I plan to keep this up with short essays on time-topical issues. I have pages of larger, grander essays on various subjects, but here, on this page, I'd like to present more-frequent snips on whatever is currently bugging people politically, or at least what's bugging me at the time. Let's see how well I do.
Politics was sound bites long before Internet social media made politics into sound bytes. I think I remember the commercial for Lyndon Johnson's campaign In 1964 showing a little girl picking dandelions while a scary male voice counted down to nuclear war, or something like that. It presented the Republicans as being war-mongers over the peace-loving Democrats. Somebody spent a lot of time, money, equipment, and expertise to prepare such a vivid and emotional appeal. That equipment and expertise was available only to a limited community in 1964.
The ease and availability of Facebook memes, puts that kind of misdirection in the hands of a larger community. Pictures of a lonely little girl or an aborted fetus evoke powerful emotions that often have little to do with what is true or real. Words are used, abused, and mis-used with reckless abandon as the abusers and mis-users face no personal consequence for their abusing and mis-using misdeeds. When I've confronted some of these on their deliberate deception, they reminded that they are entitled to their own opinions about facts and meanings of words, but they're wrong. We're all entitled to our opinions of what should be, but not our own facts and not our own meanings of words.
2020 May 15 — A Really Messed Up Post.
I saw this post on Facebook and it's so terrible it deserves a reply.
"To people who think Costco shouldn't ask you to wear masks, do you also think it wrong for chick fil A to refuse serving gays, and that bakery who refuse to bake cake for gay weddings?"
This embarrasses me three times three ways, so maybe it deserves a response. Its author programs computers, lives in the United States of America, and is a human being. I also program computers, I'm also an American denizen, and I'm a human being, so being associated with this is embarrassing to me. It embarrasses me three ways in that its author doesn't understand property, doesn't understand either public-facing business or Chick-fil-A's position, doesn't understand product offering, and doesn't even see that these things might be different.
While its author doubtless wants to exercise freedom of speech, maybe he should exercise the right to remain silent if the only other option is this level of confusion. I'll point out that this author has blitzed my social medium of Facebook with similarly-inane posts and clueless responses. So let's learn from somebody else's mistakes times three.
First, whether or not Costco should ask us to wear masks is a perfectly reasonable thing to debate. When the fearmongers were playing up the danger of this new disease, they pointed out that it was maskproof because it was dry. The molecular structure of a virus is a lot smaller than even the finest mask fabric. Essentially, anything that lets air through is going to be nearly transparent to a virus. That's not the case with flu viruses that travel in much-larger droplets of water. Whatever we may feel, it's clearly within the scope of Costco's privilege of ownership to require a mask to shop there. Whether they should or shouldn't, it's like why dogs lick their private parts, because they can.
Let's look at Chick-fil-A's position on homosexuality. To my knowledge, Chick-fil-A hasn't refused to serve anybody based on sexual orientation. The leadership of Chick-fil-A, as I understand it, believes the institution of marriage is fundamentally a religious institution limited to man and woman to the point of supporting organizations who worked for that belief. I don't have to agree with that to appreciate their belief and I can understand if the gay community chooses not to buy their product. So long as Chick-fil-A serves all comers, then they're meeting their obligation facing the public.
I'd like to digress on my notion of "public facing." There's nothing about public-facing businesses in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution, just as there's nothing about privacy, yet we see these notions as being important. My interpretation of these is they are kind-of an implied contract between a public-facing business and its customers. A bar on the street should feel obligated to serve all customers while a private club upstairs may well decide they only like certain ethnic groups or even want to be male only. I suppose I'm okay if a place puts a sign on the door announcing their restrictions, but I know I'm not okay if I go inside and am then told with a sneer, "We don't like your kind here." The contract is really with the road owner, usually the public through government, who may reasonably required public access to serve the whole public. I can imagine how a black family on a road trip must have felt when restaurants on the limited-access-road turnpikes would not serve them. From a legal standpoint it may be more about public roads than public access. In any case, this is way above the level of understanding demonstrated by the author of this brief piece.
So we leap from negativity about a restaurant that doesn't refuse to serve particular clientele to a bakery that won't make a gay wedding cake. In the first case, the alleged discrimination was personal, in the second case, the discrimination is one of product. If a man and a woman walked into that bakery and ordered a wedding cake with two men on top, I presume they would refuse, and if two men walked in together and ordered a cake with a man and a woman on top, they would cheerfully bake the cake. It's not whom they serve but what product they're willing to sell, just as CVS stores won't sell cigarettes. Never mind any issues of public access for gays or smokers, it's the product that's being discriminated against here, not the customer.
I'll point out this fellow's post-on-Facebook strategy is Ready-Fire without the Aim part, turn on fingers without engaging the brain. I posted a funny about a 1960's rock group complete with a picture of their album "Tommy" and he insisted multiply and rudely they were influenced by communist China. I pointed out they were recording records in 1965 and the Cultural Revolution didn't happen until 1966. He consistently mixes up wearing masks with the right to assemble, swears he loves America, and then writes post after post promoting communism, socialism, and government control which, presumably, he came here to get away from.
This same fellow says removing corona-virus lock-down is putting people in danger by forcing them to work and compares looters with the Republican KKK when the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan were a direct arm of the Democratic Party when they were strong.
On the subject of who freed the slaves during the American Civil War he said he knew who freed the slaves. His answer was, "people who freed the slaves." He insisted the Confederate slaves were instrumental because 180 thousand African Americans fought for the Union Army. When I tried to convince him these might be different black people than the slaves, he wouldn't hear of it. I guess "they all look alike" after all.
I guess it's important to this person to play with the big boys, so you put a post that provokes, don't bother to remember what you posted, and just argue negatively with every response.
Welcome to Facebook.
2020 June 2 — Post-Corona-Virus Riots.
Just as the corona virus COVID-19 is outliving its political usefulness, just as it is becoming clear to everybody that experience with this virus is far too rare to believe the hyped up numbers, a video appeared of white Powderhorn-Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin choking and killing black George Floyd on 2020 May 25. It turns out these two men had worked together for a small club for years, so they knew each other pretty well. I can easily believe they're together up in Bemidji, Minnesota, fishing for walleye. I can also believe violent, multiple-felon George took some bad drugs and attacked Derek. I have a much harder time believing two men who worked together for a long time were involved in a racially-motivated attack.
In spite of significantly-improving race relations and economic opportunity for Black Americans, a week later, simultaneous riots erupted in many major cities and I'm told all of them had Democrat mayors. Pallets of bricks appeared in non-construction-site areas convenient for destruction and looting and, again I'm told, the people weren't actually from the areas where the riots occurred.
For the Democrats the timing is perfect. The impeachment failed, the disease is fading in urgency, people are starting to realize COVID-19 isn't Trump's fault, the election is nigh, and something has to come along to stomp people and our economy further into the ground. Disease lock-down ended, so now we have riot curfew.
I'm used to my liberal friends supporting whatever is their most convenient cause at the time. The old White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan morphed about sixty years ago into the Black Panthers, same hate with a different color, still an arm of the Democratic Party. More recently that group has become a new vessel of hate called Black Lives Matter whose web-site DONATE option goes to the Democratic Party donation ACTBLUE page. Besides being anti-white and stupid (Didn't one of them set his own house on fire so he could claim the fire department was racist in not putting it out first?), they are also vehemently anti-Israel and anti-Jewish.
I am quite perturbed by having all the arts organizations who have held their peace for so many years through so many issues coming out on the racism issue this time. If they are anti-racism enough to cry out, then why didn't they write about it five years ago when it was so much worse? Speaking now is more-than-tacit approval of the riots and that displeases me plenty. It has the odor of parents giving in to a child's temper tantrum when they could wait half an hour and deal with the problem when the child is not misbehaving, kind of like the fuss over the video with Rodney King. Any arts organization with the words "Black Lives Matter" in their statement isn't going to see my chequebook again. These people are anti-white, anti-Jewish, and pro-racism. They make their living from racial hate.
I'm told by people who do notice when a dirty shirt becomes clean or a blue Chevy becomes a green Ford after a cut in a 1960's action drama that the video itself has all kinds of flaws. The sun is high in the sky when the incident supposedly happened in the evening, George Floyd's hair disappeared, and there were other flaws I was told by my more-observant friends (like when things change that shouldn't change in a movie camera cut). Another friend noticed scenes where nobody was wearing masks, The video was fake.
Check out what Candace Owens has to say about all this.
I'll point out that Jews have lived with anti-semitism as long as Blacks have lived with racism. We're just as annoyed as you are, we want both anti-semitism and racism to go away, and we work towards that end. But do we really think that anti-semitism and racism today are really between where we are and where we want to be?
Sound Bite One: "If you are speaking against racism now and didn't two weeks ago, two months ago, two years ago, and two decades ago, then the only reasons are either political or that you think the riots are okay. Which is it?"
Sound Bite Two: "We have riots around George Floyd and now he has COVID-19. When are we going to find out he colluded with Russia?"
Sound Bite Three: "People of color say they feel unsafe or discriminated against. I'm willing to believe that, I want these problems to go away, but if you want us to fix it, then you have to be willing to tell us what it is and when it happens."
Sound Bite Four: "Where was the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)? There are plenty of Constitutional issues around COVID-19 lock-downs. Why were they silent then and only outspoken now when there's a chance to promote hate and violence?"
2020 June 2 — Do You Really Believe It?
Do you really believe all this crap?
The people who colluded with Russia on the Uranium deal accused the other folks of colluding with Russia. Then they impeached President Trump for "Abuse of Power." They made a fuss over President Trump's tax forms when we still don't know his predecessor's actual name? What kind of crap is that?
Then this so-called pandemic appears. I remember the Hong Kong flu. It was at the light end of pandemic with 100 thousand Americans dead out of 202.7 million. I was twelve years old in 1969. Yes, I knew people who had it then and I know people who had it now. They say COVID-19 has taken 100 thousand lives in 2020 out of 332.6 million. I don't know anybody who has it. (A friend in London self-diagnosed herself with it when she had a bad cough, so that's a "maybe" case.) Do the math. If 100 thousand died of a disease with one percent mortality from symptoms, then 10 million would have it to the point of being obvious. I know three who had a regular flu, none with COVID-19. One friend in Philadelphia thinks he knows a case in New Jersey, another friend in Ottawa suspects a friend in Montréal. (It's not quite the United States but they are two more "maybe" cases.) The numbers are reliably higher than being gored by a unicorn and just as reliably less than automobile accidents. The disease may be real, but the pandemic is clearly a lie.
Now I'm reading posts that the American Center for Disease Control (CDC) is backpedaling on the extent of the disease and its mortality. I'm told 2020 numbers for respiratory-disease deaths have tracked the same or lower than 2019 or 2018 from the beginning, there is no pandemic. Hospitals reported to be overflowing were, in fact, empty.
As scary as a panemic might be, the really scary thing is the fear got Americans to give power to government they never otherwise would have given. Don't tell me America's founding father's didn't know about disease when they fought the American Revolution during a smallpox epidemic. (Doesn't that make those afraid of COVID-19 look like a bunch of pussies?) The economic, personal, and political cost of the lock-downs are staggering.
Then an obviously-fake video creates a passion for racism, which has been declining steadily over the past four years. If you care so much seeing the George-and-Derek Show, then where was all that caring a month earlier? Better yet, where was that passion four years earlier when things were a lot worse for American Blacks? They started tearing down statues and monuments just like the Cultural Revolution in China.
Now the disease is back with a vengeance. Hospitals are backed up with the cases they turned away during the alleged first wave of COVID-19. Again, nobody I know is sick, one person I know who maxxed out her Facebook friends list (5000 friends) knows two people who have COVID-19.
I'll ask again, do you really believe all this crap?
2020 June 28 — Trying to Explain
I got this email a few days ago.
"How can the GOP, in good conscience, gather thousand of American citizens together, indoors, unprotected, shouting - in spite of the best advice of the public health experts?
"Pence's only response "1st Amendment," and "Personal choice." Do the parents, grandparents, and random strangers who will contact those attendees have a choice? Not only that, he said that the GOP would CONTINUE on that path.
"America is now like a ship abandoning a sinking rat.
"Make a choice! There's still time!"
While the evidence for a COVID-19 pandemic is sketchy, even the existence of the disease was hard to find for the first few months, the evidence for the harm of government lock-downs is not.
The powers we ceded to government to protect us from COVID-19 are the same powers used by socialist governments for the past century. The consequences of those powers are frightening.
I'll draw an arbitrary line at one hundred years. (I realize that cuts out the Spanish flu and the first World War, but that's okay.) About 5000 M people ("five billion" in American lingo) have died during that time, people who were breathing sometime between 1921 and 2020 who are not breathing today. Of those 5000 M, about 100 M have died at the hands of their own socialist governments, not disease, not war, not crime, not accidents, but deliberate genocide. (The folks at Wikipedia have used the term "democide" to articulate the fact that some of those mass killings are not limited to a particular race, color, or creed.) Thats two-percent (2%) of all deaths.
The author of this email is Jewish. A more casual guess would be 25 M Jews have died of all causes in that same hundred years, 6 M died just in Hitler's holocaust. That means one-quarter of all Jewish deaths, or more, in the past century are at the hands of their own socialist governments.
What protects Americans in general, and American Jews in particular, are the first ten amendments of our Constitution. In addition to the Second Amendment, I also believe the existence of the State of Israel is important reason what happened to Jews in Germany in the 1930s did not happen during the same social and political changes in American circa 2010. In case you're wondering if it's a stretch to compare the two, look at the riots, the vandelism, and the destruction of monuments during the past month.
People who are genuinely afraid of COVID-19 can stay home. There are delivery services and the Internet so people can still function without leaving home and the risk to those who stay home, wash their hands, and avoid sex with strangers from potential carriers outside is agreed to be essentially zero.
The powers that are being given to our government in fear of a disease that, in the worst forecasts, might kill 0.1% of our population have caused 2% of general population deaths and 25% of Jewish deaths. This isn't speculation, these are things that really happened to real people who had real lives with real families and who bled real blood.
I don't know what the GOP feels, but I know I feel this is the most-important issue facing us in America today. My conscience is clear in my support of the right to assemble and the right to do business in the face of the COVID-19 corona virus.
13:01:32 Mountain Standard Time (MST).
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