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!

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