Hostile Sunny Hostin, Biden on 60 Minutes, & the Left on Crime (posted 9/26/22)

I’d like to open this column with a new feature idea I’m calling,“Find a Mirror.”  Every other week or so, I’ll choose a person or group who is behaving so egregiously that they need to sit down in front of a reflective surface and think long and hard about what they’ve just done or said.       

Here’s an example from the last week.

I saw a clip from The View – I know, that’s beneath me, and life’s too short, but hear me out – that featured the ironically named “Sunny” Hostile exposing both her low IQ and her nasty racism in the most efficient way possible. 

Hold on.  My crack research team tells me that her last name is actually “Hostin.” 

Huh. If you had told me that one of those two names was NOT hers, I would not have bet on “Hostile.” 

Anyway, when Nikki Haley was being discussed as a possible future GOP presidential candidate, this moron played the race card in the clumsiest way imaginable.  She said, “What is her real name again?”

One of the other women – I’m guessing she was a guest, because she was very attractive, and not mind-bendingly dense – pushed back, pointing out that Haley has used “Nikki” instead of her first name of “Nimrata” since childhood, likely to avoid the prejudice that might have accompanied the unusual, foreign-sounding name.

Sunny jumped in with a little of that 80-proof bigotry that is her stock in trade: “There are some of us that can be chameleons, and decide not to embrace our ethnicity so that we can pass—”

At this point there was some interrupting cross talk, during which another panelist said, “Sunny, YOU go by a different name!” 

Which is true, since Sunny’s real first name is actually, “Asuncion.” 

2 quick thoughts:

1.  Since she brought up “not wanting to embrace your ethnicity,” I think any self-respecting Latina would hesitate to admit that she shared the same ethnicity with a smug little bigot like Sunny Hostin.  (Just as a panel of influential Latinos passed a resolution asking crazy Ramon Estevez to use his super white name of “Charlie Sheen,” instead.  Thanks for sticking us with him, mi amigos!)

2.  If you’re criticizing someone for not using their real name, it’s not a good look when the person you are criticizing is actually using her real, middle name instead of her more ethnically distinctive first name (“Nikki” is Haley’s middle name), while the name you replaced your own ethnically distinctive first name with was a made-up one you just pulled out of your Hostin.

When confronted with her own blatant hypocrisy, Sunny had a perfect comeback, if you’re a clueless leftist.  (And boy, is she!)  She didn’t drop her Hispanic first name because she’s a creepy “Uncle Juan,” trying to “pass” as white.

No, no, no. SHE calls herself “Sunny” because Americans are too stupid to properly pronounce “Asuncion.” 

I’m not kidding.  Here are her actual words: “That’s because most Americans can’t pronounce ‘Asuncion’ because of the under-education in our system.” 

Got that?  “Sunny” is not a vile race traitor like Nikki Haley, and she only changed her name because you’re too stupid to pronounce her Hispanic one.

The segment was mercifully ended by Whoopi Goldberg (real name: Caryn Elaine Johnson) while Joy Behar (real name: Josephine) sat there like a block of wood, which is her sweet spot.

Sunny Hostin, please, for the love of all that is holy: Find a Mirror.

If you needed more proof of why the Dems have made Brandon available for the fewest media availabilities of any president since tv was invented, his séance with Scott Pelley provided it.

Everybody has commented about some of Biden’s consequential gaffes in that short exchange – the pandemic is over, we’ll send American soldiers to Taiwan if China attacks, we now measure inflation rates in inches, etc.

But the part that caught me most by surprise was his response when Pelley asked a few questions about Biden’s age and mental fitness. 

Pelley: “You are the oldest president ever…”

Biden: “Pretty good shape, huh?”

Every Sane American: “What?!  No!  You’re not in good shape at all!  You can’t walk right. You can’t talk right.  You’re the Crypt Keeper in a suit.  You make Imhotep Pelosi look young and vivacious.  You pooped on the Pope!”

Pelley: “Some people question whether you are fit for the job, and when you hear that, I wonder what you think?”

Biden: “Watch me.  Honest to God, that’s what I think.  Watch me.”

Every Sane American (sounding eerily like the Office’s Michael Scott when he finds out Toby is back):  “NO, God, no! God please, no! No! No! NOOOO!”

Sam Kinison’s Ghost: “We HAVE been watching you!  That’s why we doubt your abilities!  Oh, Ohhhhh!  You’re stumbling up staircases, and wandering around on stages looking for exits, and shaking hands with ghosts!  It took you several minutes to get your arm into your coat, which you still did not manage to do without the help of your creepy fake-doctor wife!  OH!  OHHHHHH!

And, scene.

We’re all watching you, Joe, in the same way that you see a bad car wreck on the side of the road, and can’t look away.  Please make it stop.

Finally, I’ve got a crime story that should remind us all of just some of the stakes in the next several elections.

In 2012, one Jose Rafael Solano Landaeta came to the US on a tourist visa from Venezuela, and when that visa expired, he stayed here. 

Was he immediately caught and sent back to Chavez-land, maybe with a few bruises and a stern warning, you are not asking, because you already know the answer?

He was not. 

Instead, he stayed here, and within a year he expressed his gratitude to those in his new home by raping an unconscious person.  Oh yes, and that person was a girl under the age of three.

If you are morally normal, you are now asking, “Where is his grave, because I have a full bladder, and would like to go there to express my thoughts about his evil actions?”

Unfortunately, he is not dead.

“Well, then,” you are now asking, “where is the penitentiary where he is serving his long sentence, so that I can go there and inform the other prisoners that he raped an infant, so that they can express their feelings about that crime to Mr. Landaeta?  Perhaps with a sharpened toothbrush, or a shiv made out of some other everyday implement?”

Unfortunately, he is not in prison.  In fact, because he raped the infant in California – which is run entirely by guess which political party? – he plead to a lesser charge, and was sentenced to a commensurately harsh sentence of… wait for it… three years of probation.

That’s right.  He broke into our country and raped an infant, and he wasn’t executed.  He wasn’t imprisoned and then deported.  He wasn’t even imprisoned, and he was NOT deported.

“That’s outrageous,” you are thinking, even though you have to be tiring of asking such naïve rhetorical questions, “But maybe such a close call with consequences got his mind right, and he’s been on the straight and narrow since then?”

To quote a recently deceased president, “Come on, man!”

I’m not sure what else Landaeta has been up to in the intervening decade, but I’m guessing that it’s not been working hard, paying taxes, and treating his neighbors with respect.  I do know that he’s fathered at least one child during that time, because he was in some kind of relationship with Karina Castro, who had his child a year ago, in addition to the 7 year old she had from a previous relationship.

But apparently Landaeta and Castro had a few domestic problems – I’m guessing he kept leaving the toilet seat up, no matter how many times she asked him to put it down? – and she ended up getting a restraining order against him in April.

“Problem solved!” you are not thinking, because you are not a Democrat who hates guns, but loves pieces of paper, and their magical ability to influence the behavior of criminals, who are after all really just misunderstood people who have been mistreated by our evil capitalist system.

And you are finally coming around to common sense.  Because on September 8th, he violated his protective order – SHOCKING! – and confronted her in front of her house, as she was putting her two kids in the car. 

“Did he ask her to meet him somewhere for a cup of coffee, so that they could discuss their differences rationally, and out of earshot of the children?” you are absolutely not asking, because you are tiring of this charade.

He did not.  Instead, he used the sword he just happened to be carrying – as one does on a typical Thursday – to cut Karen Castro’s head off, in front of her young children. 

Maybe now he’ll get some actual, serious prison time.  But I wouldn’t bet on it.

Compare this story – and so many tragic ones like it – to the many stories of recidivist criminals breaking into regular citizens’ houses in red states. 

Most of those end with the criminals getting shot a lot, followed by the homeowner greeting a stream of neighbors bearing well wishes, covered dishes, and more ammunition to replace that which had been absorbed by the bullet-magnet home invader. 

Who, by the way, will never rape an infant, or cut off anybody’s head with a sword in the future. 

The local authorities usually do a quick investigation, after which they praise the homeowner for improving the community, and give her back her gun.  Sometimes accompanied by a key to the city. 

Sure, there’s no guarantee that every such story will end well, and some homeowners may be wounded or die in the defense of their homes and families. 

But I know the kind of community I’d rather live in, and it’s not the one where the homeowners are harassed and charged, while the criminals get the sympathy.  And sometimes bail money from Que Mala and her lefty co-religionists.

It’s been 14 long years, but the election is in 44 days.  Ignore the gaslighting, and the polls, and the MSM slander.  Think about evil Jose Landaeta, and about poor Karen Castro.

And vote!   

Any non-Democrat/ Any other Non-Democrat, 2024!

Updated Victorian pics, plus Don Lemon, & Bringing the Dems’ Chickens Home to Roost (posted 9/23/22)

Before I start today’s column, I thought I’d provide an update on the renovation work that is going on at my Victorian house that was burned back in April.  I’ve added some new pics of the interior; the ceilings are now all down, and the upstairs walls have been taken back to the lathe and plaster.

If you’d like to see the pictures, you can go to, and click on the “Rosewood” tab on the top of the page – the newest pics are on the bottom.

Things are progressing more slowly than I would like, and we are now currently waiting for city permission to have a new power pole installed, and to block the street so that we can get a crane in and take off the roof, then fly in and fix the new trusses in place.  The goal is to tear off the existing roof and get a new one framed and dried-in within about 7-8 days.

To achieve that, we’ll need cooperation from the weather and the city – and don’t ask me which of those is more easily secured!

Now on to our political follies, starting with Don Lemon.

Ahh, Don Lemon.  Now that Fredo Cuomo and the newest doughy Harvard prof Brian Stelter have been shown the door at CNN, Lemon is locked in an 18-way competition for dimmest bulb in the pack over at “the most trusted name in news.”  (Now with 120% more sarcasm in the sarcastic scare quotation marks!)

If you didn’t see his interview with British royals historian Hilary Fordwich, you owe it to yourself to find it.  And then sit back with a stiff Scotch-and-schadenfreude cocktail and savor the logical buzz saw that poor Donnie walked into.

He posed a ridiculously uninformed question – as is his wont – about whether Britain shouldn’t pay minorities “reparations for colonialism.” And Hilary spent a glorious 52 seconds rhetorically laying waste to Lemon’s victim-riffic premise.    

She started by agreeing with him that reparations might be due, but then wrong-footed him with a string of historical facts: the beginning of the “slavery supply chain” was in Africa, where Africans enslaved and sold their fellow Africans to Arabs and Europeans; England was the first nation to abolish slavery; she sacrificed tons of treasure and the lives of 2000 sailors in a tenacious sea-borne campaign to end the slave trade that had been going on in Africa for centuries before the first European stepped foot there.

Never has the cliché, “If that debate was a fight, they would’ve stopped it,” been more appropriate!  I could almost hear the dulcet tones of the late Howard Cosell, shouting, “Down goes Lemon!  Down goes Lemon!”

Not-so-Dandy Don, who virtually never allows his total ignorance to prevent him from speaking about any subject, just sat there meekly, like a dishonest, slow-witted deer caught in the headlights. 

Then he muttered, “It’s an interesting discussion,” and changed the subject. 

Next, I’ve been enjoying the latest developments in Martha’s Vineyard-gate.  Not since Ted Kennedy (D-irigible, MA) killed Mary Jo Kopechne on that island have Vineyard residents looked so transparently phony and depraved.

They whined about how their uber-rich island couldn’t possibly take care of 50 immigrants, then kicked them out within 48 hours, then patted themselves on the back because of how “enriched” they felt because of their contact with the illegals whom they’d just shown the door. 

Their every action shone a spotlight on two truths:

  • the actual, destabilizing, resource-consuming impact of illegal immigration
  • their own colossal hypocrisy   

And the MSM couldn’t keep themselves from revealing their own bigotry, attacking the GOP governors for doing the exact same thing that they’ve been praising their lefty co-religionists for doing: shipping illegals all over the country.

My favorite example was briefly aired on NBC news… until they deleted the tweet and tried to pretend it never existed.  But the tweet is the textbook definition of a “gaffe” in Washington: a moment when someone inadvertently says what he actually believes.

The bigot in question is Max Lefeld, who lovingly compared the action of sending illegals to “sanctuary cities” — where liberals had falsely said they’d be welcomed — to “driving to different areas… and throwing my trash there.”

The punch line?  Lefeld is the founder of a “charity group” called “Casa Venezuela Dallas foundation.” 

For you Spanish speakers out there, I’ll point out that the group’s name is NOT “mi Casa….”  In fact, if I remember my high school Spanish (“Silencio, por favor, Martino!”), that group’s name has an understood “su” in front of it.   

To be fair to Lefeld, the group is “Casa Venezuela Dallas,” NOT “Casa Venezuela Martha’s Vineyard.”  So… yeah.

On the bright side, Lefeld’s vile comparison of brown folks to garbage does make Dr. Jill’s comparison of those same people to breakfast tacos look pretty darn enlightened, don’t you think? Or at least just stupid, rather than genocidal.

Which, sadly, is about the best you can hope for from the Bidens.

I’d like to end by giving some advice to GOP politicians who are trying to close strong in the mid-terms.  Will it be brilliant advice?  You’ll have to make that call.  (But spoiler alert: Yes.  Yes it will.)

Here it is:

Make EVERY Democrat-run city a border town.

Send a thrice-daily convoy of buses full of illegals to Chicago and NYC and DC.  Darken the skies with plane loads of illegals landing at Martha’s Vineyard, the Hamptons, and any other tony hamlets where virtue-signaling leftists go to escape the deplorable white trash and the icky brown trash (their words, not ours).

I want the airspace over those Woke-villes to look like O’Hare the day before Thanksgiving!    

In fact, force the Dems to live with the consequences of ALL of the policies they foist on the rest of us:

If they’re going to harass us with their environmental alarmism, confiscate all of their private jets (we’ll use them to parachute illegals down onto Martha’s Vineyard like every day is D-Day over Normandy), plus their yachts, all of their luxury cars – both the gas-powered ones, and the coal- and natural gas-powered “electric” ones – and every one of their houses that contains more than 800 square feet of carbon-devouring living space.

If they’re going to fight our ability to own guns to protect ourselves, take away their armed bodyguards.

If we can’t have a border for our country, bulldoze the walls around their mansions and estates.

If they won’t jail criminals, force them to take those violent offenders into their own neighborhoods and houses.  (A car jacker in every leftist driveway, a murderer in every leftist living room, and a sex offender in every leftist bedroom!)

If they’re going to force anti-white racism on us, take away the job of every white leftist CEO, professor and MSM talking head and give it to a BIPOC transgender double-amputee immediately.

Do the same with the homeless.  If addicts’ bowels are to be moved on sidewalks or a front door stoop, make sure that those sidewalks and door stoops belong to a Democrat politician, or donor, or voter.  Let them and their families have to tiptoe through the feces and syringes (worst Tiny Tim song ever, by the way) every time they step out of their houses. 

Now, in the words of the Great and Powerful CO (who is not me, but who created me out of his forehead, like in a Greek myth), go and tell others what you’ve learned here today:

Build a red wave in November, by making every Dem-controlled locale a border town!

Avenatti/ Max “-imum racism” Lefeld 2024!


If you enjoyed this column, please share it.  To see more of Martin’s past columns, go to 

Martha’s Vineyard is Full of Naked Emperors, Biden celebrates Lower Inflation thru Higher Inflation, & the GOP ads write themselves! (posted 9/19/22)

Over the weekend I read CO’s story of his brief return to Chicago, and his update on how the good people of that once-great city are faring under the maladministration of Governor Big Jay Pritzker and  half-socialist/half-river-carp Mayor Lightfoot. 

It’s a poignant, somber tale with a dusting of optimism, or at least hope, as you might expect from the mind of CO.  If you haven’t read it yet, you should. 

As a Floridian for 36 years now – I wasn’t born in Florida, but I got here as soon as I could – I still love my home state of Illinois, and I’m depressed by the morons who have been running it into the ground, along with the dopes who keep electing those morons.  

(If you’ve ever thought that the blind leading the blind was a recipe for disaster, that’s nothing compared to the morons leading the dopes!)

(Coincidentally, if the Dems haven’t come up with an official name for their 2024 convention yet, they could not come up with a more accurate one than “Morons Leading Dopes, 2024!”)

But let’s leave the sad story of the slow, political exsanguination of the Windy City and turn to several stories that have entertained me over the last fortnight. 

First we have the spectacle of watching leftist elites losing their minds when confronted by a relative handful of illegal immigrants showing up at their sanctuary cities.  

After pontificating for years on how much they LOVE the huddled foreign masses, and publicly Toobin-ing themselves over their own moral superiority, the egregious snobs actually got to meet some of those illegals, face to face.  

And immediately called for security.   

I love that Abbott and DeSantis have hoist the Dems on their own petard by forcing them to confront the consequences of their destructive policies.  Of course, the MSM is doing everything they can to protect them from their “emperor has no clothes” moment, screaming that this is just “a stunt.”

If by “stunt” you mean “forcing people who claim they welcome illegal immigrants to… welcome illegal immigrants.”  

Bah!  At this late date, no sentient person needs to be told that the top leftists in our country are obnoxious hypocrites.  But it’s still fun to say it, and watch them squirm.   

AOC said that sending illegals to NYC or Chicago is a “crime against humanity.”  (Given the frequency of gunfire and machete attacks there, she might be half-right.)  The mayor of DC said that sending a handful of illegals is turning her city into a “border town.”  (Ick!)  Rich lefty Karens said that uber-rich Martha’s Vineyard didn’t have the “resources” to accommodate 50 migrants!

I love that DeSantis sent that flight to Martha’s Vineyard, of all places, not least because the Obamas now own a $12 million estate there.  That little shack contains 7 bedrooms within its 6900 square feet, and sits on 29 ocean-front acres. 

Which raises an obvious question: How many Venezuelans can you fit into 7 bedrooms and 29 acres? 

Let’s find out!   

Oops, we can’t.  Because within 48 hours of the illegals landing on their precious island, the open-hearted, open-minded supporters of open borders rounded up the immigrants and sent them packing back to the mainland in several small buses.  (“Hola!  Bienvenidos! …  Now beat it, muchachos!  Andale!  Don’t let la puerta hit you on your culo!  Mi island NO es tu island!”)

Rumors that they “helped” the immigrants onto the buses by surrounding them on horseback and whipping them with their reins are as yet unconfirmed.   

Second, I loved that Biden decided to throw a big political celebration of the “inflation reduction act” on the day when the CPI numbers came out and showed that … wait for it … inflation is still rising. 

The “experts” expected a number around or below 8% — still horrific, compared to the 2.01% core inflation rate when the Orange Menace was president.  But the number came in at 8.3%.

By the way, can I find an old sword lying around the house, and use it to dub myself an “expert?”  

Because I’m pretty sure that if I used a three-pronged scientific strategy that I am making up right now – I’ll put on my pointed, velvet wizard hat, examine some spilled chicken entrails, and stick a wet finger into the wind – I’ll be able to achieve a record of prognostication that will beat the hell out of Janet Yellen’s and Paul Krugman’s track records.

Any competent administration wouldn’t have scheduled the big “Joe has Conquered Inflation” party on the day the numbers were set to come out.  You know, just in case their previous record of going 0-for-435 in predicting their policy outcomes might be an omen of some kind.

But not Velcro Joe!  So there were the top Dem staffers and big shots, sitting in their party hats, ready to blow on their party horns, and kick some inflationary arse.  And then the numbers came out, and the market immediately dropped 1200 points. 

Cue the sad trombone. 

And the sad Imhotep Pelosi, who had the unenviable task of giving a rousing victory speech after Joe’s Big Idea had just mortifyingly flopped.  (Or, as political insiders call it, “pulled a Hillary.”)

Even in an audience full of hand-picked ringers – Dem polls, staffers, and other soul-less hacks – Pelosi’s speech was as flaccid as Eric Swalwell after Fang Fang fled back to the politburo. 

At one point she said, and I swear I am not making this up, “Mr. President, thank you for unifying and inspiring a vision of a stronger, fairer, safer future for all our children.  Your extraordinary leadership has made this glorious day possible.”

Naturally, this line was followed by the kind of silence you experience when dozens of people are simultaneously trying to fight back against the fact that they just threw up in the back of their mouths.  The same way that you are probably struggling right now, even though you only read those words.

Sorry about that.

Anyway, having spent most of the last 2300 years in the airless stillness of a crypt beneath an Egyptian pyramid, Nancy recognized that deathly silence.  And she raised her desiccated right hand, fixed her somnolent audience with her hideous rictus grin, and said, “That was an applause line.”


I’m no White House speech writer, but I’ve done my share of public speaking over the years, and even I know that it never works to demand applause or laughter for a line that was worthy of neither applause nor laughter.

I mean, can you imagine how off-putting it would be if after every time I came up with a creative new way to refer to the unbearable whiteness of Liz Warren with a #wemustneverstopmockingher tag line, or maybe an observation about how Eric Swallwell’s favorite rock song is “Wang Dang Sweet Fang Fang,” I said, “That was supposed to be a joke.  Now is the time when you must laugh.”

Okay, those are bad examples, because all of my Grandma Squanto and Flatulent Swallwell jokes are hilarious, and you would be unable to read my subsequent command to laugh, because of the tears of laughter already in your eyes.

But you get my point. The speeches were all terrible, and everyone in the audience was going through their own dark night of the soul, contemplating whether they’d sold their souls to the devil, and at the moment of their death, would they awaken to find themselves in a place that looked very much like the setting for Biden’s Reichstag speech?

Only with 8% less Hitler, and 9% more Satan?    

Finally, I’m not sure what to think about the mid-terms.  The MSM have done their best to dishearten us with their predictions of how surprisingly well many Dem candidates are doing in the polls, and the GOP seems willing (as always) to search for new ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

But my gut still tells me that there will be a decent red wave in November.  Partly because I think the polls are artificially favoring the Dems, but mostly because I can’t bring myself to believe that a majority of Americans want more of what Biden and his co-religionists are selling.

I know one thing: if I could have any job right now, it would be as a writer of GOP ads.  Because the main difficulty would be choosing from among the depthless ocean of sound bites, video clips and facts/data/statistics with which to illustrate the comprehensive disaster that the Dems have wrought.

Talk about an embarrassment of riches!  Do I cue up several dozen top Dems saying that they are totally down with defunding the police, followed by footage of cities being burned and people being assaulted and killed, followed immediately by each Dem pol later saying that they never wanted to defund the police? 

Do I just show video of homeless tent cities, poop-filled streets, smash-and-grab looting mobs, and the floods of illegals coming across the border?  Or prices for everything from food to gas to rent, pre- and post-Biden? 

Do I show video from Biden’s inauguration day executive orders – stop the wall, kill the pipeline and oil drilling – followed by the results?

Do I take a few clips from Hunter’s laptops and emails, showing the hookers and the blow and the “10% to the Big Guy” from the Chicoms?

Do I just run together a clip of Biden’s greatest hits (You ain’t black, dog-faced pony soldier, you know the thing, pandemic of the unvaccinated, the Afghanistan withdrawal was a success, inflation is transitory, illegal immigration is a gift, poor people are just as smart as white people, plus any given examples of word salad), followed by a black screen, with a voice-over of an Obama-esque voice actor reading his words, “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f*** things up?”  

Or maybe I just show a video montage of randomly chosen footage of Brandon and Que Mala, followed by a black screen with the words, “It’s been a long 14 years, and it’s only been 86 weeks.”

Avenatti/ randomly chosen Venezuelan tossed off of Martha’s Vineyard 2024!

Maine Trip, Cancer Moonshot, & the Death of the Queen (posted 9/16/22)

Our Maine visit is over, and a good time was had by all.  We met our friends in Portland and drove up to Mount Desert Island, and spent four days running around Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park, and the surrounding small towns.

That’s a beautiful part of the country, and our hosts arranged for several trips into the park.   We watched a sunset from the top of Cadillac Mountain on Wednesday, spent most of Thursday on e-bikes riding the carriage trails helpfully laid out by Mr. Rockefeller a while back, and took a 5-mile hike with gorgeous views all around on Friday.

Between those excursions, we ate a lot of lobster, saw a serene Japanese garden, and wandered around Bar Harbor.  We spent our last half-day walking around Bangor, before our afternoon flight home.  We made an obligatory stop at Stephen King’s house, outside of his famous wrought-iron gate with bats and spiders worked into the design. 

I’ve enjoyed many of his books over the years, but I’ve had to separate the writer from the writing, since he’s shared his vitriolic political views. (Spoiler alert: he really hates us!) Still, he has kept a place and still lives part of the year in gritty little Bangor, so I like that about him, at least.

The natural beauty of Maine can really take your breath away.  Watching the sunset from Cadillac Mountain was especially gorgeous, and as the sun finally dipped below the horizon, a round of spontaneous applause rippled through the small crowd with whom we’d been watching.

That struck me as both poignant and surprising.  As a Christian, applauding the sunset felt both appropriate and comic: “Nice job with the lakes, mountain ridges and sunset, God!” 

But I wondered about – and felt a lot of affection for – the large number of atheists and agnostics I assume were in that appreciative crowd.  It seems so odd to applaud for a performance without a Performer.  “Nice job with that sunset, unreasoning and random Nature!”

Even as that gesture makes no intellectual sense to me, I find it heartening that most people instinctively intuit that there is Someone beyond that beauty, and tribute should naturally be paid.

One of the blessings of a vacation is being only intermittently aware of world events, politics and the media.  We caught only bits of tv, and I spent a few minutes checking email and surfing through the news.  But the juxtaposition of what our Maker has done with the Maine coastline and what our political class is doing with our society is disorienting, to say the least.

Here are the random bits of news I saw:

1. Some anonymous Democrat staffers are leaking a story that is apparently well known in Washington: Jerry Nadler frequently falls asleep during meetings, and when legislation is being created and discussed.

The tone of the story was critical, but I found myself wishing that more of those boneheads would follow his example.  How much misery would our country have been spared over the last interminable 18 months if all of our congress had just pulled a Rip Van Winkle in January of 2021?

Can you imagine if, the day before the Inauguration That Will Live in Infamy, Imhotep Pelosi would have pulled that sarcophagus lid over her head for a little shut-eye; Schumer would have noticed that there were no cameras around, and thus there was no reason for him to remain conscious; and Grandma Squanto Warren would have snuggled under her deerskin blanket and pulled her headdress down over her eyes so that she could rest them?  (#wemustneverstopmockingher)

When they came stumbling out into the light this Labor Day, they would have woken to a country with still-functioning borders, $4 trillion less in national debt, and inflation at a Trumpy 2.5%.  Plus we’d be down two Cuomos and a Brian Stelter, and CNN+ would just be a terrible, hilarious dream. 

And a Joe Biden deep into REM sleep would be just as effective as he is now — If he were talking in his sleep, could he possible make less sense than he does when he’s awake? – and without all of the angry yelling.

A fella can dream, can’t he?

2. Speaking of the late President, I saw a few minutes of him giving a speech, and his mood has apparently not improved since his fire-and-brimstone Reichstag speech.  At one point he was literally shaking, and hollered at the top of his voice, “We beat big pharma!  We beat big pharma!”

I immediately thought that this means one of two things:  Either there will soon be no more medications in the pipeline to help me deal with the PTSD I expect to have if I manage to survive this administration, or Corn Pop had a big brother named Pharma Pop.

Fortunately, the Big Guy beat Big Pharma.

Probably with a bicycle chain.

3. Another day, I saw Brandon speaking in front of a blue backdrop that said, “Cancer Moonshot.”

 And I thought Good Lord!  Is Joe Biden going to give the moon cancer now?!

I know that it sounds unlikely, but look at his previous work. 

At the end of his presidency – or of the world, whichever comes first – we’ll have Weimar-level inflation, a nuclear-armed Iran, more illegals than citizens, more female males than male males, and sanctuary cities machine-gunning any approaching person who is darker than Liz Warren (#don’tstopmocking)

In light of all of that, does a carcinogenic moon sound that outrageous? 

4. Queen Elizabeth died at the age of 96, and like most people, when I first heard the news I thought, that’s too bad.  It’s not my country, and I don’t really get royalty, and she wasn’t exactly cut down in the flower of her youth.

But she seemed like a nice lady, with the adorableness that many old ladies achieve, with the cute hats and the good manners and the diminutive stature and the posture of a jumbo shrimp.

Plus she had a British band play The Star Spangled Banner after 9/11, and she’s had to put up with a lot of lunkheads in her family.  And I can’t think of anything offensive that she’s done, not least because she’s a traditional figurehead with no actual political power.

So imagine my surprise when I dipped into some media the next day and found out from many leftist commentators that I was wrong about the queen, and that she was actually an evil, racist, colonizing genocidal maniac!   

One of the raving loons who got the most attention is a Carnegie Mellon professor named Uju Anya, a ray of sunshine who was born in Nigeria, but inexplicably chooses to live in terrible, racist America. 

When news came out that Elizabeth was deathly ill, Uju tweeted that the queen ruled over “a thieving, raping, genocidal empire,” and hoped her death would be “excruciating.”  Then she doubled down after the death with more hateful celebration.

This dunce then professed to be “surprised” that so many Brits were offended by her obviously offensive statements.  She condescendingly explained that her tweets were meant to educate people, saying, “I am fundamentally a teacher.”

I guess she’s correct, in the sense that teaching people how NOT to behave is still “teaching.”  In that sense, she’s like AOC (who taught how NOT to make drinks correctly), or Andrew Cuomo (who taught how NOT to protect nursing home residents during a pandemic), or CAW CAW (who taught now NOT to break a glass ceiling).

How did so many leftists get to the point where they’d pour such bile on an inoffensive character like the queen in the hours before and after her death?  Even if you dislike somebody, would you not be able to restrain yourself and be civil, at least until after the burial?

I mean, all of us had a pretty low opinion of Joe Biden when he passed away – sometime during the Dem primaries in 2020 – but you didn’t see any of us running for the nearest camera and frothing at the mouth about how he should die an agonizing death.

But let me end on a happier note coming out of the UK.  One of Queen Elizabeth’s last acts was to greet the new British Prime Minister, Liz Truss.

I don’t know much about her, but Truss is supposed to be at least quasi-conservative.  One of her first official acts was to acknowledge that energy costs for British citizens are needlessly high, and that the UK will oversee “a new round of oil and gas licensing.” 

Responding to public opinion, she said that, “A moratorium on fracking will be lifted and planning permission can be sought where there is local support.”

Meanwhile, two days ago, Joe Biden got in bed with “environmental activist groups” – sorry for the repulsive, necrophilia imagery! – and agreed to stop oil and gas drilling on more than 58,000 acres of federal land.

Thanks, Brandon.  Couldn’t you just focus more on giving cancer to the moon, instead of making Putin richer and Americans poorer?

I didn’t think I’d ever entertain this idea, but maybe it’s time we consider reaching out to the Brits, apologizing for that 18th century unpleasantness, and asking if we could be a colony again.

Avenatti/ King Charles III, 2024!

My Visit to Boca, & Biden’s Speech from Satan’s Waiting Room (posted 9/6/22)

I’ve never enjoyed those social media posts people use to idealize their lives, and generate envy in their viewers.   

You know the types: “Here we are on the Amalfi Coast, with our two daughters.  The one leaning on the Ferrari is the supermodel; the one in the back seat is the one who just got the Fullbright.  We’re about to drive down to the dock and take a ferry to the island in the azure waters of the bay – the second one on the right.  We just bought that.”

Having said that, I know that I’m sidling up to being obnoxious, but I spent this past weekend with some luminaries at CO’s place in Boca, and tomorrow my wife and I are going up to Maine for a week visiting great friends on Mount Desert Island.

I know.  I feel sheepish even writing about this.  But at the risk of sounding like one of “those people,” I’ve got to share just a little.

The Economics Correspondent (Chris Silber) came from the West Coast, and the Correspondent for Conspiracy Theories and Ill-Advised Speculation and his wife were there, along with CO and the COW. We had a great dinner, and Chris taught me a little about good wine, two bottles of which he had brought with him.

I learned about corkage fees, and the five-tier Bordeaux Wine Classification that was created in 1855 and is still used today.  CO and the COW were charming and gracious, and Mark told some stories about from his and CO’s high school days – which are naturally classified, and disclosure of which would place my life in danger.

After dinner we retired to CO’s house, where Sandra joined us, and we talked into the night on topics as diverse as politics (foreign and domestic), business strategy, stories of businessmen who torpedoed their careers with sex scandals, and little-known horror movies.  

The next day the six of us went on a boat-ride with two other guys, both of whom were also refugees from the People’s Republic of Chicago.  One of them lives on the intercoastal, and (as you may have guessed) owns a beautiful boat, which we took through a watery corridor of amazing houses and then out onto the ocean.  After a seaside lunch, we headed back to home base on the intercoastal again.

A highlight of the return trip was passing another large boat with a dozen or more young women in small bikinis on deck.  The males on our vessel noticed.  Then the females on our vessel pointed out the giant flag on the other boat: “Trump.  He’ll Be Back!”

And then we males said, “Oh yeah.  A flag.”  And we commented on the intelligence and good character of the young women on that boat.

Strangely enough, as we were departing, the one police boat on the water weaved through 40 other boats and boarded the one with the be-thonged Trump fans on it.  What are the odds? 

Insert your own “checking for flotation devices” joke here.

I couldn’t stay for the live music portion of Saturday evening, but am told that a grand time was had by all. 

I’d like to thank the lovely and gracious COW, and the equally gracious and almost as lovely CO, along with Chris, Mark, Sandra, Alan and Captain Ron for an entertaining and enlightening weekend.  I was always the least cultured and intelligent person in the room, but that meant that I could improve myself by soaking up the conversation and the culture from those around me!

I can’t leave town – or end this column – without commenting on Biden’s horrendous speech/tirade from last Thursday. 

Everyone has mentioned the terrible visuals, and so will I.  But the content was even worse.

The over-the-top demonization of his opponents would only work for the hardest of hard-core lefties.  And since that group makes up only a small sliver of the population (thank a merciful God), that negativity was a very bad choice.

He also pegged the hypocrisy meter about 20 times during the speech: 

“Don’t be angry!” he shouted, angrily.

“The other side loves hatred and darkness!” he snarled hatefully, from a circle of light surrounded by ominous darkness, in front of a brick wall where a bunch of Aztec warriors had apparently just ensured a good harvest by opening the carotid arteries of a thousand captured children.

“You can’t love your country only when you win!” hollered the guy representing the party who insists that Gore won in 2000, CAW CAW won in 2016, and Stacey Abrams is the legitimate governor of Georgia and the President of Earth. 

More seriously, we are going to have to force Brandon to define exactly who he means by MAGA Republicans.  (Not that WE don’t know who he means: everyone except Bill Kristol, Adam Kinzinger, Liz Cheney and several dozen RINOs who hate Republicans.) 

Because after making a few rhetorical throat-clearing gestures over the last month or so – “Not every Republican, not even the majority of Republicans are MAGA…” – he’s slid straight into vague defamation about “extreme ideology, not respecting the constitution or the rule of law, etc.”

But if you listen to the few specifics he offers – being pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, wanting a border – you realize that he is smearing 99% of Republicans, and around 70% of the entire country. 

After the speech, you knew how badly it had gone by watching the MSM trying to downplay or deny its ugliness. It was especially painful to watch poor KJP – she might be inept at her job, but she is attracted to women, so behold the historicity! –struggle to insist that the speech was both hunky AND dory. 

I especially like her – and the rest of the MSM’s – insistence that the speech was NOT political.

Here’s an actual quote from the speech, which I am not making up: “We need everyone to do their part, so speak up, speak out, get engaged, vote, vote, vote!”

Get it?  You all need to get out there and vote, vote VOTE!!! … a-politically.

And then there were the visuals.  Oh, the visuals! 

A pulsing, angry, emotionally “hot” red color palette, especially when an angry old man is set to deliver a relentlessly angry speech?

Though, come to think of it, in light of Biden’s economic policies, red was the appropriate color.

And in light of his abortion policies, red was the appropriate color. 

And in light of the color of the faces of right-thinking Americans if they tried to watch that travesty, red was the appropriate color. 

And I know there’s at least one Democrat pol to whom all of that over-saturated red appealed to.

That’s right: Lizzie Warren.  #wemustneverstopmockingher

I kid Grandma Squanto.  But in reality, her native coloring WAS represented in that eerie tableaux. 

Remember the glowing white gloves on the two Marines in the shadows behind Biden….

I would love to have been a fly on the wall when the Democrats’ media-savvy brain trust got together and came up with those optics:   

Flunky #1:  So listen, I was thinking of a setting for Biden’s big speech.  How about Independence Hall?

Flunky #2: Ugh.  I bet those MAGA types just love the name of that place.  Why couldn’t the Founders have built Dependence Hall?

Flunky #1: HA!  The mouth-breathing deplorables would have torn the place down immediately.

Flunky #3: Hey, Flunky #2, did you just capitalize “Founders?”

Flunky #2: What?  No!  I’m speaking, not writing.  We don’t capitalize words when we speak.

Flunky #3: Oh yeah?  What about every time we say, “Racism?”

Flunky #1: Or “Sexism?”

Flunky #3: Or “Pay your Fair Share?”

Flunky #2: Okay, okay, point taken.  But I was certainly not capitalizing the “Founders.”

Flunky #3: I hope not.  Bunch of slave-holding, capitalist, gun fetishizers!

Flunky #1: Can we get back on track here?  Does Independence Hall work for everyone?

Flunky #3: Okay, but we’ve got to light it in some dramatic way, so that nobody will recognize it, and actually think about [shudder] “independence.”

Flunky #2 (after a contemplative pause): I’ve got it.  Let’s base the lighting on Albert Speer’s drawings of Hitler’s planned office in the remodeled Reichstag if they’d won the war!

Flunky #3: I like that!  It will appeal to the MAGA yokels on a subconscious level.

Flunky #2 (nodding): And to our voters on a conscious level, since they’re always up for a socialist workers’ party vibe.

Flunky #1: That sounds good, but I think it still needs something more.  (He doodles on his “Workers of the World Unite!” embossed note pad for a moment.)  I’ve got it!  We’ll start with Hitler’s office, but then mix in a little of Satan’s vacation home!

Flunky #2: Ooh, let’s run with that. 

Flunky #3: What would you think about bringing him on with “Hail to the Chief,” but then fading that into “Sympathy for the Devil?”

Flunky #1: Yeah, everybody loves the Stones!  And how about we replace the presidential seal on the podium with a little Dante, “Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here”?

Flunky #2: I don’t like it… (he pauses for a beat)… I LOVE it!

 And, scene.

Avenatti/Lucifer 2024!

To Start My Favorite Time of Year: Five Fun Stories (posted 9/2)

It’s the first weekend in September, which means that my favorite time of the year will soon be upon us: autumn/football season/ramp-up to Thanksgiving & Christmas.  (And before you ask, yes: in my mind, a season can be four months long.) 

So I’m normally in a good mood at this time of year.  I’ve got to admit, though, that the national Dems have been doing their best to defecate on my parade throughout August.  The continued gaslighting about January 6th, the Mar a Lago raid, the disastrous college debt transfer plan.

And possibly worst of all, Brandon has come back from vacation and out of his crypt to do his best Grandpa-Simpson-hollering-at-the-clouds impersonation.  If by “clouds” you mean “half the American public.” 

We’re full of hate, and semi-fascist, and violent.  Plus we are trying to destroy America.  To add insult to injury, I’m definitely not for Biden, which means that I ain’t black.

NOW you tell me.  

But at this happy time of year, I see a silver lining even in the offensive howling of Hunter’s dad.  Because I’ve written a lot of columns in which I’ve mocked Joe Biden as a creepy, hair-sniffing, dimwitted, phony DRPOC (Dementia-Ridden Piece of Crap, for those of you playing at home).

Usually, a well-raised and God-fearing youngster like myself would feel bad about saying such unpleasant truths about someone in his late hundreds and seemingly minutes away from meeting his Maker. 

But now that Brandon has taken the mask off – the congenial mask of “ol’ Scranton Joe,” not the vacant-eyed, resting-Crypt-Keeper-face thing he’s got going on – he’s worthy of every bit of sarcasm and mockery I can come up with.  So I am absolved of guilt!

That being said, this column will have no central theme, and will not mention our cadaver-in-chief again.  Instead, I’m just going to run through five recent stories that make me happy.

1. Under Blackface Trudeau, our leftist neighbors in America’s Hat are getting a reputation for being even more delusional about guns than many of our lefty countrymen.  (Sorry, country-people, or country-ze, or whatever.)

In America, because we have a 2nd amendment and the government can’t just confiscate guns from non-criminal citizens, our less-bright local governments have “Gun Buy Back,” programs, wherein they pay people to turn in their guns in exchange for cash or gift cards.   The result is usually that a set of law-abiding people bring in a bunch of old, non-functioning guns, or ones that they aren’t going to use, and the gullible politicians pay good money for them.

Also, because we are capitalists, a bunch of clever people become entrepreneurs by selling useless guns.  One guy in Houston recently made a bunch of “ghost guns” on a 3-d printer very cheaply, and then sold them to Houston officials for a tidy profit.

A Missouri man – whom I’ve never met, but who is now a hero of mine – went one better.  He made three guns out of, and I quote, “scrap metal and garbage,” and then sold them to the politicians for $300. 

Which he then used to buy a real, functioning gun.

Because: America.

But in Toronto, because Canada doesn’t have a 2nd amendment (or, I’m guessing, any self-respect), the cops seize a lot of guns, in many circumstances.  Then they post prideful pics of the seized guns on their web site, accompanied by the hashtag “offthestreets.”

A recent post of theirs went viral, because it contained a picture of an old, seized revolver.  Or rather, a revolver-shaped mass of rust and what might be barnacles. 

It looked like something John Wilkes Booth might have used to kill Lincoln, and then thrown into a river, where it was dragged out 155 years later, smuggled into Canada, and then seized by the Mounties.

Honestly, the only way this thing could have been used to kill someone would be if they were beaten over the head with it, opening a wound in the skin that rusty gun-fragments could lodge in, and eventually cause blood poisoning.

My favorite mocking tweet read, “Off the streets of where? Atlantis?”

2. Because so many New Yorkers have fled that state due to disastrous lefty mismanagement, the state’s districts were re-drawn, and that resulted in two old warhorse congressional Democrats being pitted against each other in the August primary. 

Both of them – Jerry “the Hutt” Nadler and Carolyn “too bland for a nickname” Maloney – are in their mid-70s.  Both first went to congress thirty years ago, and have done nothing productive since.  Most conservatives just looked forward to a dirty political fight – par for the course for these two, but not usually aimed at a fellow lefty. 

And they didn’t disappoint.  Nadler called Maloney gullible; she called him senile.  And after Nadler won going away, Maloney gave the perfect female Dem concession speech: pinched, bitter, and victim-licious.

She said that she only lost because the voters (in deep blue NYC!) are horrible, horrible sexists.  She pointed to NY lefty gyno-Americans like Shirley Chisholm and Geraldine Ferraro, who she claimed, “fought sexist systems and misogyny that continues today, as we know from my own campaign.”

The rhetorical peak of her graceless speech was when she said these words: “When women are at the table, great decisions get made.”

I have but one devastating counterpoint: the empty-headed, bilious ladies of The View.

Check and mate, Carolyn. 

3. Speaking of the battle of the sexes, a Washington Post “journalist” named Alyssa Rosenberg – who is apparently as thick as a whale omelette – came up with a new argument for why biological males should be able to compete against – and crush – female athletes.

First, she wants to let you know that winning is not all it’s cracked up to be, because, “a first-place finish or another win won’t ultimately be the key to a college scholarship or an Olympic berth.”

Um, Alyssa, have you ever played a sport, or watched college sports?  Because the word around the locker room is that college scouts pay attention to how many wins an athlete has when they’re deciding to award scholarships.  Also, I’m pretty sure that spots on Olympic teams don’t usually go to women who have lost at their sport a lot, even if most of their losses are to “ladies” who are built like John Cena.

But Alyssa is taking a two-pronged approach in her ridiculous argument.  It’s not just that minor things like winning and losing are not really important in competitive sports.  She also argues that losing to a hulking dude is good for young women, because… wait for it… losing builds character!

You read that correctly: girls who get destroyed by dudes will learn “a sense of perspective, proportion, and good sportsmanship.”

Yes.  They’ll gain the perspective that their nation has lost its collective mind. 

They’ll learn about proportions – as in “that ‘girl’s’ shoulders are twice as wide as mine, ‘she’ has 75 pounds of muscle on me, and ‘her’ phallus is way more prominent than the one I absolutely do not have.”

And they’ll have to show good sportsmanship, by shaking their opponent’s hand while trying not to have the joints and tendons in their own, feminine hands crushed and mangled.

4. I have a new favorite German.

So move over, Beethoven, Hegel and Nena.  (That reminds me: I’m going to have to watch the video for “99 Luft Balloons” again soon.) (Giggity.)

Last month, 79-year-old German Nobel prize-winning biologist Dr. Christiane Nusslein-Volhard gave an interview to a German feminist magazine, but I don’t think she responded to their questions the way they expected.

Among other things, she called the trans movement’s claims that there are more than 2 sexes “unscientific” and “nonsense,” and said that letting teenagers determine their own gender is “madness.”  She was similarly dismissive of recent blatherings by German academics and politicians along the usual trendy, transgender lines.

She responded bluntly when a group of German law students forced a university to cancel a lecture because the speaker made the “transphobic assertion that there are only two biological sexes.”  

The good doctor blasted away: “This mixture of sensitivity and moral arrogance paired with ignorance is simply fatal.”

Good lord, how liberating must it be to be a female, 79-year-old German Nobel prize winner?!  She’s old, she’s female, she’s got a Nobel – she’s got nothing to prove to anyone, and she’s untouchable.

Because I love the German language, I looked up the translated phrase that I fantasize she used to open her interview with the German feminist magazine: “Bring es an, Schneeflocken!”

Yes, it means just what you thought: “Bring it on, snowflakes!”     

5. Finally, another entry in my favorite kind of story: dumb criminal tricks. 

This one comes from the great Donut Operator, and features a 24-year-old genius named Antoine Sims. 

On August fifth, Sims was on his way home in Kennesaw, GA – probably from a Bible study, or a Mensa meeting – and he thought he’d stop by for a little fast food at McDonalds.  His meal included French fries which Antoine felt were too cold.

Oh yeah, a little more background: Antoine had an active bench warrant out of Fulton County for skipping out on a drug-related murder charge.  He also had 31.2 grams of marijuana in his car.  

So put yourself in Antoine’s shoes.  To recap: cold French fries (probably due to racism); murder warrant, enough pot for an “intent to distribute”charge.

Would you:

A. Politely ask the manager for a new order of fries?

B. Just eat the damn fries and go about your (probably felonious) business?


C. Scream at the manager, throw a drink in his face, and then call 911?

I’ll just turn on the Jeopardy soundtrack for you and pop over and watch Nena’s 99 Luft Balloons while you ponder the thorny question…

Survey says: Antoine chose C!

He called the cops, who came and talked to him and to the manager, and then offered him a paper to sign to accept that he was being “no trespassed” from McDonalds.

He still might have been okay.  He could have defiantly grabbed the pen and made his “X” on the form, muttering, “Cold-French-fry-serving mother frienders!  I don’t wanna go in their friending McDonalds anyway!”

But not Antoine.  He got squirrely, repeatedly asked the cops if he was under arrest, and then took off running.

Then yada yada yada, Antoine’s sitting in the Cobb County jail without bond, awaiting his murder trial. 

And he never even got to eat his fries!  

So what have we learned today?

If you’ve got a barnacle-encrusted cap gun in your attic, sell it to a slow-witted politician and buy a Walther.

Don’t screw with old German female biologists with Nobel prizes.

A perfect theme for the 2024 Democrat National Convention would be: A Mixture of Sensitivity and Moral Arrogance Paired with Ignorance!

Enjoy your holiday weekend!

Avenatti/various Schneeflocken, 2024!

A Few More Thoughts on What Might be Biden’s Worst Idea Yet (posted 8/29/22)

I’d like to follow-up on your lively responses to my Friday column about Biden’s plan to “forgive” student loans.  As always, the discussion here was smart and interesting, and evidence that this issue has touched a nerve all across the country.

Aside from the issues of fairness and practicality that much discussion focused on, many people decried how much more expensive college is now, adjusted for inflation, than it was decades ago, and you’re obviously right.   I’d point to 3 main reasons for the steep price increase:

1. Easy government loans have contributed the most.  Several commenters mentioned the government take-over of the loan system, and I think that’s the largest factor. 

The previous, private loan system wasn’t perfect, but it had the built-in regulator of the free market: banks who made loans to people who couldn’t pay them back would suffer the financial consequences.  (Whereas the government doesn’t worry about that at all, as evidenced by the huge outstanding debt amounts, much of it owed by students with degrees in trendy and/or easy majors – grievance studies, liberal arts, social work, media, etc. – and the sudden “discovery” that those debts are crippling, and thus must be transferred to the suckers, er… taxpayers.)

All the negative stereotypes about bankers didn’t just come out of nowhere, nor did old jokes about a banker being someone who would only give you a loan if you could prove that you didn’t need it.  For many, the word “banker” conjures up images of Mr. Potter in “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  (“You’re worth more dead than alive, George Bailey!”)   

I refer you back to the verse from Hebrews, e.g. “no discipline is pleasant at the time…”

Bankers were often fiscal disciplinarians, in the sense that they had to deliver harsh news about the way the world works.

It was unpleasant to go to a bank and ask for a large loan to get a four-year degree in, say, English.  Mostly because the banker would laugh at you, and then toss you out of the bank like John Wayne – in a film in which he’d eventually tangle with the war-painted Warren tribe (#wemustneverstopmockingher) — tossing a local varmint through the swinging saloon doors into the dusty street. 

But that was a useful lesson for the student and the student’s family, because the banker was stating the obvious: we can’t stay in business if we loan you $150K to get a degree that won’t enable you to earn enough to pay us back. 

Many would-be English majors, especially if they were the typical, nascent lefties who tend toward majoring in fields like English, would complain about the unfairness of a system in which engineers, chemists, nurses and accountants could borrow for college, while transgender-manifesto-writing majors could not.

I’m not throwing mud at English major types. I have a BA, MA and PhD in English myself (D’oh!), but even as financially naïve as I was in my youth, I wouldn’t have borrowed six figures to get those degrees.  (And no bank would have loaned me that, and my dad would have whipped my butt for even asking!)  My blue-collar parents worked and saved – and made sure that I worked and saved – enough to get me through the BA. 

And then I got assistantships and worked my way through both graduate degrees, living very frugally and taking on no debt.  That wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t impossible.  (And it was a lot easier than working 20 years of overtime with a backhoe or jackhammer like my dad did, or fighting in Vietnam or Korea and then using the GI bill, like millions of others did.)     

The point is, if our bloated government wasn’t enabling kids to take out ginormous loans to attend super-expensive colleges, those colleges would have to slash their prices, and even then many kids wouldn’t be able to borrow for degrees with no value in the marketplace.

And both of those outcomes would be salutary.

2. Another big driver of rising college costs is an explosion of non-classroom spending, mostly on hordes of administrators of various sorts. 

Professor salaries – at least in the kind of liberal arts departments that I know a lot about – have not been out-pacing inflation over the last 40 years.  My salary in my last year of a 31-year college teaching career was just barely higher than the average household income in the entire country, and that was typical for my colleagues in a writing program.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m NOT complaining about that. 

The non-monetary compensations of my job were amazing: I got to read great books and teach them to (some) great students. I got to write and yammer on about subjects that interest me — and I’m a world-class yammerer! 

The hours were reasonable and the summers were light; I got to work in air conditioning.  People called me “Dr.” even though I’m barely closer to a real doctor than “Dr.” Jill Biden.

Plus I never had to worry about getting blown up or injured or having my body worn down the way my blue-collar family members all did.

Besides, I knew what to expect when I got into the field, and complaining afterward would be ill-mannered and childish.

(It would be like a guy taking vows of chastity and poverty to join a religious order, and then complaining later that he’s not getting laid, and he’s broke!)

The vast majority of the growth in university salaries over the last 40 years has been in administration and non-classroom personnel.  There used to be a handful of deans and secretarial staff, and maybe a few assistant deans for colleges that included a variety of programs under their umbrella.

Now there is a small army of assistant deans and assistant to the assistants, and a large army of administrators and staff in the fashionable/vacuous areas of diversity, equity and inclusion, none of whom ever darken the door of a classroom.

3. The third big driver of college costs arises from our society’s affluenza; it is “lifestyle” spending by both schools and parents.   

Schools spend hundreds of millions on high-end luxury everything: elaborate recreational complexes, fitness facilities fit for professional sports teams, and student housing that is more akin to luxury apartments than traditional dorms. 

A typical dorm 40 or 50 years ago was just a step up from military barracks: no a.c. (or maybe some wheezy window-units), a communal bathroom on each floor, an uninspiring cafeteria, and no frills. 

By contrast, the vast majority of student housing built at most universities in the last 15 years or so is much higher-end.  Most rooms are set up as suites of 2-4 bedrooms, each with 2-4 bathrooms; single rooms are also available for a premium.  All of the finishes are better, and many more options exist for food and recreation.

Off campus housing also reflects much more expensive tastes, not dissimilar to the improvements in average American housing.  The average home in 1972 was around 1250 square feet, with 3 bedrooms and 1 bath, and a 1-car garage or carport; today it’s 2500 sf, with 4 beds and 2 baths, and a 2-car garage.

Most of you around my age – if you went to college – probably stayed in at least one off-campus house that you now tell funny stories about.  (“There were 5 of us in a 2-bedroom hovel.  When it rained we’d move garbage cans around the rooms to catch the dripping, and if you plugged a toaster in while the light was on, a fuse would blow!  But you could put a penny in the fuse, and you were back in business… right until the fire started.”) 

You and I lived in places we wouldn’t keep a dog in now.  But our kids or grandkids are living in apartments with gyms, pools, granite counter-tops and NASA-level wi-fi.  At least half of what we spend on kids’ college goes to lifestyle, not education.

There’s nothing wrong with any of that, if you can afford it.  I’m glad my daughters have lived in much nicer dorms and apartments than my wife and I did.  We lived frugally and below our means to make that possible.

But if I have to borrow to provide them with that lifestyle, that’s a choice and not a necessity.  And there’s probably a middle ground available to most people: take out some modest loans to access a little better school or amenities, or else go full Spartan and build some debt-less character!  

I’ll close by repeating Tom Cotton’s assessment of Brandon’s “Debt goes Poof! Act of 2022:”

Of all of the dumb things Biden has done, this might be the dumbest.  

Avenatti/ Mr. Potter, 2024!