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Anthony Hopkins won the 2021 Oscar for best male actor and Frances McDormand won for best female actress.

The Academy have yet to state who won the other 62 gender awards.


My wife claims I'm a baseball fanatic. She says all I ever read about is baseball. All I ever talk about is baseball. All I ever think about is baseball.

I told her she's way off base!



Those who confuse burro and burrow don't know their ass from a hole in the ground.

Currently helping my son search for his chocolate that I ate last night.

I wonder how many WTF's today will bring.

Quick question; can I still use the carpool lane if the other person is in the trunk?

Diet tip: Your pants will never get too tight if you don't wear any.

I have found that these days, people don't like holding hands in public, especially if they don't know you.

I've never seen an alcohol company use a drunk person in any of their advertising.

Bread is like the sun; it rises in the yeast and sets in the waist.

Dear Facebook, quit pointing out people I may know, I do know them I just don't like them.

I don't think we get smarter as we get older, we just run out of stupid things to do.

Now that we have everyone washing their hands properly, next week: turn signals!


Top 5 Signs your Accountant has some Bad News:

He asks you not to look at what you owe until he gets a 10-minute head start.

"Before I show you how much you owe, would you like some black tar heroin?"

He'd tell you how much you owe, but he won't stop crying.

Offers you travel brochures to places without a U.S. extradition agreement.

Right before he shows you the results, he says, "Boy, I'm glad I'm not you."


A 39 year old woman in Colorado has been killed in a bear attack.

Let's paws and reflect on this grizzly tragedy, and prey that her family can bear the grief.

Quote of the Times;
You must find the courage to leave the table if respect is no longer being served. - Edwards

Link of the Times;

Issue of the Times;
How China is stoking America’s racial tensions by Ian Williams

A government that would never dream of allowing free elections in its own country mocks America’s democratic process

Footage of a brutal late March attack on a 65-year-old Asian American woman in Manhattan drew widespread outrage on social media. It also made for a productive afternoon for Zhao Lijian. From his Beijing office, the Chinese government spokesman retweeted 20 posts and shared the video 12 times on his official Twitter account. ‘We can’t help but wonder, who will be the next victim? When will it all end?’ he asked his almost 900,000 followers.

Zhao isn’t the only one who’s been busy. In the wake of the Atlanta spa shootings on March 16, Chinese state media used Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to stoke a narrative of American racism and hatred. One Twitter post from Global Times, a Communist party tabloid, shows the Statue of Liberty, gun in hand, towering over a tiny cardboard cutout figure marked ‘Asian’, with a target on its chest. Another cartoon, shared by CGTN, the international arm of China’s state broadcaster, shows an American COVID-19 vaccination center, and a young Asian asking the doctor, ‘By the way, is there also a vaccine for racism?’

Two years ago, China had almost no diplomatic presence on western social media. Now around 200 diplomats growl and troll their way around these platforms — the vanguard of a concerted push by party-controlled organizations, working in concert with a vast and shifting array of bogus accounts, to sow disinformation and discord.

They cut their teeth early in the COVID-19 pandemic, promoting conspiracy theories about the origin of the virus. Beijing pumped out propaganda and disinformation internationally through thousands of fake and hijacked Twitter accounts. It sought to portray itself as a leader and benefactor in public health, at the same time trashing the faltering efforts of Western democracies.

The EU accused China of running ‘a global disinformation campaign to deflect blame for the outbreak of the pandemic’. In June last year, Twitter shut down 170,000 accounts linked to the Chinese government, citing ‘a range of manipulative and coordinated activities’. YouTube banned almost 2,600 Chinese channels in the second quarter of 2020 alone, as part of what YouTube calls ‘our ongoing investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to China’.

CGTN was accused of spreading disinformation and propaganda on Twitter about the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. State media manipulated images and videos, and depicted protesters as violent tools of the West, practicing ‘terrorism’. In response, Twitter removed nearly 1,000 accounts and suspended thousands of others, which were part of what it described as a ‘significant state-backed information operation’. Facebook and YouTube also removed accounts.

Last summer, Chinese diplomats reveled in American protests over policing and race, embracing the Black Lives Matter movement with relish and accusing the US government of hypocrisy and double standards on human rights. When it came to the presidential election campaign and its messy aftermath, Beijing largely avoided showing a preference for either Trump or Biden. Instead, a government that would never dream of allowing free elections in its own country mocked America’s democratic process. Party-controlled media stoked a narrative of US national decline, highlighting chaos, dysfunction and the threat of violence — all amplified by social media.

China has pursued this theme in its coverage of the recent anti-Asian violence, using it to deflect attention from the persecution of the Uighurs in Xinjiang and the coordinated response, sanctions against Chinese officials by the US, UK, Canada and the EU. With western companies under pressure over the use of forced labor in Xinjiang, spokesman Zhao Lijian tweeted, ‘It is a historical fact that the #UnitedStates forced black slaves to collect cotton. Who on earth engaged in forced labor?’ Later he tweeted: ‘Shocking conspiracy of the US & West: destabilize #Xinjiang & contain China’s development. The cotton smears are just part of the bigger plot.’

China’s state-controlled news outlets appear to be among the highest ranked accounts on Twitter and Facebook. CGTN has 13.6 million Twitter followers and 116 million on Facebook. Global Times has 1.8 million on Twitter and 62 million on Facebook. Xinhua, a state news agency, has 12.4 million on Twitter and 89 million on Facebook. Obscure diplomats have quickly built followings to rival Hollywood celebrities.

Can there really be such an audience for stultifying propaganda? Perhaps, but there are many dark social media arts, which China has quickly learned. The figures are almost certainly false, inflated by automated programs (bots) that generate fake followers and fake likes. The idea is to give the pages more credibility and reach, and thereby pull in legitimate users. Bogus or hijacked accounts are used as ‘amplifiers’ to push posts and tweets and get them trending.

There used to be a distinction between Russian and Chinese activities in cyberspace. While China concentrated on cyber-espionage, plundering secrets from Western corporate and government systems, the Russians were the vandals. They launched destructive cyberattacks while engaging in disinformation and hack-and-leak operations, tactics with their roots in the Cold War heyday of ‘active measures’. Their aim was to sow division, doubt and distrust, spotting and exploiting cracks to weaken the target. Those aims have not changed.

Now Russian and Chinese tactics are converging. Both use social media to peddle disinformation and toxic content, amplifying fringe media, obscure ‘experts’ and conspiracy theorists.

The aim of both is not only to obscure facts but to disorient and depress: when Zhao Lijian pumped out tweets after the Manhattan attack, the content was carefully chosen. The posts he shared were not the angriest, but they were full of despair: ‘What the hell is wrong with people?’, ‘This is incredibly difficult to watch’, ‘Oh my God, what is happening to this country?’ ‘This is a state of emergency.’

And China has a wider policy goal — framing hate crime as a consequence of the US government’s more assertive recent stance against Beijing. ‘Experts say [hate crime] results from US politicians’ smearing of China as culprit of COVID-19. Worsening bilateral ties play part in discrimination surge,’ Global Times said in a recent tweet, without naming the ‘experts’.

The Communist party also has formidable weapons in the form of TikTok and WeChat.

The TikTok app, popular among 16- to 24-year-olds, is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. TikTok is a platform for catchy short videos, with an estimated 100 million users in the US. It has been criticized for its zealous collection of personal data and intrusions on the data security of users, and recently agreed to pay $92 million to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging it illegally tracked users and shared biometric data from photos and videos. The data, which included face scans, was allegedly shared with third parties, some in China. The company denies any wrongdoing.

More invidious is TikTok’s opaque algorithm that determines what a user sees. On Twitter and Facebook, users are mostly served content from accounts they subscribe to. On TikTok the videos can come from anywhere, and the app takes account of a range of information. This includes the type of videos you look at, the duration, your likes, comments and sharing, as well as user data such as age, gender and location. The precise recipe is unknown, since it has been designated a state secret. Last year, when it looked like ByteDance might be forced to sell its US operations, the Chinese government imposed export controls on the algorithm. While the company does employ engineers in the US, control is firmly in the hands of secretive China-based teams, which have been experimenting with advanced inputs including facial and voice recognition and sentiment analysis. In China the com- pany deploys this tech to censor content and promote CCP propaganda. It claims it does not censor in the US, but all Chinese companies must by law cooperate with the Communist party on ‘national security’, a very elastic concept. While the US algorithm might not be massaged as blatantly as in China, there is ample room for subtle manipulation.

WeChat presents a different sort of challenge. It is aimed at Chinese speakers, with an estimated 19 million regular users in the US. For immigrants it has become a vital way of keeping in touch with friends, family and developments in China, where it is known as the ‘app for everything’, such is the range of its services. This has made it an important component of the surveillance state, a weapon of social control, censorship and disinformation. Overseas, it has been used to intimidate Uighurs, Tibetans and other dissidents, often with threats relayed via relatives at home. But the broader danger is that by pumping nationalist propaganda into Chinese-speaking communities, shaping what they read and see, it is creating bubbles and magnifying divisions within America.

The Trump administration sought to ban both TikTok and WeChat on national security grounds. Both have fought back in the courts, and President Biden has paused the action against them while his staff becomes ‘familiar with the issues in this case’.

China has been quick to take advantage of this opening, presenting itself as the champion of Asian American communities in the wake of the recent anti-Asian violence. Older established migrants and political exiles have little time for Communist propaganda, but newer communities, particularly those drawn to the US by economic and educational opportunities, may be more receptive to WeChat-enabled propaganda and nationalist blandishments.

China’s use of social media can at times be clunky and crude. The irony is that the reach of its increasingly toxic and combative message, its ability to reach a Western audience, is being enabled by American social media platforms — platforms that are blocked in China, where trying to access them can lead to interrogation and jail.

Twitter, Facebook and YouTube do crack down on Chinese disinformation when it becomes impossible to ignore, as with COVID and Hong Kong, but their actions are inconsistent and patchy. Twitter and Facebook have now started labeling Chinese accounts as ‘state-affiliated’ but that has not dampened unease, even among Facebook’s own employees. Staff there are reportedly concerned the company is being used as a conduit for state propaganda, with a wave of sponsored posts of happy Uighurs, dancing, singing and generally thriving under Chinese rule.

Still, the Chinese embassy in Washington is having to do without its Twitter account, which was suspended in January after diplomats responded to evidence of forced sterilizations with a tweet claiming Uighur women had been ‘emancipated’ from extremism and were no longer ‘baby-making machines’. It was typical of China’s approach to try to whitewash an atrocity by appealing to feminism. In this case they misjudged their audience and overstepped the mark.

In targeting identity politics, China is stoking the most difficult and divisive issues in America. The absurd part is that Xi Jinping’s rule is built on an increasingly virulent ethnic nationalism. This fuels the CCP’s combative stances internationally — see, for instance, China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi unashamedly berating secretary of state Antony Blinken for America’s record on human rights.

At home, meanwhile, the Communist party crushes human rights and regards any cultural and religious difference as a threat. This is what drives the appalling repression in Xinjiang, where the party is seeking to neuter Uighur culture and subjugate it to the Han Chinese. China’s Communist leadership is no position to lecture anybody about racism. Yet they do.

News of the Times;
A real smart TV would increase the volume when I start eating chips.


I had social services come round my house today complaining that I don't look after my kids properly.

I bet it was my oldest that spread these lies.

The little sh!t keeps getting out of his cage.


Moishe: Black is a color

Abram: No it is not.

Moishe: I'm telling you, black is a color.

Abram: No, it's not.

They go to the rabbi.

Moishe: Rabbi, is black a color?

Rabbi: Yes, Moshe, black is indeed a color.

Moshe: See, Abram, I told you.

Abram: Okay, but white is not a color,

Moishe: Yes it is.

Abram: No, it is not.

Moishe: Rabbi, is white a color?

Rabbi: Yes, Moishe, white is indeed a color.

Moishe: See, I told you I sold you a color TV.


The longest drum solo ever recorded was 10 hours and 26 minutes.

It was performed by the child sitting behind me on Delta flight 963 from LA to Tokyo.


Corona must have hit India really hard.

I´ve not received a single phone call this week from Microsoft to warn me about a virus on my computer.

Quote of the Times;
The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves. - Lenin

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Affluence + Secularism = Boredom = Leftism by Dennis Prager

Just as physicists look for equations to explain the natural world, I have always thought it useful to look for equations to explain human nature. For example, in my book on happiness, I offer this equation: U = I – R. Unhappiness = Image – Reality. The difference between the images we have for our life and the reality of our life is one way of measuring how much unhappiness we experience.

Here, I offer another theorem, this time to help explain leftism.

A + S = B = L
Affluence + Secularism = Boredom = Leftism

The search for an equation to help explain leftism (as distinguished from traditional liberalism) emanates from these facts:

Most leftists come from the upper and upper-middle class. This was true for the two founders of leftism, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Marx was supported by his family and by Engels, who was a wealthy businessman and the son of a very wealthy businessman. All the Western spies for the Soviet Union were economically secure. And the great funder of radical causes today is a billionaire George Soros.

Nearly all leftists are irreligious people. And the breeding place of leftism, the university, is the most secular institution in modern society.

These two facts produce a problem: Many people lack meaning in their lives. And lack of meaning is another way of stating “boredom” — a boredom of the soul.

People need meaning. After food, that is the greatest human need. As important as sex is, there are happy people who go without sex (loss of a partner, never having found a partner, vows of chastity), but there are no happy people who go without meaning (no matter how much sex they have).

This need for meaning has traditionally been met by four things: religion, family, providing for oneself and one’s family, and patriotism. And all are fading.

Let’s begin with religion. In America today, religion is in sharp decline. According to Pew Research, more than a third of all Americans born after 1980 identify with no religion. That is the highest percentage ever. In a recent Gallup Poll, only 47% of American adults said they were members of a church, mosque or synagogue. It was the first time since Gallup began asking Americans about religious membership in the 1930s that a majority of Americans said they were not members of a church, mosque or synagogue.

Next comes family. Marrying and making a family have always been sources of meaning to the great majority of people. However, like religion, the American family is also in steep decline. For the first time in American history, according to Statista, as of 2020, nearly half of all men in America (46%) have never been married, and 41% of American women have never been married. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 85.4 million Americans 18 and over have never been married. There are presently 130 million unmarried American adults. Worse yet, as Dr. Bella DePaulo of the University of California at Santa Barbara wrote in Psychology Today, “Half of all solo single people don’t want a romantic relationship or even a date.”

As every criminologist knows, a lot of single men is a problem for society. And as the ubiquity of women on the left and among the left’s angriest protesters makes clear, a lot of single women is no blessing either.

Another nearly universal source of meaning has been providing for oneself and one’s family. That’s why, though the poor lack money and material wealth, they have never lacked meaning. Figuring out how to feed one’s family every day provides a person with a great deal of meaning.

Finally, belonging to one’s nation also provided meaning to most people in modern history. But love of country largely died in Western Europe after World War II, and it is dying in America today.

So, then, with the four primary sources of meaning dying — killed in large measure by leftist ideology — meaning must be found elsewhere. And that is where the left steps in. Leftism has always been a secular religion. It kills traditional religion and presents itself as a secular alternative.

It certainly provides meaning. “Anti-racism” and saving the world from a threat to its very existence (global warming) are two prominent life-filling examples.

Therefore, the only way to prevent the left from destroying America and its core value of freedom is to make the case for Judeo-Christian religions, the importance of marriage and family, and the unique achievement of America as the world’s first and greatest multiracial, multiethnic, multinational society.

Americans should have been making that case in every generation. Post-World War II, they forgot, or never really believed, that the land of the free is, as former President Ronald Reagan warned, always just one generation away from losing its freedom.

News of the Times;
I went to a party last night - my neighbor celebrated his 105th birthday.

He's 80 really, but since his wife died three weeks ago he said it feels like his birthday every day.


To the optimist, the glass is half full.

To the pessimist, the glass is half empty.

To the IT guy, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.



A plateau is the highest form of flattery.

Remember back when we would eat cake after someone blew all over it? Man, we were wild.

The funny thing about kids is: they're the reason we lose it, and also the reason we keep it together.

Co-worker: Can you fax that to me? Me: I can't fax from where I live. Co-worker: Where do you live? Me: 2021. I live in 2021, Susan.

Meghan Markle says she was advised by her doctors not to travel and attend Prince Phillip's funeral. She was advised by everyone else in the world not to attend just because.

I'm not rude. I'm just not afraid to say what everybody else is thinking.

I love it when people think they're going to punish me by not talking to me.

It's great that cold and flu season is finally over so we can move on to allergy season.

It's OK to fall apart sometimes. Tacos do and we still love 'em.

When we were young, we'd sneak out of home to go to parties. When you're old, you sneak out of parties to go home.

Nothing tops a plain pizza.

Hostess has ordered a recall on their Snowballs. My guess is they finally realized what's in those things.

Cosmetology student miss's class. Forced to take makeup class.

I'm going to start collecting highlighters. Mark my words.

It turns out if you show up to the Olive Garden with a U-Haul, they won't really give you unlimited bread sticks.

Never do anything you wouldn't want to explain to the paramedics.

I'm getting ready for bathing suit season by learning Photoshop.

The adult version of "Head, shoulders, knees and toes" is "Wallet, glasses, keys and phone."


Sneaker manufacturer Nike has graciously reached out to the Biden administration with an offer to house thousands of unaccompanied migrant children at their factories around the globe.

“Nike is committed to being a good corporate citizen. We are proud to assist the Biden administration by caring for these unaccompanied migrant children,” a spokesman for the company said Friday. “We have plenty of factories all around the globe with lots of room for kids. We’re here to help!”

The spokesman said that the migrant children will be fed, clothed, and educated by Nike employees until permanent homes can be found for them. In addition to a regular school curriculum, Nike said they will focus heavily on recreational activities.

“The core of our plan is our arts and crafts program,” the spokesman said. “These lucky kids will get to spend up to 18 hours each day on fun activities such as leather-working, sewing, and embroidery. What could possibly be more fun than that?”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the move makes sense on many levels. “When it comes to looking after thousands of orphaned children from impoverished countries, nobody has more experience than Nike,” she noted.


I was in the Far east and I went into a restaurant, ordered Octopus and the waiter said: "It takes about 4 hours."

I asked "Why?"

He said, "It keeps turning the gas off."

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A line drive foul ball hits a four year old boy in the head at Fenway. Jim Rice, realizing in a flash that it would take EMTs too long to arrive and cut through the crowd, sprang from the dugout and scooped up the boy. He laid the boy gently on the dugout floor, where the Red Sox medical team began to treat him. When the boy arrived at the hospital 30 minutes later, doctors said, without a doubt that Jim's prompt actions saved the boy's life. Jim returned to the game in a blood-stained uniform. A real badge of courage. After visiting the boy in the hospital, and realizing the family was of modest means, he stopped by the business office and instructed that the bill be sent to him. This is what a sports Hero looks like.

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Issue of the Times;
Follow The ‘Science,’ They Said by Victor Davis Hanson

As a general rule, the next time an official, a politician, or an expert lectures us on the “science,” make sure that he is not projecting his own unscientific biases onto others.

Throughout the Trump years and in particular during the 2020 COVID pandemic crisis, the nation was lectured by the Left “to follow the data,” as the Democrats proclaimed themselves the “party of science.” As sober and judicious children of the enlightenment, they alone offered the necessary disinterested correctives to Trump’s supposed bluster and exaggeration—and to his anti-scientific deplorable following (often dismissed by Biden as dregs, chumps, and Neanderthals).

In truth, leftists and Democrats have become the purveyors of superstition. Their creation of a fantasy world is not because they do not believe in science per se, but because they believe more in the primacy of ideology that should shape and warp science in the proper fashion for the greater good. What prompted Paul Ehrlich, Al Gore, or Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) hysterically and wrongly to forecast widespread demographic or climatological catastrophe in just a few years was not ignorance of science per se, but a desire to massage science for our own good.

The Godheads of COVID-19

The medical pandemic godhead of the Left has been octogenarian Dr. Anthony Fauci. His twin chief public relations explainer has been liberal darling New York governor Andrew Cuomo. Both were always supposed to be on top of “the science.”

Dr. Fauci has not just been flat-out wrong on the science of COVID—in his assessments of the origins and possible dangers of COVID-19, of when we can get back to normal, of when the vaccinations would appear, and of which particular governors have been doing the most or least effective management of the disease. He has also, by his own admission, deliberately lied.

That is, Fauci has rejected science, as he knew it, to mislead the public. For our own interests, he adopted the Platonic “noble lie” on occasion. So, for example, he conceded that he had downplayed the value of masks (he now seems to approve of wearing one on top of another) in order to prevent too many wearing them, and thus the public shorting the supply available to more important health care workers.

Fauci also proverbially moved the goal posts on herd immunity, from the high 60s to the low 90s as a percent of the population, either vaccinated or with antibodies, necessary to achieve a de facto end of the pandemic. Again, Fauci defied the science on the theory he knew better, in assuming that the childish public would become too lax when and if it believed herd immunity was on the horizon.

Unspoken, is that Fauci usually errs on the side of what is deemed progressive orthodoxy. In contrast, Dr. Scott Atlas warned us that extended and complete lockdowns in any cost-benefit analyses might well inflict more human and economic damage than the virus. And he added that an opened-up Florida and Texas might do no worse virally than a locked-down California or New York, while avoiding the severe recessionary collateral damage.

Yet Atlas was damned for “not following the science” for the crime of working for Trump and for following the science: while targeted wearing of masks and social distancing and quarantining of vulnerable populations are necessary, complete quarantines of the entire population and extended closing schools are counterproductive.

Little need be said of Cuomo other than the applicable Roman dictum he created a desert and called it peace. When the federal government delivered a tent-hospital and a huge hospital ship, they went unused. When it sent ventilators, Cuomo raged that they were too little, too late.

When his own record in New York of COVID mismanagement became public (currently over 2,500 deaths per million population, the second highest state in the nation and about 35-40 percent higher than the open, but hated Texas and Florida), he lied about his own redirection of COVID patients into pristine long-term care facilities that resulted in a proverbial bloodbath.

In his adherence to science, Cuomo received an Emmy for his narcissistic press conferences and adeptness at blame-gaming. That he was brought low not by his lethal politicking, but by serial allegations of being rude and handsy with female staffers suggests that his unscientific approaches to the pandemic were of little concern to his “scientific” supporters.

The “Science” of Quarantines

Consider another scientific debacle. In the midst of the quarantine, when governors and mayors were threatening to jail any who violated social distancing, mask wearing, or assembling en mass outdoors, hundreds of thousands hit the nation’s streets in crowded phalanxes of screaming and saliva-projecting protestors—all supposedly in violation of “the science” of epidemiology and public health.

The reaction of our elected officials—not just silence but open approbation—is to be expected, given the political class is so often timid and simply genuflects to perceived voter pressure groups. But “the science” on spec also came to the rescue of the quarantine violators to offer pseudo-scientific support for violating government-mandated “data”-driven policies.

Over 1,200 healthcare officials weighed in with their “expertise” and postmodern gibberish to defend mass violations of quarantine rules: “Instead, we wanted to present a narrative that prioritizes opposition to racism as vital to the public health, including the epidemic response.”

And the experts added all sort of postmodern hedging to emphasize that their recalibrated woke “science” was now different than others’ less woke “science”:

However, as public-health advocates, we do not condemn these gatherings as risky for COVID-19 transmission. We support them as vital to the national public health and to the threatened health specifically of Black people in the United States.

So in Animal Farm terms, some protests “are more in violation than others.” In a more historical vein, we might imagine these “experts” at another time and place, joining the chorus of scientists praising the agronomic genius of Joseph Stalin, whose “brilliant” and “scientific” irrigation fantasies began the destruction of the Aral Sea. In any case, millions decided why stay indoors when millions of others hit the streets to protest, loot, burn, destroy, and injure—with the sanction of our experts.

Non Compos Mentis

The Left hammered the 74-year-old overweight Trump about his supposedly iffy health. They brought in a Yale psychiatrist, Dr. Bandy X. Lee, to testify about his incapacity to Congress. There and in op-eds, she offered a pseudo-scientific assessment of debility (e.g., “I and hundreds of mental health professionals are available and eager to assist with any or all these efforts”). Yes, and unethically so, without ever having examined the patient in question.

According to Lee, Trump was mentally impaired, a sociopath, and needed an “intervention,” a serious medical diagnosis that soon became a “scientific” grounding for the wild charges leveled at Trump of incompetence on network and cable news. Trump in his exasperation at “fake news,” took the Montreal Cognitive Assessment Test to prove his powers of recall and analysis. He aced the exam.

But where is Lee now in the era of a 78-year-old Joe Biden in the White House?

Or rather, where is the Left to use her “research” to question whether Joe Biden is compos mentis? In the last 30 days, he has claimed there were none vaccinated when he entered office (he was photographed receiving a shot on December 21, a month before his inauguration).

In truth, 1 million a day were receiving vaccinations when Biden assumed the presidency. He cannot at times remember the name of his own secretary of defense or of the Pentagon where Gen.(ret.) Lloyd Austin works, and increasingly needs a translator to make sense of his slurred words, raspy voice, off-topic wandering, truncated vocabulary, and fragmented syntax.

Trump was once said to be shaky and disguising an obvious illness because after a long day at West Point he walked slowly in his leather shoes on a smooth ramp. In contrast, this week Joe Biden staggered and fell three times climbing the stairs to Air Force One—without a commensurate media howl. Will Joe be subject to an outside medical assessment? Might Dr. Lee reappear to give him the Montreal test?

I think we know the answer. “Science” is used to denigrate a perceived enemy of the people, and ignored to enhance a guardian of the flock.

Hate Crimes by Whom?

Joe Biden and the Left are implying if not outright asserting that there is now an epidemic of Anti-Asian violence perpetrated by white racists, insidiously emboldened by Trump’s past references to the “Wuhan” or “China” virus. No doubt, in a nation of 330 million, there are lots of haters who happen to be white, but are they the main culprit for racially-motivated crimes of hatred against Asians?

Recently, a deranged sex-addict and religious fanatic shot and killed eight people in the Atlanta area, six of whom were apparently Asian Americans. When apprehended, the 21-year-old confessed to the murders. In unhinged fashion, he claimed that he sought to eliminate sex workers and their places of business in general, with which he was apparently obsessed.

The unhinged shooter denied that race drove his murdering and indeed, he murdered two whites and injured a Latino. And his past proven sex addition and mental instability, along with his lethal shooting of non-Asians, suggest he was a pathological, mentally impaired murderer, not a race hater bent of mowing down the Other.

No matter. The media massaged the story into proof of its theories that a spate of recent hate crime attacks against Asian Americans were fueled by white supremacists, or at least those goaded on by the racist Donald Trump. That narrative was lacking evidence in both the Georgia shootings and the recent assaults on Asians.

One data point to justify such unsubstantiated charges that we might not see is a list of all Asian American victims of recent hate crimes, calibrated by the race/ethnicity of the attacker, and then adjusted to percentages in the general population—all in the context of clear racial animosity.

To do so, might suggest that in all those attacks where a clear, premeditated racial motive, rather than random violence or psychological deviance, is found, black males are inordinately represented.

For example, in the FBI hate crime statistics for 2019, the most recent year available, 4.4 percent of all single bias racial hate crimes were Asian Americans. Where the race and ethnicity of the perpetrators for all hate crimes was known, 52.5 percent were “white,” of whom 33.1 percent were in the ethnic category list as “Not Hispanic or Latino.”

Such so-called non-Hispanic whites make up about 65-70 percent of the population, depending on the method of categorization. In contrast, 23.9 percent of hate-crime perpetrators were identified as black or African American, while they comprise only 12-13 percent of the population. Data from New York and San Francisco on bodily violence or crimes in general against Asians suggest the same pattern.

The science might suggest that in matters of hate crimes—if society insists on focusing on the race and ethnicity of the attacker and knows the motive—it should then compare relative percentages of the population to determine who is inordinately, or not inordinately, committing such crimes.

To the degree, some progressives follow the science, the more honest left-wing venues have conceded that blacks may have been inordinately responsible, in demographic terms, for anti-Asian violence and indeed are over-represented in race-driven hate crimes in general. But they escape the obvious ramifications of such intersectional hatreds, by offering an exculpatory exegesis: nonetheless, whites are responsible for the hate, by pitting one racial group against another to ensure Roman-like divide-and-conquer “white supremacy.” Thus, for example, one Antoine Watson ran across the street to push down and kill 84-year-old San Franciscan Vicha Ratanapakdee because either Donald Trump had used the phrase “Chinese virus” or due to the insidious “white supremacy” that had conditioned the African American Watson to hate immigrants from Thailand.

Fencing in Cities, Vaccination, and Ruskies

The science might also tally up all the material and human damage committed in 2020 in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. and then compare it to the carnage of January 6 at the Capitol. And then experts might show whether there is a scientific correlation between the number of federal troops posted in Washington to other major riot-torn cities, at least in terms of soldiers stationed per person injured and killed or millions of dollars in property damaged. Otherwise, why the inordinate military build-up around the Capitol?

In truth, our woke officials pay little attention to science. If the point is to vaccinate first all Americans most likely to die or become seriously ill by COVID-19, then age and proven comorbidities might have been the most effective scientific criteria to schedule vaccinations. Yet for weeks in many states instead we floundered by ignoring science as scientists haggled over which particular marginalized or essential community should gain precedence over another.

In the Russian collusion hoax, to this hour, we have ignored the findings of Robert Mueller’s failed $35 million, 22 month investigation. Christopher Steele testified that he had no data to present to back up his mythical, now biblical dossier. James Comey pleaded amnesia 245 times as in “I don’t recall” when asked under oath about his own investigation. Robert Muller himself testified that he knew almost nothing about Fusion GPS and the Steele dossier, the catalysts for his own investigation. James Clapper had no evidence, he testified under oath, to substantiate his public charges that the president of the United States may be a “Russian asset.” No matter, in “learning-nothing-forgetting-nothing” fashion, we are now returning to the theme of Trump as a Russian asset and colluder on the basis of “new” evidence from the “intelligence community.”

Such is the “science” of Russian collusion.

As a general rule, the next time an official, a politician, or an expert lectures us on the “science,” make sure that he is not projecting his own unscientific biases onto others.

News of the Times;
I was dismayed this afternoon when my wife told me my 6-year-old son wasn't actually mine.

She added; I need to pay more attention at school pick up.


I saw on a flyer coming home:

Missing from the town center area: our 3-year-old cat Tiddles (pictured).

He is recently neutered, wears a collar with a bell to alert birds, and is on a strict vegan diet.

I thought, "And you're surprised he fuvked off?"


James is walking on a downtown street one day, and he happens to see his old high school friend, Harry, a little ways up ahead. "Harry, Harry, how are you?" he greets his old buddy after getting his attention.

"Not so good," says Harry.

"Why, what happened?" James queries.

"Well," Harry says, "I just went bankrupt and I've still got to feed my family. I don't know what I'm going to do."

"Could have been worse," James replies calmly. "Could have been worse."

A month or so later, James again encounters Harry, in a restaurant. "And how are things now?" he asks.

"Terrible!" says Harry. "Our house burned down last night."

"Could have been worse," says James, again with total aplomb, and goes about his business.

A month later, James runs into Harry a third time. "Well, how goes it?" he inquires.

"Oh!" says Harry. "Things just get worse and worse. It's one tragedy after another! Now my wife has left me!"

Harry nods his head and gives his usual optimistic-seeming little smile, accompanied by his usual words: "Could've been worse."

This time, Harry grabs James by the shoulders. "Wait a minute!" he says. "I'm not gonna let you off so easy this time. Three times in the past few months we've run into one another, and every time I've told you the latest disaster in my life. Every time you say the same thing: 'Could have been worse.' This time, for God's sake, Harry, I want you to tell me: how in Heaven's name could it have been any worse?"

James looks at Harry with the same little wisp of a smile. "Could have been worse," he says. "Could have happened to me."


My wife asked me an upbeat tone, "Truth or dare?"

I chuckled and played along, "Truth."

She went on, "So tell me, do I look fat in this dress?"

I backed up, "Woah, woah, woah. This is not fair. I said truth, not dare."


Top Five Least Successful Comic Book Heroes:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Sloths

Dr. Align, Chiropractor

Captain America Top 40

Spider Vein Man

Aquafina Man

Quote of the Times;
"Don’t tell me I have to respect your 'preferred pronouns' when you don’t respect my free speech." - @tweettruth2me

Link of the Times;

Issue of the Times;
The 10 Radical New Rules That Are Changing America by Victor Davis Hanson

There are 10 new ideas that are changing America, maybe permanently.

1) Money is a construct. It can be created from thin air. Annual deficits and aggregate national debt no longer matter much.

Prior presidents ran up huge annual deficits, but at least there were some concessions that the money was real and had to be paid back. Not now. As we near $30 trillion in national debt and 110 percent of annual GDP, our elites either believe permanent zero interest rates make the cascading obligation irrelevant, or the larger the debt, the more likely we will be forced to address needed income redistribution.

2) Laws are not necessarily binding anymore. Joe Biden took an oath to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” But he has willfully rendered federal immigration laws null and void. Some rioters are prosecuted for violating federal laws, others not so much. Arrests, prosecutions, and trials are all fluid. Ideology governs when a law is still considered a law.

Crime rates do not necessarily matter. If someone is carjacked, assaulted or shot, it can be understood to be as much the victim’s fault as the perpetrator’s. Either the victim was too lax, uncaring and insensitive, or he provoked his attacker. How useful the crime is to the larger agendas of the Left determines whether a victim is really a victim, and the victimizer really a victimizer.

3) Racialism is now acceptable. We are defined first by our ethnicity or religion, and only secondarily — if at all — by an American commonality. The explicit exclusion of whites from college dorms, safe spaces, and federal aid programs is now noncontroversial. It is unspoken payback for perceived past sins, or a type of “good” racism. Falsely being called a racist makes one more guilty than falsely calling someone else a racist.

4) The immigrant is mostly preferable to the citizen. The newcomer, unlike the host, is not stained by the sins of America’s founding and history. Most citizens currently must follow quarantine rules and social distancing, stay out of school and obey all the laws.

Yet those entering the United States illegally need not follow such apparently superfluous COVID-19 rules. Their children should be immediately schooled without worry of quarantine. Immigrants need not worry about their illegal entry or residence in America. Our elites believe illegal entrants more closely resemble the “founders” than do legal citizens, about half of whom they consider irredeemable.

5) Most Americans should be treated as we would treat little children. They cannot be asked to provide an ID to vote. “Noble lies” by our elites about COVID-19 rules are necessary to protect “Neanderthals” from themselves.

Americans deserve relief from the stress of grades, standardized testing, and normative rules of school behavior. They still are clueless about why it is good for them to pay far more for their gasoline, heating, and air conditioning.

6) Hypocrisy is passe. Virtue-signaling is alive. Climate change activists fly on private jets. Social justice warriors live in gated communities. Multibillionaire elitists pose as victims of sexism, racism, and homophobia. The elite need these exemptions to help the helpless. It is what you say to lesser others about how to live, not how you yourself live, that matters.

7) Ignoring or perpetuating homelessness is preferable to ending it. It is more humane to let thousands of homeless people live, eat, defecate, and use drugs on public streets and sidewalks than it is to green-light affordable housing, mandate hospitalization for the mentally ill, and create sufficient public shelter areas.

8) McCarthyism is good. Destroying lives and careers for incorrect thoughts saves more lives and careers. Cancel culture and the Twitter Reign of Terror provide needed deterrence.

Now that Americans know they are one wrong word, act, or look away from losing their livelihoods, they are more careful and will behave in a more enlightened fashion. The social media guillotine is the humane, scientific tool of the woke.

9) Ignorance is preferable to knowledge. Neither statue-toppling, nor name-changing, nor the 1619 Project require any evidence or historical knowledge. Heroes of the past were simple constructs. Undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees reflect credentials, not knowledge. The brand, not what created it, is all that matters.

10) Wokeness is the new religion, growing faster and larger than Christianity. Its priesthood outnumbers the clergy and exercises far more power. Silicon Valley is the new Vatican, and Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter are the new gospels.

Americans privately fear these rules while publicly appearing to accept them. They still could be transitory and invite a reaction. Or they are already near-permanent and institutionalized.

The answer determines whether a constitutional republic continues as once envisioned, or warps into something never imagined by those who created it.

News of the Times;
My wife bought a talking parrot, but returned it to the pet store a week later.

“This parrot hasn’t spoken a single word.” She complained.

“I haven’t had a fuvking chance to!” Replied the parrot.


My friend was changing a tire when the car dropped on his foot.

Now he needs a toe.



If you haven't found all your Easter eggs, no worries. Give ‘em a couple of weeks in the sun and it'll be easy.

I'm trying a new all-egg diet. Could be healthy, if they weren't Cadbury eggs.

According to a new survey, 7% of Americans are not connected to the Internet. When asked why, most responded with, "Because I just don't trust America Online."

I'm old enough to remember when "Did you get the Corona?" meant, "Did you remember to get the beer at the store?"

The city of Seattle says they will not allow homeless camp sweeps on camps that have formed on school grounds, saying it would teach the wrong things to kids about the homeless. In a related story, they've also banned teaching the definition of ‘trespassing' and ‘vagrancy.'

That volcano in Iceland has released its third lava stream. Observers say it's streaming even more than you do at home during work hours.

You know, the other night I tried to watch that "Godzilla versus King Kong" movie on HBOMax and I realized: "Oh, my God-I've grown up!"

Yes, it's Friday, but it's not like I NEED Friday. I'd be fine if this was Saturday, too.


The wife thinks I'm a lazy cunt, just because I've hired a secretary at work.

"What do you mean, lazy?" I protested. "She's only going to be dealing with my mail."

"Bob, you're a fucking postman."


What's worse than raining cats and dogs?

Hailing taxis.

Quote of the Times;
Last time I checked you were still a forever being with as many second chances and new romances saved up as there are stars in the night sky; whose thoughts fly on wings, whose dreams become things, and for whom all the elements bow. In case you were wondering. – Bruno

Link of the Times;

Issue of the Times;
American Exodus by Angelo M. Codevilla

Don’t wait for the oligarchy to let you in. Just walk away.

When Machiavelli wrote, “in order to know Moses’ virtue it was necessary that the people of Israel be slaves in Egypt …,” he was pointing to the truth that knowing what one is up against is a powerful incentive for dealing with it intelligently. Genesis tells us that only in Moses’ time did the Egyptians make clear how harsh was the alternative to the Exodus by deciding to kill their longtime slaves’ baby boys.

Today, the oligarchy that controls American society’s commanding heights leaves those who are neither its members nor its clients little choice but to marshal their forces for their own exodus. The federal government, the governments of states and localities run by the Democratic Party, along with the major corporations, the educational establishment, and the news media set strict but movable boundaries about what they may or may not say—on pain of being cast out, isolated from society’s mainstream. Using an ever-shifting variety of urgent excuses, which range from the coronavirus, to the threat of domestic terrorism, to catastrophic climate change, to the evils of racism, they issue edicts that they enforce through anti-democratic means—from social pressure and threats, to corporate censorship of digital platforms, to bureaucratic fiat. Nobody voted for this.

What forces can and can’t this oligarchy bring to bear? We have a hint from Time magazine’s Feb. 4, 2021, valedictory of “a vast, cross-partisan campaign” by leaders of business, labor, and the media, in cooperation with the Democratic Party, that “got states to change voting systems and laws” for the 2020 presidential election in contravention of black-letter constitutional law. Rulings by judges in Michigan and Virginia that changes to those states’ absentee ballot laws were blatantly illegal matters not one whit.

Why not? Because the coalition of masters controls the levers of the state and the press. As Time reveals, they “helped secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding. They fended off voter-suppression lawsuits, recruited armies of poll workers and got millions of people to vote by mail for the first time. They successfully pressured social media companies to take a harder line against disinformation and used data-driven strategies to fight viral smears.” Because these elites realized that “engaging with toxic content only made it worse,” they decided on “removing content or accounts that spread disinformation and by more aggressively policing it in the first place.” Instead of answering facts and arguments with which they disagreed, they would ignore their substance and smear whoever voiced them.

The boldness and novelty of these as well as of unmentioned tactics delivered the desired electoral result, and power heretofore unimaginable: Americans in 2021 are being fired or “canceled” from society for whatever anyone connected with the oligarchy finds objectionable—even for asking for evidence of the oligarchy’s assertions. Yet Time tells us that because the process of defeating Donald Trump’s voters angered them further, these oligarchs worry that they gained only “a respite.” Hence the united oligarchy must seek, as The New York Times’ Jamelle Bouie put it, permanent “national political dominance.”

Though that dominance seems at hand, the general population’s compliance with it is not. That is because isolating and alienating anybody, let alone half the country, is the proverbial two-edged sword. Anytime you isolate and alienate someone else, you do the same to yourself. The boundaries that the oligarchs have drawn, are drawing, separate them from the American people’s vast majority, whose consciousness of powerlessness and defenselessness clarifies their choice between utter subjection and doing whatever it might take to exit a system that no longer seems to allow for the prospect of republican self-government.

Composing the differences between traditional America and our new woke oligarchy is impossible because their conflict is asymmetric. The American Revolution, the Constitution, and two centuries of custom endow traditionally minded Americans, conservatives and others, with the preference and habit of living as they please and letting others do the same. They understand concepts like virtue, righteousness, and leadership in terms of the duty to live exemplary lives themselves, not to force others to do so. The enlightened oligarchy and its elite servant classes follow Woodrow Wilson’s progressive dogma: “If you will think about what you ought to do for other people, your character will take care of itself.”

By this century’s second decade, the oligarchs who occupy the commanding heights of American life had ceased trying to persuade. Self-government has declined as corporations have wielded public powers with private discretion. America’s ruling class—bipartisan, public and private—grew to disdain the rest of America’s religiosity, patriotism, and tastes. But until our own time, most Americans either had not noticed their loss of status as citizens or assumed that they could vote to regain it. But the rulers inspired no confidence and ruled by pulling rank.

In 2014, Pat Caddell’s study of public opinion, which he titled “We Need Smith,” found that:

Eighty-six percent of all voters believe political leaders are more interested in protecting their power than in doing what’s right for the American people. Eighty-three percent believe the country is run by an alliance of incumbent politicians, media pundits, lobbyists, and other interests for their own gain. Further, 79% believe that powerful interests from Wall Street banks to corporations, unions, and PACs use campaign and lobbying money to rig the system to serve themselves and that they loot the national treasury at the expense of every American. … Ninety-two percent say we must recruit and support for public office more ordinary citizens and fewer professional politicians. Not surprising when you consider that 81% believe both political parties do what’s in it for them rather than fix our nation’s problems.

Such figures bespeak neither conservatism nor liberalism, but widespread alienation and disdain among people who understand themselves to be subjects of a selfish power to which they have no personal connection and that exists beyond their collective control. Hence, in the runup to the 2016 election, the bipartisan ruling class entirely lost control of right-leaning voters and failed to hold on to nearly half of left-leaning ones. Opposed by both parties’ hierarchies, Donald Trump won the presidency more as a social rebel than as any kind of recognizable economic or political conservative, by appealing to people whose personal style and opinions on any number of subjects deviated from what was being presented as “mainstream”—including any number of people who had previously voted for Barack Obama and for Bernie Sanders.

Trump won in 2016 as the candidate who would lead the country class out of the clutches of the ruling class—as a caricature of Caddell’s Mr. Smith. The ruling class—Wall Street, K Street, Washington grifters, the educational establishment, the media, and the corporations—saw the alienation that Trump embodied as the mortal threat that it is to their own power and positions. Unable and unwilling to change their way of governing, or the system of heavily bureaucratized crony capitalism from which they so massively benefit, these people resolved to secure the votes of Blacks, Hispanics, women, and the young by encouraging them to make war on whites, men, and conservatives. “Hate thy neighbor and stick with us!” was their program. Hence the four-year campaign leading up to the 2020 election was all about hating Trump and beating down his voters on the basis of race, sex, the Russians—anything to divert from what the rampant oligarchy was doing to the rest of the country.

Hate-as-identity was key to the ruling class’s victory in the 2020 election. For the elites, indulging sentiments of moral superiority, promoting hate, and rubbing “deplorable” faces in the dirt is a means to secure and mobilize supporters, which itself is incidental to securing the material benefits of power. For those who deliver the votes, indulging hate is affirmation of identity.

Ruling people by insulting and harming them is problematic, and not reversible. The use that the oligarchy made of the COVID epidemic added to insult and injury, as well as to its power, in a manner previously unimaginable. Boldly dismissing without argument the fact that viral infections cannot be stopped from running their course once they have taken root in a population, they asserted that acquiescing to indefinite cessation of social and economic activities they deemed to be nonessential would stop the disease’s progression. The ensuing lockdowns, mask mandates, and other measures made life for most Americans worse in every way. But these strictures also crippled the sectors of American society independent of and resistant to the oligarchy—religious institutions and small businesses. They isolated people and limited what they could hear from and say to each other, leaving them prey to one-way propaganda narratives backed by nightly threats of mob violence.

Correctly, however, the American oligarchy, which resides these days in the Democratic Party, feared that the weaponized, mutually validating narratives with which it had bombarded the population could not guarantee that the American people would vote differently in 2020 than they did in 2016, widespread public dislike for Donald Trump notwithstanding. Not a few suspected that the COVID heavy-handedness had increased resentment among people who had learned to be suspicious of pollsters, reporters, and opinion-samplers.

Ordinary credulity was never enough for swallowing the narrative that universal vote by mail, coupled with drop boxes for ballots and ballot harvesting by self-proclaimed civic groups, plus the reduction or elimination of verification of signatures, would do anything other than transfer electoral power from those who cast votes to those who count them—that is, to the oligarchy and its party. Even so, the ruling class’s victory depended on tens of thousands of votes out of 156 million, in some of the most corrupt counties in the land. In Pennsylvania, the vast majority of all mailed ballots were for Biden. The oligarchy sealed the victory as brazenly as they gained it: by meeting demands for transparency with ad hominem accusations backed by threats of social ostracism and enforced by control, which itself was attained in part by issuing naked threats backed by legislative and bureaucratic power—all over partisan, monopoly digital platforms which eventually participated in censorship.

The oligarchy’s power over American institutions public and private, however, does not change the fact that it rests on near universal voluntary compliance. The irrevocable alienation of and from at least half of Americans has canceled much of the oligarchs’ moral legitimacy and left them obliged to rule by further alienating and punishing—to rule a house that they divided against itself. Hence, the unprecedented power it gathered will prove less significant than the manner in which it did the gathering.

In the first few months of 2021, it is clear that widespread compliance with institutions and leading personages on which the American system of government has long rested is no longer possible. The oligarchy exercises all earthly powers. Its theophobia dismisses heaven’s. It substitutes “narratives” for truth. Because its members internalized the assumption that reason is simply what Hobbes called a scout for the passions, what Marx said is superstructural to material reality, and what the woke call “logism,” it has placed itself beyond the reach of argument. It can neither admit those it deems deplorable to real citizenship— never mind to society’s commanding heights—nor can it set bounds to the next round of exactions and humiliations that, having ditched persuasion, it must visit upon them.

The deplorables plainly stand no chance of dismantling the new American system. Corporate executives, not legislatures, governors, or presidents are the ones who decide what happens to the trillions of dollars created jointly by the Federal Reserve and Wall Street. They are the ones who regulate speech and attitudes, who for the most part decide who rises and who does not. And they are the part of the oligarchy most insulated from republican institutions.

New laws may be most useful for reviving old ones, such as the 1890 Sherman Antitrust Act. But the problem lies in a century’s accretion of administrative arrangements, court rulings, and above all, of self-serving practices. Nor would it be possible for these elected officials to restore the republic that was founded in 1776-79, even if an economic recession or act of Providence were to deliver solid electoral victories in the Senate, House, and presidency to a party of the country class (were one to come into being). That is because the republic’s substance withered over a century, and its husk collapsed over the past five years.

In our time, millions of people have grown up or been educated no longer to want or be able to live as citizens of what had been the American republic. Partisans in mind, heart, and habit, their support of the oligarchy’s partisan rule has left the United States with two peoples of opposing character, aspirations, and tastes within its national borders. The government bureaucracies are led by persons selected and habituated against the deplorables. The same can be said of the educational establishment and corporate boardrooms. What sort of dictatorial power would it take to purge them? Were the deplorables to struggle for the partisan power to oppress the others, they would guarantee dysfunction at best, war at worst. That is why it makes most sense for them to assert their own freedom.

Some sort of mostly peaceful exodus is within our powers to achieve. A very bad imitation of Mr. Smith was able to convince 75 million to rise against dangers that were still largely theoretical in 2016. Better imitators can lead many more to act against present ones, and to live within institutions of their own making. We can withdraw our compliance, go our own way, and build anew.

Separation from our oligarchy requires stripping it of its claims of legitimacy. Their means of control—from making and breaking careers to control of institutional machinery—are daunting. Individuals may be penalized easily. But every bit of this power vanishes in the face of mass resistance. The oligarchy is frightened of this, with good reason. Nor can they stop an exodus by using force, sensing that they might well lose the ensuing civil war.

In the American republic, legitimate political power flowed from the voters through their elected representatives. The oligarchy’s claim to rule by superior knowledge and morality dissolves the public’s moral obligation to obey. The oligarchy, illegitimate in republican terms, now rules through threats and fear. But for the solvent consequences of illegitimacy to follow, the falsehood of claims to superior knowledge and morality must be asserted and explained, at the same time as acts of collective disobedience physically defy fear.

Our American exodus won’t be led by a Moses. The Republican Party, with the exception of a few national-level personages, may be as useless as ever. But politics is a collective activity, and the lack of top-down leadership notwithstanding, our exodus is already in progress, thanks to Americans’ legal structures and traditions of state and local autonomy, as well as our Tocquevillian taste for organizing ourselves into ad hoc groups for the common benefit.

Already in the winter of 2021, 33 states, pressed by their voters, are introducing bills to prevent the kind of executive and judicial manipulation of election procedures that occurred in 2020. Ordinary citizens who are oppressed by COVID-inspired overregulation have also organized themselves to take advantage of the fact that safety in numbers is the first rule of civil disobedience. Thus, hundreds of California restauranteurs jointly defied the governor’s order to keep them closed, and sued him. Joint action is also the key to transforming what the authorities want to treat as disciplinary or criminal matters into political ones.

Important as spontaneity is, the substantive and exemplary importance of what elected governors and legislatures can do is even greater. Because Govs. DeSantis of Florida, Noem of South Dakota, Kemp of Georgia, Abbott of Texas (to a lesser extent), and others defied the directives first of the Trump, then of the Biden administration regarding COVID restrictions, their states compiled an incontrovertible record that proves how intellectually wrong, substantively disastrous, and politically malevolent those directives were and are. This is a touchstone for impeaching the oligarchy’s legitimacy on other matters as well, and proof—if any further be needed—that for good and ill in the 21st century, the 50 states need not fear to do pretty much as they please. Nullification has been a fact of U.S public life since Colorado and California rewrote drug laws. There is no reason why it should or can stop there.

It is no less necessary for Americans to subtract themselves from big companies that exercise public powers with private discretion. Stricter application of antitrust laws and ones upholding privacy can help. So can organized boycotts. Sometimes, action does not have to be organized at all. When the Gillette company aired an ad on toxic masculinity, nobody had to tell millions of its customers to shave with other razors. Record low numbers of Americans are tuning in to the Oscars, the Grammys, and other national awards shows, in part because they are sick of being fed an endless diet of contemptuous political rants by self-described “activists” in place of entertainment. They naturally go elsewhere to be entertained.

The exodus requires more, very much including leadership at the national level. Likely, as the national elections of 2022 and 2024 approach, competition for votes will produce persons who answer the call of constituents to affirm their values and defend their ways. The next generation of House and Senate candidates already bears little resemblance to former ones. Around them a coherent movement may well coalesce to end oligopoly in the media, to free Americans from the reign of political correctness, to reaffirm ordinary citizens’ interest in equality under law and in the primacy of nature over politics, to cancel the partisanship of U.S. government agencies—especially law enforcement, intelligence agencies, and the military—and to return American schools to the work of educating our children. Because contending notions of legitimacy are at stake, actions undertaken to such ends must be accompanied, at local and national levels, by relentless explanation about facts, truth and lies, right and wrong.

Once a majority of Americans understand that Google, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, the Times, and Gannett are partisan instruments—that they use lies, censorship, and insults to subjugate us to a form of oligarchical totalitarianism—a substantial portion of their customers will begin to patronize alternatives, and their power over information will cease. That is because their power depends on the public accepting the pretense of objectivity and neutrality that these platforms still see fit on occasion to wear after sucking the life out of 20th-century American media. Stripping them of this borrowed pretense, and highlighting their overtly manipulative partisanship, must be every action’s proximate objective.

Unleashing the tort bar against the media giants while stoking the public’s anger may well do to them what it did to the tobacco industry, to the manufacturers of asbestos, and to the Boy Scouts of America. The states of Florida and Texas are in the process of trying to make the social media giants criminally liable for censoring citizens on their platforms, and civilly liable to individuals who may feel that they have been wronged by acts of censorship or slander. Other states are sure to follow. No doubt the tech cartel will appeal state-level judgments to the federal courts, citing the Communications Decency Act, Section 230. But its language, as Philip Hamburger has shown, by no means self-evidently exempts these companies from liability for censorship or for harm. Surely, proceedings about the giants’ withholding, falsifying, and censoring information would disenchant millions of people who had become their customers in search of a neutral means of communication, and lead them to patronize alternatives actually committed to that goal.

What to do about the media’s banning or restricting the circulation of ideas with which it disagrees, including the distribution of books and movies, is a major issue of national politics. Without shame, medically unqualified “fact checkers” censor the writings of physicians on medical matters, while defining their own beliefs about gender and race as “science.” Letting such pretenses stand also ratifies the negation of the First Amendment. Overcoming them requires ending the exercise of what amount to governmental powers, indeed of police powers, by nongovernmental persons and entities.

Not so long ago, government power was the only threat to the First Amendment. But oligarchy’s essence is precisely the blurring and blending of public and private power in a partisan manner. Hence, media malpractice must be dealt with as part of a bigger political problem, namely expanding the Bill of Rights’ coverage to ostensibly private entities.

What is to be done about private companies that subject employees to training aimed at convincing them that there is something wrong with being white—or at least pretending to convince them? Or that they must abide by the oligarchy’s preferences? To be sure, state governments may outlaw such training within their borders, as part of their general police power. But big employers may object to such laws as contrary to their own freedom of speech, while asserting that the employees’ attendance at those sessions is voluntary. Even if courts back them up, governors and mayors don’t have to listen and can impose their penalties. Public figures, or brave employees, can organize many if not most employees to stay away and to explain just how wrong it is to racially stereotype. Management can’t fire them all. Yet republican self-government can return to at least some Americans only if and when a bloc of major states puts itself in the position of dictating what will and will not happen within their borders.

It’s not as if we, the Smiths, were not warned. As our collective republican grandfather, President Dwight Eisenhower, was leaving office, he told us that “a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity,” that “domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is … gravely to be regarded,” and that “public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.” The outsize power of the military-industrial complex he knew too well was but one of the consequences of our abandoning due caution about those who rule by virtue of their qualifications. Ike would not have been surprised at the attempted dictatorship of self-interested pseudo experts.

Leave aside that pretenses of expertise prove hollow as often as not. Even if those who pretend to rule on behalf of “science” had earned their status by examinations as rigorous and competitive as those of France’s Third Republic bureaucrats, their expertise would not negate the inalienable interest that the rest of us have in living our lives as we see fit—in our own freedom, pursuing our own interests, according to our own lights. “Who the hell do they think they are?” is the core of every Smithian complaint, and republican government’s bedrock argument.

Not all of Americans share it. Some really believe that controlling the Earth’s climate, and facilitating every manner of sexual gratification while exacting racial vengeance, must trump the freedoms of whomever objects. For them, rule by groups, each upholding its ideological and material stake and bargaining behind closed doors—that is, oligarchy—is fine.

But the Smiths notice that the schools are teaching their children less than they had been taught. They have been mortgaging the house to pay for college. Their children’s student loans mortgage their future. But the colleges have produced mostly worthless degrees while credentialing a generation of oligarchs who pretend to control other people’s lives. Remedying this is high on the Smiths’ to-do list, and more within their power than most other things.

Around the country, Americans are fleeing public K-12 schools as fast as they can. This exodus accelerated during the COVID affair as parents observed online the poor quality if not outright dysfunctionality of much that the schools teach. The teachers’ unions stimulated it by showing their priority for their material and ideological interests. Only because most Smiths don’t have the resources for private education or for home schooling is that exodus not accelerating faster.

The Smiths are increasingly open to tying school financing to school choice. Securing for parents a voucher in the amount that their public school spends per pupil, cashable at any school or applicable to the expenses of home schooling, would open a spigot at the bottom of the K-12 industry’s barrel. Merely campaigning to do it would unseat countless oligarchic officials. Though school choice is irrelevant to quality in principle, it frees each set of Smiths to rise or fall to the educational level they choose for their children. Let parents who care about intensively educating their children in science and math or the Greek and Roman classics or the Hebrew Bible to reap the consequences, good and bad, of their own choices. Let parents who want to teach their children that there are an infinite number of genders or that skin color is the all-powerful determining force in their lives or that biology is a human invention bear similar responsibility, without imposing their own beliefs on others.

The issue of quality and the question of what education means in today’s America lead us back to considering the role that reputation for expertise plays in the struggle between republic and oligarchy. We emphasize “reputation” because, as those now in charge of our institutions have rested their authority on “expertise,” they have also downgraded or eliminated objective standards about what that is. The oligarchy similarly perverts “merit,” having declared competitive exams to be out of fashion; in fact, Stanford Law School now decrees “meritocratic” grading policies to be forms of “state-sponsored racial segregation.”

Until recently, graduation from highly selective colleges seemed to certify their graduates as better for having been admitted, and doubly so for having learned more than students at lesser schools. But for a generation, the Ivy League, Stanford, and others have made a point of admitting many students with lower scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test rather than students with higher ones. In general, and with the exception of physics, chemistry, and pure math, the more highly rated the college, the less work it expects from its students. And since learning is inherently proportionate to studying, graduates of these academic peaks often know less than kids out of Podunk State. Yet they give their students something of supposedly greater practical value than knowledge: prestige, pretentiousness, and access to enviable careers.

Which leads one to ask why the nation’s most powerful consulting groups, private equity firms, and big banks hire Ivy League types and pay them so much. They are not necessarily all that bright or knowledgeable. Why then are they so valuable? Not because of what they know, but who they are: junior members of the oligarchy, identically chosen, trained, and confirmed to defend its interests, to communicate its priorities, and preserve its hierarchy. How come the public-private oligarchy was able to use the COVID challenge to crush independent business, thus transferring massive wealth to itself? Because its various parts are staffed by interconnected people who, whatever their differences, instinctively trump the Smiths’ priorities with those of their own class.

Of all the oligarchy’s parts, the educational establishment’s power most depends on prestige. But under the academic regalia, it has no more clothes than the proverbial emperor. The humble Smiths can cut the problem off at the roots simply by ceasing to credit the sources of prestige. The moment that the Smiths cease to think of Harvard and Stanford products as “smart,” and instead think “pretentious,” they deprive the oligarchy of much of its legitimacy. The moment that they realize that most colleges sell expensive four-year vacations from responsibility, they can stop supporting them, and ask instead where and at what price they may best obtain the combination of knowledge and credentials they seek. The Smiths can also urge those choices on whomever they elect at all levels of government.

The oligarchy’s cancellation of most ordinary people out of its desired America leaves the latter with the choice between helotry and exodus. But since submission to inconstant, inept masters is impossible, common sense suggests counter-canceling: limiting involvement with the oligarchy to minimizing its interference on individuals who don’t share its aims and preferences.

The oligarchy’s cancellation of ordinary working people—of those who actively participate in forms of organized religion, and are otherwise attached to the common norms and values that prevailed in America and shaped the civilization in and by which most of us live—signals an alienation deeper than that between citizens of different but friendly nations. Asking how this cultural chasm has come to be detracts from the hard task of understanding its depth and making the best of it. Like married couples who have lost or given up what had united them, trying to work through irreconcilable differences only drives Americans’ domestic quarrels toward more violence.

That is why going one’s own way, while paying no more attention to the woke than is absolutely necessary, should be the agenda of the country party, which in this case includes all of those who still feel an attachment to the ideals of republican citizenship that we once shared in common as Americans.

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