The “New” California

There’s no doubt about it; California is getting really old.  Earthquakes, fires, sanctuary cities, a sanctuary state, feces-strewn streets.   Hollywood moguls groping starlets.  University of Berkeley students beating up other students who don’t hew to the liberal collective agenda.  Illegal aliens murdering innocent residents and then getting a get-out-of-jail card.

 

California was just named the most poverty-stricken state in the union.  Seriously?  California with its billionaire mansions and swimming pools, movie stars?  A Hollywood elite that annually contributes millions to the Democrat Party, home of the free hand-out and home of the craven predator?

 

According to PJ Media, citing the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measures (which factors in the cost of housing, food, utilities and clothing, and which includes non-cash government assistance as a form of income), nearly one out of five residents is poor.

 

“Given robust job growth and the prosperity generated by several industries,” PJ Media reports, “it’s worth asking why California has fallen behind, especially when the state’s per-capita GDP increased approximately twice as much as the U.S. average over the five years ending in 2016 (12.5 percent compared with 6.27 percent).”

 

The Census Bureau statistics, PJ media adds, indicate “several state and municipal benefit programs overlap with one another; in some cases, individuals with incomes 200 percent above the poverty line receive benefits.  California state and local governments spent nearly $958 billion from 1992 through 2015 on public welfare programs, including cash-assistance payments, vendor payments and ‘other public welfare,’ according to the Census Bureau.  California, with 12 percent of the American population, is home today to about one in three of the nation’s welfare recipients.

 

With 883,000 full-time-equivalent state and local employees in 2014, California has an enormous bureaucracy. Many work in social services, and many would lose their jobs if the typical welfare client were to move off the welfare rolls.

 

Further contributing to the poverty problem is California’s housing crisis. More than four in 10 households spent more than 30 percent of their income on housing in 2015. A shortage of available units has driven prices ever higher, far above income increases. And that shortage is a direct outgrowth of misguided policies.

 

California’s army of bureaucrats contributes as well, as does the state’s highly restrictive land-use ordinances and environmental restrictions, which drive up the cost of housing in what is already the nation’s most expensive real-estate market.

 

“With 883,000 full-time-equivalent state and local employees in 2014, California has an enormous bureaucracy. Many work in social services, and many would lose their jobs if the typical welfare client were to move off the welfare rolls.”

Residents of northern suburban and rural California aren’t waiting around for California’s bureaucracy to grow any bigger, its taxes any higher, or its illegal alien population any more dangerous.

 

CBS13-Sacramento reports the founders of the state of “New California” have taken the first steps towards statehood.  They don’t want to leave the United States; just California.

Founder Robert Paul Preston told CBS 13: “It’s [California] been ungovernable for a long time.  High taxes, education, you name it, and we’re rated around 48th or 50th from a business climate and standpoint in California.”

 

“The state of New California,” CBS-13 continued, “would incorporate most of the state’s rural counties, leaving the urban counties to the current state of California.

 

“There’s something wrong when you have a rural county such as this one, and you go down to Orange County which is mostly urban, and it has the same set of problems, and it happens because of how the state is being governed and taxed,” Preston said.

 

CBS-13 adds, “But unlike other separation movements in the past the state of New California wants to do things by the book, citing Article 4, Section 3 of the US Constitution and working with the state legislature to get it done, similar to the way West Virginia was formed.”

 

“Yes. We have to demonstrate that we can govern ourselves before we are allowed to govern,” said founder Tom Reed.

 

“The group is organized with committees and a council of county representatives, but say it will take 10 to 18 months before they are ready to fully engage with the state legislature.”

 

Friends who moved out to California in the late Seventies, settling in the Bay Area, recently moved two hours further north from the city.  The property taxes and the cost of living had simply risen above their means.  They’re pro-California; the ladies (who moved there when their parents were children) are true “California Girls” even if they’re not native Californians.

 

Their mother was more Liberal.  At heart, she’s a Sixties girl.  But as the Tea Party movement gained momentum in the last decade, she discovered Conservative genes she never knew she had.  She’s kept them hidden because, after all, she’s still a California Girl (transplanted) and her neighbors and friends are Californians and she wants to keep them.

 

American appears to be regressing back in time to the era of the Greek city-states, when cities were considered countries and mayors were kings.  City went to battle against city, and the unlanded sought refuge in the city, either to take up a trade or business, or else beg in the streets.

 

Mayors of our Liberal cities are defending their fiefdoms, declaring their city limits the boundaries of their lands inviolable and unbound by the laws of the greater United States of America.  The “peasants” of rural America, like the peasants of the Ukraine during the 1920s and 30s are rising up in revolt against urban collectivism.

 

Here in New Jersey, wealthy developers are buying up large swatches of land to create new fiefdoms, or to expand the existing fiefdom of New York-New Jersey.  The Hudson River, a state boundary, is a mighty federal hurdle but New York City is a history of erasing community borders to create the megalopolis we know today as New York City.

 

Out in California, three hours behind New York, the “peasants” feel there’s still time to rescue their land, or at least divorce themselves from the fecal masses surging within their sanctuary borders.  Cut off from the sanctuary state of California, the New California may yet make a stand for liberty, freedom and prosperity.

 

Open up those Golden Gates!

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Published in: on January 16, 2018 at 4:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Did Trump Call Third World Countries “S-Holes” – And Is He Right?

President Trump denies reports from Senators attending a meeting to negotiate a deal on DACA that he didn’t want immigrants from “s-hole” countries like Haiti and Africa (well, it’s a continent, not a country) turning the land of the free and the brave into the land of the pee and the depraved.

 

In the brilliantly prescient 1993 film “Demolition Man,” a cop banished to a cryogenic chamber wakes up in the year 2036 San Angeles (somewhere between Los Angeles and San Diego). He discovers many 20th Century comforts have been banished:  sugar, salt, meat, guns.  Sex.  And profanity.

 

If you swear in 2036, a conveniently-located ticket machine fines you for violating the language code and issues a citation. Toilet paper is another item that has been banished, for ecological (a word no one even today uses anymore) reasons.  Flummoxed, our hero, John Spartan, sidles up to a ticket machine and whispers sweet profanities in its audio input location until he has a ream of paper.

 

Ironically, when the film aired recently as part of New Year’s Day week programming, the entire scene was deleted.

 

Did Trump actually use the word “s-hole”? If he did (Democrat Liberals and RINOS are selectively truth challenged), should he have?  Were the august senators offended by the language or by its reference to Third World countries?  Or was Trump telling it like it is?

 

The Third World is already here and it’s been here since the early Sixties.

 

Breitbart.com reminds, on the occasion of Barack Obama commemorating the $79 million replica of the Senate chamber at the Edward M. Kennedy Center in Boston, Mass., that the late senate made certain promises upon the unveiling of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.

 

“First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same…

 

“Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset… Contrary to the charges in some quarters, [the bill] will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area, or the most populated and deprived nations of Africa and Asia…

 

“In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think… The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs.”

 

Together with the influx of blacks in the northern migration, taking advantage of liberal welfare laws, major northeastern cities and even secondary cities became virtual garbage dumps. The crime rate soared, schools began failing, and middle class people (yes, whites) fled for the relative safety of the suburbs.

 

After I lost my last permanent job, I resolved to take a daily stroll around my bucolic little town. Everywhere I looked, piles of garbage had sprouted up alongside the road, empty whiskey bottles, drug packets, and right beside them, the requisite candy wrappers battling the weeds for territory.

 

So I took it upon myself, as a member of the Tea Party to begin cleaning up. By the time I made the circuit back to my condo, I’d had to empty my cart three times.  Residents cheered.  The DPW in particular cheered and gave the thumbs up.  Business people and the police were not so pleased.  They threatened me with arrest if I picked anything up from the gutter and I was told I could not touch anything on private property.

 

The problem was I’d also picked up “port keys,” cans and other items that signaled to our bicycle pedaling drug peddlers and their customers that this was a pick-up point. On one walk, I walked right into an on-going drug deal between a Mexican peddler and his middle class, liberal customer.

 

They turned an illegal garbage dump into a garbage dump in another town. This enabled the socialist mayor and town council to declare the site an “urban blight zone,” seize it, and build high-density housing on the site.  My town is on schedule to do the very same thing.

 

By 2020, they promised that this town would be an new urban center, to assist the town’s ailing business district by drawing in new consumers who would spend money at the chi-chi shops and restaurants the town intends to help create.

 

Gee, if the town wanted to help its businesses and citizens, why don’t they try lowering the property taxes? We have the second-highest property taxes in the county, most of which goes to support our unionized teachers with their second-homes in places like Sanibel Island and their exotic vacations.

 

We used to have a supermarket in town. No longer.  The town can’t be blamed for the Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company’s miserable business practices.  But lowering the business tax would certainly attract a more viable supermarket chain like Acme (which used to be there before the shopping center burned down in 1997).

 

Acme was a failing chain that experienced a rebirth. Their prices are amazing.  They can’t be so leery of the Stop & Shop down the road that they’d reject a more modern, more spacious supermarket with better parking.  This town’s property taxes must be part of the equation.

 

In any case, our area has returned to its former filth and squalor. How bad is it?  We now have a satellite office of the Department of Health and Human Services (a welfare office) right up the road from the government office.  We even have city pigeons now.  Well more of them, anyway.

 

The suburban working class at best can only be partly responsible for this decline (they’re the customers of the drug dealers). If they aren’t throwing all the garbage around, then who is?  Oh but we mustn’t blame illegal immigrants for this state of things.  The filth must have fallen from the sky.

 

The effect of the 1965 act was immediate and permanent. Piles of garbage mounted on the streets of New York City.  As often as the garbage trucks came to haul the waste away, another pile landed on the sidewalk.  By the 1990s, illegal aliens from Mexico and South America were loitering on the streets of formerly quiet little suburban towns, waiting, as it turns out, for “customers” to show up.

 

They border the local, north-bound bus in the morning, produce their goods and return on the same bus to “peddle” their wares all night. They’re everywhere.  You can barely turn a corner without have to swerve to avoid them.  At least they have the decency now to wear reflectors so you don’t drive off the road trying not to hit them.

 

Our town has forfeited its suburban charm. I’ve been disinvited from the local town website for expressing “negative” views and also for questioning the authorities in withholding information on such controversies as an enormous water main breaks from the populace.  The imminent legalization of marijuana in this state fills me with dread, along with the higher property taxes that will spell doom for the remaining middle class residents.

 

Hope has forsaken this community, and the one in which I grew up. My mother cautioned that barbed wire fencing is an inevitable product of progress.  Once upon a time, Edenwald in the central Bronx (now called “Mount Eden”) where she grew up was a suburban paradise in the 1930s. Neat.  Clean.  Orderly. Civilized.  Now it’s a – yes, we must say it, or an approximation of it – a craphole.

 

Who are those senators kidding, who live in secure manor houses in gated communities, when they accuse the average American of being “racist”? Oh sure, plenty of white criminals wreak injustice on our society.  But we insist upon their immediate punishment.  White children are taught numerous civilities, including picking up after themselves (at least until they get to college, at which they point they go whole hog filthy), obeying the laws, and not taking what doesn’t belong to them.

 

As young people become more urbanized and inured in the ways of the ghetto, they take on the fashions and habits of the romanticized have-nots. Add a little dope, and they’re indoctrinated.  We should not paint an entire race with a broad brush nor judge the poor.  Still, when the unassimilated bring their garbage with them and dump it on our streets, it’s hard not to feel cozened by multicultural mummery.

 

The composition of “sh*&” is brown, isn’t it?

 

 

 

 

Published in: on January 12, 2018 at 12:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

Twitter Censors Conservative Content

Suppose someone invented a totally new way of communicating, a way that would give thousands of ordinary, disenfranchised Americans a way to choose their news sources, express their opinions, and completely alter the forum of public discourse?  Wouldn’t that be great?  Americans would seek out their service in droves.

 

But what if the owners and gatekeepers of that medium had their own political agenda?  What if they didn’t like what its customers had to say, especially if the service was free to users and supported only by advertising?  (We used to call them “newspapers.”)  In 2016, Twitter made $2.52billion dollars with 330 million active users worldwide.  It was launched in July of 2006.

 

According to Wikipedia, Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams. The service rapidly gained worldwide popularity.

 

Twitter began with a “daylong brainstorming session” held by board members of the podcasting company Odeo. Dorsey, then an undergraduate student at New York University, introduced the idea of an individual using an SMS service to communicate with a small group. The original project code name for the service was twttr, an idea that Williams later ascribed to Glass, inspired by Flickr and the five-character length of American SMS short codes.

 

The decision was also partly due to the fact that the domain twitter.com was already in use, and it was six months after the launch of twttr that the crew purchased the domain and changed the name of the service to Twitter.   The developers initially considered “10958” as a short code, but later changed it to “40404” for “ease of use and memorability.”  Work on the project started on March 21, 2006, when Dorsey published the first Twitter message at 9:50 p.m. (PST): “just setting up my twttr”.

 

On March 13, 2015, Twitter announced its acquisition of Periscope, an app that allows live streaming of video.

 

Twitter “tweets” messages which were originally restricted to 140 characters, but on Nov. 7, 2017, the limit was doubled to 280 characters for all languages except Japanese, Korean and Chinese.  Registered users can post tweets, but those who are unregistered can only read them. Users access Twitter through its website interface, Short Message Service (SMS) or mobile device application (“app”).

 

Twitter, Inc. is based in San Francisco and has more than 25 offices around the world. Despite having a net worth higher than USD $1B (generated from the acquisition or public offering of the companies mentioned above), and having a reputation for media business savvy, none of co-founder Evan Williams’ notable businesses have been profitable in conventional terms.

 

After Donald Trump credited his election to the use of Twitter, Williams stated that if true, he was sorry and he was concerned that the Internet platform rewarded extremes. Williams told the Associated Press that he no longer believes in Internet free speech, although he did not indicate the exact censorship formats he would propose. His musings about future business objectives include considerations about the effect of the Internet upon society.

 

The method of censorship Twitters owners have admitted to using is called “Shadow Banning.”  Shadow banning enables Twitter to mask the content of any Conservatives who employ one or more of the 5,000 words that the content engineers have coded into their programming, involving machine-learning that uses algorithms to locate the words in the 330 million accounts on Twitter.  You post a Tweet and you see it and you think everyone else does, but they’re not seeing it.  The engineers stated it a recent podcast stated that they are working on “downrating” really “bad” (the engineer used the adjective of a four-letter word) people in order to discourage them from using Twitter to post Conservative viewpoints.

 

Interestingly, in February 2017, Dorsey and Executive Chairman Omid Kordestan matched a $530,000 donation to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) raised by Twitter staffers. Their match brought the total donation to $1.59 million.

 

Silicon Valley “badly” underestimate the ability of Conservatives, who are considered older and so not well-versed in computer lingo, to use computers.  Their telescoped attitudes (spanning only their own, short lifetimes) caused their short-sightedness.  We Conservatives were around when the first MacIntosh (Apple) computers were introduced.  We were using computer code language when they were just a gleam in their fathers’ eyes.

 

The notion that they can shut us out, or down, from communicating electronically is absolutely risible.  Who do they think created the Internet?  Al Gore, the guy with the inside-out umbrella who can’t tell a hurricane from a blizzard?  Seriously?  They may own the means (at present) but they don’t have the intelligence of the guys who originally created it.

 

Twitter is only an application.  If the Liberals want to talk to themselves, they’re welcome to their siloed discourse.  They don’t want Conservatives talking to the young and impressionable.  That’s the real reason they want to shut us down.

 

They don’t want their doped-up, useful idiots seeing those pictures of Oprah nibbling Harvey Weinstein’s ear that are floating all over the Internet.  They don’t want affluent Conservatives telling impressionable young college students that the way to success is the business degree and the MBA.  They don’t want them to know that the air is just fine up there at the top or even in the middle and that life is good for those who study and work hard.

 

They don’t want any of our “dangerous” messages reaching tender ears.  Most of all, they don’t want them to oppose the tidal wave of illegal immigrants flooding into our country, which will overturn America as we know it and destroy freedom forever.

 

In the forum of ideas and free expression, Marxists are bunch of losers, and they know it.  Millions of refugees who escaped the Soviet Union between the World Wars in the last century were rounded up at the end of World War II.  The Soviet Union was permitted to play a winning role in defeating Hitler.  Their price was the refugees from Communism whom they did not want spreading the bad news about Marxist policies throughout the world.

Thanks to the Yalta Conference of 1945 (in which Churchill was denied any prominent role), Pres. Roosevelt granted Stalin permission to purge European cities like Paris (especially Paris) of their Soviet refugees.  The refugees were captured and spent the next 25 years to life (very short lives) in the Siberian gulags.

 

Freedom of speech was the second thing to go in the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany (after the right to bear arms).  Propaganda replaced the free press.  The editor of Berlin’s leading newspaper was dragged out of his bed, along with his wife, in the middle of the night in 1932, and brutally murdered in the street, for reporting that Hitler intended to wipe out the Jews.

 

Since Twitter, a publicly-owned company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (TWTR), is still ostensibly a “private” entity, they are free to determine who communicates on their application.  They can censor the content.

 

But they do so at the risk to their credibility and some competitor in the near (or far) future will be glad to pick up where Twitter dropped the ball.  At that point, Twitter will be a dead duck.

 

Let’s hope they get the message.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on January 11, 2018 at 5:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

DACA – Democrats Against Conservative America

Reuters reported today that a U.S. judge in the 9th District Court in San Francisco [where else?] temporarily barred President Donald Trump’s administration on Tuesday from ending a program shielding young people brought to the United States illegally by their parents from deportation.
But in a meeting yesterday, although he ended the executive action called DACA, he also called upon Congress to decide the fate of this program. Conservatives were immediately concerned that the President was walking back on his most important campaign promise.

The Administration said that a compromise on the issue might be necessary. The Left applauded this news, without giving Trump any credit. RINO Republicans self-righteously celebrated Trump’s announcement that he was turning the job of law-making back to the legislative branch of our government.

Trump is right, of course. He isn’t in favor of illegal immigration. He hasn’t suddenly done an about-face. He’s simply revoking an executive decision his predecessor, Barack Obama, had no right to make.

I wanted to hear what Rush Limbaugh had to say about the issue. However, my first duty was shopping for my mother, so I missed his first-hour dialog. Since the 9th District Court denied the Administration’s own executive action to end DACA, one may reasonably conclude he’s not in favor of legalizing illegal aliens or he would have left Obama’s DACA order standing.

Congress, on the other hand, has no scruples about encouraging illegal immigration to continue. They’ve turned a blind eye to states like California and its cities declaring themselves places of sanctuary. They’ve turned a blind eye to the gutting of voter identification laws. My town’s polling place welcomes everyone.

Americans are perpetually accused of being culturally insensitive, bigoted, and lacking in diversity. Yet what languages do they speak in Central America? That’s right! Except for Brazil, where they speak Portuguese, the one and only language is Spanish. Just think of that: one continent, where they essentially speak only one language.

They also only have one religion: Roman Catholicism (except in Mexico, where the Marxists and Trotskyites murdered priests and nuns). Now, that’s a plus for Christianity. At least it’s widely observed somewhere on the planet. Here in the United States, Christian churches are going the way of Mom-and-Pop stores. We can thank Roger Williams (the founder of Rhode Island), the ACLU, and block-busting for that.

The DACA immigrants were brought here as children. Their parents came from Marxist-oriented, military juntas where they were indoctrinated in Communism. Communism in no way made their lives better, not even with NAFTA. Drug dealing certainly didn’t improve their quality of life, except for the farmers who grow the stuff or the manufacturers in the Central and South American jungles who refine these poisons.

By the time their children arrived here, the parents knew their children would be vouchsafed a Marxist education in the United States, especially in the cities as well as all the convenient social services such as welfare, Medicaid, and Social Security necessary for a “better” life in America.

All this was theirs for the simple act of voting Democrat for generations to come.
The Republican Party found this turn of events dismaying. RINOS, or purple Republicans, figured they needed to get in on the act, even if it meant dismissing their American, conservative voters. Eventually, they figure, Conservatism will age out, to be replaced by more malleable, pre-drugged, pre-indoctrinated Millennial voters, conscious of age, appearance and peer pressure.

Senate Republicans, in particular, are haughtily indignant at the notion of this upstart Trump taking the reins of the presidency. So undignified, so unrefined, so common. A populist usurper who maintains that the government is accountable to the people. Big government is too big for the people. Under the delusion that they are electing representatives, the two parties have merged into a basically unified Democrat Party, with the Democrat Party agenda predominant.

Are there enough Conservatives to battle the big donors of both parties (Democrat donors are likely funding Republican candidates, effectually infiltrating the GOP)? The mid-term elections this year will determine once and for all which ideological principles influence our government.

With the legalization of pot and the infantilization of the largest demographic (18-45), our prospects aren’t good. Citizen action groups seem to have little impact on our impenetrably arrogant Senate. They just know better and that’s all there is to it. That, and the fact that Big Money donors call the shots.

What can average voters do about this? First, we have to be willing to do more than complain passively. Some of us are just not the A types. If there are A types, they can start by getting nominated to their county nominating committee. All politics begins at the local level. Pay more attention to your local elections, the zoning board meetings, the school board elections.

Show up.

Next, we need to solve the problem of the local media. Ours stinks. Our particular area is becoming increasingly urbanized, the unavoidable fate of being only 15 miles from Manhattan, as the pigeon flies, and having corrupt local officials who’ve sold us out to developers destroying our landscape with high-density, “affordable” (what a joke) housing units – everywhere. These future slums are being rented by Democrat Long Islanders and Manhattanites who want to spend the weekend in “the country.” The Burlington Coat Factory is selling tote bags with the New York City skyline and maps of Manhattan on them. Ugh!

Our local media was bought up by Gannett Newspapers (USA Today). They sent the long-time editor of the local paper (a bona fide “diverse” city) and gave us a completely urbanized editor who knows nothing about our area and doesn’t care. He’s here to propagandize the urbanization of our suburbs, the long-term plan of the former Obama Administration.

We need an alternative media to counter them. The local newspaper is a complete waste of time and money. They simply reprint stories from the larger, parent newspaper (The Bergen Record). The newspaper fired all the local photographers and most of the reporters, and now rely upon freelance photographers (of which I’m one).

I get sent pretty far afield (although they pay me for it). The local officials aren’t happy about it and I don’t blame them. They’ve complained that they wish that some local reporter would cover the local events. I agree. The paper isn’t going to do that, though; they want “diversity” by which they mean division and the breaking up of local unity.

The surest way to destroy conservative communities is to infiltrate them, break up their newspapers, crowd Liberals into them who are in no way vested in the community, and increase their crime and drug rate, by “decriminalizing” criminal activity.

The church used to be the center of the community. Today, it is the school and the school is the very center of Marxist indoctrination. The suburban schools keep their students quite busy with extracurricular activities which leave parents no time or inclination to deal with the more serious issues of what the schools are teaching or what the corrupt politicians are doing with the exorbitant taxes they charge the population.

Parents are content to believe that the activities keep their children away from drugs, which they don’t. No amount of activity will keep an adolescent or even pre-adolescent from taking that first, irrevocable toke or drink. Nor do Millennial parents have a problem with that, anyway. After all, they did it and so did their parents (probably).

Conservative America must take a stand or by another generation, it will not exist. That is why pollsters found that a majority of Americans would vote for Oprah in 2020, despite the photo showing her nibbling on Harvey Weinstein’s ear.
Seriously, Conservatives. The Democrats are out to get us and the Republicans are right there alongside them, just as happy to relegate us to the dustbin of history if it means the donor money keeps flowing. Keep the voters dopey, poor, and voting for Big Government.

By the time they wake up, all of North America will be speaking Spanish and voting for petty dictators, just like the continent to the South.

 

 

Published in: on January 10, 2018 at 4:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

How to Handle an Octopus

According to an article in People magazine, the late Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher didn’t take sexual harassment lying down.

 

Fisher’s longtime friend, Heather Ross, “opened up to a Tucson, Arizona, radio station 94.9 MixFM about her own experiences with sexual assault and harassment in Hollywood, in the wake of the allegations leveled at producer Harvey Weinstein.

 

“Ross revealed,” the article states, “that an unnamed Oscar-winning producer (not Weinstein) had invited her for dinner and, when he picked her up, he pulled the car over and climbed in on top of her, pinning her to the seat. Ross managed to push the producer off her but as she fled, he said, “You’ll never make a movie in my town and get the F out of my car,”, she told the radio show.

 

“When Ross confided in her friend Fisher, the late actress took matters into her own hands.

 

“About two weeks later, she sent me a message online and she said, ‘I just saw [blank] at Sony Studios,” Ross said. “I knew he would probably be there, so I went to his office and personally delivered a Tiffany box wrapped with a white bow.”

 

Ross continued, “I asked her what was inside and she said, ‘It was a cow tongue from Jerry’s Famous Deli in Westwood with a note that said, ‘If you ever touch my darling Heather or any other woman again, the next delivery will be something of yours in a much smaller box!’”

 

Now that’s how you handle an octopus.  It’s unlikely that producer ever bothered Ross or any other female acquaintance of Fisher’s again.  No useless pleading with the offender, no pretty speeches before adoring, feminist audiences, no panel discussions on women’s talk shows.

 

Various schools of though exist on how to handle such men.  You might be able to talk your way out of a potentially dangerous situation as my mother did when she was young.  It was the holiday office party.  Mom had had enough.  The participants had become too inebriated and she decided to go home.

 

In those days, the elevators had elevator operators.  This elevator operator was a huge man.  He stopped the car at midfloor, cornered Mom in the elevator, planted his Popeye-sized arms above her and requested a kiss.

 

“How ‘bout a Christmas kiss?”

 

Mom was fairly tall for a woman, but this gorilla still towered above her.  There was no escape.

 

“Oh,” she demurred.  “It’s been such a long day and I’m so tired.  How about another time?”

 

He thought it over and took his beefy arms away

“Okay, E.” he said, and restarted the elevator.

 

Mom was accustomed to seeing her father beat her mother.  Once, she threw herself in front of her mother when Grandpa was about the throw a leaden glass bowl at her.  On her wedding night, she warned my 6’2” father, a World War II veteran, that he ever hit her, he had better sleep with one eye open.

 

“Because,” she announced.  “I’m going to have a knife under my pillow and I will kill you.  But first, I’m going to wake you up because I want you to know who it was who got you.”

 

Many women of her generation were trained not to resist such men.  But then, they were coached not to entertain ungentlemanly men in the first place (my grandmother must have missed that lesson).  They were also taught that if a man hit them, they probably deserved it.  Gentlemen were taught that it was unmanly to hit a woman, no matter the provocation.

 

No gentleman would think of taking advantage of a woman.  The world was filled with cads, though, and as women were generally believed unable to fend one off, she didn’t travel without a male relative or good friend.  Those who knew how to handle one could take care of themselves.

 

For those who could not fend for themselves, life could be a nightmare.  One of Mom’s friends, whose husband was an executive, found her husband was a monster who once held her and the children at knifepoint in their house.  Finally, they slipped the youngest girl out the kitchen window to run for help.  After her divorce, she became a wildly successful real estate agent.

 

Other girls suffered their fates silently and apparently willingly.  The girl in the green car was one such notable tragedy.  The girl in the green car was famous all over campus.  A beautiful girl with long, curly blonde hair and a willowy figure, any guy on campus would have been proud to have this lovely woman on his arm.

 

Instead, she chose a tall, good-looking athletic type.  It’s always best to stick with your own kind, more or less, when it comes to looks.  This type however would get her into his green car and proceed to pummel her, always in full view of some part of the campus.

 

Sometimes it was on what we called “The Airstrip” a very long parking lot on the west side of the campus.  We were in the midst of a Murder and Detective Literature class discussing, of all literary characters, James Bond, when the teacher found he no longer had the attention of the class.

 

He turned to find the spectacle of the Girl in the Green Car taking place down below in the airstrip.  Who was the girl?  Who was the guy?  Why did she stay with him?  Why didn’t somebody do something?

 

“We’ve tried,” the men in the class told him.  “But he locks the car doors and we can’t get to him.  We’d sure like to.”

 

“And she won’t get out of the car,” I added.  During one beating, the campus men were actually threatening to break the windows if he didn’t stop.  But our valiant campus police warned them that if they broke the window, they would be arrested for destruction of private property.  There was nothing they could do if the girl refused to leave the car.

 

I approached the car and tried to reason with the beauty.

 

“Just get out of the car,” I said.  “We’ll help you.  Just unlock the door and get out.  You don’t have to stay with him.”

 

“Shut up!” the boor shouted.

 

“The door isn’t locked; just get out!”

 

The guy hadn’t noticed the unlocked door.  He leaned over and slammed it down.  It didn’t matter.  She’d already shook her head sadly.  The creep started the car and screeched off down the road.

 

For myself, though I tell the story reluctantly, as an older teenager who had recently joined the local community band, I found it difficult to fend off all the arms that constantly finding their way around my shoulder.  I tolerated it, so long as the hands didn’t get any busier.

 

But there was one old goat who just wouldn’t take “no” for answer.  He went way beyond the friendly arm around the shoulder.  His arm was usually around my waist and I had much to do to writhe myself from his grasp.  I was no sooner free than he got hold of my arm, dragging me back again.

 

I found myself in the ridiculous situation of a tug-of-war around the parking lot, with all the band’s men laughing merrily.  One of the women scolded me because it was a “man’s” band (they’d only recently allowed female musicians to join) and if I wanted to “belong” I had to accept certain behavior.

 

Flabbergasted, I concluded that no one was going to help me.  Now he had me again, both his arms around my waist.  His old goat lips were pursed in kissing mode.  Like hell.  The fire was in my eye.  Since his hands were around my waist, mine were free.  I put them up to his neck.

 

Thinking success was near, he pulled me even closer.  My hands went around his throat like a magnet – and I squeezed.  Hard.  Harder.  And harder.  At last, he had to let go because he was choking.

 

I let go.  His hands went to his own throat as he gasped and choked.  His face was turning an interesting shade of pale blue, although the color was coming back.  The band members were outraged – with me!  A 19-year-old flibbertigibbet who didn’t know when someone was just having “fun” with her.

 

“Belle!” they cried angrily.  “You were choking him!!”

Indeed.  He needed a good throttling.  Not all of the guys were “handy;” they were perfect gentlemen.  The ones who weren’t – well, after that, they made sure to ask my permission before putting an arm around my shoulder – and those hands never went further.

 

The old goat complained for months that he didn’t understand what he had done wrong – and that I was crazy.  Whatever.  He never touched me again.

 

There are, of course, your perfect strangers who not only don’t care if you say, “No,” they consider it an invitation.  In those situations, there’s one only thing a girl can do – call for help.  Or in my case, “Arthur!”

 

I’ve told this story before, but I’ll repeat it here once more for emphasis.  I was in the college parking lot; it was my graduation day.  I had gone ahead of my family to go to the gathering place for graduates.  A strange man approached me.

 

“Where ya goin’, girly?” he sneered.  Girly?

 

I assessed the situation, and yelled, “ARTHUR!!” at the top of my lungs.

 

“’Arthur?’” the creep scoffed.

 

In the meantime, my irritated younger brother had replied, “What?!”  I turned to see my family approaching, with 6’4” ‘Arthur’ in the lead.  By the time, I turned back to my accoster, Arthur was towering behind me.

 

The creep cringed.

 

“Yeah,” I said.  “’Arthur.’”

 

Stumbling over his feet, the creep ran backwards for a moment, then pounded pavement in the direction of the road, the same way the Guy in the Green Car made his escape. Arthur laughed.

 

“Who’s your friend and what’s his hurry?”

 

“Do you know that guy?” my other brother asked.  The guy was still running, his arms and legs turning in wild circles.  He thought I’d turned away a potential suitor.

 

Chivalry and prayer do work sometimes.  Keep that mental image in your minds, girls.  If I were an artist, I’d draw or paint it for you.

 

A friend’s pre-teen daughter was being bothered by the boys at school.  A pretty young lady with long, silky dark hair, the boys had given themselves permission to stroke it.  One day, the young lady had enough, grabbed hold of a boy’s finger and bent it backwards until it broke.

 

Society frowns upon such “unladylike” behavior.  But if society will not protect us, or cannot protect us in the case of strange rakes and determined perverts, then we must protect ourselves.  We must not be overwhelmed by the notion of male strength, except in the direst cases.

 

Those dire situations can be avoided, with a little more caution and prudence.  While we must not be overwhelmed by male prowess, we should neither kid ourselves in our right or ability to go where we want, when we want, as women.  They are stronger than we are (well for the most part).

 

Bad things can (and often do) happen to women (and even men) who go walking down dark alleys, deserted streets, and empty parks.  There is safety in numbers.  Still, “clubbing” until the wee hours of the morning brings on the prospect of unfortunate consequences, and not necessarily from your pick-up.  Late-night partiers are prey for late-night predators.

 

If women insist upon the full rights of emancipation, then they must be prepared to defend themselves, as smart women always have.  Last night, Oprah Winfrey spoke of telling men that their “time’s up.”  However, today, Facebook and Twitter are full of pictures of the Big O consorting with none other than Harvey Weinstein himself, and even offering up pretty girls to him as bait.

 

Yet her followers want her to run for President in 2020.  That would certainly give new meaning to the phrase, “Madam President.”

 

Women have always had the power to protect themselves.  They don’t need a social consensus.  All they need is to get their hands around the problem – and apply pressure.

 

Or a box from Tiffany’s.

How to Handle an Octopus

 

According to an article in People magazine, the late Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher didn’t take sexual harassment lying down.

 

Fisher’s longtime friend, Heather Ross, “opened up to a Tucson, Arizona, radio station 94.9 MixFM about her own experiences with sexual assault and harassment in Hollywood, in the wake of the allegations leveled at producer Harvey Weinstein.

 

“Ross revealed,” the article states, “that an unnamed Oscar-winning producer (not Weinstein) had invited her for dinner and, when he picked her up, he pulled the car over and climbed in on top of her, pinning her to the seat. Ross managed to push the producer off her but as she fled, he said, “You’ll never make a movie in my town and get the F out of my car,”, she told the radio show.

 

“When Ross confided in her friend Fisher, the late actress took matters into her own hands.

 

“About two weeks later, she sent me a message online and she said, ‘I just saw [blank] at Sony Studios,” Ross said. “I knew he would probably be there, so I went to his office and personally delivered a Tiffany box wrapped with a white bow.”

 

Ross continued, “I asked her what was inside and she said, ‘It was a cow tongue from Jerry’s Famous Deli in Westwood with a note that said, ‘If you ever touch my darling Heather or any other woman again, the next delivery will be something of yours in a much smaller box!’”

 

Now that’s how you handle an octopus.  It’s unlikely that producer ever bothered Ross or any other female acquaintance of Fisher’s again.  No useless pleading with the offender, no pretty speeches before adoring, feminist audiences, no panel discussions on women’s talk shows.

 

Various schools of though exist on how to handle such men.  You might be able to talk your way out of a potentially dangerous situation as my mother did when she was young.  It was the holiday office party.  Mom had had enough.  The participants had become too inebriated and she decided to go home.

 

In those days, the elevators had elevator operators.  This elevator operator was a huge man.  He stopped the car at midfloor, cornered Mom in the elevator, planted his Popeye-sized arms above her and requested a kiss.

 

“How ‘bout a Christmas kiss?”

 

Mom was fairly tall for a woman, but this gorilla still towered above her.  There was no escape.

 

“Oh,” she demurred.  “It’s been such a long day and I’m so tired.  How about another time?”

 

He thought it over and took his beefy arms away

“Okay, E.” he said, and restarted the elevator.

 

Mom was accustomed to seeing her father beat her mother.  Once, she threw herself in front of her mother when Grandpa was about the throw a leaden glass bowl at her.  On her wedding night, she warned my 6’2” father, a World War II veteran, that he ever hit her, he had better sleep with one eye open.

 

“Because,” she announced.  “I’m going to have a knife under my pillow and I will kill you.  But first, I’m going to wake you up because I want you to know who it was who got you.”

 

Many women of her generation were trained not to resist such men.  But then, they were coached not to entertain ungentlemanly men in the first place (my grandmother must have missed that lesson).  They were also taught that if a man hit them, they probably deserved it.  Gentlemen were taught that it was unmanly to hit a woman, no matter the provocation.

 

No gentleman would think of taking advantage of a woman.  The world was filled with cads, though, and as women were generally believed unable to fend one off, she didn’t travel without a male relative or good friend.  Those who knew how to handle one could take care of themselves.

 

For those who could not fend for themselves, life could be a nightmare.  One of Mom’s friends, whose husband was an executive, found her husband was a monster who once held her and the children at knifepoint in their house.  Finally, they slipped the youngest girl out the kitchen window to run for help.  After her divorce, she became a wildly successful real estate agent.

 

Other girls suffered their fates silently and apparently willingly.  The girl in the green car was one such notable tragedy.  The girl in the green car was famous all over campus.  A beautiful girl with long, curly blonde hair and a willowy figure, any guy on campus would have been proud to have this lovely woman on his arm.

 

Instead, she chose a tall, good-looking athletic type.  It’s always best to stick with your own kind, more or less, when it comes to looks.  This type however would get her into his green car and proceed to pummel her, always in full view of some part of the campus.

 

Sometimes it was on what we called “The Airstrip” a very long parking lot on the west side of the campus.  We were in the midst of a Murder and Detective Literature class discussing, of all literary characters, James Bond, when the teacher found he no longer had the attention of the class.

 

He turned to find the spectacle of the Girl in the Green Car taking place down below in the airstrip.  Who was the girl?  Who was the guy?  Why did she stay with him?  Why didn’t somebody do something?

 

“We’ve tried,” the men in the class told him.  “But he locks the car doors and we can’t get to him.  We’d sure like to.”

 

“And she won’t get out of the car,” I added.  During one beating, the campus men were actually threatening to break the windows if he didn’t stop.  But our valiant campus police warned them that if they broke the window, they would be arrested for destruction of private property.  There was nothing they could do if the girl refused to leave the car.

 

I approached the car and tried to reason with the beauty.

 

“Just get out of the car,” I said.  “We’ll help you.  Just unlock the door and get out.  You don’t have to stay with him.”

 

“Shut up!” the boor shouted.

 

“The door isn’t locked; just get out!”

 

The guy hadn’t noticed the unlocked door.  He leaned over and slammed it down.  It didn’t matter.  She’d already shook her head sadly.  The creep started the car and screeched off down the road.

 

For myself, though I tell the story reluctantly, as an older teenager who had recently joined the local community band, I found it difficult to fend off all the arms that constantly finding their way around my shoulder.  I tolerated it, so long as the hands didn’t get any busier.

 

But there was one old goat who just wouldn’t take “no” for answer.  He went way beyond the friendly arm around the shoulder.  His arm was usually around my waist and I had much to do to writhe myself from his grasp.  I was no sooner free than he got hold of my arm, dragging me back again.

 

I found myself in the ridiculous situation of a tug-of-war around the parking lot, with all the band’s men laughing merrily.  One of the women scolded me because it was a “man’s” band (they’d only recently allowed female musicians to join) and if I wanted to “belong” I had to accept certain behavior.

 

Flabbergasted, I concluded that no one was going to help me.  Now he had me again, both his arms around my waist.  His old goat lips were pursed in kissing mode.  Like hell.  The fire was in my eye.  Since his hands were around my waist, mine were free.  I put them up to his neck.

 

Thinking success was near, he pulled me even closer.  My hands went around his throat like a magnet – and I squeezed.  Hard.  Harder.  And harder.  At last, he had to let go because he was choking.

 

I let go.  His hands went to his own throat as he gasped and choked.  His face was turning an interesting shade of pale blue, although the color was coming back.  The band members were outraged – with me!  A 19-year-old flibbertigibbet who didn’t know when someone was just having “fun” with her.

 

“Belle!” they cried angrily.  “You were choking him!!”

Indeed.  He needed a good throttling.  Not all of the guys were “handy;” they were perfect gentlemen.  The ones who weren’t – well, after that, they made sure to ask my permission before putting an arm around my shoulder – and those hands never went further.

 

The old goat complained for months that he didn’t understand what he had done wrong – and that I was crazy.  Whatever.  He never touched me again.

 

There are, of course, your perfect strangers who not only don’t care if you say, “No,” they consider it an invitation.  In those situations, there’s one only thing a girl can do – call for help.  Or in my case, “Arthur!”

 

I’ve told this story before, but I’ll repeat it here once more for emphasis.  I was in the college parking lot; it was my graduation day.  I had gone ahead of my family to go to the gathering place for graduates.  A strange man approached me.

 

“Where ya goin’, girly?” he sneered.  Girly?

 

I assessed the situation, and yelled, “ARTHUR!!” at the top of my lungs.

 

“’Arthur?’” the creep scoffed.

 

In the meantime, my irritated younger brother had replied, “What?!”  I turned to see my family approaching, with 6’4” ‘Arthur’ in the lead.  By the time, I turned back to my accoster, Arthur was towering behind me.

 

The creep cringed.

 

“Yeah,” I said.  “’Arthur.’”

 

Stumbling over his feet, the creep ran backwards for a moment, then pounded pavement in the direction of the road, the same way the Guy in the Green Car made his escape. Arthur laughed.

 

“Who’s your friend and what’s his hurry?”

 

“Do you know that guy?” my other brother asked.  The guy was still running, his arms and legs turning in wild circles.  He thought I’d turned away a potential suitor.

 

Chivalry and prayer do work sometimes.  Keep that mental image in your minds, girls.  If I were an artist, I’d draw or paint it for you.

 

A friend’s pre-teen daughter was being bothered by the boys at school.  A pretty young lady with long, silky dark hair, the boys had given themselves permission to stroke it.  One day, the young lady had enough, grabbed hold of a boy’s finger and bent it backwards until it broke.

 

Society frowns upon such “unladylike” behavior.  But if society will not protect us, or cannot protect us in the case of strange rakes and determined perverts, then we must protect ourselves.  We must not be overwhelmed by the notion of male strength, except in the direst cases.

 

Those dire situations can be avoided, with a little more caution and prudence.  While we must not be overwhelmed by male prowess, we should neither kid ourselves in our right or ability to go where we want, when we want, as women.  They are stronger than we are (well for the most part).

 

Bad things can (and often do) happen to women (and even men) who go walking down dark alleys, deserted streets, and empty parks.  There is safety in numbers.  Still, “clubbing” until the wee hours of the morning brings on the prospect of unfortunate consequences, and not necessarily from your pick-up.  Late-night partiers are prey for late-night predators.

 

If women insist upon the full rights of emancipation, then they must be prepared to defend themselves, as smart women always have.  Last night, Oprah Winfrey spoke of telling men that their “time’s up.”  However, today, Facebook and Twitter are full of pictures of the Big O consorting with none other than Harvey Weinstein himself, and even offering up pretty girls to him as bait.

 

Yet her followers want her to run for President in 2020.  That would certainly give new meaning to the phrase, “Madam President.”

 

Women have always had the power to protect themselves.  They don’t need a social consensus.  All they need is to get their hands around the problem – and apply pressure.

 

Or a box from Tiffany’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on January 9, 2018 at 3:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

Too Smart for the Room

There they go again! To paraphrase the great Ronald Reagan.  “They” are the Liberals and the Liberal Media, and their current target is President Donald J. Trump and the question of his “mental stability” and his intelligence level.

 

Trump finds himself in very good company:  Harry S. Truman, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush all had their intelligence questioned.  Harry S. Truman, clerk and haberdasher, was probably the poorest presidential public speaker in modern presidential history.  He had the misfortune to succeed the great orator, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and to be followed a presidency later by John F. Kennedy.  JFK’s intelligence ought to be called into doubt for following his father’s lead in supporting Adolf Hitler, although there’s no question JFK was witty and had a way with words.

 

Does Donald Trump have that same way with words?  That depends on whether you study his speeches or his tweets.  He’s given some remarkably good speeches for a businessman and casino owner.  On the other hand, Chief Executive Officers need to be good speakers because they have to give quite a few speeches during their careers, especially if they want to make it to the top.

 

Putting aside the fact that Trump already was at the top, once he became a serious candidate, so did his speeches.  He won over enough doubters to win the election simply by making the theme of his speeches the American people.  No great effort for a salesman and businessman.  Any businessman can tell you it’s always about the customer, and the customers, in this case, were the American people.

 

Tah-dah!  Voila!  We shouldn’t have had to be geniuses to figure that out, yet we couldn’t or the Media Elites couldn’t.  But he did.  Even Bill Clinton knew that and we couldn’t had a dopier or more doped-up president than Bill Clinton.

 

Instead, the Left is judging Trump by his 143-word Tweets, a medium invented by a Harvard graduate attempting to rate the college co-eds by their looks.  Adolescents glommed onto this Internet invention, and its little brother, Twitter, and have transformed it into a 21st Century phenomenon.  Twitter is hardly the medium for discussions on Platonian class divisions.

 

The Left’s latest complaint is a new anti-Trump book by low-brow author Mike Wolff, “Fire and Fury.”  The author claims to have interviewed Steve Bannon who made disparaging remarks about the President, his son, Donald Jr., and son-in-law Jared Kushner.  Bannon recently retracted the statement about Donald Jr.  Still the book insists the Trump’s White House aides consider him incompetent and mentally unfit.  Interesting charges if you’re seeking to impeach him.

 

This follows outrage over a presidential Tweet about Kim Jong-Un’s nuclear button and the size of the President’s nuclear button.  The Left is in a panic that KJU might take offense and press his.  The Left should be worried, since the missiles are aimed at the cities in which they live.

 

 

 

Meanwhile, we Conservatives are about as concerned as if KJU was contemplating his belly button.  So unstatesmanlike of Trump to tweak KJU in this manner.  Doesn’t Trump realize KJU is a maniac, the scion of a long line of maniacs?

 

If they feel that way, then maybe Jimmy Carter, our “nuclear scientist” president shouldn’t have given North Korea the keys to the silo back in the 1990s, with the help of former Presidents Clinton and Obama.  Shouldn’t a nuclear scientist president know better?  Who’s calling whom a numbskull here?

 

The same Hollywood gurus who gave us such notable low-brow entertainment as The Simpsons, SpongeBob Squarepants, and Dumb and Dumber complain about Trump’s supposedly low mentality.  The President actually is a perfectionist with a great appreciation for art and beauty.  Can our post-Dadaists say the same?  He’s not a wordsmith because that was not his original calling.

 

But he is trying.  Twitter is not the medium for flowery prose; it’s a stick-it-to-‘em venue where the quickest fingers score.  Does his game need “finessing”?  Maybe.  Not in the sense that he needs to consult his Thesaurus, but that he needs to fine-tune his wit.  At the moment, it is rather broad.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  But he’s not hitting the bulls-eye, as it were.

 

Take nuclear buttons.  The operative word here is “buttons.”   He probably should have gone straight for Kim Jong-Un’s belly-button.  Or KJU’s lost his buttons.  The Left has taken itself so seriously that it’s lost its sense of humor, fortunately for Trump, or they would have turned these jokes on the president.  There’s a whole world of button humor out there at the President’s disposal.

 

Trump should make some mention of what book he’s reading at the moment.  Given the popularity of the new film about Churchill, The Darkest Hour, Churchill’s seven-volume history of World War II would be a good choice.

 

The British Parliament, largely left, was just as nervous about Churchill tweaking Hitler and fearing what he might do if he was denied the Sudetenland, as Liberals are anxious about Trump tweaking KJU and by proxy, China, and their military development of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

 

Named after the Sudetes Mountains in Czechoslovakia, ethnic Germans had overwhelmed this circular region around Czechoslovakia, much as the Mexicans and Spanish-speaking peoples are invading California and the Southwest.  Hitler maintained that lands harboring German-speaking peoples should be ruled by Germans, even if they had displaced and even murdered the original inhabitants.

 

No amount of “diplomacy” was going to assuage Hitler; as Churchill tried to explain to the British and French governments, the Fuehrer was simply buying time until he could completely overwhelm all of Czechoslovakia and claim it for the Third Reich, as he had Austria earlier in 1938.  Rather like what the Liberals are doing to California, now that enough illegal aliens from Mexico and Central and South America have infiltrated the Golden State, they’re demanding that California secede from the United States of America.

 

Trump is simply putting North Korea – and China – on notice that the United States doesn’t fear them and their saber-rattling.  North Korea is a side-show, to distract our general population (which isn’t very hard) from the much greater danger China’s Spratly Islands coup poses to the free world and especially to our Eastern Pacific allies – Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines.

 

We Conservatives should not give the Liberals any credit for their diploma-rattling criticisms of Trump.  The headlines tell us that they’re nothing more than a group of elitist, coke-snorting, cheating, lying, Marxists who despise any individual freedom, except their own.  We should be more offended at the Republican Party’s snarky dismissal of Trump, in which they also thumb their noses at us, the American people who voted for Trump.

 

In another era, squeamish presidents and future presidents fired two of World War II’s most outstanding generals:  George Patton and Douglas MacArthur.  Patton was fired for registering suspicions about the intentions of the Soviet Union; MacArthur was fired for advising that China be invaded while we still had the ability.

 

Trump is a president in the vein of these two outspoken, politically-incorrect generals.  Trump is in prestigious company.

 

According to an article by Mark Bowden in the June 2013 edition of The Atlantic, President Abraham Lincoln’s contemporary critics considered him a buffoon.

 

‘Idiot,’ ‘Yahoo,’ ‘Original Gorilla’: How Lincoln Was Dissed in His Day

The difficulty of recognizing excellence in its own time

 

Lincoln as a frightened raccoon, Punch, January 11, 1862 Library of Congress

 

“By nearly any measure—personal, political, even literary—Abraham Lincoln set a standard of success that few in history can match. But how many of his contemporaries noticed?

Sure, we revere Lincoln today, but in his lifetime the bile poured on him from every quarter makes today’s Internet vitriol seem dainty. His ancestry was routinely impugned, his lack of formal learning ridiculed, his appearance maligned, and his morality assailed. We take for granted, of course, the scornful outpouring from the Confederate states; no action Lincoln took short of capitulation would ever have quieted his Southern critics. But the vituperation wasn’t limited to enemies of the Union. The North was ever at his heels. No matter what Lincoln did, it was never enough for one political faction, and too much for another. Yes, his sure-footed leadership during this country’s most-difficult days was accompanied by a fair amount of praise, but also by a steady stream of abuse—in editorials, speeches, journals, and private letters—from those on his own side, those dedicated to the very causes he so ably championed.

 

“George Templeton Strong, a prominent New York lawyer and diarist, wrote that Lincoln was “a barbarian, Scythian, yahoo, or gorilla.” Henry Ward Beecher, the Connecticut-born preacher and abolitionist, often ridiculed Lincoln in his newspaper, The Independent (New York), rebuking him for his lack of refinement and calling him “an unshapely man.” Other Northern newspapers openly called for his assassination long before John Wilkes Booth pulled the trigger. He was called a coward, “an idiot,” and “the original gorilla” by none other than the commanding general of his armies, George McClellan.

 

“One of Lincoln’s lasting achievements was ending American slavery. Yet Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the famous abolitionist, called Lincoln “Dishonest Abe” in a letter she wrote to Wendell Phillips in 1864, a year after Lincoln had freed the slaves in rebel states and only months before he would engineer the Thirteenth Amendment. She bemoaned the “incapacity and rottenness” of his administration to Susan B. Anthony, worked to deny him renomination, and swore to Phillips that if he “is reelected I shall immediately leave the country for the Fiji Islands.” Stanton eventually had a change of heart and lamented her efforts against Lincoln, but not all prominent abolitionists did, even after his victory over slavery was complete, even after he was killed.

 

In the days after Lincoln’s assassination, William Lloyd Garrison Jr. called the murder ‘providential’ because it meant Vice President Andrew Johnson would assume leadership.

Lincoln masterfully led the North through the Civil War. He held firm in his refusal to acknowledge secession, maneuvered Confederate President Jefferson Davis into starting the war, played a delicate political game to keep border states from joining the rebellion, and drew up a grand military strategy that, once he found the right generals, won the war.

 

“Yet he was denounced for his leadership throughout. In a monumental and meticulous two-volume study of the 16th president, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (2008), Michael Burlingame, the professor of Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield, presents Lincoln’s actions and speeches not as they have come to be remembered, through the fine lens of our gratitude and admiration, but as they were received in his day. (All of the examples in this essay are drawn from Burlingame’s book, which should be required reading for anyone seriously interested in Lincoln.)

 

“Early in the war, after a series of setbacks for Union troops and the mulish inaction of General McClellan, members of Lincoln’s own Republican party reviled him as, in the words of Senator Zachariah Chandler of Michigan, “timid vacillating & inefficient.” A Republican newspaper editor in Wisconsin wrote, “The President and the Cabinet,—as a whole,—are not equal to the occasion.” The Ohio Republican William M. Dickson wrote in 1861 that Lincoln “is universally an admitted failure, has no will, no courage, no executive capacity … and his spirit necessarily infuses itself downwards through all departments.”

 

“Charles Sumner, a Republican senator from Massachusetts, to whom Lincoln often turned for advice, opposed the president’s renomination in 1864: ‘There is a strong feeling among those who have seen Mr. Lincoln, in the way of business, that he lacks practical talent for his important place. It is thought that there should be more readiness, and also more capacity, for government.” William P. Fessenden, the Maine Republican, called Lincoln ‘weak as water.’

 

“For anyone who struggles to do well; to be honest, wise, eloquent, and kind; to be dignified without being aloof; to be humble without being a pushover, who affords a better example than Lincoln? And yet, as he saw how his efforts were received, how could even he not have despaired?

 

“His wife said that the constant attacks caused him ‘great pain.’ At times, after reading salvos like Henry Ward Beecher’s, Lincoln reportedly would exclaim, “I would rather be dead than, as President, thus abused in the house of my friends.” Lincoln would often respond to the flood of nay-saying with a weary wave of his hand and say, “Let us speak no more of these things.”

 

Democracy is rowdy, and political abuse its currency, so perhaps the invective aimed at Lincoln was to be expected. But how do we explain the scorn for Lincoln’s prose?

 

No American president has uttered more immortal words than he did. We are moved by the power and lyricism of his speeches a century and a half later—not just by their hard, clear reasoning, but by their beauty. It is hard to imagine anyone hearing without admiration, for instance, this sublime passage from the first inaugural address:

 

‘I am loth to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.’

 

“Yet this speech was characterized by an editorial writer in the Jersey City American Standard as “involved, coarse, colloquial, devoid of ease and grace, and bristling with obscurities and outrages against the simplest rules of syntax.”

 

“As for the Gettysburg Address—one of the most powerful speeches in human history, one that many American schoolchildren can recite by heart (Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth …) and a statement of national purpose that for some rivals the Declaration of Independence—a Pennsylvania newspaper reported, “We pass over the silly remarks of the President. For the credit of the nation we are willing that the veil of oblivion shall be dropped over them, and they shall be no more repeated or thought of.” A London Times correspondent wrote, “Anything more dull and commonplace it wouldn’t be easy to produce.”

 

“And the second inaugural address (With malice toward none, with charity for all …), the third major pillar in Lincoln’s now undisputed reputation for eloquence, etched in limestone on the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.? A. B. Bradford, a Pennsylvania pastor and a member of one of the oldest European families in America, wrote that it was “one of the most awkwardly expressed documents I ever read … When he knew it would be read by millions all over the world, why under the heavens did he not make it a little more creditable to American scholarship?” The New York Herald described it as “a little speech of ‘glittering generalities’ used only to fill in the program.” The Chicago Times, a powerful voice in Lincoln’s home state:

 

“We did not conceive it possible that even Mr. Lincoln could produce a paper so slip-shod, so loose-jointed, so puerile, not alone in literary construction, but in its ideas, its sentiments, its grasp.”

 

“Poor Lincoln. By all accounts he appears to have been the gentlest and most honorable of husbands and fathers, and yet he found little solace even at home. Burlingame records the constant duplicity and groundless suspicion, the nagging criticism and jealous rants of Mary Todd Lincoln, who, on a steamboat home after her husband’s triumphant entry into a fallen Richmond, reportedly flew into such a rage that she slapped him in the face.

“It is surprising how widespread [the criticism] was,” Burlingame told me recently. “And also how thin-skinned he could be. But that was the nature of partisanship in those days; you never could say a kind word about your opponent.”

 

“As if things have changed.

 

“Of course, Lincoln was elected twice to the presidency, and was revered by millions. History records more grief and mourning upon his death than for any other American president. But the past gets simplified in our memory, in our textbooks, and in our popular culture. Lincoln’s excellence has been distilled from the rough-and-tumble of his times. We best remember the most generous of his contemporaries’ assessments, whether the magnanimous letter sent by his fellow speaker on the stage at Gettysburg, Edward Everett, who wrote to him, “I should be glad, if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes”; or Edwin Stanton’s “Now he belongs to the ages,” at the moment of his death; or Frederick Douglass’s moving tribute in 1876 to “a great and good man.”

 

“This process of distillation obscures how Lincoln was perceived in his own time, and, by comparison, it diminishes our own age. Where is the political giant of our era? Where is the timeless oratory? Where is the bold resolve, the moral courage, the vision?

 

“Imagine all those critical voices from the 19th century as talking heads on cable television. Imagine the snap judgments, the slurs and put-downs that beset Lincoln magnified a million times over on social media. How many of us, in that din, would hear him clearly? His story illustrates that even greatness—let alone humbler qualities like skill, decency, good judgment, and courage—rarely goes unpunished.”

 

A high IQ is an indication of potential, not a guarantee of success, or even good intentions.  Ambitious tyrants can easily persuade a populace that they know better than the general population simply by dint of their superior intelligence.  They can charge into the public forum with a head full of doctored facts and figures the public has neither the ability nor the resources to refute.  Witness the Climate Change debate:  selected, falsified figures have fueled a specious campaign to punish Capitalist industry and regulate the lives of average people.

 

Having once referred to climate change as “Global Cooling” and then, “Global Warming,” and then twisting themselves into mental pretzels by claiming that severe cold weather is really evidence of severe warm weather, the title is now simply, “Climate Change.”

 

A high intelligence quotient is a fine thing.  But sometimes, common sense is good enough.

 

 

Published in: on January 8, 2018 at 3:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

AG Sessions Stops Pot Plot

According to a report by the USA Today Network and published in the North Jersey (Bergen) Record today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, an opponent of legalizing the sale of marijuana, “is moving to end an Obama-era policy under which six states and the District of Columbia permitted no-questions-asked marijuana sales since 2012, according to a memo from his office.”

 

New Jersey Governor-elect Phil Murphy (D – “D for Dope”?) vowed to legalize marijuana in the Garden State if elected. State Senate President Stephen Sweeney, another dopey Democrat, stated the state legislature was likely to vote on permitting adult use of the drug early this year.

 

The reasoning for the legalization is that a preponderance of arrested pot-heads are Black. Liberal light-heads argue (rightly, actually – if there’s hope at all of recovery, it’s in a rehab center, not a jail) that placing them in jail for pot use will not change their habits.  Nor will it change the opinions of users already mentally incapacitated by this brain-damaging drug.  They won’t believe a thing any expert says about the dangers of marijuana once they’ve smoked this weedy version of Kool-Aid.

 

They’re all in. The idiots.

 

Marijuana affects the hippocampus area of the brain according to medical experts such as radio host Michael Savage who, the last few days, has been campaigning against the legalization of marijuana. He’s told his audience that pot has a particularly devastating effect on the brains of male adolescents.

 

Warnings are good, but if such experts are to break through this artificially-induced mental haze they must be specific with their facts. Pot-heads have a full-developed agenda about the so-called harmlessness of marijuana.  They argue that smoking a joint is no different than having a few drinks.  Not true.  You don’t need to be a medical expert to know that the effects of marijuana are immediate.  The effects of alcohol depend upon how accustomed you are to the effects of liquor.

 

One beer could knock yours truly out for the night. Princess Diana’s limousine driver Henri Paul was three times over France’s legal limit and yet showed no outward signs of being intoxicated.  Pot makes you an instant idiot.

 

Dr. Savage stated that marijuana affects the hippocampus area of the brain. The hippocampus is a small organ located within the brain’s medial temporal lobe and forms an important part of the limbic system, the region that regulates emotions. The hippocampus is associated mainly with memory, in particular long-term memory. The organ also plays an important role in spatial navigation.  In short, it affects your ability to drive, whether it speeds up your responses, as alcohol does, or slows it down, as pot users claim.

 

I’m no genius, no matter how Savage might grouse. I don’t claim to be.  I never have.  I was exposed to chloral hydrate as a young girl.  It smelled like almonds, not pears, but the effects took years to wear off and helped pretty much permanently impair my memory. No matter what your IQ is, it’s only an indication of potential, not a guarantee that you’ll become a rocket scientist.  Therefore, I can speak with some authority when I say people who voluntarily inhale or otherwise ingest these drugs for “recreational” purposes are completely out of their minds.

 

Since I’m certifiably no “genius” here are the facts I’ve gathered from Wikipedia, with all the pertinent links, on the scientific components of marijuana, or cannabis, to use its scientific name:

 

Anandamide, the main component in pot:

 

Anandamide, also known as N-arachidonoylethanolamine or AEA, is a fatty acid neurotransmitter derived from the non-oxidative metabolism of eicosatetraenoic acid (arachidonic acid) an essential ω-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid. The name is taken from the Sanskrit & Pāli word ananda, which means “joy, bliss, delight“, and amide.[1][2] It is synthesized from N-arachidonoyl phosphatidylethanolamine by multiple pathways.[3] It is degraded primarily by the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) enzyme, which converts anandamide into ethanolamine and arachidonic acid. As such, inhibitors of FAAH lead to elevated anandamide levels and are being pursued for therapeutic use.[4][5]

 

Recreational drug use is the use of a psychoactive drug to induce an altered state of consciousness for pleasure, by modifying the perceptions, feelings, and emotions of the user. When a psychoactive drug enters the user’s body, it induces an intoxicating effect. Generally, recreational drugs are in three categories: depressants (drugs that induce a feeling of relaxation and calm); stimulants (drugs that induce a sense of energy and alertness); and hallucinogens (drugs that induce perceptual distortions such as hallucination). In popular practice, recreational drug use generally is a tolerated social behavior, rather than perceived as the serious medical condition of self-medication.

Recreational drugs include alcohol (as found in beer, wine, and distilled spirits); cannabis and hashish; nicotine (tobacco); caffeine (coffee and black tea); and the controlled substances listed as illegal drugs in the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961) and the Convention on Psychotropic Substances (1971) of the United Nations. What controlled substances are considered illegal drugs varies by country, but usually includes methamphetamines, heroin, cocaine, and club drugs. In 2009, it was estimated that about 3% to 6% of people aged 15 to 65 had used illegal drugs at least once (149 to 270 million).[1]

According to addiction researcher Martin A. Plant, many people go through a period of self-redefinition before initiating recreational drug use. They tend to view using drugs as part of a general lifestyle that involves belonging to a subculture that they associate with heightened status and the challenging of social norms. Plant says, “From the user’s point of view there are many positive reasons to become part of the milieu of drug taking. The reasons for drug use appear to have as much to do with needs for friendship, pleasure and status as they do with unhappiness or poverty. Becoming a drug taker, to many people, is a positive affirmation rather than a negative experience.”[  Plant, Martin A. (1980), “Drugtaking and Prevention: The Implications of Research for Social Policy”, British Journal of Addiction, 75: 245–254, doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.1980.tb01378.x

 

Following is a comparison list of the most commonly-used “recreational” drugs:

  • Alcohol: Most drinking alcohol is ethanol, CH 3CH 2OH. Drinking alcohol creates intoxication, relaxation and lowered inhibitions. It is produced by the fermentation of sugars by yeasts to create wine, beer, and distilled liquor (e.g., vodka, rum, gin, etc.). In most areas of the world, apart from certain countries where Muslim sharia law is used, it is legal for those over a certain age (typically 18–21). It is an IARC ‘Group 1’ carcinogen and a teratogen.[24] Alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening.
  • Amphetamines: Used recreationally to provide alertness and a sense of energy, whether for all-night studying or all-night dancing. Prescribed for ADHD, narcolepsy, depression and weight loss. A potent central nervous system stimulant, in the 1940s and 50s methamphetamine was used by Axis and Allied troops in World War II, and, later on, other armies, and by Japanese factory workers. It increases muscle strength and fatigue resistance and improves reaction time.[25] Methamphetamine use can be neurotoxic, which means it damages dopamine neurons.[26] As a result of this brain damage, chronic use can lead to post acute withdrawal syndrome.[27]
  • Cannabis: Its common forms include marijuana and hashish, which are smoked or eaten. It contains at least 85 cannabinoids. The primary psychoactive component is THC, which mimics the neurotransmitter anandamide, named after the Hindu ananda, “joy, bliss, delight.” The review article Campbell & Gowran (2007) states that “manipulation of the cannabinoid system offers the potential to upregulate neuroprotective mechanisms while dampening neuroinflammation. Whether these properties will be beneficial in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease in the future is an exciting topic that undoubtedly warrants further investigation.”
  • Cocaine: It is available as a white powder, which is insufflated (“sniffed” into the nostrils) or converted into a solution with water and injected. A popular derivative, crack cocaine is typically smoked. When transformed into its freebase form, crack, the cocaine vapor may be inhaled directly. This is thought to increase bioavailability, but has also been found to be toxic, due to the production of methylecgonidine during pyrolysis.[28][29][30]
  • LSD: A popular ergoline derivative, that was first synthesized in 1938 by Hofmann. However, he failed to notice its psychedelic potential until 1943.[31] In the 1950s, it was used in psychological therapy, and, covertly, by the CIA in Project MKULTRA, in which the drug was administered to unwitting US and Canadian citizens. It played a central role in 1960s ‘counter-culture’, and was banned in October 1968 by US President Lyndon B Johnson.[32][33]\

Note how the Wikipedia researchers downplay the negative effects of marijuana, compared to the more so-called hard-core drugs. This is the Puff-the-Magic-Dragon propaganda used by proponents of marijuana.  Supposedly, it doesn’t harm you; it just makes you “giggly” and what’s wrong that.

 

What’s wrong is the same thing that is what’s wrong with the over-consumption of alcohol. One toke of pot puts you in about the same state as someone who has consumed a good deal of alcohol – enough to make the legally drunk.  Marijuana has no middle-ground.  Even second-hand smoke will make you feel woozy, woozy enough to be a dangerous driver if you happen to be out in public.  One drink won’t (necessarily) make you drunk.  One whiff of pot will.

 

If this thing were a pill, its users would be welcome to it. The communal nature of marijuana – and its long-term effects on the brain – are what make it objectionable.  We need experts like Dr. Savage and others to expound upon the effects of marijuana on myelin, or white matter, the pale, fatty tissue that creates a protective wrapping around nerve fibers, or axons.  Destroy the white matter, and the message doesn’t travel along the axons, the telephone wires over your brain that connect the synapses, the axon terminals of neurons, where information is stored and sent on to other parts of the brain.

 

Myelin takes a long time to develop, to wrap around your axons. Full development isn’t completed until late adolescence, somewhere between age 21 and 23.  That’s why drug use in adolescents is so dangerous.  Being social creatures, adolescents, particularly male adolescents, revel in playing Russian roulette with their brains in order to gains social acceptance.  These dour creatures have no sense of humor, and so must resort to artificial means to become human again.

 

Drug use and abuse goes back to ancient times, when ancient Greek cults advocated the chewing of laurel leaves and ivy. The female Oracle of Delphi, according to a recent documentary, has been found to have been sitting above some natural gas (possibly methane – pew!) vent, causing her to experience violent hallucinations.

 

Novices seeking entry into cults, even Christian cults, were forced to take hallucinogenic drugs as part of their initiation rites. The drugs apparently caused some sort of hypnotic trance which enabled their handlers to control them and prevent them from revealing the cult’s secrets.

 

Sounds like great fun, doesn’t it?

 

What tyrant wouldn’t want that kind of control over his or her subjects? Blind acceptance?  Ritualistic insanity?  Indoctrination of young, useful idiots?

 

Go to work, Doctor Savages of the world. Do tell the young what they’re doing to themselves and to our society.  High praise to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his boss, Pres. Trump.  Please keep us from plunging into a drug-induced abyss.

 

Legalized, those of us who don’t want to find ourselves in a perpetual drug-haze will have no legal recourse. My condominium complex refused to support complaints against cigarette smoke.  What chance we do have against pot users?

 

Please keep the world as sane as you can. Don’t let the potheads of the world do this to us.

 

 

Published in: on January 5, 2018 at 2:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Jerusalem: Whose Holy City is It?

When last we left Jerusalem, in the Bible that is, the Holy City had been sacked by the Romans in 70 A.D.

 

God leaves Jerusalem in pieces at the end of the Old Testament, although according to the Roman Catholic Bible, the Maccabees attempt to resurrect it.  Angered by their weeping over the death of Tammuz, during which Tammuz’ followers defile the Holiest of Holies, God sends  Nebuchanezzar of Babylon to conquer it.  Still, by the end of the New Testament, the city is in Roman hands.

 

On Dec. 6, 2017, Pres. Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, stating that the United States Embassy to Israel would be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

 

In retaliation, the United Nations voted 128-9 to declare the United States’ action as “null and void.”  Thirty-five of the United Nation’s 193 members abstained from the vote.  Ignoring Trump’s threat to withhold U.S. aid from any country that condemned the United States’ move, the U.N. declared that Jerusalem’s final status must be decided in final negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel.

 

Since then, the Liberal world has been up in arms over Trump’s declaration.  The city is at the heart of the dispute between Israel and the Muslim Palestinians.  Jerusalem is divided, with the three major religions all claiming her as their holy capital.  At present, the Al-Aqsa mosque sits on the site of the former temple at Jerusalem.  The mosque’s golden dome was built by none other than Mohammed Bin Laden, Osama Bin Laden’s father.

 

Few, if any, cities in the world have been as controversial as Jerusalem, as conquered, reconquered, attacked, besieged, and debated as the Holy.  Jesus promised that the “Old” Jerusalem would pass away and that a “New” Jerusalem would come down from Heaven, dressed as a bride, white and pure, for her groom.

 

Pres. Trump demonstrated courage in recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.  As far as the Muslims are concerned, once they conquered, it was theirs for all time, no matter whether others reconquered it or not (which Israel did in the Six Day’s War in 1967).  The world, in fear of Muslim retribution, side with the descendants of the ancient Canaanites, a pagan people who practiced human and animal sacrifices, worshipped the sun, the moon, and fire.  To the Hebrew god, Jahweh, the pagan Canaanites were an abomination, especially in regard to their sacrifice of children.

 

But the Jerusalem Pres. Trump is recognizing is still a political capital, no matter how religious the government might be.  By every right, Israel won the last war, whether Liberals like it or not.  Previous, supposedly “indigenous” claims notwithstanding, to the victor go the spoils – and the city.

 

A stubborn anti-Semitic disease has overspread Europe, as Muslims mount a bloodless invasion of Western Europe, the Far East, and in time, the United States.  Much of the dissension over Trump’s declaration is political in nature, inasmuch as the Liberal Left is a secular sect of nonbelievers.  The enemy of their enemy is their friend.  Muslims and Liberals have become fast friends.  The Liberals, many of whom are non-practicing Jews, have abandoned their once fierce denunciation of anti-Semitism.

 

The battle has not yet joined.  The heart of Jerusalem is not the Knesset but the former Jewish temple.  Jewish people may rule their temporally, as governors of the state of Israel.  They are loyal to their Jahweh (God) but His temple has been expropriated by a people He might use as tools but of whom the Bible tells us He does not approve.

 

In Habakkuk, we are told:

 

1  A pronouncement that Ha·bakʹkuk* the prophet received in a vision:   How long, O Jehovah, must I cry for help, but you do not hear?a How long must I ask for help from violence, but you do not intervene?*b   Why do you make me witness wrongdoing? And why do you tolerate oppression? Why are destruction and violence before me? And why do quarreling and conflict abound?   So law is paralyzed, And justice is never carried out. For the wicked surround the righteous; That is why justice is perverted.c   “Look among the nations and pay attention! Stare in amazement and be astounded; For something will happen in your days That you will not believe even if it is told to you.d   For here I am raising up the Chal·deʹans,eThe ruthless and impetuous nation. They sweep through vast stretches of the earthTo seize homes not theirs.f   They are frightening and fearsome. They establish their own justice and authority.*g   Their horses are swifter than leopards, And they are fiercer than wolves in the night.h Their warhorses gallop forward; Their horses come from far away. They swoop down like the eagle rushing to feed.i   All of them come bent on violence.j The assembling of their faces is like the east wind,k And they scoop up captives like sand. 10  They scoff at kings And laugh at high officials.l They laugh at every fortified place;mThey pile up a dirt ramp and capture it. 11  Then they move forward like the wind and pass through, But they will become guilty,nBecause they credit their power to their god.”*o

 

Still ultimate salvation awaits the faithful of Jerusalem, when God will make war against all those who curse her.

 

“The word of Jehovah of armies again came, saying:  “This is what Jehovah of armies says, ‘I will be zealous for Zion with a great zeal,a and with great wrath I will be zealous for her.’”  “This is what Jehovah says, ‘I will return to Zionb and reside in Jerusalem;c and Jerusalem will be called the city of truth,*d and the mountain of Jehovah of armies, the holy mountain.’”e  Zechariah 8:3

 

 “This is what Jehovah Lord of Hosts says, ‘Let your hands be strong,*k you who now hear these words from the mouth of the prophets,l the same words that were spoken on the day the foundation of the house of Jehovah of armies was laid for the temple to be built. 10  For before that time, there were no wages being paid either for man or for beast;m and it was not safe to come and go because of the adversary, for I turned all men one against another.’

 

11  “‘But now I will not deal with the remaining ones of this people as in the former days,’n declares Jehovah of armies. 12  ‘For the seed of peace will be sown; the vine will produce its fruit and the earth its yield,o and the heavens will give their dew; and I will cause the remaining ones of this people to inherit all these things.p 13  And just as you became an object of cursing among the nations,q O house of Judah and house of Israel, so I will save you, and you will become a blessing.r Do not be afraid!s Let your hands be strong.’*t 14  .

 

“For this is what Jehovah of armies says, ‘“Just as I had determined to bring calamity on you because your forefathers made me indignant,” says Jehovah, Lord of Hosts, “and I felt no regret,u 15  so at this time I have determined to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.v Do not be afraid!”’w 16  “‘These are the things you should do: Speak the truth with one another,x and the judgments in your gates must promote truth and peace.y 17  Do not scheme calamity against one another in your hearts,z and do not love any false oath;a for these are all things that I hate,’b declares Jehovah.”

 

Some fear that Trump has sounded the trumpet call for the beginning of Armageddon.  They tremble as cowards in the face of a final judgement.  The Liberals and pagans have no fear for they don’t believe.  Our world has degenerated thanks to their efforts.  Every fallen child is a victory to them.  European leaders hear the howl of the Muslim mobs at their gates.  They have good reason to fear.

 

The Muslims are strict and strident in their beliefs.  They (perhaps rightly) see themselves as Allah’s scourges, driving the wicked before them in righteousness.  We have allowed ourselves to generate into a corrupted culture.  Many Conservatives would dispute this characterization.

 

Conservatives generally have nothing to fear if they’ve remained faithful to their creed, attending church every Sunday to worship God, giving to the poor not just from their checking accounts or credit cards but from their hearts and souls, and remaining modest and honest.  Materialism, however, is rampant in our culture.

 

What would we give, what we sacrifice to see real peace, the peace and justice of Jesus Christ, return to Jerusalem, God’s former seat of power?  Would we hail Him as ruler of the Earth?  Would we acknowledge his sovereignty?  Would we recognize Him?  Many, as we hear by their protests, would not.   Some things have not changed.  Only a handful welcome the return of the true king, and the trials and tribulations which must first precede His arrival.

 

A first step is the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  Right now, only the United States and some island nations in the Pacific will even recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s temporal capital, much less as the spiritual capital of the Judeo-Christian world. The Muslims fear an attack on the mosque they’ve built over the old Jewish temple.  The secular world fears a devastating war following such an attack and see this recognition of Jerusalem, the political capital as a first step and denounce it.

 

One of the oldest cities in the world, Jerusalem was named as “Urusalima” on ancient Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets, probably meaning “City of Shalem” approximately 2400 B.C.).

 

During the Israelite period, significant construction activity in Jerusalem began in the 9th century B.C. (Iron Age II), and in the 8th century the city developed into the religious and administrative center of the Kingdom of Judah.  Jerusalem has been destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times.

 

The part of Jerusalem called the City of David, was settled in the 4th millennium B.C.  In 1538, walls were built around Jerusalem under the Muslim conqueror Suleiman the Magnificent. Today those walls define the Old City, which has been traditionally divided into four quarters—known since the early 19th century as the Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Quarters.  Modern Jerusalem has grown far beyond the Old City’s boundaries.

 

A city called Rušalim in the execration texts (ancient Egyptian hieratic texts, listing enemies of the Pharaoh, most often enemies of the Egyptian state or troublesome foreign neighbors of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt c. 19th century BCE) is widely, but not universally, identified as Jerusalem.

 

Jerusalem is called Urušalim in the Amarna letters of Abdi-Heba (1330s BCE).  The name “Jerusalem” is variously etymologized to mean “foundation (Sumerian yeru, ‘settlement’/Semitic yry’ ‘to found, to lay a cornerstone”) of the god Shalem,” who was thus the original tutelary deity of the Bronze Age city.  A tutleray deity or spirt is a guardian, patron, or protector of a particular place, geographic feature, person, lineage, nation, culture, or occupation.

 

One type of tutelary deity is the genius, the personal deity or daimon of an individual from birth to death. Another form of personal tutelary spirit is the familiar spirit of European folklore.

 

The form Yerushalem or Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) first appears in the Bible, in the Book of Joshua. According to a Midrash, the name is a combination of Yhwh Yir’eh (“God will see to it”, the name given by Abraham to the place where he intended to sacrifice his son) and the town “Salem.”

 

The earliest extra-biblical Hebrew writing of the word Jerusalem is dated to the Sixth or Seventh Century and was discovered in Khirbet Beit Lei near Beit Guvrin in 1961. The inscription states: “I am Yahweh, thy God, I will accept the cities of Judah and I will redeem Jerusalem,” or as other scholars suggest: “Yahweh is the God of the whole earth. The mountains of Judah belong to Him, to the God of Jerusalem.

 

Shalem was the name of a god of dusk in the local, Canaanite pagan religion, whose name is based on the same root S-L-M from which the Hebrew word for “peace” is derived (Shalom or Salam in modern Hebrew and Arabic). The name thus offered itself to etymologizations such as “The City of Peace,” “Abode of Peace,” “dwelling of peace” (“founded in safety”), alternately “Vision of Peace” according to some Christian authors.

 

The ending -ayim indicates the dual, thus leading to the suggestion that the name Yerushalayim refers to the fact that the city initially sat on two hills.  However, the pronunciation of the last syllable as -ayim appears to be a late development, which had not yet appeared at the time of the Septuagint (also known as the LXX, it is a Koine Greek translation of a Hebraic textual tradition that included certain texts which were later included in the canonical Hebrew Bible and other related texts which were not. As the primary Greek translation of the Old Testament, it is also called the Greek Old Testament).

 

An ancient settlement of Jerusalem, founded as early as the Bronze Age on the hill above the Gihon Spring, was according to the Bible named Jebus (e.g., Judges 19:10: “Jebus, it [is] Jerusalem”). Called the “Fortress of Zion” (metsudat Zion), it was renamed by David as the City of David, and was known by this name in antiquity. In Greek and Latin the city’s name was transliterated Hierosolyma (Greek: Ἱεροσόλυμα; in Greek hieròs, ἱερός, meaning “holy”), although the city was renamed Aelia Capitolina for part of the Roman period of its history.

 

The Aramaic Apocryphon of Genesis of the Dead Sea Scrolls (1QapGen 22:13) equates Jerusalem with the earlier “Salem” (שלם), said to be the kingdom of Melchizedek in Genesis 14:18. Other early Hebrew sources, early Christian renderings of the verse and targumim, however, put Salem in Northern Israel near Shechem (or Sichem), now Nablus, a city of some importance in early sacred Hebrew writing. Possibly the redactor of the Apocryphon of Genesis wanted to dissociate Melchizedek from the area of Shechem, which at the time was in possession of the Samaritans. However that may be, later Rabbinic sources also equate Salem with Jerusalem, mainly to link Melchizedek to later Temple traditions.

 

In 2016 Israeli archaeologists announced they had unearthed a 7,000-year-old settlement from the early Chalcolithic period.  The archaeologists describe the discovery as the oldest of its kind in the region. The Israel Antiquities Authority asserts that the stone houses and artifacts confirm “the existence of a well-established settlement in the Jerusalem area as long ago as the Fifth millennium B.C.”  Ceramic evidence indicates occupation of the City of David, an area considered to be the initial nucleus of historical Jerusalem, as far back as the Copper Age (c. 4th Millennium B.C.).  The first settlement lay on what some call the Ophel Ridge, i.e. the south-eastern hill at whose foot the Gihon Spring gushes forth.

 

When Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire, Jerusalem and Judea came under Macedonian control, eventually falling to the Ptolemaic dynasty under Ptolemy I. In 198 BCE, Ptolemy V Epiphanes lost Jerusalem and Judea to the Seleucids under Antiochus III. The Seleucid attempt to recast Jerusalem as a Hellenized city-state came to a head in 168 BCE with the successful Maccabean revolt of Mattathias and his five sons against Antiochus IV Epiphanes, and their establishment of the Hasmonean Kingdom in 152 BCE with Jerusalem as its capital.

 

In 63 BCE, Pompey the Great intervened in a struggle for the Hasmonean throne and captured Jerusalem, extending the influence of the Roman Republic over Judea.  Following a short invasion by Parthians, backing the rival Hasmonean rulers, Judea became a scene of struggle between pro-Roman and pro-Parthian forces, eventually leading to the emergence of an Edomite named Herod.

 

As Rome became stronger, it installed Herod as a Jewish client king. Herod the Great, as he was known, devoted himself to developing and beautifying the city. He built walls, towers and palaces, and expanded the Temple Mount, buttressing the courtyard with blocks of stone weighing up to 100 tons. Under Herod, the area of the Temple Mount doubled in size.

 

Shortly after Herod’s death, in 6 A.D., Judea came under direct Roman rule as the Iudaea Province, although the Herodian dynasty through A.D. Roman rule over Jerusalem and the region was challenged in the First Jewish–Roman War, which ended with a Roman victory. The Second Temple was destroyed in 70 CE, and the entire city was destroyed in the war. The contemporary Jewish historian Josephus wrote that the city “was so thoroughly razed to the ground by those that demolished it to its foundations, that nothing was left that could ever persuade visitors that it had once been a place of habitation.”  Roman rule was again challenged during the Bar Kokhba revolt, beginning in 132 A.D. and suppressed by the Romans in 135 A.D.

 

Following the Bar Kokhba revolt, Emperor Hadrian combined Iudaea Province with neighboring provinces under the new name of Syria Palaestina, replacing the name of Judea. The city was renamed Aelia Capitolina, and rebuilt it in the style of a typical Roman town. Jews were prohibited from entering the city on pain of death, except for one day each year, during the holiday of Tisha B’Av. Taken together, these measures (which also affected Jewish Christians) essentially “secularized” the city. The ban was maintained until the 7th century, though Christians would soon be granted an exemption: during the 4th century, the Roman Emperor Constantine I ordered the construction of Christian holy sites in the city, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Burial remains from the Byzantine period are exclusively Christian, suggesting that the population of Jerusalem in Byzantine times probably consisted only of Christians.

 

In the 5th Century, the eastern continuation of the Roman Empire, ruled from the recently renamed Constantinople, maintained control of the city. Within the span of a few decades, Jerusalem shifted from Byzantine to Persian rule, then back to Roman-Byzantine dominion. Following Sassanid Khosrau II‘s early 7th Century push through Syria, his generals Shahrbaraz and Shahin attacked Jerusalem (Persian: Dej Houdkh‎) aided by the Jews of Palaestina Prima, who had risen up against the Byzantines.

 

In the Siege of Jerusalem of 614, after 21 days of relentless siege warfare, Jerusalem was captured. Byzantine chronicles relate that the Sassanids and Jews slaughtered tens of thousands of Christians in the city, many at the Mamilla Pool, and destroyed their monuments and churches, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This episode has been the subject of much debate between historians. The conquered city would remain in Sassanid hands for some fifteen years until the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius reconquered it in 629.

 

Jerusalem reached a peak in size and population at the end of the Second Temple Period, when the city covered two km (0.77 square miles) and had a population of 200,000.

 

Byzantine Jerusalem was conquered by the Arab armies of Umar ibn al-Khattab in 638 A.D. Among Muslims of Islam’s earliest era it was referred to as Madinat bayt al-Maqdis (“City of the Temple”) which was restricted to the Temple Mount. The rest of the city … was called “Iliya, reflecting the Roman name given the city following the destruction “The Noble Sanctuary”, while the city around it became known as Bayt al-Maqdis, and later still, al-Quds al-Sharif:  “The Holy, Noble.” The Islamization of Jerusalem began in the first year A.H. (623 A.D,), when Muslims were instructed to face the city while performing their daily prostrations and, according to Muslim religious tradition, Muhammad’s night journey and ascension to heaven took place.

 

After 13 years, the direction of prayer was changed to Mecca. In 638 A.D., the Islamic Caliphate extended its dominion to Jerusalem. With the Arab conquest, Jews were allowed back into the city. The Rashidun caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab signed a treaty with Christian Patriarch of Jerusalem Sophronius, assuring him that Jerusalem’s Christian holy places and population would be protected under Muslim rule.

 

Christian-Arab tradition records that, when led to pray at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, one of the holiest sites for Christians, the caliph Umar refused to pray in the church so that Muslims would not request conversion of the church to a mosque.  He prayed outside the church, where the Mosque of Umar (Omar) stands to this day, opposite the entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. According to the Gaullic Bishop Arculf, who lived in Jerusalem from 679 to 688, the Mosque of Umar was a rectangular wooden structure built over ruins which could accommodate 3,000 worshipers.

 

Today, the status of Jerusalem remains one of the core issues in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, West Jerusalem was among the areas captured and later annexed by Israel while East Jerusalem, including the Old City, was captured and later annexed by Jordan. Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War and subsequently annexed it into Jerusalem, together with additional surrounding territory.

 

One of Israel’s Basic Laws, the 1980 Jerusalem Law, refers to Jerusalem as the country’s undivided capital. All branches of the Israeli government are located in Jerusalem, including the Knesset (Israel’s parliament), the residences of the Prime Minister and President, and the Supreme Court. Whilst the international community rejected the annexation as illegal and treats East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory occupied by Israel, Israel has a stronger claim to sovereignty over West Jerusalem.

 

Strange that this debate should come during the Christmas season – originally a pagan holiday, Saturnalia, and traditional [death] feast of Adam and Eve.

 

Last night I lay a-sleeping There came a dream so fair, I stood in old Jerusalem Beside the temple there. I heard the children singing, And ever as they sang, Me thought the voice of angels From heaven in answer rang Me thought the voice of angels From heaven in answer rang. Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Lift up your gates and sing, Hosanna in the highest! Hosanna to your King!

 

And then me thought my dream was changed, The streets no longer rang, Hushed were the glad Hosannas The little children sang. The sun grew dark with mystery, The morn was cold and chill, As the shadow of a cross arose Upon a lonely hill. As the shadow of a cross arose Upon a lonely hill. Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Hark! How the angels sing, Hosanna in the highest! Hosanna to your King!
And once again the scene was changed,

New earth there seemed to be I saw the Holy City

Beside the tideless sea The light of God was on its streets,

The gates were open wide And all who would might enter

And no one was denied.

 

No need of moon or stars by night, Or sun to shine by day; It was the new Jerusalem That would not pass away.
Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Hark! How the angels sing, Hosanna in the highest! Hosanna to your King!
Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Sing for the night is o’er! Hosanna in the highest! Hosanna for evermore!

 

The Old Jerusalem may remain the physical capital of Islam, but it is a false flag.  Or Old Jerusalem may be restored to her pagan believers, with their idols and the flaming cauldrons into which they cast their infants.  Or Jerusalem may be once again the property of the Jews, in which they will be recognized as an Earthly nation but whose temple will either remain in the hands of later usurpers or be destroyed yet again in yet another catastrophic war in which the material stands in place of the spiritual.

 

The Jewish and Christian Bible tells us all these things will come to pass.  But then a “New Jerusalem” will come to replace it, ruled not by Man at all but by God.

 

 

Published in: on December 27, 2017 at 4:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Tax Cut Man Cometh

Just in time for Christmas, Congress finally – and with a huge “Bah, Humbug!!” from Senate Democrats – passed President Trump’s tax cuts.

 

Passage of the bill, just before the end of the year and the looming congressional recess, is a major political score.  The victory has been a long battle with Capitol Hill since his inauguration in January.  Trump’s numerous attempts to dismantle ObamaCare failed due to internal Republican divisions and unified Democratic opposition. The tax bill includes one major rollback of the Affordable Care Act, repealing the individual mandate requiring Americans to buy health insurance or face a penalty.

 

President Trump celebrated his triumph hours yesterday after the House sent his $1.5 trillion tax package to the Oval Office by praising Republican lawmakers, referring to them as fellow tax “warriors.”  In spite of Democrat opposition, GOP leaders vowed that the bill’s popularity would improve once taxpayers experience the reality of the tax cuts.

 

The Tax Policy Center estimates that 80 percent of taxpayers will see a tax cut next year.

 

Not every taxpayer in every state is going to experience that flush of economic health.  In Liberal Blue States, such as New Jersey, where taxpayers are accustomed to writing off their state taxes on their federal returns, that “gift” is going to vanish.  They will experience the reality of just how severely their state governments tax and regulate the citizens and the businesses.

 

With an income of barely $2,000 per year, this blogger won’t feel.  But Big Brother will.  He’s willing to endure that bite if the majority Liberals feel it.  Moderates who pay little attention to their taxes and think they’re making some grand, humanitarian gesture by paying high taxes (some of the highest rates in the land) might not feel so generous towards their legislators when they see their bills.

 

New Jersey is quickly becoming a Socialist state.  Only two types of people live here:  the affluent, living in suburbs just outside the city who willingly submit to what amounts to double taxation by living here and working in New York; and those living off government subsidies – drug addicts, criminals, illegal aliens, chain immigration families on their fourth and fifth generations.

 

We Conservatives welcome the elimination of the state tax cut on our federal returns if will encourage limousine liberals and their symbionts to flee the state for greener collective pastures – if taxpayers in other states will even have them.  Let them return to New York where most of limousiners came from.

 

A few weeks ago, we experienced a tremendous explosion that rattled the house from basement to attic.  All the years we’ve been here, we’ve been accustomed to the explosions from the nearby rock quarry; it was just a part of life.  Early on, the explosions drove the snakes out of Federal  Hill.

 

This was no ordinary explosion though.  After the initial blast, which as fierce even by this quarry’s standards – it not only shook our house but you could actually hear other houses being shaken and everything in the kitchen shook on the walls and the windows rattled – there followed a strange, keening “PAWOINNNNG” sound.

 

I remembered hearing something like it in one of the Star Wars prequel movies:  an acoustic bomb.  We think the rock strata may have been disturbed.  This range of hills sits on an extension of the Ramapo Fault.  The strange sound may have been the release of pressure in the rocks.

 

A release of pressure at work is welcome.  A release of pressure in your naval cavities is a relief.

 

A geological release of pressure – that may not be such a good thing.  Our town, in its wisdom, granted the quarry permission to basically flatten Federal Hill to the bare earth.  The passage this blast created will be a future road between Bloomingdale and Pompton.  That might mean a very quick ride to my mother’s house.

 

It also may mean future earthquakes.  Thank you so much, future moochers of Bloomingdale-Lakes.  My mother’s house – and all of those built on the hill – sit upon a rock foundation.  Those future high-density warehouses will be situated upon sand.  Avalon Bay already sits upon a sandpit.

 

Good luck to you when the next earthquake comes along.  We don’t have California-style earthquakes here.  At least, we never used to.

 

Between the elimination of the tax cuts and possible future tectonic activity, the wealthy Liberals who plunked themselves down here in our midst may think better of settling in the Garden State, our home.

 

Thank you, President Trump!

 

 

Published in: on December 21, 2017 at 3:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

No Such Thing as a Free Internet

The repeal of the Net Neutrality Act, first introduced by the FCC in 2015 and hailed as one of Obama’s great successes, was met with great acclaim by Republicans and apocalyptic horror by Democrats.  Well, they would greet any victory by President Trump with doomsday gloom.

 

As defined by Wikipedia, Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers must treat all data on the Internet the same, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication.  For instance, under these principles, internet service providers are unable to intentionally block, slow down or charge money for specific websites and online content.

 

The term was coined by Columbia University media law professor Tim Wu in 2003, as an extension of the longstanding concept of a common carrier, which was used to describe the role of telephone systems.

 

Under an “open Internet” schema, the full resources of the Internet and means to operate on it should be easily accessible to all individuals, companies, and organizations.

 

Applicable concepts include: net neutrality, open standards, transparency, lack of Internet censorship, and low barriers to entry. The concept of the open Internet is sometimes expressed as an expectation of decentralized technological power, and is seen by some observers as closely related to open-source software, a type of software program whose maker allows users access to the code that runs the program, so that users can improve the software or fix bugs.

 

Proponents of net neutrality see this as an important component of an “open Internet,” wherein policies such as equal treatment of data and open web standards allow those using the Internet to easily communicate, and conduct business and activities without interference from a third party.

 

In contrast, a “closed Internet” refers to the opposite situation, wherein established persons, corporations, or governments favor certain uses, restrict access to necessary web standards, artificially degrade some services, or explicitly filter out content.

 

During the 1990s, creating a non-neutral Internet was technically infeasible.  Originally developed to filter harmful malware, the Internet security company NetScreen Technologies released network firewalls in 2003 with so-called deep packet inspection capabilities. Deep packet inspection helped make real-time discrimination between different kinds of data possible, and is often used for Internet censorship. In a practice called zero-rating, companies will reimburse data use from certain addresses, favoring use of those services. Examples include Facebook Zero and Google Free Zone. These zero-rating practices are especially common in the developing world.

 

Sometimes Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will charge some companies, but not others, for the traffic they cause on the ISP’s network. French telecom operator Orange, complaining that traffic from YouTube and other Google sites consists of roughly 50 percent of total traffic on the Orange network, made a deal with Google, in which they charge Google for the traffic incurred on the Orange network. Some also thought that Orange’s rival ISP Free throttled YouTube traffic. However, an investigation done by the French telecommunications regulatory body revealed that the network was simply congested during peak hours

 

Between July 15 and September 15, 2014, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) received 3.7 million comments to change the Internet to a telecommunications service, which would allow the FCC to uphold net neutrality. On Feb. 26, 2015, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruled in favor of net neutrality by reclassifying broadband access as a telecommunications service and thus applying Title II (common carrier) of the Communications Act of 1934 as well as section 706 of the Telecommunications act of 1996 to Internet service providers. On March 12, 2015, the FCC released the specific details of its new net neutrality rule. And on April 13, 2015, the FCC published the final rule on its new regulations. The rule took effect on June 12, 2015.

In 2015, the United States Telecom Association (a trade association representing large telecom companies) filed a lawsuit against the FCC challenging the net neutrality rule.  The Association argued that “the FCC reclassifying broadband carriers as ‘common carriers’ is an overreach on the part of the FCC.”  The challenge sparked “a huge legal battle as cable, telecom and wireless Internet providers sued to overturn regulations that they said went far beyond the FCC’s authority and would hurt their businesses.”  In June 2016, in an 184-page ruling, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld, by a 2–1 vote, the FCC’s net neutrality rules and the FCC’s determination that broadband access is a public utility, rather than a luxury.  [Editor’s italics]

 

In the last sentence of the above paragraph lies the dilemma.

 

Cable television, first introduced in the early Seventies, was hailed as the entertainment salvation of the middle class.  No longer would we be enslaved the Big Three Networks, with their solidly Left-leaning news broadcasts led by anchors who, for the most part, had worked for previous Democrat presidential administrations and subversive programming designed to undermine suburban communities united by a general Judaic-Christian religious background and work ethic.

 

Cable television promised low subscription prices (about $7 a month in Seventies money) and advertising-free programming.  You could pick and choose your programming without having to watch a commercial for General Electric or General Motors.

 

Watch your favorite, current movies from the comfort of your own living room.  Technology threatened cable television’s monopoly on that particular feature with the advent of the video player – VHS, followed later on by the DVD, and now streaming.  Cable television revolutionized the industry as much as color television sets (yes, once upon a time television viewers actually had to “tune” their tv sets, much the way we still tune radios today; eventually television manufacturers introduced committed channels) and solid-state electronics

 

Cable television had only one, minor catch:  your community selected which provider would send you the content through your television line.  Individual choice was out of the question.

 

But who cared?  For seven bucks a month, you could have movies, movies, (and nothing but movies and CNN) all day and night.  Welcome to the Seventies, yeah!

 

Yeah.

 

Next to there not being a free lunch, there was no such thing as a good thing that would last.

 

Pretty soon, those movies were coming with commercials.  Cable television just couldn’t resist the temptation of those huge advertising dollars.  Besides, now they could afford more content providers:  TBS, TCM, and the Discovery Channel were early providers.

 

Then, the subscription prices began to rise.  At first, a dollar or two a month here, and six months or a year later, another two or three dollars.

 

Today, my cable bill, from Optimum.com (previously known as Cablevision), is $183 (since beginning this post, I received my December bill, raising the price from $179 to $183) per month.  That includes my telephone bill (a measly $19 per month), the actual cable bill (approximately $95 per month), and the modem for the computer connection ($50 per month).  Plus a $7 charge for sports viewing.

 

That’s a whopping amount of money for some pretty poor content these days.  The old channels are still there along with some new ones.  But some of them like AMC, which was originally American Movie Classics, have completely changed.  AMC is now runs re-runs and some pretty pathetic prime-time shows, as do the other channels.

 

Comedy Channel.  Well, we’ve always known what they’re all about.  But why do we have to pay for it?  The History Channel has kept up its original mandate and added some cool series like American Pickers and The Curse of Oak Island.

 

The Discovery Channel, another cable television pioneer, now gives us such programs as Naked and Afraid (please, put a towel on it!), but also provide some man-pleasers such as Dirty Jobs.  The rest of us must keep on clicking.

 

Some nights I spend up to 15 minutes checking out what I call the “Upper Channels” – Channels 150 plus on Optimum – trying find something to watch.   Channel 150 – the Velocity Channel – is cool to watch if you like cars.  It’s great for watching with your Significant Guy.  Sometimes it’s a last resort even when He isn’t there.

 

You’d think the Crime & Investigation Channel would offer something for the intelligent-minded.  But no.  What you get is alligator police on Cajun Justice and other such fare.  MTVLive.  Forget it.  Strictly for Dead Heads.   POPH.  Never even stopped to look.  Just a blur of reruns.

 

NatGEO Wild!  The nightmare of my television existence.  Unemployment has provided me the opportunity of caring for my 93 year-old Mom and her home.  That’s okay.  But this is the only channel she wants to watch.  Meaning I have to put up with lions hunting and killing gazelles, with Mom glorying over every vicious mouthful of torn flesh and the screaming agony of the dying animal.

 

AAAAAaaaaaaugh!!  Once I served undercooked mashed potatoes in my desperation to escape the wild kingdom.  It’s her television – there’s nothing I can do about it.  So, bring on the hunters stalking the elephants with helicopters, the bears murdering one another’s cubs, and the snakes swallowing rabbits.

 

On and on up the Channel stream I go, back at home, finding about as much savory programming as the lioness scouting the savannahs of Kenya.

 

In March of 2012, I lost my job.  Once my unemployment benefits ran out, along with any chance of gainful employment in the working world – not only had I been downsized (along with everyone else in the office) but I was stamped out-of-date.  That meant downsizing my budget.  The thing that had to go was the cable television.

 

I had to keep the telephone and the modem so I’d have a compute through which companies could reject me at 4x speed.  While I was still employed, one of my favorite Conservative radio and television hosts had been given the sack – or did he give himself the sack.  Instead, he decided to start his own channel.

 

In order to receive the program, you had to get a “box” (or you could use a game box if you were fortunate enough to own one) to code-in the signal to receive the program.  You still needed your computer modem.  However, you could Glenn as well as any number of streaming providers, some better than others.

 

So, I cancelled my cable television, except for the broadcasts, and started streaming.  Looking over the options, I chose Netflix as my subscriptions, and also signed up for some free providers.

 

Netflix was great!  I’m proud to say I’m an original subscriber.  They didn’t have much in the way of original programming back then.  Netflix did offer much in the way of old films and television programs.  Thus, began my binging habit.

 

I binged myself silly on shows like Law and Order and West Wing, and all the Star Trek series that I’d missed because I have so many evening activities.  Too bad they took Law and Order away.  And movies!  The movie buff in me was thrilled.  Love is a Many Splendored Thing.  Tora, Tora, Tora.  The Longest Day.

 

Alas, my significant guy was not so thrilled.  He missed his Fox News Channel on my television.  I told him, you want, you pay for it.  He agreed, so back came the Cablevision.  He paid up for awhile, but then he fell off the wagon.

 

He thought I would finally find a job and pay for my own television.  So did I.  We were wrong.  I reminded him of his agreement to pay, and he’s resumed his $50 a month share of the bill.

 

At first, he was squeamish about Netflix.  Of all things, he missed the commercials, the very thing he hates about television.  We’d be watching a series program and at the blank space where the advertising would be, he’d squirm and become cranky.

 

“What is this?” he cried.

 

“It’s where the commercial would be,” I replied.

 

“Well, I don’t like it.  Let’s just go back to the regular television.”

 

“But that means watching commercials, which you hate,” I said.  “Why don’t we just stay on Netflix?  Why don’t you like it?”

 

“I don’t know!  I just want to go back.”

 

But since Netflix began offering original programming – specifically The Last Kingdom, about the rule of King Alfred, the Great – he’s become hooked.  Now we don’t even bother searching fruitlessly through the cable channels – we go straight to Netflix.

 

Welcome to the next generation of television viewing – live streaming.  Not only can you watch television through your streaming box, but if you have the means to buy one, you can watch the Internet through your new Smart TV.

 

Not only can these new televisions live-stream, they live-stream from the Internet. If your favorite channel – say Fox News – offers live-streaming (which Fox does), you can watch it your new Smart TV.

 

And of course, you can watch Netflix.  Or Hulu or Amazon.  You choose.  The days of cable television networks dominating your television viewing or overcharging for it are over.

 

Or are they?  Enter the repeal of the Net Neutrality rules.  This was an Obama ruling, which made it instantly bad for Conservatives.  The Net Neutrality rule promised that the government, through the content providers, wouldn’t do precisely what it was doing:  discriminating against lawful [Conservative] content, blocking websites and apps, throttling [slowing down the speed] the transmission of content [when they weren’t actually shutting your entire computer down], and generally social policing private communications on public sites like Facebook and Twitter by blocking the ability to “Share” a post.

 

An Army veteran friend is a victim of this last tactic.

 

The only thing that Net Neutrality didn’t protect us from because it was happening anyway was “paid prioritization” which creates fast lanes for wealthy or favored communicators.

 

Now that Net Neutrality is out of the way, companies and broadcasters are free to create paid prioritizations.  They’re fighting over these rights like hound dogs fighting over a steak bone.  The company that rules the transmission wire (whether overhead or underground) will dominate the Internet.

 

Here is the socialist/communist tug-of-war for which its advocates have long been clamoring.

 

Capitalist and Communists alike have long argued that cable television – in whatever form you receive  it – is a privilege, not a right.  That’s what the 2015 court decision declared. Television is not a necessity of life, like your house, your clothes or your food, or a “utility.”  Other than access to news, if you can’t afford to subscribe to it, then don’t buy it.

 

The wealthy are happy to accommodate the truly impoverished through outrageous prices and burdensome, and unexplained, government fees.  They actually boast of being able to afford programming of which the humble Middle Class can only dream.

 

It’s like being able to go to Disney World or Atlantis on vacation.  Eat your hearts out, Working Class people.  So what if you can’t afford it?  We can and that’s just too bad.  The poor can’t afford to go, either, so what are you complaining about.  Just be glad you have a job to meet your basic needs.  You can’t have everything (but we can – ha ha ha).

 

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  But we always find a way.  Netflix was my television salvation (at least for awhile).  Now you’ve suddenly discovered the wonders of Netflix (The Last Kingdom, The Crown, Shetland, and others).  You want it, too, which you can certainly have and at a bargain price.

 

But that’s not good enough for you.  Capitalism is the best economic system in the world.  But it does have its Dark Side.  Not to worry – Communism has no Light Side at all.  That dark side is called “Paid Prioritization.”

 

BLOCKING Internet service providers could not discriminate against any lawful content by blocking websites or apps.

THROTTLING Service providers could not slow the transmission of data based on the nature of the content, as long as it is legal.

PAID PRIORITIZATION Service providers could not create an internet fast lane for companies and consumers who pay premiums, and a slow lane for those who don’t.

 

The New York Times reported:  “Many consumer advocates have argued that if the rules get scrapped, broadband providers will begin selling the Internet in bundles, not unlike how cable television is sold today. Want to access Facebook and Twitter? Under a bundling system, getting on those sites could require paying for a premium social media package.”

 

Or Netflix.

 

According to Wikipedia:  There is some disagreement about whether “peering” is a net neutrality issue. In the first quarter of 2014, streaming website Netflix reached an arrangement with ISP Comcast to improve the quality of its service to Netflix clients. This arrangement was made in response to increasingly slow connection speeds through Comcast over the course of 2013, where average speeds dropped by over 25 percent of their values a year before to an all-time low. After the deal was struck in January 2014, the Netflix speed index recorded a 66 percent increase in connection.

 

Netflix agreed to a similar deal with Verizon in 2014, after Verizon DSL customers’ connection speed dropped to less than 1 Mbit/s early in the year. Netflix spoke out against this deal with a controversial statement delivered to all Verizon customers experiencing low connection speeds, using the Netflix client. This sparked an internal debate between the two companies that led to Verizon’s obtaining a cease and desist order on June 5, 2014 that forced Netflix to stop displaying this message.

 

Companies with a stake in the future of streaming are selling devices by which you can access the streaming universe.  You still need a modem, usually with a computer attached.  Despite Netflix’s affiliation with Verizon, it’s still the most independent of the ISPs.  Amazon, Google and others are offering devices, but if they don’t exist yet, there probably will be strings attached in the future which will “encourage” users to favor their programming and throttling other content providers.

 

The fear is that the increasingly popular Netflix will raise its prices, just the way Cablevision raised its prices as more customers signed on, demanding better content.  Netflix will be hard pressed to resist the temptation to raise prices, increasing their profit margin.

 

Affluent viewers who once would never have given Netflix a second glance are now gazing fondly at the “crown” jewel of its programming, “The Crown” (about the reign of Elizabeth II of Great Britain).  Evidently, they haven’t yet discovered the glories of that other English monarch, King Alfred the Great (“The Last Kingdom”) also now in its second season.

 

The nice thing about buying a streaming device is, that for now, you pay upfront for it and own it forever – no monthly fees.  Some older, Luddite viewers might balk at the idea of having to buy a modem and a computer along with it.  But those viewers are aging out.  The majority of the population (about 60 and under) is completely computer savvy.  We eldster Baby Boomers are not the computer dolts the younger generation seems to think we are.

 

Can you say “Wang”?  Do you even know what it is?  A computer system based on DOS language, the language current website managers must use to edit their content once it’s posted.  We don’t need training.  Baby Boomers created the Internet, for gosh sakes.

 

Our economy is shifting, however, and dividing right down the middle.  In the future, viewers will either be incredibly affluent or on government assistance.   Broadcasting capitalists don’t care who pays the price for the product or service.  They don’t care whether an individual customer pays privately or the government forks over the cash.

 

Conservatives are happy that President Trump repealed the Net Neutrality Act.  Redefining broadband from a “utility” to a “service” means that welfare recipients and other scofflaws can’t demand streaming service as a “necessity” the way they have cable service; that’s what all the fees on your cable bill cover.

So, the bottom line on Net Neutrality isn’t government censorship; it’s all about the money and the subscription fees.  Whoever pays the most gets the best and fastest.  Tier service will be a reality in the future.

 

What was once an economical alternative for the hard-working Middle Class will become the viewing ground of the affluent.  For those of us who jumped on the Netflix bandwagon early, it’s been a marvelous decade or so.  We’ve still had to cling to our cable television to some degree.

 

Now, just when it seems we’ll be able to cut the cable almost completely, the golden remote will vanish from our grasp.  Satellite reception is an unrealistic option in cloud-bound areas.  DirectTV, courtesy of FIOS/Verizon, bundles its programs so that you’re prevented from getting exactly what you want and pay for unless you pay their full freight.

 

To say that the Middle Class wants “free” television is both unfair and untrue.  What we want is an affordable subscription service with our own choice of what we consider good programming, not an unsatisfactory-but-deal-with-it package.  Why must non-sports fans pay a “fee” for something to watch, for instance?  Cablevision has something for everyone, but everyone pays a huge chunk of change for a piece of that televised pie.

 

Cable television has been “collectivized.”  Not surprisingly, as the costs rise, viewers are bailing out in favor of the new kid on the block.  Netflix has an incredible variety of entertainment programming, although it has no news or sports.  This Christmas stores are advertising new “Smart TVs”, the costliest of which offer Internet capability.

 

So long as we’re physically attached to wires – or any other technology we ourselves don’t control – we will be puppets caught between two masters – corporate broadcasters and the government.

 

Stay tuned.

Published in: on December 20, 2017 at 5:23 pm  Leave a Comment