At Retirement, Looking Back on a Career in Academia (posted on 5/13/22)

Today, on my last official day as a professor, I’d like to share a few reflections on work and career.

First, thanks for all of the good wishes on my retirement, which I wrote about on Monday.  As many of you guessed, given my politics and my snarky disposition, it has been a challenge to make through three decades as a prof in a university liberal arts department! 

I’ve been biting my tongue at work for a long, long time – which is why I am not exaggerating when I’ve talked about what a joy it has been to write for CO and this site.  It’s been cathartic, even as it’s carried with it more than a little uneasiness about the chance that some of my colleagues might find out about my columns here.  (My saving grace might have been that there’s an apparently impressive British guitarist named Martin Simpson, and if you google that name, he’s the one who’s going to pop up first.)

Having said that, I have loved my time with most of my co-workers.  They are a useful reminder to me that as much as the leftist elite in our country seem like reprehensible people with terrible politics, that’s not the case with everyone on the left by any means.  My department is full of friendly and generous people, and it has been a pleasure knowing them.

One quick example: in the fall term of 2014, when my dad was dying of cancer in TN, I was teaching a course in Writing in the Law.  During the last month of that course, the students in each class were put in teams, and they debated a specific case.  The best of those teams would then debate against the best teams from other sections of that course, with law school faculty judging the competition.

I got the news in late October that dad had just a couple of months to live.  I had been driving back and forth from FL to TN to spend time with him each week for most of that semester, but I decided then that I was going to TN to spend those last few months with him.  I went to my Director’s office prepared for a confrontation, and ready to quit my job if I had to.

But he was nothing but gracious.  One of my other colleagues stepped up to take over my class, and coach my students through the debate part of the course, while I was able to stay with mom and dad – Cassie the Wonder Dog went with me, of course, for moral support – and grade my papers from up there.  I don’t think many workplaces would make that kind of accommodation to a co-worker, and I’ll never forget it. 

So whenever I’m writing about some reprobate like Joey Gaffes or Que Mala or the Deerskin-Dress Demagogue Grandma Squanto (#wemustneverstopmockingher), and feel my heart hardening against all leftists and their ideology… I think of my kind, thoughtful, lefty colleagues.   They are a useful reminder that there is more to life than politics, and people of good will can get along despite political differences, if they’re willing.  (I know: that last part is key.) 

One other valuable aspect of my professional life has been the chance to experience both blue collar and white-collar life.

My mom was one of 4 kids and my dad one of 8, and none of them went to college; everybody had blue collar jobs.  I spent most of my 20s getting a BA, MA and PhD in English, a field in which job prospects weren’t great.  By my mid-30s, I had cobbled together some college teaching gigs, but without a pension or a very high salary, I realized that I needed to do something to prepare financially for retirement.

So I bought two rental houses in several years, and then two more a decade later.  They were all in rough shape and needed work, and dad happily came down to teach me all of the stuff I’d been uninterested in when I was a teenager with my head in a book all the time.  Now, 25 years later, we’ve got three old rental houses (including Rosewood, the burned Victorian that I’m hoping to be able to restore and keep), and I’ve spent decades with two distinct circles of friends: blue-collar family and tradesmen who have helped me with my rentals, and white-collar university faculty. 

I’m glad to have been both a professor and a landlord, for several reasons.  First, because mixing physical with intellectual work has felt like the best of both worlds.  I’ve always loved reading and writing, and it’s been a joy to teach great lit, to be able to communicate some of that greatness to those students who were receptive, and to help those who were ambitious to become better writers.  

On the other hand, academic politics have become more and more stultifying and intolerant, I’m allergic to meetings, and the results of the work can often feel like casting seed on rocky soil.  Spending three hours grading produces nothing tangible.  And in the last 10 years or so, political correctness and intolerant woke-ness have made it tougher to have the kind of lively, thought-provoking debates and discussions that were a significant perk of intellectual life.

By contrast, home renovation and repair can be very challenging and satisfying, not least because the results are tangible.  Doing demo is therapeutic, and there’s pride to be earned by learning skills from various trades.  Spending 3 hours hanging sheetrock or painting produces obvious, dramatic progress.

And renovation and property management engage the mind at least as much as teaching does.  Solving layout or repair problems takes creativity; evaluating various properties and estimating ROI on potential purchase or renovations involves risk, along with the possibility of gratifying rewards.

On the other hand, doing only dirty, physical work – full-time, 50 weeks a year for decades – would drive me crazy.  There’s nothing like getting clogged toilet calls or doing roof repairs in a steamy summer to make you appreciate reading great books in an air-conditioned office and having people call you “Dr. Simpson.”

And yet, there’s nothing like a semester trying to teach Shakespeare to kids who complain that he’s a dead, white male with a patriarchal, capitalist bias to make you want to put on some work clothes and a tool belt, and knock down some lathe and plaster with a small sledge and a crowbar.

Ultimately, working in such different environments has kept me from retreating into a bubble with other like-minded people, which is a strong temptation for those in high-status jobs in politics, business and academia.   It’s given me an appreciation and understanding of different kinds of work, and differing classes of people.  And while I really admire some of the very intelligent scholars I’ve met, doing focused, diligent work in their fields, I’m looking forward to retirement partly because I feel more at home working on houses with my blue-collar friends.

Now more than ever, I find myself agreeing with William F. Buckley’s famous quote that goes something like, “I’d rather be governed by 300 people drawn from the Boston telephone directory than by the faculty of Harvard University.”  

As much as I’ve enjoyed my time in academia, it’s felt less and less like a natural home to me.   I know that blue collar people can be too dismissive of “intellectuals,” believing that they have no common sense, and are too concerned with theories at the expense of reality.

But I think a lot more damage is done by intellectuals and other elites who look down on regular people.  And when you combine the perks of a high-status academic job with the utopian and quasi-totalitarian aspects of leftist politics – they generally believe they know better than the masses how those masses should live – what results is not often pretty.

That’s why it has been so gratifying to participate in the Cautious Optimism website: it feels like the best of both worlds.  Writing these columns involves engaging in discussions among some very smart people on some very high-falutin’ subjects… combined with the chance to mock some people and ideas that richly deserve it, often with some satisfyingly juvenile humor mixed in.

Now that my professor days are behind me, I’m looking forward to doing more writing here on the CO site — I’m hoping to start writing two columns per week, on Fridays and Mondays – and maybe even experimenting with some podcasting. 

Thank you all for reading, and I’ll be back on Monday with a look at some of the hysterical lefty commentary on the potential reversal of Roe v. Wade, along with whatever trouble Joey Gaffes manages to get himself into over the weekend.

A Career Change, + the Left Reacts to Roe (posted 5/9/22)

First, I didn’t get the chance to respond to the comments on my Friday column, so I’ll do so here: you people are great!  

When I go to the comment threads on most internet sites – which I try not to do very often — the results inevitably veer between laughable, depressing and horrifying, with lots of mouth-breathing ad hominem attacks, vulgarity and inanity.

But the community that CO has created here feels like an antidote to all of that.  On Friday, the comments ranged from long and thoughtful (from Ellisa Mitchell, Bill Willcox, Jamie Galioto, Damian Cullinane and others) to pithy and witty. 

Alan Paterson pointed out the irony of the bitter sourpusses from the View being named “Joy” and “Sunny,” and Lloyd Wilkinson summed up my main point better than I could: “We may not be perfect, but the other side is insane!”

People here consistently reveal glimpses of their eclectic backgrounds and differing opinions, but with an obvious undercurrent of good will and good cheer — though the latter is sometimes understandably dampened by current events.  And I cannot say often enough what a pleasure it is to read this site, and to write for you all, and to engage in enlightening, virtual conversations with so many good souls!

Having said that, I’m hoping to be writing here more often.  Because at the end of this week, I’m retiring from my day job! 

I’ve been an English professor for 30 years, but last week I turned in grades for the last time, and I’m looking to the next phase of my life with great anticipation.  I’ll be writing more about this soon, but for now I’ll just say that I feel lucky to have finished my career without receiving any professional blowback that I anticipated if any of my colleagues had discovered my politically incorrect ramblings at this site! 

On yet another personal note, I’m still waiting to hear back from my insurer and a contractor about our Victorian house (Rosewood) that partially burned last month.   I think I’ll hear this week — though I’d thought the same about last week! – and will share more when I know it.

In the meantime, I’ve posted another picture of Rosewood on my site,  This one is of the scorched underside of the roof, shot from beneath where the second-floor ceiling had been, before it was destroyed.  As you might guess, the roof is going to have to come off and be replaced, if we can keep the house!

But enough about heartbreaking, fiery destruction – let’s talk about the left’s weekend reaction Alito’s leaked Roe v Wade draft.

Um, let me re-phrase that: let’s talk about MORE heartbreaking, fiery destruction… of cherished American institutions, behavioral norms, and also a Madison, WI pro-life headquarters. 

Yes, our leftist friends have shown their usual restraint when things don’t go their way. 

By which I mean that they spent the weekend screaming at non-violent pro-lifers, vandalizing churches, and engaging in street theater that involved spittle, frightening hair, terrifying facial piercings, and doing unspeakable things to dolls that represented babies.

Oh, and they also tried to burn down a storefront pro-life HQ in Wisconsin.  Thankfully, they apparently couldn’t find anyone who could properly operate a Molotov cocktail.

Which is a bottle full of flammable liquid, with a cloth fuse stuck into it.     

That’s it.  If there were an instruction manual, it would have two steps:  1. Light the fuse.  2. Throw the bottle.

Illiterate Russian peasants used to successfully burn stuff with these all the time.  But you get a gaggle of Gender Studies majors together, and they are freaking stumped! 

I picture three of them huddled around a strip of cloth, trying to light it with a vape pen.  After 10 minutes, one of them finally tries it with a lighter; the cloth catches fire, and one of them throws it at the building, but it goes 8 inches, drops to the sidewalk, and goes out.

Pro-Abort (PA) 1:  “What went wrong?”         

PA 2: “I don’t know.”

PA 3: “The bottle!”

PA 1: “Oh yeah.”  He rears back and throws a bottle with gas in it at the building, where it shatters. 

They all look at the building, then at each other.

PA 1: “What went wrong?”

PA 2: “The fuse needs to be IN the bottle.”

PA 3: “Right!  Good idea!” 

Ten minutes later, they’ve finally managed to create a Molotov cocktail, and PA 3 lights the fuse while PA 1 holds the bottle.

PA 2 (holding up her cell phone): “Okay, make your speech and then throw it.”

PA 1: “What speech?”

PA 3: “The one we’re going to send to CNN.”

PA 1: “What should I say?”

PA 2: “We talked about this.  A woman should have control over her body—”

PA 3:  “Boo!”

PA 2 (confused): “What?”

PA 3: “Pronouns!  You said ‘her’ body.”

PA 2: “You know what I meant.”  (turning to PA 1) “Do the speech!”

PA 1 (holding the bottle with the lit fuse in front of her):  “We represent Rachel Sent Us, and we—”

PA 3:  “Ruth.”

PA 1: “What?”

PA 3:  “It’s ‘Ruth Sent Us.’”

PA 1: “What did I say?”

PA 3: “You said ‘Rachel’.”

PA 1: “I don’t think so.”  (Sees PA 2 making a frantic circling motion with her hand.)  “Um, okay.  We’re from Ruth, and our pronouns are—” (the bottle bursts into flame)  “AIEEE!”

And, scene.

That’s not necessarily how it actually happened, but a humble roving correspondent can dream. 

As infuriating as it was to watch the brainwashed loons losing it over the last week, I’m glad to see that the elite left is still completely clueless about how bad they look to normal people on this issue.

When the MSM and congressional Dems won’t even condemn the doxing and threatening of judges, they’re losing the mainstream of the nation.

And though I’m usually loathe to speak ill of the dead, Biden has reached new personal lows this week – which I wouldn’t have thought possible!

His angry slurs against “this MAGA crowd,” and his unhinged scare-mongering that the GOP will kick gay kids out of classrooms and forbid interracial marriages are really repulsive.

It’s enough to make me nostalgic for the good old days of a week ago, when Sleepy Joe was beclowning himself at the WH Correspondents’ dinner:  Laughing uproariously at jokes about the terrible inflation he’s unleashed on the nation.  Pawing at his bowtie – which you know a handler had fixed for him back stage, repeatedly slapping his hand away when Brandon kept picking at it – until it was cockeyed, and made him look even more off-kilter than usual.

And the way he mangled the most memorable quote of the last 50 years was pure Biden.  Trying to evoke Reagan’s great line, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” he came up with, “Tear this wall down!”

And then he mumbled a lame Disney joke that made regular voters everywhere remember how much they like Ron DeSantis. 

Keep it up, Joe.  Keep giving speeches.

Tell us how Lincoln said, “Four years ago, I scored!” and how Patrick Henry said, “Give me Liberty Mutual, or Death by Chocolate!” and how Obama said, “If you like your doctor, you can keep Joe Plumber!”

It’s been a long 4 years, and it’s only been 66 weeks.

Avenatti/ Literally Anybody Else, 2024!

The Left Loses it over the Leaked Alito Draft (posted 5/6/22)

As a happy warrior in our partisan political skirmishes, I’m very much aware of the moral dangers that come from extreme partisanship.  We all have a tendency to let our political (and other) allegiances cloud our judgment, and tempt us toward pride in our own correctness, and harsh condemnation of the other side’s error . 

So soon after Easter, I’m especially mindful of Uncle Jesus, and his teaching about the logs in our own eyes and the motes in others’ eyes. 

All of which is a long-winded way of saying that I recognize the slippery moral slope of believing that we’re really the good guys, and our political opponents are the real bad guys.

On the other hand, the last several years – and especially the last week – has forced me to make this observation:  Deep down, I think that we’re really the good guys, and our leftist opponents are the real bad guys!

It’s not because of our own great virtue.  We’re all – individually — fallen, and made of the crooked timber of humanity, and all the rest.  And the national GOP is definitely no collective profile in courage or political fortitude, to say the least.

But Man o’ Manischewitz, has the left not lost its marbles and steered straight toward the twin poles of stupid and malicious?

Consider a quick spin through the howling voices on the left during the first 24 hours after the draft of the Roe ruling was leaked, first focusing on the stupid:  

An army of national Democrats and lefty celebrity immediately took to Twitter, making their usual, reasoned arguments:  lots of F-bombs, exclamation marks and all caps screaming that if Roe is overturned, abortion will be illegal in the US.  (In reality, the issue will go back to the states, and leftist states will immediately reinforce their current laws, enshrining the right to abort your kid until the band starts playing Pomp and Circumstance at her 8th grade graduation.)

MSM talking heads screeched that this will be THE END OF DEMOCRACY!  Because when 7 unelected men in robes dictated a new abortion policy for the nation, THAT was democratic.  But when the citizens in all 50 states are allowed to vote on abortion policy, THAT is UN-democratic.  Get it?

Peak Stupid may have been reached on Tuesday, May 3rd on the View, when the Dynamic Duo of Dumb — Joy Behar and Sunny Hostin – proposed the idea of a “sex strike,” which would involve women like them refusing males the benefit of their charms until abortions are ubiquitous as Starbucks.  

They really thought this strategy would work!

There might be a more effective method of birth control than simply contemplating – and I’m shuddering as I write this — having sex with Joy Behar. 

But I can’t think of what that might be.  And I hope to never find out.

Grandma Squanto also got in on the action, throwing several theatrical tantrums in the last several days.  When prompted by a sympathetic reporter, she wagged her finger and stomped her feet and expressed her outrage until she was red in the face.

Which was the first time her skin could ever be described with that particular adjective.   (#wemustneverstopmockingher)

My favorite moment came (you’ll pardon the expression) when CNN trotted out Jeffrey Toobin to pontificate on the issue of abortion.  I know: you’d think that with his PhD in Onanism, abortion would never be a concern of his.

But you’d be wrong.  Because a few years back – and I’m not making this up – the married Toobin (I’m as shocked as you are) had an affair with the much-younger daughter of his CNN colleague Jeff Greenfield.  When she became pregnant, he tried to bully and bribe her into aborting the child. When she had the baby, he denied being the father and had to be forced to take a paternity test, and then pay child support. 

So, yeah.  Let’s definitely wait for that creep to pull his pants up, get some make-up on, and put his earpiece in, so we can listen to his wisdom on abortion!

And of course we can’t forget the Big Guy himself, who went off-script for about 93 seconds, during which he un-did 50 years of leftist propaganda about abortion. 

In the midst of a short — and yet still rambling! – slurred word salad, he inadvertently told a core truth, when he referred to the right “to abort a child.” 

If you listened closely, you could almost hear a nationwide flurry of face-palming and spit-takes by thousands of Planned Parenthood ghouls, soul-less pollsters, MSM spinmeisters and White House spokesweasels.

I picture the entire elite left reacting with the kind of shock that jolted the newsroom in the movie Anchorman, when Will Ferrell unknowingly signed off with a hearty, “Go f*** yourself, San Diego!”

“Child?  Abort a CHILD?!”   

“It’s a ‘tissue mass,’ Joe!  Or a ‘non-viable entity.’  Or a ‘blastula’ or a ‘zygote.’  Or just ‘a woman’s body.’  ANYTHING but a CHILD!’”

But it wasn’t all just stupid; there was plenty of malice, too. 

As soon as the story leaked, leftist protestors started acting thuggishly, as is their perpetual wont.  They physically attacked some cops in L.A. (and went tragically un-shot and un-arrested).  They formed a mob outside the Supreme Court, forcing the capitol police to scramble to put up barriers to try to protect the building.

They threw gasoline on the smoldering fire by encouraging the mentally fragile among them to “take to the streets,” a la Maxine Melting-Face Waters’ infamous call to “get in their faces, and push back on them.”   They published the home addresses of the originalist SC judges, requiring frantic efforts to provide security for them and their families.

In my more charitable moods, I might say that this is a straw man argument, and that we shouldn’t lump all of them in with their lunatic fringe.  But what happens when that “fringe” looks to be a majority of their public figures? 

After all, it’s not like the “mainstream” or “establishment” of their party is condemning the loons among them. 

The White House can’t even bring itself to criticize the unprecedented ethical breach of leaking a draft decision, just as they didn’t condemn the sleazy activists who chased Dem Senator Sinema into a bathroom, or smeared Justice Kavanaugh with laughably false rape charges, or launched bigoted attacks on Justice Coney-Barrett’s Catholicism. 

I hate to say it, but they are acting like very bad people. 

And if, to paraphrase MLK, the arc of the mid-terms bends toward justice, this November will see Roe consigned to the dustbin of history, and the Dems are going to get their Durbins handed to them!   

Avenatti/ Jeffrey ”Hands-on-the-Table” Toobin, 2024!

Reasons to Live in Florida, & Biden is Ineducable (posted 5/2/22)

I’m still awaiting two very important numbers in the continuing saga of whether we’ll be able to restore our beautiful Victorian rental house, Rosewood, which was burned on April 13th.  Those numbers are a bid for the restoration costs, and the amount of insurance money we’ll receive. 

I hope to know more within the next week or so, but in the meantime, I’ve posted another picture from the house, this time of the second downstairs rosewood fireplace mantel.  I think the wood in this one is prettier than the first, except that it doesn’t have the lion’s head tiles lining the firebox. 

If you’re interested, you can see the new pic at 

I’ve got a couple of stories to discuss today, and I’d like to start with a local one that I’d file under, “Reasons to Live in Florida.”  It features one of my new favorite public officials, Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson.

A few weeks ago, Johnson reported on a 32-year-old recidivist criminal called Brandon Harris, who was apprehended after going on a burglary spree in the small town of Pace, FL. 

Harris, who recently took second place in a “Stupidest Harris in America” competition – the winner was Que Mala – was out plying his trade, breaking into multiple houses.  (In fact, he may have pulled off a two-fer, since he is also the second stupidest Brandon in America!)

Several homeowners objected, and called the cops, who responded with about 20 officers and some great police dogs.  At least one homeowner took a shot at Harris – tragically, he missed – but the cops and the dogs finally caught up to him in a house on – I kid you not – Tom Sawyer Lane.

All that is a pretty typical crime story.  You can imagine how it would be covered in a big blue city anywhere in the country: poor, disenfranchised victim of society forced into petty theft to feed his family, then cruelly set upon by fascist police.

Inconveniently, Harris is white, so the local media would not be announcing a campaign to build a statue of him in the town square.  But he would still get a lot of sympathy, and the evil guy who shot at him would be looking at some serious jail time.

But not in Santa Rosa County, and not on Bob Johnson’s watch! 

Johnson put up a picture of Harris – dull-witted, shaved head, half a goatee, surly expression – and narrated the day’s events masterfully.  He reported that Harris is a “frequent flyer,” having been first arrested at 13, and then 16 more times before his latest burglary spree.  “We sent him to prison for 6 and a half years for home invasion, and he just can’t seem to get the picture that crime doesn’t pay.” 

So I already like the cut of this guy’s jib.

But then – in what might be the finest paragraph written since Jefferson penned the first paragraph of the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence — Johnson addressed the fact that the identity of the homeowner who shot at Brandon Harris was not known: 

“I guess they think they did something wrong, which they did not.  If someone’s breaking into your house, you’re more than welcome to shoot them in Santa Rosa County.  We prefer that you do, actually.  Whoever that was, you’re not in trouble, come see us.  We have a gun safety class we put on every other Saturday.  If you take that, you’ll shoot a lot better, and hopefully you’ll save the taxpayers money.”     

Good lord!  Let’s bask in those glorious words: If a criminal breaks into your house, you are more than welcome to shoot him!  We prefer it!!  And we’ll help make you a better shot, so you can save the taxpayers some money!!! 

If mere words could give physical pleasure, I’d be the Meg Ryan character at the diner in When Harry Met Sally right now.  Only I wouldn’t be faking it.

God bless you, Bob Johnson! And if I might suggest a counter-part to the satiric closing lines of most of my columns… DeSantis/Johnson 2024!

In other news, I continue to be heartened by Joey Gaffes’ inability to learn from his mistakes, and the corresponding devastation that awaits him and his party in November. 

Recent Exhibit A: Several weeks ago, a judge struck down the federal airplane mask mandate, and immediately videos began appearing of normal people celebrating: cheers, songs, people twirling their masks over their heads like strippers about to toss garments into a crowd of horndogs.

It looked like a scaled down version of VJ Day, and everybody was a sailor looking for a nurse to smooch, or a nurse looking for a sailor. 

Except for the tiny remnant of paranoiac lefty true believers, whom you could recognize by their double-masks, their face shields and their sour expressions.  They sneered at their ebullient fellow citizens as if they were Ilhan Omar at a bar mitzvah, and couldn’t even ululate in outrage.

Any normal politician in Biden’s position would look at that situation and thank God that he’d been given an election-year off-ramp.  Normal people everywhere are sick of the mask-wearing, but Biden’s far-left loony fringe are committed to the face-burka, and would be furious if he bowed to common sense.

And now here is manna from heaven: he can drop the unpopular mandate, and blame it on that judge.  It’s a win-win.

But not Brandon.  He looks at that free helping of delicious chicken salad and says to himself, “I wonder if I can turn this into chicken Schumer?”  And he appeals the judge’s ruling!

This can only end in two ways for him: bad, and worse. 

Bad would be for a ruling to come down several months from now (closer to the election!) upholding the judge, which would only remind everyone that Biden wants to force them into masks, and that he’s on such a losing streak that he couldn’t even accomplish that.

Worse would be for the judge to reinstate the mask mandate, and remind everyone that this fresh hell is brought to you by Joe Biden and the Democrat party.

Recent Exhibit B:  Because the Dems don’t realize that Orwell’s novel 1984 is about them, they decided to create an ominously titled “Disinformation Governance Board,” which evokes echoes of the Ministry of Truth, only even creepier.  Because governing through disinformation is their modus operandi.

Coming on the heels of their “the censors have no clothes” hysteria over Elon Musk buying Twitter and promising to use it to promote freedom of speech, the optics are terrible. 

But there’s one way to make the optics even more terrible: appoint a biased AOC clone – not overly smart, with equally crazy eyes, and less attractive – to run the damn thing. 

Nina Jankowicz has a long backstory full of disqualifying evidence, from wacky singing videos to serious condemnation of true stories (Hunter’s laptop is a Russian false flag!) as disinformation, and lauding of disinformation (Steele’s dossier is accurate!) as true.

Sure, you might say, “Who better to police disinformation than someone who has expertise in creating and disseminating disinformation?”

But then you would stop yourself – because you’re not insane – and say, “Anybody! Anybody would be better.  Also, this is not an office or a position that should exist in a free republic.”

Biden is absolutely ineducable, and all he can do is keep doubling down on the terrible mistakes he’s already made.  He’s a textbook example of the old saying, “Dead men learn no lessons.”

No, wait.  That’s not it.  I think it’s, “Jeffrey Epstein tells no tales.”  Or was that Mary Jo Kopeckne?

You know… you know the thing!

Avenatti/ “Let’s go Brandon” Harris 2024!

One Sad Story, and One Happy One (posted 4/29/22)

As is becoming a pattern, I’ll start with a brief update on our burned Victorian house, called Rosewood. 

I’m not trying to get ahead of myself, but we’ve met with a contractor, and had multiple talks with our insurer, and it’s looking more likely that the house is going to survive, and maybe that we’ll be able to hold on to it through the necessary, extensive renovations. I’ll write more about this soon, as I know more.

In the meantime, I’ve posted another picture to my site (, this one of the double front doors, with stained glass inserts.  We had these windows removed, repaired, and re-installed when we bought the house, and the doors are lightly damaged, but will definitely be saved.  I took this pic from inside the house, and the pinkish-looking glass is actually a darker red color.

A reader mentioned that she went to my site and could see my columns, but no pictures. 

First, the columns should be reason enough to go there. 😊 Second, I tried on my phone and got the same problem.  The only thing I can conclude is that you need to use a computer to access my site, if you want to see the pictures.  I’ll be making some upgrades to the site soon, and see if I can fix that.

Turning to the larger world, I’ve been thinking about two stories over the last 10 days, one tragic and one delightful.

The first is the grim Chicom crackdown on their own population in Shanghai over the latest covid outbreak.  Reports suggest that tens of millions of people have been virtually imprisoned in their apartments on the pretext of preventing the spread of a virus – which is still spreading – that had at the beginning of these new lockdowns resulted in 3 deaths. 

I see one small bright side to this horrific story, and one huge one. 

The small one applies to the Biden administration, which has to be grateful that they can finally point to a government whose reaction to covid is even worse and less competent than theirs!

The huge one is the added wake-up call – as if, at this late date, we still needed one – to rational Americans everywhere about the danger of allowing a power-hungry government to exploit a public health “emergency” to increase their own control over their people.  

The most chilling details I’ve seen come from video shot early this month, of high rises in which thousands of people had gone out onto their balconies and screamed, protested and sang to cope with their suffering.

Then a government drone appeared, broadcasting their communist overlords’ propaganda.  I don’t speak Chinese – although if anyone who does will send me a phonetic pronunciation of “Let’s Go, Brandon” in either Mandarin or Cantonese, I will do my best to learn – the translation provided is eerie:

“Please comply with covid restrictions.  Control your soul’s desire for freedom.  Do not open the window or sing.”  

If this isn’t a perfect encapsulation of our leftist elites’ message to the American people over the last two years, I don’t know what is! 

Comply with our restrictions (even though the scientific basis for them has been disastrously overblown and/or absolutely disproven). 

“Control your soul’s desire for freedom.” Wow.  That’s a lot of admissions against the totalitarians’ interest in a very few words:  Yes, people have souls.  And yes, those souls have an innate desire for freedom. 

And yes, your leftist betters are hell-bent (literally, IMHO) on suppressing and thwarting that desire for freedom. 

Also, trying to engage in the outside world, and singing, are strictly forbidden. 

Well done, Chicom murderers.  You’ve given the American Dem elite a perfect slogan for their 2022 and 2024 campaigns!

Speaking of the lefty elite, it has been a schadenfreude-tastic experience to watch them getting progressively (HA!) more hysterical as Elon Musk has run circles around them.

I was never a fan of Jack “Boots” Dorsey.  (Anybody who grows a beard like that – not because he’s been thrown into solitary confinement in Alcatraz or a Super-Max somewhere, but voluntarily – is not to be trusted!) 

But his successor as Twitter CEO is a smarmy little creep whose name I refuse to learn how to spell, because life is too short.  Conveniently, it’s very close to an anagram for “pagan narwhal.”  So I’ve got that going for me.

Mr. Narwhal and his board of arrogant and pinch-faced censors initially panicked when Musk announced that he’d bought around 10% of the company stock.  They tried a ju-jitsu counter-move by playing nice and putting him on the board, which would have kept him on a leash and without any real power to force substantive changes.

Musk turned them down, and teased the idea of offering to buy huge blocks of Twitter stock from shareholders.  The board responded with a “poison pill,” deflating the value of their shareholders’ stock in a desperate move to thwart Musk. 

He pointed out that this would be screwing their shareholders, and triggering a tsunami of lawsuits that would tie them up in court for years, and devastate the company.   Then, while they were still reeling, he announced a financing package that allowed him to buy the company right out from under them.   

You’ve heard of one person playing chess while a less intelligent person plays checkers?

Well this was Musk playing 4-D chess while the Twitter board was playing “Pull Your Dress Over Your Head and Soil Yourself While Stomping Around in a Room Full of Rakes.”

(And yes, for you history buffs, that is the very same sport which recently inducted Joey Gaffes and Que Mala into its Hall of Fame.)  

The predictable Schumer-storm of hypocritical outrage, projection and tantrum-throwing has been a wonder to behold. 

Hollywood celebrities, leftist pols and MSM talking heads unwittingly revealed their bone-deep dishonesty and bad faith when they raged against the prospect of transparency and free speech taking hold at Twitter.

A columnist from the Washington Post – owned by partisan leftist billionaire Jeff Bezos – warned against the dire consequences of… wait for it… allowing a partisan billionaire to control a media outlet!

Many others cluelessly panicked over the prospect that Twitter might be used to stifle the reach of people who disagreed with its owner, or even that it might affect election outcomes by suppressing negative information about opponents while covering up the scandals of its own side.

The hell you say!       

I don’t think that Musk is a conservative, but in the context of, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” I am cheering him on.  If he sticks to his promise to transform Twitter into a platform that fosters and welcomes the free marketplace of ideas and speech, he’ll have done a great service to our country.  

Meanwhile, internal leaks and message boards are full of overwrought Twitter employees rending their garments and gnashing their teeth over their new boss’ hideous promises of freedom. 

Terrible, terrible freedom!

If I were ever to feel any sympathy for those malevolent, emotionally stunted children trapped in gender-fluid adult bodies — so far, nope! – I guess I’d give them the same advice they’ve sneered to the many conservatives they’ve been censoring over the last 6 years:

Stop whining, and build your own Twitter!  

Avenatti and Pagan Narwhal, 2024: Control your Soul’s Desire for Freedom!