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My wife asked if she could have a little peace and quiet while she cooked dinner.

So I took the battery out of the smoke detector.


I was just on the phone with a company that said I won my choice of either $500 or tickets to see an Elvis Presley tribute band...

I had to press 1 for the money or 2 for the show!


"Did you give the prisoner the third degree?" the police captain asked the detective.

"Yeah, we browbeat him pretty good," nodded the other. "Asked him every question and made every threat we could think of."

"And did you get a confession?" asked the sergeant.

"Not exactly," explained the officer. "All he'd say was, 'Yes dear' and he'd doze off."


Where did Noah keep the bees on the ark?

In the Ark Hives.


You know what has become a serious problem?

Beehive thefts.

I'd suggest some kind of sting operation.

Quote of the Times;
Isn’t that amazing that we have laws to protect the unborn birds and at the same time we are demanding the right to kill our unborn children. - David Hinsen

Link of the Times;

Issue of the Times;
In Praise of Broken Windows Policing by Christopher DeGroot

For many of us who live in American cities, certain things each year signal the arrival of warm weather: the joyful sounds of children playing in the street, the pleasant sight of pretty women in their dresses and skirts, and more young black men shooting each other.

It stands to reason, of course, that there would be greater incidences of violence and murder among criminal types (of all races) during warm weather. More people on the streets means more trouble to get into, and so it is common in some of our cities for a half-dozen people or more to be shot, or shot and killed, in the span of a weekend’s mischief.

So, what is to be done about this problem? Here, no innovation is necessary, because we already know what works, although, as with so many reasonable things these days, there is formidable moralistic liberal opposition. The solution is prevention, and that means broken windows policing.

Developed by two outstanding social scientists, James Q. Wilson and George Kelling, broken windows policing is a distinctly conservative approach to crime. It eschews the standard liberal fantasy—namely, obfuscating moral abstractions and technocratic social engineering—in favor of the empirical, the concrete, and the commonsensical. For the theory is based on observation of good police work itself. As Heather Mac Donald puts it in her recent essay in City Journal on Kelling,

He had accompanied cops walking foot beats in Newark, N.J., and had documented how they enforced local norms of order, whether keeping panhandlers away from bus shelters, quieting noisy youth, or rousting unknown loiterers. The law-abiding residents of the community backed the officers wholeheartedly, ridiculing norm violators and providing information on who was a “regular” and who a “stranger.”

The effectiveness of broken windows policing has been borne out by science. Mac Donald again:

Academic critics and the press…challenged the idea that allowing disorder to fester invites more lawbreaking. In 2007, sociologists in the Netherlands constructed an elegant series of experiments to test the hypothesis. The social scientists defaced discrete urban locations with graffiti and litter and created other signs of public-norm violation. In every case, passersby were far more likely themselves to litter, trespass, and disregard other social rules in the disorderly environment than in the orderly one. They were twice as likely to steal a stamped envelope visibly containing cash from a mailbox that was covered with graffiti than from a mailbox that was pristine.

Other research also has demonstrated the considerable value of the method. Broken windows policing is the reason for the well-known reductions in crime in New York City in the 1990s and the 2000s. I myself have witnessed its effectiveness in the Philadelphia area. Some years ago, while working as a reporter for a small newspaper in Delaware County, PA, I saw a group of black male high school students fighting on the streets of Upper Darby shortly after school had let out. Such violence is rare in Center City Philadelphia, at least, because every afternoon during the school year, the streets are packed with cops who keep the youngsters in line. Out of curiosity, I have sometimes struck up conversations with these men. “These kids are so bad that they need all of you guys out here?” I half-joked to one a few weeks ago. “Pretty much,” he replied, and I thanked him for his thankless work.

There is ample evidence that, insofar as police do not do or stop doing broken windows policing, crime is high or increases. The most famous example of this phenomenon is the Ferguson effect. According to Wikipedia, “the term was coined by Doyle Sam Dotson III, the chief of the St. Louis police, to account for an increased murder rate in some U.S. cities following the Ferguson unrest.”

Why, then, isn’t broken windows policing the norm in the U.S.? Why is it so controversial for police to clear the streets in neighborhoods where it’s reasonable to believe that not doing so may allow for violent crime, or rather, more of it?

There are many reasons. There are more than a few blacks who, resenting their group’s lesser overall social status, do not want to accept group disparities in crime rates, who do not want to face the consequences of human action. To some extent, that is understandable. Influenced by awareness of the past injustices blacks suffered—slavery, Jim Crow, police brutality—blacks and others think that group disparities in crime rates must be owing to discrimination, to police “targeting” blacks. But though discrimination, and unjust police violence, against blacks still occur, there has been tremendous progress in this area. While it may seem counterintuitive to some, today police are far more likely to be murdered by blacks than vice versa. The politically incorrect reality is that, at only about 4 percent of the population, black men under 40 commit more than half of all homicides, and are disproportionately represented in violent crime generally.

Nor can poverty, the common liberal explanation (motivated by blind pity), account for this. There are places around the world where, though people are poorer than anyone in our poorest cities, violent crime rates are still a lot lower than those in Baltimore, Detroit, St. Louis, and other American ghettos. Though poverty is correlated to crime, poverty does not cause crime, because people do have free will and choose to do what they do.

Nevertheless, we are not born as responsible moral agents. We must be socialized and learn to live by virtuous habits. And here many parents, especially among whites, blacks, and Hispanics, are failing. Not that poor parenting alone is to blame—there are plenty of people who repeatedly make bad choices despite having received good parenting. Although much of morality, in all places and times, is just a mask for power and utter hypocrisy, no culture can do without morality, and my friend Amy Wax is right that we require what she calls “the courage to moralize.” Yet such moralizing has to be unflinchingly truthful and sincere, willing to go against the grain. That is what she means by courage.

The problem, though, is that this virtue is hindered by the delusions and class interests of genteel liberals. For rather than realizing that some people just need to change their lives, and to be told to change their lives, these wrongheaded moralists constantly read discrimination into contexts where it does not exist, and condescendingly treat others as nothing but passive victims of poverty, as if to be poor were an intrinsically criminal or degenerate condition. In some cases, this deplorable habit is attributable to ignorance. In others, to fear of appearing racist. In still others, to careerism.

All of these defects are common among social scientists and intellectuals, who have, after all, much to gain by being or appearing to be on the right side of error, so to speak. In a penetrating essay in the summer 2017 issue of City Journal, “What Criminologists Don’t Say, and Why,” criminologists John Paul Wright and Matt DeLisi wrote:

[C]riminologists’ lack of direct contact with subjects, situations, and neighborhoods—their propensity to abstraction—invites misunderstandings about the reality of crime. Most academics have never met with women who have been raped or children who have been molested, or seen the carnage wrought by a bullet that passed through a human skull, or spent a lot of time with police on the street. The gulf between numbers on a spreadsheet and the harsh realities of the world sometimes fosters a romanticized view of criminals as victims, making it easier for criminologists to overlook the damage that lawbreakers cause—and to advocate for more lenient policies and treatment.

Compare these sobering words to what George Orwell said in a letter of October 1938: “What sickens me about left-wing people, especially the intellectuals, is their utter ignorance of the way things actually happen. I was always struck by this when I was in Burma and used to read anti-imperialist stuff.”

To be sure, some of these leftists mean well, but their moral biases, which blind them to the crucial uncomfortable facts, are nonetheless harmful. Perceiving a nonexistent morality play in situations where it is necessary to face “the harsh realities of the world,” including a great many failures of personal responsibility, does not help others—though it does allow you to maintain your weak-willed failure to recognize the truth. Simply throwing money at bad habits—the common “solution” of what John Derbyshire calls “Good Whites” - does nothing to alter them. On the contrary, it merely enables them and effectively justifies the faults and excuses of those who need to change - which only they can do for themselves.

As with incompetent criminologists and other social scientists, so with journalists. Today, much of what passes for journalism is about as intellectually responsible as a game of Whisper Down the Lane. The propaganda of ignorant journalists serves to obscure understanding and to inspire resentment and divisiveness throughout the country. This is particularly true when it comes to reporting on police work. Thus, where people should be trying to live better, they are presented with a cloud of cheap moral confusion in which they can easily take refuge, an option that is certainly preferable to the hard work of self-examination and self-correction.

By giving cops so much discretion, broken windows policing entails huge potential for discrimination and misconduct. So, it must be conducted with the utmost internal scrutiny. Independent of that necessity, however, the complexity of certain situations, and the limitations of human knowledge and judgment, are such that sometimes mistakes are inevitable. Anyway, broken windows policing works and should be the norm everywhere. Whether the U.S. will have the will to implement it as such is another question.

News of the Times;
I whispered to the librarian, "Do you have any books on paranoia?"

She whispered back, "They're behind you."


My neighbor boasts constantly about being able to take naps whenever and wherever he feels like it.

Fuvking braggart.

I don’t know how he sleeps at night.



Someone ripped the 5th month out of my calendar, I'm dis-Mayed.

I'm pretty sure the person who put the first ‘r' in February was also in charge of spelling Wednesday.

Hydration tip; Drink one gallon of water every day helps you avoid other people's drama because you're always in the bathroom peeing.

Be decisive; The road of life is paved with flat squirrels who couldn't make a decision.

Behind every great man is the drawer I need to get into, why are you even in the kitchen right now?

Pubs: The official sunblock of Ireland.

Smashmouth was right; The years start coming and they really don't stop coming.

About time to hit up the boss for a Cost-of-Driving raise.

Prince Harry made a surprise visit to a rodeo in Texas this week and for those wondering, it WAS his first rodeo.

Survivor returned to TV Wednesday night, with everything going on in the world, it seems redundant.


The favorite vegetables in Washington, D.C.? In Congress, it's celery.

At the White House, carrots.

And of course, at the Supreme Court, leeks.


Elon Musk went to bed thinking he owns Twitter.

Then the mail-in ballots arrived at 2am.

Quote of the Times;
When pregnant, the cells of the baby migrate into the mothers bloodstream and then circle back into the baby, it’s called “fetal-maternal microchimerism”.? For 41 weeks, the cells circulate and merge backwards and forwards, and after the baby is born, many of these cells stay in the mother’s body, leaving a permanent imprint in the mothers tissues, bones, brain, and skin, and often stay there for decades. Even if a pregnancy doesn't go to full term or if you have an abortion, these cells still migrate into your bloodstream. Research has shown that if a mother's heart is injured, fetal cells will rush to the site of the injury and change into different types of cells that specialize in mending the heart. The baby helps repair the mother, while the mother builds the baby. How cool is that? - Amy Torba

Link of the Times;

Issue of the Times;
Saving the Birthing People From Having to Birth by Daniel Greenfield

Are women powerful or powerless?

The Left erased women. The “W” word, a concept so fundamental that every human culture and even animals understand it (proving that a donkey is smarter than a Democrat), vanished within a matter of years to be replaced by “birthing people”.

Now the Democrats vow to save the “birthing people” from having to “birth”.

Leftists used to accuse conservatives of reducing women to “baby-making machines” until they decided to go ahead and redefine women as “birthing machines” (which is completely different). That triumph of social justice, akin to spending a decade stamping out the use of “colored people”, only to resurrect it as “people of color”, was just another case of leftist projection.

Democrats spent generations reducing women to abortion or birthing people who don’t birth. Redefining womanhood as a state of mind that anyone, no matter how hairy, can identify with and become, eliminated all the other planks of the feminist agenda leaving only abortion.

And with Roe v. Wade on the ropes, the Left has women exactly where it wants them.

“Birthing people” emphasizes vulnerability. Even as it denies biological reality, it focuses on a very specific biological function, paring away everything else to play pregnancy gatekeepers.

The familiar game plan of identity politics is to reduce individuals to a group, and then to define that group in such a way that it appears perpetually vulnerable. “Birthing people”, like inventing the notion that every black person is just a police encounter away from sudden racist death, is the Marxist reductionism of everything that makes us human to power relationships.

To use “birthing people” is to define womanhood as a state of biological oppression in which there are only two states of being, pregnant or not, and making that into a partisan choice. To be pregnant is the fiendish plot of Republicans, while being saved from pregnancy is the noble work of Democrats. Gratitude means that birthing people” are expected not to quibble at the liberation of Bob wanting to be let into the bathroom or Mike wanting to join the swim team.

Collective liberation requires intersectional sacrifices from everyone. Especially women.

Permanent victimhood is perpetual oppression. Like the arsonist firefighter, leftists enslave the people they claim to be saving. After all, without a fresh supply of victims what would they do?

Manufacturing victimhood requires the destruction of the victim’s sense of control over their life.

Victims lose their dignity and their empathy, coming to see life as a vicious struggle that they are ill-equipped to survive on their own. The victim learns to hate everyone else because they have been taught that everyone is out to get them. They learn to take no responsibility for their own behavior because they believe that they are incapable of making meaningful choices.

This is the state of the diverse rainbow of victims rallying under the banner of social justice. It’s also the state to which the Left aspires to reduce every single human being it can brainwash.

This was the sorry state of much of the human race for most of human history. It’s still the state of the average person living in a third world dictatorship. And that’s no coincidence at all.

Every time America tries to introduce democracy to people who think like this, it fails miserably, just as it fails miserably in the slums ruled by Democrats, who have the same relationship to democracy as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, because freedom is not a system.

It’s a state of mind.

Convince people that they aren’t free and they’ll act that way no matter how many constitutional rights they might possess. And persuade people that they are free, and then no matter how oppressed they may be, they will not be subjugated without a long struggle and rivers of blood.

Americans were not free because they had a Constitution, they made a Constitution because they freed themselves. The failure to understand this important distinction led to this crisis.

The Left spent much of American history systemically convincing people that they were not free. The radical movement used every Constitutional right and every social freedom to seize control of the means of communication and indoctrination to force that core message through the system. To the extent that much of the country believes that it is not free, it has succeeded.

Abortion is one of its wedge issues. It’s a powerful wedge issue because it can be used to convince women that they’re powerless. The pro-choice movement, like every leftist slogan, is an inversion. Its actual message is that women don’t have a choice. That the “choice” is in the hands of two factions, only of which intends to allow women to choose as long as it’s in power.

What the Left wants from women is to replace actual choice with the illusion of a binary choice. Its message is the familiar one of Big Brother, that power comes from surrendering individualism, and that security can only be found in the ranks of angry mobs. That is what we were seeing outside the Supreme Court. And it is what we see throughout identity politics.

The Left gaslights its professional victims into nullifying everything about themselves except their greatest vulnerability which it promises that it can help them control. Power, the abortion movement tells the “birthing people” who used to be women, comes from not giving birth. The only way to maintain control over your life is to kill your children before they can be born.

Victims are notoriously easy to convince that preemptive aggression is self-defense, that the only way to be safe is absolute selfishness, and that their feelings are all that should matter.

Wokeness is the social manifestation of this state of mind in workplaces and universities.

The Left claims that it teaches pride and strength, but what it actually inculcates are the insecurities of shame and weakness. It reduces its victims to their worst and urges them to be proud of that and to lash out at anyone who might expect anything better from them.

Having erased women, the Left tells “birthing people” to take pride in dead children.

News of the Times;
I wanted to really splurge for Mom this Mother's Day.

How do you wrap up a gallon of gas?


What's the difference between a rock guitarist and a jazz guitarist?

A rock guitarist plays 4 notes in front of 1000 people, while a jazz guitarist plays 1000 notes in front of 4 people.


My neighbor. She’s single. She’s shapely & beautiful and she lives right across the street...

I watched her as she got home from work this evening. I was surprised when she walked across the street, up my driveway and knocked on my door.

I opened the door, she looked at me and said, ”I just got home, and I have this strong urge to have a good time, get drunk, and have fun tonight. Are you doing anything?”

I quickly replied, “Nope, I’m free!”

“Great” she said. ”Can you watch my dog?”


One of the ways Queen Elizabeth celebrated her 96th birthday last week was doing one of her favorite things; going for a drive.

The official royal rule: If you don't like how the Queen drives, stay off the sidewalks.


FYI: George Jetson was a 40-year-old in 2062, which means he was born this year.

Quote of the Times;
“I think we are in a proxy war with Russia. We are using the Ukrainians as our proxy forces.” - Philip Breedlove, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO

Link of the Times;

Issue of the Times;
What Do We Know About COVID So Far? by Ted Noel, M.D.

With all the thousands of studies bombarding the medical community, it’s helpful to set our microscope aside and look at the bigger picture. It’s virtually certain that the virus was engineered in Wuhan with financial and technical assistance directed by that highly competent bureaucrat, Anthony Fauci. But that doesn’t tell us what we should expect as the virus moves through society. For that, we must look at the science. And I don’t mean “I am science” Fauci. I mean real scientific data, something with which Fauci has little acquaintance.

Perhaps we should start with that great scientist, Oprah Winfrey, who recently opined that ending the mask mandate on airliners was “premature.” As John Adams noted at the Boston Massacre Trial, “Facts are stubborn things.” They aren’t “my truth” or “your truth.” Facts don’t care who you are or what you think. When we state facts, we are presenting a verbal picture of reality. And the fact is that public mask-wearing has never been demonstrated to have any public health benefit. The only time that mask-wearing does any good is when health care workers in high exposure environments wear properly fitted, donned, and disposed of N-95 or better respirators. Anything else is virtue signaling that denies the fact that public masking (a) doesn’t work and (b) has serious downsides.

The next great scientist is Bill Gates, who recently opined that we are in for another COVID wave that is likely to be more transmissible (true) and more deadly (false). Every variant of COVID has followed Muller’s Ratchet, becoming more contagious and less deadly. Even Delta was a bit less virulent than Alpha, but Omicron showed that more mutations encourage virus survival by infecting more people without killing them. This is the natural course of viruses, but anyone with a vested interest in vaccine profits or lockdown power simply cannot allow this fact to be known. And that brings us to Saint Fauci.

The Supreme Lord of NIAID popped up recently announcing that we might need more lockdowns to prevent the spread of some new variant. The experience of the last two years should have proved to everyone that lockdowns are bad. They kill people with other medical problems due to foregone care. As then-Governor Cuomo of New York learned, sixty percent of NYC cases were directly caused by lockdowns. When people are stuck in recirculated air with infected victims, they get sick, as the Kirkland, Washington, nursing home tragedy proved. But tyrants can’t learn, and Cuomo multiplied New York’s headstone count by sending COVID patients to assisted-living facilities to kill others. All that could have been avoided if our public “health” authorities had taken a few minutes to read the epidemiology literature. We knew that lockdowns were bad long before COVID was invented.

The occupant of the White House and the Chief Cackler are our next scientists. They both live in a protective bubble and are multiply vaccinated and boosted. They periodically opine that we may all need another “booster.” But Kamala’s re-infections prove that the booster will not work. In fact, we now know that Canada, Israel, Gibraltar, and others have increased infection rates in vaccinated individuals. This appears to be true in the US as well, but the CDC is reluctant to release the data.

This vaccine failure is due in part to direct immune suppression by the shot. The military has made it clear to Senator Johnson’s committee that not only does it not prevent infection, but it also triples the rate of breast cancer, with even higher multiples for other cancers. Yet that great scientist, SecDef Lord Austin, mandated that all military personnel get the Fauci Ouchy. He is oblivious to the fact that many highly trained (translation: expensive) warfighters such as Special Forces and pilots have been rendered unable to serve due to the mental and physical effects of the spike protein presented by the shots.

Another reason for vaccine failure is that the virus has mutated to forms that have spike proteins markedly different from the alpha variant in the vaccine. In short, they’re different diseases, just like flu is actually a host of different diseases. The vaccine and boosters don’t have any meaningful benefit against the current ailment.

I could list a host of other “scientific” authorities who are making false claims, but all that would do is bore you. In particular, we should regard anything from the CDC or Big Pharma with great suspicion, since it is contradicted by most evidence. I’ll simply leave you with a set of bullet points, all supported by large volumes of scientific data.

• COVID-19 is a mild disease with almost zero mortality for people under age 55.
• Serious co-existing disease is the best predictor of mortality in all age groups.
• Public masking has zero effect on transmission of airborne diseases, including COVID.
• The “vaccines” do not protect you from getting COVID or transmitting COVID. They do not lessen the severity of COVID when you get it. That is a result of the newer variants being less severe to start with. The vaccines and boosters are directed at a disease that doesn’t exist anymore.
• The “vaccines” reduce your immunity, making you more likely to catch symptomatic disease. This also makes it much easier for numerous cancers to grow.
• Natural immunity from disease recovery is far better than any supposed benefit of shots. If you got the vaccine and then got sick, your immunity afterward is less than if you didn’t get the shot at all.
• Remdesivir (Fauci gets $$$ when it’s used) does not improve survival and probably causes other problems.
• Molnuvirapir, the new oral agent, isn’t as effective as Ivermectin, which the CDC steadfastly refuses to support. If you do get sick, get immediate treatment with Ivermectin. If your illness is from a different virus, it will probably help against that as well.
• Locales that opened up early generally have disease and death rates better than others.
• The safest place is outdoors, where the sun destroys viruses and they are dispersed into infinity.

I’m sure I left something out, but I’ll leave you with a couple of key items. First, don’t get the shot. It has no benefits and a host of bad effects I don’t have space to talk about. Second, take vitamin D3 and zinc. They have been shown to reduce viral infections a lot. Third, get a stock of Ivermectin. If you do get sick, start it immediately on your way to your urgent care. And don’t stop taking it even if they say to. They can lose their licenses if they agree with you taking it.

Government-based authorities are lying to us. I know that’s strong, but it’s the truth. The version of COVID that’s around now is a minor illness that is largely preventable and easily treated. That is a far better choice than getting a potentially deadly shot that a bunch of power brokers love. There will be many more variants, but the final variant is communism.

Ted Noel MD is a retired Anesthesiologist/Intensivist who podcasts and posts on social media as DoctorTed and @vidzette. His DoctorTed podcasts are available on many podcast channels.

News of the Times;
My niece, Sue, plans to open a discount grocery store where everything expires in a week.

She's going to call it Best By...


I went in a public bathroom today.

There was a sign up saying they were giving out complimentary pronouns.

I took a she/it.




"I am John with the C.I.A."

"I know."

"And how do you know that?"

"You called a phone that has no SIM card, no battery, and is broken."


Reminder: If you're being chased by a bunch of taxidermists, DO NOT play dead.


I was at the airport today and I saw a man pass out and fall on the luggage carousel.

He eventually came around.

Quote of the Times;
Every major war since 1913 can be directly attributed to the United States Federal Reserve Bank, which is controlled by globalists. - Ron Paul

Link of the Times;

Issue of the Times;
The Ukraine War Is A Racket by Ron Paul

"War is a racket," wrote US Maj. General Smedley Butler in 1935. He explained: "A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small 'inside' group knows what it is about. “It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes."

Gen. Butler’s observation describes the US/NATO response to the Ukraine war perfectly.

The propaganda continues to portray the war in Ukraine as that of an unprovoked Goliath out to decimate an innocent David unless we in the US and NATO contribute massive amounts of military equipment to Ukraine to defeat Russia. As is always the case with propaganda, this version of events is manipulated to bring an emotional response to the benefit of special interests.

One group of special interests profiting massively on the war is the US military-industrial complex. Raytheon CEO Greg Hayes recently told a meeting of shareholders that, "Everything that’s being shipped into Ukraine today, of course, is coming out of stockpiles, either at DOD or from our NATO allies, and that’s all great news. Eventually we’ll have to replenish it and we will see a benefit to the business."

He wasn’t lying. Raytheon, along with Lockheed Martin and countless other weapons manufacturers are enjoying a windfall they have not seen in years. The US has committed more than three billion dollars in military aid to Ukraine. They call it aid, but it is actually corporate welfare: Washington sending billions to arms manufacturers for weapons sent overseas.

By many accounts these shipments of weapons like the Javelin anti-tank missile (jointly manufactured by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin) are getting blown up as soon as they arrive in Ukraine. This doesn’t bother Raytheon at all. The more weapons blown up by Russia in Ukraine, the more new orders come from the Pentagon.

Former Warsaw Pact countries now members of NATO are in on the scam as well. They’ve discovered how to dispose of their 30-year-old Soviet-made weapons and receive modern replacements from the US and other western NATO countries.

While many who sympathize with Ukraine are cheering, this multi-billion dollar weapons package will make little difference. As former US Marine intelligence officer Scott Ritter said on the Ron Paul Liberty Report last week:

"I can say with absolute certainty that even if this aid makes it to the battlefield, it will have zero impact on the battle. And Joe Biden knows it."

What we do see is that Russians are capturing modern US and NATO weapons by the ton and even using them to kill more Ukrainians. What irony. Also, what kinds of opportunities will be provided to terrorists, with thousands of tons of deadly high-tech weapons floating around Europe? Washington has admitted that it has no way of tracking the weapons it is sending to Ukraine and no way to keep them out of the hands of the bad guys.

War is a racket, to be sure. The US has been meddling in Ukraine since the end of the Cold War, going so far as overthrowing the government in 2014 and planting the seeds of the war we are witnessing today. The only way out of a hole is to stop digging. Don’t expect that any time soon. War is too profitable.

News of the Times;
Despite what some people think, since the world is arguably 75% water that is not carbonated...

One could accurately say that it's technically flat.


To further pander to the G-PLT+Q-PEDO-XYZ crowd, Disney released a statement that Eeyore, from Winnie the Pooh, has changed s/h/it’s pronouns.

The pronouns are now He/Haw.


I was at a job interview today when the manager handed me his laptop and said "I want you to try to sell this to me."

So I put it under my arm, walked out of the building, and went home.

Eventually he called me and said "Bring my laptop back here right now!"

I said "$200 and it's yours."


Conversation between a guy and a salesperson during the new Tesla roadster drive test.

"Excuse me, sir, I see on the specs that the new Tesla roadster comes standard with a defibrillator?"

"Are you ready to hear the price?"


I’m really excited for the amateur autopsy club I just joined.

Wednesday is open Mike night!

Quote of the Times;
If they were REALLY afraid of COVID, they wouldn’t be sitting on an airplane or in a restaurant in the first place. - William Hall

Link of the Times;

Issue of the Times;
What’s Exceptional About American Exceptionalism? by Allen C. Guelzo

The nation was founded on natural law and natural right, not myth or tribal legend.

Americans like to believe that they are an exceptional people. We speak of ourselves as a nation lifting our light beside the golden door, a people who “more than self their country loved and mercy more than life,” in the words of “America the Beautiful.” The first person to apply the term “exceptional” to Americans was a Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, in his prophetic survey of American life in the 1830s, Democracy in America. But the germ of the idea had been around even longer, and it has never lost its grip on our imagination. Rallying Americans to his program for a new “Morning in America,” Ronald Reagan described America in almost mystical terms as a “shining city on a hill.” The light it shone with was like none that lighted any other nation. “I’ve always believed that this blessed land was set apart in a special way,” Reagan said in 1983, “that there was some divine plan that placed the two great continents here between the oceans to be found by people from every corner of the Earth who had a deep love for freedom.” In his 2012 presidential bid, Mitt Romney hailed America as “an exceptional country with a unique destiny and role in the world.” By contrast, the man who defeated Romney pointedly spoke of America in unexceptional terms, explaining to the Financial Times that if America was exceptional, it was only in the same sense that “the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.” American exceptionalism has almost become a modern political litmus test.

But what is “American exceptionalism”—and what is exceptional about it? Reagan’s invocation of the “shining city on a hill” echoed what many commentators have assumed is the basic statement of American exceptionalism: John Winthrop’s layman’s sermon, “A Model of Christian Charity,” which he delivered to the colonists he was leading to find refuge for English Puritans in Massachusetts in 1629. But none of the British North American colonies—not even Winthrop’s Massachusetts—saw itself as an exception to the basic European assumptions about how a society should be organized. All the colonies, in varying measures, believed that societies were organized as hierarchies—pyramids, if you will—with the king at the top, the lords and nobility beneath, and the common folk on the bottom. Like all good pyramids, the colonial one was supposed to be static; each layer was to work reciprocally with the others, not in competition. The idea that people could start small and poor and work their way up to the top was considered dangerous. Those who did make it to the top did so, not through work but through the patronage of those already there. There would remain differences between England and its colonies—as native-born Englishmen would remind their colonial brethren—but those distinctions existed within the same recognizable European hierarchy of kings, lords, and commons.

That might have been the way America developed, too, if not for two events. The first was the Enlightenment, which proposed a radically exceptional way of reconceiving human societies. The Enlightenment began as a scientific movement, and especially as a rebellion by scientists like Galileo and Isaac Newton, against the medieval interpretation of the physical world. Medieval thinkers viewed the physical universe as no less a hierarchy than the political world, with Earth at the bottom, and ascending in levels of perfection through the moon, the planets, the stars, and finally, the heavens. This structure had already begun to come apart in the 1500s, when Niklaus Copernicus insisted that viewing the solar system in this way was contradicted by observing the motion of the planets themselves. But it took its greatest blow from Galileo, who trained the newfangled telescope on the moon and observed that nothing about it looked like the next step up in a hierarchy from Earth. It remained for Isaac Newton to show us that the various parts of the physical world were not related by order or rank but by natural laws and forces, like gravity, which were uniform and equal in the operation.

Eventually, people wondered whether the new rules that described the operations of the physical world might have some application to the political world, too. Taking their cue from the revolution in the physical sciences, philosophers sought to describe a natural political order, free of artificial hierarchies such as kings, lords, and commons. They dared to talk about equality rather than pyramids, about universal natural rights rather than inherited status, about commerce rather than patronage, and to question why some half-wit should get to wear a crown, just because his father had done so. But all the Enlightenment’s political philosophers could offer as alternatives were thought experiments about desert islands or ideal commonwealths, and the kings continued to sit undisturbed on their thrones.

The second event was the one that really gave birth to American exceptionalism: the American Revolution. For in one stupendous burst of energy, Americans overturned the entire structure—political, constitutional, legal, and social—of hierarchy and applied the Enlightenment’s thought experiments about equality and natural rights to practical politics.

The confidence that Americans displayed in the existence of a natural political order based on natural rights and natural law was so profound that Thomas Jefferson could describe the most basic of these rights—to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—as “self-evident.” The Virginia Declaration of Rights—another product of the year 1776—explained that “all men . . . have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.” Americans did not merely demand a corrected version of British common law or Britain’s hierarchical society; they proclaimed that they were creating a novus ordo seclorum. Their voice, said Frederick Douglass, “was as the trump of an archangel, summoning hoary forms of oppression and time-honored tyranny, to judgment. . . . It announced the advent of a nation, based upon human brotherhood and the self-evident truths of liberty and equality. Its mission was the redemption of the world from the bondage of ages.”

Creating a new politics in America that broke decisively with the past proved surprisingly easier than we might have expected. Whatever lip service they had paid to the old theories of hierarchy during the century and a half before 1776, the colonists, in everyday practice, had developed their own consent-based civil society, created ad hoc legislatures, written their own laws, and spread landownership so broadly across the North Atlantic seaboard that, by the time of the Revolution, 90 percent of the colonists were landowners. Benjamin Franklin remembered that his father, a tallow chandler in Boston, had no particular education, “but his great Excellence lay in a sound understanding and solid judgment in prudential matters, both in private and publick affairs. . . . I remember well his being frequently visited by leading people, who consulted him for his opinion in affairs of the town or of the church he belonged to, and showed a good deal of respect for his judgment and advice: he was also . . . frequently chosen an arbitrator between contending parties.” Americans like Franklin’s father were, in effect, already desert islands and ideal commonwealths; the political philosophy of the Enlightenment gave them a theory that matched the realities they had been living.

The American mix of Enlightenment theory and practical experience in government produced a result that was seen from the first as—there is no other word for it—exceptional. In revolutionary America, reveled Tom Paine, Americans are about “to begin the world over again. . . . The birthday of a new world is at hand, and a race of men, perhaps as numerous as all Europe contains, are to receive their portion of freedom from the events of a few months.” That “portion of freedom” would be a political order with no ranks, no prelates, no hierarchy; a government that limited itself, and confined itself by a written Constitution; and an identity based not on race or blood or soil or ancestry or even language but on a single proposition as relentlessly logical as it was frighteningly brief, that “all men are created equal.”

In European eyes, this was folly. The American decision to license equal citizens to govern themselves invited anarchy. Too many areas of public life, argued Otto von Bismarck in 1870, required an authoritative government to intervene and direct, and the more that authority was based on hierarchy and monarchy, the better. “Believe me,” prophesied Bismarck, “one cannot lead or bring to prosperity a great nation without the principle of authority—that is, the Monarchy.”

Americans compensated for whatever vacuum was made by limiting government through the invention of private, voluntary associations, “little communities by themselves,” as Pennsylvania leader George Bryan called them, to manage their affairs, without the need for a swollen imperial bureaucracy 3,000 miles away. And so they did: in Philadelphia alone, newly independent Americans created the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and for the Relief of Free Negroes, the Guardians of the Poor of the City of Philadelphia, the Female Society of Philadelphia for the Relief and Employment of the Poor, the Hibernian Society, the Magdalen Society for the Shelter and Reformation of Fallen Women, the Society of the Free Instruction of Female Children, the Philadelphia Society for the Free Instruction of Indigent Boys, the Indigent Widows and Single Women’s Society—all without government sanction. Americans took association to the level of an art. Tocqueville surveyed the proliferation of American self-help groups and concluded that “the extraordinary fragmentation of administrative power” in America was offset by the multiplicity of “religious, moral . . . commercial and industrial associations” that substituted themselves for European lords and chancellors.

Thus, American exceptionalism began as a new kind of politics. Americans had not merely done something different; they had captured in living form a natural order that made the old political systems of Europe look as artificial and irrational as fully as Newton’s laws had made medieval physics irrelevant. “We Americans are the peculiar chosen people,” wrote Herman Melville, “the Israel of our time; we bear the ark of the liberties of the world.”

But establishing a novel political framework was to create only the first leg of what became a three-legged stool of American exceptionalism. If it was not inherited rank and titles that gave authority in society, then it was up to the free initiative of citizens to make of themselves what they wanted, and with government itself so deliberately self-limited, their energies would run instead in the direction of commerce. They would create not only a new politics but also a new economy—the second leg.

“What, then, is the American, this new man?” asked transplanted Frenchman Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur in 1782. “He is an American,” Crèvecoeur replied, who has stopped doing what others tell him he must do. He has escaped “from involuntary idleness, servile dependence, penury, and useless labour” and has “passed to toils of a very different nature, rewarded by ample subsistence.” Inside the stiff boundaries of hierarchy, Europeans looked down upon labor as slavery and trade as the unsavory pursuit of the small-minded bourgeoisie—in America, there was almost nothing except a bourgeoisie, and it gloried in labor and commerce. British novelist Frances Trollope was appalled to listen to Americans “in the street, on the road, or in the field, at the theatre, the coffee-house, or at home,” who never seemed to talk “without the word DOLLAR being pronounced between them.” But other Europeans were enchanted by the liberty of American commerce. J. C. Loudoun’s Encyclopaedia of Agriculture recommended that its British readers emigrate to America, since the American “form of government” guaranteed that “property is secure, and personal liberty greater there than anywhere else . . . and both maintained at less expense than under any government in the world.” In America, wrote the French evangelical pastor Georges Fisch, in 1863, “There is no restraint whatever on the liberty of business transactions.” Nor did it matter much who succeeded on a given day and who didn’t, because the next day those who were down were likely to be up.

Abraham Lincoln captured this dynamic when he said that in America, “every man can make himself.” There would always be extremes of wealth and inequalities of enterprise. What mitigated those inequalities was an incessant tumbling-up and tumbling-down, so that one man’s wealth achieved at one moment could pass into the hands of others at another. “The prudent, penniless beginner in the world,” Lincoln said in 1859 (with his own history in mind), “labors for wages a while, saves a surplus with which to buy tools or land, for himself; then labors on his own account another while, and at length hires another new beginner to help him.” This, Lincoln believed, represented a “just and generous, and prosperous system, which opens the way for all.” Not all would prosper, but that was no argument against the “system” as a whole.
American free enterprise, Lincoln believed, was a “just and generous, and prosperous system, which opens the way for all.”

Significantly, the energy with which Americans threw themselves into unfettered commercial exchange was soon seen as a primary obstacle in the path of a newer enemy of hierarchy—socialism—which emerged out of the self-inflicted wreckage of nineteenth-century aristocracies. Socialism’s great architect, Karl Marx, believed that every society would move out of the old world of hierarchy into capitalism; inevitably, capitalism would yield to socialism; hence, the more advanced a nation becomes in capitalism, the closer it must be to embracing socialism—and eventually Communism.

But Marx was baffled by how the United States defied this rule. No nation seemed more fully imbued with capitalism, yet no nation showed less interest in becoming socialist. This became one of the unresolved puzzles of socialist theory, and it gave rise to frustrated socialists (like Werner Sombart) who struggled with the question: Why is there no socialism in America? Sombart blamed it on the drug of material abundance: socialism, he complained, had foundered in America “on the shoals of roast beef and apple pie.” But another socialist, Leon Samson, had seen better than Sombart that the real enemy of socialism was exceptionalism itself, because Americans give “a solemn assent to a handful of final notions—democracy, liberty, opportunity, to all of which the American adheres rationalistically much as a socialist adheres to his socialism.”

Actually, Marx and Sombart were wrong. There had been an American socialism; they were reluctant to recognize it as such because it came not in the form of a workers’ rebellion against capital but in the emergence of a plantation oligarchy in the slaveholding South. This “feudal socialism,” based on race, called into question all the premises of American exceptionalism, starting with the Declaration of Independence. Nor were slavery’s apologists shy about linking this oligarchy to European socialism, since, as George Fitzhugh asserted in 1854, “Slavery produces association of labor, and is one of the ends all Communists and Socialists desire.” What was extraordinary about this vast step away from American exceptionalism was the titanic effort that Americans made, in the Civil War, to correct it. That struggle—a civil war that (as Lincoln said) understood the American republic to be “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal” and aimed at the completion of the project of political equality for all its people—may be the most exceptional moment in all of American history, for there is no record of any other conflict quite like the war that Americans waged among themselves, to “die to make men free.” And everyone, down to the slaves themselves, knew that freedom and equality were means toward social mobility and economic self-transformation, not a frozen egalitarianism. “We have as a people no past and very little present, but a boundless and glorious future,” said Frederick Douglass, himself once a slave—one who nevertheless believed that American opportunity was without a copy anywhere else. “America is not only the exception to the general rule, but the social wonder of the world.”

The third leg of the exceptionalist stool was the attitude and relationship that the United States was to adopt toward the rest of the world, where hierarchy still ruled. This has proved a wobbly leg—it divides even exceptionalists—if only because Americans’ notions of what exceptionalism dictates in terms of policy toward other nations have changed since the Founding.

The novelty of exceptionalism’s first two legs—politics and economics—was so great that it was hard for Americans not to see them as part of a deliberate plan. Even before the Revolution, Jonathan Edwards, the architect of American religious revivals, had viewed America as the linchpin of a scheme of divine redemption for the world. “We may well look upon the discovery of so great a part of the world as America, and bringing the gospel into it,” he wrote, “as one thing by which divine Providence is preparing the way for the future glorious times of the church.” Timothy Dwight, Edwards’s grandson, took to poetry to translate these expectations about America’s role in redeeming Earth from Satan into a sacred mission to proclaim an American political gospel:

As the day-spring unbounded, thy splendor shall flow,
And earth’s little kingdoms before thee shall bow;
While the ensigns of union, in triumph unfurl’d,
Hush the tumult of war, and give peace to the world.

But if God did have a special role for America, it was one that America was strictly charged to keep safe on its own shores; its role would be passive and self-protective. Far from any desire to share their nation’s redemptive culture, Americans tended to regard the rest of the world as a potential threat, eager to strangle the American experiment by the reimposition of empire or by association with more unstable attempts at revolution—as in France. “Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will [America’s] heart, her benedictions, and her prayers be,” promised John Quincy Adams in 1821. “But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.” So when the Hungarian revolutionary Louis Kossuth came to America in 1852 to drum up support for his rebellion against the Austrian Empire, Lincoln spoke of him cordially, based on “our continued devotion to the principles of our free institutions.” But Lincoln made it plain that “it is the duty of our government to neither foment, nor assist, such revolutions in other governments.”

We were not, however, always consistent in this. The outsize influence of Southern slaveholding interests in American politics in the 1840s helped drag us into a war with Mexico, for no better reason than to acquire large stretches of territory that Southerners hoped to convert into slave states. We half-blundered into the Spanish-American War in 1898 and found ourselves with a colonial empire on our hands, in the form of the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and, for all practical purposes, Cuba. And in 1917, we thrust ourselves into World War I behind President Woodrow Wilson’s notion that American democracy ought to be exported to Europe. These attempts to convert American exceptionalism into a missionary endeavor nearly always met with sabotage by other nations, which resented our claims to some unique political virtue; and they met with serious criticism by other Americans—even outright rejection, as when America declined to join the League of Nations.

But even those criticisms disappeared after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which not only thrust us again into a worldwide conflict but also presented the question of how we could prevent such world crises from erupting. It had been demonstrated one too many times to American policymakers that the European states, left to themselves, were incapable of establishing a peaceful continental order; so we have found ourselves, ever since, forced into the role of savior of civilization, whether through the Marshall Plan, NATO, NAFTA, the Security Council, or sometimes through simple unilateralism.

We have accepted this role since World War II, often because we believed we had little choice. But this role has had an adverse effect on American exceptionalism by repeatedly involving the United States in foreign-policy projects that do not yield easily to American solutions—and that then raise doubts about the exceptionalist assumptions behind those solutions. When we have turned to multilateral or multinational solutions, we find ourselves yoked to European and other allies, which, even if they have long since shucked the mantle of aristocracy and inherited hierarchy, have often replaced it with vast social bureaucracies that serve much the same purpose. If we act unilaterally, we find ourselves hounded by international condemnations of American claims of arrogance based on exceptionalism. If we fail to act, we are accused of isolationism.

The third leg is not the only one to suffer the wobbles. We are, for one thing, becoming less reliant on voluntary associations to accomplish the tasks of American society. We often see this illustrated in statistics showing how millennials have staged an unprecedented withdrawal from American churches, so that the share of Americans who refuse any religious affiliation has risen from one in 20 in 1972 to one in five today. But this is only part of a larger American withdrawal from a broad range of voluntary associations, from the PTA to bowling leagues. Between 1973 and 1995, the number of Americans who reported attending “a public meeting on town or school affairs” fell by more than a third; PTA membership fell from more than 12 million in 1964 to barely 5 million in 1982. Even mainline civic organizations, such as the Boy Scouts and the Red Cross, have suffered declines since the 1970s. In the most general sense, Americans’ trust in one another has declined from a peak in the mid-1960s (when 56 percent of survey respondents affirmed that “most people can be trusted”) to a low today, in which only one in three Americans believes that “most people can be trusted.” Among millennials, it’s as low as one in five.

In the place of voluntary association, we have come to rely on state agencies and administrative law. This development has roots leading back to the Progressivism of the past century, which believed that American society had become too complex to be left to ordinary citizens, who lack the expertise to make government work efficiently. The same conviction animates modern progressives, as illustrated by the notorious 2012 campaign video The Life of Julia, which casts the life of one American as an utterly unexceptional progress through one European-style bureaucracy after another.

We have also seen the rise of identity politics, which has made us shy of asserting the old exceptionalism because every identity is now considered exceptional in itself. One’s identity as an American fades—even becomes optional—beside one’s identity as part of an ethnic, racial, religious, or cultural minority. This moves us a world away from Lincoln’s belief that the proposition set out in the Declaration trumped all other identities.

We’re no longer even sure that the Declaration has persuasive power. We are, writes Peter Beinart, “products of an educational system that, more than in the past, emphasizes inclusion and diversity, which may breed a discontent with claims that America is better than other nations.” Even conservative jurists like the late William Rehnquist allowed that U.S. courts should “begin looking to the decisions of other [nations’] constitutional courts to aid in their deliberative process.”

But nothing in our national life has so undermined confidence in American exceptionalism as the erosion of economic mobility. From the time we began measuring gross domestic product in the 1940s until 1970, American GDP grew at an average annual rate of 2.7 percent; from 1970 to 1994, it slid to a growth rate of only 1.54 percent, recovered briefly to 2.26 percent, and then began sliding to its pre-Trump level of 1.21 percent. From 1948 until 1972, Americans in the lower 90 percent of income-earners saw their incomes rise by 2.65 percent annually—almost twice the income growth experienced by the same group between 1917 and 1948. Since 1972, though, the growth rate for the 90 percent has collapsed—in fact, turned negative—and middle-class workers who began their careers in the center of the earnings curve have seen their fortunes decline by 20 percent since 1980. The United States has become as economically immobile as the United Kingdom, where the top 10 percent calcify into a self-perpetuating aristocracy that sees itself as part of global networks of communications and exchange and feels little sympathy for those left behind.

Is American exceptionalism merely an artifact of an earlier, more confident time in our history, which should now yield to the blandishments of globalization and conformity to multinational expectations? Only, I think, if we regard the ideas of the American Founders as being mere historical artifacts, too. What made the American experiment exceptional was precisely that it was not founded (like other national identities) on some myth or tribal legend but on the discovery of natural laws and natural rights as unarguable as gravity and born from the same intellectual source. Unhappily, natural law philosophy has been bumped from its place as the American philosophy by the pragmatism of William James and his heirs, and even more by the values pluralism of John Rawls and literary postmodernism. These approaches were supposed to liberate the mind from the restraint of fictitious narratives of honor, truth, and law—but overthrowing these principles merely became a platform for egotism and unfettered lust for power.

To discount American exceptionalism is to suggest that the American political order itself was only a figment of one nation’s imagination, at one time. If there is no such natural law, then, yes, let us discard exceptionalism; but let us then say that neither the old hierarchy nor the new bureaucracy is wrong, either, and accept that all politics is merely an arena in which power, rather than law or right, determines our future.

I believe that the American experiment, based on the Declaration and embodied in the Constitution, belongs to an exceptional moment in human history, and remains exceptional. I believe that the U.S. economy is flexible enough to recover its mobility and astonish the world with its capacity to disrupt artificial barriers. And I believe that we can repair the deviations we have sustained from an overconfident mission-mentality without needing to accommodate ourselves to the mores of globalization. Globalization, after all, has been no great success; its main accomplishment, as Christopher Lasch reminded us in his final book, The Revolt of the Elites, has not been international peace or prosperity but “the cosmopolitanism of the favored few . . . uninformed by the practice of citizenship.”

The task of restoring confidence in our exceptionalism will nevertheless be a daunting one. Exceptionalism will have to become what Lincoln called a “civil religion,” to be “breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap . . . taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges . . . written in Primmers, spelling books, and in Almanacs . . . preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice.” The task will require a determined pushback against progressive unexceptionalism and the idea that only government can ensure efficiency and happiness. It will involve the revival of the rule of law (rather than agencies), the rejuvenation of our voluntary associations, and the celebration of their role in our public life. And it will force us to lift the burden of economic sclerosis, not merely with the aim of producing simple material abundance but also with the goal of promoting a national empathy, in which, as Georges Fisch saw in 1863, Americans rise and fall, and rise and fall again, without the stigma that consigns half the nation to a basket of deplorables.

Can this, realistically, be done? Can we disentangle our public life from the grasp of the new hierarchy of bureaucrats and, overseas, pull back from foreign-policy crusades? Can we, in short, recur successfully to our first principles?

Well, we did it once before.

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