alvin Bragg the way Jordan Neely used to beat senior citizens. 

But enough with paying tribute to our long-suffering military heroes.  Let’s heap some scorn on a few leftist clowns who are running into some hilarious trouble lately.

Although former GOP Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker says he’s not going to run for senate next year, a poll of Massholes (as they’re affectionately called) who voted heavily for Grandma Squanto Warren last time have said that if he does run, he’ll beat her by double digits. 

I’ll believe that when I see it, because as with all things Warren, I’ve got… reservations.  (#wemustneverstopmockingher)

But hope springs eternal, and I’d love to spend campaign season putting the “mock” in her moccasins, if there’s any chance that she can be taken down.

On the other coast, Cali governor Ken-Doll Haircut is realizing that the reparations trap that he set way back during the BLM riots of 2020 might be getting ready to snap shut on his featureless plastic genital area. 

Many far-left black folks apparently took him at his word when he promised reparations.  They’ve been holding raucous hearings during which they debate whether they should each get $500K, or $100 million, or eleventy-kajillion dollars.  (In case you haven’t seen that figure before, it’s the financial equivalent of “Juneteenth”: a made-up word that is going to do no one any good.)        

By the time the grievance mongers – not one of whom has an ancestor who was ever enslaved in CA, because there was no slavery in CA (if you don’t count what the Dems running that state are trying to do to taxpayers lately) – settled on $1.2 million each, ol’ Gavin was hiding out in his Barbie Dream House with the blinds drawn, not knowing whether to Schiff or wind his watch.

He’s flip-flopped multiple times in as many days, going from “We’re not looking at cash reparations,” to “I’m not ruling out cash reparations,” to “I’m sorry but I can’t hear your question because the Barbie Beach-Copter rotors are making so much noise and I have to leave now.”

It doesn’t help that in the last year – in between lectures to Ron DeSantis on how to be a good governor – he managed to turn a $100 billion surplus into a $32 billion deficit. So even if he wanted to pander to the grifters, there’s no money to pay for the TMCORBA (that’s right: the Tossing Mountains of Cash Onto a Racial Bonfire Act of 2023).

Don’t you let him get away with that, CA Dem voters!  You’re entitled to your 4000 acres and herd of mules, and you need to vote in 2024 against every lying lefty who promised you that.  Power to the (gullible, greedy) people!

You all saw that Biden recently got caught with his “cheat sheet” question card when calling on a “reporter” in what passes for a news conference with our posthumous prez.

Everybody rightly pointed out that the incident proved yet again what a corrupt bunch of meretrices (points for obscure Latin plural!) our corrupt MSM flunkies are.  (The judges would have also accepted “presstitutes,” though with no added points for the Latin plural.)

But my favorite detail was that Biden’s handlers had to put the “reporter’s” name AND PICTURE on the card.  The way you do with the menu items on McDonald’s cash registers to help the vape-addled, semi-literate teenager working his first shift to avoid staring blankly at the buttons, trying to figure out how many “k”s there are in “McChicken.”

And that brought to mind one of my previous favorite Biden-handling stories, which revealed that in the super-simple instruction sheets they give him, his identifiers are in all caps: “YOU shake the mayor’s hand; YOU walk to the podium,” etc. 

You just know that—

Sorry. YOU just know that that happened because Joe had been hopelessly confused by the earlier versions in which his instructions had appeared in lower case, like he was a functional adult or something.

I don’t even need to put on my conical, purple wizard hat to see that scene in my head as clearly as if I were there:

Joey Gaffes (to his closest handler): I can’t tell who’s doing what here.  This card says to shake the Cardinal’s hand, then walk to the podium, and then kiss the Pope’s ring.  

Handler: Yes.  You were supposed to do those things.

JG : How do I know that?  I thought maybe Dr. Jill was supposed to do that.

Handler: Why would we give you a card to tell you what Jill was supposed to do?

JG: “Doctor” Jill.

Handler (rolling his eyes): Why would your card say what “Dr. Jill” was supposed to do?  It literally says “You” do this or that.

JG:  Look, fat— Just put “YOU” in big letters so I don’t get mixed up. 

Handler:  Is that why you did what you just did?  Because your card didn’t say, “YOU don’t poop on the Pope?”

JG: C’mon man, the card didn’t even say not to poop on the Pope at all.  So that’s on you.

Secret Service guy (whispering into his lapel mic):  Short bus has unloaded.  Repeat, Short Bus has unloaded.  Clean-up on aisle Pontiff.   

And, scene.

Biden delenda est!

“Dr.” Jill Biden/ Ken Doll Haircut, 2024!

Several Pretendians, & My Alma Mater Gives in to Segregated Graduations (posted 5/12/23)

A quick note up front: we’ve brought my youngest home from college for the summer, and it’s nice to have at least one of the apples of daddy’s eyes back at home.  (My oldest has selfishly gotten married and moved to Denver, where she’s saving children’s lives as a pediatric nurse.  And not giving us a grandchild yet, even though she’s been married for 10 months, and time’s a wastin’.) 

In addition to being a fine daughter, my youngest is also my tech support.  So after several of you mentioned that you couldn’t find the “Follow” button at my website, I looked myself.  And couldn’t find it either.  And instantly threw up my hands in defeat.

But now that Emily is home, she rolled her eyes and did some kind of magic thing with her hands on the keyboard, and now there is both a tiny “Follow” button, and a larger “Subscribe” bar, either of which you can use to follow my site.  (The buttons are on the right side of my page, just above the pic of Cassie the Wonder Dog in her Norse regalia.) 

Today I’m going to comment only minimally on two of the biggest stories in the news: the acceleration of the ongoing disaster at our border, and the farcical verdict against Trump in the phantom groping incident with E. Jean Carroll.  Because both of those stories create in me a very uncomfortable state of mind.

That mood has been described perfectly by one of history’s great curmudgeons, H.L. Mencken, when he said, “Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”

I am all too aware of my own character flaws, but I’m trying (in my halting and backsliding way) to follow Uncle Jesus, and I’m pretty sure He’s not too big on the hand-spitting and throat-slitting, rageful mode of addressing the political opposition that I feel every time I think about how the national Dems are damaging our country.

So I’ll just make a few brief comments and then move on. 

The cynical and self-centered Democrat policy of betraying Americans by opening our borders to this many unvetted, unassimilated illegal trespassers will cause electoral, fiscal and cultural damage that it will take decades to repair, if it can ever be repaired. 

And the incoherent judgment for E. Jean Carroll against Trump is the perfect example of why we need the statute of limitations that was rescinded recently in NY.  There is no way anyone could reasonably defend against – or convince a jury worth their salt of – a quarter-century-old, unsupported accusation.  Especially when the accuser is a certifiable loon.

And this lady is cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.  In an interview with Anderson Cooper, she kept going on about how she and most other people think that rape is really “sexy.”  That made Cooper visibly wince, and when he tried to throw to commercial, she creepily came on to him, saying, “You’re a fascinating person to talk to.”

I don’t know if she’s not aware that Anderson plays for Mayor Pete’s team, or if she finds the thought of a septuagenarian lady flirting with a younger gay guy almost as sexy as rape.  But either way: Yikes!

Also, although I’m no law-talkin’ guy, I think that any decent judge overseeing a trial of any conservative in New York City should repeat the move from the trial of Al Capone in The Untouchables: switch the jury with one from some red or purple state, so there’s at least a chance of an unbiased verdict.    

By the way, I assumed that the “E” in this crazy lady’s name must stand for an unpleasant first name, like Edna, or Edwina, because that’s why people usually go with initials instead of names.  (C.S. Lewis was “Clive Staples,” e.e. cummings was “Edward Estlin,” and my grade school principal who went by A.M. was “Ambrose Marvin,” for example.)

But nope.  Her first name is Elizabeth. 

Speaking of which, I bet we can all think of another super-white Elizabeth who also couldn’t tell the truth if her life depended on it.  (#wemustneverstopmockingher)

(Boom!  Double-bank shot into a mis-direction Grandma Squanto reference when you least expected it!)

Moving on to less infuriating stories….

Hey, speaking of pretendians like Lizzy Warren, I just read about another pale, blue-eyed academic who might have out-Warrened the fraudulent Senator from MA.

This lady is the U of Wisconsin’s Kay LeClaire.  “Of the Black Hills Lakota Sioux LeClaires?” you are not asking, because you’re not an idiot. 

Seriously, how do you try to pass as an Indian with a name like that?  Can you sit around a campfire on the first night in a new hunting ground, and everyone else introduces themselves as Running Elk, Flies With Owl and Crazy Horse, and then you say, “Hi, I’m Katie LeClaire!”

Because yeah, until 2017 she went by “Katie,” and identified herself as white, and she married a similarly white guy whose indigenous name was “Adam Pagenkopf.”  But by 2019 she was using “they/them” pronouns (you know, the way Geronimo did) and identifying as “two spirit” (i.e. a recently made-up term meaning a gender-nonbinary Indian). 

And she revealed her “true” Indian name, which I swear I am not making up: “Nibiiwakamigkwe.”  Before you can ask, it’s pronounced exactly like it’s spelled, whitey!

Because when authentic Indians weren’t naming themselves “Katie” after some tribal elder or other, they were choosing their names by upending a Scrabble board and then picking up the first random string of 15 consecutive tiles. 

(And that’s why, even to this very day, many Native Americans have a blank spot in their names.  True story.)

Of course Katie got a UW-paid residency and speaking fees based on her deep Indian roots.  She also founded a “queer Indigenous artists’ collective” – that’s an old Cherokee tradition – and sold genuine Native American crafts.

Which, it turns out, she bought on Etsy. 

I’m not making that up, either. 

So you’re probably thinking that the biggest victims in this story are the taxpayers of Wisconsin, or the cheesehead students who shared a college campus with this fraud.  But you’re wrong.  Because the biggest victim here is Adam Pagenkopf.

The poor guy married this Aryan-looking woman whom he thought was a fan of heterosexual intercourse and the Green Bay Packers, and he ended up with some non-binary nutjob who sells Chinese-made dream-catchers and rubber tomahawks delivered bi-weekly from Amazon.

Plus she’s a progressive, so you know she insisted he take her name when they got married. 

Yeah.  He’s been signing mortgage forms, tax returns and credit card receipts with “Adam Pagenkopf- Nibiiwakamigkwe,” a few thousand times.  The poor bast**d.

In news closer to home, CO mentioned last week that one of his alma maters – Northwestern – has gone woke.  I sadly have to say the same for one of my alma maters.  I got my MA from Illinois State, and this semester, they shamefully participated in the racist identity politics of the left by holding segregated graduations.

The first of those ceremonies was called a “Lavender Graduation,” and was intended for LGBTQ+ students.  (Not “Let’s Get Biden To Quit, + Que Mala as well.”  The other kind.)  But this time, they added a term that was new to me: “ace-identified.”

As I looked that up, I was hoping against hope that the new term referred to eccentric people who had somehow managed to shoot down at least 5 enemy aircraft in combat.  But no such luck.

“Ace-identified” means people who have no interest in having sex, AKA “a-sexuals.”

First, to them I say, “thank you.”  Because I’ve seen some videos of the alphabet squad in various protests, parades, and primal scream therapy sessions, and for them to choose not to have sex at all seems like a win-win for everyone. 

Second, I’m guessing that they may be misidentifying just a bit.  Because realizing that nobody on earth wants to have sex with you is NOT the same thing as saying that you’re nobly choosing to not have sex with anyone.   But hey, you do you, Ace! 

The second graduation was called “Nuestros Logros,” which, if my high school Spanish has served me well, means “our log-rolling.”

Wait. That doesn’t sound right. 

And…… the Spanish-to-English translator says it means “our achievements.”  Which makes more sense.

As you might guess, that ceremony is for “Latinx” graduates, even though no self-respecting Hispanic since “stout Cortez… with eagle eyes… [first] star’d at the Pacific” (John Keats rules!) has ever called him or herself a “la-tinx.”

Another option was the “Umoja” ceremony, for black students.

And finally, the “MAPS” ceremony.  When I first read this one, I was praying that it wasn’t for “minor-attracted persons,” which is – still not making this up – the new p.c. term for pedophiles. 

Fortunately, my prayer was answered.  The MAPS group is the Middle Eastern, Asian, Pacific Islander and Southeast Asian graduates. 

I couldn’t help but notice, after reading through that list of tribal identifications, that plain vanilla white folks (so to speak) aren’t mentioned.  I was raised in Central Illinois back in old-timey days, and as I recall, there were quite a few white folks around back then.  In fact, if I had to guess, I’d say there were at LEAST two white kids for every Pacific Islander or transgender Sri Lankan I ran into at the Corn Festival each fall. 

Have they all been driven out of the state?  If not, do they just leave campus in shame after four years, and wait to get their diplomas in the mail? 

Does anybody think this kind of separatism is a positive, healthy sign for our society?  Does no one have  any quibbles about racially segregated dorms, student unions, majors, and now graduations?  Will we soon have separate drinking fountains for MAPS, Latinx, and members of the African diaspora?

(And if the LGBTQ fountain doesn’t have a sign over it saying, “Gender Fluid,” I will be very disappointed.)

If so, I guess we Appalachian Simpsons will just revert to drinking out of the hose, as is our cultural tradition.  

After all this grim news about Northwestern and ISU, you may be asking yourself whether the fact that both CO and I have managed to achieve such greatness later in life – despite the now-manifest unworthiness of two of the educational institutions where we studied – is a tribute to our ability to overcome such challenges due to our impeccable character and towering intellect.

It would be immodest of me to answer that question.

But yes.

Yes it is. 

Biden delenda est!

“Dr.” Jill Biden/Katie Nibiiwakamigkwe-Pagenkopf, 2024!

Dems Attack Marine Who Protected People on the Subway & Que Mala Heads Back to the Word Salad Bar (posted 5/8/23)

Listen, I’d love to start your Monday out on a high note. 

I’d love to tell you that the banks aren’t failing, and millions of illegals aren’t crouched down in sprinters’ blocks waiting to bum-rush the border on Thursday, and Tucker’s back on the air.

And that I’ve mastered the guitar after three weeks’ practice and will be going on a 10-city tour with CO in June, and that we are now taking applications for extra roadies, most of whom will be needed to deal with the veritable clouds of female undergarments we expect to be tossed onstage during our performances.

But I can’t tell you that. 

Because the banks are dropping like Kennedys at an open bar, and the illegals are chomping at the bit like so many biological males in a NCAA women’s track event.  And I still suck at the guitar.

So the best I can do is offer two moments of levity before facing our country’s currently alarming situation.

First, a dumb joke you may have heard before: 

Q: What’s the difference between a filthy Greyhound waiting room and a lobster with breast implants?

A: One’s a crusty bus station, and the other’s a busty crustacean. 

Second, a dumb politician, whom you’ve definitely heard too much of:

Last week, a reporter asked Mayor Pete if he hopes to serve another term as secretary of transportation.  (That’s already a joke, although no one is laughing.)  

His answer, which I swear I am not making up: “Right now, I’ve got my head down, seeking to deliver.”

If you’ve ever watched the great cartoon Archer, this is where we say, “Phrasing!”

All right.  To paraphrase John Fetterman at the beginning of a debate, “That’s all the good news I’ve got.  Goodnight everybody!”  

On to two red-flag cultural items ripped from the headlines.

First, the outrageous story of a death on the subway, and the horde of nihilistic fools who can neither see nor tell the truth about the hellscape that they’re helping turn NYC (and Chicago, and LA, and San Francisco, and Baltimore…) into.

To hear them tell it, a saintly African-American named Jordan Neely – who would have been an honor student and currently on the verge of discovering a cure for cancer if Amerika’s evil racism hadn’t blighted his life – was minding his own business on the subway, when an evil white guy strangled him to death. 

Because: racism.

As you already know, unless you just awakened from a 30-year coma three minutes ago and then started reading this column, this leftist tale was a ridiculous attempt to whitewash the perp’s background and actions. 

How white was that wash, you may be asking?  As white as Elizabeth Warren, if you can believe that.  (#wemustneverstopmockingher)

(Several faithful readers recently pointed out that I hadn’t mocked the Land o’ Lakes Butter Maiden (D- Massachusetts) in several consecutive columns.  So mea culpa.)   

In reality, Neely was a tragically common figure in our large, Democrat-run cities lately: a recidivist who was alternatively severely mentally ill, an addict, a career criminal, or some combination of the three.  At age 30 he’d already racked up 42 arrests.

His resume included at least 4 other violent offenses, one against an elderly woman that left her with a broken orbital socket among other injuries.  In fact, he had an open warrant for a violent assault when he got on the subway and acted exactly like someone who has an open warrant for his arrest.

“But wait, Martin,” you are not asking, because you know better, “I thought he was only minding his business when he was unjustifiably strangled?”

Nope.  He was threatening other riders, hollering semi-coherently, and generally carrying on like an aggressive and unstable man.   

And the guy who “strangled” him?  He’s a Marine who chose to try to subdue the guy, rather than stand by and watch him assault or harm anyone else in the train car.   And he didn’t use the amount of force that he could have, considering his training. 

He didn’t drill the guy with punches to especially vulnerable places, or try to smash his trachea with an elbow strike, or use any of the other brutal tactics that a soft English professor like me knows nothing about.    

He put the guy in a submission chokehold, and when Neely resisted, several other riders – black, as it happened – got on top of him until he passed out. 

So naturally, when the Marine’s justified actions unintentionally resulted in the violent criminal’s death, the worst people in New York showed up to protest and lie and race-bait.  They screamed at and assaulted cops so blatantly that even in benighted NYC, a handful of them were arrested… at least temporarily.

To prevent commuters from getting somewhere to do something productive, some of the protestors jumped down on the train tracks to disrupt subway traffic. 

Tragically, none of them were either electrocuted or smashed by a train like Neely’s old-lady victim’s orbital socket. 

And before we can be tempted to dismiss the mob’s despicable reactions as the behavior of a stupid and malicious underclass of insignificant d-bags, into the fray marched the (clotted) cream of the (rancid) crop of NY’s finest leftist politicians.

NY Governor (and semi-professional Wicked Witch of the West impersonator) Kathy Hochul mewled about how “horrific” it was to watch a video of Neely “being killed for being a passenger” on the subway. 

AOC, proving that none of us can tell the difference between her juicy booty – her words, not mine – and the hole in her head, called the Marine a “murderer” and accusing him of “lynching” Neely.

I guess I can just cut and paste Shakespeare’s line from the Tempest into every column I write from now on: “Hell is empty, and all of the devils are here.”

The plight of the remaining good people in any of the big blue cities is truly tragic.  That Marine tried to do the right thing, as did the other riders who helped him subdue Neely, and the still others who thanked and congratulated him on video afterwards. 

In any sane city, he would have received the thanks of civic leaders, and would not have to pay for a drink in any city bars.  But in a Democrat Schiff-hole, he now has to hire a lawyer and bankrupt himself with legal fees, and hope that he’s not convicted and jailed for his bravery and protection of others.

It’s heartbreaking to have to say this, but the good people of New York should leave as soon as they can.  The evil scumbags who run that town – and the evil scumbags who vote for them – have put good New Yorkers in a no-win situation.

They’ve purposely ensured that vicious criminals and the severely mentally ill remain on the streets and in the subways.  When one of them confronts you – and they eventually and repeatedly will – you have to choose between passively placing your life in their demented hands, or else trying to resist them, and ending up either injured, dead or in jail.

Get out now! 

Not only will you be able to survive and thrive outside of that Hobbesian dystopia, but by removing yourself, you’ll ensure that the NEXT victims of the criminal predators will be Hochul, AOC, Pritzker and the whole rotten bunch of leftist predator-enablers who put them in power. 

And then they’ll get exactly what they asked for… good and hard.

Finally, turning from the tragic to the pathetic, I am compelled to address Que Mala’s latest public performance.  You’ve probably seen this by now, but if you haven’t, you missed a classic that is destined to end up there with her deathless “the significance of the passage of time” ramble. 

(In fact, I think that there may be something about the concept of time that triggers whatever sub-set of Tourrette’s that she has, because this one also involved her deep thoughts about time.)

To say that she spewed out some more word salad is to not do her justice. 

She went to the word salad bar and filled up her plate, and then went back for seconds! 

She was talking to an audience at the historically black school Howard University.  (Which really should make her performance a racial hate crime.) 

Her speech was nominally about how great abortion is, and how terrible the GOP is, and how much she loves the LGBTQ movement.  (Not “Let’s Get Biden To Quit.”  The other one.) (The one in which the big hulking dudes are competing against women in sports, and giving them concussions by slapping them forcefully with their totally female phalli.  And then giving interviews with their totally female voices that somehow sound like James Earl Jones.)

But when Que Mala speaks, the alleged subject matter is never the issue.  It’s the words.  Oh, the words!

Saith VP Muy Malo:  “So I think it’s very important, as you have heard from so many incredible leaders for us at every moment in time and certainly this one, to see the moment in time in which we exist and are present, and to be able to contextualize it, to understand where we exist in the history and in the moment as it relates not only to the past but the future.”

Yikes.  And also, what? 

This is her worst outing since last month, when she gave a speech during women’s history month, and said that she was thrilled to honor “women who made history throughout history.”  Did they do it with a high degree of historicity, you’re wondering, if you’re the snarky sort?

She’ll have you know that women are a historically under-represented group of history-making historical figures, whose actions shaped the very fabric and contours of history.  And probably time, too.

Well, at least she didn’t say “her-story,” another leftist figure of speech which makes me shudder just to type or say it.

It could have been worse, I guess.  Because Que Mala could have pulled out a white board and drawn a Venn diagram to illustrate her point: “The circle on the left side represents the past, and the circle on the right side represents the future.  And the overlapping section, right here in the middle?” 

“That’s THIS exact moment in time, which I’ve been contextualizing for you right now, here, in this moment in which we all exist.  A ha ha ha HA HA HA HA HA!”

That’s the woman who is a heartbeat away – one feeble, arrhythmic, and barely detectible heartbeat away – from being the president of the United States.

Saint John said it first, and the rest of us have said it a million times since:  Jesus wept.

Also, when it comes to being a politician, she stinketh!

Biden delenda est!

“Dr.” Jill Biden/Kathy “I’m melting! I’m melting!” Hochul, 2024!

An angry Trans Pol in Montana, & the Navy Drag Queen Recruiter (posted 5/5/23)

Thank you all for your kind words and wishes about the travails that my mom and Edgar the dog experienced during our Tennessee trip.   I’m happy to report that mom is experiencing nothing worse than what feels like a minor head cold, my sis and her hubby didn’t catch the ‘rona, and Eddie is back to his “good boy” self after the vet found nothing to explain his seizure.

As I mentioned in my last column, I’ve heard a lot worse country lyrics than, “Momma’s got sick and the dog had a seizure.” 

In fact, just typing that has inspired me to try to write at least one verse of lyrics, which I am still years away from being able to put to music with my feeble newbie guitar skills. 

It’s tentatively called, “Spring 2023 Blues” –

“Momma got sick and the dog had a seizure,

Biden’s destroying our land at his leisure,

And Fox News has just tossed out our buddy Tucker,

Rupert, you low-down dim-wit mother—”

Okay, maybe I need a little more seasoning (and a little less medicinal bourbon) before turning my hand to songwriting. 

But after the amazing job CO did with “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” on his guitar at Christmastime, perhaps he can start working up an original country-flavored tune, while I try to hash out some lyrics?

(Everybody mark your calendars, because this day may be the beginning of a musical collaboration destined to produce the Lennon-McCartney of the 21st century!)

As I got settled back in at home and caught up on the news that I’d missed in Tennessee, I was struck by how much this militant transgender craziness has metastasized all over the country.  Disruptions have happened at public speeches on campuses, in schools and at parades, and even in state houses.

The latest transurrection – not to be confused with an insurrection, which is terrible beyond measure – happened in Montana, of all places.

(By the way, for those scoring at home, here’s how it works:  Guy in a horn hat walking through an empty chamber escorted by cops?  Mortal threat to democracy!  Guys dressed in Liza Minnelli dresses, Tammy Faye makeup, and late-career Liz Taylor wigs, screaming through bullhorns and jostling lawmakers?  Democracy in action!)

The action this time happened during a debate in the Montana legislature about a bill forbidding doctors from doing mutilating gender-based surgeries on children.  As it became clear that the pro “cut the kids” side was going to lose, a guy pretending to be a gal named “Zoey Zephyr” stepped up to do two things:

1. Prove the truism that even with hormone therapy and makeup, an unattractive man makes a horrifically more unattractive woman.  (See: Admiral of the Seven Seas Richard “nobody calls him Dick” (anymore) Levine)

2. Make an overwrought grab for attention like a grown-up theater kid chewing the scenery in a venue so far off Broadway that it’s practically – literally, in this case – in Montana.   

After plowing through the usual talking points, “Zooey” peaked with a hysterical accusation that anyone who votes for the bill “will have blood on their hands!”

Which is weird.  Because you know who really has literal blood on their hands in this case? 

Doctors who take a scalpel to the genitalia of children.  Which – I’m no doctor – I’m pretty sure have lots of blood vessels in them. 

Sidebar: One of the most consistent vexations of the trans activists’ rhetorical style is their evasions of clear and accurate language in favor of euphemism, obfuscation and dishonest descriptions.

In that way, they are very similar to the radical pro-choice activists in the abortion debate.  You know the examples only too well: the most prominent and profitable group dedicated to preventing parenthood is called “Planned Parenthood.”

An unborn baby – which has separate and distinct brainwaves, heartbeat and DNA from her mother – is called “the mother’s body”.  It’s also called “a tissue mass,” which is true, as far as it goes. 

I.e. in the sense that a mother, or a father, or Whoopie Goldberg, can also be called a “tissue mass.”  (In Goldberg’s case, that would be a “massive tissue mass.”) 

Or, my favorite, a “fetus.”  Abortion supporters use that term frequently – “It’s NOT a baby, it’s a fetus!” – and often with the haughtiness that medium-smart (at best) people display when they use a medical term, often because those terms come from Latin.  Which “fetus,” in fact, does.

I imagine that many pro-choicers think that “fetus” probably means something like “tissue mass,” or “tiny part of the mother’s body.”  Inconveniently for them it means… wait for it… ”offspring!”

D’oh!

Anyway, although abortion enthusiasts have had decades to develop and refine their favorite propagandistic pet phrases, the transgender enthusiasts are catching up quick.

Almost every term they use is either grossly euphemistic or else blatantly dishonest.   They invented “cis gender” to replace “normal.”  (I don’t mean that term to be insulting, but simply descriptive. As in, “Humans normally have two eyes through which they are able to see.”  As opposed to, “Some people are blind, while others are cis sighted.”) 

They use “gender affirming” to describe actions that deny gender.  

Consider constant calls to give “transgender kids the medical care they deserve.” 

The kids aren’t “transgender,” since no one can in reality change their gender; they are either suffering from a mental illness called gender dysmorphia or – much more commonly – either driven by a social contagion, or being abused by unstable parents riddled with Munchausen-by-proxy narcissism. 

And giving kids irreversible drugs and hormones to stop their normal physical development (while also sterilizing them and causing a raft of pernicious and often life-long side effects) cannot in a sane society be called “care.” 

Not to mention the horrific, Frankensteinian surgeries.  To castrate a young male and then surgically flay his penis in an attempt to use it to create a non-functional pseudo vagina is NOT “medical care that they deserve.”  In fact, that is not medical care that ANYONE deserves.

Oh, wait.  I forgot about serial rapists.  Castration and penis flaying sounds about right for those predators. 

So I stand corrected. 

The Zephyr story has an extra layer of confusion. Because “Zoey” is a guy who poses as a girl, and has a “girlfriend” named Erin Reed, who is also a guy posing as a girl.  (I know what you’re thinking: bricklayer? Heavy equipment operator? Nope: Erin is a journalist/activist/content creator.  What are the odds?)  

So they are either two gay guys with autogynephilia in a gay relationship, or two biological males in a… I guess… lesbian relationship, somehow?

(I miss Archie Bunker: “And you knew who you were then/ Goils were goils and men were men.”)

And not to get off track, but in addition to all of the other insanity associated with radical transgender activists, why do they always have to pick such bizarre new names for themselves?  

“Zooey Zephyr?”

If you ever start reading a column of mine in which I proclaim that I no longer want to be referred to as a humble Roving Correspondent, or a hilarious genius, or even Marticus – all of which are totally normal, and pleasing to the ear as well – and then ask you to address me as Zippity Bop Delecto, you should stop what you’re doing immediately.

And then begin what I hope would be a nationwide prayer and email chain in the hopes of confirming that I have not flayed my magnificent genitalia, and am not looking for a gig pushing Bud Light or a prime-time slot at CNN.

Okay, maybe “magnificent” is a bit over the top. 

Or is it?

Perhaps I’ve said too much. 

And just when you think that nothing can top the incomprehensibility of our subcultural sexual confusion, yet another major institution takes the lead in the competition for “most idiotic inability to understand your own core purpose.”

First Bud Light went full tranny.  Then Fox News fired their best and most popular host in Tucker Carlson.  (He was a ratings juggernaut!  As opposed to Don Lemon.  Who was a ratings naught.)

But not since the NFL started dressing their players in pink and prattling on about breast cancer and America’s rottenness has another institution that relies on recruiting males you think of as toxic gone as stupid as the example I’m about to bring up.

And by the way, yes, the 15-year-old push to “woke up” pro football still sticks in my craw! 

If I can speak for the mostly male fan base of the NFL – and I think that I can – we were raised to stand up and put a hand over our hearts when the anthem is played.  I know that that makes us hicks and rubes in your eyes.  Yet somehow we can still sleep at night. 

And you don’t have to coach us up to appreciate breasts, you idiots.  We’re already big fans! 

Also, let me save you some money before you can come up with any future campaigns to lecture us about the virtues of apple pie, pick-up trucks. or the rear ends of women.  We’re way ahead of you! 

We’re also perfectly comfortable with taking the controversial “anti-“ position when it comes to both cancer and racism.

But we’re never going to hate our country or believe that it’s anywhere near as racist as the white leftists on Martha’s Vineyard or the members of the Congressional black caucus are.  So stop trying to “educate” us and focus on God’s favorite game, dammit!

Where was I?

Oh yeah.  Stupid marketing campaigns.

I give you: the drag queen Navy recruiter!

I know.  That sounds like a 1970s set-up for a joke lobbed to Charles Nelson Reilly or Paul Lynde on Match Game. 

But it’s 2023, and what once was satire is now reality.

The oddball in question is an actual sailor who goes by the drag name “Harpy Daniels.”  He seems to not be a gender dysmorphic person, but just a gay guy who likes to dress up like a woman and sail around the world’s oceans for months at a time in close proximity to hundreds of young, physically fit men.

What could go wrong?

Can anyone remember way back to when the purpose of the military was to kill people and break things? 

If I can engage my Sam Kinison filter for just a moment…

[begin Kinison] “You know what kind of things we traditionally sent our military to break?  Al Qaeda ammo dumps.  Battered Toyotas full of ISIS freaks carrying AK-47s.  Jihadi jaws, femurs and spirits.  

NOT FAKE FINGERNAILS AND HIGH HEELS!!  OH!  OHHHHH!!!!” [end Kinison]

The story covering this mind-numbingly stupid recruitment plan notes that, “Despite their efforts, Navy officials [are] projected to miss their goal for enlisted sailors by 8,000 recruits.”

The hell you say!

I think the bad-ass Navy Seal who shot smelly goat-ravager and terrorist Osama Bin Laden said it best in his tweet on this abomination: “Alright. The U.S. Navy is now using an enlisted sailor Drag Queen as a recruiter. I’m done. China is going to destroy us. YOU GOT THIS NAVY. I can’t believe I fought for this bullsh**.”

Winston Churchill is said to have derisively described the traditions of the Royal Navy as “Rum, sodomy and the lash.” 

So I guess the US Navy has their new recruiting slogan for 2023:

“Hold the rum.”

Not to be confused with the conservative slogan for 2024:

Biden delenda est!

“Dr.” Jill Biden/Zippity Zappity Zephyr, 2024!

Portland re-arms cops, and a Criminal Loses vs. Police K-9 (posted 5/1/23)

April certainly ended with a bang for me.

In case you missed a previous column, I’ve been in TN for the last week with my wife and Wonder Dog, spending time with my octogenarian mom while my sister and her husband were enjoying a well-deserved vacation.

When my wife came down with covid on Monday, she tried to stay rested and separated as much as possible from mom and I.  Still, we had a good week and a great visit, with me driving mom around to various nice areas of town, taking walks and having some good conversations. 

I drove her past the previous two houses she’s lived in, and although she didn’t remember the houses when I described them, she remembered the names of the streets they are on, and she remembered the houses themselves when we drove by.  In the evenings we watched some old family videos that my sister recently had converted from old videotapes into electronic copies.

We watched a lot of past Christmases, some birthdays and celebrations with my daughters when everyone was a lot younger and skinnier, and some family gatherings with my mom and dad’s siblings, most of whom are gone now.

We also saw a lot of videos of my dad, and I was happy to recognize how happy those made mom.  I’d feared that seeing dad – who passed in 2014 – would be tough on her, but it was quite the opposite.  And as with many who have Alzheimer’s, mom’s memory of those days from decades past were much clearer and more accurate than her memories of very recent events.

It was a great time, and since my sister and her husband got back home today, Karen and I will drive back to Florida tomorrow.

On the downside, my mom caught covid, and one of my sister’s dogs had a really frightening seizure last night!

Sadly, I am not making that up.  And yes, I recognize that “momma got sick and the dog had a seizure” sounds like a very bad country music title.

Mom is doing very well so far, with the only real symptoms being a super-stuffed-up head and a bit of fatigue.  Since she had covid last year and recovered pretty quickly, we’re hoping for the same this time.

Edgar the dog seems to be doing well, too.  My sister spoke to a 24-hour vet and my wife looked at info on dog seizures on the internet.  (I know: if you can’t trust pet health info you find on the internet, what can you trust?)  The seizure looked very violent and freaked everyone out, but it only lasted a minute, after which Eddie quickly bounced back. 

My brother-in-law is taking her to their regular vet this morning, and we are hoping for the best.    

So after all that, this will be a shorter than usual column, focusing on two good-news stories.

First in Portland, OR – a town that has produced very few positive stories as of late – the far-left administration of Portland State University showed that (all recent evidence to the contrary) they are not completely ineducable.  

You may remember that just last week, city officials in San Francisco voted to rescind their idiotic, self-defeating ban on dealing with yucky conservative states who don’t favor voting fraud, and abortion in the third trimester.  Well now, PSU’s leaders similarly reversed themselves, dumping a policy passed in the wake of the 2020 George Floyd riots – er, “peaceful protests with just a dusting of arson and other felonies” – that disarmed campus police.

 A campus cop spokesman at the time said, “We can do an effective job without weapons.  I know [campus police are] talented to do their jobs without the use of a weapon.”

I’m not making that up.  I guess the idea was to meet any violent criminals who posed a danger to the students with a potent combination of harsh language and scowls of disapproval.

You won’t be surprised to hear that the MSM reporting on this story were shocked – shocked, I tells ya! – at what happened next: “But then crime increased three years in a row across Portland. The city smashed its previous homicide record in 2021 and again last year. Many businesses have fled the city due to repeated burglaries and vandalism.”

I love the way that quote starts: with a “but.” 

Anybody with any common sense and a basic grasp of how conjunctions work would know that that sentence needs to start with the “cause-and-effect” relationship indicated by a “so” or a “thus” – “We disarmed the cops, SO crime rates exploded.” – not a “but,” or a “however,” or even a “who’d a thunk it?”

My favorite part is that the poor spokes-dope who bragged in 2020 about how cops didn’t need to carry weapons to do their job was the same one who had to announce the humiliating about-face:  “Recently, our officers encountered individuals on campus with weapons.  This has made me make the hard decision to have more armed patrols on campus.”

Listen.  Do you hear that?   It’s the sound of millions of normal Americans slapping their foreheads with their palms.

I guess PSU expected that their cops were only going to be called to dorm-room bull sessions on philosophical questions that got a little too heated, or maybe some pillow fights in sorority houses.  Instead, criminals did what criminals do… and that caught the big brains at PSU totally by surprise.

Great job, Sherlock!

Speaking of happy endings to crime stories, I don’t know if you caught the tale of Matvey Klimenko, 38, a resident of Jacksonville, Florida.  On April 12th, Klimenko armed himself with a knife and broke into his ex-girlfriend’s house and threatened to kill her.

“Hey Martin,” you’re not saying, because you know better, “Klimenko was probably a hard-working taxpayer with a clean record and a long history of treating women respectfully, wasn’t he?”

Prepare to be shocked: ol’ Matvey K seemed to have gone pro in the lucrative field of being a career criminal and recidivist piece of s**t.  He had a long rap sheet, including multiple domestic violence charges.  Several women – including his mom and sister! — had filed restraining orders against him.

In fact, cops say that he had previously “harassed and stalked his ex-girlfriend, threatened to kill her and held her at both gun and knife point.”  When she moved to get away from him, he managed to find her at her new address.

She was able to barricade herself in a bathroom and call the cops.  And because Jacksonville isn’t in CA, IL or NY, he was not immediately released on his own recognizance and given a key to the city and an apology for the inconvenience.

Instead, a SWAT team and hostage negotiator showed up, and spent several hours trying to reason with Klimenko.  He managed to flee from the house, and when officers spotted him, they pursued him, firing less-than-lethal rounds at him.  (I would prefer they use more-than-lethal rounds, but I would also settle for just-enough-to-be-lethal rounds.)

They also used a tactic that is dear to my heart: they released a police dog on him.  K9 officer Zeke went after him like a fur missile, cornering him between two houses, and going for his legs.  Klimenko managed to get hold of Zeke’s vest with one hand, and raised his knife in the other.

That’s when Zeke’s handler yelled, “Don’t let him stab him, don’t let him stab him!”  (You can see the whole thing on a video released by the Jax PD.)  

After a few commands to drop the knife, SWAT team members shot the evil thug in my favorite way for criminals to get shot:

Repeatedly!

To re-cap: Klimenko crushed it at the “room temperature challenge,” his ex has been sleeping well for the first time in a long time, and Florida is a safer place today.

Oh, and who’s a good boy?

ZEKE! 

Biden delenda est!

“Dr.” Jill Biden/Portland State Police Chief Barney Fife, 2024!