Fiscal Mismanagement, Criminals Getting Shot, & Some Final Thoughts on Christmas (posted 12/23/22)

In the “Who Could Have Seen This Coming?” category, we have a study showing that since covid hit, New York City has lost 10% of its taxpayers earning over $750K, and another 6% of those earning between $150-750K.

In response, the radical leftists who run city politics said, “Wow, maybe we should find a mirror, and stare deeply into it until we gain some self-awareness, and reverse course before we turn our city into a complete Schumer-hole.”

HA! That’s just a little holiday humor for you.  The radical leftists did what radical leftists do, and doubled down.  According to a NY Post story, on December 12th a clot of “advocates and elected officials launched a campaign for a ludicrous $40 billion in new taxes on the rich.”

THAT will definitely fix the problem.  Especially since the evil top 1% are Not Paying Their Fair Share™, while the working class is paying the lion’s share of state income taxes.   

Oh no, wait.  I looked up the stats, and it turns out – hold on to your Monopoly character top hat and monocle – the top 1% pays 45% of the city’s income taxes, while the bottom 50% pays less than 4% of the total.

Hey kids, gather around ol’ Doc Simpson while he tells you a concept he learned when he was getting his pilot’s license.  It’s called the “Graveyard Spin.”

When a pilot loses sight of the horizon – usually because he’s in the clouds – his mind will lie to him, and tell him that he’s banking to one side when he’s really flying level.  So he banks to the other side, thinking that he’s leveling off.  But he’s actually heading into a bank.

Banking also makes the plane descend.  His mind keeps lying to him, telling him that he’s in a level descent.  So he pulls back on the yoke, which actually steepens the bank.  And soon – as the “graveyard” in the name suggests – he’ll be as dead as Joe Biden.

Leftist economic theory produces an economic graveyard spin, as it is now doing in NYC.  The radicals’ minds have lied to them, telling them that rich taxpayers need non-taxpayers, and that they don’t have any options, and will always pay as many taxes as the radicals can pile onto them. 

Then a bunch of the rich people leave, decreasing the number of people paying.  But the radicals’ mis-firing, dysfunctional minds continue lying to them, telling them that they can heap even more taxes onto the smaller number of remaining taxpayers. 

Check your instruments, NY citizens.  Your altimeter is dropping and your airspeed is climbing.  If you’re not going to pull up, at least try to aim for the DNC headquarters, or Hochul’s house for the crash.

In yet another heartwarming, “That Iron Get Ya Mind Right” story, we meet a charmer named Shawn Richard.  This genius broke into a home on December 14th and stole a shotgun, among other things.

Shouldn’t I say that he “allegedly stole a shotgun,” you’re not asking, because you know better? 

Nope.  Because when he broke into a different house on December 15th, he had the stolen shotgun with him.  Unfortunately for him, he made enough noise breaking into the house to alert the homeowner, who armed himself with his handgun and waited in the bedroom. 

When Richard kicked the bedroom door open, the homeowner fired two excellent warning shots into Richard’s chest. 

I know: in the “rock, paper, scissors” spin-off game of “restraining order, pistol, shotgun,” the restraining order always loses to both the pistol and the shotgun.

Sometimes, though, pistol beats shotgun.

By the way, this happened in Pahrump, Nevada.  I only mention that because, coincidentally, “pah-rump” is the sound Shawn Richard made when he fell onto his stolen shotgun, bleeding from two chest wounds. 

Also, you will be shocked to learn that Richard is neither a gentleman nor a scholar, as he was a probation absconder and a wanted man even before he stole the shotgun on 12/14 and absorbed two bullets on 12/15. 

And if, “From probation absconder to bullet absorber” isn’t a feel-good holiday story, I don’t what is.

The only downside to this tale is that the authorities life-flighted Richards to a hospital, where he was still clinging to life as of yesterday. 

Do you know how much that helicopter flight must have cost the taxpayers?  Plus, it was recklessly fast, when every second counts.

I’m not the Mayor of Pahrump — and if you’re looking for a gay porn title, which you shouldn’t be, you could do a lot worse than “Meet the Mayor of Pahrump” – but I’d like to make a few suggestions for him or her to ponder, the next time a homeowner shoots a career-criminal home invader:

Doesn’t the city own a slower vehicle than an expensive helicopter?  Like maybe an open-topped trailer used to haul mowers around when you need to mow city parks?

If so, hook that up to one of the patrol cars – preferably the oldest one, whose engine is running a little rough – and toss the hemorrhaging criminal onto the wooden planks of the trailer.  (Brush the grass clippings and dirt aside first.  Or don’t.)  Use one of the come-along straps to lash him to the trailer – or don’t — and then drive him to the hospital. 

Not the nearest one.  The one on the far side of town, where the doctors and nurses got their degrees from third-world med schools, and were hired mostly because they were trans or gender non-binary, and not because they’re any good at bullet removal. 

And make sure the driver hits every pothole on the way, and scrupulously obeys every stop sign and traffic signal.  And since everyone knows that non-English speaking, non-binary doctors love when you show up in the ER with donuts, have the driver stop by and pick up a dozen glazed on the way.

If a new batch is about to come out of the oven when he gets there, have him wait. 

Because showing up with a seriously injured criminal — with sucking chest wounds full of grass clippings and dirt, after having been jostled and bounced around in the back of a vehicle like one of Ted Kennedy’s dates — without warm donuts is just not done!   

Finally, in this last column before Christmas I must end on a note of gratitude instead of snarkery.  

I love Christmas for a lot of good reasons, and one ignoble one. 

Obviously, as a Christian, my faith is the greatest consolation when I’m confronted with the painful and cruel parts of the world, and a source of my deepest satisfactions in this life.  So celebrating the birth of Christ is always moving to me.

But the holiday is always interlaced with happy memories and nostalgia for me.  The snowy winters of my Illinois childhood surrounded by a large extended family, the excitement of seeing decorations going up, and the lighting of a Christmas tree on top of the impossibly gigantic factory (to my child’s eyes) in our small river town. 

Christmas parades downtown, and nativity scenes and plays at church.  Multiple versions of A Christmas Carol on tv, and later on, It’s a Wonderful Life.   Animated specials on tv, and cartoon shorts out of Chicago stations, including, “Hardrock, Coco and Joe,” and “Here Comes Suzy Snowflake.”

With my dad and many aunts and uncles gone, and my mom moving into the twilight of Alzheimer’s, those old memories are taking on a more exaggerated glow.

On the other hand – and I can’t defend this on moral grounds – I also get a kick out of the way the holiday enrages the Christophobes on the atheist left.  Their palpable anger at a God they claim not to believe in is as amusing as it is irrational. 

And their condescension towards unsophisticated rubes who cling to a religion, as compared to their intellectually highbrow atheism, couldn’t be funnier when you recognize that their political belief system – Marxism — is fundamentally religious, in the worst senses of that word.   

It teaches an inverted moral code (envy is righteous, the collective is more important than the individual), and a counter-intuitive teleology (brutally coercive socialism will one day usher in paradisiacal communism), and it sanctions the pursuit and punishment of heretics.  (If the 20th century taught us anything, it’s that Marx is a jealous god, and he requires human sacrifices on a level that would make the Aztecs or the Inquisition blush.)  

Thankfully, many of our countrymen are people of good will, and appreciate and return that good will from others, whether it arises from a religion, or a philosophy, or a secular understanding of civilization or politics.  

One of the reasons I appreciate this community that CO founded is the comradery, good humor and good nature of our exchanges here.  I consider this whole site — and all the relationships we have built and continue to build — a great gift. 

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out CO’s great guitar version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, which he put together and posted a day or two ago.  I asked him for it as a Christmas gift for me, and for all of us. And he delivered!

And now I’m feeling a little sheepish, because I can’t play an instrument, and the closest thing I’ve got to a gift is a couple of short stories that I wrote a long time ago.  They are very different from my writing here, and could probably best be described as magical realism. 

One is called, “Last Rites and Resurrection,” and the other is, “Dancing About Architecture,” and you can find them on my website (, under the heading of “Short Stories” on the top of the page.

If you read them and like them, consider them my Christmas gift to you.  If you read them and don’t like them… what can I say?  You’ve got bad taste. 😊

I’ll close this Christmas column with a toast attributed to Charles Dickens, which appeared at the end of a recent film called The Man Who Invented Christmas, about his writing of A Christmas Carol.

Dickens sums up my thoughts about and for you all:

“I wish you all many, many happy Christmases, and friendships, and great accumulation of cheerful recollections, and heaven at last for all of us.   In the season of hope, we will shut out nothing from our firesides, and everyone will be welcome.”  

Merry Christmas to all of you, from me and my family, and Cassie the Wonder Dog!

Trying to Keep Up with the Crazy in our Politics (posted 12/19/22)

It’s Christmas week, and though we don’t get snow drifts in north Florida, I’m still trying to dig myself out of a deep drift of ridiculous stories that keep piling up.  So let me jump right in.

I mentioned in my last column that every year I re-listen to Frank Muller’s perfect reading of A Christmas Carol.  This time around, I heard a line I hadn’t noticed before, right near the beginning of the book.  In the initial introduction of Scrooge (“a squeezing, wrenching, grasping… covetous old sinner…solitary as an oyster,” and etc.), Dickens writes a bunch of descriptions of Scrooge’s coldness, culminating in, “He carried his own low temperature always about with him.”

That feels right: most of us carry a dominant mood or personal hardwiring around with us.  And when I watch the parade of leftist malcontents that seem so intent on foisting their grievances onto the rest of us, I can’t help recognize the way they “carry their [misery and crazy] always about with them,” like Scrooge.

Which brings me to the sad yet hilarious case of Sam Brinton — Samsonite Sam, as our own Ed Jamie Landis called him, in honor of his tendency to steal women’s luggage. 

We all know him by now as the bald, cross-dressing puppy fetishist lunatic with the mustache and lipstick, and the unfortunate resemblance to Matt Damon’s mentally ill, gender-confused, less attractive cousin.

This guy’s official job title was, “Deputy Assistant Secretary of Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition in the Office of Nuclear Energy.”

Sidebar: The number of words in your job title is usually inversely proportional to your impressiveness as a human being.  Consider the following titles on the business cards of some of the Cautious Optimism site’s regulars:  CO – Renaissance Man; Christopher Silber – Economic Wizard; Laura (COSE) – America’s Sweetheart; my Aussie Shepherd Cassie – Wonder Dog.

But crazy Sam Brinton has a 15-word title.  I rest my case.

How did that loon get hired for a job that required some kind of security clearance, even in the leftist miasma of stupid that is the Biden administration?

Couldn’t they find someone less obviously deranged than him just by throwing a dart at a wall of mug shots from Antifa felons?  Sure, they’re all unattractive, and look like they’re living in someone’s basement, and like they’ve spent all the time they’ve saved by being a-sexual on reading Marxist theory and writing slam poetry. 

But still, they’re not posting pics of themselves on their social media wearing Donna Reed’s dresses and Courtney Love’s lipstick, holding the leashes of disordered males wearing dog masks.

During my career, I interviewed and hired several hundred tutors at my prof job, and probably 100 different tradesmen to help me with my rental properties.  I learned that first impressions can be unreliable, and some people can hide their crazy for a short time.

But this guy’s crazy could be seen from the international space station!  And still it took two charges of stealing different women’s luggage – on camera, in airports – to persuade the Democrats in DC to fire him!  

In a related story, a degenerate Army colonel posted his traditional retirement pic – of him in full uniform, with an American flag behind him – with an idiotic dog mask on, and a series of hashtags that included “#ArmyPup” and “#ServiceDawg.”   (Insert your own “dog-faced pony soldier” joke here.)

I’m just glad that Ike and Patton didn’t live to see this, but what the hell is going on in the military?!

After I read those two disheartening stories, I came across a funny tidbit about yet another lefty hate-monger who used to have a career, Keith Olbermann.  After years of calling for conservatives to be banned for posting conservative thoughts on Twitter, Keith got temporarily banned from Twitter.

Was it for sharing his leftist “thoughts?”

Nope.  He shared a link to a sociopath who was posting Elon Musk’s whereabouts in real time, so that some other sociopaths could potentially assault or kill him or his family.

So did Keith take this as an opportunity to take a good long look in the mirror and question his life choices? 

He did not.  Instead, he starting posting again on – and I quote – a “second account that he maintained for rescue dogs.”

My blood ran cold when I read that.  After the two previous stories, I pictured Olby sitting alone in his sad apartment, using a rescue dog site as a ploy to hook up with fellow members of the leftist dog fetishist community.  (“My turn-ons are running after a ball and bringing it back, and having my glands expressed.  My turn-offs are cats and heartworm.  And yes, I like it ruff!”)

Thankfully, I can report to you now, that – so far at least – it appears that Olbermann’s “rescue dog” account was really intended to help rescue dogs, not to find canine-identifying romantic partners.

So at least he’s got that going for him.    

Where can we go to escape from these weirdos?  

Not to the White House.  The latest insider look at Joey Gaffes featured his raging about how he’s sick of people bringing up his age.

While his frightening senescence is definitely cause for concern, we shouldn’t forget that he was always a few shelves short of a bookcase.  Joe Biden at the height of his powers was a shallow, vain, plagiarizing corrupt-o-crat mediocrity, an 8-cylinder engine misfiring on 6 cylinders.  You add a dusting of megalomania and a glazing of dementia to that, and what do you get?

A repulsive curmudgeon – not a charming curmudgeon, like me – barking out, “You think I don’t know how f—king old I am?”

No, Joe.  No, we don’t.  Because A, the safe over/under answer to any question beginning, “Do you think Joe Biden knows…?” is a big ol’ nope. 

And B, If you really understood how old you are – and if you had anyone around you who cared enough about you as a human being to try to prevent you from beclowning yourself even more – you wouldn’t have run the first time, let alone again.

Speaking of superannuated blights on our nation, Nancy Pelosi recently unveiled a nauseating portrait of herself in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall to celebrate her 2385 years of service in the House.  Joining her – take a deep breath and focus on controlling your gag reflex – was terrible RINO disappointment John Boehner.

Ugh.  I often wonder how Dems would react if they ever understood that we conservatives hate many of our GOP “leaders” way more than they do?

Anyway, Boehner gets up there and cries – Surprise! – over what a great Speaker ol’ Imhotep was.  And he told her that his two daughters, who are Democrats, wanted him to tell her, “how much they admire her.” 

Yeah, I just threw up in the back of my mouth a little, too.

Can you imagine admitting that in public, let alone being happy about it?  I tried, but could not.

In fact, I can more easily imagine me saying this: “You know Nancy, my son joined ISIS and is doing life in Gitmo, and my daughter is in a relationship as Sam Brinton’s leash mistress.  But they both think that you’re a terrible person, and said that they wish you’d been taken by one of the plagues that struck the Nile valley when your boss was pursuing the Hebrews into the Red Sea.  They also asked me to tell you, and I quote, ‘AIIEEE! Kill her with fire!’”

“And I couldn’t be prouder of them.”       

I also found myself wishing that people still pulled pranks.  Because someone needs to sneak into the capitol one night and replace Nancy’s ginormous portrait with a huge, classic movie poster of the mummy:  “Boris Karloff IS Nancy Pelosi AS the Undead Monster from Beneath the Pyramids!”  

If possible, they could also stick a smaller second-feature sign on there for a western flick that featured a wagon train beset by a whooping horde of angry Liz Warrens.  (#wemustneverstopmockingher) 

Let’s end on a happier note. 

The New York Times – you may remember them from such headlines as “Hunter’s Laptop Doesn’t Exist,” and, “Bill Clinton Never Had Sex with That Woman” – recently put out a list of the “Most Stylish People of 2022.”  

On that list, and I am not making this up, is John Fetterman.

That’s right.  Uncle Fester, cosplaying as a San Francisco street-defecator in a wrinkled hoodie and foul gym shorts, is super stylish, according to the brain trust at the NYT.

During my first 18 years of life in a small Illinois farm town, I wore nothing but jeans and flannel shirts, plus a leisure suit for proms, and a polyester shirt and clip-on tie for church.

And I was a dashing, straight, Gianni Versace compared to John freaking Fetterman.  

I’m telling you, Dickens had their number 179 years ago:

They carry their crazy always about with them.

Fetterman/ Sam “Scooby Don’t” Brinton  2024!

Tons of DC Foolishness Stories, + Gun Owners Shooting Bad Guys (posted 12/16/22)

Those of you who regularly read my twice-weekly columns probably find yourself thinking, “How can Martin keep coming up with such amazing material day after day?  Also, he’s so great, why doesn’t he run for president of Earth, defeat Stacy Abrams in a landslide, and then usher in a bright new dawn for all of humanity?”

Second answer first: Aw shucks. You’re too kind, and even though my modesty makes me look down at my feet and kick the ground bashfully, I applaud your insightful judgment.  But if nominated, I won’t run. 

On the other hand, if I’m elected on a write-in ballot, I will definitely serve.  

The first question, I have to confess, was on my mind when I retired, and resolved to write more.  How can I find something interesting to write about that frequently?

But I have never been so wrong, because the weirdos and cartoon villains who occupy our political landscape are always providing a target-rich environment of morons to mock.

For example, I have spent the last half-hour cruising four or five websites, and in that time, I noted the following stories:

  • A retiring Lt. Col in the Army took a pic for his farewell post that featured him in full uniform, but in a dog mask, with four hashtags that identified himself as a dog fetishist
  • Freakazoid Dem nuclear official – also a cross-dressing puppy fetishist and truly horrendous-looking “female” cosplayer – is finally fired after being charged with his second theft of strange women’s suitcases at two different airports
  • Multiple different stories of crime “victims” shooting their attackers, with happy endings all around
  • Joe Biden curses about people bringing up his age, and fails at putting a set of handlebars on a child’s bicycle
  • Blocky leftist schoolboard member accidentally admits that she is voting against a qualified candidate b/c of his sex and gender (white male, duh) – she’s applauded by her fellow moron woke board members, then forced to resign when the public finds out about it
  • NYC loses 16% of its top two categories of taxpayers

That’s in a half hour, and it’s barely scratching the surface!  And it doesn’t include two of the most endlessly entertaining schadenfreude-palooza stories, of Elon’s hilarious and devastating Twitter reveals, and Democrat mega-donor Sam Bankman-Fried’s arrest.

I could write about this stuff twice a day and never reach the bottom of it!    

So let me just choose two topics for now, and save the rest for a possible discussion in Monday’s column – if a dozen worthier topics haven’t already supplanted them by then!

I am loving the ongoing Twitter doc dump stories, for so many reasons.

First, it completely vindicates the conservatives’ arguments – that Twitter was shadow-banning and censoring and doing everything they could to rig the election in 2020 – and exposes the lying leftist creeps inside and outside of Twitter as the gaslighting asshats (or asslighting gas hats?) they so clearly are.

Second, it’s great fun to watch the totalitarian toddlers on the left projecting all of their own sins onto the right, which stubbornly refuses to do what the left has done with Twitter until Elon took over.  NOW they’re upset that Elon is going to censor the opposition – which he’s not doing – because they love free speech and transparency.

Except when they controlled Twitter, and ran roughshod over free speech and transparency.

Third, it’s always satisfying to watch karma bulldoze the cluelessly arrogant.  Elon has fired what seems like 90% of the mini-Maos at Twitter, and the place is running better than ever!  Not only were they not contributing any value, they were actually a drag on the bottom line, in addition to being a drag in general.

(Note to self: At some point I’m going to be writing about the ongoing struggles at woke Disney, so save the “Disney has replaced Minnie Mouse with a bunch of mini-Maos” line.  That’s just a solid homonym right there, I don’t care who you are.)  

Fourth, it’s nice to see that Twitter’s HQ city of San Francisco recognizes what a gem they have in Elon, and are doing everything they can to accommodate him and the boatloads of taxes he provides for them.

HA!  Why do I kid?  That’s right: because I love.

Actually, SF is now investigating Elon because he put some beds into the HQ, to facilitate some cat naps for his hard-working employees. 

I’m not advocating for being at work so long that you need to sleep there.  But if done occasionally and by motivated people, it’s not the end of the world.  More importantly, it’s none of my business.

But that’s a phrase you’ll never hear from a leftist who feels totally qualified to dictate how everybody else should run their lives. 

San Francisco bureaucrats are presiding over a crime-ridden, decomposing city.  The equivalent of snow drifts of human feces pile up in doorways and against buildings overnight.  And amidst those piles – like sprinkles on Satan’s ice cream – are used syringes. 

And it’s a cliché because it’s true: there are no needles dirtier than those used by a bunch of zoned-out Biden voters and then embedded in a shite drift.  (Cue the NBC “the more you know” theme music.)

Still, the most urgent crisis that those bureaucrats have to react to is that some tax-paying residents might be working too hard down at Twitter HQ! 

Please Elon, get thee to a red state post haste!

Now let’s turn to the latest wave of feel-good, 2nd-amendment-in-action crime stories.  Regular readers will recognize that the following stories all fall underneath the category I’ve come to call, “That Iron Get Ya Mind Right!”

Our first story comes from a McDonald’s parking lot in Port St. John, Florida.  A citizen was sitting in his work truck eating, when Brandon Turner came up and started punching him through his window.  When Turner tried to pull him out of his truck, the citizen countered by shooting him once in the chest, killing him.

The police say that it was a case of mistaken identity, to wit, “the man Turner was punching was not the man he was apparently looking for.” Which is why my dad taught me to always look before I punch.

Also, you’re welcome, guy who Turner was actually looking for.  You now have one less thing to worry about.

Our second story comes from Nevada, where two women were parked on the street talking, when two men blocked them in, pulled guns and dragged them out of the car.  Fortunately, the men were imbeciles, because they couldn’t get the car started.  And naturally, when a fella is trying to get a car to crank over, he puts his handgun on his lap.

One of the women grabbed his gun and ran off.  His high IQ led him to chase her down and tackle her, and after a few rousing moments of fist-vs-gun action, she shot him dead.  His buddy – who I’m guessing was not first in his class on the pistol range – shot at her and missed, and was later arrested.

Now let’s go to Texas, for several more happy endings. 

In Houston, a woman woke up to catch a male/female couple of burglars breaking into cars on her street.  Because it was date night, I guess. 

Anyway, the woman threw a couple of shots, at least one of which hit the lady burglar, causing the chivalrous male to run away and leave her.  (I hope he became an honorary San Franciscan that night, and left a trail of urine and feces which the cops can use to catch him.) Responding officers found the deceased female crook, dead in a nearby ditch.

Thus supporting the Texas state motto: “Burglarize a car in Texas, die in a ditch.”

Meanwhile in Dallas, a carjacker jumped into the driver’s seat of a woman’s minivan, but because her two toddlers were strapped into seats in the back, the birthing person (HA!) jumped into the passenger seat. As the criminal drove away, the woman pulled out the pistol that was in her glove compartment (because: Texas!) and shot the guy in the head.  

The van rolled off the road and ran into a pole, and the woman and kids are fine.  The criminal, though shot in the head, is still alive and in the hospital.

There are even a few silver linings in godforsaken Chicago, where three young thugs drove up to a man in his car, jumped out, pulled a gun, and demanded his belongings.

The guy has a concealed carry permit (in Chicago!), and after a momentary struggle, produced his pistol.  He shot two of the criminals, after which they bravely ran back to their car and fled the scene.

The driver, having been shot in the head, experienced a measurable deterioration of his driving skills, and crashed nearby.  One passenger had been shot in the shoulder.  The only un-shot passenger – because God is hilarious – broke his leg in the crash.   

All three went to the hospital, and even the dope who took a head-shot is somehow still alive.

About 10 days earlier, four different thugs pulled up next to a different 23-year-old Chicago woman.  They too flashed a gun and tried to force her out of her car.  She too had a concealed carry permit and a pistol, which she used to shoot the lead attacker in the head.  She got shot in the arm as she fled the other three stooges, but she has been treated and released from a local hospital. 

Meanwhile the carjacker she shot in the head is in critical condition.

So what have we learned from these feel-good stories?

First, any people who call themselves feminists and claim to desire the empowerment of women should appreciate the second amendment.  Because there is no more empowering experience than going from being outnumbered and at the mercy of scumbags to being able to get their minds right with a little semi-automatic table-turning.

Second, four head shots, and none of them immediately fatal?

What are they making criminals’ skulls out of?!  The metal from Thor’s hammer, or whatever is in Captain America’s shield? 

Whatever it is, we need to start making tanks, ships and aircraft out of it.

Fetterman/Thick-skulled Biden-Voting Criminals 2024!

Some Thoughts on Christmas and other music, plus a Depressingly Familiar Tale from England (posted 12/12/22)

Today I’ll get to the good stuff first, and the political stuff last.

On Saturday my better half and I went to our charming local theatre and saw a live version of A Christmas Carol that was very good.  The theatre is located in an impressive old downtown structure built in 1911, in an age before the weirdos took over and insisted that all public buildings must be ugly and vaguely Soviet brutalist in style. 

One moment I especially enjoyed came before the play started.  A recorded announcement included the usual info – thanks to our local sponsors, check us out online, turn off your cell phone – plus one jarring sentence: “Masks are recommended but not required.”

I assume that this was recorded a while ago, because the free state of Florida canceled the lockdowns and mandatory masks way over a year ago.  On the other hand, I’m in a lefty college town – when you look at the north central Florida map on election night, we’re the only blue spot in a sea of red – and I wouldn’t put it past the local elite to try to hang on to their anti-scientific power-play for as long as they could.

The heartening part was that people in the audience started looking around at each other and shrugging their shoulders.  NOBODY in the building was wearing a mask, and everyone had a similar expression on their faces: “What?  Is anybody still doing that?”      

Not around here they’re not, and God bless us, every one!

As I usually do this time of year, I’ll recommend some Christmas (and other) music, for those of you who are interested. 

I’ll start with one I thought of after watching the uber-cool CO playing guitar on a short video last week.  It’s a request for his six-string take on “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen.”  

As far as I know, he doesn’t have one.  But he’s obviously got chops, and as the son he never had, this is what I want for Christmas!  So consider this an entreaty to get all of CO nation to pester the founder of the feast until he grants my Christmas wish!

While he’s working on that, I’ve got a brief list of other less-commonly-heard versions of traditional Christmas songs: 

The multi-talented and multiple-instrument-playing oddball Sufjan Stevens has eccentric but great versions of some standards, including “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” “O Come O Come Emmanuel,” and “Once in Royal David’s City.”

But I particularly like his take on three more rarely heard (at least by me) traditional carols:  

“Lo How a Rose ‘ere Blooming” – somehow adding a banjo to a German carol written in the 16th century just works.

“I Saw Three Ships” – adding sleighbells and a snare drum to this late 17th century English carol?  Why not.

“Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella” – this 17th century French carol sounds like it was always intended to be sung through a bad phone connection, accompanied by a faint acoustic guitar.

For a more traditional take on “O Come O Come Emmanuel” and “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus,” try the Missouri roots music family group the Petersens, featuring three lovely daughters and a banjo, violin and mandolin, the way God intended. 

On the other hand, if you’re already sick of Christmas music, I’ve got one last recommendation that couldn’t be farther afield.

Regular readers may remember that a while ago I recommended Billy Strings, a baby-faced bluegrass guitar savant, and sharp-eyed songwriter.  His song “Dust in a Baggie” – look for the version he recorded on a couch in somebody’s den – is amazing.

If you liked that one, and if country roots music is in your wheelhouse, you should check out Colter Wall.   Though he’s been around for a while, I just stumbled across him this past week.

I first heard a song called “Sleeping on the Blacktop,” listening to it with the only graphic being an album cover with a rough-hewn drawing of a coyote with a cigarette in his mouth.  The album title is “Imaginary Appalachia.”  I was in. 

The guy’s got a baritone deeper than Johnny Cash, and he sounds like he could be a 70-something chain-smoking whiskey drinker.  His lyrics are gritty and evocative, and even moreso when delivered in that voice.

Next I found another one from the same album, a ballad about the singer’s dead love, called “Caroline.”  He sings the chorus with someone named Belle Plain, which is as tender as “Blacktop” was rough: “Caroline oh Caroline/I’ll be home just at any old time/The grave in the garden won’t be satisfied/’til your name’s next to mine.”

But the next one is the one that sold me, and I’d recommend that if any of this sounds good to you, try that one first.  It’s a murder ballad called, “Kate McCannon,” and you’ve got to watch the video version  from the “Original 16 Brewery Sessions.”

It’s just him standing with a guitar, and behind him is a kick bass drum, which I’d never seen used that way before.  He’s got a pedal under his right boot heel, and he uses it to drive a drum beat that’s intermittent, but really powerful.  His guitar sounds almost like the strings are too loose somehow, and he makes great use of vacillating between very quiet strumming and forceful hammering away.

Shockingly, he’s a slender kid in his early 20s, so when that deep voice first comes out, it’s almost off-puttingly weird.  Where did Johnny Cash’s older, rougher-living brother go?

I found the last two lines of the song especially mesmerizing.  The first one reveals why this is a murder ballad, and it’s delivered quietly, with a grimace, followed by the quietest strumming in the song.  But then he starts slapping at the strings, and the tension grows as the playing gets angrier, until he growls out the last line.

And then that base drum starts pounding again.

If you like country/folk/roots music and you like it raw, check this guy out.

Speaking of murder ballads, I wish someone had written one about a British jerk named Ngozi Fulani.  But unfortunately, she’s still alive.

I know, things just got dark.  Merry Christmas, everybody!

We’ve got a huge over-supply of race-baiting narcissists in America, but Fulani is proof that the same goes for England.   (Damian Cullinane, I share your pain!)

Fulani founded a charity called “Sistah Space” that allegedly supports “women of African and Caribbean heritage” who have suffered domestic and sexual abuse. 

Why not support all abuse survivors, regardless of their ethnicity, you might ask? 

Shut up, Karen!

Naturally, Fulani is also a big fan of BLM, as well as the annoying American bi-racial irritant Meghan Markle.  In 2021, Fulani tweeted that “it seems clear that Meghan is a survivor of domestic abuse from her in-laws.” 


At the end of November, Fulani was invited to a reception at Buckingham Palace meant to call attention to violence against women.  During the event, she came across Susan Hussey, an 83-year-old former lady-in-waiting to the queen.

Fulani was dressed in some kind of faux-native garb: a shell-necklace, an animal-print dress, and an elaborate, semi-dreadlock-y hairstyle.  Sussey saw her, saw her exotic name on her name tag, and asked the obvious question, “Where are you from?”

Fulani knew exactly what she meant, because that is a universal ice-breaker question when meeting someone from another land.  Though Fulani is actually British, she sensed the opportunity to create a racial pseudo-offense, and cash in on it. 

So she played a passive-aggressive version of 20 questions, and apparently recorded the conversation, since she claims to be able to report it word for word. 

When Hussey asked where she was from, Fulani said, “Sistah Space.”  Hussey said, “No, where do you come from?”  Fulani said, “We’re based in Hackney.”  Then Hussey said, “No what part of Africa are you from?”

It went on like that for half a dozen more questions, and then Fulani ran to the press and claimed to be traumatized by Hussey’s all-too-typical racism.  And the press over there must be a pack of dishonest lefties like our MSM, because they immediately took her non-story and raised hell until her innocent octogenarian victim was forced to resign her position. 

This is so disgusting, because it is so plainly a racial arsonist gaslighting.  Fulani was born in London in 1961, to immigrants from Barbados, who named her, “Marlene Headley.”

But if she had come to the palace wearing regular Western clothing and a nametag reading “Marlene Headley,” Susan Hussey would have said, “Oh hello, Marlene.  What do you think of Manchester United’s chances this year?”

Or whatever Brits normally talk about.

But no.  Marlene has to call herself “Ngozi” and dress up like a Nigerian princess, and then wait for a well-meaning senior citizen to take the bait.

Her ploy is obvious, and anyone could do it.  For example, I’m half-German.

Rather than going to a reception dressed in a tuxedo and looking like a run-of-the-mill, ruggedly handsome elderly white guy, I could steer into the German skid and wear a monocle, a WWI-style pickelhaube helmet, and lederhosen, carrying a beer stein as big as my head, with a name tag reading, “Wilhelm Von Gausleiter III.” 

And then when someone asked why I looked like I just came through a time portal from Octoberfest in 1916, I could puff myself up and yell, “What kind of question is that, you racist schwein-hund?!”

And then run to the press, demand reparations, and open a charity taking donations to fight the rampant hun-o-phobia that has been haunting my victimized people for generations.

Of course Fulani is now playing the traumatized martyr, announcing that her “charity” has been forced to pause operations because of all the trauma, and her paralyzing fear that a sweet octogenarian may burst in, slam her up against a wall, and try to get a straight answer to a simple question out of her sorry arse.

To which one can only say, “I wish!”

And also, “Bah, humbug!”

Fetterman/Ngozi “Marlene” Headley-Scrooge 2024!

I’m Getting Into the Spirit of the Season, Hailing Tom Cotton & Mocking California (posted 12/9/22)

As Christmas comes nearer, I always get happier.   

We’ve got the house decorated inside and out, and I’m savoring the carols and the first couple of advent services our church has held.  Next week I’ll do my annual listening to the late, great Frank Muller’s reading of Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, which always rewards re-reading. Plus, this is my first Christmas in decades when I won’t be collecting a big batch of papers to grade today.

I mean, you start with “unto us a Son is given,” and you throw in a healthy family and no more papers to grade, and you’ve got the makings of an excellent yuletide at stately Simpson manor.

Of course, politics has not brought a lot of joy lately, though I’m thankful for the good news that has come our way amidst the disappointments of 11/8.   For example, we’ve been able to say a fond farewell to Beta O’Rourke, Stacey Abrams, Crybaby Kinzinger and Liz Cheney – who until her stomping in the primary was neck-and-neck with the Condescending Cherokee from MA in the “Most Contemptible Liz” competition (#wemustneverstopmockingher).   

And January will be brightened when the GOP takes the House gavel from Imhotep Pelosi.  It would be nice if we could savor the angry look on her face at that moment, but unfortunately the injections have done their work, and she’s no longer capable of communicating emotions through facial expressions.

But we know the well-deserved remorse that will wrack her bitter little heart on that day, whichever canopic jar it happens to be sitting in at the time.

Add to that a welcome display of GOP testicular fortitude in the Senate last week.  (I know: I was as shocked as you are.)  This delicious moment of a schadenfreude slap-down came via Senator Tom Cotton, during a Senate Judiciary hearing on the proposed merger of the Albertsons and Kroger grocery chains.    

Like many giant companies, Kroger has been regularly caving to woke whining and bullying, and sucking up to the quasi-socialist Dems who should be their natural enemies. 

Two quick examples, from a Daily Caller article:  In 2019, Kroger required their employees to wear aprons with rainbow/Pride Flag logos, and when two Christian employees refused, they fired them.  (The happy ending came when the fired employees sued and won $180K.)  And just this summer, a whiny poke-nose with a few thousand Twitter followers sent a “let me talk to your manager” tweet complaining about some patriotic, pro-American can koozies that Kroger stores in NC were selling.

She was offended because too many people are shot in Dem-controlled cities by criminals with illegally obtained handguns, and too many mentally ill people whom the Dems have kept on the streets commit mass shootings each year.  And obviously the can koozies – along with our horrible Founders and their hideous freedom fetish – are responsible. 

(I’ve paraphrased her tweet.  But accurately.)

So she demanded that Kroger stop selling the koozies, because Americans who disagree with her shouldn’t be able to hold their drinks in something that offends her. 

And Kroger immediately caved.

So fast forward to last week.  The Dems are trying to stop the proposed $25 billion Kroger and Albertsons merger, which requires regulatory approval.  Because why should two private businesses and their stockholders be able to take any action without having to beg permission from a bunch of low-IQ bureaucrats who couldn’t operate a lemonade stand?

Who do these grocery stores they think they are: free people, operating in a free market, in a free country? 

Kroger appeals to GOP senators to help protect them from the power-hungry Dems.  And Tom Cotton, bless him, wins a place in my humble conservative’s heart.

He points out that many large companies traditionally seek help from Republicans to uphold their rights in the face of Dem predations.  “I’ve cautioned them for years, that if they silence conservatives and center-right voters … if they discriminate against them in their company, they probably shouldn’t come and ask Republican senators to carry the water for them whenever our Democratic friends want to regulate them or block their mergers.”

And he closes with these immortal words: “So I’ll say this.  I’m sorry this is happening to you.  Best of luck.”  And then he slapped his microphone off. 


That was the political equivalent of an old West gunfighter fanning the hammer on a Colt and drilling the bad guy in the heart, then twirling the gun on his finger and slipping it back into its holster.

More of this, please.

Finally, I’ve got 3 California stories that I think illustrate “reap what you sow” message, in different ways.

The first seems like some kind of fable, a “red flag” or omen story, even though it actually happened.

CA famously has terribly-managed traffic, and on December 2nd, two separate accidents happened within a few hours in Santa Clarita.  The second one happened in the morning, when a SUV and a big rig crashed, spilling a bunch of fuel and shutting down one freeway in a spot near where a different, elevated freeway passes by it.

An hour later, during the cleanup of the second accident, a box truck crashed on the elevated highway, and then fell over on top of the wrecked semi from the second accident. 

That sounds like it should be a proverb: “When your wrecked vehicles are falling off one highway and landing on your other wrecked vehicles, it’s time to flee the state.”

One day later, another Aesop’s fable happened in the Woodland Hills area of LA, where a father was unloading a minivan when a coyote loped up and grabbed his daughter.   He was able to scare the animal off after it had done only minor damage to the toddler, but she had to get rabies shots, and the coyote hasn’t been caught. 

I’m not saying that the coyote is still out there because of no cash bail policies, or because the authorities looked the other way because it was a brown c.o.c. (coyote of color), and thus a victim of our species-ist justice system.

But I’m not NOT saying that, either.

In fact, I’ll bet that the first thought of every sane California resident – the literally dozens of them – was, “Thank God it wasn’t a Balenciaga ad scout, or a Democrat puppy fetishist state senator, or a human ‘coyote’ who is smuggling illegals into our state!  Thank you, relatively benign and well-intentioned predatory coyote!”

The last story, and the one that best sums up what’s wrong with California, is the tale of a construction project.       

It seems that the public servants of San Francisco, having noticed that their streets are thigh-deep in human waste, recently announced that they were building a new public toilet.  

So naturally, with the best minds in CA at work on the problem, it was quickly and efficiently tackled, and was completed early and under budget.  The end.

HA!  I kid because I love.

Actually the only correct part of that last sentence was that the best minds in CA were deployed on the project.  

(Rumors that the roster included two junkies, a blocky grievance study prof with a Moe haircut and a perpetual scowl, a nonbinary emu with PTSD after having recently escaped from a San Francisco “petting” zoo – and please don’t ask what goes on in a SF petting zoo — three children’s teddy bears dressed in bondage gear, and Gavin Newsom, have not been confirmed.)

Planning began a year ago, and when they recently unveiled the proposal – and here I’d like you to imagine a rousing playing of “Thus Spake Zarathustra,” as if you were getting up for the appearance of Cocky the Gamecock before a SEC football game – it turned out that the toilet is going to cost $1.7 million. 

I wish I were making that up. 

And while the cost might sound unreasonable, there’s more to the story: The Versailles Palace of toilets is going to be ready for use in… wait for it…. 

No, literally. 

Wait for it.

Because it is scheduled to open in 2025! 

(Fortunately for San Franciscans, every public street there is a toilet, so nobody is going to have to cross their legs and hold it for the next 3 years.) 

There are two-thousand-year-old Roman aqueducts and roads that cost less and were finished sooner than that toilet.  And they are all in better shape now than that SF toilet will be two weeks after it opens. 

Meanwhile in the free state of Florida, two bridges connecting two islands to the mainland were destroyed by the recent CAT-4 hurricane.  They were rebuilt in 2 weeks.

In the words of Tom Cotton, “Best of luck, California!”

Fetterman/ Wile E. Coyote, 2024!

Biden’s and Putin’s Rough Week (posted 12/5/22)

In the lingering spirit of Thanksgiving, I think we should all be thankful that no matter what other challenges we are facing in our lives, at least we are not leftist French president Emmanuel Macron. 

Because that poor jerk came to the States last week for a state visit with Joe Biden, which went about how you would expect it to. 

The first mistake was that Biden’s team gave him a longer script than he can handle.  At this point in his presidency, he should be on a Fetterman regime, i.e. walk to a podium, clear his throat, and say, “Thank you, goodnight!” and then stumble off stage.

Instead, they gave him words to say.  And to slur.   

He bumbled through a brief review of our historically good relationship with France, including the debt we owe to “Marcus de Lafayette.”   Not the Heisman trophy winning running back; that was Marcus Allen.  Or the tv doctor; that was Marcus Welby. 

He meant the French guy who helped out in our revolution, who had the title of “marquis.”  Which is not pronounced “Marcus.”     

I’ll now give you a moment to slap your foreheads, and curse your fellow Americans who voted for this barely animated shell of a “leader.”

After his opening speech, Biden shook Macron’s hand for 42 seconds.  If you think it’s odd that I would know how long the handshake went on, you’re right.  It was so odd that a mainstream media report timed the handshake.

You’re probably thinking that 42 seconds is not that long.  If so, turn on a stove burner and try to hold your hand down on it for 42 seconds.  Or listen to AOC speaking for 42 straight seconds.  Or look at a close-up, high-def picture of Imhotep Pelosi’s mummy-face for 42 soul-shriveling seconds.

Yeah.  That’s how long Frenchy had to spend in the icy grip of the Corn Pop Slayer.  Macron tried to pull away several times, but Joe kept his hand clasped tightly.  If you watch the video, you can read his thoughts in his terrified expression: mon dieu, rigor mortis has set in!

When he was finally released, Macron then had to play the role of Joe-wrangler, as the two of them circulated to greet big shot attendees, while Biden kept wandering off course.

In a joint Q&A session later, Biden went on to what is now an established tradition of his: reading stage instructions out loud.  (Who can forget, “blah blah blah, repeat last sentence?”) To open the session, he mumbled that he and Macron were each going to take two questions, and then said that his managers had given him two specific softball-throwing bootlickers to call on.

(By the way, I once saw the Softball-Throwing Bootlickers open for the Titular Maniacs.  Thrash metal at its finest!)  (And if you got that reference, you’re a devoted reader of my columns, and God bless you!)

But he wasn’t done there.  Because why would he be? 

He tried to read a toast.  And unlike my toast at my daughter’s wedding – which was generally regarded as a triumph, and a high bar for all other fathers-of-the-bride to aspire to – Joey Gaffes das hündchen verschraubt.  (Yes, I’m still plugging away at my conversational German.  And that was supposed to be “screwed the pooch,” though I think there’s something wrong in my phrasing.)

Biden said, and I swear I am not making this actual quote up, “France was our first ally. First country to fly the American flag after our revolution.  And Frank hosted the first diplomatic post before more than anything else France has been our first friend.”

Yes, the syntax of that last sentence-adjacent cluster of words doesn’t make any sense. 

And yes, Biden called the nation of France, “Frank.”

I can’t wait for his European tour next summer, when he will helpfully explain that “Grace” gave us the philosophy of Aristotle and all of those great columns, and “Rommel” left us the writings of Marquis Aurelius, and “Austin” gave us Mozart.

Not to mention “Russ,” who gave us Evan the Terrible and vodka. 

As embarrassing as Biden’s performance was, I did enjoy watching a super uncomfortable Macron — whom I would bet Biden called both “Captain Morgan” and “Macaroni” at some point in the evening – standing there with a strained, “sacre bleu!” look on his face the whole time.   

Speaking of world leaders embarrassing themselves, you probably heard the reports that Vladimir Putin fell down the stairs at his Moscow residence last Wednesday, landing on his coccyx and causing him to – and I quote – “involuntarily defecate” on himself.

Or, as our own secret service would say it, “Putin pulled a Biden.”

Some persistent rumors suggest that Putin has cancer, and this recent incident may add credence to them.  While I don’t think any Jeffersonian democrats are waiting in the wings at the Kremlin to take Putin’s place when he goes, a changing of the guard may give new leadership in Russia a way to withdraw from the murderous disaster in Ukraine without losing face.

Regardless of what comes afterwards, it would seem like some kind of poetic justice for an evil dictator like Putin to go out by painfully riding his coccyx down a befouled staircase.

And if that last phrase isn’t some kind of gay slang, it ought to be.

Also, if you are playing Scrabble and have some hard-to-get-rid-of consonants, don’t sleep on “coccyx.” 

You’re welcome.

One other silver lining: for one brief, shining moment last week – before Macron landed in DC – we didn’t have the most embarrassing political leader in the world.

Fetterman/Evan the Terrible, ’24!

I Can’t Look Away from the Creepiness (posted 12/2/22)

Two stories today, both of which show the leftist establishment at its skeevy best.

The first story features everybody’s favorite paleface, the Land o’ Lakes Butter Maiden herself, Liz Warren. (#wemustneverstopmockingher)

She’s got another bee in her war bonnet (#neverstop), this time about Twitter, and the unfair way that Elon Musk has started to use it to foster free speech in America.  The nerve of that guy!

When a Fox business reporter asked, “Do you think that users have a right to freedom of speech, even if what they’re saying is wrong or offensive?” Grandma Squanto had reservations. (#nevernever)

Quoth the Shawnee Scold, “I think that one human being should not decide how millions of people communicate with each other.  One human being should not be able to go into a dark room by himself and decide: ‘Oh, that person gets heard from, that person doesn’t.’ That’s not how it should work.”

Unless that person is Jack “weird beard” Dorsey (former owner of Twitter), I guess?  Or Pagan Narwhal (Twitter’s former CEO), or Vijaya “Teflon Don” Gadde (Twitter’s former head of censorship)?

Or Jeff Bezos?  Or Mark Zuckerberg?  

Because all of those zillionaires have been sitting around determining who gets heard from and who doesn’t for years, and the Irritated Iroquois (#neverstopneverstopping) never seemed to mind.  But let someone who disagrees with her authoritarian political vision buy Twitter, and watch how her headdress feathers get ruffled. (#seriouslykeepmocking)

Out of our lefty elites’ vast oceans of cluelessness, the free speech debate might be the one area in which they are the most deeply ensconced in their bubble.  Over and over again, they’ve demonstrated that they don’t have the slightest idea of what their conservative opponents think.

When Musk took over Twitter, hordes of them either said that they’d leave before the Musk-rat could kick them off, or announced that they’d defiantly stay UNTIL he kicked them off.  When he didn’t kick lefties off, they were totally disoriented.

It was like they were bowed up and ready to push against Musk with all of their strength, and instead of pushing back, he just stepped aside without any resistance.  And they clumsily pitched forward and face-planted, like Joe Biden each time he tries to climb a mobile airplane staircase.    

They really don’t understand us at all, mostly because they all have advanced degrees in projection.  Whenever THEY get control of a news outlet or tech platform, they impose one-sided censorship, character-assassination and banishment.  So they assume that we would behave the same way. 

When we don’t, they end up looking foolish, as they have every day since Musk bought Twitter.

But I’m not sure that the elitist lefties understand themselves any more than they understand us.  Because nearly all of them chant the mantra of, “We love free speech, but not hate speech.”   

But that proclamation misses two huge points.

First, the most significant and culturally influential speech that the leftist establishment banned involved not hate, but political debate on such crucial issues as covid, possible voting fraud, Hunter’s laptop and Biden’s graft-tastic dealings with foreign regimes, the disastrous effects of an open border, etc.

That’s the essential stuff of democracy, from the Founders’ time to today, and the left squashed it without a moment’s hesitation or a second thought.   

Second, even in cases of what could arguably be labeled “hate speech,” the left – and, to be fair, many on the right – ignore the essential question of “Who gets to decide what is and isn’t hate speech?”  Because just like every contentious concept – racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, capitalism – hate is in the eye of the beholder.

The left will not tolerate anti-Semitism, for example.

Unless it comes from Screwy Louie Farrakhan, Al Sharpton, the jihadi twins Omar and Tlaib, etc. and etc.

They also won’t tolerate sexism.

Unless it is used to attack Melania Trump, conservative women, pro-life women, or attractive female Fox News hosts.

They are deeply offended by racism.

Except when it’s used to support rabidly anti-white groups like BLM or La Raza, or to attack “whiteness” and white people, and toxic white men and white Karens, and Asians who keep scoring too high on standardized tests.     

One point that the left is clear about: a less censorious Twitter is a threat to them.  Because their ideas are fatally flawed, and in a free and fair debate, they’re going to get beaten like a rented mule.

And that’s why the crotchety Choctaw from Massachusetts has got her buckskin dress in a bunch. 

So let’s do whatever we can to champion free speech.  And let’s never stop mocking her. 

In my “Find a Mirror” segment this week, I’m going to very briefly discuss the super deviant ad that most of you already know about.  

Until last week, if you’d asked me what I thought of Balenciaga, I’d have told you that they make a fine automobile that competes with the Ferrari and Lamborghini.  Or possibly that Balenciaga is an exquisite pasta dish that I prefer served al Pomodoro.

But last week as I walked into the living room, my lovely wife and I had this conversation: 

Norwegian Goddess:  Have you seen the Balenciaga ad?

Me: No.  I suppose the ’23 is out now?  Does it have 12 cylinders, and how many CO-ers will have to hit my Tip Jar before I can buy one?

NG: You really think you’re hilarious, don’t you?

Me (with a charming, self-deprecating shrug): Who am I to fly in the face of public opinion?

NG: Just look at this ad, bonehead.

Me:  That’s Dr. Bonehead, to you.  (after a 30-second perusal) Good lord! Why does that little girl look so sad?  And why is her toy bear wearing bondage gear?  And what kind of sick pervs (and probably big Democrat donors, I’m guessing) would think that this ad is acceptable?  I need a shower!    

And, scene.

I’m sure you’ve all heard about the repulsive, exploitative ads, and the resulting firestorm.  They are of a piece with our culture’s recent spate of pedophilia-adjacent weirdness, from twerking drag queens in “family friendly” shows, and drag queen story hours, and trans-ing the kids all over the place.    

“But Martin, what could be worse than these ultra squalid ads?” you are not asking, because you don’t care for rhetorical questions.

To answer that one, we must travel to where the intelligence quotient goes to die: The View.   

That Mensa club looked past the idiotic parents who let their little girls “star” in these ads, and the perverse “creatives” who came up with this pitch, and the soul-less executives who green-lighted it to find the REAL culprits behind this Satanic slumber party of a campaign: conservatives.

I Schumer you not.

Here’s the reasoning, according to the vacuous ladies of the View: 

“There’s growing anti-LGBTQ sentiment right now.  And how it’s being framed is as portraying trans people as ‘groomers’.  This is a term you’ll hear on the far right… this is where you get the anti-drag queen stuff.”   

Yes, the problem of ads that sexualize children is “how it’s being framed.”  And who is framing it that way?  The “far right,” of course. 

Because who else could possibly have a problem with drag queens doing burlesque routines in front of toddlers?  (By the way, that answer would include the vast majority of gay people, who are just as repulsed by this as any other non-groomers are.)

Einstein McSocial-Critic continues: “So Balenciaga played right into their hands, by having kids in a sexualized manner….  It was a really bad mis-step at a moment where it’s a dangerous time to give credence to those kind of insane takes.”

So the only real mistake that Balenciaga made was a mis-step that “played into the hands” of the real villains – the conservatives — and by doing so, giving “credence to [their] insane” interpretation of all of this innocent near-kiddie-porn stuff.

Or maybe – and hear me out, lefty brain trust – it’s not insane to accuse people of sexually grooming children when you’re discussing an ad that [begin Sam Kinison screaming voice] DEMONSTRATES SEXUAL GROOMING OF CHILDREN! OH! OHHHH!

After all, some sicko handed that poor little girl the S&M teddy bear, and if she asked about why he was dressed like that, probably told her something like, “Oh that’s right, you don’t recognize this stuff, do you?  It’s okay, you’ll learn all about bondage, ball gags and fetish gear when you start kindergarten next fall.” 


The last word went to racist little ball of evil Sunny Hostin, who brought it all home, as only a morally-dead-inside cretin could, when she identified what’s really “distasteful” in all this: “Balenciaga lately… their stuff is just ugly!”   

I only wish that Chris Hansen could have burst onto the Balenciaga set, announced that this was an elaborate episode of “To Catch a Predator,” and arrested every adult involved in sight.

To everyone involved in that campaign, and everyone on the View excusing them, I say, “Find a mirror!”

Fetterman/ The Marquis de Sade ’24!

Thoughts on Fauci’s Farewell & a “Pandemic Amnesty”(posted 11/28/22)

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

Ours was great.  Our youngest was home from college, and my brothers-in-law came over, and my wife made an amazing meal.  (Of all the husbands in all the land, I have definitely done the best job of marrying up.)

My oldest daughter – you may remember her from her beautiful wedding this last summer, and her saving her first life as a pediatric nurse last year — was saving lives in Denver, and so could not make it home.  But her pre-Thanksgiving Facebook post tells you everything you need to know about her.

In her “Friendsgiving” pic, she and her new husband are in their living room with several dozen friends that they’ve made in the 3 months they’ve been in Colorado.  (By contrast, I’m 116 and have lived in the same town for 36 years, and could assemble maybe 8 good friends for a photo-op, assuming they were willing to pose with me while I was wearing my “Let’s Go, Brandon” t-shirt.) 

On Thanksgiving night, after our guests had gone home, I experienced a moment that made me self-consciously grateful.  I was in our living room on the recliner, while my wife and our youngest were on the couch.  The big screen over the fireplace was playing the Vikings-Patriots game with the sound off, and our tree was up in the corner, covered with ornaments gathered over 33 years of marriage.   

Cassie the Wonder Dog was curled up on the floor beside my chair, and the three cats were dozing around the room.  All of us have gotten on a language kick, and were playing around with Duo Lingo on our phones, which was oddly fun.  I was doing my German (Mein hund ist schon und klug, thanks for asking), while the wife was working on Norwegian, and the daughter on Japanese.

As I listened to my family mumbling in comically difficult languages, in a house filled with people who love each other, I thought about lucky I am, and how lucky we all are to be living now, and in this great country.  With all of its flaws, and ours, there is still so much sweetness in life, and meaningful work to be done.  And Christmas is coming!

Speaking of things to be grateful for, Dr. Fauci made his farewell appearance at the White House last week, and it was an encouraging reminder of how nice it will be to not have to listen to him anymore. 

Our mendacious kewpie doll of a WH spokeswoman – she’s into the curvy folks with the XX chromosomes, so your criticisms are invalid – was at her condescending best.  She scolded journalists for trying to ask relevant questions, whining that they weren’t in charge, and that they were being rude to “our guest.”

By which she meant our highly paid employee, Dr. Science, Esq.

So if you were wondering whether the virus came from gain of function research in a Chicom lab, or whether we can finally admit that masks don’t work, or whether the potential downsides of injecting healthy people and children might outweigh the benefits, you got your answers.

And those answers were, “Shut up,” and, “How dare you?” and “Security!”

Watching that press conference brought me back to a much-discussed article from last month in the Atlantic magazine, in which lefty author Emily Oster famously called for “a pandemic amnesty.”  Her thesis was that if we are to get along in the future, we have to get past all of the animosity that arose because of the vaccine, mask and mandatory lock-down wars.  Her proposal is that we all extend some grace and forgiveness to each other, and move on.  

Her appeal for reconciliation was at least momentarily tempting to me, and for several reasons.  Morally speaking, my faith is big on grace and forgiveness.  And politically and pragmatically speaking, she’s right about the need to reconcile; our nation has become so polarized, and I don’t see how our current state of growing animosity and division can end well.

I thought of the example of Lincoln, who after the bloodiest war in our history called for a binding of our wounds, and for moving on “with malice toward none, and charity toward all.”  If he could call for accepting the former confederates back into the union after all that carnage, we should be able to reconcile with those on the other side of the covid wars.

But I can’t agree with her proposal as it stands, for several more reasons.

First, true reconciliation requires real admission of error.  (Uncle Jesus calls that confession and repentance, but there are alternative secular/psychological terms for it, if you prefer.)  And it doesn’t seem that very many of those on the leftist/alarmist side are willing to make that crucial first step.

To her credit, Oster comes closer than most of her allies.  She admits now that early on she and her family over-reacted, and were wrong – and that’s not something that I’ve seen often on the left, even at this late date. 

But her article has been so widely criticized because she also quickly excuses herself by claiming that we just didn’t know any better at the time.  She suggests there was a lot of intentional misinformation being spread, and that some people were right, but “for the wrong reasons.”  She goes so far as to say that getting some things right had “a hefty element of luck,” and that “getting something wrong wasn’t a moral failing.”

She’s being way too kind to her side, in a way that suggests continual – and I think intentional – moral blindness.  

The best way to evaluate our virus response is to distinguish between behavior early on – say from March to May of 2020 – compared to everything that came after.   During those first several months, we knew so little that it was reasonable to take all sorts of precautions, and we should all extend grace to each other for actions taken then.

But by the summer of 2020, a flood of data was coming in that contradicted the establishment left’s narrative.  A few examples: Florida’s Disneyworld opened in June, and contrary to the left’s alarmist predictions, bodies didn’t stack up like cordwood in Orlando.  By mid-summer we knew that the flu was dozens of times more deadly than the virus for young and healthy people. 

In August, the Association of American Pediatricians – no conservative group! – released a strong statement saying that healthy kids K-12 should be back in school, since their psych/educational losses far outweighed the tiny risk from the virus.

In October some of the best epidemiologists in the world released the Great Barrington Declaration,  giving scientific weight to the ideas that masks don’t work, and the smart path was to allow/persuade the compromised to isolate, but let the rest of society calculate their own risks and get back to normal.  

By that time, people on our side weren’t “right for the wrong reasons,” and we weren’t “deniers,” and there was no “hefty element of luck” in our being proven right.  We were following the science, and being gaslit and punished and fired and shamed about it.

And no, Ms. Oster, at that point – and ever since – you can NOT say that “getting something wrong wasn’t a moral failing.”  Because for the last two years, the left writ large has politicized the disease, and used it to achieve its unpopular and coercive political agenda to greatly increase the government’s power, and to get their preferred candidate elected president.

That’s a moral failing.  And until the left acknowledges and apologizes for that, reconciliation is not going to come.

But our primary goal going forward – even more than enforcing accountability on the bad-faith left that used the covid crisis rather than “letting it go to waste” – should be to make sure that this never happens again.

A good first step would be to reverse any lingering covid policy hangovers: ban any further mandates and rehire anyone unjustly fired; cancel any loan deferments speciously attributed to the “crisis;” return any unspent and unneeded covid “relief” appropriations to the treasury.

A good second step would be to expose and punish those who behaved badly and dishonestly, from Fauci on down.  Not primarily out of a desire for vengeance – although that is a legitimate motive too – but “pour l’encouragement des autres.” 

Because if Fauci gets the public arse-whipping he deserves – through investigating and publicizing his dishonest emails, responsibility for funding dangerous gain-of-function “research,” and dirty financial dealings – we’ll have made future potential power-grabbers a lot more gun-shy about trying this kind of stuff again.  

We’ll know we’ve succeeded when the next arrogant fool who stands up and says anything as stupid as, “I am the science!” will be mercilessly mocked and then thrown off the public stage like John Wayne tossing a bad guy through a set of swinging saloon doors.

Here in CO nation, we stand ready on the mockery ramparts!