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 Martinsimpsonwriting.com.
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!