In this week’s installment of my ongoing plot to lure you into using my Amazon links for your holiday shopping, I’m focusing on the comforts of home.
Specifically, the warm comforts. It’s only mid-November and I don’t know about you but I’m already sick of winter. As I sit here typing this my fingers and toes are cold and it’s been raining so long I wouldn’t be surprised to see an ark floating by.
So yes, I’m thinking some warm stuff would be welcome under anybody’s Christmas tree this year.
For instance …
How about some delicious flannel sheets? One of you lovely readers bought me a set a couple of years ago and it’s so nice to slide into their comfort instead of shivering through those first icy seconds with standard cotton sheets.
Then there are alway DVDs and Blu-Ray movies made for some cozy snuggling. Speaking of warm things, Warm Bodies is, believe it or not, a perfectly delightful zombie chick-flick comedy to share with a special someone.
Well, I think that gives you the idea. The main idea — the great master scheme behind my entire holiday plot — is for you to please use any Amazon link you find on this site. Shop that way and you’ll help keep this blog rolling and keep the Wolfe dogs in kibble.
I like Ross Douthat. In this day of screaming absolutes he always has a nuanced take on things. But even he says that the current campus crisis is something U.S. universities deserve.
And if anybody had doubts about what a bunch of whiny brats those “oppressed” university students at Mizzou are, check out their reactions to the slaughter in Paris. Whaaaaaa-waaaaa, nobody’s paying attention to US! Will the little narcissists ever feel shame?
Australia is going to try out a hip, cool, and groovy cloud-based virtual passport system. Think the problem of lost passports is bad? Wait till you’ve experienced the airport joy of “the Internet is down” or “we don’t find you in our database” or “we’ve just been hacked.”
If Western civilization is dying, it’s slowly destroying itself from within. Murderous Islamists who won’t tolerate any views other than their own are merely the opportunistic barbarians at the gates.
But there is no doubt that these savages, who come from or are inspired by lands where either tyranny or chaos — or both — reign, want to tear down the West down to their barbaric level.
Yes, I know that governments of the West are at least partially responsible, sometimes largely responsible, for reducing the Middle East to chaos.
However — and I’m not supposed to say this because it goes against freedomista PC — Islam itself contains a poison at its heart. It’s always been there, this mindless submission to “divine” authority OR ELSE, this “conquer by the sword” mentality.
Christianity had it, too. Much of Christianity’s history was as bloody as anything the Islamists have going today. But the Reformation and the Enlightenment pulled Christianity’s fangs — and separated religion and government. Which is as it should be despite all the wails and protests from would-be Republican theocrats. Now individuals are free to choose Christianity or not, free to think about it, criticize it, adopt it, love it, despise it as they wish. Millions benefit from it — in freedom. Others leave it — in freedom. No slaughter required.
Nobody is even attempting to pull Islam’s giant fangs. On the contrary, countries are stupidly opening their gates to let the bloody monster in. All in the name of some of the very Western values (tolerance, humanitarianism, the guilt of supposed privilege, etc.) that the monster either wishes to destroy or will cynically use for its own devouring ends.
While I had my face buried in my latest BHM house-fixup article, the world outside was getting hammered with the kind of rain that makes even a seasoned Northwesterner wonder if there’s an umbrella (or perhaps a submarine) in the house.
And here’s the second and final part of the guest post by Sandy Sandfort. Part I is here
TRUTH IN GOVERNMENT? YOU BETCHA! (Part II)
A Short Guide on How to Read Government “Tells”
By Sandy Sandfort
Before I give you two final financial examples, I will give one from my own family. On 5 April 1933, FDR signed Executive Order 6102 (just like Obama, he had a pen and a telephone) which required Americans to turn in their gold in exchange for paper money at $20.67 per ounce.
When my father read about the order in the newspaper, he immediately told my mother, “They’re going to devalue the dollar!” In other words, he skipped past all the order’s rhetoric and jumped to the “why.” When he figured out what and why the order was given (devaluation), he set about illegally amassing as many gold coins as he could. He was able to get rid of a lot of paper in exchange for a lot of gold. As he predicted, the dollar was devalued (40% to $35 per ounce. For decades, he and my mother paid for fun trips to Mexico with gold coins they sold in Mexico for the world price of $35 per ounce.
I’m deadlining this week. Friend Sandy Sandfort has stepped in with an original two-parter about one of everybody’s favorite subjects: politicians moving their lips.
Sandy has a new website in the works. If you’d like to be notified when it goes live, contact Sandy at sandy-at-privilegedcommunications-dot-net (corrected address) with the subject line “new website notice.”
Sandy would also like to exchange some of his Bitcoin for USD (which can be sent to his U.S. bank, though he resides in Panama). Contact him at sandfort-at-gmail-dot-com if you’re interested in making the trade.
TRUTH IN GOVERNMENT? YOU BETCHA! (Part I)
A Short Guide on How to Read Government “Tells”
By Sandy Sandfort
I don’t need to tell readers here that governments lie. We all know that lies are fundamental to manipulating the citizenry. This does not mean, however, that you shouldn’t pay attention to what government spokespeople say. If you know how to listen, you can gather vital intel to protect yourself and your family. By understanding why certain things are said—or not said—you can improve your chances of surviving government-created calamities and maybe even come out ahead of the game sometime.
Governments do have “tells” just like poker players. If you learn to read those tells, you have an edge over the other players at the table. Believe me, in America, with a third of a billion players at the table, you really want to have that edge.
Wow. Somebody thinks federal employees aren’t paid enough when compared with people in “similar private-sector jobs.” The article never explains what private-sector jobs are similar to … oh, career money confiscator, thug who tells businesspeople how to run their businesses, or professional killer of nursing mothers.
Saturday evening just as it was turning dark, a young man came to my gate. He was as clean cut as a Mormon missionary (about the only other people prone to show up hereabouts at such an hour) and traveling on foot as they do. But he was solo. I had the vague feeling I’d seen him somewhere before.
“I was here with Mike the other day,” he said by way of introduction. He gave no name. Mike — meaning Handyman Mike — has gone through a steady stream of minions or minion wannabes, all pretty much interchangable to me. I’m trying to figure out which one this is.
“I see you still have that pile of construction material back there. Would you pay me to clean it up for you?”
Clean-cut though he may be, the whole business of a nameless stranger turning up on my doorstep in the near-dark is creepy. I’m still trying to figure out who he is when he announces, “I’m desperate for money.”
And lights up a cigarette.
Now, I can think of a fair number of ways for a young man to demonstrate that he’s either in dire financial straits or worthy of being hired because he’s good. But lighting up a cigarette (in a state where they cost nearly $10 a pack) isn’t one of them. I can’t afford to smoke. If he can, his “desperation” is manufactured.
I let him hand me his contact information over the closed six-foot gate (after I supplied paper and pen). He scrawled a phone number, but still offered no name. I finally asked who he was.
“Troy,” he said.
Then I remembered. Three weeks ago, he answered Mike’s ad for a construction helper. Mike interviewed him and he was supposed to start assisting on my Great Bathroom Project.
The morning he was to begin minioning he called Mike to say he had a flat tire. And no way of changing or fixing it. He finally made it here at 1:30, driven by a friend, just as Mike was going to lunch. Mike showed him the great heap of construction rubble outside the fenced part of the yard and invited him to work on organizing the stack until Mike’s return. Troy declined and left. After that, he didn’t return Mike’s calls. End of minioning.
Now here he is at the gate, weeks later, in the gathering dark on a weekend, wanting the work he wouldn’t do when he had the chance. But not really wanting work. Wanting money.
I’m not sure what it is lately with people being so eager to claim their desperation. Have they been reading Atlas Shrugged and mistaking the bad guys for the good guys or what? Do they seriously believe desperation gives them a compelling claim, some leg up in the race to earn a living?
All it gave me was the creeps.
I remember my Depression-era relatives talking about hungry men showing up on their doorsteps. In their stories, they always made a clear distinction between “hoboes” and “bums.” Hoboes, they said, would show up, hat in hand, offering to work. They didn’t speak of their need, only of their willingness. They were honest men — down on their luck but not broken. Bums, on the other hand, were no good and had probably never been any good. They might (or might not) offer to work, but really they were just looking for a handout. Or a place that might have something worth stealing.
I’ll leave it to you to decide what kind of person my evening visitor is. I don’t know. He might just be an inexperienced kid, born into the self-esteem era, having never been encouraged to acquire either manners, a work ethic, or common sense.
I do know that after he left I let down all the blinds and made sure all my self-defense tools were in good order and accessible. And I gave the dogs extra pats, recalling he’d been too scared of them to come in the yard the first time he was here.
In case you’ve wondered how a jury could watch a video of a cop executing a man in cold blood and still vote to acquit, it’s because authoritarian mind-warping is so very effective. Lisa Mearkle. Remember the name. Lisa Mearkle.
Idaho deputies ask rancher to put down an injured bull. Before he can, they put down the rancher. The family tell their story. I wonder what the “official” story will be.
In all the news about local cops getting away with murder, Jim Bovard reminds us that their federal brothers and sisters are still doing their share — and still untouchable.
Speaking of touching, root for Jim to win that Bastiat Award at the Reason Media Awards tomorrow. (If you click on his image, you’ll see what I mean about “touching.”)
Sorry for so much brutal linkage today. Want a little good news? Cannabis and “hippie beer” are helping small business startups to rise again after 30 years of decline. (Weird, though, that the WaPost writer thinks insufficient regulation is a threat to them.)